Party

He is nineteen years old and takes a swig from the near empty bottle of Johnny Walker red. It makes him gag. It tastes like wood and smoke and something he thinks should be called peat. He doesn't know what peat is, to him it's an idea. Reminds him of wet mud and grass. Something …

One Last Gift

Before Martha died, she ordered three wool dragons from King Cole knitting company. It was one of the last things she did. The other activities she completed with her last moments of life sadly only lead her to her death and amounted to her standing on a corner waiting for a bus, which arrived much …

Enraptured

The air smells like incense. Maybe patchouli. Maybe something more narcotic, sinister, it could be poison and Steve wouldn't care. He sits and watches the most beautiful woman he has ever seen in his life dance alone in the middle of a bare stage. She glides as if every muscle in her body were made …

Missed

Black with rage the boy storms the iron-clad beast. His enemy sets his feet in rust spotted sabatons and his legs form a bridge over the unconscious girl. He smiles his rotten tooth smile and crooks his index finger "Come along little doggy," he whispers with a raspy voice. The would-be warrior grunts with effort …

Conspiring

On winter solstice, the farmer's boy overhears the barn animals talking. Horse conspires with Milk-Cow,"We will feed the humans to Pig." Pig objects, "are they kosher?" Neighing the horse shakes his head. "I'll do it," volunteers Goat, but morning arrives rendering them dumb saving the humans till next year.

Polypitch

"Did you see that?' The young woman steps forward to peer at the art. She is pretty with long black hair and hot pink nails that match the shade on her lips. She grips the velvet rope dividing the vast church Parrocchiale di Sant'Agostino from the only portion that still remains of the original building, …

A Little Help

"Elves?" the dwarf sneers. "Yes, elves, you have a problem with elves?' Sheridan interlinks his fingers and cracks his knuckles in a threatening cacophony. 'You racist against elves?" The dwarf cocks his head, mouth turning into a tight frown, "nah, guess I love 'em." "Good."

Bait

The air smells like rotting fish and dead men saturated with too much grog. The clamor is squealing seagulls and wood banging on wood, the scrap of rusting metal and sailors. So many salty blokes singing and yelling and fighting and walking with their bow-legged strut like the earth was heaving underneath them. Christian is happy for …

Powerful Lad

"As an elemental, you bend nature to your will," the old-man lectures, pacing and tugging on his long grey beard. "Like this Papi?" the child asks holding up his hand. The old man turns and gawks at the twisting vortex of wind and lightning raging there. "Yes, Gregory," he stammers, that's exactly right.    

Caught

The dream feels wet and cold. He has to pee and does. It's uncomfortable lying there, soaked in urine and looking into her eyes. Big brown eyes, rimmed with tears and shadowed with terror. "Why so sad, Marie?" a voice like melting ice asks and he realizes it's his own mouth that uttered the words. She …

Prison

Her prison is a palace on a lush island paradise. Her every desire is granted, but still, it's a prison. Her crime? Family lineage. Through the inky blackness of night, she watches a boat approach. With it comes freedom and by the Gods her people will now know the nightmare of her name.

They

Twilight falls. She prepares a fire, as she has for countless nights since they left. They, the idea of it breaks her heart. It was only her now wasn't it? Alone in the abandoned capital, near the end of a journey that leads her home. She refuses to cry, again. There's no point. Gio's gone. The …

The Witch

In the early weeks of April, Mary Trembles walks a muddy path. Each step punctuated with her cane placed gingerly on the wet ground. A cane as crooked as her back. Her steps are dainty on leather-wrapped, wooden-soled shoes.   She wears a black wool dress and a shawl over her wispy white hair. She …

Guerro

The hostage feels the chimp's malignant glare like knives through the skull. Hairless the ape is a shiny odd blackish-red color. "Guerro has alopecia.’ The junker says offering the primate a cigarette. ‘He'd love you forever if you got a light." The ape hangs the smoke between his pink lips and leans forward muscles bunching …

Tiger Lilly

Drone T1-6 (1 of 6) hovers, one time compliant. Its pilot, light years from Kepler 1b stationed at Houston Lunar Base Earth or Schiaparelli crater on Mars, is probably mashing their fire button at this very moment, hoping to kill the Earth Terrorist known as the Alnamar Laylaa. The terrorist stands on the lip of …

Lichen

The Sun crests with a blazing blast of yellow light just as one of the grey ramshackle dwellings sitting on the lip of the rocky cliff gives up in its fight with gravity and shifts with a crack of dry alpine wood. The unexpected screams of terror of those inside, echo against the wet granite …

Machine before Man

They announce imminent death. The choices are: pray or fix it. John Boon decides on the second option and a third. “The fuck’d this gas giant come from?” he screams at Houston, Lunar-base-Earth. “Sorry, Johnny, bad math.” He cocks his fist but refrains from hitting his instruments. Boon knows the voice isn't human. It's the …

Go Back

The room is padded, grey and locked from the outside. It smells like rat droppings and moldy old sweat, piss and shit stains smear the walls. It echoes with the screams of the crazy, the damned, people not like Samantha. Because to her, this is happening, this is reality. “I’m not crazy Doctor!” and she …

Fight Night

Loud bass echoes. A fight breaks out in the back. The impromptu violence competes with the music in the lowest level of the condemned multi structure garage. The situation gets dangerous fast and a gun goes off. Following the shot, a shrill cry of "No, no, not Morris, no," bounces off the cold, wet cement …

The Boy

Arrows fill the sky blocking out the sun. Hundreds of gaberdine armored bodies splash into the murky-water below. Wounded, they drown slowly. The survivors crush back against a closed drawbridge away from the infantry wielded lances piercing through a closed gate. Until a boy releases the lever, dying a hero.

Out West

The remnants of the fort are five or six black ashy posts sticking stubbornly out of the rocky snow-covered ground. Twenty of the dead face the setting sun. They sit a cook fire. Staring mindlessly into the leaping flames, something bubbles. It doesn’t smell good. Nearby, meat rots. Gerald climbs the small rise, loose stones …

One More Bite

The soft cold brine. The knowing. The tangle. *** The hard swoop of steel against physics. The nothing strike on flesh. *** The burst. The first splat and crunch. So satisfying, relish every moment. So few come. So few. *** Nothing left now. But wait. It comes again. One more bite and plunge!

29 Rapp

With blood-speckled lips he speaks his final words, “my sweet,” then nothing. His soulmate drops his hand, bringing her own to the silent scream pouring from her mouth. *** The death blow came from a gargoyle pushed from above. She wants to shout that he’s an artist, a stone mason’s son, he only looks rich. …

Shifting Worlds

“What happened?” his vision dances and blurs. “Ye died.” “Nay.” “Aye.” The boy thinks of things he never did. Losing it with Becky. Killing his first, Seeing his maw again. His chin dimples. “O’ now, ole pop toldya whimsy lad. Ye dinnae die, just gonna feel it for a bit.”

Mother

With a deep bellow the mountain raises and the Earth shakes. The ground is torn. Large roots and rocks pour from the being’s undercarriage. It moves its head, swiveling it from side to side, its mouth opening and closing, bits of stone chipping off its gnashing teeth, crashing into the forest below as its tongue …

Dive Bar

The place is on the water. It has little umbrellas that have frayed in the wind. The fresh salty air from the gulf can't penetrate the smells of stale beer and greasy food that surround the plywood structure like a fugue. Gulls circle looking for morsels of food. With protesting squawks they fly off when …

Somewhere Else

Location set.  *** The sun shines bright. The day is warm. The breeze comforting and filled with the flavors of late summer. Maybe noon at a table in the middle of a grassy yard sounds harsh, but summer was ending and its a perfect place to collect a little sun, spend time with new friends, …

On an FTX

The boy is a trained killer in woodland-camo, rip-sole jungle boots, a kevlar helmet and a scowl. He digs shovelfuls of wet sucking mud from a hole. Drenched and miserable, he is sick as fuck of the army and all its machinations. The hole is for a sixty-caliber machine gun that will be aimed at …

A Marine

  He enlisted in the marines on the ninth of December 1941, two days after Pearl Harbor, while still drunk. His buddy Carl was so blasted the recruiter made him wait a day before joining up saying "This boy's just too primed." Peter McGrew joined the Marines not because they were the best, because they …

Medusa

This tale begins with a war between the God Poseidon and the Goddess Athena. They fought for the land of Athens. A beautiful place on the Myrtoan Sea. Their bloody war was almost endless. They threw their worshipers against each other until the sea was red from blood. They killed off so many people that …

The Amberg

In 1944 the Polish resistance has been crushed. Half a million of Warsaw’s citizens are dead rotting in destroyed building or in plain sight on the street. The survivors of what was once a vibrant cityscape scurry about like vermin in a living nightmare. They look for any way to survive, but know death is …

Deadwood

It smells like melting tar and burning wood, unwashed men, rotting teeth and freshly turned dirt, old whiskey, sick, piss and shit. Its pungent and raw. The road here was so empty and peaceful, but with the hush of hidden death hiding just below the green leafy canopy of forest and hills. Now death is …

Mirage: Speculating on Speculative Fiction #21 Valentines Day W/ Varla Ventura

Varla Ventura join me to speculate on the lore behind Valentines. *** Varla Ventura doesn't just have the best name in writing, she is also a scholar of the occult, paranormal, and dream theorist. Her favorite holiday is Halloween, and she has written six books with a seventh on the way, each about spooky stuff. …

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#79 Aliya Dalrae

(Correction time! I miscounted last week and posted Ep. 80 before ep. 79 =D) Aliya is the author of the Jessica Sweet Trilogy. Her debut novel, “Sweet Vengeance,” was published in February 2016, and was honored as a Golden Quill Awards Reader’s Choice Finalist in 2017. Her second novel, “Sweet Discovery,” is a Top Three …

Mirage: Speculating on Speculative Fiction #20 C.S. Lewis w/ E. Rachael Hardcastle

  On episode 20 of Mirage E. Rachael Hardcastle and I discuss C.S.Lewiss. Clive Staples Lewis was a British novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, broadcaster, lecturer, and Christian apologist. He held academic positions at both Oxford University and Cambridge University. He is best known for his works of fiction, especially The …

The Sacrifice

God is the sudden appearance of warmth and light. The mountain is silent. The wind has stopped. The sun is bright yellow in the billowing high mountain fog. Abrham collapses. His legs no longer support his weight. His breath his haggard and his vision blurs. At the end, despite the beautiful passage of the sun, …

Mirage: Speculating on Speculative fiction #19 Ray Bradbury w/ Matthew BIn

  Ray Douglas Bradbury was an American author and screenwriter. He worked in a variety of genres, including fantasy, science fiction, horror, and mystery fiction. Widely known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, and The Martian Chronicles, his science-fiction and horror-story collections. *** Matthew Bin is a Science Fiction author from Oakville, Ontario, Canada. Website: …