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Ode to the Oncologist

The oncologist specializes in slow and tedious death. We may not know it but many of us, perhaps most of us will come to know an oncologist or two during maybe even near the end of our lifetimes. Who has more experience with every aspect of death than an oncologist? Death can be an instant, or it can be a grueling soul-sapping process. The oncologist has seen that one play out many times before. The oncologist is keenly aware that genetics has made this an unalterable destiny for untold millions, perhaps even for themselves.
Yet, the oncologist is still a professional. For better or worse these specialists and advisers are a profoundly impactful presence in the midst of these crises.  There is a certain symbiosis between death and the oncologist or maybe it’s more of a synergy. One patient to the next one this is always assured there will be more cancer. Day after day they see exhausted people gripping the boney hand of a loved one trapped in the hell of living decay. People attached …

The Borderline Angel of Death

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I would like to thank Burning House Press for featuring this piece!

At the age of thirty, Daniel Lufto lived alone in a single bedroom apartment. In his first thirty years on Earth he had made very few lasting connections, and at this point, his existence had virtually no perceptible impact on anyone else. He was just another recurring face on the bus ride to work, a vaguely remembered customer in the local liquor store.
As a human being, Daniel existed on a strictly interim basis. His home was even on a month to month arrangement. On any day he and his meager belongings could be swept out and with that almost any trace of Daniel's corporeal existence.
Daniel wasn’t so solitary by choice. He and the world around him could never find the proper way to engage each other. Daniel grew up, but he never developed into a fully fleshed out human being. He had no particular interests or hobbies absolutely nothing could captivate him. It was as if he had been deprived an imagination and wa…

Cadaver Number 4

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At eleven and fourteen years respectively Doctors Joaquim Jerome and Erica Lee were veterans of the medical research labs circuit and as a matter of professionalism were never averse to inflicting horrific tortures upon a never-ending pool of rodent and simian subjects. Vivisection, experimental drug trials, and cosmetics, these were all ways the high priests of progress paid the proper tribute in blood.
 Being as such the illustrious researchers had no qualms about working with cadavers.
“I kill things all the time” Erica shrugged “Why whould I shy away from electructing corpses?”
Barely ten hours ago a man named Michael Doland expired and left behind the quickly crumbling biological shell now known as cadaver number 4. While you could count on both hands all the people, who might remember Michael Doland Cadaver number 4 was going to be internationally known before the day was over.
Neither Joaquim nor Erica had ever met Michael. For the two aspiring necromancers conquering death wa…

Marshal Anosognosia

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Cannon fire was their rooster's caw that morning. The shells exploded among the camps and left row upon row of burning blood-soaked tents. Hundreds of half-dressed soldiers scurried away from the eviscerating plumes of smoke and steel.
The percussions of the bombardment were subtly felt by the diligent Captain Charles Magnus in another camp.  He confirmed the massacre through the lens of his battlefield glasses and hurried off to inform Marshal Anosognosia.
Charles hadn't had much face to face with contact with the highly revered military hero, and he relished the chance to be the one at his side in so perilous a moment.  There was no better career booster than association with the Anosognosia name.
Charles’s diligence could sometimes devolve into simple impulsivity. He brushed past the security detail and burst into the old man’s tent. “Sir forgive me bu-” The Captain's words lodged in his throat.
The eighty-six-year-old nationally renowned the illustrious Marshal Oscar Adlo…

Obscura

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The little house sat, cloaked in the shadow of London’s leviathan towers. It was just another neighborhood at the outskirts of the fortress of wealth where the residents lived under the heel of the lords and merchants who lived as their rulers and used their blood to spin the gears of their machines. Death and pestilence were the neighbors of everyone who lived on this damp foggy street. The house sat along the Thames close enough to be constantly immersed in the vile water’s stench of feces and sulfur. The two story house was a like brick box adorned by a broken window that was covered with torn frilly drapes.

They were on the second floor in a tiny brick cell with no window. The little space was furnished a child’s bed standing on a floral pattern throw rug. It had once been Henry’s bedroom. He had turned eight just twenty-one weeks ago, but somewhere along the line it became apparent he wasn’t going make it the thirty-one more weeks to see nine. His frail malnourished body was overt…

The 3D-Dead

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Deep within the concrete catacombs of Gabor Labs, a renowned research institute just outside of Boston Professor Gilbourne was working feverishly on his new obsession. It was a project that eclipsed anything else in his life in its importance. The thirty-nine-year-old professor was conducting a series of experiments meant to bring back the dead by illuminating the alleged metaphysical forms said to inhabit a plane of existence inconceivable to the living. For the last seven months, he spent every waking hour he could locked away in the lab. Breathing the sterile air and constantly immersed in the electrical buzzing emitted by the menagerie of machines he was working with. He had recently lost his mother to cancer. His friends and fiancee thought this was just him avoiding grief by burying himself in work.  This was partially true. Gilbourne was a jovial and often playful man the glare from his glassy blue eyes when his mind lost itself in the cold void of its cold logic. Medical doctors a…

Woke up a Prophet

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“Ichika, Ichika wake up!”
The six-year-old girl was jolted away by her father’s hands. Her mother was standing in the doorway clenching her little brother Reo against her chest.
The majority of Ichicka’s short life had been against the backdrop of total war. She dutifully kept her boots and shelter knapsack ready go at the foot of her bed and made sure never to let go of her father’s hand in the crowded shelter. Reo was even more accustomed. The desperate stampedes to the overcrowded shelters were becoming his earliest memories.
Her father grabbed her by the hand, and they rushed out into the street. Ichicka’s father was walking too fast for Ichika to keep up and the girl stumbled. Without a word her father picked her up and started walking faster than before.
“Please hurry,” he urged his wife who was also struggling to match his pace.
Despite her father’s panic, the city seemed peaceful. The streets were virtually empty, and the sirens were silent.
“Hideshi!” Aiko called to her husb…