Thursday, December 13, 2007

Stories Spring Up In Strange Places ...

... like when you're brushing your teeth or driving to work without the radio on because it's broken (like mine is right now) or taking a long walk through a new neighborhood. Or sometimes they show up on because some creative folks have way too much time on their hands.

Consider, for example, this bit of feedback left for the Bic Crystal ballpoint pen, medium point, black:

283 of 295 people found the following review helpful:
Five Stars Excellent pen! Some issues..., 10 Dec 2007
By Matthew R. Balousek (Chicago, IL USA)

Upon receiving my order, I carefully opened the box and dug through the packing peanuts in order to get to the pen contained therein. 'Beautiful!', I thought, and promptly opened up my moleskine notebook to jot down to myself some notes. My previous pen had ran out of ink four weeks prior and I didn't want to splurge on expensive shipping, which meant I had a lot of notes to catch up on writing.

But, when that quality carbide ball touched the surface of the paper, it was not ink that came out. From a distance I heard the screams of men and the cackling of innumerable ravens. I stopped, cold and sweating profusely. I looked down at the Bic Crystal black medium ballpoint pen which I held in my hand, only to see darkness. I dashed it against the wall, recoiling in horror. I saw in the corner of my eye my faithful notebook, which now lay on the ground. Once unmarred, I saw now the small mark which I had made with the devil's own pen. It spread across the page like a plague, and looking at it I gazed upon true horrors. For, what I thought had been ink was in fact a portal to a dark, unforgiving dimension. A portal whose maw was now widening to engulf all hope and joy in the world.

'God, what have I done?' I exclaimed as I weeped and fell to my knees, 'What have I done?'

From beyond the Dark Gate I heard these words, words which I can never forget. A terrible, booming voice said to me, 'Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Fthagn!'

I ran, blindly stumbling, away from that place and never looked back. My only hope is that none shall follow in the path I've walked down, too blinded by hubris to realize my follies.
Or what about this review of the Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gallon, 128 fl oz:

256 of 258 people found the following review helpful:
Three Stars One Friday, Without the Milk, October 30, 2006
By Catherine Swinford (St. Petersburg, Florida United States)

He always brought home milk on Friday.

After a long hard week full of days he would burst through the door, his fatigue hidden behind a smile. There was an icy jug of Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gallon, 128 fl oz in his right hand. With his left hand he would grip my waist - I was always cooking dinner - and press the cold frostiness of the jug against my arm as he kissed my cheek. I would jump, mostly to gratify him after a time, and smile lovingly at him. He was a good man, a wonderful husband who always brought the milk on Friday, Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gallon, 128 fl oz.

Then there was that Friday, the terrible Friday that would ruin every Friday for the rest of my life. The door opened, but there was no bouyant greeting - no cold jug against the back of my arm. There was no Tuscan Whole Milk in his right hand, nor his left. There came no kiss. I watched as he sat down in a kitchen chair to remove his shoes. He wore no fatigue, but also no smile. I didn't speak, but turned back to the beans I had been stirring. I stirred until most of their little shrivelled skins floated to the surface of the cloudy water. Something was wrong, but it was vague wrongness that no amount of hard thought could give shape to.

Over dinner that night I casually inserted,"What happened to the milk?"

"Oh,"he smiled sheepishly, glancing aside,"I guess I forgot today."

That was when I knew. He was tired of this life with me, tired of bringing home the Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gallon, 128 fl oz. He was probably shoveling funds into a secret bank account, looking at apartments in town, casting furtive glances at cashiers and secretaries and waitresses. That's when I knew it was over. Some time later he moved in with a cashier from the Food Mart down the street. And me? Well, I've gone soy.
And here I didn't even know Amazon sold milk ...

(Hat Tip:
Neil Gaiman's Journal; Picture: CC 2007 by MegElizabeth_)

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