.........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.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

MUTANT RAIN FOREST ISSUE


  WELCOME TO THE 20TH ISSUE OF THE FREEZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION


For this extra special edition of our nonprofit cyber-rag, we're featuring four short stories: INEVITABLE, by Sanford Meschkow, MEERGA by John Shirley, THE RECIDIVIST by Brian "Flesheater" Stoneking, and LATE NIGHT EXTERMINATOR by Vincent Daemon; in addition, we close out this special commemorative issue with five poems by Bruce Boston reprinted from the 1992 Horror's Head Press collection he co-authored with Robert Frazier CHRONICLES OF THE MUTANT RAIN FOREST.

Click the images below to read the stories and poems in this issue:

INEVITABLE    by Sanford Meschkow                          art by Les Bossinas for NASA

In this vision of a crew aboard the space craft Ultima Thule, the author explores the questions of whether it's a commanding officer's duty to motivate junior officers toward a promotion along with more startling inquiries into the nature of their mission to space.



MEERGA     by John Shirley                                                                art by Will Ferret

In this moving short story about a near future where synthetic women are mass produced as sexual pets, the author looks beneath the genetically modified skin to peer deeply into our real human condition. Here's a tale about the triumph of the human spirit battling sexual objectification at its most perversely extreme. 



THE RECIDIVIST     by Brian "Flesheater" Stoneking    art by Jason Heckenliable

Personnel in hazmat suits at a military quarantine lab are holding a very special prisoner in lockdown. He is the perfect killing machine and carries with him a terrible secret. It's up to General Manning and his crew at the research station to insure this rogue agent does not escape to kill again. 



LATE NIGHT EXTERMINATOR     by Vincent Daemon              art by Kara Koma
 
We return to Vincent Daemon's twisted world of Dolton, Pennsylvania with the mis- adventure of Lee, who is not a doctor nor a paramedic, he's an exterminator.  He fucking kills bugs.  Lee's seen a lot of sick things in and around this tweaker town.  Lee's ready for the job when he gets a desperate call after midnight. The question for our readers remains: are you prepared?



5 poems by Bruce Boston from CHRONICLES OF THE MUTANT RAIN FOREST
http://freezineoffantasyandsciencefiction.blogspot.com/2016/06/mutant-rain-forest-i.html
                                            featuring 4 watercolors by Marge Simon plus an illustration by Shasta Lawton




And that's a wrap for the 20th issue (count 'em)of the FREEZINE of Fantasy and Science Fiction.  I want to give an emphatic shout out and props to the following authors and artists for having dared to contribute their outstanding stories and artwork to keep this free experimental weblog/zine going well into it's seventh year. Thank you to Sanford Meschkow, John Shirley, Brian Stoneking, Vincent Daemon, and Bruce Boston for contributing your original material to our cause. Thank you to Marge Simon for the four beautiful watercolors that went along with the first four Mutant Rain Forest poems; and thank you to Shasta Lawton for contributing the banner art in addition to the illustration for the fifth Mutant Rain Forest poem.  A heap of thanks goes out to Jason Heckenliable for allowing the use of my cellphone snapshot of his reptoid painting for Flesheater's The Recidivist; thanks to Brother Chief Cat Will Ferret for his gracious contribution providing a visual counterpoint to John Shirley's story; and a million thanks goes out to Kara Koma for her bugged out illustration used in Vinnie's Late Night Exterminator.  




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FANTASY and SCIENCE FICTION TODAY
  




  



MUTANT RAIN FOREST: V

THE MUSIC OF THE MUTANT RAIN FOREST

by Bruce Boston



                                                                             art by Shasta Lawton



is a completely natural music
born of transformation,

a thoroughly mutated music
born from corruption.

The Mutant Rain Forest
comes alive at night,
and that is when
its orchestra tunes up
in a wild cacophony
of unnatural selection:

the hissing baritone
of a millipede python

the hypnotic drone
of the blood orchid,
drawing predators
that become prey,

the rising falling hum
of insect swarms
as they live and die
and evolve into
twilight dawn,

the raucous squeak
of the parrot hawk,
a ravenous bird,
a shadow bird
except when it feeds
and a feathered ruff
rises in garish
rainbow array
around its neck,

the hard bone click
of horned tapirs
clashing by night
for control of the herd,
the roars that
rake their throats,

and always
the sudden intermittent
sounds of death and feeding,
the cries of the conquest
and of those eaten.

And intertwined and echoing
within and beyond it all,
the sibilant and husky
language of the cat people,
a constant refrain,
whispering yet insistent
in its seductive complexity.

For no rational reason
you wait for them to finish,
but they go on and on,
this endlessly tuning up.

You wait for the
conductor to appear
in his tie and tails
with baton in hand,
tapping the stand
for attention
and silence.

You wait for him
to raise his arms
and strike that
hard blow
against the air
with his stick
that starts the concert.

But he never does.

There is
no conductor.
The concert
never begins.

And that arrhythmic
beat keeps changing
with every measure.

You are frightened
yet drawn by
its random oscillations
and savage insinuations.

Then you realize
that you are already
listening to the concert,
this endless tuning up
for a performance
that never occurs
and occurs forever.








Stay Tuned Later Today
for all 4 stories + 5 poems
to be bundled together into the


featuring writing by

SANFORD MESCHKOW
JOHN SHIRLEY
BRIAN STONEKING
VINCENT DAEMON
BRUCE BOSTON


and artwork by

WILL FERRET
JASON HECKENLIABLE
KARA KOMA
MARGE SIMON
SHASTA LAWTON



only on
the FREEZINE of
Fantasy and Science
Fiction 




Wednesday, June 29, 2016

MUTANT RAIN FOREST: IV

THE MUTANT RAIN FOREST MEETS THE SEA

by Bruce Boston



                             watercolor by Marge Simon



All-night cantinas are still.
Shabby film-noir hotels
are steeped in shadow
deeper than their stains.

The vines are everywhere,
like scouts of an army
hard upon their heels,
like mad organic lace,

a grand ophidian opulence
leafing the listing
masts that dot the harbor,
caging the empty plazas

and abandoned streets
in tendrils that stray
along pastel walls,
across rust tile roofs,

twining through windows
with sinuous grace,
toppling lamps aside,
indifferent to remains,

mute green strength,
blind and vegetative,
about to pull the city
down into its waves.






Return Tomorrow to read
appearing online only on 
http://freezineoffantasyandsciencefiction.blogspot.com/2016/06/mutant-rain-forest-v.html





Tuesday, June 28, 2016

MUTANT RAIN FOREST: III

ILLUMINATION IN THE MUTANT RAIN FOREST

by Bruce Boston


                             watercolor by Marge Simon




Rebel saints and stray pariahs,
   clever con artists and stalwart desperadoes,
     mad adventurers and rogue fanatics,
devotees of all that is outré and fantastic...

embrace the transfigurations of this spacious borderland,
   this unexpected frontier where individual imaginations
            can chance freedom and death beyond
                        the hermetic wisdom of dome-dweller cant,
beyond the futureless ghetto entrapment
of the unshielded urban sprawl...

where it is rumored that in a valley yet to be mapped,
somewhere in the vast interior of this organic labyrinth,
   light, the very spiritus lux incarnate,
     roams the treetop canopy silently
        from branch to intertwining branch...

spilling a liquid radiance from the cups of flowers,
   rifling the hidden plumage of exotic birds,
     peeling an ebon sheen
        from the chitinous backs of arboreal beetles...

gathering diverse shades and blending unseen colors
   to cast an illumination so archly pure
          in its dusk light clarity
   that it fills the leaves with a rarefied translucence
for miles in every direction...

so potent in its distillation
   you must smell and taste and savor
     its foxfire nectar with every intake of breath,
        so vital in the implications
     of its visionary promise
        that tears will rule your cheeks...

and you will know with a certainty akin to madness
   that all the unnamed appetites of your questing soul
          could soon be sated...






Return Tomorrow to read
appearing online only on 
of Fantasy and Science
FICTION 





Monday, June 27, 2016

MUTANT RAIN FOREST: II

A GOURMAND OF THE MUTANT RAIN FOREST

by Bruce Boston


                         watercolor by Marge Simon 





His jaded palate
is startled and refreshed
by a wealth of flavors
so subtle and provocative
that frissons of delight
shudder up and down
his meaty back,
by pungent aromatics
so utterly unique
he once again discovers
the first unbounded passion
of his sensual decay.

From a penthouse suite
safe within the Seattle dome,
he expends his fortune
on delicacies more
bizarre and illicit
than a cannibal's feast.
He bribes customs officials
and employs unsavory sorts
so that he might savor
the fruits and meats
of a furious ecology,
so that his taste buds
might embark upon
vicarious exploration
of far rivers and climes
he would never dare
to visit in the flesh.
Even the pains which
rack his portly belly
do not lessen his desire
for spiny bone-white guavas
seasoned with banana moss.
The rash of radiation welts
which erupts upon his chest,
his throat and forearms,
does not delay his hunt
for the perfect table red
to complement the spicy
roasted sweetbreads
of the anaconda sloth.

He is discovered
one morning slumped
before his laden table,
nearly unrecognizable
in the stench of his decay.
The slender stalks
of saffron fungi
which sprout
from all his orifices
have reduced him
to an ectomorph
and scoured
the plates before him
till they shine,
yet have left
a ghastly rictus
of gluttony revered
upon his face.






Return Tomorrow to read
appearing online only on 
of Fantasy and Science
FICTION 





Sunday, June 26, 2016

MUTANT RAIN FOREST: I

THREE EVOCATIONS OF THE MUTANT RAIN FOREST

by Bruce Boston


                                     watercolor by Marge Simon 


Evolution

When young Charles rode the Beagle round the Cape
bound for the revelations of the Galapagos,
little did he know that war and rampant
radiation would turn this continent
he circumnavigated into a land
which would first prove his
theories of survival
and selection,
not in millennia but months,
and with like rapidity prove them
as useless as Newton’s linear equations
to the curving temporal attenuations of space.

And now even his special island is rife
with protean life and the unique
and isolated species he once
cataloged with such care
have vanished
in an onslaught far more
unique and constantly changing,
more fertile than flights of pure imagination.



Expansion

From space, with each revolution of the planet,
the dark arboreal palimpsest seems to lengthen.
In the time lapsed motion of satellite tapes,
it swells like a gargantuan amoeba in mitosis.

Rio. Caracas. Sao Paulo. The coastal cities
which survive do so by a daily confrontation.
The lines of armor clad troops advance warily,
spraying gouts of liquid fire into the wilds.

Napalm. Cyanogen. Agent Orange. A poison rain
of defoliants and excoriation falls in waves
from the decks of combat planes and choppers,
yet the flames are strangely dampened and die.

In a makeshift refugee camp, a native Indio
from the abandoned interior, drafted to fight,
sleeps in battle fatigues by his pregnant wife.
All his dreams have been transformed to frights

in which the serpentine vines he burns by day
have rooted deep within their displaced lives,
to twine and strangulate the bloody umbilical
and suffocate the breath of his unborn child.



Elan Vital

Beyond the claws of bestial battle,
beyond the green on green attrition,
some say a force is dwelling here
which links its manifold creations,
a rank and raging barbaric spirit,
a dim but still awakening sentience,
which touches and taints our souls
and gives rise to stray obsessions.

The banks of thunderous cumuli
stacked against the Andes range,
fall east to meet miasmic mists
which rise in streaming drifts
from the swamps of lowland basins,
and in this airborne compilation
dense and brackish figures evolve
in an endless surreal cinemontage
of unconscious organic visions.

Some say that far and farther south
beyond the Rivers Negro and Parana,
beyond the encroaching vegetation,
a retreating tribe has suffered
an enchantment and possession
in the shadow of the forest wall,
for now they divinate its growth
and foretell our changeling future
as they read the clouds’ collisions










Return Tomorrow to read
appearing here online only on 
of Fantasy and Science
FICTION 





Saturday, June 25, 2016

MUTANT RAIN FOREST poems begin SUNDAY

Attention Dear Constant Readers!
Beginning tomorrow, Sunday, June 26
the FREEZINE of Fantasy and Science Fiction
is proud to present five reprinted poems from
the 1992 collection by Bruce Boston and Robert Frazier
CHRONICLES OF THE MUTANT RAIN FOREST.

Bruce Boston himself has submitted five of his own poems
from that now out-of-print book put out by Horror's Head Press
nearly a quarter of a century ago. So be sure to return tomorrow


to read the first of the five poems that we are going to serialize
in daily installments during these last days left in JUNE, 2016.
After the fifth and final Mutant Rain Forest poem goes up Thursday
we will then publish our traditional final post of the month which
bundles together all the stories and poems we ran throughout June.

So be sure to stay tuned to this website for the presentation of
THREE EVOCATIONS OF THE MUTANT RAIN FOREST
by Bruce Boston
illustrated by Marge Simon
presented tomorrow
only on

the FREEZINE of
Fantasy and Science
Fiction




Friday, June 24, 2016

LATE NIGHT EXTERMINATOR

by Vincent Daemon


http://freezinezone.blogspot.com/2015/08/weathered-statues.html
Art by Kara Koma

             It was well after midnight when the telephone rang, snapping Lee out of his hypnagogic painkiller nod. He answered quietly, exhausted, irritated. “Yeah?”
            “Is . . . is this the Late Night Exterminator service?” It was a young woman, sounding quite upset.
            “Yeah.”
            “Um, um, we have a bit of a situation . . . with um . . .” The girl sounded completely frazzled, her heavy breaths panted loud into the receiver of the phone. It sounded like there was another person there in the background, mumbling something he couldn’t hear.
            “Look, kid, I ain’t got time for this. What’s the issue?”
            Clickhang up.
            Friggin’ tweakers Lee thought to himself, dropping the phone back onto the receiver, the little ringer bell dinging inside as he did so. He kept his nineteen-seventy style rotary phone and used that as his office incoming line, no outline. For that he did have a cell, really more out of necessity than anything else.
            Lee leaned back and shut his eyes, hoping to fade into another moderately peaceful nod state, when the old phone rang again. He picked up, furious. “Look here, I ain’t got time for you goddamned tweakers . . .”
            “No listen, please.”  There was something about the dire tone in her voice that kept him listening. “It’s my Aunt Ginny, there’s something wrong with her . . .”
            He went with the obvious. “Spider bite? Get her to a hospital, nothing I can do but . . .”
            No! Listen . . . you just have to come here, now! Aunt Ginny is sick, really sick.”
            “Look, I ain’t a doctor or paramedic. I am an exterminator. I fucking kill bugs, lady. Bugs.”
            “But . . . there are bugs. Lots of ‘em. Please! This is an emergency . . . they’re friggin’ everywhere!”
            Lee felt the desperation in her voice was genuine enough, and he could still hear someone yelling now, a male, in the background. Begrudgingly, he conceded. “Where ya located?”
            The young woman yelled back, right into the receiver, just like her heavy breathing. “Goddammit Norman! Just hold her down . . . hold her the fuck down!” Just as harried, her attentions turned back to the phone. “Um, sorry, we are at 44 Dolton Lane. In Dolton.”
            “Dolton?” Lee proclaimed, really not wanting to travel ninety minutes outside the city for anything, not even his job. But the reality was that he was broke, and really, people don’t ever need a late night exterminator unless there is a very real problem. Or they are completely tweaking. And Dolton was indeed tweaker country. This sounded like both, the mere thought upsetting his stomach and instilling a great unease within him. “Gimme ‘bout two hours, lady. What’s your name again?”
            “Nikki and my boyfriend here is Norman and . . .”
            “Yeah, I’m already familiar with Aunt Ginny.” Too much info, tweaker. “Gimme about two hours.”
            Click.
            Lee sat up, lighting a Camel cigarette, pulling heavy, holding, releasing slowly. He then popped five time release thirty milligram MS-Contins (morphine sulfate), masticating the pills into a bunchy bitter paste on his tongue, swallowing them hard with a warm bottled water. It was the only way he felt he could calm his nerves.
            Standing, he walked over to the closet and began to suit up, the outfit being an altered creation of his own kind. It was made of a thick black stretch fabric, with thick black pads on the elbows, knees, and shoulders, each joint wrapped in a tight band of silver duct tape, the pants tightly tucked into scuffed leather knee high jack boots. There was virtually no way any foul insect could touch his skin in this get up, especially when he put on the mask. With large dark covered holes for eyes and a WWII style breather, it was meant to instill fear, Armageddon, and a subconscious fetishistic curiosity in one fell swoop. Then there was the “insecticide,” a viscous and volatile concoction of unknown strength that was quite flammable, made by Lee himself.
            Lee really hated bugs.

                                  
                                     

            The night was hot and humid, his suit tight, uncomfortable in the swelter. As he left the city, moving a quick pace toward tweaker country, he could feel the morphine kicking in, that certain strange kind of anxiety, particular to opiates, only lasted a few minutes before the gentle cool down of the drug itself. His mind always went to strange places during that anxiety, and when on jobs, especially such as this, his thoughts would eventually go to what drove him into this horrid profession in the first place.
            In his early twenties, Lee lived down south, running from his strange hoarder mother and questionable upbringing, and had met the most beautiful red haired southern belle named Grace. She had a thick cute southern drawl and long legs, and she had loved him with all her heart. On late and sultry nights such as this, they often would go out into the dank thick swamps, bustling with all the eerie silent commotion of late night swamp life activity. They would go to look at gators, to make out, to fool around even further, making intense and sweaty love on rickety and half rotten prohibition-era dock stills, hoping not to fall into the warm black waters.
            One particularly frisky and full moonlit evening the heat was making them half insane with a complete and total primal lust for one another, so much so that upon the mere sight of each other their sexes would begin to throb and their bodies long for each other’s touch. They went deep into the swamps that night, further than usual, as Grace was concerned about anyone hearing her particularly loud orgasmic wailing. She knew she’d be completely out of control.
Finding a decent sized dock-still, Lee hitched the canoe to it quite hastily. Almost immediately they were both undressed, pressed hard to one another against the boards of the small dock. Tongues intertwined, Grace got on top of Lee, wrapping herself up like a serpent and riding him furiously. Eventually, while still interconnected and kissing deeply, Lee rolled her onto her back, watching the wonderful pale and extra bright moonlight brighten up her comely face, reflect in her love-mad eyes. They were moving in such a potent and powerful unison that they did not hear the dock-still begin to crack, the dry rotten ply board snapping swiftly and without warning. The dock had broken into the water at a forty-five degree angle.
            They began to slide off, and both reached up to grab the lower railing of the still. Unfortunately, Grace reached up and put her hand right around a nest of horrid and very large brownish white spiders. The large arachnids immediately began to panic, biting ferociously and quickly crawling their way up her arm, over her shoulder, up her neck and down her bosom. Grace began to lose it, shrieking from both terror and pain, and let her grip go while flailing about, feebly trying to slap the spiders off her skin, only to enrage them further.
            Lee also began to involuntarily swat these terrible arachnids off her already blistering flesh, which would have surely gone quite necrotic. Due to the sheer volume of bites, she would quickly die from infection. However, she slid down into the murky swamp muck, feet first and right into a nest of mating copperheads.
            Lee caught himself just in time, and reached his free hand down to help his love. She scrambled, continued to flail. When she howled with a pure and primal terror he had never before heard, he knew at that moment there was nothing he could do. Thrashing seizures from so much neurotoxin pummeled her form as the horny snakes crawled and slithered over her skin. After several minutes of this convulsive helpless hopelessness, Grace fell still, the waters around her calm but for the odd moonlit reflective ripples of the copperheads coming and going, their home disturbed, repeatedly biting her every now and again for good measure and to make sure she was no longer a threat.
            Lee was trapped on that spider covered dock-still for two days before he was found naked, alone, covered in those horrendous spiders (though oddly enough not bitten even once), emotionally decimated and stricken with grief. He had seen her carcass dragged off by gators, and no trace of her had ever been found. He had loved her like no other, and she him, setting his life on a course of bad drugs, worse women, and even more dreadful decisions. He quit his band Glitter Skank and moved back up north to Brisberg, just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From there he began to take on various exterminating jobs, eventually going into business himself as the only late night exterminator in every town he went to. The psychological scarring of that night with Grace had caused a phobia so hateful and intense inside him that every lowlife insect he killed was like a little more retribution for him . . . and another piece of him dying all over again. Hence the strange suit he had created; hence the morphine addiction.
            The memory was driving him mad now and he had to shut it off. As the morphine eased in fully he hit his tape player inside his truck, and turned the roaring locomotive thundering rock of Motorhead as loud as it could go, Philthy Phil “The Animal” Taylor’s double-bass steam train drum assault beating those thoughts back into the recesses of his deepest, darkest memories.
            Lee floored the work truck with a wild transmission-shifting rev on into Dolton.
           
                                    
                                   
           
His mid-sized blue Dodge work truck pulled up to the dark house on 44 Dolton Lane. He thought he could tell just by the immense amount of clutter and debris on the front porch what he was about to walk into. For a moment it looked just like where he had grown up. Fucking tweaker hoarders.
            Within moments this harried looking girl came running out and down the porch steps. “Are you the late night exterminator?” she questioned quite pleadingly.
            Whatta you think? “Yeah. You Nikki?”  Lee was out of the truck and loading up his gear, consisting of a container of home grown toxin spray poison strapped to his back, and the very odd black gas mask.
             The girl stood silent, her eyes glazed over and her pupils the size of tea saucers. She smelled like she hadn’t bathed in weeks, a pungent scent of stale menstruation mixed with severe body odor, stimulant sweat and cigarette-whiskey thick, tooth-rot breath. “Please hurry!” Lee could hear her boyfriend yelling incoherently from inside the house.  The girl shouted, “Dammit, Norman! The fucking exterminator’s here! Asshole!”
            Lee could pick up on that all too familiar stench of decay and rotten meat as he entered the cluttered abode. He began taking stock of some of the things on the porch: a tricycle, rusted beyond repair; all kinds of weird Coca-Cola collectibles; a broken drum kit; televisions; radios; busted filing cabinets . . . definitely hoarders. Lee felt like he was walking into one of the rings of hell. Lee felt like he was walking into his past.
            The inside of the house was piled high with all manner of newspapers and comic books, magazines, baseball cards, clothing, fine china and waxy silver, the ever present Coca-Cola collectibles and every manner of everything.
            “Heh, sorry for the mess,” Nikki told Lee sheepishly, perhaps somewhat aware of the condition of the place though most likely not fully cognizant of it . . . and certainly not able to do anything about it.
            “Nikki, get in here, she’s seizing again!” came the ever harried and bellowing voice of a man from another room. Deductive reasoning told Lee that it was Norman.
            “Wait here . . . oh, just start killing these fucking bugs, please. I’ll be right back,” and Nikki was off to the room in the back, maneuvering her way through a literal two and a half foot wide corridor of junk, piled high to the ceiling absolutely everywhere.
            He could hear garbled, angry confused voices coming from the back room, and stood there for a second surveying the situation. Within moments he could spot all manner of creepy-crawlies hiding out and scurrying around the moldering filth. Huge brown spiders were everywhere, making Lee’s flesh positively crawl beneath his suit. Silverfish of all sizes swarmed in and out of the ancient newspapers and magazines, feasting and breeding amongst the damp rotten pulp. Maggots littered the floor in places where food stuffs had been left out and dropped, those foodstuffs also rotting away; chicken bones, half eaten fast food burgers. Maggots squirmed in piles of unmentionable foulness. They squished underneath his every step. Eyes still to the floor, he could see the extremely aggressive centipede species scutigera coleoptrata running all over the top of his boots, trying to crawl up his body. He shook them off, and looked around to see that the house was infested with the damn things. They clung to every wall, almost watching him with a great and sinister intent.
            The commotion was still going strong in the back room, yelling voices and an odd but low chirpy buzzing drone, wavering in volume. Lee pulled his mask down, covering the entirety of his face (yet only a little of the stench), and began to pump out the homemade poison from the sprayer on his back. Without giving one good goddamn, he began to just spray everything, the insects and arachnids now exploding from every newspaper and filthy wall corner, sick from the toxin and quite pissed. He was soaking everything in the house, and it seemed the more he sprayed the more nasty things there were all around him. Hell, he’d been doing this for years now and was seeing things the likes of which wouldn’t show up in his worst nightmare. As he maneuvered himself around the now poison-drenched narrow corridors of antiques and junk and food waste, he felt that horrible trapped feeling. He was also concerned about the towers of junk collapsing and burying him in a filth-slide of mold and mildew and bugs.
            Lee heard the man yell “What? What?” and heard angry footsteps come rushing out at a furious pace. The man appeared, seemingly out of thin air, and was an obviously tuned-up speed freak. His blue eyes completely glazed over with methamphetamine madness, the look on his face one of pure hatred toward Lee. “Hey, I’m Norman. What the fuck do you think you’re doing?”
            This sent Lee’s blood boiling. He really did not need to deal with this speed freak shit right now. “I’m the late night exterminator. Nikki called me about an insect problem. I’m trying to remedy that problem.” His tone came out a wee bit aggressive.
            “Well, you’re fucking up my stuff. This shit’s worth a lot of fucking money. The problem ain’t in here, neither.”
            Lee couldn’t contain it any longer, though tried quite in vain to sound professional. “Excuse me, sir, have you seen the condition of your house? There is a severe insect problem going on here and
            “Yeah, I know exactly what’s going on. You are in my house fuckin’ up my livelihoods, asshole. I told you, the problem ain’t in here.”
            “Then where the fuck is it, buddy?” Now Lee was very much on the defensive.
Norman pulled out a revolver, pointed it directly at Lee’s face. 
“Get down the end of this hall and get in that room, now.” The gun cocked, and Lee made his way through the maze of trash, gun to the back of his head the entire time, Norman prattling off obscenities about his stuff and his “livelihoods.” 
            Nikki stood in the doorway of the room Lee was being forced into, and began to beg and plead at Norman. “No! Norman, this is not what we discussed! You said to call him to get rid of the bugs so you could sell that stuff and we could have money to get more stuff and . . .”
            “I fuckin’ lied. Now move outta the way.” He whacked the side of Nikki’s head with the butt of his revolver, sending her weak and malnourished little cranked-up body to the slimy larvae floor, hard. The poor girl merely sniveled and cowered in whimpering shame.
            “Now, exterminator man, take off your fucking mask.” Lee did so, the stench of the little room hitting him hard. “Now, look on the bed. See that old broad there? Exterminate her.
            “What? No! What are you talking about, speed freak?” Lee was aghast with horror to find old Aunt Ginny tied down to the bed, duct tape over her mouth and around her knees. The old woman seized hard beneath the restraints, her eyes wide with a panic that seemed more like a semi-aware dementia. She fell still, and that muffled buzzing emanated from some indiscernible part of the room, though it sounded like the woman herself.
            “What do you mean ‘no’? You come into my house, destroy my things, and then refuse to do the job you were hired for?” Norman slammed the muzzle of the revolver to the back of Lee’s head. “You got no choice, buddy. You touched my fuckin’ stuff . . . it’s mine.”
            Still holding Lee at gunpoint, Norman walked over to Aunt Ginny, ripped the duct tape from her sallow parched lips. The only sound that came out was that buzzing din, growing louder as she began another round of convulsions.
            “Hey, this woman needs a doctor, man, not . . .”
            “Do what I say! Now!” He pulled the duct tape from her knees, her hands and feet still bound to the bed, the scent of decubitious ulcers intermingling with the other foul aromas and hanging like a wall of rot in the air. “Your sprayer, put it up inside her before there is a big, big problem.”
            Lee felt frozen, involuntarily, not wanting to act on this horrid request, but full well knowing his fate if he did not. He forced himself to move closer, slowly, toward Aunt Ginny.
            “Pump it. Put it in her, and pump it, or so help me GOD I will blow your fucking brains out.”
            Nikki got up, hysterical, and came at Norman, maniacally and out of control. She bellowed at the top of her lungs to not kill her Aunt. With one quick maneuver, Norman turned and pulled the trigger dead square into her face, virtually blowing it out the back of her head. All of her brain matter and fragments of skull splattered the grimy grey wall behind her. Nikki’s body fell into a dead heap before all in the room, as Aunt Ginny continued to seize and buzz.
            Lee acted fast, turning his sprayer on Norman and blasting the meth head right in his eyes, Norman dropping the gun while both men were temporarily deafened from the close range gunshot to Nikki’s face. Norman screamed half gibberish obscenities, and grabbed an old nameless Boy Scout trophy from a box in the room, going at Lee blind and swinging. Lee managed to duck the trophy by tackling the crazed Norman to the slithering maggot floor, trying to wrestle the trophy out of his hand. The two men skirmished amongst the filth and the trash, the sprayer on Lee’s back breaking as they rolled in pools of Lee’s homemade insecticide, battering each other with their fists, their skin burning. Lee kept trying to push Norman’s face into the puddles of poison, but he jerked back each time. Apparently he knew how to fight, especially kooked.
            Aunt Ginny’s buzzing grew louder, and could still be heard over the ringing ears of Lee.
            Lee was on top of Norman, holding him down by the throat. He looked up and spied yet another collection of ancient Coke bottles, the sturdy kind from the fifties. He grabbed one, and began to bash Norman’s skull open with Neanderthal fury, the speed freak’s cranium collapsing a little more after every slam of the bottle. His grey matter seeped out into the poison puddles with upturned ketchup-bottle chug sounds, falling in thick splats to feed the maggots. Norman’s body fell still.
            Winded, Lee got up. “I gotta get you to a doctor, lady.” He went over to the bed to untie Aunt Ginny, and noticed her belly rising and falling, her eyes rolling white in the back of her head. Something seemed to be creeping up her throat. Her jaw began to distend, as though being opened from the inside out.
            Without warning, from between Aunt Ginny’s legs, that buzzing sound grew to a roar of white noise, and literally thousands of freshly born cicadas came pouring out of the woman’s groin, and then from her throat. Lee watched in astonishment and horror as her eyeballs dislodged and the cicadas came oozing out from her empty sockets as well. They flew and buzzed about the room, covered in the suffering old woman’s blood and bits of innards, spotting it everywhere as their strong wings clamored a billion miles a second. Lee’s face was covered in flecks of Aunt Ginny’s stinking rotten guts within moments.
            Throwing his mask back on, he bent down to rummage Norman’s pockets, finding two large wads of cash, and stuffed them into his own. Turning, he knew what he must do. He’d had to do it before. A few times, actually. Pulling out a box of water proof matches, he struck one, was momentarily tranced by the glow and sizzling sulfur sound, and dropped it into the puddles of insecticide around Norman’s corpse, the toxin going up like kerosene; a slow burn but spreading quickly.
            Lee stealthily began to make his way out of this strange and terrible hoarder house, lighting and leaving matches the whole way, a veritable Promethean string of hot flame in his wake. Being cooked alive, the poisoned insects and arachnids lay twitching in the blue flame pools of  toxin, as though they were freshly gassed soldiers on a WWI battlefield. He made his way out to the truck, pulling the door open and jumping in quick.
            Before he started the truck, he looked back to the house, knowing the whole time that he should have just stayed broke, in the city, instead of traveling here to this madness. He popped five more painkillers, and started the truck.
            Lee felt horrible about this, but was aware of the fact that he may have done these methed-up simpletons a favor. Poor addled Nikki, so stupid . . . and Aunt Ginny, whatever the hell was going on there . . . and fuck Norman. It seemed every couple of jobs ended with some form of out of control madness, but it’s the profession he chose . . . to be a Late Night Exterminator. It was his business to deal with the strange, regardless of how so. He felt deep down this was not the last time, not by a long shot. It never was.
But Lee couldn’t think about that now. Pulling out his cell phone, he called the fire department.
            Lee lit a Camel, sucked in deep, and hit play on the cassette player. Motorhead roared once again at top volume, “Riding With The Driver.” Fingering the wads of cash in his pocket, he floored his truck straight out of Dolton.




                                       


         


        
   Return this Sunday to read 
illustrated by Marge Simon & Shasta Lawton

only on

the FREEZINE of
Fantasy and Science
Fiction 

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
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
not enough, and left for art school. He was
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
is a Burningman participant of 14 years,
and he swings a mean sword in the SCA.


Shae Sveniker's
A NEW METAPHYSICAL STUDY
REGARDING THE BEHAVIOR
OF PLANT LIFE


Shae is a poet/artist/student and former
resident of the Salt Pit, UT, currently living
in Simi Valley, CA. His short stories are on
Blogger and his poetry is hosted on Livejournal.



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
is his first publication.


J.R. Torina's
THE HOUSE IN THE PORT


J.R. Torina was DJ for Sonic Slaughter-
house ('90-'97), runs Sutekh Productions
(an industrial-ambient music label) and
Slaughterhouse Records (metal record
label), and was proprietor of The Abyss
(a metal-gothic-industrial c.d. shop in
SLC, now closed). He is the dark force
behind Scapegoat (an ambient-tribal-
noise-experimental unit). THE HOUSE
IN THE PORT is his first publication.


K.B. Updike, Jr's
THE GOLDEN THIRD EYE


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