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Meet FFO Staff Writer Chris Rhatigan: Furby's Revenge

Chris "Keyser Soze" Rhatigan and his editing "Hands-of-Stone for-Hire" have sunk once again to their Gutter roots. For folks unfamiliar with his antics, Rhatigan's one a deez gangstas who's worked his ass off tryin' to hide behind a curtain of "respectability." After a youthful crime-writing spree-of-terror, this daring hoodlum first hid in "plain sight" by snatching editorial control of once-celebrated Pulp Ink magazine: boldly sneering at the copsfrom behind its digital stories and printed anthology pages.

Dissatisfied with merely pummeling that rag into slime, the image-conscious malcontent shrewdly hooked up with writer Mike Monson to organize crime publishing outfit All Due Respect Books. Determined to further convince the unwitting outside World he's "not a devil and doesn't exist," Rhatigan recently coaxed renowned book publisher Down & Out into acting as a "front" for his growing criminal enterprises. 

But earning the nickname Keyser Soze, Rhatigan turned reclusive. Squirreled daily in a "safe room" he now downs more coffee than Costa Rica growswhile honing crime manuscripts into razor-sharp weapons. Displaying some antics of our own, Flash Fiction Offensive shocked international crime cartels this week by announcing that Mr. Rhatigan has agreed to make public appearances as a Gutter Staff Writer. 

Though FFO's psyched to have Chris writin' for us fun-lovin' criminals, we don't trust this dude for shit. Once a Gutter Psycho, always a Gutter Psycho. Suspecting some of you innocent-minded miscreants might've fallen prey to Rhatigan's "respectability ruse" we went rattlin' some sewersand found this sodden relic clogging a downtown drain pipe. While FFO legend Joe Clifford published this story on Valentine's Day 2013, this sordid tale should leave ya warm-n-fuzzy all year-long.

Furby's Revenge by Chris Rhatigan

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Furby slung the machine gun over his back and clamped the razorblade in his beak. He climbed the gutter to the second floor with surprising grace, especially considering that he had no arms.

He’d cased this house for a week. A chest full of toys grown fat and lazy. A twelve-year-old Master didn’t pay attention to them anymore—except for Pup Pup, a raggedy stuffed Golden Retriever who was his sentimental favorite. Master would be asleep at this hour anyway, making for easy pickings.

Furby reached the window, left open to let in the summer night’s breeze. He razored a slit in the screen and dropped silently to the hardwood floor.

No one noticed him. Toys everywhere but focused on one thing—partying. A bunch of action heroes doing tequila shots, stuffed animals playing poker, few Playmobile figures doing rails of coke off Barbie’s nippleless tits. Furby remembered days like these. Days when he had all his fur and life was easy.

Before Furby could get too wistful, a LEGO cop held up his hand and approached, legs snapping back and forth mechanically. “Excuse me, sir,” he said. “Where do you think you’re going?”

Furby popped off LEGO cop’s head with a swipe of his razor.

Figured that’d set the tone just fine.

Toys started screaming; a crowd of Bratz dolls scattered and revealed Pup Pup, reclining in a Fisher Price hammock, smoking a joint.

Furby said, “All your cash, jewelry, and drugs. In the bag. Do it nice and slow, and nobody gets hurt.”

Silence. Then a Playmobile Davy Crockett pointed at the LEGO cop. “What about him?”

“Er, nobody else gets hurt,” Furby said.

The sack filled up quick. Furby glanced into it. Haul looked pretty good—like he thought, these were some privileged-ass toys.


The Incredible Hulk decided to be a hero. He pointed a big green finger at Furby. “This doesn’t have to do with our money or our jewelry or our drugs. You’re doing this because you used to be popular, but now you’re not. Nobody loves you anymore. You’re simply jealous and taking it out on us.”

Furby shot him twelve times. Full auto. “Anyone else have an inspirational speech?” He waved the gun around.

 “Anyone? Good. Now Pup Pup, I’m gonna need all your weed.”

“Aw, c’mon,” Pup Pup said. “You used to be cool.”

Nothing got Furby going quite like the phrase used to be. He ran straight for one of Pup Pup’s hoes and stabbed her where you’d assume her heart would be.

As Furby dislodged the knife, footsteps echoed down the hall. Human footsteps. “What the hell, Sara?” Master said. “I thought I told you not to play with any of my toys!”

The door swung open. “Sara?”

***

The boy was perplexed—he’d heard a bunch of noise and thought it was his sister, but no one was around. He turned on the light and found toys scattered wildly across the room.

Wanting to avoid his mother’s wrath, he began stuffing them back in the chest by the handful. Maybe he should just throw them in the trash. If anyone from school saw how many toys he had, he’d get the shit kicked out of him.

“Ugh, Furby? How do I still have this?”

“Wee-tah-kah-wee-loo,” Furby robotically cooed.

“What the hell does that mean?”

He kicked the plush toy to the corner.

He was about to shut the toy chest, but he hesitated. Pulled out Pup Pup. He could get rid of the rest of them, but not Pup Pup.

He left the room hugging the stuffed animal to his chest.

***

Soon as he was gone, Furby brushed himself off.

Kick him to a corner, eh? Time to teach that little punk a lesson. Nobody dicks around on Furby and gets away with it.

He weighed his options. Of course, he could slit the kid’s throat or riddle his body with miniature bullets.

But that seemed a light punishment.

***

Kid woke up the next morning, screaming.

Pup Pup’s eyes had been ripped out, two x-shaped scars left behind. Tail had been severed, shoved into his open mouth.

In the next room, Furby heard the screams and laughed. The other toys were white with horror.


He swung the sack over his shoulder. “See you bitches later,” he said.


Chris Rhatigan is a freelance crime fiction editor and publisher of All Due Respect Books.