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Monday, October 27, 2014

Sour Grapes And A Fox




Again and again he tried after the tempting morsel, but at last had to give it up, and walked away with his nose in the air, saying: “I am sure they are sour...

- Aesop's Fables


Somewhere the Sixth century B.C., Aesop said... "A fox strolling, through an orchard, spotted a bunch of ripe grapes hanging from a vine grown up a tree. That fox was hungry, so hungry that he talked to himself. He said, 'I'm so hungry, I'll even eat grapes.'

“When he jumped up to snatch a bunch off the vine, he missed. He took a running jump and he still could not reach the grapes. A crow told him – and the fox was so hungry that other animals spoke to him, too – that fat black bird said from high up in boughs, 'You will starve.'

“'You, fox, you will die because you lack ambition.” The bird squawks, “Take what is available to you. Eat the grapes there in the dirt. Take what has fallen off the vine and rotted.'

“The bird cackles.

“'The ripe grapes are all mine.'

“The fox complains. 'The grapes in the dirt are covered with biting ants. And the fruit is fermented, all the same.'

“'Eat them,' screeches the bird. 'The ants are extra protein in a diet such as yours. And the spoiled grapes will make you drunk. Foxes like you like to get intoxicated. Eat so many grapes that you no longer care you are hungry.'

“And the fox is famished, so he eats grapes that have fallen off the vine. He takes ants into his mouth and they bite his tongue and his throat when he swallows them down. The fox feels the insects' poison or the fermented fruit spin his mind. All the while, the elevated crow devours ripe grapes. The bird isn't even hungry.

“The crow eats the good grapes and teases the fox. 'Jump, jump and get the ripe grapes. They are so sweet. They are so full of fresh vitamins.'

“The fox gets an idea. He tells the bird, 'Don't eat all the grapes. I will reach the vine, I can do it.'

“His tongue lolls from his mouth and the fox slurs his words when he speaks. 'Let's play a game, fat bird. We can play a game you will like.'

“'My grapes are not your prize,' stakes the crow.

“'No,' the fox promises. 'I will get the grapes. And you can laugh at me when I try.'

“'Try,' the bird says. He eats the good grapes all around him and he asks the fox, 'What is your game?'

“The fox says, 'You will eat one of your good grapes every time I fail to grab any grape.'

“'I will eat one of my grapes every time you jump and fail?'

“'Yes.'

“'I already do,' chuckles the crow. 'That's why I don't fly away and I wait.'

“The fox says, 'Then that is what we will do.'

“He staggers beneath a bunch of grapes he can never, ever reach. When the fox jumps up, his angle is awkward and uncoordinated. His leap is weak and already he is tired. The fox acts inebriated, that is what the crow sees.

“The fox failed his attempt, so the bird caws aloud and swallows a fruit whole. The crow would do the same even if it did not play a game. He was overstuffed and he could never quit.

“All day long, the crow eats a grape each time the feeble fox jumps into the air and fails. He eats two when the fox falls to the ground painfully onto its back. Even while the intoxicated animal rests, the bird consumes fruit there appears no room for beneath its round shawl of feathers.

“Near sunset, after the fox has spent the day never claiming a prize other than sour ants and alcohol, the overfed crow wobbles on the branch on which it is perched. He is drowsy then falls off.

“The bird topples to the earth and lands knocked senseless near the panting fox. That fox tells the stuffed crow, 'I do this all day. I jump all day and I seldom ever eat. It's all I do. Now, tonight, I find a foolish bird and I dine on fat and wine.'

And the morale is...

“EAT WHAT YOU DESPISE.”

- Matthew Sawyer




Quote the Wolf


"Lil' red

 lost her head.

 So I

 told the girl,

'Your hood

 is no good

 anymore.'

 And I

took it."

- Mr. Binger

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fashionable Tails

Tails of Fashion by Matthew Sawyer


Twelve-year old Tabi says to her three girlfriends, “I don't like having a tail.”

The four Middle School girls are sleeping-over together at Katy's house. Katy is a happy hostess. Everybody calls her 'Cat,' and she even spells her nickname with a 'C.'

Next to her, sharing a sleeping bag on the floor, Tabi repeats herself. “I don't like having a tail because people can guess the color of my pubic hair.”

Cat answers, “You're lucky you started puberty. You're even getting your boobs.”

Late at night when the girls should be sleeping and staying silent, they keep a reading lamp on. It is mounted over the empty bed. Hardly any light reaches all the way down to the carpet. A plug-in nightlight by the closed bedroom door does not help at all.

Tabi whines, “I know. I just don't like my tail.”

“I like my tail,” Julie tells her friends. No one acknowledges the statement. “It's still small, so I don't have to show it off. And there's only fuzz on it.”

Riley recommends to Tabi, “Shave it.”

Tabi says, “No.”

“You don't have to keep it outside your panties,” the meek Julie suggests. Everyone there in Cat's room forgets the quiet girl is present, almost in the shadow under the bed. She touches the darkness and blends right in.

More bleak, Tabi states, “My parents say I should be proud.”

Accidentally mindful of her friend, Julie, and in agreement with her, Cat says to Tabi, “Put it away when you go to school.”

“I do,” Tabi says.

“She does,” Riley testifies. “We have classes together in the morning and in the afternoon. I see her.”

“I don't pay attention,” Cat admits.

“Shave it,” Riley says again. “The models in New York shave their tails.”

“She's not a model,” Cat opines.

Tabi tells her, “Thanks.”

“I mean you're cuter.

“Thanks,” Tabi replies flat.

“Let's see,” Cat pressures her friend. “Let's look at the color of your hair. I bet it's blond like your head.”

Riley tells everybody, “It's dishwater brown. I saw it. It's darker on the tip.”

“Riley,” Tabi gasps.

Sleepy and silly, Cat guesses. “Are you brown down there?”

“You know,” Tabi snarls. “Shut up.”

Defensive and full of adrenaline, she raises her voice and lectures her friends. “Not everybody has the same hair color all over their bodies. People around this town are mostly brunette. That's fine.”

Riley interrupts. “It's consistent.”

Without affirmation, Tabi practically yells, “And redheads don't draw any extra attention.”

“I bet they'd look like they were on fire,” shouts Cat in laughter. Her parents pound on their shared wall then Cat giggles, “Shh.”

The girls go as quiet as Julie has always been. Almost below the surface of utter silence, the unspoken one hiding against the bed skirt says, “Most people just wear them in their trousers.”

“Trousers?” snickers Cat. She and all the girls keep their volumes low.

Riley whispers, “People have them cut off and bobbed.”

“Or,” Cat specifies.

“That's plastic surgery,” moans Tabi. “And there is my Mom and my Dad.”

Julie tells everyone from somewhere unseen, “Those boys in High School cut theirs off.”

“Some of them,” Riley retorts.

Cat says, “The whole football team.”

Riley tells her, “Not all of the boys play football – three. I watch the news. And those were expelled.

“I've been in the High School,” reports Cat. “I've seen some tails there, boys show them off. The little ones are cute.”

Curious, Julie whispers, “What color were they?”

“I don't know.”

Dismayed and wishing for the topic to quickly change, Tabi answers, “You can guess black.”

As if she has fumbled and she scrambles to recover respectability, Cat ponders aloud. “There's like a bald spot at the base of your tail, huh? Tabi?”

More outraged at Cat then she was with Riley, Tabi exclaims, “Cat!”

“Shh,” Cat sprays back at her friend.

Once the room has been hushed, Cat says, “Everybody has one – a spot. It's suppose to be sexually attractive, like ankles in the Victorian century.”

“Huh?” Riley questions.

“Touch it,” Cat instructs Tabi.

“What?”

“Maybe it's extra sensitive. Is it? Is it a Hot Spot?”

Tabi tells her, “Now you're gross.”

Julie is genuinely sincere when she asks, “What is she talking about?” If anyone there could see in the dark, they would observe her nodding her darker head.

Cat volunteers, “Tabi knows, hair grows on a tail from the tip to the other end and underneath. But it doesn't come together on the top near the spine in your back. It's naked there”

Everyone is quiet while Cat chuckles.

“You said you were growing a tail,” she accuses Julie. “Rub it. Rub the base where there isn't any peach down.”

“Huh?”

“Where you got no hair.”

“Don't,” Tabi demands.

Already, Julie reports, “I don't feel anything.”

“Do it harder,” Cat suggests.

Joining the understanding again, Riley says, “She's too young.”

“How old do you have to be?” wonders Cat.

“Stop,” Tabi issues. “This is sick.”

“I'm cutting it off. I'm going to cut off my tail.”

The other girls say in descending chorus, “What? No.”

Excited, Riley tells Tabi, “You can't cut off your tail. That's like cutting off your finger.”

“Worse,” adds Cat. 'Worse' is the only word of caution Cat gives her friend.

Decided, Tabi says, “I'll try that first.”

Confused once more, Riley wonders, “What?”

Tabi asks her friend, “Katy, do you have any scissors?”

“No,” she answers. “Well, yes, but no.”

“You want to do it now?” Julie whispers with an encouraging tone of voice.

“My finger.”

Tabi then says after nobody answers her statement. “If it doesn't hurt too bad, we can do my tail.”

“I'm not helping you,” Cat asserts.

“It will hurt,” Riley says. “Let her try it and she'll stop.”

Julie only nods her head and the room seems to grow darker.

Shocked by the ridiculous support her life-long buddies give their equally bound soul sister, Cat tells everyone, “I'm not stopping her.”

Immediately, Riley says, “The little finger. Try to take off the very tip.”

“I don't have scissors,” Tabi states.

Riley urges their friend. “Cat, c'mon. Get the scissors.”

Katy's resistance is broken once Julie whispers to her, “You can let her try.”

After an “Oh,” and being poked and hearing her name chanted, Cat gets up off the floor and leaves Tabi alone in the sleeping bag.

“Move over, Julie,” she solicits her friend. “I keep scissors under my bed.”

“Why?” Riley jokes. “Are you giving weapons to monsters?”

“Maybe its not for monsters,” Cat replies and straightens upright. A long pair of sewing scissors stays coincidentally concealed behind the young girl's pale nightgown.

Before she hands the chrome surgical instrument to her friend, she says, “So we get to see it... your tail.”

Tabi seizes the scissors and admits, “If this doesn't hurt.”

“It will,” Riley says again.

“Too much,” defines Tabi.

Un-synchronized with the conversation, Riley repeats, “I've seen it, her tail.”

“What do you think?” Cat whispers directly to her friend. The room is so still, she is unable to hide her voice from the other girls.

Riley sums, “It's not bad.”

Tabi says more flatly than last time, “Thanks.”

“It doesn't matter,” she states and sits down cross-legged on top of the sleeping bag. “If this doesn't hurt too much, it's gone.”

The same time Cat asks her friend, “What are you going to tell your parents?” the scissors make that distinctive noise, “Snick.”

A whole mute minute passes that not one girl remembers before Tabi screams. Her screeches rattle the bedroom window, Katy's father shakes the wall. Tabi had ruined the first knuckle of her little finger on her left hand and her agony now summons her friend's Mom and Dad.

The same time responsible adults enter the room, Riley advises her hurting friend. “You need a bigger scissors. You're gonna need bigger scissors if you cut off that, you know, thing.”



-Matthew Sawyer


Please, Read my fiction at Smashwords

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Drugs and Guitar Tutorials Hardly Ever Mix

Look at this as a Public Service Announcement...

(and it's maybe why you never taught yourself guitar)


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mr. Binger's Fiery Seed



Do you have a washer?

I had a washer

And a dryer, too.

I had a house to keep them in

Before Mr. Binger brought his zoo.

----

The man brought with him

Beasts I have never seen.

"Monsters," children called them.

Their parents said so, too.

He kept them in a little barn

where old horses became glue.

----

I need to clean my clothes.

That is how the infestation is spread.

Spores float off the tentacles of those things.

Mr. Binger's creatures wave their prehensile organs,

Launch their Weightless spermatozoa into the air,

And these get stuck in your clothes.

They grow if they get into your butt, your mouth or your nose.

----

Yeah, about my house,

The spores had nothing to do with the fire.

It's okay to wash my clothes at your place.

You should be safe.

Just, do not open the dryer

If it starts to knock.

Leave whatever comes alive inside.

Let it cool and die and change into rock.

----

You will want whatever you find there dead.

And if it is alive,

You'll have to kill it yourself.

Do not let them get out of the dryer.

They will ignite the carpet

They will set the room on fire.

If you are not careful,

You'll burn down your house,

Like I did mine.

--- %$#--- ---* ____

Curious? Read The Strange Apocrypha of Mr. Binger.



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

He's Not The Same Monster Anymore


Do you remember those very old horror films Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943) and House of Frankenstein (1944)? You may recall the same gimmick in The Monster Squad (1987). All these films star Universal Studio monsters. These creatures were transformed from their sources in literature and removed further from their mythological inspirations. Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker first altered their archetypes when these authors brought those same monsters into the Modern Ages.

Authors such as Stephen King and Anne Rice have been diligent and maintained the evolved fiction of these cryptids, but then there's been Stephenie Meyer's Twilight. Whereas the story was hugely popular, the images of vampires and werewolves were gravely injured. Granted, comic books and television had already shook the genre ragged.

Yet I reawaken Frankenstein's monster in my story The Abhorred. I'm taking vampires and werewolves back to their roots. I'm reassembling the fabled golem – no, Frankenstein's monster is not a zombie. And with guidance from the dead author HP Lovecraft, I pitch all these creatures against each other. This fight is not a Battle Royale nor a game. This story is the paranoid life of a professor of nuclear engineering. Professor Hebert Stock is on sabbatical here in Northern Wisconsin. It's Thanksgiving and the man is alone. At night, he scavenges graveyards.

- Mr. Binger

The Abhorred by Mr. Binger


The Abhorred
Genre Horror
Word Count Approx. 91,758
Page Count 611

Synopsis...

Professor Hebert Stock is a good man. This professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay truly believes he is a force for good. All alone, he considers himself a mortal god. His accomplishments support his delusions – Strock here has harnessed cold fusion. He has shrunken this miraculous engine under the size of a clay pot. Not only that, he has brought the dead back to life.

Professor Strock has revived whole specimens and their amputated constituent pieces. Raw energy revives and intoxicates each of the monstrosities the man has packed with batteries and sewn back together. Each nameless creation is a step toward immortality. Yet Strock's discoveries are not primarily for himself. He helps mankind combat a scourge of vampires.

As much as Strock's genius, vampires and werewolves are real. Unchanged by time, these monsters now flourish in the Mack State Wildlife Area – ever since a Hellmouth had opened the earth south of Madison. The Hellmouth itself rent the earth then walked away.

The vampires in The Abhorred are immaterial, blood-sucking ghosts. They become solid when they consume blood. The master of the horde in the Mack State Wildlife Area is a pudgy, Midwestern-looking fellow. His name is Vlad Blaski. This vampire has discovered semi-permeability. All vampires need do is boil the blood they drink.

Having decimated the prey inside the Wildlife Area, the hungry ghosts eat werewolves – hairy Wild Men of Eastern European folklore. They look closer to Lon Chaney's Wolf Man than actually wolves or upright demons. And they do not transform under a full moon. The werewolves in the Abhorred are emaciated, wildly hirsute naked men cursed at puberty. How this curse is transmitted is an unimportant mystery.

Hunger drives werewolves unto Strock's private property – a hobby farm between Appleton, WI and Greenville, WI. These trespassers discover the professor's secret experiments. They meet his reanimated monster – a discolored, walking corpse that calls itself Angst. The reassembled boy bleeds motor oil. And a union is made. Professor Strock, his assistant Gloria, and Angst join forces with werewolves and they fight Blaski and his vampire horde.

Printed Pocket Books of The Abhorred is available from LULU.

The Abhorred  Ebooks are sold online at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etd... but I prefer readers purchase them from Smashwords.

I hope everyone finally likes this one...