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Streetlight

He waits under the bright light on the side of the street. Dark houses line the block, but no cars are visible. Not parked curbside, or in the driveways of the foreboding homes. His Lyft was supposed to be here minutes ago, and now his phone was dead. The darkness between each lamppost seems impenetrable; something hides between those circles of light. It is hungry.

He suppresses a shudder as he thinks his eyes catch movement. Strange, he thinks, how irrational you can become in the darkness, when silence is the only companion, allowing your imagination to fill the space where life usually happens. But he can’t shake the sensation that there is a shark circling the spotlight of safety he is standing in. Waiting for him to step out of the light and into its waiting maw. It is hungry, after all.

He sees the oncoming headlights and pink light of his Lyft approaching and feels silly for the fear that had welled up inside him so easily when faced with the dark. As it passed a streetlight, the Lyft logo turns off. At the next, the headlights vanish into the shadows. It was still hungry.

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En Amarillo Part I

Just a small warning, this story contains plenty of violence and racism.

Joshua reached out and crushed the life out of the roach crawling along the windowsill, listening to the way the crunching sound rang so clear and loudly to his chemically boosted senses. He examined the white and black entrails on his fingers, the way the ichor didn’t run down his hands like blood should. Finally wiping his hand off on his jeans, he became aware that someone was talking to him. One of his favorite side effects of the meth was his ability to focus so intensely on what he wanted to focus on when he wanted to, drowning out the unpleasant side effects of life. Joshua didn’t look immediately at the source of noise, he knew who it was and what it was about. Instead, he let his eyes linger on the smoke coming from his cigarette and how dull the cherry looked through the washed out lights of their trailer home.

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At the Corpse

When we walked through that place, we became aware that we were not alone. The question was if we had ever been alone, or if he had been stalking us through fate and destiny to this moment and this place? Was he confined to a four-dimensional space like we are? Whatever the answer to those questions was, it was also meaningless. It was in that place that he found us. One by one we disappeared into the shadows casts by the moon against the thick trees.
Each time one of us went missing, we would murmur and suggest that we look, but we knew we wouldn’t. Some deep-seated knowledge, primordial in our core, knew that our friends were already dead. I didn’t know if they were tortured first, but at that point, I didn’t care. I only cared about escape. Each turn through the forests brought us to a new mist-shrouded corpse of trees. At each one, a new atrocity visited on an old friend. A corpse for each corpse. Tied or pinned to one trunk, skin stretched out welcoming us in carrion embrace to join forever in oblivion. We ran, we would not escape for long.

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Father’s Mission Conclusion

April 7th, 1723

Praise her, the veil is torn open, reality’s womb spilling forth a perfect creature. As promised with book and ritual, I went down to the larder as was joined by the compatriots, those loyal to our cause, and began the ritual. It is unnatural to perform such a ritual hidden away, it should be done in the starlight, under the moon and trees as sacred as our Mistress, but the necessity of hiding our actions forced us into this hole.

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The Tunnel

When I first discovered there was a tunnel in the park I had my doubts. After all, who would dig a hole, let alone a tunnel in a public park? The post, written on an obscure travel blog, designed to help urban explorers discover oddities, was as obscure and vague as it could possibly be. No pictures, no real description, even clicking on the link had been an accident. I had been looking for something to do, to distract myself from the leaden stomach and crushing loneliness she had left inside me. I had lived here for years, but had I experienced it? My sudden interest was inorganic, exploring and adventure was not my cup of tea. But now, I needed a new cup, and a new drink to fill it if I were going to learn how to live again. So, with pressure from more successful and happy friends I had begun to explore the possibilities. The park was not far, and a tunnel sounded safe enough, though I suppose there could be drifters and dangerous drug addicts within. But what was the worst that could happen, I lose a few bucks to panhandlers? With this mentality, I packed a backpack and headed to the park.

The tunnel had been easy to find using the instruction from the blog. Hidden behind the corpses of trees that lined the dry creek, it yawned wide, welcoming anyone who dared to venture inside. Only a few meters in I could see it shrank to a smaller size, and became impenetrably dark. This represented something primal to me, as though the tunnel itself was the birth canal that I would reborn from. The ground around the entrance was springy and soft, giving gently with each step, welcoming me. Moving deeper into the tunnel the ground grew sterner, chiding me for second thoughts. I moved my flashlight over the walls, looking for graffiti or anything interesting. I felt the rock catching my foot, my toes hooked under the stone and sending me sprawling into the wall, and into oblivion.

When I came to, I was lying on my side, my ankle throbbing, each heartbeat sending a fresh wave of agony through my leg. My flashlight was just out of reach, but as I reached for it, the sound of scuffling made me freeze. I followed the beam of light with my eyes and saw my backpack laying there on the ground halfway lit. It was open, rifled through. The meager guts spilled out on the tunnel floor. Something fluttered down from above. I grabbed it, finding the picture of her and me in front of her house last Christmas. A figure leaned down and smiled at me, a dangerous insane smile, and I couldn’t stop myself from screaming. Screaming long after the figure had grabbed my backpack and flashlight and left. Screaming until my voice hoarse and torn gave out.

It had been my face there smiling down from the shadows.

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Shards of Shattered Sentiments now available at Amazon!

 

 

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Ladies and gentlemen, I am incredibly pleased to announce that my first chapbook “Shards of Shattered Sentiments” is available from Amazon.com.

This book started as a warm-up exercise for me, I would pull up a list of various poetic formats, and attempt to write a horror poem in that format. It was a lot of fun, both exploring new forms and trying to write thematically.

Poetry in one form or another has been around almost as long as language. We have used it to communicate our joys and heartbreaks, our victories and our losses. But fear has also been a constant companion, and our ghost stories and monsters stretch their claws back into history as far as the eyes can see. It’s with this in mind that we begin our journey through various poetic forms, from traditional Japanese Haiku to more modernist takes such as The Bop. Exploring the rules that create these literary creations all while bending their use to telling scary stories. Heavily inspired by the American pulp horror writers of the 1930’s, this chapbook explores themes of madness and forgotten monsters. Haunted houses that demand sacrifice and sunken cities waiting to be rediscovered. 25 poems, each using different forms dive into the chilling and often deranged world of horror.

This will be the first of a three-part chapbook series. Each book will feature 25 different forms (for 75 total) and cover a different horror theme. This one deals heavily with insanity and Lovecraftian motifs. Our next book will feature Slashers and Serial Killers, and our third will feature Kaiju and monsters!

I encourage you to go pick up your copy, and write a review on Amazon for me, believe it or not, those reviews really help!

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Father’s Mission Part III

February 26th, 1723

We near a time of conjunction, the season when goats will breed and give birth is nearly on us, and I must make ready. The true education of Atohi has gone swifter than I had hoped, her natural inclination towards lust and anger give her the truest path towards the worship of the Holy Mother. I have decided that when it is time, that she will be given to the Thousandth Child and bring the Mother’s offspring into this place, it is only fitting that I reward such slavish devotion. Of course, the changes in such a new convert are harder to hide, and I have taken to keeping her hidden from the rest of the mission as much as I am able.

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Flash Friday: Welcomed Change

I stare at my hand. That’s where it starts, in my hand, it twitches, the skin bursts and instead of blood and viscera new skin shows through the seams of my body. It wasn’t human skin, scales, ridges, claws. I flexed my talons, watching the play of muscle under the scaled skin of my arm. I could feel the change taking the rest of my body.
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Father’s Mission Part II

February 17th, 1723

I was correct in my last entry, Paulo continued to ask questions, his infatuation with ideals not holding him back from questioning my directives. I have been making inroads with the natives, the key, as any church founder of Christianity could explain, is to bend the teachings of both the population in question and the faith you wish to instill until they seem indistinguishable. Give the savages the utter belief that their gods are in fact merely a mask worn by the God you wish for them to worship.

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Flash Friday: Remebrance

Pen scritched on paper, each line carefully drawn with the care that the artist showed no other object in this world. With every stroke, the artist added detail, or the hint of detail, so true to life, that it seemed to breathe on the page.

“It won’t be good enough.” The subject of her art rasped. She didn’t answer, taking time to sketch the curve of a cheekbone. “It won’t work.” It mocked.

She paused then, her face, which had been a passive mask as perfectly placid as any stone bust, suddenly broke into a snarl. Wordlessly she crumpled her beautiful sketch and threw it at her tormentor. It landed amidst the bones, disturbing a spider that had made its home in the desiccated ribcage. Slowly, the artist regained control of her breathing and began to sketch again, ignoring the hundreds of similarly wadded pieces of paper lying around her.