Tag Archives: freak

Old Wives’ Tail


Last night she came in through the bathroom window…the one up on the third floor.  At this point I’m too numb to be surprised.  Last week, before bed, she reached up to take her glasses off and her whole head came away.  She paid it no mind, just set it down on the nightstand next to her spittoon and went to sleep – I slept on the couch that night.

Three days ago she came home from a visit with her mother dragging a massive, spiked tail behind her as if nothing was amiss (talk about an old wives tail).  The dogs were pretty upset.  I spent the night ‘working’ in my office with a bottle of scotch and a joint.

So, the bathroom window thing was hardly a bother – and the mystery of how she managed the climb was solved when I noticed her folding leathery bat wings up under her coat.  What those long curly tusks could possibly be used for, I cannot guess…..but I think I’ll sleep out in the car tonight.

***This is a true story.  It happened to a guy I knew…well actually the next door neighbor of a second cousin, twice removed of my best friend’s cubicle mate (from her old job’s) mother-in-law.  It’s really sad how people drift apart but its inevitable and sometimes we just have to adapt to the new paradigm.  This is another unofficial ‘red rough’ sketch from our upcoming book “Body-Oddies” which I’m forbidden to post…but what John (my illustrator) doesn’t know won’t kill him.   -Marsha


Primal Urge


I love brains!…LOVE them.  Can’t remember why I ever ate anything else…ever.  I vaguely remember being bitten, I think there were six of them.  They ripped out my stomach and organs as I turned…..then I joined in…and I tasted pretty good – but not as good as brains.

I don’t talk much any more, nobody in my group does.  It’s okay, I never was much of a conversationalist…and most folks seem too afraid of me to chat, anyway.  They run away screaming a lot or try to stab me in the head with sharp stuff… I never liked most people that much, so it doesn’t really hurt my feelings.  Their brains, though…ooooooohhh, nice!  Better than goose liver pâté and double fudge brownies.

I saw my own reflection yesterday, I’m looking pretty rugged.  I’ve really slimmed down without my guts…finally lost that extra thirty pounds.  And my skin, well…a mottled blue-ish grey with black streaks – reminds me of camouflage, my favorite color.  But oooooohh, the brains…did I tell you how good those are?  I highly recommend them.  Ooooooom!  Ughhh!!  Brains!!!  I love the brains.  Ummmmmm…I can’t remember why I ever ate anything else…ever.  I vaguely remember being bitten, I think there were six of them.  They ripped out my stomach……

***I’m obligated (by John, my illustrator) to mention that the image for this post is an “unrevised original rough sketch” and below his normal standard of quality.  I actually LIKE this one…but its also a crap-load of fun watching John have an OCD hissy-bitch fit over his stupid etchings.  I’m a big fan of zombies, even the bad ones are beautiful.  -Marsha

Comic Con

Paranoia Smith was the most exhausting, obnoxious, insufferable, skate-punk, tattooed, cross dressing poseur I ever met at a Comic Con.  Within a minute in this lunatic’s presence I wanted to rip off his head and crap down his neck.  He babbled incessantly (when he wasn’t ‘rapping’ or screeching heavy metal lyrics) and his fake blonde goatee and dreadlocks smelled like a port-a-potty.  He was one of those touchy-feely dudes who never let up.  Comic-Con-image-30He had a finger puppet named Yak Feces who insisted on probing all of my facial orifices.  And he simply could not convey any of his incomplete ‘ideas’ from a distance further than an inch from my nose with breath like the putrid steam at the edge of a volcano.  He was a wild eyed maniac with no self control….actually dribbled chaw juice on my shoe, then apologized as he hosed it off with urine…..

BUT, he bought one of my ridiculous ‘Blue-ish Freaks’ books just now and I love him for it.  We could be brothers.

Oh no! Next in line was Lisa, an enormous middle aged woman in a teeny-tiny Sailor Moon costume with bits bulging from under her adorable skirt that I didn’t know women even had.  I think her blue hair was her real hair.  “Could you sign mine?” she croaked like Jabba the Hut…and I was grinning (as she pulled out exact change) too horrified to look away from…this beautiful, elegant creature who loves my book.  I could have married her on the spot.

Next in line is…oh, sweet Jesus…..

***John brought our new book out to sell at the Philadelphia Comic Con last weekend.  It was brilliant.  He met so many talented, decent, cool people and artists and vendors…What a great time – and you would not believe how many books he sold (my mother told me we should have brought more…).  Wish I had been there.  -Marsha



Lester the Jester


Lester the Jester threw up his supper,                                                   emerging instead as a fool named Skupper                                                  who gagged on his guts as they spilled from his gob                                      expelling another named Bob,                                                                             who horked up a loogie of phlegm and bile,                                                        appearing at last as a Jester named Lyle                                                               who turned to his mates and stuck out his tongue saying,                         “Better off here… than out Lester’s bung.”

***This piece, from our new book, “Marsha Mellow’s Blue-ish Freaks”, is the one we chose as the backdrop/banner for our comicon table.  Come see us at our first show at The Great Philadelphia Comic Con, on April 22-24.  If you’re not in the area, please visit our website (link at top of page);  www.sallemander.com  -Marsha 

Peek-a Boo


I had a good breath diving under…good for at least 3 minutes.          50 yards out from the dock, I went down deep, about 35 feet and counting. The fish were strange today. They weren’t acting right. Just my instinct but…they seemed to crowd me instead of scattering at my approach. Pensive.

Weeds were thick but I didn’t mind. I liked swimming through them, like parting curtains…..until I saw the eyes – big eyes – cunning eyes. They were staring back at me with unnerving intelligence and all the little fish were darting about frantically – and I nearly lost my breath.

Through the gloom, I began to make out the long, hulking form behind the eyes; Strange limbs, sharp fins, long feelers, fleshy lips with menacing barbs, monstrous teeth…..smiling at me?

Now I was afraid! In one swift motion my hand swept down to draw my knife from its ankle sheath – but lightning fast, the creature’s arm shot out from between the weeds and wrapped its long scaly fingers around my throat – my jaw – my entire skull.

I lost my air…and then, lost consciousness.

I woke up. I was breathing. I started to remember…..I was swimming through weeds – fish acting oddly – then the eyes…and a massive claw, engulfing my head. As it all went dark I thought I heard a sinister, gurgling: “Peek-a-boo!”

I was inside now. It was stifling and it smelled like cat food mixed with burning tires. I sat up in a lumpy soup of viscous bile and big bloody chunks of meat. My hands and face burned but my wet suit protected the rest of my skin. A sphincter opened behind me and sucked me along with my steaming meat-soup down a tube, whose bulbous nodules bathed us in a spray of acid. It stripped the fur and skin from the meat and dissolved my hair and a painful layer of exposed skin.

I dropped into a bony chamber in which long, razor sharp blades shredded the meat into hamburger (along with most of my wetsuit). I was quickly evacuated into another chamber which flooded with thousands of tiny, finger sized worms (with very sharp teeth), who consumed every speck of the remaining meat sludge before I alone, the inedible lump, was expelled once more, through slimy bowels, into a vat of solid waste.

This wondrous fleshy sack looked and smelled like the inside of a rotting, bloated elephant carcass. Minutes passed, possibly hours, while a steady stream of sticky, gloppy gunk filled the space, until there was no more room…this was the end. With goop filling my ears and covering my mouth, I took my last solid breath of air (a three minute breath?) before black sludge covered and consumed me. One minute…two minutes…nearly three minutes passed before I felt a great shuddering shift, followed by a resounding (satisfied) grunt….and I was suddenly shot, like a torpedo, out into clean lake water.

I surfaced near the shoreline, gasping for air. Although I emerged from the lake a raw, tattered and thoroughly disgruntled piece of fish poop…I was alive. It was, perhaps, not my greatest adventure but surely a ‘fantastic journey.’


***The only thing better than a giant fish swallowing a dude and crapping him back out is doing the same thing to a great old Asimov concept (like I did here).  Aaaaah, fish poop!…one of the great mysteries of life.  ‘Marsha Mellow’s Blue-ish Freaks’ is nearly ready…e-mail me for advanced copies. -Marsha

Its All Speculation

Angry Rash-25      Herbert had been prone to rashes since he was a kid.  He caught them all, like a rash magnet…it was inexplicable.  He had at least three rashes on any given day of his life.  As a sickly nerd, he never had friends…..so how the heck did he get chicken pox?  He never had sex, so where did he get crabs?  Hell, he had rashes no one ever heard of.  He was a spotty, itchy, miserable pariah (though he was a delight to his dermatologist).

Anyway, when the ‘Speckles’ showed up, Herbert was neither surprised nor alarmed…but when they became an infestation, weird stuff started happening.  All his old rashes now had a rash of their own.  The Speckles definitely did not respect other rashes’ turf.  His chicken pox grew feathers and beaks, his goose bumps grew long necks and started nipping and spitting at other rashes and his scarlet fever?…WOW!… well…lets just say that when she reached puberty…things got REALLY awkward.

The Speckles went on to occupy every inch of Herbert and ousted all his other rashes – which would have been good except that each Speckle became enormous, grew a face and took on a personality of its own.  They started talking amongst themselves – argued with each other constantly (about religion and politics, ugh!)  and sang bawdy songs at all hours.  It made things quite uncomfortable for Herbert, though not as bad as the realization that they’d become stronger, smarter and cooler than him.  It wasn’t long before Herbert diminished completely into the shadow of his own brilliant speculations…

***Oh, how this reminds me of my teenage years…though my speckles were quite amiable and we were into the same music.  Meanwhile, my new book, “Marsha Mellow’s Blue-ish Freaks” is nearly ready for release, probably next week but if f you want to buy an advanced copy, leave me a message here…  -Marsha

How Do I Look?


Nothing actually happened for a solid fifteen minutes after Eddie drank the formula.  He turned to us (once again) with a forlorn look and asked, “Any change yet?  How do I look?”

We knew he was crazy.  He was one of those people: perpetually dissatisfied, determined to prove that he was ‘special’.  He wanted fame, popularity, success (despite being an already brilliant scientist) and he was driven…you know, crazy…AND he had full use of the company’s laboratory.  He had access to all the good stuff too;  plasma reactor, laser diffractional transmogrifier, crazy glue – not to mention ebola, thermite and flu vaccine…and I think our awkward, mild mannered (crazy) Eddie used all of it.

By the sixteenth minute, everything changed and Eddie’s fondest wish was realized.  He began mutating wildly, spreading outward in every direction, emitting the strangest squeaking moan.  He shook, twisted and bloated.  He grew tendrils, sprouted claws and screeched Latin gibberish from three of his seven worm-haired monkey faces as horns emerged from his leathery spine.  He puffed a sweet yellow smoke, shed tufts of pink fur and dribbled buckets of gooey puss.  He was a frightful sight…but he was just sooooo excited we didn’t have the heart to terminate him.

When he finally slowed and stabilized, he turned all of his seventeen eyes-on-a-stalk to us and in a clever series of musical farts, he asked, “Okay!…How do I look now?”

***This brings me right back to my days writing side-effects disclaimers for big Pharma…and Eddie helped me come up with some doozies.  He’s still alive and well and the subject of great intrigue at a secret government laboratory in Nevada.  I think the locals refer to it as “a sighting” every time he manages to get out for a stroll.  John’s image was his very first cover for Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine (Jan. 2003).  -Marsha


Constant Craving

constant craving-13

“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


handyman-image-06     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 won’t be done for at least a year).  -Marsha



There once was a Clown named Fudge,                                                     whose bowels refused to budge.                                                                       He’d sit and he’d sit                                                                                                         but just couldn’t shit,                                                                                                       not even a gob or a smudge.

***Fudge was the first ‘REAL’ Clown we ever interviewed who we regard with some affection as he exploded shortly after John sketched out this scene.  He turned out okay but destroyed a strip mall along with 27 cars and pasted us all in fudge…we laughed…..and laughed…  -Marsha