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.

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