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Monday, November 30, 2009


by Daniel José Older

Janey found me at my spot on the cemetery hill late one Sunday afternoon. It’s true, I owed my future daughter-in-law for getting me that nice job at the overnight care center for troubled kids, and I owed her even more since I got my ass fired for holding midnight salsa classes, but that’s another story.

As she got closer, I turned down the music and retrieved a Malagueña from my pocket. When I got the graveyard gig, my boy Ernesto’d bought me an i-thing, a slick little music player, and loaded it up with all my favorite old salsa guys, but it never sounded right; those tiny headphones, and even though it’s supposed to be higher caliber, you can imagine what becoming so many zeros and ones does to a song. Instead, I just bring my record player to work. Yes, it’s a pain, but the quality is incomparable. The i-thing sits in my jacket pocket; I keep meaning to accidentally leave it outside the middle school across the street for one of the kids to find.

Janey says my name, Gordo, as she puffs her way up the last steps to where I stand chuckling. They call me Gordo because I am gigantic in the old world of rhumba and salsa, a legend. Also: because I am fat.

I can see by her face that she’s come to collect up on that favor so I head her off at the pass: I thought we were straight after I got you that jar full of cemetery dirt, I say with a wink.

Yeah, she says, turns out that was just you being nice.

Really? I say.

Turns out I need a bigger favor, and then we’ll be straight.

Janey works at this swanky save-the-children spot on Lorimer, teaching kids how to be well-behaved, properly speaking little robotrons. But of course, when the grinning overlords aren’t looking she always slips in some Malcolm X shit or a little hint about how to get one over on the cops. Anyway, the kids she was working with, they decided to build this monster--that’s what the cemetery dirt was about apparently--they needed all kindsa ingredients to make it work. It was supposed to be like a team-building exercise or something, you know from one of those corny books. Then Janey ended up throwing in a little of that Panamanian juju she inherited from her bruja granny and the damn thing came to life. Frankenstein-style, but she says they just caked it together from mud and clay, not a body.

Whenever I start a new job, I like to find The Perfect Spot. You’ll see me circling the place like a dog looking for somewhere to sleep. I’ll try one, smoke a Malagueña, take a nap, let it settle into my body. Then I’ll try another. At the cemetery, the Perfect Spot is on top of this tombstone speckled hill--a little sheltered outpost that affords me a terrific view of the midnight traffic on the BQE and beyond that, the sparkling city. From here, it’s obvious that those skyscrapers are just lit up gravestones, different books in the same library.

The sky grows dark over the city as Janey tells me her story. The beast was supposed to help their community. Something that would look good in a brochure, I suppose. But instead it cut loose, took out into the Williamsburg night. Janey and the kids went after it, and when they finally caught up, what does it do? The thing ate a hipster. Hipster is what they call these new-fangled white people that’ve been moving onto the block--the ones with the tight pants and big glasses. Now Janey has a serious clean up job on her hands.

You know, I say, the river’s really good for that kind of thing.

She says it’d bother her not to give the kid a proper burial, being that she was partially responsible for his death. And, he’d probably start troubling her dreams.

So here I am, at three AM on a soggy September morning, lugging two ominously heavy trash bags up a hill towards a shady grove of trees. I have a shovel and a flashlight and I’m trying to ignore the way one of the bags is knocking against my back as I walk, like it’s trying to get my attention. Still, the thrill of adventure is tickling me like it hasn’t done since Nesto’s mom made me give up breaking and entering. Perhaps it’s tinnitus, but the dead seem to be humming excitedly, a quiet droning to accompany my journey. Most people sneak around graveyards to steal bodies; here I am bringing one in. And I work here. If I’m caught, at least they will be confused. But then they may think I’m the one chewed up the boy. I walk a little faster.

Untold stores of ferocious grace remain in these old bones, however hidden beneath lard and cholesterol. The hole gets dug pretty fast but I‘m a sweaty disaster when it’s done. Just as I heave-ho the two bags in, the crunching of tires on gravel announces the imminent arrival of graveyard security. I probably know the guys; I play dominoes with a few of them at shift change, but still--this would be difficult to explain.

I’d like to say that I grappled my way down; even a controlled tumble would’ve been something. There wasn’t time for any of that though: I plummet. I felt sure my girth traveling at that speed would’ve given the planet a jolt, but the splintering bones and squishy body parts I land on break my fall, saving my ass in more ways than one. I try to breath as quietly as possible as the patrol jeep rumbles close and then wanders away.

It’s a few hours from dawn and I’m lying in a fresh grave with two trash bags full of severed hipster parts, so I sit up and light a Malagueña. I’m pretty sure I haven’t had a stroke or heart attack. Everything hurts slightly more than usual; perhaps I’m bleeding internally. That, at least, would be poetic. I close my eyes and pull a stream of smoke down my trachea to survey the damage. Things seem to be in working order.

I exhale and follow the cloud up into the dark sky, above the tombstones, above the trees and highway, above the sparkling city. Souls are rising into the night. It’s just graveyard souls at first, but then I start seeing people I know. There’s Old Corrales and Ruben, my bass player. Sylvia Delacruz, who used to give me head in the back room at Rio’s. By the time Nesto Jr. and Janey float by, tears are rolling down my face--which hasn’t happened in a few eons. All I hear is the swarming hymn of the dead and the clackity-clacking body parts beneath me. White pus is oozing from the torn up hipster’s limbs and slow-mo flooding through the streets of Brooklyn; a rising tide. The last few scattered souls float up into the sky and all that’s left are kids, thirteen and under. It’s a whole orchestra of the little guys, each armed with instruments and they’re putting up a fight, coming at the pus with everything they got. I hear them laughing and chattering as they blast homemade fire bombs from trombone cannons, and beat back the waves with flame-throwing tubas and sharpened, electric-guitar spears.

The chattering and laughter of children blends with scattered birdsong as morning breaks around me. Everything is back to normal, but nothing will ever be the same. I sit up, take in the crisp new day air. It’s a beautiful morning, but something terrible is coming. Perhaps Janey saw the same vision, and that’s why she does what she does. Either way, my own path is clear: I’ll drop off this i-thing in front of the middle school. While I’m there, I’ll see if they need anyone to teach music or sweep the floors or both. Maybe at the school there will be a nice spot for me to smoke and ponder in between classes. I’ll see what this new day brings. But first I have to get out of this hole.

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~


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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.)