Sunday, September 28, 2014

Weekly Prompt Story: Always

On Motivation
By Christopher Munroe

Kids, I have something to tell you.

You won’t like it.

I don’t care.

You’ve been told, mostly by parents, that if you apply yourself you can accomplish anything. I’m here to say, you can’t.

Parents have to lie, sometimes, to keep you from harsh truths about the world.

You’ll accomplish many things, true, but Anything? No.

There are things that, however hard you try, you will fail at, and it’d be a good idea to prepare yourself for that.

Because it’s true of everyone, and the sooner you learn to be okay with it the better off you’ll be…

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.

Is that how that goes? I’ve never really done this before, I’m not a religious man by nature. It’s just that I have a problem that’s been eating away at me, and I didn’t know where to go, to whom to go, with it. I need a confidant, a little comfort, somebody to talk to, otherwise it will consume me, body and soul, leaving nothing in its wake but ashes.

So I came here. Is that selfish of me? That I’d co-opt one of your holy sacraments for my own personal catharsis?

It’s not?

Thank you, I appreciate how open you’re being about all this, you don’t even know me, I’m not a part of your faith and yet, as I come to you in need, you accept me for what I am, don’t ever think I don’t appreciate it.

But I’ve gotten off track.

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.

It has been four hours since I ate a ghost pepper burrito.

I had it at a place here in town, it’s new there, it promised to “Terrorize My Tongue”, and I couldn’t resist it’s allure.

I’m that kind of person, the guy who wants something more, something better and bigger and brighter. The guy who puts hot sauce on everything. I thought I could handle it, so I treated myself.

Because I deserve nice things.

But now…

But now…

Oh merciful God, but now…

The burrito, even hours later, feels like it sits in the pit of my stomach, turning my entire digestive tract into an inferno. My tongue, long since destroyed, hurts even as I form the words I’m speaking to you, and I am sweating hot sauce. Absolutely sweating it. I’d offer to let you lick me and see for yourself, but you’re a priest and that would be weird, but trust me, it burns.

My sweat burns.

My actual sweat burns.

And I don’t even want to talk about my last bowel movement.

I am being punished, I know, for my hubris, that I might once have thought that I could handle this burrito, that the universe, that Yahweh or Allah or Ba’al or whoever, might punish me for thinking myself the master of its creation.

It was a very spicy burrito, is what I’m saying.

More burrito than I could handle.

I understand this, and I am sorry. So deeply, deeply sorry. I am not, as I said, a religious man, but I will prostrate myself before whatever deity might grant me salvation from what I am going through. I will, with joy in my heart and a smile on my face, embrace whatever God might give me even a little reprieve from what I’m going through. This is my darkest hour, my bleakest, most painful moment, and I will do anything, say anything and believe anything to have my suffering end.

I am not trying to bargain, I am merely asking “help me”. Help me in my hour of need.


What do you mean, I’m not taking this seriously? I’m coming to you in need!

What? No, I’m not cheapening anything!


Fine, I’ll leave. But in my hour of need you have turned me out, and I hope that you can make your peace with your conscience on that one.

Because I’ll be out there, suffering, wanting a moment of peace that you’ve denied me, and while you’re sitting here, smug in your self-satisfaction at having turned me out, I will be facing a worse fate than you could possibly imagine.

I’ll be interacting with REALLY spicy Mexican food.

And all I wanted was a little comfort.

Someone to reach out to.

Someone to ask for hope.

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost Pepper…

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Weekly Prompt Story: Guard

By Christopher Munroe

It started with a typo on a memo.

A type-mo, if you will.

Kids breaking into the grounds at night, drinking underage, smashing bottles in the lot around the factory, and everyone agreed something had to be done.

We didn’t have the budget to hire security, much though we wanted to, but the solution we came up with, we agreed, would satisfy our modest needs for a little extra deterrent against nighttime intruders.

With hindsight, however, we should have proofread the final memo a little better.

We bought a guard Doge.

And now…

Such Secure

Very Safety

Many Protection


Thursday, September 18, 2014

...on teaching English.

I’m teaching a friend of mine English.

It’s easy to do, conveniently, because he speaks English nearly fluently already.

It isn’t his first language, granted, and there are certainly gaps, but he speaks it well enough to get his point across with zero confusion, I’ve never once had to ask him what he meant while we was speaking, and the number of times he’s had to ask me to slow down can be counted on my fingers.

Which is impressive. I talk fast and use a lot of slang, I can only imagine what a nightmare I’d be to someone for whom English was a second language.

It’s the slang, in fact, that I’ve been tasked with teaching him. The idioms, the colloquialisms, the cute little turns of phrases and clich├ęs and expressions that a culture accrues to itself over time, that outsiders to that culture, looking in, don’t have the context or perspective necessary to understand.

He feels that as a writer I know about such things.

He’s probably right.

So whenever he hears a word or phrase he doesn’t understand, he writes it down and brings it to me, so I can explain it to him.

And, to the best of my ability, I do.

I try to, at any rate.

Some phrases are hard to explain, some hinge on a shared bit of collective history or reference to pop culture, but I do what I can to make the meaning of each tidbit as clear as is meaningfully possible.

A task made even harder by the fact that I know I could tell him literally anything, just to fuck with him, and he’d believe me without question and add it to his personal lexicon.

And that would be hilarious, to me.

Because I am a bad person.


I like the dude.

I’m trying to be good.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Weekly Prompt Story: Vice

By Christopher Munroe

We all have vices.

The drink too many at the pub, the cigarette habit we can’t seem to overcome, an annual trip to Vegas that always winds up over its initial gambling budget…

…some, out of our mind on hallucinogens, might kill a stranger with our bare hands because it’s the only way we can achieve orgasm.

I, out of my mind on hallucinogens, kill strangers with my bare hands because it’s the only way I can achieve orgasm.

But that’s beside the point.

The point is, we all have vices.

So how can we judge the vices of others?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

On Effort

My mother was five foot one.

Looking back, I can only imagine how much trouble that must have caused for her as she chased my brothers and I around the house, trying to keep us corralled and, by the time we were twelve, shorter than every last one of us.

We were a hyperactive brood, and she was a tiny, tiny woman. It’s shocking that she managed to raise us at all, if you think about it.

But there she was, day after day, week after week, doing the things a mother must do, working harder than anyone out to have to, carrying the weight of the family on her shoulders and never complaining.

She inspired me in a lot of ways, she was an inspirational figure, but most of all I think it was this, her work ethic, the way she never gave up and never gave in, that I took from my childhood and went forward into my life with.

It was the dedication with which she applied herself to the task at hand that I now most seek, in my life as an adult, to emulate.

And that’s why, in every job I take, I make sure to do the mini-Mum amount of work possible.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Weekly Prompt Story: Fork

The Chef
By Christopher Munroe

His massive eyebrows furrow as he throws himself, body and soul, into his work.

Chef’s hat set low upon his brow, moustache twitching in concentration as he slaves in his kitchen, so devoted to what he does that it has become all that he is.

Did he once have a name? Bjorn? Benny? It’s lost to him now, in the haze of food and creation.

But it’s all worthwhile, in the end. He’s the best there is at what he does. And such delicacies he creates…

But what utensil to use to sup upon his grand creations?

Fork fork fork!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

On Autumn

It’s that time of year again. There’s a nip of chill in the air,  the leaves on the trees are turning brown, everything suddenly tastes of pumpkin spice (as is mandated by federal law) and a young man’s thoughts turn to one thing…

…his Halloween costume plans.

I’ll be going minimalist this year, tan trench coat, white button up, black tie. Deliberately disheveled at the beginning of the night, more organically so as I inevitably drink to excess.

I shall be Castiel, you see, of TVs Supernatural. I only got around to watching the show this year, and it was the first thing I noticed as I viewed it. “Holy shit,” I thought, “I totally already own that dude’s coat!”

And the rest of the costume built itself. Simple, yet it manages to immediately convey the essence of the character I’ll be portraying. Should Halloween go well, it shall also provide me a quick, easy piece of cosplay at conventions next summer, which shall no doubt be a fun way to fly the stripes of a show that, while only viewed recently, I did quite enjoy.

Also, fangirls might want to sleep with me. Which, while in no way a vital part of my Halloween tradition, is a nice little perk. Finally the opportunity to, rather than simply lusting after people based on their costume choices, become the object of that vaguely nerdy lust. It ought to make for an amazing Halloween.

Obviously, should I learn at any point that somebody I know and like is going as Zatanna, this plan is out the window. In that event I’ll be dressed as John Constantine. It’s the exact same costume, plus a cigarette. In fact a lot of different characters dress like that. It’s a simple yet distinct look that conveys a very specific meaning, supernaturally speaking. And all you need to play it is a tatty tan trench coat.

I heartily recommend you look into picking one up…