Read by Jesse Thorn. (28 min)

“Missus Murphy, I will have you know that I am to be torn apart and devoured by lions.”

Simon Pfennig was fully aware of how strange he must sound.

He had no choice. It was too exciting not to share.

Eventually, the silence on the other end of the line was broken. “…Excuse me?” Mrs. Murphy eventually managed.

“I,” said Simon, “am to be torn apart and devoured by lions.”

“I’m sorry,” said Mrs. Murphy. “Weren’t you just talking to me about insurance a moment ago?”

“I was,” said Simon. “Now I’m talking about lions.”

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Jeffrey C. Wells is the co-creator of the award-winning webcomic “Skin Horse”, found online at skin-horse.com. He himself has also won awards, but they were for things like “Worst Opening Line of a Science Fiction Story”, so if you want to award him with things so he no longer feels inferior to his own webcomic, that would be great. He lives in the wilds of rural Wisconsin with a wonderful spouse, a dial-up modem, and more pets than you can shake a stick at.

Jesse Thorn is the host and producer of the radio show and podcast The Sound of Young America, distributed by Public Radio International. He also hosts the podcasts Judge John Hodgman and Jordan, Jesse, Go!, the webseries Put This On, and the IFC television program The Grid.

In the book, “TORN APART AND DEVOURED BY LIONS” is illustrated by Christopher Hastings.