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  • Endless Joke
    Endless Joke
    by David Antrobus

    Here's that writers' manual you were reaching and scrambling for. You know the one: filled with juicy writing tidbits and dripping with pop cultural snark and smartassery. Ew. Not an attractive look. But effective. And by the end, you'll either want to kiss me or kill me. With extreme prejudice. Go on. You know you want to.

  • Dissolute Kinship: A 9/11 Road Trip
    Dissolute Kinship: A 9/11 Road Trip
    by David Antrobus

    Please click on the above thumbnail to buy my short, intense nonfiction book featuring 9/11 and trauma. It's less than the price of a cup of coffee... and contains fewer calories. Although, unlike most caffeine boosts, it might make you cry.

  • Music Speaks
    Music Speaks
    by LB Clark

    My story "Solo" appears in this excellent music charity anthology, Music Speaks. It is an odd hybrid of the darkly comic and the eerily apocalyptic... with a musical theme. Aw, rather than me explain it, just read it. Okay, uh, please?

  • First Time Dead 3 (Volume 3)
    First Time Dead 3 (Volume 3)
    by Sybil Wilen, P. J. Ruce, Jeffrey McDonald, John Page, Susan Burdorf, Christina Gavi, David Alexander, Joanna Parypinski, Jack Flynn, Graeme Edwardson, David Antrobus, Jason Bailey, Xavier Axelson

    My story "Unquiet Slumbers" appears in the zombie anthology First Time Dead, Volume 3. It spills blood, gore and genuine tears of sorrow. Anyway, buy this stellar anthology and judge for yourself.

  • Seasons
    Seasons
    by David Antrobus, Edward Lorn, JD Mader, Jo-Anne Teal

    Four stories, four writers, four seasons. Characters broken by life, although not necessarily beaten. Are the seasons reminders of our growth or a glimpse of our slow decay?

  • Indies Unlimited: 2012 Flash Fiction Anthology
    Indies Unlimited: 2012 Flash Fiction Anthology
    Indies Unlimited

    I have two stories in this delightful compendium of every 2012 winner of their Flash Fiction Challenge—one a nasty little horror short, the other an amusing misadventure of Og the caveman, his first appearance.

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Friday
Dec162016

Inside the Avocado

We live inside an avocado; it's green and damp. Oh. Maybe it's not an avocado; maybe it's a rainforest.

I have this friend. I call her Genevieve. I think she might be some kind of lizard. She is also green and has funny eyes that make me laugh. They move like they're tiny machines, and not always together. She hasn't ever told me one single joke, yet she makes me laugh almost every day.

She catches flies for me and for herself. She lives in my belly pouch and seems happy with the arrangement.

You know, it might be an avocado. My other friend, who looks more like me, and is called Raglan, told me this is a moon but also an avocado. There's a smooth hard core and a mountainous crust that was blasted into black hard-rubber ridges in a long ago war and we can't live on it or we'd get terribly sick and die. We live in an avocado orbiting a nearby planet that is so molten it acts like a small sun and we wade through warm avocado pulp, which is our air.

Or perhaps that was my last dream. The dream before that I woke up in an ocean filled with wondrous sights that swayed and slithered and grasped in what was not water but pure alcohol. All the anemone things and the squid things and the sharklike things were completely shitfaced. Even the orange kelplike things spiralled off-kilter. It was drunken mayhem. It made me laugh, too, but I was happy to wake up so I could escape it, all the same. That kind of thing is not sustainable. 

Genevieve just yawned and her tiny red tongue made me laugh. I love her so much for making me laugh. Laughing is one of the best things to do in this or any other life. Without it, a dimension or two would peel away and snag whatever breeze was passing and be faraway by nightfall. Too far ever to catch.

In one of my dreams, while birds shaped like liquid crystal wheels spun through a violet sky that tasted of berries, someone in a dark forest made from the eyelashes of giants called me Mississippi, called me a chimera, but I don't know what one of those is. Imagine that.

I think Mississippi was a river, though. I like its sound. I wonder if the thing itself sounded just like its name as it flowed along and lapped against its banks. And did the birds call out its name as it flowed on by? "Mississippi!" Did boats journey on its back and were some of them alive? There is so much I don't know.

I do know this, though. Raglan fell in love with Clarice, but Clarice went and died, so Raglan is too sad to laugh yet. I hope he will relearn laughter, because he's a nice person, and he deserves it. I think he feels left out of laughter world and sometimes it makes him say something mean, which I know isn't really him, it's his unhappiness talking.

He told me I was stupid and for a moment I wondered if he was right. Then he burst into tears, and I knew he hadn't meant it. His unhappiness meant it, and for a second his unhappiness convinced my unhappiness and we merged into a whole new being made out of pain, but it was over quickly largely thanks to Raglan's tears. My own tears never had a chance to show themselves.

Clarice didn't die of natural causes. She was killed. Some say the Mistreat Man did it. He is made out of smoke and something else I don't want to think about because it squirms and drips and reeks of death. Smoke I can deal with. But the older boys and girls up on the other ridge say he stole in one night and did something awful to Clarice—they say the word violated and their faces go still as stones and far too serious—and when he realized Clarice might tell, he snuffed out her life like it was a small candle, and then the Mistreat Man went someplace where he hoped he'd be forgotten. But Raglan won't forget him. Not ever, not in this life. Raglan believes the other children. I think he might be planning something.

Which, yeah. I wanted to tell you something scary I saw earlier, but I don't want to think about it anymore, not for a while, so thank you for listening to my tales of living in the avocado, and perhaps I will tell you more if you gain my trust. Or when I feel stronger. Wave back, I'm waving!

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Reader Comments (2)

Absorbing, I loved it.

December 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGordon

Thanks, Gordon. It's a strange one, this. Like a dream that starts to feel like a nightmare.

December 17, 2016 | Registered CommenterDavid Antrobus

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