jackscoresby:

I’m 29 years old today. 🎂🎉 #haikusaboutyourbutt

Happy birthday to my friend, Jack.  He deserves all the cake—today and every day.

jackscoresby:

I’m 29 years old today. 🎂🎉 #haikusaboutyourbutt

Happy birthday to my friend, Jack.  He deserves all the cake—today and every day.

Bonnie & Me

gibsongrand:

image

On July 29, 1933, Buck Barrow died at King’s Daughters Hospital in Perry, Iowa. Ten days earlier, he had taken a gunshot to the head during a shootout with the police. In the hours before his death, Buck fell victim to hallucinations, often babbling incoherently and crying for his mother, Cumie. His last words were “Forgive me, Snowball,” presumably a reference to his beloved dog, which he had abandoned in Joplin, Missouri. But he made no mention of his brother Clyde or of poor Bonnie Parker. Nor did he call for his wife, Blanche, who at the exact moment of Buck’s passing, had awoken screaming in a jail cell in Platte City, more than 200 miles away.

Blanche didn’t need anyone to tell her Buck was dead. Every terrible thing that had ever happened to her had started or ended with a man, or a gun.

(c) gibson grand

Excerpt from my novel in progress, Bonnie & Me.

fireflies

The boy knocks on the screen door.  It is after seven and starting to get dark.  He watches as the August fireflies dance in the tall grass.  He wonders how much Mrs. Sawyer would pay him to cut the lawn.
“What do you want, ass-wipe?”
Charlie is standing at the door, a stoned grin on his face.  Charlie is Timmy’s older brother.  He is a lanky sixteen and his face is riddled with acne.
“Is Timmy around?” the boy asks.
“He went to the 7-11.  You can wait for him if you want.”
Charlie turns and walks down a dark hallway toward the rear of the house.  The boy watches him as he disappears into the shadows, wondering if he should follow.

  He opens the screen door and enters the house.  He hears the familiar march of Space Invaders on the television as he walks into the living room.  Charlie sits on the couch holding a joystick.  His eyes are glued to the screen.  A bong sits on the coffee table.
“Can I have a hit?” the boy asks.
“Yeah, right.  What are you, like ten?”
“Eleven!”
Charlie considers this for a moment, his eyes still fixed on the television.
“Nah, you’ll just narc on me.”
“No I won’t!  Stop being such a dick.”
Charlie laughs as he puts down the joystick.
“Do you have any smokes?”
The boy pulls a pack of Marlboro Reds from his jeans and takes a seat on the couch beside Charlie.  He offers him a cigarette, then lights up one of his own.  Charlie packs a bowl and hands the bong to the boy.  He takes a big hit, letting the warm smoke fill his lungs.  He holds it for as long as he can before exhaling.
“Holy shit” he says.
Charlie grins.
“Thai stick.”

Charlie refills the bowl for himself as the boy sinks into the couch.  His entire body grows warm and numb, as if an electric blanket has been wrapped around him.  The boys sit in silence for several minutes.
“Want to see something cool?” Charlie asks.
He doesn’t wait for an answer.  He gets up and walks out of the room.
“Can you get me a beer?” the boy shouts after him.
The boy has spent most of the summer at the Sawyer house, getting stoned and laughing at the television.  Timmy’s parents are rarely home. 

Charlie returns with two Budweiser tall-boys and a stack of photographs in his hand.  He tosses the pictures on the table.
“I found these in the attic.”
The boy opens his beer and takes a long pull.  It feels good on his throat, which is scratchy from the smoke.  He looks through the photographs.  They are all in black and white and some of them are cracked and yellowing at the edges.  They mostly depict naked teenage boys and girls.  Some of them look as if the photographer was peering through a window.  The boy wonders whether they knew they were being photographed.  One of the girls is naked in a bathtub.  His cock twitches involuntarily upon seeing the photograph.  The girl in the photograph resembles his classmate, Georgette Lang.  He’s had a crush on her since the fourth grade.  The boy stares at the picture for a long time.
“Your dad is a freaking perv!”
“I guess so.”
Charlie breaks into laughter.  The boy takes another pull off his beer.
“Want to see something really fucked up?” asks Charlie.
“What?”
“I found a dead dog in the woods today.”
“What’s so special about a dead dog?” asks the boy.
“I found it in The Shed.  It looks like it was sacrificed in some sort of ritual.  Fucking witches, man.”
“You’re so full of shit!” says the boy.
Charlie gets up and walks into the kitchen.  He returns with a flashlight.
“C’mon.  Let’s check it out.” 

 They walk through the woods in silence, led by the moonlight and Charlie’s flashlight.  The boy has never liked “The Shed,” a crumbling one-room shack that sits in the middle of the woods.  In the winter, the older kids gather there at night to drink beer and Southern Comfort, and make out in front of a makeshift fire pit.  No one knows how The Shed got to be in the middle of the woods but the boy has heard stories about a crazy old woman that used to live there. They say she liked to eat squirrels.

  The boy hesitates at the entrance to the Shed but Charlie shoves him in the back, pushing him inside.  The room is dark and smells rancid.  Charlie turns on his flashlight.  There is an old mattress in the corner and the floor is covered in broken glass and cigarette butts.  Charlie aims the flashlight toward the center of the room.  The dog lays on the floor, in a circle drawn in chalk.  The boy moves closer and sees that its throat has been cut.  Its fur is matted with dried blood and the wound filled with maggots.
“Pretty fucking sick, right?”
The boy feels vomit rising in his throat.
“I’ve got to take a piss,” he says, before running out of the room. 

 The fresh air revives the boy as he stands before a tree and unzips his fly.  He doesn’t really have to pee but doesn’t want Charlie to know how scared he is. 
“You’re such a little faggot,” says Charlie as he appears beside the boy.
Charlie opens his jeans and starts pissing on the tree. 
“I bet you’ve got a pussy down there, don’t you?” says Charlie, staring at the boy’s open fly.
“Fuck off.”
“Prove it.”
“What the fuck, Charlie?”
“Drop your pants.  Prove that you don’t have a pussy.”
“I’m not dropping my pants, you asshole.”
Charlie quickly grabs the boy and starts to pull down his jeans.  He tries to spin free but Charlie quickly wrestles him to the ground.  He straddles the boy’s legs as he stares intently at his penis.
“You call that a dick?  It looks like a little cunt to me.”
Charlie grabs the boy’s dick and yanks it violently.  The boy cries out in pain.
“Cut it out, you fuck!”
Charlie grabs the boy’s balls in his hand, twisting and squeezing them until the boy begins to cry.
“Please stop.  You’re hurting me.”
Charlie begins to masturbate as he pulls on the boy’s balls. 
It is over in a few seconds.

Charlie stands up and closes his fly.  He watches the boy threateningly as he pulls his jeans up around his hips.  The boy is too scared to look him in the eye.  He turns and walks away.  Charlie calls after him.
“If you tell anyone about this, I’ll kill your fucking dog.”
The boy begins to run, Charlie Sawyer’s come dripping down his thigh.  He doesn’t stop running until he gets home.

 Two weeks later, the Sawyer home burned to the ground.  No one was hurt but it was assumed that Charlie, stoned, fell asleep on the couch with a lit cigarette in his hand.  The Sawyers moved away after that.  The boy never told anyone about what had happened in the woods with Charlie.  He was too scared he would find his dog in The Shed.

© gibson grand

“There’s a sorrow and pain in everyone’s life, but every now and then there’s a ray of light that melts the loneliness in your heart and brings comfort like hot soup and a soft bed.”
— 	Hubert Selby Jr., Requiem For a Dream
#lit

“There’s a sorrow and pain in everyone’s life, but every now and then there’s a ray of light that melts the loneliness in your heart and brings comfort like hot soup and a soft bed.”
— Hubert Selby Jr., Requiem For a Dream
#lit

whisky always tastes better on t.v.

Amos closes his eyes as he raises the glass to his lips. He inhales deeply, letting the whiskey fumes fill his nostrils and lungs, savoring the slow burn in his throat and the charcoal residue. He tilts his head back and lets the bourbon wash over his lips and tongue, and for a moment there is nothing but heat and spice.

Amos doesn’t really care for whiskey. He and his brother used to sip Everclear on the roof of the double-wide. Rather, Amos relishes that first sip because it takes him somewhere far away; to a place that’s always quiet and warm–a place that isn’t here. It makes him think of his mother and the way she would sit on the porch in the summer, making charcoal sketches on big sheets of heavy white paper. He would sit beside her on the steps, watching her as she drew. She always worked in silence and sometimes hours would pass with hardly a word uttered between them. The pictures were always the same–detailed sketches of the day’s laundry, hanging on the line–a pair of jeans or one of Aunt Dot’s frilly slips, drying in the sun.
“Why do you always draw clothes?” he would ask.
“Things are prettier in my head,” she would say, her eyes fixed on the paper.

Amos never developed a hand for art but he could lose himself in that first sip of whiskey. Bourbon brought him to his mother’s smoky, charcoal-stained fingers and the stillness of those summer days. Whiskey brought him silence but for the August breeze rustling the trees or the distant bark of a dog.

It never lasts though. When he opens his eyes, Hattie is still there, chewing on her pencil. Twenty years of marriage hasn’t taught Amos much about love. He’s learned plenty about hate though. He hates the way she plays word jumble at the dinner table, while a cigarette burns in the ashtray and her dinner grows cold, and how her shit always smells faintly of coconut. He hates how she warms her ice cold feet against his legs when she crawls into their bed and the feel of her dry, calloused fingers on his cock. And he can’t stand the way she blathers at him while she’s brushing her teeth and her long searching looks as he descends the basement stairs to work on his dioramas. But mostly, Amos just hates himself, for not having decency to tell Hattie how he feels or the courage to leave her.

Hattie slaps her hand against the table.
I got it!” she exclaims, her eyes still on the newspaper. ”Serendipity!”
Amos reaches for the bottle of Old Grand Dad as he gets up from the table and walks to the basement door.

© gibson grand

If you enjoyed this story, please consider purchasing my collection of short stories and poetry, Leave Your Money on the Dresser, which is available in both print and electronic versions on Amazon.

Leave Your Money on the Dresser

image

Thank you to all those who have purchased my collection of short stories and poems, Leave Your Money on the Dresser, and please take a moment to leave a rating or review on Good Reads or Amazon.

(cover photography: Jack Scoresby/model: Aemilia McMorbid)

-g.g.

Stills from Unmade Foreign Films No. 1

Subtitles by gibson grand
Original photograph by Robert S. Donovan, adapted pursuant to Creative Commons License, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

No. 5

Arlee caught a vibe from Johnny the minute he walked into Ooh La La. 
It was a familiar vibe, one he didn’t like.  
He didn’t like the way Johnny tried to make small talk with him at the bar.  There was an anxious formality to his speech that Arlee has learned to associate with ex-cons and delinquent, drugged-out army brats.  It lurks beneath the surface of every “Yes, sir” or “Thank you, mam” uttered all too quickly by guys like Johnny—guys who corral their arms around bottles of beer and stacks of dollar bills as if they were the last taste of freedom they‘d ever have.  It nags at Arlee, like a lingering cold or an unanswered insult.  He doesn’t have anything against ex-cons.  He figures if they did their time, then they deserve a shot at making things right, a chance to start over.  He just doesn’t want it happening here, not in his bar.  In Arlee’s experience, the Ooh La La isn’t a place to start something new.  It’s a place to hide from the same old thing.

© gibson grand

This is an excerpt from my novel-in-progress, Merry Goes Bang.

On this day in 1934, John Dillinger was shot and killed outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago, as federal agents tried to arrest him. Dillinger pulled a weapon and attempted to flee but was shot four times. He was 31 years old. During his criminal career, Dillinger and his gang robbed two dozen banks and four police stations, and Dillinger escaped from jail twice. He served as the impetus for the creation of the FBI.

On this day in 1934, John Dillinger was shot and killed outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago, as federal agents tried to arrest him. Dillinger pulled a weapon and attempted to flee but was shot four times. He was 31 years old. During his criminal career, Dillinger and his gang robbed two dozen banks and four police stations, and Dillinger escaped from jail twice. He served as the impetus for the creation of the FBI.

Spoken word of my poem, What we learn from monarchs.