Sunday, June 26, 2011

Too Much of a Good Thing

Molly hung her purse on the coat rack and kicked off her shoes. She hadn’t been drinking but she felt giddy like she’d had a few wine coolers. Her eyes were bright and she couldn’t stop smiling as she made her way into the living room and plopped on the couch.

“What is this feeling?” She hadn’t felt like this since before her mother had died years ago. This sudden flood of happiness had caught her off guard. As she thought about her life for the last few weeks, Molly realized it made sense.

She’d finally come to terms with being a lesbian after more than 18 years of wrestling with the decision and made the first move forward. Her decision to get a college degree after more than 20 years since her high school graduation had been a good one, too. She loved her new classes and was doing well.

Then today, they had spent the day with her daughter’s boyfriend and his extended family at a backyard party. Being around all those fun people including them as if they were family had definitely contributed. A successful trip to the store to get new sneakers and flip-flops for her teenage daughter was the cherry on top of her happy sundae.

“So this is what it feels like. I like it,” she said aloud. Molly smiled then stood up and got ready for bed—brushing her teeth and taking her medicine. She was at peace with herself for the first time ever and she fell into a deep sleep.

When her daughter went to wake her the next morning, she discovered her mother was dead. On the pillow next to her head was a note.

“I experienced true happiness and it was too much to bear. I’m sorry. Love, Mom”

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Trapped at the Zoo

10-year-old Sandy loved animals. She had a dog, two cats, a rabbit and a tank full of fish. Every day she would spend hours taking care of them and they loved her. Sandy planned on becoming a vet when she grew up.

It was spring and her parents took her to the zoo on opening day so she could see all the baby animals. Sandy ran from one exhibit to the next. “Oh Mom! They’re so wonderful,” Sandy said.

At the lion exhibit, Sandy stopped and stared at the young lions. They were so cute and huggable. She just needed to pet one. When her parents weren’t looking she sneaked away to look for the entrance.

Sandy found the door and slipped inside. It didn’t take her long to get outside and find the cubs that were napping in the sun. She gently ran her hand over the head of the one closest to her and giggled when it licked her with its tongue.

She was so engrossed in the cubs that she didn’t hear the screams from the people around the enclosure. Sandy looked up when she heard her mother’s scream, “Help my daughter!”

The lion trainers entered the lion exhibit with tranquilizer guns. Their only hope was to shoot the lionesses before they realized what was happening. One was napping in the sun and they were able to shoot her easily. The other, however, had been roused by the screams from the bystanders.

The lioness saw Sandy and let out a roar then bounded towards her. The trainers shot at her three times and missed with each shot. Sandy saw the lioness coming towards her and tried to run away but the animal was too fast.

The lioness pinned the girl to the ground then ripped out her throat. Sandy died instantly. The cubs gathered around Sandy’s body and started tearing her apart. The trainers had reloaded and easily shot the lioness as they ate and they were able to remove the cubs and lock them. Very little of the young girl remained.

The parents approached the zookeeper. “You can allow them to finish eating her and leave her carcass there as a warning to other children,” her father said.

“You don’t want to be able to bury her?” the zookeeper asked.

“There’s so little left, it wouldn’t be worth buying a casket,” Sandy’s mother said. “Besides, it is an appropriate punishment for her behavior.”

“Do you want to say good-bye to your daughter while the lions are still knocked out?” the zookeeper asked.

“No, we’re good,” her father said. They looked towards Sandy’s half-eaten body for a moment then headed towards the entrance.

Sandy raced after them. “Wait! Don’t leave without me!” she called out. They couldn’t hear her and kept walking.

When she got to the entrance to the zoo, Sandy ran into a barrier she that wasn’t able to pass through. She was stuck inside the zoo. Sandy was sad then started to smile as she realized that being stuck in the zoo meant she would always be able to be near the animals. Her dreams come true!

Sandy raced to the sheep pen. As she got close, they started bleating loudly and ran away from her. She went to the horses; they ran away from her too. The same thing happened with every animal. They were all afraid of her.

As Sandy sat on a bench outside the lion enclosure, she started crying as her mother’s words came back to her. “An appropriate punishment,” she’d said.

Her punishment was to be forever trapped in the zoo and unable to pet the animals because she was a ghost. Sandy said aloud, “I have the meanest parents ever.”

© June 14, 2011

Life Goes On

"Is that your new son?" Janice asked, pointing at the new picture on the wall.

"Yes, we adopted Timmy from Earth," Margo said as she served Martian coffee and grug bug bread to her friend. "There were so many Earthlings stranded after World War III destroyed everything. It is the least we could do."

"Have the twins tried to eat him yet?"

"Hannah did."

"That's terrible!" Janice said.

"Timmy wasn't happy about it but we gave him a space horse as a gift to help him be more forgiving. They’ve left him alone since."

"You're so brave. I don't think I could do it."

“They’re quite clean and friendly, at least the ones we’ve had.”

They looked out the kitchen window to see what the kids were doing in the backyard. Jenna had Timmy’s hand in her mouth and Hannah had half his foot chewed off.

Margo ran out the door yelling, “Put him down!”

By the time she got to them, Timmy was in shock from the loss of blood and she couldn’t tear her daughters away. She gave up and let them finish.

“That’s the third one this month,” Margo said after she returned to the kitchen.

“My goodness!” Janice said.

“You know how preteen Martian girls are. They can be a blood thirsty lot,” said Margo. “I’ll have to go back down to the agency next week and see if we can get another.”

The oven timer dinged and Margo pulled a baked zumbia out of the oven. She sliced the snakehead open to see if it was done. “Perfect,” she said and put it on the table. Margo and Janice quietly ate their lunch.

When the girls were done, they came inside. Their clothes were blood-soaked and the blood covered their hands and face. “We’re sorry for eating Timmy,” they said in unison. “We only meant to nibble.”

“You’re forgiven,” Margo said. “Now, go upstairs and take a shower then get ready to go to the mall.”

© June 14, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Father’s Gift

“Don’t do this,” he pleaded as she covered his body with webbing.

“The children need to be fed.”

“They need a father!”

“What greater gift can you give than to be their nourishment?” she asked as she bit his lip and filled his body with venom. His insides liquefied as she finished and hung him from the ceiling.

When the contractions started she laid down and soon delivered a large sac filled with spider eggs. She moved it next to the cocoon.

When she returned a week later their children covered his body, hungrily eating from him. “Thank you father!”

© 2006

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Timing

“Time to make the doughnuts,” said the man on the commercial. As a diabetic with a gluten allergy, doughnuts were something Bob couldn’t eat. Commercials like that had always frustrated him, especially when there was a new one every day.

Bob decided to take matters into his own hands. He drove across town to the studio and waited for the doughnut man to leave after filming another frustration-filled commercial.

“Time to bury the doughnut man,” Bob said and shot him.

© June 9, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Hidden Costs of Kids

Four-year-old Sara woke in the middle of the night with intense stomach pains. When her parents got to her room, she was bent in half and holding her stomach. She was inconsolable as her parents rushed her to the emergency room.

The doctor examined Sara’s stomach carefully. He watched it swell and ripple under the skin. The only time he'd seen anything like it before was when he tripped over a dead animal with maggots under its skin when he was a kid.

"What is it?" Sara's mom asked.

"I'm not sure," he answered then ordered an ultrasound. The technician arrived with a portable ultrasound machine and ran the probe over Sara's stomach. He stared at the monitor with a stunned look.

“Doc, look at this,” he said.

"Has Sara eaten anything unusual recently?" the doctor asked as he watched the monitor.

"No, not that I'm aware of," her mother answered. "Why?"

"Look at the monitor," the doctor replied.

Sara's parents looked at the monitor. There were several small shrimp-like things swimming around her stomach.

"What is that?" her father asked as Sara's mother leaned in closer. Her face lit up as she realized what they were looking at.

"Sara did you eat the sea monkey kit?" she asked. Sara started to shake her head no then nodded her head.

"Oh Sara!" her mother gasped.

"Let's step outside," the doctor said. When they were in the hallway, he said, "I’m not sure what to do. They should not have survived in her stomach. The acid should have destroyed the eggs and they never should have hatched, much less be growing."

"We need to destroy them," Sara's father said.

"Doctor! Come quick!" the nurse called. They ran back into the room. Sara's stomach was expanding and she was puking from the pain.

"Mommy, it hurts!" Sara's mother held her daughter close.

"It is a long shot but maybe if we hit them with a massive dose of radiation we can destroy them in one hit," the doctor said.

"What’s the downside?"

"She might lose her hair and the usual side effects to getting radiation," the doctor answered.

Sara puked again and her cries cut through her father. "Do it," he said.

The doctor nodded his head then disappeared to set up the radiation treatment. The radiation therapy nurse arrived a short time later and wheeled Sara to the nuclear medicine center.

"Please wait here," the nurse said. Sara's mother and father kissed Sara. Her parents were weeping helplessly as Sara disappeared into the radiation room. As they waited, they paced back and forth. Five minutes turned to 10 minutes, which turned to 20 minutes.

Suddenly they heard Sara screaming then the sound of equipment being smashed in the treatment room. Sara's father ran to the door and bumped into the nurse as she staggered out of the room. Her head was bleeding profusely and she was holding her ribs.

She slammed the alarm on the wall outside the room and the hospital was filled with flashing red lights and warning sirens. Sara's father tried to push past the nurse but she fought against him. "You can’t go in there!” she said. “It's a monster!"

He stopped when he saw the huge sea monkey. It was thrashing around the room trying to detach from Sara's body. It emitted a high-pitch scream of frustration.

The waiting room filled with security guards and hospital other personnel.

“What’s the emergency?” Fred, one of the guards, asked. Before anyone could answer, the mutant sea monkey screamed again then slithered towards the door, dragging Sara’s body with it.

“Holy crap!” Fred said. He pulled his gun and started to shoot the monster.

“Don’t shoot my baby!” Sara’s mom yelled as the guard emptied his gun. The bullets didn’t phase the monster and it continued towards them.

“Everyone out! Now!” Fred said. “Bob, get everyone cleared out of here. John, give me your gun then call for back up.”

John handed Fred his gun then ran down the hall to use the phone and dialed 911. While he talked to the dispatcher, Fred emptied the gun’s bullets into the creature. It still kept coming towards him, though its screams of frustration were now from anger as the pain ticked it off.

“Bring heavy duty guns,” John told the dispatcher. “Our bullets aren’t slowing it down at all.”

Fred and John joined the group that had formed at the end of the hallway. “Get everyone outside,” Fred ordered as the sea monkey slithered towards them. The monster had grown and barely fit in the hallway. Its head smashed through the ceiling tiles and its appendages scraped along the walls.

The 10-member police department SWAT team arrived with submachine guns and shotguns. They formed a barrier between the monster and the main part of the hospital then opened fire on it. The sound of the weapons firing was deafening as it bounced off the walls and smoke filled the corridor.

When the smoke cleared, blood was splattered everywhere and the sea monkey was dead, its seven-foot long body riddled with dozens of bullet holes. The National Guard was called in to remove the monster. They used chain saws to cut it into movable pieces, which were dispatched to a secret military laboratory for examination.

Sara’s body was taken to the hospital morgue for an autopsy. The final report was inconclusive on how the mutant sea monkey had been able to live and grow in her stomach. A week later, they buried their daughter. When they got home from the cemetery, a process server was waiting for them—the hospital was suing them for damages.

After two hours of deliberation, the jury found them guilty. The judge ordered all their assets be sold then their salaries garnished until the debt was paid. The judge dismissed the courtroom. On the way back to his chambers he commented to the bailiff, “No one warns you about the hidden costs of having a kid.”

© June 3, 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Probing Tale

Dan ran into the bathroom and slammed the door, quickly locking it. With only one way into the room, he was sure he was safe from the aliens. Dan didn’t know why, but they always showed up when he slept in the nude. He sat on the toilet, his gun aimed at the door.

He felt a tickle on his butt cheeks then heard a small splash. Before Dan could react, the anal probe was inserted.

"Dammit! Not again!” he said. The last time they’d gotten him in bed as he slept in the nude.

Dan writhed in pain as nanobots shot out of the probe and escaped through the thin membrane into his bloodstream. They headed towards his brain. He gripped the sink and tried to move away but the probe dug into the tissue causing him more pain so he sat back down and didn’t try to move again.

The nanobots attached to his brain and started downloading his knowledge and memories. When they were done, he could feel them detaching and slipping back into the bloodstream. As they neared the probe they were sucked out. Dan could feel his innards being pulled downward with the suction.

He screamed in pain. “Please stop!”

They pulled the probe, full of the nanobots and his stool, out of his anus and it disappeared back down the pipes to the sewer.

Dan fell to the floor. He hurt more than he’d ever hurt before. Even passing a kidney stone two years ago had been less painful. Dan was sure death would be preferable and took his gun then shot himself in the head. The aliens outside the door broke in and teleported his body to the spaceship for dry-freeze storage.

Meanwhile, the aliens in the sewers flushed away the extraneous stuff and put the nanobots into a test tube labeled with Dan’s name. They teleported back to their spaceship then took the test tube to the laboratory where a robot named Dan II, which had been created with Dan’s DNA, waited. They loaded the nanobots into the robot and they formed a brain inside the head.

The aliens entered some codes into the computer and wirelessly transmitted the start-up sequence to the robot. Dan II’s eyes flickered open and he looked around. “Who are you and where is my house?” he said as he stood up then moved away from the aliens.

“We are not here to hurt you, we want to help earthlings,” the alien said.

“What do we need help with?”

“Overpopulation and not enough food for everyone,” the alien answered.

“How?”

“We have provided you with the information and it will be activated after you awake tomorrow.”

“What if I won’t do it?” Dan II asked.

“You have no choice; you cost too much to make for this to fail. We are going to power you down now. When you awake you’ll have no memory of this.”

Dan II tried to protest but it was too late; the shut down sequence had been sent to his body. They moved his lifeless body to the transport chamber and closed it, then sent Dan II to Dan’s house.

The aliens undressed him and put him into bed before teleporting back to the spaceship. The start-up sequence was sent along with the codes for the plans to fix the Earth’s woes. Dan II slept through all of it.

Dan II woke up when his alarm clock went off. He sat up then looked around. Everything looked normal but he couldn’t shake a feeling that something had happened last night. He chalked it up to drinking too much then went downstairs. Dan II started making coffee when the plans to fix the overpopulation and food shortage loaded into his head.

“That’s brilliant,” he said aloud.

He called work and quit then went to the bank to get a loan. When he got there, he discovered that he had received a huge boost to his bank account that morning that would more than cover the costs for the project.

Dan II built several storage silos on some land he bought out in the country. Next, he built a factory with a machine that could turn any living creature into highly nutritious compost that when used by farmers to grow more and better crops.

The aliens, who had been monitoring the progress, teleported a dozen poor and homeless people to Dan II’s factory to test it out. He ran them through it then tested the compost. It was better than anything on the market.

The next day he sent samples out to farmers in the area. They were impressed by the nearly instant difference and ordered tons of the compost. Every night after that the aliens teleported hundreds of poor and homeless people to the factory then Dan II shipped the compost out.

The news was filled with reports of missing people and the sudden boom in farmer’s crops, which eased both the overpopulation and the food shortage. The subsequent effect was a higher quality of life for all Earthlings. No one made a connection to Dan II and the aliens were pleased with their plan.

All was going well until Dan II bumped his head and the nanobots were temporarily dislodged. When they started working again, his knowledge of right and wrong had been restored and he could no longer kill humans and turn them into compost. In fact, he was going to turn himself into the police the next day for the murders he had committed.

The aliens couldn’t have the truth about Dan II’s technology discovered. That night the aliens teleported Dan’s dead body back to the house then teleported Dan II back to the spaceship and powered him down. When the aliens returned home, they reported their findings: “The human conscience is more powerful than our programming. We must remove it and free will before we can move forward with the plans to purify the Earthlings’ DNA for our consumption.”

© June 1, 2011