Gerard Houarner, Writer
Stories you don't always take home to Mother...


Shh! This page is a SECRET!

Just for you... Because I think you're swell.

I Love You and There's Nothing You Can Do About It

Black Orchids From Aum

Going Postal

The Oz Suite sampler...

No We Love No One

They came down from the sky one night like baby spiders cast to the winds, tucked into pearlescent spiral shells suspended from parachutes made of no earthly silk.

The children. Newborns, back then. In all the colors of human flesh.

Their mysterious mothers, or mother, did not announce or claim them as they floated down on to cities and towns; lonely houses and camp sites and caves; and even cars and jets and tanks and beasts of burden. I found out later the shells found submarine and missile silo crews in their depths of sea and earth, religious hermits who had lost themselves in deserts and mountains, the insane in their asylums, the criminals in jails, everyone, wherever they sheltered for that day’s turning from the sun. The shells stuck to doors and windows and hatches and rocks, on and beneath the ground and the sea, in the air, miraculously adapting to their environment so that no harm would come to their contents or to their nearby adoptive parent.

I remember that’s how it began. As simple as that. No explanation, at least, none that Dad and his new wife Doris could understand. Dad was like that big guy in war movies who carries the heaviest gun but needs the smart little guy to tell him where to shoot. He’d shake his head and frown the same way for a flat tire and a death in the family, like every troubling event, no matter how great or small, reflected the same great mystery. My Mom wanted more out of life than an unwanted child and someone else’s profound sense of awe for life’s challenges, and left us both. The woman he found afterwards didn’t mind his consistent approach to existence. But she didn’t have any answers, either.

Like the universe, the shells simply appeared one day, delivering their burdens to every living man and woman. Me and Silas got off, of course, along with everyone else under sixteen: even whoever made all those babies didn’t trust us kids.

I was the first in the house to see them come down. Silas was asleep. Doris was online talking to her sister and Dad was in the living room reading a science magazine. I was looking out the window, bored with games, TV, books, homework, everything. I liked looking into the dark places between the street lights, under the trees between houses at night, because my mind could fill the darkness with so much more than what I could see was real in the light.

Bring Me The head of That Little Girl Dorothy

When the Witch calls for Nikko, it’s never a good sign.

In the Baum book, the Flying Monkeys were compelled to follow the Witch’s orders by the power of the Golden Cap, which could be used only three times by it wearer. I should be so lucky. Three times and out would have saved us all a lot of blood and tears.

In reality, there never was a Golden Cap. The Flying Monkeys are no more coerced into the Witch's service than her Winkie guards. Long ago, choices were made. Bargains struck. Desires fulfilled. Bonds forged. We do our work of our own free will. Regrets, though a
burden, do not inform our actions. We are mostly happy monkeys. Violent and stupid, but happy.

There’s hardly any real wickedness in the books. Some might say the same about our Land. Those who wouldn't, can't, anymore.

That's my job.

As King of the Flying Monkeys, the burden of regret falls most heavily on me. As does the responsibility for fulfilling our bargain with the Witch. It is Nikko the witch calls for when she wants her Flying Monkeys to attack; Nikko who leads them to their victims, looks back on the bodies broken by his tribe, and sheds a gentle shower of tears. It is with Nikko that the Witch shares her troubles, jealousies, rages, petty frustrations and pompous ambitions. Nikko is her most intimate confidant, the most trusted of lieutenants, the one who stands by her side as she peers into her crystal ball, and the one who is left, even now, alone to whisper into the ears of her many captive heads, and cackle.

I am the creature who satisfies her every wish and desire.

Some say it is the fur that stokes her lust, and others the wings, but I know from experience how much she likes tails. And, of course, there is always the frenzy of a Flying Monkey unleashed, and the way blood drips from a paw when the fury subsides, to spark a dying fire back to life.

Service to the Witch has its rewards. As king of the Flying Monkeys, and as bearer of our guilt, those pleasures also fall mostly on me.
The Witch has summoned her Nikko. The Flying Monkeys screech from their towers, knowing I will lead them soon, again.

It is not a good sign for whoever has angered the Witch.


In this dream of a real world, I work as a design consultant for a large and famous marketing firm with an enormous stick up its ass.

"Maribel," they ask, “which do you think works better?" as they hold up wedges of the color they call lemon so subtly different in value it would take powers of perception both superhuman and from another planet to tell them apart. But the palette under consideration at this meeting has been cleared by the legal department against infringement on competitive product colors, and the team is desperate to come up with the ?new avocado,' and they know through grim experience what'll happen if they don't get my "input," so I have to make a decision based on my years of immersion in the tastes and fashions of this so-called real world, my grasp on the hungers and desires of the consumer masses, and the statistically proven color preferences for particular products by our target demographic.

Fuck the lemon. I want to blow them all to hell.

The Wizard Will See You Now

When I was ten, my Daddy killed me.

It happened after I got sick. Threw up. In the middle of The Wizard of Oz, the musical version everyone’s seen. Right at the start of the Yellow Brick Road number.

Dorothy and her band of make-believe brothers, and her little dog, too, were skipping off to Oz. The dizzies caught my head, and my stomach felt real bad, and the next thing I knew I was barfing up meat loaf and mashed potatoes all over the basement rec room floor. Good thing we had that super turf carpet stuff. Mom twitched, but saw I wasn’t looking good and instead of yelling, she sent me to bed.

Dad didn’t care about the mess. Didn’t bother to clean it up. He just sat on the sofa, staring off, like he was set up in a stand on the edge of a meadow lining up a buck in his sights. Nothing would move him, not bird shit or kid vomit. He never checked in on me, either, once I was in bed. Mom came by a few times, took my temperature, said I had the flu and loaded me up with pills and juice. Kissed me on the cheek, and on my forehead. Held my hand.

I didn’t feel so bad after I knew I wouldn’t have to go to school the next day. But I didn’t feel like getting up and celebrating, either. Worst thing about getting sick was missing the attack of the flying monkeys. That and the Wicked Witch of the West’s Winkie guards marching into the castle.

I dreamed they were coming after me, though. Wings beating and furry hands reaching, they dove out of the clouds like a swarm of bees. I ran, beating them off, slapping their silly, wide-opened mouths shut, poking them in their big bug-eyes. The only thing that bothered me was their screeching. After a bit, the screeching nearly made sense, and I stopped to listen to what they were saying. The words didn’t come together in sentences, so I listened harder, and pretty soon I recognized Mom and Dad, and that’s when I woke up from my dream, hot and sweaty, but also cold.

For a few of minutes, I thought I was still in a movie. But not the Wizard of Oz.

Instead, I felt like I’d been dropped into one where the killer breaks into the house while the parents are fighting and the kids are crying and no one's paying attention to what's really going on. You know, shadows all around, silence in the corners, deep night on the other side of the windows, and the family's trapped in their own world, oblivious to who's in the house with them. Short, sharp music tells you something bad’s coming.

I was in the house with them, and I was coming.

For a while, it was fun. Felt like I was stalking big game, like those cats on the Discovery Channel. Listening for the sounds of my prey. Waiting for the moment to strike. Getting ready to do a thing that was going to be fast and hard and bloody.

Then I got scared. Had a feeling something else was in the house. Watching me. Waiting. Suddenly, the movie wasn’t fun. I remembered I was sick. Laying in a bed with my back to the darkness.

Maybe I was the prey. Like Dorothy, chased by the Witch.

I sat right up, heart beating like bird’s. Shaking all over. Stayed frozen for a good, long while. Stared into every corner of my room, making sure no one was there. I was a little dizzy, too. And hot. Had to think hard to figure out if I was still dreaming.

The yelling got louder though it didn’t sound closer. I figured Mom and Dad were fighting about me. I felt bad and got up to tell them I was sorry but I really was sick and not ‘acting out’ like Mom sometimes said I did because she was having my baby sister in six months.

I mean, to be honest, I wasn’t happy about getting a little sister. Never asked or even wished for one. Carl had a little sister and he said she kept him up at night crying and the house was crazy and they never went out anywhere anymore because of the baby. Jamal always complained about his older sister. Me, Chris and Carl thought she beat him up all the time and he was too embarrassed to tell us. We sure never messed with her. Chris had a younger one, too, but she was only a couple of years behind him and he didn’t seem to mind. Sometimes when somebody's parents took us to the mall, or to a party, she'd tag along. Once she held my hand when we were going up an escalator. It was embarrassing. But kind of nice, too.

The Wizard of Oz was back in my head when I went downstairs. The monkeys were gone, but “Over the Rainbow” kept playing in my head, and I had to check to make sure I wasn’t wearing ruby slippers. The guys would never let me live that one down.

And I still felt the witch, or somebody, watching me through a crystal ball.

The movie was all around me, too. The color part, only the colors were super real, while the steps I was walking on and the rail and the wall I leaned on for balance felt like cardboard fakes. It was weird feeling, like when Bobby and Jamal and Carl used to come over Saturday afternoons and we'd fast forward through every horror video we could get our hands on to watch the good parts while Mom was busy cleaning and talking on the phone and Dad was fixing something or other and they both thought we were watching the game. After the guys were gone, and Mom and Dad were sleeping, I’d be all alone in my room when those good parts ran in my head over and over, until I'd get more and more scared, because the good parts aren't so much fun when you're by yourself and it feels like it’s the dark that’s keeping those parts playing, over and over, in your head.

I might have been on the Yellow Brick Road, only Dorothy and her gang had left me behind and I didn't even have a dog and it was getting dark and the Wicked Witch’s flying monkeys were in the clouds, getting ready to dive.

I felt like I was missing a good part, but maybe that was all right since I wasn't sure I wanted to actually be in that good part.

I was going to see the Wizard, but I didn't know why.

The yelling stopped when I reached the living room. The quiet made me more scared than when they’d been making so much noise.

I went into the kitchen.

That’s where I saw Dad stabbing Mommy in the chest with a big knife.

copyright 2008 Gerard Houarner



© 2011 Gerard Houarner. All Rights Reserved.
No part of this website may be downloaded, copied or reproduced without the written permission of Gerard Houarner.