Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Pallbearer: Fevers In Berlin Part 1

Turn That Frown Upside Down

There was a wall between Takt District and I. No wall made of steel or masonry. A wall of trucks, armored vans, and flames.

I had parted company with Beast... Czernabog... Nikolas... whatever the hell he felt like calling himself, once the plant was turned into rubble. A word of direction to his brother's makeshift grave and I was on my way. Too close to bother stopping now.

Cassie, I'm coming home.

Rue: Snow Ghosts Part 1

Snow Drifts

I hate eating around corpses. Everybody else does. Chaws on donuts, gobbles up eclairs, gives head to a chili dog. I dunno.

I drink my coffee because I always drink my coffee. That's different.

The Boy Named Nod: Feast-Days


We chose a wreath of honeysuckle.

Rebecca told me its what out Mother smelled like.

Mr. Rook carried the imps and I on his shoulders, plowing the snow aside as we walked through the cemetery. It was over my head now and still coming down. Rebecca wore Mr. Jonathan's coat, pulled tight around herself. Trevor and Mr. Jonathan led us through the drifts, scenting out the path to her grave.

It was a simple headstone that we dug to find. Plain and simple. Efficient and caring.

Jolly Part 3

Out Of The Woods

Zings must've been going too smoothly, the story must've needed zome zort of climax. Bah. All I knew vas zat it vas Christmas Eve and night vas falling.

Bartel and Krampus ver vatching zee factory. Everyone had been behaving zemselves nicely. Zee gangers ver assembling dolls and toy trucks. Zee machine men ver focusing on zee video games and remote controlled cars.

Zings ver on schedule.

I should've known better.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Wither The Vain: Spare Change Part 2

White Christmas

I was about to raise fire, brimstone, and the embodiment of Hell itself from a snow-covered garbage dump.

Then, I started singing along to the old Mother Goose rhyme "Hot Cross Buns."

Seth was not amused. Nor was Christoph. But I think Arturo started to snicker. Only because he figured the other two were going to beat me to death for it.

Arturo had been educating them as to their roles as he had escorted to the garbage dump. Christoph had not spoken once since I had caught up with them at the dump gates. Seth, on the other hand, had been more... vocal.

Jolly Part 2


Zis vould not do. Zis vould not do at all.

Vis Krampus and Bartel both in chains behind me, I had gone scouring zee city in search of a zuitable factory.

And yet, the only factory zuitable for zee task vas old.

And dirty.
And abadoned.
And nearly fallen apart.

It had been used to manufacture toys first, before being converted for veapons manufacture later zat same year.

The Pallbearer: Harvests Part 6

Holiday Greetings From Point Heston

Nothing stinks like chicken shit on butchering day.

Nikolas asked if I had ever been to a slaughterhouse. Two years in a row, I was at my cousin's farm when they killed their chickens. Squawking, squeaking, shitting, feathers flapping. They had me picking pinfeathers after the heads were cut off. The first year, I gagged up my breakfast fifteen minutes in.

And it made it smell better.

Jolly Part 1


It vas a veek and a half after St. Nicholas' Day and zis vas not Bavaria.

It vas not Europe at all. But it vas the only place humans still gathered. So it vould have to do.

I trailed my gloved fingers through Brittany's mane and my steed clopped forward, soft vite among ze falling snow flakes. She stepped gingerly among zem, prancing forvard thoughtfully. She had been mine for ze last thirty years. Hopefully, she vould last thirty more.

Zings had changed since ze last snow fall. So many rules. Only vere humans are, only ven it snows. Bah. Foolishness.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Boy Named Nod: Recess Part 5


Jorgensen's throat fit into my hand rather nicely. I squeezed once to wake him up. I squeezed a second time once his eyes opened, and kept my hand tight.

"Listen to me. We're going now. You're going to call everyone off and let us out."

"Why would I do that? I've got enough disposable guards. You'll die eventually."

I curled my fingers, digging them tight into his greasy flesh.

"You aren't listening. I told you to listen. What do you think I'm going to do first if you refuse to submit? I'm going to tear your bleeding throat out."

The Usurper Part 3

A Dissertation On The Fickleness Of The Common HouseGod

My wife had never believed in the gods. Stupid woman.

She refused to worship, to pray as we should. And so we were cursed with girls. Three girls. No sons.

I had the first two kidnapped from their bedroom one night. They were sold to a company overseas. I told my wife that it was a gift from my employer in concern over our loss.

He never even knew that the girls had been kidnapped.

The third, I paid the doctors to claim was stillborn. The newborn was deposited outside of a respectable orphanage.

Wither The Vain: Spare Change Part 1


Groundhog day was once called Candlemas. It was an abbreviation of "Candle Mass," a rite where they blessed all the candles the church would use over the next year. In effect, it also was a day that helped to chase winter away. If the weather was bad that day, one could count on winter not being intimidated and hanging around a little longer.

It wasn't just any one church or religion. Everybody seems to have their own version of it.

I miss it.

I miss the candles, the light, the way it shone. I miss being able to see the glow around each candle as it was blessed. By pagan hands or by christians. Didn't matter. They still had an aura of hope. Of peace.

The Usurper: Part 2

A Study In Charcoal

Yama was a slow and methodical god, as most old men are. But he was full of wisdom that I was not yet ready for.

Yama sat in my computer chair as he spoke, crimson robes draping over the arms of the chair.

I lay on the floor, still smoldering.

"I have a question for you Rajid before we begin our talk of vengeance. Why did you choose that verse as the password?"

"Excuse me?"

"Indra is no usurper. The son who councils is Shiva's son, Ganesha. Your verse is less than accurate Rajid."

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Pallbearer: Harvests Part 5

Grand Guignol

Never close your eyes. The first and foremost rule of attending a performance as grand as ours.

Never close your eyes. There's murder in ours. You can see it if you look.

Never close your eyes. I'll close them for you before I tuck you in.

The tunnel only last another hundred yards and four dozen popcorn corpses. I think four dozen. Was hard to tell after we passed by. Erin and Natalie perched on Beast's new body, hacking and rewiring. The children marched in silence. Gremlin's voice was back in their minds, whispering soft lullabies in their ears.

The Usurper Part 1

Dying, The First Time

Being murdered hurt less than I feared it would.

Sayam strangled me while I was finishing the documentation on my latest work. As he choked the life from me, Samir flipped through my paperwork. He stopped and turned back to us as the edges of my eyes faded.

"Let him go."

Sayam released me and I fell to the floor at Samir's feet. He kicked me in the mouth with the very toe of his shoe and I swallowed a half dozen of my teeth.

The Boy Named Nod: Recess Part 4


Have you ever smelled honeysuckle? That's what my mother smelled like. I never knew until Trevor told me while we stood at her grave.

There's a great deal I don't remember about her. I remember her face ever time I drink brandy. Warm and sweet, with the slightest burn of anger. The one that bandaged up my leg when I fell down the stairs. I still have the scar. And when I trace it, I remember mother then too.

I've debated with Mr. Jonathan before as to whether or not she put up a fight against Adam 2.0. I never say against my father, because by then my father was already dead.

Mr. Jonathan tells me that she must've. Probably got in a few good shots too.

Wither The Vain: Mightier Part 3


There are few things in life that have ever brought me pleasure. One of those was the growth of new life. A tiller of the soil. Until the Nameless Faceless God turned away my offerings. Until I irrigated the soil with my brother's blood. Until I was banished.

And in banishment, I found pleasure once more. The Nameless Faceless God left me alone and I wandered, exploring new life, learning about the earth. My journey brought me to Nod, to the dreaming lands. I remember my home in Ayer's Rock. I remember living and learning about life anew with the aborigines. The soil once more began to open to me, small plants once again rising to greet my fingers. Then that life too was stolen away as others came to the dreaming lands. They raped the lands. They raped my friends. And the soil that had grown to obey me opened to their blood once more.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Pallbearer: Harvests 4.5


"Misser Beast, are we gonna die?"
"Are you scared of death little one?"
"Uh-huh. I... I fink I killed somebody before. I didn't mean to."
"It's alright. I have too. But I meant to and that's worse."
"Who did you kill?"
"Lots of people. But a long time ago, I killed my brother. He.. he betrayed our friends. He betrayed me. I just wanted to stop him. To find out why. But..."
"Iss okay Misser Beast. I know. But.. you never answered me."

"Da. I know."

The Pallbearer: Harvests Part 4

 False Idols

Somewhere, Cassie was safe in an apartment building hiding as best she could.
Somewhere, Cassie was crying over a life lost and a marraige never to come.
Somewhere, Cassie was.

But it wasn't where I was.

And I meant to rectify that.

The Boy Named Nod: Recess Part 3

Family Reunion

I spent two years in the dark with no one to keep my company but the thoughts in my head. I was not pleased to find that Jorgensen's sub-complex was almost entirely submerged in darkness.

The Wrecking Crew would've loved it.

For a moment, I considered toying with the buttons on the control I had taken from the little bugger. Like most of my toys, I discarded the thought. Moving through the dark was one thing, setting off random alarms and alerting any and all of those that dwelled in this part of Jorgensen's base was an entirely different one.

Wither The Vain:Mightier Part 2

Lead Poisoning

No one ever remembers Arturo.

War on a red horse.
Famine on a black horse.
Death on a pale green horse, Hell riding with him.

One to be unsealed before them all. Brother to Famine, assistant to War.

No one ever remembers Arturo and his white steed, bow gleaming in the sun. No one ever remembers that the end begins with Victory.

The Pallbearer: Harvests Part 3.5


Violence is fun.
Creating is ecstasy, teaching a joy.

But violence is fun.

I've always tried to hold myself back, to keep the bile from rising in the back of my throat, to keep myself from separating heads from shoulders with a single sweep.

fourty whacks
fourty whacks

The Pallbearer: Harvests Part 3

Wants And Needs

My body craved a hot bowl of three-day old coffee as black as tar and twice as thick.

Castor and Pollux lumbered forward, the mark of the Commandant glowing on their chests. A rectangle with seven short lines thrusting up from its lid.

"They exist for one purpose Erin. They exist to bring pain unto those who would oppose The Black Symphony. You understand."

"I understand that you're leaving me in the custody of this lunatic. Norman, he killed Alex."

"Inescapable casualties. We have to hold the wall."

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Boy Named Nod: Recess Part 2

Elevator Music

There was pepper in my brain; a burn, a twist, an itch.

"Nod, get out of my head. Your only warning. I'll tear you apart and have a janitor hose this room out."

"Understood sir."

I swiveled my head to look at Nod. He grinned, then turned away, looking into the mirrored sides of the elevator. He adjusted his tie, straightened his bowler.

As he preened, the elevator died. Silent stop as the fluorescent lights ended. No flickering. Blown out like candles.

Wither The Vain: Mightier Part 1

White Space

The only place Eli ever sleeps is next to me. I take a lock of his hair and keep it wrapped around my fingers. His hands stop burning and as he sleeps, he squeezes a little tighter.

He'll never forgive me for the fight against Christoph, for twisting the big tree around my finger. I laugh, quietly. He'd never have let me hold him if he wasn't exhausted.

Eli's not mine and I know it. He's not anybody's. He was made to end the world, so there's no one made for him. No happily ever after. Just riding a pale horse off into the sunset as it bleeds in a slow steady pulse across a charred horizon.

The Pallbearer: Harvests Part 2


When I still worked the wall, I was promoted to Supervisor for four hours and thirteen minutes. After pouring together the blood of four dozen Sleepers and twenty-three of my own men, they demoted me.

I didn't kill them. They just couldn't keep up.

That's why St. George blew apart the ceiling above Conduit.

That's why St. George blew apart the ceiling above my head.

That's why I was alone and walled in with my executioner.

The Boy Named Nod: Recess Part 1

Between The Lines

My tongue was bleeding.

I kept my back straight, my head tall, my tie straightened. My suit was meticulous. My shoes were shined.

My tongue was bleeding, a slippery trickle of heat in my mouth.

Four guards escorted me into an antiseptic fortress. Hospital stink. Covered up rot stink.

It was not, as anticipated, the corporate arcology.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Wither The Vain: Wicker Man Part 2

Wooden Head

Christoph stank like a Judas Tree three days overripe.

His left fist came in over my head and I bent back, doing the limbo. As his arm flew over me, I finished flipping backwards, wrapped my legs around his arm. He lifted his arm, sneering at me through a forest of cherrywood teeth. His right was grasping for me, fingers lashing out as rose whips. I was already swinging forward, lunging for his throat. My hands caught hold even as thorns sprouted and buried themselves deep into my hands.

And nothing happened. My hands were cold and thick, weeping as the thorns bit deeper. I looked past Christoph's grin and saw Miss Geri standing in her gibbet, smiling. She was holding a glove.

One of my gloves.

"So soon..? I know you don't much like it here, but you don't have to run so quickly every time."

"Yeah, this soon. You're as bad as you've ever been, you realize that?"

"I know, I know. You keep telling me. Now c'mon back to bed."

"I have to get going. Work to do."

"You and those hands. They ever going to give you a reprieve?"

"Not until the end."

"That sucks and not the fun way either. If you're going to go so quickly, the least you could do is give me a souveneir."

"Right. You want a lock of my hair? Oh wait... nevermind..."

"That's not very fair."

"Who ever said I'm fair?"

"C'mon... something?"

"Alright... here... have a glove. I've got a few pairs. Happy?"


She giggled tucked my glove back into her pocket, keeping her hand on it.

Long branches were wrapping around my chest. Christoph peeled my off of him and squeezed. Three ribs cracked and forgot to mend.

"She's mine. All the more mine once you're gone."

"You're not the first one to think that. Won't be the last."

I strained, air scare. Ribs were driving themselves against my lungs.

"Trying to escape?"

"No. Succeeding."

I roared, even as my ribs scraped across my lungs, bursting from Christoph's hand. His fingers cracked and twisted, branches snapped in half. He screamed like whistling with a blade of grass. I dropped to the floor, and rolled forward.

Winding both hands together, I swung doubled fists into the side of Christoph's knee. It jerked sideways and the giant tilted, howling in agony. I was still moving, wrapped my arms around his other leg. I planted my feet and lifted, every muscle taut.

Christoph toppled over, flailing his legs wildly. He caught me in the back with a sharp kick and I flew through the air, driving my left shoulder into the bar. It dislocated and broke in three places before I finished sliding to the floor.

I pulled myself up with my right hand.

"What does the big guy drink?"


"Then get him a drink."

The bartender stared. Stared at the vaguely human tree thrashing about the floor trying to stand. At the old man with broken bones demanding a drink.

"I said, get him a drink. And I need a smoke."

The bartender turned to his wares. I looked in the mirror. Blood dripped my forehead and down my neck. All from my hands no doubt. I grabbed the person next to me and wiped my face against their shirt. They didn't argue. I was disappointed. But it was alright. I still had landscaping to deal with.

Christoph was up again as the bartender set the fifth of whiskey on the bar. He was standing behind me as the bartender lit my cigar. It was a beautiful blend. I slipped off the barstool as he brought down his fist. With my good arm, I lobbed the bottle at his cedar chip teeth. It shattered, covering him with liquor.

"Hey Christoph."

He swung again but this time I drove a leg from the broken barstool through his hand, through the bar, and bent it over.

"Only you can prevent forest fires."

I flicked my cigar in his mouth. The whiskey lit and so did he. Screaming as it poured down his throat, all wooden.


I turned to Miss Geri and smiled.

"Hi hon."

"I'm not speaking to you."

"You should."


"C'mon, I beat him fair and square. He's mine now. Either give me back my glove and drop the act or he dies."

"You wouldn't. He's part of your assignment."

We both turned and looked at the howling tree blanketed with flames.

"Sure about that? He looks pretty good that way to me. Been years since I've seen a Wicker Man, but he makes a substitute."

"Oh fine."

She through my glove down to me. As I caught it, my hands began to burn again, itching, peeling. Whole again.

I sauntered casually to Christoph's side and grabbed his free arm by the wrist. The wind came and stole the flames, drinking them down. Embers and ashes covered him, peeling to revealing pink softwood beneath.

Christoph thrashed as black turned to brown turned to green, embers smoothing into bark.

He collapsed, face down, gasping for air. I knelt beside his head, skin hanging off of me in folds, shaking and twitching with nerves misfiring.

"You are mine now Christoph. I am strongest. When you get up, take this card. Through the sewers under the city, you will travel. Another is already waiting down below. Show him this card and await me. I have two others to find and then we can begin in earnest."

I struggled to me feet, brushing the hair out of my eyes.

Miss Geri swung out of her gibbet and dropped to the floor. She smiled and step-saunter-swayed her way to my side, touching my cheek tenderly.

"You look terrible hon."

"I f-f-feel terrible. If someone hadn't toyed with the p-p-plan..."

"You needed a challenge."

"A challenge? That a challenge?"

She kissed me and left a grin behind.

"C'mon old man, let's get you recharged. Some disposable bodyguards still hiding the backrooms."

"Isn't help hard to find?"

"Yeah, but its worth seeing you with black hair again." Shiver.

As we slipped through the back doors, I grabbed my coat off the floor. The kid had run off. Typical.

All eyes were on us until the doors closed. All but Christoph's.

He had seen enough already.

The Pallbearer: Harvests Part 1

The Harvesters

Staring down the mouth of that tunnel with seven tanks, a mad cat, a praying mantis, and a horde of Blind Children behind me, I single thought came to mind.

What the fuck am I doing?

"Beast, please remove the guards at the front door."

"It would be my pleasure. Gentlemen, on my mark."

Six voices answered him. Six voices that were all his own.


The Boy Named Nod: Latch-Key Part 5


Father's hand on my shoulder.

Glasses twisted beneath my foot.

"My true son. My only son. My Cain.

"Come on out little brother. I will end you quickly."

The last two of my White Guard followed me down the basement steps. A filthy hole for a laundry room. I was not surprised in the waste that my brother lived. Pitiful technology. No divine integration.


Wither The Vain: Wicker Man Part 1

The Bastille

Nothing draws attention like an old man wandering through a rave.

Unless, of course, no one in attendance is remotely coherent. Then things get fun.

The lights flashed and burst and darted past me, smeared across my eyes. No sign of Miss Geri. Apparently the Warden wanted to be fashionably late to her own party.

But I wasn't here for the hostess, as much of a delightfully depraved piece of ass as she was. I had a job to do.

Business before pleasure, I always say.

Free E-Books!

For today, Sunday the 24th and tomorrow Monday the 25th, the Boy Named Nod Collection Sons of Adam and The Pallbearer Collection Rate of Decay are available for free to Amazon Prime members.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Pallbearer: A Hundred Tiny Hands Part 3

The Depths

Holly deserved better. She deserved a real funeral, with friends and family in attendance. A classy ceremony, a eulogy, and a wake. She deserved a better tombstone than one charred helmet in the middle of a trash heap.

She didn't get it.

I was three days walk away and more than a mile underground when I woke up. I still stank like peeled tires, cigarettes, and scorched carpet. Neither set of eyes would open and my Brute refused to budge. Crippled. Nice.

The Boy Named Nod: Latch-Key Part 4


You are inadequate.

You never could beat me little brother.

I hit the wall hard, biting my tongue, spitting out a mouthful of blood.

"Trevor, get him out of here. Now."

Mr. Rook was in the doorway, the metallic shards of a White Guard's skull in his fist. Gunfire echoed throughout the apartment building as a war broke out between the Disciples and Judges. The two barracuda squealed, a shrill cry that punctures your eardrums. They were dead before the sound reached my ears, torn apart.

"I told you Trevor, go!"

Wither The Vain: Wherever The Wind Blows Part 3


Corvus Corone: The Carrion Crow, devourer of the dead. They call a grouping of crows a murder.

Now myself, I have been accused of murder often enough to know better. While Seth was by all means a champion among The Sleepers and crow-kind in specific, he was not a murder. More of a scavenge.

So as he cawed and spread his wings, I reached into my pockets and pulled out a pair of black leather gloves. I pulled them on and zipped them up. Skintight.

This was going to be fun.

The Pallbearer: A Hundred Tiny Hands Part 2


Even when she's naked, she won't let you see the scars. She's afraid of them. Not just of what they were, but of what they mean. Something's eaten her, and wants more. Always more.

She was eight when her house burnt to the ground. Everybody survived but she was the last one out. Made it out her bedroom window. No one had worried about going back for her.

The flames had sunk their teeth into her back and slithered their way up her spine as she leapt from her window. Broke her ankle in the fall. But she was more worried about the flames licking at her back.

Stop, drop, and roll. Stop, drop, and roll.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Boy Named Nod: Latch-Key Part 3

Discerning Tastes

My baby teeth and the keyboard keys rattled across the hardwood floor at the same time. I slammed to the floor right behind them.

"Hit him again my son. Show me who is strongest."

Abe grabbed me by the throat, shaking me, my head slamming against the floor. His lips... his lips were moving....

"Now we'll see who he loves more. Huh? Huh? Now we'll see you little sissy."

He let go. Why'd Abe let go?

My head rolled to the side and he was standing in front of Dad. Dad smiled. He had metal teeth. Click click click click. Thirty-two pistons driving thirty-two forged teeth together. Abe was bowing to Dad. Abe, help me up. Come on. It's not fun anymore.

Wither The Vain: Wherever The Winds Blows Part 2

Cry Murder

I shaved in an alleyway with a rusty razor blade. It snagged skin, peeling it away like shaving a candle. I bled.

It was an uneven shave, but it would do. I threw the razor in the nearest dumpster. A tiny bit of metal still shined as it arced through the air and landed with a soft clang.

My face itched. The skin was already growing back over the muscle that had been laid bare. As my face became whole, the world lost focus and blurred. A picture taken out of speed.

The cataract was back again. I sighed and stroked the newly born skin. The trade was worth it.

I hated looking old.

The Pallbearer: A Hundred Tiny Hands Part 1


Nothing but cunt fruit Neil, they're nothing but cunt fruit. Why shouldn't we make a couple bucks off of 'em?

Holly Ka and her exterminators; the Tulugal.

C'mon. We go flush the sewers looking for blind brats, collect some souveneirs, make a killing.

I scraped my teeth across my tongue and spit. She had kissed me with that mouth before I met Cassie.

On my shoulder, a scared five year old was singing "Pop Goes The Weasel." At the furthest tips of my ear, I heard gunfire.

"Samson, hold on."

"Yes s-s-sir."

The Boy Named Nod: Latch-Key Part 2

Goin' Fishing

The tip of the harpoon kissed my forehead.

"You took long enough Mr. Rook."

"My apologies."

Mr. Rook bent the harpoon in half and rammed it through the barracuda's foot. The barracuda sank its teeth into Mr. Rook's arm as it squealed. His arm jerked away, ripping half of the barracuda's teeth out as it went. The barracuda sank to its knees, blood streaming out its mouth, a river turning to rain that fell to the floor.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wither The Vain: Wherever The Wind Blows Part 1


Cities like to shift their feet. So many ants squirming between their toes, they can't help it. So they go on a shifting, rocking everything back and forth. A city moves its foot a little to the left and a car takes out a transformer station. A little to the right, and a kid's ball rolls out into traffic. They can't help but shuffle their feet though. Too much squirming.

It had only been three days, and my hair was already white. Too small a change. Needed something bigger, juicier. The wall kept whimpering, like some three-year old scared of wettin' itself. Always came back to the walls. Never failed.

The Pallbearer: Sittin' Up With The Dead Part 2

Roll Call

"I see you found their dump right off the bat. Good place for a freak like you."

I kept walking, crunching old flutes and paintbrushes beneath my steel feet.

"Took my job without hesitation. Bet you were falling all over yourself to call in to Home Office weren't you? Look where it got you."

"Mr. Arlee, you're dead. Do me a favor and shut the fuck up."

The Boy Named Nod: Latch-Key Part 1

Bus Fare

Destitute. That was a fitting word for my predicament.

Hey boss, how much did we get paid for that one?


That's only half! They trying to pull something?

No Trevor. Blank killed the mark. We acquired Blank's pay.

The Pallbearer: Sittin' Up With The Dead Part 1

Tuck Me In

She too was a Pisces. Another goddamn fish. Just what I needed.

Not that I minded much, or that I really believed in the stars telling my future. I just hate the fact that Pisces always get me into trouble.

Never fails.

She was a New Yorker too. Well, as much as anyone was anything but human these days. That was a fine enough line itself.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Boy Named Nod: The Paper Route Part 4

I Spy

Jefferson Blank had never been scared. Unnerved. Bothered. Worried.

Never scared.

There never had been a reason to be scared. Some kids got beat up in school but Jefferson Blank had never been noticed. Not; nobody liked him or talked to him. Just; nobody remembered who he was when they looked in their yearbook.

No straight A's. No straight F's. Went to business school and did something worthwhile.

The Pallbearer: Where The Dead Belong Part 3


My father; embedded in my car.

"Associate Anderson,"

My mother; screaming when I told her.

"the West Worthington Corporation"

Noose; the first try.

"no longer has need for you."

State Hospital; rotten eggs and hangover puke.

The Boy Named Nod: The Paper Route Part 3

Playtime With The Twins

I coughed as the Twins shouted at 'em again, blood erupting with each bark. Once from me, twice from them.

Fuck me.

Things had gone straight to hell after the transformers blew. According to the prints, once they died, Gregor'd put a hole in the wall, and we'd be to the elevators. Easy as that. The prints were dipped in shit apparently, because waiting on the other side of the wall was nothing but more wall. And more wall. And more wall.

The Pallbearer: Where The Dead Belong Part 2

The Angels

Lightning never scared me. Always loved storms as a kid. Sat out on the front porch as the rain came down. Lightning was just part of the experience. The smell of sky being ripped in half, the way your hairs leapt up on end as a bolt of pure energy drives itself into the ground. Watching storms, listening to thunder, face all lit up... Mom always said that thunder was angels bowling.

Dad landed on my car when I was 16. I was stopping by the office to bring him his lunch. He had forgotten it at home.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Boy Named Nod: The Paper Route Part 2

Stiff Drink

Jefferson Blank smiled. It was a hideous contraption meticulously contructed for one purpose; to charm.

"You were great honey. Now you'll make certain Mr. Eddington gets that envelope won't you?"

She giggle-jiggled. Not pretty, but serviceable and dull. Ideal.

"Oh absolutely Mr..."

Jefferson Blank kissed her. 3 seconds. Long enough.

The Pallbearer: Where The Dead Belong Part 1

The Day After

My teeth hurt.

As I began to move, so did everywhere else. My eyes crept open like a ten-dollar drunk's.

And I saw my hands.

I didn't move after that. I (jesus my hands) hadn't seen my (where's my brute where the fuck is my brute) hands in over three weeks (yes neil, more, morrreee). My suit supplied me with everything essential (not everything hon, now come back to bed) for survival. I curled up into a ball (just fucking go!) and waited for sleep to come.

The Boy Named Nod: The Paper Route Part 1

The Interview

He wanted to know if I had ever killed a man.

"Personally or impersonally?"

"Excuse me?"

I sighed and drew my pistol.

"If I shot you, right here, right now, that would be personally. If I turned your head into an impressionist painting spattered across your wall, that would be personally."

The Pallbearer: Funeral Music Part 4


I prefer pain.
It's the biggest reason I fought to pilot a Brute-X17. I didn't care about the job. I wanted the pain.
See, you can say all you like about a brilliant pilot able to move like his ride is a part of him, but that's bullshit. Pain brings clarity, awareness. When my Brute is damaged, pain courses through me. I am my machine. It moves as I move, I see what it sees.
The pain encourages self-preservation.

Facing Giggles, I couldn't help but shiver with excitement.

"Come and get me laughing boy. Time to put out the rest of your eyes."

The Pallbearer: Funeral Music Part 3

Life is Blitz

Explosions don't go boom.
Thunder booms. It echoes, rolls around in your head, shakes down through your bones, and fades away.
Explosions sing. high notes as steel, screaming, is torn asunder. Low notes as debris rains down. Flames dance to the beat, ravenous for more.

And from the sound of it, someone was conducting an orchestra.

The Pallbearer: Funeral Music Part 2

A True Showman

"Jesus christ. It's Vaudville's Carnival. Home Office, come in. Home Office, come in."
"Report Associate Anderson."
"It's Vaudville's Carnival. I think he wants out."
"Your orders stand. Hold until reinforcements arrive or be terminated."

"Ladies and gentlemen! Tramps and thieves! Welcome to Vaudville's Carnival! I have only one question for you. Are you entertained?"

Everyone began to shout at once.

The Pallbearer: Funeral Music Part 1

 An Open Grave

"Bury 'em."
"Yes sir."
"Easy does it. We don't want any of them getting out."
"Yes Mortician?"
"This place is crawling up my spine."
"Heh. It's a grave boy, what do you expect?"

Stay Vigilant

Welcome to The Vigilant; the last free paper in the last human city on Earth.

For the time being, I'm operating out of The Dreamtime. It's a jazz bar run by the Director of Public Works, Alexander Kane. He was good enough to set me up with this encrypted connection and let me have run of the basement. So if you're a good little Corp drone appalled by the horrible "misinformation" you think I'm feeding you, go ahead and bug out. I'd recommend wiping yourself before a Sanitation Squad does it for you.

As for me, I'll sit here. And smoke. And write. And smoke some more. Every story I post comes direct from the people that lived it. A few send me their stories religiously, like I'm their journal. That way, if they do die, someone will remember them. And some I never hear from again.

As you're reading these, you just remember that someone lived it, someone in this godforsaken city survived to tell the story. At least for a little while.

Welcome to Chrysalis Falls, the last human city on Earth. Enjoy your stay.

Stay Vigilant,
Bryan Swan