HORRGASM delivers six solid terrifying mix of horror and sex!
DISCLAIMER: Deadman’s Tome is a dark and gritty horror zine that publishes content not suitable for children. The horror zine proudly supports the freedom of dark creative works and stands against censorship. Hardly any subject matter is too taboo for this horror zine. As a result, Deadman’s Tome may feature content your mother would not approve of. But she doesn’t control your life, right?
A Corpse Can’t Laugh by Salem Martin and G. B. Holly
A shadow, long and spindly, like something from a fever dream, betrays the teenage girl. She crouches in the shade of the rusted bike shed, her chest rising and falling in snatched, shallow breaths with one hand on the corrugated steel. She is looking out towards the empty recreation yard, a neatly tied ponytail hanging, glossy blonde, over one shoulder.
Time stands still for one perfect second, its cogs jammed by inevitability as I watch. I appreciate the way she has been created, the attention to detail in this blissful moment; from the restrained sobs to the way her gingham skirt ripples against her tanned legs in the breeze. A small plastic bag flutters along beyond her, distorting in the mid-day heat.
She senses me and turns with a strangled gasp. Those green eyes, once spiteful and judgemental, are now glazed over with tears. She raises one hand, with perfect polished nails made for scratching and hair pulling, in a ‘stop’ gesture, but it’s too late. Her head explodes in a firework of claret.
Blood rains down from the sky like red confetti. It is so beautiful. One droplet lands on the concrete in front of me, it is a perfect square of ruby. It settles and then starts to dissipate with the grace of a melting snowflake.
“Headshot!” the deep angry voice reverberates around me. It echoes across the recreation area, and some crows in a nearby tree are startled into flight. The delivery and inflections remind me of long nights sitting alone, a joypad my only grip on reality, whilst arguments raged below.
The decapitated corpse lies on her side, back against the wall of the old shed. She is beginning to fade. I can barely make out her tongue protruding from the stump of her neck. It is swollen like a fat, pink leech. “Who’s the ugly bitch now?” I find myself saying.
Satisfied, I turn back to the main building.
A square-edged sun sits beaming in an endless blue sky as I approach the double doors, scuffed and worn with frequent use. One of the adjacent windows is ajar and as I check my inventory for ammunition levels I can hear frightened sobs, and whispered shushes in perfect stereo clarity. I am reminded of my mother’s tears as she sits in the living room amongst the broken furniture, a purple welt on her thin, frightened face.
“Get your mother an ice-pack” she had said to me; her voice so pathetic that I almost cried. It wasn’t the first time I had to assist with first aid, it certainly wasn’t the last.
The doors push open with the squeak of metal on metal. I can almost smell the nostalgic scent of old wood, chalk and sweat.
“Heeeeeere’s Julie!” I boom down the echoing corridor, and I can’t help but chuckle. This is an empowering role reversal. Whilst some of the girls here claimed to own these hallways, I was at home racking up high scores. Who’s queen now, bitches?
“Eeeney. Meeney. Miney. Moe,” I recite slowly, deciding where to go next. “Decisions, decisions.”
“Don’t waste too much time,” the deep demonic voice says, I can sense that it is hungry for more death.
There is a sudden noise up ahead and I am distracted by one of the bins clattering onto one side, spilling its contents all over the floor. There is a shusshhhh of trainers skidding on linoleum as a figure runs away. The teenager’s arms pump like he is trying for the one hundred meters. Tall and gawky, he is not much older that I am. The green tracksuit he wears is similar to that of a video-game plumber with whom I grew up.
I raise the gun. Shoot. The bullet thuds into a noticeboard, but I quickly reload and aim for a second time, a tinnitus whine ringing in my ears. The second shot hits the green tracksuit in the base of his spine with a wet thwack. He carries on running for a couple of yards, a magenta stain soaking around the small of his back, before drunkenly losing control and smashing into a table at the far end of the corridor. It collapses under the impact and he skids face first into the wall, surrounded by pixelated splinters. He coughs once, arches his back, and then lies still.
“Spinal tapped!” the voice booms. A smile quickly flashes across my face.
I see that the bullet has not completely passed through him when I kick him over, but a trickle of blood runs down his distorted face. His eyes are open and stare up at the ceiling, glassy and lifeless. His final expression is one of mild surprise. It reminds me of their faces when I told them about the divorce. I thought that it had worked, that they would stop hurting me out of sympathy. Maybe they would feel sorry for me. It was a short respite.
“And to think you just watched as they did what they did to me,” I hiss at him. “You didn’t even go for help…” I can feel a tear welling up in my eye as a memory fleetingly enters my mind before I force it back out again. Using the sleeve of my jumper I wipe my blurred vision. I need to concentrate, need to be on my game.
Dink. There’s a hollow, metallic noise behind me, and I quickly spin around with my gun raised. A woman stands there, she has emerged from a nearby door that gently clicks closed behind her. Her trembling hands, neatly painted with red nail varnish are raised level with her thin-lipped face. She smiles nervously, and her eyes flit briefly down at a soda can that has spilled from the bin.
“Please, Julie,” she begs, her voice trembling. She licks those thin lips. “I’m so sorry, it doesn’t have to be this way.”
“You made me feel like it was all my fault.” I reply coldly, “You made me think that I was the reason my dad left..”
She looks confused, like she had lost the thread of a conversation. “Julie, I don’t understand what…”
She doesn’t see the grenade coming. Her innards project outwards at velocity, and for a frozen moment in time the woman is a blossoming pixel-art flower. The concrete behind her is like a giant chessboard, spattered with alternate squares of red and black all the way up to the ceiling. She has been reduced to a glitch, still smoldering from the explosion; her body lies half in and half out of the wall. I can smell the sweet and metallic aroma of fresh blood.
“Over their dead body!” the voice roars in my head. It reminds me of the man that gave me life, and almost took it away. A person who had a judgemental opinion on every little thing that my mother and I did, provided a running commentary on our failures.
“My Commentator.” I whisper aloud. I can feel my eye twitching, but I don’t know why. My kill ratio must be impressive now, even by national standards. But it’s not over yet.
A semi-transparent map appears in front of me, floating in mid-air like a hologram. I am surprised by its presence at first, but this quickly turns to fascination. It shows a top down view of the building. I can see where I am standing, marked with a red skull. The others, all huddled in one of the rooms to my right, are represented by pale blue dots.
Ensuring the gun is fully loaded, I march towards the frosted glass of the library. First, I press my ear up to the crack between the doors. I can hear muffled whimpering and frightened whispers. Good, the more terrified the enemies are, the larger my point multiplier becomes.
I let things become deathly silent before kicking open the doors. The frosted glass shatters as it bounces off the walls. I hear a collective intake of breath, and I catch sight of students and staff huddled under tables and behind bookcases.
As if that will save them.
“Slaughter time! Kill as many as you can within the time limit!” the Commentator is shouting instructions for this area. A grinning skull icon floats in mid-air, at the upper edge of my vision, leering at me. He wants to feed on their exquisite suffering. The more I kill and the more brutal the kills, the more points I get. I’ve gotten far. I’m doing well. I can’t fail now. I need that high score.
“Heads will roll!” the Commentator roars and I spring into action. A symphony of bullets tears through tables, books, and bodies. A tapestry of gore stains the walls and floors. Shrieking and yelling rises to a deafening level. Everything is so crisp and clear. The audio and visuals are stunning. I can hear the crack in a girl’s scream. I can make out pieces of skull in the bloody pulp that used to be someone’s head.
“Bloodbath!” the Commentator shrieks with glee. I see his skull icon transform into a more demonic form. He grows twisting horns, his teeth become razor sharp, his smile becomes unnaturally wide.
“Brutal kill!” the Commentator roars again as I send Mrs. Thomas flying over a table with a storm of bullets.
“Brain drain!” Mike, the school’s best basketball player, is now leaking all of his education through a hole in his forehead.
“Break a leg!” Jared won’t be running track anymore.
“Pain in the neck!” Karen’s singing voice is useless now as she clutches the wound in her throat.
“Ass Blaster!” Mr. Taylor will no longer be able to sit behind his desk to scold me.
“Belly up!” No more stealing my lunch, Joseph.
“A little off the top!” Oh no, now Lucy can’t wear her crown when she gets voted prom queen.
I hear the Commentator’s raucous laughing as I stop to catch my breath. I gaze around at my handiwork. It looks like a scene from a horror movie. There isn’t one inch of the library that isn’t splattered in wet crimson. People are lying on the floor, riddled with steaming bullet holes. Many of them are missing chunks of flesh that have been blown off. A few are even missing half of their faces.
They look like they were savaged by a pack of wild animals. I can’t believe the detail and work that went into the character models. Some of the bodies twitch, but I haven’t missed anyone. This definitely has to be a new high score. It just has to be.
I allow a smile to grace my lips. I wipe away some drops of blood from my cheek. I look down at my hand and see that it’s not blood, but tears. I quickly wipe my hand on my skirt and exit the library.
“You’re not done yet,” the Commentator says. His voice is much deeper now. It resonates in my skull. I rub my temples.
I hear something far off. It’s coming closer. It’s something loud and piercing. It sounds like sirens. That means my time to complete this level is running short. I have to get moving.
I make my way down the silent corridors. Every so often, I search a classroom for useful pickups. I receive bonus points for finding and killing any characters hiding in there. I would like to check every room, but my time is running out. I can hear the sirens growing closer.
I make my way to the other side of the building. There are large double doors with windows that make up almost their entirety. These lead out into a courtyard and the street. I peer between a flyer for the autumn dance and one advertising the chess club that are taped to the door windows. Outside I can see men and women crouched behind cars with flashing blue lights on top.
“This is it,” I whisper to myself as I pull away from the window.
I didn’t think he would have so many minions though. My hands become sweaty as I grip the gun. I feel a tightening in my stomach. I have to win.
“Come out with your hands up,” I hear a magnified voice blare. I locate its source and see a man with a large megaphone and a grim, hardened expression. That must be him. If I take him down, I win.
“Kill him,” the Commentator instructs in a silky voice. As I stare at the Boss, a ray of sunlight shines down, as if highlighting him.
It is in this moment that I notice that the sun is not square at all, but a perfect sphere, and I see an ambulance next to the shed, men are loading a gurney into the back of it, a pair of tanned legs poke out at the bottom of the white sheet. I can feel and smell the sticky syrup of blood all over me, and around me. It’s all so…real.
“Let’s keep calm here Julie!” the megaphone booms, off to my right. He’s trying to lull me into a false sense of security. There is an echo of metallic crunches, as weapons are raised.
“We know what your dad did to you, Julie- and the bullies. We sympathise with what happened to you, and your mother, but there is absolutely no need for this- what you have done is wrong. The first step to redemption is acceptance…”
I blink more tears from my eyes, the left one twitching like crazy. My head hurts, it hurts so much. What have I done?
“Come out quietly, Julie…please…we’re here to help you,” he continues.
“Finish them,” the Commentator growls in my ear.
I grasp the brass doorknob in a sweaty hand and twist it slowly. They don’t seem to notice outside. I ready my gun. My heart is pounding in my throat. I can taste the adrenaline. I swing the door open and step out onto the concrete steps, raising my gun to my target.
“She has a weapon!” I hear several of the minions shout. My vision dances with red dots as lasers crawl over my body like fireflies.
My finger, sweaty and shaking, places pressure on the trigger.
“I’m sorry,” I whisper.
Deadman’s Tome is a growing horror zine that publishes short stories and flash fiction whether it’s ghost stories, zombie invasions, bigfoot sightings, slasher sprees, bizarre fiction, classic horror literature or erotica. The darker the tale the better. If you enjoyed the story, or even if you didn’t, leave a comment below as it helps the authors.