The inescapable truth is that autumn is the season of decline and decay; the light fades, and the branches are stripped bare to await the next generation of leaves, each with its own distinct shape and color and span of days. But, oh how we flare out! We seek immortality for our ghost children in words, on paper and in the virtual webscape, but pages will yellow and fall to dust, backup servers will crash and data will be corrupted, our words hovering for a mere blink in history's eye and then… Continue
Added by Bill Floyd on October 31, 2010 at 9:00am —
It's a particularly spoiled bunch of campers this year, so I give them exactly the story they deserve.
As usual, I start with the gory details: "There was this kid named Gerald who lived over in Harrow between here and the Mercy Home Hospital, and all the other kids picked on Gerald and on Halloween they stole all his candy, so he went and hid in the pumpkin patch. Something happened out there and when they found him he'd been torn to shreds, literally, like all his bones… Continue
Added by Bill Floyd on October 30, 2010 at 11:36am —
Something current or something classic? Who cares, as long as she wears something sexy...
I used to go as Hunter S. Thompson--the cigarette holder, the vest and visor, the bloodstream full of goodies--but that's not so funny anymore, given what happened.
I could get all smartass and post-modern and just wear a nametag with THE FUTURE written on it, because after all, what's more frightening than--well, you get… Continue
Added by Bill Floyd on October 29, 2010 at 11:06am —
At first we thought it was just a stomach-ache from all the sugar bingeing. But then Harlan's color went bad and he started swelling up so we rushed him to the hospital, but the ER was mobbed, probably a dozen kids and their parents in there already. The cops circulated among the gurneys, asking people where they'd been trick-or-treating, baffled by the fact that we were all from different neighborhoods entirely. Then the TV started showing BREAKING NEWS reports from other towns, other… Continue
Added by Bill Floyd on October 28, 2010 at 11:27am —
I had this horrible dream where I died but then I woke up and you were beside me, sleepily asking if I was okay, a soothing hand on my neck. The hand went cold and squeezed and I couldn't breathe and I swam awake gasping; you were still and quiet and serene, fast asleep in the dark. The dark came alive and I put my hands around your neck and pressed inward. I was wearing these filthy white gloves for some reason, you know how dreams can be so random and strange. Phosphorous flared behind my… Continue
Added by Bill Floyd on October 27, 2010 at 10:58am —
They'd known each other since they were kids but they didn't hook up until senior year. He was supposed to be giving her a ride to a house party after the football game, but they wound up parking at the dead end in the rich kids' neighborhood. The way she kissed his fingertips. His car was small so instead of using the back seat they'd recline the front passenger seat all the way back until it made sort of a cradle. Her pompoms rustled in floorboard with the rhythm of their movements, and one… Continue
Added by Bill Floyd on October 26, 2010 at 12:50pm —
I first began to hear other people's thoughts when I was about 13. By 16, my parents had committed me to the locked ward at Mercy Home Hospital outside Harrow, which was fine by me, because while you might think someone with my "gift" would try to work it to their financial or sexual advantage, the truth is that you people are some sick bastards on the inside and you never shut up, eternally babbling on to yourselves about mean shit or dumb shit or nothing worthwhile at all. The doctors think… Continue
Added by Bill Floyd on October 25, 2010 at 2:50pm —
Chester lives his life on-line and in the movies. Some of his favorites fall into the genre of Asian Extreme, but he hates to see how the American studios keep remaking these films and doing such a piss-poor job of it, a trend he's constantly bitching about on his blog. Chester thinks perhaps something gets lost in translation, that there is some cultural divide that robs the barely matured girl-demons of the originals of all their spark and menace in the American versions. One day he returns… Continue
Added by Bill Floyd on October 24, 2010 at 2:51pm —
Of course we all know it's only cartoons. None of these movies or novels or sixes is anywhere near as frightening as what's right outside the door, or just beneath the skin.
Car crashes; cowards with guns or missiles or suicide vests and the whole world coming down around them; the tumor blotting the x-ray like a misshapen egg floating in the dark sea of the surrounding tissue.
Our cartoons help us manage the real fear so it's not so damned… Continue
Added by Bill Floyd on October 23, 2010 at 8:08am —
Our annual conference convenes near the end of October on the shores of Loch Ness, because after all the old girl really can't travel as easily as the rest of us. As always, most attendees arrive via The Flying Dutchman
or the Mary Celeste
. Sasquatch has gotten himself an iPad from somewhere, most likely some poor camper (you can see the dried blood on the casing), and the Abominable One has to continually rap his femur gavel to get Squatch's attention. Crowley's castle has been… Continue
Added by Bill Floyd on October 22, 2010 at 12:07pm —
There is something about death under the silver flare of the moonlight. The deity who rules the tides of our blood also rules the hunt; she is the virgin goddess forever inaccessible. We howl because we are enslaved to the waxing and the wane. We know the joy of rutting beneath the lunar curtains, tearing at our meat with teeth long and sharp, disabused of any notion of mercy or empathy; this is our natural state. The less-highly evolved are stricken with madness when we make our forays out of… Continue
Added by Bill Floyd on October 21, 2010 at 1:02pm —
I was only nine years old when the guy in the pumpkin mask and the dirty gloves killed our babysitter. I was trembling in the closet where she'd hidden me, but I watched the whole thing through the slats, the way he climbed on top of her and stared fire-eyed in my direction as the knife came down.
We moved away from Harrow after that, and although it goes without saying that I'm not usually the neighborhood go-to for babysitting, all the other girls are busy tonight with… Continue
Added by Bill Floyd on October 20, 2010 at 2:45pm —
Father, I must tell you, and I must be frank: Your handiwork leaves something to be desired. I break the things with which I should be tender. I look at myself in the mirror and I understand why the mere sight of me sends the rubes running. I am beset by feelings my tongue is too dumb to express. My limbs feel like clumsy borrowed appendages, my animation a farce at best.
And then there's the matter of that monstrous thing you've created out in your lab...
Added by Bill Floyd on October 19, 2010 at 1:13pm —
It's the smug sense of entitlement mixed with all the rampaging hormones that makes them college kids taste so succulent. See, in their wildest dreams they wouldn't imagine someone like me'd even know the word 'succulent', which is part of what makes 'em such easy pickin's. Hell, I even voted for Obama--the first time.
But these know-it-all kids, they always manage to push someone's buttons whenever they roll through town on their way to wherever it is they're goin',… Continue
Added by Bill Floyd on October 18, 2010 at 11:14am —
Streams of toilet paper hang unfurling from high limbs in the nightbreeze. Tennis shoes slapping pavement when the house lights come on, the old neighborhood grouch's shouts fading, but we know he'll make good on his threat to call the police--he always does. But we are sleek and fast and so far we've been able to outfox them. The newly acquired taste for beer strong on my lips, and the girls are sneaking out of Brandy's bedroom window to meet us later on. A bottle rocket hissing up out of the… Continue
Added by Bill Floyd on October 17, 2010 at 1:30pm —
She thinks it's only the wind, but he hears it speak his name. Legend has it that the banshee wails an announcement of imminent death. He knows the lonesome keening voice outside the window has been summoned up by some swelling capillary deep within his brain, or the fraying neglected brake pads on the car that will t-bone him next week on his way home from work. Perhaps a bullet being loaded into a clip somewhere at this exact moment with his name etched upon its jacketed load. A grave is… Continue
Added by Bill Floyd on October 16, 2010 at 3:58pm —
No one will find me out here in this field.
Through the holes in his plain ghost mask, Gerald can see the lights of cars passing by on Old Owl Farm Road.
No one will call me 'freak' and 'homo' and no one will knock my bag out of my hand and steal my candy.
Far away, someone calls his name; he thinks it's his mother, looking for him, and the fear in her voice makes it hard for Gerald to breathe. He rises… Continue
Added by Bill Floyd on October 15, 2010 at 2:54pm —
The urban legend says that if you take one of the black cabs, you'll never be seen or heard from again. But Dylan's nearly out of blow and it's getting cold standing here on the sidewalk outside The Viper Room, right where River Phoenix bought it, so of course we take the first car that pulls over to pick us up, and so what if it's black and there's no company logo on it anywhere--we're fucked up and ready for the after-party.
And if the driver wears his hoodie up over his… Continue
Added by Bill Floyd on October 14, 2010 at 12:05pm —
I told Juan not to touch the thing, but Juan never was one for listening to good advice. All the alfalfa had burned in a perfect circle around where it came to rest, and we couldn't find a door on it anywhere, just that weird featureless shell and the vibrations that ran up your spine when you stood too close. The sky above Field 14A seemed much larger than before and many of us felt a swooning sort of vertigo.
Now Juan has a patch of mold growing up his arm, a soft powdery… Continue
Added by Bill Floyd on October 13, 2010 at 11:19am —
It felt like autumn just opening one of those books, whose covers ranged from the lurid to the abstract. A company named TOR published a lot of them, although at the time even mainstream publishers weren't afraid to sully themselves with a title here and there, given Stephen King's ascendency. (Another offshoot of the "King Effect" was that every other novel was entitled The ______
, as in The Wolfen, The Glow, The Tribe, The Fury, The Manitou, The Cipher, The Nesting
Added by Bill Floyd on October 12, 2010 at 1:05pm —