Looking for some action this weekend? When
you leave the restaurant, let her see you signing the check with a vintage
fountain pen. I'm not talking about a shitty old Wearever or Arnold.
I'm saying if you whip out something smooth, like a Skyline or Sheaffer
Balance, you're sure to get some. Once she sees your a vintage
pen man, you'll definitely be getting your flow on, similar to the smooth
flow of ink through the nib of a vintage fountain pen.
Once again, we present five very extremely short
stories that are so audacious, so extreme, so smooth, they had to have
been written with a fountain pen. A vintage fountain pen.
by Andrew Lin
Martha ate at Subway every day because their sandwiches
were healthy, fresh, and reasonably priced. The Turkey sub had only
5 grams of fat and could be filled with any of a wide assortment of
vegetable fixins. She once told a co-worker that a cheese and veggie
sub on whole-wheat with light chipotle sauce was surprisingly satisfying.
The co-worker was skeptical, but all it took to convince her was one
sandwich. Soon half of the office might be found with a Subway cup sitting
on their desk after lunch.
When Martha died, suddenly and tragically, they found
a little meatball in her throat.
by Chris Messick
“… seriously, he was a really
great guy, and I’m really going to miss him.”
Thus ended the eulogy at the funeral of the world’s most sarcastic
man, which was delivered by the world’s second most sarcastic
man. As he walked back down the aisle there was a light and nervous
spattering of applause, but it quickly petered out into stunned silence.
But when the world’s second most sarcastic man took his seat,
a murmur passed through the crowd. Someone had noticed a tear running
down his face. Word spread. Soon, the assembled mourners stood up to
applaud the eulogy, which they now realized had been eloquent and earnest
rather then bitingly sarcastic.
But was it? Did the world’s second most sarcastic man really miss
his friend and former mentor? Or were those tears of sarcasm? Or, did
it suddenly dawn on him that he now had to deal with the awesome responsibility
of being the world’s most sarcastic man?
For the rest of his life, journalists asked him about that eulogy. He
would always say “Oh, that? Yeah, I was real sad. I was
totally cut up.”
by Andrew Lin
It is a lucky thing that final thoughts cannot be recorded,
for they can seldom be anything worth remembering. For instance, as
the car hit and his soul winked out forever, the only thought on Nathan’s
mind was to get across the street to buy a McGriddle sandwich with bacon
(available only at McDonalds). While they are delicious, with their
perfect mix of sweet maple infused bread and salty egg and meat, only
a fool would consider them worth dying for. Not even Nathan was that
kind of fool. He was just reckless.
Later after a heavy rain had wiped the street clean of Nathan’s
last desperate rush of blood, a woman named Sara dashed across the exact
same spot, eager to get a sausage McGriddle sandwich and a cup of surprisingly
good coffee. The force of the impacting truck left only a small flap
of skin holding her head on. Unfortunately, Sara was wearing a T-shirt
which said, “I love the McGriddle sandwich, available only at
McDonalds” and the curious passers by, reading the gore-stained
slogan then looking up at the restaurant beyond, had no trouble making
by Chris Messick
For years, Aaron Lowe (a.k.a. live5ive) was the most
prolific and talented graffiti artist in Cincinnati. You really couldn’t
go anywhere in town without seeing a live5ive tag or throw-up along
the way. He was involved in everything from some of the bigger murals
you saw driving down Walnut, to making tiny changes to signs in Burnett
Woods (FINE FOR LITTERING: $5IVE).
But being the most famous graffiti artist in Cincinnati was something
like being the best break-dancer in Pittsburg. Unless you’re the
best in New York, who cares?
Aaron always thought about moving to New York and trying to be the best
graffiti artist there, but he never did. People used to ask him about
it all the time, and he’d always say he didn’t want to move
there since the subway trains were all graffiti proof now. He’d
ask what the point was moving to New York to do graffiti if you couldn’t
do a giant end-to-end burner on the front car of a 6 train? Those whack
scratchiti tags they did on the windows of cars? That shit was for toys.
Still, moving to New York was always something he planned on doing,
but never seemed to get around to. When he finally realized he probably
wouldn’t ever move one morning as he lay in bed, it was more then
he could bear. He immediately got into hard drugs in a major way.
Now that all he ever thought about was copping, he didn’t do a
lot of painting. He still carried a sharpie with him at all times, but
all he ever did were little tags, and as his interest in heroin and
cocaine got deeper, new live5ive tags could now only be found in a direct
route between his shitty apartment and the condemned building a few
blocks away where he usually bought his drugs.
Time passed. The city replaced all the signs in Burnett Woods. New artists
painted over his Walnut Street throw-ups, which now looked stylistically
old fashioned. Even the pathetic little tags between his house and the
drug house gave way to urban renewal, and he no longer spent his precious
drug money on new Sharpies.
Aaron did one more piece before he died. It was during a rare moment
of clarity, brought on by a drug free three-day stay in the county lock-up
on a possession charge. His last opus was a giant tag on a Charmin billboard.
It was very skillfully done. He painted it so that, rather then a roll
of Charmin, it looked like Mr. Whipple was squeezing a giant live5ive
tag. It was absolutely Aaron’s best work, and was the talk of
the local graffiti community years.
For a month or two after his piece went up, everyone said live5ive was
back. But it was not the case. Next time Aaron got his hands on some
cash, he bought a bunch of caps from his dealer and shot them all at
once. His landlord found his body a few weeks later.
In a 2105 exhibition at the Guggenheim II in New York, titled “Wyld
Stylze: Urban Art in the Early 21st Century”, critical reviews
almost unanimously mentioned a photo of live5ive’s Mr. Whipple
tag as the highlight of the show.
RUN FOR THE BORDER
by Andrew Lin
Ken took his time walking to his girlfriend Martha’s
apartment. It was his favorite kind of day, cool and sunny, when even
Martha’s relatively shabby corner of Brooklyn seemed to cast off
it dusty grey coat for the afternoon. Swinging by his side was his special
surprise for her, a sack of four “Baja” Gorditas from Taco
Bell. As he walked, Ken would occasionally catch the scent of savory
ground beef and spicy “Baja” sauce. Strangely, it made him
walk slower, relishing the anticipation of biting though the crispy/tender
fried Gordita shell into the enticing mix of flavors within.
Awash in the gorgeous glow of the day, Ken almost didn’t notice
the ambulance parked in front of Martha’s building. Then there
was the rude intrusion of a shouted order, someone sobbing, the crash
of a door all but kicked open and flying down the steps were a team
of paramedics bearing Martha, ashen faced and staring blankly into the
“What happened?” screamed Ken before he was shouldered out
of the way by a uniformed man.
“You need to get out of the way NOW, sir!” someone said
politely but firmly. The group passed, followed by Martha’s friend’s
Tina and Jim.
“Their taking her to United Methodist” said Jim. Tina only
Hours later, waiting in the hospital, Ken shared the forgotten Gorditas
with his friends. They had long since gone cold, the lettuce limp and
slick with grease. Still, everyone had to admit they tasted pretty great.