22 comments

Funny Horror Contemporary

Greetings Family and Friends!


When last you heard from my little part of the world, Robert and I were on the verge of taking on the hardest job known to man or woman. We were just a few weeks away from welcoming a beautiful new life into this vast Universe that we all call home. Before I forget, thank you to everyone who had such nice things to say about the sculpture I made of what I believed my bouncing baby boy would look like. Though I am no artist, I was inspired by the life within me to create, create, create! I used nothing but recyclable materials, and the piece recently won an award from the Local Beautification Council, of which, yes, I am the President, but I recused myself from the voting, so it’s all aboveboard. If any of you would like a signed photo of the sculpture, please send along a check for $20, and I’ll get the photograph out to you just as soon as things die down over here.


Oh yes, it’s been quite a busy week.


Now before you work yourselves into a tizzy, I want to assure you that everything went swimmingly with the birth itself. Robert did faint once or twice, but you know he has a very fragile constitution. I once saw him pass out from a papercut, and I’ve informed our therapist that they need to work on toughening him up now that we have a child to raise. Children are always injuring themselves, after all. Why, when I was seven, my cousin Mary Tremain fell into the coyote cage at the zoo and broke her arm. Luckily, the coyotes tended to her, but then my Aunt Francine couldn’t get them to give her back, and they had to work out a shared custody agreement until Mary was of age. The point is that things happen. THINGS HAPPEN! And you have to be prepared for that and steel yourself for any possible calamity.


A calamity such as the one that befell Robert and I as we were basking in the glow of our post-birth in the hospital. Friends and family, I will never forget the moment the doctor entered the room to give us the good (and bad) news regarding our child. I was handily beating Robert at Jeopardy, because as soon as there’s a category about Inventors, they might as well hand me the game on a platter. The doctor asked if we could turn off the television so that we could have a conversation, and while Robert was relieved that his intellectual pummeling was coming to a close, I was instantly concerned based on the doctor’s pale visage.


“Mr. and Mrs. Myerson,” the doctor intoned, “You child is healthy. Buoyant. He has all his fingers and toes.”


That was the good news. Robert was already smiling, because he’s led a charmed life. He can never sense when there’s a bear with a butcher knife waiting around the corner. I held my breath. I’ve danced with that bear a time or two.


“Unfortunately,” the doctor continued, sweat beginning to stain the shoulders of his scrubs, “It appears that he’s also…the Antichrist.”


Friends and Family, for those of you who are not all that religious, let me assure you that even if you do not believe in Christ, the Antichrist is not something you would like your child to be. I thought perhaps the doctor was exaggerating. He wouldn’t be the first doctor to make too big a deal out of something. When my mother fell into the Grand Canyon on our annual family landmark trip, the doctors nearby assured us she would never recover. A year later, she was healthy enough to go see Mount Rushmore and she fell off that too. Mother, if you’re reading this, I’m begging you to reconsider your trip to Mount Kilimanjaro. You’re not nearly as young as you used to be.


It turns out my son, whom I have decided to name (Drumroll, please)--


Luce!


--is, in most ways, a totally normal baby boy.


(By the way, the name choice was mine, but I gave Robert plenty of input. If he writes to any of you privately and says I didn’t, just know that he’s been very passive aggressive lately, and please do not encourage that behavior. His therapist is working on it with him, but the poor woman only gets him for six hours a week.)


Luce does, indeed, have all his fingers and toes. He giggles. He coos. He pointed at a window and the hideous curtains on either side of it burst into flames. In other words, he’s your average, precocious little infant. Oh sure, I don’t like thinking that the doctor is correct and my cherub is really Beelzebub, but if he is, I don’t see what I can do about it. I’ve bought lots of hats to cover up the tiny horns on his head, and we invested in these special diapers to hide the tail. Aside from that, we’re just going to do our best to love him as he is. After our last newsletter, so many of you sent in advice for new parents, and while I don’t believe in listening to anything people say about raising children, one tidbit did jump out at me.


It was from Great-Great-Great Grandmother Etherelle. To be frank, I had assumed that she passed away years ago, but it appears she’s still going strong at her old-age home in Newfoundland. Some of you really should make a trip out there to visit. Robert and I can’t, of course, now that we have an Antichrist on our hands. Etherelle’s advice was “Children are a gift without a receipt.” What a beautiful sentiment.


Luce is, without a doubt, my little gift that cannot be returned. I can either try and change who he is, or I can do what the mothers of troubling sons have done for centuries--


Look the other way while humming.


Yes, we’ve had more rain recently.


Yes, we’ve noticed dogs barking at us anytime we take Luce out for a walk in his stroller.


Yes, there have already been a few mysterious deaths, including the tragic loss of the doctor who came to give us the diagnosis of Luce. Then again, I don’t find it all that abnormal when a flock of geese falls from the sky all at once resulting in the death of a doctor prone to hyperbole. At least most of the geese survived. Silver linings, friends and family, silver linings.


I would argue that none of that matters.


All that counts is the way I feel when I hold my precious treasure in my arms. Robert can’t hold Luce, because when he does, his entire arm breaks out in third-degree burns. I suffer no such affliction, so I suppose that’s how I know Luce and I were meant to be. An unbreakable pair. A dynamic duo. Like Norman and Norman’s mother, we will learn to find joy in each other and perhaps open a motel one day in northern California.


That’s all for now, friends and family, but be on the lookout for a special Halloween edition of this newsletter. I found the most adorable angel costume for Luce to wear.


Now if only I could get it on him without his little head spinning around in fury.


Kids.


Am I right?

July 15, 2022 19:26

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22 comments

Lindsey B
18:33 Jul 23, 2022

This was bizarre. And it was AWESOME.

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Kevin Broccoli
00:01 Jul 24, 2022

Thank you, Lindsey!

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Gladys Morales
19:09 Jul 17, 2022

"Norman and Norman's mom" - this made me giggle! I learned today to include bits and pieces to make the reader relate and have an "aha!" moment. Also, as always, your story is very entertaining!

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Kevin Broccoli
03:16 Jul 18, 2022

Thank you so much, Gladys.

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19:50 Jul 28, 2022

This is genuinely funny, almost a stream of consciousness, it flows and meanders over the topic and wraps the reader up with amusing details. Good work.

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Kevin Broccoli
23:04 Jul 28, 2022

Thank you very much!

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01:35 Jul 28, 2022

Nothing to discuss. Trust me, I usually have lots of comments. This story was great. Only one I've clicked on so far and so grateful to have read it. Your exaggeration for effect came across in such a down to earth way. Brilliant sense of humor. Had to research Norman and Norman's mum - the series - because I'd never heard of it. 'Aha!' is what I said too. And you've written more? Will have to look out for more of your writing.

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Kevin Broccoli
16:19 Jul 28, 2022

Thank you very much Kaitlyn. I appreciate you giving it a read.

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Avery Mossop
00:05 Jul 28, 2022

At least MOST of the geese survived! Haha! Somehow that line was the one that really got me. Thank you so much for the smile! When her cousin fell in with the coyotes and yet survived, I was wondering what sort of tale of you were weaving. Then they share custody. Such a fun (and eccentric?) account from this unusual new mother. Every one of your stories I’ve had the pleasure of reading have been wonderful, and this one was yet another delightful read! :)

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Kevin Broccoli
01:29 Jul 28, 2022

Thank you so much, Avery!

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Liv Chocolate
18:50 Jul 25, 2022

This story should honestly be the one that has the most likes. I'm honestly baffled right now. Very funny and well written!

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Kevin Broccoli
19:29 Jul 25, 2022

Thank you, Liv! I appreciate it.

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Charlotte Morse
08:24 Jul 25, 2022

Hi Kevin, Having entered my own 'It's a boy but...' story (though in a completely different vein!) I thoroughly enjoyed reading your hilarious tale! My favourite parts included the geese and the silver linings, the mother and her falls, looking the other way while humming and, of course, Norman and Norman's mother - hilarious! At the very beginning, I thought it was going to be a story of a gay couple adopting a baby - how wrong can one be??!! 🤣 Loved it!

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Kevin Broccoli
16:20 Jul 25, 2022

Thank you Charlotte!

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Amanda Lieser
04:24 Jul 16, 2022

Hi Kevin! I don’t think I have ever yet had the honor of giving you the first comment on one of your stories so I am just tickled pink that I clicked on yours in time tonight. Ok, things I loved in this piece include, but are not limited to, the way you used the phrase “friends and family”, the way the this story read like a creepy Christmas card, and of course the kiddo’s name! Oh my gosh! This piece gave me “A Simple Favor” vibes because it features a character whose online persona is nothing like who they really are. I felt like this piec...

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Kevin Broccoli
00:02 Jul 24, 2022

Thank you, Amanda!

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Riel Rosehill
11:28 Jul 20, 2022

"“Unfortunately,” the doctor continued, sweat beginning to stain the shoulders of his scrubs, “It appears that he’s also…the Antichrist.”" OMG. Did NOT see this coming, it's brilliant! 😂 I loved the way this mother described the troubles raising the antichrist as if she was talking about a normal baby. My favourite lines (after the one above) were: "I can either try and change who he is, or I can do what the mothers of troubling sons have done for centuries-- Look the other way while humming." I had fun reading, best of luck in the co...

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Kevin Broccoli
17:24 Jul 20, 2022

No no, good catch. I kind of hate that paragraph anyway so thank you for pointing that out.

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Patrick Samuel
22:22 Jul 19, 2022

This read as if Timothy Leary had slipped acid to Ira Levin in the 60s and it had finally kicked in. Thanks for the laughs, Kevin!

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Kevin Broccoli
00:02 Jul 24, 2022

That's a huge compliment. Thank you, Patrick!

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Michał Przywara
17:10 Jul 16, 2022

An enjoyable story, with a well defined narrator :) I like how strong her love for her son is, and when the Antichrist finally dooms the world and takes us all to Hell, she'll still be there with a tear in her eye, saying "He's a good boy!" Her love adds depth to an absurd situation. If we take the story at face value, it's funny and absurd. If we take it less literally, perhaps the narrator becomes hyperbolic or witty. It's about new parents dealing with the world changing stresses of a baby, which might figuratively make their life into ...

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Kevin Broccoli
18:56 Jul 16, 2022

Both good catches, Michal! This is what I get for writing so fast and furious :) I appreciate your close reading and I look forward to reading your next story as well.

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