• Dzama

Live One

There are twenty three of them. The bellies are a pale pink and the faces are slimy and hideous. Most of them are dead already. Put them in the wicker barrow and wheel them up to Mayberry, Maila said, shoving young Frik towards the dock. He stumbled down the hill and then out along the worn planks of the wharf, bending to push the wicker wheelbarrow ahead of him. The wharf went on forever, the far end disappearing into the haze. When he finally found them he saw all were likely dead and he knew Mayberry would not want to pay for them. One by one he threw the oily bodies into the barrow. They were slick and hard to hold. The faces looked human save the tentacles coming out of the cheeks and ears. He had about half piled in when one of them twitched and the little oval eyes blinked up at him. Frik and the live one stared at each other for about a minute. Then Frik placed it on the far side of the pile so he’d remember which one it was. Hey! the thing said. Put me back in the sea! Read More »

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Tin Dreams

Jeb leaned against the door jamb, sleeves rolled up, skinny arm stretched across the doorway. He gazed out across the prairie, smelling strong coffee brewing in the kitchen and an omelet frying in butter. Purple, red, and yellow flowers were scattered across the grassy plateau and the sky couldn’t get any bluer. The fig tree was weighed down by hundreds of fat figs. Jeb, the warden said, handing him a metal cup with steaming black coffee. The warden’s hands were beat up from his former vocation in construction. Marla came up from behind Jeb and hugged him, her black eyes looking towards the warden. She wore a kerchief that encircled her perfect doll’s face. How much is all this worth to you? asked the warden. All what? asked Jeb. Read More »

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A silver wolf head glowered, half-covered in dirt, from the bottom of the pit. The coffin had been torn open, bones strewn about as though by animals, the human corpse’s skull half-smashed. A corpse demon sat in the shadows, shivering, a skinny little thing, toothy and hideous. At the top of the dirt hole, half-in, half-out, lay a couple of grave robbers, entrails ripped open. They had a burlap bag up on the grass spilling out gold and silver artifacts. An old witch observed the scene, elbow on the gravestone. She spoke in a very deep voice: They didn’t get far, did they?

They broke his skull. Can’t get into heaven looking like that, said the sexton, puffing on a long pipe. That one was never on his way to God, said the witch. And he left behind a corpse demon. It’s down there in the hole. Read More »

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