by Bob Freville
They’re spilling out on to the rickety termite-ridden runway. Woo daddy! We can see them lumbering out now! Oh yes! Those adorable little gals! Our bright shining stars of the tomorrows that may never come!
Yep, ladies and gentlemen! They’re a sight for sore, empty eye sockets fer sure!
Why, if this were the old days, before the blast leveled our entire infrastructure, why, I’d say you could bet yer bottom dollar that one of these girls is gonna be a princess one day!
Yes, you guessed it! It’s the second annual Miss Residuum Post-Apocalyptic Beauty Pageant, my dears!
And you can bet your meat rations that anticipation is high right now as the pageant judges, the Four Freds of the Post-Apocalypse—Rogers, Gwynne, Savage and Durst—clear their phlegmatic throats and slobber all over themselves, awaiting the young ladies.
And here they are, in our dimly-lit barroom, as Mr. Rogers gropes himself til he’s bloody and leers at nothing in particular and what’s that? Oh yes! Savage grins zealously and sticks a hypo in his empty eye socket. Yowzers! And we’re off to the races!
Every contestant has filed in now, powdered and primped all! They sure are adorable in their charred pageant wear. Banana satin bleached by the scorching sun, organza eaten away by age and radiation, ruffled carnation crumpled and withered by rain and heat, but every one of the petite princesses inhabiting them just utterly darling!
To the left of the stage you can see Lil Ms. Lilith Puck, fourteen, of Hell Broth Province, spittle curdling on what’s left of her dangling mandible. Weighing in at a bone-crunchingly svelte sixty-one pounds, Lilith is a leper who is blind in one eye. But she’s a visionary when it comes to capturing our hearts!
Beside her sits Orca Gibbons, eighteen with the morbid obesity of a woman at least five times her age. Immobile but immaculate in her cobalt steel electric wheelchair, Orca is, pound for pound, the prettiest BBW here and smart to boot! Just ask her parents who died in the nuke fallout two years ago. They would’ve told you, young Orca has an IQ that’s nearly as high as what registers when you roll her on to a scale!
In the middle here we have the lovely Lonnie Licorice in her lavender and mold colored costume that brings out the natural sheen of the chains secured to her wrists and ankles. Despite her living dead status, I’m told she prides herself on dental hygiene and one glance at those great big pearly white chompers tells me it’s true! Just look at her smile as she gnashes at the air! Darling! Simply darling!
Next we’ve got Fantasia Brillo! Sixteen, silly hot and fresh from a spinal tap, Fantasia is wearing a twinkling tiara that tells us she’s either preparing to win the crown…or wants desperately to hide her lobotomy scars! Either way, it’s a delight to watch her sashay around…and around…and around, until she dry heaves and her eyes roll up in her head.
Oops! Down she goes! Unfortunately Fantasia will no longer be competing, as her wounds seem to have split open upon impact with the band stand.
But there’s still the alluring, the attractive and the down-right abrasive Penny Pigtails. We’re told she’s a real cunt and that can only mean one thing. DIVA!!! Oh yes, this four-foot and two inch tall li’l tinkerbell is a real heart-breaker, folks. And if I didn’t know better, I’d say she was going to win this thing!
The stage is littered in mutants of every stripe and sexual persuasion, from skin-headed unicycle-riding cyborg Sybian riders in frumpy lace to zombie bitches in bustiers, their decaying flesh flanked by Christmas lights. But the front-runners are already clear at this year’s Miss Residuum Beauty Pageant—It’s Lilith, Orca, Lonnie and Penny Pigtails.
As the medics spirit Fantasia away…to the incinerator in the rear of the auditorium, a hush falls over the otherwise agonizingly aroused crowd.
A surprise understudy takes her place in a sopping wet swivel chair. It’s Susie Sliver, last year’s winner and yesterday’s dinner from the looks of her skeletal cadaver. She says nothing, but the rouge applied to her last surviving flap of face skin speaks a thousand words! Gorgeous!
Aaaaaaand SHOWTIME!!! The girls are squeezed into too-small swimsuits by men in purple surgical gloves and spun around so the Freds can see what they ate for breakfast. Lilith’s jaw comes completely unhinged and hits Savage in the side of his head.
Eww!! He blinks twice, either in disbelief or from a tic borne of radiation poisoning.
Lilith is eliminated from the contest on grounds of insolence. Her jaw is stomped into splinters by Fred Gwynne’s platform boot. It is not returned to her.
Next up we have the elegant evening attire. Just look at that Penny Pigtails, waving jazz hands at the brown stain on the front of her gown! A true sibyl, this one! The frothy-mouthed mutants groan in abject disappointment as she and Orca fight for attention, throwing out their hips in the process.
It would seem Penny is about to be eliminated by the judges by way of an infrared sniping, but wait! Penny jumps up and down, throwing a temper tantrum and, O Cod! O Cod! Yes, Lonnie mistakes Penny’s furtive movements for those of a sizzling plate of sirloin and sinks her maw into little Penny’s throat.
The Freds raise solid nines as their grills are bathed in guano-hot arterial spray. It looks like ole “Zombie Lonnie” just might have this one in the bag!
The highlight of any beauty pageant here is always the pustules, my peasant pals!
That’s right! It’s the Miss Residuum pustule-eating contest! And all the girls are doing so well, sucking back their scabs and sores and even reaching over and consuming them off each other, that the Four Freds call a draw.
Now the real fun can begin in earnest. The girls are gonna get sweaty.
Lonnie looks mighty confused as the stage hands throw her a jump rope, but never mind that bitch, boys and girls!
Orca is out of her wheelchair now, struggling through eyes blinded by beads of sweat, and huffing and puffing toward the spotlight. She’s got something in her hands, something she’s dragging along the ground.
Yes! It’s her colostomy bag! Yes! And she’s using it to skip rope! Wow! Don’t that just beat all?
Look at her go! I haven’t seen a mastodon jump that high since the Nazis electrocuted them in World War II propaganda footage! Woo!
The Freds are about ready to make a judgment call here.
Yes, they’ve just removed their hands from their trousers and are ready to announce the winners.
And the Jon Bonet Ramsey Runner-Up Award goes to Suzie Sliver, for really giving it her all despite her obvious immobility! Give ‘er a hand, folks. Hers don’t work after all. Awwwwwww!
And the winner of the Second Annual Miss Residuum Beauty Pageant iiiiiiis…Orca Gibbons!
She wheels herself to center stage as Suzie Sliver stares off vacantly. A spider skitters across the spotlight overhead and somewhere an Andalusian eye is slit straight down the middle. The night is young, but the time has come.
As the ribbon is strapped to her substantial midsection, a commotion is heard off camera. What is this we’re hearing? Aww, look at them trying to shove twenty pounds of shit into a ten pound bag with that tiara. What? Huh? Oh no!
O my Cod! If you’re listening at home, this just in! As Orca attempted to accept her flowers without wheezing, gunfire echoed out in the room and four hundred stone of Second Annual Miss Residuum winner Orca Gibbons went flying back, dismantling the stage as bullets riddled her in her gargantuan chest.
It…it appears as though we are under attack by militant feminist lycanthropes who smelled the fresh blood of poor Fantasia and found where we were by snout. What’s this?
I’m sorry, I’m having trouble hearing anything over the explosions of tee-ee-hee-hear gas.
What’s this…ah…okay. Okay, it seems the lesbian lycanthropes have come to reclaim the crown. The leader says she and her sisters are the true Miss Residuums, having fought on the front lines in the battle against the Radioactive Ones.
O Cod! They’re threatening to level the building. And they’re DOING IT!!!!
I’m sorry, ladies and genitals. I will have to cut this one short due to the technical difficulty of losing part of my skull to mortar fire. You will have to excuse me while I crouch down even further to locate my gray matter.
Well, thish hash blin duh Shecond Annool Mish Rowowowaaaaahg, and I’m…plowed to…ablouse dat…thliss beer’s vinner, bry default, ick Miss Shoegee Shliver.
Take a bow, Shoegee.
Shoegee shez nothing. And neither can I.
Bob Freville is a part-time tool salesman and full-time writer from Long Island, New York. He has written for Creem Magazine, Bust Down The Door & Eat All The Chickens, LongIslandPress.com and others. He is currently at work on several novellas and at least one gnome farm. He begs your pardon, but he never promised you a rose garden.