• Demonology By Tom Leins

    Terry Waxman is smoking with suicidal intensity when he opens the door – dark stains spreading under his armpits. He has disease-mottled skin and his dyed hair is the colour of spilled oil. When we shake hands, his palm feels cold and greasy. He used to be a good-looking man – until a rent boy […]

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  • Splatterproof is Not a Challenge by Tom Leins

    Do you know how many times you need to bounce a man’s skull off a breezeblock wall before you split the epidermis, shatter the brain-pan and draw blood? Six. Or seven. I lost count. Like self-control, numbers have never been my strong point. I don’t have many marketable skills, but a talent for revenge is […]

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  • Bloater by Tom Leins

    Midnight. The Slop Shop. The woman onstage looks around 60. She is wearing purple sequinned bikini bottoms and mismatched shoes. Her skin is tanned brown like leather. It reminds me of the suitcase my mother packed when she walked out on me and my pederast father all those years ago. Her stomach is swollen, and […]

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  • Ventilator Blues by Tom Leins

    I wake up with a boot across my throat and a gun barrel wedged in my eye socket. The man holding the revolver is so decrepit he looks like he may have misplaced his own death certificate. He winks at me with a lazy eye. “The boss wants a word…” His accent is thicker than […]

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  • Skin Trade by Tom Leins

    I’m standing outside a sea-front biker bar called the Burning Wheel picking at a tray of greasy-looking meat with a plastic fork. The bar used to be known as the Tenderloin Bar & Grill, but it has been under new management since a failed arson attempt last Christmas. It’s a Friday night, and the mood […]

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  • Attracting Flies by Tom Leins

    The air smells of blood and burnt flesh. The woman is sprawled across a frayed Oriental carpet with a gunshot wound in her neck. Her hair is wispy from too many dye-jobs. She is wearing a man’s shirt and sequinned blue bikini bottoms. Underneath it looks like her public hair has been trimmed into a […]

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  • There is a Place in Hell for Me and My Friends by Tom Leins

    Old age had blurred Sol Horror into a walking ghost. He had made a living out of swallowing up this town’s demons. Until, that was, Rudy Russo handcuffed him to the slaughterhouse railings and thrashed him to within an inch of his life. He was an elderly man, and Rudy could have killed him with […]

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