WARNING: Stories on this site may contain mature language and situations, and may be inappropriate for readers under the age of 18.
DREDGING UP MEMORIES PART XVI by A.J. Brown
April 16, 2014 Longer stories Tags: AJ Brown, Dredging Up Memories Series
SEQUEL TO PART XV
Rain. It was appropriate.
There were no real clouds in the sky when I left Healing Springs. But an hour away, my life changed yet again, clouds appeared off in the distance. Fat, nasty gray clouds with black ones lurking behind them.
I pulled off the road at a gas station that I’m certain had little gas to give. I still had plenty of full tanks in the back of the van, but it wasn’t gas I was after. I needed a map.
A rumble of thunder came from overhead. In the far away clouds I could see the strobe effect of lightning. Then came thunder again. (more…)
WALKING THE DEAD by Jez Patterson
April 11, 2014 Short stories
The ocean of bodies ebbed, swayed, leaning as if caught by a wind. There was the familiar moan, keening in time with the currents and Josephine could feel their longing; it was difficult not to give in to the urge and let her own throat vibrate softly, join their song.
The aroma of fresh coffee kept her from stepping off the back of the Landrover towards them.
“Full moon,” Stephen said, holding up a cup. “No moving them tonight.” (more…)
THAT DAZZLING SMILE by Kevin Fortune
April 8, 2014 Short stories Tags: Ireland, Kevin Fortune
For over sixty five years now – nearer seventy – ever since we were kids in the street, me and Ben have been joined at the hip. When we were young we were reasonably fashion conscious, mostly in our efforts to get girls, but nowadays we’re like dirtied up versions of Gandalf and Radagast, facial hair and all. It’s a kind of a disguise, you see, as our unwashed, shuffling, old man movements can sometimes fool the Dead into thinking we’re them. Except when we’re on our bikes, of course.
In recent years, in this suburban desolation, we’ve had to avoid corpses entirely because we can’t defend ourselves too well anymore. Bad joints and malnutrition have made us slow and feeble; Ben even more so than me. His arthritis barely lets him walk. So for us its eyes peeled all the time and ears open all the time, but this morning we dropped the ball. Not a single whiff of danger registered on our radars. I mean, with our experience we really should have seen them coming. It just goes to show how charmed we’ve been all along. (more…)
THE NOTHING MAN IV by Justin Dunne
April 5, 2014 Short stories Tags: Justin Dunne, The Nothing Man series
Sequel to The Nothing Man III
Hot, dry. It was approaching the end of summer and oh, it had been a long summer. Summer used to mean lazy afternoons by the pool, floating in something that floated and drinking something delicious and intoxicating. Now, summer means hot, that is all.
A heat haze still blurs the horizon. The flies are out, buzzing, pooping, vomiting and eating. A fly only lives for an average of 15 days. Now days that’s 15 days of uninterrupted decomposing regurgitating bliss. A cloud of happy flies living their short lives to the fullest swarm around half a rotting corpse as it sings its mournful soft song of death. A breath, just a whisper it manages while dragging its pitiful self, sadly on the hot asphalt road. To whom it cries is unknown and who would hear it? Not a living soul. (more…)
WORSE THAN DYING by Brett Van Valkenburg
March 19, 2014 Longer stories
Within a week every person in Barrel County was either holed-up or dead… to some degree. Most of the Barnes family was of the former category. Shortly after graduating in 1969, Charles Barnes married his long-time sweetheart Barbara O’Day. They had reluctantly purchased an ancient house on the outskirts of the town of Lyons, New York. They didn’t want the seventy-five year-old “fixer-upper,” but it was the only thing they could afford at the time. (more…)
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RUN CON RUN by Sean Lloyd
Caine stopped, followed seconds later by Abel. Both turned their noses to the almost impalpable breeze. Maddy slid to a stop on the mucky soil, gratefully taking deep breaths. Checking her watch, she was impressed: 26 hours. They were approaching record territory. Jimmy John Donaldson had gone 38 hours straight, necessitating 2 teams working in tandem, but he had been a brain damaged clinical psychopath known to stay awake for 72 hour stretches. The kid she was tracking now was smart but scared and running on adrenaline. The chemical fire on your bones only lasted so long. Once it was gone it left only ash and despair. (more…)
SIGN OF THE TIMES by Paul Johnson-Jovanovic & Niall McMahon
March 9, 2014 Longer stories
Jack Spencer stood at his window and watched the world crumble. High in his apartment, he could see across the city. In the distance, buildings burned – black smoke spiralling. Three days before, a plane had come down. A military jet or similar. Jack had heard the whine of its engines. He’d rushed to the window in time to see the impact. The explosion had been huge – akin to a small nuclear bomb. Jack guessed it had been carrying weapons, or that it had hit a gas station. Perhaps both. A mushroom cloud had bloomed high into the cloudless sky. Seconds later, the building had shaken as though in an earthquake. Jack had braced himself, sure his time was up, sure the foundations would give way and he’d plummet to his death, riding the floors as he took a theme-park ride to Hell. (more…)
LADY OF MERCY by Jeffrey DeRego
January 22, 2014 Longer stories Tags: Jeffrey DeRego
We are three days out of the Bight of Biafra headed west. The trade winds favor Lady of Mercy and push us along at an easy 12 knots cutting a sharp wake through calm seas. I spend most of my time above decks as the autumn air retains a temperate nature infinitely preferable to the suffocating heat in the crew quarters and hold. I am not the only one, the crew, all 15 of them, are loathe to descend the ladders into the hold unless so ordered, and even then they grouse. Captain Machado runs the ship well, and though this is only my second trip as a First Mate, he conveys an air of authority below his otherwise easy manner. He’s pounded some brute of a deckhand into sniveling and bleeding more than once, but his violence is never excessive or gratuitous. I’ve shipped on other vessels where men were nailed to the deck or thrown to the sharks for the slightest infraction, though this brutality is generally reserved for Dutch traders and French privateers. (more…)
DEAN AND HETCH by A.J. Brown
January 7, 2014 Short stories Tags: AJ Brown, Dredging Up Memories Series
It was a dumb question. Hetch knew the answer, and it started with an N and ended with an O.
Dean lay on the bed, his eyes half open—he had barely been awake for the last few hours, and now, as Hetch was about to go, he had woken, if only briefly. The wound in his side was bandaged as good as Hetch could get it, the patch being a sheet torn length-wise and wrapped around Dean’s midsection. Still, a dark splotch of red had bled through. (more…)
DREDGING UP MEMORIES PART XV by A.J. Brown
December 27, 2013 Short stories Tags: AJ Brown, Dredging Up Memories Series
SEQUEL TO PART XIV
The Batesburg armory was a lost cause. There had been a battle there (if that’s really what it could be called. It was more like an attack and an attempt at defense). The dead lay scattered along the lawn, but also in piles closer to the building, as if the soldiers just shot and shot and shot until the dead stumbled over each other and got stuck outside. I pulled the truck up close to the lot, but parked in the road. I mashed the horn as hard as I could. It was a manly sound, not one of those friendly little beep beeps that was more apologetic than warning.
‘What are you doing?’ Humphrey asked.
“A test.” (more…)