THE BATHROOM by Alice Winsbury

Below your feet and below the pavement run the sewers. A putrid place filled with the rotting smell of human waste that runs in rivers of black. It is an unimaginable scene where no sane human would seek refuge. However, the dark bending tunnels that connect a city together house by house prove to be an ultimate hunting ground for one creature.

The gargantuan body of the beast resembles no more than an oversized slug. A grey mass of pulsating flesh coated in a thick layer of slime that clings to the roof of the tunnels. It uses the passages to manoeuvre itself between the homes of the unsuspecting humans above. Its body can mutate, stretch and reform to create extensions of itself. Waiting beside an opening it will reach a probing finger of flesh deep into the pipe work and patiently wait, poised and ready to strike just behind the u-bend.

As your cheeks make contact with the cold surface of the toilet the monster will prepare for attack. At the end of the arm of flesh an opening will appear to reveal an unending tunnel of teeth. Row upon row of yellowing shards spiral inside of the cavity as it stretches closer and closer to you. You sit unknowing and vulnerable until it strikes.

In one swift movement the arm will plunge out from the depths and seal itself around your openings. Then, the creature will begin to suck. The more you fight against it the harder it will pull back, draining your body from the inside out. The being will suck until your entrails begin to slip from your body, ripping your innards out and down the tunnel to fill its gargantuan stomach. Harder and harder the beast will pull until your body is hollow. Once you are no more than the shell of a being it will suck one last time, collapsing your body into itself, pulling you down its throat.

§

Alice Winsbury has recently graduated from University of Bedfordshire where she is studied Creative Writing. Since a young age she has always housed a great passion for writing. Now in her twenties, she loves nothing more than to create blood chilling stories designed to both scare and repulse.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
Share/Bookmark
Posted in Original Fiction | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

SHE BECKONED by Kyle Newton

I awoke to my wife calling to me from down the hallway. As I sat up, slender fingers held me back. It was her. A tremble in her hand grew. Wide eyes stared into the hallway. That’s when I heard her say, “I heard it too.”

§

b6c42b_888fa8ede93444f0933caae8b47cc2d1.png_srz_p_263_272_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srzGrowing up in New England, Kyle Newton has found a taste for writing about the fantastical, often merging it with key moments in history. However, recently he has gained a growing taste for horror and the macabre. His personal site is located here.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Posted in Original Fiction | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

MISTRUST OF MY MISTRESS by Bosley Gravel

My mistress seamstress stretches skin across the spindles of her womb. She darns the wounds of loneliness with spools of thick black thread. Now hidden in a darkened paradise, embroiled with Death’s perfume, I fear my mistress seamstress, so tired of weaving on her loom, will rip me from the abyss, as quickly as I was entombed.

 

THE END

bosleyBosley Gravel, eclectic hack writer, was born in the Midwest, and came of age in Texas and southern New Mexico. He writes in a variety of genres. His fiction focuses on the absurdly tragic, and the tragically absurd. He likes good black coffee, nightmares, Billie Holiday, and that hour just before the sun  comes up.  Amazon KDP 99 ¢ reads!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Posted in Original Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

TIME TRAVEL: A FRESH APPROACH by Harris Tobias

When time travel finally happened, it wasn’t at all what anyone expected. For the last century or so science had been looking to physics for a way to travel through time. The warping of space time was thought to be the only way. Bigger and more powerful machines were constructed, black holes and wormholes were investigated, theories advanced, experiments offered, massive amounts of energy expended— nothing worked. Man, it appeared, was locked into the present moment and nothing was going to change that. The physicists, it turned out, were looking in the wrong place, The answer was under our noses all along. It was in our genes.

That the answer to time travel was genetic is a revolutionary idea. Not only that, but the gene that makes it possible has been part of our genetic makeup the whole time. A small section of “junk” DNA held the key—faint traces of a time altering gene, a chrono-gene if you will.

Teasing out what remained of that gene was the life’s work of one man: Dr. Malcolm Barclay. For the last thirty years he has worked on the problem much to the scorn and derision of the scientific community, most of which called his quest “the genomic equivalent of chasing unicorns.” Still, recent advances in genomics, has shed new light on Dr. barclay’s work. Traces of several latent genes have been found in all animals including humans.

“There must have been a time when our protoplasmic ancestors needed to time shift in order to escape predation,” said Dr. Barclay addressing a room filled with skeptics. “It must have been effective when we were single cell creatures but, somewhere along the line from primordial slime to multi cellular animal, the ability to jump into the past or future to escape being eaten was lost. Maybe it no longer proved effective; Perhaps it conferred no great advantage; Perhaps better defenses were developed. Whatever the cause, in the long chain of Darwinian survival, the ability to escape into the past or future was discarded. Only a whisper of that ability survives today in our genetic code, the mere ghost of a gene. It has been my life’s work to reconstruct that lost gene.”

“It is especially evident in those creatures that are prey species,” said Dr. Barclay. “The ancestors of animals that have always been hunted were most likely to have developed time shifting as a handy means of escaping predation. So the question is why would what appears to be an effective mechanism fail to confer an advantage on those creatures that used it? And of course we cannot know the answer to that question until we have isolated the gene and successfully transferred it into modern animals including human beings. This I have accomplished and will demonstrate to you all shortly.”

There was a strained silence as Dr. Barclay addressed the gathering. Having isolated what he believed to be the chrono-gene, Dr. Barclay had prepared a demonstration for the benefit of his colleagues and the press. It was his moment to shine. He’d waited thirty years for this moment. Unused to the limelight, Barclay’s nervousness was a palpable thing. “Let me welcome all of you,” he said. “Before we begin, I would like to explain what you are about to see. I have inserted a chrono-gene into the DNA of this mouse.” He held a red colored mouse by the tail and held it in the air. “I will put this mouse and an unaltered mouse in this cage. Please watch carefully.”

Barclay placed the two mice in a wire cage on the table before him. A hungry cat eyed the mice with single minded attention as did the assembled guests. “I will now open the door and release the cat,” said Dr. Barclay relishing the moment. “Please keep your eyes on the red mouse.” With a flourish, Dr. Barclay released the cat. The hungry predator leaped into the enclosure, the mice frozen in fear awaited their fate. In that same instant, the red, time altered mouse vanished. The unaltered mouse was quickly caught and devoured.

After a few seconds of stunned silence, there was a flurry of excitement. Questions were hurled at the beaming Barclay. “But where did the mouse go?’ was what everyone wanted to know.

When those assembled quieted down, Dr. Barclay spoke. “As you have witnessed, the mouse with the time altering chrono-gene vanished. Whether into the past or future is impossible to say for certain. We believe that the time altering ability can only be activated under conditions of extreme stress like that of imminent death. Until we can test the gene in humans, we may never know where the subjects go. If in the past, how far in the past. If the future, the same question applies. None of our test subjects have been seen again.”

Again there was a clamor of voices. Finally a scientist raised his hand and Dr. Barclay recognized him. “Doctor Barclay, what you have done is extraordinary, groundbreaking science and worthy of every award. The question I have is what possible use does such an ability have. If the subjects are projected so far into the past or the future that we lose contact with them, then what is the point? In fact, how do we know that what we are seeing is time travel at all? Perhaps it is something else entirely. Maybe the subjects are shifted to alternate universes, or spheres of reality we have never considered.” The other scientists in the group all murmured assent at this hypothesis.

Encouraged, the scientist went on. “It is easy to see why the chrono-gene died out. While it might have saved the individual from being eaten, it also removed its genes from the gene pool. That individual would no longer mate and would not be able to pass along its abilities. What appears to be a scientific marvel is, in fact, a biological dead end. I don’t expect human subjects would fare any better than your red mouse. That’s provided anyone would ever even volunteer for such an experiment.” And on that note, the guests departed to their separate worlds.

As of this writing, work on the chrono-gene has halted do to the sudden and mysterious disappearance of Dr. Barclay. His staff reports that after the demonstration, Barclay appeared depressed and decided that the only ethical thing to do was to test the chrono-gene on himself. Whether his experiment was successful or not, we cannot know at this time.

§

Harris 2013Harris Tobias was raised by robots disguised as New Yorkers. Despite an awkward childhood he learned to read and write. To date Mr. Tobias has published two detective novels, The Greer Agency and A Felony of Birds, to critical acclaim. In addition he has published short stories in Down in the Dirt Magazine, Literal Translations, Electric Flash and Ray Gun Revival. He currently lives and writes in Charlottesville, Virginia.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
Posted in Original Fiction | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

CHILLING INFANCY by Kyle Newton

I came home today to find my infant had, somehow, found her way into the living room. Having not seen her for years, I’m lead to wonder, who else knew where I buried her?

§

b6c42b_888fa8ede93444f0933caae8b47cc2d1.png_srz_p_263_272_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srzGrowing up in New England, Kyle Newton has found a taste for writing about the fantastical, often merging it with key moments in history. However, recently he has gained a growing taste for horror and the macabre. His personal site is located here.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Posted in Original Fiction | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

THE ILLITERACY OF HORROR by Joseph J. Patchen

I am always amazed at the cruelty of editors; at the surgical precision at which they can destroy a perfectly crafted work. I am also always amazed at their contempt for writers, particularly young and new scribes as well as seasoned professionals alike, offering career advice that is akin to a stake through the heart.

Such has always been the great struggle between editor and writer since the first cave drawing. But the schism between these natural foes appears to have manifested itself in a new and yet a different form these days and in a different form in the genre of horror specifically.

Welcome to the new pigeon holes of literary horror versus pulp horror.

Many editors are now hanging their criticisms and rejections on pieces that are not ‘literary’. The technical meaning is that the piece fails publication because it lacks social commentary.

Most sheepskin hangers, particularly Ivy Leaguers, secretly look down on the genre anyway believing it to serve no other merit other than a cheap thrill. Some of these editors are writers themselves whose offerings are akin to a poorly executed New Yorker cartoons.

Literary horror is an ‘in’ thing like smart girl glasses and ridiculous beards and sandals. Literary horror is a secret handshake from one member of the fraternity to the other. Literary horror is a class thing; an upper class thing where people in this club tend to look down on those less fortunate, like pulp writers.

I am a pulp writer and proud of it. So were Bradbury, Bloch, Matheson and Beaumont. What literary types fail to remember, so was Lovecraft before Arkham re-issued his works.

I have run into many writers who are concerned about this; have taken the rejections to heart, but look—before writing this article I finished a science fiction story. I have never been accused of being ‘literary’, but in the four years of this writing ‘career’ I have over one hundred pieces published. I also teach writing, so I must be doing something right.

I stopped listening to people with degrees long ago. People who told me I would never publish. People who told me early on I should turn my attention to bartending or sweeping hair in a barber shop.

But in general, once searched, many of these editors have never published anything outside a grad school journal. I have degrees too—just not in literature or English. I have a doctorate but who cares. I just write.
I write to tell stories, to entertain, to chill, to scare, to make people laugh. Anyone who has ever studied any piece of literature knows that meaning is generally tied to the experience of the reader. So let’s get over it.

I once met Ray Bradbury who told me the key for any writer is to just write and write and keep writing—period.

And who should know better, some recently graduated editor with a bibliography as thin as square of Charmin or Ray Bradbury?

§

Joseph J. Patchen stories have appeared in print, on the web and in podcasts. He is the literary critic for www.lurid-lit.com and has own website his own josephjpatchen.weebly.com. He write horror and humor and sometimes doesn’t see the difference between the two.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Posted in Articles | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

WINDY by Harris Tobias

The wind is shaking down the trees
It is a mugging plain and simple
The outraged trees wave wildly for help
But no one comes to aid them
On the ground the leaves fly in circles
Like Keystone cops
Not knowing where to run
The wind drives them
First one way then another
Just for fun
The ground is littered with sticks
And branches
Dropped by the frightened trees
Like skinny kids yielding their
Lunch money to the school yard bully
The wind laughs at their temerity

§

Harris 2013Harris Tobias was raised by robots disguised as New Yorkers. Despite an awkward childhood he learned to read and write. To date Mr. Tobias has published two detective novels, The Greer Agency and A Felony of Birds, to critical acclaim. In addition he has published short stories in Down in the Dirt Magazine, Literal Translations, Electric Flash and Ray Gun Revival. He currently lives and writes in Charlottesville, Virginia.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Posted in Original Fiction | Tagged , | Leave a comment

AN OBSCURE SNARL by Kyle Newton

I enter my home, and there it is,
Glimmering lights reflecting in its irises.
Fur like blackened silk,
A panting tongue of drool and ilk.
White teeth: sharp and long,
It truly makes me wish I owned a dog

§

b6c42b_888fa8ede93444f0933caae8b47cc2d1.png_srz_p_263_272_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srzGrowing up in New England, Kyle Newton has found a taste for writing about the fantastical, often merging it with key moments in history. However, recently he has gained a growing taste for horror and the macabre. His personal site is located here.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Posted in Original Fiction | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

VIRGINS ARE … by Anahita Ayasoufi

Virgins are delicate
Virgins are apt for gods.

The song kept repeating in the virgin’s blossom-decorated, if blind-folded, head, even after the accompanying party stopped singing it and left her by herself in the maze. No, she was not by herself, she thought. It was the presence of the god, the Minotaur, that made the inside of her veins resonate with her surroundings.

Virgins are delicate…

Lucy could not make the song stop. She had been hearing it in her head since her medicated dream of the night before, except in her dream the last stanza was different. She had forgotten what it was that she sang in the dream. The forgetfulness bothered her. It felt like it was something she shouldn’t have missed. Something that Hera had planted in her head, spoken to her soul. Something she had to remember.

She listened. She was not to remove the blindfold, but she would, at the right time, she would.

“The light from the beauty of your god will blind you,” the high priest had said. But Lucy would want to savor her god’s beauty, even if it made her blind. She wanted to see him, praise him, and merge with him.

A far away grunting sound was all Lucy heard. When she thought of mating with her god, she thought of Liontarus. If she was not chosen for the god, she would wed Liontarus. Poor boy. Handsome and kind as he was, he could not keep her from becoming the wife of the god. And oh, he had tried. Lucy, in her medicated-wakefulness felt sad for Liontarus. She did love him.

“I will return to you, Liontarus. I will become the god’s bride, and then will return to you,” she had reassured him.

“No one ever returns. Don’t you understand what it means?” He had said.

“I will return.” She would. No one returned because the god was too appealing, as the priest always told her, but she would serve the god and return. She may become blind, but Liontarus won’t mind.

Virgins are delicate…

Now a mélange of medicated feelings raged inside her. What was that last stanza in her dream?

The sound of someone, something, approaching made Lucy’s ears sharper. The god was coming, perhaps on a horse, judging from the galloping footsteps.

Virgins are delicate…

Her heart raced.

“Keep moving in there. Don’t turn right. Turn left. Always turn left,” Liontarus had told her, with flowing tears.

Poor boy. Never believed in anything. But she would return to him, and describe the god. He would believe then.

“Stay in place, or turn right,” The priest had told her. The priest had taught them, Lucy and all other boys and girls, day after day, month after month, and year after year. Liontarus was a mountaineer. He never received proper education. Lucy would teach him everything.

Virgins are delicate…

The galloping sound was almost by her side, behind a turn of the maze, perhaps.

The dream verse wanted to emerge. What was that verse? She felt feverish.
A close-by sniffing sound.

It was time. She removed the blind-fold. Like a foaming river, the verses washed over her.

Virgins are delicate
Virgins are decadent
apt for the appetite of gods.

§

anahitaAnahita teaches at East Tennessee State University, her fiction has appeared in Bosley Gravel’s Cavalcade of Terror, Every Day Fiction, Lorelei Signal, Mirror Dance, and a few other magazines.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Posted in Original Fiction | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A DREADFUL LITTLE LINE UP FOR SPRING AND SUMMER by Bosley Gravel

We have some great submissions coming up, fiction and articles by both newbies, master of the craft of fiction, and everything in between. We are currently looking for found art, more music and images and oddities … so have had it, my dreadful little monsters.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment