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Kindle Edition!

 
FIVE

The demon walked slowly up and down the Unit.
He touched each patient and peeked over the shoulders
of the nurses as they charted their thoughts
and findings. Each time the demon stopped near one
of the nurses, or any of the other staff, they would
feel even colder than usual. If he stayed long enough,
the staff member would actually exhale a cold plume
of frigid air. They would get an almost overwhelming
urge to either fuck or punch the first person
they saw. The demon was a very bad influence. 
 

Kindle Edition!

  1350, anno Domini

The smell was the worst.
It assaulted like a living, breathing thing. The smell hung on clothing and hair. If you stepped out of the hospital, down to the shores of Mighty Thames, the cloud would stay with you. Not even the cold and bitter wind washed it away.
The vampire didn’t care about the stench. The dying came to the London hospital in droves. He cared for them as best he could. He was a physician honor bound to treat the victims of this vicious plague. And then he would eat them.

The physician’s rotund. He was of normal girth before the scourge came. The floodgates opened. Black Plague brought an endless stream of blood-filled vessels. Very few survived. The Plague was deadly like that.
The vampire bled as many as he could. Sometimes twenty a day died in this manner, all but dried husks. They were cremated in great funeral pyres. Flames licked the sky and the heavens turned a blind eye to the suffering below.
The physician plump, flushed pink, growing more so by the day. The more blood he drank, the more he wanted. After a time, he could no longer fit into his clothes. He had to have another suit made. He grew out of that one too. And still they came.

He finished her off with one last gulp. The physician dropped her to the rags-covered pallet. Her cooling body settled with ankles crossed, arms slung out either side. He looked at her a moment. She reminded him of – something.
The vampire settled back on the stool, studied his hands. They’re burning now. They were bright pink, almost red. The fingers were as plump over-stuffed sausages, hard and rigid. The hands felt on fire, fingers coarse to move. Each subsequent attempt became more difficult. He sweated all the time. The bloody sweat stained his latest suit of clothes, already ripping at the seams.
He stood slowly up, legs cramping. His knees were sketchy from the improbable weight. Crimson sweat popped out on his forehead. It made him look like he just swatted away a swarm of biting insects.
His eyes began to tear. The tears slow at first, then fast. The great drops poured forth from bulging eyes. His swollen face cascaded salt-bloody tears. He slapped tears away and both his ears spurt. Ejaculates of blood shot out ruptured eardrums.
The vampire/physician lay still in the ever-spreading pool of his own blood. His patients’ blood. His victims’ blood.
A small crowd gathered to gawk and they were disgusted by the scene. But what they saw was not the worst.
It was the smell. That was the worst.

 

Kindle Edition!

 Chapter Five

Carpe Diem, nigga:

Tacitus had his Herod’s lovely neck in both his hands and he was squeezing the life out. He was a wheezy oil rig pumping away on Salome’s plump spread thighs. Her moans quick now turned to garbled chokes.
The two of them were copulating in Salome’s bedchamber. The new Herod shuddered and then she began to fight. She tried to twist away from the tight grip Tacitus had on her neck. Her attacker responded to this by pulling out of her. He placed all his weight on her. His hard knees were on her slender feminine arms. There was nowhere for her to go. She flattened out on the bed and he squeezed all the more. Salome managed to slip an arm free. She reached up and grabbed a handful of his hair. Tacitus grunted with the pain, but kept squeezing until she went limp beneath him.
He released her neck and rolled off her. Tacitus stood beside the bed of his Herod. He was naked, breathing hard and dizzy. He caught his breath and the dizziness dissipating with the slowing of his vital signs. He looked down to her, the one he had craved more than his mother’s milk. Salome was still alive, but she moved not.
Tacitus dried off his shit. He dropped the come towel on the throw rug covered cement floor. Giant foot-shaped indentations peeked out from under carpet. There was no one left to explain their origin. Salome had told Tacitus that the Devil did it, but he thought it was bullshit. It was probably just some drug-addled memory from when she was her Uncle Herod’s Plata-addicted play thing.

Kindle Edition!

 

 III

Mr. Big Winner:

I’m the lucky one.
My knees popped and cracked as I stood victorious. I stood too quickly, too excited. I forgot to hold my breath. I took in a big one to let loose my WHOOP. The sedative in the foggy mist made me swoon as soon as it touched my wet lungs. I could barely rebel out my victory yell. Hands grabbed hold of me from all directions. They belonged to the Halflings that made up most of Chess Master’s goon squad. Hands are a bit too generalized. Nevertheless, I witness a cacophony of swirling flurry of flesh, feathers, fur, claws and scales. In a furious rush a protective shield is forced roughly over my face. One of the more expensive dental implants in my mouth has been loosened in the exchange. I tried my level best not to choke on it as they try to hustle my old ass out of the gaming hall.
The goon squad surrounded me on all sides. The swarm of players de-crying their fate got shakily up from their places before the BINGO screens. Dozens of them began hurling themselves at us. The goons hit the oldies with neural disruptors, making them vomit and shit themselves. The biggest goons used their thick and strong iguana tails to snap at and toss bodily the other geezers out of our way. The weakened geriatric bones of these hapless players shattered on contact. It was soggy and gruesome to hear. Their screams were deafening. If I’d still had a heart, it would have been wrenched right out of me.

Kindle Edition!

 

 III

“DR. JONATHAN PENDER”

Three-point-Zero

Pender stood in line at the SaveCo pharmacy near his home and waited his turn. It was near noon and there were still several people ahead of him. He was beginning to feel trapped and his ragged nerves were protesting. It was well past his time. Pender was afraid the shakes that were ramping up would become severe enough to be noticed. He was embarrassed by his circumstances and was constantly trying to hide it from people.
I‟ve got to get a handle on this, Pender thought. The line really isn‟t that long.
Pender glanced over the top of the ten people in front of him to the customer service counter beyond. It might as well be one hundred miles away. He could feel a big pussy-fat panic building. Pender still had his emergency Quaalude left. It rested down at the bottom of his right front trouser pocket. He thought that right this very minute would be a darn good time to use it. Pender thrust his hand down deep into his pocket, retrieving both a candy mint and the pill. The both of them he popped in his mouth. He chewed them together rather loudly and with great relish. Just the thought of how the pill will soon relax him made Pender visibly content.
Pender glanced around at the customers milling about. He wondered how many of the respectable-looking people had a drug habit as nasty as his.
I hope a lot of them, he thought. The line for prescription refills had shortened by one person. I‟d hate to be the only one. A decade of higher education and advance training costing nearly one hundred thousand Notes and worth infinitely more, Pender mused wryly. All so I can become a god damned junkie. I have become the butt of my own stupid joke.

 

A beastly happy Herod is presented with the severed heads of Pontius
Pilate and Immanuel Christ. But he doesn.t see Michael as he stalks toward him
with a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound. He grips the hilt of his fiery
sword and pulls it free, still moving. Herod looks up and sees a pissed off
archangel bulling through his china shop. Herod.s smile fades into confusion as
Michael raises his sword. The archangel slices a downward arc at him. Herod is
still trying to gauge the level of danger as his torso is split from right neck to left
waist. He separates top from bottom, slides apart and drops dead to the floor with
two separate thuds.

The blood and filth-stained cops stand dumbfounded. Pleading silent, they
stare fearfully at Michael. He sheaths his Retribution, the flame dying as he does
so. Michael notices the men. They are quaking now as children that are being
taunted by bullies. The angel lets loose the hilt of his sword and points to both
pieces of Herod, bleeding all over the Compound floor.

“Repeat Offender,” he tells them.

And then Michael winks out, just as She instructed. Leaving the cops
unmolested, forgiven and unharmed.

For God still loves this world.

Inexplicably, She does.

When One is weary of Lame Shit …

Moon Phases

Image by Kami Jo via Flickr

 

The Place in Between:

When Del is sent pictures of his wife’s latest affair, he reasons a .45 caliber bullet will answer his problems. To Del’s dismay, that’s only the beginning of his time spent wedged in the place in between. Luci’s lover tortures Del relentlessly. Del wants to recover just enough to seek revenge on them both. Sure enough a demon shows up with her silky-sweet promises. Then the ambiance twists dark and cruel beyond anything any one of them could’ve imagined.

Blood and Bubblegum:

It’s colder than frozen shit down here in the dangerous tunnels of The Harbor in the post-cataclysmic world (ACE). Juan and I find ourselves here, in this horrible place because of The Good Doctor. His organic narcotics trade is booming. Juan, Mary and I want in. We have to find TGD and the nocturne, see if they will let us. We are down. We are hungry. And we are bringing Blood and Bubblegum to sweeten the pot. All of our dreams will come true. The only uncertainty is Mary and Juan living long enough to reap the rewards.

Bad Notion, Traveling Potion:

The second day of the fifth waxing moon, in the 24th year, ACE. The frozen earth of The Harbor is in the grips of a new Little Ice Age. The human populace is down to just one-third. They are forced to exist in long, dank tunnels and cramped domiciles underground with The Good Doctor and his creations of Halflings and other freaks and geeks. TGD’s latest organic narcotic discovery goes LIVE and becomes self-aware. The bad notion traveling potion makes meat puppet users do its unholy bidding. Then the monster decides to turn on TGD, the Creator. Not the best idea, this. But it sure is going to be fun to watch. 

Yr:09.ACE.12n.06
(The 9th year, After Cataclysmic Events,
during the 12th Waning Moon, on the 6th Day.)

About Three weeks ago:

Juan and Mary knew that their game was with
a nocturne and they were smart enough to be
afraid. Even still, they were dying to meet him. He
had it all and they wanted in.
The couple sat in the bar sipping re-hydrated
ethanol-squeezing cocktails, just as they had done
every evening for almost two weeks straight. They
watched the nocturne as he appeared. He just appeared
right out of thin air over by the bartender.
“Did you see that shit?” I asked. No-one answered.
The vampire handed the nigga a package
which vanished beneath the bar top in an instant.
It was unerringly the same routine as the last
three times. It wasn’t a pattern, exactly, not one
that could be fingered, but they knew he would
eventually show up because the dealer always did.
He had to deliver
his drugs. Juan and Mary knew
if they were patient and waited long enough, the
nocturne would show.
The small, tightly wrapped package should be
Plata if they knew their guy, which they did. The
bartender, Steel Ovid, handed over an envelope; cash,
most certainly.
The nocturne peered inside the envelope, checked
the denominations, gauging the thickness. He
didn’t count it though. The nocturne didn’t need to.
No-one in their right mind would be stupid enough
to butt-fuck the drug dealing vampire. Even so, he
looked like he could use the help of a couple of down
motherfuckers
like Juan and Mary. You know, to help
with the day to day. The young couple just needed a
way in.
The nocturne looked at Steel Ovid. He said something
to him that Juan couldn’t begin to hear across
the distance of the bar and the slow, deep throb of
the hardcore shit that passes for music these days.
It was blasting forth from the DJ’s station nearby,
making conversation details dreadfully difficult to
discover.
Whatever it was must’ve scared the god-fuck
out of the dude, because he stepped back and put
his hands up in surrender and fear. The bartender
backed up a quick two-step as the vampire leaned
in, his long, tightly curling hair spilling in a wave,
obscuring his face. The menace in the gesture and
what he must have said was full and uncomfortable
like a dildo on a church pew.
Steel Ovid looked frightened, dropping his arms
and folding his hands. He lowered his head, nodding
in supplication, staring at his feet. Juan could see his
quaking even from across the room. The nigga was
a big dude, too, really more imposing than even the
vampire.
Steel Ovid was a huge, heavily muscled albino.
He had orange corn rows and was festooned with
homemade pre-Fall prison ink. Professional tattoos
displayed his fight wins. They were all over the place.
He was a big and scary motherfucker who had a
reputation for immense, visceral violence and the
hair-triggered temper to go with it. Folks were as
scared of Steel Ovid as if he was a blood-drinker
himself. But the poor, scared fuck was not and the
nigga threatening him was.

“My God,” Mary said, watching the scene with
Juan, “You ever see that big fucker scared before?”
“Steel Ovid, no way,” he replied, “Never. It’s interesting
though.”
“For sure,” she spoke, took a quick sip of her
cocktail. “No doubt we are looking at the right dealer
to hook up with.”
Juan nodded his agreement, noting how the
nocturne
stood straight and then in one quick movement,
turned to look right at him.
“Fuck,” spat Juan, his own fear bursting within.
That nigga’s eyes were yellow and backlit. They
looked like a night hunting panther’s, or a mutated
tunnel rat, glowing as they were at Juan.
Then, just like that, he disappeared. Juan turned
quick to Mary. She was still glancing that way. He
opened his mouth to speak and saw the color vanish
from her face. Her lips quivered and her eyes
grew wide. She then backed up and Juan turned to
see.
“Fuck me!” I shouted from within Juan. I’d never
seen anything like it in my whole unborn life.
There the nocturne was, standing right in front
of Juan and Mary’s table. Speechless, we stared at
the vampire and he right back. And then, without a
single word, the nocturne dissolved on the spot, gone
without a trace. There was some displacement of air,
a slight cold whoosh and that was it.
It was a few moments before Juan and Mary
could breathe. The bartender, they could see, was
even more fucked up by his encounter than they.
From where they were perched, we could see the
Steel Ovid shaking like he had wet hair in a meat
locker.
He turned to the racks of liquor behind him,
ignoring customers coming up. He poured himself
three big shots of pre-events, top shelf tequila. The
bartender, obviously being as nervous as all getout,
was slugging them one after the other. When
finished,
he pinched the bridge of his nose, shut
tight his eyes, leaned on the ledge running below the
bottles. He collected himself with a final big breath
and straightened up.
Steel Ovid went back to work just as the Authorities
came in to the bar. Everybody quieted right
down. They always do when the Indian Army came
a-calling. It happened every time.
It was as if the bar crowd was doused with a big
blast of frigid water. It was nearly silent.
A contingent of the Occupying Indian Army made
their way slowly through the bar. They were just
making their presence known, being sure to stay
away from the rooms in the back. The rooms in the
back led down stairways to the bathrooms
and other
dangerous locales. The Occupiers were smart enough
not to concern themselves with that area. They had
been thoroughly warned when they teleported to
The Harbor to do their mandatory tours.
The patrons hid any activity that was overtly illegal,
but were otherwise left unmolested and to their
own demise.
“Wonder what the blood drinker said to him,”
Mary mused as several soldiers passed. She shook
her lonely ice cubes at a passing barmaid and was
ignored. “Just when I really need one, you bitch!” she
yelled after and was still shunned. The Army Captain
looked back at her. Mary just smiled at him, as sweetly
as she could manage.
“Shit, girl,” Juan told her, “have mine.”
“She’s going to get us tossed out on our ears,” I
warned through gritted teeth.
Juan ignored my wisdom and tried some of his
own on for size. He handed her his mostly full drink.
Juan was dead right and Mary knew it. She shouldn’t
be drawing any attention our way. She shut her trap
and threw the drink back. The Indian officer soon
lost interest when Mary calmed down. He turned
from us and kept moving away.
“Jesus, who knows what he said,” Juan muttered,
thinking, getting them back on track. “I mean, shit,
baby, motherfucker didn’t say even a word to us and
I feel like climbing into a hole and pulling the earth
in after me.”
“Scary motherfucker,” I agreed.
“Exactly,” Mary chimed in. “What do you think,
Papi, should we just forget it?”
Juan wondered that very good point for a moment.
Then he said: “He sure is scary, for real,”
he told her, “but he’s our way in.” Mary nodded in
agreement. “And once we are in,” Juan continued,
“We won’t have to be afraid of anyone else, baby. Not
in the whole of The Harbor.”
“We’d be the big-dick daddies, for sure.”
“Yeah,” he agreed, “If he doesn’t kill us first.”
“Still,” she said, “It’s clear he needs our help.”
Mary pushed Juan’s now empty glass away and
reached into her purse. She pulled out and lit a thin,
pre-rolled blunt of half tobacco and half homegrown
Mary Jane.
“She’s my main thing…” Nothing.
“He really shouldn’t even be here,” Juan mused,
“it’s not safe.”
Mary pulled hard on the blunt and nodded.
“Shorties or even the two of us should be flipping
shit, not the top dog.”
“That’s for sure,” she said, handing Juan the blunt.
“How are we going to hook him, though?” she asked.
Juan smoked and thought. He knocked ash on the
already very dirty bar floor. “I was thinking of an offering.”
Mary looked at him closely. “A gift,” he said.
“I don’t know,” she responded, taking back
the blunt. “I mean, just giving the motherfucker a
sandwich
won’t do it,” she countered, “He can hunt
whomever he wants, true?”
“Yeah, but he’s exposed and shouldn’t be.”
“Also true,” Mary agreed. “Oh, shit, wait,” she said,
looking back to the bar. “There’s our answer.”
Juan turned to where she was looking and saw
a young comely Plata fiend. The egg-layer moved
slow and sexy through the crowd, touching many
patrons, speaking slow with a naughty tongue lick
of her beak. On and on she went, clucking down the
bar, looking for a daddy.
Juan smiled at Mary’s idea. And even I had to
agree. It was brilliant. They looked at each other.
“But if we gave him the gift that keeps giving…”
trailed Juan.
“We will need some cheese for the trap, baby,”
Mary added, gesturing toward the now recovered
bartender. “And I know where we can get it.”
Juan sucked on the blunt again and held it in. He
loosed out a big plume and handed it back to Mary.
“Go and scoop her up,” Juan told her. “Ply the
little coop-chick with drinks and a few lines. She
doesn’t look like she shoots up.”
“No she doesn’t,” Mary agreed, “At least not yet.”
It was impossible to tell that from where they sat,
though. What with her little bent wings tucked up
against her large succulent white meat breasts. She
carried a small bejeweled clutch tight to her body.
“Yeah,” Juan nodded, seeing where she was going.
“Now you’ll get to use some of your long dormant
medic training, get her set up for the long haul.”
“Think she’ll go for it?” Mary asked, watching her
get rejected and looking more and more anxious.”
Egg-layers weren’t everyone’s cup of orange pekoe,
apparently.
                                            ……end excerpt

Future looking mighty Grim …

 

Title:
The Place In Between
Author:
Reverend Steven Rage
Released:
01/08/10
Paperback:
240 pages
Dimensions:
203 x 127 mm
ISBN:
978-0980593860Available here:LegumeMan Shop
AmazonRead a sample
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