Sep 28 2007

Fictionlet

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“Hey,” said Brigid. “I know this guy. Who is it?”

“Hmm?” said Greg.

“This guy on the investment commercial. I know I know him, but I can’t place him.”

Greg looked over at the muted television. “Oh! That’s Davy Jones.”

“Davy Jones?” said Brigid in complete non-comprehension.

“Yup,” said Greg. “That’s him.”

“Davy Jones — as in Davy Jones? Now-I’m-a-Believer-Cheer-Up-Sleepy-Jean Davy Jones?”

“The Monkee himself,” Greg said.

“Can’t be!” said Brigid. “No way, that can’t be Davy Jones! Christ, he looks like John Forsythe. And he’s hawking investments!

“Look at the eyes. That’s him.”

“He played with Jimi Hendrix, for crying out loud! I used to have a poster of him up on my wall. How the heck did he become such a square?”

“Maybe Jimi was slumming,” said Greg. “Besides, everybody’s a square in their sixties.”

“Sean Connery wasn’t.”

“Sean Connery is a demigod. I’m talking about mortals.”

“You mean Davy Jones isn’t a demigod?” Brigid asked.

“Can you imagine a demigod hawking investments and looking like John Forsythe?”

“No, I suppose I can’t,” said Brigid. “Man, how disappointing. I want my age 15 back.”

-The Gneech

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PS: Eek, eek.

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Sep 19 2007

Fictionlet

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“You are coming to the family reunion and that’s that,” Isadora said. “You’re not hospitalized, you’re not in prison, and you’re not weaseling out of it.”

“Why?” demanded Brigid.

“Because I’m your mother and I said so, that’s why!” Isadora replied, voice raised.

“That’s not what I mean,” Brigid said. “Why do you care if I go to the damn thing? Why do we even have them? This isn’t the 1800s or something, where your family consisted of half the town and half the next town over. I’ve got better things to do than spend my weekend in a ratty old house in the country staring awkwardly at fifty complete strangers that I happen to share genetic lineage with.”

“They’re not complete strangers,” said Isadora. “You’ve met almost all of them before.”

“When I was eight years old! That may seem like yesterday to you, but to me it was a long time ago.”

“What about your Aunt Edna? You see her every year at Thanksgiving. And your Aunt Charlotte, and your Cousin Gilroy, and–”

“–and as soon as I get away from them, I head for the nearest bottle of alcohol to get blotto and wipe out the pain,” Brigid said. “The fact that they’re all going to be there is even more reason to run-not-walk to the nearest desert island.”

“Brigid!”

“No!”

“Brigid!”

“NO!”

Isadora’s voice went cold and quiet. “Brigid Elaine,” she said.

Brigid went very still, and her eyes started to flicker from the floor to the table to the wall — anywhere but at her mother. Finally she said, “If I go to this damn thing, I’m bringing Greg along.”

“Greg?” said Isadora. “Why Greg? He’s perfectly welcome, I’m sure, but why would you want to?”

“Because. I’m telling them that he’s my boyfriend.”

“Why on Earth would you want to do that?”

“And you’re going to back me up on that,” Brigid added.

“You expect me to lie to the family just like that?” Isadora said.

“Oh, like that’s something new, Mrs. Kidney Transplant.”

Isadora sniffed. “That was an emergency,” she said. “Desperate measures were called for.”

“Well so are they now. If it means so much to you for me to go, then you’ll just have to play along. The granmas and aunties can poke and prod and plan my wedding for me all they like — but I won’t stand there and submit to interrogation as to ‘why I haven’t settled down yet’. Not again.”

Isadora’s face softened at this. “All right,” she said. “Have it your way. But you might want to let Greg know before you get there, or he might start flirting with one of your cousins.”

“They wouldn’t be able to tell if he was,” Brigid replied.

-The Gneech

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Sep 18 2007

Fictionlet

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Voices were now making their way across the night air, evidently from the small, squat, square building in the middle of this sea of car corpses. Yellow light was spilling out of the far side of the building, illuminating what looked like a probability cloud of flying insects. Brigid and Greg crept up the narrow alleys between cars, and as details became clearer, it became apparent that the building was in fact a trailer, hoisted up on cinderblocks, with the wheels long removed and wiring run to it. There were bars and chicken-wire gratings on all the windows, which seemed superfluous considering that the glass was long gone and the windows had been covered up from the inside by plywood anyway.

There were two sets of voices; one had the tinny and far-away sound of a television babbling to itself at the low volumes characteristic of a household where the TV was never turned off for any reason but just had the volume adjusted down a bit when people weren’t actually sitting stupefied in front of it. The second set of voices was much louder, and evidently came from people present.

“Yeah, yeah,” said one of the voices, masculine and grainy, “I can just see you goin’ to a reunion of that goddamn Bible-thumping family of yours, ha ha HAA ha ha! They wouldn’t let you in the fuckin’ door.”

“HAA ha ha HAA,” agreed a second voice, this one feminine and also grainy. “What you mean? I see my momma all the time.”

“Yeah, your momma,” said the first voice. “Shit, that bitch don’t know half about you or she’d kick you out of the family. Ha HAA!”

Greg winced and glanced sideways at Brigid, who just rolled her eyes and pointed down another row of cars. “Come on,” she mouthed, but was silent.

“After all that work she did takin’ me to church,” said the feminine voice. “She thinks I’m goin’ straight to Heaven.”

“Pfaw shit,” said the masculine voice. “You always been a evil bitch. Your cunt’s the only part of YOU goin’ ta Heaven! Ha ha HAAAA ha HAAA!”

“Ha ha HAAAA ha ha HAAAA ha HAAAA!!!” agreed the feminine voice, at which point Greg looked like he might be physically sick. It was hard to tell which had hit him harder — what the man had said, or the fact that the woman hadn’t immediately decked him for it. With a look of deep anguish, he followed Brigid in the likely general direction of Steggles’ wayward car.

-The Gneech

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Sep 07 2007

Fictionlet

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Greg was having fun in the kitchen and whistling something zippy by Wolfgang Ama-D when the smell of frying egg and ham brought the usual specter of Brigid shuffling out into the common area, blinking her little raisin morning-eyes and regarding every wall or piece of furniture as something strange and full of menace.

“Well, well, she lives!” Greg chirped. “How did your big date with, what’s-his-hame — Gary? — go?”

“Gary’s the name he goes by to make life easy,” Brigid said, gently easing herself down onto a barstool. “His real name is something unpronounceable and Lithuanian.”

“Ah,” said Greg, and added two more eggs to the pan. “Well, how did your big date with Something Unpronounceable and Lithuanian go?”

“You remember how I promised myself I wasn’t going to have sex on the first date?” Brigid said.

“Yes?”

“Well, I kept it.”

“Tsk! Poor thing. Have some apple juice.”

“That’s supposed to be consoling, is it?”

“Absolutely,” said Greg. “Orange juice would have been too acidic.”

-The Gneech

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