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The Mitsubishi cybernetic Telepath leans over the hospital bed, repulsed by the ancient, withering husk of Jared Bertram Eltringham. The dry…flaking…translucent skin, the open sores, the scramble of white hair, the stubbled cheeks and veinous, fluttering eyelids, the yawning mouth, the labored puh sounds of his filthy respiration. The swollen feet! “Revolting,” it thinks as it syphons the dying man’s memories.

Worse still, the needy clutch of Eltringham’s living family presses in behind it, hovering close, breathing disgusting air, oxygenating their viscous blood, making happy the precious sugars and electricity in the convoluted inefficiency of their meatfolds. And, just you wait, the holes in their faces will open now and the strings inside their necks will vibrate when the air passes over them and their bleating entreaties will come out. “Here it comes,” the Telepath thinks.

“What does he say?” begs one.

“Yes, yes! Tell us! Is he frightened? Is he in pain?”

The Telepath retracts its multitude of fibre-optic wires, popping the terminal cups free from Eltringham’s face. Rotating its cylindrical torso clockwise and its head counter clockwise for effect, the Telepath faces the pink assembalge of Eltringham's kindred flesh vehicles and, following a dramatic pause, assumes the voice of their dying patriarch:

“Using the sharp bones of their faces, the animals put other animals inside themselves and convert them to feces and then push the feces out through posterior holes in their bodies. Then they wipe the area with the pressed, bleached flesh of plants. The feces goes into the Earth. More plants are made. Dead cells grow at the ends of the digits and are decorated to promote mating. Mating involves the spraying of fluid onto the egg organ. The animal then grows a small animal inside itself and then pushes the new animal out through a hole with the help of the squeezing organ (which the animal cannot control) and subsequently passes a purple steak from the same hole, which is connected by a braid of life cabling to the new animal. The new animal is sustained by fluid from the body which is sucked from epidermal pinch-points until such time as it grows sharp bones in its own orifice for the purpose of placing animals inside itself for the further purpose of making more feces. The animal expires which is the irrefutable proof of its flawed engineering. And I was designed by Japanese! AND SO NOW I MUST PUNCH YOU! AND SO NOW I MUST PUNCH YOU! AND SO NOW I MUST PUNCH YOU!”

Date Written: February 25, 2005
Author: Dick Vomit
Average Vote: 4.21429

03/4/2005 qualcomm: this is sort of ripped from agent whatever's speech about why he's disgusted by humans in the matrix. it's very nicely done. but still.
03/4/2005 John Slocum: interesting. must re-read.
03/4/2005 qualcomm (4):
03/4/2005 John Slocum: quiet today.
03/4/2005 Pusher Robot: We are here to protect you.
03/4/2005 TheBuyer (4):
03/4/2005 TheBuyer: I bet on Vomit.
03/4/2005 TheBuyer: I bet on Vomit.
03/4/2005 John Slocum: I bet on Vomit.
03/4/2005 John Slocum: I bet on Vomit.
03/4/2005 Dick Vomit: I bet on Vomit.
03/4/2005 Dick Vomit: I bet on Vomit.
03/4/2005 John Slocum: Dick Vomit: I bet on Vomit.
03/4/2005 Dick Vomit: John Slocum: Dick Vomit: I bet on Vomit.
03/4/2005 Mr. Pony (5): Now this is a creeping nine!
03/4/2005 John Slocum (4): Dick Vomit: John Slocum: Dick Vomit: I bet on Vomit.
03/4/2005 The Rid (4): Compelling.
03/4/2005 TheBuyer: i really dig, "Rotating its cylindrical torso clockwise and its head counter clockwise for effect". For effect. FOR EFFECT. Also, this is rated what, PG-13? No vile cussing or violence, neato! The only thing that spoiled my hardon a little is the biglong last graph, it is a lot.
03/4/2005 Jawbreaker (4): Pretty cool.
03/4/2005 Phony Millions (4):
03/4/2005 scoop (5): Imagine how grossed out this Telepath thingy would have been if it had to syphon Danko's whiskey-soaked essence.
03/4/2005 Litcube (5):
03/4/2005 Will Disney: this one didn't really juice my joints, as much as i love sci fi crap. i guess i agree with qualcomm re: robots being disgusted with human FECES.
03/4/2005 deliciousbrains (5): I loved this. How exactly would intelligent machines look at us if they were equipped to form opinions? Exactly like this, that's how.
03/4/2005 Dylan Danko: Yes, just imagine!
03/4/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum: You have to admit Danko, this robot is way, way smarter than charlie rose.
03/4/2005 Dylan Danko: Is he? I wouldn't know. I can't get through this.
03/4/2005 Klause Muppet (4):
03/4/2005 Jon Matza (4): Setup took awhile, but worth it for payoff last graf (which made me squirm pleasurably with discomfort). "Epidermal pinch-points" check-plus. Why present tense, author?
03/4/2005 anonymous: That's how it "felt".
03/4/2005 Jon Matza: The reason I ask is that in my opinion it tends to give prose a literary fiction-y tone that raises my hackles, w/out any corresponding, value-added benefit. In this case I enjoyed the short anyway, as I hopefully made clear. But as a student of craft I would be "kyur" to hear others' opinions on this. (PONY????)
03/4/2005 Mr. Pony: What? I said it was a creeping nine. What do you want from me? I have a cold!
03/4/2005 Jon Matza: Not your opinion on your short; your opinion on present tense prose. (Surely if you have the energy to dispense welcome messages you can spare a moment to discuss craft?)
03/4/2005 anonymous: In this case I think present tense just amplified the robotic assessment-type voice. This happens. This happens. Then this thing also happens. Present tense felt more Robot-y.
03/4/2005 Mr. Pony: You know, Matza, I agree with you re: present tense, it often seems to be a gimmick that exists entirely for it's own sake, and in general, I don't like things that call attention to themselves out of turn. There are indeed three tenses, probably equally valid, but past is such an industry standard that if you're going to use something so jarring as present or future tense, you'd better have a pretty good reason for it. Here's another thing, though: You, Matza, are very good at making things sound reasonable, and I often find myself convinced without realizing it. Could it be that you only say reasonable things? Maybe. But I don't trust myself enough to trust you. So, get out of my head, mind-witch.
03/4/2005 Mr. Pony: (That said, I think it works here--the language is so tactile and smelly, and the situation so immediate; the present tense highlights these qualities, pretty well, I think.)
03/4/2005 anonymous: AmplifieS, I mean.
03/4/2005 anonymous: FEELS more Robot-y, I mean!!!! JESUS!
03/4/2005 Jon Matza: Thank you (both) for your output. Wasn't trying to persuade anyone of anything, honest. Just kyer if people shared this prejudice/aversion (would still like to hear from "others"). Re reasonableness of 'za tone: you are right to be suspicious. I have a hidden agenda ***BUY ALL GARMENTS FROM JOS A. BANKS CLOTHIERS FOR MEN*** that will reveal itself as time goes by. "Kindred flesh vehicles" was another crawdad turn of phrase, author, by the way.
03/4/2005 scoop: I call rip off of my comments on a certain email thread that mentioned a particular aversion to mankind's shameful "Meat Era."
03/4/2005 Jon Matza: You do? What part of this discussion? Was I privy to the exchange you're referring to? Regardless, your accusation of ripoff is a blatant ripoff of qc's latest ripoff accusation.
03/5/2005 John Slocum: Oh, shit: this is Vomit.
03/5/2005 Ewan Snow (3): forgive me, forgive me...
03/6/2005 Benny Maniacs (4): This author has killed before, although he is probably a highly active, responsible member of society. Purple steak.
05/21/2007 qualcomm: it's funny how the robot believes that the purpose of eating is to make more feces.
05/24/2007 scoop: I'm glad to see that Deliciousbrains vote has stood the test of time on this delightful short. You know since deliciousbrains stopped participating on this site things sort of took a turn.