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The thrill was gone. Was it possible Smalls'd been in the biz too long? 15K of swag sat in the van yet here he could barely be bothered to urinate on the couch, let alone leave his steaming brown calling card somewhere pointlessly cruel.

Once upon a time Smalls used to make it a point of pride to outdo himself scatalogically on every job--didn't matter how small. In those heady days he'd smeared feces on a Wheaton terrier, shat in a shampoo bottle, unfurled a hot coil onto a victim's fresh baked lemon chiffon pie and left a hundred other "messages" conveying malice for his marks' bourgeois lifestyles. What's more, he never repeated the same delivery or location twice. But his initiative had waned as of late. Evaporated completely, more like.

Did Smalls' lack of hustle result from sensing success in crime had rendered his professed contempt for wordly comforts inauthentic? Or had his superior larceny skills ironically led to an adrenaline decrease on the job and subsequent loss of bowel movement volatility? Or maybe you could just chalk it up to laziness. These days he sometimes even "brown bagged it"--i.e., pre-defecated into a Ziploc and brought it along for instant dispersal--rather than pinching the loaf "live", so to speak. Why on Earth hadn't he brought a bag along today?

Thing was, there was no concrete reward. What was the point, when you got right down to it? Christ, what more did he have to prove?

Still, in his heart of hearts he knew he was only cheating himself. This was the line of work he'd chosen. You never knew; maybe the old fire'd come back one of these days; in the meantime the only honorable thing was to keep going through the motions.

With a defeated sigh, Smalls crouched over Billy's action figures and let his pants slide to the floor.

Date Written: October 07, 2004
Author: Jon Matza
Average Vote: 4.1111

10/14/2004 The Rid (3): I have no idea what this short means. But once there was talk of brown bagging it, I was hooked. Before hand, a lot of exposition.
10/14/2004 qualcomm (4): there's nothing like a good, hot crap
10/14/2004 Will Disney: i'm going to have to re-read this one.
10/14/2004 qualcomm: Is this an allegory about writing shorts, author?
10/14/2004 TheBuyer: perfect punctuation, lots of poop, 'what was the point'...if I didn't know better, I'd pin this on top rated guest author Ewan Snow.
10/14/2004 TheBuyer (4): huh, at any rate, I hope the thrill comes back.
10/14/2004 anonymous: OSS: yes
10/14/2004 Benny Maniacs (3): There seemed to be a sort of lack of peaks and valleys in this, but the idea and character situation were good.
10/14/2004 anonymous: Maniacs: by complaining that this short lacks 'peaks and valleys' you’ve inadvertently revealed your unthinking obeisance to the patriarchal, Western view of art (typified by the worship of dead white males that has suffocated higher education over the last several millenia). According to the chauvinist paradigm you subscribe to (and perpetrate), all art must follow the pattern of male sexual arousal: conflict (friction) gradually leading to a violent climax (orgasm) and eventual resolution (post coital loss of erection). This view leaves little or no room for more circular, nurturing modes of storytelling and art—such as this piece—which mimic female sexual response (monotonous, numb indifference and/or resignation to discomfort and pain). However, I don’t blame you—the view you’ve so wholeheartedly swallowed was subconsciously instilled by our society & media. Only by reexamining your assumptions will you break this stranglehold over your psychii, thus enabling it to “receive” female, homosexual and/or ethnic art such as this.
10/14/2004 scoop: Dear author: So you're admitting your short is gay?
10/14/2004 anonymous: I don't know about that but it's very artistic; very sensitive...ultra-contemporary. Tender.
10/14/2004 Litcube (5): I also thought you may have been poking at the recent attitude of this forum as of late. Not that I agree, but as one renowned author recently said, "what's the point? I mean, really." Based on that assumption (and disregarding your possible [ruse-like] confirmation) 5 stars.
10/14/2004 Mr. Pony (5): Based on the response to Maniacs, I think maybe the author should stop being so selfish in bed. The short, however, touches on something at once ineffable and totally F-able; and in being completely honest with itself, earns high honors from me.
10/14/2004 anonymous: No ruse, honest...wrote this w/short-fatigue in mind.
10/15/2004 scoop (4): Not quite good enough for Jumbo Lump, but defniitely superior to Backfin. I love the "swag" but felt the ending was a bit prefunctory. I dug the pent-pent ultimate graf.
10/15/2004 John Slocum (4): no comment
10/23/2004 Streifenbeuteldachs (5): Splendid.