Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Beast

The Beast lurks, out in the woods.

In the woods It lurks, awaiting prey, and any who venture out into the woods do so warily, with greatest care, for they know, as they have always known, as they have been taught since childhood, that there, in the woods, lurks a Beast, and that any who face this beast must first abandon hope that they might be anything but Its prey…

Full disclosure: The Beast is not, as of this moment, lurking in the woods.

The woods are SO BORING, you guys, there is like nothing to do out there, and the Beast can’t be expected to spend all day, every day, lurking, awaiting prey. I mean, come on, seriously? Seriously? You expect It to literally just lurk twenty-four/seven, waiting for someone from one of the nearby villages to venture out into the woods, alone, and fall into Its clutches? I mentioned the part where everyone in all of the nearby villages has been taught since they were children that a Beast lurks in the woods, awaiting prey, right?

So no, while The Beast does lurk in the woods, there is no Beast in the woods this very moment.

The Beast has shit to do, you guys.

The Beast has gotten into standup comedy recently, at a couple of local open mic’s, and while It admits Its set isn’t very good yet, It finds the whole process a great deal of fun and is grateful to have found such a warm, welcoming group with whom to perform.

The Beast is teaching Itself the banjo, and has been attending a local Celtic music jam at a coffee bar on the outskirts of town, in one of the more upscale neighborhoods. It has surprised Itself at how naturally the banjo has come, never previously having suspected that It might have any natural aptitude for music.

The Beast has, of late, been frequenting a local BDSM club, where It’s discovered that an actual primal, eldritch, man-eating, forest-dwelling monster beyond human description or comprehension can find Itself VERY popular among a certain type of submissive.

The Beast has no interest in pursuing this any further, but It finds the attention enormously flattering.

The Beast is a fully fleshed-out, completely unique individual, is what I’m saying, It is a real, living thing with thoughts and hopes and dreams and feelings and an internal life every bit as real and meaningful as your own, and it does not appreciate being stereotyped as a one-note monster lurking in the woods, waiting to kill and eat your children.

Although It IS a monster and, should your children venture out into the woods unattended, It WILL eat them. That’s still a large part of who The Beast is, it’s just not ALL the beast is.

If you catch the distinction there.

So yes, The Beast lurks in the woods, and while no, It is not lurking there right this very second it will, with time, return to the woods, once more to lurk, once more to await prey, and since you do not have a copy of The Beast’s schedule you will never know with certainty whether The Beast is in the woods or not at any given moment, and as such will find it would be safer to treat the woods as though The Beast were lurking within, rather than take the chance that The Beast has a cold or something this week and has chosen to cancel Its plans, choosing instead to lurk within the woods in which It dwells….

Awaiting prey….

You know what? Fuck it. Why am I even still trying to justify myself with this? Just keep your god-damned kids out of the god-damned woods!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Weekly Prompt Story: Flight

Flight Risk
By Christopher Munroe

Your Honour, I assure you, I’m not a flight risk.

Unless called upon to land the plane, which would be risky indeed.

I’m not a pilot, after all, I’ve never flown a plane in my life, and not for nothing I’m terrible in a crisis.

That’s why, should something hypothetically happen to the Pilot, it would assuredly not be me taking over in the cockpit.


Of course, Your Honour, I also won’t be in a plane in the first place, because I absolutely won’t leave the country the moment this hearing is over.

Because I’m not a flight risk.

Friday, May 20, 2016


When offered a choice between a bunch of little spiders or one big spider, take the big spider. One big spider is much easier to deal with than numerous tiny ones.

I mean, bounds of reason.

It’s definitely important that you clarify exactly HOW big the one spider is before you make the decision…

I’ll know that for next time.

So far, I’ve been lucky, comparatively speaking. The spider knocked out my wall on its way out into the street, yes, but it was my neighbours’ place across the way that it chose to make its nest, rather than my own, so I feel like complaining about the property damage here would be petulant of me. The repair costs over there are going to be MUCH more expensive, after all.

Also, my neighbours across the street are all dead, long since consumed by a giant, rampaging spider. So there’s that as well.

I’m tempted to call for help, but to be honest I have no idea who I would even call. This does seem beyond the normal purview of 911, and I suspect pest control isn’t equipped for this level of pest either, so what options do I realistically have? The military? Perhaps, but if there IS a way for a private citizen to summon the military to his private residence, it’s certainly not something I’ve ever been told how to do.

Plus, really, this IS my own fault.

I picked the big spider rather than the small ones.

And I picked it specifically because I thought it would be easier to deal with.

I suppose I do have a responsibility here…

Okay, you know what? Screw it; I’m going over there. Complaining never accomplished anything for anyone, and there comes a time in a man’s life where he’s gotta stand up to his responsibilities and face them head on. And if I can’t do that with a giant, carnivorous spider making its nest in the wreckage of my dead neighbours’ home, when can I?

My courage isn’t going to screw itself to the sticking place, after all!

I just need to grab a couple things from the shed out back, and then I’ll be on my way.

I’m going to put a saddle on that motherfucker and ride it off into the sunset, or I’m going to die trying…

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Weekly Prompt Story: Out of My Brain

The Human Brain
By Christopher Munroe

This sentence came out of my brain.

So did this one.

That’s weird, right? I mean, it’s just a lump of meat, maybe three pounds or so, yet everything we are and everything we’ll ever be is contained there. Just bobbing around, inside our skulls, behind our faces, a little scrunched-up looking thing from which we build an identity, from which we pull words, sentences, language, stories, ideas…

I mean, not necessarily good ideas.

This one, for example, doesn’t make a lot of sense, but ideas.

We don’t appreciate our brains enough, I think.

They do so much for us…

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Slumbering One

Long have I slumbered(1) beneath this city’s streets.(2)

I’ve slept what seems an eternity,(3) time beyond measure,(4) since the ancient ones(5) banished me, and in moments it feels as though I should never awaken.(6)

But I shall.(7)

I shall awaken, and when I do I will devour all(8) that lay before me(9) on my way to do my horrible business,(10) business I dare not even mention.(11)

All shall fear me,(12) upon that hour.(13) And none among them shall survive.(14) And truly, this end will please me greatly.(15)

I am an unstoppable thing, unpreventable in my coming,(16) as though I were the sea itself,(17) or the uncaring sky above,(18) or the blind, mad God who’s long since turned his uncaring face away from this pitiful world, ashamed and afraid to look upon it.(19)

But I am here. I am here,(20) in this world,(21) and the hour of my waking draws near.(22) Do not dare attempt to put this moment off,(23) for it is coming and soon it(24) will be nigh….

For so it has been written.(25)

And thus so shall it be.(26)

(1)Probably something like nine or ten hours. Way more sleep than my usual.

(2)I live in a basement apartment.

(3)It was not an eternity, obviously. but it seems like it was, due to time passing weirdly when you’re dreaming. Have you ever had that? Where you’re convinced a dream goes on for years and years? It was like that.

(4)The time COULD be measured, obviously, it just hasn’t been yet.

(5)An eighteen year-old Scotch I’d bought myself as a post-mother’s day present.

(6)In hindsight I should not have had as much of the Scotch as I did.

(7)I have no choice in the matter, I have things today that need to get done.

(8)Breakfast Food

(9)Probably something quick. Toast or some such. Maybe a PB&J sandwich. I’m almost certainly going to be running late and I’ve never been much of a breakfast person anyway.

(10)My Day Job.

(11)My day job is very boring, I’ll spare you the details.

(12)I am by no one’s estimation a morning person, and this plus my hangover means I will almost certainly be arriving at work in a foul mood.

(13)But after an hour, maybe two, with a lot of water for hydration and a few cups of coffee to wake me up, hopefully my mood will improve.

(14)Myself included. Death is, barring one or two exceptions depending on your religion, inevitable to us all.

(15)After all, life’s finite nature is what makes the things we do during ours meaningful. Death is always a painful moment, but it’s a necessary one, and I understand this as well as anyone.

(16)I could probably be prevented from going to work, but I don’t see any reason why anyone would bother.

(17)Insomuch as I am mostly made of water.

(18)Insomuch as the atoms of my body were forged in the same big bang as the stars.

(19)We have displeased our creator, and It has grown over time to resent us more and more for our arrogance, our inability or unwillingness to steward its creation, the lack of respect we’ve shown It through the lack of respect we’ve shown one another. It has abandoned us, and let us pray It never turns Its face back toward our pitiful little world, for should It do so Its wrath will be a terrible thing indeed, and surely all that we’ve squandered our squallid little lives valuing will in a heartbeat be reduced to nothing but ash, with none even to remember we were ever here...

(20)My basement apartment.

(21)A world that lurches toward its fate at the hands of a blind, mad God.

(22)I really do need to get out of bed at some point.

(23)I may be late for work already.

(24)My scheduled shift at work.

(25)I literally just finished writing it.

(26)Much like the end of all things, at the hands of a blind, mad God who’s grown to hate its creation…

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Weekly prompt story: Cave

The Rave in the Cave
By Christopher Munroe

It’s an amazing name for an event, but in execution, two problems become apparent.

Firstly: Raving in an actual cave reminds people too much of the Matrix Sequels.

Second: I’m in my thirties, what the fuck am I even doing at a rave?

Nonetheless, the acoustics in the cave were amazing, and I figured with enough club drugs I’d enjoy myself regardless of the inappropriateness of my weekend plans.

Men in their thirties still party like nineteen-year-olds, after all!

We just pay for it in the morning.

And that, in a nutshell, is why I’m not coming into work today…

Friday, May 6, 2016

Meanwhile, on Tinder...

All told, the date had been an unmitigated disaster. She’d been on bad Tinder dates before, but the evening had been above and beyond. He’d been rude, boorish, asked nothing about her life over the course of their dinner, keeping the conversation instead to his own weirdly racist views of how the world ought to be run, and when he walked her home afterward he jammed his tongue into her mouth without so much as a how-do-you-do.

The kiss had been deeply unpleasant, perfectly summing up her evening as a whole, and she breathed an internal sigh of relief that it was finally over.

And yet, in spite of this, when he asked if he could see her again she, inexplicably, said yes.

She’d always had a problem saying no to people, you see, and he’d mentioned that he was leaving the country on business for three months, so she figured she could put off any unpleasantness at least until such time as he got back, by which point he might have forgotten this whole horrible evening had ever happened.

“Absolutely,” she told him, with a nervous little laugh, “I mean, assuming I’m still single by then.”

He laughed, and so did she, relieved, and then she went into her building and up to her apartment, blessedly alone at last.

It wasn’t until the small hours of the morning that she admitted to herself that she’d made a small problem much, much worse. He knew where she lived and he knew her phone number, and she had said that she would “Absolutely” go out with him again. There was no way her situation would lead anything but suffering…

Assuming she was still single by then.

One woman, one smart-phone-based dating app and a mission to find true love on an extremely limited timeframe, this autumn Katherine Heigl will star in a new romantic comedy that critics are already calling “A delightful romp…”, “The feel good date-movie of the year!” and “About what you’d expect from a Katherine Heigl movie…”

“Three Months,” coming this fall, from Fox 2000 pictures and Spyglass Entertainment…

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Weekly Prompt Story: Think of a Number

A Brain-Teaser
By Christopher Munroe

Think of a number. Any number you like.

Got it?


Now: Take your number, add three, multiply by five, then subtract four. Take the digits of the new number, add them together, then divide the total by two.

Don’t tell me what the answer is, that’s the trick after all.


The answer is a different number!

Or possibly the same number!

Oh, yeah, I forgot to say, I am NOT good at math. Or brain-teasers. What I AM good at is wasting time that you’ll never get back, and there’s nothing you can do to stop me!