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The bedsheets started it. They said they didn't like my girlfriend.

"She stinks up the joint," said the Down Comforter. "Like we don't got enough problems with B.O. and steam heat already."

"Yeah," said The Decorative Pillows.

I played it cool, waiting for another move on their part before I took action.

A week later, Emma was over watching TV with me and having some pizza. No big thing. But then I heard:

"What the fuck is that? Burberry Brit? I hate Burberry Brit."

I looked out the side of my face at Emma, who was munching Domino's with bacon and pepperoni, blissfully unaware of the exchange between The Ottoman and The Chesterfield, who were in the next room as per usual.

"Excuse me, babe," I said as I put down my pizza and stood up. "I left my soda in the kitchen."

She followed me with her eyes. "No. It's right here."

Damn it. Did she hear it, too? Or did she just have an eye on my soda?

I turned back to Emma and as I did, I heard, "That's right, fucker. She's got your balls in a vise grip and she's putting on the squeeze."

Definitely the Dining Room Table.

The Chesterfield: "I smell pussy..."

I lost it. "All right, motherfuckers! Let's do this!"

I jumped over to the End Table and grabbed the knife from my plate. In another swift move, I dodged Emma and the TV Stand as I lunged at the fucking Chesterfield.

Just as I was bringing my arm down in a swift stabbing motion, my legs went out from under me. I crashed to the floor and landed on my ass, temporarily winded and dazed. What was that? The Sideboard? The Ottoman?

Emma appeared above me. She reached down and grabbed my wrist, screaming, "Let's go! Let's get the Hell out of here!"

I got to my feet and the two of us bolted.

"Cocksuckers!" yelled The Chesterfield. "You come back and there'll be trouble! Keep that bitch outta here!"

We ran forever, across town and past the tracks to one of those bars with shitty fluorescent lights. Breathless, I sat down and wiped my brow as Emma talked to someone by a dingy pool table. She came over with two people, a dude and a chick.

"Honey," said Emma. "This is Steve and Stevie."

He had a Ren & Stimpy hat on. She had a scar under her left eye.

"So it's come to this," he said.

I'd caught my breath. "Come to what?

Emma sat down next to me. Im part of Furniture Under Constant Control.

Id heard of FUCC; a few stories on the news here and there, burned out warehouses and yard sales, furniture and designs no one wanted taking revenge and the people sworn to defeat it. I thought it was a myth.

"I thought it was a myth," I said.

The chick with the scar, Stevie, spoke. "Nah," she said. "Real. If low-key."

Emma said, "Anyway, The Ottoman you bought on eBay must have recognized me from the Portland job. We burnt out a whole rejected series by Ethan Allen. Some pieces got rescued by design students and made their way across the country to dorms, apartments, the internet. I'm sorry."

I nodded. "Just tell me what we do."

Later, Emma, Steve, Stevie and I were back at the apartment, dousing the joint in gasoline. We'd managed to get most of the furniture corralled off, but The Ottoman put up a fight.

"Johnny!" it yelled at me. "Come on! It doesn't have to be like this! Dump this bitch and we can be pals again! You can put your feet on me like nothing happened!"

"No chance," I said. The Ottoman leapt toward me. I met it in midair with a hard left. It crashed to the ground and cried.

"God damn you! What has she got that I don't?"

"Skin, muscle, an esophagus. You wouldn't understand." I drenched it in gasoline as it flailed on the floor. Emma, Steve and Stevie hit the exit as I threw the match. When I got outside they were waiting for me. The house went up, a bonfire to sanity and safety from rogue design.

Emma pulled me close and planted one on me. I'd never found her more sexy than now, when she smelled of gasoline and soot.

We left as the fire trucks came down the street. As we disappeared from sight, a Dresser jumped out the back door, coughing and hacking.

"This is all far from over," It said.

Date Written: January 06, 2005
Author: The Rid
Average Vote: 3.78571

01/17/2005 TheBuyer: Bonus marks for 'chesterfield', working on it, I'll get back to you.
01/17/2005 cuntry: you had me until the bar. i wish that's been the whole thing, without explain
01/17/2005 anonymous: What, the furniture tries to kill them and they bolt and that's that? Maybe the explanation is superfluous - though I don't think so - but you still gotta burn the fucker down.
01/17/2005 The Rid: 800 words even? That's pretty fucking cool.
01/17/2005 Will Disney: i've made a promise to myself to read this one by the end of the day.
01/17/2005 anonymous: Thanks, Disney!
01/17/2005 Litcube: I strongly disagree that 800 words is pretty fucking cool.
01/17/2005 TheBuyer: Yup, this is two presented as one. I mean shorts, not rating anuses.
01/17/2005 anonymous: Jesus. If it's too long for you, Litcube, then don't bother.
01/17/2005 TheBuyer: four for the concept, three for execution, bonus marks for chesterfield. 8 stars.
01/17/2005 TheBuyer (4): but I don't really dig the second half.
01/17/2005 anonymous: Take this to Acme longs, buddy.
01/17/2005 anonymous: anon_user_a: You wimp. If you have a problem, log in and write it. Asshole.
01/17/2005 cuntry (4): rounding up, but points for originality. agree to disagree 2nd half
01/17/2005 Dick Vomit (4): Didn't like the FUCC bit. Liked everything else real nice, first half better'n the second.
01/17/2005 anonymous: Disney, the day's ending in 39 minutes. Did you finish it?
01/17/2005 qualcomm (3): this is pretty nicely written, but also the precise opposite of funny. i should give you a two, but i pity you, you sad son of a bitch.
01/18/2005 Streifenbeuteldachs (3): I was torn on this one. I really wanted to give it a four, but I round down because it was too slapstick. Enjoyed "Skin, muscle, an esophagus. You wouldn't understand."
01/18/2005 John Slocum (4): Enjoyed this.
06/3/2005 Jawbreaker (4.5): Oops... forgot to vote on this fine piece of ass, I mean work.