Tag Archives: fiction

The bathroom

Let’s pretend that there is a small Japanese restaurant that you have been going to for years.  It’s nice, quiet, and they know your name.  The food is delicious and a fair price and they even make special orders for you.  Now you have been going for years, and there is something that you never noticed until recently.  It’s just that, the leftmost stall in the restroom is always out of order.


At the engagement party.   The night you celebrated your new job.  The day you had two bottles of sake with your coworkers at lunch then went back to work and no one noticed.  The day everyone was snowed in and they were the only restaurant open.

It’s just that tonight, tonight as you are washing your hands you notice that there is a new sign taped to the stall.  The paper is white, taped up with cello tape.  The letters are large and red, and simply read, “OUT OF ORDER.”

But this time you really look at the door.  The metal lock has been mangled shut and the space between the door and the wall has been taped over with black duct tape.  There are plywood panels that extend from the bottom of the stall to the floor.  There is a similar treatment from the top of the stall to the ceiling.  You think nothing of it until you notice something.

The bolts holding the plywood in place were screwed in from the inside.


You ran into the other you

I’m wondering what it must have been like, the first time I tried to kill me.  I can’t imagine the frame of mind,

Even now, I’m replaying it in my head, the stark white face, the mirror image overexposed in such a way that it was almost translucent.

All I know is that one minute, I’m turning on the machine, and then a horrible screeching.

The only clue, a piece of paper he clutched in his hand.  In it was a simple piece of verse.

I ran into the other me,
His face was white as snow.
And everywhere and when I ran,
The Me was sure to go.

I’m afraid of what’s going to happen next.


New Post, New Story

There’s a time when you realize you haven’t done anything for a while. You haven’t written, you haven’t felt like you’ve been experiencing life, you feel like you can’t start up again.

I had started this year with good intentions. Get new media options up. Video. Audio. And for the first day of this year, I did great.

Then I had food poisoning and it all sort of went out of whack from there.

But now, five months later, I’m going to tell you a story.

It may be a real story, it may not be.

The important thing is that I tell it. It starts like this:

Dinner after work is always a conundrum. Do I go home and save money?  Or do I go out and bring home leftovers that languish in the fridge?  Or rather, food that languishes until my food poisoning paranoia sets in and I throw them out.

Today, I decide to have Japanese since we had a barbecue at work.

A bowl of miso and a tamago roll and some green tea and then a pleasant walk home.  Not a bad plan.

Today Trung welcomes me and I sit at the sushi bar at the back, at my usual spot. Peter says hello and sells me a typhoon roll, their special tonight. I order a green tea and head to the restroom to wash my hands.

When I return, there’s a family of four seated next to me at the sushi bar.

One boy, younger. One teenage girl. One blond housewife. And one dour looking man, his face blood red hot, his palms pressed against his temples as if they were the only things keeping his head from exploding.

His words feel chosen, deliberate. “I just want you to answer the question.” Continue reading

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Letting go

When I found the place again, it was through an advanced google search, the one where you have to get it to look for a specific phrase while at the same time eliminating results with a different specific phrase.

Even then I only found the place after eight pages of results.

It takes me a few more minutes to get the right client and get some settings the way I want them. I’m acting on physical memory now. My fingers just seem to know the way, I’m just along for the ride.

I connect and my password and userid grant me access.

The sea of black text flooded the screen, the usual disclaimers and warnings too dense to comprehend and suddenly I was back in my alchemical laboratory. I looked around to read the description. How I agonized over the wordings and spellings. I trimmed the descriptions in order to fit them on one page for visitors.

There were a few loose items scattered in the room, a guest key that I had coded a while back that allowed people to teleport here if they used it, but the second it left their inventory, they would get booted back to the main lobby.

I could summon it into my inventory at anytime. Handy when an anonymous guest got unwieldy. Continue reading

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