I write short stories every day in my gchat status,
then post them here. If that doesnt do it for you,
well I don't know what.

No One’s Sure Who Didn’t Fix the Oldsmobile

Brands ain’t like they were. Cars ain’t like they were. When you was a kid, ain’t no one gonna buy an Oldsmobile. That’s your parent’s car. That ain’t no humbucker! That ain’t no burner!

Now it’s different now. Hydraulics is what’s in. Beefy is what’s in. You need you power to get off the ground in the modern speeder, kid. You ain’t gonna stick to the ground in you tired old cars. You gonna get some air under you, so they take the old cars and they gut ‘em and they fit ‘em with hydraulics and they fit ‘em with subpolar reverse thrusters, they get you hovering and you fly off and you friends think you cool, you fly, you drive a cloudkicker bro. And them hydraulics ain’t no joke, you need five people in the backseat just to give that shit some weight so it down’t flip on you. There’s no concern about it dropping out of the sky; there’s just the very-real that it gets away from you, flies you halfway to Arkansas and burns off half your ass. (The other half is not burned off but it is what we like to call a “meatpie.”)

So all of a sudden it’s not cool to drive alone, it’s cool to drive in herds, so we got us all piled in just to go to the supermarket, we like yous great-greats who drove around America in effed-up vans, and we paint ‘em on the sides just like they did, we all driving the effing Mystery Machine, we all get designations and someone is always, always Scooby-Doo.

An’ you don’t wan’ be someone’s Scooby, when you Scooby everyone imitates the words you say in Scoobvoice and throws at you dogbiscuits, and you get so sad, so sad you think when you driving high enough you pitch yourself just out the backseat into airspace just so no one Scoob you no more, and then it’s an epidemic, all them Scoobs fallin’ from the sky and landing everywhere in puddles of dog soup, Scoob-soup so we start callin’ you a Scoop, so when a Scoob turns sad he goes from Scoob to Scoop, an’ you think it’s the future so we all got more sensitive to the cruel anthropological biorhythms of social hierarchy, but that ain’t what’s true, what’s true is a systematized way to drop the loser from your pack quite literally, you drive ‘em high and watch ‘em toss themselves, they’s falling stars and each time one drops we all stop and do our best Casey Kasems; as a culture we pulls a Shaggy and we says “Zoinks!” and we watch you go, we itemize you, we write you the most beautiful poems, we cast ‘em into the Scoop and we ain’t for sure we miss you, but damn it if we gotta find ourselves a next-gen Scoob afore the hydraulics pitch us for lack of good weight distro; good-bye good-bye Scoob, you ain’t no one else’s dog.

The Heaviness of Metal

You can find a new comic story written by ME in the new family-friendly issue of Heavy Metal Magazine, issue #270! This is the second time I’ve appeared in HM, and also the awesomest time. The new story is called “Brom Kah,” illustrated by Garrett Adderley and digitally painted by David Bollt. FEEL THE EEEEVIL.

Heavy Metalllll

This Dog Could Be Your Hero

Woof was running around the apartment in circles screaming, screaming, and the thing of it when a bipedal lizard who can run on walls is running mostly all you’re doing is ducking and screaming to each too at the same time saying “what the fuck what the fuck what the fuck can we fucking do” and so Cil, Cil, she was crawling, sort of dragging herself across the floor because she didn’t have her legs on, fucking smart, and she had great upper arms of course so she got herself to a pair of legs, just legs, not horse legs or spider legs or fucking wheels, but these were robo go-gadget legs and she sucker-cupped herself against a floorboard and then clicked a thingie and launched herself through the bedroom door and stretched her arms and tackled the motherfucker and they tumbled through space, for a moment like satellites intertwined.

While me and Laura went outside to look for Mr Box who was supposed to have a handle on this shit, Cil and Mufti got Woof pinned down and demanded Guru Fuck get some drugs to calm him, but Fuck insisted it wouldn’t do shit because Woof was Stage 3 — we all asked what Stage 3 was and if it was serious and Fuck started babbling in this lazy version of Spanish and then we realized once again he’d ate all the drugs.

Mr Box was nowhere to be found down back of the box canyon where we were staying with a nice contractor and his agoraphobic boyfriend; we felt bad because we’d never be able to pay for the half of the house that just wouldn’t be anymore by the time we left.

We got Woof breathing slow anyway, and we all said “hi” to each other, “hi hi hi hi hi” till his chest wasn’t palpitating anymore. We asked Woof what was the matter with him. He said, he said slow and in a lizard accent, he said: “Fuck what have I done. We are all part of an organism that has digested itself and we are remnants trying to justify ourselves.”

We all told him that was some hippie shit and he needed to snap out of it and did he want some chicken. We told him stop complaining about needing things to live for, he sounded like our parents. We told him to stop blaming himself for the future and for not living up to his own ghost. We told him to stop staying up late on the feeds looking for punk bands he had not yet discovered, we all knew it was Katy Perry that got him rocking, maybe if he would let himself just listen to her without shame he wouldn’t get so fucking aggro. 

He said in his lizard speak, “Fuck aggro, a cyborg and an amputee are sitting on my chest” and Cil and Mufti both hit him, and since Mufti has four arms you can do math and it hurts.

Woof is calmer now and mostly drools but it’s still the afternoon. Sometimes I read about kids my age who are famous already and I do the math and wonder why I’m so unsuccessful, but I remember Cil is fucking 34, goddamn ancient, driving around in a busted hydraulic with a crew of losers, kids and psychos trying to be the next Tribe 8, so what are your dreams, you don’t have fucking dreams, you’re a figment at the end of a disaster but we like you because you can jump across a room.

This Band Could Be Your Girl

Gonzo Woof (which he sometimes asked us to call him, according to Mr Box) had a serious problem with the pollutants in your average bag of Cheetos. And I don’t mean they made Woof sick the way they made everyone sick because they were made of mercury, saline and fish heads; I mean Woof could not get enough of this shit. I swear we could get him paid in Cheetos and he wouldn’t mind twice. They made him scamper; I don’t know a basilisk’s physiology but it was like hot damn, 15 bags of those things and we was up a wall. We had concern for what it was doing to him the way you feel about a dog eating garbage; you try to stop him but then he snaps and it’s not like he’s gettin sick, anyway.

When he wasn’t eating Cheetos he was eating pigeons, which was harmless and I guess we could have hired him out as an exterminator if we’d wanted, but we didn’t stay in one place long enough to get a toll-free number. Woof was like a really fast sloth; he was probably much happier upside down, looking down at you with his mouth dripping feathers and cheetos dust. Woof and Mr Box was like living a game of chicken; they was with us until they tried to kill us or eat us, like; you might argue we felt bad for them as animutants had no place left to go after the gene-wars ended.

We’d woken up in the car out back of a seven-eleven about a hundred miles above the earth one afternoon and Woof was sprawled out in the back of our hydraulic sleeping, his hand full of lipsticks and Guru Fuck covered in Lime Crime (Guru Fuck does not wear lipstick except on mescaline) and Mr Box sort of sitting crouched on our back hood; the little guy was holding a wooden staff and an amulet glowing green and he looked at us and blinked one eye than the other, like this; and when a goat rabbit blinks his eyes slow like that and has no pupils you just kind of push the basilisk to one side and get driving and hope no one gets eaten.

We tried asking once where they come from and Box looks us over and says “Dont you know dont you know dont you dont you” and ran in circles very quickly. When Woof’s asleep he quotes us chapter and verse about the night we met them but it sounds like we weren’t ourselves, and all we know is we stay away from whatever the hell they put in Lime Crime.

Our Fucking Band Could Be Your Fucking Life (vol 2)

There were 9 of us driving a fucked-up 8 seater, an old hydraulic you wouldn’t have believed could hover, much less fly, but one of us had got it on cinderblocks and then up and running, I can’t say who because I wasn’t born yet, but I remember flying over the old cities, you wouldn’t know it but the smog was thin enough in those days to make each block an archipelago.

The centaur was Cil, and she was our Bob Dylan and our Henry Rollins both — she was driving the machine. She’d gotten her legs chopped by fucking choice during the transhuman riots, I don’t know what the point she’d made was but she made it all right, and had a lot of different legs and wheels and rotaries but the body she was known for was the fuckin’ centaur, and I’ve seen it live and up close and there’s no point in lying to you, you see a 9-foot butch with a ginger dreadlock mohawk staring down at you from the body of an android horse, you cream your jeans, there’s no other suitable response. 

Mufti was the other turning heads, she was a four-armed cyborg bounty hunter who’d met Cil in a bar when they both needed someone. Mufti had brought Johnny on with her — Johnny was an Aboriginal ex-surfer with a problem, namely the semi-sentient tape-eels that had taken up residence in his nervous system and digestive tract, giving him extra-sensory perception and a serious existential streak, but also no way to get ahead.

There was Floyd, he was the android butler proper - probably too square for our set and maybe just enough naive; he didn’t quite fit but who did? I forget where he came up from.

There was Cil’s personal Guru but really he just sprouted truisms and scored us drugs; we couldn’t stand him so we called him Fuck. He had one parlor trick where he could Ohm and float, and his beard was impressive but other than that he smelled worse and talked a total skeeze. Guru Fuck rode backseat and we couldn’t shake him loose.

There was Woof and Mr Box, and I’m not sure how to even lock down their function. Woof was a bipedal basilisk, sort of an ape-lizard with bad posture and Mr. Box was a goat-rabbit with a knack for shamanism; it kept him small and nervous. Both were what happens when it’s 30 years after a gene-war. They were serious lower caste, not even near-humanoid, but they kept to themselves and ate little. I think they just liked the comfort of numbers.

There was me and there was Laura. They called me Muscles, or Skin, or Face — I’m not sure where those others came from but the Face was because of my face. The bones growing out of it. I sand them down now, you hardly notice. But I was young then. You know how adolescence is on your damn bones.

There was Laura. She’d come up with Mufti, and made her weaker. We were all a little in love with her, and she deserved none of it. She reflected back our light. I remember sitting next to her on the front seat while Cil careened between skyscrapers. I remember her hair at sunset. I remember perfect times.

Keith McCleary (the website)

If you wouldn’t mind, I have a new website now. It needs clicking, and foraging for bad links, and killing of typos. Would you please to help? 

It could be worse, We could be vampires.

It could be worse, We could be vampires.


the text by gchatus


Thanks to mawbli for making this piece 1000% better.

Mary Tyler Moore

It was like she was living or trying to live inside The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Newsflash, hotshot — that was almost 40 years ago and I should know because I am almost 40. Its feminist ideals were built on a foundation of capitalist ideals, that a free marketplace could create equality, and it’s not that we disagree but more importantly, there is nothing free about our marketplace anymore.

You want to move to the Ozarks and find an identity for yourself in the middle of nowhere through being handed a job that no one wants, and through said job do you want to find both respect and self-respect? Good luck, pal. That job was taken by an intern in the time it took me to write that sentence, and it’s not because that intern is better or more privileged or spoiled rotten than you, because all things being equal it ain’t exactly like you’re hurting. Maybe as you age you also gain pride, and that’s why an intern beat you out, but that ain’t what’s important neither.

The thing is there is no Victorian house with a cute neighbor waiting for you to move in. All the Victorians around here are either sold or got put under the protection of the state. You throw your hat in the air all you want, friend, but it’s safe to say that we’ve gotten to a place in which the 70’s are actually starting to look pretty good, because at least then you weren’t aging and losing your teeth and sitting in endless heat on the internet waiting to hear back from the temp office. Back then it was better because it’s not like you’d been born; it’s not like you’d even occurred to anyone.

Between 20th and Square

It got late and the night was looking. The space had emptied out and we moved to the street, and it was cool and empty and the sounds were far off, in other parts of the city. Everywhere we walked was in a bubble of silence, at the point in the evening when all nights connected and found you, when time became a circle pointing inward. This was my place, where I returned to. Where I had found you. In daytime, minutes and hours passed. This wasn’t true, the ruse of chronology. It was this central stillness, where the starless sky stretched. That’s where I lost you. That’s the place you looked for and could not access. You tried too hard. You bought the wrong shoes. You ran too fast. You couldn’t allow for intersection.