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In Over Your Head

A swelling tsunami of dust followed the iron wave of heavy tanks that churned up the storm under their colossal treads. Whirling sand blended with engine exhaust and tinted blood orange by the smothered sun into a blinding maelstrom that was racing across the desert towards little slits dug in the sand where boys like Ahmed had conveniently dug their own grave for the mechanical behemoths to bury them.
Ahmed was huddled against the earthen walls just under the shade of the sandbags. His breathing was labored, and his stomach was spasming. His discarded weapon lay on the ground next to him. The tanks strode with their gun barrels erected like an elephants trunk. The low growl of their engines reverberated through Ahmed's body, and he spewed yellowish bile onto the toes of his boots.
The cannons burst from the approaching cloud like thunderclaps heralding the arrival of the amorphous monster about to swallow them whole. The shock of the first explosion jolted everyone in the trench.…

Questionable Methodology

The motel hallway was lined with carpeting a shade of green that resembled golf course turf. The lights were dim to obscure the stains and burns. Room 67 was on the far end of the corridor. The closer Lucy came to that door the slower she walked. The elegant young lady wore her thick hair wrapped up above her head like a silky ebony headdress. A shimmering black dress with a front that hung from her neck to reveal her porcelain neck and the very edge of her firm, youthful cleavage turned.  She was her era's model of sexuality and sophistication. But her confidence was clearing under strain.
She stopped in front of the door, clenched her eyes shut and inhaled sharply. She held her breath for a moment and steadily released it from her chest, her worried face morphing into a vivacious smile as she exhaled.
 She gently knocked on the door and received no reply. She waited and knocked again this time slightly harder. Still no response from inside. She sighed with relief and turned to l…

Dybbuk

The Dybbuk a demon that takes possession of a recently deceased body came into this world, not through the magic of a shaman or any machination of the supernatural. The ancient monster was summoned by engineers, adherents to the faith of technological progress. It was in state of the art laboratories where the dark art of possession was mastered and by people who openly disdained esoteric cultural relics from the infancy of civilization. It was through the machinations of technology that this malicious supernatural force materialized as a nanomachine no larger than a flea. It was no aberration but a creature composed of rare earth metals and silicone.
The same malignant shadow growing out from the pit of the human spirit that facilitated the creation of the Dybbuk also ignited the desire to use it and see its effects. Folly begot folly, and the Dybbuk intended for a little-known intelligence officer found its way into a host that gave it the power to unleash apocalyptic consequences.

Pretty Pretty Pariwinkle

By necessity, war was forced to evolve around mankind's natural aversion to murder. Men were put in metallic cocoons were machines could obscure the massacre through its preferred lenses. Eventually, the mechanical monstrosities took on the form of a toy. The joystick was used to deploy refined instruments of destruction against what were just colorless outlines on a black and white display.
In the early stages of this next phase in war’s evolution, they still needed the grunts. People to wallow and die in the garbage heaps of human misery created by people who couldn’t even stand to look at their horrific handiwork. Techno warfare made a tempting promise to mitigate and maybe one day also eliminate the long-term consequences of systematically molding millions of people into killers.
James Pittman was a corporal in the Marines. The Warmachine absorbed him at a time when there was an intersectional moment that would determine humanity’s place in war’s processes. His company was dep…
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I got my copy of the Retrospective zine from Palm Sized Press! It features one of my stories as well pieces from close to a dozen other authors all in a booklet the size of a cd cover! Remember those things?

Vultures

The flashlight’s beam rested on the white painted wall. Juan gripped wooden hammer of the sledgehammer. The visor on his gas mask impaired his peripheral vision, so he turned to make sure he was clear to swing. The hammer smashed through the wall, and a plume of dust dispersed through the air. Juan struck several more blows until the hole had turned into a man-sized gash. The flashlight illuminated the rift revealing a hub of piping and wires.
“Hey Juan we need your help down here man!” the radio crackled
Places die in much the same way as the people who compose them. Growth stalls and begins to give way to decline then all that’s left is to wait for the physical remains to erode into dust under the pressure of times ceaseless and steady current.
The place was a town called villa park a place that at its peak supported between thirty-five and forty thousand inhabitants, but Villa Park’s death hadn’t been a gradual process outlined recognizable milestones it had occurred suddenly and u…

Thanatos

“Don’t look directly at the light!”
This was the repeated warning the soldiers were given before they were loaded up onto flatbeds and driven to a remote patch of desert. There were sandbag covered holes waiting for them. The troopers obediently crouched in their shallow ditches in the sand and waited.
They had heard stories about how the flash melted eyeballs and the heat seared the flesh. They saw pictures of shadows imprinted on stone by atomic obscura. The featureless black human outlines were all that remained of the people touched by the light.
The desert air was dry but pleasantly mild, and the mood among the men was one of cautious optimism. Some seemed entirely at ease even excited about what they were about to witness while others quietly sat and stared sand.
Thier heads trained upwards as they watched the trail of white smoke streaking across the unblemished blue sky. The order came and the soldiers squatted in the foxholes. They collectively held their breath and waited fo…

There Are No Closets In Foxholes

Private Stuart Breyers had joined the marine corps during peacetime. The plan was to use his two-year hitch as a transition period into becoming an independent young man. Not six weeks after his 19th birthday the boy’s limited term of existence had been significantly curtailed. He had no more years to look forward to only mere moments.
He walked in a single file line with his comrades under the darting eyes of their Japanese captors. His fingers were laced behind his head, and he didn’t dare move his hands to shield his eyes from the blinding tropical sun or the salty sting of his sweat. Breyers had spent his life in the vast cornfields of Middle America where the grey skies of winter lingered for months on end. The Pacific sun turned his flesh a pulsing red. The Japanese fleet loomed ominously in the still crystal blue waters. The massive steel barrels of their guns had returned to their resting position. Occasionally a grenade blast in the thick jungle rattled the birds out of the t…

By The Numbers

"As more and more people come to terms with just how tenuous all of this is the faster and faster, it will all break down.  Paradoxically informing people of the danger of our position will not produce a solution instead we will see a self-fulfilling prophecy come pass where people, trying to fortify their personal positions to weather the chaos will be in actually precipitating and compounding the destruction."
Dr. Werthers V. Lepizid