Tag Archives: anthologies

Idbash

by Melchior Zimmermann

idbash my melchior zimmermann from Sulfurings: Tales from Sodom & GomorrahIt had been a moon ago that Idbash had last set eyes upon the great city-state of Sodom. Every month, he would come to the market to sell his wares and buy what he might need from the other merchants. If life on the plains was hard, the soil was fertile and trade with the city-states allowed even a humble farmer like himself to make a living.

Idbash had never found much joy in the rites of Sodom. But he knew that wherever he went to sell his crops, he would need to bow to the customs of his customers. And even if the people of Sodom might have stranger customs than the shepherds of the mountains, they also paid a better price for his wares.

He was setting up his stand once more, in the same spot as the other times, exchanging idle barter with the neighboring merchants, when he heard a loud rumble coming from above. The sky had been a clear blue when he had set out that morning, but during the day, dark clouds had gathered. Afraid a storm was brewing, he glanced up.

Finish reading the rest of this story in Sulfurings: Tales from Sodom & Gomorrah, or download the book at:

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Ruins of Gomorrah

by Nicholas Paschall

Sulfurings e-book anthologyI open my eyes slowly, ignoring the muck that has half submerged my body in the sinking mire that was once our great city. I claw my way free, ignoring the torn scraps of skin peeling off of my body as I scrabble up the foundation of an old tavern I used to frequent; now I live in the rubble like some utter street trash.

That’s what we are now: street trash and monsters.

Stooped low behind a section of wall, I shuffle to a table that I’ve set up as a small shrine, muttering a small prayer as my day begins. Perhaps I’ll find food today?

I hear a scream in the distance, as well as the crumbling of another building. That sounds promising, I think.

Turning, I scoop up the sword I’d scavenged and lope onto the street, avoiding the craters of still-broiling sulfur that made this city an inferno. I jog around the impact craters, past others like me as they awaken to the sounds of the screams. If I move fast enough, I’ll be the first to get there.

Nobody comes to our fair city anymore. Well, nobody sane, that is. Heretics and worshippers of the devil flock here, seeing it as a holy site for their profane rituals and horrid rites. I still have faith—I have faith that God will save us. He will let us leave the still-burning ruins of our city. For some reason, any and all who called Gomorrah home can’t leave this place. We start to choke and suffocate as the cool air of the open plains meets us. It’s as if we’ve become accustomed to the darkness that now envelops this land, and we are cursed by God for its sins.

Finish reading the rest of this story in Sulfurings: Tales from Sodom & Gomorrah, or download the book at:

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Abel

by Melchior Zimmermann

Sulfurings e-book anthologyAbel was breathing in great gasps, a ragged sound coming from his throat. The sulfurous air scorched his lungs. He coughed up congealed blood, dark red drops clinging to his parched lips. Yellow smoke billowed around the heap of rubble that had once been his home. He looked around frantically, searching for a sign of his family.

A broken doll, squashed between rocks. A broken table, its wooden remains still smoldering. A white piece of fabric that had once belonged to his mother’s dress. Nothing was moving. The only sound he could hear was the slow crackling of the burning furniture.

Finish reading the rest of this story in Sulfurings: Tales from Sodom & Gomorrah, or download the book at:

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And the Child Shall Lead

by Rie Sheridan Rose

Sulfurings e-book anthologyThe night before the sky fell, Rebecca pleaded with Malachi not to leave the house. He didn’t listen. He never listened.

His friends were going to Lot’s home—there were new men in town that the Sodomites wanted to “welcome” to the neighborhood. She knew what that meant. She hated it. Why couldn’t the men of Sodom stay home with their families? If it was just for the sex … she was willing to learn if it would keep him home.

When the wailing started outside the earthen walls of the little two room house, she felt her way to the door. Blindness was a burden she accepted as the Lord’s will. The portal opened to a warm, humid night. She stepped out onto the street, one hand on the lintel of the door.

“Malachi!” she called anxiously. “Malachi, where are you?” Her heart pounded in her chest. The screaming and crying were coming closer. She could make out dozens of individual voices in the mayhem. Was Malachi’s one of them? She wasn’t sure.

Finish reading the rest of this story in Sulfurings: Tales from Sodom & Gomorrah.

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Final Deadline For Sulfurings

Sulfurings anthologyI’ll have to admit, it was harder getting appropriate submissions for the Sulfurings anthology than I anticipated. There could be a number of reasons for that, but judging from the types of submissions I received initially, I’d say it had more to do with the editor and publisher, yours truly, not being absolutely clear on the flavor of the tales expected. I take full responsibility.

After quite a bit back and forth with writers, we are a lot closer now to having a solid anthology than we’ve ever been. The garden gnomes have room for at least one more flash fiction story and we’re ready to go to press.

That doesn’t mean we won’t take a look at more short stories. If you’ve got them, send them in. Though I will say we’re good on poems and essays. Even still, if you’ve got something you believe we absolutely have to look at, we’ll take a look at it. But as soon as we get that one (or more) flash fiction story, and maybe one more short story or two, then we’ll be done reading.

It would be unfair, of course, not to announce a hard deadline. That’s why we’ve decided to close the doors for good at midnight EST on Friday, May 23, 2014. Hard deadline.

As a recap, you can read our guidelines for Sulfurings here and read a more extended version of those guidelines over here. Don’t forget to brush up on the BLAS guidelines and our general submission guidelines.

Due to the lengthy extension of the Sulfurings deadline, we’ve taken the liberty to extend the deadline for Deluge for another month – to July 23, 2014. Send them folks. We’re getting excited.

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We Who Bleed

In the death-hour of the morn, a wind bringing gray awareness swept through the scrub oak forest of Anastasia Island. It came from the place where dark meets light, a plane of wisdom unknown to mankind, uncharted, not spoken of save by gods and giants—these speaking in shallow tones, colorless and vague.

Across River Matanzas, a breeze now, and now a cool fog, and now shapes of horror … grim-faced and long in form, blood from every aperture, a rusty aura that misted the land they strode. Like willows, they walked, and as they bled, they sang:

Original sin
fought Love within.
Sin with kin,
deadly south wind,
mistletoe dart,
deafening din.

“There she lay, Loki,” said Thin, but Loki remained silent and went to Califa, and he rested his arm about the shoulders of the maroon called Seti and wept.

“What tore her so?” asked Lank. “What ate her so?”

“Súmaire,” said Thin, her silken hair sodden with blood. “Blood-suck.”

Seti turned, choked on terror. “W-what are you?” he asked as he gripped the sleeve of Loki.

“We Who Bleed, come to heal the girl,” replied Dank.

Finish reading this story by Scathe meic Beorh in the Garden of Eden anthology. Get it FREE!

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A Ghost and a Thought

The word. That’s all it took: one simple command and humanity, its landfills, the dinosaur bones, the platypus, and what was left of the rainforests, were blasted into stardust in a Little Bang in our corner of the universe.

I’d met another ghost once, when I was alive, and asked her if it became boring—watching others live—but she said it never was. The focus on recreating balance—of finishing the unfinished business that made her linger—occupied her enough that she felt suspended in a void, drifting out of time as arbitrary days and years rose and fell around our planet’s improbable orbit of a star. She’s not around anymore, so I guess she saw him die when the universe was put back on the level.

For me, it took eons in limbo until I saw a chance for balance. Time was meaningless as I wandered through subjective days based on the solar system I was crossing. The eternity that was required for expansion to stop and reverse and implode and reset in yet another Big Bang didn’t seem that long at all. But once the stars and planets began forming and I found a near replica of my old home, time refocused while I waited in the desert, trying to remember an old story: perhaps the oldest story I had ever known.

Finish reading this story by James J. Stevenson in the Garden of Eden anthology. Get it FREE!

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The Gardeners of Eden

Gralius tugged at the tip of his pointy head, waiting for the decision. It had only been a few seconds since the mystical spotlight formed around his beloved Tinalie, but those seconds might as well have been years.

Finally, Man broke the silence. “I will call it Gnome.”

The Great Voice from above—the source of the spotlight—answered: “Then ‘Gnome’ it shall be called.”

“Gnome,” Gralius whispered to himself, trying out his new identifier. Yeah, it fit pretty well. But the most important part was still to come. He held his breath and watched as Man considered Tinalie. But then Man sighed, shaking his head.

Gralius slumped his shoulders. It hit like a massive boulder striking his chest.

Tears began forming in Tinalie’s eyes as the spotlight pulled away from her. As much as the rejection hurt Gralius, it must have been a hundred times worse for her.

Sadly, it was time to move on to the next creature in line. Gralius could barely stand to look at the hideous beast. Its large horned head glowed in the spotlight, staring at Man and awaiting its fate.

“I will call it Gnu,” Man said.

Gralius turned away and walked toward Tinalie. He took her hand just as The Great Voice proclaimed, “Then ‘Gnu’ it shall be called.”

With their presence no longer required at the scene, the two newly-labeled gnomes returned to their bamboo hut at the foot of the Tree of Knowledge.

Finish reading this story by Jason Bougger in the Garden of Eden anthology. Get it FREE!

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Renovation

Jerry Hardwick screeched his wheel pig to a halt. He tumbled onto the driveway and stabbed the intercom’s button. He did not release until a tired voice answered.

“Hello?”

“It’s Haven landscapes. We’re scheduled to start work today.”

The gate buzzed and the lock released. Jerry shoved a decaying gate apart and drove his van down a dirt track. A life weaver in green with folded arms waited. Behind her lay a garden overgrown with spring flora.

“Hi, I’m Jerry Hardwick. Is it okay if we get to work?”

“I’m unhappy you’re here, but I have no say in the matter. Do you have any idea how old this place is?”

Finish reading this story by Gary Hewitt in the Garden of Eden anthology. Get it FREE!

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Mote

In the beginning, we were dust.

We were the formless dust of the newborn earth, my sisters and I. A thousand million motes of dust, in the air and on the ground, the spaces between us charged with living energy, bound us together in the darkness before the first morning. We danced in our places and felt the life between us. And it was good.

Then there came the Making.

We were ripped from each other by a force beyond our understanding as a wind came upon the new earth and split us one from the other. The wind came, and in its breath were the words of Law and the chains of Order, and we were formed anew. My sisters and I screamed defiance, but our screams went unheeded by the breath of the Making, and all was order and all was form.

Finish reading this story by Erin Vataris in the Garden of Eden anthology. Get it FREE!

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