Category Archives: Fiction

Fanciful tales of exaggerated beasts, fairy god-mothers, and other imaginary creatures

Pulp Friction

Pulp Friction: Softcore Erotica for the Looseleaf in Everyone

I began my life as a sapling in southwest Washington state in 1978. I was planted by one of those tree planting tractors. Nobody does things by hand anymore. Oh well. People drove by me in their cars, looking at a sign that said “Planted: 1978, Harvest Date: 2015.” I like to imagine that many people were impressed by how long it took me to grow. Then again, what do I know, I’m a fucking tree.

I was cut down by one of those tree cutter downer tractors. It would have hurt, but at that point I was just a tree. I was loaded onto a truck with some of my tree friends, and we went on a road trip. It was actually quite nice. We drove to the Nipponese Paper Packaging plant in Port Angeles, north of Tacoma, and were cut up into little nice sized planks to be fed through the mill. We all went through the mechanical pulper. It was something of an experience, because the lines where my fellow trees stopped and I began got blurry in a hurry. Not that it was at all erotic; this was simply the process by which we all achieved existence as one in a ream.

It’s the only thing that any tree ever dreams of. As a tree, you don’t see much action, save for the occasional hug. But hugs are for squares, and number two pencils. The reams, they get action. They’re all any adolescent tree dreams of. Of course there is the chance that you’ll end up as a disposable coffee cup, or one of those tri-fold cardboard things gradeschool children use to explain how their vinegar and baking soda volcanos work. Which is useful, I guess, but I’m no pervert.

Any how, there I was. A sheet of printer paper. A brand new white sheet, young, hot, sexy, ready to go out and face the world. I turned heads. All those big black permanent markers could think about at night was my clean, white surface. Ballpoints would click their clickers in vein to pictures of me, printed on more white paper. It was too much for them to handle. They would just explode all over, probably staining some guys shirt in the process.

I thought I was ready for the world, but the world is a harsh mistress. I lost my virginity to a laser printer. An HP LaserJet Pro Multi-Function MFP M277. The sheet that went in before I did jammed, and came out all wrinkled. I only caught a glimpse of the mangled corpse. Needless to say, I was terrified. I had been told stories, you know, about my friends first times. I was excited. I was full of anticipation. I was nervous. I was ready. The fucking asshole printer never even called me afterwards. It was a terrible experience.

There were fans whirring, little cervos driving small wheely things that were supposed to be massaging, but just pounded my fibers with no regard for my wellbeing or comfort. The ink barely entered my fibers before it was over. There I was, dumped out in the tray, adorned with “Mark’s Schedule Toyota Saturday February 20.docx” I would have started crying, but I was just a fucking sheet of printer paper. We don’t cry. It’s just not what we do.

I was whisked out of the printer tray by Mark, who, I guess, wanted to look at his itinerary. He was going to Daytona Beach, which is in Florida, to work on a promotional photo shoot that Toyota was doing the day before the Daytona 500. He surveyed my now deflowered surface, made a “harumf” sound, shoved my in a leather folder, and put the folder in his bag.

It was dark for a long time. When I next saw the light I was lying in a table. The smells of a hotel continental breakfast found their way to my…oh yeah, I don’t have a nose. But it was one of those good continental breakfasts with powdered eggs and pancakes. Mark was munching on some of the eggs, which he had doused in catsup because, you know. There were other people around the table. They were talking about some photographer, who they were supposed to meet later that morning. They all got up to go, and as Mark was beginning to close his folder, one of the other people at the table said, “Oh wait, we need a sign for the car.”

There was a moment of confusion, I could tell everyone was really thinking hard. Then Mark said, “I’ve got a sheet of paper.” He pulled me out from the folder. “Here,” said the first person. That’s when I saw it. She was holding out a king-size black Sharpie. I had goosebumps on my smooth surface as the morning sunlight fell through the sliding glass door, making its way through the lobby and landing on the table on which I had been laid. Mark said, “Thanks.” He took the Sharpie and uncapped the magnificent specimen.

He flipped me over so that I was lying face down on the surface of the table. I was glad, because then Sharpie wouldn’t see the schedule that had been inked onto my front. I breathed in anticipation. I felt Mark’s hand steady me as he brought the wet black tip down. I closed my eyes, and the ink started to penetrate my white fibers. Sharpie moved over my surface with a powerful confidence. The slow, long strokes, forming the letters, and short bursts of energy doubling back to cross t’s and arch h’s were everything I had fantasized they would be. It only took a couple of seconds to write the words, but it seemed to last forever. The intensity was almost more than I could bear. As Sharpie’s tip was brought down to begin a new word, I let out a screech of ecstasy and quivered. (The quiver was because Mark was one of those people who misinterprets the screech as simply a weird noise that sometimes happens when you write on paper with a permanent marker, and his hand just shook.) He finished the last word, and I lay there exhausted, heaving air into my chest, with my back now adorned, “TOYOTA PHOTO SHOOT”.

It was the most intense couple of seconds that I had ever experienced. Everything I ever dreamed it would be. Afterwards, I was put back into the folder and then into a backpack. Once we were underneath the stands, I was took out again and stuck face down against the back windscreen of the SUV, held in place by the windshield wiper. The markings on by back were there for the world to see, and I wasn’t ashamed. If more papers could have such an intimate, emotional, analog experience, I think the world would be a better place. Swiping through pages left and right spewed out by an ink jet is no way to go about intimacy. But what do I know, I’m just a sheet of paper.

They forgot about me when they left. I held on for a little while before someone hit the button to clean the back window. The window washer fluid destroyed my structural integrity, and the wiper blade tore me to shreds. But it was all worth it, for those brief couple seconds with the Sharpie.

Our sheet of paper, as seen on the back of the SUV underneath the speedway.

Sheet of Paper, 2015-2016

The Hunter – Part I

He wakes up early. All the hunters do this. He knows from off handed references in news clippings about hunting accidents and from watching episodes in sitcoms from the ’70s. He hits the switch on his coffee machine, because he has a slight caffein addiction, and doesn’t want to be handling a shotgun with a migrane. As the scalding hot liquid hits his bare toes, he realizes the coffee pot is still in the dishwasher. He’ll be handling firearms later, but that will be after the coffee. This is good.

After successfully brewing a pot, he stumbles up the stairs and prepares himself for the hunt. He has been prepared for this. Nobody told him that hunters get up early, but everything else he has been taught. In a classroom. Hunting school was a huge ordeal. There were classes on firearm training, how to conceal yourself from a beast so as to lure it in to your sights, how to go after the really big ones, how to use the smaller ones for practice. There were classes on structures to make in the wilderness, what kinds of nuts and berries to eat if you were stuck out overnight, how to navigate by a compass. There were classes on the different types of beasts, where they lived, how to prepare yourself specifically for each beast, how do research the beast and what it liked and didn’t like in the hunter. It was a long, grueling affair. The hunter had thought about leaving, or switching his major to english studies, but something kept him there. Now, standing in front of his mirror pulling on his camouflage, he has no idea what that was.

He has all the camouflage. This was one of the first classes he ever had to take at hunting school, so he had to search how to camouflage yourself for hunting on the internet. He has camo boots, camo baseball caps, camo winter caps, camo fishing caps, camo gloves, camo pants, camo shirts, camo sweaters, camo jackets, camo rain coats, camo long johns, camo short johns, camo baklavas, camo socks, camo bags, camo scarfs, camo belts, camo water bottles, camo folding chairs, camo coffee cups, camo backpacks, camo binoculars, camo sunglasses, camo turkey calls, camo deer calls, camo bison calls, and even a camo hunting rifle. And a camo hunting rifle bag, camo bullets, and a camo rifle strap. And, for good measure, a camo crossbow, camo crossbow case, camo bow, and a camo bow quiver. I can’t not catch one, he thinks. He dons all of his camo. He steps in front of the mirror. He looks cool.

He steps into the forest. He looks stupid. For one thing, he bought all the camo (which, by the way, cost a fortune) in orange. The website he found on the internet said something about the beasts being colorblind, so all that mattered was the pattern of the camo. What the hunter failed to notice was that this was a websight for art history majors. The beasts that he is seeking are not colorblind, and could see him coming from about three miles away. Also, he has his coat on backwards, and somehow one of his boots ended up on his hand. He only realized this when he was having a hard time opening up his camo rifle case, which incidentally had blended in amongst his camo crossbow case, camo folding chairs and camo backpacks.

The hunter doesn’t realize that he has the wrong type of camo. He realized the thing about the boot, because he’s not incompetent. Laden with all his bags, his rifle, and his chairs, he sets off. Walking through the woods, he takes out the turkey call. He uses it, and the sound he hears is identical to a large, juicy bird ready to be impaled with an arrow shot from a crossbow. The sound that is emitted from the call in his mouth is actually the sound of a hoarse duck attempting to yodel. All the beasts flee.

The hunter gets tired. He stops using the camo bird call. The beasts start emerging. Most of them, however, require 3 to 5 years of experience. This is bad, because this is the hunter’s first hunt. They said he would be able to bag someting easily. They said, at hunting school, that he would be prepared for this. He’s not. He hasn’t brought a camouflage cooler with camouflage sandwiches and drinks. He is hungry. After walking over a couple of hills, he sees down into a valley. There, are some smaller jobs. They are grazing peacefully in some tall grass. He sneaks down the valley, and approaches one from behind. He was taught about the small ones. They can be good, his teachers had told him. If you catch one, and stick with it as it grows, you can have a nice career. Which, they said, was good.

The hunter goes through the motions. He sneaks up, shining like a supernova in his bright orange camo everything. The problem is, instead of thinking about what he’s doing, he’s thinking about how he doesn’t really want a “nice career”. So he doesn’t see the quicksand. One of his orange camo boots is engulfed and he falters. In the scuffle, his orange camo hunting rifle discharges an orange camo bullet into his other orange camo boot. The small jobs flee at the crack of the rifle. The hunter is stuck in the quicksand, red blood spurting out of his orange camo boot. He has been hunting all day, and now the sun is setting. The temperature begins to fall, and the hunter wonders if he will make it through the night.

…to be continued.