Monday, February 28, 2011

Taste the Horror of Addiction: Masters of Horror: Damned if You Don't

Taste the Horror of Addiction: Masters of Horror: Damned if You Don't Anthology.  

This awesome collection features these great horror writers: 

John Shirley              Keith Gouveia           Glaze McRob            
F. Paul Wilson          Lee Pletzers                Nomar Knight
Scott M. Goriscak    K.K.                             Marissa Farrar
Ken Goldman           Harry Louis Mora         Lori R. Lopez
Ryan Willox             Joseph Pinto                 C.D. Bennett
Carole Gill               Carson Buckingham     Armand Rosamilla
                                                                      Scott Nicholson

     Less face facts, most of us, if not all are addicted to something.  Each person has their vice whether it be smoking, alcohol, food, sex...doesn't matter, there's always something we latch on to as if it were a security blanket.  In my case, I'm addicted to two things: coffee and chocolate.  I define addiction as something your mind and body can not do without.  Well, I've survived without many things, but in the end, coffee and chocolate would be almost impossible for me to kick.  

      In the hot new anthology published by Triskaideka Books and edited by the extraordinarily talented, K.K., a spectacular selection of horror masters dazzle us with stories about all sorts of addictions.  Each author entertains and brings to light situations that boggle the mind.  Each week I'll be highlighting a few stories from the collection.  

     I figured what better way to provide my wonderful Knight Chills readers with a sampling of what's coming then to give you a taste of the great John Shirley's Aftertaste

     Some of you may know John Shirley's work from his novels Demon and Crawlers (to name but a few)  He also was the co-screen writer of The Crow.  

Here's a preview of what you'll find in Masters of Horror: Damned if You Don't

The monstrously addictive power of crack cocaine lies in the intensity—and the brevity—of the high. Within a matter of moments, you’re back to normal again (or as close to ‘normal’ as anyone on crack ever gets) and ready for more. It’s also relatively cheap—per dose-- and doesn’t seem to eat your money as fast as it does, so one month you’re paying cash for it, the next month you’re selling your last remaining pair of shoes for it. One of my best friends, when he lived in Tampa, told me a story of how a thin, wasted man desperately asked him at a 7-11 to buy a bloodstained baby’s blanket for five dollars.
For better or for worse, crack seems to have fallen off the national radar or it’s been eclipsed by that other breakfast of champions, crystal meth. Or a prediction has come true…one authority on drugs called the crack epidemic, ‘A self-cleaning oven’, meaning: ‘In a few years there won’t be a crack epidemic, because everyone who keeps using crack will be dead.’
     Or, as imagined by the amazing John Shirley, WORSE than dead…

By John Shirley

8:45 P.M., Saturday Night, West Oakland, California

Dwayne was sick of hearing Uncle Garland talk. The old man would talk about Essy and he would talk about the dope and he would talk about grindin’, about everything but his own goddamn drinking. Sitting in that busted wheelchair at the kitchen table, talking and sipping that Early Times. Talking shit about his angel dreams, too. One more word about the dope. . .
But Dwayne tolerated more than just one more word, because he needed Uncle Garland. He needed a place to stay and some place to run to. So he just sat and listened while he waited for Essy to get up, waited for Essy to get them started again. Essy in the next room, had to crash for awhile, been two hours already. Fuck it. Dwayne could taste rock at the back of his tongue; smell it high in his nostrils. All in the imagination.
The TV was on, with the sound turned off. A rerun of a show with that guy used to be in Taxi. Tony something.
“You listening to me, Dwayne?” Uncle Garland demanded, scratching his bald pate with yellowed fingers. His rheumy eyes looking at Dwayne and not seeing him. Moving with less life than the TV screen. Blind. The old man was blind, but that was easy to forget, somehow.
“Can’t hardly not listen, you talking all the time,” Dwayne said.
“The dope killing this town, it be killing our people,” Garland was saying. “Killing the black man. I’m fixin’ to go the Next World, and I’m glad to be goin’, Praise Jesus, with the devil eating this world like a pie. . .” Didn’t pause to take a breath.
Uncle Garland’s place was an apartment in the Projects, in the shadow of the freeway that collapsed in the ‘89 earthquake. Used to be you heard the freeway booming and rushing all night. Now it was eerie quiet. Or quiet as it ever got in the Projects.
“Tell you some true now,” Uncle Garland said, using the expression that always prefaced a long, long lecture. “These are the end times, that the Lord’s truth. In my angel dreams, they come to me and tell me it’s so. And it’s on the news, about the dead people rising. It’s in the Bible, son, when the dead rise it’s a Sign that the Lord is coming for Judgment —”



© Copyright Triskaideka Books 2011. All rights reserved. 
Triskaideka Books has granted Knight Chills non-exclusive rights to display this work.

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