Tag Archives: BLAS

The Mortician of Sodom

by C.J. Beacham

the mortician of sodom by C.J. Beacham from Sulfurings: Tales from Sodom & Gomorrah“See you on the other side,” Teodor said. “And remember to breathe.”

I grimaced and sat down to catch my breath. After the explosions this morning, I never expected to see another side of anywhere.

#

I woke this morning when the mountain groaned. It had rumbled twice in recent memory, but no stories from the past eight generations mentioned eruption. When the ground shook today, however, windows rattled until one smashed. My eyes popped open. I rose from the lambskin, peered through the crack between the door and frame. Other eyes peered from doorways across the dusty road. Distant explosions and shrill voices echoed from the mountains, and I sensed the odd glow growing towards the cities of the plain.

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

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In the Distance, a Clap of Thunder

by David Anderson

a clap of thunder by david anderson from Sulfurings: Tales from Sodom & GomorrahThe rock smashed against Rodger’s face with a sickening smack as the mob continued to hurl stones at him, and the Chenku Class Vessel Captain lurched forward, almost passing out from pain as a dirt clod burst on his back, obviously being mistaken for a rock by one of the villagers. A soldier of Gomorrah stepped forward, picking the captain up by the arm and dragging him away to the quarters of the head city guard. The implant in Rodger’s inner ear automatically translated any speech to English, allowing him to understand the words of his captors.

“From what province or land do you come, stranger?” said a large tan man in a robe and armored sandals. He aimed the point of a sword at Rodger’s head, indicating that he wanted a response. Unfortunately, the translator didn’t work both ways, and he didn’t know how to talk back to them, a problem that was usually avoided by not talking to the locals on these types of expeditions. It was always observance-only on these safaris, as mandated by legislation back home. Nothing that could potentially alter the timeline was allowed.

“Perhaps you wish to suffer the same fate as your friend?” the head guard asked as he repeated his inquiries. Rodger wanted to answer, but he couldn’t. He spoke in English to the man, but it only confused matters.

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

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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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Deluge: Don’t Miss The Boat

As we enter the eight month of the year, we garden gnomes thought it would be apropos to remind everyone of our upcoming deadline for the anthology Deluge: Stories of Survival & Tragedy.

This is the third anthology in the Biblical Legends Anthology Series, following the wildly popular Garden of Eden and Sulfurings: Tales From Sodom & Gomorrah. It’s important to point out here that we are looking for diversity in perspective, so we’re not just interested in stories that reflect a Christian point of view or its diametrically opposite, atheism. We just want good stories.

While the previous anthologies focused entirely on the Biblical settings as a prerequisite for publication, Deluge: Stories of Survival & Tragedy is looking at a broader theme. We just want damn good flood stories.

Let’s talk about this more in-depthly:

Why Is The Flood Story Absurd?

As you should know by now, Garden Gnome Publications welcomes absurdity. In fact, we thirst on it. And a part of the reason why is because the original stories upon which our anthologies are based are themselves absurd. That’s certainly true of Noah and the flood.

What makes the flood story so absurd?

For starters, this event supposedly happened worldwide. The whole damn world was flooded. That’s rather odd considering that most of us have observed our entire lives that when it rains it never rains everywhere all at once. In fact, the driest place on earth–Atacama Desert in Chile–hasn’t seen rain in more than 400 years.

Another thing that makes the flood story incredibly absurd are the dimensions of the ark Noah was instructed to build. Its dimensions were so large that its size would not be surpassed in shipbuilding until the late nineteenth century. And it was constructed by only one man with his bare hands.

This is not intended to be a theological discussion. We’re merely pointing out that this story contains some remarkable elements, and we’re asking you to exceed those.

How True To The Original Story Should You Stay?

The garden gnomes are interested in stories involving a catastrophic flood. That could mean water or another substance. You can stick to the Biblical setting of the ancient past or take us to some point in the future. Our only rule is you can’t use any Biblical characters. Keep Noah and his family out of it.

We’re hoping, however, that your story borrows elements of Biblical storytelling, both in an absurdist sense and in an inspirational sense. But we’re not looking for “inspirational” stories, necessarily.

We’re really looking for stories that put the “speculative” in speculative fiction.

Stories that might impel our interest would employ the following elements:

  • Horror
  • Fantasy
  • Intrigue
  • Science fiction
  • Weirdness (OMG, do we love weirdness)
  • Mystery
  • Pathos
  • High adventure
  • Heroics, especially the epic kind
  • Magic realism
  • Apocalyptic
  • Dystopian
  • Punk
  • Supernaturalism
  • Paranormal
  • Slipstream of consciousness

And anything that will entertain the reader and make your story a speculative feast for the eyes.

Your story does not need to be limited to these elements nor does it need to contain all of them. These are just some of the things that we like. Most of all, we like a good story well told.

Other Speculative Considerations

If you are a poet, we won’t leave you out. We love poetry. Especially narrative poetry. We want your poem to tell a story. We also want it to include the speculative elements that would be found in a traditional prose story.

Nonfiction writers can get in on the action, as well. If you have survived a flood or know someone who has, then we’d like to hear your story. Embellish it. Make it come to life. Tell it creatively and tell it boldly. We’re all about the fantastic, whether in fiction or nonfiction. We like to call these true stories personal, or reported, essays.

An Invitation to Submit to the Deluge

The official deadline for this anthology is midnight, August 23, 2014 EST. We’re hoping we won’t have to extend that deadline this time, but if we do, we do.

We encourage all submitters to check out our previous anthologies–Garden of Eden and Sulfurings: Tales from Sodom & Gomorrah.

As always, questions are encouraged. Send your inquiries to editor @ gardengnomepubs dot com. Send your submissions to submissions @ gardengnomepubs dot com.

Yes, we are a paying market. It’s a token payment, but we do pay. You can get information on payment on our Biblical Legends Anthology Series page. Otherwise, specific information about this anthology and what we are looking for can be found here. Be sure to follow our general submission guidelines.

We’re looking forward to receiving your submission soon. Stay faithful, my garden friends.

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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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How To Get A Free E-book

Sulfurings e-book anthologyIn this past week’s gnewsletter, the garden gnomes announced they were going to give away a free copy of the latest e-book in the Biblical Legends Anthology Series–Sulfurings: Tales from Sodom & Gomorrah. Half of you jumped for glee and two of you just jumped. Through space and time, I heard one confused soul burp and shout, “Pickles!”

I’m not naming names.

Well, the gnomes decided to do what any self-respecting gnome would do under similar circumstances. We met in committee and took a vote, threw out the results, cast another vote, burned the tallies, and then turned to Spiff and said, “Care to?”

To which Spiff replied, “Just do.” So we did.

We extended the deadline.

We were going to have our drawing at the end of July, but we realized that some of you folks are slow readers and that wouldn’t be fair. So we’ll have our drawing instead at the end of August. And we think that’s a good time because it’s just before September. So it’s settled then.

But what is the contest? Simply this:

Review The Garden of Eden

Garden of Eden AnthologyThere’s a reason we give away the Garden of Eden anthology. It’s not just to make us feel good about high distribution numbers. Drug dealers don’t give away crack just to run their numbers up, do they? Well, aren’t we every bit as devilish as your drug dealer?

Don’t answer that.

Instead, read the Garden of Eden anthology and leave us a review. For every review, you’ll get a chance to win the coveted e-book award. We’re giving away one free copy of Sulfurings: Tales from Sodom & Gomorrah. If you’ve already got it, you can choose another book from my Smashwords store or Amazon store. If you prefer, you can hold out for a free copy of Deluge: Tales of Survival and Tragedy. If you want your free copy to be a gift for someone else, just say so!

So what do you have to do to enter this giveaway? We’re glad you asked.

  • First, read the Garden of Eden anthology. You can get the anthology by subscribing to our gnewsletter–the Garden Gnome Gnews–or at any of the leading bookstores: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or Smashwords.
  • Next, leave a review of the anthology at any of those locations. For each review you’ll receive an entry into the drawing.
  • You can also review the anthology on your blog, and if you link to any of the sales pages where the Garden of Eden anthology can be downloaded for free, you’ll receive an entry for each link.
  • Finally, tweet “I read the Garden of Eden anthology” and link to any of the sales pages where the anthology can be downloaded. For each link/tweet, you’ll receive a contest entry (limit to one per day per sales page link).

So, just to be clear. If you tweet “I read the Garden of Eden anthology” and link to the Amazon sales page for the Garden of Eden anthology, that’s one contest entry. If you tweet the phrase and link to the Smashwords page for the anthology, that’s another contest entry. If you link to the Garden of Eden download page on this website, that’s another entry.

And so on.

To ensure your entries are counted, send an e-mail to editor @ gardengnomepubs.com and let us know of each review along with a link to your review. With each of your tweets, @mention Allen_Taylor and you’ll get credit for your tweets.

Oh, and one more thing. If you’ve already reviewed the Garden of Eden anthology, you can still enter. Just e-mail us the links to your reviews and follow all the same rules as everyone else.

If you have questions or need clarification about any of these rules, send those to the chief garden gnome at editor @ gardengnomepubs.com. And may your feet forever smell like rosemary.

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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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Submit To The Garden Gnome

Garden Gnome Publications has opened its doors. Sorry, gardens don’t have doors, do they? Oh well, you know what I mean.

At any rate, we love to read weird, funny, and strange horror stories. We’d like you to submit them to us. In the coming weeks and months you’ll hear more about our Biblical Legends Speculative Fiction Anthology Series. It will be a great opportunity for writers of weird fiction from a lot of genre backgrounds.

garden of eden biblical legendsOur first anthology will be the Garden of Eden.

In our Flim-Flam room you’ll find flash fictions of all themes. This is an open submission platform, meaning you can choose the topic, structure, tone, and what-not. Our only non-negotiable is that it must be good. And it must be flash. You can learn all about our flash needs on our Flash in the Pans page.

Well, that’s all for now. We hope you’ll submit. Or get out of the garden.

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