Dom doesn’t lose his temper as easily as his brother, so normally he’s the one who deals with it when shit goes pear-shaped. But shit has been going pear-shaped a lot lately, and by the time Dom gets to the warehouse Marc is already in full swing. Literally–he’s gone after poor Jimmy with a nine iron. Continue readingby
Memory plays a crucial role in many a horror narrative. In memory can lie, for instance, the key to defeating the evil. “You will remember what your father forgot” (King 422), Danny is told in Stephen King’s The Shining. And he does: in the nick of time he remembers the boiler (which, untended, will explode) and thus deflects his possessed father’s murderous rampage. Often, memory’s unlocking of a mystery leads only to further danger (to Jessica Harper’s dismay, as she discovers the witches’ secret lair in Dario Argento’s Suspiria), or the resolution arrives too late to do any good (and so David Hemmings realizes who the murderer is in the split second before she attacks him in Argento’s Deep Red). In Session 9, written by Steve Gevedon and Brad Anderson, and directed by Anderson, memory is itself the horror, and so it is repressed. The effects of that repression, however, are still more horror. This is the despairing dynamic of the film: false dreams are lethal, but to wake up from them is to confront a reality no less destructive. The diagnosis, however, leaves the viewers with the responsibility to defang that terrible reality. Continue readingby
Della wiped the outcropping of books from her brow. Damned things were appearing more frequently. She flicked aside a copy of Jeffrey Kline’s autobiography as small as the nail on her little finger. She wouldn’t have minded so much if she sweated classics, but the trash that came from her pores was just embarrassing. Worst of all, she had no idea why it kept happening. The bin by the side of her desk was full of the miniscule paperback tomes. Yesterday she had wiped at least fifty copies of the chat show host’s autobiography from her neck and under her arms. She didn’t even watch his chat show Talking Life. Continue readingby
They came from the darkness at the back of the stage, with the easy speed of eight-legged creatures. Rona felt the whoop rising from her lungs to join the roar of the crowd.
The Scorpions scuttled to their low, custom instruments: theremin, drum machine, sampler, turntable. A siren whine, a backbeat, fast and loud.
The bass drove Rona’s heartbeat.
The crowd bounced like a single organism, every strobe a snapshot. Between flashes, the exoskeletons on stage glowed blue-green in the ambient black light. Continue readingby
He was never an emotional man. Even as a child when his brother Billy teased him something awful Taylor never showed his cards, but what happened to him, what he brought on, changed everything.
“Even the air stank of death,” Taylor whispered running his fingers across the bars. The metal was always cold. Everything was always cold down to the coffee. Day three hundred on death row was going to be just as dark as day one. Continue readingby
They sped down the latest back road Jesse had turned onto, gravel and dust kicking up in the pickup’s wake.
“Any signal on that thing yet?” he asked Elaine.
“Be patient, dammit. Don’t you think I’d tell you if it was working?”
Jesse growled. “Just let me know when you figure out where the hell we are.”
“At least we haven’t seen any cops.” Continue readingby
Death-gray knuckles smacked the wire-latticed safety glass leaving a smear like a squashed grasshopper on a windshield. The zombie finished with a strangled moan.
“Was that a double-double?” I returned the undead creature’s vapid gaze with one of my own and pushed the metal lever beside me. A Plexiglas window slid open revealing a small box. “Swag first. You know the rules.” Continue readingby
Abraham whistled home at dusk. Crickets sang in the brush, sagebrush sang in his breath. It was a mile from the grid road, where the school-bus dropped him, to the trailer he shared with his father.
His lunch pail banged his thigh with each step, heavy with collected stones and the carcass of the prairie falcon he had found in the schoolyard. It was past decomposition, the delicate bones exposed in a dusty framework seen through a nest of crumbling feathers. Continue readingby
If the good dreams were about soaring down the bright sky, borne on a warm breeze, the bad ones were the opposite: a cold, dark hole like a mouth gaping from above to devour him, just as he slipped into sleep. He’d had nightmares about the tunnel as long as he could remember. But the sun had been veiled in clouds for days, each morning the air was chillier, and now his house had collapsed again under the weight of cold rain. He crouched, shivering, just inside the tunnel’s vast, tubular length, watching leaf fragments swirl past in the gushing water. He had never dared to explore beyond the area visible from the entrance. If he could find the courage to go up, would the tunnel take him to the light above the clouds? Continue readingby
A lynch mob had surrounded one of the locals out near the east fence, Jake could see, and were now endeavouring to hold him still for long enough to wrap a noose around his neck. The noose was made from an old rope, worn and frayed–like the mob, it had been hastily adapted from something found lying idly on one of the farms that dotted this region. The mob, made up of less than a dozen of the local farmhands, taunted and teased the naked intruder who stood in their midst, cowering before them. Behind them loomed the twelve foot high, electrified fence which protected the settlement. A mound of soil beside the fence showed where something had burrowed beneath it, invading the territory here. Continue readingby