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Fortune Box Giveaway!

Madeleine Swann is here with a special offer for her newest release from Eraserhead Press, FORTUNE BOX! Check it out!

Flash Fiction Friday: A Fresh Perspective

by: James Burr

The Artist woke up face down on the wall, his favourite Braque print digging uncomfortably into his ribs. It seemed that gravity must have shifted 90° as he slept as he was now lying on the far wall of his bedroom looking up at his bed, which seemed to be hanging from what was now the ceiling. Yet it couldn’t be that gravity had shifted 90°, as his bed was where it always was, albeit at an utterly unfamiliar angle, and the rumpled covers still lay on it. Similarly his desk and chair were still in the corner of the room, although from his perspective, now wedged into the far corner of the ceiling. He stood up. Aside from his own position in the room, everything was much as it had always been.

He yawned and then made his way to the bedroom door, now embedded in the floor at his feet. He pulled it up and looked down. There was a drop of around 6 feet to the hall wall but then he would have to navigate a 20 foot drop to get to the far wall of his open-plan living room. He was already behind on several commissioned canvases and this damn gravity-thing was the last thing he needed. Still, he was an artist and it was the nature of the artist to explore experience. So he flipped over the door frame and dropped to the hall wall, his feet punching through the plasterboard. “Damn it!”

Prying his feet free, he then walked down the wall to the living room door, shaking the dust from his feet as he did so, before getting to his knees so he could peer over the edge of the doorframe, into the room below. The sheer drop was somewhat broken by the cupboards and units of his kitchen area below the wall he was currently kneeling on. But did this phenomenon extend to the entirety of his apartment? He could see his sofa and telephone twenty feet below on the floor/wall opposite.

I suspect that I have transcended the limits of ordinary reality and now perceive the world with the agility of a mind freed from entrenched perspectives, thought the Artist, and he grew eager to explore further.

If he could somehow swing from the doorframe across the room, it was only a drop of ten feet or so to his tall cupboard which, if he could reach it he could then land on before dropping down to the rest of the living room. Gingerly, he edged his way over the doorframe and then carefully lowered himself until he hung over the opposite wall. He then started to swing forwards and backwards as he tried to build momentum, before with one final kip, he flung himself across the room, landing on the side of the tall cupboard. However, as he landed he smashed his face into the wall and he could feel himself dropping backwards into the living room below. Desperately he reached out and managed to grab the side of the sink, and he pulled himself forwards. Above him were his other kitchen units, herbs and spices, yesterday’s Chinese wrappers, coffee jars and kettle all still resting, perpendicular on the worktop, in defiance of the phenomenon that seemed to be afflicting him. Damn it. He could do nothing in the morning without a morning coffee, but making one would involve climbing up the wall, perhaps using the side of the window frame as a foothold and then somehow monkey barring his way across the kitchen units, if they could even take his weight of course. So the Artist shifted position and sat on the edge of the unit; it was just a ten foot drop to the far wall of his living room.

The only logical explanation for this situation is that it is the manifestation of my will to transcend boundaries yet my apartment’s continuing existence continues to prove that humans may attempt to defy gravity but never wholly escape, thought the Artist. This could in fact be a manifestation of the human impulse to reach beyond our present reality.

He sat on the edge of the unit and again, dropped down until he was hanging from its side. And then, the distance minimised as much as he could, he let go, landing in a heap on the far wall. Grumbling, he got to his feet and looked above him, at the walls, paintings hanging horizontally, his dining table and chairs now suspended on a wooden wall, fifteen feet above him.

The Artist grew excited at this fresh development in his creative life. This physical experience could provide a radical shift of perspective so I can look at the world through a completely different lens. This phenomenon provides an opportunity to reimagine the physical and psychological reality I previously thought of as fixed as something more flexible, mutable, and light. Feverishly, he considered the artistic possibilities his new perspective afforded. He considered the colours, the shapes the conceptual possibilities that he could now exploit. He looked around these familiar yet strange surroundings for his easel and paints before remembering with a shudder that they were in his bedroom.

And so he jumped and jumped and jumped. But as he leaped, arms outstretched for the kitchen units out of reach above him, he realised there was no way back out of his living room.

And it was then that he finally saw the true gravity of his situation.


An English writer of dark, humorous, paranoiac fiction, James Burr is the author of Ugly Stories for Beautiful People and is working on a novel titled Razor Moccasins. You can follow him on Twitter and find more of his stories here. 


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Presenting: The Modern Monarchist

A new absurdist e-zine has emerged from The Strange Edge. Presenting…


Download the first issue HERE

Support Michael Allen Rose via PATREON!

Hi! My name is Michael Allen Rose, and I’m a Chicago based author, musician and performance artist. I’ve worked in a variety of mediums, but the things I’m most proud of and known for are probably my books, such as Party Wolves In My Skull and Embry: Hard Boiled from Eraserhead Press and Boiled Americans from Bizarro Pulp Press. I make and perform industrial music under the name Flood Damage, collaborate with other musicians such as the Slow Poisoner, and play in the Nine Inch Nails tribute band Now I’m Nothing.

As far as performance projects go, I’m mostly interested in creating funny, crazy readings from my stories and books. I also occasionally work in the theatre as RoShamBo, host the Ultimate Bizarro Showdown at the annual BizarroCon, and create burlesque with and without my partner Sauda Namir. It’s incredibly fulfilling to play in so many sandboxes and connect with so many different artistic communities.

You can see more of all the crazy stuff I do first-hand at my multi-media website here!

For the last decade or so, I’ve been working my way up the corporate ladder in the real estate industry and working in compliance, but in February 2017, I lost my job unexpectedly. It’s a little scary, and you can imagine how uncertain I felt about everything. I thought a lot about what I might do next, from substitute teaching to driving for a ride-share service, to freelancing as a copy editor or a production assistant. I may end up doing all of the above, trying to make ends meet, but what I really want to do is lean into the things I’m passionate about. Things like my stories and songs and creative projects, and the things that fill my soul with happiness and fulfillment!

I didn’t plan to leave corporate America, but I’m looking at this as an opportunity instead of an obstacle. With the help of my friends, fans and community, I plan to put out a ton of new content. The plan is to live the artist’s hustle without the stability of my 9-to-5! I have so much crazy creative stuff I want to share with people, and I’m very excited to connect with the folks who like what I do. Believe me, I understand how much it means if you contribute to my patreon. Your hard earned money means something, and all I can promise is that I remember the people who support me very dearly, and I plan to spoil you as much as possible with content and connectivity. It’s time to embrace my art and change my life. With your help, together, we’ll make art happen!

New Release: Kingdom of Teeth


From twin writing duo Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason, better known as The Sisters of Slaughter, comes a bizarro fairytale for adults.

Molarous is a secret kingdom in a land of myth and magic. Its citizens, the Hyperdontians, are a grotesque race of people whose teeth grow outside of their mouths and all over their bodies like beautiful skin-splitting tumors. But lately, the kingdom has been under attack by a vicious plague that devours the toothy subjects of Molarous whole, causing their once pearly-white armor to rot away to nothing. Their queen, Bicuspa, better known as the Tooth Fairy in our world, is desperate for a savior. By a twisted turn of fate, her wish is granted in the form of a dental school drop out by the name of Randy. He seems the unlikeliest of heroes, but can he defeat the tooth demon before it kills everyone in Molarous and steals the soul of every child on earth?

Mix the childhood myth of the Tooth Fairy with the gore and humor of Army of Darkness
 and you have a grotesque adventure tale that will leave your face aching and your heart spilling open.

Get it here

New Release: Corpsepaint


It’s been years since the groundbreaking debut of black metal band Angelus Mortis, and that first album, Henosis, has become a classic of the genre, a harrowing primal scream of rage and anger. With the next two albums, Fields of Punishment and Telos, Angelus Mortis cemented a reputation for uncompromising, aggressive music, impressing critics and fans alike. But the road to success is littered with temptation, and over the next decade, Angelus Mortis’s leader, Max, better known as Strigoi, became infamous for bad associations and worse behavior, burning through side-men and alienating fans.Today, at the request of their record label, Max and new drummer Roland are traveling to Ukraine to record a comeback album with the famously reclusive cult act Wisdom of Silenus. What they discover when they get there will go far deeper than the aesthetics of the genre, and the music they create–antihuman, antilife–ultimately becomes a weapon unto itself.Equally inspired by the fractured, nightmarish novels of John Hawkes, the blackened dreamscapes of cosmic-pessimist philosophy, and the music of second-wave black metal bands, author David Peak’s Corpsepaint is an exploration of creative people summoning destructive powers while struggling to express what it means to be human.

Get it here

Flash Fiction Friday: Cogito Ergo Sum

by: Zé Burns

He was a lamp. A China ball lantern wrapped in a bamboo lattice.

No, he wasn’t. He was a plant: a delicate ornamental fern, stretching out its fronds over the terra cotta pot in which he sat.

No, that couldn’t be right either. Was he a pillow? A wooden lounge beneath a red umbrella? None of that sounded right. It couldn’t be right.

Then what was he? He searched his mind for some memory that would reveal his true identity. But the memories remained elusive. His past consisted of the last few minutes, beginning when he thought he was the lamp.

Who am I? I know what a “lamp” is, what “ferns” and “umbrellas” are. To know these things, to place their names, I must have known them beforehand. That I can conceive of a past further proves that there must have been one. But who am I? What is my name? Do I have a name?

Harry. That was his name. No, that wasn’t right. His arms were hairy. It was just a homonym. But wait. He had arms! He looked at them now. Pink tubes, tapered at one end and thicker at the other, covered in fine, black hairs. He had arms. He looked downward: covered in a white shirt, his torso connected with a pair of brown pants that spread out into two legs. I have arms and a torso and legs. What has arms and a torso and legs? Was he…was he a man?

The arms and legs looked alien, dangling before him like the limbs of a marionette. The chest heaved up and down, but he could not feel himself breathing. He tried to move his fingers, but they remained motionless, lacking any sensation that suggested they were his own. Moments before, he had tilted his head downward to look at his legs, but now his neck refused any command he gave it, his field of vision no longer under his control.

These alien eyes stared down at a magazine, resting on a table before him. The letters meant nothing to him; he could not understand them even though he knew he should.

A noise—he heard it—came from behind him. The eyes he did not control looked up and then over toward the direction of the sound. Another human being was there: a woman, if that’s what it was called, wearing a colorful dress, her tan arms exposed. She embodied a concept new to him: the concept of beauty. For a moment, he dwelt with it, basking in its rays emanating from her. He did not recognize her. Yet she smiled in a most familiar way when his eyes met hers. She scared him, but the body in which he inhabited smiled back.

She spoke, her voice soft and comforting, “You will die here.”

Before he could register what she had said, he left the body he was in. Everything around him vanished, and once more, he no longer knew what he was. He saw only colors. They moved before him in slow undulation, a dance of the utmost beauty, beauty like the woman. It calmed him, and the fear from her words evaporated. Blues and greens now shifted to yellows and onto reds and oranges. He felt uncomfortable, agitated. The slow ballet of color now exploded in a flashing frenzy.

Then there was only white.

He heard a strange huffing. It came again and again at regular intervals. A few minutes (if such things existed) passed before he realized these noises were his own breathing. He did not feel that he was in a body or anything that could “breathe.” Yet he was sure that air was coming into him and being expelled.

He monitored these breaths, searching for any evidence of the body from which they came, but he found none. His concentration broke when a black line formed, bisecting the white that surrounded him. It started out thin, barely noticeable, but its width grew, slow at first, then accelerating more and more until the black nothingness overwhelmed him. His breaths sharpened and then stopped. He could no longer breathe.

I’m drowning! I’m drowning! The blackness like water filled his nonexistent lungs. He struggled to breathe. He begged some chimerical being to save him, hoping that something could hear his thoughts and come to his rescue. But then the black ended as well. Only a fragment of his consciousness remained. His perception faded; sight—and the colors that came with it—simply did not exist. Neither did smell, taste, sound, or touch. His train of thought came to an end. He could perceive that he was. But that was it. The concept of time disappeared.

How long he stayed in this state was impossible to know. Seconds meant as much as millennia.

Then he felt something. After lacking it, the use of the sense jarred him. But soon he relaxed and welcomed it. His train of thought revived and he wondered where he was and what he was feeling. The concept of “soft” came to him and he realized the thing he felt was soft. He liked this feeling. It brought comfort and safety with it.

Then it was gone.

And he was gone.

And it was over.


A Seattle native and bizarro fiction obsessive, Zé Burns is working on a long series of bizarre novels set in his hometown. You can (in descending order of difficulty) deduce him from first principles, seek him through the forests of Washington, learn about him on his blog, or follow him on Twitter.


Send your weird little stories to