Puncture-Kindra M. Austin & Jimmi Campkin

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I know damn well where the bastard’s been, but I ask him anyway, just for shits and giggles. He tells me to take a short walk off a long pier—idiot, stinking of another man’s piss and strawberry nudy-bar incense. He’d sat in his car getting blotto before going inside. I know because this particular club only serves soda. What a ridiculous image: a carpark full of man-children rubbing premature hard-ons while sucking down whiskey or beer, and snorting snow off of steering wheels. I wonder how many make eye contact with their fellows as they walk across the pavement, and enter Titty McGee’s.

Hate is a strong word, and only suitable for a wretched fool.  Earlier that evening, whilst going through a drawer, I blew the dust and little balls of melted cotton from my thigh-highs and looked at them through the diseased light of a yellow lamp.  They hung from my fingertips like dead skin, stripped from some worthless cadaver fucked into permanent oblivion.  I dream of shackling his wrists and ankles spread-eagle and slowly inching the only sharp stiletto heel I have left towards an eye until the lid closes; wherein I push the tip against skin until it punctures and he begins to tremble.  My daydreams now invade my night, and I welcome the embrace from anything that purports to care enough.

I sit down, light up a smoke, and make sure the robe slips enough to see the gap between the stocking and skin. I can see him staring ahead at some shit game show re-run with the grim determination of someone not wanting to look at a road accident, or the second honeymoon video of the ex-wife. He doesn’t want it, and I regard him with all the disdain of a soiled mattress; but it’s nice to tread on his already flimsy principles. I like to remind him that the only pussy that intimidates him is the pussy that stays dry and grates like sandpaper. My cunt was silken once, back when I was a dancer he coveted. Now, the TV glows as he slumps in front of the screen, images passing over him like Teflon—nothing sticking, nothing absorbing.

I’m onto my third cigarette, and my mouth is full of cotton. He finally switches everything off and goes into the bedroom. Like a shy virgin, he mumbles a goodbye and looks at me from over his nose. Following him, I peel off the stockings and throw them into the corner of the room as he begins to undress, embarrassed by a body shaped like dead clay. Snapping my disposable lighter in half, I pour the contents over the rumpled nylon, and throw the glowing end of my cigarette into the mess. It ignites instantly; he jack-knifes over to put it out, stomping and pounding on the melting garments. It gives me pleasure, the confused fear dripping from a pair of black orbs and into his mouth.

When he asks me in desperation why did you do that? I can only give him an honest answer.

Exactly I say, looking into his empty eyes. Exactly.

 

© Kindra M. Austin/Jimmi Campkin

Original image courtesy of Jimmi Campkin 


 Kindra M. Austin is an indie author (her books can be found here, a founding member of Indie Blu(e), and a writer/managing editor at Sudden Denouement, Blood Into Ink, and Whisper and the Roar. A Sagittarius Valkyrie from the state of Michigan, she likes craft beer, and classic big block muscle cars. You can find her filing through the souls of the slain at poems and paragraphs.

Jimmi Campkin is a “Writer, photographer, creator of SANCTUARY. 16bit child, INFP with clinical nostalgia and red wine for blood.” You can enjoy more of his work at jimmi campkin.com.   

Day-Walkers and Night Terrors-Kindra M. Austin

You won’t appreciate the night until it rips you awake late in the afternoon; until it forces you to stare down the cold yellow sun. Then you’ll know the day-walking ghosts—the ones who fraternize amongst parkland rose beds, unaware that their garden tea has aged one hundred plus years. These specters who sport ring-around-the-collar or cut-outs in their chests smile stupid at one another while the drink they swallow whizzes down between their legs like healthy streams of urine. At first you might think that ignorance isn’t so bad; but as the sun begins to descend, necks will bow and chests will weep anew in recognition of reality. Lamenting will stir the twilight, and whisk the sky into black—you’ll recognize the increasing heavy, and at the height of the Witching Hour, you will fathom the pain of a ghoul.

You will finally understand your own kind.


Kindra M. Austin is an indie author (her books can be found here), a founding member of Indie Blu(e), and a writer/managing editor at Sudden Denouement, Blood Into Ink, and Whisper and the Roar. A Sagittarius Valkyrie from the state of Michigan, she likes craft beer, and classic big block muscle cars. You can find her filing through the souls of the slain at poems and paragraphs

untitled- Daffni Gingerich

On the edge of the room his hands tighten around my neck. That is when I have so much to say. Finding words is a fragile thing for me. And when my eyes cross everything flits away along with my energy. I am silence. Death taunting him for just a sip of his…. The race. The cow on her side swollen still milking. Drained with history. With talks of saving the world. I feel my eyes twitch behind the lids. I see the men I’ve danced into the bedroom for proof. For proof of my existence. I exist I exist I EXIST. Then I don’t. Not anymore. Not lifefull or lifeless. Silenced. Floating. Not suffering/just quiet. And when they apply the straps to hold me down my heart pounds speak speak speakValium- 10mg administered at 2:45am by TJspeak speak speakValium- 10mg administered at 3am by TJ Restraints applied- Patient sleeping. Asleep again. Quiet again. But silenced for the last time.


Daffni Gingerich says simply that she “is a writer.” You can read more of her mesmerizing prose at Daffniblog.

Modern Heat- Mick Hugh

What are these ghosts that hide in our dreams? The smiling beasts that stick in the shadows while we sleep? A bed sopping sweat in August heat, fuse blown, waking up to hangovers in the middle of the night. Reach for the bedside reservoirs of Excedrin. Reach for the bottles of water beneath the mattress, reach for the joint half-spent in the ashtray. Pace the living-room, pace the kitchen. What are you doing here? This city has us in its grinder. What are we doing here? Looking for dimes on the sidewalks, tallying our dollars and paying student debts to the bar. We’ve lost interest in the good life, ferris wheel of office jobs and part-time gigs. Counting days to eviction, reading beatniks by candlelight, fucking ourselves raw flushed with wine and the ache that everything spent is never fully paid for: smiles full of good teeth, bank tellers who don’t post Closed signs when we’re next in line, maybe a home we can have a dog in. The simple things: to forsake the verdant lust of the jungles, the rush of air into the mouths of caves buried for endless ages in the nights of our cities; like every fool to tell ourselves the horizons are forbidden, to enjoy such simple assurances against inevitable death: a blender, a functioning television, prime-time dramas and a car with four tires. Hide me in your bosom: we feel safest naked and wrapped in the sweat of our quickest moments. Liquor bottles in the cabinets, liquor bottles in the freezer. Short memories of verbal abuse in the sweltering third-floor apartment, cancellation notices tacked to the walls. Grab your purse, doll, we’re going to the bar. We’re going to the bar to drink until the earth becomes what it is, fleeting and vague and full of promises we can only keep to our hearts. We’ll see the faces in the stars and the beauty of strange conversations, beauty of transients we meet in the streets. And when we’re done and have had our fill, to sleep heavily and pleasantly in the flea-infested bed we share, soaked with sweat, August heat, and the crushing teeth of this god-damned city of fear.


Mick Hugh is a writer for Sudden Denouement, and the groundskeeper at Mick’s Neon Fog.

Turned Out-pbbr

Imagine the blow to my fragile ego the day that I found out; that just because I’m paranoid meant nothing more than that.

I was paranoid.

The lights that flashed around the bend were only there to guide me; not run me in the ditch. The shellshock helmet on my head squeezed tighter than any itch.

I was stymied by a world that never had it out for me in the first place.

Turned out my misfortune was all my own creation. Turned out my enemy was the reflection in the jailhouse mirror.

All the insights I thought would free me, were chains that held me there. And all the things that I thought would hurt me blew as wisps of air.

Perhaps too much time in dark corners made me comfortable with blindness. Perhaps the lack of sun was the reason behind my sickness. Because it turned out there were no aliens or government corruption. Turned out the only one spying on me was the most subjective one of all.

But he had the most valuable insight! you might say. And that might be a lie.

Not to say that the end of days isn’t slowly creeping nigh; this world can sustain only so much pain before she decides to die.

But imagine the load of carrying it on your shoulders. The weight of the future of all mankind because your rigid fingers slipped inside some slippery scorching panties. Because God didn’t whisper in your ear at night. Fundamental religions aren’t always about brimstone and handling snakes. They will teach you fear and they will teach you piety, no doubt. But they will also stack the stones high on your back.

Until your spine must crack.

Chemicals are there, too, a steady stream of hallucination; piebald irises and quivering fingers that seek cessation. How could I have expected to see any sky when clouds were my favorite shape? And violent answers to no questions asked, those were the kneejerk reaction. Yes, I know misfortune was a jailhouse I created myself.

I was paranoid.

There were no family conspiracies, no diabolical plots. Only reactions to loud noises. Self-defense mechanisms from those with the same blood in their veins. I can hear their whispers, he’s at it again, he’s at it again… is that a shovel he’s picking up?

Who wouldn’t talk behind your back when they can’t talk to your face? Where do you expect them to talk?

Turned out the only director of the play was chaos. And he wore a mask named Friend.

Crawling out of a dusky maze and free of perpetual haze; the chains that always bound me are clanking behind in pain. They miss the warmth of flesh; they miss the cries of disdain. But the further I move away as a slug in a trail of salt; I can see and feel warm light ahead and universal gestalt. I know the sum of the whole is greater than its parts.

To walk this path and come out unscathed would be the greatest sin. To look into the sun and be blinded, immersion in its pure beauty, is worth the price of admission. And what did I pay anyway?

I know that my misfortune was no one else’s fault.

I was paranoid.

But it turned out not to be a bad thing.


Based in the piney woods of East Texas, pbbr is a founding member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective. He is a technical writer by trade and the author of “The Scale of Savages” under the pen name Patrick Brendhan, available on Amazon.

Sinking-Sarah Doughty/Heartstring Eulogies

I’m drowning in an infinite ocean, salted by my tears. Trapped in this dark world, illuminated only by the moon’s soft glow, I cry, and I beg for an end to my suffering. For salvation. A reprieve. But the tide keeps pulling me away. No matter how hard I kick, or thrash in those crashing waters, I gain no purchase. With the last of my strength, I pull my head above the surface and gulp a desperate breath into my burning lungs, breathing out words in a whisper even I can’t hear, “Save me.” And then those darkened waters pull me under for the last time.


Sarah Doughty is the wordsmith behind her website, Heartstring Eulogies, author of The Silence Between Moonbeams, her poetry chapbook, and the acclaimed Earthen Witch universe, a collection of novels and novellas, all offered for free (https://thesarahdoughty.wordpress.com/useful-links/). To learn more about Sarah and her books, check out her website (http://thesarahdoughty.wordpress.com/about) and Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13753138.Sarah_Doughty).