World’s Shortest Science Fiction Story

Dr. Dumas walked into Dr. Reele’s office. Dr. Dumas saying, “I did it! I’ve discovered a way to get people to use more than ten percent of their brains.”

Dr. Reele said, “People use one hundred percent of their brains. We’ve know that for some time now.”

Dr. Dumas said, “Really? Shit.” And he walked out of Dr. Reele’s office.

The End

The Denim Pirate

The Denim PiratePonytail, loop earrings, jeans, and a denim jacket. When swashbuckling, one should do it in comfort.

The Embalmed

The EmbalmedHolding up the bar for over two score, funeral homes have bodies with less chemicals in them.

Infamy Card # 1

HitlerAdolf Hitler

Führer Brain Cells

The Original Loony Toon

Daffier than any duck and goofier than any dog, this guy takes outlandish behavior to a whole new level. His spastic expressions and incomplete mustache alone should be enough to lift him to the highest echelons of cartoon characters, but this guy thought he could attempt world domination without running into American Might. There is a German clock missing its cuckoo, and The United States is here to put him back where he came from.

Nocking the List: Part 7 — Oh Shit

CarlContinued from: Nocking the List: Part 6 — Avon Fraulein

The sheets clung to his sweaty chest and back. His ankles itched beneath his bunched socks, and he wondered how he could’ve climbed into bed with them on. He hated wearing socks to bed. Or clothing other than his pajamas. But he felt the binding constriction of his clothing—denim wrapping around his legs, collared shirt around his neck. He floated in some murky state, fragmented dreams drifting away from nauseated reality. It seemed like a small fissure was edged into his brain, and sweaty fingers massaged his temples as he prepared to open his eyes. He wished he had a bottle of cold Gatorade at his bedside to wash out his dry, filmy mouth. The gentle ticking of his clock sounded uncomfortably loud, and his mind drifted to the stories of torture he’d read in his military history books—sensory disorientation: POWs and terrorists alike driven to the edge of madness. He counted off the tick-tick-tick rhythm, his semi-conscious mind painting a cartoonish dog walking on hind legs, steps keeping pace with the clock. Thin ropes of saliva fell from the dog’s jowls, a dim, almost muted sunny summer sky and the silhouette of a bloodhound from some far away memory was above him. He felt a tongue lapping across his chapped lips just as his eyes jolted open and the lurking dog dissolved back into his childhood.

The ringing phone was like a saw vibrating through his head as it split the quiet of his room. He rolled over and adjusted his eyes against the light peeking through the blinds, hoping the persistent ringing would cease. He sat upright, the world taking a sudden, rogue-wave lurch, and he felt there was a good possibility he would puke onto the floor beside his bed. He choked it down, smacking his lips to try and rid his mouth of its rancid state. He picked up the receiver just to get it to stop ringing, still smacking his lips. “Hello?” he managed in a whisper.

“Carl. Where the hell are you?” It was Ben Walter, his supervisor.

“I… I’m sick. I’m real sick. I can’t make it in today.”

“Were you ever planning to call and let us know?”

“Sorry. I… I was out dead to the world. Must be the flu or something.”

“All right. Get some rest. And you best be here tomorrow. You’re out of sick time.”

“Yeah. All right.”

Carl hung up the phone and rolled onto his back, groaning, “What the hell …” His mind trying to piece together what had put him in this state of sickness, trying to cognitively trace back to the last thing he remembered from the night prior, the last thing he…

He heard the far-off voice of a woman calling.

Carl put his head in his hands and said, “Oh shit.”

To Be Continued  

The Ring

mystic-island-map-v2_03Pay attention. This story is true. And there is a moral. And maybe a test.

Imagine sitting in a car in the parking lot of The Whale’s Tale restaurant, one of those trendy seafood places, where the wait staff wear pins to show how hip they are. You’re not from the island, and you are sitting with a few buddies, waiting to head off to one of the only still-functioning drive-ins on the East Coast. Your buddies are blazing up beside you, and you look out the windshield to see a wave of cats scrambling through the parking lot. There’s about five or six of them. One of your buddies hands you the pipe and you wave him off. For one thing, you don’t smoke, but more because you can’t take your eyes off what comes behind the cats. An old woman waddling along on her trunk legs as rolls of fat drape her body, ballooning her thighs and calves, blending her breasts and stomach, dripping down her right arm like candle wax. Her left arm, however, is not the same bloated distortion as the rest of her body. Her left arm is withered and twisted, like the first dying branch of an under-watered plant.

This woman shuffles out behind The Whale’s Tale, to a place where the restaurant shares a dumpster with The Dutch Horse Pub next door. The woman pushes the glasses to her face and she peers into the dumpster with beady eyes. She then smooths her downy white hair that dances as wisps in the breeze, and she begins rummaging in the dumpster. Some of the customers coming from the restaurant—the ones from off-island that The Whale’s Tale and drive-in are supposed to attract for summer business—think this woman rummaging so intently in a dumpster, with her rolling fat, withered arm, comical fishbowl glasses and cotton swab head, is some abomination against beauty and good taste. But there was a time when this woman was considered quite beautiful and full of life and spirit.

In 1967, this woman had gone to the drive-in, long before it was the hipster retro-relic that it is now. The woman saw Cool Hand Luke, and she ate dinner in the restaurant that is now The Whale’s Tale. This was back when it was a Chinese restaurant. The woman was on a night out with her fiancé, and during dinner, she and her fiancé began having a playful argument. The argument had most likely started out as being about Paul Newman, probably about how she loved his blue eyes. To this day, she has no concept what the argument was about, or how playful it had begun. But, by the time she and her fiancé had made it out to the sidewalk in front of the restaurant, the playful argument had become an all-out fight. Who knows how such trivial things can escalate, but they do. And no one can be sure what was said to climax this fight. But the fight did climax, and it climaxed with the woman taking the engagement ring from her finger, storming to the back of the Chinese restaurant, and throwing it into the dumpster that was back there.

Her fiancé watched her do this from the sidewalk. He watched it with a perfect mask of shock and horror. And that look would follow the woman from her dreams for many years to come. After she’d thrown that ring away, her fiancé began to walk backwards, speechless, trying to separate from the hurt she’d inflicted upon him, edging backward into eternity. Her fiancé stepped off the curb and backed into the street, where, of course, as fate likes to play its games, a truck ran him down. And then it was her turn to wear shock and horror’s perfect mask.

About a week after her fiancé was mowed down by a truck, the woman returned to the Chinese restaurant. But she did not return there to eat. The woman—her clothes now ill-fitting and ill-matched, her hair no longer perfectly styled, her makeup no longer perfectly applied—wandered, disheveled, as if sleepwalking to the dumpster. The woman began digging through the trash, searching for the ring, as if finding it and replacing it to her finger would somehow bring back that fateful day from her past. Somehow bring back her fiancé from the grave.

The husband and wife owners of the Chinese restaurant came out to the dumpster. They recognized the woman and they took pity on her. When they asked her what she searched for, she did not answer. The woman just looked into their eyes. Her eyes looking as if searching the distant reaches of Heaven and Hell. She simply raised her hand and pointed to her ring finger before returning to her rummaging. The Chinese couple, recognizing what she was alluding to, climbed into the dumpster and helped her search in vain for the ring.

When the woman returned the next day, the couple did not help her search again, but they did offer her food, which she refused. And the woman continued to refuse that food as the Chinese couple offered it every day to her for the next almost thirty years.

Then people from off the island bought the Chinese restaurant in the late 90s and turned it into The Whale’s Tale. The new managers no longer offered the woman food. They didn’t offer the woman help. They didn’t offer the woman sympathy. The new managers shooed the woman away, along with the countless cats that now accompanied her, hoping for scraps as she dug through the dumpster’s contents. The new restaurant’s managers cursed the woman. They berated her with nasty names. They called the police.

When the police arrived, some of the older officers knew the woman’s story, and they would shrug at the complaining manager. But the newer police officers would drag the woman off in a cruiser. And when she returned the next day, they would drag her off again.

The new restaurant’s trendy, young staff would scoff at the woman. They would make fun of the woman. They would shout cruel things to her. The customers, heading into the building for their trendy meals, would sneer at the woman. They would complain to the manager about her. The customers did not want the sight of a woman battling the past, searching for salvation, mourning a moment never to be redeemed, to interfere with their appetites. Their appetites were very important. And they paid good money for a meal not to be ruined by such sights.

Only The Whale’s Tale’s kitchen staff ever showed any sympathy for the woman. The kitchen staff, as with many kitchen staffs, was of Central and South American decent, and they understood the bad luck of the woman’s plight.

So, to this day, this old woman comes to this dumpster to search for her lost ring. One waiter at the restaurant, one a little more sensitive than the ones scoffing and shouting vulgarities at the woman, once said, “The only things that are definite in life are death, taxes, and that old lady digging in the dumpster.” A Brazilian dishwasher once said of the woman, “Even though blood still pumps through that woman’s veins, she is a ghost. That dumpster is haunted, and it will be forever.”

So what did happen to the ring the woman threw away so many years ago? Well, it fell to the bottom of the dumpster, was transferred to a garbage truck, dumped in a landfill, squashed into an egg roll, swallowed by a seagull, shat into the sand of a beach, and washed away on the tide. It was a fate similar to the ring’s owner: a woman swallowed by fate, shat out by life, and forever wandering the tide of regret.

The End

Olympus 5

This Louis Ting story washed ashore just outside of Cape Town, South Africa in 1973, the bottle it traveled in smashing and scattering the story’s pages back into the sea. The last creature to lay eyes on it was a seal that was promptly eaten by a shark.

 

Olympus 5

By:

Louis Ting

 

Jupiter’s disk filled the craft’s porthole, the gas giant’s pink glow flooding the cabin. On the craft’s starboard side was Olympus 5, a way station for the mineral miners and ice harvesters of Jupiter’s moons. He keyed the communicator, a crack of static slicing through the silence. He spoke, his voice roughened from lack of use. “Olympus 5 Docking Control, this is O-N-E craft 3-6S requesting a Class 1 docking permit. Over.”

More static sliced the air as a garbled woman’s voice answered, sounding somewhat astonished. “Um, 3-6S, your permit is granted for Terminal 3. Please disengage your navigation system for landing guidance. Over.”

He released the craft’s controls and disengaged the navigation system. There was a slight lurch as the station’s computer took control of his craft. Olympus 5 grew in the porthole, and he could now see, docked at Terminal 1, a converted Class 4 extraction craft with its universal docking hatch and a custom gun turret in its belly. The extraction craft was then blocked from view as his own craft nestled into Terminal 3. The docking bolts engaged with a hollow, metallic clank and the hiss of the airlock. The woman’s voice returned to the communicator. “3-6S, your craft is secure and the airlock engaged. It is now safe for you to exit your hatch. Olympus 5 Docking Control out.”

“Olympus 5 Docking Control,” he said into the communicator, to a seemingly gaping silence, “under O-N-E law, Article 4, Section 3 of the Anti-Pirating Act, your station is under quarantine and you are to shut down all terminals. O-N-E 3-6S out.”

There was no response from Docking Control. Olympus 5 was now the last functioning station beyond the Mars base. Saturn’s station, Cronus 6, was crushed in the ice rings. Uranus’s Titan 7 was full of only corpses. Neptune’s Trident 8 had a skeletal crew so far gone with Frontier Fever that they had long ago eaten the remainder of their peers. And Pluto’s Hades 9 was eerily empty.

He stood from his craft’s controls and stepped to the hatch. He could no longer remember how long he’d been chasing the Class 4 docked at Terminal 1—time was meaning less and less—but he’d finally caught up with his quarry, and his mission was coming to an end.

***

He stepped into a dimly lit lounge. Jupiter filled the row of windows that made up the lounge’s outside wall, bathing the room in a pale, pink glow. The only people were a bartender behind the bar, and two men hunched over a small, round table in a corner. He approached the bar, flicking aside his long, black coat from the weapon on his hip, a habit whenever entering a room.

The bartender was a woman in her late thirties. Her pale skin hung from her skull in a manner reminiscent of melting candle wax. She was missing her two front teeth, and the only life in her eyes was the flicker of Jupiter’s reflection. She regarded the long, black coat and the black boots that were standard uniform for all O-N-E marshals. Then her gaze went to the A-40 pistol at his side. Her eyes fixed on the weapon with a mixture of fear and lust as if he’d exposed to her his sex. “Couldn’t believe it when word came down that an Interceptor was docking,” the woman said, her eyes flashing across his Earth-blue eyes. Her gaze faltered, maybe due to the man’s cold stare, maybe because his eyes reminded her of a planet she’d probably only heard about. “I didn’t think you guys still existed,” she said.

His expression never changing, he said, “This station is harboring fugitives of the O-N-E Anti…” He stopped and spun around, his hand going to his A-40. Over his left shoulder, the bartender’s head came apart like an exploding melon, her torso falling behind the bar.

The hairs on the back of the marshal’s neck stood erect in the wake of buzzing atoms, and behind him was a man holding what the military called a Matter Displacement Weapon, but what was more commonly known as a Matter Annihilator. Matter Annihilators were popular on the black-market trade, although they were not recommended for non-terrestrial use (for one thing, they were capable of breaching a station’s outer wall). The only things saving the marshal’s life were his quickness, and the fact that Matter Annihilators were notoriously inaccurate. This trait was not innate for the A-40 plasma pistol now in the marshal’s hand. The man with the Matter Annihilators dropped to the floor with a smoking hole in his chest.

Bullets whizzed past the marshal’s head. The other man that had been at the table was now firing an old fashion .45 semi-automatic, rushing his shots, bullets spraying randomly. The marshal leveled his A-40 and dropped the man with another single shot.

As if by instinct, the marshal turned his weapon toward a small alcove to his right. He waited a moment, his weapon trained on the place where he anticipated another man to emerge. But, instead of a man emerging from the alcove, a weapon slid along the floor to the marshal’s feet. He looked down to see an A-40 exactly like the one in his own hand.

“You always were a better shot with that thing than I was,” a voice said from the alcove. A man stepped into view. “Looks like I chose a hell of a time to take a piss,” he said. He had a thick mustache, and his hair was long and scraggily. Though the man’s clothes were the generic standard issue of most “frontier folk,” he wore a long, battered, black coat—the black coat known to all O-N-E marshals. With his left hand, the man cut and re-stacked a deck of playing cards in a hypnotic rhythm. “I thought we lost you at Hades,” he said.

“Ross Kubler,” the marshal said, his expression never changing, the A-40 trained on the man standing before him, “under Article 4 of O-N-E Anti-pirating…”

“Will you stop with that,” Ross said, smiling. Still cutting the deck of cards with one hand, he stepped up to the bar, glancing over its side at the bartender. “Ew,” he winced. The grin then returned to his face. “Billy always was a lousy shot with that Annihilator thing. I’m surprised he even managed to hit her.”

“You are under arrest for acts of piracy against the Organized Nations of Earth, and you are to be…”

“Do you recognize her?” Ross interrupted, nodding to the bartender’s headless torso. “I mean, obviously you don’t now, but did you recognize her?”

Without looking at the bartender’s corpse, the marshal answered, “No.”

“That’s Jim Harper’s daughter, Lola.”

The marshal’s eyes narrowed, but he still didn’t look at the bartender.

“She was probably missing her two front teeth the last time you saw her, too, only, that time, they grew back.” He shook his head, chuckling, “Christ, how long do you think you’ve been chasing me?”

“Long enough, but no longer.”

“Time has a way of getting messed up while traveling at Sub-light speeds, doesn’t it? Travel Hibernation with its sleeping, waking, sleeping, waking… I mean, look at that,” he nodded at the bartender again, “you somehow ended up the same age as Jim Harper’s little girl.”

“Ross Kubler, under the O-N-E…”

“Are you sure the ONE even still exists?”

The marshal’s eyes narrowed again.

“Are you sure Earth even still exists?” Ross asked. “I mean, yeah, we can see that it does, even from out here, but I mean the Earth in the sense that we know it? Or knew it. When’s the last time you received orders from ONE?”

“When they told me to find you.”

“Christ, Lola here probably hadn’t even hit puberty yet,” Ross grinned, looking for a moment at the woman’s corpse. He then turned his attention back to the marshal. “You know what the last thing I heard about Earth was?” Ross said, “Now, granted, this was from an old-timer so batty with Frontier Fever that he’d picked his lips clean off of his own face, but he told me that The ONE was losing control and now the trade barons were running the show. And who knows how long ago that was.” He stared out the window as if trying to find his bearings in time. “Let me ask you this,” he said, “If you arrest me, what then? Where do we go? The ONE lost control of the outposts years ago, and the supply ships that do make it out here no longer have O-N-E seals.” He chuckled, but his eyes held no humor. “Hell, I’ve been pirating pirates. You know the people out here can’t afford the tariffs. Think of me as a kind of Robin Hood.” He chuckled again.

“Ross Kubler, under Article 4 of…”

“Christ,” Ross groaned. “Look, you won, okay? It’s over. You fulfilled your duty. But it doesn’t mean anything. You have nothing to return to. This system has moved on. You haven’t. You know, in mid-time America, they used to have those dog races. They’d send the dogs around a track chasing a mechanical rabbit. Thing was, if a dog caught the rabbit, he was no good anymore. They’d have to kill the thing. Don’t you see? I’m your rabbit.”

“Ross Kubler…”

“I can’t go with you,” Ross said. “You have no idea what the barons will do to me.”

“Under the…”

“Wait, look,” Ross said. He smiled, but his eyes were filled with terror. He held up the deck of cards between them. “We’ll do it like the old days. You remember? We’ll do it the way we chose missions. High card wins.”

The marshal stared him in the eyes for what seemed to Ross an eternity. Then the marshal cut the deck, holding up the King of Spades. He returned the top half to the deck, and again, he stared into Ross’s eyes.

Ross laid the deck on his left palm, and with his right hand, he cut the cards, but his shaking fingers squeezed too hard, and the cards sprayed from his hand, fluttering to the floor. “Shit,” he said, stooping to retrieve them. But, instead of gathering the cards, he took hold of his discarded weapon at the marshal’s feet, and, rising from his crouch, he felt the barrel of the marshal’s A-40 against his forehead. But still he rose, weapon in hand, and he closed his eyes, knowing that time had finally caught up to him.

The End

The Smell From My Brother’s Room

Brother's Room

E.B. Richardson
The Smell From My Brother’s Room

What is that smell from my brother’s room?

 

It’s eerie and frightening like impending doom.

 

What is that smell?  What is its host?

 

Dead leaves, rotten eggs, old cheese, a wet bag?

 

Whatever it is, it smells gross!

 

What is that smell from my brother’s room?

Could it be a mutant plant or alien flower in bloom?

 

What is that stench he has to endure,

a growing disease, or maybe a cure?

 

What is that smell?  I simply must know.

 

I’ll muster my courage, I’ll muster my strength,

and into my brother’s room I will go.

 

But wait!  I don’t know what’s behind that door.

 

What if it’s a monster with bad intentions at its core?

 

I could knock, and then, “Come in,” it might hungrily implore.

 

Or…

 

What if it’s a giant dragon in there today,

whose mouth fills up the entire doorway?

 

I could walk through that door into certain death.

That smell I keep smelling could be its bad breath!

 

What if it’s a troll looking to deposit

missing kids into my brother’s closet?

 

I could scream all I wanted, I could cry and stomp all aflutter.

They’d never find me, not in that closet’s clutter.

 

What is that smell?  I’ve got to know.

 

Is it a body he’s hiding?  My brother does like Edgar Allen Poe.

 

So… Is it a dragon’s bad breath?  Or a monster’s BO?

 

My brother’s untimely death?  Ah, that’s wishful thinking, I know.

 

Is it a flatulent ghost?  Or some gobbledy goo?

 

A diseased host?  Wait, don’t vampires smell, too?

 

That’s it!  The suspense has become much too thick!

 

I’ll just peak in the door.  I’ll just look real quick.

 

Here I go for the doorknob… Did I just hear a clatter?

 

I’m going to open it… I hope I can hold onto my bladder.

 

I’m opening the door.  Boy, it smells foul!

 

I’ll slam it shut again, should anything howl.

 

And there we have it… the source could be no other;

 

the smell in the room is only my brother.

 

 

A Quarter to Stupid

The EmbalmedMax Holden sat in the Dutch Horse Pub. He sipped on his whiskey, and he scribbled in a leather-bound sketchbook. There were two girls sitting next to him, a blond and a brunette. They were not altogether attractive, but not altogether unattractive. They were what Max liked to call “Sobriety Tests.” If these girls started to look good enough to take home, it was time he relinquished his car keys. The blond was telling a story to the brunette about, from what Max could gather, a mutual friend named Stacey.

“Stacey’s good,” the blond told the brunette. “She moved off the island. Living in the city. Her and Brad are finally officially done. She’s trying to get past the pain of it all, and she’s dipping her toe into the dating scene again.”

“How is that going for her?” the brunette said to the blond.

“Well…” the blond said, letting the syllable hang in the air a moment.

“Uh-oh. What happened?” the brunette said.

Max glanced at the different faces seated around the bar. At the end of the bar was Fred. Fred was a fixture in the bar since the 1960s. Max had tattooed Fred with countless nicknames over the years, but now, Max just thought of him as “The Embalmed.”

The blond continued her story about Stacey’s love life. “Well, she met this incredible guy. She was out with work friends one night, and someone had a friend, who had a friend that knew some guy at the bar.”

“So, in other words, she met a complete stranger?”

“Exactly. But she really hits it off with this stranger. He’s handsome, funny, nice, has a great job… You know, one of those one in a million type guys that you immediately can envision future Christmas card pictures with. So, even though it is completely out of character for her, she goes home with this guy.”

“Good for her. She needed something after that whole Brad thing.”

“Yeah. She needed to get laid. Which this guy did for her. And it was like fantastic. Like toe-curling, bug-eyed orgasm good.”

“This sounds great, so what’s the problem?”

Max shifted his attention to the woman standing beside Fred. Charlene, the waitress, was waiting for a drink order. Charlene had waitressed at the bar since it was known as The Captain’s Quarters. In fact, the only person with more tenure than Charlene in the bar was Fred. Charlene was well into her sixties now, her face showing the creased wear of a woman who has lived the life among alcohol, but her body was still the smooth flawlessness of a woman in her twenties. Max had long ago dubbed her: “The Geriatric Butterface.”

“Well, the next morning,” the blond said, “the guy needs to head to work. He makes her breakfast in bed, and, with her nursing a hangover, he tells her to relax and sleep in.”

“That’s a problem?”

“No. He kisses her tenderly, tells her to hang out as long she wants, telling her to just make sure she locks the door behind her when she leaves.”

“Oh my god, she left the door unlocked and he gets robbed.”

“No. She relaxes for a couple of hours. Has a cup of coffee and reads the newspaper. But the combination of coffee and breakfast and hangover has now hit her stomach. So she runs to the bathroom and has what she called a Lamaze-inducing movement.”

“Shit.”

“Exactly.”

Max glanced around the bar. He spotted the “Summer’s Eve Gang,”—a group of male twenty-somethings standing around the pool table, all of them just starting to reach the tipping-point of sobriety. They would soon be ornery, and challenge the male patrons to bar fights. And then there was “The Cougar Den,”—the pack of forty-something divorcees sitting in the bar’s corner—who were beginning to eye the young pool-shooting douches, which would only add to the surge of testosterone already in the building. Max looked at the clock. 10:45. He wrote, “It’s a quarter to stupid,” in his notebook, and he reached for the money in his pocket.

The brunette said to the blond, “So what? She took a huge crap. The guy wasn’t there. What’s the problem?”

“The toilet wouldn’t flush.”

“Shit.”

“Exactly,” the blond said. “Now she’s panicked, running around the apartment looking for a non-existent plunger, Drano, a fucking shovel, she didn’t know what, just something to make that huge crap go down. There was nothing. So she finds a plastic supermarket bag and she cleans up as if she is a dog owner in a park.”

“Ew.”

“Yes. And now she has no idea what to possibly do with this package. She can’t leave it in the trash, so she’s going to have to carry this shit-filled bag in the elevator, or, down five flights of stairs.”

“Ew.”

Max recognized the coming punch line to the urban legend the girl was recounting, amazed that the girl had the balls to use an actual friend as the stories subject. He glanced to his right. The blonde’s cleavage heaved in her low-cut shirt, her plump, firm breasts causing a stir below Max’s waist. It was definitively time to go.

The blond said, “But she can’t head down the stairs at the moment, because she is currently, pretty much naked. She places the bag on the kitchen counter and goes and gets dressed. She makes the bed, tidies up the bedroom, and sits down to write him a note. She really likes this guy. I mean, aside from having a toilet with a minor plumbing issue, he’s perfect. She definitely wants to go out with him again. So she leaves her note on the table and lets herself out, making sure the door is locked behind her.”

“So what’s the problem?”

“As the door shuts, and she hears the click of the lock catching, she remembers the bag of shit on his kitchen counter.”

“No.”

“Yes. And, of course, she has absolutely no way to let herself back into the apartment. His finding a giant bag of shit in his kitchen was as inevitable as time’s passing. Needless to say, he never called her.”

Max threw a twenty on the bar and took the final swig of whiskey in his glass.

“That is unbelievable. Poor thing.”

“Yup.”

“So what did the note say?”

Max placed his empty glass on the bar and he turned toward the girls about to say, You know that story is bullshit, but instead, he said, “Thanks for fucking the shit out of me.” And he walked out of the bar.