This-That and A Tale from Three Bookshelves

This-That and A Tale from Three Bookshelves

A Story by ZackOfBridge

Take out trash Clean Kitchen Go to LIbrary Find a Job


The Tv is dusty, she said from the armchair to her boyfriend, trying to steal away into their room where he could fold a book over his chest and fall asleep. In the glare of the sunlight from the sliding glass door, all dust was revealed. The black screen of the television screen sat like a monolith in Kubrick’s attic. “I think the cleaner is in the closet, third shelf.”

    He said nothing and went to the closet, third shelf. Both towel and cleaner were smurf-taint blue. He put three squirts on the screen and watched the liquid run down the screen carrying dust and sunlight. Chemicals and dust, the components of existence. He saw himself in the streaks of chemical cleaner. With the pin-point accuracy of a zamboni he wiped the TV clear. It was so purely black and his reflection was like tar before the feathers. He shook the bottle, almost empty. He folded the towel over and started back fro the closet, third shelf.

    She cleared her throat, maybe there was dust in it. The bed looked great from the hallway. A book sounded great, folded onto his chest, telling its stories directly to his heart while his mind dreamed of f*****g something and not having to shop for the perfect strawberries afterward. She cleared her throat again. “There’s still dust, on the top of the TV”

    He swiped the top, slow, like an artisan. He started back for the clos---

    “Wait, the side, there’s still dust.”

    “I’m not going to be able to get all the dust.”


    Because we are dusty, he thought, life is dusty. Existence is a dust, spinning and spinning like an overfull, overspun vacuum chamber. We are cakes of dust stacked tall. Let it fall, let it settle, its been here much longer than you or I have and it’ll be here long after we’re gone. He said, “because we’re out of cleaner.”

    “Okay, let’s go get some.”


    “Oh and maybe some strawberries.”


“Yes, we can fix that,” said Doctor Stuff. “An unwanted anus can simply be plugged.”

Dr. Stuff cradled the cork in his palm. In every arts and crafts box in North America is the chipped bit of a peach colored crayola crayon, this was the cork he swayed in the crook of his hand.

    “Wonderful Doctor, just wonderful,” said the afflicted patient. In her excitement she ripped her paper gown. This suppository cork was momentous and so chic. “How does this work?”

    Stuff’s hand shagged into a blue latex glove, he flicked it at the cusp and put a spirited jazz twinkle into his fingers to ready them for the operation. With a lasso spin of his finger he motioned her to turn around and lie flat on her stomach.

    “Oh! but Doctor!”

    “What is it my patient?”

    “Well, I warn you. You will see my )*(“

    “Don’t let that to bother you my patient, I have seen them before.”


    “Yes, in medical books”

`    Comfort melted into her face like butter on a pan, yellow and fatty. She rolled onto her stomach. She dared not look behind her and occupied herself with an informational poster tacked to the wall at her front. On the poster a woman holds a grotesque gargoyle-like miniature human to her chest, and it gnaws at her breast. She closes her eyes and decides men must prefer blindfolds when at the many faces of the firing squad. She wondered whether men would be more willing to marry if a blindfold were permitted during the ceremony.  

    Doctor Stuff hoped the plug would fit half as well as the glove. With a specialized tool he pried apart his patients buttocks. A single drip of sweat plunged from his nose and onto a dimple in her lower back. With a hand forced to steady he landed  in the canyon and the plug fell into place like sealing a scroll in a bottle. “Success!”

    “Fantastic! Oh but doctor! One question?”

    Stuff squeejies his wrist across his moistened forehead, “Yes patient?”

    “How will I, go?”

    “Oh that shouldn’t be a problem,” Stuff said, scribbled a note into his personal notepad. *. “So long as you discontinue eating.”


An elephant with tusks mighty stands alone, lost and puzzled in a funhouse. His reflection in the mirrors a fright. Alone, afraid, and angry about the two, he eats grapes to pass the time. Due to frigid winter cold the elephant wears a large coat over him to battle his discontent. The coat of thick furs warms his back and his legs, but his elephantine penis is left exposed--we are talking about two volumes of dick here-- and it sinks into a bowl of koolaid laced with electrodes. The shock to the submerged member jumps his heart, now beating to a rhythm crooked.

    In the midst of this distress, a dead man enters. Rifle in hand seeking blood sport. He is distracted by a cuckoo flying overhead. He flicks the rifle with ease and its snout follows the bird like a dog to a b*****s’ bottom. Before he can tug the trigger the temperature of the fun house rises to a steady 451 degrees, and he drops the duck engraved rifle from his scalded hands and the gun smokes never having fired a shot. The dead man lies there on the funhouse floor wondering why he ever left Tennessee, why those damn kids of his spread his ashes outside a traveling funhouse. Outside, the melt of the snow and the steam in the sky has created a rainbow thick in color. Too dense in magic, unicorn s**t, and God’s dandruff. Gravity forces the rainbow into collapse, it slices through the fun house like a proud and out razor blade. Its blunt slide, violet, crushes the dead man.

    A stranger comes, floating and singing operatic, from the end of the road. He looks, with his puffy eyes and labyrinth of folds to his face, suspiciously like Jorge Luis Borges. The stranger says, “I come not to speak of apocryphal tales, but because I am a country doctor.”

    A gasp like wind between trees carries through the gathered crowd. They whisper amongst themselves, “this man must be a complete dunce, fitting he operate on a dead man.”

A member of this confederacy came bearing a piano which he declined to play during the operation between stranger and dead man. He stroked his cat and then placed it back in its cradle.

    There in its cradle, the cat was free to mingle with the other beasts of the courtyard. On the outskirts, a rattle from the monkey house bars rose the hairs of the cat’s spine. “What is all this?” The primates screamed from their cage as a test of psychosis was administered.

    The dead man lived and later got hitched to a 22 year old. After marriage he could only manage to complain about becoming a writer and having his life remade. He left his young wife, whom had the combined intelligence of two 11 year olds. He moved to the small sliver of town Cannery Row. There he met a young bum, Rosie. She was a lonely polygamist’s wife who had just enough zen and rode a motorcycle which required perpetual maintenance. She mediated in the troughs of an animal farm located and suppressed in a hidden reality just past Fitzgerald Ave. Thats where I got my gun and began a trip with my pal Charlie the Doll.

    S**t that trip. Charlie bitched about how hungry he was in those frog pajamas. How are blood ran cold on the lake, shooting down wild ducks as they flew backward toward the sunrise. How the best and most creative could catch at the least 22 of those fowl critters on a day like that and boil them along with some hippo fat. We couldn’t eat the rest of the day.

    We were sustained for the show. Louis C.K. and Jean-Paul Sartre together for a broadway comedy, “A Course in Modern Linguistics.” It was an august night and the guys on light didn’t show. The whole crowd was in the dark and pissed and bored. They felt like they were dying. You should have seen the b******s on the stage squirming, trying to find some sanctuary from the sound and fury from the audience especially these two guys Al, a ball player, and Isaiah, a fairly successful prophet. Both from venice where they pedalled cheap merch on the streets and felt their hearts go dark from their customers complete ignorance to the elements of style. 1968 became 1969, a year of survival, escape and evasion for the two men as a fellow salesmen died in a most dubious battle. For some time, these men were separated and found themselves parted by the two hemispheres of the Earth. But brothers they were and they wrote letters. These letters, scratched into blades of grass became some of the best modern short stories of the twentieth century. They were later recollected into a collection entitled no stromo, published by a narcissistic black man, the son of Don Quixote.

© 2015 ZackOfBridge

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You have a really good sense of humor Mr. Puente haha
I enjoyed the Dusty fellow the most but every section had witty remarks that made me laugh
I liked the Louis CK special appearance and Don Quixote's son too
God's dandruff, combined intellegence of 2 eleven year olds, etc
Keep them coming bro

Posted 6 Years Ago


6 Years Ago

Gaston! Thanks for reading. I read your most recent story and I am going to comment on it soon, but .. read more

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Added on June 4, 2015
Last Updated on June 4, 2015



Camarillo, CA

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A Story by ZackOfBridge