Category: Satirical Fiction

Mocking critiques in different forms. Targets include society, politics, religion, you.

“Occupy Hurricane Matthew”

Activists plan to protest the devastating power of a tropical cyclone which has been targeting disadvantaged communities in Haiti and Jacksonville, Florida, by occupying the storm until it wreaks havoc on the rich and poor equally.


Fiction — “The Most Prolific Writer”

Tanner Harby is the most substantial writer of the 21st century, although since the Century has only recently started, that might be presumptuous. But I am already this far in my report of his craft, and if it emerges that there is anyone who has written as extensively and with such detail, I will kill myself. I will put a gun to my temple and blast away, because my life will have become a purposeless ooze.

What makes Harby interesting (abstractly, not in actuality) is his lifelong attempt to document his entire life experience – all of it. Every minute, every moment, every fart, as it occurs in real-time.

Obviously, this project has had its pratfalls. Harby cannot record everything. In fact, his novel (shared with me, and only me, through Google Docs) is abridged. His babyhood, his childhood, are fleeting. The true conceit begins in his dwindling teen years, specifically when he learned how to write at 16, and will end at his death. Most of it is typed, but some parts are scanned napkins, toilet paper scrolls, whatever’s available.

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A Few Valentine’s Day Literary Cards

From Edgar Allan Poe

I’ll keep your heart forevermore
(turn the page)
beneath the floor.

For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore –
Nameless here for evermore
(turn the page)
cuz forget dat hoe, u my bae now

ALLAN want for Valentine’s is you!
(turn the page)
A picture of the poet’s sad face with the words: POE-lease be mine?

From Henry David Thoreau

The reason I burned down that forest was because
(turn the page)
I was drunk on your love.

Happy Valentine’s Day to MYSELF.
(turn the page)
I’m self-reliant like that.

If there’s one thing I ask from you this Valentine’s Day
(turn the page)
it’s don’t thoreau away our love.

From Emily Dickinson

Because I could not stop for death
(turn the page)
I stop for you.

I think you’re quite dashing
(turn the page)
– love – Emily Dickinson –

From Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

My last name is Longfellow
(turn the page)
But that’s not the only thing that’s long, fellow.

Fiction — “To Dr. Sterling pertaining his Artist”

Dear Dr. Sterling,

I have a complaint about your advice column, but it’s not about your advice specifically. In fact, I was delighted by your response to my letter on how I should deal with my husband [see Issue 8, 2016]. I was afraid our problems would lead to the dissolution of an unhappy marriage, but ever since I began to act the compliant, chirpy wife, per your suggestion, we not only get along better, but we make decisions quicker.

No, my complaint is about the artwork you feature inside your column, which does not reflect the tone of your advice.

You may need to speak to your artist, Ms. Josie Aurelio, about her visual direction. For example, in your response to my letter, Ms. Aurelio created a diorama (the images constructed out of magazine cuttings) depicting a nude Barbie doll in a wheelchair, her head cut open with a pink, gummy brain floating above her. Jumper cables connect the brain to a 2017 Jeep Wrangler (snipped from a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles ad), in the driver’s seat of which sits a Ken doll, who I can only infer is revving the engine. I found this image to be disturbing and insulting and possibly misandristic. Would you have a talk with the young lady?

Sincerely,
Victoria Greene

* * *

Dear Dr. Sterling

Again, I have good and bad news.

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Fiction — “The Immortal Dr. Bysshe”

“It doesn’t matter” was his mantra.

“It doesn’t matter.”

In the bar, Dr. Bysshe clung to the utter frivolity and therefore futility of human life  its meaninglessness, its atoms, its empty spaces. He would witness a woman pulling gum off her shoe or a video of a school shooter offing himself after offing his class with the same perplexity, the same inquiry of who cares?

Every name, he argued, would be erased. No love, sorrow, contact, or conflict could endure the eternal siege of Time and Entropy.

So we have remembered him. It is our one countermeasure, or consolation.

Although Dr. Bysshe lived a hundred years ago, we remember, and we transmit his crushing spirit forward across state lines and timelines.

We will immortalize his shattered visage, his wrinkled lip, his frown, and his philosophic vision that so neatly suspends us over the Pit, so that all may look on his Works and Laugh, before completing their flight and lying down to sleep in lonesome sands.

Who said it? Donald Trump or a Disney Villain? A Special Presidential Post

 

I’m surrounded by idiots.

Was this Donald Trump speaking in a rally about the White House, or Donald Trump speaking to the White House about one of his rallies, or Scar from The Lion King?

The most beautiful girl in town, that makes her the best! And don’t I deserve the best?

Insensitive remarks from Donald Trump’s conversation with Billy Bush or Gaston in Beauty & the Beast?

They’re not like you and me, which means they must be evil.

Also

Off with their heads!

Donald Trump riffing on Mexicans or Ratcliffe riffing on Native Americans in Pocahontas or the Queen of Hearts ripping up her citizens?

You are deformed, and you are ugly, and these are things for which the world shows little pity.

Trump texting Tiffany or Frollo twittering at Quasimodo?

I killed Mufasa!

Probably Trump.

You poor, simple fools. Thinking you could defeat me. ME!

Maleficent or the 2016 inaugural address?

You’re speechless, I see. A fine quality in a wife.

Jaffar or Trump proposing to his third wife?

Triton’s daughter will be mine and then I’ll make him writhe. I’ll see him wriggle like a worm on a hook.

Trump.

Published — “Flexible Groups”


Defenestration published my short story “Flexible Groups” in its December 2016 issue (for context, they release an issue every April, August, and December). I was influenced by Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron” and my experiences in professional education. One of the members of my writer’s critique called this style “snarky with a soul.” I’m keeping that.

Defenestration is an online publication devoted to humor in all its varieties, and its About page boasts such accomplishments as selling its life story to Christopher Nolan (you might have heard of a little something called The Dark Knight) and successfully defending the Earth from Martians.

Trailers for future installments of the God is Not Dead franchise

Senator Hurpkins walks into his office. He looks unhurried, self-assured. All of his secretaries, even the male ones, are huddled around Janet’s desk. Janet looks at him urgently. “Bill, you got to see this.” Hurpkins takes the document she’s holding and looks at it closely. “No,” he says. “That’s not possible.” Janet explains what he’s seeing because movie audiences don’t read good. “They want to delete God’s name from the Constitution. The Constitution.” (The film takes some liberties.) Hurpkins is visibly upset: “NOT THE FUCKING CONSTITUTION. Not on my watch. NOT ON MY WATCH.”

Quick shots of the Declaration of Independence with black highlighter over “Nature’s God” and coins dropping on a counter which read “In Nothing We Trust.” Elementary students recite the pledge of allegiance, skipping “under God.” Scenes of Senator Hurpkins filibustering in front of Congress with an earnest Mr. Smith Goes to Washington desperation. A narrator voiceover: “When the United States of America decides it wants to erase every mention of God from the country, Senator Hurpkins is the only politician willing to fight back. But at the end of the day, Hurpkins has to ask himself, in WHO does HE trust?” Cue the same shot of coins dropping on the counter. Narrator: “The stakes have never been higher.” A fancy dinner party, people are eating steaks. The pun is unnatural, forced. Narrator, again: “He will have to defend God in front of every enemy imaginable. Democrats. The Liberal Media. Planned Parenthood. And… himself?” Hurpkins, kneeling in the street, holds the dead body of Janet. She’s been hit by a drunk driver. He takes a swig of a bottle of Scotch and shakes his fist at the sky. Onscreen, cue the words: “God’s Not Dead 9.” Narrator: “This holiday break, you’ll have to SEE IT to BELIEVE IT.”

A funeral. A procession of grim-faced men bearing a casket on their shoulders. A circle of mourners as the casket’s lowered into the ground. A shovelful of dirt lands on the lid, now placed in its grave. An onlooking celebrity, maybe Tom Hiddleston, holds an umbrella over a crying widow and says, “I can’t believe he’s gone.” His companion, hopefully John C. Reilly, not because he’s perfect for the part, but because I really like John C. Reilly, he’s just a great guy, he’s funny, plus when you see John C. Reilly in a movie you know that at least it’ll have some excellent comic relief, looks around curiously, “What’s that sound?”

The sediments on the casket are vibrating like at the end of Superman v. Batman. Whatever’s inside is alive and powerful. Cut to black. Onscreen, cue the words: “God’s Not Dead 27.” Tom Hiddleston says the arc words, “He has not abandoned us,” which have a haunting, poetic effect.

Little girls jump-rope. Some teenagers jump into a cherry-red Lamborghini Aventador (careful product placement which should pay for half of the movie). Dads mow their lawns and wave impotently at each other. The mediocre tranquility of the Suburbs. Narrator: “The kids of Sugar Creek don’t know it yet, but something is coming to get them.” An actress in her late twenties who’s playing a freshman in high school wakes up coated in fear-sweat. Sexy fear-sweat. The actress, Jennifer Lawrence or maybe new talent, runs downstairs. “Mom! MOM!” she shouts. Mom grabs her by the shoulders: “What, what is it, my little hushpuppy?” The actress has no time for cute names: “I saw him! I saw him!” “Who?” The girl sobs into Mom’s wool cardigan: “I saw God.” The Mom stares enigmatically into the distance as if struck by old but traumatic memories. “Dear Lord,” she says. “He’s back.”

A montage of scenes with teenagers in the grips of terrible, divine events. A teenaged boy, screaming. There are holes in his hands. A girl being dragged up the wall, her arms splayed, her body forming the shape of a tee. Fresh blood on a wall which reads: “Repent.” Then a celebrity, undoubtedly Nicholas Cage, in fact it can’t be anyone else, it has to be Nicholas Cage, drives down a freeway at high speeds, a pistol in each hand pressed against the steering wheel. Nicholas Cage has a face that means business. Cut to Paul Giamatti in an orange prison suit, speaking to Cage from behind a pane of glass. Giamatti: “He’s coming for them!” Nicholas Cage hangs up a phone and walks away decisively. Giammati keeps shouting: “He’s coming for them all! The Lambs of God! Lambs for the slaughter!” Narrator: “No one knows where it came from, or who it will visit next.” The police dredge a body from the river as a dove lands beside red-and-blue flashing lights and watches menacingly. A teenager opens a drawer, sees a Bible, screams, shuts the drawer. Narrator: “God is Not Dead 59: Die Harder.” We see the actress from before crawling down a hall. The shadow of a robed, bearded man falls over her. A powerful voice, maybe Liam Neeson, maybe Benedict Cumberbatch, says, “You are all my children now!” The trailer cuts to black and dark laughter.