Monday, June 30, 2014

Weekly Prompt Story: Temper

By Chris Munroe

I can’t seem to get angry anymore.

I try, I mean there’s plenty of horrible shit going on around the world that’s well worth getting angry over, but however much I strain I can’t.

I used to be able to summon up appropriately righteous fury, and I still mean to, but I never seem to get there.

I’m no longer shocked by mankind’s inhumanity. I’m used to it. Outrage fatigue, I guess. I don’t know the technical term. I just know I used to be angry, but I can’t get there any more…

…at some point, I lost my temper.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


I’ve kidnapped a stranger and brought him back to my lab, in order to intentionally traumatize him for my own personal entertainment.

Yes, I know, again.

Realistically, half the blame is yours. I mean, this is by no means the first time I’ve told you people about something like this. I’ve been an open book about my life and each new monstrous thing I’ve done has been dutifully reported back to you. You have done nothing to stop me, in spite of each story I’ve written in this vein, and as such yes, you are as responsible for traumatizing this person to near-insanity as I am, in spite of the fact that I was the one actually torturing him.

Tho’ yes, it was me torturing him.

The specifics of how? I thought you’d never ask!

Upon kidnapping him, I brought him back to my lab, strapped him into a chair, held his eyes open with Clockwork Orange style mechanisms and forced him to watch video of horrific, violent acts, the sort that no human being should ever be made to witness. I forced him to do this for thirty-six hours at a stretch, unrelentingly, without any moment of relief, without the possibility of sleep or respite. I did this until his fragile human mind broke in such a way as to never be put back together.

And, as I did, I forced him to listen to Chic’s 1978 hit “Le Freak”. I put it on repeat, over the course of the thirty-six hours he listened to it a total of three hundred ninety six times. More than enough to cause him to forever associate it with the most emotionally torturous experience he ever has, or ever will, go through.

For the rest of his life, he will associate that song with traumatic imagery and emotionally painful events. The song will, unbidden, bring him feelings of primal, fight-or-flight style terror, terror that he will be unable to control, terror that will make him its slave.

Funk chords will play and he will go white.

Bass will begin and his knees will shake.

And when a woman’s voice sings “Freak out!”, rest assured, he will.

As I was doing this, I found it very funny. Although it is not.

It is not funny.

It is not funny because an innocent human life has been destroyed by a sociopath.

An innocent human life has been destroyed by a sociopath that you, dear reader, could have stopped.

But you didn’t.

You monster.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Weekly Prompt Story: Storm

By Christopher Munroe

We’re a flood town.

We always have been.

You may remember last year being the first major, city-debilitating flood Calgary’s had, but you’re remembering incorrectly. We’ve always been a flood town and as such we’ve always had floods.

Whenever there’s a major storm, we flood, nothing could be more natural and we’re all used to it.

It has always been thus, and there is no need to examine it further.

We are a flood town, we always have been and we will always be.

There is no such thing as global climate change.

Now: How goes the war with Eastasia?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

...when waiters attack.

Say “Gluten free” again, motherfucker, I dare you. I double dog dare you. Say it one more fucking time.

I have had it with you people and your fake allergies and fad diets. I don’t need it, I don’t deserve it, I’m a good person and a hard worker and I’m better than this. You don’t have an allergy, you just saw a thing on TV and decided to change your diet in fundamental ways based on very little information, and now you think you’re within your rights to get pissy with me that our kitchen can’t bend over backward far enough to kiss your ass and make you happy? Eat a bag of fucks, you low-information, off-menu-ordering piece of garbage…

What? Of course I have a gun, all the waiters here have guns, it’s company policy. Now sit back down and shut the fuck up, I’m trying to tell you something.

And the worst thing is, there are real people suffering real, in some cases life-threatening, food allergies, and they have real problems getting their issues taken seriously because peasants like you use “I’m allergic” as though it and “I don’t happen to like it” were interchangeable.

They’re not. They’re different words that mean different things, and you can’t use one in place of the other. You aren’t allergic, this is not a real allergy, you just happen not to like it.

Huh? How do I know you don’t have a real allergy to gluten? Why am I so confident? I apologize, allow me to explain…


I mean, seriously, do you even know what gluten is? A person with a legitimate medical issue with regard to processing it would already know that yeah, there would be gluten in the bread. A person with a non-fake allergy to gluten would not have to ask.

And you don’t have to ask either. Just order your fucking food, pay your fucking tab, tip thirty percent for wasting my time and get the fuck out, and take your weird fad diet with you. Can you do that? Can you? Can you please do that for me?

Thank you. That wasn’t so fucking hard, was it?

Anybody else here have a problem with how I handled that?


Now, how about you, sir? Have you figured out what would you’d like for your dinner?


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Weekly Prompt Story: Cold

I Wasn’t There
By Christopher Munroe

I’m thirty-six years old.

Which means that, when the Berlin Wall fell, I was twelve.

Do you get that? I was twelve. The idea of the cold war, and all it entailed, all the fear, hate, dread and paranoia, are things that I’ve only ever viewed through the prism of a twelve-year-old boy’s perspective.

I’m reasonably intelligent, good with history, but let’s face it, at twelve I wasn’t able to properly interpret the level of geopolitical relpolitik the fall of the wall required.

I wasn’t there yet, intellectually speaking.

And now, it’s too late.

That moment in history has passed…

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Caught By Fire

…I stand in the street, gazing back at what once was home.

I’d lived there so briefly, and had such hopes for it, that I can’t help shock at its loss, too sudden to be properly prepared for.

But then, isn’t every loss?

Precious few hours ago, I welcomed guests, took coats, so prideful, so pleased at my new apartment, so unaware of what was to come.

Now I’ve lost it all to the flames, my hubris proving my downfall, suddenly homeless.

I should not have invited Prometheus to my housewarming.

What on earth did I expect him to bring?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Weekly Prompt Story: An Unpublished Labor of Hercules

By Christopher Munroe

He did NaNoWriMo, you know.

Yes, he was there, writing 50k words, crafting his novel.

He finished, too. Finished, and was pleased. His story was everything he hoped it would be, yet even after edits he couldn’t figure out what to do with it.

Every publishing house said no, called it unrealistic in spite of every word being true, and that was when he realized his autobiography had no home in the literary world.

He’d wait for somebody else to write his story, however they might change it.

And so, his real life went unread.

The unpublished labor of Hercules…

Thursday, June 5, 2014


You know that feeling you get when you’re just starting to get sick?

Not the feeling when you ARE sick, being sick is a completely different feeling. Merely the feeling when you’re ABOUT to be sick.

You’re healthy, or at least you’re okay enough to go about your business, it’s just that you’re about to be sick. The feeling where you know it’s building, at the back of your throat, behind your eyes, at the bottom of your stomach, nothing’s wrong, but you know you only have a day or two before it all becomes tremendously wrong. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but your health’s about to drop out from under you, and the combination of pre-sickness and dread at what’s to come haunts you, lurking behind your every moment, making every cough and moment where you think you might sneeze but don’t, a horrific taste of what’s to come. You know that feeling, yeah?

Of course you do, we all do. That’s an important part of being human. We’ve all been sick, and therefore we’ve all been about to be sick. It’s as normal a feeling as breathing, or hunger, if a less frequent feeling as either.

There’s nothing wrong with feeling thusly, so long as you don’t feel it all the time.

Anyway: Going forward, you will feel that all the time.

Every second of every day, from this moment on, you will be about to get sick. You will never actually be sick, but you will always be on the verge, always skating the edge, always dreading the onset of a debilitating illness, every moment of every day, waiting for illness to set upon you.

It’ll never be a bad illness, merely the flu, the sort of thing you could recover from in a day or three if you could only just get it over with. But you’ll never get it over with, will you, no matter how long you might wait to…

You will never be sick, therefore you will never get better. You will merely be about to be sick. Every day. Forever, for all eternity. This is your existence, every moment of every day, until the end of time.

This is your punishment, for your sin. This is what hell is for you.

Other than that, your existence will be exactly as you’d expect it. You’ll go about your business as though nothing was wrong, but you’ll feel as though you’re about to get sick.

But you’re not sick.

But you’re about to be.

It seems like a minor irritant to deal with, I know.

Over the length of eternity, I look forward to watching you realize that it is not.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Weekly Prompt Story: Butter

By Christopher Munroe

I can’t believe it’s not butter.

By which I mean I can, I just don’t.

I don’t know what sick game it is you’re playing, what you hope to gain from spreading such an obvious lie, but it’s butter. I know it’s butter, you know it’s butter, so let’s come together and be real about it, here, now, together.

It is butter.

You are a liar.

And it is fucking butter!

I apologize for the profanity, liars just make me so fucking angry, is all.

And such obvious lies, too.

It’s disrespectful.

It’s clearly butter.

I can’t believe it’s not.