Saturday, May 22, 2010

(Recommended Reads) "Past Her Prime" by Michelle Frank

Alice tried to remember who had given her the key. She closed her eyes, scanning her memory for an image or at least someone saying "room 213". She leaned her head back against the gold flecked glass and sighed deeply...

click here to read the rest

(Recommended Reads)"Martians Don't Eat Corn" by Laura Eno

They found Bart Haskins this morning at the bottom of an old well. Called it an accidental death, but I know better. Third death this week too. They weren't no accidents. It was the Martians that done it...

click here to read the rest

Friday, May 21, 2010

(Recommended Reads) "The Writer And The Reader" by Anthony Venutolo

He was tired.

He'd been travelling too long without a decent bed. Just after lunch, he crossed the California-Nevada line and as he saw it, was headed towards Las Vegas.

He hitched a ride with an Indian native to the state. He asked the Indian what tribe he was from and the Indian welcomed the opportunity to speak of his land and people. As they drove past the Hoover Dam, the Indian told him that the state was thriving and that all the new gaming halls, kept everyone busy and employed...

click here to read the rest

(Recommended Reads) “The Pianist – Part 1″ by P.J. Kaiser

Applause thundered through Carnegie Hall. Everybody in the audience sprang to their feet. The conductor turned towards the audience to take a bow as the pianist - Andrew Borchevsky - took a small bow and strode off stage. The applause continued as the conductor graciously accepted the applause, at times gesturing with his hand towards the wings and clapping. One minute passed. Two minutes. After three minutes, the conductor bowed again and walked off stage. Borchevsky lurked next to the curtain...

click here to read the rest

Thursday, May 20, 2010



On A Foggy Night


Al Bruno III

We live in a world of surveillance, of cameras, code numbers and background checks. Our every purchase and infraction is recorded by mindless computers and soulless bureaucrats. Our births, our lives and our deaths are nothing more than information to be filed away.

It was after I had quit the University that I found myself a part of that never-ending process. I had secured steady and good paying employment in the field of medical billing, cross referencing information for eight hours a day. The process was mindless enough, a call would come in from an insurer and I would find the correct records and pass the information along. No names were part of the transactions, only numbers curtly passed from one disinterested voice to another. From what I understood my fellow employees and I were merely there to correct database errors and investigate irregularities.

I worked in a wide room that was nothing more than a grid of half-cubicles and desks, I wore a headset and kept myself hunched over a computer. I had long ago forgotten that each of the numbers that passed from my lips was a life encapsulated.

The morning of the impossibly heavy fog I walked in to the building to find myself one of the few employees that had risked the drive. That meant a crushing workload and mandatory overtime but I didn’t mind; I lived alone in a studio apartment that might have been a cell, I never went out on weeknights and slept though most of my Saturdays. Sometimes I would treat myself to a movie on a Sunday afternoon but I always took great care to sit in the back row of the theater for if I spied a single blemish on the fabric of the screen it would be all I could focus on for the rest of the show.

The first few hours of my shift passed slowly; the diminished staff had created long hold times that left every caller with a litany of complaints and a waspish tone. I kept my tone apologetic and respectful.

Somewhere to my right a coworker was coughing endlessly, behind me another was banging his mouse on his desk in frustration. Their voices hissed with frustration. When I excused myself to the restroom I realized to my discomfort that someone was crying in the bathroom stall.

My lunch hour was quiet and lonely, I spent some of it outside smoking one cigarette after an other until the sight of the fog began to play tricks on my eyes. It left me with a strange feeling of vertigo, as though I was slowly spiraling into emptiness.

The second part of my shift is when it began. The call was ordinary enough at first, a frustrated voice that cut me off in mid-greeting with a request for information. I did my best to comply but I had to ask the caller to repeat himself several times.

The numbers he gave me were wrong, completely wrong. Please understand me that I am not talking about faulty account information or transposed digits.

I mean to say that the numbers themselves were wrong. They did not exist.

They were integers that existed outside the zero though nine that I had been taught and lived with for all of my years; but I knew these were numbers I was hearing nonetheless. I could almost see them in my mind, lost and impossible symbols that no human hand had ever drawn.

The caller made an impatient sound as I stared at my keyboard in dismay. Could any key express the characters the caller was describing? Though my college education was incomplete I had studied enough to understand the concept of imaginary numbers but this was something more than that. These were alien numbers, blasphemous numbers and every time the caller repeated them I felt an ache in my head.

“I don’t understand,” I finally admitted.

The caller simply repeated himself again and again, the numbers sounded like a prayer in an unknown language. I disconnected the call and pulled off my headset. Shudders worked their way though my body. I looked to the windows, the fog had blunted the late morning light casting everything into shades of gray.

I heard the numbers again, I looked to my headset but it as silent. Standing I heard that those terrible syllables coming from the mouths of my coworkers, they murmured them with easy familiarity. I cried in alarm but no one looked up from their work. I ran to find a supervisor but he was on the phone as well, speaking facts and figures that made no sense at all. He didn’t look up when I called his name, even when I touched his shoulder he did not react and his flesh was clammy with sweat. I could see the veins in his forehead throbbing as he spoke.

There was a loud crack and the lights flickered and went out. Something similar had happened the previous year, a fog-blinded truck had crashed into a telephone pole, snapping power lines and leaving us with nothing more to do but while away the remainder of our shifts with small talk and gossip.

Despite the dead phones and darkened screens my coworkers continued to talk, in fact they spoke louder and faster, their voices finding a chaotic rhythm.

I fled from the madness, leaving my job, my apartment and even my possessions behind.

As I said before, the modern world has reduced us to numbers but what if the numbers we chose to do that with were the wrong ones? What if we have unknowingly reduced ourselves to nonsense?

(Recommended Reads) "Dusk Dweller" by Maria Protopapadaki-Smith

All must pass through the Realm of Dusk before they can reach their final destination, be that the fair Evenlands or the pits of the Abyss. All must come here, at the mercy of the Guardians as to which of the Gates will be opened to them. So came I, but here I remain though an age has surely passed in the lands of the living. Neither of the Gates will let me pass; even the Guardians cannot force me through...

click here to read the rest

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Three Hundred and Fifty Seven

Abner Deggent had seen war and torture and been unmoved, which was why fainting at his nephew's bris was so embarrassing.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Three Hundred and Fifty Six

The calls were monitored for quality assurance- no one knew who was listening. Just that co-workers would occasionally disappear.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Three Hundred and Fifty Five

The Local Heroes were ecstatic to learn that Amazing Ed had gotten a real costume- then horrified to discover it had nipples.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Three Hundred and Fifty Four

Magwier knew that shouting "Oh snap!" after reading one of the Psalms aloud created more metaphysical questions than it answered.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Three Hundred and Fifty Three

He realized that stealing and smashing open piggy banks was a bad habit but it was too late for change.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Three Hundred and Fifty Two

The Mage, Warrior and Thief entered the tavern- it was ladies night and they were looking to score.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Three Hundred and Fifty One

As far as Karl was concerned all panties were edible- some just needed more chewing than others.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Three Hundred and Fifty

Judges for wet t-shirt contests must be willing to work late hours for no pay, despite that many men still answer the call.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Three Hundred and Forty Nine

he invention of the first suit of hi-tech battle armor was the result of Texans trying to create larger and larger belt buckles.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Three Hundred and Forty Eight

Budget cuts forced the starship's councilor to also act as the starship's bartender- she usually advised her patients to drink more

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Three Hundred and Forty Seven

Horthgar the Viking really hated ninjas, some suspected he had a case of katana envy.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Three Hundred and Forty Six

"It doesn't matter if you're a space knight, a super hero or a mystical warrior- you're wearing someone's idea of fetish gear.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Three Hundred and Forty Five

One of the bloodied executives looked up from the dismembered body and asked, "Tell me again how this serves our core values?"

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Three Hundred and Forty Four

If anything Sir Grundle's hemorrhoids only increased his fury as he rode in to battle.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Three Hundred and Forty Three

At last the aviary was complete! Now she could spend as much time as she wanted holding her boobies and stroking her tits.

(Recommended Reads) "Mischievous" by J. Dane Tyler

Movement caught his eye. He stopped, absently rubbed his aching elbow, and pushed the Panama hat back on his head...

click here to read the rest

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Three Hundred and Forty Two

"I think there should be a fancy term for gratuitous nudity or incongruous sex scenes- Deus Ex Whackinov."

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Three Hundred and Forty One

It turned him on to dress up as a fly. He had a shoo fetish.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Three Hundred and Forty

Cyborg superhero Rusty Johnson accidentaly swollowed bullets and then spent the night projectile vomiting projectiles.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Three Hundred and Thirty Nine

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, unless of course you're a vampire.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Three Hundred and Thirty Eight

He owed his career as a proctologist to his brilliant mind. He owed several lawsuits to his lack of depth perception.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Three Hundred and Thirty Seven

Whenever Captain Hero crossed paths with the evil chef Julia Infant he mocked her half-baked schemes.

Was he just egging her on?

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Three Hundred and Thirty Six

In her sermon she explained that the savior was actually made from vegitable matter.

Then she said "Lettuce pray."

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Three Hundred and Thirty Five

One kingdom was controled by Lord Murphy, the other by Sir Layman. Peasants had to chose between Murphy's rule or Layman's terms.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Three Hundred and Thirty Four

The Bimbo Marionette was popular on the Island of Misfit Toys- because she was always up for sex with no strings attached.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand Three Hundred and Thirty Three

Karl learned early on that there was no cologne in the world that could mask the scent of horny desperation.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Don't forget the archives!

My blog keeps an archive all most of my old material on the left hand side under the heading of CONTENTS.

You can find links to the following material there-



THE NICK OF TIME (and other abrasions)





LOVE AND TREASON ON THE VERGE (a complete novella)

PLAID STALLIONS lets us ponder- is this outfit cooler with the collar up or the collar down?

Hey horror fans! Check out THE SCREAMIN' DEMON...

It's a fairly new horror blog and it's run by some good online friends of mine. Stop by and say "Hello"!


(Recommended Reads) AT THE BIJOU: "36-26-38" ~ A PRETTY ZIEGFELD GIRL IS A MELODY ~ By Absolutely*Kate of Harbinger*

Chorus girls, chorus girls, chorus girls. There were thousands, no ~ make that hundreds of thousands at all the auditions. Office floozies and drug store dames countering fame. The top types that came from the steno pool and those down on the farm fielding dreams. "Glorifying the American Girl" was the dream theme for his showmanship scheme...

click here to read the rest

(Recommended Editorial) "Dumb Like Me: The Abdication of Knowledge and Reason in America" by Ray Garton

...If Jefferson were alive today, I think he would quickly come to one unavoidable conclusion: We have a problem. A big problem...

click here to read the rest

(Recommended Reads) "The Killing Song" by Tony Noland

As he was waiting, the boy sang the Killing Song to himself. It always made him feel better. It was a quiet song, with no drum solos or fuckin awesome guitar. It was quiet, and it was just his own voice. He didn't sing out loud, of course, even though Daddy wasn't home. He never sang out loud because that made Daddy angry. It was just his own voice where Daddy couldn't hear...

click here to read the rest

Monday, May 17, 2010

And now a message from... well me...

IN THIS TWILIGHT tales of lost gods and fragile transformations

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. Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

IN THE MIDNIGHT OF HIS HEART a novel of horror and obsession

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.

In The Pit

This is the comic book I wrote, that sadly it never made it past the first issue. Too bad I had envisioned a fantastic tale of serial killers, Canadian pro wrestlers and exploding toilets. Still though I think you might enjoying reading the first issue, it is still available as a PDF file. There are also some preview pages at the sight below. Order away and weep for what might have been. Some of my best work is available from the fine folks at Eden Studios. My contribution to their game lines has been mainly in the area of fiction. The rules and setting information was written by other very capable folks like Richard Dakan, CJ Carella, Jack Emmert, George Vasilakos and M. Alexander Jurkat. Believe me, they did all the hard work. If you are a fan of role-playing games or a fan of zombie movies then the books below are going to be right up your alley.


Enter the dark world of survival horror. The Dead walk among us. This role-playing game allows you to play in a world infested by the walking dead. The main rulebook includes rules for character creation, combat and everything else you need to play in a world of survival horror. Also detailed are the multiple campaign settings so you can customize the type of "deadworld" you wish to explore.232 pages.Hardcover.Cover Art by Christopher Shy. Click here for ordering information


A must-have reference for All Flesh Must Be Eaten, the Zombie Master's Screen is filled with charts and tables. From fear to weapons to outcomes, every reference that a prepared Zombie Master needs is packed onto a four-panel screen. The flip side of the screen scares and delights the players with full-color zombie images. The Screen is packed with a 48-page booklet, including a ready-to-run adventure introducing the Cast Member to the horrors of a zombie plague, and pregenerated characters with complete bios, statistics and resource information. Cover Art by Christopher Shy and George Vasilakos. Click here for ordering information


Written by Richard DakanThe first supplement to All Flesh Must Be Eaten opens whole new vistas for a walking dead campaign. This tome brings together the thrills of Hong Kong action films and the excitement of flesh-craving horror. The match of these two genres may not have seemed obvious at first, but the pleasures that arise from it are undeniable. After all, zombies and Hong Kong style action make a perfect fit. What better match is there for a relentless series of lightning kicks and a hurricane of bullets than a target that can't die? The pulse-pounding danger just never stops. Besides, what martial arts master worth his salt doesn't ache for the ability to use his own intestines as a deadly whip? For the undead, no problem!Softcover.Cover Art by Christopher Shy. Click here for ordering information


Written by Al Bruno III, CJ Carella, David F. Chapman, Patrick SweenyBased on the original concept by George Vasilakos and Ross IsaacsEdited by M. Alexander Jurkat, David F. ChapmanCover art by Jeff ReitzInterior Art by Storn Cook, Thomas Denmark, Talon Dunning, DW Gross, Jon Hodgson, Chris Keefe, Jason Millet, Matt Morrow, James Powers, Gregory Price, George Vasilakos From the creators of All Flesh Must Be Eaten, similar in style but this time . . . with apes! Terra Primate has no specific setting. The only constant is the concept of intelligent apes. Planet of the Apes is a movie about intelligent apes, but then again so is Congo. As long as the characters are interacting with intelligent apes -- or are intelligent apes themselves! -- the game could be set in the pulp era of adventure, on a post-apocalyptic Earth, on a faraway alien planet, or downtown on Main Street. The main rulebook includes rules for character creation, combat and everything else you need to play in a world where man is the missing link! Also detailed are the multiple campaign settings so you can customize the type of "Apeworld" you wish to explore. Click here for ordering information