Month: October, 2011

“Corporal Vanguard,” Jack Bristow

     I have to get out of here, I can’t stay here, Tom Vanguard had thought, driving his Chevy on the empty intersection. The pressures of small-town city life eating away at him, he had started to feel a sharp, acute pain in the upper right side of his chest. Instinctively, he grabbed the pills from his right-side shirt pocket, popped them into his mouth, and let them dissolve dryly. Ah. Lorazapam—one of the few pills you can eat. There wasn’t even the slightest hint of bitterness to its texture. Almost instantaneously, Tom had started to feel better—the pill was already beginning to work.
     Now, the benzo-induced detachment already felt, he could look at things objectively, and dissect where it had all gone wrong. Click here to finish Jack’s story.

“It’s Best to Leave Cootie Alone,” Donal Mahoney

     “Damn the vernal equinox! Full speed ahead!” is all that Cootie Murphy would ever say when he sat on the last stool at the end of the bar in The Stag & Doe Inn. He wouldn’t say it very often, only when provoked by someone or stirred by thoughts known only to him. Mostly he would simply sit at the bar in silence, staring straight ahead, tapping his fingers now and then, and sipping his Guinness.
     Cootie had held the rights to the last stool for more than 50 years, ever since he returned from Korea in 1953 after two years spent in conflict. Some people thought he suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome, although they didn’t call it that back then. Others thought he was nuts before he went to Korea and had simply come back a little nuttier. Both sides would find their opinions confirmed on nights when the moon was full and Cootie would throw his head back and howl like a wolf. Regular customers were used to it by now and they’d sometimes join in. The bartender would only say, “It’s best to leave Cootie alone.” Click here to finish Donal’s story.