Jun 27 2005

Fictionlet

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“Another long day slaving over a hot word processor, eh?” Brigid said. “Scandalous, the sweatshop conditions you work under.”

Greg, stiffly lying on the sofa, lifted a corner of the washcloth that covered the top half of his face to peek at her with one bloodshot eye. “Thank you so much for the words of consolation,” he said. “It’s comforting to know that no matter what sacrifices I go through, I can always depend on you to rally ’round.”

“What sacrifices did you go through?” she asked, noticing for the first time that his chair was on its back, his monitor was askew, and papers had been scattered around the room. “You’re not engaged in Yog-Sothothery again, I hope?”

“If only that were the case,” he said, replacing the washcloth over his eyes. “At least there you’re expecting madness. No, instead, I’ve been subject to a harrying experience.”

“You ran out of coffee?”

“All right,” he said, pulling off the washcloth and sitting up. “You remember Yvonne, the woman across the hall? Dark hair, midriff?”

Brigid chuckled. “Nice description.”

“Well, she called up and asked if she could come over and get some sugar or some such, I don’t even remember what the pretext was now. I told her to wait about half an hour, because I was nearing the end of a chapter, but that I would leave the door unlocked for her.”

“…And somebody broke in and ransacked your desk.”

“In a manner of speaking. I was typing away, Mozart on the headphones, not a care in the world, and I got lost in what I was doing and forgot the time. Apparently, Yvonne across the hall is one of these literary-fetish types one hears about, because I happened to look up at the end of a paragraph and she was standing there, in ‘Hello Kitty’ print underwear and precious little else, with a copy of Retrograde Maneuvers in her hands and stars in her eyes.”

Brigid blinked several times. “Are you telling me that this mess is because the two of you–”

“The two of us nothing, it was the one of us, more like! I was so startled at her sudden, adult-rated materialization that I jumped backwards a foot and the chair went south, taking me with it. Banged my head on the floor and my knees on the desk, unplugged the power strip with my foot and lost half a chapter in the process. It was a nightmare!”

For a long moment, Brigid didn’t say a word, just looked down at him as if trying to determine if he was a real person or a space alien. Finally she said, “Let me get this straight. The dark-haired, pouty-lipped, midriffed seductress from across the hall comes up with a cheesy double-entendrĂ© like coming over for some sugar, does her best to recreate a scene from a bad porn flick, and you launch into a Three Stooges routine?”

“Some people object to being unexpectedly confronted with underwear!” Greg snapped. “It’s a lot to throw at a man when he’s working.”

Brigid, trying valiantly to stifle her snickering, said “So what happened next?”

Greg sighed, lying back “Well, thankfully she fled, taking the book and hopefully her cup of sugar too, and I gave up the afternoon as a loss and decided to lie down. I’ve been here ever since.”

Brigid shook her head. “No wonder you’re a writer,” she said. “You could have at least autographed her copy.”

-The Gneech

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Jun 13 2005

Fictionlet

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“You know,” said Greg, “it’s a peculiar thing. When I was in school, I resented depending on my parents for food and clothing and transportation. I used to hate sitting at home on the couch watching TV because they wouldn’t take me wherever I happened to want to go at the time. More than anything else I was eager to be able to make my own way, to have my autonomy — that would be the greatest thing possible.”

“I know exactly what you mean,” said Brigid.

“So why is it,” he said, voice rising a bit in irritation, “that now I’m an adult, with my own place and my own car and the entire world at my fingertips … that all I want to do is sit at home on the couch watching TV?”

“Think of it as having been trained for adult life,” she replied.

-The Gneech

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Jun 09 2005

Fictionlet

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“Oh God,” said Brigid, as Treville made his inevitable way toward them. “Not him again.”

“What?” said Greg, turning to see what she was reacting. “Oh. Wonder Boy. Le sigh.”

“Well, well!” smarmed Treville, reeking of beer as he shoved his way through a talking couple and sidled up to the small bar. “If it isn’t Brigid the Frigid, and her blond boytoy. How’s it hangin’, Gaylord Greg?”

“I’m sorry,” said Greg, “but that’s classified information.”

“Whut?”

“Excuse me,” said Brigid, “but I think I’ll find somebody not obnoxious to talk to.”

“I’ll just join you,” said Greg. “I’m sure Alex is around here somewhere.”

“I don’t get you two,” said Treville, pulling another beer out from the cooler. “You live together, you go out together, you act like a couple. But you never, like, hold hands or kiss or anything. Wait, I’ve got it! Greg is a gaylord, isn’t he? A fag and his hag, that’s you two! It explains everything!”

Without comment, Brigid reached up and grabbed one of Treville’s earlobes, and began to twist.

“Aahhh-AAHHHHGGGHH!” said Treville, his body curling backwards in the direction of the torque Brigid applied. “Owowowowow, stoppit, ow!” Brigid’s frown deepened slightly and she merely twisted harder. “OWWW, Jesus, stoppit!!!” Treville lost his balance and fell to his knees, unopened beer bottle rolling away under a table.

“Well done,” said Greg, as Brigid released her victim. “I see you decided to dispense with words this time.”

“There’s no point in having a battle of wits against an unarmed opponent,” Brigid replied, and the two of them wandered off.

-The Gneech

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Jun 07 2005

Fictionlet

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“Wha-ha!” Brigid announced as she came in. “Wha-ha, ho-ho, and a couple of tra-la-las, to boot!”

“Er, yes?” said Greg, looking up from the laptop.

“Yes indeed!” she said. “And now, for some random dancing around the room!” She immediately launched into a bizarre series of bodily jerks and head thrashings. “MIIIISSED YOU SATURDAY NIGHT!” she began to sing at the top of her lungs. “MIIIGHT HAVE GONE BUT WHAT FOOOOOR?”

“Are you okay?”

“COULDN’T BEAR IT WITHOOOOUUUUT YOOOOUUUUU! DON’T GET AROUND MUCH ANYMORE!”

Greg’s eyes were narrowed. “Are you drunk?”

She stopped and frowned. “No, I’m not drunk! I’m just being myself, loyal, lovable, loony Greg, with a pointless anecdote for one and all and a non sequitur for every occasion! Whoopiee!” She began thrashing around the room again.

“Um,” said Greg.

“Come on, come on,” she said. “This is the part where you, the ever-acerbic Brigid, make a withering remark about my sanity, my appearance, or just my overall state of existence. Hop to, boy, hop to!”

“If I’m Brigid,” said Greg, “then you’ve got no business calling me ‘boy,’ have you?”

Brigid stopped and looked at him. “Is that the best you can do?”

“Sorry,” he said. “It’s not in my nature for me to be withering on short notice.”

“Feh,” she said, flopping onto the couch. “Fat load of fun you are.”

“And besides,” Greg added, “if I was going to sing at the top of my lungs, it would be ‘Me and My Shadow.'”

-The Gneech

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Jun 04 2005

Fictionlet

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Brigid narrowed her eyes at the girl (well, woman really, but Brigid thought of her as a girl). The girl’s tight shirt clearly indicated that this was a girl with abs, and she wanted the world to know it.

Brigid then looked over to the girl’s companion, a stocky, scraggily geek type whose look of pure self-satisfaction clearly indicated that he had a girlfriend with abs, and he wanted the world to know that.

The pair of them stood in front of the copy shop door, conferring over some pamphletey thing that they were apparently planning to reproduce — not an inherently annoying activity, but they were blocking traffic, and the four-ream box of proposal copies Brigid was carrying weighed roughly the same as a healthy elephant.

“Ahem,” Brigid coughed. No response.

“Excuse me, please,” she added, and the girl only giggled and pointed at the pamphlet.

“Cogito ergo ZOOM!” she said, laughing.

“I like this one,” said the geek type, pointing at a different spot. “Semper ubi sub ubi!”

Brigid closed her eyes, groaning. She saw the whole picture now, and it added up to “toga party.”

“Ostium tui obstruetis!” Brigid snapped loudly, causing the pair of them to jump. “Or maybe it would be better to say, ‘ou’reYay ockingblay the oorday!'”

The ab girl and her geek muttered something apologetic and backed away from the door, and Brigid strode on. She’d never ticked someone off in Latin before, and was secretly glad to have finally had the chance.

-The Gneech

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