Tag Archives: sketch novel

Ice Flue Chapter 4

5 Oct

Ice Flue Chapter 4

   When Stan resurfaced, after having retrieved over 20 ecto ghosts, his chamber at Ice Enterprises was silent and dark, A smashed vial of his breakthrough concoction, the Ice Flue, lay on the floor beneath his lab desk station.
   Most alarming was that Stan had revealed this invention of synthetic disease warfare, the Ice Flue, to no one. It caused one’s opponents bones to shift to a cheap brittle metal, yet also enacted other curious side effects which Stan Lunch did not yet fully understand.
   Stan’s first successful administration of the Ice Flue had occurred yesterday upon the unfortunate Trouser—a recently-deceased faithful servant of the company (Ice Enterprises), Trouser’s human-sized spider bones had shattered from a tooth-pick prick following a miniscule dose of the Ice Flue.     
   What was ironic was that Ice Enterprises was known for its Body Heat mists, a sprayable substance five times warmer than down feathers. Stan had originally been tasked with biological warfare shield work, but had inadvertently discovered a powerful weapon (The Ice Flue) instead.  
   A hologram plant across Stan’s chamber and unfolded: Ice Enterprises took pride in the fact that it forced all its employees to become informed citizens.
   Elizabeth Dracula’s doughy, pockmarked visage reigned supreme over the insect antennae airwaves with the usual aura of terror. The green juices of a mashed sequeira caterpillar dribbled down her chin as she belched blue fire and clacked her purple crystal skull scepter as if upon the forehead of a distracted pupil.
   “Citizens!” She blew a swirling rainbow of fire which roamed around her powdery face. “We have work to do! Don’t eat, sleep, love, or allow yourselves even the slightest pleasures!”
   Stan Lunch saluted Elizabeth Dracula and began marching in place. It was required that citizens march to the tune of the cricket anthem, which, when slowed down, sounded like a million violins pleading in a rhapsody.
   Midway though the march, Elizabeth Dracula’s face was replaced by Dayglo Arnie. Although it was hard to take Dayglo Arnie seriously with his orange clown wig and vampire fangs, it was also a requirement that citizens rebel whenever he incited a rebellion. “It might not be any of my business, but Elizabeth Dracula is just a doll animated by crickets. Now let’s skip work and play hooky as the world crumbles! Are you ready to boogie?” Arnie break danced, his gold chain of scorpions whapping and smearing his clown make-up as video surveillance footage revealing the back of Elizabeth Dracula’s head with thousands of cricket legs twitching along her neckline as if in competition to animate her.
   Arnie Dayglo, as he turned to reveal the back of his orange afro, was also being animated by insects—but in his case it was by a swarm of praying mantises.
   “Citizens. It is now your duty to rebel. NOW!”
   Stan pocketed the last remaining unbroken vial of Ice Flue in his lab coat.    

Ice Flue Chapter 3

4 Oct

Chapter 3

   The skeleton of a Dracun Lizard greeted Stan at work that morning. Splayed out on his desk like marionette, the skeleton gave off an aura of having recently been handled.

   Stan glanced up from his work desk laboratory. Not a single other soul stirred in Potion Control Chamber, his department at Ice Enterprises. Was today a holiday?

   Magenta and fuchsia bubbles surrounded the flu feelers of his two neighbors’ gage monsters, but there was no trace of a blue ectoplasm ghost harvest—a daily ritual of both his neighbors to stimulate the company’s senses—Ice Enterprises was, after all, a living breathing entity—and increase productivity.
   Something skittered past in the blacklight hull bulb above Stan’s row of laboratory cubicles. Sweat pooled on his forehead as it breathed hotly down upon him. So this was how it felt to be finally found out: the burglar police had infested his work dream space with hunting worms because of the incident with Heiferwaith.
   “Stan? Stan?” The furry hunting worm coiled around Stan’s shoulders.
   Stan blinked. It was not a furry hunting worm after all but his octopus-headed boss, Dennis.
   It was like coming out of a dream. No, it was more like taking a deep breath of air after being forcibly held down in a plasma chamber.
   Dennis’ shaking intensified the longer Stan neglected to perform the recognition ritual.     
   Finally, rather dimly, Stan said “Good morning sir and welcome to Ice Enterprises. How can I be of assistance? I am your personal scientist forever.”
   Dennis slapped Stan on the back jovially. The gesture was overly familiar. Dennis, the pendulums in his grandfather clock earrings trying to lull Stan back to sleep, appeared blurry.
   “Whoa there, buddy. I just wanted to know if you’d seen Hoagy or Heiferwaith. You know, your neighbors? We’re running low on ecto ghosts in Chamber 23 and my data is showing no harvesting on this quadrant level. I know it’s not your job, but would you mind reigning in a few ecties for the health of the company?”
   Although Stan nodded with enough vigor to satiate the cloying Dennis, some time passed before he began to do Hoagy and Heiferwaith’s job for them. He’d kept remembering the sound of his sculpta brick smashing the cartilage in Heiferwaith’s kneecap. He’d managed to free the Dracun Lizard, that was certain, but his memory after that had gone patchy. The world had gone completely black once he’d left Heiferwaith’s apartment tube dwelling. A stew bubbled in an enormous cauldron on the stairs to his tube dwelling, the severed head of Heiferwaith floating beside some Dracun Lizard skulls and peeled vegetables in the broth.
   “Why’d you do it, Stan?” The floating head of Heiferwaith gurgled from inside the boiling stew. “Did you think you could get away with it?”