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“Little Pieces” in Haunts & Horrors Anthology

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After a mind numbing six-week course on International Business where I debated such fascinating topics such as how Latvia could have better transitioned to the Euro as opposed to devaluing their lats and how South Korea could have prevented the crash of the won and the ensuing financial crisis after their recession in 1993 …it’s finally time to get back into writing mode.

As I started looking into various markets and the status on some of my pieces I was happy to learn that the reprint of my story “Little Pieces” is in the Wildside Press Haunts and Horrors Anthology.

Here’s the list of stories inside:

SURREAL ESTATE, by Nina Kiriki Hoffman

BIRTHMARK, by Seabury Quinn

THE MONKEY’S PAW, by W.W. Jacobs

FUGUES, by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

DEAD BABIES, by Lawrence Watt-Evans

THE MUFFIN MAN, by Mike Brines

THE SILENT MAJORITY, by Stephen Woodworth

THE TOMB, by H.P. Lovecraft

GONE, by Nina Kiriki Hoffman

THE MEAT FOREST, by John Haggerty

ETERNITY AND THE DEVIL, by Larry Hodges

MISS FAVERSHAM’S ROOM, by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

THE DAMNED THING, by Ambrose Bierce

THE SHADOWS OF THE DEAD, by Louis Becke

BONESY, by Larry Hodges

VENGEANCE IN HER BONES, by Malcolm Jamieson

LITTLE PIECES, by Matt Piskun

THE MAN WHO LIVED by Raymond F. O’Kelley

THE FOND NIGHTMARE, by Colin Azariah-Kribbs

THE RESIDENCE AT WHITMINSTER, by M.R. James

 

The good news is that if you want to check it out it’s on Kindle AND….

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It’s only $0.99…

The anthology showcases many talented authors. Colin Azariah-Kribbs has published many short stories as well as poetry and of course there’s Chelsea Quinn Yarbro who has been named a Guest of Honor at World FantasyConvention 2015, which will be held November 5-8, 2015 at the Saratoga City Center in Saratoga Springs, New York. There’s also a story by some guy named H.P Lovecraft.

Anyway check it out if you can.

Living in the Post-Apocalypse World

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It has been too long since my last post. So much has happened…a 6 week MBA course that derailed my writing is now in the books….the world did not end, we learned that the Mayans just weren’t so good at math….Christmas came and went (with another new addition to my office as seen in the photo above), I am battling a super-cold of some sort that refuses to die… oh, and I appeared to have re-torn the labrum in my shoulder and nearly overdosed on Xanax in order to get the MRI to see how bad the damage is.

So, through all that I managed to complete a yet unnamed story about a young man dealing with personal demons in the midst of a massive hurricane. It deals with some touchy subject matter and I hope it doesn’t suck because it was interrupted so often by this thing called life.

I also plan on sending out a bio-punk story I wrote called Pax Salutem that deals with the potential downside of being able to cure all disease and illness with science. It’s a strong story I wrote before I started class, but didn’t have the time to send out to the proper market.

I also need to edit another strong story I wrote called “Colony.” It was expertly critiqued recently by a fabulous editor named Stephanie Loree who is doing marvelous work on Nightmare Magazine. If you haven’t checked the magazine out, do so immediately, its edited by the horror guru John Joseph Adams.

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So, I have a lot of writing ahead of me, which is aways a good thing, especially since physically I feel like crap…silver lining and all that..

Pseudopod Rejects “Colony” (but in a nice way!)

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One of my favorite horror sites, Pseudopod (who happened to publish my very first story), has just rejected my short story “Colony.”

The responding editor had some good things to say though:

“Thank you for sending us “Colony.” I have reviewed this submission and
decided not to purchase it. I found it lovely and well-wrought and
enjoyed most of it immensely. The ending just really didn’t work for
me. For me, it detracted from such an otherwise strong piece. It
brought me out of the dark place and shattered my suspension of
disbelief.”

So, I guess I know what I need to fix.

Colony Collapse Disorder

After months of writing a longer piece, in which I’m currently soliciting input for a third draft, and re-writing a few recently rejected pieces I have found inspiration for a new story.

I was listening to “Hexagon” by Jason Rizos on Pseudopod.org (the very ones who published Infestation by yours truly) and it hit me. The story revolved around bees which then got me thinking about Colony Collapse Disorder, one of natures more ominous mysteries at the moment. I got to thinking about what it meant for the buzzing little bastards and then what it would mean if applied to the human condition….and would it be a good or a bad thing?

Thus I present to you “Untitled Work That I started Today Which I hope Won’t Suck.” I’ll keep you posted on its progress or lack there off.

And in case you haven’t checked it out yet, here’s the link to “Infestation”:

http://pseudopod.org/2009/06/05/pseudopod-145-infestation/

Fortune Cookie

Wrote this about 3 years ago. Has some good parts I think.

Declan drove out of his Urologist’s parking lot and shifted uncomfortably in his car seat, wondering what force on earth, if any, could stop a latex glove with KY jelly on it. He groaned at the far to recent memory and felt his asshole tighten.
His cell-phone sang out “I’m bringin’ sexy back” by Justin Timberlake, which meant his wife Alison was calling. He rolled his eyes at the phone and flipped it open.
“‘Lo”.
“Hi hon, how was your appointment?”
“Don’t wanna talk about it.”
Laughter.
“Yeah, goddamn hilarious.”
“Do you think you’ll be able to survive long enough to bring home dinner?”
“Sure, what do you want?”
“Surprise us.”
“Will do, love ya bye.”
Declan turned on to Bay Avenue and rolled down his window. He took a deep breath to relax and inhaled a crisp Atlantic Ocean breeze. Next he made a right onto Route 9 where all the strip malls restaurants were. He saw the bright yellow Primo’s Pizza sign and kept driving, today was Wednesday and they usually had pizza every Friday. Next he saw Don Pablo’s and the thought of Mexican made his stomach strain and asshole tighten once more. He kept driving. Then he smelled it. Sweeter than the ocean breeze came blowing in the smell of pork fried rice and egg rolls. ‘The general’s chicken!’ he thought and his stomach growled in agreement. His ass said nothing. Chinese it was!
Declan had lived here for four years and had never seen this place before. It was a plain red, brick building with tinted windows and no signs that displayed the business’ name or hours.
Inside the walls were plain brown. No colored pictures of the different available Chinese food dishes, no menu, and no paintings of old fashioned Chinese countrysides. At the counter stood an Asian teenage boy with an IPOD in his breast pocket and an earphone in one ear.
“You guys just open up?”
The teenager looked at Declan as if he was severely retarded for asking such a question and said nothing.
“Well, do you guys have a menu?”
“We can make whatever you want.”
“Alright, I’ll have a General Tso, Chicken lo mein, and a sweet n’ sour chicken.”
“We don’t have sweet n’ sour chicken.’
“I thought you said you could make anything.”
“Anything but that.”
Again with the ‘how fucking stupid are you?’ stare.
“Fine, make it a chicken and broccoli.”
“Fifteen minutes.”
Declan sat at one of the tables for two as he waited for his food. He stared out at the cars driving by when he felt a tap on his left shoulder. He turned around and no one was there. He looked at the counter and the teenager wasn’t there. He turned his attention back to the passing cars. With his stomach growling his mind drifted to his wife and daughter, Merle. Declan wondered if she would eat dinner tonight. She was fourteen, struggling with her weight, and had started skipping dinners.
He felt a warm breeze from behind, hot and sticky, turning the back of his neck damp. Declan quickly turned around and saw nothing. There was no window behind him, just the empty front counter. He scanned the unfinished ceiling of steel frame squares, wires, and insulated piping. ‘The breeze must come from up there’ he thought as he wiped the back of his neck with a napkin from the dispenser on the table. Once more he turned his attention to outside when it felt like someone hit him in the shoulder.
He quickly turned again and saw no one but wait, how did he not notice this before? A large, golden, Chinese dragon stared at him from a table in the corner, its snakelike body twisted in loop. Down it’s spine was a boney, fanlike fin and at the tip of the tail were three long twisting braids of hair. Four short arms each bearing five sharp talons reached out into the air, ready to snap closed. The details were all so beautiful and lifelike. It did not look like it was carved at all, but a living; breathing dragon had been turned to gold while taking flight. As exquisite as the body looked was it was nothing compared to the dragon’s face.
Its mouth was closed in an upturned grin with tendrils of hair flowing down from its chin, thick and twisted. Its nostrils were flared as if exhaling and three spiraling horns rose from the dragon’s forehead. The dragon’s upturned grin was filled with sharp, pointed teeth locked together. What stood out most on the dragons wise and menacing face was its eyes, set in stone the color of flowing burgundy that sat shimmering in the head of solid gold. The lights from the ceiling glinted off the dragon’s body but its eyes collected the light and refracted it in scarlet rays that scintillated in every direction.
Declan was lost in the dragon’s hypnotic gaze. He could hear the breeze that caressed his neck earlier drift past his ear carrying undecipherable whispers barely audible over the ticking of the wall clock. The minute hand of the cluck spun, one, two, twenty, one hundred; time passed him by as he sat motionless.
“Order’s ready, mister.”
Declan snapped out of his trance with a quick shake of his head and went to the counter.
“$18.95.”
Declan grabbed the brown, paper bag stapled together at the top with a message scrawled in Chinese in black marker at the top.
“Here’s a twenty, keep the change. Are there any fortune cookies in there?”
The teenager said nothing, his eyes darting nervously around the room.
“Uhm, fortune cookies?” Declan repeated.
The teenager pointed his finger across the room.
“Over there, by the dragon. I can’t give you any, you have to pick your own.”
Declan shrugged then followed his finger over to the red, ceramic bowl next to the golden dragon whose sparkling eyes he’d been lost in earlier. The dragon’s golden scales slithered as he moved towards it.
“Did that thing just move!?”
“No, no, its just the light. People ask that all the time. It’s very shiny.”
Declan reached his and into the ceramic bowl and couldn’t help but glance into the dragons searching red eyes. The whispers came again only to be drowned out by the beating of his heart. Declan grabbed a handful of fortune cookies, flinching when they stung like grabbing dry ice. His hand numb and mind lost in the dragons gaze, it took the jarring plastic crunch of a car accident in the parking lot to startle him from his trance. He opened the brown bag containing his food and tossed a handful of fortune cookies in.

Alison finished her chicken lo mein and Declan savored every last bite of his General Tso. The general never disappointed him. Merle pushed her chicken and broccoli back and forth across her plate with her fork.
“Where did you say you got this, Declan?”
“You know, I have no idea what this place was called, Ali. I think it’s new.”
“Merle, eat your chicken. I got a healthy dish just for you.”
“No thanks, Dad. You know I’m trying to loose weight!”
Declan knew better than to argue with his teenage daughter about her weight. She was fine the way she was but what did he know? Instead he turned over the plain, brown, paper bag and dumped the fortune cookies out on the kitchen table.
“I’ll have just one” said Merle as she quickly snatched one. She opened the wrapper and bit the cookie in half, pulling out the thin paper fortune.
“What does it say?” asked Alison.
“That I have one wish, and Confucius say use it wisely, or some crap.”
“Watch your mouth!” said Alison.
Declan just rolled his eyes and asked, “What are you going to wish for?”
“To get thinner of course”, said Merle as she pushed the second half of the cookie into her mouth.
Alison grabbed a cookie from the table, opened it, ate it and unraveled her fortune. “I am ambitious, I am short tempered, I am the fire dragon?”
“Nice!” said Declan with a wink. Alison winked back with her soft brown eyes. Declan went to grab a fortune cookie when his stomach let out a large, hollow gurgle. “General, no!” shouted Declan as his ran for the bathroom and shut the door.

Later that night, Merle was getting ready for bed when Declan put on the thick, yellow and black stripped sweatshirt he wore almost every night. He walked through the kitchen and put the last two fortune cookies in the sweatshirts pocket, sat on the couch and turned on the television. Alison came in and sat next to him.
“What do you want to watch, Ali?”
“Dancing With the Stars.”
“Bullshit!”
Merle walked into the living room, her hair pulled back into a ponytail.
“Goodnight.”
“Night.”
Declan got up to hug his daughter goodnight and noticed that felt slimmer than usual.
“Merle, whatever you’ve been doing is working. You feel like you lost a couple of pounds.”
“Thanks, Dad. I have been walking a lot.”
Merle gave her mother a kiss on the check and went to bed. Alison grabbed the remote and turned on ‘Dancing With the Stars’.
Merle lay in bed and stared up at the glow in the dark stars that decorated her ceiling. She rubbed her hands across her stomach and felt her ribs. She had lost weight! The stars on the ceiling started to twinkle and spin. Merle rubbed her eyes and looked again. The stars were still moving. They formed circles inside of circles and spun inside each other. Merle started to feel dizzy. She shut her eyes tight but the woozy feeling was still there. She felt weak. ‘I must have food poisoning’ she thought and tried to call out for her parents. Only whispers came when she tried to scream for help. Her skin felt tight and her stomach sank. Her rib cage protruded out further and she felt her cheeks sinking in. Merle felt the fat being sucked out of her. It felt like thousands of frenzied ants crawling beneath her skin, marching and chewing. The stars shined brightly above her, still spinning in hypnotizing circles.
Merle turned her head and threw-up. A steady stream of yellow and white fat poured from her mouth and splattered on the floor with a wet slap. Now her muscles started to shrink, fibers unraveled and disintegrated. Tendons melted away like candle wax and tears stained red and thickened with fat poured from her eyes and dried on her face.
Merle tried to call for help again, but her tongue had dissolved into a gummy stub and her diaphragm unraveled into shreds. Hollow rasps and sucking sounds was all she could produce. She lay in bed getting thinner and thinner, unable to move, unable to breathe. She felt her heart unraveling in her chest as she stared up at the dancing, spinning stars until the twinkling light on her ceiling was no more.

“I’m not feeling so good.”
“It’s this shitty show, Ali.”
“Very funny.”
“Now that you mention it, you look a little green.”
“I’m gonna go to bed.”
Declan quickly grabbed the remote, as Alison went up stairs, and changed the channel.
Upstairs Alison tossed and turned in bed. The blood of the dragon was coursing through her veins. It poured into her heart and was pumped through her body burning the old in cleansing fire and growing anew. Cells multiplied and grew, attaching themselves to her organs, metastasizing, spreading, invading. Her skin turned a dark shade of green.
She sat up in bed to the sound of tearing sheets. Her hands and feet were now talons, each with five claws, razor sharp. She stumbled out of bed and arched her back in agony, letting out a guttural growl as the hardened skin of her back split open at her shoulder blades. Folded wings pushed themselves free of the torn flesh and spread out wide and flapped, drying the clear coat of mucous that covered them. Alison’s lower body stretched long and thin, scaling over until the transformation was complete. With a bellowing roar the dragon spread her wings and burst through the bedroom wall out into the night.
The roar made Declan, who had fallen asleep watching sports highlights, leap of his couch. The following sound of smashing glass and splintered wood made him scared the hell out of him and he ran up the stairs to check on his family. The first room he ran into was his daughters and he turned on the light. Declan gasped as he saw a skeleton lying in her bed. It was wrapped tightly in pale thin skin, eyes sunken in, mouth open. Declan walked closer and saw the hardened fat colored ooze that dripped off the side of the bed. He gathered his strength and walked closer still until he saw its face and knew that it was his daughter. He placed his hand on her chest and felt nothing. He shouted her name and got no response. He shook her shoulder, trying to wake her up, and her shoulder let out a dry snap then tore away from her body and fell to the floor.
“Ali! Alison, cal 911!”
Declan ran into his room to get his wife and skidded to a halt as he saw the twelve foot wide hole in the side of his house.”
Declan ran to the opening, scanned the ground below for his wife, and shouted for his wife. He heard a whooshing of air and looked up into the night sky and saw nothing. The full moon bathed the grass and they swayed like tiny, silver stalks in the breeze. Now he heard the beating of leather wings and looked up into the night again. Blocking out the moon was a large winged shape coming toward him. He stepped back into the hallway, keeping his gaze fixed on the creature flying right at him. It hovered in front of the house flapping its giant green wings and snorted.
Declan’s mind, staggering to make sense of the situation, could only muster three simple words, ‘Shit, a dragon!’ He watched as the beast moved its emerald head from side to side, sniffing the air. Thick, long strands of golden, silk hair hung from its nose and chin.
He took a few tentative steps backwards not wanting to alarm the giant beast. The dragon opened and closed its mouth to the tune of steel smacking steel and fixed its stare on Declan. Adrenaline, the last chance drug of the hunted, sped through his body, his pupils widening to meet the soft brown eyes of the dragon. He froze for an instant, a fleeting feeling of recognition hung between them, until the dragon opened its great jaws.
Declan saw the light coming from deep down its throat, a living breathing cloud of blue and yellow ignition, followed by the sucking sound of oxygen being consumed. He turned and ran as a stream of fire poured from the dragon’s throat. It sounded like the roar of a jet engine and Declan could smell the paint burning off the walls as he turned the corner and ran down the stairs, tripping and falling over the last four steps and twisting his ankle with a stomach turning pop.
He got to his feet and heard the piercing cry of his hunter in the front yard. He opened the sliding glass doors in is kitchen and hopped out into his backyard, his ankle starting to swell and throb. He saw the slightly open door of the steel shed and made his way inside and shut the door.
He sat on his Toro push mower and tried to control his breathing. He heard the beating of wings outside and held his breath. His ankle was throbbing to the beat of his heart and a sharp pain felt like a knife twisting in his stomach.
The dragon roared followed by the whooshing sound of another plume of flame. He heard his house crackling as it was devoured by fire. He thought of Merle, lying in bed unable to move as the flames moved in to devour. He thought of thick, black smoke bearing in on her and stopped himself from imagining further. He leaned forward, placing his hands over his face, and silently cried as the dragon roared in its search for him.
‘What had happened?’ he asked himself. His daughter emaciated, found in bed melted away like some wax statue. He heard a thud outside as the dragon landed nearby. What about the dragon? His mind raced but could find no answer. His hands dropped in his lap to the sound of crunching plastic wrapper. The dragon roared and it reverberated inside the steel shed shaking him numb. His mind raced, there was an answer. His daughter wasted away, getting thinner, and the dragon. The dragon with the wings beating, the talons, the teeth, and the soft brown eyes! Alison’s eyes! Could it be?
He reached his hand into the pockets of his yellow and black sweatshirt and pulled out the two fortune cookies. ‘Impossible!’ he thought. His daughter, with her fortune, wished to be thinner and Alison’s said she was the dragon.
He could see a large shadow approaching from under the sheds door. With a pop and a crack he heard his house come crashing down. The dragon pressed its head against the shed and sniffed.
Declan stared at the two fortune cookies in his hand, he had never opened his. The sniffing at the sheds door grew louder and more intense. Thinking there was nothing to loose he tore the cookie form its wrapper and pulled out the fortune. It was to dark to read it!
The dragon bellowed outside and tore through the side of the shed with one of its talons. The light from his smoldering house came in through the opening and he read his fortune; “You are steel, you are power, you are the dragon slayer.”
Declan’s walked out of the shed as his skin hardened, shimmering yellow and silver from the intermingling beams of moonlight with the glare of he roaring flames. He held, in hand, a blade the vibrated with energy. He felt it! He was power! The dragon swiped at his him with its claws and they merely caused sparks as they brushed against his armor. He laughed. He was the dragon slayer. He would slice of the hands of the lizard. He would cut off its head and hold the trophy high and howl into the moonlight. He was the dragon slayer! Now he would go and kill it. Now he would go kill, his wife.
The word “wife” resonated in his mind and was reflected in the eyes of the creature before him. With a huge gust of wind and ash the dragon lifted into the air and circled him from above, getting ready to swoop down for the kill. The sword sung in his hand. He tried to think of another way. There was one fortune cookie left. It sat on the ground before him, crushed inside its wrapper. The dragon, his wife, bellowed in the air above. He dropped his sword and picked up the crushed cookie. He ripped open the wrapper, small, yellow pieces of cookie spilled onto the grass. He held the fortune in his hand. He thought of the possibilities, “It was all a dream”, “This never happened and all will return to normal”. ‘Please’ he begged, ‘give me a wish!’
He unrolled the small scroll and read it as the dragon came swooping down

The firemen would come and put out the blaze. Police and emergency responders would scour the ashes and find no bodies and the reports of a screaming rampaging beast that flew through the air burning the earth would never be reported by the few neighbors that choose to believe there eyes.
What was never found was the paper fortune that fluttered through the breeze, slightly burned and stained of ash that read: “You are celestial dragon and you pull the chariot of the gods.”
What could be seen though, when the moon wasn’t bright enough to blot out the neighboring stars was the faint, far off constellation. The first cluster of stars, twinkled gold, trailed by two groups of blue-white stars dispersed in patterns.
When discovered this new constellation would be called the “Heavenly Dragon.” The stars would be connected to show the golden celestial dragon pulling his chariot and in it, the two maidens of fire and light.

A Blast From The Past

I am well into the second draft of my “novel” and to keep the masses (of one…maybe?) satisfied I am posting a story from 3 years ago due to my lack of new material.

Although some spots are cringe worthy it’s worth a gander into the past.

So…here goes…..

Ten
By
Matthew Piskun

The sink was filled with soapy water, thousands of small bubbles, shimmering with rainbows from the refracted sunlight through the kitchen window. She could hear her two children playing in the basement.
Her thoughts drifted off into the past as she stared out the window and washed the large glass serving plate, from last night’s dinner, in the soapy water. The sky was azure and calming with a couple of clouds listing lazily in the breeze. A white blaze streaked across the great blue sea of sky then vanished. “A shooting star?” she thought. “During the day?” Figuring it must be her lucky day she made a wish.
She looked out at the wooden swing set in her backyard. It seemed like yesterday she was pushing her toddlers on the swings, now they would go out and play alone for hours. She enjoyed the extra free time but part of her missed the innocent dependence on her to be all there was to them. To be everything. She rinsed off the glass serving plate and placed it on a dishtowel on the countertop. She heard her children’s high-pitched laughter downstairs and smiled.
She sunk her hands down into the dirty water to pull out the drain stop. The sun outside moved behind a dark cloud and cast long shadows across her backyard. A rumble rolled in from the heavens, distant but ominous. The windowpane rattled and she cried out in pain as she cut her hand on a knife lurking beneath the water. Instinctively she yanked her hand from the sink revealing a long thin slice across the palm of her left hand. Drops of blood slid down her wrist and dripped into the sink water, swirling and mingling with the suds in a celebration of freedom from the flesh.
Suddenly as if the sun had been extinguished it grew unnaturally dark outside. A streak of lightening singed a jagged line in the sky outside her window. Another thunderclap, more jarring than the first, followed shaking her wedding ring from the windowsill into the water, murky with grease, suds and freshly let blood. After a failed attempt to catch it she watched the ring’s spiraling descent to the bottom of the sink. Her wedding ring clanked on the bottom of the sink and as if it was a catalyst the bright red in the sink joined together. Small drips swarmed, like angry, red wasps, and found each other. Unified they formed a message and there was no doubting the message delivered by this blood scribe. Crisp and unmistakable, the message spelled out a crimson “10”.
Another flash of lightening gave a glimpse of a shape outside, for just an instant. Did she see something? Was someone out there? Her heart moved up into her throat. Thunder rattled her once again and the kitchen lights began to blink. The television in the basement grew loud with cartoon laughter then quiet. Another bolt of lightening exploded and this time there was no mistake, someone was out there. It was a young girl in a dress swinging on the swing set. Thunder boomed once more and the lights in the house went off as if blown out. A primal fear of darkness and the destructive force of nature, so old she didn’t know she had it, caused her hair to stand on end as another flash lit up the back yard, leaving behind a bright and eerie glow of sickly, jaundiced yellow. The girl was standing halfway between the swings and the window. Paralyzed with fear the mother tried to cry out, but no sound came out, her throat sticky and dry.
There was silence now, save for the beating of her own heart and the dripping of the faucet. The wind howled outside, speaking words barely audible, raspy whispers, a breeze through razor blades. A shadowy image, impossibly darker than the false night, moved toward her outside the window. She realized she had been clutching her chest and removed her hand to reveal a bloody handprint on her white sweater. Little pieces of white fuzz were stuck in the knife wound on her palm.
The smell of ozone preceded another white flash that incinerated the darkness. A hand slapped the window and this time the mother managed a chocked scream as she looked up to see the face of the girl looking right at her. A bone white face with eyes of fluid mercury that shimmered as if melting and reforming. A mouth full of black serpents smiled and thick rope-like hair flailed in the wind like nooses blowing from a branch. Then the lights went out and the world outside her window grew black again. Her children screamed in the basement.
Panicking in the dark she fell over a kitchen chair and landed on her injured palm. Slick with blood her hand slid forward and her face fell forward into the linoleum. Her lower lip began to swell as she climbed to her feet. As she grabbed the doorknob leading to the basement she heard the faintest, tattered shred of a whisper that formed the words, “Your too late.”
Flinging the basement door open she faced the darkness, its great devouring maw warning her not to enter but she charged down anyway, knocking pictures from the wall as she fought for balance, disappearing into the blackness.
The door slammed shut behind her knocking more pictures down shattering glass and nerves. The lights began to flicker on and off in irregular strobes that hurt her eyes. At the bottom of the steps, through the jagged beat of lights, she found red barefooted footprints in small pools of blood. An icy wind caressed the nape of her neck and she turned to meet its source. The door at the top of the steps had frozen over in a block of ice. Through the frantic blinking of lights she could see small clouds of breath from her mouth escape the madness and dissipate into the darkness.
Her heart beat loud and frantically as she followed the bloody footsteps around the corner of her basement. One cautious step at a time she moved, afraid of what she would find. When she turned the corner the lights grew bright, like stars blooming supernova in the dead of night. Several lights exploded behind her but the ones in front of her stayed on, illuminating the horror in front of her.
The footprints led to the brick wall at the end of her basement where there was a huge hole. The lights grew brighter and brighter and she felt their searing heat on the top of her scalp. The image before her was immaculate in detail, frozen in the moment. The girl from the backyard stood before her smiling. Her porcelain white face frozen and smooth, with black serpents writhing at the corners of her mouth, their scales rubbing together sounded like fluttering moths. Her hair flailed angrily as her eyes melted and reformed in an endless cycles of death and rebirth. She spoke without moving her mouth. A stale breeze carried the stench of rotting corpses as it blew past her and carried the message, “They are mine now.”
Like a zipper the bricks reformed below her and made their way up, making the brick wall solid again. The blazing lights died gloriously above her showering her with hot flakes of broken glass.
“NO!” she screamed at the dark. “Give me back my children.”
She did not wait for a response and beat the brick wall with her bare hands, trying to find the seam that had closed right before her eyes moments ago.
“Please!”
She pounded her fists until it felt like she had broken both of her hands then fell to her knees sobbing.
In between her sobs the darkness, as if mocking her, carried the far off pleas of her children. Desperate, she felt her way into the basement utility room where her husband kept many of his tools. She ran her hands across the handle of a chainsaw. “Would this work she thought?” She gave up pondering its potential value when she realized she didn’t know how to start it. Her fingers made their way across the metal teeth of a rake, “Useless!” she aid out loud.
Realizing she had no idea what to do, she fell to her knees crying once again, and landed on a long wooden handle. She moved her hands along the length of the handle, past small splinters and gouges, and came to the large metal head of an axe. Her smile was invisible in the darkness.
She held the axe in both hands and swung it like a baseball bat at the brick. Nothing. Angered she swung again with greater force and the axe head sparked against the brick wall. Another swing brought about another spray of sparks. Frustrated she ran her fingers across the wall to feel if she did any damage.
“Kids, I’m coming. Mommy’s coming for you!”
The darkness tightened its grip around her, the cold void pressed against her flesh, and whispered in her ear, “Yes, mommy, come to me.”
The brick grew cold beneath her fingers, a headstone in winter. She followed the wall, hoping and praying for a crack or seam that she could use the axe against. Suddenly the brick stopped and she came to sheet rock. It was her only hope. She gripped the axe as tight as she could and swung.
A lightning flash lit up the room as the axe head stuck into the wall. She could hear her children screaming now. She reared back and swung again. Another flash bled out the darkness. In its brilliance she saw the wall bleeding from the axe wounds. A foul smelling mess oozed its way out
“Mommy, stop it hurts!” her children cried in unison.
“Lies!” she shouted back and swung the axe again and again in a desperate act of madness. Her children begged her to stop. “You’re killing us!” they screamed. She swung again and blood splattered across her face and the flowing mess from the wall began to pool around her feet. If they were pleading with her to stop, she hoped, then they were not being killed by her actions and she was merely being tricked. Her arms where heavy and her shoulders burned with the fire of exhaustion. The basement grew colder and the blood on her clothes began to freeze in small frosted clumps.
She swung once more and in the blaze of accompanying light she saw that she had made a sizable hole in the wall. Se wedged the axe handle inside and pulled with all her weight. A large piece of sheet rock cracked and broke off with a splash as it landed in the blood that collected on the carpet. Warmth poured out from the hole and it glowed red inside. It smelled wet and the effluvium that escaped reeked of iron and marigold.
“Come.”
She placed her head inside and crawled through the opening.
It was all warmth and red and wetness. A red mist hovered above the floor, swirling as if alive, making it impossible to see her feet. A beating, as if from a heart of stone, echoed trough the chamber she was in. Warm tendrils, meaty and slick rose up and grabbed her wrists, making it impossible for her to move. The red light grew brighter and a dark imaged began to take form before her. It was the young girl, her face still white despite the red glare. Behind her hung a bulging membrane sack and inside, curled in the fetal position with there backs pressed against each other, were her children.
“What have you done? Give me my kids back!”
Black snakes writhed in a mouth that didn’t move. “It has been ten years.”
“Who are you?”
“Don’t you remember?”
“I…I don’t know…”
Thick ropes of hair flailed. “Yes, you do.”
A spark of recollection caught fire in the mother’s mind. “That’s not possible.”
“You killed me ten years ago.”
“No, I never killed anyone! I didn’t, I….”
“You gave me life and then you took it.”
“Ten years ago I…. had an abortion.”
The stone heartbeat stopped and the girl floated towards her. Her silver eyes caught fire with shimmering bands of red. The snakes retreated inside the girl’s mouth and white lips pressed tight together. The grip around the mother’s wrists grew tighter and she could no longer feel her hands.
“This isn’t happening.”
“I have been so alone, afraid and angry.”
“Please give me back my children.”
“I only know death.”
“My kids didn’t do anything wrong!”
“They were given a life and a family! I have been given lies and the broken promise of a life that wasn’t.”
“I’m sorry! You have no idea! No idea about what I was going through, about the life you would have had! The horrible life we would have had.”
The chamber grew hotter. The mother started to sweat and it evaporated as soon as it escaped from her pores. She smelled of salt and fear. The girl’s mouth opened and the snakes writhed and hissed in primal anger.
“It is you who has no idea!”
The snakes unfurled from her mouth. Their emerald eyes and four pointed fangs, dripping with green venom struck. The mother was bitten on the neck, forehead, and both shoulders. The fangs sharp and long clamped down hard through meat and bone. She could hear her blood rushing through her body then slow as the venom took over. The room grew cold and the red glare faded into nothing.
“Know me.”
The mother disappeared inside herself. She felt the energetic spark of life flow like an electric river that coursed and created. She saw a great light that wasn’t white or black yet was everything and she felt naked and secure. The light wrapped around her and knitted her soul into a great tapestry of dreams, hunger, and the highest of aspirations that were incomprehensible. She wept tears of purity, clear and thick, and then as suddenly as it came it left. The light was doused and the fabric of her being, not yet fully formed, unraveled and left a hole of unfathomable magnitude. Dreams burned up as if shooting stars until there was nothing.
“Stay with me.”
“But, my children?”
“They will be safe until their father returns.”
“They still need me.”
“I need you more.”
To this the mother had no words. The snakes retracted their fangs and fell to the floor, disappearing in the sea of red mist. The tendrils that ensnared her gave up their grip and the girl stretched out her arms before her in welcome.
The mother walked slowly, still carrying the axe in her hand, and cried, once more, the tears of purity that only existed in visions an dreams. As she walked the stone heartbeat came back to life, each step making the rhythm slower and softer. The girls white face bore the rivulets of silver tears as shimmering eyes wept. The mother dropped the axe into the swirling mist. Then they embraced and became one.
“I’ll allow you one last look.”
The mother watched as her husband came home and noticed the sink full of dirty dishes tainted with blood. She watched him run down the basement stairs to find his two children playing. Then everything vanished, burning up as if a shooting star.

Horror Writer, Matt Piskun….I like the sound of that.

I was just featured in the Writing Room as a Brookdale fiction writing grad. The post was made by Jeffrey Ford and award wining author.

Jeff is a great guy, an excellent mentor and an even better author. Do yourself a favor and check out some of his stuff. My 3 favorite works by him, to date, are:

1) The Physiognomy
2) The Girl in the Glass
3) The Shadow Year

You can check out my link here:

Necrotic Tissue #12 Featuring “Little Pieces” is out

My Issue of Necrotic Tissue #12, featuring “Little Pieces”, has arrived in the mail. I am quite impressed. Its a gorgeous soft cover that comes just in time for Halloween.

Little Pieces is one of my favorite stories. I tried hard to make it a character driven story submersed in a world of horror and suspense and I think it worked out well. The story is about a deep love that is lost and depths the main character will go to to reclaim it.

It’s available for sale here:

“Cookers” Published in Tales of the Zombie War

My 4th publication is now available on Tales of the Zombie War. If you like horror of any kind its a real nice site.

Although this story does have a unique type of zombie the main focus is on a father, daughter and grandmother and their family dynamic in adversity. Adversity being flesh eating plants and off course zombies.

I enjoyed writing this story and so far the comment section has been positive. Give it a read and let me know what you think.

Here is the address or click on Cookers over on the blog roll.

http://www.talesofworldwarz.com/stories/2010/08/10/cookers-by-matt-piskun/

Mirror Mirror

I was checking out Jeffrey Ford’s blog and he wrote a bit about Joshua Hoffine.

Hoffine’s work is amazing and scary. He is a horror photographer and his pictures are great and his blog is interesting. He also goes through many of his pictures and the painstaking detail he put into each one.

There was one photo of a werewolf chasing a girl down a flight of stairs that was great but I couldn’t get it to copy

check Jeff out here:
http://14theditch.livejournal.com/

and check Joshua Hoffine out at:

http://joshuahoffine.wordpress.com/