Weird writer Adam Millard has written, directed, animated, and given artistic birth to his own stop motion short! It’s called WE’RE GONNA PLAY A GAME, and it’s a parody of the Saw franchise. Enjoy!
Jason Voorheesberg takes a break from murdering Vermont hippies to review some terrifying horror books! On his list are Now That We’re Alone by Nicholas Day, White Trash Gothic by Edward Lee, and Spermjackers from Hell by Christine Morgan. What a mensch.
by: Austin James
The man managed to find (logistically speaking) the worst possible location in the mud pit; too far from the center to gather any real moisture for rehydration, yet also too far from the edge to avoid getting stuck. I say ‘man’ because whatever it was, it appeared to be male…but I’m not an expert on these things. Mans are intriguing creatures anyway. Historians said they use to be bigshots once, which added to my curiosity. This one, imprisoned in muck and roasting in the sun, happened to be the first I could observe up close.
Resting in the sand just beyond the edges of the mud pit, shading beneath a mature sage and congratulating myself on the decision to divorce Eleanor, I watched the man, sun-bleached and wobbly, come out of the desert seeking water and get lodged in the mud. As a younger lizard I would’ve gotten closer and poked it with a stick, but at my age I found the whole ordeal to be simply fascinating.
I’d been having dreams where I tried to scurry for shade only to find the sand too slick, too deep, and no matter how fast I scuttled I could barely move. Almost as if my thin, green tail weighed as much as a rattlesnake. I presumed the muddy mammal knew exactly how that felt—it would’ve loved to dash around at that particular moment if it could.
Eventually, the man realized that struggling was useless. Its head, with hair the color of beetles; a prickly, bearded face; and an upper limb were the only body parts not suffocating in mud. Its dumb, feral eyes peered out into the desert, darting between the chaotic shapes of layered rock which ranged in color from pale, seasick green to day-old-sunburn (as if a giant once spread multicolored spackle across the desert and left it to dry like a sporadically textured ceiling). Looking into its cactus-green eyes, I suspected it knew that it was dying. Surely mans understood the concept of death—instinctively rather than intellectually, of course.
As the sun slithered across the sky, I watched as the primate’s hairless flesh shrunk and cracked into a thousand peeling pieces.
The man evaporated until it earned the trust of the thirsty dirt, ironically just out its reach.
Studying the creature led to pondering my dreams. Why couldn’t I scamper? What was weighing me down? Given that morning’s events back home, surely the dreams were my subconscious telling me that marriage held me back from experiencing life.
I imagined the man was capable of complex thought and contemplated the landscape’s origin as it died. It wondered if the mountains were all once massive cubes of rock, melting in the desert sun over thousands of years to form the cliffs and arches.
Its throat and tongue were sandstone. They had to be in that heat.
Plump blisters the color of wood ticks peppered the mammal’s skin. I licked the air and swabbed the roof of my mouth for a whiff of smoldering flesh, which kind of reminded me of Eleanor’s cockroach casserole.
After a while, its eyes slowed and relaxed, accepting the fact that it wouldn’t survive. It stared at a dead, shriveled sage brush not far from where I lay as if preparing itself for decay; the bush’s gray withered branches reaching out like tendrils infected with flakes of brittle orange lichen; twisted, fractured metal speckled with rust.
It’d still moan and wiggle a bit on occasion, as if struggling to decide what posture it wanted to become fossilized in. Maybe it thought this to be important, like some kind of final unity with the dust that birthed it?
As the sky changed to milkweed for the setting sun, the primate stopped resisting the mud’s tight embrace altogether. Its breathing became obviously more painful. It made some raspy choking noises and a weak whimper before its squinty eyes closed to unconsciousness.
Once it finally perished, I knew I just witnessed something beautiful and, quite literally, very dirty. In turn, I felt both beautiful and dirty…even my eyes seemed filthy from watching the man’s pre-death cremation.
I tongued my ocular turrets, slurping them clean, and began to dig my burrow beneath the familiar sage.
Austin James has caffeine in his blood, gypsy spit in his spinal fluid, and a collection of his writing called Regurgitations. You can read more of his work at Pulp Metal Magazine, Troubadour 21 (mobile only), Twelve Point Collective (print only), and Bartleby Snopes.
Send your weird little stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Well, that kick ass poster pretty much says it all.
Coming this October from John Wayne Comunale and Grindhouse Press is the tongue-twisting title DEATH PACTS FOR LEFT HAND PATHS!
middle age n. 1. Spending one year’s disposable income on vinyl figures, only to realize a complete He-Man collection isn’t going to make your current life any better. Beast Man and Cyclops don’t give a fuck about you or your failing marriage. 2. Resolving to die empty and alone. 3. Death showing up at your office door in need of a vacation. 4. Designing goods for Death that inspire consumer-driven fatalities—faulty steering mechanisms, toxic dishwasher detergent inserts that look like jumbo fruit snacks—anything that will help tip people over the edge before Death has to pursue them. 5. Waking to find your house chock-full of the merchandise you created, merchandise designed to kill. Now everything from pouring your cereal to activating your car’s cigarette lighter has become a death trap. Yet as your world falls apart, no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to fucking die.
Get it here.
After the sun would go down, I’d hear them out there, back by the shed, shrieking their twisted warbling cries out there in the night, followed by squeals of whatever prey they’d managed to hunt down.
When his rural farm becomes overrun with terrifying beasts called Warblers capable of eating livestock, dogs, and even people, 14-year-old Dell McDale’s life is torn asunder. He watches through the eyes of a boy on the verge of becoming a man as his father is forced to go to awful lengths to rid the family home of the infestation, culminating in a confrontation between Dell and a local bully-turned-soldier on a night that will change everyone involved, forever.
The Warblers is a mysterious tale of a young man learning what fear can do to people and what happens, when in order to fight monsters, one must side with another monster.
“Amber Fallon is a force to be reckoned with, delivering kickass action and intense emotion in generous measures!” – Christine Morgan
Get it here.