banner art above by Charles Carter

Friday, September 27, 2013


by Shaun Lawton

Doesn't it take you back, Suzi asked, to like, you know, the beginning?

You mean to the womb? Not really,  Drew sluiced back the last of his India Pale Ale, and winked at her as he tossed the red plastic cup aside. Grab your friend and lets go for that walk. 

Of course she knew about the underground passages beneath the old Minigolf Playland, just down the street. It remained mostly deserted after hours, ever since that Muldoon kid had been found there, stuffed into a drainage pipe (well, half of him at least—the lower half). Most of the townsfolk regarded the place with suspicion since then. Some with outright superstition.

Drew glanced up at the clock. It was two past midnight. The party raged on under the light of a waning moon. The Ramones blasted from the stereo speakers.

Most people at the party were just too wasted to go for a walk. They gestured farewell with a smile or a slur, sloshing suds from their red plastic cups onto the trashed linoleum floor, dismissing the venture without another thought.

The few who wanted to go were perfectly intoxicated for the idea. Suzis long-haired friend Jerry stepped up, quaffed the rest of his beer, and let out an enormous belch. He grinned in self-satisfaction as he dropped the empty cup to the floor, where it rolled in an arc and stopped against another discarded cup. There were dozens littered across the entire apartment.

We ready, On? A large-framed black woman in a purple dress stepped out of the crowd, glancing left and right. Arlene honey, where are you? she called out, searching among the partygoers.

A middle-aged lady in blue jeans and a loose-fitting yellow T-shirt with a stylized blood-splotched smiley face on it walked in from the kitchen. Here I am, Tirisha, she waved at the heavyset lady, smiling sheepishly.

Lets do this, Drew said, and led them out the front door and to the street.

They walked past a couple embracing on the front lawn. On the sidewalk a tattooed jock puked into the gutter, groaning and spitting out bile. A light breeze thankfully carried most of the scent of beer and vomit away from them.

They strolled through the early morning mist. Black puddles reflected moonlight from the asphalt as they passed by. Suzi conversed with Jerry while Drew looked ahead toward the fenced-in miniature golf course. Tirisha spoke in her thick accent to Arlene about the position of Venus. It was hard for Arlene to understand what she was saying.

Drew held up his right hand when they reached the chain-link fence, as if testing the wind. He motioned for them to hold up a minute.

Stoop down under herekeep low till we get to that first castle. He indicated an edifice no larger than a kids playhouse, looming quietly on the other side of the fence, no more than thirty yards away.

He led them to a spot where the chain links had been twisted and folded out. He leaned over and pulled up a loose flap of fencing, bending it back up so they could crouch down and slip into the lot.

Once inside, they did as instructed, hunched down for fear of being seen, and ran toward a seven-foot high castle replica. Within its faint shadow they felt less exposed.

They began winding their way around various miniature replicas and over kid-sized curved bridges separating the eighteen courses on the lot. For a few minutes they all wandered in silence, each lost in their own separate thoughts. Finally they followed Drew to a scaled-down simulacrum of an old watermill.

Drew crawled through a ground-level archway in its turret, and dropped out of sight into darkness. A moment later, his arm extended out from under the shadowed cupola, beckoning the rest to follow.

Jerry crawled in next, then Suzi crouched and squeezed through. Arlene stepped up, turned around, letting herself in backwards, feet first. Tirisha went last. She barely fit. The purple gown she wore with gold shooting-stars printed on it got smudged with crumbling plaster, and then torn a little as she heaved her hefty frame through the archway.

Once inside with feet firmly placed on the lower concrete level, they began walking down the narrowing, mildewed passageway. Drew was pretty sure this was an underground rain gutter that eventually drained out into the river. He removed a small penlight from his pants pocket and shone it forward, its conical beam fluctuating with each step he took, illuminating the trapezoidal hallway ahead. The floor was wider across than the low, dripping ceiling.

Tirisha cursed unintelligibly, wiping chalky grime and spider webbing from her gown. Jerry peered about in the long hallway lying ahead in darkness. He thought he heard a rat squeak from the shadows. Suzi grabbed his arm while staring into the dim flashlight beam, trying to make out details. Arlene stepped up directly behind Drew.

They walked forward with caution. The passageway came to an end after thirty feet. They stood before the darkened opening of a ten-foot-diameter corrugated pipeline. There was no place to go from there, except back the way they had come—or into the pipe.

Immediately they noticed something fishy in the air. It originated from the yawning pitch of the pipe. Its open hole slowly breathed out a diseased exhalation.

The fish-stink intensified suddenly to an unbearable degree. Drew yanked the hem of his T-shirt up over his nose. Suzi and Arlene gasped and pinched their nostrils shut. Jerry breathed in the noxious fumes and choked.

The smell was acrid and punishing. First burning, then sharpened stabs of pain attacked their sinuses. Drew felt as if a flaming axe had cleaved through his head, shearing off the top, leaving the lower jaw gaping in a smoking, cauterized cross-section. He suddenly felt as if the upper portion of his head had slid forward and off, dropping to hit the floor at his feet with a wet thunk. His hands flew to his face, trembling and feeling the familiar features still there, as if nothing had happened.  Suzi slipped in the implied blood puddle forming and fell right on her ass.

Jerry reached out to lend her a hand when a long pink tubular tongue curled out of the dripping pipes opening. It encircled his throat with a slippery viscosity. The last word on his lips, the girls name, was aborted with a sudden drawn-tight whiplash motion and a muffled crack could be heard from deep within his neck. As everyone registered what they were seeing, Jerrys head nodded at an off-kilter angle, and he was yanked into the pipe.

Arlene sobbed at the image of his glassy stare as she tried to claw away from there, but what sounded like a mumbling rag-stuffed voice in her head beseeched her to consider otherwise. With each breath emitted from the pipe, the stench intensified. Bizarre scales opened up along the ground beneath her like sharpened dominoes standing up along a ripped-out scar. Screaming, she was rolled up as if into a spiny carpet. After two revolutions, her shrieks were significantly muffled. On the third turn, the scaly rolled-up appendage slithered back into the yawning pipe, taking Arlenes slack body with it.

Tirisha found herself standing directly on the leathery hide of what appeared to be a large ray or flounder. She calmly stepped off of it. The insensitive creature is a mutation of a poisonous species of Lungfish that lurk deep within the citys drainage system, she thought to herself. 

Tirisha indicated the paler, wider scales she had just stepped off of. That his stomach, Ondrew, she indicated. Both eyes on udder side.

Drew cursed beneath his breath. What the fucks in the pipe?

Tirisha shook her head reassuringly. It full now. I tolled you. She only take two.

Suzi picked herself up, and slowly backed away from the pipes opening. Her eyes shifted between Drew and Tirisha, swiftly calculating their collaboration. She thought she recalled them having whispered together at the party.

Her eyes were radiant. She indicated the flounder-like creature that remained still as a tanned hide before a fireplace. So it sleeps face down...on its back? she asked, the whites of her eyes visibly arched.

Tirisha looked at her and nodded.

Drew knew they should never have come. It was just a miniature golf course...this could not be happening to them. He looked over at Tirishas bulky outline. Sometimes, she really gave him the creeps.

How could he have anticipated that her stories about the dreaming tunnels below the golf course might have anything to them? He still didnt know what she meant by that. Back at the party laughing, they all thought it was such a great idea to come here.

He began feeling really queasy, as if he were under the effects of a strange new drug. Jerry and Suzi came along on a lark.

He glanced over at Suzi and caught a glimpse of her fingers caressing the sides of her face, exploring the growing, veined shadows there with delicate abandon. The illusion that her hands moved on their own was uncanny.

He reached out for her with longing and his arm extended from his dirty sleeve like an adder leaving its burrow, his smoothly polished hand swaying to and fro, scales glinting from it in the guttering cavern light. Veins along his wrist somehow morphed into the snakes jawline, a wart on his first knuckle became one of its nostrils, and his arm just slithered away from its sleeve through the air, trailing an X-ray shadow of his knobbed spinal cord along with it. The apparition disappeared into the gloom of the open drain pipe.

Suzis skin appeared to peel off her flesh and drift down like dried flakes of onion skin to the ground.

Drew stared in disbelief, seeing her face as a pale grinning skull baring gleeful eyes. Arrowing hisses flowed beneath his own skin and retracted around his heart in a cold clutch, seeming to eliminate all air bubbles in its wrapping compression. For a moment he felt strangely underwater.

Drew clutched at his chest with hands growing black spines as he watched Suzis features get tightened back suddenly, as if someone had stepped up from behind her and pulled a sheet of clear plastic wrap over her face. The skull-effect vanished, leaving her usual features impossibly stretched back. An O-shaped space over her darkened mouth steamed up against the plastic. Her pupils glinted like obsidian ball bearings in their darkened sockets.

Bark flaked off his knuckles in scabs as Drew seized upon an intangible vision in his head. With eyes shut tight an exploding core of blackness shrank in on itself while its remnants shredded into creation, leaving him gripping his own skull in his hands.

The ringing in his ears suddenly warped and sculpted into a metallic prison of eerie music. Echoing in his skull, a magnetic fluctuation lifted up his eyelids. Wide-open pupils reflected the dark spaces between stars.

Tirisha whispered And glews were there. So you know Ondrew, and he gradually came swimming up into focus to meet her carefully articulated pronouncement. She continued intoning in a guttural voice what sounded like Free to sharpen a coin at the rending of the curtain, Ondrew. You woe not get an other.  She held her wood-transformed hand out to him, tiny branches already growing from various points about her knuckles.

Suzi reached out for a helping hand, and her fingers unraveled in a spilled spiral, then swiveled wide, fanning out in a supplicating gesture. Her tongue unrolled out of her mouth, impossibly lengthening until it fell at her feet into the peach colored dust. It tasted like talcum powder and fizzled slightly against her taste buds.

Their surroundings lit up in an instant, capturing the scenery about them in a strobe-flash of lurid mockery. They were not in an urban drainage system as they had imagined themselves to be, but instead found themselves standing before some sort of translucent maze embedded within a titanic vein of quartz, as if formed inside a glacier. The drainage pipe had transformed into a lambent glass slot-canyon opening.

The vision appeared before their eyes for an instant, revealed as if by lightning flash. Before its lingering imprint faded from their retinas, they made out what appeared to be cultivated herbivorous gardens suspended within the rock crystal mountainside. This engrained arena of flora was stacked in various concentric ringed steppes, like hillocks submerged in the lucent rock. They could be glimpsed murkily arising from a series of upthrust tectonic plates.

Enormous veins of milky translucence crisscrossed over each other within this crystalline inter-leavened structure, like petrified bone marrow preserved beneath the skin of a calcified behemoth.

A wave of dizziness swept over Drew. Nausea overcame Suzi and she dry heaved for a few moments.

Have you mastered endless focus yet, On? asked Tirisha.

The feeling of disorientation intensified for Drew. Herbivorous gardens? Looking back over his shoulder, he could discern the vague shape of the archway in the watermill turret, against a gray backdrop of starlight. Through it he could see low hanging clouds passing slowly over the golf course. The puffy apparitions seemed to beckon him to follow.

Without a sound, Drew turned his gaze from the turret archway, and stepped into the pipe opening—only now it was the entrance to a narrow solid quartz canyon, illuminated from within. An eerie silence distilled amid the clouded depths within the natural crystal. Reflected on either side of its naturally formed walls, curious shapes glimmered.

Suzi followed, mesmerized by the incandescent vision around them. She felt immediately vulnerable amid the translucent crystal. The inner illumination let her see clearly about seven or eight feet into the quartz—after that, things got blurrier.

Tirisha sauntered through last. She tread through the fine, peach-colored silt, whispering in a low voice to herself.

The three of them continued deeper into the slot canyon. Tirisha ceased her mumbling.  They walked on in silence for seventy more yards.

At certain points, the walls narrowed to within fourteen inches of each other. Drew and Suzi had to turn their shoulders and expel their breath, relaxing their lungs to scoot on through. It did not occur to them to turn back.

Tirisha flowed through with startling ease. One particular narrow segment went on for ninety feet—Drew couldnt turn his head to get a glimpse of the woman behind him.

How is she possibly fitting, he wondered. He could hear her breathing easily just behind him.

Suzi stopped with one ear pressed against a faceted crystal wall, Shhh— she insisted. The smooth surface of the crystal was equivalent to her own body temperature. After a few moments, she held up her right hand in the peace symbol, palm out, last two fingers tucked under her thumb, as if signifying everything was okay.

She swooned against the smooth, warm crystal walls, and shut her eyes. She felt as if she were crawling back into the womb. She looked up and reached above with her left hand extended, beseeching. Overhead, the luminous walls of the slot canyon met at an impossible distance.

Down at their own level, deep within the translucent walls of the mountain, inner visions blemished into a surreal, haunting suspension of vaguely beckoning formations.

There were tall bulky shapes captured inside the crystal. They appeared to flicker slowly, like syrupy constellations twinkling in and out of focus. Hung in suspension inside, livid whorls and malformations defined unnerving Rorschach images.

Drew thought he could make out a harbinger destroying the sky. He tried shaking the image from his head. There were weird, blurred, hirsute humps floating at random intervals, fixed deep within the crystal.

A few times, Drew was certain the squamous, shaggy humps moved, but every time he stared directly at them, they appeared motionless again. Violet neuron clusters bloomed out, resembling the stark silhouettes of elm trees.

Ambient music floated up into his ear canals from within the formless depths of his mind. A strange fruition began taking root. A long and rising ululation, not unlike the songs of whales, made itself apparent. Drew wasnt sure if anyone else could hear it. Chords of intoned decay arose in waves, framed by the spectral glow surrounding them.

All three kept walking. The peculiar glittering within the blurred depths passed by on either side of them. No one continued to say a thing.

Drew shambled forth, helplessly leading. After passing a cleave in the crystal slot canyon, Tirisha stopped for a moment, and bade them listen.

They heard nothing. She encouraged them to hush up, and listen to the crystal. Hear it breathe. Listen to its song, and soon enough you will see, she urged.

Drew stopped and listened. The yawning throat in the mountain seemed to breathe along with them. It became evident then that they were each caught, so to speak, in the mountains jaws. It was imperative for each one of them to proceed. Drew thought crazily I hope the mountain doesnt sneeze.

Suzi realized that even if they managed to escape—to wherever this preternatural slot canyon led—it would not release them anywhere familiar. She was certain of that much.

Suzi looked over at Tirisha, who still had her ear pressed to a wall.  What do you hear it say? she asked.

Tirisha replied I am afraid it want us all.

Drew stood stock still and quietly cried.

Suzi had enough of Tirishas strange commentary. She grabbed Drew by the wrist and led them both onward.

Fuck this place, she said. After another twenty feet, the slot canyon made a hairpin turn to the right, and they walked around it.

Taking several more steps, they saw the shape immersed in the solid crystal directly to their right, like something trapped in amber. Caught within the frosted depth, a large purplish mound streaked with blurred orange spots hung suspended and motionless.

Suzi turned to ask Tirisha what it was, but the large lady wasnt behind them anymore. She whispered to Drew Hold on, Im going back for her, and backtracked to the sharp bend, peering left around the corner, but Tirisha wasnt anywhere to be seen. That was odd. It seemed as if she had simply disappeared. Or had she merely turned back the way they had come? Why didnt we think of that—?

She said flatly Shes gone Drew, and sidled back up next to him.

He was still staring at the purple bulk embedded in the crystal to their right.

Drew jarred himself out of his reverie. Lets get out of here. Lets go back, he said, and turned to face her. She nodded in silent assent, although the look in her eye expressed doubt.

They both took several steps back in the direction they had come, back towards the hairpin turn.

At the sharp bend, Suzi collided against a sweltering quartz wall. Drew bumped into her from behind. Suzis hands scrabbled against the glowing crystal, feeling desperately for the corner. There was none.

She turned around then, and the two embraced.

Behind Drew, more crystal formed, like new layers of strange warm ice filmed in stop-motion.

The pellucid slot canyon was sealing up around them from both ends. They embraced within a shrinking vacuole for a few more moments. Finally the living quartz compressed around them in an airtight seal.

This Monday
September 30
prepare for...

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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.)