Myrna couldn’t remember when exactly it was Merle stopped putting his trousers on before he plopped into “his” chair in the den. Three months ago? Six? Closer to six, she decided. Long enough.

She was going to have to do something about it, and soon.

Merle had plowed through middle age, Myrna at his side, with the same stoic indifference he’d used to get through Senior English. Retirement was proving a different challenge.

“Did my World Weekly get in?” Merle peered over the sagging folds under his piggish eyes that, perversely, were still in perfect reading order, no glasses required. He spotted the tabloid across the room on the end table. “There it is. Get it for me, will ya?”

Myrna sighed and slipped heavily to her feet. The tabloid was on the end table, not six feet from his chair. When did she start bringing him his papers and magazines? Forty years ago, she realized. Back then, he’d come home so tired from working—why hadn’t she ever stopped? Merle had moved off the line in seventy-five, he’d retired in ninety-eight. When was she going to get to set?

“Thanks, Myrna.” Merle was deep into the checkout rag almost before he got it unfolded. Myrna knew it was unhealthy, this fascination with those gossip sheets. His chair looked more and more each week like some sort of . . . of nest. The old stuffed chair had been ready for the garage or the dump years ago, and Merle living in it these last weeks hadn’t helped it any. He wouldn’t let her clean up around it either, the floor was strewn with old copies of the World Weekly News and the Star, as well as the strange magazines he’d send off for, all scattered about.

He never left the chair anymore that she could see, not in months and months. He must, of course, leave it some time—to use the toilet at least—but she hadn’t caught him at it. The rest of the house wasn’t neat as a pin anymore, she was slowing down some herself, but it was hospital clean and show room ready compared to Merle’s little corner of the house.

“Would you look at that, Myrna!” Merle rattled his paper as if to show her, not that he ever actually showed her anything. If she wanted to see, she’d have to get up and look. “These doctors here are talking about Elvis’ autopsy. Didn’t I just last week read in this very paper how th’ King was subsumed bodily into heaven?”

“Maybe it was one of the others.” Myrna said.

“No I’m sure it was World Weekly,” Merle said. “Bunch of god-damned liars. Can’t make up their minds, and think we don’t notice. Saying the King’s colon was five inches across and packed full of fecal matter set up like cement. Who really needs to know that? They also say his heart was swole up as big as a buffalo’s. A Buffalo? He ‘us the King of Rock-n-Roll, they could show a little respect! Why, without him they’d be about out of business, I tell ya, Myrna”

Merle had made this assertion to his wife before, many times, and she was tired of it. She was tired of the World-Trash-Weekly, she was even tired of Elvis by-god-the-King-of-Rock-n-Roll Presley, something she would have bet money would never happen even ten years ago.

She dipped a hand into her knitting bag and came up with the hideous teal sachet bag she was working on. Merle had been a good man and a good husband—hard working and sober. Now he was just . . .


Sitting hunched in his chair, cradling his swollen middle while he rattled on about the King’s intestinal blockage. He was sunk down into his chair, skin pasty and pale, in his boxers and wife-beater, like some character from the depression they’d both been born too late to know.

“. . . it wasn’t fried peanut butter-and-banana sandwiches—it was the god-damn aliens running the C.I.A. that got him! Just like they got to Nixon’s people. Put some parasite in his food, mixed up his medicines—somehow it was them.”

This was the third,( or was it the forth?) sachet Myrna’d put together this month. Merle was stinking up the den something fierce. This one was going to be the last, Myrna swore.

She tied off the last row and worked the yarn through where she’d use it to tie the bag shut once it was filled. The next thing was best done quickly.

Yarn and needles still in hand she rose and plodded across the little room to peer over the top of the tabloid, as if looking at a photo. Merle lowered the paper and looked up, mouthing open to add something about aliens, or Elvis or the C.I.A., and Myrna shoved a knitting needle halfway into his head, right behind his ear.

“Gah!” Merle’s tongue worked back and forth in his mouth and his eyes bulged out like that little man in the Mel Brook’s movies they’d used to watch together. Myrna brought the other needle up over her head in a big arch square through the top of her husbands head. He jerked and his eyes glazed, though his tongue looked like it still wanted to wiggle.

She fixed that by shoving the ball of yarn into his gaping mouth. It was, thank god, the last of her teal. Returning to her couch, she fished around for the paperback she kept in with her knitting. She doubted she’d have time to knit anything useful before they found out and took her away, but maybe she could at least finish her book.

She was just settling into the action when the ball of yarn rolled into her foot. She glanced at it quickly . . .it was teal. Myrna didn’t want to, but she looked up at her husband’s body. The knitting needles stuck up like a Martian’s antenna and he’d sort collapsed inward, like his arms and legs were being drawn down into his massive belly. His tongue was still wiggling, though his bulged eyes were growing cloudy all ready. His belly, where it stuck out over his boxers, was a mottled red.

He was sinking into himself—or into the chair! Why, his chin was all ready setting against his chest and now his tongue was wiggling like a fish on a hook. Myrna shifted her feet to get up—this just wasn’t natural.

Then Merle’s gut split open. Globs of yellow glop like rotting Jell-O fell onto the moldering pile of pulp around his chair. Organs followed, push from below. Intestines writhed out on their own like a bolus of rattlesnakes. Last reared up the end of the intestinal track, his colon, swelling like some insane erection, throbbing and waving a moment before it burst.

Eyeless, colorless, pucker-mouth working like an obscene kiss, the fat, wiggling body rose up again—some sort of huge worm or maggot lodged deep in Merle. It reared and writhed and worked closer to Myrna as she sat frozen on her couch, staring.

It got closer, and as it did she could hear, deep inside it, music. Rising up before her, she knew the sounds . . ..

Dancing close to Merle, the high school gym’s doors thrown open in a vain attempt to let in a cool breeze the kids inside would never notice. Dancing to that song, with that awesome voice, the voice of the King . . .

The thing opened its maw and from it came the voice,” I want you, I need you, I lo-ve you. With all—my—heart!”


# # #

Elvis' Space-Alien Lovechild! by Michael D. Turner
originally published September 29, 2008



Michael D. Turner is a writer from Colorado Springs, Colorado. His writing has appeared multiple times in Big Pulp, and in Aberrant Dreams, AlienSkin, Between Kisses, Flashing Swords, Every Day Fiction, and Tales of the Talisman.

For more of Michael's work,
visit his Big Pulp author page


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