Category Archives: Black Comedy

The Lobster Guy (END)

Lobster. Coastal town.

Maggie Barrymore stood in the center of the main room of Truman Humboldt’s modest home in Neptune, Nebraska. Her head slowly moved as she looked around at the odd curiosity that was his life. It was one of the strangest places she had ever seen, she thought to herself. In essence, it was more of a lobster museum than a home. She sniffed the air, and the smell wasn’t unpleasant, just different. It smelled like the cold, hard sea, and she could almost taste the salt on her tongue. How was that possible?

“You sure do have a lot of lobster stuff,” she said. “You really love lobsters.”

“Well, yes, I suppose I do,” Truman answered as he worked his way around the room clicking on lobster lamps and trying to tidy up without her noticing too much. He hadn’t been expecting such beautiful company and he didn’t want her to get grossed out. He kicked a pair of lobster underwear under a sitting chair.

Truman paused for a moment and looked at Maggie as she stood inside his home. She had a glow about her that resembled magical gold inside a pirate’s sea chest. He had a woman inside his home, Truman thought, and he could barely believe it. The only way it could get any better, he imagined, is if she turned into a mermaid. He envisioned her poised on a jagged rock being whipped by the sea. She had clam shells covering her intelligent breasts and her yellow hair flowed behind her like a war banner.

Truman shook himself out of the daydream and went to clear some things off the couch. “Sorry about the mess. Go ahead, have a seat,” he said to her, and he gestured with an arm.

She smiled at him and went to sit down. She nervously moved some of that golden hair behind an ear.

“Can I get you something to drink?” Truman asked her.

“I’ll take a Mr. Pibb if you have it.”

“You like Mr. Pibb? I like Mr. Pibb. I mean, I tried to find lobster soda of course, but nobody sells lobster soda.”

“Hmm. I wonder why,” Maggie smirked.

“Right. Do you like ice? Because I like ice in mine.”


Truman skipped off to the kitchen and Maggie heard him rummaging through cabinets, fumbling with glasses, and then filling them with ice. As he popped open one of the cans and began pouring the brown, bubbly liquid, the lobster ghost’s voice returned to Truman’s head in the most haunting way, like he was tapping on his mind with a little wooden hammer and repeating the words he had spoken in the car after their luncheon at Red Lobster — “Are you seriously going to just let her stomp on your heart such as she did without the slightest retaliation? Where’s your sense of personal pride and self-esteem? Where’s your sense of revenge?”

“Leave me alone!” Truman blurted out.

Maggie stiffened in the other room. “Everything okay in there?”

“Everything’s fine, Miss Maggie. Fine as Georgia peach pie.”

Truman held a hand to each side of his head and gritted his teeth as the lobster ghost continued to bully his brain into doing something his heart had no intention of doing. But the threatening voice was playing tricks on Truman and little by little was beginning to make perfect sense to him — “She doesn’t deserve to live. But you, my friend, you deserve a full life, a life unencumbered by the stinging pain of shattered love. You deserve all the success and happiness the world has to offer… But you’ll never have it as long as that stain in your life exists. Snuff it out, Truman. Make things right. Restore the balance. Blot her from this Earth.”

Truman clutched the edge of the kitchen counter with both hands. His heart was racing, his breathing quietly furious. Was he having a panic attack? he wondered.

“Truman?” Maggie called from the other room again. “Are you sure everything is okay?”

“Yes. I’ll be right there,” he answered. Then to the auditory hallucinations from the throat of the lobster ghost he cried, “Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! I will not!”

When Truman returned to the living room, he set the glass of fizzing Mr. Pibb on the coffee table in front of her. “There you go.”

Maggie picked up the glass and looked in it. The ice cubes were shaped like lobsters. “Thanks.” She put the glass to her lips and took a drink. “You know, I’m really surprised you don’t have any live lobsters roaming around this place,” Maggie laughed.

Truman took a big gulp of his Mr. Pibb. He eyed her through the glass as it was tilted up against him. The picture of her was warbled. “Well, Miss Maggie,” he began. “That’s very interesting you should say that. I do happen to have some live lobsters. Would you like to come down to my basement and see them?”

Maggie looked up at him and she caught a sense that he had somehow changed in the past few minutes. There was something different about him, he wasn’t as naïve and wholesome anymore. “Your basement?”

“Well, I don’t let them just run around loose. They’d tear up the furniture. And they need water, and I can’t keep a lobster tank in my living room now can I,” Truman laughed, and then he took another drink of his Mr. Pibb and exaggerated his enjoyment of it. “That would be weird, Maggie, and I’m not that weird… Come on. Let’s go take a look.”

Truman moved toward the kitchen and beyond to where the door to the basement was. Maggie hesitated. “You’re not scared, are you?” Truman said, looking back. “They won’t hurt you. I promise. They’re beautiful and peaceful creatures…” He chuckled oddly like he often does. “And delicious.”

Maggie sat her glass down on the table and got up to follow him. “I’m not scared.”

The tank sat against a far wall in the mostly barren basement that smelled like a basement. The watery cage bubbled beneath a bank of soft lights. “Go ahead,” Truman said to her, placing a gentle hand on her back. “Introduce yourself.”

Maggie crept closer to the tank while Truman stayed behind her. Once more, the words of the lobster ghost invaded his mind of scrambled eggs — “You’ll regret not putting her in her proper place when you had the chance. You’ll be drowning in regret, and regret, my friend, is never a pleasant thing.”

Maggie felt him directly behind her as she bent a bit to look down into the tank where three lobsters sat huddled together in the water. Truman reached his hands up and they trembled as they moved toward the back of her head. And for a moment, Truman thought, that he might even come to enjoy hearing her struggle when he pushed her head down in the water and held it there. Maybe she would thrash about and kick at him, and he’d have to clamp a hand on her firm ass to settle her down. What a wonderful way to send her to the other side.

But right before he was nearly moved to do her in by some unseen, yet not unknown, force, something better came over his heart and he stopped himself. His arms dropped to his sides and then he moved like air and was standing right beside her, looking down at the lobsters with her, their elbows touching. “That’s Larry, Curly, and Moe,” he said softly. “You know, like the Three Stooges. They’re my friends.”

“Oh,” Maggie said, pretending to be interested. “That’s cute.”

“Lobsters aren’t cute, Maggie. They’re crustaceans. They’re ugly, but people still love them. I guess that’s why I love them so much. We’re not much different, the lobsters and I. We understand each other. They make me feel better about myself. They help me accept my place in this world and be okay with that.”

Maggie turned to look at him, the rhythmic reflection of the water in the lobster tank danced on Truman’s innocent but troubled face. She put a hand to his cheek, and he turned to lock eyes with her.

“I want to bathe you,” she said to him. “I want you to feel loved while in the water… Like how you love these lobsters.”

“Oh, Miss Maggie,” Truman said. “That’s the most wonderful thing anyone has ever said to me.” He looked down into the water of the lobster tank. “Do you hear that, guys? A woman wants to give me a bath.”

Maggie laughed. “You’re crazy.” She leaned in and kissed him. “Now,” she said in a breathy whisper. “Let’s get you clean so that we can get dirty.”

Truman stood while she released him completely from the confines of the tuxedo. She ran her hands all over his naked, pale body. He relished her sensual touch. He trembled.

 “Are you nervous, Truman?” Maggie asked.

“A little.” Truman stuttered.

“You don’t have to be,” she breathed, and she proceeded to get down on the floor. She began gently kissing the tops of his feet, up his legs, and to where he was hard and jutting straight out at her face. She kissed him there, too, and he shuddered. Then she moved up across his stomach, his chest. She stood and kissed up and down each arm, his shoulders, and all over his neck, his chin, his face. Truman had never been smothered in kisses and he could barely breathe.

Maggie glanced over at the rumpled bed. “I like your lobster sheets,” she whispered in his ear. “Do you want to roll around in them with me after I bathe you?”

“Yes, Miss Maggie… I want to pound you with my lobster mallet.”

She giggled. “Oh, Truman. You’re being bad.”

Maggie took him by the hand and walked him to the bathroom. She bent over the edge of the tub and reached in to turn on the water. “How hot do you like it?”

“Very hot,” Truman answered. “If you look in the refrigerator, you’ll see a plate with a big hunk of butter, and some sliced up lemon on it. I like to have it in my bath water. It makes me feel like a lobster.”

She shook her head at him. “But you’re not a lobster, Truman. You’re a man. A real man. And you don’t need butter and lemon to prove that to me. Get in the water.”

Truman glanced once at the tub, the water now rising and steaming, and then back to Miss Maggie. He smiled shyly. “Okay.” He got into the water and slowly sank down to a sitting position. “Oh, that feels good, Miss Maggie.”

She glanced at a cake of soap shaped like a lobster that sat in a lobster-shaped soap dish in the corner of the tub. She grabbed it, dunked it in the water, and then lathered it up in her hands. She “accidentally” let it pop out of her grasp and it fell between Truman’s legs. “Oh, no,” she giggled, and she reached down and felt around in the water, making sure to touch his man parts in the process. “My, my, Truman. Your little sailor is standing at attention again.”

Truman leaned his head back and closed his eyes as she gripped him tightly. She retrieved the lobster soap with her free hand and started to rub it all over him, coating Truman in a pinkish, sudsy foam. She washed him everywhere, from his toes to his face.

She released her grip on him and leaned back and laughed. “You look so cute. But now it’s time to rinse. Come on, sink down.”

Truman smiled, held his nose, clamped his eyes tight and went under the water. Maggie looked at the very top of his head just breaking the surface, and that’s when her hands moved quickly, and she forcefully held him down.

Truman started jerking, then slapping at the water. Maggie let him come up for a breath of air for just a moment before holding him back down again. The next time he came up, Truman was spewing and gagging, and he screamed out as best he could, “Miss Maggie! What are you doing!?”

She gripped him tightly by the hair and spoke into his face. “I know you were at my house the other night, you slimy creep. I know you were watching me. Did you like it? Did you get off to it? Huh? You’re a peeping Truman. You’re sick.”

“No, Miss Maggie. No… It’s nothing like that. I… I just wanted to surprise you with a special visit. I just wanted to spend some time with you.”

She forced his head under the water once more and held him there for a few moments in a gesture of torture before pulling him back up. “You were going to tell on me, weren’t you?” she said. “You were going to make me out to be the town tramp. You wanted to ruin my reputation and get me fired, didn’t you?”

“I’m begging you, Miss Maggie. No. That was never my intention. I just wanted to love you. I wanted you to love me. Is that all so horrible!?”

“Love? What do you know about love… You lobster freak.” Once more, she forced him under the water. This time, she raised herself up so that she could put more weight down on him. She pushed and pushed and pushed. Truman’s struggling started to weaken and she released him, and he broke the surface one last time.

Truman was somewhat delirious, his head wobbled, his speech was soft and slurred. “I… I should have listened to him and done you in when I had the chance. But I just couldn’t Miss Maggie.” His eyes rolled in her direction. “I couldn’t do it… Because I love you. I still love you…”

She shoved him under the water once more and this time Truman did not struggle. He just let it be until he finally let go and returned to the eternal sea.

Once she knew it was done, Maggie jumped back and stood over the tub. She looked down at Truman as he slept dead in the water. She did nothing else except check her face in the mirror, turn off the light and walk out.

The next day, as Truman’s lifeless body soaked in the killing tub on the other side of the house, his telephone rang. It rang once, twice, three times, and each time it rang the sound punctuated the lonely dead air with even greater intensity. The voice on the other end eventually came across as a message on the answering machine following the insidious beep:

Hello, I’m calling for Truman Humboldt. Truman, this is Brian Brando. I’m the general manager at the Red Lobster in Lincoln and I’ve been looking over your job application and would very much like to speak to you about some open positions we have here at our fine establishment. So, if you could, please call me back at your earliest convenience so we can set up an interview. My number here is 402-446-8397. Again, this is Brian Brando, general manager. Thank you very much, Truman, and have a wonderful Red Lobster day. Goodbye.

A claw of the lobster ghost pushed down on a button and listened to the message again. He looked off through the walls and to where Truman was dead. He shook his head in great disappointment, great dismay.

The lobster ghost floated into the bathroom and drained the tub. He was greatly pained as he looked down at Truman the way he was. He pulled him out of the tub and carried him to his bed where he laid him atop the crinkled lobster sheets. He wrapped him up in them as best he could.

The lobster ghost then went out into the living room to think about things. He noticed the open Seinfeld DVD case. He hopped up on the couch and worked the remote controls of Truman’s home entertainment system. He sat back and watched The Hamptons episode, and he laughed out loud. “Ha! That’s great stuff.”

When it was over, he shut everything off and went back to the bedroom where Truman was wrapped up in the lobster sheets. He picked him up and carried him to the front door and out into the ghastly world. The lobster ghost smelled the air and started walking east, still holding Truman, and he did not waver or stop walking until he got all the way to the coast of Maine and the last bed of his friend’s dreams.


Thank you for reading and supporting independent writers and publishers. If you missed any of the previous episodes, there’s 10 of them, please visit Please consider subscribing with your email below to receive notifications of new posts. It’s free to follow!

The Lobster Guy (Ten)

The Lobster Guy at the theater.

Truman Humboldt glanced once in the rear-view mirror and the lobster ghost was gone. All he saw was the brown bowl where Lincoln, Nebraska sat in the distance like ripening fruit of varied shapes and shades, the orange and smoky image now growing ever smaller as the miles ticked off in the opposite direction.

Truman sighed deeply. He suddenly felt very free and uplifted. And although he was returning to the garbage town of Neptune and the awful job of breaking chicken necks at the processing plant, he looked beyond all that to a brighter future that he truly believed was within his grasp.

It was late afternoon when he finally returned the car to the rental office. He looked the vehicle over, smiled, and then patted the hood. “Thanks for the wonderful ride to Red Lobster,” he said. “I’ll never forget it.”

 Truman slipped the keys and the official paperwork into the slot provided outside. He turned, put his hands on his hips and took a deep breath. “Ah,” he exhaled. “My future knows no bounds. No bounds whatsoever.”

Truman felt so good that he decided to take a stroll through the sad downtown and get himself an ice cream at Sundaes in Neptune, one of the few local places with life and one that was actually worth something. He felt he deserved a treat… Finally.  

Once he got to the shop with the big glass windows full of colorful scenes depicting an ice cream and candy wonderland, he pulled the door open and a bell tinkled with welcoming, signaling that he indeed must be alive. The place smelled of sugar and chocolate and happy memories and Truman went to the counter where a blonde teeny bopper wearing a paper white hat and a bright glossy smile greeted him. He was still wearing his lobster-red tuxedo complete with top hat and walking cane and she seemed impressed, or maybe just puzzled.

“Hi! Welcome to Sundaes in Neptune,” she bubbled. “What’s your pleasure today?”

Truman’s eyes danced over the large menu above and behind her and its wide variety of choices. “Hmm,” Truman thought out loud. “Do you have any lobster ice cream?”

The girl laughed. “Lobster ice cream? Eww. No, sir. I’m afraid we don’t have any lobster ice cream… I don’t think I’ve ever seen lobster ice cream. Is that real… Or are you just fooling with me?” She was very electric and talkative. “That’s a great outfit by the way. Did you just come from a wedding?”

“No,” Truman said as he still perused the menu. “I had lunch at Red Lobster.”

“Oh,” the girl said, casting an awkward glance in his direction and then turning to look up at the menu board along with him. “Do you like peppermint? The peppermint is my favorite.”

“I want ice cream, not toothpaste. I think I’ll go with the cherry chocolate delight in a sugar cone please,” Truman decided.

“Oh. Yummy yum yum,” the girl said, and she grabbed a silver scooper and dug into the bucket of cherry chocolate delight and plopped it atop a crispy sugar cone wrapped in gentle pink paper around the bottom half. “Just one scoop?”

“This is a special occasion. Make it two scoops,” Truman beamed.

“You got it,” the girl said, and she piled two meaty balls of ice cream on the cone and held it while he got his money out. He paid her and she handed him his special treat.
“Wow,” Truman said, smiling like a kid. “Awesome sauce… This looks great. Thanks.”

“Have a good rest of this beautiful day,” the girl said as Truman made his way toward the door. He turned and hoisted his cone as in a toast to the whole world. “It is a beautiful day!” he exclaimed with a broad smile, and he went back out into the grime and abandonment of the decaying downtown, but it did not soil his good mood. He focused on better days ahead as he walked, licking his ice cream slowly, relishing the present moment of peace and contentment.

It was becoming Sunday evening on the brim of the world, yet there was still light, as he made his way toward home. He stopped in front of the old movie house, The Neptune Theater, now dim and abandoned, irrelevant movie posters left behind, the glass of the ticket booth made opaque by time. He sucked the last of the ice cream from the bottom tip of the cone and looked into the building, past his own hazy reflection.

It had been left to rot, now a sea of soft dust floating about inside, ghosts of good times and laughter or maybe hot kissing in the back row floated through the lobby. Truman regretted never having someone to make out with at the movies. But then he thought, as he pushed the final piece of the cone into his mouth, so what… That was then, and this is now. He used his pointer finger to write something on the grimy glass: Be Here Now.

He stepped back and admired his proclamation for the world to relish in and hopefully live by; a proclamation that would eventually wash away but hold true forever, he thought. And he stuck his hands in the pockets of his lobster-red tuxedo pants and continued walking toward home.

Not long after Truman’s prophesizing at the old theater, a car came by and drove up slowly beside him as he walked. He turned to quickly look and then back again. He had no idea who it was or what they wanted. Maybe it was just someone lost and they wanted some directions, Truman thought. But then he realized the car looked somewhat familiar to him.

Then whoever was in the car honked the horn. Truman stopped. The passenger-side window slid down and a beautiful head leaned over and called out to him. “Hey, Truman! What are you doing?”

It was Maggie Barrymore.

Truman was shocked as he moved closer to the car and looked in. The smell of her perfumed, glossy life pleasantly assaulted his face.

“I’m walking home,” he nervously said. “I just got some ice cream.”

Then she laughed at him. “What’s with the wild tux?”

“I had a very important luncheon in Lincoln,” he said, and he straightened up with a sense of pride. He wanted to impress her. “At Red Lobster.”

Maggie Barrymore laughed at him again. “Red Lobster? You went all the way to Lincoln to eat at Red Lobster?”

“Yes,” Truman snapped, somewhat annoyed and not understanding why that seemed so ridiculous to her.

“Okay… I can give you a ride if you want.”

Truman’s eyes darted all around the interior of her nice car. It was clean. It smelled good. The stereo was playing some kind of poppy dance music that he didn’t know anything about. “You don’t mind?” he said. “I mean, you won’t get in trouble for hanging out with a co-worker. I wouldn’t want you to lose your job.”

“No.” She shrugged her smooth, bare shoulders. “It’s Sunday. It’s my day off. No one can tell me what I can or can’t do. Hop in.”

Truman pulled on the door and got in. That girlish smell of the car really got to him, and his heart started thumping. He was with a woman. A real woman. He looked over at her. She was wearing very short pants and he quickly glanced down at her long, lean legs as they worked the pedals. He had to turn away from her and glance out the window.

“You look different without your office clothes,” Truman told her.

“Yeah, I must look like a bum, but hey, it’s my day off, right? But I got to tell you… You look pretty sharp in that tux.”

“Thanks. I figured, hey, it’s Red Lobster. I got to look my best.”

She bit at her bottom lip as she looked over at him. “That’s cool. Were you with friends?”

“No, just by myself. Well, I was with a friend, but we had a disagreement and went our separate ways. The bottom line is, I don’t have any real friends. No one likes me.”

“Oh, Truman. I’m sure that’s not true.”

“It’s true.”

“I like you, and I could be your friend,” she said with a sultry tone almost, and she took her hand and moved it to his leg and gave it a gentle squeeze. “You can never have too many friends, right?”

“Aw, you’re just saying that because you feel sorry for me. And you didn’t want anything to do with me the other day.”

“I’m sorry about that,” Maggie said. “I’m sorry I acted like a jerk. I guess I was having a bad day. I do like you and I mean it when I say I want us to be friends.”

Truman tried to swallow the lump in his throat. “I would really like that,” he said to her.

“All right then,” Maggie said with a playful bob of her head. “Let’s be friends.”

Truman suddenly got excited by an idea. “Hey. After you drop me off… Would you like to come in and watch some Seinfeld with me.” He was sure she would immediately reject the idea. But then she didn’t.

“Sounds like fun,” she said.


“Sure. I could use a few laughs… And some company.”

Truman noticed she suddenly looked a bit sad. “Is something wrong?”

She shook it off with a gentle smile. “No… Just some man trouble.”

Truman leaned back in his seat, somewhat dejected. “You have a boyfriend, huh? I guess that’s not surprising.”

“I wouldn’t say boyfriend. It’s more like recreation,” she said with a laugh. “But you know, relationships of any kind aren’t always easy.”

“Hmm,” Truman hummed. “I wouldn’t know anything about that. Not really.”

She proceeded cautiously with her next question. “You’ve never been in a relationship before?”

“No,” Truman answered. “Can’t say I have.”

Then she chuckled as if he was kidding. “You’ve never had a girlfriend?”

“No, Maggie. I’ve never had a girlfriend.”

“Your entire life?”


“Truman,” she said sympathetically. “That’s terrible.”

“Tell me about it.”

“So… Have you ever kissed anyone?”

Truman turned to look at her. He noticed her lips and thought how well-versed in love they must be. “No. Not in real life.”

Maggie put a hand to her stomach like she was hurting. “That’s so sad.”

“You can turn right at the next block, and then the second right and all the way to the end,” Truman said, and he emitted a soft laugh. “I live at the end of the road.”

When they pulled into the driveway, Maggie shut the car down and turned to look at Truman. “Wait,” she said, and she moved closer to him, held him by the back of the head and pulled him in for his first real kiss.

When their lips parted, Truman relished the cool wetness that lingered. “Damn, Miss Maggie,” he said. “I had no idea it would feel so wonderful. I think my heart is going to explode.”

She giggled and looked down between his legs. “I think something else is about to explode,” she said with a smile. “Let’s go inside.”


Author’s Note: I had fully intended this to be the last installment of this story, but lo and behold, it is not. It has a life of its own. Thanks for reading and keep checking for more on The Lobster Guy. I’ll wrap it up soon.

The Lobster Guy (Nine)

Truman Humboldt’s guts bathed in the euphoric afterglow of a fine midday meal at Red Lobster as the car gently hummed west along Interstate 80 in Nebraska back toward the rubbish town of Neptune and lonely home.

Truman looked over at the lobster ghost glowing like a soft red x-ray in the passenger seat. He hadn’t said much since they had left the restaurant. He seemed to be deep in lobster thought. Truman worried something might be wrong.

“Is there somewhere you’d like me to drop you off?” Truman asked to break the quiet, wondering if the lobster ghost was planning to stick around forever.

The apparition came out of his meditative state and turned to smile at him. “No. I will dissipate when the time is right.”

Truman wasn’t sure what to make of that and looked straight ahead at the line of asphalt stretching out long and flat toward the bare and bone-colored horizon. “I wanted to thank you for encouraging me to apply for a job at Red Lobster. I’m very hopeful about it. I feel good. I sense a bright future is ahead of me.”

“I feel good about it as well,” the lobster ghost replied. “I’m very proud of you for putting yourself out there, for having some confidence in yourself for a change. I truly believe you will be greatly rewarded in the end.”

Truman nodded his head in agreement. “You know, I have so many things going through my head right now, but I’ve been seriously thinking… And once I get my foot in the door at Red Lobster and really show them who I am and what I can do, I’m going to see about getting a transfer to Maine. Maine!”

“That’s a lofty goal, Truman. A lofty yet wonderful goal… But don’t you think you should get the job first?”

They both laughed out loud.

“Right,” Truman said, and he smiled bright as a rainbow as he gripped the steering wheel. “Would you like to listen to my Ocean Sounds CD again?”

“Yes. Let’s get lost in the sounds of water along our journey through this desolate place of dust and dirt. But first I feel there is one important thing we still need to discuss.”

“What’s that?” Truman wondered aloud.

“Maggie Barrymore.”

“What about her?”

“What should be done with her.”

“What do you mean… Done with her?”

“Oh, come on, Truman,” the lobster ghost started off, his tone more ominous than it’s ever been. “Are you seriously going to just let her stomp on your heart such as she did without the slightest retaliation? Where’s your sense of personal pride and self-esteem? Where’s your sense of revenge? You deserved better from her, and you didn’t get it. She threw a fistful of mud in your face. She humiliated you. That’s unforgiveable.”

Truman sighed. “I understand what you’re saying, and yes, I acknowledge the depth of emotional pain I have suffered at her hands and other body parts, but sometimes a man has to take the higher road. Sometimes a man has to just get over it and move on… And that’s what I plan on doing. Move on.”

“Well, of course it’s easy to say that now, Truman,” the lobster ghost tried to explain. “Your head is in the clouds. But what about further along the road when you come back down to Earth. What about when you are sitting all alone in your house in Maine and those painful memories of Maggie Barrymore come creeping in and claw at your guts. Hmm? Life won’t be too enjoyable then. You’ll regret not putting her in her proper place when you had the chance. You’ll be drowning in regret, and regret, my friend, is never a pleasant thing.”

“What do you expect me to do?” Truman asked with a snort and an awkward laugh. “Kill her?”

The lobster ghost’s long-winded silence was answer enough for Truman.

“What!? I can’t kill somebody,” he protested. “That’s taking it a bit too far… Way too far. And I simply won’t do it!”

“But you must!” the lobster ghost cried out, trying to steer his thinking in a different direction. “Think back, Truman. Think of the betrayal. Think of how she treated you. Think of that despicable Mr. Guldencock slobbering all over her. Think about how she liked it, Truman. Think about how she cast you off like a piece of trash at the zoo while she favored him. Why, her heart is colder than the North Atlantic in January. She doesn’t deserve to live. But you, my friend, you deserve a full life, a life unencumbered by the stinging pain of shattered love. You deserve all the success and happiness the world has to offer… But you’ll never have it as long as that stain in your life exists. Snuff it out, Truman. Make things right. Restore the balance. Blot her from this Earth.”

Truman suddenly slowed down and pulled to the side of the highway. He roughly pushed the car’s shifter to P and let the engine idle.

“What are you doing?” the lobster ghost demanded to know.

“I think this is where you should get out,” Truman said with an uncharacteristic degree of authority. “I’m not going to kill her. You’ll never get me to do it… And if you were truly my friend, you wouldn’t force such a thing upon me. I’m not a killer. I’m a lover of lobster. I’m a lover of life!”

“So, this it then, huh?” the lobster ghost said, shaking his head at Truman. “You’re just going to leave me on the side of the highway in Nebraska,” and he glanced out the window for a moment. “Without even a puddle of leftover rainwater to soak myself in. Hmm. Some friend you are, all right. Some friend indeed.”

“Don’t try to make me feel bad,” Truman snapped. “You don’t even really exist. You’re in my head. But now I want you out.”

“All right, Truman,” the lobster ghost said as he undid his seatbelt and moved a claw toward the door handle. “But let me just say this. I hope when the day comes, and it will come, that you are writhing in unbearable emotional pain over one Maggie Barrymore, so much so that you’ll just want to snuff it, I do truly hope that you’ll look back on this day and say: ‘Wow. I should have listened to him. He was right. I should have done her in.’ But, you surely have it all figured out, don’t you. You’re going to be a big Red Lobster hot shot and your life is going to be perfect… Just like in the commercials, huh?” The lobster ghost laughed out loud. “Commercials are nothing but lies, Truman. Lies.”

“Why are you going on and on like this?” Truman asked. “It’s over. It’s done with. You’re not going to rain on my lobster parade any longer. Now get out.”

The fluid roar of the intestate rose and seeped in when the lobster ghost opened the passenger-side door, and then it quickly became muffled again when he slammed the door shut from the other side. Truman put the car in gear and pulled back onto the interstate in a gunning, gravel-spitting peel out.


You can read all the previous parts of this story at

The Lobster Guy (Eight)


Maggie the waitress cowered in the shadows of a Red Lobster in Lincoln, Nebraska, and watched Truman Humboldt from a distance. She chewed on her fingernails and spit out the pieces onto the wild cranberry and lemon grass patterned carpeting. The small hostess with the long black hair noticed her. “What are you looking at so nervously and intently?”

“That man at table 15,” Maggie began in a hushed voice. “He’s so strange and awful. You should have heard the way he talked to me.”

The hostess stood on her tiptoes and craned her neck to look. “Oh, God. The guy with the red tuxedo? What a whack-a-doodle. Do you know I caught him sticking his head in the lobster tank?”


“Yes. Lucky me.”

“I don’t know if I can go back to his table,” Maggie said. “He’s crushing my positive Red Lobster vibe, and I’m just not okay with that.”

The two watched from the other side of the restaurant as Truman carried on a conversation with an invisible being from another dimension.

“Did you meet his imaginary friend?” the hostess asked with a laugh, gently elbowing Maggie in the side.

“Yes… And just what am I supposed to do about that?”

“Play along and take his order.”

Maggie the waitress clenched her fists and looked up at the ceiling. “Why me, Jesus? Why do I always get the weirdos.”

Satisfied with his selections, Truman closed the menu and sighed a happy little sigh. “Now, where is that Saggy Maggie with our drinks? I’m parched.”

“Just be patient, Truman,” the lobster ghost said as he continued to peruse the menu. “It’s not like you have to be anywhere.”

“Sorry. I’m a Fidgety Frannie today. Have you decided?”

“I’m torn between the Sailor’s Platter and the Seaside Shrimp Trio.”

“Hmm,” Truman pondered. “That’s a tough choice. Just go with your heart… And your stomach!” He laughed out loud like he had told an amazing joke.

It was just at that moment when Maggie the waitress appeared at the table balancing a tray with two drinks and a basket of cheddar biscuits. “All right guys. I’ve returned with your refreshing beverages… Let’s see, a yummy cranberry Boston iced tea with an orange wedge for you Mr. Fancy Pants, and a super-duper Lobster Turbo Colada with a fun lobster straw for your friend… And, to make your Red Lobster experience even brighter — fresh warm biscuits.” She put a shielding hand to her face and whispered with a smile, “I picked out the very best ones for you all… Don’t let the other guests know.”

Truman held the basket of biscuits to his face and inhaled deeply. “Oh my. They smell divine, Maggie.” He then took a sip of his cranberry Boston iced tea, savoring it with closed eyes. He let out a large audible “Ahhhhhhhhh… Mmm. That’s tasty.”

“So,” Maggie nervously began with a punchy smile, tucking the tray beneath her arm because she was one of those waitresses who could somehow remember everything people ordered without writing it down. “What will we be enjoying for lunch today?”

“I’ve decided to go for it, Saggy Maggie, just like Clark Griswold when he’s humping his wife at that hotel in National Lampoon’s Vacation,” Truman said with snickering odd delight. “I’m going to have the Ultimate Feast with mashed potatoes and a Caesar salad.”

“Ohhhhh,” Maggie said, very impressed and with her vibrant pink mouth shaped like the letter O. “That is the ultimate choice for seafood lovers!” She chuckled and then abruptly stopped when she knew that she was about to have to take the order of Truman’s imaginary friend. She looked at the empty side of the booth and forced a smile. “And for you?”

There was an uncomfortable slice of silence. Maggie the waitress cleared her throat and asked again in a slower, more volumized voice, “What would you like to eat for lunch today?”

“Gee whiz, Saggy Maggie,” Truman snorted. “He’s not deaf.”

“Well, then could you please ask him what he’d like… I don’t seem to be making the proper impression.”

Truman sighed in frustration. “Fine. But let it be known Saggy Maggie that you are sort of putting a damper on our Red Lobster experience… And that makes me a sad panda.” Truman looked across the table at the ghost lobster. “So. What’s it going to be, friend?”

There was another uncomfortable slice of silence as Truman turned his ear to listen. He then looked up at Maggie and smiled. “He’ll have the Sailor’s Platter with coleslaw and steamed broccoli.”

Maggie the waitress filed it away in her brain. “Excellent choice,” she said. “I’ll put this order in right away.”

The sound was that of pigs in a pen at the tapping of the evening dinner bell as Truman and the lobster ghost went at their meals like farm animals. There was intense slurping and guggling and grotesque guzzling. Truman’s face was sloppy as he used both hands to shovel the feast into his face.

He stopped to take a breath and looked over at the lobster ghost who was gingerly pinching at his shrimp with both claws and tossing them into his mouth like a machine. “You know what?” Truman said to him. “If I’m ever on death row, could you let it be known that I want Red Lobster as my very last meal. I want to leave this Earth happy.”

The lobster ghost chuckled. “Do you really believe you may end up on death row someday? That’s an excessive and discouraging thought.”

“You never know what could happen,” Truman said, pointing with the tines of his shiny Red Lobster fork. “I could go crazy and hijack a bus and drive it off a cliff or something like that.”

“I don’t think you need to worry about such things, Truman. You seem of sound mind and body to me.”


Maggie the waitress returned to the table and forced an ingenuine smile. “My, my, my. You guys are putting it back,” she said jokingly, and then she quickly glanced at the untouched Sailor’s Platter in front of Truman’s imaginary friend and shifted uncomfortably. “Is there anything else I could get you?”

Truman’s eyes darted all over the table as he assessed the eating situation. “I would love another cranberry Boston iced tea if it isn’t too much trouble, Saggy Maggie, and maybe some more napkins!” Truman laughed out loud at his own sloppiness.

Maggie the waitress frowned. “Certainly,” she said, and she about-faced it like a Red Lobster soldier and walked away.

“I really think you should be nicer to her,” the lobster ghost suggested.

“Why? She sucks.”

“She doesn’t suck that bad. And besides, Truman. You may end up working with this person. I think it’s important you make a good impression with these people. Bad behavior lingers in the minds of many.”

“Oh, man. I didn’t think about it that way,” Truman said. “I should probably go apologize.”

“I strongly believe it would be a wise thing to do.”

“Right. You are certainly a bottomless well of wisdom, my creepy friend of the crustaceous kind,” Truman said as he slid from the booth. “I better go take care of this at once before bad things travel too far south. I’ll be back in a bit.”

Truman wandered into the warm Red Lobster kitchen that shined in silver and white. He stood directly behind Maggie the waitress as she checked over plates ready to be served as they sat on a stainless-steel shelf beneath a row of heat lamps. He tapped her on a thick shoulder, and she jumped.

“Jesus, Joseph, and Mary!” she wailed, and she turned around. “You scared the beejeebus out of me… Is there something I can help you with, sir?”

A cook in a tall, white chef’s hat who was working the line noticed Truman standing there. “Hey! Customers aren’t allowed back here,” he barked. “Maggie, tell your boyfriend to wait out front or something.”

She turned, embarrassed and addressed the grumpy cook. “He’s not my boyfriend,” and she turned back to look at Truman hovering there. “Definitely not.”

“I’m sorry, Saggy Maggie… I mean, plain old Maggie. I just wanted to talk to you.”

“Talk to me? Is there something wrong with your order?” she asked as she frantically worked.

“No. There’s something wrong with me, and I have something very important to say to you.”

“All right then. But I must get these plates out to my tables right away. Then I will come by to check on you, and we can talk. Okay?”

“Okay,” Truman agreed with a goofy grin on his face as he watched her trot off with an arm full of steaming platters. Then he took a moment to look at all that was going on in the busy kitchen. He relished the sound of clanging pots and pans, and the fragile clatter of plates. He mostly admired the precision and efficiency of the food prep line and the work of the cooks bathed in great clouds of steam and smoke. “Wow. Real Red Lobster people hard at work. Right here in front of me. This is great.”

The officious line cook noticed that Truman was still loitering in the kitchen, and he thrust a silver ladle in his direction as an extension of a violent finger. “I thought I told you to get out of here!”

“Yes, yes. Absolutely, sir. I’ll leave right away… I love your work!” Truman called out as he made his exit from the kitchen.

The line cook gritted his teeth and wiggled his stoic black moustache defiantly. He steadied himself with two hands but quickly felt his temper getting away. “Ridiculous!” he yelled out, and he picked up and slammed a metal pot down. “I’m a professional chef and I will not put up with this bullshit! Customers in the kitchen!? I am pissed off!”

Truman noticed the raging chef in white coming in his direction just as he returned to the booth.

“Hey, you!” the cook yelled, pointing an actual angry finger at Truman. “Who do you think you are coming into my kitchen and disrupting my important work!? Huh? I don’t come to your place of employment and trespass and upset the delicate balance of your workflow.”

“Gee whiz, mister. I’m sorry,” Truman said, cowering away some. “I just wanted to talk to Maggie about something very important.”

“Now you hear this. I don’t give one shit about what you wanted. I am a professional chef. I run a professional kitchen. I will not be toyed with! You come into my kitchen again and I’ll shove a lobster straight up your ass! You got it!” The chef pinched at his moustache and gave Truman a final snarl before storming off back to the kitchen just as Maggie the waitress was coming in for a bumpy landing.

“My, my. Looks like someone’s got a case of the Mondays,” she said with a playful chuckle. “I got that from a movie… Now. What was it you wanted to talk to me about?”

“It’s Sunday,” Truman informed her. “And why was that guy so mad? I didn’t mean to upset him so much.”

“Oh, don’t mind him,” Maggie said, waving a fat hand. “He’s one of those uptight fancy Frenchie chefs from gay Pair-Ree. He’s always like that.”

“Oh. I seriously thought he was going to kill me,” Truman chuckled. “Wow. Angry much?”

“No, no,” Maggie the waitress reassured him. “His bark is much worse than his bite.”

“Thanks for being so cliché, Maggie… But anyways, Maggie. I just wanted to apologize for my ill behavior during our visit here. And seeing that I may end up being your co-worker, I thought it would be a good idea to mend the fences between us.”

Maggie paused and shifted her head back in shock and surprise. “Oh. I appreciate that. I really do…  But what was that about being co-workers? Um. Come again.”

“I didn’t tell you! I’ve decided to apply for employment at your wonderful establishment here. I want to work for Red Lobster!”

Maggie’s face drastically drooped like it often does when she receives unwanted news. “You want to work here?”

“Yes! Isn’t that fantastic?” Truman said.

“Oh, but. No… You don’t want to do that.”

“Why not?”

“It’s a terrible place to work. Trust me. You’ll hate it.”

“But you seem to like it here, and that cook is definitely passionate about being here. I don’t understand.”

Maggie sighed loudly and leaned in closer. “Look. The pay is low, and the management is awful, and the hours suck…”

“I don’t care about any of that,” Truman interrupted her. “This is Red Lobster and Red Lobster is bigger than any unpleasant circumstances that are surely temporary. Red Lobster is bigger than all of us. I want to do it for the pride and the prestige of it. All those other things you speak of Maggie, that’s all secondary to me.” He reached out a hand and gently touched her on the arm. “Will you bring me an application and your best pen. Let’s get this party started.”


Read the previous parts of this story at

The Lobster Guy (Seven)

Photo by Jennifer L.K.W. Cinder

The whispering gaunt of psychotic skies played ceiling to the moment when Truman Humboldt first stepped out of the lobster-red rental car in the parking lot of a Lincoln, Nebraska Red Lobster restaurant and took in an enormous breath.

He looked at the sun. He trembled. His throat was dry. Something suddenly made him cry. His lobster ghost companion floated close to him and wondered, “Why are you crying, Truman? Aren’t you happy to be at Red Lobster at last?”

Truman wiped at his cheeks with the back of his hands and smiled. “These are tears of joy, my dear apparition. Tears of pure joy. I can’t believe I’m here… Here! At a real Red Lobster, not just one in my tormented dreams.”

The lobster ghost wrapped a glowing claw around him and gave him a comforting squeeze.

I think I’m ready. Can we go in now?” Truman said.

“Lead the way.”

Truman pulled the doors of his cathedral wide open with a gush of orgasmic ta-da! He stepped through the foyer and into the lobby. The smell of Red Lobster assaulted his olfactory senses in a heavenly, seaside way. Truman felt completely at peace as he admired the décor of an authentic Red Lobster.

He was immediately drawn to the gurgling sound of the lobster tank they had there, and he went to it and gazed into the clear, cool water. A handful of tomatoey, maroon-colored lobsters warbled in the distorting life-giving liquid as they hovered near the bottom of the tank, claws banded and the crustaceans looking like unidentified submerged objects: Alien USOs.

“Hello there, my delicious little friends,” Truman said to them. “Did you know that some scientists believe lobsters didn’t originate on Earth. I believe it too, because you are a great wonder of the universe and deserving of a grandiose origin story.”

When the lobsters didn’t reply, Truman removed his top hat and put his face directly into the water and repeated his greeting, his voice now bubbly and garbled. “Hello there, my delicious friends…”

Someone tapped him on the shoulder and Truman shot up out of the tank, his face and hair wet and flinging droplets. He had been horribly startled.

“Sir. I’m going to have to ask you to not play in the lobster tank.”

“What? What!?” Truman said, disoriented.

The small hostess with long black hair and clutching Red Lobster menus gave him a sour smile. “You can’t play in the lobster tank. People eat those. You can’t mess around with other people’s food.”

“Oh,” Truman said as he straightened up and played dumb. He wiped his damp hair back with his hand and replaced the top hat atop his head. It was somewhat crooked. He was suddenly embarrassed. “I thought they were there for the amusement of guests. Like a zoo. I must have misunderstood. My apologies.”

“Hmm, yeah,” the hostess said. “First time to Red Lobster?”

“Is it that obvious?”

“Yes. Terribly so.”

“I’m so sorry. It’s just that I’m so damn excited to be here!”

“Right, sir,” the hostess said with little interest. “Just one for dine-in today?”

“Oh, no. There’s two of us.”

The hostess was confused. “Are you waiting for the other member of your party? I’m afraid I’m not allowed to seat you until all members of your party have arrived. We’re a very popular restaurant and in a sense of fairness to all our guests…”

“No. He’s right here,” Truman interrupted, and he made a gesture to his side with his hands. “This is my good friend. We’re having lunch together.”

The hostess chuckled. “Nice one. Follow me, please.” As they walked, the small hostess turned around and smiled at him. “I love your outfit by the way. I’ve never seen anyone come in here wearing a full-on tuxedo. It’s so bizarre.”

“Why thank you my dear. It’s a very special day,” Truman replied, as he followed her through the restaurant with a gentleman’s strut, pumping the walking cane he had gripped in one hand. “It’s colored red like a lobster… I’m paying homage to the wonder that is Red Lobster.”

“That’s wonderful. A true fan.” The hostess stopped at a booth right by a window. “Here we are.”

Truman removed his top hat and bowed to her politely. “This will be perfect, thank you very much.” Truman slid into the booth. He set the top hat and cane aside. He pulled off his satiny gloves one finger at a time and set them aside as well.

“All comfy?” the hostess asked with a sprinkle of annoyance.

“I think so,” Truman answered.

She handed him one menu. “Enjoy your meal,” she said, and she started to walk away.

“Wait!” Truman called out.

She stopped and turned.

“You didn’t give my friend here a menu.”

The hostess looked at the empty booth seat across from Truman. Then she looked at the wanting grin on Truman’s face. She reluctantly went and placed another menu down on the table. “There you are,” she said with a bitter smirk. “Enjoy.”

Truman opened his menu as if it were a magical book and his eyes ballooned with delight. He began to study it with great interest, saying aloud things like “Oh, now that looks yummy.” And “Oh my, that just looks fantabulous.” And “Good Golly Miss Molly I’ll have that!”

He looked across the table at the ghost lobster who was also flipping through the plastic pages. “What looks good to you?” Truman asked.

“Hmm. Well, I honestly don’t know if I could get myself to eat lobster. That would be kind of weird. Perhaps I would fare better with some popcorn shrimp or fried flounder.”

“Then I would suggest the Sailor’s Platter… Right there on page 4. You even get a couple of sides.”

The lobster ghost chuckled. “Wow. You should work here. You certainly are a positive ambassador for the Red Lobster brand.”

A lightbulb illuminated over Truman’s head. “You know what… You may have just hit the lobster on the head with a lobster mallet. Why did I never think of that!?… Oh. I know why. Because crummy Neptune, Nebraska doesn’t have a Red Lobster!” 

The volume of Truman’s voice attracted the attention of other diners and there was a soft ebb and flow of whispers and troubled glances.

“Calm down, Truman. Don’t make a spectacle of yourself.”

“I’m sorry. I just get so god damn pissed off about living in that shit hole town!”

Someone hushed him. “Shhhhhhhhh.”

“Watch your language,” another uptight diner grumbled from some unknown spot in the restaurant.

“Truman. Lower your voice,” the lobster ghost gently pleaded. “And why do you stay in that horrible town anyways? You’re a grown man. Make a change for crying out loud. Have some pride in yourself and take a step forward. Move to Lincoln, Nebraska and get a job at Red Lobster.”

Truman took in a shocked breath and sat back in the booth. “You just blew my mind, my eerie lobster friend. There I was this whole time, rotting away in Neptune, Nebraska, breaking chicken necks and punching a register at some shitty grocery store. There I was, pining over a woman I could never have. A woman who would rather settle for crap. No one ever appreciated me. No one even cared if I existed. And now to think, that I could possibly work here, at Red Lobster. My sails have swelled to full speed ahead.”

“Well, there you are. You have a goal for yourself. A dream to chase.”

A worried look suddenly transformed Truman’s face from glad to sad.

“Now, what’s wrong?” the lobster ghost wanted to know.

“Who am I kidding? I can’t work at Red Lobster.”

“Why not?”

“Because… It’s Red Lobster. It takes years of intense study and training to work at Red Lobster. I just don’t have the credentials.”

The lobster ghost slammed a big claw on the table. “Damn it, Truman. There you go again! You’re always selling yourself short. You don’t need study and training… And you know why?”

“Why?” Truman snapped.

“Because you have passion. And passion for what you do is more important than anything you can learn from a book or a classroom. You have more passion for Red Lobster than anyone I have ever known. They would be lucky to have you. Very lucky indeed.”

Truman smiled and straightened himself in the booth. “You know what. You’re right! I don’t need to settle for my bullshit existence! I’ll blow their balls off with my passion for Red Lobster. I’ll be the best employee Red Lobster has ever had! I’ll do it!”

And just then, as it often does for poor Truman Humboldt, the needle on the record came to a violent, scratching halt when a plump young woman with 80s hair appeared at the table. She had a fake smile plastered within a swampy sea of shiny makeup that made it look as if her face was merely a mask torn from a children’s coloring book about happy clowns.

“Hello there,” she said with a jubilant and annoyingly peppy voice. “Welcome to Red Lobster. My name is Maggie and I’ll have the wonderful pleasure of taking care of you today.”

“Maggie!?” Truman yelped. “Why, isn’t that just dandy as candy!”

Maggie’s demeanor immediately drooped. “Sir? Is there some sort of a problem?”

“Oh, nothing Maggie, don’t mind me. I just recently had my heart thrown into a rusty blender by a wretch of a woman named Maggie. It’s no big deal. I’ll get over it because I have dreams that are far bigger than her. But enough of that, when could me and my friend here get some of those yummy biscuits?”

Maggie the waitress glanced over at the empty side of the booth. She looked frightened. “Your friend, sir?” she said, trying to chuckle. Truman winced as he suddenly realized she resembled the clerk at the car rental counter in the movie Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. “Gobble. Gobble.”

“Yes, Maggie. He’s sitting right there. Please don’t be rude and ignore him. Perhaps he’d care for a cocktail. Maybe one of those fruity things in the tall glass with the lobster straw. Huh. What do you say to that, pal?” Truman waited for an answer from the lobster ghost. There was none and he looked back at Maggie the waitress. “Apologies for my friend’s behavior. He’s the shy and quiet type. Just bring him one. He’ll drink it. And I’ll have a cranberry Boston iced tea with an orange wedge nestled atop the rim of the glass. Can you handle that, Saggy Maggie!?”

“Absolutely, sir. I’ll get that right away.” She quickly scampered off, feeling small and with her sensitivities crushed, her rising soft sobs bobbing on the air like a buoy in the ocean.


To read previous episodes of this story, visit

The Lobster Guy (Six)

Lobster Guy.

Truman Humboldt steered the lobster-red rental car onto Interstate 80 at or about high noon and gunned it east toward the city of Lincoln, Nebraska, but he didn’t really know why.

He shoved his favorite Ocean Sounds CD into the dash and tried to relax, but he found that extremely difficult given his very tense and present circumstances. He thought that a fast drive across the gutless landscape would perhaps do him some good.

Truman ground his teeth together and dug his fingernails into the steering wheel as he accelerated the vehicle, his thoughts of emotional relief quickly shredded by visions of his darling Miss Maggie and the retched Mr. Guldencock locked in their nefarious embraces of lust.

“Cinderella from hell! That’s what you are Miss Maggie!” he screamed, nearly losing control of the vehicle. “I’ll stuff you with a slipper you’ll never forget!”

Truman shakily wiped at his brow with the back of his hand and flipped the nervous sweat away. “I’ll show her! I’ll show her how much more of a man I am than gross Mr. Guldencock!” he shouted out, as the sound of crashing ocean waves dramatically poured out of the car’s speakers.  

“And just how are you going to show her, Truman?” came the wispy voice like glowing charcoal waving to Heaven on high. “Are you that much more of a man? Truly? Authentically? Are you anything like a lobster would be in such a situation?”

Truman nearly swerved off the road due to the shocking fright of it all.

“Careful now! You’ll get us both killed,” the haunted voice came again. “Well, at least yourself. I’m already dead,” and there was a laugh like how lobsters would laugh if only they could.

Truman turned to look at the shimmering figure suddenly sitting there in the passenger seat. It was the lobster ghost from the ocean beyond who had visited him at home earlier. It was now dressed in a fancy blue suit over a crisp white shirt with a red tie, a big monstrous claw poking out from the end of each sleeve, spindly feelers coming off a maroon head punctuated by two frightening round eyes the color of the black pearls of pirates. Truman slapped at his own face to clear the hallucination away.

The pale, toothless wedge of a mouth moved when the cold-water phantom spoke. “I’m afraid that will do you no good, Truman. I’m real. I’m here with you now. We’re going to spend the day together. And despite your crushing heartbreak at the hands and mouth and other unspeakable orifices of that evil woman… We are going to have a good time. A very good time.”

Truman’s hands mercilessly gripped the steering wheel as he drove on. “Where are we going?” he asked.

The lobster ghost turned and looked straight ahead. “We’re going straight on to Lincoln, Nebraska.”

“How did I already know that?” Truman asked.

“I’ve sprinkled you with lobster intuition,” the ghost replied.

“What are we going to do in Lincoln?”

“You and I are going to have lunch.”


“That’s right. Lunch.”

Truman was overcome with great curiosity now. “Where?”

The lobster ghost turned to him and attempted a smile. “Red Lobster.”

“Red Lobster!” Truman voraciously squealed.

“I can tell that makes you happy. I want you to be happy, Truman.”

“Are you kidding!? Red Lobster is my favorite restaurant of all-time! How could I not be happy about eating at Red Lobster!? But wait…” Truman’s mood suddenly dampened, and he sighed.

“What’s wrong?”

“I can’t go to Red Lobster looking like this. I’m not dressed for it.” Truman looked down at himself, ashamed. “I look like I just rolled out of a garbage bin after a night of restless dreaming. They won’t even let me in.”

“Nonsense,” the lobster ghost said, and he snapped the tips of one claw together and there was a great poof of under the sea magic and Truman was suddenly transformed.

He looked down at himself in disbelief, nearly losing control of the automobile once more. “A tuxedo!” Truman yelped.

“A tuxedo that makes you look like a lobster… Mostly,” the lobster ghost proudly pointed out. “How do you like the top hat?”

“It’s fucking great!” Truman yelled out. “Do I get to have a cane, too?”

“It’s in the backseat.”

Truman grinned more right then and there than he had in a very, very long time. “I’m so happy I could cry,” Truman said, and he looked down at the protrusion in his crotch. “Wow. I’m experiencing so much personal pleasure right now that I’m stiffer than a narwhal’s spiral tusk,” and he looked over at the crustaceous phantasm. “Thank you. This means a lot to me… More than you could ever know.”

The lobster ghost softly chuckled. “You’ve had a rough ride most of your life, Truman. A rough ride indeed. It’s time you experience some real joy.”

Once off the exit in Lincoln, Nebraska, Truman craned his anxious neck to see the Red Lobster restaurant glowing like a beacon of love to him in the distance. “Oh, my God! Oh, my God! I see it!” Truman cried out, his guts gallantly vibrating like golden angels trumpeting atop heavenly clouds.

The traffic was thicker than cold gravy in the retail and restaurant clotted edge of town. Truman grew impatient as they slowly crawled toward the Red Lobster, the purposeful architecture reflecting seaside melodies and nuances as it called to him. Truman could almost taste the salty air; hear the clanging bells of the boats, the gruff voices of sea captains as they smoked pipes in yellow wet gear, and the clattering of lobster traps as they’re stacked on the docks by strong men in brown cable-knit turtleneck sweaters.

Truman honked the car horn, rolled down the window and stuck his head out. “Come on you fuckers! Move it already! I gotta get to Red Lobster!”  

“Calm down, Truman,” the lobster ghost gently advised. “We’ll get there soon enough.”

“Ugh. I’m sorry. I just get so frustrated with these brain-dead shopping fools trying to get to Sam’s Club and Best Buy, or wherever, just so they can twaddle their lives away in meaningless materialism. And I’m hungry, and I get very agitated when I’m hungry.”

“Just breathe, Truman. Breathe. We’re nearly there.”

 Read the previous episodes and keep an eye out for the conclusion of this story… Only on

The Lobster Guy (Five)

Man holding lobster, one in each hand.

Content warning: Adult situations. You’ve been alerted.

Truman Humboldt parked his rental car around the corner from the house that delicious Maggie Barrymore lived in. He admired himself one last time in the rear-view mirror to double check that he still looked like a man fox. He felt he surely did. He retrieved some breath spray from a pocket and filled his mouth with a few sparkly squirts. It was a burning peppermint flavor of fireworks and Truman made a face and flopped his tongue around like it tasted bad.

“I wish they would make some lobster-flavored breath spray,” he said aloud to himself. “Why does the world never do anything right? This stuff is cooky and brutal.”

He was beaming with confidence when he got out of the car and walked toward her house, the bottle of wine cradled in his arm, his triangular chin up, the organic maca working through his bloodstream. The day was beginning to darken and there was an ocean fresh breeze in the air despite the closest ocean being about 1,399 miles away. Truman stopped for a moment to take a deep breath and admire the world around him. “Life is absolutely beautiful,” he exhaled. “And it’s all because of love… And lobsters.”

But once Truman got closer to the house, the needle on the record violently slipped off, the world tilted, and his heartbeat began to bang like a golden gong inside his chest. There was a car that wasn’t hers parked in the driveway, and for some strange reason, it looked vaguely familiar to him.

Truman moved closer and ducked behind a tree in the yard. He creepily peered out from around the rough bark and saw that there were some lights coming on in the house. He snuck up closer, then closer, then closer still, moving like a lobster ninja, until he was crouched down in some bushes beneath a big window at the front of the house. His heart was beating more out of control, and he feared he was having a heart attack right there, and his entire body began to flush with electric warmth, like hot wasp stings. His multiple nervous and emotional conditions were becoming his worst enemy once again. He tried to breathe slowly and calm himself. He muttered a soothing mantra: “Lobster is life, life is lobster, lobster is life, life is lobster…”

Then his momentary meditation was interrupted by noises coming from the house. He strained to hear. Yes, they were noises, people noises. There was some muffled talking, and there was the voice of a man, a strangely familiar voice. Then Truman heard playful giggling, laughing. And then it was quiet. Truman slowly moved up from the cover of the bushes, like a perverted submarine periscope penetrating the surface of the water, and he carefully peeked in the unshaded window.

And what he saw there made his eyes spiral in angry madness like a psychotic clown. He gulped and began to shake as he witnessed his beautiful Maggie Barrymore locked in a passionate kiss with his ex-boss, the man who had treated him so cruelly and just recently fired him from his cashier job at the Neptune Pop-In Shop Food Market. Yes, it was indeed, the distasteful Mr. Guldencock. It was gross Mr. Mustard.

Truman nearly vomited right there as he watched Miss Maggie grip his oily and sweaty head in her luxurious hands as she sloppily ate his face as if it were an ice cream cone. He continued to watch with sickening delight somehow as they began to grope and tug at each other. Clothes were now beginning to come off. Miss Maggie impatiently shed her top and undid her bra. Truman’s eyes widened like a cartoon rabbit as her intelligent breasts spilled forth. Mr. Guldencock reached out and touched them like a grinning pervert. Then he stood, frantically undid his belt, and let his polyester grocery store work pants drop to the floor. He then pulled off his shirt as well, wildly messing up his stringy hair and revealing a bulbous and fuzzy body punctuated with the most nauseating areolas Truman had ever seen on a human being.

“Oh, God,” Truman painfully moaned, and he gritted his teeth to keep from screaming, but his soul was screaming just as loudly from within the shocking cathedrals of his bones. “How can this be? How can she possibly be doing this? He’s so disgusting. Vile. Why would she crush my poor heart like this? And with him of all people. Him! Why Miss Maggie!? Why!?”

And when Mr. Guldencock finally presented her with his oversized tube of spicy, mechanically formed discount bologna, Truman watched in wretched angst as his love princess dropped to her knees and took an open-wide taste of him as if she were hungrily devouring a sandwich at a New York City deli. Mr. Guldencock’s ugly skull flopped back in ecstasy as he palmed the top of her head and thrust forward with his hips.

Truman’s battered existence on Earth could take no more, and he turned away, pressing a hand against his belly to hold back the sickness, tears welling up in his swollen eyes. When he went back up for one final and devastating peek, even though he knew he would forever regret it, there she was, now lying back on the couch and open to him, inviting him to enter. Mr. Guldencock’s blubbery body was hovering over her, ready to haphazardly bounce on her pristine flesh like a bloated white whale in desperate need of salty water.

Boiling tears of deep sadness began to roll down Truman’s cheeks like Indiana Jones boulders as he watched Mr. Guldencock’s face twist in obscene gestures of pleasure as he played plumber and plunged her like a clogged sink — the ol’ in and out, in and out, in and out, Miss Maggie howling away like a she wolf beneath a midnight moon — and Truman could finally take no more, he couldn’t handle the salacious scene of ultimate betrayal and he popped away and ran down the sidewalk, angrily pitching the bottle of wine into someone’s yard.

Truman became truly physically ill and rushed to the curb and threw up in the street, shaking, spitting, dripping. Once he righted his own mutinied ship of emotions, he made his way back to the car and drove off into the newborn night with a reckless and hysterical screaming fury.

The next day was Saturday and Truman stayed in bed, but he didn’t sleep much, he just achingly laid there in a crooked, drooling, and disheveled mess and stared at his lobster-shaped ceiling fan — the blades resembling big lobster claws — and his brain whirled along with them as they hypnotically spun and spun and spun above him. No matter how hard he tried, he could not erase the images of Miss Maggie Barrymore and Mr. Guldencock, together like that in moist, physical love. Mr. Guldencock? Mr. Mustard? How could she? He just couldn’t comprehend it. He tossed and turned in his sweaty sheets until his mind and body finally broke and he dozed off in the darkness for good. 

And then after the hours turned over and over on themselves, the sun finally broke through and it was Sunday morning, and everything was quiet, yet so hurtful. The night had been long and filled with tortured dreams of wayward lust. Truman peeled himself from the crinkled sheets of melancholy and catatonically walked into the kitchen and prepared himself a bowl of delicious Froot Loops. He sat at the kitchen table and stared out the window at the ever-brightening morning as he slowly crunched and munched, the emotional pain reverberating in the fruity rings like bombarded Saturn in space.

“Froot Loops! Froot Loops! Froot Loops!” he screamed out when the turbulent hurt bubbled and boiled over, and he tossed the bowl of cereal against a window, and it made a milky mess as it dripped down the glass. Truman’s head dropped heavily upon the table, and he sobbed uncontrollably for a long time, that is until a red-skinned lobster ghost penetrated the walls, tapped him on the shoulder and whispered something unsettling in his ear, the sound and feel of it being like the cold ocean full of madness.


In case you missed it, you can read the previous part of this story HERE.