Play TimeThe bird flapped its wings slowly. Not slow enough, though.
I slowed it down even further. No, I still couldn’t see that feather very well.
There. I was wasting the day, moving my time so quickly that the bird looked nearly motionless, but that feather needed to be drawn properly.
Ah. Got it.
I went back to realtime and the bird sped off, chasing some hapless bug.
I was admiring my drawing when my timesense picked up a change behind me.
I dropped my sketchbook in the dirt and whirled around, yelling, “Ha!”
Tree-Kisser skidded to a stop.
“That’s no fair! How could you tell?” he demanded.
“Ha. You broadcast your quicktime for many seconds before you arrive! It is child’s play to match your timeflow!”
“No it isn’t! I do not!”
“Yeeeees you doooo,” I said teasingly.
“No! And mom says you’re late for dinner!
Kenny Has an AccidentElias was cleaning near the bathroom, so he couldn’t help but hear Kenneth mutter a curse from inside. The curse was followed by the sound of toilet paper tearing and damp sanitizer wipes being frantically pulled out.
Then a drop of piss came through the crack in the door and it was obvious there had been a disaster.
“Did Kenny have an accident?” Elias called conversationally.
“NO, ‘Kenny’ did not have an accident! The damn commode had an accident!” Kenneth said.
“You know, Kenny, I believe you’re too old to be having accidents,” Elias said as he caught the escaped urine with his mop.
“Oh Jesus there is not enough sanitizers,” Kenneth despaired. “Why won’t NASA just send us the part we need?!”
“Oh, well, you know,” Elias said as he dug out extra sanitizers, “the whole cost of shooting a rocket into space nonsense.”
“I did not come into space to catch my own
Oso's Special KnittingOso started knitting at age four. She spent at least three hours a day simply knitting. Her sisters also knitted, although Asa had also taken up needle felting as well. Mother always made the yarn. She spun yarn in every color, every thickness, in endless lengths. Yarn was made from everything. Wool, silk, flower petals, ice, heat waves, impure thoughts. Everything.
But it was Father who made the materials.
Ricardo was a preacher. Which is to say, he preached. He didn’t belong to any religion, although narcissism and ego are quite the cult. He simply preached to others, about everything, which he was the ultimate authority of. He was a very annoying child. By the time he was twelve, his mother feared he would never change.
Luckily, to impress a girl, Ricardo changed himself. Everyone was very relieved.
“Do you know what I love about knitting?” Oso said. “I love that I make each one different. They’re special.”
Pretty in PainI can see pain. I can see it like you can see your hands, like you can see a match burning in the dark.
It’s always spitting and twitching, twisting around the spots where the hurt is. It looks like barb wire made of lightning and fireworks. A lot of colors in it, always flash flash flash and changing.
It was terrible for me when I was little. I couldn’t let myself feel for other people, because so many people have headaches, aching knees, period cramps, arthritis… I mean, a lot of people are just made of pain. I can’t even see their faces sometimes.
So, you see, that’s why I do what I do. It’s not because I enjoy your blood all over the place or the sensation of cutting your bones with my Dad’s garden tools.
It’s because pain is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in the world. I just can’t live without it.
The Greatest Art Project in the WorldThe largest art project in the history of Earth was prepped to begin.
Just to begin, the teams had millions of gallons of primer and hundreds of colors of paint distributed amongst them.
The teams were organized according to their themes. The Fae Team had thousands of tons of quartz and crystals, trees pruned into fantastical shapes, and a fire truck filled with buttermilk mixed with moss spores.
The Gaia Team was heavily populated by Green Peace, Sierra Club and environmentalists in general. They had to move the most weight out of any team – their artwork consisted almost entirely of rocks, trees, plants, and hand-blown glass.
The Chaos Team was the most popular team and was focused heavily on spray paints and blue-collar artwork involving metal and industrial materials. It was also the team that had the most peacemakers and paramedics assigned – bloody fights were a daily occurrence.
There were 10 major Teams and 16 Groups, every one with a wildly differ
Letters from ExileDear Anyone,
I’m writing this letter because I’m fat, and my stupid parents decided to send me to a summer camp for over-weight children. It wouldn’t be so bad, except they make me exercise… a lot. The gym teacher calls us all a bunch of sloths as we try and keep up with him. I can’t play video games since they make us go outside all the time! If I wanted to be the size of a twig and spend all my time outside I would sleep in a tent and eat nothing but lettuce. I don’t like it here much and I think I may just roll in poison ivy just to find a way to leave.
Pray for me.
Dear Fat Loser,
Aw, mister chubby-wubby is sad, huh?
My life is like 50x worse than yours! For real!
My entire allowance was cut off. I can’t even afford to buy an ice cream! Me! I can’t even get any friends here, they’re too stupid to even know who my family is. MY family makes more money than every
Maintaining Life in the CityChessy’s favorite place was Park. Her mother would bring her there every day. She would just run from tree to tree for one hour a day, every day, while her mother chatted with friends.
One day, she saw a young man leaning up against one of the trees. His eyes were closed and his ear was pressed up against the tree. He looked like he was listening.
Chessy glanced back at her mom. Her mom waved at her and smiled. The man was only a couple feet away from Chessy, so she decided this must be a new friend.
“Hello,” Chessy said to him.
He opened his eyes and looked at her in surprise.
“Are you listening to the tree?” she asked. She knew he wasn’t, but she thought it would make him smile to ask.
“Yes,” he said, looking at her with dark, sad eyes.
“Really?” she asked dubiously. “What are they saying?”
“Oh, they’re not saying anything,&
The Trouble with Dreams (non-fiction)I wouldn’t recommend killing your dreams.
Most kids are afraid of growing up and having their dreams die. That kind of death is the most common one – the slow suffocation under the weight of reality, or the gradual atrophy as you get distracted and stop feeding the poor things. There’s the other common cause of death – you try, and you fail.
My death was similar to this.
And failed. And failed. And failed. And failed. I kept failing. Nothing was ever a success. I was worthless. My artwork was worthless. My stories were incomplete. My comics were pathetic.
But I couldn’t turn off the desire to create. Art was part of me. It was everything I wanted to say, all I wanted to show, the little splash of individuality and tiny little change in the rhythm and din of the world.
But I couldn’t show it. I couldn’t say it.
It was literally driving me mad.
I couldn’t keep living that way.
So I killed my dreams.
I re-discovered t
Lost, Even with a MapEnlai held his map at arms’ length, his arms spread as far as he could spread them. He didn’t recognize anything.
“So. Just how lost are we?” Mei asked.
“Errr… quite. We are quite lost,” Enlai admitted.
“Let me see,” she said as she popped up between his arms. The top of her head barely grazed Enlai’s chin. Enlai shifted uncomfortably as her skirt caught in the wind and danced across his thighs.
“You’re right, we’re completely lost. I can’t even see where we came from,” Mei said.
“I’m so sorry,” Enlai said. He was trying to concentrate on the map rather than simply glancing down Mei’s low-cut blouse. He failed and saw hints of a pink polka-dot bra.
Mei suddenly looked up at him, her head bumping into his chest.
“What do you think?” she asked.
“I, uh, I’m sorry