Today is an unofficial public holiday. Those people that can take a day off work do so, those that can’t call in sick. Today is The Burn. I don’t know who started the tradition (some people say that it was a group of Canadian activists, other claim that it was a collation of South African students) but it spread so fast that it doesn’t even matter where it came from.

It’s celebrated differently all over the world. In the old European Union, I hear they Burn effigies of dead celebrities like Elvis and Brad Pitt. The Europeans blame the Chinese for what happened, the Chinese blame the Indians and the Indians blame the Americans. Americans don’t burn any effigies; Americans break into cemeteries and steal corpses.

In North America they mostly just spit on graves stones, or sometimes even an open hole but in the Southwest, man, they do all sorts of shit. They steal bodies out of graveyards in poor neighborhoods and have giant tailgate parties where people shit on the corpses. A buddy of mine told me he went to a party in new Texas where people took drugs to induce vomiting so they can make a public display of puking on their ancestors. Of course, I’ve seen those corpses, and I don’t see why you would need to take drugs to puke, just smelling them usually does it on it’s own.

Near the equator, I heard that in some places they cook and eat the corpses. I can’t imagine what that old meat might smell like, smoking on a bonfire. Of course, that’s just a rumor, you hear all sorts of shit happening at the equator, the heat makes everybody crazy.

I was thinking about it though, waxing philosophical, you might say, and I think our ancestors got the better end of the deal. I wouldn’t want anyone to puke on me, of course, but they are dead and they don’t know what’s being done to them. I’ve seen the old movies, the flat screen pictures. They had lives without boils, without flaking red skin and the scarring, the flooding and the power failures, the plastic suits and stinking air. They had more metal and plastic than they knew what to do with. They had plenty, and they ate it up.

I get the boils, every day, a new one. I wear the suit, but I still get the boils.

You better believe I’ll be out there today. There’s a grave me and my boys got our eye on. The dead could have done something back in their time, but now it’s too late. They left us here on a world that’s broiling us. The Burn is the least we can do.

Random Story :

The Past

365tomorrows launched August 1st, 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year. We’ve been on the wire ever since. Our stories are a mix of those lovingly hand crafted by a talented pool of staff writers, and select stories received by submission.

The archives are deep, feel free to dive in.

Flash Fiction

"Flash fiction is fiction with its teeth bared and its claws extended, lithe and muscular with no extra fat. It pounces in the first paragraph, and if those claws aren’t embedded in the reader by the start of the second, the story began a paragraph too soon. There is no margin for error. Every word must be essential, and if it isn’t essential, it must be eliminated."

Kathy Kachelries
Founding Member


We're open to submissions of original Science or Speculative Fiction of 600 words or less. We only accepting work which you previously haven't sold or given away the rights to. That means your work must not have been published elsewhere, either in print or on the web. When your story is accepted, you're giving us first electronic publication rights and non-exclusive subsequent publication rights. You retain ownership over your story. We are not a paying market.

Voices of Tomorrow

Voices of Tomorrow is the official podcast of 365tomorrows, with audio versions of many of the stories published here.

If you're interested in recording stories for Voices of Tomorrow, or for any other inquiries, please contact ssmith@365tomorrows.com