“Alexios III (and IV and V) in Hell”

An unpleasant reunion in the afterlife.

A cackling demon prodded Alexios III.

Hellfire licked the soul and soles of the former emperor. 

Although only recently deceased, the weary man tired of eternity in just a few seconds. 

“Stop these abuses!” Alexios III finally pleaded. “What have I done to receive such vile treatment?”

The demon laughed even wilder after hearing these words.

“Tell me! I beg you! Why do I find myself in this pit of fire?”

The demon twisted a gruesome face into a smile.

You’d have to ask them!”

A gnarled finger extended toward the chained skeletons of Alexios IV and Alexios V.

 

 

Back to the Beginning: “The Fountain”

“The Fountain” originally appeared with Twisted Sister Lit Mag in February of 2017. This post consists of a slightly updated and reworked version of the original.

The storm had sunk the Consuelo and the Santa Sara, leaving Francisco Herrera and Rodrigo Ibanez as the only sailors able to reach a nearby island. Anacaona, a female savage enslaved on an earlier voyage and trained to translate for the Spanish, washed up on the beach a short while later. The three survivors, greatly fatigued from their struggle in the sea, rested for a day on the sand.

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“Outbreak Along the Railroad”

Zombies of the Gilded Age!

The express arrived at a deserted depot.

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“The Vampire Hunter’s Apprentice III”

“Our next quarry has a knack for shapeshifting.”

“Crucifix?”

“Check.”

“Garlic?”

“Check.”

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Back to School Special: “Snowslide”

She had somehow landed on the ceiling.
The Pullman was upside down.

Drawing inspiration from the Wellington avalanche of 1910, I wrote “Snowslide” in February of 2017. This piece originally appeared with Fictional Pairings in March of that year and was paired with “039” by iazabo

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“A Warlock in Virginia”

A loner carefully plies the dark arts in postbellum Virginia.

The hovel was only barely visible in the moonlight, appearing to cant to one side in a grove of ancient oaks. The shack didn’t have any windows, but thin lines of light outlined the doorway.

A lingering trail of smoke faded into the night above the roof.

Someone appeared to be home.

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