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Hush! . . . its story time.

Contributors to feoamante.com are going places!
See below!

Our Contributors are going places! Check it out below!

Starring Adrian Paul
Bokeem Woodbine, and Ling Bai (
THE CROW), This Alternate History movie is part Horror, Part crime, part S.F. and all Vampires.
From the screenplay by our own
Christos N. Gage
Ruth Fletcher Gage.

Brian Keene was one of the first reviewers at feoamante.com and has gone on to become one of the fastest growing Horror writers in publishing.

Harry Shannon began writing for us in the new millennium and has gone on to write mass market novels and pen the upcoming motion picture,

Scott Nicholson is a review writer here at feoamante.com and is also a MySpace friend.
Visit him at both.

Monica J. O'Rourke has wrote reviews and article for feoamante.com and was a friend before she became a MySpace friend. visit her at MySpace.com/ DeadlyMojo.

Mark McLaughlin missed his calling as a stand-up comic;
terrorizing audiences with his most peculiar brand of humor.
Ah well, their loss is our gain.
Mark is creator / editor of The Urbanite, a magazine dedicated to
Horror of the most sophisticated and Urbane kind.
This two time winner of the World Horror Convention Midnight Gross Out
Contest, presents the following story which is but a taste of his
delightfully macabre vision.


Mark McLaughlin's

Copyright 1998 by MARK McLAUGHLIN

The moon is watching us, my friends. Watching us with enormous quicksilver eyes.

What can be said for the morning news anchorman who delivered his update on Iraq in Pig Latin, with the help of Jeff, the Malaysian hand puppet? And who can fathom the matter of the Sicilian volcano that spewed five-hundred and sixteen gallons of extra-foamy cappuccino while belching out swamp gas to the tune of “Un Bel Di”? Strange forces were at work that day. Insidious influences of an extradimensional nature.

In a village on the Yucatan peninsula, oversized cicadas ate the elastic out of all the white cotton briefs. A British secretary staying in North Rhine-Westphalia was told by the ghost of an insane seamstress where to dig (“Behind the rabbit hutch!”) to find a long-lost jar containing half of a cookie that had been nibbled upon by the Marquis de Sade. And at 10:23 p.m. Central Time, a cornfield in Buttercup, Iowa split open and It emerged: that selfsame diety that the Pre-Atlantean, Post-Lemurian Serpent Priests addressed by Seven-Thousand-and-Twelve Sacred Names (Number Eleven translating to “Whatever It Is, We Wish It Would Just Leave Us Alone”); that lugubrious critter known to the ancient Aztecs as He-Who-Drips-Sweat-All-Over-Our-Nice-Clean-Temple, to whom they sacrificed the lymph nodes of their enemies after they'd given the hearts to gods they actually liked.

This entity had the face of a rhinoceros, the wings of an albino fruitbat and the body of a hotel bellboy (It also wore the little hat). It stood eight-hundred feet tall and shot rays out of Its golden-brown eyes that could turn stainless steel into a truly good tapioca. This being was in fact the odious and horrific Rhinodactyl, Lord of the Absurd, and on the day that It emerged from the cornfield, It screamed and squealed and screeched and caterwauled for - what else? - women's dress shoes. It then added, in a disturbingly conversational tone (for oh, It was trying to lull civilization into a false sense of security), that if It did not receive enough women's dress shoes, and mind you, they had to be stylish, It would coat the entire world with a thick layer of rabbit excrement, ruining TV reception for all eternity. Reporters and channelers and spokesmodels conveyed the news to international heads of state, and so began the mad global dash for shoes, shoes, lovely and delicious and ever-so-rococo shoes. But as soon as the first dumptruck load of Italian leather goodies arrived, the fiendish Rhinodactyl requested creamed spinach casserole by the ton. And the madness continued thusly. Lava lamps. Couches upholstered in animal prints. Hygiene films. Those little plastic houses that tell you the barometric pressure by whether the little burgomaster or his milkmaid wife pops out of a door. There was no way to predict what the unsavory behemoth would want next.

This nightmare creature shook the world like an aging movie queen shaking the last few drops of handcream out of a crystal decanter just before her long-awaited rendezvous with a $150-an-hour male gigolo named Big Johnny; It played with civilization like a garden spider playing with a leprechaun in its web (the afore-mentioned spider thinking, "Gee, a leprechaun, what luck. Maybe it'll grant me three wishes," so the spider asks for three wishes and the leprechaun says, "Oh, okay," and the spider promptly asks for three more wishes and the leprechaun says, "I think not," and the spider says, "Therefore, you are not," and begins to suck all the juice out of the poor little leprechaun who only wanted to be loved). The perfidious Rhinodactyl teased and taunted civilization; It sprinkled itching powder down civilization's back; It slipped a plastic ice cube with a bug inside in civilization's drink; It then told an utterly shocking fib regarding civilization's little sister and a pimply Food-O-Luxe bagboy (or should I say, comestible packaging engineer) from Wichita Falls, and that was the last straw. The outlandish and superfluous Rhinodactyl was a pest, a bother, a cosmic ne'er-do-well; so actually, no one was surprised when the nations of the world got together and tossed one nuclear warhead, extra-large, upon It.

At this point, one might expect a sweet and dandy resolution, a tidy denouement, a big rubber stamp that reads CASE CLOSED, BABY. But alas, such is not to be. For you see, the atom bomb did what it was supposed to: it atomized the insouciant Rhinodactyl. And the wind carried the monster's atoms through the air into the lungs of people everywhere . . . from the lungs, the contamination leached into the sweetmeats, into the damp grey convolutions of the brain. That's the funny, little-known thing about absurdity: it's really, awfully, terribly, implacably, highly contagious. These most curious and virulent atoms insinuated themselves into all living things (the catalpa tree outside of my apartment is hopelessly in love with the wire-haired terrier that piddles on it) and into the very workings of our planet . . . but ah, the grandeur of fuchsia days, the decadence of neon-orange nights!

Eventually, these capricious particles seeped beyond the ionosphere to invade the endlessly swirling web of space. Just last night, eyes blinked open in several of the moon’s larger craters. And now the moon is watching us with eyes that shine.

So here we are, drinking furniture-polish margaritas and snacking on fricasseed trilobite esophagi. End of lecture . . . and everything else, for that matter. Look to the window, my friends, and behold: the full moon, growing larger (hence, nearer) by the second, staring hungrily and grinning with more teeth than I have grubs crawling in the folds of my neck.


is Copyright 1998 by Mark McLaughlin and is published in feoamante.com and Feo Amante's Story Time with his permission. It is now available in a chapbook along with 9 other stories in

SHOGGOTH CACCIATORE And Other Eldritch Entrees
from Delirium Books

Visit Mark's website at : The Urbanite

Return to Story Time

Feo Amante's Horror Home Page and feoamante.com are owned and copyright 1997 - 2002 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.