Oct 7, 2011
Anthony Elmore

Flash Fiction Challenge: Have a Monster for Breakfast Today

The Wendig has commissioned me to create an abomination, a sty in the creators eye, a monster. Below is the result.

The Keeper showed his badge to the Police Sargent who waved him through. He ducked under the police tape and crossed the sidewalk, stepping over torn bodies, severed parts. A swat team squatted behind a steel barricade and pointed their rifles at the nightclub’s entrance.  Ambulances and coroners waited in the wings to collect and match up the pieces once the Keeper pacified the situation.

The Keeper stepped inside the club.  The mirrorball spun, casting nicks of light around the bloodied dancefloor. The music had stopped, only silence.

The Keeper recognized the Mangoose as Riki. Riki hunched at the bar, drinking from a bottle of Bushmills. The Keeper hoped it’s rage had subdued. “Riki, what happened?” the Keeper asked.

Riki killed the last of the Bushmills and turned around. Riki flexed on his haunches, his claws flicked open, slick with blood. His face looked mostly human, but his long muzzle, ending with a black nose, gave away what his mongoose features. He wore a pair of specially fitted chinos and a silky purple shirt, opened at the chest to expose rich brown fur. He whined at the sight of the Keeper, bowed his head remorsefully.

“Sorry, boss. I wanted to repay the generosity and kindness humans have paid to me.” He motioned toward the bodies littering the floor. “See how generous I am?”

The Keeper pulled a collar out of his backpack. Riki winced at its sight. “No, they’ll put me down? I’m sorry. They pulled my fur and the bartender threw a drink on the ground and said lick it up. I tried to be obedient. I did. But they wouldn’t stop.”

“I promise you. It doesn’t hurt, but if you run, the police will hurt you first.”

Riki let out a howl and sobbed. “You should’ve just put us all down. You don’t need us. The serpents do not invade the city anymore. Did you really think people would accept us?”

It was a mistake, the Keeper thought. The serpents, snake like beings who dwelled in the sewers and the drain pipes, arrived when their home in the Red Forest was deforested. Without their regular fare of mammalian prey, they moved to the cities. People complained of their pets suddenly disappearing. Then, their children went missing.

The Magistracy ordered the creation of the Mangoose to rout the serpents. Their thin bodies and resistance to venom made the ideal serpent hunters. Their human minds made them suggestible, mostly obedient. With the serpents gone, they were no longer needed. Some had integrated well within the human community, contracting themselves out as bodyguards and household protectors. Others, like Riki, tried too hard to fit in.

“If you want, I can give you the shot, and you can do it yourself. It would be honorable,” the Keeper said.

“Suicide? You insult me. So you want me to take a human way out?” Riki hissed, expanded his chest, ready to charge.

The Keeper unshouldered his 40 caliber rifle and aimed at the charging Mangoose. He fired off one shot and Riki swerved his body to the right, crouched then leapt over him. Riki kept running toward the door.

“Riki, no!”

Automatic rifle bursts popped for far too long. The Keeper walked toward the exit and stopped when he smelled blood. However, he recognized it as human blood. Two SWAT members were draped on the barricade, throats spewing blood. Policemen and SWAT team members scurried around, looking in all directions.

“Where did he go?” the Sargent raged.  “Find it. Kill it. Bring its pelt to me.”

The Keeper found a policeman cowering on the ground and pulled him up. “What happened?”

“It…it just tore through everybody and ran down the alleyway. That way. I think.”

The Keeper charged toward the alleyway, but realized he had made a fatal mistake. He could be ambushed. “Riki. Running will not make this easier. They won’t stop looking for you.”

He heard the clank of metal, and crept toward the sound’s source. A storm grate lay in the middle of a narrow street. The Keeper inspected it and heard a hiss steam from it. The Mangoose had gone underground. He would need more Keepers and better weapons to launch a subterranean assault.

The Keeper reported back to the Sargent. “You did your job. Perhaps this is the opportunity to unveil our latest weapon. Not all of the serpents were killed. The Magisatracy kept a few for study. ”

“Bastards. You didn’t.” the Keeper said.

“We did. He’s much bigger and better matched against the ManGoose Your new partner will be waiting for you at the station. You might want to stop by the pet store and pickup a snack for him.”

The Keeper unpinned the badge from his chest and unbuckled his utility belt and let it drop to the ground.

“Find another. I  quit.”


18 Comments

  • Me likey. Good original concept and I really like the way you put together a plausible back story for the creation of the Mangoose. Well done!

  • Me likey. Good original concept and I really like the way you put together a plausible back story for the creation of the Mangoose. Well done!

  • Trying to read through all the entries in the challenge.
    This reminded me of a pulp detective novel with man-beasts. Very cool!

  • Trying to read through all the entries in the challenge.
    This reminded me of a pulp detective novel with man-beasts. Very cool!

  • Cool story, bro. Although what I pictured was the hamsters for Kia (or whatever they are.) I mean, it’s your fault, you placed the crime scene in a disco.

  • Cool story, bro. Although what I pictured was the hamsters for Kia (or whatever they are.) I mean, it’s your fault, you placed the crime scene in a disco.

  • Thanks, all. @tom: thanks. I thought a good title for this would be “The Old Lady Who Swallowed the Fly.” They create even more terrible monsters to kill the other monsters. It’s kind of reminds me of a lot of policies to combat terrorism.

    @Amy: I think there’s a urban fantasy novel that involves half-kangaroos and rabbits. I can’t remember the title, but it was very niorish.

    @oldestgenxer: That commercial is absurd. Everyone knows hamsters prefer opera.

  • Thanks, all. @tom: thanks. I thought a good title for this would be “The Old Lady Who Swallowed the Fly.” They create even more terrible monsters to kill the other monsters. It’s kind of reminds me of a lot of policies to combat terrorism.

    @Amy: I think there’s a urban fantasy novel that involves half-kangaroos and rabbits. I can’t remember the title, but it was very niorish.

    @oldestgenxer: That commercial is absurd. Everyone knows hamsters prefer opera.

  • Riki’s character is great. Very real. liked the way you ended (with a possibility for a sequel!)

  • Riki’s character is great. Very real. liked the way you ended (with a possibility for a sequel!)

  • Loved it–I think it was one of my favourites from this competition. People never learn, do they?

  • Loved it–I think it was one of my favourites from this competition. People never learn, do they?

  • Bravo! I love the last line.

  • Bravo! I love the last line.

  • I really like Riki and The Keeper. I hope they live to fight another day.

  • I really like Riki and The Keeper. I hope they live to fight another day.

  • Great story. I really liked the way you integrated the backstory into the narrative.

  • Great story. I really liked the way you integrated the backstory into the narrative.

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