H The Horror in the Monkey-Squeezing Room

Editor’s Foreword

Mmm, smells like Simian Spirit. Here we are now...

A beautiful, blonde, trench-coated reporter and a short, dark, obese man in a suit and tie watched the conveyor belt carry the bottles along the factory floor. The belt paused once a second with one bottle just under the spout. Monkey juice sprayed into each bottle, and then the line went on. Further down, a robot arm clamped a cap onto each full bottle. The factory floor was vast, dimly lit, and chilly to boot. The gloom felt oppressive. Darleen Harris of Animal Welfare News shuddered. The trench coat wasn’t much protection against the cold–or against the impression, growing with every moment, that there was something terribly wrong in this place.

“Our company is the largest producer of monkey juice in the western hemisphere,” said Alvin Bramachandra.

“I believe you,” said Darleen. “But what is monkey juice, exactly?”

“It is juice squeezed from the finest of monkeys. Would you like to try some?”

“Uh... I wouldn’t mind looking at it. I guess. I don’t know if I want to try drinking it. I’m a bit, uh, squeamish.”

Alvin looked around the room, spotted a ceramic mug, and brought it to the conveyor belt. He plucked a bottle off the belt, expertly snapped the cap off with his thumbnail, and poured about half of it into the mug. Then he held it out for Darleen. The swirls of red and brown steamed ominously in the mug, still rotating with the residual motion from the spray.

“It’s got hair in it,” she said.

“That is from the monkeys,” said Alvin.

“You actually squeeze monkeys?”

“Let me show you the monkey-squeezing room.”

Alvin led Darleen to a tall, forbidding door. Its top was wider than the rest of it; it was an inverted trapezoid. On it was a sign:

MONKEY-SQUEEZING ROOM
No Admittance Under Any Circumstances
Beware

Alvin opened the door, and then they were in the monkey-squeezing room. In it was something so horrible, so ghastly, so utterly fearful and revolting, that Darleen was never afterward able to remove the horrific sight from her tormented mind’s eye.

“Will you marry me?” asked Alvin.

 

About the Author

Barton Paul Levenson is a member of the Pittsburgh Worldwrights and of SFWA. His novel, Year of the Human, is coming soon from Scrybe Press. Recent fiction credits include “Temple Cat” (Cricket, June 2005), “The Closet” (ChiZine, 2003), “Writer’s Block” (Dark Seasons 2003), and “Along with Captain Gooding” & “Scrunched Up” (Future Orbits, 2002).

 

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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this story may be reproduced or transmitted, in any form or any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any informational storage or retrieval system without express written permission from the author.

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