Sunday, July 24, 2016

Weekly Prompt Story: So Many Prompts

The End of the World
By Christopher Munroe

They say that, from a certain point of view, every end is a new beginning.

I assume this is intended for people who’ve been dumped, as it does NOT apply to the end of the world.

It came from beyond the clouds, a being beyond any earthling’s comprehension, and we knew instinctively there was no way to defend ourselves, no hope for humanity...

Well, we who weren’t driven mad did, anyway.

Myself, I tried to be philosophical about it.

We’ve all gotta go sometime.

Sometime soon.

I drank up the wine, eyes on the horizon, and waited for the end…

Friday, July 22, 2016


We, each and every one of us, simultaneously are and are not simply the sum of our parts…

We are limitless potential, capable of things no rational mind could ever conceivably predict, limited only by our ambition and our imagination.

And yet it is, at the end of the day, frequently that very ambition and imagination that fail us, that hold us back, that limit us, that keep us from expressing the potential each and every one of us contains. Our self-doubt, our worry, our fear, each in turn prevents us from taking risks, leading us time and again to safe choices, stopping us ever being more than what we are.

We are capable of so much, but the vast majority of us will convince ourselves that we’re not, and in doing so we’ll prove ourselves right.

In this way we are limitless yet crippled by our limitations, perfect yet profoundly flawed, nothing more than the sum of our parts yet so much more.

Simultaneously tied to the earth and aching to soar.

Until we try.

Until we try and, in trying, can observe all that we’re truly capable of, if we’re just willing to take that leap of faith.

Until we’re willing to trust ourselves enough to let ourselves out of the boxes we’ve constructed for ourselves.

In this way we are, all of us, every one, everywhere, Schrodinger’s humans…

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Weekly Prompt Story: Endless

The Endless Ones
By Christopher Munroe

The Endless Ones slumber beneath the city

Unthinkably huge, eternally old and horrifying beyond all imagination, simply to view them is to go mad from revelations no mortal man was ever meant to know. Surely upon waking they could destroy us, one and all, obliterating our city and all who dwell within it without so much as a thought.

For such is their power, their horrible majesty, that we are but gnats upon their surface.

Fortunately for us, here on the surface, their sleep is, like they themselves are, endless.

So yeah, we’re good. We ought to all be fine…

Thursday, July 14, 2016

...on Pokemon

My neighborhood is full of Pokemon.

I can tell because my neighborhood is full of people wandering aimlessly up and down the streets, and through the dog park across from the building in which I live, phones in hand, eyes fixed unwaveringly upon them, looking for Pokemon.

And while I’m not completely familiar of the mechanics of the game, were my neighborhood free of Pokemon I presume there’d be fewer Pokemon hunters hunting Pokemon in the area. I gather that’s how the whole thing works.

Is hunters right? Catchers? Trainers? Or are training and hunting Pokemon unrelated to one another?

It probably doesn’t matter.

I’m trying my best my best to not find the whole thing hilarious, but it’s tough not to, especially as for the past week it’s been raining pretty heavily.

So I watch them from my balcony, looking like drowned rats, soaking wet, wiping rainwater off the screens of their phones, shoulders hunched over, shivering in the cold and the wet, bloody-mindedly determined in their quest to find more Pokemon.

Such is their commitment to catching them all, or at least to catching more of them than the online rivals I presume exist for them…

As I said, I’m not completely familiar with the mechanics of the game.

Which is fine.

That’s their business. They’ve chosen a hobby that works for them and it obviously brings them joy, even if it’s a sort of joy that seems weird and frankly hilarious to me. They don’t need my permission to have a good time, and their definition of what constitutes a good time is, at the end of the day, the only one that really matters.

Not everything has to be about me…

So, yes, my neighborhood is full of Pokemon.

You know, if you’re looking for Pokemon.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Weekly Prompt Story: Wings

My Wings
By Christopher Munroe

I’ll fly as close to the sun as I fucking please.

My wings are made of sturdier stuff than those of Icarus, and I am a man of vision, scope and ambition. I shan’t be scared off by tales of lesser men and their failings.

For I am not those lesser men.

I’ll fly to the very sun, pluck it from its perch in the heavens and bring it with me back to Earth, that I might present it to you as a token of my love.

I defy God itself to stop me!

I’ll see you upon my return…

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Hot Plates and Gender Roles

The blue ceramic plates go in the oven.

I can’t stress this enough. They go in the oven, they’re designed for that purpose, and as such they hold heat incredibly well, so that by the time the food gets to your table it is literally still steaming.

Your food is still hot, because the blue ceramic plate in which it’s cooked is still hot. Like, very hot. Hot enough to take the skin off if you touch it with your bare hand.

So don’t touch it with your bare hand.

Alternately: Touch it with your bare hand, I’m not boss of you, I’m a waiter, and this restaurant and I are both covered legally, now, because I have warned you in front of witnesses.

The blue ceramic plates are hot. Do with this information what you will.

For example, the other day I delivered stuffed mushrooms to a table of four, not to profile or resort to sexist stereotypes but it won’t surprise you to know they were all dudes, and upon the mushrooms’ arrival all four men immediately grabbed the blue ceramic plate with their bare hands.

First one to pull his hand away in pain had to pick up the tab for the meal.

Because he was “a pussy.”

And as I watched it happen, my first thought was; “And that, in a nutshell, is what people mean when they talk about “Toxic Masculinity.” Thanks for the example!”

And my second thought was; “That’s kind of hilarious, and I should totally do this with my friends next time we eat out!”

Because understanding something doesn’t make me above that thing, and self-awareness is overrated as far as actually preventing self-destructive behavior goes…

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Construction Time Again

I’ve been reading a lot, lately, about the Winchester Mystery house.

According to legend, the widow and heir to the Winchester fortune, Sarah Winchester, believed that she shared her home with the spirit of everyone ever killed by a Winchester rifle, and was compelled by this belief to continually add to her home. Rooms, wings, fireplaces, stairways, basements, elevators, beyond meaningful utility, beyond sanity, without rhyme, reason or any thought as to what purpose the finished building might serve her.

Because she did not intend that the building ever be finished, and so she had no conception of “finished” as far as the building went. Rather she worked to continually confound the spirits of the dead, hoping that they would become more and more lost as her home became more and more labyrinthine, hoping that they would never find their way through the maze she was continually constructing, to where she lived, like the Minotaur of old, at that maze’s centre.

In essence, she believed that if construction ever stopped, even for a moment, the ghosts would get her.

She was quite mad, obviously.

And yet, as I read, I couldn’t help but think about how much damn roadwork goes on here in Calgary.

Because it does at times seem as though the city’s constantly working on some major construction project or other and, while Mayor Nenshi doesn’t seem mad, the maddest among us never do.

Or, if he’s sane, perhaps he knows something the rest of us don’t, with regard to the occult.

I can’t off the top of my head think of anything that might have drawn the spirits of the dead to our town, but I suspect that were they here, among us, the roadwork outside my work right now would certainly confound them.

So perhaps there’s more rhyme and reason to the endless construction than I give my hometown credit for…

Although, if so, this would, in light of the fact that I’m not directly involved in planning or executing the construction myself, lead to a rather uncomfortable question.
 Am I living in the house? Or am I simply one of its ghosts?