Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Defence

Your honor, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I thank you for the opportunity to address you today.

It’s been said that a man who represents himself in court has a fool for a client, but I know that only I can relay the truth in such a way that you understand it properly, and I have neither doubt nor fear that, once you’ve heard me out, you will find me completely innocent of all the charges that bring me here today.

I stand accused of the attempted murder of my ex wife, and I have no doubt that the prosecution will put together many eloquent arguments in support of this accusation. Nor do I doubt that he will give an impressive performance. He is, after all, a gifted public speaker, as well as an experienced legal expert.

He will also, I admit, bring a large amount of physical evidence collected from the scene of the crime into this courtroom, and several eyewitnesses.

Are these witnesses reliable? That will be up to you to judge. Is the evidence credible? Perhaps. I’d call it circumstantial in the extreme, but I’ll have to await your verdict to find out if you share my point of view.

The fact remains, however, that the sheer amount of evidence collected against me is daunting. The very weight of it might well be enough to convince some of you, if not all, that I am guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. I know this, and I’m resigned to it. It is my burden to shoulder during this trial.

And what, pray tell, could I offer to combat the charges laid before me? Not much, I fear. Only… me.

I intend over the course of the coming days and weeks, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, to allow you to get to know me, to really know me, and to that end I’ll be bringing in the people who know me best, my family, my friends, and having them tell you what sort of man I really am. They’ll tell you of my warm, good humor and willingness to drop everything to help a friend in need. They’ll tell you about my quickness with a joke, about the work I’ve done for charity and, perhaps, about my singing voice. And as they do, you’ll develop a picture of the man that the prosecution claims tried to run his ex wife down with his car in front of a downtown restaurant.

And I intend to ask you once I’ve done all this if you really believe that I’m the sort of man who could possibly be guilty of this sort of crime. I’ll ask if any of what you’ve heard about the content of my character implies to you that I could be capable of this sort of violent act. Because character counts, ladies and gentlemen, character counts. And I believe in my heart that, once you’ve truly grown to know me, you’ll understand that I am not.

I am the kindest, gentlest sort of man, as you will soon agree, and as you grow to understand this, you’ll realize how ridiculous the accusations leveled against me are. And when you do, I am confident, you will exonerate me completely.

Yes, I will be found not guilty, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, and I will walk out of this courtroom a free man. Of this I am certain.

And once I have, I will go straight to that bitch’s house and finish what I started…

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Weekly Prompt Story: The Greatest Story Ever Told

Merry Chris Moose! Since My story doesn't really work without audio, here's the audio!

...and here, by the way, is a second link, to a seasonally themed youtube video Kat and I did!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


There’s an abandoned sanitarium near my neighborhood. Not in my neighborhood, but near it. I go there to relax.

It isn’t haunted, possessed, or any of the outdated tropes you’d associate with such places, it’s just a building. Abandoned during the seventies, in remarkably good repair considering it’s age, and utterly forgotten by the people who live nearby.

It’s where I keep the people I take from the side of the highway. I visit them, for as long as they last, and when they’re done I find a place to bury them.

You’ll see for yourself, we’re almost there now…

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Weekly Prompt Story: Fingertips

By Chris Munroe

“Fingertipss have memories, mine can’t forget the curves of your body…” Harvey Danger sang, in one of the best pop songs of the nineties.

That song was everywhere, seemingly overnight, but as quickly as they came they vanished, making way for more traditionally commercial pop-punk bands.

They’re still around, I think, somewhere. Still recording music, but something about the band tied them too much to their time. They wouldn’t make sense to me in my current context.

I got old.

Still, with one perfect song, in one perfect moment, they left fingerprints all over an important part of my youth…

Friday, December 16, 2011


Janette slams her bedroom door and the sound of it echoes through the house.

I hadn’t meant to be so harsh with her, I honestly hadn’t, but when I saw what she’d done to herself I couldn’t keep my damn mouth shut.

She looked ridiculous, and it was far too revealing. But, as I sulk in my study, I can’t help feel like I’d been the one who’d crossed a line.

I remember years before, when I’d gotten my tattoo in university, how furious my mom had been when she found out a few months later when I came home for Christmas. She’d done her best not to comment on the tribal pattern I now had running up and down my arm, but she couldn’t stop sneaking horrified looks throughout our family dinner.

“Why?” She asked over dessert, when she could hold it in no more. “For God’s sake, why?”

I didn’t have an answer to that question, not one that would have satisfied her at any rate.

I’d done it because my friends all had tattoos, had piercings, and because I’d thought it was about time I had some work done on myself. I’d chosen the design because I’d liked the design, and given it little more thought than that. Because it was the nineties, and that was the style at the time.

I still like the way it looks on me, even now. It’s a beautiful piece of design and I’ve never regretted getting it.

Mom, however, wouldn’t be convinced, and the argument that followed her outburst quickly escalated into a screaming match that sent me out to the front porch to smoke cigarettes and fume, her to her room upstairs to pace and curse, and left the rest of the family sitting around the table, staring at one another with the kind of awkwardness only the holidays can bring.

It didn’t surprise me, the argument. These sorts of things had been happening more and more often on major family holidays, sometimes involving me and sometimes not, and I’d known the ink would catch me some amount of flack. It did surprise me, however, just how angry Mom had become, and how she’d sounded as though she honestly wasn’t just using the tattoo as a stand-in for unvoiced familial tension.

For whatever reason, she was actually bothered by my decision to have the work done, on my own body, in my own adult life.

It also surprised me when Grandma joined me on the front porch. She’d quit smoking before I was born, after all.

“Hey,” she told me in a voice that sounded much younger than her seventy-eight years, “don’t worry too much about her, she’ll get over it.”

“You figure? How can you be sure?” I asked, not really wanting to be roused from my sulk.

“Because,” she told me, smiling wryly, “we had the exact same argument the first time she came home for Thanksgiving in a miniskirt. I thought it made her look easy, and she thought it was just how things were done. We argued all weekend over it, yet as you can see, I’m still here, I’m still her mother and I still love her. My thoughts on her decisions about how to present herself to the world notwithstanding.”

“I guess…” I eventually replied.

“I know.” She told me, “I also had the same argument with my mother the first time I cut my hair short. I think every parent has it with their child at some point. Fashions change, and eventually you no longer have the energy or the inclination to change with them, and a few years after that young people start doing things that shock you. Your mother isn’t angry that you got tattooed, she’s angry that she got old enough to find you getting a tattoo shocking. Try not to hold it against her too much, she really does care.”

I considered this a moment, then nodded, finally smiling a little.

“I guess that makes sense. But I’m sure as hell not going to fall into that trap. If I had a daughter, I’d respect what she chose to do to her body. It’s her damn body, after all, not mine.”

“I hope you’re right,” Grandma replied with a wink, “but I suspect once you have children you’ll feel very different. Most folk do. But I guess we’ll see…”

“Grandma? Why are you being so cool about all this? Shouldn’t you have the same problems as mom times two?”

She laughed out loud at this, and the laugh turned into a cough.

“Oh please,” She replied once she had herself back under control, “Your Grandfather was in the navy, I’ve seen plenty of tattoos. The color on yours is much brighter, though. It’s very pretty.”

We talked for a little longer before heading back in, to find that Mom had already returned to the dinner table. The rest of my visit was cordial, but distant, it was a while before the two of us forgave each other for that fight. And every awkward moment my body art caused was a reminder never to let that happen to me, never to lose touch with that open, accepting part of me, the part that knew that cultural mores changed and accepted their changing with a sense of hope and optimism. Never to let myself grow old.

Yet here I am, twenty-five years later, sulking in my study after having the exact same fight with my own daughter.

Fine. Fine, I’ll accept this. I may not have been able to prevent myself speaking in the heat of the moment, but I still have enough control over my actions to apologize now. I’ll march upstairs, knock on her door, look her square in the eyes and apologize, then ask if she’d like to join me for ice cream.

Dead in the eyes, I won’t look away from her eyes.

After all, if I don’t look at it, I won’t be tempted to comment on the exposed bone and musculature where she had the skin on her face removed and replaced with a transparent plastic sheath…

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Weekly Prompt Story: Trees

By Chris Munroe

There’s something in the trees.

Technically there are lots of things in the trees.

There are leaves, and birds, and squirrels in the trees, just as an example. And sometimes cats get stuck up there too.

When they do, there are firemen in the trees. They go to rescue the cats.

Children climb trees, and then they’re in the trees. Sometimes pretending they’re firemen, sometimes not.

But none of that matters right now.

What I’m specifically referring to in this particular instance is a sniper. There’s a sniper in the trees.

So for the love of God, get behind something!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Meanwhile, out in the yard...

They’re still out there, in my backyard. Throwing around their Frisbee-disks, running to and fro, trampling the rose bushes I’d worked so hard to cultivate.

My God, how I hate them.

I know, I know, it’s my own damned fault. When I first moved in I tried to be friendly, tried to make myself well liked by my new neighbors.

I prepared snacks, and ice-creamy beverages, and invited everyone in the neighborhood to partake in the treats I’d created.

And, for a little while, it was fun.

But it’s not fun now. Now they come back every day, hoping I’ll serve treats again, and I’m too damned old to put up with their shenanigans!

I had no idea they’d take my offer to “drop by anytime” so seriously.

So I watch from my window, seeing the young men ruining the lawn I’d so carefully cultivated, and though I’m so angry I can barely breathe, I know it’s at least in part my own fault.

It is, after all, my milkshake which brings all the boys to the yard.

And I’m like: Get out of my yard!

Damn kids, get out of my yard!

I’ll teach you, and if you trample my rosebushes one more damn time I’ll have to charge you with trespassing!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Weekly Prompt Story: Cookies

Yup! It is that time! Here's the link:'s the story!

By Chris Munroe

I brought cookies, though I know you’re about as likely to accept them as you are to accept my apology.

If I were in your position, I wouldn’t forgive me, so I suppose I can’t expect any different of you.

Why would you forgive me? You don’t owe me anything.

Plus, I’m a god-awful baker, I’m not sure the cookies are even edible.

But I had to do something. After what I did, I figure I owe you at least a gesture. Hence: The cookies.

I’ll leave them here, by the door. You can fetch them once I’m long gone…

Friday, December 2, 2011


At the bottom of the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean, lay a treasure greater than any mankind could ever dream of.

I know. I put it there.

And none who know of it can resist it’s allure.

They send ships and expeditions in search of it, divers scour the bottom of the sea for it, and when they come I’m waiting.

I sink their ships and rend the flesh from their bodies as they attempt to flee the sinking vessels.

I have done this for centuries.

Because I hunger, and my hunger is something for which I won’t apologize.