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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A SILENT NIGHT (FOR A DEMI-GHOUL):III

by Vincent Daemon

Chapter Three






Greed



  “Late again, huh, Agar?” laughed the only other employee at Corman’s, Walter Paisley. He was an older, weathered man, had worked at the petting zoo since it had originally opened in 1954, hated Corman with a passion, and much preferred the establishment when it was run by founder Harold-Ray Hausen: he knew how to treat the animals, the employees, and the customers. Harold had been a generous and gregarious gentleman who just intuitively knew how to deal with any manner of personality, animal and human alike, with as little conflict or instigation as possible, should any kind of issue arise, which was an utter rarity. Plus, he wasn’t all about the money, or freakishly strange animals, or winning ridiculous holiday carnivals. Harold-Ray Hausen was the polar opposite of Corman. But Paisley genuinely loved the animals and stayed aboard, much like John. And, much like John, who was twenty-five years his junior, desperately needed the money. Over the years, John and Walter formed a unique friendship, and worked very well together. “You look cold, buddy. Car again?”
 
 “Yeah,” John sighed out with a thick white plume of cigarette smoke. “Fuckin’ spark plug–what else would it be? Dammit.”

“I told you to get ridda that car months ago, kid. It’s a grief-machine, much like that wacko death-stripper girlfriend of yours. She refused to help ya out again, I’m supposin’.”

“Yeah,” John sighed again, another plume of white smoke streaming out with the word. “Not sure if she ever was my girlfriend.”

“I told ya ta get ridda that grief-machine months ago too, remember? And no, she never was.” Walter indeed kept his own series of painful lifelong experiences. Being older and wiser, and a bit of a strange fellow himself, he’d had more than his share of ex-wives and relationship griefs over the years to know well and rightly of what he spoke. “She’s just gonna ruin your life, kid, like Corman did this zoo, an’ you got a good head on them there shoulders. Get that wacky stuff you write published, don’t end up here forever, like I did. A broad like that’ll do that to a man. Shit, ya shoulda called me, I’d'a grabbed ya, no problem.”

“I wasn’t going to bug you at three a.m. man, you’re old, you need that rest,” John chuckled smoke out at Walter.

“OLD! You little sonofabitch, I oughta...” and he came over and patted John on the back like a caring old uncle. “Hey Johnny, you got any reefer on ya? I’m nervous about this polar bear. Corman’s a fucknut, and this is just a plain bad idea. If I didn’t need the goddamn money so bad, and love these damned animals so much, I’d walk the hell out right now.” The look on Walter’s face was one of obvious, long-term stewing discontentment and genuine concern. “An’ ta tell ya tha truth, kid, I’m more concerned about Corman than that poor goddamned bear. He’d do something really stupid, like let a kid feed the bear.”

 John laughed aloud, “you’re killing me man,” as he pulled another joint from his pocket (that was how they both coped with the job and Corman himself–they took any number of “smoke breaks” a day–and John had a few extra on him this particular day) and handed it to Paisley. “Take it to the head, my friend. All yours, med grade. Go take this and kill it up before Corman gets here. I’m gonna suit up.” 

 Ten minutes later, a familiar bark came from the main office door, “It’s Polar Bear Day fellas! And he’s just about here!” There was a sickly joy of demonic holiday greed writhing within every word Corman spoke. And complete recklessness. “I’m thinking we should put him by those stupid, giant-ass blind penguins that keep bumping into each other like fools. It’ll probably rile-up the bear good! The kids are gonna love it!” The man just kept speaking as he approached John and the freshly stoned Paisley, his words disappearing into both their ears not unlike those strange, muted “grown-up” voices from the old Charlie Brown cartoons. To John and Walter, Corman’s words were merely guttural utterances and commands, typically crude and regularly mechanical, albeit much louder than necessary. 

 And, as always, his plan was terrible. “We’re just going to back the truck right up to the cage. That way we have the duck, those stupid penguins, and the polar bear all lined up together. The transfer should be easy, like I said, right from the back of the U-haul to his new cagey home. This bear fucker is getting door to door service, so this shit better pay off. It wasn’t cheap, y’know.” 

 Yeah, they knew. It reflected in their recent pay-cut. “An absolute necessity if we are going to have a profitable holiday, and I want that damned bear!” being Corman’s constant mutterings to them since before even September. 

 “Truck's here, let’s get to it guys, chop-chop!” commanded Corman in his muted-trumpet tone of quasi-authority, obnoxious double-handed clap included.

 John and Walter glared at Corman (he was shuffling papers, as always, counting numbers, didn’t even notice their death glances), then looked to each other in that way close friends do when needing to communicate without words: This is going to be one long, bad fucking day.




Click Here to read
Chapter IV

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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.)