Framdar “The Slayer” Deathkiller swung — it was a mighty swing, though a might less mighty than it might have been for his mind was thinking thoughts of his father who he had never known but if he had he thought must have been a mighty warrior indeed, which unbeknownst to Framdar was actually far from the truth, for his father had been a humble farmer, which didn’t really matter anyway since Framdar’s magical birth meant that he had no real father, as the prophecy had prophesized, making him the only man who could defeat this beast — his vorpal sword at the beast.

The beast moved with unthinkable speed, Framdar thought, and looked like a dalek crossed with a mind flayer.

“WHAT DOEST THOU!!!” the beast exploded infuriously as he cackled and pointed at Framdar, spitting on the ground and jumping out of the way as he raised his own sword.

Framdar remembered when he was five and raised his first sword. (Insert flashback here, perhaps having to do with how his brother took him to a whorehouse and the whore made him the best potato stew ever?! Return to present.)

Framdar circled the beast back and forth. He could see his reflection in his opponent’s sword blade — his flowing blonde hair, eyes as blue as the sky, square strong jaw, a face that women found irresistible and men wanted to be — as his heart beat in his chest and his lungs heaved, also in his chest. He placed his left foot and then his right. And then his left again. And then his right. Followed by his left. And continued to step as he moved. Framdar admired the way the beast stepped. The beast impregnated with pride at Framdar’s admiration.

“You know that even,” the beast sneered mockingly, “if you kill me now you are still doomed,” the beast gloated gleefully. “For my people have burned the great black ooze that comes up from the ground where the binoshaurs died many moons ago and can be used to power our great machines, causing your world’s temperatures to rise and the great icelands to melt, but we paid the Predublican wizards’ council to deny the truth until now it is too late, and there is nothing you can do!! … !”

Framdar cursed. “If only we had been proactive and stood up to the wizards’ council sooner we might have stopped our doom. But I shall see that you join our fate!”

Framdar hit the button on the wall, and the beast was shot out of the airlock, its scream fading into the dark black night of space as Framdar held his breath and laughed.

Framdar’s tale was intentionally written as an example of writing that is so bad it makes you laugh. Randy Henderson‘s fiction has appeared most recently in Realms of Fantasy and the M-Brane anthology 2020 Visions. He is a Clarion West graduate, a relapsed sarcasm addict, and milkshake connoisseur. He also writes nonfiction for Fantasy magazine, and is currently at work on two novels, twelve stories, and living in thirteen and a half realities. Facebook:/randyhenderson — Twitter:/quantumage — Mirror blog:

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Every Day Fiction

  • fishlovesca

    Fracken fracken fracken awesomest story ever!!! Did I say it was fracken awesome? The only problem I had was with the first line of the author’s bio — an example of writing that is bad??? Sir, excuse me you could write the definition of good writing.

    Ten stars. Also, I want to have your babies.

  • Victoria Silverwolf

    What a situation! I have to give this one star, and then tell the author how brilliant it was!

    See also “The Eye of Argon.”

  • I thought it was terrible, and considered giving it one star. Then I saw that that was exactly what the author intended, so gave it five stars, just to spite him.

  • Jorta

    That was…painful. Can I give it a +5 and a -5 so they just cancel each other?

  • Irena P.

    It was bad, yes, but not really bad enough to make me laugh. Or maybe too bad? That’s a dilemma.”Insert flashback” was a good idea. But otherwise it did not really achieve a brilliant parody effect. All is here – punctuation games, stylistic and lexical parody and yet it does not really work for me.

  • Amanda

    Someone else may have been able to pull this off, but unfortunately I just feel like you didn’t. I could see what you wanted to do, but I could also see that you tried a little too hard. Sorry but that’s a 1 star from me.

  • Sheila Cornelius

    I nearly stopped reading this but reached the bit about inserting a paragraph of backstory, so I though it might pick up. But it didn’t.

    ‘The beast impregnated with pride at Framdar’s admiration.’

    This doesn’t make any sense, although I can see from the author’s comment it might be making a point that this kind of writing often contains inflated vocab that the author doesn’t understand.

    Once you know it’s a pastiche it reads better.


  • Agree with #5. Just didn’t raise a laugh from me. Sorry.

  • Sarah

    I was nearly bent in half doubled while sitting in my chair reading this piece of writing otherwise known as flash fiction that arrived in my email today…email I always thought of that term as being woman-man, combined, like femme-male, but without the f or the m or the m or the e.

    Kudos, I really enjoyed it from the start (I didn’t need the disclaimer in the bio), and I really did LOL.

  • J Howard

    Bastardizing the English language this deftly must have taken some effort, my friend, and I salute you! (A dalek crossed with a mind flayer? Seriously?)

    From the first paragraph, with that rambling story-within-a-story plunked down in the middle of your opening sentence, to the final words, where Framdar accomplishes the physiologically impossible, I laughed my fool head off. Cliched writing, sentence fragments, dialogue tags to die for… What’s not to like about that, he asked queryingly?

    It’s obvious you know how (and how not) to write. Parody at its very best, IMHO. Nicely done, Randy! Thanks for sharing.

  • Henry

    Ha ha ha! Awesome awesomeness indeed! I loved it. Thanks for the laugh.

  • Absolutely hilarious, wonderful, fantastic. I’m with fishlovesca here. Ten stars!

  • I’m afraid I’m also in the one-star group with this one. Whatever the writer was trying to achieve it totally missed the mark with me.

  • Mary J

    It had me laughing out loud. Five mighty stars.

  • ajcap

    fishlovesca, LOL. One can only quake in fear at what the two of you might produce.

    I think it was obvious from the first sentence that Mr. Henderson knows how to write very badly, very well.

    I can’t pick just one line I like best. Every word is so wrong it’s perfect.

    Four stars for an expert piece of bad writing.

  • ajcap

    I think my favourite part is ‘his lungs heaved, also in his chest.’ That made me laugh.

  • Wow, was that bad. But I mean the bad that is good, like the fat that is good, which is phat, so I guess this should be bhad.

    Bhad to the bhone!

  • I’ve been rendered speechless and that, Mr. Henderson, is no easy task to accomplish.

    Deep breath..focus…

    * * * * *

  • Ahh, this gave me some chuckles! Very well done!! 😀

  • Here is why this sort of story is a tricky proposition: Do I know you know vorpal is not a real word? Do I know you know you know that “You know that even-” is a bad sentence break? This is the problem I have with a lot of amateur humor/absurdest writing. Any mistakes that are made by the author are chalked up to “You just don’t get the humor.” It’s funny if G.R.R. Martin or S.King writes like this because we know how good they are and know they’ve probably read hundreds of bad fantasy stories. Anyway, I give benefit of the doubt. ****

  • JenM

    After reading the bio, I hope it doesn”t say anything bad about me that I really liked it! 🙂

  • “The beast moved with unthinkable speed, Framdar thought.”

    After that, everything else was gravy. Well done Mr. Henderson. Well done indeed. Four (slightly enlarge, though less engorged than others — who likely know more than me and are eager to share their “whatevers” — about this most entertaining piece) stars.

  • Mel

    As someone who reads lots of submissions, this raised a laugh of despair. “..also in his chest.” Genius. And his reflection in the sword… stuffing in unnecessary, vain character information in an inappropriate place – sooo true. Shudder. Well done.
    If only we had been proactive and stood up to the wizards’ council sooner. Deep man, deep.
    (I can’t quite believe that after the title, some people didn’t realise this was a joke!)

  • vondrakker

    Such a great accomplishment!
    It is very good that you did what you set
    out to do. I enjoyed the story once I got past that un enticing run on nn on first sentence / statement ??
    Any time an author gets this many comments…it’s cause for self elation.
    Good job Randy
    FiV e mi xe d up stars * ** * *

  • Douglas Campbell

    Funny stuff – nice job!

  • J. Chris Lawrence

    With all the grace of a drunken master, this excellent example of satire had me laughing from start to finish! Well done.

  • Thank you to everyone who enjoyed it. And to those who did not, I fully understand — humor is highly subjective. And I suspect in some cases your excellent taste in literal literary literature wept tears of blood and strangled any urge to laugh. Indeed, I utterly failed to explore the metaphor, and put the salad fork on the wrong side, and there is nothing, I repeat NOTHING, funny about putting ANY fork on the wrong side. And nothing wrong with finding nothing funny about it nohow.

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  • Randy and I shared a panel on Bad Writing at Norwescon where he read out the gem above. The audience was rolling in the aisles, so I bought this piece on the spot!

  • Made me cry. My novel reads remarkably just like that… How’d you do that?! 😉

  • fishlovesca

    OMG, I can just imagine hearing this piece read out loud. Thankfully, I wasn’t there, I would have split my little fish guts laughing.

  • R.A.S.

    I laughed out loud, beginning with the very first sentence. Well done!

  • fishlovesca

    I can’t imagine hearing this read out loud without falling out of my chair, just reading it slays me.:

    “He placed his left foot and then his right. And then his left again. And then his right. Followed by his left. And continued to step as he moved.”

  • Extra star points for bringing Daleks into it.

  • I read this at work and about died trying to choke down the laugher. My co-workers thought I was choking.

    I did run into a trilogy that is a lot like this story. The guys in my writing group use it as punishment when we don’t meet our writing goals. No laughing matter.

  • I get that it was supposed to be a parody or a mockery of bad fantasy writing, but it didn’t make me laugh. It was more like sandpaper across an open wound for me.

    I guess I’m not the audience for it. I usually have a dry sense of humor but this story didn’t work for me at all.

  • Incredibly, awesomely awful! I read with mixed emotions. As a writer, I got a good laugh at how many mistakes you managed to cram into each sentence. As a copyeditor, I got twitchier and twitchier as the story went on as my mind frantically tried to figure how to fix this mess and failed miserably.

  • Simone

    Too funny! I laughed out loud at the “in my chest” bit. Thanks for writing it and thanks to EDF for accepting it.

  • Gretchen Bassier

    Absolutely terrible. I loved it!

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  • Tracie

    To all those people who didn’t get it – go away, get a job (unpaid, preferably) with a token paying magazine publishing fantasy short stories, spend several months wading through piles of slush, come back, read this again, and all will become clear.

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