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......MUTANT RAIN FOREST ISSUE........JUNE, 2016
Illustrations above by Shasta Lawton.

Be sure to Subscribe and Follow this blog to keep updated on the FREEZINE of Fantasy and Science Fiction. If you or a friend are interested in submitting your short stories or longer works for daily serialization in a future issue, please contact us at freezinefantasysciencefiction@gmail.com, and we will reply in due time. Thank you for your participation in helping to support this nonprofit creative writing platform. Don't miss out on the current issue featuring Sanford Meschkow, John Shirley, Brian Stoneking, Vincent Daemon, and Bruce Boston. Featuring art by Will Ferret, Jason Heckenliable, Kara Koma, Marge Simon, and Shasta Lawton.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I AM THE SUN: VI


by Sean Manseau


“What—? Oh man, I forgot all about you, didn’t I, Lyle. Sorry.” Screwball shook his head, snorting laughter. He reached for the roll of duct tape and bit another strip loose. “You don’t get it, man. We’re the good guys.”

“And you used to be one of us,” One Man Army croaked. He slipped forward to the edge of the cushion, holding his bandaged hand high. His skin was gray from loss of blood, and his lip curled until his smile became a rictus. “Until you killed my wife.”

“There it is,” Screwball sighed. After smoothing the tape over Shepherd’s mouth, he patted his cheek. “What do kids do when they’re bored with their toys? They break them, in all sorts of fun and creative ways. But you were always his favorite, Lyle—I don’t think he’s ever going to throw you away. God help you.”

That was when the giant walked into the living room.

Behemoth was nearly eight feet tall; he walked bent over and sideways through the kitchen door, shoved the dining room table aside, and could only stand up straight when he entered the living room. At five hundred pounds, the pine floorboards flexed with his every step. Certain details matched Nicholas’s drawings: he was completely hairless, lacking even eyebrows, and he was wearing a sort of wrestler’s singlet made of steely blue mesh, but instead of a dull glower, his expression had an unmistakable cast of amused intelligence.

Arms loaded with a tarp-wrapped bundle, he indicated One Man Army with a thrust of his chin. “What the hell happened to him?”

Screwball sat on the couch with his cleats up on the coffee table, rolling a baseball over the knuckles of one hand. “He tried to shoot Nicholas, but uh, the gun blew up in his hand.”

Behemoth snorted. “How could that happen? He cleans those things more often than he wipes his ass!”

Dr. Cosmos stood and began to pace. “One Man Army had a misfire because One Man Army is an idiot.” Angry as he was, he still cast a cautious glance towards the love seat before continuing. “We went over this before the jump: the past cannot be undone. We exist; therefore, Nicholas lived long enough to create us. This is immutable. The mere fact we are having this conversation means he will not be killed now. No matter what we do, the universe will take action to frustrate our efforts on that point, no matter how improbable its strategies. I said it before, but let me say it again: we are in a temporal minefield.”

“Cosmo, you do like to hear yourself talk. Is that him?” Behemoth set his bundle down next to the overturned coffee table and stepped past it to loom over Shepherd. His breathing was like the exhaust of an industrial furnace. “Jesus, look how young he is!” One rolling pin finger under Shepherd’s chin tilted his face towards the ceiling. “Cute, too. Never would’ve believed it. But I bet you’re all wondering what I brought you for Christmas.” He grabbed a corner of the tarp and swept it away with a theatrical flourish. “Voila!”

Pieces of what recently, unmistakably had been a robot were piled together: arms, legs, torso and claws, the metal torn, wires dangling and spitting sparks. One of its eyes flickered red light, baleful and blind.

“Finally managed to get into that shed,” Behemoth said. “Pine board on the outside, sheets of carbon fiber nanotube on the inside. Took me twenty minutes to cut into it. This”—prodding a molten lump of electronics with the toe of his boot—“was the welcoming committee. I’ll tell you what, though, it felt pretty damned good mixing it up with one of Nicholas’s toys I could actually take. But I saved the best for last. Check it out.”

He reached behind his back and produced a ball of crumpled blue material, which he shook out and let dangle. A New Mexico State Trooper uniform, only sewn together as a sort of unitard. Instead of standard-issue gray and black, it was cerulean blue with mustard yellow piping, a stylized sunburst on the chest. Just the way Nicholas had carefully colored it for the cover of Avenging Furies #1.

“Christ almighty,” Screwball said, sitting up abruptly. His cleats clattered on the hardwood floor. “It’s Hyperion’s costume!”

Shepherd turned to see June glaring at him. He didn’t need telepathy to know what she was thinking: What the hell have you two been up to out in the shed? He could only shake his head. He had no idea what Nicholas had been up to. But it had something to do with these people. No matter how insane their story, he sensed they weren’t lying. The real world was beginning to shred like a dream on waking, leaving only that uncanniness, that unceasing bad dream jolt.

“No it’s not.” Behemoth tossed the costume into the fireplace, where it smoked and caught flame. “It’s a sham. Not even a prototype. No psionic amplifiers, and the molecular structure of the material is completely stable. No way to tell if that’s because he hasn’t, at this point, solved the half-life problem, or if it’s just plain ol’ polyester. But there was plenty of other good stuff in the shed. I took nanoscale scans of everything, right down to the dried-up mouse turds on top of the roof beams.”

Screwball hushed him with a wave. Hand to his ear, he stared into the middle distance.

“We’ve got real problems back in 2012, boss,” he said to Price. “Nicholas has found the bunker, and now Hyperion and a few of Nicholas’s latest science projects are staging an assault. Cannonade says they can hold them off for a bit, but—”

“How long?” Dr. Cosmos asked.

“He says twenty minutes. Half-hour tops.”

“And how long will it take us to drive back to the jumpzone?”

Behemoth checked his over-sized wristwatch. “We can make it, but we’ve got to go now. You get what you need from him?”

Dr. Cosmos looked dejected. “I haven’t been able to get anything from him. I knew that Nicholas was at least a low-level telepath—it was the most obvious explanation for the way he mentally dominated Shepherd over the years.”

Shepherd started. Mentally dominated?

Price went on. “I was hoping that this early on, though, he might’ve been largely ignorant of his own talents…however, he’s parried my every thrust. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised: he designed my telepathic augmentation, after all. I’ve always resisted the idea of omniscience, but there’s a strong chance he designed my abilities so that I might read and influence everyone but him, with this future situation specifically in mind.”

“Blah blah blah,” Tango said, tugging her Mohawk into indignant spikes. “What are we going to do?”




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Archive of Stories
and Authors

Sanford Meschkow's
INEVITABLE

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
THE RECIDIVIST



Brian "Flesheater" Stoneking's
THE MEMORY SECTOR

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
NOETIC VACATIONS

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.

Edward Morris's
MERCY STREET

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.

Gene Stewart
(writing as Art Wester)
GROUND PORK


Gene Stewart's
CRYPTID'S LAIR

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
explore.

Adam Bolivar's
SERVITORS OF THE
OUTER DARKNESS


Adam Bolivar's
THE DEVIL & SIR
FRANCIS DRAKE



Adam Bolivar's
THE TIME-EATER


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.


David Agranoff's
A PLANET OF YOUR OWN


David Agranoff's
THE FALLEN GUARDIAN'S MANDATE


David Agranoff is the author of the
short story collection Screams From
A Dying World, just published by
Afterbirth Books. 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. David's latest
books include the Wuxia -Pan
(martial arts fantasy) horror
novel called Hunting The Moon Tribe,
already out from Afterbirth Books.;
The Vegan Revolution...with Zombies,
[Deadite Press, 2010]; and
[Deadite Press, 2014]

Daniel José Older's
GRAVEYARD WALTZ


Daniel José Older's
THE COLLECTOR


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
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.


Johnny Strike's
AS YOU WISH



Johnny Strike's
NIGHT FLAMERS



Johnny Strike's
THE HOMELESS MUTANTS



Johnny Strike will beat you with his guitar
and leave you lying in the gutter wishing you
had never dared enter his under ground world
of fake passports, lucky amulets, rain soaked
hotels, and occult mystique. If you don't leave
nice comments under his story, he's sure to sic
his band CRIME on you. He also wrote the novel
Ports Of Hell (Headpress), recommended by
William S. Burroughs. You don't receive kudos
from William Lee himself unless you are the
epitome of cool. Besides, have you listened to
CRIME's album Exalted Masters? It was
released in 2007 on the Crime Music label,
on vinyl only, featuring a slew of their old
rare hits. Its real punk music from seasoned
veterans. Now go track yourself down a copy
before its out of print. The Freezine of Fantasy
and Science Fiction is proud to host the story
that contains the line which titles his first
From Above (Rudos and Rubes).


Paul Stuart's
SEA?TV!


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 paul@twilightlane.com,
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
MAU BAST


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
THE PORCELAIN WOMAN


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
with LIPSTICK



BLAG DAHLIA is a Rock Legend.
Singer, Songwriter, producer &
founder of the notorious DWARVES.
He has written two novels, ‘NINA’ and
‘ARMED to the TEETH with LIPSTICK’.


G. Alden Davis's
THE FOLD


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.


Shae Sveniker's
A NEW METAPHYSICAL STUDY
REGARDING THE BEHAVIOR
OF PLANT LIFE


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
PLASTIC CHILDREN


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
THE HOUSE IN THE PORT


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
THE GOLDEN THIRD EYE


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.)