The Aardvark and the Alien Goldmines

“This is stupid,” complained the aardvark, Steve.

The alien shrugged and tugged Steve’s leash towards another termite mound. Its tentacles reached nearly to the ground and made a gentle swooshing sound as they waved against each other. It was a medium sized Smark, a soldier. It didn’t have guns or anything, but the lasers it could shoot from the tips of its tentacles were pretty cool.

Steve thought so, anyway, til the damn thing lasered HIM.

“Dick move,” thought Steve as he fell over sideways, paralyzed.

So anyway, here was Steve on a red bungie cord leash, being dragged and nudged to one termite mound, then another, then another. Finally the alien seemed satisfied with Steve’s skillset demonstration, and led him towards the rocket.

You don’t see a lot of spaceship-rocket-types of things in the African savannah. The aliens had used Wikipedia to determine the safest landing zone within a stone’s throw of their target. They had also used Wikipedia to find a creature capable of extracting things from under the ground. What Wikipedia hadn’t been able to tell them, however, was that their creature of interest had a whiny attitude and a filthy mouth. And could be incredibly rude. And was gassy.

The alien swooshed Steve up the ramp into the rocket. It was tall and cylindrical, like the one Bugs Bunny rode in Loony Tunes, not round and wide like in E.T. Steve was annoyed. This was not gonna be a comfy ride. He grunted and whined. He farted. The alien zapped him with a tentacle.

“Oww!” Steve squealed, “Asshole!”

The elevator trembled and the pair rose silently through the dark tunnel of the rocket. Tiny lights of various colors blinked on and off in the cool darkness. The door slid open and the alien swooshed out. Steve stuck his snout out first, tested the air. The door slide closed and caught him. And didn’t let go.

Steve’s day had started out normal enough. Sleeping. Because that’s what aardvarks do during the day. And he was just there in his den, minding his own business, having a snooze, when the long slimy cold tentacles had reached down through the tunnel and wrapped around his neck. His exit from his den, sideways through the narrow tunnel, nearly choked and woken from sleep, now counted as his least favorite way to start a day.

Steve was ruminating on this as he waited for someone to open the goddamn elevator door and release his nose. Someone was sure happy to take their fucking time.

“Hello? Little help over here?” he snorfled. The alien turned and tentacle-faced itself. A different tentacle stretched out and tapped the elevator button. The door slid open again and Steve stumbled out with as much swagger as an aardvark with a sore nose can muster.

“So, bro, what’s the dealio?” he asked as he plopped down on the floor. The alien pointed to the window, and presumably the sky beyond. Its large glassy eyes, all four of them, were evenly spaced around its headlump, so it was hard to tell where it was actually looking.

“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. I’m not an idiot. We’re in a rocket, I kinda figured we were gonna take off,” Steve muttered. “Ok, Slimy Guy, surprise me. I love surprises.” Steve put his head down on his paws to take a nap.

Tentacles on a large flat screen built into the console pressed various places in seemingly random order. The mothership received a message:

SUBJECT ACQUIRED.

SUBJECT SKILLSET DEEMED APPROPRIATE.

SUBJECT IS A BIT OF A DICKWAD.

EOM

To be continued…

Razzamataz Radio

If your eyes are tired and need a break, you might have a listen to a podcast I partake in, Razzamataz Radio. It’s a fun weekly variety show on Thursday mornings at 10:30 est. We feature new and old music, comedy sketches, poetry, books, and art.

Our Poets’ Corner needs POETS! If you have material you’d like to share, please hit me up here, @IncendiaryKitty, or @RazzamatazRadio! All copyrights remain with the contributors.

We would love to feature your new original music too – with or without an interview! If you have demos or finished material to share, please ping us!

Each week I do a segment called the Incendiary Book Nook. We talk all manner of written words (writing, books, comics, anything really) and we interview writers, signed and unsigned, published and unpublished.

This week’s special guest is Jessa Kent! She tells us about fanfiction in general and her specific process for writing it. She’s a hotwired ball of fire and so much fun to listen to!

So please check us out, and if you would like to participate in the Incendiary Book Nook or Poets’ Corner, or submit your music, hit me up through the links above! We love reading new writers and material that doesn’t fit into a nice “box,” and we love to bring new artists and material to the big wide world!

Love,

Incendiary Kitty

 

Tinker (a #31ShortHorrors tale)

Marva’s fingertips trailed over the drawer fronts on the plastic cabinets that held her husband’s screws, nails, bolts, nuts, and other assorted bits. The wirecutters were hanging on the pegboard next to the ball peen hammer, under the regular hammer. A chalk outline traced where each tool should hang correctly.

She hosed the pegboard down and watched the water drip drip in a trail to the drain cover in the center of the smooth garage floor. Lining the garage walls were orderly sets of cabinets, countertops, and shelving, a chef’s dream kitchen, if said chef whipped up repaired Ferraris or Baby Benzs for dessert each night. A place for everything, and everything in its place.

Almost.

A tilt of her head, the whir of an electric motor, the flick of an outside light. Marva raced out a side door and into her own kitchen.

Mickey was at the kitchen table working on his times tables. Mona was practicing a spelling list. The twins worked quietly, mouthing answers to themselves. Then, on an invisible cue, they traded schoolwork. Halving their homework time was a system they developed and perfected throughout second grade; now in third grade, they were masters of efficiency. Marva kissed the top of Mona’s blonde hair and gave Mickey a playful tug on the earlobe as she rushed to turn off the oven.

The roast was burnt. Charred. Dead. No longer alive. Not edible to even Eddie the Great Dane. He whimpered and lumbered back to his cushy bed near Mickey’s feet. The side door clicked and everyone jumped. Even Eddie.

“Honey, you’re home early!” Marva sang.

“What’s that goddawful – what the HELL, Marva? I just fixed that oven!” he snarled.

“Yes, I didn’t realize you’d fixed it,” Marva whispered. “I had used it on the old settings.”

The family sat in stony silence around the gleaming mahogany dining room table. Mickey and Mona ate two rolls each and picked at their vegetables. Their dad smirked at the meat as he ate four rolls and the rest of the cheesy broccoli. Marva pushed broccoli around her plate. Eddie lay at her feet in solidarity.

“Why don’t you have some roast, Mother?” her husband sneered.

“Afraid I don’t have much of an appetite,” she answered, her voice catching.

“Oh? You haven’t even TRIED IT,” he roared, rising from his chair and crossing the space between them in three strides. He slide the platter of blackness across the table, knocking Marva’s own plate on the floor. The platter skidded to a halt and the grease at the bottom took more time halting, stopping only at Marva’s blouse. She gasped.

He put his hand on the back of her head. “Kids, what do we always say about food we’re unfamiliar with?” his wide false grin aimed at the children.

“Try it, you might like it,” they answered in robotic monotone, staring into their plates.

“Yes, DEAR. TRY IT, you might LIKE it,” Father demanded. He shoved Marva’s face down onto the sharp, solid roast. She’d gulped air like she was ready to deep-sea dive, but he pounded it out of her. Again and again, he crashed her head into the roast. She felt the blood drip drip down her face before she felt her skin split open under her eyelid, across and under her nose, and just under her eyebrow. Her lip split open, the upper frenulum slit, black char lined her teeth and flaked off her skin in bits. Loud explosions of light, blue, green red, then purple, covered her vision. Three, four, eight, finally, times he slammed her head into the roast.

The meat, finally tenderized, lay in three large, solid chunks on the china platter, which was split in half. Marva had fainted sometime between blows three and six. When Father let go of her head, she fell like a sack of potatoes out of the chair. Eddie whined and licked her face. The children’s tears drip dripped down their cheeks, off the tips of their chins.

“Dismissed,” Father panted. Mickey and Mona bolted from their highbacked dining chairs and ran hand in hand up the center hallway stairs.

Another Christmas, another family photograph missing Marva. Another extra Rubbermaid barrel at the curbside, ostensibly filled with wrapping paper and boxes and frustration-free packaging. This year the raccoons snatched at the lid. Neighborhood dogs whined at it, knocked it over. The garbage men cursed the house and the scattered ceramic shards that lay about the overturned barrel when they arrived.

New Year’s Eve. A chance to start again. A chance to get everything right.

Marva stood gingerly, leaned against her bed, finding her balance. Sitter booked, check. Pizza ordered, check. She walked slowly to her closet, a hand on the wall for balance. The door slid open, and she pulled out a heavy clothes hanger covered in plastic, and a pink shoe box from the upper shelf. The plastic lifted up and over, floated to the carpet. She spread the dress out on the divet.

Siren red, strapless, sweetheart neckline, red sequins everywhere, a shower of them cascading between the bust. Marva took a long, hot shower, placed cool gel packs on her eyes, and dried her hair. Theatre makeup tonight.

She checked her form in the mirror. Veronica Lake curl. Purple full length gloves. Red stilettos. Dress down to there, slit up to there.

Ready for a fresh start. She spritzed on Chanel No 5 and carefully went downstairs to answer the door.

The pizza guy’s eyes nearly fell out of his head but popped right back into focus with his hundred dollar tip.

The sitter, “Va va VOOM Mrs. O! Lookit YOU! Ready to paint the town red!” the teenager squealed. The children chimed in.

“Ok now kids, be good for Stacy, hm? You can watch the ball drop but then it’s straight to bed!” she smiled and kissed the tops of their heads. “Remember, Mommy loves you more than life itself. Happy New Year!” and Marva fell into her kids’ group hug.

Stilettoes on the concrete, tap tap tap. Fingernails on the workshop window, tap tap tap. Knuckles on the workshop door, rap rap rap.

Her husband’s eyes, wide.

“I, I didn’t make plans, tonight… I thought you were still…” he stuttered.

“Recovering?” she purred. “I’m feeling much better now.” She trailed her gloved fingers from his white starched shirt collar down to his belt. “I thought maybe we could stay in?” she whispered. “Have our own little … celebration?”

“Um, sure, ok,” he mumbled. “Let me just wash my hands, I was…”

“Tinkering,” Marva finished for him.

“Yeah,” he said weakly, and vanished to the shadows.

A faucet on, then off, drip drip.

He walked back to the middle of the shop floor, to the drain. The lights dimmed, then out, click click.

“Honey?” he called out to the darkness.

Hands on his shoulders, she was behind him, kneading his neck, the tops of his arms, all the way down to his wrists. She pulled them slowly, massaging his palms, until zip pop, the zip tie was in place.

A kitchen chair banged at the backs of his knees. He as obliged, due his lack of balance, to sit down. Zip pop zip pop, two more zip ties around his ankles, to the chair.

“Honey, what is this?” he called weakly.

“Hmmm. What is this, indeed?” she answered from the darkness. A fluorescent shop light trained on the top of his head, pointed out where exactly his hair was thinning. Sweat from his temples, drip drip.

She sauntered from the shadows. The electric door opener was in her hand. She stood next to him and aimed it at the door. It rose, smooth and quiet as silk. His Lamborghini parked just outside.

Marva placed the remote starter in her husband’s right hand. “Go ahead,” she spoke gently, “try it.”

Click click.

BOOM!

Red, orange, yellow enveloped his face as he watched his favorite and best toy blasted to shards.

“Oops. I must have forgotten to tell you I fixed it,” Marva purred. “You should have used the new settings. One click, not two.”

“Bu bu but you didn’t TELL me!” he gasped. She smiled, touched her cheek, still visibly swollen.

She stood before him, ripped his shirt open at the buttons. Removed her gloves in one long, languid move after another, draped them over his shoulders. He could smell her. She lowered the garage door click click.

He looked her over, hair to stiletto. Eye caught on the slit in her dress, where it stopped at her hip. She watched him watch her.

“Remember the last time we made love?” she purred, bent over at the waist before him. He stared at her cleavage and nodded. “And remember what you did that you said you were certain I would enjoy?”

His face darkened. Her doctor had had a lot of statements about safe words and biting and how one shouldn’t bite one’s spouse’s nipples off.

Marva held the wirecutters in her hand now. She moved toward him, straddled his thighs, and settled down on his lap, slowly. As she moved, her dress didn’t keep up, and what would have been a nip-slip ended up as a smooth, bald breast slip, the light brown of her areola above her dress, no nub to top it. Marva rotated her hips on her husband’s lap, felt him harden beneath her crotch.

“I’m certain you will like this, it’s all the rage in the newest clubs,” she purred, “and it won’t it be nice for us to be married, a truly matching pair?”

She pressed the cold metal of the wire cutters to his chest with one hand, unbuckled, unbuttoned, and unzipped his trousers with the other. Released his hard cock from his boxers. “It’s been so long, I’m not sure I remember how to do this,” she whispered as she rose up.

His breath trembled.

She sank down on him and as she did, the blood ran drip drip down his front, into her dress and he cried out in pain, agony, ecstasy as she rode him and cut, every so slightly, a million tiny slits, until his nipple hung by a slender strip of skin.

She sat still on him, letting him rest, not letting him cum. She bent down, took the nub between her teeth, and pulled, spit it into the darkness of the garage. He opened his eyes, whimpered, looked down at her now-rotating hips and groaned. As he got closer, she snipped and cut and slit again, with the same result.

As she spit the second nipple across the room, she raised herself up off of his dick and looked at him. Blood poured down his front, over his trousers, onto the floor. His turgid, purple prick aimed skyward like a beacon. His red, blotchy, sweaty head lolled to one side. She disappeared tap tap into the darkness and then reappeared with one hand behind her back.

Marva slapped him hard. “Wake up, you bastard. Wake the fuck up.” He came to, and watched her wrap one cold hand around his flagging dick. She pumped, and he whimpered, “Please don’t.”

“Why not? Do you really mean you don’t like this? I was sure you would like it. As sure as you were sure that I would like it so many times.” She pumped faster and his dick got longer, harder, the veins stuck out.

“Please don’t, I don’t want this, you can’t do this,” he panted.

“I can tell from the way you’re breathing you must like it. Otherwise your cock wouldn’t be hard,” she said, words ice in his spine. “You know you want it, you know it feels good baby, just give in to it.”

She pumped him harder, kneeled down between his knees, her face inches from his cock, the heat of her tongue on the wet head of it. His hips bucked and his balls tightened, he felt the cum surging forth, and he cried out as the pipecutter closed around the based of his turgid dick and clack clack closed. In one motion, she stood, tossed the pipe cutter on the concrete floor (clang clang), and dangled his still spasming penis in front of his face.

“You know you loved it, otherwise you wouldn’t be breathing that hard.”

Drip drip down the garage floor drain. Thump thump, the bag into the trunk of the car. Splish splash, into the ocean. Chomp chomp, the Northern Great Whites had a surprise midnight snack off the coast of Cape Cod.

 

The Lion, and the Witch in the Wardrobe (a #31ShortHorrors tale)

Boston, Massachusetts, has always been a magical place.

There once was a witch who lived in a wardrobe. It was cozy and warm. She had a soft nest in the back corner, bordered by work boots, lined with old blankets. Above her, threadbare winter coats hung, casting off duck and goose feathers every once in a while. The witch, whose name was Lucille, had a pet rat named Honkers, who fetched the occasional snack for her from the kitchen.

The wardrobe itself was in the back corner of little Bobby’s bedroom, on the third floor of the house 333 West 3rd Street in Boston, Massachusetts. The street was narrow and old, and although this particular house was not narrow, it was old. Each house on the street was ancient as the city itself, and each was home to a magical creature. Bobby’s house had Lucille, the neighbors next door had a werewolf, the folks across the street had an elf. All of the old houses had enchanted protectors that had travelled with the original inhabitants hundreds of years ago.

As is common in old cities, Boston was undergoing something of a construction revival, and many of the original structures were being torn down and replaced with highrise condominiums. With each razed property, its magical protector evaporated in a puff of smoke. Because they were bound to their structures, only the whispers of pigeons and crows carried the news of loss from home to home across the city.

One bright winter morning, a dumpster was deposited in front of 333 West Third Street. It blocked the sidewalk on Bobby’s way to school, causing him to climb wayyyy up the snow bank and slide down the other side. Lucille heard the racket outside and sent Honkers to investigate. He returned breathless, but with a packet of saltines.

“What are we going to do? What are we going to do?” Lucille wrung her hands. “I don’t want to go up in a puff of smoke!” Honkers crawled into her lap and nestled in the crook of her elbow. Lucille stroked her pet’s fur and did her deep breathing exercises. Then she consulted her spell book.

She read all day until Bobby returned from school. She helped him with his homework. After his light switched off for the night, she read by the glow of the streetlights. She consulted crows and pigeons and a long-travelled hawk. She had deep discussions with Moon and Sun, Wind and Rain. Among all the oracles and wisdom, the only solution to be found was that most magical of transformations, that of changing the human heart.

Dawn approached, and she retreated to her wardrobe to develop her plan.

Lucille worked within and outside the physical world. When the family arrived home that night, their eyes were drawn to the details of the house: ornate woodwork, the curved banister, the grain of the hardwood floors. The sweet whistle of the old teakettle on the even older stove of the unremodeled small kitchen. The pocket door between the kitchen and the dining room. It was amazing what a difference a simple tilt of the electric lights could make in the illumination of a house.

Bobby sniffed the air as he walked in his front door. Cookies? Hmm chocolate chip? He set his bookbag down on a kitchen chair and peeked into the kitchen. His nose had not deceived him. Still warm, even hours after his mom must have left for work. He grabbed a plate, a glass of milk, and sat down at the dining room table to do his homework.

Bobby’s mom gave pause a moment at her front door. She squinted, tilted her head. Pulled two letters out of the old iron post box. The front door… ? She walked up to it, pressed her cheek against it. Warm. Not “Oh my God the house is on fire!” warm. Just, warm. She looked up at the doorknocker. Had that lion always looked so kindly? Had he always glowed?

Bobby’s dad parked his car at the curb and stepped gingerly around the dumpster on the front walk. Something, a black thing, whirred in his peripheral vision, drew it up towards the roof of his house. The chimney was smoking gentle puffs, the lights were on, music filled the cold clear winter evening air. He walked inside, his palm on the door handle longer than usual.

He looked around. Bobby was in the front parlor, assembling a jigsaw puzzle. His wife was just setting the final dishes on the table for supper. Chicken soup, by the smell of it. Fresh rolls.

At the end of the week, Friday evening, supper had been cleared. The dumpster still stood empty on the front walk. Bobby sat on the old sofa in the parlor under a new blanket – I found it in the bottom of my wardrobe – reading a comic book. His mother was at the other end of the sofa, sharing his new blanket, knitting a pink bonnet to accompany the pink sweater she’d just completed. His dad sunk into the recliner, catching up with the day’s news on a tablet computer. The ancient radio that the previous owners left was on, sputtered play by play of the Celtics game. The radiators clicked and sizzled.

Lucille did not let down her guard.

Monday, an architect banged the lion’s doorknocker. The lion growled. Bobby’s father opened the door, stepped aside as the tall dapper man walked in and appraised the space. He followed Bobby’s dad around the house and made notes on a legal pad. Another bathroom, clear out the attic and create a walk-up loft, open up the kitchen, skylights… stainless steel appliances, granite countertops are all the rage, yanno… open floor plan, master suite…

The pocket door pinched the architect’s pinky finger and refused to let go. Lucille, at the top of the stairs, raised an eyebrow at it, and the door relented. As they walked out, a floorboard popped and the architect tripped, flailed, and overturned the hall table as he crashed to the floor. Bobby’s dad helped the man up and escorted him out the front, as he did, he searched for whatever it was the architect could have tripped over, and found nothing. He looked around the parlor, the hall, up the staircase. Wistful? Sad?

He patted the doorknocker as he turned to leave, it was warm. Did it purr? He stroked around the outside of it, felt it vibrate. Huh, never noticed that feature before. Must be some old-fashioned technology? He stroked under the lion’s chin. The lion smiled, low vibrations filled his fingertips. He furrowed his brow, puzzled, then turned abruptly and left for work.

Thursday morning, Bobby’s mother stepped from her hot shower into the warm, muggy bathroom. She glanced at the bleach bottle and realized she hadn’t needed to spray for mold in several weeks. Not everyone is that lucky, especially in an old house, she thought. The mirror cleared up quickly and she applied her makeup, did her hair. Not even hotel bathrooms dry out this quick, she thought.

Saturday morning, the contractors arrived at 333 West 3rd Street, Boston, Massachusetts. A dump truck, a crane, and an excavator arrived to take up residence on most of the street, outlined by small orange cones, like chalk drawings around dead bodies. The beep beep beep of a bulldozer as it backed into place. Crows circled above. Bobby rubbed his eyes and sat up in bed.

He looked around quickly, scrambled out of bed to the window. His nose pressed against the thick swirled glass. He turned and ran, then skidded to the stairs, slid down the banister. His parents were at the open door, inside the threshold, talking to a tall, thick man in a bright yellow construction helmet and orange vest. Cold wind ripped through the open doorway. The sheers fussed over the windows in the parlor.

“We … we need some more time,” Bobby’s mother said to the contractor.

“Ma’am, we’re contracted for this property for a certain job, on certain days. If we don’t start today, we can’t finish on time, and that backs up our entire schedule. If we don’t start today, I can’t even guarantee we can do this job this year,” he answered. He tapped his clipboard and addressed Bobby’s dad. “I’ll give you fifteen minutes to make a decision.”

Bobby’s dad shut the door and turned to his wife. “Hon, I thought we had this all figured out? We have the drawings and plans,” he took her hands in his, “we were going to make this our dream home.”

She looked up him, tears welled in her eyes. “I can’t,” she whispered. “I can’t tear this house down. I don’t know why, I just can’t. It feels like we’re killing something.” Tears dripped down her cheeks.

Bobby stood behind them, gripping the curved, warm banister. He rubbed his chin on it. Lucille crept to the top of the stairs. With Honkers peeking out from his perch on her shoulder, she peered round the edge of the wall.

“Mom, don’t let Daddy tear the house down, please?” he hugged the warm smooth wood of the banister. “I like it the way it is. It’s safe like this. If they poke holes in it,” he pointed at the crew outside the parlor window, “it won’t be safe anymore. It won’t be warm.”

Bobby’s dad took his mom into a hug, waved to Bobby to join them. Bobby looked up at the sun carved into the woodwork above the front door, smiling down at him. The window sheers fluttered gently. The glass doorknob twinkled in the bright winter morning light. Vibrations in the floor tickled the soles of their feet through their shoes.

“Feels like purring,” Bobby’s mother murmured.

“I thought you wanted to have the new place done before the baby comes?” Bobby’s dad asked into his wife’s hair.

“I want the baby and Bobby to have a home. This feels like home,” she said into the soft fabric of his t-shirt. “This. Not some light beige, sanitized flat space. This,” she kept on, “this feels like a home.”

Her husband sighed into her hair and nodded, let go of her and his son. He opened the door, looked at the lion, his eye level. The lion met his gaze. He put his index finger to the lion’s mouth, felt the vibrations, a warm breath. “I get it, Watchman, I get it,” he whispered. The lion winked at him.

One by one, the gargantuan yellow construction vehicles abandoned West 3rd Street, beepbeepbeep by beepbeepbeep. One by one, crows lifted from the roof of 333 West 3rd Street, Boston, Massachusetts, to spread the news of how this small battle was won. One by one, a candle, a cigarette lighter, a reading light alit in the topmost window of each home across Boston where the news had spread.

And that is how the Watchman Lion, along with the Witch and her pet rat in the wardrobe, saved the magic of Boston by finding what humans prize most: the feeling of home.

For My Love

My love, my rock
My shining star
You’re steady through my waves
Let me rescue you
Right now
Pull you from the depths of caves
So dark and lost
Been there, my love
You saw me through that maze
So empty, blank
You’re there, my love
Let me relight your blaze
We’ll find our way
Into the light
Please take my hand
Please feel me
Let me rescue you
Right now
We’ll build a life
Please trust me
We can only
Look up to our dream
And march into it
I’m ready for us
Our future
Let’s run o’er fire to it
We’ll grow up and old
Together
This I know is true
I’ve grown up, become myself, within our love.
It’s you.