Shaggy Science Fiction
This trio of short-short-shorts by Kenneth Newman appeared in OB, edited by Lynn A. Hickman.
I remember the Lost Continents. I have lived before in the lost civilizations of the distant past. I remember Atlantis and the fantastic land of Mu. I remember Hyperborea and, of course, Gondwanaland.
But most of all - I remember Lemuria.
I remember the earth-quakes and volcanic eruptions that plagued that doomed, forgotten land in its last days. When I was a child, a shower of rocks destroyed the house where I had been born, and killed both my parents. When I was twelve, I fell into a split caused by an earth-quake, and came out of it with two broken legs. At the age of twenty-one, the temple of the High Glamis fell on me and I suffered a fractured skull and multiple contusions of the spine.
When I think of it now - something was always either falling on me or out from under me.
I think I’d rather not remember Lemuria.
THE SHADOW OF H. P. LOVEPOTION
How can I tell you of the untellable tales I heard in the unmentionable valley of FSHGLOGTH?
How can I describe the undescribable apparitions that appeared to me in the mind shattering caverns of FTAFGTGN?
I must warn the world of the meance of CTH-ULGNHPHU, the blasphmies of SHIG-G-SH-GLTH SH-PHTGOOEY, and give unfavorable reviews of the forbidden book of the NECRONEINEUMONIOCONLOSIS*ANTIARIANIASM.
But how can I speak of these unspeakable horrors when I can’t pronounce one of them!
Johnny Atompile had always been rather puny. In school, he was excused from Gym classes because the doctors feared he might break a bone. He was deferred from the Armed Services on account of his heart. Earlier, his parents had moved with him, out to Arizona, on account of his lungs.
But there was one thing strong about Johnny Atompile - his brain.
He had earned his Ph.D. at the age of 17. So it was only natural that at the age of 25, he was the highest ranking consulting nuclear physicist on the atomic-rocket project.
He had grown up with but one idea in mind - to make space flight a reality. And here on the sands of the Arizona desert, that dream was coming true.
His hands worked like those of a great artist as he made the final instrument checks of his soon-to-be-launched Moon projectile.
“What a pity!” he said to himself, “that no human being will be riding in this first trip to the Moon. What a tragedy that there’s no one on Earth who could withstand the violent acceleration of such a take-off.”
As Johnny Atompile continued his work in the fuel chamber of his beloved atomic space projectile, little did he realize what was happening. Little did he realize that someone had goofed, and that several layers of shielding had already been removed from around the atomic power supply.
Little did he realize the reactions which had already begun to take place within his blood stream as he closed the door to the laboratory shed and headed for home.
That night, as he dreamed his favorite dream of landing on the Moon, little did he realize what new strength had come to his corpuscles and leucocytes.
All night long, the changes took place. In the morning, little did he realize his new condition. Yes, little did he realize - because Johnny Atompile was dead as a door-nail.