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Tuesday, November 17, 2009


by G. Alden Davis

I blew crust and what felt like rocks from my nose and inhaled, tasting the lungful of air for clues. The desert rarely gave off scents, save for the occasional waft of artemesia growing from lifeless ground. Despite my attempt, no trace of burned cedar or sage bundles remained to be smelled.

Did I not feast the night before? Did not those starry beings sit me at their table fires, and dance me proud around? The odor of that sweet flame remained only in my memory, but what had it meant? Had I been welcomed by the half-remembered folk, or had I fled in fear? It was plain that my mind had been knocked loose of its moorings and was not yet held fast; it recalled many possibilities and refused to take sides.

The war-dancers had been frightful in their beauty. Not wholly benign, they gracefully mixed swooping and whirling with motions of clawing, slashing. Even in recollection I was simultaneously drawn towards and repelled from these powerful figures. What had their dance meant?

How could it have happened at all, in the midst of this vast desert, miles from any road? Surely it must have been a lucid dream, provoked by heat, exhaustion, and fear. My hand was swelled near the base of my thumb, turning a dark purple. Surely the venom had done its work, altering my state of mind by poisoning my blood. The fever that still burned at my skin was proof of that. Was that it, then? Had I reached that plane of visions visited only by the spirits of a dead land? Was my journey over or was I still within the outlines inscribed by some wicked insect?

I remained in the area for the better part of morning, watching the sun as it crept slow and spiteful into the sky. Had it not stopped completely the day before, refusing to move at all? Like a fading dream teases the memory, I couldn’t quite recall. I no longer knew how long I had been lost.

I made a thorough search of the area, on hands and knees, until it was evident that I would find no remains. At what I judged was noon, I set out towards what I believed was north.


Behind me my footprints snaked back away to the wrinkled horizon. I had traveled through the afternoon and out of the day, which seemed to never pass. The sun scraped its way reluctantly across the sky, heavy and dragging through a deep blue sea. The desert haze above brought out unseen richness in the sunset, a mass of molten fire sat gold and fat on the edge of the world. Mesas and other formations stood like shattered teeth in silhouette.

My stomach rolled and heaved, reminding me that while my brain might be drifting into strange spaces, my body still functioned in its most basic and biological way. I had not eaten in days, and while the poisonous bite was causing most of my delusions, it was certain that my unintentional fast was gobbling up my reserved energy and playing its own tricks on my mind.

I was walking towards the broken teeth of mesas in the dying ember of sun when the world turned suddenly and my insides knotted. I dropped gagging to my knees, heaving air in deep, shuddering grunts. A cold sweat broke on my forehead, defying my needs and shedding my last bit of moisture through my pores. My kneeling limbs were trembling, and my hands had begun to shake.

After choking up a lot more air and shuddering against a feverish chill, I sprawled in the dirt and made up my mind to eat. This decision came with the knowledge that desert plants were few, and those that proved edible were fewer. I couldn’t see myself hunting; I had not eaten meat for over ten years and had no desire to begin again by eating some wiry desert mouse. My stomach churned again, and I found myself drooling at the thought of it.

When I found the strength to walk again, I stood and dusted off. There was grit in my mouth, sand in my nose and rimming my eyes. Slowly but deliberately I started off in the night for the distant black hoodoos. There must be outcroppings there, possibly canyons. In the wrinkled landscape of tight passages like those I had come through before, rainwater collected in occasional waterpockets and was held year-round in these folds. Around these natural tanks plants could grow, and the thought of finding something succulent and edible made my feet stumble swifter.

The stars emerged, whirling slow and soundless above me. I was certain that an enormous time had passed, double or triple the length of a normal night. I was still half-under the effects of the venom and delirious from hunger, my vision fading intermittently in and out of focus. My mind had the same frequent blurring, reducing even recent events to another half-finished scene in a dirty, disconnected tapestry. I found a rock with a man-sized hollow and crawled in to collect my thoughts. It wasn’t warmer in the tiny cave, but the close proximity of the walls kept the chill from my skin, and for the moment I was somewhat comfortable. I felt I could almost sleep. Only the tang of metal in my mouth and the flutter of my feathered heart, both artifacts of the unknown poison in my veins, kept me awake. My body had completely exhausted itself and refused to move. Slowly my breathing slowed, and the nervous prickling of fear subsided. I guessed that the venom was not going to kill me, regardless of the hallucinations caused by it. I had been stung long ago, what I considered at least twelve hours but maybe a day or more. While the furious scenes no longer burned across my vision, I could feel their presence at my periphery, ready to charge back in and take over. Even here in the relative safety of the cave, I saw flashes of fire in the corners of my eyes, eruptions that never happened, yet lit the cave nonetheless in patches of liquid strobe.

After a length of time the chill faded and I drifted into the darkness of dreamless sleep.

I awoke to screaming stiffness in my back and neck, my limbs ached and my head felt tight and glassy. The taste of metal was still in my mouth, reflexively I tried to spit it out. In those first moments of waking I dealt with my own discomfort, ignoring my surroundings until I had rubbed the circulation back into my arms and legs. My clothing was damp, or rather drenched, in a cold sweat that smelled like a mineral spring. This odor rose from me like steam, almost visible in the weird light. I noticed the deep blue shadows and looked from the cave’s mouth.

The moon loomed enormous and close, filling the width of the sky visible through the broad canyon I was in. I had never seen it appear so large and near, but somehow it’s features looked unfamiliar. The face we have all seen, the ‘man in the moon’, was gone. In it’s place, formed from mountains and valleys thousands of miles distant, was the vague shape of a bird. It was made of deep shadow, its eroded lines striking chords within what the toxin had left of my memory. I had seen this bird-shape before, in a photograph somewhere.

It had been large then, drawn on a scale a mile or more wide. It was in a book on Earth’s mysteries, one of those big, unwieldy picture books. The ideogram of the bird had been carved in Peru, so large that it could not be seen from the ground, only from the air. The obvious question was of its origin, of what primitive engineers had manifested such an artwork and what purpose it might serve to a community that had never- and could never- view it.

Yet what did this mean- some strange moon in a sky not mine? I reeled at the sheer immensity of what lay exposed above me. Alien sky.

Stellar maps of unimagined brightness and exploding floral mass spread across the fat black back of the universe behind it. The thickness of space was accentuated by the mountainous rim of this new, strange moon.

As the shadows of a setting star moved down from the moon’s mountains, they became an invading force running full speed down from the peaks to the over-bright flats. Again, it seemed that whatever I gave focus to was literally taken from time, cut apart from the meter of moments and stretched at will. In this instance of that odd effect, the speed that the shadows overtook the sand was both stretched and sped: it took longer to complete but was spreading faster than life.

As I turned these memories around in my mind, I got a sense of cohesion. The pieces of the puzzle did not yet fit, but at least I was conscious enough to know that there was a puzzle, and that it needed solving. With that my stomach rolled over, empty and loud, and I dry heaved twice, expelling nothing but a string of saliva into the sand.

I was not only hungry, I was empty. Had it been days since I had eaten?

THE FOLD continues tomorrow with Part 7

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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.)