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The Awful Possibilities: Excerpt Print E-mail
Saturday, 30 January 2010

ss Attacks! [mini-book exceprt]
by Christian TeBordo

Rules and Regulations in Lamination Colony.

PERFECTLY BANAL: Postcards (throughout the book!):

A short story from the book:

The Champion of Forgetting

Here is a list of failures.
I was staying in a hotel room with some people. I didnít know their names. I wasnít their friend. Not the kind where you say hi my nameís and hi my nameís and then you call each other names. Before I was staying in the hotel room I was walking down Market and they snatched me into their van so I was kidnapped.
Whatís that called after youíre kidnapped. When youíre just staying in the hotel room. There wasnít tape on my mouth or chains. On my wrist or anything. You could walk around in it and watch television. You could go for ice so the door wasnít locked. From the inside.
The first time I went for ice I had to knock to get back in. That was when we made up the idea to put a thing in the door when I went for ice. Or somebody else for something else. A shoe or ashtray.
One of the men slipped the metal chain from the wall between the door and the frame. That was the only chain unless it was a metal bar. The girl had failed the test anyway. It was a good hotel room. My first.
It wasnít the only hotel room. Sometimes there were others. One at a time. It looked like the other ones we lived in. Two men a woman and me. Four. And yes there was sex. Sometimes there was sex in the other hotel rooms. On either side of us unless we were on the end.
Sometimes when there was sex in another hotel room a man said a womanís name or a woman said a manís.
Sometimes in our hotel room a man said a womanís name or the woman said a manís. Sometimes when there was sex. Sometimes when there was not. I donít know if it was the real names. Sometimes they were different. Sometimes they were the same which was not often. Or I donít remember because I was the champion of forgetting.
When we got to the hotel room. The first time I got to the hotel room. After I got kidnapped. When I wasnít kidnapped anymore. When there wasnít tape on my mouth. When I was in the van there was tape on my mouth but not in the hotel room.
At first there was tape on my mouth and my wrists. Thatís when the man who was our leader then said not to say my name. And the woman said better forget your name.
If you donít say your name you donít forget your name and you always want to say it. This is how I was for a while. When the tape was on my mouth. Sometimes I said my name because who even knows what youíre talking about with tape on your mouth. But when there wasnít any more tape I bit my tongue. It hurts to bite your tongue.
When you forget your name you donít bite your tongue. Why would you. You donít want to say it and you donít say it. If you do you donít know because itís forgotten. Itís suddenly somebody elseís and youíve forgotten theirís too.
This is the way that it works.
One time when it was my turn to register for the hotel room. They give you cash from the box of cash and you say you would like a room for your name and give the man or woman at the desk the money they gave you and the man or woman gives you a key. A key is a symbol of a room to them.
I said I would like a room and the man. I donít remember his name. The man behind the counter said what is your name. I didnít remember my name because I had forgotten it. I gave him the money but he didnít give me a key.
When I got back to the van the man who was our leader then. The leader gives you money from the cash box and says what hotel to drive to or what hotel you are driving to if you ask and whose turn it is to drive and who to kidnap and whoís turn it is to register for the hotel room. Also some of the sexual things. That time it was mine.
The leader said that it was a test and I had failed the test. I almost never knew when I was getting tested. Especially when I was first kidnapped and for the time after that I donít know what to call. An example of this is the first test. The first test they said was a test.
The first test. What I think of as the first test they did not say was a test. One of them said do you think sheís a screamer and another one said thereís only one way to find out. The one who said the second thing. She was the woman. She dug a little corner of the tape away from the skin of my face. Then she pulled off the whole tape.
I didnít scream. The girl said see she didnít scream but not that I had passed a test.
The first test that they said was a test. There was a needle and the needle went in my arm. I didnít scream but that was not this test. Blood came out of my arm through the needle and filled up the tube of it.
While I was not screaming but there was still blood coming out I said what are you doing. The man who was doing it. The leader. He said itís a test.
When the tube was full he gave it to the woman and the woman took it to the bathroom. I asked if the test was over but it was not. I got nervous about the test because some of it was happening in the bathroom where I couldnít do anything about it and I didnít know how much of it was happening where I was so I let him put a wad of cotton over the spot on my arm that the blood came out of and apply gentle pressure.
It felt good until the woman came out of the bathroom with a look on her face. The pressure became more than gentle for a second.
The woman said her blood is wrong and we canít do sex to her right now.
The man let go of my arm and walked out of the hotel room. He forgot to leave a shoe in the door, so I went and did it for him. Then I took a nap for loss of blood or to forget about the failure.
There were more tests but they only admitted it sometimes. Only when I failed except once.

To be continued in...

The Awful Possibilities

The Awful Possibilities
By Christian TeBordo

"Quentin Tarantino on short story juice. The violence and depravity ride the surface, where I like them, and the heart is a lyrical heart. Add to that creepy postcards with cryptic messages and this collection attacks from all sides." óJeff Parker, Author of Ovenman

April 2010! A girl masters the art of forgetting among kidney thieves. A motivational speaker skins his best friend to impress his wife. A man outlines the rules and regulations for sadistic childrearing. Youíve heard these people whispering in hallways, mumbling in diners, shouting in the apartment next door. In brilliantly strange set pieces that explode the boundaries of short fiction, Christian TeBordo locates the awe in the awful possibilities we could never have imagined.

Christian TeBordo has published three novels. This is his first collection of short fiction. He lives in Philadelphia. Read his blog at

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