Between two trees exploded into boulder stumps, Elemmírë raised a fist. Behind him, ten figures, barely visible above the gloom and bloom, dropped to their knees and scanned the street. They relied solely on the ghostly green readouts from their face masks, as their actual sights would have been distracted by the feral tapestry of flowers, the result not only of civilization gone wild but the biodegradable ammunition being used in the War. Inside each bullet was a gene seed which, when struck by fire, would sprout by day’s end into a single flower. It’d been the only agreed-upon convention between the elf factions—a way of turning war zones into gardens, of reducing the carbon imprint from endless shelling.
For a heartbeat, Elemmírë’s Sight picked up a cracked skull, lilac seeping out like purple brain. Then he was Focused on the lights of armored cars bouncing across perforated rock-wake. A set of hand signals and the Ten disappeared, their gaudy red-and-gold camouflage blending with laceleaf and marigold. What Elemmírë’s scouts were about to do was an ugly thing; an undignified ambush of a supply convoy. But in another way, a way beyond the soulless tactical hell of battle, they’d be returning motorized death-cannons and plated mercs wearing the ears of enemies around their necks to the serenity of nature.
Whatever Our Souls published my short story “Dredge” in their June 2017 issue (see its Amazon page if you’re interested in buying the issue—paperback is $7.99). My short story introduces Dredge, a plant zombie and necromancer who just wants to be left to his bog garden and tea. Eventually I’d like to pit this character against paladins, but for now a petty hero will suffice.
Whatever Our Souls is a digital/physical print publication devoted to pushing the peculiar, especially stories that would usually “struggle to find acceptance in traditional literary magazines.” This means everything from “space wolves” to “mutant rabbits.” One unique feature of the magazine is its internal competition between its two editors (Team Pollux and Team Castor). Each editor posts their MVP (“Most Valuable Prose”) to the website,and readers have the opportunity to vote for a “reigning champion”*
*Quotes from the site’s homepage.
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The Open Arms Charity was created in 2010 by the National Rifle Association as a way to reach out to communities in need. The goal of Open Arms is to provide as many handguns as possible to homeless American citizens who otherwise would have no means of armament.
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Open Arms is looking for donations in cash, check, or caliber. Give a helping handgun to those in need and donate today! As Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give a man a dollar, he’ll spend it on beer. Give a man a gun, he’ll have nothing to fear.”
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Today, we crossed a field of grass bordered by the black-and-yellow bark of Ponderosa pine, and we stopped and took it in. The sun-through-the-clouds coated us in a bluefire, and when I looked at my friends, at Jo and his plate-mail, at Lobard and his mad beard, and they at me, in my deep cloak with a celtic braid, holding a longbow, we had to laugh. It seemed exactly like we were a fellowship for some quest, maybe to steal from a gluttonous dragon, or to stop a cult from resurrecting their god, not a couple of Ren Rats surveying the clump of trees behind a parking lot.
“I don’t see any signs,” said Lobard, plucking some fern. “Don’t smell them, either.”
I remember taking a sweet breath, feeling the wetness in the air and the aged-wood and butterscotch of pine. Relishing in the thought: the dead aren’t here.
Continue reading “Zombie Fiction—”Ren Rats””