Fiends–Tattoo-Episode 2

And…here's episode 2. Many of you have been pestering me on twitter and facebook as to when this episode was going to drop. Therefore, because I am a kind and merciful FiendMaster (yeah, right) I'm dropping it a day early. In addition, you'll get some more content this week. Don't you love me? Enjoy…

FIENDS–Tattoo–ep2 Written and performed by Paul Elard Cooley featuring the voice talents of Andrew Richardson. You can find Mr. Richardson's podcasts and music at: http://www.fabkebab.com This presentation is copyright 2009 by Paul Elard Cooley. Intro music, "Tread On My Dreams" provide by the band "A Love For Enemies" available from Mevio's "Music Alley". Check it out at http://music.mevio.com. Outro music provided by Nine Inch Nails from their album "Ghosts" via a Creative Commons License. Please visit their site at http://nin.com Visit shadowpublications.com for more free stories as well as my rant casts. Contact me at: stories@shadowpublications.com twitter: http://twitter.com/paul_e_cooley facebook: http://facebook.com/paul.e.cooley This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

Fiends–Tattoo–Episode 1

After weeks and weeks and weeks of writing, editing, recording, re-recording and mixing, I present to you the first episode of Tattoo. Enjoy. Please leave comments in the forums or attached to the Tattoo topic. Suggestions, complaints and death threats are all welcome…as are kind words.

FIENDS–Tattoo–ep1 Written and performed by Paul Elard Cooley featuring the voice talents of Andrew Richardson. You can find Mr. Richardson's podcasts and music at: http://www.fabkebab.com This presentation is copyright 2009 by Paul Elard Cooley. Intro music, "Tread On My Dreams" provided by the band "A Love For Enemies" available from Mevio's "Music Alley". Check it out at http://music.mevio.com. Outro music provided by Nine Inch Nails from their album "Ghosts" via a Creative Commons License. Please visit their site at http://nin.com Visit shadowpublications.com for more free stories as well as my rant casts. Contact me at: stories@shadowpublications.com twitter: http://twitter.com/paul_e_cooley facebook: http://facebook.com/paul.e.cooley This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

Fiends–Canvas

Most painters don't give their canvas a second thought. They purchase them. They paint upon them. They sell, or try to sell, their works, thinking of the canvas as nothing more than a container for their art. I, on the other hand, believe finding the right canvas, constructing it, creating it, is as important as the image upon it. I think, in time, this will truly set me apart from other great artists. Hmm? Oh, no. I'm not that arrogant. I don't believe I'm in the same realm as Dahli, or Da Vinci. No, I'm too experimental to compare even to Salvadore. It's my medium, you see. The canvas. God provides me canvas. I provide God art.

An artist discusses his relationship with God, and the works of art he created in His name.

 

Fiends–The Ghosts of 1900

A stiff breeze blew sand across the road. The wind was rising now. Upon the hill. The ancient Victorian, its wood white with recent paint, hedges trimmed, windows clean and sparkling, path immaculately mowed, driveway raked lovingly with gravel, stood silently on the hill. Nothing was out of place. Yet the palm trees were swishing back and forth in the wind, and the sun had long since been covered. The clouds were moving fast now, the air heavy with sea water and the promise of rain. The Victorian seemed to groan to itself in the gathering wind. Its street was empty of life, save for the field mice resting fitfully in the attic of the house across the street. That house was newer. Built in the 60's after Carla ravaged Galveston. The Victorian hated the house. Hated its more modern styling, the way its owners had let it run to ruin. It was already beginning to rot and stink up the Victorian's block. The Victorian was incensed it was even allowed to exist. With the breeze coming stronger now, thunder in the distance, the Victorian knew it was time. It could feel water moving across the ground some distance away, hear the breaking of waves against the seawall. Yes, it was time.

During the worst hurricane since 1900, an old house settles scores… Download Episode Epub

 

Fiends–Momma

Momma was a college term paper for my ethics class. Yup, that's right, a term paper. Hard to believe, I know, but after a serious argument with my professor regarding Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and the ramifications of living by one's own understanding of "what is right for man," I cleared writing this tale with him. I got an A in the class and he couldn't stop talking about it… Download Episode

 

Rant–The Death Of Childhood

A long time ago, in a suburb far far away, there was an elementary school called Greenwood Forest Elementary. It served children between kindergarten and 5th grade with great teachers, horrid bullies, and spoiled children. Well, I was spoiled. So were a lot of my classmates. Trust me, you know who you are.

In this suburb that seems so far away to me now, I remember the bell would ring in the late afternoon and all of us tykes, in all our different age groups, would practically run through the playground's various metal webs, bars, barrels, and contraptions, through the copse of too tall pines, and to that mystical van covered with pictures of various ice cream bars, sandwiches and tasty candy treats.

The music was loud, but not earsplitting. I don't remember what the ice-cream vendor looked like, but I know this– I wasn't afraid of this man. He always made sure we had the right change. He was always patient and somehow managed to keep order with all those children begging to part ways with their coin for a sugar high.

In those days, I walked fearless, except for the fear of bullies, of course, through the neighborhood and back to my home. I never heard the music of the ice cream man except outside that elementary school. After 5th grade, when I moved on to the middle school, I never partook of the confectionary wonders of that brilliantly colored van.

I am a couple of months shy of 39 now. I have no children of my own, but I like kids. I always have–except when I was one of them. All that aside however, I was sitting here and working on my horror novella when I heard music. Caliope. A music box wound to an insane volume or an organ grinder being played by a gorilla the size of king kong.

Those bells. I heard those bells and for no reason I can think of, my skin erupted into goose pimples and a shiver ran through my bones. And still the bells grew louder. I was frozen to my chair, unable to really do anything except cock my head toward my front door as the bells grew louder still.

Adrenaline coursing through frozen veins, I managed to get up from my chair, open the front door and peer out. A large econoline van, modified with a facade overhang, made its way down my street toward the cul-de-sac, those bells piercing the afternoon air and shocking the singing birds to silence. The van was white, covered in decals. The windows were tinted. I stood there agape as the van passed by.

The van continued down the street and I was riveted in place as the vision of a twisted faced madman, absurdly large canines jutting from swollen, grey lips filled my mind. A small curl of blood dripped from one of the yellowed, cannibal teeth to stain the lapel of the white jumpsuit. With dead eyes, the ghoulish thing surveyed the empty lawns, heart hammering in its unnatural chest as it waited for its next morsel to bounce out from a front door and come running into its waiting, taloned arms.

How many children's body parts were in the refridgerated cases in the back of the van, beneath the colorful wrappers of sugary, frozen joy? How many girls and boys had felt the terrible zip of those sharpened claws down their sturnem as they were eviscerated for his pleasure? How many parents wondered were their children had gone, not even remembering the cheerful kaliope music that accompanied their child's disappearance?

The imaginary ghoul trolled through my neighborhood, those bells shrieking to children to come, visit, and stay a while. Maybe forever. I felt fear in a way I haven't experienced for a very long time. It was the fear of losing the last of my childhood. The last innocent memories I have left.

Here I am, childless, and I've been briefed to death about the lurkers, the pedophiles, the child molesters, the child murderers, the lost boys, and all the other horrors in the world that now conspire with the media to make every shadow seem as though it's wielding a knife or gun. Every man who smiles at a child, me for instance, might be some kind of sex criminal. Or violent offender. Better check the pervert registry! They could be on your street!

There are some of us who carry sticks when we go walking after dark. We say they're to ward off mean dogs or the pack of coyotes that supposedly haunt The Woodlands. I've seen us carrying them. I've seen the cans of mace tied to hands, dangling from clenched fists. I have watched the expression of a young woman change from casual disinterest to nervous fear when I've said hello.

The fear. The terror. The panic. The distrust.

We horror writers, we entertain you with it. We scare the hell out of you with it. You come to read our literature or watch our mmovies because you like those fears. You like those fears because they are so absurdly implausible when compared to the news we see and read every night. Who should be afraid of reptillian alien monsters when we know from the paper that the truly scary monsters are your neighbors, the strange kid on the block, or the fucking ice cream man driving down the street.

I think my innocence is finally dead. I've know it was for a long time, but I think I have just now accepted it. Once and for all. To think, all it took was to have that last memory taken away from me. And strangely enough, it was all due to the sinister profile of that econoline van and its tinted windows. That, ladies and gentlemen, is all it takes to put the final stake in the heart of a childhood. That is too fucking scary.