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Friday, July 22, 2011


by John Claude Smith

“What’s on your mind, Trace?”

Fiona asks as if it matters, as if she cannot slink through the gray matter mindfield and pluck out some bòn mót and toss it back at me like a hand grenade at any moment, her spiky flame-haired head propped up by matchstick arms, full brickwork sleeves, graffiti imprint on skin, clear midnight invocations—“Love is never, Sex is forever”—in faux spraypaint script, second-day bruise blue on infection red. She leans into me, hands coiled as snakes about to strike, yet they have no intention of striking. She feigns boredom as some kind of come-on. Blasé impulse: a bland narrative to our lives.

I turn to her and take in those bloodshot coals, simmering into sleepiness. I think how I can’t look much better, but my usual response—“Nothing’s on my mind, there’s nothing worthy to fill the space”—is diverted by the sounds that circle like vultures in need of something dead, and we are so close to filling that prescription.

The music pulses, throbs like my aching cock (no reason to flaunt false modesty), I am erect and I am hungry and the music—this music—is like a rash of electricity, of radiation—Hiroshima Mon Amour—that spreads over and through all of us in this dark place, in this dark world, the blackened current of the river Styx surging in all our decibel-scorched souls, here where lights are spattersplash wet as dripping Pollock rainbows but oh, so dim…and hope is a remnant of something extinct, like a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Or love…

It is alive—this music—as a green girl shoves past Fiona as if Fiona is not there, was never there in the first place (Fiona’s bicep thickens, her shoulders broaden), claws at me with slim fingers like twitchy insect legs—a praying mantis ritual—tearing at my skin, my mouth, and my teeth clamp down and I taste her, taste where she's been, after which my tongue slicks her palate and enamel and the writhing slug that is her tongue…and the sound and noise and cacophony assaulting me is like a rash demanding to be scratched. It cannot be silenced, this sound, this noise—this music—and the rash screams like a wound in the darkness, red and defiant.

Fiona sees in my forever-open eyes that this diversion means nothing, my head and heart and cock are elsewhere, and I do not sense the tendrils reaching into my brain; the woman is static, unable to truly comprehend. Her desperation hinders any possible fusion; it wiggles eel-like out of her grasp. The connection is transitory and then sizzles and sparks into dust, as memories that might have happened (to somebody else…) or dreams that seers might dream (if they dream anymore…), an empty-fisted grasp of sand through the haze of this brusque reality.

Sex is in the air, the smell of it, the wish for something more than kisses that lead to emptiness, and yet emptiness seems the prevalent vocation—
it is not love in this reality, it is only lust: blunt physicality, the sweat and release, that is all—
living on the edge of nothingness, yet the tip of something tactile bleeds, and the blood is tasty, tempting, and this temptation is felt in the body, in muscles that tense and bones that bend in impossible ways—
the dreams take shape, nudge into this reality—
desires mesh as two sticks mating, crisp sear, these fires born within, but it is heat that does not burn, it brings fever dreams—
these dreams destroy this reality, the execution of all you know, their sustenance—
and the need for something that one does not know how to truly express. Late night dalliances into oblivion, the soul of something unspoken and never quite defined.

Want and the need for more.

The band, Nameless—that is their name, the need to fill in the blanks with something to influence perceptions deemed unnecessary—draws me into their hideous take on the world we live in—no—it’s their honest take on the world we exist in, living is no longer an option, it is a byproduct, a happenstance: I am here and I am.

It is all machinery gasp and industrial grind: thick, droning, metallic junkyard clutter.

“What’s on your mind, lover?” Fiona says, her voice grown husky, the subtle intrusion of whiskers along her jawline, the slow swell of blood and muscle between her thighs.

I harrumph and raise a brow, thinking—maybe, maybe tonight—but even at that, a sphincter squeezed orgasm would be much more aesthetically pleasurable looking down on Fiona’s ass—the sweet Stratocaster slope of hip and prodding arch of sweat-drenched back—as opposed to some male fuck-fantasy in which, really, the only good thing about the male fuck-fantasy is to suck her cock, so really not in that mindset tonight, honey…

She knows this, telepathically jacks into my dirty mind and immediately her body reshapes itself to its original cast: the bulge deflates, the whiskers take flight as a swirling row of elliptical insects, eaten by lightbeam dust that floats within a dark funnel carved by flashbulb radiance, the shoulders shiver feminine, and her breasts fill her velvet vest to button-straining perfection, made so by the addition of nipples grown thick as nuggets of something dark and chewy and bisected via vertical steel bars, her last motion to sway me but, even at that, she knows, she reads the neural cartography across and between the hemispheres.

I don’t have to say anything to reject her, signs along the synaptic barbwire roadways indicate as much without the cruel defeatist finality of an actual failed pick-up…or deteriorating relationship. She understands that my desires, what I need, what I want…or at least what I think I want, do not include her tonight. She would pout—sexily at that—but it would be a waste, so she sits and sips something bright orange and bubbling tiny jack-o’-lanterns and smiles though her eyes are black and soulless, just like this world and my intentions.

She is perfect, perfection, whatever I want, whenever I want it, and yet…I need something different tonight.

Different. I laugh inside.

Fiona punches my arm lightly. “Prick.” Still smiling. Still soulless.

She understands.

I ignore her, taken by the sounds. It feels like an excuse to hurl this body full-on into the walls; and screaming, the sweet surrender to pain, and so much screaming…

Is this music…are these sounds—this band—the key to a new religion, the mantra of the long night, neon scribble stenciled on corneas and inside of anxious ears, eardrums assimilating the rhythms that bound off concrete and slick flesh…but no percussion, is it arterial, this rhythm? Is this the sound of the enigmatic Almighty (designated "NoGod" those many years ago when shadows grew long and ate the Sun) releasing the souls of all who hear it, to roam freely beyond the dim catatonic existence that has overtaken the world? Repetition de rigueur via computer-rigid jobs, ergonomic chairs for optimum comfort, the mandatory morning two vanilla mochas/lattes/frappes, waking up in cubicles the size of Porta-Pottys and feeling like shit (so you are where you belong), blah by brain-numbing blah, et cetera, bon appétit

It all devolves into mono-driven slop scooped into the minds of people like me and Fiona and the hundreds (thousands, millions) of other beings playing a game of perseverance without reward.

I ramble silently, a mentally masticated monologue as personal philosophy—mindsplat masturbation—and wonder more so, what if this is the sound that makes it all worthwhile?

I need to know, so I need to get to know the band. I hone my attention to a laser pinpoint, focused exclusively on the female vocalist and her dark, charismatic, melancholic tones, a voice tough and uncompromising—real presence, this voice—a liquid leather seduction, laced with something deceptive, something tantalizing, something destructive: the perfect compliment to the music.

She does not sing, not exactly; it is not lyrics, yet lyrical. As with the now defunct band Sigur Ros, the vocals are utilized as a tool, a part of the aural vocabulary and not as most bands use a vocalist—to express clichéd sentiments or misplaced anger.

Something vital is captured within her vocalizations, vast nuances signifying the totality of our lives: the all-encompassing persistence of pain; the stilted and yet anxious dreamwish that is wonder; the molten crush of primal urges so profound they often push everything else to the rear, or completely out of the picture; the malaise that permeates it all.

That is just her voice. Her physical presence mesmerizes, yet clarity ripples, distinction eludes my internal need to catalogue. Eyes: jade slivers like jaguar shadows…and then just jungle shadows, roiling, shifting. Mouth: dew-stained roses, red rimmed and blackest heart…and within, shadows again…shifting; skin olive washed, soaked, marinated…and, again, shadows pull at the seams, unraveling…her body writhes and grows marble-still, Rodin yearnings made flesh…hair a leaky pen, white-ink Mohawk slash, a sliver of the supernova.

What I actually see is a visceral smear, something smudged, something blurred, because I cannot truly comprehend her totality: presence, being, self.

I need different eyes.

NoGod, I know the changeling whole of her is what I need tonight, that "something different" that so rattles me to the core, that place within that so desperately wants something more than existence, even though the situation precludes true fulfillment.

But I do not care. This woman, distorted distortion-driven diva, and her robed comrades—I see nothing within their hoods, no colors beyond the black and the occasional white-hot sparkle as of constellations singing—create an aural vortex that signifies a truth that I want to know tonight, as it digs unseen claws into my groin, as the sincerity of the audio mutilation feels like arousal, like hunger and the need to feed, to fuck and leave it all, every ounce of meat and sweat, semen and passion, in that hot place, vacuum-squeezed muscle and so damned necessary, the only necessity within this somnambulant existence.

Her vagina or the vortex, it does not matter.

I shuffle from my seat at the bar, Fiona left to fend for herself tonight, onto the crowded floor—zombie rave; sleepwalker’s sway—flowing toward the stage, arms loose, cobra-dancing like all the others, we are one, snakepit, snakebit sycophants, surging…

The female vocalist slinks from one edge of the stage to the other, pauses, swooshes, crumbles, resurrects and realigns her mass, each transformation something I can taste in the back of my throat, on the tip of the tongue that swabs the brain as one would ice cream, down to the primordial essence, the scaly limbic soul, the obliterated void: that which was not, annihilated by that which demanded existence before existence was defined.

I close my eyes and allow the shadows to envelop me, even as bodies press against me, midnight in the realm of lost causes scrabbling for something that imagines Hope as it once might have been, many years ago.

My thoughts clear and I whisper amidst the sonic deluge and the blackened thoroughfares of my mind, “Take me.”

And she does…

The muffled refraction of noise signals the hierarchy of hammers battering the walls of the small room, small postage-stamp cramped place, but I do not mind, because I am with her, the shimmering phantom. (Is it a room?) The night moves as a thief, a disciple of darkness so profound it laps up the hidden margins, nibbles nooks and crannies, and gorges on that which lurks behind.

I wanted another’s body to call my own, to use and abuse and leave fouled by my coarse physical discourse. An ephemeral conversation between flesh and flesh, with the mind of the other—woman; telepath—shaping our coupling to fit my needs, as it has been for many years since commencement of The Uncovering.

I wanted it to be different, so different I could not recognize it as anything I had experienced before, yet it would fulfill my wanton desires to overflowing. But this thing…this thing was so different I felt the howl rise from the saltwater seas boiling within, but only as a reflection of the creature I once was, fins to feet, gills to lungs…to confusion: is my self-fulfillment the average and expected outcome to this equation?

I sense mandibles clacking and carapace-yearnings, the clatter of gears and squeal of pistons, slimy dreams flood wiry antediluvian ducts, vascular progression…space sickness…

She makes a sound in the small room—cranial dungeon—a prescient vocalization that leaves me aghast, flushed of impetus, inspiration, and the insidious influx of ego and id.

My eyes open…to revelations.

I see me, whirling amidst the throng, faster now, the night within me pouring out—waves; tsunamis—spasmodic reconstruction, metamorphosis, transmutation…evolution…

“I said open your eyes, Trace.”

(How long have I been here? How does she know my name? Seconds pass in the exhaust of infinity…)

(My eyes are open!)

“Fear not that which your heart truly desires, Trace…and open your eyes.”

Oil-slick pronouncements that eclipse quasars; the whole of the cosmos in retrograde, Drakkar crashing against the turbulent chaos that is the heavens; my soul, or the voracious thing that roosted there, yanked into the cold waste, being laid to waste…laid to waste…

(My eyes are open!)

“I don’t want this,” I yell, uncertain, afraid. It is only another sound (dissonance defined) added to the noise washing over me, through me: blood echo symphonies, the dispersion of me: presence, being, self.

I remember a girl, once, eons ago—hair like snow, eyes like oceans—and loving her, loving her, and nothing else mattered.

(“I love you. I will love you forever.”)

(“Forever is a long time. Love me for now, we’ll worry about forever some other day.”)


I remember lifetimes, hundreds and more. Lifetimes linked, daisy-chain histories, finding you and bringing you that which was always meant for you and you alone —
— and the madness that followed, scouring that which had driven me, the core of me gone vapid, deflated, blown full of self-love and narcissism, shaped by the world’s weary whim…

(The Uncovering…shhh…)

“Fear not that which your heart has desired…forever…”

Catapult into awareness, capillary rampage, Milky Way ruminations, and something more, something prodded into view again: my soul, the soul of ages, singing as it has not sung in this lifetime, this miserable existence, joining the Nameless noise—noise with purpose.

I open my eyes for the first time in this life and see her clearly now, with every iota of my being: my soul, the soul of ages, her soul, the soul of ages, our souls, forever entwined…out there, in the cold waste where the corruptions and conspiracies of this dead planet cannot touch us.

I find joy in this knowledge.

Eternity stretches before me, within us. The cold waste beyond comprehension. Your warmth soothes my fear; your belief is my tether in the omniscient ether: it knows all that has ever or will ever be; it knows me, intimately.


This intimacy comes at a price.

Reading my dreams, the dreams (memories, madness) that have followed me through each reawakening, serves no purpose to me, it only feeds your seduction.

I feed your seduction.

We are one: Ouroboros instinct; black widow aspirations…

I am aware of a truth that disallows the truth: your lies. You cling to me, many metallic pincers and igneous needles and decrepit desires prying my mind for every iota of information, dreams (memories, madness)…nightmares…

I drop to my knees in silent supplication to you:



But you are everywhere and everything (alien; insect; machine; lover…), and I am merely sustenance…

No matter.

Devour me, please…this final memory my epitaph, a cherished recollection of what it once meant to be human, and to love.

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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.)