banner art above by Charles Carter

Tuesday, July 16, 2019


   They kept her in an empty, featureless place without time. They fed her white food and dressed her in white clothes to merge out into the infinity of nothing that surrounded her, and made her blend into it. To keep herself from screaming, she would imagine that she was slowly dissolving into the whiteness. When she could get away with it, she would close her eyes and slowly listen to the sound her body made as it mended.

   More often than not, she would scream, uselessly. When they finally pulled her out of there and dragged her, wide-eyed and slavering into the world, it was all too much to bear.

   They would not give her paralt or blackblossom. Laudanum was an option, but the chymical imbalance of the aftermath of her transformation caused the fleshsmiths to side against it. The woman (now known among the highest echelons of the Hound hierarchy as Ariachne Logos) was left to suffer through the transformation into the traitor's betrothed.

   No matter. She'd done it before. Slipped into another's skin, a foreign mind. Her identity, her very shape had long since been wiped clean in wrought-iron crucibles, reduced to a blank slate to be placed into form-fitting molds, cast into the frameworks of prisoners of opportunity.

   Ariachne had abandoned her shape and form long ago, reduced into the essential chymical elementsbile and sulphur and mercury, a poison with thought, a creature that writhed softly in its tubemade to infest the bloodstreams of captured conspirators and drive them around like puppets, right into the arms of the Empire.

   The Coiled, the Hounds would call them, in hushed tones. And even among those twisted creatures, their bodies more machine than meat, their brains replaced by endlessly ticking quartz arrays, they were considered subhuman.

   It was a traumatizing experience, for most people. Except that Ari wasn't most people. She had broken hundreds under her heel, made them low, crushed their egos and absorbed them into the tumultuous hungry superego that her mind had become.

   But this Other, she was too much even for her. Had things gone differently, perhaps Ariachne and the Other would have been comrades, friends; united in the service of Her Majesty. Or (as the woman occasionally thought to herself) they would have followed the Hapsburg-Romanov traitor to the depths of Hell and dissipated, when he was done with them. In either case, they would not have settled for Fulcanelli alone, come Hell or high water.

   At the end of the week, the Queen's Psychosurgeon deemed Ariachne field-ready. Following the slightest, half-remembered hint of a fever dream wrenched from the briefest flicker of the Other's memory(banners waving in the humid wind; a monstrously large mosquito driving its stinger into a dead man's eye; a crowd of maimed and broken penitents crawling on stumps to beg for his blessing)Ari traveled to the planet Magnus, there to brave the carnivorous jungles and tread the fungi-fields, juggling half-remembered truths pilfered from the Other's conspiratorial past to find the isolated pockets of resistance that had lingered.

   From there, to Boyang, the charnel-planet, the place where the zugzwanggreat beasts of burdenwere bred and slaughtered, their meat carted off to feed the slavering mouths of the Empire. In the depths of a forgotten abattoir, still reeking of a hundred years worth of offal and gore, the Factoti maintained, in their infinite wisdom, the Cult of the Red Lord. Wide-eyed seers had recognized her immediately, but had been unable to peer through the facade of her identity to find Ari's true nature. With the voice of Lady Logos, she helped glean from them the specifics of their faith and the origin of the Red Lord, born of the Habsburg-Romanov line.

   The child's inception had not taken place in any mortal womb; instead, the fetus had been grown into a vat hewn from amber, chymically put together from the eggs of the Queen and the seed of some half-forgotten lord. Once grown, the fetus had then been placed into a birth-tank, to be bombarded with orgone radiation until his pineal gland had swollen to a monstrous size.

   This, the Factoti believed, had given the child his godlike powers, his mental prowess and mastery of mind over matter. His godlike capacity for prescience and his astonishing intellect. From the moment the child was ejected from his birth-tank, the court of Prague had known:  this was the God-King that had been promised in Scripture.

   The child that would bring forth the Golden Age that would last until all the stars were cinders. In their rapturous display, the Factoti spoke of the failed attempts at the child's assassination; the growing contempt of the 'little men' against Him; his flight from Terra; and the long bloody war he had waged for ten years against the Dominion. They had bid her to go to Artephius, where he was last seen:  bring them a lock of his hair, a drop of his sweat that they might pay obeisance to.

   On Artephius, she met the shaman in his cave, the bitter native whose children had perished, abandoned by their strange and cruel champion, scorched into nothing under the harsh glow of a weapon that brought cancerous growths upon the world that it struck. It had brought her all the way to this place, inside an old munitions factory in Fulcanelli, which had once armed the Other's doomed little army. The Other had found places like this across every planet she had roamed. It would seem that the entire Empire was littered with the Other's disruptive legacy. Ariachne's knee pressed against the tiny slit on the Shaum native's exoskeleton, her hands securing his head to clamp it like a vice, fingers deftly holding his mandibles apart to avoid any sudden loss of limb. Leaning over the base of his neck, she whispered in the tiny aperture that their species used for ears.

   "Where is the crucible?"

Click Image below 
to read Part VII of
by Konstantine Paradias & Edward Morris 

only on the FREEZINE of
Fantasy and Science

No comments:

Post a Comment

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.)