Tagged: comedy

The Dearth of Superman

Flash Fiction Month 2018, Day 20

“Today we remember Therm O’Nuclear,” announced Captain Caulk, with tears in his mighty eyes. “Though to those present now, he was perhaps better known as Major Megaton. He will be most dearly missed.”

“Oh, sure,” muttered Tsar Kazm. “I mean, it’s not as if any of us have ever turned up after dying before. Like, that’s not a thing superheroes are known for doing or anything.”

Captain Caulk glowered at him.

Suddenly, the church doors banged open. A lone figure stood spandex-clad and silhouetted in the space between them.

It was Spiderguy.

“Sorry I’m late!” he whispered as he edged his way awkwardly down one of the pews at the back. “Kind of embarrassing: I got stuck in the bath.”

Captain Caulk cleared his throat. “As you will all probably be aware, Major Megaton’s body was sadly never found—”

“Also not a massive hint he’ll be back!” said Tsar Kazm, less quietly this time. Continue reading

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The Dunwich Helper(s)

Flash Fiction Month 2018, Day 19

Challenge #9: Write a story in collaboration with at least one other author. It must feature a ragtag bunch of misfits, a humanoid abomination, as well as MacGuyvering and a character being punished for doing a good deed. Of these tropes, one must be played straight, one inverted, one subverted and one exaggerated.

This story was written in collaboration with GDeyke and Aida Reluzco.

“Hi. My name’s Steve, and I have the face of an eldritch abomination.”

A mumbled “Hi, Steve” made its way around the room in acknowledgement. Steve, indeed, had the face of an eldritch abomination. Tentacle-beard and all.

“I wasn’t always this way,” Steve explained. “I mean—obviously. Can you imagine what my mother would have said if I’d come out like this?”

The room tittered nervously.

“I’ve always had skin problems,” Steve continued, “but, like, conventional skin problems. Not go-mad-from-the-revelation skin problems. I try to stay fairly upbeat, but…” Steve trailed off dejectedly, staring into the expectant, if uncomfortable, faces before him.

“Anyway, there was a sketchy clinical trial in Fresno and here we are.” He scratched a tentacle. Continue reading

How to Pain Your Dragon

Flash Fiction Month 2018, Day 18

“Foolish knight,” hissed the dragon. “Did you think this place would be unguarded? Did you think the moat its only defence? None who pass through those gates return alive, for all who do must face me.”

“Okay,” said the knight. “Why?”

“What do you mean ‘why’? Obviously I’m gonna fight anyone who comes here. Do you really think they’d leave a dragon in a tower just to welcome people in?”

“Who’s ‘they’?”

The dragon made an annoyed little noise. “Only Queen Harriet the Third and the nobles of her court. Geez! You don’t see a lot of dragons guarding pubs, do you? I mean, it’s pretty much royalty or nothing, innit?”

“Why?”

“Because dragons guard treasure and the cash box at the Dog and Pheasant isn’t exactly going to cut it!” Continue reading

Lovely Pleasant Teatime Simulator in Rock, Paper, Shotgun

Well, this is unexpected! Lovely Pleasant Teatime Simulator – the game I put together on a whim last month – has been featured as one of Rock, Paper, Shotgun‘s free games of the week.

This isn’t the first time a game I’ve worked on has been put in front of people like this, but it is the first time it’s happened with something that’s entirely my own work. It’s great to see it reaching so many people! Just over the past two or three days it’s become the most played game I’ve ever produced, overtaking Blacklight 1995 which I released almost five years ago. For comparison, Teatime Simulator has been out less than a month. Continue reading

Formulaic Joke

Flash Fiction Month 2018, Day 15

Banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana hidden phrase banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana banana.

If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from previous Flash Fiction Months collected in these books:

OCR is Not the Only Font Cover REDESIGN (Barbecued Iguana)Red Herring Cover (Barbecued Iguana design)Bionic Punchline eBook CoverOsiris Likes This Cover

Click any cover to find that book in your choice of format.

Shakespeare Jumps the Shark

Flash Fiction Month 2018, Day 14

Challenge #7*: Write a story in which at least one character only speaks in verse, another represents the Shakespearian fool, and someone dies tragically. It must include at least 10 words created by Shakespeare and the final word count must be a multiple of 37.

“Behold, the fair Ophelia whose feet

“so nimbly guide the course of skis that fly

“not upon base snow, that blights the land

“but water, flawless, perfect in its sheen.

“Drawn by vessel motorisèd she

“like Phoebus’ car glides swift across the lake,

“though not so bright, her radiance less grand,

“her fair-faced beauty gentler on the eyes.”

“Hamlet,” said the gravedigger, “it’s cool how much you like Ophelia and all—I’ll agree it’s admirable that she was so keen to give waterskiing a try—but I’ve got a job to do here and I think we can both agree I should probably get it done sooner rather than later. This isn’t the best time to stand on the lakeshore reciting an ode to her, if you see what I mean. I’m certainly finding it unhelpful, and I’m not sure it’s the best thing you could be doing right now either.”

“Stop up thy mouth, thou idle-headed fool!

“Canst thou not see mine eyes—only for her,

“Mine ears deaf but for that sweet engine’s sound,

“That draws my love behind, approaching me—”

There was a crunch as the leaky motorboat ploughed over the enrapt Hamlet. A lone eyeball shot out from beneath with a loud squeak, plopping into the water a considerable distance from the shore.

Laertes hopped out of the boat and walked away, oblivious to the carnage.

Ophelia stepped from her skis and followed him.

“That’s what you get for standing in the slipway,” lamented the gravedigger, shaking his head. Hamlet might have been well-read, but he hadn’t had a whole lot of common sense.

But on the bright side, the gravedigger considered as he approached the bloodstained shore, the hole he’d dug so far would probably be big enough after all.

If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from previous Flash Fiction Months collected in these books:

OCR is Not the Only Font Cover REDESIGN (Barbecued Iguana)Red Herring Cover (Barbecued Iguana design)Bionic Punchline eBook CoverOsiris Likes This Cover

Click any cover to find that book in your choice of format.

Terms and Conditions

Flash Fiction Month 2018, Day 13

“Stop, good citizen!” cried the complete stranger who had just burst through the door. “Sign not that paperwork!”

“What?” yelped the landlord. “What are you doing here? Who are you anyway?”

“Why, I am Apartment Man!” proclaimed the intruder, who wore a hat on his head shaped like a house’s roof.

“And I his loyal sidekick, Rent Boy!”

“And we are here to tell you…” Apartment Man pointed dramatically at the prospective tenant, “that your security deposit should be nowhere near the value of three months’ rent. Not for an unfurnished apartment!”

“Sorry,” said the landlord. “What did you say?” Continue reading

Going Out With a Bang

Flash Fiction Month 2018, Day 12

Challenge #6: Write a story involving a wannabe character in which it is implied someone dies in a spectacular fashion.

It was a beautiful evening, the tranquillity of the gentle pink sunset marred only slightly by the battle raging on between every superhero in the city and the skyscraper-sized fire-breathing dinosaur that had emerged from the harbour an hour or so earlier.

“Hi, Mr. O’Nuclear,” said Tina, rather suddenly.

Mr. O’Nuclear jumped. He hadn’t realised anyone else was on the roof.

“You know you can just call me Therm, right?” he said.

“My mum says it’s rude to call grownups by their first names,” explained Tina, opening the door of the pigeon loft.

Therm considered this. “I think that’s a bit old-fashioned, but it’s good that you do what your parents tell you.”

Tina began to feed the birds.

Therm watched a cloud drift lazily across the horizon.

The dinosaur fired a ginormous laser beam from its face.

“Why are you wearing a big green onesie?” asked Tina. “And a cape?”

“Well,” Therm chuckled. “I suppose there’s no harm telling you this now. The truth is, I’ve been a superhero for about six years now. Ever since I jumped into the path of an intercontinental ballistic missile to prevent World War Three.”

“Oh, cool!” Tina walked over. “Do you have a superhero name?”

Therm swept a hand in front of him as if revealing invisible words in the air: “Major Megaton.” He paused. “I was pushing for Colonel Kiloton myself, but they didn’t want to promote me that far just for the name. Come to think of it, I reckon that’s probably why so many superheroes are ‘Captain’ something-or-other.”

“Got any superpowers?”

“Besides having a 100 kiloton warhead lodged in my ribcage, not really.”

“Oh.”

The dinosaur in the distance demolished the headquarters of the Daily Bungle with a swipe of its tail. On the bright side, Therm considered, the thing was getting farther from the city centre.

“I’ve always wanted to be a superhero,” said Tina. “But there aren’t a lot of girl ones out there.”

“Well…a lot of superheroes start out as soldiers, or scientists, or billionaire CEOs, and since women are still under-represented in those fields there’s kind of a knock-on…” Therm realised this probably wasn’t a helpful way to address the issue. “But I mean, that’s all the more reason for you to do it!”

“Do you really think I could!?”

“Yeah! You can do anything you put your mind to!”

“Can I help out with the dinosaur, then? That would be so cool!”

“Ooh. That’s… Look, that dinosaur’s a biggie. Literally. I mean, you don’t want to tackle something like that on your first try. They wouldn’t even have called me if it wasn’t really, really serious.”

“Oh.” Tina looked at her shoes. “Okay.”

Therm watched the last little snippet of the sun vanish below the horizon.

The dinosaur swatted at a biplane peppering it with machine-gun fire.

Therm wondered when the historical aviation society had gotten involved.

“So…why aren’t you there now?” Tina asked.

“I need to let the other heroes draw the creature a few miles from the city before I can…you know…do my thing,” explained Therm.

“So it doesn’t fall on anyone when you defeat it?”

“Umm…” Therm gave a nervous smile. “Something like that.”

“Superheroes spend more time waiting around than I thought.”

“Oh, it’s not like that! I mean, sure, it is for me. And anybody who relies on one of those big searchlight symbols pointed at a cloud. And then there’s stakeouts…” Again, Therm felt as though he wasn’t exactly doing his bit to encourage the next generation of superheroes. “But there’s much more to being a hero than just waiting for a bank heist to foil. For a supervillain to punch. For a fire-breathing dinosaur to blast to smithereens. The most important things are the small things. Speaking up when someone does something bad. Recognising when they do something good. Being there for your friends. Making new friends! It sounds goofy, but those are the things that are really important.”

The sun, at last, dipped below the horizon. The dinosaur was well out into the suburbs by now. Therm figured that if he had anything else to say, now was the time to say it.

At last it came to him: “The big stuff…” he began. “The big stuff will turn out okay as long as there’s at least one person there to do it. But the small stuff, that’s up to everyone.”

The dinosaur was moving at quite a pace—whoever was in that biplane really seemed to have riled it up—and if Therm was honest with himself he knew he’d already put off leaving longer than he had to.

“Why do you want to be a superhero, Tina?”

“I want to punch bad guys and shoot monsters with eye-beams and use a grappling hook to climb a building!”

Therm nodded. “Those are all really good reasons. But you have to remember that as much of a difference as those things make, what really matters is that people know you’re looking out for them. Because then they’ll look out for each other too.”

“Okay,” said Tina. “But I still think shooting eye-beams at monsters is important too.”

“It is,” conceded Therm, “but that’s not something I can help you with.”

He took an item from his utility belt.

“Maybe this’ll do instead.”

“No way!” Tina took the grappling pistol. “Can I have this? Really?” Then she thought for a bit. “Don’t you need it?”

“Naah. I’m sure you’ll get more use out of it than me.”

Therm dropped off the edge of the building and landed in a dramatic pose before sprinting off towards the dinosaur in the distance.

Tina watched him until he vanished between the buildings.

“Still feeding the pigeons?” asked her mother, stepping out of the stairwell. “Come on. It’s time you went to bed.”

“Can I heat up the hot chocolate with my eye-beams?” asked Tina, excitedly.

“Only if you’re very, very careful,” said her mother. “I’m not replacing the fridge again.”

If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from previous Flash Fiction Months collected in these books:

OCR is Not the Only Font Cover REDESIGN (Barbecued Iguana)Red Herring Cover (Barbecued Iguana design)Bionic Punchline eBook CoverOsiris Likes This Cover

Click any cover to find that book in your choice of format.

Puss in Boots in Boots

Flash Fiction Month 2018, Day 10

Challenge #5: Write a story set in a mall including a fairy tale character and an element of anthropomorphism.

“Does this sun cream protect against UVA and UVB?” asked Rumplestiltskin.

“Dunno,” said the cat sitting at the counter, without looking up.

“Well what about this one?” He picked up a different bottle—far too small to be good value for money—from the little impulse-buy shelf dividing the queue from the rest of the shop.

“Dunno,” said the cat, again. He licked one of his tiny cat thumbs and used it to turn the page of his magazine.

“Is there anything you do know?” Rumplestiltskin snapped.

The cat, at last, looked up. “I know I wouldn’t wear that shirt with those shorts,” he said.

Rumplestiltskin tutted and huffed. “This is the worst customer service I’ve ever had!” he proclaimed. “Do you know who I am?”

“Don’t know…” said the cat, absent-mindedly turning another page, “don’t care.”

“Well, you should care!” Rumplestiltskin waggled a tiny finger over the counter. “There are plenty of other shops around here. I could easily take my business elsewhere!”

“Not my problem.”

The cat hopped down from the cashier’s chair, boots clacking against the linoleum. He tucked the magazine back into the rack by the door.

“I was just putting my feet up,” he explained as he left. “I don’t work here.”

If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from previous Flash Fiction Months collected in these books:

OCR is Not the Only Font Cover REDESIGN (Barbecued Iguana)Red Herring Cover (Barbecued Iguana design)Bionic Punchline eBook CoverOsiris Likes This Cover

Click any cover to find that book in your choice of format.

The Mages and the Demon’s Tower

Flash Fiction Month 2018, Day 9

In brighter times, the Ebon Tower had been a beacon of hope and justice, its garrisons watching over the Merchants’ Way from Grimble’s Vale in the East to Far Baragar in the West. But since the demon Kharael had come to claim it, that tower was a blight upon the land. Travellers would cling to the shadows of the Northern Peaks simply to avoid its gaze, though those roads teemed with wolves and bandits, and many lost their way.

Few could stand against a demon, but the Arch-mage Tharandel was one of those few, and so he felt it his duty to make the attempt. He pushed open the doors of the great hall at the tower’s tallest height, and what he saw there was nothing short of madness.

The demon Kharael had rearranged the very matter of the room. Screaming faces writhed across the walls, their words transmuted into silent flame. The pillars rising seemed to twist and bend, tormented serpents racked by pain that could afflict even stone. And in the centre of it all sat Kharael himself, upon a throne of skulls. Continue reading