Story opening.

Thomas Coyne woke every morning to the sound of crying. Sometimes, it was his two-year-old daughter Maddie, the hiccuping yelps ratcheting out of her throat in staccato gasps – ah-huh, ah-huh – and signifying nothing more than a blind need for love and attention and a fresh diaper. Sometimes, it was his wife.


  1. Cubeland Mystic says

    I don’t like Coyne. How about Thomas Coletti? It has a nicer ring to it.

  2. Matthew Lickona says

    Is this the subtle race-baiting you mentioned? Look, the virtue of “Coyne” is that it sounds just like “coin,” no?

  3. The morning this first began, it had alarmed him. But, after 9 years, the tears had become drops from a leaky faucet…one more irritating than the next.

  4. I guess I should have said “his wife’s tears.”

  5. Cubeland Mystic says

    No, no I would never knowingly foment ethnic strife.

    Sure if you put it that way, I think there is an ironic virtue in it, such that it could represent the two extreme attitudes toward money in Irish culture. Good thinking mate.

  6. Coyne sat in bed, eyes riveted to the cieling and finger drilling for crude in his right nostril.
    There was for Coyne a hierarchy of nosepicking. The lowest degree was known as Prospector – a casual pushing around of the index finger into the near approaches of the nasal cavity. The second degree was Badger – a serious exploration of the clingiest detritus his nose could command. The final degree was Exxon.

    Exxon was hardcore.

    It often drew blood.

    It often left his nostrils feeling fatigued.

    And this morning, he was already working in high Exxon. He didn’t even bother with the preliminaries of moving slowly, subltey up the hierarchy. It was Exxon or bust.

    It was always Conye’s practice when he had a problem to solve. Taxes due? Exxon. Wife late? Exxon? Someone takes the urinal next to his? Exxon.

    And this morning was definitely an Exxon kind of morning.


  7. Cubeland Mystic says


    Tears resulting from laughter. You’re a complex man. I sense much pain.

    God bless you.

  8. CM:


    Only in my nares, only in my nares…


  9. JOB-

    Love it. Thanks to Cover to Cover, I can hear your emphasis on “hierarchy of nosepicking.”

  10. JOB-

    Love it. Thanks to Cover to Cover, I can hear your emphasis on “hierarchy of nosepicking.”

  11. Lindsay,

    But you did.

    But you did.

    But you did.



    I’m assuming this was an inviation from our dearly beloved host. So please, let’s hear from everyone. What’s Coyne going to do next? Surely, CM, you have something to contribute?…


  12. Matthew Lickona says

    JOB, you poor bastard. By “all,” of course, you mean “both.” As in the number of Godsbody readers on any given day.

  13. Matthew,

    Yes, I do feel a bit of the poor professor of somethingology who’s pupils have all dilated beyond comprehension…

    And only the sound of the crickets to keep me company.


  14. Cubeland Mystic says

    An Exxon morning it was indeed, because the previous evening Mrs. Coyne drove the price of light sweet crude well over $130 a barrel. His bedtime distress was such that it required a swig of bourbon and an Excedrin PM to close his eyes.

    At that price Coyne could afford to drill deep toward the sinal core. He drilled until he reached his special place. A seventh mansion of inner solitude where he wore purple robes, and green Orion slaves girls danced for him.

    And they danced until he felt the sharp stab of Mrs. Coyne’s index finger in his shoulder. He opened his eyes to find Yeoman Rand standing above him with a tissue and a scowl .

    “Here . . .” she said handing him the tissue, “. . . I’ll get the baby.”

    “I should’ve held out for the slave girls.” He thought wiping his finger.

    “I got Yeoman Rand instead. The magic triangle clouds a man’s thinking.”

    He sat up to mutter his morning offering.

    “Lord, Please let me live till my youngest is eighteen. That‘s all I‘m asking right now.”

  15. Cubeland Mystic says

    Sorry I was so late. Who’s next? Rufus, MCM, ~Ted, Mark Thomas, Lindsay, Dorian Speed, Johnny Vino, Another Coward Anonymous?

    It’s all there to work with. Nose-picking, prayer, death, fear, doubt, sex, money, hierarchies, God, bourbon, children, marriage, tears, commodities, star trek, and Carmelite spirituality.

  16. CM,

    What crap! I was first!!

    Was it so bad that you have already forgetten?

  17. CM:

    With “sinal core” I think you’ve discovered a new degree.

    Let’s call it Mindfudge.


    And with your post I too laugh with tears!


    Yes, first! First and therefore the pointguard – you shall not be forgotten!

    To CM’s defense, I believe that our erudite cubiclist is trying to roust the rest to verbal action…

    And, when all have expended our respective inner fictionalists, then we’ll have a second go around, and then a third, and then we all take a break for a deep draught of fire water and do it all again…

    By the time we’re done with Matthew’s work, he will have learned a hard and bone-bitter lesson in better guarding his word-hoard of opening lines from the Barblogbarian Hordes….

    And don’t forget, CM, we also want ML (not to be confused with our host, whose initials run conterminous) to step up to the plate….

    Quisnam est tunc?


  18. Cubeland Mystic says

    Lindsay I surely did not forget you. I forgot Ernesto of which I am ashamed. Sorry dude. To my defense it was a hard week and 1AM.

    Lindsay you are responsible for the setting the tone for the fight, wife’s scowl, and “irritation” caused doubt. Like the Borg everyone’s style was assimilated.

    Ernesto, ML, and the phalanx of attorneys who read Godsbody, your contributions please.

    I have to drink some tea now.

  19. Yeah, yeah.

  20. Anonymous says

    She stared down at the crying baby. Hadn’t she really had enough of the nose picking? Hadn’t she, for that matter, had enough of the crying baby? And what about George, Leon, Frank, and Thomas? Weren’t they going to end up just like their father? A chorus of expert nose pickers. She recalled a joke he had made not too long ago. When we get divorced, he had said, we will be asking people to write letters to the judge saying how unfit parents we are, so neither of us has to keep the kids. She closed her eyes, sighed and picked up the baby. There just wasn’t time to plan an escape. (okay. my lame contrabution.) mcm

  21. Cubeland Mystic says

    “A chorus of expert nose pickers.” is not lame. It is funny.

  22. Anonymous says

    thanks cm! mcm

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