A Brief Hiatus Interruption

Greetings beloved SMM readers! We’re briefly interrupting our soon-to-be-ending hiatus to announce that Esoteric Sausage and Other Malformations, the debut fiction collection Justin A. Burnett, is currently free for Kindle. Grab your copy while you can, if you haven’t already. Signed and personalized paperback copies are also still available for $11.00. Email us for details.

Don’t worry, we’ll be back and fully operational soon. We promise not to leave you in suspense much longer. We’ll continue with our author interviews series, C. M. Bartolomeo’s Your Happy Life, as well as original material from a slew of other contributors well before July.

Esoteric Sausage Flash Fiction Contest Honorable Mentions

I want to thank everyone again who submitted to the Esoteric Sausage flash fiction contest! Posted here are two honorable mentions. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did! This weekend, we will resume our author interview series. I’m working on a few juicy ones right now, so stay tuned! You won’t want to miss these. Is there an author of weird fiction you want to see me interview? Feel free to email me your interview personality suggestions. Or, if you’ve done and interview or written a review you’d like to see posted here, feel free to contact me with your submission!

Remember that you can still win a copy of Perchance to Dream by being one of the first five Amazon reviewers of Esoteric Sausage and Other Malformations. Simply email me a screenshot or link to your review, you’re entered into the drawing! Your chances will be no less than one and five of winning, so don’t miss out!

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Flash Fiction Honorable Mentions

The Only Reich We Can Swallow

By Steven Gusano

Heinrich Alderman, the former mayor of Berlin, dangles lifeless underneath a cobblestone bridge. A chain of bratwurst holds the portly politician twenty-feet in the air. Tourists and residents record the body swinging slowly while vomit leaks out of the corners of their mouths. The fire engine arrives, and the firemen hoist the ladder to reach their leader. A bullet knocks off the top step. The present police search the surrounding area for the source of the gunfire. Half of the crows flees in panic; the other half stands frozen in surrender. Captain Dreyer spots a trio wearing gas masks and overcoats walking under the bridge.

“Halt!” Dreyer orders the cloaked figures.

“You will not shoot any of us,” the man in the middle chants in a deep-metallic voice. “We are with the Order of the Holy Linguiça.” Smoke trails from a suppressed pistol in his right hand. “Mayor Alderman has damaged the sanctity of the sausage.”

“Stay where you are!” Dreyer charges after the spokesman and pins him on the concrete. “You are under arrest for the murder of—” His cell phone rings.

Chancellor Angela Merkel answers with a shivering voice, “Captain Dreyer. This is the Chancellor. You must stand down against these men. That’s an order! You will be tried in the highest court if you take any further action!” The call ends as quickly as it begins.

Dreyer pulls the masked figure upright and takes his weapon away.

“Who the hell are you?”

The masked men hand Dreyer laminated forms. They chant the written message simultaneously, “Bratwurst shall not be declared superior to linguiça. If this nonsense is perpetuated. Nuclear War shall induce between Germany and Portugal.” They lift their masks just high enough to take quick bites from pieces of sausage. Foam froths from their mouths, and they collapse with no pulse.

Master Of Meats

By Ben Fitts

I am a master of meats. Blindfold me, give me any cut of animal and after only seconds of feeling it over on my calloused tongue, I’ll be like, “It’s ham, bitch.”

And I’ll be right, every damn time.

Before long, I realized that I should go professional with my carnivorous talents. Keeping them to myself was just inconsiderate and cruel. I set up a little table on 58th Street, blindfolded myself and declared, “Feed me your meats! If I can guess what it is, you’ll give me a dollar!”

“If I can’t guess it, you can eat me instead” I added as a joke.

I figure that there are currently 8.538 million people in New York City, and every one of them is going to want to see my talents. I’ll make millions.

It was going great.

“Crab!”

“Brisket!”

“West african crocodile leg!”

I was raking in the cash. Then, I ate something strange.

“What the hell is this?” I shouted, ripping off the blindfold.

“It’s a very esoteric sausage, made from human flesh,” said the little man before me. “Now I get to eat you,” he concluded, revealing a set of sharp teeth.

Esoteric Sausage Flash Fiction Contest Winner

Today, we’re taking a break from the author interview series to announce the winner of the Esoteric Sausage flash fiction contest. Contestants were asked to write a very short flash fiction based on the words “esoteric sausage.” Familiarity with my book Esoteric Sausage and Other Malformations was not required for participation.

While reading the entries was certainly fun, picking a winner was definitely my least favorite part. They were all so good! Without further ado, congratulations to Ben Arzate, for his unsettling take on the sausage! Today, I will contact two very close runner ups, whose stories will appear here over the next two days. Azarte’s entry is posted below.

Azarte was offered the prize choice of either a copy of Esoteric Sausage and Other Malformations or Charles Beaumont’s magnificent collection, Perchance to Dream. Happily, he chose the sausage. That means I have an extra copy of Perchance to Dream I still intend to give away. So welcome to the next Esoteric Sausage contest!

Here’s how it works: Leave a review of Esoteric Sausage on Amazon, send me a screenshot of or link to your review, and blam, you’ve entered a random drawing to win Perchance to Dream. Easy as pie. The winning reviewer will be randomly chosen, so be honest in your review. A one sentence, one star review has the same chances of winning as a ten paragraph five star. You can email me your screenshot, or send it to me on messenger.

Now, without further ado, here is Arzate’s winning sausage fiction!

Esoteric Sausage

by Ben Arzate

My usual butcher wasn’t in. His replacement had black, insect-like eyes and spoke in a low growl. He recommended a new kind of sausage today. It glowed bright red and featured unusual markings etched in its casing. He gave me a sample. Not only was it tasty, but it made me realize that our existence as humans was malignantly useless and should be extinguished as soon as possible.

He sold me the sausage, and threw in a free ax and a fair length of rope. I’d use them on my wife, my kids, and myself after I fed them the sausage for dinner and they came to the same realization I had.

What a nice guy that butcher was. I’d come back, but since I’ll be dead, I’ll just recommend my neighbors to him first.

Win a Piece of My Library With Flash Fiction!

I’m going to experiment with something, here. I’m giving a random book from my bookshelf to whoever can write the coolest flash fiction (200 words or less) under the theme “Esoteric Sausage.” You don’t have to know anything about my release, release Esoteric Sausage and Other Malformations. Just something relevant to the words “Esoteric Sausage,” or any associations these words might evoke. The winner and two runner ups will be posted here. The book you receive WILL NOT be crap. It’ll be something I have multiple copies of (and therefore something I enjoy). Hell, you might even get to choose from a selection of a few. Who knows? Send your entries to jaburnett7@gmail.com.