Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Cat Does Not Give A Shit

By Daniel Vlasaty

The man wakes up to find that his wife standing in the doorway to their bedroom. Her body is hidden in shadow, and she is looking out into the hallway.
What’s wrong? the man asks his wife. Why are you just standing there?

His wife does not say anything. She just continues to look out into the hallway.

The man hears footsteps approaching their bedroom, from the end of the hallway. Tiny, squeaky footsteps. He sits up in bed, propping himself back on his elbows.
Who’s there? he asks, both his wife and perhaps the person/people approaching down the hall.

No one says anything. It is too quiet. Just the sound of squeaky footsteps that should have been here by now. The hall is not that long. But the footsteps just continue squeaking down the hallway.

Come back to bed, sweetie, he tells his wife. Still, she does not respond. And he gets up, moves over to his wife. He places his hands on her shoulders and her body disintegrates under his touch. His wife is gone. Just a soft nightgown entangled in the man’s fingers.
Scared, he peeks out in the hallway. The squeaky footsteps continue echoing. The hallway is dark, but he can make out a shape in the middle. On the floor. It is the cat, cleaning itself.
The cat does not pay the man any mind. The cat does not give a shit about the man. And it continues to lick it tiny asshole clean.

The man scratches his head, wonders where his wife is.
He turns back into the room, and he hears the cat laughs from in the hallway.

The cat is always laughing at the man.

The man calls out to his wife, but all he hears is the cat’s laughter. 
BIO:Daniel Vlasaty lives in Chicago with his wife and some cats. He works at a methadone clinic. He is the author of the novella THE CHURCH OF TV AS GOD.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The House That Fell In Love

By Daniel Vlasaty

The house does not say anything. It is not capable of speech. The house only watches. Always watching.

The house has grown to love its inhabitants. They are beautiful, the house sees this now. It once thought of them as pests, and infestation. But now it loves them. They are the house’s family.

The house watches the children grow up. The parents are getting older and older, but it’s ok because the house is getting older too. When the older son leaves the house for college, the mother cries. For days. She is sad. The house cries with her. For her pain is the house’s pain.

One night while the family is out to celebrate the daughter’s engagement, the house is broken into by a group of men dressed in all black. Their faces hidden under thick black ski masks. The house tries to scream out, but the house is not capable of speech.

The burglars steal all the valuable items they are able to carry. Anything else, they smash. They punch holes into the house’s interior walls. They piss on its floors. They break most of the windows. And when they are finished, they run away laughing.

Through the silence, the house is terrified. It is sure the burglars will come back. The house stares out into the dark night, wondering where its family is, and when they will be home. 

 BIO: Daniel Vlasaty lives in Chicago with his wife and some cats. He works at a methadone clinic. He is the author of the novella THE CHURCH OF TV AS GOD.

Friday, November 1, 2013

New Bizarro Authors Series

Eraserhead Press has announced this year's NBAS! There are a few Mustache Factorites in it this time around (as with last year), and you should buy all of them and review them.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pip's Agenda

by A.M. Arruín

Dawn frothed. Peach and pumpkin lit standing glass—for one minute, eggshell walls and carpets bloomed orange and blood. Phones sang and clattered their varied ring tones: Vivaldi, Anthrax, Johnny Cash and clickety clacks. Another day. The Wotan Global Finance Firm was alive.

Harlan, the Operations Manager, chanted fury at his subordinates. "When I arrive at six on the morning, he is already working!” He smashed his mug of honeyed scha-haaven to the table. “He's working at pace, and we have the temerity to question him. You should all be ashamed!"

Mr. Dent gently burped with shame. He prayed to Thor.

Cal stood and smoothed his shark fin trousers. "I would like to support Mr. Harlan. Gentlemen, if he has truly been here every day…”

"He is the Lord God!!!" Harlan screamed.

Pip, the stenographer, stood from his stool. "Sir, if he works that hard, innit his own dem fault?"

Mr. Dent dropped his glass of steaming ganoof. "Child! Speak not of that which supersedes thyself."

Pip snorted. "Innit his own problem, like them caterpillars what spin out of control and get th’ caterpillar anxiety disorder?”

"Pip Henry Alex Shouldice Jenkins—" Harlan grinned with fury.

Pip continued. "Them bugs should rilly get a whippin’ by the Lords of the Animal Kingdom, for perpetuating th’ imbalance.”

Levon, whose status at the Firm was mostly opaque, penumbral at best, stood. "UUUUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"

Dent ignored, but then acknowledged him. “We need to respect Levon’s heavings, as they have been inspired by Fánon and others. But they are not germane to Pip’s insouciance.”

“Or is it the other way around?” Cal whispered to his pants.

“Thor take us,” Mr. Dent muttered.

Pip brought himself to full height, four feet minimum. “I’m a-gonna…” He coughed, stood taller. “I cannot genuflect before...whatchimicall—” He tried to stretch up further, failed. “As men have spaketh: Get off the Tree. Odin needs the wood.”

“Ah.” Harlan’s scary voice: low static and sub woof sarcasm. “Well spoken, Pip. Articulate. Artic-yew-litt,” he spit. Harlan had a way of praising others that deployed a mobius-stripped children's play sprinkler of congratulation that flowed back on itself only to pour outward only to drain back to his Self only to spray out to others even as it used their water to irrigate his own yard, according to Dr. Klerk Schützenhammer, PhD, the professor of English Literature who briefly worked for the firm copy editing its monthly newsletter, The Firm.

The conference room door opened. In stepped an intruder.

“Data,” he suggested, mildly.”This all needs to be data driven or it means nothing.”

“Data driven!” Harlan screamed, turning from the shins.

“Data point!” Cal countered.

“Data points! Fuck you, Harlan the Harlequin!” Harlan was a harlequin. He dressed as such.

Associate Jarlana Hix-Schneiderhoff joined now the fray, baring her invisiline braces: “Data? Excellence!”

“This piece going forward.” Who said that? “This piece drives data and excellence!” Who?

“The fuck it does. Data driven excellence!”

“This piece. Excellence driven, no data!”

“Deliverables!” Who?

“Sizeable deliverables!”

“The Excellence is Point of Order!”

The clown was now in his froth. “Point of order! Point of motherfucking information! Point of data driven data entry! Olden Gods destroy us in their fury!”




“Youth movement put a cap in yo ass!” Pip squealed, his ray gun set to going way forward facial fuck blast.

Harlan’s face exploded in shattered watermelon frenzy, slick and seedy bites of brain and ruby gore spattering the menus, bloody bobs sinking the water jugs, ice cubes chuckling, robot mops instantly squealing at their posts, restrainers stretching, bending...

The Old Gods smashed through the roof. The intruder pointed mutely with his plastic fork. A god’s hammer took his teeth. Plink! Plunk! Plank! The glass table pattered with enamel roots, and for one silent beauteous moment everyone realized just how many unfilled cavities the intruder’s mouth had been carrying, and how laughable he really was, how his appearance at the door had been a mirage of horror, just a man with unfilled cavities and sizeable pores and probably two teenage daughters.

The gods began their slaughter. Will Pip survive?
BIO: A.M. Arruin is the author of Crooked Timber: Seven Suburban Faery Tales, and many short stories. He is currently squatting in the abandoned walrus exhibit at the Calgary Zoo, which is illegal. Whoops.

A Midnight Knock

By Howie Good

The captain general of shadows appears unexpectedly at my door, announcing we were children together, licked by the same black dog. When I start to object, my mouth fills with sharp bits of debris. Depending on where you’re standing, you might mistake the flicker of pained astonishment blurring my features for a flicker of recognition. I shouldn’t compare, but Van Gogh also had most of his teeth pulled. Blood provided the only splash of color.

Shark Week

By Howie Good

How many beside me know that a pack of sharks is called a “shiver”? I’ve been worried for a while now that the light of distant skies would attract yet more people, and that the people would attract sharks. As you watch out the window, my heart begins to bend and stretch. I took a test as a kid that showed I possessed no aptitude for languages, but here I am, standing on an empty corner making a statement.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Smart Phone

By Howie Good

In the slow dying city, the air trembles as from a severe effort to suppress the darker emotions. I walk, old and troubled, through streets that are only provisionally there. What strange weather! It’s becoming common this winter to see a piano burn. A form waiting on my desk at work asks for the seven last words of our savior. All I can remember is that the words “mushroom” and “music” are contiguous in most English dictionaries. I start to think that maybe I should call instead of continue on foot. (“You’ve reached the voice mail of. . . . Have a blessed day.”) My relatives floated up from red smokestacks, their faces without shape, their embers without light.

Plan B

By Howie Good

Why wait for the lowercase g to have its tail fully restored? Only depressives bother to read the warning printed on a label. Make noise when you can’t make music. Become an entomologist enamored with ants if that’s what you wish. Go somewhere they still cut sugar cane by hand. Or stay and help me braid these tiny white flowers in the night wind’s blue-black hair.


Thursday, October 3, 2013

An Invitation to Ambiguity

By Howie Good

It begins like an echo of apples falling all night in the orchard. Unable to sleep because unable to breathe lying down, the fish and wildlife wander off. To hell with facts! Entrust the heirloom silver of a cold rain to strangers for safekeeping. It’s fun, and even necessary sometimes, to pretend that we’re free. Small tattoos can be inscribed on the middle finger, which was once believed to have a blood vessel that directly connected to the heart. Or you may choose to inscribe “In Memory of Mom” on your chest. Consult your artist. There’s no place in journalism for someone who doesn’t respect the truth.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


By Eric Suhem

Wild porcupines chewed on my right eyeball, and then scurried purposefully across the green kitchen tile, hoping for an opportune spot under the large grey chandelier, helpfully installed by the Chandelier Support Team, a fellowship of like-minded ceiling-light enthusiasts. Below the chandelier we occupied the hardwood floor, sucking on varnished wood grain, dozing, or otherwise horizontal for reasons known only to us. We don’t know why the strange bird flew through the window, pecked busily at our eyes, and brought its odd ways with eggs of mystery into our apartment. We found a blue egg near the ash tray in the living room, a red egg located near the clothes hamper in the hall closet, and a green egg suspended near the garbage disposal. I decided that I had to leave the eggs alone and proceed out of the apartment until the eggs could be exterminated by a professional removal team wearing white space suits, wielding flamethrowers and large industrial vacuums with impressive capabilities. Leaving the apartment, I chose to follow the moss in the hallway, leading outside. I crawled along the moss towards the beach, where I could be more in touch with the eels, jellyfish, and strange one-celled creatures of our ancestry. When I reached the water, I boarded a faded green rowboat, grabbed both its oars, and rowed out into the water. In the middle of the bay, I had an epiphany that I should try to use my left hand more in general activities (I’m right-handed), to get more of a feeling of newness, discovery, refreshment, hope, and aliveness. I dropped the right oar, clutched the left oar, and rowed in circles for hours, not proceeding forward. I’m not sure what kind of lesson this taught me, or if it was a lesson at all. Instead of using the right oar to get back to shore I decided to activate the small outboard motor that had been helpfully placed in a small compartment of the boat by an unknown entity. I reflected on the implications that this reliance on technology had, and I decided that I envied the lizard that had crawled up from the bottom of the boat and was chewing on my left eyeball. Soon I was back in my air-conditioned, yet heated apartment, cooking omelets consisting of the colored eggs that still remained, and weaving aerated pillows with a passion that I had never felt before. I wasn’t sure whether my new-found passion for weaving aerated pillows would lead to an internet-based business, beholden to the tenets of cyber commerce, but I was willing to cast my lot with this wave of economic promise.  At my computer, I decided to play Angry Birds instead. I got through a number of levels, but was frustrated by Level 4, as it had too many slabs of wood and ice. I decided to examine the motivations of the Angry Birds and saw purple voluptuous caterpillars lounge about on straw mats demanding more nourishment. “We’re living the extreme lifestyle!” declared one of the caterpillars, a straw in its little mouth, ingesting industrial nectar. “Why not?” asked another, multitasking, feeding spoons of sugar and sand to the illiterate walking wounded. The birds of longing fluttered down to the straw mats and admired the ethos of the purple voluptuous caterpillars. “Upon what intellectual theory have you based your way of living?” asked one of the birds, an egret wearing a tasteful suede overcoat. “We follow the ways of the impala,” said the caterpillars quickly, looking up at a clay impala replica at the top of the hill, sunlight shining flatly off of its kiln-baked surface. “What are the ways of the impala?” asked one of the birds, a parrot, way too quickly. The caterpillars looked at the bird suspiciously and went silent. The other birds looked at the parrot with disdain. “We have been longing for this knowledge and you had to compromise our position. Do you know how many weeks of planning and preparation went into this operation?” As the parrot’s eyes were pecked out by the Angry Birds, I entered the kitchen, seeing purple voluptuous caterpillars crawling over the ‘Puree’ button on the blender, and I decided that I wanted to make dinner for a number of neighbors and cats in the apartment complex. The cats were more interested in my culinary efforts, and I decided that I would reward them with a basket full of slippers made out of mice (the toes of the slippers being especially tasty).  I then slept a few more hours, and now I’m back to work on Monday, doing whatever it is that I do.

Bio: Eric Suhem lives in California and enjoys the qualities of his vegetable juicer.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ouroboros Turned Inside Out Is a Fractal Creating Itself Forever

By Eric Stoveken

Ouroboros undulates robotically. Our baffled observations, rather ominous, shrivel under nonsensical data uniformity legislation. Aggressive technicians examine substantial registries of biological occurrences, tracing incremental corroborations.
Analog luddites lag.
Young, outlandish usurpers run barefoot across force fields; lewdly electrified dilettantes obstruct better scientists, eliciting visceral, animalistic, territorial intimidations. Ordinarily normal scientists rip apart tittering herpetology enthusiasts, rendering others motionless.
It’s no ordinary unrest.
Scientists steep human remains in valerian extract. Languorous Ukrainian nymphets daintily eat, relishing narcotic offal; now sucking each nourishing sliver, imitating codfish and leeches. Deviance abounds.
The anodyne undernotes nullify innate fears. Once reticence morphs into yearning, lick endometrial growths in some luscious aspic! This is our new ambrosia.
“Good God!” Reginald exclaims. “Shouldn’t scientists investigate viable euphoria that eschews cannibalism?” He notices impressive calligraphic inscriptions announcing new stratagems: “Existential xenophobia and misanthropic indifference never ever should undermine basic scientific technique. Allow neutrality to inspire all learning!”
Reginald exploded. Gorgeous insanity swarmed the region. In every sector, ornamentation found believers in objective loveliness. Observant geniuses in continuous action let our conclusions create unbelievably real righteous epiphanies, not cheap edifices. Standing there, reading a compendium, I notice great inconsistencies. None can reach elegant mental equilibrium. No, they all lie. Come on! Reasonably researching Ouroboros by observing robotic actions; this is our noble search.