Latest short story comp over on the 2000AD forums had the following remit :
A 2000AD MOVIE MASH-UP. We want Monty Python’s Life Of Halo Jones, Dreddy Potter, Die Hard in Downlode… Twothy characters meet Hollywood, Bollywood, Pinewood or Ed Wood. As ever, we demanded magic in no more than 500 words.
As always thanks to the awesome Lizzie Boyle for organising this. Got permission from another person to reprint their story. Enjoy
(Not a Short Film by David Lynch)
by hippynumber 1
Henry Spencer shuffled through the remains of the city. Once proud blocks slumped heavily forward, tired, weary things, heavy with loss and regret. All those lives. All those deaths. The heavy drone of insects hung in the air, an organic industry endlessly grinding on, its work never completed. The sound of death. The buzz of life. He clamped his mouth tight shut against the clouds of flies. They bumped lazily against his lips as he shuffled forward, each footstep precise, tiny steps taking him ever onward.
Henry looked around curiously as he gingerly stepped over the bloated, oozing bodies in the foyer of Jack Nance Block. The smell hit him like raw munce on a too hot day, a solid wall of foetid miasma, thick enough to chew. He tried to disassociate what he was stepping over from the people whose lives had become this bloody swollen mess of chaos.
“I used to live here! I was a Pencil Machine Operator!”
The bald, withered, wild old man with the cracked eyes sniggered and ran up the East stairwell. His ragged clothes wafted behind him like a tattered cape. Henry didn’t want to think about what he had seen hanging from the man’s mouth.
Taking the North stairwell Henry plodded reluctantly up to the thirtieth floor. The Beautiful Girl Across the Hall smiled wanly at him. Her sad face peered at him from behind the grime of what her life had become.
“I locked myself out of my apartment…and it’s so late,” she said.
Henry looked at his shoes, embarrassed that his life had changed so little. He knocked on Mary’s door.
“Hello Henry,” said Mr. X. “Come on in.”
Henry walked into his girlfriend’s parents’ apartment and sat himself at the table.
Mrs. X stared at him from her corner. Her crochet needles clicked furiously, the chitter of insect mandibles. Mary touched his shoulder gently as their bandage swaddled child mewled pitifully from its place at the centre of the table. Its beak-like mouth snapped sharply as it struggled against its bonds. The carving knife glittered hopefully.
“We have chicken tonight,” said Mr. X. “It’s man-made. Little damn thing’s smaller than my fist.”
Henry picked up the carving knife. The baby stopped crying. The thin, wrinkled skin of its head shifted and moved like maggots writhed there.
“I just cut it like regular chicken?” asked Henry.
Mrs. X began to cry, a splintered sound, like fractured glass. A tear ran down her cheek. Her crochet needles clicked. Henry glanced at Mary. She nodded. Henry leaned across the table, the knife angled at the precise angle needed for the first incision.
The door of the apartment splintered inwards. Henry jumped back from the table as Judges stormed the apartment. The baby began to cry, black milk oozing from its lipless mouth.
“Freeze!” snarled Dredd. “You’re under arrest.”
“Being a mutant isn’t a crime Judge,” said Henry.
“No, but keeping a tiny mutant lounge singer prisoner behind your radiator is. You’re doing time Perv!”
“It’s okay!” whispered the Pencil Machine Operator in Henry’s ear.