“Hello -” The woman leaned towards me, her silver hair swinging forward, to read the name embroidered on my t-shirt. “Jesus? Your name is Jesus? Why, that’s blasphemy!”...
“Hello -” The woman leaned towards me, her silver hair swinging forward, to read the name embroidered on my t-shirt. “Jesus? Your name is Jesus? Why, that’s blasphemy!”...
She walks into the parlor, admiring the decor and the lighting of the place. It's not too bright, nor too dim. The candles on the walls are numerous enough that they match the light from any bulb she's seen, and there is something to be said for the mellow flickering of fire verses the almost harsh light of a lamp...
Willard Huyck’s Messiah of Evil is one of a legion of elusive genre films from the 1960s and 70s that have cropped up for decades on bootleg and public domain videotapes mastered from source tapes often ravaged by scratches, splices, and colour so oversaturated it bled like an opened vein. Blood Sabbath, Bury Me An Angel and Oliver Stone’s Seizure spring readily to mind as examples; all now exist looking exactly the same – un-restored and badly duped – except on DVD, instead of VHS. These ragged transfers had been duped and pan and scanned to the point that the film print often appeared on the verge of disintegration. As with all holy grails of psychotronic cinema, fans wanting to see the film as intended prior to the era of the DVD plunked down exorbitant change for Huyck’s flick in cropped and pan and scanned VHS tapes and, later, DVD...
Tenki was nearly asleep when he heard whispered voices outside the hut – one of the Elders had come to speak to his father. He lay as still as possible so they would think he was asleep. His father always spoke of more interesting things when he thought Tenki couldn’t hear him...
He simply had to eat twice as many frankfurters as his adversary- it was a double dog dare.
He was proud of his 25 years of marriage and he was glad to have spread the time out between 7 different wives.
When you're part of the Army's Special Hygene Brigade nothing matters more than your rank.
He shouted “Would somebody shut that damn kid up?” and was promptly ejected from the maternity ward's birthing room for it.
The brain eating virus decimated the American population but oddly enough few government representatives felt any ill effects.
Zeb got diarrhea the night before his wedding so he ended up spending all night on the bachelor potty
“He fell into a threshing machine while using Twitter. It looks like we've got a case of shredded tweet.”
“The best part of waking up is going right the fuck back to sleep.”
Once he moved from directing mainstream films to porn he learned that 'Key Grip' and 'Best Boy' could mean very different things.
He was the only professionsl wrestler to wear feety pajamas in the ring. His specialty was the Sleeper Hold.
She said, “I guess dreams really can come true.” but she still had no idea how she got to school in her underwear.
The most popular item at RIENFIELD'S ALL NIGHT DINER was the cheesy flies.
His love of Dungeon & Dragons and gymnastics let him to create his signature move: The Critical Split.
No one ever suspected that the real Victoria's Secret was a big hairy penis.
It was rarely mentioned that the cereal Sugar Smacks was originally marketed to pimps.
The Health Care system didn't cover faith healers until they changed to a Single Prayer format.
Brian knew the nerdy new supervisor was out to get him when he was told he could only wear red shirts to work.
All of America panicked the night the President gave his State of the Union Address via the medium of interpretive dance.
Advanced research revealed that the first cathouse in the Old West was run entirely by furries.
He was an Axe murderer! She was a cannibal! Together they went on a self cleaning killing spree.
Karl realized he was playing with himself too much when he started to ejaculate dust.
The doctors told Tiffany she had mono so she invested in a new stereo right away.
He learned that day never to have breakfast while looking at his Tumblr dashboard but he never ate sausages again.
Captain Hero knew there was a fine line between crime-fighting and slapstick.
The war between the cross-dressing bikers and tap dancing mafia left silk petticoats and spangled shoes strewn for miles.
Fed up Americans began turning policians' names into sexual metaphors. Trust me you don't want somebody to Feingold your Gingrich.
There's a Japanese sequel for PARANORMAL ACTIVITY the is separate from the American one.
Check out the trailer!
In The Shadow Of His Nemesis
Chapter Eighty Four
By AL BRUNO III
Saturday, December 4th 1996
There was a rending, ear-splitting crash and Laurel House caved in upon itself. Glass shattered, furniture and food rotted away, long lost volumes of forgotten lore burst into flames. At any moment imprisoned spirits would rise up from the ruins in a shadowy plume.
This was the moment Galen had waited for. The Monarchs would be fascinated and confused by the magic and minds hemorrhaging out through the layers of reality. He bolted out of the wreckage, running all out. He had kept his human shape but his senses were sharp and ready, he heard the donnrup flitting over head and the Drones marching in the snow. Somewhere close by Sig was begging for death. Galen wished him luck.
I’m sorry Isobel. Galen thought suddenly, You should never have stopped for me, I should never have let you fall in love with me.
The worst part was that he had let himself be swept up in her romance. He had taken pleasure in her simple human dreams. He was a fool.
There was a drone nearby, it realized Galen was coming a fraction to late. The High-Born Vlodek caught it by the neck and brought it down. He used his strength and weight to snap the bio-mechanical spine. The automated locus lost contact with the protocol skein leaving the drone useless and still.
Another drone appeared, it raised its pistol to fire but Galen was back on his feet, he threw the limp Drone at the other. An old move but an effective one.
He felt a kind of shame at facing battle this way but he had to think ahead. What was he going to do after the fight was over? Wander ass-naked into town? Better this way, better to try and pass undetected as one of the teeming and faithless ignorant humans he had once hunted for pleasure and sport.
But something was wrong. Where was the cloud of howling spirits? Where was Dameia’s terrified and captive presence? The dark god should have been struggling to escape or fight but it was silent. Had it given up? Was it already gone?
It didn’t matter. All that did matter was that Galen was exposed.
A bullet caught him in the leg sending him sprawling. The pain that bloomed there screamed through his mind, dulling his senses and pushing the Metastasis out of reach.
Silver. The bastards were using silver. They weren’t taking chances this time. Galen turned back to see Mr. Sauno running at him. The look on his face was a perfect imitation of the predator’s ecstasy.
Galen tried to stand again. He’d been hurt worse. It was just his leg. It was just pain.
The next bullet caught him in the shoulder. Galen blacked out for a moment and when he opened his eyes again Mr. Sauno was standing over him.
“It’s over,” he said, “no more running.”
And to Galen’s horror he almost felt a kind of relief.
What Rough Beast
Al Bruno III
(This story originally appeared in Eden Studios Terra Primate and appears here courtesy of the publisher)
Everyone thought she had gone home hours ago, no one noticed her car parked behind a dumpster near the back of the complex. She hid herself in a cramped room with high shelves stacked with petri dishes, latex gloves and medical equipment. Alone there she waited, waited for the late shift to end and the custodial staff to finish their rounds.
Bored and terrified all at once Dr. Linda Harrison went over her memories one by one, examining them like samples suspended in formaldehyde.
It had begun for her five years ago, a young professor of primatology fresh out of school and swimming in debt. She had no family, and had been to busy for anything more than academic pursuits. The Balock Corporation's offer had been too lucrative to resist, she'd have her student and car loans paid off in two years if she was frugal enough. All she knew going in is that she would be working as a consultant for a team of cardiologists, urologists and geneticists.
She wasn't naive, she knew it wasn't the Goodall institute she was going to work for. These were ethically nebulous medical experiments involving primates, but she rationalized it she told herself that these weren't real apes these were livestock bred for only one purpose.
Of course it wasn't that simple, nothing in life ever is.
The apes had been genetically engineered with human DNA. The goal was to create a resource for transplants. Apes with blood types and cellular structures so close to human as to be a nearly universal match. It would mean an end to waiting lists and organ rejections.
To Linda it seemed so noble, yet so farfetched.
Most of the apes died on the operating table or as a result of flawed theories and experiments. Only one was kept alive, a control subject they had given the strange-sounding nickname of Jermyn. They monitored him to see if the altered apes would suffer any long-term problems.
A noise roused Linda from her thoughts, she pressed her ear to the door and listened. She recognized the voices of the security guards as they made their leisurely way up the halls. They were talking about sports, those two always talked about sports.
She waited a little while longer then she headed out, moving as quietly as she could. She used her passkey once to enter the secure wing and a second time to enter the wing that held the animal pens.
For some reason the memory of her first day of work flashed across her mind. She had to force her way through a gauntlet of animal rights protesters. They held up signs that proclaimed ‘A rat is a cat is a dog is an ape is a boy’ and went out of their way to sneer and spit on her.
Perhaps she should have taken that as an omen.
Since she was mainly on hand to maintain the apes and answer the other scientist's questions Linda tried to spend a little time each day observing Baylock Inc.’s new creations. She made notes and field reports. The altered primates were taller and more bipedal in stature than their ordinary kin. They were bright, imitative but prone to sudden outbursts of violence.
During her time there she had seen two of the ape keepers gravely injured and there had been uncountable near misses. Linda knew to keep well away from the cages, especially when she was alone.
But it was when she was alone that Jermyn made contact.
At first she had thought there was someone else in the room, and then she had thought that someone was playing an elaborate prank. It wasn’t until the ape called her name for a third time that she realized what was really happening and that realization left her shaking.
The memory of the encounter was still enough to make her knees weak as she made her way down the hallway. Perhaps fear was making her weak as well. This was more than just quitting her job, she was sacrificing her career- her future. The Baylock Corporation might never reveal what she had done but here tonight but they would use their every influence within the halls of government and academia to ruin her.
Very well, She thought as she entered the darkened hallway that contained the ape pens, ruin me then.
She flicked on the lights, momentarily blinding herself, when her eyes sight cleared she found herself staring at row after row of empty cages. Her heart caught a beat at the realization that they had already begun liquidating the test subjects. What if she was too late?
The pen at the far end, the largest one belonged to the control subject. It had a tire swing, climbing bars and toys. She ran down the short hall calling his name. When his gruff voice answered her back she almost groaned with relief.
The massive silverback paced before his cage, running his thick dark hands along the reinforced bars. She knew he was tense, she knew he hadn't been sure she'd come back for him.
The truth was even she hadn't been sure until a few hours ago
"Lin-da." He said again.
Once Jermyn had spoken to her events began to move quickly. She analyzed the ape under the guise of a 'behavior / neurological survey' in addition to her other work. Alone, always alone she performed her test sand examinations. There seemed to be an unspoken agreement between herself and the ape that no one else on the research team should know about this. The solitude and late nights didn’t bother her, she had little else to look forward to.
Over time the testing became teaching. The ape's communication and reasoning skills grew by leaps and bounds, although his reading skills were never quite as strong as his ability to learn the spoken language. There was something about the nature of the printed word that he found mercurial and frustrating. Linda found it equally disconcerting to realize that as she was studying this creature he was in turn studying her. He appropriated her slang and gestures; here asked her questions about the world outside the research center's opaque windows.
There was something very trusting and knowing in the way that he looked at her. Sometimes he let her stoke his rich dark fur, sometimes she let him gently stroke her cheek. It amazed her that a hand so powerful could be so tender.
It took a year of study and notes before she was ready to reveal her findings. The reaction was nothing like she had expected. The project's director, a loathsome little company mouthpiece named Evans, seemed horrified and immediately began talking about legal and moral complications. He ordered the project shut down, the research team sent on to other endeavors, it's specimens catalogued and destroyed.
And that was what brought her here in the middle of the night with a stolen keyring in her hand.
"Lin-da" Jermyn said again, an edge of pleading had crept into his voice. “Hu-rry.”
Hurry she did, rushing down the hallway to meet him. Nervous and shaking she had to fumble thought each key on the ring twice before she found the right one. By the time the pen's reinforced door swung open both woman and beast were on the verge of hyperventilation.
She froze, recognizing the voice of the older security guard, and if he was there, could his partner be far behind?
Roaring with defiance Jermyn dropped to all fours.
"I don't think-" The younger security guard started to say.
Jermyn bounded past her, she fell back striking her head on the metal bars. Sparks flashed before her eyes rendering the chaos before her in strobe- like fashion. The guards had been armed in preparation for a moment like this but they never had a chance. Screams and the snap of bones echoed off the empty pens.
The abruptness of the attack left Linda speechless. She watched Jermyn methodically undress the older security guard. The corpse's neck jiggled and twisted with every twist and tug.
The dark blue uniform was too small in the arms and too tight in the chest- the shoes were a lost cause. It was a poor excuse for a disguise but when the ape buttoned the jacket he issued a grunt that could only be self-satisfaction.
All he's ever been is naked. She thought, He's spent his whole life in that cage watching us pass by him fully dressed and acting like a bunch of second rate gods. How could he have ever known anything more than envy?
For the first time the realization that for all his words and poise Jermyn was still a wild animal struck her.
And what was it that wild animals did?
Adapt and survive. Adapt and survive.
What have I done? Oh God what have I done?
Straightening up to his full height Jermyn approached her, his smile was gruff. He offered his hand and said, "We must leave."
Her confidence broke and she tried to scramble into the pen. He caught the door as she tried to swing it shut. "Lin-da? Don’t be af-raid.”
When he lifted her up she flailed and screamed but there was no one alive to hear. The ape held her tightly, pressing her against his soft fur. He whispered her name over and over again until she had calmed, until she had returned to her senses
Slowly, tentatively Linda reached up to stroke Jermyn's face. He leaned in and nuzzled her cheek. She could have pulled away now but instead she sank deeper into his embrace. They needed to get away from here, her car was waiting, and their future was waiting. A future she hadn't understood before this very moment.
"You damned ape." She sobbed with anticipation as Jermyn's heavy hands ran down the curves of her form, "You damned dirty ape."
Joe advanced quickly thanks to his people skills, market savvy and backlog of photographs of supervisors in compromising positions.
“Do you really beat men up with that blackjack?” he asked. "Yes," Lorelei grinned evilly, “and welcome to the club.”
The Fourth Rule of Social Networking that any man that signs up for a Tumblr account will develop an ass fetish within 6 weeks.
The Third Rule of Social Networking is that MySpace will become post-apocalyptic wasteland of abandoned pages and unsigned bands.
The Second Rule of Social Networking is that Twitter is IRC with less sophisticated bots.
The First Rule of Social Networking is that Facebook is the gateway drug for potential stalkers.
Abner Deggent insisted that whatever happened on Sheep Island stayed on Sheep Island but his friends said that was wooly thinking.
Could Abner Deggent survive a gunfight at the sewage treatment plant? It was pretty much a crap shoot
Abner Deggent always brushed his teeth and flossed after visiting a whorehouse, it was good moral hygiene.
Abner Deggent had faced cannibals, dinosaurs, and communist mercenaries but whenever his ex-wife was in town he panicked.
Nazi mastermind Colonel Wilhem Screame had a unique and high pitched battle cry.
Eventually they learned that they could make clawed mutant super heroes even more deadly by giving them adamantium kidney stones.
Price Breaks and Heartaches
A journal of retail and failed romance
“Howdy stranger!” a voice called from across the parking lot of Guptill’s Arena.
Guptill’s Arena was more than one of the largest roller skating rinks on the East coast, it also had an arcade and a dance floor. It was the go to place for high school Junior and Senior girls looking for a good time. It was also the go to place for college Freshman and Sophomore guys trolling for high school girls.
I got out of my car and saw my almost-normal friends Marvin, Corey and Kevin waiting for me near the entrance. Marvin the pseudo-biker, quiet brooding Corey and the eternally rumpled Kevin.
“Al!” Corey started yelling my name and waving his arms, “Hey Al!”
I waved as casually as I could. I wondered Don’t they realize they’re making a Goddamn spectacle of themselves?
“Woo hoo!” Kevin’s voice was an uneasy falsetto, “Woo hoo!”
I wanted to get back into my car and make a run for it but Kevin had called to invite me along for a guys’ night out. I felt I should be grateful, after all no one else was seeking out my company these days.
All three of them were good guys but there was something about their company I found skin-crawlingly embarrassing an awful lot of the time.
Especially when there were girls around.
Still though I was sharply dressed, and clean shaven. Why should I worry what other people might think about the company I kept? And for all I knew it might work out in my favor, I liked to think that compared to them I looked suave and debonair.
I smiled at that thought as I locked up my car and pocketed my keys.
A piercing siren began to howl turning every head my way, I turned back to my car and started frantically trying to turn off the anti-theft alarm. The damn thing always seemed to go off when it was raining.
The dance club part of Guptill’s Arena was called Secrets, most likely in honor of all the hooking up going on that technically qualified as Statutory Rape. You had to walk past the roller rink and through the snack bar and take a right at the arcade to reach the dance floor. I paused to stare out at the younger couples, it was couples skate and they were all hand in hand.
It wasn’t all that long ago that I had been out there holding hands with Lilly as we made lazy circles to the synthesizer-heavy music of our generation. We were only sixteen then, and we were smiling and kissing. We had our whole lives ahead of us and I was sure we were making memories that would last a lifetime- not laying the foundation for future regrets.
“Earth to Al!” Marvin shouted in my ear.
I started walking again.
“So like I was saying,” Kevin explained, “there’s a good chance I can get an internship in the spring. It will look great on a resume.”
“Oh really,” I nodded, “you’re going to work at a hotel?”
“What? What are you talking about?”
“Well...” we moved through the snack bar where everything smelled delicious and unhealthy, “I thought you were going to school for hotel management?”
“What?” Now it was Corey’s turn to look confused, “I thought you were learning about computers.”
“Duh,” Kevin said, “that was like two majors ago. I’m totally going into mortuary science now.”
“Wow you are totally burning through your college fund aren’t you?” I said.
There was a bit of a bottleneck as we made our way past the arcade so we had a chance to ‘Oooooo’ and ‘Ahhhh’ at Defender, Robotron, and Pac Man in all their 25 cent glory.
Then we were in Secrets. We tried not to ogle the pert breasts and shapely legs on display but we were too young and desperate not to.
“Hey!” Marvin said, “That one over there gave me the eye.”
Corey frowned, “I think she was rolling her eyes.”
“Gentlemen,” I said, “lets get some drinks.”
Secrets was a nightclub for teens, it only served soda and juice, so I couldn’t really say that what we sidled up to was a bar but we made a good show of it anyway. We got our drinks and scanned the room. I must admit I felt conspicuous, but I always feel conspicuous at bars and parties and police line ups.
My buddies didn’t feel the least bit conspicuous; Marvin was snapping his fingers to what I can only imagine he thought was the beat of the music, Corey was staring contemplatively into his RC Cola and Kevin was picking his nose.
He wasn’t even trying to hide it he was just digging his finger right in there until I started to wonder if he was trying to scratch the underside of his eyeball.
“Well,” Corey said, “what now?”
Kevin examined the tangled snarl of mucus at the end of his finger, “We get some girls to dance with us.”
Two songs and one soda later we were still standing at the bar. I said, “And when is one of us going to do that?”
Corey was still staring into his cola, “This is not my song.”
I thought to comment that Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley didn’t seem like anyone’s song to me but didn’t bother. It wasn’t like I was ever going to hear that song again once 1988 was over.
After all that would be crazy!
(Damn you Internet! Damn you!)
Another song later and none of us had gotten up the nerve to leave the bar. Finally Marvin said, “Fine I’ll show you boys how it’s done.”
Marvin waded out onto the dance floor alone and started shaking his groove thing towards the nearest cluster of unattached hotties.
Once the hotties saw him coming they started dancing to the other end of the room floor but Marvin was a man on a mission and he cut off their retreat with a well timed split and a moonwalk.
I turned to make a sarcastic comment but I suddenly found myself alone. A cute brunette had taken a shine to Corey and was talking him up. Kevin had wandered back to the arcade and started pumping quarters into the crane machine. Persistence and fifty dollars would win him that California Raisins belt buckle by the end of the night.
Suddenly I was the wallflower but I decided to throw caution to the winds. There was a trio of girls sitting at a table near the back- a brunette, a blonde and a redhead or as we called it in those days ‘The Charlie’s Angels Variety Pack’
Three girls alone at a table with four chairs. I realized I knew just how to make my move.
I sauntered on over and flashed the kind of smile I now reserve for traffic stops and job interviews. “Ladies,” I pointed to the empty chair, “is this seat taken?”
The blonde narrowed her eyes at me, “No.”
“Well, then...” I spun the chair around and straddled it the way I had seen it done in countless movies, “you girls from around here?”
“Actually...” the redhead explained, “the other chairs are free too. We were just leaving.”
And with that the girls got up and left me there alone. I began to blush, I was sure everyone was laughing at me. I couldn’t imagine feeling more humiliated.
But then the brunette came back to the table. “Wait,” she was almost smiling, “aren’t you Phil’s older brother?”
“I think he’s so hot! Would you give him my number?”
“Sure,” I said through gritted teeth, “my pleasure.”