Archive for August, 2013

The Tongue

Posted in Works Published Elsewhere with tags , , , , , on August 30, 2013 by stantonmccaffery

– Published on available here. 


Why You Shouldn’t Bully a Fish Expert

Posted in Crime fiction with tags , , , , , on August 22, 2013 by stantonmccaffery

Ronnie was an eleven year-old boy who was obsessed with fish. He was not only a member of Fish Experts International; he was the President of the local chapter. He wore fish tee-shirts, fish shorts, and fish sox, every day. He knew the name, breeding ritual, and diet of every fish on earth.

Because of his nerdery, he had to take what he could get when it came to friends his age, even if one such friend named Harvey wasn’t particularly nice to him. Harvey would punch Ronnie unexpectedly for no reason, steal his lunch money while Ronnie wasn’t looking and then deny it, and tell hurtful untruths about him to girls at school. Ronnie put up with it because Harvey allowed him to say they were friends, and, at age eleven, being abused seems more bearable than being friendless.

After months of wedgies and humiliating rumors however, Ronnie’s feelings on the value of Harvey’s “friendship” began to change. Maybe the shame of being a lone wolf was easier to handle?

The last straw came over the summer when they were riding their mountain bikes in the woods, near the pond. Harvey asked Ronnie if he could see his bike.

“Just for a sec,” he pleaded.

Ronnie acquiesced. In the blink of an eye, Harvey rolled the bike forcefully into the lake. Ronnie gave out a pathetic whimper and he was ashamed of the sound as soon as he heard it. Harvey cackled insanely and sped off on his own bike, leaving Ronnie to retrieve his from the middle of the fetid, stagnant water. Ronnie may have had a fondness for fish and all other things aquatic, but the walk into the lake made him boil with rage from the inside. He’d been fooled. For the last time.

When he got home, wet and enraged, he went online and requested the assistance of his associates from Fish Experts International. He told them his plight and easily enrolled them in his plot for vengeance. Specifically, he contracted the services of members who worked for the Brazilian Forestry Service, Virgin Airlines, ICE, the FAA, and UPS. They’d get him what he needed and make sure the law didn’t interfere.

Less than a week later, a package arrived at his doorstep.

“It’s another fish, honey,” said his mom, lovingly. It was.

That night he went to the pond in the woods, opened the box, and slid out the tank from within. A fish no larger than a juvenile sun fish swam innocently inside. He popped the top and dumped it in the water. He knew what kind of fish it was and he knew what it was capable of doing. He didn’t know that the fish came carrying a passenger, a stow-away.

The next day, just as Ronnie had guessed, he and Harvey went to the lake. It was the only place Harvey could smoke the cigarette’s he’d lifted from his mother’s nightstand without being spotted.

“You’re a pussy,” blurted Ronnie, out of nowhere.

Harvey stammered at first and then punched Ronnie square in the nose.

“What’s wrong with you?” said Harvey. “Don’t call me a pussy!”

Ronnie whipped the blood from his face. “I won’t call you a pussy if you prove to me that you’re not a pussy,” he retorted.

“Fine,” shot Harvey. “What do I need to do?”

“Strip naked and swim to the middle of the pond,” said Ronnie.

“That’s it. Yeah, whatever. Fine.”

Harvey pulled off his shirt, flung off his shoes and socks and took off his pants and underwear. He plunged head first into the pond. He reached the approximate middle and turned to look at Ronnie. He raised his hands over his head as a gesture of triumph. He was about to say something when suddenly he froze and stuck his hands under water. He went pale.

Ronnie could see his arm muscles flexing. He gave a feigned look of terror and surprise.

Harvey was struggling to pull off the fish. Through the murkiness of the water he could see the creature chewing on one of his testicles. He panicked and tore it from his manhood. He pulled the fish above water and held it adjacent to his face. The fish had strong teeth that looked like human molars. Harvey screamed and the fish opened its mouth. Out shot a termite-looking parasite that clung to Harvey’s face. It began to chew vigorously on his nose.

When the blood started to fly, Ronnie knew he succeeded. He ran  away and cackled just like Harvey had done when he pushed Ronnie’s bike into the very same pond.

*The fish in this story is not fictional. There is a fish native to South America called the Pacu that has been known to attack skinny-dipper’s testicles. The Pacu often has a termite-looking parasite living inside its mouth.Image

Don’t Dogs Do the Strangest Things?

Posted in Crime fiction, Horror Fiction with tags , , , , , on August 20, 2013 by stantonmccaffery

Their second day in the house was when she found the skulls.

17 Brian Street had been on the market for two years before John and Susan Myers moved in. With the depressed credit market, it was hard for them to get a mortgage. They persisted and eventually prevailed even if the neighborhood they moved into was a bit odd – there were cat ladies, women in moo moos that sat on their porches all day, and crazy men that cursed obscenities at the sky when it rained.

Susan didn’t care. She had her own home, and more importantly, she had her own yard. At last, she could garden without having to get approval from some stuck up nosey-ass landlord. The day after the closing, Susan woke up and went to Home Depot. She picked up shovels, trowels, a hoe, fertilizer, some flowery gardening gloves, and tomato seeds.

She sped home like a demon, put on her new gloves, got on her knees, and stuck the trowel into the ground. The soil smelled just like it should have, like dirt. She stirred it up. She smiled. Just when she had made the dirt soft enough to sift through her fingers, she stuck her hand into the ground. She hit something hard.

She tapped on it with her finger. It wasn’t a rock. She got her hand around it and pulled out a white, dirty oval. She brushed it off. It was a dog’s skull. A little creepy, but still quaint. Someone had loved their dog so much they buried them in their front yard to keep them close.

She shook her head and thought that even though she’d be disturbing someone else’s memories, she had to dig up the rest of the skeleton. Her tomatoes wouldn’t grow with the dead dog there. What she pulled out of the ground next is what gave her the stroke. It was another skull, but this one didn’t belong to a dog. This one belonged to a human, an infant human.

The dog’s name was Farrah, but no one knew the baby’s name. Farrah’s owner Mitchell was the last person to see the baby before he buried it underground and even then it was already dead.

Mitchell was a drunk and beat Farrah daily, usually with a mop handle for peeing in the house. Farrah never attacked Mitchell, but she growled at him constantly and every once and a while during walks, she would come to a dead stop for no reason. She’d lock her legs and refuse to budge. She was a Doberman, and a strong Doberman.

One day, Farrah pulled this stunt on the way home from the liquor store. Mitchell had already guzzled his weight in alcohol before he went out to restock and didn’t have the strength to pull Farrah or the patience to try to persuade her to walk. He dropped the leash, told his dog she could find her own fucking way home, and walked away.

When Farrah came home she had a dead baby in her mouth. She was carrying it softly and hadn’t left even the tiniest tooth mark in its flesh. She rested the body on the front lawn and sat down next to it. She started to whimper.

When Mitchell saw what Farrah had brought home, he freaked. He tried to grab the baby and stuff it in a garbage bag but Farrah barked and twitched as if she’d contracted rabies. She lunged at his hand and showed her white dagger-like teeth and pink gums. Mitchell ran into the house and came back out with a shovel.

“Come here Farrah,” he said softly with the shovel behind him. “I’m sorry honey,” he said, alcohol steaming from his mouth.

With her head down she walked closer. When she was within an arm’s length, he came down hard on the top of her head. Her teeth crunched and her skull cracked. She bled from her eye sockets. He gave her a few more solid whacks to make sure she was dead.

He dug a deep hole and threw in the baby and then the dog.

“Some poor asshole is gonna go to dig a garden and give themselves a fuckin’ stroke,” he said.

The One Thing I Know About Card Games

Posted in Crime fiction with tags , , , , , on August 19, 2013 by stantonmccaffery

I don’t know any card games. Poker never made sense to me. But I do know this much: a lot has to do with the hand you’re dealt. Such is the same with life.

Back in days when it was bros before homework – hoes hadn’t figured into the equation yet – we snuck into Adam Sandler movies and ate so much sugary shit our teeth hurt. Going to the movies with Henry was a blast. He threw popcorn at the screen and made lewd comments at people as they walked by looking for seats.

At school, the same shenanigans continued. His brother owned a porn shop, so when we were a few years older – and when hoes did start to matter – he’d come in with a backpack filled with Penthouse and sell them for a few dollars each. He got thrown out of health class for yelling, “hey, give me a kiss!” when the teacher explained that a labia looked like a pair of lips.

He was a clown. He was my friend.

Henry and I shared a sense of humor, a taste in music, and an attitude towards authority figures. Our home lives though, no matter how much we thought the same and felt the same, our home lives were different, and that’s what mattered. My family had its share of screaming matches and bouts of mental illness, but my father never held my mother’s face to the stove and turned on the burner. I was never sent to a foster home. My brother never made me perform sexual favors.

My room at home had a door, a cheap one that I punched a hole in at some point, but a door nonetheless. Henry’s room had a plastic divider that child services told his mother she had to put up in order for it to qualify as a bedroom. It was really just a closet.

I went to college. Henry’s mother threw him out of the house when we were in high school for a reason I never knew forcing him to drop out at age 17. When I was worrying about the first semester’s final exams, he was worrying about finding a place to sleep. Eventually he would find an abandoned strip mall. This is where he contracted meningitis and died.

That’s Henry’s story. He was my friend.

When people talk to me about self-made men and about how everybody’s got a chance, I tell them about Henry, and the hand he was dealt, and how he never had no fucking chance.

Taking a Shit in New York City

Posted in Horror Fiction with tags , , , , on August 12, 2013 by stantonmccaffery

When he walked out of the office building and dropped his pants in the middle of Second Avenue, no one noticed. Frankly, it’s been done before. In Manhattan, you have to try really, really hard to get anyone’s attention. That’s why he pulled down his underwear too. That’s also why he started to crap – right in the street – causing yellow taxi cabs to swerve and honk.

The cops, young new recruits for the NYPD, saw this. They’d deal with it when they finished their coffee and cigarettes. They just had to deal with a homeless man screaming obscenities at tourists across from the UN and they deserved a break. One man taking a dump in the middle of the street wasn’t really hurting anyone anyway.

What caused them to put out their cigarettes and put down their coffee was when the man – still wearing a tie – started to throw his fecal matter at their police cruiser. When they came over to put the cuffs on him, he spit wads of pus, blood, and chewed pieces of his tongue at them. This made people turn their heads. Victory.

His employees, looking from the windows of the building he just exited, weren’t all that surprised. He always did come up with creative ways to get out of trouble. With this newest stunt, a plea of insanity would surely get him acquitted on charges of securities fraud he’d been indicted for earlier that morning.

© Stanton McCaffery