Blight Digest Launches

One Eye Press is thrilled to announce the digital release of Blight Digest, a seasonal fiction magazine dedicated to horror. Editors Bracken MacLeod and Jan Kozlowski, along with publisher Ron Earl Phillips, have collected 10 of the best horror and dark fiction stories for this debut launch.

A print edition is following and should be available soon through Amazon.

Blight-Digest-CoverWith stories by:

  • Cobwebs by Kealan Patrick Burke
  • Letting Go by M P Johnson
  • Night Games by John Boden
  • The Breath by Jessie Volk
  • Hungry by Ed Kurtz
  • Meat District by Lucas Mangum
  • For Sale by Jonathan Woodrow
  • Main Coon by Nick Medina
  • Anatomy of a Rape by Sandra Seamans
  • Brick House by Michael Bailey

[button link=”http://amzn.com/B00O4B6FE6″ type=”icon” newwindow=”yes”] Kindle Edition[/button] [button type=”icon” link=”http://amzn.com/0692321160 ” newwindow=”yes”] Print Edition[/button]

Cover art: “Blue Venus” by Dyer Wilk.


Notes on a Friday Night

  1. So Miss Stoodley, our English teacher, gives us this really dumb assignment.  Take a notebook she says, pick a spot in town, and write a list of ten things that happen while you’re there.  Who’s she kidding?  Nothing ever happens in New Hope.  I mean how can it?  We’ve only got the Shurfine Supermarket, Kelly’s Diner, Pete’s Hardware, and the post office.  Of course there’s three bars but being a high school senior they’re not likely to roll out the welcome mat for me.  I guess my best bet for a little excitement is the grocery store.
  2. The Shurfine parking lot is full up with pickups and beat-up wrecks that call themselves cars.  I guess the ladies are stocking up before the paycheck runs out.  Course with men like Caleb Ross who work at the sawmill there ain’t much left after rent, gas, and beer.  Likely his wife, Crystal, got on his ass and that’s why he’s sitting in his pickup, radio cranked up, and revving the motor every couple of minutes while her and the kids are inside.  Course by the time he gets her and them brats home he’ll be a dozen beers behind his buddies and I expect his wife will be sporting a black eye at Sunday services.
  3. There’s a ’93 Buick Skylark pulling in and I see it’s Dimock Barlow and his wife.  He  wedges the car into the handicapped parking space and Mrs. Barlow gets out and comes around to open the door for him.  She pulls his legs around and out of the car then hands him a walker.  That certainly explains why they poke along the road trailing a dozen cars behind them.
  4. Manny Parker, the town cop, parks right in front of the doors and waddles inside.  No flashing lights so I expect he’s just on an ice cream run.  I’ve heard that he downs a half gallon a night while he’s sitting over at the station ignoring the phone.  He tends to shy away from domestic calls.
  5. With the parking lot thinned out to a handful of cars I head inside.  Manny’s leaning on the checkout counter flirting with Hazel Banks.  I wonder if he’s trying to talk her into stopping by the station after work to share that tub of Rocky Road he’s just bought.  Old Dimock and his Mrs. are rounding the corner into the dairy aisle.  She’s leaning hard into the cart while he paces the walker along beside her.  They’re grinning at each other like a pair of mushy teenagers.  You don’t see that kind of love much around these parts.  Good thing, too.  It’s kind of gross thinking about them going at it.  I don’t see Crystal anywhere nor them scrawny kids of hers.
  6. The door swishes open and Caleb walks in hollering for Crystal and waving his shotgun around.  Manny’s yelling at him to put the gun down before he hurts someone but Caleb ain’t listening.  Hurt is what he has in mind as he walks back and forth in front of the aisles looking for his wife.  I hear Mrs. Barlow squeak but Caleb does a quick apology for scaring her and tells her and old Dimock to get checked out and head on home.
  7. Manny helps Hazel sack up the Barlow’s groceries then he hustles the old couple and Hazel out the door.  I’m pretty surprised when Manny comes back in.  I didn’t think he had that much backbone.
  8. Caleb’s gone quiet and that ain’t good.  Looking out the front window I spot Crystal running for the pickup.  She must’ve gone out the back when she heard him shouting.  I’m wondering where the kids are when I hear a shotgun blast.  The tires squeal as Crystal hits the gas pedal, but she loses control, heads straight across the street, and plows right into the hardware store.
  9. Now we’ve got the ambulance here, and a handcuffed Caleb shouting he had every right to shoot at her.  The dumb bitch was stealing his truck and leaving him with the kids.
  10. Yep, just like I figured.  Nothing much ever happens in New Hope.

Goes Around

“C’mon, c’mon,” whispered Jackie, jabbing at the elevator button. She watched the hall, her ears listening for the swish of the elevator doors. An office door opened and a heavy set man stepped into the hall, caught sight of Jackie and strode towards her. Jackie stood her ground, praying the elevator would get there fast enough, and wondering if her plan would work. The doors swished open and she hurried inside. She held the door for a fast ten count then hit the button for the lobby.

As the doors slid together a hand slipped between them, holding the car in place. The man stepped into the car using his body to block her escape. As the doors closed he pushed in closer until Jackie was wedged into the corner, his arm pressing against her neck. There was blood on his face where her fingernails had raked a warning across his cheek back in the office

“Did you think you could get away that easily?” asked the man. “I take what I want when I want. And right now, I want you down on your knees.”

“Do you now, Mr. Burke? And what makes you think I’d get down on my knees for you? And in an elevator of all places?”

Burke stepped away from Jackie and hit the stop button. The elevator did a little hop and came to a halt. The phone rang and Burke picked it up. After listening for a moment he said, “This is Burke, I’m having a private conference in here and I’ll restart the car when I’m ready.”

Hanging up the phone he said to Jackie, “One of the perks of owning the building.” But one look at Jackie and the self-satisfied smile on his face disappeared.

“And one of the perks of owning a gun is that pricks like you have to listen to me,” said Jackie. “Now take off your shirt and tie and toss them over there in the corner.”

Pulling a pair of handcuffs from her pocket she locked one side of the bracelets to his hand and the other to the back railing of the car. “Now unbutton your pants and drop them and your underwear all the way to the floor, then kick them over with your shirt.”

“You can’t get away with this, you know,” said Burke.

“Get away with what? Embarrassing you?” asked Jackie as she stuffed his clothes into her shopping bag. “You probably don’t remember, but a year ago you raped my sister, just like you tried to rape me back there in your office. The thing is nobody would believe her. And do you know why, Mr. Burke? Because you’re a very important man and everyone took your word as gospel when you said she seduced you. My sister killed herself because she couldn’t live with the shame of what you did to her and now you’re going to pay.”

Burke laughed. “And what, you’re going to kill me now? You’ll never get away with it you stupid little twat.”

“Killing you never crossed my mind. You see, I don’t plan on spending the rest of my life in jail for ridding the world of a piece of shit like you. I’ve got something much worse in store for you. I’m going to let the whole world see the real Mr. Burke.”

Jackie pressed the button for the lobby and the elevator descended. “You’ve got a lot of hope,” said Burke. “Nobody will believe you, you know. Not with me handcuffed like this.”

The elevator bounced to a stop and Jackie’s knee collided with Burke’s balls. “Don’t you remember, Mr. Burke? It’s not about what really happened, but what it looks like. And right now, it looks like you got caught in a very compromising situation.”

The doors opened and Jackie ran out shouting, “There’s a naked pervert in the elevator.”

The security guards rushed the elevator while Jackie pushed through the crowd of eager cell phone users and out the front door.

“See you on You Tube, Burke.”

 

 


Brotherly Love

Jed Ralston sat at a corner table in Freddy’s Diner picking his teeth while he considered his next move. The meal the waitress served up was edible but what she offered for dessert sounded downright lip smacking. If you enjoyed her type. Jed’s tastes ran to higher quality restaurants and women.

He had it from a reliable source that Freddy’s was the last place his brother, Chance, had been seen. If it wasn’t for the broken fingers and toes, he might’ve thought the source had lied to him. Jed studied the waitress who was sitting at the counter with Freddy. He paid special attention to the hard look on Freddy’s face as the two of them whispered and nodded in his direction. He dropped a twenty on the table and headed for the door.

“What’s your hurry, Mister?” asked the waitress sliding into the space between Jed and the door. “Don’t care for the dessert selection?”

“Not particularly.” he said, moving to step around her.

Freddy grabbed Jed’s arm. “That ain’t no way to treat a lady, Mister. We don’t hold with strangers pushing our women around.”

Jed shook his arm free. “But it’s okay if we toss them twenty bucks and fuck them?”

The man waded in, both arms swinging, but years of practice landed Jed’s fist on Freddy’s jaw and he was down for the count. The waitress was bee lining for the back door, but Jed grabbed hold and spun her around.

“Three days ago,” he said. “The pair of you played this game on another man, didn’t you?”

“You’re hurting me, Mister.”

“It’ll hurt a lot more if you don’t tell me what I want to know,” said Jed. He pulled a picture of Chance out of his pocket and shoved it under her nose. “The kid. What happened to him?”

“I never seen him,” said the waitress. Jed twisted her arm up behind her back. The sound of the bone snapping brought a scream. “Okay, okay. I saw him.”

“Where is he?”

“How the hell should I know?” The bone in her arm broke through the skin and she was screaming again. “Mister, I don’t know anything more than he stopped here to eat and left.”

“Who’d he leave with?”

“Beats me. He drove here in a car, I assume he drove away the same way.”

“Now that would have been impossible since his car was stolen out of your parking lot by the young man he was traveling with.”

“How’d you know that?”

Jed smiled, “Let’s just say I have my ways.”

The waitress’s eyes widened. “Who are you, Mister?”

“Someone you don’t want to mess with.” He twisted her arm a little more, watching the blood drip to the floor while she squealed in agony.

“He didn’t have a key for that fancy briefcase cuffed to his arm so Freddy took him out back and chopped off his hand. He was gone when we went back to bury his ass.”

“Where’s the briefcase?”

“What do you want with an empty briefcase? We went to all the trouble of cutting off his hand and there wasn’t a damn thing in it.”

Jed pulled his gun. “Thank you for the information, ma’am. It’s been a pleasure doing business with you.”

The waitress looked almost relieved until the gun was pointing directly at her. Her body slumped to the floor beside Freddy who was finally waking up.

“What happened to the kid with the briefcase?”

Freddy started to speak, but a glance toward the door whitewashed his face.

“Right behind you, big brother.”

Jed turned to find his brother standing in the doorway, a bandaged stump where his hand used to be. “You should have called.”

“I wanted to finish the job myself.”

“I can understand that, but you still should have called.” Jed handed Chance the gun and watched him put a bullet in Freddy’s head.

“You still have the diamonds?”

“Of course.”

Jed wrapped his arm around Chance. “I hope you weren’t too fond of Ricky.”

“Prick double crossed me, what do you think?”

“That it’s a good thing I killed the motherfucker. Glad to see you, kid.”