Is This Something

Or, Did'ja Get It, Though

As the sunlit sanity of the waking world burns the night to ash,
embrace the unbound madness of your wildest dreams,
laugh into the endless abyss of your darkest fantasies,
and rage against the coming dawn.

PulpBusters is a presentation of bone-chilling buffoonery, nerve-wracking silliness, and twisted nitwittery by “Amoral Crackpot” Steve Arviso.


Dear Reader,

I may have recently stumbled across a literal demonic death cult, and I'm not sure how to feel about it.

In an entirely intentional attempt to isolate myself from any sight or sign of humanity as possible, I unintentionally found myself lost in some remote corner of Black Star Canyon. And somewhere between realizing I had one hell of a walk back to my car and crying for my mother, I heard a strange chanting coming from deep within the old, abandoned mine shaft I'd foolishly chosen to expel both urine and insight into my predicament.

To make a long hike through a dark, winding series of tunnels and tangentially related annecdotes short, I eventually found myself in a vast, underground cavern with an equally vast, underground lake. And in the center of the lake were a bunch of strange little men chanting a strange little diddy to a strange, yet maddeningly large, fleshy skelatal something or other sitting right there in the water like it was a kiddie pool.

Having spent my fair share of afternoons in Irvine, I can't say I haven't seen worse. But once I witnessed this entity drink the wailing souls of several middle-school science teachers, I figured I'd seen most of what they had to offer and politely left without signing the registry.

And to make things even worse, I didn't realize I'd left my keys by the toilet until I'd already made it back to the parking lot.


A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME
”What You Know”


SUNLESS SEA

Floating on my little boat,
adrift in a sea of black,
I pray the darkness won't wash over me,
but every night's the same.


SELF-REFRACTION

The voices in my head
belong to faces I've never seen,
but the words they speak
are forever mine to keep.


COYOTE

Heatwaves. Cold treats. And remorse.

A SAFE PLACE

(FOOL, in a chair before all, restless.)

FOOL

I never thought I could kill anyone.
Until I did.

All I wanted was some fuckin’ ice cream, man.
It’d been pushin’ a hundred all week,
and I was sweatin’ like crazy every night, all night.
Y’ever been so hot
you stick your head in the freezer just to cool off?
Y’ever get stoned out of your mind
just so you can forget how hot it is?
Well, when you’re both,
ya know,
shit happens.

The last thing I remember before it all went screwy,
it’d have to be standing in line
in this sweatbox of a gas station,
right around the corner from my place.
I had that ice cream in my hand, man.
Sweatin’ there in this long fuckin’ line,
wondering the fuck there’s a line at two in the mornin’.
Then I finally pay, step outside,
and then nothin’.
No stars, no black, no nothin’.
Just, nothin’.
Didn’t even get to open the wrapper, man.

I remember the way the man cried.
He was,
how do I put it?
He was fuckin’ losin’ it, ya know?
I remember’ just kinda blippin’ in to that,
ya know?
One minute, I’m all about that ice cream.
The next, I’m in the middle of a fuckin’ canyon.
The sun’s coming out.
It’s finally cold as shit, and everything’s wet.
And there’s this guy tied up next to me.
He was just layin’ there, losin’ his fuckin’ mind.
He was cryin’ and screamin’.
Shit was runnin’ down his nose.
He was chokin’ on his spit and everything.
I don’t know what happened.
He looked fine.
Nothing had happened.
Yet.
Maybe I’m the weird one for not acting like that.

She wore a Coyote mask, jeans, and a Ramones tee.
Her voice sounded young, but
something about the way she talked,
I don’t know,
it’s like she’d been doin’ this a while.
Like, there’s that way people talk
when they’re really comfortable doin’ shit,
ya know?
Like, they got this shit handled. No worries.
Ya know?
Real boss-lady type shit.
The whole thing’s really fucked up.
The whole fuckin’ thing.

“Pick one.”
That’s what she said.
She tossed me a fuckin’ tire iron, and said, “Pick one.”
And I just look at her like, I don’t know.
Like someone just kidnapped me,
dragged my ass to the middle of a fuckin’ canyon
with some dude who looks and sounds like he’s shitting himself,
and then gave me a tire iron and said, “Pick one.”
Then she pulled out a piece.
So, I picked one.

She took our phones, our wallets.
I had to walk out of the canyon, and down the highway.
Caked-up in dirt, and tears, and vomit,
and blood and brains and bone.
I don’t know how long I walked.
Maybe it was a few minutes, maybe longer.
Eventually CHP pulled me over.
It was the second time someone pulled a gun on me.
Not that I blame him.
You should have seen me.
You think she was watchin’?

Sleep is hard.
Being awake ain’t easy either, I guess.
But sleeping is harder.
I should probably see someone about that.
Money’s a bit tight.
But sometimes when I can’t sleep, I think about her.
Did she know what I would do?
I didn’t know the guy, he didn’t know me.
Probably.
She could’ve picked anyone else in that gas station.
Why me, huh? Why him?
Or that piece of hers.
It’s not like she fired a warning shot, or whatever.
She just kinda held it, waved it around a bit.
“Pick one.”
Do you think she meant her too?
Did I kill some guy I didn’t know with a fuckin’ tire iron
when I didn’t have to?
Maybe if he had to pick, we’d both still be here.
Did I fuck up?
Does it even matter?

(FOOL grows silent, still, lost deeper and deeper in thought.)


THE END BITS NOBODY CARES MUCH FOR

The chill of night brings with it a still darkness, brings with it an alluring promise of peace. Till the light of day warms your cold bones,may your eyes never rest,and may those little slices of death never come.

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YOU ARE NOT ALONE

PULPBUSTERS
Steve Arviso
2021