Beyond the Darkside 35 1-5


Fireball Brand Explosion Fire Pop Big Bang

The sound of electrons rearranging on the surface of the molecular analyzer grated on Aldric’s nerves. The hiss-chirp hiss-chirp cadence generated by the device was new, or at least it was new to him. He never noticed it before, but he was distracted before. Everything was clearer now, so it only made sense that he would notice sounds that were obviously masked before. Ignoring the sound was difficult, but it did not keep him from understanding the information.

The complex patterns taking shape on the analyzer was unlike anything he had seen before in organic matter. The DNA, or what passed for DNA in the remains of the tentacles that came pouring through the dimensional gate, mimicked the wave pattern of the energy that came from opening the gate in the first place. Was the creature’s DNA change when it went through the gate, or was the gate somehow connected to the creatures? Hard to answer that question without going through the gate himself, and he was not crazy enough to try going through the gate. Not yet anyway.

Continue reading “Beyond the Darkside 35 1-5”

Beyond the Darkside 33-6 to 15


The silence left in Isaac’s wake filled the expansive office like water filling a reservoir, and like water, it threatened to drown Aldric where he sat. Thoughts rushed about like currents in a great sea, pulling him with them, spinning him about in little eddies that went nowhere, crushing him under their weight before threatening to pull him apart.

How was it possible? How had he survived? Were they talking to him too? Were they protecting him? Why had they not told Aldric? Was there more to this than his plan? Was Margaret behind this? Why couldn’t the stupid fucker die?

Continue reading “Beyond the Darkside 33-6 to 15”

Beyond the Darkside: 29-14 to 17

Michel Foucault, painted portrait DDC_7450.jpg

The whisper of voices in his mind grew louder as he pondered his hand. Power. Control. Strength. All of these could be his now. Until now, he only thought he had those things, but this second life would make him the true master of men. Their lives were his to toy with and the universe itself would quake at his presence. All he had to do was complete the plan. Forget the petty distractions that plagued him. The whore and the traitor would get their punishment soon enough.

Aldric smiled and leaned against the dented shower wall. Yes, they would get what they deserved. They all would. The foolish politician, the power hungry military, and the greedy investors would all get what they had coming. He was a visionary and if they could not see their way to the future without being in his way then he would crush them all. Continue reading “Beyond the Darkside: 29-14 to 17”

Beyond the Darkside, 29-12

Animation of the structure of a section of DNA. The bases lie horizontally between the two spiraling strands. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aldric let the hot water pour over his body and wash away the murders’ evidence. It took some time to scrub the clotted blood and bone from his hair and then to make sure it went down the drain. All of it collected in a filter just below the surface of the shower. Two minutes after the water turned off, the radiation bombarded the filter and the contents were shunted through a pneumatic tube into the heart of a specially designed void chamber that would smash the filter’s contents into their separate atoms and scattered across the lunar surface. When his DNA controlled the energy that made the moon habitable, Aldric took protecting that DNA very seriously.

Beyond the DarkSide 29-2


Pulling his hands away, Aldric looked at them and sneered at the blood that still covered them. He was no Lady MacBeth, railing against the guilt that plagued him, but he was a murderer. As the head of the largest lunar corporation he was responsible for the death of thousands, but there were usually hundreds of people between him and whatever unfortunate soul got in his way. The interview room was clean, the video erased and the bodies disposed of before he made it to his office. He would not face any semblance of justice for the murders, at least none the authorities could mete out. He killed his guards without hesitation or concern for the consequences, and that is what worried him.

Book Review: The Grey Matter

Book ReviewWhen the lights go out in America and civilization falls apart, a small group of teenagers living in a cabin in the woods must find a way to fend for themselves. Finding food and water is hard enough, but when their closest neighbor starts acting a little odd and one of the boys finds a freshly dug grave near the neighbors home, questions start to arise and it is not long before the kids find themselves facing a monster in their midst. Can they survive the end of the world? Can they even survive the madness that comes with the people who coming looking for food and shelter? What about the madmen they once called friend?

Billie Sue Mosiman’s new thriller, The Grey Matter, takes a microscopic look at life in rural America when there is no more electricity and the modern conveniences we take for granted are swept away in an instant. Set in the foothills of Alabama, the story follows the lives of a group of runaways that came together before the apocalypse and are forced to survive in the world left behind afterwards. As if mere survival were not hard enough, when they find their friend, John Grey, is also a sadistic murderer, the terror kicks into overdrive and they must decide if they can make it in a kill or be killed world.


This is a refreshing take on the Post-Apocalyptic genre with the added twist of the murder in the midst of the young protagonists. The short time frame of the story and microcosm represented in the story makes for a tight story in a global arena. The characters are well developed and easily distinguished from one another. The writing is crisp and compelling, setting a pace that keeps the reader invested and turning pages in anticipation of what is to come.


If there is anything that might have been improved with the book it is that the anxiety level could have been ratcheted up a bit higher than it is. The climatic moments fell a touch short, often because of the introduction of some unforeseen element that added to the chaos of the atmosphere, but took away from what was potentially a nail biting moment. This is a case where less would definitely have been more.


This was an excellent book and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the posy-apocalyptic genre. It is a fun, quick read that is hard to put down.


Book Review: Thorns of Glass

 They say when you die it’s like traveling down a tunnel with a blinding white light at the end, and everyone you ever knew and loved, everyone who has gone before you, will be there to welcome you. But it wasn’t like that at all. Not for me. It was more like stepping from one world to the next; trading one bleak existence for another.

       Maybe there is a tunnel. Something connecting this world to the next, but I never got that far. I could have turned my back on all of it; left it behind me and entered whatever lay beyond where I am now. Another life…heaven? I don’t know. What I do know is I resisted. I denied the force that was beckoning me and I chose to stay here, surrounded by a solid breathing world I will never be part of again.

       Maybe I should have gone. I should have left and found that tunnel or doorway, or whatever it is, and never looked back. I should have left my pain in this world and started fresh in another. But there’s a funny thing about all that pain and hurt after you die. It becomes more than just emotions. It becomes almost palpable; hot and sticky, and adhering you in place. I think, sometimes, I wouldn’t have been able to leave it all behind even if I had wanted to.

       The pain made my decision a hasty one. I couldn’t separate myself from the agony that screamed for justice. I didn’t take the time to really consider my choice, or step back and try to fully understand what my decision meant. 

       Dahli says it’s unfair, cruel even, that we are given such a drastic decision without knowing the consequences. She says we should have come to the resolution with balanced hearts, not ones that are crippled. She’s right of course. But what if we never really have a choice? What if us choosing to stay was just part of a bigger plan we can’t see? I’ve considered the possibility that Dahli and I are merely smaller parts of large cosmic game-pawns or checkers, or whatever.

Thorns of Glass Book Review


Death comes to us all, but when death comes early the loss is all the more tragic. It is nice to think that the souls of our loved ones move on to a better place, but what if that is not the case? What if death is so jarring, so filled with trauma that the opportunity to move on is lost and the spirit must remain behind, trapped at the scene for all time?  Continue reading “Book Review: Thorns of Glass”

Book Review: LoveClub

This is a first for me. I am going to put a  caveat at the beginning of this review. The author is Hungarian and writes in Hungarian. I do not speak Hungarian. The copy I received was an English translation, and I am willing to assume that some aspects of the translation did not come off perfectly. When you read my review, keep all of that in mind.

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Apocalypse Runner 04-09-12 Inspiration Monday

Luke Andrew Scowen 2009 / Foter

The young couple sat beneath the ancient oak at the edge of their land. They watched their son playing the family dog, a mutt of such mixed heritage that its ancestry would never be known, and they smiled. Their work was finished, and the mid-afternoon meal in the shade was a well-deserved treat. Leftover pheasant, fresh picked vegetables and homemade brandy made for a perfect lunch that day.

Times had been hard since the end of the war, but they had survived the war, disease and famine, and their fortunes had finally turned around. The crops were growing and there was almost no sign of the blight, only one of the piglets died before it was weaned and spring had come in March instead of May. They were all signs that the world was beginning to shake off the nuclear holocaust, at least in the places that were not radioactive wastelands. Continue reading “Apocalypse Runner 04-09-12 Inspiration Monday”

Apocalypse Runner 03-22-11

This is a repost of my original Apocalypse Runner story (which has become my regular appearance in InMon). It was originally called God’s Wrath and was done as part of a challenge I hosted over a year ago. Since then, Bernard the assassin has taken on a life of his own, so I thought I would share this once more.



God's Wrath Is A Joke


“You should just kill every last one of them Bernard. You know this would all be a lot easier if you did.” The dark cloud of pain and hatred hung around Felix, anyone looking closely could see it there, but most chose not to pay attention lest they become involved in something that might disrupt their peaceful little lives.

 “Easier for who? You? I want no more blood on my hands Felix.” Bernard looked in the mirror, trying to see past the dark black bags beneath his eyes to the soul hidden within them. Every once in a while he thought he saw it there, a faint glimmer of who he used to be, long before the darkness consumed his life.

 “Little late for that don’t you think? There’s enough blood on those hands to fill a handful of blood banks Bernard. Why stop now? Shit, you and I both know that you’ll be killing more people soon enough. They won’t just let you go just because you want to.” Felix’s voice was sharp, filled with contempt for Bernard, who admittedly deserved every ounce of that derision. There were few men left on the planet who were as dangerous and deadly as Bernard, but he was broken and afraid, fearing an end that was sure to come, pricking the remnants of a conscience that he had thought destroyed when he was still a child. Continue reading “Apocalypse Runner 03-22-11”