The protector


I am the protector.

I sleep with one eye open.

Half a block away, a neighbor sneezes.

I jolt awake while my wife and children sleep peacefully by my side.

My adrenaline is pumping and my muscles are tense.

I am ready to leap into action.

I am prepared to do battle with saber-toothed tigers or marauding tribesmen.

Of course, it is all pointless.

A million years of evolution have been made redundant by the door lock.


By Charlie Taylor


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The Cursed Blood

(The following is an excerpt from a longer work.)



When I began focusing on doing my spin on the vampire story, everything has been done ad nauseam. Or has it?

My premise is simple. What if you were a newly bitten vampire and had to feed. But every time you did you were filled with revulsion. You had the side effects of tremors, shaking, vomiting, passing out, and, yes, even death (again).

Such is the plight of Abigail Martin. Her life, her death, her new life, and then …

Read and enjoy. Continue reading “The Cursed Blood”

A fleeting feeling


He was familiar with this feeling.

It was one of sudden deep regret. It accompanied moments in time which separated life irreversibly into two discrete periods—the past, which held the possibility that the present could have been averted, and the future, which would be defined by the consequences. The feeling was usually accompanied by a distinctive, haunting sound, like the crunch of two car bodies slamming into each other, or the snap of a bone breaking.

This time, the feeling was accompanied by the sound of shattering glass, but the feeling was fleeting, because very quickly there was not enough blood in his brain to support feelings, or life.

–By Steven Swordspire


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Wedding hall

The pink and red heart-shaped balloons, which were intended to transform the legion hall into the sort of grand ballroom suitable for a fairy-tale wedding, did not quite suit the pastel-yellow walls. The single rotating coloured light which the DJ had brought could not compete with the stark glare of the fluorescent tubes that were recessed into the low false ceiling. Nonetheless, the open bar was well-frequented, and the guests were in good humour. Loud whooping accompanied the doffing of thrift store suit-jackets, which were then swung around heads revealing dark pit-stains that had formed on the dress shirts beneath. None of this, however, perturbed the groom, David, as much as the presence of his mother, and, after a particularly energetic turn on the dance floor to the strains of Gloria Gaynor’s 1978 classic “I Will Survive,” he walked over to the bar to catch his breath and to unburden himself to his sister, Sarah.
“I don’t even know why we brought her all the way down here. I mean, she’s not getting anything out of this. She doesn’t even know what’s going on.”
“Shame on you, David; she cared for both of us when we were far too small to ‘know what was going on.’” Continue reading “Unforgettable”