The Dicks and Tits of Khalid Nabi

“I hope this is worth it.”

“It is the best idea ever dreamed of.”

“And what if it is all destroyed next year? Or the year after?”

“Great art requires great risks, brother.”

Nizam snorted, though he was short of breath. “Oh, this is art now, is it?”

“Of a sort,” Hiraz replied. A grin stretched across his face.

Nizam continued walking backwards, carrying one end of the stone phallus up the grass-covered hill.

“Think of all of the head scratching and postulating,” Hiraz said. “‘Oh, these people must have prayed to these large penises and offered sacrifices to the stone breasts.'” He shook his head. “It kills me inside that I will not be around to see it.”

“Here,” Nizam said. They stopped and dropped the heavy cylinder. It sank slightly into the moist soil. While his brother took a shovel from his sack, Nizam looked out over the past year’s progress. Already, hundreds of graveless headstones had been sunk into the ground. He wondered if there was anyone actually buried out here. Centuries of conflict between horse-riding raiders and settled peoples had taken place in these hills. The restless souls would be spinning in their graves.

A deep hole had been dug and together, Hiraz and Nizam lifted the penis on end and dropped the bottom half in. Hiraz stood back and admired the work.

“It is beautiful, is it not, brother?”

“Whatever you say, Hiraz.”

* Flash fiction based on article from Atlas Obscura – Khalid Nabi Cemetery – pg. 114, Article 2 – website version of article

** Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

We Ain’t Afraid of No Ghosts

“I got your six. Go ahead.”

The Old Man is a good partner, but taking point requires chutzpah. Someone whose only fear is timidity. Someone that others on the task force might call a live wire.

When it comes to fighting ghosts, I’m courage personified.

This time, the portal is inconspicuous enough — a palm-sized, medieval castle made of plastic stone and brightly colored turrets sitting on a tiny round platform. Underneath hang a grouping of metal chimes. The untrained civilian may pass by, may even swat it just to hear the jingle-jangle without realizing they’re inviting invisible monsters into the world. Pretty sure The Old Woman does this regularly while she’s tending the garden.

I place the orange tip of my pistol against the chimes and look back. I’m grinning like the Cheshire cat.

The Old Man nods.

I swipe my gun and unleash Hell.

Instantaneously, the world explodes in invisible ripples and we’re surrounded.

“Go go go!” The Old Man yells.

I don’t so much aim as the gun itself seems to magically zero in on the spiritual scum. The sound of high-velocity water squirting in all directions plays like a symphony in my ears. It’s a well-known fact that water is to ghosts as hollow points are to flesh.

“Behind the succulents!” he says and my body reacts like a system of bionic, hyper-connected smartnodes.

Sorry, Old Woman. Your plants are going to get a little extra today.

“To your left!”


Adios, fantasmas.

The scene plays on for what seems like hours but is only seconds. The music from the chime dissipates and the spectral body count is too high to contemplate.

I take a deep breath and look back at The Old Man. He nods at the chime, reminding me that we’ve only just begun.


Done Right By You

Courtesy of Rob Lee on Flickr –

Burl Langston leaned against the cedar post. Behind him, a few longhorns mulled about. On the other side of the fence, clouds of dust hung over the plains like soiled cotton as countless shorthorns spilled onto a patch of alfalfa. Burl’s toothpick splintered, so he spit out the pieces. He had plans today, like every day, but a seething anger pulled him here on yet another morning. Read more “Done Right By You”

Datu Jiri

Last month, I buried my nose in several books regarding the Spanish-American War and the Filipino Moro insurgency against the U.S. in the early 20th century. Fascinating stuff that mainly had to do with researching my work-in-progress, but it inspired some flash fiction. The following is one of several flash pieces I’ve been working on lately. Expect them to pop up randomly.

Read more “Datu Jiri”