Thursday, December 13, 2007

Two themed flash fiction pieces by Michael A. Kechula

Two fiction pieces
by Michael A. Kechula

The Green Rock

The entire surface of Mars was red, except for a ten-foot green rock.

Astronauts from Zorg landed on Mars, discovered the rock, and took it to their distant galaxy for analysis.

Martians went ballistic. They sent a message to Zorg’s Emperor. “Your astronauts kidnapped our God! Return Him immediately! Our churches are in chaos!”

Zorg’s Emperor replied, “That rock’s your God? How dumb! Why don’t you worship our Sun like everybody else?”

Incensed, Martians fired 100,000 nuclear-tipped missiles at Zorg’s sun.

Here’s an important announcement for Zorg Sun Worshippers from the Emperor of Zorg: CHURCH SERVICES ARE CANCELED.



Into the Depths

The sound of pounding drums was manic, horrific. Vibrations pierced the fifth floor of the university library, penetrating Ed’s entire being.

Dammit! Another interruption. First it was a bunch of ditsy dames at the next table, who kept giggling. Next, a maintenance jerk spent ten minutes drilling something by the elevator. Then a buzzing, math study group parked themselves nearby.

Ed had moved three times so he could study for his Religion and Anthropology final. Now he had to contend with a bunch of wild drummers making a racket from which there was no escape.

Peering out a window, he saw nothing.

He hadn’t seen a notice anywhere about a Saturday morning rally. He wondered who the hell was in such a rah-rah mood on a chilly December morning?

Fifteen minutes passed without letup. Ed swore it sounded like recordings of frantic voodoo drums he’d heard in class. He wondered if Haitian visitors were plying their trade in broad daylight, substituting the jungle of downtown redevelopment for the Haitian bush.

He decided to investigate. Once outside, the noise was head splitting. Vibrations bounced off every surface, every pore.

Fast-walking several blocks, Ed turned a corner and beheld a spectacular scene. The Snake God. Worshippers. Sacrificial offerings. Frenzied dancers. Spirited drummers. A pagan pep rally right in the middle of the city.

He’d forgotten the city was erecting a statue to honor the Snake God, placing it exactly where, in past generations, the city’s Nativity scene had always stood. This was the day of welcome for the ancient deity: a black coiled snake, the god of blood lust and human sacrifice.

Realizing he was witnessing something from the pages of his Religion and Anthropology textbook, Ed tried to push through the crowd for a closer look. He didn’t get far. Believers kept curiosity seekers at bay. The intensity of their stares meant this was no mere pep rally.

What the hell? Now I’ll hafta pass a snake god every day on my way to and from school. What about my rights as an atheist not to be harassed by religious symbols? I worked long and hard as an Anti-Religions Legal Union volunteer to get rid of that abominable Nativity display. This damn thing’s a hundred times worse, sitting high up on a pedestal, head poised to strike. Who dreamed up this monstrosity? I think I’ll come back here tonight when nobody’s around and egg the stupid thing.

Something knocked Ed to his knees. Barely able to breathe, his stomach lurched, gushing its contents. People scattered.

Just as he was about to pass out, somebody spoke directly into his ear.

“Edward. What did you do?”

Ed couldn’t answer.

Two palms grasped his head. Strange words were muttered. “There, that’ll fix you. C’mon I’ll help you up.”

Ed rose and faced his helper. “Professor Zangara?”

The professor was resplendent in a brilliantly plumed costume as old as The Americas.

“I asked what you did, Edward.”

“I cursed that thing.”

“Haven’t you learned anything in my class about respecting religious beliefs? That’s not a thing. It’s our most sacred God. Did you expect to curse God and get away with it?”

“I don’t believe in god. I told you that in class.”

“Yes, and I ignored it, knowing one day you’d change your mind.”

“I haven’t changed my mind.”

An excruciating pain slammed Ed’s stomach, and he fell to his knees.

“Edward, you are the sharpest student in my class. But you’re also the most closed-minded and least pragmatic. If you persist with this nonsense, I’m going to walk away and leave you here to suffer. So, what’ll it be? A long hospital stay with a painful, terminal stomach ailment nobody can treat? Or believe, make a sacrifice to appease God, and live?”

“I’ll believe,” Ed gasped, feeling darkness closing in.

The professor repeated the healing ritual. “Indeed you will,” he said, helping Ed up. “Now, take this flower, and offer it to your God. You’ll see how much better you’ll feel. Good things will happen. Just go and worship. It’s so easy, so pleasant, so life-changing. And more thrilling than you could ever imagine.”

Bewildered, Ed took the flower.

The drumming stopped. Believers sang an enchanting, seductive love song. The crowd parted, making a path for the convert.

With the professor at his side, Ed approached the coiled monstrosity. Now it glowed. Now it was an incredibly magnificent woman of gold, smiling, beckoning, spreading herself for penetration.

Author bio:

Michael A. Kechula is a retired technical writer. His flash and micro-fiction tales have won first prize in six contests and honorable mention in three others. His stories have appeared in eighty-nine online and print magazines and anthologies in Australia, Canada, England, and US. He’s authored two books of flash and micro-fiction: “A Full Deck of Zombies--61 Speculative Fiction Tales” and “Crazy Stories for Crazy People.” Both paperbacks available at eBook versions of the former are available at and

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