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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Thriller/Suspense · #2255379
A tale so out of this world, even the author found it hard to believe he dreamed it up.
Editor's Choice, Fantasy Magazine August 4th. 920 wc for July's "WEIRD TALES CONTEST

Henry Kuttner balled up the piece of paper he’d been typing his latest pulp magazine short story on and growled, “I hate deadlines. What a writer has to do to make a buck.”

He yawned, scratched his five day old beard and thumbed away a dried up piece of mushroom from the pizza he’d munched on when his stomach refused to stop growling at him. “I hate editor’s worse, at least those who require me to fill in a rip snorter based on pre-made cover art and a title. ‘Spawn of Dagon’? Gaa.”

His eyes were blurry with fatigue. The image of the swordsman, barely clad damsel and misshapen shaped evil creatures on the upcoming issue of the ‘Weird Tales’ cover art seemed to move and come alive. “Maybe if I let my subconscious dream something up it will do my work for me.”

A moment later Henry’s head settled gently on his desktop and he began to snore. Little did he know, the effects of the psychedelic mushrooms from the pizza churning in his innards were busily unlocking his psychic aura and freeing it to travel the astral plane across alternate universes.

“Good Heaven’s, I’m ugly.” Taking the cues from the cover art he’d been feverishly dissecting into story form, Henry’s aura had shivered itself into an exact replica of the hulking alien’s gruesome corporal form that was carrying the swooning dark haired beauty. “Talk about beauty and the beast. Time for stage left.”

Muscles flexed, strained and responded to his mental command. “Nice.” His leap pushed him into the alien planet’s air, flying over the heads of the lurking swordsman and the funny little shriveled up man blindly walking towards the sword’s raised path. “I’ll catch you two later in the plot.”

The flapping green curtains to the entrance of the tent below him waved a distant goodbye. Henry heard the whistle of the wind as he arched higher and descended as quickly as he’d risen. The steel springs of his legs took the shock of the landing well. “Low gravity field. No wonder John Carter of Mars liked playing hero in his fantasy adventures.”

“You saved me. I am princess Thea.” Female curves wiggled seductively in Henry’s bulging arms. The girl was waking up, cuddled close to his chest unable to see the being carrying her.

X-rated images stirred momentarily and fled from Henry’s head. “That swordsman one of your kin? Who's the little gremlin? A mad scientist?”

“That sword is attached to the evil Sir Allen of Xen, cousin once removed and my betrothed though I love him not. He barters with Klud, sorcerer of Sir Allen’s realm for a love potion to bind me to a marriage I detest.”

Henry felt a familiar dawning awareness begin to stir. He was waking up. With a shudder he thrust himself into the air once again. “One small step for man. One giant leap for mankind,” he growled out Neil Armstrong’s famous quote when being the first man to step out onto the moon.

Henry turned into a ricocheting bouncing rocket landing on one alternate reality after another as he struggled to rise up into consciousness in the familiar one room apartment he lived in. “Hold your breath.” The warm and soft abundance of the princess’ breasts pressed against his chest seemed to reveal that would be a forgone conclusion.

‘Where are you taking me?” The girl’s arms slid around him tighter.

“Prepare for landing,” Henry yelped. His psychic aura settled back into his old familiar self, thrusting the alien hulk spinning back where it came from.

The girl settled deliciously onto his lap, wide doe-like brown eyes blinking as she looked around in amazement. “What a strange looking dwelling. Where are your servants? My hero.”

“You speak English?” Henry stuttered, his mouth wiggling against a sudden passionate kiss.
“Do you know how to type, by chance?”

“The words shape strange upon my tongue. I stole them and their meaning when we kissed and mind melded.”

Henry burped, tasting the dregs of the psychedelic mushrooms as they lost the last of their effect. “Never trust a bad pizza with your own added makings. I hope you can cook.”

“How can I ever repay you for freeing me from a fate worse than death?” The kisses started up again, heating up the atmosphere (and Henry) significantly.

“Wait. We’ll get to that part of the plot soon enough. Right now, I need to write down what happened before I forget. It is already starting to grow dim. You may be stuck here for a while unless I can reproduce the exact kind of pizza ingredients I made for yesterday’s lunch.”

Henry brushed the flies away from the surreal remains sticking to his desk. He reached for pen and paper as his princess began massaging the back of his shoulders while leaning over to nibble on his ear. "Do you know how cute you are?"

Henry wrapped an arm around Princess Thea. "You can help me fill in the romantic details." He turned her pout into a smile with his kiss. "You are from the land of Dagon, you say?"

"Hmm, a dreamy fantasy tale. You don't think my cousin, Sir Allen, and Klud, the sorcerer and their evil spawn of dreaded snake warriors can follow us here, do you?"

Henry shrugged away the tingle of fear shivering up and down his spine, "Not unless this becomes a serial. That's up to the editor of the 'Weird Tales' magazine, sweetheart."
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