Tuesday, December 22, 2015

the conversation

by nick nelson

illustrated by palomine studios

rob and lois bradley were boring people, and they didn’t have any friends.

one morning lois was in the local bake shop buying some blueberry muffins when she overheard carol porter, a member of the school committee, laughingly refer to herself and rob as “ those ————“.

lois could not make the word out but she knew it was not complimentary.

from that moment her life assumed a new purpose.

she formed a plan, and that night she outlined it to rob.

her plan was for them to have an entry in the guinness book of world records.

that would show carol porter and all those other stuckup people who thought she and rob were so boring!

lois had the idea that she and rob would have the exact same conversation every night - word for word - for a record number of days.

5,000 days? 10,000? lois settled on 6,667 as a compromise - that would be a little over 18 years.

the conversation went like this:

it’s a lovely evening, isn’t it?

yes, but it will soon be over.

and tomorrow will be another day.

that is true.

it is strange, isn’t it, that one day is so much like another.

it might seem strange to some people.

you are right. others might find it not so strange. even comforting.

the city had not fixed the sidewalk yet.

no, they have not. what a worthless lot they are.

bureaucrats, that is all they are. with no imagination.

how people put up with it, year after year, is beyond me.

it seems that the population of dogs has been increasing, worldwide.


yes, it is now approximately one-tenth that of humans.

i would have thought it was much higher than that.

the figure has been verified by the most conscientious observers.

chimpanzees, on the other hand, have seen their numbers dwindle appallingly to where they are now an endangered species.

but baboons have, somewhat surprisingly, maintained their numbers quite well.

yes, the baboon is a resilient creature.

we should all be so resilient.

that is an interesting thought. but it does not seem that humans are as adaptable as they might be.

i agree.

rob and lois engaged in this conversation for the targeted 6,667 nights, and submitted the requisite paperwork to the guinness book of world records.

however, their application was declined, and they continued to live in obscurity.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

the window

by nick nelson

illustrated by palomine studios

the window was open.

the dog ran down the street.

standing at the window, ada watched the dog run down the street.

eventually, she thought, the dog will come back up the street.

and when he sees the open window, he might wish to jump into it.

one never knows what a dog will do, especially one running wild in the street.

hurriedly, she closed the window.

ada turned to where her husband, bartley, had been sitting in his favorite chair, smoking his pipe and reading the newspaper.

suddenly she realized her mistake.

for bartley had been transformed into a hungry lion.

ada attempted to open the window again so that she could jump out of it.

but it was no use.

bartley was upon her and quickly devoured her.

later, the doorbell rang.

who can that be? bartley wondered.

as he had devoured ada, he had to answer the door himself.

it was corliss, an old friend whom he had not seen for some time.

corliss! this a surprise, bartley exclaimed. please come in.

corliss entered, and began taking off his hat and coat.

i’ll take those, bartley offered politely.

thank you, corliss replied absently.

corliss entered the neatly furnished drawing room and looked around.

he gazed with a strange air of curiosity at the empty fireplace and at the closed window.

ada not at home? corliss enquired when bartley returned from the cloak room.

no, she stepped out.

oh? it’s a bit late, isn’t it?

yes, to visit her grandmother.

her grandmother! exclaimed corliss. she must be quite an elderly lady.

yes she is, bartley agreed.

none of us are getting any younger, corliss observed. time is passing by.

how true, bartley assented.

corliss sat down on the green divan, the one reserved for guests.

i am being a poor host, said bartley. can i get you a drink?

thank you. a scotch and soda will do nicely. easy on the soda.

coming right up.

corliss relaxed on the divan. a bit stuffy in here, isn’t it? he stated, with just a touch of emphasis.

i will open the window, bartley replied.

bartley opened the window.

the sounds of the night drifted in.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

billy and al

by nick nelson

illustrated by palomine studios


billy jones!

billy turned around.

it was al rogers!

that lying bastard al rogers!

billy kept his emotions in check.

how are you al, billy inquired smoothly .

pretty good billy, pretty good, al answered agreeably.

it’s been a real long time, billy said pointedly.

a long time since you stabbed me in the back.

come on, don’t be that way, al laughed good-naturedly, don’t forget -

don’t forget what?, billy replied, his cold blue eyes narrowing to slits.

don’t forget the way you fucked my girl friend, said al, most amiably.

yes, i thought i fucked her pretty good, said billy with a knowing wink.

you think you own the world, don’t you billy, al responded a bit more heatedly.

aw come on al, don’t think everything so goddamned seriously, you know the score, billy chuckled.

but inwardly billy was seething because who was this fucking asshole who couldn’t take a friendly joke.

but al was even angrier because he had always been jealous of billy’s good looks and conspicuous wealth.

and now here the son of a bitch was rubbing his nose in his inferiority and helplessness and poverty.

something exploded in al’s brain and he resolved to destroy billy and the whole rotten system that produced his ilk.

on his side billy just wanted to get away from al and proceed on his merry way to the tennis club.

it was great seeing you again al, billy announced with an unmistakable air of finality as he turned swiftly on his heel.

al could only seethe in mortified outrage as he watched his adversary saunter away with the supremely disdainful air of an eternal conqueror.

oh what kind of world is this, al thought with burning mortification, and how much longer can things go on in this intolerable fashion?

if billy had known what he was going on in al’s mind he might have been mildly amused or again he might not.

in any case it is not known if al and billy ever met again or if al’s bitter resolve ever led to any kind of action.