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Andrew Payne

I found this on the street next to a piece of bubble gum, you know, the green piece of bubble gum on the sidewalk. Well, if you're not familiar with Toronto, you won't know where I'm talking about, but it's definitely a Madman's diary that I found. I assume that he counted the moons ever since he was born because he didn't trust calendars or something like that.

Moon # 16856

The carpeted stairs made me fall down them again. There's no way they're going to win this battle. Winter is coming soon so I'm going to take away their carpet while they're sleeping and throw it away in a bottomless pit where they can't ever get it back. Then I won't even turn the furnace on all winter so they will freeze and freeze. Ha ha ha, I can just see them now, shivering and shivering saying, "Where did our carpet go? I'd do anything to get it back." I better hide my diary in a better place so they'll never find it. If they knew I was plotting against them they would most certainly see that I didn't live another day. Where shall I put it? Yes, I've got it, IN MY BUM! Ha ha, perfect, except I won't be able to walk up the stairs naked for fear that they will see it and catch a glimpse of my vengeful plans against them. I most certainly will remember to put clothes on at all times now. Even when I go out. I might accidentally forget to put some on when I come back home.

Moon # 16857

Perfect. I've got the carpet and I'm on the bus trying to find a bottomless pit. I don't want anyone to know that it was me who took their carpet so I cut some holes in it for my arms and eyes and wrapped it around myself so no one could recognize me. Everyone else on the bus has a look on their face like they've never seen a carpet write in a diary before. Strange, very strange these people, I have yet to figure them out. At least I didn't get one of those melting buses with sardines on it. Last time I got one of those and it was quite a dousy. There were five foot high sardines with briefcases that got on the bus and even though we were the only six people on the bus they decided to come squish around me until I couldn't breathe anymore. I couldn't take it and got up, but they crowded around me wherever I went. Thankfully the bus melted away and I escaped out of the bus puddle and the sardines stayed and swam in it.

"Thank god, there's no sardines on this bus." I say to the guy next to me. He doesn't seem to think so, he gave me a weird look and got up. I guess I really offended him, I can't believe he likes those sardine people.

Here's my stop. I got a funny feeling that the bottomless pit would be in this building. Oh, nope, wait a minute. That's a staple. That funny feeling was a staple digging into my back. I guess this isn't the right stop. I was in such a rush I didn't take the staples out of the carpet. I better get to sleep now, ouch...I just ran into a pole. That's what you get for writing while you walk. I've been riding the same bus all day and it's getting late, I'll just sleep here in front of this store's display window. Everyone will think that I'm a carpet that someone just forgot to put inside the display window so no one will bother me.

Moon # 16858

Dammit, it rained last night and I smell terrible, especially the carpet. I need to take a shower. I'm going to the YMCA across the street.

Ha, I snuck into the shower and I am using shampoo that I found to clean the carpet. It's been almost a full day since I have taken off the carpet it sure stinks in here, but I must never let anyone know my identity. Dammit all the pages are getting wet, I'm going to put my diary away now.

Here I am fresh and clean but I got kicked out of the YMCA, apparently hiding a book in your posterior is inappropriate behaviour. They didn't appreciate the fact that I tried to demonstrate on them how simple and civilized it actually is. They also tried to take off my carpet. The stairs must have put them up to this! My god, there it is, The Stair Master. This plot against me is bigger than I thought, it goes right up to the top of the stair hierarchy. Oh no, look at that over there! Step Classes! The little guys are in on it too. That's just what they want, to gain our trust through classes so they can push us whenever they please.

"Hey everybody! The YMCA is a tool of the devil! A meeting place for stairs! Protect yourself and separate the stairs from each other! Don't > bow down to the authority of the Stair Master!"

Now I'm not allowed back to the YMCA, they don't appreciate naked men wrapped in carpets yelling in their customers' faces. They don't appreciate anything it seems. Like they needed to tell me not to go back there anyway, the stairs have put me through enough. The stairs will pay soon enough though, I'm not worried about them any longer. I can no longer wear my clothes though, too many stairs have seen them now and I will surely be spotted if I put them back on.

A ha! I've finally found it. The bottomless pit. The entrance is inside a wall, two doors open and swallow things up. People in business suits always go in them and when the doors open again the people aren't there anymore. Dammit, I just fell over . . . wait a minute, I didn't just fall by myself. That plant in this lobby thing just pushed me! I'm taking his pot away. I'd like to see him suffer potless on the floor in a pool of his own scattered dirt. That'll teach him not push people around. Who does he think he is, a tree?! He's no big shot. He's a measly little plant.

So here I am running down the street. I can't see very well, I've got a pot on my head. Why is it on my head do you ask? Well, well, let me tell you my brainless friends, how else am I supposed to run, write in my diary and carry a pot all at the same time, huh? Now it doesn't sound like such a bad idea does it! First you laugh and now you admire me. You people are very slow learners.

The man in the lobby said that he didn't appreciate me throwing a carpet at the people in the bottomless pit. Who cares what happens to them, they volunteered to go into a bottomless pit for heaven's sakes. He also didn't like me digging up the plant and putting dirt all over his precious lobby. If he saw what the plant did to me he'd understand. The only problem is he's just another one of those ignorant people, so there's no use explaining it to him. He's probably another one of those sardine people lovers who goes to sardine people parties and crowds around and hugs sardines. What a nerd.

I better hurry back home before my stairs get suspicious. Oh no! Stairs! It's the only way into the subway and the bus takes much too long. I know, I'll get a piggyback down them.

It shouldn't be too long now I'm almost at my stop. No one volunteered to piggy back me down the stairs so I had to resort to violent action. I hijacked someone's back. I jumped on a man's back and said, "Don't mind me, just get me to the bottom of the stairs and don't try any funny business."

Sometimes you have to be overly assertive to get what you want in this world. You have to be overly assertive in all of the other worlds too, now that I think of it.

Here I am, home sweet home. "Wow, I had a great time at the football game. Too bad all of my clothes got torn off when I got tackled."

I think the stairs are buying it, they think I went and played football today. What's this, a knock at my door. No one ever knocks at my door.

So here I am in a police cruiser. They said that the man at the subway doesn't appreciate naked men with plant pots on their head jumping on his back and making threats to him. I knew I should have put some clothes on when I came back home. I am such an idiot! The stairs must have seen my diary and called the police to tell them my address! My plan was almost flawless! How could I have done this!?

"You'll never find your precious carpet. You can tell the stairs that they can freeze to death for all I care."

"Excuse me?" The coppers both replied.

"I'm just fightin' the good fight boys. You'll see."


Author of rEtaRdeD Magazine 19 year old Andrew Payne is a second year Psychology student. He is from Toronto and aspires to get paid to write stupid stories and snowboard all day. He is currently revising his first novel and preparing to send it out for publication. You can check out some more of his writing in rEtaRdeD Magazine or you can find him naked on the bus wrapped in a carpet. Andrew Payne has been published in UnderCurrent, 24 Frames Per Second and Gadfly. He makes his living as a History teacher at a small academy outside Trenton, NJ.

Check out Andrew Payne’s website:

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