banner art above by Charles Carter

Thursday, November 12, 2009


by G. Alden Davis

First was the change in gravity. Almost immediately I felt as if I was pulling against some misaligned, weighty force. It pulled at me, as if to force me down, lower to the ground. It felt like wind blowing hard against my skin, and my lips burst open spilling dozens of ceramic tiles out that once had been my teeth. They came out bloodless, painless, as if they dropped out frequently. I held a few in my hand, but as more spilled out I lost grip on the sliding pile and the whole thing upset. My teeth scattered out in the gravity well of below.

“How?” I pondered, rendered a feeble simpleton by the sting. I grimaced drunkenly as I felt the drool streaming from my wide and distorted lips. My vision served little purpose in this dark space, so I closed my eyes to be spared any disorienting glimpse. When I did an explosion went off, thunder and sparkling fire come to life, crackling through my inner ears and shuddering in my gut.

Intricate flowers unfolded from protruding stems and thrust openly out at me, each one trilling an indescribable fluting tune. The fervor of their playing caused the nether-wind to blow back my hair, and as I watched they bloomed, bloomed, bloomed.

The field of flowers before me fell under dark blue shadows. As the false day ended, each petal luminesced, as if a string of tiny, multicolored bulbs was strung along its curvatures.


When the roaring madness of ever-entwining glow-strands stopped, and the cacophony of voices ceased whisper-shouting in my face, I was aware of the loud protest of a rumbling and empty stomach. I immediately felt sweetly sick, like a mouthful of honey after running a dash. After a moment of crawling in black sand I again felt the rush of my situation take me over, like a surf of frightening and careless strength. I ran and ran, into the dark that shot sparks and flares like snarling scares across the matrix that held up my courage. I had gone and gone, only twice striking my head on some jutting protrusion.

How long had I been here now? I had lost consciousness at least twice, so at most I might have lost a day to that weird exhausted sleep. But the stubble of my chin and the taste in my mouth bespoke evidence of greater time passing, perhaps two days, or even more.

I looked around, testing the effects of the venom in my systems. My surroundings struck me with no more strangeness than I had come to expect from this shadow realm beneath a labyrinth of redrock; they were eroded in that manner that gave them the structure of bones, and in some cases, whole chambers resembled an enormous cage of windblown ribs, with hollows like eye sockets where no eyes should ever be. I expected that the chill and at least half my fear was the nerves in my body still captive in the grip of hoodoo poison, shaking against frigid chains in a dying attempt to shrug off that inhuman, numbing oppressor.

How could it still be in my system after two days? How else am I seeing any of this down here in the dark? I heard a distant humming approach, that never seemed to arrive. Blue sparks danced into my vision from the stage wings of my periphery.

Consciousness became an object that I dropped, and I once more fell, not into slumber, but into an absolute mental dissolution.

In a black sea I floated with the buoyancy of a bottled message. Stars rippled out against that watery sky, nova raindrops striking the slick of paved night. Lightning flashed and crackled bright streaks around the profile of a distant peak.

Drums were rumbling murmurous intonations in the shadows of shallow caves, hammered by the callused fist pads of the last of a lost tribe. Somewhere the wise ones began to hum dim in their nearing slumber while spiced air and fruited waterfalls crashed from broad canyons.

It calmed and warmed briefly as on a hot summer day, and the sun pressed on me like the grip of a missed friend. Cool cloudshadows occasionally shrouded the noble glare of that giant star, and with the wind came the scent of split corn. Something distant burned, a thin column of smoke near the horizon weaving up until stranded.

A blast of black feathers struck me in the face. Flapping wings folded my sight into unread tomes, closed and dusty scrolls held still with unbroken seals.

Then the birds burst out from my eyes, omens of oncoming flux. They flew out and away, leaving in their wake only a single feather, which drifted to where I stood on a slight and peculiar breeze.

I was no longer near the cave, though I could not recall escaping that twisted dark. The feather at my feet was in fact the only source of black in my otherwise bright surroundings. I watched as it rotated slow in the blow of a gentle wind, like a compass needle seeking magnetic north. It finally came to rest, indicating a direction I could not guess but presumed was east. My eyes, tight in a squint to prevent injury from the occasional drifting sand, followed the finger of feather towards the far and faded horizon. As I focused my attention towards this distance, I caught the faint hammer of skin-drummers, drifting like memories on a sweet and shifting wind. Had I not heard that same rhythm before, in a time not so long ago? I wrestled with the door latch to this secret mental room, but found it shut against all prying. Still, that flattened cadence called, drawing in and out of the audible like the ocean casting sporadic surf to a sandless, rock-strewn beach.

Following both the feather and the sound of drums, I stepped to the invisible path and began the final leg of quest.

The sand was a sea of blood beneath the furnace-stare of the single star that served as a sun on this forgotten world. The star was too small and bright to be our familiar, terrestrial Sol, and I had no doubt as to the overpowering otherness of the place I found myself. The ground seemed composed of ordinary sand, but upon inspection revealed a startling oddity. Each grain, tiny as it was, had faceted sides and a notably regular shape. Not all grains were identical, but in families formed of perfect polyhedrons. The result of this geometry was a sand packed firm and smooth. Around my footprints, the pattern was broken only slightly, like a puzzle half together.

As I traveled that vast hardpack, I watched my shadow lengthen before me. It was a fellow traveler in this mystic footrace, growing taller and thinner as it slowly took the lead.

The air’s subtle cooling confirmed my shadow’s rumor; the star was setting behind us. It’s failing warmth drew weakly at my back while my face pressed on into the cooling night. The hues of dawn were streaked and smeared into the somber tones of dusk, and so glorious was the spectacle of the setting star’s sleepy death-throes that I hardly questioned the extreme brevity of day. Warmth faded with the retreating light, leaving skeletal fingers to play at my nape, where a feline mother might grasp her child to pull it from harm’s way.

While this unfathomed land resembled the early, luminous paintings of the unexplored American west, I felt in the rearmost of my mind that all was entirely amiss. Scarce memories of my journey to this netherworld were depicted in a broken image, as if a demon-wind had scattered a sand-painting. I fought the gale in an attempt to restore some formal order, but it resisted these attempts and scattered more of my memories away. Only hints of former details remained. The instincts which had survived the storm, however, were not so dulled as to ignore the alarm of my strange situation.

With the nagging ache of a dream being lost to the day, I moved on across the blood colored sand. I was unaware of the regular way it accepted each footfall, spilling equal particles from the craters of every step. Slowly a procession of these identical tracks spread out behind me, and in not looking back I left unread the message of my own passing.

The star deepened, and the blood-sand took on the septic hue of a scab. Bathing the desert in it’s dead glare, the scowling star inspected its loss. Dark shadows ran like oil from every protruding rock. Slim lines contoured the dunes they were drawn over, stretching into the darkness which lay ahead.

Ignorant of the throb of my peds, concerned only with reaching whatever conclusion this madness concealed, I followed my confused intuition onward for a time much greater than years.

The fathomless night spread her arms over me in the failing warmth of an August ember. Whatever world I had become lost upon, I was glad for the last fraction of fire. I feared that the night’s glacial extreme might well freeze.

Ahead, the sand seemed packed flat by flood and cracked by flaming days. Each fracture shone in the phase of it’s fractaling break, hairlines dividing the dark clay in a pattern that lead to a horizon thrust through with standing stones. These fingers of rock protruded through the crust seemingly miles distant, though the fading light could have depicted them at only a quarter of that away.

As I stumbled on towards the cluster, I noticed that the light provided by the setting star grew brighter at the rock-ring’s center. It was clearly mustered within that gathering, stone grasp. Whatever might stand amidst that focus could indeed besmirch a lurch onward. After a few yards of travel I concluded that whatever the cause of that luminous increase, I had but a short way to reach it. The contradiction of it’s distance only moments before went unnoticed as I broke into a lumbering run. There was a feeling of rising urgency stirring in the air, like a gate swinging shut on a dream.

One hundred yards from the monolithic cluster I became aware of a sound that had risen to replace the former drumming. While being somewhat percussive, it was not at all like drums. From summer daydreams came the image of drying sheets waving on a line, of galleon sails furling in a strong wind. It’s familiar, kite-flying rustle relaxed me, like a runner called to pause by the cheer of a long lost friend. I stopped hammering the sand with my swollen feet and stood in silence, listening.

I focused a tilted ear and distinguished that whatever was flagging the wind was approaching, so I brought my eyes to bear behind and skyward. Peering into the star-flecked void I saw a dark shape scrape the otherwise smooth marble of space. My mouth was immediately dry.

As the shadow neared, gliding on the ice of night, I could distinguish elements beneath its noise, and sought to discern their origin. The backbone of this cadence was the obvious beat of wings, not the buzz of insect flight nor the cushioned flap of raptors. This was greater, a wingspan of worlds, in sync with the splash of brass cymbals or steel scales sliding in rows.

In my mind’s eye I saw a burning bird, a phoenix in a mushroom cloud, a falling star called Wyrmwood. I saw the colors of lost dances, a wheel within wheels, the turning of cosmic clocks.

Most of all, as this giant thing sailed across the vast blackness towards the sparkle of standing stones, I held to the impression not of its arrival, but of it’s return. Inside my head a voice whispered names in guttural, forgotten tongues.

“Garuda,” the hoarseness pronounced. “Coatl,” it repeated, which a clap of thunder punctuated.

As the rolling roar echoed against the slickrock, I clamored up the slight rise of dunes which held the circle of stones away from the rest of the desert. As I reached the crest, my eyes adjusted to the dim and strange light.

Within the circle stood heavy shapes. Figures glinted from ancient, metallic masks as a dim fire of coals danced light into the ring.

THE FOLD continues MONDAY, with Part 5

The Time-Eater, by Adam Bolivar

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Archive of Stories
and Authors

Sean Padlo's

Sean Padlo's

Sean Padlo's exact whereabouts
are never able to be fully
pinned down, but what we
do know about him is laced
with the echoes of legend.
He's already been known
to haunt certain areas of
the landscape, a trick said
to only be possible by being
able to manipulate it from
the future. His presence
among the rest of us here
at the freezine sends shivers
of fear deep in our solar plexus.

Konstantine Paradias & Edward

Konstantine Paradias's

Konstantine Paradias is a writer by
choice. At the moment, he's published
over 100 stories in English, Japanese,
Romanian, German, Dutch and
Portuguese and has worked in a free-
lancing capacity for videogames, screen-
plays and anthologies. People tell him
he's got a writing problem but he can,
like, quit whenever he wants, man.
His work has been nominated
for a Pushcart Prize.

Edward Morris's

Edward Morris's

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.

Tim Fezz's

Tim Fezz's

Tim Fezz hails out of the shattered
streets of Philly destroying the air-
waves and people's minds in the
underground with his band OLD
FEZZIWIG. He's been known to
dip his razor quill into his own
blood and pen a twisted tale
every now and again. We are
delighted to have him onboard
the FREEZINE and we hope
you are, too.

Daniel E. Lambert's

Daniel E. Lambert teaches English
at California State University, Los
Angeles and East Los Angeles College.
He also teaches online Literature
courses for Colorado Technical
University. His writing appears
in Silver Apples, Easy Reader,
Other Worlds, Wrapped in Plastic
and The Daily Breeze. His work
also appears in the anthologies
When Words Collide, Flash It,
Daily Flash 2012, Daily Frights
2012, An Island of Egrets and
Timeless Voices. His collection
of poetry and prose, Love and
Other Diversions, is available
through Amazon. He lives in
Southern California with his
wife, poet and author Anhthao Bui.


Phoenix has enjoyed writing since he
was a little kid. He finds much import-
ance and truth in creative expression.
Phoenix has written over sixty books,
and has published everything from
novels, to poetry and philosophy.
He hopes to inspire people with his
writing and to ask difficult questions
about our world and the universe.
Phoenix lives in Salt Lake City, Utah,
where he spends much of his time
reading books on science, philosophy,
and literature. He spends a good deal
of his free time writing and working
on new books. The Freezine of Fant-
asy and Science Fiction welcomes him
and his unique, intense vision.
Discover Phoenix's books at his author
page on Amazon. Also check out his blog.

Adam Bolivar's

Adam Bolivar's

Adam Bolivar's

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. He has been
a Romantic poet for as long as any-
one can remember, specializing in
the composition of spectral balladry,
utilizing to great effect a traditional
poetic form that taps into the haunted
undercurrents of folklore seldom found
in other forms of writing.
His poetry has appeared on the pages
of such publications as SPECTRAL
CTHULHU, and a poem of his,
"The Rime of the Eldritch Mariner,"
won the Rhysling Award for long-form
poetry. His collection of weird balladry
and Jack tales, THE LAY OF OLD HEX,
was published by Hippocampus Press in 2017.

David Agranoff's

David Agranoff's

David Agranoff is the author of the
following books: Ring of Fire (Eraserhead
Press, 2018), Flesh Trade (co-written
w/Edward Morris; published by Create-
Space, 2017), Punk Rock Ghost Story
(Deadite Press, 2016), Amazing Punk
Stories (Eraserhead Press, 2016),
Boot Boys of the Wolf Reich (Eraserhead
Press, 2014), Hunting the Moon Tribe
(Eraserhead Press, 2011), The Vegan
Revolution...with Zombies (Eraserhead
Press, 2010), and Screams from a Dying
World (Afterbirth Books, 2009).
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.

Sanford Meschkow's

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

Brian "Flesheater" Stoneking's

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

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.

Gene Stewart
(writing as Art Wester)

Gene Stewart's

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

Daniel José Older's

Daniel José Older's

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.

Paul Stuart's

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,
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

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

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

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

G. Alden Davis's

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.
He's also the best friend I ever had. He
was taken away from us last year on Jan
25 and I'll never be able to understand why.
Together we were a fantastic duo, the
legendary Grub Bros. Our secret base
exists on a cross-hatched nexus between
the Year of the Dragon and Dark City.
Somewhere along the tectonic fault
lines of our electromagnetic gathering,
shades of us peel off from the coruscating
pillars and are dropped back into the mix.
The phrase "rest in peace" just bugs me.
I'd rather think that Greg Grub's inimitable
spirit somehow continues evolving along
another manifestation of light itself, a
purple shift shall we say into another
phase of our expanding universe. I
ask myself, is it wishful thinking?
Will we really shed our human skin
like a discarded chrysalis and emerge
shimmering on another wavelength
altogether--or even manifest right
here among the rest without their
even beginning to suspect it? Well
people do believe in ghosts, but I
myself have long been suspicious
there can only be one single ghost
and that's all the stars in the universe
shrinking away into a withering heart
glittering and winking at us like
lost diamonds still echoing all their
sad and lonely songs fallen on deaf
eyes and ears blind to their colorful
emanations. My grub brother always
knew better than what the limits
of this old world taught him. We
explored past the outer peripheries
of our comfort zones to awaken
the terror in our minds and keep
us on our toes deep in the forest
in the middle of the night. The owls
led our way and the wilderness
transformed into a sanctuary.
The adventures we shared together
will always remain tattooed on
the pages of my skin. They tell a
story that we began together and
which continues being woven to
this very day. It's the same old
story about how we all were in
this together and how each and
every one of us is also going away
someday and though it will be the far-
thest we can manage to tell our own
tale we may rest assured it will be
continued like one of the old pulp
serials by all our friends which survive
us and manage to continue
the saga whispering in the wind.

Shae Sveniker's

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

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

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

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.)