Thursday, January 7, 2010


I wish I could explain. Nah, I wish I could say that, but I don't. Explain it yourself. But I will say: Three words can inspire, if you stop trying and just think. Or in my case, don't think. (sorry mom!)


Stomach against the pavement (as well as her extended legs), Raven peered into the grating. Sparrow crouched next to her, ignored the loud protest of his knees and instead, appreciated the way her jeans molded against her derriere. He retrieved his pack of smokes from the inside pocket of his duster.

"I think I see them," Raven said as she scrambled away from the storm drain.

"Them?" Sparrow stopped thinking about how to get those tight pants off Raven and tried to recall her blabbering.

"YES! THEM! Don't you listen?" Raven stood, brushed off her thighs and stole a cigarette from his pack. "People blame rodents, but no, no, it's not mice that nibble through the walls and steal stuff. It's—" Raven leaned in for his cupped flame, inhaled and held the smoke before exhaling skyward. She swiped her hair curtain away from her right eye. "It's the banditties."

Sparrow thanked Judas Priest that he'd already lit his smoke, or he would have choked. "Raven Raven Raven. Pray tell, what are band-titties?" He couldn't prevent a giggle.

"BAN-DIT-TEES," Raven replied. She either was too engrossed or just didn’t hear his giggle. "Sometimes they steal things, like your keys or your wallet or, well, you know. They steal the stuff that you think you've misplaced."

"So when I can't find my lighter, I blame the... banditties?" Sparrow chuckled despite his intentions to humor her.

Raven flicked her half smoked cigarette into the storm drain. To any one else walking by, like the douche dragged by his collie singing off-key (you want it all, but you can't have it!) she appeared nonchalant, uninterested.

Sparrow thought,
shit! Who the fuck still sings that!

But Raven's squinting eyes and sneering nostrils told Sparrow—

("Epic!" What kinda asshole still downloads Faith No More)

—that he blew it. Or rather, that he wouldn't get it blown. Until she slapped him he had a chance. So he asked, "Okay, I'm sorry. What is the problem with banditties?"

Raven glanced between her feet. "Sometimes, they steal your things. And if you act upset enough, they are okay."

She peeked at him for approval. He smoothed his frown and smiled his practiced sultry look. Crazy chicks gave the best—

"SHIT! They're swarming!"

"What the fuck?" Sparrow yelled as the ground shook violently enough to knock them down. Six-legged spores swarmed from below, onto the iron mesh, across the tar and over his Timberlands. He kicked skyward, yelling, "RAVEN!"

Raven clutched his arm as the crunching, gnashing noises began. Her fright anchored him to the site. He wrenched his arm free, then grabbed her by the waist and propelled her onward. He wondered fleetingly if the dog and jogger were close enough to hear him scream.

"What the fuck are those… things?" Sparrow shouted.

"Banditties. They steal your… AHHH!"

Sparrow ran faster, spurred by her yell. The gnashing sound waned as his speed increased. Pins and needles prickled his skin under his clothing.

"I think I found those endorphins!" Sparrow yelled to her. He couldn't hear Raven over (or under, no not under, under means gone) his ragged breaths. He glanced to his left. Raven wasn't running beside him (Raven? What's a raven?), but the arm still felt warm in his closed right fist. He stopped to consider why he held a disembodied arm.

Tiny creatures swarmed his….


ThomG said...

I really liked the pace of this, the mix between thoughts and what's going on, the narrative. And quite creative. And creepy.

Tim Remp said...

You weave have very intricate story with very believable characters. The way you describe smoking will stay with me for awhile. I didn’t expect the little critters in the end. You never disappoint.

Jantun said...

I enjoyed this greatly, the characters, dialogue and action are well portrayed, and I only picked up on "epic" through the first read. Nice work Peggy!

quin browne said...

drink vodka more often when you write... this falls into the 'holy fuck' heading.... don't second guess this... this is a great place your head went... now, i have to go shower.. my skin is crawling.

G.P. Ching said...

Yikes! So creative. I've got goosebumps. Creepy, crawly!

mazzz_in_Leeds said...

she shoots, she spores!
Excellent, I love crazy stuff like this.

Swarming things = ace :-)

David Masters said...


Then names Raven and Sparrow are inspired.

Marisa Birns said...

Funny! Scary!

And very well done...

estrella05azul said...

This was a fun and creepy story, very nice pace to it, you've kept my attention to the end where I was waiting for even more :)

Carrie said...

Cool capture. Kids, storm drains and BANDitties. Odd name. Unique. I believe I like it.

Linda said...

Wowza Peggy Banditties?! Worse than lice I fear. Love the inner monologue going on as counterpoint to the action. Now, time for breakfast... not. Peace, Linda

Dee Martin said...

Quin's right - we all need to send you vodka. Gallons of it. I hate that Raven got eaten though, kinda liked her...

Laura Eno said...

Creepy coolness. Loved your descriptions, loved the quirky story!

Al Bruno III said...

I loved this story and I felt like i knew the protagonists right off the bat and I was sorry to see them go...

Eric J. Krause said...

Very cool! I loved the voice of this story. I also loved the pace. I was cracking up through two-thirds of it, and then it hit with a bang of horror at the end. Great story!

Laurita said...

This was a great, unexplainable piece. The weaving between action and thought was a nice touch. Nice one!