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Jagged Thought Revisited: To an Undead Zombie

 

 

I was walking on an apocalyptic night.
The apocalyptic night flies were burning bright.
The apocalyptic sunshine was dragging me to burn.
And I was walking down the path
Carrying an urn.
The urn was a dogs ashes mixed with my dad’s-
I know that’s kind of morbid
But nothing ever lasts.
I was walking and whistling
And the owls eyes burned into me.
And alone I was not.
As something came creeping up,
Slowly.
I stopped.
And hesitated.
But looking back I saw not a thing.
Like Christmas Eve or something–
Not a single thing stirring.
In the distance I saw fire!
I saw cars and gasoline burn!
And there I walked
I quickened my gait,
as I walked with that sullen urn…
And I saw a narrow path in front of me,
Thought I would take it one more time
A trip down memory lane
Oh lovely Windchime Dr.
Oh lonely and whistful I was
As I wandered into the second house on the left.
I walked down the path.
And you wouldn’t believe what I saw next.
I saw a dog.
He looked nice in the night.
But when he looked me square in the face
He only had one eye!
His legs were sort of broken and he whimpered-
Wanting
To die.

And on I sadly walked past him
On to 14 Windchime drive
The door had been painted over
From bright blue to blood red–
And there was yellow caution tape
And something definitely inside-
But something definitely
not dead.
I walked with the urn
And the door creaked ajar.
And there I took a step
Maybe a step too far.
Because when I stepped into the house
I heard something stirring inside…
I went to look around
And then I heard
SURPRISE!

The lights flickered on
And there in my old house
Were my neighbors
From long ago
With a cake?
What the fuck?
I just had to know.
Was it my birthday?
Was this just a dream?
No!
I dropped
The urn of my dog and dear old dad.
And when I went to scoop up the remains
Frantically I tried to leave
To Get the hell out of there!
But the neighbor had my sleeve.
So I tried again
But by then the other one drew near
I was scared I tried to run
and I tripped on the way out!
And as I tried to get away
The dog with one eye
Could only watch
As the neighbors rushed me back in
And the doors
slammed shut.
And all I could do was pray to who or to what?
I tried to run through them
As I escaped them one more time
And I ran out back
Outside into the night
And out from the pond
I heard some more come from the banks
And creep up slowly on
I ran to the left – and there they were
I backed up towards the right
And ran into her…
The dearest one
I loved so long ago
Came out from above the ground
Oh her beautiful undead soul!

She twisted back and forth
Her hair had long grown long

Blood was in her eye sockets
But oh god her eyes were gone!

And there I was
In my old neighborhood
On that the coldest night
With the undead creeping closer
Me being the only thing alive.

I backed away
I tried to – but I must have slipped over the bones of something
Near that creak…
And there I splashed into the pond
The one I loved to swim.
And it was cold, really cold
As they were closing in.
So I tried to swim out to the farthest bank
40 feet away..
I figured I could run into the woods
And then I might be saved.

But as I tried to swim into the deep
My leg it started to cramp
And I tried again.
But my arm gave up
And there I was
In the middle of the pond
The one where I would go
When I was young,
Now the water was too high
And began to fill my lungs.

I gasped for air as I began to sink
Into the briny deep
And there I sank
Till I fell asleep
Into eternal dream.

But then the alarm clock rang
And I awoke in pain,
To: an
Undead zombie
Gnawing
At my brain.

 

Jason Wright is the editor and founder of Oddball Magazine. His column appears weekly.

 

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Fiction by Alexandra Naughton

 

On the drive home, our main character thinks about doing a little spell, doing a little magic.

Sometimes the best way to get over something is to just write about it and talk it out with yourself, which is a lot of what spells are. Even if you don’t believe in magic, you can probably appreciate the power of ritual and how doing something in an organized and thoughtful way can be a significant act of closure (or renewal, depending on the situation). She thinks about the things she needs for her spell and gazes out the window, getting everything ready in her head while her friend sings along to pop songs on the radio.

She hugs her friend goodbye and gets out of the car,runs up the driveway. She unlocks her front door and hugs her cat,then takes off her shoes and washes her hands in the bathroom sink.

We get a good view of our main character’s apartment. Everything looks orderly enough, though there are some items of clothing tossed over a desk chair, and some more items of clothing folded and stacked in a sloppy pile on an ottoman to donate or give away to a friend when she remembers to do so. Her bed is unmade, the sheets and blankets swirled together in a cozy heap. There isn’t much cat fur floating around, as our main character wipes down the surfaces in her apartment and vacuums frequently. There is artwork everywhere, framed and hanging on the wall or scraps of paper taped up. She opens up a cabinet under the sink and pours some cat food onto the dish on the floor near the closet.

“There ya go,” she says to her cat. “Okay, let me get some paper.”

But before she gets the paper, she straightens up the blankets on her bed and puts the folded clothes into a bag. She puts the dishes on the drainboard away into another cabinet under the sink.She washes her hands and dries them on her pants,then ties her back into a ponytail. She picks up the clothes hanging off the back of her desk chair and folds them, puts them away in her bureau. She sits down on the desk chair and leans her head back,
stretching her neck and her back. She takes her notebook out of her bag and fishes a pen out from the bottom of the bag after searching with her hand for a moment.She stands up and lights a stick of incense, placing it carefully in the incense holder on top of her bookcase.

She sits back down at the desk and rolls a spliff. She lights it, then picks up the pen and starts writing in her notebook. She writes the word “BANISHMENT” in all capital letters and draws some cartoon vampire bats flying out of the word. She puffs on the spliff and spends some time drawing the bats, adding flourishment to the letters and drawing a border around everything. She puffs on the spliff and blows the smoke down on her notebook.

She starts writing quickly, not stopping to go back and read what she’s already written, just keeps writing and writing about everything she has been thinking about. She writes about feeling hopeless and feeling like she keeps making the same mistakes but she doesn’t know what else she should be doing. She writes about her insecurities about her finances and her status in life as compared to what she sees as the accomplishments of her peers.

She writes about her fear of being alone forever and her fear of being unlovable. She writes about her curse of attracting the wrong type of person always. She writes about wanting to be better at making decisions for herself. She writes about wanting to think through things
better. She writes about wanting to know what she actually wants,what she actually wants to feel.

She writes about setting an intention. What does she want out of this.She wants to be able to breathe. She wants to be able to feel like she is allowed to exist without all of the things that she feels that she lacks. She wants the ability to forgive and move on. She wants the ability to forgive herself and others for mistakes and transgressions. She wants to stop being so goddamn dramatic about every little thing. She wants to be less naive.

She drops the pen and massages the right hand with her left. It is a good start, she thinks.

 

Alexandra Naughton is based in Richmond, California. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Be About It Press, established in 2010. She is the author of six poetry collections including You Could Never Objectify Me More Than I’ve Already Objectified Myself (Punk Hostage Press, 2015), I Will Always Be In Love (Paper Press, 2015), and I Wish You Never Emailed Me (Ghost City Press, 2016). Her first novel, American Mary, was published by Civil Coping Mechanisms in 2016. Her latest collection of short stories, Rapid Transit, was published in March 2018 by Nomadic Press. The excerpt above is from her forthcoming novel.

Luis Lázaro Tijerina was born in Salina, Kansas. Mr. Tijerina has a Master of Art degree in history, concentration being military history and diplomacy. He is a published author of military theory, short stories, essays and poetry. Mr. Tijerina resides in Vermont.

 

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Two Horror-Related Calls for Submissions

 

we will be accepting submissions for two special weeks coming up in Oddball Magazine’s schedule.

First we are accepting Halloween-themed submissions once again until October 28. There will be a Halloween category on our Submittable page. We will run all accepted Halloween poems from October 23 all the way to the thirty-first. No previously published works please!

Second, we are looking for poems and artwork reflecting on the second year anniversary of America under Donald Trump to be published from November 5 to the November 9 (we recognize the first week of November as the anniversary because election night 2016 was when the horror truly began). You have until November 4 to submit those.

We accept politically themed poems year-round, but we want something very special for November. For consideration on the “Trumpiversary,” submit any poetry, prose or artwork by Sunday via Submittable and write “Trump!” in the title for expediency.

 

Good luck!

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Bamboozled No More! Horror and Science Fiction Movies (casting calls for black actors)

 

Due to illness, we present Janet Cormier’s column from July 10, 2014, reprinted here on the Friday before the week of Halloween.

I love horror and sci-fi movies from the 50’s -80’s. My idea of a big fun is a “Twilight Zone” or “Hammer House of Horrors” marathon. I enjoy the campy storylines, political/cold war references, cheap props and bad makeup. Most of aliens were arrived with plans to conquer the earth. And then there were those creatures unearthed and mutated by nuclear blasts and radiation, and of course armies of zombies. Those were movies…

One of my favorite movies is Sugar Hill. I am not talking about the Wesley Snipes gangster movie. I am talking zombie gangster movie…Sugar Hill was a sistah in love, and then the MOB murdered her man. She goes after the MOB with her own army of black Zombie Hit men. Back in the day, black actors could always find work playing zombie roles. The casting calls were straight forward: Mad scientist (white guy), his love interest who wasn’t interested in him (white woman) and an army of zombies (black male and female actors) to do his bidding.

As I watched Sugar Hill’s Zombie hit squad do their thing, I had this kind of revelation with questions! When did the demand for black actors in zombie roles decline? When did the casting calls for white actors in zombie roles start? These questions tormented me, and then I found my answer. Blame it on George Romero. Romero’s Night of The Living Deadchanged zombie world forever. On the upside, the hero was an African-American man who fought off hordes of white zombies. I appreciated Romero’s realistic twist in the story where the hero (and only black person) in the movie was shot dead by the rescue team comprised of white police officers and shooters. Don’t get me wrong. I loved Night of the Living Dead. I’m just saying Romero took a lot of jobs away from black actors. And his zombies ate people!

 

Janet Cormier is a painter, writes prose and poetry, and performs comedy. JC prefers different and original over pretty. She loves collecting stuff, but cleaning not so much. Janet also talks to strangers…a lot. Her column now appears weekly on Oddball Magazine.

 

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Bamboozled No More! Facts of Life

 

Sometimes a person gets the job by default
because no one else would take it.

And…

Sometimes the employer hires a person because no one else would take the scraps offered.

 

Janet Cormier is a painter, writes prose and poetry, and performs comedy. JC prefers different and original over pretty. She loves collecting stuff, but cleaning not so much. Janet also talks to strangers…a lot. Her column now appears weekly on Oddball Magazine.

 

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The E.A.R.: One Holiday Policy

 

It’s the end of October; the leaves are orange, the nights are frightful, trick or treaters are out and about, Susan’s playing Christmas music next door.

Halloween hasn’t even approached, and I can hear Jingle Bells down the block.

I walk in to a Sears and they’re already selling Christmas trees.

We’ve become so obsessed with getting into the holiday spirit that we’ve forgotten about Halloween and Thanksgiving; especially Thanksgiving. Right after Halloween we jump right to Christmas and don’t even acknowledge Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is an extremely important holiday because FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love food and I find it a grievous offense that people are willing to jump straight to Christmas without acknowledging Thanksgiving. It’s like y’all say “fuck Thanksgiving” and start pulling out the Christmas.

It’s not that I have anything against Christmas, it’s that I firmly believe in celebrating one holiday at a time. I also believe that stuffing your face with food while watching a parade that’s 10% floats and 90% bad lip syncing, watching football and watching dogs your broke ass can’t afford is an American pastime as old as baseball and racism. Let’s do our due diligence and make sure that we celebrate one holiday at a time.

Thanksgiving matters damn it!

 

Flemmings Beaubrun is an avid gamer and lover of music. When not working, Flemmings likes to spend his time whipping up dank beats for the masses. He also spends his weekends thrift shopping for rare video games and obscure electronics. Other times he’s in front of a TV with a giant bowl of cereal enjoying shows from the 90’s.