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A public conversation about our worlds.

  • Monday: Morgan J. Locke
  • Tuesday: Madeleine E. Robins
  • Wednesday: Maureen F. McHugh
  • Thursday: Bradley Denton
  • Friday: Steven Gould
  • Saturday: Caroline Spector
  • Sunday: Rory Harper

Brain Activity



Vengeance is Mine

March 23rd, 2008 by Rory Harper

I’m in some sort of hole now, I think. The walls are stone and dirt, and there’s a huge damn boulder blocking the only way out.

The light in here is messed up. It’s over my head somewhere, but I can’t see it; it moves out of sight, no matter which way I turn. It’s barely bright enough for me to write in this journal until I feel strong enough to do the next thing.

I don’t know how I got here. The last thing I remember is endless, exhausted agony. Then nothingness.

I was just about dead for awhile. But I got better.

The Old Man told me it was going to be tough, but I had the moxie to take over this territory. The Italians are getting lazy and soft, he said. With his help behind the scenes, I recruited the dozen smartest peeps around. Then we started organizing from the ground up. It was working. Everybody loved me, thought I was the greatest thing since sliced challah. The Old Man said we were all going to go totally legit. No more of the killing that he’d done constantly to claw his way up to the top. Said I was like a son to him, that one day I’d run it all.

Then one of my most trusted peeps turned me over to the Italians.

Yeah, Ponty and his soldiers got me. I remember now. Ponty thinks he’s gonna wash his hands for doing me in. Oh, it wasn’t my idea, he said to me. Your people made me do it. Wrong. They’re all just a bunch of sheep, and I am the shepherd. I know who nailed me. I ain’t done with any of them.

***

I feel stronger now. My hands don’t hurt so much, and my feet have stopped bleeding. I’ve been pushing against the boulder and I can feel it moving a few inches. I worked construction most of my life. I may look like a pansy, but I’m tough enough to last three days nailed to a piece of wood. And still kick some ass afterwards.

I’m going to get out of this hole. I’m going to hike into town and find that weasel Judas, and show everybody what happens to snitches.

After that – I gotta take out the Old Man. Yeah, I know who set me up. I realized he’d double-crossed me while I was nailed up. I can’t figure out what his plan was, seems like nobody ever can. But I know he was behind it all. He’s always behind everything that goes on. I think he just can’t let go, make room for the new generation.

And he always liked the killing.

He’s been hiding out, thinks nobody knows where he is. But I do. I’m gonna make him vanish permanent-like. Never be seen again, never heard from again.

First, though, I get with my peeps and get my organization set to roll even while I’m gone. Big Pete’s ready to take it to the next level. Been organizing to spread the word, go intercontinental. Man’s like a rock.

Those greasy wops think they can hang onto their turf. I have soldiers, too — more every day. And we’ve already started infiltrating to take over from the inside. It’s just a matter of time until my organization owns it all, no matter how ruthless we have to be. No more nice guys.

Judas. Ponty. The Old Man. They all thought I was soft like a bunny. They’re gonna find out just how hard-boiled I am.

After I take out the Old Man, I’ll need to stay on the down-low till things cool out.

But I’ll be back.

:

Posted in Dammit!, Fiction, History, Religion, Rory | 18 Comments »

18 Responses

  1. James Hollaman Says:

    that is beautiful. I love a good easter story….

  2. Valna Says:

    Rory…
    You crack me up.
    Another great Sunday brain feast.
    Thank you!
    Valna

  3. Casey Hamilton Says:

    Brilliant. Just brilliant.

  4. Madeleine Robins Says:

    Sending Easter baskets of love, Rory. Thanks!

  5. James Hollaman Says:

    Now if some one will help right the nativity story in the style of fear and loathing…

  6. James Hollaman Says:

    that should be now if some one will help me write the nativity story in the form of fear and loathing. Need to really stop writing when i am slowly getting tired….

  7. Rory Harper Says:

    Thanks, guys! I’m glad it’s working for you. It’s pretty rough first draft; I knocked it out in about 45 minutes late last night. May go back and tweak it a little more.

    James — That’s a great idea! Go for it, dude!

    ….’Cause, if you don’t, I just might steal it in about 9 months… :)

  8. Morgan J. Locke Says:

    Onward, Christian soldiers!

  9. James Hollaman Says:

    go head and steel it, I’m not sure i could do it justice. I think you would do well with it after all the easter one is great….

  10. Paula Helm Murray Says:

    Rory, it’s a good thing that my habit at reading Eat Our Brains is not to consume a beverage if the story seems at all compelling. Even though I have a flexi, waterproof keyboard that can be rolled up into my laptop bag…

    James, have a go. i do think you’re up to it, and I bet if both you and Rory went at it you’d both come up with good, different stories.

  11. Rory Harper Says:

    Thanks, Morgan and Paula!

    Yeah, James, I agree with Paula. Run with it, man. It’s a good idea, and the only way to get better at this writing thing is to keep doing it until you get better at it. Worst case scenario is that you don’t pull it off the way you want to, but learn some things.

    Best case scenario is that you could be effing brilliant!

    **********

    Also — I just posted the podcast of me reading this piece. I’m still not sure it’s got the right name.

    Feel free to critique.

  12. Becca Says:

    Wish I could shoot you a witty title, but with only a few sips of coffee in me, I can barely type. My addled brain loved it however. Bravo!

  13. James Hollaman Says:

    I will try it then. crossing my fingers tha i can do it well….

  14. Velma Says:

    I like this. It’s another one that makes me unreasonably happy.

  15. Rory Harper Says:

    Thanks, Becca!

    James — I’m looking forward to seeing ‘Fear and Loathing in Bethlehem’. :)

    Velma — Thanks! Do you mind if I post a link to your site in this comment thread? Didn’t know if you wanted to keep it private. I REALLY like the first paragraph in your self-description…

  16. Jesse Says:

    Oh my Odin, H-man, that was brilliant.

  17. Rory Harper Says:

    Thanks, Jesse!

    …Although I know you’re just sucking up because you think I might let you pay fewer cows to marry my daughter…

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