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The Dark Comedic Miasma

Updated on December 13, 2020

She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door. A chill wind blew from the west, striking Emma’s face like a backhanded slap and carrying with it the low muffled screams of thousands. A shapeless entity that was five-hundred feet across, which could only be described as “the creature”, had risen out of Bachman Lake earlier that morning and was currently rampaging throughout downtown Dallas. Emma lived in a tiny house right next to Fair Park, and she knew it was only a matter of time before the terrible monstrosity would make its way eastward onto her street. She was the last remaining master of the dark comedic arts. Emma looked to the city, knowing that it was time to face her destiny. She took the sacred chalk from her pocket and drew a smiley face on the sidewalk. Emma wasn’t sure if she was ready, but she knew that if she didn’t act now there would not be a later.

“I summon the spirits of warriors who have passed on into the afterlife,” she chanted, “Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Charlie Chaplain, Bob Hope, Richard Pryor... Hear my prayer!”

Off in the distance a rimshot was heard.

The spirits were ready. Emma cleared her throat and nervously began her first mantra, “I JUST FLEW IN FROM ATLANTA AND BOY ARE MY ARMS TIRED!” she shouted in the direction of the formless void. Emma had at least gotten the monster’s attention, as a twirling tempest of tentacled terror advanced towards her.

Emma began her second mantra. “WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD?!” she shouted, “TO GET TO THE OTHER SIDE!”

The swirling purple mass of fear was not even stunned by Emma’s attack.

It was time to get serious.

Emma stepped back, rolled up her sleeves, and threw her most powerful mantra at the creature. “WHAT’S WORSE THAN RAINING CATS AND DOGS?!” She readied herself again and delivered the most powerful punchline ever. “HAILING BUSES!”

The torrential demon from the deep was visibly shaken, but only for a moment, and it continued its damnable descent on the comedic caster’s neighborhood. Emma couldn’t understand it. Where did she go wrong? The monster hardly flinched. Why weren't her mantras working? The terrible torment came closer. Emma felt the tentacles of terror wrap around her frail body. Knowing this was to be her last moment on Earth she closed her eyes and cried.

“Know your audience,” a familiar voice cried out. Emma opened her eyes and saw the spectre of a rather distraught Johnny Carson.

Emma sniffled, “Easy for you to say. Everyone loved you.”

Johnny shook his finger at Emma, “I had to crawl my way to the top, just as you have to crawl out of this. Now recognize what your audience wants and give it to ‘em!”

Emma nodded and turned to the giant void. “I JUST FLEW IN FROM THE SUNKEN CITY, AND BOY ARE MY TENTACLES TIRED!”

The monstrosity chuckled.


The monstrosity’s terrible chuckle became disturbing laughter. Emma felt the vise-like grip on her body loosen. She had weakened the horror and now it was time to end this.

“WHAT’S WORSE THAN RAINING CATS AND DOGS?!” she projected, prepping for the ultimate punchline. “BEING CONSUMED BY A TERROR FROM THE DEEP!”

The monstrosity let forth a horrendous guffaw, much too frightening for the sensitive ears of Dallas, and collapsed into a bubbling purple puddle.

It was over. Emma had vanquished the great evil, and with that she closed her eyes and happily drifted off into oblivion.


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