banner art above by Charles Carter

Friday, March 25, 2011


by Shaun Lawton

The meshPasser undergoes an a priori examination of its insular membrane and various obverse mechanisms, momentarily recharging in the twi-dulled murk of the Arcasm Ritual Building, sarcastically referred to as the A.R.B. by weary tenants. Heliocentric memory eraser plasma-pulse frequencies sporadically annihilate thirty percent of the sprawling community's immediate recollections. The rest soak in the ultraviolet neon sponsorship of causal determinism, relishing in the uplift throughout the megalopolis, introduced by the incessantly gnawing away thrash dancebeats subliminalized by endorphin-spiked electromagnetic rhythms incorporated into the Systemic Periodic Elemental Reactionist Multiplex sound system—injected citywide by the Corporate Inquisition Terminal Interface.

The Heberin Collective are wired for a night out on the town. Their Moderator has cc'd them clownWhite, a neopurgative pulse enhancer designed to work out the stress from the hardbeats of the daily grind. Heberin moves through the CITIscape with the ease of an octopus in stealth locomotion, under cover of the hyper-neon polylit continuum scarved about them in perpetuity. Embedded headphones, most designed after compound insect eyes, fit snug like iridescent bottlecaps over the eartunnels. The earlobe itself had long dropped away from an overripened humanity in its latter-era stages of evolution amidst the frequency lanes.

Aesthetic tribal bodily piercing gradually mutated to a far more utilitarian scope. Die hard implants sunken into key skullpoints have the firmly rooted tenacity of mountain climbing spikes left driven into cliff fissures. Whether for the commuter Ziplines, or for more extreme recreational sports, is left to the individual CITIzen to convey. Ever since the dawning of this new age of neoExpressionism, the will of the populace is no longer such a concern to government, as is the controlling of the overwhelming urge to self-express or otherwise create in a manner suitable for the background and influential exploits of the middle class—a middle class driven to a frenzy of consumption, perpetuated by a similar motivation from an industry that caters to personal excess.

Through various means of interface and a veritable wide-angled spectrum of choices by which to administer a myriad of perception-enhancing and/or -distorting drugs to an all-too compliant citizenship, the CITI itself has been quite successful in organizing a sort of nocturnal emission exorcism ritual, effectively banishing the shed demons every night in an orgy of nightclub catharsis, highlit by strobing lights synchronized to an unfathomably monstrous beat keeping the ongoing crowd moving and shaking out on the viewscreen dance floors.

Wired for more than just sound and purple-laced visions, the Heberin Collective voluntarily assign themselves the bearers of an ultimately unregistered, and therefore potentially dangerous, form of psyche-enhancement known as Lady Salvation, an often copied (yet never replicated) chemical Psionic Communion Wafer. One taste of its mnemonic circuitry triggers a placebo domino effect. Illegally peddled and inferior substitutes have been known to induce lurid visions of a Salivating Lady perpetually coming at the user with hooked fingers under a drooling rictus, as if caught in an infinite loop of nightmarish attack. Such slogans or half-believed stories as the "Lady in Waiting", which are passed among schoolchildren to this day, are generated by these replicating motifs as expressed through constant generations of aloof and disenfranchised collegiates in the throes of shedding their own personal angst. Visualized and embodied under the boosted effects of synthesized cultigens combined with MemErase (necessarily every Rager's beverage of choice), these cautionary myths eventually took root.

Under the auspices of a normal Heberin outing, there cannot be an individual's comprehension of one's own role in the undertaking, for the nature of the Collective is to forego individuality itself in favor of the enhancement of a groupsoma experience—something that only the groupMind can know and even begin to understand. Which is precisely the reason many CITIzens volunteer for such an enterprise in the first place. Human consciousness has explored the lonely peripheries of isolation to its ultimate limits, again and again and again. Such deadening of that nerve seemed bound for no good reason or destiny, and although it took humanity many failed generations of missing the mark of opportunity, eventually the time arrived when its constituents began ceasing to think so much of themselves, and turn to wondering, what's out there, so immense and hollow and sprawling and vibrant?

So has ritual continued to form the behaviors of young persons. Riticen, a bisexed Caucasian from a gender-specific, postSchool colony in the American Pacific Northwest, reflects on his most recent, nocturnal sojourn away from Dutyfree. Such a widespread feeling—that is, tingling from all the nerve centers clustered from head to toe—of exultant liberation shoots through Riticen, that he shakes his hair free rapidly of the steamshower droplets, and steps out of the hydroslot, to stand dripping before the two-way mirror. He reaches over and nudges the door open a few inches, letting the circulation from the rest of the apartment enter the washroom. Wiping the steamed looking glass clear with a towel, Riticen waits for his image to gain focus in the heated conditions before him. Gradually, his haggard features reveal themselves through the clearing mist. Reflected in the humid mirror Riticen sees the meshPasser mask, hanging limp from a peg behind him. He reaches back for it without turning his head, and grabs its familiar, comforting form in his right hand. For a moment, the neural connectivity breaches the impasse he'd left off with, sending dim sparks of reassurance up through the nerves of his arm.

Riticen slips the meshPasser mask on over his head, and grins as it reinforces his facial physique. Its perfectly balanced endorphin enhancers motivate Riticen with the exact amount of chemical inspiration needed to face the Collective's quest for the evening. Wide-eyed and staring at himself in the mirror, a complete stranger reflects back behind a flesh-toned, featureless mask with all the blank expression of a department store mannequin. Search as he might for any memory of Heberin's past nocturnal activities that may lie concealed behind the reflections of his darkened eyes, Riticen emerges empty-headed from the washroom, having entirely forgotten, or perhaps merely not ever having been in a position to know first-hand anyhow, the oblique details of completed excursions. Whatever cloaked activities the group of mysterious co-benefactors had committed itself to, it was impossible for each individual to consciously recall them. Riticen turns and slips out of his CITIcube, then just as quickly, out of the tenement complex and into the night.

The Merging is a process that takes anywhere from mere moments, to hours, or even, on rare occasions (such as attempted mergers with new or distant Collectives), days. Riticen cannot imagine waiting any longer than the few minutes it usually takes him to begin Merging. Most of the volunteers in his Collective, he imagines, must dwell somewhere within or near the sprawling perimeters of his own CITIcube. Otherwise, the etherConduits' electroconnectivity surpassed his capacity to imagine. Normally, after turning the second or third CITIblock, the merger begins to take effect.

As Riticen steps toward an intersection of busily bypassing electromagnet Cushion Cars, the prerecorded digital soundbytes of lions roaring fades away to be replaced by the insistent chirruping of tropical birds—an indication that intersection crosswalks are primed for safe pedestrian crossing. An electronic amalgamation of coyote yips morphing into wolf howls segue the moments before the crosswalks' pedestrian safety is heralded as coming to an imminent end. The lion roars are reserved for the actual passing of lethal traffic, itself synchronized so that no intersecting spokes of the roadways' oncoming traffic must wait their turn. Instead, mass multi-directional pedestrian crossings take turns consistently with multiple and simultaneous vehicular crossings—the various, advancing minicars themselves interpenetrating with exact timing and zero collisions—just one example of the many flowered patterns in the pulse and flow of CITIlife.

As Riticen steps back up to a CITIblock curb, his viewpoint of the funneling crowd forges against him and in a dizzying, panoramic moment, blends along with him into the slipstream, suddenly giving way to an unfamiliar pressure of heavy gloaming, as if the velvet underside of the city's streaming haze had become an oppressive inversion, and he staggers beneath its weight as if he'd donned a lead apron, and then a whistling overture of white noise reductionism formulated a wind snapping latticework, as of a tightly woven superfabric buffeted by an overpowering gale from behind. A blinding sensation of whiteout spread over the meshPasser's tinted lenses, dialed to protect the retina and subsequent ganglion cells which serve as an inlet to the superimpositioning of the holographic laser light injection.

Vague, distant impressions of slapped, woven metal cordons against outstretched palms rushed in on eddies of reviving consciousness, each subsequent wave of which poured down in a funneling stained glass tunnel over the mendicant's hoods...surfers of oblivion blinded by the white gales of blasted time...lapping distant waves of licked drops of laughter flung off the tips of tongues...dissolving in a hushed babelogue of interpenetrative chanting accorded from the arabesques of yesterday's desires, and dusted off the forgotten relics of all antecedent dreams.

Winnowing in winterlight, through minnowguts, translucent and underlined with waterproof mascara, blinking false displays of chameleonic spots for eyes, thorned with disarrays and first-night-out-ever thighs, slumped to glittering scales both wide-angled and magnified, the compound vision in mimicked reflection of tiny repeated forms stretched out to radialize a centrifugal stage upon which ardent hopes yet promised to materialize. A beckoning, much like a mating ritual dance, performed by plumed lizards or feathered raptors in a trance. An unvisualized soaring...the letting go of a ship from its sails... perfunctorily grinding to a halt against the backwashed turbulence of the roiling waves...temporarily cast off against a stomach churning impasse. As if to say, or at least suggest, that there is no way one could pass this test.

Images strip from the silver screen of his mind's eye in such quick succession, that only a blur of associations is left in Riticen's fading recollection. And these, in and of themselves, are each captured by surging wavecrests from out of the depths, snatched from quiescence by a vulgar demand they be eaten by the collective unconscious wallowing beneath like a great, undulating blister of foul, decompressed air just wafting upwards for its inevitable venting toward an unsuspecting yet all-too-deserving surface.

Riticen's eyes snap open in an underground oxygen bar. A patron dipped in synthetic, glow-in-the-dark latex brandishes a knowing look in his direction, before disappearing into the depths amid strobes of pulsing black light. Refreshed to a point distinguished by every pixel in his eyes, Riticen sips generously from his ninety-ounce staff drink, held firmly as a cane in his stable right hand. The drink holder rather resembles a faintly glowing, fungus-patched oaken branch, sanded down and varnished to a well-protected finish. From a sheared-off bole emerges a microcircuit drinking straw—or so the imagistic software suggests, through manipulated photoreceptors.

As the cool, lime-green and slightly radioactive flavor of the Benzylamine-laced drink passes through his taste buds and down his throat and into his stomach, Riticen slowly realizes the latest Collective mergerQuest has come to another, rather abrupt, end. Leaving him exactly where within the sprawling confines of the CITIplex, he can only guess. None of the establishment's artistry or neon sloganeering provokes any stirring of memory from him in the least. A hazy recollection of being in the A.R.B. surfaces momentarily. There is a sense of anesthetic cushioning to his memory; a gauzy sort of tunnel vision, limned with a dusty, brightening light, like that which precedes the onset of a migraine headache, when all attention is brought to a central spot of glaring incandescence which otherwise obscures what might be glimpsed directly ahead. When this ravaged hole of radiance begins to expand and eat up the entire range of Riticen's field of vision, that is when the blinding pain of a migraine splits through, and the world reels about spasmodically as his locomotive escape from the O2Club is engendered, and a section of the CITIcurb rises from the fog and acclimates itself resolutely against his fallen body.



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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.)