Saturday, February 21, 2009

Granny Panties

Granny Panties
Al Bruno III

Shapeless, white, trimmed with lace and roughly the size of his head.

Brett couldn't believe he had forgotten them but there was nothing he could do about it now; the funeral was over and Great Aunt Jill was in the ground. All that was left for him to do now was pack up her two lifetime's worth of clothes and knickknacks for goodwill or EBay, the house was his, finally his.

Still though he felt guilty about the whole underwear thing, near the end Great Aunt Jill had been worried to the point of paranoia about being buried in respectable undergarments.
“Please be sure they bury me in my blue church dress and my own underwear. Sometimes the undertakers don't bother and leave you nude under your clothes.”

She had actually said
“Nude under your clothes.” And without a drop of irony. More than once Brett had found himself burying his face to make sure she didn't see him roll his eyes.

Still though, Great Aunt Jill was gone, her blue dress was gone and being dragged to church every Sunday at 8 in the morning was over. Brett decided he needed a little fresh air and walked on to the porch. His porch. It was still crowded with colorful plants and drab decorations; it would all go soon in favor of something a little more bachelor-y. It would all be going, the doilies, the precious moments’ figurines the paintings and statuettes depicting the suffering of Christ. He often wondered why there weren't any pictures of Jesus hanging out with his buds- of course he never wondered it aloud, Great Aunt Jill would have had a conniption.

Once he felt refreshed enough and the smell of mothballs was gone from his nose Brett headed back inside. He thought to himself that his life shouldn't have been this way, that at 24 he should have been out and on his own- and hopefully been knee deep in pussy.

But his parents had thrown him under the bus at 12 years old and all just because he had shoplifted, gotten into a few fights and been caught with marijuana at school that one time. Brett barely escaped juvenile detention or boot camp but for the grace of God and his parents' lawyer. When it had all blown over Mom and Dad had shipped him off to his Great Aunt Jill in Elmira certain that she would be able to 'straighten him out'.

He now in retrospect felt that he should have taken his chances in juvie; after all they would have had to let him go at 18. Great Aunt Jill was under no such restrictions.

It took him a little a little while longer to clear out the last of the clothes, for a woman that only seemed to wear six seven outfits her whole life Great Aunt Jill sure had a lot of clothes stuffed into bureaus, dressers and most of the closets. Once that was done Brett started to break down her bed, he was done sleeping in the attic but there was no way he was sharing a mattress with her, even after the fact.

Soon enough the room would be empty and he could put in a waterbed or a widescreen TV, anything he wanted, he could afford it now. Brett remembered his parents dropping him off here to leave him in the care of a relative he only saw at holidays and funerals. A relative he only remembered because of her bell- like shape and dry kisses. As soon as he’d finished waving goodbye to Mom and Dad his new guardian laid down the house rules - no loud radios, no TV but educational programming, no videogames, lights out was at 10 PM and there was no lock on the bathroom door so if she caught him pleasuring himself he would find himself doing Hail Mary's for an hour.

That was when Brett made the mistake of asking her what a Hail Mary was.

A baker’s dozen of Hail Mary’s later she took him to his new room… it wasn’t much more than a bed a lamp and a chest of drawers in the attic. He could hear the wind whistling through the cracks in the attic windowsill and shivered a little in anticipation. His parents weren’t really going to go through with this were they?

Once Great Aunt Jill’s bed was broken down and waiting out on the curb for the trash man Brett made sure all the closets and drawers had been fully emptied. He found a black and white photograph in the top drawer of the nightstand table. It was of his Great Uncle John, who had apparently died a few years after his marriage. Everyone said it was a tragic accident but Brett now suspected it had all been an elaborate escape attempt gone wrong.

Brett tossed the photo and the bible into the kitchen trash, already making plans for his Monday visit with the estate lawyer. Did he want all the money at once? Or did he want it put in some kind of trust that would invest for him and dole out cash like a paycheck.

A really big paycheck. Brett thought as he decided to make a sandwich and have a beer. That’s right Jill, a beer.

He tripped over something on his way to the refrigerator, something tangled around the heel of his shoe. It was Great Aunt Jill’s forgotten funeral underwear, Brett laughed to himself he tossed the handful of cloth into the trash and got to work on that sandwich and beer.

And he didn’t use a single coaster or napkin; it made the meal taste even better.


From the ages 12 to 24 learned a great many things beyond the basic necessities of survival, like keeping the house neat, his manners perfect and how to sneak down into the basement laundry room at 1 AM so he could masturbate. Brett also learned that his parents weren’t coming back for him, that he’d been written off.

No, not written off… sold off.

Brett had found out that for all her frugal living and unwillingness to upgrade to cable TV Great Aunt Jill was rich, not super rich but rich enough to never need anything- rich enough to have family members coming to her with their hands out morning, noon and night. However since she was stingy Great Aunt Jill stayed rich and got richer.

And as far as Brett could figure it that was why he was stranded in Elmira because his parents were trying to win Great Aunt Jill’s heart and cash by giving here the one thing she never had.

A son of her own to take care of, and dote on and emasculate

It didn’t matter how many times he begged to come home. It didn’t matter that at every family gathering he felt himself drifting further and further from the emotional orbit of his parents and siblings until they started to treat him with the same kind of cool affection they’d reserve for a third cousin.

Or a Great Aunt.


Now that she was gone relatives were less reluctant to visit Great Aunt Jill’s house and they were all amazed and alarmed at how much the place had changed in the three months since her death. 1940’s era wallpaper and linoleum? Gone. Religious iconography? Gone. Threadbare non-leather furniture? Gone. Cool bachelor lifestyle?

Well he was working on that.

Of course when his relatives did come to call, the conversations always ended up reaching the subject of Great Aunt Jill’s fortune. How much did she leave? What was he going to do with it? Could they borrow five hundred dollars to get their car out of the impound lot?

Brett quickly discovered that the only thing better than having relatives beg you for money was saying no- especially his parents. He wondered sometimes what left them more stunned, that Great Aunt Jill had managed to live for as long as she had or that boy they had given to her had somehow managed to wheedle his way into the entire inheritance.


“Do you want to come up for a while?” she asked.

The question sent Brett’s pulse rate soaring, her name was Melanie and she was an assistant librarian. Which Brett assumed meant that she hadn’t quite mastered the Dewey Decimal system yet. Although personally he didn’t care if she had a job gelding horses because she was cute, easy to talk to and interested in him.

It was only their first date but somewhere between dinner and the show they’d gone from hand holding to kissing. He hadn’t planned to take things too quickly but Melanie had plans of her own. Once they were alone in her apartment they wasted no time in finding their way to her bedroom. Shoes off, their bodies rubbed together, they panted nonsense words to each other between the kisses.

Melanie wasn’t his first, but this was the first time when he had been alone with a woman and it hadn’t felt furtive or clumsy. Brett peeled her clothes away, slowly, savoring every moment of it. Her blouse and bra landed on the floor, he nuzzled the nape of her neck his hands exploring.

This girl was something, really something but he couldn’t quite imagine himself spending the rest of his life with her. But what as that old saying? That every girl was practice until the right girl came along?

Well as far as Brett was concerned he was going to practice the shit out of this girl.

Once he had exhausted himself with the possibilities of her exposed breasts Brett reached down and undid the zipper of
Melanie’s skirt. By the time he had it off her she was cooing his name. Brett felt his body begin to tremble with anticipation, this was it. He hooked his fingers in the waistband of her panties; they were exactly the kind of panties he would have expected to see an assistant librarian wearing- shapeless, white, trimmed with lace.

That thought was like a splash of cold water in all the wrong places. He looked back up the length of her hoping it was a trick of the light but no.

She was wearing panties just like Great Aunt Jill’s, a thick asexual square of fabric that covered her from crotch to navel.

“What’s wrong?” Melanie asked.

“I don’t feel so…” He dressed clumsily, jamming his feet back into his shoes and throwing on his jacket, “…I’ll call you.”

“What’s wrong?” she called after him but he was already halfway down the stairs.

What’s the matter with me? Brett thought as he sped home, You blew it, and over what? Some underwear that she was going to let you take off her anyway?

But it was more than that, seeing that underwear had made him suddenly conscious of the woman again, of all the restrictions, stress and head games. He had spent the last six years of his life taking care of her and waiting for her to die. There was no way he was going to let Great Aunt Jill go to a nursing home so her estate could be nickel and dimned away to nothing so he had played nursemaid- but playing nursemaid had left him with images of the woman’s anatomy floating in his subconscious.

The sight of those panties had brought one too many clumsy bedpan cleanups to mind.

All Brett wanted now was to get home and get blind stinking drunk- he would have gone to a strip club but the closest one he knew of was in Utica. Police lights flared to life behind him.
Oh what the Hell is this? Just because I have a red sports car and I’m going… He checked the speedometer …40 miles an hour above the speed limit.

“Shit.” Brett pulled over to the side of the road and tried to remind himself that he had a clean record. This was nothing. He would look back at all this someday and laugh.

The officer asked, “Sir do you know how fast you were going back there?”

Brett shrugged, “Pretty fast? Sorry?”

“Could I get your license and registration please?”

The license was in his wallet, the registration was in his glove compartment buried under the old Burger Clown paper napkins, owners manual and CDs. He pawed through them, tossing Night Ranger and Limp Bizkit’s greatest hits onto the seat beside him.

The napkins were all stuck together somehow and they all came out at once when he pulled at them. They were so old that they had become smooth to the touch and shapeless…

…and white.

…and trimmed with lace.

Brett screamed.


It took one ticket, field sobriety test and car search before the police let him go home. He wasn’t sure how the panties had gotten there but Brett figured he must have pulled them off Melanie when he ran from her place.

The gentlemanly thing would have been to keep them to return to her but Brett couldn’t bear to have the things near him. He tossed them out the window of his car as he made his way home at a safe and reasonable speed.


A month later Brett was a jittery and teary eyed every moment of the day. His newly swinging bachelor pad was had become a slovenly ruin… even by the low standards set by bachelor pads.

Wherever he went he found them. He found them when he was folding laundry, when he was reaching for something to towel off with and even that one time when he was in the psychiatrist’s office they had fallen out of a magazine along with all those subscription cards!

Great Aunt Jill’s panties hounded him at every turn.

No. He thought, No just her panties… it’s her, she’s haunting me.

And Brett thought he knew why.

“Please be sure they bury me in my blue church dress and my own underwear. Sometimes the undertakers don't bother and leave you nude under your clothes.”

So she wanted her damn granny panties did she? Well he would see to it she got the damn things. Brett was sure he had everything he needed; flashlight, shovel and a crowbar.

He would have preferred not to go on such a dark and stormy night but he’d caught the panties lounging insolently on the dish rack and knew it was now or never.

It was a little after 1 AM when he reached the cemetery, a half an hour later he found an out of the way spot that he could use to sneak in. The cold rain soaked him to the skin, the thunder and lightning disoriented but he found Great Aunt Jill tombstone soon enough.

The storm had left the ground soft for digging but it was still a long backbreaking process. Every time he thought he was making progress one side of the grave would fall in and he would have to start again.

When the coffin was uncovered he took a moment to rest, the parts of his body that weren’t clammy and cold were sore and aching. He wondered to himself if it would be enough to just leave the granny panties in the coffin with her or if Great Aunt Jill really expected him to slip them on her.

Well I’m here. I may as well go all the way. He grabbed the crowbar and started to pry open the coffin lid. He cursed himself for getting such an expensive casket but eventually his persistence was rewarded with the sound of wood cracking. Brett opened the coffin.

The stench was worse than he could ever imagine both rancid and stale, bile filled his mouth, his eyes water. He forced himself to finish the job, there was no turning back now.

He reached into his jacket pocket but the panties weren’t there.

He tried the other. Still nothing.

“No.” Brett said as he checked each pocket a second and third time, “Oh no no no no…”

They were gone.

Did they… escape?

Scrambling out of the grave Brett looked all around the open Great Aunt Jill’s final resting place for the scrap of cloth.

Nothing. Nothing at all. He thought, Are they back at the car? Did I leave them home? What am I going to do?

Then Brett realized and he started tearing at himself, the crack of thunder swallowing his choking cries.


The next morning the cemetery caretaker ran into his office and dialed 911, “I need the police down at Morningside Cemetery. Someone dug up one of the graves and there’s this young man lying dead just a few feet away. Yes he’s dead. I know a dead man when I see one but you wouldn’t believe what he’s wearing…”

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dulces Susurros (Traducción de Jorge Prieto Martínez)

Dulces Susurros
Al Bruno III
Traducción de Jorge Prieto Martínez

Los ojos soñolientos del conserje del hotel se abrieron de par en par a la mera mención del número. "¿732? No, usted no quiere esa habitación."

Cada año la misma historia; el conserje cambiaba pero las preguntas eran siempre iguales. Normalmente soportaría la lista interminable de excusas, pero el peregrinaje de este año había sido particularmente desagradable. El coche había tosido, escupido y amenazado con morir a cada parada en el camino; las nubes habían estado engordadas y repletas de lluvia.

Los días lluviosos siempre eran los más difíciles.

Por tanto, corté la conversación de cuajo. Con un gesto despreocupado solté un fajo de billetes en el mostrador y repetí, "Habitación 732, por favor."

"Usted no..."

"Deme la habitación 732 por esta noche, y puede quedarse con el cambio."

La expresión en la cara del conserje era casi cómica. Hizo desaparecer los billetes de la vista y me pasó la llave. Alejándome del mostrador, me dirigí al familiar laberinto de pasillos. Las preguntas que el conserje no había llegado a formular ardían a mis espaldas. ¿Por qué esa habitación? ¿Acaso no ha oído las historias? ¿Acaso no tiene miedo?

Me aseguré de desaparecer de su vista antes de que decidiese preguntarlas.

La primera vez que yo estuve aquí...

No, yo no. Nosotros.

La primera vez que estuvimos aquí, este era un establecimiento de cuatro estrellas, con pasillos brillantemente iluminados, ascensores que funcionaban, e incluso servicio de habitaciones. Ahora el ascensor llevaba tres años fuera de servicio, y cuando las bombillas de los pasillos se fundieron nadie se molestó en cambiarlas. Abrí la puerta de las escaleras de un empujón; algunas figuras se encogieron en la oscuridad, gruñendo sin ganas. Pasándolas de largo comencé a subir las escaleras, con el sonido de la basura crujiendo bajo mis pies.

Para cuando llegué al séptimo piso estaba sin aliento; nada sorprendente, la verdad. Ya no soy un hombre joven. A veces me pregunto por qué el hotel había pasado de moda tan rápidamente. No podía ser sólo porque alguien había muerto aquí; después de todo, la gente se muere en sus habitaciones de hotel continuamente. A lo mejor era la manera en que ella murió; quizá el horror de sus últimos momentos era tan profundo que impregnaba cada piso y cada pasillo. Quizá los inquilinos durmientes en viaje de negocios y las familias de vacaciones se despertaban exactamente a la una y cuarenta y cinco minutos de la madrugada, con el corazón latiendo salvajemente y las sábanas cubiertas de sudor. Quizá no era más que la nueva carretera, más convenientemente localizada, que había cortado toda esta sección de la ciudad de las rutas turísticas.

El sonido que la puerta de las escaleras del séptimo piso hizo al abrirse era alto y agudo como un chillido de mujer. Recorrí el pasillo con el ceño fruncido, escuchando el goteo constante de las goteras del techo. Encontré la puerta que tan bien conocía y metí la llave en la cerradura. Por un momento permanecí allí, contemplando la habitación oscura y vacía, desgarrado entre el instinto que me impulsaba a huir y las promesas que había jurado cumplir. Esto, como las discusiones con el conserje, es otro de mis rituales.

Dejé las luces apagadas; conocía el camino demasiado bien. Cerrando la puerta detrás de mí, crucé la habitación y me senté en la cama mohosa. Era un poco ridículo que tras toda una década todavía temblaba al llegar este momento. Durante un rato me quedé mirando a las sombras, con la mirada perdida en la oscuridad. Luego cerré los ojos y repasé en mi cabeza las imágenes de cerraduras rotas, precintos policiales y sangre reseca.

Sentí un escalofrío recorriendo mi columna. Casi podía imaginarla arrodillándose en la cama detrás de mí, sus largos brazos abrazándose alrededor de mi pecho.

"Te echo de menos." Mi voz era solemne pero cargada de incertidumbre. De todos los rituales que seguía en este terrible aniversario, este era el más importante. "Ojalá hubiese vuelto antes. Ojalá hubiese estado aquí. Ojalá..."

Su voz sale de la oscuridad, un susurro en el oído. "Lo sé."

And now for something hopefully completely different...

Hello again,

The work on my serial novel continues, I like to think I may be able to start sharing it soon. Truth be told I would like to have the entire first year or so of installments ready to go. That way I can find myself well and truly painted into a corner by 2010.

One of my good friends Jorge Prieto was kind enough to translate one of my stories into Spanish for me, hopefully the folks out there who only know me from Las Historias De Ab3 can now enjoy the other genre I rarely make money at.

And yes the above site is also by Jorge Prieto, the same Jorge Prieto who supplied my Corpse Wars artwork.

The term Renaissance Man doesn't even begin to scratch the surface when it comes to Jorge.

And the next post will be Dulces Susurros... assuming to dark gods of formatting are kind...

Monday, February 16, 2009


Some time ago I became enamored of the idea of writing some fan fiction for the X-Files TV show. I wrote I think three or four but this is the only one still floating around.

I didn't edit or format this one at all this is just how it looked on the newsgroups

This story is copyrighted by author, 1995. Permission to
distribute freely is given, provided you do not attempt to sell
it. X-Files is a trademark of Fox Television, characters not used
by permission.


a tale of the tenth muse

The corpse lay in the morgue, stripped of its clothes and
humanity. It was just another piece of meat now. The eyes were
open, they stared glassily, accusingly at the inside of the
refrigerated cabinet.
The ghetto came to life at dusk, the pushers, users, pimps,
whores, those who had nothing to do and those who simply had
nothing all went out in search of sustenance. The air was cold
with the vanguard of winter, reddening faces and coloring
peoples' breath a gray-white. Fires were being started in garbage
cans and metal drums, spirits were consumed carefully for their
warmth would have to last through the night.
Ephialtes and Teles hunted here tonight. Their blades were
cleaned, sharpened and blessed. They surveyed the ghetto from a
birdshit soiled rooftop as the wind howled through the streets
and alleys like a mad ghost. The cold would aid their hunt, their
prey would be stationary tonight, reluctant to leave warm
Teles, a muscular, short haired, black woman, nodded to her
companion and leapt lightly from the rooftop. Her agile frame
landed on the fire escape a few feet below. After a final look
around Ephialtes, a spindly, pale skinned man, followed.
Off in the distance there was the sound of a siren.
A pair of white coated orderlies opened the refrigerated
cabinet, loaded the corpse onto a stretcher and rolled it out of
the room.
The white sheet that covered the body fluttered with the
breeze of movement as it was rolled through the halls of the
There was a knock at the door. Shaking his head in a half-
hearted attempt to clear the boozy haze from he got up and
answered the door. "Excuse me, are you Christopher McCann?"
"Yes." Chris replied, he knew what this was all about. For a
moment he began to worry...what if this was one of them? But a
second glance at his caller erased any such doubts, the suit he
was wearing practically screamed FBI.
"I'm Special Agent Fox Mulder and I'd like to ask you a few
questions about the events of the seventeenth."
"Sure." Chris stepped aside, "I didn't think this was a
Federal matter."
"We believe that the man you killed may have been involved
in several out-of-state murders." he said pacing the apartment's
cramped parlor, his gaze moving from the remains of a pair of six
packs of Molson Ice to the loaded 9mm in Chris' hand, "And the
councilor said you had quite a story to tell."
Chris locked the door and returned the couch, "So much for
The special Agent raised his hands, "She didn't go into
detail she just said it was a wild story."
"Wild." he grimaced, blinking back tears, "My partner's
dead, pretty fuckin' wild huh?"
"Would you tell me what happened?" Mulder sat on the couch
beside him, "I'm ready to believe you."
Chris went through the upright cans, shaking them one by one
till he found one that was not entirely empty. He drained it
greedily before speaking, "We got a call, an anonymous tip. A
murder in progress in an abandoned building on the east side. Tim
and I were nearby so we took the call. We figured whatever it was
it was gang related" He laughed bitterly.
The corpse was unceremoniously dumped onto a table. The
blonde haired orderly absent-mindedly closed its eyes. The other,
older orderly removed the toe tag. They left the room.
The corpse waited.
The secret chapel sat on the outskirts of the city, unseen
except by the eyes of the mad and the doomed. Hidden beneath a
junkyard, it was a labyrinth dug into the Earth and hidden by
dunes of waste and debris.
The secret chapel was lit by candles or not at all. It was
lifeless now except for the scurrying form of Hebe, the chapel's
caretaker. Her warped, pitted features were knitted with
concentration- everything had to be perfect.
She paused in front of the altar and admired the statue
suspended on the wall behind it. It was of a woman, her features
angular and beautiful, her long hair streaming down her back. She
was naked save for a shawl of knives. Trails of dried blood ran
down over it to puddle as a dry stain on the floor.
As Hebe stared raptly at the statue of the tenth muse a
rivulet of blood oozed out of the stone and wove a fresh trail
"We got to the address, it was quiet." Chris continued, "Tim
went in first, it was his turn. The place smelled terrible, like
rotting garbage. It made me feel dizzy. We checked the cellar
first, and then all the other rooms. We didn't find anything."
Chris looked away. Damn but he wanted another beer, another
six pack!
Agent Mulder waited patiently for him to continue.
"The only place we hadn't checked was the top floor, an old
burnt out studio apartment."
The stoop shouldered man walked to the curb, his Impala's
windows were just beginning to frost over. He look around
nervously as he fumbled for his keys.
From an alleyway the hunters, Teles turned to her companion
and whispered, "We'll need a car."
Ephialtes nodded in agreement.
The stoop shouldered man swung the car door open and climbed
inside. Teles caught the door before it could shut and swung it
back open.
Ephialtes knife found the man's throat and cut deep, blood
squirted into his face, warming his wind-numbed skin.
The dying man fell from the car, his scrabbling fingers
trying to close the wound. He was dead in a matter of minutes.
The hunters got into the car and drove away, leaving the
body on the roadside. After a few moments a shy cat left its
nearby hidey-hole to lap at the pool of fresh blood.
A harsh white light shone on the bare corpse. Dana Scully
perused the body carefully before speaking into a microphone.
"Name Mark Turner. Caucasian male. Red hair. Age early twenties.
Distinguishing features- a small scar on the chin, probably a
knife wound of some sort. There is a tattoo on his right
shoulder, a word of some kind. I don't know how to pronounce it
so I'll spell it out, have to look it up later. C-E-P-H-A-L-U-S."
Latinus the high priest arrived in the secret chapel. From
the moment he stepped off the ladder Hebe was at his heels,
telling him of the fresh stigmata that had appeared on the statue
of their blessed goddess. He listened intently, shedding his
clothes as he walked. When he was naked- his shoes, underwear,
socks, flannel shirt and blue jeans all in Hebe's twig-like arms,
he stood in front of the altar and began to chant solemnly.
"As we walked up the stairs the smell got worse, we could
hardly breathe. You could hear rats running around somewhere. It
was dark, all the windows had been painted black. We had to use
our flashlights." Chris had stopped crying now. He was determined
to finish his story, "Tim opened the door. It was my turn but I
let him lead the way."
Agent Mulder listened quietly.
"I tripped and fell on something wet and warm. I must have
screamed because Tim had turned around and shone his light on me.
I heard him gasp and I looked down to see I had slipped in a
puddle of blood. There was a corpse a few inches away from me. It
had been skinned."
Maria's bloated body kept her from walking very far but when
her husband told her to get him a soda from the fridge she did
it. Life was easier that way. He took the can from her hand and
popped it open. She sat down beside him on the couch and tried to
lose herself in the game show playing on the TV.
But it bored her, watching rich white's get richer. Maria
looked around her apartment, the yellow walls, rusty pipes and
dirty floors sickened her. She'd had dreams once, dreams of a
fine house and a fine man but cruel fate and strong liquor had
conspired to rob her of that dream. What wouldn't she give for
the chance to go back to that critical night half a year ago and
stop herself?
Roberto's meaty hand patted her swollen stomach, "Pretty
She smiled and nodded. At least the big dope loved her, that
was more than could be said for a lot of other marriages these
days. Maybe things weren't so bad, Roberto was making enough
money as a welder to keep them out of debt and off welfare. When
the baby was born she would be able to stay with it, watch it
grow, keep it safe. They would always have clean clothes and
plenty of food; her baby would never have to go through what she
had to. Maybe they would be able to get into a better apartment
eventually, who knew what fate had in store?
She leaned across the couch and kissed Roberto on the cheek,
his thick arms circled her waist.
The apartment door flew open, a black woman and a white man
crashed inside, holding in their hands intricate, bloodstained
Roberto jumped to his feet shouting.
Teles arm snapped forward, her knife flew across the room
and caught Maria in the dead center of her chest. She fell
backwards issuing a final gurgling cry.
Roberto was too shocked to react, he fell back to the
comforting softness of the couch, his fingers digging into the
From behind, quick as lightning, Ephialtes brought the hilt
of his knife down hard on the back of Roberto's head. The burly
man fell to the floor unconscious.
After checking the apartment for further inhabitants they
lifted Roberto and carried him to the car.
Scully dug into the corpse, her scalpel widening the
bullethole in the abdomen. The scalpel cut through limp muscle,
her mask couldn't completely obscure the scent of purification.
What the Hell did Mulder have her here for? From the case
file this looked like nothing more than a serial killer who's
luck had run out. And regardless of what Truth might be out
there, the police officer's story was pure hysteria, nothing
more. She wondered if this had something to do with their last
case. Was Mulder testing her? Making her get back up on the horse
to regain her confidence?
The thought made Scully irritated and amused all at once.
There was a faint clink as her scalpel found the first
bullet. After a few moments she managed to loose it from between
two ribs and dropped it into a metal bowl with a resounding
The most fanatic members of the congregation had begun to
arrive at the secret chapel. The high priest looked at them with
a mixture of affection and loathing, their true concern was not
with serving the tenth muse but with having their own spilling of
blood justified. He sighed, at least they were generous with
their donations and obedient to the point of overzealousness.
When Hebe had finished taking their garments Latinus called
her over.
She was at his side instantly, she had not even bothered to
put away the early arrivals' clothes. The high priest eyed them,
three immaculately pressed suits and a policeman's uniform. "Have
Ephialtes and Teles returned yet?"
Hebe's misshapen features creased. "No but I'm sure they'll
be back soon."
The high priest stroked her nearly hairless head lovingly,
"Fine. Tell me when they do. I'm going to prepare."
"They came at us out of the shadows. The first thing I saw
was their eyes shining in the glare of my flashlight. They were
such crazy eyes."
"Any idea how they managed to get the drop on you?" Agent
Mulder asked.
"And Mark Turner was one of them?"
"Yes." Chris was staring off into space, seeing only
"Tell me about the two women with him."
"They had blood on their faces- they all had blood on their
faces. Tim noticed their knives and drew his gun. I remember him
shouting for them to stay back. But he-"
"Mark Turner?"
"Yes, he just jumped on Tim and grabbed the gun out of his
hands. The two women started stabbing Tim, the man popped the
clip from Tim's gun and started flicking the bullets to the floor
one by one." a sob escaped from Tim's lips, "It was like they
knew I was there but they didn't care, like I didn't matter."
Mulder nodded gravely, "Your report is sketchy about what
happened next."
"I tried to get away, I was backing for the door when the
man, he looked at me and said 'Leaving so soon?'"
Roberto came to in cramped darkness. He tried to move but
his wrists and ankles were securely tied. Claustrophobia took
hold, making his hear flutter like a frightened bird. He would
have screamed if not for the duct tape over his mouth.
He felt his prison move, heard the roar of a motor, smelled
exhaust fumes and realized he was in the trunk of a car.
Who had done this? And why? He had never done anything to
anyone, he had no enemies. And Maria, why had they killed his
beloved Maria? Whoever these people, these monsters were, Roberto
vowed to make them pay.
But tears claimed him as he thought of the baby.
Two other bullets joined the first in the metal dish, blood
had congealed around their squashed shapes. Scully took a moment
to step away from the body and stretch her aching back. One
bullet left to find.
She wondered how Mulder's interview with Officer McCann was
going. With any luck he was realizing that this was a bust and
they would be out on the first available flight. Manhattan was
simply not her cup of tea.
Returning to work, she retrieved her scalpel and set to work
on the bullet would in the corpse's forehead.
The entire face seemed to collapse around the bullethole,
Scully mused darkly that it looked like it was sucking in the
remaining flesh.
One of the hidden entrances to the secret chapel opened,
Ephialtes and Teles entered carrying Roberto's feebly struggling
body between them. Once inside they dropped him like a too-heavy
Teles closed the entrance and they both began to undress.
Hebe scurried into the room to see who it was and then ran back
to tell Latinus the hunters had returned.
"We looked into each other's eyes for what seemed forever.
Then I heard this ripping noise. I looked to Tim, the two women-
they were- they were- oh God. I don't want to remember that
Agent Mulder patted Chris on the shoulder, "You don't have
to. We know about Tim, I just want to hear about Mark Turner."
He drew in a deep courage-bolstering breath and continued,
"When I looked away from Tim he- Mark Turner- was right in front
of me. He was smiling and I was starting to cry. Then I
remembered I still had my gun. It was there in my hand all along!
If I hadn't been so stupid I could have done something! I could
have saved..."
Agent Mulder stood and began pacing. "I understand how you
must feel." he said, memories of shots not taken and failed
rescues filling his mind, "But believe me, if you think like that
you'll go crazy."
Chris laughed bitterly, "Everybody thinks that already."
"I don't."
"Then you haven't heard the rest."
"I have, but I want to hear it from you lips."
"I shot Mark Turner three times at point blank range. He
flew backwards into the wall. While all this happening the two
women ran past me and escaped. I forgot about being a cop, I
wanted revenge I went after them
"But something grabbed my pant leg and dragged me to the
floor. I heard the voice of a man I had just shot three times in
the chest."
"What did he say?"
"He said 'Sweet'."
The secret chapel has many antechambers, the largest one
contains the blessing spring, a large oil drum filled with blood
donations of the parish that have been blessed.
Ephialtes hand disturbed the pudding like skin that had
formed across the surface of the blessing fountain as he dipped
his knife in. He whispered a cleansing prayer, swirling his
weapon in the thick crimson syrup.
Teles entered the room, her nude body painted with familiar
runes. Ephialtes cocked an eyebrow, "You're going to help hold
the offering?"
"Yes." the short black woman smiled broadly, "He is strong.
It's going to take me and three others to hold him. We don't want
anything like last years penitence day to happen again."
They both remembered how that sacrifice had managed to break
free and escape to the surface, the entire congregation chasing
her through the junkyard. She might have gotten away if not for
the loss of blood.
Scully cursed her bad luck, the last bullet must have
ricocheted off the inside of the skull and could now be anywhere.
It reminded her of an autopsy she had preformed years before Fox
Mulder had entered her life; they had brought her a body of a man
that had been shot in the upper chest with a .32. There was no
exit wound and the bullet had seemingly disappeared. After some
head scratching she had realized that the bullet had ricochet off
the ribs and traveled down the leg. The exit wound was in the
bottom of the left foot, the bullet had lodged in the heel of his
Now if Mulder had been on the case he would have suspected
sentient alien bullets. she chastised herself for the thought.
Mulder had been right on his way out suspicions enough times to
win her respect. But she had a feeling that today was definitely
a bust.
She pulled off her bloodied gloves and called for an orderly
to take the corpse down to x-ray.
Ephialtes took his place among the flock. The secret chapel
was almost full now, at least fifty naked bodies knelt on the
dirt floor, their eyes glazed with rapture, or madness, or both.
Each of them chanted their own private prayer to goddess,
their murmuring voices becoming a vibrant cacophony. The room was
filled with human static.
Into this stepped the high priest, his muscular body moving
slowly and confidently, more than a few members of the
congregation found their eyes travelling the length of his tall
body. His chants joined theirs.
Hebe watched him from one side, her heart convulsing with
sweet pains of love. The high priest was the only person to ever
show her real kindness, so many years ago when she had a
different face, a different name.
She'd been a street girl, a runaway selling her body since
the age of twelve to stay alive, a world wear cynic by the age of
seventeen. When she was in her twenties she'd tried to run from
her pimp. It took Nicky less than a half a week to catch up with
her and his punishment had been characteristicly cruel. He'd
brought her here, to the junkyard, doused her with kerosene and
set her on fire.
But that night she'd found a champion, charging out from
behind the wrecked cars he stabbed Nicky through the back of the
neck with a piece of metal and then beat the flames off her. Her
last sight was the high priest's face swimming before her.
She'd woken in the chapel a week later, wrapped in blankets
and lying beneath the half-completed statue of the tenth muse.
The goddess had saved her life and in return she became the
chapel's caretaker and the high priest's cupbearer.
The thought if this most sacred duty sent Hebe running to
fetch the chalice. When Latinus had finished absorbing the
prayers of the parish she would milk the life seed from him and
mix it with blood from the blessing spring. Then the congregation
would receive communion.
"It was impossible! I'd shot him three times! But he was up-
crawling over me, his mouth spitting blood on me as he laughed.
"I shot him again, the muzzle of my pistol right against his
forehead. Slivers of bone cut my face. He fell to the floor. He
was really dead that time."
Agent Mulder nodded thoughtfully.
"They tell me now that I must have fired all four shots at
once, because he couldn't have gotten up from the first three.
But I know what I saw! I didn't imagine it! He was alive, alive
with bulletholes in him so big that I could see his heart
beating." tears began to run down Chris' cheeks, "Tell me, tell
me I'm not going crazy."
"I don't think you're crazy." the FBI agent said, "You're
telling the truth, unfortunately I don't-"
A ringing sound emitted from his jacket pocket, he pulled
out his cellular phone and put it to his ear, "Hello."
The voice on the other end was tinny and distorted, "Agent
He stood and turned his back on the sobbing Chris McCann,
"Who is this?"
"You're in the wrong place Agent Mulder."
"What?" Mulder searched his mind for a face to match the
voice he was hearing and found none.
"The barrier between Her world and ours has been wounded for
some time. The infection prevents healing, the slow seeping."
"Look I don't know who the Hell you are but if you don't
start making sense in about five seconds I'm hanging up!"
"Get to Manhattan General Hospital before they're knee deep
in bodies." the voice said before hanging up.
The older orderly returned and after a few minutes of
grumbling moved the corpse from the operating table back onto the
stretcher. Looking up from her laptop Scully asked "Where's your
"You know, the blonde man that was helping you."
"Oh, Dennis," the older orderly smiled as he threw a sheet
over the corpse, "he's on a break. My name's Reuben by the way."
"I know, you told me earlier."
"And I get off at eleven o'clock."
"You told me that too."
"Good memory." he said as he wheeled the body out. Scully
settled back down to writing her report.
The high priest returned, Hebe following his footsteps, her
hands wrapped reverently around the chalice. The worshippers
stood, the high priest raised his hands and they all chanted the
opening prayer.
"The tenth muse
Praise her name and spirit
Her soul dwells in every sharp edge
Growing stronger with each cut
Protect us
And bless our crimson hands."
Latinus inhaled, his nostrils glorying in the stench of
sweating bodies. It stirred images in his mind that brought his
flaccid, drained penis back to life. He began the sermon, "Two
days ago two of our seeress's and Cephalus were ambushed.
Cephalus was felled in battle.
A murmur of shock and horror swept through the congregation.
Cephalus was second only to the high priest in power, he would
have soon become an important cleric in his own right, perhaps
even opened his own chapel someday.
The high priest continued, "But this tragic loss can become
the source of our greatest triumph. The muse has spoken to me and
told me that if we act now and observe the proper rituals
Cephalus can be brought back. Returned to life as the herald of a
glorious new age!" His voice worked itself to a fever pitch, "And
when the tenth muse is reborn he shall be her guardian. And when
she regains her strength she will lead us out of hiding! And the
world will run red with blood until all the weak and the Clean
have been slaughtered like sheep upon her golden altars and then
Behind the shielded partition the x-ray technician touched a
switched and bombarded the corpse with radiation. Hot, invisible
light dance through the lifeless cells.
After the flock had taken communion, a final prayer was
offered to the tenth muse. Then the ceremony began.
They built a fire of bones and rags before the statue of
their goddess. In moments the room was fogged with pale gray
smoke. The members of the congregation found their blades and
lined up.
A nod from the high priest and Roberto was brought in. Three
men and a short black woman held his struggling, naked, cursing
body in front of the tenth muse's effigy and held it there.
Latinus began to chant in an ancient, forgotten tongue and
the first member congregation stepped up to the sacrifice. She
worked her blade with expert efficiency, quickly removing
Roberto's nose and throwing it into the fire.
One by one the others followed suit, working their way down
his body; ears, eyelids, nipples, fingers, genitals and toes
landed sizzling in the fire. The room was filled with the smell
of burnt flesh. The continued on his body, eroding Roberto into a
featureless torso.
When each member of the parish had bloodied their hands, the
high priest dug the still heart from the body and threw it into
the fire.
Through the fire Ephialtes thought he saw the statue
The orderly wheeled the corpse back to the FBI agent. He
thought to himself that if all the Doc's he had to work for
looked like her he wouldn't mind this job half as much. He
wondered what she would say it he asked her out for a cup of
coffee later. True it seemed she was all business but experience
had taught him that it was the quiet ones you had to watch out
He heard his name being called and turned, it was that new
orderly Dennis. He seemed to be in a panic about something.
Running down the halls, waving his arms like a lunatic, sweat
plastering his blonde locks to his forehead.
The corpse sat up.
It wrapped its hands around Reuben's head and twisted it
around one hundred and eighty degrees.
The younger orderly came to a skidding stop and with
It let Reuben's body drop and clamored to it feet. Wobbly on
its feet yet somehow impossibly alive it dragged the older
orderlies' body into a nearby room.
A quivering began in Dennis' shoulders, the motion flowing
down his spine as a shiver. He turned and ran down the hall, his
eyes searching desperately for a fire alarm.
Scully looked at her watch and clicked her tongue with
annoyance. Where they hell were they with those X-Rays? She
wanted out of here and she wanted out of here now. It was more
then the desire to spend the night in her own home, it was more
than the fact she could feel the older orderly mentally
undressing her every time he came into the room; it was more than
the realization that maybe, just maybe, she was still a little
skittish about cases involving serial killers.
It was dread, pure and simple. It clawed at the pit of her
stomach like a wound bleeding coldness, just like the night she'd
been attacked by Duane Barry.
Scully shuddered and tried to push the memories of that
night out of her mind.
The fire alarm blared to life, startling her out of her
reverie. She got to her feet and ran out into the hall, her
thoughts not of herself but of helpless patients. She headed for
the stairwell but then stopped suddenly and turned, there was an
abandoned stretcher in the middle of the corridor an abandoned
toe tag nearby.
Her hand itched for her gun as she approached the toe tag.
The hall was filling up with evacuees, they brushed briskly past
her as she stood over the toe tag and read the name over and

The shriek of the fire alarm couldn't muffle the peals of
crazed laughter she heard from one of the offices.
The older orderly's clothes fit poorly and their sterile
whiteness was immediately stained by his leaking body. The fire
alarm sounded, filling the hospital's hallways with the sound of
shuffling feet and frightened voices, but he paid it no mind. The
room held a mirror and Cephalus took a few minutes to peruse his
reflection. The bones of his skull protruded from the flesh of
his face with the jaggedness and texture of broken pottery. One
of his eyes had been twisted askew by the bullet's impact,
stretched and torn, it stared back at him. His brain could be
seen though the hole, a mixture of red and grey discolored by
rot. His existence toppled every law of science and the Christian
Cephalus had to laugh for he knew the tenth muse had the
power to topple them both.
It was sweet, so sweet.
And now he had to escape this place, find his way to the
secret chapel before he was found and all the goddess and her
disciples had done was ruined.
Scully watched with disbelief as the man she'd just
performed an autopsy on stepped out and tried to merge with the
crowd. He was trying to keep his dripping head down but there was
no denying what she saw. Shock kept her paralyzed as he made his
way for the elevator.
After a few agonizing seconds she found her gun and her
There were screams, people dropped to the floor and scurried
for cover.
Cephalus growled and dove into the crowd, his powerful arms
sweeping people aside carelessly. Bones broke against the force
of his blows, the sound was sweet.
The evacuees shielded him as he made his way to an open
elevator door. He thrust himself inside.
The twin doors closed in Scully's face. "No!" she hit the
elevator button with her gun hand but it was too late. He was
Scully looked at the floor indicator, and ran for the
stairwell. In his haste to get away Mark Turner had gotten onto
an elevator going up. There was still a chance to stop him.
The stairs were crowded with patients and caretakers, but
when they got one look at her gun they gave her a wide berth.
Almost there and he had to pull over as the street suddenly
became filled with fire trucks and ambulances. Agent Mulder
watched them pass, cursing his bad luck, when he saw they were
heading right for Manhattan General he pulled back into traffic
and rode the wake of a hook and ladder truck.
He fumbled for his cellular phone and hit AutoDial #1.
A soft moan issued from behind him. Cephalus turned, he was
not alone. She wore a white robe and bright yellow slippers, she
couldn't have been a day over sixteen. Her hair and eyes were
soft brown, her dainty hands were clenched into fists. She
chanted, "No no please no no please."
Scully burst into the first floor lobby and saw nothing but
a hallway choked with evacuees. She wasted a few seconds scanning
the faces for Mark Turner's ruined countenance and then doubled
He cell phone rang but she ignored it, whispering "Not now
Mulder, not now." under her breath.
Cephalus advanced on her, she began to cry hysterically and
tried to push herself further and further into corner. At the
fifth floor the doors whispered apart. The girl bolted for
She missed the elevator all together at the fourth floor.
Gasping for breath she forced herself to keep going.
Catching her robe he yanked her back inside.
The doors whispered to a close, the elevator lurched
downwards. The girl was frozen with fear, his hard sticky hands
caressed her tear-streaked face. Her moans became choking gurgles
as his thumbs found their way into her mouth. His fingertips
hooked into the moist loose flesh of her cheeks.
Cephalus flexed his arms outward, ripping the flesh of her
lower face from her skull.
At the sixth floor Scully almost dropped to her knees as she
realized the elevator was heading back down.
The elevator doors opened.
"My God! What-"
Cephalus sprang at the voice's owner, a balding man in his
forties, in moments he was dead. The elevator's doors closed on
the girl's twitching, shock-ridden body. Cephalus ran down the
hall, he didn't know what floor he was on and he didn't care,
that familiar frenzy had control of him. His mission forgotten,
his thirst to kill knew no bounds.
Agent Mulder parked half on and half off the curb and ran to
the hospital, shrugging off attempts by police and fire officials
to keep him from going against the current of human beings
flowing out the main entrance.
Gun drawn he entered the lobby and decided to head for the
morgue, hopefully she would be there. He inhaled deeply, he
didn't smell any smoke but it was a big hospital.
"He's on the third floor."
Mulder spun on his heel, a blonde-haired orderly stood
before him. He recognized the voice from the phone call he'd
gotten twenty minutes ago, and from the phone call he'd gotten at
five o'clock in the morning informing him of the strange events
surrounding the death of a New York City police officer. "Who are
Before Dennis could answer one of the elevator doors opened
and a girl crawled out, her face a veil of blood and shredded
skin. He knelt at the girls side, "I'll help her. You just hurry.
Get to the third floor and stop him."
Agent Mulder couldn't take his eyes off the girl's ruined
visage, "Stop who?"
"Mark Turner."
Cephalus ran down another hall, turned left at an
intersection and stopped dead.
The window of the nursery beckoned.
He pressed a bloodstained palm against the glass, all those
rows of new-born babes! They sensed his presence and began to
wail, twenty-three voices joining into a piercing scream.
Cephalus quivered and licked a drop of scum off his upper lip. He
had to get in there, there were atrocities to commit in the tenth
muse's name.
The doctor and two nurses in charge of evacuating the
preemie ward entered and stared dumbfounded as the dead man began
to hammer on the viewing window.
One of the nurses ran to the intercom to call for help while
the doctor and the other nurse began to wheel the incubators out
of the room. the screams of the babies shrilled though the room.
Again and again Cephalus smashed his fists against the
glass, it cracked but would not break. His hands were not enough,
he searched the room for some kind of bludgeon. He could almost
hear the sound of tiny bones snapping.
Scully saw Mark Turner hammering at the nursery's glass
window, making animalistic sounds. She aimed her pistol and...
didn't fire.
Bullets hadn't stopped him before why would they now?
She backed down the hall and, praying that the nursery
window would hold for just a few moments more, ducked into a
nearby storeroom.
Agent Mulder got off the elevator and nearly tripped over a
body. Regardless of what he believed was going on there was
definitely one sick bastard at work here.
The sound of smashing glass drew his attention to the
obstetrics wing.
The sound made the plastic liter bottle of rubbing alcohol
slip from Scully's fingers. She mouthed a silent "No."
Lifting the wheelchair Cephalus swung it against the glass
again and again until it shattered. One of the nurses sobbed with
Gunfire echoed around the small room, raising the babies
cries to a fever pitch. Cephalus felt his right knee buckle and
give way.
The madman collapsed to his knees, grunting with pain. He
turned confirming Mulder's worst suspicions, this was the man
he'd seen on a slab earlier this afternoon.
He growled and launched himself at the FBI agent. Mulder
panicked and fired three shots at close range but the bullets did
nothing but spur his attacker on.
Mulder felt teeth sinking into the rigid muscles of his
shoulder and screamed. He tried to raise his pistol to fire
another shot but found himself locked in a bear hug. Mark Turner
sunk his teeth in deeper, shaking his head like a crazed dog.
Trying not to panic at the sound of Mulder's screams Scully
exited the storeroom and entered the fray.
She splashed two liters worth of rubbing alcohol all over
the dead man's back, then fished around in the pockets of her
Mulder screamed as his attacker tore a mouthful of flesh
from him and spat it out. His vision went white, his pistol
slipped from his hand and clattered to the floor.
The nurses and doctor took advantage of the situation,
rolling all the incubators into one of the offices and locking
the door.
Cephalus let the man slip from his arms and turned to glare
at the woman who had splashed the stinging, pungent-smelling
liquid on him. A slow smile spread over his grotesque face,
He wondered what it was she had in her hands.
If there was one things Dana Scully had learned from her two
years of involvement with the X-Files it was that nine times out
of ten, she was going to end up stumbling around in the dark.
That was she had begun carrying around her father's old Zippo
lighter in her trenchcoat.
She flicked it open, it lit immediately.
She threw it into the puddle at Mark Turner's feet.
A sheet of flame erupted upwards, engulfing Cephalus as he
howled with rage. The pain was all-consuming. he lurched at the
His shirt was soaked with blood, he could feel it pooling in
his navel, he was having trouble moving the fingers of his left
hand. Tendrils of flame followed the trails of rubbing alcohol
and licked at his shoes. Mulder crawled out of harms way. The
burning man illuminated the room.
Mark Turner was still up and moving, he stumbled towards
Scully, the halo of flames growing stronger each moment. He tried
to reach for her but the flames were melting his joints, fusing
He fell forward, struggling against his limbs as they curled
into a foetal pose. After a few moments he was still.
Edging past him, Scully found Mulder propped up against the
wall. She winced involuntarily at the bite on his shoulder. He
smiled weakly at her, "Can't I leave you alone for a minute?"
She applied direct pressure to the wound, "You OK?"
"Got this...ringing in my ears."
"Mulder, that's the fire alarm."
"Oh. Was there a fire?"
"Well there is now." God! How could she want to hug him and
throttle him all at once?
"Whoever pulled the alarm must have been psychic." he patted
the hand over his wound.
Scully had to smirk, "Yup, sounds like an X-File to me."
A cry went up from the high priest, a cry that filled the
twisted, maze-like corridors of the secret chapel. Falling to his
knees in front of the congregation, he wept. hebe was at his side
instantly, cradling his head in her scarred bosom.
The congregation realized what this meant and their sobs
joined his.
The young doctor knelt over the sedative-dazed girl and
watched gravely as a pale nurse wrapped layers of gauze around
the ruined face. He checked the girls pulse a final time and
said, "You're going to be all right."
It was a lie of course, he knew she would never be all right
again. Nothing would ever be all right again.
At eight o'clock in the morning the next day Chris was
roused from his nightmares of Mark Turner by a knock at the door.
He got up, put on his robe and grabbed his 9mm. He open the
door to reveal a conservatively-attired woman. She smiled at him,
"Chris McCann? We have a few more questions for you."
He shrugged and let her in, "OK but I told that Fox-guy
"It's just a few last formalities that's all." Teles said as
she watched him close and lock the door.
The thing on the mortuary slab barely resembled something
human much less Mark Turner. Agents Mulder and Scully stared at
it for a long time before allowing the hospital director to
bundle it back into its refrigerated cabinet and bolt the door
"Now remember," Mulder said, "nobody touches that thing
until the team from Quantico gets here."
"Of course." the hospital director replied, "And by the way
that orderly you described to me...we have no record of such a
person ever being employed here."
Scully shook here head, somehow that last bit didn't
surprise her in the least.
The sound of the cabinet door closing stirred Cephalus from
his sorrow. Cold air wafted over his shriveled, blackened body.
While it was true he was right back where he had started, he was
overcome with a curious sense of calm.
They would not leave him here. No, they would never be
content to do just that, they would want to poke and prod and
study. And he would let them for a time.
Alone in the darkness Cephalus felt the gentle itch of his
dead flesh healing and waited.

Still here, still kicking...

Just wanted to let you all know while the site seems to be update free I am hard at work. I am trying to get the serial novel into shape as well as some more funny stuff about my sordid past.

If anything I seem to have taken on too many projects but I plan to press on and finish the damn serial novel before I start posting it. As I said, I tend to flake out on projects like this if I try to make my muse fit around my schedule.

This weekend I had a nice weekend with the family, my wife was sick for Valentine's weekend so I hope to make it up to her this weekend assuming of course I don't catch whatever it is she has.

Over the weekend I revisited the first Volume of Clive Barker's Books of Blood, I have to say this has got to be my literary first love. It made me turn my attention from writing unfinished comedy novels, fan fiction and poorly drawn comic strips. I feel that in many ways reading that boom showed me how damned original and off the wall horror and dark fantasy could be. Ever since then I have followed Mr. Barker's work faithfuly- Imajica, Weaveworld and Gallilee remain important parts of my life.

Now I am reading John Ajvide Lindqvist's Let The Right One In. As you know I have seen the film already but I have to say that so far the book is well worth reading spoilers or not. The world is interesting and the character of Hakan feels radically fascinatingly different from the version in the movie. Pick it up if you can.

You know speaking of fan fiction... maybe there is something I can show you today...