The Crypt explodes with smoke, music and a thousand gyrating bodies, swelling and
pulsing like a continuous orgasm through the night. Good Friday does nothing to stop the party
as I push through the throng congregated just inside the entrance. The crowd seems younger
every night. Stark, hollow faces, painted and powdered, buzz all around me. Outrageously
dressed ravers and babygoths overrun the old-timers in their more traditional black velvet, clove
cigarettes dangle from white, delicate fingers. Glam and glitter are all the rage with PVC hugging
every ass and curve and the old drugs are still being passed around: cocaine, heroine, marijuana.
Give me something new, give me something worth dying for.
I decide to hang out at the bar. The beer is watered down and bartender more interested in
showing his tattoos than serving drinks but I manage to get his attention. You could serve drinks
on the cleavage spilling out over my corset.
The revelers. Seduction, sex and music fit together like some jagged puzzle as the
masquerade unfolds before me. Alexei across the bar. He nods over to the stairwell that heads
down to the catacombs. My eyes keep moving. No entanglements, no entrapments tonight.
–The Hunger Dance– appeared in Dreams of Decadence magazine
The girl at the yearbook booth couldn’t find his name on the roster of students expected to pick up their copy. Luckily, there was an overstock piled neatly to the side, still wrapped in the clear cellophane. He sighed and took the extra. He had ordered his book with his name embossed on the front but this one would do.
Homeroom. Matty sat in the back, in the far corner by himself. Some of the other students were talking about the big game Friday night, arguing over which team would win and who had the better cheerleaders but others were studying and preparing for the day ahead. Matty didn’t feel so out of place, sitting in silence. It was too early in the morning for most kids anyway. A few even rested their heads on folded arms on their desks. Even before that day, he had kept to himself a lot of the time. The yearbook lay in front of him, unopened on his desktop. No one spoke to him.
He reached out, coffee-colored hands caressing the smooth, unblemished plastic, a silver eagle decorating the front. He fingered the ridged pages, so tempting to open. The bell rang. Matty stuffed the yearbook into his bag, waited for all the other students to shuffle out, and then headed to Calculus, the yearbook weighing him down with every step.
That day, his first day of invisibility, slid by much the same way. Like a boat adrift on a wide sea, he glided down the hallway as the other kids formed eddying swirls around him. Lean and taller than anyone else at the school, Matty didn’t usually blend in until that day when everyone seemed to look through him.
–Invisible – Appeared in We Walk Invisible Anthology, Chupacabra Press
“I can feel something. Something similar to what I felt in your house.” Her voice was shaky. “This has never happened to me before. It’s almost as if….”
Dan’s mouth went dry. “As if what?”
But she didn’t answer. Instead her eyes popped open and she walked to the barn some fifty yards away. Dan didn’t follow right away, debating if he should take her away from here or just follow her. He realized too late that despite what had happened at his house, he still hadn’t believed her to be taking more than intuitive guess. He had thought to take her here as a joke, to prove to himself that it was all bullshit. But something in her voice now frightened him. He made up his mind and followed her, struggling to turn on the flashlight as he walked, remaining silent and cursing himself.
She pushed open the barn door, the screech echoing into the night. He caught up with her and tried to nudge himself in front of her but she had already walked in. He wasn’t sure what he expected. The barn itself was silent. Not even the scraping of small nocturnal animals could be heard. A slight musty smell from the long gone hay wafted over.
Maria clutched his arm. “Murder was done here. I can feel it. Murder and worse.”
–Apparitions of Murder – Appeared in Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey