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[Just had to write something, regardless of how silly or lame]

It was a very short funeral – what was there to say about a boy who died terribly young at twelve years-old, leaving this world without any sort of meaningful accomplishments to define his existence? The priest, glistening beads of sweat ebbing down his wrinkled forehead, read monotonously from a small black book with gilded pages as his assistant, an alter boy no more than fifteen, cooled him with a small folded paper fan. I stood beside my mother, an abnormally tall woman at six foot three, her long fingertips wrapping tightly around my hand in condolence.

Marty and I had been best friends since kindergarten; well, since I was in kindergarten and he was in grade two. Though my mother found it odd that someone two full grades ahead would want to associate with younger, less mature children, she found Marty well-behaved, possessing an awkward innocence heightened by two fleshy dimples on his cheeks. Marty was also a strange boy. Once, when he slept over, my mother woke up at six in the morning and found him hanging over the bath tub, still in his pajamas, soaking his head in a cloudy pool of water.

‘It’s Epsom salt, Mrs. Morris. The worm that lives in my ear likes it.’

My mother, crossing her arms and taking a fat drag of her cigarette, was at a loss for words. Later, we’d learn that Marty was fond of phonebooks. He enjoyed opening them to random pages and selecting the strangest name he could find. Teodorowycz. Fung-Lee. Brewticka. Masslofski. These names appealed to Marty. One by one he would call them, putting his finger to his lips as he dialed the numbers.

‘Be quiet, Gordie. This is important stuff.’


‘Yes, is Mr. Plestick there please? Yes, I’d like the secret password, please. Yes, that’s right – the secret password. What? Oh, no, sir, is this Mr. Plestic at 555-8367? Then I have the right number! Now, if you’d be so kind as to give me the secret password…hello? They hung up!’

Marty firmly believed that one day someone would give him the secret password, and that this codeword would be the key. The key to what, he never said. He simply called and called and called, twice a day, until his unfortunate demise at the hands of a drunk ice cream truck driver.

I heard sobs and the sound of blowing noses as they lowered Marty’s casket into the ground. I tugged my hand loose from my mother’s grip, whose eyes were by now glazing over, and ran to the car. By the time I came back they were just starting to shovel the dirt onto the grave.

‘Wait! Wait!’ I cried, brandishing a thick yellow phonebook over my head. With whatever force my chubby prepubescent arms could muster, I knifed my way through the black throng of people and threw the phonebook into the grave. My mother, upset at losing our only phonebook, ran to my side.

‘What’d you do that for?’ she growled. ‘We only get one of those a year.’

‘Marty always liked phonebooks,’ I responded, smiling.

‘Who’s he going to call, Gordie? He’s dead.’

Realizing my error, I took one large step and dove in after it. Someone had to get the secret password, after all.

"Imperious, choleric, irascible, extreme in everything, with a dissolute imagination the like of which has never been seen... there you have me in a nutshell, and kill me again or take me as I am, for I shall not change."

From his Last Will & Testament, Marquis de Sade

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The following comments are for "Secret Password"
by strangedaze

SD: Marty long-distance
SD, Thanks for late night story. Winding down on east coast...There's not much worse than a "drunk ice cream truck driver."..Godspeed Marty...


( Posted by: Bobby7L [Member] On: February 18, 2005 )

“Drunk Driver”
I am used to people calling me up on all sorts of communication devices, requesting access to critical information. Since I work in the world of passwords, codewords, access and information, I seem to frequently get the Marty type of calls, except they are not pranks. I am not surprised that a “drunk driver” terminated Marty. Whether you knew it or not, the plot has a grain of truth to it.

That’s is to say that I work for an organization that hunts down prank callers and send s drunk drivers after them.

It’s a small world after all.

Strange Daze – are you Rick the SCIF Library custodian, the one that used up all the decaf in the coffee nook?

( Posted by: Teflon [Member] On: February 18, 2005 )

SD I miss Marty
How sad that all the Marty's die young.

What a great short, short story. Terrific visuals (plump arms, ebbing sweat, head-in-tub). One of my favorites. Quirky, yet oddly real.

A note: be wary of the Teflon character -- he's sketchy (not to be confused w/the sneakers).


( Posted by: brad [Member] On: February 18, 2005 )

This is some weird shit, man! But why flash? I want more!

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: February 18, 2005 )

SD, Viper Proposal
One of the things I love about this story is all the implied information (In my business we call it "backstory" -- my business being the business of pretending to have a business/life). What if you (SD) allowed us (Viper, Brad, whomever) to write a tangental story? Could be a prologue, epilogue, or side story. What do you think? Too creepy?
Just Brad

( Posted by: brad [Member] On: February 18, 2005 )

That's a cool idea. I've done that sort of thing before, and it was fun.

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: February 18, 2005 )

SD Permission Slip
I'll begin to lubricate the rather dry writing well (that actually sounds disgusting -- sorry), and attempt to add my side story. But I guess I should wait for your permission SD. So I'll wait. Which is fine since I've little to say/write these days. Don't see any reason why you couldn't start however Viper. Brad

( Posted by: brad [Member] On: February 18, 2005 )

This is just wonderful. I thoroughly loved the details you added that made this such a poignant piece. Very well done, SD!

( Posted by: poesandpoetry [Member] On: February 18, 2005 )

SD's Secret Code

Brilliant! (from the guinness commercial)

Simply great. I don't comment much on stories because I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about, but I like reading yours.

Brad: If you want to do something similar, contact me.


( Posted by: GibsonGirl [Member] On: February 18, 2005 )

Secret Password
How is it that I am still astounded at your endings? Your stories are great, but your endings never fall short of perfect. Give me hope and tell me that this is completely by chance and may possibly happen to me some day!

( Posted by: Eleanor [Member] On: February 18, 2005 )

Mike, Brad, PP, Lans, E...
...thanks for the comments.

Brad/Mike - Have atter. I have something in mind myself that you two might be interested in. I'll let you know (if I'm not too lazy ;)

PP - Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you found it swell. Your comments make my day ^_^

Lans - Love.

Elle - Good to see you again. I wrote this story on a whim, as with most of my flashes, so yes, it does happen by accident ;) sometimes I think of the ending first, but it's too easy to be sensationalist. Always trying to avoid force-feeding things down the reader's throat. Looking forward to seeing more of you work.


( Posted by: strangedaze [Member] On: February 18, 2005 )

step in the "strangedaze world", most excellent,
I like the "strangedaze world', you are just "a little, twisted". Most excellent...~Robin~

( Posted by: Robinbird [Member] On: February 19, 2005 )

Is that like a drunk dialer?
Great piece, as usual. Your writing style is always so fresh and fun to read. Can't wait to see more...

( Posted by: EverybodyElsesGirl [Member] On: February 22, 2005 )

I loved all the personal information in this piece. It exhibited relationship so very well.

Very fun read.

Elle - I don't think you need to be so humble... your writing is much better than you take credit for!


( Posted by: FeliciaStone [Member] On: March 3, 2005 )

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