Johannes Punkt’s Flaskpost

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Tag: flash fiction

A SHORT SCENE

WOMAN
And this is “Silent” Jimmy.

MAN
What, because he’s always quiet?

“SILENT” JIMMY
No in fact it is because I will not stop talking, for example that one time that all of us were drinking beer and someone made the mistake of asking me to define the word “pleasant” and everybody had managed to drink up two more rounds of beer before I finally got to a punctuation mark in my talking. I’m a bit better now of course but still the most commong thing that people tell me is inevitably–”

WOMAN
Silent, Jimmy.

“SILENT” JIMMY
That.

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Scream the Throats

We sound the drums, rattam; we stretch the skin taut and beat them until they burst and the music stops. We fall the rain, we gather the clouds, we heavy the air until one struggles for oxygen and the music stops. We play the strings, we boom the thunder. We grin, rattam; we sharpen the claws, we scratch against all the glass surfaces we find. We throw the stones, we pound the blood in ears and wrists and jugulars. We close the eyes, we make you scream until the music stops, we beat the drums, rattam, we beat the drums.

~

Old, very old, impossibly old thing I wrote for my dear friend Pao (@Panterdjuret) and wanted to have available on this here website as well. Edited a tiny, very tiny, impossibly tiny bit because things change over the years. Two words are different.

HOW TO SIGN A CONTRACT

after Uel Aramchek

You didn’t kill Kharon for the loot. You killed him because you could, because he let his guard down, and because you had a smuggled-in Herculean dagger. But his silver-dollar-laden pouch was right there. You wanted Napoleonic victory music, found a Corsican jukebox bar, tried to get a party started.

The jukebox does not accept your coins. After you’ve stabbed it in the heart, you become aware of two figures clad in togaedos waiting outside. They hand you your new name and title. One of them chuckles: “Did you think ferrymen lived forever? That this has never happened before?”

~

~

~

This has been fanfiction, or at least fiction in the style of Uel Aramchek. You can find his work on Twitter: @ThePatanoiac, and on his site North of Reality: northofreality.com. Also there is a Kickstarter campaign right now with some gorgeous Tarot cards based on his work and you’ll probably not be able to get these cards another way: kickstarter.com/projects/775608568/uel-aramcheks-tarot-arcana.

Welcome to the Airport Tattoo Parlour

Hello readers,

I just want to let you know that I also have a newsletter called Airport Tattoo Parlour over here at this link: tinyletter.com/distantstations. I write there about as often as I write on this blog, that is once a month. Except the newsletter is better than the blog. Below is one of the letters which sets the tone for what I try to atmospherize with them:

Rose

Once, my sister got a chemical burn on her hand. Turned it all bumpy and crimson. It stayed like that for a week until it went away one night, but it flares up every time she’s stressed. She stressed a lot more after the burn, of course. One day she went back to work and stole a bucket of that chemical. She found an airport tattoo parlour and asked one of the artists there to paint something pretty with it. Now her hand goes useless and filigrees blossom up her arm but it happens less often and it’s not ugly.

The Night that Led to Lilac Mist Next Morning

The sun had just set behind a hill but Hafiz knew that if he got on a quick camel, or if he could steal his neighbour’s moped, he could drive out into the desert and watch it set once more. This time of year it would roll gently along the edge of the hill as if it was made for this before plummeting into the depths below and casting the world in darkness. For now, the sky was a watercolour palette in the process of being washed out, blue streaks mixed with pink and red, green over white, everything eddying together. He shook his head and walked toward the sunset. Marya would be home by now, and she had said tonight was the night.

~

(When you sleep, your dreams escape through your mouth. Sometimes they get caught in your throat, trapped between dimensions, and they get into your blood and escape through your eyes instead. If you open the eyes of a dreaming person they cast colourful images on the nearest wall and it’s the most dangerous thing you can do, because raw dreams are not meant to be recycled like that. Somewhere faraway there is a legend of a man who gets a piece of cheese stuck in his throat, which makes his dreams go awry. The faraway people have got it wrong; likely the piece of cheese would pose no harm at all, because you can’t get cheese in your bloodstream. It’s offensively wrong.)

~

When Hafiz reached her hosue, he calmed himself down a little. Climbed the vines up to her balcony on the third floor and watched the colour fade from the windows opposite, and then waited. She would notice him soon enough. He could hear her cat meowing from her bed. And when she did, she would put her hands around his throat. He relaxed his muscles one by one, like they did in certain kinds of yoga. Deliberately falling asleep.

Raincloud Found Dead in Malmö

…witnesses in the area claim to have seen a man clamber up a drainpipe that fell off just as he got up on the roof, where he hurled insults and scrap metal at the sky until a raincloud formed. Reports differ on what happened next: either there was a tempestuous argument, or fisticuffs broke out immediately. By this time it was raining too heavily for anyone to stay outside. Just minutes later the raincloud fell dead from the sky and the man was nowhere to be seen. And now over to sports as the weather, understandably, has been cancelled.

An Automicrocosm

You can find a new flashfic of mine, An Automicrocosm, over at the Flash Flood Journal: flashfloodjournal.blogspot.com/2014/06/an-automicrocosm-by-johannes-punkt.html

Drinking Game

Drink if you have bad reasons for reading these rules again.

Drink if you want there to be a reverse tattoo parlor, that sucks the faded ink right off your skin along with any scars or marks or pasts

Drink every time you look over your shoulder because your pattern recognition is oversensitive

Drink if the words “bad excuse” stand out to you as much as your name

Drink when you have a small, quiet room

Drink when you run out of words, again, as punctuation, as an endless row of commas,

Drink to me

Drink too much

Drink up

Okay.

Okay: the best you will ever feel is “okay.” When I was little my grandmother smoked like a chimney and died. My mother couldn’t bring herself to say those words; she said grandmother “stopped breathing.” I was slow to grasp the full scope of that statement, okay. Grandmother once drew me a diagram about explaining smoking to me. Okay, she drew two sinewaves one under the other and she talked. She said you feel good and bad, smokers feel bad and worse. And when they feel okay they think they’re feeling good. Yeah? It’s not just smokers. Yeah. Okay? Okay.

Bright White Conversation

“It’s going to be alright.”

“Excuse me?”

“It’s not going to bother you much longer.”

You had not been aware that anything was wrong. You have just settled in, here.

The child touches your arm in a gesture that is obviously meant to echo the way someone comforted them, but the child is not old enough to have experience with this and just pats you awkwardly.

“I don’t understand.”

“It’s going to be alright. Promise.” The child looks at the watch on your arm and tries to decipher it.

You do not know what is going to be alright.

~

Previously: /2014/02/24/midnight-conversation/