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BOOK REVIEW: Alien: Out of the Shadows (2014)

BOOK REVIEW: Alien: Out of the Shadows (2014)

Alien: Out of the Shadows was published in 2014 and is part of a trilogy of original stories based on the Alien films by Ridley Scott. Each book has a different author, this one was written by Tim Lebbon and takes place between the first and second movie.

This novel is a stand-alone story so knowledge of the movies isn’t necessary but it helps as they do make references from time to time. If you haven’t watched the Alien movies yet, seriously get on that shit immediately.

Alien: Out of the Shadows is about a man named Hoop, an engineer on a mining crew stationed on planet LV178. During a storm, their ship the Marion is knocked out of orbit as one of the mining shuttles returning from the planet crashes into a loading dock blowing it up and many of the Marion’s inhabitants. The remaining crew aboard the Marion watch in horror on closed circuit tv as another one of the shuttles trying to escape the planet has its occupants killed one by one first by the face huggers and then their offspring.

With the Marion being knocked out orbit it gets closer and closer to the planet’s atmosphere where it will inevitably burn up. Despite all efforts to contact Earth, no response comes back. Over 70 days later, the remaining crew of the Marion are still trying to survive and figure out how to make it to safety. A strange ship docks in the only remaining docking station left and the crew is optimistic that it’s someone responding to their distress signal. To their bewilderment and dismay when they get inside there is one woman and her cat asleep in the stasis pod, one Ellen Ripley.

Ripley awakens to find that she has been in stasis for 37 years and she’s now on a doomed ship infested with the aliens she thought she just left behind. I really enjoyed reading Ripley’s thoughts and perspective on the situations that occur in this book. Her characters mind read exactly how I imagined it.

In order to have any chance of getting home Ripley, Hoop, and the remaining crew must go to the mines on planet LV178 in order to find a much-needed battery to secure their flight home. While on the planet they encounter more of the aliens, face huggers and even an entirely new species of alien. Here is the only part I wish the reader was given more information, the new species of alien were interesting and I would have liked to know more about them. The whole book, however, is written in a way that lets you know time is of the essence, compelling the reader to panic and read frantically at times and making it unbearable to put the book down.

I wondered how they could make a book that fit between the first two movies work in terms of how they could dismiss its existence in the second movie but it works and it works well.

Any fans of the movies and fans sci-fi, in general, should definitely check out Alien: Out of the Shadows. I personally can’t wait to read the next book in this series Alien: Sea of Sorrows by James A. Moore. As a completist and avid fan of the movies, I also want to check out the movie’s novelizations.

Posted by Candace Stone in FICTION AND POETRY, 0 comments
INTERVIEW: Alistair Cross

INTERVIEW: Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross - Sleep Savannah Sleep Alistair Cross, acclaimed author of such works as The Crimson Corset and his newest novel Sleep Savannah Sleep and co-host of Haunted Nights Live! a radio program broadcast on the Authors On The Air Global Radio Network with the equally amazing author Tamara Thorne, was kind enough to do an interview with me for my home here at House of Tortured Souls. Before I get to the interview, though, I would like to tell you more about his works.
Alistair Cross - The Crimson CorsetAbout The Crimson Corset: Welcome to Crimson Cove a cozy village in California where Cade Coulter, our protagonist, moves to live with his brother hoping for a peaceful life. Everything is idyllic until the sun sets and the little tourist town begins to show more night death than nightlife. At the very edge of town sits The Crimson Corset known for its crazy soirees and licentiousness, where people can indulge their every fantasy no matter how depraved or unacceptable. The only thing is is that the place is owned and operated by a vampire.
The owner, Gretchen VanTreese, wants to take out the Old World Vampires that also exist in the town so that she can be free to create a new race of vampires that she will rule. And Cade Coulter will have to fight this wicked and enticing vampire, even give up his own humanity to save the town and everyone that he loves.
I loved this book. There is nothing better than a great story infused with blood, violence, and gore. Let me show you some of the reviews so you can get an even better idea:
Put Bram Stoker in a giant cocktail shaker, add a pinch of Laurell K. Hamilton, a shot of John Carpenter, and a healthy jigger of absinthe, and you’ll end up with Alistair Cross’s modern Gothic chiller, The Crimson Corset-a deliciously terrifying tale that will sink its teeth into you from page one.
—Jay Bonansinga, New York Times Bestselling author of The Walking Dead: Invasion and Lucid.
Alistair Cross’ new novel The Crimson Corset…is taut and elegantly written taking us into the realms where the erotic and the horrific meet. Reminiscent of the work of Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla, Uncle Silas) in its hothouse, almost Victorian intensity, it tells a multi-leveled story of misalliance and mixed motives. The language is darkly lyrical, and the tale is compelling. Read it; you’ll be glad you did.
—Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, author of Saint-Germaine Cycle and the Chesterton Holt Mysteries.
Very nice heavy hitters for a debut book!
Alistair Cross - The Angel AlejandroHe has also written The Book of Strange Persuasions, The Angel Alejandro, and the aforementioned Sleep Savanah Sleep. Alistair has also collaborated on many books with the sensational Tamara Thorne as Thorne&Cross. Some of their joint titles include The Cliffhouse Haunting, Mother, The Witches of Ravencrest, and The Ghosts of Ravencrest.
Which brings me to the next bit about him. Alistair Cross and Tamara Thorne started their own radio show called Haunted Nights Live! where they talk all things horror to some of the biggest names in the business. Featuring such guests as Chelsea Quinn Yarbro of the Saint-Germain vampire series, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels that inspired the hit television series, Jay Bonansinga of the Walking Dead series, and Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter novels.
So, now that we have established his illustrious credentials, let’s ask him some questions.
House of Tortured Souls: So, Alistair, what would you like people to know about you?
Alistair Cross: I am not a morning person: no, I will not help your sister move…and I prefer cats to most people.
HoTS: When I was doing research for this interview, I noticed on his website that in 1987 – He saw Carrie and the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, wrote more stories (most of which featured an unmanageably extensive cast of talking cats). So sorry I missed that readers.
Next question Alistair: What are your horror influences?

AC: Stephen King, of course, who was my introduction to the genre back when I was barely 8 years old. I am also influenced by Anne Rice, Dean Koontz, John Saul, Ira Levin, and William Peter Blatty, just to name a few.
HoTS: What did you do with your very first advance for a book??
AC: I just stared at it. A lot.
HoTS: What was your first scary movie?
AC: The first movie I remember being absolutely terrified by was Cujo. It still makes me a little uneasy.
HoTS: How do you write what you want without worrying about how your subject matter will be taken?
AC: As a horror author, I consider it my duty to shock and offend. There are few subjects I won’t touch on, animal cruelty for example because it’s not necessary and it’s too easy. But I don’t think about reader reaction when I’m writing. I write the stories I want to read and figure it is likely others out there will want to read them too.
HoTS: What is your spirit animal?
AC: Stevie Nicks is my spirit animal.
HoTS: Has anything in your books ever happened to you?
AC: While I’ve certainly never been lured into an underground lair of a seductive blond vampire or found an amnesiac angel in my koi pond after a violent storm, some of the events in my writing do come from personal experience. All fiction is rooted in truth, but I never set out to chronicle my own experiences. It’s about the characters and their stories, not mine. The only exception is Five Nights In a Haunted Cabin, a real-life account of an experience I had with my collaborator, Tamara Thorne.
HoTS: How did you and Tamara become writing partners?
AC: It’s an unusual story that began in the late 1990s when I came across Tamara’s novel Moonfall. I liked it so much, I got all of her books and began stalking her website via AOL dial-up because in my day we had to practice patience when we stalked people online. Several years later, after my first book was published, I began a blog dedicated to interviews with authors. Tamara Thorne was one of the first people I asked to be on my blog. She said yes and we hit it off enough that she asked me if I’d like to write a short story with her. That short story became a full-length novel, and that led to the next one and the one after that, and the rest is history. Writing with Tamara is one of the easiest, most natural things I have ever done and, at the risk of sounding corny, I believe it was simply meant to be.
House of Tortured Souls: And readers I thought it was only fair to reach out to Tamara Thorne and gets some fun stuff on Alistair from her:
Tamara Thorne: I love collaborating with Alistair. We spend our days working on Skype and when our cats start climbing us, we turn on the cameras. Alistair’s kitty, Pawpurrazzi, truly abuses him. I love watching the way she gives him kisses, then shoves her butt in his face. Those two are madly in love.
We write together in the Cloud and rarely recall who wrote what. After each day’s work – or after completing the first draft – my job is to read our words aloud. When we’re in edit mode, reading for hours can be pretty grueling, but my collaborator knows how to keep things lively. He moves ahead in the manuscript and adds lines so outrageous and rude that I fall apart – so does he. We relish our giggle breaks more than I can say. Once in a while, we leave an obscenity in to amuse our editors. The reactions are varied but hysterical.
So I cannot recommend these authors enough and I also cannot thank them enough for taking their time to answer some questions and share a few laughs. Below are some links for you to get to know and experience more of Alistair Cross and his partner in crime Tamara Thorne. And definitely, check out their radio broadcast.
INTERVIEW: Brooke Lewis (2017)

INTERVIEW: Brooke Lewis (2017)

Brooke Lewis / Photo credit: Roger A. Scheck

Photo credit: Roger A. Scheck

One of the Hardest Working Women in the Business

-Scream Queen, Amazing Actress, Author-

Hello readers, and thank you for joining me on another part of my series on celebrating the Gifted Heroines of Horror and Women in Film! I had the honor, joy, and just great time interviewing the most wondrous Scream Queen Brooke Lewis. When I say she is hardworking, I feel that I may be using that phrase inadequately. She is an actress, scream queen, Certified Life Coach and Dating Coach, Author, singer, producer, columnist, voice-over artist, has her own talk show/ web series, a clothing line, upcoming make-up line, and is also a hugely altruistic philanthropist. She makes me tired just thinking about it. One of my favorite things about her that we talked about is that she has a wonderful distinction in horror in that she has never been killed in a  horror film…yet.
Brooke is an award-winning actress who has starred in such films as the thriller iMurders (2008) with Gabrielle Anwar, William Forsythe, Tony Todd, Frank Grillo, Billy Dee Williams, and the amazing Charles Durning. Sinatra Club (2010) with Jason Gedrick, Danny Nucci, and Michael Nouri. And one of my new favorite shorts Sprinkles (2010).
House of Tortured Souls: Knowing she’s acted along such greats I asked her what some of those experiences were like I was especially interested in her work with Charles Durning known for being the King of Character Actors.
Brooke Lewis: You know I did five films with god rest his soul Charles Durning, yes I used to dine with the man. Adults really get it, Oscar-nominated for Dog Day Afternoon, When a Stranger Calls, TootsieCharles Durning. I mean are you kidding me? I have worked with Michael Pare: Eddie and the Cruisers, Streets of Fire, and The Philadelphia Experiment, he’s my friend. The legendary Billy Dee Williams: Mahogany, Star Wars: Episode V-The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi. I am not sure if the younger generation understands the magnitude of that. When I was a young girl, I was in high school and I was obsessed with Candyman and then I found out I was going to be starring next to Tony Todd, someone has got to be kidding me! I was so scared to be going on set but he is so great! The celebrity and fame have never changed him, he has done so much acting, even on Broadway. Tony is really more than meets the eye. Its crazy, I have gotten to work with both Costas and Loius Mandylor. Saw for Costas and My Big Fat Greek Wedding” for Louis.The thing is that they are just brilliant actors. One of my dearest kindred spirits is The Hills Have EyesSuze Lanier-Bramlett. She is like my soul sister. She was Bambi on Welcome Back Kotter, you know Barbarino’s girlfriend. We sit and talk about yesteryears, her life as an actress, being young and in Hollywood vs my experience and it is so scary. I don’t know if the younger generation of moviegoers will be able to distinguish between real stars of that era vs Youtube sensations with no real acting chops.You cant just get together with a few friends and spill ketchup on your boobs film it on your phone, dub yourself a Scream Queen and call it horror. Horror fans are way too intelligent for that. To know and understand the careers of people like Charles Durning or Billy Dee Williams or Margaret Colin and Larry Hankin from Home Alone may be out of their purview.
HoTS: I next asked Brooke about being a woman in horror and being a Scream Queen.

Brooke Lewis Brooke Lewis Brooke Lewis
BL: I embrace being a Scream Queen. I earned it! I am very proud to be on any lists where the greats like Jamie Lee Curtis, Adrienne Barbeau, and Dee Wallace along with the newer generation like my girls Felissa Rose and Debbie Rochon and the list goes on and on. As far as acting in horror, anything I have done in the horror genre is by choice. I am committed to a certain standard. People come up to me and are like but you did a film like Slime City Massacre? Yes, I did and thank you very much it won me the 2010 Golden Cobb award!

HoTS: And readers that was a hot year for horror! I checked her competitors that year and they were impressive. For BEST SCREAM QUEEN:
Debbie RochonSlime City Massacre
Victoria MauretteBulletface
Kristina KlebeZone of The Dead
April Monique BurrillChainsaw Sally
Brooke LewisSlime City Massacre
BL: People can say what they want, it was an ultra-low budget sequel to the cult classic “Slime City” (1988) and I had to make a decision, a choice when I made that film. When Greg Lamberson came to me and said you are one of the new IT girl Scream Queens of 07-08, read my script and see if you want to get involved. Look at any of the roles and maybe you wanna come in and produce in some way, and we bonded right away. That man is one smart man and he is an amazing writer and a great director. If you see the movie, the undertones and the subtext is amazing it covers drug addiction, gentrification, politics, US vs Canada, abortion, and it goes on and on. There are so many smart messages underneath the campy, gory, fun stuff, that I was inspired to do it. I am so glad I did because it became one of the horror films that I am most known for. Horror embraces strong women. I am a short, curvy, voluptuous, ethnic woman, horror embraces that pin-up look which I have always been grateful for. Horror always embraces outside the norm, I am not the typical Hollywood starlet look and horror does not discriminate. Not like most movies where you have to look like a supermodel in order to get naked, in horror real people have sex.
I can only speak for myself and some of my peers, I choose to be a powerful woman in horror. I don’t just act in horror, I have done Broadway, and thrillers, and mob movies, I just wrapped an amazing dramedy called 1/2 New Year, I do it all because I am an actress but the stuff that I have chosen to do in horror and I am very proud of it. I feel like I have got to do some great stuff, made some great films with some really great people.
HoTS: I then wanted to find out about the Ms. Vampy talk show/web series, But before we get into that, let me introduce you to Ms. Vampy. Ms. Vampy is America’s funniest, sexiest, sassiest and most extraordinary board certified Life Coach and Vampiress! Her personality is as big as her hair and is often described as Betty Boop meets Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny. She has two books, Ms. Vampy’s Teen Tawk and Coaching From a Professed Hot Mess. I have read them both readers and cannot recommend them highly enough. Ms. Vampy gives sage advice and does so in such a relatable and entertaining way.

BL: What do I get cast in usually in the mainstream? Hooker, stripper, because I have big boobs and big hair and I wear high heels because I am short so naturally…the hairstylist, the guidette, which I love and that’s how Ms. Vampy was born. I looked at the body of my biggest work and at that point in time, ten years ago it was mobster movies, it was comedy, big hair and guidette roles that I used to play like in Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding where I got my start  on Broadway which I love, then add horror to the mix. It came to me that this had never been done before and it is a lot of what my horror fans embrace about me. And I thought why not? Ms. Vampy is a Brooklyn, big-haired vampire guidette with a heart of gold. On the teen talk show, we talk about everything from the LGBTQ community, to racism, to sexism, to bullies and it was very important to me to get this done. It needs to be made and I will not stop till it is done correctly. She is from the Vamprelli crime family, killing people and drinking blood is declasse so she eats everything else that is red. So everything needs the suspension of reality because she has a heart of gold and tons of positive messages. She’s my alter-ego. She talks about everything that I have experienced in my life. Also there is the teen smash hit TV/talk show/web series Ms. Vampy’s Tween Tawk, Teen Tawk & In Between Tawk, which won the Honolulu Film Awards 2012 SILVER LEI AWARD, the coveted 18th Annual Communicator Awards (2012) AWARD OF DISTINCTION for Social Responsibility and Los Angeles Film Awards May 2017 INSPIRING WOMAN IN A FILM AWARD .

I wanted to bring to your attention readers three of her new projects. Psycho Therapy (2016) a short film was written and directed by another great woman in film and horrorStaci Layne Wilson. It has won twenty-one awards already, including awards for Brooke and her production company Philly Chick Pictures. Philadelphia is her hometown hence the name. The other is a film she already mentioned called 1/2 New Year which is in post-production so make sure to keep an eye out for it. The last was the aforementioned Sprinkles short film which has twenty-five wins also for Brooke and Philly Chick.

Brooke Lewis Brooke Lewis

Brooke also has partnered with Rock n’ Roll Lifestyle Company Metal Babe Mayhem to brand and launch their ‘Rock Your Hot Mess’, ‘Ms. Vampy’ and ‘Scream Queen Brooke Lewis’ clothing lines. She was also branded with the hypoallergenic Makeup and Skincare Company TASH Cosmetics to launch their ‘Profess Your Hot Mess’ and ‘Ms. Vampy Girl’ makeup lines. I told you this woman was busy!
As far as being a columnist she has the distinction of writing for the Huffington Post as a contributor which she started in 2012. With such great articles as “Ask the Drama Queen”, “Hollywood Darlings Let Their Light Shine With Anti-Bullying Campaign”, and “Ageism and Heterosexism in Hollywood.”
And if you were wondering about the singing she signed with Tazmania Records/Metropolitan Records and released the freestyle dance hit “Get Me Off Your Mind”. Released in 2009 and on the album Tazmania Freestyle In-motion vol. 13.
Brooke strongly believes in charity work that empowers women and young adults. She is active in several charities that support Breast Cancer and Anti-bullying and can be found feeding the Skid Row homeless at the Los Angeles Mission which I saw when she showed a few pictures at Christmas, best looking Santa’s helper out there. She is also a proud Breaking The Chains Foundation (BTCF) Celebrity Ambassador. Brooke is a proud member of Women In Film and Film Independent. She was also the Hot Hunks of Horror Hottie for 2009 and the co-captain of Dread Central’s Bowling for Boobies.
She also told me that people would say to her, with her cleavage, high heels, big hair, and makeup how did she expect to be taken seriously as an intelligent woman?And she would say to them really? She has more degrees than six of them combined. For her naysayers I will say this, she majored in rhetoric and communications, she minored in both theater and criminal justice. She was also Inducted into ‘Outstanding Filmmakers Of The Year’ at the first Hollywood Dreamz International Film Festival 2017 and for me to list all of her awards and accolades, I would need to get new hands after typing because mine would fall off!
Brooke Lewis / Photo credit: Roger A. Scheck

Photo credit: Roger A. Scheck

Brooke Lewis on the web:

So for myself, Horrormadam and everyone at the House of Tortured Souls I want to say thank you so much to Brooke Lewis and also huge congratulations on her fiancee’s proposal on September first (her birthday) 2017. Brooke is such a sweet, intelligent, and kind woman and she deserves all the best. And as she and Ms. Vampy would tell you. Be you…And be fearless and definitely Vamp It Out!
Metal Babe Mayhem: Scream Queen Brooke Lewis (SQBL)
Discount code #BROOKE16 to receive 20% OFF!
HoTS Christmas Edition: A Christmas Carol

HoTS Christmas Edition: A Christmas Carol

Flashing colored Christmas lights
ChristmasCarolLogo / Fair use doctrine.
I have mentioned before how spooky winter was in the olden days. The last of a fallen animals body heat leaving their body, even the brief fog humans made as they breathed in the chili air had people thinking of spirits. Also, the improper storage of the last harvest caused wonderful hallucinations. They would pile up their grains and the dampness caused mildew; also, rye was often contaminated with ergots, which scientists now believe is the cause of the Salem tragedy. Charles Dickens was, of course, born quite a bit after that occurred. Still, the mists and, by that time, 'nose powder' (and the fact that Dickens was an English novelist with rock star status), helped to make A Christmas Carol as popular as it became.
Alastair Sim-A Christmas Carol (1951) / Fair use doctrine.
Charles was not only an awesome author but an incredible actor, making him the best of storytellers. He would pack the crowd when doing his book tours, Charles Dickens acting out his own words on the stage was a sight to see. A Christmas Carol was published in 1843, just a few decades after much of America started celebrating Christmas again ( The Puritans saw Christmas just as a time for the poor to wassail the rich, and also believed that Dec the 25th became the popular date to celebrate the birth of Christ to cover up the Roman holiday Saturnalia (which was a festive celebration of the God Saturn) many Christian Holidays 'occur' during the time of more 'uncivilized heathens' Holidays, so nothing new there.

Muppets-A Christmas Carol / Fair use doctrine.

Dickens was inspired to write A Christmas Carol one night after he spoke one night at a charity event for Manchester Athenaeum. He was broken hearted and worried about the outcome of the poor and ignored children. After the event, he roamed the chili, night air streets (it was October after all) and became obsessed with getting his story out in time for Christmas.

A Christmas Carol is still reenacted every year across the nation on many stages. And has been turned into a movie, not once but 49 times! From old cranky men to muppets, to animated versions of Jim Carrey!

The first being put out in 1908, Tom Ricketts was the first screen Scrooge.

ScroogeMcDuck-A Christmas Carol / Fair use doctrine.

Some of the more popular Ebenezers have been:

Alastair Sim

George C. Scott
(yep dude from The Exorcist)

Patrick Stewart

Bill Murray

Michael Caine

Jim Carrey

Flashing colored Christmas lights
I am delighted by the fact that the most popular Christmas story is filled with ghosts, hauntings, nightmares, and a vision of one's own death. Nothing better than scaring the Christmas spirit into someone. 😉

POETRY TRIBUTE: William Castle

POETRY TRIBUTE: William Castle

POETRY TRIBUTE: William Castle

House on Haunted Hill!

©Rich Orth

Ennis House from William Castle's House on Haunted Hill / Fair use doctrine.You are cordially invited
To the House on Haunted Hill
Hold tight to your seats
Await the thrills
Can you just spend the night
How hard can it be
Not such a fright
That you screamingly flee
An easy 10,000 bucks
Yours for the taking
A little tale of terror
Of William Castle's making
Another priceless performance
by Vincent
Frank Lloyd Wright's structure
And every time the skeleton
rises from the vat
Several in the audience jump up
to leave
So come have some cocktails
Remember doors lock come midnight
And when all seems said and done
The ghosts will come for you
That begins the true fun...............
Vincent Price House on Haunted Hill / Fair use doctrine.

From The Castle to the Grave!

©Rich Orth

William Castle for President / Fair use doctrine.From the Grave he writes
Invites you into his world.
Scribe that refuses to die
He is risen
As he rises to the occasion
Devises ways for all to succeed
Conceiving the anatomy
Of a story that lives
Awkakens our souls
Exclaims as it unfold
A phantom
living upon a hilltop
gripped by things he doesn’t understand
What is it. Unknown to a dead man.
He ….scares it forward
Elicits the living,,, all onboard..
The tingler it grips
your spine…
The sense of
it should be defined
Clever to the end
Endeavor as we intend….
A full moon is love and death and destiny.
As it rises and as it sets
A full moon is love and death and destiny.
and not necessarily all it besets
A full moon is love and death and destiny
As it rises and as it sets
He Scares us forward without regret
William Castle's grave / Fair use doctrine.
Posted by Rich Orth in FICTION AND POETRY, 0 comments
2016 Scary Story Competition Entries

2016 Scary Story Competition Entries

By Woofer McWooferson
If you're like the folks here at House of Tortured Souls, you're suffering just a hair of post Halloween let down. Well, fear not because House of Tortured Souls has you covered. We've compiled a handy linked list of entries in our 2016 scary story competition.
Take a look at these six tales and let us know what you think. Which ones made you lock the doors? Which ones made you keep the lights on? Which ones kept YOU up at night?
A special thanks to all of our contestants and good luck!
Be sure to keep an eye out for Rich Orth's Halloween collaborations.
Posted by Woofer McWooferson in CONTESTS, FICTION AND POETRY, HALLOWEEN, PARANORMAL, 0 comments

POETRY: Halloween Night

By John Roisland

Halloween Night

The sun lays dying into the night on a quiet little town
Halloween night is now upon us
the moon comes up from behind the skeleton shaped trees
a cackling woman flies to the night as you hear a distant howling at the moon
spirits of the dead rise from the grave from nearby cemeteries to occupy the hearts of the young
proper attire is worn as an offering to the dead
the anticipation of the town folk is building as their homes are decorated and prepared for the invasion they are about to live witness to.
the slight chill in the air the crisp cold night is upon us
you can now hear the wind begin to scream as is whips around the bare trees that stand tall and dark as they watch over you
the sounds of rustling dead leaves as small demons trample through them going house-to-house begging and screaming
distant laughter as the elders gather around open bon fires sipping on holiday spirits and witches brew in resemblance of covens from years ago
a jack o' lantern's sinister grin
Halloween night is now upon us
the smell of smoke and burning autumn leaves fills the air
little hearts race as they run the streets so full of excitement and angst
young demons watch as their take gets larger and larger with every stop
the night grows late and the air gets cold
a deafening silence begins to fall over the town
the feet of little demons exhausted from their rampage of terrorizing homes in the sleepy little town
the moon stands still in the far distance as the spirits return to their graves
sleep now young demons and dream the dark dreams of monsters, vampires, and witches
awaken again next year to dance yet again in celebration with the spirits of the dead
for this is Halloween night
Keep it Evil...
Posted by John Roisland in FICTION AND POETRY, 0 comments
POETRY: Two Poems Inspired by the Art of Julie Dunic

POETRY: Two Poems Inspired by the Art of Julie Dunic

By Rich Orth

This Halloween I am collaborating with several artists to create original poetry/art combinations for the season. To get this started, I will ease us in with two recent collaborations with artist Julie Dunic.

Click to enlarge.

Words: ©Rich Orth / Art: ©Julie Dunic

Words: ©Rich Orth / Art: ©Julie Dunic

I will also be teaming up with Neil Tandy tomorrow night as well as Robert Uller, Jerry Langdon, Levi Lionel Leland, Sharon Maher, Mark Sean Orr, Xtopher Richmond, and Gaz Rees later this month.

Stay tuned to see what develops.

Posted by Rich Orth in FICTION AND POETRY, 0 comments


The following poems were written by Rich Orth, Poet in Residence, House of Tortured Souls, and were inspired by the following image from Mark Sean Orr.

Old house - Photo by Mark Sean Orr.

Photo by Mark Sean Orr

Dedicated to William and Terry Castle

House Upon the Hill!
©Rich Orth

I await guests
For time has past
Oh, how ....I despise dispassionate rest
One savors love...
Expresses affection
Though...I am master
You..... purely convection
Sugar to my soullessness
Sustenance to deception
Imploring as I assail
Intrepid little misconceptions
I await guests
For time has past
Oh, how ....I despise dispassionate rest

© Rich Orth

Guilelessly one deceives
Simple truths once perceived
Whence a friend suddenly leaves
We mindfully supplicate all beliefs
Deterioration began with loss
Alone we remain...oh, at what cost it exhausts it exhausts
Fetching they deceive
on morrow I awake....she no longer breathes
Swallowed by grief
No abrogation to my relief
Guilelessly one deceives
Simple truths once perceived
Whence a friend suddenly leaves
We mindfully supplicate all beliefs
Deterioration began with loss
Alone we remain...oh, at what cost it exhausts it exhausts

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in FICTION AND POETRY, 0 comments
ORIGINAL FICTION: After Darkness Finds Its Bite (Part 1)

ORIGINAL FICTION: After Darkness Finds Its Bite (Part 1)

After Darkness Finds Its Bite
(Part 1)

Miami Beach, April 16, 1981

By Bal Hergel

After Darkness Finds Its Bite 01Pain. Ache. Headache. The throbbing kind. The don’t-wake-me-up-motherfucker kind. Too late. Definitely, the I’m already up kind. So, deplane from your dreams. Abandon the shadows of infancy. Shut your senses to the call of soft and warm. Defile horizontality using muscle and tendon against ground and bone. Stand up, like a totem, like a pole, like a ghost, like a fraud. Your fighting spirit already precedes you like the archangel of the lord. Meanwhile, most of the twitching fibers of your body are loading to recoil.

To be continued...

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Pain Dead Seven: An Original Horror Story by Jason Messenheimer

Pain Dead Seven: An Original Horror Story by Jason Messenheimer

The following is a work of fiction, written by Jason Messenheimer. Jason has given House of Tortured Souls his permission to post his short stories.

Pain Dead Seven

Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fucking fuckety fuck. I can’t believe that I didn’t notice this problem developing earlier. I could have been preparing for this cluster fuck weeks ago. Fuck.

My problem is so simple that I should have noticed it earlier. How hard is it to see how many zombies are traveling in groups? If I didn’t have such a hard on trying to punish the people who wronged me, I could have dealt with this problem before it got out of hand. It almost got me killed in the process.

I had what I thought was a lead on one of the preppy chicks and the house her and a few of her cheerleader friends that didn’t get killed at the school and a few of the jocks to boot. I was circling some houses in the neighborhood looking for clues to what house they might be hiding out in, number of people hiding out in there, and the most painful way I could put them to death. I walked around to the front door and almost got myself turned into lunch.

There was a shit ton of zombies coming down the road. I was going to be enveloped by them. There was nowhere for me to run and hide. My adrenaline kicked in and the shit ton of zombies turned their attention on me.

I knew I had to be quick to get the adrenaline out of my system and heart rate under control. I turned my back to the shit ton, faced the house, closed my eyes, and tried to control myself. My brain didn’t help out much. I think it was trying to get me killed. I kept waiting for the cold and clammy hand to grab me by the back of the neck or my arm. I kept waiting for the rotten teeth to bite me and the rotten smell of their breath. There would be no coming back as a zombie if that happened. I was fucked and I knew it. Krysta wasn’t saving my ass this time.

I closed my eyes and focused on the blackness. I tried to control my breathing and not think. I could feel the undead pressing up against my back. I started breathing though my mouth hoping I wouldn’t gag. I didn’t think of shit. It was hard not to think of anything when I had rotten flesh rubbing against my backside.

So I waited, and waited, and waited. Eventually the herd or horde or whatever the fuck you wanted to call them took off, leaving me against the side of the house trying not to fill up the backside of my pants. Fuck the preppies. I had a bigger problem to deal with. I was determined not to be put into that type of situation again.

So I waited for what seemed like months for a solution to present itself. It happened sometime around what I believe what passes for Christmas these days. I was walking around looking for some Christmas cheer. I happened to find the solution to my problem in one of the National Guard jeeps that was parked around town. I was shocked that I didn’t think of it sooner. Okay, I’ll fucking admit it, I wasn’t looking too, hard and with this huge shit storm of zombies running around I didn’t venture to far from where I was hiding these days. I got up, got dressed, got fed, got drunk, got more drunk, got shitfaced, and got passed out. Repeat process as needed. Now that I had part of my problem solved, it was time for me to figure out how to put my plan into action.

I found the rest of what I needed in the next couple of days, a working snowmobile, chain, and an ice shanty. For those of you that don’t know, an ice shanty is a small house that inbred Northern fuckers take out to fish during the winter and also keeps them warm so they could get drunk as fuck. Another thing that I noticed was I was an idiot for fearing the shit ton. Unless the wind was blowing the wrong way, I could usually smell them before I heard or saw them.

I also found a couple of other things that seemed to fit for what I was trying to do. An old boom box, batteries, and an Anthrax CD. I wasn’t happy about the thought of destroying the Anthrax CD, but sacrifices are to be made.

A couple of days before I was about to implement my plan I spent them reading the instructions on the party favors I found in the back of the Jeep. I also waited for Krysta to stop by and ask her to give me a hand in what I planned to do. She nodded in what I think was an agreement. The only thing I had left to prepare for was putting my party favors on the roof of a house that was near the silt bottomed lake.

The day of the main event I left Krysta a couple of last minute instructions. The first thing I told her to do was turn on the boom box. She was then told to walk around the town and pick up as many zombies as she could pick up and walk out to the lake. When she got to the lake she was supposed to get out onto the shanty as fast as her zombie legs could carry her. She was then told to open the door to the ice shanty, throw the boom box in and get the fuck off of the ice as quick as she could.
A couple of frozen digit hours later I heard Krysta coming. I got my party favor out and set it up. Krysta made it out to the ice shanty no problem. She opened the door of the ice shanty, threw in the boom box and started making her way across the lake. I followed her progress with my binoculars I got from the jeep. When I saw her hit the other side of the lake I got out the rocket launcher and aimed it at the lake trying to get the ice shanty in the crosshairs. I figured that I had got it close enough I pulled the trigger. There were a bunch of zombies in the way of it, blocking my view.

The rocket made the whoosh sound they made in the movies and headed right to the ice shanty like it was a heat seeking missile. Did I mention I filled up the ice shanty with all kinds of gas and explosives? Zombies shot up as far as twenty feet in the air. Explosions rocked the shanty and destroyed the ice. Zombies fell through the ice and tumbled down into the black lake. Since the bottom of the lake was silt they wouldn’t be back. I would advise not to swim or fish in these waters. It was a thing of beauty that almost made me cry.

Merry Christmas, you undead mother fuckers.

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Zombies: To George A. Romero

Zombies: To George A. Romero

Zombies: A Tribute to George A. Romero

George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead forever changed our view of zombies. Since then, he has released five additional zombie movies. On this day in 2005, George A. Romero's Land of the Dead was released theatrically. House of Tortured Souls pays tribute to Romero and his zombies with two poems by our resident poet Rich Orth.


Zombie silhouettes designed by Freepik

Sea Escape!
©Rich Orth

Lost Johnny this morning
God them bastards are fast
Wish Romero did more research
Maybe we'd be able to last
They function, predators
on top of their game
Snuffing us out
like flickering flames

Zombie silhouettes designed by Freepik

Savagely killing....

Only to have our friends
rise again
Our numbers diminish
For every one we kill.... 4

appear to return.........
We've run out of land
There is no high ground
Surrender not an option
Suicide may be the only escape
Zombie silhouettes designed by FreepikI last the Ocean
we flee
With the slightest notion of what
to expect
Upon the seas
Marauding Pirate zombies
or zombie serpents
So must shit has hit the fan
Nothing would surprise me..............


Zombie silhouettes designed by FreepikZombie Preamble!
 ©Rich Orth

In this city of sin
Where life is a gamble
Heard my first rendition
Of the Zombie preamble
Now a majority rule
Constitution theirs to change
We the Living Dead people
In order to form a more perfect union
Zombie silhouettes designed by FreepikNo matter how deranged
Basically are saying .."Screw You"
We want your brains, only as hors d'oeuvres
You are merely
Soylent Green
A way to a means
As we march on, well lumber that is
Eating your young
Killing your bitches
Well since that day
I've been in hiding
We sit here now
Zombie silhouettes designed by FreepikTime is bidin'
Immoral Majority take heed
Will fight for your second death
Should there be need
Enjoy the top
While you can
Cause one shot
to the head
And your ass again
will be dead




Zombie silhouettes designed by Freepik

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in FICTION AND POETRY, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
In Remembrance: Four Poems for Memorial Day

In Remembrance: Four Poems for Memorial Day

Honoring the Fallen:
In Remembrance

Poems by Rich Orth

House of Tortured Souls is happy to welcome Rich Orth to our team. Rich is a contemporary poet whose works reflect the influences of both Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. Today, as we honor the fallen, Rich brings us four poignant poems of death and remembrance.

Sullivan's Sarah!

©Rich Orth
03/12/2014 9:20pm

Remembrance - Sulivan BallouThough breath t'is billowing breeze
...cooling thy brow on warm Summer's day
when zephyr caresses thy temples t'is again, my breath,
...whispering thy name
My arms eternally embrace thee
...through infinite restless nights
Mere death shall never asphyxiate a love... we once inhaled
As Sarah's sigh exhales, even captured by death's clutch..... your pain reverberates
If only it emancipates our Hell
Enraptures me since I fell.........
But not yet...

In my coldness I shudder as She, my Beloved
...remains shuttered in her necroptic garden...
aided and abetted by forlornness
For no crime t'is she imprisoned
Yet no key t'is fashioned to unlock her silence
All I implore...scream from this netherworld
A promise is a promise...Forever I shall be in your presence
Forever Sarah shall be my Girl


©Rich Orth

Remembrance - Angel gravestone

The gallant young boy
Went forth with a cause
To right all ills
Never seeking applause
To foreign lands
He bared his soul
Became a man
His youth they stole
Surrounded by death
Strife impossible to bear
He soldiered on
Disguising his despair
Last she heard
His face was still brave
Never let on
Now she weeps by his grave
So never deny
A smile to that boy
Dressed in his uniforms
Barely done with his toys
Reach out to him
Before he ventures away
Thank him for serving
For his time may come today.........…

Letter to home!

©Rich Orth

Remembrance - Asa Lovejoy

Sorry I haven’t written home much
Sorry for all I’ve done
that’s been wrong
Sorry, cause I’ve lost touch
With your reality…
Which I no longer feel

Sorry so sorry it is…. my world..

Gone & perhaps forgotten..
Forgotten to all but me,

Bobby died in my arms today
His blood soaked through
to my bones
It was so warm, yet he so cold
God, he was just 19 years old
Their country took him away
Mine has estranged me from you
Mother, what more can I do
What more can we give
When will THEY realize
When will THEY learn………
Why must we suffer?
To be boxed and returned
Flagged draped for appearance
Why must we suffer?
All of us concerned
Lost in worlds of incoherence
Oh so sorry…enough about me…
I digressed…an in the moment thing
How is Dad? And my boy, Taz?
And the pretty girl next door?
And all else I believed I was fighting for
I love you all to death….
With each waking breath…
If only…if only…
Well, goodbye for this moment
Remember me in your prayers
Goodbye, my dear Mother..
Do not despair……

Once more, Forever!

©Rich Orth

Remembrance - Josiah Leavitt

When I left you
You were still
with Mommy
As I pressed against
her belly
My promise was sealed
You kicked once for yes
You understood..
I would return
For You..
For sweet 16..
That High School grad..
A drink on your 21st
And the saddest ..happiest,
dream come true
A walk down the aisle with you...
For now...Someone else
Can carry my dufflebag
Cause I got time sensitive
More important things to embrace
My love...your love
Accelerated my will
to return
Over the next decades
I shall never get my fill
Moments in time
With you
Loved by you
I can never replace..
The lost time
But just seeing your face...
Was always etched in my mind!


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Pain Dead Six: An Original Horror Story by Jason Messenheimer

Pain Dead Six: An Original Horror Story by Jason Messenheimer

The following is a work of fiction, written by Jason Messenheimer. Jason has given House of Tortured Souls his permission to post his short stories.

Pain Dead Six

Tom Petty was right, even the losers get lucky some time. What Krysta just showed me, well, I think I hit the galactic lottery. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t searched this way before. Granted it’s a few miles out of town and I really had no reason to come out here since I was put through enough shit during the years I was here. Somehow, though, Krysta had thought to come out here and check things out. It’s time for me to go back to school.

I scoped out the school, trying to get a number of how many people were in there. I would walk up towards the school at dawn so the sun was behind me, making it difficult for anyone watching for the dead not see me very well. It turned out I didn’t have to do that. The two people they had looking out were with their combined their IQ were still dumber that a sack of hammers, and I’m being nice to the hammers.

So Jason and Jeremy, the jackass twins, were the ones that some dumbass left in charge to watch for trouble. Whoever's idea this was is a dumbass. Fucker should get an award for that. The Dumbass Award has a nice ring to it.

So every morning it was the same routine for the two idiots on the roof. They would climb up to the roof, walk around the perimeter, and when they didn’t see any threat sit down and started playing cards. It would be at that point where I would sneak up below where they were sitting and start gathering information while these played cards.

Come to find out that most of the cheerleaders were living in the school. Jason and Jeremy were trying to bang them all first. There were a couple of drama students that they were messing with. I was glad because I hated the drama club. The best part, the one part that I couldn’t believe, was that my most hated enemy was there, the one asshole who made sure that anyone who wasn’t a preppy or jock had a miserable time: the principal Mr. Gunn. I was going to make sure I had some detention time with that fuck.

I scoped out the place for a week. I needed to know how many people I was dealing with and how they dealt with an emergency. The people I was trying to kill kept getting dumber and dumber. These idiots still practiced fire drills. The students would run into the gym while Mr. Gunn went into his office where he had monitors that were placed all over the school so he could see what was going on. He would then feed the information through the PA system and let the students know what was going on. It made so much fucking noise I was astonished that the zombies hadn’t broken in yet and ate them all. That would all change very quickly.

There was another thing about the school that bothered me. Somehow that fucking school still had power. I tried to figure out how the hell they managed that one. But since I’m not an electrician I had no idea. It would have been nice to figure that out so I could sabotage the electricity and kill a few of those people while they slept. Fortunately I was creative so I didn’t have to worry about it too much.

The night before the fun and games I collected some toys. I placed a ladder so I would have the sun at my back when it came up. I found a gun with no bullets, but I wasn’t going to tell anyone that. I also brought along some rope, zip ties, and chain. Anything else I needed I could pick up in shop class. The last thing I had was a rain poncho I painted black. I didn’t need Gunn or anyone else figuring out who I was until I was ready for it.

So the day pretty much started like any before it. The fucking idiots half ass walked around the roof, trying to see if there were any threats off in the distance. If they would have taken the time to do the right thing, they could have looked over the side of the roof and caught me. Then they sat down and started playing cards.

I set up the ladder quietly and then went up the ladder slowly. I reached the point where I could stick my head up over the edge of the roof and looked over. Tweedle Dumber and Tweedle Dumbass were playing cards, backs to the sun so the light wouldn’t shine in their eyes while playing. I climbed over the side and slowly made my way back behind Jason. I looked at his hand.

“Should have folded,” I said into his ear. He tried to drop his hand and reach for his gun. I smacked him right between the eyes, laying him out cold. I then focused my energies on Jeremy.

“No funny shit. Drop your belt slowly. Any funny moves and the last thing you will ever see is this bullet going straight into your skull.” I had no ammo and I could barely fire a gun, but Jeremy didn’t know that and it was information that I didn’t feel like sharing.

I had Jason walk to the edge of the building. “Take these zip ties and wrap your wrists together in front of you. If I even think that you might be thinking about doing something I will drop kick your ass off of this fucking roof. Probably won’t kill you, but it might slow you down and, well, lunch menu for you.”

I tightened the zip ties and had Jason interlock his fingers. I then tied his fingers together. Last I tied his ankles together. Satisfied, I measured out about three feet of rope, attached it to a pipe and kicked the fucking bastard off the roof. Hopefully if I measured out the right length of rope, he would be just out of the biting range of any zombies that might show up but not out of grabbing range.

I heard Jason grunt when he swung down and hit the roof. He started screaming all types of threats. I wasn’t concerned. I was laughing when he asked me who I was. He couldn’t make out who I was from the poncho covering up part of my face.

“Can’t tell you that, chief. If you somehow get out of the mess I don’t need to worry about you trying to return the favor.”

While Jason was screaming his head off, I had some company drop in on him after I did the same thing to Jeremy. He was fucking pissed when he hit the wall and came to. Both of them screaming their heads off. I leaned over the side and looked at them. “Shhh,” I said, “you’ll wake the neighbors.” It was then when the zombies started coming at them. I think I heard a familiar snap, snap, snap, but I was in a bit of a hurry so I didn’t go and check out that theory.

I picked up one of the guns that one of the idiots dropped and fired off a few shots. I heard the sound of quite a few zombies heading my way. I then heard the one thing that I hoped I would hear. A voice that was heard, but never forgotten.

“Attention all students, this is your principal Mr. Gunn. It seems that there are a large number of zombies coming this way. Please don’t panic and make your way calmly to the gym. When I get more information I will let you know. We trained for this, and we know how to survive this.”

I hauled ass to the back of the roof and started down the ladder taking the rungs two at a time. I hit the ground running and made my way through the first set of double doors and inside the school. Apparently these morons didn’t lock them and they probably knew that zombies couldn’t open doors. Too bad they never planned for me.

I ran through the school as quickly as I could, making the trip to the principal’s office before Gunn saw me. Making way through the school without zombies was a good thing because my adrenal gland was on fucking overdrive.

I hit the door to the office and realized that I probably had maybe a minute before Gunn realized what I was up to. I used a chain to lock Gunn into his office by chaining one door handle to another that was across the hall. Both of the doors swung inside so I didn’t have to worry about Gunn getting out that way. There were zombies just outside of his window so I knew he wasn’t getting out of the office. The windows were reinforced so the zombies weren’t getting in that way. I then heard Gunn scream about ten seconds later and was then up at the door, banging on it, demanding that I release him. I gave him a one finger salute.

I then ran to the gym. I took the rest of my chain and chained all of the door handles together so it was going to be very difficult to get out of the gym. So then I had to make a very difficult decision. Do I come back and take the chains off of the door or let them starve to death. Decisions, decisions.

Before I headed back to the principal’s office I made a stop at the wood shop to pick up a few toys I was going to need. I grabbed a couple of duffel bags, emptied them out on the floor, and started to load up.

When I was running back to the office I turned the last corner and almost got killed. There were three zombies in the hall way and were making their way down the hall towards the gym. I had too much adrenaline cruising through my veins to slow down and control my breathing. So I did the next best thing. I swung one of the duffel bags into the lead zombie, knocking it into the one behind it and tripping the third. I then entered the outer office, slammed the door behind me, and locked it. There were more zombies entering the school so I wasn’t going out the way I came in.

I pulled my gun and pointed it at Gunn through the window. “Step away from the window and go sit in your chair.”

“What do you want,” asked Gunn.

“I just want to talk about a couple of things. Just go back to your chair and sit the fuck down.”

“Not until you tell me what you want.”

“Right now I want to shoot you in your fucking kneecap. I just want you to sit in your chair.”

“Not until you tell me…”

I cocked the hammer. Gunn quit his posturing and sat in his chair.

“Now use your feet and move your chair to the front of the desk,” I ordered. Gunn did as he was ordered.

I used my free hand and then loosened the chain and dropped it onto the floor. I kept my gun on Gunn the entire time. There was no way he was going to attack me because he was about twenty feet away and I could shoot him before he got close. Gunn was afraid of getting shot and killed.

I walked into the office, gun still trained on the principal. I reached into my pocket and pulled out a roll of duct tape and tossed it at Gunn.

“Wrap your hand to the arm of your chair. Don’t try to be cute. If I even think you’re fucking around and leaving your arm loose I’ll shoot you in the kneecap and throw you to the zombies outside this office.”

Gunn taped up his arm to my satisfaction. I told him to throw the tape back to me. While I was trying to tape up his other arm he tried to kick me in the nuts. He got a gun upside his head and got his ass knocked out for his trouble. After I managed to get his other arm taped up, I glued his shoes to the floor. It was only a temporary measure until he woke up. When he finally woke, I think he was trying to ask me what the fuck was going on. I heard something along the lines of ‘wha ta fuh dih yu duh’, spitting out splinters of teeth in the process.

“Are we awake and wanting to act civilized now,” I asked Gunn, ”well, you fucked up that for you. I need to make sure that you never try to kick me again.”

I didn’t have the gun still pointed at him. Instead I was digging through the bags, looking for a couple of items I had packed earlier. I placed them on the table and Gunn started crying.

“No,” he pleaded, “please no. Don’t do it. Please.”

“Well,” I said, “I just told you that I wanted to talk and you decided to take a kick at my nards. So here is what’s going to happen. I’m going to make sure that you can’t do that again.”

I took a nail and placed it over the front of one of his shoes. I’m not sure what size it was or what kind. All I knew is it was one of the biggest I could find. I hammered it through his shoe, through his foot, and into the floor. Gunn had a linoleum floor so I knew the foot wasn’t going anywhere. I put four more nails into his foot and then repeated the process on his other foot. Sometime while I was doing this Gunn passed out again. I didn’t mind. I set up some of my other tools from the duffel bags.

I happened to glance at the monitors that were at various places throughout the school. What I saw on the monitor over at the front door shocked me a little but I really wasn’t surprised. There was Krysta holding open the front door letting in some of her other friends.

“Now we come to the interesting part of the show, why I’m here.”

“I don’t even fucking know who the fuck you are,” Gunn cried.

“That’s because I hid in plain sight in front of you, and the jocks, the junkies, the teachers, and every other asshole that ever had a reason to be in this fucking school.”

I got angry and stepped on his shoe, letting more blood ooze out of his foot and on to the fucking floor.

“If I knew who you are maybe I could try to help.”

“Help? Me? Now?” I asked, “Let me ask you one simple question.”

I ripped the poncho away from my face, “Who the fuck am I?”

“I- I- I-” stuttered Gunn.

“You have no idea who the fuck I am. But let me assure I know who you are, and I know what you have done. Let’s start with a couple of suspensions because a couple of students brought a copy of the Necronomicon into the school. They weren’t reading the damn book or trying to convert anyone to their way of thinking. They just brought it to the school so they could practice it after school at their homes.”

“I-I-I-” started Gunn again.

I kicked his chair hard and he skidded on the wheels but the nails in his foot stopped him after a bit. Gunn screamed and more blood leaked onto the floor. Like I gave a shit.

“Should we also talk about how a couple of the teachers were having relationships with their students that you covered up? What about the suspensions from students who brought their pagan beliefs into the school? You suspended them when you found out there were books like that on school property, but it was okay for the little Christian kids prayed in the corners. Did you ever bother to figure out how the football team passed English class? I’ll tell you how they did it. They kicked the shit out of me and stole my homework. So I only got one question, what the fuck were you thinking?”

Gunn started muttering some half ass regulation about school rules or some shit. I grabbed a box cutter that I had left on his desk, grabbed a handful of his hair, and basically scalped him. He screamed and I punched him in the cheek. He spit out more blood where his cheek was cut by his jagged teeth. I kept cutting his hair until he was mostly bald. Gunn whimpered, but didn’t give me any more shit.

I threw the bloody box cutter on Gunn’s desk and started looking through the duffel bag until I found what I was looking for, a marker. I then started using the marker to trace lines around his forehead like I was about to perform surgery. Well I was, kind of. Gunn started whimpering again.

I reached for some duct tape and started taping up Gunn’s mouth. “Now since I was a student and always interested in the sciences, I have one question that I needs to be solved today, what the fuck were you thinking?”

I tossed the duct tape back onto the desk and picked up the box cutter again. It looked like the blade was dull. I could have changed it with one of the new blades, but I really wanted it to hurt. A lot. I started at his forehead and started cutting. Gunn’s initial reaction was to try to get away. He couldn’t move very far before the nails in his foot stopped him. Blood started pouring down his head and more erupted from his feet.

The zombies at the door started getting excited at the blood bath going on in the principal’s office. I wasn’t too worried though. As long as there were two doors between me and the zombies I wasn’t going to lose any sleep over it. I was way too jacked to get any sleep anytime soon. I just had to make sure I was done before they broke in. If I was extremely lucky, Krysta would find a way to distract them for me.

I was almost done cutting around Gunn’s head. I dropped the box cutter and started peeling his head back. He was screaming so loud I was glad I taped up his mouth or zombies would be coming in from the next county. Instead of cutting off the last little bit off of the back of Gunn’s head I just ripped it and muscled it off.

Gunn’s head was this white and red mess from the exposed skull. Getting into the brain was going to me a real challenge. I had shop tools, not medical equipment. It might take me a while to remove the skull, but I wanted to see what made this motherfucker tick.

I grabbed the circular saw and plugged it in. I started to approach Gunn and he was making my job very difficult. I was hoping by this point he might have passed out to make this a little easier. When I approached Gunn, he started pushing himself in the chair as far as he could go, staying out of reach of me and the saw. This might have slowed me down. So I picked up the drill instead and drilled right into the kneecaps. I then picked up the box cutter, changed the blade, and then cut the ligaments on the back of his knee. Fucker was not pushing away from me now.

It took me some trial and error to find the saw blade that would cut through the skull with the least amount of time. The zombies outside the door were going a little crazy from all the noise we were making, but I had to get into the fuckers head to see what made him tick. Hopefully I'd still make it out of this school alive. But, since I wasn’t a surgeon and didn’t know how thick the skull was before it made it into the brain, I had to take it slowly so I didn’t cut into it. My work was never done.

I got to the depth where I thing I was at the point where I could pop off the top of the skull. I took a rubber mallet and chisel and tried to pop it off. When I tried the third time it popped it right off. The top of his skull landed on the floor and started skittering towards the corner.

I plugged in the wood burning tool and started picking around the brain. Little burn marks appeared here and there where I was poking trying to figure out what made Gunn’s brain tick. He kept making these strange noises while I poked around. The brain looked the same as any picture in a biology book. There were no black and green parts or some black and blue pus I was expecting. There was none of that. It looked like a plain, ordinary brain. The last part of the brain it touched made Gunn piss and shit himself. I took the wood burner and shoved it it right down in the middle of his brain. Gunn convulsed and lay still.

I looked around the room, seeing if there was anything I wanted to take with me. Nope, I left all my good toys at home. I then started the task of calming my ass down. I quit thinking and slowed my breathing. I left Gunn’s office and approached the outer door. The zombies were paying no attention to me. They were staring into Gunn’s office to where the brain was cooking. I hoped this didn’t make the zombies fucked in the head. I opened the door and let them in, staying behind the door. They paid me no mind and I waited until I had the chance and slipped out.

I started towards the gym. I was going to remove the chain and let the neighbors in to have a snack. About half way down the hall I saw a cheerleader running towards the principal’s office. I heard the familiar snap, snap, snap coming after her. Fuck this place, I’m going home.

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in FICTION AND POETRY, 0 comments
Pain Dead Five: An Original Horror Story by Jason Messenheimer

Pain Dead Five: An Original Horror Story by Jason Messenheimer

Pain Dead

The following is a work of fiction, written by Jason Messenheimer. Jason has given House of Tortured Souls his permission to post his short stories.

Pain Dead Five

Dear Diary, Today was a very strange day at school. Sammy said she liked Kelly, but Kelly is going out with Pat. Pat really likes Joe, but Joe doesn’t like anyone so Pat is usually crying in the bathroom between classes. What Pat doesn’t know is that is that Sammy in love with Pat, but Sammy is afraid that Kelly will beat up Sammy if Kelly ever finds out. It was a weird day at school.

Dear Diary, I’m a fucking dumbass. I would be writing this in my usual notebook, but unfortunately my journal is in my pack which I lost earlier today. It almost got me killed in the process. So as it is right now I’m hiding up in an attic hoping the dead will lose all interest in me and go wandering off before morning. I’m making notes in Jessica Water’s diary because it’s the only thing I could find with a pen in the boxes in the attic of this house.

I was out looking for supplies when I heard a woman start screaming. I wandered over to where I heard it. I walked around the corner of the house and the woman was pinned up against the side of the house by a zombie. The zombie was trying to bite the woman. The problem was that it had a machete embedded in the front of its skull, so every time it tried to bite her the handle would hit the side of the house and stop just short of its target. Every time it missed she would start screaming again, drawing in a crowd.

I couldn’t help myself. I started laughing. Next thing I know is there is a hand grabbing onto my backpack. I let it loose and started running in the direction where they were the thinnest. I had gone about three blocks over until I didn’t see any more zombies chasing me and ducked into the first house that was unlocked and started climbing up as high and as fast and as quiet as I could. I guess I wasn’t as quiet as I thought because about a minute after I got into the house the undead dumb fucks started banging on the door.

You know, if someone does manage to find this someday because I died in this house, don’t bother to avenge me. It was my own fault. I should have known not to laugh. It is one thing to be killed by someone else’s stupidity. I would be pissed. But it was my fault, so I can live with that.

So I’m sitting here with this pink notebook writing down my thoughts by candlelight, bored out of my fucking mind. Thankfully there are no windows for the zombies to see the light of the candles. It just gives me time to reflect on some of the things and what I’ve seen.

The one thing that surprised me more than anything else was how wrong the movies got it. Shooting them in the head does nothing. Actually I take that back, shooting them in the head gets the one your shooting's attention and any other zombies in the area now know you’re there. It’s like the movies were old wives tales and the shooting them in the head was a way we could stop them just to give us a false sense of security. Thankfully I don’t have vampires and werewolves to deal with.

I’ve seen some zombies that have machetes embedded in their heads and some stuck in their neck. I don’t know why the idiots tried to take off their heads with these implements. Probably from the movies, and not knowing that it was all fake. There is not going to be a lot of hacking off heads in one swipe. The knives would have to be incredibly sharp and the person swinging would have to have some muscle behind it.

Speaking of movies, I have a huge problem with the original Day of the Dead. How the fuck is it that the zombies in that movie don’t even start to go after the helicopter until Miguel gets out and starts using the bullhorn? I seem to remember helicopters being loud. I think they would have been on the way to see what the fuck was up before the damn thing landed. Another irritation is that the zombies come at them from the same direction. Please.

I’ve also decided that the zombie how to survive books to be a complete bullshitting cluster fuck. Blades and bullets do next to nothing. I love how they offer advice that going into a swamp is dangerous. No shit. How many poisonous snakes are in the swamp? Let’s not forget about the gators. The fucking place is already dangerous before the zombies show up. Of course the alligators might eat all the zombies because they would be attracted to their stench, but I’m not going in there to find out.

One of my biggest complaints is these dumb fucks told the readers that if you want to know if there is a zombie behind a closed door, knock. Um, no. Fuck no. Hell no. If the door is closed, chances are that whatever is behind it you probably aren’t going to need it unless you’re fucking desperate. So if you knock on the door and there is a zombie behind it, it's going to start groaning. 'No problem,' you might think. 'The zombie is behind the door.' But guess what? Sound travels. All other zombies in the area are going to hear the one behind the door, and they are going to see what the hell it’s groaning about.

One other thing that annoys the hell out of me is when they say the plains areas are too dangerous because the zombies can see you. Guess what mother fucker? I can see them as well. I would love to live on a farm that had tons of heavy equipment so I could dig a deep trench around the house, and when it started filling up I would drizzle a little gas in there, toss in a match, and bingo! Instant BBQ.

So, basically everything from the books and movies is complete horseshit. There are only a few ways to survive, and unless you know how to do it you’re living on borrowed time. I don’t believe that you survive a zombie apocalypse. You’re just lucky to survive a little longer than anyone else. On top of that, if the apocalypse is started by a germ or virus, there is always the chance it will mutate. One person can die and the mess could start all over again.

There must be a shitload of zombies outside on the porch. I can hear them banging at the door making all kinds of noise. Probably going to break the door down in a minute…and who the fuck is running a goddamn chain saw?

So Krysta has saved me once again. She started up a chain saw and was basically amputating limbs and heads. I sat in the attic, scared as all fucking hell. When the zombies were all cut down to size, Krysta came into the house and was using my katana to try to get my attention by stabbing the tip through the ceiling. She did manage to cut a hole in the ceiling, and I knew it was her when I heard the all too familiar snap, snap, snap of her teeth.

I came down the stairs where Krysta was staring at me holding my katana and my backpack. “Chica,” I said, “I owe you big time for this.” I took my things from her.
“Better get the fuck out of here before another wave hits us.”

I started to walk back to where we were staying. As soon as I started down the road, Krysta started groaning and pointing the way she wanted me to go.
“What,” I asked.

The only response I got was the usual snap, snap, snap, and she started groaning and pointing in the other direction. I gave up and started following her. What the showed me was something marvelous. I owe this girl big time.

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in FICTION AND POETRY, 0 comments
Pain Dead Four: Learning Curve: An Original Horror Story by Jason Messenheimer

Pain Dead Four: Learning Curve: An Original Horror Story by Jason Messenheimer


The following is a work of fiction, written by Jason Messenheimer. Jason has given House of Tortured Souls his permission to post his short stories.

Pain Dead Four:
Learning Curve

Here I am writing about my current exploits. I’m going to have to start hiding this journal. Or I’m going to have to go back and take my use of names out of here. People ever figure out that this was me and if society reforms itself I’m going straight to Hell. Last thing I need is some fucked crazy bastard finding this and putting a bullet in me or slashing my neck. No judge, no jury, straight to execution.

One thing that I should have done instead of trying to kill these dumb mother fuckers was I should have started heading down south where it was warmer. But thankfully my hate for other people in this town has managed to keep me motivated and keep me alive.

There were a few theories saying that said that if the dead heads got cold enough, then they would stop moving. Bullshit. They did slow down though. Twenty inches of snow in the past week has made it very difficult for them to move. So, yeah, they are slowing down.

I had to do a little home renovations at the house I was staying in. Tore up a big fucking hole in the living room floor and started burning all the wood I can find in the house. I have also stepped outside a few times to get some more branches and sticks just so I would have a little extra wood to burn. The worst part was I had a zom that was buried under the snow grab me by my ankle and almost bite me. Thankfully I was wearing long underwear, jeans, and a snowmobile suit, so the bite didn’t get through.

Since that happened, I have been trying to figure out a way to protect my arms and fingers. I solved that problem really quick. I took some duct tape and taped up the sleeves on the arms so I had more protection. It’s going to suck to wear that in the summer if it is another hot and muggy one. I also took some gloves and cut the duct tape into strips and wrapped it around the hand and fingers. I had Krysta try it out for me. The first time I had to time the clicks of her teeth together and shove the glove into her mouth while she was biting down. No teeth penetrated the gloves. The second time I put the gloves on my hands and timed the clicks again. Stupid way I could test it, but the only way I could. I think I scared the poor girl. The worst part was that she almost broke a few of my fingers when she chomped down.

I’ve decided to keep Krysta in the house for the time being. I don’t know if the long exposure could do any type of irreversible damage to her, and I have no intention of finding out. I keep her locked in the back room of the house while I sleep. Just don’t trust her enough to let her roam the house while I’m sleeping. That, and those damn clacking teeth keep me up for hours on end. I keep her door tied with a rope from one door handle to the other one across the hall. If there is ever a fire in the house I can grab my backpack with all my shit, cut the rope, and grab her and go.

I’ve been trying to get her to talk to me ever since the day at the newspaper, but she just won’t do it. I’m not sure if it was a one time thing due to the immense hatred that she had towards Dan or if she damaged her vocal cords screaming at me. If I was a doctor I could run an upper endoscopy on her. But I’m not and I’m pretty sure she would eventually bite her way through the camera cable.

Another thing I have had to deal is the fact that my dumb ass put nails though her hands and Krysta has been tearing the shit out of the house, her clothes, and pretty much anything she touches these days. I’ve thought about taking them out, but I’m afraid that I might do too much damage to her hands pulling out the nails and putting them back in. Thankfully I only put nails in her hands so they barely stick out of the other sides of her hands. So, I’ve been making her wear gloves while she is in the house. I just have to make sure I don’t fuck up her hands by having her nails get stuck while I’m trying to pull the damn things off.

I’ve also cleaned up the basement where I tortured Steve Sticks and the fucking unmentionable bastard. Tons of bleach and tons of scrubbing. Cleanliness is next go Godliness? Not for me. I’m pretty sure there is a special place for me in Hell when I’m done with this world. No, I just don’t want to have some mutant revenge virus get spawned from the blood, guts, and other shit that was down there. I’m trying to last as long as I can.

Hopefully the weather will change soon and I can get the fuck out of here. Cabin fever is starting to kick my ass. One month has passed since I’ve been stuck in the house. I’m getting bored sitting here. I guess I need to get the fuck out of here, walk slow, don’t think, and get revenge on the fuckers who did me wrong and made my life a living hell while the dead were still dead.

Posted by Machete Von Kill in FICTION AND POETRY, 0 comments
Back to Pain Dead: An Original Horror Story by Jason Messenheimer

Back to Pain Dead: An Original Horror Story by Jason Messenheimer

Back to Pain Dead


The following is a work of fiction, written by Jason Messenheimer. Jason has given House of Tortured Souls his permission to post his short stories.

So here I am writing about this shit again. Still can’t figure out why. Still don’t give a flying fuck. Been a busy day. Walking slowly, not breathing, and looking for specific people to get back at them.# It’s painful to try to get back at somebody and then stumbling into them shambling around being an undead dumbfuck. Ugh. Such is life.

I did manage to get myself a new toy. Only had to take it off the hands of one of the high school jerks. Wait, let me phrase it differently. Actually, I had to take his hands off him. I had just finished sighting in a sniper rifle and I went out to test my newfound sniping skills. Didn’t take long to find my target. It just happened to be Fuck Face Mikey and his little harem.

Let me tell you a little bit about Fuck Face Mikey. He was one of those genetically perfect jocks. Played for all the varsity teams. Pretty much got a free ride through high school because he was the one who could score the points to win the games. Lord, how I hated this motherfucker.

So there I was looking out my scope trying to when I heard this loud mouth yelling, waving around a katana, and having the audacity to be not wearing a shirt. What made it even worse was the fact was he was with two of the super skanks from school and they were running with him in their underwear. Fuck, this zombie apocalypse makes people do some weird shit.

So Fuck Face Mikey had a katana that probably made him feel like Billy Badass. He was screaming at the zombies trying to draw their attention to him. When they got close enough he would slice at their knees, making the zombies fall over. He would then cut their arms off at the elbows so that they couldn’t crawl after them. Not a very nice thing to do. I figured I’d give the zombies coming at him a little bit of a fighting chance. Seriously, if Krysta came around here all that work I put into that girl would have been a waste of time.

It seemed that the longer the apocalypse went on the easier it seemed that the living were getting smarter at getting away from the dead. Not cool. They were squirming out of grips and avoiding bites like it was no big deal. It was to me.

So I figured I would give chica a little bit of an edge. I went to a hardware store and found some nails. I put them through the back of the hands so they were just sticking out the other side of her hands. She could grab, and hopefully be able to hold her victim. If they pulled away from her, they would lose a chunk of their flesh and hopefully bleed out quick. I covered her hands with some fingerless gloves.

I toyed around with the idea of making a set of metal teeth for Krysta and decided against it. Not only would it change her snap, snap teeth into clang, clang and draw unnecessary attention to her, it would involve a little risk that I was not going to take. I would have to put my fingers into the snapping mouth. Fuck that.

The final thing I had to do to make Krysta my perfect little undead weapon was trying to get the undead stink off of her. I’m not even going to tell you what kind of hell I went through while I was getting her cleaned up in the shower. Uhg, nasty. It still makes me throw up a little bit in my mouth when I think about it. Then it was just a matter of dressing her, putting her hair in her face so no one could see her, and giving her marching orders.

Usually I just let her roam around. She always came back to the hideout sometime during the night, always alone, and if I didn’t give her any orders the next morning she would go wandering around by herself around noon.

I was hoping that she wasn’t in the neighborhood. It would suck if I lost my only friend during all this. I also had a sneaking suspicion that there probably wasn’t another female zombie who responded to me calling them chica, or anything else I’d say. I’d probably get the same reaction if I went up to one of these zombies and introduced myself as dinner. God forbid if I had to clean up another zombie. Fuck that.

So there I was lying on my stomach, watching Fuck Face Mikey lift his katana up in the air looking to slice another zombies arm off at the elbow. His arm came down, but the only thing that came down on the zombie was blood coming out of the stump where his hand and forearm used to be.

Chaos ensued. One of the super skanks actually had the brains to actually take off her bra and use it as a tourniquet. I blew her kneecap to shit. The last one turned and ran. She got about thirty yards before I shot her in the back and paralyzed her. Now all I had to do was wait until the dead got their dinner eaten and dispersed. Then I was going to get my new toy and head home.

On the way back home it was just another walk of not breathing and not drawing attention to myself. I was about to turn the corner when I heard a woman screaming. I also heard the breaking of glass. I almost forgot where I was and what I was doing. I quit going home and starting following the screaming and broken glass. Thankfully there were no zombies in the area. I still did the walk because you never know.

I turned the corner to see Krysta screaming and taking a bike and just beat the shit out of another window. I stopped in my tracks totally confused. She kept screaming and the last swing of the bike slipped out of her hands as it destroyed the window. Krysta went through the window still screaming.

I walked up to the broken window and I was just in time to hear another scream. I looked in through the window and realized that Krysta had broken into the local paper. There was a man in there hiding under his desk. There was a name plate that said Dan on the desk.

Krysta kept screaming at him and kept trying to grab him. I think she was doing some serious damage to her throat because she was bleeding some blackish sludge out of her mouth. She finally got a hold of Dan around the throat. I was expecting her to take a bit of him. Instead she lifted him up and slammed his head over and over again into the desk. Brains, teeth, and broken ceramic from coffee cups went sliding everywhere. A couple of zombies had shown up and were trying to get through the window. I was assuming Dan was dead at this point.

Krysta saw the two zombies trying to get in. She screamed and yanked Dan’s arm off at the shoulder. She walked up to the two zombies and took Dan’s arm, swung it like a baseball bat, and broke both of their jaws. She then walked up to the window, dropped the arm, and pulled herself out.

I walked up to her, “Chica,” I said, “are you alright?”

I did not expect an answer. Instead she turned around and looked at me. It scared the hell out of me when she gurgled, “He….. no… get… to…… live…… like……. you. He….. no…. deserve….. to……. be……. like……. me.”

“Ok,” I said, “let’s get you home and get you cleaned up.”

I don’t know what the fuck happened today, but for the first time since the dead came back I was actually scared.

Posted by Machete Von Kill in FEATURED CONTENT, FICTION AND POETRY, 0 comments
SHOOK: An Original Short Horror Story by Nick Durham

SHOOK: An Original Short Horror Story by Nick Durham

By Nick Durham

The way the moonlight reflected in the puddles on the street didn't resonate in the same way the reflections of the streetlights had. That's just one of the things about living in the city: the denizens don't really get to appreciate what all the sky has to offer the way those that don't live there get to do. Despite that, there wasn't much need for light to let Joel know that trouble wasn't far behind him. It had been a long night, and it was about to get longer.

Joel worked odd hours, at least that was what most people that know him thought anyway. It was true, Joel did work odd hours, but the unpredictable nature of working a job on a constantly open dock afforded Joel some fringe opportunities. Like those times he'd tell his wife Marci that he'd be stuck at work until God knows when, all the while he has the incredibly flexible Katherine Santucci bent over and begging for more in the motel right down the street from their apartment.

Fringe opportunities. That is what Joel would call them in his head. Tonight however was not a night for fringe least not the kind that Joel had in mind. Joel also has a problem with some people in the neighborhood. Namely the Puerto Ricans that are currently chasing him down. It was well known around that Joel and Freddie Rojo Rodriguez had it out for each other since they were in their youth. Now that both are in their late 20s, things have only escalated. Joel knew that Freddie was behind him, along with an additional piece of muscle on legs whose identity Joel wasn't sure of.

Joel whipped around the corner of the end of the street, the bus terminal now in sight. He could hear Freddie yelling something in Spanish behind him, well more like Spanglish actually. Many obscenities and flat out curses that, even though he would never really admit, kind of turned Joel on in some strange way that he couldn't really explain. Maybe it was just the idea of someone hating him so much that managed to get his blood pumping in a way that little else really had at that point in his life. None of that really mattered right now, the primary mission was to hop the bus and head home. Even though Joel was turned on by the hatred thrown his way, he did in all honesty already have a long enough night as it is.

Then, without warning and mostly because he wasn't paying as much attention as he should have been, Joel's foot caught a crack in the sidewalk and he hit the pavement hard. The pain hit fast, and knocked the wind out of his chest, as well as making his teeth chatter together as his head smacked into the ground. Before he could even try to get his bearings back, they were upon him.

Muscle man picked Joel up by his shoulders while Freddie started pounding his fists into his chest with a few pop shots in his face as well. Freddie wouldn't shut up with his barely comprehensible verbal assault, but if it's one thing that Joel had learned over the years, it's that there's always a way out of any situation, you just have to get dirty. Dirty is exactly what had to happen now.

Muscle man's nose exploded with a geyser of blood as Joel slammed the back of his own head into Muscle man's face. His grip let go of Joel, who managed to tackle Freddie down into the ground and climb on top of him, wailing on Freddie's face in the process. The sounds of his fists smashing into the flesh and bone of Freddie's face felt cathartic, and felt like this was a long time coming to boot. That's why the sight of seeing Freddie's teeth cracking out of his mouth in a bloody mess made Joel feel that bout of turned on excitement that he had felt earlier.

I've been waiting for this a long time you fuck, said Joel as he grasped both hands around Freddie's head and proceeded to repeatedly slam the back of his head against the pavement. Muscle man managed to regain his footing finally to start coming up behind Joel in a rather noisily way. Joel was legitimately surprised it took the big lug this long to get back to his feet. He knew that breaking someone's nose is enough to fuck them up for a bit, but it really isn't as bad as movies and books make it out to be. That's why Joel reached into his pocket and pulled out his retractable box cutter that was still dirty from the job earlier in the day.

In one swipe, Muscle man's neck sprayed red as he collapsed to his knees and fell over. Joel looked back at Freddie's face, seeing him take his last breaths as the blood pool surrounding the back of his head slowly kept getting larger as his eyes rolled back into his head. Getting lost in the moment made Joel realize that this was all out in the open, but there was no one around this late at night. No cars, no pedestrians, just the hum of the buses up the street that were too far out of range to have seen or heard any of the chaotic violence that had just occurred. Out of nowhere Joel thought to himself, tonight turned out to be a damn good night.

Joel regained his footing and started sprinting up the sidewalk, only just now realizing the blood that had stained his hands. His box cutter was covered as well, but he couldn't dump it he had thought, at least not yet. He had to clean any prints off it, and that was going to be hard to do. One of the puddles he had passed by created by the rain earlier in the day seemed like the only logical solution, at least to him. He dropped it in and watched and heard the splash. That would be enough to do the job to clean off any evidence.

Joel took off his outer shirt and wiped it around his hands. The shirt had been stained as well, but still had enough clean spots on it for him to clean himself up a bit. It wouldn't be perfect, but it would be enough until he got closer to home for no one to notice. He was in good shape, so he managed to get to the bus stop right in the nick of time without having to stop to catch his breath. This late at night during the work-week, there was rarely anyone around, which worked for him. He got onto the bus, swiped his pass, sat down towards the back of the bus, and bent his head back, taking a much deserved rest.

Hold that door! shouted a voice. A female voice that had a surprising amount of force in it, and enough to shock Joel out of his brief trance of rest, as well as the bus driver. Joel's eyes were foggy, but he could make out the woman, and he was shocked to say the least when he saw her. Tall, almost statuesque. Long blonde hair, long legs in tight leggings, nice clothes. This broad was out of place he thought to himself. Despite that, Joel bent his head back again, wanting to shut out the rest of the world. He could hear the sound of the bus revving up and feel himself shift in his seat as it began to drive forward. All he wanted to do was drift away into happy oblivion. Freddie was dead, and life was good for the moment.

Long night?

That voice. Joel heard the woman's voice, only this time it was coming from directly in front of him. He opened his eyes to see her face only a few inches from his. Locked in eye to eye, her eyes a sharp blue color, her teeth pearly white and perfect, her cheekbones high to accentuate her features even more, and that hair...that gorgeous blonde hair. She was absolutely stunning.

Hello? she said, you must have had a long night.

Yeah... said Joel, feeling a strange sensation of nervousness like he hadn't before in quite some time since he was a teenager he thought. Been a bit of a rough one.

She smacked her lips together as she spoke, I've had a bit of a rough night myself...I was wondering if maybe you'd want some company tonight?

Company? said Joel.

Yes. And no, I'm not a hooker. You just look...interesting to me she said, still smacking her lips with each word.

I have a wife said Joel. He wasn't exactly sure why he said it. Not like she would have learned that on her own, he didn't wear his ring on days he worked...or planned to fuck around.

Oh I don't think that's ever stopped you before, or am I wrong?, she said, almost seeming like she was hiding a playfulness to her as a slight grin formed on her face. There was something about that that sealed the deal right there for Joel.

Guilty said Joel as he couldn't help but grin himself. You have any place in mind?

Well, she said as she turned her head and looked out the window, Let's go to my place. We're almost there as it is. That okay?

Joel turned his head himself and realized they were driving through the old industrial district. There used to be a lot of warehouses and storage facilities around there but everything had dried up over the years. No one lived around here that he knew about, especially no one that looked like this broad.

You live around here? Really? he said.

Is there something hard to believe about that? she said, with that same hidden smirk that Joel could sense was hidden behind her face.

Kinda. I just wouldn't imagine anyone looking the way that you do living around this place is all. No offense.

None taken, she said as she began to stand up. Looks can always be deceiving sweetheart. We're almost there, you ready?

Joel felt a chill when she asked if he was ready. He didn't know why, but he could feel some kind of sensation come over him. Maybe it was because he was about to fuck this stunning looker of a woman, or maybe it was because he was still high on the feeling of beating Freddie's fucking brains out. Either way, it was a strange sensation.

Yes darlin, I'm ready, he said as he stood up as well. He moved in closer to her, locking eyes as their noses touched and they locked their lips together. All at once Joel felt a spark inside him light up. His heart beat faster, his cock became stiff as a board. He wanted to be inside her. Right now. The bus came to a stop and the doors opened, letting them out. As they stepped down onto the ground, Joel was still licking the taste of her lips off of his own.

You taste so fucking sweet, said Joel as his eyes refused to stop looking at her slender frame as they continued to walk onward.

Why thank you, she said. You don't taste so bad yourself. I can't wait to taste the rest of you.

Fucking hell baby, I can't wait until you do either, said Joel, his excitement growing with each passing moment. He reached his hand down and squeezed her ass in it, sending her spinning around facing him directly and grabbing him by the chin.

Now now, she said, be patient'll have me soon enough.

Joel wanted to take her now. Right now. On the ground in the dark, but deep down he knew she was right. Besides, he wanted to take his time with her, and he hadn't wanted to do that with a woman in a long time.

As they walked onwards, Joel began to notice that the old industrial district they were in was home to what looked like was nothing but condemned buildings and warehouses, like he had thought previously. He still had trouble wrapping his head around the idea of this broad living in a place like this, but his desire to fuck the holy living shit out of her outweighed his disbelief. It was when they came upon a large brown building with a giant metal shutter door that the woman started to unlock that the disbelief finally overcame Joel's erection.

You really live here? You? You live in this fucking place? She turned around to him and faced him eye to eye as she took the lock off and the shudder pulled itself up. Yes. Want to come inside? Joel felt the blood rush to his cock like a waterfall. He knew she didn't need to hear his answer.

As they went inside and she closed the shutter behind them, Joel looked around briefly at the dankness of the hallway they were in. It was strange, kind of unlike anything he had seen in this area. Years prior he had worked in a spot like this and knew that most industrial warehouses, etc. all tend to look alike on the inside. This looked strange, almost organic in a way, particularly the walls.

Joel reached his hand outward to touch the wall, there was something about it that he felt the need to touch it. She grabbed his hand, and his crotch, and kissed him deep. Slamming her tongue in his mouth and carefully nibbling his lip while she unzipped his fly and reached her hand inside, grasping his full length in her hand and yanking him slightly, pulling his cock outward. She backed him up against the shutter and got on her knees, taking his hardness in her mouth. She was good, damn good...and it didn't take long for her to make him finish. She swallowed every drop and even licked off what was on her chin as she stood up and kissed him again, still stroking his cock for him.

Joel's breathing was heavy and her kisses sweet as he could taste himself on her tongue, but he didn't care. He needed to have her now. She put his still hard cock back inside his pants and carefully zipped him up, much to Joel's shock.

That was just a'll get everything soon, she said as she turned around and took his hand in hers, leading him down the hallway further. Joel sought for words to say, but for one of the few times in his life, he was speechless...and obedient. She lead him on, hopefully to a bed he thought to himself. Joel was so entranced by her that he never noticed that she was leading him into a rather large and unfurnished room, which was even more dank than the opening behind the shutter when they came in.

She came to a dead stop and turned around, facing Joel again, grabbing his face and kissing him deeply. Joel responded by placing his hands all over her ass he drilled her mouth with his tongue, as they both fought to get each other's clothes off. Stripping down, Joel took one good look at her perfect nude body, before she got on her back on the ground and spread her legs open. Joel didn't need any coaxing as he placed his head between her legs and licked her pink. He buried his tongue inside her while she scratched the back of his head and squeezed her thighs around him.

I want you inside me. Now! she said. Joel didn't hesitate. He climbed on top of her and inserted himself inside her, feeling her fit him like a glove as he began thrusting in and out. She wrapped her legs around his waist and he was balls deep, kissing her hard with each passing thrust. He sank his teeth into her neck as she dug her nails into his shoulders. She felt so fucking good, he didn't want this to stop. Ever.

Joel felt her tighten around his shaft as he kept pumping her deep and hard. Her nails dug deeper into his skin which only excited him more as he realized he couldn't hold back any longer. They came together, as she milked every drop out of him that he had to offer deep inside her. She moaned hard, as did Joel, and they kissed deeply yet tenderly while both their bodies quivered and shook.

It was in the midst of their passion that Joel never noticed the old, scrawny, naked man that had been standing there watching them. It's only after she says you're perfect to Joel that he lifts his head up and sees the old man with his shriveled old cock in his hands. Joel jumped back and stood straight up screaming what the fuck is this shit????!!!

The old man began wheezing and drool ran down his chin as it looked like he was getting closer to releasing himself. She stood up and began walking toward the old man, only to circle around him and bend down to pick something up that was placed on the floor against the wall. The old man began to cum all over the floor, letting out a laugh while doing it, but following it up with tears streaming down his face.

Joel was mortified. He didn't know what to do. He tried to leap forward to grab his clothes and run out but her voice bellowed throughout the room.

Do not move. Do not put on your clothes.

Joel was frozen. He couldn't move. He wanted to, but he couldn't. He could hear those words she spoke reverberate throughout the inside of his head long after she had spoken them. All he could do was watch what was happening in front of him.

She reappeared with a gas can, and began pouring the gasoline all over the naked man. From head to toe, she poured it all over him, and after emptying it she threw it aside. The tears kept coming, followed by what sounded like a muffled laugh. He opened his mouth as he began screaming, revealing he had no tongue or teeth.

What the fuck are you doing??? screamed Joel.

Do not speak to me boy she said. You do not speak to me any longer. I will tell you all that you need to know.

She approached Joel, pressing her fingernails into his abdomen while getting closer to his face. You see boy, I need a new toy. Desperately. This one is done for...and you're perfect. Joel's heart felt like it was going to rip itself out of his chest, only for that feeling to be replaced with a worse pain as she began piercing his skin with her nails, driving them further inward.

Do not scream boy, she said. You belong to me now, she said as she placed her mouth on his and wrestled his tongue into hers. It was when she sank her teeth into his tongue and began to rip it out of Joel's mouth that he knew what true pain was. She took the remains of Joel's tongue out of her mouth, slowly chewing what she wanted to keep, and threw the parts she didn't want at the old man, still dripping gasoline as it soaked into his skin.

She pointed her index finger upwards, with a small flame emerging from the bloody nail on her fingertip as she began to speak to Joel.

I've been doing this for a long time. A very long time. And I'm going to keep doing this for a very long time, because there's always men like you, looking for a cheap, fast, piece of ass...and there will always be men like you, that are killers and what makes this world keep turning. Like I said, you're perfect. For me.

With that, she lit the man aflame. As the blood rushed out of Joel's mouth he watched the old man burn up and could smell the mix of smoke and burning flesh permeate throughout the room. She moved in front of the burning old man, facing Joel directly. She took her fingernail and began cutting into her own skin, slowly and deeply.

Joel watched her beginning to remove her own skin. Piece by piece, bit by bit, part by part. What was underneath wasn't human muscle or blood and sinew, but a red/purple colored flesh. Her nipples turned black and her eyes turned orange as the rest of her skin began to fall off on its own. Her black wings emerged from her back and spread out far, revealing a wingspan the size of a limousine.

She turned around facing the burning corpse of the old man, stretching her mouth open and began inhaling the smoke and flame until both were gone and all that remained was the burned remains of the masturbating old man. She bent downward and began chewing on the charred flesh, staring into Joel's eyes as she did. Her sharp teeth sinking into the char-broiled meat that exploded with flavor with each bite.

Joel was still frozen. Still could not move an inch. Her voice still rattling throughout his head. He couldn't comprehend what was happening in front of him, but that didn't matter, not anymore. It soon became clear that his own thoughts and feelings weren't important anymore, to him, nor anyone else.

She stood back up and got close to Joel again. Her breasts on his chest and her hand stroking the side of his head. Her long tongue licking the blood off his face and mouth from where his tongue used to be.

We never got to exchange names, she said to him as she continued to stroke his face with her clawed fingers. That's alright...there's no need for names now. You no longer have a name. Do you understand boy?

The husk that used to be Joel blinked his eyes at her. Nothing mattered anymore. This was his place. He had found his place now, and he kept hearing her voice reverberate throughout his consciousness telling him his name was meaningless and no longer required.

She took him by the hand and led him on throughout the rest of the building. There was no more dankness, nor any feelings of heat or cold any longer really. She came to a stop, as did he, as her wings spread out one more time, and she outstretched her arms.

Come to me. Come to me boy, she said as her smile widened with each word. He did as he was told. He came to her, he felt her arms envelop him tight as he burrowed his head into her shoulder. Her wings folded around them as well, holding them together tighter. That was where his home was now. His home under her black wings.

Posted by Nick Durham in FICTION AND POETRY, 0 comments
Pain Dead: An Original Horror Short Story by Jason Messenheimer

Pain Dead: An Original Horror Short Story by Jason Messenheimer



The following is a work of fiction written by Jason Messenheimer. Jason has given House of Tortured Souls his permission to post his short stories.

I don’t know why I’m even writing this. It’s not that I care. I quit caring. A long time ago. I really don’t think I’m going to start now. My whole life has been one living hell. It started years ago. All I did was show up to school. And after that everything turned to shit. For twelve years. Twelve long fucking years.

The only thing that school has ever taught me is how to hate. I know hate is a strong word, but guess what motherfuckers? Still not caring. The other thing it taught me was how to hide in plain sight. How not to draw attention to myself. How to know the exact second to when the bell was going to go off and to have my shit together so I could hit the door right away. Every one of those useless teachers knew I was being bullied and none of those useless fucks ever did a damn thing to help me. Time to return the favor.

So what did I do? I hugged the walls while I was walking. I kept out of everyone’s way. I never spoke in class unless asked and I never offered anything more than what was asked of me. I didn’t have friends. I hated everyone. Well, almost everyone. I used to dream of building a bomb and blowing up the high school. The only thing that stopped me was the fact I might go to jail and somehow some of these preppy fucks that I wanted dead would live and I would never have a chance to right that wrong.

So I waited. I was mocked. I was ridiculed. There was no place I could go to get away from the torment. I heard people around town whisper in hushed voices of how creepy I was and how their, insert family term here, would kick my ass. Nice fucking thing to hear while I was being dragged to church. Fucking bastard assed fucks. Bomb would be too good for those hypocrites. No, the flames of Hell would be too perfect for them to spend eternity in. But I was pretty sure that God hated me too.

So I practiced. I practiced hiding in plain sight. I practiced how to walk without making a sound. Hell, half the time I barely remembered to breathe. I could walk in and out of a room without anyone noticing me. I kept my head down. I grew my hair long so I didn’t have to make eye contact with anyone. There were times that teachers did not even know I was in class because I sank down in my chair and hid behind the person in front of me. Hide in plain sight. It works.

Then it finally happened. The event. The one thing that changed the playing field. The thing that made my skills these fuckers made me learn became the greatest asset I have ever known. Hell, I’d go as far as to say it made me a god among men. The dead came back to life. The nice part about the whole situation? The dead couldn’t see me either.

Just for the record though, when the dead started coming back, I really didn’t care if I lived or died. Nothing for me changed. I just went through the motions that had been imposed on me just so I could survive. I just kept my head down, made no eye contact, and barely remembered to breathe. Then one day it dawned on me. People started to notice me. The living ones. The ones who tormented me for years. The ones who turned a blind eye to my pain. They noticed me. They pleaded with me. They needed me. They begged me to help. So I decided that I would help them. I’d help lead them to the most painful death I could possibly imagine and I would take great pleasure in their suffering.

So I began to plan. I started getting information. Where were people hiding? What did they need? What could I do to earn their trust before I bent them over and had my way with them? I went from freak to savior. Well, at least until the murderer in me came out to play.

One of the first things I had to do was track down one person. Stephen Sticks. That motherfucker had been an infernal pain in my ass since elementary school. Him and his band of six mindless morons. Or, as it turned out later, some of the offensive players for the high school football team. The only problem was I had to find him.

I was nervous at first. I had to calm down and fix that problem really quickly. It seemed that somehow these zombies could smell emotion. Every time I got nervous, angry, or excited they started to notice me a little more than I wanted them to. So I had to calm down. I had to quit breathing.

The nice part of these zombie dumb fucks was that they were a little faster than normal. It let me cover distance more quickly. I moved a little bit slower than the dead fucks. I had to maintain a certain pace so that it kept my heart beating at a normal rate.

At the very beginning I toyed around with the idea of going around in a car. That idea backfired in my face. I wound up turning a corner in this little shit of a town and ran into about twenty of those bastards. They would beat on the doors and windows trying to get in. I panicked. They kept trying to break in. If it wasn’t for the fact that I was in front of a movie theater with a sunroof on the car I would be walking around and not have to worry about breathing. My first little bit of luck finally came around. Someone from inside the movie theater threw down a rope and I climbed onto the roof of the theater. Who happened to be one of my saviors? Stephen Motherfucker Must Die Sticks.

The first thing that Stephen wanted to do when he rescued me was throw me back over. His little clan that he set up was agreeing with him. They asked me why I should even be allowed to come inside. I told them my trick. I told them I could walk among the dead. They laughed, they mocked, they howled with joy thinking I had gone crazy and they were going to get a show. Then I had to ask how long they expected to stay alive living off candy and stale popcorn.

So they wanted a show, a test, something to prove to them that I could do what I said. It just so happened that they had a zombie to put my little claim to the test. They had one of the zombies trapped up in the balcony area. So their little test was this: get up there, walk past the zombie, and walk down the stairs and out the other side. Too easy. Way too easy.

So the moron squad took me into the theater. They broke apart into two groups. One of them was to bang on the door where I would exit, drawing the zombie over there. Then they would remove the barricade along the other side of the theaterwhere the door had been ripped off years ago. This would give me just enough room to slide in before they sealed off the stairs again. I thought I could trust them and this would be easy. First mistake.

As soon as they barricaded the entrance where I got in, I realized I was in trouble. Once a fucktard, always a fucktard. These bastards started banging on the walls and yelling on the other side of the barricade where I just went into. They figured that it was a trial by death, and if I was going to die then they were going to get a free show. If I wasn’t any use they would get to see my untimely demise. Second mistake.

I stopped. I quit listening. I quit breathing. I shut everything down. I had to make it up these steps. Only one zombie. Not that big of a deal. I’ve walked by more. I looked down. Then I started walking up the stairs. Slowly. One foot at a time. Breathe in slowly while walking with the left foot. Exhale slowly while moving the right foot. Don’t look left, right, or up. Blank stare. Facing forward. Slow. Don’t think.

When you don’t think on your own, it’s amazing where your mind actually goes. Revenge was a good starting motivator. First I just had to get past the zombie coming my way. I would have thought it was funny that twenty five years of zombie movies since Night of the Living Dead and every single one of them was wrong. Sure there were small things from each movie that came together and gave us this clusterfuck that we were now living. They were fast. Not shambling, but not running. Just walking at a good clip. The shooting them in the head? Bullshit. The only way to slow them down was to take out their kneecaps. But then they could crawl after you. They were smart as well. Not talking smart, but they could use ladders and curbs did not slow them down.

One step. Then another. Another. I was three quarters of the way up the stairs and my playmate's shadow fell over me. Don’t look. Don’t look. Keep breathing slowly. Left foot. Right foot. Try not to think. Just move and don’t look. You’ve done it before. And then I made my final mistake.

I recognized the shadow that fell across my path. I forgot everything I knew that kept me alive. I had to look up and make sure. I drew attention to myself. Out of all the people that could have been a zombie, there was one person who didn’t deserve it. Krysta. The metal chick at our high school. The only person on the planet to have the same hair as Slash from GNFNR.

If it wasn’t for the fact that the douche bags behind the barricade had told me she was a zombie, I wouldn’t have believed it. Of course it helped that her hair covered most of her face. She must have been recently turned because she didn’t smell like some of the ripe ones that were walking around out there in the world. She could have passed for human because she was still walking as close to normal as a living human.

My heart starting beating like a machine gun in my chest. I started sweating. Krysta started coming at me. The only thing I could see of her face was her mouth. The teeth coming at me. Snap, snap, snap. It was dark in the balcony, but I swear I could see her white, perfect teeth coming right at me. Snap.

When her hand grabbed the front of my shirt, I snapped back to where I should have been. I quit breathing. I stopped sweating. Her mouth was inches from my face. Snap, snap, snap. Don’t look away I told myself. Don’t even breathe.

I swear at that point I could see her eyes. Or maybe I was just crazy from fear. I didn’t turn away. Snap. I just stared straight ahead. Into those cold black eyes. Snap. I started thinking of the craziest shit. Chica, I thought, you don’t want to hurt me. I never did anything to you. Never said anything bad about you. You don’t want to hurt me. Now those pricks that are behind that barricade of chairs? If you let me go, I’ll feed you to them myself.

Now I’m not sure if it was the fact that my heartbeat slowed down, or that I stopped sweating, or fearing, or was just the luckiest son of a bitch on the planet at that moment, but it seemed that Krysta was losing interest in me. I didn’t move. I didn’t blink. I tried really hard not to breathe. She tilted her head and was looking straight at me, but it was like I wasn’t there. Her grip loosened. Krysta must have lost interest because she let me go and continued down the stairs. Human tartar as soon as I can. A deal's a deal.

She released me and started walking back down the stairs towards the noise. I kept on going up. Real slow. Breathe in. Breathe out. Left foot. Right foot. Looking down and a little to the right. I could hear Krysta behind me. Snap. Snap. Snap.

I reached the other side of the balcony and started going down the same way I came up. I finally made it to the door at the bottom of the stairs. I figured Stephen would have let me out. Once again I figured wrong.
“Hey Jake,” I heard him from the other side of the door, “we think your little stunt is a fluke. I mean come on. I know the girls ignored you in life. I didn’t think it would be a repeat occurrence when they were dead.” Laughter from the other side of the door. Fuckers must die.

On one side of me, seven bastards pounding on the other side of the door, and on the other side of me, Krysta moaning and starting back up the stairs and across the balcony.

The one thing about being blind to the dead is the simple fact that I have to keep a tight rein on my emotions, especially when I’m among a crowd of them. If I get even a little bit excited and change my heart rate, sweat, or even alter my breathing a little bit, I start drawing unwanted attention to myself. I have a theory why this is. I think the zombies can smell adrenaline. From what I can see, whenever people are under attack, their adrenaline starts pumping and it sends these zombies into a frenzy, much like I imagine how sharks react to blood.

Another thing that I noticed but can’t explain is that when zombies are out and in a group just ambling around, they constantly bump into each other and fall over. However, when they are around me, they go around me. I have no idea why they do this, but I’m not going to question what works.

I heard Krysta making her way along and was almost at the top of the stairs. As much as I would have loved to get mad and call those fuckers everything I wanted to and kick off the hinges of the door, I knew it would just draw unwanted attention to me. So I kept my breathing slow, my mind blank, and I pushed myself a little closer to the wall. I wanted to give Krysta all the room she needed, but once again without drawing attention to myself.

Krysta came down the stairs. I couldn’t see exactly where she was, but the snap, snap, snap of her teeth gave me a clue. Even though I knew she couldn’t see me, she still walked closer to the wall on the other side of the stairs. I kept looking down, holding my breath till she passes. She moved right past me and started banging on the door trying to get to the meatheads on the other side.

“Holy shit,” I heard Stephen exclaim on the other side of the door, “That fucker really can hide right in front of him. Jeffery, take Scott and Corey to the other side and start pounding on the walls. I think we just found a way to survive and not have to worry about becoming diabetics in the process.”

So once again Stephen sent some of his moron boys to the other side of the theater. Once again they started making noise and drawing Krysta’s attention to the other side of the theater. And once again Krysta walked by me, snap, snap, and walked to the other side of the theater. Finally, Stephen opened the door and pulled me out.

“Jake,” Stephen started with the tone that made you know he was faking being your friend, “I usually don’t believe in fate or destiny or any of that shit, but after what I saw today I might change my mind. The fact that you can go invisible to these things, well, there must be a reason why you found us instead of all of the people at the middle school. We need to work together to get everyone we can into a bigger group so we can plan and try to find a place where it will be easier to defend ourselves. We’re going to need your help, buddy. We can’t do much to survive by ourselves so we’re going to need to rely on you. What do you say?”

He stuck out his hand, and I shook it. His little gang started slapping me on the back and saying they were glad to have me as part of their gang. I smiled. I said my thank yous. I pretended that the last twenty minutes of pants shitting terror never happened. I would play along until the opportunity presented itself where I could take all of them out in the worst way possible way to them. Turned out I didn’t have to wait long.

One of the first things I did was sleep about eight hours. Or rather, pretend to sleep before I could start planning. I heard them in the next room trying to figure out how they could use my trust to turn it against me. But there were a few things they wanted to get before they ‘terminated’ my services. It turned out that it was a short list. What do all teenage boys want during the zombie apocalypse? The three B’s: babes, booze, and bud.

Twelve hours later I had returned from my supply run. I had managed to shamble my way down two and a half blocks to the intersection and shambled about a quarter mile further down the road. The electricity in town was still on, so I had no problem getting in and out of the store. Just shamble around, pull something off the shelf, find an aisle where there were no zombies, stuff what I grabbed into the backpack real slowly, and continue on with my shopping.

I had to get everything that I needed to fit into my backpack. Wouldn’t do me much good to use a shopping cart. Sure, a few of these dumb fucks were using shopping carts in the store, but I didn’t need to draw any more attention to myself by accidentally hitting another dumb fuck with a cart. Nope, one backpack and a trench coat with a slit in the lining so I could carry what I needed while keeping my hands free. The method to my madness is the quick getaway. If for some reason the dead heads started paying a little too much attention to me, I could drop all my stuff and go. But I didn’t want that. I did not want to lose my party favors.

When I got back to the theater, the boys were quite happy to see me. I took off my jacket and started to pull out various kinds of alcohol. The boys were six kinds of excited. They also had the forethought to take a small propane grill and put it up on the roof. I offered to cook. They were all up for that. They were disappointed that there was no bud that I could find. But the fact that I brought back some Xanax and Klonopin as party favors more than made up for it. They were so excited that they didn’t even notice that there was no seals on their booze when they drank them.

I also encouraged them to bring a radio up to the roof. I told them to blast it as loud as they wanted. Worried about drawing zombies in? Hell no. I could sneak out no matter how many of them showed up. So I started cooking burgers while these boys started partying it up. It was Christmas, New Year's, and their birthdays all rolled up into one hellacious holiday. I just smiled and gritted my teeth praying my plan would work. I was also hoping for some Megadeth, but it seemed like pop and rap for the duration. Of course there were the accident that I kept having that I kept dropping burgers off the top of the movie theater. Oops. The boys also were impressed by how much I was drinking. But that’s what happens when I replace my vodka with water.

About forty five minutes into the party the boys were starting to get very tipsy and were falling down. I suggested that all of them except for Steven go down the stairs and get seated in the theater and we would bring down the food. Steven was way past gone, but agreeable. While those fools were trying to stagger down the stairs I was trying to figure out the next part of my plan. I was hoping that I didn’t use too many party favors on the boys. They all sat down in the theater and about ten minutes later I started hearing some of them snoring upstairs.

Stephen was passed out in a lawn chair on the roof. I was hoping that he wouldn’t overdose before I got to use my party favors. He had a few more pills than anyone else at the party. Some jerk shouldn’t have put all of those sleeping pills he got at the pharmacy into the kids booze. I put a few more pills in Stephen’s drink because I needed him out longer than his boys.

I pulled up my shirt and took the rope I had around my waist and tied it into a makeshift harness. I tied Stephen up and threw him over the side. I left him hanging a few feet from the roof, hoping the rope wouldn’t break, or even worse, him dying and leaving me with a hanging corpse. I waited too long to get my revenge, and I didn’t want it ruined because of one too many pills.

I pulled out some duct tape from the lining of my coat and was so excited that I ran down the steps three at a time. The six boys were out cold. I used the tape to tie the boys down. I wrapped their legs, wrists and chests to the chairs, but I left their mouths free. I wanted to hear them scream. Just like I screamed when, well, I don’t have time to go into details.

I ran back up the stairs to grab some more party favors. The first thing I did when I got up to the roof was throw as much raw burger and blood off the side to get the zombies on the ground floor a little more riled up. I also grabbed a bottle of adrenaline and a syringe and headed back down the stairs.

I gave the six boys down there six shots, one shot each. I made sure that I used only one needle and no alcohol. They were living on borrowed time and I was there to collect. They woke up and started screaming at me. Threats, pleas, crying. I did not care. It was going to be the greatest show that I was never going to see.

“Sorry boys, but I have a strict “Don’t Know, Don’t Care” policy. I don’t know you very well, so I don’t care if you die a painful death. I hope it is very painful and that you get the same amount of pain you inflicted in your miserable lives.”

I pulled a knife out of my pocked that started to slice up my captive audience. I was getting threats and pleading. I think I had a smile on my face. I really didn’t care about them. But I had to get back to my big fish upstairs. In good conscience I just couldn’t leave him hanging. First things first, though, I had to give these six boys their dance partner. I opened the doors that went up to the balcony.

“Chica,” I said, “come out here and take your pick of bachelor one, two or three.”

I started laughing. Maybe I went a little crazy at the moment. I ran up to the front doors. There must have been about a hundred of undead fucks out there. “You boys and girls look like you’re a little hungry,” I laughed, “let me get the doors for you and you can come in. I made some lunch for you. So please, come on in and take your pick.”

I must have been grandstanding there for about five minutes. I should have been worried. I didn’t know where chica was. Really wasn’t too concerned. I was tapping on the doors working the zombies outside into a frenzy. I finally turned the key in the door and hauled ass before the doors swung in from the other side of a few hundred pounds of zombies and made an appetizer of Jake under glass. I ran through the concession area and took the steps three at a time up to the roof. As soon as I hit the roof I spun around and slammed the door shut. I waited a couple of minutes until I heard the blood curdling screams start. I think I was grinning at that point. I turned and was stopped in my tracks. Krysta was bending over the side of the theater trying to reach down grabbing at Stephen. I could hear her teeth clacking.

I don’t know what the hell I was thinking at that moment. I must have been crazy from the adrenaline high. Or maybe it was that I just planned a way to kill six people that way who probably didn’t deserve it. Anyways, I ran up to Krysta, grabbed her by her waist band of her pants and pulled her back up to the roof. “Chica, what the fuck are you doing?” I was screaming right in her face. I was pointing my finger inches from her mouth. She clicked her teeth a couple of times together and started leaning off the side of the building trying to get back at Stephen, ignoring me. I yanked her back up. “Chica, you want him don’t you? You can understand what’s going on right? If you understand, just give me some kind of sign.”

I don’t know what the hell I was thinking. I had six people screaming and dying in the theater below me. Their screams were drawing in more zombies. My dumb ass was standing on top of a theater, screaming, pointing my finger a few inches from another one's mouth while she kept snapping her teeth at me. Stephen was hanging three feet from the roof, sleeping through the whole time.

“OK, let me get my fun in and you can have yours.”

Snap, snap, snap.

I’ll spare you the boring details of how I got Stephen, Krysta, and myself off of the theater roof. I’m also not going to tell you where we went. What I did though, well, there’s going to be a special place for me in Hell.

I found a nice little basement. First thing I did was tie Stephen up down there. Body hanging in a perfect X. Then I took Krysta and put her outside. I needed some sleep, and I didn’t trust her enough to have me sleeping with her in the house. I woke up a few hours later to the sound of Stephen screaming.

He was whining and crying and asking what I was going to do to him. I told him he didn’t want to see what I was doing to him. So I took a hot iron spike and put out his eyes. He was screaming about how much it hurt. So I gave him a big shot of painkillers. I wondered how bad it hurt when I injected him in the eyes.

I spent the next few days playing sounds of zombies groaning. I took knives and cut slices of flesh off him while he was asleep. I just make his life a living hell for about three days. Eventually I lost all interest in torturing him.

“Stephen, I got some good news for you. I’m tired of this game, so I’m going to give you a chance. I’m giving you a chance to get out of here. All you have to do is just get out of this basement. I’ll cut you loose and all you have to do is walk out the door. Oh wait, I forgot, I promised you to someone else.”

I opened the door to the outside of the basement. All Stephen could hear was snap, snap, snap. He was screaming something or other, but I didn’t care anymore.

“Chica, he’s all yours.”

I swear I saw a zombie grin.