Archive for the ‘Short Horror’ Category

Scorching the Retinas – A were-Dinosaur Film? Now I’ve seen it all!

The Velocipastor (2018)

The Velocipastor

USA/China
Director – Brendan Steere
Writer – Brendan Steere
Runtime – 75 minutes
Cyfuno Ventures, Hollow Tree Films, Laika Come Home.
Wild Eye Releasing

After losing his parents, a priest travels to China, where he inherits a mysterious ability that allows him to turn into a dinosaur. At first horrified by this new power, a hooker convinces him to use it to fight crime. And ninjas.  (synopsis courtesy of the films writer and director; Brendan Steere)

When faced with a film with such a title and story line (above) how could I not resist a view, and the temptation to lay down a few words, seriously. To my knowledge the same premise hasn’t been tackled before. Sure, monsters of all varieties, shapes, size, gender (and political leaning) have been utilized in all manner of films before now. Unless you count the short film from 2011, by the same director, which started it all.

VelociPastor-short-film-2011-Brendan-Steere-5

The title scene from the ‘original’ short.

But none to my understanding include an individual, in this case lets spice things up by calling him a Pastor (which makes one only wonder where ‘the earth was created only a few thousand years ago’ belief/mythos comes in), who has the ability to transform into a Prehistoric killing machine, add to that ninjas and words of advice from a hooker (sex trade worker, street walker, purveyor of pleasures at a cost who knows what they’d like to be known as in this delicate time and age) and we have a film which I for one can’t ignore, much like a doughnut on a plate with a flashing neon sign which reads “free. Eat me. I’m yours!” Without further ado…

(trailer courtesy of JoBlo Movie Trailers)

The Velocipastor opens with a Grindhouse aura with a bold legend across the screen, which reads, “Rated X” by an all Christian jury is this indication of how the film will play out? It certainly has a sense of undeniable humor even this early on. The hilarity and a feel for how the film might roll out continues early on, in a scene in which the pastor, Father Doug, waves hi to his parents only to scream in terror as the car they’re next to explodes into flame. Although the image on screen is merely that of a legend “VFX: Car on Fire”. At this point I can well imagine those sans a love for B/zero to-no budget movies to have dispersed already (would the title alone not give an early indication of where the film might lead and how it might play out?) leaving those with the addiction to such glued to their seats.

Questioning his faith due to the abrupt and untimely demise of his parents Doug, played by Greg Cohan, decides a spot of travelling is in order. But he’s confused as to where to go. Father Stewart is on hand thankfully to offer a few words of advice “Go to where you think God will not follow  (and if he’s there, he’s within you)”

velocipastor driving

A rocking soundtrack finds our Pastor on the road, a myriad of questions and his faith battling for supremacy within his jumbled thoughts.

Doug finds himself in the forests of China, though I doubt his car took him all the way there. After an epiphany that China is in fact East Doug is perturbed to find a lady roll into his view. “Are you hurt/” he asks looking at an arrow protruding from her chest (this is honestly how the film plays out and I’m loving every minute of it) she offers him something and amidst the obvious language barriers he discovers he’s being watched and followed. The artifact in his hand cuts him in his haste to get away. In the next scene he awakens to discover his China trip is through, the following dialogue is plump full of unintentional hilarity and that he’s hungry.

Cut to a street view in which Doug runs in search of something. Meanwhile, a street walker encounters her pimp, Frank ‘Mermaid’ (cus he’s “swimming in bitches”) and discovers his maniacal laugh is worse than his bite and the park is where the money’s at. But there’s also something else lurking in the park. As luck would have it however a rubber suited large toothed reptile comes to the rescue and with this in mind it comes as no surprise that this film relies more on its glaring tongue in cheek nature than its FX departments professionalism and budget. Mannequin heads, crimson syrup and all. Although a synth addition certainly adds to Grindhouse homage and the films somewhat faux tension levels.

VelociPastor the lovers

When they aren’t busy necking Doug and carol enjoy camping and taking down Ninja crime syndicates

In the following scene a slew of close ups and rushed zooms adds to the perceived drama emphasizing the characters facial expressions and reaction to that which seems impractical (to say the least). Confusion, again) unintentional hilarity and blunt dialogue is a huge plus in a scene where Doug realizes he can transform into something his faith tells him never existed. But, more importantly, can he get over receiving advice from a person whom he shouldn’t be associated with?

“Wait…you’re a hooker.”

“And a pre-med at law but people aren’t too surprised at that one!”

After discussing his predicament Doug is still in two minds about his next steps until, that is, Frankie (fuckn’) Mermaid, portrayed brilliantly by Fernando Pachero De Castro, enters his confessional booth.

Various camera shenanigans, close ups in rapid succession, a focus on a gaping wound and incessant screaming overlaid by synth adds to the film’s grindhouse homage vibe and the audience is either loving it or hating it at this point.

Following this encounter a plan is hatched and the groundwork is laid with commandments to follow, which still need to be hammered out if truth be told.

“I don’t know much about God.”

“I don’t know much about Dinosaurs…”

And it appears there’s a new superhero/vigilante hitting the crime-ridden streets.

velocipastor carnage

A budding relationship indeed!

A lengthy montage scene, set to a poppy rock soundtrack, shows the pair building on a budding relationship as well Doug training for his new role as one who cleans up the streets with his claws, tail and hunger. A great touch perhaps a little overbearing but this only add to the film’s awkward nature and lovability.

Doug still keeping with his profession continues to preach and take confessional, in a standout scene he’s caught unawares by Father Stewart (who has concerns about his recent behavior) resulting in him hiding books on dinosaurs like an adolescent caught with porn.

Doug decides to confess. Dramatic music adds to his spill-all. Father Stewart is at odds with what to do, he wants an exorcism and an end to Doug’s ‘hallucinations’ has he been hitting the Bible a little too hard late at night it makes one wonder?

velocipastor hiding dinosaur books

If only it were porn.

Father Stewart, Daniel Steere (a relation to the films creator?), decides the Diacese is taking too long so he decides to take matters into his own hands in taking his companion to an unauthorized expert on the same subject. An inclusion of a backstory (of how the two met) adds considerably more humor, more specifically of the darker variety, to the film, weight to his character and depth to the story (a standout scene includes but us not limited to; a bucket full of guts, a VC trip mine, a visit from a loved one and a thousand yard stare).

Have I mentioned the city’s crime element and ninjas yet? My bad, but seriously this should come as no great surprise! A ninja with an Australian accent who takes his sweet time formulating a game plan of attack, within a small collective of the same (sans the accents) who just so happen to be patrolling the park, adds to the film’s unpredictability and fun and further on-screen antics from the rubber suited one.

velocipastor ninjas vs dinosaurs

Hero, menace or merely a large reptile who poops in the woods?

Further split screen and camera effects (think The Brady Bunch) add an elevated art approach level to the proceedings where it might not have been assumed before. This whole scene could be perceived as being the flashing thoughts being processed within Doug mind and in short conveniently (for those not paying attention) recaps the entire film, up until this point, in only a few seconds. In short, Doug is in love and is about to embark upon enlightenment and a trip to pleasures of the flesh-ville against the teachings of his faith and profession.

Further scenes including the same crime element. and the inclusion of Father Stewart, explain the tenuous link between street drugs, help groups, the Church and Global dominance as if this needs explaining any further, isn’t this already covered extensively in The Lion King?

velocipastor transforms

Much like a similar scene from An American Werewolf in London sans a budget

The Films final showdown depicts surprising fighting prowess (my Kung Fu is better than yours) an emotional Ninja collective and a full torso transformation under, wait for it, complete control, as well more of the same diabolical, though still highly enjoyable, effects. It also brings about the history behind the mysterious Dragon Warrior mythos in case one might be wondering about the history of the artifact.

Velocipastor surprising fighting skills

Wait is that Michael Davidoff, is this another American Ninja entry? nah.

Well, this is a great deal to take in but I’m glad to report that Velocipastor is an especially easy to follow feature. The humor is obviously front and center. I honestly don’t think the same premise could be pulled off given a serious light to work under, and it works (in much the same way Kung Fury does, if you have yet to see this do so at your earliest convenience) leaning heavily on quirkiness, awkward situations and naturally the, elephant in the room, odd ball and bizarre elements, even send ups of several other genres which are all famous for using little to no budgets.

Doug and Carol (played convincingly by Alyssa Kempinski), the love interest who has crippling student debt, steal the film and their interactions and on-screen chemistry are priceless. However, for me it’s the dialogue which propels the film to even greater heights the quirkiness, the blunt nature and dry comedic pacing which has me chortling like one crazed. Naturally this isn’t for everybody, but for those who enjoy the sillier side of the B movie spectrum, the occasional Troma affair and films which can laugh at even themselves whilst holding onto the slimmest of story lines this is a feature which deserves a portion of your time. I would even go so far as to say that this would make a great triple billing alongside the BC Butcher and Kung Fury.

Your slave to cinema which often runs the gamut of unfathomably bizarre

Cult

For those burning with curiosity, like myself, I’ve thought it wise to include a trailer to the original short film (courtesy of the mind behind the prehistoric madness; Brendan Steere) Enjoy.

The Mischievous Traveler
(aka; What the hell is that?)

 

Cuffs

I could feel her gaze upon me. She waited patiently for my response.

A wide expanse of polished wood separated us, its deep mahogany finish reflecting various bland prints, an assortment of framed credentials, and very little reflecting a personal life of any kind without these walls.

Perched in an uncomfortable plastic pastel monstrosity, which was hastily pulled from its position in the dimly lit hallway outside upon our approach, my wrists were bound, as too my ankles. You could say I was in somewhat of a peculiar bind. My presence came complete with a guardian (a police escort in this instance) especially for this occasion. Sat closely to my right, in the second of the room’s plush chairs, it was obvious to any who had a sense of sight that he’d rather be elsewhere. A bored expression plastered across his pale features he stared off into space most probably lost in a daydream of his own making. Perhaps fighting dragons in his underwear or saving a scantily clad damsel in distress? It was anyone’s guess.

I lifted my bored stare from between my feet taking time to look back at the person across from me. The conservative blouse tight across her chest was slightly open. I could see a glimpse of the lace brassiere she wore beneath. I fought the growing urge to smile flirtatiously as I began to speak, I chose my words carefully.

“He threatened me several times, for no reason I might add.”

The truth was I never knew the guy but I wasn’t about to tell my companions this.

“Where was it you knew him from?” She took a moment to brush her pen lightly across a single page atop the small pile of paperwork spread out beneath her fingertips, I’ve seen my name several times already, sometimes highlighted but mostly circled.

I took my time to answer.

Following several moments of silence, she raised her face upwards to meet my own.

“He was my mother’s landlord. She never said a bad word about him, but I could tell he scared her witless. She could barely utter his name without pausing to look around lest he be within earshot.”

“You didn’t live at home.” She looked away unable to hold my unwavering stare a moment longer. Her vision idly fell to a space beneath her pen which had suddenly become very intriguing to her.

She continued. “Did you visit your parents often? Where was your father when all this was taking place?”

“He died from complications of heart surgery back in oh two’. I might be off. But it was at least five years ago.”

He was another to have actually recently perished under the grip of my own hands, I neglected to mention this as I didn’t deem it important to the overall flow of my improvisational tale.

“True, I didn’t live at home, but I felt it important to keep an eye on her as she took the death of my father rather hard. They’d been married for forty-five years.” I blinked several times deliberately and tilted my head towards the floor. In doing so I removed my stare from the ample flesh peeking from between the gap of the, dare I say exhausted, decorative buttons running the length of the psychotherapist’s (quite the title that, and it was in bold typecast ion every one of the diplomas surrounding us) blouse. My shoulders slouched as I began to fidget rapidly, I clasped and unclasped my hands in an act of (practiced) feigned sorrow.

“Ted, I only know his name as my mother had at one time began to feel something for him, began to pop up more and more frequently as I continued to visit.”

“Would you say you were becoming jealous of their relationship?”

What an absurd thing to say. My mother was only that (for this tale’s purpose); my parent. Her business was her own, not mine to delve into and dig around in. Regardless, this was a scenario I was ‘stringing along’, improvising, to keep my rapt audience happy. But alas it seemed that I might also be falling for my own B.S. fabrication. I was getting rather good at this, perhaps too adept?

“I would say he was. More than myself. Jealous, that was! I was always closer to my mother than my father.” That part was true, my father, for the sake of this fabrication had only shown one emotion towards me since birth, it was of seething hatred. I rarely saw him, and only my mother between ‘tricks’. The money she earned kept my father, her pimp, off of her back (which he rarely clambered upon to be honest) and a roof over our heads. I would mention this later if the need arose. I decided to keep this gem on the back burner. I spied a box of tissues within easy reach. They would come in handy later.

“The more I visited the more his dislike for me grew. It was as if he thought that my reason for visiting was to take her away from him.”

I saw a glimmer of understanding cross the face before my companion continued.

“Did the threats immediately commence upon your first visit with him being present?” Her eyes lock onto mine again, her visage had softened somewhat. I wonder if perhaps my tale was tugging at her heart strings, as she began to show tell-tale signs of empathy towards my plight. “Did they develop into acts of physical violence following the initial verbal threats?”

My escort coughed suddenly beside me. Admittedly for a second, I had forgotten he was present.

I uttered a courteous bless you.

The abrupt interruption could not have come at a better time, it had successfully managed to cover the sound of twisting plastic. The fiber of the ungodly uncomfortable shape I’m perched in began to twist and warp as I spoke. I felt a warmth growing in intensity under the seat of my pants as it continued to split and separate. I continued to fidget. I massaged my hands rapidly against each other as if I was suddenly nervous. The dry flesh of my hands made enough noise to mask a slithering noise as an elongated form dropped from between my legs. As its length increased it came into contact with the metal limbs of my chair, the descending movements are unhurried, sans grace of any kind. But most importantly they are out of sight.

I peered through a swath of unwashed hair that hung like a curtain across my face, it concealed a smirk, a facial feature that I found increasingly difficult to control.

I replied. “I can remember him hitching me up against the wall, several inches above the ground with his hand gripped tightly around my throat. His voice was barely above a whisper when he warned me to not fuck things up, as he said he had a great thing going here.”

My smirk widened and threatened consumption of my entire face. I witnessed a look of shock wash across my interrogator’s features, softening them somewhat.

Perhaps she was starting to feel more than just sympathy for me? It’s doubtful, as I’m more than certain that her career regularly placed her in the path of others with considerably worse problems and more violent tendencies than my own (within the tale I’m currently constructing).

“And their relationship turned sour?” She asked as if she already knew the answer.

“It did, after she cottoned on the fact that he was trying to keep us apart. It took her a while, but I believe it was the last brawl we had that connected the dots for her.” I edged closer to the table’s edge never once breaking eye contact, she was enraptured by my continuing narration, it was more than I had bargained for.

“You came to blows. You had physical altercations on more than one occasion?”

“Yes. Often, but this was the very first time that Mother had seen us going at it.”

I feel the fabric of my companion’s jacket brushing against my shoulder as he animatedly shook his head from side to side, had he just awoken from his own bout of escapism. I knew what he was thinking, I often think exactly the same thing fuckin’ trash, get yer shit together.

I continued to play into their hands, giving them something they can more than relate to.

“Love had blinded her to reality, she needed something, anything, anyone to latch onto following Dad’s death. You could say she was easy pickings for the right person if they knew how to act and spin a ‘yarn’.” Ironically this was exactly what I was doing…rather successfully, I might add.

An abrupt muscle spasm sent a shock wave of pain lightening quick throughout my torso, I had a difficult time concealing it as a shudder of emotion, but I managed.

The body I chose to accommodate, some might say ‘borrow’ but it wasn’t as if I had any desire to return it (besides it wouldn’t be in any condition to return) was transforming. I could feel the vital organs within my abdomen shift under the fabric of my shirt. Musculature within my lower region stretched, sinew and cartilage twisted and ground together, an intense heat seared my bones it was if the marrow has spontaneously ignited.

The change was more noticeable now than in the last couple of minutes, I had to fully concentrate in order to maintain my composure and my companion’s ignorance to my rapidly transforming predicament.

“Based on what you have told us it would appear that you might have had a reason for murdering your mother’s lover.” She shot me a sly smile as if to say but we all know you didn’t do it, so you have nothing to worry about.

So smug yet she had not the slightest of clue, or inkling of who (or what) I am.

“Do you know of anyone else that might have had a reason to dispose of him in such a way?” Dispose What a great word. It was exactly what I didn’t do with the slob’s body and thus the reason why I am currently sat here, on display, pleading my, a, case in front of these gullible buffoons.

“Are you comfortable?”

I shifted in my chair. I most certainly was not in the slightest.

I lent forward obscuring a length of wiry flesh that squirmed lethargically, seemingly without a care in the world, past the toe of my boot.

“…do you have time enough that I may be able to work my way through a laundry of people all of whom I was informed despised him.” A snort of laughter escaped my lips as she raised an eyebrow. Her pen fell from her grasp, leaning forward she propped her elbows on the table and made a display of folding her hands.

Through the greasy veil that shielded my vision I saw my mesmerized audience exchange a look. They’re intrigued and apparently hooked on the slop I am dishing out. Good. This should make what’s about to happen marginally easier.

Her chair squeaked as she turns her attention back towards me, after a slight pause she implored me to continue.

I began, pausing momentarily, as the knee of my companion brushed against mine, his form now turned towards me for a better view.

“The upstairs neighbor, Larry, caught up to me as I was leaving one day. He warned me in not so many words that Ted was trouble.” I feigned a cough as I noticed a subtle change in the posture of the person across from me, a near unperceivable tilt of her upper lip, a flirtatious narrowing of her eyes, a facial advertisement expressing both hunger and (was that) yearning. I detected the unmistakable scent of pheromones, released into the atmosphere undetected to everyone else, they permeated the air between us.

A quick glance at my male companion told me he was oblivious to what was going on in front of his eyes. Obviously, he was not as practiced as I in the dark arts of seduction and all-consuming lust.

Pinpoints of flesh pressed against her constricting brassiere as her areolas thickened in excitement. It’s easy to spot desire when you know just where to look and what to look for.

Her ankle was warm to the touch, I felt her legs part and tremble slightly as a roaming part explored, sliding higher.

Just how long does she think my legs are?

The body I possessed had its apparent uses after all.

Who would’ve guessed that a persistent chunk of rigid flesh poking through a hole in a restroom stall would have such useful attributes, even I had to admit my current ‘domicile’ is quite the charmer.

My wandering flesh abruptly encountered moistness; it became slick with excitement as it entered the warm confines of an inviting cove. It didn’t surprise me in the slightest that the psychotherapist was without panties. In my experience it is often these office types that are the most extroverted behind closed doors.

I tilted my head somewhat, narrowed my eyes briefly, she couldn’t seriously think my legs were this long, it’s true though that lust, more often than not, negates common sense.

“…as I was pumping gas on another occasion, I had someone tell me about their experiences with him…” What utter bollocks. I was getting better at this. Where was my Hollywood agent with an attaché case overflowing with cash and a fistful of contracts? I continued, adding fictious names, places and dates where I believed they best fit, laying it on ‘thick’ for the desired effect.

It was at this moment, however, that I was only addressing a solitary individual; my armed escort.

The person across from me had developed a distracted air, or so it would have appeared. The inquisitive nature and scribbling attributes she once so expertly exhibited have ceased entirely, her eyes had taken on a glossy sheen, her complexion has lost all color, in fact she looked deathly pale.

Her motions albeit rare turned jerky and noticeably uncoordinated like a puppet manipulated by an excitable inebriate.

 

I didn’t have much time left.

 

“Felicia?” My overweight guardian moved beside me, registering alarming concern he placed both hands on the glossy surface of the table. Balancing his considerable bulk on the edge of his chair he leaned in for a closer look. He was right too. She appeared frozen, to not put so fine a point on it. Her lips were open but the string of words previously falling from them had come to a sudden halt, trailed off in mid-sentence, it was though her abilities to function in any way shape or form have been revoked as if by a higher power. I couldn’t help but smirk at this thought.

“What the-!” He glanced at me as he turned his head, as if I might have some inkling as to what medications she may, or may not, be currently abusing.

“Yes. Quite peculiar behavior from one so well-educated” I amused him with a brief sardonic comment.

Moments passed but the figure’s statuesque posture remained the same.

A devilish smile perched itself under my nose as I witnessed an unmistakable look of panic creep steadily across the features of the agitated person next to me.

With a grunt he moved as if to rise.

I watched his gaze flutter around the room. It moved from the slightly open window to the closed door, it alighted under the table and onto the lazy twisting movements of what must to him seem like an absurd looking thing indeed.

It was enough to make his jaw drop comically.

He blinked several times in rapid succession in hopes that he was in fact hallucinating. I watched as his gaze followed the limb’s path, he was still rapidly trying to come to terms with the strange tableau that played out before him.

The Psychotherapist’s skirt billowed and lifted slightly from the exploratory writhing movements beneath. I sensed a brief flicker of boyish excitement cloud the air surrounding the form next to me, I would guess that the only action he got came from an array of lurid sites hidden deep within the dankest corners of the world wide web.

Stretched like a taught cord under the table’s width, the appendage continued to burrow in attempts to anchor itself deep into its new host.

My companion twisted and looked to me, we locked eyes and exchanged a comical what the fuck look. It’s strange the way I often make new acquaintances, you could say that the lady and I instantly connected.

The exploring entity is a part of me. And my companion had by now worked this out and also that I wasn’t exactly what I appeared to be.

 

It was only a part of me that took on many varying appearances, all different depending on the form that I have chosen to possess. My companion, my navigator, as it were, originated from the base of my mortal shell’s spine; I don’t feel the need to impart this knowledge though as I think it’s safe to say that his mind at this point was quite literally blown.

 

The movement caused by my constantly exploring attachment tickled somewhat, it raised goosebumps on the layer of flesh covering my borrowed form’s torso.

I push back hard against the split plastic seat under me to break the room’s silence. An intolerable chalkboard like screech filled the room as rubber socked feet slid backwards a few inches.

I kicked out before my dumbfounded companion has a chance to fully react. The chair beneath him span violently, its momentum knocked him off balance. He scrambled as he toppled, pirouetting hilariously like a drunken ballerina.

He fumbled, grasping at the table’s edge, I chuckled as it’s slick surface repeatedly slid from between his spastically clenching fingers.

I stood with a fluid motion (surprisingly unlike a person who has been sat in restraints for the last hour or so) careful not to disturb the wandering part of me that, lately, had become very attached to the inquisitive, conservatively dressed business professional rooted to the spot across from my position.

The metal and chain contraptions previously encumbering my movements fell from around my wrists and ankles and clattered noisily to the ground, having long since lost any semblance of usefulness they might once have had.

A satisfying crunch was like music to my ears. I turned my head to see that my companion’s skull and the table’s hard surface had connected violently with jarring force. The table’s edge continued to thrum like a tuning fork as he crumbled into an untidy heap.

In the unfolding situation of near comedic proportions, a nearby antique lamp, nudged by his flailing motions, abruptly started to rock back and forth on its base. Smoky stained glass reflected muted rays of light in all directions as it finally admitted swift defeat to Newton’s law and plummeted. I chuckled as a dark reflected hue on the polished floor became wider, resulting from the encroachment of crimson liquid across the lamp’s shattered fragments.

I turned my attentions toward my female companion. I hadn’t much time now.

Her form was static and still surprisingly rigid. The movements caused by the writhing form twisting deep inside of her made her flesh vibrate ever so slightly giving her an out of focus air.

Her lip trembled. I could detect a modicum of her spirit still fighting to maintain control.

I moved closer, I lent over and imparted a gentle kiss on her forehead. I muttered a thank you before I easily slide the heavy table aside using care to not sever our umbilical connection. Various papers filled with scrawled notes, recommendations and suggestions, so recently of the most utmost importance, slid from the table and began to litter the room’s floor.

Standing closer I stood over what has now become my plaything and admired her beauty.

Flowing brunette locks framed a slender face, mocha skin covered her exquisite form, presumably a payoff resulting from a carefully planned rigid diet and an effective workout routine. She had a physique many would have good cause to be envious of. But now it was mine to do with as I pleased.

 

With the table absent her form had noticeably slouched forward with nothing to aid in its upright position. I stepped around her chair casually, once behind it I manipulated the occupant into a more secure seated position, taking note not to traipse across the clear liquid that dripped from the expensive leather of her chair forming a rapidly widening puddle directly underneath.

The slightest topple or fall at this juncture would only result in further complications, damage of the product and an unnecessary waste of my valuable time and everything I have achieved so far this morning.

As my tutor was always so fond of telling me work smart, not hard. Take care of the smallest details so that they don’t translate into larger ones in due time.

I had grand plans in mind, but not much time in which to carry them out without raising anyone’s suspicion. Time is constant and one of the only factors that I could not control or even slightly manipulate to assist me in my duties.

I laid my hands atop her shoulders. I felt a searing heat; it burned the skin upon my palms as it continued to travel onward towards the ends of my fingers. Our stance could so easily have been misconstrued of that of a couple relaxing about to exchange a loving massage after a hard day’s labor.

 

I was once human. An abandoned youth turned street urchin, turned hunter.

A gatherer, a merchant, a purveyor of the rarest kind of commodity, ironically a product that is always within easy reach.

 

I sighed as the flesh of my fingers smoked and split. An uncontrollably shudder racked my body as a surge of movement tore at my form’s very core, a violence of such intensity it threatened to rip me in twain. Bleached bone began to peer through flesh as skin dried rapidly into ash. My grip on caramel flesh tightened.

 

As so often happens, my life ended unexpectedly, though that’s not to say that death brought about an end to all of my fun. Looking back, I realized that I had become complacent, carefree, I had begun to think of myself as indestructible. My demise was the best thing that could have ever happened to me, unfortunate and unforeseen of course, but my arrogance was more than deserving of such a fate.

 

My borrowed shell trembled as its inevitable expiration loomed ever closer.

Bodily fluids evaporated leaving behind a dark residue as they were forced towards blistering flesh, every conceivable pore and orifice gaped vomiting waste and bodily fluids (this wasn’t the most pleasant of experience, olfactory senses be damned! It never was. To be honest this was always the part I despised the most) to make way for my eventual exodus. I would never get used to this, it’s the reason why a ‘loaner’ cannot be utilized again.

 

 Following my death, I warmed to a most intriguing proposition. A return to my former calling, to serve a new client, a fervent supporter of my previous achievements. A fan nevertheless, but still the most discerning and demanding of collector. With price being no object and money certainly having no meaning when you’re technically neither alive nor dead.

My new freedoms and abilities are such that I would not have thought them possible before, even in my most vivid of dream.

 

I traversed steadily atrophying muscles as my liquid essence travelled with purpose towards freedom. My former domicile began to collapse in onto itself, the last vestiges of any semblance of structure giving way to form a deflated heap of twisted, rapidly decaying, meat blanketed by a thin layer of humorously ill-fitting fabric.

I plummeted the short distance to a new host, a viscous swarm of liquid menace, one that has been meticulously prepped for my arrival. A fresh domicile that eagerly awaited instruction, warmth and purpose. I opened ‘fresh’ eyes for the first time and looked at my surroundings with a new perspective.

A shadowy pool of muted light from a toppled lamp to my left highlighted a dark suited figure sprawled upon the floor. An unnatural repose amidst a congealing lake of crimson.

Typed leaves of paper littered the space around my feet in haphazard piles, the ink of many smeared from the thick liquid in which they drowned.

A sudden, single, polite knock upon the door pulled my gaze from the chaos of the floor’s new motif; “authoritative figure in a state of unnatural rest”.

“Felicia.” A quiet summons, assumedly a concerned female courteously checking up on her coworker.

“Felicia, are you alright?” Slightly louder the second time around, concern lowered the octaves, the air of professionalism momentarily forgotten.

I apparently had no chance to practice with my body, no period of time in which to familiarize myself with all its limitations and attributes.

I coughed loudly, as if to make an example of my co-workers’ rude interruption.

“Excuse me. It appears I have a matter to attend to.”

“I -…h-heard a noise…” I placed the onus on the person on the other side of the door, in doing so I had made her nervous and apologetic. Distracted, her concerns were in no way related to my voice and how it may sound slightly different than usual.

“I would’ve called. But I didn’t wish to disturb you as I know you have company.”

A note of steeliness lent an edge to her voice, the attempt to Kill with kindness fell on deaf ears. I continued.

“Thank you, Claire.” (I amazed even myself by pulling the name from out the either of my form’s conscious) “The lamp fell over. I tripped over the blasted cord…again. I’ll fix it before lunch, following my appointment with these gentlemen.”

It had already come to an end. The only thing left was escape without raising anyone’s suspicions. Anyone discovering the mess I’d left of “my” office; the collection of quite useless and discarded flesh, someone would raise the appropriate alarms in an instant, placing me in another awkward position. That was most definitely something I would not let happen twice in a single day.

I rose unhurriedly from my chair. A new body always took a little while to get used to. Admittedly, I was enjoying the look and feel of this one having only been in the ‘driver’s seat’ for so short a time. Having reached the door in slow steady movements I placed my hand on its handle and opened it slightly. “Claire. Could you please grab me a towel? I’ve knocked over my drink.”

 

I’d actually spilt a damn site more than that.

 

Cult

 

Please note that any similarities to Lifechanger, a movie released earlier this year (reviewed by me here https://cultmetalflix.wordpress.com/2018/12/18/scorching-the-retinas-storm-of-indy/ ), are purely unintentional (especially since the initial version of this was originally published in December of 2014 within the pages of Thydemonsbescribblin.com. RIP)

 

An Unfathomable Game for any Mere Mortal to Comprehend or The Games We Play

the games we play #2

A vision of incomprehensible exquisiteness towers over me.

A curse escapes lips pursed to perfection, an image that many artists throughout time have tried in vain to capture and reproduce. Rouge portals I’ve traced with my trembling fingers and caressed many times in moments of absolute dream-like ecstasy. However, now pulled back in a grimace of concentration they lend her features a primitive, bestial, appearance that appears utterly foreign upon her angelic form. Nevertheless, a visage of delight the Gods themselves would pledge eternal allegiance to.

Under the torn fabric of her shirt I spy a  multitude of muscles tighten and shift, as she prepares for yet another vicious assault. A snapshot in time I will no doubt reminiscence upon over and over. Thin beads of moisture line her brow giving her an ethereal sheen and I’m reminded once more of what it is that attracts me so about her.

The stout metal rod steady within her delicate yet firm grasp connects with my prone form time and time again.

Ahh – the pleasure! To be ‘deconstructed’ by her. She who remains nameless, for a name could never come close to describing her true essence, a stunning creature that no mere mortal could ever hope to comprehend, even if given an eternity to ponder.

I feel a lung puncture under another powerful onslaught of blows, a kidney flattens into mush, my bladder explodes spilling various toxins across neighboring internal organs. I grunt. Not in pain, but because it seems appropriate.

Through a crimson drenched screen, sight that’s rapidly failing, I spy coiled innards spill lazily from my ruptured torso to spool around my lower extremities. My shell never ceases to amaze me, no matter the number of times I grow another to inhabit.

The vision of loveliness stops momentarily to wipe at her brow. Her physical exertions have caused sweat to encumber her vision. The lines of her classic beauty are silhouetted boldly against the fading light of the day, the image makes my face contort into a faint mockery of a smile the best attempt my annihilated features will allow.

 

The tirade of blows continues, transforming my form into a bloody radius, that of an over-sized artist’s palette consisting mainly of crimson hues dotted by only the occasional and rather faint flash of ivory.

Slipping into unconsciousness I willingly surrender to (that which many ignorantly consider the Reaper’s embrace) my final image is of her face as she utters the words, I love you as she plants a kiss upon my shattered brow. As I descend, I’m thrown back millennia to the first time I glimpsed upon she who shall remain nameless.

It was her aura that I first noticed. Vivid, golden, burning, like the brightest star. Mortals boast, at best, a faint sheen so hers was especially easy to spot from afar.

I followed this vision for weeks (at a safe distance) through numerous trails, across townships, traversing abundant bodies of water and through all the exciting scents and sounds a bustling Middle Eastern bazaar offered before I ventured to start a conversation. However, I needn’t have bothered. It was she who found me. Her bluntness surprised even me as she ‘broke the ice’ with a playful gaze and a wicked grin.

So how is it that you spend time to fill the boredom of eternity? Doesn’t time just seem to flow seamlessly after the first five hundred years.

It was true.

Immortality sounds like a blast. Right. This is only partly true, in fact, imagine all the niggling annoyances one encounters throughout their lifetime then compound them with a constant relocation regime, financial institutions asking copious questions and the overriding anxiety, fear, of discovery. Mary Kay be damned, it’s a curse looking youthful when you never age.

We’ve spent several lifetimes together, with obvious breaks in between lest restless, inquisitive types ‘cotton on’. We’ve danced in bloated corpse strew streets of a city mired in plague. Then returned several centuries later to watch it burn. I impersonated a man of the cloth (rather well I might add) and lit a pyre beneath her feet. The sly look she tossed me in my direction priceless as I watched as part of an excited, ignorant village collective, aroused, as the flames lazily devoured her lithe, twisting, form.

the-great-fire.jpg

Eventually thwart with merely an eternity of boredom to ponder upon we devised and concocted a unique and imaginative scheme. More a string of events, all of which conclude in much the same result.

The premise brought with it exciting new hurdles and intricacies to our existence giving it a sense of excitement where before there was very little, it also kept things fresh and ultimately ensured that pesky mortals must try harder to keep abreast of what in fact we are and what they could never hope to be.

Of course, this ‘game’ has several rules, considerations of the upmost importance we must each perform to ensure it can be played again. Unlike any other however, there is no winning or losing. Its premise revolves around the ‘hunt’ (for there’s a whole world out there where either one of us could be) and the ‘ultimate moment’ one that the other knows is coming, but not when.

 

That instant has just passed. Truth be told it’s an odd fetish, unfathomable to any but a rare few, and enjoyed by both of us in very different ways, depending of course upon our role which has been reversed more times than I care to count.

 

It will be a great while and I have a great deal to accomplish until I get to taste the ‘other side of the coin’. It’s my turn to hunt next. Rest assured when the time comes, I have some truly devious campaigns in mind. New twists to put in place. I may even bend a few rules, replace a great many, or change them entirely…Perhaps rewrite the damn lot? I’ll have a lifetime to decide on the specifics, after all when you have eternity to play with time matters not, only what one does, or is willing to do, to try to coexist alongside its parameters among mortals.

 

But, for now I must rest.

It takes a great deal of energy to revitalize and re-energize (reincarnate if you prefer) to pull myself even close to a position where I might be able to think and plan upon such things.

Strange then that I do not feel the comfort of warm earth around my pulverized and dislocated form. I can only hope that my companion has stuck to the rules and her end of the bargain.

Only time will tell. And I have an eternity in which to wait.

Unmarked-Graves

-Cult

 

 

Bargain Horror Collections, are they worth the bother?

head_explosion

Furthering my quest to unearth buried cinematic gems I continue to dive deep and scour the darkest depths of that which is known, in exotic locales, as the bargain bin. This installment has found me clutching a collection harboring twelve movies, all of which reside on two double-sided discs. Eight of which with the word ‘dead’ in their title so there’s no pondering upon what and whom this collection is based on, and designed for.
horror collection

The Collection under scrutiny

 Without further ado let me be your guide and escorts you into realms enigmatic, mysterious and clouded by others judgments. One more step and we’ll be entering B-moviesville. A county beseeched by horrid acting, plots which are paper thin and direction akin to that of a kindergarten class project. However, keep your eyes peeled, for amidst the varied chaotic ruckus there lies brilliance, undiscovered and unappreciated, cinematic gold ripe for laying the weary peepers upon.
Or, is this another wild goose-chase?
Only one way to find out…let’s take that final step.
(And what better way to get an overview than by watching one movie from each side of both discs.)
Disc two; side A
germz
Germ(z) 2013
Writer – JT Boone
Director – JT Boone, John Craddock
Runtime – 85 minutes

When a satellite crashes to earth it brings with it a virus which turns ordinary peaceful small town folk into crazed flesh eaters with a ‘rage’ like intensity. 
Picturesque scenery, a couple of strong characters, an intriguing love interest and the films pace save this from obscurity. Minimal gore, a story which has been covered many a time before, choppy editing and failed attempts at humor are amongst it’s flaws.
Offering very little to an already overcrowded genre Germ(z) has its moments it’s far from being the worst zombie film I’ve witnessed, but not nearly enough and thus is recommended only to those who have a quest to set the record of witnessing the highest number of low budget zombie affairs (for there are an overabundance from which to choose). 
5
 
Disc two; side B
buck wild
Buck Wild (2013)
Writer – Tyler Glodt, Matthew Albrecht
Director – Tyler Glodt
Runtime – 96 minutes

Country folk encounter city folk on a weekend retreat. Add a Chupacabrea, a horny country girl (Candy), a country badass type, ego and lots of attitude and you have all the makings of a great B movie. So how does Buck Wild stack up?
An oddball assortment of characters leads to quirky, oft hilarious, dialogue and situations, though often awkward, which keep the movie rolling at an enjoyable pace. Jerry (Jarrod Pistolli) manages to steal every scene he’s in with his happy go-lucky Commando attitude. Montages come thick and plentiful and strangely don’t seem at all out of place. The movie progresses to showcase the huge attitude of a small town game warden (played by the director and half of the writing team), family disagreements stemming from the Godfather trilogy being ‘smacktalked’, the complications which arise from not shooting something obviously exhibiting signs of advanced rabies in the head and the possible side effects of consumption of pot brownies by undead types.
Will Tom ever find a pair of pants, will Billy Ray ever come out of the closet and will Craig ever man up and leave his cheating girlfriend?
These are questions I can’t or won’t answer. I will, however, state that Buck Wild was surprisingly entertaining, especially given that it boasts abysmal IMDB ratings, and offered a great deal to enjoy. The buddy element added levity, the humor element worked, it has utterly quotable moments and a number of scenes which although aren’t new do leave quite the impression. Death by frozen fish, anyone?
“Yaytzee!” 
Give this a moment of your time if your penchants stretch to well-crafted films of the lower budget variety drenched in hilarity and crimson and you can forgive the fact that the line “Squeel like a pig” wasn’t utilized once in a movie where it would’ve been especially easy to do so.
8
Disc One; side A
Deadtime_Stories_Vol_2
George R Romero presents 
Deadtime Stories Vol. 2 (2011)
Directors – Matt Walsh, Jeff Monahan, Michael Fischa
Runtime – 102 minutes (3 tales)

George R Romero adds an introduction and various one-liners to a trilogy of short tales.
Deadtime Story #1 – The Gorge
Three friends set out on a cave exploration excursion only to find they weren’t as well-prepared as they initially thought.
Desperation, frustration and hopelessness sets in as the days pass and they are forced to ponder upon the inevitable. 
This segment is rife with surprisingly decent effects, plentiful crimson and a palpable sense of dread. The acting isn’t half bad and the story has surprising depth. A great start.
7
Deadtime Story #2 – On Sabbath Hill
An iron fisted, married, teacher has relations with a student. When complicatons arise both are left in a state of confusion. When Allison (the student) kills herself, in class, the college is left devestated. The professor wracked with guilt, finds his sanity slipping, imagined visions flash before his senses. But worse yet blackmail looms on the horizon.
The acting in this segment is great. A handful of ‘little” touches sublime, while others are stretching the boundaries of bizarreville. A creepy soundtrack adds weight making for a tale that’s surprisingly watchable, if at times a little over the top.
7.5
Deadtime Story #3 – Dust
In a research facility a container of ‘dust’ from Mars is going through final testing to concrete that which several institutions already know. It’s useless and of no value whatsoever. However when a young Doctor thinks outside of the box he discovers something possibly life-changing, especially for a co-worker, the facilities security chief, whose wife suffers from Leukemia.
Without time on his side the chief takes matters into his own hands. Returning home he decides to slip a little something, something into his wife’s meds. After all what’s the worse that could happen?
As it happens the consequences far outweigh those of adding copious amounts of vodka to the water font at a baptism. 
Dark humor finds its way into this segment as well lust, love and an insatiable appetite. All of which collide to form a fantastic climax to an anthology most have never watched or even heard of. This has a Creepshow vibe and an overall aura that’s difficult not to appreciate.
 7.5
In conclusion, this is a collection of films which is far from that sporting Hollywood budgets but isn’t without flair, style and ingenuity. More of a up and coming genre film makers collection this does its job of sparking interest in independant,  fresh, talent and for that it deserves applause. Obviously this isn’t for those yearning for Oscar material though is recommended for those, like myself, who can appreciate the raw, the unfiltered and that which shows promise even without the funds to back the premise up. 
Give this a peek!
 
Disc One; Side B
death from above
Death From Above (2012)
Writer – Bruce Koehler, Mark Hensel
Director – Bruce Koehler
Runtime – 85 minutes

Olympic wrestler Kurt Angle in a movie alongside a few others of similar muscle clad ilk? You bet your ass! 
Tom Savini makes a guest appearance dwarfed by a Monster truck, the ‘Big Blue Beast’ and a collective of inept law enforcement types. 
Demonic looking contact lenses are the order of the day as well ancient texts, an amulet, the occasional mention of Thule (God of the Underworld), conspiracy theories and a collective of classic badass, high octane, vehicles. Mud wrestling, monster trucks, hilarious one-liners (intentional or not) and splatteriffic CGI effects add to the nonsensical silliness.
Robert Z’dar (aka Maniac Cop) makes one of his final celluloid appearances as a tour manager for Anti-Flag which only momentarily takes the attention away from a story that’s thinner than the cardboard which next describes the acting here.
Anyone wishing for a viewing experience that’s up-lifting, life-changing or eye-opening need not bother with this film. However, if you’re up for ninety minutes of testosterone-charged, large engined truck worshiping, cleavage showcasing, cultist shenanigan fueled celluloid this could well be the destination you need to make a pit stop for. But be warned there’s nothing Sci-fi about this as the title might suggest.
“Take that you devil-worshiping sons o’ bitches!”
5.5
 
Bonus (becus’ I started to watch and couldn’t tear myself away)
A of the Dead
Apocalypse of the Dead (2009)
Writers – Vukota Brajovic, Milan Konjevic, Milan Todorovic.
Directors – Milan Konjevic, Milan Todorovic.
Runtime -101 minutes 

Dizzying camera work and impressive, plentiful, FX and pace add weight to this film. On a personal note a myriad of nods to ‘Day of the Dead’ including a character who look like one from the film sparks fond memories. 
Not the greatest of zombie films but this is far from being the worst, it’s action-packed, full of grisliness, easy to folliow even if you’re doing half a dozen different things as well as watching this. And it’s fun to watch if only one can enjoy a film for escapisms sake and isnt looking for a feature to add to the Oscar nominations list.
‘Apocalypse of the Dead’ doesn’t reinvent the genre (but do the undead nap is the question?) though it does offer that which a fan of said genre demands minus dragged out drama scenes and long winded talkie moments.
…”Hell is going to overflow and the Dead will rise forever” not quite “When there’s no more room in Hell the dead will walk the earth” but I’ll certainly toss the filmmakers some points for trying and incidently both quotes fall from the same mouth so someone’s paying attention. Sidenote: Another quote from the same character nods at the title of a celebrated B movie in the same genre “Die you Zombie Bastard!” (2005).
All in all a commendable effort in a genre which is still sporting a multitude of fresh additions, even to this day, some ten years after this was released.
7
In conclusion this was not at all a bad showing. I’d gladly splash another coupla bucks on a similar collection (I own an ungodly amount as it is) if this is any indication of the caliber of the films on offer. Naturally, there will be those who disagree with my findings and opinions, but that’s fine. If everyone agreed what fun would life be. It wouldn’t be fun, but it might be a damn sight easier.
Feel free to share your opinions, thoughts and or recommendations.
Cult

As he tip-toed carefully across the kitchens threshold Edward dared not make a sound. He spied his prey across the room. He took a moment to study her movements, a slight swaying in time to a melodic ditty, a barely discernible tune which escaped her pursed lips as she unhurriedly dried the evenings dishes. Standing across from him, her back turned, she was oblivious to his stealth.

Their earlier meal was improvised, unplanned, rather basic if truth be told but remarkable. Her culinary skills were impressive, She was confident and self-taught but one would never guess as much.

The afternoons waning sunlight cast a silhouette of her lithe form against the opposite wall. She had a physique many envied, and he continued to admire even some sixteen years after they’d  first been introduced. A smile worked its way onto Edwards features as he moved in for “the kill”. She was still blissfully unaware of his presence. Inches away he could smell her perfume, it was faint but intoxicating. He leaned in and nuzzled her neck playfully. Placing the towel and plate in her grasp upon a spotless counter she turned, appearing hardly surprised, revealing the “girl next door”. Freckles highlighted a knowing smirk beneath sparkling emerald eyes.
“Honey, put your feet up. I’ve got this.”
Cradling her slender neck in his hands he stole a kiss. “Beautiful, talented and selfless.” Several seconds disappeared as he clasped her hands within his own. In which time he melted into the unfathomable depths of her beauty. “I don’t tell you nearly enough how much I love you.” She pulled away ending the moment with a childish squeal. “Oh, be away with you…Not in the kitchen, dear.” A Grandmotherly kiss dismissed future shenanigans.
Edward stepped into the adjoining room but couldn’t help himself  “I hope you don’t come to your senses, and realize it’s me that’s the lucky one.” He spied her return to a sink full of suds as her loveliness was lost behind a dividing wall. The phone rang, abruptly yanking him out of his admiration.  He picked up. A simple recorded message asked for a three digit code which he entered without pause or a second thought.

All is ready. Thank you for your business Mr. Brown.”

Brief and to the point. It was to be this weekend after much planning, his long overdue and much-anticipated ‘Business trip’. Although Edward had been married for fifteen blissful years he still had urges. An insatiable ‘itch’ that needed ‘attention’ from time to time. An itch he dared not even ask his closest friend, his wife, to attempt to muse upon, let alone scratch.

   Several days earlier…

It was as if everything was moving at warp speed. At was at times like these that he felt he had a painful understanding of how the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland must have felt.

Late, late I’m going to be late.

And what a day to be late. Clients from the main Corporate office were slated to show. One of the largest investments of the past five years was about to be secured, and he was going to represent the regional office by being unprofessional and… it went without mentioning…LATE. He had hastily kissed his wife goodbye and after advising Bowen, his thirteen year old son, that three hours of gaming a day, usually each morning before school, was more than enough he was throwing his case into the car with no regard for where it fell. He had his fingers crossed that the SAAB didn’t let him down, it had suffered more than its share of problems in the past.

Relax.

He lambasted himself, getting upset and acting like a speed freak heading to the dealers for a long overdue “fix” was no way to act professional. And he knew it. Edward slowed to the speed limit, not the ‘posted limit’, and started a breathing routine to calm his nerves.

He was going to be late.

His hands fumbled for the radio dial. Relaxing music would do the trick, he was sure of it. Rock music pummeled the speakers filling the car with dangerously inciteful rhythms. It didn’t help and he wasn’t in the right mood. He lifted his finger momentarily, a deplorable cacophonous noise many deemed ‘popular music’ filled the car. He couldn’t turn it off fast enough. His eyes scanned the digital dial as the numbers increased in tens. He lifted his finger halting the readouts progress. Adult contemporary. Nothing quite matched the feeling of being stuck in a crowded elevator between floors. Skip that. Where in God’s name was the Classical station?

At last. Vivaldi swept through the car like a welcome breeze to caress his frazzled senses, his digits lifted from the display and he stopped shaking ever so slightly. With his audio conquest complete, a glance toward oncoming traffic told him all he needed to know and nothing he wanted to. His current predicament was not going to improve any. Annoyingly delayed was quickly transforming into getting nowhere frustratingly fast. In fact, he was now going to be later than late. Flashing lights and a long line of smoking exhaust fume vehicles stretched towards the foreseeable distance to signify his calming trick would not work or even help in his endeavors to reach his destination anytime soon or a place of calm.

Fuck it!

Edward allowed anger and unrestrained rage to take the wheel. The car swerved. It wasn’t at like the Carrie Underwood song, his wife liked so much, in the slightest. He passed vehicles and frustration incarnate in the form of pissed off rush hour drivers with the confident realization that he could make the time up.

He could make it.

The cause of traffics obstruction became clear, closer, the sudden realization that he was going too fast hit him like the after effects of gas station sushi. A pair of cars caught in a mangled machinery lovers embrace, emergency vehicles parked wily-nily and segregated crowds, witnesses pointing and staring and thousand yard stare innocents, casualties of vehicular misfortune, filled his view and the windscreen in a blinding flash.

Panic surged through his torso transforming his blood to ice. A change of underwear was in order and more than a couple of stiff drinks when all this was said and done. Unable to control his frustrations any longer his demon driven lead foot came back to the fore, drastic measures had to be enforced. Edward swerved again, apparently His go-to technique of choice, tires spat dirt in a tug of war for traction. Being late now the last thing on his mind Mr. oh-so-professional found himself praying to the Gods of anything and everything to at least make it out of this situation unscathed.

A hurried glimpse over white knuckles brought his worst fear to bear. Eyes connected. Sheer terror and shock shook hands and exchanged email addresses. Disheveled in appearance, with her hair in disarray, she had the unmistakable look of a recent survivor of unexpected calamity. And…Now this. Inches separated her torso from his four-wheeled contraption of her imminent departure from this world. Then the unexpected happened. As if lifted out of the picture by the Reaper whispering …it’s not your time…yet. Complemented by an impromptu magician like whisk of color (hazah!) she was no longer there.  With his heartbeat in his mouth, and his every nerve elevated Edward regained control. The car unceremoniously slammed into overdrive. Road flares tangled in the grill as the engine screamed. As he fled the scene he felt every glance upon him. Guilty.

He was leaving the scene of a crime. But, was it a crime? Something was happening, but it was nothing he had caused. His was a crime of impatience perhaps, but no one was hurt. Shaken, sure …but not stirred. A feminine giggle  escaped his mouth. He laughed again, at his nervousness and attempts at levity. Panic subsided, turned to relief, as adrenaline slowed its frenetic surging. It was then that he heard the amplified screech of abused rubber, an elongated silence and then a multitude of screams. High pitched wails which continued to be haunt him for the next few sleepless nights.

The Day of…

  The day started out well. He’d managed to leave the house on time with no unnecessary distractions. He’d even remembered his case, admittedly it was his daily bane and reason for many a return trip home. The contents today, though, were not the usual. unbeknownst to his loving family this weekend was not the usual work related excursion. It was however, a much-needed break for him from work and normalcy to be honest. As much as he hated to admit it he would miss the normal weekend routine. Bowen you can’t spend all weekend inside. The sun’s shining. Make the most of it…Besides, it was only a few days, admittedly most of the first day and part of the second en route, but it was well worth it. Excitement coursed through his every pore. En route, He enjoyed the somewhat hypnotic white noise of wheel upon worn track on the train ride out-of-state. It was a twelve-hour route, an amount of time he knew he could have shortened if he’d have done the research but it mattered not. In essence it gave him time to unwind, his mind started to wander.

The locale of every ‘Business trip’ he had taken changed each time. Some were closer than others, though none too close as to raise suspicion. Currency never changed hands per se’, rather every detail was taken care of discreetly. Any and all charges legitimate and, if needed, traceable back to a reputable source / business. Asking questions in such a transaction would account to distrust, besides he had yet to be disappointed. Every detail was immaculate and without fault. If only the company He worked in could have dealings with others of a similar ilk and quality. He looked across at the scenery flashing past the windows and felt a gaze in his direction. It wasn’t the first time either, though he sensed that it had become more concentrated as of late. Turning his gaze he looked boldly,  directly, at his admirer. She sat alone several rows down facing him. She appeared to be slender of frame, tall, and not at all hard to look upon. Her unwavering gaze was inviting, and not in the least bit threatening. She didn’t appear to be lost in a daydream. A radiant smile widened as she sensed his gaze upon her. Hers was aimed at him, and him alone. He resisted the urge to twist and steal a glance behind, confidence was not lost on him. He was aware that apart from himself, her and the playfully smile, the compartment was bare. The glance was not therefore needed, though as she slowly approached it appeared tact, wit and charm might be.

“May I..” Again the playful smile and …manners. A skill sadly lacking in today’s society at an alarmingly increasing rate. He became intrigued. “Please…” He stood, showcasing his knowledge of a similar ancient art. He offered her the seat across from him.

She offered a manicured hand and stated her name in measured syllables that dripped confidence.

“Jezebel.”

Edward took the offered hand, he noticed an odd quality to her grip, a firmness. In supplying his name he supplied a moniker, an alias, it was one he had abused before. There was no reason for real identities to be exchanged. Although this was not the reason for his weekend, he was a happily married man, curiosity nudged at his being incessantly.

“Why, may I ask, are you headed outside of civilization. Not much for miles around …in these heer parts..” His comical southern drawl brought forth a tilt to the lips and a slight narrowing of ocher painted skin surrounding eyes of undiscernible color.

Pray to God she didn’t have a strong southern accent, then he’d feel like a right ass!

“Business…mostly.” The reply was playful and paired with a wink which was not hard to read. This was quickly turning into something more than flirting. It had the potential for serious adult shenanigans. Edward chose his next sentence carefully “Hmmm…mostly..?” Raising an eyebrow he continued. “Come to the city muu-!” Her fingers upon his lips cut him short. She winked aggressively and pulled him roughly toward her applying pressure on his shocked open mouth with hers. Practiced hands reached out to find buckles, clips and zips. Edwards clothes were shed, roughly pulled from his seated torso. Her passion vividly exposed with blatant disregard for decency. Shock slowly left his system. This had never happened to him before. With such reckless abandon she has forced her will upon him. He could well imagine others enjoying this scenario, but this wasn’t quite his style, not to mention he was happily married. He separated respectfully.

“Look, look… I think yo-!..” This time a well concealed knife cut his sentence short. He looked down to see its point pressed firmly against his lower swelling extremity. “Shhhh… You won’t have to do much!” She slithered out of her loose pants, it was obviously a well practiced movement. “Perhaps just…” She paused to consider the many options at her disposal. “…lay still.” Another more menacing, oddly playful, smirk contorted her features as she pushed aside silk panties. The movement drew his eyes downwards to alight upon ‘her’ excited sex.

She was a He. And it was larger than his own, was very much engorged, standing to attention, and was more than primed ready for action.

“Turn around lover.”  A delightfully cheeky pat on the his behind was probably the worst mistake He/She could have made. Having had a knife pulled upon him made Edward a little peeved, however he wasn’t scared. Unlike ‘Her’ advances this had happened before. The position of said knife was merely a catalyst for his controlled fury. A chopping hand to the throat cut his aggressor down in an instant. Gasping for air Jezebel lay prone. The tables had turned.

With a fistful of hair Edward unceremoniously dragged his attacker from the compartment. Strangely he couldn’t help but notice that that her hair had a coconut aroma a silky luxurious feel and felt real. Wheezing and certainly in some degree of pain Jezebel cried out, pleaded but that there was no one in the vicinity to take note. Naked and not caring Edward tore open the interconnecting door between cabins with little difficulty. Country air assaulted both aggressor and victim with sudden viciousness. A stuttered groan of an apology was the last thing to fall from Jezebell’s lips as the countryside rushed to meet her catapulted form.

Any more surprises? Edward uttered as he reentered the cabin. The whereabouts of his clothes and the trains lack of passengers a complete mystery.

The car was where promised. And the keys were in Edward case. They had been mailed in a plain brown envelope, such was the custom and practice of the one he referred to as merely the “Supplier”. Never failing to be anything but professional and reliable, he, possibly she, had quite the opportunity to impress in real world dealings, if the opportunity ever presented itself. Though, Edward surmised, why would it. He reflected back on this and past transactions and the impact it had taken on his ‘secret’ savings account. It led him to believe this was a very lucrative business indeed. He preferred not to think about the number of people delving into such activities such as this. It was all about him, this weekend and this excursion. He worked damn hard and deserved to be able to enjoy anything he chose. He wasn’t after all hurting anyone or even himself. Truth be told this was something he  never discussed with anyone, even his closest of friend. Although their tastes, admittedly, ran to things quite jaded at the best of times. A splash of a memory flashed across his mind, a scene in a Mexican border town several years previous. Underage participants, copious amounts of liquor and hashish only a background to the travesty of depraved fetishes eagerly participated in.

Closer now Edward positively shivered with delight. Three years had passed since his last ‘Business’ foray. It had been a literal nightmare locating the destination. He had made the mistake of asking locals, in an area he thought to be close, for directions. Instructions were imparted in such a way that afterwards he believed he knew more about the local farm and history of the area and it’s celebrities, than he did the actual location of his interest. “Locals”. Gotta love em’…quite the source of amusement and …frustration. He had taken special note, this time of the destinations location. He was very pleased with the vehicle supplied. It was inconspicuous to say the least, a late 90’s Ford coupe (the SAAB was in a parking lot awaiting his return). As a younger lad he had owned virtually the same model, practically the same color. Was it coincidence, or did his ‘associates’ know more about him than they let on? For security reasons perhaps. The thought slipped as his memories slid back into his youth. He remembered vividly smoking the Fords tires to impress friends. He had made quite the impression on his parents one night as he returned home late, his car strapped to a tow truck black smoke billowing from the tires and a still smoldering engine compartment.

“In one mile you will reach your destination”.

The robotic navigational voice brought Edward out of his youthful recollection. He’d learned his lesson from his last foray into nowheresville and had chosen immediately upon his return home to invest in navigational technology. It had worked! Time was apparently on his side, even after the distraction on the train. He pitied the poor fool who was given the duty of cleaning that colorful mess up. Although he was certain the forest wildlife would get their share first, not to mention that future commuters would be spared the surprise, one of many to be honest.

Following further emotionless automaton instructions Edward nosed his rental into what appeared to be a driveway without end. Overrun with greenery ...even “Shrubbery”… (Edward giggled like a toddler on Christmas morning. Monty Python’s brand of off-beat humor still made him chuckle) it was hard to make out where the lane directed him. Being that much closer to his destination made him giddy, if truth be told. He brought the vehicle to a halt. The driveway had opened up. The myriad of tangled vines scratching at the cars paint had disappeared the shocked scurrying forest dwelling critters yelling their discontent were no more. At one time, Edward mused, the structure before him had been useful but it now lay abandoned and forgotten. It wasn’t until now, however, that it had finally been given a purpose, of sorts.

Edward collected a rucksack, his case left unsecured in the cars front foot well. He left the car unlocked, he didn’t expect anything to happen this far from civilization, and strode leisurely toward the partly boarded up weathered stone construct. If he were to guess he would say it was a mausoleum, but having no experience in such matters he wouldn’t place money on any of his assumptions. He pondered on what other uses it could have had in its past. It had been here for some time he was sure of it. The architecture was classical, Gothic in tone. The building was square, windowless and devoid of any semblance of charm, unless of course that was your style, then it was glorious, and all you could ever really hope for.

Three steps brought Edward to a large door, which was surprisingly easy to open. He stepped inside. After a moment of fumbling his fingers found more than a little dust and a switch (in a mausoleum?). Light flooded the interior of the room. A quick scan showed it to be near monk bare, all apart from a raised ancient looking stone dais in its center covered by a cloth devoid of decoration or marking. A smirk touched Edwards lips. He pulled the impressive wooden door to a close and prepared to let the outside world and all that came with its baggage fade from his thoughts.

After placing his rucksack in a corner of the expansive room Edward carefully removed an item. He scanned for an electrical outlet. If there was a light switch there was sure to be an outlet, right?

The beauty and delicate prose of timeless music filled the chamber. The music was somewhat fitting. After finding a volume to his liking Edward rose then strode towards the center of the room and the interiors only deserning character. With his heart racing and his excitement level reaching ever more palpable  heights he brought his steps to a halt. Edward reached out to touch the clean surface of the shrouded stone. His head swam with a blend of euphoria and giddiness. With his digits upon the sheet a thrill, an electric current of sorts, coursed through his entire being. Moving not a muscle he succumbed to a flash, a childhood recollection, which abruptly flooded his senses.

As a child Edwards summers were spent in the deepest of countryside, far from the city, with his grandparents. His father worked long hours, slaving to only barely meet the most demanding of overdue bills. His mother had died when he was very young, if truth be told he wouldn’t even be able to describe her features if requested to. In his earliest of memories only a fatherly presence came to mind, the only maternal presence apart from his sweet grandmother, who was ever present with baked delights and warm embraces. Any memories of a mother or surrogate fading fast, words short and conversations brief as to the reasons why. Regardless, his childhood was rich in adventure, exploration and experience. Rubbing on even the most regal and bejeweled Genies bottle would not grant a better one. Within one such long summer day he had opted to explore under shade, in a wooded area a stones throw from the lake that adjoined his grandparents vast property. With stick in hand he beat his way deep into uncharted lands and adventure. Arrrr – Mateys treasure be here for the takings, keep yer eyes peeled, near by it be buried… Like a sledgehammer swung at the midsection Edward recalled his Pirate skulduggery suddenly cut short. His stick, mid swing, had lodged in an object covered in a mass of decaying leaves. An overriding stench unlike anything smelt before rose from the dislodging of his play sword. Intrigued the young explorer cleared the leafy pile foraging for the unknown, the smell only added to his curiosity. Treasure be damned, this was something …tangible, not fake like in a cartoon and it was unlike anything he had ever witnessed before. Not even on late night shows which his father watched that he had managed to sneak peeks at, stealthily hidden by stair banisters and a comforting blanket. He continued to prod with the stick in his grasp, it was no longer merely a play sword, but it produced no response only further curiosity. How and why was this here and buried? Edward had seen an occasional dead animal, it wasn’t rare. His grandparents owned several animals, though not enough to call their property a farm. A visit from a malnourished predatory animal amongst the smaller of these animals was an annoying regular occurrence, especially during the colder months. This was no animal though, this was larger than even himself and decidedly ‘not around to smell the roses anymore’ (using his grandmas quite poetic words). There was no mistaking it, this was a body, it was human, naked and… female. Edward vividly remembered the feelings and emotions that fought for control in his young body. He was only eight years of age and before the naked female form was of little or no interest to him, though now it was starting to arouse interest, and something else, varied odd sensations throughout his whole being.

The bodies neck lay at an unnatural angle covered in blue and purple bruising, the eyes were glazed over, long dirty blonde (he supposed the color once might have been) hair tangled in low lying weed and clumps of dirt. Her arms were tight to her torso slender and pale. Her chest was unlike his own, ample, and reminded him of deflated balls, the over sized ones that were especially easy to pop. When touched they amazed and fascinated him making him of think of a sizable amount of jello on a plate, which usually remained untouched in the fridge. He couldn’t stand the stuff! No color or flavor he remembered ever looking as these did. Her legs and lower parts made his insides feel strange, utterly foreign yet oddly enjoyable. The word naughty came to mind and he could well imagine his Dad bursting upon the scene demanding an explanation.

Her legs, slightly opened, invited his gaze to the patch of hair and the forbidden/tempting area in between. Again the stirrings in his gut and… lower still. A growing tightness in places he’d never really thought that much about, until now. Edward had no idea how long he had stood there utterly transfixed, unable to concentrate. Eventually and very reluctantly he decided to cover up his discovery. He marked the spot with a pile of small stones. He would return many more times over the remainder of that special summer. Always vigilant of discovery the visits became shorter, less frequent. Succumbing to the inquisitiveness of pesky critters and the ravages of decomposition the body finally lost its enchantment. And lay abandoned, but not by any means forgotten.

Many years had passed since then, and Edward had never reached the same state of wonder and utter captivation that summer had provided. That was until his first chance encounter with the one who he still referred to as the “Supplier”. A conversation struck up not through a fetish site, for he had prowled thousands of these in his unquenchable dark thirst, but ironically enough in the least menacing of chat room. The Internet and its many delights had indeed proven invaluable in his enjoyment of the most unmentionable of vices, all the more reason why he prefer his son not to loiter.

Quivering with unabated childish excitement Edward coyly lifted the sheet careful not to show the face beneath. He would leave that till later. He was not disappointed. The Mortician proved him/herself yet again a master craftsman. The torso displayed no signs of trauma, weapon or foreign object abuse/entry, bruising of any kind, or dislocation…nothing. Perfection. This ‘specimen’ was a female, they always were upon his specific request. Edward was a fetishist but strictly heterosexual. The forms flesh was pale, slightly blue in hue and cold to the touch Edwards hands began to wander. Quivering and goose flesh covered they certainly felt a chill, be it unmistakable unrestrained excitement or temperature he could not be entirely sure. From what he could make out, without revealing the face, the forms hair was clean, dirty blonde in color and fanned out falling close to the floor. The effect giving her an ethereal aura, a beauty in eternal rest. A flash of dark humor produced a smirk as Edward mused upon his companions eyes and whether or not she had enough tariff to pay the ferryman. He was getting giddy.

A clang abruptly resonated throughout the chamber as Edwards belt and pants dropped to the floor without a care. He could no longer control his urges, although if truth be told he really wasn’t trying, it was all admittedly a little too much to bear.

The centuries old arrangement of melody and majesty accompanied the act of an atrocious appetite. Foreplay. Edward closed his eyes and let his hands continue to explore. The movements quickly turned feverish in their intensity. Initially an exploration transforming into ravaging unrestrained molestation. With his heart pounding Edward yanked the form closer, the friction caused by the contact of lifeless rock and livid flesh producing an odd sound, much like a innocent frolicking in a bathtub.

With his loins alight with uncontrollable carnal desire Edward thrust forward. Foreplay be damned! The moment of penetration was exquisite and every core of his being screamed for release. So soon. His pleasures already at a state warranting the patience and concentration of a trained Zen acolyte.

He continued. Slow at first, delicate strokes to help the unyielding passage widen. (Edward had learned his lesson upon first venture into the depths of one without pulse and made sure to not make the same mistake again. The chaffing had lasted for weeks along with a string of various excuses, that bordered on the ridiculous and awkward, for the sudden lack of marital relations. Suffice it to say he always carried a ‘slick’ friend with him on these infrequent endeavors.) Tenderness rapidly turned to brutality as an ancient animal-like lust overtook his senses. Engorged and ferocious the thrusts become bestial poundings devoid of rhythm though overflowing with intent. As his movements transformed into more uncoordinated and ferocious territories Edward struggled to remain upon the table. His flesh becoming scraped, rent and torn, his knees bloodied, hemorrhaging crimson. His once tender hands became fists, tendons angry and corded muscle rigid. Glancing down Edward witnessed, as if floating above his own body, his posture and demeanor change. He began to tear at the forms neck and hair, pulling, adding to his leverage enabling his throbbing loin to plumb further into emotionless depths.

So close now. On fire. His lower extremity begged for climax. A sudden sound like a guitar string snapping broke his concentration. He searched for its origination. His thrusting continued unabated, as he gave it no heed unable to locate it’s source in the instant. A branch outside perhaps, or an inquisitive critter?

A low cracking sound, that of a wind up toy twisted beyond its limits, caused him to abruptly glance upwards. He watched, aghast, as the abused bodies neck slowly tilted toward him. The sheet started to slide ever so slightly, then more rapidly as the movement continued. Finally it crumpled to the floor revealing, in entirety, the figure upon the dias, beneath Edward, still encompassing his swollen excitement. The figures face expressionless yet there was something. Its mouth twitched then its lips turned at the corners splitting the morticians string holding it closed. Slowly the semblance of a crooked smile formed. Blind eyes flicked open. Only inches apart Edward, drowning in shock, flinched as the abused forms mouth opened in a large O. Matching his own in a noiseless shrill terror scream. Coming to his senses Edward scrambled to withdraw. Realizing his lower extremities  bloodied and slick with crimson his movements became frenetic. All to no use,  purchase was unobtainable and he fell flat eyes wide open upon the object of his desire. Her lifeless flesh against his sweating lust fueled torso. A sudden vice like clamping sent synapses firing at lightening speeds. Edward lost it and panic took ahold. With fists raised he started to pummel at his companion, but it didn’t help. Bones shattered, and the flesh turned to tenderized pulp. But still to no avail. Mr Brown continued to slip and slide upon the table of atrocity, claret hued fluids keeping purchase at a minimum. With Leverage finally attained Edwards bruised knees pushed back against the dias’es edge. An audible severage as if tree succumbing to the storms wrath he toppled backward. Landing in a crumpled heap his mangled and torn sex sprayed a fountain of gore.  Swimming in abject confusion, the pain not yet overriding  the shock, Edward vainly attempted to stop the arterial flow. His wrists and lower arms saturated in life’s sweet nectar and with his body not responding to his commands A Realization hit home, the accelerated blood loss and unabated flow coupled with no means to hold it at bay meant one thing, death was near. Edward lifted his gaze to baleful dead glare. A flashback of the past days events brought recognition. The flashing lights, the emergency crews, the crowd, the solitary unkempt figure beside the mangled lovers embrace of steaming metal…and the screams that would haunt him for several sleepless nights after. The cadavers face melted, shimmered and contorted. It became another. One he instantly remembered but always thought erased from his memory. Edward uttered a single word in a tone not heard used for many years…”Mom”. It was his last. His body twitched a final time then surrendered to the summoning of the Reaper, slumping defiantly into an ever widening radius of claret.

The overhead light flickered and, in time, died. But the dead smile remained.