Thursday, July 26, 2007

Story # 13 - Fire

Lucky number thirteen. Sorry this one is so late.

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Fire
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

I lit a fire. In a bookstore. Oh, you're not going to like me for this one. Don't get me wrong, I love books, I like books. But I just had the sudden idea, and I was in the middle of the non-fiction section, and I couldn't wait. So I took out my matches and I lit a book about politics in Malaysia from 1800-1845.

I thought that would be it, really. I would put it on the ground, let it burn for a while, and leave. Well, the flames spread to another book, and then another, and, well, you can tell what happened next.

Luckily no one was hurt. Everyone escaped the bookstore in time. And the sprinklers came on, too, so all the books that weren't burned were soaked instead.

I really didn't think it would get out of hand. Of course, now I am banned from all bookstores, and libraries, universities, and most public parks. I'm an "arsonist," they say. Yeah, right. I just wanted to start one small fire! Is that so bad? It wasn't supposed to get out of control. I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

Or, you know what? I have no regrets. Yeah, that's how it should be.

***

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Story #12 - Pulled Over

This story is based on something that happened over the weekend, though luckily it didn't go like this. Maybe that's one of the good things about writing these stories - we can see what could have happened, and remember not to do that.

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Pulled Over
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

I was doing 95 when I saw the flashing lights of a police car ahead, all white and red and blue, and I slowed down and moved to the side of the road. I got my registration out from the glove compartment and waited as the cop walked over to my driver's side window. I rolled it down as he shined a light in my face.

"State trooper, can I see your license?" he said. I handed them to him. He looked them over, unhappily.

"Do you know how fast you were doing?" he said. The voice was like that of your least favorite uncle, disappointed again.

"70?" I say. Five miles over the speed limit doesn't seem too bad.

"97," he says. "In a 65 area. What are you going so fast for?" He did not really care about the answer, so I didn't either.

He went back to his car to take down my information. That's when I decided, fuck it. Who gives a good damn.

I opened the door and stepped out of my vehicle. I started to walk away. "Sir!" he said, going for his gun. "Get back in the car!"

"Fuck it," I said. "Take the car, go and impound it. And fuck you and your fucking shit, too." I turned and headed down the road.

It was a cool night and I didn't know what I should do. I thought I should try hitchhiking, maybe, or, hey, just walking back on my own, even though it would take another hour. Then the cop came up from behind me and pinned me to the ground, putting his knee directly above my heart and tying my hands behind my back. "Asshole," I tried to say, though the breath had literally been knocked out of me. "Way to fuck up a good evening."

***

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Story #11 - Broken Bottle

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Broken Bottle
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

In the middle of a bar, I decided that I wanted to start a fight. So I took the beer bottle I had in my hand and smashed it against the bar, and waved it around at people, yelling, "You wanna go? You wanna go?" (What I didn't know was that I had smashed it wrong, and parts of the bottle cut through my arm.)

The problem was that nobody had even done anything to me. I just was starting shit for no reason. So when everybody realized that they had no idea who I was, and that I was being an asshole, everybody started rushing the bar. Suddenly I was on the floor, being trampled upon, being kicked, having more bottles thrown at me. Eventually the bartender, though on their side, told them to leave me alone. I stumbled up and the bartender literally threw me out.

In the hospital I was told that I had lost a lot of blood. When I got out, I bought a lot of beer and practiced smashing them at home, so that I would be ready that time. It took a few more trips to the hospital, but I think I finally got it right. I am trying to be an expert. They ought to have bar fight competitions, televised all over and as popular as NASCAR. People should place their bets on me. I'm slow, but I'm learning at it. I am getting ready.

***

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Story #10 - Red Line, by Annalee Flower Horne

Today, I present the first story on LOBD not written by myself! Yes, Annalee Flower Horne has submitted a story for your enjoyment. It's a good one, too. Annalee is a talented writer who you should know and revere. Temples are being set up as we speak. She has her own website and livejournal. She is even going to set up an LJ feed for this very blog. Remember: Annalee is GOOD AT EVERYTHING.

And now, her story.

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Red Line
by Annalee Flower Horne

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

So I jumped in front of a train.

It didn't kill me.

Which is good, I suppose, because I didn't want to die. I just wanted to jump. I wanted that moment-- that rush of air; that collective gasp from the crowd on the platform; that train's eye view of the tunnel-- that comes between the red hexagonal tiles and the impact.

So I jumped in front of a train.

I don't remember much anymore, but I do remember that moment. I return to it sometimes when I'm drifting off to sleep. I'll probably spend the rest of my life hearing the echo of that perfect, noisy silence.

It didn't kill me, but I lost three months. I didn't recognize the people in my room when I woke up (the nurses called them; something to do with my vitals improving). I knew I should recognize them. I knew they recognized me. I knew they loved me. They'd spent three months holding their breath for me; waiting. And they looked so familiar. Familiar strangers.

I know they were disappointed. Three months of waiting for a stranger to wake up. A stranger who looks the same, and sounds the same, and even likes most of the same things and gets on with most of the same people. But a stranger all the same. They were waiting for someone else-- someone who never got off of that train. I know I'd be disappointed.

I think perhaps I was disappointed before all of this. I think I was disappointed in the way things had turned out. The rat race... the salt mines... whatever we're calling it these days.

So I jumped in front of a train.

Maybe it did kill me. And maybe I was born.

***

Story #9 - Three Cents

First new story of July. Much like a volcano, I'm still excited. Happy 4th of July, by the way.

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Three Cents
by Dan Schwartz

I wanted to live in the land of bad decisions. In order to live in the land of bad decisions, you have to make some bad decisions.

And one bad decision begets another. Just yesterday I was at the grocery store when, getting my change back, I noticed that the cashier had given me an extra three cents. I could have said something, but I didn't. I took my things and I left the store.

I used my three cents to buy booze. And yes, I know what you're thinking: three cents is not enough to buy any worthwhile alcoholic beverage. And I would agree with you -- but if you take out the word worthwhile, then all sorts of possibilities open up.

In a matter of minutes I was stumbling along the sidewalk, unable to keep my balance. I fell down. Since it was still the middle of the afternoon, people were walking over me, not stopping to look down. I took a nap. When I woke up, many hours later, my head hurt and my pants had been taken. I got up and I walked back to my place.

I took a shower and cleaned myself up. It was the middle of the night now, but I wasn't tired. I stayed up, watched TV, and thought about what I was going to do tomorrow.

***