Category Archives: 05/2009

The Day the Dead Walked the Streets

Written by Ken Carman

Had I seen too many movies?

I admit I spent my popcorn munching youth watching Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead type fare’. Or maybe it was from watching Twilight Zone all the time, or Alfred Hitchcock flicks.

Who knows.

Except I thought I knew exactly what to expect when the dead clawed out of their coffins and then dug themselves out of their own graves. They came down the hill from Oak Hill Cemetery: my mother, my neighbor, the preacher I hated, the teacher too quick with the paddle, the murderer who killed the lady across the street. The sound of the moaning was horrible and the night before just right; dark, spooky; yet a full moon peaking out now and then. That was last night, and it was perfect: quiet as a blade of grass, gently brushing thier gravestones with an annoying “whisk, whisk, whisk…” the exact kind of atmosphere any self respecting ghoul would sloppily drool all over himself for.

Do ghouls respect themselves? After what has happened to our little town, I wonder.

We should have figured it out that something was wrong. Very wrong.

Why would they rise from their graves at 10 in the morning?

Children screamed. Dogs howled and left town. Cats did what cats always do: stare and look away as they lazed in the hot summer sun. At 10 am it was already 100 degrees. The stench was incredible.

A couple of brave; I would admit now “foolish,” souls ran out with their guns, swords, knives and bats… but nothing seemed to stop them. Besides, after a while we all just stared like our cats at them, only we couldn’t look away. Our loved ones, the bullies, the bastards… they just walked by us. They ignored us.

What the hell?

I; one of the many formerly “brave” souls, finally started to plead with them, “What do you want? Why are you here? Do you even remember me?”

One of the dead, a once sexy seductress who had worms feasting, looked through me, but said with her raggedy, raspy, rotting, vocal chords…

“I could kill for a shower.”

Then she showed her rotted teeth to me with a growl as if to bite. No one dared do anything to stop them after that. Yeah, they had us fooled.

How would you feel if you were locked in a small box for years and years, other than crazed? What would you long for? We never guessed…

Now we can’t get rid of them. They stay in the showers all day, all night, trying to eliminate a smell that will never: ever, go away. But they do drag themselves out every once in a while and then empty our fridges; threatening us if we don’t refill them with more food…. hoping to satisfy a hunger that can never go away. Cleaning up after them is impossible. Only plumbers are getting rich: what few there are. Once they see what plugs up the plumbing they quickly decide they’d rather do something; anything, else for a living.

The dead don’t bite. That’s a myth. They do lay in our beds, on our couches… spreading their stench everywhere. Their stench is impossible to get rid of. The best place for the dead is in the shower. It cuts down on the smell.

Nothing “kills” them, and even the legs and arms hang around if you cut them off, and drag themselves everywhere. They even reintegrate whole bodies out of puffs of blood red mist when you use dynamite on them.

Who could have guessed the dead; many who worked good, steady jobs when they were alive, would be such freeloaders?

There’s nothing we can do. The expense alone almost makes me wish they would kill me so I could become one, instead of put up with one.

Damn, I hate house guests.


Copyright 2009
Ken Carman
all rights reserved

I'm still hungry!!! Is the fridge full?

"I''m still hungry!!! Is the fridge full?"


Written by Millie Jenny C.


All of a sudden. . .
WHAM. . .
OK . . .
Waking in the middle of the night. . .
Throwing off the covers.
Starting to cool off again.
Slip serenely off to sleep.
Then Im startled awake
Try to find the discarded covers
Without totally waking myself up again.
Now Im Cold. . .
Alright. . .ALRIGHT.
Enough of this.
I was with a friend over the weekend,
All of a sudden, I saw her picking up a menu to fan herself.
You too, huh?
Her tale was of night sweats
That soaked her bed. . . .
And I noticed beads of sweat the next time
The makeshift fan came out.
Maybe its not so bad with me.
I feel flushed, but the sweat doesnt pour off me.
I guess I should be glad. . .
But then again at 3 AM. . .
Im not quite as patient. . .
Time to STOP!
Hot flashes!
Copyright 2005
Millie Jenny C.
all rights reserved


Written by Ken Carman

Weapons we choose
Phrases abused
Shorthand for suicide
To homicide
How easy
How odd
How strange…
How very deranged
When words
Become weaponized
Copyright 2009
Ken Carman
all rights reserved

Two for you, four for me?

"Two for you, four for me?"

The Burden

Written by Jenn Weinshenker

Storms comin in from the west
looks rough
wed better put up those chairs in the shed.

You think well have a tornado this time?

Might, could.

Look at those clouds.
Dont they look like the scales of a fish?
Have you ever seen such a thing before?

The wind is ripping through them trees
theyre all over the place
wed better pull in that table too.
Grab that end?

You know, I never thought about it before
But I wouldnt be surprised if thats what people thought.
Tornadoes were dragons flying around,
shaking the earth,
breathing smoke and fire
and destroying everything in its way?

It makes total sense.

I mean, we talk about it now and we know what tornadoes do.
If something heavy like a truck
Finds its way to the top of some tree
We are confounded by it.
People must have seen lots of immoveable things
Picked up and thrown the distance only a god could have?
Lightning must have been quite the arrow,
Thunder, thunder that could run through a tree
And electrocute a whole herd of sheep
Huddling together in the midst of the storm
How do you explain something like that
when you dont know what it is?

I can see that.
I know what tornadoes are
and they still scare me.
The sky is turning neon green.
Wed better get inside.
Have you seen Ruby?

Is she out?

I think so.

There you are girl.
Lets get you inside.

We hurried down the basement stairs
and crawled beneath the mattresses
we had propped up
against the far back
cement block wall.

We felt the wind rattling around our old brick house as
rain and hale pelted through the windows and walls.
It sounded like a war zone out there.

You think the house will hold?

Hope so.

The ground under the foundation
started to move,
like it was floating on waves of water.
For a brief instant it felt like all of the air
had been sucked out of the room,
and then
it got quiet.
No birds, no crickets,
not the sound of a human being,
And then it hit again.

All night storms
carved their way through the prairieland corridor.
In the morning we heard voices murmuring outside.
We looked around.
There were streaks of light across the concrete floor.

Ruby was gone.
So was the house.

You okay?

Yeah, are you?

Im still alive
but my muscles are sore as hell.

We crawled out from under our soggy cave
and walked up the stairs into a
great big wide open.

Bright sparks of sun reflected off of shards of broken glass.
Bricks, splintered wood, kitchen appliances
and cars had been indiscriminately thrown over the
scrap yard.

At the corner we could see young people
walking away
so many of them
walking right off the end of the earth.
It was as though the whole planet was encircled by them.
And it didnt matter where you were in the line
Because it never ended
Not the spinning and
Not the people

They were hauling this bloodstained rope.
It was thicker than a mason’s fist.
From one shoulder to the next
they strained forward
and marched.

What are you carrying?

Dont know
but dont worry.
Were almost there.

We stood there and watched the living organism
carrying its burden
of muscle and flesh
without end
without complaint.

Jenn Weinshenker
All Rights Reserved
<img alt="" src="" title="tornado 6" class="alignnone" width="117" height="88" /

Too Early for Cold Coffee

Written by Sennebec

Jacob Trufelman, eh, I set tomorrows paper down so I could finish my coffee before it got cold. Dont get me wrong, cold coffee has its place, but never before lunchtime, and absolutely not until the first job of the day is out of the way. A guy in my profession has to have standards. Bourbon before the suns over the yardarm is verboten too, although there are times

After rinsing my cup and setting it just so in the strainer, I checked the paper again before folding it. I was sure I had the address memorized, but better safe than sorry when working on a tight schedule.

It was a typical early April day, clammy, overcast, with a sharp northwest breeze which made me really glad the company issued good quality windbreakers. I let the engine warm while I rummaged through my toolkit in the trunk. Yeah, I know the operations staff downtown is good, but Ive been nipped a couple times when a rookie repacked things and I wasnt in any mood for starting Monday with someone elses screw up.

According to the paper, Trufelman lived just off the interstate where it curved around Lake Auburn. If the details were correct, I had just over an hour to get there. I backed out, taking care to look left twice. You never know when one of those Kawasaki jockeys from Marble St. is going to come over the crest of that blind hill and mash his brains all over the side of my car. It has nearly happened twice, screwing up my schedule both times. Sorry if I dont sound compassionate, but when youre on a tight schedule, compassion has to take a back seat. Same reason I dont stop when I pass an accident.

Fog was rolling across all four lanes of I-77 when I reached the exit. I made certain I was going slowly as I banked into the looping curve which took me onto Lake Auburn Drive. The temperature reading on my dash said 35, but Ive seen it drop like a bad stock market this time of year. No sense tempting fate with all the moisture in the air this morning.

Trufelman answered the door almost immediately. He wasnt as old as I expected, although he had that telltale grayness which I see all too often in my line of work. Although we had never met, he was expecting me.

You know where it happens?

I nodded, again, another part of the job. Im used to it by now. Hey, if I didnt know, why the heck would I be here now, but theres no point in stating the obvious in my line of work. In the bathroom while youre toweling off after your shower. No hurry though, you have almost half an hour.

He blanched at my bluntness. Coming face to face with your own mortality does that, I guess. Even though our services are included as an employee benefit, I dont know anyone who has signed up. Im not that curious about my future.

I accepted a cup of very strong coffee, declining cream and sugar. The less I had to clean up after the fact, the happier Id be. Weak rays of sunshine were breaking through over the lake when I set my cup down and raised an eyebrow inquiringly.

This going to hurt?

Beats me, I said. Never had the pleasure, so I cant say.

I let Trufelman lead the way, waiting outside the bathroom as he showered. I opened my bag and got out the kit when I heard the water shut off. Ill give him credit, he displayed no false modesty when he stood on the bath mat and started drying off.

He uttered a nearly inaudible gasp as the towel slid from his hands. I made certain I stood clear as he crumpled to the bathroom floor. No need to create any suspicions. I pulled on a pair of disposable gloves and extended the TR20. After checking to make sure it was functioning and connected to the laptop on the front seat of my car, I went to work. Because he was naked and not terribly large, the procedure took less than five minutes. I did a quick rescan before shutting the wand off and putting it away. After rinsing the two coffee cups, I dried mine and put it back in the cupboard, leaving Trufelmans in the strainer. As soon as I closed the front door, I stripped off the gloves and stuck them in my pocket.

As I sat at my kitchen table, sipping cold coffee while adding notes to the scan report. I had to wonder why the guy had bothered to buy a policy. Truth to tell, his sin profile was among the dullest Id seen in the past couple years. Heck that grossly obese woman last Friday had taken ten times as long to clean up and there were things on her list that still made my ears burn. Now that his soul cleansing was complete, Mr. T. was gonna be on the express lane to heaven for sure.
Copyright 2009
all rights reserved

Trufelmans coffee... black

Trufelman's coffee... black

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