A simple premise; a bold promise
To present one story per day, every day—
providing exceptional authors with exposure
and avid readers with first-rate fiction.

Today's Story by Scott Lambridis

I hate Brizls. Who could ever love a Brizl?


All Brizls should be put out of their misery and shot. I hate Brizls. Who could ever love a Brizl? Who would ever want to be a Brizl? No one. Not me. They’re all the same.

At birth, they are hollow and lumpy, unformed only because they are not yet malformed, and yet when they learn to speak, they say, “I want to be a lion,” or “I want to be a spider,” or “I want to be a raindrop. Can I at least by a raindrop?” Of course not.

In life, they are a burden to those around them – such a burden! – and when, on occasion, they overcome this sense of burdening through honorable acts, a favor here, a warm meal there, maybe an extra trip to the meat counter, maybe a handwritten card or romantic evening though they are worthless lovers, maybe a late-night conversation though they’d rather be sleeping, then they feel the burden of others upon themselves – oh, such a burden! – that they become solitary again and mourn their birth until someone, usually another Brizl, talks them out of it. When dirty, they wash their hands. When stubborn, they lean back into a large and deep seat, placing their arms firmly on the arm rests. And yet they poison their bodies to escape the creeping eclipse of time. People bend around them as if they were demons, barely there, but there, only there. You can see that their own voices make them cringe, though they deny it when asked. Once, in a window’s glossy reflection, I saw one shave his face on a train and wasn’t surprised. Brizl’s can simultaneously condemn their own hateful natures and yet while exiting a train and seeing a child wandering toward a blind man’s stick, tap-tap, tap-tap, a Brizl will indulge in his own desire for them to collide, just to see what happens, and yet they are not considered unstable.

They’re even given respectable jobs. And everyone in the consulting world knows those moments when, during a meeting, the facilitator reads off the roll, and you know, just by their last names, and the look on their faces, that they are all Brizls, and embarrassed, one of them leaves, and then another, until you cannot even have your meeting anymore. All decisions are off, until two months later, you find a new set of consultants and it happens again. Their companies are crippled and make no money. It is right that they should be feared. They understand nothing.

But in death, they are the worst. When they choose to die, which is often early, when they hit that age that is the age that can be tolerated no longer, they feel that uncontrollable desire to orchestrate their own deaths, and they announce it, fourteen days in advance, inviting murder, in their shrill voices that the animals cannot even hear, and they don’t simply crawl inside themselves, or burrow into the ground. They ask others, usually another Brizl, to help them die, though they do not receive it – burdening their families and friends, Brizl or otherwise (though it still amazes me that anyone but a Brizl could be their friend, or could love one enough to worm their way into family). May I use your house? The spare bedroom would be perfect. I’ll be quiet. You won’t know I’m there. I can pay the extra utilities. When they are asked, out of courtesy, what is troubling them, why can’t they just suck it up like everyone else, they say something that sounds like the usual feelings everyone can understand, but they lie. The real emotion is inside still, unsaid. “You’ll never really understand. You’re not a Brizl,” As if that’s any real sort of excuse. And then, at last, what’s truly worst of all of them, is the extremity of self-loathing practiced by each and every Brizl, like an art form passed down and perfected over generations, which unfolds like devil wings as they write letters of apology and tack them to their wasted bodies, puncturing it, opening a hole that allows that slow leak they know others will see, staining whatever vessel they collapse into, and then there they are, today, in a plastic blow-up pool on the front lawn, so that someone will see, someone will be bothered with the cleanup, as if those fluids are something to mourn. And they will each of them leave behind only a long list of failures, memorials to their own ineptitude and inability to evolve, so that their children, sad for just that initial moment are then filled with the inspiration that they too can do the world a world of good and reduce the burden they have placed upon it. No, I hate them, and I do not want to be a Brizl anymore.


Scott Lambridis’ stories have appeared in Storyglossia, Black Static, received the Leo Litwak award in Transfer, and are forthcoming in New American Writing.  Scott is the founder of Omnibucket.com, and while completing his MFA at San Francisco State (where he received the Miriam Ylvisaker Fellowship), he’s working on a novel about the scientist who discovered the end of time. You know, the usual. Read more at scottlambridis.com.

This piece was read as part of the inagural production of “Action Fiction!”, sponsored by Fiction365 and Omnibucket.  Other pieces in the series include:

The Fix, by Benjamin Wachs

The Rape Parade, by Carolyn Cooke

Sculpture Garden, by Ben Black

Look at Murphy, by Cary Tennis


To comment on this story, visit Fiction365’s Facebook page