The maniacs at Weirdpunk Books are putting together another anthology based on awesome and transgressive music. Last time it was G.G. Allin. This time it’s THE MISFITS.
You know the songs. They’re etched into every punk’s brain. Not just because they’re catchy, but because there’s something else there. Glenn Danzig’s lyrics evoke intense imagery. Beautiful, dark, monstery imagery. There’s poetry between the whoa-oh-ohs. There are stories in those songs. They just need to be told.
The guys at Weirdpunk Books have already put together an insane table of contents and now just need a little backing to get the project printed and distributed. All fans of weird fiction or devotees of the Misfits should seriously consider donating! Head to the Hybrid Moments Kickstarter to join the fun. Even the smallest donations can earn you some great prizes.
by MP Johnson
A young man pissed on an illuminated lamp, shouting, “See, I’m not electrocuted!” A teenage girl with dripping eyeliner announced, “I’ll stick this wine bottle in my vagina for 30 bucks.” Two guys punched each other in the face, laughing as wounds opened up. The sound of amateur porn being filmed in a nearby bedroom occasionally overtook the cacophony coming out of knife-wounded stereo speakers. Donald sat on a couch in the corner of the trashed apartment and realized that, at age 41, he was too old for this party.
But his girlfriend wasn’t.
Cinda shoved Lamp Pisser aside and snatched the wine bottle from Eyeliner Drips. She took a swig and sat beside Donald. “Enjoying yourself, hon?”
“Do you go to college with these people?” Donald asked.
“They’re mostly artists,” she explained, shrugging.
The face punchers started kissing. Blood dripped from their lips as they pressed their mouths together.
Cinda pulled Donald into the kitchen, where it was mercifully quieter. She casually introduced him to the half dozen partygoers crammed onto the dirty linoleum as “The best thing that has happened to me all month.”
“Beer pong!” someone screamed.
Everyone stomped and cheered. Nobody heard Donald say, “I don’t think I’m going to play.” He always declined invitations to participate in activities involving coordination, which his coworkers constantly harangued him about. It had cost him many lucrative golf course networking opportunities. Still, the face he saved by not revealing his ineptitude seemed worth the tradeoff.
But now he was cajoled, not just verbally, but physically, into playing this game he had never heard of. He was forcibly shoved against the kitchen table. Cinda kissed a ping-pong ball and placed it in his hand. He muttered something about being a little tipsy, and then bounced the ball against the tabletop.
As expected, it did not land in any of the full cups of beer on the other end of the table. Instead, it bounced straight into the open eye of a stallion-haired man standing on the other side of the kitchen.
“Motherfucker!” Stallion Hair screamed.
Cinda ran to Stallion Hair’s side, patting his mane and cooing.
One of the kids pushed Donald. “That was shitty, man.”
Everyone in the kitchen grunted in agreement.
“What?” Donald asked.
“Throwing the ball at Cinda’s ex. That was fucked up. You here to start a fight? Mr. Alpha Male?” the confronting kid accused.
“I didn’t know that was her ex,” Donald said.
“So you threw a ball into some random guy’s eye?” the kid asked.
Cinda interrupted. Donald hoped her words would inject some reason and get him out of this jumble. Instead, she said icily as she coddled her ex, “You could have poked his fucking eye out, asshole.”
Hand over his wound, Stallion Hair said to Donald, “I think my vision’s coming back. You should be gone before it does.”
So Donald fled. Into the suburban streets. Alone.
He opted to walk home to contemplate the evening’s events. It took a few blocks for the rush of adrenaline to die down. Even then he couldn’t understand what had happened. Well, he understood this: He had fallen for a gorgeous college girl and gotten sucked into her world, calling in sick to run around between high-end boutiques and scummy record stores, buying her food at restaurants he would never have gone to on his own, and following her around like a lost puppy. He had kept up with her well until tonight. She had made him feel half his age.
The sound of footsteps behind him interrupted his thoughts. He spun around quickly, hoping to see Cinda chasing him down to apologize, to tell him that everyone was drunk and they had made a stupid mistake. He hoped it wasn’t Stallion Hair stalking him with bunched fists and a boner for vengeance.
But it wasn’t Cinda. It wasn’t Stallion Hair.
Standing in the middle of the road: a man with frayed electrical cords wrapped around his head so tightly his nose seemed to squeeze out from between them like dough through fingers, splotchy with burst blood vessels. Sprouts of calico hair stuck out amidst shredded black insulation and exposed copper wire. Little gaps made room for staring, deep-set eyes.
The man wore a flannel shirt, buttoned to the top. Nothing else.
“Hey man,” Donald said, “are you okay?”
The man nodded.
Donald started to walk away, but couldn’t shake the feeling that something wasn’t right. He turned around again. TVs flickered in the picture windows of poorly maintained houses. The strange man still stood there, half naked, basking in the glow of the streetlights.
Donald said, “I feel like something is wrong?”
The man nodded.
Slowly, the man unbuttoned his shirt, revealing a freshly waxed chest. Words had been scratched around the inflamed follicles: “Something is wrong!”
“Were you at the party?” Donald asked.
The man ran his hands over his electrical cord-covered face, like a cat cleaning itself. Then he squatted and shat in the street. Runny shit splashed off the blacktop and onto his hairless ankles. Finished, he stepped back, kneeled down and began fingering through his shit, rooting for something.
Donald asked, “Who are you?”
The man drove his hand deep into the shit puddle. Too deep. It sank in to the wrist, to the forearm, to the elbow. He wiggled his tongue through his electrical cord mask, concentrating as he reached shoulder deep into the puddle of feces. When he withdrew, he had something clenched between his dripping fingers.
Even in the streetlight, Donald couldn’t make the object out. He squinted. Had he drank too much? His alcohol-clouded brain recognized that, whatever the object was, the man held it in a threatening manner. Indeed, something was wrong.
The man moved closer, stomping barefoot through his shit puddle and leaving a trail behind. Donald backpedalled, but tripped over his own feet. His tailbone cracking against the street made him cry. Or had he been crying since he left the party? Probably. And now this crazy man was going to make matters worse. This man, with electrical cords wrapped around his head and shit running down his smooth legs, this man who now hovered over Donald, viciously wielding…
Donald laughed nervously.
The man peeled the banana, revealing a sharp stake molded out of petrified veins, blue and solid. He raised the stake over his head to strike.
“Who are you?” Donald cried out again. “Are you an artist?”
The man drove the stake into Donald’s forehead.
“I am Kreepy Krawly.”
MP Johnson’s short stories have appeared in more than 25 underground books and magazines, including Bare Bone and Cthulhu Sex. His debut book, The After-Life Story of Pork Knuckles Malone, was recently released by Bizarro Pulp Press. He is the creator of Freak Tension zine, a B-movie extra and an obsessive music fan currently based in Minneapolis. Learn more at www.freaktension.com.
Artwork “Shadow Games” copyright © 1993 Alan M. Clark
A special Flash Fiction Friday event Oct. 4th – Nov. 1st. Featuring the talents of MP Johnson, Shane McKenzie, Alan M. Clark, Robert Devereaux and Gabino Iglesias. Check back soon… or you may not have a back. Or maybe you’ll have a back, but with a knife in it! Boo!
“Shadow Games” copyright © 1993 Alan M. Clark
By MP Johnson
Even before Doc Weimerhootch implanted that miraculous microchip into my slug brain and outfitted me with hydraulic arms, I was an exemplary model of the species. I produced slug sauce at twice the normal rate. It smelled like strawberries. And I glided along it at impressive speeds.
I move faster now of course. No longer am I bound to the ground. My arms can easily catapult my tiny slug body over heavily trafficked four lane highways, which seems impressive until contrasted against my recent victory in a steel cage match with the Big Buddha, world champion wrestler and veritable land-whale.
If my physical feats are awe-inspiring, my mental achievements are god-like. When my fellow under-rock dwellers saw me reading Gravity’s Rainbow backwards while crafting recipes for dandelion-infused lasagna, they literally melted down. Being the first and only of my kind, I found myself forced to fraternize with bipeds – humans, that is.
When I mentioned this to Doc Weimerhootch, a human himself, he introduced concerns about potential speciesism. He suggested I initiate communication online to win people over before attempting face-to-face meetings. He recommended something called Craigslist. I posted a watered down tract that yielded a variety of responses. Most came from dazzling, scantily clad teens who immediately attempted to schedule intimacy, but first asked that I join one asinine members-only website or another. My replies to these teen temptresses went unanswered.
Then I received a missive from Becky.
In her initial communication, she seemed impressed by my advertisement’s barely tip-of-the-iceberg description of my mental and physical talents. “U sound like a guy with a good head on his shoulderz lol.” A volley of messages commenced, mine becoming increasingly erudite and hers becoming increasingly less so, until a time and a place were chosen for our blind date.
I recommended a spot in the park near a rock that I had a certain sentimental attachment to, as it had been my birthplace. Perhaps I was nervous. Perhaps my slug nature rose to the surface. Whatever the reason, I pressed myself under that rock to wait in cold solitude for this Becky.
When she arrived, her skin tone high heels sinking into the dirt with every step, I slid out fearlessly. A dandelion clenched in each of my shining steel hands, I exclaimed, “My dear, your hair is as magnificent as an October bonfire and your fingers resemble the finest of my species. I look forward to our evening together.”
“Ah!” she screamed, tumbling backwards, seemingly losing track of which of her limbs should be on the ground and which should be above it. “Ah! Ah! Ah!”
Having admittedly insufficient knowledge of human behavior, I lost a moment trying to comprehend her actions. Had she hurt herself? Was this some sort of attack? When I finally understood what was actually happening in front of me, I beamed. I had not realized that my unvarnished magnificence could cause such an immediate and orgasmic reaction in a human woman.
The evening had just begun and already I had triumphed.