Memphis Fast Fiction Home
12.12.2011
pump
Scout Anglin

To whomever finds this, know that you risk great harm to both your body and mind if you continue to read on, from the great truth that I will reveal, and the merciless agents that will seek to protect it.

An ancient cabal from the time of the Pharaohs has controlled the flow of events since the very founding of the city.

I’m not sure if it was Overton, Winchester or Jackson that was beholden to the group, but the likelihood of an American president serving such an ancient evil is more than I care to imagine.

Their machinations started with the enclosing of the Gayoso Bayou. A cover story they used to construct secret tombs under the city, complete with machines to pump out the water.

Then, when the Pyramid – their pyramid – was built, they joined their tunnels to it. Just like it was back in ancient Egypt! Their ancient labyrinth was restored, their desire sated, they thankfully slumbered on.

But, something’s gone wrong. The Pyramid is being gutted, and I fear what sort of grave repercussions the populace of our city will face when those near-immortal beings one again stir, and see how we’ve ruined their works.

Memphis Note
Growing up in a city named after a ruined one in Egypt, complete with a pyramid of glass and metal, you can’t help but imagine that there’s some kind of ancient conspiracy. It makes everything seem more fantastic, and less like a city with more than its fair share of problems.

04.11.2011
Dio
Jonathan McCarver

They’d left it empty too long.

And just like any abandoned building, pests started to move in.

First it was roaches, then rats, then something a bit more fiery: a dragon.

Honestly, what else did you expect to make its home in a giant steel and glass pyramid?

So there he was, sulking through the shadowy bowels, near the old concession stands, trying to find the thing’s roost.

Across his back was his only weapon: a replica of Gandolf’s sword, Glamdring. He’d bought it off eBay after a drunken Lord of the Rings marathon. Guns scared the heck out of him, and what else were you supposed to fight a dragon with?

Sadly, his friends were more than skeptical of this course of action.

They said things like, “You’ve been playing too much Dungeons and Dragons!”

Or, “Life’s not like the cover to a Dio record!”

And, “No way am I bailing you out when you get busted for trespassing.”

His girlfriend had really surprised him with that one.

But he knew what he saw, knew what was in here, and there was no way they were going to stop him.

After all, he’d always wanted to slay a dragon.

Memphis Note
The Pyramid was going to be a shot to the arm of the northern end of downtown Memphis, a foundation from which new economic growth could spring. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out that way. In less than ten years after it opened, the city was planning another, bigger, arena within walking distance. Now, the Pyramid is being repurposed as a headquarters and retail space for Bass Pro Shops. But, hey, at least we can say we’ve got the sixth largest pyramid in the world.

31.10.2011
notebook
Shawn Wolowicz

The man in the drab trench coat walks along the empty road, sniffing at the air. He stops, licks his finger and sticks it up, testing for a breeze that isn’t there.

Shaking his head in disappointment, he pulls out a black notebook from his jacket pocket. Clicking his pen, he starts to jot down notes.

“Callis Cutoff,” he says aloud as he scribbles on the paper. “Site of multi-generational fear. Mostly unfounded, but there have been a few resonant events that have accelerated the decay.”

A wild howl cuts through the trees, snapping his head up. He listens for a moment longer before returning to his notebook.

“Concern a few unwelcomes might have already slipped through the veil. Will double check the area.”

Tapping on what seems to be nothing, but the air around his finger shimmers and vibrates for yards in all directions.

“We’ll have to send in a team to shore up the reality buttresses, make sure everything’s brought back up to code. Otherwise, we could be looking at a total esoteric collapse of this whole area.”

He snaps the notebook shut and slips it back into his pocket.

“And that, would be a paperwork nightmare.”

Memphis Note
The Callis Cutoff is an undeveloped side street near the intersection of Germantown Road and Winchester that has developed a reputation for being one of the scariest places in Memphis. Sort of like a suburban Voodoo Village. Sadly, those urban legends became reality when Lorenzen Wright, a beloved former professional athlete, was found murdered there.

28.10.2011
decaying
Shawn Wolowicz

“I don’t even want to know what we just slogged through.”

“Probably just rain water and leaves. No reason for raw sewage to gather in a place like that.” Mitch said, sweeping his light around the decaying cavernous interior of the Sears Crosstown building.

David frowned. “Just saying the words ‘raw sewage’ doesn’t instill a lot of confidence.”

Ignoring him, Mitch started to empty out the contents of his satchel onto the ground.

“I wonder if this was how Jonah felt inside of his whale. From his perspective, I imagine the ribs were indistinguishable from a vaulted ceiling”

He lit a candles and placed them in a circle around he and David, who was pulling out an ancient tome.

“Sears built ten buildings just like this, spread out across the nation to feed their catalog business. The developer’s trying to sell the building, but the old girl’s been silent too long. The life’s gone out of her. He thinks she needs a bit of a jump start.”

David opened the book to a certain passage and handed it to Mitch.

“They call it necromancy when you do it with people. Wonder what it’s called when you do it with buildings.”

Memphis Note
The Sears Crosstown building was one of ten retail and shipping centers built by Sears to power their catalog business. It was used up into the 1990s, when it was officially closed by Sears and sold to a private owner. Since then, several attempts have been made to resurrect the building as retail or living space, but nothing has taken hold so far.

30.08.2011
mitigate
Ben Powers

Two devils sit on a park bench, enjoying a beautiful day. The older of the pair points at child walking past, eagerly licking a towering ice cream cone. Then the younger one snaps his fingers and the child falls, face first, into the desert. They explode into laughter.

Composing himself, the younger devil turns to his mentor. “It’s been an honor learning from you, sir. ”

“You took to the suffering arts like a natural.” The older replies, nodding with approval.

“I have one question, if I might be so bold.” Timidly asks the younger one.

“Oh? What might that be?”

“What act of misery are you most proud of?”

“Malfunction Junction.” The old devil says without hesitation. “An interstate interchange in Memphis, Tennessee. I manipulated the minds of a half dozen civil engineers over the course of a decade. Every attempt they made to solve the problem, to mitigate what I’d done, just made even worse.”

“Really, sir? You’re a legend in our line of work, and you’re proudest of a traffic jam?”

“Wasn’t my grandest project. But, nothing beats the suffering a human experiences tying to merge from five lanes to two in the middle of rush hour traffic.”

Memphis Note
Malfunction Junction is the local name for the intersection of two major interstates in south Memphis. On the surface, it looks like a simple cloverleaf interchange, but evil lurks in those sweeping curves. Trucks get stuck under the overpass. Cars burst into flames for no reason. And if there’s going to be wreck, it’s going to be on the on/off ramp, blocking everything up.