EP Flash: Act of Devil

By Paul S. Jenkins. (of The Rev Up Review).
Read by Mur Lafferty (of Geek Fu Action Grip).

There was a group of them at college who were into Satanism. My mom,
Betty Bloxham as she was then, was one of them. It all sounds a bit
kinky, going into the woods at dead of night and dancing in the nude
under the full moon.

Anyway, they were all high on drugs at the time, so I doubt they knew
what they were doing.

Rated R. Contains sexual violence, Satanic summonings, and similar wholesome family bonding.

Comments (21)

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  1. slic says:

    Well, this was a bad story for short fiction. The story ended abruptly, as though it was cut in half. The ending really felt tacked on.

    The beginning (like most beginnings) had real promise. How does one deal with being told you are the spawn of the devil? But that was immediately left behind – no comment on how the kid was treated by his parents (did they fear him) Did he show signs of his supposed lineage early on?

    Also, I listened carefully the second time, but it is unclear if his current father-figure is Henry or someone else.

    We are just left hanging with too many unexplored parts of the story and no explanation at all.
    Did Henry plan this from the start, how did he react to the pregnancy, how did the boy find out, has he told his Mom? I hope the author lets us hear the rest of the story.

  2. Simon says:

    Ahem… In a slightly more direct post than Slics – this was a lot of fun. Stupid, one gag SF in the same manor as Damon Knights classic “How to serve humans”.

    Good work, and nice effort by Mur to maintain the tension on an idea QUITE that dumb.

  3. Joseph M says:

    Loved it. Light hearted finish in contrast with a potentially heavy hitting opening.

    The opening left one wondering “how the hell will they fit a story about being the child of Satan into a FLASH episode.

    Keep it coming, I love it, thank you for all the work.

    PS: Firefox 2.0 has a spell checker and it insists that satan not be use in place of Satan. Firefox, the browser of the beast, you may want to skip the .666 build!

  4. Alan says:

    Oh, I loved it! The last line did what those types of last lines are supposed to do–slurp up all the rest of the story in one nice, neat gulp!

    I literally gasped! Good job Mr. Jenkins! And always great to hear Mur!

    Whoa…it’s November in 3 hours…! I should be writing ..!

  5. J in HK says:

    I have to disagree with slic here. The ending *is* what makes this story. It’s the whole point. I was so not expecting it, I laughed out loud.

  6. Leon Kensington says:

    I loved it, after listening I was really in the Halloween spirit. Plus the GREATEST mix in podcasting ever, Mrs. Lafferty and Mr. Jenkins. Could there ever be a better mix?

    “I am the spawn of the devil, or at least that is what my mother tells me…”

  7. Colin F says:

    I can’t help thinking that slic has missed the point.

    The ending IS the story, not an afterthought.

    I thought it was the perfect piece of flash fiction for Halloween. Just enough background for the final gag to work brilliantly.

    If you want a story about someone who actually IS the son of the devil – you should probably go hang out around pseudopod!

  8. slic says:

    Well, I may not be the brightest bulb in the chandalier, but if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and then moos, I’m still going to guess it’s a duck with a vocal problem, not a cow turned into a duck.

  9. Simon says:

    Well it proves what we all knew, Mur is much better at reading a story than Paul.

  10. Amanda says:

    There’s a lovely air of assumption left by a) the ending b) whether or not the “father figure” mentioned at the start of the story is Henry…”as far as he knows” the narrator says Henry hasn’t worn his devil “costume” since.

    There are two ways to take this assumption: either Henry and Beth were in cahoots to play a prank on their friends; or Henry really WAS the devil, and the narrator’s blase acceptance of the news and telling of the story belies his genetic heritage.

    Big wide open. Loved it.

  11. Joseph M says:

    ◊û◊ó◊©◊ë◊ï◊™, ◊û◊ó◊©◊ë◊ô◊ù, ◊ï◊©◊ê◊® ◊ì◊ë◊®◊ô ◊ë◊ú◊¢. ¬ª ◊§◊ï◊°◊ò ◊¢◊ì◊õ◊ï◊ü ◊©◊õ◊ñ◊î Hit the nail on the head. I agree wholeheartedly. Assuming what he(she?) said something that won’t get me in trouble with the RIAA, MPAA, FBI, CIA, MI6, LAPD, or the SCIFI network.

  12. Scott says:

    Loved this story. Folks were wondering about the big smile on my face on the subway. I felt like I should have seen the ending coming but didn’t which is delightful.

  13. Awesome story! I loved the funny ending! I like these short flash stories. Nice reading, too.

  14. spycer says:

    I really didn’t dig this one. Just seemed rather vanilla.

    In response to Amanda, I somehow got the impression the Devil Costume was the outfit he wore for summoning up the devil, which apparently had been worn before for similar outings or something.

  15. I liked the story and I think the narrator does a great job too! Tks!

  16. bolddeciever says:

    I doubt this will be read by much of anyone, as old as it is, but I’m surprised that I’m the first person to mention that what everyone is treating as the “light-hearted” ending really isn’t. I mean, sure, the narrator’s not the son of the devil. She’s just the product of rape, aided and abetted by the victim’s friends, who stood by as it occurred, and still unknown to the victim, who is still married to her rapist! What precious family bonding! I’m not usually the type to react like this, but this seems like a pretty clear case…

  17. Matiweyth says:

    I bad gays
    I here I with you .

  18. Another great reading by Mur. I loved the suddenness of the ending, fast and shocking. I should have seen it coming. Well done.

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