David Rhodes

‘House of Leftovers’ by guest author David Rhodes

Saturday, May 25th, 2013
Guest Author David Rhodes

Guest Author David Rhodes

Everyone in the House of Leftovers was dead, except for the two doctors standing in the middle of the room, wearing clean white smocks and black rubber gloves, leaning over the fresh corpse of a man. There was a huge, ugly stab wound in the dead man’s chest.

“God, I don’t know if I can handle this,” said Cranna, the younger of the two.

“It’s always like that the first time,” Jones said. “Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it. Besides, you’ll get to eat real food.”

“Remember when they used to be able to grow food?”

Jones smiled wanly. “Yeah, but I try not to think about it.” (more…)

‘Trick or Treat’ by Guest Author David Rhodes

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
Guest Author David Rhodes

Guest Author David Rhodes

The trio ambled down the sidewalk, eyeing the other groups across the street carrying their flashlights to make sure no harm came to their little ones. These three were not little, but were dressed up for the occasion.  A witch, the Frankenstein monster, and the Mummy.

They came to a house void of any children, and the witch opened the gate. “Remember, it’s my turn this time,” she cackled.

“It’s always your turn,” the Frankenstein monster said.

The mummy only grunted, a plume of dust blowing from his mouth.

“Don’t worry, you’ll get your turns, I promise. Now let’s go up and take care of this so we can be on our way. (more…)

‘A Dish Best Served Cold’ by guest author David Rhodes

Sunday, April 14th, 2013
Guest Author David Rhodes

Guest Author David Rhodes

Dusk had fallen in the city, but that did not damper the nightlife; it if fact encouraged it, bringing it to life. Traffic retained its rhythm, and those on the street changed from the hurried business men and women to dealers and hookers. It was prime time for business.

A very handsome man, he was, as he strolled along the avenue in his overcoat, catching the attention of more than a few of the whores standing on the curb and leaning against buildings.

Fucking sluts, he thought.

He strolled along the sidewalk in the cool night air, and as he passed several women standing in a group, one of them called out to him.

“Hey, good lookin’. Lookin’ for a good time? I got what you need, baby.” (more…)

‘Late Shift’ by Guest Author David Rhodes

Thursday, February 28th, 2013
Guest Author David Rhodes

Guest Author David Rhodes

Freddy walked out of the summer heat and into the refreshing cool of the front office of Dry Goods, Inc. The young woman sitting behind the desk looked up and smiled. He was surprised, considering his holey pants and tee shirt, as he was very self-conscious about his appearance. He had no clothing more appropriate for a job interview – with a useless wife and a small child, money was tight.

“Can I help you?” she asked.

“Um, yeah, I have an appointment with Mr. Jarvis. My name’s Freddy Lynch,” he said, avoiding too much eye contact with her.

She punched a few keys on her computer. “Ok, I’ll let him know you’re here. Just have a seat, and he’ll be right with you.”

He sat down in a plastic chair and eyed the tattered magazines scattered across the small table next to him. The hard plastic was uncomfortable on Freddy’s ass, and he shifted around, hoping the wait would not be too long. The receptionist glanced up at him and then went back to whatever she had been doing. (more…)

“The Butcher” by guest author David Rhodes

Thursday, January 31st, 2013
Guest Author David Rhodes

Guest Author David Rhodes

The body laid in the bathtub, not draining much fluid for it had been dead for a while. It dripped slowly, not really enough to make any kind of difference, except it fascinated him to sit and watch while he engaged in one-sided discourse.

“You were a very bad girl!” he said. “Don’t you know what kind of diseases you might be spreading around?”

The night before buckets of rain fell, and now the glowing sun and warm temperatures were drying up everything. He turned on the cooler, and the apartment soon grew comfortable.

Now it was time for The Butcher to do his job. On the floor next to the tub was a clean hacksaw and a keystone saw. He lay plastic on the bathroom floor, and tossed his tools into the tub against the bloating body. He donned his clean, plastic overalls and stood over the corpse for a while, absorbing the satisfaction, the joy he felt that one more lay there, the indentations pressed deeply into her neck from the cord he had used to strangle life the life from her. (more…)

Maniacs (pt. 6 & 7) by Guest Author David Rhodes

Saturday, September 1st, 2012
Guest Author David Rhodes

Guest Author David Rhodes

Maniacs (pt. 6)

The following day, the President addressed the nation, and it was the first time I had ever seen him look so grim, so old (any president for that matter). The lines in his face had deepened; the stress was taking its toll.

He declared a national state of emergency, and put a ban on all public firearms sales. He urged all Americans to stay in their homes. Temporary stations would be set up at various points throughout all US cities to supply food and medical supplies, with supply trucks making continuous runs like ice cream trucks, making sure people had enough to eat. The Army and National Guard, along with local law enforcement, had total discretion concerning the use of deadly force. If you left your home, you could be mistaken for a loony and killed.

After the broadcast, the local new stations showed video captured from New York, where gangs of maniacs were attacking and killing citizens in the streets. Police wearing riot gear were running through the mobs, clubbing people down, blocking blows with their shields, and shooting people point blank. (more…)

‘Maniacs’ Part 5 by Guest Author David Rhodes

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Guest Author David Rhodes

Three days after I bought the gun, officials at the plant announced that it was shutting down for an indefinite amount of time. The chances of spreading the virus through food sources were just too great a risk. I had a week’s vacation pay coming (I was a lot luckier than many of the other employees), but after that, I was on my own.

On all the news stations, radio and TV, they were advising citizens to stock up on food, toiletries, etc., in case the situation reached emergency status; I thought we had already reached that point. I always did think it funny that the government always downplayed crises such as this. Christ, people were being killed left and right, or altogether losing their minds; hospitals were overflowing, with no end in sight. If this wasn’t emergency status, then I didn’t know what was.

I decided to take the advice seriously, though, and do a little extra shopping. Marina was busy with her daily household grind, so I offered to go myself.

“That’s sweet of you,” she said, and kissed me on the cheek. Then she looked me in the eye, her face clouded with worry. “Please be careful.” I assured her that I would, that a thousand maniacs couldn’t keep me away from her.

On the way to the store, I saw National Guard soldiers on several corners, standing in pairs and waving at the folks who honked as they passed by. (more…)

Maniacs (part 3)- by guest author David Rhodes

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Guest Author David Rhodes

Over the next week, reports began to surface all over the country about incidents eerily similar to Ritchie’s. I guess that was about the time they started looking for a cause, but it was already too late. But how could anyone have known?

When they first incarcerated Ritchie (they took him to the state mental hospital for a routine evaluation – it’s only a few miles from my house), they ran all kinds of tests, including a blood screening, and even a lumbar puncture, but they just did not know what they were looking for. In the meantime, countless people were exposed to Ritchie, and they in turn exposed to others, and so on and so forth. There was no telling how many there were like Ritchie living in Compton.

It took some time, but the doctors did finally discover the virus, and suddenly pictures of the deadly bug that had managed to keep itself hidden for so long were being shown on virtually every station – pictures of a tiny, imperfect circle edged with minuscule wavy cilia. This was the culprit, the new enemy of the state, and it was spreading like wildfire. Special isolation wards were set up in hospitals, jails, and mental institutions all over the country to try to deal with the ever-increasing number of cases.

Meanwhile, authorities were still searching for the source of the virus. There were a lot of rumors flying around, but none that seemed to connect with the truth. People were starting to get edgy, and back in Compton things were starting to get outright crazy.

‘Maniacs (part 2)’ by guest author David Rhodes

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012
Guest Author David Rhodes

Guest Author David Rhodes

I climbed into my car, disturbed by what I had seen on the TV. I just could not fathom Ritchie doing something like this. I had known the man too long. I was confused and frightened, but I would soon learn that this was only the beginning of the confusion, the fright.

I came to a red light, and looked across the street; there was the gas station, with police cars marked and unmarked parked aside the front curbs, some in whatever space could be found in the small parking lot. A few bystanders remained, still watching the activity beyond the yellow tape. The light turned green, and I turned through the intersection, parking several houses down from the already packed station. I hoped that the people whose house I had decided to park in front of were understanding, and not one of these families who would decide that towing the car away would be a good lesson for me.

I walked up the street and soon found myself standing at the yellow police tape with those who had stayed. Mike, the station’s owner, was standing near the glass doors of the entrance, surrounded by police drilling him with questions. He looked nervous, edgy, and kept shifting his gaze to the audience on the other side of the tape. Therefore, with Mike occupied, I had to look elsewhere for answers. (more…)

‘Forest World’ by Guest Author David Rhodes

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

Guest Author David Rhodes

1

In this forest world, where the dead were buried just about everywhere, Sirrus ambled among the scattered markings, some carved from expensive stone, while others were merely rocks or pieces of wood nailed together. Some were merely humps in the trodden ground. There were many such places among the forest.

That he was here at all was hard enough, but he was searching for a spot to bury his best friend, and this weighed heavy on his heart. It would be difficult to let go for the final time.

A fine ground mist swirled about his feet as he led the horse and wagon, and dark trees loomed overhead like the guardians of this dark place. Distantly, a crow cawed through the dim, and he thought that this place must be the perfect home for their kind.   (more…)

‘The Father of All Things Evil’ by Guest Author David Rhodes

Thursday, March 1st, 2012
Guest Author David Rhodes

Guest Author David Rhodes

Gregg and Tina Wright moved in, under the same guidance as Doreen Fenston, with the same aspirations

“Are you sure you want to go in there, Pastor? I mean, the man is a murderer.”

“Yes, I’m sure,” said Pastor Henry Flaker, gazing through the tiny window into the padded room where a man sat shackled in a corner. His head was lowered as if he were asleep.

“Well, it’s your time. Just yell if you need help, we’ll be right there,” said the sanitarium tech. He was a large black man, and his partner, an equally as large white man with mace strapped to his belt nodded in agreement.

“We’ll be right there,” the white tech said, as if he craved for action. Perhaps he had seen too many action movies.

The black  tech, whose name tag said he was Drew Timmer, plugged a thick key into the door and pulled it open. The man in the corner still did not raise his head. (more…)

‘Lake George Road’ by Guest Author David Rhodes

Thursday, March 1st, 2012
Guest Author David Rhodes

Guest Author David Rhodes

1

An older man (still moving on in his fifties) sat on the edge of Lake George, his fishing pole propped up with one wrinkled but strong hand. The water was placid, save for a light breeze blowing across the water, causing a very light stir. In the heat, it felt quite good.

The man did not like to think about it, but could not help it. He had been sitting in this very place when it had all occurred. The most terrible thing he had ever lived through in his life. It seemed so calm right now, but he could not help but think about it…

It was only two years past when it happened. Charlie had been sitting in the exact spot, as he always did, when a policeman abruptly showed up at his cabin and told him the news. George now sat in the same spot, not worried, for he had an idea who was at the heart of these disappearances.

For the time being, someone showed up, and it turned out to be the Constable, for he wore the green jacket with the patches stitched on the shoulders. George looked up, slightly alarmed at his sudden presence.

“Pack up your stuff, George.” (more…)

‘Season of Drake’ by guest author David Rhodes – Part 4

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Guest Author David Rhodes

Thad stood his ground, while Tim and Worm retreated to a darkened corner of the living room, Worm holding out the ancient crucifix in front of them. They were both shaking like leaves.

“That is a very good weapon, indeed, but I must warn you, it means nothing to me. My strength and experience are much to overwhelming for such pitiful toys.”

Something thumped onto the roof and began to creep around, as if testing the roof for some weakened point.

“He cannot come in, and I will not allow him entry – and there is the other, Randy, whom my friends are sure to come across soon. He will perish soon. Bones will be a different matter. You met the two men that are here, did you not, Thad?”

“Yes, I met them, two men from England that is.”

“And what did they tell you, my friend?” (more…)

‘Cthulhu Rose’ by Guest Author David Rhodes

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Guest Author David Rhodes

Part One

 

I write this chronicle with simple pencil and paper from my room in the state hospital known as Stormy Haven. I am on the third floor, and I have not been allowed to leave my room in thirty-three days. I am considered dangerous.

And yet, they brought in a small table and chair at my request, this after thirty days of being docile, showing no sign of danger to anyone. I was grateful for the gesture, though the doctor was against it from the beginning. I don’t think I would ever have had anything but my simple bed, had it not been for another doctor from the first floor who came and interviewed me. Their names are of no consequence to what I am about to tell you, and it is probably for the best, lest the evil invade their lives as well.

I can only tell you the truth, and let you decide. For this truth, I have been judged insane. Perhaps now I am, for it was said years ago that this truth could take a man’s mind. I thought it fiction, as everyone else who read Lovecraft’s work.

But I tell you now, I warn you, beware… (more…)

‘Season of Drake’ by Guest Author David Rhodes – Part 3

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Guest Author David Rhodes

The curtains were drawn over all the windows, and only a reading lamp on a small table next to a recliner was lit, with an aged leather bound book splayed under the lamp. Drake noticed Lee gazing at the book.

“Are you a fan of the classics, Officer?”

“Actually, yes, I am. But that’s not the reason we’re here Mr. Drake.”

“Yes, I already know that you’re here on business, so let’s get to the matter at hand, shall we?” he said in that pure English accent. He didn’t look any older than Thad Wendt.

“Mr. Drake, what is that horrible smell? It seems to be coming from everywhere,” Fisher asked.

“Well, I imagine part of the reason the last residents moved out was because of the rodent problem.”

“Actually,” Lee said, “a man committed suicide in the master bedroom, after being accused of shaking his baby to death.”

“Well, no matter,” Drake said, and the two policemen looked at each other slightly bewildered. “I saw a lot of things from my days in London, so nothing really shocks me.” (more…)

“Season of Drake” by Guest Author David Rhodes – Part 2

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011
Guest Author David Rhodes

Guest Author David Rhodes

Had there not been a screen on his mother’s bedroom window, Thad would have been even more startled than he had been at what he saw there. In fact, for a little while he had been downright frightened, his heart flip-flopping as he walked into that room and flicked on the light. The blinds were raised, the window slid open, and on the other side of the window was a face staring into the room. It was void of any facial hair, and one of the first things Thad noticed was how pale it looked. The man’s eyes (for it was obviously a man) were wide and moist, unblinking, and the mouth was slightly open, revealing slender teeth.

Thad barely had time to react before the face was swallowed up by the night, and although the window was open, the face was gone without a single minute sound. No footsteps, or rustling through the grass on the side of the house. He did not even see which way it had gone.

Thad jumped back into the hall, out of sight of the window. Heart pumping double-time, breathing as if he had just ran a long distance race – he managed a peek around the doorway, and saw nothing in the window. The intruder had not returned. (more…)

‘I Wish You To Death’ by Guest Author David Rhodes

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011
Guest Author David Rhodes

Guest Author David Rhodes

The sun beat down viciously the day of the funeral, and most assuredly would have caused much discomfort for those in attendance, had it not been for the large green awning the funeral home had provided for Billy’s funeral.

Marty stood next to mostly family members he had never met, or perhaps had met only once or twice, he being the next door neighbor that was always invited over for barbecues by Billy’s father, Sam Schafer.

Now he stood staring at the coffin, saddened that Sam and Beth could not be there – they both had already died quite some time ago. They had called Billy’s death a brain hemorrhage, but Marty knew better. It had been suicide.

He thought back to sixteen years before, to the day Billy had been born. At the time, Marty didn’t think anything had been amiss, even though a nurse had died in the birthing room minutes after Billy had emerged into the world. She had suffered a massive stroke, and simply died on the floor next to the crying newborn. It had been a strange day, indeed… (more…)

‘A Season of Drake’ by Guest Author David Rhodes

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011
Guest Author David Rhodes

Guest Author David Rhodes

Part 1

 That particular summer brought not only a natural change of seasons, but a hurried season of unlikely events that left the people of the small and cozy neighborhood bewildered, and taking a second look at the normal facade of the world around them they had so often taken for granted.

Though all the homes alongCrystal Avenuewere old (most were built in the forties and fifties), most were well kept enough to be homey, a satisfying abode for retirement, or someone escaping the seemingly inescapable problems of living in an apartment. The lawns and grounds along the street were well trimmed, products of an age in which weed eaters ruled. They buzzed and chewed like angry wasps, and it was often difficult for one to sleep in on a Sunday, as the air would be filled with their insect buzzing, along with the monotonous drone of two or three lawnmowers at any given time.

Thad could not remember the last time he’d been toSaltLake, except the years when he and his family had lived there in the early years, when his father had been alive. After Thomas Wendt had died of heart failure and laid to rest in the small but lovelyTaylorCemetery, with a large, beautiful headstone that only missed one thing – Abby Wendt’s date of death. After Thomas had died, the family had fallen to pieces, became dysfunctional, or maybe it had already been that way. Only Thad (his mother Abby still had insisted on calling him Thaddeus – it carried with it an air of influence, she had claimed) and his mother had managed to hold things together, at least between themselves, while Thad’s two older brothers, Markus and Samuel, had selfish dreams and goals that held no room for meaningless family affairs. (more…)

Final Approach by Guest Author David Rhodes

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Author David Rhodes

The 747 coursed through the night sky toward Salt Lake City International Airport. A little over half of the people on board would stay in Salt Lake City, perhaps coming home from a business trip, or visiting a relative, while others would depart only to catch connecting flights. Most of those on the plane and in the terminal below had flown before, and became accustomed to its normality, and its frequency. And while America’s terminals were alive with fliers who were anxious to get to their gates, alive with strangers who were obviously up to no good (keep your hands on your wallets, please), sometimes alive with a chaos that could only be created by juggling so many flights, the general ambiance during all the activity was calm, routine, and second nature. After all, thousands of flights were in the air every day, all without incident.

A man in a gray suit sat in a window seat in first class, staring out at the night sky and its sprinkling of stars. He was returning from a business trip to Denver, where he had paid a prostitute a hundred dollars for sex; tonight, he would be returning home to his wife and kids like it had never happened. He glanced over at two very wealthy-looking women on the other side of the plane, and they raised their noses, glaring back disdainfully. “Bitches,” he muttered. (more…)

The Man In The Woods by Guest Author David Rhodes

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Author David Rhodes

I’ve never told anyone this before, except my older brother, and back then he thought I was just a nutty kid who was afraid of the dark. Years later, I told my wife, and maybe she thought I was nuts, too, but she kind of swept it under the rug, and accepted it as one of those idiosyncrasies that you don’t find out about until after you’re married. She must have loved me a lot. Now they’re both buried out at Pleasant Green Cemetery back at our home town of Compton, and there’s a spot right next to Mildred waiting for me.

There comes a time in a man’s life when he has to get anything he needs to off his chest, stuff he’s been carrying around for a long time – uncork the bottle, so to speak, and let it all out. That time of your life when at any moment, the sun might go down for the very last time. So, I’m going to uncork the bottle, and let it out. I’m going to tell you everything. That is, if you really want to hear about it. I’ll tell you right now, I never told anyone everything. If I had done that, they would have locked me up in the State Hospital, where I’d have to wear one of those hospital johnnies with my ass hanging out the back, and draw pictures of kitties and doggies and flowers with my trusty box of crayons. Life is a cabaret.

Anyway, I guess I’ve run out of reasons not to tell everything. So, if you think I’m crazy, or senile, or if you want to laugh at how ridiculous the whole thing seems, then be my guest. I don’t care anymore.

I just don’t.

So how about lending an old man a few minutes? It won’t take too long. Shouldn’t, anyway. (more…)