Friday, July 28, 2023

“His Monstrous Cloaca” • by Addison Smith

“Mommy, what’s that?”

Maude barely heard her daughter over the tumult of the city. She focused instead on how to protect her from the world they lived in. Tires screeched and people screamed, and as she ran, her daughter stared up into the sky.

How to answer, she wondered as she dragged her child behind her. How did she tell her daughter that the end had come? The monsters ravaged the earth, great behemoths that could be seen from space, their images broadcast all around the globe before the power went out and the world was left to run and scream and try to survive.

They trampled streets and razed buildings in fire. The one who attacked them now was a great scaled thing a thousand feet tall reminiscent of the old monster movies of her youth. They didn’t scare her then, but now she feared for all that she could lose.

She settled for the truth and stopped to hold her daughter close in her arms. “It’s a monster, honey. But I’ll keep you safe. I’ll always keep you safe.” She buried her daughter’s face in her chest, but her daughter pulled away, still staring into the sky.

“No,” her daughter said. “What’s that?” She pointed upward to the monster and its scaled body and—

Maude shielded her daughter’s eyes. “Don’t look at it, honey,” she said. “It’s indecent.”

All around them the screaming stopped and people stared into the sky. A man nearby shook his head. “Of course that would come to our part of the city,” he said. “Doesn’t it know there are children about?”

“We should sue it for indecency!” another woman shouted over the sirens and fire. General approval worked its way through the crowd. The chaos paused and they stared at the underside of the monster. Someone behind Maude shouted into the chaotic silence. 

“It’s life and it’s beautiful!” she said. “We shouldn’t shield our children from the miracle of life!”

Another mother scoffed. “But there are better ways to inform them,” she said. “A pamphlet! Or a class!”

The children looked around at their parents and to each other.

“My kids aren’t going to any such class,” a father said. “It should be between a parent and their child. We should be the ones to teach them.”

Maude stared around in bewilderment. Surely there were more pressing things to worry about, but still everyone stood staring into the sky or averting their eyes. The children stood forgotten by their sides.

The ground shook and the monster breathed fire upon the city and stomped its feet, but even Maude was now engrossed by the indecency above. It wasn’t right. It would surely do harm to the children.

The monster’s foot raised high, casting a shadow over the gawking crowd. The children ran from their parents and left the monster and its indecency behind. As the foot began to come down, Maude decided they really should do something. Seeing this could do real harm to the children.


Addison Smith has blood made of cold brew and flesh made of chocolate. He spends most of his time writing about fish, birds, and cybernetics, often in combination. His fiction has appeared in Fantasy Magazine, Fireside Magazine, and Daily Science Fiction, among others, as well as here in Stupefying Stories, of course. You can find him on Twitter @AddisonCSmith.


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Made in DNA said...

This is the indecency I'm here for!