Heather’d been thinking about killing herself long before Old Croak showed up. It’s just, y’know, the direction the world’s heading. Living life out until the end could be even worse than having Croak’s eldritch flock pick the flesh off her bones.
Even before Croak crawled from god-knows-where, waking up was like taking a heavy stone and resting it on my chest, but if I die; I’d never gaze upon her olive skin, or her smokey green eyes again. If only she—if I could only say… Farrah, I would die for you. Then, would I be able to live with myself?
She blew a wet raspberry through pinched lips. Her eyes shifted from one place to the next, scanning for Croak, staring out the window, waiting for The Dorm’s next care package. She glimpsed her pigeons perched on a railing. Not hers, but the pigeons she’d been feeding for weeks now.
“At least you’d miss me,” she mumbled to herself.
The survivors could ask for anything in their deliveries. Oreos, espresso machines, her favorite slime-green lipstick, but even from way up here, a single glimpse of Croak spelled the end. Only the bravest volunteers left The Dorms to retrieve their much needed food, hygiene supplies, and personal requests.
Heather double-checked for signs of Croak, triple-checked, then opened the window.
She tossed the pigeons a handful of cornflakes and they replied with delightful cooing. The stagnant air outside tasted acrid, metallic, rotten. She slammed the gateway shut and crossed her arms.
Open no windows.
A commandment here.
But I really wanna pet one of those stupid birds. Guess I’m delusional.
“Heather, you spacing again?” Farrah asked, peeking through her cracked doorway. Her voice was low and breathy, like an old movie star’s. It tickled the inside of Heather’s eardrums. Whenever Farrah spoke, she could shut up a city block.
“Birdwatching, well, pigeon, pigeon watching, pigeons are birds.” Heather chuckled as heat filled her cheeks. “Croak doesn’t bother them. Shawn says they see me as a protector. Their favorites are Little Debbies. He was get-getting us more.”
Yeah, delusional. She isn’t even gay. Why do I torture myself? I’d do anything for her. Is that why fate’s kept me here? What if my fate is to die for her? Why else?
Farrah stepped closer, bergamot Versace wafted from her neck, making Heather’s nose twitch and her legs squirm.
“God damn,” Farrah sighed. “Imagine if we could fly like them?” She turned and smiled, revealing the symmetrical gap in her perfect teeth.
I’ll kiss her, one day I’ll kiss her. Heather thought, and gulped way too loud. She lifted her feet onto her seat and laid her forehead on her knees.
“Something on your mind?” Farrah asked. “Heather? Earth to Heather?”
I’d die for her, dive straight into hell for her. I’d throw myself to Croak, let his rusty flock have me. Metal cages, red eyes and razor beaks ripping through my pale flesh like pizza dough. If I told her I loved her, would the weight of living still be this heavy?
“Babe!” a stoner’s harsh rasp came from down the hall. “Baby, Daddy’s home.”
“Sammy’s back.” Farrah swooned. She took Heather’s hand, hers soft as satin. “I won’t have to mug you for your snacks, not today.”
Sammy Jeong, Latino-Korean gym monster; chiseled, handsome, and a fucking asshole.
The dark-skinned giant stepped into Heather’s room. He wore a tank-top with a jacked shark on it, displaying his thick bordered neck tattoo reading, “Wrekt”. He held a crate of snacks in his arms and grinned.
“What’s up, Head?” he asked and winked.
“We were checking out the pigeons,” Farrah said, gesturing to the window.
Sammy raised his eyebrows, his lips curling in disgust.
“Rats with wings, huh? Thought you lesbos were supposed to be into werewolves and like, trucks ‘n’ shit, seriously, pigeons? I knew you weren’t gay. That’s why you’re always hanging with Shawn, he’s totally porkin’ you, huh?”
“Heather, no.” Farrah’s giggling turned Heather’s heart into jelly. “Are you two really?”
Sammy’s machine-gun: hahahahahaha, obliterated any embarrassment manifesting in Heather’s chest.
Okay, I absolutely should just die.
“CODE RED!” Peter’s scream echoed from his watch post.
Sammy dropped his crate. Eos Shave Cream and Coke Zero clattered onto the floor loud enough to wake a drunken frat.
Heather gazed outside. Birds that weren’t birds appeared atop the walkway guardrails. They had wings and beaks, but made up of jagged metal and rusty orange razor-wire.
“HEEEEEEEAAAAAAWWWWWWW!” a scream erupted from above.
Peter belly-flopped on the asphalt with a bone shattering crunch. Heather’s vision darkened. She nearly fainted.
Peter tried crawling, and Croak’s blood and shit stink seeped under the windowsill. Flesh tore and bone ground. Heather couldn’t look away. Sour bile filled her throat, and she choked it down.
“Crrrrrr-ooooa-ah-ah-ah!” Old Croak laughed, accompanied by the rattle of his toothed cage.
Peter’s shrieking was drowned by the deafening roar of Croak sucking down his soul, like an elephant crossed with a train horn. His metallic flock descended and consumed whatever remained of the stripped corpse.
“Oh, shit, oh fuck, he saw me,” Sammy yelped, already mid-sprint.
“Come on!” Heather shouted, gripping Farrah’s hand. Farrah yanked herself free, and took off alone.
The prom king and queen were long gone, but Heather’s shorter legs never stopped churning—heading towards the gym in the center of The Dorm. Haven.
She collapsed into the heavy double-doors, landing in front of a pair of Vans and Timberlands. Wade and Shawn picked her up with ease and clanked the doors shut behind them.
Her heart slammed in her chest. She hadn’t ached this bad since she’d played softball. Her legs became noodles and lungs froze stiff. She dragged herself into the corner and shamelessly unleashed a gush of rank vomit, ignorant that her regurgitated breakfast sandwich would inspire the same out of Goth Maggie.
Heather collapsed. There was a scrabbling at her side, struggle? Panic.
“Where is she?” Sammy growled.
Fading, lightheaded, on the edge of passing out; rolling over, she saw the meathead being held back by Gordo and Shawn. Fighting a sharp pain in her chest, she stood to her feet.
“She was with you,” Heather gasped. “You both ran ahead. She was with you.”
“Bitch, you stupid bitch,” he barked, and punched Gordo square in the face. That prompted Gordo to tackle and muzzle him.
“Heather,” Shawn said, going to her, meeting her with kindness in his brown eyes. “You good, need anything?”
“Everything is ending,” she said, but not directly to her friend.
I’ll never see her smile again, never hear her speak. What would I have without her? Rats with wings? I’d have to die.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
A rapping at the double doors. Not Croak smashing his head into their walls, but a steady pulse. Wade rushed to the door and slowly cracked it open.
Farrah stumbled into the room; her lustrous skin unharmed, tear streaks drying on her cheeks. Heather stepped toward her, but Sammy was already there, squeezing her tight in his monstrous arms.
It wasn’t until later that evening that The Dorm heard what happened. Farrah had been the first to cross paths with Croak and live.
She said she hid under a trashcan and Croak jangled his cage right up beside her. She prayed to God, raising her voice over Croak’s bullfrog rumble. Croak ignored her completely. Her claim, and only explanation, was that God had protected her.
“Under normal circumstances, I’d separate myself from a Jesus-freak, as far as I could get. Christianity is a plague,” Heather had explained to Shawn after things started to get weird. “But Farrah Kassis isn’t normal circumstances.”
From that day forward, it had become impossible to speak to Farrah about anything unrelated to Leviticus. In their next care package, she ordered stacks of Bibles and began preaching at every opportunity. Heather was the only one that actually sat with her and listened.
“Just don’t keep chasing after her for the wrong reasons. You’re too smart for that, Head,” Shawn warned.
“Whatever makes us happy these days, right?” she said and shrugged.
It really didn’t matter. She’d be happy just keeping Farrah away from Sammy, much to his chagrin.
Okay, so Shawn’s right, it’s a possession thing. Does that make me sick? I’m the sick one? At least I’m trying here.
Sammy was a different story.
He was hitting the gym harder than ever and somehow growing.
“Avoid him,” Shawn had said. “He’s definitely juicing again. They’ll deliver anything on these waivers.”
That same day in the gymnasium, Sammy pulled Farrah away from their Bible session.
“You were never like this. Jesus totally got it on. It’s natural babe, come on, my balls have never been this blue. I’m dyin’ here.”
Farrah slapped him hard across the face. She seethed words too quiet to hear and Big Herman, The Dorm’s voted leader, football coach, and resident brick shit-house, stepped between them.
“Sammy, what’s gotten into you, boy? Croak and the whole damn county can hear your got-damned horn doggin’. Get your bony ass to your room, lock-down, son.”
“Do not take the Lord’s name in vain,” Farrah snapped.
“That’s bullshit, Herm, what the fuck. I gots needs, man.”
“Sammy, you make this into a bigger deal than it is, and my foot goes up ya’ ass. Showers, now, we’ll be talking tonight, for sure.”
Sammy’s eyes bulged. He wouldn’t test Big Herman, although he definitely seemed to consider it, but it was the way he glared at Farrah that chilled Heather’s blood.
Like a dog drooling over a piece of meat. Why does this- She closed the Bible in her lap. Feel like it’s my fault?
“He’s such an asshole.” Farrah moped, dropping her head into Heather’s lap. “He was fine until I said he’d have to wait.”
“All men are the same, Farrah,” Heather said, despite her tongue’s dryness. “Every one of them just sees us as meat.”
“It’s not their fault,” Farrah said, wiping a crystalline tear from her eye. “God made them this way. It’s only right. It’s why we’re here.”
Heather tilted her head so hard her neck cracked.
“That’s some dark ages bullshit, Farrah.”
“Is it? If Croak moved around more often, we’d have to repopulate.”
“You’re saying—our only purpose is breeding?” Heather palmed her forehead, hard.
She was screaming on the inside; however, Farrah’s hair was so smooth in her hands. That and the way she hugged her.
This will only end badly for you, Head, you know she will never have you and you’re only digging this hole deeper. Why can’t you just be honest?
Farrah slept in Heather’s bedroom from then on out, just so she wouldn’t be alone.
I don’t care. It’s what I need. If I could hold her every night, I’d live forever.
The night Sammy came to them, Heather had been staying up late. Farrah was sleeping with her head in her lap. By lamplight, Heather had nearly blasted through the short novel Invisible Monsters in one sitting.
He kicked her door open, so hard the knob buried itself into the wall. Her book flew out of her hands and Farrah stirred.
“Sammy, what the fuck!?” Heather managed, voice cracking.
His eyes were cocaine-crimson and a strong piss and sweat odor filled the confined space. He stomped forward, shifting his weight with each step.
“This’s why I never see you any more babe, fucking muff diving with Head?”
“Fuck off Sammy, are you wasted?” Heather spat. She shot up and immediately saw stars as Sammy backhanded her with all the force of a professional tight-end.
She tasted ammonia? blood? and dropped like a sack of ouch. Farrah was screaming, and Sammy had her backed into a corner. He expelled a quiet speech into Farrah’s ear. Tears welled in her eyes.
Heather booked it, shouting down the hall.
“Shawn, Wade, Trevor, help!” She burst into the bedroom with the door ajar and interrupted the boys’ Street Fighter tournament. Bright lights flashed in every corner, a stink of stale beer and jalapeno cheese had all the waking effects of a fresh brewed Americano.
“Fucking Sammy’s gone psycho, he’s got Farrah pinned down in my room.”
Controllers and arcade sticks flew. Michelob Ultras spilled over as the room emptied into the hall. Shawn stayed back to check on her.
“I’m fine, I can take care of myself,” she said and cracked her neck.
“No shit, I know that. What I meant is, if shit starts getting weird, Head, if you need anything, I’ve got your back, okay?”
“What are you-”
Farrah’s shrieking filled the dark corridor, and they both hurried through the gathered crowd.
Big Herm and a displeased Gordo had Sammy pinned ballsack-naked on the floor. His erect penis between the two of them. Farrah was in the corner, shaking. Sammy had ripped her shirt in half and she hid her breast behind her arms. Heather grabbed a double-X pajama shirt from her closet and draped it over her. The boys zip-tied Sammy’s arms and legs together and left him squirming on the ground.
That’s when Farrah said it. She didn’t go into details, and Heather’s heart sank into her bubbling guts.
She’s hurt because of me. I couldn’t protect her. There were two crimes, intolerable, unmentioned in the dorms. I don’t care. If they give me the knife right now, I’ll castrate him myself.
“Samuel’s given himself to cardinal sin. And committed an act of treason. His crime is intolerable,” Farrah seethed, gripping everyone’s attention. “He pays with his life.”
“You fucking bitch, you fucking dumb lesbian bitch,” Sammy grunted until Trevor shoved one of his socks into his mouth.
Herm rubbed his forehead, disheveled, sweating. He grabbed Heather’s sheet off of her bed and covered Sammy’s penis with it.
“We have to. We don’t even need to vote, but Farrah, I don’t have the stomach for it. He played ball with my boys.”
Cutting off Sammy’s dick is one thing, but what about next time? Heather thought. I’d be in charge of chopping off hands, or, god knows what.
“We give him to Croak,” Farrah said.
Herm looked exhausted. The pressure of leadership was getting to him, or something else? He seemed frightened by the speculation. He gaped like a fish until Farrah spoke again.
“This is God’s will,” she said, hugging her Bible to her chest.
By sunrise, they had Sammy duct-taped to a board. He thrashed, groaning through his gag. His skin glistened with sweat. Broken blood vessels showed in his eyes. He glared with murderous intent at anyone who’d meet his stare. Wade, Gordo and Big Chris carried him to the sealed doors of the front office.
“Why would they actually pack ecstasy in our care packages?” Farrah asked at Heather’s side, resting her head on her shoulder.
“Same reason he gets pre-workout and porterhouses, because he asked for it,” she said. “They’d give us anything. They feel bad for us. We’re gonna die anyway, right? That, or rot here forever.”
“It doesn’t matter. He will pay for his sin.”
Her fashion-model eyes turned callous, reptilian and cold.
The only real difference between us is that Sammy acted on his lusts. If I was brave, I’d have told her. What difference is there to Farrah and her god? If I was honest, would she kill me, too?
When Old Croak’s flock showed up, Sammy’s muffled screams made Heather sick.
“This is God’s will,” Farrah chorused, then grinned.
Yup, she sure would.
Croak shambled up to their sacrifice. His stilted, oxidized legs contorted as if he had chiggers and his ragged, hairy face violently bobbed up and down as no human’s would. His chest, a bloody rusted cage with a ball of darkness for a heart.
Sammy’s black soul tore screaming from his eyes and mouth. Croak kept true to his namesake. His flock of mechanical birds descended, croaking as loud as a thousand, ripping and grinding every inch of Sammy’s flesh away.
Heather’s pigeons didn’t show up that day, not even for Little Debbies.
They were down a man for supply runs. And the pilots were either growing more frightened, lazy, or indifferent. This drop landed an extra two miles from the usual sight.
When Herm asked for fresh blood, Heather volunteered. She wanted to escape.
The only thing still keeping me here is my cowardice. Odds are Farrah’s flock is a burning bush away from gutting me.
After Sammy died, everything changed. Farrah gained disciples. Sheep gathering around the Prophet of Croak. When Herm came forward and confessed he had joked to Sammy about mixing drugs with pre-workout, and wished to repent for his sins, Heather knew it was over.
If she’d ever learned one thing from true crime podcasts, it was how gurus and group-think end.
If I die, I die, that’s one thing. But if a bunch of fanatics are going to tie me to a board and feed me to Old Croak? Then this same fear will inspire me to live. If I could have Farrah, maybe then. No, she’d never be with me. The only thing left’s to see what Old Croak is hiding from us.
Shawn and Trevor were both in the care-package party. When they got out of earshot, around the time she got used to the stench outside, she brought up the fanatics.
“Heather’s right,” Shawn whispered as they crept through a foggy alleyway. “It’s like The Mist, one crazy chick spouts off about God, next we know, boom, snakebite, venom spreads and we’re all done-skis. They’ll sacrifice us for a damn zucchini harvest. We gotta talk with Herm, put a kibosh to this. Fuckin’ religion or politics ruining every damn party, man.”
“Herm’s in on it. I bet he asked for the blood of Christ on this waiver, guaranteed,” Heather said and froze.
They huddled together as a small mechanical bird landed thirty feet away. It pecked at rotten brown flesh on the ground and tilted its head in their direction.
What if I just took a peek beyond the curtain, to see what death is hiding from us on the other side. That barrier not unlike a waterfall. If life is only lust, this harrowing chase and suffering, then is that not better?
She took a step forward and Shawn placed a hand on her shoulder. They locked eyes and Shawn shook his head.
The bird disappeared without alarm.
A row of pigeons greeted them at the care package near a deserted Best Buy parking lot. Heather listened to their soft cooing as she stuffed her pack. She dug for a Little Debbie and tossed it to a happy couple.
They returned at dusk. Goth Maggie was on door duty.
“Bring back any klonopin?” she asked while unlocking the gate. She had decorated her bouffant black hair with feathers and smooth red-stones.
“No, why, for you?” Heather chuckled.
She shook her head grimly—even for her.
“Victoria Secret’s gone off the deep end. She’s been preaching all morning, putting people into correction groups. I took door duty, and honestly, I might take my chances outside. Better than Big Herm pinning me down and making me one of Farrah’s broodmothers.”
Trevor glanced at Shawn, then at Heather. “You called it, Head. What do we do?”
“They’ve already got Connie and Paul locked up,” Maggie sighed, cleaning under her black nails. “Spring them first?”
“Should we take our chances?”
Heather gazed over Shawn’s shoulder, and back out into the streets. Her pigeons waited outside, still with oatmeal crumbs sticking to their beaks. They flew closer, pulling a string in her heart.
They need me. What if they actually love me for who I am? Then, I’m not alone.
“Yeah,” she said. “But I’ve got to talk to her. It isn’t right, what’s it been? Two weeks since she got the damn Bible and she’s already onto human sacrifices?”
“Avoid Farrah,” Maggie said, actually serious for a change. “You’re the smartest person I know, but she poisons that.”
Heather offered her a knowing smile.
“Keep the supplies down here,” Heather said, “While they’re distracted, break the others out and grab anyone else who wants to leave. If it looks like things are going to hell, don’t look back.”
Trevor and Maggie made moves to swipe whatever they might need. Shawn tagged along as Heather’s backup. Big Herm’s preaching bellowed down the dark halls.
“And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the Lord thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straightness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee!”
“Shawn, if things get bad in there, leave me behind. If they’re full old-testament, I’d be walking into an execution.”
“Sorry Head, you go down, I’m going with.” He chuckled. They stopped outside the gym doors. “You’re as sharp as can be. If they’re gonna crucify you, they’re taking me too. Kill us for being the only sane people here, goddamn. Not like we’d get far without you.”
“I came out when I was nine. I’ve got green lips ‘n’ fuckin’ combat boots, Shawn. You’d do fine without me.”
“And I hate ice cream. Who gives a shit? You’re our Team Captain.”
She hugged him and it was genuine.
A real veritable god damned friend in this lost, dying world, she thought, and opened the gym doors.
Big Herm repeated his verse with coked-up eyes bulging in their sockets. He wore a white sheet over his giant shoulders, turning him into a perfect Sunday morning televangelist.
At his side was Farrah. Their queen sat in a fold-up camping chair with Cynthia knelt beside her. The twiggy-blonde cut into Farrah with a knife and peeled away a square of flesh. She placed it on Daniel’s waiting tongue. He bowed, kissed her feet, and walked away. A line stretched around the gym; waiting their turn, Farrah’s arm resembled a checkerboard of dark skin and crimson meat.
“Aw, man, what the fuck,” Shawn said, throwing his hands in the air.
“Lots are missing,” Heather mumbled.
“I’ll find them.”
“I’ll figure out what’s going on here,” she said, stepping into the gym and raising her voice. “Herm, what the fuck? We leave for twelve hours and you start a fucking cult?”
Big Herm looked at her with a frenzied glare, his eyes threatening to pop out of his head.
“How dare yoooooouuu,” he howled, pelting the polished maple floor with slobber. He closed the book and looked as if he wanted to use her to redecorate the walls.
“Wait, Herman, I haven’t explained to her. She is still ignorant,” Farrah said and stood from her throne. “While you were collecting precious supplies, Old Croak separated us once more, and again, I prayed. Croak ignored me himself, but I never stopped praying. I saw why he wouldn’t dare strike me, for I am the daughter of God.”
The gym fell silent; Heather glanced around with palms splayed outwards.
“Did anyone else see this?” she asked and crossed her arms. This got others mumbling. A couple were moving towards the door. Shawn had disappeared.
“Micheal was with me, unfortunately he did not have my faith. Therefore, we must consume the flesh of our Lord, for protection.”
Heather sucked her teeth.
“It is because of your lack of faith that Croak persecutes us! Once the seed of heresy’s planted, there is nothing else we can do. You’ve doomed us all with your sin. My Lady God, this heathen lies with other women. A broken thing, unfixable. She only muddies our faith.”
“What were you and Micheal doing alone, Farrah?”
Farrah raised her perfectly plucked eyebrows and tilted her head.
“Oh, so you don’t trust me after all?”
“Of course I don’t. You’ve been an easy slut for good jawlines your whole life.”
Herm threw his Bible down and charged.
“No!” Farrah commanded. “If we answer her with violence, there can be no salvation.”
It was too late; he hit Heather upside the head with his meaty palm. She saw black and managed to stand before her vision returned. Hot copper coated her tongue. She cleared her throat and spat blood.
Drool leaked from Herm’s lips. His eye twitched as he backed off.
“Show us then,” Heather said and sucked her teeth. “If Croak won’t scratch you, if your faith is so strong, and your talk isn’t cheap.”
Farrah raised her head high, looking down her nose.
“Of course,” she said, and marched away. Her slippered feet glided like ice skates. The entire gym emptied. Big Herm kept his eyes on Heather. The sea of witnesses gathered around Farrah. A hand gripped Heather’s arm and tugged her away.
“What happened?” Shawn asked.
“Farrah is showing us she’s Jesus.”
“Seriously? Fuck. Eric and Lindsey said she’s gone totally nuts and got Micheal killed. We gotta get out of here.”
The queen addressed her disciples now, kissing her Bible. Heather went to her.
“Farrah, I was wrong, ok. There’s no point.”
They locked eyes.
“I loved you like a sister,” Farrah said. “Now gaze upon my greatness, unclean one.”
She’s the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen, ethereal in her white gown stained with droplets of crimson. My heart strains.
Croak descended before his flock arrived, and Farrah screamed for mercy. His congregation rained upon her with gore crusted razors. They shredded skin and meat from her bones, leaving her long hair and face untouched.
Between pieces of sharp bird cage and chicken wire, she reached out to Heather. Her eyes, perfect everglade opals, had turned to murky swamps. She cursed God and Jesus loud enough for all to hear. Croak took her face delicately in his finger-knives and sucked her black soul through the gap between her teeth.
“Nooooo,” Big Herm cried, “Our Messiah!” he threw open the doors and charged Old Croak.
Croak screeched and sent his flock out in a roaring torrent. It was like opening a door beneath the sea, thousands, millions of blackbirds engulfed Herm and flooded into The Dorms.
Shawn gripped Heather’s hand, and together they ran. She fell, but he picked her up. They sprinted through the halls, weaving through The Dorm like it was a great river. Eventually, they ended up locked in a broom closet.
Hours passed, there was the rare scream, but more croaking than anything. It wasn’t until nightfall that they ventured out, and gazed at the carnage of Croak’s feeding frenzy. Severed limbs and drying blood painted every corner.
The only survivors they found were Wade, Trevor, Lindsey and Maggie. They were all that remained.
Poe once said that the death of a beautiful woman is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world. Well, I’m sure he never saw one get turned into bisque.
The next few weeks were spent cleaning. That and Heather used all her extra spare time with her pigeons. Despite their dwindled numbers, the government still wouldn’t risk a rescue mission. This was Croak’s place until he decided to go to another. No matter if he left tomorrow, or in a hundred years.
“What are you planning?” Shawn asked one day, after a pigeon returned with a small note attached to his leg.
“Did you know that carrier pigeons can fly up to seven-hundred miles in one day?”
“And an email can do that in seconds, what’s your point?”
“The government regulates every message that we send out. Any mention of Croak gets censored. These pigeons; however, are a different story. I’m thinking once word gets out about Old Croak, maybe his ears will start burning. He might take off sooner, rather than later.”
“If he goes, wherever he lands will be a massacre.”
“Shawn, there’s only five of us left. That’s all I’m worried about. That and telling the world what happened to the others.”
“I think we should take a vote, at least talk things over.”
“Of course,” Heather said, nodding her head and still scribbling onto her parchment. “And it is beyond doubt that the lips best suited for such a topic are those of bereaved lovers.”
O.R. Black is a student of English in the depths of southern California. Urban legend has it you may find him skulking the streets after dark, portraying all things macabre and always willing to share his scary stories… for a price.
It’s usually bus fare.
His horror short story ‘Anko Nabe’ was published by Schlock Magazine January 2023
‘Molting Daughter’ by Ghost Paradox Press February 2023
‘The Break Vein Game’ by NoSleep Podcast upcoming in 2023