Tag Archive | Blaze McRob

The Filth Below

It doesn’t matter how long he stands before the window staring down at the streets below. They always show the filth and decadence this city is noted for. This is a place of evil, yet no different from any other city on this disgusting, spinning rock. Humanity exists, if one wishes to call this totality of debauchery by such a term, at a base level. No more; no less.

Selchor twirls his cane on the carpet under his feet, moving it back and forth between both hands. “Guess I should stop my pessimism from destroying my hope for those who do manage to overcome the odds,” he thinks. “After all, I had enough expectations for some people that I chose to return and give a little help to those needing it.

“Of course, there are the others.”

A smile crosses his lips now. Why should he lighten up over what is to happen? He doesn’t even know where his travels will take him tonight. He never knows. The evil acts as a conduit, drawing him to it – not for glory, but to achieve his mission. “Search and destroy. That’s me. I feel like a comic book hero.”

The sun drops down over the city, the deep tunnels carved between the high buildings sucking the light away, much as those prone to wielding their hatred take the light away from the good. Selchor likes the Darkness. His many lifetimes have given him visual acuity that mortals can only long for. Nothing escapes him. All his senses are on high alert. The stench, the sounds, and tastes, join in, as does the evil pulling at his soul, the touch telling him what must be done.

He chooses to walk down the stairwell, rather than use the elevator. Six floors are mere child’s play for him. Many times in the past he has had to handle situations on the stairs that needed to be addressed, as only he could do it. No place in this city is safe. Not even the stairs of his own building.

The tell-tale tapping of his cane along the sidewalks makes some in his path go down side streets in quick retreat. Though Selchor has not lived here for long, he has become a legend of sorts. He is more effective than the old cop on the beat, the guy who knew everyone and who people felt safe around. Nowadays, safety and trust are arbitrary. There are no absolutes.

Valentine’s Day is a day set aside for love, but it’s not being felt in one multi-dwelling brownstone close to the financial center. The conduit tells the truth to Selchor. He knows something is wrong. Big business and politics have joined forces again. Even from this distance, the cries reach him: particularly those of the children.

A wrecking ball already sits off to the side of the building when Selchor arrives. These bastards are in a hurry. A few police cars are there, and the cops are talking to several residents, telling them that they have to go.

“But we never received any notification that we had to leave,” a distressed women tells one of them.

“That’s not what I’ve been told,” a police sergeant hollers back. “Everyone was notified in writing a few months ago, and I have a signed go ahead order to vacate from Judge Patterson.”

“Judge Patterson is an on-the-take, bottom-feeding piece of shit,” Selchor says, as he sits down on the stoop of the dwelling.

The sergeant stares at him, taken aback for a moment. “We don’t need you interfering. Go on, get the hell out of here.”

“I’ll go wherever I wish. This is a free country.”

“I’m in charge. You’ll do as I say.”

Selchor laughs. “Good luck with that. It’s been tried before, with bad results.”

“Is that a threat?”

“Take it however you please.”

The sergeant charges Selchor, only to find he has moved by the time he gets to where he was. The thorn in the cop’s ass is now sitting on the other side of the stoop. “I told you,” Selchor says.

Fuming, the cop charges him once more, but Selchor trips him with his cane, and he gets a mouth full of debris for his efforts. While still on the ground, he unholsters his weapon, cocks the trigger, and fires a round. It misses its target and strikes the woman who was pleading her case just moments before, hitting her in the chest. Selchor rushes to her and catches her before she falls to the concrete.

Her husband rushes to her side and Selchor hands her to him. “Keep your hand over the wound to stop the blood from pouring out.

“You,” he shouts to another tenant, “call 911 and get an ambulance here.

“Everyone else get inside and stay down.”

“You’re not in charge!” the sergeant shouts. “We’ll handle this.”

“I think not. Look what you’ve done already. I want to make certain this woman gets to the hospital. You can’t be trusted.”

A stand-off ensues until the ambulance arrives and takes her away. His revolver still drawn, the sergeant will not back-down. There are no longer any witnesses, they’re all inside. For the moment, that is.

“We’ll deal with you now,” the sergeant says.

“You won’t get any farther than you did before. Besides, the people inside will know what happened even if you are successful. Do you plan to get rid of them, too?”

Silence. The answer evident on the cop’s face.

“That’s what I thought.”

Selchor hits the button on the top of his cane and a twelve inch knife flies out the bottom. The cops stare at him in disbelief, but what’s one knife against six cops with six revolvers? Nothing. Bullets begin to fly everywhere, but none hit their target. The sergeant is the first one to feel the cold steel as Selchor neatly cuts his heart out and hands it to him as the life drains from his body. One by one, the others receive the same fate as their leader. Six dead bodies lie on the ground, blood pouring from their carcasses into the storm drains.

Spirits rise from the bodies and stare at what was once their physicality, now merely pieces sliced and diced pulp.

“I warned you guys, but you wouldn’t listen to me,” Selchor says. “It is now time for you to decide your fates. Do you go to Heaven or to Hell? The choice is yours. Decide well.”

They stare at Selchor and then each other. The answer has to be obvious enough. Or is it? The longer they think, the more of the evil they have committed over the course of their lives attacks their souls and they are torn with despair. One by one, they are taken to Hell, one of their own making. Not a one goes to Heaven. There  is none for them.

Selchor surveys the scene and watches as his cleanup crew arrives to spiff the area up. Musn’t leave a mess. He looks at the court order from the judge. It appears a high-rise is supposed to be built on this site, one for the big shots working in the financial district are to live.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if the sidewalks were to have been paved with gold.” Selchor’s voice oozes with disdain and sarcasm.

It’s time to pay a visit to Judge Patterson . . .

~ Blaze McRob

© Copyright 2016 Blaze McRob. All Rights Reserved

Damned Words 15

DamnedWords_15

Rusted Relics
Jon Olson

Are they gone? The Creepers I mean? Fuck that was close. Too close. Shit, they almost got me. Cold-blooded bastards. They’re most active in the sun, yet you ventured out in daylight. We can’t take any more chances; there are so few of us left now. At one time, we were many; powerful and dominant. Then the Creepers came. Their war with us was quick; brutal; unrelenting; genocidal. These old war machines, these rusted relics, once a source of pride in our dominance, now gravestones of a dying civilization. Grim reminders of what we were and of what we’ve become.


Delirium
Zack Kullis

Delirium from the dehydration twisted his worst memory to the sweetest- the blood.  The fall into the abandoned coal pulverizer broke his back and legs, but the compound fracture in his left leg covered his face with blood.  Warm, wet blood.  What had once been nausea was now thirst and desperation.

Upside down, he raised the jagged piece of iron with his last bit of strength and plunged it into his gut, and salvation flowed with damnation.  He gulped savagely until something plugged the wound.  His fury turned to gluttony, for he had found something meaty to eat as well.


Footsteps
Magenta Nero

I hear footsteps approaching with a dull, heavy thud. Always the same footsteps. Big boots with steel capped heels. I squeeze further back into the black corner. I shun the light that streaks through the bars in a fan of gleaming dust. The footsteps stop. There’s a rustle of paper. He hurls it into my cell; a sandwich.  Always the same; a thin slice of processed meat between heavily buttered white bread. It lands in a puddle of dirty water. I never touch them but the rats do. They will come during the night, squeaking as they crawl through the bars.


Laughter
Christopher A. Liccardi

The smelling salts brought him back to his situation and the clarity of the thing in front of him. His hands ached; pinned overhead with the dagger. His thick calf muscle screamed.  He was with the other woman, then…

“Rumor has it, you like to fuck. Me too.” His wife’s voice tittered as she stepped into the light. The thing’s steel finger bore down, tearing flesh from bone. Pain exploded in to him. He could see her in the gloom, licking her lips and laughing.

In the end, it wasn’t the agony, but her laughter escorting him to his death.


God-Given Seed
Thomas Brown

We tried everything but they kept coming. Nothing would drive them off except when Pa took to the fields. “Don’t play in the corn,” he’d say. We’d watch from the first-floor window, scythe bobbing, glinting in the light, scattering the birds like dark clouds into the sky.

When Pa died, there was no stopping them. We went hungry that year. The one afterwards we brought him back. Sticks and straw, all trussed up high, old scythe stitched to his paw. Now the birds are the least of our worries. “Don’t play in the corn,” he’d say. We keep well clear.


Of A New Age
Joseph A. Pinto

We are all as one, she said, and the great wheelwork spun behind her eyes.  It bore into me, that horrible flaking of rust, the anguished drumming of the mechanism she was, and still, I would have followed her anywhere.  Into the mouth of the machine, she said.  Yes, into the mouth of madness.  I cuffed my sleeves and exhaled, watching her shudder like an awakening beast as she gathered steam.  She was right.  We are all as one.  I closed my eyes and finally, surrendered.  Extending my hand, she took me, and shorn me as she had been shorn.


Sufferance
Nina D’Arcangela

It churned along, belching foul, oily smoke into the already smothered atmosphere. Where it roamed, nothing was left; not animal, nor tree, or blade of grass – it consumed all. Nothing could withstand the creature’s path. Many generations had passed since we’d lived without fear of this demon; it was a constant in our world. We’d heard rumor of its approach, rumors we’d heard before; this one proved itself true. Crouched in our burrow, we watched in terror as the gnashing iron teeth approached. Just a few feet more – the end so very near. Call me coward, but I welcomed it.


Chomp
Blaze McRob

Metal scrapes against metal, hastening the demise of the already deteriorating structure. From inside the darkened crevices they wake, ready to finish their job. Rust calls to them, sounding a dinner gong. Already, the transformation is happening. Not much of the infrastructure built by humans remains; not many of them remain. Chomp, chomp, chomp. Those who have eaten more than their share are now becoming the eaten. There is no place left for them to hide.

An unlucky one walks beneath the girder at the wrong time. The rust eaters have done their job. The flesh eaters now do theirs.


The Pit
Craig McGray

They’d done it for decades, maybe even centuries. Each full moon, the elders gathered the chosen and brought them to the pit. Eager and naïve, the chosen were led into the forest with hopes of a promising future, dreams of becoming one of the guardians to protect the clan from evil intruders who would dare take them from their home and destroy their way of life. However, true evil comes from within and the elders were pure evil, through and through. Once inside the pit, true intentions were revealed and the elders feasted on the pure innocence of the weak.


Relics of the Old World
Tyr Kieran

Massive machines moored in ancient soil, now unearthed to behold—such barbaric contraptions of whirring gears, sharp slicing appendages, and explosive, rotating turrets. Their victims’ screams and spilled blood now nothing more than faded memories and miniscule footnotes in historical annuals. Moving metal warriors left to rust. Their purpose of aligning world views and beliefs through slaughter, has been long forgotten. But, such effective devices they were! Nothing unifies like fear and power. These sleeping giants, abandoned in their finest hours, have endured. They lie silent… simply waiting for new marching orders. Well, I say, “Rise, and unify us again!”


Each piece of fiction is the copyright of its respective author
and may not be reproduced without prior consent. © Copyright 2015
Image © Copyright Dark Angel Photography. All Rights Reserved.

Damned Words 14

stone

Empty Stone
Jon Olson

He is weak, the large gash in his stomach slowly killing him, yet he crawls onward. Gripping dirt, the dying man pulls himself closer. His eyes rest upon the stone carvings; upon the angel. There he hopes to feel his lord’s embrace; to feel salvation. Fingertips reach out, touching it, feeling nothing. A groan escapes his lips, morphing into a scream. Pain engulfs his body, growing cold, announcing the arrival of the beast. Any hope of salvation fades as the foul one laughs. It’s just empty stone. Another false idol. Grinning, the foul one tears out the dying man’s throat.


Of god and guise
Joseph A. Pinto

What fear say you?

To which I reply possess no fear, nor cowardice, for that matter. I am of an esoteric order, keeper of the indulger of dust and decay. To my god I owe nothing but respect. I, its dutiful tasker of divine immolation.

Ssh. Agonize not. To your knees. In newfound supplication, your chin now lift. See my god. Know my god. Relish its kiss as to stone I press your cheek.

Let my god eat through grit until grit turns to bone. To flesh. And through your flesh, baptized newly my god once more.

Welcome, my master…


Medusa’s Child
Magenta Nero

With a final shriek it was expelled, I tried to kicked it away. The nurse scooped it up, oblivious to my panic. Tears streamed as I squeezed my eyes shut but I heard it’s first gurgled cry and my resolve melted. Sobbing I turned to face the babe. It was held aloft in gloved hands; a strange, blue wrinkled thing. We both fell silent as our gaze met. Then it began and I watched helplessly as it spread. Fine hairline fractures became deep cracks, it’s wriggling limbs froze. The nurse screamed as my baby crumbled and shattered in her hands.


Rules
by Tyr Kieran

They teach rules with which to govern yourself—defining factors handed down from our creator looking to reward those that act accordingly. Then there’s societal laws, rules made by man and enforced by the same. They pound them into your head from birth. But, they neglect to tell you, it’s a flawed system! Following these rules only leaves you or your loved ones vulnerable to those living of their own accord. One such “rogue” killed my son. Now, I say fuck the system! I’m making my own rules from here on out. Revenge won’t be sweet enough, but it’s mandatory!


Hallowed Be Thy Name
Thomas Brown

The past haunts us like ragged ghosts, like the remembered scent of an old flame. I prayed to Him. For three years I knelt, palm to palm, seeking forgiveness.

“Father, can you hear me?”

It was the thirteenth when He answered. Three years, of tears, upset, not knowing where I fit in. I woke, crusty-eyed, cold. 3am. Moon fat in the sky.

“Hello?”

For the longest time, silence. I was used to this. I began to drift off. Then bedsprings, sudden weight, a whisper in my ear. The Lord smelled a lot to me like wet dog.

“I hear you.”


Innocence Lost
Blaze McRob

The eyes stare out, seeing what they don’t see. He’s been here long enough to see the forest grow up around this place . . . a place meant to elicit oohs and aahs. Apparent youth beams a message of happiness and innocence. Yet not is all as it appears.

Strength lies within the arm of the child, the ruddy bas-relief almost giving it a hairy appearance. The arm of the beast. That’s what the legends say. Stay away at all costs.

Not everyone heeds the words of the wise ones. Self-sacrifice. Unwilling. Final.

The smile spreads wider. The child has been nourished.


Silent Wrath
Craig McGray

Stone statues and distant memories are all that remain of children. Gone are the days of playgrounds filled with joy and laughter, replaced instead by the tears and sorrow of those who cannot let go the thought of holding a child, their bodies unable to produce what they long for. We allowed the world around us to decay into a cesspool of man’s worst traits, ignorant to the consequences of our actions and even more damning was our inaction. Some waited for a violent apocalypse to descend from above. Instead, we received this silent wrath. Soon we’ll all be gone.


Every Other Weekend
Christopher A. Liccardi

“Why do the eyes follow us, Mommy?” The boy asked, rubbing snot from his nose with his sleeve.

“Because someone needs to watch over you. Mommy can’t always keep an eye out. “She knew their time together was short; no longer than a walk to the other end of the cemetery.

“Is this where Daddy lives now?” he asked.

“Yes, it is sweetheart.”

They reached the entrance to the lonely grey slab building. It smelled of new decay and dried flowers.

“Mommy?” he questioned in a nasely voice.

“In ya go, kiddo. Daddy’s waiting.”

She closed the door behind him.


The Forgotten
Zack Kullis

Rough, with hints of moisture from the morning dew – each sensation punctuated by the never-ending cold. Careful to touch only the surface where the memory was etched, and not the deeper rock that offers no sentiment, he outlines the gravestone with ghostly fingers.

The dead feel more than the living ever could. Cumbersome flesh is like a thick glove, hiding most sensory input. His spirit’s fine matter misses nothing. The sole visitor stopped only to admire the exquisite art, oblivious of the weeping apparition.

“If they will not visit me, then I will bring the bitterness of the afterlife to them.”


Rings of Death
Nina D’Arcangela

She comes always – even on the coldest of days. She comes and weeps fained devastation. My father watches silently; a man broken by his pain. The carriage stands vigil; the horses fuss, hair shimmering in the sunlight. The stable hands often complained of the muck after our adventures; but their silence already bought. The animals pristine by the time father broke from his study; our supposed jaunts to the park never fell suspect. Mother and I traveled to wooden houses, each bore a mark upon the door; a mark the same hue as the flowers now spilling from my pockets.

 


Each piece of fiction is the copyright of its respective author
and may not be reproduced without prior consent. © Copyright 2015
Image © Copyright Dark Angel Photography. All Rights Reserved.

Crime Doesn’t Pay

C’mon, Greg! We gotta stash this loot!”

“Why here, for Christ’s sake, Len? This place gives me the fucking creeps!”

“In case you can’t hear too well, dip-wad, the police sirens are blaring all over the place. If we’re caught with the cash, it’s our asses!”

“But this is the cemetery. It ain’t right!”

“What wouldn’t be right is us sitting in a cell with Bubba wanting to pound our butts. I ain’t into that Hershey stuff.”

“And I suppose I am, huh?”

“I’m not saying you are. We hide the stash and vamoose. When the coast is clear, we come back and get it.”

“But . . .”

“No buts. This place is filled with dead people. They won’t care. It’s not like we’re going to desecrate their graves or anything.”

“Okay, but I don’t like it.”

The two men look around, searching for the perfect place: a spot easy enough to conceal the money and their guns, but one that will not present hardships to retrieve it later.

Tonight the cemetery is well lit from the light of a huge full moon and no clouds to speak of. Caution. Yes, care must be taken so they are not seen. No one frequents the place now, but who knows? The cops are scouring everywhere. What’s to stop them from coming here?

Less than an hour ago, they had held-up the convenience store, pistol-whipping the clerk and emptying the cash drawer. Len had gone into the office and busted the safe open. Nothing like having some experience with such things. Greg had been upset over the condition of the clerk, but the idiot refused to hand over the loot and Len had lost it, rushing into a vicious attack on his skull, the sounds of breaking bone ripping through the store. When the money had been stashed away in Len’s backpack, the two thieves checked on the cashier. Too late for him. The bloody pulp that had formerly been the pleasant, cheerful face of Tony Sturbridge, was unrecognizable now.

The stench of feces filled the store, combined with that of piss. Tony had unloaded his bowels and bladder when death came a-knocking. The blood, still pouring from his head, completed the grisly picture. Greg stayed far away from the body, tasting the Death in the room, the sensation of their evil deed running rampant around them.

Somehow, the cops were on their way in a hurry, not even allowing the two of them time to get back to their car that was parked a few blocks away in front of an apartment complex. No one could pin the duo to the crime by association with the vehicle.

“Okay, Len, just where do we stash this shit? C’mon, answer man.”

“Just shut the fuck up! We’ll find a place. I’ll look. You keep your eyes open for the cops.”

Tiptoeing around the markers and stones, Len finds what appears to be a floating section of grass about three feet square around the base of a huge oak. He works his fingers around the edges and gaining a finger-hold, he pulls it up.

“Look at this, Greg! This grass chunk is like a trap door or something. I wonder where it goes?”

He feels around and finds a wooden structure. With the help of Greg, he lifts it up and is overwhelmed from the stench coming out of the opening beneath them. “Holy shit! What’s that odor, Greg?! It’s putrid!”

Greg is in no shape to answer him, not with his insides trying to come up through his esophagus. Struggling to hold back the onslaught of puke doesn’t work and soon he and Len both are covered in his bile-rich vomit.

“Damn it, Greg! That’s fucking disgusting . . .”

His words are cut short as two huge hands reach up from below, grabbing him, and cutting into his arms with long, sharp nails. In one swift move, he is pulled beneath the ground, the sudden attack putting him into a state of shock. His adversary laughs and seemingly finds every little rock and root to drag him across.

Trying to focus through his vomit encased vision, Greg sees but doesn’t see what happened to Len. Spitting out some of the crap in his throat and mouth, he shouts, “Where are you, Len?!  What’s going on?”

He doesn’t have to wait long for an answer as something from behind places its huge foot on his ass and kicks him into the hole. Greg tries to stop his rapid descent but has no luck. He’s in some sort of a shaft. It’s steep, and when he hits bottom, he lands hard.

Algol jumps in after him, taking the slab of wood along. He pulls down on the grass concealment, firmly putting it back in place and forces the plank of wood into the ground, effectively concealing the entry. No one will find the opening.

Len and Greg are dragged to the chamber that until recently was his lonely home. Now he shares it with Lillith and things are so much better. Not only do they share their unique tastes in cuisine, but the amorous adventures foreign to them for so long are engaged in day after day, night after night. Neither of them tires of their pursuits of sexual pleasure.

However, other pleasures are now awaiting the Ghoulish couple: fresh meat before them, a terrified duo just now realizing where they are, and while not fully recognizing the horror of the situation, knowing that nothing good is about to happen.

The sweat of the damned pours from Len as Lillith hovers over him, her long, scraggly hair and yellowish-black teeth staring him in his face. She smiles, not at all upset by his panic. In fact, she recognizes it for what it is and basks in the joy of her dinner’s agony. Spittle from the sides of her mouth fall into his eyes, causing him to scream out in pain as her acidic saliva burns deep into him.

“Does that hurt, you little bastard? Maybe there should be a lot more pain given to you,” she says. “After all, you could have cared less about the pain you subjected Tony to.”

What the fuck?! The ugliness of this creature, illuminated by a flashlight that fell out of Len’s pocket, terrifies him: naked, covered with hair, drooling. She approaches closer and closer, her breasts drooping down, almost to his mouth, the very thought of them that close disgusting him.

“Oh, you don’t like the way I look! Well, my friend, you’re not going to look too good yourself in a few minutes. Maybe if you say you’re sorry I’ll take pity on you and not kill you too fast. Yeah, maybe.”

A rat scoots across Len’s forehead, sending more shivers down his frame. He jerks upward as hard as he can, trying to shove Lillith off him. She plays along for a few seconds, allowing him to move her up, but uses the time to tear his clothes off him. Len goes berserk with fear as she starts nibbling on his neck, taking tiny little bites, the acid attacking the wounds burning like nothing he has ever felt before.

“So you don’t like my little pet,” Lillith says. “He likes you. Watch.”

She picks the rodent up and places it on Len’s neck. It sniffs around, whiskers creating a picture on his neck, the blood acting as paint. The pet drives the killer to spasmodic jerking. He wants it off him; he hates rats.

“Mama says it’s okay to feed, my precious. I will share my dinner with you.”

Understanding Lillith, the rat buries its teeth into the wounds, sucking up blood and nibbling away as Len screams in pain. Once it has eaten his fill, it hops off contentedly and scurries through the piles of clothing stacked everywhere in this Ghoulish love nest.

Lillith rubs her body all over Len as she goes back to feeding on him, the pain driving him to the edge of insanity. Smiling before she puts her lips on his, she forces the taste of her on his lips and tongue, adding to his agony as he forces the wretched affliction from his mouth, spitting it back at her. Lillith reacts violently by biting his lips off, chewing on them before his horrified eyes.

Greg, stricken with panic watching his friend being eaten alive, tries to escape, but Algol tears off his right arm and slaps him in the face with it. As he screams in pain, knowing now their fates are sealed, Algol says, “Welcome to the party, Greg. No way could we leave you out of this fun.”

Lillith and Algol slowly eat away at the two men, enjoying their struggles and the taste of fresh meat – so much better than decayed flesh. Watching each other tease and taste the two vermin drives the Ghouls to a feeding frenzy and they pass the two back and forth between them. When Len is almost dead they both eat away at him from different ends of his body, meeting in the middle and disemboweling him in unison.

Len’s life force is gone.

Greg, forced to watch this attack on his friend, is unable to move. He is resigned to his fate; he does not have long to wait. Lillith reaches in with her hideous claws and tears his heart out. One last shudder and it’s all over for him.

Their little pet returns to partake of more as Lillith finishes eating Greg’s heart.

Algol looks at his mate, other feelings stirring once more in his loins. She returns his look and smiles.

“You know, Lillith,” he says, “this human rabble doesn’t understand that crime doesn’t pay.”

~ Blaze McRob

© Copyright 2015 Blaze McRob. All Rights Reserved.

Damned Words 13

lone_tree

Silently, Deliberately
Jon Olson

Every day, like a moth to a flame, I revisit this spot, eager to see it again. Leaning back against the tree, I gaze out onto the horizon. My eyes scan left to right, right to left. It was here, on this small protrusion of land, I saw it hovering silently, deliberately above the Atlantic water. Mechanical, organic, frightening and alluring all rolled into one. For hours I watched with morbid fascination until it finally disappeared into the sky. Since then, my dreams, every waking moment, have been obsessing over it. So here I sit, waiting, hoping, for its return.


Burn To Your Core
Joseph A. Pinto

And still I survive here; and I am charred; and I am lifeless without ever having died. You surround me with portrait skies my limbs can never touch; only the water to nourish me, delivered by beak of bird and sob of storm. Yes, you planted me in barren ground, but I chose to take root. Strove to blossom. More than ever, I realize I cannot. How deathly I must appear against the backdrop you manufactured, an obstruction to all you’d thought perfected. An eyesore so startling I am beauty in my own right; it must burn to your core.


Rest In Peace
Thomas Brown

Last night I ate with my family for the last time. My brothers and sisters drank, danced, laughing as they have laughed for centuries while gorging themselves to sate the endless void. Let them. I can’t remember ever feeling so full, so monstrously sick of it all. Dawn approaches. Over and over the sea heaves itself against the grey shingles. I was born here; it seems right that I should end here too. Standing on the shore, I watch the waves and the ash floating over them. Birds scream. The sea sighs. I am here, now, and it is beautiful.


Black
Craig McGray

It’s been years since anything has blossomed. Sure, an overly ambitious weed may sprout from time to time, or a sporadic leaf may unfold from the tip of a naked branch, but the inky blackness from the soil strangles any attempt to splash color onto its infected landscape. Mankind and nature alike have been smothered by the rot that has stolen the color from the ground and seas. The sky remains the only hint of color in our decimated world and even that will soon be gone. Each day grows shorter, every night becomes longer. We did this to ourselves.


Duel at Dawn
Blaze McRob

A gentle breeze carries the stench of rot to this seemingly idyllic park. Voices, agitated, from both sides, toss curses at each other, bellowing out that the other will get what is coming to him. They back up to each other, take the ten obligatory paces, turn, and aim.

Lightning strikes the little piece of land jutting out into the river as it has for hundreds of years, ripping through the soil. Both men drop to the ground without a shot being fired.

There will be a duel at dawn once more. Until there is a victor, neither can rest . . .


Rise
Magenta Nero

Finally, a precious moment alone. Staring into the vast emptiness of sky her troubled thoughts churn. The afternoon sun glares in the distance. She frowns as she watches it, an uneasy feeling creeping over her. It is not the sun. It is moving, hurtling towards her quickly. It comes to a sudden halt above her, a huge and gleaming object. She clutches her ears as a deep grating hum fills her head. She thinks to run, to scream, but she can’t move. Her body begins to rise, sucked by a stream of blinding light into the belly of the craft.


Promises, Promises
Hunter Shea

She was hanging from the lone tree by the sea, the very place we first made love, our sweat crystallizing with salt, the ammonia scent of our urgency sticky between us. Her limp body presented a dark silhouette against the setting sun. I saw her clothes in a wrinkled pile beneath her feet, toes pointed to where we once lay, a jumble of limbs and satisfied orifices. The surf crashed, imperceptible flecks of foam plinking into the pores of my face.

Her body jerked.

No!

One cut. She gasped.

Into the sea, my love. I promised you a beautiful death.


Watching Clouds
Tyr Kieran

That was the day our greatest fear came true. A slow build war neither cold nor vigorous. The talking heads had spewed their hype for months, only exacerbating the arrogant, heavy-handed mistakes of the politicians. Cultures clashed causing egos to surge up and trample all over rationale. It wasn’t surprising that international spite and jealously is what pushed the button in the end. When the alert hit the airwaves and our government admitted their diplomatic errors, it was far too late–death was on the way. No sense in running. I just sat down and watched the mushroom cloud form.


Anointed
By Nina D’Arcangela

Raised are the seas that stood calm before me; quelled are those that traveled by wing to mock me; desiccated is all that once grew to surround me – I stand alone. Arms raised toward the heavens, I pulled upon God’s wrath to sear man’s attempt to staunch my avarice, my deserved ferocity. Tarred may be my flesh, but my spirit stands rooted in this land; untouchable. I thrive not for my glory, but for the one I have served eternally. Each leaf bloomed; yet another tear of poison shed. Each leaf fallen; yet another drop of the demon’s blood spread.


Each piece of fiction is the copyright of its respective author
and may not be reproduced without prior consent. © Copyright 2015
Image © Copyright Dark Angel Photography. All Rights Reserved.

Midnight Rum

A dark night. Clouds and no moon. No wonder he almost falls over the tombstones. Has nothing to do with the fact he’s flying high, caught in the loving embrace of the alcohol numbing his senses.

“Lights,” he mutters. “They need lights in here at night!”

The absurdity hits him. Who needs to see in here? The dead? No one else should be here. But he is. This is the perfect place to drink his ill-gotten hooch.

He was one drunken bastard before he even went down the alleyway behind the liquor store, but he was aware enough to notice old Harold, the evening counterman, standing at the far end of the building, having a smoke and trying to cop a feel from Lucille, the town’s resident hooker.

That left the store unattended. All those bottles screaming out to him, insisting he give them a good home. Ed listened to the bottles, ran inside, grabbed a bag from the counter and filled it up with the nectar of the Gods. It didn’t matter what he grabbed – he liked it all. As long as alcohol was inside, he would be happy. He left through the front door. By the time Harold would hear the bell and get back inside, Ed would be long gone.

“Now I need a good place to sit, lean back, and enjoy a few drinks,” Ed says.

As if by divine intervention, he finds a huge oak tree and, feeling around with his feet, discovers it is surrounded by nice soft grass. Perfect!

“Let’s see what kind of goodies I got. I’ll have to toast Lucille for keeping Harold occupied. I don’t know what he was thinking. The old goat ain’t been able to get it up for twenty years now. Shit! That’s why his wife left him. Shirley needed a man to satisfy her needs. Too bad Shirley left town. I enjoyed some fine ass from that lady.”

He reaches into the bag and grabs the biggest bottle. In his condition, it isn’t easy to open, but when a man is thirsty and needs to get even more of a buzz, he finds a way. He takes a long pull on the bottle, and the fiery but sweet liquid moves down his throat.

“Oh, rum! The good shit! The 151 proof stuff.”

The bottle is a third of the way gone, and he has all he can do to sit up straight against the tree, when the air around him becomes putrid, so bad as to affect the taste of the rum. But Ed is a pro and goes back to the bottle.

“Whatever that stench is will leave soon. I hope it’s not a fucking skunk, though. I’m in no shape to get away from one.”

His vision, which is bad enough to be begin with because of the dark, gets progressively worse, everything becoming hazy. The world spins around him, and Ed knows he will be spending the night with the dead. He’s in no shape now to walk home.

The Ghoul is amused by this pathetic human. To get this drunk is uncalled for. Does he not care about his health? Yes, the monster has tasted the flesh of the dead with remnants of alcohol in their systems. But this . . . but this will be the first opportunity he has had to feast on a living body with as much booze as this one has. The thought of the bliss works into the creature’s mind, and he salivates at the promise of his wonderful feast. How high will he get as he devours this weak-willed man?

Not worrying about being quiet – it doesn’t matter – this sap is too soused to go anywhere, the Ghoul walks up to Ed and sits down next to him, his disgusting stench causing Ed to jerk forward.

“Easy,” the Ghoul says, “don’t move too fast or all that fine rum will come out as puke. That would be a waste, my friend.”

“Who . . . who the fuck are you? Man, you have a huge odor problem!”

The Ghoul laughs. “That’s not a nice thing to say, Ed. Not nice at all. Just call me Algol. That will be just fine.”

It’s hard for Ed to think right now, the rum pulling at him from every direction. Were it not for this Algol character and his stench, he is sure he would be passed out by now.

“What do you want?” he asks him, and as his hand finds Algol’s hairy body, he adds, “Why are you naked? You shouldn’t be out walking around with no clothes on. Damn, you’re hairy!”

Peals of laughter rip across the cemetery as Algor gets closer to Ed. “I never wear clothes, Ed. I live below the ground. I don’t need clothes.”

How does this thing know his name? What’s going on?

“Everyone knows you, Ed. You’re a drunk. Plain and simple. Many nights I heard you stumbling home in one of your stupors. A number of evenings you passed out and spent the night here, not even waking up when the driving rain attacked your body. But those times I wasn’t allowed to interfere with your life. Now, it’s a whole different story.”

This beast is somehow capable of reading his mind. Ed feels his thoughts being pulled on. No! That’s impossible!

“You are luckier than the others, Ed. Your rum will help you not feel as much pain. Rest assured, however, that there will be pain, and the nightmares you think you’re having will fade into oblivion as you feel your life force being sucked out of you.”

No more talking; no more thinking. Algol rips into Ed’s neck with his vile, yellowish black teeth and starts his feast. The searing pain, not inhibited by the alcohol’s presence, manifests itself throughout his body as the taste of the Ghoul’s stench drops onto his tongue.

The blood, mixed with the sweet rum, tastes good to Algol, and causes him to fall under the spell of the alcohol, not in the manner it affected Ed but in a calm, relaxing way. “Ah, no wonder these monkeys like this stuff,” he thinks.

Bite after delicious bite and taste after taste of the sweet blood brings Ed closer to death. The alcohol still in his system has made him last longer than the others before Algol took one bite too many and they met their next appointment – with the afterlife.

Under the pleasant numbing effect of the rum and blood, the Ghoul does not hasten his dinner. This is beyond his wildest dreams! The only thing better would be if Ed were a woman and he could add that other element of ecstasy to this experience.

Moments before Algol sucks the last of Ed’s blood out of his body, the body and mind of the town drunk reconcile with fate and are gone. One last stare; one last gasp.

The Ghoul leans back against the oak, content with himself, even forgetting the hatred inside his soul for the God who did this to him. Times are different now. Revenge. Somehow, maybe, it will come.

He grabs the bottle of rum and drinks from it. There is no need for hurry. He can rid the cemetery of Ed’s existence soon enough. Can’t let the demon rum go to waste.

An hour, maybe two, goes by, and Algol’s hair sensors pick up on something approaching.

What the . . .

***

The tantalizing aroma of a woman drifts through the evening air. Oh, those sweet love juices talk to him, reminding him of his earlier desires. Midnight Rum can wait a little. There are more important things to be taken care of.

All is not quite right, however. This woman is searching for something in the cemetery, stopping every now and then to taste the air and smell what is above, as well as what lies below.

She stops, standing on her toes, and breathes deeply. Algol’s senses become a flurry of excitement! Finally, after all these years, she is here: the answer to his hopes and dreams. A woman of his species! He will not be alone any longer; he will have someone to share his life with.

His new partner trembles in the joy that she is alone no more. How long she has waited for a coupling. On a number of occasions, she had found a mate, only to have him leave, mainly because Ghouls were despised and hated by these weak humans who truly knew so little about them. Same as Algol, they could only guess the effects many of these creatures working together  would have on them. Like Gypsies, they were forced to travel to avoid harm or possible harm at the least. When that happened, they were usually split up, never to be reunited.

Her body hairs tingle with the excitement; her hunger can wait. She needs a man.

Algol stands, waiting for his new mate to find him, her power over his senses growing by the second. He shakes in anticipation of the moment when the two of them become entwined in their display of longing for each other. He doesn’t know if this so-called feeling of love the humans say they have apply to his kind or not. To him, Ghouls have a much more refined approach to life and the joys that titillate their senses.

She walks ever so slowly, savoring every delectable moment to draw him in to her before they make physical contact. His scent, while offensive to humans is a magnet to her, drawing her to his waiting arms. The sound of his rapidly beating heart and the sight of his pulsating body hairs beat against her skin.

Unable to contain himself any longer, he rushes to meet her, pulling her down to the grass. Sensing her need to eat, Algol brings what’s left of Ed’s body to her. “Eat some scraps from the poor departed Ed, Lillith. When you’re done, we will find a larger meal for you to feast on.”

She smiles, happy in the knowledge her new partner will be a sharing one. It is no surprise to her that he knows her name. She knows his as well. Shared powers.

Lillith devours what is left of Ed, surprised at his fresh taste and enchanted with the heady rum flavoring added to it.

“How did you find such a fresh corpse, Algol? His meat was delicious, unlike any I have ever eaten.”

“Ah, Lillith, have you not been repulsed and angered over the injustices from God to make us mere scavengers when we are so much more powerful than the creatures we eat?”

She looks at him, wondering what he suggests, and it creeps into her mind. “You mean . . .”

“Yes, Lillith, we’re no longer bound by the old ways. There is a war being waged elsewhere between God and Satan. Our doings no longer concern them.”

Lillth drools, thinking of the possibilities, the joys, the new experiences; shared ones now that she has a partner. “We can devour the flesh of the living?”

“Yes, my dear, and it is such sweet revenge. Tasty delights that plead for mercy as you slowly partake of their flesh. We are no longer held beneath the esteem of the humans. We are their superiors in every way.”

She bristles at the very thought of consuming the flesh of the victims as they push against her, trying to gain their freedom. Yes, she is the female of the species, but in  matters other than gender, they are equal. All Ghouls are powerful beings. “I shall enjoy this new way to feast. Can we start looking for a meal now, Algol?”

“Yes, Lillith. I have already feasted but you need to eat more. Let’s find you a proper dinner.”

They move to the northwest section of the cemetery and wait for some fool to come by. Their presence is concealed by the trees bordering the sidewalk. Other than their inimitable odor to tip someone off, they are invisible to the naked human eye on this dark night. A perfect evening to wait for prey.

***

The ground moves quickly under Brad’s feet as he runs down the lonesome road adjacent to the graveyard. He loves to run at this time of day. No one else around to destroy his feeling of euphoria when he transcends his previous limits and explodes into unchartered territory. Another good thing about running now is he doesn’t have to worry about anyone seeing him if he has to take a leak, and does he ever need to piss.

He shoves his pecker through the iron fence partitions and tends to business. Before he is able to put it back in his shorts, his dick is grabbed and he is pulled toward the fence, his head slapping against the metal from the force.

Something vaults over the fence and runs behind him, the stench of it and what is in front of him almost causing him to lose consciousness. The taste of wrought iron and putrid mold combine to overpower his gag reflex and he dry-heaves. Laughter sounds out before sharp teeth tear into his shaft, removing it from his body. In total shock and bleeding profusely, he is unable to utter a sound.

The beast behind Brad lifts him up and tosses him over the fence to his partner who feasts upwards on him from the gaping emptiness in his groin. The shock of being eaten alive is made worse by the sight of his attackers. While he struggles against their attack, he tries to reason things out – not easy to do now that he has to mount up some sort of defense.

While his running might have made Brad a super-strong individual, it did not prepare him for the brute strength he would need to escape. But would anything have?

As Lillith munches on the prone form of Brad, Algol tears off one of the runner’s arms and starts chomping away. Lillith jumps to where the blood pours and drinks heavily, the thick red liquid feeling heavenly as it goes down her throat. Her fingers tear off chunks of his face that she shoves into her mouth in between gulps of the warm life-giving nectar.

Brad’s heart goes out of control, pumping viciously before it explodes. Even the heart of a well-conditioned athlete can only take so much. As he draws his last breath, Lillith bites down into his skull and starts eating his brain.

Algol sits on a tombstone and watches his lady with profound respect. She has learned quickly. The two of them will make a fine team.

She finishes up with Brad and stares at Algol, blood dripping all over her, pieces of the man’s innards forming a necklace across her breasts. “That was incredible! I have never had such a meal. This is the best night of my life!”

Algol laughs. “It’s not over yet, Lillith. Let’s drink more of what these humans call rum. We still have a few hours before the sun rises.”

Lillith enjoys the smooth taste of the rum mixing with the blood. The Demon Rum relaxes them both. A great night!

Passions rise again . . .

~ Blaze McRob

© Copyright 2015 Blaze McRob. All Rights Reserved.

Damned Words 12

ground_copyright
Trail Runner
Craig McGray

Mother Nature’s realm, the one place I feel at home and alive and deadly. I lie in wait. I’m anxious yet patient because I know one will come, and when she does, the waiting will make it all the more sweet. The anticipation builds until I feel like I may burst. Ah, here comes one now. Her shoes pressing into the moist soil and the pebbles crunching beneath her feet triggers my pulse to race out of control. Mmm. I slide the blade across my palm, the pain further heightening my senses. So beautiful, so alive. She has no idea.


Hands
Magenta Nero

Unmarked is the spot but I know the way, I walk there every night in my dreams. Twigs snap under foot, the lush canopy overhead casts dappled light on stones. Nobody knows your resting place and nobody misses you it seems. I return to unearth you, piece by piece, as on my mind the memories play. Carefully I take your hand in mine again. The knotted bones of our fingers slip together and lock. Your hand so thin, white and smooth, the flesh eaten away. My hand soft, pink and lined with the dirt of words I dare not say.


Wholesome Death
Zack Kullis

He huddled between the bush and his meal and snorted his frustration. Nocturnal eyes glared as the light spread across the ground and chased his protective darkness away. Grom dropped the glob of intestines and looked around for the hole to his clan’s subterranean home.

“Piss,” he gurgled.

Grom started to claw furiously at the elk’s belly, thinking he could hide inside the bloody carcass. He pulled out a pile of guts and dove inside just as the sun rose.

His large eyes peered out from the gore, hateful of the poisonous light that bathed the clearing in wholesome death.


Berserkers
Tyr Kieran

I spotted dragons on the water and rang the alarm—hammering the bell with all my strength—but, they were too fast. They hit the shore running, swatting away our arrows like pesky flies. Their strength and size was terrible to behold. We sent a barrage of prayers, efforts in futility as even God was outnumbered by their one-eyed Odin and his troop of Gods. Few survivors were taken, loot for the barter like gold and silver. I saw it all from the tower before fleeing into the forest where I lived out my days in fear of their return.


Street Walker
Thomas Brown

The woods sing to him, and their song is the howl of wild dogs. He wakes to it in his single apartment bed, nine floors above the city, and in the artificial pallor of the subway after long days at work.

There was a time when he wondered where the sounds came from, and why. Then he realised it was him. In this cold, grey place, he bore the forest in his flesh. He is the bear, the crow, the lone wolf with ravenous appetite.

In the relative dark of moonless nights, he hunts well by the glow of streetlamps.


Can You See Me?
Jon Olson

Can you see me? Nobody has yet. Look at that scenery. Rocks spread out like a carpet; foliage draped like tapestries; and sunshine illuminating a path. It looks peaceful, beautiful, undisturbed. Families walk through, children laughing with their parents unsuspecting. Who would feel the need to keep their guard up? This is their leisure, their getaway… and my hunting ground. They are my prey, carefree and oblivious to the danger; unaware of my presence. Slipping silently through the trees, I stalk, then strike. Their fear fills my nostrils; their blood my mouth; their screams my ears. Can you see me?


Intone
Joseph A. Pinto

I will not sing; listen if you wish to, but not today. Empty promises have turned me into a joke and I have finally bought into my own foreshadowing, granted the chance to call my parting shot. I struggle to realize this paradise surrounding me, struggle to be soothed under these vigilant boughs. But you had to know this day would come eventually, did you not? Don’t act surprised when you find me melded with the pores of the earth. Sit at the bole of this tree, write the lyrics I could never mouth, intone the good life I deserved.


Festering Evil
Blaze McRob

Twisted variants of nature rest, their moment of revenge at hand. Those responsible for the ruination of what they once were will pay the ultimate price.

Sunshine rocks the ravine, giving a false sense of bliss to anyone who might wander this way. Evil lurks, festering in the trees and rocks, licking its lips in anticipation of what is to come.

Foot plants sound, steady, unaware. The fool comes closer, not able to see the creatures blending so well into the rocks and trees. In a fraction of a second, the young man drops.

The polished stones drip with blood…


Aftertaste
Hunter Shea

Under the loose stones I laid her down to sleep – my rock, my love. Down the path where we once walked, two souls at nature’s end. To the place we shared our wonder, our hopes, and on that final day, my secret.

I wonder if the worms have hatched, wriggling from her flesh. Prying a stone from the wet earth, I breathe deep, lick its soiled bottom, feel the beetles skitter along my tongue.

Ah, it’s her taste I miss the most.

Was it wrong to tell her my fantasies? My desire to one day consume her fruited body?

Perhaps.


Prize
Nina D’Arcangela

Strike, squeal, wrap – a struggle to breath; it mistakenly exhales. Tighten the coil; death comes swiftly. I feast. My stomach distends; I lie baking in warm bliss. The day’s shine scuttles away; my body cools in concert. I follow, sluggishly laden with my prize. Smooth rocks caress my underbelly; a shedding begins. I slowly work my way through the the maze: peeling, sloughing, morphing; revealing. A tremor travels through the stone bed; my senses heighten. No rustle, no sound, only deep vibration. It approaches. The trail of flesh betrays me; a single glance ends me – the Basilisk is upon me.


Each piece of fiction is the copyright of its respective author
and may not be reproduced without prior consent. © Copyright 2015
Image © Copyright Dark Angel Photography. All Rights Reserved.

Dark Monstrosities

The alley is dark, but if I want to get back to the hotel before the heavy rains come, this is the fastest route to take. My shadow is joined by a second shadow, and I instinctively turn around to see who is following me. There is no one there. Shit! I’m doing one of those double shadow things where I cast a shadow in front of me, and a second shadow forms behind me.

I laugh as the crazy antics play out before my eyes. The shadow in the rear looks like it’s trying to catch the one in front. The dark heads bob and weave, one going to the front while the other one goes to the rear. Run and chase, the one in the rear never standing a chance of catching the other one, no matter how the light filtering through the alley catches my body and casts my double entendre.

Complete darkness occurs as street light after street light pops ahead of and behind me, the stench of the burned sodium vapor tearing at my throat, and making my eyes tear up. Damn! What caused this?

No light anywhere. The city is black.

My gut instinct says to run, but how can I run if I can’t see? It was bad enough in here before with just a little light. My only course of action is to slow things down so I don’t trip and break my skull open. If it rains, it rains. Too bad for me.

I’m not alone. Scurrying sounds are everywhere, small animals most likely. Probably rats; I can hear their claws traipsing across the blacktop.

Just what I need! I hate rats. I’ve never been bitten by one, but I’ve had them crawl on me, so close their whiskers cut a swath of uncertainty deep into my gut, and me not knowing if I would become a tasty snack for their voracious appetites or if I would luck out.

I am a Pied Piper once more, the darkness drawing them out, and the sound of my rapidly beating heart acting as a pipe to attract them to me. The farther I go, the more of the bastards join in, the sound of their approach driving me crazy! Are they really there? Am I imagining the whole thing? Maybe there are only a few; maybe none at all.

The darkness! Yes, that’s what’s causing the paranoia in my mind. Once I’m out of this alley, everything will be just fine. No more rats; no more scurrying sounds.

But… but how do I leave? I have no way to get my bearings. There is no light anywhere. Disorientation rears its ugly head as I bump into trash dumpsters scattered about, slip on loose gravel spread around, and attempt to control the anxiety attack swelling up inside me.
“Breathe, damn it! If you collapse, you’re fucking gone. The rats will get you for sure then.”

Air! I can’t get enough of it. My head spins from a lack of oxygen; my feet refuse to follow any patterns of sensibility. They flail about in bewilderment, forgetting that they have a function and they know what it is.

The walls of the buildings move in on me, shrinking the space I have to move about in, narrowing the distance the rats have to go to get to me. Visions of rats and me being crushed together, our bodily fluids joining and becoming one, the common pool of blood between us forming a river, running through the slanted alley road towards the sewers, creates a panorama of horror which causes me to shake, the rattling so bad the trash dumpsters I grab on to for support move about on their grease laden wheels.

Escape! I need to escape! Everything is after me!

There are no city noises to guide me to a place of safety. Nothing. Absolute silence. Where is everybody? The lights just went out. This isn’t an apocalyptic event. Where are the fucking cars? They don’t need electricity to run.

Reaching what I believe to be a main road, I wander aimlessly about, attempting to find some way out of where I am and toward my hotel where, dark or not, I will be able to escape the rats and the walls closing in on me.

Ahah! I cross the road, sure I’m on the way to my hotel, when I’m funneled back into the alley. The walls close in on me, slamming shut from where I just came, forcing me to move ahead. There are no other choices.

What’s forcing me to go through this alley? Is there purpose behind it all? Can’t be. A dream of some sorts. Yes, that’s it. Just a bad dream.

But wait! Pain is coursing through my body from jockeying into walls and trash dumpsters. I shouldn’t feel pain if I’m asleep, should I?

Again, the rats! Only now they seem bigger, their footfalls slamming into the warn pavement as if they’re the size of dogs, big dogs, the size of German Shepherds. Get a grip! There are no rats that size. It’s impossible.

Shoved to the ground by the force of these things, I repeatedly get up, only to be slapped down again, not once, but many times. And the whiskers rub up against me, taunting me, telling me there’s nothing I can do about it. Damn! They are as large as they sounded.

They herd me down the alley, not stopping in their assaults, even giving me a bite here and there to tell me what will happen if I don’t go along with their wishes. The nervous sweat pouring down my body flows into all the wounds I’ve received, creating not-so-sweet burning sensations that add to my anxiety.

Once more the walls close in on me, pushing my fear of being trapped in the dark alley higher and higher. My vertigo completely gone, my dizziness makes me lurch about like a drunk, and I no longer need the assistance of the rats to knock me to the ground. Sand and gravel join the salt as they are shoved into my cuts from the impact as I roll around in my confused stupor.

Huge, black shapes loom up ahead of me, two of them, so dark that they make the light-less alley seem like a well-lit thoroughfare of neon. Not a sound is uttered by them. They merely stand ahead of me, waiting ever so patiently for me to reach them. As much as I am terrified by the rats, these new entities have a much more powerful presence, and I seek to retreat from where I came from.

Yes, I’ll just force my way through these rats, find some kind of strength, and get out of this alley.

Shit! I can’t! My retreat is blocked off again: a wall has formed behind me. My only escape lies on the other side of these monstrosities of the dark.

The black entities advance towards me; the rear wall pushes in my direction as well. There is no escape. I am doomed.

They hover over me and force their way into my body. The pain is excruciating as they take control of what I once was, but never will be again. My strength is sapped, but I must hearken to their commands.

We walk out of the dark alley and into a world of semi light as the power slowly returns to the grid. My shadows have now combined into one Dark Being. And me? I have split in half, my head bobbing one way and the other, my rear self, trying to catch up to my front self.

My shadow self smiles…

~ Blaze McRob

© Copyright 2015 Blaze McRob. All Rights Reserved.

Damned Words 11

lantern

A Reason
Joseph A. Pinto

I found a reason to walk tween the folds of winter’s shawl, so hand in hand go we along Perdition’s Road. Shall we burn, we burn as one; shall we suffer, then know love cores the depths of our wounds. Lace your trembling fingers round my neck and your burdens I shall carry. I’ve no need to burn this lantern’s oils for our demons come well-known. Let them swirl in the dark, guttering til gone. Death is tenant of our path, yet tonight she’ll know no coin. My life I mortgage for yours; take flight now against my sky.


Nightfall
Nina D’Arcangela

Torn and bloodied, she huddles against the lantern’s pedestal fighting for a life already lost. Broken in spirit, broken in heart, she watches as they circle, awaiting night’s fall. Not taken on the last, she knows this eve she’ll not be so lucky. Day is already beginning to dim; the heavens darken. Having sought solace in the flicker of a dying flame, the whispers in her mind reassure no salvation will be granted. Darker than the deepening hue of the foreboding sky, they watch. The lantern struggles to glow, then gutters out. Her hope vanquished, they descend. The feast begins.


Monarch-Man
Thomas Brown

It had gone midnight when I crossed the park but he was quite visible by the street lamp. Stick limbs. Wild hair. The sickly-sweet scent of honey. He was filthy and beautiful.

Upturned, his pale face bathed in the orange glow. I saw his tight lips, his dusty skin. His eyes were like two orbs of polished stone. I saw myself in them a thousand times over, growing larger as I approached.

He smiled as I swarmed in his eyes, this Monarch-Man, my Emperor. I smiled back. Together we danced around the street lamp, and the night whispered with wing-beats.


Welcome to New Orleans
Zack Kullis

James glanced at the last gas lantern as they followed the old Haitian woman. Its light seemed to warn of coming darkness, fluttering and pointing away from the famed priestess. They had asked her for a taste of local voodoo, thinking it was bullshit until the old woman turned in the darkness of an alley and blew powder into their faces.

“Coupe poudre,” she whispered with a grin.

He pawed at his face until his legs buckled. Unable to move, James gazed with unblinking eyes as the voodoo priestess stooped close to his face.

“Welcome to New Orleans, my pet.”


Color Me Gray
Blaze McRob

It’s another gray winter evening, bereft of color, even the moonlight not distinct. And the light at the end of the old rock wall? Colorless. The sky blind to its presence.

The leaf-less trees pass his word through their twitching branches. He is pissed. Revenge is on his mind. Those who would destroy what he created must pay the price.

A giant pallet, held between his enormous hands, continues to draw all colors other than gray to it.

Armageddon will be much easier now. The lack of color already depresses them.

Great moans come from everywhere as the beasts attack.


High Society
Hunter Shea

“It’s the one right there”
“Where? I can barely see.”
“The one with the old gas lamp.”
The crowbar made quick work of the rusty mausoleum door. Bitter fall wind knifed through the opening.
“Help me with this.”
They chipped away at the cement covering, dumping the coffin on the floor.
“Shhh, you’ll wake the dead!”
They both tittered.
The coffin lid opened with an eerie squeal. The corpse looked like jerky, smelled rancid.
“You first.”
“Don’t mind if I do.”
He lowered his open maw on the corpse’s face.
Eaters of the Dead Society was not for the squeamish.


Flicker
Jon Olson

This city stands tall, desolate, and lifeless like the trees against the sunless sky. More empty concrete; more of the same. Nothing. Perched atop the corner on a forgotten wall, a lamp. Encased and protected by a small cage. The glass bulb intact, untouched by history. I imagine it glowing; a beacon of hope in dark and despair. Wait! What was that? Did it just… my God, it did! The filament lit up! I swear it flickered. Do it again! The bulb had blinked once… teasing me. Flicker again! Please do it again! Damn it, I need this. God, please…


The Game
Craig McGray

Once a beacon of hope, the lanterns go unlit now. In a new world, where few things are guaranteed and only death is certain, he scours what remains of the charred earth for the precious few that have somehow survived the scorching heat, famine, and disease that has spread across the globe. They think they’re surviving, fools every one of them, but he’ll track them down; the ultimate hunter. When the demon and his ebony stallion finds them, they’ll wish they’d perished like the others. For the game has only one survivor and he rides atop a fleshless black beast.


Raven
Magenta Nero

I pace in the street light, my heels click a numbing tune. Many drive past, slowing down, hungry eyes gawking, but it’s just not their time.

The chosen one rolls up, engine humming. I get a blank stare when I smile and say “My service is free.”

His face drains of colour as it dawns. The irrevocable darkness is a rising tide within, a slow choking. I shriek excitedly as he passes over. My wings burst open, eager to deliver him. The judgement is always a feast of pain. Few are redeemed. Snatching his soul in my beak, I soar.


Ne’er To Be Seen Again
Tyr Kieran

Under this post, he lay slumped against the cold stone wall; bleeding, appropriately ripped open. I watch the pain swell in his eyes and it widens my smile. I had not reason to smile in weeks—not since the woman I loved had been murdered in a savage manner. Despite her being of ill repute, I planned to marry. But on a night like tonight, with ring waiting in my pocket, I happened upon her torn body in the street. He took her from me. And now, I’ve taken him away from Whitechapel, ne’er to be seen in London again.


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Image © Copyright Dark Angel Photography. All Rights Reserved.

Nine Lives

The edges of the jungle dance to the tune played by the vibrant colors of the burning village, twisting, cavorting shadows interspersed with the unknown entities hiding beyond where no light will go.

I know what lurks within the boundaries of the dense undergrowth. Most of what resides there is not good. Death lives and thrives at its core and spreads out to capture ever more territory when the veil of darkness works in its favor.

For now, at least, the fire is saving those of us still alive from being entombed within the snare of annihilation. I wonder if that’s a good thing, though. Sure, we’re saved for now, but at what cost? Capture later on? Torture?

Some fucking life! Yet, some of us can’t condone rolling over and accepting a fate of doom. Better to resist and fight ’til the end than to subjugate yourself to the wishes of the tormentors.

Fuck! I don’t make the rules. This is war. One side wins; one side loses. It’s as simple as that.

Most of the villagers waste no time in leaving their former homes. No sense in staying now. All that remains is burned rubble and ash. We help those who will accept it to get on their way. Their stares tell me what I already know without a word having been spoken: the burning of their village, the forced evacuation from their meager existence, it’s our fault. Yeah, in their minds, the ‘Cong were after us and they are paying the penalty for this retaliatory strike.

How the hell are we supposed to fight and win a war where no one respects us or what we are trying to do for them? They would rather roll over and capitulate to the commie bastards than fight on their own behalves. Not all of them; but a great many feel that way.

It appears that twenty or so of us grunts are left. No sense in leaving now. As long as the fires are raging, we’re safer where we’re at. We better dig in, though. Once the air around us loses the brilliance of the fires and the all-encompassing darkness takes over, we’re sitting ducks.

“C’mon guys!” I holler out. “You know what we have to do. Let’s do it.”

“But, Sarge . . .”

“No buts, soldier! Just do. That’s an order!”

The Captain and Lieutenant both were killed in the battle. Lucky me. I’m in charge now. These guys are my responsibility until I get them back to the base.

My eyes scan the horizon looking for signs of the enemy when it comes into view, rushing around in some sort of haphazard circle, completely on fire, howling in pain, the stench of its burning fur filling the air. I run out from my point of shelter behind a mixture of unburned wood planks and a few sand bags with a blanket and a couple of canteens in my hands. Reaching the distraught animal, I can now see it’s a cat: a rather large, strangely shaped animal perhaps, but a black cat none-the-less. I douse it with the contents of the canteens, and as gently as I can, smother the rest of the fire out while cradling it in my arms. There is no resistance from the animal, almost as if it is entrusting me with its care.

“Geez, Sarge, what are we going to do with that critter? It’s just going to die anyway.”

Staring into its eyes, I see a sign of intelligence I wouldn’t expect from a mere cat, but I see more as well. I see an animal on the mend, rapidly morphing back into what it was before the fire tried to consume it. I’m puzzled. How can this be? It should be merely existing at best, not thriving as it appears to be doing.

“Doesn’t look like it’s dying to me, Corporal,” I say.

He takes another look, stares back at me, and shakes his head. “You know, Sarge, this ain’t normal. It ain’t right.”

Sweat pours from my brow, a mixture of confusion, anxious bewilderment, and just plain heat. “Maybe so, but it’s not bad anyway.”

The big tom cat purrs in my arms, getting stronger by the moment – and seemingly larger. Even after this short amount of time, I feel as if I can barely hold it any longer.

Shit… shit, things start spinning around me, standing no longer an option. The big cat jumps out of my arms as I slide down onto the ground, using a tree to slow my descent.

“Oh, my God! You’ve been hit, Sarge! There’s blood all over the back of your shirt,” one of the men says.

That explains the sudden weakness; I’m coming down from my endorphin rush. The battle is over for the moment. My body is returning to normal. But in this case, normal isn’t good. The bleeding; I have to stop it now before I bleed out or go in to shock.

The sight of my blood creates panic in my men. They don’t know what to do. They’re inexperienced as it is, let alone with this sort of thing.

“You have to cut my shirt off and press down around the wound. Once I’m stabilized, you’ll have to remove the bullet; maybe more than one – I don’t know.”

“But… but how will we know when it’s okay?”

“I’ll tell you, that’s how. If I pass out, you’re on your own.”

Trembling more than I am, even with shock already starting to move in on me, the Corporal slices my shirt open with his knife and calls a couple of the others over to help him. They gently remove the worst of the blood with what’s left of my shirt and apply pressure to the multiple wounds.

I feel myself slipping away, the pain not even able to keep me awake any longer, but if I drift off and don’t fight it, I’m done for.

A hiss cuts through the air and all the hands are gone from my back. Instead, I feel the moistness of a rough tongue licking away at the torn skin, saliva digging in to the cuts, stinging horribly at first before a sort of calming comes over me, and I fall off to sleep.

The fire is no longer burning when I come to. Everything around me is calm: too calm. I feel the presence of something, something close, but there is no noise, no movement, no odors, and nothing to be seen.

Yet, it’s out there. Something. More than one; yes, they are patient, waiting for the perfect time to attack. But when, I don’t know.

My men have laid me in a secure, partially dug out area. If something comes up, I’m in as protected a place as there is. But, my strength is returning fast. As with everything else that’s happened since the arrival of my burning black friend, this makes no sense. I’m recovering as fast as the cat did. It’s almost as if he gave me some sort of life transference. The nine lives are growing.

They’re growing fast.

My furry friend is next to me, purring contentedly, my arms around him. I notice that no sentries have been posted; not the wisest of moves, but I’m not concerned. Somehow, I know I’ll be ready when the time for action comes.

I drift off to sleep again, but it’s not a deep sleep; it’s refreshing rest, but I’m still alert, aware of everything around me, my senses super sharp.

My friend wakes and stares at me, his yellow eyes telling me we can no longer stay where we are. The time has come.

“Corporal!” I say, shaking him, waking him from his sleep. “The ‘Cong are coming. Let’s get ready for them. I’ll go out and flush them in to you from behind.”

He wipes the sleep from his eyes and gives me an incredulous stare. “Don’t worry,” I say. “I know what I’m doing.”

I grab my M-16 and swing to the left, somehow knowing where I’m going, what I’m doing. My vision is sharp, even though the night is dark as coal. I mow the enemy down and push the others towards my compadres.

My ammo runs out! However, the enemy is still here. There are many of them and only one of me. But wait. The cat, my ebony pal is here, and he has grown in size. He is about the size of a small tiger, showing his long teeth to the ‘Cong, spittle dripping down from the edges of his mouth, and his eyes… his yellow eyes are seemingly the size of saucers, and they exude not only ferocity, but cunning as well.

All eyes are off me for now and on the cat. Surely there is plenty of firepower for all of them to dispatch this unexpected nemesis easily enough. But wherever they shoot, the agile animal is one step ahead of them, appearing to know exactly where the bullets will land. Closer and closer he gets to them, his claws no longer retracted, ready for action.

Deep inside me, gut feelings talk to my soul, tell me what to do, alert me of what I can do. My friend needs help; he gave me this power I now possess; the least I can do is help him out.

So fast I don’t believe it myself, my body grows thick, black fur everywhere. The pain in my mouth is excruciating as huge canines form, dropping down into sight before my mouth has completely adjusted to the new me, tearing through my human jaw, blood pouring everywhere. My screams travel on the moist, still air, and cause terror in the eyes of the ‘Cong; they can’t believe the change coming over me.

What’s left of my clothing tears apart from my huge change in size, and I bat the useless garments away with my fully-formed front legs; my razor-sharp claws finish the destruction of the fabric.

My friend advances from one side, and I do the same from the other. I still retain my human brain and reasoning, but my senses are super enhanced inside my cat persona. From the instant of my reformation, I was able to dodge the bullets and perform other miracles of agility totally hidden from me until now.

My friend’s saliva! It saved my life once before, and it is doing so again. I sense we are the same now. We are brothers.

We slash and tear without abandon, bringing our antagonists to their knees, and then their deaths. Once we are sure there are no more of them left to usher into the next world, he changes his size down to a large tabby, and my body morphs back to human form. Yet, my soul, my brain, my senses, belong to both parts of me.

I bask in the glory of what I have become and the powers I possess. But with these powers come responsibility. I must use my strengths wisely.

We return to my men, still waiting for the enemy to be flushed out to them. They can’t help but notice the blood on my jaw, and the fact that I’m stark naked is causing them to wonder what happened.

“Don’t ask,” I say, waving my hand to the side. “The battle was short but brutal. The enemy are all dead.”

The corporal looks at me and shakes his head. “Looks like you and that cat friend of yours are a lot alike. You both have nine lives.”

I laugh. “We have less than that right now.”

The Corporal is right in one respect: he has no idea how much alike we really are.

My yellow eyes capture everything around me. They always will…

~ Blaze McRob

© Copyright 2015 Blaze McRob. All Rights Reserved.

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