Our Flash Fiction challenge this week at Terrible Minds was to write some ‘pulp craziness’… I haven’t really written much pulp, but judging by this story, my mind can be a little crazy, so at least I can put that to paper… Enjoy. Hope it’s insane enough…
Salt Burns Take the Subies
“The salt,” Wally said, “ith burnig ma togue.”
“They’re the best French fries in all the world,” Mort replied. “Potent, can even make you impotent if you’re not careful, but the taste is the whole shebang. There ain’t no going back once you’ve tried them.”
“Great,” Wally murmured. He picked at them anyway.
The door burst open just then, and Miranda, their secretary, fell into the room, disheveled in her high heels, tight black dress, and strawberry blonde hair.
“Sir!” she exclaimed.
“What?” both men replied.
“I—I mean, Sirs—I keep forgetting you’ve cloned yourself, Sir…”
“I’ve been cloned,” Mort emphasizes. “Just teaching ol’ Wally here about some of the joys this world has to offer.”
“Very well, Sir. Anyway, Sirs, you’ll have to save your lesson for another time! We have a huge problem on our hands!”
Something smashed in the background, startling Miranda from her briefing. “Oh, no! They’re coming!”
Mort and Wally stood up in the same manner, each hiked up a pant leg, and stepped around their desks towards their secretary.
“What is it, Shortcake?” Mort asked.
“Spit it out, love!”
“Babies!” she cried. “They’ve broken in! They’re walking! They’re six feet tall and shooting laser guns at anyone that tries to reason with them! They’re crying, inconsolable. They’re not happy!”
Wally stepped forwards now, but Mort held him at bay. “Miranda, what in the name of God do they want?”
Another crash. A scream. Miranda stepped out of the doorway and into the hall, away from the threat. “Sirs, no one can understand them! They’re babies! They’re just babbling! Goos and gas, Sir! Goos and gas!”
“Miranda…” Mort began. She was looking away from him, towards the direction of her office, where the babies had taken over. “Miranda!”
She glanced at him, her face as pale as a sheet of linen. “Yes, Morty?”
Mort grabbed her shoulders. “Whatever you do, Sweetness, hide.”
“Make sure to hide my guacamole. You know how babies love avocado…”
“Avocado, Miranda! Save it! They can take my office, they can take the building. Hell, they can even take this town, but goddamn if they should have my guacamole, too.”
Miranda’s face had become one of horror. “I shouldn’t dream of it, Sir.”
“Hop to it, Sugar.” Mort gave Miranda’s tight left butt cheek a quick tap, urging her forwards. She dashed to the right, away from the commotion, towards the kitchen, her heels clicking ever so quickly across the floor as she struggled to run in such a restrictive dress. Boy, how Mort loved his secretaries.
“Fine pieth,” Wally said, expressing Mort’s exact sentiments.
“She’s more than fine,” Mort replied, and watched her disappear into the lunch room. “Now, we have some laser-shooting goo-gooing babies to deal with. Are you ready?”
“Ath I’ll ever be, bosth.”
Mort turned to Wally. “Not boss. Partner. We’re partners, you and I. We succeed together, we fail together. Ready?”
Wally passed Mort two weapons, designed specifically for the task at hand. Mort had never used them, but had designed them after his first encounter with these giant, angry babies, called Subies. Subies were a product of nuclear testing, and until recent laws had mandated their freedom, had been held in captivity, their existence kept utterly secret.
Mort only hoped these guns lived up to the hype that Dr. Posi Tivion had credited them with.
“Locked and loaded?” Mort asked.
“Leth go, partner.” Wally dashed ahead of Mort, into the hallway, and towards the action.
The lobby of their office, where Miranda’s finely appointed desk sat, was a disaster zone. Laser burn marks streaked the walls. A body lay sliced in half on the floor. The owner had a carton of milk in his hand.
Mort grew wary at this sight.
And the Subies were nowhere to be found.
“Where did those giant goo-gooers go?” Mort asked, stepping over the rubble. “How could they have slipped past us?”
“Perhapth,” Wally said, “they thimply went in the other directhon. Remember, thith floor ith merely thaped in a giant ‘o’…”
“By God, Wally, you’re—” As Mort turned back towards the lunchroom, a cry arose in the air. “Miranda!”
Seconds later they were rounding the corner into the kitchen/lunchroom, ammunition at the ready. Miranda was cornered by the fridge, a Tupperware container of guacamole in hand. Mort felt a rock settle into the pit of his stomach. They had seen it. There was no chance for a decent lunch now.
Three Subies, as tall as men, but as naked and chubby as a diapered six-month-old, wielded their own weapons. They spat incomprehensible words at Miranda. One Subie stepped forwards and snatched the guacamole from the secretary’s trembling hands.
The Subies eyed each other, communicating in a silent language, and then the one with the guacamole threw it to the floor. Guacamole spilled over the linoleum, green, delicious, but spoiled.
“Damn it!” Mort shouted. The giant, laser-weilding babies turned around. “Take this, you no good mutations!” He pulled the trigger. Fountains of milk sprayed from the gun in his hand.
Despite being what most babies want, the milk only aroused more anger. One of the Subies pointed at Wally’s pocket, then, and cried “Bah!”
Wally looked down. “The French frieth! Thith ith the tholuthon!” He pulled the fry packet from his pocket and began to shove the fried potato slices into his mouth, making sure to suck all the salt off each one. “Oh, God, it burnth!” he howled.
“You can do it, Wally,” Mort whispered. “Just a few more.”
Wally finished off the pack, looked directly at the Subies and said, “Whad ith id thad you wand from uth?”
The Subies, once inconsolable, now stepped forwards. The head Subie, the one that had disgraced Mort’s guacamole so, said, “Dey so Su bassy.”
Wally laughed. “Thath id? Miranda, come, quickly!”
Miranda dashed around the babies. “Yes, Sir?”
“Go to the thtore downthtairth! All they wand ith their pathifiers!”
“Pathifiers!” Wally urged. “Pathi—pacifiers! Damn thad hurd.”
Miranda dashed from the room with a nod. The Subies began to smile and lowered their weapons.
“For your first job, Wally,” Mort said, “I think you’ve done damned alright, if you ask me.”
The Subies were now rolling on the floor, laughing, giant babies rolling back and forth like chubby men in diapers—like the sumo wrestlers they had gleaned their names from. If not for the casualties, it would be a comical sight to behold.
“I only wish one thing,” Mort said and dropped his head in respect.
“I wish the guacamole hadn’t had to get involved.”
© Lindsay Mawson 2012