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THE DEAL – (Free Fiction)

Posted on April 11, 2016

The following short story first appeared in our anthology Unspeakable, and became the framework for T. Fox Dunham’s novel MERCY–now available everywhere fine books are sold!

The Deal

T. Fox Dunham

Sigmund watched the nurse’s face shatter into black ichor—an array of scars sliced down her cheeks. At least that’s what it looked like to him. The hospital had taken his glasses in preparation for the surgery and everything was blurry. The woman chewed on her lips with what looked like small syringes for teeth. Sigmund stifled a cry.

Relax, it’s all in your head, he thought. He hummed Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” to help calm his nerves.

The vision slowly blinked away and relief washed over Sigmund. The blonde nurse, cute once again, closed his chart and hung it on the end of his stretcher. Sigmund knew the visions he’d been having were simply the result of the medication and the stress from the relapse of his cancer, but that still didn’t make them any less disturbing. And so far this was the third demon he’d imagined today.

“Is the Ativan helping you?” the nurse asked.

“I’m floating like a cloud,” he said

“They’ll be starting soon, Mr. Carver. You have nothing to worry about. Doctor Morbus is wonderful.”

“I know. The miracle doctor. I’m grateful.”

As if on cue, Doctor Morbus clomped over like an old horse and pulled back the curtain. “Ready for the big day, Mr. Carver?”

“Call me Sigmund.” He smiled, the sedatives further relaxing him.

“Well in that case, you can call me Theodore.”

Sigmund offered his hand. Doctor Morbus took it in his. It was a firm hand, though it chilled him, like the surgeon kept his hand in ice water when he wasn’t operating.

They wheeled the stretcher back to the operating room. The surgical team was there, adorned in green robes and myriad caps.

One of the team helped Doctor Morbus robe up and wrapped a mask over his mouth.

“It’s a simple procedure. I’ll pop those nodes out of your leg like I’m cracking walnuts. Don’t you worry now.”

“Amanda, my wife, speaks highly of you. She said you were the man to call,” Sigmund said.

There was an eldritch illumination in the room, blurring the contours of the nurses. They pressed leads to his chest from an EKG monitor, placed a pulse-ox clip on the tip of his finger. The room was like a refrigerator. He listened to the steady beep of his heart over the machine.

“Your wife’s a good woman, takes care of the patients. Most social workers I know just stamp papers and never leave their office. Is she here? I didn’t see her or I would have said hi.” Doctor Morbus’s beard bulged behind the mask.

“Her flight was cancelled yesterday with the snow. She’ll be here as soon as the storm lifts.”

“I’m sure she will,” Doctor Morbus said.

“When she met me, she didn’t care that I was sick. It just made her love me more. When they told us the cancer had relapsed, she just held my hand and said that we’d get through it, no matter what. She’s a saint, Doc.”

Under the siren call of the Ativan, he found himself a waxing poetic. He hoped he wouldn’t be too embarrassed when it wore off. His eyes wandered and he caught sight of three black palm prints on the wall.

“Well, let’s get this show on the road,” Doctor Morbus said. The anesthesiologist plunged a syringe into a port on his IV line. “Now count back from ten, Mr. Carver—Sigmund.”

“Ten, nine, eight…”

In that last moment before the anesthetic washed over him, Sigmund looked upon the face of his doctor. Tar oozed from orifices. A beaked nose hung. He sniffed. The whole surgical team sniffed. Hungry. Ravenous.

Fortunately, Sigmund quickly melted away into the aphotic zone.

***

Consciousness returned in quick frissons. Sigmund moved in and out of sleep while waiting in the post-op ward. His thigh was tight with bandages and secured with a brace. It pulsed with pain and he was scared to jostle it. He drifted back toward sleep with a misty recollection of Doctor Morbus assuring him that the surgery went well. A transport arrived and wheeled him back to his private room, all the while the bright hospital flashed in and out like a black and white movie.

A nurse he didn’t recognize helped the orderly lift him into bed. She rearranged his IV bag and input new commands on the automated pump.

“Thank you,” Sigmund said, looking up at her.

The nurse’s face was that of gangrenous flesh, ripped and hanging. Swollen, black lumps like coal jutted below her skin. She sniffed as she spoke. Beneath her tangy perfume, was the aroma of road kill and the underlying stench turned his stomach. Ichor dripped from her torn lip and spilled out onto her blue scrubs.

Sigmund closed his eyes, wishing the dark vision away. He opened them. The vision did not abate.

“Stay away!” He started to tremble. His head was pulsating and somehow he knew that this was not a fleeting manifestation of his anxiety. Or even a medicated induced hallucination. No. This nurse was sick with something. Some kind of flesh eating disease. And if not that, then she herself was something else. Something inhuman.

“Is there a problem?” She looked at his nametag above the bed on the wall. “Mr. Carver?” She spit out the words with a hiss, spraying black bile over him, catching on his lips. It tasted of brine, like old fish left to rot. He gagged.

“What the hell’s wrong with your face?”

“Not another one.” She sighed. “Please relax. You’re hallucinating. Sometimes that happens with the anesthetic.”

She reached out to touch him. Her hand look liked like a charred hamburger.

“Get the hell away from me!” He shouted, pressing back into the hospital bed.

She pulled a thin syringe from the front pocket on her nursing uniform.

“This will calm you down.” Black ooze pulsed under the skin on her face like night crawlers burrowing into a cadaver. Sigmund vomited, spilling down his arm and the side of the bed.

The nurse took hold of the port on his IV line. Sigmund cradled the line on his hand, trying to get up the courage to yank it out. But he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. He was a wimp and he knew it. She injected the syringe and pushed the plunger. The mollification was immediate, like an ocean wave crashing over him, numbing his body.

The nurse turned to leave, her back facing Sigmund. She then bent backward. Sigmund watched, horrified as she continued to bend. A normal spine would have snapped in two, but this woman appeared to be made of rubber. She didn’t stop bending until she was looking at him again. Face upside-down. Sniffing. Smiling.

***

Dulcimer sounds. Harp. Angels.

Sigmund wasn’t sure how long he was out. In the narcotic haze, he couldn’t discern the song, though it seemed very familiar to him.

He struggled to shake the boulders from his eyelids. Part of him declined to awaken, in fear that the nurse would be there, chewing the meat on his leg, sucking the marrow from the bone. Finally he recognized the song, sang the lyrics in his mind.

“Are you feeling better?” The voice was husky, smoky.

A fellow was sitting in the chair by his bed, cradling a guitar in his lap. His short hair had gone to gray, like cigarette ash—probably in his late fifties. A silver crucifix hung around his neck. It glowed in the light from the halogen over his bed. Sigmund searched the room for the nurse. She was gone. He sighed.

“Wicked dreams,” Sigmund said. “Devils. They were all devils.”

“Well, I’m no saint but ain’t a devil either,” he said. “Joshua Pike. I volunteer here at the hospital. I come up and talk to the patients, sometimes pick at the guitar. I’m not a good crooner, so I need to come to hospitals to get an audience. Oh, here are your glasses. Turtle shell. Nice.”

Pike slid them over Sigmund’s face for him, restoring his vision. The room sharpened.

“They were just awful.”

“I know. Don’t worry.” His soft voice soothed Sigmund. “Nightmares are common in this place.”

“I bet,” Sigmund said.

“You’re a cancer patient?”

“Since I was twenty. Lymphoma.”

“Is that what the surgery was for?”

“I went into remission a few years ago, but then it showed up in my leg. My oncologist didn’t think I had a chance, but my wife told me about some of the stuff they’ve done here. I flew out, met with Doctor Morbus, and he was sure he could get it all out. I’d read about him a few years ago. Patients, many terminal, were given a second chance. He was the second coming.”

The Minstrel nodded, playing idly with his pick, sounding out a stray note now and again. He kept watching the door, tensing when someone walked by.

“Sure. That Doctor Morbus has got fast hands.”

Putting down his guitar, Pike went to the door and eased it shut. His face became deathly serious. “You mustn’t scream. You mustn’t respond at all. You can’t let them know you’re onto them.”

“What? Who?”

“The Nosoi. Greek myth says they were released from Pandora’s Box, bringing disease to humans. You had Nurse Connie Licker this afternoon. As soon as I heard you yelling from down the hall, I knew another one had seen through their mask. Doctor Morbus is one too. They’re all over this hospital.”

“Huh?” Sigmund furrowed his brow. “Nosoi?”

“I was a priest once, giving up my life to God. I was sent to a missionary hospital in Kenya. I was very sick there, Filariasis from a mosquito. I recovered. That’s when I first saw the Nosoi—demons, succubus to the sick, the dying. They were hiding there, inside the hospital, feeding off the sick. No one saw them. No one gives a damn what happens there. They feed with impunity off the poor and forgotten.”

“You’re serious?” Sigmund could see the desperation in Pike’s face, like an animal in a snare.

This wasn’t a world Sigmund could accept. He knew numbers, math, the elegance of the cosmos. He believed in what he could see, touch. And yet that was the quandary. For Sigmund had seen something today. Something he couldn’t explain. The rational part of him knew his brain wasn’t infallible, but that’s not the part he trusted right now. Right now he trusted the fear, the primal fear like a warning bell built into the instinct of every animal. And Sigmund’s was sounding off in his head that something unnatural, something predatory, twisted and cast into the shadows long ago was at work in the hospital.

“We don’t know what they are exactly, but we share some kind of folk memory about them. That’s when I knew. We can’t see them. We could once, but we’ve deluded ourselves that their world doesn’t exist—not on God’s earth, not among his host of heaven or hell. And so we became blind to their presence. We’re like dumb, happy rabbits waiting for the wolves.”

Sigmund pleaded silently for Amanda to hurry.

He wished he could make a run for it, simply get out of bed and leave. He maneuvered on the bed, but his leg protested. He couldn’t put weight on it or his sutures would likely tear. Stark horror gripped Sigmund as he realized they had him. He was no better than a pig waiting to be butchered. He was easy meat.

Sigmund rubbed a shaking hand over the bandage. Something slithered beneath the dressing, then burrowed. Doctor Morbus was one of these things. He’d been inside him. Sigmund trembled.

“What do they want?”

“To drink us like wine,” Pike answered. “To sup on sick humans like stew. They attach themselves like leeches, drinking away from the suffering, the illness. They’re like vampires, and the more they sip, the sicker you get until they’ve drained you entirely.”

“That thing. It—she—sniffed at me. It was like euphoria, like she was high.”

“They love cancer. They know disease, know it well. They make great doctors, but don’t be fooled. If they heal you it’s only temporary, just enough to lengthen their prey’s life span—gives them more time to feed.”

“My wife. Amanda. She’ll get me out of here. She’s always there for me.”

“They won’t let you go. And now that you’re here under their power, there’s very little you can do. No one’s going to believe you, Carver. They’ll diagnose you as a psychotic and shoot you up with Thorazine. It’s how they like to do it—more suffering to taste and less resistance.”

“What am I suppose to do then?”

“You can’t fight them. I tried, and I was defrocked for seeing demons. You have to wait until they release you. Play along. Then maybe you can vanish. But if they really want you, you’ll have no where you can hide. They’ll sniff you out. They’ll find you.”

“Won’t they know I’m onto them?” Sigmund said. After all he’d made quite a scene earlier.

Pike shrugged. “Maybe. Maybe not. When most people see them it’s just due to the shock of invasive surgery—opens the eyes, stirs the preconceptions. It passes. They’ll just assume it was a temporary breach. But if they find out that you know and it looks like you’re going to be a problem—well, let’s just say the last guy committed suicide by jumping off the roof.”

The door slid open. He could tell it was Doctor Morbus from his girth, his swagger. Sigmund grasped the side rail of his bed. Doctor Morbus’s face was different from the others, sutured in black leather. A long beak curved from his nose. His eyes were dark lenses, a set of goggles. He recognized it. In times of plague in Europe, doctors adorned such equipment to protect themselves. This was not a mask however. His face was molded to it. Puss dripped from the seams.

“Good evening, Mr. Pike. Come to sing my patient tales of love and woe?” Doctor Morbus smiled.

“I was just singing him some Bob Dylan.” Pike turned to Sigmund. “Well, I’ll be seeing you, Mr. Carver. Hope your recovery is smooth. Prayer helps. Just keep your cool, and you’ll get out of here soon.”

He swept up his guitar and left the room. Sigmund followed him with desperate eyes, begging him with glances to remain. Then he was alone with the Nosoi.

“I stopped in earlier, but you were out of it. The nurse said you were seeing things. That can happen after such a procedure. After a few scans to make sure, I think we can break out the champagne and blow-ticklers. Some chemo therapy will be needed, but you’re a tough guy. I know you can take it.

“That’s great, Doctor,” he forced. He squeezed the railing until his hand throbbed. Now that his glasses had been returned there was no mistaking what he saw.

“Even better. Your wife phoned. She called the nurse’s station when she couldn’t get through to your room. She’ll be along soon. You’re a lucky man, Sigmund.”

The doctor eyed him, trying to read something in Sigmund’s face. A sign. Sigmund tried to maintain his composure.

“Sure you’re all right, Siggy? You’re not still seeing things are you?” He cracked a smile “It’s not real you know. The only demons we have here are the insurance company reps.” He laughed, releasing dark ichor down his chin.

“You’re as funny as you are handsome,” Sigmund said. “My sister is single. Feel like a blind date? I sure wouldn’t mind having a doctor as part of the family.”

Doctor Morbus giggled. “I’ll be back in tomorrow. Get some rest.”

Morbus reached out to pat him on the shoulder, the ooze dripping from his mangled hands, his fingers twisting like a nest of rattlesnakes. Sigmund forced himself to stay still.

Think of Amanda, he told himself. She’d rescue him soon. She always rescued him. If this was the world of darkness, of demons, then she was his angel, his light.

Doctor Morbus slipped out to the hall, leaving a trail of ooze like oil spots from a leaky engine.

He tried calling Amanda but got her voicemail. He waited, watched a little television, tried to sip on tea from his dinner tray. At least the girl who delivered it had been normal.

He was dosing off a little, when he caught the sweet, tangy aroma of tea-rose perfume—a smattering on the air—and he felt lighter. The scent soothed him, brought succor to his suffering. Amanda was always beautiful, always young—bright flaxen hair, green eyes, thin face. She could have married someone rich, someone handsome, but she’d chosen him even though he was sick.

“I’m so glad you’re here.” Sigmund smiled as Amanda entered the room. “I need you. I—” He stopped, paralyzed with fear. He couldn’t help wetting himself, like a valve had failed. The urine made a warm stain on the sheet.

“Oh no,” Amanda said, rushing to his side. “It’s ok. Let me get you some clean sheets. You poor thing.”

Growing from her scalp, rising above her hair, were lumps, boils. Some had burst and oozed. This close, her odor was different, like sour milk, causing him to wretch. Her face was rocky with tumors.

What a fool I am! Amanda did not love him in spite of the cancer but because of it.

She sniffed him and smiled.

The pain must have showed on his face, because she looked at him with comprehension.

“I know this must be a terrible shock,” she said.

“Are you going to kill me?” Sigmund asked.

She set down her purse on the windowsill and sat by the bed. He couldn’t look at her. He wanted to remember her as she was—the fair beauty that was once his. Not this hideous creature. This wasn’t his wife. The lady he knew was gone, murdered by this thing.

“It doesn’t have to be that way. Not if you don’t want it to be my love.”

“Don’t call me that.”

“It’s not a bad deal,” she continued. “You would have died a long time ago if it hadn’t been for us. We’ve kept you alive.”

“So that you can feed off of me?”

“It’s no different than using maggots to clean wounds. You feed us, and we keep you alive. True, eventually we’ll devour you entirely… but not for awhile.” Amanda paused. “You want to stay alive. I know your spirit, what you always say—anything for another hour of sunlight. This isn’t so bad really. You’ll be strong again for awhile. We’ve given you a gift. So many die so young. You should be grateful.”

He still couldn’t face her, but her words abated his anxiety. He couldn’t help but appreciate the logic. He’d vowed long ago to fight for every moment. When he’d learn of the relapse, he would have done anything just for a little more time. The look on his face told Amanda all she needed to know. It was a deal.

She smiled. “Things will just go on as they have, and eventually you will stop seeing the reality. Human minds are so malleable. You’re lucky really. If you don’t like something about the world, you’re able to just hide it, create a fata morgana over the ugliness.”

I could do it, he thought, especially if it meant living a little longer. Already her demonic image was fading. Like some bad dream cast out by the current of daylight.

“Look at me, my love. It’ll be all right. You’ll see.”

And she was correct. The pale coloring of her face was returning. Her lips were full once more, like strawberries.

“It’s all a bad dream. The medicine made you sick, but you’re all better now. I won’t let anything happen to you. I love you.”

She leaned over his thigh, her neck twisting backward with inhuman flexibility like a snake. She pulled back the sheet, sniffing at the surgery site. She licked it up and down like a lollipop.

You Can’t Join The N*gger Club – Wrath James White

Posted on February 7, 2016

If you don't know who these six girls are, please check out the article:here

As a teacher in the Tempe Union High School District (same district as these Desert Vista girls), I was curious what the author of 400 Days of Oppression had to say on the issue. Does it matter that one of the girls has a black boyfriend? That is was just a joke that got out of control? Is it ever okay to use the N-word…

You Can’t Join The N*gger Club by Wrath James White

I had a friend when I lived in Vegas who was one of those stereotypical slang-talking white guys with the ghetto swagger. His name was Scotty. Scotty and I worked together at the same company and we worked out at the same gym. He was big into bodybuilding, and I was still fighting competitively, so he and I both spent a lot of time in the gym together. We went to boxing and MMA matches together. We told dirty jokes, shared secrets, and had each other’s back. Our families even had dinner together. We became like brothers.

Scotty was a funny guy with a great sense of humor, and I found his enthusiastic embracement of Black culture hilarious… usually. It is hard for anyone to tread that tight-rope between appreciation and parody, and sometimes Scotty’s heavy slang bordered on a minstrel show. On those occasions, I would check him as gently as possible. I knew he meant well and wasn’t really trying to be insulting, so I never felt the need to really make an issue out of it … until the day he called me his nigga.

“No, man. I’m not your nigga. You do not get to use that word.”

Scotty was shocked.

“But, I thought we was tight?”

“We are, but we can’t never be that tight. That word has a history that’s bigger than both of us.”

Scotty thought that his friendship with me had earned him access to the nigger club. Like it was some sort of fraternity you could join if you had the proper connections and the requisite “street cred.” Let me state for the record that it is not. No matter what your other black friends might tell you, there is no secret handshake or password, no badge, no nigger card that you can be given that grants authorization to that word. It doesn’t matter that we use it (though I have my issue with that too) you don’t get to use it, and it doesn’t matter whether or not you think that’s fair. It isn’t “just a word” to us. If you are willing to be branded a racist, lose friends, maybe even a job, and possibly even some teeth, then go ahead and give it a try. Scotty made that mistake. A mistake that Hulk Hogan, Dog The Bounty Hunter, and now these six Arizona teenagers made. The fact that one of them has a Black boyfriend doesn’t make the use of this derogatory term any more or less acceptable. Neither did me and Scotty’s friendship.

That mistake didn’t end the friendship between Scotty and I. I was able to make him understand why that word was off limits to him, and he apologized and never said it again. Let’s see if I can make you understand the significance of this word, and why it should never leave your lips.

When I was younger, I used the word often. Every Black person I knew did. This became a problem when I went to college and met middle-class Black kids who found the word insulting, and looked at me like a low-life for using it. I argued that using the word sapped it of its power. By using it we were reclaiming it from those who had used it against us. I quoted Richard Pryor who had said that before the White Man took us from Africa we were Watusi and Mau Mau and Nuba and Masai and hundreds of other tribes and we were all at war. Then we came to America and were united under one common name “Nigger” and we all became brothers. But after Richard Pryor went to Africa, he realized that he didn’t see any niggers there, only beautiful Black people and that he had to stop thinking of himself in those terms and he promised to stop using that word.

At twenty-one I moved to the Bay Area. There I met lots of “Afrocentric” Black folks who convinced me little by little that there was something wrong with my free usage of this word. I began my own course of Black studies reading Bobby Seal and Eldridge Cleaver and Malcolm X and Huey P. Newton and Langston Hughes and James Baldwin. At that time I also met a lot of gangsters and gangster rappers and found myself so appalled by the image they were portraying about our people that I resolved to never use the word again. Of course I did use it, many times. It was too much a part of me. Still, I cringed whenever I heard a Black person use it around White people and I reacted violently when I began to hear White people using the term. I was amazed the first time I saw a Black person allow a White person to call him a nigger with the same familiarity and camaraderie with which Black people used the term. I didn’t like it. It wasn’t right. They had not earned the right.

My partner and I were promoting a hip-hop concert at the night club I use to run in San Francisco. In keeping with our formula of putting on local acts with our headliners we had hired some kids we knew who had recently gotten a lot of exposure in a local club magazine. One of the rappers went by the name of “White Mike” and, just like the name implies, he was Caucasian. While I was explaining to him why the band could not have their underage friends and relatives in the club without endangering our liquor license, he starts rambling on in the most exaggerated slang I’d heard since leaving Philly, punctuated quite liberally with “My nigga this…And my niggaz that…” I was shocked and appalled. I stepped closer to him and growled in his ear, “If you ever use that word in front of me again I will beat you within an inch of your life.”

“Ay that’s just how we talk. These my niggaz right here. We grew up together.”

One of the Black members of the band proceeded to walk up to me and tell me that Mike was cool and that he was down and that they didn’t mind him saying it. I didn’t care.

“You don’t have the right to give a White boy permission to use that word. Were you ever a slave? Did you spend months in the belly of a slave ship after being snatched from your home only to be whipped and beaten, sold away from your family and forced to work in the fields like animals? Did you ever have to use a colored toilet or ride in the back of a bus? Were you ever denied the right to vote? Did you ever have police dogs and clubs and fire hoses put on you while you were marching for your rights? No? Then you don’t have the fucking right to let a White boy use that word after our ancestors suffered through all that shit just so one day you wouldn’t have to hear it any more.”

Yeah. It surprised me too. I didn’t know I had all of that inside me. I guess the word had more meaning to me than I had ever admitted to myself.

Years later I moved to Las Vegas and worked as a bouncer at a local nightclub. I was throwing out a drunk one night when he shouted the word in my face as I tossed him to the curb. I went after him with the intent of causing as much bodily harm as humanly possible without actually killing him. One of the other bouncers grabbed me to keep me from hurting him. After the drunk had run off the other bouncer released me and said, “Aren’t you glad I stopped you from hurting that guy? It’s just a word. You can’t let it get to you.” He was White. He didn’t get it. I was still angry. Rage was vibrating through my muscles still looking for a place to vent itself.

“You ever grab me like that again and I’ll fucking kill you.”

It was a matter of dignity, a matter of pride. Some things are worth losing a job over. Some things are worth spending a night or two in jail for. Some things you do not let slide. While I worked at that club I heard more White people use that word in anger than ever before in my life. I hurt every last one of them that said it within my hearing range. The night I got fired from that job a guy said it to me three times. I knocked him unconscious three times. He kept reviving and saying it again. The last time I knocked him out I stomped him in his face until he was finally quiet. I was fired for excessive force. I got a better job. Never worked in a nightclub again and never regretted how I handled that situation. I have knocked out people on three continents for using that word in anger.

I was watching an episode of Oprah Winfrey once that featured the cast of the movie “Crash” discussing race and prejudice. Eventually the “N” word came up. Don Cheadle, Ludacris, and one of the other actors defended their right to use the word with all of the same arguments I had used before. “It is a term of endearment between Black people. It is a term of brotherhood and community.” They even went on to try to clarify how “nigga” was the inoffensive term and “nigger” was the racial slur. I had used that once myself too, in my younger days. Oprah answered that this was all too confusing and the word should just not be used at all by anyone. She recounted a story about one of her security guards being called a nigger innocently by a South African security guard who thought “What’s up, my nigga?” was the appropriate way to greet Black people because he’d seen it in American rap videos. I too have only recently realized how difficult it is for White people to come to grips with this word. It confuses them even more than it confuses us. So, I agree with both Don and Oprah to a degree.

I agree with Don that this term has a meaning within our community that has transcended its original meaning. As Richard Pryor said years ago the word has united the tribes under one banner. Yet the negative connotations of the word cannot be ignored. It connotes generations and generations of slavery and oppression. It was the word used by our oppressors to identify someone who was in his opinion a mere possession, little more than three fifths of a man, just a notch above cattle. It should never come out of a White person’s lips. When my mother was growing up a Black person would get his ass kicked for calling another Black person a nigger in mixed company. It was a term that was used only between ourselves and not shared with the public. Using the term out of community was the highest insult. It was considered belittling. Black people using it between one another when we are alone is one thing but we should never use it in public. We should certainly never put it on a record and play it on the radio. Reclaiming the word is one thing, but loaning it out to other races and selling it for profit is another thing entirely. Sorry, you don’t get to join the nigger club.

Abandon all hope ye who read this book…

Posted on July 14, 2015

It began in a cave with The Sinner. Now the saga continues! Armed with the knowledge of his true identity and the seven demons by his side, the farmer enters the world with a mission: deliver sin to mankind. It’s the greatest story ever told, by the most unlikely of narrators. Welcome to the truth. Welcome to Hell. Welcome to THE HARVESTER!

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BleakWarrior by Alistair Rennie

Posted on November 24, 2014

Congratulations to Alistair Rennie! We have chosen his novel, BleakWarrior, for publication in the Dark Fantasy category. BleakWarrior emerged from his series of second-world fantasy stories about a troupe of ultra-violent, sexually transgressive misfits called Meta-Warriors. His work has appeared in The New Weird anthology, Weird Tales magazine, Fabulous Whitby, Electric Velocipede, Mythic Delirium, Pevnost, Schlock Magazine, Horror Without Victims, Weird Fiction Review, and Shadowed Realms. Alistair RennieHe was born and grew up in the North of Scotland, has lived for ten years in Bologna, Italy, and now lives in Edinburgh in the South of Scotland. He holds a first class Honours Degree in Literature from the University of Aberdeen and a PhD in Literature from the University of Edinburgh. He is a time-served Painter and Decorator and a veteran climber of numerous hills and mountains in the Western Highlands, the Cairngorms and the Italian Dolomites. Rennie is also a member of the dark arcane music project Mongaliech. Thank you to all who submitted to our Science Fiction Horror / Dark Fantasy category.