The Land of the Dead Issue
Quick as a Flash - Week 16
Fact and Fiction
Hello and welcome to those that have been part of the recent influx of new subscribers! You’re joining us at a great time.
I already announced my latest and most exciting news last week, so let’s just dive into the issue.
In fiction, the dead (or undead, as the case may be) come in all sorts of shapes and forms. Let’s explore that, shall we?
Flashes of Pink Among the Darkness
The rhythmic gymnast danced and twirled her long pink ribbon between the zombie hoards, threading the needle with mind, then body. Each step had purpose, each leap a point: survival—not just of her body and soul, but of her passion. Like those around her, it refused to die.
Ever See a Lava Lamp Person?
Sunset is the best time for us ghosts. For a few moments, the sun’s rays hit and scatter through the atmosphere, reacting with our ectoplasmic forms to make us appear as beautiful, multi-hued beings to the human eye.
And that’s when we can scare the bejeezus out of them!
Sloth Was Their Sin
“About your soul…”
“It’s perfectly balanced on the scales of morality. You’re in limbo.”
“So what happens?”
“Protocol dictates we send you back as a ghost. Once you do 100 good deeds, you’ll be let into Heaven.”
“So I’m haunting Earth for all eternity. Got it!”
Brenda sank her fangs into my neck and, for a second, I saw the faint, insignificant glimmer that was my life flash before me. She pulled away, spitting my blood out like it was poison.
“Why does your blood taste like garlic?!”
“Garlic?” I mouthed, too stupefied to wonder how my girlfriend was a vampire or ask the hundreds of questions that came with that. Instead, I brilliantly said, “I eat a lot of garlic bread. It’s delicious.” Unlike your blood thing.
“No way! You’d have to be eating the stuff for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and several snacks!”
“Welcome to the Freak Convention. What can you do?”
“It’s a two-parter. I can see the future. But I only get visions of when a man is going to kill someone of another gender.”
“That’s really specific. And awful. Have you ever tried preventing the deaths?”
“That’s part two. It’s hard to explain, but I can sort of temporarily slip into the victim’s place in the universe? So I die instead, but since I was never fated to die in the first place, the universe corrects itself, and I come back to life .”
“And the intended victim?”
“I’m pretty sure they just hang out in a pocket dimension until it’s safe.”
“Yeah. I don’t like how many refrigerators I’ve been stuffed in, but every time I wake up and get to crawl out, I grab a chef’s knife and make with the vigilante justice. It really gives me purpose, you know?”
Fiction podcasts and audiobooks are great for those who want to hear a story but don’t have the time to read for very long. Today I’d like to share a podcast I’ve grown very fond of over the last couple of weeks (so much so, it’s inspired the above flash fiction piece).
The Bright Sessions answers the question, “what if people like the X-Men got some therapy instead of learning to fight battles?” The story is excellent and the voice acting is phenomenal. The main series is complete at four seasons, along with a fifth season of bonus content and two spin-off seasons, so there’s plenty to enjoy. I recently finished season four and can’t recommend it enough.
Because these are fictional therapy sessions, I will note that there is strong language, discussion of trauma, and emotional outbursts. I’d say it’s overall safe for general audiences, but some episodes do come with their own trigger warnings.
The Bright Sessions can be found wherever you get your podcasts.