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Flash Fiction Friday: Job Offer on Seventh Heaven

by: Martin Rutley

It was late, Saturday night, when they brought me in. Strapped to a stretcher, disinfectant smeared into the corners of my eyes, the smell of petroleum in their greasy sideburns. Dressed in the green and gray of the company uniform, each of the six had joyously taken his turn at the head of the pack. They fired off their questions, one after the other, their voices all baby talk and laughter—Who cut your gooky fucking hair? How’s your pancreas feel about the pre-cancerous cells in your liver? Is that Benzo Fury in your bloodstream? Are you aware those idiots at the CIA can’t work so much as a soda machine? Did you know Andromeda’s fucking Ryan from data capture? What kind of schmuck reads Asimov with a hairbrush in his ass? This wasn’t a dissection of what it was made me tick—they didn’t give a shit about the ins and outs of a rodent like me—this was an institution at play, a muscle, uneasy at rest, flexing itself.

I was beaten into the early hours of the morning. A solid workout for the boys on night shift. Each put in his fair share, no slacking or slipping out for a quick cigarette in the reading room—these boys were keen. Of the six, Hunter’s blows landed hardest. He continued long after the others had had their fill. He ended with a particularly brutal strike to the base of the spine—The Hunter Ray Heel Kick, he’d christened it—a signature maneuver none of the others had attempted. Several of them had marveled at his movement—the fluidity of force from deltoid to extensor, the anatomical precision inherent in a curving knee strike to the hepatic duct of a functioning liver. Finally, I was stripped to the waist and given a near-lethal dose of Seventh Heaven, a well-known ventromedial manipulator and driver of grunt warfare since 2037.

“Side effect city,” someone yelled. “Hold on to your DNA.”

“Hold on to your cahoonas,” yelled another.

As he’d spoken, the electrons in the heavy elements of my body abandoned their orbits and I collapsed into a pre-biological soup of ionized hydrogen. I reemerged a nanosecond or so later and pulled on the trigger of a .45 jammed against the roof of my mouth.

“Bang,” yelled Hunter, and the others erupted into what my ex-wife would have described as spasms of ‘screw you’ laughter.

He knelt with uncanny grace and pressed his face into mine. “Makes you cry for Mommy, don’t it?” he whispered.

Later, the others filed silently from the room—not separately, but as one—hairless mandibles held high in the air.

Hunter must have been a hundred feet tall. Had he wanted, he could have ground me into the earth and joined the others for baked lobster fideo or whatever it was these people ate. He assured me he was a killer of some reputation. He’d risen through the ranks of the corporation due to a willingness to do what others wouldn’t. I gave him everything with a candor I hadn’t known I possessed—a complete schematic of my habits and tendencies, end of the world codes, exit points, atom hacks, bombs strapped to the underside of elephants in crowded malls at Christmas—children tugging at their leathery ears, time holes, reset procedures, insert generators—I betrayed everyone and everything dear to me.

Hunter applauded and folded into a smile that pulled at the lids of his eyes. “These elephants, Mr. Lewis, do they exist?”

“If I shut off the TV once in a while, they would.”

“Describe them.”

“Inserts,” I said. “Harvested from interstellar space and nano-engineered to resist all known modes of interrogation—terrestrial or otherwise. Exquisite animals.”

“Including the Abdominal Slap?”

“Yes, sir—in more than a thousand documented simulations.”

“Belief systems?”

“Hardwired accordingly.”

“Defection rates?”

“Zero.”

He crouched, scooped me into his hand, and raised me level with his enormous face. Were he to swallow me whole, I’d sit in his small intestine and drift into in a telepathic union.

A single, giant tear descended his cheek. “I want a million of those things.”

I stood and extended my arms perpendicularly in search of at least minimal balance. “I’ll need a quantum entangler, a hundred billion dollars, identity reconstruction, and five hundred thousand square feet of prime off-planet real estate.”

He pursed his lips and blew, rotating his wrist as he did so. I fell into his palm and grabbed at the base of his pinky finger. His hand upturned, I hung helplessly and waited for him to speak.

“Little man, we’re going to save your life,” he said.

He’d spoken carefully, rigidly—as though repeating words previously reordered and rehearsed in his mind. Perhaps the Seventh Heaven was talking, but there was compassion in those dark, cavernous eyes and I couldn’t wait to begin.

________

Martin Rutley lives in Manchester, UK. His short fiction has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Pedestal Magazine, Locus Novus, The Fortean Bureau, Vestal Review, and Raven Chronicles. He also makes films—some disturbing, some batshit crazy. You can stream Amnesiac on Amazon.

 ________

Send your weird little stories to flashfictionfridaysubmissions@gmail.com.


Bizarro News Roundup!

Ready for another shitstorm of the latest Bizarro news gripping the world? Here you go:

  • “A spooky clown has been scaring Northampton residents in full costume and make up.He is red haired and white faced and has appeared in several locations in the Abington and Kingsley areas.A Facebook page has now been set up for the clown called Spot Northampton’s Clown which has already achieved over 3,000 likes since it went live yesterday.The clown has proved a sensation on social media and has its own Twitter hashtag #northamptonclown.According to reports it has knocked on someone’s door and offered to paint their sills despite having no painting equipment.Let us know if you see it too”via Northhamton News

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  • “Hundreds of rare wild monkeys — some carrying herpes — are on the loose in Florida after a tour guide brought the spunky critters to the state long ago.Wildlife officials said that three pairs of Rhesus monkeys were transported to a park near Ocala in the 1930s by tour operator Colonel Tooey after a “Tarzan” flick sparked a fascination with the creature.But the breed has since boomed and more than 1,000 of the monkeys now live in the state, wildlife officials say.State officials have caught more than 700 of the monkeys in the past decade — most of which tested positive for the herpes-B virus.Wildlife officials now consider the monkeys a public health hazard.”

via New York Post

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PREGNANT+COCAINE

  • An artist has created an “edible opera” using biotechnology which uses a cool facehugger-looking helmet that creates edible algae from carbon dioxide which feeds the algae. “The singer has trained herself specially for this project so that she can further enhance her lung capacity to produce the best quality algae possible. The slightest changes in pitch and frequency can apparently determine the algae’s color, texture and even whether it will be sweet or bitter.”

opera

blobfish

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small_snake wine

  • Peninsula instructors prepare youth for the zombie apocalypse. “Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic,” a graphic novella geared to teens and young adults prepared by the Centers for Disease Control, has the answers. ‘If you are generally well-equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse, you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake or terrorist attack,’ said CDC director of public health preparedness Dr. Ali Khan, who appears as a character in the comic book. The zombie comic started as a tongue-in-cheek campaign, but has evolved into a popular way to impress young people with the importance of emergency preparedness, he explains on the CDC web site.” You can read the CDC zombie pandemic graphic novel here.

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guns

kill it with fire

  • In cryptozoology news, Swiss police are on a hunt for “Le Loyon,” a mysterious creature who has been spotted roaming the woods in Switzerland for over a decade. He is said to be wearing a gas mask, boiler suit, and cloak. “While he does not seem to be obviously aggressive or dangerous, police are hoping to speak to Le Loyon in an effort to encourage him to be less threatening.”

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  • Don’t worry, Batman will save us! Batman and Captain America save a cat from a burning house.

Until next time Bizarros!


Bizarro Central Mixvideos Round 2

by Tracy Vanity

If you missed my first round of mixvideos for Bizarro you can check those out here.

So for Round 2 the theme is still Bizarro music but unlike last time where I posted some songs that didn’t have actual videos accompanying it, these music videos are all visually cool, weird, creepy, fucked up, or all of the above. So here is my Bizarro music video party mix for the weekend. Enjoy!

1) Sebastien Tellier “Cochonville”

When I first saw this video I was blown away. How can you top a 70’s space cult orgy? You can’t!

 

2) Misfits vs. Chainsaw Hookers

Nothing gets me into the Halloween spirit like The Misfits and this amazing mashing of “Hollywood Babylon” with cult film Chainsaw Hookers is amazing. If you haven’t watched Chainsaw Hookers, you really aren’t missing much. The best parts of the film are in this video.

3) I Monster vs. Shaun of the Dead

Monster masher VillainsHorror has been paying homage to some of his favorite horror films by making cool music videos for them. This one for Shaun of the Dead is a lot of fun. I hadn’t heard of I Monster before watching this video but I checked out some of their other songs and they are very haunting and pretty.

4) David Lynch “Noah’s Ark”

This is my favorite song off “Crazy Clown Time.” Lynch hasn’t made an official video for this yet but a fan was kind enough to make one using cool vintage footage of what looks like some kind of old Russian film.

5) Tom Waits “Hell Broke Luce”

Tom Waits made a new music video and it’s fucking epic! A great anti-war song with surreal Terry Gilliam-like visuals. I love the animated vultures.

6) Die Antwoord “I Fink U Freeky”

I fucking love Die Antwoord. They’ll like real life Pokemon and Yo-landi’s voice sounds like unicorn semen sliding down my ear canal. This video is beautiful and dark and Yo-landi looks pretty sexy with those all-black demonic eyes.

7) HEALTH “We are Water”

Excellent homage to old slasher films with a cool twist and an incredible cinematic blood splattering scene at the end.

8) Broken Social Scene “Sweetest Kill”

Who knew that watching Bijou Phillips hacking up her boyfriend could be so pretty?

9) Pogo “Living Island (H.R. Pufnstuf Remix)”

Is that little boy saying “Weed can be legalized?” If you haven’t heard of Pogo and you like trippy, electronic, nostalgic videos, definitely check out his other songs. The Alice in Wonderland mix is my favorite.

10) Geto Boys “My Mind is Playing Tricks on Me”

Fuck, this song takes me back. Great old school hip-hop song about being a paranoid motherfucker.

11) Quasimoto “Come on Feet”

Trippy video with fucked up looking puppets!

12) Art of Bleeding “Don’s Foot”

Another song about feet. This video is a beautifully disturbing musical tribute from The Art of Bleeding for Don who wants to turn his amputated foot into a cane. Capital idea even though feet gross me out even when they are still attached to people!

13) Andrew Gold – Spooky Scary Skeletons

A hit on 4chan because it’s so fucking spooky. #13 on my Bizarro playlist had to be something to get you guys hard for Halloween, it’s just around the corner!!!

So what’s on your weekend song playlist Bizarro?