Claws Red, Fangs Snapping

Terry Whidborne's latest sketch

Terry Whidborne’s latest sketch

She drew her cloak tighter around the ragged edges of her breath, trying to disguise the rapid rise-and-fall of her chest. She pulled her face-mask closed, to hide her lolling tongue and to cover the sound of her panting. To conceal the spatters of blood and the tracing lines of intestines on her skin-suit.

 

Voices rose up  behind her, shrill and panicked, reaching a crescendo as she turned the corner.

 

She had to convince herself to slow down, to control her footsteps. The wet cobblestones shone, and seemed to guide her along her path. She caught her breath, crouching down against a rough-scaled wall – she left a patch of crimson on the stone as she moved. Her tongue arrowed out from between razor-sharp teeth, picking loose scraps of gristle and fat, tasting the flavour of him on her lips. She smiled, a withering smile, and was disappointed that she had no-one to direct it toward. No matter. She let her mind replay the gory scene from which she had so recently fled, and the smile returned.

 

She saw the signal, the twin spirals in the sky, clouds-where-there-should-be-no-clouds.

 

Claws red, fangs snapping. 

 

The memory was not quite as delicious as the act.

 

The spirals, the disguise, the soon-to-be-dead.

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Little Monster

I’m burning up,

temperature rising.

Stomach cramps,

savage, aching pain.

Who will save me?

The hell inside me burns,

unchanging, unchangeable,

little monster.

Soon to be born

and soon to set

the world

ablaze.

Stop Freaking Out About Ebola

My latest article is up on Gate 37:

Stop Freaking Out About Ebola!

At least you haven’t contracted St Vitus’s Dance…

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Promised Land

Caution: Radiation Controlled Area. Creative Commons 2.0 photo by Oleg.

The door groaned closed, and Brother Ponder groaned also, dropping onto one arthritic knee before it. He shivered beneath his cloak, and ran gnarled fingers over the rusted hinges, whispering his solemn thanks.

For each drop of the sacred ointment he chanted prayers and blessings, his fingers tracing delicate ruins as he massaged the oil into the metal. This door had kept them safe for so long, through careful attention and the proper ritual. His father had taught him the words and the motions, that had been passed down the generations. Keep the faith, say the right words, sing the right songs and the door would hold.

He whispered his thanks, and moved on to the next doorway.

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Night-walks in Toowong

Laughter and screams

And drunkenness echo down

From window-box apartments

Bright against the starless sky.

I fill the empty street.

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Black Cat

I crossed paths

With a black cat

Hidden in darkness.

She watched me,

Watched me go,

She is the night.

I live a charmed life.

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The Night Closes In

Possums perch,

like gargoyles or grotesques,

guarding tree-branch archways and crippled, leaning fences.

The night closes in.

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Skin

The bugs flow, green-blue, scratching beneath his skin.

Not hallucinating.

Each new egg bursts, exquisite agony, life-from-death.

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Like Claws

Her hands were like claws, tight and cold, still clenched into fists.

He lay on the floor, and the rust-red pool around his head thickened.

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These Hands

Sunday Sketch - Tezzabold

Sunday Sketch – Tezzabold

His fur was matted, with blood and flesh and gizzards.

What had he done?

The taste of it was in his mouth.

He wanted more.

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World’s End

There are so many ways

to destroy a world.

But in the end

his native violence took hold,

and he tore it apart,

to the screams

of millions.

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Ashcan Comics Needs Some Help!

So, Ashcan Comics (a Brisbane-based, independent comics publisher) needs your help.

They’ve got a huge backlog of comics, and need to free up some space in their warehouse.

And make some cash so they can keep printing cool comics, can buy tables at cons…all those sorts of things that I have no idea about when it comes to being a publisher.

My short story UTOPIA is illustrated in Issue 9. Is that a graphic short story? I don’t know.

Awesomely, they don’t just publish super-hero comics.

If they publish them at all. Mine’s sci-fi (surprise!)

Anyway, buy some. Help an indie publisher out!

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A BURNING DESIRE: The Culture of Censorship

A page from Maurice Sendak’s THE NIGHT KITCHEN, one of the most frequently challenged books in the United States (because it shows a penis!)

So, my latest article, A BURNING DESIRE: The Culture of Censorship, is up on the Kill Your Darlings website.

It focuses on literary censorship, especially the recent banning of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes in ALDI Supermarkets, and on censorship in general, particularly in Australia and the United States.

Let me know what you think!

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The Boys are Back in Town (part 4 of 4)

Image by Kessiye – via Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

I can wait.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Boys are Back in Town (part 3 of 4)

Stormtroopers Advancing Through Gas – Otto Dix, from his Der Krieg series

In flying drones

and limbless children.

In falling bombs

and chattering machine guns.

Beheaded men, stolen women.

In your talk of peace

I lurk.

Glory, honour, destruction.

I am in you.

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The Boys are Back in Town (Part 2/4)

Victims of the Great Famine, India, 1876-78

Distended, swollen bellies, meandering flies.

Scrape your plate clean. Throw it all away.

Thigh gaps and size 0′s.

You are not good enough.

You are not good enough.

You are not good enough.

Eat less. Waste more.

You are too fat.

Eat less. Consume more.

Forget about those hungry children.

They live so far away.

You are not good enough.

They don’t have enough.

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The Hidden World of Underground Cities

Derinkuyu Underground City in Cappadocia, Turkey (photograph by Nevit Dilmen/Wikimedia)

My latest on Atlas Obscura -

From Defence to Desperation: Why There is a Hidden World of Underground Cities

The Boys Are Back in Town (Part 1 of 4)

Image by Roger McLassus, used under Creative Commons 3.0

 

 

Rust spreads at his touch,

in delicate filigrees,

erupting from his fingertips.

Corruption flows in his veins,

lifeless,

undeath.

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A Sort of Justice

Southwyck House, by Kibwe X-Kalibre Tavares

“Who in the name of Hell was that?” The gunshot echoed in the hallway, deafeningly loud – I lay face-down on the floor, counting the seconds, counting my blessings. A fist-shaped hole punched through the wall above my head. It bled slowly, trickling plaster down to cake in my hair. “I’m gonna need a bucket of tea after this.” It sounded like a whisper, even inside my head.

“Third Precinct,” the Boss said, “bastards. They’re trying to snatch the case.” He stood up, adding the roar-and-click, roar-and-click of his hand-cannon to the sound of shrieking civilians. The leaning walls of the capsule hotel were grimy, the rust-water pooling on the concrete floor. Shells hissed in protest as they hit the puddles. My own gun shook as I drew it, caressing the fingertip identifier. There was no way we were going to lose this case to a bunch of pricks like Third. We had only a glimpse of the corpse as it lay there on the cold floor – I had no fucking idea what was going on there.

And neither would Third, if I had anything to say about it.

The Boss flicked a flash grenade around the corner – visors down, we chased after it.

“Second Precinct!” I shouted. The Boss just shot one, clean through the top of her head.

“Looks like a double homicide, eh, Constable?”

“And it looks like we found our prime suspect, Boss.” I grinned beneath my helmet. All he could see were my teeth.

And my baton, as it swung down.

The first victim’s lower intestine was looped around his neck, and an ankle was missing. As well as a couple of his teeth.

This bastard from Third would pay for that.

The Boss would come up with his usual, intangible proof.

And the killer could keep us in a job.

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