United States of America
"Are you sure this will work?" Teppler asked Wren.
"Am I sure?" Wren repeated, staring over Teppler's shoulder, eyes out of focus behind the thick lenses of his glasses. "Well, no, but the way I see it, Mr. Teppler, sir, you don't have the time for 'sure,' do you? After all, with the recent allegations of your illegal dealings with—"
A pistol appeared. "Don't continue that sentence, Wren. I'm warning you." Teppler gave his head a quick shake. Wren was brilliant, but he could be quite obtuse at times. "I'm only asking if it will work, Wren. It's either yes or no. So which is it."
"Well, from the multitude of tests we've put various rodents, insects and the like through, it appears safe enough, yes. No immediate effects. But we've yet to test the AMT device with a person, Mr. Teppler—"
"I don't have time for this shit," Teppler said, running the fingers of his free hand through his fine black hair. He put the pistol away, then entered the helicopter and flipped the appropriate switches. The blades began rotating. "Power it up, Wren! And make it snappy!"
Wren rushed through the safety doors to the control room. His fingers were a blur as he poked buttons, tapped keys and adjusted dials. The AMT device—codenamed "Godmaker"—hummed as it gained momentum. Around the helicopter, energy crackled from quickly rotating metal arms. The arms were filled with a patented magnetized mercury-rhubonium compound. The noise coming from the transmutation chamber would have been deafening to hear—that's why Teppler had special noise-cancelling headphones around his ears.
Wren held up his thumb to the control room's tempered-glass window. He would wait for his boss to give the all-clear signal before transmuting him and the helicopter.
With his cheeks flapping every which way, Teppler slammed the door shut. He then raised a shaky hand and jerked his thumb up.
Wren punched the last commands and watched as the helicopter and his boss faded from the chamber. Wren wasn't a religious man, but right then and there he privately prayed to a dozen different gods. If this didn't work, Mr. Teppler would have his head on a pike.
The Dog's Bollocks Irish Pubbery
United States of America
Mary Nazarati slammed home the solid-red number-seven ball with one powerful thrust of the pool cue. Knocked by one of the other balls, the black eight ball spun outward, careening towards the table's middle-right pocket. Mary cringed, willing it to miss.
"Yer dun fer, little lady," said Buck, a toothless reject with a naked-lady tattoo on his enormous hairy stomach. He threw his head back and laughed, bumping the table with his exposed belly.
Mary smiled knowingly. Buck had knocked the eight ball's trajectory out of true. She watched the black ball settle near the corner pocket nearest to her.
"Wha-huuuuuuh!?" Buck gawped stupidly at the eight ball. A green booger launched itself onto the table as Buck sniffed and snorted in his anger. "Hey, no fair, Mare. Ya cheated! Didn' ya!"
"'Fraid not, Buck," she said to him. "That great food magnet of yours did it for me."
"Shit, you mean Bessy?" He stared down at his tattooed gut. The trail of black hair leading down to his jeans was caked with grease, beer and barbecue sauce. "This ol' girl wouldn' betray me, would she?" He attempted to button up his leather vest, as if that would help. Bunches of fatty skin pushed through the cracks between the buttons.
Mary leaned over the table, aiming to land the solid-blue number-two ball into the nearest corner pocket. She thrust the pool cue out but the shot wasn't accurate enough. The blue ball rested centimetres to the right of the pocket. She didn't score any points.
Laughing, Buck attempted to lean himself over the table to take his own shot. A ripple of a fart went out his backside, instantly filling the immediate area with a pungent, nacho cheese–like stench. Buck fired and the white ball went astray, hitting the black ball at just the angle needed to send number eight into the hole. Buck scratched his rear. "Damn. Ya beat me. Again. Guess I owe ya double, don' I, Mare?"
"That you do, Buck, my rotund friend." She held out her hand and counted the bills as they were peeled from Buck's fat roll of cash and slapped into her palm. When she'd been given the three hundred he owed her, she gave him a winning smile in return, batting her eyelashes. "Beat you again tomorrow, dear?"
He gave her a heavy frown, making him look a bit like a toad. "Only if ya promise not to bribe me with nachos." He rubbed his belly and grimaced.
They both laughed. Buck looked mean, looked like the type of guy you wouldn't trust to have your grandma home from Sunday Mass with her purse intact and all her pearls still hanging from her neck, but he was mostly harmless.
"'Ey, tub-o'-lard," said a skinny prick with spiked silver-coloured hair and a gold-plated swastika hanging from his right ear. "How 'bout you stop rippin' toots for a sec, shove the fuck outta the way and let me get a BJ from that bitch, yeah?"
"Fuck you," Mary said.
Buck turned and held his arm out in front of her. "Get back, Mare. I'll handle this li'l turd."
The prick shrugged the shoulders of his spiked jean jacket and laughed to his grinning mates behind him. "Handle me like a bucket o' chicken wings 'n' spicy fries, you fat fuck?" He pretended to cower. "Don't eat me!" He laughed with his mates.
"Yer makin' me angry. Ya won' like me when I'm angry."
"Oh yeah? What happens when you Hulk out, fatso? You getta heart attack?"
"Shit naw, I throw ya 'cross the room 'n' make yer boys there pick the glass from yer tender skin."
"Yeah?" The prick pulled out a switchblade and ejected the knife with a click. "Can you still do that with your fat fuckin' belly split open, buddy?"
"Hey, just leave us alone, okay?" Mary said. "We don't want any trouble."
"Oh, but I do, bitch. So shut your slut trash-bag mouth, 'cuz it needs to rest 'fore my dick's deep in it."
Buck let out a roar and charged at the prick. Mary watched in horror. It wasn't like the movies, wasn't an epic barroom brawl with bottles shattering and chairs going flying. It was over before it even began. The two collided and the prick jammed his blade into Buck's belly, twisted, and pulled it free. Buck went to his knees, his big hands pushing against the wound.
"Holy shit!" the prick shouted, eyes suddenly afraid, like seeing the consequence of his actions was too real for him.
"Dude, let's bolt," one of his friends said.
People screamed, shouted, frantically tried to get out of The Dog's Bollocks.
Mary rushed to Buck's side and helped him onto his back. "Get the fuck out of here!" she shouted at the prick and his friends. Watched them scatter like rats. "Help! Someone call 9-1-1!" She looked down at Buck's fluttering eyelids, the way his hands seemed to be sliding away from the wound. "Buck! Buck, wake up! Stay with me!"
"Hng...?" His eyes opened and it looked like he wasn't even there anymore. Tears rolled down his big bushy cheeks. "Mare? I'm scared. I don' wanna die."
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Epic Tales from Beautiful Minds: An Ooorah AnthologyScience Fiction
Inspired by @rskovach's DECAMERON 2.0, EPIC TALES FROM BEAUTIFUL MINDS is a sci-fi anthology. Spread across multiple sub-genres, EPIC TALES features short stories from Wattpad's best sci-fi writers. The majority of these different sub-genres feature...