CARVING SEASON – MICRO HORROR BY 30 TEENS FROM SOUTH CENTRAL NEW MEXICO : A FLASH ANTHOLOGY
“Haha, yeah it was fun.”
“See you tomorrow Josh”
“Yeah bet, see ya”
I walk to my house. It’s a nice house, not too big nor too small. In a good neighborhood as well. The creaking of the steps as I walk up to my door is unsettling as always, but today it seemed louder. Maybe it was because my adrenaline is still pumping from getting away from the cops after speeding, but either way, it wasn’t normal. The door was still locked as I had left it, but the handle was cold to the touch, its still quite hot outside though, around seventy degrees. The handle shouldn’t be cold. I unlock the door and go inside. My little brother runs up to greet me. He has always been so happy. Even though it’s past his bedtime and he knew he would get in trouble if I found out, he still came out to greet me. I can’t even be mad.
“Alright, alright. Time to go to bed.”
We walk to his room just laughing for no particular reason, just enjoying the company. Man… I didn’t want a little brother as a kid but now that I have one when I’m older, I enjoy being his role model. When he was first born I remember… I… remember… Wait. I… never had a younger brother. I stop in my tracks.
“Big brother, why’d you stop?”
“Who… are you?”
“I’m your little brother of course. You silly goose, what’s gotten into you?”
“YOU are not my brother. I never had a younger brother”
With those words my vision fades black. The house rocks beneath my feet until I can’t stand on my own feet. I open my eyes, babies… Babies were hanging from the ceiling.
“I AM YOUR BROTHER” were the last words I heard before I died.
- Ty Hunter
“THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT CHRISTINE!!!” “HOW IS THIS MY FAULT I DIDNT EVEN FUCKIN PLAY!!!” “girls calm down why don’t we have some dinner my wife makes some great soup” garcia says “you know that is a perfect idea dinner at the garcia house” coach says
soon all the teammates reach the garcia house for dinner they all sit while mrs. garcia serves them some soup “this is really good” riley says the team digs in except for zaira
“what’s in this mrs. garcia” emily asks “oh you know soup stuff carrots, meat, rat poison” “hahaha…. Y-you’re kidding right??”
the coach starts to cough drastically as he holds his stomach in pain vomits as he collapses on the floor while the other girls start doing the same with tears in their eyes as they cry for their parents they’re all gone
zaira just sat as tears came rushing down her face while the scene unfolded in front of her she looked up to christine who had a smirk and a machete in her hand “what’s wrong?” christine laughs menacingly as zaira gets up and tries to run away until she was knocked over by a vase
“what’s wrong you had all that shit to say earlier where’s that tough girl attitude now huh” christine picks up zaira’s head in front of a mirror “p-please i’m s-sorry” christine holds the blade up to zaira’s nick “p-please” zaira begs but christine pays no care
“why don’t we shut you up for good” christine pulls the blade across zaria’s throat as she watches in the mirror with blood spilling from her new insession as tears come rushing down christine drops her to the floor as zaira struggles for air “aww why don’t we give you a smile it’s almost carving season”
- Pilar Saenz
UNSCREWING THE SILENCER
Carl crashes into his chair. Waves of body fat jiggling from the jowls of his neck and arms down to his belly, thighs and calves. and demands coffee; Janet thumps a mug of the scolding liquid next to his plate.
Carl opens the Herald with great fanfare, Janet discretely opens the cabinet drawer behind her.
Carl slurps loudly into his coffee mug as if making love; Janet moans murmurs of affection to the Smith and Wesson in the drawer.
Carl spits out a cacophony of phrases about the Dodgers peppered by a slew of words with hard consonants; Janet silently picks up the gun.
Carl pronounces his three-step plan for peace in the Middle East and the eradication of terrorism (if only the idiots in government would listen); Janet takes out the cartridge and the silencer.
Carl chews his English muffin audibly; Janet quietly loads the gun and screws on the silencer.
Pointing at his watch, Carl shouts, “7:30, some of us have to get to work, you know,” and then guffaws at his little joke; Janet points the gun at the middle of the newspaper and pulls the trigger.
As Carl grunts and falls down, his head smacks the table and blood oozes from underneath the newspaper toward the table edge, thick and red; Janet’s lips climb slowly upwards for the first time that morning to expose her teeth, shiny and white.
Carl arises with a flourish, pulling his thin black comb from his back pocket, and combs the remaining strands of his pale blond hair over his pink head; Janet follows him as he walks to the door and presses her thin lips to his flabby cheeks.
Carl guns the Land Rover and takes off to work; Janet walks back to the table and mimes unscrewing the silencer and placing the imaginary gun carefully in the drawer – she will need it again tomorrow morning. The only thing she has to question is what version of Carl she will see before he leaves for work.
- Jaraya Diaz
THE DECEPTIVE DOLL
My name is Katherine and I just turned 18. My parents kicked me out on my birthday and I just got my first job looking after an old house for someone. I figured it would be easy money and I don’t have to worry about being in anybody’s way. It’s a great starter job, or so I thought. Looking after the house, I now live there and I’m making $15 an hour to keep it nice. The house is naturally nice, but there’s this one room that looks like it’s for a little girl. I’ve been in there a few times and there’s nothing off about the room other than a doll in the center. Everything was fine until a week after I started when I heard a loud bang coming from the closet. I figured that something just fell, but when I opened the closet everything was the same. It only got worse from there. Things started happening that I couldn’t explain. The owner of the house hadn’t told me much about the house, so I thought it was fine until now. I started finding things in the wrong places and hearing things that weren’t there. I felt like I was going insane. One night when I went to check the sounds I felt a burning pain on my back as if I was just hit. I looked around and didn’t see anyone. It felt like there was blood running down my back as I walked around the house trying to figure things out. While looking through all the rooms, I checked on the doll thinking that might be it, but it wasn’t there. When I turned around I saw a figure in the doorway. It wasn’t the doll.
- Kassidie Beesley
THE PARTY ENDS
Hi, my name is Cassy. Let’s get into this story. I live in a cute little suburb in Louisiana, everyone in town knows of this neighborhood, not to be cocky but it is a rich neighborhood, big houses, big yards, nice families. We heard that many families were moving in and right out within a month or two, super weird right? That’s what I said too. The neighbors were very friendly, but a little odd. They were obsessed with the house, one of the neighbors even got in the house just to play in the house, super creepy.
Our neighbor Joy, she had a son named Liam. Liam was 4 and having a 5th birthday party to which she invited us too. Liam was a little odd for a 4-year-old, remember the neighbor I said was in the house? It was Liam. Anyways we showed up to the birthday party because he was a very sweet kid. But we did notice something VERY odd, everyone was wearing red coats and circling the boy. I know red flags, but we just assumed it was the theme of the party and the kid wanted attention.
The party ends and Joy comes up to me and asks me to help her take his presents down to the basement. Honestly, I don’t know why I said yes but down to the basement I go. We stopped at the door, and she let me go in first so she could “hold the door”, but instead she slammed it. I was screaming for my life, and someone grabbed me and told me it was okay, that this was a great opportunity and that Joy saw something in me.
- Lizzett Gonzales
The presence of clowns has always scared me and one night I had a dream, the scariest dream I could remember. I was scared of clowns and this dream was everything that scared me about them, the fake smile that they have and the eerie presence of them.
Few months later, I was driving down a road with my family. Started to notice that I was able to recall every detail of the house’s trees – yet I knew I had never been there.
It was from my nightmare that had just become my reality. We turned on an unmarked road with an open field with a small tent in the middle of the lot. We parked and were the only people there. And we started walking towards the tent. It felt as if the tent got larger and my heart grew heavy. Music started playing from the tent and a clown came out from behind the tent. My family started to laugh, my heart started beating faster and faster. I thought I was just overthinking it so I went into the tent, still the only one there and immediately got grabbed the second I walked into the tent. Family still laughing while I’m getting dragged away.
I ended up in a dark room all alone with only one beam of light from a split in the tent.
- Brock Evans
OPEN WINDOW UNDER THE BED
Walking down the street, in the freezing cold, alone. Going home from the bar, carrying my heels. A little tipsy, wishing I had called an Uber. It’s extremely dark, I keep hearing noises behind me. But I’m not worried, I’ve walked home before and I have my pepper spray. I turned down an alley. CRASH!! I turn – grab my pepper spray but only to see some trash cans fall down. Probably just the cats, there was no one around. I keep walking, turning out of the alley. I start to hear footsteps, I take a glance behind me and see someone walking behind me. I start worrying, every time I turn he turns. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but probably not. Once I turn this corner I book it running straight to my house. I start to call my brother, I turn while running to see if he’s following. I didn’t see him anymore, so I started to walk. I kept my brother on the phone. I got home and locked all the doors. I calmed down, got ready for bed, and then went to bed. I woke up in the middle of the night, my window was open. I thought this was weird because I closed and locked it before I went to bed. I brushed it off thinking it was the wind. I closed it and locked it, then went back to bed. I woke up again and my window was open again. I start to get scared. I get up and notice something by my bed. I bend over to pick it up. It’s hair, I pick it up and it’s a head. I scream and check under the bed, only to never be heard from again.
- Marissa Harrington
IT WAS A CLOUDY NIGHT
In a hospital, walking into my grandfather’s room. Suddenly I heard a slam down the hall. The lights were flickering off and on and I looked down the hall and every time the light flickered there was someone getting closer and closer. Then the whole building’s power went out; it had gone back on but the thing I saw disappeared but what I didn’t know was that someone was possessed by this spirit even though I live in a haunted town. I’d still never be able to forget about this day. After a while I moved out of that town but it had become an international tourist spot.
- Julio Narvaez
I CAN’T SEE INTO HER EYES ANYMORE
A night like any other – the moon light gleaming onto her face. Her being the love of my life. She doesn’t know that yet but I do know her, she doesn’t know me. She comes to the park every Friday night at 9pm on the dot. This guy meets her there and I’m standing behind the tree line watching. Waiting.
He starts to kiss her and I can feel my blood boil. She pushes him off of her “stop” and her voice rings through the dead air of the night. He smiles and I can feel myself moving forward slightly past the tree I was standing behind. He moves at her again and she ends up against a small playground toy. “I said stop, dude, I’m just here to buy drugs,” her voice sounds shrill but angry. He grabs her.
I lunge out of trees, my long hair dangling over my face matted to my head. He stops out of fear now. Both of their stunned eyes meet mine. I have never been this close to her. I can smell her perfume, the flower and vanilla scent intoxicating my lungs. I need to focus— I pounce at him, landing him and I on the ground. My hands around his neck I see the life leave his eyes the harder he struggles against my grip. He’s dead. I look up at the love of my life, tears streaming down her beautiful face. I stood up and rushed to her. While trying to wipe the tears off her face she flinches as my dirty rotted hands carefully wipe the moisture off her clean pale skin. I tried to talk to her, blood gurgling and spewing out of my mouth. Words failed me, the moment I tried to be louder the blood started to spray on her face. She starts to cry again. I can’t see into her eyes anymore.
- Baileigh Hinds
THE FULL MOON SHONE BRIGHT ABOVE THE TREES
We walked through the woods, leaves crunching under our feet.
I hear an owl hoot, crickets chirp, and rustling of leaves in the wind.
“We should build a fire”
“Or I could keep you warm” I hug her and she laughs.
My lips move toward her neck.
“Don’t you dare give me a hickey”
“Don’t worry I won’t,” I say with a smirk.
Her laughter echoes, then disappears as I feel my fangs pierce her skin, and she lets out a cry.
“Don’t worry, it’ll be okay. This will make us both happier.”
“What?” She pushes me off her neck and gasps. “Why is there blood…”
“No, tell me what’s going on!”
“We’ll be able to live together forever.” I could sense her fear as she started to take a step back. ‘No. She’s mine, no one else can have her, she has to be with me.” Fear started to grow in me.
I lunge at her throat and suck what’s left of her blood. She gasps for breath and I lower her down as her body slowly becomes lifeless in my arms.
- Charlotte Monroe
As I sleep I wake to the presence
That makes me hide under my covers
And hope that it goes away
But it doesn’t
As I hear the heavy steps and puffing
coming towards me I am yanked out
Of my bed and dragged under it
I am pulled to a dark dimension
Filled with shadows with ugly faces that
Make u wish your better off dead you
Wish it could stop
But it doesn’t
But it doesn’t
But it doesn’t
It doesn’t stop
I lose all sanity wishing it would all stop
So I become one of them a tall shadow that
Haunts with an horrific face
Then it stops
As I sleep I wake to the presence
That makes me hide under my covers
And hope that it goes away
- Abe Rodriguez
You can hear the trees shaking, it’s cold and gloomy, you can smell the rain as it’s hitting your cabin. You’re sitting in the cabin with all the boys, just sitting, hearing, trying to figure out what’s making noise. We can hear chanting from down the street, wondering what it is? The adrenaline rushed through us. “Let’s go see it” a voice said…. but it wasn’t any of us.
Trembling in our shoes, wondering what is going on, are we talking to the dead?…… or is the dead talking to us… Again we hear the voice “go stop them”. We are all terrified, but clearly we must do something.
We leave the cabin, and walk toward the distant chanting. You can hear the heartbeat of your own and the person next to you mixing together, almost as if our heartbeats are connecting and giving us all courage.
We then see it, it looks like a small group of people, with black hoods and candles. They had 7 babies laying around the group… as we got close we noticed they were just baby dolls, trying to figure out what was going on we got too close, and we realized that it was a secret cult…… But at that point it was too late. “grab them” someone said, we ran back to the camp and locked the door. for the next 7 hours they were out there yelling trying to get us, but as dawn hit, everything disappeared, we didn’t hear anything. We all decided to leave that morning, we would never go back again. As I’m in bed at home, I suddenly wake up, and we hear that voice again…. “go back and save them”
- Thomas Wilson, Eli Kirkland, Antonio De La Cruz
SHEET OF DIRT
Tom’s a young man, in love with his girlfriend. Very handsome and charming, but has a minor problem. Tom takes her on dates, by the beach, by the woods, by the park. Enjoying every moment they have together until he gets bothered, annoyed, jealous, angry. The man saw her again last night, the man tried talking to her again, and he didn’t like that. It bothered him so much because he could tell he wanted her. But he couldn’t, because she belonged to Tom. Tom knew he didn’t have much time, sooner or later. She began wondering, what’s gotten into him? He knew she wouldn’t stay for long. But she had to, she belonged to him. And now crying, yelling, in anger and in sadness. Carrying and dragging her body through the backyard, then to the car, driving by the beach, by the woods, by the park, and finally the graveyard. He thinks it’s more enjoyable like that. More peaceful, no more anger, no more sadness, but that’s only what the other man thinks. And Tom hates it because he can’t decide who to be, but now he knows. Crawling beneath the sheet of dirt, eyes closing, letting himself go. So he can have her.
- Bianca Jimenez
THE SHIFTING MATTRESS
Getting ready for bed and telling my family good night, I was so tired and exhausted I just wanted to lay down already. I ended up falling asleep and it felt so nice to finally rest after school and practice. It was about 3 am and I was woken up by an odd feeling I was getting. Not like I woke up because of the feeling of my stomach hurting, but the feeling of waking up and all the hairs on my body were standing up. I had the sudden chills and I felt a presence behind me. The way I was laying was on my side facing the wall and my back was facing my door and the edge of my bed. Being terrified to turn around I laid there as still as I could. And I could feel the mattress behind me shifting and moving around as if someone was laying next to me. At one point I went under the sheets and I just left the presence hovering over me at that point. They were breathing hard. It felt like hours went by and it was just there. Keep in mind I live alone in my apartment so this occurrence was just terrifying to me. Somehow I ended up falling asleep. When I woke up the next day my room was a mess everything was flipped over and messed around with. When I said that I felt the mattress next to me shifting around I looked over and there were red blood like stains on my sheets. It’s been a couple weeks and I’m still unsure of what really happened that night.
- Kahliopy Flores
I WENT TO BED KINDA LATE
Well late for me I guess it was around 11:30 when I finally drifted off to sleep. I was sleeping peacefully. I was having this really cool dream that I was meeting all these celebrities and then I woke up to a bang. I was startled and I get scared very easily so I didn’t want to investigate. I decided to just go back to sleep. It was probably my cat knocking something over in the kitchen.
I’m about to fall asleep again and BOOM another bang. Now I’m curious. I throw on my slippers and I grab my phone. I’m using my phone as a flashlight while I walk out of my room. The door creaks very slowly. I’m walking super slow while the floor creaks under me. I’m peeking around the corners while shaking anxiously.
I’m in the living room now. It’s typically a 2 second walk from my room but here I am taking 3 minutes to get into the living room. I continue scanning with my flashlight looking for anything. Then my cat runs in front of me. I get startled but I have a sigh of relief. I turn off my flashlight and walk blindly to the kitchen. I turn on the light to get some water from the sink. I fill up my cup and I finish it by the sink. I crouch down to pet my cat while she’s purring non stop, I feel a hole in the side and as I move my hand back there’s blood and I reach to feel the hole again, then someone grabs me and throws a cloth over my mouth.
- Ian Evans
TAKES MY BREATH AWAY
I was alone in the apartment, haven’t spoken to him in a while. Yeah, “him”, a young love that I thought was forever but it wasn’t. It was almost 11 p.m when I heard a scratch at the door. Maybe a cat? I ignored it, then I heard it but this time in my bedroom window. The hallway from the kitchen to my bedroom looked endless, I walked to my bedroom, lights off, slightly opened the blinds… there was nothing. I let go of the blind and heard a loud knock at my door. I look through the peephole to see him. My heart fell to my stomach, my skin went pale and my hands started shaking uncontrollably. I grab the door knob and unlock the door, I open it barely to see him there, “can i come in?”, he said. Was it wrong if I were to say no?, he steps in and sits on the end of the couch, I sit near him and ask why he’s here, he said he wanted a hug and that he was sorry. I hugged him, it felt good, I missed him. I look up to him as he mouths the words “I love you”, I feel pressure on my lower abdomen, my eyes widen as I see tears run down his face, I look down to see his left hand full of blood… my blood, I try to ask why but he covers my mouth. He hugs me again but my knees are nearly on the floor, I feel the room spinning and my eyes are trying their hardest to stay open. He whispered “it’s been 6 months and i couldn’t live with the fact that you were moving on, this was the only way”
- Berenice Guillen
In the mountains, a moonlit night, the foggy air impairs my vision. I am lost, yet I see a light just beyond the horizon. A town with smoke in the distance. I hurry down tired and cold, and finally make it down to one of the old wooden houses, I peer inside there is no one inside. I continue my path trying to get to the deeper part of this run down, old wooden town. I see the smoke. A burning cross. bodies at the base fueling the flames, the smell of charred skin hits my nose. I have a cold sweat.
There’s a cornfield, there are lights coming from the field, whispers. “heretics…..”, then a sudden scream from the fields, “PRAISE GOD”. The cornfield is the only way to town. I sneak away in the cornfield, another scream, “THE HERETIC IS HERE”, chills down my spine, I run. Running, don’t look back, unless I want to be charred… I get out of the cornfield, more burned crosses. I get into a wooden house and get under a bed. Heavy breathing near me. What the fuck is wrong with these people I wonder. No more heavy breaths, I get out of the bed, start walking out, no one is around. I keep walking. I find a church, a man crucified on a cross, an entire town of people in church attending mass. Silent.
- Gabriel Lopez
When I was a small child my family moved into a big old two-story red brick house, it had big empty rooms and creaking floorboards, cob webs in every corner. Both my parents worked so I was often alone when I came home from school. One early evening when I came home the house was still dark. I called out “MOM?” and heard her sing song voice say “Yeeeees?” from upstairs. I called her again as I climbed the stairs to see which room she was in, and again got the same response “Yeeeees?”.
We were decorating at the time, and I didn’t know my way around the maze of rooms but she was in one of the far ones, right down the hall. I felt uneasy, but I figured that was only natural so I rushed forward to see my mom, knowing that her presence would calm my fears, as a mothers presence always does. Just as I reached for the handle of the door to let myself into the room I heard the front door downstairs open and my mother call “Sweetie, are you home?” in a cheery voice. I jumped back, startled and ran down the stairs to her, but as I glanced back from the top of the stairs, the door to the room slowly opened a crack. For a brief moment, I saw something strange in there, and I don’t know what it was, but it was definitely staring at me.
Sure as I got down stairs mom was standing there to greet me, I was so happy to see her, I ran right into her arms. I never told anyone about that strange lady in that room. Often from time to time I would hear her respond when I called for my mom, “Yeeeees?” but never anything more.
- Jaden Manicki-Gallivan
I hate loud places, it’s so overwhelming, I like music to help. But I can’t walk with my headphones in ‘cause they’ll break if water touches them. My parents pay to get me and my brother in, he screams and runs away. I sway my cane back and forth as we go forward, I can feel eyes staring at me. I’m used to it, but I don’t think I’ll ever get used to my parents…
I could hear the screams of joy and slight terror from small children up to the voices of adults caring for their kids. I hate it here, but I love the water. I’d rather be in the ocean though, smell of salt, the burn of it in your nose and lungs, almost like smoke but worse, and the overwhelming loneliness in the middle of the night, like snow on a cold winter day. Nobody can see in the middle of the ocean. It’s too overwhelming, but that’s exactly what I love about it.
I sat on the side and as soon as I submerged my head everything got quite. I felt my thighs hit the bottom of the pool as I sank, I wanted to stay there forever. At last my lungs screamed for air and I remember I don’t have gills which is very disappointing. My head emerged from the water and it was silent, an eerie silence. I tried hitting the water out of my ears but nothing happened. I started to hyperventilate and reach for the concreted side, I felt the bumps and I pulled myself closer.
On my chest I felt a squishy thing. I picked it up and smelled it. It was like chlorine but that was the water but it had a foul smell like rotten meat. I pulled myself out and called out “is anyone here?” No one responded. I got up and tried searching for my cane and I couldn’t find it, I started to cry crawling around on the floor searching desperately for any sign of life. I felt a shoe?
I know it was laces I felt with leather they felt like my dad’s. I used to help him find his shoes when I was little to help with my sensory deprivation. I asked “Dad?” He didn’t answer I got up and followed the side of his body feeling his thigh then his side all the way to his face. But it was weird his face was boney I didn’t feel flesh but there was liquid. I squeezed his shoulders and the body fell apart and I heard bones fall to the floor.
Horrified I ran away and only a couple steps into the running, the floor was no longer there, I was trying to swim in the water that had things floating. I knew what it was now: the little balls floating, the little thick sticks, the wirey string tangled up in bunches. I was hyperventilating so it was hard to swim but I kept trying. I felt like I was swimming for hours in this disgusting water. I tried calling out – I heard myself so I knew I wasn’t deaf. I started to float on what I tried to convince myself was a log and fell asleep drifting along the water wondering when I’d feel land again.
- Emori Monica
THE SACKS WERE GLOWING
I woke up and pondered at the school. The school’s quiet, too quiet. All of a sudden I heard a bang. I ran towards the emergency exit. Locked the door. I ducked and hid as I heard the loud steps of Timbs. Heard them coming closer and closer to my position, then I heard whimpering and loud breathing next to me, so I looked and I saw a figure next to me. The figure looked something reminiscent of a phallic object. The “thing” had a mouth with a tunnel of jagged teeth. It was drooling blood out of its pores. It had a lower half that looked like it resembled 2 sacks. The sacks were glowing orange and the inside was filled with centipedes. The mouth of the “thing” took a bite out of my frontal lobe sucking all my blood out my body. Then I woke up.
- Paul Ordonez, Hugo Martinez Trujillo, Zain Rodriguez, Ethan Perez
I woke up, and got ready like usual. The sun nearly blinded me when I opened the door. I took one step forward out the door and closed my eyes.
Just like that I was on the floor of my classroom. The color of the school floods my brain, and I remember some vague things.
‘that’s weird…. When did his hair get longer?’
‘who is this person?’
‘wasn’t I just in my house..?’
That’s when it hits me, and it hit me like a truck. I’ve had another.
As I’m regaining consciousness, I realize people are trying to help me to the nurses.
‘how much time have I lost…’
I check my phone. 2 months.
What do I do
I’ve had my fair share of seizures. My dad says that he had a friend for 2 years, and at the end of one his friend didn’t remember him. I have them at an alarming rate, and every one of them makes me think of that.
One flashing light. A sound. Anything.
That’s all it takes for me to lose everything I have.
– Alex Allen
Christmas Morning is my favorite. I’ve always wanted a Dog. I love dogs and it doesn’t matter what kind of dog I get I just want one. I broke my arm so I don’t get to go to the cabin with my parents, so it would make me feel a lot better if i had something to protect me.
OMG my dad got me a dog. AGHGAHGS HES SO CUTE. My Mom took me and little man to the store to pick out toys, food, bed and treats. He’s Pretty funny at night but I love my dog and his weird patterns. He takes his stuffed monkey to bed every night as he sleeps under my bed. He loves to lick my hand if he wakes up during the night to help him sleep. He’s just a puppy so of course he’s gonna be weird.
Mom and Dad left today. Pretty weird how dad really didn’t pack as much as mom but my mom Always over packs always. They left at night so i just went to bed with my little puppy as normal. My dad loves to cuddle my dog before bed so he was crying as my dad left. The next day I saw my dads car still in the driveway but that’s no really big deal since they took one car. I got ready to go to a friends house. left my little man at home so he wouldn’t ruin anyone’s stuff. I almost got to my Friends house but forgot my wallet so I went back to my house to hear my baby whimpering. aww he misses me. I got into the house and there my dad with his pants around his ankles holding my dog.
- Tatum Ballou
IS THIS HOW DYING FEELS
On my last night at camp a small group of kids
about 3 myself included and 1
camp counselor went off to explore a cave deep in the woods
that was said to have a bunch of cash in a box
but it was said that whoever approaches the woods in search for the box
don’t come back. So anyways we were walking in the woods
it was about 3 minutes to midnight and all of a sudden something
I heard a twig snap scaring me. When turned around
all I saw was blood no bodies nothing but lots of blood
I ran and ran there it was the cave I ran into the cave
tripping over some rocks injuring myself on my head
I pick myself up and there it was the box right next to a dead skeleton
it wasn’t filled with cash instead a white powder and it looked as if
something was in it then all of sudden I feel hot breathing on my neck.
I slowly turned around as I find myself standing eye to eye with the most terrifying creature dripping in blood guts everywhere on its body and increasing in size as if it was absorbing the guts of my fellow group members then before I new it it was dark I was motionless my last thought was
is this how dying feels?
INTERESTED IN THE JANITORS
Dear diary, It’s been really quiet for the past few days ever since the principal went missing on Friday. Everyone thinks he just had a major burnout and just left without telling anyone, not even his own wife. Other kids think he just got kidnapped and died from some drug traffickers but a lot of people are still kind trying to keep a positive look on it. Apparently he was last seen talking to a couple of the janitors about a new vacuum or something, that could just be another rumor but the police are really interested in the janitors. Especially Mr. Ernest, he usually stays to himself while he walks around looking for things to do…but this time he was off. Quiet like normal but you could tell he was pretty shook up about whatever the police told him.
Other than that I’m not sure what else to say, even after all the janitors took those days off the school is still super clean, actually I’ve never seen the school have any trash, graffiti, stains, or anything! I guess those janitors deserve the day off after what they went through. Actually I don’t think I’ve ever seen them work on cleaning around here, maybe they work at night…
Dear diary, i’m not sure if earthquakes are common but we had one during class today! The tile on the hallway walls looked like they were shivering from fear like us! I wasn’t there for it but my friends told me Mr. Ernest had some sort of spasm like some kind of war veteran during the earthquake. The rumor spread like wildfire that he killed the principal with a trash can, and I can’t imagine what it’s like for the whole school to think you’re some kind of murderer. From the way he’s been acting I am confident that he did it.
My friend told me that when the earthquake happened, Mr.Ernest started to climb on top of Mr.Stanley’s desk and scream and cry like the damn floor was lava! Holy shit that guy lost his marbles! He can’t handle the pressure of being suspected number one!?! Of course he did it it’s obvious at this point!
Besides that I’v been ok, I told my mom about what happened and she got Liar Liar on VHS from Blockbuster, we had some popcorn and that was that.
Dear diary, The police are on a manhunt for Ernest, they haven’t found him yet and I guess he didn’t come to school today. Weird to think a couple of days ago I was in the same room as a killer. Besides that there was this crazy fight in the hallways. It was pretty cool until one of the kids started slamming the other guy’s head into the ground HARD. I can’t Believe how much blood was on the floor afterwards. Both of the guys ended up alive I think but the tile on the ground was dark red when they were done! Weirdly enough the part that freaked me out the most wasn’t how violent the fight was but how fuckin fast it was clean after just one class! What the hell! These janitors have some kind of superpower because all of it is gone! I was with my friend at the time and the tile looked kinda cracked after it was clean.
Oct- 18- 1997
Dear diary, they still haven’t found Ernest, or the principal…I’m not sure who to tell about what happened today.
I ditched class with my friend today. We walked past the hallway where the broken tile was and for really no reason he decided he wanted to pick a piece from the ground to keep for himself. Why did he do it!?!? He reached down and tried to pull it out and when he slowly pulled it up there was like gum under the tile. But it wasn’t gum at all! It looked as if flesh was gum and it just stretched out! I tried to just leave because Marco just touched it and it stuck to his hand! After that he was started to scream out “IT BURNS HOLY SHIT GET IT OFF!!!!” He fell to his knees and the blood red slime pulled his hand into the ground!
I tried to pull him out and the ground around started to shake and by the time I could even pull it out a little bit half of his arm was already covered with the slime and the skin on the arm looked like it was peeled off!
He kept screaming, and calling my name and I pulled him more and more until A piece of the slime jumped out and got the side of his face, yanking him down. I tried to grab his arm but when he turned his head to look at me, I could see half of his face was already just meat and bone, you could see his teeth. His eyes looked at me in desperation and I let go…him screaming my name while this ooze pulled him into the ground. There was nothing I could do! I was so scared I couldn’t move! He kept struggling until his body just went limp and all you can see were his legs. After he was completely submerged in there I tried back off so it wouldn’t go for me next and the second I moved, marcos head rose from the ground completely covered in this fleshy red slime, with little pieces of broken tile and all you could see was his skull and arm down to the bone before it slowly went back down. I was frozen and the ground stoped shaking, and right before my eyes you could see the tile slowly peace itself together and it was back to normal. Perfect, shiny, and just boring old school tile.
- Carlos Perez
DON’T TURN AROUND
I walk down the street looking for my next victim. A mom and dad leaves their daughter alone, perfect. I wait for the house to be completely empty and make my move. I enter the house, my muddy boots go softly up the stairs. I watch her. She’s beautiful with her hair up, head phones on, back turned towards me doing her work. I hide behind the door as she gets up and goes to the bathroom. My ear presses against the door listening to her while she has no idea I am here, I long for her.
I watch her, think of all the things I wanna do to her. I think how I want to strangle her while I stare into those beautiful eyes that will soon become lifeless. I want to slowly force my knife into her making her feel every inch of this blade. I want to cut her heart out of her chest and wear it as a necklace. I see red, slowly she turns around. I think she knows I’m here. I go to kill her, to have her deceased body in my arms.
“Honey we’re home” her mom yells out. Shit. I make my exit and look into the window. As she comes down the stairs all they find of me is wet muddy footsteps. Going through the door, up the stairs, standing in the doorway knowing that I was staring at her and watching her. Then her mom says “Don’t turn around” as I give a grim smile at them through the window. They run.
-Hailey Vreeland-SolinRead more "CARVING SEASON – MICRO HORROR BY 30 TEENS FROM SOUTH CENTRAL NEW MEXICO : A FLASH ANTHOLOGY"
Ready, Aim, Sing
My sister, Angie, thought
she’d save the world.
She grew her black hair long
and fancied herself
the next Joan Baez.
Angie was sure song
would silence the guns.
Never shy, she belted out
a steady stream
of Paxton, Prine and Collins.
It made dad smile to hear
though he couldn’t fathom the lyrics.
He tried to save the world once,
humping an M1 across France and Germany.
I used to make her crazy—
isn’t that what brothers are for,
with a refrain from Lehrer’s spoof—
Folk Song Army.
You must know it—
At sweet 16, my sister played
the pass-the-hat dives
on Bleeker Street
and protest culture collided.
Sure, she would save the world,
but wasn’t it easier if you were high?
She hit the road at 17–
four wannabes in an old Nash Rambler
heading for the summer of love.
They never made it to Haight-Ashbury—
burned so much oil crossing Kansas
it looked like they had chosen the Pope.
Dad drove out to get them—
the car tomb-silent all the way home.
I have her old Gibson 12
and pluck out a Paxton now and again.
My sister, Angie, married money—
she lives in Dallas and voted for both Bushes
while her grandson, Dylan, vows to save the world.Read more "READY, AIM, SING – Steven Deutsch"
Afghanistan (August 25th 2021)
Watching TV at home.
Twenty years of history
in not much more than
to the person I studied with?
who moved back to Kabul
a feminist magazine?
She has a family now.
She has a kid.
she is among the refugees,
I constantly watch my phone,
hoping it will ring,
as the old regime drives in.
When managers audit a factory,
we workers call it Hollywood.
we make all your dreams come true.
The floors are clean,
the assembly line in perfect order.
Not one thing out of place.
No cursing: perfect discipline.
Everything in perfect shape.
Then the manager
goes out the door
We have a tight schedule.
Don’t you understand?
Everything follows this principle.
An increase in production.
Supply and demand.
Prior to Departure The old man opens the airport bar at 5 am. He wipes down the bar stools, chops lemons and limes, completes his morning inventory. He subsequently directs his attention to a television screen behind the bar. He is not particularly interested in sports highlights but what are his options? Monitor the departure board? He has witnessed enough departure. ~ Grave Marker I notice one, covered with dirt and leaves which I brush aside with my shoe: Mother, it reads, just Mother. No date of birth, no end date, no first name nor last name . . . Mother. Enough said. ~ Something Like Living Get home unload the groceries take a crap pour a drink check on the kids kiss a spouse answer a phone. Prep dinner eat dinner masturbate. Pay a bill. Sell a car buy a newspaper. Watch The Bachelor. Bury a hamster. Trash cash mash. Flail wail junk mail. Attend a wedding. Book a plot.
Edward Anki’s poetry has appeared in The Feathertale Review, (parenthetical), Qwerty, The Chaffin Journal,and others. A chapbook of his poetry, Remote Life, was published by BareBackPress.Read more "3 POEMS – EDWARD ANKI"
hell has all of the amenities bellboy laugh track showers that last as long as you can stand a full spice rack the names of your lovers the sound of dead friends a huge music encyclopedia full employment adequate leisure time contests and prizes social gatherings (carefully mediated) a robust artificial intelligence system designed to give you what you want a realistic landscape full of trees and sounds water sky earth a violin and drums a pressure to perform ennui, packaged and shipped death managed rotated exoticized eroticized named again and again stamped onto your face written into your balls a touch on your shoulder a whisper in your ear a heart attack hell should curl and twist over your arm take it up a packaged arrangement for your love affair of no iniquity of no distance of no priority the badge of honor stamped and carved into your skull the name of god and the name of god's god periodically revisited available to to call beautiful as a winter storm beautiful as a woman enraged the color of the ocean the gravity of despair the writ of your permission to travel and fuck to rise again over the air with your eyes on your quarry hell bellhop towel and dry perfume and wash television sunrise news at ten and eleven corrugated iron art in the plaza the name of the receptionist a beautiful chinese woman the parking lot attendant with his huge telephone in hand informing all your relatives your superior officer your wife and lover your children and friends of all your movements every meal every look every gasp the name of your event carefully managed colored in blue hell is blue radiant cornflower hyper intensive surreal party for the coolest women cut in the fashion of timeless angles unreal against the light your deepest fulfillment at the correct hour heated to the right temperature coated in wax for you to eat amenity is love that which is able to be loved the most pleasant of sights the most pleasant of bodies the softest skin satin and lace the mare of the body the sigh of the sun the color of the air inside of your rapture take me beneath the world inside of your suitcase I carry the love of your brethren I carry your honor as my prize silver and marred by the dangers of your clan ancient and wise dip me into the Styx for my hour and weight hold my hand in the fulfillment of the contract of the unreachable stem world tree hotel of all the finest enemies my deep and caroled beloved enemies splashed out along the plaza buried in my grave named for my children unreachable unnameable deemed unsuitable for acolytes in their rue and rain lovers beneath the veil wracked and warded for your investiture my dear guest please come in
Robin Wyatt Dunn was born in Wyoming in 1979. You can read more of his word at www.robindunn.comRead more "ROBIN WYATT DUNN – hell has all of the amenities"
Vodka Omelet Make it clear in my mind, Jesus, am I whacked-out on Double Cross Vodka or have I flipped out calling myself Limburger omelet chef? I hate question marks and angels with crazed wings. You know the type, John the Baptist toking weed, stoned out of his mind, storyteller, foul smells from poor hygiene, eating habits open mouth, swallowing grasshoppers, so silky, smooth as sweet honey. Add 3 eggs in a skillet, Parmesan/Romano blend, 2 cheeses add-on, shiitake mushrooms, turmeric, chopped kale, hint hot chili peppers, cheers. Scramble me, I’m cracked. I rock faith in jungle music, dance nude. Everything is a potential poem to me. My omelette, my life, my booze, master cook, vodka omelet 2:38 a.m.Read more "MICHAEL LEE JOHNSON – VODKA OMELET"
A Plastic Bowl of Snake There was bowl on my kitchen slab Its flesh was plastic Or was it ceramic It was the colour of seduction Drizzling with beauty Coated in nsibidi Spiced with the language of the fathers It drew my name Wrote my name Sang my name even Beside it was a clay bowl Bland Screeching of ugliness Lidless It called my name Are you kidding me? I reached for the white lid Of the beautiful red plastic bowl I flipped it open A An And Out popped the slithering head of a snake As if it had long-awaited this day The freedom promised someday The freedom covered in hay It stayed with my freedom I fled with its fear
~ Kasimma is an alumna of Chimamanda Adichie’s Creative Writing Workshop, IWP workshop, and SSDA Flow workshop. She’s been a writer-in-residence in artists’ residencies across Africa, Asia, and Europe. Her works have appeared or are forthcoming on The Puritan, Kikwetu Journal, Kweli Journal, The Book Smuggler’s Den, Jellyfish Review, Afreecan Read, Orbis Journal.Read more "Kasimma – a plastic bowl of snake"
DRUNK AND HELPLESS IN THE DARK Some of us lie Drunk and helpless in the dark Waiting for the angel that never comes Because there is no her Beyond the sad spiraling reveries Of the drunken insomniac Smiling wanly in the glow Of a halo That exists only In his Fevered Imagination HUMANITY IS DOOMED I heard the birds that chirp at night And I saw the cats under the tree. I know the cats need to eat And I know the birds want to live. So here I am In the parking lot of a Walgreens, Rooting for nothing.Read more "JOHN TUSTIN – 2 POEMS"
book review by Tim Staley
At high noon my wife smashed a fly against the living room window with this book in the middle of our first pandemic summer. The room erupted into puppy yelp, child screech, fly-wail and the desert sun breaching the ceiling, grabbing us by the ankles, holding us upside-down to drain us into our shadows. All this, especially the fly-wail, fits flawlessly with this book about fly swatting, language, number theory, action and surrender.
Hugo Ball was a German author, poet, and essentially the founder of the Dada movement in European art in Zürich in 1916—maybe you already knew that. Maybe you learned that from some stuffy-teacher-induced-research-based-half-cocked-noviate-solo-tour. Maybe you visited some cold websites in search of Hugo Ball. Did you ever figure out why nonsense is such an enduring quality of art?
Emerge Lane Chasek, from behind the purple beaded curtain, to introduce us to Dada and Ball—the way a friend might—in his new book: Hugo Ball and the Fate of the Universe: Adventures in Sound Poetry (Jokes Review, 2020). Chasek is anything but a stuffy teacher. He’s drunk—but it’s an airy-lover-don’t-mind-inviting-“My Back Pages”-kind-of-buzz necessary for this type of Hero’s Journey where the Hero seems to be speaking the most rarefied strain of white gibberish ever.
Chasek has found himself dangling from his own family tree like a crucifix on a dandelion chain wondering how to handle what he’s hearing on Democracy Now. Hugo Ball had the same problem. Like one veined bubble sharing a townhouse membrane with another in the vesper service of language’s aftermath: Chasek–through Ball’s sound poetry—connects us with the madness of the past.
The way this hitchhiker’s guide of sound poetry surveys post-language allows us to make discoveries right along with the author. The tone is serious insanity, congenial nonsense. For example, there’s a rando paragraph on page 76 that starts like this, “My poem would involve chinchillas. Lots and lots of chinchillas, since I really like chinchillas. And thousands of keyboards hooked up to thousands of main frames, all dedicated to storing the corpse that will be my magnum opus. I’d caffeinate those chinchillas and make them immortal if I could.” Will the chinchillas help our Hero acquire the superpower of not making sense?
Sound poetry is a kiss in the face of Shakespeare. Sound poetry is what happens when language stops feeling pain. There is scat singing and math and laughs in this book. There are childhood friends, new friends, and a few sound poems. American Puritanical Christianity™ is here too, “Sucking out all the poetic verve Christianity used to have. After all, there’s an entire book in the Old Testament that’s an erotic poem. Never forget that.” Had you forgotten that? I sure had.
By the end, Chasek has written his own sound poem; in an interview, he said writing it, “felt like a creative temper tantrum—uncontrollable, but oddly liberating.” Through the course of the book, he shares his process of hamstringing language; I felt comforted by his tremendously mellow and jovial tone. Maybe this book will inspire you to write your own sound poem. Logic is all there is to lose.
About the author
Besides writing, LANE CHASEK enjoys watching 90s horror movies and cooking plant-based Sichuan recipes.Read more "BOOK REVIEW: Hugo Ball and the Fate of the Universe: Adventures in Sound Poetry by LANE CHASEK"