Thursday, January 31, 2008

THE WEIRD GODS by Spencer Troxell

The weird gods climbed down from the moon, past low-hanging clouds and upon leafless treetops. Their unusual boots first touched ground in a parking lot in the city. The snow crunched.
“Probably we should eat.” Said The First. His beard long, his eyes
like strange reflectors.
“Probably indeed.” Croaked The Other. They stepped into the
shadows, and it wasn’t long before they found a meal particular to their peculiar sensibilities.
“To do down here, not much.” Said The First again. It was usually The First that broke the silence, and usually The Other that replied. This is how it had been for countless ages. The Other grunted in affirmation.
They stalked down the sides of the interstate. Vehicles hissed by on the wet concrete, illuminating the odd figures in flashes with their headlights. The gods stepped over fading soda cans and discarded plastic bags. A deer--blown open and decomposing--laid awkwardly in their path.
The Weird gods exchanged glances as they stepped over the corpse.
There was a small, silver diner up ahead. The First said, “I see
it.“ The other grunted. The bell on the door rang as they opened it.
There weren’t many patrons in the diner. The Weird gods took a seat in a corner booth. They looked at one another.

Eventually the waitress arrived, and, somewhat startled at their
askew appearances, asked them what they wanted.
“Just coffee.” Said the first.
“Coming, they should keep.” croaked the other. The waitress nodded in understanding and scurried off.
“Does you have the item?” Asked the other, breaking regular
“I does.” Said the first, withdrawing from his person a strange
little leather bag with a tight drawstring around the top. He carefully undid the drawstring, and plunged a cruddy finger inside. He withdrew a quarter. The Other smiled, and nodded in approval.
There was a little jukebox at the end of the table, next to the wall, as there is in so many roadside diners. The First pressed the arrow buttons on the bottom of it, and examined the lit up selections carefully before coming to one that seemed to satisfy him.
“Ah.” said the first.
The other grunted in response. The first dropped in the quarter, and pressed a button. The Weird gods folded their hands in front of them, and waited for their coffee. Just as they had done once a decade, for the last three.
The song playing ended, and a new song began. Their coffee arrived, with a pitcher so they could refill their cups as they wished. As the first notes of the new song began, thin, crooked lines began to spread across their faces, as the weird ones gave themselves to smile; a once a decade practice.
Patsy Cline sang, “I used to have big money, that was many moons ago…” And the weird gods drank their coffee. When the song was over, they got up quietly and went. They drank no more than two cups of coffee per, and left no tip.

Spencer Troxell lives in Cincinnati with his wife and two kids. He is pursuing a degree in Psychology at the University of Cincinnati, and works at a bank part-time to supplement the income brought in by his long-suffering, beautiful wife. His work has appeared at Why Vandalism, Thieves Jargon, Zygote In My Coffee, Word Riot, Eyeshot, Mannequin Envy, and a few other places. He keeps a blog at

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