One writer's experiment to tackle any subject his friends come up with.

Serious Monkey

Taken Root

…Water makes us all the same, moves everything through and between us. It is life, always moving, always invigorating, through and under and around us all the time, in every space, in all its forms.

Yeah, but is that going to help me pass Science?

The Task of Charon

…I fear not for myself, for what is one soul? My fears are for my people, and the slow creep of oblivion that awaits them.

Waiting To Fall

…Sometimes, out in the lake, my imagination gets away from me, and I start to picture this incredible void underneath me. Being in the water, feeling it all around me, but seeing nothing, it’s like my senses are saturated and denied, all at once, and this primal part takes over. It’s terrifying, but liberating too.

Loretta’s Gift

Forty-two years of memories in that damned treasure box, and I pull out this ember of shame. Forty-two years of goodness. Him crying on Santa’s lap. A heavy metal concert in high school. His first haircut, pulled tooth, broken collarbone. All the stuff you can keep and can stand to keep that reminds you how much you forgot about your own flesh and blood. All in a Sears and Roebuck box with Greg’s name on a crackling piece of tape. All this, and I gotta dig up these ledger pages I’ve never seen for a company we both own.

The Power Of Ignoring

Of the World
Claire had precious few moments to herself in the community, and the opportunities to hold the flawed weight of glass could sometimes be separated by seasons. But her treasure’s real value was in knowing it was there, secreted away, a piece of another world, an answer to a question she hadn’t yet learned to form.

Vale of Peers

Ashteroth bore his band’s message of pain and loathing well on his small, perforated frame. The network of piercings: ears, nose, lips, cheek, tongue, nipples, epiglottis, interconnected with a cat’s cradle of chains, rubber bands, bits of bone and feather. One might think from his slight, ninety-eight pound build that the metal web girdling his face made eating an infrequent affair. One would be right, partially. But more importantly, one would be at risk of missing the metaphor provided, that being just how utterly shit this thing called life really was.

The Broken Bridge and the River Beneath
Dear Future:

I’m writing to make you real. To seize onto you. To force you into existence despite impossible odds. I want to believe you are out there. I want to believe that a planet that has aborted half of itself and abandoned sexual reproduction is somehow not in cardiac arrest. I want to know that there’s something more for the remaining women than living out the death throes of this world.

But that certainty is not going to come. I know. The past two years have seen nothing but struggle. Evolution has not performed any great intervention. With what little sperm that survived the Great Thaw, we are able to bear girls for a while longer. But we can barely manage these efforts for ourselves. We can do nothing for the animal population. Our planet cannot feed itself.

Beyond the Pale
…All the details that enlivened the world around him had become a sickening draught, one drunk too fully too often, holding nothing new. The timeline of his life had been stretched to an infinitely thin thread, a single piercing note perpetually suspended to form a background keening he’d learned to ignore.

Blood From a Stone

“If this is supposed to be so cathartic, why do I feel sick?”

“Honey, I’m not sure you know what catharsis means.”

The Mechanics of Life

…his main job was hefting squares of shingles up ladders most of the day. Eighty pounds each, thrown over one shoulder, ferried up one or several flights like some anti-fireman, delivering his payload to the roof rather than rescuing the damsel to safety on the ground.


The World of Light

She stepped back from the door and stood transfixed. Light emanated from it, glowing stronger by the minute. It encompassed her vision; its light eclipsed the mundane setting around her. She peered intently into the opening, which began to grow larger.

The Drowning World
I saw the slow swallowing of shorelines and the quick erosion of cliffs. I smelled wet earth turning to pungent mould. I felt the saturated ground become a swamp, tasted acrid decay in everything that required light and air, and heard the downpour’s steady hiss, so unceasing that it became inaudible.

Denver under

The Drowning World, Chapter Two
I hold up the frameless polarized lens and squint out over the water. Three miles out from the coast, you can just make out the tops of Wells Fargo and a couple of other moldering structures. On our few salvage forays, my eyes followed their edges down, down, where blue turns to black. Denver is still there, a new Atlantis sleeping beneath us.

The Rise and Fall of the Gatewood Empire
he pulled from his vest pocket a small daguerreotype of himself holding a couple of dollars in gold nuggets: his first real find. The picture had cost him most of the profit shown in his hand…

Register Five
Looking up from his reverie, he found Natalie staring at him again. He glanced around for another distraction, trying to avoid the telephone that hung near the door, its cord like a noose.

The Prophet of Oblivion
…he looked up from her lap and gazed on the features, both worn and hard, like an Indian Chief, forever stalwart in an unappreciated resolution. He noted the fresh mark on her lip, but only as a member of her ensemble of features. Over time the cuts and bruises that appeared on her face and hands had established themselves as temporary and sporadic, garnering no more thought than a pimple or uncut fingernails.

Deus In Machina
Captain Ted Macallan awoke to the french horns of the Brandenburg Concerto, while the bright scent of tangerine gathered in his nose and a cool mist quickened his skin.
His mouth was rawhide, however, and the faint glow from the cocoon’s interior was a visual assault sending barbed assailants down his optic nerve. You never get used to induced hibernation, he thought as he lay with his eyes closed, tightening and releasing various muscle groups. A faint buzz tickled the edge of consciousness at base of his skull. And I think they’ve given up trying to abate the aftereffects.

To Love Fate
I wake, struggling to emerge from a consuming whorl of thought. A myriad of cycles and repetitions have pushed through into my dreams, patterns that only become apparent after their infinite depths are repeatedly plumbed. I lie in bed and grapple with the concept of infinity. The human brain, its limitations – infinity may be an alien concept, completely antithetical to our existence. But I’m willing to try.

Frank’s Fortune
The work he had found in fitting and repairing the bulging, twin-engined Chinooks had allowed him to focus on concrete solutions, and helped him to ignore the gross fallacies in the individual and systemic approaches to the situation surrounding him. It had proved a sufficient distraction until he had spent a night by the bed of a dying friend, and been undone not by the friend’s suffering, but by his confessions and the barbarities they revealed. Removed from personal experience as they were, these images and their revelation began to wear on Frank’s psyche. Several months later his tour of duty was thankfully completed, and he began to find some peace when he adopted a meditation practice he had witnessed among the villagers.

The Last Baloney Sandwich. Ever.
“There’s nothing! Nothing!” Doctor Steve emerged, his head wreathed in fog, his face set in disbelief.