THE FLYING NUN, THE FROZEN DEAD: 1966-1968 by Gregg Wlliard

Recently deceased science fiction writer Harlan Ellison wrote a 1968 episode of the TV series, “The Flying Nun” in order, he said, “to fuck Sally Fields.” If he just had a chance to get close to her, he believed, he could persuade her to have sex with him. The episode was titled, “You Can’t Get There from Here.” Sister Bertrille (Field) crashes on a remote island after the wind dies down. Her glider-like head piece, or cornette, falls in the water and is torn, leaving her stranded. She discovers other castaways, a pair of feuding lovers, who eventually reunite and…

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HOPE AND HEART by Gregg Williard

It was when she started to walk that I lost my sense of smell. Then when she began to run I lost my sense of taste. When she took her first swimming lesson I became mute. Then she learned to rollerblade and I couldn’t walk. Ice skating paralyzed my right hand. When she showed talent in ballet I became deaf. When she went on to the Olympics and won a gold medal in gymnastics I stopped breathing on my own. She visits me every day, washes me and brushes my teeth. I can taste the toothpaste. They say it is…

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BEE GIRLS by Gregg Williard

One chilly autumn evening a flying saucer hovered over orchards of the estate of Septimus Giles, who had just stumbled into a mound of composting dung, his ramble through a dusk redolent of pear, flower and Queen’s Stew apples, and astir with the hum of bees (and now anti-gravity oscillations) rudely deterred by a slipper suddenly bilged to cold offal. Chilled too by his unsuitable velvet smoking jacket, lingerie lace cravat and linen pantaloons (with no stockings or hat!), donned for an after-dinner brandy by the fire rather than an October stroll about the grounds. It was a serious breach…

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THE WILHELM SCREAM by Gregg Williard

Before her senior year of high school she spent every day of the sweltering summer on the side porch of her parents’ house writing an essay on existentialism while her little brother, back to her and arms outstretched for balance, inched past the windows outside, wobbling on a ledge no deeper than his heels until he lost his balance and plunged, screaming, into a sea of lava five feet below, then climbed up the drain pipe and did it again, all morning, every morning: inch along the ledge to Kierkegaard, lose balance to Heidegger, wave arms to Hegel, scream piercing…

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A STROLL THROUGH THE ENGINE ROOM by Gregg Williard

It had been arranged that she would take a stroll through the engine room before supper. Captain Venkman had assured her that they would hold a place at the captain’s table for her if she were detained. Not for his command were the martinet’s peevish demands. He prided himself on, not only an “untight” ship, but a downright anarchic one. “I have found over the years of our voyage, Randi,” the captain had confided on their first interview, “that a rudderless, aimless, and frankly lost ship is no place for unnecessary rules.” “Some might differ,” Randi protested gently. She sensed…

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KILL YOUR DARLING COUNTRY by Gregg Williard

You live two blocks from a city park that hosts the Fourth of July parade, carnival and fireworks. Once a year your sleepy neighborhood will be taken over. Hoards emboldened strange by the holiday license to drink in public and be stupid with explosives will arrive bearing lawn chairs, blankets, coolers, flags, transistor radios and cherry bombs. They blithely make your yards their parking lots, trespass and trample and choke sidewalks and streets in lit processions of flash lights and aluminum sparklers. Their orange cigarette tips will bob ahead like lures. Soon their blankets will cover the fields all the…

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EYE UPON THE DONUT by Gregg Williard

“She could be one of them.”  Matt nodded toward the end of the counter.  A Japanese woman of indeterminate age with fuchsia hair and an aqua hoody sat alone with a donut and coffee. Jake had never seen anyone eat a donut the way she did, from the outside surface moving in, turning it with each nibble until there was nothing but a perfect ring around the center. She placed it on the counter to study between sips of coffee. Matt whispered, “She’s here every Saturday morning.  Orders coffee and a cake donut, always real careful not to bite the…

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LUCK OF THE PLUG by Gregg Williard

The power strip could take nine plugs. Only four were being used. The floor lamp, table lamp, TV/DVD player and CD player were all off.  She pressed the off switch on the strip. The little light went out. She pulled out the plugs.  She went to the kitchen and got a roll of tinfoil. She tore off small pieces and tucked them into the outlets, deep enough to be hidden. She wiggled the plugs back into the outlets.  She used a butter knife to wedge tinfoil behind the power switch. Maybe when he turned the strip back on it would…

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