100 People, 10 Bats and 1 Cat Blowing Up – Episode 26 (But the Coffee’s Good)

(Previously, a man found solace from his dead wife. Today, Cora kind of regrets not getting her project sent off in time, but the coffee’s good.)

Today’s gratuitous photo is a weird tree. Because sometimes trees can be weird.)

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Cora Darling heard it on the radio. She wasn’t sure whether to believe it or not. She turned on the TV to see if its news agreed with the radio’s news. The screen scratched out static on every channel. She went to her home office and turned on her computer to see if the internet agreed with the radio. She frowned at the white screen with the block letters: You are not connected to the internet. She went back to the kitchen and sat at the table where steam still wavered over the top of her coffee cup. She picked it up and sipped. She had an assignment to deliver to a client in two hours. She could have done that two hours earlier but it was so beautiful out that she spent those two hours on the back deck admiring her view of the city in the distance, the light cloud of smog surrounding it, the glints and glitters from cars and buses and trucks streaming like metal water through the city streets and turnpikes.

And then it was time to get back to work. But first a fresh coffee made from the imported beans she’d bought online and had just arrived that morning.

She wasn’t even sure why she’d turned on the radio. It was just there, on the table, facing her, unused for almost a year. She turned the dial and the radio face lit up and the news channel blared: We’re getting reports of explosions in…

And then static. Most of the stations were static. Others emitted confused news reports. No one seemed to know what was going on. Two DJs joked about a weekend fishing trip one of them had “survived.” One channel played classical music. Cora thought that it sounded like Mozart. She left the radio on that station for now.

She’d had a feeling when she woke up this morning. She wasn’t sure what the feeling was, but she remembered it being nothing good, like biting into a genetically modified peach and feeling the pit shattering around your teeth. Her back was to the glass doors leading out to the deck. She didn’t have to look to see it. The wall in front of her suddenly burst into brilliant light. I should have finished it and sent it off before taking a break. The coffee cup was to her mouth. And this is really great coffee. The light from behind her was so bright it seemed to burn out everything in its path with sheer brilliance alone, and not just a wave of heat and angry energy devouring everything in its path, including Cora, who managed to get one more sip of coffee before she evaporated along with the coffee and her schedule.

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For more crazy writing by Biff Mitchel, visit Amazon.

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100 People, 10 Bats and 1 Cat Blowing Up – Episode 17 (Having a Little Angst, James?)

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James Bellows wasn’t sure what had happened. He only knew that it wasn’t anything good. He had no idea where he was. The park behind him, the stone buildings in front of him, the statue of some dignitary to his right…none of it was familiar. He’d never been in this part of the city before. He was sure of that. It wasn’t amnesia. He knew who he was and he knew where he’d been yesterday, but just to be on the safe side, he pulled out his wallet and checked his ID. James Bellows. Yesterday he’d slept in and spent the rest of the day vegging out in front of the television and then gone to bed.

And now he was here, standing on a sidewalk in a part of the city he didn’t even know existed. Judging by the sun (straight overhead) it was around noon. There was no one else on the street to his right or left. He turned around and looked into the park. Nobody. There was no traffic on the roads. He held his breath for a few seconds and listened. No sounds. Not even birds or distant traffic. It was hot but he didn’t hear any of the air conditioners in the windows across the street humming or whirring or making any other air conditioning sounds.

The air around him was windless; the leaves in the trees, still. His nostrils should have been overwhelmed by the thick aroma of summer but the air was scentless. The only sensation he had was the heat. It was ungodly hot.

Why aren’t those air conditioners screaming to hell? he thought.

He started to walk toward the park, but his legs wouldn’t move. He tried to force them but it was like they were glued to the sidewalk.

What the hell.

He reached down with his right hand and tried to push his right leg forward. It was like pushing against a brick wall. He pushed both legs with both hands. Not a budge. A thought crossed his mind. He turned to face the street. It worked. He could turn. He started to walk toward the street. His legs wouldn’t move. With his right foot, he tried to step to the side. It wouldn’t move. He turned back toward the park.

The heat was becoming unbearable. He looked down the street to his left. For about a quarter mile there wasn’t a car, truck or bus in sight. Not even parked along the street. The street to his right was a just as barren.

Where are all the cars? Where are all the people?

He suddenly felt alone, like he was the only person left in the world. He felt like every person in the world had just disappeared. Poof. He was a alone in a part of the city he’d never seen before.

How did I get here? he wondered.

He thought that he should feel a sense of panic, but he didn’t. He felt alone and he felt like it was getting too damn hot. He felt like the heat was searing into his flesh but when he looked down, he was OK except for one thing. He was naked.

What the hell!

He watched as his body burst into flames, too far into the dream and everything happening too fast for him to wake up to feel his naked body evaporating into the inferno of his bedroom.

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For more crazy writing by Biff Mitchel, visit Amazon.

100 People, 10 Bats and 1 Cat Blowing Up – Episode 13 (The Real Reason for Judy Baker’s Divorce)

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(Yesterday, Howard was very happy to blow up and not have to spend another evening in the washroom Today, Judy struggles with a truth that really sucks. Read on…

Today’s gratuitous photo is a barn on a hill with trees. And we all love trees, don’t we?)

 

Judy Baker knew the truth. She’d known it for years now. It was something she lived with each day, day after day, year after year. She knew it when she looked into a mirror and stared into the abyss of her eyes. She knew it when she floated through the bustle of hundreds of people on busy downtown sidewalks . She acknowledged its crystal truth when she sat at her desk at work and nobody, absolutely nobody in the office, suspected a thing. But Judy knew.

Judy Baker knew the truth.

She was dead.

She’d been dead for years but for some reason she was still hanging in there with the living, occupying space, sharing the air. She was still getting paychecks. She was still eating and drinking and taking showers. But there was no doubt in her mind that she was dead.

It started one morning when she woke up feeling…different. Everything around her seemed foreign and dreamlike. She felt no sense of ownership over the bedroom or anything in it, including her husband, still asleep and snoring. She walked out of the bedroom and down someone else’s hall and into a bathroom that looked familiar but wasn’t hers. At least, not anymore. It was all one big existential puzzle until she looked in the mirror and confirmed her worst fears. She was dead.

But somehow the glue that held her spirit in her body wasn’t ungluing. She was stuck in it and she was stuck in a world she didn’t belong in anymore.

It took about a month for her husband to finally ask for a divorce.

“But you don’t have to divorce me,” she pleaded. “I’m dead. You don’t have to divorce dead people.”

He looked at her in a strange way. When she reached her hand out to touch his arm, he jumped away. Something like fear crept into his eyes. “You’re not dead, Judy,” he said. “You’re crazy.”

What did he know? What did any of the living know about the dead or what it was like to be dead?

She didn’t tell anyone at work about her death and though she was tempted, she didn’t see anyone in HR to find out if she might be entitled to any benefits. All in all, she thought it was best that her coworkers not be aware that they were working with a dead person, especially the Walking Dead fans. She was certain some of them would try putting bullets or nails into her head. Just because she was dead didn’t mean they had the right to mess up a perfectly good hairdo.

But all that was going to change today. Judy was sick and tired of pretending to be alive. She was dead and she could live with that. But she wanted the rest of the world to know. Sure, like her Mr. Critic husband, some might think she was crazy, but she was going crazy holding it in. She wanted people to know what she knew and she was sure that if enough people knew, if they really listened to her, then they would accept the truth and she wouldn’t feel so alone. It would be like she had friends on the other side.

She looked around. The coffee cart had just made its round and everyone had their morning coffee. She knew the score. You didn’t tell people you were dead before they’d had their morning coffee. She had an ex-husband to prove that. She still wasn’t sure how to start or what, exactly, to say. She’d gone over dozens of scenarios, but none of them seemed right now that she was standing up and looking around at an office full of people slurping caffeine. She decided to wing it, just stand on top of her desk and blurt it out. She thought that had a ring of spontaneous honesty to it.

She climbed up on her chair, praying that it wouldn’t tilt and send her flying into the floor. But what the hell…she was dead. She stepped up carefully onto her desk. She knew people would be dropping whatever they were doing and looking at her, so best to get it over with quickly. She cleared her throat and looked around.

No one was looking at her. They were looking out the window. She turned her head in the direction they were looking and saw the light and she knew in the exact instant the fireball swallowed her and everyone else in the office that she would no longer be alone.

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For more crazy writing by Biff Mitchel, visit Amazon.