“Constant gravy!!…or did he say constant craving!?” but everyone was already writing and the professor’s response was garbled…sure, okay, constant gravy seemed right. I was feeling pretty woozy since I cut myself shaving earlier and couldn’t make it stop bleeding. It just gushed, thick and goopy…yeah, constant gravy…coool!
What began as a simple nick under my nose, got worse a few minutes later when blood started running down my cheek. An hour later, it was dripping copiously. In two hours it was a steady flow and by lunchtime I was squirting all over the place, soaking my clothes, the furniture and painting the walls. It was impossible to concentrate as the room kept spinning faster and faster…..
I must have spaced out for a while because when I woke, the stuff leaking out was no longer red. Thankfully it was just cheese wizz leaking from the push nozzle on my head. What?!…don’t you have a nozzle?…and what’s so weird about that? Best of all, the harder I pumped the thicker it flowed…aaaaah, pretty…..
I must have spaced out for a while…..what was I saying?…
***This really happened. Its lucky that John got a good sketch of this guy at the writing workshop before things went sideways. This post is a shortened version of the story…but we didn’t want to give away all the best parts before we publish it in our BODY-ODDIES book. -Marsha
The Issue was listing badly in a failing orbit around Jupiter. She was dead in the water and her distress signal cut out abruptly on our approach. She was a heavy freighter loaded with uranium ore, bound for the refineries on Mars and long overdue…something didn’t feel right.
We circled The Issue slowly about ten miles out – but with our engines hot in case it was a trap. There were raiders in this sector who often used derelicts to stage their attacks. There was no response to my hail, no wi-fi, no beams…no strobes. Sensors showed cold engines and no (human) life signs. I found a weird glitch in the data, something unrecognizable….but not enough to put the crew off their prize. The salvage on The Issue would make every man on board filthy rich. I was the only one still arguing for caution but none of the men wanted the opinion of someone like me. I was property and was not entitled to a share anyway.
When the Captain (despite my misgivings) gave the order to board, we moved in and docked with reckless abandon. A combat team stood at the ready as I popped the air lock. They made me go first. They always made the android go first. I was the most expendable…expensive but not valuable.
And…as I swung the hatch open, a sudden violent flood of spidery greenish critters swarmed through the airlock by the hundreds. I guess I didn’t taste good because they left me alone and flowed past me, devouring the crew as they went. I waited. It took them 19 minutes to scour the ship from bow to stern and I listened to each and every man screaming his last – the men who treated me like shit for two solid years – the men who sneered at my warnings.
I waited…to see what this NEW crew had to offer. It couldn’t be any worse than the last one…..this could be interesting…
***Another lovely Christmas themed piece for today. I’m not religious but I love Santa Clause…and everybody knows he’s a time travelling alien robot, so…..but honestly, the Santa bit we had planned for today turned out far too gruesome to show…yet. John’s sketch for this post was originally published in the May 2006 issue of Analog Magazine for a story by Edward M. Lerner. -Marsha
Jack the Jester lived in a box ’cause he had no legs or feet and liked popping out of his box -SURPRISE!! -to frighten the children…NEAT! He loved young children most of all, so innocent, kind and sweet. The crunchier ones always tasted best but the chubby ones had more meat.
***Aaaaah, for some reason this one always makes me think of Christmas; Mindless shopping, mall traffic, gaudy decorations, gluttony and crass consumerism (that should have been the title). Mmmmmm…and every year it just gets better and better. -Marsha
I do nothing all day but sit in my cell, chained to the wall in a puddle of rancid liquid. The place is filthy, the toilet hasn’t worked in weeks and they put that awful television box in with me as my only form of entertainment. It screams at me and blathers their inane, selfish ‘culture’ all day and its all I can do to block it out, lest I lose my sanity. The only decent people I have to talk with are the cockroaches, who seem to come and go as they please…
They take me out twice a week to show me off to their military luminaries while their (so-called) scientists run ‘tests’. They mostly probe my anus and shock my genitals and laugh like lunatics as they torture me. I don’t understand their obsession with my junk – and I don’t get the reference to it as “payback”. My people have never visited this place before.
They are an ugly people. I don’t mean their pasty, bloated flesh, two meager eyes and stubby fingers that make them look like deformed infants. I’m referring to their brutish indifference to justice, authoritarian rule and the cognitive dissonance of the masses. The racist, nasty things they call me…well, I can’t even begin to repeat in polite company. This is certainly no way to treat an ambassador.
I would never have come to this primitive cesspool if it wasn’t for engine trouble – and a spread of ballistic missiles that took all the dignity out of my crash landing. These people ignored my distress calls and now refuse to honor my diplomatic immunity…..boy oh boy, when the mother ship gets here to rescue me, they are gonna FRY this place!
***John’s illustration was first published as the June 2007 cover to Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine for a story by Neal Asher. I wrote this tiny ‘Diplomat’ piece for fun. There was NO intention to sympathize with the treatment of political prisoners currently held, without charge or trial, by the United States….none what-so-ever. -Marsha
I once had a Jester named Niggle ooze from my nostril and wiggle. With a grunt and a hack, I snorted him back but he dribbled back out with a giggle.
***I don’t remember ever writing this horrible little rhyme (though it amuses the hell out of John…). Niggle was a little jerk who made a runny, sniffly nuisance of himself on a ten hour flight to Dusseldorf – with no tissues. When I finally managed to snag him on a fingernail I took great pleasure in kneading him between two fingers until he dried up and stopped screaming. He is now a permanent smear in the booger graveyard under aisle seat #22F on flight 1134. -Marsha