Saturday, January 9, 2010
The awesome blog WHEN IS EVIL COOL was kind enough to gift me with the ONE LOVELY BLOG award!
And as per the rules (and to spread the love) here are 15 blogs I think deserve the same award. Check 'em out!
2.) Mad Utopia: The Official Home Page of J.M. Strother
3.) Lovecraft Is Missing
4.) Mad Mad Mad Mad Movies
5.) Suppertime Sonnets
6.) Adventures In Nerdliness
7.) My Supa Life
9.) Random Acts Of Geekery
10.) Mazz In Leeds
13.) My Monster Memories
14.) Gone and Forgotten
15.) The Princess and The Giant
Now all you winners cut and paste the above award onto your lovely blogs and then pass the love on to 15 beloved blogs on your own!
click here to read the rest
Friday, January 8, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Al Bruno III
Jason Magwier stirred, raised his head to inspect his surroundings and blinked. The room swam in and out of focus as he stood and he had to lean against the wall to keep steady. He was still in the empty basement of the cafe on Nooker Street, the windows were still boarded up, filthy mattresses and hooka pipes still crowded the floor. These were all familiar but there was still something wrong, everything seemed to have been twisted ever so slightly out true, like a reflection in a warped mirror. He inhaled deeply, a thick, cold odor filled his nostrils and then he remembered.
“Black Sunshine...” he whispered the name as he crossed the room. There were shards of shattered glass in the corner, all that remained of a sudden confrontation and a thrown phial; smoky remnants smoldered and clung to the tips of the broken glass. Magwier cursed his luck, he had come here to buy some of the damned stuff, not to inhale it.
He cocked his head and looked around suspiciously, “Time I was leaving I think.”
But the room had begun to confound him, the walls pressed in, the floor pitched, the ceiling drooped down low. The furniture melted away or perhaps it had never been there. He closed his eyes and tried to find his way with his other senses but they had been rendered equally useless. The hallucinations brought about by the Black Sunshine were as complete as they were malevolent and under the right circumstances they could kill their victim.
Just like the clumsy-fingered dealer had promised. The thought of being left to the mercy of his own nightmares left Jason Magwier trembling and afraid.
“I'm not afraid,” he opened his eyes and looked around the room. Everything had changed again, the patterns on the wallpaper fell and twisted on every side making his stomach twist with the illusion of free fall. He blundered around again, searching for the way out of the basement and back into the alleyway but for all he knew he was already out of the cafe, for all he knew he was about to walk out into the clutches of one of his many adversaries or, worse yet, into oncoming traffic.
“Don't be so melodramatic,” he sneered.
It was in that moment of overwhelming helplessness and fear that he first felt the presence of something-
“Stop doing that!”
-the presence of another. It was there-
“I know you can hear me!” Magwier glared.
- was there behind him-
“There is nothing behind me,” he spat. “You're just trying to scare me now.”
Jason Magwier told himself that it was all just an illusion brought upon him by the Black Sunshine but it was there, a shape he could just glimpse out of the corner of his eye. It was bent and spindly and seethed with malevolence. What would it look like when he turned? Would it be bestial or nearly human? Would it’s eyes flicker with cruel recognition or would there be no eyes at all? Reaching into his pocket Magwier pulled out his trusty mirror-
-and dropped it back into his pocket in favor of a crumpled pack of cigarettes. He lit one and exhaled smoke but he didn't turn around because for all his bravado he knew the creature was still there.
“I'm hallucinating all this, especially your narration,” Magwier stared at his cigarette, “Maybe even this. It isn't really my brand.”
But he would not turn around because he knew that to do so would invite death. He felt the presence draw closer, looming over him and Magwier knew that pretending he was a character in a story would not protect him for long.
“Pretending? We're all fictional characters,” Magwier laughed, “Everyone has stories told about them and no matter who does the telling they're embellished or patently false. After we're dead all we are is memories and what is a memory but a lie you tell yourself. There is no monster.”
The words rang hollow because he still wouldn't turn around.
“Fine I will.”
Jason Magwier turned the expression on his face-
“See? What did I tell you?” he said smugly, “No monster, no monster at all.”
The room was empty, suddenly empty, where had the monster gone? Had the presence been just that? A presence? An illusion brought on by the dread narcotic Midnight Sunshine? Magwier stubbed his cigarette out on the bottom of his shoe and looked around again. Was the room fading away or was it him?
“Feels like someone is slapping me awake,” he said. “I wonder who it is.”
“And here's something for you to ponder,” Magwier was almost gone, his smile hung in the air Chesire-like, “If there was a monster, maybe it's behind you. Maybe it was behind you all along.”
And with that Magwier was gone, and the room was gone, all that was left was the emptiness of a fading dream. His final taunt echoed in the void;
“Or worse yet maybe it’s behind whatever poor sap is reading this...”
This collection of 13 stories transports you to a world where both dreams and monsters lurk in the shadows, where love and forgotten rituals fight for control of the human heart, and where the madness of eternity can be glimpsed in a single segmented eye. This anthology collects some of the best stories from Al Bruno III's website and includes the novellas 'Chad's Oracles', 'Fully Vested' and 'The Mask Collector', available for the first time anywhere.
To all outward appearances John Sig is just an old man living a quietly in an empty old house. His one pleasure is when he heads down to the local diner and visits with his favorite waitress Angie. When Angie disappears, John sets out to find her. For an ordinary old man that might seem like a foolish idea but John Sig isn't human, he's a monster living in the shadow of a nightmare thirty -five years old.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
The man that had once been an undergraduate professor of archeology and comparative religion was one of the few that remained. The six of them huddled before the mouth of the cave, dressed in rags, surrounded by bones and filth.
Studies had brought him here, studies that led him to notice a single phrase that was perfectly repeated in two very different Gnostic texts. At first he just dismissed this as a coincidence or a quirk of translation but then he caught the phrase a third time.
Curiosity birthed an obsession; he soon forgot everything else and spent all his time searching for this one phrase. He traveled all across the world reading from rare and obscure religious volumes. He found the phrase in three other books and then he realized that a sentence from the one of those ancient texts was repeated in the original volume he had begun with.
His already complex notes became wild and confused; he found connections everywhere- in mathematical treatises, in pulp novels, even in a cookbook. He tore pages out, made mimeographs and kept everything stuffed into a bulging brown folder. He rarely spoke to anyone anymore but he always listened, hoping to catch one of those key words falling in the right order.
If he did hear them he would accost that person, demanding to know what they knew.
His family and friends tried to be patient and understanding but soon there was talk about having the undergraduate professor committed.
Before that could happen he sold everything he owned and made his way to Eastern Europe traveling by ship and train. He traveled with nothing but the clothes on his back and his folder of notes and pages. When his money ran dry he lived as a beggar and a thief. He slowly made his way further and further northeast. There was no room for doubts in his mind, no room for thoughts at all. He simply followed the trail he had discovered in those mismatched phrases and equations.
Before long he discovered that he was not the only one making his way through the Siberian forest. Some of his fellow travelers were like him, scientists and educated men; others were ordinary folk, driven by half remembered dreams.
Their journey ended at the base of a small stony outcropping, it looked like a beast with a great yawning cave for a mouth. Nothing grew nearby and the tall trees made a ring around it.
The strange pilgrims were miles from even the smallest settlements and none of them had brought even rudimentary supplies. The ones that died off helped the rest to stave off the cold and starvation for a little while longer.
By the third week of waiting the man that had once been an undergraduate professor was too frail to move, his every breath was a watery rattle. He had lost his precious notes but it didn’t matter, he knew them so well that he muttered them in his sleep.
He dying when it began, when the cave mouth began to silently widen further and further open. Shadows slid out of the cave, glittering and tracing paths along the cold stone.
Whatever those shimmering veins of blackness touched they infected and destroyed. Trees, ground and even the pilgrims themselves became silhouettes and crumbled away.
The others ran but the undergraduate professor kept his place, shouting the words and equations again and again until he felt an otherworldly consciousnesses latch hold of his mind. He had been an academic, then a pilgrim but in his last moments he acted as a midwife.
Reality itself reacted to the intrusion with an explosion that destroyed the Siberian forest for 30 miles in every direction. It was a birth cry that was heard over a continent away and left the June skies glowing for days afterward.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Sunday, January 3, 2010
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This custom at least partially explains why I’m ruining a £300 pair of hand-stitched brogues wading through the ankle-deep snow in the lane outside my parents’ cottage. It also partially explains the lump of coal and packet of salt in the pockets of my Armani overcoat, and why I’m clutching a £50 bottle of Glenfarclas 105 cask strength single malt whisky in my calfskin-gloved hands...
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The cuts made in the flooring were jagged and showed burn marks from where the unsharpened blades of the circular saw had dragged in their failing. Such inferior work was never exhibited in my shop. Yes, my medium of choice was a much softer material, but still I showed respect for the craft...
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