Isaac The Ineffable: Part Nine


   The boy’s house was indistinct, but fittingly seedy, simple and thick with old magic. A man’s place became him. Malcolm Hannish had watched for days and had taken measures to ensure Isaac was away long enough to have a proper conversation. In his hand Malcolm Hannish held a package he’d stolen from a porch down the street. He knocked thrice and waited. A small, tanned girl with short curly hair opened the door a crack, but left the chain on. Malcolm Hannish had been told she was May, person not month.

 “I have a package for delivery,” said Malcolm Hannish.


May closed and locked the door and responded by speaking through the mail slot.

 “Yeah, I can see that…but since you don’t have a clipboard I don’t need sign for it, so you can just put that shit on the porch and fuck off.” said May.

 It had not occurred to Malcolm Hannish to acquire a clipboard. Guile had never been his strength as a hunter. He pressed on.

 “This package is for Isaac Barrow, are you they?” Said Malcolm Hannish.

 “ I don’t know who that is, and you are giving me serious raper vibes, so why don’t you deliver that package straight up the ass of whoever gave you this address. I already called the cops.” said May.

 Malcolm Hannish was sure she had not. Those that lived on the fringe didn’t involve mundane authorities. Malcolm Hannish studied the protections on the door. They were robust, in a crude way, but designed more to contain that which was within, than to to bar entry. This ruse was thin, and Malcolm Hannish was not built for deception, so he kicked firmly at a spot below the knob. The lock burst along with the protections, and the door swung in, sending the girl sprawling to avoid being struck. She was quick and held a souvenir mini-bat from a local baseball team. Malcolm Hannish had never played, but enjoyed the cheap beer and sunshine of a day game. The girl swung it at his knees, Malcolm Hannish stomped the bat to the floor, pinning the girl’s hand beneath it.

  “I have not come to harm you, I need only that you tell me of Isaac. Answer in a clear and timely fashion and this could be brief and relatively painless.” said Malcolm Hannish. 

 May kicked towards Malcolm Hannish and tried without success to dislodge her hand from under the bat. Little bones broke loudly with each attempt. She screamed.

 “I have no fucking idea who that is.” said May.


Malcolm Hannish gestured about the room.

 “You are in his house.” said Malcolm Hannish.

 “This is my house you piece of shit, I got it at a police auction for a hundred grand. The last owner killed himself because he fucking sucked.”, said May.

  Without taking his foot from the bat Malcom Hannish picked up a bill, addressed to Isaac Barrow, from the side table and presented it May “And this”

 Fury and petulance twisted the young woman’s features. 

“I steal mail!” said May.

  Malcolm Hannish felt a certain regard for her will but the lie was obvious. Kneeling down Malcom Hannish grabbed the back of the girls neck and lifted her off the floor, his thumb and forefinger close to touching on the other side. She struck at him with no effect.  Malcolm Hannish turned the girl to face a framed picture of Isaac and her prominently displayed on the fireplace mantle.

“And this?” said Malcom Hannish.

 The words gurgled out.

“It came with the frame,” said May.

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Isaac The Ineffable: Part Eight

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  “How did your date go?” asked Myles.

 Myles was the whole of the Happy Acres IT department and one of my two work friends. He was smarter than he needed to be, he’d had a brief stint at MIT before burn out and bad debt sent him to community college, but he never acted above the job.

 “About as badly as it could have without racking up a death or a felony. I don’t want to get into specifics, but Claire won’t return my calls, May is pissed at me, and I better die two towns over if I want a decent burial.”

 Myles  took in the information as best he could, it was clear he had follow up questions, but he didn’t pry. 


“ Maybe hanging out with May isn’t a first date move? I get you guys vibe, but you are kinda bringing a hyena to a hedgehog party.” said Myles.

 Savannah politics aside he had a point, but my romantic history was checkered enough before May that I didn’t think she was hurting my prospects.

  “It was a bad scene, but it was never going anywhere. Claire is a regular, decent, person and I’m, I don’t know…an Irregular, indecent, person.” I said.

 Myles brought his tupperware to the break room sink and rinsed it out. 

 “You are being too hard on yourself. You are a decent enough guy, you just make bad choices.” said Myles.

 I shrugged. I appreciated the generous interpretation but it wasn’t an issue.

 “ I am not making a value judgment, we are just different things that mesh poorly.” I said.

 Myles put his tupperware into his insulated meal bag. It fit so perfectly it must have come as a set.

 “You could tell that for sure from one date?” said Myles.

“I could tell that from no dates, but sometimes you want to prove a negative.” I said.

 Myles patted my shoulder and left the kitchen. I threw out my sandwich bag and crumbs and took the stairs to the ground floor to start my rounds. The argument was loud enough I could hear it from the stairwell.


“Doctor David Seaver, tell him to get his ass down here before I go up there and drag him down.”

  A medium tall and muscular twenty something was berating the receptionist. He had cauliflower ears and the scarred head of someone who attracted a lot of bottles. He seemed bad at negotiating but prone to violence. The receptionist, Callie, attempted to lay out the facts.

 “Dr. Seaver is not in today, and if he was I would not call him downstairs to be ambushed. If you have an issue with care or billing I am happy to give you our administrators contact information, but if you don’t calm yourself I am going to call the police.” said Callie.

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Isaac The Ineffable: Part Seven


   Eldest Young  was attractive, or at least carried herself as someone who’d been told so often. Her clothes seemed expensive and selected with care, but Malcom Hanish had no more eye for fashion than he did the beauty of young women. Malcom Hanish withdrew a moleskine notebook from his coat pocket and placed it on the counter.

  “Was it a good read?” asked Eldest Young.

  Malcom Hanish was vexed, this pursuit was beneath his talents, but he kept a civil tone.

  “ Key events were poorly observed, messily recorded, and on several occasions occluded by stickers from a punk rock group of questionable musical prominence.”

  “ Were you able to make sense of it?” asked Eldest Young.

Malcom Hanish had strong thoughts on the matter, but kept his opinion brief.

 “ The lead single from their first album was highly promoted and they had a strong campus presence. She may have been from the same area as the band. ” 

 Eldest Young scoured Malcom Hanish’s face for any hint of sarcasm or impunity.  There was none. She clarified her inquiry.

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AJ’s angry thought Journal: Tim Horton’s


*The following is a true account of an attempted meal purchase that drove me close to madness

I wanted soup and a Cajun chicken sandwich. Tim Hortons was my sole option. I had fifteen minutes before my next client.

 “Could I get a chicken soup and a Cajun Chicken sandwich?” I asked.

There was likely a please, but I’m retroactively withdrawing it.

“We don’t have that.” Said the cashier.

“You don’t have either or both?” I said.

“What?” he said.

I had used two of my fifteen minutes and we were stalled at the simplest part. Continue reading

Isaac The Ineffable: Part Six


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  “Try and avoid the good hors d’oeuvres, those are for blood kin, and If anyone asks you’re great uncle Torkel’s weird stepkids. Nobody has met them and he’s so fucked no one will question why you are…they way you are. Oh, you will have to be brother and sister though, so don’t make out until the booze starts flowing” said May.


 May wasn’t drunk, but she wasn’t sober. The tasteful black dress was a surprise, but her trademark frog socks and combat boots let me know she was still in there. Claire, my plus one, was also dressed well, but deeply uncomfortable.  


“It’s very nice to meet you, May, but I am not pretending incest on a first date” said Claire.

 May was unused to people saying no, but it wasn’t the venue to properly argue. She split the difference.

More of a third date thing” May countered.

 Claire gave the comment the silence it deserved. May tried to put her hands in pockets that did not exist, finished my drink, then resigned herself to graciousness. 

 “Fine, you can just say that you knew Yngvar from his charity work. And thanks for taking one for the team, Claire. Isaac doesn’t get a lot of dates because of his bad personality and you are a solid seven in that dress. It’s nice to see something red and sexy.” said May.

 Claire smoothed the skirt of her flowery red dress. She also had no pockets, but that wasn’t the main issue.

“Thank you, but if I’d known we were going to a funeral I would have worn something more muted.” said Claire.

 May nodded in agreement.

“Yeah, that’s why I didn’t tell you. All of this samey samey black and grey bullshit is bumming me out. And this really is more of a remembrance than a funeral. Although they will be burning the body” said May.

‘Is that legal?  Claire asked. Continue reading

Isaac The Ineffable: Part Five


  I spent a few weeks living among the stone forms of my frozen family. On some level I knew that they were dead, but when an impossible thing happens suddenly, you can’t be sure it won’t unhappen suddenly. I made a real effort to clean and guard my favorites, and each dawn I’d carefully study them to see if an expression or position had changed a little. I didn’t have a camera, and couldn’t draw, so I could never tell for sure. It could be a projection but they seemed gradually more at ease, the initial agitation of the moment fading, but they were still all looking up and away from something. 

Had I been sure they wouldn’t wake up I might have explored more, but I thought they still might, and the price of curiosity lay stark on the lawn, so mostly I just swiped change from the jar in the main hall and hung out in the arcade in town. Eventually someone noticed an unattended minor wandering the city and alerted the authorities. When the police came I thought they were there to arrest me for dropping an aunt down the stairs and snapping her arms off. It was an accident, but I was prepared to do hard time. They never mentioned the statues, whole or otherwise, and I was taken into foster care.

   I’d go months without thinking about that part of my life, and then a  class field trip would send me spiraling. May is certain this must have incepted some deeply held paraphilia, but I don’t think it’s informed any kink, I just avoid museums and classy atriums when I can.


 Lyle flipped through his rolodex with one broad, rootlike, finger. He had enough technical savvy to handle things in a modern way, but he couldn’t bring himself to entrust his leads to a computer, and it mattered that each had a card just for them. He punched the number into his phone and softened his voice.


“Hello,Gavin? This is Lyle Boggart, I am a resource officer from Carolina’s school.”

 Carolina’s father buzzed some vague affirmative. It hardly mattered.


 She’s mentioned me? Excellent. I am calling about her class performance. She’d been an excellent student before this last semester, but her grades have slipped precipitously. I understand that she’s been sleeping poorly of late, but without some extra effort, and perhaps a tutor, I don’t think it’s feasible for her to remain in our gifted program.”


 Carolina’s father sounded guilty, but malleable. Those who wanted the best, but did the least, gave the most.


“Yes, Yes, of course…no one doubts your commitment to excellence. We all need a little help at times. If you could just Venmo us 200$ I’d be happy to arrange a few sessions that are sure to bump her grades up. It might even help with the nightmares.”


 Isaac sounded his arrival with three hard thumps on the door. Lyle made an apology and put Carolina’s father on hold. His work was important, but his roommate held it in low regard.


 “ I know you stole my hat, you prick!” shouted Isaac, through the door.


Lyle took a moment to compose himself. 


 “I didn’t take your greasy hat, asshole.  Why would I want that? You think I’m having fashion shows in here?” said Lyle.

Isaac kicked the door in frustration. Continue reading