I think nothing of saying "love you," when I'm with some of my pals ...


1: Backfiring Nutmeg Zombies

Tam I think nothing of saying, "love you," when with some of my pals. Of course, that can backfire terribly. I remember when I said, "love you," when Toni dropped me off after lunch that Thursday. It's enblazened in my memory. I still smell the pungent oil her car was fond of burning.
Ryan I worked at the piece of sunflower seed wedged between two molars and tried to puzzle out what her expression meant when I said it.
David Elijah Unfortunately her expression said "I detest you mere mortals." And that made a chill run down my spine.

I mean, are zombies even supposed to HAVE expressions? Granted she wasn't all that long in the "big sleep" and all, but you'd think the whole "loss of soul" and all would have erased all semblance of human emotion.
Dormouse You'd think so, but you'd be wrong -- dead wrong! I smiled back with a tinge of malice, a hint of regret, and a dash of nutmeg leftover from my morning chai. Even I felt soulless and walking dead without my morning tea, so the sympathy for this living impaired mass of flesh made me stop, blow my nose, and swear to Vishnu I would live better.
Selene There seemed to be a curiously low concentration of nutmeg in my snot. And I regretted having to steal a handkerchief from the dead. But that didn't matter now.
Simmon The effectiveness of nutmeg as a preventative medicine hadn't yet been proven. And the dead would soon be rising. I'd soon have no guilt for taking his hanky after his murderous rampage began. I could have run, of course. It may have delayed the inevitable. But instead, I simply laid there and prayed. Prayed to the Devil to take me straight to Hell before I could become one of them.


Ryan I think nothing of saying "Love you" when I'm with some of my pals. I say it in reference to everything. My friend hands me the remote. "Love you." My friend foots the bill at a restaurant? "Love you." Friend makes some coffee? "Love you." Sometimes, even the coffee gets a "Love you." And every now and again, I pull out the Olivia Newton John: "I love you, I honestly love you."
David Elijah Only this time was different. The werewolf had just ripped Janet to pieces. I could never say "Love you" to that. With silver bullets loaded in my Desert Eagle I took aim at the foul creature's vulnerable brain meats. "Suck majik death, ugly," I yelled.
Dormouse I was never entirely certain how Broca had become a werewolf, or how he'd attached fangs to his brain-jar. It brought visions of nude Carl Sagan pictures to my overdeveloped conscious. Finger tightening on the trigger, I smiled briefly, and pulled, welcoming the splatter of extinction.
Selene Spooge. That's the only way to describe the aftermath. It was a wonderful, messy feeling being covered in fur and brain worms. But I reveled in the moment only briefly, as I thought it best to make myself scarce before anyone noticed.
Simmon Unfortunately, I was a bit conspicuous. I tried to wipe off the fur, but it was stuck to the brain worms, which were still wriggling about my flesh. That wouldn't have been so bad, as it was dark out, but the smell! I tried to walk away non-chalantly, but the stench kept drawing attention, causing heads to turn as I passed by.
Tam But it hardly mattered. Even as a crowd simultaneously gathered near me and kept its distance - curious, yet gagging at the stench - the brain worms were burrowing. I imagined them drilling tunnels and my steps faltered. Soon I collapsed, my synapses fired from their day job, and I was gone.

3: Pickles

Selene I think nothing of saying "love you" when I'm with some of my pals. But I've always had a difficult time with "pass the pickles," and "I'd like extra cheese on that."
Simmon Somehow I feel a little more self-conscious when asking for something, even if I am being polite. At least with "Love you," I'm volunteering my own feelings; I'm not asking for anything in return. But "pass the pickles"? What reason do they have to do that favor for me? Have I earned the priviledge of being passed them?
Tam But there are many people from whom I'd rather have pickles than love. Love is fleeting. Love fades, dies, kills, causes excruciating pain. But pickles . . . Ah, pickles are a piece of divinity.
Ryan I had seen marriages that had spent years pickling, and it had never turned out for the better. But pickles, as suggested by their monikers, fared much better than people.
David Elijah The mummy's bride had also preserved well through the centuries in the desert. With the two of them awake now, carrying on their immortal marital spat, I feared that the doom of the planet was right upon us. So fell full of fright was I that I barely noticed knocking over the ankh, the mummies' source of power, till their heated angry eyes turned upon me.
Dormouse Tracking my vulnerable flesh like the triune red dots of a yautja shoulder cannon, which I also noticed creeping up my torso, past my left eye and settling on the green bindhi dot of my forehead, harbinger of sweet cold flames of plasma and tragedian resolution.


Dormouse I think nothing of saying "Love you," when I'm with some of my pals, but when JoAnne walked into the room as I was expressing undying affection to my English ivy plant, I must admit I felt the slightest twinge of embarassment. It had been almost three weeks since she'd caught me masturbating to Mozart, and there was still an awkward glance she gave me when I fawned(?).
Selene It made me think, almost fondly, of the ice cube and hot mustard treatment she had been using to punish me.
Simmon But I wouldn't exactly call it "punishment," per se. Well, in a dirty way, I suppose you could call it torture, but not physical torture. Just teasing. See, we were playing strip poker. And once us boys lost all our clothes, we kept playing. But instead of ante-ing more clothes (which we didn't have any left of) we got food items poured on us. Which . . . {sigh}
Tam It led to interesting experimentation. But I don't think I want to experience that again. I'm not sorry it happened - it helped shape me and the ways in which I view men and women, but it remains safely ensconced in my past.
Ryan I wouldn't say it exactly changed my perception of genders, mostly I saw people as people. But there was always a slight aftertaste from my previous experience that tainted my perception.
David Elijah She was a terrible Oni demon from the deepest pits of heck. I was a mere mortal close to death in the forests of the Hokkaido. It was love at first sight. But soon her perpetual tormenting of my spirit and bruising of my flesh stopped being so much of a kinky turn on and became instead the dread of my waking days.

So I broke it off. And she, she sent me to Toledo, Ohio, the closest thing to hell on earth.


Simmon I think nothing of saying "Love you," when I'm with some of my pals. We've known each other long enough. I know they won't take it the wrong way. But that's only with my closest friends. With other chums, sure, I could jokingly say "I love you, man!" in a cheesy voice like that guy in Alien who says "Game over, man!" but that's not the same, y'know? It's like hugging someone and patting them on the back at the same time.
Tam You know. I'm. Not. Gay. My closest friends don't care, though most of them aren't willing to respond in kind. Stupid friends. We're such a touchless society.
Ryan Usually I'll be framing a door or doing trim, and maybe sheet-rocking, and that group will always be making their closets, sipping their coffee, staring.
David Elijah Those damn farie eyes stared right deep into my soul. I felt the connection between us so I sauntered over to the group trying to inconspicuously sidle up to some of them.

We'd all been out of the dreams and in this cold dead world for so long that I figured they would have to let me into their group, if only for the fey companionship.
Dormouse It was with a shock that I realized the faery eyes were just hanging from the branches like so many gruesome, poisonous berries that only certain birds and the odd muskrat could eat without tempting death, or at the least a severe case of cramps.
Selene That's when it hit me -- the idea for a new fast food chain! Now, that was over four decades ago, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. Everyone nowadays stops in for a quick bite at Eye-Lax Battered Faery Treats.


David Elijah I think nothing of saying "Love You" when I'm with some of my pals. But all these damn vampires. I mean, really! "Oh, I just love you, Clarise," and "My what a lovely lace you're wearing Janet, I do so love it." It just makes my stomach turn.

So tonight I decided to put a stop to it. I went down to the apartment below, where those two had taken up residence, armed only with stakes, and a matchlock pistol last fired by my great-grandfather Cyrus McMutton.
Dormouse With a glance at the doorway as I sidled out the hall and into the unisex restroom at the end. It was with slight trepidation that I combed my dusky black knee-length hair out of my eyes, wondering if it was true that vampires couldn't appear in the mirror as I was preening.
Selene I only gave it a moment's thought, as I felt the hair on the back of my neck begin to tingle. Then, in the blink of an eye, my holy revolver was locked onto the intruder, ready to pump him full of the gospel.
Simmon But at that moment, I lost my nerve. My hands froze; my finger refused to pull the trigger. I don't know why I hesitated. Perhaps I had doubts on the sin being forgivable if it was in the name of the Lord. Whatever the reason, I missed my chance, because the intruder saw me.
Tam I saw the blue-black glint in front of the intruder. By losing my nerve, I had left myself wide open. I saw my death seconds before I saw the fire-flash from her gun.
Ryan It was a noise, then a hot spark in my stomach, then nothing but pain and ceiling. I watched the fan go round a few times. Her head tipped into my vision, making sure I had felt it, but I couldn't take my eyes from my fan. And I didn't.
Last modified: November 19, 2010 @ 2:49 MST
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