Nils Dahlgren

by Horror Sleaze Trash on February 26, 2012

My name is Nils Dahlgren. I’ve been published on Horror Sleaze Trash before with a story of mine titled “The Nihilist”. The link:
I’m currently enrolled in Arizona State University majoring in fiction. Right now, I’m working on a comedy/science fiction novel called “Android Love Apocalypse”. It should be done by the end of October.

Allow me to introduce –Lowest Common Demeanor

I.                    The Passivist

Charlie DeRose had an apartment in San Francisco and was saving money for a new one. He had just turned 28 and welcomed the new guest into the darkness of his apartment as he followed behind. He flipped on the beige light switch and shut the front door with the corroded number 30 that bled maroon down the white painted aluminum. They had been swallowing full throated shots of Crown Royal, Black Tooth Grins, and Red Headed Sluts at the Drunken Lass. Geno was his name, Charlie asked him five times to get it right.

Geno helped himself to one of Charlie’s Heinekens in the fridge and showed little discomfort to the musky odor peeking from its humming dusty back. He heard Charlie turn on the television to a static white screen. Its high volume startled him. Charlie immediately turned it down and began to struggle with the power button that had submersed into the plastic of the television at the push of his finger.

“It’s stuck! Sorry.” He cackled. “Would you like some ramen?”

Confused, Geno looked at the television streaming white with black fuzz, then at Charlie. “Sure,” he said.

He opened the pantry door and pulled out a cup of chicken flavored top ramen. He then opened its top, filled it halfway with water, then slid it into his microwave.

After heating, Charlie dropped a fork into the hot Styrofoam cup and handed it to Geno. And like a good host, he got him another beer when his emptied and one for himself.

Geno scooped coiled fork loads of ramen into his mouth, still wondering if Charlie was going to unplug on the unruly television already.

Geno slurped the frizzy noodles hanging from his lips.

Charlie pulled a box of Bagel Bites from his freezer and staggered over to his pan cupboard. He slid a full rack of them in the oven. Geno had to have been well fed lately as Charlie could tell by his protruding double chin and pot belly.

Eight empty bottles of Heineken were on the counter and they both smacked as they chewed. Charlie let his guest have the greater half of the 30 morsels as they picked them from the greasy oven tray.

The couch looked inviting to Geno now regardless of its light brown leather upholstery discolored from a multitude of drink spills and potential bodily fluids.

“I think I’m going to crash here soon,” said Geno.

Charlie watched him devour the last bagel bite. “Good.” He smiled. The splashing of the television still whispered from the living room.

And then, his large hands grabbed at both sides of Geno’s head and slammed it against the hard metal corner of his refrigerator. Geno fell to the floor with palms over his ears in attempt to stop the ringing. His mouth stretched open, releasing only a whimper. Charlie kicked him in the stomach, watching the strands of ramen, bits of bagel, and liquor expel from Geno’s mouth as he kicked again.

II.                 The Optimist

Charlie DeRose had an apartment in San Francisco was saving money for a new one. He had just turned 29 and heard a thumping from next door, but didn’t let it break his concentration on the spoons he was super gluing into a three foot statue of a naked woman. There was a yard sale down the street. A square foot box filled to the top with spoons glistened in the afternoon sun. The whole thing was selling for 5 dollars. He couldn’t resist. He talked them down to $3.20. The handles and stems constructed the thick legs supported by the bowls on the bottom for the feet. More bowls were bent from their handles and formed the curves of the buttocks and bare breasts. Now, for the head. The hardest part of the work. The current and new pain in Charlie’s ass.

The glue was a cheap no-name brand he had bought from the dollar store. The kind that oozes from the tube in a phlegmatic clear substance and takes a gorilla with pliers to twist the cap off once it’s been used.

He had twisted the stems off, bent them into curly hair, and was now gluing them onto the head made from the bowls that overlapped each other into an upside down pineapple cranium. His hands boiled under the leather garden gloves with floral cloth.

He sat cross-legged on the kitchen linoleum with the elegant sculpture standing before him. Her metal arms reached heavenward, body slightly leaning back. He pressed another hair strand on the pineapple head. The cheap glue dripped down her right temple and sweat dripped down his.

A crane fly came into view and took landing on the white dry wall. It appeared massive! Like a giant mosquito. This creature could be a mosquito’s horse. The sneaky bastard must be meandering somewhere around-

He flinched and recovered back to his project which was in the threshold of destruction. His unfocussed pressure had pushed the metal hair strand down to the temple. It stuck now.

He panicked and tried to twist the hair from the smooth metal surface it migrated and implanted to. Twisting only detached the bowl temple from the lemon sized cranium. Then, the glue on the ankles failed to hold. The sculpture fell forward and disintegrated on the shiny floor in pieces large and small.

“Damn it!” He bellowed. “God damn it!”

Three hours and a numb ass rewarded him nothing.

He pulled the wet shirt from his back and threw it onto his bedroom floor. He walked into the bathroom. A hot soapy bath should relieve the burden.

He pulled the knob to the bathtub faucet. The porous basin still harbored the red of his hair dye. He stripped off his pants, sat into the warm water, and closed his eyes. He descended into deeper frustration when the closest bar of soap was in the sink cupboard unopened and out of reach.

III.               The Slave

Charlie DeRose had an apartment in San Francisco and was saving money for a new one. He had just turned 35 and laughed even harder at the YouTube video of a weight loss commercial after watching it for the seventh time. Kettle corn exploded from his mouth when the results showed two pictures of two obviously different people. One of the men looked like a fat Al Pacino and the other, Robin Williams when he played in Jumanji.

He had pried the numbers 3 and 0 from his apartment door and nailed them to the door of his bathroom as 03, but upside down. He drew eyes in the 0 with antennas protruding out on the top. Then, he drew nipples on the curves of the 3 to illustrate a topless alien. He replaced the numbers on the front door with blue crayon.

His father had just retired from the banking industry and would be visiting him the next day. His mother passed away from a stroke when he turned 32. They never spoke to each other at her funeral.

He walked into his bathroom and looked at his divided reflection in the cracked mirror. At 33, he punched its center when in a rage and sliced his middle knuckle open. He didn’t get it stitched, just let it heal with gauze bandages.

He looked past the cracks and into his aging face. His teeth reflected in the cracked mess as discolored sea shells. He could only think of a few words to say.

“Who are you?”

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