banner art above by Charles Carter

Friday, April 20, 2012


by Keith Graham

There used to be a head shop in every strip mall. Now, when Yance needed to buy rolling papers, he had to find some no-name gas station and deal with a clerk who tried to shortchange him. The world had not changed for the better in Yance’s fifty-four years of life. At least Zig-Zag was still Zig-Zag and he could get thirty-two joints out of the cheap pack.

While buying his rolling papers, Yance noticed that the security cameras all pointed forward, covering the pumps and the cars waiting near the repair bays. The security cameras did not cover the back yard of the station, but there were a dozen cars there.

That night Yance was back with his tool kit. He walked in the dark between the parked cars. Some were not worth fooling with. Some had sophisticated alarm systems. Yance looked through the windows for the LED tell-tale lights. If the light was out, the battery was dead—he could safely break into the car. Yance had learned the hard way not to mess with intelligent alarm systems.

Yance opened his canvas tool bag and selected a wrecking tool in order to pry open the hood of the car he selected. It was a 2031 Lexus; one of the more expensive models with all the bells and whistles. The tech under the hood was a few years old, but still worth a few hundred at any salvage yard. The network hotspot alone would be good for a week's worth of smack. Yance liked equating this simple hour of effort to a week of bliss.

The car was a wreck. The front of the car was bent in a U shape. The driver’s seat was covered with dried blood. There was a pair of miniature ballet slippers hanging from the rearview mirror. The car had belonged to some chick.

The hood opened with a screech. Yance had to force it with all of his strength. The car must have hit a tree at well over 100 miles per hour, bending every piece of metal in the frame. He guessed that the driver had fallen asleep on the way home from a bar. She probably awoke just in time to see some hundred-year-old oak rushing at her. The onboard emergency avoidance system would not have saved her life.

The navigational computer case was intact and water tight. It was not even dented. Yance twisted off the bolts holding down the cover, hardly more than finger tight. He whistled while he worked, his cigarette puffing in time to Muddy Water's Got My Mojo Working. He pulled the cables from the motherboard and the peripherals. The solid-state disk pack came out easily and he put it in his bag. He pulled the hotspot. The motherboard had four screws holding it down, and it took Yance a few minutes to find the last screw. It was under a bank of RAM at the back and he had to pull the RAM to get at it.

When he was done, he carefully closed the hood. He left the tires and the battery. The back of his pickup was full of crap he’d found on the side of the road, and he didn’t have room for anything that large.

Yance threw the bag of new-found treasures in the back of the pickup and started the old boy up. He gunned the pickup with much pumping of the gas and a few false starts. It burned oil like crazy, and a blue cloud of exhaust followed Yance out to Route 32, and then onto the Huckleberry Turnpike towards Marlboro. Yance lit another cigarette and sang another Muddy song, Champagne and Reefer, accompanied by the tick of a flattened wheel bearing and puffs of cigarette smoke on the chorus.

Yance got out of the old red pickup and walked over to his trailer, but did not go in. Instead, he went around back, passed the rotting carcasses of old cars and stopped at a 1982 Ford Probe. He unlocked the trunk, checked that his kit was there along with a heavily wrapped plastic bag of reserve narcotics. It was three months worth of heroin—enough to get him through a dry spell. There were also about $3,800 in cash and twenty-six sealed cups of methadone. He removed a cup, snapped it open and drained it. It tasted like Tang, the astronaut's drink.

As the methadone's warm reassuring glow spread through his limbs, he went to the barn. He had to pull out a shitload of crap that he was saving for a rainy day, but he found what he was looking for. It looked like the body of a 16-year-old girl, dressed in some kind of frilly outfit. She was a Japanese sex doll, pulled years ago from a wreck, but so badly damaged that it had only worked for a few weeks before the CPU had burned out.

The sex doll's name was Mizuki. She had not only shared Yance's bed, but she had done the dishes, washed his clothes and fed the dogs. Yance wanted her back. The sex was nice and the doll had wicked skills. Mizuki could roll a joint perfectly every time. It was also nice to have someone to feed the dogs when he didn't feel like moving his ass off the couch.

He dragged Mizuki over to a vinyl lawn chair and propped her up. She was dusty and dirty where rain had dripped on her through the leaky barn roof. The frilly cosplay outfit was brown and stained with rusty rain water. Her hair, which must have been real human hair, had been ravaged by mice in places, leaving parts of her head bald. There were a few rips in her plastic skin revealing gray foam.

Yance lifted the top of her head off, and looked down into the skull cavity. The CPU was carbonized, but it lifted out easily and the socket looked clean. He pulled the relatively new CPU from the salvaged motherboard and placed it into the empty socket. He was careful to replace the heat sink on top of that and clip it down. The last CPU had fried because the heat sink had rattled loose. He pulled the rows of 32 gig memory cards from their sockets and replaced them with the fast 512 gig cards from the wreck. Mizuki would have some considerable smarts if Yance could get her to wake up.

He snapped her skull shut and made an abortive attempt at rearranging her hair so it hid the seam. Yance grabbed the extension cord, unplugging the broken refrigerator he kept next to the back door. He found the Mizuki's power socket in a panel near her left ankle and plugged her in. Mizuki's eyes opened and the left one flashed red. Good, thought Yance, she's charging.

Yance's father was fond of saying that when you had need, the street would provide. That was in Brooklyn. Yance didn't live near streets, now. They called them roads up here in the boonies, but the road provided for almost all his needs. He didn’t have to break into wrecked cars very often. In one or two days of road combing he could get enough cans to buy cigarettes for the week, and with luck, he could find something valuable. He had once found a wallet with $500, and another time he had found a cell phone that worked for three months before the minutes ran out. He had bought his secret stash of smack from selling a crate of guns he had found half buried in a snow bank alongside the Thruway. When there was a need, all you had to do was be still, and patiently wait. Yes, the road provides.

The methadone was really kicking in and Yance felt good. He went into his trailer and stretched out on the couch. He turned on the history channel, but turned off the sound. He rolled a joint, lit it, and watched the images of Nazis death camps on the screen. It had been a productive day. He'd had a nice walk, he’d discovered a source for rolling papers, he'd cleaned out a valuable wreck, and soon Mizuki would be feeding the dogs and giving him blow jobs again. Life was good.

When he woke up the next morning, Mizuki was shaking him and talking in Japanese.

"What?" he asked, "What do you want? What time is it?" Yance looked out the window. The sky was pink and it was not yet full light. He tried to roll over and get back to sleep.

"Wake up, Master," Mizuki said, switching to English, "You got to get to work."

"Get out of here. I don't work."

"You gotta get up, Master." Mizuki had a sweet, exaggerated Japanese accent.

Yance rolled over and tried to ignore her. He thought of something and turned over looking at her with a grin.

"You charged up. That's great. Did you feed the dogs?"

"Dogs fed. Dishes washed. I need new batteries. This one no good," she pointed to her breasts, "You gotta get me new battery."

She said battery with a cute inflection. It sounded like bat-re with a lilting rolled R.

"Take off your dress. I need to know if you still work."

"No time for sexing. I need battery. Please where is your credit card?"

Yance had had a credit card once, and he had had nothing but trouble with it. The rightful owner made a terrible stink and tracked him down. Luckily, by the time the police came to get him, the credit card had been cancelled and Yance had already tossed it into a trashcan.

"I only pay cash."

"No good. I need a new battery. This one almost dead. Only last short time." She tugged on him, "You gotta go to Walmart and buy me a new one."

"All right, give me a bit. Make some coffee. I'll call Suarez and arrange for some credit."

"Who Suarez?"

"Frankie Suarez, down in Newburgh. Number's by the phone. He’s my contact—sells me my dope. Now get lost while I finish this dream."

Yance woke up an hour or two later feeling the first twinges of a jones building in his sinuses.

There was a pot of hot coffee in the machine. Mizuki was plugged in on the porch. Her eye pulsed amber. The dogs were asleep on the floor at her feet. Traitors, thought Yance, one good feeding and they fall in love.

There was a rip in Mizuki’s dress and Yance could just make out the start of her areola on the left breast. He bent over her, cupped her breast and rubbed the nipple with his thumb. There must have been enough charge in her batteries to power the response and the nipple crinkled up. He felt a stirring in his pants.

“Don’t touch me,” Mizuki said. She did this without moving, not even her mouth. “Batteries dead. Get me new batteries, or I can’t do anything.”

“You don’t have to do anything.” Yance said, “Just hold still for a minute. I won’t take long.”

Her legs snapped shut with a click sound. “Get me battery or no sexing for you.”

He cursed at her and started out the door. As he left, Mizuki said, “You a bum. You not a good man. A good man buys me batteries.”

Yance turned to answer her, but changed his mind. There was a switch under her scalp. Yance turned her off. She could charge up in silence. He didn’t need this shit.

Yance did what needed to be done to relieve his jones. He woke up a few hours later and went to the phone.

“Hey Frankie.”

“Hey Yance, what’s up.”

“I need a ride to Walmart.”

“What’s wrong with your truck?”

“Newburgh is a hike. I could get there in the old truck but it might not make it back.”

“Sure, I need to make a stop up near you. I’ll see you around four.”

Yance didn’t own a watch, so he decided the best thing would be to doze off until Frankie showed up. He woke up, it seemed, ten minutes later to the sound of the horn on Frankie’s 64 Chevy Bel Air.

The dogs were still sitting hopefully at Mizuki’s feet. There were fine letters scrolling across her open eyes. He bent over her and was just able to make out part of what they said:

Upgrading Operating System. Do not turn off unit until upgrade is complete.

Yance assured the dogs that Mizuki would feed them when he got back.

“Grab a beer from the back,” Frankie said as they pulled out onto the Huckleberry Turnpike towards Newburgh, “Why you going to Walmart?”

“Remember Mizuki?”

“The blow job puppet? She was hot.”

“I fixed her up with a new CPU and ram. She says she needs a new battery.”

“Why don’t you just keep her plugged in? That way she don’t need a battery at all.”

“I don’t know. She says she needs the batteries. I put a hot CPU in and now she’s all up with the attitude.”

“Next she’ll want to get married.”

“Tell me about it. I should never have upgraded her. With the old CPU she just did what she was told. Fed the dogs, did the laundry, and kept her mouth shut.”

“Well, not all the time, man,” Frankie laughed and poked Yance in the ribs with his elbow.

Frankie agreed to spring for half the cost of the batteries in exchange for having Mizuki come over to his place whenever his old lady went to visit her mother. In the end, they got them for free because the clerk who pulled the batteries from the stock area wasn’t paying attention, and nobody stopped them on the way out.

Yance pushed a button on Mizuki’s back and folded back a panel. He pulled the old batteries and replaced them with the new ones. These were the new kind that lasted a month on one charge. He closed her up and turned her on. A man’s voice came out of her: “Updating—please wait.”

The dogs started wagging their tails even before she sat up and looked around her.

“Good, new batteries.”

The dogs followed her to the kitchen. She filled their bowls with kibble.

“You need dog food. I will go buy tomorrow. You will give me money.”

She looked down at the dress she was wearing. It was rags. She went over to the box of clothes next to the bed and pulled out a gray hoodie and some sweatpants. She pulled off her dress and put them on. The pants were too long and too big at the waist, but she did some folding, tucking and tying and they suddenly fit her.

Yance had gotten aroused when she took her clothes off, but in the shapeless clothes, she might have been a boy, and decided that the time wasn’t right to demand anything.

She turned to him, “I need fixing. I need new hair and skin. CPU is wrong speed. We will take the train to New York tomorrow and get a new one. You will bring $1,500. I will need many repairs. I know where I can get it done.”

“Where am I going to get $1,500?” Yance asked, thinking about his reserve cash in the Probe. That was his retirement fund.

“You don’t need a new CPU or repairs right away. I can save up and we can do it in a while after I get the money together.”

Mizuki began to list all of Yance’s faults and told him that if he ever wanted sex from her again, that she would need to be repaired. She was a sophisticated piece of technology and could not go around with half a head of hair and rips in her plastic skin. She needed to be fully upgraded with compatible components and she needed to be cosmetically perfect or no one could expect her to do her job correctly. She needed expensive clothes and shoes.

The shoes were the last straw. “What do you need shoes for? You work here and your job is to fuck me and feed the dogs. You don’t need shoes.”

“I need to look good when I go out. You can’t expect me to do nothing but stay here and serve you and your stupid dogs for the next twenty years?”

Yance told her that that was exactly what he expected from her.

The conversation degraded fast and Yance slammed the door on the way out. As he started up his truck, he wondered why he was the one that was leaving. It was his trailer. Mizuki was his sex doll. He should have stayed.

Yance pulled over to the side of the road a little while later to inspect some trash left there. He half hoped he’d find an old laptop with a slow CPU. Mizuki’s new batteries would last a month. He had time. The road would provide. He would find some nice piece of tech with a good solid slow CPU. He could pull her hot CPU and the fast memory chips while she was charging and get the old Mizuki back. He liked the old Mizuki.

Yance saw a can on the other side of the road. He went and picked it up. Next to it was a burlap bag. He shook it out and put the can in. He smiled. The road provides. He walked along the road and soon had enough cans to buy a pack of cigarettes.
As he walked back to the truck, he imagined what it would be like with the old Mizuki, the way she was before the upgrade. He liked her small breasts and her cute way of talking. He liked her eagerness to try anything and the way she jumped up to feed the dogs when he asked her to. She had wonderful skills. Whoever had designed her tongue had been a genius.

He drove to the no-name gas station and bought cigarettes. They still hadn’t pointed a camera out towards the back. They probably didn’t even know that he had boosted the tech from the wreck. He decided to come back and see what else he could find. Maybe the slow CPU of his dreams was sitting in an older model sedan back there, just waiting for Mizuki’s cute little head.

Yance arrived back at his trailer to find it empty. Mizuki and the dogs were gone. There was a note on the kitchen table written in neat large letters.

Dear Yance,
I can’t live like this.
Frankie is taking me to the city.
I have Harry and Marjorie with me.
Have a nice life,

Harry and Marjorie? Who the hell were they? Yance realized that she had named the dogs. Yance had always just called them Dog and had never given them names.

Yance thought of something. He ran out the back into the yard, passing the wrecks of his old cars and found the Ford Probe.

The trunk lid was popped, and his stash was gone. All that was left were six cups of methadone and a single hundred dollar bill.
Yance was heartbroken. He had spent years putting together his retirement package. He’d have to start all over again.

His body ached and his nose was running. The jones was coming on stronger than ever. Yance had kicked his habit so many times that he could do it with relatively little pain, but a man needed his creature comforts. A hit of heroin, a smoke, and an occasional blow job is all that he asked for in life. Mizuki had taken all he had and left him with nothing.

He downed a cup of methadone and sat on the couch feeling sorry for himself. He watched black and white movies from the 1940s with the sound turned off. The methadone made him drowsy. He dozed and dreamed.

In the dream he found another sex doll in the trunk of a wrecked car. This one was tall and Swedish looking. She had big tits and rubbed them in his face. Yance woke up with a hard on.

It wasn’t fair that Mizuki had left him. He was alone. It was hard being alone. Yance thought about meeting someone. Maybe in the parking lot of the rest stop on the Thruway he’d meet some hot chick who liked older guys with thinning hair and gray fu-manchu mustaches, and she’d invite him into her back seat. Maybe he’d find that Swedish sex doll and this time he wouldn’t make the mistake of upgrading her.

He dozed off again and dreamed of Mizuki. She was hugging him and telling him how much she loved him. She said she’d do anything for him. In the dream the dogs were on the bed and were smiling to see him.

When he awoke again, he decided that tomorrow he’d have to go out and walk the side of the roads. The road would provide. He thought of all the things he’d find and how he would get his stash back and rebuild his retirement fund. He had a deep and abiding need. The road would provide. If he was lucky, Mizuki would be waiting for him when he got back.


Return Next Friday
April 27

by Vincent Daemon

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Fantasy and Science

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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
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Gene Stewart
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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
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Rain Grave's

Rain Graves is an award winning
author of horror, science fiction and
poetry. She is best known for the 2002
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(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
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ebooks, free weekly fiction and other
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Blag Dahlia's
armed to the teeth

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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
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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
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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
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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.)