Friday, May 30, 2014

My Soul

I recently sold my soul…

I called up a demon at a crossroad, out in the middle of the woods, as is traditional with these matters, and offered up the essential, immortal bit of myself that demons traditionally seek.

And he was very impressed.

Apparently, comparatively few people bother with the old ways anymore, and when somebody goes to the trouble, it’s appreciated by those in the know. Craftsmanship, and what not.

That’s a selling your soul fun fact, by the way. Demons appreciate craftsmanship. If you ever choose to sell your own I hope the information serves you well.

In return for my soul, I asked for immortality, because really, if you’re pulling the trigger on something like this you might as well go big on the asking price, you might as well go as big as you can possibly imagine. It’s your soul, after all, and you only get the one, so go big or go home.

Or, in my case, go big and then go home. I asked for immortality, and it was quickly granted. I don’t know if the demon had some big scheme to cheat me of my prize, or if he just appreciated my combination of commitment to tradition and gumption, but he paid my price with a smile on his face, even asking if there were anything else I might want in addition.

And there was.

I asked that he take my soul there and then, at the crossroad, that my mind and body might live forevermore without it.

My soul, you see, had at some point or other become a burden to me. Existence is a hard thing, as you well know, and I’d seen what felt at the time like far more than my fair share of tragedy. I could not bear the grief, the sadness, the thousand tiny cuts that living in the modern world had inflicted upon me, and I’d hoped that, without a soul, accepting my lot in this world might be a little easier.

You cannot be weary to your very soul, after all, if you have no soul with which to feel the weariness.

So I asked, and the demon obliged, glad as he was to take his payment without needing more than a minimum of effort, and I’ve been soulless ever since. Which some would call a tremendous tragedy.

Some would say that without a soul, however long my body and mind might live on, my existence has no meaning, that there is no purpose to my presence here on earth, that I am nothing. And this might well be, who am I to say?

I’m not here to debate metaphysics; I’m simply here to explain the choices I made that have brought me to this point.

Because this point, I’ve got to admit, is a magnificent place to be. The moment my soul was taken, all the worry and pain and grief and self-doubt that had plagued me went with it. It was as though a weight had been lifted from my shoulders, and for the first time in my life I felt truly free.

I walked forward from the deal soulless and, finally, genuinely happy. And there has been not one moment where I have regretted the decision I made.

Also: I am now immortal. And while that wasn’t the real reason I unburdened myself of my cumbersome soul, it is a not inconsiderable perk. I don’t doubt the coming millennia will be fascinating to see.

Admittedly, I’ve been killing WAY more people than usual, lately. But that’s neither here nor there.

Two roads diverged in a wood, you see, and at the crossroad I sold my soul. And it’s made all the difference…

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Weekly Prompt Story: Watch

On the Subject of Film
By Christopher Munroe

I don’t care, I liked it.

I’m aware that Zack Snyder values style over substance, and that he skews toward the superficial, but when he hits he hits.

And when somebody else writes the story for him, he usually hits! Direct adaptations are definitely within his wheelhouse!

He did change the third act, but I’d say for the better. Let’s face it, that squid monster would have looked goofy as hell on the big screen.

So I liked it. I liked the movie and I watch it again and again.

I watches the Watchmen.

I like to watch the Watchmen.

Friday, May 23, 2014

...on doomsday.

In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have destroyed the world. Looking back, I don’t even really remember why I did…

You know how it is. You have a bomb big enough to destroy the whole of planet Earth, it seems somehow wasteful not to.

Still, I could’ve at least asked first.

Admittedly, I don’t know who I’d have asked. Even finding Earth again was tough, after so long.

Nobody’d lived there in millennia.

Still, it’d been nice to know that it was out there, our cradle, waiting for us should we ever return.

No, I shouldn’t have destroyed it.

My bad?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Weekly Prompt Story: Monster

By Christopher Munroe

I wouldn’t call myself a monster.

Merely a man occasionally made slave by his appetites.

The sort of man who’d never deny his desire for wine, for song, for celebration. His appetite for every one of life’s pleasures, those things that make living worthwhile, his appetite for joy, unquenchable.

Of appetites, unbound.

And yes, occasionally the appetite for human flesh. Ideally the flesh of children, but in a pinch any warm human will do. Yes, that’s the kind of man I am.

But not a monster, no, I’d never call myself a monster.

But then, I suppose no monster would….

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Endless nothingness stretches out in all directions, and however loud I scream, however I might search, there is no answer, no response. Nor, I know, will there ever be.

I am utterly and completely alone.

But I’ve been alone before, I’ve felt lonely and isolated, I’ve fallen deep into the pit of self and had no one to turn to, no one to whom I could bring my worries and pain, no one from whom to take solace.

This is nothing new to me, and I’ve always made it through dark periods in the past. It’s something I’m quite used to having to deal with.

Admittedly, previous isolation was less literal than this. That was a more personal loneliness, one born of despair, of depression, one that could be pushed through with a few simple reminders that however dark my mood, it was temporary, while this…

This is purgatory.

Or it’s hell.

Things got fuzzy after my death, it’s hard at times to remember exactly where I am. Lack of oxygen to the brain toward the end, I suppose. The noose does tend to do that.

Either way, I’m here now, and I have to make the best of it…

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Weekly Prompt Story: Lodge

My Living Situation
By Christopher Munroe

I’m looking for my fifth apartment of this year.

The first and third evicted me with illegally short notice, without benefit of warning or reason. The second and fourth were friend’s places, where I gratefully crashed while seeking somewhere permanent.

Hopefully five will be the charm, I could use a place to call my own. It’s been too many years since anywhere’s genuinely felt like “home” to me.

But there are times I worry that this is simply my lot in life, to move endlessly from apartment to apartment, never grounded.

Travelling without rest, never settling down.

The Artful Lodger.

Thursday, May 8, 2014


He was the greatest escape artist the world had ever known.

No trap, no bondage, no cage, chain or restraint could hold him, too nimble and dexterous was he, too gifted in the ways of escape, too naturally inclined toward personal freedom.

But fashions in entertainment change, and with time his audience dwindled. He knew something had to be done.

His biggest stunt yet, to bring him into the modern world and allow him to escape his approaching obscurity.

He leapt into a swimming pool full of iPod headphones, promising to find his way back...

…the body was never recovered.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Weekly Prompt Story: Star Wars

Vader’s Fist
By Christopher Munroe

The 501st legion descended on Calgary last weekend.

Stormtroopers everywhere you looked, inescapable, swarming every part of Calgary Expo.

They’re an organization here in town, the 501st, and they come every year to enjoy the convention and fundraise for charity.

They wound up raising close to $7000 over the course of the weekend, from what I hear.

The money’s for the Make a Wish Foundation. No clue how they’ll use it, but it’ll involve a budget in the thousands and dozens of imperial stormtroopers.

This story is completely true.

And, for one young Star Wars fan, it will be amazing…

Friday, May 2, 2014

My Truest Self

I took all my emotional pain, the suffering and the heartache, the self-loathing and the little cuts and bruises of the soul that a lifetime can inflict, and I swallowed them, pushing them down, way down, down as far as they would go, to the very bottom of me, all the way down to my feet.

And then I cut off my feet.

I did it as part of an elaborate performance art piece about the nature of human emotional suffering, as a statement about our tendency to avoid facing our troubles even when doing so was to our obvious detriment, about how we here in the twenty-first century are more willing to destroy ourselves utterly, to lose vital parts of our core being, than we are to face the fact that yes, life can be hard, and yes, it can hurt.

And it was a massive success.

 The night itself was sold out, and the reviews were uniformly excellent. “He left blood on the stage, and the crowd went wild…” read one particularly strong notice. I couldn’t have been more pleased. And, having no more emotional pain to taint my creative victories, I could finally properly enjoy my artistic success.

It was wonderful. And, for a brief period, I was happy.

Six months later, as a follow up piece, I cut my legs off at the knees. It was widely agreed that this was dull and derivative, and in hindsight it probably was. But it was all I could think to do. I’m not the artist I pretend to be, I suppose, and I couldn’t come up with anything genuinely new.

I had one meaningful moment, though. One statement worth making.

Maybe one day I’ll have another.

Or maybe I only ever had the one in me, and the rest of my life will be spent in slogging mediocrity, struggling in failed attempt after failed attempt to recapture my one long-passed moment of creative relevance.

There are moments when this notion haunts me, when it keeps me up at night, when it fills me with blind, helpless, hopeless panic that I fear will overwhelm me.

And when it does, I take that emotional pain, that suffering and heartache and self-loathing, and I swallowed it, pushing it down, way down, down as far as it can go, to the very bottom of me.

But, no longer having feet, I find I have nowhere to put it…