THE ABCs OF A PECULIAR LIFE // B is for Biff & Bugalugs

Tonight should have been a perfect ten, but it wasn’t. It wasn’t even a seven. More like a three or four really. Not even the brunette with the big tits and long neck from the finest escort agency in the land could change that. She could gob him all she liked but it wasn’t going to make a scrap of difference.

How the hell had it come to this? In a fit of anger, Joe Faust slammed his expensive, gold-tipped pen on the table and shoved the escort’s head aside. It was unbelievable that his business, his pet project, should be falling quicker than a row of dominoes in a children’s bouncy fun castle!

He grabbed his cell phone and hit ‘Redial’. The bastard wasn’t picking up or responding to Faust’s many texts pleading for an audience. He should never have made that deal with such a shady character, especially one that he had yet speak with face-to-face. Faust should have known that he’d get screwed over. God damn it!

Suddenly, there was a click. A suave Voice at the other end calmly said, “I’m all ears.”

Faust blinked in surprise. “Where the hell have you been? I’ve been trying to get you for the last three days!” He didn’t bother to hide his annoyance and agitation. The time for subtle hints had passed. Shit was about to get real, and a bit of frank talk was what was needed right now.

He felt something closing around his cock again. Faust looked down. “Who the hell do you think you are?!” he bellowed, half to her and half to the Voice. “Day and night I’ve been calling!” He kicked at the escort until she crawled away on all fours to cower between the display prams.

“Remind me, Bugalugs,” said the Voice. “Who are you?”

“You know exactly who the fuck I am!” exploded Faust. “I’m the guy who’s going to bury you unless things change around here!”

There was a slight pause. “Careful,” came a menacing growl.

Faust softened his tone. “I’m sorry. It’s just that I’m neck deep in shit right now, and I need a bail out.”

“So,” repeated the Voice. “Who are you?”

What? Was he really going to do this now? Was the Voice really going to act dumb and play out this charade? Faust took a deep, shuddering breath, and though he was sitting down he found himself having to lean against the desk for support. He swallowed hard, harnessed his willpower, and said in an almost normal tone, “I’m Joe Faust. I’m the Pram Lord.”

The Voice chuckled. “I’m listening, Bugalugs. What’s your wish this time?” Faust squeezed his eyes shut then blinked them open again. Had the Voice actually chuckled or had it been interference on the line? This call was already doing his head in.

“Do you wish for all women to give birth to only triplets? Do you wish for pregnancy to last a mere two months, thus compelling new mothers to buy new prams before the old ones become vacant?” The Voice went on. “Do you wish to start a fashion for single-use prams?”

Faust kept silent. He was confused. Was it possible? And then the Voice guffawed, causing him to wince. So, it obviously wasn’t interference. He was being made a fool of.

“No, Bugalugs. You can be as materialistic as you wish, but I’m not God. I’m only a modest wish master.”

Faust could feel the rage building.

“A modest little advertising company here or some horrible weather there—this is what lies within my purview.”

That’s it. Faust was going to have to fly off the handle. “I need cash, you bastard, not fucking sleet! Instead of reaming me six ways from Sunday, you could get off your fat otherwordly arse and get me what I actually fucking need, you fucking prick!”

There was a longer pause. Oh, shit. He’d really done it now…

“Do you wish to break the contract?” The Voice was devastatingly polite… and so very cold. “Keep in mind that Mephistopheles Enterprises doesn’t refund prepayments.”

Faust was opening and closing his mouth like a hooked guppy fish. The words wouldn’t come.

“I suppose there is one wish I could make for you… You can consider this a cancellation fee from Mephistopheles Enterprises.” The Voice was downright icy now. “From now until doomsday, you will have only cash in your pockets.”

Something clicked loudly and the line went dead. And then there was another sound. A loud clinking sound. Then another. And another…

Joe Faust woke with a start. A prim and proper lady dressed in black had tossed some coins into an alms box. Was it… Hey! It was in his hand! Did the alms box belong to him? Still reeling in a fog of disbelief, he leaned forward to inspect it. His fingers were gingerly nudging the coins around the edges of the box when he noticed someone else approaching. Who was this now?

Oh my god. It was a brunette with big tits and a long neck. Was she… lactating? There were two ginormous, screaming baby giraffes in the pram she was pushing — a competitor’s brand. Faust tried to recall where he had seen her before, and then she turned for a moment and accidentally biffed him in the ankle with her pram.

Faust grimaced. “Hey! Watch it, sleeper!”

She gave him a sideways glance. “Oh, put a sock in it, Bugalugs. Hire some other prostitute and be rude to her!”

And just as a look of recognition flashed across Joe Faust’s face, she winked and moved on. Stunned, he sat there opening and closing his mouth like a guppy fish, but she had long since vanished over the horizon, never to be seen again.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2017

Testing, Part #2 (Fragment #015)

It was like talking to a brick wall. I elevated my voice slightly.

“Hey, four-eyes!”

Yuck. Not only is he blind, he’s deaf too… I was considering poking him with a ruler when I heard a semi-cough right above me. Again.

Any questions, young lady?”

“No, Sir.”

Question 2a: Define a metrical foot used in the following poem.

He had forty-two boxes, all carefully packed,
With his name painted clearly on each:
But, since he omitted to mention the fact,
They were all left behind on the beach.

The loss of his clothes hardly mattered, because
He had seven coats on when he came,
With three pair of boots—but the worst of it was,
He had wholly forgotten his name.

He would answer to “Hi!” or to any loud cry,
Such as “Fry me!” or “Fritter my wig!”
To “What-you-may-call-um!” or “What-was-his-name!”
But especially “Thing-um-a-jig!”

1) Trochee
2) Iamb
3) Anapaest
4) Dactyl

Question 3a: What isn’t a forme fixe?

1) Qasida
2) Glosa
3) Sequence
4) Tanaga

I looked around helplessly. No help was within reach. Well… if plan A doesn’t work out then I have to use plan B. So, I gave a shit about that, and began to select answers at random.

The blank space below question 1a was very much in evidence, and my inner perfectionist demanded satisfaction. I knew it was better not to argue as this thought would be like a pebble in my shoe—it would hinder and annoy. I wrote something like, “Prompt at five o’clock, I busted a snaplock, and walked around town in a candy-striped nightgown.”

Then I hesitated over where an adverb of time should be placed in an English sentence. Damn. At the start? At the end? Without philosophizing, I repeated the first line at the end. If need be, I could say that I was nervous and forgot to cross out the wrong line.

With a feeling of satisfaction at a job well done, I turned in my paper and left the amphitheater. I felt a roaring hunger.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2017

GUEST POST // 10,000 Pencils by Gregg Savage

Two years and two days and 10,000 pencils,
No tracing or reprints or cheap, plastic stencils.
From a dot to a line from a shape to a figure,
A symbol of thoughts from my brain to my fingers.

A mark on the page meant the white was now tainted,
With another damned hope that this time I’ll make it.
My passions run under my detailed bridge,
With the promise they’ll say, “Let’s stick that on the fridge!”

 

by GREGG SAVAGE
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License 2018

100 WORD SKITTLE // The First Follower (Follow-up to The Last Virgin)

He’d noticed this strange girl some time ago. She would always come alone, buy a pair of white lace stockings, then leave. And she’d always wear a long black robe that never quite matched her purchases. She was strange and compelling.

He’d tie himself in knots trying to guess what she did. Was she a pole dancer? A prostitute? A fetishist? A Mother Theresa wannabe who enjoyed gifting orphans with stockings full of rock candy? She’d glide in and out, brandishing scythe and silence with aloof aplomb.

He closed the shop and followed her. No one ever saw him again.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

100 WORD SKITTLE // The Last Virgin

The Grim Reaper isn’t a man. In fact, she’s quite becoming.

Naturally, no one dares to get into her skirt, but this doesn’t matter to her. The thrusts and twists of human courtship hold no interest. She has other concerns. Keeping her list of names updated. Restocking her biros. Ensuring her blade stays keen and shiny.

Nowhere does the ‘cut of her jib’ factor in.

Still, even the Reaper can possess a mortal weakness. Yes, even she can nurse a fondness for white, lace stockings. But she refuses to wear them due to her messy job.

Stockings rather become her.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018