The Gorelets Omnibus
Michael A. Arnzen
Armadillo Fists
Carlton Mellick III
Anatomy Courses
Blake Butler
Sean Kilpatrick
Doom Magnetic!
William Pauley III
Fill the Grand Canyon
Andersen Prunty

Donna Fleck
Pink Nausea
Gary J. Shipley

Possibility Spaces
Lance Olsen


Untitled Chapter
From Book 2 of the Doom Trilogy
William Pauley III

Qoser awakens to a strange voice calling his name. The voice is muffled, as if his head is immersed in a tub of water. He opens his eye, but can’t see around the burning sun blazing just before his face, stinging his eyeball like a thousand sewing needles.

Sewing needles.

The sun slowly begins to fade from sight, revealing an empty room with no color. A woman suddenly appears in the corner of the room, holding a pair of knitting needles and a ball of purple yarn. She looks relaxed, lounging naked in a chair, her long legs crossed, almost twisted, like two mating snakes. Her skin is light for an Asian woman’s, her jet black hair is a drastic contrast, an ocean of evil spilling out of her head, lashing against her pure white angel skin in a devilishly entrancing manner.

She is his mother. He stands, staring at her, not saying a word. Admiring, loathing, missing her. All at once.

She looks over at him, drops her knitting needles in her lap, and motions for him to join her. He is hesitant at first, but then she cocks her head to the side and pouts her lips, something she always used to do to make him smile, and he cracks. His lips begin to twitch as he makes his way across the room to join her, trying to hide his happiness.

“My son,” she says, cradling him in her lap, “I am here for you. Where does it hurt?”

A tear forms in his eye as he points down at his hairy malformed spider body. “Here, mother, it hurts here.”

She examines his body for a second, gliding her hands over it. The hairs covering his torso are so coarse that they feel uncomfortable against her soft skin.

“Oh no, my son, this will not do at all. Where is the body I gave you?”

“Buried in the desert. Mother, that space cowboy killed it. He cut off my head and it died right in front of me.”

“Get it back,” she says, stroking his bald head.

“I can’t get it back, mother, I told you it’s dead.”

“Then get him back.”

“I tried, but I don’t need him anymore. He no longer has what I’m looking for.”

She reaches down into her lap and grabs hold of her knitting needles.

“Is this what you are looking for, my son?” Dangling from the needles is a crochet television. A purple television. Qoser’s jaw drops.

“Yes, mother, how did you know?”

“Let me see your legs.” He rolls onto his back and shows her his legs. All eight of them. “Where you’re going, you won’t need these anymore.”

She stabs the knitting needles down into his torso and spreads them apart, splitting the skin across his chest. Lime green goo begins to seep out of the wound.

“Mother, no, wait, stop …” The words fall out of his mouth like marbles. He feels as if he is incapable of panic, of worry, of anxiety. Hearing his mother’s voice slows his heart and begins to lull him to sleep. His eyelid feels heavy, but he fights it.

“Trust me, son, you are not well,” she says, digging her fingers into the wound and ripping his entire bottom half away from the rest of his body. Neon goo pours out of him, slides down her legs and pools on the floor underneath her feet. He now only has two legs, one on each side. He reaches for her face, but she slaps him away, grabs hold of his skull and twists his neck.

“You haven’t been cleaning your ears, Qosey,” she says, spitting on her fingers and wiping the mess away from them. “I raised you better than that.”

She eyes the pink bubble protruding from his ear canal, digs her fingers inside and pulls out a pink meaty mucus-filled slug—a parasite, a sack of blood that has been living inside his brain since the day his head was cut off and he was attacked by a swarm of insects.

Haima Pulmonata,” he says, beginning to slip into unconsciousness.

“You must remember to clean your ears, my son,” she says, brushing invisible hairs across his scalp.

Flashes of white light strobe inside his brain. His world fills with smoke and fog. His eye closes.

“Yes, mother … always, mother …”

William Pauley III is weird. He is the author of the Doom Magnetic! trilogy, Demolition Ya-Ya, and The Brothers Crunk, the latter of which Fangoria Magazine called "A perfect example of bizarro fiction ... every line is littered with wild and imaginative ideas." He is the owner/editor of the weird/bizarro fiction magazine The New Flesh and an editor at BizarroCentral.com. He spends most of his life looking for his car keys.