1’s and 0’s (fiction)


Going 10 miles above the posted 35 MPH speed limit that frigid February afternoon, the gray Nissan 370Z Roadster skids on black ice in Mt. Lebanon, PA, and smashes head-on into a utility pole.  As the 17-year-old driver lies in the inflated driver’s-side airbag uninjured (he hopes he has no injuries, at least no major ones requiring hospitalization; hospitals represent death factories to him in his death-dealing country) and waits to hear the wailing ambulance siren, he dreads the trouble he’ll probably get into, having borrowed the Roadster, his stepfather’s car, sans permission just to visit his favorite record store to purchase his copy of the released-that-day, limited-to-2,000-copies worldwide LP version of his all-time favorite album, Better Mutilate Than Never by Ze Gross Prophets—2 disks, 180g virgin vinyl, exclusive illustrated booklet with complete lyrics.  As an audiophile, he cannot abide listening any further to his downloaded copy; compressed, sterile, 1’s-and-0’s music makes his temples throb.  He plans, years from now as an art-school student, to regale cute girls and/or cute boys (he’s leaned toward the latter lately) about the time he almost died totaling an awesome car due to his awesome musical taste.  That story should impress plenty of hotties.  Oh, here comes the wailing siren.  Life as a discerning, unzombified consumer, regardless of sexual orientation, has a unique soundtrack.


written on the spot

Copyright © 2015 by David V. Matthews

Flash fiction (a hundred words or fewer) #6: Watches

Today, I visited a high-class department store to buy a new watch.  The young, white, immaculately-coiffed saleswoman kept, well, watching me as I checked out what they had on display.  She didn’t say anything, but she didn’t have to, for she had a distrustful expression on her face, as if I would grab a couple of those expensive (and frankly ugly) watches, shove them into my purse, and run out of there.  Even wearing my most respectable dress couldn’t stave off the racial microaggressions.  Or maybe she just hated my dress?  American history consists of nothing but sartorial hate, right?


Written on the spot

Copyright © 2015 by David V. Matthews

Players’ roster

During the past eight days, I have purchased three consecutive portable CD players: one used model, followed by two new ones, all three from more-or-less respectable corporate entities.  I didn’t want to endure another day at my otherwise wonderful job without listening to high-quality music from my collection.

The first player, from Sony, stopped playing after half a day; the second player, from Craig (a less-respectable company that does produce inexpensive products aimed no doubt at desperate non-tycoons such as yours truly), had tap-dancing-crickets-in-a-hailstorm sound quality and stopped operating after ten seconds; the third player, from Memorex, lasted almost a day before expiring.  Also, based upon additional audio evidence, all three hunks-of-junk skipped more that I did in junior high school.  (You might or might not have despised my adolescent self.)

I’ve owned portable CD players, mostly for work usage, since 2006 but have started encountering substandard ones only in the past two or three years, during the height of the corporately-hyped MP3 revolution, when the iPod people proliferated, leaving behind those pathetic losers who still clung to those often less-expensive contraptions that played, ugh, aluminum discs.  Sony et alia must have consciously decided to manufacture shoddy portable CD players to encourage me and other relics to fork out the simoleons for i-style devices; format changes always result in huge profits for the perpetrators of said changes.  However, considering I like corporeal recording media due to my antediluvian object-centric upbringing, I’ll have to continue my struggle to find a working portable CD player, not that I necessarily believe compact discs offer the ultimate in aural pleasure.  Like those diehards and/or hipsters who embrace vinyl records, I want to preserve the memory of those shiny gray coasters for nostalgic and contrarian reasons.

Copyright © 2015 by David V. Matthews


Washington, DC, January 20, 2017: Bernie Sanders took the oath of office today as America’s first socialist president.  In the inaugural address that followed, he metaphorically reached across the aisle to his opponents in both major parties.  “I hope we can put last year’s heated and at times extremely negative presidential race behind us, so we can all work together to improve our nation,” he said.  “Centrism is what we need now.  Only by compromising, by ending bipartisanship, can we hope to look forward, not backward.”  Sanders talked about his “goals for the first hundred days–goals that everyone on the political spectrum can get behind,” from “doubling the defense budget” to “slashing taxes for the wealthy who built our country” to “cracking down on those no-good welfare bums.”  He also voiced his support for passing Constitutional amendments making “the evils of abortion and homosexuality” capital offenses, adding “I promise to do everything I can to ramp up all executions, because we don’t execute enough criminals in this country for the death penalty to be effective.”  He concluded his address by leaning close to the microphone and almost whispering “And as for you blacks–wait’ll I get through with you, hee hee hee”–a line that drew an enthusiastic standing ovation from the attendees.

Most pundits had nothing but praise for the new president’s speech, citing his determination to transcend partisan politics.

In other news–does Jennifer Aniston have a new boyfriend?

Copyright © 2015 by David V. Matthews

Three poems


Voluptuous radishes
Ululate rashly
In the all-American shopping mall
Fellatio spectacular
La la la vino
Pass the dutchie on the left-hand side
Anderson Cooper without pity
Cats and more cats.
Thank you.


Breaker breaker
the ghost of my CB self
Haunts the cosplay orgy
Where faux-anime schoolgirl slut
Checked her cell phone every ten minutes for news about her father’s condition
Why was she there in the first place?
Even CB-me wondered
Because poon comes first
Or so I’ve heard


Television pacifies
With its consumerist lies
All the gals and all the guys
But who cares other than pretentious teenagers
Who have just discovered that rich lives matter?
Consumerist lies are our national myth
Keeping us from diddling ourselves to Karl Marx
Who would have hated nuke-the-illegals cell phone apps

Copyright © 2015 by David V. Matthews

Flash fiction (a hundred words or fewer) #5: Turquoise Balls

My fifteen-year-old daughter Kelsey called me one night. “Mom? I’m at the police station. I got arrested for beating up some bitch who deserved it. Could you bail me out, please?”

No one in my family had ever been arrested for anything. I almost told Kelsey to enjoy rotting in jail, until I realized she’d overcome her timidity. Girls had walked all over her for years; she would cry in her bedroom about it.

After I’d bailed her out, she said “At least that bitch had nice earrings—like, turquoise balls?” I also realized Kelsey had developed some fashion sense.


Written on the spot

Copyright © 2015 by David V. Matthews

Flash fiction (a hundred words or fewer) #4: Braces

I drank so much in college, I flunked out my junior year, but by then I’d somehow wangled a paper-pushing job at the company my roommate’s father worked for, Carson Construction.  My roommate’s father had a million-watt smile that could defuse the worst situation; I never smiled, due to my crooked teeth that looked like falling dominoes.  Saving money for braces would have helped (Carson didn’t offer dental insurance), but self-medicating, so to speak, made me popular.  Then I resigned because I felt confident I’d learned enough to succeed somewhere better, even with lousy teeth.  Ha.  Straight teeth rule.

Copyright © 2015 by David V. Matthews