Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Nick Of Time (and other abrasions): The Squids In America

The Nick Of Time
(and other Abrasions)

The Squids In America
Al Bruno III

“We are in so much trouble,” Ruby was in Chad Lunt's basement, pacing back and forth wringing her hands.

Chad was bent over one of his many salt water tanks his sleeves rolled up his arms. The dozens fish tanks filled the dark room with a chorus a bubbling noises, the air reeked of brine and decay. “Just relax,” he said. There was something about his smile that made her weak in the knees. He said he was nineteen years old, that was almost a grown up as far as Ruby's tenth grade sensibilities were concerned, “No one is going to say anything.”

“You didn't see what happened!” Ruby shouted, “Sharon just started barfing up tentacles all over 3rd period History class! They were huge! One was still moving!”

“Huh,” Chad said. “That's never happened before.”

The rest of the house on Broomfield Court was quiet, Chad's parents never seemed to be home but Ruby was glad of that. She'd dealt with enough adults and their questions today. After all Sharon was her best friend so everyone was so sure Ruby would know something, the sweet respectable honor student never told her parents. While that was true there was no way Ruby was going tell anyone anything, no matter how guilty she might feel about giving her friend that first, fatal dose. Ruby couldn't afford a conscience right now, not if she wanted to get into a good college.

“What went wrong?” Ruby said, “What are we going to do?”

“Nothing went wrong,” Chad pulled a squirming shape from the murky water and brought it over to a table with a cutting board and knives, “I warned you about giving this stuff to an art major.”

“She needed help for finals!” Ruby whined, “What are we going to do? Someone's going to figure it out.”

Chad took a knife the the thing on the cutting board, the wet shape sobbed like a baby, “No one is going to figure out anything. Even if they did they wouldn't believe it.”

Licking her lips Ruby drew closer, watching him work, “I can't do this anymore.”

“I know,” Chad sighed. “Want a piece?”


“Come on, one for the road.”

With that smile of his could talk her in to anything, she drew closer, reaching for he choicest, thickest morsel. She was already trembling at the thought of the visions and revelations it would bring. Math tests were nothing when you were on the stuff, she barely even remembered taking the state exams.

The knife flashed and Ruby fell across the table spraying red from her throat. Chad let her slump to the floor. He grabbed a boning knife and said aloud, “Who wants sushi?”

The inhabitants of the salt water tanks bubbled and thrashed with excitement.


  1. Good one, Al. The overall tone and flow was great. Short, to the point, and very punchy. A home run, I'd say!

  2. Wow! This story certainly surprised...and brought the shudders.

    Very skillful!

  3. OH! Jeeze. This is really wicked and amusing in a sick way. No feeding tentacles to an art major, got it! lol.

  4. Poor Ruby. A chilling story that made my stomach turn. Fantastic.

  5. Oh those crazy squids and their kids.

  6. Loved it! Can't beat tentacle eating students in time for finals! Bravo!

  7. This truly is a different kind of tentacle fantasy... (^v^)

  8. Urrrgh! Shocking, but weirdly funny!

  9. Yay, tentacles!
    Loved the line about the art major! If only we had tentacles when I was at university, I was thinking... until you got to the twist :)

  10. Great twisted ending Al. I too like the art major line - so true!
    Great job!

  11. Hahah Weird! But human sushi? Maybe even tastier.

  12. Whoa. Did NOT see that coming! I suspect she didn't either.

    Weird and wonderfully written. :)