Apr 24 2006

Fictionlet

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Brigid looked into the living room; Greg was still sprawled on the couch, eyes covered with washcloth. “Hey,” she said. “You okay in there?”

“There are varying levels of ‘okay’…” Greg’s voice floated up out of the wreck. “I’m not having my limbs gnawed off by zombies, for instance.”

“How’s your head?”

“Well, I wouldn’t say I was writhing in agony … but I probably would go as far as to say that I was writhing in intense discomfort.”

“You’re also writhing in sarcasm,” Brigid said. “So you can’t be in too bad shape.”

“Being snarky eases the pain a bit.”

“That’s why I do it,” she said.

-The Gneech

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Apr 22 2006

Fictionlet

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“You know about those long, narrow wind instruments called ‘recorders,’ right?” said Greg, putting a fork into the dishwasher.

“Yeah?” said Brigid warily, offering him a dirty plate. The tone of his voice suggested she was going to regret answering him.

He took the plate and transferred it to the dishwasher. “Well, if you tried to order one of those from a service and it didn’t take, so you had to order it again, would that be a ‘recorder reorder’?”

“Argh,” said Brigid, and handed him a glass.

“And if, when it arrived, it was wrapped in ribbed suede, would that be a corduroy recorder?” he asked, shifting a dirty mug to make room for the glass.

“Uh huh,” said Brigid, offering him another plate.

“Or if the ribbed suide was just trim on the ends of it, would that be a corduroy-bordered recorder?”

“Greg…” Brigid said, eyebrows looming.

“And if you had to order it twice, would it be a corduroy-bordered recorder reorder?”

In half a second, his collar was clenched in a fist and she’d yanked his face down level with hers. “Shut up before I shoot you,” she said matter-of-factly.

-The Gneech

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(Trivia Note: This Fictionlet is actually a prose version of a bit of banter between Cyrano and Katie from my first comic strip, Whistling In the Dark. There was a lot of B&G in those two.)

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Apr 19 2006

Fictionlet

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“Hey, Brigid!” said Darla, sweeping into the office lunchroom. “Listen to this, my sister sent me this one!” She opened up one of her several folders and pulled out what appeared to be the printed version of an e-mail.

“Well, that proposal is due this afternoon,” Brigid said, poking at her ramen noodles. “I really should get back to–”

“It’ll only take a minute,” Darla said. “Come on, have a little fun!”

Several juicy responses flashed through Brigid’s mind before she settled on “Yes, tell me, I’m all a-quiver.”

“Why are men like parking places?” Darla asked, looking like she might burst at any moment.

“Gee,” said Brigid. “I cannot possibly imagine. Why, oh please won’t you tell me, are men like parking places?”

Darla, barely able to talk around her giggles, replied, “Because the good ones are taken, and the rest are all handicapped!”

A few of the other women in the room joined Darla in her laughing fit; “Oh yeah, that’s a hum-dinger,” Brigid said.

“Want me to forward it to you?” Darla asked. “My sister always finds the funniest jokes! There’s this one where you’re supposed to click around to find the exit to a maze, but the sound is real quiet so you have to turn the volume way up, and then this screaming, bloody kid jumps out! I don’t know where she finds all this stuff!”

“I don’t know why she finds this stuff,” Brigid didn’t say. Instead she just stood up. “No thanks,” she said, tossing her empty noodle container. “I’m sure I’d end up laughing so hard that I’d heave up my lunch, and none of us wants that!”

-The Gneech

[Note: This Fictionlet was originally posted sometime back, but I wasn’t satisfied with the original. This one is better, and includes a suggestion from vverevvolf. Thanks, dude!]

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Apr 17 2006

Fictionlet

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Isadora poured a bit more PerriĆ©r into her glass and said, “So one day he finally said, ‘Darling, would you make me the happiest man on Earth, and consent to give me a divorce?’ To which I naturally replied, ‘Dearest! I thought you’d never ask! Yes, yes, an hundred times yes!’ Or something like that.”

“That’s not the way I remember it going,” said Brigid. “You never called dad ‘dearest’ in your life.”

“I’m just trying to put it in terms that Greg here can understand,” Isadora replied.

“Thanks,” said Greg, smiling weakly over his alfredo. “I appreciate the effort.”

“Anyway, Brigid’s father and I were never closer than after we got divorced. It’s not an easy thing to go through life in love with somebody you can’t stand living with, but we did it. Until he died, anyway. I don’t think his family ever really did understand it.”

“Mmm,” said Greg.

“So what about your parents, then?” Isadora asked.

“Both gone, I’m afraid,” said Greg.

“Brothers and sisters?”

“Only child.”

“No family at all?”

“Well, I wouldn’t quite say that. I have an uncle, and a fair number of cousins and such, but I’m pretty self-sufficient.”

“Oh, god, your uncle,” said Brigid.

Isadora smiled conspiratorially. “That bad, is he?”

“Well–” said Greg.

“He looks like a cross between Jerry Garcia and Santa Claus,” said Brigid, “and seems to spend his free time sitting around coming up with new and improved mooching techniques.”

“Ha!” said Isadora.

“Yeah, but–” said Greg.

“Complete lech, too,” Brigid said.

“Nice,” said Isadora. “I hope this guy didn’t raise you or anything.”

“Well, no, but he’s not that bad really. He just has a few weird ideas about things.”

“Don’t we all?” said Isadora.

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Apr 14 2006

Fictionlet

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“So I’m guessing you must be Greg,” said the small-but-sturdy woman at the door. “At least I hope you are.”

“Er, yes,” said Greg, smiling somewhat awkwardly. “I’m guessing you must be Brigid’s mother. Won’t you come in?”

“I was wondering how long I was going to have to stand out here in the hallway,” the woman replied, and picked up several paper grocery bags from around her feet. “I brought Brigid some food, where’s the kitchen?”

“It’s just to the left there,” said Greg, wondering why he bothered since she was already making a beeline for it.

“This place is awfully small,” the woman said. “I guess it’s hard to get a decent-sized place any more. You can’t live on anything less than a CEO’s salary, it seems like.”

“Well, yes, it is a bit on the small side,” Greg agreed, “but it’s handy to the store and such.”

“Huh!” said the woman.

Greg scratched his ear absentmindedly; he couldn’t tell what had annoyed her so much. “Um,” he said, trying to keep conversation alive. “I’m terribly sorry, but Brigid just mentioned to me barely an hour ago that you were coming, and I didn’t think to ask her your name. What should I call you?”

“She didn’t even tell you my name?” said the woman, opening up the refrigerator and putting what appeared to be a large carton of tangerines into it. “Well, that’s typical I suppose. People just don’t think of these things. My husband was like that, he could tell you everything you wanted to know about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s influence on the modern art movement, but he couldn’t remember his own name without being prompted.”

Greg grinned at that. “Sounds like somebody I know.”

“I’m Isadora, nice to meet you,” said Brigid’s mother. “Where is Brigid, anyway?”

“She gets off from work at five, so she should be here any moment now, she’s a bit late.”

“Well, I’m not surprised, traffic’s getting worse every day.”

“Mmm,” said Greg.

“So are you coming with us tonight, or what?”

“Um, I don’t know, actually. Where are you going?”

“To dinner of course,” Isadora said. “I’m taking Brigid out for her birthday.”

“It’s her birthday!” said Greg. “Is it really?”

“You didn’t know?”

“Well, no, actually. She’s never mentioned that, either.”

“You don’t know her birthday?” Isadora said. “Well if that isn’t the saddest thing I’ve ever heard. What kind of boyfriend are you?”

“Boyfriend?” said Greg, blinking. “I’m not her boyfriend.”

“What do you mean, you’re not her boyfriend? The two of you live together, don’t you?”

“Well, only in the most grammatical sense,” said Greg. “We’re roomies, yes … cohabitating, no.”

Isadora looked Greg up and down with a critical, penetrating eye. “You’re not, eh? Huh.” She resumed her refrigerator-stocking, now putting what appeared to be a largish ham wrapped in aluminum foil on top of the carton of tangerines. “When she told me she lived with some guy named Greg, I assumed you were shacked up.”

“We get that a lot,” said Greg.

“I suppose she’s not pretty enough for you, huh?”

Greg blinked several times. “I can’t think of any response to that comment, that won’t get me into big, big trouble.”

Isadora laughed. “That does it, you’re coming to dinner with us.”

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Apr 04 2006

Fictionlet

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Brigid shook her head. “Some of these slash chicks are just ridiculous,” she said. “I guess it’s just harmless silliness when they realize it’s all in their heads, but some of them seem to think they’ve unlocked some secret code that the author ‘would have put there if narrow-minded society would let them.'”

“Uh huh,” said Greg.

“Forgetting for the moment that a lot of slash writers’ favorite targets were hardly averse to saying exactly what they meant,” Brigid said, “there’s the little matter that not everybody in the universe is fixated on sweaty fictional guy-on-guy action the way they are.”

“No!” said Greg. “I can’t believe that, surely not!”

She narrowed her eyes at him, smiling slightly. “But I guess it’s like anything else — when you expect to see something, you’ll see it whether it’s there or not. I bet somewhere out there right now there’s some James Bond fan who’s rewriting the scene in Goldfinger’s basement in her mind as a guard-seduction scene.”

“Goldfinger’s basement?”

“Yeah … Bond waves, winks, and gives a very pecular smile at the Chinese guard. To the slash writer mind, this is practically an overt declaration that Bond bedding every woman in the world is just him overcompensating … and obviously the guard’s first thought is, ‘Whoa, James Bond is totally coming on to me!'”

Greg chuckled. “At which point, Tiger Tanaka comes running up and cries, ‘But, Bond-san! I love you!‘ Maybe Bond just has a thing for Asian guys.”

Brigid winced. “Oh God,” she said.

-The Gneech

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