“Bananahead has lost his appeal.”

So speaketh the AgraCon spokesman to the picketers and protesters gathered in the lobby. NOT IN MY FRUIT BOWL! YELLOW BASTARD! GOD HATES BANANAS! their poster boards read. Snarls and raised fists and arching angry eyebrows purvey the mob. The spokesman calmly straightened his tie, slicked back his hair and gave the crowd and the cameras a plastic smile.

“Ladies and gentleman, AgraCon wants you to know that your patronage is important to us. We would like to reassure you do have a voice, and that voice was heard, loud and clear. That said, it is in light of recent events that AgraCon Inc. will no longer be carrying the Bananahead brand. Our relationship with Bananahead over the years has been both illustrious and profitable, but providing you – the public – with delicious, family-friendly, produce and produce-additives has, and will always be, our number one priority. It is our hope that you will continue enjoying AgraCon’s diverse array of food-like consumables – from beef nuts to werepears – AgraCon, Let Us Put Our Yummy In You©.”

He gave the thumbs up.

The crowd let out a cheer. Bananahead’s 15 minutes of fame were up.

*   *   *

Officially, the corporate bigwigs in their Armani suits claimed Bananahead’s particular type of ‘services’ were no longer necessary. Marketing wanted to take the company in a new direction – Can-Dee, the Can-Do Cantaloupe was testing well with both boys and girls, ages 5-12, and Rufus, the Skateboarding Say-No-To-Drugs Kumquat has been popular amongst the coveted demographic of male’s, ages 18-34. But being the mascot for AgraCon Inc. Produce Division was the role Bananahead was born to play. After only a few modeling jobs in several small, yet reputable, medical journals, it was those very same corporate bigwigs that came and plucked Bananahead out of obscurity, skyrocketing him to superstardom. And now they were just going to take it all away? Just like that?

It’s not fair.
*   *   *

Billboards. TV commercials. A line of plush toys with his grinning, yellow face – Bananahead was more than a mascot, he was a cultural icon. His signature catchphrase ‘A banana a day keeps your demons at bay’ entered the lexicon, usurping the apple’s former throne as America’s favorite fruit-related idiom. His logo adorned t-shirts and lunchboxes. The official Bananahead Bananahead Hat was last year’s ‘must-have’ item, topping the crowns of trendsetters from Milan to Paris. The Adventures of Bananahead Saturday morning cartoon was lauded with a Peabody Award for Exc­­eptional Children’s Programming and his personal memoirs Beneath the Skin sold over a million copies during its first month on the market…

But then came his guest spot on Oprah, and in an instant, everything changed.

He was to announce his recent engagement to teen-pop princess Misty Meyers. They had met during her recent European tour and had both hit it off immediately. During the interview, Oprah asked him how his relationship was going. Elated and in love, Bananahead couldn’t contain himself – he leapt onto the couch and took a huge shit, right on the cushions. He smeared his feces all over Oprah, her crew and the audience. He rolled around in it, giggling. He put some on his tongue and held it out for the world to see. We all looked on in horror, thinking stop, Bananahead, stop! What in god’s name are you doing?!?

But it was too late. The backlash had begun.
*   *   *

The tabloids – the paparazzi, bloggers and sycophants – they just couldn’t leave Bananahead alone, could they? Always watching. Dissecting. Judging. And the greedy, spaded eyes of the over-caffeinated public, they just had to know every intimate detail. Every private moment. They had to keep digging, until they found that one brown spot on his otherwise perfect soul.

Beneath Bananahead’s thick, yellow rind, he is still a man, is he not? And a man has needs only a man could understand. And what goes on behind closed doors should be nobody’s business but their own, correct? What is normal anyway? It’s all very subjective.

Of course, it didn’t help that Misty called it rape.

But c’mon, she knew the deal when they met. She knew he had certain…proclivities. She knew the aesthetics were going to be a bit, uncomfortable. “It’s not my fault,” cried Bananahead, “It’s just the way that god made me.” But you can’t blame Misty for saying what she said; she needed to protect her own career. The tween crowd doesn’t need to know every kinky detail of their illicit affair, though I suppose everyone was just a little bit curious how she was able to fit his whole body up there.
*   *   *

When the news of Bananahead’s ‘extracurricular activities’ broke, adulation turned quickly to disgust. “How could you do this to us?” the public demanded, “We trusted you, Bananahead! We loved you!” But the consensus was in. The population agreed:

“Keep your goddamn head away from our children!”
*   *   *

Bananahead’s fall was meteoric. AgraCon canned him. His agent wouldn’t answer his calls. Larry King had him on to give his side of the story, but the interview quickly devolved into a bout of racial slurs and name-calling. FOOD FIGHT! the Post dubbed it. He was label a pariah. A sexual deviant. Scum. There was no doubt about it.

Bananahead was rotten.

After all, AgraCon’s most recent polls show that most mothers don’t want their children chowing down for breakfast on a bushel of makeshift dildos. And who can blame them? It’s hard enough to get your kids to finish their bowl of fake vaginas in the morning without trying to cram some nutrition down their throats.


Copyright: © 2011 Danger Slater


Danger Slater is the world’s most flammable writer! He’s so flammable that he’s actually on fire as you read this! Seriously. Why are you still here? Go get help, goddamn it! He’s short fiction has appeared in online magazines, offline anthologies, and his poetry can be found on many truck stop bathroom walls across the country. His first novel, called Love Me, will be out in Summer 2011 from the Jersey Devil Press. For more disinformation please visit his website: dangerslater.blogspot.com

The trees have been known to calm me yet they haven’t since that day. I was walking off a fit of rage when I came upon the shack. I stumbled into a hillside clearing and there it stood in all its wooden one room malevolence. A creek rushed silently beside it, the underwater blades muffling its flow. Demons and birds perched in the surrounding trees watching me silently with glowing eyes and rotted souls.

I would have walked away and sought my masochistic redemption in the thick dark of the woods except I heard the theme song from M.A.S.H. from inside the little structure. The song was sorrowful but the jokes immortal. Hawkeye could always cheer me up, and Klinger wore dresses my mother emulated. She never smiled as much as him though. Flower patterned funerals have a different taste. I pulled myself from my memories and pushed the door open without knocking.

My poor manner karma was instant and uncomfortable. Splinters dug in my fingers and squirmed under my fingernails. I thought of sweet January; naked flesh, bloody lips, shivering in summer time. The song changed and I found myself tapping my foot on the dirt floor to Rezso Seress’s Gloomy Sunday. A two song soundtrack for students of sorrow.

A demon stood on a step stool, the song emitting from his wide open mouth. He held a sign that read ‘gun metal tastes like cherry’ scrawled in black sharpie marker. I marveled at his musical innards reproducing such a haunting tune. A tear formed in my eye as the song reminded me of failures and aborted dreams.

“Why do you disrupt my bathing?” A calm deep voice asked from behind me.

I turned and noticed a man sitting in an old stand-alone bathtub with hooves instead of rounded feet. The man had two small horns protruding from his forehead and a bubble beard. Rose petals and eye balls floated on the surface of his steaming bath water. A black dog with mis-matched eyes curled up on the dirt floor next to the bathtub. I thought of sweet January again; her lovely scars and gnashing teeth. The horned man snapped his fingers. My memory vanished in the echo.

“Why do you disrupt my bathing?” The man asked again as his soap beard dripped.

The music stopped and I looked back to the demon. He glared at me and held a sign that read ‘razor blade rebellion’ scrawled in black sharpie marker. In the silence of the shack I missed the haunting tune. I shrugged my shoulders and mumbled an apology.

“Is there no common decency anymore?” the man asked.

The black dog raised his head and shook negative.

The demon started the song over from the beginning and my toes tapped along. He held a sign that read ‘the tighter the noose, the sweeter the juice’ scrawled in black sharpie marker. I found courage in the pit of my stomach where all the bad feelings swirl and used it to answer the bathing man.

“No,” I told him, “for everyone burns in the fire of life.”

The horned man splashed his bath water at me; flinging eye balls and rose petals all over the floor. The water hit my face and plugged my nose. My eyes burned but I told myself I’d never cry in front of strangers again. You never know if the strangers know we are all ghosts in the fog. So it’s better to not give them the chance to judge you.

“I see,” the man told me while applying more bubbles to his chin. “And what of forgiveness? Does it still pester?”

“No,” I told him, “for solitude is a cold flaming mistress.”

“I see,” He answered. Then he pulled a rag from the water, held it out to me and asked, “Could you wash my back?”

“No,” I told him, “for I lost my kindness when all my toys broke.”

He nodded sadly and lost himself in his own memories. I shuffled my feet and waited impatiently for him to speak again. The black dog stood slowly and stretched; one eye on my and one eye on my nightmares. Still his master said nothing. So I broke his concentration by snapping my fingers. The echo wasn’t near as impressive but still he looked at me.

“May I steal your demon?” I asked using the voice I employed when asking for the toys- now broken- when they were shiny and new.

The horned man leaned back in his bath and slid down into the water. He opened his mouth and swallowed up bathwater then he spit the water like a fountain.

“No,” he told me, “but you may take his sign if you wear it around your neck.”

“Fair enough,” I answered content to leave the humid room with my soul and a souvenir.

The demon handed me the sign with a small loop of barb wire attached so I could wear it. I put it over my head and bowed. The horned man waved me away. The black dog scoffed and spun in place three times before laying back down beside the bathtub. I walked out the wooden door into the night.

My eyes were glowing strange neons and they lead me home through the forest. Demons and birds squawked and chirped blasphemies at me but the words on the sign kept me strong. I held a sign for all to see that read ‘my emotions are zombie’ scrawled in black sharpie marker. 

"The Devil's Bath Shack"

Copyright: © 2011 Jonathan Moon


Jonathan Moon is the horrorcore author of Mr. Moon's Nightmares, the upcoming HEINOUS, and co-author of The Apocalypse and Satan's Glory Hole with Tim Long. You can keep one eye on him at all times by following his Monkey Faced Demon blog at http://www.mrmoonblogs.blogspot.com/.


Hey Weirdos!

Can you believe it? THE NEW FLESH turned 2 years old today! It seems like just yesterday I was giving her CPR and pushing the defibrillator to her chest just to try and keep her alive and now I can't even open submissions for a month without having to close them for another three months because of all the interest. Wow. We've come a long way, folks. Thank you all so much for your support over the years - to the readers, to the authors. YOU alone make this work. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

As a way of showing our appreciation, we've gathered up our favorite stories that were published on THE NEW FLESH within the last year and made them available to download for FREE! The ebook is called LONG LIVE THE NEW FLESH: YEAR TWO and you can download it here.

A very special thank you goes to Mr. Brian Barnett for working his ass off to get this ebook ready in time. He says his fingers are still smoking, haha.

So there it is, folks - Year Two all wrapped up in a nice pretty package. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did publishing them. But don't spend too much time reading it, get out your pens and crack your knuckles... let's not waste any time getting started on Year Three.

Keep it weird!


Everyone thought it was just an earthquake...

Eliot was only just holding off the intruding beef people with a large stick. The blasted wall of the sand castle was teeming with the greasy foe, and Eliot knew he wouldn’t last much longer. Surrendering his doorway in a momentary break of the enemy drive, Eliot rushed down the gritty sand hallway on his own beefy legs. He and his comrades, however, were raw beef, exuding a golden hue from years of sand mixing in their red hides. The intruders, on the other hand, were cooked nasty messes. They blew through multiple points of the sand castle at once, and were gaining ground fast.

Eliot caught sight of light down the hall. Suicidal berserkers had lit themselves aflame and were attempting to cook the residents out of the castle, thrashing through masses of soldiers, walls, and air alike. Unfortunately, the coupling of damp air and moisture in the walls seemed to be abolishing the fires with little effort from the defenders.

Surviving the trip to a stable roof, Eliot saw the entire scene. His allies defending their home with the basest of tools available to them: sticks, stones, bits of shell. The enemy boasted superior weaponry, the majority of them swinging long, weathered handles topped with gnarly hooks, caked in rust and grease. Some bore sharpened bones. Still others simply set themselves on fire and ran for a crowd.

And of course, they wielded the Nercobos: a colossal cow carcass that towered stories above the sand castle.

Eliot had never seen a more disgusting object in his life. The Necrobos was pulled toward him on a cart by an army of grease slaves. Hundreds more climbed about the decaying corpse itself, throwing various bits of vulgar and flaming debris towards the castle.

Movement on the staircase. Eliot poised to attack, but some of his own men ascended the stairs. Roger was in the lead, followed by Monty and another raw boy Eliot did not recognize. Behind them was a swinging hook, attached to an attacker around the corner. Monty tore at the ceiling from his elevated position on the staircase, and the ceiling dropped down on anyone in the hallway with the hook bearer. Eliot saw the section of roof fall victim to gravity from his vantage point.

The Necrobos loomed ever nearer. Eliot and his gang retreated further from the hulking corpse, past a toppled tower of muddy sand. Hooks and meaty limbs poked through the wreckage, but the group didn’t stop to identify the victims as friend or foe.

As the last of the standing walls and ceilings dropped, the shadow of the Necrobos passed overhead. Darkness was cast across the gritty rubble, save for the pockets of fire not yet extinguished by the exposed mud strewn about, as well as the glowing eyes of the Necrobos. The real eyes had been plucked out by some scavenger long ago, but ghostly energy still glowed from the sockets. Wretched forms amassed around the necrotic utter and dug their hooks into its taut skin as the monstrosity centered over Eliot’s crew of survivors like a UFO ready for abduction or destruction. The utter maggots screeched with laughter audible hundreds of feet down. They danced. They laughed. They pulled.

And a bombardment of rancid milk surged from the sky above Eliot’s head. The stench alone struck many of the riders clear off the Necrobos. The milk was gelatinous as it fell and exploded into a grotesque concoction resembling chunky chowder with bits of amoebic fat floating about. The mixture dissolved Eliot and his crew in seconds as they simultaneously choked on the thousand year old milk remains.

And only seconds after that, an even larger shadow was cast across Necrobos itself. A tsunami propelled by the earthquake that morning surged forward and tore the shore asunder. The Necrobos was flung across the sandy expanse then ripped back into the sea among assorted beefy debris. The initial force ripped its crispy head clean from its flanks, but the glowing in its eyes remained.

"Battle at Beef Beach"

Copyright: © 2011 Joseph Bouthiette, Jr.


Joseph Bouthiette, Jr. eats food and poops poop. His work has appeared online at The New Flesh, Staring At the Walls and In Between Altered States.

So when Sir Mix-A-Lot decided to do a twenty-year anniversary remix of the 1992 hip hop classic “Baby Got Back,” he decided to accompany it with a remake of the video. The legendary rapper insisted that only the actors, dancers, and extras of the original video be hired to appear in the new one. Sure, if any of the original players were dead or physically or mentally incapacitated they would be replaced, but Mack Daddy wanted to keep things as original as possible.

Rick Peterson (casting director for the new video) and his assistants got on the horns, mailed letters, sent out emails. In about a month, they succeeded in getting ahold of nearly everyone from the old video, all of whom were enthusiastic to sign back on for the remake. Although it was more of a formality than anything else, Rick held auditions with each original performer at his Hollywood office, essentially just to make sure everyone was healthy enough to do the work. Because if it turned out, for example, that one of the original Big Butt girls’ rumps had grown so big that it now had to be wheeled around in a bariatric wheelchair, that could pose certain practical problems and justify use of a stand-in.

Luckily, every lady who was required to bend, gyrate, and jiggle her ass for the camera could still do so, even if their bending, gyrating, and jiggling was a little slower these days, a little harder on their lower backs. But any loss of youthful, sinuous movement on the part of these dancers was more than offset by the value of the extra poundage that twenty years had added to their rumps.

The only notable problem the casting team encountered during the whole roundup was in trying to locate “the white guy”: that nerdy white dude who briefly appeared in the original video precisely at the moment when Sir Mix-A-Lot uttered (to paraphrase and reword the lyric a bit), “Even white boys have to holla: baby got butt!” (thereby implying that every “white boy” is a socially awkward, yellow-haired, bespectacled, suited geek who, in a room full of big juicy female butts, wouldn’t know what to do with himself other than nervously fidget with his necktie).

Turns out this actor legally changed his name to “White Boy” back in 1993 and had been gigging on the national comedy club circuit ever since, dubbing his act “The White Boy from the ‘Baby Got Back’ video.” His act consisted of himself standing onstage—his geek glasses, monkey suit, and side-combed yellow hair all in place—while he fidgeted with his tie in front of a screen displaying a life-sized image of the Big Butt girls while the song played in the background. The guy didn’t tell any jokes. Never talked to the crowd. He just fidgeted with his tie and pulled a few jittery facial expressions. That was it. White Boy was frequently booed off the stage, yet somehow he still managed to eke out a meager living doing this—and had been doing so for nearly twenty years now!

Due to his itinerant life style, the man was difficult to track down. Last anyone heard, White Boy had performed for two nights at a club in Arkham, Massachusetts. When he’d checked out of his motel, White Boy had asked the front desk clerk for directions to the blasted heath, some sort of strange tourist attraction in the rural outskirts of Arkham. The clerk gave him the directions, but warned White Boy not to drive out to the place, that it was cursed. That had been over six months ago.

But just when Rick was about to give up on his search, just when he was about to hold auditions for the part, White Boy showed up in the doorway of his office. Apparently, the travelling performer had heard tell of the remake and wanted in.

“Um, Mr. Boy?” Rick nervously inquired as he sat at his desk, an assistant at each elbow. White Boy sat on the other side.

“Please, just call me White Boy.”

“We’re glad you came to us,” Rick said. “I thank you for that. But . . . oh, this is always so damn hard. I’m sorry, but we can’t give you the part.”

After a moment of silence, White Boy spoke, the indignation thick in his voice. “Now let me get this straight. You’re remaking ‘Baby Got Back.’ Sir Mix-A-Lot wants all the original players. I am the original nerdy white guy from the first video. So why in God’s name would you refuse me the part?”

“Well, White Boy, I don’t know if you’ve looked in a mirror recently, but you’re not white anymore. You’re . . . you’re the Colour Out of Space—a color of allegedly alien origin that defies any sort of description because it’s outside the visible spectrum of the human eye.”

“Call it what you want, Rick. I call it a skin condition that I contracted while motor touring the countryside outside of Arkham. And you know what else I’m gonna call? The Screen Actors Guild and have your ass nailed to the wall, buddy.”

“Sorry, White Boy. But both the script and the song lyric call for a “white boy,” and you just don’t fit the bill anymore. And frankly, you’re sort of freaking us out right now. You’ve left a trail of the Colour Out of Space on my carpet and ruined a very expensive leather chair. I’d like for you to leave now, sir. Please, or I’ll be forced to call security.”

White Boy rose abruptly, knocking that expensive chair on its side before whipping around and stomping off to the door. Before exiting the office and slamming the door behind him, he halted, turned his outlandish, indescribable, colorless-colorful head back toward the casting people.

“This certainly isn’t the last you’ll hear from me. Yo, y’all racist!”

"Even Colour-Out-of-Space
Boys Got to Shout: Baby Got Back!"

Copyright: © 2011 Douglas Hackle

Clyde Baker recently remarked, “I have seen the future of horror and his name is Douglas Hackle.” Clyde Baker is the blind, homeless, illiterate crackhead who lives underneath Douglas’s dilapidated front porch--but hey, Clyde’s opinion counts too, damn it! Douglas reads and writes out of Northeast Ohio, where he lives with his wife and little boy. His short fiction has been published or accepted for publication in several online and print venues. Visit him at: http://douglashackle.wordpress.com

COMING SOON - The New Flesh: Episode One

Table of contents:

Juan's Cranial Pregnancy
by Edmund Collel

Captain Crotch Hook
by Matthew Revert

Unfruitful Works
by Jordan Krall

The Never-Ending Halibut
by Josh Myers

Your Heart Won't Go On (A Jagger Serial)
by Eric Mays

The Continuing Adventures of Billy Van Krall
by Chris Bowsman

Dying Images
by Kirk Jones

Look Who's Fucking Talking
by Jason Armstrong

Hamartia: A Tale of Sister Merciless
by Garrett Cook

Just to Spite Your Face
by Steve Lowe

by William Pauley III

An Invasion of Privacy
by Robert C.J. Graves

A Professional Woman
by R.M. Cochran

The Cunning Liguist
by Jess Gulbranson

Lurking in the Dark With Mimi
by Joshua Dobson

by Jonathan Moon