AXE VS SAW

So I know I said I was going to post an update on everything that’s been going on with me. But here’s the thing…I’m not allowed to talk about a lot of it yet. Which drives me nuts! I get so goddamn excited about everything, I want to run out and tell everyone the second I know it’s happening. So I’ll be posting updates as I’m allowed.

For now, I’ll just say this. For those of you who have been following along with the El Gigante film, based on the first chapter of my novel Muerte Con Carne, really good things are happening. The kinds of things, to be honest, I never thought would be possible for a dude like me.

Until I’m allowed to say more, about that and lots of other stuff, I’d like to share a little something fun with you. A certain company reached out to me and asked me to pitch them a few ideas. I think they wanted two, maybe three. But as I said before, I tend to get really excited, and I’ll have trouble sleeping if I don’t get this shit out of my head. So…I pitched them eight ideas. I had twelve, but I decided to hold back and just give them the eight. I wrote the first 1,000 words or so of each idea. I reached out to an incredibly talented friend of mine named Cody Schibi, who drew up some bad ass sketches for each pitch. Out of the eight, the company I speak of asked for three of them.

My favorite out of the five they passed on is a little something called AXE VS SAW. An idea I’ve had for a while, but never really knew what to do with it. I’ve been thinking about developing the idea as a comic book, and still might do that. Since this is only a sample, let me explain a little. An axe and a chainsaw are arch enemies. They both have the power to control and basically possess any person who touches them, and they use these people’s bodies to fight each other. So it can be a fat guy fighting a granny at one point, and then become a kid fighting a security guard. It’s got lots of potential for complete chaos and a gory good time.

Please enjoy the first little taste of AXE VS SAW. I’m not sure if I’ll do anything with this or not. If you think I should, let me know!

schibi axe vs saw

AXE VS SAW

I hoped I could get to him before he got a chance to hurt anyone else. I failed.

Avoiding crowds of people was my number one priority, and when it came to crowds, the shopping mall was probably at the top of the list. Add Christmas on top of that, and it was a whole new breed.

I was right on his tail, too. Or her tail. I’m not sure what we are anymore.

The parking lot was full of vehicles creeping along, drivers praying one of the parked cars’ white reverse lights would ignite like possessed, blind eyes. Drivers hanging out of their windows and cursing one another out in front of their children.

I was still able to keep him in my sights as he sprinted through the mess and toward the front entrance. If I could just reach him before he made it in, I might still be able to avoid the chaos I knew he craved. What he lived for.

I reached out. My fingertips tickled the collar of the flower dress he wore. I almost had them hooked, could have yanked him backward and saved all those people.

My bulbous body bounced off another. A body so hard and tall I thought I had run into a stone pillar. But then the pillar leaned over and talked, raining spittle down over my pudgy face.

“Watch where you’re goin’, you fat fuck. Look at this shit!” The man pointed to the brown and white stain on his Afflicted T-shirt, the pectorals underneath bulging and twitching like pregnant bellies. He held a crushed Starbucks cup in one hand, pointed a heavily-knuckled finger with the other. “I should kick your ass for that. Get up. I said get up!

So I did. Once I was on my feet, he noticed the axe. I didn’t want to hurt him, didn’t want to hurt anyone, but if I had to cut my way through the tower of testosterone with a taste for mocha lattes to save the others, I would have done so without hesitation.

One look at the axe and he stepped aside. His chest loosened up and he told me to take it easy, called me bro a few times.

That’s about the time the rest of the people around us noticed the axe. There were screams and children were scooped into protective arms and a path was cleared for me. I wasted no time taking advantage of it.

Once I was inside, I knew I was too late. I took a moment to watch the people inching through the mall, shoulder to shoulder, all carrying more bags than they had fingers or balancing stacked boxes in their arms. All gifts for their children and loved ones to celebrate joy and togetherness, yet not a single face looked to have been struck by the spirit of the holiday. Instead, faces burned red, mouths bared teeth, eyes squinted.

I wondered, when this was all over, how many of them would die.

Having no time to waste, I lifted the axe over my head. I didn’t have to say a word. Once crowd split for me, I sprinted forward, stopped at the railing where I could get a good look at the first floor. I had run in chasing an old woman, but he could have been anyone by now.

My eyes proving useless, I shut them and listened. Blocked out the continuing screams around me the best I could.

Another scream. In the distance. A revving engine.

There you are, you son of a bitch.

               I threw my large body over the rail, landed hard on the tiled floor one story down. Something snapped in my left leg. It was loud enough that everyone around me winced, and when I tried to stand, I tilted to the side and nearly toppled over. But I didn’t let that slow me.

The combination of the bone protruding from just under my knee and the axe parted the shoppers. Others ran from me, looking over their shoulder with eyes as wide as ornaments.

I stopped. The bone made another snapping sound and stuck out further. Blood soaked into my sock and filled my shoe. The people who ran from me stopped too, turned and ran the other way as the tidal wave of terrified bodies roared toward us.

I held my position. Studied every face that sped by me.

“Stop right there!”

The voice came from behind me and I ignored it. Focused on the little old lady trudging out of the candy store, blood dripping from the teeth of her chainsaw.

Her pale, gray eyes lifted and landed on mine. A smile spread across her tree bark lips.

I went for her. More shouting from behind me.

The old woman lifted the chainsaw to her chest, yanked the cord to get it spinning and roaring again, spraying blood in every direction.

Holding the axe with both hands, I lifted it over my head, running as fast as the broken leg would allow.

“I said stop, goddammit!” The voice behind me again.

It hit me in the back. I didn’t know what it was at first, only that I couldn’t move. My body spasmed and jerked. I must have leaned too hard to the left, because the leg snapped and buckled, and I stumbled backward.

It wasn’t until I was in the fountain, submerged in water and lying on a bed of wishful loose change, that I saw the wires flowing off my back like limp porcupine quills.

More screaming, muffled since I was underwater now. The body now lifeless and boiled.

A man’s face appeared above me. “Holy shit. Oh Jesus…I didn’t mean for that to happen. You saw that, right? He fell in all on his own.”

Another man’s face appeared. They both wore the same uniform, both had sparkly badges pinned to their chests.

“That was fucking awesome,” the second man said, and he reached in and took hold of the axe.

Back on my feet again. The new body was firmer, longer. Both legs intact.

The old woman was waiting for me. Swung the saw and ate away at my new chest. The spinning teeth caught the badge and tore it off my shirt, flinging it like shrapnel. It stuck into the other security guard’s neck, submerged more than halfway. He dropped to his knees, blood spurting from between his fingers as he clawed at the wound.

The swing made the old woman stagger, nearly lost her balance.

I took the opportunity to bury the axe into the top of her head. Turning the fluffy white curls into sopping bloody clumps.

The chainsaw fell from her gnarled talons. I reached for it.

A pair of tiny hands lifted the saw before I could get there. A lollipop stem sticking out from between the little boy’s pink lips.

He grinned wide. And yanked the cord.

I DID IT AGAIN…

I swear I have every intention of keeping this place up to date. Here’s the thing, though. I suck at that.

I will do better, for those of you who give a rat’s balls. I will, I will!

That being said…It’s late and I’ve got writing to do. So, this post is just to show that this place is not dead. I’ll be posting an update on everything that’s been going on tomorrow. And holy shit, a lot is going on.

Happy Happy. Joy Joy.

See ya tomorrow, boys and girls!

El Gigante

The film is finished. Check out the trailer.

Now just for fun, here is the first scene from the novel that the actual film is based on. I could not be happier with how the film came out. It really is fucking bad ass. Next step is to get it into festivals and get someone interested enough to fund the feature film. As of right now, we already have a few bites on it. Exciting times, folks.

Enjoy!

El Gigante

 

Armando’s eyes cracked open as consciousness faded in. The taste of blood filled his mouth, and as his eyes focused and the blurriness cleared, he realized he was on the ground, his face pressed against something hard. He coughed and pain ignited in his chest.

Where am I? What happened?

               He tried to roll over, but his limbs moved slow, as if his muscles had been liquefied to the consistency of syrup.

He remembered walking. A lot of walking, endless walking. His brother had told him about a spot where it’s as easy as stepping through a barbed wire fence.

“The fence is old,” he had said. “Just step through and that’s it. Nobody there to stop you. It’s easy.”

His brother hadn’t mentioned the long stretches of desert along the way. Nothing but dry dirt and cacti and dead trees and buzzards.

And the sun. Always the sun.

With the constant, vicious heat blaring down on him, Armando didn’t think he would make it. He hadn’t brought enough food or water, and there were many times along the way he had nearly given up, nearly laid down in the dirt and let the sunrays cook his flesh to putrid perfection for the buzzards to feast on. But he’d pushed forward. Forced his legs to move even though he felt like a shambling, sunburnt corpse.

But then there was the fence. He’d barely been able to hold his head up at that point, his body weak and shaking.

He carefully climbed through the barbed wire, suspicious at how easy it was. He had expected La Migra to jump out of the darkness at any minute. Then his feet were on American soil and he kept walking, left his poverty behind him, headed into a new world where he could work. Where he could start over.

He remembered headlights blinding him. A man, smiling at him, handed him a bottle of water. Clean, crisp, and refreshing. Cold. The best tasting thing that had ever touched his tongue in his entire life. Armando’s arm was then draped over the man’s shoulder, and he was led toward a truck. More water. And food. Heaven, he had thought. I died in the desert and now I’m in heaven and heaven has fresh water and food but I still feel tired and I still hurt all over and…

And now I’m on the ground.

               Armando blinked, smacked his lips. He was able to turn his head—though it throbbed with ache—and then he was face to face with a skull. He wanted to turn away from it but couldn’t quite muster the strength. It was a human skull with what looked like bungee cords sticking out of either side of the jaw. Two more skulls stood above this one, equally spaced, each with cords stretched tight. Gray, rotting meat clung to the bone in places, flies scuttling across their surfaces and suckling. Maggots writhed within the skulls, some dropping out of the eye sockets like pale, fleshy tears.

A scream erupted from Armando’s throat. He managed to turn his head again, away from the skulls. His arms began to tingle and he found that he could move them slightly, could wiggle his fingers. The tingle ran down the length of his body and before long he managed to roll onto his back and crawl backward on his elbows. Something cold touched his back and he glanced over his shoulder to find another rotting skull, its black teeth pressed against his skin. Something wet wiped off onto his back and he brushed at it furiously.

“No!” He pushed himself to his knees, and though his head thumped and his knees wobbled, managed to rise to his feet.

That’s when he noticed the people watching him, smiling in at him. They sat in metal fold out chairs below him. A small Hispanic family.

“¿Quién eres tu? ¿Qué…qué carajo está pasando?”

A ring. Armando stood in the middle of what appeared to be a makeshift wrestling ring, three skulls at each corner like morbid totem poles. The bungee cords were stretched tight around the ring, and Armando stared at the spectators through the spaces between them: a man, a woman, a small child, and an elderly woman. The old woman rocked in an oversized wooden chair, her eyes vacant and lost. The child stepped forward, his grin silver with capped teeth, and slapped the mat with an open palm. The others chuckled then quickly went silent as they looked past Armando. Then they clapped, cheered.

The ring shook. A growl crackled from just over Armando’s shoulder. He flinched, whimpered, spun on his heels to face it.

A giant towered over Armando, baring long yellow teeth. Gusts of hot, acidic breath burst from the masked head and hit Armando in the face like clouds of gnats. The mask was sparkling blue with teardrop-shaped cuts for eyeholes, wide and bloodshot eyes staring out, and a wide rectangle for the mouth.

Lucha Libre.

Armando used to watch the Mexican Wrestling Federation as a kid and recognized the style of mask immediately. He backed away from the giant, still trying to shake the fogginess weighting down his thoughts.

Arms thick with muscle and bulging veins hung at the giant’s sides, fists the size of human heads heavily knuckled on the ends. A misshapen, gold belt was draped over his shoulder, and he peeled it free, raised it over his head. His massive boot nearly stomped a hole in the ring as he howled.

The ring shook as the wrestler smashed his boots against the mat again and again, marching around the ring and flaunting his prize. He stopped in the corner furthest from Armando, wrapped his belt around one of the ghastly turn buckles.

When he turned to face Armando again, his pectorals twitched under his black spandex butcher, stomach like a beer keg but still hard-looking. The wrestler slapped himself on either side of his face, then slammed his fists across his chest like a silverback and roared.

Armando’s legs still tingled, and he clumsily darted across the ring, tried to slide out from under the bottom bungee cord. But a man was there waiting for him. Armando had a quick moment to realize he recognized this man. The man who gave me water…the man with the truck.

Then something speared Armando in the neck, shocked him and induced a cry of pain. Armando’s flesh burned where it touched him, and the man hit him again with the cattle prod.

Zzzzt.

“Aye…” Armando’s body spasmed for a moment, and he backed away, only to find himself wrapped in muscly, hairy arms from behind.

“Ding, ding, ding.” The little boy slapped the ring with both hands. “Ding, ding, ding, ding!”

“No…por favor. ¡Por favor!

Armando’s feet left the ground, his rib cage threatening to buckle under the constricting forearms. He kicked his legs, felt them collide with hard muscle, but did nothing to relieve the pressure crushing his torso. Then the world was spinning and he was slammed face first into the hard mat, breaking his nose and shattering teeth. His mouth and nose filled with blood and he choked on it, his torn gums softly chewing on the shards of teeth scattered there. The giant landed on top of him, his weight like a semi-truck falling from the sky.

Armando wheezed, spat blood, writhed as he tried to bring oxygen into his lungs. The weight lifted and the ring shook as the wrestler stomped in a circle around Armando’s broken body, then dashed toward the bungee cords, bounced off of them, and dropped a stabbing elbow onto Armando’s back, right between the shoulder blades.

“Ghaa…” Whatever tiny wisps of oxygen he was managing to suck in were pinched off, and Armando’s mouth opened and closed, his feet kicked. He tried to move, tried to get away, but couldn’t make his body do anything but roll slightly from side to side.

He couldn’t see them now, but he heard the others cheering, clapping. Bits of jagged, red tooth debris lay scattered like broken glass beside him, a couple of them capped with gold. Blood was splattered across the mat, its surface already stained with brown and orange spots. Armando lay on his stomach, his cheek pressed to the mat. His body shook as he cried and groaned, then flinched when a meaty hand reached down beside him. It plucked the gold teeth from the bloody mess and lifted out of sight.

“Oro.” The voice was rough, deep like a bear’s.

Armando placed both hands on the mat, whined as he forced himself to his knees. He was able to get a small amount of air through his mouth, and he started to crawl toward the side of the ring nearest him as the giant strolled back toward his belt and set Armando’s teeth beside it. The belt was a mess of melted gold jewelry, sloppily molded into the shape and form of a championship belt.

Armando slid his body under the lowest bungee cord, had one leg dangling off the side of the ring. But the giant was already sprinting toward him, the mat bouncing and slamming into Armando’s busted chest. Thick fingers dug into his scalp, grabbed a fistful of hair and pulled him back in. His eyes watered and a shriek blasted from his bloody mouth, spraying red mist into the wrestler’s masked face. The moonlight sparkled across the mask, shimmering against its reflective surface.

The wrestler growled, pressed his forehead against Armando’s and peered into his eyes. His breath engulfed Armando, hot and damp and beefy. The pupils shook as if the eyes were boiling, and the veins on the giant’s neck bulged fat like roots under his skin.

With a surge of adrenaline, Armando threw a punch that collided with the side of the giant’s face. The wrestler’s head didn’t move, absorbed the punch like a stone pillar. Armando cried out, cocked his arm back, and slammed his knuckles into the middle of the man’s face, felt the nose crunch under the blow. A shock traveled through Armando’s hand and up his arm, and he whined as the giant smiled, a trickle of blood running from his nostril and staining his yellow teeth orange.

The wrestler thrust his head forward and head-butted Armando right between the eyes. Black spots sparkled in his vision and his knees gave out, but the fist gripping his hair held him up. Then he was lifted into the air, over the giant’s head, one of the massive hands now squeezing Armando’s groin, crushing his testicles and sending waves of nauseating pain through his stomach. The wrestler faced his fans, howled, stomped his feet, then slammed Armando to the mat.

Blood sprayed from Armando’s mouth, along with the small bit of oxygen inflating his lungs. He could only choke and writhe, his eyes starting to roll to the back of his head.

The small group of spectators began to chant, all smiling, clapping their hands in rhythm. “Gigante, Gigante, Gigante…”

Armando lay in the center of the ring, his broken teeth beneath him, poking his back like thumb tacks. The blood on the mat was sticky and thick, already cooling in the night air. Armando let his head drop to the side, facing the full moon, the craters like the empty sockets of a glowing skull. The giant wrestler, this Gigante, climbed the turn buckle skulls until he stood atop the highest one, turned so he faced Armando. His massive bulk nearly blocked out the moon completely, framed him in a silver aura-like light. He wobbled for a moment, caught his balance, then stood tall, raised his hands in the air, pounded his chest with his truck tire fists.

His fans clapped, stomped. “Gigante, Gigante, Gigante…”

Armando tried to beg, tried to plead for him to stop, for someone to save him, but he only choked and gurgled on his blood, groaned and muttered whispery words.

Gigante launched himself, arms stretched wide like a giant crucifix. When he landed on top of Armando, there was an eruption of pain, like a comet crashing down on top of him, snapping bones and flattening internal organs. Blood sprayed from his mouth and he only struggled to breathe for a moment before a merciful blackness pulled him under.

But then he was awake again, hanging upside down. The family of maniacs was still seated, still watching. They licked their lips, stared with wide eyes. The old woman held the child in her arms, stroked his hair, rocked back and forth. The child’s grin was so wide it nearly touched his ears.

Armando’s body throbbed with unspeakable pain, and he tried to move, but once again found himself unable to. At first, he thought he was paralyzed, his legs useless after his spine was shattered under the weight of Gigante.

But they were chained down. He could move them slightly, just couldn’t get them loose. He hung from one corner of the ring, the skulls from the other corners watching him, grinning. His legs were crossed over each other, chains wrapped around his shins and biting into his flesh.

He tried to lift himself up, but didn’t have the strength to do more than dangle, blink the blood out of his eyes.

Then Gigante was back in front of him, his sparkling blue Lucha Libre mask speckled with blood, now with a rubber apron draped over the front of him. A belt lined with long, gleaming knives was wrapped around his waist, and he stepped forward, placed a rusted metal bucket beneath Armando’s head.

A dark tongue slithered out of Gigante’s mouth hole, licked the front of his long teeth. The muscles of his arms bulged as he knelt to one knee, ran a gentle hand over Armando’s face. A soft whine seeped out from the wrestler’s mouth as he caressed Armando’s cheek, then he ran his palm over Armando’s blood and sweat covered chest and stomach, pinching here and there as if testing the fat content.

Armando reached out a shaky hand, but it was slapped away. Gigante grabbed him by the hair again, pulled his head forward, yanked one of his knives from his belt and held it under Armando’s chin.

“Buen cerdo,” the giant growled, then pressed the blade down, ran it across Armando’s throat.

Armando’s body thrashed as the blood bubbled out, rushed over his face and splashed into the bucket beneath him. Gigante held Armando’s arms in place as the blood poured out of him. Armando tried to scream, but only managed to cough and gurgle as the blood rushed out.

The little boy climbed into the ring, crawled forward. Gigante chuckled, released Armando’s arms that now hung limp on either side of his head. The giant pulled the boy into him, messed his hair and wrapped an arm around him. The child giggled, his grin wide and silver, as he watched Armando bleed out.

As Armando’s vision began to fade and blink out, Gigante pulled another knife from his belt—long and serrated—stepped forward and plunged it into Armando’s soft belly, sawed downward toward his chest as if unzipping his torso. The warm innards rolled out, along with the last shred of life Armando had been clinging to.

 

 

 

Hit Girl Makes You Sad—My First Time Seeing a Tear-Jerker in a Theater

Okay. Let me first explain how this happened.

It was my wife and I’s four year anniversary. We have been together for eight years and married for four. We have a three-year old daughter. I mention our daughter because since her birth, we don’t get to go out much. Not the kind of night out we used to have. The two of us used to party and could get a little crazy together, but all of that is behind us. I don’t miss it. Nowadays, a night out for us is dinner and a movie. Maybe bowling. I know, we’re out of control.

Now, back to the anniversary. I wanted to take her to our favorite restaurant in Austin. A sushi place called Uchi. I’m a frugal guy. Money stresses me the hell out and I never buy myself anything. But this restaurant is just one of those places where no matter how big the check, I feel it was money well spent. It’s that good. If you’re ever in Austin, hit me up. We’ll go. I’ll take any excuse to eat at Uchi. So! Our night starts there. Our daughter is spending the night at my mother’s house, so we are relaxed and not worried about the time. Which is a strange feelings these days. We eat an incredible dinner, have a few drinks. The night is still young.

“How about a movie?” my wife says.

“Okay, yeah,” I say and pull out my phone and check times. “How about the new Ninja Turtles movie?”

She gives me a look that cooks all the raw fish in my belly. I realize that throughout our relationship, we have pretty much only seen movies that I want to see in the theater. Horror movies or action movies or comedies. Which she enjoys. But she is still going to these movies because she knows I want to see them. We have watched plenty of romance and dramas and sad movies at home. But never in the theater.

“What about the one with the girl who dies? It looks sad.”

“Huh?”

“You know. The girl. From Kick Ass.”

“Hit Girl?”

She nods. I scroll through and see what she’s talking about. It’s called If I Stay. I’m fat and happy and buzzed, and having just come to the realization that I’ve been a selfish bastard when it comes to picking movies, I cave and agree. She makes a sound somewhere between a dying kitten and the air being let out of a balloon.

Remember when I said I was frugal? You know as well as I do that the snacks at the theater are insanely overpriced. So we stop at the gas station first. Stuff my wife’s purse with candy and drinks. I’m trying to convince myself to have an open mind and to do my absolute best to enjoy this movie. Don’t ruin this for her my deconstructing every fucking scene and word of dialogue like you always do. Just shut the fuck up and eat your Reese’s Pieces and let her be happy. Or sad. Because she’s excited as hell for Hit Girl to make her sad.

We get there and she’s paranoid, as usual, that her purse is stuffed with snacks. Unauthorized snacks. Criminal snacks! So she’s pressed up hard against me so that her purse is between us. This always cracks me up.

“Babe. The employees are high school kids. They don’t give a fuck about our smuggled candy.”

“Yes they do. And they’re going to catch us and—”

“And what? Take us to the back room? Chinese water torture with popcorn butter?”

“Shut up and walk with me.”

Even though we just ate a big expensive meal and have a purse pregnant with forbidden chocolate peanut butter buttons, we can never resist the popcorn. Overpriced as it is, we always gotta have it. So we’re in line and she’s freaking out more and more that we’re going to get caught.

“It’s suspicious that we’re buying popcorn and not a drink. They’re going to know because nobody gets popcorn without a drink.”

“You’re right. Look at them. Behind those pimply foreheads lies the brain of an investigative genius.”

We get our popcorn and a cup of water, because we are criminal masterminds, and head to the theater without incident. As usual. We sit down toward the front because the theater is pretty packed. Which is a shock to me. I was convinced the place would be damn near empty. Who the fuck goes to see a sad movie in the theater? I ask myself. Well, a shitload of people. I swept the crowd with my eyes before sitting, just to see what kinds of people go to these things. Mostly couples. A lot of guys who looked unhappy and uncomfortable like me. A good amount of young girls in groups giggling, their faces illuminated by their cell phones. We sit. I remember that my wife asked me to put her Twix in my pocket because she was scared her purse was too full. I pull it out for her. There are no longer two bars, but one flattened, gooey chunk of chocolate, caramel, cookie crumbles, and whatever other shit they put in those things. I give it to her and I can see the red in her eyes. It’s a Twix casserole now, heated by the fire in my loins, I tell her.

The previews start. Again, I tell myself to enjoy the movie. That I might even learn something. I don’t know if I learned anything, but the experience was goddamned entertaining. Let’s start with the previews. Way different than the types of previews they show at my movies. These previews, as I should have expected, were for more sad and romantic movies. Makes sense. I can’t remember the name of it, but there was one based on a Nicholas Sparks book. It was about a young couple, late teens or early twenties even, that fall in love. And oh yes, there is a kissing in the rain scene. I laughed out loud and even clapped when I saw it. Punch to the arm. Okay, sorry, honey. Shutting up now. So, the guy goes to jail. Cut to the future. He’s out. AND THEY PICKED A DIFFERENT ACTRESS AND ACTOR TO PLAY THEM TO SHOW THEY ARE OLDER! They’re like forty now? Maybe? And they look nothing like their younger selves who, again, looked to be in their early twenties. It was so stupid that even my wife leaned over, shaking her head.

“So they just look completely different now?”

I hug her and take a bite from the Twix casserole she won’t eat. At the very least, I tell myself, this is going to be hilarious.

Now, as a young man, I learned a valuable lesson. I took a date to see the Titanic at the theater. I know what you’re thinking. But you said you’ve never seen a sad movie in the theater before, you lying sack of melted candy! As a young man, I didn’t take dates to see movies to actually watch the movie. You know what I’m saying. But when shit started getting crazy in the Titanic, we watched it. She was instantly gripped by the drama and was shocked and upset. I was laughing my ass off at all the people falling when the ship broke in half, especially the guy who hits the propeller and spins through the air. Watch that part, you’ll see what I’m talking about, and if you’re fucked up like me, you’ll laugh. Yeah. Date didn’t appreciate that.

“How can you laugh at something like that?”

“It’s funny. It’s not real.”

“That really happened.”

“Right. But not every detail of this movie is historically accurate. Did you see that guy hit the propeller and flip around and shit?”

So, uh, never got a call back from her again. So I learned that day. Shut the fuck up and laugh inside your own head. Don’t be a dick and ruin the movie for the person actually enjoying it the way it was designed to be enjoyed.

Back to Hit Girl Makes You Sad.

I won’t get into every detail of the movie. Not because I don’t want to ruin it for you, but because it can pretty much be summed up in this sentence. A girl dies and her ghost has to decide whether or not to stay or to move on. That’s it. We go back and forth between the hospital (where more and more reasons for her to just let herself die keep piling up) and before the accident (where we see how happy her family is and how much they love each other and how she’s falling in love with a boy and how everything is perfect.). You know, all that “make us care about the characters” stuff. Let me just say this. They used a lot of dirty tricks to make the audience cry. It was all very formulaic. Everything was very carefully designed to make you cry your face off. I saw it happening. I recognized that we were being tricked into feeling these emotions. Which is why we see movies or read books or play video games, I guess. To experience something and feel some kind of emotion. To escape and live out lives of fictional characters so we can safely feel sad or scared or angry or whatever. I get that.

I’ll just say this to sum it all up. You know in a horror movie when the scene is very quiet, and the only sound you can hear is the character’s breathing and everything is dark and you just know something is going to jump out and make you scream and you’re preparing for it, but then it happens and you jump and scream anyway? Yeah. This was kind of like that. Cheap tricks to make you jump and scream. This had cheap tricks to make you sad and cry. There were parts, I am not ashamed to say, that had me tearing up a bit. One scene in particular when the parents, both rockers, realize their daughter loves the cello. The dad quits his band and is racing home on his bicycle, a huge smile on his face, with a brand new cello strapped to his back. Anything having to do with a father and his daughter will always get to me now.

Anyway, at one point I became hyper aware of what was going on around me. In the actual theater. It was quiet. Fucking silent. No matter what movie you go to, more or less the people are quiet. But the movies I go to tend to be loud so you don’t ever really know how quiet the people are around you. Yeah. No loud noises in this movie. Silence. Which made the kissing scenes, and there were a fuck ton of kissing scenes, that much more awkward. You know when you’re eating a banana alone in a quiet room? Yeah. That sound. Over and over and over again.

“I’m so tired of them kissing,” my wife says at one point.

It was just around this moment, as I was realizing how goddamn quiet it was in there, that someone behind me farted. Not a huge, rumbling fart. Just a tight little toot. An obvious slip. What made it worse? Nobody reacted at all. It stayed silent. It took everything I had not to laugh out loud. My wife giggled, but held it together. I’m sure my shoulders were bouncing so much as I silently cackled that whoever birthed that baby fart saw me. I like to think it was a young man on his first date with the girl he has always loved. She finally said yes. I know, he said to himself. I’ll take her to a sad movie! Perfect! She’ll melt right into my arms and fall in love with me. But he took her to a Mexican restaurant beforehand. Ordered the cheese enchiladas with two sides of refried beans. Throughout the whole movie, he’s been clenching his cheeks and controlling his breathing, doing everything he could to hold that fart in. Not only that, but a guy on a first date is not allowed to cry. That’s just how it is. If the movie is making him feel sad, he has to start imagining past tragedies or hilarious memories to keep those tears in his eyes. So this fucking guy is a pressure cooker ready to blow, right? And then…Hit Girl made him sad. He lost himself in the moment. And the fart squeezed itself out. And the heavy silence only made it that much more awkward for him, I’m sure. Not to mention my jumping shoulders.

So! The next thing I notice, toward the end of the movie, is all the sniffling going on around me. The silence has turned into a symphony of sniffles. From every angle. The giggling girls in front of us are all sniffling. The entire crowd behind us is sniffling. It kind of sounded like a herd of hissing cats. I turn to my wife to comment about this, and she slowly turns her head and sniffles at me.

“Oh God! They got you too!”

I didn’t say anything. Remember the Titanic? Yeah. I shut up. Wrapped my arm around her and let her have her cry.

The best part for me was the ending. If you give a fuck about the movie and don’t want to know how it ends, don’t read anymore. Now, the reason this was the best part had nothing to do with the movie. It was the reaction of the crowd, and more importantly, my wife.

So, Dead Hit Girl has to come to a decision. Die or Live! You don’t really know what she’s going to pick. Her whole family is dead. What more is there to live for, right? But her love is still alive, and he’s sitting next to her and making promises and singing songs and crying and telling her she got into Julliard after all. The screen goes white. Silence in the theater. Even the sniffles stopped. Fart boy’s anus puckered. And then Hit Girl opens her eyes. The last thing it shows is the boy, her love, saying her name.

And then the screen goes black. It is even more silent than silent now. It was so silent that my eardrums almost imploded. And then the end credits begin. The entire audience, all together, says, “AWWWWWWW!”

I’m now laughing my ass off openly because that is some funny shit right there. Now, I’m assuming my wife said awwwww for the same reason everyone else did. Which was obvious to me. They said awwwww because they didn’t want the movie to end there. They wanted more. They wanted to see the couple making more banana sounds as they kissed. They wanted to see her recovery and her family’s funeral and the couple get married and all that other stuff, right?

We get in the car. I turn to my wife and say, “That was pretty damn funny how everyone reacted at the end.”

“I know!” she said. “She should have died!”

“Wait…what?”

“Her whole family was dead. She shouldn’t have chosen to live. She should have died with them.”

“So you think everyone said awwwwww at the end because they wanted Hit Girl to die instead of live?”

“Well yeah. Right? That’s why I said it.”

And I immediately leaned over and made banana sounds with her. Because my wife is awesome. She dragged me to a sad movie, made me sit through sniffles and melted candy and farts and endless sloppy kissing. But in the end, she reminded me why I love her so much.

So nice try Hit Girl. You made her sad. You made her cry. But she still wishes you were fucking dead.

I think we’ll go see that Nicholas Sparks movie next. The one set in the universe where kids grow up to look absolutely nothing like they did as a kid. At least the banana sounds will be masked by heavy rainfall.

Sad movies are hilarious.

 

 

 

 

Excerpt from Toilet Baby

toiletbabycoversm

A sample chapter from my latest bizarro novel from Eraserhead Press, Toilet Baby! If you dig it, click the picture above to get the rest.

 

TOILET BABY

Chapter 3

It was like a geyser, water gushing out of the toilet’s bowl like an upside down waterfall. The water crashed against the ceiling, the walls, sprayed Grady and soaked him completely. He had to turn his head and breathe through his mouth to keep from drowning as he forced his way in to the bathroom to try and figure out a way to stop it.

Just as he reached the toilet, the water stopped, just shut off as if someone had hit a switch. He didn’t realize he was screaming until the roaring sound of the water ceased, and he leaned against the wall and ran both hands through his dripping hair, gasped as he caught his breath.

Water was everywhere, dripping off every surface in the cramped bathroom. The bathtub was halfway filled with it, and the sink overflowed, sputtering as it drained.

“Jesus…what in the hell… Aarrgghh!

Grady’s stomach suddenly twisted with pain, and he splashed to the floor and clutched his mid-section, grimacing and grunting. A gurgly cranking sound roared from his belly. He reached up to grab something—anything—so he could squeeze it as the pain rode his body, but ended up ripping the shower curtain down over himself. Everything went dark then, everything smelled like plastic.

Oh god…I’m about to shit myself.

               He wanted to sit on the toilet and take care of the problem, but he was too scared another eruption would explode and burst his rectum. If the pain got any worse, he would just have to take the risk.

I’ve never had to shit so bad in my life.

Once the pain had subsided enough for him to move, he threw the curtain off of him and carefully got to his feet. He grabbed fistfuls of hair as he stared down at his toilet. The water eruption had closed the lid, and Grady wondered if the white hairy thing at the bottom of the toilet had been blown out like a cannonball.

He checked the floor, the sink, even let his eyes coast to the ceiling, but he didn’t see anything but water, a few stray pubic hairs like curly spider’s legs.

Using the big toe of his left foot, he nudged the lid back up, and took a peek inside. The thing was still down there, had moved out further, but not far enough to see the rest of its body. It was just more of the white bulge, a light dusting of hair. The white flesh was crisscrossed with blue veins, and as Grady stared at it, he could have sworn they were pulsating slightly.

In the next second, the pain returned with a vengeance, hit him hard, grabbed hold of his guts and dug its nails in. He doubled over, peeled his lips past his teeth and shrieked. As the pain rolled through him, he could feel his bowels trying to release, every movement nearly making him lose control. He did everything he could to hold it in, didn’t think he had the courage to sit on the exploding toilet with that pale…thing down there. He just knew as soon as he did, the creature would dislodge itself, and tunnel into him. A sound much like the thunder that had rumbled from the toilet gurgled from his belly, and he clutched it, groaned.

Oh jesus please hurry!

He hoped the plumber wasn’t too far, because if the guy didn’t show up quick, Grady was going to take a squat in the bathtub and release the demons scraping their talons along his rectum.

The pain let up enough for him to catch his breath, and he just stood there, back against the wall, studying the object at the bottom of his toilet.

It has to be some kind of animal. Maybe this thing crawled up out of the sewer, drowned before it made it to the surface. And now it’s stuck in my toilet.

But as he ogled it, he had no idea what species of animal this thing could be, wondered if it was some kind of mutation or something. Then he couldn’t help but let his mind wander to disease, and if this thing could possibly be infected with something. The water soaking every inch of him suddenly felt filthy, and he could feel the bacteria crawling across his flesh.

Knock knock knock.

The sound made Grady flinch, and he lost his footing, ran in place for a few seconds before slipping and crashing down onto his ass. He lay there for a minute, writhing and moaning. The collision with the floor had loosened his clutching buttocks muscles, just enough for a spurt of liquid shit to ooze out and soak into his boxer shorts.

“Oh god!”

Knock knock knock.

“I’m coming!”

He climbed to his feet, winced as the hot stew slid down his leg, but made his way across the soaked hallway carpet and opened the front door.

“Show me…show me the way. Qu-quickly,” the plumber said as he stumbled his way inside. He nearly shoved Grady back to the floor as he forced his way into the house.

“Wait a minute, now. You can’t just—”

“There’s no time for this! I might…I might already be too late. Please, you have to…” The plumber squinted at Grady through thick glasses, his nose wrinkled and his front teeth showing up to his gums. The man looked Grady up and down, and only became more frantic. “Oh g-god…the water already broke! When? H-how long ago did it happen?”

Water broke? He must be talking about the pipes or something.

“It just happened a few minutes ago. There’s this thing stuck at the bottom of the toilet, some kind of animal or something. Then the damn water just exploded, got everywhere. I’ve never seen anything like that before…and that thing is still stuck down there.”

The plumber threw his hands in the air and whimpered as he clumsily sprinted into the living room, turning his head left and right.

“Down the hall,” Grady said.

“H-hurry!” Water splashed out of the carpet as the scrawny man ran across it.

The plumber, maybe forty years give or take, looked like little more than a skeleton tightly wrapped in flesh-colored spandex. The man’s glasses magnified his eyes to a ridiculous size, and he seemed incapable of unsquinting. His toolbelt looked like it weighed more than him, and the tools jingled as the plumber jogged. He grabbed the doorframe on either side of him and peered into the bathroom, then spun and faced Gordy, who still stood in his place by the front door.

“Jesus Christ, will you come on! She’s ready…she’s ready!” Then he stepped in and disappeared from Grady’s view.

Grady rushed over, wondering if he had just let a crazy person into his apartment, as if his night could possibly get any worse. At that moment, he wanted nothing more than to relieve the ever growing pressure in his stomach and take a shower to get the diseased water off of him. Just as the thought emerged into his mind, another surge of agony grabbed hold of his bowels and squeezed. He couldn’t stop the scream and he found himself on his knees, his sweatpants soaking up the water in the carpet.

Grady’s jaw ached from clenching his teeth so hard, and he slowly worked his way back to his feet, took steady and careful steps as he made his way to the restroom, afraid to wake the monster inside of him again.

When Grady finally stepped inside, the plumber was already on his knees in front of the toilet. He swirled his long, skinny hands over the toilet’s bulge.

“She’s ready,” the man said. “I…I got here just…just in time.” Without waiting another second, he reached one hand into the bowl, used the other to rattle the handle. “Hand me that…that plunger.”

Grady did as the man asked, but smacked his lips. “You think I didn’t try that already? I worked at that damn thing for hours. Won’t do you any good.”

But the plumber had no interest in anything Grady was saying. He glared into the toilet bowl, tongue clamped between his teeth as he worked the plunger a few times, then stuck both hands in and swirled them in a circular motion.

This went on for what felt like an hour, maybe more. Grady didn’t know what else to do besides stand there and watch. And hold back his loosening bowels with every muscle in his body. He didn’t know how much longer he could possibly hold it, and he danced in place, concentrated on his breathing, curled and uncurled his fists.

“I think I’ve got an emergency brewing over here, man. How much longer do you think—”

The man’s mouth propped open, then widened even more into a smile. “Here we are. Come on now…m-my god she’s beautiful.”

“What?”

Then the plumber pulled his hands out of the toilet, and he was clutching something, stood up and cradled it.

“A g-girl…you’ve got yourself a girl.” The man’s eyes looked insane through the thickness of his glasses as he beamed down at the bundle in his arms. He held it out to Grady. “C-come say…come say hello.”

It’s that thing. He’s got the dead animal in his arms…

That’s when it started moving. Sort of flopped and writhed like a small white fish. And then a strange sound choked out of it.

Is it…is it crying?

The sound only grew in volume, sounded wet, almost like a toilet flushing. The thing wiggled, nearly thrashed right out of the plumber’s arms. Its wails rose in intensity and pitch, and then it turned, locked eyes with Grady.

And the crying ceased at once. Its eyes—the most beautiful blue he’d ever seen—penetrated his own. Its skin was pure white, and wisps of wet blond hair clung to its little forehead. The bottom lip was wide and curved.

Like a toilet seat.

As Grady just stood there and stared at it, the strange little child got to wiggling again, whined and smacked its mouth. Its tongue was even bluer than its eyes—urinal cake blue.

Two things happened to Grady, almost simultaneously. First, he was filled with a love that he never knew he was capable of. He didn’t know why a baby had been lodged at the bottom of his toilet, or how it could have possibly survived something like that, but now that he was looking at it, now that it was there in his bathroom, he wanted nothing more than to hold it, kiss it. Take care of it forever, regardless of its deformities or possible diseases.

The other thing he noticed was that his urge to shit went from emergency to code red.

“Oh jesus…can you please step out for a minute? I need to…I need—”

“You…you need to poop, I know. It’s only natural. Paternal…paternal instincts. Happened to me too…it happened to all, all of us.”

“What? Whatever, man, just step out for a minute and let me take care of it please.” Grady hopped from foot to foot and clenched his teeth. Another couple of seconds and it would be too late.

“Don’t blow it yet. You have to pull the cord first.” The man held up the baby and thrust it gently toward Grady again.

The baby looked slippery, and the way it was wiggling made him nervous, so he shot his arms out and took hold of her to make sure she didn’t fall. When he pulled her to his chest, he noticed the bronze chain protruding from her belly, the large black rubber float attached to the other end. The float was wrapped with pulsating veins that spread across the wet, black surface like tiny roots.

Just holding the baby caused his anus to open up momentarily, spurt a glob of liquid that ran down his leg. He winced, growled, shot a hard look at the plumber.

“Just what the hell am I supposed to do here? What’s happening?” Grady looked back down at the baby, and his heart skipped a beat. She looked up at him, into him, and smiled. A soft coo burped from her lips, and she lifted both hands, ran her tiny little white fingers across his chin. Grady felt a tear forming at the corner of his eye, and he smiled back.

“She’s your daughter. D-don’t you see?”

“My daughter? I don’t…that’s impossible.”

The plumber snickered and squinted hard. “Look, I can…I can explain the rest later. Right now, you need to feed her. Sh-she’s hungry. Now pull that cord and…and let her eat.”

Grady’s legs shook as he clenched his muscles. He grabbed hold of the baby’s bronze cord—it was soft like gummy worms. With a hard yank, it detached with a pop, left a perfect little hole in the baby’s belly. She giggled, snuggled up into his chest.

“Now flush it. The toilet…the toilet’s gonna need that to recuperate. The n-nutrients will help with the…with the healing.”

Nothing coming out of his man’s mouth was making any sense, and Grady thought he could feel his sanity start to dissolve. I finally went nuts, that’s what’s happening. None of this is real.

As Grady held the spongy chain, the venous, rubber float began to shrivel.

“H-hurry, man. Toss it in.”

Grady did as he was told, flushed it down. The chain and float swirled for a second before being sucked down and disappearing. The toilet seemed to sigh, and then everything became eerily quiet.

Until Grady’s stomach reminded him he was about to explode.

“Can I shit now?”

“Yeah…yeah, of course.” The plumber made his way toward the door, smiling and shaking his head.

“Well…could you hold her? Until I’m finished at least?”

“Hold her? I told you…she’s hungry. Why do you think you have to go so b-bad? Like I said before, it’s…it’s paternal instinct. Your body was preparing for this, now drop that baby in the t-toilet and feed her.”

It took Grady a second to let that sink in, to really understand what this man was telling him to do.

“That’s…jesus. That’s messed up, man. You can’t be serious.”

“She’s half toilet. W-what else did you think she’d eat?” He chuckled, pulled his drooping toolbelt up. “Now feed her. They can get real f-fussy when they’re hungry.”

And with that, the plumber stepped out of the restroom, shut the door behind him.

“Whoa…whoa,” Grady said as the baby grabbed hold of his shirt and started trying to climb out of his arms. She crawled her way onto his shoulder, then clutched the fabric on the back of his shirt.

She’s trying to get to my backside. She can smell it.

“Oh my god, are you kidding me?”

With a sigh, Grady pried the baby off his back, placed her gently into the toilet bowl. She cooed and splashed around, then tilted her head back and opened her mouth as wide as it would go. The fluorescent light gleamed off her lower lip.

As he stood there, staring at the baby, he realized how much she looked like her mother. And in that moment, it dawned on him what was happening. It didn’t seem possible, but he knew it to be true, was as certain about it as he was certain he was about to fill his pants with hot, fresh feces.

Can I do this? Can I really shit into a newborn’s mouth?

A violent tremor shook his legs and back, and he quickly dropped his pants and sat down.

The baby’s lips pressed up against him, latched on like a vacuum nozzle. The upper lip was soft and fleshy, but the lower lip felt as hard as the toilet seat he now sat upon.

As he let loose, he sighed simultaneously with relief and disgust. The baby splashed around as it ate, and a high-pitched whine rattled out from Grady’s lips.

I’m a daddy. What the hell am I supposed to do now?

 

Free Fiction: Carly is Dead

Hey, guys. I realized I haven’t posted a story on here in a while. This is one from when I was first starting out, experimenting with weird ideas. So it might be a bit rough, but I still dig it. I don’t dig many of my old stories. I always thought this would make a really cool animated or claymation short. So if you do that sort of thing and agree with me, hit me up!

 

Carly is Dead

by Shane McKenzie

 dead cartoon

 

Carly is dead. She knows this. It bothered her at first—more of an inconvenience than anything—but the longer her body lay in the woods amongst the trees, she started to get used to the idea. At least she had a friend now. When she was alive, it was just her, Darnell, and the johns, and they didn’t qualify as friends. As soon as their load was dripping down her face, they were gone like the wind. Her new friend wouldn’t leave. When Francis and her family first started arriving, Carly didn’t want them there, was scared of them. But now, she didn’t know where she’d be without their company. It got lonely in the woods.

“How much longer until they hatch?” Carly asked Francis.

The bloated fly had become one of her closest friends since her arrival in the woods, and though there were lots and lots of other flies, none of them were as close to Carly’s heart as Francis.

“Any day now, I’m thinkin’. At least you’ll get to see ’em when they come,” Francis said as she suckled moisture from Carly’s forehead.

Carly had asked Francis to lay the eggs in the tear ducts of her eyes so she wouldn’t miss a second of their hatching. When you’re lying in the dirt for God knows how many days, you’d be happy for any form of entertainment. Carly was so excited for the arrival of the babies, she almost felt as if she was their mother.

“God, it feels like it’s taking forever,” Carly said.

“It’s not like we got anything else to do,” Francis buzzed.

Carly didn’t remember much about how she got into the woods. Her memory faded as the days went by and her body softened in the dirt and dew. At first, she’d almost felt alive, like she could stand up, brush herself off, and walk back home. Nowadays, she felt dead. She felt dead as hell. She knew trying to move or speaks was no good, but Francis seemed to be able to communicate with her, and that was about all she could hope for those days. At first, she’d hoped someone would stumble by her body and get her out of there, but now, the woods were her home. She didn’t want to leave anymore than she wanted to die in the first place.

“I’ll be back, Carly. I smell some fresh back-door brownies somewhere, and me and the others are gonna go find it. You be okay by yourself for a while?”

“I’ll be fine. Go have fun with your friends.”

“Thanks, hon. You’re a doll.” And Francis buzzed away with the others.

Carly stared at the eggs in the corner of her eye and smiled. Her face didn’t actually move, but she smiled nonetheless.

“Bout time they left,” came a tiny voice to her right.

“I thought we’d never get a chance,” came another similar voice.

“Who’s there?” Carly said. She wasn’t afraid for herself, but she’d guard the eggs with her life. Or with her death, or whatever was left to guard them with.

“We’re just here for our share is all. Don’t mind us.”

A marching line of ants paraded past Carly’s vision and turned to face her. The ant that had been leading the line crawled closer to her face and spoke.

“We don’t want no trouble from you or the flies, miss. We have orders to take what we can back home to feed our queen and her young. Don’t mean to inconvenience you, ma’am.”

Carly was taken back by the ant’s manners and smiled as she spoke.

“Of course I don’t mind. I’m not sure what’s left, but you’re welcome to anything you find useful.”

“That’s mighty kind of you, ma’am. We won’t be long, I promise.” The ant paused and took a long look at her eye. “What’s that you got there?”

“Those are my friend’s eggs. They’re due to hatch any day now. I’m so excited, I could piss myself, if that part of me still worked.”

The ant laughed. “You sure got a good sense of humor for rotting meat, you know that? Usually, we’d take those eggs for our queen, but I’m gonna forget about it just this once on account of your kindness, ma’am.”

“Well thank you, sir. I’d be devastated if anything happened to these little darlings. And Francis may never speak to me again.”

The ant nodded and bowed, then barked orders to the awaiting workers. They’d taken spots all over Carly’s body, and on the leader’s command, dug their pincers into the soft, putrid flesh and scooped out a helping. Carly was impressed by how much each little ant could carry. As they piled the meat onto their backs, they began marching down Carly’s stomach and side and back to the forest dirt where they trudged away and out of Carly’s sight. Time didn’t mean anything anymore, but the little ants worked relentlessly and were gone before she knew it. The leader stepped back toward her face and gave another bow.

“We thank you for your kindness, ma’am. I’m not certain this is the last time you’ll see us, but I think we got enough to last a good while. Good day to you.”

And with that, he dug his pincers into her chest, heaved the load onto his back, and followed his troops toward wherever their lair was hidden. Carly hoped the meat was good and made their young strong and healthy.

She thought the eggs twitched slightly, and a wave of excitement rushed over her like so much cum when she was alive. She didn’t understand it; she could no longer remember her childhood or her family, but she remembered the johns. Not all of them, but a good amount of them. It was one of those bastards that finally got the better of her and dumped her there in the woods. She wondered if Darnell was even looking for her. Probably not. That motherfucker never showed compassion for her or any of the other girls. He collected his money and showed them the back of his hand if it wasn’t enough. But Carly was his best earner.

He’s gotta be looking for me…somewhere.

Carly concentrated on the eggs, but it was a false alarm. Must’ve been the wind. She longed for Francis to return so they could chat about the babies, but she didn’t want to hold her friend back either. The other flies might shun her if she spent all her time conversing with dead bodies.

“Oh my, and what is this?”

Another unrecognized voice.
“I’m Carly. Who are you?”

The worm accordioned its segmented body out of the dirt and onto Carly’s belly. She saw more and more of them pushing through the ground.

“Names are not important. I’m simply here to indulge,” the worm said as he suctioned his face to her chest and sucked on the festering meat. “I didn’t invite the others, I promise you that. But when it rains, it pours, you know what I mean?”

“I don’t mind, really I don’t. I would appreciate some conversation, though, since it’s so damn boring here alone.”

The worm pulsated as the meat worked its way down the tubular body. A tiny belch erupted, then the worm said, “I’m not really one for conversation, to be honest. I’d like to eat my lunch then be on my way, if you don’t mind.”

“Not to be rude, but it’s my body you’re eating. I’d think you’d at least have the decency to speak with me while you consume me,” Carly said. She couldn’t believe the audacity of this worm, coming out of the ground uninvited and gulping down her flesh without so much as a “how are you doing?”

“I’ll tell you what, lady. If you can stop me, by all means, do it. If not, shut the fuck up and let me eat in peace.”

The other worms laughed at this. Carly grew hot with rage.

The worms tunneled into her and filled themselves fat without even thanking her. The worm she’d spoken to ate bits of her face and mocked her all the while. It made its way to her eye and stopped.

“Lookie here. You boys hungry for an omelet?”

“You stay away from those! You have no right, goddamnit!”

“Didn’t I tell you to shut up? You’re the most annoying pile of meat I’ve ever sucked on, you know that?” The worm called over his buddies to see the nest in her eye.

Carly had sucked on plenty of annoying piles of meat in her day, and as she lay there thinking about it, images of her death suddenly flashed through her mind.

It was a regular working day, just like any other. John after john after john. She was the best, after all, and word got around quick on the street.

A wood-paneled station wagon pulled up, and a middle-aged, shriveled-dick looking man stared out at her from the driver’s seat, his hand stroking his crotch over his brown corduroy pants. He smiled up at Carly and licked the front of his teeth.

“Hey, honey. Wanna go somewhere?” she’d asked.

The little creepy fucker only nodded his balding head and stroked his shit harder while Carly sighed and entered the car.

After that, it’s all a blur of a pistol pointed at her face, a rope around her neck, and a dick up her backside. The little shit had to be one-third dick, because Carly remembered how much it hurt while he pounded away back there. Then everything went dark, and the next thing she knew, she was laying on her back in the forest.

Carly was ready to let loose another outburst to let the worms know her displeasure when she heard a rustling from above.

“Awe, shit,” the worm said as its brethren scurried away from her body and back into the earth. “I’ll be back, lady. I promise you that.” And with that, the dastardly worm vanished from her sight.

“Stupid, slimy little buggers.”

“Yeah, like we want those things in our mouths, right, Percy?”

The vultures swooped down from their perch above Carly and waddled toward her face. Carly didn’t know how to feel about the bald faces staring at her.

“I’m Carly. Thank you for scaring the worms away. They weren’t friendly in the least.”

“Hey, Percy. The meat just talked,” one bird said.

“Just ignore it. I’m starving.”

The birds dug their heads into Carly’s bloated stomach and gorged themselves on the soupy center. Though she didn’t appreciate their rudeness, Carly figured she was better off with them than the worms. The birds wouldn’t be interested in the egss, and Carly would let them get their fill as long as the babies were safe, though she still ached for someone to talk to.

“You don’t have to be so rude, you know. Is it so much to ask for a little conversation while you’re devouring my body?”

“Percy, it won’t stop talking. What should we do?”

“I told you to ignore it. Don’t encourage it.”

The curious vulture continued its meal, but kept glancing at Carly as if embarrassed. She watched them take beakfuls of meat into their mouths and gulp as it slid down their throat. Dark juice dripped from their fleshy heads.

“Just help yourselves, then. Don’t let me ruin your meal, by all means.”

The vulture cocked its head to the side and stared at her.

“I can’t do it, Percy. It’s creeping me out. Can’t we find something else to eat?”

“Goddamnit, man. We find a perfectly good pile of meat here, and you wanna let someone else get to it just because it said a few words at you? I swear to fucking God!”

And with that, the birds left Carly to her thoughts. They’d left her body in ruins with the ropy intestines hanging out like bloated, dead snakes. She watched them fly away and turn to black specs in the sky, until finally flying out of her line of vision.

Carly missed Francis. She wanted her friend back, wanted someone she could talk to. The ants weren’t too bad, but they were too busy to have much of a conversation. She just hoped the bastard worms didn’t show back up now that the birds had left.

There was more rustling in the bushes to her left.

What now?

Whatever it was, it was much bigger than anything she’d seen so far in the woods. It moved quickly toward her and Carly wanted to scream.

“Holy shit. Is that what I think it is?”

“Hello? Who’s there?” Carly shouted.

“Dude, get over here. It fucking stinks!”

“Can you hear me? Please talk to me!”

“Looks like some animals been pickin’ at her for a while. Jesus Christ. Let’s call someone. I don’t wanna be anywhere near that thing.”

“Please don’t ignore me!”

“Hold on, man. I ain’t never seen a dead body before.”

A teenage boy’s face was suddenly hovering over Carly’s head. The boy stared down at her with a sneer that pulled his face to the side. He inspected her body with his swimming-pool blue eyes.

“Holy shit, man. Whoever this lady was, she had some set of tits.”

“You sick little bastard,” Carly gasped.

“Dude, what the fuck is wrong with you? She’s fucking dead, dumb-shit.”

“I know that, I’m just sayin’.”

He reached over and grabbed something, then Carly saw the stick in his hand as he prodded at her face. The wood punctured her cheek and collided with her teeth.

“Oh, fuck. Her skin is like pudding, dude. Check this out.”

He proceeded to poke more holes into her body at the disgust of the other boy. Carly couldn’t see him, but heard his sighs of protest.

“You stay here and do what you want. I’m callin’ the cops.”

Retreating footsteps and leaves crunching. The boy with the stick stared at her body for another minute before following his friend out of the woods.

They’re gonna call the cops. They’ll come and take me away.

Carly didn’t know how to feel about any of it. Part of her was glad to be rescued from the various critters that now saw her as a free meal, but a larger part of her would miss Francis terribly. And she wouldn’t get to see the babies grow, which was something she very much looked forward to. Why did those little shits have to stumble on her now? A few days ago—if it had even been that long—Carly would have welcomed it, but now she was growing accustomed to her new surroundings.

She thought she saw the eggs twitch again, and a surge of anticipation swept over her. Was it her imagination again? No! They twitched again and again.

“Oh my God, it’s time! Francis! Francis, hurry!

Carly stared intently at the eggs as the tiny babies within bulged and broke free. They writhed just over her eye and began feeding on the tissue. Carly was so happy to be able to provide for them. She filled with pride as she watched.

Then buzzing filled the air and Carly shouted, “Francis! Is that you? Hurry, hurry!”

Francis circled over Carly’s face and giggled with glee. She landed on the tip of Carly’s gray nose and watched as her babies stuffed themselves with carrion.

“Oh, Francis, they’re beautiful.”

Carly wanted to cry, but she was scared of washing the little darlings away. That and her ducts had dried up long ago. But she didn’t think about her death anymore. She only cared about the writhing, roiling life feeding on her eyeball.

“Thank you so much, Carly. It wouldn’t be the same without you,” Francis said.

“You’re my only friend in the whole wide world, Francis.”

Francis gasped and buzzed away. Carly knew danger was approaching, and heard voices and rustling bushes somewhere behind her.

“Francis, what is it? Where are you?”

Francis didn’t answer and the voices grew closer and closer. She recognized the sound of the teenagers.

“It’s just over here somewhere.”

“Yeah, and it looks like it’s been there for a while.”

The boys hovered over her head again, staring down and covering their noses. They had brought the police, just as they said they would. Carly hated them for it. Why couldn’t they just leave her in peace where she could live a happy life (or death) with the new babies? Why did they have to show up now?

“Holy Jesus. She’s a ripe one,” the officer said.

“Oh, nasty! She’s got fucking maggots in her eye!”

“Probably lots of things been eatin’ on her for some time now. Let’s get you boys back to the car and I’ll call this in. You did good, boys.”

“No they didn’t, the little bastards. Leave me alone!”

The officer didn’t hear her. He walked off, leading the boys away, then turned back and knelt above Carly’s face.

“Here, you poor thing. Just terrible.” The officer pulled a latex glove over his hand and swept the babies away. Carly heard them shriek and squeal as they flew through the air.

“Oh, Francis, I’m so sorry.”

Carly tried to cry, but couldn’t. Even as the rest of the people showed up and wrapped her in a dark bag, she couldn’t make the tears come.

She would never forget Francis or the children.

She would miss the woods.

 

Shit Eating, Fairy Erections, Maggot Cake, Spider Eggs, Good Luck Charm Fetuses, German Mexicans, and Copyright Infringement!

Hello, all you maniacs.

If you are here reading this, it automatically makes you a maniac. Which means I automatically love you.

So many things to talk about. I wish I could update this fucking website more often so I’m not constantly playing catch up, but I’ve been busy writing my ass off. Seriously. My ass fell off and now I use it for a chair cushion. Which is kind of what an ass is anyway, right? Everything is pointless.

This month, I had a new bizarro novel come out from my friends/family at Eraserhead Press. Toilet Baby! Let me give you a quick little history. I attended my first Bizarrocon in 2012. They have an event called the Ultimate Bizarro Showdown, where you compete with other bizarro authors to see who can come up with and pull off the most entertaining/weirdest performance. For my first year, I told a small story about a man who impregnated his toilet because he kept masturbating into it. I was eating a can of chili and drinking milk that I had labeled Ex-Lax as I read. The ending was me, the father, having to feed my baby, which was half human and half toilet, so naturally, it eats shit. Which was why I was stuffing myself with chili and Ex-Lax. Everyone seemed to really get a kick out of it. I never thought it could be anything more than a short performance, but the more I thought about it, the more I fell in love with the concept. And here you go, a fucking novel about it. I’m even in talks now with someone about making this into a children’s cartoon.

toiletbabycoversm

The month of August is going to be full of releases. I’m not sure how everything ended up coming out at the same time, but there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s going to be an exciting month, that’s for goddamn sure. Let’s get started.

First up is my novella Fairy, my first release from Samhain Publishing. I’m very excited to be working with Don D’Auria. This story was originally published in my Thunderstorm Books limited edition collection called Drawn & Quartered. I wrote this story very shortly after the birth of my daughter. I had a lot of fears and fucked up thoughts running through my head at that time because I was so stressed and scared and excited, I could hardly sleep. My brain was wired. One concept that came to mind, and I have no fucking idea why, is what if a woman couldn’t get pregnant, so she puts a dead baby under her pillow so the Fertility Fairy will visit her in the night and impregnate her. Yeah. I’m very happy with how the story came out. This one will be ebook only…for now.

Fairy300

I had made a post before about The Oak, so go read that for background info. Basically, it’s the extended version of my very first published book Infinity House. I go much deeper into the legend and the neighborhood. This book is going to be a gorgeous limited edition hardcover from Sideshow Press, fully illustrated!
oakwebnewcopy

My third comic book will be coming out from Zenescope Entertainment as well! The guys at Zenescope are starting a new series inspired by Tales from the Crypt, Twilight Zone, Tales from the Darkside, and others like it. They are calling it Grimm Tales of Terror, and I was assigned issue #2 (and #4 which is about to start going into production). We are taking old horror tales and urban legends and giving them a new twist. The legend I chose was the spider eggs story. You know, someone has a big red sore on their face, been bothering them for days, and when it finally pops, a fuck ton of baby spiders crawl out. Yeah. I got away with some nasty shit in this one.

terror1 terror2 terror3

I’ve been doing a lot of collaborations lately. The first is called Leprechaun in the Hood: The Musical: A Novel. We didn’t use THE Leprechaun, but A Leprechaun. The best way I can describe is we used a New Nightmare method. In that movie, Freddy Krueger is real, not Robert Englund, and he goes after the actors from the films. In our book, there is a leprechaun who the movies are based on, and when a group of kids decide to put on a play based on one of those movies without asking the leprechaun permission, he goes after them for stealing his copyright. It’s pretty insane. This one I wrote with my dudes Cameron Pierce and Adam Cesare. I would collaborate with them again any time. We had a fucking blast with this. Currently serialized on Reddit Horror and coming from Broken River Books.
leppyleppyleppy

The next collaboration coming out in August is called Jackpot, which I co-wrote with Adam Cesare, Kristopher Rufty, and David Bernstein. When I first started Sinister Grin Press, I told myself I would never publish myself. But as time went on, my writing career just got to overwhelming and I had to step away from SGP, which was not an easy decision. So now I have no shame in letting SGP publish this. It all started with a simple concept: What if a serial killer won the lottery? Use your imagination, folks. This book was way too much fun for me. It was like a horror version of Batman. Limitless money, but instead of helping people, he fucking murders them. We plan on making this a trilogy.

Jackpot (Final) p2

And lastly, the German edition for Muerte Con Carne will be out in August from Festa Verlag. I was very curious what they were going to title it since they usually translate the titles of books as well. And they titled it…Muerte Con Carne! I guess it wouldn’t make any sense at all in German. It’s not even supposed to be directly translated into English. I titled it that way because I wanted it to sound like something you would order at a Mexican restaurant. So yes, it means Death With Meat, but that’s not what my intention was. Anyway, check out the German cover!

germanmuerte

That’s it for now! But lots more in the works. Including a couple of creator-owned comics I’m working on with some sick ass artists, a new short film with LuchaGore Productions, and update on the Muerte Con Carne film El Gigante, some exciting Pus Junkies news, and other stuff involving words and pictures. Check back soon!

Peace!

 

The Oak

Sideshow Press will be publishing my novella/collection called The Oak as a gorgeous limited edition hardcover, with some sexy features. They include:

  • 9” x 7” hand-bound hardcover
  • Signed and numbered
  • 240 pages
  • Hand-bound in Japanese fabric
  • Handmade decorative endsheets
  • Full color art inlaid on cover
  • Fully illustrated throughout

Pre-orders are still open, but won’t be for long. Run yourself over to sideshowpressonline.com and pre order yours while you can. I have no idea when another version of this book will be available.

15-OAKBANNER

So, let me give you a bit of a background on this project. The first book I ever sold was All You Can Eat to Deadite Press, but Infinity House was sold to Gallows Press, an imprint of Sideshow Press, shortly after, and actually came out first. So technically, Infinity House is my first book. If you haven’t read it, it’s a short novella about two brothers who find themselves in the legendary haunted house in their neighborhood, a low-income, highly corrupted neighborhood called The Oak. They are there because of the promise of finding money and other precious treasures to better their lives and get them out of The Oak. Well, that doesn’t happen. Instead, you have a novella about their descent into hell, a hell that exists just for the residents of The Oak. There is an ocean of maggots and flies and rotting meat, with some creepy singing kids thrown in to cute it up a bit.

After I wrote that story, I just couldn’t get the idea out of my head. I wanted to know more about this neighborhood, wanted to know why the Infinity House was there in the first place. Tom and I had already spoken about doing a limited edition of Infinity House for Sideshow, but I contacted him and told him I’d like to add a lot more to the story. I wanted to explore the neighborhood and its inhabitants, and that’s exactly what I tried to do with The Oak.

The reason I call it a novella/collection is because it’s sort of a short story collection, but not really. I have a story that acts as the foundation of the book that we keep coming back to between the other stories, and it weaves everything together. One of those stories is Infinity House. So while each story could stand alone, they each add to the universe of The Oak, and everything works as a whole. That’s how I see it anyway. I’m damn happy with it. And equipped with Tom Moran’s beautifully disgusting illustrations, I think you’ll dig the hell out of it.

Here’s a sample of the art, this one from Infinity House. This is the old man who lives in the house, and I’ll tell you, this is exactly how I pictured the evil bastard.

First illo shane

 

So if you read Infinity House and liked it, I highly suggest you grab you a copy of The Oak. It’s even got an alternate ending from the original book that I call the Fuck Room Ending. Come on…you know you’re curious.

So Much to Talk About

I know it’s been a while since I’ve updated this website. I told myself I wouldn’t let this happen again, but the work just kept piling up on me. I’ve been one busy motherfucker. I don’t want to get too much into detail describing every little thing, because yeah, that shit is boring, right? Let me just get everything up to date here.

Since the last time I posted, I’ve had a few more projects come out. Pus Junkies came out from Eraserhead Press, my very first pure bizarro novel, though most still tell me it’s an extreme horror book, and I will never argue that. Pus Junkies was also released as a limited edition hardcover from Thunderstorm Books, which sold out before it became available to the public. Also, I have been in talks with a director, a guy who I have been a huge fan of since I was a kid, about a film adaptation of Pus Junkies. Talks are going well, but at this point, that’s all it is.

I had a new novel called Parasite Deep come out from Severed Press. I’ve been wanting to write a horror fishing book for a long time. The characters are based on me and my buddies and a fishing trip we took when we were still in high school. I mean, we didn’t run into any murderous barnacles like these guys did, but I pulled a lot from that weekend. Reviews have been pretty mixed for this one, but it’s all good. I enjoyed writing it, and all I can do is move onto the next one.

I collaborated with Cameron Pierce and Adam Cesare on a fun novel called Leprechaun in the Hood: The Musical: A Novel. Yeah, you know you want that shit. It’s completely insane! We decided to serialize the novel and post sections of it for free at Reddit’s Horror page. We will eventually print a paperback, so keep a look out for that.

A new novella collection came out from Thunderstorm Books called Blood, Sex, Slime, & Chinese Food. It’s a collection of my early novellas, each one of them with a new intro explaining how they came about and what not. I’m very happy with this book. The cover is gorgeous. It includes All You Can Eat, Bleed on Me, Jacked, and Fat Off Sex & Violence. This book is also sold out.

I have broken into the comic book game! And I’m having a blast. I’ve written two issues for Zenescope Entertainment (Tales From Oz #3: The Scarecrow and Grimm Fairy Tales #97: The Tooth Fairy), and my third has already been accepted for a new series called Grimm Tales of Terror. I’m also working on a comic of my own with artist Frank Walls. I am insanely excited about it, and I think it just might be fucking awesome.

I teamed up with LuchaGore Productions again for the film adaptation of my novel Muerte Con Carne. We ran a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money to film the first chapter of the film. So the short film is called El Gigante, but we’re hoping it’s just the start of a feature length film. El Gigante is being edited right now! I’ve seen screen shots. Holy shit, it’s glorious.

Just recently, I got me an agent. He works for Writer’s House in New York. I couldn’t be more excited about this. We’ve got a solid game plan, and I think some good things are coming.

At the beginning of this year, I had to walk away from Sinister Grin Press. It was hard to do, but I really wanted to focus on my writing. Things were taking off, and I just didn’t have enough time to do everything I wanted to do. And as much as I loved editing, writing is absolutely my top priority.

I think that’s it. Maybe. Fuck, I don’t know. My head is mashed potatoes these days. If you are reading this, thank you for sticking around and giving a shit. I will have more to tell you about very soon!

Excelsior!

Excerpt from Stork

stork

She woke in a dark room. Cold. Alone. She tried to sit up, but something was strapped over her chest, over her arms and legs, and she couldn’t move an inch. Not her bedroom; she wasn’t in her home with her loving husband. Whatever she lay on top of was hard, cold metal.

The lights cut on, like stadium lights, just above her body, blinding her. Someone stood at the end of the metal table she lay on, someone she couldn’t make out because of the harsh luminescence burning her eyeballs.

“Who are you? Where the fuck am I?”

The man tilted his head, studied her for a moment, then stepped closer. Close enough for her to make out his face, close enough for her to see the long, metal rod in his hand. The soft-looking, white feathers coating his arm.

“What…what are you doing? Let me out of here!

The man walked to her side, sort of strutted, his neck bobbing back and forth as he stepped closer to her. He wore doctor’s scrubs, white speckled with red. The downy feathers on his arms had the same crimson stippling. He wore a surgical mask over his face, but his eyes bore into her, huge and black and wet.

“Let me go…please let me go.”

His head tilted again as he studied her, then he strutted back to the end of the table, back at her feet. He gripped something there, something Suzey couldn’t see, but she could tell by the grinding sound and the motion of his body that he was cranking something. And ever so slightly, her feet separated from each other, spread wider and wider. A translucent film flicked over the massive orbs of the doctor’s eyes, and her legs were spread wide, felt like they would tear free at her hips like baked chicken drumsticks. The doctor showed her the metal rod again, the end thick with gore that wrapped around it and hung down in tattered ribbons.

And with a violent surge, he thrust it deep inside of her, swirled it around, pulled it out, and jammed it in again.