The most ridiculous thing I’ve ever written

Truly, this is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever written. Once again, the Emmy nominated (he pays us to say that) snarly-bearded word demon sometimes known as Chuck Wendig has issued a Flash Fiction challenge. He calls it Baby Pulp. Or Baby Noir. Yes, pulp/noir fiction featuring babies, for godsakes. Because his wife is hugely pregnant and he has babies on the brain. As if that somehow makes up for her having a baby in her belly. I’m not entirely convinced he’s going to survive to see his spawn.

I’ve never read “pulp” fiction but I gather it’s an over-the-top escapist fantasy type of thing that originated back in the early 1900’s when magazines were printed on cheap pulp paper and contained lurid stories with larger than life heroes who rescued gorgeous dames from evil villains. Sort of like the “Guy Noir” episodes on Prairie Home Companion. I think. The language is, um, different and it took a bit longer to write tonight than the last one. Especially since my mom called in the middle of it and I couldn’t exactly say, “Sorry, Mom. Can’t talk now. Writing baby pulp.” Sigh.

I swear I’m going to stop reading that man’s blog.

Just under 800 words this time. Here it is:

Some sick perp was busting preemies out of their incubators before they were fully cooked and someone had to put a stop to it. Since I’d been here the longest, going on seven weeks now, I figured that someone was me.

Who am I? The tag on the plastic crib says Richard W. Hollings, III, but all the crepe-soled dames call me Rick. And I’m the biggest baddest preemie on the 10th floor.

One of the do-gooder apples in this bushel basket of a hospital had gone bad. Worm infested and rotten to the core bad. Could be a nurse or a doc or even one of the lab rats who were all the time running their sadistic tests. They all had access. But my eyes had finally started to focus week before last. I had my suspicions.

Three nights ago they nabbed that cute doll with the flaxen peach fuzz hair and big baby blues. They told the parents she hadn’t survived the night, but I saw the shadowy figures making the switch just before my 3:00 AM feeding. I heard them talking as they swaddled the poor wee stiff they left behind. Bold as brass they were, carrying on as if none of us could hear them.

“Are you sure it’s a close enough match?”

“They’ll be so grief stricken they’ll never notice. ”

“This one will fetch a good price.”

The filthy bastards.

We’d gotten a new arrival today and she was a looker. Soft black curls, pink rosebud mouth and gams that you could tell were one day going to make a man sweat. The whole staff made a big deal over her, but one of them seemed a little too interested, if you get my drift.

They called her Samantha, but I knew she was Sam. I figured she was marked as the next vic. And I had a plan.

I didn’t have much time. My parents were due to spring me from the joint day after tomorrow. But Sam just had a mild case of jaundice and already she was hooked up with the goggles and special lights. I knew these goons would make their move soon.

I watched, eagle-eyed as the staff performed the familiar laconic dance of their late night shift change. Amateurs always pull a heist at night, when no one is around. They think darkness is their friend. But there’s less cover and fewer distractions at night. And no chance at all of disappearing into a crowd.

There he was, the doc with the eye twitch and thousand dollar loafers. Making his rounds. With the blowsy big-haired nurse who paid more attention to him than to her patients.

Like I said, amateurs.

They stopped at Sam’s bassinet, just a couple feet away from mine.

“This one is perfect. Fits the latest order to a T.”

“She’ll bring us a fortune.”

The nurse pulled a bundle out from under her ill-fitting uniform and handed it to the doc. “Quick, make the switch before she wakes up.”

I’d been saving up all day. And I’d long ago perfected my aim on the sour-faced old biddy who always fastened my diapers too tight. I wriggled my way free and let loose with a prodigious stinking stream that soaked the backs of the black-hearted miscreants.

Their cries of surprise and dismay were nothing compared to the screams of outrage powered by my formerly underdeveloped lungs. My pals Ryan and Scott and Jessica chimed in, right on cue. Soon the entire nursery was pulsing with the mighty red rage of babies defending one of their own.

The rest of the staff rushed in and Maggie, my favourite night nurse, the one who sometimes sang to me back in the days when my head was the size of an orange, shrieked when she spotted the partially unwrapped bundle in the clutches of her evil colleague.

“What are you doing with a dead baby in the nursery?!” Maggie has a lovely soft singing voice, but the woman knows how to project when it counts.

It took a while for them to calm everyone down, even after security came and hauled away the twitchy doc and his smarmy nurse. The orderly grumbled as he cleaned up my mess and my diaper was once again too tight. But I didn’t care.

Sam had managed to push the goggles up on her forehead and was staring at me with her melted-chocolate brown eyes. And I swear, just before they turned the lights down low, she smiled at me.

Some might say it was gas. But I’ve been up and down these sterile halls and around the corner to the vending machine a time or two and I know better.

Someday, kid. You and me.


Filed under just for fun

24 responses to “The most ridiculous thing I’ve ever written

  1. cbpen

    That was fun!! 🙂


  2. McB

    I LOVE IT!


  3. GatorPerson

    Good! Really good! Not ridiculous.


  4. GatorPerson

    And I’ve printed it out for the premie’s mom to enjoy. I can share it, can’t I? Premie boy as hero. She’ll love it.


  5. Well, it feels ridiculous to me. But it was also a lot of fun.

    Yes, GP, of course you can share it! I thought about your friend when I wrote it. I had originally written it with Rick remembering when his head was the size of a large plum but thought no one would ever believe that (like believability is an issue with this kind of story) so I changed it to an orange.


  6. Merry, that is awesome. And a good reminder of why you should not write a genre you’ve never read. Mine pales in comparison. 😎


  7. Pulp Tone

    Very nice! It reads really well and you pulled off the baby point of view without being hokey about it. Which isn’t a bad thing and some people do that on purpose but you played it up without going there.

    Well Chuck told me to just have fun with it and I think we both did. Gives me something to do better than next time around.


  8. jenb

    What great fun to read!!!
    Thank you for sharing it with us… always in need of something really good to read and you always fill the bill.


  9. That was AWESOME!
    A classic black and white gumshoe, in a nursery. Loved it!


  10. Penny Davis

    Thank you so much for a good laugh. Loved the “prodigious stinking stream”. Can always count on that from a male baby. I think they all save up all day. Thanks again, KD I needed that.


  11. Okay, I really wasn’t expecting anyone to say they liked this. What is wrong with you people?

    Seriously, thank you for all the nice comments. I briefly toyed [har] with giving Rick some super-duper weapon-type thingys, but decided writing a story in one unfamiliar genre was bad enough without trying to tap into another one I know nothing about (SF/F). So I just gave him awesome mental prowess instead. And a strong, ahem, stream. (You’re most welcome, Scope! So happy it made you laugh.)

    Completely ridiculous.


  12. Shall join in the chorus and say I loved it!! 🙂


  13. me

    I love it! Very funny but well written too.


  14. Patti

    Joining in with the votes for fun and not ridiculous – I had no problem believing this baby’s thoughts and actions.


  15. I’m chiming in with the kudos; this was really well-done! 🙂 I enjoyed it quite a bit.


  16. Can we all at least agree that it’s pretty darn silly? I’m glad so many people are enjoying it. And not backing slowly away from the blog as they call the men in white jackets.

    Thank you, everyone, for the very nice comments!


  17. RSS

    No, it’s not silly. It’s fun. There’s a big difference.
    I love it too. Have a big grin on my face and keep chuckling at odd moments.


  18. Nicely done! I was hooked in the whole time. I could hear a Bogie narrating in my head. LOL.


  19. orangehands

    Excellent. And yes, silly, but silly doesn’t mean bad, or have a bad connotation. It was silly, funny, enjoyable.

    And if you can do it in a genre you know nothing about, I can’t wait for your novels in a genre you know and love.


  20. CMS

    Loved it! You’ve got the lingo down pat


  21. Yes, I tried to “hear” Bogie too and just faked it with the lingo. Glad it worked.

    OH, it’s a lot easier to write something like this that doesn’t “matter.” Maybe if I could convince myself the thriller doesn’t matter, I’d be done by now. It’s all just entertainment in the end anyway, right?

    [Sonia, sorry about the outdated link to my old twitter account. Didn’t realize I hadn’t updated it until I saw you followed the old one. I’m using @KD_James now. Although, seriously, you’re less likely to be offended if you just keep following the one I don’t use. 8) ]