Embrace Weirdness

Hello, friend! Welcome to February, the shortest month of the year… which also happens to be my birth month.  

As promised, I’ve delivered a piece of silly flash fiction. Fair warning: it’s pretty weird. But all fantasy writers (and readers) should be prepared to embrace the weirdness, right? Have a look and let me know what you think of it!

Flash Fiction: “Meat Beast”

Thud. Thud. 

Clyde turned from raking up feathers in the backyard; the bird-rocks were shedding like crazy this year. Angus was head-butting the battery tree again, no doubt hoping to knock down some of its acidic fruit. He loved eating them even though they gave him a stomach-ache. 

Shaking his head, Clyde leaned the rake against the side of the drying shed and ambled over to lead Angus away from temptation. “C’mon, boy,” he muttered, grabbing the halter and tugging Angus toward his shelter. “Those are not for you.” 

Angus made a sound reminiscent of a flatulent bagpipe. The beast swayed as he reorganized his many-jointed limbs and a pendulous growth bumped Clyde’s knee. “I see it’s time to harvest,” he said with a smile. “Katie should be pleased. We’ll eat well tonight. Let’s get you settled with some nice compost, and then I’ll fetch the shears. Make you more comfortable.” 

He patted Angus’s nose. The beast trumpeted again, more softly, and the fleshy tendrils around his mouth stroked Clyde’s hand. “Who’s a good boy,” Clyde crooned, giving him one final pat before grabbing the bucket beside the feeding trough and heading out to the compost heap outside the kitchen. 

Katie’s head popped out the window, her forehead streaked with soot and hair sticking out every which way. Steam billowed out behind her. Doubtless she was concocting herbal potions for the tourists, a side hustle she’d recently embarked upon to earn extra coin for her kite-building hobby. She thrust a large, rattling bottle into Clyde’s hands. “Don’t forget to give Angus his vitamin tablet; the last steak was a bit on the pallid side.” 

“Sure thing, Katie.” 

With a tight smile, she ducked back into the kitchen like a prairie dog back into its hole. The steam subsided. He scooped up half-rotted vegetable leavings into the bucket. Whistling a pop song from the radio, Clyde served Angus his dinner, taking care to drop a vitamin tablet into his water dispenser. Angus buried his face in the compost, tendrils twitching, tootling happily. 

Clyde switched to whistling a different tune–Angus’s favorite, “Shivers” by Ed Sheeran–and grabbed the meat shears from where they hung on the wall. Easing the catch-pan under the dangling growth, Clyde patted the beast and then began snipping away at it. The hair and skin pulled away easily to reveal the meat. Before long, a large hunk of meat plopped into the catch-pan. Angus shuddered once and then grunted, a contented sound. 

“Good boy,” Clyde said, smearing ointment over the cut area and pressing the edges until the flesh melded together. He ran a hand along Angus’s side before retrieving the catch-pan. “You’re the best backyard meat beast in the county, you know that?” Angus trumpeted quietly, ending on a rippling note like a man blowing a raspberry. Clyde smiled. “I supposed you do, at that. Well, best deliver this to Katie.” He resumed whistling as he walked to the house, Angus tooting in harmony behind him.

What do you think? If you’d like to continue the story or submit your own piece of flash fiction, please let me know. Have a great day!

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