banner art above by Charles Carter

Monday, December 14, 2015


 by Vincent Daemon

Chapter VI

These Days Are Not The '70s

 “That sonofabitch is fuckin’ me for the carnival. I’m tellin’ ya he’s doin’ it on purpose!” bellowed Corman at Walter Paisley, infuriated that John had stopped to take an injured person to the hospital. And poor Walt had merely been sitting there, peacefully eating his lunch, sitting next to Quacks, the nine-hundred and seventy-five pound duck, whom he’d developed quite the personal and deep bond with. Walter would share his lunch with the poor mutant fowl every day, often engaging in a kind of communication, talking to him. The duck always leaned his bill just outside the cage, right onto Walter’s left shoulder.

 “He’s a good kid, Corman, not some self-centered douche like you. What was he supposed to do, leave the broad lying there, sick or whatever the problem is, in the middle of the road, freezing?” Paisley said this calm as could be, taking a bite out of his sandwich, then letting Quacks have a nibble. “Would you really have left her there, Corman? For real?”

 “You’re goddamned right I would’a. The back of that truck smells like bear shit, which is gonna cost me extra, goddamnit. He’s gettin’ it back there late...more money. Fuck his pay, and his bonus, too.”

 “Calm down you cranky old shit. And you know as well as I do there ain’t no ‘bonus’.” Walter was one of the few who Corman allowed to speak to him in such a manner; they’d been working together some fifty-plus years. “The kid is being a good citizen, and it’s the Holidays, lighten the hell up. The bear is here, it’s calm-ish, but not happy, I can tell you that. Bad idea Corman. Bad idea.”  

 Corman glared from beneath his furrowed brow as Walter continued. “The Zoo is clean, the animals fed, cages washed. That kid is here seven days a week, then you don’t even know what he goes home to. You pay him just enough so that he is eligible for food stamps, yet he comes in every day and takes your annoying shit. Day in, day out. An’ he has for years. Be thankful you have the fucking kid, or you’d be screwed. You probably ain’t gonna have me much longer as it is. Hell, you been takin’ advantage of him, an’ me, for years, since Harold-Ray passed. Give him a fucking break, huh?”

 Corman looked annoyed. He knew Walter was right, though it literally sickened his Scrooge-like sensibilities. “You said everything is done, cleaned? They’re all fed, changed, whatever it is you guys do?” None of the animals liked Corman, his demeanor so offensive as to really upset them sometimes, and he knew it, so avoided virtually any and all dealings with them, as much as possible. He just knew how to acquire the strange ones.

 “Yeah, I told you it’s all finished. When Johnny comes back we’ll finish stringing the lights up, then we’re callin it a day. Ain’t nothin’ happening until the carnival tomorra anyways.” He handed the rest of his turkey and cheese sandwich to Quacks, whose bill continued to rest peacefully on Paisley’s shoulder, despite the projection of Corman’s obnoxious presence and behavior.

 “Well, I’m callin’ it a day now. See you tomorrow morning. And make sure he got that truck back, goddamnit.” Corman turned and headed towards his Hummer.

 “I’m sure the truck’s fine, ya rotten bastard,” Paisley grumbled under his breath. “Right Quacks? Everything is fine, buddy.” He gently rubbed between the ducks eyes and got up. He figured he should probably go and check on Cyimir the bear, knowing the poor creature’s over-tranquilization would soon be wearing off, and it may not be the happiest of animals to awake and find itself in an environment completely unsuited for its needs. At least it was cold.

 Cyimir was struggling himself to a disoriented wakefulness as Walter checked on him. “Poor guy, I just want you to know this had nothing to do with me. Blame that shit Corman. Hell, tear him to shreds for all I care. Poor bastard, ya.”

 The bear growled a low rumble of what seemed like agreement to Walter’s words and apologetic empathy. Cyimir struggled to his feet, still shaky from the tranquilizers. The at-first cautious but otherwise peaceful bear suddenly scowled angrily and made quite the threatening sound, though not toward his new caretaker friend. The look in the bear’s eyes turned from innocent and lost to borderline rage as he curled his maw into a ferocious snarl, giving Walter quite the start. He turned to see what had suddenly disturbed the bear to that state so suddenly. 

 He couldn’t quite make out what he was seeing, but it seemed to be something large and lurching, hunched and reeking of sulfur, assorted unknown toxins, and rotting flesh...and Walter could hear it moving around just behind the main office building, almost see the haunches of its shoulders over the rooftop.  

 This immediately sent the caretaker’s red flags up on high alert. Somethin’s not right stirred through his mind as he turned the corner slowly, carrying only a mop handle for self defense. “Goddamnit,” he mumbled something about this being the closest thing to a weapon he could find at that moment, shaking the mop in frustration.

 He turned the corner to see a most vile beast that had torn the cage of the six-foot blind penguins open, and was actively in there with them, knee deep in the leftover bits of torso, wing, and head that the thing had not crammed yet into its gullet, vomited up, and re-consumed. Two of the initial eight penguins were trying to waddle off, their blindness causing them nothing more than calamitous harm. One made it, bumping into every possible thing in its way, but still managed to get loose and disappear into the woods.

 The other was immediately seized by the immense claws of the beast. Its neck instantly snapped with a loud bone-crunching sound.

 Paisley charged the beast with the mop handle raised, prepared to bash its skull in, until it turned and roared at him with an ungodly-pitched, otherworldly sound, stopping the penguin’s attempted avenger dead in his tracks, mop handle dropped to the ground as all his limbs went numb with fear. 

 This thing dropped its fresh kill and began to charge at Paisley, who somehow snapped out of his immobility, avoided looking into its dreadfully asymmetrical and misshapen eyes, and ran back to the front of the office, to let Quacks free. It looked as if everything else was already dead. 

 The cosmic monstrosity followed with vigor, enjoying the hunt, while at the same time fighting for its own breath, almost having a gurgling asthma attack in its excitement. That didn’t slow it down any, however. It had a definitive mission.

 As Paisley nervously fumbled with the keys to the duck’s cage, the beast and the polar bear caught full glimpse of each other. A complete silence fell over this bizarre bestial war zone as large snowflakes began to fall from the slate-grey sky.

 Simultaneously both animals released their most ferocious battle cries, the creature from beyond Time charging the bear’s cage and tearing the thick stainless-steel bars asunder with nary a problem. There was almost something cartoonish about it as Paisley kept looking over his shoulder while battling with the huge ring of unmarked keys.

 The bear and the creature began to grapple with one another, throwing slashing punches and gnawing upon each other with their equally immense mouths. The bear howled in repeated agony as the creature grasped it by its throat and tried to stuff the bear’s head into its stinking, drooling maw.

 The creature howled in agony after being stabbed in the back by the fallen mop handle. Paisley had retrieved it, snapped it in two, and used the longer and pointier half to lance the thing from behind. The creature immediately let go of the bear’s throat, the bear falling to the ground with a loud thud and wheezing for air, much as the creature also seemed to be doing as it came for Paisley. Just then, from out of nowhere, the cosmic hell-spawn was knocked on its ass by the immense wing of the nine-hundred-and-seventy-five pound Quacks, defending his lunch-buddy to the hilt. 

 So confused was the ever existent comet-beast, and so gasping for something other than air, wheezing and coughing, that it just hopped off into the sky, much as it did after being startled before attempting to devour Debra Hill. 

 Paisley lay on the ground, trying to push himself up but unable to. He could only lay on his back in the cold ooze of muck beneath him, and for the first time, felt really old. He was trying to resist the shock he felt coming on, recognizable to him from his stint in the Vietnam War, but it was nowhere near the severity of Debra's. As complete exhaustion set in, he was glad he had never looked at the thing's face, directly into its eyes. He'd seen gruesome and ancient, desiccated statues of things that looked like that in the murkiest depths of those sweltering jungles, lost to the ages and impenetrable thickets of twisted vines by cultures long passed, not meant for the sight of man. And he'd seen those. He had no desire to see this.

  Quacks came over to him in its own slow waddle, and covered Paisley with its wing. 

 The bear let itself calm, cool down, then just wandered out of its broken cage and into the swiftly falling twilight.

 “Corman ain’t gonna like this,” Paisley stammered out with a chuckle before falling asleep under the warm safety of Quacks’ wing, covering him from the falling snow.

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Chapter VII

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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.)