posted @ 9:27 pm in [ SPASMS ]

He took one look at all the shopping bags and rolled his eyes. “No wonder you took so long in there. You must have bought half the store. Need some help with them?”

“Nope, I’m good.” His wife tossed a few bags into the back and settled comfortably in the passenger seat with the two remaining bags. “The drug store’s going out of business! Everything’s on sale.”

“Everything except my prescription, I bet.”

She grinned. “That goes without saying. How do you feel, anyway?”

He shifted in the seat. “Like I’ve been kicked. Hand over the medicine.” She offered the prescription bag and he took a little white pill from the bottle. “I hope this works fast. So what else did you get?”

Her eyes gleamed. “A thing of five hundred aspirin! Only two bucks!”

“That’s nice. Anything else good?”

“Sure. Expensive shampoo on sale really cheap, twelve-pack of soap, big box of Band-Aids…”

“That’s great, we’ll be all stocked up on that stuff for months.”

“Yeah!” She pushed her hair back behind her ears and smiled up at her husband. “Normally, I feel a little guilty when I go out and buy a ton of stuff, but this is all stuff we need, and it’s all so inexpensive, you know? I actually feel virtuous right now.”

He nodded. “Sure, it’s an investment. What’s in that big blue box?”

“A vaporizer! For in case one of us gets a cold in the winter.”

“People really use those things?”

She shrugged. “They must, they make them, don’t they? Oh, and look at this!”

He raised an eyebrow. “A box of a hundred condoms? Is this a joke?”

“Of course not! This is like a year’s supply!”

He turned the box over in his hands. “Well, what are we going to do with them?”

“Why, use them, of course.”

His eyes fell to the prescription bag. Cradling her face in his hands, he whispered, “Remember why we were at the hospital just now?”

She reddened, giggling. “Oh! Sorry! I guess I wasn’t thinking.”

“It’s okay. Takes time to get used to it.” He put the car in gear and started driving. Honestly, who needs a condom when they’ve just had a vasectomy?

Copyright 2005 Amy Frushour Kelly. All rights reserved.
Reproduction by any means prohibited without prior written consent.

posted @ 8:34 pm in [ Snake & Freaky John -SPASMS ]

“Born-againers are exactly the same as mash potatoes,” Snake declared.

Freaky John took a hit off the bong and coughed violently. “Good stuff,” he added, eyes watering. “With or without butter?”

Snake eyed the bong suspiciously. “You’re smokin’ butter, dude?”

“Fuck, no, the potatoes.”

“What potatoes?”

“The ones that are born again.” Freak giggled. “Fuckin’ giant mashed potatoes with crosses on their necks.”

“Potatoes have eyes, not necks,” Snake countered. He took a nice deep hit and held his breath for a minute. “I mean born-again people. All you got to do is get baptized, and you’re saved. Just add water, and bam! Instant God.”

“How do you know? Is that one of those fuckin’ Snapple Facts?”

“No, man, you ever watch that televangel shit on Sunday morning?”

Freak rolled his head back and belched. “Do they have potatoes?”

“No, they only got communion wafers and shit.”

“Oh.” Freak sounded disappointed. “French fries?”

“I said, they only got communion.”


“Dude, you’re fuckin’ baked, not the potatoes.”

“Unbelievable.” Freak shook his head and poured the crumbs left in the Doritos bag down his throat. “Fuckin’ unreal.”

Snake laughed and took another hit. “I’m glad we can have deep fuckin’ conversations like this.”

Freak smiled benevolently. “It’s cause I’m a student of philosophophy.”

“No, dude, you’re in law school.”

Freaky John grew grave. “Oh, yeah. Unbelievable.”

Copyright 2005 Amy Frushour Kelly. All rights reserved.
Reproduction by any means prohibited without prior written consent.

posted @ 5:56 am in [ SPASMS ]

I don’t know how this is going to turn out or if maybe it should remain a stand-alone piece. What do you think? xo, Amy


“Why don’t you understand?”

“I thought…when you said—”

“Bullshit! You knew what I meant!”

“I guess it went over my head.”

“Do you have to take everything so literally?”

“I didn’t know it was going to—hey, I never meant to hurt your feelings. I messed up. I’m sorry.”

“This happens all the time!”

“I said I’m sorry.”

“Sorry’s not good enough. You’ve got to change. I can’t live with you if you’re gonna misunderstand everything I say! It’s bullshit!”

He bit his lip and tried not to cry.

It was later, much later that night, huddled under the warm, soft blankets with tears hot on his cheeks that he made the decision.

At dawn, he entered the cathedral of steel and glass.

The banner said FREE YOUR MIND. It was hung on the wall behind the guru where she held court in her leather executive chair.

The guru wore a black suit and a tie. “Cast off the duality of the material world,” she crooned. “Embrace the unity of the cosmos. Be one with the universe.”

“I want to be less literal. Can you help me?”

The guru lit a cigarette and breathed smoke. “There is no substance. Boundary is an illusion.”

He waited patiently.

The guru finished breathing smoke. “Consciousness allows us to construct symbols of things apart from the things themselves. But the symbol is not the thing.”

“But aren’t they all one? Didn’t you just say that a minute ago?”

“You are confusing an idea with an object.”

“You said ‘cast off the duality’. But this constructs a duality. You’re creating a boundary between the two concepts.”

The guru pressed a silver button on the glass desk before her. Two acolytes, dressed in black suits and ties, excommunicated him.

He stood on the concrete before the cathedral and wondered why she had forsaken him.

Copyright 2006 Amy Frushour Kelly. All rights reserved.
Reproduction by any means prohibited without prior written consent.

Protected: SNAKE & FREAKY JOHN NOVEL Chapter 4
posted @ 6:01 am in [ Snake & Freaky John Novel ]

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posted @ 5:07 am in [ SPASMS ]

Alex opened the door and wished he hadn’t.

“Hey, bro.  Thanks for the ride,” Ross said sourly.  “I’m crashing here.”

Alex blocked the door.  “No.  Out of the question.”

His brother shouldered him aside and stepped in.  “I got no place else.  I already notified my parole officer.”

Alex shut the door and faced Ross.  “You can’t stay here.”

“Can and will.”  Ross was already on the stairs.  “Look, I’m beat.  Long bus ride.  We’ll talk in the morning.”

Alex sighed.  “Only one night.  I just moved here.  I want to make a good impression.”  He could hear Ross moving in the room overhead.  Alex’s own room.  Bastard.

The next morning, Alex was washing some Tylenol down with coffee when Ross came downstairs.  Alex held up the newspaper.  “I already found a couple places that are renting rooms.  I’ll front you the deposit.”

His brother shook his head and poured the rest of the coffee into a mug.  “Nobody’s gonna rent to me.  Not with my record.”

“You can’t stay here, Ross.  I’m happy to help you find another place, but you’re not spending another night under this roof.”

Ross slammed the mug onto the counter, spilling coffee everywhere.  “Nobody’s renting a room to a registered sex offender, Alex.  Deal with it.”

“Can you think about me for a second?”

Ross sneered.  “You turned me in, bro.  I think about you all the time.”

Alex swallowed.  His throat was like sandpaper.  “Don’t do this.”

The sneer became an ugly grin.  “The notification letters have already gone out to the whole neighborhood.  They don’t mention my name or address, just that I’m living in this area, what I did, and my physical description.”

Alex went white.  “No.  For the love of God.”

Ross looked up at the clock.  “Eight-thirty.  You’ll have to leave for work soon, won’t you?”

“I’m calling in sick.”

“How many days can you get away with that, bro?  You got a mortgage to pay now, don’t you?  You need that paycheck.  Me, I’ll be sitting here, reminiscing about those little boys.”

“God damn you to hell.”

“Letters might not have reached everybody yet.  You should go to work.  This could be your last day before they know what I look like.”

Alex looked at his identical twin and started to cry.


Copyright 2004-2006 Amy Frushour Kelly. All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means prohibited without prior written consent.

posted @ 6:20 am in [ reader participation -SPASMS -two word ]

I’ll be writing today’s SPASM tonight, and I’d like your help! Please leave a comment of just two words (no more than two, please!) at the end of this post. When I get home, I’ll pick a comment, use that as my title, and write a story to go with it. The old “Two Word Stories” rules apply (here, in case you’re not familiar with the concept). 

Don’t worry about your words not being good enough, or whether they go together or whatever. Just try to avoid profanity and obscenity. I provide plenty of that as it is.

This’ll be fun!

xo, Amy

posted @ 6:36 am in [ book -buy stuff -SPASMS -update ]

Hey, folks! Things have been happening at Castle SPASMS. Obviously, I’m writing them again, but there’s more:

1) I’m planning to self-publish a collection of about 200 stories. The stories are already written, of course, but there’s an actual designer designing the book, and I’m not sure how long it’s going to take. Even if it takes months, it will be worth it, because this lady is GOOD. I’ll keep ya posted.

2) I have a CafePress shop. I don’t think I ever mentioned that on LJ, because the shop is small and kind of sucky, but you can check out what’s there if you like: http://www.cafepress.com/spasmsproject.  If I get my act together, I’ll be updating the products to reflect www.spasmsproject.com instead of the URL for my LJ.  Anyway, if you’d like to buy a SPASMS mug or t-shirt, go for it. I’m thinking of buying a mug for my desk at work.

3) You might’ve noticed that some of the new SPASMS are a tad longer than before. I’ve always tried to stick with 500 words or less, but writing novels will tend to make you verbose. They’ll shrink to 500 as we go, probably. Think of it this way: More SPASMS for your money! Oh, wait. You don’t pay for these, I give them to you out of the kindness of my own heart! Well, just be grateful, then. 

Thanks to all who’ve been with me for the long haul (since 2004!) and thanks to my new readers. You guys rock. Go forth in triumph.

xo, Amy

posted @ 7:24 am in [ flower -garden -SPASMS ]


It snowed, but only in the front yard.

The back was a lush paradise of verdant grass and foliage. Cool, tropical-scented breezes tickled the leaves. Exotic orchids bloomed around the patio. A puddle near the back of the yard that had never dried from the previous year deepened, clearing and becoming home to koi and miniature frogs. A single lotus blossomed among the lily pads.

It had been a typical suburban garden until the new housekeeper came. Olga was Hungarian or Ukrainian or something. She barely spoke English, just like anybody else from the agency. Olga wasn’t a spectacular housecleaner. There were dust bunnies under the couches and trails of dirt below the cupboards. But the very day she started, a vase of flowers that Mrs. Belleci was going to throw away came back to life. Mrs. Belleci didn’t immediately connect the two events. She was more concerned with Olga’s substandard vacuuming.

Mrs. Belleci’s children were the first to notice the changes in the back. Her son brought an orchid in from the yard and gave it to her. Where did you get this, Mrs. Belleci demanded. From the yard, he said. Mrs. Belleci didn’t believe him, so he insisted she look. It hadn’t come together yet, and there were no signs of actual work—no shovel, no plant containers—but somehow, the yard was being transformed into a botanical garden.

Mrs. Belleci went to confront Olga. Clearly, this was why the housekeeper did such a poor job. Well, gardening was all well and fine, but Olga was being paid to work, not play with flowers. Olga said she didn’t go in the yard. She stayed in the house all day. To prove it, Olga showed Mrs. Belleci the soles of her shoes. They were clean.

Olga continued to work for the Bellecis, and the garden continued to grow. Autumn had arrived, but the trees hadn’t changed their colors. Leaves littered the street in front of the house, but it was still summer in the back. Olga went on a week’s vacation in November. The garden languished. Within minutes of the housekeeper’s return, the grass was green again. The neighbors’ yards were bare and frigid. It was January, after all. Mrs. Belleci’s yard was sunny and warm.

One day, Mrs. Belleci asked Olga to come sit with her on the patio. Mrs. Belleci gave Olga a glass of iced tea. When Olga entered the yard, the flowers opened.

You have a great gift, said Mrs. Belleci. You should not be working as a lowly maid.

I have nothing to do with this, said Olga.

I am going to remove the walls around my yard, so that our neighbors can see your work and appreciate your beauty.

I have nothing to do with this, said Olga. Do not tear down your walls because of me.

I must, said Mrs. Belleci. It is a crime not to share this.

The next day, a team of men came to take down the fences. By the end of the day, the snow had melted from the surrounding neighbors’ yards. By morning, the neighbors’ trees were budding.

Olga was suddenly very tired.

Mrs. Belleci made Olga lay on the couch. She rubbed Olga’s feet. The Belleci children brought Olga tea and chicken soup for strength.

By nightfall, Olga could barely find the strength to speak. I must leave, she whispered.

No, Olga. Please don’t leave. You make our home so beautiful.

I must.

The next morning, Olga’s room was bare. Mrs. Belleci and her children searched the house. Olga had gone.

The flowers by the patio were already dead.

Mrs. Belleci cried.


Copyright 2008 Amy Frushour Kelly. All rights reserved.

Reproduction by any means prohibited without prior written consent.


posted @ 8:09 pm in [ perdiferous -SPASMS ]

Thanks to all who commented and e-mailed me reagrding this post. I was really tired when I posted it, and I neglected to mention that it was a standalone piece. We did two separate stories with the same title, which is why I captioned it “Take 2.” Here is the first. We didn’t post the second one because we weren’t sure whether to develop it further.

Anyway, glad people liked it! Sorry there isn’t a conclusion. Maybe there will be, someday.

xo, Amy

posted @ 8:27 pm in [ jam -SPASMS -tim_x ]

 This is a jam, written about two years ago, by [info]tim_xand myself. Enjoy!

From the journals of Dr. Henry Wilkes Tonnage III


My dear friend Howard,


I am delighted to hear that my latest missive finds you well, too many of our friends have dropped out of contact, the reasons for which run the gamut from mortality to geography. All that are left now, old friend, are you, Wesley Barr & I. Wesley, that old adventurer, is planning a trip back to the dark continent; a journey which you can be certain I warned him against making. Especially considering what happened when last we were there. Do you recall that night, Howard? That dark night of screams in the jungle? Of the things we saw, and of our damnable guest?



Henry, old friend,


It has been many years since that fateful venture, yet I recall it every day. I thank you for warning Wesley against repeating the journey; you may rest assured that I have just penned a missive cautioning him against the same.  I am not ashamed to tell you, Henry, that I have relived that horrifying night many times in my dreams. I remember the screams, old friend, but the memory that haunts me most is the recollection of hiding in the tangled foliage in ebon night, daring not to move, lest our guest perceive my labored breathing…




I got a deuced chill when I read your words pertaining to that night.  I sometimes think, perhaps wish, that I had imagined it all, but holding your letter in my hands dashed me back into reality.  I paid a visit to Wesley’s estate, in one last attempt to persuade him from folly, but I’m afraid he has already boarded the Tramp Steamer “Obeisance” to Africa.  All is lost, I fear, for Lord Barr will go once more into that jungle seeking to claim what he believes is his by right…but it is that which will claim him, for it belongs only to our guest of that dark night of long ago.






My dearest Mary,


When you read this letter, darling, I shall be on board the H.M.S. Victoria, headed east. You may contact me via the ship’s wire if needs must. Henry and I are returning to the jungle to save your brother, Wesley. My love to you and the children. There is a possibility I may not return…


My dear Howard,

It pains me to hear that, once again, my brother places your life in jeopardy.  I am not even certain that you will receive this letter before you leave.  Know that my heart goes with you and, should you fail to return dies with you in that forsaken jungle.

To: Quartermaster Jervis, Fort Britannia- Africa
From Dr. Howard Phillips

Mr. Jervis,

I am forwarding this request to alert you of my arrival, and request that you ready the necessities for my compatriot and me.  When I was last in your care I left a particular locked trunk in your storeroom.  Please have it cleaned and ready for me.  That is all.



Copyright 2008 Amy Frushour Kelly and Tim Mucci. All rights reserved.

Reproduction by any means prohibited without prior written consent.


posted @ 7:25 am in [ infection -rob -SPASMS ]

Rob has an infection and is on massive anti-biotics. The upshot? He’ll be okay, but I got no sleep whatsoever last night, and now I gotta get ready for work.

Hopefully tonight, after work, drum lessons and whatnot, I’ll write a SPASM.  Fingers crossed that I don’t fall asleep first!

xo, Amy

posted @ 6:12 am in [ SPASMS ]

Thanks to Sue for the first sentence.


“The son of a gun is a bullet,” he says, cradling the revolver.

I don’t know what to say, so I don’t say anything.

He squints up at me, looking for a response.

“Okay,” I say. Lamely.

“In films, how many times have you seen the villain talk to his victim before killing him? Explaining what they’re about, giving some long spiel about the Bible or some such thing?”

“Like in Pulp Fiction?”


I swallow. It isn’t hard to see where he’s going with this. “A lot, I guess.”

He nods. “That never made sense to me. A hit man is hired to perform a task without calling attention to himself or his client. Why prolong the event? Why waste time on chat?”

What am I supposed to say? “Right.”

“I know now, of course. It’s a power trip. He’s not talking to the victim, he’s talking to himself. It’s a way to keep yourself from going crazy. That’s my theory, anyway. For the moment.”

I look down at my shoes.

“Then again, there’s the times when a hit man is a sadist, too. Some of us like to torture our victims. The rationale, I believe, is that the target’s not going to live, anyway. He’s dead the minute we lay eyes on him. He’s a toy now.”

I can’t look at him. And yet, I can’t not look. He’s still watching me, cradling the revolver. “You said the son of a gun is a bullet,” I remember. “What did you mean?”

“The gun is supposed to be phallic. The barrel. But think about it the other way. It’s a birth canal.”


“Or put it another way. A gun is an intention.”

An intention. I shift; my body is itching with anxiety.

He checks the chambers to be sure the gun is loaded. “Don’t look,” he advises.

I blink. How can I not look?

“Please,” he whispers.

In the moment it takes to blink again, blood is spattered all over me. He’s on the floor. The right side of his head is missing. My ears are ringing. The gun is still in his hand.

Great. Now how am I supposed to get out of these ropes?


Copyright 2008 Amy Frushour Kelly. All rights reserved.

Reproduction by any means prohibited without prior written consent.


posted @ 6:57 am in [ killer -middle ages -SPASMS ]


He had murdered two women already. It was difficult now to weigh his compulsion to kill against the widening police investigation. The urge to kill was mitigated by his instinct to stay alive and free.

Fortunately, the murderer was an intelligent man, a reader. He enjoyed books on history and science. He was also good with his hands. This all came into play when he hit upon his most brilliant idea: to build a time machine.

Feudal England—or, rather, Angleland— was the perfect place for him. No police force, no forensic science, fingerprinting, technology. Additionally, late Middle English was close enough to what people spoke in modern-day England that he believed he could get by. The possibility of killing an ancestor was remote, as his family hailed from Russia. The schematics for the time machine were downloaded from the internet. He gauged that he might be able to travel to the Middle Ages, but probably not back. That meant no toilets. No baths. No modern medicine, were he to be injured or fall ill. Very well, he would take precautions, get any applicable immunizations. True serial killers had to be perfect planners. His own case required a special kind of care.

It took years to build the time machine. During that time, the murderer schooled himself in the technology, trying desperately to engineer a method of return. He was growing older, and the thought of being stuck in feudal England at an advanced age with no medical care did not appeal much to him. Still, he held up his dream of finally being able to satiate his urges. That would have to suffice until the machine could be built and he could travel back and forth safely.

Finally, he discovered that while it was impossible to return from the past, it was possible to return from the future. This was because the future hadn’t happened yet, he reasoned, and this discovery agreed with current scientific theory. He was disappointed, but realized that he was, after all, in possession of a working time machine. He decided to write a paper and hold a press conference. Soon, he was a very rich, if somewhat old, man.

Years later, in his seventies, he decided there was nothing holding him back now. He was old, and he would die soon. Why not go back and satisfy his compulsion? He wrote a note, vaguely explaining that he was going back in time to fulfill a lifelong dream, and entered the time machine.

Instantaneously, he appeared in the middle of a street, crowded with serfs who immediately recognized him as a witch and stoned him to death.


Copyright 2008 Amy Frushour Kelly. All rights reserved.

Reproduction by any means prohibited without prior written consent.



posted @ 4:16 pm in [ SPASMS ]

Of the two sisters, Karen was the nice one. Marilyn was the one most likely to do something stupid. Which was exactly what she did, one too many times. When Marilyn was caught driving drunk, she already had a suspended license for exactly that reason.

Easy enough to solve, she thought. “Sorry, officer, I forgot my license. My name’s Karen Cauldwell, and I live at—” she was slurring, but sober enough to give her sister’s address.

The officer checked, and sure enough, a Karen Cauldwell matching the drunk’s description lived at that address. The face that came up on the computer screen was similar enough to that of the drunk, and the physical description—five foot six, brown hair, green eyes—fit. Marilyn was booked and fingerprinted under Karen’s name, and Karen’s license was suspended.

The first thing Marilyn did when she was released on bail the next day was go online to the Department of Motor vehicles site and change Karen’s address to her own. That way, the suspension notice would be mailed to Marilyn’s own home, Marilyn would pay the fine, switch Karen’s address back, and nobody would be the wiser. Karen wouldn’t get mad, and Marilyn wouldn’t get in trouble.

Except that the very day after her address was changed without her permission, Karen went to the DMV to renew her license, and found it was suspended. Angry, Karen paid the fine—she had to have a license, after all—and determined to confront her sister.

But a couple of bad checks Marilyn had written caught up with her, and she left town, pronto. Karen arrived at Marilyn’s apartment, only to find her sister gone.

Well. Time to play a little identity theft herself, Karen mused. Her husband had ruined her credit before their divorce. Marilyn had just been given a credit card by some credit company who wasn’t paying attention. Karen went through the unopened mail, found the card, and decided the American Express card with the $5,000 limit was payback for the fine.

But Karen was basically a decent person. She could never let a bill go without paying it. In no time at all, Marilyn’s credit rating had skyrocketed.

A year later and several states away, Marilyn developed a drug habit. Inevitably, she hit upon the idea of calling up for a credit card. She was astonished to be awarded a $14,000 card with no questions asked.

Karen was disappointed, but not surprised, to find the credit rating she’d worked so hard to establish dropping before her very eyes. It wasn’t difficult to track her sister down in Nevada. Karen didn’t bother contacting Marilyn to let her know she was in town; she simply waited in the dark alley behind the diner where Marilyn worked, with the engine running. When Marilyn came out from her shift, Karen floored it.

Afterwards, Karen took the new credit card and ID card from Marilyn’s wallet. She put her own driver’s license in its place and drove away.

A crackhead came upon Marilyn’s body a short time later. The woman wasn’t too strung out to take Karen’s driver’s license and the cash.

That license sure would come in handy.


Copyright 2008 Amy Frushour Kelly. All rights reserved.

Reproduction by any means prohibited without prior written consent.



posted @ 8:14 am in [ hypnotism -SPASMS ]


The Great Mesmero entered the room and spoke to the young woman sitting at the computer. “You have not vacuumed, I perceive.”

She turned in her chair. “No. I was over at the next-door neighbor’s all morning. Lucky for you, she’s not going to press charges.”

The Great Mesmero smiled and made a small gesture, as though he were wiping something away. “But of course. That is to be expected, my dear.”

“Not forever. Post-hypnotic suggestion doesn’t last too long. I had to promise her you’d fix the broken tread on her front steps before she agreed not to make a fuss.”

The Great Mesmero turned to look at Gail. “I didn’t break her steps. I never even entered her yard.”

“I know, I know, all you did was work in the garden naked and convince her that you were really wearing clothes. I get it. Kinky, but you didn’t hurt anybody. The thing is, she remembered after a while. She was in the house, doing some dishes, and suddenly realized you were out there in your birthday suit, and that’s when she started screaming. But she’s okay now, and like I said, she’s not pressing charges.”

The Great Mesmero stroked his goatee thoughtfully. “Perhaps I should pay her a call.”

“Perhaps you should wear pants when you go outside! Geez!”

The Great Mesmero patted her shoulder. “I shall endeavor to remember. The mere fact that I did such a thing really does, in your parlance, suck. But I shall make a clean sweep. You do not need to—”

“I don’t vacuum, Frank. Administrative assistants don’t clean. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to finish answering your fan mail. Oh, and we might have a gig in Finland. Hopefully we’ll hammer out the details this afternoon.” She glanced down at her desktop and saw the envelope. “And another thing. The blank pieces of paper won’t work on me. I want a real paycheck by the end of the day, or I walk.”

The Great Mesmero nodded, embarrassed. It was rather unfortunate that his new assistant wasn’t susceptible to suggestion.


Copyright 2008 Amy Frushour Kelly. All rights reserved.

Reproduction by any means prohibited without prior written consent.


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