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It's Almost Like a Vacuum
by Ian Moore

It was snowing. The river had become frozen stiff, with each stick, stump or bush protruding like a rib through skin. On the west side lay a barn, dark and gray, where two men, maybe in their mid-fifties, stood bundled in thick coats of wool and anchored by sturdy boots capped with steel. From a distance, one man appeared a limbless figure next to the gray wood.
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See It All for More of What It Is by James Munson

Rarely had they ever the luxury of a shared happiness. By various means they tried to incite jubilation, but it was never more than a joy ride before boredom derailed them. A sequence of untimely failures had long since curbed his once caustic determination to be free, and so he’d sidled, like most, into the primeval utility of domestic life.

Pink Blur by David J. Ruthenberg

It was the hottest summer in the history of the world, and I was in one of the hottest places: Satan's Uvula, the world's most extreme bio-surfing slope, built in the Gobi desert by mysterious billionaire and bio-surfing enthusiast Zepf Zarkham.

My bio-board, Cynthia, was riding in the freight elevator next to us with the other boards. I first noticed Magnum Flex's Warhead, an ox. Skip “Sizzle” Sherpin, a low-rider from Cali, had a brand new salt water crocodile he was calling Greenwake. Wicked Sick, a galapagos tortoise, belonged to Ollie Macomb, longtime respected bio-surfer pro. Macomb was unbeatable in his prime and though, at thirty-six, he was long in the tooth, yet you couldn't build a slope like this and not invite him; and to do so would be an insult to b-surfers everywhere. I'd been worried that the old dude would take a bad spill and kick the bucket for years now, but he always managed to come out alive, if not on top.

I, Regina “Baconspike” Jones was the youngest, at fifteen. My board, Cynthia, was a common pig: sus domestica. When I went into the semi-pros, they all laughed at her. “When pigs fly,” was the joke. Turns out they can. Pork-boarding is now one of the hottest trends in the sport.