Terrible Delicatessen -- 9.9.13

You Light Up My Life, Part I -- The Girl Of Kreemie's Dreamies

What would you do if an inscrutable young woman of Eastern European descent walked into your deli and wanted a roast beef sandwich? Would you fall in love?

Yes. Yes you would. Of course you would . You'd get all hot 'n bothered. You'd come to be delirious and euphoric. And delusional. Like Kreemie. 

And then your boss would walk into the frame in nothing but his skivvies. And you and your dream partner would be mortified. That's what would happen. Because that's how life is.

Isn't it? 

NEXT WEEK:  You Light Up My Life, Part II . I know it was you, Gary! You broke my heart! YOU BROKE MY HEART.

Quien me amat, amet et canum meum.


Terrible Delicatessen -- 9.2.13

Gary ain't screwed. We sometimes let the most infinitesimal life-items drive us insane, like when you get deodorant on your t-shirt, or you wait over a minute at a stoplight, or when there are ants in your cereal. In this week's strip, Gary loses it over a BCC email.

Don't be Gary.

Or be him, what do I care?


NEXT WEEK: You Light Up My Life, Part I. Kreemie's in love!

Difficile est longum subito deponere amorem.

Terrible Delicatessen -- 8.26.13

No Pont l'Eveque ever. Life stinks, for the most part, though some people manage to make things work no matter how bad it reeks. Like Gary, for instance.

Kreemie, on the other hand... not so much.



NEXT WEEK: Gary gets a Bcc: email, Kreemie spouts off some icy-cold internet facts, and Mr. Craig List makes a special guest appearance. Kind of.

Ulula cum lupis, cum quibus esse cupis.

Terrible Delicatessen -- 8.12.13

The Bro Sip is a thing. Kreemie witnesses an earnest Bro Sipand gets all churlish about it. Gary identifies with Bro-ass Bros. Usual nonsense at the Deli, you know.


Supplemental: The origin of The Bro Sip.

A History of Bro Sips

A History of Bro Sips

Bro Sip diagrams:

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit B

NEXT WEEK: Behind The Counter, S1 E1!Includes a making-of video and original Vesper sketches! Come behind the scenes with P.O. Vesper and I as we walk you through the visual Terrible Delicatessen's origins and processes. Docendo discimus.

Terrible Delicatessen -- 8.5.13

You never, ever mess with another man's anchovies. Down with crappy ironic-looking pizza men and the tricks they pull! Get 'em, Gary!


NEXT WEEK: Kreemie witnesses a Bro Sip live and in the flesh. What the hell does that even mean? Come back next week and behold... THE BRO SIP.

It's a thing, I swear.

Bene diagnoscitur, bene curatur.

You Will Always Be A Dogbot

Everything I’m going to do I’ve done already. Everything I haven’t finished I hadn’t started to begin with. And that’s just the way of things. So I made coffee while I was walking the dogbot whilst sipping the coffee that I’d made yesterday during the time when my dogbot pissed butane out at my leg and onto my Big Toe. I jumped away from it, annoyed, as I slumped on the couch.


This is what I screamed at my synthetic pet for letting organic liquid loose all over my foot (particularly my Big Toe).  I was conveniently taking a shower in that same moment, so I wasn’t too upset, even though I absolutely was.

Regardless of what Strange Dew—that’s my dogbot, don’t you know—squirted onto my low-limbs, I was completely happy with myself, albeit totally fucking miserable.

Strange Dew was clean-shaven with a long beard and people on the grassy bio-block would always notice this. They’d shout things like “Hey! Look at that smooth-faced dogbot with the long black and/or white beard that hangs down and drags across the muddy, sticky-dry pavement as he/she scuttles quickly at a slow pace!”

Keep it to yourself. Yep. That’s what I’d always scream under my breath. Keep it to yourself.

Conventional Dry Particle—also the dogbot’s name—and I (or You, depending on where you’re standing) were on our way to the local dogbot factory, which also functioned as the international morgue for dogbots. It all happens here, but not much goes on most days.

I’m serious!

It was raining inside, cool and dewy (yes, I know), which was fine because the two of us were equally outside where the both of us sweat like female dogs that are in season to mate and have babies.

I took Strange Dew/Conventional Dry Particle into that sun-shower of a birthing room and watched her (or him, depending on the time of day) die. I don’t know why I did this, aside from the fact that I knew that it positively needed to happen. I had no choice and limitless alternatives, so you see where I’m coming from, don’t you?

I looked at the tightly squinted eyes that were wide open and realized that at the end of the day, which is also when the cock roosts or something, that no matter what time it is, or whichever ground you choose to stand on you’ll always be a dogbot.

It’s a funny old world, isn’t it?

For further reading on multiverses and simultaneous realitiesgo here.

Terrible Delicatessen -- 7.22.13

Kreemie Dunbar is a writer with no money. He pays the bills by working at an awful, awful deli. Gary will stop at nothing to make something of himself in this world. Which is why he ate all the rye chips.


NEXT WEEK: Double-sized strip! Kreemie goes to the gym and feels more or less inadequate! Gary flexes and acts like he uses Icopro! Macte animo! Generose puer sic itur ad astra!

Asinine Beliefs I Held As A Small Child

As a young boy I was rather insane. There were a handful of world views I held (and thankfully dropped) until the age of seven or so. Here is a short list.

  • I used to believe that it was possible to pick up a girlfriend or a wife at The Girlfriend Shop. I wasn't sure where it was located, but the three-year-old Justin knew it existed. It was probably somewhere in North Jersey. After I'd seized my woman I was convinced she would bore me three boys. I planned to name them Tommy, Joey and Dopey.
  • I thought "skim milk" was called "skin milk" and used to think it did wonders for my four-year-old skin. "Grandma, come feel my hands! They're so soft!"
  • I was under the impression that in a movie theatre the lights were to be kept on at all times. The first flick I almost saw was Return of the Care Bears, though we had to leave early because I kept screaming "Hey! Hey! Who turned out the lights?!?"
  • I was convinced that a giant fountain at a local mall was my grandfather from another planet. Anytime I'd go to the mall I say "Hello, Grandpa" in my head. I was telepathically communicating with the indoor geyser. Really glad I didn't share that with anyone at the time.
  • I used to think Poison were cool and The Grateful Dead were terrifying. That "Touch of Grey" video gave me the creeps. I suppose Poison were just less threatening because they looked like a bunch of Moms.
  • I'm pretty positive my first sexual feelings occurred for my Storm action figure. I suppose I got to second base pretty early if I'm allowed to count the foxy Ororo Munroe as my first hookup. My asinine belief was that she was my girlfriend.

That's all I can think of. I don't know why I thought about these things. I'm not sure where the ideas came from. They just happened and I remember them vividly. Alright, bye.

Terrible Delicatessen -- 7.15.13

Kreemie Dunbar is a writer with no money. He pays the bills by working at an awful, awful deli. Gary's Monday Morning Miasma is extra rank. Why and how? Because he went dancing and got lucky! That's why and how!


NEXT WEEK: You never want to be That Guy. You should know this. Homo homini lupus est.

Mind of Makiko

Makiko Suda is a fantastic cartoon scribbler based out of Tokyo, Japan. She also sings for the all-female grindcore outfit Flagitious Idiosyncrasy in the Dilapidation. You should check them out. Here are a few of her recent works. Ice Cream Boy

It's that time of the season, folks. The air is dense, almost syrupy with humidity. Who else would you rather want to hang out with other than Ice Cream Boy? Makiko explains:

He claims himself "Real Chocolate Ice Cream", and demands you to scoop the ice cream and serve it on a fancy glass dish. He gets mad when you try to eat from him directly because he thinks he is a posh ice cream.

Robot Banana

A visual manifestation Melt Banana using a drum machine. If you're wondering what the band sounds like, just take a hard look at those googley banana eyeballs. That's what they sound like. Really.

Gremlin Man

This guy always reminded me of a gremlin hopped up on yerba mate and SSRIs. A-dor-ablay.

Hand Man

Makiko's description is the most accurate:

He is a egg, but has six flexible hands and no legs. He is really annoying, always interrupts people's talking. He sometimes gets cracked.

Fire Boy and Candle

According to Makiko, Fire Boy is rather quiet but nice. Since he consists mainly of fire he keeps a distance from most other people. It's a bit sad. Candle is one of his best buds, though. Here we see Fire Boy doing Candle a solid.


Cheer up, buttercup.

So, what do you think?

The Sentient Castrum That Once Protected the Octopoids Now Has Nothing But Time

The Nimbus came again and breathed a biting cold against my façade. The array of wintry daggers reminded me of the great yesterdays of when I was a castle. The magnificent days. The brighter and lighter days. The days when the royal Octopoids I housed ruled over a gorgeous, desolate moon. I served them with patience, with sturdiness. I served them until The Pulse took place; the bursting wave that bent all things out of shape. As a castle I was helpless. I was stripped bare and mauled by The Pulse. I was violated by a happening with no face, by a massive tear in time. My rocky frontage was gone for the most part, though I maintained a strong expression on the left-hand side, the side that allowed me to visualize. Over centuries I saw all things fall, and for years and now I rot and freeze and watch.

I watch the Lonely Time Traveler from Afar. He stands in the same spot, trapped in the atmosphere of The Nimbus. There once was a time when he moved around slowly. He was a victim of The Pulse, a humanoid displaced out of time. Before he froze he attempted humor. And now he stands unmoving next to a garish time-displaced vehicle and it looks very poignant from a distance.

The gaudy auto came moments after the Lonely Time Traveler from Afar arrived on my moon. It came covered in filth and an air of excesses. It wasn’t sentient, either. It couldn’t communicate, and this depressed me. It became a toy for the surviving Octopoid.

The Octopoid that survived was formerly an Urchin, a small one without a family. She lived inside of me for months. I did my best to keep her small and slippery form warm, and when we felt The Pulse I did all I could to protect her, meaning that I couldn’t do much at all. She was the lone survivor and I watched her as I rotted and froze, watched her grow in size but not adulthood. She never had the chance to come of age. There was no one alive to teach her, to communicate with her. I watched her play with the lurid transporter and slide close to The Lonely Time Traveler from Afar. She still knows nothing other than physical pleasures and hunger.

I watch all of this from afar and do nothing, because I have nothing but time.

Pavel and Metiri

Pavel thought of his cold concrete floor as a king-sized bed. On the night before Loatia’s bi-annual Threnody, Pavel laid rigidly in his bed next to his best friend, Metiri. Metiri was a crescent and was twice the size of Pavel. Since Metiri was limbless, Pavel draped a paisley blanket over where its brain was to keep the kind lunula warm at night.

Pavel feared Threnodies.

“Why induce death?” he thought, his face propped up by two pillows, his eyes fixed on the ceiling of his room. His breaths were shallow. Slowly, he sank into thought. Moments later, he realized he was trapped in an asymmetrical section of his mind, cornered by the old intangibles Anxiety and Dread. Pavel was frightened, so he decided to search for irony in the situation.

“How can I be cornered in a room without symmetry?”


In Loatia, the Threnody was a sacrificial ceremony where local governments throughout the country would select citizens at random to be dissolved with nitro-hydrochloric acid and poured into the Sea of Murnan, to the east. The Orthodox Lecheorian priests would then sing dirges until sundown of the following day.

The ritual was relatively new to Loatian culture; it was inherited and instated by Lecheorian bureaucrats in the throes of the Lecheor – Jord conflict roughly three centuries prior.


After a few seconds, which to him felt like an eon, Pavel broke free from the immaterial, lopsided room. He saw the ceiling again. He turned to Metiri, felt its cool white light on his callused middle fingers.

“Your feet make me feel safe. They always make me feel safe.”

The moonlight that Metiri emanated gradually placed Pavel back into a trance. He was back into the asymmetrical room. He saw Fear now. Fear stood directly in front of Dread and Anxiety, forming a triangle. It was the only symmetry he saw inside of the room. The only symmetry until he saw Metiri enter the room from the east.

Metiri’s presence was brilliant, its bright white light quickly dissolving the phalanx. The room began to shift into a gorgeous symmetry; first into a rhombus, then into a perfect square. His mind was lucid. All was as nothing.

Pavel saw the ceiling again. His hand was now pressed firmly against Metiri’s feet. He felt liberated. Kingly, even.

The Old Kingdom Is Not An Anomaly

The Household’s façade was dour except for its Bionicrustacean legs. It traveled to the rhythm of its own surly and sullen personality, which usually meant westward. It traversed only over the green rock formations of the Old Kingdom, typically near the Lake of Liquid Girls. When people first see The Household perambulating over the rocks on its white, crab-like Bionicrustacean legs near the Lake of Liquid Girls, the first thing they usually ask is:

“Who the heck lives inside of that super-ultra-mega sad thing?!”

It is a silly question. It’s also the wrong question to ask. They should be asking:

Who is that Very Depressed Walking House that mainly walks over the green rock formations of the Old Kingdom, typically near the Lake of Liquid Girls?”

The Household is not a home. It’s not a house at all. It is a living, un-breathing thing with a neurotic personality, windows for eyes, a unique pathos and white, crab-like Bionicrustacean legs.

It only strolls over the green rock formations of the Old Kingdom, typically near the Lake of Liquid Girls, because The Household thinks there is a party there. There is a never a party going on near the Lake of Liquid Girls. This is because the Liquid Girls are too busy trying on new brand new viscid clothes that were gifted to them from Father Time of the Brown Sky. The clothes were made from the finest hot gelatin in the Old Kingdom. Father Time of the Brown Sky only wanted the absolute best for his Liquid Girls.

It should be said, though, that Father Time of the Brown Sky did not father the Liquid Girls of the Lake. He claims that the Girls “were just there”.

“I just enjoy seeing them smile” he liked to bellow.

He sounded slightly like a pederast.

Is this why The Household is always in a bad mood? Is it because he thinks there’s a party over by the Lake of Liquid Girls when there’s actually just an eternal, arguably unexciting game of dress-up going on? It could be.

Is it because he secretly wants Father Time of the Brown Sky to give him a special gift? Does The Household want Father Time to accept him as he is, as a living, un-breathing thing with a neurotic personality, windows for eyes, a unique pathos and white, crab-like Bionicrustacean legs? It could be.

It quite possibly could be.

Oh, I think he’s spotted us. Look! Look at him scurry away! Look at his giant Bionicrustacean legs! Oh, that poor little-big walking house. He’s miserable, isn’t he?

Ah, well now! There’re viscid trousers dripping from out of Father Time’s mouth!

Let’s try on a few pairs, shall we?

An Elderly Man Is Not Phased By The Appalling Stench Of A Carrierfish


I am annoyed.

The scent of sidewalk muck and trimethylamine colonized my nasal passages again. Though I was more offended by the smell of that massive carrierfish than by its mighty presence… I could smell the other fish behind this one, floating through the air with crates of dragonphant’s tea strapped near their gills, reeking, reeking horribly of that translucent green seawater and vinegarberries.

But what jiggles my giblets is that everyone in town is always so surprised, so taken aback by the carrierfish deliveries, always in awe of their absurd actuality. It’s tedious, these reactions. It’s boring. Get over it, neighbor.

Things are much worse in Proatia Aloft. The walking crab-houses with iffy deliberateness always lurking around 40 meters from you; the overpriced fractal food found at the astral markets, which is always impossible to digest if you’re from down here; that terrifying Infinity Dragonphant who holds all of our memories tightly in his symbol pouch and hates letting us leave Proatia Aloft…

Oh, and the odor – that appalling odor!

Is it possible that a city’s stench could have evil intentions?  Could an aroma be depraved? I’d argue the possibility of such an absurd thing, especially if it originates from Proatia Aloft.

They must realize how good they have it here in Proatia Beneath – the neighbors, I mean. My friendlies next door, the residents so easily scared of the gigantic, mohawked carrierfish delivering the weekly supply of dragonphant’s tea.

Go inside, boy! The carrierfish aren’t the worst of things! The way of things is worse above! Much worse! I swear it! I swear it!!

Javros Doesn’t Understand The Plights of Others

Javros sighed at Mala. “Why do you let it sit with us when it doesn’t eat?”

“You know that’s just how things are for now. That’s the way they have to be with her.” Mala was worn out, tired from Javros’ badgering. “And it’s a ‘she’. You know this.”

“OK, well she doesn’t talk. She don’t even eat! What does she do?”

“Why are you acting out like this? What’s your issue tonight?”

“My issue is that we’ve been takin’-a care of this thing for four months, Mala! When will you take-a responsibility for it?!“ Thick white spit and crumbs of cod spattered out from Javros’ mouth and onto the dinner table.

“Unbelievable.” Mala pushed her chair away from the table.

“And now you-a leaving?”

“Yes. Now ‘I’m-a leaving’.”

“Don’t make-a fun of me. Where you goin’?” Javros’ question wasn’t rooted in insecurity, but in concern. He was sincerely curious.

Mala didn’t respond. She walked out of the kitchen and up the small staircase to her bedroom. Javros’ heard the door shut close from upstairs.

He looked over at the massive green being sitting to the left of him. He craned his neck upwards and to the right so that he could see her face.

“You look-a like one of them aliens on those old Earth TV shows.”

The large, olive-colored figure stared ahead into the empty space of the living room. Her hairless head knocked gently against the lamp above the table. She heard Javros speak, understanding none of it. She wasn’t there.

Javros looked away from the being. He shifted his seat so that he could catch a glimpse of the television that sat under the cabinets.

He shoveled a hunk of cod into his mouth. He chewed slowly and with his mouth open; the sound from his mouth was very similar to the sound of someone trudging through a swamp.

Javros raised the volume on the television. He adjusted it with his mind.

“Approximately 2,000 more émigrés arrived today at Commonwealth Isle. These refugees, like most others over the course of this past month, come from lower Jord. Citizens of Commonwealth Isle are expected to report to the Provisional Emigré offices at the beginning of next week to sign off on housing at least one more refugee.”

The oversized other-worlder still sat in a catatonic trance. A few moments later she passed wind, violently. Brown and green excreta dripped down her long leg and onto the kitchen floor.

Javros stared at the alien for five seconds. He then looked straight ahead and shoveled the last piece of cod into his mouth.

Androgyne Police Officer Watches War From Prison Window

All I wanted was to finish as Alexandria.

All I wanted was to be a poet.


Lecheorian attacks on Jord had begun two days before I was taken into custody. The first attacks came from the sky. They took out our main military forces, there’s agents outnumbering our soldiers six to one. They destroyed the city’s primary defense fields within minutes of the first assault.

Electricity was cut within hours of the attacks. I was alone on the 8th floor in the Jordian Police Headquarters, trapped with no means of communication. Cellular Towers were being torched by Lecheorians. I was defenseless, too, stuck with wi-fi weapons that wouldn’t work for me. We were so dependent on The Towers.

Feeling hopeless, I grabbed a stylus and tablet and began to write.


Find log:

Lecheorian Arrest Briefs: 13.01.2246 – 14.01.2246

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Supporting Deposition: OFFICER R91498SK4M: Haigh, Christoph

Logdate: 13.06. 2246

Prisoner 30460 – Original Detainment

Background brief: The majority of Jord forces had already been neutralized or detained and placed into custody, though Chief of Police Alex Montrose eluded agents for approximately four days before surrendering to Lecheor forces via artificial clairvoyance structure; older Jord technology.

Four Lecheor agents arrived at the Jord Police Headquarters (JPH) at approximately 1000 hours. According to the agents, the primary entrance to JPH was barricaded, thus the agents were forced to dissolve a major portion of it with medium quantities of nitro-hydrochloric acid.

Upon entering JPH, the agents found no traces of mammalian life in the immediate proximity, aside from officer Montrose, who was sitting inside of her cubicle, calmly. It should be documented that Montrose was not insubordinate or resistant toward the Lecheor agents, though to say she went into custody willingly would be a bit of an overstatement. Agents noted her body was abnormally tense while she was moved from her cubicle and into Lecheorian custody; an agent described detainee’s wrists as having “the feeling of rigor mortis” while he placed security bands onto them.


When the agents came to headquarters to remove me from my office, I didn’t argue. I didn’t fight it; there wasn’t a point. I sat at my desk with much patience, waiting for them to depose me. I was the last of the clean constables, so I figured I’d be removed with as much dignity as possible.

Four agents were sent over to the offices – overkill, like usual. They tried kicking down the door as if they were in one of those old Earth films. A funny thought, though I didn’t actually laugh at it. I’m still not laughing.

The four agents couldn’t break through the door physically because they didn’t realize the base of the entrance was forged with titanium. I sat and waited for them to dissolve it somehow. Within seconds the entrance was gone, smelted down to the floor.

They stomped rhythmically over to my desk, saying nothing. They had large, foreign-looking weapons draped over their shoulders; it was the only thing I noticed before looking away from them. Their presence was inscrutable and intimidated me, though I didn’t want them to see this. I looked straight ahead, as stoic and stone cold as possible, waiting for them to detain me.

Two of the agents grabbed my arms and shoved them behind my back, pushing my wrist up towards the top of my back, slightly dislocating my right shoulder. Their hands were freezing. Still, they said nothing. We both understood what was to transpire as they walked me out, leading me across the City Centre into my P.O.W cell.


Find log:

Lecheorian Prisoner Observations: 13.01.2246 – 14.01.2246

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Logdate: 13.13. 2246, 0931 (northeastern time zone) Prisoner 30460 – analysis II, Obj.,Subj.:

Health: Subject was fed at 0900. Subject will bathe in East Wing showers at 1200. Subject appears fit, physically healthy overall.

Current actions: Subject sits on cell mattress, upright, knees against chest. “Fetal position.” Subject appears subdued, nonthreatening. Subject is currently staring out the window and has been in this position for approximately twenty minutes.

Pscyhoanalysis: Subject is essentially catatonic. Empath readings listed the following possible emotional states of subject: sullen, helpless, impotent.  Calm at the moment but potentially prone to fits of anger and rage, similar situations described in last week’s analysis. Two security drones have been placed outside of subject’s door. Considering subject’s state, better to act pragmatically. Updates to come later in the day.

Sullen and helpless, I watched it all take place from my cell window. I stared impotently out onto the City Centre while the paramilitary agents vehemently pulverized my comrades with alloyed batons from unfamiliar planets, their snouts pressed to the grindstone. They knew nothing but their work.

It was early in the morning; I’d guess around 0830 or so. I sat and studied them, watching how they dirtied their hands as they turned my district into a nondescript horde, which then coalesced slowly into a massive mound of red pulp. If I hadn’t have known any better I’d assume it was a Leisurepool filled with fresh mercury iodide, like the ones they have on holiday-asteroids.

Holiday-asteroids. Vacations. Repose. Comfort. Quiet.

I sank back into my own head, reminiscing. Wanting things. Wanting everything to be the way it was before the chaos, before the mass bleedings.

A shrill scream from outside the window interrupted me. I heard a young girl, a teenager, screaming her throat raw at the paramilitary agents, begging them to stop the massacre while simultaneously asking them “Why?”

The screams took me out of my meditation. Suddenly I was in an ugly place of mind, a place in time from a few days ago. The agents were checking me into the makeshift prison.


Find log:

Lecheorian Intelligence MEMOS (Gen.): 13.06.2246 , all

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OFFICER R96297SK4M: Johns, Mikael

Logdate: 13.06. 2246 To: Kastori, Lenka, Lecheorian Intelligence Bureau (L.I.B)

Re: Prisoner 30460 – original admittance; Gender Identifications, Etc.

Prisoner 30460 was handled firmly by the agents while being admitted into the provisional prison. Agents logged prisoner’s digital fingerprints, retinal scans and dental scans before a general delousing in the showers on the east end of the concourse.

It should be stated that during the delousing, multiple agents reported that the prisoner’s sex was previously altered; a confirmation that the Jordian chief of police was, in fact, a Changeover. It was deduced that the prisoner’s sex was originally male, based on the stitching and scaring near the pelvic area. This suggests that the prisoner was raised by Malconian high priestesses, as it is well known that the offshoot sects of all-female Malconium followers on Jord perform sexual sterilization to male children. Reasons for this are unknown at the moment, but most likely have to do with dated Malconian rituals based on sacred texts.

It is imperative that more research on these offshoot Malconian sects must be performed in the coming months, as Lecheorian agents are finding more and more Changeovers in higher posts of Jordian authority.


The agents twisted my arms back in a Hammerlock behind my back while they placed scalding-hot security bands on my wrists. The bands never left scars.

This area in time is where I began to feel less and less like a person and more like a Lecheorian statistic.

I was carted off to the makeshift prison a few blocks away. It was in the bombed out Proma Hotel. I was checked in at the improvised security area they’d built in the lobby. Prints, eye scans; the usual admittance measures. The agents had cold, absent looks in their eyes. I could only see their eyes, as they wore those dated Lecheorian ventilation masks attached to their helmets.

I was then brought over to the right side of the hotel, where everything was made of marble; it was also where the showers were. They ripped my uniform off and threw it in a waste bin. I watched it dissolve quickly. The agents began ogling me, leering at my pelvic area. They noticed my ritual scars. Their empty stares slowly frosted with disdain, their apathy shifting to contempt. I watched as an agent stared at me, shaking his head in what looked like disgust. He typed something on a marble screen.

An agent then walked over to me, swiftly. He blasted my head with his foreign-alloyed baton. This wasn’t the blow that knocked me unconscious, though; I slipped in a small puddle after being struck, causing me to hit my face on the edge of a sink in the showers. My last thought before everything went black was “I’d love to be able to fly.”

I woke up in a temporary detention room.  It used to be a hotel suite.


Find log:

List of Jordanian Casualties 14.06.2246; “Pre-Autopsy”

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OFFICER R46267HK5N (Medical): Tolstaya, Annia

Logdate: 14.06. 2246, 1800

To: Kastori, Lenka, Lecheorian Intelligence Bureau (L.I.B)

Re: Prisoner 30460 – Incident Report, Cause of Death

Summary Narrative:

Prisoner 30460 (formerly Alex Monstrose, Jordanian Chief of Police) was found among a pile of neutralized Jordanian citizens placed near the Lecheorian Provisional Prison. Although it’s still under official investigation, officials have concluded that the prisoner jumped through her cell window in an attempt to escape.

Agents reported the prisoner missing at approximately 1400 hours. Agents arrived at prisoner’s cell room to drop of prisoner’s second meal. Prisoner did not respond to agents within a timely manner, and therefore were forced to enter the room. Prisoner was missing and window was open. Agents were sent outside the building to search for the missing prisoner, but quickly found prisoner on sidewalk directly below prisoner’s cell room.  The body was dormant and mangled.

Preliminary list of damage to prisoner’s body from the fall: dislocated mandible; hairline fracture to left orbital bone; four of twelve thoracic vertebrae shattered; five of five lumbar vertebrae shattered; coccyx dislocated; bruised femur; split ulna. Full autopsy report is still being prepared.

Aside from the major damage done to the prisoner’s upper body, the lower half is in arguably fine condition. Once autopsy is finished and logged, it is suggested that lower half of body be transferred to bio-enhancement offices (once they are established in the city, of course).

It is also suggested that all windows in Provisional Prison building be replaced with titanium or lead sheets. This would be a days worth of labor for Jordanian prisoners, and, as discussed, it is important to keep the current prisoners busy.

Please respond with general thoughts and further directions.


I sat on my stiff cell bed and looked out the window again while I simultaneously I thought of places to go. If I shut my eyes, where will I take myself? Whenever I meditate, I try my best to go to a place of peace from my past.

I was suddenly six years old. I was sitting on a cold floor with a thin blanket covering it. This is where I sat and dreamt. I dreamed of flying, like most other six year olds. But me, I felt like I was different. I felt that if I could fly, I’d end up becoming exactly who I was meant to be. I don’t know how that made any sense to me at the time, but it did. It was an abstract, utterly illogical thought that made complete sense to me as a child.

It finally made sense to me again.

I was now a large child. I stepped off of my bed and explored things, touched things. Played with debris on the floor. I sat near the window and played with the rusty latch. After shaking it a few times it just fell off. I was a powerful child. I looked at the rusty latch in my hand, and then looked out the window onto the street. I looked at the pile of bodies from eight stories up.  I was still a child.

I pushed the window open. It made a creaking sound. The agents forgot how old some of the suites were in this building. I looked outside again. Eight stories up. I was still a child. I was still six years old and wanted to fly.

I thought about my past and tried to weigh it against my perceived future as a prisoner; my future as an experiment. Any humanoid features I had would soon be gone, dissolved, out the window. So I decided to fly away.


Find log:

List of Jordanian Casualties 14.06.2246”Evidence”

Cancel               Find

OFFICER R36287FK5N: Sythe, Jomol

Logdate: 14.06. 2246, 2130

Nothing of major strategic value found at scene, though we did recover a slim tablet with writing on it that matches the deceased’s handwriting.

Transcription of found writing:

I summoned the Dread from out of my chest And into the air up above my head. It had the hue of an apple – deep red. I summoned the Dread up into the air, Made it grow to the size of the sky, And then shrunk it down into the palm of my hand. I then took a bowl from my left And placed the Dread inside of it. I took a bamboo brush from my right And ground the Dread into tea. I dipped my hands into the warm sea, Poured it into the bowl. I then poured the red tea, the Dread, Onto the white rocks near the water.

The Dread dissolved into the ground, Gone for the moment. But I knew it’d be back, returning again, and again, And again.

Galaktias Grottesca

He saw her face through my window. Unsettled, I stood behind Malkin as he sat statuesque and engrossed in what he saw before him. His miniature fluorescent blue eyes beamed directly into the ship stationed just outside Khylund 5c. It was congested with fresh, miserable émigrés that had just recently been dumped into the station. They had come from Jord.


Malkin sat and absorbed everything that was happening on the main ship. He was taking in the Knowledge of the Present at a rapid speed. Within seconds he saw and knew every face; he now knew each refugee's sad story. His whiskers vibrated gently as he absorbed the Poignancy into his paws.

"Are things... normal?" My heart raced.

Malkin paused. It felt like an eon.

Moments later, Malkin, my prophetic Felis catus, began to painfully transmute into a Krypte catus. He hissed and cried.

"Out! GET OUT!"

I was paralyzed in terror. I watched Malkin's fur fall from his back, exposing filthy pink flesh. His body pulsated as though something inside of him was trying to induce its own birth. Blood began to drizzle down his back from a wound I had yet to see. Thin membranes connected to wing bones began to emerge from his body. He continued to hiss.



I shivered. I ran into the hallway frantically, looking for the XO of this transitory ship; I bowled into her within seconds, by chance.

"What's your issue, Dr. Keigh?"

I was short of breath. "It's happening... it's happening. It's happening!"

"Be specific, doctor!" The XO's face turned white.

My throat began to tighten as though I was having an allergic reaction. "Malkin... Malkin's sensed The Disciple. She is aboard the émigré ship... The Disc-"

"The Disciple."


The XO stormed away from me. Moments later I heard voice over the battleship's P.A. I knew what I was about to hear.

"Attention passengers of the Metonym: Prepare for auto-destruct in 45 seconds."

I walked slowly back to my room. All of the blood in my body had drained to my feet. I peaked my head in.

"Jam tibi impero et præcipio maligne spiritus! ut confestim allata et circulo discedas, absque omni strepito, terrore, clamore et foetore..."

I stared at the living gargoyle as it chanted, waiting anxiously for my body's particles to dissolve. I prayed this would work.

I shut my eyes.


Seconds later, I appeared on the émigré ship, watching Metonym expand into fire.

The Happiest Family

Mother Mole, now a ghost, was the mother of The Happiest Family. She had two male sons and no male counterpart. Her first son she chose not to name because her love for him was only a small amount. He was known to most as the Four-Eyed Pumpkin Head Boy. His skull was a pumpkin, his brain a mushy orange pulp.

He had two eyebrows and two sets of eyes. The top eyes were shaped like less than/greater than symbols; the left eye, less-than, the right, greater-than. They were used primarily for prejudice and postjudice. His second pair of eyes were parentheses that enclosed his triangular nose. His parenthesis-eyes were used mostly for deep thinking.

He died in 1994 on Halloween; he lived to be seven years old.

Mother Mole's other son was called Alfred. He was younger than the Four-Eyed Pumpkin Head Boy, and wished he were a map. He was named after Mother Mole's gynecologist.

Alfred's face was flat and simple, like the work of a sad Cubist. He prayed every night to his god, the God of Cartography. "Please, God. Please, please stretch my face out and make it feel like paper. Turn my wrinkles into rivers, and my eye-area into a capital (Bratislava, preferably).”

He loved his older brother dearly. He didn't look up to him, though; he just had a perpetually cavernous affection towards him.

In 1994, the year of his brother's death, Alfred became filled with grief and ran away from home. All he brought with him was a can of green beans and a compass. This compass was a special compass, though; it was gift from God, he thought. He'd grabbed it after it had fell out of a tree near his home one day. He was convinced that the God of Cartography tossed it to him with a behind the back pass, which then landed on top of a tree, and then tumbled down to the ground right next to his house. "It's a sign!" he screamed into the wall; he had just watched six hours worth of behind the back basketball passes on Youtube, so the compass falling out of the tree onto the ground was obviously a behind the back pass from God.

Alfred took his special compass, his can of green beans, and went to the nearest Kinkos. He walked swiftly, and was panting and bawling by the time he'd made it to the entrance. He walked into the store, slammed his green beans down onto the front counter and demanded to the clerk that he be flattened and turned into a papery image of the Eastern Hemisphere. He also made it clear that Bratislava was to be clearly visible as a star on the right side of his face, atop his orbital bone. The clerk starred at him, breathing heavily.

"What are you waiting for?! Make me into a map! An old-styled map, like one from the 1970s! I'm a grieving boy, for Christmas' sake!"

The clerk stuck his arm out over the counter and let it wave in front of Alfred's face. His arm was a tentacle. Alfred was frightened. "I'm sor-"

The tentacle clung to his face and dragged him forcefully over the counter. The thirteen employees swimming under the counter then devoured him. After they'd finished their lunch, the main counter clerk said to his employees, "I now have a strange urge to go somewhere."

Mother Mole didn't realize she'd lost both of her sons until two and a half weeks later. When she learned of their respective deaths, she didn't cry. She wasn't sad. She was liberated. She was inspired. Right before she went to bed, though, she sat down and wrote a short story about them.

Terrible Delicatessen -- 7.1.13

Kreemie Dunbar is a writer with no money. He pays the bills by working at an awful, awful deli. Subjects broached in this week's strip: 5K Marathons, bucket lists, the dictums of Winston Churchill, ennui.  Plus Gary chows down on a Sloppy Joe. Honestly, what more could you want?

Enjoy it.


NEXT WEEK: Is Kreemie a grown-up? How much of an adult is Gary, really? And while we're at it, what's your deal? Who are you right now?  Get all quasi-existentialist with next week's strip. Quem di diligunt, adulescens moritur.



Terrible Delicatessen -- 6.24.13

Kreemie Dunbar is a writer with no money. He pays the bills by working at an awful, awful deli. Are pitbulls telepathic? How often do Muscley 'Roid Guys order double salami on their sangwiches? Will Kreemie ever stop passing judgement on customers? All the important questions are posed in this week's strip. Enjoy it, patrons.


NEXT WEEK: Kreemie wants to run a 5K. Gary tells us what he thinks about bucket lists. Abyssus abyssum invocat.