Here are some short shorts that you won’t get to see in the print copy of Graphos — they’re exclusive to GraphosSNC, the Tumblr version.
Hideaki Anno Watches On and Laughs All the While, the Brilliant Prick. Beware of Spoilers, I Guess, but They Don’t Make Things Any Less Weird, so Whatever.
What. The. Fuck. Was. That. I waited twenty-four episodes for that? How did Lilith combine with Adam and it turned into a giant naked Rei?! Shinji and his robot wind up being God or Jesus or something and those artificial Evagelion things were part of the whole thing and so they crucify Shinji in front Giant Naked Rei who has Orange Juice humanity trapped in some giant sphere thing—were they TRYING to offend somebody? God, that’s a surreal ending—or is it actually a really hopeful one? I need to rewatch 25 and 26. Ah, my head hurts.
Please come with me Child, while Heaven still waits for you
I died in a train accident. The Voice who calls me to my ultimate fate tells me that the accident was no one’s fault. It says the engine was broken; no one could have stopped my death. It says the others the accident killed have moved on and that they are happy. It says I could be happy. But I will not leave until justice is served. The Voice only says what It thinks I want to hear and I won’t be fooled by It’s lies. No, I will not move on until someone pays for cutting my life short.
Gulping my warm drink, I turned away from the people I came with and looked at you, your selfish face, as you sat cordially laughing on a barstool. Standing there, I tumbled out of my mind just as I had fallen out of bed that morning, and fallen down the subway’s stairs, and fallen for the faux pas that was a fur scarf, and fallen into your heart only to realize you had fallen out of love a long time ago and those lies I had fallen for was like you falling off your chair when you saw me.
My time is coming to an end; all I can do is sit and wait. The darkness of the dank basement suffocates me and leaves me blinded. Even my thoughts have become clouded by the darkness. I no longer believe anyone is going to save me. He said my fate is inevitable. The door is opening and light is illuminating my surroundings. The light is too much for me to handle. Eyes closed, pulse rushing, struggle once more against the ropes. No use. Hot breath across my face. Cold steel against my neck. Searing pain. Time is up.
Our lives can change in a matter of seconds. A look. A phone call. A sound…CRASH! The last sound I ever heard…I was dead. I saw white light, golden gates, all that jazz. I was in my Heaven, created just for me. Surrounded by forest, I was no longer unhappy or in pain. I could finally rest, let go of my calling and my violent lifestyle. I closed my eyes, blissful. Suddenly, I heard her voice again, a whispering wind…I could smell pine…feel satin underneath…My eyes snapped open. I was awake. Alive. I groaned and smashed open the coffin.
He was at the coffee counter, pouring his morning cup of coffee. But though his hand was on the coffee pot, his mind was not. Before long, the coffee ran out of cup, spilling over the rim and spreading over the countertop. He watched as it streamed over the edge, splashing onto his leather shoes. The coffee-flavored warmth seeped into his shoes into his body. He figured it would have made him urinate right then and there if there had been anything in his system to urinate. But, of course, there was not.
These short shorts are better than Christmas cookies, I think… And a lot less fattening.
The Murder of Mr. Wolf: Interview of Miss Red
So I walk into my Granny’s house with some goodies and there is a wolf in her bed. Now, I don’t know why the wolf thought a dress would make him look like Granny but I don’t know much about wolves. Anyway, he tries to get me to walk to the bed, right? And I’m not stupid, so I stay by the door and play dumb. You know, “Oh, Granny, what big ears you have!” Eventually, he lost patience and attacked me. So I cut his stomach open. If he was so hungry, he could have just eaten Granny’s goodies.
She was giddy because her toenails gleamed, freshly red—a vivifying and startling crimson—bright and almost out of place, like the blood red eye of a loon.
She wiggled her toes. Was it ok for her to feel like more of a woman with them painted? (An act of defiance if they were naked, natural?)
She had her father’s toes. Curled in all the same places. Big feet; Big Foot. She would admit it before others could comment.
(At least hers weren’t bound.)
She shoved them quickly into heels.
Midnight. Meet at the park. In darkness, John clutched the note, sitting with his shoes on at the large kitchen table where his family dined together every night. They had never been alone together before, always surrounded by friends or in class. He knew when their eyes had met at the homecoming game; met, and held, his heart beating fast. David had slipped it into his pocket when they were standing next to each other. John closed his eyes; the feeling of David’s hand sliding against his thigh.
The clock, across the table and next to the door, struck twelve.
The Hole In The Wall
I sat alone in my bedroom, listening to the tired fan’s hum as it tried desperately to fight the summer’s humid heat. I sat, and beads of sweat poked through the pores of my too thick skin.
"I’ll open a window." I said to myself.
"Give the little fan some help."
I knelt beside the chipped, white frame, the fingerprinted, foggy glass pane, and the window slid up with ease, beckoning summer’s breeze.
Cool and alluring, I followed it out.
The new hole in the wall – I crawled right out. And I could still hear the tired fan’s humming.
Wow. Couldn’t you think of a more creative way to go? At least a quieter one? You woke the neighbors upstairs. Sloppy and Inconsiderate: sums up the kind of a roommate you were, now that I think about it. Still, thanks for getting your brains all over the bathtub—I’ve had to go down to the fucking gym to shower for the past three weeks. Your room’s exactly the way you left it—it’s not my job to clean up your shit; not then, and especially not now. So hurry up and come back already … please.
Hank blinked, the memory rippling at the top of his brain like a half-remembered dream. “I guess we’ll have to take two cars, then,” and she snapped her sunglasses down over her eyes with a flick. Like he’d looked up from a photograph only to see it living and breathing in front of him. Instant replay, the film separating so the sound lagged just a bit behind the picture. “You okay man?” He shook his head. “Yeah, deja vu. I’m cool.”
Half a universe away, her sister swore as she dropped another stitch. “Damnit Dolores, get your shit together.”
He had descended the one-hundred and ninety-nine steps from the abbey, the ruins like a crumbling mausoleum lit white by lightning against the black sky. He had slipped between the shutters like fog, chased by the howl of a wolf. His hands on me, his seductive whisper in my ear, his kiss on my throat…. Such sweet blood and such sensuous pain.
I ascend the mountain to the ruins like the burned remains of a castle, black against the snow-white sky and cliffs. Such sweet blood and such sensuous pain…and I must kill him for it.
Tea for Two
Spike was a Rottweiler the size of a bear with a chain collar and a combination of teeth and jaw muscle that could break bones. He waited at the end of the driveway at three o’clock for his little girl. They had tea parties at three-thirty every day and Annie would let him wear her Cinderella dress.
Last Monday at three, Max got off his leash. Annie got off the bus. After hugging Spike, she tried to pet Max’s soft, white coat. Max bit her.
Spike bit back harder.
Today, Annie gets off the bus alone.
Shake, shake, shake goes the house as it throws a curling tournament, having borrowed my plates and knives to slide around and see if it can land them atop one of my stovetop burners. My body is a second too slow, so by the time I’m lurching right, the house is already going left. The TV’s like a down-and-out drunk, its comatose face rubbing against the rug and drooling electrical wires. Kyle’s toys are popping about like popcorn, Michelle’s dolls have unchecked epilepsy.
Then all goes quiet. Far too quiet.
“Michelle? Dad?” Up the stairs I fly.
To the Editor of This Fine Publication:
I wish to inform you that I will not submit any work for publication.
It isn’t that I’m unable to write. I’m quite capable of doing so. Rather, I simply can’t be troubled.
Simply put, writing causes me to abandon apathy.
That’s something I’m unwilling to do.
Please note that I might submit something in the future. However, such an event is quite unlikely.
A Dragon’s Hoard
I glance down at the knight who stands at the base of my treasure. He, like those before him, has come to steal what he believes to have been stolen. I heave a tired sigh, but the accompanying gust of fire makes the knight jump with fear and then attack with returned bravado. Killing him brings me no joy, but I will not die because of some cruel misguided human. Because throwing the body away would be a waste, I devour it, and I gain the treasures he had from slaying other creatures. And here, the source of my hoard.
The wind made my long black skirt billow out as I remember our first meeting. I remembered our first kiss and how our hands fit together just right. I thought of the contrast of red roses against my white dress, smiles and happiness. I remember arguments and apologies. And laughter, so much laughter. I think of these things as I kneel to place a bouquet of flowers down for my beautiful man.
Mother Knows Best and You WILL Listen
“This is a kitten,” I say.
“I am aware,” says my mother.
“Why am I holding a kitten?”
“Because you never leave the house and you never talk to anyone. I figured you’d need some sort of friend. Also, she’s adorable.”
“I’m allergic to cats.”
“Alright, so I got her because she’s cute and because you need to man up.”
I look up at the woman in my bedroom who had handed me a cat and who was now handing me job applications.
Growing up sucks.
I look at the machine that I have apparently lived my whole life in. It looks like a glass tube, not like something that could simulate an entire life. I’m told my real family donated me to science as a baby. Scientists put me in the life simulator to see how a human would develop in a world where there was no violence at all. When I turned eighteen they decided they had enough information and that I should be given the chance to live in the real world. I wish they hadn’t. I miss my old life so much.
Leave on a Light
I can feel the claustrophobia setting in as I lie here in the dark. It began slowly, starting at my feet and working its way up my legs, over my torso, and There! I can see it! It’s coming towards my face—an ominous black shadow crashing towards me like a satanic tidal wave. I hold my breath, waiting for it to smother me in its depths. Suddenly, it stops, gently pooling around my neck. For a moment I’m paralyzed with shock. Then I hear a voice.
“Goodnight, my darling.”
It’s a wish come true! I’ve always wanted to be a fly on a wall. To just linger in the background, unnoticed but for when my buzzing grates on too many nerves. I can finally see it all—the steamy affairs, the woman who doesn’t know how that blouse got in her purse, Officer. It’s all here for me to take in—the sights, the smells, the sounds of titillating life. Nothing is out of reach. I am the anonymous shadow watching over all. But wait—what’s that? Dammit, I forgot about flyswatters.
The Llama Farm
“So why do you have a llama farm? What do you do with them?” the young man from the nearby city said in a condescending tone. The old farmer didn’t answer. He just hiked up his pants and gave a little snort. “I mean they don’t give you milk or eggs or meat… Why keep them?” The farmer hesitated and then said, “There’s a grocery store down the street. I can buy all the milk and eggs and meat that I want. What they don’t got is llamas. That’s why I got a llama farm. Plus, I don’t like dogs.”
The rules for this genre are simple: tell a story in 100 words or fewer.
Here are this issue’s winning entries, both of them by talented fiction writer Ashley Steinhofer:
What To Do With Apples
The witch at the end of the road will grant you one wish if you bring her an apple and whisper to her your desire. Laura asked for golden hair and now she has metal coils hanging from her head. Jacob asked for bravery and was eaten by a dragon he was not afraid of. Reina asked for happiness and now contentedly lives in squalor. But if you bring the witch an apple and ask for nothing, she will bake you the most wonderful apple pie and spare you her magic.
Count Your Blessings, Not Your Burdens
You know, Death has a rather bad reputation, but the way I figure he must be a friendly guy. I mean, I’ve never met the man, the Reaper, the whatever, but I should think that there would be more people alive if he weren’t at least charismatic enough to get them to follow him. But what do I know? I’m just Luck. It’s not like I feel bad that you curse my name constantly and never thank me for the good I do. I’m not bitter, no sir. I’m just saying, Death seems like a nice fellow.
Look for the Fall 2013 issue of Graphos in print — there are stacks available in Boyle (look for the newspaper stands) and a big stack outside Boyle 352.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this very nice, phat fall issue. Look here for additional content.
Save the date! Bring your poems and your friends (and your friends’ poems) to the Knight Owl at 6:30 on November 7th.
Graphos is partnering with Sigma Tau Delta on this event!
To share your literary and artistic gifts. send your work as an email attachment to email@example.com by October 15 for the Fall 2013 issue.
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Send your work as a .doc, .rtf, .docx, or .jpg file. Include GRAPHOS SUBMISSION in your email subject line.
In your email, include a brief (3-5 sentence) author’s or artist’s bio.
This is a place for the St. Norbert community to share its poetry, creative prose, and artwork.
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