Sunday, May 26, 2013


Theme: Infection

Your feet pound on and your arm drags on behind it.
By Grantaire

Your feet pound on and your arm drags on behind it.
You run through the darkening evening and your arm drags along with you. You cannot look at it: no amount of earthly power can make you.
Your feet pound on and your arm drags on behind it.
You can feel it. But you dare not lift it with your still healthy arm: that would involve both feel and touch.
Your heart, still healthy, vies for attention with its frantic pounding but you ignore it.
Your feet pound on and your arm drags on behind it.
What if there is nothing behind you? What if the monsters which bit your arm are just watching you?
What if they know you’re already done for?
Your feet pound on and your arm drags on behind it.
You must ponder sometimes if there was a life before this day: a life before the constant running, the agonizing horror, and the running once more: unfettered but bound by your own body.
You must wonder if there was a life before this hell.
Your feet pound on and your arm drags on behind it.
You can’t keep going like this. Your breath is gone, and your arm begins to jerk.
Oh God. Oh God.
Your feet pound on and your arm drags on behind it.
You have to stop. You have to just lie down; lie down and die. You must surrender. It’s alive, it’s all over.
No wonder you were left alone.
Your feet pound on and your arm slithers on behind it.
This can’t be happening. You couldn’t stand to cradle your arm, and now it’s cradling you, slipping up and around your shoulders. You open your mouth to scream, but you’re too far gone for more than a rasp to come out.
Your feet pound on and your arm coils on.
Your shoulders are numbing, and your legs pump even more furiously. You can-
Oh God, you can see your arm.
The rasping breaks out again, turning into heaving gasps. The numbness is spreading to your other arm, to your chest, leaving only your legs to pound on endlessly, A sound escapes you at last, a man’s desperate last scream.
Your feet pound on and your body coils about them.

  By John 55555:
I closed the door quietly and hung my hat on the crooked coat rack. It fell over with a crash and my wife shrieked upstairs. Today's not my day.
Despite the infection, my wife Emma tries to keep a neat house. We actually have a second story, a kind of running water, and some small windows. I handled the fortifications. it has been a long time since they attacked in any kind of numbers, but the odd group would still try and get in.
In fact, we're quite safe here. Except for one thing.

I'm a doctor.
I can help these people, sometimes. Not often, but sometimes. When caught quickly enough I could save them by  amputating the infected limb before it spread to the brain. If bitten on the torso, head or upper leg there was nothing I could do.
I went to the sink and tried to rinse off my wound. It was quite small, but a nasty one. I had to twist my head all the way to the left to see it, there on my shoulder. I'm done for.
Emma came down the stairs in her tattered robe. The kids must be in bed already, though the sun had barely set.
Without thinking, I turned to face her, and she saw the bite on my shoulder.  Her face sagged. She knew what it meant.


I ran as fast as I could. The jungle’s thorns, twigs, and rocks pierced my feet and body numerous times in my escape from the beach house. I was awakened earlier that night by screams from my flat mate who had accumulated some odd symptoms. He had lost all sanity and was now chasing me through the jungle of horrors as the natives called it. I tripped and fell. My former friend soon closed in on me. He stood over me with a murderous look on his face when one of the nearby natives issued a call that made him stop in his tracks and faint. “The new monster infection works very well.” He said “I wonder how it would work on you…” And with that, a puff of incense was blown into my face, and I too, became a monster.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


By Josh Baltarc:




The spike disappeared into the ground, securing yet another plank in place. Great. Only a million more to go. I grabbed another, lining it up.




I glanced over at George, who was currently reclining against a rock. Typical. Guy never did any work. “Get over here and help me out,” I said. He just grinned and shook his head. “Think you’ll get paid if you don’t do nothin’?” I asked.

“’Course!” he replied. “Them’s the laws. I get hired; I get paid. Don’t matter if I work or not.” It was true, and it was infuriating. That was the problem with this– This whole– I growled in frustration and returned to my work, pounding spike after spike, venting as much frustration as I could on the simple metal stakes. Every day, every week, every year it was the same.




But then again.




Did it have to be?








It didn’t.


George was deep in unearned slumber when I arose. He would never feel the spike pierce his heart.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


By Tyler St. Francis:

Drake screamed, but no one heard him.

If anyone was listening, they’d hear clattering and banging and ringing and a dull bong, a cacophony of sounds alternating and resonating through the thin December air. Nobody was listening that closely, though, so nobody could hear the roars or the screams or the weeping and the pain as he bounced aimlessly around inside the brass, hellish bowl he’d been strung up by the feet in. Drake slowly came to a stop, vomiting upside down all over his own face for the fourth time in…however many hours had it been, now? His hands were tied by a length of rope so tight you’d swear to God a sailor somewhere had a bone to pick with you and trussed you up.

This was no sailor, though. This was a pastor. A fucking crazy ass delusional fucking murderous pastor who happened to have a beautiful wife, who happened to have a wandering eye for cute guys, who happened to have the moral strength of butter and a moral compass that pointed straight up, but didn’t exactly point north, if you catch the drift.

Drake could feel something warm and sticky and coppery and he knew he must have been bleeding all over the inside of the brass; vomit didn’t get that sticky, vomit didn’t smell like that, vomit didn’t make you even sicker when you swallowed too much of it, vomit didn’t ooze from your teeth and your hands and vomit didn’t fall out of your cheeks when the skin had been scraped dead off, leaving nothing but the muscle and tendon to defend against the elements…

And why wouldn’t this fucking pastor say anything?

The bells drowned out into a series of unprocessed, unedited memories, a slow, sad lesson in the existentialist nature of the sound of music. Now that there was nothing to block him out, and now that it was a Friday night and the teenagers and the kids were out partying and drinking and chilling out, Drake could scream. He could get help. Sure, he wouldn’t quite have that handsome look to his face anymore. Sure, his baby blue eyes might be a bit purple with all the blood vessels that had burst in them. Sure, he’d have to deal with the blows to his pride, but fuh-huh-uuuck, it was better than dying in a giant brass coffin, right? Right?

Why wouldn’t this fucking pastor say anything?

“Come on, man…come on, this ain’t worth it…just let me go, man, you’re fucking crazy, JUST LET ME GO--!”

A warning shake: Drake rattled around like a collection of beans in a maraca, and it gave him an idea. As he heard the rope slip from the pastor’s grip he began to swing desperately, began the slow, agonizing attempt to make something happen, to make someone notice—

Outside the coffin, he heard something slip against a hard, knotted surface, like flesh against sandpaper. It was the sound of a rope being gripped; it was the next tolling.


The pastor said nothing; outside the brass, he heard something yank.

Meanwhile, the bells rang on, cheerfully oblivious to the suffering of their power source.


By Phantom Terror:

Lewa was strolling through the jungle one day when he heard a new sound. It was unlike any other that he had heard before; it was too high to be a drum, but to metallic to be a flute. He cut down some underbrush and found Tamaru expressing his love for music with a very strange piece of metal. “What happy-fun are we having here?” Lewa asked. “Oh, nothing really.” Tamaru replied. “Just thought what new clang-noise a funny-shape piece of metal would make.” “It sounds nice.” Lewa said. “May I swing-try?” He asked. “Yes, but it was hard to make. Please be careful.” Tamaru said as he handed the new instrument to Lewa. Lewa tapped it lightly with his finger. “It made no sound-noise.” Lewa said. “Did I break it?” He asked in dismay. “No, you swing it like this.” Tamaru said as he brought the piece of metal up and flicked his wrist. The bell responded by making a melodious sound. “That’s a pretty noise-sound.” Lewa said. “May I try again?” He asked. “Sure.” tamaru said as he handed the bell to Lewa. Lewa then flicked his wrist the same way that Tamaru did, only he wasn’t holding on tight enough. “The bell flew out of Lewa’s hands and hit a very scared Tamaru. Tamaru then flopped onto the ground unconscious. “Well, have happy-fun with your new noisemaker!” Lewa said as he hurried away. Hopefully Tamaru wouldn’t remember what happened.


A Story for a Boy That I Know Of
by Eyru

They were ringing for her.

They pealed and laughed and sang and shouted for joy. They raised a noise to the cloudless sky; they gave forth a mighty hallelujah that surely rang through all of heaven.

She was crying. She couldn't tell why – was it joy or fear? The song of the bells tolled within and without, echoing through her brain, jarring tears from her forget-me-not eyes. They spilled over velvet-soft lids and through sugar-spun lashes, trailing mascara on their journey down her cheeks.

The problem: how do you wipe your eyes when wearing all white?

Her sister saved her, dabbing away the treacherous tears as the music swelled, the bells ringing louder than ever before. They rolled like thunder and thundered like a storm, singing a song that could shake stone. Piercing like silver lightning and warm like golden summer rain, they shouted and screamed and tolled for love.

She blinked back saltwater, blurry figures resolving into the world the bells had made. For they had made it, hadn't they, or had she? Perhaps she had been a part of it all along.

The bells rang either way, ringing for her.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


By Eyru Bieber

Only a Man

Slowly, he walked along the empty street, footsteps echoing between abandoned buildings. A dirty rag of a newspaper blew gently along the ground. The city was empty. Dead.

He looked up, his eyes scanning each floor of the nearest apartment. The lights were all out. Some windows were open; some shutters were half-closed; one pane of glass was spattered with a dark liquid. He blinked and looked away, swallowed his guilty nausea.

Always higher, his eyes looked higher. The tops of the buildings were as empty as the streets. Beyond them, the blank sky, grey as slate. No birds. No planes. It was as though everyone had vanished.

Despite the lack of a population being uncanny and strange, it wasn't the absence of people that unnerved him most: it was the silence. The only noise was his footsteps; his red boots clicked against the asphalt over and over. He was the city's heartbeat; he was its alien metronome, counting the seconds. Keeping time in a city where all time had run out.

Once again, he looked over his shoulder, hoping against hope to see someone standing there that hadn't been only moments ago. He knew there was no one there, and if there was, he would have heard them. His ears were sharper than most. Still, he couldn't help himself. All he wanted was to see one person, one piece of evidence that he wasn't the last person left in this skeleton of a metropolis.

Water spilled from between his lids. Hit by a sudden spike of pain in his chest, the man sobbed once, twice. He blinked back tears valiantly, but couldn't dam the flow forever. Saltwater trickled down his cheeks as he struggled and failed to push back the realization that he had failed.

Sinking to his knees, his cape crumpling to the ground, scarlet as blood, he wept.


By Nuile:

Leaves rustled about me, crunching underfoot, swirling overhead. A dusky orange saturated the sky, streaked by strata of black clouds. The light of the sun was fading, plunging the world into ever-lengthening shadows. A howl hooted in the distance, nearby a bush rustled. I quickened my pace. Was that wolf howling? It sounded almost human . . . A twig snapped behind me.
My heart beat rapidly, protesting my presence here. But what choice did I have?
Footsteps. Were they footsteps? No, that was just a leaf skittering across the path . . .

Wasn’t it?
The precious light of day was fading quickly. Instinctively I wanted to run toward the light and follow it, but reason told me that was impossible. But reason seemed to slip with every sound around me.
That wasn’t a wolf—and it was close. But what was it? My breathing was coming in quick gasps. I put a hand over my mouth to conceal the sound.
There was something moving nearby. Something big. The darkening hues of the twilight played tricks with my eyes, blinding me to the depths of the shadows. Were those eyes gleaming behind that tree? They couldn’t be. They were—reflectors for bikers—or—shiny rocks—
The hair rose along the nape of my neck. I had felt warm air as if something were breathing on me. I knew I hadn’t imagined it. I couldn’t have.
I broke into a run. Half-blind, half-crazed, I blundered away from the path. Any sense would have told me to run in the opposite direction, as far away from the umbrageous forest as possible. But something pulled me into the trees . . . I would be safely hidden there.
Wouldn’t I?
An owl screeched. There was a flap of wings and a rustling of leaves and—was that the howl again? Was that breathing? No—just the wind . . . must have been . . .
I tripped over a root. I felt rocks and branches and bark scratch at my hands and knees and face but I stumbled to my feet and hurried on. I collided with something in the darkness.
What was it? It was a tree—it must have been. It was too soft—but it was mossy, that’s all. The claws that ran lightly across my body were just branches—

 Weren’t they?

 My heart beat against my ribs, trying to escape, trying to run away from the danger I had put myself in. But it could not escape, no more than I could. I struggled in vain.

 Then someone—or something—laughed from the shadows.

“Afraid of the dark?”