Category Archives: Short Tales

Angel Grievance Log: Query #1

stone angel

Oh well this sucks, doesn’t it?

And how much do you just know it’s going to end up with me taking all the blame, again?

I see the ending, and it’s not even begun.

I tell ya, it ain’t easy being me. Oh, it’s all fun and games for a while and then somewhere into the years, it all ends up falling  on my shoulders and before we can say the word, “BANISHED!” I’ll be ousted once again.

Yep. She’ll bring that bald bastard into the deal and instead of seeing me as the loving soul I really, really am, I’ll be chucked into the demon files with the rest of the green slime. Then he’ll get out all his stupid tools and rocks and potions and he’ll get all frothy with ancient words and syllables and what do I get out of it? Another trip to the doghouse. Behind bars. Slammed.

It’s OK. I’m used to it. No good deed goes unpunished, as they say.

It started out so simply. I fell in love. With her. She, the beauty of my soul, my magnet. I found her irresistible. As soon as I was made aware of her, that was it – smitten for all time. Endless. I’m watching her now as she ignores me. She thinks she’s gotten rid of me. Well, she knows she hasn’t but still, she just FUCKING ignores me. OK. It’s fine. Really. It’s fine. I have forever.

Here’s where it all went wrong. The bodies. The damned stupid bodies. Who on this earth is daft enough to stuff an angel into the body of a demonic human? Did anyone THINK? How the hell am I supposed to be all ‘good’ and stuff when my hosts are all diabolical menaces? And you know I tried. I tried so hard…every time, night and day. For years!

She and I – we flew. We did, we made love on the moon, on Jupiter. On Jupiter’s moon. On Jupiter’s moon’s moon. Underwater, in the Sea of Japan, on the coast, washed up – in Siberia, in Jerusalem – of all places! We shimmered and danced in costumes, I dressed for her, I did it all for her, everything she wanted I gave her.

The only problem was – I ruined it all. And I’d do it again if I were forced to man one of those demon-suits. Wake up call: wearing a humanoid demon is not good. You don’t get good results this way. No more demons, please?

And now, now that I’m not in a human/demon, I’m just floating here, ignored. I can’t just inhabit a good guy, because – there are no good guys! The only flesh that can accommodate me is the flesh of human demons. Any idea what it’s like to push enormous wings out of a human package, especially a human with some really sick demonic tendencies? It sucks. At first, I kidded myself and thought, “Oh yeah, this is good. This is sensuous, I am delighting in this!” But no. It’s a delusion. No angel should be crammed into a human demon box. It’s just not right.

Hello miss! I’m over here, on the wall, in one of your paintings of me! You sealed me in this forever – can I at least hang around you as ether? Not even that?

Nope. She doesn’t trust me. She thinks I’m just going to jump into some random guy (or girl) and take over. She never quite got that it wasn’t me who did the wrong thing.

It was them. It was them.

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Spector Jelly


party time

 “Jelly,” they said, knowing how stupid I thought the name was. Was it so hard to pronounce my name correctly? Jiro, you idiots. JIRO. But no, they never called me anything but Jelly.

“Jelly, get up on the table. Dance for us!”

I never fought them. All these friends, these drugged out acquaintances. They all thought me simple, ridiculous even. They took my quiet for subservience. How little they knew of me. I let them toy with me, and why? Because I, too, loved the drugs.

“Try this,” the one said. “It will make you feel good in ways you never thought possible.” I took the pill, thinking it a black beauty. Washed it down with a handful of colorful tablets and capsules and a great big swig from a bottle of Dom. If they wanted to test my stamina, my ability to hold my liquor, well, all I could do was show them.

Why did they not like me? I was good looking enough. I was hot, a real hot boy they all said. They sure liked to toss me around, use me, hurt me. My friends.

“Jelly’s going to dance for us!” Continue reading

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Blast Minerva

dark road

For Chi Cheng.

I was told to blast Minerva by a friend who knew Minerva and knew to blast Minerva when the drive became too long and the eyelids got too heavy.

The road, rural and upscale, led me nowhere until it would lead somewhere, which was the point of the drive. My finger on the button, no Minerva to blast. A fact I knew I’d accept being that I hadn’t packed Minerva to blast, however, NPR was generous and the heavy lidded journey was going to be filled with horn sections and Astaire.

It was suddenly the 1940s and my Corolla was just an eye in the dark, a smooth vehicle, maneuvered by a sleepy, pissed woman, on her way to pick someone up, far, far away in a rural and upscale wood.

I’d rather be sleeping, the nerve of these people, making me drive so late, so late at night along this road with no lamps, no signs — what next? A hitcher, a flying Dutchman to hit, to haunt me forever, maybe a werewolf to bolt from the shadow, knock my Corolla on to it’s side, force me to creep out the broken windshield so that it can lunge at me, making me a wolf by dawn, a sleeping wolf who would rise during the next full moon, is that it? Is that it, I cocked an eye to the bartender in the passenger seat. God this was a long drive.

“Is that it, Lloyd?” I asked the man who wiped a cocktail glass with a crisp white napkin.

“Are you enjoying the music, madame?”

“Yes, Lloyd, come to think of it, I am.” I knocked back a whiskey straight.

It was comforting to see Lloyd there, so busily tending to his bar duties. A good man that Lloyd.

“Hey Lloyd, click it or ticket, man. This is Florida. Zero tolerance. Seat belt please.”

Lloyd placed a thick bottomed glass on the dash and accommodated me.

“Seatbelt is on, madame.”

Lloyd never smiled.

My pissedness felt like it was going to fade until I realized I was lost, lost and more lost on this sucking void of a country road.

“The nerve, eh, Lloyd? The nerve of these people.”

From the backseat, I felt a light tap on my shoulder. It was Delbert. Delbert Grady. He said, “You know, madame, I too once knew people of nerve.”

“Is that so, Grady?” I asked, liking the sound of his stuffy British voice against the big band swell.

“Driving on a rural road so late at night is not what proper people make other proper people do.”

I laughed. “I couldn’t agree with you more.”

Lloyd smirked as well, peeking through a glass, searching for waterspots.

“Yeah, well, what can I do, old friend? Not a whole helluva lot.”

The expression on Grady’s face in my rear view mirror was grave. He poked his head up between the two front seats.

“Do you know what I did to the improper people of my experience, madame?”

My curiosity was piqued.

“What did you do, Grady?” Even Lloyd was curious.

Grady cleared his throat.

“I corrected them, madame.”

“You corrected them, Grady?”

“That is exactly what I did, madame. When I had the chance. As soon as I arrived, I corrected them one by one.”

“And how did you correct them, if I may ask?”

Grady handed me a CD.

“Lloyd, can you give me a hand here, I’ve got mine full, as you can see.” I drained the glass.

Grady interrupted. “No madame, Lloyd is busy. This is for you.”

Lloyd looked out the window, listening to Astaire’s voice.

I took the CD.

“I suppose you want me to play this, is that true, Grady?”

“No, I don’t want you to play it. I want you to blast it.”

“And if I blast this, I will correct things, is that it?”

“Yes, madame. All things will be corrected.”

Darker and darker — a no light road. No sign, no hint — was I even in my Corolla anymore? A CD in my hand, two ghosts as passengers…and a command from the backseat driver, “blast it.”

Tinny, tinny plucked metal strings, plowing metal power chords — a voice from heaven, a shriek, a tree, two trees, rock, a canal, silence outside, blasting inside…she was singing, she was singing, she was singing and we crashed, my head — my numb, numb, head, my knees, and I thank you, I thank you for the song you sang



Chi Cheng
July 15, 1970 – April 13, 2013

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Dante’s Fine Finish



When I arrived at Lenore’s apartment, I could smell the mold even before I knocked on her door. Foul mildew locked in the corners — corners I would most assuredly be smashed against if I were to be giving her what she wanted.

Standing on her welcome mat, I wiped my boots and lay down my bag of goodies before ringing her doorbell. How much would this job win me? A grand? Yeah. I quoted her $750, but that was only for my bedroom work. Once she saw what I was capable of, I felt confident she’d have me in the bathroom as well as the living room.

Modern NYC, with those incongruous door bells and their majestic, antique gong-rings — she had one of those, and for one moment I anticipated Jeeves on the other end, moustache a-twitch, white gloves prepared to test for unsightly dust. No such luck, no dazzle, no Jeeves. Continue reading

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An Odd Shoppe

masked fopDARK FICTION

No amount of velvety stealth or hopper-like hopping up is going to get you a peak of me beneath this mask, my dear, so please relegate your stare to the items on display.

Perchance you came to my humble shop in search of crickety cures, of which I can show you many. I’m usually quite skilled at guessing the needs of my visitorians, and by the dead copper clang of the green-patina’d bell, I can tell that you, my friend, are in the market for something that will remove all traces of DNA from a crime scene. Am I right?

No? Then have a petit-fours, they’re scrumptious. Don’t soil the doilie. Marzipan scarab — the real thing. Anyone? Leave a token in the box.

Let us peruse together, young ones. I’ll have my chap strap on his accordion and he’ll play us a grand tune as we climb my ladder to sniff for goodies upon the shelves on high. After you.  Continue reading

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