Rorschark Attack – By John Wiswell

A Washington D.C. Rationalist Think Tank was on holiday at the undisclosed beach that day. Three employees saw it break the surface. Tammy saw a deck of playing cards. Guido saw a platter of fried shrimp. Ironically only one of the rationalists, Virginia Welsley, saw a shark fin. Even more ironically, she was the only rationalist in the water.

She swam like Hell. Tammy would attest that the shark went straight after Virginia, while Guido swears it swam in the opposite direction. Other beach-goers looked when they heard the screams, but the majority said they didn’t see a shark at all (while three saw an ice cream truck treading water behind Virginia).

When Virginia looked over her shoulder mid-breaststroke, she saw the gaping jaws of her third grade Math teacher – the one who always put impossible bonus questions at the end of his quizzes, presumably just to watch his pupils struggle and fail. That pungent memory felt apt as she swam for her life, and even more apt when she was seized in the middle-aged Math teacher’s overbite.

She was fortunate enough to awake, alive, in the local ICU. Apparently the shark had nearly ripped her in half. After much fighting with her doctors she was allowed to see the damage the shark had done to her torso. When the medical technician removed the bandages so that she could see the marks he instantly stepped back and crossed himself.

“It’s the Blessed Mother!” he exclaimed, looking at the bizarre shape of her bite wounds. She frowned at him and looked down.

“No it isn’t.” she said disdainfully. Then she squinted at the sutures. “Is… is that a Ferris wheel?”

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John Wiswell writes humor, horror, fantasy, science fiction, persona, satire, and sometimes an actual story. He maintains the Bathroom Monologues, a daily blog of micro-fiction, monologues and innovative prose at He has been published in Scifaikuest, the Lewisboro Ledger, Flashshot and

  1. Thanks for the Monday morning belly laugh. I needed that.

  2. Very creative. This one will stick because I’ve never read anything like it and if I do again I will just assume someone else read this story and copied it. Unique. It makes me interested in reading your other work.

  3. As someone who has silently frequented this site for some time, I have seen many quality entries and postings, but never been moved to comment, if only because of my own cocksure prejudices of the non-printed written word, and the nihilistic despair that comes with that.

    And yet, I found my own hardened cynicism rocked to it’s very foundation upon reading this; so much so that I felt I had to make some comment. Mr. Wiswell has shown such amazing talent at capturing the middle ground in the ever-present knife fight between classical Absurdism and the occasionally [and erroneously] reviled paronomasia. His talent with micro-fiction [or the more preferred “Single-serving, Anti-Realistic Nonfiction”] has literally unseated me, and I only hope to continue finding his work here at the Short Story Library.

  4. John, That was so funny. I really enjoyed it. Wish I could write that tight.


  5. Thank you all for the kind words. I’ve never gotten praise quite like Ryan’s, and it’s pretty flattering to think someone would imitate one of my creations at all. If you are interested in my other shorts, I have a blog at, where I post at least one new piece of brief prose a day.

    Thanks to the Short Story library for publishing this, and thank you all again for enjoying it. I love to make people laugh.

  6. Congratulations, John. I enjoyed that story when I first read it.


  7. Thank you, Grace! I hope you enjoyed it the second time you read it as well.

    Cheers, all. This is quite an honor.

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