David Archives

April 9, 2007

David: What Is The Most Effective Threat?

They called him, simply, “Bob.” He carried his reputation as the most merciless and efficient of interrogators as a king wore his crown or that one member of the President’s staff carried the briefcase full of nuclear launch codes.

Everyone knew that to be brought into a room with Bob was to face to closest thing to Hell any living person could experience. No one got out unchanged, and no one got out with their secrets intact.

Often, the threat of Bob was enough to make the most hardened enemies of the state spill both their bladders and their guts.

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April 10, 2007

David: Inspiration Is Hard

“Harry, I came right over. What—Oh my God!”

“Vince, I can explain.”

Vince stepped around the young woman lying on the floor in Harry’s living room. “Who is she? Is she dead?”

“Vince, remember my writer’s block? Last night I decided to push through it. I sat down at my keyboard and started typing. Shopping lists, titles of my CD’s, anything. Finally, I broke through. I wrote 4500 good words last night, and fell asleep at my desk. This morning, she was here.”

“That doesn’t tell me—“

“I think it’s Melpomene. I’m pretty sure she had an aneurism.”

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April 11, 2007

David: All Ghosts Are Mostly Tragedies

“It’s so cold,” she thought, walking from the hotel, toward the sea. “Dennis! How could you leave?” she moaned. She was vaguely aware that the boardwalk was no longer underfoot, having been destroyed forty years earlier, but it didn’t matter.

She stopped at the seawall, glaring down at the surf. A tear rolled down her cheek and faded away in midair. “Damned ocean!” she cried. “You took my Dennis! I’ll not rest until you return him to me!”

She remembered turning when a voice called to her, so she turned, slipped, fell off the wall, and vanished amid the breakers.

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April 12, 2007

David: Because That's Just Gross

Amy felt self-conscious walking into the club for the first time, wearing her mouse ears and tail.

A woman wearing a giant papier-mâché squirrel head came over to her. “SqueakyGirl?” asked the voice inside.

“Fluffernutter?” Amy replied.

The squirrel-headed girl squealed and hugged Amy. “Yay, you’re here! Let me show you around.” Fluffernutter grabbed Amy’s hand and led her forward.

“We’re divided by species right now, but it’s early yet. But I should warn you: watch out for those guys by the wall.”

Amy looked, saw men with bovine-themed outfits, including large udders.

“Gay, cross-gender beefs. We call them ‘cow-bois’.”

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April 17, 2007

David: Autobiographical?! I Have No Idea What You're Talking About

He was an hour late, so he parked in the lot on the opposite side of the building from his boss’s office, where his approach would remain unseen. He slipped through the fire door into a rarely used stairwell. Five floors was a lot, but being seen by a passing coworker was worse. Plus, it opened about 20 steps from his cubicle, instead of having to walk past the receptionist.

He cracked open the door. The coast was clear. Almost home free! He stepped out, ducked below the tops of the cube walls, and made a break for it.


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April 18, 2007

David: The Cutthroat World Of Small-Town Americana

“Howdy!” said the man selling the tickets. “Welcome to the Podunk County Harvest Festival!”

I looked over my sunglasses at him. “One, please.”

“Why, sure!” he exclaimed. “There’s a corn husking contest over to the popcorn stand at four. And you won’t want to miss the Miss Honeydew Melon pageant on the midway later on. Enjoy your day!”

“Thank you.” I looked at the site map, locating the livestock show.

I entered, struggling to ignore the stench as I passed the pens holding goats, cattle, and sheep, until I found Farmer Jorgenson’s sow.

The injection was quick, the contract fulfilled.

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April 19, 2007

David: No, Big Of You

“Hi, are you Steve Johnson?”

“No solicitors,” I replied, pointing at the sign.

“I’m no salesman. I’m Bob Johnson. We have the same father.”

I checked him out. Hair, eyes, jaw, looked about right. “Okay. Nice to meet you. That all?”

“Um, no? ‘Cause we’re family? I’d like to get to know you?”

If I had a nickel…. “All right. Where you from, Bob?”


I picked up the notebook I keep by the door. “East or west?”

“East. Why?”

“That makes you Elmyra’s kid. Dad’s eighth wife. Brother, Ted, sister, Judy. Dad told you he was in the CIA."

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April 20, 2007

David: The Long Tunnel

Edgar’s eyes creaked open to confront the echoing, metallic pounding. He found himself in a claustrophobic, benighted chamber with only a diminutive rectangle of light before him.

“For the love of God,” Edgar mumbled, shivering from the aching cold. “Buried alive. I knew it.”

Metal clanked against metal, gas hissed news of its escape. The coffin split asunder, the top inexplicably falling away from him. Edgar realized he was standing upright in some manner of compartment whose lid now hung from the ceiling, pendulous, amid unimaginable technologies.

An indistinct mockery of a human form appeared in the breach. “Edgar?”


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April 23, 2007

David: If You Can't Get It All Together...

The guidebook specifically said not to look bears directly in the eye—they took it as a challenge—but I did it anyway. The bear was standing right in front of the tent where Susan and the baby were still asleep.

My heartbeat drummed in my ears. I maintained eye contact while I knelt down and felt for a weapon, any weapon. The bear trundled in place, rotating away from the tent to face me fully. My hand closed around something; I lifted it into my peripheral vision: a stick of firewood.

The book never said what to do next.

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April 24, 2007

David: In Your Philosophy

From out of the inky blue depths rose the Leviathan. For uncounted eons it had slept and dreamed unfathomable dreams, dreams of torment unimaginable to the most depraved of human minds. Now it stirred, prepared once more to wreak untold havoc upon the fragile surface world.

But first, Leviathan was feeling peckish. It reached out with its world-spanning tentacles, seeking the mighty blue whales that might satisfy its hunger, albeit briefly. Instead, it found something hard, floating on the ocean. Curious, it approached. And found itself hopelessly tangled in the Japanese trawler’s nets.

“Giant Squid Discovered Alive!” the headline read.

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