BENJAMIN NIESPODZIANY 

 
 

 

Ocean Thief
 

The part-time villain stole the world's largest ocean while the planet was asleep. Compressed it down, bottled it up, stuffed it into a glass cube, and placed it on his mantelpiece. He held it captive and threatened to smash it if the world didn't meet his unruly demands. “If I drop this compact box overtop Middle America,” he recorded, his voice distorted, “then we'll all drown.” The wicked zoo snakes, they begged for him to be so foolish. Instead, nothing horrid happened. His requests were met: his own island, his own private jet, his own aquarium of sharks and large turtles. His own walk-in fridge full of the freshest blueberries. He put the water back and no one ever saw him again, didn't even come looking, the entire population far too busy rushing to reunite with the coast, to caress and kiss the Pacific, to say, “Oh baby, we thought you were gone for good.”

 

 

 
 

Benjamin Niespodziany has never stolen an ocean. He is a night librarian at the University of Chicago and runs the multimedia art blog [neonpajamas]. He has had work published in HOOT Review, Ghost City Press, Pithead Chapel (forthcoming), Philosophical Idiot, and a small batch of others.