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  • Endless Joke
    Endless Joke
    by David Antrobus

    Here's that writers' manual you were reaching and scrambling for. You know the one: filled with juicy writing tidbits and dripping with pop cultural snark and smartassery. Ew. Not an attractive look. But effective. And by the end, you'll either want to kiss me or kill me. With extreme prejudice. Go on. You know you want to.

  • Dissolute Kinship: A 9/11 Road Trip
    Dissolute Kinship: A 9/11 Road Trip
    by David Antrobus

    Please click on the above thumbnail to buy my short, intense nonfiction book featuring 9/11 and trauma. It's less than the price of a cup of coffee... and contains fewer calories. Although, unlike most caffeine boosts, it might make you cry.

  • Music Speaks
    Music Speaks
    by LB Clark

    My story "Solo" appears in this excellent music charity anthology, Music Speaks. It is an odd hybrid of the darkly comic and the eerily apocalyptic... with a musical theme. Aw, rather than me explain it, just read it. Okay, uh, please?

  • First Time Dead 3 (Volume 3)
    First Time Dead 3 (Volume 3)
    by Sybil Wilen, P. J. Ruce, Jeffrey McDonald, John Page, Susan Burdorf, Christina Gavi, David Alexander, Joanna Parypinski, Jack Flynn, Graeme Edwardson, David Antrobus, Jason Bailey, Xavier Axelson

    My story "Unquiet Slumbers" appears in the zombie anthology First Time Dead, Volume 3. It spills blood, gore and genuine tears of sorrow. Anyway, buy this stellar anthology and judge for yourself.

  • Seasons
    Seasons
    by David Antrobus, Edward Lorn, JD Mader, Jo-Anne Teal

    Four stories, four writers, four seasons. Characters broken by life, although not necessarily beaten. Are the seasons reminders of our growth or a glimpse of our slow decay?

  • Indies Unlimited: 2012 Flash Fiction Anthology
    Indies Unlimited: 2012 Flash Fiction Anthology
    Indies Unlimited

    I have two stories in this delightful compendium of every 2012 winner of their Flash Fiction Challenge—one a nasty little horror short, the other an amusing misadventure of Og the caveman, his first appearance.

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Entries in dreams (8)

Friday
Nov212014

Amen

After it all came down and we knew the fires burned most everywhere, we cowered in our various holes and waited out the worst. But the worst kept on coming, so some of us lifted our heads in the oily air and, timidly at first, stepped back into silent streets that had once screamed our gaudy dominion.

Almost silent. In those dark canyons, between the edifices we once called skyscrapers, high rises, their very names dripping with hubris, flapped the occasional bird that had found new places to nest. Pigeons, hawks, more and more crows. At night, the bats came instead. These buildings, especially the older, more organic stone and masonry types, had become strange cliffs, home to small creatures, looming shabbily above quiet streets dotted with abandoned or burned-out cars: yellow cabs, tourist buses, delivery vans, once-black power rides gone charcoal with dust and debris and the shame of recall.

The hollow silence of the streets, punctuated by the lazy flap and echo of some baffling new bird, both awed and frightened me. That we'd been brought this low. That while we'd thrust and bellowed, our Achilles had been sliced. And behind it all, the greater silence of the East and Hudson rivers, absent their ghost freight, and the even louder silence of the shocked continent, everything from sea to gunmetal sea rocking back and forth like psychosis.

It was about this time I first saw you. Despite the grime that clung to your clothes and hair, the dust and human stink, you were a tarnished apparition, a stained goddess to me.

I held out my hands in supplication; you side-eyed me and moved away.

The next time I saw you, all of history was being reduced to the echo of a long howl, our planet's geometry incised by lines of brilliant sun fire and blackest shadow, you and I alone in a dwindling penumbra where all nuance was leaching away, taking all hope with it.

I was brokenhearted. You were stern. Then angry. And finally exasperated.

"What is it with you?" you screamed at me. "What the fuck do you want?"

I thought about it and we locked eyes—me inconsolable, you incandescent, all else irreparable. For all I knew, my answer, moving no god to pity, yet a human cry to match the avian shrieks and screeches, was the last prayer ever uttered in this condemned place.

"Place me in a bright house on a shining hill under cerulean skies and with views of a luminous bay. Return to me the fresh, inchoate world."

Friday
Sep262014

Stolen

What first made her run is long forgot, but run she did. Giving careful head in the backseat of limousines was only the beginning. She dreamed of the stars, of stardom and of actual stars, of an impossible silver life onscreen and off—red carpets, green rooms, the blue flashing lights of overdose—and when the cracks begin to show and you run out of inner space there's always the oblivion of actual space.

Yet first she ran. Or drove. Or was driven. Endless bloodred nights, long midwestern trains keeping pace alongside her constant flight. Hitchhiking, joyriding, from turning low-track tricks to hunkering down in hayricks. 

Sometimes an easy charm, apposite words, and timely fingers down the throat won't save you. In the end, the teeming randomness of the world swoops in, all smirks and honed surfaces, and snatches you up.

You wanted outer space? Here's space. The shattered windshield glass sprayed like the Milky Way over dark asphalt, each tiny star part of something vast, lovely, and immutably unhinged. Howling through the night, blunt force impact, then the pure silence, the longest gap between breaths, after the broken parts settle and before the dawn cleanup arrives, when even the dry wingsongs of cicadas cease.

Her eyes. Always so pretty. Seeing pretty things. Each piece of glass a makeshift jewel, a life inchoate, hanging amid the vast black fugue of eternal night. Watching them all swirl like bitter snowflakes and cruelty and, one by one, dissolve into nothing: hay bales, pocketbooks, purloined kisses, shining things.

Tuesday
Jan102012

The New Rapture

Had a dream last night, alone… no, more like a vision, in which it turned out the religious folks who insist on the coming of the Rapture—that moment of self-vindication in which the rest of us sinners all burn and suffer and destroy ourselves here on earth while the righteous are taken into Heaven—have been right all along.

Only, there's this twist, see? As our future dwindles due to overfishing, over logging, the constant rapacious destruction of environment after habitat after ecosystem in order to extract the last few drops of something we either need (water) or want (lumber) or are addicted to (oil), and as the planet deteriorates into a toxic, boiling sea of tribalism and increasing barbarity, partly wrought by self-centred short termism, intolerance of others, wealth disparity and outright bigotry, a newly discovered planet slides silently into our solar system and heads toward earth, a half decade away from up close and impersonal.

The planet, at first noticed only by astronomers who decide to hold off on announcing its disquieting presence off the cold shoulder of poor relegated Pluto, appears perfectly Earthlike, with one key difference: it's a pre-industrial unspoiled earth more akin to a fantasy realm than an actual planet. Tracts of warm, green, forested land surrounded by azure ocean beneath the most tender of climates. It is beautiful.

The delay over the announcement arises from an idea put forth by a handful of NASA scientists and thinkers. If this world is approaching so close to the earth, and in under five years, how feasible would it be to transport a few million humans across the tiny amount of space in order to colonize it? They estimate it would be quite possible, albeit a massive undertaking. And due to its size and slowing velocity, they also calculate it will fall into earth's orbit instead of plunging into the sun.

The catch? Only those who have proven to demonstrate true compassion and love toward their fellow humans—who have mostly refrained from the ugliness of racism or homophobia or any type of fundamentalist creed, religious or political, who are admittedly flawed yet possessed of an appreciation of the only two things that really matter: love and beauty—will be permitted to travel there.

So, the plans are drawn up and over the next handful of years, rumours of this thing are everywhere, at every water-cooler, regularly trending on Twitter, whispered along daylight highways, invading the world's fitful dreams, with many on either side of the divide skeptical of its reality. But as the new "star" appears undeniably brighter in our night skies, even showing ever-less faintly after sunrise and before sundown, the tension increases and more and more skirmishes break out upon the earth. Millions of lives are lost in instantly forgotten border wars, in conflicts over resources, over irrelevant differences, but the moment finally arrives and the hidden silos slide silently open and release their silver seeds filled with the t-shirt-sloganned, the pierced, the dreadlocked, the Doc Martened, the tie-dyed, the sexually liberated, the tattooed, the stoned, the tolerant, the disenfranchised, the gentle, the artists, the wounded healers. Not inheriting but departing the earth.

As their planet descends into a maelstrom of rage and horror, both mirrored and fuelled by the earthquakes and tsunamis and raging conflagrations of a world at last tipped beyond the balance of stability, these new migrant-colonists look back one last time, flinching at the dying screams of the cruel, the selfish, the tyrannical, the faux-populists, the prejudiced, the hate-filled, the control freaks, the authoritarians, the zealots, the abusers, the book-burners, the bullies, those who think it perfectly fine to shoot a wolf from a helicopter, those who would deny equal access to health care to their fellow humans, those who would prevent consenting adults from loving each other, those who wish for an absent daddy to come save them, those who believe winning is more important than the joy of playing, those who add and have added nothing to the world… before turning their gaze toward the heavens, toward their new home looming ahead, a new hopeful world the secret planners had already secretly named… this world and this exodus both, named Enrapture.

*     *     *     *     *

also writes for Indies Unlimited and BlergPop. Be sure to check out his work there if you like what you read here.

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