Merry Christmas!

Okay, first thing's first - I don't actually like Christmas very much. It's International Rack Up Some Debt day, and the whole thing irritates me to no end.

Now that I've got that off my chest, I'll add that I do respect the fact that, whether it's for the love of family, the love of presents or the love of the Baby Jesus, a lot of other people go absolutely fucking nuts over Christmas. And I shouldn't shit on that, because that would be douchey and decidedly un-Christmas-esque. So ... merry Xmas/Happy Holidays/whatever! I hope you and your families have a nice dinner wherein none of the proffered dishes are gross in any manner, and no one gets hammered and fights with other family members. I hope that you remain safe and sound through the holidays, and you don't do anything fucking stupid and kill yourselves. Can you do that for me? Hah? Good.

Well, last year I wrote a Christmas poem, and I thought it was kinda cute and stuff, so ... I'm reposting it. Cuz I was busy with other shit and didn't write something new - so if you've already read this, get off my back, already. I'll have something new next year, I promise.

The Krampus Came Instead

Santa didn't come to see us last night

The Krampus came instead

He came down the chimney with a burlap sack

And stole us all from our beds

Now, the Krampus is a horrid sight

A sight that cannot be unseen

He's short and squat and hairy and fat

A foul and devilish fiend

The Krampus lives in a dank old cave

Full of bats, pale toads and rats

The floor is littered with pajamas and bones

And the carpets are made out of cats

As Santa rides upon his sleigh

On a cold and crisp Christmas eve

The Krampus rides a rotting mule

And he punishes all your misdeeds

He leaves no gifts behind in his wake

He feels no love in his heart

His teeth are sharp and his eyes are red

And his claws will tear you apart

Santa eats cookies and sugar-plum pie

A man eats meat, cheese and bread

But the Krampus feasts on naughty children

And uses their skins for his bed

And their souls he keeps all for himself

He keeps them locked up in a box

And what happens to them? Nobody knows

Maybe he wears them as socks!

Santa didn't come to see us last night

The Krampus came instead

To bite us and beat us, kick us and bleed us

And then he chopped off our heads!

Getting older, Not Wiser

Well, my birthday is around the corner, waiting to leap and pummel another year of life out of my hide. I am now entering the twilight of my thirties. What a bitch, man.

Don't get me wrong - I don't care if I'm not as man-pretty as I was when I was 19. Frankly, I don't give a shit about asinine crap like that (as long as I'm still physically fit, I guess ... aha).  I just don't like the fact that I'm a year closer to death, that's all. See, I'm like most people you know - I don't want to die. Ever. Not fucking ever. Other people can go ahead and die all they want. Personally, I really like living, all in all - the good AND the bad. Even at its worst, well ... better the devil you know than the devil you don't.

I have a lot left that I want to do, before I get too senile/crippled to do these things. I wanna climb another mountain face. I want to publish many, many more books. I want to record more albums and play more gigs. I want to watch my stepson grow up and become a man. I want to learn how to play more musical instruments; I would also like to get drunk a bunch more times, as I enjoy it. The list goes on and on.

Anyway, I wrote a new story.Wanna read it?

The New Fish

I was jolted awake about an hour ago, confused and disoriented; my heart was pounding and my sheets were soaked in sweat. Some slavering, malevolent horror was in the trailer with me, creeping up on me while I slept with poised claws and razor teeth. The absolute certainty of this coated my mouth with the metallic taste of fear, sour and dry and thick. I grabbed the baseball bat that lays beneath my cot and tip-toed around the cramped darkness of my trailer, straining to hear over the keening of the wind outside.

And the pounding of my own heart.

Of course, there was nothing here except my goldfish and yours truly, the sweaty guy in his underwear. It was the gusting wind that startled me awake - it happens quite often in the late autumn and early winter. The wind rips through the scrub of skeletal trees that surround the trailer park and charges, with a lion's roar, into our lonely huddle of frail little shelters. It gibbers and shrieks and pounds on our walls with fists of dead leaves and frozen grit.

Satisfied that I wasn't about to become chow for some unspeakable creature, I laid back down on my squeaky, saggy old cot and tried to get back to sleep - but I couldn't. Instead, I found myself thinking about that night in the penitentiary, the night of the lockdown; I kept thinking about Mikey and Big Rob and the rest of them, all of us huddled in a cell with the lights off and the frigid northwest winds howling at the walls. After a while, I gave up trying to sleep. Instead, I sat down in front of the computer and I started typing. I'm no story teller, not like Mikey or Hutch, but I'll try my best ...

Read the rest here ...

How I Spent My Summer Vacation (The Short Version)

I worked.

Summer came and summer went: there were a few trips to the beach and provincial parks, and we had exactly two fires in the backyard firepit (which I kept up, meticulously, all summer long for fucking no reason, apparently). I got and lost a tan ... and I worked. A lot. And so did my girlfriend. And we never really got around to doing the things that we had sworn we'd do this summer. Just like last summer.

Why? Because we're fuckin' poor, that's why. We're in debt and getting in debter by the day. As it turns out, I am not destined to make a living wage from music or writing, ha (nor she as an artist). We work crap jobs that pay poorly: we scrimp and argue and do what we can do to shield her son from the fact that we ain't been doing so hot lately. You wanna know what I find to be incredibly funny: the idea that one should have six months' worth of living expenses saved up in the bank at all times. This is fucking hilarious to me. I cannot conceive of this ever coming true; not just for me, but for most people in general. I mean ... how? Who's making all this money, and by doing what, and how are they living so goddamned frugally in the first place? I don't know who these people are, but I hate them.

I wish I could trade horror stories for utilities and lodging, like straight-up swap that shit. 1800's style. I'd give the landlord 1 bag of millet and an original story every month. Aha, who'm I kiddin'? Where the hell am I gonna get a sack of millet?.

So - enough bitching, for a second. This, instead - Anecdotes in Ashes, the horror microfiction anthology from The Assembly - it's here, and it's good, and it's free today, Oct 7th, exclusively on Amazon. Want a link? Here.

Anecdotes in Ashes

I'm still plugging away on my own anthology of longer stories ... I've got some previously-unseen doozies up my sleeve that I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy. I hope they're good, anyway - they seem like they're good at the moment, anyway. Naw, you'll like 'em. Promise.

Well, it's late yet again and it's waaaay past bedtime - I'm a shitty blogger, and possibly a shitty human being. But I'm a pretty decent horror author. There's always that.

But am I really? Well, go check that book out, and judge for yourself, I guess.

Christ, It's Been Over A Month Since I Last Updated This Thing!

You Can See Where My Priorities Lie

Ugh. Blogging. Seriously, seriously lame way to spend your time. So many better things to do out there, in the big, wide world! Go for a long-ass bike ride! Look at the stars! Go to the beach! Hit the gym and do some reps, Brah!

Yes, it's summer, and I'm a Canadian. As a Canadian, you must horde each warm, sunlit hour jealously. You'd kill for those precious hours ... because the cold, dreary tyranny of Winter always looms close in our hearts. Always. Seriously, winter fucking sucks. It's terrible.

Anyway, I know that I keep shooting my big, stupid mouth off about it, but the micro-fiction anthology that I'm putting out with The Assembly is, in fact, going to happen. Shit just takes time, is all. Relax! It's coming - by the end of August, you'll be able to download a copy or order a paperback online. Seriously! (I hope - now that I find myself still talking shit about it, aha). Shit just takes time, is all - oh wait, I already said that.

I've been (slowly) writing a series of micro-fiction shorts for a little while now that feature a narrator whom my Assembly cohort, StupidDialUp, has dubbed as "The Creepy Dos Equis Guy". He's an interesting character, this fella: he's an aristocratic member of old-money society ... a drunk, a playboy, a bit of a degenerate ... and a man who has had many, many brushes with the supernatural.

The Devil And Mr. Manciotti

Another splash of Chivas, young man? No? My dear boy, it's not even midnight, yet - at your age, I'd just be getting started at this hour! Very well, then; I shall have one for the both of us. Say there ... I heard, through a mutual acquaintance, that you'd recently lost a fair sum of money on a wager involving a sporting event. Oh, come now, my nephew - of course I'd know such a thing. Your stuffy, doddering old uncle has rubbed elbows with all kinds of unsavory characters in his day ... all kinds. You'd be surprised. I'll say this to you: you'd do well to stay away from Mr. Manciotti, the gentleman who brokered your wager. He's in league with the Devil, that man.
You see, back in leaner times, Mr. Manciotti was managing a number of illicit side-projects on the sly - profitable ventures that his bosses were not receiving the required dividend from. When they found out, they were not pleased - Mr. Manciotti had to come up with almost a hundred and fifty thousand dollars within 72 hours, or he would find himself at the bottom of a river. In those days, that was an astronomical sum of money - even through foul means, he could not hope to come up with such an amount in the required time-frame. With scant hours left to the deadline, however, Manciotti showed up at the Don's house with an expensive leather attache case, and he paid his due in full. Soon after, his fortunes rose rapidly, along with his status. Today, he is a very powerful man, indeed.
I asked him one night, as I shared a bottle of port with him in one of his night-clubs, how he'd ever managed to find so much money so quickly. The man gave me a narrow smile and said, "I made a deal with the Devil. Best decision I ever made. Hey, there he is, now - I'll be right back. Don't kill that bottle while I'm gone!" I snorted at this, and he excused himself from the table to join a tall, handsomely-dressed man who was waiting at the bar. They left for Manciotti's inner chambers, presumably to discuss business matters. I poured myself another drink and watched them ascend the lush spiral staircase, still chuckling, when I abruptly realized something: Manciotti's visitor didn't have feet beneath the fine hem of his trouser cuffs. He had hooves.

My Mini-Van of Rage

When I get behind the wheel, I turn into a primitive cave-man

Everyone who drives a vehicle experiences road rage, to some degree (although I also suffer from cycling rage and pedestrian rage - I just rage a lot, really). I don't know about you, the reader, but I personally go batshit fucking insane behind the wheel when someone acts like a moron in traffic. I shout the most gloriously awful insults and threats; I clench my teeth and squeeze the wheel with a murderer's death-grip, and hatred erupts from every pore in a high-pressure stream. There have been many, many times when I have fantasized running other vehicles off of the road - then squealing to a halt on the shoulder, running back with the handle of my car-jack and beating the offending party into an unrecognizable mess in the ditch.

I mean, I fucking lose my shit sometimes. I dunno ... its actually pretty funny. I should get a dashcam and tape my maniacal tirades sometime, post that shit to YouTube. My outbursts are just so over the top, reason-out-the-window crazy that it's actually pretty hilarious, and would make for great dialogue in a gangster movie.

The funniest thing about my road rage is that I probably incite the same violent hatred in other motorists, as well - everyone does dumb things in traffic, sometimes. I should learn how to mellow the fuck out ...

Road Rage

It was on - the guy was coming for him. Dan seized his nameless opponent by the shoulders of his T-shirt and they fell in a clutch onto the blacktop, still hot and sticky from the heat of the summer sun. The two men rolled in between their cars, trading punches, short and sharp in the limited distance between them. Dan snarled, "Fuck you, cocksucker, you cut me off! YOU cut ME off!" and he began to butt the top of his forehead into his opponent's jaw. The fucking motherfucking son of a whore winced back from this damaging deluge and wriggled like a fish: suddenly, his arm was snaking down between them and he had Dan's nutsack in a death grip.

"Yooooouuuu dirty cock-SUCKER!" he shrieked, and it all came pouring out, all of it; all of the bile and pain and humiliating, day-to-day degradations erupted forth in a black, savage fountain. The electric strength of uncontrollable rage slammed through his body - Dan scrambled on top of the other man and pistoned his fists down into the shit-heel's face, over and over again. The motherfucker was Dan's arrogant boss, he was Dan's childhood bully, he was the man who had stolen the heart of Dan's first true love: he was every piece of shit who had ever wiped their feet on him like a worn-out mat. The man went limp but Dan didn't stop, couldn't stop - he bit the guy's ear off and cracked his larynx, he gouged his eyes deeply and jack-hammered the man's head off of the pavement, bang-bang-bang-whup-crack-ssssplort ...

Dan found himself in his car again, his face and mouth and hands and shirt splattered and stippled with blood. He was shaking and breathing raggedly. He turned the key and squealed away from the motionless thing on the road in a dirty plume of burning rubber - behind him, a car had already stopped to check out what was happening. His plates - did they see them? Dan looked at himself in the rearview mirror, long and hard. He was afraid of the face that stared back at him.

Book Links and Stories and Shit

Hiya, folks.

I'm a busy old fuck - got a lot of shit on the go!

I was pleased to have two of my stories published in a "best of" e-book that was released by Surreal Grotesque, a pretty cool horror e-mag that features stories, artwork, reviews and interviews with independent horror writers. You can find it here (for a mere 99 cents!):

Aliens, Sex and Sociopaths: The Best of Surreal Grotesque

On a related note, I have a different story appearing in another e-book that is slated to be released sometime soon - it comes to you from the good folks at /r/horror, one of the many fine 'subreddits' to be found on the Internet mega-giant I'll link 'er up on my next blog post that I make ... you know, next month. Aha. Yeah, until I can start writing for a living, my blog posts are gonna be few and far in between. I always talk shit about blogging more, but it feels like I'm talking to myself and it's weird. It weirds me out a little.

Once again, speaking of e-books ... I will be releasing an anthology of micro-fiction horror stories in the not-so-distant-future, a collaborative effort with some other Reddit horror authors that I've met over these last months. It's gonna have cool illustrations and will be good for bus rides and waiting rooms.

I'm still plugging away at the anthology that I keep shooting my mouth off about. Soon, my friends ... have patience. In the meantime, if you want to take a look at a story that will be appearing in the anthology,  you can read this - it's a slice of strangeness involving a girl, a serial killer and a cocoon. I wrote it as a (much belated) birthday present for a young lady who follows me on Twitter, who stated that it was on her bucket list to be a character in a story of mine. So I obliged her ... it started out that way, anyhow. The story kinda shook me off and did its own thing and , well, yeah ...

South of Eternity, North of Forever

It was Wednesday morning and Michelle was on her way to school, walking from the bus stop to the bustling west gate of the university. Amy was texting her already, intent on burdening Michelle with some more of her non-existent problems. The sun was shining and the birds were wheeling around in the sky, dancing their joy for the return of spring. It was as unremarkable a day as any Wednesday could be, except for one thing - there was an area across the street that was surrounded by yellow tape, tape that screamed POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS.

The street was choked with police cruisers and undercover vehicles, pylons, flashing lights, and all kinds of people - people in standard cop uniform, people in lab coats, suits, even jeans and buttoned-up workshirts ... all of them stone-faced and shut off to the prying eyes of the students that were swarming past. Michelle could see a few men hunkered down in front of something that lay crumpled on the sidewalk, a limp form that had been rudely shoved against the dirty brick wall behind it. It was covered by a white sheet of some kind; the sheet was blooming dark, reddish-brown flowers in irregular patches. Beneath that sheet, Michelle knew, there would be a dead body. It would be a young girl, a girl her age, a girl that she might have even known. A dead girl. A murdered girl.

She knew this because of the message on the wall. It was the fourth time in just six weeks that this particular bit of ghastly graffiti had defiled the side of a building near the school. Six weeks, and four girls slashed to bloody, unrecognizable shreds by the knife of a madman.

At some point during the small hours of the night, The King had left another calling card.

The lifeless, crumpled thing under the sheet had probably once been a student, just like her; all of The King's victims had been students at her very own university. Beneath that impersonal white rectangle of cloth lay the ravaged remains of a young woman, a daughter, a scholar, and a human being. Maybe she had known the girl personally, maybe she hadn't, but that was unimportant - the girl was, in her tragic anonymity, a blank template upon which any face could be pasted. The girl could be Michelle's best friend or bitterest enemy. She could have easily been Michelle herself. Hadn't she walked past that very spot last night, on her way home from the library?

Though she knew that it was probably a distasteful thing to do, morbid curiosity urged the girl to try and absorb as much as she could from the murder scene as she strolled past - she tried to remember the faces, the vehicles, and the mannerisms of the homicide detectives and others who were milling around within the rectangle made by the police tape. It was like a chess game; the killer had made his move, and had taken another pawn. The police were analyzing the board and deciding their own next move. They were better players, and would win, eventually - but in the meantime, The King was ahead on points.

The graffiti was an eight-word message. The phrase sent a chill through her with its stark simplicity. It was the dark proclamation of an insane megalomaniac. In foot-high block letters, it read:


Just a few more steps and the crime scene would soon be behind her; the only way she could continue to stare would be to turn around and walk backward. She resisted the urge to do so and, unbidden, her feet continued their daily trudge to the school. Helpless to do otherwise, Michelle followed them there ...

If you'd like to read the rest, here's some links:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

The Horrors of Reality

Shit is coming to a head, so hold the fuck on.

I'm gonna start this off by saying a heartfelt "sorry" to all who suffered injury in the recent bullshit that went down in Boston, be it physical or mental. If  I could have somehow prevented that from happening, I would have. I would have killed for you. If  I could somehow do so, I would gather you all together and earnestly try to tell you that it wasn't your fault that you all got caught in this. The horribly banal thing about such an evil act is that the victims can be anyone, anyone at all. It doesn't matter to the perpetrators who the victims are, really - in fact, I'm sure that they'd rather not know. They didn't want to hurt you , directly - they wanted to hurt people. "People" is a nameless, faceless enemy that a sick mind can dehumanize and target for violent reprisal, whatever the nonsensical reason for this murderous act might be. If the cowardly perpetrators had known you all as individuals, as names and faces, you better believe that the fuckers wouldn't have gone through with it. Individuals are our friends and neighbors ... crowds are not. Crowds can be seen in any light that you deem to be the most suitable for your own selfish motives.

Generalizations can be so very, very dangerous. Can't they?

Another thing that has been gnawing away at the back of my mind lately, like a rabid little rat - North Korea. Kim has the bomb. We all know he has the bomb. No one is concerned. Why? The man is clearly a sociapath (at best) and might actually be full-blown, Looney-Tunes crazy. I've seen a lot of pacification in the news on how North Korea doesn't have the capabilities to launch a missile over to the Western Hemisphere, and I get a  general feeling of "Oh, whatev, his shit be weak and he ain't got no game" from these articles. Frankly, I do not give a shit about where in the world a nuclear missile might launched: I give a shit about any nuclear weapons being detonated at all. Anywhere. Here's two succinct reasons why:

First - atomic weaponry is a horrid, awful thing that should not exist. Should. Not. EXIST. No lives should ever be lost to such a monstrous, evil, wicked fucking thing, not anywhere. I can't understand why the technology involved in splitting an atom would ever have been sanely considered as a way to wage war. I just ...  y'know ... what the fuck, people?

Second - It's not as if the radiation hangs out over the blast zone, does it? No. Radioactive material gets flung high into the atmosphere and then it gets spread in every fucking direction by the winds. It settles on stuff and then stuff fucking dies. It might not die immediately: more likely, it will die a long and torturous death, the stuff will. That stuff could be vegetation, any species of insect life, animals, or you. If the stuff is closer, it will die of radiation poisoning. This is a horrid way to go. Further away, the stuff will die from a variety of cancers. This is a longer and equally horrid way to die.

Get it? It doesn't matter if they can't reach us with a missile. They'll get us eventually. Personally, I'd rather us all be atomized in a blast than perish of leukemia.

I dunno why the world is so fucked. It always has been, really ... just browse historical articles on Wikipedia for a while and you will see a pattern develop: people have always been at the mercy of a handful of rich, powerful madmen. We still are, and I despair that it might always be this way, until something wreaks havoc upon the earth and we're all fucking killed.

Man ... fuck this. I need another beer. I'm gonna end this one by paraphrasing a Facebook friend:  "It'd be nice if we could all stop bombing each other now, don't ya think?"

Everything and Anything

Right now, as you read this, there are a number of missiles streaking through the upper edges of our atmosphere; they are arcing a graceful, deadly curve far above the cloud cover, where the blue sky fades to purple and, not much further upward, to black. Powerful madmen have made their irrevocable decisions, and you are about to die. Those ICBM's are headed smack-dead into a major urban area near you, and there's no time to run. Even if you could flee, where would you go? I'll explain:

Nuclear war has been declared, and it will be the final war; there will be only one, and no others after ... because there won't be an after. There is most assuredly no such thing as a small-scale nuclear war. Every nation that has the technology is scrambling to employ it -  it's a domino effect. One megalomaniac launched his arsenal, and then fucking everybody did, and the entire world is presently about to become a fiery, chaotic, radioactive hell. This is happening because men in power are rabid jackals at heart. They will sacrifice everything to destroy their enemies. Everything and anything.

You have only a few minutes left, so you might as well spend it with your loved ones. Hug them, tell them whatever you need to tell them; weave a flimsy shield of words around you and hold them tight. If you are alone (whatever that unfortunate reason might be) I suggest that you go outside and wait for the flash, if you are far enough away to not be instantly obliterated. Don't look directly at it. When the winds first start rolling in, they will be warm and acrid. This is your clue that death is about to come roaring over you and the world you know. Close your eyes and brace yourself, because this is the end.

What's Under Your Skin?

Alternate Title: Sorry that there was yet another hiatus! I suck at life.

Naw, just kiddin'. I'm not sorry. No one reads this thing anyhow, do they?

My household just suffered through a traumatic seven weeks or so at the hands of a nasty little bug. I'll tackle that fuckin' fiasco sometime in the near future, but I'm not quite ready to talk about that shit just yet. Seriously - what an awful, awful thing to deal with. I don't think that I'd wish it on anybody, no matter how terrible they are. Anyway ...

I was thinking the other day about weirdos who do weirdo things; like, say, serial murdering, mass shootings, etc. What are these people like in their day-to-day lives? How well do they hide their weirdo status, and how is it even possible to disguise such grand-scale weirdo-hood?

For example, that evil sack of shit known as John Wayne Gacy - everyone in town knew this guy, and seemed to think he was pretty swell, for the most part. How the hell was this fucking psycho so easily able to integrate himself without ever letting the mask slip? Not once did his neighbors or associates ever see the man's crimes reflected in his eyes. You'd think, at some point, someone would pick up a vibration from this guy - sense that something was not right with the man, not at all. But they didn't.

Think about it: your next-door neighbor might be eating raw human flesh, right now as you read this ... and you might never know. He'll give you a little wave while he's out watering the little patch of front lawn, then go back inside to appease the demon that has inhabited his cat by committing unspeakable acts on kidnapped prostitutes. It could be happening right now, right next door to you. You just don't know.

In fact, you might even be one of these weirdos. I have no way of knowing, do I? Alternately, maybe I have a few loose screws, and while you read this, I'm chuckling to myself. Because you have no idea of what I've been up to in the secret room in my basement.

See? Could be anybody.


Well, the hour grows late again, eh, old friend? How many bottles of port have I killed with you, over all these years? Aha, yes, that's pretty much spot on, isn't it? The whore-houses of Morocco are no different than the whore-houses of state politics: the wine flows and the knickers hit the floor. Ha! I'll tell you something about that - what? Another weird tale? I suppose, but I'd prefer the mood of the evening to be a tad lighter; and you well know that once I start, I shan't be able to stop and there'll be a sleepless night for us both. So be it, then. Let's see ...

When I was a much younger man, I'd sometimes take a springtime pilgrimage to the lower West coast of Florida, which was a fairly unpopulated and lonesome place, back in those days. I'd rent a cottage and spend my time diving and trying my luck with the brassy local ladies - all blond hair, long legs and sharp tongue, they were! But I digress ... in the spring of '25 I rented a cottage from an older lady named Judith, who lived onsite with her ailing husband. The poor man was apparently bed-ridden, and Judith performed the upkeep of the small cottage-court solely on her own. Upon checking in, the smiling, cherubic woman presented me with a wicker basket of sausage, blood pudding, and various small jars of preserved goods. Manufacturing these meats and preserves was the elderly couple's side-business. They were delicious, seasoned unlike any I have ever had before, and on my way to the beach I stopped at the good people's cottage to tell them so. Judith received me at the door, and she beamed so widely at my praise that I feared her large, white false teeth would tumble out of her mouth.

Late that night, I was awoken by the most ghastly screaming - it was a man's voice, tremulous, frail, and full of raw terror. He was shrieking, "Judith, NO! Don't you BITE me no more! Don't you BLEED me no more! Judith, please! STOP!" Sleep-muddled and afraid, I fell from the cozy little bed and scrambled into the corner. Abruptly, I heard a woman's voice croak out, "Aw, hell, the window!" and the sound of a sturdy window-frame being slammed down echoed out into the night. There was no phone there with which I could call the police; I spent the rest of that awful night sitting in my corner, and in the early morning I left like a thief, creeping away before the break of the sun's full light. I didn't stop to report the incident. What could I say, exactly, without sounding like a drunken madman? The next year, morbid curiosity got the better of me and I came calling, heart in my throat ... the cottage-court lay abandoned, and there was no sign that Judith had ever existed.

What, another tale?  It's to be one of those nights, is it? Here, have another splash of port ...

Their Love Will Drain You

Vampires are so romantic - that is, until they murder you horribly

Before I say anything else, I'd like to thank Jolie Du Pre for once again including my little-read, mostly-bullshit blog on the Vampire Bite Blog Hop. Sorry that I'm too technologically retarded to properly display your badge/logo thingy!

Happy Valentines Day, folks! Much love to anyone that might even remotely call themselves a fan of my scrawlings. And if you hate what I do ... well, heck, I tried.

So, the topic for today is ... vampires.

Vampires ... oh, those goddamned vampires. Alternately terrifying and completely harmless in a buff, handsome, rich, gee-whiz-lookit-me-I'm-a-sexy-beast-with-a-tortured-soul kind of way. How did such a fearsome legend become associated with an image that's so weak and toothless, anyhow? Who's to blame for this outrage?

"It's that goddamned Stephenie what's-her-face," you say, your lip curling with a horror-snob's withering disdain. "She's lame and shit," you add. Well, Stephenie what's-her-face certainly didn't help the situation any, but she's not really to blame. In my humble opinion, the blame rests solely on the shoulders of Bram Stoker. Dracula? He was a Victorian sex machine, that fucking guy. He eye-fucked the exposed ankles of daring maidens, and when his fangs popped their neck-cherries, there were many implied orgasms. He was ultra-rich, suave, mysterious ... and although Stoker does not make mention of it, the Count's undead penis was probably all rigor-mortised up to perfection.

So whaddya think? Would vampires be melancholy, lonely, impoverished creatures, unable to function in any way in a society that, in their eyes, is made up of delicious walking milkshakes? Alternately, is it more likely that they would be decadent, lavishly wasteful, uncaring caricatures of high society? Malevolent beings that eat children's hearts on a bed of black caviar? Such a creature would make for an excellent banker or big-dick player on the stock exchange; although I suppose that a banker's hours would be out of the question. Its hard to maintain the image of a debonair playboy if your fucking face is melting because you are engulfed by sulfurous flames ... or so I would assume.

What's interesting about the vampire myth, to me, is its universal prevalence in many different cultures. Most European nations have their own version, as did a lot of Middle Eastern cultures - add to this growing list China, Japan, Russia, various African nations ... all of them have legendary tales of dead things, running around at night, drinking blood and getting up to all sorts of murderous shenanigans. The fuck is that all about? It's easy to conceive, I suppose, that the story originated with one particular pre-history group of people, who then spread it as they forged bravely ahead onto new pastures, fleeing all kinds of natural horrors on the way. And who knows? Maybe these hypothetical, pre-history, stone-age ancestors of ours really were, at some point, being plagued by some menace that was, in some manner, vampire-esque: maybe  it was a marauding tribe of blood-drinking cannibals that they constantly had to fight off, or perhaps they were occasionally harried by some horrid kind of mutant human/primate offshoot - one that had pointy teeth and was fond of biting jugular veins. The lack of publicized archaeological evidence means nothing - maybe no one has ever found the fossilized remains of such a thing because they simply haven't stumbled on it yet.

Or ... have they? There are many, many people in high positions that would, for various reasons, want a find like that to disappear. (Cue orchestra strike as the camera zooms in on my eyes, which widen theatrically). Or, consider this - their dead sometimes had a bad habit of clawing their way out of their shallow graves, with a thirst for blood and a bad attitude. Fuck knows why - radiation? Sun flares! Yeah, I'll go with that one.

I dunno, man. I like talking shit. That's what horror writing is, really; talking shit, and trying to make it sound believable. I think that, if you can imagine something, then it probably exists somewhere, in one form or another. As far as I know, there's goddamned vampires living in my basement. Who's to say they aren't?

And who's to say that they can't love?

A Tribute To My Valentine

I hate this night, more than all the rest of the long, lonely nights of the year. It comes every year, and I dread it. I'm in torment ... I thirst. I'm cold, so cold; my body is one with the clammy, frigid floor of the basement that I hide in. It's dark down here, but I can see the spiders and rats that I hunt just fine. I don't need light to see. I don't need it to live, not like you do. Do you miss me still? Do you wonder about what became of me anymore?

I hate this night, more than every wretched night of my existence. I follow you sometimes, on the occasions when you go out after sunset with your husband and children; I watch as you walk and laugh with them, with him, and even though I want to scream my despair to the stars I don't. I smile instead. Because I love you, and I always will. Every night, when my eyes spring open and I realize, once again, that my dreams of you were nothing but lies that loneliness told me - every night I'm glad that the bastard took me, and not you. I was trailing behind you at the fair when it snatched me. You never even suspected what really happened ... and I'm so fucking glad that you didn't, because it could have easily been you that got carried off that night, so many years ago. You should never know this horror, what it's like to be dead and cold and so thirsty, so alone. No, my love, not you. Not ever.

That's why I'm going to leave the basement at sunrise. I want to see the sun again. I have to do this - because, if I don't, I won't be able to fight the raging temptation anymore. I can't spend another Valentine's Day without you. Seeing you last year really hurt, more than it ever has. I punched holes in the floor down here, I seethed and wept and shrieked. I ripped handfuls of brick from the wall and ground them to dust. This awful life without you hurts so much ... but I'd rather die than bring you down here with me.When I feel the burning of the sun, it will be your kiss, warming me for one last time. I'll burn as I've always burned for you, and the ashes left behind will be my last tribute to you - my heart, my love, my lost Valentine.

My Brush With Medieval-Style Pestilence

OR; Yet Another Reason Why Moving Is Terrible

A few months ago, the GF and myself decided that it was time for our fledgling little family to move out of an apartment and into a house. More room and such. So I spent all kinds of money on new shit and threw away old shit and then spent more money on I don't even know what the fuck, y'know? Money, money, and more money. Thinking myself crafty, I decided to move all the smaller stuff and boxes in my van, then let a moving company deal with all the large and heavy crap.


Not that they were slow, incompetent or discourteous, no; they were actually pretty awesome and did their job well. The problem lay in the fact that, at some point in the recent past, some dirty motherfuckers hired that same truck and their shit was covered with fucking bed bugs. Here's what I mean (it's a stock photo that I got off of Google, not my own skillful close-up photography, aha):

They apparently hitched a ride on our beds (and possibly couches) into the house. My girlfriend discovered the problem at about one AM on our second night here; she was reading in bed while I was brushing my teeth and doing the going-to-bed ritual, and just happened to notice something crawling around on the ground sheet beside her. It was a big, blood-filled, fucking cocksucking mother-buggering bed bug. She ran downstairs to share the horrifying news with me, and showed me the horrid thing's smeared, bloody carcass. We changed the bedding and reluctantly went to sleep. In the morning, I threw back the covers and immediately saw another bed bug crawling around on the underside of the comforter. Fuck! Sheer, skin-crawling repulsion! Thus began a four-day, sun-up-to-midnight battle against the awful, filthy little vampires, a battle which, to date, has cost me around five hundred fazoolies. Can you believe that shit?

This is a horror blog, and this experience is one of unadulterated horror. I am seriously wigged out by parasitic insects. I had to deal with a flea infestation once when I was a teenager (they came home with me on my clothes from a friend's house - his family had a zillion cats and they were all covered with sand fleas). That shit was just fucking god-awful, yes indeed, but bed bugs are a hundredfold worse. They have a stigma attached to them - anyone with a goddamn cat has had a flea problem at some point, but if you have bed bugs in your house, you are viewed as being a dirty, disgusting human being.

Ah, yes, the cost - the kid had to stay with the grandparents for a few nights, and I had to buy a goddamned steam-cleaner, a new shop-vac and a shitload of poison. We had to wash and/or severely dry all of our clothes and blankets, every fucking stitch of them. I'm talking twenty or more loads of laundry, for Christ's sake. Our electricity bill is going to break us. We're going to die, homeless and plagued with vitamin deficiency diseases, all because I was too lazy to move my couches myself. Fuck me sideways, man, what a kick in the ass.

Parasites. What a bunch of little bitches. Arrgh! Fuck off and make your way into the combative side of the food chain, you little pussies! Fight other insects to the death and eat them like real men; don't crawl out in the dead of night and suck my blood while I'm sleeping and defenseless. Cowards. I wish that I could shrink myself down to their size and beat their ugly little faces in with brass knuckles. I'd fucking sodomize them.

It's been two days since I've seen one, and I'm praying that our regimen of steaming, shop-vacuuming, laundering and poisoning has eradicated the little monsters clear off the face of the galaxy. I hope it fucking hurt, too. I hope it fucking hurt a lot.

The one good thing about this shit? It has inspired the makings of a very creepy, nasty short story.

Speaking of which, here's a bunch of super-shorts that I haven't shared with you on my blog yet. Enjoy!

P.S. Don't ever get a moving truck. DO ... NOT.

At the Fringes

Do you know that moment when consciousness blurs into the realm of sleep, and the physical world becomes a fantastical landscape of dreams? Well, if you train yourself to look carefully at your surroundings at this moment (and this takes a long, long time to do, mind you) you will observe that there are shadowy figures at the fringes.

Further adding to the unsettling nature of this observation, it can be easily discerned that these figures are reaching for you.

Now, I'm not openly inferring anything, here, I'm just saying - a LOT of people go missing, every year, every month and week and day; more people than you will personally know in your lifetime. Where do they all go?

A Hot Meal

The little girl was ragged and dirty, clad in an ancient and thread-bare little red dress. She wasn't even wearing any shoes. Jamie figured that this one was definitely not going to be missed anytime soon. With very little coercion, he coaxed the girl into leaving the playground and coming with him for "something good to eat."

They crossed the street hand-in-hand. Jamie looked furtively around and didn't see anyone; perfect. "We'll just go to my car over here and I'll drive us over to someplace fun," he explained to the grinning little sprite. As he helped the girl into the passenger seat, he continued, "Bet you haven't had a hot meal in a while, huh? Where's your parents, kiddo? Don't they care?" The girl grinned even wider and said something, but Jamie had already closed the door on her answer; at this point, time was of the essence. He rapidly strolled around and got into the car himself.

"What were you saying about your parents, hun?" he asked. "Are they not around anym- OH JESUS CHRIST!"

The awful thing beside him cackled and seized hold of his face. Thick talons ripped through his cheeks and sank into Jamie's tongue like hot knives into butter. In a voice that was choked by earth and rotting leaves, it gurgled, "I said, 'my parents are dead and dust, little man'. Now ... what's this about a hot meal..."

Shall We Begin?

Okay, you fucking scumbag, let's get that hood off of you - there we go. Naw, the gag can stay. I don't wanna hear anything that you have to say. Nothing that you could possibly say to me would make any difference, anyway, shithead; the money's changed hands, and it's a done deal. I have no pity for you. That's why people seek out my services - because I have no empathy in my heart. None.

I bet you wanna pretend that you don't know why you're here, am I right? Well, let me recap the situation for you. Two nights ago, you lured a drunk young girl away from a frat party and convinced her to go for a ride in your fancy car, remember that? Yeah, you remember, c'mon, kid ... this ain't the type of thing that someone just forgets about. You beat the shit out of her and raped her. Then you burnt her all over with a cigar, then you tried stabbing her to death; but whatever you were using wasn't doing the job, and she was probably screaming a lot too, wasn't she? So you dragged her out of the car and ran her over a few times, back and forth, over and over. Remember? She died in the hospital, but not before she gave us a little something - your name and license plate number, ahaha.

Well, guess what? This poor girl's father isn't some goofy shmuck like you and your frat buddies, he's ... well, he's a somebody, if you get what I mean. He's a man of means. He knows people. He knows me, and now I know you, you little piece of shit. So ... eye for an eye, that's what the old man wants. As you can see, I've got here a tire iron, a cigar and lighter, a very large dildo, and the keys to a steam roller that's parked out back. Shall we begin?

Like Midnight and Mist

Liz, please listen to me; I didn't have a mental breakdown, okay? Believe me ... well, not yet, anyway, aha. I'm probably getting close. Fuck the pills, I won't take the pills that they gave me; I don't need those things. What I need is to stay alert, so that I can keep watch for them. I don't dare relax my vigil, hell no, I hardly dare to even sleep for more than ten minutes at a time ... what's that? Watch for who? Ha! God, how I envy your ignorance, hun ...

They're your shadow, see? I mean, they disguise themselves as your shadow. They follow you wherever you go, all the time, constantly. I don't know where they came from, but these things have been with us for thousands of years, Liz, living off us like a sort of psychic parasite, feeding off of our bad deeds ... but that's not the worst part, hun. The worst part is that they get inside people, sometimes. They get inside you, and then they make you do bad things. I killed mine, when I finally saw it for what it was. I killed it with fire, that's how the house burned down, see? They're like leeches; like midnight and mist in the form of a lamprey. You have no idea how awful these things are. They smell of sour hate and decay, these things, they-

What?! NO! I'm not going back to the hospital, get it through your skull! I don't need help, I need someone to fucking listen! I didn't kill anyone, they did, goddamn it! Put the phone down - I said put it down! Why won't you fucking listen to me? Wait ... is it ... fuck, is it in you? Let me see your eyes! Oh ... oh Jesus, no. Not you, too ... get back! Don't make me use this, Lizzy, please. I said stop! I'll cut your fucking head off, you ghoul ... I SAID GET THE FUCK BACK-

Liz! Oh, sweetheart, I'm so sorry. Jesus Christ, baby, not you, too ...

The Worst Shower That I Ever Had

No. Seriously. It was fucking awful.

I have been WAY too fucking busy to update this blog. I'm busting my ass to get material together for an anthology that has been far too slow in the making. Between work, life, and preparing for the move (renting a house: goodbye, apartment life) there's barely enough time to take a proper shit, let alone update my stupid wiener-face blog.

Hey, I have a laptop, now ... I can write this thing as I shit. Ha! Another problem solved.

So I had a really, really terrible shower the other day. At the YMCA. Now, sure, you might be tempted to say, "You expected to have a pleasant bathing experience at the Y? Really?" but man, this was pretty horrid. Why? Well, in the shitty little town that I live in, everything generally sucks to some degree. The YMCA is not any different. The workout facilities themselves aren't so bad, but the men's change room is small, cramped, damp and creepy. There is no room for a man to exist without being crowded by and inconvenienced with the droopy old penises of middle-aged men. In the shower room, this situation far, far worse - it's an open shower room, no stalls, with the shower heads cramped in waaaaaaay too fucking close. I have been a member of this facility for months, but this is the first time that I decided to shower BEFORE going home from there - and it will very possibly be the last. To my horror, I realized that I was going to have to cram in beside two naked, hairy men in the twilight of middle age. We were almost touching. The force of the shower spray actually coated me with a horribly intimate mixture of their soap, sweat, ball effluence and wash-water, which I then frantically rinsed off. THEN, the gentleman to my left actually raised his foot and placed it on the tap in front of him, and proceeded to soap and wash the back of his square, saggy thigh in a manner that could only be described as stripper-esque. Horrified, driven to the brink of madness, I fled from the shower room and yanked my street clothes back on with shaking hands. Good God, so nasty ...

So, that's it for now. Back to work on the anthology. "What?! " you say, indignant. "No horror story this time?" Fuck you, pal, that WAS a horror story.