MANAYUNK (a haiku)
Rancid wad of phlegm,
dribbling down a slick rock face.
Let’s name our town that!
MANAYUNK (a haiku)
Rancid wad of phlegm,
dribbling down a slick rock face.
Let’s name our town that!
Darryl woke up with that feeling again – impossible to describe but all too familiar at this point. He kept his eyes closed for a while longer, savoring the dream he was having about his old, normal life…before all the changes…before every morning became a horror show, wondering if he would find another growth.
He did his best to soothe his anxiety, tried to make lemonade out of the lemons that seemed to be smothering him. After all, how could yet another, extra hand possibly be all that bad for a skilled craftsman who worked with his hands? Each one seemed to have all his talent and strength. His productivity tripled, he was making money hand-over-fist (no pun intended) and for the first time in his life, people found him kinda interesting…..
But…waking up every few days with another fully formed hand growing out of some empty patch of his flesh was really starting to effect his sanity.
***This was a tough image to pull out of John’s thick head but with an iron skillet and a power drill I finally managed it (long story) and it lead to a new book project called “Body-Oddies” which is finally done and off to the printer. -Marsha
His dreams were frantic. She was always just-out-of-reach and each time he caught a glimpse, she was further away than before as he chased her through the labyrinth of his anxiety. He KNEW he was only dreaming… he KNEW she lay right next to him, asleep…but he could neither escape any more than catch up to her. And as his heart broke apart and crumbled to pieces for the one he had loved unconditionally, he realized that these pathetic dreams were better than his reality. This was all he had left, so he relished in the chase each night…..for just one more night…and tried to remember all the good things they’d had for a few precious moments more…before she faded completely, leaving him alone in the labyrinth.
***Our poor friend Balthazar lost his cat recently…well, she’s not missing – we’re not out searching or anything – I mean, he had a falling out with his precious Miss Fuzzy Britches a few weeks ago and hasn’t been able to patch things up. I wrote this little piece for them…though I don’t hold out much hope. This image was originally published in Analog Magazine, then revised and published again in two books including my latest, “A Short Burst” with a version of this short Flash-Fiction story. Meanwhile, Our new book is nearly out. Its beautiful and awful and will be available to buy soon. -Marsha
“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
Mom always said she had eyes in the back of her head. I always thought she was joking, but still, I never could get away with anything behind her back. It was uncanny. She was just really clever, right? She KNEW me so well she could always tell what I was up to…..right? WRONG!!
Yesterday she pulled me aside, angry that I tracked mud through her kitchen right behind her back and blamed my little sister for it. She parted the neat bun of hair and curlers behind her ears to reveal a creepy set of eyes. Wow! (did NOT see that coming) My knees gave out and I sat down hard in the puddle of mud on the floor. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I saw a hairy nose there too…but when a bearded mouth opened wide and berated me with the colorful expletives of a drunken sailor at the volume of a drill sergeant on parade…well, let’s just say that I suddenly had more to mop off the floor than a muddy set of footprints. (True story.)
***Another excerpt from our latest book (our 4th book), “A Short Burst”…a collection of short, intense, flash science fiction. Find (and buy) all our books at our Etsy shop. Follow the links at www.sallemander.com or search EEWbooks at www.etsy.com. -Marsha
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
The disarmament was epic. Everyone embraced the idea…until it was over. Then there was no way to…embrace. The last ones needed to be pretty clever to get it done, but by then, starvation and disease was already setting in. People really hadn’t thought it through. It was bad enough that they could no longer feed themselves or drive…or text. But reality finally dawned when they started to defecate in their trousers. They certainly couldn’t embrace anything, or each other, without arms. And all those millions of disembodied arms lying about, decomposing in piles everywhere, led to all sorts of nasty airborne and waterborne illness. What a disaster!
When the aliens landed to study our dead culture a few years later, the sheer stupidity of it shocked them into insanity. They evacuated immediately, nuked the Earth from space, and made sure to purge it’s existence from galactic memory, lest it infect others. And all who came into contact with us were euthanized for safety.
***This is a short, flash-fiction story with a new image for our latest book, “A Short Burst.” It is on sale now. As well, you can find my first 3 books at our Etsy shop. Find the link at www.sallemander.com or search EEWbooks at etsy.com. -Marsha
We stood at the intersection looking down at my body, hit by a bus. How ridiculous! After all the times I stopped people on their hand-held gadgets from walking into traffic…and now this? I must have been daydreaming. What an idiot!
Cars were still swishing through the scene while a small crowd of cynical bystanders gathered to make snarky comments in hushed voices. The police arrived to push the crowd away and redirect traffic. One of them walked right through me…ugh! Weird!! I shuddered. My companion grinned.
I felt regret. It was a good body. I’d kept it fit and healthy, not too bad looking either, but now it was mangled and broken. There were scattered bits of gristle and a thick dark liquid splashed across the asphalt. One of my eyes hung down my cheek by a thread and my skull was split wide open like a busted watermelon. Hmmm, I always wondered what my own brains looked like. Eeeeeew!!!
My companion stepped over to me with a ‘we should go soon’ nudge. I must say, for a scythe wielding hippie weirdo in a medieval bathrobe, he seemed like a decent chap. He was kind enough to give me time to adjust. Finally, with a friendly clap on the shoulder he hissed, “Come along, son. You can’t take it with you.” We turned away and began walking off into the ether.
“Hey Grim!” I said, “You think I’ll come back as a sea slug or a tapeworm? I hope not…maybe I could be a hockey puck! Yeah! That’s where all the action is…” He shook his head and rolled his eye sockets. “Hey, can you introduce me to Jesus? No…ELVIS!!! Yeaaaah!”
***This spot-image and story is featured on page 6 of our latest book, “A Short Burst.” It is flash science fiction, which makes it very short and intense for people with very little time to read, and is quite satisfying. The image, however, is the rough sketch for an illustration in our next book, “Body-Oddies.” Our first four books are available to buy at our Etsy shop. Follow the link at www.sallemander.com or search EEWbooks at www.etsy.com. -Marsha