Alchemy3a

The clergyman toiled away in the makeshift laboratory he constructed in his modest quarters. Without a clue as to whether the experiment would work, all he had was the knowledge the pale blue angel imparted upon him that night in the marsh. Why he had come to discover her there remained a mystery, but the mere thought of the consequences her mission here would bring to the Church—and the world at large—confounded his mind. He only knew he had to try, even if it meant breaking his vows.

If he were to believe the wounded angel’s dying words as true, if he were to succeed with the experiment, the resulting outcome would bestow amazing wonders upon him and humankind. When she had reached into her own abdomen and extracted two small glowing orbs, he was trapped in her divine thrall.

“What am I to do with these?” he asked.

Her mouth did not move, yet he still heard her words. “You must complete this undertaking or else all will be lost for both of our kind. These are remnants of me. All that’s left of my dying race. A new beginning that will need your help thriving to perpetuate life. Time is of the essence.”

He prayed vigorously for forgiveness as he followed the angel’s strict instructions of combining the orbs with his own seed. As he struggled to steady his hand, he injected his semen into the orbs with a crude syringe. Waves of guilt and disgust washed over him. He knew the wrongness of it, not only in the eyes of the parish, but also in those of the god he chose to serve. Though, as askew as it felt, he hoped the messenger from above wouldn’t have tasked him with something against his calling if it weren’t of dire importance.

Immediately, fusion began in the copper bowl, pulling him from those thoughts of religious treason. The orbs spun counter clockwise, bathing the room in pulsating blue light. He cowered, awestruck by the light as it shot up like a beacon out of the bowl. A low rumbling accompanied the beam, vibrating the bowl on his table while his seed joined with the orbs.

The glowing persisted, but the orbs slowed, conjoining in the bowl’s center. In no time, two orbs became four; four became eight, continuing until the vessel split apart, unable to contain the growth. In the congealed mass, cohesion took form, visible structures took shape before his eyes—and he wept.

***

Bishop Crane, about to end his nightly stroll, spotted bright blue light emanating from beneath Father Tennor’s door. As he approached, a soft vibration spread across the wooden walkway. A rumble shook the air. He knocked, but the rap on the door failed to overpower the now incessant humming. Cautiously, he entered Tennor’s quarters.

Radiance flooded out of the room, stunning Crane. Inside, he saw Father Tennor standing over a table weeping. The throbbing and pulsating miracle amalgamation continued to organize, now resembling the faceless, shining form of a blue child. Atop the mass, a single eye developed from within the churning tissue. A tongue-shaped appendage darted in and out of a breach next to the eye. Arms and legs had sprouted out at unusual angles. Abruptly, a cry poured out of the thing and the Bishop reeled backwards, gasping in repulsion.

“Father Tennor!” the Bishop shouted. “What in God’s holy name is happening here?” He steadied himself against the doorframe, terrified by the abomination growing before his eyes.

Tennor ignored the Bishop, unable to rationalize what he had set into motion. The thing grew, morphing and twisting into form. As its terrible cries echoed through the quarters, pulling on his heartstrings, Father Tennor reached out to it, gently taking hold of one of its hands as little stumps budded into fingers.

“Father Tennor, I forbid you to move any closer to that abhorrent creation!” The Bishop retreated from the room, running down the walkway to the security bell as fast as his rickety old legs would go. He frantically rang it as he shouted for help. Rectory doors creaked open as fellow clergymen lumbered out. Panic and confusion crossed their sleep-ridden faces as the Bishop continued his warning call.

“Your Grace, what’s the matter?” asked Brother Charles. “Are we in danger?”

The clan of holy men surrounded the Bishop and listened to the Bishop. Crane turned and pointed a gnarled finger towards Tennor’s quarters. Blue light still bathed the entryway, spilling out into the courtyard. “The Devil is upon us. He has taken up residence in our rectory and has corrupted our poor brother, Father Tennor!”

The clergymen choked back their shock and disgust as they watched the shimmering light dance. They whispered nervously about the terrible intrusion of evil defiling their sanctuary. “Can Father Tennor be saved, your Grace?” someone asked. “How shall we purge this evil from here?” questioned another.

“An unearthly abomination now dwells and grows within your brother’s chambers, taking control of his mind,” the Bishop explained. “We must purge this evil with fire. We must fight the Devil’s invasion with flame blessed by our Almighty Lord!”

Each servant shouted in agreement, as their Bishop riled them into a frenzy. They split off to gather torches and weapons to keep the evil at bay. In the commotion, another priest pointed up to Father Tennor’s room. “Look! He’s escaping!”

***

Father Tennor ran out the door with the glowing bundle before disappearing into the darkness of the forest beyond the rectory. With the newborn swaddled in his arms, its radiating warmth seeped through the blanket that separated it from the elements. Father Tennor, fleet of foot, vanished into the trees. He tried to put as much distance between them and his brothers for he couldn’t prevent the infant’s incessant wailing from its newly formed mouth.

Tennor knew the child must be terrified—as he shared that same sentiment. He sensed its pain, but he needed to make sure their escape proved successful before he could tend to its needs.

It. He had no idea what it was or how the miracle he had witnessed even happened. All he knew now was the promise he’d made. This child, whatever kind of being it was or shall become, was his responsibility.

Behind him, he could hear the shouts of his brothers getting louder as Bishop Crane continued to whip them into a holy rage. He chanced a glance over his shoulder in his retreat. Torchlight danced off the canopy of leaves as the group gained ground. The newborn shifted and squirmed within his grasp, desperate for the freedom to wail in the throes of growth.

Tennor knew he wasn’t equipped to contain or ease its pain. He just needed a place to hide, to secure the child away from his brothers’ ears, to formulate a plan. “Please be silent, child,” he whispered, not knowing if it could understand his plea. Up ahead, he spotted the hollowed out trunk of an oak. He gently placed the child inside, making sure he secured it in the blanket before camouflaging the opening with branches and bits of brush. “I’m not leaving you,” he promised. “I will return.”

The priest felt the pain of his confliction as he ran down the path in the opposite direction. Unconcerned about the noise he made, he hoped his commotion would rouse the search party and launch them in the wrong direction, away from the child. He stopped atop a boulder and scanned the forest below. In a small clearing, he saw his brothers along with Bishop Crane gathered with their torches. Across the distance, one of them met Tennor’s gaze and alerted the rest of the party.

Father Tennor leapt from his rocky perch and darted into the trees. He prayed that the ruse worked and would lead them away from the child. Upon hearing the shouts and rustling of underbrush approaching, he knew it would be safe, at least for the time being. How he would lose his brothers and then circle back to collect the child, he hadn’t a plan. But as long as he kept it safe—despite the weight of its burden—he felt more confident living up to his promise.

As he evaded the mob, Tennor heard them shouting his name. They called for him to surrender the abomination unto the law of God—an order Tennor could not comply. It was far too late for that now. The miracle of life he had witnessed made him question everything he’d ever known, a feat that shook him to his foundation.

Their continuous roars became first-hand reminders of his biggest, lifelong fear. His faith’s inability to tolerate any form of wonder that Heaven’s holy umbrella didn’t eclipse. Yet, he still felt a twinge of guilt; his brothers were good men, honest and forthright. Even Bishop Crane, despite his antiquated, old world beliefs, was a decent man and teacher. Nevertheless, Father Tennor’s failing grasp on his faith severely buckled under the strain of the magic he helped create.

The shouting grew closer as they gained ground.

In the dark of night, not even the twinkling light of the moon and stars could safely light his path. He could feel them at his back, their blazing torches ready to burn the evil he brought into this world back to the Underworld.

Tennor overstepped. His foot wobbled on a slick patch of moss, sending him tumbling to the hard ground. He’d thought he held a greater lead, but even before he could roll over and get to his feet, he felt the heat of their flames.

“Where is it?” Brother Thomas asked as another prevented Tennor from rising. “Where is the unholy atrocity?”

Tennor stared coolly back at the men, meeting one rage filled stare after the next. The Bishop had certainly raised his flock’s ire, feeding their fear with threats of God’s wrath. These men, his friends, his family, did not deserve this betrayal. And that tore at his soul. Yet, he trusted in his new mission, his magically granted gift of much greater import than hurt feelings and disobedience. Regardless, Tennor knew that they would never understand.

“I’m sorry, brothers,” Tennor started. “I swear I am, but I cannot tell you.”

“You must! The Holy Father demands it. He demands obedience and that—that thing violates his very laws,” Brother Charles ranted.

Bishop Crane parted the group with his walking stick. As he forged a path toward him, Tennor inwardly trembled at the staunch look of hatred in the man’s eyes. The old bishop loomed over him and as he went to stand, Crane shoved him back to the dirt with his walking stick. “Where is the foul creature, Father?”

“It escaped when I tripped over a rock and fell,” Tennor lied.

“Deceit will not help matter!” shouted Brother Thomas.

Bishop Crane stooped to one knee, meeting Tennor’s gaze on an even level. “Father Tennor, it is just as much of a mortal sin to break God’s law as it is to lie about it.”

“It’s all in the Lord’s Good Book, brother,” Brother Charles reminded.

“What does the Good Book say about murder?” Tennor challenged Charles, glaring into the man’s nervous eyes before turning back to the bishop. “What does it say about the sanctity of life?”

“Sanctity of life only applies to God’s creations, not some horrid unearthly experiment,” Crane rebutted. “You are fully aware of the implications of your actions here. Wordplay and feeble semantics will not help you. Now… where is the fiend before this situation turns down an unfortunate path for you, Father Tennor?”

“Who’s to say what is or is not a creation of God? Who are we to quickly judge and attack things that we fear or don’t understand?” Tennor questioned the surrounding group. “Am I not one of His creations? Does that not make that which I create–?”

“Enough!” Crane erupted, rising to his feet. “My fellow men of the cloth, it appears Father Tennor is now in league with Satan and is beyond our saving. He must be punished and cleansed of his sins.” Crane raised his walking stick high above his head and proclaimed, “God will see and know the righteousness of our actions this day.” He then struck Tennor with a mighty blow.

One after another, the clergymen pummeled Tennor with fists and sticks, feet and rocks. Sandaled feet nearly broke his nose as he curled up into a ball, absorbing the punishment that he knew wouldn’t end until they had surely killed him. Beaten and bloodied on the forest floor, he prayed for help, begged for forgiveness. Whether he deserved God’s forgiveness or not, he knew the choice was not up to him. He cried into his hands and arms as they protected his face from the onslaught.

Had the blue angel had led him astray, betrayed him as he had betrayed his faith? But he couldn’t condemn himself for the miracle he helped create. Even nearing death, he still held fast to that notion.

He felt himself drifting away. The pain almost a memory and the hate filled shouts like distant murmurs. The ground rumbled and the air became thick with energy. The men stopped their attack as birds, frightened by something in the darkness, took flight from the trees. A brilliant light permeated the forest, casting everything in an azure mist. Through his haze and shut eyes, Tennor could still sense it, feel its heat as it surged through the trees and growth.

He finally opened his eyes.

A pained howl sliced through the air and they covered their ears. The shriek resonated. Throughout the forest, the bushes and trees swayed and bent as something rushed towards the clearing. The blue light grew brighter and hotter, its nucleus pushing forward. The air all around it crackled and hummed. Tennor clambered to his feet, the pain of his thrashing an afterthought to the sight before him. In the center of the ball of light, a young, misshapen child—blue of skin and hair—wept crystalline tears.

Tennor’s heart ached for the child, who despite being a tiny bundle mere moments ago, had now tripled in size. He saw all the telltale human features: two eyes, a nose, a mouth. Yet, he saw no ears or discernible reproductive organs. The alien child continued to cry, its abnormally long arms stretching out as it glided towards the mob

Some of the men on the outskirts of the clearing attempted to flee but were met by a bolt of blue electric shock that set them afire. In seconds, the being’s light cocooned the whole area, trapping them all within its blazing fury. The unbearable heat overwhelmed the cowering throng and sweat drenched their bodies in an instant.

From inside the bubble of light, the child’s cries became immense. Tennor’s vision blurred and head spun, but he forced himself to look up at it. In awe, he managed to smile, now knowing the truth of what the blue angel had said. A miracle borne, a beautiful combination of two species forming new life—this being, his new savior.

Its huge sapphire eyes, with tears full of pain and fear still cascading down its face, glared at the men. One of the braver men, Brother Samuel, raced toward it, wildly swinging a broken tree branch like a club. Through the thin membrane, where the light burned hottest, the child reached for him. It laced its stem-like fingers around Samuel’s throat before a scream could even escape his lips. His skin bubbled and popped as it sizzled off his body into a syrupy mess onto the dirt.

From behind it, Brother Charles heaved a stone over his head. Father Tennor moved to intervene, but the bigger Charles shook him off like fleas on a dog. The stone smashed onto its mark and the child buckled under the blow. Its light flickered as it dropped to its knees. More of the clergymen rushed in and piled on top of it now that the heat of it had subsided. Father Tennor felt powerless as he watched on, distressed and full of guilt with his inability to save his child.

The group’s sheer force and hatred almost extinguished the being’s light, save for random rays that broke through gaps where their bodies separated. Tennor begged them to stop. He dropped to his knees with tears in his eyes and beseeched his lord to take away his pain and anguish, to save his creation.

The being’s light vanished as the men wrestled with it. Among the tangle of limbs, Tennor saw his creation’s terrified eyes desperate for help and safety. It writhed and squirmed, unleashing heart wrenching cries that broke Tennor’s heart.

Bishop Crane smiled as his brethren held the vile creature down. “See, Father Tennor? Nothing can match the might of our Lord and Savior. God and His almighty Son will always prevail in the presence of evil.”

“Bastard!” Tennor yelled as he launched himself at the bishop. Never in his life had he felt such a deluge of rage and loathing for another human being corrupt his will. They crashed to the dirt with Tennor getting the better position in the melee. He pinned the bishop down and rained blows upon the holy man’s face. Strike after strike, Crane’s yelps of pain turned to wet gurgles as blood filled his mouth and throat.

The clergymen’s preoccupation with the creature lessened. Every second they turned their attention toward Father Tennor mercilessly beating Bishop Crane, they lost more and more focus. In that loss, they loosened their grasp. The being sensed this and thrashed about, shaking off the last of its captors and finally freeing itself from its shackles of muscle and bone.

Its deafening howl rattled the treetops. Opaque blood—almost silver in color—caked its oblong skull from where Brother Charles had struck it; twigs and matted leaves clung to the wetness.

As the thing’s cacophony reached an earsplitting pitch, its brilliant aura retuned, bringing with it searing heat. It awkwardly lumbered around the clearing on wobbling legs, grabbing at anyone in arm’s reach. The terror in its eyes now held glints of anger as the heat of its touch blistered the clergymen’s skin. Within its capsule of illumination, screams erupted, the stink of melting flesh, inescapable and unforgiving.

Tennor’s unstoppable creation flailed about, burning up everything it could in its hysteria. All around it, smoldering bodies littered the ground. It saved Brother Charles for last. Both Tennor and Bishop Crane, no longer fighting, stared agape as the thing stalked Charles until it had cornered him against a rotting stump.

Its long, bony fingers wrapped about the brother’s throat, its face mere inches away from his. As it hissed, it squeezed the life from Charles’ body until his head burst into flames. Impervious to the fire, the being held Brother Charles up and almost seemed to study him with a satisfied grin on its face.

Then it saw Bishop Crane cowering on the ground, bloodied and hurt.

It marched over to the fallen bishop with purpose. As it continued to grow before his eyes, sinewy flesh stretching and shaping over top its bones, Crane reached into his robe and brandished a crucifix. Before he could speak a word of prayer in defense, the being swatted the cross from his hands. Crane started to crawl away, but it snagged him by the hood of his robe and yanked him backwards through the clearing. He tumbled through the air and crashed into a broken log where one of the jagged branches breached his upper back and exited through his chest.

The rage in the being’s eyes burned hotter as its tears sizzled on its skin. Surrounding it, plants and leaves began to wilt from the unavoidable heat within its barrier. Steam rose off Bishop Crane’s blood as it poured through the hole in his torso. When it finally realized the bishop was dead, it shrieked and howled, swinging its arms and shaking its head.

The whole clearing caught fire in its wrath. Amidst the rising heat waves, Tennor’s eyes welled up and blurred from the sound and the smoke. “It’s all right,” Father Tennor said when the being finally quieted. “You’re safe now. He is not going to harm you any longer, my child.”

My child.

The words rolled off his tongue with an ease he felt destined to feel. This child, this otherworldly being, crafted and created in part by his own life force, was his ultimate triumph in this life. He had fulfilled his promise to the fallen angel and, despite his sacrilege, did something that not even his lord could make possible. His belief system shifted as he gazed upon his creation. Tennor now felt like a god amongst men, having wielded a power no other man could ever fathom.

Tennor stood up, avoiding random pockets of burning brush. He slowly approached the dazed alien child who still stood facing the dead bishop. “My child, you are safe n–”

Startled, it spun around, stabbing Tennor in the gut with its misshapen and dagger-sharp fingers. Tennor’s sweaty face went white. Even as he cringed in pain, his eyes remained locked in disbelief. He glanced down at the mortal wound and the hand of his creation buried inside of it.

The being’s eyes, still childlike and full of terror, stared into Tennor’s own. It wailed again as it withdrew its hand and pulled Tennor close. All around them, fire burned out of control. Flames licked at the trees and leaves, igniting them in a scorching frenzy.

As it cried, its light barrier began to flicker and fade, allowing the fire to spread beyond its magical boundary. Tennor gripped his creation in a loving embrace, knowing that he had ultimately failed and that the end had arrived for them both in one final, searing irony.

 

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Just a Taste…

Posted: July 26, 2017 in Oh, The Horror! (Fiction)

Sybarites (or the Enmity of Perverse Existence)

“What can I do ya for?” asked the man through his unhygienic grin.

Jim anxiously thumbed through a pamphlet. Despite already knowing his purpose for being there, the reality of the situation in the form of colored images jumping off the brochure solidified the knot twisting and tying in his gut. “I’m interested in, um, room three-fifteen and possibly three-eighteen, as well,” he admitted in a hush even though no one else was around.

Mr. Halitosis’ smile broadened, showing off half a mouthful of pumpkin-colored teeth. “Solid choices, m’friend.” He spun around on his beat-up stool to a pegboard lined with keys, almost falling off the wobbly thing in the process. He caught his balance and said, “This ol’ thing needs to be put out to pasture, one too many years of duct-tape triage.” He chuckled. “Haven’t seen you ‘round here before, pal. Gotta name?”

Jim’s anger boiled, but he forced a smile, answering, “Yeah. It’s been a while. Name’s, uh, Jim.”

“Interesting forename ya got there, Uh-Jim. Well, irregardless, we’re gladta have ya back. Name’s Buxton, but friends call me Buck.” He looked down his nose at the pegboard. “Ah, let’s see . . . el numero tres-fifteeno y eighteeno.” Buck glanced back to Jim with a sly wink. “That’s Spanish.” With another chuckle, he turned to the board, but stopped and shook his head. “Whoops.” He tapped the empty spot under the peeling 315 label. “You are outta luck, Uh-Jim. Looks like that one’s been scooped up for the foreseeable future.” He next scanned for 318. “Same thing I’m afraid.” The proprietor spun back around to the counter with a giddy “wee” for added effect. “Sorry ‘bout that. Don’t seem to be your lucky day, friend. Coupl’a those rooms in that price range been kinda popular these days, if ya catch my drift.” Perversity glinted in the wink of his hooded eye.

Jim searched the room. The door behind him, marked “PRIVATE – EMPLOYEES ONLY” on the opposite side, led back to the crappy backwoods half-outpost, half pawnshop called Mountain Buck’s General Store. Jutting up to the side of the mountain, it was your one-stop-shop for shit beer, bait and tackle, and beef jerky. Maybe even grab an old, beat up pink bicycle for the kids while you’re at it. This room, though, was nearly empty save for some overstock merchandise. Nothing gave off any outward sleazy vibe or lent credence to the rumors that had circled the place for decades. On the other side of Buck’s setup, he saw the entrance that led down below, to the place with the doors those hanging keys unlocked.

Behind Buck, a key clearly labeled “MASTER KEY” dangled from a hook Jim reached into his jacket, quietly thankful that the general store beyond was no longer open.

“Didja have any others in mind? Shame to waste a trip,” Buck asked, flipping through the pamphlet, trying to be helpful. “We got all sorta—”

Click!

Jim’s hand shook as he cocked the hammer of the SIG Sauer P220 he had pulled out from under his jacket. The last thing he wanted was for this to go sideways, to come in here all guns blazing. Apparently, it wasn’t going to be that simple. “Where’s my daughter?

“What in the name of holy fuck?”

“H-how many are down there now?”

Buck stared cross-eyed at the barrel in his face. “Um, shit . . . let’s see,” he started, cautiously looking over his shoulder. “Looksta be ‘bout five’r six at the moment, give’r take.”

Jim glanced at the board, memorizing the spots with missing keys before glancing down beyond the stairs. He took a deep breath, bothered that this was now the only solution. In his periphery, he saw Buck reaching for something. “Probably not the best idea you’ll have today, friend.”

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Here are the lyrics to my other fave, “Thy Scars.” It’s a very personal song to me and really not as religious as the overtones would suggest. But everyone is different…

Thy Scars

I never asked to be your savior
I never wished for anything more
Than to find my redemption
To reclaim my soul
And end this inner war
But in my daze I relinquished control
You bent my will and I succumbed to your call
Crawling forth with broken heart as if only a tool
I once again erased the line
Again I played the fool

In vibrant celebration as the nail pierces my flesh
I abhor this crown I wear
A constant struggle with this cross I shoulder
The pain is far too much to bear

Head hung in shame . . . Humiliation . . .
No more love left . . . I face my hatred

This is my benediction
An invocation of divine blessing
One day I hope to hate you
And take back the love meant for you

In vibrant celebration as the nail pierces my flesh
I abhor this crown I wear
This constant struggle with this cross I shoulder
The pain is far too much to bear

Until the oceans turn to blood
And for all the things I’ve left undone
I gaze upon the fall of my angel
As her grasp releases my heart
This savior of yours has more than done his part

I never asked to be your savior
I never asked to be your whore
I never asked to be your redeemer
I never wished for anything more
Than to find my redemption
To reclaim my soul
And end this inner war

Bane of Existence on Facebook

I’ve been thinking an awful lot lately about poetry and lyrics. Ever since I was invited to craft some lyrics for a good buddy’s sludgy doom metal project (which has been fun as shit by the way), I’ve been revisiting some of my old rhymes and lyrics.

One of my biggest regrets from my time in a band was not being able to record two of our most impressive songs, “Demons to Some (Angels to Others)” and “Thy Scars.” Not only were they incredibly heavy, bordering on brutal (especially for our brand of death metal), but the lyrics I had written were very intense. While we had played both songs live at various points, I was always upset we never got around to laying them down in the studio for a professional recording.

Anyways, if you aren’t familiar with the works of Bane of Existence (Boston-based brutality… haha), here’s your chance to at least read what my favorite two tracks were about.

Demons to Some (Angels to Others)

So this is what was meant to be . . .
This vast emptiness yawning before me.
Fixated I stand . . . eyes locked in dismay
As I smell the ancient breath of the ages’ decay.

I fall to my knees and beg for the power
Bleed on this consecrated ground turned sour
Feel the force that binds and smothers
Demons to some, angels to others.
Gods among monsters immortals among men
Call out their names and my mortal shell will be shed
Consummate the bind of divinity and destruction
Demons to some, angels to others.

I fall to my knees and beg for the power
Bleed on this consecrated ground turned sour
Feel the force that binds and smothers
Demons to some, angels to others.
Formless in the shadows, deformed by the light
Crave the agony, embrace eternal night
A fate of a soul that in hell smolders
Demons to some, angels to others.

So this is what was meant for me . . .
This hellish blackness that engulfs me.
Tearing through flesh I am about to die
Letting the pain caress me . . . I can no longer cry.

Formulas of evil forever unseen.
Distraught by a force once known from a dream.
Controlled by the will of an unseen urge.
The crackle of power that might flow and might surge.
Unable to believe what I have become.
Impossible to reverse the damage I’ve done.
I do not understand, but yet I digress;
Nothing will matter at all when I’m dead to the flesh.

I am here ready to seal my fate.
I can no longer fear the hate that pain creates.
My body and soul begin to separate
Succumbing to the power that their will initiates

They beckon to my unsound flesh
Curious greed the witness to my death
The time has come to repent my sins
Hearing my cries, the pain now begins

Bound and bled by this sick aberration
Sinking ever deeper into self degradation
Solving the riddle that unlocks my demise
My soul’s blood escaping through my eyes
Toying with a power I could never understand
Unyielding torture from the halls of the damned.
Consummate the bind of divinity and destruction
Demons to some, angels to others.

Bane of Existence on Facebook

New Review Time!

Posted: June 15, 2017 in Oh, The Horror! (Fiction)

Big thanks to The Horror Fiction Review and Christine Morgan for her awesome review of my short story collection, Purgatory behind These Eyes. It was cool (and surprising) to read about the stories that resonated with her the most.

Read it in its entirety here!