Terror Tonight

The Lady of Flies

My wife is the ruler of hell, but she thinks that I don’t know. It’s her little secret and I play along. My lovely Maria, for whom I will gladly die. We are waiting for those inside me to mature. Those dark things that she plants inside me as I sleep. Things that squirm beneath my skin if I am away from her for too long. They ache for their mother and scream for her using my mouth.


In the mornings we go our separate ways to work, she gives me a smile knowing that it will be a day of pain for me. But my pain is her pleasure, and her pleasure is my life. It will begin in my stomach, a small growling. It’s not my hunger but theirs. The things that Maria has put inside me demand to feed on the unclean. In my suit and tie, I take to the alleys at noon, hoping for something that they might enjoy. My Maria’s children have such a hunger that the moldy and dead can fill. If we are lucky, I can find the greatest of treats, a rat already bloated from the heat, or a cat crawling with life as it lays useless to anyone but the swarm and me.


After the children are fed it’s back to the cubicle for me. The little square that I fill during the day as the buzzing fills my head. I try not to scratch at them as they get loud enough to drown out the drone of my coworkers and their petty lives. They have nothing, but I am the bringer of the swarm. The ones who will feast on them all. However, sometimes the pain is too great and blood is under my fingernails before I know what I have done. I sit in in my car screaming at my laxness, hoping that I have not killed any of the tiny ones. Crying at the thought of failing in my duty. The children are all.


Today I have not failed, today I have kept my charges safe for their queen. We sing praises to the Dark Lady as I take the long freeway home. I scream hosannas in her name to quiet them. They scream through my head all wanting to be near her as always, their voices blend until no words can be found. Then as one, they silence themselves. A small voice tells me that it is time. I laugh because my Lady will be proud of her husband for giving her these fine children.


How shall I present the gift that she has waited for so long?

I shall give her the Valentine that she deserves.

She enters the house with a glow. Candles wait for her, and white wine to celebrate what she has waited for without complaint. I give her a kiss and my love as I set her at the table. She laughs at our largest bowl empty in front of her. Running my fingers through her hair, her eyes connect with mine just as they did on our first night. She smiles as I run the razor across my stomach to release her present into the china bowl.


I close my eyes from the pain, hearing nothing but the goodbyes of our young. I know my Maria is proud of me I don’t need to understand what she is saying to know of her love.


The end

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JD Hyde enjoys rocking back and forth in the shower rethinking his life decisions. Follow him on Twitter.

The Truckstop at the Edge of the Universe

“Piece of SHIT! Turn on, damn it! —Testing. Testing.—OK, there we go. Red lights across. About time! I can’t believe this actually worked. No! No! Don’t you do it! You stay right there! Don’t make me hit—I swear to —There, that’s better. Holding the red. Nine minutes and twelve seconds. Moving on.  How do I start this? Ages ago? In the beginning? No, no, too cliché. Once upon a time? What other way is there? Damn, why did it have to come to this? It should never be this difficult.

I suppose the beginning it is, but only for a moment. I really don’t see much of a choice at this point and I don’t have much time. When all else fails, right? Let’s get this over with.

Since time is slipping through my fingers and I don’t see any way out of this mess and never believed in miracles, I should probably just get on with it and get right to it. I’m not sure who’ll hear this, but I’d appreciate anyone at this point. Even the Blugenns could make their ugly appearance and I wouldn’t give a shit. I’m hoping this rigged relay will at least reach the Omega Gate, and local harvesters will pick up on my signal, but even at their top speed I’m guessing it would already be too late. Time moves funny out here. So I’ll make this proverbial message in a bottle as quick as I can and tell you what I know so far, to anyone who may be able to hear it. Damn, based on the clock, I’m estimating less than three hours before I’m nothing more than a bubbling flesh puddle, sizzling on the floor. I hope this works. I don’t want to go out like that.

The following is my official last will and testament, and full confession. I confess to my actions today in this manner to hopefully bring peace to the mates and children of the fallen.  If this message is found, please share this with all remaining members of my family. They may be hard to find, some I haven’t spoken to since I was a child, and some won’t even care, but regardless they need to hear it. In fact, the whole universe needs to hear it. We’re in some deep shit—Right. Let’s do this.

I’ll start this off by saying; all great empires eventually come to an end. At least all the ones I’ve heard about have ended.

Earth was no different than any other self proclaimed empire throughout the cosmos. Earth was just a tiny speck of rock among many other puny specks of rock.

Five thousand years ago, the mighty Earth ceased to harbor life, as you probably already know. Or maybe you didn’t. Surprise!

The human’s planet continued to spin on its axis while orbiting the sun, and its tiny moon still rotated around the lifeless rock, but all living things on Earth’s surface were extinguished in the blink of an eye.

The destruction was thought to be the result of a cataclysm which wiped out all sentience in the Milky Way Galaxy and beyond. Nothing survived in the galactic local group. Microbes, bacteria, and the building blocks of life were annihilated. Trees and flowers turned to ash. Thermal vents at the deepest points of the oceans stopped venting.

Some of our varied historians say an omnipotent malevolent force was responsible. Others tell stories of a cosmic explosion. A black hole was trapped inside, or might have collided with, another black hole, and the overlapping gravity wells pulled in a supernova, or a pulsar, or some such shit. I’m not a scientist nor will I claim to be. I don’t know how it happened. Who really knows what happened? All we have now are the stories, whether true or not, passed down from generation to generation. Fables of ancient worlds.

To be honest, no one really cares about history anymore, unfortunately, including me. There’s too much to do to even give the theories a passing thought. In the Exterior, my home at the outskirts of the Vega Grid, life moves too fast.

Once hearing word of the galaxy’s destruction and the Milky Way and other sectors now devoid of life, independent missions were established by volunteers, contracted through the Elite class, to retrieve anything in the cosmos that may prove to be of value. Remnants of cultures and fragments of history were salvaged from these long dead worlds and brought back to the Exterior for study and trade. When the travelers found something worth recovering, the galactic scavengers then sought out legitimate buyers across the region.

Everything has a price. And that’s where I come in.

Over the millennia these scavengers adopted the name, Truckers. An old Earth title. Transporters of goods. The front line for supplies. To those in the Exterior who’re hearing this, you owe your lives and livelihoods to the Truckers. If not for them, we would be merely a fraction of what we are today. We all need to stop taking everything for granted.

Sometimes the Truckers would be months and for some, years, before returning to the Exterior. Their extended missions would drain their ship’s drive engines, and they’d be forced to wait until enough energy was replenished in their reserve tanks, so they could have enough to jump back home. They’d return tired, missing their families, children and pets, but if they were lucky and diligent in their labor they’d have enough material stored in the cargo bays ready for distribution to keep them from having to venture out again for many months.

They’d find soil deep in the ground where it was still fertile, free from toxins, and usable for growing plants and crops. Plants you eat today. Perhaps eating right now. Are you enjoying that sweet corn? Thank a Trucker. Do those copper tokens pay your worker wages? Thank a Trucker.

They’d bring back gems, water and ice blocks, rusted chunks of steel, gold, coal, seedlings from the underground vaults, and the gases harvested from a planet named, Jupiter: Hydrogen, methane, helium, ammonia, and for a small elite group occupying the interior of the Exterior, sulfur was brought back for a reason we still speculate on.

Who am I to ask questions? Best to mind my own business.

That’s what I do best. I mind my business.

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Jeremy Morang Bio: Father of two. Enjoys the simple life. Dreams to one day be published. Lives in a small town in Central Maine. Works with adults with physical and cognitive disabilities in a quality assurance capacity. Been writing seriously since 2011. Love my family, my new dog and relishing every moment with my wife. Enjoys eating dessert first. Works on a personal blog mixing fantasy and autobiographical stories named, Tales of the Chronicles.

Emmanuel Idaago Odogo

Emmanuel Idaago Odogo: Lagos, Nigeria

Poetry is my thing. It lets me express myself in the most creatively captivating way. In poetry, every word is heavily pregnant, and can be beautifully understood in different ways; even in ways different from the poet’s, but equally beautiful. As a poet, I can express myself and still be my non-talkative self.

Connect with the Author here.

Terror Tonight

Taking Out the Trash

They found him in an alley, covered in filth and reeking of old beer and piss. Waking him with a kick, the three boys laughed when he tried to crawl away. Their designer clothes and fashion magazine haircuts showed they drove in for a wild night. The smallest one giggled and said to the one with the most expensive shoes, “Hey Trent, have you ever seen a sack of trash run away before?”

By J.D. Hyde

Trent shook his head, and took a puff from his vape, “Nope, but I know how to get rid of trash. Do you know how to get rid of trash, Eddie?”

The third boy stared at the man they had circled, “Oh yes, I know how to get rid of the trash.” Eddie pulled a can of lighter fluid from his jacket pocket and said “Incineration.”

The man began to cry, and mumbling, “Please don’t, please don’t do this.”

The boys laughed as Eddie cover the man in lighter fluid, “Feel that old man, you won’t be littering our streets anymore.”

The small one began kicking him again, taking out the angst of being neither the richest nor the strongest of the group. He held a lot of anger, and the old man felt a rib break but he didn’t try to fight, he covered his head and begged, “Please don’t do it.”

Eddie pulled out a lighter and stared at the flame when he flicked it, “Old man, we are going to burn you. There’s no getting out of it.”

A wind came through the alley blowing out the flame, “I wasn’t talking to you,” the old man whispered.

Trent screamed as the boys who circled the man were circled themselves by rats. The vermin swarmed Eddie, covering him, and taking a bite with each step they took. It took less than a minute for Eddie to become bone and blood. The others didn’t try to help, they began running as soon as the rats made their move. However, Trent and Brent found that the entrance to the alley was gone. They found graffiti-covered walls were on all four sides of them, and then they began to beg.

“They are just boys,” the man said to the air. But the air didn’t listen.

Shadows that could have once been cast off, broke away from the corners grabbing the boys, pulling them into the darkness. The old man pleaded for their lives as the boys were sucked into a place darker than the night until only their screams were left. Then those faded away.

The wall that had blocked the boy’s way opened up again, with new graffiti that read, “I love you”

The old man whispered to the city, “I love you too”

End

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JD Hyde enjoys rocking back and forth in the shower rethinking his life decisions. Follow him on Twitter.

The Grumpy Fairy

The Grumpy Fairy (A Grumpy Fairy Tale Book 1) by [Dunlap, Elizabeth]

This is a quick and quirky read, perfect for fans of sarcasm and fairy tales. Honestly, I can see Drusinella existing in the land of Far, Far Away with Shrek and Fiona. In fact, I can see her being Fairy Godmother to their little baby ogres. Somehow, I think she, Shrek, and Fiona would get along. Donkey, on the other hand, would probably get on her nerves.
See, Drusinella is not your typical fairy. She’s been banished from Fairyland for turning Princes into frogs. She’s lost her wings. And she’s kind of grumpy. And by kind of, I mean a lot.

Before I read this book, I’d heard it compared to Deadpool and I can totally see it. Drusinella can be rude and sarcastic, but at her core, she is good and she is more than capable of love. She just hates to admit it.
Complete with a colorful cast of hilarious characters and author Elizabeth Dunlap’s own personal touch of magic, The Grumpy Fairy is a worthy addition to any fantasy (or satire) collection. I would happily read a sequel.

Jacqueline E. Smith

A Voice from Nigeria: CLOAKED

This is a poem I wrote about Death. We may or may not have people close to us who are already dead but if we do have, it’s best to know all hope is not lost. They are gone but will never be forgotten.

volkan-olmez-523

CLOAKED

You’re the priest at the altar,

Where loved ones are brought to rest.

You rule the kingdom,

Where so many have called “Home”.

Possessor of a boundless vial

Stealing precious breaths.

With heavy hearts and helpless wails,

Cherished ones taken

Tears flow, hearts broken.

A mother and a father,

Little ones, future unknown,

Teens with brighter goals,

Lovers, journey unfinished.

Merciless Taker,

How I wish you turn your back

To see many who have wept,

Many who are shattered.

You’re the sailor, the captain,

You come to take,

Only to return, vessel empty.

Except you don’t know,

That those who left never left,

Those gone, never gone.

There is a land you can’t reach,

A place you’ll never touch

And there we have given them homes,

To keep and remember

In our bleeding hearts

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Photo by Volkan Olmez on Unsplash

Hannah Faleti I. has spent a lifetime in Nigeria. She is currently living in the cosmopolitan city of Ibadan, north of Lagos and the Gulf of Guinea.  She begins law school in March of 2018 at Obafemi Awolowo University where she hopes to become an advocate for civil rights. Her poetry and writing reflect the grand dynamics of her homeland of Nigeria. Hannah will curate a weekly series of postings from Nigeria for Introvert Press.