Sunday, March 31, 2013

Day 4 at HackleCon by Douglas Hackle

One Saturday morning a man woke up in his bed just before dawn.  It’s too early for me to be up, the man thought as he lion-yawned and lion-stretched.  He sensed something was wrong.  At first he wondered if maybe an intruder was in the house, and he tensed up with fright.  But then he realized what the problem was.

The skin on the side of his upper right arm felt extra naked, that is, more naked than the skin covering the rest of his buck naked body.  The skin there somehow felt . . . empty.

He reached over and turned on the nightstand lamp, causing the room to explode with light.  The man looked down at his arm:  Sure enough, the tattoo he’d gotten there a couple weeks ago was gone!  The tattoo was of himself—fully naked, flexing his muscles in a side pose that showcased his ripped pecs and his ripped right arm, the profile of his limp junk dangling impressively between his ripped legs.  It was the only tattoo the man had ever gotten.  But now there was nothing but taut, unmarked, peach-colored skin where the tattoo had been.

‘The fuck?’ the man said.  That’s when he heard a light knocking coming from downstairs.

Groggy and confused, the man climbed out of bed, pulled on a pair of sweatpants, and walked out into the hall.  He followed the knocking all the way downstairs to the front door of the house, at which point he flicked on the porch light and opened the door.  At first it appeared no one was out there.  Probably just the neighborhood kids messing around, he guessed.  But then he caught movement in his lower peripheral vision.  He looked down.

The man’s missing tattoo—the tattoo of himself naked—was standing there on the porch looking up at him, only now the tattoo was 3-D instead of 2-D.

‘The fuck?’ the man said. 

‘Sorry if I woke you,’ his tattoo said in a voice identical to his own.  ‘I went out to get a tattoo.  Check it out.  It’s us!’  The tattoo held out its ripped little arm to show the man its tattoo.  The man leaned down, squinted, and saw that the new tattoo was yet another identical tattoo of himself—naked and flexing—except the new one was proportionally smaller in order to fit on the arm of his tattoo.

‘Pretty fuckin’ metal, huh?’ the man’s tattoo said.  It leapt back onto the man’s arm and flattened itself out, settled back onto its rightful home.  Somewhat dumbfounded, the man stared down in wonder at his tattoo’s little tattoo, touched it with the tip of his index finger.

A few weeks later, something very similar happened to the man just before daybreak one Saturday morning.  The man woke to that unsettling feeling again, that weird emptiness-on-the-arm feeling, only this time the intensity of the feeling was a mere fraction of what he’d experienced the first time. 

The man reached over, turned on the light, looked down at his arm.  His tattoo was right where it was supposed to be, flexing its muscles on the canvas of his skin as douchily as ever.  But now the tattoo’s tattoo was gone!

He couldn’t actually hear the knocking coming from the front door downstairs (the sound was too faint to be heard by the human ear at that distance), but the man instinctually knew the sound was there.  He climbed out of bed, pulled on a pair of sweatpants, and walked downstairs to open the front door.  On his way down, he wondered if he’d even be able to see the tiny new tattoo on the right arm of his tattoo’s tattoo.

The End.


Still nervously holding onto the edges of the podium, Douglas Hackle concluded his reading of his original flash fiction effort “The Three Tattoos” and looked up from his sloppy, handwritten manuscript.  His eyes swept across the large conference room that he’d rented in downtown Cleveland.

Empty chairs as far as the eye could see. 

He’d spent a lot of money—money he didn’t have—to rent this room for the writers con that he’d named after himself.  But due to a combination of factors that included shyness, sleep deprivation, low blood sugar, and inborn stupidity, he’d neglected to invite anyone.  In fact, no one but Douglas knew of the event’s existence.

Well, no one but him and one other being.

For at the back of the room, in that last row of chairs, was a single occupied seat.

And in that seat sat none other than Terror Clown.

Terror Clown was not applauding.  Terror Clown was not smiling.

And just as the nameless protagonist in “The Three Tattoos” had been too far away to hear the knocking of his tattoo’s tattoo at the end of the story, so Douglas was too far away from Terror Clown to hear the demonic clown’s low, satanic growl.  Nevertheless, he knew the growl was there.

“Please don’t fucking kill me in the face, Terror Clown!” Douglas pleaded.

Terror Clown’s brow knitted in great annoyance and seething anger, feelings that had been brewing for four days now.  “That doesn’t even make any sense,” reprimanded the demonic clown.

                                        To (Not) Be Continued . . . .


Douglas Hackle writes lobsters that are bizarre, surreal, satirical, horrific, macabre, veiny, vainglorious, childish, moronic, or some combination of these qualities. His lobsters have seen publication in both online crabs and printed manatees. Douglas resides in Northeast Ohio with his wife and little boy, and he sincerely apologizes for using the phrase “lest you order seven fetal marionette pizzas” four times in the previous sentence when one time would have been just as sufficient.

Visit him at:

Copyright Douglas Hackle
Artwork by Gustav-Adolf Mossa

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Attila King by John Edward Lawson

Attila the Hun was sent to the grimy, smoky future: the 1990s. The mighty warrior king had not come to conquer. Instead, he sought only to observe the United States Postal Service in action. He hoped to bring great renown to his people by instituting an efficient parcel system of his own.
    “What wonders the future holds…such technology! Such advances! Primary care physicians and dentists under separate health plans!” He clucked his tongue in astonishment. “My land will benefit greatly from future knowledge.”
    While strolling the gritty pavement of Los Angeles, Attila was approached by five pale skinned police officers. “Excuse me sir,” the lead officer said. “Do you mind if we examine your clothes?”
    Attila's Mongolian ears did not comprehend; he wouldn't have let them inspect his furs and leathers regardless.
    Suspecting the furs to be from endangered species the officers grabbed him. “Do you have any sharp objects in your pockets, sir?” Two more police joined them.
    Attila offered the foreign dogs some choice archaic Mongolian profanity. After finding two concealed daggers on him they proceeded to give him the Rodney King treatment. Or, it would have been the Rodney King treatment, except…
    In ancient Mongolia Rodney was busy introducing polyester and margaritas to the nomadic warriors, profiting greatly from his knowledge of the future.


John Edward Lawson has published nine books, seven chapbooks, and over five hundred works in anthologies, magazines, and literary journals worldwide. He is a winner of the Fiction International Emerging Writers Competition, and has been a finalist for the Stoker Award and Wonderland Award. Other nominations include the Dwarf Stars Award, the Pushcart Prize, and the Rhysling Award. As a freelance editor he worked for Raw Dog Screaming Press, Double Dragon Publishing, and National Lampoon, has edited seven anthologies, and served as editor-in-chief for The Dream People. Recently he became a columnist at IMJ, covering events in the publishing industry.

Attila King originally published by Bust Down the Doors and Eat All the Chickens.
Copyright John Edward Lawson

Artwork by Carlo Carra

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Green Room: 3rd Iteration of The Meta-fictional Juggling Troupe by R.A. Harris

The thing about virtuality is that it really isn't that different to normaluality. Oh sure, there's the dizzying array of lime green processes that have no meaning, and cut and slice and mate with and engulf one another in an attempt at, what they call, “affection”, but to any normalized observer it is clearly the murder and appropriation of energies that look a little tasty or might go well with the furniture in an alternative home. But aside from that slight divergence in superficial appearance, there really isn't much between the virtual processes that produce phenomena and the phenomena themselves, which is considerably less exciting news than many speculative theories on the nature of being and everything put forward in the past few centuries, but such is the nature of existence.

Tomlinson kicked a stone, only to discover it was a frog, and what's more, it was a frog that when placed just where it was prior to his kicking it, provided key structural support to the entirety of being. Red lights swam through murky water and yellow tape criss-crossed over every surface.

After a moment or two everything simply vanished.

Then it re-appeared as it was, with just a subtle difference, everything was now a slightly lighter green, even bordering on yellow in parts.

The parasitic logicians were gorging themselves on the logical foundation of the virtual reality support system. Beeps from hidden speakers and oscillators showing a fading heartbeat signaled that the world's heart was still kicking, or punching - it couldn't be certain given that it only had ghost limbs, and wasn't sure which way its up was. To what end, and exactly what kind of fluid, this heart still pumped was up for debate.

Tomlinson and the troupe must've twisted and folded into at least twelve thousand different species of Ideas, their limbs rotating and splitting and bending through hidden dimensions, before settling on their current forms. They still felt like jugglers, though more amateur than before. Tomlinson even had a badge on that said as much. Gavin had goat legs but instead of hooves he had waffles for feet. Eric didn't have any legs at all, but as he was particularly lazy this was not an issue and was in fact a rather moot point to bring up.

Tomlinson was a professional at heart (even though that was where the amateur badge had stuck) and so began a new routine by throwing the dragon and the two young souls in a conceptual manner towards Eric. Eric sat in a boiling tub of water, screaming about how he wasn't a witch, Eric was the witch. Then the bath was in Eric. Then Eric was in the bath again.

Still, the dragon and the two souls were in a flight that could have rivaled Jesus' ascension to Heaven it looked so darn good, heading towards Eric, who was ranting and raving in the bath full of now luke-warm water, now frozen solid, now evaporated, when Gavin, being blind as he was, walked right into the path of these mythic projectiles. They struck him on the forehead, bowling him over. He folded into origami pseudo-dimensions until he was one-dimensional, which was an achievement considering there were no dimensions for his one dimension to exist in.

Tomlinson became Gavin. It wasn't a choice on his part, but given the circumstance, he wasn't about to complain. Gavin had a far better body anyway. The new combined being felt like his name was Tomgavlinson.

The three juggled objects became one, became a soccer ball, became a hot potato, became Tomgavlinson's own stupid sense of self. He bicycled kicked the conceptual iteration of his own stupid sense of self over his head towards and away from Eric in an impossible movement. It spread into a triptych piece of art that critics would refer to as “a shoddy use of imagination” and then unanimously slam as a feeble attempt at “weird for the sake of... well it's not even apparent what the point is, but the green is giving me a headache”. Thankfully, the shitty art then de-materialised just as Eric reached to catch it. His hands had become black-holes again.

“Eric,” Tomgavlinson mumbled through a mouth hidden somewhere under a roll of fat that grew around his face like a bubbling tumor, “Didn't I tell you to get that checked out?”

Eric blushed a deep blue. Then he started screaming about which witch would eat his sandwich. Tomgavlinson squashed a logician beneath an Idea of a toaster and a smattering of logic  caused him to diverge into Tomgav and Lininson. At least there were two of them again, they both thought, though not in unison, that would just be daft.


R. A. Harris still lives in England, a merry land made up inside his head. He writes bizarre fiction and some of it gets published. Go here: to see some of his famous flash work.
Copyright 2013 R.A. Harris 
Artwork Giorgio de Chirico 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Funereal Disease by G. Arthur Brown

I felt embarrassed to be at my own funeral. Time travel created these sorts of faux pas. I had trimmed my beard earlier in the day, from my reference point, or many years in the past. But I still felt out of place.

The mortician, his three strands of hair plastered to his scalp, gazed at the body in the open casket, shaking his head. “I can’t get the bones to stay in,” he kept saying by way of apology to everyone gathered. Most people ignored him, pushing forward to flamingo pink chairs. No one wanted to stand the whole time. If the awkward flapping of the carrion birds wasn’t enough, there were low parlor ceilings to contend with.

So they all huddled in, crouching if they could not find a seat. A man was forced to remove his ten gallon hat and a woman to undo her beehive hairdo. I noticed a crunching under my feet, as if someone had dropped pretzels everywhere, but the lighting was too dim to see. I regretted attending; time travel wasn’t cheap. Deliberately I crushed something under my heel. “Chicken bones,” said the homely lady in furs next to me with a wince.

“No, no. Bones of the deceased, I’m afraid,” the mortician said. “Just so many and so small, I couldn’t keep them all in the cada—the body. I’ll give everyone five dollars back at the door as you exit. I’m just so sorry.” But none of the guests seemed to care. I hunched over, grabbing for a bone. The one I snatched did look like a chicken bone with some dried up meat left on, though it was distinctly greenish.

“Our bones are green on the inside,” said a rugged gentleman in front of me. He handed me his business card, reading: In the Business of Crying. It listed twelve different email addresses. “Are you the deceased’s grandson?”

I’ll be forty-three years older when I pass. The attendants assumed I was a relative, but no one seemed to realize I had time traveled from the past, despite my name tag giving my true and full name. I did not answer, so he simply nodded with a sad smile, adding: “Glad we could both be inside him here, with the bones.”

I was very upset with the whole affair, and I hadn’t yet been to pay my own respects to myself. “I’ll travel back and get myself a better funeral,” I fumed.

The woman in furs turned to me and said, “Don’t waste your time. It won’t work.” Then I noticed the woman was actually me, a few years older, in disguise. It was not the look I was meant to sport.

“Instead, I shall simply die right now to save myself the embarrassment.” So I marched up front, pulled the future me from the casket and lay down in it. Everyone clapped as I forced myself to die there. Some of them were me, so they knew how much it meant to us.

Copyright 2010 G. Arthur Brown

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Earl woke up to someone pounding on his door.

“Who is it?” he yelled.

The door opened. Light seeped into his room. Pussy Bear stuck her massive bear head into his room. She was drunk.

“What do you want?” he asked.

“I’m bored,” she said.

“It’s five in the morning. You’re supposed to be bored. You’re supposed to be sleeping.”

“I don’t want to sleep. Come on, let’s hang out?”

“And do what?”

“We could play Truth or Dare.”

Pussy Bear loved to play Truth or Dare. She was a pro at truthing and daring. Once she dared a girl named Lila to stick a super powered flash light up her butt. It made both the girls ass cheeks glow. It was the best time ever. Earl was a nerd. He didn’t get to see cool stuff like that very often.

Truth or Dare could also get very awkward though. Pussy Bear loved to dare Earl to sit in her lap and touch her. She loved to make him uncomfortable.
Once, she dared Lila to kiss him. Lila refused. “He smells,” she said.

Earl looked like he was about to cry. This made Pussy Bear furious.

She started verbally abusing the girl. She called her a skank. She told her she was ugly. “You look like fucking Mrs. Potato Head!” Pussy Bear told her. Lila eventually ran out of the house crying.

It had been months since the incident with the Lila. Still, he was apprehensive about playing Truth or Dare. What if she got him all horny and they ended up boinking? He didn’t want to lose his virginity to a drunk Bear.

“Who else is awake?” Earl asked.

“Just me.”

“You can’t play Truth or Dare with only two people.”

“Sure you can.”

“It would be boring.”

Earl sighed. Pussy Bear was his first roommate. He thought it would easier to live with someone who was older. It wasn’t. He had been living with this big titted bear for almost a year and he hadn’t gotten used to it. She was belligerent and sex crazed and she never did the dishes. He heard that before she got the surgery she was just a normal woman and that she was pretty.  People told him that the surgery had changed her, that it didn’t just make her look like a bear, that it also made her act like one.

“Listen Pussy Bear, I’m eighteen now. I’m way too old to be playing Truth or Dare.”

“Age doesn’t matter,” she said. “I’m old as hell and I still love playing Truth or Dare. It’s the best.”

“I just don’t want to play, OK? I got to get some sleep. I got to go to work tomorrow.”

“OK. I understand.”

Pussy Bear closed the door. Earl lay in bed and listened to her stomp around their apartment. He could hear her rifling through the refrigerator. He could hear her dropping food onto the floor and then drunkenly cleaning it up. Pussy Bear got hungry at night. Especially when she was feeling rejected.

At one point he heard Pussy Bear talking to herself. She was playing Truth or Dare. Alone.  “Truth or Dare?” she asked herself. “Truth,” She said. “Don’t chose truth. Only wimps chose truth. Truth is boring.” She said. “Fine I’ll chose dare. OK. I dare you to stay up all night, eat all the food in the refrigerator and then to take a nice long piss as you watch the sun rise.”

Earl laughed when he heard her say this. She was so determined. She was like the Rocky Balboa of Truth or Dare. Part of him wanted to join her. An even bigger part didn’t want to get molested by a giant bear.

He couldn’t sleep. His thoughts were racing. He kept thinking about Pussy Bear. All that fur. Those giant breasts. Her musky odor. Then he thought about Lila. He thought about her ass and how it shined like Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer.

Hours passed. The sun rose. Birds began chirping.

Earl heard Pussy Bear walked outside. He heard her pissing. She pissed for what seemed like a small eternity. Earl loved the way it sounded. It was the sound of triumph. She had succeeded. She had played Truth or Dare by herself. And she had won.


Justin Grimbol went to some college for a million years and he has a beard, but you should totally buy his books:  Drinking Until Morning and  The Crud Masters.

Copyright Justin Grimbol
Artwort Giorgio de Chirico

Saturday, March 23, 2013

James Brown Saves Christmas by Andrew Wayne Adams

“Get up!”

“Get on up?”

“Get up!” shouts James Brown again, “it’s Christmas!”

“Holy shit!” I say, and jump out of bed, throwing off the covers and rising straight up like Nosferatu. “Christmas!”

We run downstairs, James Brown in the lead. His face is all sweaty. He screams, “Stay on the scene!”

And by “the scene,” he means: Christmas morning!

We each have one present under the tree. From each other. He opens his first, ripping away the paper to reveal: me!

“So good,” he shouts, “so good; I got you!”

I open mine next. It’s: James Brown! He doesn’t wait for me to finish unwrapping him before he gets up and dances, flinging off the last bit of paper himself as he does the Mashed Potato.

Dad comes in—we haven’t seen him in years—and unwraps his present (that he got for himself) to reveal: a snakeskin purse!

James Brown screams, “Papa’s got a brand new bag!”

Then Dad leaves again for several more years.

We both fall silent, looking inward. I sink to the floor. The Christmas tree wilts. From the fireplace comes, not Santa Claus, but carbon monoxide.

Then James Brown does the Twist, and he looks at me and screams, “Get up!”

“Get on up?”

“Get up!” he shouts, and I do, and we both run to the kitchen and fling open the cupboards and fridge and grab flour and sugar and eggs and butter and PCP and start to make Christmas cookies!

Once the dough is ready, James Brown rolls it flat by dancing on it. Sweat drips from his face and mixes with the dough.

I feel good.

We cut shapes from the dough. We bake the shapes. We decorate the baked shapes and put them on a plate. We make hundreds of cookies of every kind. I feel nice.

James Brown picks up a gingerbread man and says, “This is a man’s world!” Then he eats the gingerbread man.

We eat hundreds of cookies.

The overload of sugar and PCP turns James Brown into a monster. A vampire, to be specific. He grows fangs and dons a cape.

He attacks me. I grab a cookie shaped like a crucifix and try to ward him off. He hisses. I back him into a corner. He does the splits and wraps himself in his cape. I stand over him, holding him in place with the cookie.

A saxophonist sneaks up behind me and honks his instrument in my ear. It startles me, and while I’m distracted, James Brown bites me on the arm.

The saxophonist bows to James Brown, calls him “Master,” then turns into fog and disappears into the exhaust fan over the stove.

I look at the bite on my arm. I look at James Brown.

James Brown screams, “I got you!”

Indeed; and soon I will be like him: undead!

I cry out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

I drop to my knees. James Brown drapes a cape over me.

I die.

James Brown puts me in the oven and rolls a large rock in front of it. I bake at room temperature for three days/months. Then:

“Get up...”

“Get on up?”

“Get up...” James Brown croons into my mind through vampiric telepathy; “it’s Easter!”

“Holy shit!” I say, and burst out of the oven, rising from my tomb like Nosferatu. “Easter!”

We run outside and hunt for eggs and drink the blood of humans. The humans call me “Master.” They are my flock. I feel good.

I knew that I would.


Andrew Wayne Adams is a total jerk from somewhere in the Midwest or something.  He wrote a book called Janitor of Planet Anilingus.  He stole G. Arthur Brown's Kitten and he won't give it back. He now lives in Portland where he is happy and successful (and licking butts).

Copyright Andrew Wayne Adams
Artwork by Leonora Carrington

Friday, March 22, 2013

Harvesting Brains Pastoral by Shawn Misener

The sky is red and violent and the skinny farmer digs up brains with his shovel.

      Pitching them from the earth they shriek in Morse code. A bawdy secretary languishes behind the farmer, translating the squealing gray matter and scratching her rectangular nose obsessively.

     As each rusted wheelbarrow fills with minds a donkey appears and slouches away with the load. "Fourteen thousand eight hundred and twenty seven" counts the secretary in whispers born under the prairie wind.

     Somewhere behind the far distant trees a monstrous fog horn bellows. Both the farmer and the secretary vanish in identical puffs of heavy dust, leaving behind brains strewn around like so much neglected cauliflower.

     A vacuous, slow moment.

     Then a new farmer appears, the atmosphere popping violently in his arrival, followed by another short-skirted secretary, her glasses askew and eyes cocked in confusion.

     The second shift begins when the farmer scoops his first brain. The sky reluctantly shades from maroon to a painful deep purple, the clouds wrench themselves into loose threatening coils, and the secretary bends an elven ear towards the multitudes of pleading encephalitic vegetables.


Shawn Misener lives in Michigan.  His chapbooks include Dry Humping a Fire Hydrant and In Your Face(book), and he edits the absurdist blogazine Clutching at Straws.

Copyright Shawn Misener
Artwork by Leonora Carrington

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes is Going to Beat You Up

You thought you just had to look out for Gov. Schwartzenegger? Now Sherlock Holmes (Morton Downey, Jr.) is also coming to beat the stuffing out of you.  He wants to split your seams with his steampunk/New Victoriana menace.

All in all, not a bad film especially when you consider that director Guy Ritchie has allowed his wiener to touch Madonna.  For some reason, Algernon Blackwood finds himself to be a villain bent on turning the world black with magic in this strange adaptation. Keep in mind, I was on heavy doses of vitamins when I saw this film, and a young street urchin stole all my notes, but I’m pretty sure that I remember Jane Adams playing Mata Hari.  Judith Light turns in the performance of a “light-time” as Prof. Watson, the elementary school teacher that Holmes is clearly in love with, but it is the kind of love that Guy Ritchie feels for his adaptation of this classic tale, not the kind of love you should feel for your teacher.

(Originally posted like a million years ago on

Monday, March 18, 2013

Transsexual Meth Addicts with Marshmallow Eyes by G. Arthur Brown

On the fifth afternoon on Mars X we were attacked by three transsexual meth addicts with marshmallow eyes.  This was my tenth encounter with these bizarre creatures.  Glegman, our science officer, had struggled to explain why they had marshmallows for eyes.  But we had come to accept that, though there was probably an interesting back story there to make some sense of it all, we would probably never know. It was more important to identify their weaknesses.  They averaged 6.75 feet in height, 200 pounds, with astonishing strength for long term drug abusers. The marshmallow eyes seemed to function like an insectoid composite eye, gathering a wide spectrum of input, but not particularly good with fine details, so we were fairly sure they could not read our names printed on the top left of our shirts, above the Space Force insignia.  I felt our anonymity would remain to our advantage in this skirmish.

Jackson’s head was wrenched from his shoulders before I could say, “Holy Hell, Sergeant Thomas K. Jackson, that big transsexual meth addict with marshmallow eyes is coming right for you, probably to rip off your relatively normal-sized head!”

Jackson was the last one with a functional lazerzap.  The rest of us, in the off hours, had jammed our barrels full of dirt as we made sketches in the topsoil.  “Art is for fags,” Jackson had said, and even at the time I knew he was making a wise decision in not using his weapon as a drawing stick. On the other hand Leon had done a rather good likeness of Pope Lexander the Fabulous, the first openly gay man in the papacy.  Everyone seemed to really enjoy gazing at this work of art, save Jackson, who merely shook his head at the image and polished his long, hard gun.

Now, Jackson’s headless corpse heaped itself conscientiously well clear of the action. Out of other options, this left only Jarro’s ass bees.  While shitting in the woods a few weeks prior, a strain of alien rape bees had decided to make a nest in his ass. Luckily, Jarro was psychic, using his uncanny telepathy to communicate with the tiny bugs.  He learned to unleash them at will. But they were generally horribly pissed off about the whole matter.

Pulling down his trousers, a line of ass bees fled the man’s rectum like they were sick of being cooped up in his fleshy shit tube.  The largest transsexual meth addict, whom I presumed to be their queen, swatted at the bees with both nail-polished man-hands and her horse tail, causing his/her DDD breasts to bounce about uncontrollably, crushing Leon’s skull. And I had just warned him about standing too close to trannies earlier in the day.

The skinniest of the transsexual meth addicts with marshmallow eyes, using his/her incredible erection, hoisted Jarro into the sky and catapulted him in a massive arc. The body landed with a crunch, bouncing limply before coming to rest.  I wanted to cry out, but my voice had left me.  Then his body exploded in a giant ball of flaming, sentient robotic dicks, capable of fucking anyone--male, female or tranny--to death in a matter of seconds.

“I’d just like to take this moment to say that I always knew space exploration was a bad idea.  I suspected that I would wind up dead at the hands of horrible creatures, the likes of which are never seen on a sane and rational planet like Earth.  If only I would have had one last chance to kiss my mother,” I didn’t have time to say before I was swallowed into the queen’s glistening anal gape.

He/she was fucked to death in a matter of seconds by the flying mechanical fire dicks as I suffocated, vindicating me once and for all.

Copyright 2013 G. Arthur Brown
Artwork Remedios Varo

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bus to Blackridge by Alan Gardner

‘The fuckin’ cunt was just lookin’ at me, know wit a mean?’

I nodded, trying not to commit. In these situations it’s best to be blankly diplomatic.

‘Aye, so then as wiz like “the fuck’s he lookin’ at me fur, eh?’

He lit a fag and pocketed my lighter. I saw the driver glance at us in the mirror. He said nothing. Why invite more aggro into your life?

‘Blackridge cunts like me dinnae take shite aff nae cunt.’

He laughed and coughed up a little green globule of phlegm onto his sleeve. He wiped it away and continued.

‘So the cunt’s no getting’ away wae that. Wid you let some cunt pure stare at ye like that, wae yer fuckin’ burd right there anaw, mate?’

‘Probably no, mate.’ I laughed, as if I understood the code, and had taught it to more than one.

‘Aye, see, you know the fuckin’ score, this cunt didnae, but. Ah wiz like, “fuck the cunt!”, eh?’

There was a creeping tension, the other passengers, mostly old folk, and another guy who had had the sense to keep clear, who were trying hard to appear deaf or somewhere else, were transmitting that tension. Or perhaps I was sending it to them and they were then condensing it and sending it back. Maybe it was just my heightened sense of awareness, animal instinct. You know these situations can turn. I said just enough, and responded where necessary, trying hard to be very pro neutral.

‘Wit would you dae if you were me, mate?’

‘It depends…’

‘On wit?’

It could turn here, I thought. ‘Depends if the cunt wiz bigger than me ur no, eh?’ I laughed.

He laughed too. ‘Yer no wrang. Still, widnae matter a fuck tae me. Ah’d jist fuckin’ plant wan on um. That’s wit Ah fuckin’ did tae. BANG! Right on the cunt’s fuckin’ jaw!’

He was getting more and more worked up. He was spinning out to a thread that could snap at any moment.

‘Ah’m a schizophrenic by the way.’

Think. ‘My uncle was in Bangour with something like that…’

‘Fuckin’ Bangour, Ah wiz there fur two year. Fuckin’ slashed wan ay they cunts anaw.’

Do not ask me his name.

‘Yer uncle, aye? Ah’d probably ken the cunt, kent aw they cunts up there. Wit wuz e’s name?’

‘John Henderson…’

‘Auld John? Aye, Ah ken the cunt. Fuckin’ raped a wee lassie that cunt!’

‘Must be a different John Henderson…’

‘Gie’s a light again, pal, eh?’

I feigned a quick pocket search along with surprise and a smile. ‘I think you’ve still got my lighter.’

‘Oh, sorry, pal, so Ah huv tae! Aye, cannae put fuck all past you, eh?’

‘Just keep it, mate. I’m getting off soon, plenty lighters lyin’ aboot in the hoose.’

‘Getting aff in Whitburn?’


‘Fuckin’ slashed a cunt fae there anaw. Right on the Cross, cunts never got me fur that either. But that’s a different fuckin’ story. The cunt thit wiz lookin’ it me, Ah punched um right in the pus. Fuckin’ doon he goes. Ken wit Ah did then?’

‘What happened?’

‘Fuckin’ pished aw ower the cunt! Wiz fuckin’ burstin’ tae! Funny hing is Ah’d shagged e’s burd the week afore, maybe that’s how the cunt was giein’ me the fuckin’ daggers. Fuck um though, eh? Wee soft cunts like that deserve tae get thur burds shagged oot fae under thum!’

‘Hope you have a good weekend anyway…’

‘Ah ALWAYS huv a good weekend! Ah’m away hame tae get pished an’ shag the burd!’

I got off and watched the bus to Blackridge splutter up the hill, hoping that the slasher’s next victim would be the other guy who’d had the sense not to give him a light.

Alan Gardner lives in Scotland, where he does many things.  You may remember him as Bad Albert, if you happened to stumble across his Youtube channel back in the day. 

Copyright Alan Gardner
Artwork Remedios Varo

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Tesla’s Brigade by John Edward Lawson

Twelve children were sent to the future to communicate a desperate message on behalf of their era. Future humans will phase out hearing altogether due to noise pollution. Tesla knew such a predicament would arise so he instructed the children in the ways of sign language.
    “Why have they sent you to us?” the future humans will ask.
    “Keyser Wilhelm needs to borrow some milk.”
    This statement will lead to solemn deliberation amongst future governments. Wild gesticulation will rule the day.
    The decision: “We can’t see how one ‘borrows’ a cup of milk. After usage the milk is incapable of being returned.”
    Saddened by the rampant stinginess they encountered, the envoy returned to the early twentieth century. Tesla administered a sound spanking to them. Meanwhile, Keyser Wilhelm was unable to bake a proper cake for receiving foreign dignitaries, leading to World War I and the popularity of Veganism.


John Edward Lawson has published nine books, seven chapbooks, and over five hundred works in anthologies, magazines, and literary journals worldwide. He is a winner of the Fiction International Emerging Writers Competition, and has been a finalist for the Stoker Award and Wonderland Award. Other nominations include the Dwarf Stars Award, the Pushcart Prize, and the Rhysling Award. As a freelance editor he worked for Raw Dog Screaming Press, Double Dragon Publishing, and National Lampoon, has edited seven anthologies, and served as editor-in-chief for The Dream People. Recently he became a columnist at IMJ, covering events in the publishing industry.

"Tesla's Brigade" originally published in Idiot's Manifesto
Copyright John Edward Lawson 

Artwork Remedios Varo

Friday, March 15, 2013

I Won the MegaSuperLotto by Douglas Hackle

A few weeks ago I won the MegaSuperLotto.

The jackpot was $932 million. I had the only winning ticket. It was the largest lottery payout to a single individual in the history of lotteries.

A few nights prior to purchasing my ticket, the winning numbers—1, 20, 34, 72, 84, 94, 98—were revealed to me in an über-fucked up nightmare in which I had doggy-style sex with my sister at a Motel 6 in Detroit.

Okay, I’ll come clean: The nightmare was a tad more disturbing and complicated than that. In it, my big sis had my dad’s head, my mom’s arms, my grandpa’s legs, and my baby brother’s kidneys (I could not see the kidneys, of course, but as I was the semi-omniscient host of this nightmare, I was privy to that knowledge). And if all that wasn’t fucked-up enough, my dad’s head was screwed on backwards to the body, so that his face stared back at me with big, wet eyes of glaring condemnation throughout the entirety of the perverse sex act. As I subjected the Dad-headed, hybrid family-thing to my ungentle thrusts, I was repulsed—nay, sickened to the very core of my being. I longed to pull myself off the monstrosity, to run as far away from that motel room as my dream-legs would carry me.

But at the same time, part of me did not want to pull away.

And that was perhaps the scariest thing of all.

Then, just before the thing climaxed, the Dad-head croaked those seven winning lottery numbers to me in the raspy, throat cancer voice of my grandma, and I awoke with a start.

Anyhow, I didn’t know it at the time, but the federal tax rate on lottery earnings in the U.S. was 347.46%. That meant that I owed Uncle Sam a staggering, completely unpayable $323.8 billion! And I also didn’t know it at the time, but a recent amendment to the U.S. Constitution stated that a lottery winner’s refusal or inability to pay federal taxes on his or her lottery earnings was punishable by death by firing squad.


When they executed me, one of the dozens of copper-jacketed .30-30 rounds that tore through me penetrated my skull and just so happened to strike my basal ganglia—a bundle of neurons situated near the center of the brain. In addition to other neural functions, the basal ganglia is involved with perception of the passage of time. I died more or less instantly; however, due to the specific shape, velocity, temperature, and direction of the bullet that obliterated my basal ganglia, my subjective perception of time was vastly distorted in that final instant, so that the moment of my death stretched out like a wad of chewing gum. To be specific, from my point of view, it took me approximately 378 years to die. Now had that same bullet hit my basal ganglia just a nanometer to the left or a micrometer to the right, or had the bullet entered my skull at a speed that was a few millimeters per second slower than the speed it actually did enter, I might have experienced a more or less normal, instant sort of death. Then again, perhaps my death would have been stretched out even longer. Who the hell knows? The human brain is infinitely full of quirks.

Anyway, point being my death sucked. Big time.

Now I’m a ghost. And upon further reflection, considering I’m a ghost, and considering that as a ghost I’ve permanently left all worldly affairs behind, I might as well come clean—come clean for real this time.

Here goes: Remember that nightmare I said I had? Well, it wasn’t a nightmare.

Not only is that Dad-headed sister thing real, it’s my next of kin. Which means not only did the thing inherit my MegaSuperLotto winnings when I died, but it also inherited the tax burden on those earnings.

As a consequence, the Dad-headed sister thing is scheduled for execution by firing squad tomorrow morning.


I wonder if we’ll find each other here on the dark, misty-purple plane of the spirit world. If we do meet again, I wonder if our incorporeal, quasi-ectoplasmic forms will be able to engage in sex. Of course it goes without saying that the very notion of such an unspeakable, depraved reunion repulses me, sickens me to the very core of my spectral being, but still I wonder.

Okay, I’ll come clean again: Part of me does want that unspeakable, depraved reunion to take place.

And that’s what scares me.

Okay, okay, alright, alright, I’ll come clean one final time: My desire for that unspeakable, depraved reunion doesn’t scare me at all actually.

That’s because I want to fuck the shit out of that fucking thing again.
That thing is fucking hawt.

Douglas Hackle writes lobsters that are bizarre, surreal, satirical, horrific, macabre, veiny, vainglorious, childish, moronic, or some combination of these qualities. His lobsters have seen publication in both online crabs and printed manatees. Douglas resides in Northeast Ohio with his wife and little boy, and he sincerely apologizes for using the phrase “lest you order seven fetal marionette pizzas” four times in the previous sentence when one time would have been just as sufficient.

Visit him at:

Copyright Douglas Hackle
Artwork Leonora Carrington

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Seaman by Darrin Naill

When the only thing one has to fend off a swarm of moths is an arm broken off a lawn jockey (sans hanging lamp), it is best to swing fast and wide and round. Up and down motions usually end making a knot on the forehead (which is precisely what happened). The glancing blow causes staggering, which in turn allows the moths entrance into the small closet where, over time, a few of the items hanging in said closet will be damaged. Living in the closet, hunting down the dozen or so moths is the task of a mad-man. So, with water bottles and Chex mix in hand, the hunkering down began.

Not knowing what attracts moths (aside from the clothes already hanging in the closet), it is best to sit still and breathe little, match and candles in hand, and wait for the fluttering. And then it's simply a matter of match/candle/moth...poof!

If the telephone rings, it is not a good idea to panic, strike a match to see how to get out of the closet, inadvertently igniting a spilled oil lamp that was clumsily knocked over by the homeowner. It is also not a good idea to climb into the window of a dark brick rancher, chasing the moths that were to blame for ruining the old wool coat of the sailor admired by many (or perhaps just one) who died just a week before when a yard jockey fell upon his head while the sailor was bathing.

Also, do not try to fight fire with clothing. Naked, charred remains will be all that will be left.


Darrin Naill. 70s born, father of 3, husband of 1. Eater of meats and cheeses. Hunter and Fisher; general killer. College degreed, yet employed at a bargain. Acquainted severally, friended fewly. Bourbon.

Copyright Darrin Naill
Artwork Leonora Carrington

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Story of Geordio's Rooster Flock by G. Arthur Brown

Geordio had a whole flock of roosters. This is not something you find all the time. You can find whole flocks of hens.  Mostly in the trees, which is where they sleep. Easier to find when they are sleeping. Craftier than you might think in the day time.  Seems crazy. Foxes and raccoons are out at night. 

“Fuck our eggs!”  squawked one rooster!
“We don’t even have any fucking eggs!” squawked two roosters!

Geordio, as I said, had a whole flock of roosters.  This was because he was a homophile.  He couldn’t relate to women, even chicken women.  He even got rid of a poinsettia that he thought might be a girl.

I totally told him it wasn’t a girl.  He still gave it to a homeless man, who was very happy about it, until he realized it wasn’t cannabis sativa. 

But the point is, you see a group of chickens, you assume that most are hens.  This was not the case when you came around Geordio’s place.  First of all, he just had them inside, like dogs or cats.  There were nearly twenty of them.  And the shit was caked into his carpet, which wasn’t good to begin with, so that I wouldn’t wear my nice shoes in his house for fear of fucking them up. 

I was at his place one night. 
“Fuck our eggs!” a rooster squawked.

And yeah, roosters can’t lay eggs, but they were laying something that was sort of like golf balls.  If you boiled them down, and then crushed up the residue and snorted it, it got you super fucking high.  We even gave some to that disappointed homeless guy.  He could fly after that.  I’m not sure if he could fly before that, but he did have large wings.  

Copyright 2013 G. Arthur Brown
Artwork Remedios Varo

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Before the Last Object is Thrown by R.A. Harris

Tomlinson spun the ultra-pink neon bulb, the final piece of the puzzle, on his finger before tossing it into the mix. It flew after the other objects in a beautiful choreography that only a professional meta-fictional juggling troupe could achieve. Between Eric, Gavin and himself, they now juggled twelve emperor penguins, thirty laptops, tension, the human genome, an orange so moldy it was turquoise, an old Swiss lady, a rabid pregnant television set, a television executive with a gun, smaller versions of themselves juggling even smaller versions of themselves (ad infinitum), a mobile phone, a couple of young spirits, a fluorescent green dildo with a pot of honey flavored lube and the ultra-pink neon bulb. The only thing that was missing was a woman with flaming nipples.

Tomlinson was shocked when the turquoise orange metamorphosed into a miniature dragon. After consideration, he realised that this may well have been a full sized dragon as he hadn't actually seen one before. It wasn't such a surprise to him when its razor sharp wings tore a hole in reality, letting in a collective of parasitic logicians, as he always suspected his world to be made of flimsy material stitched together with frail premises. The logicians flew in like locust, latched onto the soft membrane of reality with terrifying ferocity and immediately began draining logic from its virtual metaphysical processes.

Eric got bored with juggling, which was at odds with his very raison d'être. But given that his entire consciousness would otherwise revolve around juggling, it came across as a development that gave a previously unfathomed depth to his character. It was probably caused by the case of Praxis Illogica brought about by the parasite logicians collected on the membrane of reality like so many ticks, rather than any intention on the part of a Creator-entity. He yawned immeasurably wide.

“When you open your mouth wide like that I can see a black hole where your soul should be,” Tomlinson told him. “Maybe you should get that checked out. You're not supposed to be able to see black holes.” He juggled the pink bulb towards Eric.

Eric stretched his mouth wider, trying to get a glimpse down his own throat. He took his eye off of the pink bulb and it sailed down his gullet. His interior burnt a brilliant neon pink as the sphere imploded into its own negative state just before passing through the black hole.

Once the dazzling light had dissipated Tomlinson risked another look down Eric's throat. “Would you look at that? The black hole's gone.” His voice echoed around Eric's gaping mouth. “But you, my friend, are soulless.” And then, without really knowing where it came from, he added, “Merely an empty vessel to facilitate a world of events far removed from the mundane reality we inhabit here.”

“I'm blind,” Gavin said as he groped around for the soft membrane of reality that held him in place. “It's all pink.”

Tomlinson couldn't help but think that their existence was a mere formality now. No longer able to really call the three of them a meta-fictional juggling troupe, he set about dismantling the dimensions that had been constructed to house their essence. A flat packed Tomlinson cursed it all to hell.

“All this cursing makes me want to go boil a witch,” said Eric.

Tomlinson briefly pondered on the implications of his thoughts being projected so that Eric could comment on them, but just shrugged it off as a glitch in the mechanisms guiding their world, most likely just another symptom of the ontological virus represented by the plague of logicians. He held the deconstructed dimensions out at arm's length because they stank like rotten egg. He pinched his nose with his other hand and hop-stepped over to the tear caused by the dragon, where he tossed them out into oblivion.

Without a structure, the soft membrane of reality cascaded over the troupe like a collapsing circus tent, little bubbles of paradox silently rose from the mess and then popped, spilling antithetical notions and conclusions into one another, making their enunciation redundant. Tomlinson and the others swirled around in eddy currents, transient pools of liquid similarity, before descending into the depths of irreal virtuality like waste down a plug hole.


R. A. Harris lives in England, a merry land made up inside his head. He writes bizarre fiction and some of it gets published. Go here: to see some of his famous flash work.
Copyright 2013 R.A. Harris 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Spineless by Justin Grimbol

Pussy Bear and Cathy sat on the couch and drank their coffee. Pussy Bear hated visiting Cathy. The first floor of her house was a massive salt water pool. Her fur smelled awful when it was wet. But Cathy’s husband was a jelly fish and she had to respect that.
Cathy loved to complain about her marriage. Apparently it was very boring.  “I don’t know what I was thinking marrying this nerd,” she said.
“You loved him,” Pussy Bear said.
“I guess.”
 “And you have that weird fetish for getting stung,” Pussy Bear reminded her.
“That’s true.”
Cathy’s husband swam up to Pussy bear and started stinging the hell out of her feet. The last time Pussy Bear visited the jelly fish stung her so bad that she lost her temper and ended up stomping on the thing and killing it. Luckily, Cathy was in the bathroom at the time. She didn’t see her stomp her husband to death. Pussy Bear then went to the beach and fish up another jelly fish and put it in Cathy’s house before she noticed her husband was gone. This had actually happened on a few occasions. She thought it was strange that Cathy couldn’t tell that the jelly fish that was floating around her living room was wasn’t her husband.
“I can’t stand the way he stings me,” Cathy said. “I’m constantly going to the beach to be with other jelly fish. I’m such a whore.”
Pussy bear assured her that she was just going through a phase. Cathy wept. She threw herself into Pussy Bears big hairy arms. The two women embraced. The jelly fish continued to sting Pussy Bear’s feet. She couldn’t tell if the creature was flirting with her, attacking her or begging for help.


Justin Grimbol went to Green Mountain College for thirty years. He majored in Partying and Dry Humping. He is the author of DRINKING UNTIL MORNING and THE CRUD MASTERS

Copyright Justin Grimbol 
Artwork by Leonora Carrington 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Robots Make Our Food by Shawn Misener

“This is where we suck the skin off the beasts,” remarks the General, pointing to a small white tube dangling from the ceiling. “We coat the mouthpiece with mushroom sauce, and as soon as they wrap their stinky bulbous lips around it... VROOOP! No more skin.”

He leads us over to an electrified holding pen, where several skinned beasts meander, bouncing off one another and yelping squeamishly. The General smiles and points to them with his bone cane. “These are the skinless sows. Watch what happens when I press this button.” He taps a tiny button with the cane and the floor releases, sending the beasts into the void with the force of a public restroom toilet. Rousing applause booms from speakers mounted on the fence.

“Thank you, thank you,” says the General, bowing.

The tiny pink woman touring with me pipes up, “Isn't it the truth, Herr General, that robots make our food? What do you say to that?”

“You bitch!” He sings, pounding the top of her bald head with his cane. “Where do you think you are? Afmenistan? Turkily? This is 'Merica! We invented robots.” Breathing deeply and adjusting his robes, he whistles. The entire facility rumbles upon the grand entrance of a metallic ball the size of a three-story Victorian. It saunters up next to us, and I feel compelled to hop the fence and join the beasts in their doom.

The General laughs. “This what happens when you roll all the robots into one! A Katamari! You guys want some dinner?”

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Soda Can: A Morality Play by Sarah Shaw

The man wearing the green shirt tilts back his head and drains the can of Mr. Bubbly Syrup, savoring the last bit of sugary liquid before tossing the purple can on the sidewalk and continuing his walk home. The can lies on the concrete near a recycling bin.
    Mr. Bubbly Syrup, known as Mr. BS to those who enjoy it, is the leading soft drink in America. Its high caffeine-to-sugar ratio earned Mr. BS instant success and popularity when it hit the market in the 1970s. The formula is a well-guarded secret. Armed mercenaries patrol the entry to the vault where the recipe is kept. No one has ever broken in.
    Now, a solitary and empty can lies on the sidewalk. It vaguely senses that it does not belong here, but since it is not entirely sentient, it hasn't a clue what to do about its condition. Mr. BS doesn't notice the color of the sky changing slowly from blue to a deep orange hue. Nor does it feel the droplets of sizzling rain that hit its aluminum body. The bright flash of light that encompasses infinity is also lost on the can. Mr. BS does, however, sense the mechanical arms and legs that grow quickly from its sides and bottom. Like a newborn calf, Mr. BS slowly rises and takes its first wobbly steps.
    The sky is blue again, with few clouds, but Mr. BS sees only green with the metallic eyes it has grown. Driven by what can only be called instinct (or an otherworldly GPS), the aluminum can follows the path of the man wearing the green shirt who had discarded Mr. BS on the sidewalk.
    Green Shirt isn't difficult to find. He's at the front door of a white house with a tiny, trimmed lawn which is a clone of every other house on the block. Before the man can pull his keys from his pants pocket, Mr. BS launches onto the back of his head and chomps through his skull with its newly acquired set of razor-like, metal teeth. The second bite takes the brain. Green shirt is dead before he has a chance to bleed. Mr. BS opens and shuts its mouth rhythmically, pulling in the remainder of the deceased litterbug bite by bite, along with the bottom step of the porch. Since it does not have taste buds and only vaguely notices a change in the resistance and sound reverberations of this new material being crushed between its teeth, the soda can continues to consume the porch, front door, walls, and roof.
    Now, passersby notice Mr. BS as its feast of flesh and building materials causes its aluminum body to stretch upward and outwards, metallic pops and crinkles sounding throughout the suburb. The can now stands at five-and-a-half feet, give or take a smidge. The passersby really can't ignore the sudden absence of the house on lot #3, either. Since human brains aren't prepared to process what these particular humans have just witnessed, they simply stare dumbly at the man-sized, purple soda can as its mouth wrenches open to the size of its body and begins to vacuum up the sidewalk, inhaling concrete and several neighbors. Soon, the entire street is cycloning through the air and into Mr. BS's giant maw. The can has another growth spurt and shoots up to 15 feet tall.
    It leaves the nothing that it has created and arrives at a small commercial district, greeted by screams and screeching tires. Mr. BS takes hold of a white Ford Focus and swallows it whole and then flings an Acura into a convenience store. Mr. BS grows larger with every car, bus bench and person that it devours. The sidewalks that it slurps up add feet to its height and girth and soon a 20-story aluminum behemoth stands amidst nothing. It starts to walk, each step shaking the Earth.
    Mr. BS destroys building after building, city after city and continent after continent until there is nothing. Nothing but the sea and the sand. Still driven, Mr. BS points its mouth downward and begins to suck, drawing into its body the planet itself.


Sarah Shaw lives in the middle of Alaska where she thinks up stuff and writes it down.

Copyright 2013 Sarah Shaw

Monday, March 4, 2013

Grape Will Be Fine by G. Arthur Brown

 My father had already been slipping into the murky mire of senility even before my mother’s death sixth months ago. As I went through a gray pantomime of motions to keep him, and myself, alive and, more or less, clean, I ignored most of his advice. Why would I take heed, especially at a time like this?

“You need to find yourself a strong woman, Clark. Like a horse,” he tells me. He sits with a bowl of lentil soup in front of a muted television, screening a clips episode of Designing Women, 5th season.

I’m preparing a soufflé by my mother’s recipe, wishing I had paid more attention to everything she told me about cooking. The simple instructions on the note cards do not convey the intricacies that are needed to appropriately cultivate something as refined and French as a cheese soufflé.

“Those waffles smell delicious. Been a long time since I ate a cheese waffle.”

“It’s a soufflé, Dad.” I begin to cry into the dish, torrents of tears and mucus. This doesn’t look like my mother’s soufflé, even less so now that I’ve waterlogged it. Waterlogged, like my life.

“I ruined the soufflé, Dad.” I wipe my face and yank myself back together.

“What are you going to do now, Clark?”

I have no idea what I’m going to do. My last hopes of getting my life back on track sits gloopily in front of me, mocking me with its inedibility. Defeated by food. But I need to say something, so: “I’m going to buy more cheese, I guess.”

He shuffles into the kitchen with a mostly empty soup bowl that he tucks into a sink brimming with dishes. With a hand on my shoulder, he says, “Oh, Clark. Sometimes cheese isn’t the answer.”

For a minute, I listen. Perhaps he’s got a point. My life is not as simple as a ruined soufflé.

I ask, “Do you think there is an answer?”

He wanders over to the stove. “If you are going to the store for cheese,” he says, as if he didn’t hear my last question, “can you pick me up some Pepsi?”

My heart slouches a little. “Sure, any particular kind of Pepsi you’d like?”

He arranges some dirty dish towels on the handle of the oven. He smacks his lips and says, “Grape will be fine.” 

Copyright 2013 G. Arthur Brown
Painting by Carlo Carra

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Lady Looks Like a Dude, But is Really a Dude Trying to Look Like a Lady By Jimmy James Pudge, M.F.

Irene had a beard. She was a bearded lady in a sideshow. But Irene had a secret. She was really a man with a little pee pee named Eddie.
Eddie was tired of working in the fast food industry. He hated the smell of meat and French fries on his clothes. So he decided to wear a dress, grow a beard, and become a sideshow attraction in the Travelling Sideshow.
Today they were in Panama City, Florida, and Eddie decided to go to Dipping Dots before the show started. People stared at him in his green dress as he ordered the rainbow flavored dipping dots. He paid for the dipping dots and sat at the table eating his dipping dots. The dipping dots were good and ice cold, and he enjoyed putting the little dipping dot beads in his mouth and sucking on them. He called them his miniature balls.
When he was finished with his dipping dots, Eddie decided to go to Alvin’s Island and buy some souvenirs. He saw a bunch of alligator heads and this made him sick to his stomach. How horrible people were to kill such poor and defenseless creatures! Oh the fucking cruelty of humanity! Oh the horror of it all!
Eddie decided to buy a small alligator head and put it in his trailer. He was about to walk out of Alvin’s Island when this thug approached him and asked him why he was wearing women’s clothing.
“I’m a bearded lady,” Eddie said, his high-pitched voice cracking.
“You ain’t no lady,” the man said. “You ain’t no goddamn lady.” He put his hand between Eddie’s legs, but he couldn’t feel anything because Eddie was fat and his stomach sheathed his dick.
“Gee, I’m sorry as a motherfucker,” the thug, said, removing his hand. “You want to go behind Alvin’s Island and fuck in the woods?”
“Sure,” Eddie said. “Let me just pay for this alligator head.” Eddie bought the alligator head, then followed the man outside. “Lead the way,” Eddie said.
The man grabbed Eddie’s hand and led him into the palm trees. Eddie looked behind him and saw they were out of view.
“Give me your fucking wallet,” Eddie said, pulling a pistol out of his panties. “I’ll shoot your dick off.”
“Wait a minute,” the thug said, clearly confused. “I thought we was gonna fuck or something.”
Eddie shot him in the dick and took his wallet. He opened it up, but there was no money inside. What a waste of time. He tossed the wallet at the moaning man and headed back to the sideshow.
Big Barney the Muscle Man was drinking an Ensure and waved at Eddie when he walked up.
“Hey Irene,” he said. “Check this out.” He flexed his biceps.
“That’s really groovy, Big Barney,” Eddie said.
“You know, I think you’re cute, even though you got a beard,” Big Barney said. “You don’t see the beard once you get to know what a beautiful girl you are on the inside.”
“Thanks Barney,” Eddie said, blushing.
“Hey, no problemo, baby,” Barney said, finishing off his Ensure. Barney drank a lot of Ensure.
Eddie went inside his trailer and took his dress off. He was really sweaty. The Florida sun was very hot on his hairy body. He sat naked in front of a fan and let the fan blow air on him. He smoked a cigarette and checked himself out in the mirror. His weight gave him great breasts, but his thighs looked terrible.
There was a knock on the door, and Eddie hopped up off the bed.
“Irene!” a man shouted. “Irene, you in there bitch?”
“Just a minute,” Eddie said, putting his dress back on and opening the door.
“Irene, we got a problem” the owner of the sideshow said.
“What’s that?” Irene asked.
“I was peeping in your window and couldn’t help but notice your dick when you were pissing in the toilet.”
“Oh my goodness,” Eddie said.
“Yeah, the jig’s up, bitch. I know you’re a man.”
“So, what are you going to do?” Irene gulped.
“It depends on what you’re going to do,” the owner said. “You can either get fired or bend over that bed and let me stick it in you for a few.”
“That’s horrible!” Eddie said.
“That’s the way it is,” the owner said. “You’ve been a naughty bitch, lying to everyone like you have been. You deserve a good dicking.”
“Who else knows I’m a man?” Eddie asked.
“Not a damn soul,” the owner said.
Eddie whipped out his pistol and put a hole in the owner’s head, fragments of the man’s skull and brain shattering the window. Eddie looked up at his ceiling. Blood was on it. He didn’t realize blood could fly so high.
“Irene!” came a loud voice from outside the trailer. It was Big Barney’s voice.
“I’m okay, Barney,” Eddie said as Big Barney kicked the door open. It fell off its hinges and flew a couple of feet in the air.
“What happened here?” Big Barney asked.
“He. He tried to rape me,” Eddie said.
“Oh, Irene,” Barney said, hugging the bearded woman tightly. “It’s okay. Shh…hush up that crying. It’s going to be alright.”
“You think anyone else heard the gunshot?” Irene asked.
“No. I don’t think so. Most people are on the other side of the camp, prepping their stalls.”
“Good,” Irene said, pulling a knife out of her panties and plunging it into Big Barney’s chest.
Big Barney’s eyes got wide. “Irene,” he said, “why? Why did you do this?”
He fell to the dirty floor on his back. “I loved you.”
“Is there anything I can do for you,” Eddie asked.
“I’m so thirsty,” Big Barney said, coughing up blood. “I’m so thirsty. Jesus, I can’t see anything. Rub your luscious beard against my face so I know you’re here.”
Eddie rubbed his beard on Big Barney’s face.
“Good. Goog,” Big Barney said, coughing. “I’m so thirst. Please, can you get me some Ensure. Just one last bottle. Chocolate, not Strawberry.”
“I don’t have any Ensure,” Eddie said.
“Check my pockets Irene,” Big Barney said. “Check my filthy fucking pockets you bearded whore.”
Eddie bent down and checked the right pants pocket. He pulled out Strawberry and opened it up for Barney. “Here, motherfucker,” Eddie said.
Barney took the bottle and drank deeply. “This is strawberry,” he said. “Fuck me.” Then Barney died.
Irene was sick of the sideshow business. That shit was stupid.
Eddie grabbed a can of gasoline. He started dousing the trailers with gas and lit them up. Then he left.


Jimmy James "M.F." Pudge was born into this world on 6-9-1979 in a truck stop toilet at a TA Travel Center in the backwoods of South Georgia. An honest and conscientious man, Jimmy served several prison sentences because he refused to give in to the federal laws that impose independent spirits' rights to be entrepreneurs. An expert in the art of pruno, shank construction, and paper dart blow guns, Jimmy briefly served as a leader in his dorm room before being released early for good behavior.  He has blogged, and might one day blog again at Much Love with Jimmy Pudge.