Saturday, July 19, 2008

Micro Story

NOTE: As usual, I apologize in advance if this is pretentious and/or excruciating. Feel free to disregard.

Zombie Movies and Cans of Cheap Beer

The horror section of a grungy video store in the hippest part of a very hip town. It consists of two shelves, tall, facing each other, a mini-hallway of gory, creepy, violent video box art. One can enter from either side. The Abominable Dr. Phibes is in the top left-hand corner of the shelf on the right, Lucio Fulci's Zombi is in the bottom right-hand corner on the shelf to the left. Graffiti on every available surface. Wads of chewed gum on the undersides of same.

Nikki, with hair the color of Cookie Monster's fur and a sleeve of tattoos running down her arm, enters the horror section on a Saturday night, unsure of what she's looking for except that she knows she's in the mood to watch other people die. Bad day at the office, not that there are any good days. They hate her there (she's "the weird girl") and she hates them (they're soulless corporate fucks). She scans the rows, looking for something with maybe a chainsaw or perhaps, to mix it up a bit, a scythe. You don't see many scythes in horror movies these days, she thinks to herself, and she kneels down to check out the videos at shin level.

Carl, who is pale and wishes he were in a band but isn't, enters the horror section from the opposite side. He's carrying a plastic bag full of Milwaukee's Best beer (The Beast, as his friends called it in high school) and he, too, is in the mood for a movie that graphically depicts people having a worse day than him. Preferably involving a nail gun or some type of spiked baseball bat. He sees a girl on her knees, her head cocked to the left, checking out all the films that begin with the letter M.

The beer in the bag is sweating. Her knees are getting dirty from the unwashed linoleum.

They browse together, each facing their own shelves, both nearly pulling a muscle trying hard to not look at the other. Nikki stands up, Carl appears to be deeply concentrating on the box for Satan's Cannibal Holocaust. They accidentally bump into each other, muttering embarrassed apologies while not making eye contact. They retreat to opposite sides of the horror section, nearly out into the aisle, and then they drift inward... browsing, browsing.


"Is this a good movie?" Nikki is holding up the box for The Return of the Living Dead, which is one of Carl's top ten, all-time favorites. She brushes her Cookie Monster blue hair out of her eyes in a way that makes Carl feel like the sudden recipient of a spiked bat to the brain.

"It is. Really good. You should. Totally watch it." He says, (stammers actually), and she smiles and says she's sold gives him a look that could either stop or start a zombie invasion, depending on it's intent. Then she walks away, to the counter, to whatever fabulous rock n' roll boyfriend she's probably got all muscles and brilliant songwriter-y and FUCK THAT ASSHOLE, thinks Carl. He stands around for a second, staring off into the deepest reaches of hateful outer space, then grabs a box off the shelf without looking and stomps to the counter.

Nikki sits outside, on the hood of her car, waiting for the guy with the bag of beer to come out of the video store. He seemed nice, she thinks, and she'd bet rent money that he'd have dinner with her if she asked. Maybe share some of that beer. Maybe come back to her place and watch this movie, even if he has seen it before. Maybe it's one of his favorites, even. Wouldn't that be lucky?

He comes out and immediately sees her there. She gives a wave. He gives a wave back. The grungy video store and this trash-strewn parking lot are the best places in the world, right now. They are the center of it all. They are holy lands full of zombie movies and cans of cheap beer where two people having bad days can look at each over burgers and realize that they've both been thinking the same thing: You don't see a lot of scythes in horror movies these days. But now they can look for films featuring that obscure weapon together.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why apologize? Some people don't mind reading a draft of a story now and again.

Marketplace of ideas, boyo. Throw yours out there and people will tell you it's good, or provide critical feedback how one can make it better.

And who disnae appreciate a good love story between horror film enthusiasts?

Good luck/cheers,

3:08 PM  
Blogger Lioux said...


Carl didn't rent One Missed Call®™©™, did he?!

It sucked.

AND there was no scythe.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Todd said...

I'm really loving these bro. Keep up the good work!

8:16 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Sonny... I have a habit of being a reflexive apologizer/qualifier. Not just with my work; with lots of stuff. It's annoying, but it's kind of ingrained into my psycholgical make-up at this point. But anyway, thanks!!!

Lioux... I'd like to think that he ended up with something cool he'd never seen before. Or maybe some misfiled porn.

Todd... Thanks, dude. I'm thinking these might be a somewhat regular thing, but only on the weekends. I'd like to keep them a little seperate from the usual blog posts.

7:24 AM  
Blogger Bill From Gainesville said...

I Love go for it type of women. I am glad the ones you make up in your mind, though full of blue hair are also aggressive enough to encourage a dude and just ask a guy to share his beast.

8:47 AM  
Blogger stew said...

I like the way this was written but it made me feel super-bad I didn't YouTube it when I killed all those people with a scythe the other day.

Well, there's always tomorrow.

6:47 PM  

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