The Hiss of Steam

So I had been down at Barney’s Bar and BBQ having a couple of tall, greasy ones with Ghost and old Brain Funk-Shun, shooting the shit at pool balls, thumping around the tables and hooting at the women, when Geezer Ebenezer and his rat-fuck son, Pin Cushion, came blowing in from the street like a couple of donut wrappers caught up by the wind. Their faces dripped with lard sugar and sweat, the old one’s ears like bear claws and Pin Cushion’s hair done up as if he were one of them Imperial Wizard Youths with their matching star suits and warp hole haircuts. We didn’t take mind of men like these most days. But today was today and most days are yesterday, at least as far as I can remember, and these two sat down with a plastic boot full of fried chicken wings between them right in the middle of the damn pool table! They put their sodas in the holes and wiped their sludgy hands on the green felt.
When we complained, they got defensive and claimed that they were “making natural with the order of men and adding much-needed diversion.” Whatever the hell that meant. I suppose it meant that we were going to have a create a diversion when we dragged their bodies out the back to the dumpster.
As soon as we pulled out our murdering knives, the two idiots began trembling and rambling about “the haunting of the actions of sadists.”
I had to cut their tongues out just to shut ’em up! And then, Lord, the mess! We were never going to get back to our game. You should have seen that room. Geezer deflated like a poked balloon as soon as we got his skin open. The stench that filled the room was unbelievable! His insides must have been dried up for years. I still got bits caught up in the boogers in my nose. Pin Cushion liked the knives, thought we were drawing pretty pictures on him. Wasn’t until we drowned him in a puddle in the parking lot that he shut up about “a new vicious style of human painting, a sustainable practice using only blood and skin,” despite the fact that his tongue was sitting somewhere on the bar floor.
I felt like I was never going to get any peace.
So I went out and sat in my truck and listened to the radio in the rain and just let the day slip from my mind.

There is a Place in the Hall

The house where the Mothers sat was falling apart: the roof was growing hair, the porch retreated a bit every day into the underground, the windows grew cataracts, and the paint wrinkled beneath the boiling sun.

Jimmy, our neighborhood’s elected Authorized Pizza Comptroller and Logistical Pie Monitor, sat in his Mobile Unit, counting the number of pies being delivered. It didn’t add up. According to the Human Brood Growth Committee, the number of spawn spilling from the Mothers’ chafed birth canals would not consume the amount of pepperoni that had been authorized by the Lord Mayor. Something was amiss. Some branch of the population was being fed without notarization stamps from Jimmy’s sigil stamp.

Something was growing strong on Jimmy’s pizzas, something protected from high in the Bureau. Jimmy, however, was not one to sit back and take it. He didn’t crawl from the backyard into the Mobile ‘Troller Unit when he was a lad, defeat the reigning Comptroller with a sharpened piece of sewer concrete, and teach himself to count just to become a pawn in a game of Fuckery.

So Jimmy revved the engine and let it loose. The side of the house split like a hot melon as he crashed headlong into it. Half-formed human spawn fell from the insulation, greasing his windshield. He could no longer see, but only hear them tearing at the tires and pounding on the windshield. He knew what he had to do.

With a calm unknown to all but heroes, Jimmy burrowed nose first into the gas tank and let the fumes take him to Valhalla. His soul sparked as it left his body and the blood of the Mothers’ brood rained for days on the neighborhood.

Still-shot of Some Crimes

The man’s hands hung over the side of the bed like serially bifurcated dicks, twitching and wriggling in the morning sunlight. In the chair next to the bed lay a book entitled, “Forty Thousand Curses the Easy Way”, a book untouched by dust and glowing a bit (though whether or not this was caused by the sun or an inner glimmering I cannot say.) I stood by the door, waiting. And watching.

For many moments, the man did not move anything but his strange fingers; and then, without warning, a fly flew in through the flue and landed right on the man’s hairy upper lip. I could see it cleaning itself with vomit, the most ticklish dance a fly knows. With a quickness came the man’s hand and away flew the fly back up the flue.

“What in chrissakes’ are you doing in my room, Dickie? What are you touching my nose for while I’m sleeping? Ain’t it early? How late is it? It seems early. I was up late. Too early for me. Get me up later. What the fuck, Dickie? Get out of here. Stop staring at me like that. You know, I’ve been studyin’ my curses so as I could maybe gain some sort of power over you by threatenin’ you with magic and withcraft. But I know you wouldn’t have liked that, so I stopped reading about it and went to bed instead. But I was up late. So can you get outta here already? Geezus.”

I shook my head, confused as to who Dickie was and why the owner of the house I had been burglarizing thought I was this man instead of the man that I truly was: a thief and a murderer. I suppose I will never know, I thought, and I took out my knife.

Post-Orgy Concerns

Larry locked another day’s newspaper in the cabinet, breathing slowly to calm his shaking hands.
“When will it finally fall and rid us of these false-” he whispered to his translucent image in his darkened window, stopping short when the reflection revealed his eldest spawn, Blazetherion, appear framed in the doorway. He gathered himself and turned to greet his son.
“How’s it going there, big man?”
“Stop with your frippery, father. I am not the Big Man around here. That is why you censor the daily readings from me. That is why you will not tell me where the key to the Chest of Grimoires is kept. That is why, everyday, I must wither in the shadow of your word.”
“That’s enough now, young man. Have you had your dinner? Something smells great. Come on in the kitchen with me and let’s see what mother is whipping up for us.”
“Hah! You scoff at me. You of all people know that I am entering the Fasting Days before the blood rite of the crimson moon.”
“Oh, wow. Must have slipped my mind, slugger. You know your old dad. Scatterbrains.”
“Yes. Soon will come the day when your light shall fade, your mind slip into the darkness of the Abyss never to return, and I will be left to inherit your crown. I will hold the key to forbidden knowledge and I will do as I will until the end of time itself for I will not rest until immortality is mine.”
“Well, your old dad is pretty beat. If you’re not going to eat with us, then go on up to your room and finish that homework of yours while your mother and I relax around the table.”
“Homework? You think so little of my work that you would shit on it with your schoolboy prattle? You will rue the day you spoke so little of my machinations.”
With that, Blazetherion disappeared. Larry sighed, shook his head, and turned the lights out. The next few years were going to be difficult, but damned if resurrecting the spirit of an ancient warlock in the corpse of his dead son at a drug-fueled orgy wasn’t going to be worth it in the long run.
Just gotta keep the news out of his head, thought Larry. Don’t want him going crazy.

Horoscopes: III

Sagittarius, Mercury is rising in your house, turning the floors into shimmering pools of liquid metal. Do not become ensorceled by the quicksilver for fear of hydrargyria and especially do not step into the Mirror Realm.

Capricorn, you will meet an animal familiar of diminutive size. Perhaps a toad or a rat. If you’re lucky, it will be a small bird that brings you gifts at dawn. But odds are that it will be a filthy fucking rat. Welcome to Earth, witchling, Alpha Rat-hive of the Milky Way.

Aquarius, you will bump your head and wake up with the mind-shredding compulsion to acquire the skulls of three defrocked priests. Do not fight this urge. It’s only natural.

Pisces, you will face Rapture, alone. Seraphim will lead you to a small room with two levers. One is labeled fire. The other, water. Don’t be derivative. Pull the fire lever.

Aries, you will come into possession of some rather scandalous photos involving Santa Claus and his reindeer. Forget you ever saw them. It gets lonely on the road, twice as lonely for the immortal. Don’t be a dick and ruin Christmas.

Taurus, everyone will laugh at you when you graduate from Clown College. This will be confusing to your pride.

Gemini, you will begin to expect that the neighbors are lizard people from Iona Draconis. You are wrong. They are lizard people from the sewers of New York City.

Cancer, you will be given the chance to travel back in time, but no matter what date you choose, you will end up in northern Canada, alone in the wilderness, surrounded by wolves. You begin to suspect that the wolves were behind this particular time travel scheme.

Leo, one thousand flies will erupt from the next thing you bite down on.

Virgo, at a country gas mart, you will find a jar of pickled human eggs. What you do next will change the course of your life.

Libra, you will go on a Individual Liberty march by walking down the street, throwing confetti and honking a horn.

Scorpio, you will gain a supernatural healing ability. Go do all the stupid shit you want. Rub your dick raw. It won’t matter. You’ll be fine.