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Adventure Fantasy Funny

"Sir. Mister. Buddy. Hey. Hey you." I say standing two feet away from the man, trying to draw his attention away from his phone. After a few more rounds of hey-yous he finally looks up.


"I don't mean to bother you or anything," I say, trying to diffuse his annoyance, "But I think you should look up."


"Oh, you mean at the giant flying goats that are everywhere?" he responds.


"Yeah, about that. Uh, do you like know anything about that?" I ask, hoping he will have a reasonable answer for all of this.


"I was just Googling it when you came up and hey-you'd the shit out of me, but from what I can tell it is happening everywhere and nobody has any clue. You got any other questions or am I free to go freak out about this in peace?"


I did have one more question, "Have you noticed there's hardly any people anywhere?"


"Yes, it does seem unusually pleasant out in the world right now. That's probably it."


I give him the 'sorry I have been such a huge nuisance to you look' and start to walk away. The last thing I need right now is a misanthrope bumming me out.


"Hey, man," as I turn to look back he is walking towards me, so I stop. "Hey, man. Sorry. I didn't mean to be such a dick. It's just that I'm allergic to wool, and this could be bad news for me, you know?" his attitude has convincingly changed so I decide to hear him out. "My name is Malik, but everyone just calls me Mal."


"I'm earnest, but everyone calls me Jake," I joke, which he doesn't seem to get.


"Hey, Jake, I could really use a drink. Wanna join me? There's a place just around the corner."


"Solid plan, Mal, but I think we should hurry. The goats seem to be getting more intense somehow," which is a weird thing to say, but just so happens to be true.


Mal takes off running and I follow. At this point there is nobody else on the streets and its starting to smell pretty ripe. The door is open and the lights are on, but there is only one person in the bar, and he is passed out in a booth. From behind the bar Mal asks what i'll have to drink and I ask if there is any iced tea back there.


"Whiskey it is, then. Good choice," he says, pulling two glasses from beneath the counter.


I walk over to the booth where the man is passed out. As I get closer something doesn't seem right. There is something slightly off about his texture. He is too smooth. I decide to poke him on the shoulder with my finger, unsure why I am doing such a thing. As I press my digit against him it sinks in, so I pull away quickly, but now his entire surface is wobbling like some kind of gelatin sculpture. Mal walks up behind me with the drinks.


"On the house, I guess." he says, handing me the whiskey I didn't ask for. "What's going on here?"


"He's undulating," I answer.


"Did he ask your consent first?" Mal asks very seriously.


"No, I mean, he is not a guy. He is some kind..." some kind of what?


Mal pokes the jiggly thing, "Oh yeah, this ain't right, is it?


"No, Mal. It is highly unusual," and suddenly the whiskey is sounding more like a good idea.


We take a table at the other side of the room where we can keep an eye on Mr. Wiggles from a good distance. Mal throws his drink back in one gulp and looks at me like I am being inspected for trustworthiness.


"You know what I think is happening? You ever hear of Project Schrodinger? It's some real top secret, covert shit. The military has these scientists in Antarctica trying open a door to parallel worlds. Ring any bells?"


"Are you military? Do you have that kind of clearance?" I ask, not sure if he is serious or pulling my leg.


"No, man, I saw it on YouTube." he says as though this is a perfectly admissible piece of evidence. "I'm a radio guy. Disc jockeys, they used to call us. Now it's 'on-air-personality' and all of the music has gone to shit."


I decide to change the direction this is heading in.


"While your theory is a distinct possibility, I think we should be more focused on how we respond to this crisis, and set it's origins aside for the time being," I reason with him.


"How do we know this is a crisis?" he asks. 


"Good point. Still, there could be dangers. For sure there is probably some other equally weird stuff going on that we don't even know about yet. We need a plan to prevent whatever might happen from happening."


"Oh, don't tell me you're one of these prevention people? Most of the things that were going wrong in the world before this goat business were caused by prevention people. They probably did this somehow, too. Fucking prevention people," Mal sputters with disgust.


 I attempt to plead with him and appeal to his sense of reason and survival, "But we can't just do nothing. That's the only thing we literally cannot do. This goat thing probably just isn't going to go away on its own, and it could get a whole lot worse. We need to figure out what we're going to..." Mal interrupts me before I can finish.


"What's this 'we' shit you're talking about?" he asks, punctuating the 'we' with finger quote signs. "I learned a long time ago that we have no control over anything. And the more we live in denial of that, the bigger the new problems we create become. Have you ever heard the story about the old lady who swallowed the fly?"


Mal gets up and grabs the whiskey from the bar and brings it back to the table, then continues his speech.


"I don't know what is going to happen next and I am okay with that. This is the beauty of life, that you can continue to be surprised, even if you're a jaded asshole like me. And I don't need no steenkin' plan, man. I'm just going to sit here and have a drink with a new friend until I have a better idea. You are welcome to leave whenever you want."


The idea of being alone out there terrifies me, and I must admit there is something to his logic here. Maybe it isn't about avoiding the things that can go wrong, but learning to accept them and have a sense of humor about them. From that angle, this whole goat ordeal is actually pretty amusing. I gulp the rest of my whiskey and hold my cup out for Mal to pour me another. At that moment we hear a sort of rumbling noise coming from Mr. Wiggles and we each jump out of our seat just in case. A sultry feminine voice radiates from the gelatinous man-blob-thing.


"I don't know why she swallowed that fly...I guess she'll die," it sang, and then went silent.


"See, this guy knows what I'm talking about," Mal picks up the bottle and heads toward Mister Wiggles and gives him a poke, and I am right behind him.


"Still ungulating, " he reports.


"Undulating," I correct.


"What's the difference?" he asks with unexpected sincerity.


"Well undulating means to jiggle, and ungulating is not a word. But an ungulate is a hoofed animal," I inform him.


"Like a goat?" he asks, raising one eyebrow like he's onto something here.


"Hold onto that thought," I say, hoping he doesn't wanna follow up on the non-existent merits for his implausible connection.


"Hold this," he says, handing me the bottle of bourbon.


Mal tried to get a grip on Mr. Wiggles, but the thing is impervious to it, so he climbs into the inside of the booth and puts his back against the jiggly abomination and presses it out of the booth with his feet against the wall, where it lands on the floor with a thump.


"Well this not boring me," I say, curious to see where this is going. I am inspired by Mal's audacity and decide to test it out myself for awhile.


Mal climbs up onto the table and does an imitation of a famous wrestler, then suddenly flings himself into the air and comes down on the man-blob-thing with a classic flying elbow. But as soon as he collides with Mr. Wiggles he is bounced right back into the air, and just before he starts to fall back down *POOF* he turns into a goat. Not a giant one like those outside, but a goat all the same, suspended just a few inches below the ceiling.


"Hey Mal, you okay up there?" I ask, somehow expecting an answer, but the goat ain't talking. After a long pause, just to be sure, I reassure myself out loud. "This is what you would have wanted, probably."


Suddenly it makes sense to explore whatever insanity is going on in the world a bit more, because why not at this point? Before I leave I find some cleaning buckets in a closet and rinse them out, then fill them with whiskey, just in case Mal-goat ever manages to get off the ceiling. He'd definitely want a drink after something like this stops happening. 


"Hang tight," I implore him, before walking out the door into the rest of my life.

August 27, 2020 05:39

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6 comments

00:10 Sep 03, 2020

Loved how the characters were super chill about the whole goat situation because I definitely would've freaked out. I think the whole dynamic with the two of them was really well done, it contained very little description, and was mostly dialogue. Super entertaining

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Thank you! Descriptive writing is overrated and takes up too much space in literary efforts. In flash fiction especially the goal should be to say something about the world. To take chances and have a voice. Keeping the characters calm through is part of my central theme, highlighted by the prevention people speech, about the futility of trying to control everything. Framing that in surrealism was a fun writing exercise. Glad you enjoyed it. :)

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Kendall Defoe
19:59 Aug 27, 2020

Great! You really got my goat... :0

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Now we are both in on the secret of life. It's all about goats gotten. :)

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M Daly
19:23 Aug 27, 2020

This is great! Really entertaining and funny! Nice job.

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Thank you. Surrealism is a tough form to pull off, especially if you don't just attribute what is happening to dreams or psychosis. It has been fun trying my hand at it recently. :)

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