08-02-2009, 04:39 PM
^^ I know you've all been waiting for this, and man, it was a hard decision. In the end we had five or six entries, more than expected, and we've picked the first three places.
Rabbit Society/Homage to the Rabbits by AliceGriffin!
Panting heavily, sweat and blood mixing as it ran down his face in rivulets, streams of pain and suffering; with a cough, scarlet stained the white of his hand. A single droplet hit the floor, the tiny sound going unheard though it was such a significant thing. The rabbit smiled beneath his mask, watching the man choke on his own life blood. That first drop had touched the floor after a mere five minutes of questioning, which now began the heavier torture for the poor unfortunate soul tied to his chair, cuffs locking together his stained hands.
A silver blade, so small but yet so sharp, ran itself across the expanse of the man’s chest, causing him to groan in pain. The rabbit chuckled. Is this all you can handle? he murmured, his voice muffled from behind the mask. What a shame. I thought you’d be much more fun to play with.
The man said nothing, squeezing his eyes shut, trying to block out the image of the rabbit stained with blood. In this small, dark room, laughs echoed off the walls as if they were in the grand hall of a palace. The rabbit and the man were not the only ones occupying the space; there were many others, their rabbit-masks creating a gruesome picture. The man finally managed a hoarse whisper: Why are you doing this? It was an age-old question, but it still needed to be asked. His eyes were still shut tightly, but the thin piece of skin covering them did nothing to protect his vision from the razor, as it ran across his eyeballs. He screamed, jerking the chair around like a mad man, trying desperately to loosen the chains holding him to the chair. The rabbits laughed again, a cacophony of noises blending together with the man’s screams.
When it all died away, leaving the room in silence, the rabbits started to point to the man. His eyelids were split in half; slender veins let blood cloud his milky eyes. You should be nicer to rabbits. The rabbit rubbed the razor against his mask, cleaning it until it shone in the darkness, an evil glint. Another rabbit took his place as he fell in with the rest, his torturing done. The new rabbit was female, a torn dress wrapped around her slender frame like a cloak.
She needed no weapon; her nails were sharpened to points, perfect for digging into places that caused the most pain. For a start, she made whisker slices along the man’s face, something that seemed incredibly humorous to her. Haha! What a silly kitty you are, to try and mess with a rabbit. We are much faster than you.
Cats are stronger. The three words took all the man’s strength; he slackened against the chair in near defeat, tears running down his face from his torn eyes. The salt stung slightly against the whiskers, a bittersweet feeling. Something so insignificant could still be felt.
Do you know why rabbits will always be better? Because no one ever suspects a rabbit. The cats are the naughty ones who are always blamed.
The man laughed, although the tears were still there as well. If only he had not followed that rabbit-masked stranger two days ago; perhaps he would still be home in bed. His wife and children, slaughtered mercilessly, might still be alive. He might have gone on with his life, having never known what it was like to want to die from so much pain. If he hadn’t shot at that stranger after witnessing a murder, if that stranger hadn’t been hit, if an ambulance had come in time, would everything be different?
After several minutes without an answer from the man, the lady rabbit dug her nails into his eye sockets and wrenched the eyeballs out, feeling them squish deliciously between her fingers. The nerves were cut with help from the other rabbit’s razor, and she dropped the eyes into a pouch. She tucked the pouch into her pocket, trying to keep them safe. These beautiful green eyes would go into the glass jar she kept at home, along with the eyes of all the other victims. So many, many victims.
Another rabbit came forward before the man, whose face was now covered in blood, had stopped screaming. Rabbits always take revenge when their brothers or sisters are taken away. You should have known that. He slammed his hands around the man’s ears, breaking the eardrums from the pressure. Blood leaked out, but the man had no more strength to yell. He sat in his chair, unmoving save for the shallow rise and fall of his chest. And then, even that was taken away, as his heart was cut out while he still lived. Only then, was he finally dead. He was grateful for it, for the pain was gone now, and he floated in nothingness, a blind and deaf shadow in the room. The lead rabbit took the heart, squishy and slippery, and slid it across the wall across from the man. Letters formed, and turned into words that no one might ever see. Once the rabbits were gone, and the room was silent, as it would be forever more, the shadow of the man felt the words on the wall.
Homage to the rabbits.
There's A Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven't Thought Of It Yet by ReccyV!
“Well Stan, I threw out the cigs, and the lighter… and the fluid.
But, my lips are cancerous as my lungs aren’t they? Temptingly volatile no? Too bad your morally vegan diet keeps them off you.
So, you’re gone and I’m… well I’m still here, waiting for that goddamned pulse. That, oh you had such a way of putting it. That… bourgeoisie desire to be reborn from my ashes, but all I feel is like having a smoke. Ain’t life funny like that?”.
Lola sits in her bathtub, garbed in a tight black gown with periwinkle polka dots. She’s wearing her prom make-up too. In her hand sits an empty tape recorder, the dials still spinning.
“We loved each other once, you and I, but hearts don’t fare well in the cold. It died that night, on that carriage, in that park, under that black negligee. Maybe these cigarettes could’ve thawed it out, but I wasn’t invited.
I wonder what it would be like to have cancer. To wear those head-covers. To join those support groups and gorge on Oreo’s and black coffee. I think the attention would feel good-- warming y’know?
I think sympathy is like lighter fluid, and, when you get enough people wheezing compliments at you, your insides just ignite. Wouldn’t that be lovely? Like a maudlin Christmas tree? Never had one of them. I still work at O’Hooligan’s by the way. Stop on by and I’ll give you my “top o’ the morning” special.”
Lola stands and the up-do wavers slightly. She smoothes her dress with a tart smirk, strips, and changes into her work uniform. On the table lies the recorder, dials still spinning, the tape still absent.
“That’s funny too, I think. Remember how I wouldn’t let anyone else prepare my food? I didn’t mean to sound like a “Diva” on that date, but you really should’ve remembered how I feel. Does that make me a diva too, then? Blaming you for not knowing me? Maybe I will join a support group, they’d never know I wasn’t terminal.
Which reminds me, how far along is she? That girlfriend of yours. I hear she’s got a bun in the oven, that must feel… Well, I can’t imagine how that feels. Just think, something disgustingly similar to a naked mole rat is leeching from your beloved. She can’t have been a smoker. Is she a house yet?
Oh this makes me feel better. I can strut my size 4 ass out-n-about while you’re stuck at home with that mammoth of a woman. I bet she eats a lot. Do you have to massage her flab?”
Lola picks up the empty tape recorder and tucks it inside her pocket. She locks the door, hobbles down the doorway and jumps into her car. It’s a ‘95 Ford Taurus, champagne color. The recorder is poking out of shorts, she takes it out and sets it on the dashboard.
“Stan, have you ever tied your life with a song? When we were dating I used to do that; it’d change every week, and that was exciting. Now though, it’s like my life is stuck on a one song cycle. You heard of Fidelity? It’s by that Russian pop girl Regina Spektor.
‘Suppose I never ever saw you, suppose you never ever called, suppose I kept on singing love songs, just to break my own fall.’
I do wonder what would’ve happened if I hadn’t met you. D’ya think I would’ve been happier? Oh, I don’t know, I can’t say. Daddy Time doesn’t beckon to my smoker’s call. I traded both time and teeth for my Menthols. At least I’m skinny.”
Lola stops at a light and digs in the center consul for her sunglasses. They reach from her cheeks to her eyebrows. She rolls down the window and pats her pocket for some cigarettes. They’re not there.
“Dammit, I forgot I had quit. Well that’s a bitch ain’t it? I guess I’ll have to buy some of that Nitroglycerine medication, for the lungs y’know?
My daddy used to tell me that I couldn’t play with boys, that I couldn’t smoke. Used to call me little Lolita, his angel; too good for any of that nonsense. I used to think Daddy would be the only man I’d love.
Daddy was a man; well spoken, and always dressed to the nines. He thought I needed a man like him, a doppelganger daddy. I grew so tired of these “men.” Their starched collars were crushing my wind-pipe. I felt like someone was slowly tugging at the scarf on my neck, like they enjoyed watching the veins pulse dully. I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t breathe.”
She pulls into O’Hooligans, steps out, and examines her make-up in the rear-view mirror. It’s spotless, if a bit over-done, but she knows she’s the hottest waitress in the joint. Unwilling to part with the recorder, Lola sticks it back into her pocket, deciding that it would have to hear her thoughts for the rest of the night.
“Then you came along and found me. I was some domesticated canary locked away in a cherubic cage, and you were like this brilliant light that told me I could sing again. For once in my life someone told me something I could do.
Why? Why did you have to do that? I was living before you came along, maybe just-so, but I was still alive. You should’ve left me in that smoke-stack. At least I wouldn’t know anything different. I wouldn’t known about things like Candy, and Crotch-less panties and cigarettes.
You spoon-fed me sunlight like insulin; made me dependant on your drug, and then tore it from my pleading lips. God damn, your lips were like hot wired tongs branding my face and chest. I guess that’s why I started smoking; it gave me something to crave, reminded me that I’m human.”
The drunks are plentiful tonight and Lola has her hands full. Her ass gets slapped once, twice, three times and she’s dropped a chicken strip basket. Her face is flush with exasperation and the scruncii is sliding off her pony-tail. A man enters, he’s wearing a black suit with ivory pinstripes. All Lola can do is stare.
It’s like you and Daddy had a baby. A fuckin’ baby! No shit, this guy looks just like you, only he knows how to dress. Fuck-me-freddy, maybe this is a sign, some divine intervention to get me over you. See? God doesn’t want me to quit, doesn’t want me to quit smoking or boys.
Oh, honey, he’s gonna be my new cancer.
“Can I get you anything?”
A glass of merlot, he says.
“Anything to eat?”
No, he isn’t hungry, just the wine.
They pass the time, shoot the breeze, yack it up. By the end of the night Lola learns that Sam, the tux-guy, got stood up by a date. She pats his shoulder and acts sympathetic, says that she knows how life is. Tells him that it must be the night, her car won’t start and she’s trying to quit smoking. He offers her a ride home.
Holy, fuckin, christ! I’ve got him taking me home. My new little cig, I’ll stick him somewhere other than my ashtray.
Stan, baby, I haven’t had sex since you left me. This man here, this blend of you and Daddy, he’s going to take me further than you ever could.
Hope you’re having fun with preggers.
Sam pulls into her drive-way, and Lola looks over. She asks if he wants to come inside, have a cup of coffee, or a slice of banana-cream pie. He smiles, brushes hair out of her face and says, quietly, but firmly: “I’m gay.”
Oho, he was my fag, in both meanings of the word.
Fuck, Stan, have you ruined men for me?
Fuck, Daddy, have you ruined men for me?
I need a cigarette.
She thanks Sam, walks inside and runs to the kitchen, sliding to the floor. Her legs are splayed out beneath her and she digs through the trash-can. Picks up the cigs, one, two, three, four, five. Gets out the lighter. Click, click. It’s empty. She gets the fluid out and, with shaky hands, snaps off the lid, spills all over herself.
You’ll be the death of me.
You men and your cancerous tongues.
She flicks the lighter. Click, click. It flares and Lola falls to the ground, her breasts incinerated and her face charred. The cigarette filter absorbs her scream. Lola stares, wide-eyed at the cigarette package.
Men have been found to cause or contribute to: Death, Pregnancy, Disinheritance, AIDS, Hatred, Fear, Sex, Anger, Jealousy.
There, instead of a Camel’s face, is Stan, smiling up with a baby in his arms and script beneath him:
I’m the new cancer.
Lola sucks in a ragged, rattling breath, and thinks:
I really shoulda quit.
And, without further adieu, in first place is. . .
Diary of a Sinner/House of the Rising Sun by MasterCarlton!
Saturday 16th March 1946
It seemed like years before my last true Saturday. I've been working overtime, in order to provide for my wife Mary and our two month old daughter, Sarah. It's been hell. I've had to work weeks on end while living of beans, we don't even have enough oil to cook them and all the coal I may be lucky enough to buy has to be saved to warm the house. After all Sarah comes first.
And after months of nothing but blistering hands at that old factory, of the docks of New Orleans, I am now a free man, for one night at least.
Naturally I met up with my two best mates, Shaun and Frank, who were the same age as me, nineteen. At first we went to a few bars, didn't do much, just simply talk about our jobs and our families.
Ten o'clock came and as we stumbled around the streets on New Orleans laughing and drinking the night away. We came across a peculiar little house. It was in-between a pawn shop and a bordered up barber shop. The house was bigger than mine but not big enough to be anything more than a house. The windows were small and bright red curtains were drawn blocking our sights from what's inside. On the door a “now open” sign was shown and above it stood a long rectangle piece of wood with the words “House Of The Rising Sun” written across it. Temptation swept over me like a wave and I could see Lucifer taunt me as he danced on the roof of that house. Frank wanted to go in but I had too much to loose, a beautiful wife and a daughter.
Sunday 17th March 1946
God dammit! I hope never to face a morning like that again. It was Seven A.M and Mary had shook me awake in a desperate struggle to get to the service on time. After her parents disowned her and Bill, her brother, lost his life in the war against Nazi Germany, she had lost hope in the kindness of human nature and became almost dependent on God. I always felt rather sad that she never looked at me as a pillar of strength, but rather a poor source of income who never made enough money. I love her so much, but I just wish I could give her more.
At the service all I could think of was that house. I knew what it was, and so did Shaun and Frank, but it didn't stop them from entering. I however went home. I wonder if Shaun and Frank got home alright?
Monday 18th March 1964
Back to work today, hard work as usual. I was hoping me and the lads would just be talking about our drunken nonsense, but all I got was how good that old house was, I replied that it was just some whore house filled with immigrants. “yeah but, come on, these exotic birds are the best I've ever seen!” Naturally I was rather disgusted at Shaun's reply. “You're married!” I blurted out angrily. But he just shrugged and quietly he whispered “What they don't know won't hurt em.” These words chilled me, never have I heard such disregard for a spouse in my life.
After work I went home were I was confronted by Mary, it was the usual “Where's the money.” “Why Can't you work harder!” As usual it was like being branded with a hot iron poker.
Sunday 24th March 1946
Yesterday I had sinned. The dark temptation of sodomy had overcome my humble heart. I entered the house of the rising sun. Most of the night is now a sensual haze, the undeniable scent of opium filled the small living room, Shaun and Frank went to sit on one of the many bright red cushions scattered across the outskirts of the room. I joined them and sat with my friends.
An hour had passed and the opium must have gotten to me as for the first time in years I felt relaxed and at peace with myself. No troublesome thought had slithered its way in my ear and in my head. However the best was yet to come. A woman approached me, held out her hand and all without saying a word. I looked at Shaun beside me and he simply told me to give the young woman some money. And so I did and still as silent as the eclipsed sky she took me by the hand and led up the stairs to a brightly candle lit bedroom. The tranquillity of the rouge wallpaper radiated like heat.
Softly, like an angel she placed me on the bed. Lying there still with anticipation she unzipped my trousers and as the stirring in my loins got ever more noticeable she sat on her knees with me in-between her spread legs. And so she began to work, slowly moving up and down while constantly staring at me with unwavering bronze eyes that held all the majesty and beauty of sin. But something peculiar happened. I wasn't thinking of her but rather my wife, Mary. Back five years ago when we were happy and carefree, till the harsh coldness of reality had froze us in our tracks. As the angel on top of me moved up and down, flashes of Mary flooded my head like a thousand doves circling the second sphere of hell, until my breathing got heavier and the angel broke her silence with quiet moans. My sight was broken with a flash of light, and in that instant I truly knew what it was like for Adam to take that first bite out the forbidden fruit. But as I write this diary entry a thought enters my mind. When Adam and Eve were cast from the garden of Eden, did they truly feel regret?
Later that same day
Once again, I was shook awake by my wife for church and once again my head was killing me. But I was happy and for the first time in six months I kissed Mary on the lips passionately, she smiled and it warmed my heart. While at the service Frank sat two rows up from me, he turned and gave me a wink. I smiled back, content. I turned to my daughter, Sarah and placed my finger in the palm of her hand, she lovingly wrapped her tiny fingers around my one index finger.
Thursday 11th April 1946
I skipped work to go to the house today, again, and it was worth it. There I smoked more opium and was immersed with the God of happiness and his disciples of erotica. I had more sex than I ever had in one day, and I can't even remember their faces. It was the perfect partnership, the means to commit the morally wrong and the power to haze out any conscientious obligations both together in unholy matrimony. Beautiful.
A part of me knew how wrong it was to spend my hard earned money on sex and opium but I couldn't stop myself. The house called to me and I answered like any faithful lover would, it fills me with pleasure, makes me feel like a man and not some lowlife just barely surviving. I felt in control at that house, sexually and spiritually, the unmistakable scent of power had filled my nostrils as lady Babylon answered my every desire. Naturally I had to come up with a reason to why there is now an even less income entering the the family, I simply told her the factory needed to make price cuts to help further repair to America from the war against Nazi Germany.
Thursday 2nd May 1946
I had to leave work early today. My coughing had grown increasingly worse over the months. The doctor tells me it's from the fumes at the factory but I didn't tell him of the opium.
Friday 17th May 1946
Me, Shaun and Frank entered the house again, where we were embroiled in ecstasy as the women of the house once again beckoned us to the roses, and like pitiful insects, we followed. After we had our fill of pleasure, we left to stumble home. Shaun had showed signs of regret as if he witnessed one too many thorns on the rose. I asked him if he was okay, he simply answered yes while staring at the gold ring on his finger.
Thursday 4th March 1948
I visited to the house in all its splendour again. It had been nearly two years since the first visit to this place. As usual they all smiled at me as I was a frequent customer, we all were, but we were careful not to socialise much as we preferred to keep our identifications to ourselves for obvious reasons. I looked for my Angel, she hasn't been here for quite some time now, I just took for granted she was taking a break but those only last for a week or so. So I asked the other prostitutes and they simply told me she disappeared of the face of the earth.
None of the other prostitutes were like my angel, but it was still better than staring into the cold bitter face of Mary.
Monday 8th March 1948
It was six o'clock when I read today's news in the paper. And I wish I hadn't. Mary stood there looking at me concerned. I continued to read. On the first page there was two pictures, both were recognisable. On the right was Frank and on the left was the beaten face of the angel from three weeks ago, the story was almost too hard to bear. Patrick had been given life for the murder of Asian prostitute Jade Lui. I remember the tears falling from my face, like angels falling from grace. My angel to be precise. Mary put her hand on my shoulder. “I'm so sorry about your friend, you must be devastated.” But I wasn't crying for Frank. No, I was crying for her.
Me and Shaun visited the house again. There I sat and took a puff from the opium pipe, the familiar haze blinded my morals, for I now know what morality truly is.
Wednesday 10th March 1948
I don't believe it! Shaun had abandoned the house! How could he? I met him in the pub and he just said
“Look, I love my wife, and I have a child on the way! I'm not visiting the house anymore. And you shouldn't either! Look what happened to Frank, look what it drove him to! Please, stop this.” I laughed and simply told him to go back to his ball and chain, I didn't need him, I had the house.
Tuesday 12th November 1948
For this diary entry I am now writing in a hotel. I came out of the house, just beginning to clear up from the opium, only to see Mary standing in front of me, her face was a face of anguish.
“She's dead!” I asked her who's died but she just kept blurting “She's dead, she's dead!” I tried to comfort her but she just screamed “Leave me alone!” And ran, I decided to wait till morning to see her.
My wife just kept screaming, never stopped screaming. I tried to hold her but she just screamed
“Don't touch me! You and your whore house did this! You told me the factory needed to make pay cuts, but you lied, you spent it on drugs and sex!” I didn't answer, I was sent in a spiral of thought, could it be that the source of true happiness caused this hurt to me?
Could the house of the rising son be the cause of my daughters death?
Friday 1st August 1958
There is a house in New Orleans, they call the rising sun. And its been the ruin of many a poor boy, and God I know I'm one.
I remember on my ninth birthday, I had received twenty dollars from my uncle. This was a huge amount of money for someone of my age and class. My father was a gambling man, he took my twenty dollars and promised to tripple it and that I could buy lots more toys. That night my father came home from the casino. I asked him where the money was. He said nothing.
I promised myself I would never be that kind of father and that I would fend for my family. But alas, it was not to be, here I am ten years after I gave into temptation, now 31 years old. My wife has disowned me and my daughter is dead. I thought the house loved me, but it destroyed me. I felt happy and complete. But now I see it for what it is. The angel, was in-fact Lucifer.
That snake had indeed slithered its way into my ear and into my head, for I ate that forbidden fruit and know I will pay the price. As I write this last diary entry, I stare at the noose I have made from some rope I stole at the docks, the noose that will depart me from this life. And for you whom may find this diary, please tell your children not to do what I have done, spend your lives in sin and misery, in the house of the rising sun.
Congratulations to the winners and thanks so much to the other contestants for your participation. We, all four of us, now owe these guys critiques. xD
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