No Entry

This story will appear in Holly’s anthology In Poor Taste, due out in 2018!

“This ticket is valid. I bought it weeks ago. Let me in,” said Flip.

The troll on guard shook his head. “You’re on the list.”

“What list?”

“The list. You’re not allowed inside.”

It was the worst thing a trickster could hear; it was more painful than the terrible “I know your real name!“, and even more painful than “I’m sorry, she didn’t make it.” Being barred from the Convention was worse than having a piece of his soul chewed off by a demon.

“But why?” Flip demanded. He paid his dues to the fairy society every month. He met his yearly magic quota. His wings were regulation glittered and he had brought a bottle of baby tears for the Ghoul. What could possibly have landed him on the list?

“Says here you’re not funny,” said the guard.

What?!”

“Says you cost the Convention too much money on cleanup last year. There’s a note here. Tell Flip that blowing up a line of port-a-potties does not count as a prank.

“Who said that?” Flip demanded. “Of course it’s a prank. It was a commentary on the state of the Trickster economy. There was crap everywhere. It was hilarious!”

“No entry,” said the guard.

“I want to talk to your superior! I’m the funniest Trickster in the community. You can’t do this to me!”

“Get over yourself, Flip,” said the next in line. Flip whirled to face the leprechaun and shoved a finger in his face.

“Say that again, I dare you!” Flip said.

Get over yourself. You’re not funny and everyone knows it. You’ve never once tricked a human into anything useful. How many babies have you stolen?” The leprechaun smirked at Flip’s silence. “There, you see? Useless.”

“Shut your stupid face, O’Kenny!”

“Or what, you’ll make me?”

“Yeah!”

“Let’s go!”

“That’s enough,” said the guard. “No entry, fairy. Turn around and go home.”

Flip couldn’t miss the Convention. On the eve of March 31 all the Tricksters got ridiculously drunk together and spent April Fool’s wreaking havoc on humanity. It was the best day of the year. What would he do tomorrow without the company of his people?

Flip shed a single sparkling tear.

“Hah! Got you,” said the guard.

“What?”

“April Fool’s, fairy. Tricksters aren’t the only ones with a sense of humour.” The guard stepped back to let Flip pass.

On that day, Flip learned a new respect for troll kind.

He also tripped O’Kenny right into a port-a-potty for revenge, so his self-growth was offset and he learned nothing.

Meat Pi

This story will appear in Holly’s anthology The Little Book of Inappropriate Morals, due out in 2017!

It’s March 14, and you know what that means!

*

MEAT PI

Upon returning home, little Jimmy was greeted with a delectable aroma. He followed his nose to the kitchen, where his father was pulling something out of the oven.

“Did you have fun playing with your friends?” Dad asked.

“Yup! What’s for lunch?”

“Well Jimmy, March the fourteenth is Pi Day, so we’re having pie.”

“What’s Pi Day?” Jimmy asked.

“Pi is a significant number, and on Pi Day, we celebrate math,” Dad said.

“Aw, not math,” said Jimmy.

“Math is important in your everyday life, son. Take this pie, for instance. If I didn’t know my math, I wouldn’t have been able to measure the ingredients correctly and we wouldn’t be having this delicious lunch.” Dad served Jimmy a slice of the pie, and Jimmy had to admit that the meaty scent made math more appealing.

“Okay, aside from pie, how’s math going to help me?” Jimmy asked.

“Imagine you’re surrounded by ten humans. Five have crossbows and five have swords. What is the minimum number of each you need to stomp before they run away?”

“Gee, I dunno,” Jimmy said.

“You multiply the number of crossbows by the number of swords, and divide by the number of humans. In this case, you crush two of them to death and you crush another lower half, and they run away screaming.”

“Cool,” Jimmy said.

“Math is extremely important for a working ogre. You can determine the number of crossbow bolts you can safely take to the shoulder based on your weight and there’s even a way to calculate degrees of annihilation to a human village.”

“Wow, Dad! Math is cool!”

“That’s right, Jimmy, so pay attention in school.” Dad patted Jimmy’s bumpy head.

“Do humans use math?” Jimmy asked.

“If they do, they’re using it wrong, otherwise they wouldn’t be in the pie,” Dad said.

“How many humans did you use?”

Dad chuckled. “Three point one four, of course.”

While Dad explained the joke, Jimmy ate delicious Human Meat Pie, and they had the best Pi Day ever.

Evelina’s Choice

This story will appear in Holly’s anthology In Poor Taste, due out in 2018!

It’s Singles’ Awareness Day! How about some silliness?

*

EVELINA’S CHOICE

“I’m not saying that no is my definitive answer, I’m just saying we should get to know each other first.”

Princess Evelina was being perfectly reasonable, but the prince’s jaw dropped.  He was obviously not used to rejection. She could sympathize; he’d chosen her out of a long list of princesses and he’d traveled from country far to ask for her hand in marriage. It wasn’t his fault that.

“I appreciate your offer, and it might prove beneficial to our countries, but I’m not comfortable marrying a complete stranger,” Evelina explained.

“I have never been so insulted in all my life!” The prince’s face, visible under the lifted visor of his helm, had turned splotchy and red. Evelina did not deny him his anger, but she couldn’t help but notice that it made him less attractive.

“There’s no need to be upset. No offense was intended. Let’s have dinner this evening and discuss politics and country over some meat and wine,” Evelina suggested.

“Dinner?” The prince’s visor slammed shut. “DINNER?” he shouted.

“Yes. The third meal of the day,” Evelina said.

“You are a disgrace to princesses everywhere! You blaspheme the most basic tradition! You have spurned my romantic gifts and ignored my shining armour atop my white stallion! I am a prince, and a knight, and you have rejected the most perfect suitor you will ever have! I curse you, princess! I curse you with loneliness!”

The prince stormed out.

“Goodbye! Thanks for the flowers and chocolates!” Evelina said, because she was nothing if not polite.

 

SEVEN YEARS LATER

 

Broken bodies were strewn about the battlefield. The tip of the enemy’s sword was pressed to Beligan’s throat. He did not cower or beg. He merely closed his eyes, and asked that his death be swift.

“Prince Beligan? Is that you?” The enemy removed his helm.

The beauty underneath contrasted with the gore splattered on the enemy’s armour. She was the fiercest warrior he had ever met in battle – and he recognized her.

“Princess Evelina?”

“It’s Queen, these days. What are you doing in the middle of this war, Prince Beligan?”

“I am prince no longer. My country was overtaken. I have been forced to serve a false leader,” Beligan said.

“That’s terrible! You should have come to me for help. Your country has always been friend to mine.”

“I could not go to you for help,” Beligan snarled.

“That’s too bad. It might have been nice to have a friend. It’s been quiet in my country the past few years, ever since you cursed me with loneliness.”

“I hope you have suffered,” said Beligan.

“Nope, not at all! My country has prospered and thrived. My social life isn’t exactly full, but I keep busy. I adopted a couple of dogs. We hunt together and they like to cuddle at bedtime. Country business is extremely fulfilling…which you’d know if you hadn’t been enslaved, but I don’t hold that against you.”

“I hate you,” Beligan said.

“I bet you wish you’d come to dinner that night, eh? Ah well, I wouldn’t have liked you anyway,” Evelina said cheerfully.

Beligan, infuriated beyond belief, shouted something incoherent.

“No need to lose your head over it,” Evelina said. “Wait – that was a poor choice of words, considering what’s about to happen here…You know what, I’m just going to put you out of your misery. There. Don’t worry, Beligan, there are no regrets in the afterlife…”

*

Petunia Thorgrub’s Declaration of War

This story will appear in Holly’s anthology In Poor Taste, due out in 2018!

It’s national hat day!

*

PETUNIA THORGRUB’S DECLARATION OF WAR

*

The smoking hole in Petunia Thorgrub’s top hat was the final straw. She threw the ruined headgear in the dust and whirled on her assailant with all the fury of a long line of Thorgrubs.

She could not see the assassin, but based on the trajectory of the bullet, they were hiding atop the roof of the building.

“Come down from there and fight me face to face!” Petunia cried. There was no response. “Who sent you? Was it Mulberry?” She needed to know where to send the bill for the decimated topper.

A small piece of paper attached to a parachute drifted into the street. Petunia kept her eyes on the roof while she knelt to pick it up.

This is only the beginning. Everything you love will be destroyed.

Petunia recognized Mulberry’s distinctive handwriting. His words were infuriating. She could understand her arch-nemesis having her killed, but to murder an innocent top hat (and, if his threat meant anything, everything she loved – including her precious collection of dryer lint, oh and probably her family), well, to murder an innocent top hat was nothing short of evil.

“Damn you, Mulberry! This means war!” Petunia cried.

The streets remained silent as the top hat sank into the dust.

*