Blood Sugar Cauldron: Lovecraftian Flash Fiction Inspired by an Existential Candy Meme

BLOOD SUGAR CAULDRON

by Tom Scanlan

I remember when War Heads sprang into existence because it’s when my problem started.

As a kid, I used to consume the hard sour candies until my tongue split and bled. The sugar (C6H12O6) became inseparable from my blood.

I changed.

I yearn for Sour Patch Kids and the lesser sour candies still. I eat them until the roof of my mouth turns into dry whale ribs that I can run my tongue over, a xylophone that produces not sound but pain. I gorge myself on them at the expense of my body, which turns the sugar into fat that stuffs my skin like an overfilled sand bag.

I’m in the 24-hour Seven Eleven. I come here while the world sleeps. I’m studying the candy section for my next selection, when I hear the universe chant unintelligible words. I see a vast cauldron nested in a corner of the cosmos. Dark amber glucose tar churns inside, popping, sizzling, letting off a sweet hot candy reek. The presence from whose mouth the chemical song comes ignores the spitting liquid scalding its space-time flesh.

Does the presence notice me notice it? I think it does.

I think it wants me to know.

Its ululations increase in volume. I need to blot out the noise. It sounds like something is being willed into existence…

Is the time now?

The bag of sour Now & Laters my glassy eyes have been looking beyond shakes. One by one, bags of Sour Worms, Sour Skittles, Air Head Xtreme Sours, Sour Jolly Ranchers, Sour Trollis, and the War Heads that started this journey, tremble. The plastic containers crinkle. The loose grains of sugar inside them shake like sand in maracas.

“YO.”

A pale employee with a neck beard looks at me intently.

“What?”

“I’ve been asking if you can hear me. Lay off the weed, dude. For fuck’s sake.”

“I’m not high,” I say. “I–” I can’t tell another person that I’ve been communicating with a deity I call (C6H12O6) about the progenation of its offspring.

I keep my mouth shut.

The cashier shrugs. “Fine. Whatever then. Stare at the candy until you get your heart’s fill.”

“Wait,” I say, before he walks away.

“Yup?”

I cough. My throat’s felt tight, but now I can breathe. “Bags. Please get me bags to carry my selection up. I’m going to need a lot of candy tonight.”

END


gummy bear horror

I started this post as a means of sharing this hilarious meme about gummy bears becoming a singular consciousness because they melted in a car. I thought I’d leave a funny line about how my die hard consumption of War Heads, as a 90s kid drawn to their “extreme sour” allure, contributed to candy somehow acquiring consciousness.

Then this flash piece took on a life of its own, and then a half-decent form, and then after a couple hours with it, I realized it’s kind of a cool story.

You know… “what if…

  • you took a sweet (sour) tooth to its illogical extreme?”
  • gave that creeper in the late-night convenient store setting a cosmic backstory?”
  • considered that environmental forces and nutrition are already changing our bodies in ways no one could’ve foreseen in the 1950s, and gave that horror a dollop of glucose?”

Anyway, I don’t try flash fiction often. Let me know if this makes you think/feel anything!

Hellraiser / Boss Baby Crossover in the Works

Sources tell me that Doug Bradley and Alec Baldwin are going to provide a simultaneous voice-over for the Infant Hell-Priest Secret Agent.

The script involves baby Pinhead trapped in a playpen at a busy daycare in Liverpool, tormenting staff and mates by stealing snacks, hitting with toys, and incessantly soiling his diapees. All the while, he must solve an Illuminati conspiracy to get out of his infant form.

Paramount’s release date set for Summer Solstice, 2666.

baby hellraiser

This is fake news.

My story “A Little Poor Taste Wartime Humor” is in issue #6 of Bone Parade

You can read my latest short story, “A Little Poor Taste Wartime Humor” here.

The story is about a couple and their young daughter coping with the on-set of WWIII. I thought it would be fun to write a mid-apocalyptic storyThere’s dark humor and high emotional stakes, along with vivid descriptions of warships roaring across the Atlantic and the mountains of Appalachia.

It’s also a quick read.

What else could you want, right?

If you like the story, it would mean a lot to me if you shared it on Facebook or Twitter. I’ve given up on social media myself because all of the political vitriol is bad for my mental health.

T.S. Junior Interview: “What I like about crime fiction so much is that it deals with the most extreme situations that people find themselves in”

The Dorset Book Detective

T.S JuniorShort story writer T.S Junior, who is soon to publish his first full length novel, provides me with an overview of his inspirations and how his love of politics and experience working in prison has helped him to create the tension filled tales he has become known for.

Tell me about how you came to define your writing style. What drew you towards crime fiction and mystery writing?

This is a great question. The truth is that only after twelve years of writing fiction do I think that my writing style has started to set like concrete. It started with Crime and Punishment for me. Fyodor Dostoevsky is of course mythically good. The close psychic distance in his third person narration, with a lot of indirect discourse, formed my approach to fiction. His philosophical bent and use of gritty imagery also influenced me. What I like about crime fiction so…

View original post 1,122 more words

Some Poor Taste Wartime Humor: Short Stories, final update (I promise)

The paperback edition is available on Amazon should any beautiful souls wish to spend $10 on little old me.

If you did that you would automatically be my biggest fan and would get #Freebies4Life.

In any case, I’ll be running some off the press and trying to organize a Boston and/or Providence event at which I can read, shake hands, and sell some paperback editions for only $5!

Here’s a link.

T.S. Junior’s short story collection “Some Poor Taste Wartime Humor” is now available!

Some Poor Taste Wartime Humor is available for eyeballs worldwide!

Good morning everyone! The birdsong’s a bit sweeter this morning, the colder winds of the coming autumn making the dew on the grass shiver, and all of the children waiting for the school bus are laughing and smiling…

Because my short story collection with ten, thrilling, dark stories is now available in the Kindle Store!

cropped-some-poor-taste-wartime-humor-embed.jpg

Click here to buy on Amazon

No, really, click–it’s only $1.99!

T.S. Junior’s short story collection, “Some Poor Taste Wartime Humor,” one day away!

Behold the beauty of the first three pages of my beautifully and crisply formatted short story collection. I’m thrilled to announce that the manuscript is under review right now by the folks at Kindle Direct Publishing, and should be available tomorrow or Thursday for $1.99! You’ll be able to enjoy these ten stories on your phone, a tablet, a Kindle, or on the Kindle Cloud Reader!

My hope is that you enjoy it enough to leave me an Amazon review, as that would help me out a lot. I think if you did that and signed up for my email list–which you can find by clicking that cog-looking button above–there’s going to a free copy of my short novel, “The Missing Daughters” that’s coming soon in store for you.

Cover Art for T.S. Junior’s “Some Poor Taste Wartime Humor”

 

Here’s a first look at the cover art for T.S. Junior’s short story collection, Some Poor Taste Wartime Humor.

image

My apologies for the low image quality here and the sun glare. I was on the go, working out in the sun. But pretty cool, right? This image captures one of the central themes in Some Poor Taste Wartime Humor‘s ten stories; the characters walk the line, which I call the “tightrope” up top, so to speak, trying to exercise self-control and lead normal lives and failing miserably.

If you can relate to that–as I can–you’ll like these stories.

I hope your as excited for next week’s book launch as I am.

Let me know in the comments if you think Some Poor Taste Wartime Humor’s cover art is clickable.

 

T.S. Junior signing on, short story collection, “Some Poor Taste Wartime Humor” coming next week

You are going to love my first book, a short story collection called, “Some Poor Taste Wartime Humor: Short Stories.”

Here’s a first look at the description:

These ten stories from emerging writer of dark and suspenseful fiction, T.S. Junior depict alienated men and women walking the tightrope between bearable sanity and utter oblivion. In “Son of a Ruined Patriot,” a son recounts the nightmarish experience of being kidnapped by his Iraq and Afghanistan veteran father, a man lethally obsessed with conspiracy theories, and held in a bunker.  A character in the two part story, “The Women in Grenada,” struggles with a love he took for granted as a young serviceman; years later, he makes money as an underground boxer, embracing brutality to afford his mother’s medical bill while he tries to find the love he lost.

Other stories chronicle a rundown woman who has the time of her life pushing a stranger off a ledge (“The Well-Balanced Flamingo Motel”), a pair of ex-military men who stumble across a wicked biological experiment being conducted in a post-Apocalyptic Boston (“The Greenies”), a working class father from Florida feeling helpless as he’s faced with a broken leg and the impending homelessness of his family mid-2008 Sub-Prime Mortgage Crisis (“The Character They’ll Have”), and a husband who plays a prank on his suicidal wife in the early days following the outbreak of WWIII (“Some Poor Taste Wartime Humor”).

The emotional cores of these stories resonate in the current moment because we all sense that life as we know it has become fragile enough to shatter, and as a result, American paranoia and gloom has replaced blind optimism about the future as the new normal. Some Poor Taste Wartime Humor is equal parts dire warning and pressure release.

I’m excited to share ten diverse stories with you. This is over four years of work collected here, in what’s hopefully going to be the first book you read to usher in Autumn. In fact, I think these dark stories are best read as the heat and sun fade to cold nights and naked trees.

I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I’m thinking about doing a limited print edition of the eBook, for My First Fans, who download the book next week when it is free and write a review!

Thanks in advance! The cover art for T.S. Junior’s Some Poor Taste Wartime Humor will be in my next post!

Let me know in the comments if you think Some Poor Taste Wartime Humor: Short Stories sounds interesting.