Because I'm powerless over the sweet-evil wiles of Molly Crabapple, I agreed to curate a series of flash fiction written in celebration of the fifth anniversary of Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School, the life-drawing franchise that happens with alcohol and naked people, a winning combination if ever I've known one. Below is the piece I wrote for the series. You can read earlier incarnations both on the Dr. Sketchy blog and on its Tumblr. If you want to write something your own darn self, I suggest you do so. Because like Molly, I make art, and then I encourage others to do it too.
The dead continue to dance, drink and make sportive in this story from chelsea g. summers. Belly up to the bar and pour yourself a tall frosty glass of what-the-fuck, here at the Saloon at the Ends of the Worlds…
The Road Warrior, Satan, Kali-Ma and the Whore of Babylon walk into a bar.
“Gimme a pint, ey?” The Road Warrior spat at the barkeep.
“Why do you have to be so insufferably cliché?” the Whore of Babylon said. She looked around the room, through its crepuscular gloom. “Jesus, what a dump.”
“I know,” said Kali-Ma, “I could crap a better existence than this.”
Satan tried to order an Irish Car Bomb. The barkeep told him they were out of C-4. Satan pointed to a dusty bottle of Jameson’s tucked away on a shelf behind a bottle of 1896 Absinthe Robette. The barkeep looked blankly at the Prince of Darkness, who unfurled his wings menacingly, knocking Kali-Ma’s crown askew. Satan, enraged, pointed at the Jameson’s and screamed at the barkeep, “No, clay-brained guts, you knotty-pated fool, you whoreson obscene greasy tallow-catch! You are unfit for any place but hell.”
“I swear to Christ,” the Whore of Babylon shot a withering look at Satan, “you are so goddamned lacking in originality.”
“Fer fuck’s sake,” added the Road Warrior and waved drunkenly at the room. “Gimme another pint. Give ‘m all a pint.” The Road Warrior grabbed his beer and stalked off to the jukebox.
The Whore of Babylon rolled her eyes. “Jesus Fucking Christ, Max, if you play ‘Cracklin’ Rosy’ one more time, I’m going to call the horsemen and make them draw and quarter you. I’ll wear your guts for garters.” She brightened at the prospect and sipped her beer.
“I miss Shiva.” Kali-Ma slumped in a chair. “I wanna dance.”
“I know you do, honey,” said the Whore of Babylon. “Why don’t you come over here and kiss the Mother of Harlots with that mouth?” The Whore of Babylon stared at a shadowy man in a booth. “Hey, is that Godot?”
Satan demanded, ever louder, his fucking Irish Car Bomb right the fuck now. The barkeep pulled a sawed-off shotgun out from behind the bar. He took aim and blew a hole in Satan’s head. Gore flew and blood misted. Satan wobbled, shook his head like a dog, and grimaced. The hole in his head grew back together with a sucking sound. Satan leaped over the bar. He poured a Guinness, but every time he reached for the Jameson’s, it slipped out of his fingers, like smoke, like a mirage, like heaven.
The Road Warrior looked over. “He told you they was out of C-4, mate. Have a pint.”
Kali-Ma began twirling, desultory at first. Her necklace of skulls clattered like sepulchral cutlery. She twirled, ever faster. Sparks flew from her blue feet. It was a pretty sight, and everyone in the bar watched, transfixed at their own imminent destruction.
And so it goes, another infernal night. All apocalypses, all the time. Never a cover. Ladies free on Wednesday, but it’s always late Sunday afternoon at the Saloon at the Ends of the Worlds.
If you're interested in being part of this cavalcade of revenant fiction, email me. We'll do this thing.