As part of my Guest blog series for authors and fellow bloggers I am proud to present another guest blog spot. I am very excited andthe author of
July 26, 2016!
So go get a copy!
KILL THE CHILDREN, SAVE THE FOOD
A short story
By Levi Black
Used with Permission. All rights reserved.
**WARNING: NSFW LANGUAGE**
“Wot the fuck’re you doing?”
The words sloshed out of his mouth, tumbling over the edge of his teeth and dribbling down his chin.
He leaned on the door frame, big bottle of cheap shit vodka in his hand. Blood had run down his forearm from the hypodermic needle jutting from the knotted vein in his elbow. It slithered down and pooled along the place where the web of his hand and the mouth of the bottle met. He took a big swig of the bottle and the cheap shit vodka tasted all like iron from his hemoglobin. He smiled pink at the brunette kneeling naked on the floor.
“I think I fucked up, love,” She stared at him with those big seal eyes, ones that were impossible to blink closed all the way. “Fucked up big.”
* * *
It was amazing where punk rock could take you.
Sing pop and go to Vegas, get put up in a hotel suite stocked with beautiful hookers whose assholes were stuffed with primo cocaine like anorexic sexbot turkeys, and make more money for one show than the national average living wage. Play country and get hell-ee-oh-coptered to the White House, shake hands with the prick in charge, swipe your tongue across the back of the First Lady’s hand, and eat caviar and prime rib more succulent than a preteen cock.
But punk rock?
Play punk rock and wind up in the shittiest dive bars in the weirdest little cocknobbies of the world, eat a bologna sandwich on moldy bread with warm mayonnaise, catch athletes foot from the closet they call a green room, and wind up with case of the crabs from the black gum trailer park whore they send to soften you up before they tell you that you ain’t getting paid and, oh by the way, here’s your bar tab.
In the van, outside a ramshackle dump of a club in a ramshackle dump of a town, he sat in a puddle of his own ball sweat. Some of it was back sweat that had run through the fibers of his dirty wife-beater and then slid down the cracked vinyl of the van seat to collect under him. His crotch smelled sour, like old fish, even from where he sat. Lifting the bottle in his left hand he filled his mouth with the chemical taste of salty cherries and swallowed it hard. The magnesium hit his stomach like a punch, gurgling around, looking for the puckered starfish-mouth entrance to his intestines. He washed away the taste with a healthy dose of Jim Beam from his right.
Why did he keep doing this?
Oh yah, to save the gods-damned world.
* * *
She was naked, covered in blood gone tacky like drying paint. A man sprawled on the floor in front of her. He wore a cheap chartreuse suit in a big plaid of browns and greens turning to near black from being soaked in all the liquid that used to be inside his ribcage. The ribcage that now splayed open like a child’s reaching hands.
He took another swig from the bottle, swallowed, and cocked an eyebrow at her, ignoring the burning pull of the cheap safety pin he’d shoved through it sometime in the night before. “He get fresh with you, luv?”
Her head jerked up, eyes wide. Mascara ran in streaks from raccoon eyes, squiggling down her cheeks, over her jaw, and down her loverly, fist-tight throat. Her mouth moved, red too thin to be lipstick smeared across it, already drying into a thin layer of rust brown.
“Oh Jesus, I think I fucked up royally.”
* * *
The Gas Station was a shithole.
Small, cramped, still covered in a layer of grime that was a combination of car exhaust and motor oil from decades of being a service station, the stage shook and swayed under him. It wasn’t the acid he dropped before the show, the bennies and the coke would keep that in check, it was just shitty construction. The minute he set foot on it during the sound check he decided he would destroy the fucking thing before the show ended.
The first song he stomped and thrashed and screamed.
Song two he shit in his hand and flung it on the crowd.
Song three he hit the refrain by shoving his shit-covered fingers down his throat and spewing a mix of stomach acid, Jim Beam, and the moldy bologna sandwich he’d scarfed before the show out over the crowd to the fifth or sixth member.
Song four the club cut the power to try to stop him.
In the dark, the crowd in front of him gripped tight by it, held still except for their inhales and exhales which he could feel against his skin as the air became too thick, too full of carbon dioxide not enough oxygen, and he breathed with them, sucking the air in, reveling in heat of his body, and he wanted to call it a night, to raise his hand and walk away and go collapse somewhere not too filthy for animals.
But behind him were the eyes.
The unblinking eyes that watched his every performance.
Gods damned they demanded his all.
* * *
The thing above them all swirled. Not smoke and not color. It was an emptiness. Like a loose thread of reality had been there and someone had come along and plucked it causing a spot of unraveling in the universe right there in that room above him, Genya, and the dead guy on the floor. Genya rose to her feet and he looked between her legs at the dark thatch made near black like the juncture of her had been erased, scribbled out.
When he looked back a man in a long black coat stood under the unraveling spot with a smile on his face and red right hand smoothing his lapels.
Genya’s face quivered, lips and nose tip trembling, eyelids gone spastic. “I didn’t call you.”
The Man In Black’s smile widened and his mouth was full of too many teeth, too sharp, overlapping each other like those of a shark. “And yet I am here, Genyusha Zelkovicz.”
He looked at Genya. “Who?”
“It’s my name.”
“Never heard it before.”
“I hate it.”
“I hate Genya,” he said, “but I see why you changed it.” The alcohol rushed around his mouth as he drank, making his nose run. He drug his forearm across his face, wiping liquid snot over the trails of hard and crusty snot, as he squinted at the Man In Black. “An’ who the fuck’re you supposed to be, the undertaker?”
“No one of consequence to you.”
The Man In Black simply stood there but he filled the room with his presence. The corners seemed darker, dimmer, as if the light slowly drained toward him. He was tall, of an enviable height, with carved saturnine features. His coat fluttered and flapped around him even though the air in the room was still.
“Wot the fuck you want then?”
“I came to offer my gratitude to Genyusha Zelkovicz for helping me from a relatively stuck position.” The Man In Black was suddenly beside them, close enough that his red right hand had already reached and caressed down the cheek of the blood covered brunette. “Your spell has brought me to this plane.”
“I did not call you.” Genya repeated.
“You do not know what you called, you are a child.”
“What will you do?”
The Man In Black smiled, this time keeping his lips closed. “Anything I want.”
* * *
The crowd hounded his trail, following close behind, dogging his steps. He’d led them out in to the street, not enough for a riot, but enough to cause some havoc. They smashed windows, pushed aside citizens trying to go about their business, blocked traffic. One of the crowd had begun burning trash cans they passed, marking their trail like ancient Norse signal fires.
It wasn’t enough.
Not enough by far.
He felt the weight of ungodly disappointment like his stepfathers hand between his shoulder blades, heavy and solid as a vice. It drove him forward, off the street and into the apartment complex. Two by two he took the stairs, stumbling at the top and nearly falling right back down them. Lurching forward he fell against the green door to apartment 316, using his skull to knock.
Arms reached over him as what was left of the crowd began to bang on the door as well.
It opened and he fell against the person, wrapping his arms around sturdy shoulders.
“Hey GG,” Johnny Puke said “I see you brought the party with you.”
* * *
“Wot do you want to do?”
Genya gripped his arm. “He’s the Crawling Chaos. He means to destroy this world.”
“Why the fuck you wanna do that?”
The Man In Black shrugged. “It will be entertaining.”
“Not for us.”
“You are not my concern.”
“Anything for a good time, eh?”
“Everything for a ‘good time’.”
He turned the bottle up, draining all the harsh liquid from it straight into his belly. “I’m an entertainer. I can give you a good time.”
The Man In Black regarded him. “I can watch all of your kind in the throes of destruction and wanton chaos as my kith and kin tear this world asunder. You think you can be more entertaining that that?”
“Bet yer ass.”
“You would stake the fate of this world on your ability to entertain beings you cannot even conceive of?”
“I suppose I am free due to the ineptitude of your paramour,” The Man In Black considered, “You have a bargain.” He stuck out his red right hand.
He looked at the skinless hand, all knuckle and tendon and meat. “I put on shows and as long as you are entertained the world lives?”
“That is the layman’s sum up.”
“Don’t.” Genya said.
Before she could finish he reached out, gripped the red right hand in his, and shook on it.
“Do not disappoint us.”
* * *
He slumped in the chair, spine curled over his stomach, chin pulling his head forward. All around him were people stoned out of their minds in various stages of disrobement do what their animal states demanded.
Across from him, two girls painted on a third with their fingers. He couldn’t tell if it was paint, or blood, or shit.
They’d had an orgy, a bacchanal, a right round debauch.
And still he felt the disapproval against his back.
He’d done it all before. The drugs, the sex, the wild abandon of using his body and its issue.
The gods were bored.
He reached for the shoe box Puke had dropped off by his chair and pulled it on his lap. He battered off the battered lid and looked inside. Tubing, spoon, lighter, syringe.
And seventeen balloons filled with the best heroin in the entire state.
Enough to get a herd of elephants high.
Hey, maybe . . .
He let the thought drift away as his hands took over, moving through motions learned long ago.
Where would he find a herd of elephants anyway.
Familiar movements, familiar sensations. The tightening, the prick, the plunge.
Entertain this, you motherfuckers.
- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books (July 26, 2016)
- ISBN-10: 0765382482
- ISBN-13: 978-0765382481
Charlie Tristan Moore isn’t a hero. She’s a survivor. Already wrestling with the demons of her past, she finds herself tested as never before when she arrives home one night to find herself under attack by three monstrous skinhounds straight out of a nightmare. Just as hope seems lost, she is saved by a sinister Man in Black, dressed in a long, dark coat that seems to possess a life of its own and wielding a black-bladed sword in his grisly red right hand.
But her rescue comes at a cost. The Man in Black, a diabolical Elder God, demands she become his Acolyte and embrace a dark magick she never knew she possessed. To ensure her obedience, he takes her friend and possible love, Daniel, in thrall as a hostage. Now she must join The Man in Black in his crusade to track down and destroy his fellow Elder Gods, supposedly to save humanity from being devoured for all eternity.
But is The Man in Black truly the lesser of two evils–or a menace far more treacherous than the eldritch horrors she’s battling in his name?
“Red Right Hand is a perfect blend of old-school horror and modern storytelling sorcery. Levi Black is absolutely riveting!” –Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Predator One