Wednesday, July 8, 2020


True Stories from Coma Memories
by
Unknown Patients




Emily's eyelids silently exposed her waking eyes. First thing she saw was Uncle Thomas staring at her in profound shock. He shouted for the nurse, then pressed the button by my bedside, and shouted again. The plump nurse with too much coffee in her veins was about to shush Uncle but saw that I was awake. "I'll get the physician on duty. Her doctor won't be in till 5:00 A.M." She disappeared into the doorway. 

Uncle continued to stare. Then he took a deep breath and reached into his coat pocket and removed a brand new deck of playing cards. He crinkled the plastic wrap free from the box, stepped on the trash lever, opening the can lid and tossed the wrapper into the receptacle. He shook the cards from the box and replaced it into his pocket. Then he began to shuffle the cards. 

Crisp slaps fluttered and clashed one card into the next. It was like a song and dance of cards. A riverdance. 

"Want to see some magic?" he asked me.
"You mean a trick? That's what you do, isn't it?"
"Pick a card."
"I already did." I showed him the ace of spades. He searched the cards and found that the deck was missing the black ace in my hand. I tossed it in the air. It didn't fall back. "The card is on top of the deck."
He flipped the top card and it was indeed the ace of spades. "How did you do that trick?"
"You do tricks. That was magic. Not a magic trick. Magic. Like that doctor on night duty. He's gone now. And so's the nurse. This isn't even the hospital anymore." 
Uncle's look of shock returned when he saw I was in my own bed at home. "No, that's not possible. It's a trick."
"What if it isn't? What then should we do?"
"I don't know. But you need to go back to the hospital."
"Why, so they can put me back in a coma? That won't work again. No more tricks. I'm not ever going back to sleep. Nor will I eat your drugged food. I'm going back home. To my real home."
Uncle was quickly on his cell phone. I allowed him to contact the tricksters. Let them come. I'm wide awake now.

The nurse checked the patient's pulse. The night physician entered the hospital room. "How's our patient?" The nurse shook her head. "False alarm, I guess." "No problemo. I'm making my rounds." 
"What happened?" asked the nurse.
Uncle Thomas answered, "She opened her eyes, and I called you. Then she went back to sleep."
"Are you sure it wasn't just a trick of the eye?"
Uncle Thomas slid the deck of cards back into the box and said, "I'm sure that's all it was. After all, it's medicine, not magic, right?"
"That's right, sir." And then she left the room. 

Uncle Thomas resumed his watch. No more close calls, he thought. He trashed the box of playing cards and brought a fresh deck from his other pocket. It was sealed with the same wrapper as the other pack. Just in case. Just in case. 

Monday, July 6, 2020


True Stories from Coma Memories
by
Unknown Patients




I switched on the TV. A black and white horror movie from the late 30s was on. The voices were static. I couldn't tell what language they were speaking. I also didn't recognize the actors or the country of origin. The actors were facing away from me, talking to something in the background. All I could make out was the back of their heads. The soundtrack was loud, as if something terrible were happening, and the characters were trying to talk that thing in the background out of some hideous action.

One of the actors laced his fingers over his bald head, as if he'd just heard some bad news. The static voices grew louder and more frightened, pleading with the thing to calm down.

Then the soundtrack stopped.

I changed the channel with the remote control, and the same actors were still frozen in the same positions, their faces turned toward the thing in the background, the one actor with fingers laced across his bald head. Then the music swelled. A female actor screamed. Or maybe it was a man. The static made the scream neuter. As if anybody could have made that wailing cry.

Again I changed the channel. My teenage son sat on the sofa and said, "Watching Reality TV, Dad?" I changed the channel again. It was the same movie.

My son mentioned that his baseball team was winning the game. But there wasn't a game on the TV. It was that damn movie again.

The actors on the screen were now backing away from the thing, and the camera zoomed on the backs of their heads. But between the heads of two actors, one being the bald man, the shadow of the thing could be seen.

I changed the channel again. "Hey, Dad, I was watching the game." He snatched the remote from my hand and changed the channel back.

The thing was there, just out of focus. The heads of the actors were gone from the screen. But the scream was now several screams. Only the screams were coming from behind me.

I turned and saw the actors in their torn safari clothing, their faces bloody and terrified. They continued backing up until they reached the living room wall. The bald actor was clawing at his eyes. To the right of the actors, my wife appeared and announced dinner was ready. One more inning, begged my son. No, she answered, and told him to turn off the TV.

He did.

The thing didn't care. Its face was plain now. Horribly clear. It was old. It was neither animal nor reptile. More insect than bird. Its beakless mouth pressed against the inside of the TV screen. I could hear the sound of dishes being set in the dining room.

I stood and backed away till I joined the actors. The TV screen cracked, ready to shatter. The sound of silverware fell on the dishes. There was safety there in the dining room. If only I could reach it. If only these actors weren't clawing at me, tearing my safari clothes. I screamed as the TV screen shattered, and my wife announced that dinner was served.

Monday, June 29, 2020





Unmedicated Love
by
Patrisha Bell
Copyright June 2020

Does it make you feel lonely 
When I can't remember who you are?
Do you love me less as 
I vanish from my own existence? 
Do you hold on tight
To a ghost of a ghost?
Am I still the love of your life
Even as my life slips from my mind?
This body, so old and withered, 
Yet holds value to your hopes.
In fleeting flashes of young lovers
At the threshold of tomorrow,
These old eyes see you with me
As I once was to the eyes of others.
Weeping, waiting for my return, 
Though I've never left yet gone.
I see you embrace a strange woman.
Do you wish she were me?
Would you love her as you loved me?
When I reach for you with her arms,
You vanish into youthful wisps.
Do I know you, sir?
I can't remember who you are.
It makes me feel oh so lonely?

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Saturday, June 20, 2020




From Norinko to the Professor:

Covid 19. School's out.

I think I know where the professor is. Priest Horaguchi has encouraged me to take this journey. My mother and father have cautioned me to avoid hope.

Let my eyes guide me. Because I don't believe in faith.

Zuma Beach. I lay flowers on the sand. By the scattered ashes. Now gone.

It is cold and cloudy this morning. By noon, the sun will shine. I'll be home.

Suzie, Bridget, and I. Three little girls on the shore. The fog lifts. The waves crash and foam. The sound of paper tearing on the wet sand. Three breezes zip, one from the sea, one, the west, one, the east. They toss our hair. They die just as quickly. The blanching sunlight approaches.

We weep without tears. We remember without memory.

I know where Professor Servante is.

Where we first met. Where we will meet again as he exits and I enter. And so we switch places once more. Again. Always. Again.

And again. We meet for the first time. Always.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

To the Servante of Darkness Blog readers and friends of Anthony Servante:

As you may have noticed, I shut down Anthony's Facebook and email accounts. I, however, keep the blog here going. At. My. Pace.

Here I am surrounded by Anthony's work, where I can read, write, and, most importantly, remember.

Again. At my pace.

I cannot tell you what I will post next, but I will post here often with the extra time that I now have, the time I used to spend on Facebook and on the Gmail accounts. I have five flashdrives with all of Anthony's written work and photographs that he wanted for the blog. I will post these words and pictures in no particular order.

These posts I will title "The Trash & Treasures from the Anthony Servante Drives. Or some such title.

Before Anthony left us, he gave out his private email to many friends on Facebook in order to stay in touch with him should he ever close his Facebook account. Emails from that address come to me now. Private matters I pass along to his son; blog matters are addressed by me. It's come to my attention that some of his friends were working on projects with Anthony and wish to continue these projects. I think Anthony would have liked that. You can contact me about any projects.

So, how does one contact me about these projects if you lost his private email? Well, leave a comment in any of the blog posts with your request.

Sincerely,
Sara Howe
Servante of Darkness Blog Editor


Wednesday, June 17, 2020


Passing Thoughts
by
Anthony Servante

As Gathered by Sara Howe

"When we consider transdimensional gateways and accidental slips into other planes of reality, we must always remember what it is that those visitors from neighboring dimensions do to us, since they know we cannot see them in our plane of reality: They slam doors, toss objects at us, and pretend to be our peripheral shadows. So, keep in mind, that when we accidentally traverse the gateway into a neighboring plane of reality, and they can't see us, what better time to slam a door or two, toss things about, and appear as a shadow to them as they gaze into their mirrors? Only try not to giggle as they blunder around in horror. Wait until they call in an exorcist, and then laugh as long and hard as you can." 
Anthony Servante

Sunday, June 7, 2020




Where Genres Cross and Blend 
(by Gerry Huntman)

I’m the publisher of the latest novel by multi-award-winning speculative fiction author Jack Dann, Shadows in the Stone: A Book of Transformations.

Jack has seen it all and done it all, and it was a privilege to be approached as a small-middling press to showcase his novel. What drew me to the piece was the fact that it was hard to define, and by that very dynamic, meant it attracted more than one reader type.

On the surface it is an alternate history novel, where most of the action takes place in Renaissance Italy, but one where the fancies of Dante, and the mythology drawn from the Judeo-Christian tradition are starkly real.

Dann’s novel is also an intellectual work, but it drives action relentlessly across the Italian peninsula, and into the dimensions of the universe where supernatural entities exist, and readers who love fantasy—particularly dark fantasy—will drink their fill from this chalice.

Shadows in the Stone is certainly hard to define, as it crosses genres and blends them in ways few have done before. Here’s an excerpt from the blurb:

In Shadows in the Stone Jack Dann creates a fully-realized, living, breathing universe, a universe where the Vatican is in Venice, Jehovah is really a lesser god known as the Demiurge, and the magus John Dee’s experiments with angels are true and repeatable. Here you’ll discover a nun who has the expertise and agility of a Ninja warrior, the reincarnated snake goddess known as the Daughter of Light, the famed Florentine magician Pico Della Mirandola, a young magus who is part stone, the Knights Templar of the Crimson Cross, the sapphire tablet: the most secret of the Dead Sea scrolls, and a 15th Century dirigible kept aloft by imprisoned souls. Here you’ll find wild adventure and Machiavellian subtlety, treason and heroism, love and carnality, joy and loss, magic, machines, the cosmic machinations of angels, demons, gods, and half-gods; and the absolutely breathtaking vistas that are their battle grounds.

Join Jack Dann’s protagonists—Louisa Morgan and Lucian Ben-Hananiah—and the fellowship of The Dark Companions in their apocalyptic battle against the Demiurge—described in the forbidden Gnostic texts as the demon god Yaldabaoth… and known to us as Jehovah.
Shadows in the Stone can be purchased from all good online and bricks and mortar stores, worldwide, including in ebook formats. Some of the main links are:

North America
Amazon (Kindle & paperback)
Barnes and Noble (Nook and paperback)
The Book Depository (paperback)

Elsewhere



Praise for Jack Dann’s Shadows in the Stone

“Jack Dann returns to the Italian Renaissance, a very fertile story zone for him, to weave an absorbing novel that presents historical elements of the Renaissance as aspects of an immense cosmic battle of spirits. Somewhat like Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell’s treatment of the English Regency period as being a space filled with spirits, Dann’s Shadows In the Stone creates such a complete world that Italian history no longer seems comprehensible without his cosmic battle of spiritual entities behind and within every historical actor and event.

“This then serves to suggest that Dann’s complex network of spiritual entities are also allegories for the various urges and forces that have driven humanity throughout its history, inspiring us to do what we’ve done. That aspect of his novel creates a kind of X-ray vision through to the underlying realities of human experience which is quite exhilarating, and all this in a novel with all the more usual pleasures of sharply observed place and character and plot.

Shadows in the Stone joins Dann’s The Memory Cathedral, The Rebel, and Promised Land, as one of his deep plunges into historical characters we thought we knew, but whose true natures have never before been seen so clearly and dramatically. It’s an amazing gift Jack has.”

—Kim Stanley Robinson, New York Times bestselling author

#


“Jack Dann has gone beyond alternate world to alternate universe in this stunning take on the Renaissance. His language is eloquent, his characters wholly engaging—this is a book to lose yourself in. You’ll be the richer for it.”

—Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Bram Stoker Grandmaster and World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award-winning author

#


“‘[The lion] ran across the piazza, gnashing and tearing at anyone unfortunate enough to be in its way. Its sensorium overwhelmed, it ran through the screams and smells, slipping on wet stones, swiping its claws at a porphyry statue of a crouching lion as it crossed a bridge. It paused behind the church of San Zaccaria, sniffing at its moon-white facade, then circled the convent. There was something inside the squat brick building, a sapphire lodestone that the lion perceived as comfort and satiation; but against its will the lion moved on, moved away from the discordant clamor of nuns and daughters of patricians who were entertaining eligible guests. Although it yearned for raw flesh and warm blood, the lion skirted around the crowded piazattas and campos and made its way north thorough ramo side streets and dead-silent alleys.’

“In this one masterful paragraph we get cultural details, emotions, a sensual onslaught, and action. It’s typical of the whole book, whether describing earthly or celestial events.

“A wealth of very lively and unforgettable ancillary characters fleshes out the cast as well, and Dann always makes sure to grant each individual a full measure of moral complexity.

“With flavors of the work of Gene Wolfe and John Crowley, James Morrow and K.J. Parker, Dann’s new book is guaranteed to take the reader on a whirlwind journey of danger and enlightenment behind the cardboard reality we mistake for the universe’s true substance.”

—Paul Di Filippo, Locus Online, 17 Dec 2019

#


“Majestic. Modern sensibilities with echoes of Milton and the second (eponymous) book of Lewis’ Perelandra trilogy. And yet, utterly distinctive. It is like reading an undiscovered classic with the pacing of a modern thriller.”

—Charles E Gannon, author of the Caine Riordan series

#


“The conclusion is so epic in scope and yet so personal in its impact that it feels like the story the Christian Bible never finished telling.

“Historical fantasy is a bridge between the escapism of speculative fiction and the realism of literary fiction, and Jack Dann’s Shadows in the Stone is an enthralling example of what historical fantasy looks like when done well.

“Throughout the book, the narrative is elevated by [Dann]’s voice as a writer, honed over a long career as a writer, editor, and teacher. He has mastered the art of being cryptic without descending into meaninglessness, of surprising the reader without resorting to cheap tricks, and telling a cosmic story that still centers around very believable people.”

Parallel Worlds, April 2020

#




Monday, April 27, 2020


Proper Poetry in Faceless Times

Please feel free to submit your poetry here. 
It can be about anything you'd like. Any form. Any language. 




The Bubble People
by Christian Mathias

The Bubble People walk the earth alone
In multitudes and masses of sinners
They haven't felt the sun in flesh or bone
They trod the path of foolish beginners

They wear the skin of manufactured goods
They breathe the air trapped in their nostril holes
They circle lost in their own neighborhoods
The Bubble People haven't found their souls

The day turns to night and night turns to day
Dream escapes from sleep as nightmares awake
So they await the promise of decay

The Bubble People in their orbs so fake

They welcome the New Normal like Martyrs
They kneel while God weeps and Satan barters

Copyright Christian Mathias April 28, 2020
Reprinted by permission only










Asymptomatic Zombies 
by A.C. Espinoza

The Zombies wear a mask and gloves
They look like any other undead shopper
They complain about the long wait in line
They gripe when toilet tissue runs out
They think that they are not zombies
They think that all others are dead or dying

They forge at the edge of the forest
They pretend they are not ravenous
They hide their skeletal faces behind masks
They reveal their rotting flesh when they howl
They howl at the high prices that gouge their purse
They growl at the beasts within five feet

It is the edge of the forest
Where fables begin
Where cold cases end
Where tiny hands from the shadows
Drag them into the cage of branches
Neither in nor out the first again

Asymptomatic zombies roam, 
Queue, wait, whine, snarl, horde
Only to return once more, 
Once more, once more
Neither spreading nor contracting the bite
Safely hidden behind the face mask.

A.C.E. 2020 Copyright Espinoza Poetry 

Sunday, April 19, 2020


CRESPUSCULARKS AND PHANTOMIMES

by Rhys Hughes

Reviewed by Sara Howe




Biography

"Rhys Hughes was born in Wales but has lived in many different countries. He graduated as an engineer and currently works as a tutor of mathematics. He began writing fiction at an early age and his first book, Worming the Harpy, was published in 1995. Since that time he has published more than thirty other books. His short stories have been translated into ten languages. He is nearing the end of an ambitious project to complete a cycle of exactly 1000 linked tales."

The limited edition is published by Raphus Press of Brazil but has already sold out of pre-orders. So that edition of the book is no longer available.

Here is a link to the site:

http://raphuspress.weebly.com/crepuscularks-and-phantomimes.html



Review

Let's set the record straight before we begin our review. Rhys Hughes makes no pretensions to writing a scary book of Horror stories. As a matter of fact, he clearly states in the title that the book is "Gothic, Ghostly, Lovecraftian, Tales in the Ironic Mode". IRONIC. Big word, I know. So, those of you who are seated on your high horse expecting to have your bowels evacuated as you read these tales with all the lights on and a gun by your night table are bound to be pleasantly surprised. The maid can put away the bucket of saw dust, the dustpan, and the thick black trash-bag. You may piss yourself laughing, but that's as far as it will go. You won't scare yourself shitless, as Samuel L. Bronkowitz often warns. Not that there aren't any scary or frightening tales. Of course there are. It's a Horror book after all. Just with an ironic twist of the narrative.

Allow me to explain our line-up of 11 tales. Each story deals with a common trope or stereotype of our genre, from gothic to gore, from Romantic excess to Modern minimalism. Each story is unique unto itself as a representation of an old Horror style or a Modern spin on the narrator-reader relationship. How the stories best exemplify this uniqueness can be seen in the order they appear in the table of contents (and I recommend reading them in this order for the full effect). At times the narrator will even point out that you, the reader, are reading a horror story in a paint-by-the-numbers unfurling. This tongue-in-cheek approach goes beyond breaking the fourth wall, for there are no walls to break. As I've pointed out, the title includes just what you can expect from these tales, and that is, IRONY. 

Let's look a bit closer at this technique. Writes Hughes, "I am depressed. Horror is simply no longer fun. Serial flights followed by constant escape is a thrill for a month or so. After that, the novelty wears off." And these words from a narrator telling a horror story. Between the sardonic and the sarcastic, there is the ironic. This area where humor meets horror is where Hughes plants his stories. Careful, for there tales of absurd realism can take root in your subconscious with hilarious result. You begin with a tale that literally spells out its own horror tropes only to be followed by a straightforward horror story, that is, a tale designed to scare you by catching you off-guard. With a fourth wall that never stays in one place, the narrator's relationship with the reader is the story. 

The prose is so calculatedly perfect for each genre that is satirized that one could be forgiven for falling into the story feet first. The stories are genuine versions of the genre they mock, or, rather, laugh at, with affection for the form. And you will laugh as well as you recognize each story with a chilling deja vu.

It is a pity that I cannot address each story with a summation or analysis, for that would spoil the surprise-filled reading that awaits you, the meta reduction of horror tropes and clichés to mere straight lines for the ironic narrative punchlines. But don't be misled. These are tales true and by all means Horror with a capital H. With a pinch of salt and a wicked wink.

I enjoyed some stories more than others, but I loved the book as a whole, if that makes sense. Well, it does, and once you've read it, then you'll see what I mean. You will want to re-read a few stories just to get the full effect and to make sure you've correctly separated the scary from the wary. I won't lower your expectations of this literary achievement by saying it is an acquired taste. Rather, I wholeheartedly recommend "CRESPUSCULARKS AND PHANTOMIMES" as required tasteful reading for the ironic Horror fan. 

Thursday, April 9, 2020


No, You Shut Up

A Toddler Noir Mystery

by Little Mickey Marlowe




1.
The flashing red lights at my window awoke me from a long nap. I hugged Fuzzy Bear close to my bunny jammies and listened to mommy crying in the kitchen. Someone with a funny voice was asking mommy questions. She wasn't giving answers, only tears and sniffles. I knew the feeling. Something's up, I told Fuzzy. What else is new? he asked Let's go take a look-see. I agreed and slipped out of bed landing in my bunny slippers. 

I opened the door just enough for a peek-around. I could just see into the kitchen. Mommy was seated at the dinner table. A man with a face full of stubble was taking notes, shaking his head. Mommy still wasn't answering questions. Whenever I asked her "Why?", she always gave me the same treatment. 

"Whatcha waiting for, an invitation?" asked Fuzzy. I shook my head no and entered the kitchen.

That's when I saw Daddy's bloody body on the floor. He was either dead or running low on O positive. 

The stubbled man turned out to be a detective. He saw me peeking around the open kitchen door and nodded toward me. Mommy followed his nod and gasped at my presence. She rushed and lifted me into her arms. Before she could return me to my bed, I took in the scene. There was something red and sharp on the kitchen counter by the sink. Its red trail led back to Daddy, face-up, arms curved with slashes in the sleeves. He was ready for the dead body outliner. Poor Daddy. I barely got a chance to know him.

Mommy told me Daddy was sleeping. Yeah, right. The big nap. The one that bypasses sleep and goes straight to what the preacher calls our judgment day. Or in this case, our judgment night. I got a kiss goodnight and waited for Mommy to close the door. Then I went to the window, opened it, and climbed out. It was a short drop to the weedy yard. Nothing new for me. Fuzzy, on the other hand, was afraid of bugs in the grass. Daddy's working on maggots, and you're worried about insects? I said to Fuzzy. He answered, Bears eat maggots. Insects feed on bears. You've sniffed one too many of my diapers, I informed him. He suppressed a growl into a grunt.

I wanted to look over the yard before the detective and his team got to it. They were all in the kitchen. In only a few minutes, I found what I was looking for. A pacifier. And it wasn't mine.


2.

"What are you doing out here, young man?" It was the whiny voice of Mrs. Merrill from next door. She leaned over and lifted me into her heavily perfumed arms. Then she noticed the pacifier, picked it up, and placed it in her apron pocket. 

With permission from my distraught mommy, Mrs. Merrill took me to her house and planted me on the sofa between her twins, Harriet and Harris. They were roughly my age, give or take a few spankings. They were tantrum toddlers, experts at avoiding vegetables and crying for sweets. Mrs. Merrill was a sucker for their moans and groans, but Mr. Merrill was having none of it. He'd whip off his belt and snap the coffee table with a crack until they shut up. Of course, he never hit them. Mrs. Merrill would divorce him in a minute, and he knew it. But smacking the table was his forte, what he like to call his "spankings", with an extra menacing pronunciation of each syllable in the word. 

Mrs. Merrill set the pacifier on the coffee table, paused for a second as if waiting to see which of the kids reached for it, but the twins both ignored it equally. Then she met eyes with me and smiled. "I'll get you some warm cocoa for beddy-bye," she said with a concrete grimace. I thought it would break into a hundred pieces the way she held it so tightly.

As she entered the kitchen, Harriet asked, "Isn't that your chup-chup, Harry?" "Nope," he answered. "I thought it was yours." Harriet added, "They all look alike to me. For all I know it could be anyone's." Then they both turned to face me at the same time with that same cold grimace of their mom. Sinister smiles must run in the family, I thought. 

That's when Mr. Merrill walked into the room with a can of beer. It wasn't his first. His first six-pack, that is.

To be continued...




Saturday, April 4, 2020

Embarrassingly Bad Poetry
by 
Poets with Good Hearts
Entry #1




Entry #4
Daffodils and Quarantines

by P.U.N.K. Jones

To enter the grocery shop
They made me wear a mask
So I wore a mask of pain
and spat in disgust

They made me wear gloves
So I wore gloves of skin, 
the skin of a stranger
I spat in my hands
and rubbed them together

The grocery clerk said I couldn't
bring in my own bag,
that it could be infected
with virus number 20,
so I spat in the bag 
and tossed it on the floor
Then I bought one of their bags
It cost a dime

I bought daffodils for me mum
but they won't let me see her
in the old folk's home
So I spat on the daffodils
and threw them at the receptionist

When I got home
my mask was full of spit. 

Life is like that in times of quarantine. 

Copyright P.U.N.K. Poetry 2020



Entry #4
Beauty is Beautiful

by Abigail Snodgrass


Here there are no creatures
that feed on sleeping children

Here there are clouds and balloons
that riddle the sky with red and white smiles

Here there are no snakes
that strike from fanny packs

Here there are flowers and butterflies
that cover the green hills and valleys

Here there are no serial killers
that prey on young boys and girls

Here there are neon lights 
that line the streets and boulevards

Here there are no evil thinkers
who follow seniors with grocery bags

No, no, no

Here life is alive and death is dead
And beauty is beautiful

Yes, yes, yes

Here there are sweet dreams
that pour over sour nightmares

Here you go to bed with prayers
that you will wake up for god's sake

Yes, yes, yes

Wake up for god's sake
My soul please do not take.

Monsters await.
And here there are no monsters. 

Copyright 17 April 2020
And may god strike you dead
should you try to steal my poem. 
A. S.





Entry #3
Shadow of a Stale Wind

by

Reginald Percival Witherbottom, Esq.


Darkness 
Where there is no light
And light is opaque
Graveyards
Where there is no life
And birth starts with death

Heaven
Where devils fall
And angels rise

Hell
Where darkness burns
And fire is light

Horrors
Where shadows of blindness
See themselves in the empty mirror

Blood
Where breath draws its life
And rattles its last

Fear
Where our bowels surrender
And evacuate their lifeforce

Sometimes when I fart,
It's all I can do
To keep from crying.

Reg P. W. 
The month of April this 3rd day our year 2020,
I'm sure. 


Entry #2

Most Romantic Moments in Nature
by Bitu Ghett Onefree

Pigs rolling in the mud
Cows grazing in the grass
Hamsters spinning the wheel
Vultures picking the carcass
Jackals surrounding the elk
Bears scrounging the garbage
Bees swarming the stranger
Hawks swooping on the hungry
Lovers walking in the rain

B.G.O. 06 April 2020

Wednesday, March 18, 2020


DANI BROWN


Dani Brown’s style of dark and twisted writing and deeply disturbing stories has amassed a cult following featuring horrifying tales such as “56 Seconds”, “Sparky the Spunky Robot” and the hugely popular “Ketamine Addicted Pandas”. Merging eroticism with horror, each of Dani’s titles will crawl under your skin, burrow inside you, and make you question why you are coming back for more. 

The Servante of Darkness Blog proudly presents a short story by Dani Brown. 




The Daisy’s Song
By Dani Brown

Trapped in poverty everlasting and never allowed to look up. Another whirlwind bad romance. Hands grabbed at her. Sharp nails clawed at the thin flesh protecting her ribs. Dragged her down. Pushed her down with the weight of other people’s problems.
Joke at Marcy’s expense. Pillow over her head. I’m only joking. Four blue walls beat in time with the endless drum loop. Blue’s bedroom. Squirmed against hands pressed over the fabric. You’re going to give yourself a panic attack.
Child’s laughter bounced off the gravestones. A cassette destined to rewind and play the same track forever penetrated the endless drum loop. A trick to lure in the weary. Everything always a joke. Begging on the floor for something to eat.
Marcy sat on top of her motorcycle jacket. The zippers silent. They only sang for Faded Star. They needed to sing for Marcy. Cracked sexbots from another world stared with glass eyes from the forest.
Blue fell out of bed and banged on the floor. An image stolen from someone else’s dream. Someone else’s nightmare. Marcy had to cater to Blue’s every need. He’s only looking out for her. Repayment for the mistake of being born. Silver spoon in her mouth. The walls danced with loud music on the council estate. Football against the wall. Eggs thrown at the windows.
Dew in the graveyard held the icy chill of the dead. Those lucky enough to be buried in coffins scratched at the lids. Restless. They needed their waxed thread back to hold themselves together. Wander the Earth. Force the daisies into silence with a different industrial beat. Change the drum loop. Change the track. Start again. The trees shrieked. Forever frozen with the faces of those trapped inside.
Wings stretched out. Marcy stroked the one green feather. Jealousy to break up the greys and blues. Honey had the world at her feet. Too distracted to see and bask in Faded Star’s love. Bask in the blue light of the touchscreen phone.
Marcy pulled her knees to her chest. Scents of juniper berries and Imperial Leather held back by the dead trees. Their limbs still strong. No leaves would ever bloom again. The occasional piece of skin hung from the branches. A final plea for help from the screaming dead.
The dead climbed over each other beneath the soil. Dropped limbs. Restless. Each bone would need to find its way back to the owner. Marcy held her hand over the dirt. Feel their movements. Trapped in their own agony. Pillow over her head. She couldn’t breathe.
A single daisy grew. Its face always protected by grey petals. A gift from another world. A Maypole in a meadow. Someone else’s dream.
“Wake up.”
Marcy waved her hand. Love can never die.
The Earth bubbled. Stopped. The dead held still. A brief moment in time, lasting four seconds. You need to settle down. Souls trapped inside, never to move on. Four seconds of white noise.
The flower opened. Golden light struggled to brighten up the blues and greys. Her bleached blonde tips highlighted in gold for a dull yellow effect. Blue wouldn’t let her dye her hair anymore.
The dead waking. Why did you take so long? I’ve been banging on the floor for fifteen minutes. I fell out of bed. Resumed the banging. Clawing. Scratching. Endless drum loop. Blasted for four seconds of white noise.
Marcy caught a glimpse of Honey’s golden hair behind the trees. Illuminated by the blue glow of a touchscreen. A different shade of blue from the supernatural light. All the road side shrines and grave offerings sent to decay in the Forest of the Dead. Honey’s bare feet stepped on them with indifference. Sexbot eyes followed her through the forest. Too cracked and used to pull her hair.
“I can see you.”
Marcy could see two. Tiny life growing inside Honey. Daisy chain in her hair. Grey aura around the flowers, waiting for death. Plucked from her meadow beneath the Full Moon. Honey didn’t know of the tiny life in her belly yet. It wouldn’t change the addiction to her phone. A Knight rode off into the night without her.
The Moon lacked spare light for Marcy’s secret refuge. Away from the pillow held over her face. It has holes. Look. The four blue walls pulsated with maggots and rats. Trapped within. She struggled against Blue. His four walls. Never allowed to look up. Rarely allowed out of the bedroom they shared. Except, to pee. A shower, a rare luxury. Only allowed a slap to the knee.
The Moon could have been the Sun, but nothing ever grew, except her daisy. Gift from Faded Star with love. Love for Honey, never for Marcy. The light of a galaxy contained within its golden centre. Death on the air wouldn’t let it travel far.
Nothing warm. Forever winter. Never spring. Blue took away Marcy’s rings and earrings. Faded Star wanted to give them back. Only, he didn’t know where Blue hid them. Warm the graveyard with the light of the daisy open under the Moon.
A party of death below the soil where no grass grew. The scratching added another beat to the endless drum loop. A new industrial song for DJ Donnie to play in a different world with Honey’s heart bleeding out in his pocket. Engagement ring for Honey. Cock ring for Marcy with her legs in the air, shoes still on.
“Have you come to discuss retrieving your heart?”
Marcy waved Honey into the graveyard. The song of the daisy couldn’t drown the screeching of the dead.
“Did you get lost chasing the Knight?”
Honey stepped out from behind the trees. No answers for Marcy’s questions, unless staring at her phone counted towards one. She didn’t notice the decayed roadside offerings stuck to her feet. Sexbots with eyes that burrowed through her skin, searching for a weakness in her system. Implant a virus.
Her hair offered competition for Faded Star’s lonely daisy. Show the graves the light of day. Death on the air. Death in the soil. Hanging from the trees. The light from Honey’s hair couldn’t travel far. Total darkness all around.
A heart beat inside Honey. Tiny one, protected by her womb. Marcy’s womb forever barren. No children for the Knight. She could give one to Faded Star. Rejected. Deleted. Blocked. He belonged with Honey.
A safe place away from the blue walls. Pulsating with threats from beyond. Rats ate the maggots between the wall and the Void. In the land of the dead. No one to grope at her and hold a pillow over her head.
Slap on the knee. You look like a slut. Blue expected her to control the actions of others. Their eyes. If you’d only X, then everything would be perfect. I’d be happy. The pillow pressed against her face. She kicked. Blue wouldn’t let go. Marcy wouldn’t be happy until she escaped into the night, listening to the dead scratch.
Hand on the small of her back. Grey tendrils of decay spread through the new flesh. Never allowed to regrow. Ripped away with each pillow over her head. Demand from some man. Offered on a plate by the college tutor. You were born with a silver spoon, it is time to let someone else have a chance. She didn’t listen to the council estate blasting through the closed window into the night. Beating pulse of decay ran through the town. Every little thing made ten times harder. Graveyard the only refuge. Bask in the warm glow of Faded Star’s daisy. Imagine what could be in some other time. Some other place.
Blue couldn’t comprehend he made problems worse. Eyes downcast. She wasn’t allowed to look up. This is how a relationship is meant to be. You have no reference for how relationships work. Your mother has been divorced. My parents are still together. I’m only trying to protect you. In her safe refuge, she watched the dead trees. Rats scurried up the branches after a taste of flesh. Feast for the reanimated flies. Eyes only pointed down to bask in the glow of the daisy. The daisy’s song travelled through her, keeping her safe from harm.
Honey tainted with each hand around her back. Four seconds and it’ll all be over. Honey stared at her phone. Same pictures of Knight Donnie. He couldn’t control the results of a Google search.
Empathy simulation. Oh you poor dear, your parents are divorced. That means I know more about relationships than you. Pillow over her head. Mind over matter. Tainted. Run away. Cemetery. Only place to go. Dead that wouldn’t stay dead. Marcy waved her hand over the soil. They tapped back with a pulse through the dirt.
No one took in what she had to say until it was time to carry them away. Screaming into the night. Agony on a never-ending loop. Enough relief sought through clawing chunks of dirt from above. Not even worms existed below the soil. Totally infertile. Hostile environment. 
Marcy’s instincts erased after years of programming. A pillow held over her face. Slap to the knee. Thrown into manufactured chaos on an endless loop. Faded Star’s daisy brought peace even if she couldn’t suck the Imperial Leather from the air. 
Love under programming. Mind over matter. You’re being negative. Magical thinking. Positive thought involved acknowledging the negative and action. Grow wings. Transform. A virus in the system.
Gravity pulled free drinks with expectations of sex and relationships. But you were raped. Pillow held over her face. It has holes. Mind over matter. Same words uttered one million times before. Said enough times, some sick mantra, they might hold meaning. Erase Marcy. Rub out her intuition. Honey didn’t notice the world changing around her. Each groping hand could have belonged to the Knight. Pressed against his window for the world to see. Dead flies around her ankles.
Bad karma written into their aura. They scream when she comes in the middle of the night, unexpected. Sudden Adult Death Syndrome. With one touch and a special incantation. Ugly bodies with contorted faces left behind. Death mask howl carved into the trees. I’m only joking. Marcy lacked a sense of humour when she came in the night, wings out stretched. Green feather brushed. She reached her hand for Honey. Grabbed her around the wrist. A taste of what Marcy goes through thousands of times each day. Implanted into her brain with the drum loop. Four seconds of white noise. Start again.
Marcy’s heart belonged to Faded Star. It still beat in her chest. The daisy sang with her heartbeat. Love under will, not duress. She wouldn’t give it away. Replace the drum loop. The screams of the dead. Their faces forever carved into the trees. Watched over by used sexbots with cracks in their skin. Oozing tainted honey. Food for the maggots and rats.
Manufactured chaos in Marcy’s general direction. Shot into Honey’s brain. Virus in the system. She wouldn’t put down her phone. No signal between the graves. The dead tapped on the Earth.
Never good enough for Faded Star. Bringer of death and decay. No one is immortal. A place below the dirt, where not even worms lived.
Save Honey from herself. Show her the reality behind the masks. Emptiness is contagious. Scars on display for the world to see. Do you want to see me? Load blown in 56 seconds over the WiFi connection. Hide behind his range. Cumshot designed to impress. Marcy pulled off his mask. Shone light onto his filters. Saggy cheeks. Eyes outlined with wrinkles. Directions for her frozen tongue.
The ring in his pocket next to Honey’s heart belonged to Marcy. Honey claimed back her heart and let go. Offer it to Faded Star in the meadow. Jam the tape deck and let the daisies sing.
A deeper connection between Marcy and Knight Donnie. Still a dick. Still a jerk. Riding into the night. Two star crossed lovers dance through the sky. Stars are born. Stars die. Honey looked up, into Marcy’s eyes. Her phone sat silent with no signal. Heart broken in Donnie’s front pocket, next to Marcy’s ring.
Love can die. All over the sheets. In the middle of the afternoon. Springtime ejaculation carried over the WiFi signal. Do you want to see me? Honey should be the one with green wings in the meadow. The daisies can sing songs of jealousy. Marcy left to cry with the dead clawing at the dirt below.
“Faded Star loves you.”
Wake in bed next to him. Pillow never held over her face. Pressed against Donnie’s window. Scars on display for the world to see. Up to her ankles in dead flies. Honey pants. Breath condenses on the window. The stars in the sky dance obscured by cloud cover. Honey and Marcy can feel them overhead.
Marcy hiding in the shadows. A wave of the hand and the flies come back to life. Somewhere between the maggots in the walls and the beyond. White noise. Erase the drum loop. Drown the song of the daisies. The dead clawing at the Earth.
Marcy looked at Honey. Phone dead in her lap. The dead clawed beneath them, looking for a way out.
“I have no signal once I step into your refuge.”
Honey’s red dress covered in grave dirt to the knees. Struggled to keep tears from her eyes. Her voice cracked. Four seconds away from staring at his pictures. Burger grease wiped down his jeans, hands clean enough to paw at Honey’s flesh. Squeeze her breasts, turn her over and slap her arse.
“You can live without the Knight for four seconds.”
“Four seconds is eternity.”
Marcy held a bowl of plump green grapes. Occasional substitute for eyes when the grey tendrils of death claimed them for the Void. A tongue pressed against one. Arms held in chains. The only way out is through.
“Grape?”
Honey shook her head. The dead, too weak to be hungry.
“The Knight doesn’t love you. He’s off in the forest fighting his own battles. Throwing burger wrappers to the rats.”
The dead scratched beneath the Earth. Honey tapped on the dirt. No words for Marcy, lost in her daydream. The daisy hummed. Faint song to bounce off the gravestones. Memory of late spring in the meadow. Dancing around the Maypole at midnight. Marcy watched from the forest with the broken sexbots and burger wrappers.
“Have a grape. They weren’t grown out here. Nothing grows here, except Faded Star’s daisy. A gift he gave to me. From your meadow.”
Faint hint of jealousy in Honey’s glare. She couldn’t have all the men, forever trapped in her daydream. World of her own where Faded Star becomes the Knight.
“Each time I’m here, I pick it. The petals never decay before it tells me he loves me.”
Marcy’s organic love story. She didn’t say who he was. Faded Star. The Knight. Love at first swipe through the thumb of Honey. Superlike notification. Love unexpected. Donnie’s face stared back at her. Head held at an angle. Hair pointed up. Carefully waxed in front of the mirror. Filter applied. Love lost on the stiff sheets. Pillow held over her face. Feathers fell from her wings.
Resisted. Neither wanted it. Two star-crossed lovers in the middle of the afternoon. Too soon. Honey looked better on the Knight’s arm. Riding into the night. Heart held in his front pocket.
Marcy stalked Faded Star in the night. Watching him sleep from a corner hugged by the shadows. Reanimated flies quiet in the dark. I’ll phone when I get home. Still trapped under Blue’s pillow. I don’t want other men looking at you.
Surface level similarities that reached deep inside. Fill each other’s Void. I’m bursting here. Messages sent to Honey instead of Marcy. Do you want to see me?
Marcy wondered how many other women the Knight courted with those same lines. All of it implanted into Honey’s brain. One squeeze of the wrist. All it takes. Marcy wouldn’t let go. Trace her icy fingers across Honey’s warm flesh. Blood beat through her body, swirled around by the black hole inside her chest.
Blow his load over the WiFi connection. No one to lick him clean. Total lack of social skills dead on the sheets. Honey banged on the bars. Virus in the machine. He never phoned. Messages erratic when he needed to get off.
Two star crossed lovers danced across the sky. Even in the cemetery, the fog clears long enough to see for four seconds. Their lives forever entwined.
Marcy’s daisy grew bright. Competition for Honey’s hair. Light cast through the cemetery. Another green feather. Donnie. Still a dick. Still a jerk. Forever a dick. Forever a jerk. Cock ring in his pocket. Engagement ring in his pocket. Next to Honey’s heart.
Honey one click away from his home address with Faded Star’s love dripping down her thigh. Stain her red dress. Marcy’s clothes robbed from a grave. The dead wanted their threads back. Marcy didn’t need it anymore. Sew themselves together. Haunt the living and cleanse the Earth. No signal in the graveyard for that fatal slip of the thumb.
“Did you think to clean yourself before you chased him into the night?”
Honey’s daisy dead in the corner of her meadow. The ring next to her heart wasn’t the engagement ring. Cock ring for Honey. The daisy died for no reason. No heart to beat inside Honey’s chest. A black hole to suck in Faded Star’s love. Push out a baby.
Marcy would come for him in the night before his time. Save him from a fate worse than death. Carry him through the Void on her wings. He wouldn’t be warm.
The daisy died for lustful obsession. Hidden from Faded Star in the tall grasses. He searched but could never find it. Marcy knew the location. Kept out of the meadow, she couldn’t tell him where.
Gagged half asleep next to Faded Star with her own reanimated flies. He could feel her chill in his cheap hotel bed. The dead scratched at the windows. Safe in Marcy’s arms. She’d never let go. A promise made. Wasted away without Honey’s heart singing in the meadow. It started with icy fingers on his dick. Jerk off into the stiff hotel sheets. Morning surprise for housekeeping. Tainted honey dripped down the walls. Food for the dead.
“Ever think there’s no reason for anything?”
Honey looked at Marcy. Phone held in her lap. The cemetery sucked its battery away. The dead clawed at the Earth. They needed every bit of light. They couldn’t claim the lonely daisy. Recoiled against its song. They weren’t strong enough to climb out of the dirt. Rats danced around the gravestones. Their fleas jumped looking for fresh flesh. Boils to drown in. Honey immune.
“Just chaos.”
Marcy picked the flower. Pillow held over her face. I’m only joking. She stopped struggling. No need to play dead. One living daisy. From the dirt that didn’t even hold worms. No faint hint of Imperial Leather for her. The scent washed away in the cheap hotel bed with stiff sheets. Only Honey could smell it. And perhaps, his wife. At home, working up a ton of debt.
“Billions of lives snuffed out for no other reason than I wanted to hold a pretty flower. Bask in its dying glow.”
“What did you do to my phone?”
“Nothing. The dead below sucked the battery. A bit of life to climb out of the Earth.”
Honey squeaked.
“Don’t worry. They aren’t strong enough yet.”
Marcy pulled waxed black thread from her fingers.
“I still have their grave thread. See?”
She held it over the light of the daisy.
“They’ll fall apart if they climb out of their graves without it.”
“Yet?”
“One day soon, the dead will wander the Earth.”
Honey stared at her.
“Why?”
“Why not? The dead already wander the Earth, staring into their phones. Dreaming of a love that isn’t meant to be while life passes by at the speed of light. Ignoring the love that is true.”
Honey shrugged her shoulders. Marcy’s own image stared back, dressed to the nines in a red ball gown with dirt up to the knees. Blue took scissors to her bleached locks. Each strand of hair cried as he chopped. I told you I don’t want you dying your hair.
“Why did you invite me here?”
“To get you to focus. Faded Star won’t be around forever. He loves you.”
Reanimated flies buzzed around. Honey raised her hand.
“They won’t drop dead. Not here.”
“They don’t stay dead in the meadow either. They buzz below the Earth. Faded Star might notice.”
“Then love him.”
“Why do you have more power than me?”
Power only an illusion. The pillow pressed into her face. Fabric sucked down her throat. Tasted the sweat. Decay. Dust mites. Blue only showered once every week. Never changed his clothes. Blamed for the tangles in his hair. Marcy didn’t have any power.
“Focus.”
Marcy stretched her wings. Another illusion. Trapped within someone else’s drama on an endless drum loop. She couldn’t hear the daisy sing.
Honey ran off. Back into the trees. A shimmer from a white horse glowed in its own light. Off to chase her Knight. Marcy all alone. Wrapped within the delusionary chaos of Blue’s mind and shoved into a box with four blue walls. Face the problems before her own get buried. Knight ran off without her. She needed to be ready for when he called moaning down the telephone. 
Never allowed to look up. Marcy sat in class, eyes cast down. Blue wouldn’t allow her to speak. Every time she opened her mouth, a fresh slap to the knee. Pillow held over her face. Time to go back. Face the music. Struggle. Blue looked for any excuse to be miserable with his favourite post-punk album on repeat.
A bow of human skin kept Marcy’s prison locked. A feast for the reanimated flies. Taunt the rats. Marcy pulled her knees to her chest. Water for the daisy. Back tomorrow morning.
Her fingers twitched. Blue pressed the pillow into her face. The fabric sucked down her throat. Hidden strength reached her hand. Her wings no use when locked within his four blue walls. Flies buzzed against the window. Rats climbed over each other in the walls. Marcy reached for his hand holding the pillow and scratched. He slapped her ribs. She kicked.
“I’m only joking.”
He pulled the pillow away.
“You have no sense of humour.”
White light blinded Marcy. She struggled for air, remembering the Song of the Daisy sucked away by the graves.
“You’ve given yourself a panic attack.”
His voice came from far away. Cut off the music.

Long life ahead of him. Torture some wife from a far-off land. Submissive and demure. Marcy would come for him in the end. A special place saved in an ugly tree. 

***********************

The latest Release by Dani Brown


Becoming...is here.

This is the story of how Marcy died. He punched the wall and told stories stolen from other people’s lives. Trapped in another bad romance. A robotic demonic shapeshifter from Mars with a life tale ripped from a Doctor Who storyline.