From the Desk of the Editor
Welcome to another installment of Larks Fiction Magazine! We are happy to bring two works of superb fiction to you this week from up-and-coming authors. The theme for today is oddity and absurdism (for the 13th issue on the 13th).
I hope you enjoy these tales and will check out some of our other great collections here at Larks. Today marks our thirtieth installment!
Also make sure to check out Larks Editor Quentin A. Pongratz’s new website and book Del City Nights.
Thank you and enjoy!
Daniel J. Pool
By Edward Wells II
“Out there it is bloody, fucking chaos, mate.” he spun on his left leg toward the younger, twirling the spatula in his left hand. The apron settled in front of him and he began again shaking the spatula at the younger gently and then turning back toward the stove. “In here, you think about it, and the whole fucking thing seems simple enough. Yeah?”
He pressed down into the skillet and something seemed to shriek, as he resumed too quickly to allow a response, “Simple enough and straight about too. That's how things are too. If you can find that in here you know that is how they are. It is so elegant that you'll know- when you find it, that all it takes is to express it and like the lights mate, you've got it.”
He moved his arms around a bit in a restrained motion in front of him and then turned toward the table that the younger male was sitting at. He walked to the table and placed two plates on it. “It's so simple; yet out there, it's bloody, fucking chaos.” He sat down and then looked directly at the younger. “Now, eat up, mate.”
It was especially when the younger male sat on the hard floor of the living room, staring at blocks with sunlight streaks cutting through smoky, dusty air to strike whatever was in its path, that the younger went, in his mind, to something nice and simple. Mostly he sat there quietly with his legs crossed and his hands palms up, one holding the other, and both resting in the center of his legs. The sounds of his neighbors were a varying ambience that was internalized as well as unrecognized.
The younger could smell the older male and hear the older's body any time he was there. The older spoke loudly sometimes and he liked when the younger looked at him while he talked. According to everything the older imparted, all the things that the older said would be of benefit, but it didn't make sense because the younger had already found the simplest and easiest way. He was polite, and some people gave him what he wanted.
“Get up. We've got to get the trash out of here, now.” The older man was wearing a plain white t-shirt that had a number of holes widening around the neck line. In his pocket rested the soft package of cigarettes that had the visual appearance of a decoration.
The younger rose, walked to the kitchen and opened the cabinet beneath the sink. The large green plastic trash can had been with the older man longer than the younger had. The rim was worn, revealing a number of holes that were beginning to widen. The result was that small pieces of the lip would crack off when lifting the can by the lip. The older man would lament and attempt to reinforce in the younger the importance of not breaking off any more of the lip.
The younger would listen. “I realize that that can is getting old, but every day that we make it last from now on, is another day that we save the cost of replacing it. It's like overtime. These points are important. Do you understand that?”
The younger would nod his head in the positive. The younger would inform the older when another piece of the lip would break off, because it was important. What was actually real in his mind was the can could be used long after it had no lip and that a broken lip was no reason to stop being polite & getting what he wanted.
A wrapper spun at the base of the hallway's wall. A piece of string swung at the top of the stairwell. He drug the toe of his shoe pointing it at the spinning wrapper, then across a seam with a thump. Another thump against the angled concrete above the stairs. Another fainter down the hall. The light grew brighter and brighter. He reached the bottom step. The last on the left. The door was the end. Light streamed and spread around the darkened concrete wall. Light from above and up the steps on either side of the wall ahead at the end of building. The light came up into the hall and just past the last door on the left where he now stood.
He touched the handle and then knocked. The tiny dent at the upper left was always a comfortable resting spot for the ring finger of his left hand. The knob turned with his hand still on it and the man pulled the door open. The boy stepped inside and rubbed his left eye with the meat of his hand.
“Got the trash out quick didn'tcha?” The man pushed the door closed behind the boy and then walked into the living area and sat on the couch. “You know. When you don't take out the trash, I have to walk out to the left, Down the short steps and all way 'round. The banging stairs you bound up, I can't take anymore.”
The man sat there with the television for a moment while the boy sat down on the hard floor. “Chinga. Never get like me. Ya hear. And would'cha look at that on the screen?” The boy lifted his head in the direction of the screen. The two watched as a news story was read and text scrolled across the bottom of the screen.
“They're screaming overthrow him. I'm wondering where's the bloody dictator supposed to dictate the people that want to be dictated when we give the country to the people that want to be free.” The younger watched as some diminishing flames and embers lit part of the otherwise darkening room in a brief image. “But out there, it'll be a lot of bloody fucking chaos before it’s over, mate.”
About the Author:
Edward Wells II is a writer, recently returned to schooling. Some of his most recent works have appeared in This Great Society is Going Smash. His most recent collection was released by Full of Crow and is entitled Mexico 2009. His author page can be found on Facebook.
Discourse Upon Crystal Meth
By Steve MacLeod
Nov 13– A. Entry–
I figure its fun counting the # of stores that are up for lease–[that are flopping–at the end of their leash]. Strangle-dangle. I suppose I’ll cover my ends. Not to utilize stream of consciousness but rather the stream ‘o’ unconsciousness. I’m surmised! That I didn’t urn it and mention the stream of unconsciousness first thereby depleting the impact of the comparison considerably. I’m surmised–still not stream ‘o’ or of unconsciousness. But comfort and joy [ish], comfort and joy. An deli-iberate. That was–kind of-fun. Writing is fun-kind of –at times. Alert. Alert top parallel North of 80. The ice tip, I love to just sort things around in thine divine mind. Sitting in this luncheon or comorode with these dispersed sparse presences. Pseudo-podic Pollutants mutants rolling in. Seeing cute shaggy haired boys– run off, from the third post neo-revivalists. They literally run off! Who wants to tolerate another form of what-so-form-or another? What I mean by that is who wants to cling to tendrils? well anyone–because they...can(!). But more figuratively speaking who wants to tolerate a bland and unexciting sherade the 4th icy time over? The constant. The Continuum. I wonder who invented the 1 word sentence. My style is loose (but my lyrics are awesome–maestro!) But I do, indeed, intend, to have mmm-meaning. Mmmm can you eat it and taste it,[‘can you smoke it, can you eat it, can lie in it and drink it like american pop] enjoy it like fine “it” food. The nurturing body of man for women to eat, and the nurturing body of woman for men to eat. Their words are too slow–the beat. WE’ll have a fantasy time here in crystal holiday town. Barcode [Well, go on...Bar it!] The hitman (no, no! Hitperson) I’m sitting here, sitting here....
And let’s spend a time, spending–time–spending–spanning time. (I heard that the other day, and I thought I was the last to say). Spend freely without being shot(like her!) Although the tensive terrorism pact is quaint distant from my own damn-cell lining(that too was permeated a few years back) I figured something out, Catchers, food from the Underground and the like– these people- these figurative metaphorically and meta physically loaded individs are old and doing this comb-bined with columbine combined with–well–this stream of conscientious thinking thing, it may well be something to be left to corrode–let die. Alluded and deluded. But maybe it has conscienceness– rather, an embedded mmmmeaning in our– or mine, anyway–everyday lives. For ex, when I use dashes, it’s because I’m dashing–but it’s also because (since) I herd a great rule that Descartedly was distinct and clear to me. Alluded and deluded. Shall I comb up with my startling notions (and I like that word because I can communcate to shaggy- haired boys–and yes they are the future–and yes the icy warmed 4 times over did actually open their mind a vestige! So thereby I can communicate wit du littluns–and delude mecells– and be active in this whole processss–like I could find answers to questions like my lost ancestors– you see the lost gen werelost but they still had ancestors, I, or possibly, We [are borg] have none or they are nameless and boring to us. So we are the lost ancestor gen– and we can take it right now, or leave it each time– you know well– televison ((a!)) band ((drug of a nation)). I also just like to say if it’s a word– thanks to that marvellous (literally marvellous) Modern, that is, Descatealy clear and distinct and true and useful and appropriate and meaningful to me– that lucid analeptic sweet for me. You see, it speaks, “NO Shun, as in don’t shun this idea I have– you can’t, it’s my notion–no-tion. No-Tee-ON. No golf. Not tea on the turf. My new rules are–oh excuse me entirely; excuse me entirely–ha, I quess I forgot this was all in parenthesis.). lunar mooner. Oh yes, my startling notions(insert side)[?]. I must complete my settings,; master them, manipulate them they are my ancestors greatest trait! Oh, yes, no ancestor because–yes–and I feel many others are the same. You see, all knowledge has brushed by me. I must be a figure into figure into a figure into a pool of conscienceness into a trick of perception and sensing I Imagine how far I could go on but fortunately a knowledge has flowed quite persuasively by me. I only see the environment I’m in–in fact I can list what I see as apossible setting–a mall– in Novembre (quite weak considering some other great authors use of french phrases in the Great Past Times. My pastimes include sitting here–
sitting here in a mall, writing–writ-ing. At least avoiding the corny vittle vendors to my credit////lack of it[slash dat shit shoot]I walk back and forth here from schooling I used to come here when I went to lower schools, I don’t have many positive reinforcers to compel me back. I’ll tell you someting. Some quy asked me–not very earnestly–if I also wipe-my-ass, ou rather arse, with that. You see, I’ll give you graphic memorabilia, I was cleaning my specs with, this piece of cloth, which ripped from a shirt I still wear; but I attach this cloth with a chain to my wrist, and I do all kinds of tiny tasks with it, wiping, drying, wiping existence–do I exist, I mean to say–I can Instantaneously transit myself out and compel another personality in in. I was just some dork a second ago, wearing romantic blue-rimmed glasses, a new-nerd–a boring statement, containing warmed over icicle cream of insipid preflexes. A nerd who is respected, liberal minded–feared(internally) by knuckle-walkers and admired internally by the girls and women who date em(not to give them any precedence over the latter–of course). Datem point. Obseve Knuckle walk(a Dance played around the fire sphere?) Fascinating draw of words or a drowl of worms–persiflage– like YM Cosmo(not a deserving name, I would think) Megazines. Well YeM has dwindled I think–so is cosmo–isn’t it? Not to mention the other side’s Maximumly boarish, borish, plop schlop and pop slop persiflage(oh but I did mention it). I would make sense–tee hee– if it was. But I would not think that it was appropriate for Adbusters or Bust or Bitch to exist any longer. You see–they are quite stale too. And recognizing the constant vicissitude of ALL Tings, I will never allude or mention an magazine title or band title Tight Elle again.(dallude myself) it is my own-words here–mine known words but that just draws me back to figure–the figure I am or can be. I mean, shouldn’t I secure for other possible representations of me–like me being-well if you want to understand what I say choose a good film by MC perhaps if you know who I’m talking about and what I mean. I choose MC. because they are initials of an holywood actor–former holywood actor. And it seems approp–(sigh)–riate. Because he was in something where une was living a well-balanced life until he realizes his life is-a-story. And it is the time to hallow his name, to screen him again. He belonged to the collective past–did he not? We all have stories to give—no really! full length feature films brought to you by the hundreds and thousands of CCCs that point on us everyday—we’re all n-list superstars now! Endless. See alluding like this is dangerous, it’s fleeting, its capricious (all this with– as my Unwaked Daddy would with a silver platter holding a game called MadGab–the Source, oh I’ll have mercy)(hollowed be...Nevermind...no! I mean oh what the hey day–simpson’s flander, boring uninspired unprogressive–Always mind!)(ha ha, that’s funny–like when I used to try and decipher their lyrics to my pal 2, he would find that humourous)(((he laughs too!))). I’m sitting here...sitting here....
Allusions are a stigmatized history ; in that they stigmatize brief uninspiring moments, cause us to depend too much on the pist///past. Like with these allusions the constant flux of recurring allusion is a vent but-maybe in evolutionary legacy vent, one that benefits me but also hinders me. A backward adaptive trait. Since such a flux arises and will burn out quaint fast–and yes, this is one of those Great Past Gibes that I state despite that fact that too is pomoderate. it is a Gibe to us–or at least me but concerned with other possible “MEs as well– Deja vu too then is suspect. Ever know anyone who actually likes it when this phenome occurs? No, because it is a plaguing reminder that things will always stay the same, that the old worries and detriment will always be there, recurring again and again. And yes, this” is one of those Great Past Gibes that I state despite that fact that too is pomoderat it is a Gibe to us– or at least me un concerned with other possible ones as well only trying to due as Eliot did seeing such heartening consolation in the past in the form of Alluded and Deluded....[possibly place this in ending]
So shall I exposay mine truer intentions? My strict rules that will Descartedly govern mine known damned cell linings, and my shredded genes I have here on me that I wore out naturally (important to note). Shall I expose. [not really a question]
[pos format: the mention of “damsel” suggests his girl or a girl he likes. Follow the mention of that word with a contextual backer. Use other such obscure terms (ie “drugs”) in the “discourse” section to be clarified by another character later(in the “story”). (Like: the girl is “lined” with garishments; or gook; or perniciousness; or insincerity, etcetera. Invicera– damn cell linings from the area too!). Damncell///\\\distress
Dear Secretary to the Governor General:
The need in our future will be to have genius. The kind of genius that a finalist for the Governor General’s Academic Medal is expected to have. The young woman under evaluation here, a star student who wrote the above literary occasion, if one may call it such, as her essay submission to the prestigious awards as a response to a negative evaluation she received on another previous essay she submitted to a professor and mentor.
In that paper, in a paragraph discussing Earth’s human population, criticising what one author stated as the overestimation of Malthus’ theories of population overgrowth, and the governments in the U.S. and Britain’s “devastating irresponsibility” in urging more births, she stated that with almost 7 billion persons on the Earth, and with these numbers forever rising, and the fact that soon the population will be able to increase by a billion in just one year, it may be the most intelligent and moral members of society with whom the judgement of massive death may rest not only as a moral obligation but a pragmatic one in order to eliminate a vast number of persons, with implications that the atomic bomb “was not only made to be practiced on small pacific islands, or in deserts, or in water, or to decimate unsuspecting Japanese towns.”
Perhaps it was a perceived astringent tone that made it sound polemical, or maybe the professor in question simply did not like the idea of a type of Technocracy that would have to surely exist to exercise such morbid control. Whatever it was, it was offensive to the professor; hence, the essay was graded unfavourably; the enclosed “Discourse” was the student’s apparent remonstration against this.
It can be difficult not to sympathize with the young woman who is dealt enough confusion and contradictions as a member of that culture or container in which she lives. At the same time, some statements of criticism by the professor did have merit.
In any case, the response by this young woman is a devastating perturbation from the usual ebullience of her exemplary work. It is still difficult not to feel resentment for the blow she was delivered, having lost both the medal and her once pristine academic standing.
Dr. Borlin Braithwaite, President
About the Author:
Steve MacLeod is a graduate of the University of Prince Edward Island. His publishing credits include co-authoring a feasibility study for the UPEI CSAF 2006 Feasibility Studies project and an excerpt from a novella entitled Ka published on the website forUnlikely Stories. He currently lives on Prince Edward Island working steadily as a writer of fiction and nonfiction.
Thank you for joining us once again and I hope we will see you here next week as we feature a piece of Quentin’s novel and more great indie literature.