by Shane McKenzie
Litty sat on the edge of the bed, counting the damp, wrinkled bills. Mr. and Mrs. O’Reilly were told to get into the restroom and clean up. And they obeyed. They always did after Litty was done with them.
The shower hissed from the other side of the wall, a thin fog escaping from under the door into the bedroom. The old couple’s moans were muffled but still audible through the wall as they scrubbed their beaten bodies.
“Abuse us,” Mrs. O’Reilly had begged.
Mr. O’Reilly just nodded, rubbing the front of his khakis and panting like a dog.
“Hurt us. Embarrass us. Please, Litty…please.”
And hurt them she did. More than they realize.
Her sickness was already swirling inside them, eating them from within. They deserved it. All those wealthy pieces of shit deserved it.
Before heading to their mansion, she had made a few preparations. Dipping the strap-on into her menstruating pussy, again and again as if she was churning butter. She wiped off the excess blood, but the purple dildo was still coated in the venomous film.
Once she had arrived to the mansion, once she had the O’Reilly’s naked and crouched in front of her, she slid a razor across their lips, slicing little tack marks across the plump, wrinkled flesh. Then she yanked Mr. O’Reilly’s flaccid cock like a lawnmower cord, brought him to his feet with a hiss and a grimace. She used the razor to open two slits on either side of his urethra like fish gills. The old man watched with squinted eyes as she did this, but didn’t move, didn’t flinch. Good boy.
Mrs. O’Reilly was next. Instead of using the razor on her, Litty shoved her hand into the woman’s dried-up cunt, scraped her nails across the moistening walls. When she pulled out, there was a milky film under her cuticles like lip balm, marbled with blood.
Once they were all bleeding—Litty’s flow was especially heavy that day—the real fun began.
She made them both bend over, rammed the strap-on deep into Mr. O’Reilly’s rectum, grabbed the tufts of white hair at the back of his head and pulled as she fucked him. Then she pulled out, lifted the strap on so her leaking pussy was exposed, and stuffed Mrs. O’Reilly’s bleeding mouth into it, grinding hard against her.
The O’Reilly’s were fucked, beaten, scratched, bitten. Litty took turns on them, made them take turns on her. She didn’t stop until she was convinced they each had her blood coursing through their veins.
“What the fuck?” Litty ground her teeth as she counted the money again. Still came up short. She hopped off the bed, nearly tripped over the strap-on that was marinating in blood and shit on the hardwood floor. Her fists pounded against the bathroom door. “Where’s the rest of my money, goddamnit?”
No response. The only sound the sizzle of water spraying from the shower head.
Litty kicked the door. “I want my motherfucking—”
A sudden warmth oozed around her feet, and at the same second she looked down at the growling puddle of blood sliding out from under the bathroom door, a cockroach scuttled across the top of her foot.
“Fuck me!” She kicked her foot, splashing blood over the door and sending the cockroach across the room. As she backed away, her feet got tangled up with the dildo again, and she landed on her ass and grunted.
The puddle of blood grew wider as more roaches scurried out from under the door, spreading across the room, crawling up the walls, onto the bed, over her legs and hands.
Litty jumped back to her feet, slapped her hands frantically across her body to rid it of the brown and black bugs, trying to hold her panic in check.
Where in the fuck did they come from…?
The bathroom door creaked open. A gust of steam flowed into the room like a giant ghost.
Litty searched for her razors, stomping her feet as the roaches swarmed around her. In a hurry to grab something to defend herself with, she scooped up the strap-on and wielded it like a baseball bat, creeping toward the door.
“Mr. and Mrs. O’Reilly? You…you in there?”
It was less than a whisper, and though she had convinced herself it was just the sound of the water, it still caused her to pause, to squeeze the dildo tighter.
Litty stormed forward, squashing roaches and splashing through the blood until she was in the restroom, facing the tub.
She wanted to scream, to run away, but all she could do was stare, frozen in place.
Mr. and Mrs. O’Reilly hung from the ceiling by electrical wire wrapped tightly around their wrists, ankles, and necks, looking like two burst piñatas. Their torsos were torn open, ribbons of tattered flesh and intestine hanging down and dripping. The rest of their innards filled the tub.
A man sat in the gore bath, staring up at Litty. More wire was wrapped snug around his head concealing most of his face. Tufts of hair sprouted here and there. Dark eyes sparkled out from between the strands of black and red and copper. He rubbed a kidney across his skin like a loofa, scrubbing his armpits and chest. Wrapped around his hands and arms up to his elbows was more tight wire, constricting his flesh so tightly the skin was twisted and torn open in places. Another wave of roaches scuttled out from the tub.
The man stood and blood and bits of meat rained off his hairless, pale body. Dark lesions spotted his skin, and as he glared at Litty, he grabbed his cock and stroked it, using the oily gore as lubrication.
Litty threw the dildo at him and rushed through the door, nearly slipping in the blood but catching herself on the frame. From behind her, she heard wet footsteps slapping across tile.
She collided with the bedroom door, swung it open, and lunged forward.
A shriek erupted from her throat as the skin on her face and arms was sliced open. She backed away, gasping, whimpering, wiping the blood from her eyes.
A taut web of copper wire was stretched across the doorway, a few strands now tinged red.
She yelped, spun on her heels to face the nude, blood-soaked killer.
He approached her slowly, wire-wrapped hands held out as if trying to look unthreatening. Beetles and cockroaches darted over his body, some burrowing into his hair. Tiny bugs darted in and out from under his jaundiced cuticles.
“Wh-who are y-you? What the fuck do you want!”
He was just in front of her now, but instead of attacking, he dropped to his knees, head drooping. His rough, callused hands reached up and began unwrapping the wire around his head.
When the wire lay in a twisted pile beside him, he looked up at her.
Litty’s arms went limp at her sides as she stared into her brother’s face. She thought he was dead. Dead because of her, because of what she had passed into him all those years ago.
His cheeks were sunken, eyes sparkling beads set deep into his face. A tear crawled from the corner of his eye, and he bent forward, gripped her ankles, pressed his lips to the tops of her feet.
She pulled his head to her chest and held him, squeezed him. “I’ve got you. Don’t worry…Litty’s here.”
Shane McKenzie is a horror author that lives in Austin, TX with his wife and daughter. He is the author of All You Can Eat, Infinity House, Bleed On Me, Drawn & Quartered, and Jacked, and is the co-owner and editor of Sinister Grin Press. Also, he is going to kill you.
A special Flash Fiction Friday event Oct. 4th – Nov. 1st. Featuring the talents of MP Johnson, Shane McKenzie, Alan M. Clark, Robert Devereaux and Gabino Iglesias. Check back soon… or you may not have a back. Or maybe you’ll have a back, but with a knife in it! Boo!
“Shadow Games” copyright © 1993 Alan M. Clark
Today I present you the first of many great articles appearing during Bizarro Central’s Writing Advice Week. Don’t let the title fool you – this baby is full of advice that transcends all genres and will enlighten and inspire any kind of writer.
Blood, Pus, Cum, & Dead Babies: Tips for Writing Extreme Horror
by Shane McKenzie
I was going to write a straight up essay on writing horror in general. But there are plenty of books and articles on that subject, and the people who wrote those books and articles can probably give you better advice than me. Actually, there’s no ‘probably’ about it. So, I decided to concentrate on what I do best—being disgusting.
Nowadays, it’s hard to be original with anything. If you want to write extreme horror, it gets even more difficult. There’s only so many ways to describe someone being torn apart or mutilated. Miscarriage, abortion, kinky sex, rape, bestiality, redneck cannibalism. It’s all been done, right? We can’t possibly add anything to this sub-genre. I hear this kind of talk all the time, and on a certain level, I know what these people mean. But there are ways to make your work stand out. I’ll admit that I’m still the new guy and I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’ll share some things that I’ve learned up to this point, as an editor and author of extreme horror.
If I told you I was going to tell you a story about a woman waking up tied to a chair, a ball gag in her mouth, all of her clothing missing, the taste of vomit at the back of her throat, then a male steps into the room, holding a butcher knife, playing with himself…. I probably wouldn’t need to go on. You can pretty much guess what’s going to happen. And you’re bored already. Today, horror fans, especially those who seek out the extreme stuff, are very difficult to shock. They’ve read everything Edward Lee, Richard Laymon, Wrath James White, or Jack Ketchum have to offer. You really have to be creative. One way to help with this is by being specific. When I, and probably most people, imagine the above scenario, they’re thinking a white girl, maybe mid-twenties, more than likely blonde. She’s probably got big tits, right? She’s probably gorgeous enough to be a celebrity, or at the very least, has the body of a porn star.
But what’s the point of that? You’re trying to stand out, add your voice to the horror genre, and if you don’t do something different, nobody will notice.
What if I told you the woman was a sixty-five year old Asian woman. She had breast cancer and had one of her breasts removed, the remaining breast sagging to the side of her stomach, the nipple leathery and long from years and years of breast-feeding her children. She’s had seven kids, all by C-section, so she has a long, dark scar across her underbelly. And what if I told you that the male who just walked in with the knife, playing with himself, is her sixteen year old grandson, covered in acne, with braces on his teeth? Already, it’s more interesting. And for me, it’s very uncomfortable. Which is what extreme horror is all about. I hate to say it (well, maybe not) but if some mid-twenties white male or female is the victim of a horror story, I just don’t give a shit what happens to them. Not because I have anything against white people, or young people. It’s just because that character is a boring cliché.
I found that being specific about race is pretty damn powerful. Age too. Anything involving kids is automatically shocking. I personally won’t write about anything sexual happening with kids, but when I read that kind of stuff, it just adds to the discomfort, and I don’t hate the author for going there. Using the elderly can give you a similar effect.
So make your POV characters interesting, something we haven’t seen, or at the very least, don’t see much of. Use certain details and be specific about things like race, age, deformities, disease, etc. Stop killing twenty-five year old white people. In your stories anyway.
Pretend you are going to read this in front of a crowd. The extreme scenes anyway. Every story needs some back story and character development, but the scenes that will make the book extreme, treat them like you are in a competition. A gross-out contest, erotic horror contest, or even the bizarro showdown. When I’m writing something I’m going to perform in front of a crowd, I’m trying to get audible reactions. Whether it be laughter, groans, gasps, or gags. When involved in a competition like this, you have to be memorable. You have to be a crowd pleaser. I know exactly which parts are going to get these audible reactions because I wrote them for that very reason. Do that with the extreme scenes in your book. When I read, say,an Edward Lee or Wrath James White novel, and I’m reading one of the more brutal or extreme scenes, I usually laugh out loud. I think most extreme horror lovers react this way. They might have a disgusted look on their face, but they’re still laughing. Then, when they talk about that book with others, they will talk about these scenes. Word of mouth is your friend.
A good way to get that reaction, I’ve found, is by using similes and metaphors. If I say an old woman’s legs are flabby, you can picture it, but it’s not really memorable. But if I say the flesh of her inner thighs hangs down like moldy bread dough, it adds a little something to it, makes it more memorable, and just might get an audible reaction. Her sopping pussy looked like an infected ax wound. The dead fetus sat in the palm of her hand like a slimy, cherry-flavored gummi bear. You get the idea. The more creative you are with the similes and metaphors, the better the reaction will be.
Start your story with a bang.
I know you’ve all heard this before, but it’s just so damn important, especially from an editor’s standpoint. Readers will probably be more patient, will give your book the benefit of the doubt that it will get good eventually. But an editor doesn’t have time for that. And even though a reader might stick around for a while, don’t test them either. Give them something to be excited about right away. Make it impossible for them to stop reading.
You can start the story in the middle of some action, where the reader is automatically going to be full of questions because everything is moving too fast for you to stop and explain anything.
For an extreme horror book, maybe start with something brutal right off the bat. Your readers are expecting this anyway, and if you give them something to smile about on page one, they’re more likely to stick around, even through some of the slower scenes where you have to give back story or explain some things.
For example, you’re writing a book about a child killer. You could start by showing a detective arriving to the scene of one of these murders. And a good writer could absolutely make this interesting. But what if instead, you start with a scene through the POV of the child as the killer is peeling the skin off his knuckles? Or through the killer’s POV as he watches a pack of pitbulls fight over the still screaming child’s flesh? The reader is going to be so full of adrenaline after reading this that the very next chapter, you can go ahead and introduce your protagonist and start with some characterization and what not. But you still need to keep a good balance through the whole book. As I’m writing, if I find myself getting bored, I know it’s time for an intense scene, something to kick your reader in the nuts with, so to speak. Keep them interested.
Go as far as making the very first sentence an attention grabber. In the above example, you could start with a sentence like: The boy’s screams became wet choking sounds as one of the pitbulls tore an opening in his belly with a jerk of its head, the other dog burying its snout into the fresh, bleeding cavity. Or even something shorter than that. With a jerk of its head, the pitbull tore open the boy’s stomach. If I read something like that at the very start of a book, I would smile, probably snicker a bit, and would read the fuck on.
Again, I’m not saying every single opening has to be this way. It’s just a tip. There are other ways to make your opening interesting without having to resort to immediate violence or sex. Just make sure it’s interesting, and make sure to fill your reader with questions.
I don’t think I’m in much of a position to give advice, but because I was asked, this is what occurred to me as a writer, editor, and reader of extreme horror. I hope it helps some. I could say so much more on the subject, but only because I’m passionate about it, not because I think I know it all.
I gave this article the title Blood, Pus, Cum, & Dead Babies not because I think all extreme horror needs these things, but because it’s what I was eating at the time.
Now go get nasty.
Shane McKenzie is an extreme horror and bizarro writer who lives with his wife and daughter in Austin, TX. He is the author of Infinity House, All You Can Eat, Bleed on Me, Drawn & Quartered, and Jacked. His new novels Muerte Con Carne (Deadite Press) and Addicted to the Dead (Thunderstorm Books) will both be out and available for purchase in March of 2013. He is also the editor and co-owner at Sinister Grin Press. You can purchase his paperback and ebooks at his Amazon author page here, and can get all available limited edition hardcovers from Thunderstorm Books.
Issue seven features the novella “Noah’s Arkopolis” by David W Barbee short fiction by David Agranoff, Molly Tanzer, Andrew Wayne Adams, Shane McKenzie and Dustin Reade, comics by Andrew Goldfarb and SCAR, articles by Constance Ann Fitzgerald, Carlton Mellick III, Kirsten Alene Pierce, Garrett Cook and Bradley Sands, a spotlight on author Jordan Krall, reviews, and more!
Click HERE to order The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction (Issue Seven)!