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......MUTANT RAIN FOREST ISSUE........JUNE, 2016
Illustrations above by Shasta Lawton.

Be sure to Subscribe and Follow this blog to keep updated on the FREEZINE of Fantasy and Science Fiction. If you or a friend are interested in submitting your short stories or longer works for daily serialization in a future issue, please contact us at freezinefantasysciencefiction@gmail.com, and we will reply in due time. Thank you for your participation in helping to support this nonprofit creative writing platform. Don't miss out on the current issue featuring Sanford Meschkow, John Shirley, Brian Stoneking, Vincent Daemon, and Bruce Boston. Featuring art by Will Ferret, Jason Heckenliable, Kara Koma, Marge Simon, and Shasta Lawton.

Friday, November 23, 2012

I AM THE SUN: V


by Sean Manseau


“Duncan’s right,” said the gangling kid. June was on the floor with his knee in the small of her back. He’d already taped her mouth shut, and once he’d expertly bound her wrists and kicking feet, he stood to strip of his own coveralls. A baseball uniform, of all things, that was what he had on underneath: red with white stripes, a baseball pierced with a Philips-head screw on the chest. With its red metallic greaves, gauntlets, and helmet, it was an outfit more suited to combat than throwing strikes.

“You've got my vote,” the girl added. "Let’s just waste him and be done with it." She had stripped down to a simple black body suit, with a neckline that plunged to her navel and gloves and boots that matched her shocking pink hair.

“Damn straight!” One Man Army said, pulling on the Maadi’s charging arm to chamber a round.

Sighing, Price pushed himself up from the love seat.

“Lawless,” he said, “I know idiocy comes naturally to you, but try not to infect your impressionable young teammates.” He stepped out of his coveralls to reveal his black suit had acquired a velvety sheen, and the sleeves and collar of his white shirt had grown Edwardian ruffles. He pulled a collapsed top hat from a pocket of the coveralls, popped it to full extension, and settled it on his salt-and-pepper hair. “Any attempt to harm Nicholas will most certainly have very grave consequences. We went over and over this.”

“For Christ’s sake!” Shepherd cried. He had to make some sense of this if he was going to make a plan. Maybe they were a Manson-style family whose desert compound Nicholas had escaped? Psychos that liked to dress up as comic book characters, and that’s where he’d gotten his ideas? “He’s just a kid. Stop pointing that gun at him!”

“Tango, you have him?” Price asked.

“For now,” the girl answered. “He’s strong, though. I’m already getting tired. Hurry up with the little wifey, Timmy.”

“Coming, I’m coming,” the gangling kid grumbled. He hauled June over to the couch and then came back for Shepherd.

Shepherd didn’t recognize the girl, but the gangling youth’s costume brought another lurch of vertiginous unreality. He was dressed up as Screwball, originally a member of the Assailants Association, but who later defected to the Avenging Furies because he was in love with the beauteous Ne Plus Ultra. Screwball threw baseballs that exploded, baseballs that could stun, freeze, burn or paralyze. Dazed, Shepherd groped for Screwball’s battle-cry; all of Nicholas’s heroes had one. Then he had it: Time to bring the heat!

“Let’s stop fucking around,” One Man Army said around the unlit cigar stub clenched between his teeth. “We came for intel, so let’s collect some fucking intel. Straight from the horse’s mouth, as it were.” He combed back Nicholas’s blond bangs with the Mahdi’s delta sight. “What do you say, kid?”

Price stepped closer, but seemed to rethink laying a restraining hand on the man’s shoulder. “If you just give me a moment to prepare, I can telepathically—”

“Shut the fuck up, Dr. Cosmos,” One Man Army sneered. “We’re doing this my way.”

Whey-faced, Nicholas sought Shepherd’s eye. His mouth began to form a question, maybe Why is this happening? or worse, Why aren’t you doing something, Shep?

It was almost a relief when he said, “Why are you all dressed like one of my comic book guys?”

One Man Army grabbed the boy’s chin and turned his head back to face him. “Don’t play dumb, Nicholas. I think your little riff about time travel means you know exactly why we’re here. The question is, why are you here? Come on, now, don’t be scared. Speak up. Where are you from?”

Nicholas cried, “I’m from here!”

“Before that!” One Man Army roared. “Before Hyperion found you. Where are you from? What are you?”

Screwball was just beginning to wind the tape around Shepherd’s head, and he managed to wiggle free long enough to shout, “What is he? He’s a little boy, you maniac!”

Screwball smacked him across the back of the head. “Yeah, and thirty years from now, he’ll still be a little boy, Lyle, you dumbass. He’s gonna be ten years old forever. For all we know, he’s always been ten years old.” He paused to listen to his hearing aid. “Dr. Cosmos, Cannonade says that Nicholas has hunter/killers conducting sweeps about 100 klicks to the north and east of the bunker’s position. He’s getting nervous.”

“Tell him we’ll be on our way in two shakes of a pole-dancer’s tits,” One Man Army said. Then to Nicholas: “Listen to me, freak. I’m gonna count to three. If you don’t tell us where’re you’re from and what you’re doing here, I’m going to put a bullet between your eyes.” One Man Army stood and pushed Nicholas to stand against the piled slate wall of the hearth. “One.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Nicholas cried.

“Two.” One Man Army cocked the pistol’s firing hammer—tchak—a tiny mechanical sound that seemed to command a profound moment of silence.

“Shep! Help me!”

Shepherd helpless in his bonds, June with her eyes bugging, screaming behind the gagging tape and bucking as Tango pushed her back against the couch, Dr. Cosmos almost flapping his hands as he sputtered, “Don’t you understand the universe—”

One Many Army said, “Three.”

The report was deafening, the flash lasting only an instant, but searing the retinas. Then One Man Army was howling in pain, his gun hand clutched between his knees. Two of his fingers lay on the floor and one was stuck, jellied, to a picture it had toppled on top of the piano, Shepherd and June smearing cake across each other’s face, the frosting now tinted with blood.

Nicholas, unharmed, scurried back to huddle in the corner behind the end table. Shep could only watch as Tango extended a hand to float One Man Army to the loveseat, where Screwball bandaged his hand kitchen towels and more duct tape. June alternated between goggling at them and Shepherd. Shepherd stared back, trying to will the thought into her head: Don’t worry. Don’t worry. We’ll find a way out of this. Feeling so guilty, as if somehow this was all his fault.

Dr. Cosmos dragged Nicholas, thrashing and kicking, to the couch beside June, where he alternated between cooing Nicholas, relax, close your eyes and relax and screaming for Tango to get over there and hold the brat still already. At one point a tremendous explosion somewhere outside seemed to rock the house on its foundations and the Avenging Furies had leapt to their feet. The tableau of the four of them posed there, ready for action, was so uncanny Shepherd felt like he was falling backward down a deep black hole. They looked just as Nicholas would have drawn them.

After a tense moment Dr. Cosmos put a hand to his earpiece. He nodded at the rest of them to relax and returned to attempts to cajole Nicholas into conversation. The sulfur stink of expended ammunition hung in the room, burning Shep's sinuses. In the aftermath of One Man Army’s accident they’d forgotten to gag him. He’d bided his time, kept quiet. But now Shepherd twisted his neck to look up at Screwball. Abject begging his only option.

“Nicholas has never hurt anyone,” he said quietly. “Please, let him go.”



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Archive of Stories
and Authors

Sanford Meschkow's
INEVITABLE

Sanford Meschkow is a retired former
NYer who married a Philly suburban
Main Line girl. Sanford has been pub-
lished in a 1970s issue of AMAZING.
We welcome him here on the FREE-
ZINE of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Brian "Flesheater" Stoneking's
THE RECIDIVIST



Brian "Flesheater" Stoneking's
THE MEMORY SECTOR

Brian "Flesheater" Stoneking currently
resides in the high desert of Phoenix,
Arizona where he enjoys campy horror
movies within the comfort of an Insane
Asylum. Search for his science fiction
stories at The Intestinal Fortitude in
the Flesheater's World section.
The Memory Sector is his first
appearance in the Freezine of
Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Owen R. Powell's
NOETIC VACATIONS

Little is known of the mysterious
Owen R. Powell (oftentimes referred
to as Orp online). That is because he
usually keeps moving. The story
Noetic Vacations marks his first
appearance in the Freezine.

Edward Morris's
MERCY STREET

Edward Morris is a 2011 nominee for
the Pushcart Prize in literature, has
also been nominated for the 2009
Rhysling Award and the 2005 British
Science Fiction Association Award.
His short stories have been published
over a hundred and twenty times in
four languages, most recently at
PerhihelionSF, the Red Penny Papers'
SUPERPOW! anthology, and The
Magazine of Bizarro Fiction. He lives
and works in Portland as a writer,
editor, spoken word MC and bouncer,
and is also a regular guest author at
the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival.

Gene Stewart
(writing as Art Wester)
GROUND PORK


Gene Stewart's
CRYPTID'S LAIR

Gene Stewart is a writer and artist.
He currently lives in the Midwest
American Wilderness where he is
researching tales of mystical realism,
writing ficta mystica, and exploring
the dark by casting a little light into
the shadows. Follow this link to his
website where there are many samples
of his writing and much else; come
explore.

Adam Bolivar's
SERVITORS OF THE
OUTER DARKNESS


Adam Bolivar's
THE DEVIL & SIR
FRANCIS DRAKE



Adam Bolivar's
THE TIME-EATER


Adam Bolivar is an expatriate Bostonian
who has lived in New Orleans and Berkeley,
and currently resides in Portland, Oregon
with his beloved wife and fluffy gray cat
Dahlia. Adam wears round, antique glasses
and has a fondness for hats. His greatest
inspirations include H.P. Lovecraft,
Jack tales and coffee.


David Agranoff's
A PLANET OF YOUR OWN


David Agranoff's
THE FALLEN GUARDIAN'S MANDATE


David Agranoff is the author of the
short story collection Screams From
A Dying World, just published by
Afterbirth Books. David is a hardcore
vegan and tireless environmentalist.
His contributions to the punk horror
scene and the planet in general have
already established him as a bright
new writer and activist to watch out
for. The Freezine of Fantasy and
Science Fiction welcomes him and
his defiant vision open-heartedly.

David is a busy man, usually at work
on several different novels or projects
at once. He is sure to leave his mark on
a world teetering over the edge of
ecological imbalance. David's latest
books include the Wuxia -Pan
(martial arts fantasy) horror
novel called Hunting The Moon Tribe,
already out from Afterbirth Books.;
The Vegan Revolution...with Zombies,
[Deadite Press, 2010]; and
[Deadite Press, 2014]

Daniel José Older's
GRAVEYARD WALTZ


Daniel José Older's
THE COLLECTOR


Daniel José Older's spiritually driven,
urban storytelling takes root at the
crossroads of myth and history.
With sardonic, uplifting and often
hilarious prose, Older draws from
his work as an overnight 911 paramedic,
a teaching artist & an antiracist/antisexist
organizer to weave fast-moving, emotionally
engaging plots that speak whispers and
shouts about power and privilege in
modern day New York City. His work
has appeared in the Freezine of Fantasy
and Science Fiction, The ShadowCast
the collection Sunshine/Noir, and is
featured in Sheree Renee Thomas'
Black Pot Mojo Reading Series in Harlem.

When he's not writing, teaching or
riding around in an ambulance,
Daniel can be found performing with
his Brooklyn-based soul quartet
Ghost Star. His blog about the
ridiculous and disturbing world
of EMS can be found here.


Johnny Strike's
AS YOU WISH



Johnny Strike's
NIGHT FLAMERS



Johnny Strike's
THE HOMELESS MUTANTS



Johnny Strike will beat you with his guitar
and leave you lying in the gutter wishing you
had never dared enter his under ground world
of fake passports, lucky amulets, rain soaked
hotels, and occult mystique. If you don't leave
nice comments under his story, he's sure to sic
his band CRIME on you. He also wrote the novel
Ports Of Hell (Headpress), recommended by
William S. Burroughs. You don't receive kudos
from William Lee himself unless you are the
epitome of cool. Besides, have you listened to
CRIME's album Exalted Masters? It was
released in 2007 on the Crime Music label,
on vinyl only, featuring a slew of their old
rare hits. Its real punk music from seasoned
veterans. Now go track yourself down a copy
before its out of print. The Freezine of Fantasy
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that contains the line which titles his first
From Above (Rudos and Rubes).


Paul Stuart's
SEA?TV!


Paul Stuart is the author of numerous
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in a shiny, west-coast magazine that features
pictures of expensive homes, as well as images
of women in casual poses and their accessories.
Consider writing him at paul@twilightlane.com,
if you'd like some thing from his garage. In fall
2010, look for Grade 12 Trigonometry and
Pre-Calculus -With Zombies.


Rain Grave's
MAU BAST


Rain Graves is an award winning
author of horror, science fiction and
poetry. She is best known for the 2002
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David Niall Wilson). Her most
recent book, Barfodder: Poetry
Written in Dark Bars and Questionable
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Weekly as "Bukowski meets Lovecraft..."
in January of 2009. She lives and
writes in San Francisco, performing
spoken word at events around the
country. 877-DRK-POEM -



Icy Sedgwick's
THE PORCELAIN WOMAN


Icy Sedgwick is part writer and part
trainee supervillain. She lives in the UK
but dreams of the Old West. Her current
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and a Western tale of retribution. Find her
ebooks, free weekly fiction and other
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Blag Dahlia's
armed to the teeth
with LIPSTICK



BLAG DAHLIA is a Rock Legend.
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G. Alden Davis's
THE FOLD


G. Alden Davis wrote his first short story
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Shae Sveniker's
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Nigel Strange's
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J.R. Torina's
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J.R. Torina was DJ for Sonic Slaughter-
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K.B. Updike, Jr's
THE GOLDEN THIRD EYE


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has lost his Virginian virginity yet.)