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Flash Fantastic!

No. 4February 2004

by Charles Richard Laing

He pulled rabbits from hats, made pigeons disappear, and sawed a lady in half.

It was stale. We were bored. And he knew it.

In utter desperation, he asked for a volunteer from the audience. A burly man marched onto the stage. The magician took his wand and jabbed it into the man's chest, literally piercing his skin. There was no blood, but the volunteer screamed in agony. With a flourish, the magician dragged something ghostly out of the man.

This was new. We cheered.

Later, the soulless volunteer went mad and killed a lot of people. Still...

by Nick Fox

Every year at a different time, in a different place, the mythological figures get together and play a mortal game. They prefer to play in a remote location, under the cover of night. Some of the players are very competitive -- so much so that the event is often referred to as the annual ‘war games’.

There are no prizes, except for the coveted bragging rights. And each year's winner gets to choose the following year's game. This year, the game is basketball.

It's the final game of the one-on-one tournament. The exciting match-up is between

Mother Nature and Uncle Sam. Everyone involved is in attendance to witness the big grudge-match. There's only one problem though -- the game ball has been stolen!

Someone from the bleachers calls out, "Check Pumpkinhead. I'd bet he's wearing it!"

Everyone laughs, including Pumpkinhead, who is obviously fashioning a fresh jack-o-lantern.

"The St. Patrick's Leprechaun probably stole it to add to his pile of treasures at the end of the rainbow!" Uncle Sam grumbles. Mother Nature muses that Santa Claus might have accidentally slipped it into his big red bag with the rest of the toys.

Just then, the Easter Bunny comes bounding onto the court holding a deflated basketball with an arrow stuck in it. All eyes turn to Cupid.

“What?” he asks innocently.

“You preach about love, love, love,” the bunny scolds him. “But you're nothing but a big sore loser!”

Cupid blushes, knowing he's been caught. “Heh, heh... All's fair in love and war?”

by Vin Blesi

He had no idea what to do next. Her bloody, mangled body, lay limp and peaceful and silent beside him. Even in death she was ravenous.

Murder was a new experience to Tim; Sales seminars and positive training lectures never mentioned what to do when a death soaked corpse glared up at you from its eternal sleep. He kept trying to remember what the actors would do with the bodies in all those old black and white B movie mysteries he had watched. The only movie scene he could remember now was Meg Ryan’s fake orgasm from “Harry and Sally”

Tim sat down in the old recliner that had long needed re-upholstering from where the cat scratched it. He reached down and grabbed the small purse; he could never figure out how she kept so much stuff in that tiny handbag. Tim didn’t normally smoke, but he needed to do something with his hands, so he grabbed her pack of smokes (he had told her smoking would kill her) and lit the end like he was burning the sacrificial lamb. He could actually feel the heat on the tip of his nose. He hoped it was the cigarette and not an early call from Hades.

The smoke wafted over her body, giving the room an almost theatre like quality. All that was lacking was a spotlight shining down on her. Her body was oddly placed. Tim was amazed at how randomly the human body falls over. The whole affair seemed to have happened in slow motion, like a Peckinpah scene. In reality, only 5 minutes had passed since his crime.

Tim shifted his interest from the corpse. She could wait. She had all of eternity now. Instead, he imagined the two of them vacationing in Europe and touring the Vatican. Taking a cruise to Alaska and watching the whales, hand in hand, their love sealed by a moment of time. Now their love was sealed only in blood.

“Mr. Ryan,” a loud brusque voice shouted. “Mr. Ryan!”

Tim Ryan turned around in his chair to see the surly night nurse that made the rounds each evening. She was an obese woman, and based on her demeanor, quite possibly the most unhappy woman in the world.

“Lights out,” grunted the heavyset woman, “And put away your writing tablet, you’ll have plenty of time for that tomorrow.”

Tim filed away his newest crime with the many others he had committed in his head and on paper back into the small dresser drawer next to his bed. The night nurse flicked off the light and left the room, muttering something unintelligible. The darkness absorbed Tim and gave him another night of freedom.

THIS ISSUE OF FLASH FANTASTIC -- "Magician" is ©2004 by Charles Richard Laing.  "The Big Game" is ©2004 by Nick Fox.  "Thought Crime" is ©2004 by Vin Blesi.  All contents of Flash Fantastic edited by Patty G. Henderson.  Final formatting and additional graphics by Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Crazed Fanboy dotcom and Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.

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