grinder.jpgThe vagrant in the torn overcoat staggered violently toward the organ grinder who had been, up until that point, blissfully cranking out his favourite measures of his favourite music cylinder. The man lurched forward and grabbed hold of the organ grinder's lapel and began shaking like a parasitic polyp. The small monkey noticed his owner being accosted, dropped his collection tin and leapt upon the shoulder of his owner's unnamed assailant, sinking his primate teeth as deeply as they would go into the man's sweat-caked neck.

As the drifter let out a piercing squeal, he heaved his body backward; the backs of his legs caught the end of a passing baby carriage, spilling its fleshy child nugget onto the sidewalk, while sending the overcoated man careening headlong into the street's slick pavement, where, as if by some unfortunate providence, he found himself directly in the path of an oncoming street-sweeper. As the driver made a vain attempt to stop, the monkey leapt onto the grill of the street sweeper, just as the unfortunate man was pulled into the machine's spinning bowels and torn asunder.

The mother of the child who had been tipped onto the walkway screamed in horror at the sight and scooped her baby up from the sidewalk. The sound of her screams sent a nearby flock of pigeons up into the air just as a crowd of passersby began to gather around the crumpled and mutilated corpse that had just been vomited out the back of the street sweeper like an unsightly mucus.

Three stories above, Tom Abrams was nearing the end of a long day of window washing, when a multitude of pigeons decided to make his suspended platform their rest spot. Mrs. Butterworth's great dane, Guthrie, unbeknownst to Tom, was an impassioned proponent of snapping his gaping maw at pigeons, and was also peering out of a window exactly one storey above. Unable to contain his excitement, Guthrie leaned out of the apartment window.

The dog's considerable corpulence, while serving him extremely well in situations involving home intruders and neighbourhood cats, did not quite afford him the luxury of dexterously positioning himself on window ledges. Guthrie's footing bowed under his weight, and he came tumbling down onto Tom's hanging workstation with a ferocious shudder. The platform shook with a terrifying jolt, nearly throwing Tom off, and sending the pigeons scattering through the air, emptying their startled bowels on the crowd below.

As the whitewash rained down on their heads, the onlookers turned their gazes upward just in time to see the left support wire from Tom's window washer platform snap under the acute pressure of a 200 pound falling dog. Tom gripped the rail for sweet life as the platform swung vertically downward, just missing the heads of the crowd but spilling buckets of rag water and a disoriented and frightened Great Dane into their midst. The enormous dog, in his confused state, and surrounded by screaming rubes, proceeded to snap at anything within reach, throats, faces, breasts and buttocks, leaving a scene of violent carnage as the crowd split away and into the oncoming traffic that had not yet had time to stop.

As a particularly large transport truck came to a screeching halt, narrowly avoiding a mother and her quintuplets, its contents, roasted peanuts, spilled into the clogged street, littering the road with seven tons of un-shelled legumes. For a moment, all was still.

Then the allergies inflamed.

Those who, at this time, had not escaped the mayhem, or who were not themselves buried under the weight of the peanuts, froze in place as the allergens invaded their bodies–their pulses quickened, their skin began to swell, and, one by one, their throats closed.

Amid the din of car alarms, mothers sobbing loudly, and smashed motor vehicle claxons ringing their continuous pitch, Tom Abrams realized his window washing platform, having lost its momentum, had finally stopped swinging and come to rest. Trembling, he clambered down the railing and stepped softly onto the ground. Still shaken, he approached a flamboyantly dressed man huddled in a corner with a white-headed Capuchin monkey.

He extended his hand to the organ grinder, and slowly helped him to his feet. The small monkey climbed up his owner's leg and perched on his shoulder. The organ grinder instinctively turned to his crank organ to inspect it, and he saw that it had not been scathed. Tom smiled softly and turned to walk away.

"Hey," said Tom, turning back to face the organ grinder. "Do you know 'Buffalo Girls Won't You Come Out Tonight'?"

cylinder.JPG"Hmm…let me check…" The organ grinder bent down on one knee and produced a small black case that he unzipped slowly. As he opened it, Tom could see that the case was filled with an array of small metal cylinders, each one with a series of miniature pins on its surface, arranged in a seemingly random pattern. The organ grinder traced his finger thoughtfully over the cylinders, finally coming to stop over a small brass one.

The organ grinder looked up at Tom, and a faint smile appeared in his eyes.

"Looks like it's your lucky day."



4 Responses to “MAYHEM!”

  1. May 4, 2006 at 6:41 am

    Wow that is an awesome story. It’s kind of reminds me of “fly flew over the river and droped six inches, the bass jumped up after the fly, the bear ran out form behind the rock, the hunter droped his cheese sandwich and shot the bear, the mouse ran out after the sandwich, the cat jumped out of tree” Ecept more carnage which is always great!

  2. May 4, 2006 at 6:25 pm

    It’s good to see that a touch of carnage goes a long way with my readers. Believe me, I held back. Maybe some day I’ll put a few of my more macabre ones up, but for now, you’ll have to be satisfied with the image of people suffocating under legumes.

  3. May 4, 2006 at 7:54 pm

    Is it really Nick Iannitti?? Nice to see you on the net…I will take some time to read your stuff.


  4. May 5, 2006 at 11:54 pm

    I had many unpleasant visuals, but I love your writing.

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