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The Disappearing Soul

The shaking started as a subtle jerking motion, what might be referred to as a mild convulsion.  But, soon enough their was a full-blown seizure taking place; the body began thrashing and twisting, writhing uncontrollably as it wretchedly wrenched its guts out onto the floor.

To state the situation blandly, the smell stank.  Badly.

But what was strange about the rush of vomit spewing forth was not the gag reflex its disgusting nature caused among the others present, but just how bright, shiny and beautiful its translucent colors were.

It shot outward in thin streams of copper red, florescent blue, neon pink, and silvery amber.  As the raw, undigested strands hit the pavement, they violently hissed and flared.  Smoke began to rise from the spot, as if battery acid had been combined with a split atom in some horrible science experiment gone awry.

The chemicals swirled around together in an ever widening puddle.  As the river of puked pollution ran dry from his stomach, the man collapsed and fell hard to the ground with a splat.

No longer inside the intestines of the suffering chap, the strange puddle really started going to work.  Sharp snaps of miniaturized lightning sparked all around the area.  Firecrackers of waste, pop, pop, popping atop the sweltering asphalt.

The colors began to mesh together, no longer flashy and dazzling in their appearance, but now merging and coalescing into a solid brown shade of shit, which then mellowed out mildly into a murky, cloudy shade of gray, and continued along this pattern of colorized neutralization until the smoking liquid had reached a state of solid blackness.

A thunderous roar emerged from the spot where the upchuck sizzled as the liquid began to evaporate, turning into a gaseous fume that filled the atmosphere with a foul smog.   A new scent, far worse than before, now drifted into the nostrils of those present around the weird scene.

The man from whom this energy had been emitted was now very much dead, lying face down on the cold sidewalk outside the café which he and his two friends had just exited before the whole fiasco commenced.

The black haze was thick in the air, funneling around like a spiraling tornado.

“What is it?” Whispered a scared child to her mother.

No reply was forthcoming.  No parent could possibly have an answer prepared for such a sight.

It could have been the spoiled guacamole that had been served for lunch.  It could have been the thick beer.  But come on now, let’s get serious about this, right?

Hell, just read the title and the riddle will be solved.

The night before, the man had forsaken his marriage vow and committed the act of adultery with a young receptionist his firm had recently hired.  A fine, lovely, attractive creature, to be sure.  But that little tidbit didn’t have any impact on the judgment Karma rendered. Commandments are writ in stone for a reason.

As the paramedics arrived, the scene was quarantined off in yellow tape as onlookers were forced to back away and return to whatever it was they had been doing before stumbling upon the strange situation.

They went on with their lives.  But not the cheater.  Not the liar.  Not the whore.

He just laid there dead while the Black Thing disappeared.

Scott Thomas Outlar

Scott Thomas Outlar hails from the suburbs of Atlanta, Ga. He writes poetry, essays, rants, ravings, screeds, and experimental, existential, hallucinatory, psychedelic, prose-fusion meanderings through the psyche. Recent archives of his work can be viewed at Dissident Voice and Daily Anarchist.

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Good Old-Fashioned Portland Standoff

Matthew is traveling south. Delores is traveling west. Michelle, north. And Mr. Tucker, east. All four by automobile. The motorists converge upon one of the few remaining uncontrolled intersections in residential Northeast Portland at approximately the same time. It so happens there are no cyclists passing just now. Matthew, by a second or so, is the first to reach the intersection. He is in no hurry and breaks smoothly to a halt. Delores sees Matthew’s car to her right and it is a sunny day and she thinks of herself as a kind and happy person and—generously! compassionately!—she stops too. From her left approaches a maroon Toyota sedan that it’s apparent (even to Delores who knows not much in the way of cars) is on its last, so to speak, wheels. In the Toyota is Michelle, who, as usual, is running frantically late for this or that. She sees the other cars coming and stops anxiously, wheels locking briefly and her head snapping stiffly forward, ready however to punch the accelerator at her turn. Finally, there’s Mr. Tucker, who is not in a hurry but curses the fact and existence of these other drivers. He stops, too, feeling personally insulted by the situation. Matthew and Delores each turn to the right and wave the respective driver there forward. Michelle looks in all three directions, her eyes spinning fast as her mind, and signals unhelpfully for someone to do something. Mr. Tucker elects not to stoop to communication and sits in private anger. For a moment, no one moves. Neither Matthew nor Mr. Tucker has seen Delores and Matthew, respectively, waving them forward, but each of the other three notice Michelle’s flailing. Matthew thinks OK sure no prob I can go and starts to roll forward. Mr. Tucker thinks what’s wrong with these people and steps on his accelerator. As they move, they see each other and stop again. Mr. Tucker thinks Matthew is an asshole and waves aggressively for him to just go. Matthew is like whatever man you just go. Michelle flutters her hands up by her face and imagines the person waiting for her watching this scene unfold. Delores smiles and waves with an open hand, which is friendly but not altogether what’s most helpful at the moment. Defiantly, Mr. Tucker, who, does it go without saying, has the fanciest car of the bunch, shifts into park and thinks to himself fuck these hippie fucks. I’m not moving. See how they like that. Delores is slightly confused but still happy. Not everyone would be satisfied by the life Delores has lived so far, but she is. Michelle is more anxious than ever. Matthew, still cool, is beginning to find the situation amusing and toying with the idea of intentionally drawing it out. (If you were there to witness this scene, as I was, it’s probably Matthew you’d ultimately identify with. I figure.) This goes on but all the while no one has any clue who should go. The Oregon Driver Manual, which each of them at least flipped through once upon a time, is of no moral or legal assistance at this point, as no one can recall whether it even says what to do in this kind of situation. The concept of right of way is long since out the window. When Michelle, who possibly risks running out of gas soon, finally honks it’s an accident of her flailing and she quickly waves an apology and thinks now no matter what happens she can’t be the one to go first. It wouldn’t be right. Matthew has all four windows down and turns his music up loud. Delores doesn’t recognize the song but knows well the purpose of music and bobs her head in something like relation to the beat. Michelle does know the song and finds herself singing along without really meaning to. At first she doesn’t even notice she’s doing it, singing.

Only a few blocks down the street kids are playing baseball in the park, dogs are barking, there’s happy shrieking coming from the public swimming pool, and everyone’s thinking about which flavor of snow cone they’ll order when they get to the front of the line, guava this summer being the most popular flavor.

Most of the year in Portland it’s either raining or about to rain. Not today.

Scott F. Parker

Scott F. Parker is the author or editor of Running After Prefontaine: A Memoir, Conversations with Ken Kesey, Coffee—Philosophy for Everyone: Grounds for Debate and other books.

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Sharks In A Closet

I never understood the love for parks. All of the other children seemed to adore the fleeting amusements within, but I couldn’t ever seem to do anything except watch them play and hope one would approach me. Although, they would rarely do so…and even when they did, I felt like my mind was going to tear itself apart. I could not quite seem to speak their language…and frustration is not a sensation I am overly skilled at coping with. I never felt more alone than when my mother brought me out to socialize. Ha! Six years into life and I already feel like some hopeless alien creature. Such is the life of a genius, I suppose.

My name is Hugh Aaron, by the way. Yours is Rosalin Trancy. You are the princess I built for my palace. Although, most would call you a stuffed shark. Regardless, we won’t listen to them. This entire world is built on lies if you really think about it. Why is it so odd for me to play make believe with you if all of the adults are doing it too? Pretending life has some sort of grand meaning… Ridiculous! Life is nothing more than a painful game. We simply pretend it is going somewhere other than six feet under. I am going to pour you a glass of tea now. Just don’t get too excited or I will slit your throat.

My father does not approve of these girly games. His idea of entertainment is rather crude in my eyes. Where is the fun in sweating like a fiend and chasing a puck? I fail to see how that makes you look any cooler than tea parties with sharks do. Actually now that I say it out loud, I feel pretty badass. I am sipping Earl Grey with a Shortfin mako shark named Rosalin! What the heck are you doing!?

See? You are laughing at my jokes, princess. You already know how to make this relationship work. Humans would probably say something like, “But it isn’t real, so how can it be cool?” Just shut up and let me laugh for once, you freaking mongoloids! Do not sass me when I am barely resisting the urge to savage you limb from limb! I swear, how liberating would it be to become the one true God of the universe, Rosalin? I would not be an alien anymore if I became truth itself. Plus, I could own dragons. If you think of it that way, then why do we even bother fighting for this reality? The people are mean, the world lacks dragons, and we are just expected to make do with the few pleasurable aspects of it we manage to obtain.

Why we all aren’t sipping tea with sharks in a closet I truly do not know.

W.D. Frank

Believe it or not, W.D. Frank has lived just about everywhere in the United States. He harbors an extraordinary obsession for exotic pets and currently lives in a gloomy apartment with his deranged partner, Klaus. Oh, and he likes to write surreal fiction.

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Metamorphosis

“Steve,” she says.

My features morph into wood. Smooth and polished.

I nod, as if to confirm I remember. Of course I remember. I wasted more than a year of my life on that guy.

“That time when he came to my place every noon,” she continues.

I nod again. He used to come home for lunch breaks. Quite the drive, but nevertheless, he did. To see me. And then, suddenly, he stopped, and went to her place instead. It was a shorter way, he told me. More time to relax during the break.

“He always wanted to get cozy. I wasn’t having any of that. Well, a bit. But I always drew the line when he wanted to sleep with me.”

My features morph into stone. Chiseled and rigid.

“I know,” I reply.

I don’t. I’m a liar.

“Really? How can you know?” She sounds like she believes me.

“I’m not entirely stupid.”

I am. I trusted you.

“Well, I’m glad. You know, not sleeping with him, I’ve never proved myself a truer friend to anyone.”

She leaves.

My features morph into wax. Soft and runny.

My face melts.

“A true friend,” I tell the shadow of her memory, that lingers on, “would have told me there and then.”

Angelika Rust

Angelika Rust lives in Germany, with her husband, two children and a hyperactive dog. When she doesn't write books, she teaches English.

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Apologies

We’d like to offer our apologies to those of you who tried to access this website over the past four days. Unfortunately, Fuck Fiction was the target of hackers – and not for the first time. It seems that having “fuck” in your URL makes you a prime target for these cyber criminals.

Nevertheless, we are back online and ready to start posting again. We will begin with a new story next Monday.

David S. Wills

David S. Wills is the author of The Dog Farm and Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the 'Weird Cult'. In 2007 he founded Beatdom literary journal, and today he serves as the Editor-in-Chief. He currently lives in China.

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What He Expected to Happen

While Tricia was in nursing school, she worked nights and weekends as a waitress in an Italian restaurant.  She started dating a line cook there named Sam who had graduated from a culinary school.  His family was well off, and as often happens with young men of that background, he grew ashamed of money and determined not to make too much of it.  She told him, like she told everybody else, that she had decided to become a nurse because she wanted to help people.  He commented that that only helps people who can afford to pay, which she hadn’t thought about before, and felt bothered by for a few weeks before forgetting it.  At his apartment, Sam often watched a Japanese cartoon the target audience of which seemed to be thirteen year old girls.  He told Tricia that watching the show was a guilty pleasure.  The first time that they had sex, he finished quickly.  He apologized and she said that it didn’t matter.  After that, when they slept together it lasted longer, and compared with Tricia’s past experiences was somewhat better than average.  When she finished her nursing program and accepted a job in another town, she decided to break up with Sam.  She told him that the reason was because she was moving, even though they both knew that her new town wasn’t far away at all.  Sam kept calm and acted as if he had expected this to happen.  They parted on good terms.  Tricia got absorbed in her job as a nurse and rarely thought about Sam.  Her co-worker’s liked her, and she earned a reputation as a hard worker.  After two more years of working as a cook, Sam opened his own restaurant with money he borrowed from his wealthy uncle. The restaurant failed and closed within a year.  Most restaurants do.

Adam Parker

Adam Parker was born in 1991. He has previously been published in Purple Pig Lit.

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Grad School

When I was in graduate school I used to tell people that I met my wife as we were crossing the street, her from one side and me from the other, walking right at each other, and she went left and I went left, and she went right and I went right, and we walked right into each others arms, but that isn’t actually what happened, not literally, and not metaphorically, and now that I think about it meeting my wife was more like being slowly lowered into a pot of warm water, or better yet like taking a trip to Swaziland where you have a finger cut off in the back of a bar, and though you go back to the States and resume a normal life you maintain full feeling in your detached finger, and every time the bar owner, who kept the finger, sneaks up behind one of his unsuspecting girlfriends and sticks it in her ear it gives you a little start, even after all these years, but even after all these years that is not an entirely accurate description of what it was like to become married to my wife, although close, and I think maybe I have it when I say it was like riding a bicycle that you believe to be broken because you cannot shift gears, and you ride it anyways, and you ride it to the bike repair shop, and when the repair men look at it they tell you that your bike has no gears, and not only that, but what’s more is that judging from the fur and the overbite it doesn’t seem to be a bike at all, but rather a horse (a handsome horse, they say, trying not to offend you).

Nick Chrastil

Nick Chrastil is a pizza cook living in Minneapolis, MN.

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A Moderate Discipline

“Too much of anything good in life does not fairly represent what the real world is like.”

          His entire existence was spent suffering the brutal wound caused by that comment.  Whenever any semblance of prolonged happiness crept its way into his heart, a reflexive trigger that had been conditioned into his thought process would lead him down a path of decisions based on turning the joy into sorrow.

He could not stand tall and experience anything pleasurable; he had to lie down, curl up on the ground like a beaten dog, and wallow in misery.

So it went for all the years of his life, seventy-six of them in all, that he would alternate between moods of extreme happiness and absolute despondency.

He had been married three times.  Each new nuptial began as a blissful union that put a twinkle in his eye, a dance in his step, and a pitter-patter in the beat of his heart.  That is why he had also been through three terrible divorces.

His affair with Alice was, by far, the best/worst relationship he’d ever experienced.  She didn’t respond well at all to the surprising news when he served her the annulment papers a few days after returning from their honeymoon.  Things are going so great, she cried. She just didn’t understand.

Alice killed herself exactly two months from the day which had been  the pinnacle moment of her life.

Things are as they should be once again, he reckoned.  He wept at the funeral, deeply saddened, but knew that there had been no choice other than forcing the breakup.  Too much happiness.  Too much love.  Now it was over.  Buried six feet below the dirt.  He drove through the rain back to the quaint home they had recently purchased together in preparation of spending the rest of their lives.

He contemplated suicide, but understood quite well that he still had much more suffering to bear in order to balance out the electrical flash of pure ecstatic happiness he had so briefly felt.

They had always given him plenty of advice when he was younger, and had taught him many positive maxims to help guide him through life’s trials and tribulations.  He sat alone in front of the fire with a good book and wondered why it had always been only the one harsh lesson that he could ever remember.

Then he suddenly realized that his book was giving him pleasure; too much pleasure, in fact, so he chucked the rare tome into the flame and watched as the pages shriveled up and turned to ash.

He had built a large collection of books many times throughout his life, but that miserable, masochistic idea rooted deeply inside his mind would always, at some point, drive him to destroy the whole library.

There is no knowledge other than that which suffering teaches us, he firmly believed.  So he would go about the process of systematically dissociating himself from any philosophy or spirituality that he had grown too fond of or found any inner peace from.

There was a time, when he had been much younger, that the man had known many decent friends.  They would spend time together, frequenting bars and chasing the ladies.  Sometimes they would stay up late into the night, smoking pipes, telling stories, and discussing all of life’s finer aspects.

But all his friends had left him, at one time or another, not wanting to be around when his self-destructive habits would manifest causing him to throw a raging fit just as the conversation reached a peak.  They grew tired of him causing a terrible disturbance out in public whenever one of his favorite songs would play over the speakers and he would inevitably wind up harming himself in the process of trying to destroy the radio.

The old man didn’t pity himself or feel that he had lived his life in vain.  He had no regrets.  He was only following the advice they had given him so long ago.  Now, as his mind began losing focus and his memories became foggy and blurred, he had forgotten who they even were.

It no longer mattered.  He knew that his time had come.  He tossed another book into the fire and laid down on the floor.  He closed his eyes.  The untreated cancer was ready to perform its final act.  He hurt real good, and as he took his final breath, he knew that this was how it was supposed to end.

Scott Thomas Outlar

Scott Thomas Outlar hails from the suburbs of Atlanta, Ga. He writes poetry, essays, rants, ravings, screeds, and experimental, existential, hallucinatory, psychedelic, prose-fusion meanderings through the psyche. Recent archives of his work can be viewed at Dissident Voice and Daily Anarchist.

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3:07 AM

Jon brought me into his room. Close the door, he said. He took out an orange pill and crushed it with his ID. It crushed so easily and evenly. There’s a hundred in my wallet, he said, roll it up. Jon, I said, I can’t put anything up my nose. You know I had a seizure when I did coke that time. Oh well this is fine, it’s not coke, he responded. Still, I told him, I’m gonna freak out I know, I just can’t. Ok, that’s fine, he said, and picked up half of it on a card and gave it to me. Just put it under your tongue. I did. It tasted bitter and awful, I swallowed and said I wanted to get water. Don’t swallow, he said. Oh, why, fuck I just did, I said. Oh it’s fine, you should just usually keep it in your mouth if possible. The next thing I remember was opening my eyes and being on the floor. I don’t even remember it getting dark. I thought I was sleeping, I had just been dreaming, everything was fine. Taylor? Taylor? His tone told me that I wasn’t fine. Are you ok? What happened? I don’t know, you tell me. Ok just, breathe, stay, I’ll get you some water. He took the cup out of my hands. I must have blacked out again, because I saw Anika. She was smiling and laughing. I reached for her. Taylor? I opened out of the darkness again. Here, drink this. Talk to me, tell me how you’re feeling, sick, dizzy? Both, I said. I’m so sorry, he said. What do you need? I need the bathroom. Can you stand, here lets try, he said. He pulled me up, I took a deep breath. I took several more. He breathed with me. I felt better. Wow, thank you, I said. Of course, I’m sorry, he said, hugging me. I used the bathroom, my lips were bloodless, I guess my whole face was pretty pale. I went upstairs, E was throwing up in the bathroom, L helping her. Jon and I went outside to smoke a cigarette. How are you feeling now? I feel totally fine I said (a lie.) Do you think you’re gonna be ok to drive? He had taken my keys.

At T’s party, I felt strange, but good. I realized that I had a lot of friends. I felt fucked up in a slightly off balance way that easily could have turned bad. I kept smoking cigarettes. And drinking water. Inside and outside were two entirely different parties. People were throwing up at both. T turned on the hose to wash it away. When O showed up, I was really thankful and happy to see him. People kept telling me that I was beautiful. I tried to go into T’s room to wish him a happy birthday, but Jon stopped me. They’re doing coke in there, come let’s go this way. K told me she loved me and looked up to me. I wanted to tell all of them that they were drunk and crazy.

Claire Gordon

Claire Gordon likes to spend her time consuming various beverages: primarily coffee, water, and gin+tonic. Her work is forthcoming in Fried American and New Bourgeois. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Unfiltered Moscato Kisses

My beer’s almost empty.

In a few sips, I’ll go back there; I’ll find her sprawled out on her bed, a modern-day Marilyn, with her nightgown delicately angled in all the right ways. In a few sips, I’ll see her rehearsed smile, half-hidden from the soft glow of moonlight. And I’ll smile, longingly, a half-smile, one nearly as empty as my beer. In a few sips, I’ll get up from my seat at her dinky kitchenette table and follow the SHOOSH-SHOOSH-SHOOSH sounds of her brushing her teeth.

She always scrubs those pearly whites after she attempts head. And I always fail to light the fireworks. Three times this has happened. I get stiff. Her neck gets sore. She trudges off to the bathroom, where I see her with a tube of toothpaste in hand before I can even manage to whisper the words, “I’m sorry.”

But we’ll still make love – fifteen minutes worth. She’s very particular in that way. Anything less than fifteen minutes is too quick; anything longer is taxing on her time. She needs her Z’s.

And the whole time, I’ll dwell on her taste – wine and cigarettes. She floods her stomach with a whole bottle every evening, and she burns through a pack a day at least. It shows under her eyes. What should look like 25 comes across as 37, even under the most complementing of lights. And for some reason, I come here. I hold her. I kiss her. My receptors paralyzed with that sweetly ashy taste. My mind captive at a mixture of sensations both painful and fascinating.

Is this what love tastes like? $8 Moscato and a pack of Slims bought from two towns over (where the tax is less)? 15 minutes of sex, and then we turn our separate ways?

If I’m lucky, she’ll regale me with tales of how I’m better than her past male suitors. If I’m lucky, she’ll let me touch her in the morning, let me run my fingers around the ass of a girl who has grown up in comfort, around the ass of a girl who was raised in Lake Forest, one of the wealthiest communities lining the wilds of Chicago.

She loves Disney; I don’t. She loves fairy tales; I don’t.

But I still kneel at her altar. I still come to her one-bedroom nestled atop an upscale strip mall down a quiet stretch of road. I unsheathe myself here, bare my bronzed skin.

And she tells me to drink. And why not? She picked up my favorite beer and put it in the fridge. I’m supposed to get ready, ready like she already is, those glassy eyes locking away the Disney princess she tells me is inside her somewhere. I just have to fuck the princess out of her. I just have to hold her down, squeeze her wrists, and make her writhe savagely – all while the clock ticks down from 15.

And if I’m too good, she’ll stop me. She’ll push me away and clasp her hand over her vagina. “I don’t want to get messy,” she’ll say matter-of-factly. “I like to be clean.”

Like a princess.

And her breath will carry that sweetly-sick scent seared into the back of my brain. It’s the smell of Hellfire. It’s the smell of Death.

Scott Waldyn

Scott Waldyn is a Writer, Social Miscreant, Gamer, Beer lover, Author, Managing Editor at Literary Orphans, and occasionally Mr. Comedian to all the wrong people. Scott leads a quiet existence until his brain flares up and paints colors over a black and white reality.

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