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

Thomas turned his Ford pickup off the main road and onto a grassland area. The sun’s dark orange glow had lured him from his rented backyard apartment to the edge of the forest.

“Stay put, Rascals,” Thomas commanded his dog.

He stepped into the knee-high grass and shook his head at the sound of chainsaws buzzing like hyped-up bees through the foliage. He knew the forest would be gone in a few years. Every idiot in the city knew it, but no-one said anything.

Thomas continued to stare at the sun’s peculiar gloom – a mixture of nature’s beauty and an unfamiliar phenomenon. The sun’s murky, rotten-carrot-like radiance didn’t even hurt his eyes. He wished his wife and child were still around to see it.

The noise of chainsaws died.


Rascals stood up against the dashboard and barked hysterically.

A new sound emerged from deep within the woods. A rumbling resonance akin to flowing water.

Thomas jumped at the sight of a dark figure running out of the woods and onto the grassland. In the shady light he couldn’t tell if the individual was in danger or looking for trouble. “Everything alright?”

The figure altered its direction towards Thomas and picked up speed.

Unsure of what else to do, Thomas reached into the back of his pickup and removed a tire iron.

With a strain in his voice he once again called out. His grip strengthened around the cold apparatus. His heart rate spiked and he picked up a large rock, tossing it towards his potential attacker.

His scare tactic didn’t work.

Another figure exited the woods. And another.

Thomas stepped back.

The roar of flowing water grew louder.

Thomas gasped when he realized his assailant was a woman. But it was what he saw on her face that almost made him drop the tire iron. A thin layer of skin appeared to be stretched over her eye sockets, nostrils and mouth. Like a watery, rubber-type skin pulled over her face.

“Stay back!” Thomas shouted as he picked up another rock.

A dozen more of them ran from the forest, most of them dressed as lumberjacks.

The woman was only a few yards away when he hurled the rock through the air and hit her against the chest. Her body evaporated in an explosion of water.

Thomas stumbled backwards and fell to the ground.

“Rascals,” he whispered as two figures charged his car. Their bodies burst into a shower of water that consumed his truck. Like melting ice it disappeared into the ground.

Rascals barked no more.

Hundreds of faceless people now swarmed out of the forest. A river of water followed their every step.

Two more of the creatures turned towards him. He threw more rocks, but his shaking hands refused to take proper aim.

A watery shape rose from the grass before him. It was the woman who dissolved earlier. Her naked body grew before him; first her outline, then her hair, and finally her clothes.

She was right in front of him, the others only feet away.

It was too late.

They were too close. So close he could see their jaws lower as they tried to scream, stretching the skin over their mouths to within an inch of tearing.

Thomas raised his arm and swung the tire iron with unrelenting force, sending the tool through both the woman and the second assailant.

Acidic water blasted over his body and into his eyes. It burnt through his clothes and into his blood stream.

Thomas screamed . . . then disappeared beneath the body of water that now flowed across the grassland.

Seconds later a figure closely resembling Thomas rose from the river. He looked at the thousands of water-creatures just like him and joined them in their sprint. The flood followed them on their journey towards the smog-laden city, and the polluted world beyond.

A muffled bark rose from the horde.

"A Simple Certainty"

Copyright: © 2011 Joe Mynhardt


Joe Mynhardt is a South African horror writer and teacher. His work has been published at Pill Hill Press, Dark Minds Press, Library of the Living Dead, Microhorror, Flashes in the Dark, Pages of Stories, Ghastly Door and many more. Joe is also a moderator at Read more about Joe Mynhardt and his creations at

June’s bright sunbeams failed to penetrate the blinds of the closed-smelling dorm-room. Brother Reynolds knocked hesitantly at the open door. “May I come in?”

“Lemmee the hell alone ... oh ... father Reynolds, I’m so sorry, I...” mumbled Eula, wiping the dried material from the corners of her mouth and rising groggily from bed in her slept-in clothes.

“Neither this,” Brother Reynolds said admonishingly, removing the empty fifth of bourbon from the floor to the leather bag he carried, “nor hiding in the dark is going bring him back... he’s in a better place now.”

Eula looked at him grimly, barely holding her tongue.

“You need to get out and do something with yourself, and I‘ve found just the thing.”

Eula winced as he drew up the blind.

“The Chicago diocese has a wilderness camp for inner city girls, north of Green Bay ... they need a wildlife interpreter for the summer. I said you’d take the job.”

“You, wha--,” Eula stopped short, his stern yet amiable look disarming her.

*   *   *

A month with giddy young teens, camping and rambling through the outskirts of the Nicolet National Forest, had muted Eula’s melancholy. Now, after a quick breakfast, they were moving campsites, a 7 mile hike to Drag Lake, over towards the Potawatomi Reservation.

“Eula, you’ll stay behind with Constance and Aretha...clean up the campsite...trailhead’s 2 miles down the road, at the sandy patch, turn left, follow the blazes...anyways, you’ve got the forestry map.”

*   *   *

“Great job finding the blazes girls, we’d have been here --”

“Eula, that you?” came a voice from back towards the sandy patch.

“This way.”

Three exhausted girls emerged from the underbrush, their breathless counsellor, Bea, in tow. “Eula ... praise the Lord ... couldn’t find the blazes ... kept on the trail ... swamp ... coming back ... Margie ran ahead ... said she knew where to go ... dunno where... gotta ... go ... back ... take the girls?”

“I’ll go, take Constance and Aretha, they found the blazes.”

“Thanks!” puffed Bea.

*   *   *

After a narrow stream the trail extending beyond the sandy spot split to right and left. After two hundred yards of the former revealed no signs of passage, Eula turned back and headed, as Bea had, up the left branch. The dark soggy soil was home to sharp sedges, tall Joe-pye weeds, and bushy tufts of willows and alders. Eula proceeded slowly, calling out and tracking up and down any branch trails.

Sitting on a dry tussock, she opened her pack, and scarfed down a messy peanut-butter sandwich. Taking a deep breath she pulled out a locket, opened it and kissed a clip of hair within it -- hesitatingly, she drew out and opened a waterproof packet. She rubbed her cheek against the man’s sweatshirt inside, drawing in the smell. She sat pondering ... it was nearly 4 o’clock, 10 minutes more searching and she would turn back.

Rising over a ridge the trail ended abruptly on a small reed and sedge-skirted pond. Tall bare trees adorned a hazy green background. The map showed a lumber road running from beyond the marsh, over a ridge and down to Drag Lake -- this would save hours of backtracking. Looking up, she noticed a trail of crushed sedges winding it’s way into the marsh -- had Margie wandered this far?

It took a full 3 hours of crossing beaver dams, hopping from tussock to tussock and ultimately slogging knee-deep through bubbling, foul-smelling mud to reach the shore beyond, but she had far overshot the road. The trail of trampled sedges continued, ending where the forest began.

Crossing a dried creek bed, her attention was drawn by movement beside a large beech. The grainy grey vision gathering twilight imposed left her more the impression than a certainty that a thin, dark man, beating winged arms, had processed reverently up the hillside and behind an outcropping. Confused upon reaching the tree and finding no sign of anyone’s passage, she still pursued that direction, as it would lead her to the Lake.

Reaching a ledge just below the ridge, she was briefly assailed by a smell of rotting flesh, along with that of a wood fire; still, oddly, she felt composed. Rounding a spur of rock, she came upon a wooded hollow which the setting sun bathed in a deepening orange glow. The trees housed a number of platforms, some tenanted and equipped with jars, dishes of food, fresh clothes; others, in a state of disrepair were empty. Silently she drew closer.

The man, who had removed his wings and placed them between a tenanted tree and a blazing fire, turned. Eula sensed rather than saw him beckon her. He silently climbed to the platform, unwrapped a tattered blanket, and exposed a skeleton to which a few tatters of flesh still clung. These he daintily yet respectfully picked off with his preternaturally long fingernails, finally descending to offer them to the fire. Climbing again, he drew apart the bones, placing them on a clean piece of coarse cloth, wrapping them, along with the few other objects the platform bore, in a bundle he tied together with a rawhide strip.

Descending with the bundle and extinguishing the fire, he paused, looking her over intently. She pictured than heard when he whispered: “You too have work to do here.” She understood. Climbing to the platform she laid Jim’s shirt across a remaining piece of blanket, placing the locket inside it, and folded the blanket over it, sealing it with her tears.

As she climbed down, the Indian had moved off the way she had come, but was pointing up the hill.

*   *   *

At the lake, a concerned Bea and Margie, were waiting. “I kin smell where you been, an’ it ain’t pretty,” said Margie indecorously. Reaching the middle of the lake, Bea and Margie suddenly tipped the canoe, sending a distracted Eula into the water. Surfacing she said: “I feel much better now.”

"Pick 'Em Clean"

Copyright: © 2011 Georges Dodds


Published in strong competitors to The New Flesh like International Agrophysics and Estudos de Literatura Oral, Georges Dodds has until recently kept his weird writing under mouldy cerements. His recent genre activities include textual resurrection for a publisher of Gothic novels, unearthing and presenting in an e-library some thematic precursors of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan of the Apes, translating early French science-fiction to English, and preparing a collection of American dime-novelist William Murray Graydon's earliest adventure stories. Georges and his 3-species family (4 with the goldfish), lives in a former bus garage, on the now relocated site of an 18th century cemetery -- so far tilling the garden hasn't revealed its past.

DIRECTIONS: Hold SEXUAL ORGANS upright, pull trigger back and spray the air in a sweeping motion until entire area is covered. For noticeably fresh SEXUAL ORGANS, spray all the rooms in your home.

INGREDIENTS: Odor eliminator, water, fragrance, nonflammable natural repellant, embalming fluid, quality control ingredients. SEXUAL ORGANS Contain no Phosphates.

CAUTION: USE ONLY AS DIRECTED. Intentional misuse by deliberately concentrating and inhaling the contents can be harmful or fatal. Help stop SEXUAL ORGAN abuse. Some surfaces may become damp when sprayed. Avoid slips or falls.

KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. Do not point at face. If eye contact occurs, rinse well with water. If irritation persists, get medical attention. Do not expose SEXUAL ORGANS to heat or open flame, or store at temperatures above 120 degrees fahrenheit. Dispose of properly. Do not puncture or incinerate organs.

"Sexual Organs"

Copyright: © 2011 Dustin Reade


Dustin Reade has been published a bunch in magazines, online, and in dozens of anthologies. He lives in Washington. 'Nuff Said.


Hey Weirdos!

So we're closing up submissions again. Anything sent in by the end of today is okay, but future submissions will be bounced back. We have received a TON of submissions since we re-opened to subs a couple of months ago, so much that I can barely keep up. So that's why it is necessary to close submissions at this time.

This does not mean that TNF will stop posting stories. We still have tons of weirdness to share and will be posting stories regularly. If you sent a story in to us and it was received by July 20th, 2011, then your story will be read and you will get a response from us soon. No worries.

Thanks so much for supporting The New Flesh! It blows my mind to step back and see how much it has grown over the past couple of years. Really, thank you so much.

Take care!


There are forty-seven doors in my house, but only three windows. We are open and closed. Petey (my kid) says I should get a job in paradoxical philosophies. I hold his hand and go outside through door thirty-three. This is when I get hit by the falling expansion peach.

It is the size of a normal peach. Now it isn't. It bounces off my head and grows into a Peach-Planet. Petey and I are sucked away with its gravity and our home shrinks away and all the doors are closed. All the windows are closed.

Petey is holding onto my hand like I'm a balloon elephant with mild autistic tendencies. I say don't let go. He says I won't let go (we're sentimentalists like that). The Peach-Planet sucks into orbit and we can feel it shift, feel it suck, it sucks.

Massive worms grind their teeth and burst through the surface and send peach-pulp scattering. Peach-people, fully matured (yet no more than a day old), approach me and Petey and I'm not sure if they are peach-men or peach-women. Maybe they're neither. Maybe they're something altogether different. They say something I don't understand and I look at them. They say something else and I squeeze Petey's hand. They yell something and tie rope around my neck and around Petey's neck and tug us behind them, taking us back to their peach-town.

Petey says I'm scared.

I say me too, son, me too.

In the town the peach-people look at me and Petey and their kids play with pop-guns and make gun sounds with their mouths and wear helmets for hitting things and falling over and not getting hurt. Petey doesn't have one and a toothless peach-kid throws a grenade at Petey and it explodes into thousands of little birds that spray everywhere. The parent of the grenade-throwing-peach-kid smacks them across the helmet and stares at us. The peach-kid cries, then stops.

Petey and I are taken to a small farmhouse and tied up on the back porch. The peach-people say something I don't understand and I say something they don't understand. They go inside and play poker and Petey goes to the end of the porch at the end of his rope and does a little wee. I curl up and go to sleep and dream of bank loans skiing down mountains in big purple hats. Petey dreams of going to a peach-kid and showing the peach-kid his big gums.

The big peach-person (who kind of looks like a Ned) wakes me and Petey up and we see the earth rise. I miss the earth and Petey misses the earth. We miss the earth together. Ned touches my hair and says something and hands me a weird shape-tool and takes me out to the field. Ned takes Petey to the other side and hands him a smaller shape-tool. I stare at Ned and then at the shape-tool and Ned comes over to me and smacks me across the face. Ned snatches the shape-tool and starts moving it through the ground in a weird shape-motion. I take it back and try doing it. Ned watches me do it. I don't know if it's right. I do it again. Ned walks over to Petey and teaches him the same movement. Petey does a clumsy shape in the ground and Ned hits him and snatches the shape-tool off him. I yell out. Ned looks over and I go back to shaping. Ned does the shape again and Petey does another clumsy shape. Ned smacks him to the ground and I drop my shape-tool and run to him.

Ned yells something at me and I pick Petey up and hand him the shape-tool. Ned hits me. I get up and guide Petey through the shape a couple of times. I let him go and he shapes on his own. A little shaky, but good enough. I look at Ned and he thinks so too.

We stand in the field, just me and Petey, shaping it continuously each day every day and my back is sore and my arms are sore and my legs are sore. Petey is exhausted and he hasn't shaped a quarter of what I have. His little bones are turning to peach-pulp and bruising so fast. We sleep on the back porch and drink peach-seed soup.

Petey dies. He gets buried out back, behind the barn.

In the field I can feel myself dying too. A group of drunk peach-teenagers sneak into the back yard at night looking for things to destroy and they boot stomp me in my sleep and I dream I'm being eaten by jazz singers. I wake up and Ned is fighting off the peach-teenagers with his katana and they're falling apart at the waist and splattering onto the ground. The neighbours hear something going on and they come over with their own katanas and start fighting Ned. Ned dies and falls apart at the waist and some other peach ties me up and slings me over their shoulder. I forget where I am. Another peach-person kills the one carrying me and picks me up over their shoulder. I fall asleep.

When I wake up there is only one peach-person and we are on a hill and the peach-person says that I will no longer work the fields. I say I want to go home. The peach-person says I can't. I say how do you know my language? He says nothing. I say are there others like me? He nods and picks up his katana and walks away.

"The Expansion Peach"

Copyright: © 2011 S. T. Cartledge


S. T. Cartledge is a weird, surreal, experimental writer from Western Australia. He spent his childhood brooding around in a small coastal town and has since spent the beginnings of his adult life brooding around in a small coastal city. His greatest thrill in life is antagonising grammar nazis at every opportunity.

So a few months ago I accidentally built a time machine. I don’t know what I was trying to make, but it wasn’t a time machine. A lot of people were very excited, but because I hadn’t set out to build a time machine I considered the experiment a failure. I was in all the papers for a while, and then one day I put the time machine in the garage and forgot about it.

Well, a few days ago, my dad was out cleaning the garage when he came across the Time Machine. He came up to my room to tell me about it. His face was red and he was angry.

“That doo-hickey of yours has got a hornet’s nest in it,” he told me. “I’m not gonna clean it up. You can do that yourself. You’re twenty-seven years old; I shouldn’t have to tell you to clean up after yourself.”

“Fine, I’ll clean it up,” I said.

Then, I said: “Jeez.”

I put on my purple windbreaker and my favorite pair of jeans and headed for the garage. My mother was in the kitchen, juggling bombs. They were round and black and all of the fuses were lit. One of them looked like it could blow up at any minute but she didn’t seem to care. I had to assume she knew what she was doing, but it seemed to me that my dad should have stepped in and done something. A bomb with a lit fuse was a heck of a lot more dangerous than a hornets nest in my crappy Time Machine.

I went out into the garage and looked at the Time Machine. It didn’t look like much, just a chair and some tinfoil, really. There was a little platform built around it, but it only went out about six or so feet. Looking at it, I still couldn’t figure out what it was I had been trying to make.

The hornets nest was under the seat, so I grabbed a can of spray paint and started spraying them. I had no idea how to kill hornets but I found out that spray paint doesn’t do anything to them. Soon they were buzzing all around me, and I had no choice but to kick the nest from the chair and use the Time Machine.

Everything went dark for a minute, and then I saw a bunch of rainbows. They were tiny, no bigger than my fingernail, and there were thousands of them.

After a few minutes, the rainbows faded, and gradually a sort of desert came into focus. My parents were standing there. Their faces were streaked with black and their hair was standing straight up on their heads. I looked around and realized it wasn’t really a desert, more of an impact crater. I could see bits of my neighbor’s houses, a few tires and other indications of a great explosion. Like, there was a tree up on the top of the crater that had been split in half, and there were body parts scattered all over the place.

My mother reached up and touched her hair. There was a spark, and she quickly pulled her hand away. Smoke trailed out of both of their ears.

“What the heck are you guys doing here?” I asked.

My dad brushed himself off. “Your dumbass mother blew us up.”

“Yeah,” mom said sheepishly. “I was practicing my juggling. My teacher told me that, if I wanted to get really good at it, I had to try juggling something dangerous. That way, I wouldn’t lose my focus.”

I threw up my hands. “Jesus, Mom! He meant to try juggling knives, or chainsaws, not bombs!”

She just shrugged.

“Sorry,” she said. “I just wanted to improve my juggling skills.”

“Well, I hope you’re happy,” dad said, putting his hands on his hips and staring at her. “You and your damn juggling have knocked us all into next week.”

I checked the time-o-meter on the Time Machine. It said we had, in fact, travelled exactly one week into the future. I was momentarily upset, because I had missed a couple of my favorite shows, but luckily I had the Time Machine.

“Luckily,” I said. “I have this Time Machine.”

They both looked at me.


“So,” I explained. “We can use it to go back to last week, before any of this happened.”

They climbed on and we went back to our own time. When we got there, we walked into the kitchen and looked at the bombs mom had left on the table. None of them had blown up yet, so the machine must’ve worked.

My father sat down and put his elbows up on the table.

“Well, Marie,” he said. “Was it worth it? Do you feel your juggling has improved as a result of this accident?”

“Oh yeah,” she said. “Here, let me show you!”

She picked up the bombs, lit the fuses, and started juggling them. She really was quite good.

"Tiny Rainbows"

Copyright: © 2011 Dustin Reade


Dustin Reade likes old surrealist movies, Sangria Senorial Soda, writing stories and using his body for shock value. His work can be found in numerous magazines and anthologies. All of his stories are weird.

Father McKinely had sat in the confessional, saying nothing, listening to the ditzy-voiced blonde recount her latest sexual debauches. She had spoken in a voice that was sensual, but cheap. Stupid, but arousing.

The poor husband, Father McKinely had thought.

"Now you have to understand, father, Joey's my husband. Burt he's his best friend. So one day Burt stops by when Joey is out working.

'Sorry,' I tell him. 'Joey isn't home.'

Father McKinely had felt tension go all throughout his body, muscles in his neck contracting, sweat beading down his priestcollar. This is better than Cinemax, he thought, as Mrs. Whitefield had started to get dirty.

Joseph Christopher McKinely had not always been like this.

A priest. In early adulthood he'd been many things. A coast guard, a prizefighter and even a disc jockey at a small-time college radio station. Becoming a priest had seemed like the thing to do back then--there was just no dodging it. His father had been a priest, his grandfather. Family tradition, family duty.

At first, stories like Mrs. Whitefield's had appalled him. He had been a firm believer in the sacraments of marriage: fidelity and the like. But ten years of being forbidden to so much as touch his penis had made things more difficult for him, unbearable.

On the eleventh year Father McKinely had started to do things differently, in his own way. Why not? The sinners were still getting absolution; he just needed to relieve his frustrations from time to time.

"...and then this Burt, he kisses me passionately on the lips, his tongue caressing both sides of my mouth! Oh, Father, it had felt so good, I just couldn't resist it."

Father McKinely could see Mrs. Whitefield through the screened-divider, knelt down on the bench, the sight of her perky, moca-colored breasts being more than he could handle.

Gently, and soundlessly his pants had gone tumbling down. There was a slight, barely perceptible sound of the zipper but Mrs. Whitefield didn't seem to have noticed as she kept on talking.

"And here I am, bent over, and Burt's really riding me good, you know? Showing me no mercy. And it was a beautiful day. A day like today. I could hear the birds chirping, barely a cloud in the sky and Burt he's just... well, getting me sore, to be honest with you. And then a couple seconds more he's finished. He zips his pants back up, real businesslike and tells me, 'tell Joey I'll call him tonight, all right?"

"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh." Father McKinely had groaned.

He had tried keeping the noise under control but the story had just been too much on him. He had wondered, at the very second after climax if his father and grandfather had done these things he was doing? He had hoped so. This was great--better than even making it with those bikini-clad bimbos on the beach. They knew what was going on, this woman on the other side of the screen she hadn't the vaguest clue.

"Is everything okay, Father?"

"Ahhhhhhhh." He groaned. "Ah, yes, Daughter. It's just this time of year I sneeze like a banshee. Allergies."

And then he told her her sins were nothing. "Say twenty-three Hail Maries, and sixty-eight Our Fathers. You are forgiven."

*   *   *

As she was leaving the booth he had looked at the Roster. Three-twenty--Mrs. Crawford. He smiled crookedly. She was even better looking than Mrs. Whitefield. Long, creamy legs. Pouty lips and a set of knockers that would have given even Hugh Hefner a semi.

He gazed down into his wristwatch with dueling crucifixes, the short, stumpier one was on the three, the longer one on the two.

"Ten minutes." Father McKinely had sighed.

A guy didn't have much time to clean up around here.

"Father McKinely"

Copyright: © 2011 Jack Bristow


Jack Bristow is a cross dresser from Nova Scotia. He enjoys riding Harleys and intimidating old people.

I wake up from a deep sleep. There is a lion lying beside me. As his face comes into focus he licks his nose and eyes me, much like my neighbor’s cat does. His mane is dull red framing a cat face of fine, tan fur that fills my entire field of vision. I’m between his paws, two on top of me two underneath, and I lay against his stomach and chest like an asteroid trapped in Jupiter’s gravity well. The body heat coming off of him is tremendous. I’m sweating.

I’m reasonably sure this lion was not there when I went to sleep last night. I don’t remember feeling my bed shift in the middle of the night. Strange. Being this close to a lion brings a bizarre mix of emotions.

I stare at the lion for a while. He yawns, sending a bubble of warm, moist air at my face. It doesn’t stink and it doesn’t help wake me up. It’s very much like cat breath. I like my neighbor’s cat. He has a cute face… Only likes to be petted and held when no one is looking… Maybe this lion wants to be petted and held now that no one is looking. I work my arm from under his paw and play with his nose with my index finger. He licks his nose again, getting my finger wet. It’s cute. Kitty definitely wants attention now, so I wrap my arm around his neck and dry my index finger on his mane. He licks my face with a coarse tongue as a humongous paw slides up my bare back, rests on my neck and hugs me tighter. I hug the lion back and pull him closer. His fine fur feels like a felt blanket on a cold winter morning. I want to wrap up in it and hibernate for a year.

This feels familiar… I start stroking the back of his neck through his mane. My hand slides down the length of his back and settles on his upper thigh. The lion seems to enjoy the contact and I wish I could get my other hand involved. He’s warm and soft, just like the stuffed animals I used to have as a kid. In a way I miss those things. I haven’t slept with a stuffed animal since I was six years old and it’s nice to have one in my bed again. I wish I could wake up next to lions more often. Waking up holding something fuzzy and soft is a comforting way to start a morning…

…this is how I wake up after parties. With a woman lying next to me and I’m so drunk I can’t even remember banging her. I must’ve been really drunk not to remember this lion. I don’t want to offend anyone I wake up next to and can’t remember going to bed with, so I kiss him on the mouth and snuggle closer to him. As my eyes close and I drift back to sleep, the lion’s hind paws draw me closer still and he tucks my head under his chin. The strong, cavernous sound of his breath is very relaxing. A warm, breathing, soft and muscular stuffed animal kitty. It’s even better than when I was a kid. I’m not sweating anymore. I’m grinning. This is cozy. It must’ve been a great night. I wish I could remember it. Maybe my mind will be clearer when I wake up.

"Lion in My Bed"

Copyright: © 2011 James Steele


James Steele is a writer in Ohio. He is often asked to sum up his life’s story in a single paragraph. James is very depressed by how easy this is. He has been published in the Magazine of Bizarro Fiction (issue 3), Roar v.3, Different Worlds Different Skins v.2, and Planet Magazine. His bizarre action/comedy novel, “Felix and the Sacred Thor,” is published through Eraserhead Press.

His blog is


This concludes our special Josh Myers week here at The New Flesh. We hope you enjoyed dancing around inside his brain for the last few days. More of his stories will be appearing on The New Flesh in the near future. As long as he sends them, I'll post them.

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

*Editor probably altered the author's photo a bit.