A meeting with Dr. Pezzolanti is like? I don’t know…a meeting with Willy Wonka. One never knows what to expect, and there is a strong possibility one will end up licking a wall. I limber up my tongue by wiggling it back and forth in anticipation, but it’s doubtful I will get a word in edgewise with the good doctor. Instead, I flirt with his receptionist. (more…)
WARNING: Stories on this site may contain mature language and situations, and may be inappropriate for readers under the age of 18.
“Some things are best forgotten.”
May 17, 1967
No one remembered the original name of the old mining town. A sign long ago placed by an enterprising entrepreneur that proudly proclaimed Hot Coffee in bold letters had won out by default. How Myers wound up in Hot Coffee, Colorado was a long story. However, if he found the final survivor of Custer’s Last Stand, it would make his book like money in the bank. (more…)
THERE ARE WORSE THINGS THAN HELL By Patrick Turner
June 25, 2012 Longer stories Tags: contest winner, Patrick Turner
“And in the second year it reached Byzantium in the midst of spring, where I happened to be staying at the time. And it came thusly. Many people saw demonic beings in human form of every kind, and as it happened, those who encountered them were struck, in this or that part of the body, by the man they had met; and were so seized by the disease. Now at first those who met these creatures tried to turn them aside by uttering the holiest of names and exorcising them in other ways as best one could, but they accomplished absolutely nothing, for even in sanctuaries, where most of them fled for refuge, they were dying constantly. But later on they were unwilling to even listen to their friends when they called them, and they shut themselves up in their rooms and pretended not to hear, although the doors were being beaten down, fearing that he who was calling was one of the living dead…” – Procopius’ Account of the Plague in Constantinople during the Reign of Justinian (more…)
Hue Citadel, Republic of Vietnam.
I’m not going to deny it. I absolutely love this shit. Tim Page said it best when he told some REMF reporter asshole back in Saigon, “Some folks had happy childhoods. The rest of us had Vietnam.” Truer words were never spoken. This place is hotter than hell, malaria is everywhere, the bugs are everywhere, and you can’t trust a goddamned soul when it comes to the locals. Our own government is supporting the most corrupt pile of sonsabitches that ever drew breath, but to tell you the truth? Hell, I’d rather be here than covering some jive-ass assignment back in the World. (more…)
Mommy says I have to always be quiet like a mouse so they won’t find me.
David remained quiet and still as he surveyed the dark aisles of the long abandoned grocery store. Sunlight filtered through the still intact wire clad glass at the front of the store allowing David to confirm that nothing moved. He silently climbed down from the hole in the ceiling and glided down the aisles pausing every so often to listen. The only bodies in the store were the dry long decayed jumbles of bone and clothing that posed no threat. (more…)
Josiah smelled the stinker as he was building a house of cards to stave off boredom. He froze, considering his options. Papaw always told him, ‘Measure twice, cut once. You can’t put four more inches back on the board if it’s too short.’ The black-out curtains on the windows of their hidey-hole were down (he had checked them earlier, something he did obsessively). With the curtains down at this time of night, the second floor section of the old factory they called home would be literally pitch black. He didn’t know how much stinkers depended on sight, but he’d take any scrap of an advantage he could get. (more…)
I drag a moist towel across my forehead and squint into the big brick oven. Hickory pops and crackles in the back corner of the deep fireplace below and keeps the oven at a stable 400 degrees. I double-check the little stainless steel thermometer, something I dug out from the charred ruins of Luigi’s Pizzeria.
The House smells yeasty, pungent and a little sour. Very slowly the aroma of crusty bread begins to claw at that sourness until it chases all but the last wisps of beery dough smell away. A sponge – that is a bucket filled with wet flour, sugar, salt, and yeast – bubbles and rises very slowly on the floor beside the table. I made this sponge with the last of our dried yeast a year and a half ago, but I’ve managed to keep it alive and flourishing, irrespective of the persistent chill, near constant rain, and perpetual threat of starvation urging me to cook the whole thing at once. (more…)
The old man was dead.
The dog lay beside the old man on the truck’s threadbare bench seat. The shiny thing lay in the man’s lap, still clutched in his hand. The dog had seen the shiny thing only once before. He knew it made a loud noise and scared away strange people, but he didn’t know it would hurt people. He didn’t know it could make them dead. (more…)
Ray Wilkins finally became a human wreck within weeks of the world ending.
“My Raymond is going to end up in the gutter if he doesn’t pull his socks up.” His mother once prophetically stated, never dreaming of the circumstances in which her words would come true. At the time of her pronouncement the rest of Ray’s large family sat round the dinner table and nodded their heads respectfully in agreement. (more…)
Steve Blum scowled in pure hate as he heard the cackle of the old woman. How he hated her. He hated her more than he hated the roaming dead. They had an excuse for what they did. They were dead and, if the scientists were to be believed, simply acting on instinct. She, however, did it because she was senile. The hag was a drain on their resources, and Steve had made this very clear many times. Not only did she take up room in the already crowded refuge but also she wasted their supply of food and water. Not to mention the time it took to look after her. As long as she was awake then someone had to be with her at all times.
He said a small prayer of thanks to whoever may be listening that it wasn’t him today. She seemed to be acting up more than usual. Making stupid noises and, no doubt, causing trouble for whoever was unlucky enough to have to keep an eye on her. (more…)
The scientist on TV was not nearly as scared as he should have been. He stood on the sterile, makeshift podium surrounded by cameras and armed guards, looking irritated, as if the end of the world was a minor inconvenience that happened each day between missed busses. He glared at crowd and the crowd glared back, some of them weeping, the newscasters standing like statues, microphones welded in their hands. (more…)