It’s October and Madeleine Swann wants weird stuff for Halloween! Send her links, videos, or other strange, spooky things via email (email@example.com) and she’ll react to it in an upcoming video on her YouTube channel! See her video request below. This is a lady who wants to be weirded out! Help her out, bizarros!
*THE (LIMITED) KILLER CASSETTE EDITION!* A lovely little bludgeoner-book, perfect for concealing in your pockets… An adult-diaper wearing Casanova discovers a potent ability to actualize wild, gonzo porn fantasies. An Unsolved Mystery episode equipped with mind-reading tech takes a seriously wrong turn. A particularly repulsive coworker finds himself in a wrestling match made of equal parts dream and nightmare… and we’re just getting warmed up. Armfield’s collection is a treasure-trove of treasures best left buried. Throughout this collection, sex meets filth, and the two embark on misadventures more than twisted enough to leave your psyche permanently crippled. Weak stomachs need not apply. If you’re made of the right stuff, Armfield’s humor and energy will amply reward you. If not, find a vantage point close to the nearest stall – don’t worry, you’ll thank me later. More fun than a barrel of maggots, you’re guaranteed to depart from this wellspring of bizarro flavored gross-out a changed human, assuming you’re still human at all. And while we’re on the topic of change, you should pack a change of clothes. Things tend to get messy in here.
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by: Martin Rutley
It was late, Saturday night, when they brought me in. Strapped to a stretcher, disinfectant smeared into the corners of my eyes, the smell of petroleum in their greasy sideburns. Dressed in the green and gray of the company uniform, each of the six had joyously taken his turn at the head of the pack. They fired off their questions, one after the other, their voices all baby talk and laughter—Who cut your gooky fucking hair? How’s your pancreas feel about the pre-cancerous cells in your liver? Is that Benzo Fury in your bloodstream? Are you aware those idiots at the CIA can’t work so much as a soda machine? Did you know Andromeda’s fucking Ryan from data capture? What kind of schmuck reads Asimov with a hairbrush in his ass? This wasn’t a dissection of what it was made me tick—they didn’t give a shit about the ins and outs of a rodent like me—this was an institution at play, a muscle, uneasy at rest, flexing itself.
I was beaten into the early hours of the morning. A solid workout for the boys on night shift. Each put in his fair share, no slacking or slipping out for a quick cigarette in the reading room—these boys were keen. Of the six, Hunter’s blows landed hardest. He continued long after the others had had their fill. He ended with a particularly brutal strike to the base of the spine—The Hunter Ray Heel Kick, he’d christened it—a signature maneuver none of the others had attempted. Several of them had marveled at his movement—the fluidity of force from deltoid to extensor, the anatomical precision inherent in a curving knee strike to the hepatic duct of a functioning liver. Finally, I was stripped to the waist and given a near-lethal dose of Seventh Heaven, a well-known ventromedial manipulator and driver of grunt warfare since 2037.
“Side effect city,” someone yelled. “Hold on to your DNA.”
“Hold on to your cahoonas,” yelled another.
As he’d spoken, the electrons in the heavy elements of my body abandoned their orbits and I collapsed into a pre-biological soup of ionized hydrogen. I reemerged a nanosecond or so later and pulled on the trigger of a .45 jammed against the roof of my mouth.
“Bang,” yelled Hunter, and the others erupted into what my ex-wife would have described as spasms of ‘screw you’ laughter.
He knelt with uncanny grace and pressed his face into mine. “Makes you cry for Mommy, don’t it?” he whispered.
Later, the others filed silently from the room—not separately, but as one—hairless mandibles held high in the air.
Hunter must have been a hundred feet tall. Had he wanted, he could have ground me into the earth and joined the others for baked lobster fideo or whatever it was these people ate. He assured me he was a killer of some reputation. He’d risen through the ranks of the corporation due to a willingness to do what others wouldn’t. I gave him everything with a candor I hadn’t known I possessed—a complete schematic of my habits and tendencies, end of the world codes, exit points, atom hacks, bombs strapped to the underside of elephants in crowded malls at Christmas—children tugging at their leathery ears, time holes, reset procedures, insert generators—I betrayed everyone and everything dear to me.
Hunter applauded and folded into a smile that pulled at the lids of his eyes. “These elephants, Mr. Lewis, do they exist?”
“If I shut off the TV once in a while, they would.”
“Inserts,” I said. “Harvested from interstellar space and nano-engineered to resist all known modes of interrogation—terrestrial or otherwise. Exquisite animals.”
“Including the Abdominal Slap?”
“Yes, sir—in more than a thousand documented simulations.”
He crouched, scooped me into his hand, and raised me level with his enormous face. Were he to swallow me whole, I’d sit in his small intestine and drift into in a telepathic union.
A single, giant tear descended his cheek. “I want a million of those things.”
I stood and extended my arms perpendicularly in search of at least minimal balance. “I’ll need a quantum entangler, a hundred billion dollars, identity reconstruction, and five hundred thousand square feet of prime off-planet real estate.”
He pursed his lips and blew, rotating his wrist as he did so. I fell into his palm and grabbed at the base of his pinky finger. His hand upturned, I hung helplessly and waited for him to speak.
“Little man, we’re going to save your life,” he said.
He’d spoken carefully, rigidly—as though repeating words previously reordered and rehearsed in his mind. Perhaps the Seventh Heaven was talking, but there was compassion in those dark, cavernous eyes and I couldn’t wait to begin.
Martin Rutley lives in Manchester, UK. His short fiction has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Pedestal Magazine, Locus Novus, The Fortean Bureau, Vestal Review, and Raven Chronicles. He also makes films—some disturbing, some batshit crazy. You can stream Amnesiac on Amazon.
Send your weird little stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
From two-time Wonderland Book Award-winning author, Cody Goodfellow, described as “one of the best writers of our generation” by grandmaster of horror Brian Keene, and “the Ellroy of speculative fiction ” by acclaimed cult author Jeremey Robert Johnson, comes a novel of desperation and degradation in the city of mutilated dreams.
Loathe him or hate him, nothing can stop Charlie Parsons from living the Hollywood dream––not homelessness, not a shady agent who sends him on daily suicide missions, not even the combined might of the LAPD and the infamous Blood Eagle Security. With only a tattered tell-all bio of the most problematic child star in TV history for guidance, Parsons is going to get famous if he has to blow every studio mogul in town to make his dream come true.
But Charlie slides into a nightmare when he touches the bulging belly of a runaway pregnant woman with the unborn son of a cult-leader so powerful, thinking his name could give you cancer.
From the empty LA River to an eternal, interdimensional A-list party, Charlie is running for his life, crashing through twisted alternate Hollywoods where the religious right rules all and bloodthirsty studio execs hunt the homeless for sport. On a quest to save the proverbial damsel in distress, he’ll have to pitch a dozen shit-hot movie ideas, slay the dragons of his problematic past and somehow overcome the temptation of the most dangerous addiction in the dirty business of dreams––true, unselfish love.
Sleazeland is one of Cody Goodfellow’s absolute best works of bizarro fiction. A parable for the harsh realities of surviving in one of the filthiest industries on Earth.
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Nightmares in Ecstasy is a collection of thirteen stories of surreal body horror. Within its pages, the line between eroticism and terror, desire and death, is blurred. Damaged souls hurtle, as if in a dream, toward mutilation, transformation and fates worse than death. It is literary hardcore fiction for fans of David Cronenberg, Junji Ito, and Clive Barker.
“Surreal, grotesque, erotic. Brendan Vidito is a unique and disturbing new voice.”
-Wrath James White, author of If You Died Tomorrow I Would Eat Your Corpse
“Brendan Vidito is the bastard son of Clive Barker and his fresh take on body horror will f**k you up.”
-Jack Bantry, creator of Splatterpunk Zine & author of The Lucky Ones Died First
“Vidito’s words squirt shocking psychosexual bug juice into your brain’s most private parts.”
-John Skipp, author of The Light at the End
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by: John Wayne Comunale
Jonathan Switz was loved and renowned by his people as much if not more than he was loathed and reviled by them. Such is the plight of every leader, but Switz remained unaffected. He couldn’t feel the love, hate, or indifference of his people because he lacked the capability. Something had turned that part of him off.
He thought he remembered what love and hate felt like, but couldn’t be sure if he was only convincing himself the memory existed. Switz had no idea how long he’d been in The Isolation, but he knew he was a leader and not much past that.
The who and the where escaped him, and while he felt constantly on the cusp of remembering, he never did. Most days he received a message he was to make a speech or declaration of some kind. The message wasn’t written or dictated but came in the form of a buzzing tingle at the base of his brain. A spotlight would appear. Jonathan would stand in it and begin to recite words as they scrolled through his mind like a psychic teleprompter.
Two holographic symbols appeared in front of him at least four or five times a day. The symbols, a red triangle and a yellow circle, represented a different difficult decision for Jonathan. To make this decision he simply had to reach out and touch one of the holograms. That was that. The shapes would disappear and return later with another decision for the great leader to make.
Switz never knew what the decisions were or how they affected his people. All he knew was the shapes would hover before him until he reached out and touched one.
Jonathan tried to glean some context as to what may be going on from the speeches he made, but they were mostly non-committal political rhetoric or vague, sweeping answers easily applicable to a myriad of problems. The words flew through his head so fast he didn’t have time to comprehend what he rattled off.
He made the shapes wait once. He wanted to see if after a certain amount of time the options changed or more information was given, but no such luck. The red triangle and yellow circle simply hung in the air and followed Switz around glowing dully, silently pressuring him to make a choice until he did.
He wondered if the amount of time he waited before choosing had any bearing on the outcome or if everything stopped frozen in time until Jonathan Switz touched a glowing shape.
When the shapes appeared again, Switz decided he just wasn’t going to touch them forever. Maybe if he waited long enough the outside world would be thrown off balance and free him from The Isolation, allow him to feel something again.
Jonathan vowed to himself if and when he ever got out he would step down as leader immediately. Even if through some twist of fate the blind choices he’d made created the perfect utopian existence and he was haled far and wide, he would still walk away.
Days and days went by, or what Switz was able to perceive as days, but the shapes remained present with no change.
Jonathan stared vacantly at the shapes floating silently in front of him and was struck with an idea. It seemed so simple, and he felt foolish for not thinking of it until just then. He would touch both of the shapes at the same time. It sounded easier than he knew it would be, but it was something he’d never tried before.
He stepped as close as he could to the shapes without touching and put his hands up in front of them. He did his best to put the same amount of space between each hand and its corresponding shape, but had to step back and try again several times before he could stop shaking.
Switz took several deep breaths, shook the trembling from his hands, and stepped back up to the shapes. He put his hands as close as he could to each shape without touching, and then quickly thrust them forward at the same time.
The triangle and the circle disappeared leaving the space noticeably dimmer with the absence of their dismal glow. Jonathan stood still; his hands out in front of him, and waited for something, for anything to happen. When it didn’t he lowered his hands and clenched them into fists.
He didn’t feel the tingle in his palms at first until the sensation intensified rapidly forcing him to recognize the burn. He unclenched, looked down at his palms, and saw his hands had turned the color of the shape they had touched. It was more than just color though, his hands had taken on the low-level luminescence of the shapes as well.
Jonathan turned his hands over a to see the strange phenomenon completely covered them, and a prickling sensation shot across his wrists as the glowing colors started to work their way down both arms. It moved slowly at first, like thickly applied paint dripping down the wall, but quickly gained momentum and was to his shoulder in a second.
Colored light exploded across his vision as if he’d looked directly into two suns. Light was all he could see for several seconds until it faded into an unsavory, inky, thick darkness. Jonathan shook with spasms as the foreign substance enveloped his body and plunged down his throat.
Through the darkness Switz saw bright spirals of light that reached out with an invisible force to pull him into them.
As he got closer, Switz began to feel something. It was hard for him to make sense of it at first because the ability to feel was a faculty he no longer possessed. His synapses latched onto the odd sensation and flung it back into his system, reactivating the long-atrophied sensors.
Something changed inside of Jonathan, and he was flooded with feelings to the point of being overwhelmed. He felt the pain of his people from all the decisions he’d made that hurt them, but he also felt the joy from when he’d done them right. Love overtook him so intensely, he was confused and unable to derive its origin, but he was comforted nonetheless.
The choking darkness of hate and envy fell upon Jonathan the heaviest and sank its fangs deep into his neck. Switz flailed against the foul emotion but found it impossible to break from the invisible force holding him in place.
Jonathan Switz had figured out a way to make himself feel again, but there was a side affect of his successful experiment. He felt everything at once. The intense love, hate, and all that comes in-between hit Switz in one single gigantic wave.
The intensity broke him and Jonathan’s his frazzled brain shut down, but not before he remembered why he’d come into The Isolation. Not before he remembered none of this mattered.
The swirling orange and yellow light pulled Jonathan into it, and he was gone. A crack ran down the black, wet sky of The Isolation like long, lazy lightning. When it struck the ground, the sky crumbled and fell to reveal the same sky right behind it.
John Wayne Comunale lives in the land of purple drank known as Houston, Texas. He is a writer for the comedic collective MicroSatan; the author of The Porn Star Retirement Plan, Charge Land, Aunt Poster, and Scummer; and the writer/illustrator of the comic-zine: The Afterlife Adventures of johnwayneisdead. If that’s not enough, he also tours with the punk rock disaster: johnwayneisdead. If you’re in Williamsburg, Virginia tonight, you can see him reading live at Scares That Care. If you miss that, you can still listen to his podcasts here and here.
Send your weird little stories to email@example.com.
Austin James debuts with a wonderfully twisted novelette that is both bizarre and endearing, a melding of mutant creatures with tones of true romance, served with enough grotesqueries to satisfy to the most gluttonous of minds. Also included: a handful of short stories that take the reader even further into the mind of James’ obscure view within the word-world.
“The Drip Drop Prophet is a weird, funny, and original story. Fresh prose and palpable action make Austin James a name to watch.” – Danger Slater, author of “I Will Rot Without You”
“This is a sad, weird, mystic Pixar cartoon for pretty disturbed adults. The kind of heartfelt crazy people read (Bizarro) for.” – Garrett Cook, author of “A God of Hungry Walls”
“Nice little collection of shorts here. Though it blends a serious, personal tone with light-hearted absurdity, the combination forms a tone of its own through the tightness and cohesion of the writing. At times you want to hug the author, and at other times you want to peak into his brain to try and figure out what the hell is going on in there. If you like bizarro you’ll most likely ingest this book in one sitting. If you’re unfamiliar with bizzaro or surreal fiction, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy something fresh, new, and original.” -Jeff O’Brien, author of “The Night Manager”
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