“Booger’s Big Grab” by Scott Kaiser
Thursdaze (because the weekend won’t come fast enough) features original flash fiction modeled after our Drug Chronicles Series. Each story is an original one, and each encapsulates the author’s fictional experience with drugs. Our print series has anthologized authors writing about marijuana, cocaine, speed, and heroin, but contributors to the web series can focus on any drug, real or imagined, controlled or prescribed, illegal or soon-to-be legalized. Submissions to Thursdaze will be judged on an author’s ability to stylistically emulate his or her substance of choice. Submissions are also limited to 750 words, so try to focus. (They have a pill for that.)
This week, Scott Kaiser brings us a very heated conversation.
“Lousy son of a . . . a . . . bitch! . . . He d . . . d . . . deserved it anyway!” screamed Booger as he continued to scrape at the moist ground beneath his crusty and yellowed fingers while simultaneously attempting to force moisture to his cracked lips.
“Wh . . . Why he dun th . . . th . . . think he need such a nice one anyhow? . . . Bastard!” Booger exclaimed, now forcing the fence post supported by his frail right hand into the earth below.
This was truly something. Booger—with his run-down, sunken-in eyes and nappy, unkempt half-beard—had already been awake for some twenty-six hours, yet he had never felt more energetic or useful in his life. Useful was probably an understatement. For here he was, putting up the fence he had always wanted (for at least two weeks, since he first eyed it in his neighbor’s yard) around his very own shack.
“You still shouldn’t have taken his . . .”
“Wha?” yelled Booger, somewhat startled. “Who . . . wh . . . who said dat?”
“Come on, man,” the voice responded. “You should know me by now.”
Just then, Booger looked up, and through his parched gaze saw a familiar-looking figure ahead of him.
“Oh, it’s . . . you! . . . F . . . f . . . fuck you . . . B . . . B . . . Bob!”
Bob had been with Booger ever since the beginning, though truthfully Booger’s failing mind couldn’t exactly recall where he had ever met Bob. Regardless, there stood Bob, brown shaggy head shaking back and forth, brown eyes condemning Booger’s every move.
“Really? You don’t think he’ll notice at all?”
Booger, terribly taken by his labor, pretended not to hear Bob’s latest and damning attempt at reason.
“I s . . . s . . . sed f . . . f . . . fuck you . . . Bob!”
“Ah, the old standby. Well, guess we’ll see how well that response works when you tell it to the guy you stole this shit from. That is, when he realizes that it was in fact you who took it.”
“B . . . b . . . Be careful, B . . . B . . . Bob! Or you’ll gets what he’s gonna gets!” Booger screamed, at once scratching his cheek fiendishly as he continued to feverishly work against the waning cover of night around him.
“Nice, very nice,” Bob retorted, surprisingly calm. “Hey, you do realize that the last post you just placed is upside down, right?”
“You . . . you . . . you fucking . . .” Booger paused, suddenly utterly taken by the sight of headlights turning down his street. “Shut . . . shut the . . . fu . . .shut up, Bob . . . he’s a-comin’.”
“Who, you crazy jackass? There’s nobody—”
“Tha . . . that car’s right . . .” Booger paused, now realizing he couldn’t hone in his own speech. “F . . . fuck you, Bob.”
“Ah,” Bob cut in. “You realized that there is no car?”
“You . . . you sh . . . sh . . . should be c . . . c . . . careful . . . Bob!”
“Oh yeah? Or what? Whatcha gonna do, Boogey? Huh? You gonna threaten me like always? Huh?”
“I . . . I . . . I . . .”
“You what, you stammering fuck? You talk, and talk, and talk, and never do anythi—”
Just then, with one violent thrust from his shovel, Bob was cut painfully short—that is, Bob and Booger both. It was curious, but whereas Booger believed that he had been directing his fevered strike towards the face of his belittling partner-in-crime, he instead found himself almost fully thrown from consciousness and onto his back. Then, just before his final gasp and with a thin but rapid iron river flowing over his mouth, Booger grasped it: he was Booger just as much as he was Bob.
SCOTT KAISER currently lives with his wife in Turlock, California. He holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, as well as a bachelor’s in Spanish. He also thoroughly enjoy diving into, as well as producing, various forms of literature!
Do you have a story you’d like us to consider for online publication in the Thursdaze flash fiction series? Here are the submission terms and guidelines:
—We are not offering payment, and are asking for first digital rights. The rights to the story revert to the author immediately upon publication.
—Your submission should never have been published elsewhere.
—Your story should feature a drug, any drug, and your character’s experience with it. We’ll consider everything from caffeine to opium, and look forward to stories ranging from casual use to addiction to recovery. Stylistically, we’ll respond most favorable to stories that capture the mood and rhythm of your drug of choice.
—Include your drug of choice next to your byline.
—Your story should not exceed 750 words.
—E-mail your submission [email protected], and include THURSDAZE in the subject line. Please paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.
About the Drug Chronicles Series: Inspired by the ongoing international success of the city-based Akashic Noir Series, Akashic created the Drug Chronicles Series. The anthologies in the series feature original short stories from acclaimed authors, each of whom focuses on their fictional experience with the title drug. Current releases in the series include The Speed Chronicles (Sherman Alexie, William T. Vollmann, Megan Abbott, James Franco, Beth Lisick, Tao Lin, etc.), The Cocaine Chronicles (Lee Child, Laura Lippman, etc.), The Heroin Chronicles (Eric Bogosian, Jerry Stahl, Lydia Lunch, etc.), and The Marijuana Chronicles (Joyce Carol Oates, Lee Child, Linda Yablonsky, etc.).
Posted: Jul 10, 2014
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