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Flash Fiction Friday: Friction

by Brian Auspice

I flip a switch and turn off friction. I slide into a wall. The wall slides into me. Everything and everyone slides into everything and everyone else. We all get a good laugh out of it. I flip the switch again and begin to untangle the mess I’ve caused.

“Ultimately,” some pundit on some station says to the camera. “Ultimately, this whole situation has brought us closer together.” He sticks a revolver in his mouth and blows his brains out.

I turn off the television and stare at my reflection in the black screen. My face melts, dripping prismatic wax onto a checkered tile floor. It coagulates into liquid gold. I scoop it into a mason jar, make a poorly-timed knock-knock joke to an empty room, and dive out an open window.


Seven-thousand hour slow-motion establishing shot of stunt double falling to the city below.

I land on my feet. I twist my ankle. I untwist my ankle and do a one-handed cartwheel. Bystanders applaud. I flip them off and tell them I wasn’t trying to impress them.

“I did it for the lulz,” I say, turning and deliriously skipping down the street, head cocked back to belt out a long and unpunctuated series of psychotic laughs.

I reach the corner of Lo and Main. I sucker punch a pedestrian in the crosswalk. He staggers back and stumbles into a crowd of nuns, setting off a chain reaction of human dominos that wraps around the world twice, coming to a fiery, apocalyptic conclusion at Burning Man.

“All good things must come to an end,” I say, shrugging uncontrollably for seventy-two hours.

I wander off into a junkyard. Scrap metal. Tires. Frames. Fumes, toxic and otherwise.


I follow the sign, weaving serpentine through the mounds of rust and rubber. I come to a clearing. A shack sits at the edge of a sludge pond. A flickering neon sign hangs above its door. A series of saturated wood shipping pallets float on the surface of the pond. I leapfrog across them, landing on the opposite muddy bank. I lose my footing and slide into the shack’s door. It opens. I tumble inside, leaving a skid of slime in my wake.

“Welcome,” says a man behind the counter. “I,” he pauses, clears his throat. “I am the Reclaimer.” He spreads his arms like a messiah. “This is my domain.”

I survey the room. Dented tin cans, broken toys, half-magazines, warped instruments, discarded personal hygiene products, previous generation iPhones – a collection of temporary one-time relics tossed, lost, and forgotten.

“I’ve come to barter,” I declare. I stand, stride across the room, and place my jar of liquid gold on the counter.

Reclaimer eyes it. He strokes his chin. He reaches under the counter and retrieves a pair of unnecessarily complex magnifying goggles. He straps them to his head and examines the jar.

“Few imperfections,” he mutters. “Some pitting here, bubbling. Otherwise,” he removes the goggles. “Otherwise, of good quality. The contents are useless, of course. Dime-a-dozen.” He places a rusted hubcap on the counter, dumping a handful of chipped plastic coat buttons on top. “And that’s generous.”

I laugh. He laughs. I slam my fist on the counter. The buttons tiddlywink. We stare at one another for five years.

“Very well,” he says. He places a previous generation iPhone on the counter. “My final offer.”

I nod. He nods. I hand him the jar and take the iPhone. I awkwardly bow and exit the shack. I stand at the edge of the pond. I power on the device and immediately download an app that allows me to remotely flip switches. I tap the touchscreen and turn off friction. I slide into the sludge. The sludge slides into me.


Brian Auspice exists in an impermeable void between time and space. He is the author of Deep Blue, which was published as a part of the New Bizarro Author Series in 2014. 01001010 01101111 01101000 01101110 00100000 01110011 01110101 01100011 01100011 01110101 01101101 01100010 01110011 00101110


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Flash Fiction Friday: Bare

by Brian Auspice

I argue with a stranger about something insane. I walk away. I drive to a pet shop. I go inside. It smells like a pet shop. All sorts of exotic-looking fish swim in tanks of deep blue, except for one, which has gone belly-up from lack of lackluster. I spot a python slithering in a glass display. An employee feeds it a severed head. I wander over to the spiders and watch a paralyzed cricket get eaten alive. It reminds me of a large frog I saw when I was a child. It, too, died, at some point, I’m sure. I leave. I come back. I inspect a bird. It tries to talk to me, but it doesn’t speak my language. It squawks something in Greek, or Latin, or a weird dialect of Portuguese. I leave again. I drive to a field and put my car in neutral. I watch dark clouds drift by overhead. I listen to the countless rows of hay sway as God blows on his billion-year-old bowl of soup. I see a scarecrow in the distance. It sees me. I try not to notice. It shifts its eye contact to a crow flying by. I put my car in reverse and slowly back out. The scarecrow cries maggot tears. I laugh a little, on the inside, of course. I merge onto the highway and go seven-hundred miles per hour towards a decaying sunset. I pull over at a diner. I order the special.

“Here’s your hot mess,” some raggedy red-headed skank in a skimpy skirt and loose top says to me as she hands me a plate with a burger on it.

“This tastes like Syphilis,” I reply after the third bite.

Two bikers in a booth behind me take offense to my accusation.

“That’s 100% pure USDA-certified organic Gonorrhea, pal,” the biker with the longer beard says. They stand up and crack their knuckles. I blind them with a fistful of Sweet’N Low and make a break for the exit. They chase after me. I get in my car and floor it. Dust. Gravel. A pair of silhouettes in my rearview kicking the ground and cursing. They’re too lazy to go for their bikes. The booth is comfortable. The coffee is hot. A red-headed skank is there to wait on them from now until eternity.

I drive. I get lost. I consult a map. I spend several hours creeping down dirt roads that don’t exist. I find my exit. I run out of gasoline just as I turn into the parking lot of my apartment complex. I sputter to a stop. I get out. I go home. A stranger is on my couch. I sleep with her. I fall asleep with her.


Brian Auspice exists in an impermeable void between time and space. A gazebo entitled “Deep Blue” is being published by Eraserhead Press as part of their 2014 New Bizarro Author Series. 01001010 01101111 01101000 01101110 00100000 01110011 01110101 01100011 01100011 01110101 01101101 01100010 01110011 00101110

Flash Fiction Friday: Super Fun Dance Time

by Brian Auspice

Hamstring lies in a hospital bed. Tubes feed out of his right arm into a large 1970’s mainframe computer. He watches his blood slowly get sucked through the plastic. The computer beeps. A nurse walks in. She places a stereo on a nearby table.

“The doctor will see you now,” she says. She opens a utility cabinet, squeezes herself in, and closes the door behind her.

The doctor enters the room. He grabs a clipboard hanging from the edge of the bed. He reads it over. His expression becomes grave.

“This isn’t good,” he shakes his head. “No, no. This. Is. Not. Good. Simply not good.”

“What is it, doctor?” Hamstring asks.

“Hamstring is such a shitty name,” the doctor replies. He throws the clipboard out the window. It bursts into flames on the way down to the parking lot. It lands on a bus full of nuns and causes an explosion.

“Injuries!” the doctor cheers. The stereo blares techno. The nurse jumps out of the utility cabinet and runs over to the doctor. They hug, make out, fist-pump, and dance. The song ends. They put their hands to their sides. The nurse adjusts her hair.

“I’ll check on that for you,” she says. She leaves the room.

The doctor turns to Hamstring, “Now, Hamstring.”

“Yes, doctor?”

“I’m not going to call you Hamstring,” the doctor continues. “It’s such a shitty name. Your parents should be beaten. Or you should’ve been aborted. One or both. I don’t know. I don’t care. From now on, you are Kazoo.”

“My name’s not Kazoo,” Hamstring replies. “It’s Hamstring.”

The doctor laughs.

“Kazoo…Kazoo, Kazoo, Kazoo,” the doctor begins. “Listen, I’m the most qualified doctor on the planet – the Universe, actually – I’ve taken several online courses over a six-week period. And! And. I have a Masters in Communication. I even got it through the mail. Trust me. I know what’s best. You. Are. Kazoo.”

The computer beeps. It spits out seven-thousand sheets of paper. The doctor picks up the top page and pulls out a magnifying glass.

“It says here,” the doctor peers through the lens. “It says here you have a sore throat.”

The doctor drops the magnifying glass and smashes it with his foot.

“You know what that means, Kazoo?” the doctor asks.

Hamstring glances around the room, “N-no…?”

“Sickness!” the doctor cheers. He shreds the paper into a million pieces and tosses it into the air like confetti. The stereo blares techno. The nurse runs in and has sex with the doctor. They bump and grind and writhe on the floor. Squares of paper stick to their sweaty bodies. The doctor climaxes. The music stops. They stand up, hands at their sides.

The nurse turns to Hamstring, “You have a visitor.”

She fixes her hair.

“Doctor,” she says, performing a pirouette.

The doctor smacks her bottom.

“I’m going to get a cup of coffee,” he says. They walk out of the room together, their clothes in their arms.

Ten-million years go by. A visitor enters the room. Hamstring doesn’t recognize him.

“Sorry I’m late,” the visitor says. He is out of breath. “I got lost near the break room. I took a left when I should’ve taken a right and wound up in the catacombs beneath the hospital. You know they keep children down there? I even asked one of the nurses about it and she told me anyone who falls deathly ill before the age of ninety isn’t worth trying to save. So, I guess they just keep them where they’ll end up. Anyways. These are for you.”

The visitor pulls a bouquet of flowers from behind his back and holds them out. They immediately wilt. The visitor frowns and insta-rots. His carcass falls to the tile floor and explodes in a cloud of dust.

Hamstring rips the surgical tubing from his arm. He stands and wobbles slightly as he gains his balance. He awkwardly walks to the window. A vast desert stretches into the distance. A solitary sun sets fire to the world. Below, in the parking lot, tucked in the shallow spaces between the dunes, are rusted car frames. The remnant of an exploded bus is littered with a dozen skeletons. Hamstring turns and walks over to the stereo. He turns it on. Techno music begins to play. And Hamstring dances.


Brian Auspice exists in an impermeable void between time and space. A gazebo entitled “Deep Blue” is being published by Eraserhead Press as part of their 2014 New Bizarro Author Series. 01001010 01101111 01101000 01101110 00100000 01110011 01110101 01100011 01100011 01110101 01101101 01100010 01110011 00101110