Luc Reid writes about the psychology of habits at The Willpower Engine. His new eBook is Bam! 172 Hellaciously Quick Stories.

Jason Erik Lundberg‘s fiction is forthcoming from Subterranean Magazine and Polyphony 7.

Jason Fischer has a story appearing in Jack Dann’s new anthology Dreaming Again.

David Kopaska-Merkel’s book of humorous noir fiction based on nursery rhymes, Nursery Rhyme Noir 978-09821068-3-9, is sold at the Genre Mall. Other new books include The zSimian Transcript (Cyberwizard Productions) and Brushfires (Sams Dot Publishing).


by Rudi Dornemann

A chilly spring morning. I was in the back of an ice cream truck midway through the big dig tunnel under downtown Boston, and we were doing 37 miles per hour–I could see the speedometer and a bit of the driver’s shoulder through the sliding window into the cab. Apparently top speed, because we were being chased by a stolen public works street sweeper, which was gaining on us.

“We’re doing youse a favor,” said Moze, my captor/host. He had an accent like a B-movie Mafioso and tattoos of alchemical symbols spiraling up both arms. “Not everybody gets to be a part of dis kinda thing.”

“Dis kinda thing,” being, in this case, the resurrection of Grover Cleveland, the twice and future president. Whose frozen head lay in one of the coolers, a basketball-sized gold-foil-wrapped mass. I wasn’t sure how much of a favor it was, particularly not if the sweeper caught us.

“Sol invictus!” shouted the driver.

“Sol invictus,” said Moze.

The two of them were members of a group who considered the U.S. presidency the modern equivalent of the ancient concept of sacred kingship. They venerated old Grover, the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms, as having risen from the political dead, and had been working to help him come back from the literal version.

And me? I’d Googled a little too aggressively while writing a paper on new age revivals of Mithraism, chatted a little too long on discussion boards I never should have found.

“Time for counter-measures,” said Moze. He meant the milk crates full of half-melted treats we’d emptied from the coolers to make room for the anointed one.

We dumped them out the back. The sweeper was too close to dodge, and skidded on the ice cream sandwiches, sherbet push-ups and SpongeBob SquarePops, sideswiping the tunnel wall.

Clouds of dust boiled out of the sweeper, and a crescendo of horns rose from further back in the tunnel. We pulled away.

“’Victus!” said Moze, and held his fist out for a bump.

“Sorry, man,” I said.

At that moment, I wished I’d researched the Mithras stuff before working on that Watergate paper. But I tasered him, then the driver. We stopped rather abruptly.

When the sweeper crew pulled up and unloaded the cooler with the head, we left a vintage 1972 sticker on the ice cream truck’s bumper: Nixon — Now more then ever.

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2 Responses to “C.R.E.A.P.”

  1. David Says:

    April 5th, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    OMG! I did not realize what the title portended till I got to the end. I hope there will be sequelae.

  2. Rudi Says:

    April 5th, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Thanks! I worried that the acronym might be to obscure for anyone to decode at all. (Although I snuck the meaning into the tags.)

    I started this one intending for it to be a one-off, but the whole zombie Nixon idea may be too good to pass up…