Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fiction: "Scrap Mettle" by Barry Ergang


by Barry Ergang

            “I need to get away from the base,” Corporal Billingsley said. “Let’s hit a bar in town.”

            When they were seated in a booth and had drinks in front of them, Billingsley sighed disgustedly. “I pulled a waste assignment.”

            “What’s that?” Krale asked.

            “Guarding nuclear and biochemical waste products from terrorists.” 

            “Hazardous duty?”

            Boring duty. We ought to get tedium pay.”

            “That bad, huh?”

            “All you do is sit in a room and watch a monitor, or patrol the outside of the facility looking for suspicious activity.”

            “Sounds pretty cushy.”

            “It’s brain-numbing. Waste is a terrible thing to mind.”


Former Managing Editor of Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine and First Senior Editor of Mysterical-E, winner of the Derringer Award for the best flash fiction story of 2006, Barry Ergang has been dubbed the "Guru of Groaners" by some fellow scribes. "Scrap Mettle" is one of the stories in his e-reader collection PUN-ishing Tales: The Stuff That Groans Are Made On, available at Smashwords and 


~kate said...

"rim shot"



Jan Christensen said...

Groan. LOL Good one, Barry. I really liked this "groaner." Thanks for giving me a smile today, Kevin and Barry!

Anonymous said...

I'm still laughing at that last line. I read it the first time, started to turn away, then it hit me and I reread it. So funny. What a punch line!

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Glad to do it and thank you all for reading. I have a couple of more things from Barry to run in the next few days.

Barry Ergang said...

Thank you, Kate, Jan and L.P. for your comments, and thanks, Kevin, for having the nerve to run the story on your blog. There are many more such groaners in the PUN-ishing Tales collection.

Robert Lopresti said...


Morgan Mandel said...

Had me fooled there. Nice little twist a the end.

Morgan Mandel

Jenny Milchman said...

Groan indeed. Except now I'm going to be giving any military characters waste assignments just to make me look I'm in the know!

Wait. I mean, waste. You were kidding, right?