A Pain Artist
By Leland Neville
Before YouTube and reality television there was a brief but passionate interest in pain artists. I performed in the cutthroat Rust Belt. Local TV news crews were often present. Men laughed uneasily, women screamed, and children watched open-mouthed. The occasional groupie would even follow me from an Econo Lodge in Buffalo to a Super 8 Motel in Detroit and back again. I posed for photographs and signed autographs. Times really have changed.
My boss, a serious-minded operator, never ad-libbed. “Ladies and gentlemen, according to the FBI you will probably be stabbed, shot, or raped at some point in your life. And if—God forbid—you should resist and injure the man who is attacking you … ” My boss melodramatically paused. “If you should harm that man who wants to kill or rape you, well, you will probably end up in jail. And what will happen to him? He will get your house. He will get your life savings. He will be entitled to a lifetime of government benefits … ”
The complimentary chicken dinners remained untouched. All eyes were fixed on me, standing off to the side, stoic.
“In my pocket,” said my boss, “is the user friendly state-of-the-art devise that will save your house, your money, and your life.” Continue reading “ISSUE 8: JANUARY 2016”
By Madhumita Roy
My monologue is directed at You.
Because You sit on the other side of the desk with a smirk on your face, which makes You resemble my cat, Ludo, when she smiles. New research claims that animals can smile and, therefore, I believe both You and Ludo are capable of smiling.
On rare occasions your smirk evolves into a wide grin.
These occasions are as follows: when rain-forests burn; or tsunamis wreak havoc in Asian countries; or when two hundred girls are abducted and threatened with rape.
Your face is extremely annoying.
Although there is a halo around your enormously big head, I think it is an illusion you have masterfully created to cut an impressive figure for a credulous crowd. You are not God, Godhead, Godfather, Godly, God-like, or any goddess. Continue reading “ISSUE 2: JUNE 2014”
W E I G H T
By Dawn Lowe
I saw a Good Samaritan beside the road and stopped the car.
He held a sign: SPACE SUIT FOR SALE
He was old, thin and wasted. The space suit lay in the dust at his feet, white and shiny, a US flag on its chest.
“How much?” I asked.
“$1,500,” he said. “Cash.”
I put the space suit in the back seat of my car and the old man got in beside it. The suit, seated like a passenger, was three inches taller than the Samaritan.
“Where’d you get it?” I asked.
He shrugged. “I was an astronaut.”
“What’s your name?”
“Does it matter? Once you’re grounded, they all forget.” Continue reading “ISSUE 1: MARCH 2014”