Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Yet more “Would you like fries with that?"

Today, the third installment of the first iteration of “The Pete Wood Challenge.” (Trust me, that sentence will make sense by Friday.) This week we are presenting 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 more today, two more tomorrow, and the Big Bang Burger Wrap-Up on Friday. Enjoy!



“Untitled,” by Travis Burnham

Elmo shuffled around the Albuquerque Deity Convention, lonely and looking for love. The God of Thunder, predictably, had already hooked up with the Goddess of Lightning.

Elmo’s latest attempt had been approaching the Goddess of Automobiles, all sleek lines and beauty in her black sheath dress. He was rebuffed with an incredulous laugh. As the God of French Fries, Elmo wasn’t in high demand.

Flopping down on a couch, Elmo looked to his right to see a dejected but attractive redhead.
“What’s your domain?” he asked.

She frowned, then reluctantly replied, “Goddess of Ketchup.”

Elmo smiled. “You want fries with that?”

Travis Burnham’s
work has found homes in Far Fetched Fables, Hypnos Magazine, Bad Dreams Entertainment, South85 Journal, SQ Quarterly, and others. He is a member of the online writers’ group, Codex, and has an MFA in Creative Writing from Converse College. He also recently won the Wyrm’s Gauntlet online writing contest. Burnham has been a DJ on three continents, and teaches middle school science and college level composition. He lives in Lisbon, Portugal with his wife, but grew up in Massachusetts, is from Maine at heart, and has lived in Japan, Colombia, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

“Two All-Meat Zombies,” by Gretchen Tessmer

“Oh, honey, I eat flies with everything...,” the old lady zombie says. The cashier, in his blue uniform and golden arches cap, is listening, but wide-eyed.

His manager warned him. These are not the first undead customers to show up in the middle of the night, looking for a snack after some free-range, apocalyptic street-grazing. She adds, “I’ve got one of those iron stomachs. Flies, worms, cockroaches, anything really...”

Beside her, the younger zombie-girl gives a long-suffering sigh, mumbling, “He said ‘fries‘, Gran,” before apologizing to the cashier, “Dead flesh in the ears, ya know? But yeah, fries are fine.”

Gretchen Tessmer is a writer based in the U.S./Canadian borderlands. She writes poetry and short fiction, with work appearing in Nature, Daily Science Fiction, Cast of Wonders, and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, among other venues.

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