Thursday, August 28, 2008

Jack Flannery Will Not Bring Us With Him

2. When Papa Shot Cuchulain

A blur of night sky on a bright afternoon, a mantle of crow's feathers lifting it above life as we knew it, flying faster than algebra or divorce. The perfect mount for Molly, hair the same color and texture, legs more muscle than meat just like her. Maybe it would have been me instead of Jack that lay her down in the hay and made her a woman if I was brave and strong enough to take to the air like the pegasus Cuchulain, the most perfect beast I ever laid eyes on.
Unemployed and stinking like a pig washed in a moonshiner's bathtub, Molly's father was Cuchulain' s very opposite. He had legs like two pale punching bags and stomach that rendered even the baggiest of shirts futile. He hated the horse for being able to fly when he couldn't even run very well and for making his daughter proud when all he brought her was shame. While I wasn't fat or drunk and had a fine job for a fifteen year old in delivering groceries, I too felt jealous of Cuchulain and could understand the man's pain, though he was unmoved by the pegasus while I was awestruck.
There a came a day of course when Molly's father had enough. The night before when he was at the pub, he met a man from the dogfood factory. Money was tight and he hated Cuchulain, so decided he would catch the horse and bring it to the factory to be made into mush. This would not be easy, for as much as he hated Cuchulain, the horse hated him more. When he approached Cuchulain, reeking of liquid courage and trying to bribe him with a carrot, the animal rebelled. I wasn't there, but I imagine the bastard endured a kick to the head or two before the horse took to the air. There was no way in Hell he could make Cuchulain come willingly, even if he had all the carrots in the world.
Molly's father got his rifle and, screaming and cursing for a great while, fired on the horse. While I didn't get to see how it started, it certainly got to see how it ended, since I had the misfortune of seeing the luckiest shot in human history bring the pegasus down over my front yard. I considered going out there and teaching the bastard a lesson, punishing him for putting an end to the thing the girl I loved loved most, but there were a lot of factors keeping me from acting on my violent desires. First of all, I was a coward. I still sort of am. Second of all, he was drunk, had a gun and before my eyes had brought down the fastest moving target I ever saw, lucky shot or otherwise. Lastly, my muscles were numb, my heart was clenched tight as my idle coward's fists and it took all of my willpower to prevent myself from weeping out every drop of dignity inside me on account of the realization that so much magic had disappeared from the world for good.
I've been told the dead pegasus fetched quite a price from the dogfood factory. Being mythical and capable of flight, it was considered a real treasure. It was pretty surprising that the citizens of our little town could afford the batch of special gold label dog food that became of it. There was a huge run on the stuff, figuring that it would lead to a town full of superdogs that could outhunt and outrun any game we could find.
They hadn't counted on just how good this batch of dogfood was, nobody could have seen the results coming any more than they could have foreseen a flying horse itself. The dogs ate up the pegasus meat and they began to float. Those that were inside flew through windows at breakneck speed, cutting themselves and causing a lot of injuries from flying glass. Once outside they joined their brethren who had been lucky enough to have been outside when they started to float and began to fly toward freedom. It should have been a beautiful thing, but nature had never meant for dogs to fly. Confused, they zoomed through the air, trying to sniff each other, chase birds and follow the scent of anything edible. High speed collisions ensued, and the poor unfortunate mutts splattered against each other. That day was henceforth remembered as "the day it rained dog guts". I lost my dog that day, but all I could think about is how much worse it was for Molly. My dog couldn't even fly well.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Jack Flannery Will Not Bring Us With Him

(Author's Note: I have decided to do something a little different with this blog and publish a blog exclusive book composed of short vignettes, you'll see what it's about over time)

I. Some Very Good Bread

Jack Flannery will not bring us with him, though he promised to send somebody when the time was right. He was a terrible liar. His words buzzed like little mosquitoes, flying by, tickling your cheek, taking a little bit out of you, leaving you somewhat less of your essence. You ignore them, try to slap them out of the sky, but they're still there, the bug bite, the loss, the tiny bit gone, the waste of your time. He was a charming bastard, that Jack Flannery, who made truth and fiction moot, descended from the bards who peopled the motherland with carnivorous boggarts and satinfleshed queens of the sidhe. Now that he is gone, his bullshit still roams the earth, but it's confused and has no direction in life. For example, the Martians that made him forget his ex-wife's birthday with amnesia rays are now running a Martian restaurant in New York (though I think now they serve some sort of Cajun/Martian fusion cuisine).
Last time I was in the states I stopped by and said hello, told them I was a friend of Jack's.
"I don't know for the life of me what he was talking about," the Martian confided in me about Jack, "I haven't used amnesia rays since Sinatra cashed in that favor and had us kidnap JFK."
Martian food is incredible. They make a bread that loves you for who you really are, which makes it almost tragically delicious. When I finished my meal, I left him a five dollar bill, which he found confusing.
"I don't even know this guy," said the Martian, "is the likeness good?"
Then I remembered that Martians don't really have currency, which made me wonder how they managed to pay the rent on their building. I gave him a picture of my cat.
"That's much better. You earthpeople should stop trying to pass off photos of people you don't even know. Where's the sentimental value? This guy I know, or maybe you just know him. It's hard to tell, but at least you gave me something I could use."
I spent the rest of my trip to New York talking to literature professors I didn't know from Adam about the Lestryngonians episode of Ulysses. Lucky I'd already eaten, because that one had a tendency to make me hungry. Most of the time, I was thinking of the Martians and the lies and the knowledges that Cork's Baron Munchausen was gone and he would not bring us with him, though he had sworn he would.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Asshole With a Guitar: A Meditation

The guy next door plays Dave Matthews songs at 3 am. Jerkoff. It inspired me to write this piece of flash fiction called Asshole With a Guitar:

There’s a story the old people tell about an angry, lonely mute. The Mute ripped his tongue out when he found he no longer had anything nice to say. He lamented that he had when he heard the dreadful yowling of his closest neighbor, the Asshole with a Guitar. At three am every evening, the Asshole’s music took shape, butchered Green Day tunes with skin like chicharĂ³n and half-mad R. Crumb faces that smashed through his window and poked at his eardrum with blunt pencils. One night, with duct tape and bits of glass from his oft shattered oft repaired windows, he made himself a sword and cut down the fiends where they stood. But, this was not enough for the Mute. He courageously wandered past his yard into the wasteland ruled by the Asshole with a Guitar.

He suffered thirst and hunger and constipation, muscles tore and knitted, erections came and went as he watched his wife who was ten years dead dancing, as ghosts were wont to do in the realm of the Asshole with a Guitar. “How dare you!” the mute would have screamed, had he not chosen to never scream again. Had he not chosen he would never scream again, he would have screamed that the tall found-object sculptures made from the bones of vanquished neighborhood pets were in poor taste, and it would have echoed defiantly were he half as loud as the Asshole with a Guitar.

He came at last after days of wandering the vastness of the Asshole’s yard to the beer bottle castle of the Asshole with a Guitar, guarded by zombie Van Halen solos who breathed poison gas that turned people’s hearts inside out. The mute was quick and angry, desperate, ruthless, taking the heads of solos as though they were only chords. He had in him the spirit of the knight errant which filled his body with strength when the last of it had abandoned him to sore into the stratosphere. Perhaps he, like his wife, was already dead and in his neighbor’s yard, he harrowed Hell.
The Asshole was clad in khakimail, forged by Abercrombie dwarves to preternatural perfection. He should not have feared the Mute’s sword, but did anyway since he swung his Fender as poorly as he played it., leaving himself wide open to a tsunami of cuts, to hatred that could cut an asteroid in twain. It wasn’t long before the Asshole was no more.
The Asshole’s ghost harem wept for him, among the soul of the Mute’s lost love.
“I’m alone now,” she said, “completely alone. But if you just say you want me, I can come home.”
Tongueless and sad, the Mute could do nothing but walk back home past his memories. While silence is golden, it doesn’t pay for anything.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Too much negativity. I'm starting to talk a bit like my protagonist. I'm having a juice fast today, I think. Should do me some good. I feel better already. I'm working on revising and typing up the second of my three day novellas. Hopefully, I'll be able to get a lot of it done.

Friday, August 1, 2008

One thing I hate about Aurora, it's all the damn vampires...

During my foray into Borders to sit and write today, I was confronted by pop cult behavior at some of its ugliest. The new Stephanie Meyer book is in. I sat there trying to work, as I usually do while my girlfriend is working, but found myself almost unable to first of all, find a chair and second of all, to find a chair where I would not be afflicted by inane chatter about vampires. I wouldn't mind if these people who were talking about vampires had ever seen Nosferatu or read up on Eastern European folklore...or hell, were even into the Lost Boys, but I found myself feeling sad for the vampire. I felt sad that vampires had joined wizards in the province of uber gay teen cloakiedom and had been struck down with proprietary panache. As a struggling young writer, it makes me sad that easy outs had been taken, vampires had been made sexy and innocuous and the memories of Max Shreck and his ilk had been shat upon. Where are the bloated revenants who rose from the bogs to rip the throats out of their families? Gone. Anne Rice has been to vampires what Adam West was to Batman. Hopefully, someday, like the Dark Knight, the vampire will return to us.

This post should have gone first

My name is Garrett Cook. I am a 26 year old author of a short, underground novel that someday shall have nine more following in its footsteps. I always had this fantasy that after the first book, life would make sense. I thought that about losing my virginity too, so I guess it's really no different. I've just had my literary cherry popped and now have to deal with making sure I can get some later, don't get stoned to death and can get my phonecalls returned. Join me on my journey from the bottom to the middle of the bottom to the middle. Laugh with me, cry with me. Read with me. If anybody reads this. Onward and upward, internet!