Market of the Macabre

Avatar Author: Jim Stitzel I dabble a little in a lot of things -- writing, webcomics, gaming, photography, web design, music, and more. I'm a full-time code-wrangler and a part-time farmer with 40 acres, a lot of animals, and far, far too much to do. Read Bio

He drifted through the cacophony with certain inevitability. Barkers called out their wares along the way.

“Seed of life, extracted via rectal cavity!”

“Fetal tissue from forced abortion!”

“Skullcap of a suicided dwarf!”

“Broken heart! Freshly broken!”

On and on the calls went, featuring items of the grisly and the grotesque. His attention, then, was ripped away by the Finder rapping on the bars of his cage.

“Too bad none of these Rippers has you, eh, lad?” The Finder’s chuckle was wet and croupy. A clump of phlegm shot out and slid down one of the bars. “I knows me my goods, I does, I does. Make me a small fortune from it, too.”

He watched with feverish eyes as the Finder stopped the cart and climbed up next to the cage. A pause, a heaving breath, and the Finder’s barked call brought all to silence in the market for a brief moment. Then as one, merchant and consumer alike surged forward to bid for this new prize.

“Last breath of a sickly boy with no hope, bottled right before your very eyes!”

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Comments (10 so far!)

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  1. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    My wife and I are the market masters this year for our county’s farm market. I thought of this story idea while tending our booth this morning and fleshed it out in my head throughout the day. Strange inspiration from mundane things…

  2. Avatar Opyuse

    Exellent ficly. This story could go any where can practically see a larger universe of Finders and Rippers in this.

  3. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    And many other types, as well. These were just the two relevant to this vignette. :)

  4. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    I labored over it most of the day. It’s still not quite a tight and solid as I’d like, but at least it’s somewhat close. :)

  5. Avatar HSAR

    Man, it’s been a long time since I’ve had the pleasure of reading a ficlet from you. You don’t disappoint – I must say, though, at times the object of "he"s can get a little mixed up.

  6. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    Made a little adjustment to the second to last paragraph. Lemme know what you think.

  7. Avatar Batak Beatrix

    Love the descriptions here. Definitely macabre and grotesque (good thing!). I had to reread to figure out that it was in fact the narrarator in side of the cage, but otherwise a great idea.

  8. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    Hey, thanks! I made another tiny adjustment to indicate that it was his cage, so hopefully that helps with the clarity a bit.

  9. Avatar Batak Beatrix

    Excellent. :)

  10. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    See? This is what I love about places like this — the give-and-take of author-reader participation. I think it makes us all better writers. :)

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