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Who is Nickolaus Pacione

Nickolaus Pacione. Search this site and you’ll see his name in the comments. Search the Deadman’s Tome name and you’ll find him dropping the name, the brand in every other post. I blocked him. The first person I have ever blocked, but he took things to a level to where I had to get this off my chest.

Who is this guy and why should you care? Sit down and have a listen.

https://www.spreaker.com/user/8056632/who-is-nickolaus-pacione

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Conversation with Nuzo Onoh

Are you ready to learn about African Horror? Nuzo Onoh (A.K.A. “The Queen of African Horror”) meets with Mr. Deadman to talk about how she got into writing and story telling, her cultural influences, and all things African Horror!

Listen to the show live this Friday at 9pm CST to send in questions. Leave your questions in the comment section and they’ll be asked.

Can’t catch the show live? That’s okay, listen to it afterwards on Spreaker, iTunes, and YouTube.

 

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Uxoricide by Bob McNeil

 

During a Thursday, around 3:43AM, a female and male sauntered towards the driveway of her Spanish Colonial-styled mansion. The woman, Neala Desdemona Johnson, was blonde, in her thirties. Her appearance was comparable to the models found in Playboy. Her male counterpart, Rod Silverman, who was younger than she, favored an actor, Johnny Depp. In an attempt to convey his libidinousness, the male stopped and put his arms around his girlfriend’s waist. This effort at warming the woman to the proposal of having sex worked. Under her red leather skirt, jacket and shoes, she felt a lot warmer. And Rod’s blue Italian suit felt tighter, much tighter.

Mansions were common to Rod Silverman. Being the son of an investment banker father and an art curator mother, he was used to wealth. Irrespective of his family’s moneyed existence, as a young, rising model, Rod was getting riches of his own. Among the profits of appearing in fashion magazines and going to trendy clubs was dating attractive, wealthy divorcees like Neala.

Over to the right of Neala and Rod, crouching behind some shrubbery, the forty-seven-year-old African-American former football star Orello Johnson was wearing a ninja outfit. Disguised by his black cotton Balaclava Ninja mask, anger monopolized his expression. Sans his gear, he had short dark coiled hair, straight features, oval eyes, somewhat narrow lips, broad shoulders, bronze skin and an Olympiad’s musculature. Certain women thought the man was handsome. His awareness of these females made his ego rival the Rungrado May Day Stadium for largest mass.

Unheard by anyone else, Orello whispered, “I should take the blood from her fake breasts, breasts that I bought for her. I am the man who inflated those trailer tires and parked them in my mansion.”

Upon amassing an armory of anger, Orello emerged and unsheathed his head.

“What, what, what drug made you come here, Orello?” Neala screamed. Cold, pale fear encased her from skeletal pillars to the flesh covering her. Letting her fingers unify into fists somehow made the woman resuscitate her composure. The girder for steadying her logic was in place as she continued speaking, “I thought the court explained your visitation rights to you. You can see our daughter and son on the weekends.”

Asleep and oblivious to the fight below, two olive-skinned children with sandy hair were in the right wing of the mansion. Their little bodies, which had the attributes from both parents, were content.

“Pray, puta, pray!” Orello’s reply had all the rancor of a Rottweiler before chewing on its prey.

“Hey, uh, uh, don’t call her that!” Rod tried to posture like a defensive lineman, but the boy knew that if a fight started, Orello would defeat him.

“Shut up, sex toy. Your trampish hole and I have some probing to do. Does this boy know that you drove him in my Charcoal Gray 1969 Ford Bronco? Does this boy know that you’re gonna screw him in the house that I pay mortgage on? Does this boy know that you spend my one hundred six thousand dollars every four weeks?”

“Yeah, I’m a trampish hole, but not your trampish hole anymore. You will never screw me anymore and that’s causing your rage. Well, you had this hole for a whole long time. Some days I was your pleasure and other days I was your opponent in a boxing ring. Did you feel like the Heavyweight Champion of the World after beating a woman, Orello? Other than bringing grief, what else are you going to give our relationship?”

Each word that she lunged turned into a shank stabbing Orello in the abdomen. Psychosomatic or real pain, either way, it hurt as if it were a weapon. Enraged by her, Orello wanted the discomfort of the scene to cease. Walking away was not enough, he wanted blood. Orello wanted to see the submission of defeated fighters. His psychopathic need, the desire to ingest violence, wanted a couple of servings.

Evil was never birthed out of nothingness. Orello’s family proved that aforementioned concept to be incontrovertible. All Johnson men were large. Ranging from the tall and muscular to the stout, they were huge. What they possessed in size, they lacked in compassion for women considerably smaller. Bullying diminutive females was yet another trait these men possessed. Johnson men were known for abusing women. The clan pounced on insecure women. A specific Johnson son named Orello saw his father abuse his mother. That fight left bruises upon his psyche. The bruises metastasized into a murderous adulthood.

With a quick motion, Orello stabbed Rod with his Bowie hunting knife. The blade rammed through the trachea of the Hollywood-model-handsome male. Gurgling sounds, instead of other pained utterances, came out of the victim. Akin to a cocaine high, Orello felt exhilarated.

Before she could run or scream, Orello grabbed Neala. Stifled by his left hand, her howl was hampered.

“As opposed to screaming, why don’t you say this? ‘For giving my boyfriend a means to meet God, thank you, Orello.’ You won’t repeat those words, will you? Even though you won’t praise the gift that my knife gave your man, I am going to give you the same prize. But, first, speak your last words, say them.”

“What will you do with our d–d-daughter and s-s-son? Don’t deny Sandy and Justice a relationship with their mother. Leave before the police arrive. I won’t tell them that you stabbed Rod. Orello, besides thinking about our babies, I am concerned about your other children from your first marriage. Consider Arnette and Jordan before you do another thing right now.”

“Arnette and Jordan are adults now. They hate you. Praise for killing you, not criticism, is what I will get from them. Frankly, as for our kids, being six and seven, they won’t remember you after a while.”

“Imagine our kids’ lives with you in prison then put the knife down.”

“You’re merely another wallet-sucking parasite.”

“Your cynicism will prevent you from hearing this, how-however, I did love you. I profited from your love, never the money. Baby, even after the abuse started, I thought my heart could love you so much that your evil would weaken and go away. No matter how much love I gave, you still found reasons to beat me. Honestly, if I didn’t divorce you, Orello, I would have killed you. Much as I desired your death, I didn’t try to kill you. Two things prevented me from murdering you: our children and my hope that our relationship would become something beautiful. Please, Big O, don’t kill any chance for our reconciliation.”

Believe it or not, Neala was expressing some truth, despite what Orello thought. For a corn-fed 19-year-old Indiana girl, armed with dreams of being a model, L.A. was like paradise. So, between waiting tables and auditioning, Neala thought success was a tip away. Some fifteen years ago, at The Datura Club, when she met Orello, her whole spirit knew they were going to be media town’s hottest twosome. And, yes, around the beginning of the relationship, she did love him.

Years later, she saw that love get tackled until it hurt.

A single portion of the plea was false as a faked orgasm and that was the part about any future reconciliation. Neala would have sooner French kissed Charles Manson than date or remarry Orello again.

A combination of cocaine, steroids, CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) and genetics prevented Orello from comprehending Neala’s statement. Exceeding all else, the weapon in his hand was able to communicate Orello’s response. Quicker than his mind’s ability to realize what he was doing, Orello’s arm swung as if it were a scythe mowing grass. Known for its sharpness, the metal went straight through the victim’s neck. There was no way of concealing the sanguinary act, Orello realized. Blood shot out and stretched to greet his clothes. The knife was the bartender and it was serving blood. Unsinewed as a dishrag, Neala fell and a plasma pool widened around her outstretched body.

Soon, though, once the satisfaction of killing his ex-wife dissipated, elation died. Not much later, it became dread and nausea. Fear’s cold hand grabbed the killer’s spinal column.

Leopard-legged and madness-motivated, Orello ran into the darkness. Among his goals, not getting caught for his monstrous act was paramount. Through side streets, the murderer made his way to his new home. About half a mile separated him from his desired sanctuary. Midway to his destination, Orello reminisced about being the first NFL player to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season. Considering that he was now much older and his stamina had changed since the mark he set during the 1973 season, the former running back was pleased with the amount of strength his legs still possessed.

Orello entered his residence which looked like a place that Elvis would have enjoyed calling home. Although it was large enough to accommodate two jumbo jets, Orello preferred his former home. Expensive divorce proceedings made him lose the other house to Neala.

Disrobing in the dark and thinking about all that took place, the murderer scrutinized his actions. Garments and the weapon went into a plastic bag. The evidence was going to be put in a place as unattainable as Amelia Earhart, Jimmy Hoffa and D.B. Cooper. Sneaker prints on the carpet were vacuumed away. Inspired by a childhood spent watching Basil Rathbone on television, Orello mused that he could stump Sherlock Holmes.

Later, in his bedroom, numerous glasses of screwdrivers with a little juice could not remove Orlello’s conscience. Emotion-sedating pills, the kind that could make an elephant sleep, were also unable to remove the disturbing murder from his dreams.

***

“Yes, I killed my wife! Yes, I killed my wife!” Orello cried out. Remorse was a touchdown vulture that stole his demeanor.

“From the first news report, I knew you stabbed that woman. Unfortunately, by a jury of your so-called peers, you were deemed innocent of that charge. Double Jeopardy prevents the judicial system from putting you in a court for that case ever again. This time, however, the State of Nevada will make these unrelated kidnapping and robbery charges kick your prick into the penal system for a long, long bid.”

Orello did not know who spoke to him. He opened his eyes and found out he was not in his home at all, but he was in a 6 by 8 grey prison cell, wearing blue inmate garb. The voice belonged to a Corrections Officer in a green uniform. A middle-aged, tall, muscular white male with short auburn hair was standing outside of the prison door. He was in front of the bars looking at Orello. There, on his cot, Orello realized what transpired.

“Whoa, I was having a real serious nightmare, man. Check it out, um, what I was yelling wasn’t true. I had nothing, nothing to do with Neala’s, you know, you know, murder.”

“Bad dreams aren’t all you have to worry about today, football hero. Your court case is being called again. Make sure you wash yourself well because the jury is going to screw you.” The guard walked away from Orello’s cell. A blitz of laughter struck the walls and bars of the building. Inspired by the officer expressing his appreciation for his own humor, co-workers and other inmates stormed with their chuckles. From afar, Orello could still hear the guard speaking. “Try to understand this, sports star, pretend today’s New Year’s Eve and you’re the only available toilet in Times Square. Justice is going to piss on you. Court TV will let everyone see you get wet. Disappointingly for all the abused women out there, you’re not going to get a lethal injection, or what I call the ‘Juice.’”

Denied comfort, a need to satirize another inmate’s sorrow was on par with escaping. Humor was a tunnel to a freer place. Everyone in that section of the prison enjoyed lampooning the once venerated football player. By laughing at Orello, these criminals and officers felt better about their parts in the melodrama.

Disorientation was exiting with its fog in tow. Memories of situations that brought Orello back into the judicial double arm bar pin maneuver were appearing. The criminal remembered that after fifteen years of freedom, he made a life-defeating mistake. In a Las Vegas’ Auction House, with a gun in his hand, Orello confronted men who allegedly stole some of his valuable possessions. Since he stopped the auction in an illegal manner, Orello was arrested. That June, he was charged with a load of felonies.

Imprisoned by the realization that his somniloquy confessed to a form of unlawfulness while facing another form, Orello sat up on his cot. Right then, his desire for cocaine made him imagine the taste of the white powder on his tongue.

That guard returned to the cell. For a while there Orello thought he was hallucinating, because it looked like Neala exited the Correctional Officer’s body the way steam would from soup. Previous to disappearing, the apparition, dressed in a miniskirt-short ivory-colored tunic, turned, smiled and laughed. It was the type of laughter that people would associate with villains. Hearing the manic cackle gave Orello the feeling icy stalactites were forming on his spine.

***

Entering that courtroom with an infamous murder case in his past did not make the accused criminal look nicer. There was a full meal of reasons to hate Orello Johnson. Each person in that room chewed on some reason or another. Nervous about the setting, the defendant fidgeted.

Compounded with all the legalities Orello had to battle, there was Neala’s ubiquitous being standing next to the jury box. Later, she was standing beside Judge Janis Copper. Other times Neala stood a foot away from the bailiff. No matter where the ghost stood, she laughed throughout the long trial.

“Can you hear and see her?” Orello whispered the query to Criminal Defense Attorney Harvard Moldova.

“Who?” The middle-aged white lawyer in the pinstriped suit replied. Indeed, Harvard did not know to whom Orello was referring. In addition, he wished for another client.

“Neala is standing over there and over there at the same time. Look over there to the right and left of the judge before Neala changes her position again,” Orello whispered.

“Are you trying to get an insanity plea?” Harvard asked. Nervously awaiting an answer, the brown-haired lawyer stared at a client who made him feel hatred.

“Insane, no, I am not insane. I was just saying that some of the women here look like Neala.” A plea bargain for Orello to stay in an asylum would separate him from his children and his assets. His plans would be tackled. Sure, seven hundred fifty milligrams of Depakote and about four hundred milligrams of Theophylline would make the prison bid bearable, but deadening his senses would prevent Orello from getting the ultimate touchdown–freedom.

“Members of the jury, have you reached a verdict?”

Nervous about the setting, Orello continued tapping his brown slippers and biting the cuticle of his thumb. He wanted supernatural strength so he could race to a time before meeting his wife. If time travel were possible, Orello thought, he would jettison back to a time when he was loved by the American media.

“Yes, your honor, we have.” Harder than an assassin’s demeanor was the expression on the young, pale woman as she spoke, “Guilty, your honor.” Neala exited the woman’s flesh triumphantly.

His countenance became melted chocolate. All the flesh on his face dangled in a mass of sadness. Muscles that once maintained his structure buckled. Orello collapsed. His body and existence met the floor.

“Now, you’re gonna rot,” Frank, the father of Rod Silverman, screamed.

Age and despondency tormented the Silvermans. Every day the two conditions stabbed another part of them. Frank’s green eyes appeared murkier and sadder since the murder trials. His square jaw, which once gave him an appearance of a strong leading man, now hung as if the floor beckoned it. Over the course of the trial, his dark and full collar-length hair became grey. In his case, it was not the natural aging process. The loss of his son siphoned all vivaciousness from his being. Frank, in his sixties, could have passed for a man ten to fifteen years older.

Another victim of this siphoning process was Rod’s mother, Cheryl. Called the Elizabeth Taylor of the Hamptons, Cheryl’s beauty was admired for many years. Losing her son and finding alcohol turned her cinematic sultriness into a network of decrepit wretchedness. Wrinkles, warts and a disposition that would befit Edward Albee’s Martha replaced the woman Frank married. Undeterred by their divorce after the murder of their son, they attended all of Orello’s trials together.

Right alongside the Silverman family was Neala’s older sister, Daphne Ensler. Both were stairstep children, a mere year separated them. There, at age forty-eight, the auburn-haired buxom woman would sell her eyes and arms to get her sister back. Loss was an exclusive concern for the senior sibling, especially now since the murder of a family member and the death of her parents, Lars and Janet. On the day Orello stabbed Neala, he ran the blade through that farm couple. A little less than two years passed and both the mother and father died of heart attacks. Daphne’s heart was dedicated to her son, twenty-year-old Christopher, her husband, Jack, the contractor, and her career as a writer. Daphne’s books on domestic violence were acclaimed.

United, the Silverman family and Daphne Ensler stood in clothes befitting a funeral—Orello’s funeral.

Turning towards Frank, Orello saw the ghost of Rod Silverman appear, wearing the same type of tunic that Neala had, but his covered both knees. The ghost wore the expression of an individual who wanted to slaughter his slayer. If Orello were beef, Rod would have served the slices to sewer rats.

Even scarier than Rod’s expression was the presence of a brown-haired angelic woman with white wings and a yellow robe. None of the other apparitions scared him as much as the presence of this ethereal female. Maybe she was the devil, Orello thought. Yet, unlike any other known description of the fallen angel, she was not what the ex-football player expected. Materializing when she wanted, the creature was instructing Neala. Towering above everyone in the courtroom, she glared at Orello. Perhaps she was awaiting her moment to kill, the ex-football player concluded.

***

Orello returned to inmates and corrections officers tormenting him with words that felt like a bump and run. Such discomfort that was created by critical quips was not quite as painful as the visions of Neala, though. Without a logical schedule, the slain woman often appeared in Orello’s cell and laughed. Sometimes she was accompanied by Rod and that winged figure. Under those aforesaid circumstances, Orello awaited his next court appearance in two months.

Had Orello known how strange it sounded to others outside of his cell, he would not have yelled at his ex-wife. Testimonials from convicts and corrections officers agreed on this observation: Orello argued with a woman who was unseen and unheard.

In particular, there was this outburst from Orello that an inmate remembered. An unnamed eavesdropper said Orello bellowed the following: “Neala, Neala, appearing just to disappear won’t help you win this game. Stay so I can explain things to you or hide like a scared girl. Either way, I am going to win. I am Orello Johnson. Don’t you understand that in 1966, when your little ass attended grade school, I rushed for 1,709 yards, got me 22 touchdowns and earned the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award, and the Walter Camp Award all during that same year? Hell, in the Rose Bowl, just three years later, I ran 171 yards. Plus, I got an 80-yard TD run. What’s a pale as bird poop phantom gonna do to this brother, huh?

“I played the pig on the gridiron. America cheered me. America revered me. The reverence was a treasure in my bank. My name became success. My persona became a multimillion dollar advertisement. Back when America transmitted racism through rabbit ears, I was on TV. In people’s homes, I was selling waste and they guzzled it like they liked it. Spread out on the big scene movie screen, I was a buffoon with the stadium-wide smile and audiences wanted more helpings of my trash.

“Soon I am going to play a role that’s better than being in a franchise. This role is going to give me the Oscar for bedding that Lady Justice Broad.”

“Next to ants, you’re a giant. Next to an ethical man, you’re dirt,” Neala stated before her figure materialized.

“What’s a ghost gonna do to this brick house, huh?”

“Yo, Orello, shut your hole or I’ll show ya who’s goin’ to knock your brick house down. Ya sound like you’re crazy talkin’ to yourself,” an unseen inmate yelled from another cell.

Not a soul but Orello could hear Neala speak. Realizing that his responses were what the inmates overheard, Orello imagined cement drying on his lips.

Left with nothing else to do after Neala disappeared, Orello tried to sleep, but even that provided torment. Since his incarceration for his wife’s murder, Orello had nightmares about castration, not just anybody’s castration—his castration. Nighttime hours, rather fittingly it seemed, were now reserved for new horrific scenarios to play in Orello’s mind. The drama that played throughout his nightmare showed Orello tied to a bed and all the women he abused cheered as Lorena Bobbitt and Neala cut off his genitalia with knives. Every night there was this sensation of metal slicing him.

Besides the vision of the mutilating duo, there was another sorority that prevented comfortable sleep. His need to nod was interrupted by seeing Velma Barfield putting a toxic chemical in his meals. A lot of dreams were spent being chased by ax-swinging Karla Faye Tucker. Sweat formed all over Orello after watching Betty Lou Beets and Aileen Wuornos shoot at him. Sleep was a murderess. Nauseated, nervous and pained, Orello rarely got more than three hours of sleep per day.

***

“The judge is getting ready for the game, Mr. Sports Hero.” Those words were the alarm clock and calendar that alerted Orello to the date and time of his court case. It was two months to the day since his last judicial ordeal.

Orello saw himself as the team captain standing in front of a blackboard, drawing diagrams and preparing to defeat the other team. Further contemplation on the subject of his pending court case made Orello come up with what he believed was a good game plan. He envisioned himself mesmerizing the judge. Based on all accounts, Orello was effective in getting field goals on females. Even going back to his youth, the opposite sex wanted the athletic male. Success increased the man’s appeal. Orello figured by letting his charm run with the ball, the female judge would personally lead him to the parking lot. During Orello’s shower and dressing ritual, the idea became erotic.

***

“Is there anything that your client would like to say before sentencing?” The forty-something-year-old judge asked. Her approach to the case was much like the ponytail holding her black hair—severe.

“Your honor, my client would like to make a statement.” Earlier Orello told his lawyer that he had some words to impart.

“You may proceed, Mr. Johnson.” Only Orello could hear Neala’s cackle.

“Ma’am, I’m a simple former athlete. There’s no law degree hanging on my wall at home. Ignorance is the reason why I decided to do an unlawful thing. Someone told me about an auction that was going to take place. Also, I heard that my stuff, stuff that was stolen from my home was going to be sold. Sure, now after learning about the law a little, I understand that I shouldn’t have gotten a gun to get my things. Nor should I have held the thieves against their will at the auction house. Emotions, such as anger and hate, inspired a reaction before I could think about the best action.” Midway to the end of his monologue, Orello thought he made the judge wet.

“Your honor, let me say this, I am sorry about my unlawful act. Certainly, you can understand that I was trying to regain my own possessions from some thieves. My approach, though a little too hardcore, was well-intentioned. Whether some would call me a criminal or a hero, all I wanted was my own stuff back.” Convinced that his monologue was working, Orello started to plan a release party, complete with strippers, hookers, celebrities, booze and drugs.

“This state was always my favorite. A lot of my football fans live right here in Nevada, and I have always been good to my fans. Nothing would ever make me do anything against this area.”

“Mr. Johnson, you have two minutes before sentencing.”

“O.K, try to get into my motivations and you’ll understand why I handled the situation the way I did. Thank you for allowing me to speak in this honorable courtroom.”

Talking got Orello out of myriad personal dilemmas in the past. As a result, he was convinced that his voice made eggs sizzle. Unless the judge was a blind and deaf lesbian, her body should be lava, Orello thought.

“Thank you again, your honor.”

“You are welcome. I hereby sentence you to thirty-four years.”

Nine years before the possibility of parole became a mantra in Orello’s head. Over again the sentence echoed. He had to serve all those years in state prison before being eligible for parole. The judge might as well have shot Orello. There was, of course, the possibility of an appeal. No matter the legal option, the process of fighting the judge’s decision would take something that Orello did not have—patience.

There, as per usual, Frank Silverman was in the audience taunting Orello with condemnation. Orello’s acquittal for the murder of Neala Desdemona Johnson and Rod Silverman was a dagger in Frank’s heart. Granted, the Civil Court passed a judgment against the former athlete for two wrongful deaths, but it could not make the Silverman’s pain of losing a son stop. $66.6 million dollars that the parents were supposed to receive

did not alleviate the lamentation either. Consistent excuses as to why the complete amount could not be paid pushed the blade further into Frank’s psyche.

Ritualistically, beside Frank, Cheryl and Daphne stood.

It was the civil case that forced Orello into questionable business choices. He made a porno film, wrote a book about his wife’s murder and did personal appearances, etc. The celebrity could not let people sack his fortune. So, desperation became his defensive line.

“The Devil is going to bake your hide,” The Silverman patriarch cried out.

Consistently absent, Orello’s four children saw no reason to attend any of the court proceedings. As far as they were concerned, after Orello was arrested, he died.

Anna Simpson, dissimilar to her children, watched all of Orello’s courtroom problems on TV. Wearing a red floral Muumuu, red processed hair in rollers, surrounded by cherry soda cans, barbeque potato chips and a remote control, her pudgy physique was

orgasmic while watching the defeat of her abusive ex-husband.

A Hispanic bailiff, who was about the size of a kickboxer, took Orello out of the courtroom. The bewildered criminal turned to Rod’s father and stared. That uncommunicative state was caused by the presence of three afterlife figures. Overhead, unseen by all except Orello, Neala, alongside some befeathered female and Rod, cheered repeatedly.

***

Once the case concluded and the lawyer told Orello they could appeal the decision, the cell seemed even smaller. Handicapping this jurisprudential game, Orello knew that no appeal would overturn his predicament.

Later that evening, psychotropic drugs were administered to help alleviate the sensation of cleats and knives piercing Orello’s brain and lower extremities. The pills were prescribed because it was deemed that he was suicidal.

Somewhere around twelve thirty A.M., his ex-wife returned. The abusive spouse knew that the woman who bore his child would trek his way once more. Orello wanted Neala to haunt him.

“Now I guess my sentence will be spent being haunted by you.”

“Why would I share another portion of my immortal life providing a source of escape from your loneliness? No, you’re going to detox from your favorite stimulant—attention. Get ready for withdrawals from the warm love of women, football fans and your children.”

“Please allow your spirit to forgive. Please give me that.”

“You’re right. I should give you certain things. Here’s the first thing I will give: information. Recent reports have proven that a woman is beaten every nine seconds. That calculation inspired me to give you a gift. Right at the point some malevolent man hurts a woman, you will feel the blows upon your body. Punches and slaps some unknown woman endures will affect your flesh. Why should women suffer unaccompanied by your presence? Aside from being suicidal, you will experience discomfort a prison doctor will believe is psychosomatic.”

“Your gene pool was as worthless as pigeon crap on a porch. Until I came into your soon-to-be-on-food-stamps life, you were a liability. How could you have such powers?”

“Try to work past your stupidity and listen. That night you stabbed the life out of me, I saw a Goddess.”

“Did you get high before coming here?” A titter accompanied the question.

“She called herself Nemesis. This Goddess and her minions hunt men like you.”

“What kind of weirdo name is Nem-ee-sis?”

Annoyed with the process of answering Orello, Neala’s eyebrows illustrated her anger before she continued speaking. “My wounded form, which you created, angered her. She said, ‘Get up, Gaelic girl. Your parents dubbed you a champion and a champion you will be.’ For my promise to become a fighter on the side of her legion, I was given abilities.

“Far from this dimension, in a stratospheric area reminiscent of ancient Greece, fifteen of my postmortal years were spent training. Taught by Nemesis and other ancient mystics, I learned about bilocation, dematerialization, levitation, metempsychosis, mesmerism, psychokinesis, radiesthesia, telepathy and a lot more. Thankfully, this ghost of an abused woman was given powers by those omnipotent sources. I was using those powers to get you in this prison.”

Binocular-eyed and confused, Orello stood and listened. Neala’s words were unexplored constellations. Lost in her utterances, Orello could not believe how much his

former wife had transformed. Besides the powers the creature gave her, Neala’s IQ increased. His former simple country girl morphed into some kind of Mensa member.

“Above all, being vengeful was not a simple lesson. My folks taught their belief in forgiveness. Unlearning that concept was the hardest.

“Rod wanted justice to come down on you with the force of a mudslide.

Repeated pleas on my part gave me the right to administer your sentence. Albeit simple, my first attempt at attacking you was by storing a meaty suggestion in your mind. Over and over, I repeated these words: ‘Take your gun and get what someone got from you.’ Easier than waving flesh in front of a piranha, you enjoyed the bait.”

“I’m sorry!”

“Ah, Orello, your anguish is the best dish for me.”

Coinciding with the final vowel, she disappeared in a way that would perplex Houdini. In her place appeared Rod Silverman and the other outer worldly lady.

Frustrated with the amount of time Neala used for her revenge, Rod’s interest was his family. Rod was also exasperated by Nemesis and her associates. He was mystified by these beings, living in levitating jewel-encrusted Grecian buildings. From their ancient ceremonial clothing to their arcane rituals that were on par with witchcraft, Rod disliked their oddness.

Instead of yelling at Orello, Rod wanted to punch him and watch his frame become bloody pieces of dismembered flesh. Almost Herculean impulse inhibitors suppressed Rod’s vengefulness. Incapable of expressing his rage, he let Nemesis speak.

“Orello, certain people say I am a demon and others call me a saviour. Neither description matters,” Nemesis stated in a synthesized and genderless voice. “What concerns my existence is seeing parasites like you suffer. All of my ethereal resources are dedicated to a single goal—the destruction of brutish beings. View your torment as you would a tragic play. Moreover, know that Neala and I will enjoy your every upcoming scene.”

Before Orello could respond, the figures disappeared. Defeated, he tried to understand his fate.

“I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” Orello yelled while feeling invisible fists pummel him. Doubling over as a result of the attacks, he felt bruises form. Again, being consistent with Neala’s plan, the protuberances were imperceptible to everyone else. “I’m sorry,” Orello screamed once more.

“Yeah, you’re sorry for being such a sorry has-been.” Approximating the style of a stand-up comedian, the guard paused for an audience reaction. Bolstered by the sound of inmates laughing at his put-down, the correction officer continued his critical jokes about Orello. “Don’t be sad, Superstar. You’ll have your football memories to enjoy tonight. The guard quipped outside of Orello’s cell. Laughter that was coming from all sides of the isolation ward became louder than the 1812 Overture. The guffawing made the sobs Orello emitted inaudible in the Lacrimae Rerum Criminal Compound in Nevada.

A prison that was normally known for misery was pleased about accommodating its newest inmate.

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Best Story of 2016!

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Let’s take the top story for every month and vote on the Best of 2016! You might notice that the number of stories doesn’t equal the number of months, and that’s because some were repeaters. I will not disclose which ones, but if you really want to know you can listen to the breakdown of the top horror stories on Deadman’s Tome here:

 

The stories chosen for consideration are The Corruption in the Deep by S. Alessandro MartinezNorth by Due North – David M. HoenigHold Me Tight – S. J. BuddBlackmouth by S. Alessandro MartinezThe Weapon Collector by Dave Hann[NSFW] Unbloom by Kristine Hall-GarciaBeached by Corey NilesUxoricide by Bob McNeilThe Boy in the Trunk – Nicola Lombardi, and The Chasm Bridged by Carson Winter

The winner will receive a free Deadman’s Tome mug

 

 

 

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An Identity For Sam Piles by Spinster Eskie

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I take the bus every morning to work. I mow lawns. It’s not a bad gig. I don’t have to talk much to people when landscaping, which I like, cuz I don’t like to talk much. I keep a low profile. I go home. I microwave cheese on top of Doritos and I watch my favorite medieval fantasy shows on Netflix. Sometimes I check my phone, just to see if anyone has called. Nobody ever calls. My ma calls once every few months, but we don’t have much to say to each other. We haven’t had much to say to each other in ages. We used to talk all the time, when I was her little man and she’d lay in bed with me and sing me church songs and stroke my hair with her thin, feminine fingers. Dad was always out getting wasted, so I kept Ma company. We took care of each other. But those days were long gone. The only other person to call would be my lawyer, Jack, who at this point was my only friend. He was the only one left that gave a damn. I used to think he was in it for the money and the notoriety, and maybe that was true at first, but he once told me that my case was the most shocking and horrific he had ever worked on. He said that because of that he could never forget me. I was a part of him now and therefore he planned to do whatever it took to keep me safe. I owed Jack everything. Without him, I’d be a dead man. I know this. Every day I wonder if it’s the day I’m gonna die. On the bus. In line at the bank. I wonder if I’ve been discovered, and if some stranger is gonna take me out. And if they did, could I blame them? I’m the most hated man in the country. A demon. A monster. A cold-blooded killer. If someone were to enact vengeance they would probably have every right to do so. And they would be revered as a hero. My death would probably cause a mass celebration of triumphant joy. Ding dong the evil motherfucker’s dead. Good riddance.

My psychiatrist gets concerned when I talk this way, but I’m not an idiot. I know the truth about myself, about who I am and what I am. I know that my own ma can’t even look at me because I’m a disgrace to not only her, but the entirety of mankind. I know I don’t deserve to live, but I’m too much of a fucking coward to do the job myself. I thought about it a lot in juvie. I once tied all my boxer shorts together to make a noose. I managed to connect it around the ceiling pipes, but my dirtbag cellmate ratted me out before I had a chance to get it done. Truth is, I was planning on chickening out anyway. I’m afraid of Hell. I’m afraid of what awaits me.

“Do you believe you’re destined for Hell?” Dr. Cumtits asked me. Her real name, of course, is not Cumtits. It’s Cunitz, but when she crosses and recrosses her legs when asking me a straightforward question, all I really wanna do is cum on her tits.

“Where else would I belong?” I answered, still imagining pulling up her skirt and fucking her from behind over the armchair, but I quickly distracted myself from the image in my mind for fear that she could see it. Dr. Cunitz was not a woman I could have if I tried. She was married and all business, not easy like the guards I had in juvie. Cunitz found me sad, pitiful. She wanted to help me. She wanted to do her job, but I was damaged goods in her eyes, which I guess is better than being seen as the devil.

“I’m a psychiatrist, Sam, not a priest, so that’s really not something I can answer. I can tell you that I’ve seen you make a lot of progress since your release from the corrections facility. You have shown remorse. You have worked to get your life together. I don’t see a man that’s destined for Hell sitting in front of me. I see a man who is trying to be a good person.” A good person seemed far reaching and I wondered if even she knew that. Yeah, I had remorse. Not a day went by that I didn’t regret what I had done. Maybe if I hadn’t have been such a dumb, fucked up kid I could’ve been something. I liked mechanics. Maybe I could’ve been an engineer or a programmer. Maybe I wouldn’t be so damn lonely and miserable in my rats infested apartment where my only visitor is my parole officer. Maybe I could have a girlfriend. A wife. Kids.

I had a girlfriend briefly when I first got out. Her name was Billie and she had curly hair and brown eyes and brushed up against me as she displayed her tantalizing pool skills. She wasn’t bad, but I was much better, having learned from the best in juvie. Of course, I didn’t tell Billie that. She knew me as Mike Bryant, the name given to me by the state to protect my identity. Jack fought hard for this, for Mike. I was getting death threats in juvie before my release. I was told that if I ever showed my face in public again, I would be slaughtered. Ma had to move twice because they kept vandalizing her home. They called her “Rosemary” in the papers. The mother of Satan’s child. So the courts issued me a new name, complete with a license and a passport. Sam Piles was no more. Mike Bryant was now in his place. But I had to keep it a secret. From everyone. From my boss, Billie, anyone who wanted to befriend me. Only Jack and Dr. Cumtits still referred to me by my real name, and even then it felt like they were talking to the ghost of me. A faded copy of my former self.

So Billie and I got on okay. We fucked a lot. Snorted coke. Fucked some more, cooked for each other, watched Netflix, and fucked during the end credits. But it wasn’t just the fucking that I liked, although it was certainly a highlight. Billie made me feel like a person again. She made Mike feel a little more real and she gave me hope that there was a better life out there for me. That is until she started to get nosy. She’d ask about my parents, where I was from, where I went to school, what my childhood was like. All the questions the courts hadn’t planned for when they created Mike. I’d catch her snooping through my drawers and on my computer when curiosity got the best of her. I freaked out and pushed her and called her names for poking her nose where it didn’t belong. She cried and told me that she loved me and she didn’t want secrets between us. She wanted to marry me. She wanted children. Children. I wasn’t even allowed to be around children without someone from the courts monitoring. Who would show up at our wedding anyway? Jack? My parole officer? I doubt even Ma would make the effort to appear. But Billie kept pushing for the truth. She wanted to know who I was. She wanted us to be closer and she knew I was hiding something. So finally I felt like I had no choice but to tell her who I really was. I thought maybe if I did there’d be some release, like the confession of guilt. I thought the weight would be lifted and she’d love and accept me for being honest. I woke her up in the middle of the night, at a time when I had found the courage and if I didn’t do it then I’d never do it. “I’m not who you think I am,” I began and Billie smiled, perplexed, and caressed my arm.

“What are you talking about, Baby?”

“Mike Bryant isn’t my real name. I was given a new identity as protection. A lot of people would kill me if they knew where I was.”

“Kill you? What for?”

“Do you remember the papers ten years ago? The little girl that was abducted from her home and tortured?”

“Ten years ago I was busy being in and out of foster care,”

“You’d know the girl’s name. Chelsea Withers.”

“Oh yeah, I remember that story. Who can forget? Her face was everywhere when that happened. Terrible what they did to her!”

“I’m the kid that killed her.”

“What are you talking about, Baby?”

“I’m Sam Piles. When I was eleven, me and a guy named Travis Thatcher raped and murdered a little girl.” Billie stared at me in silence and then laughed, hoping I would laugh with her but I didn’t. I then saw fear wash over her face as she realized who she was in bed with. I went to hold her, but she pulled away and jumped out from under the covers to retrieve her clothes.

“I gotta go,” She abruptly said.

“Billie, are we gonna talk about this?”

“No, I don’t think so. I gotta go.” I tried to touch her once again, but she was cold and defensive. She got dressed and was out of my place at lightening speed. I tried to call her cell several times after that, but I got only her voicemail. Soon after, I found notes slipped under my door calling me a “baby killer” and a “psycho”. I knew I had to let Jack know. And so, Mike Bryant was erased from history and I was now Collin Bearse.

“Sam?” Dr. Cunitz had noticed I was shutting down, while talking about Billie. I didn’t like to talk about her. The bitch betrayed me. She had told me I could trust her with anything, and I believed her. But what did I expect? Love? Forgiveness? I barely received that from my own ma. Why would Billie be any different? Cunitz suggested I was seeking validation from Billie to fulfill my inner need to be forgiven by Chelsea’s mother. I told her that was ridiculous and I really didn’t care if that dumb bitch ever forgave me. She had gone on all these TV programs to protest me getting parole. She told the news that she hoped someone would do to me what I did to her daughter. Fuck her. I was quite aware that I would never have her forgiveness. But I admit, I became obsessed with the Withers family. I wasn’t allowed to go near them, but I researched them a lot on the internet. Lisa and Daniel Withers. They were once young, hippy, idealists. Very Christian, but the kind that actually helped people and followed the true teachings of Christ. Very much in love and full of light and goodness. Dan was an architect and Lisa was a pianist and a painter. Chelsea was their only child at the sweet, innocent age of five and they adored her and spoiled her like a princess. When Chelsea went missing Lisa could not accept that her child might be dead. She spoke of all the things she wanted for her daughter and that she knew one day her little girl would be back in her arms.

In court they had to hold her back from me as she cried and wailed and called me a fucking lunatic. Lisa started to drink and Daniel started to have affairs and they ended their marriage soon after Travis and I were sentenced. These days, Daniel is chairman of the Chelsea Foundation, which helps families who have been victims of sex-crimes. He is remarried and has two kids and he seems to be functioning rather well. Lisa, on the other hand, is still determined to ruin me. She remarried her lawyer, but they divorced fairly quickly. She does not have any more children and she still appears on TV sometimes just to condemn me. She was once an attractive woman with long blond hair, much like her daughter’s. Now she’s fat and gray and you can tell she’s not someone who sleeps a whole lot. I know this because I’m one of those people. I have been having consistent nightmares for eleven years and to even get an hour or two of sleep per night is a luxury.

“Sam?” Cunitz was still trying to get my attention. “Have you still been fantasizing about meeting up with Travis?”

“Sometimes, yeah.” I admitted with a shrug.

“What would you say to him if you could see him?”

“I don’t know. I’d probably ask him if he was able to sleep.”

“Do you think knowing that he had any guilt would help with your own anxieties?”

“Maybe,” I said, but what I wasn’t telling her is that I had already tried communicating with Travis against authority demands. I talked Jack into finding me Travis’ new alias. He was reluctant, of course, but Jack understood me. He understood that talking to Travis after all these years was something I had to do, so that I could rest just a little easier. Travis was the only other person out there that could relate to me. The only other person who knew what it was like to have this secret.

Travis was now Richard Klump and he lived only three towns away in a dump apartment much like mine. As I drove there, a million questions were on my mind. Are you sorry for what you did? How’d you know I had it in me? Do you ever think about doing it again? Do you still see her face in your dreams? I knocked on the door and he answered it only ajar. I instantly recognized him. He had a beard and a gut now, but his eyes were unmistakable, because they were so dark and daunting. “Travis,” I exhaled and he stared at me with astonishment. He knew who I was. I was sure of it. “I’m sorry. I needed to find you. I thought we should talk now that we’re grown.”

“Who are you?” Travis spoke with agitation in his voice.

“Sam. It’s Sam. Well, Collin now. I received an alias, same as you.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Travis insisted and he went to shut the door.

“No, wait! Travis! Please! It’s been so long! I just need to talk to you! Please!”

“Get the fuck out of here or I’m calling the police!” Travis growled and he stared into me with his vacant, yet penetrative eyes and I knew he wasn’t messing around. I removed my foot from blocking the door and he slammed it in my face, and that was it. That was all it would ever be. Travis had a new life and he did not want me to be a part of it. Maybe he didn’t remember me. Maybe he repressed it all to survive, or maybe he was just scared of going back to prison. Whatever the reason, I knew that I’d never get another chance to ask him all the things I wanted to know.

 


Read the rest of the story in the Book of Horrors II

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Deadman’s Tome is an online horror zine that publishes dark gritty horror on weekly basis. This, of course, is only possible because of the dedicated work of the contributors. The featured authors have spent hours honing their craft to deliver truly terrifying stories. The sort of stories that haunt you with a chilling sensation down your spine. To reward them for their dedication and commitment, I offer them a publication on a site that strongly encourage community engagement, along with a monetary compensation calculated by the number of views, comments, and likes their story receives.

I pay the authors right out from my pocket. While I do not mind right now, there may come a time where I may not be able to. I honestly do not know when that time will come and I hope it never does.

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A Corpse Can’t Laugh by Salem Martin and G. B. Holly

HORRGASM delivers six solid terrifying mix of horror and sex!

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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?

ACorpsecantLaugh

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.

“MASSACRE!”

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.

The Boss.

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.

“Fire!”

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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.

 

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North by Due North – David M. Hoenig

Deadman’s Tome is home to Book of Horrors, a horror anthology loaded with terrifying horror short stories that’ll chill you to the bone!

 

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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?

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Leviathan by Adam Sturch

 

I woke to shrill screeching, and my bed shaking like it was the end of the world.  Bright sunlight flooded in as the window shade flew up.  The digital clock read 2:37 AM.

The rumbling continued, and my heart slowed as I realized what it had to be.  I doubted I’d get any more sleep, so I got out of bed, dressed and geared up, and went above deck.  I found the Captain of the Norwegian Coast Guard Vessel Svalbard at the bow, looking over the railing to the water, and speaking on a handheld communicator.

“Aksel,” I said to him, interrupting.

He held up a hand, and continued speaking into the walkie, looking over the bow as he gestured vigorously.  The engines reversed and the ship backed, turned, and forced its way into the ice at a new angle.  It seemed to make better progress.

“Ja?” Captain Aksel Falk was in full uniform, and looked back over his shoulder at me as the ship shuddered as it cut into the frozen sea.

“Situation?”

“We are making progress north; we’ve hit pack ice, about five hundred kilometers north of Longyearbyen, a little over eight hundred from your destination.”

“Satellite data?”

“The North Pole is solid ice this time of the year.”  At my look, he shrugged.  “This year, anyway.  We will have to see how close we can get before you will take a helo from the ship to your goal.”

I closed my eyes and turned my face upwards.  I could feel the ‘midnight’ sun warm against my lids, turning them bright red, and the color triggered an awful memory which lay too near the surface.  In my mind’s eye, I saw Cerise’s torn body, her blood staining our bed the same color, and I shuddered.  My lover, my truest companion upon my mad quest to struggle on against the return of insane, alien horrors had been murdered despite all I could do.  Her last reading had brought me to this point, on my way to defeat the Windwalker before its cosmic conjunction arrived and gave it the power to manifest.

I opened my eyes to a sudden sense of dislocation.  Aksel was gone.  What…?

Cries from far behind me.  Calls.  Shouting.  And then I saw a streak of blood at the railing before me!  The ship lurched as it went into reverse, and as we pulled back from the ice I saw the Captain’s body lying on the pack ice, blood splashed around him.  I saw a greyish black rope around his chest, and my first thought was how out of place it seemed.  Then the thing squirmed and I realized it was a tentacle, come up through a crack in the ice and pulling my friend further away from the Svalbard.

I looked around as the ship lurched again, this time to a sudden stop.  A glance over the side showed more tentacles from the water on both sides of the bow, clutching at the Svalbard, weaving their way up to the decking.  They were far too long to belong to a shoggoth such as had attacked Cerise and me just over a month ago, but we were sailing roughly two and a half miles above the Amundsen Basin, the deepest point of the Arctic Ocean.

Home to polypoid deep ones and to their Master, the Great Old One, Othuum.

But it made no sense!  First, it would have to be aware of me, and I was only mortal, my successes to this point of minimal impact.  Pyrrhic, in fact, considering how I’d lost Cerise–my love, my Oracle only months before.

The ship shuddered again.  I heard a helicopter’s blades begin whirling from the flight deck.  An alien god’s minions versus a modern, top of the line war machine- I had no idea how it would turn out.  But the Captain might not be dead, and I still had to get to the North Pole to stop the Windwalker in order to prevent that catastrophe.

I backed up for a running start, and another disturbing thought crashed into my mind.  Had this Old One sent the shoggoth to slaughter my love?  Had it known of me?  Of us and our war against their kind, and my coming north?

There was no time to consider all this now, not if I was going to help the Captain.  I ran for the rail and vaulted it, leaving the deck of the Svalbard for the bloodstained pack ice where Aksel’s body lay.

My right foot plunged through the crumpled ice as I landed, and I sank in up to my thigh.  The knee-high arctic muck boots I wore didn’t stop the shock of the frigid water as it soaked through the pants and rushed in to freeze my foot.  I braced myself on the slippery surface to pull it back up, then felt something under the ice grab and wrench me back downwards.

I sank to my crotch as the ice crunched beneath me and couldn’t stop the involuntary shout at the pain and surprise.  The muscles in my upper leg began to spasm as I fought the pull, and then I heard a muffled *crump* behind me.  I turned in time to see a missile dart from one of the airborne helicopters into the water where it then exploded.  Blood and chunks of meat burst into the air, and the water boiled angrily around us.  Several tentacles, ravaging at the bow of the ship, suddenly recoiled into the water.  The pressure pulling me downwards also vanished, and I fell forward onto my stomach with the abrupt release.  I crawled along the pack ice and pulled my numbed leg out of the water.

I heard another helo take off, and then the deck guns of the Svalbard opened up into the water as well.  I began scrambling towards the Captain, and then a huge explosion slapped the air behind me, pushing me forward in a helpless slide.  A fireball rolled in my direction, hissing over the edge of the ice before dissipating far too close to me.  When it cleared, I saw one of the helicopters motionless, lying ninety degrees to the vertical and impaled on a scorched tentacle for just a moment before both dropped into the ocean and were gone.

I got to Aksel just as I saw him jerk suddenly upright.  Like the doomed helo, he, too, was transfixed on an oozy, grey tentacle.

Then his throat moved and a grotesque parody of his voice emerged:

Sorcerer

This was not so not good.  My gaze was frozen on the horror my friend and ally had become, even as the sounds of hyperwar went on behind me.

You have become emboldened by success and your dreams reek of your self-assurance I care not what victories you win over others but your fear and pain and despair taste far sweeter You will fall to chance or to error or to horror or to the elements or to time and your task will remain undone while I endure I offer this gift to feed your nightmares…

… and Aksel’s body fell to the ice before me as the tentacle whipped downward out of his body and into the sea.

I turned back to see the other ropy limps disengage from the Svalbard and also slide into the water.  The cutter had sustained significant damage to the upper superstructure and the railing, and fresh scoring along the steel hull was apparent.  One surviving helo flew tight circles around the ship, nose down like it was sniffing for signs of the disappeared enemy.  I waved to get the attention of its crew, and it lifted to level and flew my way.

The muscles of my leg still spasmed and cramped, but I forced myself upright, and then to Aksel to lift his corpse from the ice.  I turned back, unsteady on my feet, to see a harness lowered for us from the helicopter.  I strapped the Captain’s body tightly, and it was winched up as I waited my turn.  My teeth chattered and my leg ached, and I knew that neither of those things could be blamed completely on just the cold.

Back aboard the Svalbard, the medical clinic was rife with the sound of pain when I reached it.  As battered and chilled as I felt, I was in much better shape than several of the Norwegian crew seeking attention.  So instead of going in, I went past it to the bridge and walked in on a heated discussion which stopped when the officers saw me.

Since they looked both shaken and angry, I thought it best to speak first.  “What’s the current situation, gentlemen?”

The First Officer looked at the others before answering me in a sharp-toned, heavily-accented English.  “We have sustained casualties, lost a helicopter, and the ship is damaged.  What the hell was that thing which attacked us?”

I reached for calm before I spoke.  “Arctic sea life.”

“That is just so much shit.”  He looked at his fellow officers, then at me with disgust.  “We’ve never heard of anything like it, and we’re all career in the Coast Guard.”

“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you, Commander Adamsen.  But Captain Falk did explain the purpose of this mission to you and your men?”

“Only in general terms, I am afraid.  That you have connections which made it possible to have our top-of-the-line Cutter available to take you, an American, to the North Pole, was clear enough.”

I didn’t like that past tense of ‘made’.  “Do I still have your support?”

“Sir!  We must turn back.  We have injured who need far more care than we can give them here, and we’ve lost a helo, expended ordnance…”

“No.  I’m afraid it’s an absolute priority that we proceed onward to the Pole.”

An angry conversation broke out in hurried Norwegian among the officers.  I waited.

The Commander silenced the others and turned back to me.  “Out of the question.  We have a duty to those who are wounded and to the families of those we’ve lost, and to report what has happened.”

I held up a hand.  “Who will assume command with Aksel dead?”

Everyone looked at the Commander expectantly.  He collected their gazes, exhaled deeply, then nodded in my direction.  “Me.”

“Then I need to speak with you alone,” I told him.

Adamsen spoke to his men, never breaking eye contact with me.  “Hold position here.  Try again to establish satellite communications with our base, and wait for me.”  He then led me off the bridge and into the Captain’s operational room.  Once inside, he closed the door behind us.  “Now, who the hell are you, and why are we here?  When Captain Falk was in charge, I followed his lead, but now I’m the one who needs to know.”

“My name isn’t important, only my mission.”

He folded his arms.  “And that is?”

“To stop bad things from happening.”

“You didn’t stop this ship being attacked!”

“On the scale of bad things to stop, this was nothing.”  I saw him about to retort angrily, and interrupted before he did, holding up a placating hand.  “I’m sorry, Commander; I didn’t mean that to sound as though I was trivializing your losses.  Please know that I’m deeply sorry about Captain Falk and your other casualties, but what we’re doing is necessary in the larger scheme of things.  Aksel understood that.”

He deflated a bit, mastering his anger, and it made me respect him more.  “Then make me understand, too.”

“Okay.  That thing we fought; it’s like nothing you ever saw before, right?”  He nodded.  “It’s too big, too powerful, and far too intelligent.  It’s one of a bunch of such…things, beings, what have you… that the governments of the world have either turned a blind eye towards because they’re a difficult truth to acknowledge, or which they ignore because they’ve already been subverted.”

Adamsen’s eyes bulged.  “Conspiracies?”

“Or deliberate ignorance.  Look, you saw that thing in action, saw what it did to the chopper you lost, and to this ship.  Did you think anything natural could have fought the Svalbard as it did?”

He sat suddenly, as though the strength had fled his legs.  “My God!  What was it?”

“Ancient.  Perhaps alien, or at least so I believe from the Book of Eibon.”

“What was this Eibon?”

“Not a what, but a who.  He fought against these beings twenty thousand or so years ago; figured out how to use their power against them, left a lot of instructions.  That’s what I do, Adamsen.”

“But, I don’t understand!  There was nothing twenty thousand…”

I stepped close and put my hand on his shoulder.  “I lost someone very dear to me recently.  She was slaughtered by a thing much like that-” the Commander blanched- “only smaller, sent to stop us from heading north on this mission.  We need to reach the pole on schedule, to prevent something even more powerful than what we fought today from manifesting fully.”

His face paled and his eyes were wide as he looked up at me.  “Worse than that?”

“Much.  And, Adamsen–the woman I lost… she was Aksel’s niece.  That’s why he knew, why he had agreed to help me.”  

His eyes took on an introspective, vulnerable look, and I guessed that he was thinking of his dead Captain at that moment.  But he was trained military, and his eyes soon focused back on me.  “Tell me everything,” he said in a more firm voice.

“I will, but we still need to go north, and we have to go now.”

I saw the decision in his face when he made it.  He stood, opened the door to the bridge and gave orders in Norwegian to the crew there.  I listened for arguments, but heard none.  Adamsen spoke again, more softly, and I heard the sound of the ship cutting into the pack ice began once again.  Finished, he turned back to me.  Unconsciously, he straightened his uniform before he spoke.  “I need to address the crew, see the wounded, explain why we cannot return to base.  I’ll have dinner brought here, and then you’ll explain everything–from the beginning, mind–so that I can understand what I have committed my men to as fully as Captain Falk did.”

I nodded.  He left.

Alone in the Captain’s operational room, I reflected on how I’d just recruited the next pawn in the war against the Ancients that I would never stop fighting.  Not if it cost the lives of everyone on this ship including mine, and especially not even after the shoggoth had murdered the broken girl who’d been my lover and Oracle.

The costs of my war against the Ancients had already been beyond my once-naive reckoning, and would only escalate from here.  But I also knew that the stakes were too high to give up striving against Them.  For if I failed to stop the Old Ones from achieving their return to full power during their cosmic conjunctions–as painstakingly laid out in Eibon’s text–all of humanity might end up paying a horrible price.

However painful, victory was necessary, so I’d go on regardless of the toll.

And for now that meant north.  

Due north.

END

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Deadman’s Tome is a growing horror zine that publishes terrifying horror short stories and horror flash fiction whether it’s ghost stories, zombie invasions, bigfoot sightings, slasher sprees, bizarre fiction, classic horror literature or erotica. The darker and grittier the tale the better. If you enjoyed the horror short, or even if you didn’t, leave a comment below as it helps the authors.

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Inky Beast – M.J. Nicholls

The featured horror short story can also be read in the Best of the Tome

 

Best of the Tome
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Alan Barbrush, Chief Editor at Scalped Olives Publications, had always been accused of skulking around the office cynically. Yet today, his undying cynicism had reached such a huffy zenith, it was as though the weight of a lifetime’s misery had finally – after twenty years – crippled him.

For two decades his organisation had – cynically – waded through over 1,292,827 submissions, rejecting every single one and publishing material from its own editing staff. Having failed to break even the previous year – losing £10,000 on a self-help guide for brainless neurotics, Stop Whining & Just Do It – tensions were running high around the office.

The new secretary, Lorraine, fresh from her Creative Writing MA, was looking to screw her first novel, Elaine’s Chest, into print. Alan had hired her because her grades were outstanding and she had a bright, burgeoning clitoris. He knew that regardless of whether he hired her or not, she would ascend to a lucrative role in the industry, either horizontally or legitimately.

She tapped on his office door, a gentle but firm tip-tap, signifying she knew her place but would soon have people tip-tapping on her office. He swigged from his vial of absinthe and coughed up a pubic hairball – he had been snacking on the vulva of an underground poet-cum-hooker the previous night.

“Come in,” he said, muttering sotto voce, “my face.”

“Morning Alan. I trust your wrinkly old pecker found a home in the snatch of some rancid Chelsea tart over the weekend?” she asked. Alan found this remark rather forward for her third day – she must have been chatting with the co-editors.

“Yes, something like that. Do you have the final edit of Danny’s novel? What godawful putrescence masquerading as contemporary genius are we churning out now? More self-help to the terminally retarded?”

“You can’t say that word anymore, Alan. The correct term is mentally spastic,” Lorraine corrected.

Alan wanted to bash her face in with a tire iron and spit mercuric chloride over her breasts until her pretty pink skin singed into a bloody black painball. Yes, he was almost definitely in love.

“Lorraine, I want your honest opinion on this novel and Danny’s so-called talent. I mean, he’s simply another snotty sub-Burroughs arse-budgie churning out hackneyed schlock, isn’t he?” he asked. He reached for the pills on his desk and hurled two down his throat, not bothering to check the label.

“God, you’re an ancient fucker, aren’t you? Alan – the kids today lap this shit up like heroin pasties. Kids are always looking for the latest decadent poet-of-the-streets to come blow their tiny minds with his trashcan rhetoric,” she said, parting her fringe. For all its spirit-level straightness, it served merely to enhance her clone-like chic.

“I know, but this feels like a step too far. You can only serve the same roadhouse slop for so long before the clientele starts choking to death. Anyway, it’s too late now. Maybe we can slip it out in summer unnoticed. No one reads books in the summer.”

“Ready for the team brief? Your minions are awaiting your instruction,” she said, smirking – a smirk that masked a desire to drain the blood from his decrepit body and steal his chair.

As Alan left his office, he stopped to look at the painting on the wall. It had been commissioned by an acid-popping millionaire asshole who spent his days draining his spunk into a fish tank for his latest installation, Spermy Gills. He wanted to punch a hole in the wall.

“Are you all right, Alan?” Lorraine asked.

“Fine. Just fine,” Alan replied. He wasn’t fine. He was so far away from fine, fine might as well have been hidden in an underground catacomb somewhere halfway across the world.

As he looked around the office, every nuance of the place piqued him. The photocopier sat like a constipated rhino atop the hideous green carpet, snorting out endless pages of fuming hot poop – next month’s poorly received zeitgeist-throttling wank. The windows and their peek-a-boo blinds bugged the arse off him. His staff could surreptitiously gawp inside as he was downloading his X-rated entertainment for the evening.

His industrious worker-bees were buzzing around the office, sharing gossip, taking pops at new submissions, and trying to close the drawbridge between colleague, friend and lover. More vats of magma spurted inside him. He knew these people so well, so bloody well, he wanted to belt them around the brains with an iron dildo. His eyes turned to Mark.

Oh, Mark! Mark, writer of profound hodgepodge about single mothers and abused children. Reports from the frontline of life. So devilishly moving and clever. Alan knew Mark was trying to wheedle his way into the slacks of Rebecca, the copyeditor whose capacity for snide humour knew no bounds. She was a proponent of slick comedies about the endless push-and-pull of man-woman relationships, fuck-and-fight fests for self-loathing students.

As he looked around the office at the pitiful display of subhuman life, it struck Alan that he was descending into oblivion. This was the beginning of his much-anticipated end. His emotional scaffolding was about to collapse. When he shut his eyes, he imagined a dozen donkeys dumping their bowels around the office until the entire room was seven cubic feet of whiffy excreta. He yearned badly, so bloody badly, to rid himself of this nightmare, this endless burden of printing words, that he seriously started to think about a career in advertising.

“Right, listen up,” he began. “Danny’s novel is a petrochemical aberration. I want every copy printed to be pulped. Seriously, pulp the fucker.”

“Actually, I think you’ll find Tarantino’s already made Pulp Fiction,” Rebecca chipped in.

“Shut up, Rebecca,” he scolded, his left hand twitching. “Just shut up.”

This was it. The moment of his meltdown. It had come so suddenly. Ten minutes ago, he had been looking forward to searching the internet for uncopyrighted material he could plagiarise for his winter schedule. Now he was in the teeth of a full-blown nervous meltdown. His chin was wobbling. He wondered if everyone could see that – his freakish wobbling chin.

“Just… shut… up.”

A silence descended in which the entire staff turned to face Alan, staring through him in case he dared to show a crack in his veneer. A soft rattling noise emerged from the silence, ignored by all. Lorraine bit her knuckles beside the photocopier: she knew it was close. Her time on the throne. Alan could feel his jaw clamp shut, speechless at the thought of his own demise. He knew this day would come, but had prepared nothing to save himself.

The rattling sound intensified, followed by a susurrant hiss, like air being let out a tyre. The source of this interruption was the photocopier – a faithful old banger that had lived in numerous offices and had seen more arses than a Russian bordello. Lorraine was too captivated by Alan’s imminent blow-up to notice the noise: her time as chief cock-at-the-top was near. Soon she would be sipping chianti with Martin Amis and Salman Rushdie and killing the dreams of saps daily with the twitch of a finger.

Meanwhile, a small portal was opening up inside the paper-loading tray of the photocopier.

A blinking black eye, dripping with ink toner, was expanding through the plastic panels of the machine. As the silence widened, so did the eye, absorbing the plastic and paper as it coughed up thick balls of inky sputum onto the carpet. Lorraine was halted – she didn’t know whether to take Alan outside, pop him in a cab, then steal his desk, or let him dribble down himself before taking him outside, popping him in a cab, and stealing his desk.

“I have had… it up… to HERE with you self-interested shitmunchers!” Alan cried out. Several titters escaped the pros, while the newbies looked on dumbly, anticipating a very funny joke.

Lorraine’s eyes goggled in expectation, her pupils expanding in tandem with the squelchy orb of the photocopier, which made an audible gargling sound at her side. The portal had expanded to cover the entire left half of the machine, coughing Malteasers of ink at Lorraine’s feet. A few hacks looked over to see what the problem was, but Alan’s meltdown was much more exciting than office equipment, so they returned to the show.

“You can take this company and… and… and shove it up your arses! All you want is to get your rotten books into print, so you can sip chianti with bloody Martin Amis and Salman Rushdie. I’ve… had… enough!”

The photocopier was buckling now, its insides churning with thick grogs of ink. It kicked and struggled like a horse gone mad; its engorged panels aspurt with hot liquid menace.

“Would someone shut that bloody photocopier up!” Alan shouted. Lorraine finally took her eyes off Alan to acknowledge at the puddle of ink at her feet. As she stepped onto dry carpet to protect her expensive shoes, the photocopier spasmed nearer, spraying a hot jet of toner across her legs. She leapt back in shock, but the inky beast powered up and lunged after her, backing her against the wall.

“What the fuck? Would someone stop this thing?”

The portal opened fully into a wide, bottomless void. A stream of ink blasted her legs, knocking her to the ground. She shrieked and slithered as the portal took hold of her body, sucking in her legs, reversing the flow of ink so it ran backwards then forwards. The flow was relentless, encasing her in a bubbling torrent of viscous ooze, slurping in her hips amid menacing mechanical gargles, then her torso, and – at last – her head.

After devouring Lorraine, the photocopier inched back into its regular spot, turning its ink shooters off. The office froze in hopeless stagnancy. What are you supposed to do when your colleague is devoured by the photocopier in the middle of your boss’s mental breakdown? Call out the technician? Upon shedding their bowels, no one had the slightest idea how to react.

A moment later, the machine rocked left and right, flashing its buttons in a victorious green swirl. The beeping stopped. Calm beckoned. From the silence came a cavernous munching sound. Then more silence. Then the machine shook, spitting out the inky black skeleton of Lorraine in a mighty belch, her ribcage shooting across the room towards the slush pile. The room erupted in horror. Distorted wails, horrified screams, and despairing murmurs came from the staff as the lights went out, the blinds streamed shut, and the doors self-closed.

Lockdown.

Alan stood still, oblivious to everything – a bystander in his hijacked nightmare. Copyeditors leapt around the room as the office equipment mobilised in a tyrannous revolt against their masters. 30cm rulers pinged from the desks in unison, pinning Dennis – the newbie working on a graphic novel retelling of The Three Billy Goats Gruff – against the toilet door.

A strategy of desks broke loose from the creative throng, churning monitors and keyboards around the room, cornering Simon beside the file cabinets. Simon had no time to wonder, as the drawers opened and shut against his head, pummelling him into submission, whether his poetry book 9 Dreams would make the 2011 winter catalogue. He certainly didn’t have to think about the 2012 catalogue as the desks nailed him to the wall, severing his legs from his torso. The desks clanged and clattered in a ritual triumph dance, soaking their scratched pinewood surfaces in his blood.

Temp #2, Vincent, with his four weeks experience editing novels from Rambunctious Slime Press, found himself at the mercy of the paper shredder, which chased him around the room until it sank its teeth into his blazer. Like the photocopier, it expanded its depths to accommodate human prey, showcasing an impressive set of gnashing razors and slicers. It nibbled on Vincent’s scrawny legs, widening its jaws, as he began to feel a deep regret at having left his old job so quickly.

Arising from the dim corner of the room was the leaning tower of rejected manuscripts. Swirling through the air, this enormous pile of unloved writing no one had bothered to read sped into a small interoffice twister. It set about the editor-in-chief Ronald Steegers. Ronald, caught in the grip of this 1000MPH vice, was swirl-sliced by a record number of papercuts. The blood drained from the forty million lesiures in his skin, sluicing out cartoon-like as his bones were dumped in a bundle by the dustbin.

Rebecca, agog at the mayhem, was oblivious to the guillotine making its way up to the ceiling. It positioned itself at a diagonal distance from her, swung down in a parabola, lobbed off her head, then flopped back into its old spot by the disused monitors. Nice and clean.

Hot coffee scooshed from the percolator, scolding unfortunate Frank. He didn’t even work in the office – he only came down to drop hints that his novel Custard in Outer Mongolia was looking for a publisher (wink wink). Still, as the scalding coffee melted his flesh into mulch, and an impressive silver-red froth foamed upon his bones, he had to admit to himself – it wasn’t very good anyway.

Danny hid beneath a desk, but a band of chattering staplers advanced upon him, staples shooting from their jaws and spiking his neck, making a perfect suture around his windpipe. Hole punches drained the blood from his skin, easing him into the big sleep.

It was almost over. Receptionists banging on the exit door were clobbered and strangled by flying keyboards. Others were taken out by CD trays ejecting at frightening speeds, overhead fans snapping from their cables, being spun to death on swivel chairs, fire extinguishers shooting people out the sixth floor window, and pens boring holes into hearts and squirting toxic acid in there for a laugh. The Venetian blinds wounded no one.

Mark – the last man alive – cowered as the photocopier cornered him three feet away from Alan.
“You did this, didn’t you? You sick bastard, you did this!” he said. The portal opened and the inky deluge came flooding out once more, sucking in the sub-Tarantino hack. Alan didn’t emote.

With the whole office massacred, the equipment returned to its previous positions. Alan bit his lips.

“Right, well. That’s that, then. Back to work,” he said.

And it was. Back to work, indeed.

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Deadman’s Tome is a growing horror zine that publishes horror short stories and horror flash fiction. The online magazine publishes dark and gritty content from professional horror writers, Bram Stoker award nominated horror authors, along with talented newcomers of the horror writing craft. Deadman’s Tome features chilling, terrifying horror shorts ranging from ghost stories, zombie invasions, bigfoot sightings, monster horror, and even horror erotica. Deadman’s Tome is one of the best online horror zines to publish horror short stories, horror flash fiction, and dark flash fiction. 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 horror authors.

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Entertaining Threesome

 

 

If a threesome isn’t entertaining, then you’re doing something wrong.

Authors Gary L. Robbe, Sarah Doebereiner, and Dan Lee talk about their stories, inspiration, and other projects.

Stories discussed are My 1963 Ford Galaxy and the Maniacs of Dearborn County https://deadmanstome.net/2016/05/02/my-1963-ford-galaxy-and-the-maniacs-of-dearborn-county-by-gary-l-robbe/

Schrodinger’s Dilemma
https://deadmanstome.net/2016/05/26/schrodingers-dilemma-by-dan-lee/
Candied
https://deadmanstome.net/2016/05/05/candied-by-sarah-doebereiner/

also discussed: Schrodinger’s Cat, Exploitation Films, B-movies, Nudity and sex in horror, Murderous Grannies and zombies

 

Become a patron today and support the online magazine!
https://www.patreon.com/user?u=3340730&alert=2&ty=h

 

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.