Friday, May 28, 2021

The Last Dangerous Would You Like Fries With That?


Today, the fifth and final installment of the first iteration of “The Pete Wood Challenge.” This week we have presented ten, count ’em, ten microflash stories, all of which sprang from a simple challenge: to write a 100-word story that revolved around the question:

“Would you like fries with that?”

Two Monday, two Tuesday, two Wednesday, two Thursday, and today, the Big Bang Burger Wrap-Up with a special surprise bonus! Enjoy!



“Fixing Broken Dreams,” by Ray Daley

Its eyes were dark. I checked the internals, some wires were loose, easy to mend. “I think he’s broken?”

I checked the linkages again, sure, they needed a little oil. The damn thing must have been at least 100 years old. I could just about make out flecks of red and yellow paint.

Becky’s heart was set on seeing it go again. “Dad! Make it work properly!”

Can’t disappoint my Princess. I’ll fix it. I’ve no clue what its original use was. Right now, it’s just a broken-down clown which asks, “Do you want fries with that?”


Ray Daley
was born in Coventry and still lives there. He served six years in the RAF as a clerk and spent most of his time in a Hobbit hole in High Wycombe. He is a published poet and has been writing stories since he was ten. His current dream is to eventually finish the Hitchhiker’s Guide fanfic novel he’s been writing since 1986. Tweet him @RayDaleyWriter or check out his web site at


“Outcast,” by Eric Fomley

“I’m leaving, old friend,” Shasta said, as she brushed ivy from the ‘bot’s face. “My tribe outcast me.”

The ‘bot’s yellow eyes hummed to life, dimmer now than what Shasta remembered as a child. It leaned against the cracked tile wall in an ivy cocoon.

Shasta hadn’t been here since she was a child, when the bombed-out BurgerMates was the place where the metal god lived. Not just a shard from a shattered world.

“Order whenever you’re ready,” it croaked.

Shasta smiled. “Thanks for always listening.”

“Do you want fries with that?” it asked.

But Shasta was already gone. 


Eric Fomley’s
work has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Flame Tree, and The Black Library. You can read more of his work at or follow him on Twitter @PrinceGrimdark.





And now as a special surprise bonus, Pete Wood answers his own challenge, with:

“Untitled,” by Pete Wood 

“Do you want fries with that?” the cashier asked Jim.

Jim wasn’t that hungry. He didn’t need the combo. “No, thanks.”

“That’ll be $21.35.”

Jimmy blinked. He couldn’t afford that. “For a burger?”

“You got the time travel combo. Five minutes back.”

“I didn’t order it.”

“You will.”

“Don’t get the time travel combo,” Future Jim said from behind him. “It’s a rip-off.”

The cashier rolled her eyes. “Somebody still owes me $21.35.”

Future Jim and Present Jim argued about the order.


Pete Wood
—ah, by now you must know who Pete Wood is. Pete didn’t give this one a title, but I wanted to call it, “Another Weird Little Timey-Wimey Story by Pete Wood,” because he’s given us so many of them over the years. For example, “Bully,” which is still available on the old SHOWCASE webzine site, “Special Delivery,” still available on the even older “crevasse” version of SHOWCASE, or “Timeless Bore” on the original weekly webzine version of SHOWCASE. 

You see now why I need someone to help curate that content, Pete?


In a world...

Where the Soviet Union won WWII, England is now a Soviet satellite, some magic actually works (sometimes), and Premier Kruschev is going eyeball-to-eyeball with President Patton—

The last surviving member of His Majesty’s Dragonslayer Corps is called out of retirement, because it seems dragons aren’t extinct after all and one has taken up residence in a prominent Politburo member’s country estate. Read the rest in THE SHE-DRAGON OF BLY, by Jason D. Wittman, just one of the terrific tales in STUPEFYING STORIES 22!

Available now in paperback, on Kindle, or free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.



~brb said...

Y'know, it was unintentional, but I really like the way Ray and Eric's stories seem to unite to form a continuity. An entire post-Apocalyptic future stems from one father's desire to repair a broken-down fast food robot for the entertainment of his daughter. Cool stuff.

Pete Wood said...

I guess nothing shows I need to get out more than recognizing the Doctor Who reference in Bruce's title for my story.