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STEAKS • by Guy Anthony De Marco

Bob hated driving the big yellow ‘cattle trucks’. He liked the cargo, but the other drivers drove him mad. Soccer moms cutting him off on their way to the hair dresser’s and belligerent teenagers flipping him off all contributed to Bob’s loathing of city dwellers. He held his tongue for years, biding his time.

On Bob’s final run, the day he’d retire, he made a detour towards the old Quonset hut on his property. He would butcher and freeze this load to keep him in steaks for months, maybe years.

As he turned the crowded schoolbus into his driveway, he began to drool.


Guy Anthony De Marco resides on a ranch surrounded by zombies and cattle. His kids enjoy burning voodoo dolls, and his wife puts up with the zombies because the view is wonderful off the back porch. Guy attempts to maintain a website at http://www.GuyAnthonyDeMarco.com when the demons let him out of his cage.

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STEAKS • by Guy Anthony De Marco, 3.9 out of 5 based on 81 ratings
Posted on January 13, 2009 in Horror, Stories
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  • Gerard Demayne

    Love it!

  • Celeste

    A BIG five from me. I don’t think I’ve read such a flashy piece of flash in ages. Very witty – really didn’t see that coming. WONDERFUL.

  • http://easthillcollegeandcareer.blogspot.com Jay

    Creepy good

  • http://www.joeprentis.com Joe Prentis

    Wow! This was a great story. The only thing I can compare it to is the story that Hemingway wrote to win a bar bet: ‘For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.’

    Keep up the good work

  • Jen

    Oh wow. Short and shocking. A five from me.

  • http://teenangel.netfirms.com Jim Hartley

    Very nice. But I think the title gave away too much too soon. I might change the title, perhaps to something that fits the OPENING of the story, like “Big Yellow.” Just a suggestion.

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  • Roberta SchulbergGoro

    The comments on this hip story are so brilliant, I don’t know if I have anything to add except maybe a question of reality. I noticed that the “yeller” school busses out my way, when I manage to get out to the main road, are always empty. Did Guy De Marco get to them first? Are they forced to complete their empty rounds just the same? Anyway, in trepidation of being drowned in the brilliant element, anyone for coffee?

  • http://dracken.co.nr Alex

    You sick, sick person make me laugh….
    Great story

  • http://nowplayinginseattle.blogspot.com/ kcball

    Wow! The story today is one for the Twilight Zone — and so is the comments column.

  • gay

    I can’t believe you were able to put a whole movie into my head in such a short time. Well done and now I’m creeped out for the rest of the day. Which may be a good thing.

  • Roberta SchulbergGoro

    Return to sender drooling. (Although it is photogenic)

  • http://afburns.wordpress.com/ Alexander Burns

    heh, excellent work. Though it’s so short it’s kind of easy to accidentally spoit it for yourself if your eyes drift a little too far down.

  • http://afburns.wordpress.com/ Alexander Burns

    Or spoil it even. sigh. Still too early. :)

  • Roberta SchulbergGoro

    Gert – Assembly’s at nine.

  • Judy

    Brilliant!

  • http://gretaigl.blogspot.com/ Greta

    Yikes, creepy! Great job.

  • http://www.myspace.com/stormthegatesuk M.Sherlock

    dude man i didnt even see this coming

    most solid five given in a long time

  • http://canyonsofgray.blogspot.com dj barber

    5***** for sure.
    A big one for every school bus driver in history

    –dj

  • http://www.MadelineMora-Summonte.com Madeline Mora-Summonte

    So deliciously sick! Loved it!

  • jabuette

    Great Stuff Guy

  • http://shamelesscreations.blogspot.com/ Kevin Shamel

    Oh. That is brilliant.

    Hell yes!

  • izzardfan

    Great story: short and to the point, vivid visuals and “OMG-did-he-just…”aftertaste. Now I have to go read comedy or this will haunt me all day.

  • kathy k

    excellent, a wonderful way to start my day. thank you for the big smile on my face.

  • http://www.erinmkinch.com Erin

    Wow… creepy. I didn’t see that end coming!

  • http://www.jamieleigh.com/blog Jamie

    I read EDF Anthology 2009 all over this one
    :)

  • http://www.tallships.ca/creativeholidaysns Sue Borgersen

    Perfect. A 5 from me.

  • virgil

    Reminds me when I was an actual meat cutter!

  • Roberta SchulbergGoro

    Not long and drawn out like “A MODEST PROPOSAL”, but is swift. Doesn’t drag in the “yahoos” unnessarily either. Since it’s all been complimentary, I’ll offer one small negative comment: A man of such ebullience is unlikely to retire. Probably go on to repair trolleys.

  • http://www.hasmitachander.com Hasmita

    Oh gosh. Hmm. Not my cuppa. Deliberate trickery by calling them ‘cattle trucks’ at the start.

  • http://chapterseventynine.com Ragna

    Oh nice one. I never saw that coming ! Even read it to my 78 year old mother, she said…Ewwwww.

  • Cat

    Although I liked this, the end “twist” wasn’t a surprise for me at all. The fact that you had cattle-trucks in inverted commas, together with the fact that they were described as yellow, instantly put me in mind of a school bus, and that coupled with the title made the final sentence feel very obvious to me.

    It’s a good story, with otherwise stylish and vivid writing, but didn’t deliver the shock that I feel was the point.

  • Bob

    I’m with Cat – I immediately pictured a school bus on reading the first sentence, which robbed the last couple of sentences of their “eeew” appeal for me. Everyone else had so much fun with this, but I feel cheated. . .

  • Roberta SchulbergGoro

    “Coupe”

  • http://www.photographybylaney.com Laney

    Absolutely brilliant. Set up was flawless, execution (both in the writing of the story and in the story) was perfect. This has been the first bit of fiction in quite some time that I immediately shared with a few people, and they all though the same thing.

    Unlike a few other people, my mind didn’t immediately make the connection between yellow “cattle trucks” and school buses, and I was quite surprised (in the best possible way) by the last sentence. Now I’m looking forward to reading other things you’ve written! 5 stars, definitely.

  • TW

    I think this fractures the implicit pact of trust between writer and reader. Bottom line: You don’t trick readers.

    This would have been more horrifying if the school bus is mentioned at the top, instead of relying on tricky wording. Sure, you’d have to work it a bit more, but then you’d have a story, instead of a few grafs with a punch line.

  • Roberta SchulbergGoro

    Many people become so intense with anxiety about a protagist’s position that they turn to the back of the book to learn the outcome so they can relax, settle into the relevant emotion, and continue reading the story. Guy de Marco has seen to it that the tension is not broken by putting the ending a section up, in the middle, not the final line (although, to quote another commentor: “it’s so short it’s kind of easy to accidentally spoil it for yourself if your eyes drift a little too far down.”)

  • Shonna

    There’s a shift tense in the second paragraph, it reads awkward, or maybe it’s just me but other than that good story. Very provocative, I would like a tad more imagery, not too much just a bite. Nice work.

  • http://patriciahale.blogspot.com Patricia J. Hale

    Beautiful blast of a piece.

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  • Edward Caputo

    I’m with Cat (and not TW) that the single quote around cattle trucks (and making a point to call out they’re yellow) telegraphed too much, and it works better with out the quotes, and maybe dropping the yellow hint later on. Still a great piece of flash.

    TW: I disagree that it’s cheat on the reader when we are being told what the protagonist thinks. The driver *does* see them as cattle trucks (which is why the quotes should go away). If it was written more objectively, e.g. “Bob drove the cattle truck” instead of noting that he hated driving cattle trucks then it would be a cheat.

  • http://www.outofafrica98.blogspot.com Kristy

    God I love brevity. Please sir can I have some more?

  • http://greg-schwartz.blogspot.com Greg Schwartz

    great story! a definite 5. i don’t think the title or the phrase “big yellow cattle trucks” gives anything away. the title’s great because it hits you again right at the end of the story. well told!

  • Roberta SchulbergGoro

    The list of comments and the interest in this story is unusally long. Perhaps it’s the start of a new genre:
    “No More Babies”. — “C’mon Babe, with more time and money, lets go to town.”

  • kathy k

    okay, I’m officially ruined now, yesterday while eating lunch I looked out the window and saw a school bus go by, and immediately thought,
    “Steaks.”
    just goes to show you how good this story was.

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  • Anatha

    wow. good work, sir. :]

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