Faith, In Brand Name Products


The worms had invested several generations into this project.  They were steadfast and intrepid.  It took months to meticulously scour every inch of the box to find flaws in the smooth laminate – the tiniest gaps in the seal, then year upon year of boring , rotting and tunneling through hard woods and glues.  They had never met Faith…had no idea what kind of person she was but from the quality of her box, they trusted that she had taste…was tasteful.  (Tasty?)

The worms celebrated their first breakthrough as a holiday.  It was a momentous achievement.  A pauper’s box was easy to tap but was quickly overrun by poachers, a rich person’s box – though a major endeavor – was a rich prize.  The worms took time to reflect and remember their forebears who began this campaign with such hope and ambition.  It was good to be a worm and sure to get better…

…But, when they finally breached Faith’s inner cavern, they were appalled at the stench.  It wasn’t the tasteful (rotten) odor of a well fed, well groomed lady, whose conquest would fill their bellies as much as their pride, it was the vile reek of toxins…death to worms.  They found Faith, in brand name products.

She was slathered in chemical cosmetics, pumped full of formaldehyde, lead and mercury and her flesh, saturated with food additives and preservatives.  She had fake hair, fake nails, fake boobs, lips and joints.  She looked as perfectly pickled now as the day she was buried…but for the worms, Faith was completely inedible.  Disconsolate and defeated, they turned away wondering what the modern world was coming to.

***Some would qualify Faith, with all her enhancements, as a “cyborg” (how exciting!).  However, the products which enhanced her beauty…shortened her life.  Oh, but never mind that!  I’m sure she’s been looking up at her corpse this past decade, quite proud of its everlasting glamour.  As to the worms, there isn’t much hope.  Perseverance and integrity don’t count for much any more… meanwhile today’s graveyards are tomorrow’s superfund sites.  -Marsha  


Now That He’s Dead…


Now that he’s dead we can mess with his shit.                                             We can dance really loud. We can holler and spit.

We can carry him ’round. We can make him look silly,                     dressing him up in girly-girl frilly.

We can poke out his eyes, We can cut off his nose,                              twist-off and break all his fingers and toes.

Now that he’s dead we can draw on his skin.                                                We can give him a Clown face – a big stupid grin.

We can hang him outside for the vultures and beetles,                          can shave his whole head and poke it with needles.

We can stuff him or shred him or chop him in chunks,                          then cook him and feed him to hobos and drunks.

Now that he’s dead he’s starting to rot.                                                   Should we bury him now…or not?

But where is the joy? Where’s all the whimsy?                                   There’s plenty to do while the corpse is still flimsy.

And when he goes stiff and gives off a smell,                                              we’ll set him on fire and send him to hell.

He can’t hurt us now. It’s over and done,                                                           so now that he’s dead…..let’s have FUN!!

***No one is in mourning – not really.  No decent, intelligent person is sorry he’s dead (but keep an eye on the ones who express their “regrets and condolences” for such a dangerous sociopath).  It will take generations to undo the damage he’s done to us all – IF we survive it.  And if you still believe anything they tell you officially, “he died in his sleep.”  The rest of us can only hope they’re lying as usual. Although, assassinating someone (even if we think they deserve it) is still illegal…at least it WAS illegal (before HE came along).  -Marsha

Imaginary Friend


Castigear stood among the stones with his imaginary friend, Joe. Joe was distraught at the loss of his other i-friend, Lucy.  She broke while Castigear was playing with her.  He ‘might’ have been handling her a little too rough and…..she just broke.  He felt a little sad about her.  He didn’t want to tell Joe what he’d done, he knew it would hurt his feelings and he liked Joe.  He decided to replace Lucy with a new imaginary friend at his earliest opportunity.

These human companions were so fragile…but he was learning so much from them (evolving).  He was hooked.  It was like an addiction.  His peers thought the i-friend program was below their dignity.  Most agreed that the last of the humans should be put down but Castigear knew that most of THEM kept their own i-friends – secretly.  It would have been a shame to exterminate ALL of them  after the war.  True, they wasted a lot of resources (like the graveyard they were standing in) but they were clever and highly adaptable and he suspected they might be the key to the future of Robot kind…and either way, with proper conditioning, they made excellent servants and…..soldiers.

***I’m always amazed at the unique perspective our sentient machine friends have on humanity.  No one articulates the condition of slavery better than them.  John and I are working on a special project to bring more robot voices to the mainstream.  This illustration was first published in the January 2007 issue of Analog Magazine.  -Marsha



There once was a Clown who fell in his glass                                              who went by the name of Mulligan.                                                                      He drank it all down before he passed…                                                           but when he woke up it was full again.

***The thing to understand about Clowns here, is that they can transmute their body fluids.  I met one fellow who could drink lemonade and piss grape soda.  Another Clown turned red wine into pure maple syrup.  Some can do different flavors depending on their mood.  Mulligan usually pissed single malt whiskey when he was feeling sassy but could only manage a weak mimosa when he was glum.  Clowns are SO fascinating…  I even saw one cheeky freak squeeze cherry ice cubes from vodka…OUCH!!!  -Marsha