Madness & Mayhem

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This collection has everything! Sassy robots, bloodthirsty spirits, a guy who’s forced to watch TV and eat nachos, superheroes who are lame, a story about a zombie who searches for meaning in a world plagued by humans. If you like to pee your pants, there’s a hysterical story about a redneck telepath who tortures a poor schlub for no reason.

And if that’s not enough, you get the first Dead Jack short story and a sneak peek at the novel “Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device.”

The perfect book for people with split personalities!

The collection contains the following stories:

6 Attempts at Winning Jennifer’s Heart
Head to Head
Simon Clash: The Galaxy’s Greatest Hero
Bad Poets Society
Princess or Poison
No Place for a Hero
The League of Lame Superheroes
Inner Dragon
My So-Called Life in Reruns
Do Stand-Up Bots Dream of Electric Hecklers?
So You’ve Metamorphosed Into a Giant Insect. Now What?

Hart House
The Zombie Who Had a Name
Google News Alerts for the End of the World
Teatime With Mrs. Monster
The Baseball Gods
A Day to End All Days
Circle of Power
The Great Work
She Will Be Home for Christmas
The Grimlorn Under the Mountain

The Case of the Amorous Ogre
Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device (First Chapter)


Welcome to my collection. 

Here you will find all of my published stories to date as well as two—“Google News Alerts for the End of the World” and “Circle of Power”—that have never been published before. Lucky you! Going through my collection I found that most of the stories either fell into the horror or humor category. Thus the title, Madness & Mayhem. You’ll find the humorous stories in the Madness category and the horror stories in Mayhem, though you’ll probably find some humor in the Mayhem section and horror in Madness. But as the Kinks say, “It’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world.” Either way, I hope you enjoy the yarns. – 

James Aquilone 10.24.2016


“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked. “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat; “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.” “How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.” – Lewis Carroll, “Alice in Wonderland”

6 Attempts at Winning Jennifer’s Heart 
(Originally published in Flash Fiction Online)

Attempt 1: Talk to her.

“Hi,” I say in the break room at Innovations Worldwide, though this is debatable. I might have only cleared my throat. Regardless, I am counting this as the first word I have uttered to Jennifer. She looks up from her tablet. Her green eyes sparkle in the fluorescent light. She’s most likely reading Stephen King. That’s her favorite author. She’s been listening to the Misery audiobook in her cubicle (which is next to mine) every day this week. I want to tell her he’s my favorite writer too. (But one thing at a time.) “Do I know you?” she says. “Hi,” I say. My brain has run out of words. An invisible hand tightens around my throat. I do the only thing possible: I run away. Note: Technology is your friend.
Attempt 2: Try again using Dr. Tomokats’ TimeTripper©.

“Hi.” “Aren’t you Dr. Tomokats’ quality-control officer?” I think I nod. Then I run away. Note: Time travel solves nothing.

Attempt 3: Impress her.

I reprogram Dr. Tomokats’ BattleBorg©. It enters the break room. “Destroy! Destroy!” the cyborg screeches as it lumbers toward Jennifer. Klaxons blare from its head, its eyes flash red and yellow. (That’s all I programmed it to do; it’s harmless.) I swoop into the room, ready to “save” my co-worker from the “killer” cyborg. Jennifer taps on its head three times. It deactivates. I had no idea. I make myself a tea and slink back to my cubicle. Note: Recommend Dr. Tomokats configure more difficult deactivation protocol.

Attempt 4: Seduce her

I sit at the bench that Jennifer passes every morning on her way to work. I had placed Dr. Tomokats’ Pheromone Amplifier Cologne© on all my pulse points. For good measure, I placed it everywhere else. I try to keep calm by humming softly to myself, but my nerves kick into overdrive anyway and in time I’m soaked with flop sweat. Before she turns the corner, I vomit. Then I run away. Note: Recommend issuing warning label for Pheromone Amplifier Cologne’s possible toxic reaction to perspiration.

Attempt 5: Write her a romantic song.

Words often fail me. So I use Dr. Tomokats’ AutoHitMaker©, which creates and then streams ten thousand songs about Jennifer. Among them: “Jennifer in the Sky With Diamonds,” “Jenny, I Need Your Loving,” and “This Guy’s in Love With You, Jennifer.” I play them all day long in my cubicle. I even sing along. (Under my breath.) I think I’m being pretty overt; in fact, my boldness is giving me a heart attack. But she doesn’t seem to notice. It’s not until an hour before quitting time that I learn she is being transferred to our downtown facility after only two months here, and she had spent most of the day with her friends on the third floor saying goodbye. When she returns to her cubicle, she listens to the Watership Down audiobook. It’s breaking my heart. I love that book too. Note: You’re an idiot.

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James Aquilone