When Fossils Attack!

– Peter Hurtgen Jr.

The elderly come in waves. Somehow they got into the gun pantry and are now fully armed and inching from the cafeteria to the gameroom, where some of us are barricaded behind a wall of recliners and golf magazine racks. (I was against having a gun pantry at all, but Dr. Benson insisted it would be therapeutic for the nurses.) 90-year-old spitfire Mrs. Jankowizc lobs a grenade down shuffleboard aisle two—it rolls into the control room. The explosion kills Sgt. Jackson and automatically unlocks every cell door in the facility. I’m starting to regret ever accepting this post as podiatrist at the St. Sally’s Institute for the Violently Old.

The fire alarm goes off so I take my chances and flee through the smoke, down the hall and away from the fracas. Sprinklers shower me with cool water as I find an empty cell in which to hide. Through an iron-barred, slit-of-a-window, I watch a mob of cranky, old ladies surround guard tower three. They have the flamethrower. On the other side of the yard, two silver-haired inmates have overrun an armored vehicle and are driving very slowly with the left blinker on—but they’re not turning left, damn their eyes! I turn over a cot and huddle underneath the thin, bran-stained mattress. I’m trying not to make a sound but I can’t help but sob.

There’s machinegun fire from down the hall. Then a voice in the distance complains that it’s drafty. Someone begs for his life. Dr. Benson? He’s SHOT! Someone else orders French onion soup, but it’s not hot enough. The cook is SHOT! Then, after a tense moment of silence, footfalls make their way down the corridor towards my position. Not footfalls, so much as a thump, shuffle shufflethump, shuffle shuffle. Whatever it is, it’s coming into my cell. I fight my fear and raise my tear-dewed face to see who, or what, it is.

It’s Mr. Tuttle, with two automatic rifles mounted to his walker. “Come out, Dr. Petersen. I need you to take a look at my corns.”


Peter Hurtgen

Irish/German Americano, born in Chicago, raised in DC, spent most of my life in FLA, and currently reside in LA. I’ve travelled the globe, taught, danced and worked with my hands, abandoned religion, had some love affairs, yet remain unmarried. I’m very good at producing very bad televsion.