The Inaugural TNF Flash Fiction War

Yes, that's right!

Do you think you've got what it takes? Can you beat out the other TNF writers in a grueling battle of deranged wits? Can you concoct a 1,000-word-or-less story that will tower above all others and shatter their hopes and dreams of ever competing against you in the future?

Well bring it on, we say!

You can write about anything you want, as long as it pertains to the contest theme.

The theme is: ...and that's why I keep my eye in a pickle jar.

The deadline is September 30th. At that time, the TNF editors will judge each story and determine a winner. There are prizes at stake, so please submit only your best. I think it goes without saying that the winner will be a lock for a slot in Long Live The New Flesh: Year Two.

So what are you waiting for? Tell us why you keep your eye in a pickle jar!

“What do you suppose this Martian robot is saying?” asked the President of the Reorganized States of America. “It hasn’t stopped talking since you brought it to my office.”

“I don’t have the slightest idea, Sir,” said the Chief of Staff. “Linguists from the State Department are on the way. They should be here any moment.”

Meanwhile, the robot kept babbling.

“Do you think the Martians made this machine to look like them?” asked the President. “If so, I hope the ugly bastards never land. The whole world would panic.”

“I have to admit,” said the Defense Secretary, “I never figured anything in the universe would have a square head. Or four arms. Not to mention those eight things that are sticking out where legs should be.”

At that moment the receptionist buzzed the President. “Sir, the linguists are here.”

“Send them in.”

A dozen nerdy-looking civil servants entered. One of them said, “That thing just spoke in an obscure Swahili dialect used by only a few hundred African natives.”

“What did it say?” asked the President.

“Repeat or die.”

“Now it’s saying the same words in Southern Chinese,” said another linguist.

“Hey, it just said the same thing in Latin,” said another.

Within minutes, the robot had repeated the same words in seventy-five languages in which the linguists were fluent: “Repeat or die.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” the President asked the Secretary of State.

“Sounds like a death threat. But I don’t get why it’s saying repeat. Repeat what?”

More linguists were brought in from nearby universities. Within five hours, over 250 languages spoken on Earth, including obscure dialects, had been identified. When the words were translated, all said the same thing: “Repeat or die.”

The President’s staff contacted London, Paris, Moscow, Beijing. The heads of state from those countries were also scrutinizing similar robots that kept saying, “Repeat or die,” in a thousand languages and dialects.

The Secretary General of the Amalgamated Nations convened an emergency session. A robot was taken to the General Assembly Meeting Hall. Representatives from Earth’s seven hundred and fifty six nations listened to what the robot said. All confirmed that it was repeating the same words: “Repeat or die.”

After two days of the most intense international discussions ever held, the Secretary General asked for advice from the world’s religious leaders. Afterward, he requested airtime over all TV and radio stations.

“Citizens of Earth. This is the Secretary General of the Amalgamated Nations. It is my duty to inform you that members of the AN representing every nation, plus leaders of the world’s religions have conferred and agreed on the following four points:

One: Talking robots been dispatched to our planet from Mars. They have been found on every land mass and body of water on our planet.

Two: These robots are repeating a message in every language and dialect known to mankind. The message consists of three words: repeat or die.

Three: We have decided that the three words are a warning informing us that we must repeat everything we do. If we fail to comply, we must assume that Martians will kill everyone on Earth.

Four: To avoid genocide, from now on we must repeat every behavior twice. For example, eat breakfast twice in a row. Brush your teeth twice. Read the newspaper, then read it again immediately. Put a sock on, take it off, and put it on again. And so forth. We believe this is the only way we can save humanity from total annihilation.”

Everyone on Earth was notified to repeat their behavior through radio announcements, phone calls, TV newscasts, email, telegrams, loudspeakers, smoke signals, jungle drums, handbills, Morse code, letters, road signs, semaphore, graffiti, theatre marquees, banners, telepathy, sky writing, twitter, iPad, and sign language.

The repetition of all behaviors was maddening. Nations were in chaos. People bought SUVs, then bought them again, just seconds later. Babies that stopped crying had to be pinched to make sure they cried again. Commuters caught busses, got off at their destinations, took other busses back to their places of origin, then repeated the trips.

Nevertheless, seven days later, thousands of Martian spacecraft surrounded Earth and fired death rays. Within hours, everything on Earth was reduced to smoldering ashes.

“Why didn’t those stubborn idiots obey?” yelled Mars’ fanatically religious Emperor. “They could’ve saved themselves. I wasted billions manufacturing and shipping robots to their miserable planet to warn them. Why were they so willing to be obliterated?"

He ordered his aides to form a Blue Ribbon Panel and conduct a thorough investigation. Only the best minds on Mars were appointed to the panel.

Three months later, the panel announced their findings.

“Because of budgetary restrictions caused by our ongoing wars with Mercury, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus, we decided to save money by outsourcing the talking robot project. Goofus, one of Neptune’s moons, was low bidder. By outsourcing we saved one billion-trillion jeboolas. However, we didn’t know that Goofus does not educate its citizens. Goofonians are hopelessly illiterate. Not familiar with any alphabet, they made a one-character error when installing the robot voice program. This caused the robots to say REPEAT instead of REPENT.”

"Gross Misinterpretation"

Copyright: © 2010 Michael A. Kechula


Michael A. Kechula is a retired tech writer. His stories have been published by 128 magazines and 36 anthologies. He’s won first place in 10 contests and placed in 8 others. He’s authored three books of flash fiction, micro-fiction, and short stories: The Area 51 Option and 70 More Speculative Fiction Tales; A Full Deck of Zombies--61 Speculative Fiction Tales; I Never Kissed Judy Garland and Other Tales of Romance. eBook versions available at and Paperbacks available at

Dora da Gama was only six years old when she dashed after her wind-blown Mickey-ears hat and was run down by an incoming tram at section Pluto Five. The distraught parents flew her body back to Brazil where, after a viewing by her extended family, she was taken to the Cemetery of Saint John the Baptist and laid to rest.

Her mother had nightmares a week later. Dora cried out that she was in a bad place. The terrified girl begged for release. The tormented mother started seeing Dora’s face everywhere, but especially in mirrors. A family friend arranged a session with a spiritualist, where it was revealed that the child’s soul was indeed the hostage of powerful forces.

The family asked me, Paulo Santos, to rescue her. Their formal request for access to the Mansion had been denied, so there I was at the back, making my way through a utility door, careful to avoid the pressure plates that signaled an intruder.

Four in the morning, and the maintenance crew had already made its last sweep through the Mansion. I stood in the dark, listening. Nothing but a faint whirring from the interior. And a low thumping, which had to be the beating of my heart.

“Spirit of this place,” I said, snapping on my Maglite, “release the child Dora da Gama. In the name of the Holy One and the Seven Sacred Angels, I command you to release her.” The whirring stopped, then started up again. Probably some mechanism resetting itself, I guessed.

I moved up the Doom Buggy track, sliding along the empty cars, swiveling them out of my way as I headed for the attic. The whirring sound increased, as did the pounding of my heart. Halfway up, the temperature dropped so that I could see my breath in the Maglite beam. The infernal malefactor of the house was making her presence felt.

“She won’t let her go.” I turned and discovered the apparition of a small boy seated in a Doom Buggy. He was ragged and thin, with mournful eyes. “She won’t let any of us go.” He put his face in his hands and sobbed. The back of his skull was missing.

“I release you,” I said, signing the cross, “from the hold of the Evil One. “In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.” The boy’s crying ceased. He looked up, his face transformed into a malevolent mask.

“It will take more than words, wizard,” he snarled, “to steal her from me.” His eyes burned like coals in a raging furnace. “You have no power here. Begone!” He cackled and vanished, leaving behind a putrid odor that seeped over me like rancid tide from the backwater of Hell.

Now the battle was upon me. “Saint Michael the Archangel,” I prayed, “defend us against the ruler of this world of darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.” A low rumble shook the Mansion, and I scrambled up the track as the Doom Buggies swiveled wildly, almost knocking me off the track.

And all the while the whirling grew into a windstorm buffeting me, pounding in my ears like the wild tattoo of my straining heart.

I gained the attic, where the horrific bride awaited me with her coterie of dead husbands. These murdered spouses glowered, needing only their killer’s command to pounce. The bride’s red heart beat in time to mine. She leered at me, her arms around the shoulders of Dora da Gama, restraining the terrified girl.

The shaking on the track increased and I fell to my knees, losing the Maglite. It shattered in the darkness below. The blue-faced bride beckoned me forward with a skeletal hand.

“Crawl!” she shrieked, gloating. “On your knees, wizard. Beg for the girl!”

“Most glorious Prince of the Heavenly Armies," I prayed, gasping. “Come to the assistance of your servant, created in your likeness and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil.” I struggled to my feet, took a few steps, fell again. I got to my knees. “God of Peace!” I cried. “Crush Satan beneath our feet, that he may no longer retain men captive. Without delay, send your mercy down upon us!”

A shaft of white light penetrated the gloom between the bride and me. She screamed and redoubled her grip on the girl, whose spirit was slowly evaporating into the light. I moved forward on my knees, but the freezing winds buffeted me with the stench of death. My entire body was shaking, paralyzed by a tightness of the muscles I could barely endure.

“Release her,” I croaked between clenched teeth. The bride’s heart beat hideously fast as more and more of the girl’s spirit seeped through her bony grasp. “Release her,” I said again, in vain trying to make the sign of the cross. The bride howled as the last shreds of the girl disappeared into the light. I saw the bride’s heart explode, just before I passed out.

Into the darkness of my swoon swooped Dora da Gama, smiling and skipping. She came over and hugged me hard around the neck. “Gracias, Padre,” she said, her face buried in my chest. “Gracias.” Saved, she ascended into the light.

When I came out of my trance, I beheld my broken body lying on the track, its heart exploded.

To this day, no shaft of light has ever come for me. I serve out eternity under the thumb of the satanic bride who lords it over me, for my sins are many. The horrors I am forced to endure defy description, even had I had a vocabulary dark enough to name them.

When you next come to the Haunted Mansion, look for me in the attic, third coffin on the left. Take pity on me, and send someone to pry me loose from the grasp of the Evil One.

Por favor.

"Trapped in the Haunted Mansion"

Copyright: © 2010 Robert Meade


Robert Meade is a transplanted Bostonian now firmly rooted in Mohegan Lake, in Westchester County, NY, with his wife and three children. He teaches at Loyola School in Manhattan. He won the Wordweaving Award for Excellence for his book, Daily Bread: Seven Days to a Healthier Soul. A published author of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, his recent work has appeared in Angels on Earth magazine and online at Guideposts and Apollo’s Lyre.

When I awoke, I began to weep anew, for the nightmare was real.

Nobody knew where the intruders had come from. Some said an alternate dimension, others said they were aliens. Only a few things were known, and one that was that they had dominated us completely, and without remorse.

We were bound naked by wide steel mesh strips in a kneeling position, two abreast on the conveyor. It moved slowly, but steadily, at the speed of inevitability.

Everyone has asked themselves this question, but I ask it again, why me? Why "US"? I waited tables at a popular downtown patio. My greatest ills were sore feet and tourists who assumed the tip was included. I had ambitions - I was going to write stageplays that would outsell Cats and Phantom combined. Now I'm just trying to think of anything that will set me free.

They creatures were just there one day, and in such great numbers that nobody had time to run, let alone fight. They are tall, with a vivid purple skin that catches light and shimmers like the back of a housefly. They gathered us up into their six strangely muscled arms and away from our lives with no more difficulty than one would pull a puppy from its bed; our screaming little more than yelps and squeaks to them. We were all rendered unconscious then by the cloying scent they give off, like flowers and vomit.

The conveyor takes us around a corner, and I can see the end. A sick yellow light is glowing, and this awful belt runs right through the middle. I strain against my bonds, but I can't slip out from under; the straps follow the shape of my body whichever way I bend. They are not painful - it seems they want us intact and I'm afraid of what that means. My companion to the right is silent. She would be stunningly beautiful in any other circumstance. She has long blonde hair that tumbles over her shoulders, and curtains her breasts from me. I'm glad of that. What should take weeks of flirting, and dating; or perhaps just one intense wonderful night is now laid open in front of me with no mystery, and despair makes me cry again. Her red-rimmed eyes stare only outward and see nothing; she screamed her way into shock hours ago. I want to reach out to her; my final human contact in our last minutes, but she has shut down. I hear the wailing from inside that yellow light, and I envy her.

All too soon, we are closing in on the light, and I know we are going to die. If I was bound at the hands and feet - I would chew myself free. As it is, I just lower my head to the conveyor and start slamming my head down as hard as I can. I don't want to face this awake. The conveyor yields, and refuses to hurt me. The two prisoners ahead of me suddenly fly to their feet, their bonds released. They dash to the sides, trying to flee the awful conveyor, and between them I see the queen. She is the largest by far that I have seen, and between her legs are her roiling, squirming spawn, like purple tapeworms. Two of these fly at the freed captives and enter them. Dozens of flagella rush down the mouths of the victims – others burrow into the skin, and I can see them writhing and digging there, violating the unprotected bodies of these two; my fellow humans. They are trying to scream, but are gagging on the flesh of the aliens. The woman beside me is awake again and screaming. I look away from it all, and see what the others must have seen.

At the very front, the ground drops away beside the conveyor into a deep and rocky chasm.

My restraints pop free.

I hope I am fast enough.


Copyright: © 2010 Chris Allinotte


Chris Allinotte lives and works in Toronto, Ontario. His other writing has appeared on Flashes in the Dark, The Oddville Press, Thrillers, Killers n' Chillers, and MicroHorror. Information on these and other stories can be found on his blog at

After dropping off my last passenger for the night in Manhattan, I headed for the taxi barn. Feeling restless I decided to drop off the cab and head across the Hudson River to Jersey. Overlooking the river was a great all night place. Owned by the Mob, it catered to Latins. I’d have a few rum and cokes and ogle the incredible Puerto Rican broads. I loved the hot music. I loved how those babes moved their tight rumps to the intricate rhythms. But most of all, I loved the odor of pungent sweat dripping from their sizzling Latin bodies.

Cruising down 9th Avenue, I didn’t see any cars on either side of the road. Typical for 1:00 AM in Manhattan. Best time of the entire day. Peace and quiet. No people. No sounds. Nothing.

As I approached 27th Street, a black Caddie zoomed through a red light. Just missed slamming my passenger side by a couple feet.

I slammed my horn and hollered every cuss word I ever learned while fighting in Iraq.

The bastard slammed his brakes. You coulda heard the tires screeching for a mile.

He backed up in a way that only a Hollywood stunt driver coulda done. Put that damn Caddie right next to my taxi.

“What did you call me?” a woman’s voice said from the driver’s window.

I couldn’t see her face in the dark. But the fact that it was a woman made me even madder.

I repeated my cuss words.

“Is that something good or bad?” the voice asked.

“Get outta the car, and I’ll show you,” I screamed, grabbing the tire iron I kept for self-defense. I opened my door to confront her. Her car was so close, I coughed up a wad of phlegm and spit toward the voice.

“Ummm. You got me right in the mouth. How delicious. Are all your body fluids so scrumptious?”

“What the hell are you talking about? Cut the bull crap and step outside. I got a nice surprise for you.” I raised the tire iron to flatten her skull the moment she stepped out. But she didn’t move. I tried to make out her face, but it was too dark.

“I think you’re cute,” the voice said. “Otherwise, you’d be dead by now. I’m going to give you something to hold your wonderful body fluid. Fill it and I’ll let you go.” An arm extended a small cup.

Her idiotic words completely disarmed me.

“You want me to spit into a cup? For you to drink? Phew, you are one sick bastard.” Then it struck me: who said I had to fill it with spit?

“OK,” I said. “I’ll fill your stupid cup.” I turned away, opened my fly, and let loose into the cup. As I unloaded my bladder, I made sounds in my throat as if I were coughing up half a lung and spitting it into the cup.

The best part about this was that I was being treated for venereal disease.

Extending the cup, I told her to drink it immediately, that it was best while steaming hot.

I jumped into my cab, and slammed the gas pedal. I laughed all the way to the barn.

A week later, I went to see a priest. “Father, help me. The Devil’s after me.”

“He’s after us all,” the padre said. “He wants everybody’s soul. Remember what the Scriptures say: ‘resist the Devil and he will flee from you.’ Are you resisting him?”

“With all my might. But he...well, it’s not a he, it’s a she. She shows up every night when my shift’s over. When I’m heading to the taxi barn, her car cuts me off and blocks my way. And every time, she just misses slamming into me. She hands me a cup. Asks me to fill it with one of my vital juices.”

“What do you mean by vital juices?”

“She wants me to spit into the cup.”

“And do you?”

“No. I pee into it. I’m ashamed to say this, but I caught a sexually transmitted disease. It happened one night when I was drunk. But the thing is, she drinks whatever I put into the cup. Every time I do it I feel like I’m getting revenge.”

“No need to explain further, my son. Take this bottle of holy water. Next time she stops you, pour it into the cup. One swig of that, and she’ll never block your taxi again.”


“Yes. She’s known as The Juicer. This is one of the worst listed in the Book of Exorcisms. Has she asked you to ejaculate into the cup?”

“No, Father.”

“Good. But unless you dispel her, she soon will. And she’ll use your seed to commit the most unspeakable blasphemies in demonic rituals.”

That night, when the Caddie cut me off, I poured the blessed water into the cup. I heard her gulping.

I bet her screams could be heard for miles.

Next day, I read in the paper that the cops rushed to the scene where a woman was heard screaming, as if she was being massacred. But they didn’t find anybody.

The next night, I made it all the way to the barn without interference. What a relief! To celebrate the removal of the unholy entity, I headed to Jersey to watch the Puerto Rican women dance their asses off.

One of them was so hot, I found myself breaking into a sweat. When I ordered another cold beer to cool down, a gorgeous coffee-and-cream broad slid into the bar stool next to me.

“Hi, Handsome,” she said. “Would you get me something to drink?”

“Sure. What’ll you have?”

“Some of your luscious fluids,” she said, handing me a cup.


Copyright: © 2010 Michael A. Kechula

Michael A. Kechula is a retired tech writer. His stories have been published by 128 magazines and 36 anthologies. He’s won first place in 10 contests and placed in 8 others. He’s authored three books of flash fiction, micro-fiction, and short stories: The Area 51 Option and 70 More Speculative Fiction Tales; A Full Deck of Zombies--61 Speculative Fiction Tales; I Never Kissed Judy Garland and Other Tales of Romance. eBook versions available at and Paperbacks available at

“You’re delusional, mother.”

“It killed him, Jeremy.”

“It was an accident.” A gruesome accident, but an accident nonetheless. From what the police could gather, his father had been standing on a kitchen stool and slipped; as he fell, his hand upturned the cutlery block and five knives came down into his chest.

“The police found it in the kitchen,” Jeremy’s mother carried on. “It killed him because he told Davy to get rid of it. You haven't been here. It's evil.”

She was near hysterics and Jeremy felt his own anger rising. Dad was dead and she was blaming a toy robot.

“Kill it, Jeremy.” Her voice was a high-pitched squall. Jeremy wanted to slap her… Take it easy, we’re both just upset. It’s not her fault. Take it easy...

* * *

“Enter,” Davy said before Jeremy even knocked. Jeremy entered to see him sitting on the bed. Robbie the Robot sat in the corner recharging, a blue LED flashing on his chest. Davy had been the one to find their father. He seemed to be coping well, but Jeremy was never sure with Davy. For all his advancements, Davy rarely showed emotion. Jeremy wasn't sure whether it was the kid's designer genes that made him better able to cope with stress or if some of their parents’ DNA had slipped through and plagued him with their penchant for denial.

“Don't take Robbie,” Davy said.

Jeremy sat, trying to shake the feeling the kid could read his mind. “What makes you think I'm taking Robbie?”

“I heard mom.”

Jeremy nodded. “She's pretty upset about Dad. Dr. Stevenson is coming to see her. Still, if it's alright, I'd like to put Robbie in the garage, just till she's better.”

“In the garage?”

“Yeah, he'll be safe there and he'll have Dad's tools to keep him company.”


Jeremy tousled his hair. “How you doing with all this?”

“Dad and I got in a fight.”

“I know.”

Davy looked up, tears in his eyes. “I was mad at him. He wanted to take away Robbie, and I—”

“No,” Jeremy said, hugging him. “Take it easy. It's not your fault.”

“Why'd Dad want me to get rid of Robbie?”

“That's just the way Mom and Dad are. You're ten now—they think you're too old for toys. It was the same with me. Dad always wanted me to ‘look sharp,’ call him “sir.” I did all kinds of crazy stuff just to make him mad.”

“Is that why you hurt that kid and went to jail?”

Jeremy nodded. “Yeah. That's when...”

“When they decided to have me,” Davy finished, “to have the doctors engineer me.” Tears trickled down his face.

“-what is wrong, davy-”

The thin electronic voice startled Jeremy. Robbie had waddled over to the bed, blue chest LED glowing. Jeremy picked him up. “Hey, Robbie, how's a vacation in the garage sound?”

Robbie swiveled his head to regard Davy.

“I'll take him downstairs,” Jeremy told Davy, “and then how about some pizza?”

* * *

They were halfway through a large pepperoni when their mother joined them.

“Where's Robbie?”

“Locked in the garage.”

“Jeremy, you promised.”

“Mom, no,” Davy pleaded.

“Take it easy. It's fine, Mother. Sit.”

“Not while that thing is still alive. I'll take your father's hammer and smash it to pieces.”

Davy jumped up after her as she made for the garage, but she shoved him aside and he hit the dining room floor with a yelp.

“Goddamnit, Mother—stop!”

Before he realized it, Jeremy had her by the arm and was about to slap her. He caught himself. Take it easy. She was terrified, but not of him. He could see it in her eyes. “Kill it, Jeremy. It’s evil.”

“You’re evil,” Davy said.

“Mother, go upstairs.”

“No, I—”

“Go. Dr. Stevenson said for you take a hot bath if you get upset. Go on, I’ll holler when he gets here.”

* * *
The doorbell chimed.

Jeremy was halfway to the door when he heard his mother scream upstairs. The doorbell rang again, then another scream, followed the lights flickering.

Jeremy bounded up the stairs to his mother’s bedroom only to find the bathroom locked. “Mom?” No response. “Mom!” He kicked the door in and tumbled forward into the dark room.


Jeremy looked back from where he landed to see Robbie upturned in the doorway. The bathtub commanded Jeremy’s attention, though. He scrambled up and there was his mother, unmoving in the tub. An electric drill, its cord hanging limply from the wall socket, sat nestled in the water beside her.

“Mom!” Jeremy shook her, but she was still.


“Davy! Call an ambulance.”

“But Robbie,”—Davy was bending over his robot—“you’ve hurt him.”

“Damnit, Davy—” Jeremy turned to see Davy holding Robbie up to him. Robbie, who Mom had begged him to kill. Robbie, who should’ve been locked in the garage with all Dad’s tools.

Jeremy yanked Robbie from Davy’s hands, smashed the robot into the vanity mirror. The glass cracked. Davy screamed. Jeremy slammed Robbie into the mirror again, then again.

“No, no!”

Robbie’s plastic head cracked, the mirror shattered. Jeremy squeezed Robbie’s neck and the blue LED on the chest slowly dimmed to nothing…

Take it easy.

When Jeremy opened his eyes, all was silent. His mother lay dead in the tub. Robbie was a shattered plastic corpse in his hands. And Davy—Davy lay on the floor, his skull smashed, his face blue.


Footsteps approached and Dr. Stevenson stopped in the doorway.

“Jeremy? My god, what have you done?”

“It’s not what you think. Take it easy.”


Copyright: © 2010 Garrett Calcaterra


Garrett Calcaterra is author of Umbral Visions, a horror collection forthcoming from Gypsy Shadow Publishing, and coauthor of The Roads to Baldairn Motte, a historic fantasy novel forthcoming from L&L Dreamspell. In addition, he has published over twenty short stories, essays, and articles in various publications, including Writers' Journal, Wet Ink (Australia), Sex & Seduction (UK), Arkham Tales, M-Brane SF, and The Oregon Literary Review. He currently resides in California and is finishing work on a new dark fantasy novel. You can follow his writing at

World War Seven broke out while I was inspecting the Doomsday Shelter twenty miles below Area 51. I was incommunicado the whole time, so I had no way of knowing.

I was in the Shelter only three days. But during that time, Martians staged a sneak attack, waged nuclear war, won, and departed Earth with the spoils.

When I came to the surface, I checked nearby Las Vegas. No survivors. I checked Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Phoenix. Same thing. Horrors! Beside me, the only other survivors were cockroaches.

Fortunately, the Doomsday Shelter had lots of supplies. Except for human companionship, life was as normal as possible.

I spent my mornings working out in the massive gym that was built for 500,000 people. Afternoons, I whiled away the time reading in the Shelter’s vast library of a billion volumes. The days passed quickly. But after six months, I found myself dying of loneliness.

Then I discovered a most unusual series of books that contained photographs of all female cockroaches in the United States. The covers said they had been published by the Royal Cockroach Press, commissioned by His Royal Highness, The King of North American Cockroaches. The address of the publishing house was in Las Vegas, just a few blocks from Caesar’s Palace Casino.

Waving a white flag, I approached the place. In seconds, I was surrounded by some very nasty looking, heavily armed cockroaches. I told them I came in peace, and I wanted to see their King.

Recognizing that I was human, they put away their weapons, and one after another shook my hand. Then they told me to lie on my back. When I did, untold numbers crawled under me, lifted me, and carried me to the royal chamber.

“Your Highness,” I said, as they put me down at the foot of the King’s throne. “I’m so glad to see you. And I’m pleased that you and so many of your people survived.”

“We all survived. Your scientists were right.”

“In what way, Your Highness?”

“They predicted that after nuclear war, the only survivors would be cockroaches. So, how did you manage to stay alive, seeing that you aren’t one of us?”

“I was inspecting the Doomsday Shelter. The one I designed and built for this nation at a cost of 75 trillion dollars. I was twenty miles below the surface inspecting the wiring. When I came to the surface, I saw bodies laying everywhere, and all the destroyed buildings. I saw some of your kind scurrying here and there, so I knew that there were other survivors beside myself.”

“So what brings you here?” he asked.

“I saw your books in the Shelter’s library.”

“Ah yes. I had those published to show how beautiful my female subjects truly were. I sent copies to all the casinos in town, hoping to convince them to hire my subjects as show girls.”

“I see. Considering how beautiful they are, I can’t imagine why I never saw any of them on stage at any of the casinos. Actually, that’s why I’m here. I have an idea.”

“Let’s hear it,” he said.

We spoke for hours. When I finished he heartily agreed. He immediately ordered a beauty contest to be scheduled in which only the most stunning of his subjects would participate.

The contest was held on the stage in what was left of Caesar’s Palace. It rivaled in grandeur any Miss America Contest I’d ever seen on TV. Not only were those cockroaches talented, but they were also incredibly beautiful. Seeing them posing in swim suits was something to behold.

With the king’s approval, I married the winner.

Since then, we’ve mated hourly to repopulate Earth. The cross-species pollination is working. When we have sufficient mutated offspring, I’ll build a humongous army, nuclear weapons, and rocket ships.

Beware, you genocidal Martian bastards! The cocka-humans are coming to get you!

"Genocidal Bastards"

Copyright: © 2010  Michael A. Kechula

Michael A. Kechula is a retired tech writer. His stories have been published by 128 magazines and 36 anthologies. He’s won first place in 10 contests and placed in 8 others. He’s authored three books of flash fiction, micro-fiction, and short stories: The Area 51 Option and 70 More Speculative Fiction Tales; A Full Deck of Zombies--61 Speculative Fiction Tales; I Never Kissed Judy Garland and Other Tales of Romance. eBook versions available at and Paperbacks available at

Farmer Landon plunged the knife deep into the flesh and sawed a clumsy circle. He pulled the make-shift lid off and twisted his face a bit when the pungent odor reached his nose. He never could get used to the smell of the sweet ripeness.

He reached inside and felt the cold mess squish between his fingers. He pulled at the tendrils and shaved away the membranes until the inside walls were smooth and clean.

Then he wiped his grimy hands on his jeans and began to carve a face – triangle eyes, a jagged smile – perfect for the season. He loved to decorate his pumpkins for Halloween.


“I can’t watch this any longer!” Gordy said as he threw up a mess of seeds.

“Pull yourself together! You’ll watch and you’ll see why we have to act NOW!” demanded Jack. “The stories that were handed down from generation to generation are true, as you can see. The madman will stop at nothing to grow us for his own twisted amusement. Once he finds us to be suitable, he carves us into disgusting, twisted caricatures. No more, I say!”

Jack, the commander of the pumpkin patch, had led his pumpkin brethren to the back porch step to bear witness the meticulous slaughter of a former friend. What they witnessed, in their view, was the grotesque sense of humor by a megalomaniac farmer.

“Tonight!” shouted Jack. “Tonight, we begin Phase One!”

“Tonight!” the thousand or so other pumpkins cheered in unison.


“Here’s a house!”

Soft thudding footfalls came across the grass as a half-dozen children ran to the front door.

They made is as far as the porch before the first child screamed. On the porch was Farmer Landon’s head, hollowed and alight by a single candle. The children screamed and ran back to the driveway.

The children giggled as they got back into their family van. Though they got no candy, the thrill of such a realistic gag was plenty good enough for them.


“They have found the lantern!” Gordy murmured. “Yours is far more frightening than any that Farmer Landon could ever create in a thousand growing seasons!”

“Quiet! Let the children scurry and tell the other humans of our existence.” Jack smiled smugly. “Yes. Children are easily frightened by scary lanterns. They are like putty in my vines.”

“So now what do we do?”

“Phase One has set in motion a chain of complex events. Phase Two is coming soon. You just wait.”

Gordy sat silent for a moment, not sure if he should question his leader. But he felt it to be his duty to the other pumpkins to speak up. “What do you mean by ‘you just wait’?”

“That’s, that’s what I mean. You just wait. I said it very plain.”

“Do you know what Phase Two entails?”

“Well, of course I do! Do you think I’m a fool? Don’t you think I have a full understanding of the nature of our enemies? Did I not rally a thousand of our kind to defeat the evil Farmer Landon? Do you think I did that just so that we would not have a Phase Two? Jeez, I know Phase Two like the back of my stem.”

“I’m sorry, sir. Do you have an idea as to when Phase Two will be set into motion?”

“, you just wait. Seriously, I mean it. It’ll be glorious, man.”

And so they did wait. They waited and waited and waited. It wasn’t until another few weeks later that a local grocer, angry over lack of promised deliveries from Farmer Landon, visited the Landon residence.

It was then that he found a shriveled, rotting lantern made from Landon’s head. Torrents of maggots dribbled from Landon’s raison lips. The grocer went inside to call the police and found thousands of rotten pumpkins in the Landon home. It appeared as if one had been nailed to a wall before it rotted enough to fall to the ground again.


Next year’s brood of pumpkins offered conflicting stories to their children. The relatives of Jack argued that a glorious revolution was thwarted by a treasonous Gordy.

Gordy’s camp argued that Jack was a complete imbecile who hadn’t enough foresight to prepare for a real uprising and invasion. They praised Gordy for the mutiny that served as a symbol for the higher order of pumpkinkind.

Arguments went on for nearly the whole growing season. Now the fields are quiet. There seems to be an uneasy calm. Perhaps a pumpkin civil war is imminent.

"Phase Two"

Copyright: © 2010 Brian Barnett


Brian Barnett lives with his wife, Stephanie, and son, Michael, in Frankfort, Kentucky.

He has appeared in over twenty-five publications, online and in print, including several anthologies.

He was co-editor of the anthologies “Toe Tags: 21 Spine-Tingling Tales from the Best New Authors of Horror” and “Long Live The New Flesh: Year One” with William Pauley III and has published a collection of horror stories titled “State of the Dark”.

For up-to-date news on all things Brian:

Harry checked the old Portuguese treasure map to make sure he’d taken the right path. He’d come too far down the Amazon to make a mistake now.

The map showed a lone, towering spire of granite. Harry found himself standing directly in front of it. The spire’s very presence in the middle of the Brazilian jungle didn’t add up. But neither did the fact that a huge bull elephant was standing behind the spire and blocking the path.

"What’s the password,” the beast asked.

Harry was taken aback. Everybody knew elephants couldn’t speak, much less converse in English.

“I’ll ask you one more time. What’s the password? If you don’t tell me in the next few seconds, I’ll smash you into a thousand pieces.”

“Wait,” Harry exclaimed. “Nobody told me about a password. Let me check my map. Maybe there’s one here. Aw hell, I don’t see one. Look, give me a break. I came thousands of miles to find the Ruby Idol. It can’t be more than two miles from this very spot. Let me pass, and when I find the idol, I’ll give you a million dollars - after I auction all the other ancient artifacts in the Temple of Treasures."

“Promises, promises,” said the elephant. “Do you think I was born yesterday? Do you know how many guys showed up here with maps expecting to find the idol? They all promised to pay me once they found it.”

“You mean others have been here looking for the same thing?”

“Yep. Those maps are a running joke throughout Brazil. I’ll bet yours is like all the others. Where did you get yours? As a bonus for subscribing to People Magazine? From the Sears catalog? Or did McDonalds give you one when you super-sized your Big Mac?”

“No. I didn’t even know they were offered through the mail or from Sears and McDonalds. I got this one from eBay. I bid ten thousand dollars and won. So what happened to all the other treasure hunters? Did you stomp them?”

“Nah. Didn’t want to get grease all over my feet. I let them through. Snakes got 'em. There’s nasty serpents all over the place here. Some the size of the Empire State Building.”

“I think you’re giving me a line of baloney,” Harry said. “How do I know you ain’t on your way to find the idol, yourself? Maybe I oughta put a few bullets in your skull.”

The elephant let out a horrible noise. Within seconds, Harry was surrounded by vicious vipers. Several bit him. He was dead before he knew what hit him.

“Thanks, guys,” the elephant said to the departing vipers. “Come back in a couple hours. I’m gonna roast him for dinner. Bring the wife and kids.”

Whistling a merry tune, the elephant removed all of Harry’s valuables. Then he put Harry on a spit and placed the corpse over a barbeque pit. After he sprinkled his own special recipe barbeque sauce over Harry, he pulled out an Apple notebook computer and logged onto the Internet.

Minutes later, he completed the description of a treasure map that promised to show the way to the Ruby Idol in the Amazon jungle. When he pressed ENTER, he got a note from eBay verifying his item was up for bids around the globe.

“The best lesson I ever learned when I worked for the Barnum and Bailey Circus,” the elephant said, as he turned the corpse over the fire, “was that a sucker’s born every minute. Because of that fundamental truism, I figure I’ll be able to retire on the French Riviera in a year - from selling phony treasure maps.”

"The Ruby Idol"

Copyright: © 2010 Michael A. Kechula

Michael A. Kechula is a retired tech writer. His stories have been published by 128 magazines and 36 anthologies. He’s won first place in 10 contests and placed in 8 others. He’s authored three books of flash fiction, micro-fiction, and short stories: The Area 51 Option and 70 More Speculative Fiction Tales; A Full Deck of Zombies--61 Speculative Fiction Tales; I Never Kissed Judy Garland and Other Tales of Romance. eBook versions available at and Paperbacks available at


Allo allo, all you weirdos!

So, in case you haven't heard, THE NEW FLESH just celebrated its first birthday!  And instead of everyone sending us gifts (although we wouldn't refuse them), we have decided to gather our 50 favorites stories over the year and compile them into one frikkin' awesome ebook.  And it's completely FREE!

So, fans... now you can go back an re-read all of your favorites or maybe even invite some readers who aren't very familiar with our zine to get a good idea of what we do here at TNF.

Suzie, Brian, and I are all incredibly proud to present this collection to all of you.  We hate to toot our own horn, but hey, we did good!  Special thanks goes out to all of the incredibly talented authors, who truly make this place everything it is.  And also, to all of you Constant Readers out there.  THE NEW FLESH loves you.

Wow, that sounded creepy!

Anyway, the link to the free ebook is posted just under the header of this blog and will be available forever (or until we take it down - whichever comes first).  Enjoy!  Tell your friends!  Keep sending submissions!

Keep it weird,


The seam of her skin opened along her spine. Her eyes broke into fractured orbs of painted glass.

Why does it hurt so much?

How could she let them turn her into this?

Just like all the others.

She felt battered, a crushed silk moth broken into dusty pieces: beetle wings, antennae, disused egg sacs smeared against the earth.

He was everywhere now too, stripped and gored against the hardwood floors.

Her body vaulted, contortions unstable, an undulating rupture of recessed pits stirring with new growth. Shattered limbs pitched her to the floor; the metamorphosis in painful throes of transition.

She experienced the weight of his indifference as if gravity were a heel crushing down on her.

He’d broken her heart, steering the blade exquisitely, her body a canvas of romantic blueprints, but he was a snake in her rebel gardens; a clever masquerade of handsome skin and nighttime eyes.

“Can you hear me loud and clear,” he’d asked. “I don’t want you anymore.”

She pined for him even as he rejected her. She was dazed, clinging at the corners of his lips.

“I hear you,” she thought, imagining his tongue, aching for a kiss goodbye.

How could he forget she was his number one girl? He was a heart-shaped bomb dropping onto her world, a front-page invasion she could no longer hope to write out of her life.

There would be reformation, but the marks would remain.

He never suspected she could gain the upper hand, pronounced in the assurance of physical decimation. She could bend and break, but she’d grow back strong. A thick vine budding with flowers, but tightly wound, nature’s noose.

His smile hid secrets like a mischievous child, compelling her with sweet whispers, stealing the viactum of her saliva from her trembling tongue. They lost one another in each delicate curve of their bodies, a language of spirit and fluid, the ink, an inscription, a tattoo emblazoned on the inside of her cleft flesh.

“I don’t love you. I don’t think I ever did.”

It was always the same.

Their voices were thunder, gunpowder salting her wounds where once they kissed her, abandoning her with lovely bullet holes in her ravaged heart.

She fought the pain, urgent to soothe the rage within, pulsating to discard her exterior. Underneath the disguise she shuddered, an anxious larva eclosing from a butterfly chrysalis.

I am dying just to lie next to you.

Her anger scored his flesh, extracted his eyes with violence and creeping through the execution of her pain death rose on anxious wings, a siren song lulling him into the grave.

I can resist this no more than you.

She straddled him, her cremaster hooks flexed down from her abdomen and through the opening of her groin burrowing into his pulpy genatalia as she vivisected his chest and sliced open his filthy heart with her spiked forelegs. The canals and cavities offered up what treasures she could devour, to nourish her new limbs, to mutate lean and dexterous and destroyed the rest with ease. He couldn’t feel the pain anymore as she stabbed her knife-like fangs deeper, pinching the skin, releasing the venom, draining the deepest parts he refused to share.

He could no longer complain about how much she needed him.

I've time for you now, his cells sighed into her, siphoned like pollen, suckled like honey straight from the comb.

Her mandibles twitched, the warm meat nestled in her jaws.

You were intrigued by my tears so I cried for you, and enraptured even more so by the depth of my horror, so I screamed for you. I didn’t try and stop you with an outcry of betrayal. I just went limp and timid till you felt the need to rouse me again.

She was roused now, a Venus flytrap clinching the fly on the back of her tongue.

I will make a worthy sacrifice from the empire of your corpse. I only wish I hadn’t made it so quickly. I must make it last to make the misery stick like pins in my insect kin.

He couldn’t know how much she could withstand, her threshold limitless, boundless, eternal where his had been easily severed like the veins she split, edible roots soaked in red rainwater.

There's no degree of pain you can make me feel that I haven't already attempted upon myself. If only you had loved me.

The muscled fruit of her calves burst open. Femur, tibia and nimble tarsus surfacing with the flexible bend of a cricket or grasshopper, the bones and flesh of her old feet collapsed, withdrawing from a sheath of skin, the toenails protruding through the deflated appendages like polished slivers of glass.

Vibrations shivered through the cocoon of her body, fissures snapping open along the backs of her thighs and buttocks allowing the legs to flex and breathe, shucking aside the flaps of skin clinging by gristle and blood. Her elongated thorax arched and articulated, dismantling the lengthy ladders of glistening vertebrae.

She was an emerging pharate, shrugging off the pupal exoskeleton, hemolymphic liquids churning, proteins, hormones and interstitial fluids facilitating muscular movements, oxygenating cellular reconstruction; veins in budding wings strengthened to bring new life to a girl who had known many.

She was a predatory amalgam: arachnid, insect, fairie, and girl. A tortured nymph misconstrued and malnourished by those she offered her love. But the nature of bees, of mantis, and spider is to devour in the face of unrequited love and thereby flourish in the metamorphosis, the larval redemption of shape and soul.

She would resume a new face in the mirror, a simple beauty nurtured by summer sun. She’d be dark skinned and exotic, or fair headed and pale, but for now she would be natural beneath the skin – true skin. The disguise would manifest and she’d venture out in search of perfect love.

“I’m a different girl for every season,” she said to herself, admiring and flexing her new wings.


Copyright: © 2010 D.A. Hernandez

David Alan Hernandez is a native-born Texan currently working on his bachelor’s degree in creative writing/education. His work can be found published in various online horror and fantasy Ezines including, The Harrow, Sonar4, Flashes in The Dark, Sex and Murder, Microhorror and the college literary journal, The Rio Review. In addition to a number of other projects, he is currently keeping a blog at showcasing a dark fantasy web novel, "Dividing Canaan: The Journals of Canaan Quintanilla".

Erika S.’s face was as long as the day is long. Its structure was geometric and angular, with features seemingly crafted by hammer and chisel; high cheekbones that threatened to tear through her skin and looked like they might hurt to kiss; a chin that came almost to a point. Erika’s profile reminded more than a few people of a children’s book’s drawing of a waning moon - the kind that always looks sleepy and is apt to wear a nightcap with a fluffy pom at the end.

She was not, however, an ugly woman. If her face had just been a bit shorter, it would have made all of the difference. As it was, she lived somewhere just south of pretty.

Erika got down off of the kitchen table and put her shoes on. She bared her teeth at the mirror in the hallway to make sure that there were no breakfast remnants caught up anywhere. Wedging a thumbnail between two incisors, she pulled something loose. She examined it for a second before trying to flick it onto the floor. When it refused to come off the side of her thumb, she wiped it on the wall.

Grabbing her keys, she yelled loudly up the stairs, “Going to work Ma, don’t forget to take your medicine!” knowing full well that she would anyway, if she even made it out of bed by the time that Erika got home.

Outside, the sun was already out and doing its work. Erika walked over the still snarl of traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge; the pungent tang of exhaust fumes rose up to the walkway and followed along. Once on the Manhattan side, she headed north. This was her commute in the spring and summer and she enjoyed the long walk very much.

Erika had something wet and meaty in her pants pocket. It had been in there for a little over an hour now and was starting to give off an unpleasant odor. She walked up First Avenue and the June heat wasn’t helping one bit in regards to the wet Meaty Thing’s smell.

She waited for the light to change at 20th street to head west. While she was stopped, she waved her hand in front of her thigh to keep the flies away. No one stood anywhere near her. The Walk sign flashed, and Erika made her way across First Avenue. The street’s hot, soft asphalt was reluctant to let go of her shoes and her steps made sounds like Scotch Tape being pulled from skin.

The outside of Erika’s pants pocket had become wet to the touch.

Erika was the first to arrive at the school’s cafeteria where she worked. This was good because no one would smell the wet Meaty Thing.

She went into the bathroom and put on her button-up uniform shirt. She pinned her hair up and put the cap on her head. Before leaving the bathroom, she went over to the sink and scrubbed her hands like a surgeon.

Back in the kitchen, Erika began to prepare lunch. It was Sloppy Joe Tuesday, and in two hours, there’d be two hundred and fifty some-odd students stuffing the cafeteria, making her afternoon miserable. Erika S. reached into her pants pocket with her transparent-gloved hand and took the Meaty Thing out.

"The Meaty Thing"

Copyright: © 2010 Edward Raso


Lisa Gale. Age eighteen. Captain of the senior varsity volleyball team. She had the body that every boy, man and woman wanted and she knew it, too. After every practice, Lisa would strip the clothing from her body, sometimes pulling her top completely off, just before she’d enter the locker room, just to give the boys in the bleachers a little something to talk about. Lisa loved her body and damn near everyone else who saw it loved it, too. But, as we’ve all been told before, most things are not as they seem. Lisa’s body is one of those things.

One night, just after practice, Lisa tossed her sweaty clothes in a pile in front of her locker, but as she dropped her arms to her side, a sharp pain pulsated in her left breast. She walked over to the mirror, kneading her fingers along the pain lines, massaging the ache away. The pain eased. She walked in the shower room, not giving it a second thought.

She squeezed a dab of shampoo into her left palm and gently worked it into her long blonde hair, wrapping the length of it atop her head in a swirl. She washes herself facing away from the showerhead; she had always had a weird phobia of being splashed in the face with water. It made her feel somewhat claustrophobic, as if she were unable to breathe. Probably because of some suppressed childhood memory.

She stepped back into the stream of hot water to rinse the lathered shampoo from her hair. A torrent of water collided with her forehead and branched off into tiny streams.  The water flowed over her eyes, blinding her. Panic began to set in. She shook her hands violently in the air, desperately trying to dry them so that she could clear the water from her eyes. In the process, she licked a few of her fingers against the tile wall.

She opened her eyes. That was when she saw it.

Looking straight up at her now was an eyeball, burrowed deep into her left breast and peaking out from a flap of skin where her nipple should have been. She closed her eyes and screamed, but when she opened her eyes again, her nipple had returned and the eyeball was gone. Nervously, she to tried to pry the nipple open again, like an eyelid. The areola spread apart, revealing the anomalous eyeball underneath. The flesh strained and forced itself closed once more.

Panicking now, Lisa grabbed a hold of her left breast with both of her hands and squeezed with all of her might. Her nipple swelled and slowly parted as the eyeball began to surface. She then placed her right hand directly behind the eyeball and gave her nipple a taut pinch. Tiny red veins were bursting out from the white skin of the orb, like little baby spiders emerging from their nests.


The eyeball slopped out and rolled slowly to the drain. A tear of blood leaked from the tip of her nipple and traced down her abdomen, finally fading into the water.

Not sparing a second, Lisa checked her right breast and, sure enough, there was another eyeball roosting inside. She squeezed her that breast, just as she had the left, but this eyeball was being stubborn, it refused to come out from its nest. She pried back the skin of her nipple and dug her fingers deep into the socket. The eyeball was trying to root itself into her skin through muscles and veins that sprouted out from it’s backside. She severed all connections with a pinch of her fingernails. She ripped the second eyeball from her breast and hurled it to the concrete shower floor below. The ball splattered against the ground like an egg before the water washed it away. The shower drain was tinged pink with her blood.

The other eyeball was now looking up at her from the shower drain. She shrieked and stomped it down the pipe, squishing it through the tiny hole of the drain cover. Gooey bits of eye-flesh gobbed up in-between each of her toes. She ran out of the shower and back into the locker room. She quickly dried herself off. She wanted to get home as quickly as possible. As she was drying off her legs, the lips from between her thighs began to growl.


Copyright: © 2010 William Pauley III

Originally published on Flashes in the Dark 12/01/2009
The following is a transcript from the audio journal of Sylvia Radish.

Sylvia: Personal entry. Ah, the second week of April. Which means it is that most glorious time of the year again. The Herbert Hoover High School Science Fair!

As I have documented numerous times in these entries, I have been yearning for that first prize blue ribbon since transferring to this dreary high school two miserable years ago. Now, believe me when I say, I am just as astonished as you are that I still have not been awarded first prize. It’s not that I need the validation from the Herbert Hoover High School faculty in recognition of my brilliance. Or that I desire the respect and adulation of my peers that someone of my superior intellect deserves…it’s not like that would happen anyway. It’s the mere fact that if one more baking soda volcano, or [expletive] weather monitor wins that blue ribbon, I’m going to lose my [expletive] mind!

Now, I’ve decided to take this time to do some self-reflection on my previous entries into my school’s humble science fair, and how I plan to change the common factor that caused my failures.

My first entry was in 2008. I had genetically engineered a new breed of goldfish that not only increased the lifespan of those fragile creatures, but it would have made them the greatest house pet imaginable. Cats? Overrated. Dogs? Please. My goldfish would have put them all to shame. Now, maybe I went a bit overboard by making them so aggressive and protective but can you blame me for trying to be innovative? The guard fish! No burglar would see that coming! But that reasoning wasn’t good enough for Principal Fellows. He said I put too many of the students at risk by giving them a piranha’s killer instinct…and teeth. Perhaps it was an overreaction on my part when I flushed them down the school’s toilets after the awards were handed out, but I did eventually recapture them. And the cafeteria had the best fish stick week in school history, so-

Unknown Voice: [muffled yelling]


[A loud clatter is heard. Perhaps something being knocked over. The scraping of a chair can be heard, followed by footsteps-presumably Sylvia’s. The screaming suddenly gets louder, followed by silence. Steps are heard again.]

Sylvia: Where was I? Ah, yes, at least year’s competition the judging on my project was completely unfair. “Too grotesque,” Principal Fellows said “it’s disturbing to the other students.” I successfully attached a functioning third eye to the back of a mouse’s head, and THAT’S the reception I get!? They should have been begging me to take that blue ribbon from them!

So, that brings us to this year’s fair. As you know, I left my old school because of some…misunderstandings with the local authorities. “Dr. Victoria Frankenstein” the newspapers called me. I don’t know what happened to all of those stray dogs. Or who stole those chemicals from the school laboratories but my parents thought it would be best to get a fresh start in a new town, and I’ve tried to make the best of it.

But I digress. I realized the common variable in all of my failures was right in front of my face. Principal Fellows. Luckily, he unexpectedly resigned from his position as principal last week. Quite unceremoniously too, he left a letter on his desk last Monday and apparently left his house without even taking any of his belongings. People are strange like that.

The question now is what exactly will I be doing for my project this year? I was thinking of creating a human/plant hybrid and seeing if he…or it… will grow in the school courtyard. Or maybe a simple brain transplant between a human and a baboon? Luckily, I found a willing volunteer who’s only too happy to help me win that first place ribbon. He owes me one.

[End of recording]

"Science Fair"
Copyright: © 2010 Brian Long
Brian Long is a male. He writes stuff. He and others (male and female) have some of their writings here: