“Sal and the Revolution,” by Daniel Clausen

Aug 20th, 2012 | By | Category: Fiction, Prose

If he tried hard enough, he could make sense of it all. Everything except the monkey. He was stark naked. That–he was sure—was something that happened quite regularly. The guy to his right saluting him with one arm, the other arm trying to hold his guts in place—he was sure he had seen him before in some kind of movie or something. And the guy in front of him, he was sure his name was Dennis or Donald.

“He’s clean,” Dennis or Donald said over a walkie-talkie.

The other man stopped saluting him and said, “It’s good to have you back, sir.”

Sal stood there naked. He was confused, but confident he could make sense of it all. “Okay,” he said, thinking this would be a safe response. He tried very hard not to glance at the monkey who he was sure was picking his butt.

“So, what’s up you guys?” Sal said, trying to sound casual.

“Oh, right,” Dennis or Donald said. “They said your memory might be a little scrambled from the brain scrambler Dr. Goodspeed shot you with. I guess I should fill you in. You’re the incredible Sal, the martial arts expert and leader of the revolution.”

“Hmmm,” he said, and tried to smile a little. “Sounds great. So,these people we’re fighting…”

The man trying to hold his guts in place finished his sentence. “Dr. Goodspeed, sir. Actually, you just defeated him in an epic battle.”

“Epic, huh.”


“To be honest,” said the guy try to hold in his guts. “I was there, and I kind of skipped out to get a sandwich half-way through. But, I did get kind of curious as to how the battle would turn out, so I came back. Anyway, two and a half stars out of four.”

“And…he took my clothes, or something? Hey do you need, like, a bag for that, or like some kind of medical attention.”

“Don’t worry about me, sir. I’m a bad ass. I can take extremely large amounts of pain if I have to. This is nothing. I did this to myself right before breakfast just to remind myself that if by some chance the revolution ended early, that I needed to go out and buy some fresh pineapple to make fruit salad for the party.”

Sal smiled. “Yeah, fruit salad. Because that’s the kind of world we’re going to build together…a fruity one! Anyway, back on point. Apparently, someone took my clothes.”

There was silence. It took Sal a moment to realize that both Dennis/Donald and the guy holding his guts in play either couldn’t or didn’t want to answer.

“Hey, whose ass do you have to kick around here to get an explanation, huh?” He gave a little laugh just to lighten up the mood. He tried to give the guy holding his guts in place a friendly elbow to the shoulder. But apparently this was one of his most dangerous martial arts moves because the man had to reach up to block his elbow and lost the handle on his guts.

Everyone, including the monkey looked at his guts spill out onto the floor.

“Yeah,” Dennis or Donald said. “No one really knows why you don’t wear clothes anymore. Something about a symbolic statement about us not having rank, or something. We couldn’t really understand it ourselves. But it did have something to do with equality and freedom, or something.”

Sal looked over the guys guts on the floor. “So we won, huh. Listen, I’m going to get you a bag for that.”

The monkey couldn’t stop picking his butt. The monkey, he was sure, was something he could account for. Things were starting to come back to him now.

“And I suppose that right there is a permanent side effect of the brain-scrambler device, Dr. Goodspeed shot me with.”

“Well, sir,” we can’t see what you’re pointing at, but yes, we’re pretty sure that the brain-scrambler device that Dr. Goodspeed shot you with has now forced you to see a monkey that will occasionally try to assassinate you.

Sal swallowed hard. It wasn’t so much that he was scared of the monkey trying to kill him, but that he couldn’t stand the idea of the monkey not washing that one hand before attempting to do it.

Yes, things were starting to come back to Sal now. The nature of the revolution—to free the earth from the tyranny of a world controlled by therapists with various types of psychogenic drugs, to go back to simpler ways involving work and remaining in one’s original body instead of constant plastic surgeons, and instead of popular magazines telling you how to dress, walk, and why you should feel bad about your bodily form, you would just hang out with your friends and periodically they would be dicks to you.

“As it turns out,” Sal said, “Dr. Goodspeed’s device has had one other dastardly side-effect. It has given me a strong urge to wear pants.”


Daniel Clausen is a man of great industry and upright moral character. One day he plans to run for city comptroller. His work has been published in Slipstream Magazine, Leading Edge Science Fiction, and Black Petals. His third book—The Ghosts of Nagasaki—will be appearing in November. You can read excerpts and sign up for the emailing list at: ghostsofnagasaki.com

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