Thursday, December 31, 2015

KRAMPUS YULE ISSUE #19





     Welcome to the KRAMPUS YULE ISSUE of the FREEZINE of Fantasy and Science Fiction.  This has been the 19th issue of our submersible literary rag tag webzine, and as such, marks a profound disturbance in the Force.  We all should know by now what an enigmatic and powerful numeral 19 happens to be.  So for those writers and artists which managed to get in to this extra special Christmas "Horror" issue, congratulations.  It would not have been possible without the likes of you.  We enjoyed 4 (count 'em) stories stuffed into this online digital stocking.  They are (in order of appearance) A SILENT NIGHT (FOR A DEMI-GHOUL) by Vincent Daemon, FINNY MOON by Keith Graham, GROUND PORK by Gene Stewart writing as Art Wester, and MONKEY MAN by Johnny Strike.   To read each of these stories, just click on the images below associated with them, and enjoy some fiction free of the typical ravages of the profiteering publishing and advertising industry.  


     The FREEZINE continues to function as an available antidote to the corporate vampirism which actively drains our creative community of originality while paralyzing aspiring authors with trepidation and confusion insofar as the general business of publishing these days is concerned.  For those who feel that is using hyperbole or going too far, suffice it to say the FREEZINE is just a fun vehicle for creative writers and readers to play around with.  


     We've been going strong now for six years ever since July of 2009, when John Shirley was gracious enough to submit his previously unpublished novella SKY PIRATES to help launch our collaborative online vessel. That novella is still archived in sixteen easy-to-click-through installments, and remains a wonderful homage to both Edgar Rice Burroughs' manner of writing and that of Rafael Sabatini's creation, Captain Blood, rendered into a sort of Golden Age space opera replete with all its most satisfying elements.  So be sure to begin reading it as soon as possible if you haven't already; you'll be glad you did, and furthermore, you may easily share Part 1 by utilizing the widgets below it for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Blogger, or share by email.  When you share the stories or chapters archived in the FREEZINE, you are personally helping spread the word for their authors, thereby doing them the service of providing them with more exposure.  

     By no means has the FREEZINE ever relied on nor associated itself with paid advertising of any sort, nor does it profit in any way aside from spreading happiness and satisfaction among its dubious clientele.  A quick search of the Blog Archives in the right margin as well as the Archive of Stories and Authors located just below it will reveal some astonishing writers and artistry, among them best-selling author A. A. Attanasio (who generously gifted us with a ten-part serialization of his short novelette SWIMMING IN THE GHOST RIVER, now archived in the previous edition of our webzine, the PENTAQUARK ISSUE #18).  You'll even discover a brand-new, previously unpublished story by none other than Misha Nogha called JUPITER RING in that now legendary issue, along with yet another new and previously unpublished short story that was too "on the nose politically" for mainstream publishers to accept, WHERE THE MARKET'S HOTTEST, by John Shirley, which features a brilliant full color illustration by none other than Serhiy Krykun, awarded BEST ARTIST in the Spirit of Dedication category by the European Science Fiction Society for the year 2015.   

     And now on to the four stories featured in our present KRAMPUS YULE ISSUE:  



by Vincent Daemon

     The KRAMPUS YULE ISSUE may not have even happened if it weren't for Vincent Daemon getting ahold of me and asking if I had anything planned for December.  I told him I was hoping to cobble together one final issue for 2015, so what did he have in mind?  Why, nothing less than a Holiday Horror Hoedown, as it turns out.  After he sent me his short novella A SILENT NIGHT (FOR A DEMI-GHOUL), I became excited about the prospect of yet another serialized story (in 15 installments, no less) to headline this DECEMBER issue. I was particularly excited to find that in fifteen chapters, the story would serialize perfectly beginning on Monday, December 7th to conclude exactly on Christmas day, Friday December 25.  A perfect daily countdown concluding on Xmas.    

The challenge facing me as chief editor and overseer of the FREEZINE was to come up with at least fifteen separate pieces of artwork in such short notice. I thought to myself, "Why don't I just search far and wide across the interwebs and locate pertinent street graffiti art which might represent characters and scenes from the story?" And Eureka! thus were stumbled upon the 13 pieces of graffiti I discovered online (including a couple which I myself photographed right here in SLC: utilized in chapters IV, V, and VII), plus the 2 pieces of original artwork by Kara Koma (chapters II and XIV), who has now returned to the art fold here after having illustrated one of Vince's previous serials, OF CADENCE AND WEATHERED STATUES.  

We are supremely grateful for Kara's ongoing contributions, so thank you Kara for being bold enough to supply your art to our growing legacy.  And a decisive Thanks goes out to Vincent Daemon for having contributed his 8th story to our immortalized webzine. Without you leading our crew of Freezine Veterans Vinnie, this ship would most likely have begun sinking into oblivion awhile ago.  I hereby grant you the title of Vice Admiral of our growing craft of iconoclastic anthologies (which makes John Shirley the Admiral).   


FINNY MOON
by Keith Graham

     The second story in our KRAMPUS YULE ISSUE comes from another Freezine Veteran author Keith Graham, who has gifted us with his short story FINNY MOON, about a crusty group of fishermen who manage to capture a mermaid.  Ok, so that's a minor spoiler, so what? You can already tell there's a damn mermaid in the story from looking at the wonderful artwork which was cooked up on the spot by our gifted and original artist, Shasta Lawton.  So go ahead and read the story already and find out what happens.  This marks our 5th story with Keith, who is a fellow beekeeper and from what I've heard, plays a mean blues harp to boot.  Thanks a million Keith for your contributions to our growing website here, and we are all grateful you participated in this impromptu winter issue of our zine. May your bees and blues flourish in 2016. 




GROUND PORK
by Gene Stewart writing as Art Wester

For our third entry found stuffed into our proverbial Xmas Stocking of Stories, we have Gene Stewart's second appearance in the FREEZINE writing as Art Wester for his tasty treat for the Holidays, GROUND PORK.  He provided the illustration to this tale of horror and we are very happy for his contribution.  Without participating writers like Gene and all the others to reach deep into their own stockings of hidden away stories, this blog would've most likely surrendered itself to the depths of forgotten oblivion years ago.  Thank you Gene very much for participating in our online creative writing workshop slash webzine slash artistic forum for free and unbridled expression in the craft of science fiction, horror, fantasy, and general all around storytelling which we all hold in such high regard.  The more writers who get involved and the more readers who subscribe, follow and share the stories permanently archived in the FREEZINE of Fantasy and Science Fiction, the more exposure the aforementioned authors and artists will get, and the more fun we'll all have together on this digital sailboat bound for glory.  Which brings us to our fourth and final tale in this stuffed holiday stocking of surprises:





 MONKEY MAN
by Johnny Strike

Thank goodness Johnny Strike got a hold of me during the very midst of December, while halfway through our slowly cultivated KRAMPUS YULE ISSUE.  He sent me MONKEY MAN, an excerpt from his unpublished novel called The Society.  

"Christmas holidays come to Istanbul as well as fluttering snowWith the Blue Mosque behind that snow it's quite a magnificent site. But today, dear readers, it's summertime, and we find Strike's latest anti-hero outside of Istanbul deep in the woods, and in a brand new predicament."  Thus was the brief intro Johnny suggested I kick off his story excerpt with, and we are all happy to have been given a glimpse of his next literary project. Search the drop-down archives here in the right hand margin; you'll find this to be the fourth (count 'em) story supplied by the legendary frontman of the classic Bay Area punk band CRIME, as well as published author of at least one novel and many short stories. William S. Burroughs said of Johnny Strike's writing: "These are maps of real places. That is what marks the artist, he's been there and brought it back."  With kudos from the Priest of Cool himself, it's only a matter of time before Johnny strikes back with another novel for his rabid readers.  Thanks Johnny for helping once again to keep this literary vessel afloat.  Happy New Year to you and everyone else involved in the creation of this latest issue of the FREEZINE.  

[The graffiti image of the 3 monkeys is from Camperdown Sydney, Australia street art, original photo courtesy of Neerav Bhatt, taken on Dec 19, 2012.  Image modified by yours truly in Photobucket, to bring out the sharper colors and contrasts, as well as cropping the image for a better look and fit.  The image is a Creative Commons-Attribution-Noncommerical -ShareAlike 2.0 Generic image free to be shared, copied, and redistributed in any medium or format.  All graffiti images used in this issue are Creative Commons-Attributions free to share and use for non-commercial purposes; if there are exceptions to this rule, I'll rectify that later by editing this post and giving credit where it's due. Meanwhile,  thanks to Gary from Pocono Photo Shoot for giving me permission to display his 5-star ceramic skull ornament depicted at the top & bottom of this page.  I purchased one myself from Zazzle.com and customized it with the legend HAPPY KRAMPUS on the back, and colored the back chocolate brown.  Follow this Zazzle link to purchase one for yourself to commemorate this edition of the FREEZINE, if you wish.  For any street art or graffiti that I appropriated for this issue that may yet require attribution, please be patient while I do my best to track them all down and then enter the street artist's name or any pertinent details such as who snapped the photo or which city the graffiti came from, and I'll insert those right here in this section.]  



~ And That's A Wrap ~


for 
the 19th 
Issue of

the FREEZINE of
Fantasy and Science
Fiction
  


~ A Happy & Prosperous
New Year To You All ~





Monday, December 28, 2015

MONKEY MAN

by Johnny Strike







      How much time had passed I didn’t know, but I woke up with a headache that included a feeling as though my eyeballs were being consumed by a raging blue fire. I was somewhere out in the country. I was sitting on dirt ground, my wrists tied too tightly behind me to a pole. My legs likewise tied as well to another pole. I was in an enclosed area with cement walls so high that even if I could get loose, climbing the walls without the proper gear would be impossible. My confidence had turned to paralyzing fear, much like when I’d been captured in the cage. A monkey was standing before me chattering. He showed his yellow teeth. He made frantic gestures. Was this the prelude to some hideous torture I’d not even imagined? The monkey continued to chatter while he untied me. 

      Relieved, I rubbed circulation into my extremities. I got to my feet, wobbly at first, still rubbing. My monkey rescuer jumped up and down. Pulling at my pant leg, he led me to a far corner where two other monkeys stood guard. I saw that they’d made crude steps with mud and some stones nearly to the top. Up I went. At the top I could see the living quarters of my captors, a ramshackle house, smoke from a cooking shaft, and a shed nearby. The smell of meat and onions was in the air. It was still a dangerous jump down to freedom. I found one of the monkeys by my side handing me a thick vine. I took it, tugged at it, and found it securely attached to a tall tree at the wood's edge. So, once again, somehow overriding my fear of heights, I, Johnny Tarzan, swung through the air. At what seemed the right time I let go, grabbing onto that tree. Although I had a rough moment with a partial slip, I got a grip and made my way down.
       

     Rather than trekking off to God knows where, and likely being tracked (with no weapon), I crept back closer to watch the house. From this angle I could see there were three of them, Sati, his hand bandaged, as well as the two cousins. All of them eventually sat around a table together for what I assumed was supper. In the shed I found some items to help me, a child’s red wagon, (one wheel loose, off-balanced), a shovel, a can with some gasoline, an empty beer keg, some paint aerosol cans, matches, some moldy newspaper, all of which I arranged carefully in the wagon, even a couple of empty flour sacks. I poured the gas into the keg, attached a handmade paper/twine fuse. Moving with the shadows I pulled the wagon around front where the door was propped open to catch some breeze. They had it loosely draped with mosquito netting too. I lit the fuse and shoved the crazy wagon in. The damn thing misbehaved from the start, going up in flames, then lifting off the ground, flying into the front room like something supernatural. An especially loud WHOOSH, WHOOSH. I jumped back fearing an explosion, but it didn’t happen. Inside a fire raged, someone screamed, followed by KA-BOOM, KA-BOOM, a decent double explosion that was enough to affect my hearing. All three came out fast, Sati tumbling, partially on fire, rolling around on the ground, attended to by a cousin who didn’t see the shovel coming that knocked him out. But, it broke off as well, so using the technique of cane fighting, I jabbed and pulled with the other cousin who’d come up with the fantastic weapon of a club with metal spikes. He swung and missed. I kicked dirt into his face, then kicked him in the nut sack. He fell in misery, blind, holding his balls.
       

     Sati had gotten the fire out and jumped to his feet, his face charred, blackened, but gloating, because now he was holding a .357 Magnum, trigger cocked. The moonlight played over his evil expression. I thought glumly, ‘Well, it had to end sometime.’ A shot rang out, then another. Sati had been shot in the chest and the forehead. I turned to see Adja coming out of some brush cradling a rifle with a telescopic lens.
       

     What would you do without me, Lance?”
       
     One cousin got up, still blinded. A poke/pull to the gut with the shovel handle produced an OOF. I threw the handle to the side, knocking him out with an old fashioned left/right combination. He toppled back into the dust with a stupid, bloody face.
       
     “Or them,” I said to Adja, gesturing over to the three monkeys who looked like they were practicing the hear no, see no, speak no evil signs. They made noises that I took to be a kind of laughter. Then they all clapped. I told her about them helping me. She looked amazed.
       

     “I’ve heard other stories like that. Leave it to you to bring it to light. You must be an animal mystic too. And luckily, my dear, I’ve had you followed. The chip you’ve been carrying in your belt buckle got us close enough.” Her dad, wearing all khaki, a pith helmet, and the expression of some misguided safari director, emerged from the woods at a different point, cradling his rifle. 

     He stopped to put a bullet in the head of the one I’d knocked out and another into the other one who was again trying to get to his feet. I was startled at the cold-blooded action, but then I considered what I would have had in store from this nasty trio. Pops squatted and called to the monkeys, making a chattering noise very similar to theirs. They gathered around him, pulling on his sleeve. He handed out dried fruit, snacks, and some candy from his backpack.





Click Above To Read
The Attributions For The
KRAMPUS YULE ISSUE
of the FREEZINE of
Fantasy and Science
Fiction


Return in just a few months
When the FREEZINE presents
its 20th Issue, featuring stories by

BRIAN "FLESHEATER" STONEKING
SANFORD MESCHKOW
JOHN SHIRLEY
plus poems by 
BRUCE BOSTON 
illustrated by 
MARGE SIMON

Only on 

 the FREEZINE of

Fantasy and Science Fiction



Friday, December 25, 2015

A SILENT NIGHT (FOR A DEMI-GHOUL): XV

by Vincent Daemon



Chapter XV





Of Song & Legend




  Joan was up on stage during Chorn, Julie, and John’s dramatic and panicked entrance. Immediately upon sight of John, Joan started in on him, storming off the stage and through the minuscule smattering of loaded holiday barfly loners, finger pointed and mouth bellowing hurtful obscenities foul enough to shock an ex-Marine trucker into full-on purple-faced blushing. Her sloppy coke-stripper tits jaggled like horrid, brown-nippled fried egg sacks about to spread yolk.

   The gaggle of drunken onlookers watched in their inebriated confusion, listening in stunned silence to every word this wretched woman had to say. 

  Funny part was, John no longer felt any reaction to this. He’d been so accustomed to this treatment from her, so numbed by it, that he found her behavior, and way-too-old-to-be-stripping gesticulations profoundly immature, inane, and attention-grabbing, as if jiggling her ass for coke money in this dive meant anything, and wasn’t just an attention grab for herself in particular, regardless.

  She stood there and her whiskey-stink spittle hit him square in the face as she spat personal intimacies of their life in heaving waves of grotesque accusation. John stood there without reaction, expressionless, and said nothing.

  But Julie had heard enough and grabbed the beastly bitch by the shoulders,  pushing her against the door, which was now beginning to bang in hard thrusts from the other side, a terrible growl emanating from just beyond the crackling, ancient oak panel. 

  “What the fuck, bitch!” Joan bellowed at Julie, who would not tolerate that. She pushed with a deceptive body strength, compared to her slight pixie frame, holding Joan hard against the door as the thing outside battered further in. Joan grabbed a handful of Julie’s strawberry blonde locks but to no avail. Julie merely said, “You’ll have to do better than that, you foul mouthed pig-slut!” 

  The wet-brain patrons, all ten of them, laughed and cheered drunkenly like a gaggle of fuck-faced frat boys while the lone female bartender watched in bewilderment, wanting to call the cops but herself too taken in by this most unexpected train-wreck of a cat-fight. 

  Even Chorn got a small chuckle, that is, until he and John had the well-timed sense to grab the back of Julie’s coat and shirt in just enough time to pull her away from the finally splintering door, just as a pair of immense inhuman and crimson clawed hands tore through the entrance, through Joan, and almost Julie (had it not been for the quick actions of John and the doctor). The seven-fingered claws clutched Joan’s spinal cord, audibly crushing the vertebrae in its grip. Joan let out a howl of agony.  All of this immediately put an end to the holiday cheers of the lonely drunkards, sending them into a panicked, clumsy mass of terrified man-children trying to seek whatever refuge they could  find.

  After her howl, Joan looked at Julie and mumbled out “Bitch,” just before being torn asunder as the beast spread its arms apart, exploding through the door and his hapless victim with a roar and puffed chest of such immense size that it blew the splintered shrapnel from the doorway along with Joan’s once intact skeletal frame including bits of skin, eyes, brains, limbs, intestines, digits, lungs, and those still-horrific sloppy fried-egg tit scraps inward, all this bloody detritus machine-gun bulleting throughout the bar, until one rib stabbed directly into the catatonic bartender’s withering face with enough force to send her body back against the shelf of cheap watered-down booze and the filthy mirror behind it. Every last bit of glass and mirror shattered, collapsing atop the bartender’s head and raining to the floor.

  Several of the patrons also caught a full on glimpse of this being—spread out and rasping, that had just ripped its way through a door and human body with the greatest of ease, looming and looking about in that blown-out space—and then went into the usual routines of withering madness that all who glimpsed upon it were subject to.

  “For fucks sake do not look at it!” Chorn bellowed as he heroically tried to keep Julie and John safe behind him. As the three were slowly forced back into a pink and green neon-lit corner spattered in bloody stripper bits, one of Joan’s breasts could be seen clung to the wall behind them like some weird pancake.

  Julie grabbed John tight, as he did her, and they exchanged glances, eye to eye, looking into and seeing nothing but each other as the soulmates they both knew they were. Chorn kept his eyes blocked, looking down upon the creature’s strange and webbed, almost amphibious feet. They too were purple-razor clawed like its hands, and just as strong.  This thing was most assuredly not of our messed-up corner of a shit-hole universe. It was backing them into that sex-crime scene of a corner so closely that they could feel and smell the noxious toxicity of its rank and raspy-humid breath. 

  John and Julie began to kiss with a deep soul love so unexpected, they held each other as tightly as possible to share their oncoming deaths together. They’d finally found each other on their own personal Doomsday Eve. 

  Doc Chorn both saw and felt this, was happy to be going out seeing love instead of all the hate that slithered through this world.  Hatred such as he had always secretly combated in various brilliant, incognito, and metaphysical ways.  Most people would never know of his positive deeds, and he would merely go down in history as a footnote, an “occultist loon,” which he most certainly was not. His name would remain forever tarnished by one slick and truly sick death-soul salesman named “Dr.” Joseph Cetero, during a series of increasingly vicious debates that had exploded out of control in the media. 

  Chorn knew this monstrosity wreaking havoc was just a scared and misplaced anomaly, with no place for it on this planet, nor in this universe. This was the living embodiment of all “God” mythos, from ape-men on mushrooms to this very day. This was the dark side of all belief systems come to light, nothing more than a cosmic biological wonder attempting to adapt to an environment that could not withstand it, nor which could it tolerate. The long buried word for this kind of beast was Demi-Ghoul: part god-being, part flesh-eating monster. 

  Still, Chorn had no desire to see himself, his new friends, or eventually the rest of the planet harmed by this maddening visage of pure cosmic hell.

  John raised his eyes as they widened in a rush of satori. “You, Julie. You’re the wish.”

  The creature unhinged its jaw, almost snake-like, getting ready to attempt a toothy decapitation trifecta. They all kept their eyes away from it while feeling the wind of its arm as it raised high overhead, ready to gut-swipe them all, when another sound came from behind the beast. A different kind of growl; a battle-cry in its own deafening manner. It was the roar of someone with a score to settle.

  Cyimir grabbed the living thing’s raised arm and snapped it back as far as it would go, the ghastly sounds of odd fractures permeating the complete dead-air silence. 

  The galactic terror distracted, the trapped three used the opportunity to get out of Dodge as best they could, and quietly holed up in the boss's small office. They huddled, and communicated through an understood, almost empathic link contact as they listened to the beast destroy the remainder of the HOMEFIELD A GO-GO.

  What they did not see was Cyimir being completely unaffected by the creature’s stare, and his unwavering confidence as he watched the creature struggle to fight back. The two beasts grappled, wrestling like goddamned UMA fighters in a lawless cage-match to the death. These two animals had nothing but sheer and unabashed hatred for one another. Not just from their first encounter, but from each other's very point of existence. They bit, clawed, and tore at one another with the malice of infinities untold. Perhaps, at one time, long ago, these species had encountered each other when all was different, in another place. Or perhaps it was just the multi-universal nature of apex supremacy turned against itself.

  The interstellar stranger’s animosity went into complete overdrive as it gasped, rasped, and swiped at Cyimir, flesh-wounding the bear a few times, but nothing as of yet life-threatening. The blood smeared on his fur made it look far worse than it was. 

  Cyimir’s stark white pelt was covered in enough blood to almost match the odd, scarlet torso of the Off-Worlder, who was now caught in Cyimir’s firm grasp from behind, the alien’s breathing suffering more by the second as the polar bear slowly choked it out, beating the monstrosity’s head repeatedly on the floor, tightening his grip around its neck with every crashing slam. 

  The creature, still in the grip of the bear who noticed its weakness, struggled as Cyimir pulled back hard on what little it had of a throat. The beast dropped to its knees in Cyimir’s rage-fueled grip, began to spasm, then finally just slumped over. Its seven-pupilled eye remained open, yet stopped in its awful glow as the life force faded away. 

  Just to make sure, Cyimir grabbed the beast’s face, looking dead into it with no issue at all. With his great paws he snapped the dead thing’s lower jaw, breaking it, slapping at it mockingly, the jaw waddling almost comically, limp as could be, to make sure this thing was in fact dead.

  Indeed, it was.  

  After an interminable silence, Chorn carefully opened the door, and saw a quite tired and slightly dazed, blood-soaked Cyimir sitting calmly by the corpse of the monstrosity, the polar bear himself seeming none the worse for wear. Chorn approached carefully, making sure not to make any contact with the face of the monster, treating it almost like the ancient Greeks would have a Gorgon, Medusa herself perhaps. The idea in fact already had Chorn’s mind churning new theories.

  He motioned to John and Julie, who were still completely entangled amongst each other.  They pulled apart once Chorn “ahemed” the enraptured new lovers, letting them know it was safe as he patted the bear’s head gently, and threw his coat over the face of the slain alien thing.

  Chorn, seeing a hacksaw hanging crookedly on the office wall, gave his partners the caveat as he took it down, and warned them they may not want to watch or listen. But desensitization had set in pretty hard by this point, and they just sat and continued to exchange soulful looks while Chorn quickly removed the space beast’s head, keeping it wrapped in his jacket as he cut through the strangely-textured flesh. It went easier and quicker, yet quite gooier than expected, as the fluid that poured out was of a thick and pungent, awful smelling, neon greenish purple swirl, with a used motor-oil coloration to it. 

  When finished, he carefully tied tight the removed head in the coat that he’d covered the face with. “I have a place for this,” he stated with confidence. “Gutaltaar, Demi-Ghoul, ancient beyond words, a deeply secret and sacred idea that in some way runs through every belief system there is, or isn’t, or ever has or has not been, and has been around since the first found cave paintings, to those strange mountains in the Antarctic no one seems able to get to, but someone appears to claim to find now and again. Those explorers usually go catatonic-crazy as well. Thankfully, we won’t. Julie, you may refer to me as Dr. Chorn in the article. I knew you were readin’ me, kid. Good skills. Smart, observant. You will write about this, and people will love it. Trust me. They will doubt it. However, the taking of the head…please, no mention of that. I’m sure the cavalryhehwill be here shortly. I will not. I gotta get out of Dodge—and get this to a safe place. The only place I know of. 

  “Jonathan, you are a true gent and a scholar of the highest accord. You will also write about this, but in a different way. You will present it as fiction.” He smiled at both of them warmly.

  There were a million questions burning in both John and Julie’s minds. They understood, what exactly they weren’t sure, but they understood.

  “Oh, one final thing!” Chorn was excited as he fished the oddly etched comet piece he had kept from the woods out from the one exposed outer pocket of his balled-up coat, placed it on the table, and told Julie to get her notebook out and to write what he was about to attempt to recite from the carving within the comet-eggshell. 

  She did just that, with her big goofy pen, tipped with a vampire bat:
“Waves of empty crash so violent
           Upon jagged rocks
           Bodies vile strewn ashore
           Primordial creatures flop
           Complications of Mind and Soul
           The Will just won’t resign
           Lonely depths of Cosmos
           Vast reaches of Deep Time
           Dark matter and hydrogen
           Creating stillborn planets
           Atomic Chaos and Oxygen
           Silent still so Ancient
           Suicide suns burnt out
           Cave in on Themselves
           Entropy shifts and swallows
           There is no heaven and no hell.”

Chorn put the rock back in his pocket. “I’m sorry, it has to come with. You may see me again one day, hopefully under better circumstances. I keep a watch on my friends. Thank you, so very much. Rest your minds, enjoy each other, love each other. Johnny, light me up one of those joints I’ve been smelling all night.” 

 The three sat together, Chorn took a few puffs, then said, “Well kids, I must be on my way. I can’t be here when they get here, capiche?”

 Julie quickly queried, “Doc, what do we say happened to the head?”

 Chorn smirked. “The truth. The bear saved the day, sawed off the head, and ate it. Now go smoke, fuck like bunnies, have a great night and a better life, which I know you will.” With that he was in his car and gone, in seconds.

 John and Julie laid against Cyimir, all three comfy and warm, the adrenaline and terror leaving their system slowly. Within minutes, the cavalry, as Chorn had put it, showed up. Military, police, and men in suits with shiny badges. They were nice enough, however, bringing paramedics and food to the two star-crossed lovers, Cyimir, Paisley and Quacks.

 Statements were given and a million questions were asked, many by one icy Dr. Josef Cetero. And he did indeed, as one of his final questions, ask: “What happened to the head?”

 John and Julie looked at each other and kind of giggled.

 “What’s so funny?” asked the confused and humorless Cetero.

 John replied, “The bear sawed its head clean off.”

 “Then ate the fuck out of it,” Julie quickly added.

 Cetero seemed even more irritated. “You’re sure there was no one else with you? By the name of Chorn, perhaps? Claiming to be a doctor?” The man was flushed purple with rage.

 They shook their heads in unison. “Never heard of him,” John said. “Just us.” Julie and John returned their attentions to each other, as Walter Paisley signed the appropriate papers to get Cyimir to safety, as well as to retain ownership of Quacks.

 Outside, in the darkening shadows of night, as the chaos cleared, one silly silhouette could still be seen, stumbling around in the falling snow. It was that one, lousy, blind six-foot penguin.






The

END





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Thursday, December 24, 2015

A SILENT NIGHT (FOR A DEMI-GHOUL): XIV

by Vincent Daemon


Chapter XIV







Drinking Up Christmas





 Cautiously they made their way through the maze of rank human detritus left in the wake of the bizarre gargoyle from space. Bodies were piled torso high upon one another, some still bellowing in agony as their innards sluiced out from the spots of gnarled flesh sloppily torn open by both claw and pinpointed maw. Others let out pleading whimpers of confused shock, going catatonic or rocking. Some howled to a god that was not there. Withered children who now looked as if they suffered from progeria cried out for their dead parents. All were as good as dead. Even if they had managed to survive the attack, their minds, their lives, would never return to any form of normal. They were doomed to this existence of sheer madness.

 Chorn, Julie, and John had their coats pulled up over their faces, just below the eyes, to try and filter as much of the putrescence as possible from their nasal cavities. John had to ask, “Chorn, is this a regular thing for you or something?” Dr. Chorn did not answer. The stink was potent, eye-watering, retch-inducing. Blood, feces, piss, and whatever vile odors that thing was leaving behind it had completely overpowered any molecule of clean, fresh, winter-crisp breathable air.  

 The fresh falling snow was heavier now, the sky a dark slate gray storm color. That same fresh snow was beginning to layer up on the gaped and gashed and dying, creating an odd quivering mass of ever-reddening snow mounds that shivered and shuddered with the moribund wailing of young and old alike.

 Julie looked straight ahead, ignoring her peripheral vision, as this felt like it was all too much for her to take in at once. She thought back to the times as a late teen she would watch Christiane Amanpour on CNN, during the Afghan War, and wish she could be that ballsy war correspondent broad who seemed to have a limitless, almost dangerous lack of fear, who could see and hear and withstand every atrocity she’d report upon. But Amanpour never dealt with this, and in the back of Julie’s mind it made her feel weak, like all the dreams of her high school and college years were shattering at once, along with everything else she thought she’d ever accomplished, or at this point, understood about this world, this universe. 

 A sudden chill shook her violently, but not a chill from the cold. It was the realization that we, as sentient creatures, may never have been alone in those vast reaches of time and space and hostile, unlivable planetary environments. Obviously, something thrived, and it now occurred to her once agnostic beliefs that there really was not a God as such, just horrible things that dwelled in the furthest edges of our, and all other, galaxies. And that to those things, we essentially meant nothing.

  John, through their connection, feeling that one harsh convulsion of revulsion and repulsion and deep questioning of Julia’s self, pulled her tighter to him, a firm grip of loving protection and calming...until they hit the dead end of the charnel maze.

 Its back was to the three of them, and they could both hear and smell the roaring upchucks and suckling back of human cud. Its deep crimson-brown wings shielded them from its view. The ghastly sounds of its incessant vomiting and suckling kept the creature deaf to their ever-so-slight sounds and movements.

 Chorn looked back, huddled with John and Julie and whispered almost inaudibly, “We gotta get outta here now. If it turns, DO NOT look at it, just run. Until then, we are going to silently crawl over these...people, and get to that bar right over there. We’ll figure a plan out from there. It’s obviously open.”

 John said nothing, but the idea of going into the HOMEFIELD A GO-GO, where his cruel, sneaky hell-spawn ex-girlfriend Joan worked, churned his stomach worse than the ripped and leaking, slippery blood-slushed, half-alive mound of bodies they had to crawl over to get to the tacky strip joint. In all reality, he found his ex scarier than the fiendish aberration suckling guts which stood like a winged, statuesque wall before him. The monster would only kill him. His ex would make him suffer worse than anything this creature could do, and she knew how to make it last forever

 Julie merely put her notebook in her pocket and forcibly accepted this as the only option for escape. She mustered the inner strength to shut a part of herself down, to be able to do this. She wondered if this was what Amanpour did, how she handled her scenarios of suffering. Julie did not like this shutting down of a portion of her mind and soul; it felt unnatural, inhuman. Now the desensitization bothered her.

 They climbed the bodies carefully, slowly, constantly looking over their shoulders to make sure the feeding thing was still into its own personal holiday buffet.

 At the very least this thing was most definitely caught up in its activities. Until John’s foot slipped through the slashed crevice of a semi-living woman’s sizable belly and right into her intestines. His foot stuck, he kept trying with all his force to dislodge his boot from her ribs, where it had gotten caught on some spur of cracked bone. The woman let out a shriek so loud that it echoed into Diabolos Hills, and definitely caught the cosmic monstrosity’s attention.

 “Don’t look, Johnny—just fucking run!” Chorn bellowed, John losing his boot to the woman’s broken ribs, his guts aching with the sickness of having to do this, of not being able to just help her. But he did indeed haul ass. Julie somehow was already at the bar’s door, Chorn staying behind to extend his hand to John and help pull him up and over the heap of bodies sheened in slime. 

 The beast was now angrier and quite befuddled, facing them, trying to roar at them through its projectile spewing of now wasted human sustenance. It began to finally start ripping another swath through the human heap with a mere four or five swipes. It was obviously tiring, and rasping horribly with every inhale and exhale of air. It charged at them, straight toward the door. Chorn and the others made it into the nefarious strip joint by the skin of their teeth, slamming the door shut in the nick of time. 

 The beast bounced back, full and reeking and furious, yet dazed from how hard it had been hit by the slamming door. It sat for a moment, clutching its head, having never experienced this particular agony before.








Click Below to read
the conclusion of
http://freezineoffantasyandsciencefiction.blogspot.com/2015/12/a-silent-night-for-demi-ghoul_25.html
A SILENT NIGHT
(FOR A DEMI-GHOUL)
by Vincent Daemon

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
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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
Audio Anthology, The Tide Pool, and
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
and Science Fiction is proud to host the story
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
biographical blurbs written in the third
person. His previously published fiction
appears in The Vault of Punk Horror and
His non-fiction financial pieces can be found
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
Poetry Collection, The Gossamer Eye
(along with Mark McLaughlin and
David Niall Wilson). Her most
recent book, Barfodder: Poetry
Written in Dark Bars and Questionable
Cafes, has been hailed by Publisher's
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
works include a ghost story about a Cavalier
and a Western tale of retribution. Find her
ebooks, free weekly fiction and other
shenanigans at Icy’s Cabinet of Curiosities.


Blag Dahlia's
armed to the teeth
with LIPSTICK



BLAG DAHLIA is a Rock Legend.
Singer, Songwriter, producer &
founder of the notorious DWARVES.
He has written two novels, ‘NINA’ and
‘ARMED to the TEETH with LIPSTICK’.


G. Alden Davis's
THE FOLD


G. Alden Davis wrote his first short story
in high school, and received a creative
writing scholarship for the effort. Soon
afterward he discovered that words were
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awarded the Emeritus Fellowship along
with his BFA from Memphis College of Art
in '94, and entered the videogame industry
as a team leader and 3D artist. He has over
25 published games to his credit. Mr. Davis
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Shae Sveniker's
A NEW METAPHYSICAL STUDY
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Shae is a poet/artist/student and former
resident of the Salt Pit, UT, currently living
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Nigel Strange's
PLASTIC CHILDREN


Nigel Strange lives with his wife and
daughter, cats, and tiny dog-like thing
in their home in California where he
occasionally experiments recreationally
with lucidity. PLASTIC CHILDREN
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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


K.B. Updike, Jr. is a young virgin
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published 100% for free:
(We are not certain if K.B. Updike, Jr.
has lost his Virginian virginity yet.)