It’s weird. It’s funky. It’s ready to fill your heart with horrendous horror and rapturous rap music. It’s Cody Goodfellow’s all-new all-different BABY GOT BASS!
John Wayne Comunale and Grindhouse Press have released another specimen of literary evil, Death Pacts and Left-Hand Paths. But you don’t have to take my word for it…
by: Chris Meekings
It is barely coin o’clock in the morning,
and the bourbon has only just taken the taste of Pepsodent from my mouth
when she walks into my office.
She’s glass and alabaster,
with curves in all the right places,
She walks across the room, her heels clicking like a cricket on death row.
She tells me she has a problem.
I tell her it will cost her a pretty penny,
She pulls out an ugly penny and I take that instead.
Beggars can’t be choosers, especially with the price of flutes these days.
She says her name is Gia,
which should have told me everything I needed to know about the case,
but I was broke and she was in trouble
and I’m a sucker for a dame.
I offer her a chair.
I pour a drink
even though the sun has barely spat over the horizon.
I try to split my face to hide who I am,
but it doesn’t come off,
and I end up looking like a game-show host with too much time on his hands.
I take out a ruler,
and crack it in two.
I put one half in my bourbon and stir.
She tells me her husband has vanished,
and her brother is in Sing Sing for a stretch
so she’s turned to me for help.
Equations danced around her head,
and my abacus strikes attention.
I take her case,
and put it in the closet.
I tell her I’ll be in touch.
I’m a good guy to have around
when the chips go down and the tables go up.
A real white knight.
You shouldn’t drink hard on an empty stomach.
The bar is the kind of dive that charges you extra when the lights go down.
I go to the wood, and order a drink.
It comes with a shovel full of dirt, owl pellets and napkin to wipe the blood away.
I dip my other half of ruler in it,
and survey the scene.
The bar is dark and wearing sunglasses.
Midgets flit from table to table,
asking for green wine and molasses.
Nobody has any.
I crack an egg on the bar.
It sizzles to fried
None of this makes the boot polish blacker,
so I ask some questions.
“How did you get here?”
“Which way to Amarillo?”
“Do you know where the Falcon is?”
The Nazis in the corner “Seig Heil”,
but no one else pays attention.
Outside the bicycle bell rings,
and De Bergerac sniffs the glue.
Of course, someone’s in the know.
I swallow my finger nails,
and wait patiently
for the case to unfold.
It doesn’t take long,
Gia knows who’s to blame,
I rip off my moustache and trench coat,
No one can say I didn’t try to get out.
The fire licks up the side of bar in salacious wafts,
and the bicycle bell rings again,
but the patrons pay it no mind.
They staple down the fire to stop it spreading.
I pull out my revolver
and point it at the drink.
It’s always the ones you suspect the least who hurt you the most.
The bourbon tries to make a break for it,
but my gun sings, and the bourbon has to listen.
It’s transfixed by the music,
distracted, it falls from the bar.
Clatter-tinkle on the floor.
Thank god, I’m wearing my galoshes.
The bicycle bell rings once more,
and I make notes on Mahatma Gandhi’s treatises.
Thank god, it was only a thinking man’s bicycle.
Chris Meekings lives in the city of Gloucester in the UK. If you’d ever been to Gloucester you’d understand why he sits inside and makes things up. He’s the author of the bizarro novella Elephant Vice (Eraserhead Press) and the metaphysical fantasy novel Ravens and Writing Desks (Omnium Gatherum). He is still 58 weasels in a trench coat, just looking for love.
Send your weird little stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here at Bizarro Central we like to keep you up to date with all the weird podcasts that you can listen to while you work, drive, eat, sleep, or fuck. Behold your listening options…
UNREASONABLY HANDSOME: Stephen Hawking: The Andy Kaufman of physicists. Cats vs. apples. Ben Franklin writes an angry letter to the sun. Having sex with your doppelganger. Time dilation. Whoreologists. Assaulting Issac Newton. Time traveling sex tourism. Cleopatra brings back the McRib. What REALLY happens underneath the Kennedy compound. Listen here!
JOHN WAYNE LIED TO YOU: The latest ficto-realistic ramblings from John Wayne Comunale, who definitely won’t lie to you! Listen here!
GET LIT WITH LEZA: Leza Cantoral interviews Daniel Knauf, screenwriter, comic book writer, director, producer of The Blacklist, and perhaps best known for the HBO series Carnivàle. “This was not an interview, it was a conversation. Anyone who listens should project themselves into their favorite bar and pull up a chair to eavesdrop.” -Daniel Knauf. Listen here!
BIZZONG: This week on Bizzong! Frank Edler speaks with editor of Orciny Press. Hugo Camacho has been translating Bizarro books from English to Spanish to make them accessible to the Spanish speaking world. It is a monumental task and Mr. Frank wants to spotlight the work Hugo is doing to draw more attention to this important work in spreading Bizarro globally. Viva El Bizarro! Listen here!
“In these stories you’ll discover legends, monsters, secret tunnels, and magical elves–along with some interesting true history. Widener has a way of combining the gritty and the whimsical, crafting tall tales that exude a streetwise wisdom and his own unique sense of humor. Imagine traditional fairy tales embellished by a wise-cracking favorite uncle, and you’re almost there.” – S.P. Miskowski, author of I Wish I Was Like You
“Reading Lee Widener is like listening to late-night radio: Uncanny, unpredictable, unusual, and apt to introduce you to your next favorite thing. The stories in Under the Shanghai Tunnels showcase Widener at his bizarro best, mashing up monster movies, Lovecraftian squick, and Dr. Demento-style pop weirdness. Pick it up and have a blast!” – Ross E. Lockhart Editor & Publisher, Word Horde Books
“Moody, atmospheric and dripping with dread, Lee Widener’s collection is not to be missed.” -Kate Jonez, Bram Stoker Award-nominated author
“Weird tales indeed. The most entertaining/funny/strange collection I’ve read this year. Widener should probably be institutionalized. Great stories from a very imaginative author.” – Gina Ranalli, author of Mother Puncher and Suicide Girls in the Afterlife
Get it here
by: James Burr
It was a cold October morning when Eleonora Pinkerton first realised that her actions influenced it all. Like that apocryphal butterfly whose beating wings can cause hurricanes on the other side of the world, Eleonora concluded that her every action influenced Everything: scratching an itch would cause a tsunami in Indonesia, an overly energetic blink could cause a 747 to plummet from the sky over Minnesota, an unguarded burp could result in hurricanes in Guam. So Eleonora did what all rational beings would do in such circumstances and thus resolved to do nothing. Literally nothing. She gingerly, as if her slightest movement could set off a bomb, placed herself in a four lotus position and then sat, unmoving, utterly immobile.
When her boyfriend, Gavin, found her sat on the bed like an anorexic Buddha, he was at first confused, then concerned and then, as the days went by, increasingly grateful. Eleonora would no longer moan and bitch about his coming back from the pub too late at night and full of too much beer. She wouldn’t nag or moan or force him to see her mother or her annoying friends. Instead, she would just sit there, unmoving, while he played Halo or Grand Theft Auto, until such point that, feeling the need for sexual intimacy, he would stand up, drop his tracky bottoms and Calvins, and skull-fuck her until release.
Work had been a little more tricky at first, though, but eventually Gavin worked out that all he had to do was lift Eleonora into a wheelbarrow that he had bought especially for the purpose, and then, after a short trip on the Number 9 bus, wheel her to her desk at the local council offices. There, she would sit immobile in her wheelbarrow for eight hours until Gavin arrived to wheel her home. Her work colleagues were, as you can imagine, somewhat dumbfounded by this somewhat odd change that had come over Eleonora, but her 100% attendance meant that she was soon promoted to senior diversity consultant in the council and her career flourished as her bosses noted that she was one of the few who didn’t have months off with “stress.”
So all in all, Eleonora’s life flourished as first her relationship with Gavin deepened and her career reached new heights. And while Gavin wasn’t the most thoughtful bloke in the world, he did take care to lift her to the shower every morning to wipe away her waste and he did try to give her at least one full meal a day, even if it was just McDonald’s Happy Meals or chicken dhansaks, which he would then feed through a liquidiser so he could spoon it past her rigid lips.
For her part, Eleonora showed a strength of will that even she had no idea she was capable of. There would be times when the pain in her limbs was so great she wanted to just straighten them out and stretch and scream and jump in the air. But then when that urge grew, she would think of the resulting typhoons shredding farmsteads, the satellites knocked from orbit to blaze into the cities below, the concrete overpasses collapsing as a result of her twitching pinky. So, terrified of the chaos that would ensue, her resolve would return and her limbs would remain unmoving, her arms like concrete, her back like steel, so that order could reign and others could live.
And so the years rolled by and there came the patter of tiny Pinkerton feet, the doctors rolling her on her back so they could prise the babies out of her and then later, Gavin devising a clever harness system that meant she could breastfeed as she sat motionless on the bed. Then, later still, they would eat at the dinner table, children shouting and screaming at each other as Eleonora sat in her wheelbarrow, unmoving. Family selfies posted to Facebook showed the children growing, day by day, year by year, as Elonora remained the one constant, the only change being the gradual greying of her hair.
Eventually, the children moved out, and then Eleonora retired from her role as chief executive officer of her local council after decades of exemplary service. And so started the final phase of her life, as she would sit on the bed while Gavin pottered around in the garden. But then, one cold morning, Gavin was in the potting shed when he groaned, clutched his chest, and then slumped to the ground.
They didn’t find Eleonora for several weeks after his death. Neither of her children cared—Molly was living in a squat in Brixton and was constantly full of heroin while Alice was engaged in 24-hour narcissism as an Instagram yogi in Ibiza–so it was that by the time they found Eleonora, she was sitting in her bed, covered in cobwebs, her rigor mortised limbs locked in place, congealed blood weeping from the small toothmarks where vermin had taken bites out of her. The council officers who came to their house to move her body away found it relatively easy to just hook an arm under each armpit before just flinging her into the back of the van for disposal.
And as their van pulled away down the dismal tarmac of the street, shaven-headed children swearing, smoking and playing football, no one thought about Eleonora Pinkerton or her solar-flare triggering twitches and no one considered her tsunami-causing sneezes.
James Burr is the author of the collection Ugly Stories for Beautiful People and is currently putting the finishing touches to his second collection, State of the Nation, and a work of non-fiction which will, he is sure, make him richer than his wildest dreams. When not deluding himself about future success, he can be found at: http://www.james-burr.co.uk/
Send your weird little stories to email@example.com.
Courtesy of Luna Press comes a weird graphic novel by Chris Kelso and Jim Agpalza, APOLLO UNBOUND!
Here is the info from Luna Press:
Scottish Writer Chris Kelso and Hawaiian artist Jim Agpalza have created Luna’s first comic, the surreal, Lynchian journey, Apollo Unbound, where Hollywood icon Apollo Calloway wakes up in the unlikeliest of places – rural Ayrshire.
Apollo Unbound is now out for pre-order, and will be available at Kilmarnock ComicCon, on the 18th of November!
You can pre-order the e-book through your usual avenues, but you will only get the pre-order discount on our website! Our subscribers will also get an extra discount voucher in the 1st of November newsletter.
If you are not on our monthly newsletter list, there’s still time to sign up!
Praise for Chris Kelso:
“Someday soon people are going to be naming him as one of their own influences. He’s worth checking out.”– INTERZONE magazine
“His writing is transgressive, erudite, shocking.”– Mary Turzillo, NEBULA winner
“Will Self meets Chuck Palahniuk”– Former People magazine
Praise for Jim Agpalza:
“Jim Agpalza’s art is 100% pure concentrated aggro. Disturbingly terrific.” – Seb Doubinsky, author of The Babylonian Trilogy
“Agpalza’s art and Kelso’s writing come together for a definitive weird experience. Genuine underground magic” – Garrett Cook, author of A God of Hungry Walls
You can preorder Apollo Unbound here.