The Incredible Melting Man

By on Feb 9, 2014 in Cuttings, Fiction

Man melting into floor


They arrived at the check-out line at the same time. Oops.

Awkward, empty thought balloons.

She pushed a full carriage; he held a quart of milk.

“Go ahead,” she said with a quick gesture.

“Oh no, no,” he said, shaking his head. “You go.”

“No, please,” said the logic of her overflowing cart vs. his one-handed purchase.

“Uh, ah…” And then he melted to the hard, scuffed floor, reduced to rivulets of green goo, and oozed under shelves of candy and tabloids.



He was at work, standing at the time-clock, watching the minute hand. She was fanning herself with her timecard. “Whew, it’s too hot in here,” she said.

“Is it?” he said, not feeling particularly hot.

“I gwicklorr plallem blormat huh-gunuzuz, ha-ha,” she said.

He smiled and looked around and said, “Heh, yeah.”

And then her sentence suddenly solidified in his mind: “I guess you’re not old enough to get hot flashes, ha-ha.”

And he melted into a thin residue of gray gruel and seeped into the porous floor.



She answered the phone, knowing it was him. “Yeah?” she said in an impatient tone.

“Hi. I, uh guess you don’t want to talk to me?”

“You guessed right. Look, I’m going through a really difficult time right now…” Loud exhale. “What do you want?”


And then he slid like strands of overcooked spaghetti into the holes in the phone and traveled along the lines like a leaf in a stream, riding dial-tone, bumping over drum-rolls of hang-up clicks, slithering through busy signals, and the chattering nonsense roar of a million confused, tangled conversations that swirled around him until he drowned in a churning maelstrom of his own fluids…

Melting away…



Hank Kirton has had his stories published in over two dozen anthologies and literary journals. He is the author of a collection of short stories, The Membranous Lounge, as well as a novel, Conservatory of Death. Another collection, Bleak Holiday is due out in 2014. A partial list of his published work can be accessed through his blog:

One Comment

  1. Brilliant. A wonderful read on a snowy afternoon.. or for that matter, any afternoon. Thanks.