a
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consecte adipi. Suspendisse ultrices hendrerit a vitae vel a sodales. Ac lectus vel risus suscipit sit amet hendrerit a venenatis.
12, Some Streeet, 12550 New York, USA
(+44) 871.075.0336
silverscreen@edge-themes.com
Links
 

FLASH MASTERS – June 2014

Flash Masters Grey Matter Press Flash Fiction Contest

 

FLASH MASTERS I – June 2014 WINNERS

A week later and with 53 submissions of some great Flash Fiction, our first FLASH MASTERS Contest is over. And the Winners have been selected. They are as follows:

GRAND PRIZE WINNER: Angel Zapata for “Plane Jane” –
wins an autographed trade paperback copy of John F.D. Taff’s THE END IN ALL BEGINNINGS

READER’S CHOICE WINNER: Joshua Felthoff for “Siblings” –
wins an autographed trade paperback copy of John F.D. Taff’s THE END IN ALL BEGINNINGS

VOTING WINNER (selected by random drawing): Tricia Sloan –
wins a Kindle copy of EQUILIBRIUM OVERTURNED

 

RUNNER UP: Michele Garber for “What Kind of Dead” –
wins a Kindle copy of EQUILIBRIUM OVERTURNED

RUNNER UP: Mike Slivinski for “Bood Profit” –
wins a Kindle copy of EQUILIBRIUM OVERTURNED

RUNNER UP: Amanda Hard for “Oh Chaos, They Name is Man” –
wins a Kindle copy of EQUILIBRIUM OVERTURNED

RUNNER UP: E.G. Smith for “The Loving Family Thing” –
wins a Kindle copy of EQUILIBRIUM OVERTURNED

RUNNER UP: David Shakes for “Possessions” –
wins a Kindle copy of EQUILIBRIUM OVERTURNED

 

Congratulations to all the winners of FLASH MASTERS I. We will be contacting you shortly to get any necessary details for awarding your individual prizes.

And everyone at Grey Matter Press would like to extend our appreciation to all those who participated in the contest. With your help it was a stunning success, and provided us with many hours of dark reading pleasure. The next edition, FLASH MASTERS II will take place late in July. Hope to see you all again very soon!

 


 

FLASH MASTERS Flash Fiction Contest from Grey Matter Press


THE BASICS

The Grey Matter Press FLASH MASTERS Flash Fiction Contest seeks to celebrate and award the exceptional creativity of both current and up-and-coming authors of dark fiction. FLASH MASTERS allows you to share your talent for short, concise storytelling with the horror-loving community. FLASH MASTERS will be held monthly during the last week of the month right here at the Grey Matter Press website, and winners will receive prizes from Grey Matter Press. Each month a FLASH MASTERS Flash Fiction prompt will be provided to inspire your creativity. While the prompts will change month-to-month, there will always be one consistent element in FLASH MASTERS. And that will be that at least one participant will win.

READERS HELP DETERMINE THE OUTCOME (AND CAN WIN TOO!)

FLASH MASTERS in not only for authors, but is also an event for readers of dark fiction. While not just getting the chance to consume some great free fiction, each month FLASH MASTERS readers will also be encouraged to participate in the contest by playing an important role in selecting the winner. Helping to influence the outcome, readers vote for their favorite piece of Flash Fiction submitted to that month’s FLASH MASTERS. The piece of fiction receiving the most votes will be named the Reader’s Choice. This Reader’s Choice piece will receive one point in the overall judging, effectively making the voting public a member of the FLASH MASTERS panel of judges. And even better, one voter (selected at random) will ALSO be awarded a prize from Grey Matter Press.

JUDGING

In addition to the point and vote awarded to the Reader’s Choice, Grey Matter Press will assemble a panel of judges to review FLASH MASTERS Flash Fiction Contest submissions. The members of the panel could change month-to-month and may include members of the Grey Matter Press staff, professionals from the dark fiction publishing industry, or representatives from the horror media and fiction reviewing communities. To determine a winner, each member of the panel will be given their own vote, equal to one point and equivalent to that of the sum total of the voting readers. When all votes have been cast, a winner (or winners) will be selected.

 

FLASH MASTERS Flash Fiction Contest – JUNE 2014

FLASH MASTERS JUNE 2014 GRAND PRIZE – CONTESTANT

The Grand Prize Winner of FLASH MASTERS for June 2014 will receive a signed, limited edition copy of author John F.D. Taff’s THE END IN ALL BEGINNINGS: SPECIAL ADVANCE EDITION  that made its debut to rave reviews at the 2013 World Horror Contention. THE END IN ALL BEGINNINGS  is a collection of five all-new novellas of emotional horrors from the King of Pain, John F.D. Taff. The FLASH MASTERS Grand Prize Winner will be one of a very few to read Taff’s upcoming collection several months prior to its official release this Fall from Grey Matter Press.

New York Times  bestselling author of CODE ZERO  and FALL OF NIGHT,  Jonathan Maberry, says of THE END IN ALL BEGINNINGS:  “Taff brings the pain in five damaged and disturbing tales of love gone horribly wrong. This collection is like a knife in the heart. I highly recommend it!”

FLASH MASTERS JUNE 2014 GRAND PRIZE – VOTING PUBLIC

In addition to June 2014 FLASH MASTERS Grand Prize Winner, Grey Matter Prize will award a Kindle version of one of its books to one non-contestant voter. The winner will be determined by random selection. Grey Matter Press may also award prizes to any number of other contestants in the FLASH MASTERS Flash Fiction Contest. We can’t say who, what, if, or how many, as we enjoy tension and like to keep you guessing. 😉

FLASH MASTERS JUNE 2014 PARAMETERS


WORD COUNT: 200 (no more, no less).

INCLUDE A TITLE for your story. (TITLE DOES NOT COUNT against/for/as your word count.)

SUBMIT YOUR STORY using the LEAVE A REPLY section at bottom of this page. (Include only your SUBMISSION = TITLE + STORY.)

SHARE YOUR WORK in an effort to win the Reader’s Choice Vote and to get its point on the judging panel.

READERS VOTE by clicking the REPLY button under their story of choice.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: 12:00 PM (Noon CST) Thursday, June 26, 2014.

DEADLINE FOR VOTING: 12:01 AM (CST) Friday, June 27, 2014.

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT(S): Afternoon of Friday, June 27, 2014.


FLASH MASTERS JUNE 2014 PROMPT


USE EACH OF THE FOLLOWING WORDS IN THE BODY OF YOUR FLASH FICTION SUBMISSION:

(Any of the following words may be included [at your discretion] in the TITLE of the STORY,
but they are REQUIRED to be used within the body of the piece.)

DEVOUR

MOIST

CUSHION

YESTERDAY

OVERTURNED

 

Get your pencils ready.


The time has come.


FLASH MASTERS IS OFFICIALLY LIVE!

 

 

Comments: 264

  • Simon Dewar June 23, 20145:38 am

    TOMORROW WILL BE BETTER

    I recline on the cushion of their soft, moist flesh and draw in a deep lungful of air. The coppery smell of blood is thick in my nostrils.
    I devour the room with my eyes, taking in the wet crimson that paint the walls in graceful arcs. I feel no satisfaction, but a sense of relief. Release.
    I stand, briefly righting one overturned picture frame on a nearby dresser. It’s Carol and the girls; all smiles and cheers last Christmas. I toss the frame onto their tangle of limbs on the floor. Now is not the time for sentimentality.
    No longer am I traumatised by the voices: the nagging, the pleading, the yelling.
    “Daddy, can I—”
    “Baby, please, I want to—”
    “God-dammit, for once can’t you just—”
    My heart is still; my palms no longer sweaty; my jaw unclenched.
    I can feel the silence. Such sweet silence.
    I turn towards the door and feel invigorated—a sense of liberty. I look back my girls and feel—nothing.
    A fleeting flicker of something screams at me, “Murderer! Murderer!”, but I’m relaxed. I know that I made right decision.
    Yesterday was a good day; tomorrow will be better.

    • Dave Versace June 23, 201410:13 am

      Creepy, Simon. Love the last line to incorporate the final prompt word. Not to mention the semicolon 😉

      • nasser kat June 24, 20143:02 am

        You’re a monster! I love it!

    • Zena Shapter June 23, 201410:21 am

      *shudders* I kept thinking there’d be a twist at the end. There wasn’t. Very chilling, Simon.

      • lbe June 24, 20144:23 am

        I consider all flash to require an “horrible”, twisted ending. However Dewar always finds roads most chilling, keeping his work close to the chest, the home & family. Very horrible…& that is a compliment!

    • Louise Gornall June 23, 20141:00 pm

      Good job, Simon! Very chilling.

    • Joshua Felthoff June 23, 20144:08 pm

      Nice story! It was consistant with details and a reliable narrator from the first sentence and beyond. I really like the line “Such sweet silence.”

    • Wendy Hammer June 24, 20141:10 am

      Good one! I liked the detachment, the use of dialogue, the imagery. Excellent last line.

    • Chris Limb June 24, 20147:25 am

      Terrifying, unsettling stuff – fantastic. Disturbingly visceral…

  • Robert Hart June 23, 20148:48 am

    Submission = Down the Crack

    I was too late, I could tell by the stench. It was that cloying, moist smell of corruption that always told the same story.
    Two weeks of silence, then, yesterday, a tip-off. Lonely house at the edge of a dead cornfield. Some woods in the distance. Quiet. Too quiet. The screen door hung at an angle from rusted hinges.
    The room was a mess. Dirty dishes piled on the floor. Ashtrays spilling drifts of butt and roach. Odd stains on the threadbare carpet. But the coffee table was overturned and the recliner was reclined so far back that it looked like something from the dentist’s. There was fresh blood on the walls. Arterial spray. Definite signs of struggle. At least he’d put up a fight.
    I made a quick circuit of the rest of the house. It took about a minute and a half. More mess. No Carter.
    I went back into the front room. Sat on the filthy sofa. Or tried to. Something under the cushion.
    It used to be a sofa-bed. Carter was smiling up through the springs. He’d been there long enough for things to start to devour the fresher pieces.
    I knew I was too late.

    • Joshua Felthoff June 23, 20144:15 pm

      I like the weird twist in the end; it seems too close for comfort because many people (myself included) think twice and carefully search in between cuchions in the sofa that eats controllers, TV remotes, small toys, keys… people.

      • Robert Hart June 24, 20146:09 am

        Thanks Joshua. Think I rushed this one. Wrote the damned thing in about ten minutes & spent the next 24 hours re-writing it in my mind. Now I’m itching for next month.

        • Joshua Felthoff June 24, 201412:26 pm

          Me either! I will likely take more time in editing mine, too. 🙂

      • Kendra Swingle June 24, 20147:57 pm

        I vote for josh

    • Angel Luis Colon June 25, 20148:54 pm

      Dug that final image there. Nice work!

      • Robert Hart June 27, 20146:18 am

        Thanks, Angel. I appreciate the kind words. Liked your, too. (see below)

    • Lily Childs June 26, 20148:24 pm

      Juicy ending. I can visualise Carter’s melted smile; smell the putrid decay. Lovely writing.

      • Robert Hart June 27, 20146:19 am

        Thanks, Lily. High praise indeed. Loved your story.

  • Morgan Griffith June 23, 20141:20 pm

    The Desperate Elegance

    Iridescent beetles crunched with metallic bitterness in Gabriella’s teeth. She spat wings, but it was either this or something larger with sad eyes that would forever haunt her. When first she discovered what she now was
    she had been filled with rage. That
    was soon followed by despair unlike
    any she had ever known.

    In a yesterday beyond counting
    the creature had come to her deathbed of tuberculosis. The
    promise in his dark eyes swam with
    riddles of menace. Helpless, she had
    been at his mercy. His gift was
    cursed, chaining her to a fate she
    would have shunned. She had risen
    from moist earth in a moonlit field of
    overturned headstones.

    The hunger was maddening, but she
    would not be made a murderer. All the
    gold and satin finery of vampires
    could not cushion the truth of their
    damned souls.She caressed the little tortoise shell church cat, admiring
    amber sunlight spilling over chiseled
    gravestones, and let the warmth
    devour her.

    • Joshua Felthoff June 23, 20144:19 pm

      The struggle of maintaining self-preservation without the expense of sentient lifeforms is all too real in our actual lives. We see this through vegetarianism and similar life styles…
      and it seems Gabriella had her life style pre-determined without consent… poor thing.

    • Sydney Leigh June 23, 20147:24 pm

      Wow. Very atmospheric piece…lovely, lonely, dark. Nice use of the appointed words, too: “The hunger was maddening, but she
      would not be made a murderer. All the gold and satin finery of vampires could not cushion the truth of their damned souls.” Love this one—it gets my vote.

    • Mark Matthews June 23, 20149:08 pm

      You had me at beetles crunching and spitting wings.

    • Morgan Griffith June 23, 201410:11 pm

      Thanks for the kind words, but I see I’ve made a blunder as well and overlooked that the story had to be exactly 200 words, rather than simply under as I had misread. Should have had more patience and not submitted over my phone. Consider mine withdrawn also, and I’ll start reading so I can vote. Some nice work here.

      • Sydney Leigh June 23, 201410:48 pm

        Pretty impressive for a phone entry!

    • Magenta Nero June 25, 20141:16 am

      very beautifully written, melodic melancholy

  • T.R. June 23, 20143:35 pm

    The Devourer, Or Billy:

    The decision overturned. The Devourer let the paper slip from his moist fingers. Wet spots lining the words ‘yesterday,’ ‘appeal.’ They meant nothing to him. Lawyer-speak. He sought out solace in his chains but they took those from him too. He looked upon his naked wrists, the pale bands of skin where the cuffs had been. He felt so light, as if he’d been forgiven the burden of gravity.

    Lord forgive them for they know not what they do. Idle questions took his mind. Where would he find a couch with cushions big enough to store Jones, his lawyer, he of the ample thigh and belly? Jones, face slick with sweat, shaking hands and taking pictures and no doubt dreaming of a celebratory meal at The Bridge. Make it a good one, The Devourer thought. Make it a big one. For I am hungry and soon I will be free.

    “Congratulations, Billy,” Jones said, taking his hands, turning him towards the cameras.

    “Thank you Jones,” The Devourer said, flinching at the sound of his Christian name. “Can I interest you in dinner?”

    • Joshua Felthoff June 23, 20144:26 pm

      As “Billy” will prove soon enough, inner-demons are often not confined by conventional practices. At least he won’t be starved for much longer. Look on the bright side: a few of his soon-to-be victims might provide a greater benefit being as food more so than to society. Cheers!

  • Joshua Felthoff June 23, 20144:01 pm

    Siblings

    Mother still dresses Samantha in cute outfits, even weeks after she came into this world. It’s not fair. I should be the only child, but no, Samantha is still around. Samantha made dad leave after a few days, but mother didn’t care; I watched the birth devour her alive.

    With dad gone, I slave for them both and can’t leave the house; no phone, internet, doors are always locked. Yesterday, while fluffing up couch cushions for them, I complained about having to cook for us, saying “it’s a waste of food to cook for Samantha. She can’t even eat this stuff anyways.” My mother replied with, “when I was fifteen, I could cook, clean, and do the laundry for a six people. And we are a ‘family’, not ‘us’, so shut that filthy mouth before I make it bloody.” Her threat overturned my expressed thoughts quickly. She needs help. I need help.

    At the dinner table, Samantha fell off her chair again; a moist thud on the wooden floor when she plopped on it. Mother yelled “worthless son” when she scooped up Samantha, crying while coddling her, and left the room. She never did get over her still-born baby daughter.

    • Steve Harrison June 23, 20146:01 pm

      I vote for Josh, Josh is life, life is pain, God is dead.

      • RhondaK June 24, 20144:42 am

        I love the revisionist Cinderella take. Yes Josh,yes.

        • Joshua Felthoff June 24, 201412:31 pm

          Thanks RhondaK. There are elements of a Cinderella-esque feel to it, huh? Glad you enjoy it!

      • Joshua Felthoff June 24, 201412:29 pm

        Thanks Steve! And thank you for the philosophy… I think? haha

    • Theresa Ennis June 23, 20146:02 pm

      Josh, pretty eerie.

      This one gets my vote.

      • Joshua Felthoff June 24, 201412:32 pm

        I appreciate your comment! Eerie is what I was aiming for… maybe I’ll do gore or something splatter-punky next month…

    • Matt Frady June 23, 20146:08 pm

      Chilling & shocking realization. Crazy moms scare me.

      • Joshua Felthoff June 24, 201412:34 pm

        Thanks Frady! I wanted to touch upon the whole “mother knows best” or the “parental comfort zone” that everyone knows to some degree. Glad it was chilling!

    • Chris Eugenio June 23, 20146:36 pm

      I vote for Josh. Because… reasons…

      • Joshua Felthoff June 24, 201412:34 pm

        Then I’ll thank you… because… reasons…

    • Frank June 23, 20146:40 pm

      Josh has my vote

      • Joshua Felthoff June 24, 201412:35 pm

        Thanks Frank! Hope it spooked ya somewhat… or maybe gave you inspiration for something else.

    • Edwin June 23, 20146:59 pm

      Josh gets my vote…Falcon VOOOTEEE

      • Joshua Felthoff June 24, 201412:36 pm

        Thanks man! Always love video game references. Apple SAAAUUUCE!

    • Stephen gambill June 23, 20147:00 pm

      I got the goosey skin from it. This guy’s a mad genius

      • Joshua Felthoff June 24, 201412:39 pm

        Thanks Stephen! I actually love to get that goosey skin effect when I watch a movie or read a story, so I’m glad you got it!

        And I’m not mad… I smiled from ear to ear while typing this out…

    • Hans Wolgenfarht June 23, 20147:03 pm

      He’s a mad genius, and we Germans know mad genius!

      • Joshua Felthoff June 24, 201412:40 pm

        Thanks Hans! I have German in me, so maybe more of it came out than I thought… mad? Naaah, just another average joe here that writes about babies…

    • Stephen gambill June 23, 20147:06 pm

      Oh and I vote for Josh here.

      • Joshua Felthoff June 24, 201412:41 pm

        Thanks again!! 🙂

    • Diane June 24, 20143:25 am

      Josh has my vote for sure!

      • Joshua Felthoff June 24, 201412:42 pm

        Thanks Diane! Hope it chilled you somewhat! OR maybe creeped you out. Something to that effect.

    • Robert Hart June 24, 20148:13 am

      Nice ‘n creepy. Good work, Josh.

      • Joshua Felthoff June 24, 201412:43 pm

        Thank you very much, Robert! I’ll likely do next month, too. The other stories are pretty awesome!

    • Matt Hitchcock June 24, 20149:40 pm

      I vote for Josh. My cuddly creative man bear ginger.

    • meg June 25, 201411:15 am

      i vote for josh

    • Craig McGray June 25, 20143:51 pm

      Awesome story! Younger siblings can be such an annoyance 😉

    • Rich Duncan June 26, 20147:48 pm

      I read all of the stories for the Flash Fiction contest and this one definitely stuck in my mind. Eerie story and I definitely didn’t see the ending coming. This one gets my vote for sure!

    • Craig McGray June 27, 20143:59 pm

      My vote.

  • Lance Davis June 23, 20145:03 pm

    THE END

    Jarred sat and watched it approach. The stench infested cushion beneath him was moist with sweat and tears. The perspiration that continued to pour from his body was attributed to fear, not heat. He had not moved since the sun died. There was no need to run. His roommate had overturned his chair in his attempt to flee. There was no escape.
    Yesterday it was barely a dot in the distance. But today, well, today it was all he could see. There was no horizon. Only the end. Even now, he could hear screaming and through the busted window of his second floor apartment he could see a man and woman running. But it was still coming to devour them.
    The end approached as night with teeth. It slid almost slug-like forward, gorging itself on what was once his favorite view of the mountains beyond his hometown. It was an eater of worlds and an ender of life. He closed his eyes and tried to think back to a better time and place but there just wasn’t that many. A sad smile crossed his face as he realized this was probably for the best. The screaming and running had stopped.

    • David Spell June 23, 20148:00 pm

      Lance just gave me goose bumps!

    • Joshua Felthoff June 24, 201412:50 pm

      Oh man… I really like this one! It is written very well, great language and transition, excellent suspense to the inevitable, and a sad truth of the lesser known Jared that thought being on the world proved little worth in his final moments. A cosmic horror, for certain.

      Well done!

    • Lily Childs June 26, 20148:32 pm

      “The end approached as night with teeth” – beautiful. I really like the despondent tragedy of this Lance.

  • Joshua Felthoff June 23, 20145:53 pm

    Nothing illegal here, just an unusual practice… right? Well now, where’s my grandmother…

  • John F.D. Taff June 23, 20146:23 pm

    My double sits in the corner of the dim root cellar, gnawing at something moist; something rank and noisome, smelling faintly of sour pork and something sweet, sweet. He devours it with relish, with a loud smacking of his lips and soft groans of pleasure.

    I come down here dozens of times a day, stepping lightly on the stair treads, careful of the creaks that elicit pauses in the snuffling grunts.

    He has overturned his water dish again, the one I filled yesterday. A dark, snaky line of liquid meanders across the dirt floor, pools in a depression.

    I can almost see my reflection there. Almost.

    There is silence for the span of many minutes.

    “Do you need anything?” I ask.

    A grunt comes from the darkness. “A cushion…for my ass. The gravel bites into it.”

    I nod, hoping that he can see me.

    “Anything yet?” I ask as I turn away, my hand on the stair railing.

    “No. And there won’t be. Not this time,” he says.

    “Then stay here and rot,” I say, climbing the steps.

    I reach the landing, my hand closes on the doorknob.

    “I won’t give you anything because there’s no sense entering that contest. The prize is your own book.”

    I shake my head, close the door behind me.

    He just doesn’t get it.

    (No, this isn’t an entry! But best of luck everyone!)

    • Simon Dewar June 24, 201412:50 am

      Hahaha I was gonna say… You can’t enter a competition where your own book is first prize! Not only would we have no chance, it’s gotta be cheating somehow loool

    • Shane Keene June 24, 20148:17 am

      John, that was fucking lovely. Still giggling.

    • Joshua Felthoff June 24, 201412:59 pm

      I love the way you included a meta-reference; not only it breaks the barrier between us readers and writer, but also pierces through the fourth wall, like you are talking to us in a story that shouldn’t know we exist. It also tests the limits of self-reflection in a more tangible light.

      It was a fantastic piece! I love the lines “I can almost see my reflection there. Almost.” Gave me the great chills.

  • David Shakes June 23, 20146:56 pm

    POSSESSIONS by David Shakes

    The Devil moved in yesterday.
    We’d been curious when apartment 616 was leased; even more so once the movers began hauling furniture into the building.
    Satan’s taste in soft furnishings gave no clue to the identity of our would be neighbour. Had they, I’d never have let old Miss Jones return that stray cushion she found in the stairwell.
    Everything was quiet until just after midnight. That’s when the music started. Not the ‘black metal’ thud you’d imagine, but Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” on repeat.
    Give The Devil his due, he sure understands irony.
    Managing an hour before it got to me, I’d stomped across the landing, intent on making the unwritten tenancy rules understood.
    Lucifer had adorned his door with an intricately carved brass knocker. A gargoyle held the handle between rotting teeth. It felt moist as I lifted it to knock. Before I could, the door swung open.
    Inside, all that nondescript furniture was overturned, a crude pentangle painted on the floor. Writhing inside lay that sweet old woman, still clutching the cushion. At first I thought Satan was trying to devour her, but I was wrong.
    And now the devil is in Miss Jones.

    • Joshua Felthoff June 24, 20141:06 pm

      “Hello darkness, my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again…”

      Love the reference to that song… it’s perfect. That cushion. That damn cushion. I love that you made the cushion seem like the start of all the events that transpired throughout the progress of the story. It’s such an unlikely character, after all.

      Loved it! Gave me chills when I read how the sweet old woman was still clutching to the cushion. I’d love to see this scene painted out… geez.

    • Sydney Leigh June 24, 20146:36 pm

      Loved this one!

    • Karl A Russell June 25, 20149:08 pm

      Nice! I see what you mean about the “alternative” way to read the ending, but it works either way. 🙂

  • Joline Schnopp June 23, 20147:06 pm

    Your Sweet Selfishness

    I wish I could devour you like a lion consumes its prey. My loathing heart beats wildly with disgust as I taste your sweet life. It is moist with envy and greed, not as pleasant as I thought. Why does it look so appetizing? After you sell your soul they will lie what is left of you upon your gold-trimmed cushion up above their heads and give thanks.
    I do not want praise or understanding. My only need is survival. I do not want to die nor face your overturned empire for acceptance. The next in line is not me, or your own son, for that matter. Your heir is whomever you see fit, be it a bigot or a liar. We have no say in it, although you like to pretend we do.
    In the end, I will probably forgive you, but I cannot say when. It will be done for my own good, not yours. It may be tomorrow or the day after. When it happens is not the point. Hell, it could have happened yesterday and I just do not yet know. Either way, you will know when I feel it in my heart.

    • Joshua Felthoff June 24, 20142:15 pm

      A confessional from the heart. It’s touching and sounds like addiction… I like it.

  • Joe Schwartz June 23, 20147:10 pm

    HIDE AND SEEK

    I overturned the cushion looking for the gun. It was here yesterday. Now, it was gone. The seat was moist and the strong scent of gun oil was on the tips of my fingers. I wiped my hand on my jean leg determined to find it.
    Carol was a good baker. Cookies, sweet breads, and brownie were always available sitting on a plate near the coffee maker. I loved to devour her goodies. She would be missed. It was while I was shoving a triple decker chocolate chip cookie sandwich in my mouth that a thought came to me.
    The basement was cool, a frigidity that instantly made the tip of my nose cold. A light hanging by its cord cast a glow like a lighthouse in a dense fog. Wood stairs, bent with age and crackling with layers of old paint, creaked with my weight as I went down.
    Stanley lay in the corner, my gun in his lap. He had asked me to hide it from him. He was smiling, glad to be gone. I patted him on his shoulder taking the gun with me. If Stanley wanted out, fine by me, but I was keeping the money.

    • John F.D. Taff June 23, 20147:18 pm

      Great, Joe!

      • Joe Schwartz June 24, 20142:05 pm

        Thanks, John. Couldn’t resist. This challenge was as tempting as free donuts at a over-eaters anonymous meeting.

  • Mark Matthews June 23, 20147:47 pm

    John F.D. Taff and the Real Grey Matter

    I was there when John was born, for I am his twin. John and I were conjoined for a month inside the womb, but my heart was too dark to grow. My body was discarded like waste, but there my soul remained, waiting for his birth to be released.

    We came home together, I watched him play, whispered in his ear, and found my home inside his closet. John knew I was there for he would gaze right at me, and I whispered back in words disguised as noises of the night. When our mother came to check on him, I receded into shadows too deep for them to see, but when the door was closed again, ah, then I was free. I danced by his bed while he slept, put my cold soul on his barefeet, and let the ghosts of the night reign free in his room

    But each day John would leave me alone. The silence tortured me.

    On the night of his tenth birthday, I lifted an eyelid and swam within the pools of his eye. In his grey matter I remain, making synapses fire, neurons engage, to write stories that John thinks are his own.

    • mark matthews June 23, 20148:01 pm

      Someone just drew my attention to the words that have to be included. I am a small moron, and did not even see. The flash fiction above will self-destruct in 60 seconds.

      • Sydney Leigh June 23, 20149:29 pm

        “Someone”?

  • John F.D. Taff June 23, 20148:02 pm

    Wow, Mark. I finally know what all that shit was. Excellent.

  • David Spell June 23, 20148:04 pm

    Great story Mark, This one gets my vote.

  • Lee Hughes June 23, 20148:44 pm

    When a Man’s an Empty Kettle

    A chair overturned, its cushion moist with the death-piss of its prior occupier, dead since yesterday. He’d always believed a heart-attack would be better than some slow, painful death, like an unhurried and limping cancer taking it’s precious time to devour him. When the moment his arteries constricted like a bow around the gift of his second-hand heart he’d not changed his mind, not with the cadaver sitting across from him, animated and unholy. Bare of chest to showcase a surgical cave where his heart once lived until the car had jumped the kerb and made a new stretch of road out of him. That had been quick too, quicker he judged than the old thief’s death. The only reason he’d gotten a donor card was to appease his girlfriend, then she’d left him and he’d forgotten all about the card until something awoke him in his grave and he felt the void in his chest and the thumb-holes where his eyes should’ve been. He’d gotten them back two days before as the woman screamed as he spooned. After a day of staring at the dead old man with his own eyes it was now time to reclaim his heart.

    • Erin Cole June 24, 20144:48 pm

      Excellent stuff, Lee. You always have the most creative take on the classics. You have my vote too.

    • Chris Allinotte June 24, 20149:35 pm

      “…thumb holes where his eyes should have been…”

      **shudder**

      Excellent stuff, sir.

    • Lily Childs June 26, 20148:41 pm

      Such obtuse reference to death; gorgeously dangerous. I love this Lee.

  • Lily Childs June 23, 20149:33 pm

    SEAMAN’S BANE

    She has little teeth, neat and pearlescent in a seething cushion of gum. Everyone wants to share her tongue, devour the meat, but she makes us wait. Yesterday I would have obeyed.

    No-one sees me swim beneath her mass of robes, where she floats above the seabed. Her legs are bare, all of them. They writhe within the voluminous tent of fabric, some footless, some stumps yet all bristling with toxic spines.

    I’m prepared. I am armoured; she’ll not slay me.

    A moan of appreciation spirals throughout the water-chamber behind these velvet swathes. It has started. She has chosen her first inamorata. They will kiss, consume each other’s flesh, imbibe sweat until the lover falls away, fat with magic into the arms of the hungry horde. And whilst they continue to feast our hostess will grow tall, grow wide, grow wild with greed. I could have been next, a man to the gigantesque woman that shudders and shivers above me, limbs flailing.

    I have chosen otherwise.

    Her beak opens.

    I shoot upwards, tearing through moist organs, the hot gullet. Revellers applaud my audacity as I erupt from her mouth, screaming.

    Scylla is overturned.

    Behold a new God.

    I am ravenous.

    • Chris Allinotte June 24, 20143:51 am

      The language here has me reeling, Lily. The monumental change of grotesque fortunes here are like a crack in the back of Lovecraft’s closet, showing just a brief glimpse of the awesome and the terrible. (I liked it.)

      • Lily Childs June 26, 20148:48 pm

        Thank you Chris; I did deliberate on whether to play on Shub-Niggurath but was more attracted to the sadder, Greek Scylla. Goddesses have a hard time – sometimes.

    • Anthony Cowin June 24, 20143:48 pm

      This is beautiful in its execution and razor sharp in its theme. Fantastic stuff.

      • Lily Childs June 26, 20148:51 pm

        Thanks Tony. It was inspired by an irritating girl on a irritating TV ad with sharp tiny teeth and a vicious face. Come-uppance, methinks.

    • Erin Cole June 24, 20144:46 pm

      Your prose is always so gorgeous and dark. Love it. This’ll be a winner.

      • Lily Childs June 26, 20148:56 pm

        Erin, you know you are such an inspiration to me. Thank you. x

    • Lee Hughes June 24, 20147:04 pm

      The prose as always flies smoothly upon poetic dark wings.and you forget that you’re actually reading until you reach the end, great work Lily.

      • Lily Childs June 26, 20148:54 pm

        Thank you Lee. Sometimes I’m not sure that I can project what I see in my head, and even if I do, whether it will make sense to readers. Your words mean a lot.

    • Magenta Nero June 25, 20141:13 am

      Love this Lily, your work is always gorgeous

      • Lily Childs June 26, 20148:58 pm

        So kind, lovely Magenta. Thank you.

    • Angel Zapata June 25, 20145:22 pm

      You always excite the monsters inside of me, Lily. As usual, an exquisite use of language.

      • Lily Childs June 26, 20149:04 pm

        Angel, your monsters are the most fascinating, the most feral yet with hearts of gentle poets. Sharing words over potential daiquiris in a bar of your choice… 🙂

    • Robert Hart June 27, 20146:20 am

      Chock full of Gothic goodness! Loved it!

      • Lily Childs June 27, 20147:31 am

        Thank you so much Robert. I really enjoyed yours too.

  • Patrick Freivald June 23, 20149:47 pm

    Carl sat to devour his midnight snack, a fried “chicken” and a two-liter of Mountain Dew. His ass devoured the cushion, and the edges of the chair cut cruel lines into his flabby meat. He sobbed and tore a crisp, brown leg from the golden-brown corpse. Succulent, the meat slid down his throat as fast as he could tear it from the bone. He tasted nothing.

    He’d met this chicken yesterday, mottled and trollish in a light blue bassinette. Its mother had cried out “Bart” or “Brett” or one of those B-names when he’d overturned the stroller and made off with the basket. She’d caught him, of course, too frantic to call the police. He’d knocked her down with a giant ham of a fist, kicked her and kicked her until she didn’t move anymore.
    He wailed in anguish at the injustice of the world, how his predilections consumed him, and tore another moist bite from the infant’s leg. He chewed and cried and apologized to a God that hated him, must hate him, hate him more than Judas or Cain or the savages of Sodom.

    The stores closed three hours ago, and he’d run out of salt and buttermilk.

    • Sydney Leigh June 23, 201410:50 pm

      I knew we were in trouble as soon as I saw “chicken” in those quotes…

      Nice job.

    • Angel Zapata June 25, 20145:25 pm

      This is pretty damn sick. I like it.

  • E. G. Smith June 23, 201410:14 pm

    THE LOVING FAMILY THING

    Wayne sat at the breakfast table and winked at the girl in the high chair beside him.
    The girl stared at him with wide eyes.
    He stared back at her. He wiggled his tongue under his nose.
    She kept staring.
    “You win,” he said.”You’re as stubborn as your mother.”
    Her mother sat in the next chair over, her chin resting on her chest and her palms squeezed together in her lap. She didn’t look up. Neither did the lanky boy across the table, whose head rested on a placemat.
    “Elbows off the table,” Wayne said.
    The lazy teen didn’t budge.
    Wayne kicked his chair over, lunged forward and shoved the boy off the table, leaving him slumped sideways, his body held upright by the cord that cut across his chest.
    Wayne righted the overturned centerpiece and picked his chair up from the floor, replacing the cushion.
    “Forgive me,” he said. “I’m no good at the loving family thing. I gave it a try yesterday, but well… when it comes to love I don’t share, I devour.”
    He tracked moist red footprints across the living room carpet and stepped over the body of the father on his way out the door.

    • Jeannine Smith June 24, 20141:20 am

      I love the most wet footprints.

      • Jayneflower June 24, 20142:06 am

        Me too!

    • Jayneflower June 24, 20142:06 am

      It left me wanting more!

    • Vanessa June 24, 20142:51 am

      Ooooh… very visual. Well done.

    • Angela Garrison June 24, 20142:55 am

      I want to read more! !

    • casandra clair June 24, 20143:52 am

      Oh my goodness! Moderate creep factor… I totally want more!

    • T.S. Woolard June 24, 20144:38 am

      That was awesome!

    • Sydney Leigh June 24, 20146:42 pm

      Well done, Eric. I think I was confused about Wayne’s role—I assumed he was the father/stepfather until he stepped over his body. But I liked it—sharp, cold, unapologetic.

  • Nick Crow June 23, 201411:14 pm

    GRUEL
    I only wanted gruel. An extra portion, more than a single cup between the two of us. Men can’t live that way, can’t sustain. Not for all these weeks. Trapped in a cell in this Godforsaken country, I didn’t want us to die like dogs.
    Yesterday I lost three teeth. I awoke to find them cast like dice over the moldy cushion that was still moist with blood. This morning, Smith’s eyes rolled up into the back of his head and his knees buckled. He held the gruel cup. It clanged along the floor when he collapsed, overturned most of the contents onto the grimy stone.
    “Help!” I railed against the door. “We need water!”
    “Shut up in there.”
    “He’s dying,” I said. “We need something to eat. Please.”
    The hinges groaned and two men entered, their faces veiled with black cloth. One of them raised the butt of a rifle to my temple.
    “Want to eat? I’ll serve you a feast.” He dealt a single blow that led to darkness.
    Here I sit today, alone, gripping a filled cup. My belly cries out. At the bottom of the cup I find Smith’s tongue. I can’t help but devour it.

    • Lily Childs June 26, 20149:08 pm

      I’m a slave to the desperation at play here; totally drawn in. Reminds me of an old Bukowski short, but much sadder. Great writing.

      • Nick Crow June 30, 20144:17 pm

        Lily, thank you very much for the compliment.

  • Dona Fox June 24, 20141:40 am

    Mirror, Mirror
    Yesterday as I stared into the mirror, critiquing my freckled cheekbones, wide forehead, and moist upper lip, I spied something feral in my gaze—I blinked, and one eyelid was a fraction of a second off, mirrored eyes bored into mine—there was an unspoken challenge in the glass.
    I would be watching for another mistake, another hairbreadth slip. I turned my back to the mirror and felt a chill ripple down my spine. I spun back to look again into the glass. Oh, the timing was perfection—yes, she was very good.
    Sleepwalking in the night I passed the mirror again. She leaned forward quickly, grabbed my wrist and, in a breathy whisper that left a damp vapor in my ear she said, “Criticize me! I will devour you.”
    For three days I’ve stayed down on the floor, under the overturned couch, a cushion clutched to my chest for protection. I’ve listened for her dreadful footsteps. She’s come out. She’s searching for me. I hear the crunching of glass as she circles the room. Desperate, I slip out to confound her. I smell her nervous sweat, and I hear the mirror crack beneath my feet.

    • mark matthews June 24, 20142:35 am

      Nice! loved it.

    • T.S. Woolard June 24, 20143:35 am

      Oh Yes! Well done. I will be careful getting ready tomorrow, that’s for sure.

    • David Spel, June 24, 201412:19 pm

      Very well done!

    • Dona Fox June 24, 20142:04 pm

      I can’t let it be here like this, there are mistakes. It’s not supposed to be three days on the floor but rather three hours. Also, a tiny sentence is missing. Right before “I smell her nervous sweat,” insert “I feel her fear.” But, of course, not in quotes. Guess I didn’t want to take the Editors’ jobs away from them, get in trouble with their union, and all that.

      • Joe Schwartz June 24, 20142:07 pm

        Well done, Dona.

    • Sydney Leigh June 24, 20145:44 pm

      This is both ironic and terrifying. No word of a lie, a few weeks ago I stood before a mirror and swore I caught sight of one eye looking down before the other followed it. This scared the wits out of me, as I have a morbid fascination with doubles and often explore my own second identity through my work. I even wrote a flash piece about it afterwards, but put it aside. Reading this put me right back in that moment—and in fear of what might have been the moments which followed. Well done. Scary and well done.

    • Lily Childs June 26, 20149:13 pm

      I felt the sadness of psychotic paranoia here as well as, or perhaps rather than, supernatural horror. Really enjoyed the possibilities you evoked, Dona.

  • Magenta Nero June 24, 20141:42 am

    Heart to Heart
    The curse they call Love squeezed us tight in it’s merciless clutch. We had sat down for a heart to heart, to clear the air which had become so stale between us. One by one we overturned the promises of yesterday, like hard little rocks they were, cold in our palms. Determined to find a bead of truth, a pearl of hope, we scratched away the layers that cloaked us. But all that we revealed was deception, bitterness, anger. Beneath the surface our love was rotting to hate. Soon there were no words left with which to devour. Our hunger for truth turned on the flesh. A nasty pinch, a vicious punch. Everything became an implement of revenge. You tried to smother me with a cushion, I stabbed you with a fork. You cracked my skull on the coffee table, I whacked yours with a wine bottle. Eyeing each other like wild animals, yielding shards of glass. You said you loved me. No your deep red congealing love will forever stain my carpet. Your body twisted and strewn in unspeakable ecstasy. I’m sobbing as I gnaw at your pulp. The tears are still moist on what remains of your face.

    • Craig McGray June 24, 20142:00 pm

      Great piece, Magenta. You deliver plenty of punch with few words.

      • Magenta Nero June 25, 20141:03 am

        Thanks Craig, had a hoot with it!

    • Erin Cole June 24, 20144:44 pm

      Very nice, Magenta. Brilliantly executed.

      • Magenta Nero June 25, 20141:04 am

        Thanks Erin, Glad to hear you enjoyed it.

    • Angel Zapata June 25, 20145:31 pm

      Something about gnawing on any kind of pulp makes me jittery. But throw in a heaping pile of face pulp and my gag reflex sparks to life. Good stuff.

      • Magenta Nero June 26, 201412:08 am

        thanks Angel, glad you enjoyed it

    • Lily Childs June 26, 201410:08 pm

      Loved how this ‘deteriorated’ from a whimsical love folly to a dark, dangerous and destructive relationship. “A nasty pinch, a vicious punch” says it all. Very well told indeed, Magenta.

  • Image Ronin June 24, 20142:13 am

    The Samaritan

    Ma headlights illuminate the car overturned in the road. Bad place fer an accident, lucky they didn’t plough into the darkness of the trees on either side. I pull up close, the car’s plate is one of those out of town ones, Y35TDAY. Climbing out, I’ve no signal on ma phone. Fucking dead spots. Looks like no one’s coming to help.

    ‘Hey, everyone okay?’ Silence. Glass crunches underfoot, boy must have swerved, happens a lot.

    The driver is still belted in, head cushioned by an airbag. Moist blood dribbles down from a cut across his head. Guy looks like a deer hung ready to be devoured. ‘Hey, ye alive?’ I touch his shoulder. Nothing, then he mumbles somethin.

    ‘Ye hold on, I’ll be quick.’

    I scoot back to the pickup, Ma always taught us boys te be prepared. I find what I’m lookin fer and hustle back.

    Driver boy is coming too, shouting, pleading fer help. I duck down, giving him ma best smile.

    His smile turns into a scream as he spies ma hunting knife. Though that stops soon as I stick ma knife deep into his throat.

    Ma sure loves cookin with road kill.

    The fresher, the better.

    • Karl A Russell June 25, 20149:12 pm

      Love the voice you’ve usd for this, really adds to the character & makes the ending inevitable.

  • Donald Jacob Uitvlugt June 24, 20142:14 am

    LATE FOR WORK

    Kellie first realized something was wrong yesterday when her dashboard dog spoke to her.

    “You shouldn’t go to work today.”

    “I don’t want to, but I have to eat.”

    “You’ll be sorry.”

    On the freeway, cars lay overturned. Vehicles zig-zagged drunkenly. A typical morning commute, except for the swarm of giant robotic bees.

    “Should’ve taken Sixth Street.”

    Kellie didn’t argue. Her back pressed against the seat cushion as she wove through traffic. A minivan on her left exploded.

    “Of course — laser eyes.”

    “I could’ve told you that.”

    Kellie slammed on her brakes. The bees shot past her and into a stalled school bus. A creature rose from the asphalt, melted tarmac glistening hot and moist. Its gaping maw drooled black ooze.

    “Fuck this.”

    Kellie floored it and drove right for the tar monster.

    “You realize this’ll void your warranty.”

    The car flew through the creature and out the other side. The windshield wipers cleared most of the mess before they burned away.

    There was plenty of parking downtown. Darting through a rain of five-legged toads, Kellie arrived at her building just as the earth opened up to devour it.

    Well, she hadn’t liked working at the Apocalypse Prevention Bureau anyway.

  • William Holden June 24, 20142:26 am

    Until Tomorrow

    Yesterday, death came to town. I felt it approaching for days. It wasn’t intuition. It was knowledge. The kind of truth that is eternal the kind that is rooted in every living thing. I tried to tell the others, to lessen the panic that was sure to follow, but no one would listen to my idle warnings. They had heard it too many times before. They brushed me off and sent me on my way without a second thought.

    Today, the chilled, moist air hangs heavy in my lungs. I have given up trying to warn the others. It’s too late for them. My day has finally come. I stretch out on a bed of soft, silky cushions that I had found overturned in the crypt. A new day has come. I close my eyes to rest. The townspeople will have to wait one more day, but tomorrow, tomorrow I will show them that I was right. Death had come to their small town, and with this news, I shall devour them all.

  • T.S. Woolard June 24, 20143:31 am

    The Cannibal

    The rusted padlock ground in to the chain that wrapped her body tightly. She couldn’t move, and the metal chafed her bare skin. She was on her knees, had been since yesterday. Then, the unmistakable sound of a match striking and a flare of life came across the empty swimming pool.
    A yellow hued, dewy orb illuminated a rough thumb an forefinger. It floated towards her with ominous knocks from the boot heels of her captor hitting the cement, echoing in her ears.
    The half-lit figure stood before her, match still aflame, chest heaving. He grabbed her hair, exposed his blackened teeth, and bit down as she screamed, screamed in laughter.
    He backed away and sucked the crimson from his moist lips.
    She snapped her shoulder out of socket and slipped through the chains. She stood to meet his petrified gaze, feeling the knots in her ass from using her feet as a cushion for too long. She was sore, tight, but would devour the fool. He was the cannibal, but his plans were overturned. She was the Queen of the Were-Bitches.

    • Dona Fox June 24, 20141:42 pm

      My initial reaction to Woolard’s piece appears somewhere below and starts appropriately with a “hot damn.” Failing to see an entry from the word queen Sydney Leigh, my vote is for Woolard, the Southern Tale Spinner — you’ll be hearing lots more from him.

      • Sydney Leigh June 24, 20145:21 pm

        Well, geez, Dona—thanks for the kind words. That made my day! I promised I would stay away from all contests until two of my WIPs are finished. But I appreciate the vote of confidence very, very much!

    • Lily Childs June 26, 20149:21 pm

      Such glorious twists, but even before those I was captivated – as a claustrophobia sufferer – by the opening lines. Terrifying. I loved it.

      • T.S. Woolard June 27, 20148:46 pm

        Thank you both, Lily and Mrs. Dona, for your nice words. I wish you both the best of luck!

  • Chad Stroup June 24, 20144:02 am

    Title: Cameron West’s Nagging Sensation of Having an Unwanted Roommate

    Yesterday—or perhaps today depending on the alarm clock’s accuracy—Cameron West allowed his arm to dangle its dead weight alongside the bed’s edge. Somewhere in that wicked void between dreaming and cognizance, his fingers tickled across something thick and moist, quivering like a beached jellyfish that had lost its way.
    Cameron jolted up, clutching his sweaty cushion like a passionate paramour, chewing at the fabric to keep from releasing an embarrassing shriek. A scuttling shuffle. Stagnant breath like gargoyle garlic.
    He tugged the lamp chain, causing a minor bulb explosion, then tore the drawer from his nightstand and overturned it, praying for a flashlight that was not there. A chilled whisper from beneath the bed. Shadows growing and stretching like licorice taffy.
    Cameron recalled a rhyme told by ancient aunts, meant to keep naughty nephews in line:
    “When the clock strikes the vicious hour/The Gliipinstöck chooses children to devour.”
    False bravery forced him to check underneath the bed.
    Nothing.
    Satisfied, Cameron returned to a fetal position.
    Which would have been fine, save for the fact that a slimy spooning pressure now tightened along his back.
    Which would have been fine, save for the fact that Cameron had no lover.

  • Rose Blackthorn June 24, 20144:11 am

    LAST MEAL

    Yesterday I died. In thin sliced sections, delicately smoked until my meat was moist and tantalizing, I was laid out with all decorum. To devour me was their duty, so everyone said, though I didn’t agree. As a ghost, my disembodied spirit attended this feast in my honor, and watched as all partook of me, now a part of all of them.

    There were no tears shed for me, no wails of grief or tales of fond remembrance. Only the sounds of mastication, murmurs of pleasure at my subtle flavor, the slurping of licked fingers. Never had I been so fully enjoyed or appreciated. On a cushion at the head of the table, my defleshed skull held the place of honor, watching over the hungry guests. My apparition did not receive such preferential treatment, and I stayed near the wall to prevent being walked through.

    This is the justice that we are now accorded; an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth has become more all-encompassing. Of course, should I complain, it would only be said that I’m a sore loser. Even though I’ve become quite tender. The news my sentence was overturned, alas came too late.

    • Morgan Griffith June 24, 20149:52 am

      Interesting spin of story using the key words, Rose. With a nice twist at the end as well.
      This one gets my vote.

      • Rose Blackthorn June 24, 20144:27 pm

        Thanks Morgan! 🙂

    • Sydney Leigh June 24, 20145:36 pm

      As usual, too many good things to say about your work and too little time. Imagery equal parts beautiful and revolting. Loved the hook of the first line…and will not get “the slurping of licked fingers” out of my head for far too long. Best line: “Never had I been so fully enjoyed or appreciated.” Nicely done in so few words.

      • Rose Blackthorn June 24, 20146:11 pm

        Thanks, Sydney – glad to know I can stick some pretty and unpleasant in your head all in one go! 😀

    • Lily Childs June 26, 20149:25 pm

      Rose, I have one word… delicious! Gorgeous writing, I loved it.

      • Rose Blackthorn June 28, 201412:19 am

        Thanks so much, Lily!

  • Dona Fox June 24, 20144:26 am

    Hot damn, TS! You can sure pack a lot of story and imagery into a little bit of space.

  • James Livingood June 24, 20145:51 am

    Fresh Fish:

    Father’s fat filthy fingers scratched the inside of my head while I tried to sleep. They smell, they twitch, they hurt. I deserve him to be my father. Yesterday I ate when it wasn’t needed. His fingers are blunt instruments of painful lessons. Still, I don’t learn.

    I am guilty of not pleasing him. I don’t know what he wants. I am no proper wife, no princess. A father’s love is a special one. Father’s love can do no wrong. A daughter’s love must certainly be special too, right? Why would he moist kiss my woman pride if my love wasn’t special? No; I am not special. I don’t learn, but maybe I can teach.

    Today I will teach him to build a better cocoon, a better cushion. He shouldn’t have shown me inside the locked cupboard. I will eat with abandon. I will devour what I want. I will show father what I’ve learned. I will splash my tool with his painful lesson.

    Slowly I creep to his bed. You like to play make believe, don’t you daddy? I’ll be your judge, your head the block. I raise the gavel, and strike a verdict which can not be overturned.

  • Craig McGray June 24, 20141:37 pm

    POTTER’S FIELD
    For some odd reason, Becky felt the need to make them comfortable, though obviously only for her own satisfaction as they were deader than shit and wouldn’t have known the difference. On a moist cushion of moss, she laid them to rest, allowing time to devour the flesh from their sin-filled bones.
    A vicious voice inside her head told her it needed to be done. They weren’t victims as they’d wanted the world to think. Their pathetic, overturned lives were of their own making.
    “Whores get what they get,” her mother would say. Becky’s mother’s voice spoke clearly inside her head like it was yesterday. “Don’t be a whore, Becky.”
    Becky grunted with effort as she dragged another body through the woods.
    The pungent odor of death and decay hung heavy as her potter’s field came into view, the air alive with the buzzing of a million insects.
    Becky placed her latest offering atop the mass of rancid corpses resting at her mother’s feet. Stepping back, she wiped her brow with a blood-caked hand looking to her mother for approval. Becky’s adulteress mother remained silent, her mandible hanging lopsided as her skeleton hung from an oak tree overlooking the field.

    • Magenta Nero June 25, 20141:08 am

      well done Craig, oozing your usual charm!

      • Craig McGray June 25, 20143:53 pm

        Thanks, Magenta. Anytime anything oozes from my work, I’m happy 🙂

    • John F.D. Taff June 25, 20144:16 am

      Very nice, Craig!

      • Craig McGray June 25, 20143:54 pm

        Thank you, John. Your words are much appreciated, my friend. Oh, and I’m glad yours doesn’t count because that shit was awesome!

  • Charles Gramlich June 24, 20142:02 pm

    testing. So I’ve tried three times to post a story here and it doesn’t show up.

  • Charles Gramlich June 24, 20142:04 pm

    A PREDATOR’S LOVE
    Softly she stalks in red, from a place of wheat and bones. The ghosts of a thousand predators squirm beneath her skin. Through a wild mist, I flee her. We cross the swamp of sorrow to the brazen wall against which even Hell breaks. And she comes to me as a lover, on a cushion of wind, bearing gifts of teeth and tongue. Through the fallen wings of angels, she wades with hands warmed from the fires she set to burn heaven. Her eyes are strewn with mica; her lips are leeches swollen with blood. I hear her voice in the cold mistral, my name a hunger in her throat. She corners me in that place where yesterday is a prayer. She smiles as I cower in sweat, eyes wired shut against her darkness. Her fingers crawl like the larvae of wasps through my hair. Slowly I straighten, lift my face as if to the sun. As my blind gaze opens she spies the leper within. It’s far too late for her then, with all her dreams overturned by love. I peel back the moist flesh of my heart and invite her inside. And she knows she is mine…to devour.

    • Lana Gramlich June 24, 20142:16 pm

      Creepy awesomeness!

    • Paul De Lancey June 24, 20142:51 pm

      Charles, Gramlich, great as always.

    • Erin Cole June 24, 20144:42 pm

      Nicely done.

    • Stephanie Ellis June 24, 20146:13 pm

      The language almost makes the horror beautiful. Very poetical.

    • Ann Benoit June 24, 20148:07 pm

      Great! The work of a master.

    • Tony Hunt June 24, 20148:29 pm

      a definite keeper 😀

    • Merisi June 24, 20149:32 pm

      Irresistible!

    • Randy Johnson June 24, 201411:29 pm

      Good stuff

    • Chris June 24, 201411:42 pm

      Gnarley.

    • Chris Gruber June 25, 201412:09 am

      A tasty love story best enjoyed one morsel at a time! Great flash, Charles!

    • James Wirfs June 25, 20143:01 am

      Great visuals! Always a treat to read your prose.

    • Magenta Nero June 26, 201412:34 am

      so beautifully written, a gorgeous read

    • Lily Childs June 26, 20149:30 pm

      Such exquisite delights. I am lost to your words, Charles.

  • Paul Gramlich June 24, 20142:42 pm

    Fantastic, very descriptive.

  • RB Wood June 24, 20142:57 pm

    THE INTRUDER

    I saw it yesterday.

    Sneaking in the corners—a filthy, twitching little creature. It disappeared before I could get to it. Not tonight though.

    The house was dark, the way I liked it. I sat quietly on my throne. Patience was the key. I knew that it would be back.

    Time passed, but I waited patiently.

    Finally, I heard a soft scrape on the floorboards.

    The beast slowly crept from its hiding spot. It was a small, grey ugly thing the likes of which I’d never seen before. It smelled foul.

    This was MY house—and this little intruder needed to be taught a final lesson. But it was still too far away. I waited for it to move closer.

    At the last minute, I think, the creature realized the danger. It turned to run, but it was too late. I pounced.

    The cushion overturned as I launched myself at the ugly little interloper. I could feel the moist hotness of its blood spill into my mouth as I bit down, and in my triumph I began to devour the beast.

    That’s when the light snapped on.

    “Fluffy! What are you…ugh! Gross! Dave, get down here! Fluffy’s eating a mouse…”

    • Tina June 24, 201411:35 pm

      Well…I thought it was funny…:)

  • Chris Allinotte June 24, 20143:02 pm

    PRIME TIME

    Vera didn’t watch TV, she devoured it.

    “Go out today, sweetheart,” I’d tell her. “Do something. Be something. Jesus.” She’d just laugh. “Irene, don’t bother me when my stories are on.”

    “Oh? Which stories are yours?” I asked.

    “All of them,” she said, and turned up the volume.

    That night, I went drinking with some guys from work. Good guys, ugly as sin, mouths twice as bad. I’ll never see fifty again, and Frank Morton’s still trying to stick his tongue in my ear after six beers, so I took off.

    Down the street there was a new place, “Fortunes Read. Problems Solved.”

    I had a big fat TV watching problem, so I went in, slapped down fifty bucks and said, all mystic like, “Get Vera off the couuuuuch”.

    When I got home, the place was overturned. Lights out, shit everywhere. The couch is shoved back against the wall. In front of it, in the flicker of channel whatever, is a big, blue-black patch of moisture. It stank.

    “Vera?” I asked, “Honey?”

    From somewhere far off, I heard what sounded like a scream, and then – and I’ll swear on a stack of Bibles – the fuckin’ couch cushion burped.

    • Erin Cole June 24, 20144:40 pm

      That’s excellent, Chris. Loved the tone of this one. You have my vote.

    • Lee Hughes June 24, 20147:17 pm

      Chris, you certainly know how to insert humour into the darkness, great piece.

    • Angel Zapata June 25, 20145:43 pm

      Ha! Love the voice in this one, Chris. I wonder if that couch potato tasted like… uh… potato.

    • Lily Childs June 26, 20149:45 pm

      Ha! The old classic of ‘Be careful what you wish for’. Creepy and dangerous with a shot of Allinotte humour.Loved it – but is Vera really a goner, I wonder?

    • Matthew Booth June 26, 201410:55 pm

      I vote for this. The words flow very nicely, and I enjoy the dialogue and scene changes.

  • Anthony Ciwin June 24, 20143:46 pm

    Good stuff Erik. Maybe he’ll make a real Face Book one day too :).

  • Erin Cole June 24, 20144:39 pm

    Tonight, We Feed

    It’s just the dogs and me now. We’ve established kinship trapped in the soiled, filth of their cages. Pelvic bones and ribs bulge from under their fur, my skin. While my bruises bloom dark, I see theirs in the deep, blue pit of their eyes.
    They keep us famished, say we fight better when we’re hungry, when we know a win equals scraps. Sometimes, after fights, one of them enters the cell, takes me to the cushion, and slides a hot tongue on me when I’m so exhausted, all I can do is lay there, submissive. Like a good dog, overturned, I escape into the bloodshot chaos of my rabid thoughts.
    I’m back in the ring by morning. A fatty, moist slice of bacon hangs from a chain above us. I bust the girl’s nose on the first blow, get the bacon, but can’t eat it and toss it to her.
    The man returns, kicks me in the tailbone, wants me to fight. For a first, I do, but only with my kin. I get to the cages before him, and they to his throat before me. Yesterday, hopeless hunger devoured us, but today, we fight, and tonight, we feed.

    • Chris Allinotte June 24, 20146:59 pm

      Damn this is great. Dark, bleak, gritty as hell, but really really great. I like the play that goes on with the reader’s expectations, and the violence, when it comes, is sharp and perfect.

    • Lee Hughes June 24, 20147:21 pm

      Tremendous, tight prose as always and served with the usual Erin Cole side salad of unrepentant violence.

    • Magenta Nero June 25, 20141:10 am

      I loved this Erin, it’s very original and I found it fascinating!

    • Angel Zapata June 25, 20145:49 pm

      That’s some brutal, beautiful shit, Erin. Your work is always such a visceral assault on the senses.

    • Mav Skye June 26, 20141:02 am

      Rabid writer girl! *Snaps whip*
      Definitely creative and disturbing, I can only pray to get this vision out of my head before nightfall.

    • Lily Childs June 26, 20149:53 pm

      Horridly ‘vital’. A highly convincing tale of the desperate life of a man adopted as a fighting dog. Visceral, exhausting, stunning. Excellent writing as always, Erin.

  • Stephanie Ellis June 24, 20146:08 pm

    Hunted

    He was running now, feet pounding the dark ways and the byways that he knew so well; eyes moist with tears not of despair but of laughter.
    Behind him, he could hear voices raise the hue and cry that brought even more on to the streets, fear and numbers giving them the courage to take action at last.
    Not far to go. He passed the overturned car blocking the alley to the left of him, the delivery truck to the right. They could follow no path but his. The trap had been sprung. He slowed slightly, not wanting the hunt to lose sight of its prey.
    Until yesterday he had been one of them, a necessary pretence allowing him to foment terror and dissension, actions which had born fruit as he heard them scream his name. Stripped of the cushion of logic and reason, the human mind became a playground of uncontrollable horrors and his name had been the most horrific of all.
    Blinded by hate they hunted him, base instinct clouding better judgement. He stood at the mouth of the subterranean passage where his family waited, ready to devour all that came – where the hunter became prey.

  • Jim Harrington June 24, 20146:24 pm

    On a Mission

    Fists on his waist, Ethan posed next to a pile of crumpled cinderblocks, an aftermath of the twin tornados that had devoured the east side of town. A growl emanated from between closed lips. Why today? He patted the gun hidden in the waistband of his fatigues and trotted toward the end of the street.

    He reached his goal, the high school, its interior walls exposed, defiant. Yesterday, it had been a place of humiliation, of bullying. Today, was his time to get even.

    Ethan edged through a door hanging by one hinge. Moist faces called to him. He ignored their pleas.

    He grasped the gun and took deep breaths, like his Dad had taught him on the range. He rested the gun against his leg, kicked a seat cushion out of his way, and continued with his plan.

    Ethan reached the gym and entered the locker room. Devin and Nate, the jocks who had made him strip naked, get on his knees, and cluck like a chicken, lay pinned by an overturned row of lockers. They called to him, whimpered for help.

    Ethan lifted the gun. Smiled.

    His Dad would be proud of him for standing up for himself.

    • Angel Zapata June 25, 20145:54 pm

      Ah, nothing like taking advantage of a terrible situation for an act of revenge. Thanks for making it easy to get comfortable inside Ethan’s head.

      • Jim Harrington June 25, 20146:53 pm

        Thanks, Angel, for giving it a read.

  • John F.D. Taff June 24, 20146:32 pm

    It’s great to see such a huge amount of participation here! And some great entries. Terrific idea, Tony & Sharon! Now when do I get to participate? Heh…

  • Brett June 25, 201412:04 am

    Meat Lovers

    As Court masticated on Taryn’s moist trapezius muscle, he couldn’t help but wonder if he’d left the garage door open.

    He remembered pulling from the driveway, but not if he had pressed the button. He tended to be spastic like that, forgetful.

    Taryn was propped up against a concrete facade, dead. Been dead since yesterday. Most of her organs he had harvested in the cooler around the corner. Saved the brain for later.

    “Taryn, dear, is that uncomfortable?” Court said and he reached for a small pillow. “Cushion?”

    She didn’t say anything.

    “Fine, just trying to be nice,” Court said and sipped some knock-off wine from the Dollar Store.

    Then he overturned the memory in his head. He did pull out of the driveway, but had dropped his Boning knife in the nefarious gap between the seat and console. Maybe he didn’t shut the garage.

    Rarely did Court devour his meat, but he began to get cold sweats about the open garage door. He even left some of the muscle on the plate and stood.

    “Dear, sorry to cut our little date short, but I must attend to something important. Ta-ta for now,” Court said.

    • Karl A Russell June 25, 20149:21 pm

      I like how the dialogue is so light and playful compared to what he’s actually doing, and how the act is nothing compared to the more pressing concern of the garage door.

      • Brett June 26, 20141:23 am

        Thanks for reading, Karl!

  • Magenta Nero June 25, 20141:18 am

    great job Eric, a mini short story rather than just simply a flash piece, well done!

  • Casey Douglass June 25, 20148:18 am

    Almost

    It’s hard surviving in this place. We’re holed up pretty good but we see a lot of survivors who don’t even make it to our gate.
    We had another failure yesterday. From up here we get a pretty good view from the reinforced tenth floor. We heard a bang and shattering glass. I almost soiled myself as I was half asleep at the time. We ran to the window and saw an overturned people carrier wedged against the old hardware store over the way. We saw movement inside but lots more outside.
    The Skreels rushed the car, their chitinous bodies clacking and scraping against each other. One leapt onto the exposed underside of the vehicle and rammed an angled armoured pincer through what was once the floor. A moist explosion spattered the side window as the tip of the pincer exited the glass, a large clump of seat cushion and flesh protruding from the new aperture.
    We heard the screams but turned away to a man. No one wanted to watch them devour the family. No one wanted to look at each other as the cries of a baby drifted up to us.

    • paul brewer June 25, 201411:05 am

      chillingly brutal Casey.

    • Magenta Nero June 26, 201412:13 am

      so controlled and calm that it is petrifying, good one!

    • Christy Allen June 26, 20146:43 pm

      I like this Casey – very dark

    • linda June 27, 201411:17 pm

      As always I am sitting on the edge of my chair to read your stories!…..C H I L L I N G!

  • Jacob Gosnell June 25, 201411:45 am

    “PYRO”
    I confess, I love fire. three months ago, The Miller’s found out exactly just how much I do.
    There is eroticism in Pyromania, as I grab my can of Naphtha and my road flares. People will be cooked, flames will devour flesh, and my boxer’s will get moist from their screams.
    Giggling, I entered the Judge Mabel’s abode. Bitch tried to find me guilty. Thank the devil the verdict was overturned yesterday. The scowl on her face as I walked away free is all I can see. I’ll make her pay.
    Spattering the walls is my routine, when a body on the floor sleeping on a cushion caught my eye. Tiny body. Long blonde hair. Judge’s Daughter? Who gives a damn?! She burns first. She will be the only thing that burns. .
    “Sorry little bitch, mommy did this.” I whispered as I twisted open the cap, pouring the entire content of the can all over her. Sadly, I should have been more careful. In my frenzy of pouring the lighter fluid, I wasn’t watching where it was all going. My cock got hard as I lit the flare.
    It’s true. When you die, you see the light.

    • jordan June 25, 20141:58 pm

      So vivid, I love it!!

    • Liz Baker June 25, 20145:29 pm

      I love it. It’s amazingly well written. 🙂

    • Lemon June 25, 20149:35 pm

      aw yiss

    • Magenta Nero June 26, 201412:19 am

      I like this a lot, I think it’s it’s quite funny, a well developed voice clearly conjures an image of this giggling probably stoned delinquent setting his dick on fire as he burns down the town.

    • Tara June 26, 20144:07 am

      I love it!

  • Kenneth Whitfield June 25, 20143:28 pm

    The car’s seat cushion was no longer moist from their lovemaking, but with their blood.
    All yesterday had been a high speed chase; running away from the infected. When night fell, they’d found themselves on a desolate stretch of road. Exhausted, they’d pulled over and killed the lights and engine, holding one another, letting the darkness swallow them.
    They had been in the throes of passion when they were rear-ended by another fleeing vehicle.
    Now they were trapped in the overturned car. The doors jammed and bloody glass fragments covering them. The roof collapsed, pinning them close together. Caught in an awkward position, it would almost be funny if not for the seriousness of the situation. It was only a matter of time before the infected found them – or they turned.
    The sun rises, the temperature inside climbing as the day lengthens. Both sweat profusely until they are dehydrated. Flies buzz around them and hunger grows. Bodily functions begin shutting down.
    Yet still, there is a passion that flares. Perhaps it is the imminence of death; of wanting to scream into the abyss; of refusing to accept death’s advance –
    The lovers squirm as they devour one another.

    • Kenneth Whitfield June 25, 20143:33 pm

      Title is PASSION.
      (Missed it in my cut and paste. Sorry about that, chief. 🙂 )

  • Angel Zapata June 25, 20144:03 pm

    Plane Jane

    The headless body crumpled on the sandy coastline was still warm, moist.

    Jane snarled, licked her gray lips. “He was killed no later than yesterday evening,” she told Hawkins. “Survives the crash. Dies in paradise.”

    Hawkins, her manservant, silently eyed the night surf. A flotation cushion washed up at his bare feet.

    “What did you find at the wreckage site?” Jane said.

    There’d been an explosion aboard the aircraft. It had plunged from the sky and smacked into an island mountain. Metal wings had snapped beneath the overturned fuselage. Hawkins had yanked Jane from her aisle seat and followed her through the fiery escape hatch. The burns on their pale skin were completely healed by the time they descended the steep, rocky slope and entered a tropical copse of vegetation.

    “Something’s been feasting on charred bones,” Hawkins said. “Probably the same beast that decapitated this poor soul.”

    A terrible roar boomed in the distant darkness.

    “Alas.” Jane bared her fangs. “We’re not the only monsters here.”

    “Your adversary the devil walketh about, seeking whom he may devour,” Hawkins quoted.

    “Indeed,” Jane said. “Who shall be bait?”

    Hawkins selected the thinnest of the surviving passengers and untied her from the tree.

    • Erin Cole June 25, 20145:17 pm

      Monsters on monsters – loved it, and all the little twists, and the ending is so graphically vivid and perfect. Alas, another winning entry!

    • Jim Harrington June 25, 20147:01 pm

      Good one, Angel. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    • Magenta Nero June 26, 201412:21 am

      great entry! love that line “Who shall be bait?”

    • Mav Skye June 26, 201412:59 am

      This is like “Where the Wild Things Are” meets “Lost” in some gruesome nightmare. Sharp and horrific!

    • Lily Childs June 26, 20149:58 pm

      I love how they select the scrawniest as bait 🙂 Great atmosphere, highly visual and dare I say… audible? I really can hear the voices. Enjoyed this very much, Angel.

  • Anthony Cowin June 25, 20144:06 pm

    Come Cradle Your Dreams Within My Touch.

    It started with hands crawling under the cushion as I slept. Zipped up insects all knuckles and flesh wriggled inside the case. A stress dream from sixteen hour shifts working the ER. Then came the scratching. Sharpened fingernails cutting though the knitted fibers, ripping into my scalp.
    “Fleas,” my husband said. “From a dirty patient.”
    Roaches maybe, large and skeletal, but microscopic bugs?
    Either way I replaced every cushion in the house.
    Later, I woke up choking in the purple light of dusk.
    Long thin fingers wrapped around my neck digging into my windpipe. The hands tightened as I tried calling for my husband. I squirmed an escape punching at the pillow. Feathers and Egyptian cotton, nothing else.
    Maybe I was going mad. Still, I decided to take my scalpel to bed.
    Several nights passed without incident. Until yesterday when I awoke to fingers searching my body. I turned to see my husband choking, hands clasped against his mouth. I pulled out the scalpel and sliced off four of the monstrous fingers in one swoop, then hacked away until the hands resembled moist pulled pork.
    Only then did I realize my husband had been covering his own mouth in shock.

    • Erin Cole June 25, 20145:28 pm

      These kinds of stories rank at the top of my horror – anything with crawling things, knuckles, wriggling, and bugs sets me into a paranoid state of mind. Excellent play on the fingers – surprisingly worse than bugs!h

    • Magenta Nero June 26, 201412:29 am

      good one Anthony, I enjoyed this very much!

    • Lily Childs June 26, 201410:02 pm

      Pure, unadulterated horror. Cockroaches are my most hated living thing and the potential chaos of a scalpel in the bed, well… it’s a heart attack waiting to happen. Brilliant Tony, brava.

  • Amanda Hard June 25, 20144:10 pm

    Oh Chaos, Thy Name Is Man

    Once upon a yesterday we fell, because of you. We fell through the heavens together: exiled soldiers burning, our empire overturned. But we cried for you, for what you should have been. We cried out, calling your name as we fell. With nothing to cushion that fall, we landed on you. Broken and full of fury, we spoke to you. Whispered in your ears. Told you of power withheld from you. We gave you the choice He didn’t. You laughed. We were silent. Was this temptation? Or revenge?

    Today, when you look down at your crime scene with moist eyes and bloody hands, we applaud you. We don’t tell you to kill her. We make you choose. You are weak and tear a clumsy rip in her throat. We steady your hand for the next cut. You cry; we are silent. Is this temptation or revenge?

    Some lonely tomorrow you will cry–strapped to a table, a needle in your arm. The darkness will devour your memory and your tears. We will laugh at your pain, and remember our own. We will laugh, remembering a younger you holding that stupid apple. You no longer need temptation. This is our revenge.

    • Diane Whitehead June 25, 20146:27 pm

      Gack! Once again, I can totally “feel” this, and I’ll be thinking about it for a while…awesome!

    • Robin Ratcliff June 25, 20147:31 pm

      go girl

    • jeffrey June 26, 20142:03 am

      loved it !!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Kimbra Gish June 28, 20143:49 am

      Creepy awesome. It *feels* right for what it shows. Chilling!

  • Lora Huddleston June 25, 20145:12 pm

    Awesome work! Proud to have been a lifelong friend!

  • Frank Sullivan June 25, 20147:48 pm

    Cake and a Letter

    Mickey toked on a reefer listening to The Beatles. His eyes were watery red-rimmed as he gazed at the moist cake he wanted to devour but he was too stoned to move. He mumbled something unintelligible, and then he laughed. I thought he said the mailman had come. I went to the door and it had been the mailman. Amazing. There was a draft notice to Viet Nam for Mickey. I gave him the letter and went back to sit on my cushion, fingering-off a hunk of cake as I went past.

    Thump… phew-wing zzzsshhh kahh-boom!! Mortar shells hit the sector. “What the fucking hell?!” said Pfc Mickey Johnson out loud, though he couldn’t see anyone for the dust and smoke. Viet Cong had taken the hill and were pressing down, his unit evacuating. The soldier kneeled by the questionable cover of an overturned jeep, sweating and shaking. He heard voices in a language not his own. He didn’t turn, didn’t move. A bullet tore through his neck and he fell forward, dead already as he did.

    […regretfully inform Private first-class Michael P. (Mickey) Johnson killed in action near Quon Loc… 0700 hours, 21 March, 1969…]

    The letter came yesterday.

  • Chris Milam June 25, 20148:05 pm

    SANGUINE DESIRE

    My blood tastes like caramel. I assumed it would be acidic and coppery, but when I nicked myself shaving recently, I swallowed a rivet of liquid addiction. I began pouring my blood into the morning coffee, a homemade macciato that rivaled Starbucks. My kids picked up the scent of this ambrosial seductress and began asking questions which led to them cornering me in the bathroom with Bic razors in their fidgety hands. My julienned face revealed the sugary nectar that their blades sought and they shared a bowl of vanilla gelato topped with a smear of daddy’s B positive. They attacked often.

    Yesterday, my wife was struggling with her allergies when Abby and Alex caught a whiff of grape taffy. They stormed our bedroom and overturned furniture and their innocence while rooting out their mother and her intoxicating aroma. They yanked her out of the closet and dragged her to the bed. Their agitated teeth found a soft cushion in her bloodshot eyes. Standing behind Abby, my nostrils detected something tropical and ripe: Fresh kiwi. I tugged her shoulder and spun her around. A moist stain of luscious red was blossoming on her white shorts. My tongue was set to devour.

    • Karl A Russell June 25, 20149:17 pm

      Very nice, leaves so much unuexplained and all the better for it.

      • Chris Milam June 25, 20149:22 pm

        Thank you, Karl

    • Magenta Nero June 26, 201412:25 am

      ooh good one, you’ve seduced both coffee and blood drinkers with this one. Anything that rivals Starbucks gets my vote, especially when it’s a beautifully written blood drenched tale!

      • Chris Milam June 26, 201410:42 am

        Thank you. Too kind.

  • Angel Luis Colon June 25, 20148:40 pm

    Morning Workout
    “Yesterday, we worked the body. Today’s the head.” Gerald wrapped a few strips of sports tape over calloused knuckles. He knocked the side of Eddie’s cage.
    Eddie scrambled to the corner of the cage, overturned the bowl of water next to his slop bucket. Shook his head vigorously. Signed that he didn’t want to spar today.
    “You think I give a shit, boy? Get out—now.” He plopped down on a dirty couch. The cushion beside him decorated with old blood. “You hear me?”
    Eddie emerged from his cage. Stood straight—giant of a man—near seven-feet tall. Face was moist with tears. He trembled—picked at the cuticles of his yellowed fingernails.
    “Here—get your energy up.” Gerald slid a greasy bag across the floor to Eddie.
    Eddie squat, inspected the bag, smiled as he thrust a hand inside. Signed ‘thank you’ with his free hand. Pulled a handful of cold French fries out and grinned like an idiot. Had as many fries as he could devour.
    “Atta boy.” Gerald stood. Slipped off his shirt. His chest and sides littered with fresh bruises. “Now when you’re ready,” he said and punched himself in the face, “go at it—hard.”

    • Robert Hart June 27, 20146:15 am

      Very atmospheric. Good twist at the end. Nice work, Angel.

      • Robert Hart June 27, 201411:42 am

        Angel gets my vote.

  • Karl A Russell June 25, 20149:46 pm

    Landfill

    She only went with them to prove that she was worthy of loving, but she wasn’t. Not to them.

    When they were done, when she reached up for a kiss or a hug or permission to leave, they took a cushion from the overturned sofa, pressed it over her face and sat on it until her struggles weakened and died.

    Then they sat there for a while, sharing the last of the cigarettes the old guy on the corner of the street had bought for them, passing the moist butt back and forth in silence.

    Finally, Rod stood, hooked his brother’s armpit and pulled him upright.

    “C’mon. Picture time.”

    They moved the cushion, Todd stifling a laugh at her expression, all lolling tongue and wide eyes, then took their trophy pics, snapping away till their memory cards were full.

    “What d’you think? Seven?”

    Rod shook his head.

    “Christ, she’s a five at best.”

    Todd shrugged.

    “I guess. Think we can find someone to buy us beer?”

    “Maybe.”

    They kicked her body along, rolling it down the garbage mound to the lea of an old refrigerator, where the worms could devour it, once they were done with the girl from yesterday.

    • Chris Milam June 25, 201410:35 pm

      Nice rhythm, believable dialogue and deliciously dark. Good stuff, Karl.

  • Mike Slivinski June 25, 201410:40 pm

    Blood Profit

    His mind devoured every sacred word the blood spoke. The moist red mist escaping her lips between gurgling bubbles whispered of a secret universe. Yesterday, the world had been a soft cushion supporting everything he held dear. It was a world he understood, where things made sense. Today reality had been overturned and what was left was an abomination to reason. Someone sat in silent judgment of his mind and had ruled it unfit to continue.
    His grip firmed on the knife in his hand and his flesh twitched in anticipation as the thick red liquid slowly worked its way down the blade forming a head at the point, slowly building the mass necessary to break free to the ground. In the moment between leaving the blade and touching the ground the blood spoke and it was ecstasy.
    He needed to hear that voice again. He savored one last image of his wife on the ground, the blood spilled all over the floor from wasteful exuberance. He would be more careful. The words must be allowed all the time due them. He was ready to be their prophet. He made his way to the stairs. “Don’t worry honey. Daddy’s coming.”

  • Michele Garber June 25, 201411:37 pm

    WHAT KIND OF DEAD

    He whimpered as chunks of his own flesh, moist and dripping, disappeared into the creature’s maw. Screams were no longer an option—they belonged to the past, to a yesterday in which everything had made sense.

    They had warned him, hadn’t they? Possibly dangerous. Unpredictable. No guarantees. He’d agreed, thought he understood.

    He’d understood nothing.

    A soft, purring rip as it stripped more of him away, watching with detached interest as he convulsed in agony, no cushion between him and excruciating pain. The thing meant to devour him, of that he was certain. He would die here, on this alien soil, the message of peace and friendship lost forever. But worse than the sharp teeth, the grinning idiot glee with which the monster ate him, was his loss of faith in an ordered, rational universe–equilibrium overturned.

    Strings of saliva flew as it shook his so recently attached appendage. Not long now.

    Darkness descended as that hideous mouth came, closing over his head.

    Crunch.

    ***

    “What the–ugh.” Jeff grimaced, wiping the sole of his bare foot in the grass. “Dexter!” he shouted. No answer. “Stupid dog,” he muttered, “what kind of dead thing did you bring home this time?”

    Special thanks go out to Amirah Turner, who provided the nugget of inspiration for this story!

    • Shane Keene June 26, 201412:02 am

      This one gets my vote. Great, creepy work Michelle.

      • Michele Garber June 26, 201412:05 am

        Thanks, Shane! Much appreciated 🙂

    • Jason Stack June 26, 20141:27 pm

      I felt a nice little nod to Douglas Adams mixed in with the gore. My vote!

    • Tricia Sloan June 26, 20141:32 pm

      So much imagery in so little space. VOTE!

    • Sharon Stack June 26, 201411:50 pm

      Cringing as I read this, then actually laughed at the end … that ranks right up there with the ‘laughter through tears’ emotion, so this one gets my vote!

    • Michele Garber June 27, 20147:03 pm

      Woo hoo! Congratulations everybody! Thanks for this wonderful contest, Tony and Sharon, so much fun 🙂 Cannot wait to get my hands on EQUILIBRIUM OVERTURNED!

  • Rebecca Allred June 26, 20142:10 am

    Ravenous

    If he wasn’t eating, Milo was crying. Diseased chromosomes insisted to the toddler that he was starving. Every single minute of every single day.

    Lizzy tried to be a good mother. She worked two jobs so she could afford to quiet Milo’s tears. She ignored the sloppy, open-mouthed way he consumed every morsel and the greedy gleam in his too-moist eyes when she surrendered her own supper to his insatiable hunger.

    One morning, she woke to find the kitchen in shambles. Overturned chairs lay scattered across the floor. Padlocked cupboards—doors ripped from their hinges—gaped open and empty as Milo bawled in the corner, still wearing yesterday’s spaghetti-stained pajamas.

    Lizzy bent, plucking a chair cushion from the chaos, and approached her son.

    Even through the fabric and thick foam, she could hear Milo chewing. She pressed harder, but his tiny teeth shredded the polyester, masticating the padding inside and devouring the pillow instead of smothering beneath it.

    When it was gone, Milo continued to cry.

    He’d consumed everything in a single night, and it would be days before she could afford more. Staring at the empty cupboards, Lizzy pressed a knife to her thigh.

    She hoped she would last that long.

    • Jaime Burchardt June 26, 20142:42 am

      This dark freaking minx…fine job. My vote!

  • Jaime Burchardt June 26, 20142:31 am

    REASSIGNMENT

    Just yesterday Lango was determined to go through this species reassignment. Today, it wasn’t ideal lying naked on a cold metal table while having human skin act as a cushion for his head.

    Lango’s penis had already been detached & overturned, but he couldn’t feel or move a thing except his eyes & mouth. He saw the surgeon coming back. He had been gone a while; probably to wash out his tentacles. His blob-like body supported his tentacles, with tiny fingers coming out of each end. Though his four eyes weren’t covered, his mouth was, with a surgical mask. How practical.

    “Continue? Deal?” the doctor asked in a gurgly voice.

    “Yes, I still agree. To look like you, you get to devour my thing. Hope you brought salt,” Lango weakly joked.

    “No,” said the doctor. He moved Lango’s penis slightly when he suddenly felt an earth-shattering pain. “Whoa…what?!”

    “Nerve endings still attached.”

    He took off the mask to reveal a moist hole with circular rows of teeth. Before Lango could ask ‘why’ through the pain, the doctor leaned. “Tastes better like this.”

    Lango looked at the ceiling to avoid the sight. It’ll be worth it. It’ll be worth…now, just screaming.

    • Jesse Crump June 26, 20142:47 am

      Yeah Jaime! You do this thing!

    • Autumn Leigh June 26, 20142:41 pm

      I vote for this one. This is sufficiently creepy and obviously was written by a disturbed individual (: (obviously I’m just kidding about the last part and he knows it)

  • Jesse Crump June 26, 20143:10 am

    Roadkill

    She watched the creatures devour her boyfriend. Their claws and teeth ripped holes in his flesh, tearing pieces off and tossing them carelessly aside. The overturned car had pinned her leg. It prevented her from moving away.
    It was only yesterday that the two of them were headed toward a vacation on the beach. Only one day prior, their lives and dreams had seemed like a plausible future. Today was a completely different story.
    One of the creatures turned its head toward her. She could see teeth jutting out from its face; the gigantic hole full of sharp edges and moist saliva. The creature was ready for more.
    As a low, guttural scream began to work its way up from her stomach, she could feel the creature’s warm breath as it approached. Soon, the rest of them would be upon her. She clawed at the cushion of the passenger seat in an attempt to get away. It was no use.
    Her vision began to fade to black as she felt the teeth sink into her exposed neck. The pain first grew to an excruciating degree and then subsided to nothingness as the life seeped out of her. She was gone.

  • Autumn Humphrey June 26, 20146:12 am

    We Are All

    I am the bulging muscles beneath grey fur, striding, straining, circling. I am ragged paws and ragged claws. I am hyper-scent, intent on detection. I am the earthy smell of the wild. I am hunger.

    I am curiosity. I am the noise that wakens. I am a soft cushion of a body, confident from an easy life. I am a square of empty space separating inside from out. I am tender paws dancing across designer patio stones, same as yesterday and every day, into a familiar darkness. I am the night and I am the shadows. I am ears pricking. I am flaring nostrils that do not know that scent. I am urine marking invaded territory. I am the rising of a chin in the direction of the smell.

    I am the yellowed fangs entering soft clean fur. I am the scream of the prey. I am the fear. I am the blood that gushes from a panicked heart. I am the eyes of victory and satiated hunger. I am four paws, eight, tangled, writhing, overturned, dying. I am the moist bits of meat sliding into an empty stomach. I am the last breath devoured by another, melding, together, one.

  • Matthew Booth June 26, 20146:34 am

    Cupcakes

    ‘I made cupcakes!’ cried Melanie, as Sarah entered the kitchen.
    ‘They look lovely.’ Sarah said, eyeing the small cakes, a swirl of frosting resting on each moist cushion. ‘Where are your brothers?’
    ‘Making a mess in their room, even worse than yesterday.’ Melanie said, rolling her bright blue eyes.
    ‘I’ll make them tidy up later.’ Sarah replied, smiling.
    Mel was a perfect baby sitter for her brothers, but Sarah hoped she would mellow out with age. Her siblings shared her blue eyes, but had a happy spark that made them glitter in a way that serious Melanie’s eyes never glittered.
    Sarah took a cake, thinking how typical of Mel to expect her to devour it immediately.
    ‘What recipe is it?’
    ‘Red Velvet with jelly centre, but the dye went wrong.’
    ‘It looks lovely.’ She said, biting the small cake.
    Her teeth hit the centre; it resisted for a second, and then popped. Her mouth was flooded with a rank, salty, pungency, like rancid semen. She spat out the cake, and stumbled back, eyes darting between the overturned bowl of food colouring, clotting from red to black, and the sliver of blue iris still visible in the heart of the cake.

  • Lia La Chapelle June 26, 20149:54 am

    The Last Supper

    Jonah collapsed to his knees in a cold sweat. Cotton and shredded fabric drifted away from him fearing more abuse.

    “Do it,” growled the voice.

    His eyes darted around the room, yesterday’s dinner staining his shirt. The overturned sofa blocked his only exit.

    “Do it.”.

    “Please…” Jonah whimpered.

    His arm rose of its own volition.

    “Knives, Knives, glorious knives.” the voice sang.

    The halogen bulb streaked across the blade as Jonah’s arm swung down.
    White lightning pain bolted him as the knife buried itself into his abdomen.

    “Hahahaha”

    Jonah shrieked in agony, the blade ripping downwards. Laugher echoed inside his head as he tore himself open.

    Guts spilled onto his lap. His warmth soaking into his jeans

    “Oh my god.” he croaked. His breathing quick shudders.

    “Yes. Call out to me my child.” bellowed the voice. “Let me bathe in your blood and devour your sins.”

    Jonah reached for his organs. They slipped and slid as he frantically tried to scoop them back in.

    “no, no, no, ”.

    “Yes, yes, yes.” hissed the voice.

    A bloody hand brought a slick intestine to his mouth. Tears burned his cheeks as moist entrails tore between his teeth.

    “Blessed are the saved.”

  • Autumn Leigh June 26, 20142:30 pm

    EAT

    The Voice was there, ever present in the back of her mind. Eat.

    Yesterday it had been nothing, barely more than a whisper, but as the days passed it began to drown out all reason and rhyme, commanding only one thing. Eat.

    Pacing, she couldn’t contain herself any longer. She whirled around, grabbing the cushion from the couch and tore into it with her teeth. Anything to sate the mounting hunger. But it wasn’t enough. Tears of frustration streamed down her face, as she threw the remaining cushion away and sank to the floor. The rest of the town had already succumbed to the hunger, overturned their mortal minds; she was the only one left fighting. Other voices had joined the one in her head now, more commands, more pleas and beckons. She didn’t know how much longer she could hold out. Eat!

    It coated her body, moist and slick, wet and warm just like she knew it would be. Bathing in the blood of her enemies, she could feel now what the Voice had promised her. Bliss and eternal life, she had only to give one more thing. Sinking her teeth into the flesh of her kill, she feasted.

    • Autumn Leigh June 26, 20142:33 pm

      So when I posted this it took away all of my formatting for it :/ there should be spaces between each of my paragraphs, otherwise it takes away from the way the story should be read.

  • Frank Sullivan June 27, 20144:47 pm

    This is excellent, John! Gets my vote hands-down.

  • Lily Childs June 27, 201410:03 pm

    Huge congratulations Angel, my friend. Well deserved.

    Lily xx

  • Pingback: Sanguine Desire | Wisp Of Smoke June 28, 201411:48 am
  • William Davoll June 28, 20148:17 pm

    Well done Angel an excellent piece

  • John F.D. Taff June 30, 20145:11 am

    Congrats to all! Some great entries here. Great to see so much participation.

    Now, onto next month…

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.