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Friday, November 5, 2021

“Clowning Around” • by Carol Scheina

 



The new directors arrived at the excavation site wearing oversized shoes and round, red noses.

Reeva muttered, “Is this a joke?”

“Archaeology ranks pretty low for this administration. Clowns are cheap,” Anita replied.

One clown honked a horn and cackled, “Ready for fun? Mandatory seven-hour All Hands meeting on juggling artifacts!”

Anita corrected herself. “Make that evil clowns.”

“Our site’s doomed,” Reeva moaned.

“Not yet.” Anita held up a tarnished spoon.

“Is that a joke?”

“It’s the Spoon of Infinite Power, lost for a thousand years. I uncovered it this morning. Think of what we could do.”

They shared broad smiles.


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Carol Scheina
is a deaf speculative fiction author whose work has appeared in an array of publications since her first professional-rate story was published in early 2020. That story, Once More With Feeling (Daily Science Fiction), featured a violinist coping with sudden hearing loss. 

Since then, she’s had other short stories and microfiction sales, including: Like Grandma Made (Bards and Sages), The Food Critic (Theme of Absence), The Pieces that Bind (On the Premises), The Midwife (Luna Station Quarterly), The Fruits of Sisterhood (Daily Science Fiction), Death Poems of the Folded Ones (Escape Pod Flash Fiction Contest), I Can Be a Hero Too (Daily Science Fiction), We Wait for a Better Future (The Arcanist), The Sweetest Things (All Worlds Wayfarer), Would You Like Fries With That? (Stupefying Stories), The Family Business (Stupefying Stories), Long-Distance Relationship (Stupefying Stories), and Just Like Before (Stupefying Stories). 

Carol also works as a writer/editor in the Washington, D.C. suburbs. In her career, she has won a Blue Pencil Award from the National Association of Government Communicators and a Silver Inkwell Award from the International Association of Business Communicators and was recognized as an Outstanding Department of Defense Disabled Employee of the Year in 2005. Carol has an amazing husband who is always willing to give her stories a second read and two fantastic kids with the best imaginations ever. She also lives with a tuxedo cat who likes to walk over the computer and mess everything up, but he’s cute so he can get away with it. She grew up in a magical spot in Virginia with a creek and a woods and plenty of scope for the imagination.

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And now, a few words from the publisher…

Bruce Bethke here. This week The Pete Wood Challenge is bringing you six new flash fiction stories, all of which key off the idea, “Imagine an archaeological dig, as run by incompetent political appointees.” In an ideal world we’d like to see you express your appreciation for these stories by taking a closer look at our other magazines, chapbooks, and original novels, probably starting with STUPEFYING STORIES MAGAZINE

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