Five Stories

Five Stories


Magnets! As it turns out, magnets were the key to everything. Climate change? Completely reversible through a simple but specific application of magnetism. Life after death? It really exists. We’re all in regular contact with our departed loved ones now through a simple but specific array of interlocking magnets. Magnets! Can you believe it? The interlocking magnets function as a kind of transdimensional communication device between the multiverse of the living and the multiverse of the dead. How does it all work? I couldn’t even begin to tell you. I’m a simple man. I live a simple life. I drive my magnet car to magnet work. I come home to my magnet house and kiss my magnet wife. “Did you remember to recalibrate the magnets on the roof?” she asks me. We’re lying in our magnet bed, about to go to sleep. “No, no. But I’ll get to it tomorrow, I promise.” She forgives me for forgetting to recalibrate the roof magnets, even though she’s asked me to do it twice already. We love and understand each other. She knows that I’ve had a lot on my mind recently.
I was a vegetarian for twenty five years until, during a drunken misadventure in the night markets of Seoul, I ate from a hotpot containing pork broth and strips of boiled beef. There were, of course, immediate consequences. Two days of miserable stomach problems. A considerable burden of guilt. A feeling of dislocation. Who was I? What had I become? And then the dreams began. Vivid dreams… Meat dreams… In these dreams, I was confronted by an enormous pig and a beautiful cow in a landscape of endless grass and gentle hills. The sky was the color of a new bruise. The pig said to me: Thank you. Thank you for eating us. You see, the afterlife is nothing like you imagined. Even in death, we were confined to the humid prisons of our bodies. Doomed to the same incessant agonies that we experienced in life. Only through the act of consumption—through the hardness of your teeth and the dampness of your belly—were our souls finally granted freedom. I saw myself reflected in the cow’s massive, radiant eyes. I asked the pig again and again: Why are you telling me this? Why are you telling me this? until shuddering awake in the early hours of morning, plagued by some unquenchable thirst.
Bird Prison
I am an inmate at Bird Prison. I was incarcerated for a crime that I did not commit. Whenever I insist that I’m innocent, all the other inmates all nod their heads like, “Yeah, OK…” You’re probably wondering why it’s called Bird Prison. It’s called Bird Prison because most (though not all) of the inmates are birds. All of the guards are birds. I’m currently planning an elaborate escape attempt. It’s very difficult because Bird Prison is located deep, deep underground on an island surrounded by many miles of open ocean.
Bird Prison 2
After countless years as an inmate in the depths of Bird Prison, I have become the warden. Don’t ask me how it happened. I’ve learned that it’s better not to question things here. Bird Prison has its own cruel logic. Each new day has its own peculiar rhythm. You’re probably wondering what’s the worst part of being the warden of Bird Prison. The worst part of being the warden of Bird Prison is all of the paperwork. The paperwork and having to keep track of the guards’ birthdays.
Vampires are real. UFOs are real. Ghosts are most definitely real. Werewolves are not real. There is, however, a thriving society of Dogmen who inhabit the nocturnal underbellies of most major North American cities. How do I know all of this? Well, you see, I used to be a vampire. I was 3000 years old. I was seductive and thin. I slept in a mahogany coffin. I wore skinny black jeans and, on special occasions, a long black cape. My life changed forever one fateful night when I was bitten by a Dogman. Now I live as the Dogmen do: running in packs, watching old movies, smoking cigarettes under dilapidated streetlights. Do I ever miss the taste of blood? Sure. But, more than anything, I miss my long black cape.

About the Author

Slamp Truckman is a writer living in Chicago. He is currently working on a horror story about tennis.

Photo by Freddie Ramm from Pexels.