Deadman’s Tome is calling for submissions for a Cthulhu Christmas Special. We’re looking for original short stories and flash fiction pieces (2-5k words) that blend Cthulhu and Christmas with a dash of Lovecraftian prose. If you have something that would meet this criteria, then please send to firstname.lastname@example.org. What do you get in return? Well, you get the that warm feeling that comes with being a part of something special. More importantly, though, you’ll earn royalties from paperback and ebook purchases of the finish product.
Hurry as we’re approaching the deadline: November 15, 2017.
Due to a goof when navigating the new Kindle Digital Publishing interface, the print edition of Trumpocalypse is now available!
Deadman’s Tome Trumpocalypse is loaded with dark twisted stories featuring the President, riffing on his ego, his micro-penis, and his love for his daughter.
Trumpocalypse delivers more laughs than scares, but the dark tones and demented edge is everything Deadman’s Tome. Check out the interview with Donald Trump where he confesses a bombshell.
Get a copy of Trumpocalypse and join that campaign of getting Trump’s attention. I have purchased two copies and have sent one to the Whitehouse and another to Trump tower. One package may not get Trump’s attention, but a dozen would.
Are you sick of Christmas? Do you have ungrateful children that don’t even deserve a lump of coal, but you give it to them anyway just to shut them up? Do you cringe at the sound of Jingle Bells, and just one ‘Merry Christmas’ away from going on a murderous killing spree that would rival Stephen King’s The Shining?
Then Deadman’s Tome Krampus Christmas will make your Christmas much more tolerable. This horror anthology contains demented, twisted anti-Christmas tales coupled with Krampus greeting card art, and together it makes for a great experience.
Deadman’s Tome Krampus Christmas can be enjoyed on your Kindle and smartphones, and is now available in print. You can even read it for free through Kindle Unlimited.
Are you ready for an all out satirical Trump-bash? Loaded with dark, twisted stories at Trump’s expense, an interview with S. J. Budd, and an interview with Donald Trump himself. What? Is this legit? Is Deadman’s Tome going to get sued? It’s not my fault Trump is so forgetful. Must be dementia.
But, in case I do get sued. Please pre-order a copy to help pay for my inevitable legal fees. Deadman’s Tome Trumpocalypse is available through Amazon Kindle for $2.99 and will release January 6th.
Santa Claus was running late. His black boots bounced and his stomach wobbled as he hustled to his seat. He almost tripped on the red carpet before the large wooden chair, but managed to keep himself upright. Exhaling, he took a seat, while ignoring the rum on his breath. Though his duties had been downscaled in this day and age, he was a man who still worked with pride. He patted the head of one of the reindeer in front of him and shifted in his seat; comfortable, he indicated to one of his helpers that he was ready.
She rang a bell.
An army of kids invaded the Christmas themed spot in the mall from every direction. Santa Claus, or Torben Gunderrson as he was known when not in the role, pressed a button at his side which activated a red light on one of the plastic reindeers’ noses in front of him. He cleared his throat, hearing the familiar jingle bells track play on the store’s tinny-sounding speakers.
“Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas” he boomed, straightening the fake beard which caused his chin to itch.
A boy in a yellow hooded sweatshirt broke free from the horde. He made his way along the red carpet and stopped a few feet from Santa’s chair. Torben leaned forward, his back creaked. “Come closer, little one.”
The boy took a step forward, but Torben could not see his face with the hood covering it. “Don’t be shy, tell good old Santa Claus what you would like for Christmas?”
The boy ignored him. Torben looked around, something was off. He noticed that all of the children wore clothing to cover their faces and that none of them were accompanied by adults. Trying to remain calm, he looked back at the boy. “Tell me, young one, what would you like for Christmas?”
“You,” the boy whispered.
“Sorry, I must have heard you wro—”
Torben heard a muted scream. Looking to his side, he saw a member of the store’s staff that had been assigned to assist him being dragged behind a large snowman. He couldn’t see the persons face, but he caught a glimpse of the blue vest over white shirt uniform that the staff wore. Crimson blood streaked across the white floor in their wake. Swinging his head from side to side, he searched for any of the other assistants, but located none. Even the lady who had rung the bell alongside him had vanished. The bell, however, was lying a few feet from him. Blood splatter now its keeper.
“What the hell is going on?” Torben said, standing.
The boy in front lowered his hood.
It was not the face of a boy, but rather a man. Torben felt his blood turn solid and cold like steel in winter. He recognized the pointy ears and a sharp nose. The realization of what he was looking at hit him like an unwarranted slap to the face. These were definitely not the friendly, beautiful images of the myth he had read in books during his youth.
The elf smiled, yellow canine-like teeth appeared. “No more ho-ho-ho?”
Torben screamed, falling back into his seat. His whitened knuckles gripped the sides of his seat as his face resembled one transfixed by horror. His breathing quickened, the short bursts of air were not sufficient and he felt the dizziness clog his thoughts.
The sounds of chains being whipped against the hard floor stopped Torben’s panic. The elves had all moved back, almost in rows. Looking up, Torben saw something move between some of the Christmas displays leading to him. The large pitch black creature shifted between rows of Christmas trees, taunting him. Torben would have run had his feet not felt as if they had been weighed down by anchors resting on the ocean floor. The creature then jumped out from the displays, only a few feet ahead of Torben, who had at first though it was a bear. But he was wrong. It was something worse, much worse.
The creature had long curved horns reaching into the air, just missing the golden tinsel that hung above it. Thick, wild, black hair grew all over its body. It had the eyes of a dangerous old man and a large red tongue hung out its mouth. Its cloven hooves clacked as it took a step forward.
Torben moved back, only to feel the back of the chair preventing him from retreating any farther. The horror pained within like metal rods being inserted into his veins. The elves were but a distant memory, even the fates of the staff around him no longer concerned him.
The creature leaped forward, and spat out a black substance that splattered all over Torben’s face. Torben being too slow to react panicked as he tried to remove the substance. His hands clawed at his face like rats in a hot bucket. The substance would not come off. It had the consistency of warm honey, only stickier. Torben, needing to inhale, braced for a foul stench. The substance however, was not unpleasant in smell, but rather had a fruity and alcoholic aroma.
Torben felt his skin burn, then contract. The world around him shuddered and he shut his eyes, trying not to scream. But the pain and discomfort did not last long. He opened his eyes, feeling his face. The substance was gone, but something was wrong. Torben climbed off the chair, only to topple forward, tripping over himself.
Standing up, Torben realized he was now the same height as the elves that were drawing close on him like a noose.
“Take him to the Black Forest for reconditioning. He will serve out his days in servitude for playing this false God,” the creature said.
The elves obeyed and grabbed Torben. Torben shut his eyes, praying that this was all some bad dream. But he knew better. He had simply been performing a job, a job he had done for many years. The frigid truth of who and what this creature was dawned on him. This year, a dark myth now proven true, the Krampus had endured enough and had sought revenge. Some of the other Santa’s that it would hunt down would surely just be killed.
Torben realized his punishment would be less merciful.
See, it was my littlest pumpkin that chopped down the tree this year. Now before you go jumping to conclusions, thinking I’m outta my mind for giving a thirteen-year-old an axe, know I’m a good, responsible father. Got Hannah one of them small axes and some safety goggles for when stuff starts squirting. I gotta say, too, my little pumpkin’s got a hell-of-a mean swing. Reckon I should put her on a softball team with an arm like hers.
No, no, I didn’t get any video. Wish I had. It was just the two of us up there on Abe’s farm. Yeah, he’s a nice enough fellow. Chopping’s a tradition for us Bakers so Abe always makes sure to wrangle up some of our special Baker Christmas trees. So it’s just her and I, and I hold out that axe and right away her face lights up like she’s got her presents early. Before I can stop her, she’s got the axe in both her tiny hands, plants those pink boots square on the ground, swings back like she’s one of them pros, and lets fly.
Damn near chops off this man’s left leg with the first swing. Clean through his skin and muscle, and almost through his bone, too. Leg meat all hanging outta his jeans. Good stuff, you know? The tree, well, he ain’t doing too good. Screaming just as loud as Hannah’s laughing. Maybe even louder. So then my little pumpkin, she catches her breath, takes ahold of that axe, and pulls.
Blood flies all over the place, including Hannah. Face, hair, sweater, sneakers—except her eyes. Responsible father, right? She’s still laughing, so I figure she ain’t too bothered though. At this point, our Christmas tree’s starting what us Bakers call the 3Ps: Pleading, Praying, and Pissing. Been my experience that it’s in that order.
He’s looking down at my little pumpkin and I can see it in his eyes, he almost can’t believe it. A cute little girl trying her damndest to chop off his leg with a pink axe? He’s shouting at the both of us, pleading, trying to get us to cut him down, and I shrug, and we both watch as Hannah swings again. There’s this real loud, real nice sound—like when you bit into that turkey and got through all the skin and gristle, and hit bone?
You shoulda heard this man scream—coulda been one of them opera singers, as high as he could go. Now he’s fighting with every bit of strength he got left, but the chains Abe wrapped him up in are doing a mighty fine job of holding him. He goes still for a second, whispering for the good Lord to come rescue him.
Problem is, Hannah ain’t laughing anymore. She’s just now understanding how hard chopping down a Baker Christmas tree is. She swings again and again, but that axe ain’t going any deeper. Probably half an inch deep into the bone now. So I help her with a couple of swings and I’m almost through the back of his leg in three, and I hand the axe back ‘cause she’s grinning now.
He’s still praying and his leg’s hanging on a thread of skin and jean, and spinning like a Christmas ornament. Hannah lets swing one last time and his leg goes flying across the snow. Lands about seven feet away. My little pumpkin races after it and comes back with it in her hands, grinning from ear to ear, saying how she wants to save it for her room and I just nod, knowing it’s what we’re gonna be stringing lights on. The praying stops after this and I figure the pain musta been too much for him, ‘cause he goes real quiet and real still as Hannah takes off his other leg. Didn’t even have time to piss himself. Damn shame.
But yeah, that’s the story of how Hannah chopped down her first Baker Christmas tree. I’m proud of her. You know, I can’t wait until next year. I’m gonna show my little pumpkin how we make our Baker Halloween jack-o-lanterns.
About the author:
A lifelong Los Angles native, Livingston Edwards was born with an insatiable desire to tell stories. If there’s a rare moment he’s actually not writing, then he’s certainly thinking about it. Taking his inspiration from the horrors of emotions, he delights in frightening his readers–but just enough to keep turning the page. He can be found at https://www.facebook.com/livingston.edwards.9.
Tate knocked on the front door of The Toy Shoppe and, as if willing him inside, it eased open. Somewhere inside, a radio faintly played “O Holy Night.”
He paused, peering into the darkened hall. At his back, his pickup ticked in the heat of the dirt driveway. The air was dead, bugs buzzed in the August-burnt grass. Red and green signs in the scorched yard of the red-painted farmhouse advertised The Toy Shoppe with promises of “Become a Childe Again!”, “Toys for all Goode Girls and Boys!”, and “Donations Welcome!” Tall wooden cut-outs accompanied them — a rose-cheeked Santa Claus, round white snowmen, reindeer prancing before a sleigh. Glossy candy cane pillars lined the porch. A wreath of fresh pine boughs hung on the door.
All of this was visible from Manx Road, a dimpled, one-layer asphalt affair three miles out of town, swallowed in high corn fields. Tate had been by the house twice before going to his new job in Arenzville: just an old farmhouse remade into a holiday shop selling donated toys. Probably the dream of a retired farmer and his wife. Each time Tate had driven by, The Toy Shoppe hooked his attention enough to slow his truck. Now it had reeled him in enough to stop.
The front door open, he caught a fragrance of warm gingerbread, saw brilliant strings of Christmas lights twinkling in a room at the end of the hall. Though he didn’t know it, a smile came to him, and he found himself in the hall, slipping the door shut. Vivid memories of Christmas mornings flooded him, and he felt a giggle in his throat. Puzzled, he held it back as he moved toward the room.
“Hello?” he called, and a man laughed in the room. Though there were no other cars here, he thought maybe a father and son were shopping for toys.
He stepped in the doorway of the room, squinting against the Christmas lights tacked to the wall and ceiling. The room was packed with toys. Toy cars, rockets, stuffed animals, Play Dough, dolls, Lego sets, Matchbox cars, Nerf balls, and guns and darts—all on shelves, all covering the floor. That wild elation sprang through him again, and now he did giggle.
Movement caught his eye.
A very fat, naked man in a business tie sat playing in the toys. The man was fish-belly white. Spit and red peppermint was smeared over his chin, down his hairy chest, his crusty tie. His eyes were flat-black, like dull marbles. When he saw Tate, he produced a delighted wail, like a baby.
“Come play wit me?” the fat man asked, his voice rough and stupid. “Come play?”
Tate stepped back. “No, no, I — “
“Come playeee!” the man howled, rolling to his side, crushing toys as he tried to get up. Tate fought the urge to cackle gleefully at the man’s nest of black pubic hair, his stubby white dick.
Let’s play, Tate felt himself think. Let’s play with that Millennium Falcon and that X-wing, and then let’s bake a cake in the Easy Bake. Let’s smear frosting over ourselves, let’s play all day and all night, and then tear into more presents in the morning and play all day and all night —
“Stayeee ‘n playeee wit me!” The man lunged for Tate on his knees. “Stayeee ‘n open prezeees!”
Without realizing it, Tate had backed out of the room until he bumped the front door. Jolting him to action, he seized the doorknob, but it wouldn’t turn. It was like it had hardened in cement. He slammed his fist against the door and halted.
The late afternoon summer sun was gone. Frigid wind pried at the door.
He shoved the curtain aside.
The sky was gray, and snow was falling. It blanketed the yard, driveway, empty fields. It piled over his truck. Several snowmen with coal buttons, carrot noses, and stovepipe hats grinned in the yard. He could hear sleigh bells. Christmas lights had been strung on the cut-out sleigh in the yard, over the reindeer. Some kids in snowpants and scarves were pulling a toboggan by the candy cane porch. When he banged on the window in the door and shouted, the kids waved to him. Their faces were icy-blue, their eyes flat-black marbles.
Now he did scream, but it came out as a bizarre, kid-like laugh. He laughed, and it was hilarious because it was Christmas, it was always Christmas, and why should the fat man get to play with all the prezees?
Tate felt his arms move, saw his workshirt fall to the floor. His shoes came off, pants and underwear kicked aside. He thought maybe he’d like to go sledding. But first he wanted to play with some of these prezees.
Little Jimmy crept down the stairs, peeking over the railing. He knew it was early and his parents wouldn’t be awake yet.
But he just had to know.
He had been extra good this year and he knew Santa would reward his good behavior. He crept down the stairs and his little hands left sweaty trails on the shiny wood of the banister.
As he stepped onto the floor, he heard the slightest sound.
His ears perked up and the noise stopped.
He could feel his heart beginning to race and he had to pee but he could hold it. His feet shimmied across the cold tile.
As he approached the living room, he could see the lights from the tree dancing across the walls. The strange sound started again only louder.
He knew he shouldn’t be up but that was alright.
He had been extra vigilant at finding his elf on the shelf and knew it would not betray him.
Every day he would make his bed and help his mommy do her chores. The elf stared down at him and he tried not to look at it but he knew it was there.
He could almost feel its eyes following him as he did his work. He smiled as he went to bed every night knowing the elf would report back to Santa what a good boy he had been.
He turned the corner to the room and his eyes lit up as the tree, in all of its expectant glory, stood before him. He could see the shiny packages lying underneath, just waiting for him to tear open. As he stepped into the room, movement caught his eye.
He turned and the elf stood there, knife in its hand, its eyes blood red.
At first, Jimmy didn’t understand how the elf could be standing upright.
As he tried to grasp the weirdness, the elf ran towards him, the knife glinting from the lights on the tree. Jimmy’s brain was confused but he soon realized he was in danger.
He screamed and turned to run away.
The elf began to laugh and Jimmy could feel his bladder releasing as he tried to make his way back up the stairs.
He made the stairs just as the elf grabbed his leg.
Jimmy screamed again and kicked the elf off.
He continued to try and get up the stairs but the elf regained control and grabbed Jimmy’s leg again.
As the knife plunged down, Jimmy wondered what Santa would think of his naughty little elf.
Grace eased out of her slumber, rubbing a hand over her eyes. When she opened them, she realized that night had fallen, the living room now covered in shadow and moonlight. The TV was on but its screen was black, the movie they’d been watching long since over and the Blu-ray player having shut itself off.
Blake was snoring lightly beside her, his head hanging over the top of the sofa, face pointed up to the ceiling. So much for their romantic rendezvous.
Grace yawned, her breath fogging up before her in a wisp. She shivered and rubbed at her arms, finally noticing just how freezing cold it had become inside.
A harsh wintery wind blew against the house—and across Grace’s face.
As her sight grew sharper in the dark, Grace looked off to her left, towards the sliding glass doors leading out to the deck. One of the doors had been opened, the drapes around it blowing and snapping about as the December wind kept up. Snowflakes were dancing through the air, a fine dusting of them already covering the floor before the doors.
Grace began to rise up, as did her confusion. How the hell did — ?
She hadn’t even made it off the sofa when she noticed, out of the corner of her eye, a shadow that shouldn’t have been there. A figure loomed over them from behind the sofa, with large protuberances sticking out of its head. It was raising its arm up high, a thin, pointed something clasped in its hand. The shadow brought it slashing down as it let loose an enraged and inhuman growl.
Grace screamed as the weapon cut straight into Blake’s throat, a splash of his warm blood streaking right across her face as it flew out from the wound. Her boyfriend jolted awake, his eyes wide, his body convulsing, and a nauseous gurgling noise creeping out of his gaping mouth.
The figure wrenched the weapon out and again brought it piercing down into Blake’s neck. His limbs ceased to shake as a final choked gasp trailed off into stillness.
Grace jumped off the sofa and made to run across the room, to flee. She hadn’t even made it past the end of the sofa when the figure came dashing around, tackling her to the ground. They landed on the snowy floor, Grace on her back, the figure straddling her as it brought its weapon to bear with another snarl.
In the moonlight, Grace could see wild eyes staring at her through a twisted, animalistic mask of papier-mâché. Strands of long white hair had been glued onto it to make a stringy beard and matching mane. The long shapes coming out of the masked man’s head were horns, painted black, likewise crafted from papier-mâché, and tied about his head with string. He wore a ragged red bathrobe which smelled of both feces and antiseptics.
The thing in his hand was a birch stick, one of its ends sharpened to a point that was now coated with red. He brought its other end smacking across her face, the wood stinging her cheek and bringing more tears to her eyes.
“You’ve been bad . . .” the psycho said, his voice gruff and muffled by his mask. “Bad, bad, bad . . .”
He gripped her throat and raised his bloody stake over his head. “And bad boys and girls must. Be. Punished . . .”
The killer jumped as a scraping sound raked across the ceiling above, followed by an enormous thump. He and Grace looked up, both confused by the strange racket. A lighter thump echoed through the wood and plaster, followed by another, and then another—as though someone large were walking about up there.
A moment of silence crept by. And then a metallic rattling rose up from within the chimney across the room.
The masked psycho hollered and fell away from Grace as a flurry of rusted chains came shooting out of the fireplace like long, lethal cobras. They came right for him, twisting around his neck and his shoulders and dragging him to the fireplace as he let out some screams of his own. His stick clattered to the floor as he was pulled up and into the chimney, his slipper-covered feet kicking like mad.
Then, in a burst of falling soot, he went shooting up the chimney, his cries echoing upwards.
Grace lay there a moment as she heard more footsteps across the roof. That scraping sound struck up again, punctuated by a monstrous roar that hurt her ears.
She glanced out the sliding doors, peering into the cold night at what looked to be a sleigh soaring through the skies and across the glow of the moon. It was pulled by what looked like reindeer, and in its driver’s seat was a hulking figure with huge, twisted horns of its own.
It gave another ferocious roar as it disappeared into the night, carrying off its masked captive, who sat screaming in the back of the sleigh, calling for help.
About the author:
I am a recent graduate of Illinois College, in Jacksonville, IL, where I earned a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. I have been published in the likes of Sanitarium Magazine, The Sirens Call, and other such titles; my first novel, I Was a Teenage Gila Monster, is set to be released shortly through Frith Books. A full list of my previous publications may be found at my author’s site, if you are so inclined to know: http://wintersauthor.azurewebsites.net/Pages/Previous%20Publications.