Sunday, October 31, 2010

Winners of the Scary Sad Talent Show!!!

Well, the contest has ended! 1st place is claimed by Aaron Polson for his entry IN A JAR. And the second and third places were kinda claimed by most everyone else. Unfortunately I can't buy that many prizes or it'll wipe out my pirate gold. So, I've used a random picker online and entered the names of those who tied. And 2nd place came up for AJ Brown. And 3rd place was taken by Laurie Dalzell. Thanks to everyone who entered! I wish I could give you all more than prizes and bookmarks. You guys rock. Congrats to the winners! I hope you can all participate in the next contest or giveaway!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Heat is On!

We didn't get as many entries as I'd hoped which proves that some people are too busy, and some people suck. But I love these entries, and now the chances for those who entered is very good! Run through them (don't forget to check the 'older entries' tab at the bottom of the page) and place your vote for your favorite in the comments box beneath your favorite (any but your own work. I know, it's difficult because you worked hard.)

Thanks to each and every one of you. I'm going to send out some custom DADDY SCREAMED WITH US bookmarks to any of these sexy, talented contestants who wants to send me their address on FB as well. So everyone gets something! Vote! Win! Thanks again for your participation everyone, I really appreciate it! I can't wait to send out some prizes! yay!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Entry: Death's Love by Annie Marie Bogart

Death’s Love (3611 words)
By Annemarie Bogart

The haunting tune wafted from the parlor. Death walked towards the sound, his stride slow yet determined. He never needed to rush; eternity granted that convenience. Alana sat at the piano, her hands danced effortlessly over the keys, results of the years of classical training. Raven-colored tendrils cascaded over her slender pale shoulders. She played the same tune every time he visited; it invited serenity into his ungodly world. He treasured its sound.

“We meet again, Reaper.”

Alana’s seductive voice sang over the music, warming the hallowed room.

“Alana, I do believe you kill so many just so you may see me. I am flattered.”

Alana stopped her solo and stood from the bench. Her red satin gown slithered into place, hugging every curve on her dead body. Her fangs became more pronounced as her lips upturned into a wide smile, still glistening with blood. The candles showered her beautiful pale face in a soft yellow glow.

"Had I a heart", the Reaper thought, "it would surely skip at such beauty."

Alana hoisted her dress and stepped over the carcass on the marble floor. Blood still poured from his ripped throat, forming a sanguine pool under his head.

“When are you going to admit you love me, Reaper?”

Reaper closed his lifeless eyes, wishing the words hadn’t been spoken.

He remembered back to the first time he had come to collect one of her prey. When he had entered, she knelt of the floor sobbing. He had known before she told him that she was a new vampire. Some things Death need not be told. Her aura was dead, yet she was very much alive, an abomination of the normal cycle of life. He had seen others of her kind, but none had ever struck something inside him. Something he did not know existed. Between visits, he longed to see her. Though he would never speak the words, over time he grew to care about her.

“Why are you crying?”

Bloodied tears ran down her pallid face. Her mouth fell open, her blue eyes widened. Her body fell back somewhat, recoiled most likely by his appearance. The sight of him usually had thit effect, even on the undead. He didn’t take offense.

“I am a monster! I cannot control what I do. Help me!”

Death bent over and stroked her long hair with his bony fingers. It was more for her comfort than his; he was unable to feel its silkiness, though he imagined the sensation. Her odd immortal fragility made him want to help her, to comfort.

“You do not need help, child. You merely need practice. It will come to you.”

She sat up and pulled away from his touch. Her eyes’ sadness changed to indignation.

“I did not choose this! I do not want this to come to me!”

Death shook his head; her ignorance refreshed his cold heart.

“No one chooses to die, no one picks the circumstances in which they are led to their demise. Suicide, you may counter. Well, child, it is never anyone’s goal to take their life unless they are pushed that way. That push, is in fact, the choice they never had.”

The girl’s hand caressed her victim’s hair. Under her breath she mumbled prayers, he recognized the wording. He had heard them on occasion. He marveled at the power of faith these words had on those who spoke them. After touching her fingers to her forehead, chest then shoulders she stood and walked to the windows. Death never knew the undead were able to make religious gestures without pai.n Lightening from beyond the glass barrier flashed like a photographer’s camera, illuminating her sad face. The raindrops sliding down the outer glass mirrored the red trails on her face.

“I know this is difficult to hear, but in time, things will get better.”

Her eyes remained focused on the darkened night away from the room, the house, and Death. He heard a sob stifled. Sometime silence was best; he refrained from speaking anymore. He knelt over the corpse and slung it over his shoulder.

“I thought you just took their souls?”

Her shaky voice interrupted the silence.

“I thought I would help make this easier on you by removing the body.” With ease, he stood upright and walked towards the door, leaving her to grieve her lost life and begin to embrace her new one.

Today, she was a far cry from that frightened girl he met almost a century before. Though she was the same age, roughly nineteen life years, her killing maturity made her appear more sophisticated, less vulnerable. The questioning eyes that bore into him now were proof of that. They did not hold a hint of unknowing, only impatience. The fact is that he did love her, something he never thought possible, a feeling he never knew existed, but the heaviness in his chest made him understand. The ease of their conversations, the excitement of just approaching her mansion, it all pointed towards the dreaded word he knew he could never admit to. A relationship with anything was not possible. Entities such as himself were attuned to this, and lived their existence without want of anything. He followed the trail of the newly dead; it was all he had known, all he had wanted, until he met Alana.

“Well, admit it, Reaper. Then maybe I can stop over-indulging myself.”

Yes, she definitely was a far cry from the girl sobbing by the window. Everything about her, now, oozed confidence. She sauntered towards him, getting closer than any other entity dared stand without thoughts of repercussion.

“Alana, you know that of what you speak is not possible. There could be no relationship between myself and any other. That is the way it is. I can accept that. You must, too.”

The Reaper stared at his dear Alana, wondering if all the special attention he paid her had now proven to be a mistake.

“How do you know it’s impossible? You cannot deny there is a bond between us, Reaper. Is it because I am a vampire? If that is the case, make me like you.”

Her hand rested on his frail shoulder. Her cerulean eyes gazed upon him like he was some Adonis. He knew he was not. A mirror across the room held the image of them, such opposites in everyway; while she held beauty, his likeness forced repulsion. The dead grey skin stretched over his skull lacked emotion, and life, instead flaunted his skeletal head. Her pale skin glowed, her high cheek bones flush with pink, her skin always held more color right after feeding.

“Alana, please. I am not like any other. I have roamed from the creation of all things. My labor is to collect the damned after their life is extinguished. I do not live, Alana, in any sense. I am Death.”

Her eyes brimmed pink, and Reaper looked away. It took much now to make her cry, she had gained strength and fury these past few decades. His words were hitting her hard. He hated to upset her, but there seemed no other way for her to accept the situation.

“Yes, you are Death, The Reaper, The Angel of Death, Pale Death. Have I missed any?”

Her tone meant she had recovered from her temporary grief, and she intended for this battle to see through. Death sighed and shook his head, and braced himself for the rest of her speech.

“But, you have life.”

His black eyes met hers, and her full lips rose into a brilliant smile. Her slender hand caressed the thick black feathers jutting from his back.

“Your wings are proof that life remains inside you. If I were to pull a feather, would not another grow?”

Reaper tilted his head. Her question intrigued him. No one had ever come close enough to attempt such a thing. If he lost a feather himself, he was not aware of one taking its place. Things like that just didn’t cross his mind. Not much ever did.

Alana pulled an ebony plume from her dark tresses; he had not noticed it before. She held it, her smile widened.

“I took this from you on your last visit, as an experiment. I wanted to see if one would grow in its place.”

“Alana, that wouldn’t prove…”

Alana walked around him to inspect the spot from which she had taken the feather. He never remembered even feeling her take it. He wondered now how many he may have lost over the years. Grow back? Is such a thing possible? Her hands parted the black plumes, searching for new growth.

“It was right there, I swear that’s where I pulled it from.”

Reaper could hear the disappointment in her voice. Her fingers continued to probe his wings looking for something he knew now she'd never find.

“Alana, enough!”

His voice boomed, vibrating off the stone walls. Porcelain cups rattled on their matching saucers. Her fingers froze immediately.

“This madness will end today.”

Alana backed away from Death’s feathers that ruffled and then relaxed. She walked around to face him. Fear passed over her eyes. He recognized the look; he’d seen it so many times. But, never from her. He wished what she wanted could be, that there could be something shared between them, that he could make her happy in ways she needed, but he needed to face reality. Something had to.

“Listen to me now.” His bony fingers entwined around her frail wrists. She tried to pull them free, but Death’s grip is unbreakable even for those who still possess some form of life. “You must stop wasting your after-life on this notion that we can be together. You must be with our own kind. For you to waste what time you have left after your life was extinguished so quickly in the human form would be a tragedy, Alana.”

A wrinkle formed between her scrutinizing eyes.

“My kind? There is no such thing as my kind. The others, I despise them. They are killers and sadists. Their life style is perversion. I will not be part of such an immodest people.”

She looked down at her restrained wrists then back to his eyes. He opened his hands and let her go. Alana stomped across the room, pushing a crystal case off a coffee table as she did. Shards of sharpened glass tattered across the hard floor.

“Make me like you, Reaper. Then, we could be together.”

Her fists curled into balls, her posture straightened. Reaper shook his head, her demand beyond impossible.

“I would not know how to do such a thing. I do not know where I even came from, Alana, I just am. There is no other entity like myself. My sole mission is to collect the dead. It is all I know.”

“Then, collect me, I am dead.”

Her voice wavered briefly. For that one moment, she sounded much like she did the first time they met, helpless.

“I only collect the souls of the damned, Alana. Those whose lives have been taken by another human. You are aware that I have no power to take you.”

Alana turned, her arms folded over her ample breasts that peeked from the silk bodice, teasing his dark eyes.

“What happens to me when I die?”

Death knew she would ask the dreaded question one day. At one time, earlier in their friendship, he had prepared the whole speech for her, and waited to give it. As time went by and their bond grew deeper, he buried those words and wished never to speak them, or have to think about them. But, her one question broke them from the confines of his subconscious; they invaded his conscious mind, making his skeletal body shiver.

“You are already dead, Alana. There is no more for you after this. If you are to be killed, you will disintegrate, and go back into the Earth. Your mind, your body, your soul, all will be gone.”

Alana’s eyes widened before turning to the floor, unable to meet his. Death knew his eyes most likely showed sorrow, it would be an impossibility to conceal, even for him.

“This is why I ask you to live this given after-life, Alana. Please, do not waste it on illusions of something that cannot be.”

Alana’s eyes filled with blood, blocking the familiar blue he loved. Orbs of glistening purple replaced them. She reached inside the top of her dress and pulled on a black chord fastened around her neck. Death had never noticed her wear it before.

“I want you to have this, Reaper.”

She produced a key dangling from the delicate twine. Reaper stood puzzled for a moment. Doors were never an obstacle for him, so keys were a bit obsolete to a thing such as himself.

“Reaper, since I cannot give you myself, I will give you as close as I can get. This is the key to this mansion. It is nearest and dearest to my heart. Everything in it, I treasure. My piano, my photographs, my possessions. I want you to hold the key to it all, as a symbol of my feelings for you. This key unlocks memories of happier times, when I lived here with my family, before they were brutally murdered by “my kind”, before they made me like them. But, you already knew that, I suppose.”

Death could feel the grief surround her. It made her features shine less, take on an icier paleness that he was not used to.

“I did not take your family, Alana. They were not damned. People damn themselves during their time amongst the living, not the way they die. They are not with me.”

Alana smiled though her crimson tears began to streak her perfect face. Her luminescence returned. Her heeled feet ticked against the marble towards him. She raised the chord over her head and placed it over his. It rested with a small clank against his bony chest. It radiated warmth. Alana smiled and caressed Death’s sallow face. His lips formed a smile, the movement so foreign, his cheeks burned from the effort.

“I will do what you say, Reaper. I will not like it, but I will do it, simply because you say.”

Reaper nodded and took her chin in his gaunt grasp. He gazed into her beautiful eyes. He caressed her china-white skin, wishing he could feel its softness.
Without another word to disturb the sentiment, Death turned and walked over to the dead man on the floor. He knelt down and slung him over his shoulder, it had become a ritual now. He stood and proceeded past his Alana, not meeting her eyes as he passed. He couldn’t bear seeing them again, not today. Death marched from the parlor, and took flight into the dark skies, his heart heavy with confusion.


Reaper sat in his underground and contemplated all that had transpired. Is there a way? He reigned over the souls of the damned; did he possess more untapped resources, some power he was unaware of? Death’s thoughts raced through his mind, spinning wildly. He went over his role over and over, unaware of why he did what he did, or how he even knew to do it; he just did, he always had. Was there more?
The Reaper arose from his stone chair and paced the rock floor. His footsteps echoed throughout the caves, making it seem like another entity occupied the massive space with him. He knew that was not the case. His life was a lonely one. It never bothered him, until he met Alana. Now, his only thoughts focused on how to get her to join him, to rule this underground fortress together.

Death stopped suddenly. His head tilted as he considered the absurdity of his next thought for just a moment.

“I may not be able to kill a human, but maybe, just maybe, I could kill the dead.”

The Reaper’s voice boomed all through the stony undergrounds, its reverberation seemingly bringing the walls to life. He felt a weight lifted from deep within. His new discovery empowered him. Once the thought formed in his head, and resonated there for a moment, he knew it was not just a thought, but fact. He felt it deep inside.

The Reaper took flight, his wings beating against the cool night air. At this moment, at his greatest breakthrough, time felt of the essence. He needed to share this with the only other creature he cared for, his Alana.


Reaper soared through the mountain’s peaks. The familiar mansion’s lights twinkled like tiny stars on the small hill some miles to the left. He turned towards them, a fluttering feeling filling his chest. He hadn’t heard from her in a few days. After receiving the key, he had expected such. Plus, he knew how stubborn she could be; she would hold out on feeding just to avoid the inevitable.

Then he felt it, the calling. Something in his mind just clicked, and it was like gravity pulling him towards something. He could not avoid it, not that he ever tried much to do so. Just that one time, and he found his attempts to fly in the opposite direction to be in vain. It was like he’d been lassoed by the waist, unable to go forth. From that point on, he followed the feeling, and did not fight it.

This night the pull came from somewhere quite the opposite from the unknown. The pull was unmistakably coming from Alana’s mansion. Death smiled, his love could not hold out anymore. She wanted to see him, even though she could go without feeding for a few more days.

Death beat his wings, the flapping whipped against the wind. He ascended with more speed then he ever knew he possessed. Death never hurried, until now.


Reaper walked into the front hallway. Its eerie silence unsettled him. No familiar tune greeted him. The smell of fresh blood permeated the air, drifting into his nostrils like the aroma of a fine wine.

The parlor showed signs of struggle. Vases lay in porcelain pieces on the floor. Fresh flowers sprayed across the marble in puddles of water. The rose-colored fainting couch was knocked over, three of the four legs jutting from its underside.

Death saw his offering lying prone behind the floral sofa. His eyes bulged from their sockets, lifeless veins still popping from his untouched neck. Reddish-purple fingerprints laced the skin above his collar.


Death stood and peered across the room. He heard a soft whimper from the far corner. He noticed a trail of blood leading to the moan. Alana. The Reaper flew across the room, his massive wings crashing one vase that had escaped harm from the previous battle.

Death’s breath caught in his throat. Alana lay splattered on the cold white floor. The fainting couch’s missing leg protruded from her chest. Her frail hands seemingly held the weapon in place. She coughed, blood bubbled on her lips. A dark pool spread under her.


Her raspy voice choked his name; it only had the strength to utter one word. Death could see the life leaving her. Her skin began to turn from its luminous white to pale grey. She smiled a final goodbye before closing her eyes. He heard her last breath escape, a soft hissing sound, taunting him. Her toes shriveled as the disintegration process began.


Reaper leapt to her side and placed his bony hands on her face. He felt the softness of her flawless skin; his fingers caressed the newfound sensation. His eyes drifted to her feet. The withering stopped under his touch. He knew her life was extinguished. He arrived too late.

Death sobbed; for once he wished he could cry real tears, wanting the wetness to soak his sallow cheeks, making him simply be able to show what he feels inside. Bending over her lifeless body, Death kissed his love softy on her still-moist lips. He closed his eyes, embracing the sensation, forever locking it in the confines of his consciousness.

He raised his skeletal arms over his fallen Alana. The fading continued, taking away her beauty before his eyes, and leaving a brittle shell in its place. Death wailed in anguish. His hands slammed down onto her, cutting through her flesh. Both hands grabbed their intended target and with a final tug he ripped them apart from the corpse.

“I love you, my Alana.”

Reaper stood from the body, his eyes cast away. He strode from the parlor, passing his intended offering. He would return for him later. The pull no longer gravitated him towards the body. Death’s grief overcame the sensation.

Death wailed, its sound resounded throughout the countryside, through the mountains; he wanted them all to know something special was lost this night. He cried in her honor.


Reaper whittled the lone bone. He crafted perfect holes through its top. His fingers tapped over each opening. It felt comfortable in his grasp. Her bloodied heart sat before him in one of her prized porcelain dishes, handed down from generation to generation in her family for centuries. In the underworld, her heart did not wither, but remained frozen in its freshly dead state.

He hunched over and placed the handmade mouth softly between his lips. He closed his eyes and blew. The familiar tune echoed in the depths of his barren caverns. Its soothing sound filled his ears and precious memories of his Alana flashed though his mind. For the first time in all eternity, Death mourned.

Entry: Photo by Laurie Dalzell

Friday, October 15, 2010

Entry: Untitled by Melanie J. Burton

One day I woke up and the world was dead

Oh the gruesome thoughts that filled my head

I laughed and danced and twirled with glee

Then I stopped for what did I see

A zombie, a vampire and me makes three

Not alone as I thought

I became overwrought

And went on a slaughtering spree

Entry: Lost Art by AJ Brown

Lost Art
By AJ Brown

"How curious," Camel said as he stared at the painting, an oil work of reds, yellows, blacks and browns, a city in flames, odd shaped stick figures jumping from abstract rooftops. It was the last picture he had ever painted. He lifted it from the hook on the wall, stared closely at an image he didn't recall putting there. With his pinky, he touched it, drew away a light gray circle on his tip.

Camel's heart sped up, his breathing became labored and he stumbled backward, his legs buckling at the edge of the couch. He plopped down, his eyes never leaving the gray stick figure.

"I must go," he whispered.

"Go where?"

Camel's head jerked toward the doorway. The boy stood there, his spine bent, one arm sat at a crooked angle. Brilliant green eyes stared from beneath a mop of black hair.

"Ward?" Breathless, his chest hurting, Camel reached out to him. Ward faded, his words still hanging in the air

Go where?

"To where I lost my art," Camel said and stood.

The car sputtered and spat, threatened to shut off, then leveled out, the engine humming. Camel gripped the wheel tight, sweat beading along his forehead.

"Are we there yet?"

Ward sat in the backseat, his crippled legs folded beneath him, staring at the canvas. He touched the wet stick figure, the smudge fading, replaced by a crooked line and a green dot in the circle that was the head.

"Not yet," Camel said. Ward glanced up, disappeared.

He never thought he would return home, to a place of destruction, to the place where Ward died. Sitting outside the city ruins, he hesitated, thought of turning back, fleeing just as he did those many years before.

"Are we there yet?"

The back seat held only the canvas and Camel's paint box, but Ward's voice was heavy in the air, urgent, almost pleading. "Shortly, son."

Camel eased along crumbling blacktops, going around charred vehicles, trying not to run over the bones of the dead. The buildings were husks. Shattered store fronts appeared as gaping maws and blackened, eyeless sockets. Camel's skin crawled with chills. He pulled along a curb, the front tire bumping it, jolting the car. In the rearview, Ward was there again, lurching forward with the car, fading before his head could hit the back of the seat.

The air was thick with ash. It stole Camel's breath as he got out the car and grabbed the canvas and his paint box. The Seth building stood tall above him, some of the windows still in place, the once gray exterior charred black in places. A rat scurried from an alley, turned and went back into the shadows.

"Are we there yet?" Ward stood beside him, his pale skin bruised, a bone jutting from beneath his shirt, possibly a rib.


Camel opened a side door, stepped inside. The stairwell was stuffy. Heat filled Camel's lungs.

"How high is it?"

"Eighteen floors," Camel said and started up the steps.

"Such a long way."

The stairwell was dark and dry. Soot and ash clung to the steps and hugged the walls. Camel used the grime covered railing to help himself along. He stopped five flights up, his heart pounding, a stitch in his side. His breaths came in labored gasps. By the eleventh floor, Camel could hardly breathe. Dust caked his lips and nostrils, stung his eyes. He coughed hard, relieving the itch in his throat for only a second before it started up again.

By the time he reached the landing on eighteen his legs were weak and shaking, the cough constant and his vision blurred. He opened the door and fell onto the roof, his cough like a donkey’s bray. Cool air wrapped around him, filled his lungs. Camel lay still for several minutes until the coughing subsided. His eyes still stung but he sat up.

Ward sat on his haunches, staring at the canvas. His hand traced the stick figures, stopped on one. Ward stood, hobbled a few feet and turned to Camel. "Are we there?"

"Yes," Camel said, out of breath. "This is where I lost my art."

Camel pushed himself to his feet, grabbed the paint box.

"This is me," Ward said and touched a small gray figure. He traced a long rectangle, its edges crooked like the boy's spine. "This is where we stand."

Camel said nothing, picked up the painting and staggered to the edge of the building. He glanced down and saw it all over again: the world burning, people jumping, the boy in his arms, his body a twisted wreck of deformed bones and useless muscles. Tears spilled down Camel's face, cutting wet lines through black ash.

Camel set the canvas on the rooftop, opened the paint box. He squeezed a glob of black onto the image, brushed over the gray image with its one green speck where the head was, covering the bent-spined stick figure.

"Why, Father?" Ward asked.

Camel's hands shook, his heart fell into his stomach as a lump formed in his throat. "I had to, son," he said. "You would have never survived this world. And if you would have--"

Camel looked at Ward, his broken son, those brilliant green eyes, then back down to the canvas. The gray figure had bled through the black, its green eye brighter than before.

"Would you do it again?"

"No," Camel said, shook his head. "No, I wouldn't."

Ward turned, stepped off the roof.

Camel screamed and lunged. Tears blurred his vision and he stood, his aching body longing for relief. His shoulders sagged. Thunder rumbled off in the distance. A storm was coming.

Come, Father.

He shook his head, a sob hitching in his chest. "I can't."

The stick figure faded from the canvas. Camel picked it up, stared at his last painting and flung it over the edge. Broken hearted, head down, Camel walked back to the stairwell door, his art forever lost…

In the Jar by Aaron Polson

Entry: The Tell Tale Shoe by Tanya Daene

The Tell Tale Shoe

By: Tanya Daene

A shoe is just a simple thing,

A piece of clothing, it's true

But, when that something has a sole,

It can be awfully bad for you.

With it's tongue a wagging,

and its eyelets agog,

Pray it's on your side

and will outrun the dog

It surrounds you like a well placed skin

they feel fulfilled from deep within

you must appease the shoe horn gods

for lacing-up knot is a mortal sin

Walking a mile in another ones shoes

only brings on pain

for no one knows how one sizes up

and can only be in vain

Along this path so darkly lit

I walk with my two allies

their ties to me are strong and true

with gently cushioned insides.

Entry: If It Bleeds by Avarice Slain

If it Bleeds
by Avarice Slain

Stainer felt the urge to fuck old hags…the older the better, that’s why he got a job at the town’s undertakers. Only…when the stiffs began to share that same facial smirk he knew it was time to punch out for good. It was as if they knew. Them cold slabs of decaying meat with them three pleasure holes just inviting a guy to show it one last ride to Semen City apparently knew more than they were saying.

He moved on to take old Hemple’s job as postman, walking the morning round just under two hours. Only…when he began to peer through the town’s winders, mostly the bedroom ones, the round stretched out till dinnertime. Time made his face familiar enough for the lonely housewives to strike up conversations. Firstly they were boring niceties about the weather and if he enjoyed the job. Within a month he was sharing the beds of three women. One liked to scratch his back raw. The blonde enjoyed golden showers and Cherry Lips preferred to be the man. He’d tried it out but it wasn’t for him. Made his numbers two’s runnier than a pierced colostomy bag. She must’ve pushed too far anyways cause it affected his stride…so he jacked it all in, the job and the women.

Got himself a mean lookin’ hound from Turin’s Car Wreckin’ joint. Alvin Turin’s dog had made three ugly sons of a bitch and two even uglier bitches of a bitch. Stainer picked the ugliest. The way it licked everything clean were good times. Only…when the mean bastard grew and got itself a sense of right n wrong, thick gravy didn’t cut it no more. Armed with half a length and one ball he found enough strength to end Licker’s life.

Wasn’t it a kick that Cherry Lips was a nurse? He always thought the outfit was just for fun. She’d come by on nights when everything was quiet and close the door to the room. Armed with her strap-on and a palm full of jelly he guessed it was just an itch she needed to scratch. When her fun came to an end, she tied the weapon down along her inner thigh, strapped it good and tight as if she thought it might bolt free at the most inopportune time and poke some sick kid in the eye. She usually walked out without saying a word. Stainer signed himself out.

With a trailer full of nada and a dead dog festering its dead stink from a shallow grave, Stainer made the decision to steer clear of anything that bled between the legs from now on. He would return to his earlier passion of humpin’ Grannies. Thing was, the stick insect that ran the undertakers refused to give him a sniff of work, not even as a very casual casual. Plan B came into effect. With Tilton Cemetery only a pleasant ten-minute hobble away, he chose a full moon to seek out his calling. Armed with a spade and a bottle of water, for digging can bring up a mighty thirst, Stainer sought out a fairly recent grave. He worked hard through the silent night, stopping occasionally to take a slurp and to listen to the breeze dancing with the autumn leaves.

The hollow clunk made him smile, he wiped over the medium priced coffin lid enough to grasp the handle and open the top half up to the dark sky. Marveling over the still taut skin he ran a finger across slightly parted lips and probed within to feel the texture of the tongue.

I knew he’d return to me. After the good time I gave him in the mortuary it wasn’t unreasonable to assume he’d be back for more. He managed to slide down alongside me in the coffin and soon enough his hands were everywhere. Funny how he froze when I smiled and how limp he went when I closed the lid back down. Even if we were discovered at dawn, it’d give me plenty of time to show him how much emotion I can still bring to the party.

If it bleeds…too bad.

Contest entry: John Nettle's Death Throe by Wanda Morrow Clevenger

Wanda Morrow Clevenger

A distant rooster call heralded dawn as needles of light slipped through the fog shrouding John and Clara Nettle's rundown farmhouse. Scraggly patches of brown grass dotting a neglected yard were akin to old scabs left chronically unhealed–picked at one too many times. This sunrise, like legions be-fore, lit nothing beyond dry dirt the house squatted on. Dead silence hung in the air; it appeared no life, human or beast, inhabited the place. Another faint cockcrow braved the day, then quiet settled in again.

Inside, the house was quieter still. Cobweb architects lay in their lonely sanctums, curled into brittle bundles. Rooms were sparsely furnished, containing not one jot more than was absolutely re-quired. The trifles weren't new, but not particularly aged either–more like worn-out shadows of another era. Centered in the kitchen was a chrome and red vinyl dinette set with jaunty diamond cut-out chair backs. Last two remaining chairs were striped with duct tape, an unsympathetic repair job. Same as the spiders, the tape had long given up the ghost. Yellowed padding tufts hung beneath like a pregnant beagle belly. His chairs, like everything in John Nettle's house, were past saving.

A thin fold of newspaper opened to the obituary section was centered on the tabletop. One small convenience, a rusty enamel coffeepot, stood on the stove's back burner waiting for its part in the morning ritual. Also at the ready, a pair of stained, chipped mugs bearing the faded marital sentiments: HIS and HERS.

Summer dogged on in defiance of the month evidenced by the wall calendar. Its endearing ad-vertising print depicted a girl with an oversized umbrella and touted quote:When It Rains, It Pours. Anyone with eyes could see summer had passed; cool mornings and evenings held true to the season. But sweltering afternoons deceived, as if cast into perpetual perdition. Under the little ca-lendar girl's watchful vigil, time continued in its sluggish march.

Another day. Clara held motionless when the metallic rattle of the alarm clock jarred the old man awake, felt John startle from the mattress, heard grunting, bed springs shrilling at this weight shift.

“Get up woman. It's morning,” he commanded.

She flinched and bolted from her opposite side without uttering a word.

Effort to fully rise from the bed, be free of it, and her, produced grotesque moans. She anxiously donned her robe and ratty house shoes. Hurried flip-flap of slippers against linoleum was inception. Followed with cooking odor and coffee brewing. And John's insistent distemper. Under her breath, Clara repeated a circadian mantram, Satan is awake and I am in hell with him.

She rushed to get breakfast on the table, daring a wishful glance outdoors. Past flimsy curtains stretched bleak and unchanged cyclic. If only she could leave the house, breath fresh air, maybe some-how she could escape John's wrath. Heavy footsteps plodded closer. Dire panic rose, he'd want his breakfast ready.

Hurry. Her hands maneuvered in surreal, memorized manner while her mind scattered in a frenzy of questions: When did everything change? Why couldn't she remember anything from before this cursed time? When did insanity consume them? Did a demon creep forth, collect its evil due, and slither away with their souls? She prayed for the horror to end, but the relief she desperately sought seemed trapped in the same unrelenting purgatory as was the unceasing Indian-summer.

Feeling his pleasure in her torment, each daybreak offered transfigure of fresh hate and humilia-tion, birth of reiterate repulse. Clara was entwined in John's nightmare, sensing, tasting, breathing his equaled intolerance, begging for certain release of convenient death. She knew he never loved her; he married a servant, not a mate. She married out of fear of becoming a spinster. Was this the price paid for having settled, for having betrayed God's sacred covenant?

Mute as the grave, John clattered a chair away from the table and sank into it. A steaming plate presented. Momentarily forgetting herself, Clara asked, “Do you want coffee?”

“Don't I always want coffee?”

She recoiled, prickles streaming from arms to back to neck, then quickly poured bitter liquid into the cup that read: HIS. What was wrong with her? How stupid could she be, he always had coffee. Same breakfast every morning and same cup of coffee.

John glared at her, then stated point-blank, “I should've killed you years ago when I had the guts. If not for rotting in hell for eternity . . . trust me.” She cowered from the stinging words and his cold, dead eyes, searched the world outside the window again. Empty.

Attention shifted to the meal before him, John's fork grated a forget-me-not china pattern–Clara's departed mother's china. The irritating sound and coffee slurping infuriated her, pounded in her head like a sledgehammer. Ugly thoughts screamed. Horrible creature. Unclean stench. Repulse beyond comprehension. Why did he continue to live? Why wouldn't he die and free her from his constant presence?

John's fork stabbed upward, requesting more food. She watched the little pitchfork's movement, and for just a second a wicked smile formed as his image turned inert and bloody, head flopped, fork protruded from his jugular. Her mind wandered darkly in circles: lacing his breakfast with rat poi-son; suffocation in the night–no, he could wake up and overpower her; rendering unconscious with the coffee pot, then a long, long sleep down the well was do-able. But poison was best, in HIS coffee mug. Yes, that would finish this reign.

Perhaps sensing her nefarious thoughts, he growled, “Get this garbage out of my sight. You never could cook. You never could do anything worth shit.” She complied, and her hand shook when she returned to pour him a second cup of coffee, although he didn’t appear to take notice.

Her own meal in hand, Clara at last sat, loathing strangling her heart. He belched, impervious of his gross offensiveness and her proximity to it.

In almost predestined cue, John reached for the newspaper in its usual place and began scanning the obits–checking out who recently bought-the-farm, kicked-the-bucket, ate-the-bullet, or otherwise went to their just reward. Was undisputed fact he hated life, hated his wife more, relished in the know-ledge that he had outlasted most of his former classmates, emphasized by pointing out reading the obits was the only enjoyment he had left in life, 'cause he sure didn’t get any shackled to Clara.

He mumbled at the print, pausing to offer snide snorts of approval over the notices whole-heartedly endorsed. Clara kept her eyes downward, avoiding visual contact for as long as possible, until she heard a deep inhale. She rose, backed away from the table, and from him. John's face turned blood red, the flush swarming down his neck painted bulging veins purple.

He nearly leaped from the table, kicking his chair backward in the delirium. Froth seeped from the corners of his mouth. A demonic screech rose from the depths of a destitute spirit, forming into an unworldly howl, “Damned Lucifer! This is blasphemy!”

“What is it?” Clara's voice cracked, “What’s happened?”

“Some imbecile put my obit in the newspaper.” Saliva rained down John's chest. “This rag says we're dead. Says we murdered each other.” He lurched forward. Clara jerked away, one house slipper skidding across the room. “I strangled you because you poisoned me. It says we've been in the ground ten years.”

Pages flung at Clara levitated, separated into flapping sheets which slowly circled above until gaining tornado strength. The pair trembled on their knees, thunderous booming dwarfing their shrieks. Then utter silence. The newspaper drifted back to the table. Disembodied questions vibrated in the void, “What the hell is this? Who's done this? When I find out who's responsible, I'll torture them for all eternity.”


Another day. Clara held motionless when the metallic rattle of the alarm clock jarred the old man awake, felt John startle from the mattress, heard grunting, bed springs shrilling at this weight shift.

“Get up woman. It's morning,” he commanded.

She flinched and bolted from her opposite side without uttering a word.

Effort to fully rise from the bed, be free of it, and her, produced grotesque moans. She anxiously donned her robe and ratty house shoes. Hurried flip-flap of slippers against linoleum was inception. Followed with cooking odor and coffee brewing. And his insistent distemper. Under her breath, Clara repeated a circadian mantram, Satan is awake and I am in hell with him.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Scary Talent Show

*** We've had some great entries so far! Since I've been staying away from the computer (other than writing and checking my email) for the past week, I've decided to extend the deadline for The Scary Talent Show until October 15th. You can enter a short story (up to 3k), a piece of art, a video of you singing or dancing, a poem. Whatever. Entertain. Make us feel something. I'll post them all and voting can take place from Oct. 16th-Oct. 30th. The three winners will be announced on Halloween!

First place: A one-year subscription to Dark Discoveries, Second place: A kickin' tee from The Bag and The Crow, Third place: A fantastic novella from that hot company Tasmaniac Publications. Great stuff. :D

One entry per person. Send your entries here: scarysadstories (at)

Good luck!

P.s.--To those who have already entered, great work!