Jeff Strand is the author of over 50 books, including Pressure, Dweller, Clowns Vs. Spiders, and the Wolf Hunt trilogy. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia as he’s writing this, but will be in Chattanooga, Tennessee by the time you read this. Every issue of his newsletter contains a brand new flash fiction story, and you can find the subscription link at his website HERE

by Jeff Strand

Once upon a time there lived three little pigs. Oh, these pigs had a merry life! They sang and played games and danced around the meadow and took six naps a day. But for all little pigs there comes a time when they must set out on their own, and so one day the pigs kissed their mother goodbye and ventured out into the big, beautiful world.

The nights were cold and the three little pigs knew they needed shelter soon. As they walked, they passed a vendor who was selling straw. The second little pig and the third little pig laughed and went on their merry way. But the first little pig, who was the laziest of the three pigs, stopped.

"If I purchase this straw, I could have a house built within an hour," said the pig. "Then I'll have plenty of time for singing and games and dancing and naps!"

And that's exactly what the little pig did!

But as the little pig napped in his new straw house, the Big Bad Wolf was watching. Waiting. His stomach rumbled with a torturous ancient famishment, and vile black saliva bubbled in his throat as he fantasized about sweet, succulent pig flesh. His ravenous hunger had gone unsatisfied for far too long, and there would be much bloodshed this day.

Oh yes. Yes indeed.

The Big Bad Wolf silently approached the straw house, licking his lips in anticipation of the grisly feast. He could barely control his giddy laughter as he crawled over to the front door, which was barely a door at all, and breathed deeply of the porcine scent inside.

"Little pig, little pig, let me in," he said, the words stinging his parched throat.

"Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!" cried the pig.

The pig's mockery amused the wolf. The spectre of Death was scratching at its door, and this feeble attempt at ridicule would not save it. The Big Bad Wolf narrowed his eyes, and then he huffed.

And then he puffed.

And then he blew the house in.

The pig squealed in surprise and terror as his straw shelter scattered into the foul wind, leaving him naked and vulnerable. The little pig tried to flee, but the Big Bad Wolf was upon him instantly, pinning the pig against the hard ground with his oversized paws. Sharp claws dug deep into the pig's flesh, and suddenly nothing existed for the little pig except a dark, twisted universe of fear and pain.

Pain that had only just begun.

The Big Bad Wolf drooled and gnashed his teeth, savoring his glorious victory. The pig struggled beneath him, sobbing and begging to be released, but the pig's mockery still echoed in the wolf's ears, and there would be no mercy.

The wolf opened his jaws wide and then tore a long strip of flesh from the little pig's shoulder. Blood spattered against some remnants of straw on the ground as the pig shrieked. The wolf licked the glistening wound, inhaling deeply of its coppery scent, and then ripped a second strip from the same shoulder, exposing bone.

"No! Dear God, no!" the pig screamed.

The wolf's hunger became too much to bear, and he clamped his jaws over what remained of the pig's ruined shoulder. He bit down, severing the pig's entire front leg and swallowing it whole.

The pig stopped struggling. "Please..." he whispered. "Please kill me."

In response, the wolf bit off the pig's other front leg, catching a delicious spurt of blood on the edge of his tongue. He could feel his strength returning. His life returning.

The Big Bad Wolf stood up on his hind legs and howled.

The little pig tried to crawl away on his gory stumps. This amused the wolf even more than the "not by the hair of my chinny chin chin" taunt, so he watched as the pig continued his feeble attempt at escape, painting twin lines of crimson upon the ground.

The wolf's stomach rumbled.

And then he dove upon his prey and gobbled the little pig right up.


As the second little pig and the third little pig made their way through the big, beautiful world, they passed a vendor who was selling wood. The third little pig was momentarily intrigued but quickly decided against it, while the second little pig looked more closely.

"If I purchase this wood, I could have a house built before night falls," said the pig. "Then I'll have plenty of time tomorrow for singing and games and dancing and naps!"

And that's exactly what the little pig did!

But as the pig slumbered, the Big Bad Wolf crawled through the night air, lit only by the full moon. His muzzle was still stained with the blood of his previous kill, but his hunger remained. With great stealth, he approached the house of wood, absent-mindedly playing with the new necklace he wore...a necklace made from the first little pig's ears and teeth.
He could still taste the pig's curly little tail.

The wolf knocked on the door. "Little pig, little pig, let me in!"

"Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!"

The wolf frowned. He'd expected mockery, in fact he'd hoped for it, but he hadn't expected identical mockery. Had the pigs been plotting against him? Toying with him?

It didn't matter. The pig was doomed.

The wolf huffed...and puffed...and blew the wooden house in.

The little pig's eyes shone in the moonlight, wide with fright. Didn't he realize that there could be no sanctuary from the Big Bad Wolf?

This pig was not going to receive the quick, merciful death that his brother had been granted. This pig was going to suffer. This pig was going to learn the true nature of agony.

Before the pig could flee, the wolf picked up a jagged strip of wood. With his astounding wolfish strength he slammed it all the way through one of the pig's legs and deep into the ground underneath, pinning him there. The pig screamed and frantically tried to pull himself free, but his efforts were for naught.

The wolf traced a single claw through the bloody wound and then held it to the pig's snout. "Breathe in deeply," he snarled. "This is the scent of your demise."

"Please..." the little pig begged, "...you don't have to do this..."

"Don't I?"

The pig shook his head. "You don't! This isn't you!"

The wolf growled. "You dare to speak for me? You think you know me? You think you can look inside me? You're nothing, little pig...nothing. I'll show what you what are."

The wolf slashed at the pig's fat tummy with his claw, making trickling red letters that formed a single word.


"What do you think of that?" the wolf asked.

The pig spat in his face.

Anger flared through the wolf, but he kept himself under control. If he lost his temper, he'd end the life of his prey too soon, and that wouldn't do at all.

Instead, he carved more words onto the pig's flesh. Pork. Bacon. Ham. Sausage. The pig squealed and squealed, thrashing back and forth, and the creature's misery was blissful music to the wolf's ears.

The words were becoming difficult to read, so the wolf greedily lapped up the excess blood.

The pig stopped squealing and struggling. Its eyes glazed over and it stared vacantly at nothing.

Was it dead? Had the wolf lost control after all?

The wolf placed an ear to the pig's chest and listened for a heartbeat. No, it was still alive. Just catatonic. The pig had retreated into a safe place in its mind where there was no blood or death or wolves.

The wolf raked a claw across the pig's cheek to encourage it to return to reality. The pig didn't react. It was gone.

Cursing under its breath, the wolf slashed open the pig's belly. One of its claws caught on the intestines, yanking them out like thick rope. The wolf burrowed its face into the pig's open stomach and gobbled away, devouring the pig from the inside out.

When there was nothing left but teeth and ears, the wolf added to its necklace.


As the third little pig made his way through the big, beautiful world, he passed a vendor who was selling bricks and mortar.

"If I purchase these bricks and mortar, it will take me a long time to complete my house," said the little pig. "There will be no time for singing and games and dancing and naps, but I will have a sturdy shelter!"

And that's exactly what the little pig did!

As the pig slept for the night, the Big Bad Wolf approached. "No brick house can keep me out," he said. "I will blow it in just as I did the house of straw, and just as I did the house of wood!" He pounded on the door. "Little pig, little pig, let me in!"

"Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!"

The wolf chuckled at this insolence. And then he huffed...and puffed...and blew with all of his might...

...but the house still stood!

Undaunted, the wolf sucked in another deep breath, filling his lungs with air, and then he huffed...and then he puffed...and then he blew with even more of his might...

...and yet the house still stood!

How could this have happened? His huffing and puffing had never failed before. Was he past his prime? Did this spell the end of his reign of terror? Would the name of the Big Bad Wolf be a source of laughter for little pigs throughout the meadows of the world?

The Big Bad Wolf felt helpless.


No. There had to be another way to get inside.

And then he saw it. The chimney. The foolish pig may have built a house that could withstand the force of the wolf's breath, but he'd neglected to completely seal off the structure, and that would be his tragic downfall.

The wolf climbed onto the roof of the brick house and then leapt down the chimney, just as quickly as you please!

He plunged into a pot of boiling water, howling as his flesh blistered and bubbled underneath his fur. Before he could leap from the death trap, the pig slammed a lid on top of the pot, trapping him inside.

In the darkness of the pot, the wolf renounced his canine gods. His fur came off in bloody clumps and the bones in his paws shattered as he slammed them against the lid. Slowly, ever so slowly, the Big Bad Wolf boiled to death.

His corpse floated in the water long after the fire died out.

The next morning, the little pig removed the lid and laughed at the dead wolf. He decided to go fetch his brothers and show them the body of the wretched creature that had...

The pig froze in horror.

The wolf's belly had split apart, and his last meals, undigested, floated in the water. Though they were well-boiled, the little pig recognized his brother's snout and his other brother's severed leg.

The little pig collapsed into the corner. He closed his eyes and screamed in anguish. He screamed and screamed and screamed, his entire world collapsing around him as his brick house stood firm.

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deathless clowns