Carlton Mellick III is one of bizarro fiction's most talented practitioners, a virtuoso of the surreal, science fictional tale. He was one of my students last year at the Clarion West workshop and was a real gem — a great writer and insightful critiquer with exemplary work-habits (Carlton's the hardest-working man in bizarro, if you ask me). He's just placed a story, "Candy Coated," with Vice Magazine — it concerns the romantic ambitions of a shallow muscle-bound womanizer whose head is a giant lollipop, whose fate unravels when he has the bad judgement to attend a fancy cheese-tasting. Vice has also recorded an audio version of the story, read by "the girl who tells you which register to use at Whole Foods over the PA."
Knob Tyler thinks he's the strongest, toughest, most badass motherfucker on Mill Avenue. Unfortunately, Knob has a lollipop for a head. This makes him not quite as badass as he thinks he is.
While he's strutting down the street with his white muscle shirt tossed over his sweat-drenched shoulder, Knob likes to flex his pectorals at the ladies. Whenever he says ladies, he pronounces it laydaaays. But for some reason the laydaaays are never impressed by the size of his pecs. They are too creeped out by his weird lollipop head to notice anything special about his muscles.
Knob's lollipop head is the size of a bowling ball and light orange in color. The flavor of the lollipop is Tropical Sensation, which is a mixture of pineapple, mango, and star fruit. His tiny candy eyes, nose, and mouth are clustered together in the center of his large round face. His eyebrows are always curled downward to show how fucking serious he is about shit.