Sam reaches in his mouth to find his teeth have fallen out...painless, but with the nightmare feeling of terror welling up in his chest as they hit the floor (tink! tink! tink!)...stinking holes expose dangling, twitching nerve endings...a cascading waterfall of blood pushes out passed the tongue...animal panic.

He rips at his lips and tongue, turning his lower jaw into a mass of eviscerated meat...his bottom jaw rips itself loose and joins his teeth on the floor, the tongue flopping madly around like a severed octopus limb...a death worthy of Hollywood.

The Director runs around screaming, "More Blood! More Blood!"

"But sir," a shrill voice screams, “if we add anymore blood, no one will believe it! It won't look real!"

The director runs on camera and slits his wrists...has just enough time to carve three sixes into his chest before he dies...the whole thing has a sort of "end of the world" feel coupled with an old spaghetti western.

A shrill voice screams, "Did you get that?! Did you get that?!"

Someone offstage answers, "Yes, but it didn't move me...”

"To hell with you! We're getting the Academy Award for that death scene!"

The gaffer climbs down from a lamp pole...all the lights dim...mood music floats across the room from out of nowhere.

"Can someone clean this up?!" A tired janitor picks up the carcass of the pale Director and crams it into an oil drum filled with sulfuric acid.

"Keep that pulp for the banquet scene!"

"Yes, sir!"

"And what are all these teeth everywhere? What are we, forgetful dentists? Someone push a broom around this place, for goodness sakes!"

The dry whisk of a broom on the floor.

"Action!" A door bangs open and closed offstage...Sam goes lurching around outside, bleeding on the sidewalk, mouth a miasma of gore.

"Pleesh! Pleesh helf me! My teef! My teef!"


The blockbuster hit of the summer.

"On the Set With Dante and Beelzebub"

Copyright: © 2011 Dustin Reade


Dustin Reade lives somewhere in Washington, where he spends a great deal of time reading about, but not looking for, Bigfoot. His work has appeared in various anthologies and magazines. He also makes short films that feature strange characters living out exotic fantasies on strange worlds. He is a Leo.

Eddie Fullbright sat in the doctor's office waiting room, restless. He had on three-day-old unwashed chino pants and a white wifebeater. His face was masked in three-day-old beard stubble; it looked sweaty and nervous.

"Mr Fullbright?" the large nurse had called his name.

She guided him into a small white room and strapped the bloodpressure cuff against his arm and then she said, "Oh my gawd; yours is astronomically high... I will go get Dr. Winslow."

Dr. Winslow looked younger than Eddie even. Eddie was only twenty-seven but the three-day-old beard growth had made him look older and more masculine.

"Eddie," Dr. Winslow said warily. "What can I do for you?"

"Oh I'm in pain."

"Is that so?"

"Yeah. My right arm. Carpal tunnel, I believe."

Dr. Winslow had tapped on Eddie's right arm with his splayed fingertips. "Can you feel this?"

Shit, Eddie thought. Wily bastard. Should I tell him it hurts or that I can't feel anything? Shit. I'll go with hurting.

"Oh yes. The pain is excruiciating."

Dr. Winslow nodded and then he scribbled onto a little white note.

"The best treatment for carpal tunnel, Mr. Fullbright, is Ibuprophen. An anti-inflamitory. I am also going to recommend you wear an arm brace."

"Ibuprophen? Don't you think I should get something a little stronger. Like Vicodin, or, ahem," Eddie coughed into his hand and then looked at Dr. Winslow innocently enough, "Percocet?"

"No, Mr. Fullbright. I don't believe that would be necessary. Both those drugs you described come from a pharmacutical family called opiates, which are highly addicting. Further, they are prescribed to numb extreme pain and, unlike the Ibuprophen, they do not reduce swelling."

"How high do you rate Ibuoprophen as a pain killer/reliever? I ask because I write for the East Mountain Courier and my fingers have to be nice and numb to work the keyboard."

Dr. Winslow smiled to himself knowingly and then he said, "Oh, Mr. Fullbright. It's as good for numbing pain, if not better, than opiates. It just doesn't get you high."

Eddie took a good look at Dr. Winslow for the first time. He was much shorter and thinner than Eddie. Eddie had started to consider whether or not it would be wise to seize Dr. Winslow by the neck and threaten him for the prescription at knifepoint. Look at those ropey arms. There is no way they could break free of my grip. I bet that slim little Dookie Houser-looking sonofabitch doesn't bench press a hundred pounds every two days like I do. But what if he knows Karate? It's always the shortest people that know karate....

Eddie decided against it. The pros had not outweighed the cons. He shook the doctor's hand and then he cradled his own right arm when walking out for dramatic effect. Maybe next time the little prick will come to his senses and prescribe Eddie with what he needs.

It was partly true what Eddie told the doctor--he did need the opiates for work. But not on account of any actual pain. After having surgery on his knee the year before Eddie was prescribed the highest dosage prescribable of Percocet. He found it had somehow made his writing smoother than it had ever been before. But just last week his primary doctor had stopped prescribing it for him--"Your knee is fine, son," he told him.

Doctors. They knew everything, he thought wryly. Well, there was only one thing he could do to stop the withdrawals. The merciless diaherra. The pounding headaches. The constant nausea. As well as the total lack of energy. He knew the plan was not foolproof but it was so far the only plan left.

He had put off doing it all week.

He drove to Maddison's Male Strip Club.  Inside there were a bevy of women in chairs and in standing room; onstage a guy in mutiliated leather and nippe-rings was dry-humping the air.

Shit. I hope nobody recognizes me here. Gossip spreads fast in this town...

The crowd was reaching for the man as he made love to the air. Eddie scanned the tables. No, too young. No, old, but not old enough. Bingo.

There was a woman of about seventy-five sitting alone in the corner, clapping her hands lustfully to the music and the debaucherous spectacle onstage in front of her.

As Eddie approached her table he saw her sipping a bottle of Miller High Life.

"Is this seat taken?" He shot her an incredibly flirtatious smile. She looked at him, smiling.

"Not at all, hun." She spoke in a Southern drawl which might have been attractive when Kennedy was president.

Well, he thought, better get this over with.

"I think you're pretty. What say you and I go someplace private. You got a pad?"

"A what?"

"A pad, like, an apartment. A house. Etc."

*   *   *

Together they walked holding hands in the rest home. Before they hit the musty-smelling corridors that lead to her room the large security guard had stopped them.

"It's okay, Orville. This here is my grandson."

When they got inside her room she shoved her tongue down deep inside his throat. The thought occurred to him to bolt but he had decided to be a man and tough it out. Her sparse white whiskers had tickled his face. He laughed. "Shush, you," the old woman had said, tickling his chest. "What about her?" Eddie pointed at the lady lying wide awake in the bed beside the one they were now wrestling on. "Oh that's Reba. She's crazy. Don't mind her. Nobody believes what she sees anyway."

It wasn't as bad as Eddie imagined.

He just clamped his eyes shut and though pretty thoughts for two minutes or so and then they were finished. When he heard her snoring about a half hour later he tiptoed into the bathroom and searched the medicine cabinet.

BINGO, Percocet and Hydrocodone. It really was Christmas after all.

He stashed both pill bottles into his left and right pants pockets. He was not sure who they belonged to: The hefer he'd just had sex with or the bat-shit-crazy roomate; nor did he care. The important thing was he had them.

He daubed the toothpaste from the sinktop on his index finger and then he scrubbed his teeth furiously.

Then he walked out of the room then past the musty-smelling corridors.

"Did you have a good visit with your granny?" the guard had smiled wholesomely.

"Oh, yeah," Eddie responded.


Copyright: © 2011 Jack Bristow


Jack Bristow, an all-out weirdo from New Mexico, has written for several online magazines and even one print one. Follow him: @Jackbristo

Eleven creatures hover on the surface of the sun. Eleven philanthropists tossed into a ring of angry bulls. Eleven survivors were then killed by questionable motives that could not be resolved within eleven days. Eleven piranhas can eat through a three thousand pound prized cow in eleven hours. Ten men were admitted into a psychiatric ward in Manhattan this morning; the eleventh went on to burn down a bank downtown. Eleven is a baker’s dozen minus two for the pastry chef because he deserves his reward. That baker went on to eat fifty more doughnuts that very morning, thus causing him to gain eleven pounds, making him very fat and very full. He took the Eleven Train downtown to commit himself to a psych ward, only to be turned down. The baker burned down the bank on Eleventh Street. It took eleven men to extinguish the fire. Case closed.


Copyright: © 2011 K.C. Callagy


The Earth cracked open the day K.C. Callagy was born. He is a violent sleeper who admires mirrors with muddied reflections. He once stared at a pool of water for twenty straight minutes to induce a migraine. Firing squads have recruited him as the last cigarette lighter for death row inmates. At the age of thirty he’ll remove all of his shirt sleeves with dull scissors for the edge. Mr. Callagy can be very confrontational if he hasn’t eaten grapefruit, so take precaution in the early hours. Perhaps his unorthodox behavior should be institutionalized, but for the time being, he’s roaming with familiar wild beasts in the pack of bewilderment. In the grand pecking order, he sits near the bottom, passing bread with smudged fingertips, eager to climb the ladder. He wants to own the world but refuses to pay the brutal cost. At night, before drifting off, he lies on his back and scans the radio but all that comes out of his speakers is a tempestuous froth of jargon. After he falls into nightmare, owls sneak into his bedroom to watch him interact with his predecessors who never doubted him once for his aptitude and belligerence.

Job. Life in general.

No mail. No messages.

Stubbed toe. Shit for television.

Devon Remus shook violently. His face grew hot. Steam billowed from his ears like a cartoon. Sweat forced its way through his pores so quickly all the hair fell off of his arms, legs, crotch, and armpits.

His vision warped and he exploded.

Gore rained down over his new sofa.

The television spit blue sparks throughout the room.

His feet alone remain intact, still standing up in their boots, the only remains, a thin stream of smoke issuing from the bleeding ankles. Bits of a bloodied work shirt clung to the Rabbit ears atop the television. The hands of the clock spin exceptionally fast. They become a blur of motion. He switches from present tense, to past and future.

For a fleeting moment he knows peace.

Deep inside a calm like the ocean spreading out beyond anyone’s field of vision.

Fleeting moments flit away, burnt paper from a campfire, butterfly wings.

Heaven is a rented apartment. You cannot stay indefinitely.

Soon, he is curled into a ball beneath the sofa. Dustballs fly overhead and curse him to get out of their way. He is buffeted on all sides by cockroaches the size of minivans.

He has been scaled down to size.

He vomits up a healthy portion of shimmering blue paint; the heavy smell of chemicals floods his nostrils. His feet get tangled up in the tall carpet fibers.

A cockroach walks up behind him and bites his head off. It rolls under a mammoth potato chip. His body stumbles drunkenly over to retrieve it.

The puddle of blue paint begins to gurgle and splat the underside of the sofa with tiny blue specks. The specks remind him of skid marks. He laughs until his sides split and a river of blue paint pours out along with several of his ribs. Looking closer he realizes the ribs are made of toothpicks.

A cockroach that had been busy chewing away at the potato chip picks up one of the ribs and begins picking bits of potato chip from its pincers.

“Mind if I use this?” it asks in a cartoon falsetto.

Devon shakes his head in his hands.

“No,” he says. “Be my guest.”

He does not feel angry anymore.

"Under the Couch"

Copyright: © 2011 Dustin Reade


Dustin Reade is a funeral Director-in-training. He lives in Port Angeles, Washington with his three-year-old daughter, Percephone, and their rat, Michael Jackson. He has been published in several anthologies, as well as a handful of magazines. He likes the rain and gloom of the Pacific Northwest, and will not be moving anytime soon.

Abe followed the choking, cloudy, bonedust trail up to Spire and knocked somewhat reluctantly upon it's meaty door. As cold flesh parted he was met by his master's avatar. A spindly creature, more loose cartilage than grace, rubbery, and dripping with salvation.

Or at least something like it.

But Spire's fleshy door closed, and Abe, naked and crying, was denied the psychotropic heroin-white paste that dripped form his master's pores. Perhaps the god had found a new boy to lick him. Abe felt dejected... and oddly disillusioned.

He took solace only in a magenta knifeblade hidden tightly in his boot.

As Abe drew the blade in thoughts of cool revenge, machinations forming like cockwork in his once placid eyes, it might as well have cut a smile straight across the boy's tear stained face.

Abe followed the choking, cloudy, bonedust trail up to Spire and knocked somewhat reluctantly upon it's meaty door. As cold flesh parted he was met by his master's avatar. A spindly creature, more loose cartilage than grace, rubbery, and dripping with salvation.

Or at least something like it.

Before the fleshy door closed, Abe dove in and drove his blade into the chest of his master's avatar. Imaging, as he hacked away, how the insides of a god would taste.

When he calmed his stabbing to begin his dissection Abe realized that he was no longer assaulting his master's gangly avatar, but his own lifeless form.

He woke up.

Abe followed the choking, cloudy, bonedust trail up to Spire and knocked somewhat reluctantly upon it's meaty door. As cold flesh parted he was met by his master's avatar. A spindly creature, more loose cartilage than grace, rubbery, and dripping with salvation.

Or at least something like it.

"Dripping With Salivation"

Copyright: © 2011 Ash Lomen


What rotten luck I got, the man had thought on his daily walk to the pub. Valentines day and no broad for me. Always alone.

He saw a young couple pass him on the sidewalk holding hands and he cringed. Why couldn't he, Boon Cadwell, enjoy a piece of the pie every now and again? He was an outstanding citizen. Two tours in Iraq. And back home here in America working a fifty-hour workweek; construction.

The damn grenade was to blame. The one that had killed everybody in the SUV but Boon. He knew it.

Because of it his face had been rendered cosmetically unlovable.

"Roofies! Get your roofies!" A fresh-fashed street pusher was proclaiming on the sidewalk. "Roofies. Rohypnol. Mexican Valium, folks. Get laid--tonight!"

The last sentence had caught Boon's attention.

"How's this stuff gonna get me lucky?" Boon asked the street pusher.

The pusher had grabbed Boon's hand, as if they were old high school buddies. "My man. All you do is go into a bar. Any bar. Buy the pretty little thing of your choosing a drink, drop these little capsules in her drink when she ain't looking, or when she's in the bathroom and, walla: there you got her."

Boon had thought, Illegal. I could go to prison for this. But wasn't sexless single life pretty much the same thing?

"What you say, my man?"

"How much?"

"Twenty dollars. But since I sympathize with your ugliness I'm gonna give you The Valentine Day's Special. Two pills, ten dollars."

"Why not."

*   *   *

In the bar now. The place was really packed tonight. Valentines. Save for the seat next to Boon. Couples were nibbling on anothers' ears all throughout the barroom. Boon, made tense by the spectacle all around him, was about to leave, but before he could get up a pretty young thing approached him.

"Is this seat taken?"

"No. Be my guest." Boon smiled.

She sat down next to Boon. Boon looked at her.

"Say. Mind if I buy you a drink?"

"Sure. But just one," she wrinkled her pretty eyebrows at Boon.

"Hey, Dave. A beer for me and a martini for the lady."

"Got it," the barkeep said, extending two fingers from his balled fist to signify the orders.

The barkeep returned shortly thereafter, both drinks held deftly between his fingers.

She sipped hers as he gulped his. "Would you excuse me a second?" she said, getting up. "Sure." He could see her walk to the ladies room and, as the "little girls" door had closed behind her, he discreetly dropped two of the yellow-and-white capsules into her drink; the drink then started to fizz abnormally.

Hells bells, Boon thought. That fizzing better stop before she gets back. Or else I'm in serious trouble.

Minutes later, the bathroom door re-opened and she came out. As she walked out she screamed, "Jerry!" and ran to the other side of the bar.

Boon sagged miserably. "Goddamn it!" He pounded his fist on the bartop. "Will there ever be any love for me?"

Just then, he felt a ginger tap on his shoulder, and then an affable male Irish voice. "This seat taken, Boon?"

Boon turned his head and saw it was none other than Father McKinely.

"No Father. Please, sit."

Father McKinely had known Boon since Boon's infancy. He was an essentially moral person that liked to wet his whistle once a week or so.

Boon had seen him in the bar many times, and he confided in him often.

"One martini, Dave, dry."

"Sure thing, Father," The barkeep said.

"So how's your lovelife going, son?" Father McKinely had placed his long warm hand on Boon's wide cold shoulder.

"Lousy, Father. As you can see: Valentines day and still no woman."

"Oh, well, buck up, young man!" he said, play-punching Boon. "Sooner or later, there'll be a good lady in your life. I guarantee it. Here. Let's make a toast to it."

Father McKinely grabbed the wrong martini from the bartop. The barkeep returned with the real one but McKlinely protested. "You already gave it to me, Dave."

"Sorry, Father," Dave said. "It's been a busy night."

It was then and there that Boon realized there had been a terrible mixup.

Should I tell him? Boon contemplated. Then he realized there was no way to explain it.

("Hey Father. You shouldn't have drank that. That has roofies in it."

"What are roofies, my son?")

A few minutes later McKlinely had told Boon: "Oh, lad. Do me a favor. Walk me home. I feel a wee bit tired and nauseated."

Just then, the jukebox had come alive with Boon's favorite Rolling Stones' song.

"I saw you, at the reception..."

And it was the first time he had really noticed Father McKlinely. Pretty, well-defined arms. Proportionate nose. Freckled-face--he really didn't like freckles, but he could learn to love them on a night as lonesome as tonight.

"Sure," he told Father McKinely. An unusual smile permeating Boon's grossly disfigured face.

"...but if ya try sometimes, ya just might find: you get what you need."

Ain't that the truth? Boon thought, as he walked an about-to-pass-out Father McKinely home.


Copyright: © 2011 Jack Bristow


Jack Bristow, an all-out weirdo from New Mexico, has written for several online magazines and even one print one. Follow him: @Jackbristo

Clarence Day was no good at feeding the birds. The birds left Clarence and his bread alone. Still, everyday Clarence Day came to the park and sat on the same bench, rubbing his fingers over the grain. He would stay hours watching couples wearing long coats and children carrying ice skates over their shoulders go past.

Once, another old man sat across from Clarence and several small birds twittered and snapped at each other as the old man pulled out a tissue and exposed a human thumb. The sparrows continued to dance, weave around the pigeons, and fluff their feathers. The old man tossed the thumb to the birds. They squawked and stood on top of one another. A starling flew down from a tree branch and grabbed the thumb, and sat on the bench next to Clarence where it began to peck at the thumb in tiny jerking motions that removed the skin, revealing the dark red thumb meat.
"Every Clarence Day"
Copyright: © 2011 Susan Swanton


Susie Swanton's poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the cream city review and The North Central Review. She performed in the entry of The Encyclopedia Show Chicago which featured slices of John Wayne Gacy's brain.

The night was cold, and dark, and ultimately derisive of my blackened heart.

I could even care less about the apocalypse raging on around me. You see, I had decided to stop living long before the undead ever rose to walk our city streets. The monster that took away everything I ever loved being all too human...

Zombies stalked by me uncaring, craving something alive, something that would still scream and fight if they tore into its flesh.

Or perhaps somehow they knew I would only thank them for quickening my inevitable death, perhaps they even hesitated showing me their secret world where the fire of emotional pain no longer burned. Either way, they ignored me.

For all intents and purposes... I was one of them.

Still, they offered me no company, and loneliness, like slow undeath, soon caused my body to shrivel and my brain to wither.

In time I committed atrocities aside my brethren. Atrocities that put even the heartlessness of my lover's killer to shame. I raped and cannibalized entire families. I purged entire bloodlines.

Yet I was merely playing the role of a beast. There was never any real catharsis.

I still hoped against hope, that one day, I would forget the pain of being a man.

And perhaps, if I was very lucky... I would forget that I was ever a man at all.

"I, Zombie"

Copyright: © 2011 Ash Lomen


Every night Lorelei held a captive audience at The Ocean Machine, double-jointed, doll-slack in the embrace of her red octopus Gustav.

Lorelei danced the main stage under neon flush and sweat. Gustav had hard eyes like yellow marbles, fat muscled arms snaking up her back and down her thighs to lure the viewer’s gaze between them. The sailors loved Lorelei, with wild orange flowers in her hair and black glitter on her eyes, amorous for the way she folded herself in two and held her breath beneath the skeletal jut of her diaphragm. Her arms were loose like tentacles reaching for the North Star, her belly rippling in ocean waves. On stage Lorelei was more octopus than woman, Gustav more lover than octopus. Moving across the stage as one, Lorelei never said which was truer than the other.

Men came from across the port-city to watch Lorelei dance, and others further still. Henri with his sallow complexion and uneasy temperament claimed he had come from Paris. He had traveled on the murmurs of smitten boys and sailors to admire her, sitting in the front row to catch her smile or the touch of her hand. Each night Gustav made love to Lorelei for an audience of slaves before being put to bed in his tank with lipstick kisses against the glass, “Goodnight, my love.”

Where Lorelei ended and Gustav began, only the octopus could say, and he would say nothing of it.

Henri always came backstage after Lorelei’s performances, making his way past sailors with elbows and stiff shoulders, telling all others “Step aside, step aside.” His coat pockets were burdened with diamond rings in velvet boxes, offering promises in rose blossoms. In her dressing room and gown, Lorelei always sighed and rolled her smiling eyes. From his tank Gustav changed color from red to black at the sight, but said nothing of that either.

“Come away with me,” Henri would say, taking her hand with his bony fingers. “I will take you far from here.”

“All men say such things.” At her vanity Lorelei would gently pat Henri’s thin cheek. “I’m flattered, but if I ran away with you, how would the men of this port amuse themselves?”

“That is no concern to me. My father’s fortune awaits me in Paris. If you accompanied me home you would want for nothing again."

"I want for nothing now.”

From across the room Gustav’s marble-gaze would darken, his skin changing like a lightning flash. Things were said between them, the signals of lighthouses written across Lorelei’s eyes. It was a language of which Henri knew nothing. In his bed he slept restlessly, dreaming of Lorelei, her doll limbs and ribcage like splayed fingers when she danced. When he opened his eyes to visions of exotic flowers, he knew she could no longer deny him.

For three nights Henri followed Lorelei home, down the spindly dirty alleys beginning outside The Ocean Machine and leading down light-speckled avenues to the brownstone where she slept. Gustav traveled with her, arms drawn tight as to fit inside the fishbowl that Lorelei carried, his fat eyes gold in the shadows stretching between street lamps. He never left her side. Each night Henri kept a discrete distance beneath the brim of his hat and the shield of his coat lapels, hiding as he strained over garbage cans and window-boxes to see inside her curtained windows.

Lorelei and Gustav made silhouettes by candle-light, smoky through patterned red drapes and never betraying their secrets. They lived as lovers it seemed, Gustav’s arms around Lorelei’s shadow, wrapped tight around her like a husband to his wife in a sensuous tangle of limbs. It put fire in Henri’s belly, maddened by the thought. Lorelei had no right to deny him, especially not for the embrace of an animal. Some mindless thing found feeding on the bottom of the sea, brought to false heights on dry-land.

For three nights Henri festered. On the fourth he went to the club to watch Lorelei, face hot and knobby fists in his coat pockets. Lorelei danced with Gustav, spine bent, boneless and indistinct like the octopus that cradled her. Henri watched, sickened by the sin of it. After the performance he stormed backstage and into her dressing room, shouting in his displeasure.

“I’ll give you one last chance to save yourself. Come with me tonight or you'll pay for this disrespect.”

Lorelei pushed Henri, beating a fist against his chest. “Get out, get out,” she screamed. In his tank Gustav changed colors like a spinning top. “And don’t you dare come back.”

Henri slapped Lorelei twice, hard across her face, pushing her to the ground. He slapped her once more and tore at her robe, impatient to undress her. She fought him; kicked him soundly and wrestled away, getting up to scoop Gustav from his tank. Lorelei fled out the back door of the club, down the crooked alleys that had led Henri to her door, her octopus clutched to her breast. Henri followed in hungry steps as she took them on dirty bare feet to the docks, running to the end of an empty landing.

“You’ve trapped yourself here, you stupid girl,” Henri’s lips pulled back to sneer. “Come to me before I have to hurt you.”

Lorelei set Gustav down at her feet. She slipped out of her tattered robe and under the spidery veins of moonlight her body changed. The skin blackened at her waist, a rough hide that combed down her legs to cleave them into eight limbs, thick-muscled and strong. Black flesh crawled up her back and over her shoulders to flank her in the octopus skin, making hard marbles of her eyes until she was at last transformed into the half-woman she was on stage. It was then, stricken in his silent horror, that Henri understood.

Over the edge Lorelei slithered into the water. Gustav followed to disappear with her beneath the silent ripples, leaving Henri’s world behind.

"The Ocean Machine"

Copyright: © 2011 Magen Toole


Magen Toole is an author from Fort Worth, Texas. She likes black holes, dinosaurs, Star Trek and writing stuff. More of her work can be found at

Sunday, Dec. 5th

She had the bruised, needle-track-riddled arms of a diabetic junkie. They shoved a cotton swab up her coochie. She pissed on little cloth strips. She didn’t have AIDS, Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, hepatitis, crabs, scabies, or rabies, and best of all she wasn’t pregnant. The needle prick on her upper arm hadn’t swelled, she was free of tuberculosis. They told her to come back and test again in a few weeks.

She reeked. The repulsive stench of the rapist clung to and couldn’t be washed from her flesh no matter how hard she tried until she finally bathed in tomato juice like you’re supposed to do if a skunk sprays you.

She had lots of bruises, the worst of which was the one on her tit, where the so-called Werewolf Rapist had bit her.

The talking head on the TV news said the sex-cops thought the Werewolf Rapist’s fangs were dentures made from lizard’s teeth. The sex-pigs found bacteria native to the mouth of a komodo dragon on the bite wounds of several previous Werewolf Rapist victims.

The talking head on the TV news didn’t know what the fuck he was talking about. The crooked yellow fangs were the Werewolf Rapist’s very own teeth; she became convinced of this as they were sinking into the flesh of her mammary.

She counted herself lucky he hadn’t taken a chunk of flesh out of her tit.

As she poured bleach over the bite marks to kill any lizard germs, she noticed that the wound on her tit where she had been bit by the Werewolf Rapist seemed to be growing little white hairs and the bruised flesh in the center of the circle of purple-red teeth marks was encrusted with some sort of maddeningly itchy, blackish-reddish rash.

She rubbed salve all over the bite mark before liberally coating it and all of her other bruises with Bruise Away Overnight Bruise Remover (pat. pending).

Monday, Dec. 6th

Strange how regularly spaced the itchy hairs sprouting from the wound are, one little white sprout per tooth impression. She counted them, the Werewolf Rapist has fifty teeth.

That seemed like a lot to her. The internet agreed, it said an adult human has thirty-two teeth, and a wolf only has forty-two teeth. The only mammal with fifty teeth was the opossum; the so-called Werewolf Rapist should be called the Werepossum Rapist. She thought about writing an anonymous letter to the media informing them of their error, but she didn’t.

Wednesday, Dec. 8th
The center of the wound is turning black, like a venomous snakebite, localized necrosis. Surgeons had had to cut her dad’s sister Cornessa’s arm off after she got bit by a cottonhead or a coppermouth or some such evil poisonous serpent back when she and daddy were kids. Was the Werepossum Rapist’s bite venomous?

Saturday, Dec. 11th

On closer examination, the lil’ white things growing from the scabrous puncture wounds the Werepossum Rapist’s fangs had left in her flesh aren’t hairs at all. She doesn’t know what the hell they are. Lil’ fish-bone-y needles that break the cheap flimsy scissors she tries to snip them off with.

Monday, Dec. 13th

The white needles growing from the rapist’s bite are getting longer and fatter and the flesh-eating infection is devouring the meat at the bite’s center, now a sunken crater of scabrous flesh turning into a pit.

She kept it covered with bandages to keep from thinking about it.

The problem with this system was the daily peek at the wound became rather intense.

Thursday, Dec. 23rd

She had all the tests again, and they all came back negative again.

Tuesday, Dec. 28th

Teeth, the little porcelain needles are teeth, little fanged serpent’s teeth. She could deny it no longer. The pains of teething wouldn’t let her. She had suspected it earlier, but when the teething pains began her denial died a dull aching death. A constant dull ache over her heart, more annoying than painful, and more terrifying in its implication than annoying.

The flesh in center of the circle of fanged teeth-marks rotted away to nothing, leaving a hungry fanged mouth on her tit just over her heart. The seeping pus thinned and turned into a constant trickle of saliva drooling from her new titty-mouth.

Strange when your own body seems alien to you. Like some awful second puberty, first time was bad enough.

She tried to drown the parasitic mouth in ointment, squirting a whole tube down it, but she somehow knew her titty-mouth liked it. She tried to keep it covered with a bandage to keep from thinking about it, but the horrid little mouth would chew through the gauze then vomit up wads of sodden slimy cotton.

She thought about sewing the horrible little mouth closed.

Wednesday, Dec. 29th

The rapists’ bite bit off the tip of right index finger just above the last knuckle.

While she numbed her amputated finger stalk with ice, she hoped her new titty-mouth didn’t develop a taste for human flesh.

While she sewed the wound on the end of her pinky stump closed with dental floss, she hoped it didn’t turn into another tiny fanged mouth.

"Rapist's Bite"

Story & Image Copyright: © 2011 Joshua Dobson


THE NEW FLESH is temporarily CLOSED to new submissions.

What?!  Are the editors of The New Flesh actually complaining that there is too much weird?!  Well, no... we're not complaining at all.  Actually, it's just the opposite.  Brian Barnett and myself are proud to announce that The New Flesh has so much facking incredible weirdness to share with you that we are actually completely booked up until April!  So as of tomorrow [Saturday, February 5th, 2011], THE NEW FLESH WILL OFFICIALLY BE CLOSED TO NEW SUBMISSIONS.

But wait!  I have a story that I sent you recently and I still haven't heard back from you!  What ever will I do?  Don't worry.  We have your stories and we will be responding back shortly.  We do have about 20 stories left in the slush pile to sort out.  I promise you will recieve your yay or nay very soon.

So how long are you closing to submissions?  THE NEW FLESH WILL OFFICIALLY BE OPEN TO NEW SUBMISSIONS ON MARCH 21st, 2011.  We still will be publishing new stories until then.  We are not closing the site down, only submissions.

Brian and I would also like to take a moment to thank the readers and the contributors of The New Flesh.  You all have stuck by us for the last couple years, through thick and thin, and we can't be more thankful for your support.  We are grateful for our weirdos!  We hope to be BOMBARDED with new submissions come March 21st.  :)

Take care, my friends.  And most of all...

Keep it weird,

William Pauley III

A long night with his Venusian war bride and a barrel of mog wine had left the good doctor with a blistered penis and a raging hangover. He decided to combat the pain the same way he always did: by drowning it with booze.

Yes, Doctor Marceau of the Queen Elizabeth Mobile Infantry was fighting for England and the defeat of those pesky invaders from the Dimension of Pain and Bad Shit. Stationed in the trenches of Venus, he watched as the Queen`s troops were crushed into putty by the eldritch horrors from beyond the stars and infused by a newfangled evil that wouldn’t let them die.

The doctor was paid to help them, but there wasn’t anything he could do until they recovered on their own. In the meantime, his liver needed to die. That bastard had been giving him too much grief of late, and he was going to send it sailing on a tide of wine.

“Oh, merde,” he sighed after removing a man’s head. Not satisfied with his work, he cracked open another bottle of wine for good times’ sake. But he forgot that space booze is not good for people and he spent the rest of the morning hallucinating about bees. Despite this, he was still able to finish his job as a surgeon, so everything worked out alright.

Steve, Marceau’s Venusian war bride, frowned when he lurched into the tent they shared with several male nurses. “Oh dear, it’s good the army doesn’t keep a close eye on you,” she said. The natives on Venus were made out of fire and acid and looked like fried eggs. “When they notice there’s nothing here for you to do, they’ll send you on back home.”

“What th’hell are you talking about, woman?” asked Marceau, waving his trusty bonesaw like a white flag. “I am a serious army doctor and I deserve all the respect I get!”

“Okay, honey,” said Steve and brought a bowl of cactus over to the dinner table. However, Marceau had already passed out and lay slumped over his plate in a puddle of vomit. “Shit,” said Steve. But she soon realized that she was now free to do whatever she wanted, so she got some matches and burned the tent down because she thought fire was beautiful.

*   *   *

On the other side of the camp, the generals were having a heated discussion.

“We’re running out of cannon fodder,” said the Brigadier General, angrily drinking his tea.

“What can we do? We won’t get more troops anytime soon!” said the Major General.

"Send in the non-combatants! That will earn us some time against the aliens!”

*   *   *

So Doctor Marceau woke up later that afternoon to find out that he was fucked. His wife had burned down the tent and now he was being sent out with the nurses and cooks to fight the raging monstrosities from beyond the stars. Not only that, but he had a huge hangover that could not be solved with more booze fast enough. By the time Marceau was ready to be deployed, he was so drunk that he couldn’t see straight.

The Jeep rode over the Venusian turf, which was still wet from last night’s sulphuric acid rainfall. In the Jeep the postmaster turned to Marceau and said, “Yo, brother! Are you ready to kick some alien ass for the Queen?”

“Fucking hell,” said Marceau. “I guess.”

“Oh god, we’re all going to die,” said the sous chef.

“We may be about t’die, but at least we’re goin’ down in style!” shouted the postmaster.

“Do any ‘er you kids have some booze on hand?” asked Marceau.

Soon Marceau was even more inebriated and facing down the cosmic terror on the battlefield. “Doom, doom,” said the monster, and soon everyone was crushed, but not dead. They didn’t even get the chance to fire their weapons.

Soon they were back at the camp, only there were no doctors to pretend to care for them. So they just lay in the hospital.

After he had been crushed for a few days, Marceau found that he was beginning to commune with his pain. He could see the future and fathom existence based entirely on the different sensations of pain coursing through his body all at once. He never knew there was so much to be learned just from being hurt, but he found himself born a new man. Months passed, the war was lost, but soon he grew to love the pain so much that he couldn’t imagine living without it. When he recovered, the lack of pain was like missing a beloved limb, so he sought out new and better ways to hurt himself.

The long time without booze had broken him of the habit, but now he was a chronic masochist. It turns out that everyone needs a vice, and when you try to trade in your crutches you might come out in a wheelchair.
"The Doctor's Crutches"
Copyright: © 2011 Madeline Bridgen

This morning when Dustin was out walking his beagle Princess, the darned little thing started to talk bad about Dustin's wife. One minute she was tugging on the leash and rooting in the dirt and pooping on the sidewalk like a normal dog, and the next she turned around and glared up at him and started ranting.

"I've got something to say, and you just better listen, mister," she growled in her throaty dog voice. "Just yesterday she neglected to give me a treat when I did that retarded trick she's always begging for. And she hasn't taken me for a walk in weeks. Can she get off her big butt and cut the web surfing down to five hours a day? And I'm not even going to mention the blanket in my crate. Pee-yew! Doesn't she know how the washing machine works? I gotta tell you man, how you put up with her, I have no idea."

"Hey, that's not fair, and you know it!" Dustin shouted, caught off guard by this tirade.

But by then Princess was pretending to be fascinated by a squirrel scampering up a nearby tree. A young couple pushing a baby carriage gave Dustin a strange look and hurried by, keeping as much of the sidewalk between themselves and Dusting as they could.

Dustin yanked the leash, pulling Princess away from the squirrel, and they resumed walking, but the walk was no longer fun for either of them. A great deal of unspoken tension hung in the air all the way home.

When they arrived at the back door, they could hear Dustin's wife moving around in the living room. As Dustin was unhooked the leash from Princess's collar, he bent close to Princess's big stupid floppy ears and whispered with as much dignity as he could project, "We'll discuss this later."

"Dog Attack"

Copyright: © 2011 John Sheirer

John Sheirer lives in Northampton, MA, and teaches at Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield, CT. His most recent book is the memoir Loop Year: 365 Days on the Trail, winner of the Connecticut Green Circle Award. Forthcoming in 2011 are a collection of flash fiction (One Bite) and a creative writing guidebook (What's the Story?). He can be found here:

No one worried about Nancy, intact or not. Her disposition was among the glossiest, her eyes consistent in their glassy indifference and her skin always shining under the office lights.

“Have you lost weight, Nancy?” Bill asked. People recognized him as friendly, if they noticed him at all.

“Not weight, just my hand,” she answered.

“Ouch-looking good though.”

“Thanks Bill, you’re such a dear.”

She meant to get coffee, but Bill threw her off. So she stood in the aisle of rectangular desks, waiting to remember while her arm bled over the carpet.

After a few listless moments all she felt was weary, so she retired to her desk and took a Zookus tablet. She took one earlier already, but her arm was really hurting and the doctor told her to take the medicine for pain, physical or emotional.

“Nancy, good to see you. Have you stapled those sheets of paper together yet? Be sure to write symbols on them in ink. Afterwards, I need you to press a few buttons on the computer keyboard and click the mouse. If time permits before lunch, please go ahead and put some of these,” her boss paused to lift a stack of papers off her desk, “into the metal cabinets along the wall, in a prescribed and important order.”

Nancy looked ahead as her boss spoke to her, and then he was gone. The second Zookus tablet could not go to work soon enough.

“Okay, Nancy? Remember to put the papers in order. Order is very important.”

Apparently he was not gone.

“Okay Mr. Paxton. I’ll get to all of that right away. Forgive me, I’m just a bit fatigued this morning.”

Her boss looked at her with vague curiosity.




“Yes Mr. Paxton? Dear me, I feel like I could just fall asleep, my apologies.”

It dawned on her.

“Coffee!” she said aloud. She was slightly embarrassed, but it felt good to remember her previous goal, and better yet that any moment now she would be drinking it.

“We have coffee. Go to the lobby and pull the glass container from the black machine. Careful, it will be hot.”

“Yes Mr. Paxton,” she said and rose from her chair.

“But Nancy, before you do, is there something different about you today?”

Nancy considered. “I am a bit behind today, sorry Mr. Paxton.”

He tapped his chin. Then, “Nancy, what happened to your hand?”

“My hand...oh, this? Nothing, Mr. Paxton. I just ran it through the garbage disposal this morning. It was a bonehead thing to do, that’s all.”

“Okay, well did you take some Zookus? It’s done wonders for my migraines.”

“Oh yes, Mr. Paxton. Now I just think I need some coffee.”

Her boss smiled appreciatively. “Go get some coffee.”

He started towards his office, but was struck with sudden sympathy and turned to say, “Nancy, if you don’t get the chance to put the papers in the metal cabinets, don’t worry.”

She wouldn’t.
"No One Worried"
Copyright: © 2011 Sean Pravica