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SPARKLINE: Surgical Club

His wife hadn’t seen him naked in ten years. An open relationship that was dead at the heart, by all accounts. She couldn’t explain the membership card for a “surgical club” in his wallet, nor the unusual scarring around his chest. Nor the seam that popped open to reveal a swing-wing ribcage. People wondered out loud about the nature of the “club” when they saw the UV tribal-style tattoos on his heart. Vaginal-fluid fingerprints on the aorta. Only when they saw the badly-reconnected pulmonaries did they begin to understand why the club was called “Heartswapping.”

SPARKLINES: ideas under 100 words. © Warren Ellis 2010

Published in sparklines


  1. I imagine Warren Ellis as an infant, being played videotapes in an early education sort of game – but instead of Beethoven and nature scenes, it’s obscure German pornography and rantings of cult leaders.

  2. This is fantastic. I hope you do more of these. Microflash is the future! That and space-croissants.

  3. Brian


    And 1950s Driver’s Education films.

  4. Is it ok for me to be turned on by this?

  5. Loved this on the second read: “An open relationship that was dead at the heart…”

  6. Enjoyed this.

    Now consume the Cigarette Of Victory.

  7. Dennis


    “Vaginal-fluid fingerprints on the aorta,” may be the greatest passage written in the history of the English language. Joyce would be jealous.

  8. Chris Moon

    Chris Moon


  9. Juan Carlos Romero

    Juan Carlos Romero

    Hell yeah, right? Hell yeah.

  10. Lovely! We used to call short little things like this “drabbles” in my net-writing communities…

  11. mark


    why do I spend time on Mr Ellis site I was asked last week…
    I told them you never know when the wave of awesome will break and what shape it will have on the sands.


  12. Ben


    That could be pretty romantic actually

  13. Goat Stare

    Goat Stare

    loved this.
    hoping that Warren will publish a POD book of his short fiction (assuming there’s enough material)

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