I wrote a past tense story, a confessional, and a poem-story. Traditional, nouveau-horror, and downright weird. Brief, briefer, and briefest.
When Pigs Fly!
My hometown of Buell was once a dull, conservative town. Serious people having a serious time at work and at play, and going to church on Sundays. But all that changed when LabCorp up in Ft. Smith put out a press release to the county of Sebastian:
LabCorp of Ft. Smith is proud to announce the successful trials of a new trans-species hybrid. We will reveal the specifics of the hybrid next month at our community appreciation ceremony. Exact date and time to be announced.
Buell was all abuzz. The whole town was speculating just what freak of nature LabCorp came up with. A couple people thought it might be some kind of pig-bird, as pigs and birds are pretty much the only animals in Sebastian county, except for the dogs and cats, and those creatures are, for the most part, peoples’ pets. And people wouldn’t take too kindly to have their pets hybridized, at least not in Sebastian County. But come on now, a pig-bird? That would mean pigs could now fly, and of course there’s no crazier thought than a flying pig, as most of us agreed. And that put an end to the speculation. But the pig-bird seed had been planted.
The town librarian, Jenny Lind, was the first to act peculiarly. When old man Grover made yet another pass at young Miss Lind, instead of turning up her nose and giving a dismissive sniff, as she’s done for the past two years, she got a twinkle in her eye and a smirk on her lips. She said, “Grover, I’ll let you kiss me when pigs fly! In fact, I’ll even kiss you myself when pigs fly!” She said that on duty in the Buell Library, right there at the front desk. Now, not many Buellians heard, as not many Buellians visit the library, but gossip spreads fast in a small town like Buell.
The very next night, Rocky Biggs, the town’s bar bouncer, said, “I’ll wear a purple tutu when pigs fly!” He said that in front of everybody (it was Saturday night at the Buell Bar and Grill). It got a big laugh, and soon everybody in the bar was saying what they would do when pigs flew. Some said they would dance in the street. Some said they would stop going to church, even on Christmas and Easter. And some even said they would go skinny-dipping in the daytime! Of course, we knew there could never be any such thing as a flying pig, not even out of LabCorp, and so we didn’t really expect to have to act on our words.
The following Monday, Whitey Bluff, the town administrator, took it upon himself to hop on his motor scooter and go up to Ft. Smith. He said he was going take a look at the hybrid animals, in an official capacity, as administrator of Buell.
We didn’t hear from him for nearly a week. He didn’t even answer his cell phone. We Buellians knew it wasn’t like Whitey to abandon his administrative duties. So we went to church and prayed and kept vigil. And when Whitey finally came riding back down the main street of Buell on his motor scooter with a shoebox strapped to the back, we could barely restrain ourselves.
Whitey called a town meeting. When all were present and accounted for, we gathered round, and he opened the shoe box. Inside were five little piglet-fledglings, all pink and squeaking. Real live baby pig-birds.
Jenny Lind grabbed old man Grover and kissed him full on the lips in front of everybody. That night Rocky Biggs showed up for work at the bar and grill wearing a purple tutu. People danced in the street. They stopped going to church. Some of them even skinny dipped in the daytime, just like they said they would!
We all took turns feeding the little pig-birds worms and grubs. We forgot all about LabCorp’s community appreciation ceremony. After a while, the pig-birds grew feathers and flew away. They were tiny little things, with wings and beaks and claws. Probably only two percent pig. But they were pig-birds alright. They really did fly.
I didn’t do it.
I took a chance on being a hotshot, and messed up big time.
I don’t know why I was so stubborn. Everybody told me I should have the test. Play it safe. Not take any chances. But I wanted to be an individual. I wanted to be free from labels and let my brain do its own thing. I guess I had too much faith in myself. Or too much faith in good luck. Or maybe I was just dumb. I should’ve gotten the genetic testing. Exhibitionism runs in my family, and I was a fool to think I was immune somehow.
It’s called wishful thinking. I thought no test would mean no predisposition. And no predisposition would mean no exhibitionism.
I understand what I did was wrong, and I accept the consequences. I want to make it up to everybody, including myself.
But mostly I just want to get rid of this soul-searing guilt. I can’t live with being an exhibitionist.
I must be stopped before I expose myself.
I’m ready for my electroshock therapy.
They say the dinosaurs turned over and died. For us. Dig up the dinosaurs. Burn them. They died for us. Nobody else. Kill the others. They’ll die for us too. Then bury them. Dig them. Burn them.
And the cars crashed.
A plane crashed.
But they say no dinosaurs turned over and died. They just died. Not for us. You can’t dig them. You can’t burn them. They didn’t die for us. Or anybody else. The others don’t want them. They won’t die for us either. Don’t bury them. Don’t dig them. Don’t burn them.