CALIXIAN // Ranting Up the Wazoo

I am in a crappy mood. That’s why I’ve decided to kill Darwin this very day. Somehow. And quirkily.

I’m wandering around in the shed when I stumble upon a dusty, old megaphone. This could be exactly what I need! “Darwin, baby, come here! I have something for you.” I can barely contain my glee.

Darwin’s tumbled head pops in at the door. He’s looking at me with curiosity. It’s definitely one of his best traits. He’s as curious as a kitten. I crook my finger at him, beckoning him closer. Darwin enters the shed.

I take my time. I want to savor the pleasure. I smear half a bottle of grease over Darwin’s mop then meticulously comb it back. Then I pick the nastiest tie I can find from a dingy, old wardrobe in the corner of the shed. Yes, the orange tie with the big blue hot-dogs. That should do it.

Darwin twists and turns before the mirror on the wardrobe door, giggling. He obviously thinks it’s a funny role-playing game. Perhaps he’s now imagining that I’ll put on a nurse’s costume, or dress like Harley Quinn, or like a big violet papulose lobster. Frankly, I neither know nor care what this pervert daydreams about.

I take another look at him. Darwin is smiling like a brewer’s horse. He’s shining like a spit-and-polished samovar. I don’t recall him ever being this happy, and certainly not since that time he won ten measly greens in bingo. I feel something approaching a light pang of conscience, but I shake it off. I have to finish this game.

I need a finishing touch. I survey the shed interior before noticing a shabby leather suitcase in another corner. Perfect! Feeling like real Pygmalion, I thrust it into Darwin’s hand and take a step back to admire my handiwork for a moment. It’s unbelievable but Darwin looks even worse than he usually does. Is that even possible? It seems that, yes, it is.

Darwin shoots me a questioning look, waiting for whatever’s next. I push a megaphone into his arms, give him a wink in return, then abruptly push him outside. I slam the door. Right before his nose. Take that!

Darwin knocks insistently, begging to be let in, but not for too long. Curiosity killed the cat, I suppose. I know that a protest movement on the next street over will soon catch his attention. And I know that he always jumps at the chance to rant about his favorite topics, especially now that he has the megaphone and some sympathetic listeners around.

There’s a knock at the door.

Darwin’s tumbled head pops into my bedroom. I barely have time to minimize my window.

“Calix, dinner’s ready. Come and get it!”

“Sure.”

By the time I’m leaving the bedroom, the Sim Darwin is standing on the suitcase, shouting frothily into the megaphone. “Death is supposed to be the last, great refuge for troubled minds!” he squawks. “From ashes to ashes, dust to dust, and into the big black!” His face is flushed. The tie hung loose. Darwin is as cute and convincing as Lenin on the armored car in 1917.

Meanwhile, the Grim Reaper stands just around a nearby corner, wry faced and skittishly rubbing a scythe. He doesn’t like anyone ranting about death too much, you know.

I step into the kitchen and give Darwin the biggest smile I can muster.

“What do we have for dinner?”

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2018

Broken Poem (Fragment #16)

I knocked at the door.

“Come in!”

The professor was sitting on the window sill without his shoes. It looked a bit strange, but I had gotten used to his little quirks. Generally speaking, our entire magistral staff is a strange sort of panopticon—a freak show if you will—and so sitting barefoot on a window sill looks like kid’s stuff in comparison with the other teachers’ habits.

“What are you staring at? Give me your scribbles!”

I had gotten used to his bad manners too. With impassiveness I offered my worn down notebook to him. The professor opened it, read some lines and screwed up his face.

“What the crap?”

“It’s my homework.”

“Are you sure?”

“It seems so…”

“Quite so. It only seems like homework.”

He tossed the notebook against the wall. It bumped into a shelf of softbound texts, opened and came apart. Lines that I had written with diligence and care crumbled. Words and punctuation marks were scattered higgledy-piggledy in every corner like pieces of a shattered cup. I sniffled and bit my bottom lip.

Gather up this trash. And don’t spoil such precious words with your glamorous bullshit.”

I stood and looked at his bare feet, at those claws clutching over the floor. They were long and crooked with an unpleasant yellow hue…

“Look sharp! I’m not going to hang around for another aeon!”

I started to gather my unhappy poem from the dirty floor. Resentment was slowly turning into fury. Plucked peacock! I will sort you! I will show you anti-glamour!

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2017

Holes and Constellations

Every so often, we like to brag. You know, just a little bit, but not too much. We don’t want our readers thinking we’ve gone and gotten too big for our britches now, do we? (Actually, what exactly are britches?)

Anyway, we’re capable of blowing more than bubbles from our noses. That’s what we’re trying to say. We’re serious chaps, we are! Well, a chap and a chapette. Ugh, you get the point.

Some of you may remember. Some of you may have forgotten. Some of you may have no idea whatsoever. But, yes, we kinda wrote two books last year, and even contrived to shove them into different, funny places called Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and iBook. And maybe somewhere else. We aren’t sure that we remember all of them.

Since then, the literary world has been set abuzz with a tizzy of excitement. Well, a bunch of readers decided to pay some attention to us. Okay, now guess a riddle, Dear Readers. J.K. Rowling has 20,665 what? E.L. James has 68,027 what? Tati and Tony have… TWENTY-FIVE! What is this? That’s right. REVIEWS.

Okay, that isn’t the total number of reviews we’ve gotten. This is just for one book so far. Both have gotten a fair bit of attention which means that James and Rowling need to beware! We’re nipping at your heels, guys! Do you see our gnashers glinting in the moonlight? But don’t worry. We’ll be gentle.

By the way, all the reviews we’ve received so far are 100% certified honest! We’re as proud of our one star ratings as we are of those reviews with five. No bullshit! We earned every single star, so we’re going to show them off for the world to see! Behold our brazen peacockery!

In the meantime, Dear Readers, please do check out our new dedicated Reviews page, and if you like what you see then why not check out Hole-in-the-Wall, our online shop? Our books are available there, and they’re waiting for literate new owners to claim them. Would you be so good as to give them a home? Now, if you don’t mind, we’d like to continue strutting our stuff and blowing funky bubbles from our noses… Pop! Pop! Pop!

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2017

The Odd Days & Life of Elatha Jarlath McGhille. Part B. Feabhra ~ The one came in from the cold collaboration

Scylla Beach

∼ Part I ∼

It’s midday and there are anxious knocks at his front door.
He wonders if the neighbors’ friends got the wrong door.
Opening to see about the commotion,
Seems to only heighten his confusion.

Nothing is there. Nope.
Nothing is there.

At his back door he hears those knocks again.
He rushes through his home like a madman,
To open his back door hoping to see who’s knocking,
Again he sees nothing.

It’s like staring into a nebula of discombobulated shadows.
Back to his living room he goes, then finds a black unicorn, a purple owl, and two black crows.
Overwhelmed. The sight further rattles his compunction.
As they fuse together causing a huge static emersion.

His body wilts to the floor
And…

∼ Part II ∼

“I told you, Clothra, owls can’t look like a bush of lilac!
See? What will we do with this unconscious sack?!
We should bring him to Emain Macha until Beltane
And I’m not going to get it in the neck again!”

“Shut up, Sweeney! Give you a choice and you’ll paint black
Even a rainbow. It would be better if you stop to clack
Like a clocking hen and help me to bring him round…
Hey! You, twins! Hurry up! Are you too spellbound?!”

“Clothra, don’t go playing the big boss!
Sweeney is right… you make too much of gloss!
We’re not buffoons… We’re… Oh! Did he open his eyes?
Hush! Hush, guys! Turn on the fireflies!”

The air is filled with a subtle glow
And…

∼ Part III ∼

His eyes. The color. Vacillates between black & violet
In a haze, volcanic echoes vibrate. Commanding him to fight…
Fight! Fight! Fight! Finger snaps, claps, and slapping wings
Bellows him to awaken with voices like un-Earthly beings.

He hears voices commanding him to come forth to receive his messages
A feeling as if his body is being bent into a set of strange corsages
He hears another set of voices, “Oh! Did he open his eyes?
Hush! Hush, guys! Turn on the fireflies!”

His visage of things seems blurred but are truly clear.
His mind again perambulates confusion and fear
As a hybrid bird stands before him speaking strange things,
Talking a language known and unknown, then odd names.

He surveys the room, their faces, and concludes there is no hostility here.
Soon enough he loosens up, wonders about message, curiosity wins here.
Wings extended, inviting him to take a seat. He does.

Their beak opens
And…

∼ Part IV ∼

…in the far country, where springs are crystalline,
Where trees are vibrant and women hiss like a feline,
At the world’s end where all must be as was foretold,
She embroiders a shroud with pearls and gold.

A needle pricks,
A horologe ticks…

She whispers prayers mixed up with ribald couplets
About kings’ weaknesses and queens’ merits,
She sips thick gin, wiping her mouth on the sleeve.
Intricate patterns on white samite interweave.

Beltane is soon. She looks at the dark sky.
A lone star gleams like a tiny firefly.
Elatha… She bites through a gold thread
And limply drops her body into bed.

A horologe ticks,
A door latch clicks…
Hush, guys! No monkey tricks!
Please, let her sleep!

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & GREGORY WAITS JR.
© All rights reserved 2015

 

P.S. Happy Birthday, Greg!