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Deadman’s Tome Shit Show

DTShitShow

A disgusting, yet hilarious serving of toilet time horror!

Welcome to the Shit Fest. A disgusting horror short story collection that will make you rethink just how safe you really are. These stories will make you dread dropping that morning deuce. They’ll make you question the food you eat, the buildings you walk by, and toxicity of just a little fart. Because, as we all know, while the loud ones are awful, it’s the silent one’s that you really have to worry about.

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[TMG3] Madame Trudeau – Edmund Stone

Madame Trudeau

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“The boundaries which divide Life

from Death are best shadowy

and vague. Who shall say where

the one ends, and where the other

Begins?”

—Edgar Allan Poe

Madame Trudeau

By

Edmund Stone

  Lightning strikes filled the night sky illuminating the old house on the hill. Thunder made an unsettling groan afterward. Jonathan longed for such a night and this house was a ghost hunter’s paradise. The camera crew had been here a few hours, setting things up. They’d already reported crazy shit happening inside. Things staring through the window; a couple of items falling and crashing to the ground. Your typical haunted house nonsense. But he knew there would be more. This was the house Madame Trudeau haunted. The same lady who hacked up about a hundred people after inviting them in for wild orgies. Jonathan planned to have a séance tonight. What fun that’s gonna be! The crazy old broad would be sure to show her face. Maybe she’ll be holding the knife she carved them up with? If he could get that on film, he’d be famous. But he wouldn’t go it alone, oh no. He had invited some friends. He smiled, as headlights shined from behind him.

  “Right on time,” he said under his breath. The car came to a stop. A priest and a woman stepped out.

  “Padre, Jose! How’s my favorite drunken priest?” he said, as the two men embraced.

  “I’m fine, but I gave up drink for Lent. Well, after Mardi Gras that is.”

  “I’ll bet. And who do we have here?” staring at a striking brunette.

  “Oh, this is Evelyn Chambers, the…”

  “Chicago Medium,” Jonathan finished. “Jose said he was bringing a guest, but I had no idea it would be you. I’ve watched your show and I have to say, I’m impressed, skeptical, but impressed.”

  “Well I do have a large following. My ratings are through the roof.”

  “Yes, they are,” Jonathan said, looking at her legs and ample bosom. He assumed people were tuning in for more than her medium abilities.

  “So, this is the house, hunh? I’ve heard a lot about it.”

  “The Trudeau Mansion. Madame Antoinette Trudeau to be exact,” he said.

  “Didn’t she kill hundreds of men and women by luring them in under false pretenses? Made them think she was their lover, then murdered them?” Evelyn said.

   “They weren’t false. She delivered the goods. After a night of every sexual desire possible, bondage and whips to be precise, they were given as sacrifice to the demons. Who knows?”   

   “Sounds interesting, perhaps many demons have possessed the place, as it would be a welcome harbinger of evil,” Jose said.

  “Well, tonight my friend we will find out! My film crew is already set up inside. Shall we?” Jonathan said, motioning toward the mansion.

  A lightning strike filled the sky. The façade of the house lit up revealing the balcony on the second floor. A figure stood there, a woman, looking to be in her thirties. She had pallid skin and a powder blue dress with ruffled ends on the sleeves and collar. Her hair was pinned up giving her a formal look.

  “Did you see her?” Evelyn said.

  “Who?” Jonathan replied.

  “On the balcony. When the lightning struck, I saw a woman there. Very formal, eighteen hundred’s dress.”

  Jonathan looked over at Jose and chuckled. “You have done well, my friend. Very well indeed.”

###

  Jose and Evelyn followed Jonathan up a cobblestone walkway, leading to a massive porch. In front of them, there were a series of stone steps leading to the entrance doors of the house. They were impressive oak doors, at least ten feet high, with a stone arch at the top.

  “Welcome to Trudeau Mansion,” Jonathan said.

The door opened with a groan as lightning flashed again, illuminating the foyer inside the house.

  “God is restless tonight,” Jose said.

  A large room stretched out before them with ceilings vaulting to oak beams, also in an arch design. The place looked like a large cathedral. There were paintings on the ceiling of angels and demons in battle. Innocent humans were in between them, wearing hoods over their heads; their bodies naked. A herd of pigs were on the opposite side of the ceiling with a painting of Christ, directing the cloaked people toward them. On the other side of the room was a large throne; ornate and beautiful with jewels on the outer edge and red cushions in the seat and back.

  “Interesting décor. What’s with the throne?” Evelyn said.

  “Oh yeah. It was said, the Madame would sit there and watch the people engage in the orgies. Afterward she would pick the one she wanted. She had sex with them, slaughtered the poor asshole, and offered them as a sacrificial lamb. Pretty crazy shit.”

  Evelyn grinned at Jonathan. She looked away and shuddered.

  “What’s wrong?”

  “I’m not sure. I’m getting weird vibes about this place. I mean, it’s haunted, I assume, so I would think the spirits within are trying to talk to me. Their usually curious of my presence, but it’s different this time, almost like they want me to leave.”

  “Some pretty nasty atrocities were committed here, so it wouldn’t surprise me if you had misgivings.”

  “It’s not like that. I feel like someone is trying to talk to me.”

  “The work of the Devil. He roams the Earth like a lion, waiting to devour the innocent soul,” Jose said.

  “You may be right. There is something evil here. Maybe some of the good spirits are trying to warn me?” Evelyn said.

   Jonathan considered her and gave her a skeptical look, thinking: with a body like hers, I’m sure the ghosts here are more than turned on.

  They continued down a hallway until they came to a room off the main corridor. There were three men and two women behind tables with equipment set up around them. Three of them had cameras of varying size. The other two had laptop computers set up on tables.

  “This is my crew. Ruby, Beth, Jimmy, Seth, and Will. They make the magic happen around here.”

  “I’m not sure if we need any more magic in this house. We seem to have all bases covered,” Jose said.

  “If we are to get some scientific proof, these are the people who will help. We have a table set up with candles.”

   “A séance? I’m intrigued. I thought you didn’t know I was coming?” Evelyn said, smiling at Jonathan.

   “Well, let’s say I expected a medium, but not one as lovely as you.”

  Evelyn continued to smile, clearly pleased by the compliment.

  “Now if you are all ready, let’s get started. Evelyn? Can you do the honors?”

  “Sure.”

   Jonathan escorted them to the table. They all sat down and held hands. Evelyn began to meditate. She flipped her head back and her raven black hair fell onto her shoulders and across her cleavage and Jonathan was instantly aroused.

  “Those from another past. Can you show us your presence?” Evelyn said.

   The candles went out, as the room was plunged into darkness. A low hum permeated the air and an energy rippled from all around. Lightning flashed through the windows and thunder crashed with a loud boom.

  “Where are you? Can you hear us?” Jonathan said.

  The noise from the hum got louder. A candle lit from the middle of the table shining on Evelyn’s face. The noise was coming from her.

  “What do you want? Why do you bother me?” Evelyn said in a low gravelly voice.

   Jonathan and Jose looked at each other, and then back at her. Their eyes widened.

  “Why do you haunt this house?” Jonathan said.

  “I do not haunt, only control the entities who live here.” Evelyn’s eyes rolled back.

  “And who are they?”

  “You fool, you do not know what you deal with! I am the taker of souls, the one who answers to the Dark Lord!” her head snapped to the side in a disjointed fashion. Her shirt ripped open, the buttons flying off. A lacy bra was the only thing holding her breasts in place. Her hair levitated out and suspended in air, as if caught in a high wind.

  “What are you?” Jose said.

  “I am the leader of the swine, the pigs who worshipped me!” she said.

  Jose and Jonathan looked at each other in puzzlement.

  “What do you mean?”

  Evelyn looked straight at him with her mouth open wide and her eyes white. “I am the harbinger of pain, my pleasure to bring it and yours to receive!”

  The ceiling began to crawl, as faces started to appear. Hundreds of souls, reaching and pawing, seemingly held back by an invisible force. Evelyn’s bra popped open and her breasts fell out in front of Jonathan and Jose. Blood poured from the ceiling and down her chest. Jonathan started to squirm, as his pants became tighter. To his surprise, he was more turned on by the blood than the exposure of her breasts. Although they were supple, and he longed to touch them.

  “Come to me, my lover,” Evelyn said with a deep voice, looking at Jonathan. He started for her, as he was unable to resist. Jose jumped between them and shouted,

  “I cast you out in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit!”

  Evelyn shrieked and fell back into her seat. Lightning flashed from outside, as the air rippled with energy. The seats and the table shook violently, then all stopped, and the room went dark, except for the glow of the cameras. Evelyn looked down at her chest and grabbed her shirt, pulling it together.

    “Where did all this blood come from and why was my shirt open?” she said, looking toward Jonathan and Jose. But before they could answer, she saw a woman sitting beside Jonathan. She was covered in shadow. The woman’s head turned toward her. Then the light from the candle lit by itself. He noticed Evelyn looking beside him at the empty chair.

   “Evelyn? What do you see?”

   “I…I’m not sure,” she said.

    The woman’s face was hovering over the candle. She looked as though she were melting, her skin sloughed off, revealing striations of black, necrotic muscle on her cheeks. Her teeth were black and eyes glassy. Evelyn was frozen, as the creature came closer to her face. A long black tongue shot out of the hag’s mouth and licked Evelyn on the face.

   “This vessel will do,” the lady said. Evelyn screamed, grabbing for her face. The candle went out, plunging the room back into darkness. The chair beside Jonathan fell back on the floor with a smack and he jumped to his feet.

  “Evelyn? What’s happening?” Jonathan said.

  “Aagh!” Seth called out from the other side of the room. He was clutching the headphones over his ears. The laptops and cameras flashed on and the screens began to fluctuate. A steady stream of static came across the view screen and one of the cameras popped and sizzled, as smoke trailed out the top. Beth and Will were grabbing for fire extinguishers. Jimmy was scrambling, trying to save as much equipment as possible. A loud hum resonated from the electronic equipment.

  “Shut everything down!” Ruby cried out.

  Another quick burst of lightning filled the room, as all went silent. Seth flipped the switch and the overhead lights came on.

  “What happened?” Jose said.

  “I don’t know, but I’m hoping we got it on camera,” Jonathan said.

  “I have a feeling your ghosts are demons.”

  “Right now, I don’t know what to think! Let’s check out the tape and see.”

  Evelyn hadn’t got up yet, she was clearly woozy, rubbing her temples. Jose brought her a blanket and covered her with it. She nodded to him in appreciation.

  “How are you doing Evelyn?”

  “Better, Jonathan. But I’m not sure what happened.”

  “Something must have invaded your body,” he said, as he helped Evelyn to her feet. “Roll the footage team. I want to see what we caught.”

  Ruby opened her laptop with one hand and waved the electrical-smelling smoke from the air around her head with the other. The other computers were ruined, but hers was still operable. She rewound the recording to where the séance started. Jonathan could see himself, Jose, and Evelyn. They all looked normal, except for Evelyn. She had small orbs of light over her head, hanging in the air like fireflies, only in a tight cluster. The orbs had tendrils dangling from them in a spiral pattern that encircled her. A naked woman materialized and walked over to Evelyn. She caressed Evelyn’s hair and pulled her shirt open and a moment later opened her bra. The woman spit blood from her mouth and onto Evelyn’s chest. She caressed Evelyn’s naked bosom, licking the skin up to her neck. Other people surrounded the table and started dancing. They all had cloaks covering their heads, but no clothing on their bodies. They all ran behind Jonathan and started pushing him toward Evelyn. Jonathan stepped back and put his arms up in a victory wave.

  “Do you know what this means? We have actual proof of a paranormal encounter!”

  “Easy for you to say. I feel like I’m the star of a low-grade porno movie,” Evelyn said indignantly. Jonathan looked at her blushing. He wanted to ask if she enjoyed it as much as he did, but thought better of it.

  “Jonathan, wait. There’s more,” Ruby said.

  The digital recording continued, as they watched. The people surrounding the table began to turn to pigs and ran into the wall, disappearing. After this, the recording went to static.

  “What happened? Why did it go blank? I didn’t see the faces in the ceiling! Where did the pigs go?!” Jonathan cried.

  “I’m not sure. Everything looks fine, maybe the camera in the hall caught something. I’ll take the crew and check it out. Come on, guys,” Ruby said. They left the room for the hall leading to the entrance door. Jonathan turned to Jose and Evelyn.

  “While their checking for problems, let’s discuss what happened, especially you Evelyn. I want to know what you felt. Those things were all around you, did you know they were there?”

  Evelyn considered him and looked to the ceiling. The paint rippled like a wave of water.

  “Did you see it?” she said.

  “See what?” Jose said.

  “The ceiling is moving. There is something behind it.”

  “I don’t see anything,” Jonathan said.

  Suddenly, there was a scream from the hallway.

  “Jose? Who the Hell was that?”

  “It sounded like Ruby.”

  They ran to the door. Jonathan was two steps ahead of him, as Ruby came running up. She was covered in blood and crying.

  “What’s wrong? Where is the rest of the crew?”

  “They…they, didn’t make it,” she said.

  “What do you mean? Where are they?”

  Ruby was crying so hard she couldn’t make a coherent sentence. The lights began to flicker and went out, plunging the hall into darkness. Lightning flashed, lighting up the hallway and the room ahead.

  “Jose, Evelyn? Where’s Evelyn?” Jonathan said

  “I’m not sure, she was behind me,” Jose said.

  “Take Ruby back to the séance room, I’m going ahead to see what’s going on.”

  “No…no, don’t go in there,” Ruby said.

  “It’s okay, I’ll only be a second,” Jonathan reassured her.

  Jonathan rushed to the end of the hall and into the main room. The lights were out, so he flipped the switch, nothing happened. Lightning illuminated the room and he shuddered from the ensuing thunder rumble. He saw a red hue coming from behind the murals on the ceiling. Did he see the demons moving? He did. They ripped the flesh from the humans they were holding, blood dripped from the inflicted wounds. Jonathan noticed the pigs were missing from the mural and the angels were huddled in a corner. They turned their heads to look away. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Worse yet, he didn’t know if there was a camera on this.

  Then blood began to fall around him, pouring from every corner of the room; in his hair, on his face. He felt his dinner in his throat, as he wiped it away.

  “Where is my crew? Guys you should be recording this!” Frustrated, he stepped into the large room. He pulled up hard with his foot, making a popping sound, like a suction cup releasing. There was something thick and sticky on the floor. The next step caused him to trip over something. What he saw made him wretch. It was the camera crew; their bodies were laid out on the floor; arms outstretched, and feet pinned together spread out in a circular pattern like spokes on a wheel. They were disemboweled with entrails hanging out in all directions. Body parts were strewn out everywhere, some human, but others were…pigs? Jonathan jumped back landing on a pigs head.

  The swine parts were in a random pattern around the bodies of the camera crew. He remembered what he saw in the mural earlier. The bodies being cast into the pigs by Christ.

  Blood soaked the floor and every other area of the room. Jonathan peddled backward, trying to get to his feet. He rolled over onto his hands and knees and slipped into the blood and muck, face first. He choked as the blood was now in his mouth. He started spitting and heaving. A wave of nausea overtook him, and he lost the contents of his stomach.

  Jonathan managed to get a hand on the wall and steady himself. With weak legs, he rose and stumbled along the hallway.

  “Jose? Jose, where are you? Ruby?” he said.

  Lightning illuminated the room up ahead, casting a shadow on the wall for a moment. It looked like Evelyn’s outline, but something else was there too. The thunder rocked the house along with Jonathan’s resolve. He fell against the wall; his body shook with fear. He wasn’t sure how much longer he could stand.

  “Jose, Ruby, Evelyn? What the Hell is happening? Would somebody please answer!?” he begged.

  “I’ll answer if you want to listen,” Evelyn said.

  Jonathan turned his head and rested it against the wall. He was afraid to move any further.

  “Jonathan, I’m waiting, come join me,” Evelyn said.

  He found the strength to lumber forward, his legs, gelatinous, not wanting to cooperate. Grabbing the door facing to steady himself, he walked into the room. A flash of lightning lit up the horrifying scene. Jose and Ruby were pinned to the wall, arms wide apart and feet nailed together, crucified to some makeshift cross. Evelyn stood below them. She was naked and covered in blood. A pig’s head adorned the top of her head. It was attached to a cloak that flowed over her shoulders.

  “There you are. I’ve been waiting. Lay down on the table.”

  He did as she said, he felt as though he had no power to resist. She undressed him, massaging his penis until it was erect. She straddled him and took him inside her. Evelyn put her hands on Jonathan’s chest. She worked up and down, grinding her pelvis into his middle in a rhythmic motion, moaning in a low drone. Her cadence intensified, and Jonathan groaned with pleasure.     Evelyn reached down beside her, producing a large knife. She raised her arms and brought the knife down into Jonathan’s chest.

   The blood erupted from him, as Jonathan, trembling, released his seed into her. She plunged the knife into his chest again and again until his sternum collapsed. She cried out in pleasure as she came.

   Evelyn got down from the table and drug Jonathan’s body to the hallway and down to the main room. Then she gathered the other bodies, bringing them to the same place. She raised her hands into the air and a blue fire came from the floor, swirling about the bodies. A demon gathered them, laughing as he did so. They all rose to the ceiling and disappeared.

   Evelyn walked across the room and sat in the throne. With the knife still in her hands, she slit both of her wrists. Blood flowed from the self-inflicted wounds, as she began to drift off to sleep. She looked around the room and to the ceiling. She saw Jonathan, Jose, and the rest of the film crew; cloaks around their heads. She smiled. The Madame was pleased.


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Campfire Tales Double Feature!

Get ready for a double feature of unrelenting horror! Deadman’s Tome Campfire Tales Book One and Book Two consist of demented tales carefully crafted by established authors and promising newcomers to create a blend that will haunt you well after your first read.

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Share the stories in Deadman’s Tome Campfire Tales Book One and Two with others while gathered around a fire at night, and you’ll be remembered. Oh, you will be remembered as the one that sent chills down their spine, renewed the fear in their heart, and instilled an overwhelming sense of dread. While I recommend to share these tales over a fire, do not read alone in the dark.

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Dear reader, please take the cliche warning seriously and do not read in the dark. These stories contain intense images of graphic violence and disturbing content that is absolutely not intended for the weak.

Deadman’s Tome Campfire Tales Book One and Book Two is available on Amazon for Kindle and in print.

Get access to Campfire Tales and most Deadman’s Tome titles for only $2 by becoming a patron of the Deadman’s Tome Patreon page.

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Book of Horrors – Babel Frequency

Babel Frequency – David Wright

It was as if a giant magnet had passed across the earth and erased the collective hard-drive of humanity.

The woman woke from fitful sleep, her hair drenched with sweat, the visions of the dream world still fresh in her consciousness.This was the most important time. Only in sleep could she remember the past.  Only in the dream world did she truly know who she was and what things were.  But there was a danger, for in the dream world, dead men walked.

“Dead men walking.  Dead men walking.  Dead men walking.”  Her breath came in short gasps, racing in rhythm to the quickening beat of her heart.  She began to shake violently.  She felt as if she were about to die, alone in a dark empty world.  She was about to scream out into the darkness when strong arms wrapped around her from above.  They held her tightly as if to squeeze the fear out of her heart and the breath out of her words.  She remembered the arms.  They were her lover’s arms.  Slowly, her lips stopped moving and the fear ebbed from her like water from the shore.

Three nights ago, she saw the city out her apartment window.  It was alive with the sound, motion and purpose of ten million souls.  It pulsed to the rhythm of their heartbeats.  It breathed with the inhale and exhale of their lungs.  Until, in a moment, in the first moment, the once vibrant city was thrown violently into chaos.  She didn’t know why it happened or how.  In fact, she knew almost nothing at all–not the time of day, not the meaning of a word, not even her own name, only the warm touch of her lover and the unspoken knowledge that they must stay together.  As they huddled in terror, the city died all around them, and dream by dream their memories came back–frightened birds returning to their cages.

“I saw them again,” Lyra began.

“Hush.”  Her lover rocked her slowly.  Darren—that was his name.  She remembered.

“No, Darren.”  She tried the name for the first time in three days.  “I must tell you.  They’re real.  Their skulls are white like…like the moon.  Their eyes sunken in.  No skin, but their hearts are still beating.  They walk, and when they catch you, they drag you down to death, and they burn you with fire, and you can’t get away, no matter how hard you fight.”

“Just a dream.”
“No.”  Lyra pushed his lover’s hands down and reached into his pocket for the picture box.  It was one of the few things Darren had on him before zero hour and until a few minutes ago Lyra had not known how to use it.  Her fingers paused over the light emitting paper for only a second before touching the icon and bringing the ghoulish apparition to life.  “I saw this.”

Darren looked at the ghoul with distaste.  She knew her lover had not yet dreamed of dead men walking, but she knew others had.  She saw them in the night, huddled under benches or in doorways, shaking and screaming until their hearts stopped and their last breath wheezed out of them.

“Just like before.  Just like the first time.”  She looked into her lover’s black, sunken eyes–blank eyes that seemed to know only fear and confusion.  Over his shoulder, the first rays of sunlight were snaking their way into the bowels of the dead city.  Lyra and her lover stood, viewed the giant green woman over the water as she moved into the light, and once again set off in search of something, anything they could remember.

Hours passed.  Lyra grew hungry like she had yesterday and the day before that, but not knowing what food was, she could not satisfy her hunger.  She became thirsty, but knew nothing of drink.  They came to an intersection where, three days ago, the cars had crashed into one another or slammed into bewildered pedestrians who had wandered into their path.  Dead bodies, some with dried blood caked on their faces and in their hair, sat peacefully in the cars and under them.  The traffic light was still changing from green to amber to red with undaunted precision.  The smell of death choked at Lyra’s lungs and tugged at her empty stomach until she gagged.  She remembered the horror of zero hour and dragged her lover away.

Over the last three days and nights, Lyra had watched without understanding as, depending on their size and condition, people began to die.  The small ones were the first to go as their fathers and mothers wandered aimlessly away forgetting the once familiar sound of their children’s cries and leaving them to starve helplessly.  Lyra was more fortunate than most.  On that first night, she had dreamed of her lover, the burn of his unshaven face and the odor of his unwashed body.  Lyra had awoken from her dream to find her lover nearby, quietly watching the bugs gather around a streetlight.  Since that time, they had never been apart.

Even now, baffling visions from the dream world were cycling without meaning through her mind.  A woman, her mother, her soft lips, the warm touch of her hand.

They stopped at the corner before the next intersection.  Large buildings rose on either side of the street blocking all sunlight.  She remembered seeing a woman at this intersection two days ago.  The woman was not her mother.  She was screaming in terror at the sight of a cat or a fallen bird that had forgotten how to fly.  Cat.  Bird.  She remembered these words although she did not know them two days ago, or yesterday.

Her birthday cake.  Ten candles.  The smell of chocolate.  Hot dogs.  Her mother’s quiet, sad voice.  Turkey in the oven on… on Christmas.  Burned meat.  The smell of burned meat.

Lyra was not dreaming now.  She smelled burned meat and remembered.  She remembered the taste.  She remembered cutting the flesh and feeling it warm her tongue.  She remembered chewing and the cold splash of ice cold Coca-Cola as it ignited sparks down her throat.

Lyra pulled her lover down Park Avenue in the direction of the smell.  She stopped in front of a shop window.  Inside, the blackened flesh of some animal was still turning and smoking over a skillet.  Lyra walked blindly into the window, bruising her forehead.  She banged on the window with her hands.  Her blows grew fierce as the scent of burned meat grew and burned in her nostrils.  The smell of burned meat.  Frantic, now, with memory, she smashed at the window with her hands and knees.  The window shattered.  With bloody hands, Lyra ripped at the blackened carcass.  The taste of ash and flesh.
#
“Dead men walking.  Dead men.  Dead men.”

Lyra woke from the deep sleep without dreams.  The room was dark but warm.  She heard screaming, her lover’s scream.

“Dead men.  Dead men.”

Lyra fumbled in the darkness until she’d found her lover’s shaking body.  Lyra tried to put her arms around him, tried to squeeze the fear out of him, but she was pushed aside by his strong arms.

“Dead men.  Dead men.”  Darren’s chanting grew louder and more urgent.  Lyra struggled to hold him down.  She pulled on the big man’s arms and legs.  She grabbed her lover’s hair and scratched at his face trying desperately to wake him, only to be thrown down again and again until one final blow knocked her head savagely against the wall.  In the distance, she heard her lover’s frantic screams grow to a crescendo and then stop.  Exhausted and badly beaten, Lyra crawled across the cold pavement in the direction of the last scream until she found Darren’s motionless body.  Lyra was just in time to feel her lover’s heart stop and the last breath wheeze out of him.

Lyra stayed with her lover’s lifeless body for two days.  There was hardly anything left alive, now, in the city, except flies and maggots.  She awoke on the sixth day to see them feeding on her lover’s eyes.  She tried to brush them away, but they were coming out from the inside.  Lyra couldn’t breath.  The smell.  The pain of hunger gripped her once again.

Lyra returned to the store with the burned meat, but the meat had been almost completely devoured by bugs.  Lyra smelled burning once again, but this time the smell did not bring to mind memories of food.  It was an unpleasant smell, a repulsive smell.  The narrow streets were filling with smoke.  Lyra’s lips were bleeding.

She pushed on, falling from time to time but feeling no pain.  She found herself in the trees when the lights went out.

Lyra was still alive when her picture box began talking.  They were there on her picture box.  The ghouls.

“Unit thirteen, take the next block on Park Avenue to the trees.  Clean it top to bottom.  Should take the rest of the morning.”

There was silence again and the box went dark.  Then another ghoul appeared.

“I hope not.  This place is beginning to stink.”

The box went black again.  Lyra listened.  Light was cutting a wedge on the grass.  She could not move.  She’d dreamed again–skating in the snow in a place she remembered–two blocks away.  She was only seven or eight.  It was cold.

“Dickie, hold up.”

Another ghoul appeared on Lyra’s picture box.  The ghoul reached his white hands up and took off his white, eyeless, faceless skull.  Lyra was surprised to see another head underneath, a human head.

“Dickie, I know we’re at war, but this is…  I mean, look at all these people, all these bodies.  What did this—a bomb?”  The ghoul spoke.  His voice was deep and his speech slow.

“Well, it’s not actually a bomb.  It’s a virus, a computer virus.”  The second ghoul appeared on the box.  He, too, had a human head under his white skull.

“A computer virus did this?”

“A special computer virus–the first computer virus to be successfully transmitted from hardware to wetware.  These poor suckers caught the virus from the ultra low frequencies emitted by their digital equipment–their computers, their cell phones, their calculators–and they died.”

“Yeah, but how?”

“The virus counts down in their brains to zero hour, then it savagely attacks the fear centers of the brain with visions of death so terrifying that either their heart stops or their brain, in defense, wipes the slate clean.   It wipes out their memories.  They forget how to eat and walk and talk, and then they just die.  Either way, they die.”

“What if they’re not all dead?  I mean, what if we see some survivors?”

The second man shook his head.  “We can’t take a chance of it spreading.”

“So.  What do we do?”

The second man shrugged.  “Dead men walking.”

The first man put his helmet back on.  “Tough way to go,” he said and flamed another body.

Lyra looked up from the picture box to see smoke rising from the trees.  They were coming closer.

Read more Chilling Stories in the Anthology.

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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.