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body horror

GREEN SUNDAY Chapter 16 ‘Kill Too Hard’

Hello again my dedicated stalkers, all the handful of you haha.

Back again with more of that good literary shit.
Had a few people take me up on the review copy shenanigans since yesterday, gonna keep rolling out that train today with some shameless spamming.

Oh yeah almost forgot, got an update on the cover, realising now as I’m writing this and remembering it in real time I’m going to make it the header image to this very blog haha. So now that you’ve looked up at the image you undoubtedly clicked to get you on this page, pray tell what do you think. That’s real art folks, not some copy pasted clip art shit done on photoshop, that’s real paint with real brush strokes from a genuine artist. Original artwork paid for by yours truly haha.
I think it’s turned out really great, sort of cartoony but it captures the grindhouse feel I wanted, getting hyped about launch now and not so much feeling the crushing doubt that’s been gripping me for the past couple of weeks in which I’ve sworn never to do nano again haha.
Why you ask? Because it, yes not me, ruined what could have been a career affirming life changing book for me. After getting completely shit on for The one that came back in the reviews the consensus seems to be it’s kind of boring and I blame myself for rushing it to fit into the nano time frame. Or in other words I blame nano haha.
But joking aside, I’m just gonna have to shell out of the nose to have it properly content edited, I’m sure its salveagable, it’s just gonna take a lot of time/money/effort, things I seem to have in great abundance these days for whatever reason (pact with cthulhu).

Ok moving on, still giving away free e-copies of my novella which wasn’t rushed and is really fucking good btw haha. And I’m still giving out review copies of Green Sunday, so get some of those and if you join my mailing list and let me know you want a review copy you will be getting two free ebooks for only the price of your soul and maybe a toe. A small toe.

If you want a review copy just message me on twitter  or facebook or minds through my contact page.

Ok here’s chapter 16 ‘Kill Too Hard‘ for your reviewing pleasure haha.

See you space gender non-conforming squid people.

~

On a ratty-looking desk, an old-fashioned touch-tone phone rang.

The small, messy office filled with the tinny analogue ringing sound.

Mojang clung to the grenade launcher, the wooden sawn-off stock poking his ribs. He ducked behind the desk, taking the small phone with him.

He took the receiver out of the cradle with a plastic clicking sound. He pressed it to his greasy-looking ear.

“Hey, boss!” A cheery voice chirped.

“Bernie, you double crossing pinche puto!”

“Come on, it’s not just me.”

“What are you talking about, you fat, lousy fuck?” Mojang spat into the receiver.

“It’s the fans, man.”

“The fans?”

“They’re bored, Mo. We’re winning too much. We make it look easy. There’s no drama, no suspense. Long story short, they’re replacing you.”

“What the fuck? With who?”

“Ahem.”

“You? Your fat ass is replacing me? No way! Put me through to the top guy. There’s no way they can do this. This is our last game. We’re out. We’re clean. They promised- “

“Sorry, Mo, this comes from the top. Our approval ratings are tanking. They thought they needed to shake things up.”

“No, you motherfucker, you put him on no- “

Click.

The phone went dead. Mojang bit down on the receiver. Snapping it in half over the desk, he threw the rest of the phone to the floor.

He cracked open the grenade launcher and saw there was a hot grenade still in the chamber. He clapped it closed and stiffened his lip. “Fffuck!” He threw the heavy grenade launcher across the desk and hurried over to the window. Barred, it was covered in a heavy mesh, impossible to remove. There was no way he was getting out. He clanged the cage mesh, looking like a kid in a playpen. His face welled up with sweat and nervous tears. “FUCK ME! FUCK ME!”

A clatter outside hushed him. He ducked behind his desk again. He scrabbled for the grenade launcher on the desk.

“No, please, no. I’ll suck dick. I’ll suck your dick,” a muffled woman’s voice said from behind his door. An angry banging. “FUCK, MOJANG! LET ME IN, YOU LIMP DICK MOTHERFUCKER!”

The noise quickly stopped after a brief gurgling sound. An ominous silence fell on the garage, not a croak or a death rattle to be heard. All the blood was already on the floor.

Then a dull banging noise started against the thin door, accompanied by stifled whimpering noises. The noises got quieter as the dull banging got wetter. Each bang was accompanied by sloppy slapping noises.

The pathetic bolt lock popped off. The screws popped out and rolled on the concrete floor. The door swung open on just one hinge.

Mojang peeked over the desk and saw the doorway was empty. The flimsy door itself was plastered in blood and brain matter and there was a big crack down the centre. Strands of long hair stuck out of it.

Mojang recoiled as a mass was slung hard across the desk, like a deer hitting the hood of an SUV. His face was splattered with blood and brains. The girl’s limp limbs twisted in every direction. Her head had caved in. Using it to open a door would do that.

Mojang winced. He used the barrel of the grenade launcher to turn her face around, and his other hand to move her hair aside. Her eyes were half open; they rolled loosely around in her head like dolls’ eyes. He swallowed and closed them, feeling bad for a minute before he remembered he had locked her out.

The lancer stepped inside. His feet made a metal stiletto sound. They were covered in skin -tight metal sandals. On the concrete floor, they sounded like tap shoes or a dog with long nails on a hardwood floor.

“We can talk about this. I’ve brought in a lot of business. We’re the best. We win. We can do better. Fuck, man, we can do whatever you want. I’ll learn to fucking juggle if that’s what you wa- “

“Sorry, you’re cancelled,” the lancer said, a cold chill riding his words all the way down Mojang’s spine.

Mojang fingered the grenade launcher, with its wood inlays, as he looked at the girl sprawled across his desk like a tiger skin rug.

He took a deep breath and scrunched up his face, ringing out vicious tears from his one good eye.

“Fffuck you, silver surfing faggot!” He lifted the grenade launcher and turned his body so he was pointing it at the lancer, with one arm outstretched. His face twisted into his death mask: what would be left of it.

The lancer let out a breathy laugh and gave a wicked smile with those strange eyes. He dropped into a pounce and closed the gap between them with murderous intention.

Mojang fell back, his heart leaping to meet the challenge. He stumbled over a broken phone cord. His finger squeezed the trigger and he proceeded to make an even stupider face.

The building popped open like a giant soda can. The sheet metal peeled back and curled up, licked by flames. The explosion was viewed by an indifferent drone flying overhead, the flames reflected in its ambivalent lens.

New cover sketches for Green Sunday.

Hola mi amigos.

Thanks again to the new subs, just finishing up the proof read of LCYE and it will be on it’s way to you by the end of the month guaranteed (Cos I already finished the proofread and turned it into a pdf but I’m holding out for even more subs on my mailing list haha). Trust me it’ll be worth the wait.

Really excited this week because I already got back some of the revised sketches for the GS cover (which will be posted below) and paid the first half of the money and as soon as that is done I’ll launch that SOB, for money this time haha. See how that works out. Then it’s faffing about with more marketing, maybe go on some podcasts and stuff, that should be fun, take it to a kids book reading haha. Traumatize the little shits.

Ok well enough of that.

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I’ll leave which one I chose a surprise for now haha.

If you wanna check out the artist, maybe throw some shekels at him or send him some nudes (no seriously he needs models), shoot on over to Pagdon.

See you spacecowpeople…

Green Sunday Chapter 15 ‘Strange Eyes’ (Edit)

Hello lovely people,

First I want to thank all those new people who joined my mailing, so I hope and assume you’re reading this, if not who gives a shit ahah?

Ok so on to updates, personal life; still trash.
Looking at, oh shit that reminds me I can post those. I have sketches for the initial cover designs of Green Sunday. So that’s underway, having more sketches drafted. I’ll post the ones I have down here somewhere.

I’ve worked out the contract and paid for the edit of Ladies Close Your Eyes but the cover could take a bit longer, so as soon as I get the edit back I’ll just clean it up as is and send it via my mailing list to everyone on it as promised.

As usual got a little excerpt of the next edited chapter of GS ‘Strange Eyes’. It’s a fun one, had to fight to keep my inner weeb coming out haha. It’s hard to restrain yourself from writing this big stupid self indulgent action scene that runs away with itself, but I had fun so fuck it haha.

As usual you can read the whole thing by following the link to inkitt right here.

Strange Eyes

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These are just some basic sketches for outlining the finished design, so please don’t judge yet haha.

http://pagdon.com/

This is the guys page, he’s a real artist folks, not no comic book hustler haha, check him out and peace out.

The brief silence was ripped apart like a piece sugar of paper. A red Beetle door, with garish orange flames spray painted on it, flew across the garage, spinning like a coin flipped by a King Kong size index finger and thumb. It hit the wall of the shop, pancaking the fat biker and embedding itself in the concrete and sheet metal, load-bearing wall.

The fat biker was eviscerated by the force of the door and his body hitting the wall. He looked like he’d fallen from space. His body was only recognizable by garish, near-human-shaped body parts: hands, feet, an eyeball, a tongue, a limb with bone shrapnel perforating the skin. His wet carcass popped like a water balloon full of dark red jello, sticking in some places and plastered to the wall. Heavier matter slopped onto the floor, making a cringe-inducing, wet, slapping noise.

He looked inside out. Grown men, who watched people beat each other to death and fed people to half-dead freaks, threw up raw hotdogs onto the concrete floor.

Mojang shook as he clutched the grenade launcher in his large hands.

The bikers watched as a puckish boy hopped off the rim of the pod. He could have been anywhere between sixteen and twenty. He had a slim, strong frame, and was around five foot four.

He scanned the room. His face wasn’t visible for a carbon fibre helmet covering most of his head, making him look like a cross between a paladin from WOW and a Power Ranger. His body was covered in a skin-tight compression suit made from individual plates of space age metal. The plates moved and breathed with his body, like the scales of a dragon.

A slit in his visor revealed a penetrating stare and a strange set of blue-green eyes. One eye was blue; the other was green.

The boy looked around the room, like the Terminator, but his eyes had a faint smile to them, as if he was in on the joke. His gaze nevertheless was cold and unfeeling. When he’d finished, he flashed a cocky grin with his eyes and turned around. He hopped back onto the pod, like Peter Pan, dislodging a strange chrome rod. The rod flared out in both directions, forming two conical points. It was almost the length of the boy’s entire body.

Clutching it in the middle, by what was now evidently a handle, the boy crossed his chest with the strange, chrome, double-ended lance and let out a cocky, breathy laugh.

“What the fuck are you waiting for? This clown need to make you balloon animals? GREASE THIS MOTHERFUCKER!” Mojang stuttered, wrestling with the volume of his voice as his whole frame shook.

GREEN SUNDAY Chapter 13 ‘Sunday Mourning’ (Edited) Sunday returns, finally.

Ok ok finally getting around to going over these edited chapters of GS fresh out of the girl and cat publishing bakery of fine editing. Thanks as always to Nat and her time and effort and really great comments.

I’ve fallen behind on these and now seeing a gap in writing I thought it was best to strike now and get them out of the way so I can move onto editing for my newer stuff and get onto a new project.
I’m taking a little break, which isn’t really a break and will last til january. I’m just not starting any new projects at the minute and focusing on editing and cleaning older stuff up as well as plotting new stories mainly a sloppy as shit Dexter fanfic. I’ve got big dreams people, I’ve got Jeff Linday on facebook and we’ve exchanged like five words haha. I’m sure he’s just chomping at the bit to have me take the reigns of his mythos haha.

Honestly, I don’t know why I’m doing it, I should be plotting out my fantasy story or laying the solid ground work for a new Green Sunday but I just felt like doing some Dexter stuff for fun. It just bubbled to the surface of my mind and I felt like hammering it out a little for when I eventually start reading the books again and getting straight in my head.

In January, I’ll be jumping into another novella probably, just to break the pace up a little, do something a tad different, a little fantasy/surreal horror. Which now thinking back sounds pretty much what Ladies Close Your Eyes turned into but I didn’t intend it to haha.

It’ll be another adapted comic strip and I have a rough idea which one I have in mind but I’m a fickle cunt so whichever sticks best in my head on the day will be what goes down, new year new head, new flesh.

So here we are back again, I’ve got all the chapters done now, just gonna doll them out to you on here and of course you can read them all, because I’m just putting them all up as they’re done on my inkitt page which I will leave a link to below.

I’m probably going to launch the full book on amazon some time next year when I get the cover back from an artist friend of mine and do some marketing giving away LCYE as a free ebook, which I’ll do on here and facebook and twitter and probably minds.

Here it is chapter 13 ‘Sunday Mourning’, let me know what you think and don’t forget to check on out on twitter and minds.

https://www.minds.com/CallMeRyk

As always the full chapter can be found on my inkitt page.

Sunday Mourning

See you…

A drone camera buzzed over the scene behind TJ’s house, out of sight, too high up to be heard. Its ambivalent gaze documenting everything. Its lens flitted about like that of an insect’s eye. The monitor feed from Evergreen’s deployment truck glared as he grinned back, the feed reflected in his goggles.

“She got too close to the perimeter of the game zone. Looks like she was taken out by beta team,” The nerd at the console said as he looked over the footage again. “Very clean; she won’t have felt a thing.” Murray straightened his glasses with a morbid sense of appreciation. “They really are the best, sir”.

“Uh huh.” Evergreen’s grin shrunk a few sizes, listening to the tech gush. “It’s time.”.

“Yes, sir, beginning stage three,” the tech said as he turned back to his console.

~

Helicopter blades cut through a violent wind, casting rain in wide dispersal patterns as the heavy behemoths rocked back and forth.

These were military transport helicopters, for carrying battlements or vehicles to the field: four in all, carrying heavy metal containers. They looked like smooth industrial shipping containers, but both the containers and the choppers were completely unmarked.

“Roger that. We’re estimated four hours out of the drop zone. Good morning. If this rain lets up, it’s gonna be a beautiful day,” the chopper pilot said over his radio.

~

“You kept me waiting,” Carpenter whispered as he twisted the barbed point of the arrow under Dave’s chin. Dave grimaced, dropping his torch and kukri.

“Killing me will do you no good. I’m not a part of the game; I’m just his assistant!”

Carpenter took Dave by his shoulders and threw him down on the dirty linoleum floor. Dave offered little resistance and fell at the side of the dead woman drinking the milkshake. His fall caused her to shift in her seat, sliding down the bench until her face rested right next to Dave’s as he attempted to dust himself off. By the dim light of his torch he could see he was in kissing range of the gaping exit wound in her face.

“Oh, shit!” He gaped.

“‘Oh, shit’ indeed,” Carpenter chuckled as he picked up both Dave’s torch and his kukri knife.

“What do you want?”

Carpenter put the torch under his chin and smiled like a ghoul in an old monster movie. “A way out.”

“Why would I know the way?”

“Do you like scary movies?” Carpenter said, smiling. He poked each yellow tooth with his tongue in turn. “You don’t think there was someone like you and your butt buddy up there the last time?” Carpenter let out a bitter little breathy laugh. He shook the beam of the torch around, feigning hysterics. “It’s a sick world we live in.”

He marched up to Dave and stomped on the leg closest to him; Dave let out an anguished cry like an injured animal.

Carpenter crouched down next to Dave, shining the torch in his face and Dave cowered under the beam, guarding his eyes with his hand. Carpenter saw it immediately and snickered to himself, thinking of something poetic to say at this karmic justice he’d send on its way. “Feeling all right? Fever? Dry mouth? Itching under the skin? E-rectile dysfunction?”

Dave looked up at him and swallowed a dry gob of spit.

“There’s a helicopter. North side of town, by the abandoned railyard, but it’s guarded; you’ll never make it alone.”

Carpenter gave him that wide devil grin and turned to walk away, tossing the torch and the kukri away as he left Dave scrabbling in the dark.

“I’m not alone; not anymore.”

~

TJ couldn’t move. His body was rooted to the ground by chains of empty regret. His limbs felt hollow and heavy at the same time.

“TJ, it’s Sunday, I know we just met, but you have to trust me. I used you; I’m not a good person. But I can make it up to you, if you live,” Sunday whispered in TJ’s ear where he lay on the cold, damp grass of his backyard. A light drizzle was approaching, accompanied by muffled threats of dull, aching thunder.

TJ remained perfectly still. Sunday swallowed and turned him over. His eyes were open, vacant and grey. His mouth hung open a fraction and fluttered as if he was trying to say something but didn’t have enough energy. “TJ, can you hear me? We need to move. You’re gonna come with me, OK?” She hooked her dainty little hands under his sweaty pits, lifting him with some effort. “Urf, fuck, you’re heavy!”

She turned him around and dragged him in the direction of his house. “Ergh! This would be a lot easier if you just – hrrff, hrrff – stood up and, you know, walked.”

She got him back into the kitchen, which felt a lot colder now. Closing the door, she looked out the window. His mother’s body, lying there, looked almost beautiful. Sunday breathed in and out, feeling her icy breath swirling around in her chest. “It could have been worse,” she sighed as the rain rolled in.

~

 

GS Chapter 12 edited ‘Live through Death’

Hola people of ‘teh’ world, me again here to spout a mini blog type thing that I do over the chapters of my insane meandering in the world of fiction.

Gonna keep it mercifully short today because reasons, just usual shit. I’m gearing up for nano, wrapping up Ladies Close Your Eyes, I’m pretty happy with it, and the reception on that nepotisitic fart box known as ‘inkitt’ is fairly good. But who gives a shit? I’m enjoying writing it, it was a nice change to do focus on something smaller and different. I’ll try and find a place for it some magazine or contest when it’s done, maybe I’ll get it edited, but judging by the amount of time it’s taking for GS to come back I’d be lucky to get it out before the next ice age. Oh also currently in talks with an artist acquantance of mine for the cover, which should be fun, his art is really… arty. I look forward to spend too much money on that haha.

I’m excited about nano (Almost said about the next ice age), my personal life is in ruins, got no career to speak of but hey I can write some decent shit and that’s a reason not to off myself which is wearing thin haha.

This chapter is the more feelsy one, grab those tissues lads and laddettes, its about to get real up in here.

As usual head on over to those good smarmy twats over at inkitt to get your peepers all over it for free by following this here link. And if anyone wants to send me more pictures of green haired chicks, feel free haha.

Live through Death

~

Candlelight flickered on the counter top in TJ’s kitchen, a weary flame tossed back and forth by a careless breath or a sigh. TJ, his mother and Sunday huddled around the small kitchen table and ate in silence.  A restrained rattling of cutlery hid polite coughs and awkward glances across the table. No one dared utter a word.

TJ’s mom smiled at whomever cast an eye her way, but her smile was a little cracked on one side.

They finished a humble meal of frozen pork chops and a garden salad from a re-sealable pack, which TJ’s mother put back in the crisper at the bottom of the fridge. She cleared their plates.

“Mom, let me help you.”

“It’s fine. You two wash up and get to bed. I set you two up on the couch until we can get your room tidied up.” She sighed. “It’s such a mess; you said an animal got in?”

“Yeah,” TJ said as his hands slipped from the plates. He turned his head away and felt a cold steel ringing in the emptiness that was growing inside him.

His mom smiled as she took the plates to the dishwasher and loaded them in.

“It’s OK. I didn’t like any of those posters anyway; we can get it cleaned up in no time.” A weak laugh tried to escape her diaphragm, but it didn’t quite make it and instead came out as a pained hiccup.

TJ sat back down and looked at Sunday anxiously. She sat with her feet up on her seat, poking at a very dry piece of lettuce, trying not to be noticed.

“I’m done,” she said as she pushed the table away and hopped off the seat. She swam through the tension in the little kitchen and escaped to the cosy solitude of the living room.

TJ bit his bottom lip and swallowed a dry lump, his chest feeling tight and hot.

“Good night,” he said as he got up from the table and walked away. His footsteps, light, barely made contact with the floor. The image of his mother at the kitchen sink got smaller and smaller as he left the room. That image of her burned into his memory.

~

“It’s almost time,” Evergreen sighed. He felt a strange elation washing over him. He kept it to himself. “What do we have in stock?” he said through gritted teeth. A closeted eagerness leaked out in his voice as he leant against a high back chair in the operations van.

“Err, a couple of chimeras, one of those big bastards and that new one,” the tech said as he handed Evergreen a small tablet computer over his shoulder.

The tech seemed to be getting high off of Evergreen’s steely excitement. He sat in his chair, craning his neck to watch. Evergreen smiled, flipping through the pictures on the tablet as it lit up his dark, shark-like face. The mobile command centre was dark, lit only by a series of monitors. They covered the inside of something that looked like a large tanker truck from the outside.

Noticing the attention he was getting from this eager little whelp, Evergreen cast a disparaging eye towards the tech. He was a young guy, maybe late twenties, early thirties, with shaggy blond hair. A set of boxy glasses perched on his sharp nose. His name tag said his name was ‘Murray’. Tossing the tablet into his lap, he said, “Fuck it, ‘Murray’, use ’em all.”

Murray, feeling a little exposed, tilted his eyes down, cleared his throat, adjusted his glasses and got back to work. “Yes, sir. T minus two hours to full release of specimens.”

~

In the dimly lit living room, Sunday had commandeered the roomy sofa and had spread herself across it like Cleopatra. She wore another one of TJ’s zombie-themed shirts with no bottoms. ‘Evil Dead’, this time, with a picture of Ash lifting his chainsaw, ready for root canal work.

“Got a big day tomorrow,” she said as she rolled onto her side, away from TJ, revealing a set of pink panties with a picture of a little cartoon, a smiling green ice cream cone, on the back.

He turned away, trying not to look and burst a blood vessel; a sudden rush of sadness hit him. “Tell me…” He pulled a blanket off the coffee table. His mother had set out a bunch of folded bedding for them both. He began to lay it down flat on the wooden floor. “…Are we gonna make it?”

“What are you doing?” She turned to watch him laying the blanket on the floor. “There’s enough room for both of us on here.” She rolled back over onto her side.

“Err.” A cold sweat began plummeting down to TJ’s ass crack, like cold corpse fingers running down his back “What?” His breath came out in short bursts now.

“You need to get your rest for tomorrow.” She paused and took a deep breath. “You can’t sleep on the floor; I won’t let you.”

TJ swallowed hard, harder than he’d ever swallowed, and began to shake his head up and down like a dog.

“O-K.”

TJ edged his way closer to the couch. Each step felt like jumping on a slippery rock in a fast flowing stream. The image of Sunday’s warm back jostled in his field of vision as he tried to get closer. He reached the edge of the couch. He stopped dead, trying not to make a sound.

She rolled sleepily onto her back.

Without opening her eyes, she yawned and said, “TJ, get on the fucking couch.” She then rolled back onto her side, showing him her lovely back again, with that signature green quaff of hair sticking up from where she had just lain on it.

“Yeah, I’m just…”

He turned away and edged his roomy behind onto the tip of the couch, praying to himself in his head, Please don’t fart. Please don’t fart. Please don’t fart. When all his weight was equally distributed, he let out a little sigh, followed by a small yet squeaky fart that he hoped only dogs could hear. He froze, swallowing hard as he waited for her to say something. Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit! he said to himself. She stirred. His heart pounded in his chest. His throat became drier than a cough sweet sitting at the bottom of an old lady’s purse.

After a moment of nervous pause, he deduced that she was asleep and hadn’t heard, so he began to gradually lower himself into position on the couch. Pulling the cover up over himself and Sunday, he ever so delicately slid his large body in next to hers. His belly pressed against her warm back and, as he put his head down to rest next to hers, he could smell her hair. It smelled a little musty but not bad musty. Like the stump of a tree with fresh moss growing on it, fresh and rich and intoxicating. Her smell made his hair stand up on his pudgy arms. He tried to position his arms behind her back without touching her butt or making too much noise.

Don’t get a boner, don’t get a boner, don’t get a boner, don’t get a boner, he said to himself, under his breath, as he slithered his arm around her waist, angling for a more comfortable position while holding his breath. It was not unlike someone trying to defuse a bomb in an eighties action movie.

Sighing and releasing the tension in his arm, he grinned like a monkey and took a large inhalation of her hair as he settled into his dream position: the big spoon of a girl he couldn’t have imagined would say more than three words to him if the world wasn’t ending.

His heart leapt in his chest as if it wanted to climb out of his throat and give him a high five. For a minute he forgot what he was even doing on the couch. Oh, yeah, sleep.

He settled and forced his eyes closed. And he glided off to sleep on rainbows and bullshit.

~

Live through Death

Green Sunday Chapter 11 Eggs, hash and grits (Edited)

Yo yo yo people. Don’t know what I was going for or why the big font today but fuck it. I’m back with another edited chapter. My editor is back from vacation or wherever she went. Probably battling the forces of evil in japan, fighting godzilla or something. But she’s back and hence a wild new chapter has emerged. First thing she said was the beginning sucked but she seemed to like the rest of it, thankfully the beginning is short haha.
And here it is a voila’.

Only seven chapters left, as usual follow the link to the full chapter in a more elegant format. Hopefully I’ll be going live with it on amazon sometime next year so keep an eye out for that.

Eggs, hash and grits.

~
The smell of sweat and blood and tears, the sound bare of feet on a concrete floor. Soft flesh and bone colliding. A loud chorus of people shouting and smoking and drinking. The smell of motor oil and leather hanging in the stale air. A group of people were huddled around two half-naked men knocking the shit out of each other.

“Where the fuck is Bernie?” Mojang hissed as he reclined on a large, high-backed office chair. The wheels and stand were broken. but he sat on it as if it were a low throne. A sexy biker chick in her underwear straddled him.

She leant over him with a needle and a trail of dental floss, and delicately sewed up what was left of his eye.

“Keep still baby,” she said as she pressed her slinky tattooed flesh against his.

Mojang had set himself up in a garage on the far side of town. The smell of motor oil, and the tools and spare parts clanging, put his mind at ease.

He’d holed up in the dilapidated office and the rest of his crew were getting lit on the garage floor. They took out a couple of scrappy survivors they’d picked up on their day’s raiding and set up a little fight club.

There was a ring of drunken bikers on the concrete floor of the shop. They surrounded a skinny office clerk as he pounded the cartilage of a fat barista against the concrete floor, until a satisfying, greasy, wet, snapping sound cut a swathe through the loud, drunken crowd. The clerk pounded his sweaty mitts into the stubbly fat face of the barista against the grey concrete: hot, wet, slapping sounds of meat and bone colliding on the cold, wet floor; rivulets of muddy crimson blood that would make Jackson Pollock cry manly tears. Eventually he stopped shaking and a viscous red bile started pouring from his nose and mouth.

“We got a winner!” A hairy biker in a leather waistcoat picked up the dazed office clerk by his slick, skinny wrist, propping him up. The office clerk, almost unconscious, panted out a relieved smile as his eyes rolled back in his skull.

Bernie watched from a darkened corner as they took the ‘winner’ and threw his almost lifeless body into the net of half-dead, twitching corpses, laughing as they did it.

Bernie perched in the corner next to an old payphone bolted to the wall. He rested the receiver against his ear and spoke softly.

“I hear you…tomorrow…can’t wait.” He tried to hold a smile back, tightening his face as he looked about the dim garage, lit only by unwieldy camp fires and generator-operated standing lights. He hung up the phone with a tight, satisfying click.

As the crowd got a little quieter, coming down off their wave of excitement, Bernie could hear his name being shouted.

“Bernie! Get your fat Jew ass in here!”

Bernie unfolded his arms and sighed with icy aggression as he peeled himself off the cold, concrete wall of the garage.

He popped the door of the office open. It was one of those thin plastic doors you were afraid you might yank right off. He stuck his head around the door like a temp.

“You call me?”

“Take a seat,” Mojang said, through the girl still straddling him, sewing up his eye. He didn’t move from his seat.

“There isn’t another chair in here”

“Then stand,” Mojang said as he moved the half-naked girl off his crotch. “Two minutes.”

The girl flounced out of the small office. She dragged a feminine, two-day-old musk behind her as she shut the door with a definitive bang.

“Was there something?”  Bernie said as he turned around looking at the closed door, his eyes careless.

“How does it look?” Mojang spoke to a rear view bike mirror he held up in front of his face. He tilted it down, revealing his sewn up eye. It was swollen and bloody; it looked like there was a red baseball stuck in his skull.

“Like shit.”

“You talk to him? The man? He called you?” Mojang reclined in the seat and tilted his head to one side.

“Yeah I talked to him.”

“You didn’t call me.”

“You were busy.”

“Uh huh. Well, what does he want? Do they have the scores?” Mojang seethed, his eyes scanning every inch of Bernie.

“Err, yeah but that’s not why he called. Said there’s gonna be a drop. Not even a block away – good shit,” Bernie said, grinning and rubbing his stubbly face.

“’Good shit,’ huh? OK. We’ll take it, tomorrow. This whole town is gonna burn. That fat boy and his bitch included.”

“I heard about that. Some kid did that to your face?”

“You heard about it, huh? From who? The man?”

“Around,” Bernie snorted as he pulled out a candy bar from his pocket and began opening it noisily. “Some pudgy twelve-year-old fucks you up, people talk about it.” He smiled as he took a bite out of the candy bar. Strings of caramel and nougat dangled from his bottom lip.

“Uh huh, yeah. It’s pretty fucking funny.” Mojang hopped out of his seat. He stood a good foot taller than Bernie.

“You gotta see the funny side: you lose an eye, you still got another one. We’ll get him tomorrow; his bitch too, you’ll see. You want a bite?” Bernie snuffled with the candy bar in his mouth. He smiled, breaking off a piece and offering it to Mojang as he closed in on him.

“Yeah, we will” Mojang said. A vicious smile was stitched on his face as he clutched Bernie by his jaw, forcing him against the chip board wall of the small office with a dull thud. He snatched the candy bar out of Bernie’s hand and forced it into his gaping face, wiping it all over with a forceful hand. Bernie’s neck snapped back painfully as he spat out the wrapper and he groaned as Mojang delivered a powerful uppercut under his ribs. He slid down the wall, stunned by the sudden controlled burst of aggression. “Now get the fuck out of here,” Mojang said.

~

Eggs, hash and grits.

Green Sunday – Chapter 9 Cobra Clutch

Here we are at last, the actual half way point of this beautiful disaster haha.

I’ve been a little preoccupied recently with not having any internet as of late, I have no idea why, last time it was copper stealing gypsies. Regardless my internet is back and I’m happy to inform you that because of it I feel a lot more pumped for nanowrimo. Because *drumroll/eyeroll* I actually reached a word count of around and above 1.5k. The necessary competitive amount for nanowrimo.
Now all I need to do is at the start of November, take an axe to my phone pole outside. Then I can be free from the distractions the internet levies on my dreams.

I dunno, I did like maybe 5k in three days, and its pretty crazy shit, I’m happy with it.

Ok enough of that this is actually my favourite chapter I had a lot of fun writing this one as you can probably tell. Even my editor could tell, it builds up to delicious crescendo of death and destruction, even reading over it again gave me chills of anticipation and left me wanting more. But that means writing another book and I’m just too fucking busy right now writing novellas and prepping for nanowrimo. And this one isn’t even making any money yet and why would it? I haven’t even started selling it or finished the editing process.

As usual you can find the full chapter and the previous chapters here completely for free.

 
Cobra Clutch

See you…

~

TJ squirmed on the back of the bike trying to lock his pudgy fingers around Sunday’s lithe frame. Fear overpowered his natural inclinations for tact and subtlety.

The engine of the Harley Continental coughed and spluttered. It roared like a rambunctious kitten. It was no huge feat for the bikers to catch up to them after finding their dead friend. Their bikes’ engine noises sounded like a giant bowling ball rolling down main street. TJ imagined that, to them, everyone looked like pins.

He looked back and saw only a cloud of smoke and dust. He half-expected a haunted pirate ship to emerge from it, with jet black sails. Crewed by stop motion skeletons. But as it cleared, only a parade of shiny chrome and black leather remained. A tide of ill-fitting pants and boots, with lots of buckles on them, moving gradually closer.

“Can we outrun them?” TJ yelped.

“No,” Sunday said, without even looking back.

“Then what are we gonna do?”

“This,” Sunday said, almost whispering. She stopped the bike with a sudden, anguished screeching of the Continental’s tires.

“What the fuck are you doing?? They’ll kill us!” TJ squealed.

“They might,” Sunday said. She propped the bike up with the kickstand and dismounted with the grace of a duchess.

TJ dismounted, almost falling. This brought back horrible memories of riding in a bike seat with his Mom when he was a kid.

“We’ve gotta hide,” he said breathlessly, clinging to one of his sweaty moobs. The sword in his other hand was shaking in its cheap faux lacquer sheath.

“Where?” Sunday said as she took up a batting stance, squeezing the grip of the bat in both hands. She took a few practice swings at that mean old air.

TJ looked around a full three sixty and realised they were on the edge of town. They were on an open street with no cover. “Looks like we’ll have to reason with them” Sunday said. A wry smirk peeled across her face as she walked past TJ with the bat across her shoulder.

The bikers didn’t speed up or slow down; they kept their solid, droning pace. They knew there was nowhere for them to run. And the building sounds of the engines filled the entire town with a primal dread.

They were on Sunday and TJ, like vultures, two at first, circling; the rest hung back a little to see what they’d do. The bikers were armed with pipes and chains and anything they could get their hands on. They dragged the chains behind their bikes and scraped the ground with their pipes, which, in a different situation, TJ would have found pretty cool. It kind of reminded him of the opening scene of ‘Akira’. But that was beside the point because they were probably trying to kill him.

Sunday breathed out slowly, closing her eyes and digging her feet into the cold, dry tarmac. She squeezed and released her grip on the bat as they circled, laughing and whooping.

One of them tore in front of her. His tires screeched in pain as they turned to face her, head on, but she didn’t move. He charged, screaming for her, but she remained still. He raised his pipe over his head as he angled his bike to give him a good swing. With an instant, ferocious finesse, she stepped forward into the arch of his strike and sunk her bat straight across his chest. He bounced off his bike. The bike came to a stop, scraping along the concrete.

Sunday breathed in calmly, closing her eyes again. She squeezed and released the handle of the bat as it hummed in her hands, sending shivers of pain all through her arms and down her back.

“You fucking bitch!” the biker’s friend screeched, pulling down the bandana covering his mouth. “I’m gonna fuck you up!”

Sunday wasn’t paying attention. She picked up the other biker’s discarded pipe, without looking at him, as he circled back to strafe her.

She looked it over as he closed the distance. Tears and snot streamed from his eyes, rage pounding on the accelerator.

She idly tossed the pipe away, and the biker was too angry to notice it fall directly into his path of destruction. By the time he wiped the snot out of his face, it was too late. He ran over the mangled pipe and it got caught up in the front tire. The front wheel twisted, forcing the bike to one side and down onto the concrete. It squealed to a stop and Sunday walked towards the downed biker.

He was pinned under the bike: both of his legs, broken for sure, coughing up blood, screaming, “You bitch, you fucking bitch!”

She was slower for some reason; she dragged the bat now, with one hand, and squeezed her arm with the other. She brought the bat up and split his head effortless. It made a mundane, wet imploding noise, like a watermelon dropped on concrete. His mouth went slack and his eyes rolled back in his head.  She pulled the spiked monstrosity out of his skull with a soggy, sucking noise.

Then silence, a slow deafening silence. Then a thunderous clap, breaking the silence apart, like Thor’s hammer on the clouds. A man, on an enormous, bucket-seat Harley, sat as if on a throne, watching. Surrounded by his cronies and with a fine-looking biker chick on the back of his bike, clinging to him, he slowly clapped with his huge, gloved hands.

“That was cute. I really dug that,” he said as he leaned forward, across his custom handlebars. There was a cobra design on the front of his bike, and his breaks and clutch were ornate snake heads with a brass finish. “Oh, you’re finished. Allow me to introduce myself.” He stroked his Fu Manchu moustache. A large Latin man, with tattoos covering most, if not all his arms, he was adorned with Mayan tribal art and Japanese rip offs. He wore a loosely cut denim waistcoat, the back of which was emblazoned with their insignia: an angel in a straitjacket with the words ‘Los Angeles Locos’ written below it. The ensemble was completed by a pair dark red, leather pants and aggressive-looking combat boots. “My name is Mojang. It’s a pleasure to meet you!” Before he finished, the bikes had fired up again. And before she knew it, Sunday was surrounded by ten maybe twelve bikers. Clouds of smoke encircled her, a maelstrom of twisted metal. Her hair swept across her face. She raised her bat with a bitter defiance, ready to swing at the next one that came close. She hoped to take them one at a time, like balls in a batting cage.

Before she could take a swing, a chain wrapped itself around her bat and it was wrenched from her hand, wrenched away with a high-pitched banshee laugh. Sunday turned, just in time to see a leather boot heel coming towards her face at high speed.

“That’s for Lamb Chop, bitch!” the woman said as she got off the back of the bike. The rider watched with a vicious grin on his face as the angry young biker woman approached. Sunday rose again, spitting blood.

Sunday stuck her tongue out as she wiped blood away from her mouth. The biker chick snorted. She wore high leather boots, all black leathers, a pinch of PVC and a ridiculously tight corset, holding in a much larger frame than Sunday’s. She had black, dyed hair with flecks of red in it, shaved in odd places. Piercings all around her head culminated in an obnoxious bull ring in her nose.

She closed the gap, between the bike and Sunday, with a bounding leap, her angry excitement fuelled by the wailing crowd. They whooped and hollered like wild animals. “What, bitch? You think you can take me-?” Before she could finish speaking, Sunday had football tackled her to the ground. Sunday pummelled her with balled up fists, like an angry gorilla, and thought nothing of biting the septum ring out of her nose and spitting it at her face. Before Sunday could finish her, a large arm snaked around Sunday’s neck and began choking the life out of her, lifting her a clear foot off the ground before dropping her, in a bundle, on the floor.

The large biker picked up Sunday’s flaccid body like a rag doll. The angry female biker stood and coughed blood.

“Damn, Del, she fucked you up.”

“Hold her, Roan!” She approached Sunday’s lifeless body, pulling a small knife from her thigh high boot. Del ripped Sunday’s shirt, with both hands, as she dangled unconscious in the brutish biker’s arms. The torn fabric revealed her pale, porcelain skin and petite, anaemic breasts. Del took a moment to pick a spot to plunge the knife into. “Bitch!”

“WAIT!” A booming voice cut over the sounds of engines, like ritual drums, building to a climax. “Hey, tubby! Yeah, you! You can stop hiding now; we’re not buying it,” Mojang bellowed as he leant prone over the handle bars of his enormous Harley.

TJ shook. The spittle in his mouth became sticky and it was hard for him to breathe. He had spent the last couple of minutes cowering behind the tiny Continental, trying to make himself invisible. Sadly, at his size, it was wishful thinking. He’d spent a lot of his life just doing exactly that, pretending to be invisible, but now there was nowhere to hide. There were eyes and teeth and fists and pipes and chains everywhere he rested his eyes. Spinning and spinning endlessly. He got dizzy trying to focus on a single point.

~

Cobra Clutch

Green Sunday Chapter 8 ‘Motorpsycho Nitemare’ (Edited)

Friends, romans country men, lend me your braziers.
No stop that.
OK shit, why do I do these intros again? Oh yeah to make me look like a crazy dumbass, check!

As you can see making decent progress, getting a handle on getting the older stuff edited and working on new projects. I’ve even assigned days of ‘marketing’, which just boils down to a couple of hours of copy and pasting, spamming the shit out of Facebook and twitter. I laugh at your ban hammer Facebook, I laugh at it!

I’m also in talks with some other independent ‘zombie authors’ for some shared content and possibly some cross promotion in the future. So yeah plenty of nepotism yet to come, yay for cronyism! (I’m being sarcastic).

I’m having so much fun with the other project I’m working on and it’s tricky to resist the temptation to completely pan everything else and work on that. I’ve been trying to increase my writing output to something resembling 2k words a day. So far life and work and just plain laziness and love of blenders is getting in my way. I don’t hold out much hope of winning nanowrimo as much as I see it as a fun way to get a really good start on new project I think has the potential of raising my profile significantly.
Right back to earth haha. This is the start of some interesting shit happening now, lots of action in this one, the next one is probably my favourite but this is fun too. Looking forward to getting this done and dusted so I can properly show this to people. I added someone on Facebook I’m interested for a cover design, it’s all coming together folks.

Enough blathering, you can find the full chapter for free as usual on inkitt at;
Motorpsycho Nitemare

The stillness of the early morning was deafening. Cold and brittle as the morning before, it was shattered by hurried footsteps and the sound of frantic panting. A red-haired man in sweats jogged with a limping gait, taking cold, wet, terrified breaths. He choked as much of the damp morning air down as he could to keep his limbs moving. Lactic acid seeped into every joint and muscle as he tried frantically to make his body work as it was supposed to.

A bright light pierced the mist of the ambivalent early morning, accompanied by an obnoxiously loud and tinny Harley continental engine tearing into life. A black-gloved hand revved it for the pleasure of the vibration in his gut. He grabbed his leather-clad crotch with his gloved hand to rearrange the furniture. The sound and smell of creaking leather brought a smile to his greasy, stubbly face.

“Let’s go fuck shit up.”

He pulled his denim waistcoat tighter across his skinny frame. The name “Lamchop” was embossed above the left breast pocket. The biker dragged a chain across his lap, the end of which had a barbed hook that he hung over the side of the bike. He nudged the kickstand with his leather boot and screeched off down the suburban street.

The town was so still, dead and dying. The red-headed jogger could’ve heard the engine on the other side of town, but he was sure it was closer. His eyes widened and his pupils shrank as he loped into the mist. He doubled his pace, his muscles crying out in pain with every terrified step.

The biker let out some slack in the chain, one hand on the handles of his bike. He let it swing idly at his side as he drove. Noticing a shape form in the mist, he took control of its swinging motion. With the strength of his wrist alone he began to spin the chain, building up speed, keeping full control of the bike as he did so.

The swinging chain reached terminal velocity. The shape was within striking distance. The biker released the chain as if launching a dog at an unsuspecting rabbit from the barrel of a gun. All the force from his wrist snapped it at the shape coming at him from the mist.

The chain struck with snake-like, snapping precision. It tangled around the feet of its victim, locking into place at the ankle. The savage, biting barbs rent flesh from the bone and stuck stalwart in the calf of the bait.

No noise was heard over the thunderous engine, no screams, no pleas for help. The chain stopped for a brief moment, slack as it was, then it took on life once again as the bike pulled away. The chain snaked up with a vicious, snapping sound, yanking its victim off their feet and dragging them across the neatly tarmacked suburban roadway.

The meat sack hit the ground with a sad, wet trumping sound. Bones in a bag of wet flour collided awkwardly as they were wrenched out of the mist with a hiss and a slick grinding sound. The biker stopped and, lifting his goggles, he looked back at the zombie he’d caught on the hook. A proud fisherman, the biker smiled and pulled his goggles back down. The creature writhed, ground down teeth falling from its mouth like popcorn. Its face was hot and slick from its date with the smooth tarmac, most of its features worn down. It reached its arm up, reminding him of the canteen scene from “Oliver Twist.”

“More? OK, well, why didn’t you say?” He laughed to himself and revved his engine once more.

The red-haired man in sweats reached his front door, his breath burning his lungs. The air felt like sandpaper, going in and coming out. His sweats were drenched and the cold tugged at him as he propped himself up against the door. He tapped on it.

“Sheila, it’s me. Let me in! They’re coming! For God’s sake, lemme’ in!”. He whispered in a low, raspy voice as he tapped the window of the door.

He looked back into the mist as he heard the engine’s noises carried by the empty streets. “Sheila, open the fucking door, or God help me, I wil- “An abrupt unlatching noise cut him off. His wife opened the door a crack and he slipped through it, as if by osmosis.

“Will, are you OK? Did you find any?” A slight woman with mousey brown hair stood in front of him, bunching up a plaid dress in her two skinny fists.

“I couldn’t. They were on me, these guys. They were staking out the pharmacy. They knew people would come for supplies. It was a trap; I barely got away!” His voice was hoarse. He took in large, gulping breaths as he spoke. Feelings of shame and guilt and terror fought for space in his brain. All thoughts were barged out of the way though by his singular desire for all the stale oxygen on the landing.

“I can’t last much longer without my insulin,” she said, whispering into her dress, a maudlin expression on her pale face. “If you were a real man, you’d get it.”

“Yeah, and if you weren’t a total retard you’d have stocked up before the zombie apocalypse. But we can’t all be perfect!”

“It’s not the apocalypse. The army’ll come. They will. We just have to last a little longer. I don’t know how much longer I can- “

“It’ll be OK, I promise,” he said softly as he collapsed on the stairs. “We’ll find a way.”

Just as he got a little comfortable and the air particles started forming an orderly queue into his lungs, a sharp tapping taxman knock set the couple’s teeth on edge.

“Who… who is it?” Sheila said

“Shhhh.” Will’s panic and anger flared into a harsh, sharp shushing noise.

“I’ve come to read tha meeta,” the voice beyond the door said in a faux, mocking English accent.

“W-what?”

“Shhhhhhh,” Will said again, sharper and louder.

“Yeah I can definitely hear a leak. You betta let me in or-”

A dead silence fell as the couple inside tried to stop breathing for moment. “Or I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down.” The voice became lower and more caustic. All the humour drained out of it, sending a chill down the couple’s spines.

Will’s breath creaked out of his mouth. Then a jostling of the door handle sent him reeling up the stairs, fumbling for the banister.

“Where are you going?” Sheila screeched as he fled.

“Little pigs, let me in!”
Motorpsycho Nitemare

 

 

Green Sunday Chapter 7 “Take up Space” (Edited)

Time for exposition dudes and dudettes, I’m told I handled it less painfully than a full colonic irrigation by a clown making balloon animals, you be the judge.
Slightly hungover from a lovely wedding I went to last night, it was a good time, I didn’t know anybody there. It was an old good friend from uni and his misses only let him invite one of his uni mates, little did she know she invited the worst offender of them all haha.
It was a good night, I only wish I could have stayed longer if it wasn’t for my long journey and ill fitting suit.
Kinda makes me feel melancholic watching people so happy like that, so normal. Makes me wonder if I could ever have that without royally fucking it up. If it’s really that perfect or just seems that way and takes lots of work and compromise I’m too lazy/stubborn to do.
It’s a selfish thought to go to a wedding and think ‘but what about me’ I guess, but maybe it’s good I recognise that. I genuinely feel happy for them but it brings into question the life I chose. I wish I could see more of him and all my old friends but I’ve chosen a solitary path.
I knew I would have to take this journey alone, I had to seclude myself to find the best stories and be a success, there was no other options, to balance work and writing and friends would make me a failure at all three and too burnt out to do anything about it. I knew what I was doing but it still catches in my throat when I see that two people can be so happy and normal when I’ve always felt so broken and different. But there goes that narcissism again, too bad I spend all my money on knives and editing instead of therapy haha. Ah fuck it, as Tom Waits would; “It’s nothing that a hundred dollars won’t fix”.
Or a couple hundred thousand would be nice.
Anyway enough of this ceaseless faggotry, this chapter fills in a lot of the blanks so I hope you people appreciate this and I know you people exist. I was looking at the analytics for this on inkitt and Green Sunday has had just under a thousand reads since December/january I think, so they exist.

As always you can find the full chapter on inkitt by following this link;
Take up Space

~

The sun rolled down the hill faster than usual. Candlelight lit TJ’s mom’s little dining room. The sounds of knives and forks scratching plates filled the silence.

“So how did you and TJ meet?” TJ’s mom asked, cutting through the awkward silence of this intimate little meal. The table consisted of her and her son and a strange, green-haired girl he’d brought in off the streets who smelt faintly of dried blood.

“We met at the mall actually,” the girl said, turning a wry smile up at TJ who was sweating into his food.

“I’m sorry, did you tell me your name? I get a little ditsy sometimes,” his mother said; something wasn’t quite right. Like she’d walked out of one dream and into another unannounced.

“Sunday,” she said.

“Well that’s a pretty name. TJ, don’t you think that’s a pretty name?”

“Err, yeah,” TJ said, looking up from his plate of macaroni and cheese to glance across the table.

“Do you live around here? I don’t think I’ve seen you before. I mean, I think I’d – I mean -”

“Ah no, I just got here. Err, my… dad travels a lot for work,” Sunday said, choosing her words surgically.

“Well I think the candles were a nice touch. We don’t get to use the dining room much these days; it’s just been the two of us for a while now.”

“Yeah, well, it was TJ’s idea; he said it would give the room some atmosphere, right?” Sunday said, watching TJ squirm.

“TJ and I aren’t used to entertaining. After his father left, we mostly kept to ourselves.”

“Mom,” TJ whined.

“That’s right, TJ hates me telling everyone our life story.” His mom smiled with a melancholy intake of breath. “Oh, you’re finished?”

“Yes, thank you. It was lovely.”

“What a polite girl,” TJ’s mom said as she collected the plate in front of Sunday, a warm smile on her face. “You’re welcome to stay in the guest bedroom across from me if you’re too tired to make it home.” She fluttered out of the room with the dirty plates.

“No, that’s OK. I think I’m just gonna bunk with TJ and fuck his brains out all night.”

TJ’s perfectly timed sip of milk sprayed down his shirt.

“That’s nice,” TJ’s mom said from the kitchen, clearly not having heard anything she’d said.

Sunday handed TJ a napkin and smiled trollishly. He snatched it from between her two fingers and began to dab his shirt.

“Do you think we should tell her?” he whispered.

“Why worry her? Nothing should happen tonight as long as we don’t light the house up like a Christmas tree. Or make too much noise. I thought the candlelight thing would be cute,” Sunday said, reclining in her dining chair.

“But she has to know.”

“She’ll find out.” She closed her eyes for a moment, putting her hands behind her head.

“Are we gonna die?” TJ said, a hint of anger in his hushed voice.

“Yeah, probably”

TJ’s mom barrelled into the room with some sort of lopsided cake and plonked it down in between the two of them, oblivious to the mounting tension she had just crudely carved in half.

“Dessert.”

~

The door to TJ’s bathroom opened like a sealed vault door, or an alien craft billowing steam. It had been closed for a good hour and a half. Sunday walked out barefoot wearing an old XXXL ‘Walking Dead’ T-shirt that went down to her knees. She rubbed her whole head with a towel as if she was trying to polish a lamp.

Her legs, clean, were surprisingly dainty-looking, covered with little cuts and plasters, but her skin looked soft and smooth. TJ stopped dead on his made up futon on the floor. She opened one eye underneath the towel and saw he was looking at her. She dropped the towel on the floor and crossed the room to the window.

“Thanks for the shirt.”

“Err, no problem.”

“Let me guess, you wanna know if the curtains match the drapes?” She smiled as she turned back towards TJ.

“Err, wut? No! I wasn’t!” TJ’s face turned a purply red colour and his tongue swelled up in his head.

She perched on the windowsill and looked out at the cool, quiet trees swaying in the dark. There were fires burning in the distance, muffled screams carried by the shiftless night. The smell of the smoke was sweet and homely to her. She sighed after taking in a lungful through the small crack in the window.

She cocked one of her legs up on the sill and TJ almost burst a blood vessel.

“Err, I made up the bed. I’m fine here,” he said, motioning to his crude futon.

“OK,” she said dreamily, staring out the window.

“What’s happening?” He bit his bottom lip as he said it, not wanting to know.

He could see her blank expression reflected in the black window. “It’s a game.”

“What?”

“I was brought here to play,” she said, her voice trailing off.

TJ furrowed his brow and got quiet. She looked over at him as he hung his head, trying to make sense of what she had said.

She sucked her bottom lip and sighed again. “They did it before, to my town. I was working in some fucking diner and then one day…”

“Please, I don’t understand.”

“This happened before, in Arkham; that’s where I’m from.”

“But, the TV, it said only one person survived,” TJ stuttered.

“The TV lied. Me, that guy you met before, and a few others: we’re all leftovers, survivors, but now we’re ’players.’” She turned her face back to the window, but didn’t look outside; she didn’t look at anything.

“How do I play – the game, I mean – how do you win?” TJ rose a little from his futon. A frustrated resolve boiled beneath the surface; he was sure there was a straight answer somewhere under that mess of green hair.

“You just have to survive.”

“What’s happening?” he asked again.

“In three days this place is going to be a ghost town. It’ll be wiped off the map, blamed on a nuclear plant leak or a fire or terrorists, whatever.”

“Three days? Why just three days?” TJ’s voice took on a frantic tremble.

“It’s how the game works. The zombies are just the first part; the second day is when it starts getting messy.”

“Messy? What the fuck does that mean?”

“If you win three games in succession you get to leave: a new identity, a new life, somewhere far away.” As she said it, she turned her head away as if she almost believed it. “The winner is the person that scores the most points. Points are allocated per zombie and recorded by a series of drone cameras flying overhead, as well as security cameras they’ve hacked throughout the town. There are no points for killing people, but on the second day, a backed contestant is worth double points.”

“Backed contestant? What does this all mean?”

“To be a contestant you have to have a backer. There are thousands of people watching: some just gawkers, stumbling onto the deep web; others are rich sickos who want to pay to control someone, someone like me. They take bets on who wins and they pay to keep you alive or watch you die.”

“Can we escape?”

“You can try.”

“What about phones? The Internet?”

“All cut off. Only they can access the net through their own satellite. That’s how they broadcast through the deep web.”

“What happens on the third day?”

“The third day, all bets are off. This town will burn.” She stood up, walked away from the window, wafting a sweet scent as she passed him, and climbed into TJ’s bed, which had never looked so neat.

“How did you survive?” TJ asked, still prone in his futon.

Her body was rigid and she spoke while still facing away from him. “I didn’t.”

~

 

 

 

 

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