Short Story Saturday – A look back

My last post was about an early cover letter I sent to Weird Tales. This time around I thought it would be fun to publish one of my very early short stories. This story was most likely the third or fourth story I ever wrote. It was the first that wasn’t written in second person (a writing style I learned from reading a lot of early Marvel horror comics). So I’ll go out on a limb and say this was my first attempt at third person.

This story was published in my high school literary magazine, John Marshall High School’s Chrysalis. I think the year was 1973.

I’m not sure I’ve ever posted it before. If I have, I apologize. Unless you really liked it, then I have this paypal account, see, and you can… um, nevermind.

Anyway here, in all it’s 400 word glory, is:

The Odd Couple

Deep in the heart of an unknown swamp in the darkest Africa lay the bones of a French airplane pilot, killed when his single-engine plane crashed. His bones had lain among the weeds for over ten years. Mud had covered them and moss and weeds grew in the mud. Then one day the bones quivered and rose.

For a few minutes the bizarre creature of mud and moss stood on its unsteady legs before taking its first steps, and when it did, it fell flat on his ‘face’!

For hours it lay there unmoving until again it rose and started forward. This time more surely. Through the swamp and out into the surrounding jungle this parody of life moved. Suddenly, a movement above its head caused the creature to look up and see a giant boa constrictor swinging from the tree down toward him. Before the swamp-creature could move it was in the crushing coils of the deadly snake. It felt no pain but it was aware of the hostile feelings the snake had for him; so without a moment’s hesitation the moss-thing took the boa in its hands and tore it in two without any effort whatsoever! Throwing the dead snake from itself, it continued on northward.

Far in the Sahara desert some archeologists opened the sarcophagus of Princess Ama-Sethara and ran from the tomb screaming while close on their heels came the Egyptian princess. One stumbled and fell; before he could rise, she was upon him. Holding him in two arms as easily as if he were a new-born babe, she tore his head from his shoulders. Taking the bloody head in her hand she hurled it at another explorer, cracking his skull wide open. He fell, stone dead.

She chased the remaining archeologists on across the desert and not one escaped alive. Princess Ama-Sethara soon came upon a native village where she caused much havoc, setting it on fire after killing the sleeping inhabitants.

On she went southward leaving a trail of death and decay behind her, while coming northward, leaving an identical trail, was the moss-thing. Soon they both came to a vacated village and seeing each other, they attacked.

Rending and tearing they battled each other until they stopped simultaneously and looked each other in the eye. From the moss-thing’s throat came one word, “Mummy!” and from the Princess’s mouth came one word, “Fodder!”

And then they embraced.

-30-

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