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Long time feoamante.com contributor Mike Oliveri, busts out with his first hardcover novel.

"The horror genre has a new name to watch."
-RAY GARTON

"Rife with action, sex, and carefully-crafted characters . . . a strong new voice in the horror genre,"
-BRIAN A. HOPKINS



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feoamante.com contributor David Whitman and Weston Ochse have created a series of new legends in a book that has become one of the best selling small press Horror Collections of the century.


MICHAEL T. HUYCK JR., former fiction editor at the leading Goth Fiction Magazine
CARPE NOCTEM, Nuclear Power Plant worker, and generally cool guy, presents us with his second short story here at Story Time. His first one was called MIDNIGHT SWIM. Something tells me that Mikey here has that "sinking feeling".

 

Michael T. Huyck Jr.'s

Copyright 2000 by Michael T. Huyck Jr.

FROM THE NECK

Claren didn't catch the glow until he reached to turn on the front burner. Chrome trim surrounded the burner knob, chrome trim stained in blue.

He spun, but nothing blue burned behind him.

Claren faced the stove again, then turned back quickly. Nothing. He set the pan of vegetable soup down, his hand starting to shake.

"Nothing," he mumbled. "Nothing." He lit the stove, watching a flaccid pea sink into the orange liquid. It bobbed back up.

"Nothing," he repeated. The burner filled the air with the odor of hot metal and meals overflowed. The soup warmed, then frothed. It filled the pan with spastic herds of white-lace ebullience. The pea danced.

Claren poked at the rebellious vegetable with his wooden spoon, then took a large, stained plastic bowl from the cupboard. He pulled the pan from the stovetop and poured.

The pea sank, but only momentarily. It resurfaced beside two perfect orange squares of carrot.

Two squares of carrot and the blue glow. The blue glow on the stove.

Claren closed his eyes and set the spoon down in the soup. While both knees fought collapse his right leg over-reacted, slamming its crown into the shadowed glass of the oven door. Lightning bolts of pain arced up his thigh and down his shin. The oven door rattled and Claren backed away, staring at his feet.

From the necků

The tips of his shoes wavered.

From the neck first, you know. You've been doing this for a while. It's the guarantee.

Claren shook his head. He wouldn't cut her at the neck. He wouldn't cut her at all. He couldn't. She could drown with her neck intact. She didn't have to bleed to be silent.

The glow flared, shining back from the chrome of the stove and the dark glass window above the sink. Blue glow everywhere. Even off the tile counter.

Turning again, he caught it. He caught her.She sat just behind him, her body and her chair glowing.

Arms taped to the chair, legs taped to the chair, lips taped together. Her hair spreading in dark snakes around her head.

"I didn't cut you," he whispered, backing into the apparition. His knees disappeared into the pool of light that was her lap, the juxtaposition of his flesh and the glow creasing with bent shadows. Her flared nose hovered just inches from his elbow as she looked up at him, her face straining and contorting to stretch the tape from her lips.

Continuing to move, Claren backed through the glow and to the edge of opposite wall. She continued to stare up, up at the ceiling. Up and away, as if he didn't stand there at her side. As if he hadn't been the man who'd taped her to the chair and the weights and sent her to the stinking mud of Rowlin Marsh.

"I didn't cut you," Claren repeated. The girl in the glow didn't acknowledge the defense.

Dropping to his knees, he pushed north through the kitchen. The cool vinyl melted into coarse shag carpeting as he hit the dining room. No lights burned, and thankfully, no blue glowed. Behind him the vaporous shining ebbed. Cool dark flowed over his azure guilt.

Claren gripped the carpet, squeezing the fibers between his fingers. They burned, of course. Burned hot against skin recently cooled by marsh water.

Marsh water swallowing his daughter.

The glow flamed, flamed with a tearing through the air. The tearing of strip after strip of paper tape. Tape thatů

He rubbed his head against the carpet, then raised his eyes to the living room.

She pushing and pulled at the chair until it contorted, it's arms stretched out and the front legs reclining forward. Her mouth worked the membrane of paper tape covering it free, freeing an iridescent stream of blue bubbles to float up through the ceiling. Claren dropped his face back to the carpet and the dark returned.

You should have cut her. That's how you were taught. And she was going to talk - she deserved it.

"I couldn't," he muttered, pushing a string of drool through his lips onto the shag. His stomach rolled, bubbling acids setting a new high water mark in his throat.

Finding strength in his knees and convulsions in his throat, Claren broke for the bathroom and the cool porcelain of the toilet.

The glow met him, shining out from behind the shower door. Sapphire octagons flooded the hazy glass and more bubbles rose up beside the dark stub of the shower head.

Claren turned and staggered out, heaving a stream of bile and fear across the shadows of the hallway.

More paper ripping, and a blue spot flamed cold behind a nearly closed bedroom door.

Another tearing came with the closet door shuddering, and the light nearly burst from beneath it. Claren wiped the puke from his chin and staggered back into the living room.

Beside the television now, with her right arm free and clawing at the tape manacle binding her left. Her mouth, broad and black, sent up a continuous stream of blue bubbles.

With the left wrist free, she bent over and yanked at her ankles. On releasing her right leg, her body nearly floated free of the chair and it's weight. Already she looked ready to aim for the surface of the Marsh. The surface and the freedom.

His daughter would walk again. Walk to him.

Straightening his back, Claren shook off the glow and set his eyes stony. He walked through the girl in the living room and through the girl in the kitchen; heading straight for the silverware drawer.

Palming a twelve inch butcher knife, Claren turned in time to see her free the last leg and float up, up through the ceiling. Darkness flooded his sight.

"Come to papa, 'cause now I'll cut you," Claren whispered. "From the neck." He felt his way towards the back door.

 

FROM THE NECK
is Copyright 2000 by Michael T. Huyck Jr. and is published in feoamante.com/ Feo Amante's Story Time with his permission.

Visit Michael at his website at NUKE GUMBY

 


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  Feo Amante's Horror Home Page and feoamante.com are owned and copyright 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001 by E.C.McMullen Jr.
All images and text belong to E.C.McMullen Jr. unless otherwise noted.
All fiction stories belong to their individual authors. All artwork in The Gallery belongs to the individual artists.