Apr 30 2007

Fictionlet

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“There’s a cricket in here again,” said Brigid.

“Eh?” said Greg, tapping away at the keyboard.

“Cricket. In the kitchen again.”

Greg looked up, then shook his head as he heard the telltale breep, breep. “Honestly,” he said. “Where are the little buggers coming from?” He got up and headed for the kitchen.

“I dunno,” said Brigid. “I guess up the pipes or something. Or maybe under the door. Why you keep just putting them outside instead of squashing them–”

“There’s no reason to go squashing them,” Greg said, fishing a plastic food container out of the pantry. “Yes, they’re annoying, but if being annoying carried a death sentence, all of us would have been sent to the firing squad long ago. And it’s not like the same ones keep getting in.”

“How would you know?” Brigid said. “Have you tagged and numbered them?”

“Well, no, actually, now that you mention it. But some of them have been distinctive enough — missing a leg here, or having extra-long antennae there. I’m pretty sure we’re not getting repeats, or if we are, they’re in the minority.” He plunked the food container over the cricket and slid a piece of cardboard underneath, trapping the six-legged noisemaker and carrying it to the door.

Brigid opened the door for him. “Feh,” she said. “You’re just squeamish.”

“Me?” said Greg, tossing the cricket out into the open-air corridor. “You’re the one who won’t go near them. Anyway, think of it as trying to build up my karma bank, if it pleases you.”

“Whatever,” said Brigid, and closed the door. She headed back for her couch, as Greg sat back at his computer.

Thirty seconds later, a breep, breep noise came from the kitchen.

“There’s a–” started Brigid.

“Yes, yes, I know,” said Greg, and reached for the plastic container again.

-The Gneech

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Apr 27 2007

Fictionlet

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“You know, a lot of my friends have eligible kids,” said Isadora.

“Gawd, mom,” said Brigid, “not this again. I go on plenty of dates.”

“Not for you!” Isadora replied. “For Greg! That poor boy strikes me as someone who badly needs a woman’s touch.”

Brigid shuddered slightly at the mental image that conjured up, and said, “Honestly, mom, I’m not sure if he’s interested in women. The last woman I know of who had any interest in Greg ended up scaring the wits out of him with her breasts.”

“Eh?”

“Long story.”

“Are you telling me he … plays for the other team?”

Brigid shrugged. “I don’t know, I don’t think I’d go as far as to say that. But I suppose he might. It’s hard to tell! He doesn’t actually seem to express interest in either sex, except in a vague ‘courtly love’ kind of way.”

Isadora pursed her lips. “But his book has a man and a woman, right?”

“Yes,” said Brigid. “There is that.”

“Well tell you what, here’s your assignment. Next time you go out to a public place with Greg — party, shopping mall, whatever — keep your eye on him. Watch who he watches. If he comes over all misty at somebody, you’ll know!”

Brigid shook her head. “C’mon, mom, you think I’m an amateur? I tried that already!”

“And…?”

“He spent twenty minutes staring at a potted plant and scribbling down a description of the ladybug he found on it.”

-The Gneech

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Apr 25 2007

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Brigid and Greg met in third year Latin. Although “met” is putting it a bit strongly — Greg barely noticed Brigid at all, while Brigid merely thought of Greg as being that guy who’d translated Aeneas’ farewell to Dido as, “Sorry babe, I gotta cheese it or Zeus will shove a lightning bolt up my nose.”

For the next several years, Brigid and Greg spent a lot of time in the same room not talking to each other, whether it was in classes or at the homes of mutual friends. The first time they actually spoke was over the phone, not knowing that they knew each other (so to speak), when Brigid responded to a “roommate wanted” ad. The second time they spoke was when Greg opened the door to the apartment and Brigid said, “Oh, it’s you!”

She was favorably impressed by his response of, “Sorry, yes … I tried to be someone else but this was the best I could do.” She simply shrugged and said, “Oh well, we all have our burdens to bear.”

-The Gneech

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Apr 18 2007

Fictionlet

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“Well, while I was obviously flattered that you liked Retrograde Maneuvers,” Greg said, “I was mostly surprised that you’d even heard of it. I mean really, you’re Wenton Delaney, celebrated crime novelist and famous world-traveling macho man, whereas Retrograde Maneuvers is a silly little romantic comedy rife with urban milksops. It’s sort of like when I found out that Hemingway’s mother dressed him as a girl until he was six or whatever it was. It doesn’t jive with the image.”

Wenton laughed one of those table-shakers and pulled the cigar out of his mouth. “Naaah, that’s nothing weird,” he said, and swigged his beer. “Everybody’s got facets, ya know, and writers even moreso. How do you think we come up with all those characters? Hell, I’m a thousand people besides this guy ‘Wenton Delaney, celebrated crime novelist and famous world-traveling macho man’ you keep talking about. Somewhere inside of me I’ve got a five foot tall, perky and giggling bisexual tennis girl in a miniskirt.”

Greg blinked and looked over Wenton’s enormous frame. “Taken up cannibalism, have you?” he asked. Wenton just guffawed again.

-The Gneech

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Apr 16 2007

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Brigid wished for what was probably the thousandth time that she’d brought some gloves; the black mud in this section of the impound yard was so slippery that it would be a great comfort to just be able to grab something solid to hold onto. But she was reluctant to touch anything, and the more twisted rusty metal and broken glass she saw, the more reluctant she got. “What are we doing here?” she muttered to herself. “I’m going to kill that guy.”

This happy line of thought was interrupted by the rapid-fire crunch-crunch-crunch of somebody running on gravel. Brigid turned towards it just in time to see Greg come around a corner at top speed into the relatively bright area of the driveway illuminated by streetlights. “What the hell?” she managed to fire at him as he got closer.

“Après moi, le déluge!” Greg shouted as he ran past, not even turning to look at her. She would have stopped him to inquire just what he meant by that crack, when the night air was split by the ferocious hostile barking of what sounded like an army of dogs. It was at this stage she decided that the better part of valor was to get the hell out of Dodge.

-The Gneech

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