And steeples pierce the cloud on her shoulder And the streets that the fisherman combed When his long-legged flesh was a wind on fire And his loin was a hunting flame.” - Dylan Thomas
I'm sorry, sir, we no longer carry those sorts of books. You should know better.” The officious young sales-clerk shifted his weight from one foot to the other. “In fact,” he continued sensing his advantage, “I could report you for even asking.” Beads of perspiration appeared on the forehead of the disheveled looking middle-aged man on the other side of the counter as the store employee continued. “They keep a national registry now of everyone whose, well, you know … whose tastes run in that direction.
By now the other customers in the store had taken notice of the conversation. Camera phones were discretely recording the encounter. Embarrassed and more than a little concerned about how much attention he had attracted, Ashe, the man making the inquiry, buttoned his stained and tattered overcoat and left the bookshop.
Outside, a harsh November wind was blowing and it had just started to rain. Ashe turned and made his way three or four blocks north on Front Street. Before long, neon lights from the peep shows, strip joints and seedy bars that proliferated in the area reflected garishly off the wet pavement. More than once he had to rebuff the lurid offers made by the barkers and hustlers standing in dimly lit doorways trying to drum up trade.
Looking down at his hand he noticed that, somewhere along the way, he had acquired a flyer advertising one of the adult movie theaters he had passed. The paper was wet from the rain and crumpled from the pressure of his fist. As a result, its colors had begun to run and merge. The image it once bore of a large-breasted woman with moist, pouty lips had become hideously distorted. Ashe wasn’t sure how much more he could take. When the urge hit him like it had this evening, there was only one thing that brought him relief. Still, he had to be careful.
Head down and collar up against the chill, he turned off Front Street and found himself on McQuaid Avenue. The neighborhood was even more rundown. Both sides of the street were lined with disreputable looking hotels advertising hourly rates. Ashe remembered when many of those same places were luxury establishments catering to the rich and famous. Off to his left, old St. Mary’s Cathedral, once a magnificent structure, was now a hulking ruin. Ashe’s shoes, socks and pant legs were soaked; he had been splashed when a carload of teenagers drove purposely through a large puddle at the side of the road. “There you go, ‘Pops’. That’s the closest thing to a bath you've had in a month” they jeered as they went roaring by.
As he passed the mouth of Kleghorn Alley, Ashe felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned to see a wan looking young man of twenty-five or thirty-years-old with short, dark hair. Now, I’ve done it, he thought. It’s bad enough that I lost my composure at the bookshop but now I’m going to be mugged.
Hey, mister,” the stranger said as he gripped Ashe’s elbow lightly, “I saw what happened back at the store. I can get you what you want.
Ashe considered fleeing, but before he had a chance, the younger man made a series of arcane gestures with his right hand. Almost reflexively, Ashe followed suit. Without another word, the man with the black hair turned and started walking quickly down the Alley. In the throes of his compulsion, Ashe followed. Overhead he saw a network of rusted fire-escapes. The yellow light oozing from around curtained windows cast eerie shadows on soot-stained brick.
They walked in silence for five minutes or so. Just before they got to the end of Kleghorn where it debouched onto Wilson Boulevard, the man in the lead turned and descended a series of worn, concrete steps. He rapped three times on the frame of an ancient door inset with two large panes of leaded glass. The entire structure was covered by an iron grating. Ashe heard the sound of a bolt being withdrawn and a chain being unfastened. The door opened slightly and then closed again. Ashe heard the sound of another chain. The door reopened and the two men went quickly inside.
If Ashe had been surprised by meeting another individual in public who obviously shared his predilection, he was utterly shocked by what he now saw. In the first place, the man who admitted them was clearly the oldest person he had ever seen; he was stooped, with long grey hair and a grey beard stained yellow by nicotine. That someone like this had so long escaped the government roundups and subsequent “re-education” programs of the last ten years was nothing short of a miracle.
What really took Ashe’s breath away, however, were the books and magazines. There were shelves upon shelves of them piled high. Like a somnambulist, he lurched forward and began tracing the lettering on the cover of one and rubbing his hands lovingly over the spine of another.
As you can see, sir,” his young guide said, “Mr. Rood has the finest selection of such volumes left in the city. Browse around as long as you like. Obviously, we have to insist on your complete discretion.
Ashe had a thousand questions but he was too absorbed in the books to give voice to any of them. He picked up one particularly attractive volume and opened it at random. His breath caught in when he saw the illustration: a half-naked woman astride a strange beast with numerous heads and spiky, menacing horns. It was all there within the pages – adultery, incest, rape and perversion. Thumbing back to the front of the text, he came upon another image. This time he gazed at two nude figures – one male and one female – in a decidedly suggestive pose. The couple was surrounded by lush, exotic vegetation. Ashe’s palms were sweaty and his pulse was racing as he began to read: "In the beginning …"

Copyright: © 2009 James C. Clar
James C. Clar's work has been published in print as well as on the Internet. To date he has written over 200 stories in a variety of genres ... fantasy, science fiction, mainstream and noir. A few of those stories are even worth reading. Fewer still might even be worth remembering!

‘Earl, get the door,’ Fran said. She was standing at the sink peeling potatoes, and thinking how unusually dark and hazy it was outside for a Sunday morning in the middle of spring. ‘I thought I heard someone knock.

‘There’s no-one out there,’ Earl replied, looking up from his game of solitaire. Since his retirement from the postal service last July, he seemed to enjoy spending his free time arguing with her about everything, from the right way to fold a tablecloth to the wrong way to fold a hand in a game of cards. ‘I bet it’s just that stupid cat scratching at the flap again. Thing’s blinder than you are. When is that roast going to be ready? I’m starving.’

You just had breakfast.’

‘I’ve spent the last forty-five years of my life—’

‘—serving your country, and now that you’re retired you’re going to damn well enjoy your last few years on this Earth anyway you damn well please. I know, Earl. I know.’

There was a loud thud, and the front door shook.

They looked at each other. Earl’s eyes narrowed.

Abruptly, he pushed his chair away from the kitchen table and stood up. ‘It’s that damned paper boy. You know how many times I’ve hollered at him about throwing the paper at the house? One day it’s in the water fountain, the next on the roof. Mark my words: he’s going to break a window one of these days.’

Earl walked to the front door in long strides, looking a little like Hue Hefner, still dressed as he was in his pajamas and robe. ‘I’ll fix the little vandal.’

‘Leave him alone, Earl. He’s just a kid.’ Fran watched as her husband reached for the door, saddened by the realisation that the gentle, though sometimes excitable, twenty-two-year-old she had married all those years ago had finally made the transformation into a grumpy old man. She turned the leg-of-lamb over and gave it a generous sprinkling of rosemary and thyme. How many of these had she cooked for the old grouch, she wondered. At least he got to retire. What did she get? She got to make the Sunday roast until the end of days.

‘You ever tried reading the sports page when it’s soaking wet or smeared in dog turd?’ he asked. ‘If I want to spend the last few years of my life reading …’

Earl swung the door open and was shocked into silence when it fell off its hinges. Long, charred claw marks ran along the outside of its stained wood paneling. There was no cat, no paper delivery boy, and no neighbourhood. The landscape beyond his porch steps was a writhing chaos of smoke and flame. He saw something skitter from the corner of one eye; something else chirruped menacingly from deep within the inferno.

‘Oh, stop your whining, Earl,’ Fran said over her shoulder. ‘It’s not like it’s the end of the world.’

"The Last Roast"
Copyright: © 2009 Eugene Gramelis
Eugene Gramelis is a barrister and dark fiction writer from Sydney, Australia where he lives with his beautiful wife and two gorgeous daughters. His fiction has appeared, or is scheduled to appear, in publications such as MicroHorror, Crime and Suspense Magazine, Flashes in the Dark, The Daily Tourniquet, Midnight Echo, Afterburn SF and The New Flesh. Please feel free to visit Eugene's official webpage:

The rumbling deep within the earth’s crust awakened Lucien from his dreamless sleep. How long had he been without awareness? He rode the wave of molten lava to the surface, cat-eye pupils shrinking in the unaccustomed brightness of sunlight hitting the deep blue water.

The island was gone, sunk as they cast him into the crevice. They sealed their doom the day they sought to destroy him. Atlantis was no more, yet he lived on, awaiting the inevitable moment of his resurrection.

Call him demon or jinn, neither label fit nor did it matter. Once more, the world lay beneath his feet, ripe with possibilities. Let the feast begin anew, he thought, and rode the wind to a new civilization.

Lucien grew puzzled as he walked amongst the pitiful humans in this place. No one knew him or seemed to care. He strolled through a park next to the sea, a tall bridge crossing an expanse of it. They called the year 1968 by their way of tracking time. It meant nothing to him, without a reference point from the past to guide him.

His stance didn’t strike fear in the hearts of these souls. A few even handed him flowers. These people intrigued him. He would stay awhile; learn more about them.

A thick haze enveloped Lucien as he mingled amongst laughter and music, causing him to sway in time to the gentle beat. Soon more people arrived, all dressed in blue, intent on harm with their sticks. He set them on fire for their efforts; his new friends nodded their approval and stuck a small square of paper in his mouth.

Lucien soared over the city, lighting fires in each building where the blue men congregated. He noticed the red trucks trying to help, so vanquished them as well. “Groovy,” the man next to him exclaimed, but his face turned into a monstrous visage so Lucien eliminated him. Soon his new friends ran, fearful and no different from the Atlantians of so long ago. Lucien watched the flowers curl into smoky wisps as they caught fire from molten flesh, heard chanting turn into screams.

He awoke the next morning in a park, the city around him a smoldering ruin. He couldn’t remember previous events, but clearly, no one lived in this burnt-out shell. Lucien wondered what had drawn him here in the first place, but gave up trying to recall and headed south in search of new souls to harass.

"Demons And Acid Don't Mix"
Copyright: © 2009 Laura Eno
Laura Eno ( has written two YA fantasy novels and a paranormal romance. Her flash fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Twisted Dreams, The Monsters Next Door, Flashes in the Dark, 10Flash, House of Horror, The New Flesh, Everyday Weirdness and MicroHorror.

The chairman of the Emergency Committee straightened his outlandishly fat polka-dot tie and nodded at me. He stood in the middle of a circle composed of concerned townspeople like myself. Most of us sat in old fold up chairs that we found scattered on our front lawns, ones we otherwise might have thrown out.

After an introductory greeting and some exchange of pleasantries, I had raised the most pressing issue concerning what we could do about the dumping of garbage on our front lawns from nearby towns. Our town was small and farther from the city than any other. No one ever passed through our town to stop and visit.

A bald headed man with small spectacles raised his hand and pointed out that these nearby towns themselves were being used as garbage dumps from the city. With an annoying stammer, he said that the city's private companies were sneaking garbage to unload in the middle of night. None of us asked him how he knew this or if he had secret connections.

"Whatever," said a young divorcee, with bulbous nose and overly stretched skin from a botched cosmetic surgery," it's getting to be too much."

She then described how her front lawn was filled with rusted bicycle parts, parts of engines, worn gaskets and gears, rig-sized tires, crumpled cereal boxes, syringes, egg shells, Russian dolls smeared with blood, plastic hands with fingers ripped off, notebooks and diaries with pages torn.

"Why I can't even see past my lawn anymore."

The bald headed man agreed. He said if this continues we won't be able to see the sky.

The Fire Chief of our town stood up and in a gravelly voice proposed that taxes be raised to invest in a giant incinerator. He then discussed the cost and kind of materials and what hazards this might entail. A couple of us smiled at each other. He was notorious for getting high and going to meetings with glassy eyes.

The town's comptroller spoke out. "No," he said, "this would introduce another source of pollution to our skies and expose us to the possibility of toxic gases. Not to mention the cost. Why should we pay for the negligence of others."

There was some banter going in the back of the room. It was turning hot and I found myself looking at the clock on the wall, very much like the one in P.S. 98 that I watched as a youth when summer days approached. I wondered if it too was once a piece of discarded junk that someone had rescued.

The chairman paced back and forth in the middle of the circle, hands in his pocket, head down, giving courteous consideration to all suggestions.

A husky but brain-injured war veteran threw out the notion of everyone digging tunnels, building a nexus of them, until they reached the underground centers of nearby towns. Perhaps even the city. We would fill these tunnels with the debris and refuse found on our front lawns.

This suggestion was unanimously vetoed for many reasons, not the least of which was the thought of these tunnels becoming backed up, of living over islands, passageways festering with garbage and rats. How could we sleep at night with the thought of those plastic limbs or discarded metal teeth pressing against our floors, a zombie-like presence beneath our beds.

Finally, a retired English professor who worked part-time as a librarian, a woman whom we all loved but whose ideas we never took seriously, spoke in her usual shaky voice. She had recently published a memoir in which she claimed she was once part of a traveling circus before becoming a poet. She had written in agonizing detail about two clowns she fell in love with as a young and utterly charmed girl. Both clowns, I assumed, by now must have been long dead.

"Mr. Chairman. Please do not laugh at me. I propose we build a gigantic canvas over our town. We will work at this day and night, on scaffolds, stepladders. We will hang bright lights so we will never know darkness. When completed, it will foster a stronger sense of our community, of what we can achieve by teamwork. And if those garbage trucks come in the night, if they burst through our simple but beloved circus, I will take a match and set fire to our enormous tent, the way I once did to those jesters who tricked me into loving them. We will turn into the sky‘s most beautiful refuse, drifting over the city like ghosts, causing our smug bedfellows below a sense of eternal guilt."

The room fell silent. Not even a pin drop.

The chairman of the committee cleared his throat and thanked all of us for coming. He instructed us to jot down any ideas we might have to alleviate the problem. We filed out. No one stopped to chat, or for that matter, even looked at each other.

I woke up somewhere in the middle of the night. I wandered outside my apartment and walked down the main street that always ran east to west. I had this vague urge to explore, to walk past our town‘s boundaries, which I heard, resembled a triangle.

I found the old librarian standing in the middle of the street, a queer smile spread across her face, looking up at the stars, holding a single matchstick in one hand. It was a large match, the kind used in starting camp fires. The garbage trucks never did arrive that night. But in the distance, I could smell something burning.

Copyright: © 2009 Kyle Hemmings
Kyle Hemmings lives and works in New Jersey, where he sometimes skateboards, attempts backflips, and misses.


She smiled into the grainy gray-darkness of the room. It's only light the golden outline of the bathroom door. He could be heard within, humming the wedding march punctuated by the sound of the water rushing into the tub as he turned off the shower.

Even in the near total darkness her eyes had adjusted and she saw the room clearly. Richly appointed in Mahogany and glass the furnishings exquisite the sterling silver champaign bucket surrounded by white roses and baby's breath sat upon the table like a study in still life. The room was perfect to the last detail. A little girls dream come true.

She lay there in the king-size bed seemingly poured into a pool of down filled satin comfort, She wore the ivory negligee her BFF Joline had given her at the bridal shower last week. It seemed a tad snug when she tried it on earlier, though she supposed that was to be expected.

The wedding had been fabulous, her father had pulled all the stops to provide his daughter the type of send off that those of a certain circle would expect. The church had decorated to the rafters in White Rose and Chiffon. The dress, tailor made by one of the immortal names in fashion. From her mother she borrowed the antique bracelet worn by each of her sisters in their walks up the isle, and would be worn by their daughters in turn. The blue item had been donated by one of the male dancers in a review her friends had convinced her to attend. It now hung in the back of the hotel closet both dessicated and unblinking.

The humming had stopped. She could smell a hint of mint. She heard him brushing his teeth. He was so very conscious of his body, one might even say vain. She waited patiently while he primmed and preened, imagining the look on his face when he came in and saw his new bride waiting there in their marriage bed.

She heard him shut off the water. Her pulse quickened with excitement. She sat up slightly and arranged her long brown hair, fanning it out and then settling back against the pillow, she waited breathlessly.

The door cracked open, and the light spilled into the room. She could see his silhouette in the doorway, tall and muscular, hair meticulously sculpted, naked from the waist up with a towel wrapped low on his hips. Whistling appreciatively she could feel he gentle warmth building in her core as he moved slowly towards the bed.

His scent reached her first causing her to grip the edge of the mattress. The distance he had left to cover drawn out with his teasing steps. Her body was writhing with need. He could tell. She knew he could tell by the smile on his face as he leaned down over the bed. He slid his hand towards her, the satin whispering under his palms moving as he came closer, ever closer.

Whatever he had been about to say. (and she was sure it was something romantic). Would have to wait, because as his hand began to slide over the smooth taut skin of her belly, he found a surprising dampness. The second set of jaws clamped down over his wrist snapping it off clean, and causing him to open his mouth to scream.

And as he was the love of her life, she found the sight of his open mouth far too inviting, and leaned up for a kiss. And then she let the child, their child, feed.

"The Bridal Sweet"
Copyright: © 2009 W K Pickens

Rex Miles pushed the manhole cover off and was instantly grabbed by two large men that looked like professional wrestlers. They pulled him up and stood him in front of Edgar Plump. A whale of man nicknamed Plump the Lump.

“Mr. Miles,” Edgar said, smiling with ample, pale lips. “You’ve disappointed me. A great assassin as yourself should’ve known that I would have cameras set up throughout that sewer system. When you’ve pissed off as many people as I have, you can never be too careful.” He nodded at the two men and ordered, “Get his gun, boys. I know that the son-of-a-bitch has got one.”

One of the men patted Rex down and produced a small, sleek black revolver.

Edgar Plump waddled over and took the gun. Then turned to Rex and stood face-to-face with him. Rex could smell the combination of bourbon and chicken wings on Edgar’s breath as he said, “Now, Mr. Miles, please tell me who wants to kill me?”

“Why does it matter, Mr. Plump?” Rex shrugged his broad shoulders.

“You’re going to be dead in a matter of minutes anyway.”

Edgar let out a strained, wheezy chuckle. “Is that so?” he asked, rolling his eyes and pointing the revolver at Rex. “Because it looks like to me that you are the one in trouble.” He raised his thin eyebrows. “Not me.”

Rex smiled like a predator eyeing his prey. “I like the position that I am in,” he said, crinkling his brow. “I’ve already been paid to kill you.”

“By who?” Edgar huffed, waddling around in circles shaking his greasy, dark head.

“By someone that wants you dead,” Rex answered hastily. He pulled a small knife from his sleeve with breakneck speed, and stabbed one of the men in the temple. Then slit the other man’s throat. They fell to the ground as Edgar Plump’s pale-brown eyes widened. He raised the revolver with a trembling, thick hand.

“Mr. Miles,” Edgar gasped, cocking the hammer back on the gun, “stop or I’ll kill ya!” He wiped the sweat off of his brow with his free hand and took a moment to think. “Maybe we can make a deal?” he said, swallowing the huge lump that rested in his throat. “I’m always looking for people to do my dirty work,” he paused and looked at his dead bodyguards, “and it appears that I have two openings available.”

“Sorry, Mr. Plump,” Rex began, looking down the barrel of his own gun, “but my current job is to kill you, and a dead man can only write cold checks.”

“But I’m the one with the gun,” Edgar shook the gun.

“I know,” Rex nodded. “But with a nickname like Plump the Lump, I am sure that you don’t know how to use it.” An evil smile curled Rex’s lips.

“I’ll show you!” Edgar hissed, pulling the trigger.

The gun clicked. Edgar looked at it with immense dismay. He aimed the gun again and pulled the trigger.


Rex stood there looking bored. He straightened a wrinkled in his black jacket, and popped his knuckles. “The gun is empty, Mr. Plump. And in a matter of minutes so will your head.”

Edgar bit at his bottom lip and pulled the trigger again.

Click. Click!

Edgar let out a exhausted sigh. “Are you sure that we can’t work out a deal? I have money, Mr. Miles, and lots of it!” He grinned sheepishly.

Rex didn’t say anything. He walked back over to the manhole cover and flipped it over. There was his favorite gun, a nine-millimeter Beretta, duct-taped to the inner housing. He yanked the Beretta free, and turned around in time to see Edgar Plump charging at him like a bull. Rex stepped aside as Edgar fell into the manhole opening. His hefty body lodged in the hole like he was a human drain plug.

Rex cocked an eyebrow. “You’re making this too easy.”

“Wait!” Edgar yelled. “You wouldn’t shoot an unarmed man… would ya?”

Rex raised the gun. “I would,” He pulled the trigger. “And I did. That’s just the way a life of an assassin is, Mr. Plump. You meet some interesting people then… you blow their fucking head off.”

"Plump the Lump"
Copyright: © 2009 Chad Case
Chad Case lives in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, with his wife, Melissa. He enjoys writing short horror fiction in his spare time. To date his works have been published on, The New Flesh Blogzine, Flashes In The Dark, and in the anthology: Toe Tags.


Saturday morning, Grandma Cody discovered rotting meat in her basement. She followed her nose downstairs, cane in hand, and flipped open the freezer chest. She doubled over, gagging, turning her face away. The stench was like rotten fish sautéed in bile.

Freezer must have conked out about Tuesday, she figured. Not that she used it. No, that nice young man who rented the upstairs stored his deer meat there. What was his name? Timmy? Teddy? Something like that. Whatever, she’d have to leave him a note.

Detective Rivera was pissed. Three murders on his watch, and his captain was all over him. The first had been a Friday night a month ago, then one each week for two more weeks. The heads had been left at different bus stops along Hyde Park Avenue, inside Hefty trash bags. Just the heads. No bodies. Rivera had checked all the usual dumping grounds. Nothing. Where does this psycho toss his stiffs, Rivera wanted to know.

He picked up a Post-It note with an address and a time scribbled on it, signed by his crazy partner. Rivera looked at his watch and grunted and grabbed his coat.

“No rest for the weary?” Brockman said, looking up from his desk.

“Goin’ to Thompson Street,” Rivera answered.

“At least you got dead guys,” Brockman said. “They stay dead.” He held up some papers. “Third missing person this month,” he said. He shrugged. “When these guys get tired of screwing around on their wives, they come home all by themselves. Don’t stay missing very long. But who gets to file the reports? Me.”

“That’s what I like about you, Bill,” Rivera said. “Always looking on the bright side.” Rivera let the door close behind him and headed out to the black and white. Time for Cap to transfer Brockman’s ass, Rivera thought. He’d have to leave him a note.

Tommy Mulry was nervous. He and his partner had been working these Hyde Park murders without success. The heads had all the teeth pulled out, so dental records were no help. But Rivera wanted to pursue the DNA route. Send some skin scrapings in to the Crime Lab and see if they got any matches. If they could ID the heads, they might figure out some scenarios. Mulry sat upstairs by his bedroom window cleaning his Glock 9mm. He saw Rivera’s car nosing into the driveway. Finally, he thought. He screwed the suppressor onto the front of the Glock and took his position beside the door. When Rivera knocked and stepped into the room, Mulry put two rounds into his partner’s head.

Ten o’clock that night, Mulry crept down the basement stairs with various parts of Rivera wrapped up in a sack and the toothless head in a separate trash bag. Nobody was sending him up for murder, Mulry thought. Okay, so he had a few dalliances with men in public bathrooms. So what? Everybody gets sloppy now and then. But his bathroom Valentinos didn’t get it. There wasn’t any future in it for them. One even tried to blackmail him.

Mulry’s gag reflex kicked in half-way down the stairs. He staggered into the basement and found Grandma Cody’s note on the dead freezer. Sure, he thought, he’d clean it out. He’d clean it all out. Good thing the old lady was in bed.

Mulry grabbed a shovel and dragged Rivera’s body back up the stairs. He’d start with this one, then move the others out one by one. Then he’d ditch Rivera’s head. He’d catch hell from the old lady for digging up her garden. It’d be okay, he figured. He’d have to leave her a note.

Grandma Cody didn’t like people messing around in her garden. No one else was allowed in there. She was getting a little hot under the flannel collar watching Mulry drag his bags in there and start shoveling along the back wall. That was a bad spot, she knew. Sure enough, he hit something hard and stopped. He bent down, screwing his face up into a quizzical stare.

That was enough. Grandma Cody threw on her bathrobe, grabbed her cane, and stumped on out to the backyard. She came right up to Mulry, who pointed at a bone sticking out of the ground.

But Grandma Cody didn’t look. She touched Mulry with the tip of her cane and twisted the handle, releasing the spring-loaded needle into his back. He jerked around and grabbed for her, but fell to his knees. It would be quick, Grandma Cody knew. It always was.

They knew they weren’t supposed to go into the garden. But did they listen? Now she would have to invent another story about another tenant bolting in the middle of the night, stiffing her for the rent. She grabbed the shovel.

When the police came the next day she led them straight to the basement.

“He seemed like such a nice young man,” Grandma Cody said, prodding the garbage bag with her cane. She held her hand over her nose. “But when I found this, well, that’s when I called you.”

The detectives asked her a few more questions and thanked her for her diligence.

“I don’t get it,” said the fat one, as they waited outside for the Medical Examiner. “Mulry on the run without a car? Why leave the car?”

“Who escapes in a squad car?” the Captain answered. Jesus, he thought, Brockman was dumber than dirt. Better transfer him. And soon. He’d have to leave himself a note.

“Nice garden,” Brockman said, looking at the neatly turned rows of topsoil.
Align Right
“Yeah,” said the Captain. “That old lady sure can dig.”

"Freezer Blues"
Copyright: © 2009 Robert Meade
Robert Meade is a transplanted Bostonian now firmly rooted in Mohegan Lake, in Westchester County, NY, with his wife and three children. He teaches at Loyola School in Manhattan. He won the Wordweaving Award for Excellence for his book, Daily Bread: Seven Days to aHealthier Soul. A published author of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, his recent work has appeared in Angels on Earth magazine and online at Guideposts and Apollo’s Lyre.

Penelope Aftergut slipped on her red stilettos and wrapped her long thick blonde hair in a tight bun securing it with a ice pick. The black slacks and red sweater ensemble she donned almost made her look like every other mother. She would remove her clothes during the activity. She examined herself in the full length mirror and applied her signature blood red lipstick to her perfect, pouty lips.

“Sara, I have to go,” Penelope said walking into the living room and leaning down pushing her ten-year old daughter’s hair behind her ears. “Grandma will be here in ten minutes. Think you can manage Brian for that long?”

Penelope kissed the top of Sara’s head, grabbed her Louis Vuitton and opened the front door. With one last look at her daughter she said, “Call me if you need me, or if Grandma doesn’t show.”
“Sure mom,” Sara huffed, crossing her arms. “Have fun at the PTA meeting with that stupid Mr. Hodensack. Johnny said he’s a cult leader and likes to eat children!”

“I know honey.”

Penelope arrived at the meeting and sat in a chair on the aisle in the back row wanting to make sure that Mr. PTA President saw her. Glancing around she saw each of her special friends. She had her reasons for wanting to kill Jeffrey Hodensack and her friends were along for the ride.

The cafeteria was half-full when he took the podium. Pledge allegiance by the boy scouts and that’s when he noticed Penelope. Bile rose in Penelope’s throat as his eyes pierced her soul. A cult leader he was, and he was good at it. Charismatic. Charming. Influential. And a passionate speaker.

She could smell the vile, evil creature within him. A door slammed and everyone’s focus was shed on the side door and Penelope’s heart thudded as…
Rex Miles stood in the doorway looking as out of place as a, well, as an assassin at a PTA meeting. He wore all black and had a crazed look upon his face.

Just like I remember him, Penelope thought. She intimidated most men. But not Rex. He did things to her no other man had on their one night together. He stood her up on what was to be their second escapade. God help her, she wanted him now. Heat swarmed within her. Her eyes narrowed in anger and glimmered with passion. Penelope got up and made a beeline towards him. She slammed him on his shoulder and hissed, “What the hell are you doing here?”

“Penelope Aftergut, you remembered that I like it rough,” Rex said smoothly. “How have you been?”

“Don’t fuck with me, Rex!” She looked him up and down and thought of those hands touching, rubbing, pinching, plunging and she shivered.
Rex’s lips curled into a crafty smile. “Oh, I’ve already done that.”

The meeting continued as Jeffrey Hodensack began to speak. The crowd now focused on him instead of the back of the room where Rex and Penelope stood.

“Bastard, you could have done it again too,” she replied. “Now tell me why you’re here.”

“You know me, Penelope. I’m an assassin,” Rex glanced at the podium.

“I’m here to kill Jeffery Hodensack.”

“The hell you are,” Penelope snapped back. “That’s why I’m here!”

“Well,” Rex began, “I was paid to kill Jeffery Hodensack, and his followers. So…” They looked around the room. “I guess there is enough killing that will satisfy both of our needs.”

“I have some friends here to help.” Penelope smiled brightly and brushed up against Rex whispering in his ear. “This is going to be fun.” She removed the ice pick from her bun and shook out her hair. “I hope to have fun with just you afterwards.” She showed Rex the ice pick and started to undress.

Rex grinned, “I think that can be arranged.”

Hodensack’s voice rose like a dictator addressing his army. With a nod from Penelope, her special friends barricaded the doors. Rex pulled two nine-millimeter Beretta’s from his shoulder hostlers. He looked over at Penelope and asked, “Do you want to kill Hodensack?”

“Yes,” she said with yearning desire.

Rex aimed at Jeffery Hodensack and pulled the trigger. Hodensack grabbed his chest as blood began to pour out of the wound. A large man wearing a gray suit lunged at Rex, but Penelope jammed the ice pick into his throat.

“Damn!” Rex quipped. “I knew there was a reason I liked you.” He raised the Beretta at a man who was running towards them screaming, “You asshole! You’ve shot Jeffery! You’re trying to kill him!” Rex shrugged a shoulder and pulled the trigger. The man’s head flew backwards as the back of his skull disappeared in an array of blood, bone and brain matter.

Penelope smiled and said, “Now, it’s time for me to play.”

Blood pooled around Jeffrey’s mid-section as Penelope stood above him. Even dying he looked like the filthy wolf he was. His eyes opened and closed and she watched in amusement. She was only vaguely aware of the screams and gunfire surrounding her. Jeffrey reached a hand out and grabbed Penelope’s ankle. She shook it away. “Don’t fuck with my children,” she said and laid a well placed stiletto imprint on his arm.

* * *

Penelope followed Rex to the same place of their first encounter. She watched as Rex got a room and walked over to her car. Penelope was still reeling from the thrill of the kill and from what would prove to be the best night of her life.

“Ms. Aftergut,” Rex said.

“Mr. Miles,” she said as she exited her car. He grabbed her by the back of her hair and yanked her head back so she looked up at him. “Foreplay starting already, Rex?” She smiled.

“Foreplay started an hour ago,” He kissed her hard while freeing the bloody ice pick from the tight bun. He released her and a grin spread on her face.

“We won’t need this,” Rex said, tossing the ice pick into her car. “I’ve got something else that I’d like to poke you with.”

"The Meeting"

Copyright: © 2009 Suzie Bradshaw & Chad Case


Suzie Bradshaw loves speaking and writing about herself in the third person. She doubts that light is really the fastest thing in the Universe and in her next life she will prove Einstein wrong. But in this life all she wants to do is write. Is that a song? A list and links to her stories can be found at her blog at She's never been happier in her life and would like to thank you for reading.

Chad Case lives in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, with his wife, Melissa. He enjoys writing short horror fiction in his spare time. To date his works have been published on, The New Flesh Blogzine, Flashes In The Dark, and in the anthology: Toe Tags.

The anticipation was nearly unbearable. Dr. Raymond Shelton’s arms fought against the restraints against his will. His hands balled into angry fists and his fingernails dug into his palms.

He gritted his teeth and ignored the pain. Soon, he hoped, it would be all over and the threat would be at an end.

His mind-control experiment had been successful. The worms that he had created slithered up into his patients’ noses and then burrowed straight into their brains. But before he had the chance to take control of them, the worms had taken over.

Soon after, he was overpowered by several of the patients. They forced him onto a table and placed, what turned out to be the alpha worm, into his nose. It burrowed through soft tissue and his skull before finally finding its mark. Dr. Shelton’s associates stormed in and destroyed the patients and then strapped him into a chair. They had hoped to figure out how to destroy the worm without causing any harm to its respective host.

Dr. Shelton’s assistants worked around the clock experimenting on animals with different serums and chemicals. Inevitably all of the hosts were killed in the experiments.

Meanwhile, Dr. Shelton’s brain screamed. White hot pain coursed through his body. The worm wanted control, but Dr. Shelton fought it with all the strength he could muster. But he gradually became weaker and his concentration slowly began to fade.

Dr. Camilla Jefferson shined a light into Dr. Shelton’s exhausted eyes. She looked concerned. Dr. Shelton felt a mild flutter of panic in his ragged body. He watched her whisper to the other doctors. They glanced at him disconcertingly. It would be over soon, he realized. Death was the only way out.

The worm must have sensed it too. Dr. Shelton’s body began to convulse involuntarily. Again it strained against the arm and leg cuffs that held Dr. Shelton’s body in place.

Large lumps of contracted muscle rose on his forearms, just above his wrists. Long cords of veins swelled as his arms shook furiously against the restraints.

Dr. Shelton cried out as both arms cracked loudly. He watched as the bones in both forearms pierced his flesh. They continued to rise as his hands remained clamped down. He howled in pain as the flesh split off like a banana peel.

The jagged ends of his bones raked against his neck, crudely paring the skin. His entire body was alight with pain. It was as if every nerve had been severed.

The doctors watched in horror across the room. The lab’s patriarch was flaying himself right before their very eyes. The sheer spectacle of it all kept them from interfering.

Finally blue and red strands snaked out from the gaping gash around the doctor’s neck. They slid out further and then pushed against the body like a maintenance worker pulling himself from a manhole.

Dr. Shelton’s head separated from his body. His veins and arteries were acting like a confused network of rudimentary legs. They flailed about, trying to get their grip. Dr. Shelton’s head dangled from the body for a moment and then finally dropped to the cool tile floor.

Dr. Jefferson was the first to snap out of her horrified stupor. She snatched a scalpel from a surgical tray and charged at the head.

An artery whipped at her and then wrapped around her throat. It barely needed to flex before her windpipe crushed. Her face was a disgusting shade of blue when she crumpled to the floor.

The head lifted itself with new-found self control. The vein and artery legs carried it closer to the other two doctors - Dr. Banks and the young Dr. Hinson. Dr. Banks flung open a stainless steel cabinet door. He grabbed several glass jars.

He threw them, one at a time, at the head. Most had no effect. Then one, marked: Hydrochloric Acid, seemed to slow it. The jar shattered at the head’s “feet.”

It stumbled a bit before wrapping an artery around the doctor’s throat. It required more effort than before, but it was able to successfully crush his windpipe.

The last doctor, Dr. Hinson, backed himself into the corner of the lab. He whimpered like a sad puppy. He crawled up onto the counter.

The worm sensed that the tissue was dying in the head. The lack of oxygen in the blood and the effects of the hydrochloric acid had nearly done Dr. Shelton’s head in. The time had come to take over a new host.

The worm sent a web of veins to Dr. Hinson. It pulled the head closer to him. Finally the head was nose to nose with Dr. Hinson, who was merely a quivering mess of emotions.

That would soon end.

The worm climbed out of the decapitated head of Dr. Shelton, and soon after, it burrowed into Dr. Hinson’s brain.

The head fell to the floor. The worm was pleased with its new host. Dr. Hinson was far lesser of a fighter than Dr. Shelton was. He commanded his new host to retrieve the other worms. There is much work to be done.


Copyright: © 2009 Brian Barnett


Brian Barnett lives with his wife, Stephanie, and son, Michael, in Frankfort, Kentucky.To date, he has published over forty-five stories since he began publishing in November 2008.

He has been published by, Flashes in the Dark, Static Movement, The New Flesh Blogzine, Midnight Screaming Magazine, The Monsters Next Door, Sonar4 Ezine, Blood Moon Rising, Flashshot, Black Lantern Blogzine, Dark Fire Fiction, Burst Fiction, The Daily Tourniquet, Yellow Mama, The Lesser Flamingo, and The Short Humour Site.

He was co-editor the anthology “Toe Tags: 21 Spine-Tingling Tales from the Best New Authors of Horror” with William Pauley III.

"Worms" originally appeared on Flashes In the Dark on 8.3.09

It began when Mrs. Morrison gave me the meal worms. Every student in third grade got three. I named mine Ramesses, Thutmose, and Cleopatra. I thought of pharaohs when she gave us a dish full of crumbled Grape Nuts. The Grape Nut bits were cold and smelled like sawdust. They reminded me of sand, so I shoveled them all into pyramid shapes.

Every morning, first thing, we would file to the back of the class and take our trays. Then, we’d all write down our observations. At first, my meal worms didn’t do much. They didn’t even seem to eat their moldy bran flakes. Mostly I just poked them with the tip of my pencil. At best, they would squirm on the fat of their tails, scraping the lead with their tiny claws.

Then one morning they began to change. Cleopatra was the first. When I opened the dish, I noticed her face had turned bright green. Her body was an even brighter glowing green, and every now and then some egg-shaped bubbles pushed against her skin. I asked my teacher, “Is she pregnant? Is her skin supposed to do that?”

She barely even looked. “You need to focus on your work,” she said.

“I am!” I said, “I think she’s turning into something else.”

“Write that down in your notebook,” said Mrs. Morrison.

Soon all my worms were bright and green and pulsing. They tunneled through the pyramids and left a trail of something sticky. I scooped up a bit of the slime with my finger once. I almost screamed because I could see through my skin to the muscle and veins underneath. I drew a picture of my finger in my notebook. When I showed it to Mrs. Morrison, she made a face.

“What’s that?” she said.

“It’s my finger.”

“How did that happen?” she asked.

“It happened when I touched the slime.”

The recess bell rang. She said, “Get in line and stop worrying.”

When I returned to my desk, the meal worms were dead. They were rolled into strips of kleenex so they looked like little mummies. I placed them in the pyramids. I sealed them in with the muddy brown uneaten bran flakes. Don’t worry, I wanted to tell them, I won’t forget. But beginning that day, I had nothing to write in my notebook. After that, I just felt really stupid about the whole thing.

Copyright: © 2009 Meghan Lamb
----------------------------------Align Right

Rex Miles pulled the trigger back on his Remington 870 shotgun, and fired eight rounds into a shabby green and white mobile home. He reloaded the rifle and fired eight more rounds into the trailer. He walked slowly to the door, throwing the Remington over his shoulder, and pulled out a nine-millimeter Beretta out of his black wool coat. He kicked in the small wooden door, and found his target.

A man crawling on his stomach towards the phone. Blood flowed out of two gapping wounds. One in the leg, and the another in his lower back. Rex stepped over him quickly and yanked the phone cord out of the wall. Rex looked down at the man and asked, “Joseph Banks?”

The dark-haired man stopped and rolled over. He gazed up at Rex who wore all black. Joseph wheezed, “Maybe?” Blood oozed from his lips.

Rex tilted his head to one side. “I know it’s you, Mr. Banks.” he said. “I’m a hired gun, and I do my homework on all of my victims.”

“Assassin?” Joseph gasped, eyes blinking wildly. “But who’d want to kill me?”

“I’m not at liberty to say,” Rex started. “I just collect my money. Pull a trigger. And don’t ask any questions. Because if you ask questions… then it gets personal.”

“Then why didn’t you just kill me quickly?” Joseph uttered, coughing. “Like in the movies.”

“I could have,” Rex said, raising an eyebrow. “But business has been slow, and I wanted to try out my new gun.” He turned the Beretta slowly, so that Joseph could examine it. “You should feel privileged, Mr. Banks. You’ll be the first one kill with it.” “Wait,” Joseph yelled, breathing uneasy. “Wait. I’ve got money.” A pause. “Ten-thousand dollars in cold hard cash.” Another pause, swallowing hard. “Is that enough to let me live?”

“No,” Rex began, shaking his head. This is why you kill them with one quick shot, he thought. So you don’t have to listen to them beg. “It’s called the assassin’s creed. A jobs a job. And begging won’t get you anywhere.” Rex knelt down, pulled the hammer back on the Beretta and put the steel barrel to Joseph’s sweating forehead.

“Wait! Wait!” Joseph yelped. “What about a job? If I tell you where the money is… then will you kill…” he swallowed and drew a deep breath. “Whoever paid you to kill me?”

Rex pondered the thought, This is a first, and business has been slow. “I suppose,” Rex said, shrugging his broad shoulders. “Where’s the money?”

Joseph pointed to the hallway and coughed, “Under my bed. In an old shoebox.”

“Okay,” Rex said and pulled the trigger. He walked to the bedroom, and found the shoebox. Opened it to find ten-thousand dollars in one-hundred dollar bills.

Rex left the wreckage of the mobile home. Climbed into his black Tahoe, and looked into the mirror. “I guess the former Mrs. Banks will be my next assignment.” Along the way home Rex Miles paid a visit to Mrs. Banks. “A jobs a job,” he told her moments before he killed her.

He returned home at three in the morning. Checked his answering machine. No new messages. He checked the phone for a dial tone. “It’s working.” Rex grumbled with great disappointment.

He sat down at the kitchen table and cleaned his gun. He looked around his empty house. No television. No radio. No reading material. Just an old wall phone (that wasn’t ringing). “Someone must need my service,” he said to the Beretta. He cleaned the rest of his guns. When he was done he took a shower. Looked into the mirror and huffed, “I hate getting the shotgun blues.”

"Shotgun Blues"

Copyright: © 2009 Chad Case


Chad Case lives in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, with his wife, Melissa. He enjoys writing short horror fiction in his spare time. To date his works have been published on, The New Flesh Blogzine, Flashes In The Dark, and in the anthology: Toe Tags.

I can’t feel you anymore.

I woke this morning and sensed the absence of you. It used to be that I was more aware of you than my own breathing. Your thoughts ran a sort of wavelength beneath my own: a form of wordless background noise. That is the way that I remember it, as far back as I’ve known you. This empathy is part of what bound us together from the beginning

I know you so well. I know your routine.

Sometimes, I’d count your footsteps as you crossed the kitchen floor above me.

You have your morning coffee with a cigarette. You like eggs and bacon, toast buttered thickly.

I miss the sound of the radio playing. I miss that song that comes on every afternoon. It’s an old rock song about standing in the darkness and not being forgotten.

I can relate.

It’s only been two weeks I’ve been here, but it feels so much longer. I may not have been the perfect wife, but I loved you fiercely. I told you from the beginning that I was different.

And you knew that, didn’t you? We have known each other since we were little more than children. Surely an ordinary woman could not read your mind.

You loved me back then, didn’t you? We spent our teens together and married young. Somewhere in this basement , I still have our wedding album.

We were happy back then.

That was before you realized the truth.

I trusted you. And I shouldn’t have.

You never minded at all when I worked my abilities to your benefit. Mind control is such a subtle thing. A little push here, a tug there. Make that banker give you a loan for your construction business it should never have qualified for. Make your rivals meet with unfortunate , deadly accidents. Who would think anything of it? Yours is a perilous business. Men have been known to be crushed , buried or electrocuted by poor machinery.

A mere suggestion could solve so many problems.

I think what happened to your brother was too much. His blood was thicker than anything I had to offer you, wasn’t it? How many times can I apologize? All I can say is that he came after me. I am your wife. Some boundaries should be respected. Yes, I killed him. I made his heart stop. There was an artery, with the slightest defect which he’d had since birth. And with a little push, the quickest of thoughts, I was able to make it collapse.

To everyone, this was a tragedy, the natural death of a man in his prime. I am sorry for the pain this has caused you. But he got what he deserved.

I saw how you stared at me during the funeral. You knew.
So, you put me down here, in the basement. It was to protect everyone from me, you said.

Who, my darling, did you think would protect you?

I never imagined, with all the love between us that I could hate you. Life shows us things we cannot imagine.

Yesterday morning, I closed my eyes and thought of you. I pictured you sitting at the kitchen table, eating your eggs. And I imagined what it would be like if your throat started to constrict. How your eyes would widen because you couldn’t swallow.

It will take another day or so before they find your body slumped over the table. They will find me locked in the basement. I will tell them how stricken with grief you were, and that you locked me down here for two weeks.

That much won’t be a lie.

Maybe, if you hadn’t been alone, I could have helped you. Maybe if you hadn’t locked me away in the basement, you wouldn’t have choked and died on your own gall.

It’s over now, my darling. I wish you peace. Better yet, I promise it.

You won’t forget me.

"Don't Forget Me"
Copyright: © 2009 Lori Titus

When the first octopus fell from the clouds, Daniel Berck, a local evolutionist who witnessed the event, was sorely disappointed. He had always envisioned the mass exodus of invertebrates to undoubtedly originate from the sea, not drop into a cornfield. The creature, who when stretched out horizontally was the length of an average man, had yet to learn vocalization. Somehow it managed to burrow its name in the black soil with a fluid, almost cursive penmanship: Staam.

The scientific community was baffled. Through some harried diplomatic intervention, Staam was granted immediate political asylum. The philanthropic interest of a particularly keen lobbyist afforded the creature access to the remote beach of Jekyll Island off the south-eastern coast of Georgia. Over the next several weeks, Staam constructed what appeared to be a craggy garden composed of broken seashells and other miscellaneous ocean crustaceans.

Tourists snapped pictures of the beautifully-sculpted plot, and with downcast eyes, expressed only terrible pity for the obviously lonesome artist.

The following Sunday, the second octopus dropped from the sky into the center of Central Park in New York City. A third sighting purported a twenty-foot octopus squirming across a busy intersection in downtown Los Angeles.

During the press conference on Jekyll Island the following day, one reporter remarked that Staam’s so-called garden bore a striking resemblance to a medieval fortress.

Moments later, Staam wriggled through the knotted gate and rose vertically on two unusually long appendages. The crowd of paparazzi and government officials were stunned to silence. Staam continued to stretch four of his spotted tentacles up and above his muscular head. He closed his immense eyes and began to hum as he swayed side to side.

From behind his swollen mass came the clamor of clattering machinery, churning the agitated cogs and barnacled levers painstakingly crafted from mollusks and sand dollars. The illustrious device of his unique garden construct had sprung to life.

"What does it do?” One brave reporter queried over the sound. “What is it for?”

“Progress,” was the first and only word Staam ever spoke.

Then the great machine, adrift in deep, resonant vibrations, proceeded to toss men through the sky.

Copyright: © 2009 Angel Zapata
Angel Zapata often wishes he could commute to work via dropping down a well. That way, he could come crawling out of any TV like that darling, little girl from The Ring. Recent fiction has been published or is forthcoming in the Toe Tags Anthology, House of Horror's Best of 2009 Anthology, Mausoleum Memoirs, Flashes in the Dark, The New Flesh, Twisted Tongue, Morpheus Tales, and Flashshot. Visit his blog:


Betsy Boo did not live in a shoe. She lived in a large house with colorful walls, nice furniture, and a kitchen decorated in the finest décor. Since cows were her favorite, she had pictures of them grazing in fields or stickers stuck on the door of the refrigerator. There was even a clock in the shape of one, mooing every time the clock struck the hour.

Anyhow, she was an overly-compulsive-lady who kept the house clean. Any crevice where dirt lay had no chance of survival from her cleaner and rag. She would swipe the spot clean of dirt so it would shine, shine, shine.

One day, she felt as if someone was looking at her through the window. When she turned, no one was there. It gave her a slight chill, but she quickly brushed it off, thinking that it was only her imagination.

So, as the day progressed she went outside and slipped into her car. It was always a mystery to her that she did not ever have to steer the wheel because it delivered her exactly where she wanted to go, across the soft terrain of the ground, to her boyfriend’s house. His place was a bit smaller and looked as if it needed some work - a good cleaning I should add. Though, it didn’t stop her from enjoying her time with him.

To Betsy, he was very nice, sincere, and above all, handsome.

Soon, after eating lunch and drinking a cup of coffee, Betsy was sitting in her car and on the way back home. She felt her visits were never long enough. But, oh well. That night, while she sat in her favorite recliner, relaxing from cleaning the kitchen, she once again felt a presence looking at her through the window. And, as before, when she turned to look, it was gone.

This time it really gave her a chill!

So, the following day, while cleaning, she heard something rustle behind her. To her horror, coming through the front door was a gigantic hand. She froze. She tried to let lose a scream, but it stopped in her throat. She pressed against the wall and as it pulled her out of her house, she dangled in mid-air, inches from a large blue eye. A huge smile grew under a plump nose and the breath of chocolate and peanut butter covered her face.

From above, another giant hand reached down and wrenched Betsy Boo’s head off. Oddly, feeling no pain, watching as she drew away from her headless body, her head was placed on the ground.

And what came next was even more horrifying.

Another woman’s head was snapped onto Betsy’s body.

Betsy wanted to scream. She watched as the giant placed Betsy’s old body with the new woman’s head back into her house.

Now, she was mad!

Darkness came hours later as the head of Betsy still lay on the ground, forgotten. She would have figured the least the giant could do was to bury her properly. It was very rude.

So, Betsy decided to get her body back and return to her house. Whatever it took. How dare some huge hand steal her away from her own house! How dare some other woman come in and snatch away her only body and live in her house! Then, another terrified thought arrived: Charles, her boyfriend. Would this woman steal her love?

Now, she was not only mad, but furious!

Slowly, she managed to rock back and forth and roll her head toward the house. Luckily the ground was soft. If it had been hard, she figured she might have come away with a few bruises. In no time, the head of Betsy arrived on the porch.

Using her cheek, she tried to open the front door. It was unlocked! Good. Darkness fell inside with a spear of light coming through one window. She rolled inside and her eyes caught the silhouette of the woman sitting in a chair. Her favorite chair where she always relaxed after a tiring day of cleaning!

This would not do.

She rolled over to the woman’s feet and bumped them. Nothing happened. She bumped them again. It took three tries when, finally, the woman awoke.

She stirred in her seat.

“Hey!” Betsy shouted. “You there! Get out of my house and give me back my body!”
The woman peered down at her, shocked, and drew in a deep breath. “Wh-what do you want?” the lady asked.

“You have my body! I want it back!” barked Betsy.

“Your body? It’s mine!” the woman defended.

“How could it be yours? I had it first!”

The woman began to say something, then let lose a chuckle.

“What’s so funny!”

“Look at me. Can’t you see my face? We are one in the same. We both share this body. I’m Betsy Boo and so are you.”

“What? What did you say?”

The woman leaned forward, where the light could show off her facial features.

Betsy snuffed a scream.

It was the same face as Betsy, but with different colored long hair, green eyes, and a different shade of lipstick.

“We are both Betsy Boo,” the woman explained. “We came out of a package. We are only dolls, my dear...”
* * *
The next day the giant stepped into the room. When Betsy’s head was discovered, it was snatched out of the house and stuck onto the shoulders of another doll who wore pink colored pajamas with a picture of a frog sewn into the chest. Her new body was placed up high on the shelf as she watched the “other” Betsy Boo get into the car and drive straight to Charles’ house.

Betsy grumbled and under her breath said: “Two-timer!”

"Betsy Boo"
Copyright: © 2009 Brick Marlin

Married to a woman who keeps him chained up in a room so he won't try and escape from home and turn his fiction into reality, Brick Marlin resides in the Ohio Valley. Brick has written and published numerous short stories and novels. His books include The Darkened Image, Raising Riley, Saturated and Crimson, and his most recent Dark Places of Rest.