Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mad Mad Mad Mad Movies: The Nightmare Never Ends (1980): or, Ridin' on the Night Train

Mad Mad Mad Mad Movies: The Nightmare Never Ends (1980): or, Ridin' on the Night Train

(Recommended Reads) " Dismissed Mingling" by Craig Daniels

After our split we morphed into mere apparitions dismissed by the other with a turn of the head. No social foot prints were left for the other to discover, friends were enlisted as spies concocting elaborate cloak and dagger routines assuring we never went to the same party, never appeared at the same wedding the same book reading, until Halloween night that is.

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(Recommended Reads) "Shy Cowboy" by J. Dane Tyler

He scrutinized his image in the rearview mirror and turned his head from side to side. His hat spat his hair out in tufts, and stubble crept over his cheeks, chapped lips and jaw. He sighed. It would have to do.

The pickup’s door screamed when he opened it. The wind knifed through threadbare denim as he seated his tired hat lower and zipped his jacket. He stuffed his hands in his pockets, sniffed, and headed for the general store’s entrance.

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(Recommended Reads) "Attack On Sector Four" by Chatrand


That damn intercom always interrupts me just as I’m about to fall asleep.

“This better be important.” I say double checking that I pressed audio only.

“Sir, sensors have picked up a large aircraft approaching sector four at high speed. The silhouette does not match any known craft.”

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(Recommended Reads) "Feast" by Maria Protopapadaki-Smith

Her husband was coming home today, and joy mingled with apprehension in her thoughts. His letter, written on the hospital ward, had not been out of arm's reach since it had arrived - she must have read it over a hundred times by now, almost not daring to believe that it was true. The war was over for him: a leg cut off at the knee had seen to that...

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Friday, December 18, 2009

(Recommended Reads) Time's Arrow by by Tony Noland

The first arrow was less than two feet from his chest when he pushed it with his sword, just a slight upwards thrust to the barbed tip. He'd learned a dozen lifetimes ago not to try to stop arrows completely. Less than an eyeblink later, as men felt time, the arrow rotated around its middle and the wooden shaft slapped broadside on his armor. It snapped and fell, and he rode on toward the archers and warriors. The rest of the first wave of arrows was tightly spaced as it closed on him; these men knew their business. Probably four fifths of them would have hit his torso, even though he was mounted. It took him a moment to see his way through the cloud of arrows, but there was plenty of time. They were still seven feet away...

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(Recommended Reads) Night Calls the Green Falcon by Robert R. McCammon

He was in the airplane again, falling towards the lights of Hollywood.

Seconds ago the craft had been a sleek silver beauty with two green-painted propellers, and now it was coming apart at the seams like wet cardboard. The controls went crazy, he couldn't hold the stick level, and as the airplane fell he clinched his parachute pack tighter around his chest and reached up to pop the canopy out. But the canopy was jammed shut, its hinges red with clots of rust. The propellers had seized up, and black smoke whirled from the engines. The plane nosed towards the squat, ugly buildings that lined Hollywood Boulevard, a scream of wind passing over the fuselage...

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The Nick Of Time (and other abrasions) - A Full Deck

The Nick Of Time (and other Abrasions)

A Full Deck
Al Bruno III

Spring in the city of Olathoe always brought protests and riots; this spring was no different. Lorelei found it all so weird, outside her dorm there was street to street fighting going while she sat in the commons room playing cards with her best friend Audra, her worst enemy Judy and the Amish kid that had taken a vow of silence. Of course the weirdest part of all was that the Amish kid won just about every hand.

(Recommended Reads) "Catsup Soup" by Karen Schindler

David stood in front of the open refrigerator looking at its meager contents. Nothing. Nothing appealed to him at all. And no wonder….. the sticky shelves held few options..

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Nick Of Time (and other abrasions): The Squids In America

The Nick Of Time
(and other Abrasions)

The Squids In America
Al Bruno III

“We are in so much trouble,” Ruby was in Chad Lunt's basement, pacing back and forth wringing her hands.

Chad was bent over one of his many salt water tanks his sleeves rolled up his arms. The dozens fish tanks filled the dark room with a chorus a bubbling noises, the air reeked of brine and decay. “Just relax,” he said. There was something about his smile that made her weak in the knees. He said he was nineteen years old, that was almost a grown up as far as Ruby's tenth grade sensibilities were concerned, “No one is going to say anything.”

“You didn't see what happened!” Ruby shouted, “Sharon just started barfing up tentacles all over 3rd period History class! They were huge! One was still moving!”

“Huh,” Chad said. “That's never happened before.”

The rest of the house on Broomfield Court was quiet, Chad's parents never seemed to be home but Ruby was glad of that. She'd dealt with enough adults and their questions today. After all Sharon was her best friend so everyone was so sure Ruby would know something, the sweet respectable honor student never told her parents. While that was true there was no way Ruby was going tell anyone anything, no matter how guilty she might feel about giving her friend that first, fatal dose. Ruby couldn't afford a conscience right now, not if she wanted to get into a good college.

“What went wrong?” Ruby said, “What are we going to do?”

“Nothing went wrong,” Chad pulled a squirming shape from the murky water and brought it over to a table with a cutting board and knives, “I warned you about giving this stuff to an art major.”

“She needed help for finals!” Ruby whined, “What are we going to do? Someone's going to figure it out.”

Chad took a knife the the thing on the cutting board, the wet shape sobbed like a baby, “No one is going to figure out anything. Even if they did they wouldn't believe it.”

Licking her lips Ruby drew closer, watching him work, “I can't do this anymore.”

“I know,” Chad sighed. “Want a piece?”


“Come on, one for the road.”

With that smile of his could talk her in to anything, she drew closer, reaching for he choicest, thickest morsel. She was already trembling at the thought of the visions and revelations it would bring. Math tests were nothing when you were on the stuff, she barely even remembered taking the state exams.

The knife flashed and Ruby fell across the table spraying red from her throat. Chad let her slump to the floor. He grabbed a boning knife and said aloud, “Who wants sushi?”

The inhabitants of the salt water tanks bubbled and thrashed with excitement.

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Sixty

“The main difference between a blogger and a terrorist is that people occasionally pay attention to what terrorists have to say.”

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Fifty Nine

The Corporate Safety Specialist died from complications of a paper cut received while hanging colorful and informative signs.

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Fifty Eight

You'll know if a time traveler didn't like your Christmas gift because he will already have the receipt.

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Fifty Seven

She thought a 'Sewage Smoothie' was just an ironic name for the drink, she realized later the bartender was a sick sick bastard.

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Fifty Six

No one was warned about the vampire uprising but they all knew that AN ATHLETE WAS CAUGHT CHEATING ON HIS WIFE!!!

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Fifty Five

All the goth kids want to be visited by the ghost of Christmas future.

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Fifty Four

The Capslock Avenger was a noble hero, BUT STEALTH WAS NOT HIS STRONG POINT.

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Fifty Three

She wanted their lovemaking to be a symphony of pleasure but all he wanted to do was get to the triangle solo.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Fifty Two

The rivalry between the Dunwich and Innsmouth University football teams was aggravated by their non-Euclidean playbooks.

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Fifty One

He came of age during the sexual revolution and was hit by shrapnel on several occasions.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Nick Of Time (and other abrasions): Assume The Position

The Nick Of Time
(and other Abrasions)
Assume The Position
Al Bruno III

Oh, I see you’ve recognized me.

While my trial was years ago the so-called popular media has been obsessing over my case for over a decade. A veritable cottage industry has sprung up in the wake of the things did. You must understand however that I had little choice.

The prophecies, I can see them lurking in the eyes of the Chosen. They glitter like teardrops about to be shed. When I see them I have to act, to do otherwise would be unthinkable. The Chosen aren’t alive like you or I, they’re shells, shells that hold burning embers of the truth.

Those truths will be found out by someone eventually. So, why not me? Better me than some of those others, we’ve seen their handiwork already haven’t we?

As the shell dies the truth escapes on the dying breaths. Those truths are why I turned myself in and confessed my every transgression. I needed to be incarcerated; I needed time to contemplate the Truths I had collected.

Years later, when the cleansing fire came to the Polk Institute for the Criminally Insane it passed by my door allowing me to escape.

This happened because I willed it to happen. It was exhausting and painful but it proved to me that I was right and that I have the power to create a better, ordered world. History will not call me a madman, or a murderer or a sorcerer.

It will me Hierophant.

But enough of that, I still need to decide what to do with you don’t I?

And regardless of what the future holds, I need you to be kneeling.

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Fifty

Mike loudly announced, “I'm going to go tinkle.” and the rest of the biker bar fell silent.

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Forty Nine

He held the Necromonicon above his head and with a cry of horror told the world, “It's a scrapbook! A scrapbook!”

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Forty Eight

Kid-friendly super hero Mr. Nice Guy's team up with Viking superhero Hrothgar was a storm of bloodshed and hugging and bloodshed.

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Forty Seven

Enticed by our television transmissions the horny aliens came to Earth only to learn they had been watching all the wrong channels.

In The Shadow Of His Nemesis chapter forty two

In The Shadow Of His Nemesis

Chapter Forty Two



His face was handsome and aristocratic, with hair that was slowly going gray and a razor-thin smile. He stood in a room with five bodies on the floor and blood on the walls; he smoked a cigarette and waited. The room was deep underground, a sub basement in a long abandoned building that had become a makeshift temple to the faithful few.

Five. Just five of them. Victor Kovach was almost disappointed by it. This was all that was left of the cult of Damiea, just five old women scrabbling before a filthy statue. That statue, just like its cult, was shattered now. Another of the so-called Dark Gods reduced to memory and garbled superstition.

Bodge Loyar… Anzon… Delphonos… Eldrad… Noggar-Dallieon… Damiea… and Kressor... They had all fallen.

Flicking away one spent cigarette and indulging himself with another Victor wondered to himself why these cultists always chose empty ruins to gather in. There was a time when the followers of the Dark Gods had hidden in plain sight and wanted for nothing..

But that was before men could journey from one end of the United States to another in less than eight hours, before voices and images could travel through the either and before toothless sovereigns ridiculously abandoned their crowns in the name of love. How could any religion survive in such a world?

Victor mused at the risk he had taken in coming here alone. In every other raid of this nature he sent in his Pharos Agents to secure and subdue, but this time, this time he felt it was best to go alone, even going so far as to leave his faithful bodyguard Sig behind. Victor knew his patrons would be watching closely and he knew how fickle they could be. This small show of force was best, just a little something to remind them he was not to be trifled with.

He glanced back to the bodies again; it was a simple enough act to observe their ghosts. The dull, lazy shapes hovered in place and tried to cling to the cooling flesh that had released them. They were nothing but husks of memory and thought but they would have their uses later, once Victor had completed his business.

The voco spurcamen twisted in his hand and shivered; it was a fist sized clump of life that was not quite insect and not quite crustacean. It was one of the Monarchs creations. Victor’s smile twitched with disgust, they were so eager for the flesh that they became drunk on it, pulling into new and impossible shapes. Each one had a purpose; like this for instance, it could call the Monarchs from anywhere in the world.

Even here, to a place sanctified and hidden by the Dark Gods.

There was a tiny gurgling sigh, voco spurcamen curled in his hand and died, its purpose fulfilled. Footsteps approached, Victor kept his attention elsewhere.

“So.” Mr. Kriely said, “It’s over.”

“I would have thought this was merely the prelude..” Victor looked up at the new arrival. Mr. Kriely was thin and pale, he tried to disguise his sickly appearance with the liberal application of cosmetics but there was no concealing the dull shine of his eyes or his uneasy expressions.

“Of course. You’re right.” His smile was cadaverous, “The Monarchs are pleased and close, so very close.”

“I have fulfilled my part of the arrangement.”

“And you will be rewarded when the time comes.”

Victor said, “It has come to my attention that your forces have suspended their preparations.”

“There’s a war coming.” Mr. Kriely crouched before one of the bodies, trying to contort his face to match the cultist’s expression, “Resources will have to be diverted.”

“I would have thought the Monarchs would be comfortable with the ways of despotism.”

Mr. Kriely stood, “In the chaos of war there is a greater chance that our adversaries could move against us. This must be an orderly transition of power.”

“To my perception this seems like an unwarranted cessation but naturally I will defer to their acumen.” Victor stubbed you his second cigarette, “Although I have heard disquieting rumors that the Vlodek, both high born and common born, are opposing your efforts at homogenization and sterilization.”

A frown pulled at the corners of Mr. Kriely’s mouth, his eyes stayed passive, “There has been some resistance, but it expected. This isn’t our first breach and it certainly won’t be the last.”

“In your prior incursions was there the equivalent degree or diversity of resistance that you find yourselves encountering now?”

“Each time is different.”

“Ah.” His nostrils free of smoke Victor inhaled the odors of the sub basement - the damp, the blood, the filth. It was time to leave, he climbed the stairs knowing he would be followed, “Then this isn’t some difficulty with your chosen manner of interface? Such vast passions whittled down to so little. I liken it to attempting to observe a parade through a pinhole.”

“Do not obscure our intentions with ignorant words.”

Victor chortled, “You’ve been reading.”

In his anger Mr. Kriely allowed his face to become blank, “We are familiar with the dogmas of each of our conquests.”

“Of course,” Victor held open the door at the top of the stairs, his voice patronizing, “I had become concerned that in this very transitory and vulnerable state that perhaps the nature of cause and effect might have become problematic.”

“What you see as a flaw is nothing of the kind.” Mr. Kriely paused in the doorway, “Meta-temporal consciousness allows us to know that our victory is inevitable.”

Both men headed outside. “Intriguing.” Victor said.

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Forty Six

It wasn't the first time Karl had spent all night buying drinks for women of loose morals and questionable dentristy.

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Forty Five

Their 5 year mission at an end the crew of the Starship Persea returned home brimming with tales of adventure and alien parasites.

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Forty Four

A serial killer had left Agent Quinn claustrophobic, Agent Krump's gunfight at Krispy Kreme left him with a fear of sprinkles.

Monday, December 14, 2009

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Forty Three

His friends and his pornography had trained him to expect that part of a woman’s body to be shaved clean, or at least artistically.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Forty Two

Zack immersed himself in all aspects of social networking until he finally confirmed people just didn't like him.

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Forty One

A lifetime ago he broke her heart, a lifetime later he was heartbroken with regrets.

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Forty

Scientists eventually realized that never ending arguments about global warming significantly increased global warming.