‘Human Resources’ by Smal Crime


Muggy heat feels like suspension in Jell-o in the burnt orange afternoon and the A/C in the office struggles to keep pace. Deb: angry, loud, and very middle-aged, very high on something if not just scarily high strung, is being escorted out by the managers. She can come retrieve her belongings after hours, just not today. She needs to cool off. It feels like a Sunday, but it’s Monday.

I watch as she finally leaves the room and then there’s a tap on my shoulder. It’s Phoebe. She asks if I can give her a ride home today even though I just gave her one yesterday. I’m starting to think she thinks she found a way out of paying bus fare, but then again she sends me pictures of her naked chest on most nights so it sort of kind of almost evens out.

She’s asking for a ride home. I say “yeah”. I think “great”. Sarcastically, mind you. Think sarcastically that I love having her around and love the fact that I’ve accidentally let work fill every gap in my life like peroxide in a nasty scrape. I’m satisfied with the fact that I’m just a creative kind of guy who entertains himself with these kinds of half-assed analogies. Sarcastic and satisfied with myself and my little problems and how I handle them or usually don’t.

I look and it’s almost time to clock out. It’s about this time that I start thinking of ways not to kiss Phoebe when I drop her off. I will be uncouth today. Insensitive. A dick. I will stop her as she leans forward and explain to her that I never did want anything serious. After 6 consecutive weeks of parking lot blowjobs and refusing to go into her apartment because I’m too afraid to park my new car in her neighborhood… I don’t want anything serious.

The heat is made worse by the black leather car seats and when we sit down she burns her skirted legs and squeaks. She asks if I have anything for her to cover the seat with. I don’t. I leave the radio off. We’re driving and we can only hear the bumps in the road. Her hands are between her legs. She’s on her best behavior.

She asks in a soft voice if I heard what happened to Deb.

Continue reading “‘Human Resources’ by Smal Crime”

‘Gold Rush’ by Smal Crime


Rory dangled a cigarette from his lips and listened to the Corolla hum lazily through the parking lot. Talk radio played just loud enough to hear over the engine’s drone. A 98 cent tax on gas. Per gallon. Rory heard that. He heard the governor babbling at the press address and imagined tears running down his face as he shrieked on about the apocalypse. It will be a hellscape, the governor said. Hot, dry, and desolate unless we all chip in to prevent the near-inevitable meltdown. California is fucked, in not so many words.

He parked and walked into the BevMart looking for cheap white wine. Rory loved the BevMart and its cold, sterile smell. He took his time like usual before finding his Riesling and a six-pack of craft beer to boot and was on his way home. It was the mayor rambling now. This time about the new influx of early-released convicts, thanks to Assembly Bill 109, who are assuredly all non-violent offenders. They paid their debts to society, he said, and we ought to thank them for that, so another bill had been enacted that demanded we house them until further notice. One ex-con per family, two per household of two or less. Rory thought about sleeping on his couch as two 300-pound Chicanos took turns fucking their hainas on his bed.

Continue reading “‘Gold Rush’ by Smal Crime”