Last summer I was walking around alone in a swamp, looking for a nice place to settle down and have a picnic, when an elderly little green man started pissing on me from up on a tree branch.
He spoke in broken English (I was in Korea at the time), making fun of my food and telling me that he'd help me "find my friend".
Now, I'd spent enough time in Itaewon to recognize a pimp trying to drag me to some shithole brothel when I heard one. I smiled and explained that I had no money, and that (thanks to him) I smelled like old man piss.
Motherfucker jumped out of the tree, clung on to my back, and started lifting rocks and shit with his mind.
"JESUS CHRIST, DUDE!" I said. "Chill the fuck out! What do you want from me?"
"Walk, you must," replied the crazy geriatric midget.
I walked for a long time with that little green bastard on my back. And to further establish his dominance, he made me jog and jump and do flips. Even if the girls were smokin' hot when we got to wherever we were going, I was going to be far too exhausted to perform. Not that it would have mattered anyway. I wasn't kidding about being flat broke.
But when he finally told me to stop, we were standing at an entrance of something unlike any brothel I'd ever seen on Hooker Hill. An opening of darkness between gnarled tree roots. I'll admit, I was frightened. God, I hoped they had condoms.
The old man hopped off my back and looked up at me. "In you must go."
"What's in there?"
He immediately broke eye contact and looked down at his feet. "Beer."
I sighed with relief. I really needed a drink at that point. "Is it cold?" I was sweating like a son of a bitch.
"Oh yes," said the little old man, still not looking at me. "Icy cold. Very refreshing it is."
That's all I needed to know. I brushed some vines aside and walked into the cave.
It was dark in there, and all I had to light my way was a cigarette lighter. I searched high and low, looking for the refrigerator, but to no avail.
Just when I was about to give up, there it was right in front of me. I don't know how I didn't spot it immediately. It was all lit up and humming, and had one of those clear glass doors to display all the beer inside. They were all Korean brands, but goddammit I was thirsty.
I opened the door, but there was no beer inside. What I saw instead was a vision.
A story began to unfold in my head. It was both written and not yet written. It was so horrible and vulgar that I almost couldn't muster up the strength to close the refrigerator door. But close it I did.
I stood there for a time, eyes closed, breathing heavily and trying to recapture my sanity. When I opened my eyes again, the fridge was full of beer behind the glass again. Sweet!
A nice cold beverage was just what I needed to still my nerves and contemplate what kind of deranged mind could write such a story as the one which had just played out in my mind. I opened the door.
I ran as fast as I could back toward the mouth of the cave, my heart pounding against my ribs. Sure enough, Bigears McNutsackface was standing right where I'd left him.
"You lied to me!" I cried. "There was no beer in there!"
"Told you what you needed to hear, I did."
"Fuck you! That's the last time I ever take drinking advice from a talking frog." That has since been proven wrong many a time. I had so much yet to learn.
"What did you see?" asked the old green man.
"I saw a vision of a story. It was horrible." I paused for a moment to reflect. "Actually, it was pretty fucking hilarious. But I only think that because I'm horrible!"
"Horrible person you may be." His wide eyes looked up at mine. "But know you're horrible, you do. Big difference this makes."
"I write stories about about unlikable assholes, sure. But this takes it to another level. What if it falls into the hands of stupid people, or people who don't understand satire? Think of the reviews! I'm sorry, little frog man. I just don't think I can do this."
The old man hit me in the leg with a stick. "A frog, I am not. And do this, only you can."
I shook my head. "I have my reputation as a writer to think about. It's too dangerous."
"Darkness in the world, there is. Make fun of it, you must. Your destiny I have foreseen."
"I make my own destiny, buddy. The answer is no."
The old man frowned, staring at me for a long time, before he finally spoke again. "Buy you beer, I will."
"Goddammit, fine!" For who was I to swim against the current that destiny had planned for me?
Space Puppies was written to poke fun at the controversy surrounding the Sad Puppies' Hugo Awards shenanigans. It was meant to be a hyperbolic representation of what their ideal Hugo Award winning book might be like. But in this new age of Trump, who can say what counts as hyperbole anymore?
In light of recent attention, Space Puppies is currently on sale for only $0.99, and will remain so for the next five days.
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Special thanks to John Luther Davis for the amazing cover art for Space Puppies.
You fucking nailed it.