The Date Rapist…

“You can’t sit there,” a voice out of nowhere exclaims. “Why the fuck not?” I ask quickly getting up from the bench. Frantically I look around in the darkness. “There is a rapist on the loose. Well, a date rapist or something like that. He might even be you. I don’t know,” the voice without a face says. “Why is it always a man? How come it is never some big breasted, sexy woman who is out to get everyone using nothing but her vagina to seek revenge? Always a man and his oh so powerful dick coming to wreak havoc on the world,” I huff. I still haven’t managed to find the source of the voice. It has to belong to a woman by the sound of it.

“Are you serious right now?” She asks in a hushed whisper. I don’t bother responding. “Women can’t rape men. Everyone knows that. How the hell would that even work anyway? Rape is an act of anger and hate forced onto an individual that isn’t willing to participate sexually,” she informs me annoyed. “What are you a fucking dictionary?” I ask. “Know what it doesn’t matter because you are wrong. A woman can rape a man in more ways than one. Just because their dick is hard doesn’t mean that they want to have sex. That is the same as saying because a woman was all wet it means she wanted it. She wanted it so badly. We are programmed to fuck in a subconscious level even if we don’t want to,” I interpose. 

“You are raping my ears right now with your dirty talk,” the voice says. “Then you have the whole other level of raping that doesn’t even involve dicks. I mean anything can be inserted into an anus from a finger to an action figure. So really to say a woman can’t rape a man is wrong. She can if she really wanted to,” I rationalize out loud. “Granted she would have to overpower the man, but the same drugs men use to accomplish their goal are also available to women. It’s not like they belong to a special club or anything,” I ramble on.  “So, is that all it takes?” The voice asks in a curious tone. “Let’s face it though most men are little bitches now a days anyways so, really a woman might not even need drugs in the first place,” I say proudly proving my point. “What the hell is wrong with you?” She asks in disgust from behind some bushes. I stare into them looking for any sign of a person.

“Hey, you brought up the topic of rapist and some ignorant shit about how women couldn’t possibly be one,” I answer. “Oh, so now I am ignorant because I don’t believe a woman can rape a man. That sounds real intelligent. You are so smart I wish I could be as smart and stupid as you,” she says annoyed. From the sound of her voice, it sounds like she is getting closer. “You know this is so typical. A man has to explain to little old me about how the world works. I was just trying to give you a chance, but no,” she had more to say but gets interrupted. “Excuse me do we have a problem here?” A male voice asks from out of nowhere.

“Oh fuck,” we both exclaim in unison. I reach for my pepper spray. Spraying the little can in no general direction towards the male voice. She apparently had the same idea as me. We don’t stop spraying until our cans are empty. Eyes burning, we all begin to cough and hack. All of us except one. The pepper spray mist cloud dissipates and we stand there watching as the man lies on the ground kicking and screaming. The strong stench of urine cutting through the toxic smell. There is a dark outline growing around the crotch of his uniform that becomes visible even through swollen eyes. “I’m a fucking cop,” he screams rubbing his eyes. “What do we do?” I shout before dropping the can of pepper spray. “Let’s get the fuck out of here,” a big breasted and sexy woman suggests. Too scared to do anything else we run in opposite directions into the blurry darkness.

M.T. Billings

We have a basket of prompts and what were the odds that I would draw rape? One in three. Granted I put the topic in the basket, but that is besides the point. Why rape? Because a basket full of prompts is fucking stupid. Get what I give, I guess. Not my personal best. Could have done a better job. For the record men can get raped and many male rapes go unreported. That was my point. Wasn’t trying to trigger anybody or upset anyone for once. Thought it was something people should know.

Someone To Talk To…

“My lighter quit working on me three cigarettes ago, but I keep flicking the damn thing expecting it to light. That’s really how my life has been lately, broken and useless. If it wasn’t for all the anti-smokers informing me of my future death, I’d already think I was dead. All my money is tapped out and I’m begging for a light from a crowd of strangers. One wicked old lady felt the need to tell me how smoking is hazardous to my health. Thanks, like I didn’t already know that I told her. The surgeon general’s been warning me for years, but your screeching voice has really gotten through to me. Who knew pushing your values and opinions on to others actually worked? Since were being honest and forthcoming with our inner thoughts and opinions. Your handbag doesn’t match your shoes and the clown set up resting on your face is really distracting to the eye. It isn’t fooling anyone into thinking you are beautiful, but it is distracting to think maybe you aren’t that ugly. Four or five feet back that way I might even think you are female underneath it all. She called me an asshole and stormed off as I smiled.

Nonsmokers are useless. They should all be led out to sea. Pushes them off by the dock down by the harbor one by one. Thanks for your thoughts and concerns, and a boot to the ass. You know what I mean? Most of them are hypocritical bastards anyway. Put a little liquor in them and they are out here begging me for a light. Seen more than my fair share of them stumbling out here and deciding to take a Sunday drive down the sidewalk. Isn’t it amazing how drunks can forget words like no or force themselves on a woman and not remember, but they can find their cars in a white out blizzard and run over six people?

Been smoking ten years now and I’ve still been unable to take a life, but my own. I’m the real villain of this world. Maybe I should turn myself in to the police? Take responsibility for my actions. They might be looking for me as I speak and I should take the initiative and shout, I’m right here. Big government is always out to get the innocent ones. Though at least I could get a hot meal and a place to stay if they even bother to look down to see me. Maybe if I get desperate enough. If things could get any worse. But no one’s looking for me. Not anymore.

You could say I lost my money on the market like everyone else in recent history, but my market was the back room of bars and basements hidden away. Pissed away my money faster than I could earn it. Don’t be like that. Never a good idea to be like that. Knowing better doesn’t make it any easier to face the truth or help yourself. Some might say it only makes things worse. Knowing what you know after the fact. I have a real hard time picking winners if you know what I mean. Bad luck must be something of a disease caught at birth. Sometimes people have it and sometimes people don’t. My father had all the luck in the world and my uncle couldn’t rub two pennies together to warm his fingers.

Buddhists would call bad luck karma, but that’s just all a bunch of horse shit. Stand still long enough on this street and you’ll find some waiting for you. Damn carriage horses just be walking by and drop a big old pile right by your head. Feet from where you sleep. They don’t give a damn. Same with fate and all that other crap people tell you about life and luck. No one gives a damn. That should be a crime if you ask me. Don’t see anyone of these people going up to them and pestering them about what they are doing. If anyone needs to be reminded about the shit, they leave behind it is those worthless pricks. Life is all about luck.

Some would say I’m bitter, but really, I’m just unlucky. Unless you count the fact that I’m still breathing, but then again that is only because I haven’t died yet. Nothing special about that at all. Nope the lord hasn’t pulled my straw just yet even if he has unstrung my bundle. Still breathing and still struggling through life’s endless shit storm, and life is a real shit storm. Believe me I would know. Seen a few things that would make you question your own reality. Let alone the existence of some unknown figure watching over our daily mistakes.

What do I know though? I know I am to blame for where I am. Don’t for a second be so cynical to think that I didn’t know that. I went to school for a few good years. Didn’t finish like I don’t finish most things. Searching for that easy money there’s no time to see anything through. The American dream or something like it. Rich by sunrise. Free as a bird on Sunday. Call it American if you want. It’s all the same everywhere. Struggle is struggle in any language. Only thing any of us have in common, I guess. What do I know about the world? Barely made it out of my concrete bed this morning let alone out of the country.

Could this place really be worth losing everything over? Worth giving up the freedom of sin? I’d trade it in for a carton of cigarettes and a government check. Like most of us I’m too proud to realize how good I might have it. Too busy thinking I need something better. I know better now. Took a lifetime, but now I know. What could anyone else ask for? Fine clean air and someone to talk to. Lord couldn’t ask for a better day if it was his dying wish. It’s a long and lonely road out here. You know what I mean? Enough of my rambling. What does life and luck mean to you?”

She pulls her ear buds out, “Did you want a dollar or something?”

Valerie Hannigan

Taking unconventional characters and making them unconventional is a good way to pass the time. I can relate to the female stranger because I am her. I don’t listen to everything that everyone says to me. Three little mouths rambling on will do that to a person. Break said person down until there is nothing left, but thoughts of living homelessly in a city so far away from here. A fantasy so real at this point it feels more like a past life I am trying to remember than a dream inside my head. But I love them. Each and everyone of their tiny little necks. I just want to hold them tight and never let go. Children are little miracles that never stop taking and taking. There was a point somewhere in all of this. I lost it and I don’t even care anymore.

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I Awake with Bruised Eyes and Hollowed Out Lies…

I look at the world around me, seven minutes freezing cold under the blankets covered in sweat, flashing ideas of the night before, and how I passed out drunk once again. I awaken with burning, stinging, sleepless eyes. The same two eyes I carry with me everywhere I go. I awake with a sense of belonging and at the same time a longing for something else. Awaken but yet I must still be dreaming. Dreaming for something better or something worse my day hasn’t been decided yet. I awake to the uncomfortable feeling of my dick harder than it needs to be. It stands at full attention looking for any attention. Either from me or anyone willing to kill some time. Ready to release one more load or another gallon of piss. The bed is empty and my hands aren’t interested.  The decision no longer up to my brain, but in a gateway smaller than I can imagine. Buried deep inside past the over complicated network of nerves and stretched skin. Made of flesh and blood as is the rest of me. This is every morning. This is a constant. These are the early morning things I think about and I do not know why. Discomfort first and ask questions later.

The bad taste that has slipped into my mouth overnight doesn’t go away even after I try to brush it out or smoke in a replacement taste. My teeth hurt like they have been grinding away layer by layer all night. It’s the little stresses that kill you not the big stuff. It is the little stuff that slowly eats you alive. Taking this and taking that but in the end, they take everything anyway. If you are one of the lucky ones you won’t even notice the discomfort. I notice every little instance and yet I let it happen. Hell, I join in on the pleasure every now and then. Daily. I smoke another with the taste still very much intact. I didn’t need another one, but at this point what is one more? One more nail, one more stake in the heart. Tiny needles pressing against my chest cavity heading for my soul. It wasn’t the taste or even my cock that woke me up today. Woke me up earlier than even death would allow. No, it was a dream, a light version of a nightmare that is my life.

My dream, nightmare, inner vision was about my grandmother. A devil of a woman whom without I wouldn’t be standing here today. Allegedly, there is no scientific facts to back up these claims. I hate my grandmother she was a bitch. Therapy could help me describe my true inner feelings better, but she’d still be a bitch. In the dream she pretends to be a sleep as my grandfather rattles off a list of shit she wants for dinner. He has exact instructions on what she wants and how she wants it to be. Treated like a slave in life and in my dreams. I feel bad for my grandfather. It was no wonder he went a little crazy. It was no wonder they found him in possession of a trunk full of dead cats and a collection of women’s underwear. Luckily it didn’t go any further than that or you might have heard of him. He lives in a cozy little place far removed from society now. Better but he is basically dead. No more dead than the rest of us mind you, but dead enough.

“This but not that. Make sure you get it right or else,” he says in my mind and my dream. Or what the fat bitch is going to get her lazy ass out of bed and kick your ass? She hasn’t left that bed by choice in maybe a year. I’d like to say, but even in my dreams conversations with myself always seem one-sided. He rubs lotion across already weeping wounds. Bed sores left out in the open to fester and farm the guilt of anyone willing to help her. I can see her while she fakes being asleep. Patiently listening to make sure he plays his part as always. His hands kneading the folds of her skin. Sick to my stomach at even the thought. He says one more thing before I awoke, “We know you’re capable of so much more, but we also know you always screw up.” The sound of wet flesh as he sticks his hand deeper into the folds. Elbow deep my mind couldn’t take anymore.

What do you think that the dream meant? I hope it means that she is or will be dying all over again, but she is already dead. Not a loss or a gain just more of the nothing that fills this world. I shouldn’t waste my thought on people that don’t matter, didn’t matter, or don’t care. The brain doesn’t work like that though. They still find their way through long after they have gone away. Slip their way through the cracks no one knew were even there. Tears in the walls they work their way through and leave nothing but rubble behind. How could anyone know what someone else is capable of when they don’t even know themselves? Two turns into another and the ash tray slowly fills up as I watch it grow.

A gun fight erupts outside, a flood down the street drowns hundreds, and yet I sit staring at a screen looking for answers. The noises of life all around me. How am I to live with so many distractions? The hopes, wants, and needs that will always go unfulfilled. There is a need in me to start over again. To walk away and try something different. Every morning the same old thoughts. Hindered by a sense of reason. Each day passes and I bury myself deeper. Living a life without purpose doesn’t leave me much of a reason to do anything different. Drinking doesn’t help any of this go away. Suicide comes easy when the present is only for a moment but the past lasts a life time. Still enough time to jerk off before I have to do anything that is supposed to matter. Still too early to start drinking once again. Too restless to think of anything else. Sitting and waiting is all I seem capable of.

M.T. Billings

I don’t like breaking down my writing so I’m not going to. I say how I feel and that is that. Is it fiction? Not at first, but given enough time and space. It becomes fiction for me. Give it enough time and everything will go away.

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Plus One…

“What do you mean you don’t understand?” She asks as if there is really some secret to her madness. “I just don’t get it. First you say I have to go, and now that I want to go, you’re telling me I can’t go as if I have a real choice in the matter,” he huffs frustrated. “Well, I just don’t want you there, okay?” She doesn’t even bother looking at him. “Why? Because it is some sort of girl thing?” He questions to her absent face. “It’s my bachelorette party so yes, it is a girl’s only type of thing,” she points out looking at him. “I’m going to be there for the marriage so is it really that big of a deal that I go to the party?” He asks annoyed. “It’s a huge deal Steven. This party is for me not you,” she whines.

“Well, it’s kind of for me too,” he interjects into her pity party. “No, it does not have anything to do with you. It is my party and I really don’t want you there,” she lays out. “There’s no reason to get upset at me Stacy. It’s not my fault things worked out this way. It’s hard enough that you’re getting married and I’m still single,” he tries to explain. “Well how do you think I feel about? Don’t you think that this whole situation is even more stressful to me? Regardless though you’re not coming and that is final,” she holds firmly.

“So, what am I supposed to do? Sit outside? Where is this stupid party even at?” He questions rolling his eyes to the thought of it all. “My party’s not stupid and it’s going to be here at the house which means you are going to have to sit behind the curtain,” she informs him. “Sounds like a blast,” he says sarcastically. “Is Stan at least going to be here?” He asks quickly hopeful that he won’t be alone. “What part of it’s a girl thing are you not understanding?” She moans out of annoyance. “I’m so glad we don’t have to share a brain,” she sighs. “Nope just a stomach and a kidney,” he says with a slight sneer. “And for your information I was asking if Stan was going to be on the other side of the curtain with me,” he defends.

“Okay well still no,” she exaggerates. “Stan will be at his own party because that is what happens when two people get married. They each have their own parties to celebrate one last day of freedom,” she talks down to him. “I know that, Stacy. Thanks for clearing that up for me,” he mocks with wide eyes. “I’m glad and just so we are crystal clear Stan will not be at this party, the house next door, or anywhere near here. You will be behind the curtain, you will be quiet, and you will not interfere with my party,” she says in a serious tone. “That’s just great. Not only do I not get to go to the bachelor party, but I have to sit on the other side of a curtain, alone, while you have all the fun,” he starts to pout.  

“Yep, that about sums up your plans for this evening,” she says ignoring him. She drags him along as she lays out the plates and cups for the party. “Do you think one of the ladies will come and sit with me?” He asks in a fake depressed tone. “That’s a big N.O. They all think that you are weird so the chance of one of them leaving the party just to hang out with you is pretty slim,” she laughs. “Wait they think that I am weird? How could they even think that I am weird? If I am weird than you’re weird too. We share the same body,” he rationalizes out loud. “Do we now?” She asks sarcastically. “They think you are weird because you are always staring at them,” she says as though she agrees.

“Well, that is a very unfair opinion about me since you’re always telling me to be quiet whenever they are around and if it isn’t that it’s keep your eyes closed. I’m a guy so of course I’m going to stare every time they want to show you the new under wear they purchased or in the girls locker room,” he says frustrated. There’s a knock at the door. “I’ve had enough with this argument Steven. It is time to be quiet the guests are starting to arrive. We are heading for the door,” she says hurrying for the door. “Thanks for the warning,” he says in a deflated tone.

“Just stay silent and behave Steven, and I will take you to the comic book shop first thing in the morning,” she says as she checks her hair in the mirror. “Fine, but please try to not drink that much. You know how sick I get afterwards,” he requests. “I’ll try to refrain from drinking too much,” she sighs. “Now zip it or no comics,” she says putting on her best fake smile and opening the door. “Who’s ready to party?”

Valerie Hannigan

This isn’t from my book. It was a throw away story and someone liked it. Hopefully, you enjoyed it. I don’t really care, but whatever. Ambrose says I am supposed to talk about what the story is about here. My thoughts and feelings or whatever. (Loud noise in the background… Followed by a long pause…)

The story is about marriage and how the whole institution can feel like there is a dead body attached to you wherever you may go. A soul sucking entity that wants to zap the living life out of you at all times. Did I say dead limb syndrome? I guess you could also say that it is about being a parent as well. If you want you could say it is about anything that makes you happy or sad or nothing at all. I don’t have any siblings so I wouldn’t say it is about that at all. Did I hit the word limit yet?

Check out our shit. Sell your soul before someone else takes it from you. Breathe through your nose and don’t own black sheets. A fountain of information I am not. (Dictated not read…)

Editor’s Note: Her husband is pretty cool… What’s up Steven...

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My Return…

In some ways it feels as if a part of me is missing and in other ways I feel exactly the same. I hate being apart from her for whatever the reason. The long nights traveling for my job is when I feel it the most. Being on the road is like going through hell and then some. The restless nights lying in a bed of someone else’s filth. They say the beds are clean or at least the card on the pillow states, but are they ever really clean? How does one actually clean up the semen and the sweat that soaks up into the mattress? Sure, your nicer establishments have some sort of protection. A mattress condom if you will but the cheaper places? The places I have to stay because my company cares more about the bottom line than the comfort of the poor bastard who makes that line exist, those places are brimming with semen, sweat, and who knows what else.

I find myself sleeping on the floor most nights on the road. Not that the floors in these skank motels are any cleaner, but I’m less likely to sleep in somebody’s fluids. As I lie on this particular floor on a makeshift bed of motel linens, I wonder what she is thinking about in our nice comfortable bed. I wonder if she thinks of me or quite simply nothing at all. Another conference in the morning. Another meet and greet with unknown clients. Does well for business though I can’t say the same for my soul. I could say it would be good for me if I was the boss. If I reaped anything from any of this outside of a check. I wonder if I leave tomorrow night or the following morning. Something I should check, but I’m too lazy to get up off the floor. Either way it is just one more shitty flight to an even shitter place. When you are young you want to travel, to see the world, but as you get older and then a little bit more that sense of adventure seems to slip right out of your mind. Now all I want is a chance to make up for all those lost years of traveling, of being apart. Those long night without me by her side. It pains me to think about it. It pains me every time that I see her. See her beautiful face and notice she has changed a little bit more.

The longer I am gone the farther we grow apart. I miss her and the way that she used to be. Where did those years go? Did I not live them? Or have I been living in this traveling coma for so long that I simply don’t remember. One thing I do know is that she is still waiting for me. Back home she waits for my arrival. To her I’m sure I am seen as never going or never there. To her I’m sure that when this trip is over it will all be too late to change anything. That is what she used to say. Over and over. It was enough to make someone go mad. The fights we used to have. The words that used to ring through our home. That much I do remember of the past. She doesn’t say much of anything anymore. She only lays in silence in our comfortable bed and our peaceful home. Silently waiting for my return.

Layne Ambrose

I guess that is one way to freeze time… Not sure what he used to preserve the body though… Everything rots given enough time… His love though… never dies…

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Fact or Fiction…

“I know your life is a never-ending nightmare full of horror and deceit. I know you are often at odds with yourself and this horrid thing called life. Every morning is filled with contempt as you have this endless debate on whether or not you should kill yourself in your shower or while your K-cup brews or in your car that is neither new nor old but works just fine. These things I know because I’m sitting right next to you. These things I know because I’m looking at the same things you are. These things I know because we share the same eco-friendly renewable water source in the same god damn forsaken city on the banks of some form of water. I know all these things. I think all these things because I too live a life of perceived perfection. A zero-struggle life know as modern society. Chances are we think the same exact way but out of pure boredom let’s say I don’t. Because we have to be different in this world. We have to be special when it comes to things like this in life. Odds are against us though beyond our thoughts. We went to the same school, learned from the same books, ate the same shitty food, and lived near perfect replicas of the same life. Let me guess you played doctor? Let me guess you owned a copy of GTA 3? Let me guess you couldn’t catch’em all on paper or digitized? Let me guess you thought you were special? Well, you’re not, you and I are more alike than you and I might think. We are so close you and I that we could be one in the same. Chances are we are in fact the same robotic, institutionalized, modern guilt individuals walking side by side right now. We could say hello to one another but we won’t. We could relate our shared dream suicide scenarios but we won’t. We could discuss just how much we actually hate each other but we won’t. Because what’s the point? Why tell you everything you already know? Why bother letting you in on our little secrets? We all have secrets, guilty pleasures, they are all the same but we have them. We imagine that they are the little things that make us different. That the tidbits of information we hold dear separate us from fact and fiction. When really there is no such thing. We live a life of fact and fiction. We live a life of knowing we are the same, fact. We live a life thinking in some way we are different, fiction. We live lives that are exactly the same. We fuck women and men who are exactly the same. We blindly follow the dumbest of our kind because we know that they are the same. We read books and stories, watch movies and shows on people or about people who are exactly the same. And like you I will do nothing to change this. Like you I will ride this life into the ground hoping for something better but being served up the exact same. There is no difference between animals and man. Just as there is no difference between us. Everything was put here to do the exact same thing, suffer until our last dying breathe.”

“What an interesting report Timothy,” the teacher struggles to form the words. “Not quite what we were looking for but informative all the same in its own way. Very imaginative,” her face unsure like her mind about what to say or do. With a satisfied smile the boy takes his seat once again. She shuffles some papers on her desk, “Umm if we could have Stephanie, Stephanie Keaton come up next.” Stephanie joyfully gets up from her seat and takes her place at the head of the class. “Now Stephanie could you tell us what you did this summer?”

Layne Ambrose

Little Timmy seems to be on the right path to something… Let’s all hope he doesn’t envision himself as president… At least we all know the medication is working… Hate to be Stephanie… I mean how do you follow that up?…

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