We never spoke about Uncle Dixon. Our whole family tip-toed around the subject…but I could tell there were powerful feelings just under everybody’s skin. He was a horrible pariah. The black sheep of the family.
We kept him in a straitjacket in one of the padded cells in the catacombs below our cabin. He was never allowed out in the light of day (lest one of the neighbors spot him), only after midnight on stormy nights and always chained, gagged, and bound in one of those psycho metal hockey mask get-ups. He got wheeled around in a steel cage on a hand truck under constant, heavily armed guard.
Worst of all…he was never allowed to go wilding with the rest of the family, never allowed to invade homes, to rape and burn and shoot folks in the face with shotguns or dismember them with his best machete before skinning and roasting them on the barbeque for the family feast…how sad and dull.
I felt bad for him. What possible meaning could his life have? I always wondered what awful thing he could have done to deserve such punishment, until I overheard Pappa Ripper telling old cousin Head-Stomper that Dixon was a pacifist, an atheist and a…vegetarian (whatever that was) and worst of all, he had NEVER murdered a baby in his whole life… actually refused to do it!! Eeeeew! What a Freak!
***This image and short story can be found on p.68 of our latest book, “A Short Burst” a collection of flash science fiction. It is 100 pages, 9×9 inches in size and packed with 64 illustrations and 73 short, intense stories. You can find it (and buy it) on Amazon, but it is cheaper and easier if you go to etsy.com and search EEWbooks, or just use the link in my website, above. You’ll also find all my other merch: stickers, postcards and greeting cards, as well as our other 3 illustrated books. -Marsha
“Worse day of my life…” began the hairy stranger at the bar, “…the day I lost my HEAD!” He stared at me oddly, chuckling. His words hung in the air for a while as I wondered who the heck he was and why he was chatting me up. There was something ‘off’ about him that I just couldn’t put my finger on, and he sounded absurd! “What?!” I asked, a little annoyed. “Yeah!” he continued, “It just tumbled off and rolled away. I couldn’t find it for a YEAR!” ‘How ridiculous’ I thought – but then, I remembered hearing about that sort of thing happening more and more these days. “I found it conjoined with some other dude’s left hand like a circus freak-show exhibit …awkward!”
I reached for my beer glass but knocked it over with the empty stump of my wrist. The stranger grinned at me and chuckled again knowingly. It seems that both my hands had quietly popped off and were crawling down the bar toward the attractive woman in the breasty, low cut blouse at the end…the one I was too shy to approach earlier. I didn’t know what they planned but I could just imagine what MY brainless hands might like to do with HER. That’s when I noticed the stranger’s collar – bolted tightly ‘round his neck. It looked positively medieval but locked his wayward head soundly to his torso. ‘How clever?!’ I thought.
The barkeep wiped up my spilled beer with a lovely pair of shapely, ladies arms –which did NOT match the rest of his otherwise burly, tattooed frame. He caught me staring but shrugged and nodded me in the direction of my hands as they broke into a run…..while the woman’s breasts leapt out of her blouse and took off in opposite directions.
***This image and story is featured on page 38 in our latest book, “A Short Burst” which is available for sale at our Etsy shop. To see (and buy) all our books, just follow the link above to www.sallemander.com or search EEWbooks at www.etsy.com. -Marsha
The atmosphere in the ballroom went positively rancid the moment I walked in. People stopped dancing mid-step. The band struck a sour chord and shambled into silence. Drinks spilled. A waiter dropped a tray of dishes with a loud, lingering clatter. A woman fainted, hitting the floor with a dull thud.
Everyone in the place turned to look at me as if I had two heads. Something was ‘off’ about these people; I just couldn’t put my finger on it.
The groom, looking quite put out, detached himself from his bride and strolled elegantly toward me, the tails of his tuxedo brushing the onlookers as they parted to let him through. He handed me a scrap of paper with the neatly written words: “There must be some mistake” and gestured to a banner over the dais which read: “Congratulations to Headless Charlie and Sue the Body!”
That’s when I realized that it wasn’t my two heads that disturbed them…it was that I was the only freak in the room who had any head at all.
***Our latest book – our 4th book – is, “A Short Burst” a collection of flash science fiction. This story and image come from page 12. Most of what you find in this blog is a light dusting of what you’ll find in our books. Follow the links to www.sallemander.com and our Etsy shop or search EEWbooks at www.etsy.com to buy them. -Marsha