Bureaucratic Conception


Five small bodies in the morgue. Their mother strapped to a bed in the jail.
Yesterday, she’d drowned them in the tub.
And Bannerman had snapped.
“SHERIFF BEATS BATHTUB KILLER,” screamed the paper.
Bannerman looked through the paperwork. The intake form was a mess, so he rolled another in the typewriter and copied things over.
He got to “PREGNANT: YES/NO” and stopped.
He recalled her berserk rants as they dragged her in. He swore he’d heard “I AM CARRYING SATAN’S SPAWN!”
Screw it. It’s Friday.
He checked YES, and then dialed that asshole reporter.
“Enjoy this exclusive,” he grunted.



“It’s a cookbook!” was the last thing Dr. Chambers heard before the spaceship door closed.
The Kanamint had said they were here to serve man.
Quite literally, as dinner.
Chambers sighed, slumped against the wall of the crowded cell, and slept.
He woke up, alone.
The door opened, and a Kanamint wheeled in a cart.
“Your dinner,” thoughtcasted the Kanamint.
At first, Chambers wasn’t hungry, but the smell was… captivating.
He took the lid off of the tray, tasted a sauce-covered cube, and moaned with delight.
“I must have this recipe,” he said. “Delicious!”
Eventually, they made him a chef.

Jihadi Squirrel


The trembling from Parkinson’s dissipated, itself a victim of the destruction HIV was doing throughout his body.
The machines kept him going. Until…
They found the account numbers.
He was gone.
And then he was back.
Yasser looked around.
No Paradise. No seventy-two virgins. No throne of Allah.
“What is this madness?” he wanted to say.
It came out as: “Chitter!”
Yasser scampered out of his knot-hole, down his tree, and he looked in the pond.
He looked around, and saw a squirrel in a tiny wheelchair.
He blamed the Jews, and declared a jihad. For…

The price of a free lunch


Every week, Chang pulled a business card out of the fishbowl and the winner got a free lunch at The Happy Dragon.
Every so often, another hand would dip into the fishbowl and draw a business card. But they never got a free lunch.
They found Mary’s body in the dumpster the next day. The same with Steve, Lynn, Arthur, and Jose. Sixteen in all.
One day, the killer reached into the bowl and got his hand wet.
No business cards. Just a goldfish.
Sure, there is such a thing as a free lunch, but it’s not worth the risk.

Doctor Odd


Doctor Odd received the express written consent of Major League Baseball on Monday.
By Wednesday, Idaho was gone. Totally vanished. Nowhere to be found.
The market reacted quickly. Prices for potatoes skyrocketed. “Would you like fries with that?” was whispered only among the wealthy.
Congress held weeks of hearings, but they never did receive an adequate explanation from the baseball commissioner or Doctor Odd.
He said he was just being patriotic and trying to make Syria vanish, but his calculations were off by a bit.
What I found strange was that nobody ever asked for him to bring Idaho back.