Situation Normal. Atmosphere Breathable. Brainstem Injected. Dialogue Engaged.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Penny Dreadful Part Two

Gregory never got the chance to duck his promise, if he even considered it. At the bell’s ring, Clay rose and raced from the classroom. As soon as Gregory walked out, Clay grabbed him by the ear.

“You’re mine now, shrimp. This is gonna be fun. Don’t worry, I ain’t gonna hurt you.”

Gregory wasn’t sure what he dreaded more: Clay’s mischievous games or the punishment he’d get when he finally managed to escape home.

They walked down Church Street to the forest and Clay led the way to his so-called fort. It was nothing more than scrap wood nailed to a few close set trees, enclosing a small roofless room. Inside Clay had displayed his mastery of feng shui by adorning the rotting plywood with animal corpses. They were nailed to the wall according to Clay’s careful categorization: squirrels, beavers, and rats on one wall, fish and frogs on the opposite. The fish and frogs had decomposed to bone and cartilege. The mammal corpses had dried stiff, the blood now black, the fur missing clumps where birds had visited to forage for nesting material. The smell in the enclosure was rather unpleasant.

“How did you catch all these?”

“BB gun. I stole it from Benny. I got sick of shooting cans and bottles. Animals are better. They bleed and shake when you shoot em. If you play along with my idea I’ll let you try.”

Gregory was fascinated by the display. His parents’ gruesome admonishments often visited him at night, both before and after he fell asleep. Seeing blood and death pinned to the wall in small helpless packages, he felt an inkling of freedom. Why fear the dangerous world when he could be the danger?

“Wow. Cool!”

“You like it? Really?


“You got anything like this?”

“No way. My parents won’t even take me fishing. They make me read Mother Goose and go to church. I never get to do anything fun. But at least I’m safe.”

“Safe shmafe. You stick with me and I’ll show you the coolest shit, shrimp.”

“I don’t know, Clay. What do you wanna do, anyways?”

“Ever play over by the train tracks?”

“What do you think?”

“Don’t get snotty with me or I’ll pound you.”

“Jeez, fine.”

Clay reached into the pocket of his grimy lure vest and fished out a plastic baggy full of loose change. He held it aloft and winked at Gregory.

“We’re gonna smush these flatter.”


“Because, dumbass. I’m gonna sell em at school and get rich. I’ll tell everybody I had Superman squeeze em in his butt. Those dumbells’ll think they’re neater than a fart in church.”

“How are we gonna smush em, Clay?”

“The trains, ‘member?”

“Why do you need me?”

“I’m gonna put em on the tracks when the train is coming. You’re gonna stand real close and watch where they go if the wheels send em flyin.”

“Isn’t that dangerous? My parents wouldn’t want me doing that.”

“Are you gonna do everything you parents say? Don’t be a candyass. I told you I’d show you how to have fun. When we’re done I’ll give you ten BBs and let you shoot at anything you want with my air rifle. Trust me.”

“I guess so. Sounds okay.”

“Of course it is. C’mon, let’s go.”

Conclusion tomorrow.
6:33 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm


September 14, 2005 2:04 PM, Blogger Bobby said...

Right after I read that, a train went by outside.

I wish I was a little kid again.

Now I'm just a little adult.

September 14, 2005 5:47 PM, Blogger The Everglades said...


Awaiting conclusion...


September 15, 2005 9:45 AM, Blogger Mishka said...

Can't wait to see what happens next.

September 15, 2005 9:56 AM, Blogger Dave Morris said...

This is like back in school when the teacher would read one chapter from a book every day. MAN, I hated that... but I'm the kind who will stay up all night because I can't put a book down.

September 15, 2005 11:02 AM, Blogger Lostinspace said...

i love how you always find the cutest little pictures to illustrate your stories. i had a cookie while i was reading your different parts. :)


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Ignorant Poem
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