Issue #80

Fall 2021

Entropy Bandits

by Bradford Gyori

Entropy bandits snuck in and stole all my decay. Tried brushing my teeth, but the paste became a rocketship that shot through the top of my head. No worries. In seconds, my head stitched itself back together and I was good to go.

Tried walking down the stairs, but they were evolving too. The first became an icy cliff. The second, a castle with spikey turrets that hurt my feet. The third, a water slide that sent me splashing into the living room.

Time for coffee, but it became a forest in my cup, climbing up my arm before I grabbed a knife and hacked away the roots. Then the knife became a lake of molten iron, which burned through my hand, which quickly healed and bloomed into lacy tendrils, which grew to touch the ceiling, which had become a stained-glass cupola with images of furry woodland creatures in bondage gear.

Must be a kink in the system, I thought. That's the problem with exponential growth, too much unbridled corruption. Unfortunately, the rooftop was where I stored my cans of exponential growth-accelerant, so, as my finger-tendrils smashed through the ceiling, they knocked the cans over, spilling self-organization across the city, which started metastasizing and manifolding like a sea monkey colony in time lapse until the buildings were sprouting mountain ranges, then continents then planets and, meanwhile, my tendril-fingers were reaching for the sun, trying to pluck it from the sky.

Now here's the weird part: my finger-tendrils had started bleeding from where they had broken through the glass ceiling, and the blood droplets were dripping down on the city and one of them happened to land on one of the entropy bandits who was sneaking into an alley that was transmogrifying into a freeway then the grand canyon.

On impact with his head, the blood morphed into a hundred clones of yours truly, who wrestled away the bag he was carrying. Then all the entropy spilled out, changing the game completely, shrinking seas back into perspiration droplets and meteorites into dust motes. My finger-tendrils shriveled back down through space and sky and finally, the shattered ceiling, which had started falling apart again, raining down bits of broken glass and splintered wood and shredded skin to liquify along with walls and floors and arms and legs, decomposing back into primordial ooze from whence we will all inevitably reemerge.


Author Bio


Bradford Gyori is an expat Yank recently rewilded in the UK. He teaches creative writing and publishing at Bournemouth University. He's written for television networks such as FX, MTV, VH1 and E! and was the Head Writer of the Emmy winning series Talk Soup.