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“Elfin,” shouted Dolph.

“Recherché,” countered Starla.

Adjective Slam. Playing on stage for amateur night at Café Primitivo.

“A big hand for newcomers Dolph and Starla!” said Tannis, senior bartender and default ringmaster.

Regulars weren’t sure whether to be suitably impressed or greatly deflated. Was this cutting edge innovative or etiolated nigh to excruciating?

“Inchoate,” said Dolph.

“Calceolate,” said Starla.

Now or never, Tannis saw, time to intervene. “Calceolate?”

“Shaped like a slipper,” said Starla. “As she fled the ball, the clock striking foreboding midnight, Cinderella shed calceolate footwear.”

Tannis, aping smiles delirious, hustled them off.

Next up, a trio of frog washers, followed by juggling nothing revelatory but extremely polished. Café Primitivo filling up, wine flowing, tips improving by the glass.

Back at their miniscule, repurposed oak cask, table, Dolph and Starla.

Starla fretted, drumming her exquisite, multiracial, cinnamon fingers. “How were we?”

“Buttery,” he replied. “Bountiful. Bombazine!”

“Dolph, bombazine? Twilled fabric, noun. What’s got into you?”

“Babe,” he said, “Don’t rest on laurels. Grow. Reach out. Next level, higher ground.”

That did it. Now she knew she hadn’t imagined it. A flick, a tap, as they left the stage, that’s all, but Tannis had touched him and he’d liked it.

“Dodgy, depraved, raving, cretinous!” She lifted their bottle, cracked it over his head.

Il Cantico Salento Primitivo, 2015, the house’s titular red.

“Bold, balanced, floral, fruity, earthy, brambly, jammy, luscious, sexy, romantic,” said Tannis. “Sinful to waste.”

Faithless, feckless, pretty boy Dolph. Tannis the perspicacious. She licked him mighty clean.

This story was written by Richard Baldasty, an amateur night truth teller and adjective flinger. He lives in Spokane, WA, and Twitter tweets @2kurtryder.


The mansion owner ran his entitled fat finger along the staircase banister. Fault-finding judgement announced on his artificially tanned features before she’d even looked. Ophelia knew what was coming. This was a mere formality to assert his superiority before the belittling – engineered to strip bare her dignity – began in earnest.

He raised the digit for her to see, dust clinging to it in one congealed lump. “Dust,” he bellowed, as if it were some sort of shocking surprise. That was as far as his acting abilities carried however. The unmistakeably sniffy tone and never less than arrogant manner, perfected over many decades since when he’d first inherited wealth and left humanity for good, flowed from him as naturally as champagne from a flute glass.

“Get dressed. I’m calling the agency,” he huffed while flashing a cold smile to showcase his insincerity. “You might have the body for it, but NUDE MAIDS FOR HIRE, or whatever those overcharging, lint-licking rice bubbles call themselves, are gonna get told the next hired help they god-dam-well send out here better come wearing at least a decent pair of bloody bi-focals!”

Ophelia bowed her head and felt sobs trapped in her throat. Grief surged from her with every expelled breath. She thought of all the sacrifices she’d made giving up her highly paid stripping job down at STARBUTTS GRANDE BOOBIE BUNGALOW to swap it for a less seedy, more respectable line of work.

She collected her duck-egg blue handbag from the front parlour and made her way through the massive pinewood double doors for the last time, with two welcome thoughts rising unbidden in her mind - THE BUSH OF LANDES FOREST and OMELETTE DU FROMANAJA TWA.

Ophelia took one last look at the miser. “I dress for no one.”

Out into the crisp night air and down the street she walked, her future becoming clearer and more resolute with each determined stride.

This story was written by Glen Donaldson, a Brisbane-Australia writer with a nutty aftertaste. He avoids clichés like the plague and admits to being disappointed that a group of squids is not called a squad. Glen lists his all-time favourite movie as CAPRICORN ONE (1978). He owns two telescopes – one working. Glen blogs at SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK.


This video was created by David Gregory, drawn by somebody else, and written by Richard Van Ingram. Richard Van Ingram, who writes down his cousin Orestes' musings, is a philosopher, writes essays, makes fine art and underground comix. See his work at www.losercomix.comwww.richardvaningram.com, and look at some of his comix free at https://comixunderground.tumblr.com/ (Comix are NOT for kids.)

Did you like it? Click here to submit your own funny monologue. If accepted, we create a video. Click here to check out our YouTube channel (and subscribe please!).







Steel drums chimed in the twilight. Palm fronds above the cantina swayed in the breeze. A big Polynesian man with tribal tattoos covering his arms that bulged from his kahuna shirt moved back and forth filling, shaking, and pouring metal cups. An old white-haired woman in a purple and white muumuu served the drinks to the patrons at the tables. Another woman, younger with long black frizzy hair adorned with a white flower, appeared from the kitchen behind the cantina delivering plates of katsu and teriyaki pork.

Tyrone, sitting at the end of the bar, leaned back against a wooden post. Not long left in his vacation, he savored every sight, smell, sound of the island trying to forget the busy world swirling outside. His mundane job at the firm, with a boss that policed his every move awaited him. He folded his arms, slumping into the bar, burying his head into the pits of his elbows letting the breeze from above wash over him.

“Ka Maluhia,” a voice came from behind.

He lifted his head just a little to see the young woman slide a plate of salad and pulled pork to him.

“What’s that mean?” he groaned.

“Peace,” she smiled.

“I just don’t want my vacation to end.”

“Vacation?” she mumbled as she walked away.

Tyrone sipped at his fruity drink with the umbrella. With closed eyes, he shoveled the pork into his mouth followed by the cabbage and pieces of Ramen that made up his salad. As he ate, he let the music and the breeze wash over him for the last few minutes of his vacation. He pushed his plate across the bar to the bartender.

He looked around one last time taking in a deep breath. He puffed his cheeks releasing a slow exhale savoring the Island.

Walking toward the door he prepared to re-enter the grind. The vent above him, with the sea breeze air freshener, released one final blow before he pushed the door open.

A loud blaring horn from a yellow taxi glinting in the noon sun greeted him. Two construction workers yelling in Spanish made him twitch. A group of men wearing suits pushed past him into the Hawaii themed bar and grill. Tyrone looked left and then right. With a brief pause in the city traffic, he plunged across the street to his firm.

This story was written by Tyson Abaroa. Instead of editing his book like he should, Tyson escapes from reality from time to time with some flash fiction and quick posts on his blog tysonabaroa.com.
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,

Where’s the peck of pickled peppers that Peter Piper picked?

Yes, it was I, Peter Piper, who picked a peck of pickled peppers, or did I? Personally, I’m not partial to pickles or peppers, let alone pickled peppers, and a whole peck? Most people who pick, don’t pick a peck, because they’re perplexed as to how many peppers are in a peck. Thus, they schlepp home a plethora, and hope to get a peck on the puss from their spouse for the picking.

That particular day, as I approached the pepper plantation of prickly Piper Peck, and her partner, Pickett Pepper, I perceived that I had picked a poor time to pick a peck of pickled peppers from the Peck and Pepper plot. Piper and Pickett were peppering each other with epithets, and I was puzzled as to whether they planned for me to pick any peppers, let alone a peck of peppers.

Just then, I pondered how peppers could be pickled if they hadn’t been picked. The picayunish pecking of the pepper proprietors became more peppery, as they partook of a six-pack of Pabst. They were peeved that pecks of pickled peppers were pocked from the pecking of peckers. It wasn’t long before Piper and Pickett picked a bone as to the point of my presence. I piped up that I was preparing to pick some peppers. They disparaged my punctuality for not picking the peppers more promptly, for now they were in a pickle.

I got piqued at their petty petulance, and proceeded to partake of the Pabsts. Soon I was a pickled Peter, and I can’t recall if I picked a peck of pickled peppers or just nitpicked with Piper Peck and Pickett Pepper.

This story was written by David Margolis, who retired from the practice of gastroenterology in 2013 to become a full time writer. His stories have appeared in The Canadian Medical Association Journal, JAMA: Internal Medicine, Missouri Medicine, HumorPress.com, Long Story Short, Still Crazy, and The Jewish Light of St. Louis. His first novel “The Myth of Dr. Kugelman” was published in October 2015. A second novel, “The Plumber’s Wrench,” is currently under review by an agent. He resides in St. Louis, MO with his wife Laura, two rescue kids, three small rescue dogs, and a set of golf clubs.


He looked at the piece of metal sticking out of his arms, a shiny chrome tube stealing his blood and warmth. He was getting sick of this. A moment of pain supernovaed in his arm. He winced, but didn't say anything to the blood attendant. A big Jamaican woman with blood on her dreadlocks. How did it get there? He stopped caring the instant he thought about it. Maybe she isn't Jamaican, maybe she just has dreadlocks - he thinks sensitively. The hole in his arm tingled. Every fucking three months he cursed. I don't even go fucking every three months.

They are bleeding me dry - he laughed at his pun and looked strange to everyone in the room who wasn't a mind reader. Nobody was. Mind readers don't exist. Or do they. They don't, don't be silly.

Goddamn taxes. Next week he has to give his sweat. They'll put him in a personal sauna up to his neck. Then he'll sweat like a pig dancing under a shotgun threat. Worst of all, the pig doesn't understand the technical dancer jargon shotgun wielding maniac demands of him. He just hoped he won't be next to some chatterbox. It's not easy to put your fingers in your ears when they're enclosed within a 2 inch thick heating machine. Just not that old geezer from last time. I don't care about your wife or anniversary of her death. Or her dumb diseases. I don't care about your relationship with your daughter or that she's marrying that annoying, stoner kid across the street. “No humming” sign stood on the wall. Stupid rule. He hums every time and gets hit on the head. Same hand points at the sign. Machine hums as it works. He's jealous of the machine. That doesn't make him feel stupid. Buy the biggest headphones in the market - he noted in his head. He noted the same thing before last sweating. His mind notebook isn't that good. As demonstrated.

But worse of all are the tears. Attendants put a plastic satellite around his neck like he's some kind of dog who needs to stop scratching. Que sad music and some family tragedy. An old man talks about his late wife and their anniversaries. She died of cancer after battling with Alzheimer's. But somehow she always knew their dates and anniversaries. Old man's daughter has a tough time and tries to find happiness in the arms of some man across the street who used to deal drugs. Oh my god, our hero wailes like a two year old whose mommy flipped him a bird while substituting him for a kid he hates. Powerful stuff.

Every four months he goes fucking, and cums in a tube. Frustration disappears and then he's happy to give all his blood, sweat and tears to the state which enables him to cum in a tube after poking at it with official sex attendant. He just hopes she won't be fat next time.

This story comes from Luka Butish, a 28 year old psychologist, currently unemployed. That's why he has time to write stupid short stories. He lives in Croatia (that's not in Asia, or a meal...it's in Europe next to Italy). He is currently unmarried but plans to be before he's 55.


November 22nd
8 PM

For some strange, fucked up reason, I’m falling for Paul Ryan. A pregnant Paul Ryan. We met in Lamaze class. I know, I know. It’s wrong. It’s sooooo wrong. Ryan looks like the devil every time he pops up on C-SPAN. He’s got those cold AF Jack Frost eyes and a widow’s peak that (let me tell you) is not fake. December 3rd

10:20 PM

I regret to say I’ve started sleeping with Paul Ryan. I can’t help it. His wife is busy working all the time. The bedroom thing is pretty great. It’s nice to sleep next to someone at night. Cuddle.

If you must know, the sex is a bit like a game of twister. Or Jenga. I have 27 extra pounds. Paul has 70. 70 freaking pounds. He’s very sensitive about it. Apparently, Bernie Sanders made a joke about his weight gain. I saw the C-Span clip:

Bernie: Are you stressed about the election? You haven’t officially endorsed Donald Trump.

Paul: Mr. Trump and I have very different opinions about public policy. But I’m not stressed.

Bernie: Really? Because the way you’re going at those tacos, it’s like you’re trying to eat all of your problems.

It was kind of funny. But I can’t tell Paul.

December 10th
3 PM

Sometimes during the middle of ‘Twister,’ the Speaker of the House mutters, “method of conception.” That’s coo’. Everybody’s got a weird sex thing. But during our first joint climax, when I was closing my eyes in ecstasy, he shouts in my ear, “AYN RAND!”

Who the hell is Ayn Rand? Should I be jealous?

December 25th
11 AM

Can’t talk much today. In Rockville, MA. I’m waiting for Paul to finish his family Christmas in the city. It’s agonizing, bc he has the nipple cream and I need it.

My father has no concept of personal space. He keeps making me soup and cookies and putting his cat in my lap because it stands on my belly crest to lick my face. It’s gross.

January 12th

Today, Paul Ryan’s terrible wife found out about our intense love affair. She leaves him the day before Paul is supposed to be induced into labor (because he’s stupid and refuses an Epidural). God, what a terrible person.

January 13th
2:04 PM

I break into Paul Ryan’s room after his wife abandons her pregnant husband. The doctor says, “Paul has to push but he won’t.”

“It hurts! I can’t do this!” the Speaker of the House screams with his feet in stirrups.

I kneel down and whisper, “I know you despise affordable healthcare, sex ed, abortion rights. But god damnit, Paul. I love you. Even though you’re a Republican. So take the effing epidural.”

2:18 PM

In the hospital room. My boyfriend Speaker Paul Ryan is about to give birth.

“Chloe! I can’t take drugs, I have a birth plan!”

“The hell, Paul! Come on. Take the drugs.”

“No.”

“PAUL TAKE YOUR DRUGS OR I WILL SLEEP WITH BARACK!”

He takes the epidural.

January 21st
12:45 PM

It has been a blissful week since Paul and I took home our baby. Yes, our baby. His wife has not come back to take custody.

We’ve named him Tucker Putin Ryan. The middle name is my fault. Donald Trump came into the delivery room wielding a Russian transcript, saying he lost a bet. Then Donald Trump cried a lot. All I could hear was blubbering about ‘family values’ and ‘China–chi-na.’

Idk. My due date is next week. Yikes.

This story was written by Chloe Sell, who is a writer at Butler University.


When I open the door she’s in a burlap sack and nothing else. We stare into each other’s eyes with equal horror and terror. “Can I – can I help you?” I muster.

“Oh, please!” She collapses into my arms and starts weeping. Her bones pierce through the thin woven fabric, and she convulses in violent shivers.

I carry her inside and set her on the couch. There’s a wool blanket and space heater in the storage closet, so I wrap her up and set the heater on full blast. After making tea for both of us, I sit across from her. She’s no more than twenty-four, fragile, pretty, sad. “I’m Gavin,” I tell her, “do you want me to call the police for you?”

She shakes her head.

“Are you okay? Do you need anything?”

She shakes her head again and says, “I’m just lucky to have this burlap sack.”

My eyes bulge, “What? The burlap sack?”

She sets her feet on the ground and unwraps the blanket, “Yeah, burlap is incredibly strong,” she says, tugging on the fabric, “and it’s also eco-friendly because it’s made from the jute plant.”

“Okay,” I draw a blank.

“Surely if I’d been in the cold with any other material, I’d have hypothermia by now.”

Confused, I respond, “Sorry, did you want me to call the police for you?”

“No, that’s alright, mister – sorry, I didn’t get your last name.”

“Spencer.”

“Mister Spencer, did I mention that hessian-styled clothing provides ample space for concealing your possessions?” She reaches behind into her sack blouse and pulls out a clipboard and pen. “I’m going door-to-door today selling burlap sacks. We’re doing a special, four for twenty-five dollars,” she hands me the clipboard and points to a few lines with the pen, “I just need your credit card number there and signature here.”

I look at her and take out my wallet on impulse. When I finish, she reaches for the clipboard and double-checks my work, “Looks good, mister, mister,” she forgets my name, searches the paper, and says, “mister Spencer. Pleasure doing business with you, the burlap should arrive in four to six weeks.”

She lets herself out, and I remain motionless for hours.

#

The next day I check the price of burlap sacks online: four for thirteen dollars, with free same day delivery. Hornswoggled by a smarmy burlap salesman yet again.

This story was written by Orson Krupnick Newstat. He is a lifelong resident of Los Angeles, CA, and a former baker turned writer. He has previously been published in the Los Angeles Citadel.

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