Tag Archive for: killer penguins

Analysing a Film

by Lisa H. Owens

“Today, we’ll explore found footage—the Blair Witch methodology.

Professor McDaft drew attention to the film’s glacial backdrop, “Akin to The Ring, you’ll also notice effective usage of stop-motion technique.”

A distant waddle of penguins teetered a sluggish approach, then the scene skipped, and the penguins were closer, their eyes glimmering pinpricks.

“The initial absence of colour contributes to its vintage feel.”

The greyscale backdrop gave the silently approaching penguins a menacing air. Another skip and a collective lunge had the colony atop the videographer.

Voila! The Technicolor of Oz!” The scene went crimson—the spray of an arterial bleed.

Lisa H. Owens

Lisa H. Owens, a former humourist columnist, resides in North Texas with two rescue dogs and a tenacious, sole-surviving air-plant named Airy Potter. Her work’s been published on various ezines and in numerous anthologies and her stories are often inspired by true events, sometimes including private jokes and family nicknames.

Website: www.lisahowens.com




by Sasha Brown

One by one, the penguins adopt us. One by one, we disappoint. Tucked under their bulky stomachs, beneath their piss-caked feathers, we screech and flail and struggle. The giant birds stab down–elegantly, surgically, long beaks puncturing our tiny human skulls.

I watch, I learn.

When it’s my turn, I curl my pale naked body egg-shaped. No gangling parts. No elbows. The male rolls me onto his gnarled feet. I freeze. Towering over me, he twines his beak with his partner like a heart, like a greeting card. I clutch my knees under them. Stay smooth. Never move. Never move again.

Sasha Brown

Sasha Brown lives near Boston. He’s got work in Old Moon, Tales to Terrify and Cossmass Infinities. He can be found online at:

Website: sashabrownwriter.com



Captain Kip’s Killer Penguin Sanctuary: Help Wanted!

by C. L. Sidell

G’day, mate!

Want to play a vital role in the well-being of nature’s waddling tuxedo-wearing birds?

Do you have a valid ID or permanent address? Folks who worry about you? Know how to swim?

Extra points if you don’t.

Good news!

You’re hired!

First thing, let’s introduce you to these little guys.

Go on, don’t be shy.

Hold out your hand.

No worries. Showing teeth is their way of smiling. Let ’em get right up close so they can smell ya.

And I can withdraw my knife

Now, this ought to keep your coats nice and shiny.

Dig in while it’s fresh!

C. L. Sidell

A native Floridian, C. L. Sidell grew up playing with toads in the rain and indulging in speculative fiction. Her work has appeared in The Dread Machine, Factor Four Magazine, F&SF, Martian Magazine, Medusa Tales Magazine, and others.

Website: crystalsidell.wixsite.com/mysite/publications



Eudyptula ex Machina

by Scott O’Neill

Thunderous roars shook Sydney Harbour.

“Deploy the penguins,” ordered Professor Miller from the twin-hulled research vessel trailing the kaiju. “May science succeed where bombs failed.”

Hundreds of cybernetically modified little penguins swarmed from shipboard holding pens.

The kaiju faltered and wailed plaintively as the chromed beaks of augmented penguins carved cruel radio-directed paths through its innards. The mighty monster toppled.

Cheers erupted on the ship.

“Signal for return,” said Miller.


“Send it again!”

The frothing water, dark with pureed kaiju, grew still.

Professor Miller watched in horror as the swarm sped towards the city centre.

“What have we done?”

Scott O’Neill

Scott writes reports and memorandums by day and speculative fiction by night, with short works published by various presses. You can find him on Twitter.

Twitter: @wererooster



Moulting Season

by Stuart Docherty

If you are reading this, then it is too late. Another child has disappeared at the zoo. The police enforced a lockdown and began searching the enclosures. Of course, they went straight for the large predators. I heard they will put down a lion. We were given limited access, allowed to continue some official duties. The Humboldt penguins are in the middle of moulting and, while cleaning their enclosure, I found a child’s foot among the fur. I hear them waddle toward the only door, now, the slap of their flippers in unison, and know that I will not escape.

Stuart Docherty

Stuart is a British writer and poet based in Tokyo, where he spends most of his time eating and pretending to speak Japanese.



Strange Fish

by Madas A. Hatter

Squelchy and sickening snaps echoed across the frozen tundra, dulled only by guttural grunts of the silky-feathered masses. The creature below had long since stopped squirming. Its pitiful keening had faded into silence. The Great Emperors were glad to have succeeded in this hunt.

Red splattered the white snow as the penguins ripped the fleshy creature with their beaks, pulling the muscle and sinew from the bones. This particular creature had not been scaled, but rather covered in a strange, black, rubbery second skin. It had fought at first, but the blood loss caught it quickly.

What a strange fish.

Madas A. Hatter

Madas A. Hatter is a young writer from Victoria, Australia. He enjoys bringing stories to life with LGBTQIA+ characters, and mainly writes dark fantasy, mystery and horror. When he isn’t writing, Madas A. Hatter spends time with his family, hugs his dog or plays DnD with his friends.

Instagram: @madasahatter07



The Ice Tunnel Closes

by Dan Peacock

The ice tunnel is getting narrower. I’m on my hands and knees, trying not to think about how many of them are behind me. Their beaks are nipping at my boots, but so far, I’ve been able to kick them back. My feet are so cold that I can’t feel my toes.

As I worm my top half through the gap, they catch up to me. I look down between my legs, at the mass of eyes and beaks wet with blood, at what’s left below my ankles, and realise I must have lost my boots a long time ago.

Dan Peacock

Dan Peacock is a First Reader at Orion’s Belt and The Dread Machine, and his work has appeared, or is forthcoming in F&SF, Kaleidotrope and Etherea, among others.

Website: danpeacockwriter.com.


The Midnight Feast

by Rachel Grifno

We find him sleeping on the family’s feathers. Most are crushed under his weight, but others flutter in the winter storm. We can smell them—all the adults slain and broiled by the monster himself. We had all feared his bloodlust, but none had known his strength.

Now, he sleeps, twice as big as the rest of us. Blood has dried on his white underbelly, like a red tie. Hanging in his slumbering beak are bits of penguin meat. His own family, ours.

We survivors wait under cover of night. Anger shakes our cores, driving us to action.

We are hungry too.

Rachel Grifno

 Rachel Grifno is a journalist and teacher based out of Washington, DC. This is her first fiction piece, but she has journalism work in Bethesda Magazine, Chesapeake Family Life, and others.


Ice Packs

by Carys Crossen

After decades of global warming, the new ice age left humanity gobsmacked. The oceans solidified, the forests and fields were scoured by blizzards, oil froze into black diamonds. The population halved within a year.

The penguins marched up from the south like iron filings towards a magnet. They had been shackled by hot, dry earth, but on ice they were transfigured into torpedoes, bullets.

They hunted in packs. Humans, who had held the evolutionary advantage for so long, were helpless. Their efforts to flee futile, they were knocked down and ripped apart by razor-like beaks.

It was quicker than freezing.


Carys Crossen

Carys Crossen is a writer from Manchester UK who writes about ghosts, wolves, magic, rebellious women and wild places. She mostly writes short fiction but is working on her first novel. She lives with her husband, daughter and their cat, who is more than a match for any penguin.

Instagram: @swintonwriter


His Offering

by Evan Baughfman

The male drops his offering at the female’s feet. She examines the rock, contemplating if it’s worth starting a nest with this other penguin.

Then, she realises the gift it isn’t a stone, but a human eye.

On the beach: butchered “ecotourists,” pecked to ribbons by frustrated seabirds. Penguins are tired of oil spills, of habitat loss.

The appreciative female squawks. Her happy suitor dances.

However, a rival appears, delivering his own present—a man’s skull, dragged in by tongue.

The female returns the eye to her first admirer, now looking ahead to a future with a more impressive mate.


Evan Baughfman

Evan Baughfman is a middle school teacher and author. Much of his writing success has been as a playwright. A number of his scripts can be found at online resources, Drama Notebook and New Play Exchange. Evan also writes horror fiction and screenplays.