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News & Features » March 2016 » “Moving On” by Timber Masterson

“Moving On” by Timber Masterson

Mondays Are Murder features brand-new noir fiction modeled after our award-winning Noir Series. Each story is an original one, and each takes place in a distinct location. Our web model for the series has one more restraint: a 750-word limit. Sound like murder? It is. But so are Mondays.

This week, Timber Masterson plans a trip.

Timber MastersonMoving On
by Timber Masterson
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

My Play Now, Pay Later rusty linings playbook, too scuffed up and soiled to read—hopeless hodgepodge hieroglyphics, really. I’ve got to find unity in community amongst my fellow city dwellers, take some action toward ousting toxic social stratums and evil layers from my sewer system of a body, what I’m supposed to regard as my temple, but really, closer to the truth, has been remodeled into more of a shack for hanging sea bass in.

There is some good news. I feel some minuscule solace in the idea that I should be living somewhere near, if not directly on, Henry Miller’s Tropic of Capricorn—a city (or island?) where you can speak your mind, that’s still edgy and inhabited by eccentrics and sincere nymphomaniacs, but peopled also by the delicacies of childhood; a playground rich and exultant, complete with tuxedo-laden servants always in earshot, devoted solely to providing me with top-grade, fresh-roasted Italian espresso and Swedish massages doled out by scantily-clad, sex-starved (but brilliant and curious) princesses. I could see myself acclimating to such a hot and exotic, but gracious, climate.

Now, just how to get there.

I’m frustrated and more than a little put off when I arrive at Toronto’s Pearson International—these goonish airport security fellows tell me, “You cannot park that—that car here, sir!”

Here I am, bags packed, excited to begin what I was hoping to be an unfettered, self-exploratory journey. To my horror, I am denied a coveted schedule no one felt the need to share: when the next flight would be departing, and at what exact terminal—basic stuff one would expect without complication.

“I don’t know if I quite understand where it is you’d like to go, sir.”

My enquiries are met with dull wandering monkey minds—Burger and Fries guys concerned only with when their next break would be, exchanging coveted private pointers on how to remove mustard stains from shocking, pukey pastel golf course costumes while marveling at their own starry fashion sense and congratulating themselves on black market, pungent perfume purchases from the duty-free shop. An all too fragmented, vermin-ish bunch that seemed to share little sympathy with my gleaming quest of finding a new home. They have no clue as to how monumentally important this journey is to me.

I scurry off and take a seat in one of the crappy orange plastic cafeteria booths and await boarding instructions, along the way helping myself to stale salted peanuts from a mock food stand, a snack I assume is—though am later informed, is not—complimentary.

Those unsupervised security fellows have had their eye on me for the last few hours and seem to be taking their own set of notes.

“Can we see some ID, sir?” the airport security minions inquire. I smartly responded with, “Well, I don’t know. Can you?”

They’re whispering in delicate tones amongst one another, nobody wanting to “set me off.” If somebody’d only point me in the right direction, I’d leapfrog away, get out of their hair, and finally jet off on that international flight germane to my new existence, to the eccentric destination where they lay waiting. (They?) The possibilities are endless, but are cut immensely short once I realize I’ve forgotten a necessary passport. Come to think of it, I don’t have the legitimate ID (ideology?) for this airplane undertaking at all. I better go grab the car and drum up the courage to commence the trek back east by way of land. “I guess it’s just you and me, old man.” (I talk to the car sometimes, to boost his confidence).

A couple hours pass before I’m released from the airport’s high-risk security area. They could sense I wasn’t the type to harm anyone but myself. I was allowed to depart as long as I promised not to darken any airport terminals with my down-in-the-mouth negative attitude or transfer any kind of monkey over any border.

A full tank of fuel is all I’ve got, so somewhere along the way I’m going to have to sing for my supper—that is, if I’m planning on eating sometime in the next few days, and coming out the other end of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride alive.

Time to strike the set. Now, where did I park you?


TIMBER MASTERSON is an ex pat – which means he’d loved to be patted on the back by his ex; this, in all likelihood, will never happen. He’s an American AND a Canadian citizen who’s been awarded a Toronto and Ontario Arts Council Grant towards his next project, a compilation of published essays and stories, “A Bizarre But Entertaining Life I Seem To Have Survived: Truths From The Dementia Cul De Sac,” He’s also snagged roles on The Firm, My Babysitter’s A Vampire TV series and History Chanel’s Perfect Storms. When Mr. Masterson isn’t donating his imaginative talents and off-the-cuff, heartfelt missives to online journals like Akashic Books, Roadside Fiction and Bitchin’ Kitsch, he’s probably in a town near you playing tennis, reading Foster Wallace and Jonathan Flynn out on the back porch and getting to all the yard sales incredibly early. You can read more of Tim’s ordeals, concerns and writings at http://www.timbermedia.com/ and purchase his book Timfoolery here.


Would you like to submit a story to the Mondays Are Murder series? Here are the 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 story should be set in a distinct location of any neighborhood in any city, anywhere in the world, but it should be a story that could only be set in the neighborhood you chose.
—Include the neighborhood, city, state, and country next to your byline.
—Your story should be Noir. What is Noir? We’ll know it when we see it.
—Your story should not exceed 750 words.
—Accepted submissions are typically published 6–8 months after their notification date and will be edited for cohesion and to conform to our house style.
—E-mail your submission to info@akashicbooks.com. Please paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.

Posted: Mar 7, 2016

Category: Original Fiction, Mondays Are Murder | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,