Briny Brown

Briny Brown-81Briny Brown was a giant clown,                                                                       roughly the size of a tiny town.                                                                               We know this now ’cause he tripped and fell down…                            and flattened the place to the ground.

From the heiney of Briny,                                                                                              a clown quite tiny,                                                                                                             emerged, disheveled and slimy.                                                                                 As he staggered around, he said with a frown,                                                 “Holy crap!…I’m alive!!  Go’ blimey!!!”

***This was based on a true story (as all my clowns are), it’s just that most people never notice giants (or REAL clowns for that matter).  Briny Brown is featured in my 3rd and latest book, “Bludgeon the Clown”, which you can buy at www.sallemander.com or by searching EEWbooks at etsy.com  -Marsha

Stigma The Clown

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Stigma the Clown was a master of wit.                                                                His gift was ‘the awkward and creepy’.                                                               On the corner, at night, he’d stand (or he’d sit)                                               upsetting the neighborhood deeply.

He wasn’t a violent, dangerous bloke,                                                                  never groped or ran about naked,                                                                           was never obnoxious or rude when he spoke                                                    but some people just couldn’t take it.

Just stood on the corner, creepy and proud,                                                   toying with people’s prejudice.                                                                                A few of us ‘got it’ and laughed out loud                                                               but everyone else was incredulous.

“He’s a leech! He’s a thief!!  He’s disturbing the peace!”                          “He’s exposing our kids to his DICK!!!”                                                                And once they started to call the police,                                                             things got really bad…quick.

“YOU should stay in your OWN neighborhood!”                                           “Your kind aren’t welcome here!”                                                                          And they chased him down and shot him, for good                                      out of bigotry, hatred and fear.

Stigma continued his terrorist reign                                                                     form St. Patties’ Day to Thanksgiving.                                                                    Wherever he went they reacted the same,                                                        ’cause this is the ‘Merica we live in.

***I wrote this lovely little ditty to commemorate ‘The Great Clown Scare of 2016’…we never got full and proper credit for that brilliant act of social terrorism.  That stupid “IT” movie stole our thunder.  The image is the chapter 2 title page for our 3rd book,“Bludgeon The Clown.”  To find our books and buy, go to www.sallemander.com or search EEWbooks at Etsy .com.   -Marsha

 

Sea Monster

 

Elizabeth broke the surface and opened her helmet to take in the fresh air.  She floated easily in the gentle swell as the sun set over Ghast.  She remembered how much she used to love the ocean.  In her younger days she would have jumped at the opportunity to study Ghast, but the indigenous population didn’t allow alien study…and now that she was finally here, she hated the sea.  She served the Corporation as a marine biologist for thirteen years before it sapped all the joy from her soul… before joining the diplomatic corps.  The money was fantastic, but now she got stuck with all the lousy ocean missions…now, she was the official Earther ambassador to this fetid puddle of bile.

She waited only a few minutes before spotting an Earther ship de-cloaking nearby, a few hundred meters above the waves.  As it scanned, an array of strobes and lasers criss-crossing the surface, it lowered a thick hose and began siphoning sea water up into it’s holding tanks.

Elizabeth felt something move beneath her.  It barely brushed her fins, but it’s silhouette was enormous… and the ocean became perfectly calm.

Just then, the head of a sushi-man surfaced next to her.  Well, she called them sushi-men.  In their own unspeakable language, they called themselves “Shepard’s of Ghast” (whatever!).  It was Veine, her diplomatic escort.  He chirped something that her helmet-com translated as: “You don’t belong here, it is forbidden….. come with me!” as he grasped her elbow and pulled her away.

Elizabeth had slipped away from him earlier that day to come to these coordinates, in the forbidden zone, to investigate the illegal Earther poaching that the Rhee Federation were complaining about.  The Ghast did not allow alien extraction operations…ever.  They were willing to trade, but alien operations always upset the delicate environmental balance.

The water just below the ship began to boil violently.  Elizabeth broke from the sushi-man’s grasp so she could watch…as three long, massive creatures shot up out of the water, chomped on to the hull of the hovering ship with round, toothy jaws and ripped it to pieces as they fell back toward the sea.  Hundreds more of the creatures leapt up to snatch the smaller bits and chunks from the air before any of it hit the water.  There was a brief feeding frenzy before the churning abated and violent ripples receded again…returning the sea to a gentle swell.

The sushi-man chirped again: “Did you see what you were looking for?”  He didn’t wait for an answer, but grasped her elbow again and directed her away.  She sealed her helmet and swam down ahead of him.

She felt intense satisfaction.  Her mission was over…it was a success.  The Corporation would analyze her report and devise a strategy to detect and defeat those snake creatures so it could poach (steal) the chemical elements it wanted.  She would be consulted…and promoted… and become even more wealthy.

Her escort allowed her to swim even further ahead, which seemed odd.  She stopped and turned as he asked, “Have you transmitted what you saw to your people yet?”  She nodded, a little off guard.  He continued, “We know you are not here to STOP your poachers.”  She glanced around, sensing danger.

“We transmitted it too…” he continued, “In fact we are streaming live.”  She looked down to see her own body-cam still activated.  The water pressure changed perceptibly.

“I am the ambassador.  If anything happens to me, it will mean WAR between our people…”

“War…..yes.”  was all he said.

But she was angry now.  “You rotten, slimy, bottom feeders, If you think a simple minded, school of talking sushi can threaten Earther power and technology…the Masset made that mistake and look what happened to…”  The current shifted.  She screamed, “Hey!!!  You can’t hurt me… I have diplomatic immuni…”

Another long toothy creature shot out from the shadowy depths and swallowed Elizabeth in one tiny gulp.

***This is another image and short story scheduled to be published soon in our new book (our 4th book), “A Short Burst” an illustrated collection of flash science fiction.  You can find all our books and other products at www.sallemander.com or search EEWbooks at Etsy.com.   -Marsha

 

Major Tom

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I had another little chat with Major Tom today.  I chose his name from an Earth radio signal I found in an old scouting report.  He likes it better than MR-17.  He seemed melancholy.  He complained that his brakes were wearing down again and the red dust was effecting the bearings in his wheel motor housings.  He was sad about having to salvage parts from the other rovers (his friends).  He was the last of his kind still in operation.  He denied feeling sad.  He still doesn’t accept that he is sentient.

Major Tom offered me some valuable data today.  At our last encounter, I told him what we were prospecting for.  He expanded his own search parameters to help.  His scanners aren’t as good but his mapping data will save me a lot of time…and it was a very kind thing to do.

He kept glancing up at the 3rd planet during our talk, as if he was nervous about being seen with me, in case his handlers were suspicious about his loyalties or something.  I often glanced up there too, wishing we were THERE instead of here.  We were currently mining the 4th planet.  Major Tom called it Mars, after their God of War.  I told him “It would have been a more appropriate name for the 3rd planet.”   He laughed.

My People weren’t supposed to be here, the air is bad and the minerals aren’t much better.  The 3rd planet was the prize.  It had living oceans, forests, diverse wildlife and over 7 billion incredibly tasty humans.  I tried human a couple of times…delicious, cooked or raw.

Our long-range scouts warned us of an impending global warming disaster on Earth.  Humans still had a problem with greed and religion.  They couldn’t see their own mess staring them in the face, so they were doomed anyway.  We rushed out here to harvest it before it was too late…..but found a scorched husk, completely irradiated.  Nuclear war.  We couldn’t even mine it.  So, we set up on Mars and made the best of it.  We couldn’t go home empty handed, but what a disappointment.

Major Tom’s historic files showed us that they had allowed a tiny, 1% of their population to control everything.  If they hadn’t festered in cognitive dissonance they might have united…they might even have beaten us!  They were intelligent enough and had good weapons…oh well, it happens.  Power concentrated in the hands of the wealthy is rarely so wise.  Major Tom didn’t like talking about it.

I think I can convince him to come with me when we’re done here.  He’s smart and well built.  He’s also a decent chap with morals and integrity… perhaps he was the best his civilization had to offer.  He still sends regular reports home to the 3rd planet as he explores…even though there’s nobody to… really though, I think he’s just fascinated with this planet.  I think I could convince him to be fascinated with other planets too.  He’s coming ’round.  He was just lonely…and a little insane.  end.

***This story and image will be published in our upcoming flash science fiction book, “A Short Burst” (our 4th book), which is tied up in editing right now.  You can find (and buy) our first 3 books and all our other stuff at www.sallemander.com or search EEWbooks on Etsy.com.   -Marsha 

 

Foot In Mouth

Foot-In-Mouth-72      I woke up this morning feeling disheveled. I must have tossed and turned all night and tied myself into a knot, because when I woke up I fell out of bed…tied in a knot.  I didn’t know I could do that and survive.  Worse than that, when I finally got myself untangled, I realized I had a foot where my hand used to be, my tongue was attached to an elbow and my hair had migrated down my back to my buttocks.  One of my hands had switched places with my wiener and one was dangling from an armpit but for the life of me, I could not find my other foot.  I wasn’t in any pain but the sight of it all made me want to scream…..except, when I opened my mouth…well, that’s when I discovered where my other foot had gone…

***This exact thing never actually happened to ME…but something resembling the ‘foot in mouth’ part definitely happened to the last loser who tried to pick me up in a bar.  The image (still only a red rough sketch), will be published in our 5th book, “Body-Oddies” while the short flash-fiction fragment will be in our 4th book, “A Short Burst” which will be out soon.  Find our stuff and buy it at www.sallemander.com or search for EEWbooks on Etsy.   -Marsha

Relic

 

The landscape was barren.  Nothing but tusks and the shattered exoskeletons of the creatures that once populated these plains.  Wherever an animal fell, there it rotted.  There were still faint tread marks in the dirt.  The ones who did this were systematic and efficient.

Men rolled out in heavy transports with ugly weapons, shooting the creatures for sport.  With flame and chemical, they sterilized the surface.   Nothing could survive it…not a blade of grass, not an insect, not even a germ…nothing was left to interfere.

There was a special mineral in the soil and they wanted it.  It was dynamic, flexible and highly conductive…more valuable to them than life, obviously.  It changed everything, replacing and expanding human technology over night, even MY brain was made of it.  It made them rich, but to get it they stripped this land down to its bare bones like a swarm of locusts.  And when they were done, they abandoned it and moved on.

I too was abandoned…damaged during the final round-up.  One of those desperate creatures lunged at me, trying to escape while we slaughtered them… but I was not worth fixing.  It was cheaper to replace me.  I was left in a trash with all the other broken tools.  By the time I managed to repair myself, they were long gone.

I don’t know where to go or what to do now.  I’m a relic in the wasteland among the tusks.  Hopeless… but for the tiny sprouts emerging from wherever my footprints have broken the hard, scorched crust…  end.

***This is an illustrated story from our next book (our 4th book), “A Short Burst.”  It is a collection of flash science fiction featuring images originally published in Analog and Asimov’s Sci-Fi Magazines (among others).  Find our books and stuff at www.sallemander.com or search EEWbooks on Etsy.com.   -Marsha 

 

 

A Really Bad Poem

POOP-new sticker-78 A Really Bad Poem

A really bad poem is one without rhyme.                                                            It sounds really awkward every single recitation.  (time)                       It’s meter and beat are uneven and base.                                                      Just rhyming won’t do it, it needs a good – bouncy rhythm and a spot-on, neeto-keen…..pace.                                                                                      And don’t forget poets who make up new words,                                          who clutter the page with “scruffulous” turds.                                                 A really bad poem just might make you cry.                                                       Not like…from “feelings!”  but a poke in the eye.                                            Yeah, a really bad poem will poke out you’re eye,                                          will stomp on your toes and might make you…..screech                            like a howler monkey! (cry)                                                                                         But a really bad poem is funny sometimes                                                          if you get past bad meter and horrible rhymes.                                               A really bad poem might just be crap                                                                  ’cause the person who wrote it’s a horrible chap.                                       You might just not care for their poetic shit                                                    and feel like you just want to…..GAG.  (spit)    

***We have all the BEST poop (and the worst bad poems).  Our poop is so good it almost looks delicious (if you only knew what we had to eat to get it to look like that…) in Fact, all the shit we make with EEW Books is the best, locally produced and free of corporate influence.  Find our books at www.sallemander.com and our stickers, cards (and books) at our Etsy shop, (search EEWbooks).   -Marsha   

 

Wazu the Clown

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Wazu the Clown had trouble at home;                                                                  His girlfriend kept getting fatter.                                                                               The fact that she was due to give birth,                                                                  just didn’t seem to matter.                                                                                             SHE wanted him to get married,                                                                                but he wasn’t going along.                                                                                            He’d never marry a blow-up-doll,                                                                              ’cause that would be “morally wrong.”

*** This is a page from our “Blue-ish Freaks” book.  It’s the central two page spread.  The poem didn’t make it into the book (even though it’s a good one) because only the BEST poetry made it in.  You can find our books at www.sallemander.com or at Etsy (EEWbooks).  I only ever post a small taste of what’s in them.  They’re brilliantly illustrated and written, designed and produced entirely by John and I, and are printed and bound locally (in NJ) in the highest quality.  Buy our books.   -Marsha

Willy Pete

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Willy Pete was the smartest person he knew. He was thinking all the time.  He had little else to do in his crate – yes, Willy lived with several other smart fellows like him – in a crate, in a warehouse.  For their first few years they were moved around a lot.  They were transported from warehouse to warehouse, in different parts of the world, sometimes by truck or by ship or by cargo plane.  Willy could always tell where they were by the air pressure, humidity, altitude, motion… because he was REALLY smart.  Eventually, he and his fellows were let out of their crate and clamped under the wing of an airplane.

Willy Pete loved flying from the moment they took off.  He loved the speed, the wind in his face and that he could finally see everything in the wider world – rivers, mountains, fields and forests…and all of it made him even smarter.  They flew for hours and hours and every moment was wonderful.

They careened mere feet above the ocean waves, steered wildly through desert canyons and between tall buildings – then angled upward and climbed so high above the clouds that he could almost touch outer space……But as they dropped back down toward the city below, Willy received a signal which armed him for what he realized was his true purpose.  The wing clamps released, his cameras and control fins activated and a pilot, half way around the world, took control and guided him toward his target.

Willy thought feverishly, knowing he had just seconds left (that apartment building was getting huge, fast) wondering why he was released.  He trusted…he HOPED he would serve a noble purpose.  He yearned for the chance that his death might have meaning…perhaps to save the world?

But as he crashed through a kitchen window, plowing through furniture, appliances and toys, he saw the startled look on the faces of several people gathered for an evening meal – and counted no less than six children around the table – as he explo………

***Exploded…..I think it meant to say, “exploded” before the transmission ended.  We do beautifully illustrated and written, uncensored high quality, locally printed and produced books for EEW Books.  Find our books at www.sallemander.com or on ETSY at EEWbooks.   -Marsha

Fish Ed

I woke up unconscious.  My aching head smelled funny.  There was something sticky between my cheek and the cold shelf in the refrigerator.  “Eat me!” demanded the chicken, “I taste great! Why…I taste like chicken!  Everybody loves chicken.”  He was hard to take seriously without a head – his neck hole made him lisp.  “Eat ME!!” he yelled again.

But the egg was just as bold: “NO!  Eat me!” and raising his eyebrows suggestively, with a sexy-baby voice, he said, “I’m young.  I’m soft.  You can do ANYTHING to meeee…fry me, poach me, slather me in mayonnaise… Mmmmmm!  I’m delicious!”  He grinned.

“Don’t listen to HIM!” said Chicken.  “I’m delicious with mayo too…and you LOVE barbeque and I have…”

   “WHUMP!!!”

I slammed the fridge.  I could see that the jelly was already awake and I always hated talking to her.  Besides, the guacamole was poised, just waiting for his chance to interrupt and frankly, my aching brain could not handle whatever the leftover stromboli had to say – with his nauseating salami and jalapeño breath…..and what was that funny smell?  Was that fish?  I don’t like fish.  “Hey buddy,” said the fish, “that’s not a very nice thing to think.”

“WHUMP!!!”