In the days of the Vibrating Council of Thunder Popes, when the men and women of the world were brain-tethered by cracking hatred, running around in circles, cutting each others’ heads off with the dull limbs of shrubbery, there came a fool to the borderland and, seeing a river, crossed it. The river ran narrow at this juncture and was filled with farting alligators and motionless eels, glutted with cast off meat bits and each other. He didn’t have to swim, but rather crawled along the lazing beasts without true obstacle. A stinky eye here. A half-heartedly gnashing grin there. His jeans were wet, but little else, and he had kept all of his blood. He had some walking to do in the whistling breeze and would dry off in no time.
In front of him, that is to say, to the north, there sat a fat mountain or fat man or fat something large and looming on the horizon. He knew not what it was, but it wasn’t there before, so it was to there that he headed now. Penniless, weaponless, common sense abandoned some time ago, he decided to walk and to see what he could see before his bones ate the last of his meat and then his eyes and he’d have to stop seeing and living. But until then, he’d walk and look about. There didn’t seem to be much else to do in the strangled world around him and he’d received a new pair of shoes not long ago. Off he set along the only road he could see.
(These being the first moments of a larger story that I am writing for all of you, each and every one.)
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.
Scum Suck, orphan of the Low Plains, sees the bauble fall and bounce and fall some more, down into the shit and filth of the gutter and he waits for the Fancy Man to pause in his saunter, take from his soft, white hand his walking glove and dip his shiny fingers in the muck to retrieve the golden trinket. But the Fancy Man continues on and talks and twirls without a care, though he must have seen it fall. He had been holding it but moments ago. Yet there he goes, into a solid house of brick and wood and out of the windy streets.
Scum Suck dodges dogs and dangerous dandies, kicks and chiding and spittle, until the bauble lies before him, twinkling beneath the gray water and floating excrement. His hands were created dirty and down they go, unperturbed. But he is not strong, not strong enough indeed to lift the weight of the bauble dropped by the Fancy Man, and there he is now as he has been forever, leaning over the gutter, staring into the sloshing refuse, refusing to let go of the shiny Shiny until his teeth fall out and his eyes blind over and his back locks up like a wooden doll.
Better that a dog chew off your arm at the elbow, little Scum Suck. There is freedom in a bleeding stump.
New short story up on the Texts page: Bureaucrat/Headtaker
Embrace the form until it pops.
Roy looks down the graying street, unable now to look away. His blood feels heavy and slow compared to the crisp air moving about his face and lungs. 32 meters away, his ear picks up the beginning of the caw of a crow, a sound so irritating to Roy that he would normally have stuck his fingers in his ears to damn the vibrations from the black beak of that filth-winged devil.
However, his arms hadn’t worked since they fell off and rolled down the streets as if they were long bags of nothing, frolicking about in the errant breeze. One was stuck in the sewer grate in which he pissed the other night, stumbling home drunk, full of sloshing brains and weak morals. Roy didn’t like to think of himself like that, not now, not at the end of his time on the planet. He liked to think of happy things, like the fact that the neighbor lady was using his other arm to scratch her ass and finger herself with. That must feel nice. His fingers were nice and clean today.
It was everything else that was dripping with dirt and blood.
“I can’t take you home with me.”
“No. I have a condition.”
“What do you mean?”
“I have a condition. And that’s all I can say. It was very nice meeting you.”
“Wait, don’t go. I happen to be a doctor of sorts. I’m not one to come out and say that to a stranger. You never know how they’ll react. But…I might be able to help you.”
Jeff smiled and laughed, then tugged off his belt and let her peek inside where something resembling a leech, but many times larger and covered in a thick, translucent film undulated against the inside of his shorts.
“So, doc, ever seen one of these?”
“Yes. Like I said before: my god. We have worshiped the Old Worm since time began. I have prepared myself.”
Before Jeff could say anything, she got a hold of her lips and ripped backwards, tearing open her mouth. As the blood welled up and spilled into her throat, a blackness rose, the same blackness of the starless night in the depths of Hell, and she took his cursed member into her mouth and when she began to suckle, the Old Worm detached from his spine, leaving him on the floor, bleeding from the hole where his leech cock had been. As he faded, he saw the Old Worm crawl into the woman’s mouth, back towards home.
No one went to old man Godkiller’s house after he ax murdered and crucified a school bus full of children back in ’06. Even though they could see that he had full-sized candy bars, the best looking pumpkins, and even a bowl full of smoking “potion” that the teenagers claimed would get you “fucked up”. But even they didn’t go into that yard on Halloween. No matter how many times Godkiller played the Monster Mash and danced around with a skeleton in his arms, cackling about his stash of candy and his egg-free siding.
But Jimmy was real dumb. He couldn’t read and he thought everyone was a cartoon and when we told him all about the rivers of blood that old man Godkiller would unleash upon the neighborhood if he caught even one child in his yard after dark he didn’t hesitate for a second, just went on over, hopped the fence, and proceeded to walk directly into the old man’s withered claws. His flesh fell from him like a pile of shaved ham. Godkiller had made drums out of his skull, scalp stretched tight over the hollowed eyes. Boom boom boom.
New short story added to the Texts page: Eyes Upward
What does a captain tell his crew as he aims his void ship at the gates of heaven?
A curtain of diminutive skulls hung between rotting logs, separating the passageway. Birds, infants, rats: their remains hung silent and still in the stale air. Though no door barred the thief’s way, he found himself unable to cross the threshold, to touch the profane bones. He had come all this way. Would he really be turned away from Radbathigustinak’s treasure by a simple curtain of fetishes? Breathing deeply and gathering his will, he stuck his hand out to part the strings of remains.
The flesh melted and dripped from his hand, finger bones bleached white by a burning orb emanating from the child’s skull. In his ear, the bird beak pecked and whispered to him his sins against his fellow man, accusations echoing around the pain. The rat skulls crawled tooth-first to his genitals and sank into feast. As his mind left, he heard a voice saying, “I see you’ve found my treasure. To be made a monster before passing into the abyss: this is my gift to those who seek.”
Newly published on The Drabble: In the Beginning
The Drabble is a blog that publishes flash fiction of less than 100 words. Much thanks to them for the opportunity to be read.