Something Strange in the Neighborhood

Submitted into Contest #60 in response to: Write a funny post-apocalyptic story.... view prompt



I woke up, but my eyes remained shut. I listened. I was still. Hearing nothing but the beating of my own heart, I carefully opened my eyes and looked around without moving my head. The sky was its familiar blue with a few clouds dotting its expanse. Seeing nothing else, I sat up. It wasn’t easy; however, as there was this sticky, white substance all around me and on me. It was everywhere and even in the gutter where I’m sure your mind is now. I ran my hands through my hair and winced. There was a bump on my head. That explains this pounding headache, but what exactly happened?  I tried to ascertain recent events. Then, it hit me. I know what this substance is! I tasted it. Eating it was like eating snow in the sense that you know it’s dirty, but you can help but put it in your mouth. It’s marshmallow. Yes, that’s right, marshmallow. Marshmallow caused the demise of Weaversville. 

I stood up and de-marshmallowed myself as best as I could. I took in the scene, or lack thereof. Tall skyscrapers were reduced to rubble, which was barely visible due to the thick, gloppy, whiteness that covered it. Without much hope, I ran the few blocks toward my apartment building. The sight brought me to my knees. The gaping hole that was left was devastating. I attempted to wipe away my tears, but instead, I smeared my face with more marshmallow. Son of a bitch! I couldn’t escape this mess. At that moment I realized that I was being selfish. I was alive. I should be grateful. Where were the others? Did they fall victim to the collapse of the buildings? Was I the only one left? My chest tightened. My heart rate quickened. I willed myself to calm down. Think! I jumped. Something had pulled me out of my reverie. A noise that was so faint, I normally wouldn’t have heard it, but it was loud in the loneliness.      

           “Help me!” A voice cried. 

           I scanned the remnants of the apartment building and saw movement. I raced over and called out.

           “I’m here. Where are you?”

           “Under here.” The voice cried again.

           I tossed the lighter things out of the way until I came across a pink, frilly couch. It was flipped over and resting on a table creating just enough space as to only capture, but not flatten, the man underneath. This thing was ugly and it made me chuckle to see it ruined. I lifted, but it did not budge. The couch was mocking me. 

           “Help me.” 

           I heard the voice again. Fueled by the cry and probably adrenaline, I tried again. This time the couch lifted. I set it down. I had only moved one end of the couch about a foot, but it was enough. I looked down. To my surprise, the man before me was Oliver. Oliver lived on the 5th floor with me except he was at the other end of the hallway.

           “Ollie! Are you alright?”

           “I can’t move my legs!”

           “You’re so funny, Ollie.” I said sarcastically. 

           “Seriously, I’m okay.”

           “How did this happen?” I asked.

           “The building collapsed.”

           “I know that. I mean, how did this start?”

           “I only caught a little before…well…you know.”

           “What do you mean?” I probed.

           “I was watching tv when suddenly the news interrupted with BREAKING NEWS. I ignored it at first because it had become the epitome of the boy who cried wolf, but something caught my attention.” Ollie replied. 

           “The monster!” 

           “Yes, the monster.” He said to me and then he elaborated. 

 Karen Twill from news channel 10 in her way too chipper voice reported the story. Not many details are known at this time, but it appears as though a man name Peter Stantz is to blame for this catastrophe. Police raided his house earlier this morning and to their horror found a Ghostbusters shrine. In addition to the shrine, reports are that every inch of the house was covered in Ghostbusters memorabilia. Stantz is at large, but his monster is attacking the city as we speak. Run for your lives!

           “A shrine?” I interrupted.

           “Apparently, Stantz did some sort of ritual and summoned this monster.”

           “That doesn’t even make sense.” I said. “The monster is fictional. How do you summon a fictional being?”

           “Don’t ask me. I don’t know.” 

           “Is it still alive? Where is it?”

           “I don’t know that either. I’ve been a little preoccupied with not dying.” 

           “Right. Are there any other survivors?”

           “I haven’t seen any.”

At that point we thought it was prudent to at least save lives if we could. Ollie’s wheelchair was nowhere to be found, but I found a wheelbarrow. Pushing him around wasn’t hard, but it had taken most of my strength to get him in the damn thing. I walked down the deserted streets and pushed Ollie. Both of us called out in desperate attempts to locate others.

After some time, Ollie spoke. “You know what happened to me, but how did you survive?"

“Very heroically.” I chuckled. 


“I wasn’t fortunate enough to have heard the news. I had walked to the grocery store. I was hauling my bags back to my apartment when I saw the thing. Shocked was an understatement. I dropped my bags reflexively. I stood still. I was so panicked I couldn’t even move. I was a deer in headlights. This is where everything gets fuzzy though because I think I passed out.”

“You passed out?”

“I think so, and maybe it thought I was dead or something because I am very much alive.” I said.

“I for one am glad you’re not dead.” Ollie laughed.

“Did you actually say something nice to me?” I asked.

“Me? No. Never.” He smiled.

We continued on for an hour and we were growing weary. We hadn’t found anyone. We couldn’t even find one single soul. Defeated, we were about to give up when I saw it. Was that a sailor hat? Indeed it was, and it was lying in the middle of the road feet away from the head of the monster. The monster was on the lying on the ground. Its body a hundred feet or so stretched further than my eyes could see. Its arms and legs were sprawled out and had collapsed the buildings next to it. The monster was all white and puffy. The only pop of color was from the blue and red of its sailor uniform. Its eyes were closed, but it still had a smug ass smile on its face.

“Whoa.” I breathed.

“Holy marshmallow.” Ollie said. 

“Is it dead?”

“How would I know?” 

I walked over and kicked the marshmallow man in the head. Nothing happened. He didn’t budge. I kicked harder, and he still didn’t move. I stepped back, and as I did I saw people! People were coming out from under the rubble. They must have been hiding. There had to have been at least fifty people. Ollie and I cheered. As a whole group we decided that we should ensure that the marshmallow man couldn’t come back to life. We grabbed some wood from the downed buildings and made torches. We used the torches to toast the marshmallow man, and then we made s’mores out of its flesh. That day will forever be known as the day we devoured the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.   

September 25, 2020 02:19

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Keerththan 😀
06:29 Oct 07, 2020

Strange story with a marshmallow man. This story reminds me of the ginger bread man. Very creative. Wonderful story. Keep writing. Would you mind reading my new story? Thanks.


Kate Winchester
20:46 Oct 07, 2020

Thank you! Haha it is like the gingerbread man. I don't mind at all. I'll check it out now :)


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16:18 Oct 01, 2020

Hey, nice job! I think the idea you took was really wacky and strange, definitely a good take on the prompt.


Kate Winchester
17:35 Oct 01, 2020

Thank you!


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Charles Stucker
20:06 Sep 30, 2020

but you can help but put it in your mouth.- can't help "Karen Twill from news channel 10 in her way too chipper voice reported the story." Base sentence- "Karen Twill reported the story." The parts "from news channel 10" and "in her way too chipper voice" are clauses. So, they need commas. "Karen Twill, from news channel 10, in her way too chipper voice, reported the story." You can change the word order, "Channel 10's Karen Twill reported the story in her way too chipper voice" however, I think your order is funnier, so... I felt the ...


Kate Winchester
21:43 Sep 30, 2020

Hahaha. Thanks for the feedback! I agree the reporter sentence could have been better. I chose Weaverville for two reasons 1. my creativity was running low lol 2. I named it after Sigourney Weaver. Derry Township would have been funnier. The next time I do a humor prompt, I'll be sure to add more. :)


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Andrew Krey
01:43 Sep 28, 2020

Hi Kate, I really liked this story. You picked a tough prompt (I hate writing humour) but you've made your story really fun and whacky, but there's still enough plot to keep the story progressing in a logical way - that's a tough balancing act which you did well! I also liked the delay in revealing Ollie was in a wheelchair. With her initial response to him 'not feeling his legs' I thought she was being harsh, even if she was in shock! But then when you reveal the reason behind her reaction, not only do we judge ourselves for pre-judging ...


Kate Winchester
12:59 Sep 28, 2020

Hi Andrew, Thank you so much! I wasn't originally going to do the humor prompt, but it kind of just happened lol. I'm really glad you enjoyed it, and I appreciate that you took the time to give me awesome feedback.


Andrew Krey
16:25 Sep 28, 2020

You're welcome :)


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