Archive for April, 2009

Let’s Get Ready To Sal-saaaa!

Posted in Two Minutes Less a Third on April 30, 2009 by jeereg

Ding goes the bell, and the combatants hit the floor in a swirl of red fabrics.  This is Vanessa’s first time at the Dance Ring; everything looks different than it does on TV.

“This is unreal,” she tells Rikka.

“Wait for the main event.”

Salvador slams a hip outward and the crowd goes absolutely insane.  She can feel the rhythm in her bones.  The closest rows are on their feet, yowling for murder.

“Wish I’d listened to my mom.  Taken dancing lessons.”

“You kidding me?  They woulda broke you in threes.”

A cross-step. Blood blooms on the challenger’s face.

Small Comforts

Posted in Two Minutes Less a Third on April 29, 2009 by jeereg

“This is as far as I can take you,” the Storm King had told them.  “From here, the storms are wild.”

He was not wrong.

The darkness came in waves, huge crashing walls of sound and water, what light there was bright and violent.  Becca’s tears were whipped into the fury, raindrops now, stolen by the storm.

“Child,” said the Sky Whale.  “You will be safe with me.”

It guided her to a crook under its fin, a shelter from the terrible night.  Becca curled up, shivering, listening to the muted chaos and the ancient rumble of her friend’s heart.

Think About How Many People Touch It

Posted in Two Minutes Less a Third on April 28, 2009 by jeereg

Thadeus’s money problems have little to do with getting it, and almost entirely to do with two things:

1. Where to put it.

2. How dirty it is.

It’s fucking gross, if you’re wondering.  He tries to sort the stacks, packing the cleanest, crispest bills into nice little boxes, and leaving heap after crumpled heap of stained paper on tables, floors, mantles.

“Is this blood?” he asks the apparently empty room.

“Maybe,” says Gloucester, who’s buried behind some piles in the corner.  “Probably.”

“That’s vile.”

“That,” says the muffled voice, “is the price you pay for not caring where it comes from.”


Posted in Two Minutes Less a Third on April 27, 2009 by jeereg

“Ladies and gentlemen of the class of 2009,” says Brett Johanssen, “congratulations.  We made it.”

A cheer starts to rise but is cut short by a cry from the first row.  “Not yet you haven’t!”

There’s a flurry of robes, and Vince McDonnaugh, the Guy Who Flunked Out, stands, sword in hand.  A dozen graduates shoot to their feet, but Brett raises a hand.  “What’s this, McDonnaugh?”

“This is you,” Vince points the sword at him, “and me, Johannsen.”

“The stakes?”

“The diplomas.”

“And if I refuse?”

“You can’t,” and then McDonnaugh’s mortar board flies through the air, razor edges glinting.


Posted in Two Minutes Less a Third on April 24, 2009 by jeereg

That’s a pretty sexy title, right?  You were thinkin’ about it.  Sex.  Like, a little KY Jelly, maybe some natural lubricants, you’re thinkin’ about friction, about nasty, nasty friction.

What a filthy mind.

But maybe you’re not, maybe you’re pretending you’re not thinkin’ about it.  Maybe you’re thinkin’ engines, maybe you’re thinking oil, you’re thinking fluids, you’re thinkin’ ball bearings.  Am I right?

What if I told you I was talkin’ about gun grease?  That gross shit they put on automatics to make sure they don’t jam.  What about that?

You’re thinking barrel.  You’re thinking shooting.

You nasty little bitch.


Posted in Two Minutes Less a Third on April 23, 2009 by jeereg

“What are you doing?” asks his brother.  They’re on the roof, a sprinkling of stars hanging above them, so close they could touch them.

“I’m growing my wings.”


“I can feel ’em coming in.  It’s only a matter of time.  And then I’m gone.  I got places to be.”

“Like where.”

“I dunno.  South.  There are people I miss.”

A brief silence.  “Alright.”  His brother half-climbs in through the window, then swings back.  “What happens if they don’t come in?”

“What d’you mean?”

“Your wings.  What happens if you’re wrong?”

He looks down briefly.  “Then at least I waited.”

They’re Really Tall

Posted in Two Minutes Less a Third on April 22, 2009 by jeereg

Those who would ride the Giant Giraffes of the Secret Valley first must make two decisions.  The first: how dearly do they value their lives, which will be put in constant peril whilst associating with the feral Giant Giraffes?

The second: where are they going to sit?

“What are my options?” asks Bill, tightening his chin strap.

“Well, you’ve got regular saddle, on the back, you know, but there’s limited visibility.  Some people like to get up on the head, but vertigo’s a problem, as are winds.”

“What else?”

“Only one other that works.  We call it the Koala Grip. “