Sunday, January 15, 2012

Dumb Love

A story I wrote all the way back in high school. I hope you enjoy it. I think it speaks for itself. First published in 2004.

Dumb Love - Matti McLean

Patsy walked along the sandy beach. The ocean was blue today, even bluer then usual, perhaps even 5% bluer, or maybe even 8%, certainly less then 10%, but definitely more then 4%, but maybe that was because the air was 45% fresher then normal. However the sky was only 23% as blue as it was yesterday. This of course meaning that there was about a 12%chance or precipitation in the form of tiny, burning acid drops. She could smell the fresh smell of salt in the air, and in her eyes which made them puff and turn a bright shade of red that made her appear to be high. Not that this was new on this beach considering the sand was made mostly of old syringes. She walked, feeling the soft sand beneath her feet, as well as the occasional needle which would pierce her skin and cause much discomfort as well as bleeding.
After walking for a little while she looked out to the sea and remembered back to two Saturdays ago…

“I shall return to you my love, I shall return.” said Charles Throw-aweigh to Patsy Pansypants as he walked up the ramp towards the large door of the boat. He was going away to Europe for the weekend and would return by the end of the week.
The christening was a joyous celebration and the large crowd watched as the ship started to sail deep into the night.
“I shall wait for you.” Patsy started to walk home with the crowd ignoring their pleas for mercy as the ship slowly sank deep into the ocean. “I shall wait.”

She looked out towards the sea longing for a sign from her man that he would return to her. Seeing only the stern of a sunken ship and a small man with a voice exactly like the man she loved waving enthusiastically back at her from the semi submerged ship she left for home. She stopped and looked out for a sign, anything from the sea that her man would return. It was black and she couldn’t see anything. Seeing nothing she started to return home feeling a little silly about the whole thing. She then turned out to sea one more time just to make sure and was knocked unconscious by a bat.

Patsy awoke by the most joyous words an unconscious woman could hear…

“Hey Earl, You hear about that sale at Henry’s shoe shop?”

Patsy arose to her feet, bloody because she had fallen in a large pile of broken beer bottles but un-hurt because the bat-man thingy had broken her fall. Leaving the bat there to die she ran off into town in search of the worlds most perfect pair of shoes.
She arrived at the shop and saw 25 pairs of shoes that were unimpressive, 35 shoes that would be good for every day things and 75 pairs of polka dot slippers, but nothing that really stood out as the world’s best pair of shoes. She turned the aisle and saw a small sign saying, “The world’s best pair of shoes” but quickly passed by them in favour of a pair of rainbow suspenders. She took the suspenders to the counter to purchase them when suddenly she heard a large explosion. A man wandered into the store as if he had just been in an explosion.
“Goodness Henry! What happened?”
After a moment of shocked silence, after he had wiped his soot covered face with his burnt arm he replied, “I don’t know.”

Patsy rushed out to the street expecting to see a large cloud of black smoke, but she couldn’t see anything through all the black smoke that was everywhere. It was as if something had exploded. “What happened?” she asked a passer by.
“The train exploded.”
“What train?”
“That train.”
“This train?”
“No, That train.”
“Which train?”
“which train what?”
“Something exploded?”
“Yes a train did.”
“Which train?”
“some train.”
“That one?”
“Hey, Where’d the smoke come from?”
“Maybe from the explosion.”
“What explosion?”
“The one from the train.”
“A train exploded?”
“Well how can we be sure?”
“I dunno.”
“I dunno either.”
“We’ll you’re a psychic.”
“No I’m not!”
“yes you are! It even says so on your business card.”
“So that’s what I am.”
“Can you help me?”
“How’d you get my business card.”
“I don’t know.”
“Me neither.”
“Well what happened?”
“With what?”
“The train.”
“What train?”
“The one that exploded.”
“A train exploded?”
“Well that would explain all this smoke.”
“What smoke?”
“The black smoke that’s all around us.”
“Oh this smoke.”
“yeah, it must’ve come from the train explosion!”
“Which train?”
“I don’t know.”
“What do you mean you don’t know?”
“Are you sure that its not the big pile of smouldering ruins over there?”
“Maybe I’ll go check.”
“Actually, are you sure you wouldn’t like some tea first?”
“I’d love some actually.”
“alright, here I happen to have some in my pocket.”
“how convenient! Do you have any boiled water?”
“I can’t say I do.”
“oh well that’s a pickle.”
“Yes it is, well we can just eat the tea bags.”
“sounds like a plan.”
“Do you have a kettle? And some water?”
“Why yes I do.”
“Where is it?”
“Oh its here in my pocket.”
“Give it to me.”
“I thought we could boil the water with this flaming corpse at our feet.”
“What a marvellous idea, now we won’t have to eat the tea bags!”
So they boiled the water and had their tea. Afterwards Patsy said good bye and started to search the charred, flaming train wreckage for any survivors and by search I mean calling out for any survivors while staying far enough away so that she wouldn’t stain her new suspenders with blood.
Patsy walked through the black smoke looking for a sign that the smouldering black wreckage might be the train that just exploded. Just then she remembered that her father was on a train heading to this town, and that only one train came to town. She then realised that this train might have been carrying her father. She knew she had to do something so she called louder. Finally she heard a reply from her father.
“Darling it is me! You’re father!”
“How do I know for sure?”
“I know you love rainbow suspenders!”
“Now my darling girl, run and get help.”
“Daddy! How did you survive among all this wreckage?”
“Do not question the story teller just go get help.”
Patsy knew that there would be none who could help her father in this town as all the men were slight of frame and had a tendency to have their backs give out if they carried anything over ten pounds. So she did the only thing she could do.
“Daddy! I want you to know I have always loved you, and I hope that when you are looking down upon me from heaven that you will realise how wonderful of a daughter I was. Daddy, I’m going to miss you but I want you to know that I’m ok if you die, here pass me your wallet.”
The older man obliged and threw his wallet up to his daughter. “Why my child?”
“I’ll need the money when you’re dead.” And after a quick stop to the ATM machine she returned and threw him back his wallet.
Suddenly a tall handsome man appeared and for no apparent reason saved Patsy’s father.
“Oh thank you strong and strange man! Thank you! My heart is filled with gratitude that you pulled me out of that awful tornado!”
“Train wreck.”
“Right, that thing.”
“Who are you? We have never had some one so strong come near our villiage before… At least not willingly! And I to this day deny ever tying that man up and feeding him to the fish. Tell me, what brings you to this small town?”
“I am Johnny Hunk-aplenty, I am a traveling person with no real home and only one profession, professional life-saver. I was riding along in another train when this horrible accident happened. Alas, I have even lost my own shirt and my muscular torso, chest and perfectly chiselled abs are now exposed posing a danger to the sensibilities of the women in this town.”
“In honour of your tremendous courage we shall suffer through this tremendous indignity.” She said, dutifully suffering along with the large mass of women that have appeared.
“In honour of you saving my life, you shall stay at my house that is coincidentally a palace. Don’t you agree Patsy?”
Patsy appeared to be lost in thought, given at the direction of Johnny’s muscular chest. After a while she came to and the three rode in a large carriage to the palace.

Many nights passed, as did many days. Johnny grew accustomed to the palace and seemed to enjoy bossing people around. Provided the house had no servants so he never did get any of the things he asked for.
Patsy walked in on him looking into the sea.
“What is the allure you men have of the sea?”
“Why must you men always gaze into the sea?”
“Oh, I see a turtle in the reeds over there and I’m trying to spit on it.”
“I was in love with a man once.”
“Really? I always figured you as a dyke.”
“Don’t let my webpage fool you, I’m 95% straight.”
“Well what about this man?”
“He was a sailor. He rode on the mighty galleon… The Prissy Rainbow. It was a mighty ship, even though it was indeed pink and lime green.” She shuddered a bit at the thought. “But alas, his ship sank, and he died.”
“… I’m not dead!” a voice called from out in the open sea.
“So I guess I should go on with my life… Johnny!”
“Huh?” he asked, turning to her with a long string of drool hanging from one side of his chin. “Sorry, what? I wasn’t listening, to busy, look the turtle is mocking me.”
Upon saying this he felt Patsy’s hand smack him upside the head sending his spit flying into the wind and hitting Patsy in the face.
“I could never love you!” Patsy cried. She started to run away crying feeling her feet in the soft, soft sand, and on the occasional syringe that caused much discomfort and bleeding. Also the sea had swept up several hundred dead angry jellyfish that also caused much discomfort.

Back at the palace, the next morning Johnny came downstairs and saw Patsy’s father, Mr. Pansy bottom fixing breakfast.
“Ah Johnny, come sit have some breakfast. I’m no where near the cook my wife used to be but I can make a mean chocolate cake! Here, have some toast.”
Johnny took the blackened bread slice and thanked the man while eating his charred pancakes and sipping his blackened milk.
“Now Johnny this may surprise you but I am a quite observant person. And there are two observations I’ve made recently.”
“I’ve noticed that my dear Patsy is falling for you.”
“Oh? Is she single?”
“Oh she had a love many moons ago. But he died in a terrible accident. The boat sank and no one was ever heard from again.”
“I’m not dead! Help me the sharks!”
“And also that you like to sleep in the nude.”
“oh yes that,” Johnny said affixing to himself a doily from the table.

Patsy walked along the beach. “Oh I can’t possibly be falling for Johnny.”
“Johnny? what are you doing out here?”
“I’m getting back at that damn turtle.” He said showing her the several cases of dynamite he happened to be carrying in his back pocket.
Giving him a puzzled look, she decided to stick with her traditional freak out and run away crying through the broken syringes, jellyfish and a surprisingly large number of electric eels had also washed upon shore.
Just then it started to rain, not just ordinary rain but water that fell from the sky. A mighty wind picked up. Just then, as if she was some sort of magnet sharks, and fiddler crabs emerged from the sea towards her, panicked she ran straight into a forest where a bunch of bees, snakes and bears started to chase her. Then she was so scared she even ran into a rock, where a bunch of spiders, and maggots and politicians were hiding. Panicked, she cried out to the sea “Why did you have to die Charles? You could’ve saved me!”
“I’m not dead!”
“Yes you are! Now someone! Save me!”

Meanwhile, back at the turtle, “…save me…” Johnny ears picked up, “wow, I really shouldn’t have been able to hear that.” But needless to say, being a professional life saver, he prepared for a great battle.

A great battle ensued.

After, they celebrated and Patsy finally told Johnny that she loved him. However he had serious emotional issues and refused to marry her, but, with the help of the village people and their love for guns they forced him to marry her.
And she lived happily ever after while he suffered the tremendous indignity of wetting his pants at the wedding reception.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Inferno - Chapter one (end)

Jake held his breath as he entered his fathers office. He didn't mean to, it was just something that happened when he entered it. Unlike the very modern and clean black and white of the rest of the building, this office arched upwards opening into a giant cathedral-like building. The room was warm and wooden and in some instances could be considered beautiful. But to Jake, it only managed to do one thing, impel a feeling of insignificance.

Everything around the building boasted of his fathers wealth and extravagant power. The hall was long and wide and the desk was big and opulent. No expense had been spared from the large, heavy red drapes that framed the windows, to the larger-than-life portraits that hung on the wood panelled walls. Above him, taxidermied heads of bucks, moose, dear and exotic animals growled among the stuffed birds. Jake had always hated the birds, especially the impressive eagle that perched upon his fathers chair which appeared like more of a throne than a convenient place to sit. Its black feathers always seemed to be poised and ready to strike at any moment.

As Jake got closer and closer to the desk, he could slowly hear his fathers voice becoming more clear. It was a deep and powerful voice that always seemed to have hints of anger and disappointment in every word.

“I think there's a way we can work this out.” The voice continued in a conversation that Jake couldn't hear. “Contact Jezebel tomorrow morning. Until then be sure to send those numbers along and we'll do what we can regarding... Very well. Goodbye.” His father hung up the phone and swung his chair around. “What?” He asked, his voice dripping with contempt.

The bluntness of the question struck Jake like a slap of cold water. There wasn't much that connected him to his father. They both had similar colour in their eyes, and their hair shared the same golden hue, but little else was similar between them. His father was a thin and stern man, and his face reflected his character; harsh lines and a permanent frown set upon his narrow lips.

“I was just wondering...” Jake said quietly.

“Speak up boy.” Jake clenched his fists.

“I need help with...”

“Is this a money thing?”

“I was hoping...”

“Hold on.” His father got up, a frown on his face as he walked to Jezebel who hung in the doorway. They exchanged hushed words, and after a moment of hesitation, she nodded slowly and left the two of them alone in the room. “Stand up.” Jake did. “What is it you need to talk to me about?”

“Well...” Jake started, but now felt too intimidated to continue. He didn't like to feel like he was wasting his fathers time, but whenever he was alone with him it was inevitably how he felt. He shifted uncomfortably as he bit his lip. “I need your help.”

“If this is school related I'm no help to you.” He said bitterly.

“It's not that it's just...”

“Is it a girl?”

“No, dad, it's not a girl... If you'd just...”

“I don't have time for juvenile trivialities.” He said coldly. “Is this really important?”

“It's just... Something is happening to me...” Jake struggled to connect with his fathers cold eyes but they continually eluded his gaze. “I can't explain it but I had a feeling you'd know...”

“Puberty?” his father spat. “You want to learn more then read a book about it. You're fifteen, I figured you'd be past all that confusing bullshit by now.”

“It's not that... It's... Well I mean it's not like that... as such...” His father looked at him with his cold icy glare. “I've been having these dreams...”

“Your metaphysical subconscious is not my concern.” He said.

“These are different...” Jake stumbled over the words he tried to say, but he could feel the resolve he felt earlier melting away in his fathers cold, commanding presence. “It's like they mean something. I know they do but I can't...”

“Go home.” His father said. “I have work to do.”


“That was not a question.” He pressed a button and began to speak into the desk. “Jezebel, I'm done here. Confirm my six o'clock.” His father snapped his black briefcase shut, picked it up and walked to the doorway where Jezebel was waiting with his coat. Without turning around to say goodbye he followed Jezebel out leaving Jake alone in the office.

His breath trembled from a combination of rage and neglect. His hands shook as he grasped at nothing. Why could he never say anything to the man? He stifled tears with his teeth as he clenched them. Defeated, he got up to leave, but was stopped when he heard what sounded like a closing door behind him.

Surprised by the strange and out of place sound, he looked over to where it had come from. Seeing only an old bookshelf he turned to leave again when the sound returned, this time emitting a strange click. His interest was piqued and he slowly and cautiously made his way towards the bookshelf. With a thorough eye he examined the big, thick dull books as if looking for something that could've made the sound. Strange how he never noticed them before. He had expected books on the law or business, but instead it was crammed full of classic mythology. Shakespeare sat beside Virgil and Ovid on the shelf begging Jake to take them off and examine them for himself. For a moment he was tempted to read through them and had to fight the compulsion several times to take one down and peruse its pages. He pressed his hand up to a copy of the Aeneid when suddenly a book from a higher shelf fell off and landed beside his feet. It was a dull red and very old with yellowed pages and a threadbare cover. Curious at the book that had mysteriously almost clocked him on the head, Jake bent down and picked it up.

He flipped the book over to see it was a copy of Dante's “The Divine Comedy”. He looked up to where it had fallen from and saw the space between a copy of Beowulf and the Songs of Experience. He reached up to place the book back, and as his hand connected with the shelf, he could feel something like a small switch on it. Curious, he thought to himself...

“What are you still doing in here?” A voice came from the doors of the office. Jake froze.

“Uh...” He said withdrawing his hand from the strange switch and looking towards the doors, where a large, tough-looking security guard was standing with his arms crossed and a very angry look on his face. The guard rolled his eyes and motioned for Jake to follow him. Reluctantly he did so, feeling a little bit foolish for staying behind, but also wondering what could be behind that switch.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Inferno - Chapter One (Continued)

It was raining. Just like it had done in every cheesy movie Jake had ever seen. The ground was wet and splashed all over his fanciest shoes and slacks. He was soaked, from his head, to every element in his tux. He shifted uncomfortably as the limo waited for him to bring him to the reception. Everyone else had left, but he needed to get something off of his chest.

This was the way it always was, right? The son, alone at his father funeral, standing in the rain above his father freshly buried casket. It was a beautiful tombstone for what it was. A large seamless piece of granite big enough to house a family. It was polished to a brilliant shine. Everything about it was like his father had been in life. Large. Majestic. Intimidating. Cold. Dead.

As Jake clenched his fists, he stared at the large slab of stone that had once been his dad. He wanted to tear it down. He wanted to smash it. He wanted to kick it down and grind the pieces into a dust so fine that no one else would ever need to see it. Anger bubbled inside of him until it was too much to hold in. Climbing upon the base, and with a brutal force he kicked the granite tower causing a burst of pain to reverberate through his leg. He clenched his foot in his hands and cursed the tomb before collapsing on the larger than life words that announced his fathers life to the world.

He couldn't win a fight against a tomb. He had never won a fight against his father in his life, and he certainly wouldn't win any in his death. With a quivering sigh, a burst of anger and sadness overcame him and he whispered the last words he would ever say to the man.

“I hate you so much.”

He stood up. Wiped the wet off of his slacks as best as he could, and walked over to the limo. Giving one final look up at the tombstone, he spit on the ground, and vowed never to return.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Inferno - Part one

Chapter one of Inferno.
One of my resolutions was to try to be more constant and update this with at least two new items every month. Hope you enjoy!

Inferno - Chapter one

He woke up with a start. He had fallen straight through his dream and landed with a start in his body. He'd fallen asleep outside of his dads office again. The clock ticked, echoing loudly through the hallway he occupied. He lifted his body off of the plush, black leather couch that smelled of cigars and ink and tried to shake himself awake. With a yawn, he checked his watch; how long had he been asleep? Pressing one hand against his temple, he tried to fix his hair as he waited for any sign of life from behind the thick wooden doors that blocked his fathers office.
“Jake, what are you doing here?” Naomi asked. Jake looked over to see his old babysitter walking by the door to his fathers office. She wore her dark hair in a bun and walked towards him to give him a hug. Jake begrudgingly stood up and hugged the woman he once called nanny, and let her turn him around to take a look at him. “You've certainly grown.” She said with a laugh. Jake felt his stomach turn slightly. “If you're waiting for you're father...”
“I have to wait, I know.” Jake said with a grunt. He didn't like being treated like a child; much less by someone who had watched him grow up. She looked taken aback for a second, before allowing another sweet smile to settle on her bright red lips.
“Of course.” Was all she said. “I'm sure he'll be by shortly. I have some things I need to do.” She said motioning down to stack of papers in her hand with a nod. “You... well, come by more often. I want to know how everything is going. Do you have a girlfriend yet?”
“Stop.” Jake said as he shrugged out of her reach. “Alright, alright I'll stop.” She said suppressing a slight laugh. “It's good to see you again.” She reached over, despite his silent protestations, and gave him the best hug she could muster with only one arm. “Be good.” She said touching his cheek for a moment before turning back towards the door.
“I'll try.” He said as he sat back in the chair. She smiled at him one final time, sighed, and left the room. Jake readjusted himself on the seat, as if doing so would put him back into whatever mood he was in before this. However, before he could settle the large oak doors opened and two figures walked through the door.
The first was Jezebel, his father's personal assistant. A beautiful, yet somehow dangerous looking woman. Undeniably attractive, she could have easily been a model had she not possessed an intelligence sharp enough to cut a man in half. Her long black hair always hung loose around her face and her make up was always applied in the most seductive way possible. She wore glasses which only seemed to enhance her enchanting emerald eyes and her skin was the perfect combination of ebony and ivory. The other man was someone Jake had never seen before. Tall, pale and balding, the man wore an old fashioned suit and hat that seemed to have stepped straight out of another time. He affixed the hat to the remnants of his ice blond hair, slicked back to give him a snake-like appearance, and leant his weight on a long black cane. Jake half expected the man to pull a monocle and place it on over his searing ice blue eyes.
“...So if you have any questions,” Jezebel said as she held the door open for the snake man. “Do not hesitate to call us.”
“Thank you madame,” he said in a thick French accent. “I will be sure to do that.” The man seemed to notice Jake for the first time and immediately dropped his voice. Jake couldn't tell what he was saying, but Jezebel nodded a few times. When the man seemed to be fully satisfied, he buttoned his jacket and exited the room. Jezebel looked at Jake and nodded.
“Your father will see you now.”