***There is no clever poem or flash-fiction story for this one. I tried…but everything I wrote, sucked. It’s just one of those images that I was extremely happy with, as an image – alone. In fact, it happens quite a lot, and it’s rather amazing when a single image says everything I want it to say. Despite everything I wrote for the “Body-Oddies” book project, it seems better, overall, as an art book, uncluttered with written elements. And that’s cool with me. -John
***Here’s the last in our series of ‘Food Art.’ No short story, no whimsical rhyme, just one of the sketches for the new “Body-Oddies” book – which is nearly done. There’s no need for any of that other crap for this one anyway. Find us at www.etsy.com, search: EEWbooks, and buy all our other illustrated books and stuff. -Marsha
***Chipper, here, is a cropped portion of an illustration from our new book, “Body-Oddies.” The publisher won’t let us reveal more than this yet, even though the book is nearly done, which is really silly since nobody will remember the image by the time the pandemic eases up and sales resume. Anyway, John named him chipper because (he says) skeletons always look like they’re grinning at something funny…which is stupid, of course! They’re obviously happy they’re dead because they no longer have to suffer the pain and disappointment of living…or whatever… -Marsha
Food was scarce. People were struggling. The war was taking it’s toll as there were shortages of everything from fuel to toilet paper to empathy. Rationing was severe and people were showing signs of stress. There was unemployment, hunger and daily violent protests against the corporate government who caused this blowback war after decades of capitalist conquest. There was no sign of improvement on the horizon and…..food was scarce.
Leon’s Bar and Grill, however, seemed to be an exception to the misery. Leon, the proprietor, had a brilliant (desperate) idea a few months back when he realized he had too many cooks in the kitchen and not enough food to serve. Seeing his business on the brink of failure, he did the only logical thing; He ‘fired’ all his cooks and took over in the kitchen personally. He posted a new menu featuring ‘Chef’s specials’ like Chef’s Stew, Chef Pot Pie and Roasted Leg of Chef. He fired them all… in the big convection oven (though a few got deep fried, stewed…or grilled…..and one guy got sautéed in a wok) and his business has been thriving ever since.
Funny thing, though…once he solved his cook problem, he settled an old issue with that annoying waitress, Marge and finally took care of that pesky neighborhood Clown who always annoyed his customers as they came and went.
These days, ‘Leon’s’ is the only establishment in town with a ‘Help Wanted’ sign in the window…and I hear the food’s really good.
***We thought a little cannibalism this week would be a welcome break from what has become the norm in America; Illegal war, torture, kidnapping, rape, assassination, terrorism, corruption, torture usury, inequality and a massive political freak show. Hmmmm…..eating people’s got nothin’ on Corporate America – bon appetit! (This is another page from our new book, “Bludgeon the Clown.” Find it – and buy it – by following the www.sallemander.com link above.) -Marsha
The room was not large, just a conference room in the library where ten of us sat around a table writing. It was a typical Saturday morning workshop and the prompt was part of the lyrics to the Star Wars theme. The music rattled around my brain easily enough but for some reason I couldn’t recall it ever having lyrics. I was frustrated. I drew a blank while everyone else was scribbling away…and the music in my head became louder, incessant…persistent…..maddening!
It suddenly stopped when a new sound caught my attention. It was coming from Keith at the other end of the table. There was a tick, tick, ticking that quickly replaced my obsession – in perfect rhythm and beat – to those lyrics, whatever they were…tick, tick, ticka, ticka-ticka, tick, tick. I was tapping my toe on the carpet now…ticka-ticka, tick, tick. Louder and louder it got, tick, ticka, tick…Keith was writing intensely. Tick, tick-ticka. How could he not hear it? Tick-tick, ticka-tick. Was I the only one? Ticka-tick-ticka, tick. Was that smoke coming out of his ears? Tick-tick. Coooool! Ticka-tick-ticka. The ticking got faster as bright beams of light began to emerge from his skull. Tick-ticka-ticka-ticka-tick. It filled the room…blinding me…..ticka-ticka-ticka…BANG!!!!!
Like a mouse in a microwave, the walls, floor and ceiling were suddenly pasted with Keith juice and bits of sticky flesh and bone.
Still, nobody seemed to notice. Everyone just kept on writing even as a slippery chunk of bowel slid down Carl’s face and a bloody ear clung to the end of Joe’s pencil. Keith’s head and chest were gone and his fluids were squirting Susan’s cheek…but he kept on writing as well. Susan paused to open an umbrella and brush gore off her laptop, unmoved.
Everything was quiet for a few minutes as pens scribbled on wet paper and blood dribbled and pooled in my under shorts….then the ticking started again…but this time it sounded like it was coming from Nancy…..tick, tick, tick…coooool!
***The illustration was originally published as the cover for Analog Magazine’s Jan/Feb 2012 issue, for a story by Robert J Sawyer. -Marsha
Spindle the Clown was really old, so he went to Miami for rest but drank more vodka than he could hold and collapsed with a pain in his chest.
He died that night in his hotel suit but not before fouling his shorts and hurling his lunch from his chest to his feet in retching, heaving, snorts.
Nobody knew he was there, by chance, having very few friends, to be sure, and his room was paid for the month in advance with “DO NOT DISTURB!”on the door.
So his body sat in the heat to bloat and his organs turned to soup and flies laid eggs in his nose and throat and beetles infested his poop.
Rats and roaches came up through the shower, the odors were pungent and fresh and feasted on Spindle for 93 hours, stripping his bones of flesh.
When housekeeping finally entered the room, hardly a crumb remained. Spindle the Clown was completely gone, except for his creepy brain.
Hello, I’m Marsha and this is our blog. I do all the writing and John does all the art (but I’m in charge). We’re working on several (Graphic Novel) book projects – the first, “Marsha Mellow’s Blue-ish Freaks” will be out soon.
We met Spindle the Clown a few years ago while researching death rituals among the Clown species. We spent a week documenting his demise – only to witness him defy death in the end. Sadly, his brain grew up to be a corporate banker…..tragic. John insisted that we use this image for our first post for some strange symbolism that only idiotic artists understand. Whatever!