Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Tuesday, August 23, 2022
Monday, August 1, 2022
Sunday, July 3, 2022
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
Paul was beyond excited at the thought of the news he was about to share as he logged into the onion browser and began the descent into his true world of darkest understanding.
The Sand Box was always packed; as what the silk road was for gun nuts and druggies, The Sand Box was for child predators and the true scum of this earth. And Paul Beasley was the kingpin in the kingdom of rats.
As the screen name Lynch entered the room, he was greeted like a rockstar by his eager subjects.
“Well, my darlings, the lamb is prime for the slaughter, so get your tickets. Should be a hell of a show.”
Paul had it down to a science. He added the file with pictures and a few shared texts between himself and thirteen-year-old Rebecca Gilmour.
He understood his market; give them just a tease and they would damn near pay any amount of money to view the stream.
The screen name ButcherInThaWoods posted: “Watch your six, brother. Damn pigs are everywhere. Looking forward to the show. She is a fucking dime, man. Wish it was me with her tonight.”
Paul had to laugh at his fellow perv’s mock concern over his safety. In a normal person's case he would have fully understood. But Paul, Chief of Police for Princess Anne County, Virginia, understood the playing field better than all the rest…and maybe that’s what made it so damn alluring.
Either way, Paul logged off. He knew tonight's show would certainly be a new vacation for his unsuspecting wife and spoiled brat kids—whom he didn't even bother saying goodbye to as he headed out to his brand-new van. He took pleasure in knowing that, between his ever-growing, demented audience and Bitcoin supply, he could happily afford whatever his family wanted.
Paul broke out the cheap prepaid phone as he pulled out of the driveway.
“Honey, I hope you realize I’m a lot older than you. Still sure you really want to meet me?”
“Of course I do, silly! I’m nervous, but I just hope I won’t disappoint you, baby. I can’t wait to see you!” Rebecca replied, followed by the usual empty headed emojis teen girls had seemingly infected the world with, and females—along with empty headed cancel culture twats—embraced along with bathroom selfies and cat memes.
Paul only cared about the chase. The catch was usually a great disappointment, but as long as he got the footage and money, he didn’t give a shit. Then, he would cut and run, as always.
Never go to the well twice, no matter how fucking thirsty you were.
The drive to Creed’s Park was relaxing, and what made this little soiree even more devilishly sweeter was that the tiny little park was located right beside the police training facility. It was his ultimate fuck you to his supposed own kind.
Paul didn’t know how long he sat in that park waiting for Rebecca. All he knew, it was damn near sunset when at last she finally arrived. He sat in his usual spot, far in the back, almost completely invisible from the road or parking lot, nestled amongst the tall pines that littered the park.
No sooner had he stood up, Rebecca leapt into his arms, wrapping her legs around him as they embraced.
“Baby, I cannot believe you’re finally here!”
Paul quickly lost track of time as the usual mindless conversation ensued, and soon it was dark.
“You know, sweetheart, we should take this to my van. The seat lets down into a bed. I mean…unless you want to just be a tease, that is.”
“Baby, you know I’m just nervous, is all. You know it’s my first time and all.”
And now the true game was on. In that sense, they were all the same.
These mindless girls who were a paycheck and a quick release, and nothing more. But Paul was an elite hunter. He understood simple minds and fragile egos better than the rest, and laughed gleefully. Nothing could stand in the way of himself and his prey. And as he walked with his latest conquest in his arms, he relished the thought of his viewers witnessing yet another tight-bodied little bitch being deflowered for his Deep Web peanut gallery.
As they entered the parking lot, Paul noticed the group that was standing near his van.
“Baby, who are those people?”
It was at that precise moment that Paul questioned why the hell he hadn’t kept his service revolver on him. He could tell something wasn’t right about these individuals that loomed around his vehicle.
“Shhh!” Paul quickly replied to Rebecca. He could sense that her first instinct was to run and as he looked at the ragtag group. Honestly, he could not blame her. “Let me handle this, just be calm.”
“Hey! Can I help you guys?”
“I don't know…can you, Lynch?” A woman said as she emerged from behind two massive men who remained silent.
A chill shot through Paul’s body. He knew he attracted a certain type of audience, but never in a million years did he think they would find his true identity, let alone seek him out.
Paul knew from their looks that they certainly weren’t cops. He also knew that he had to do whatever it would take to get out of this situation—even if it meant throwing the young girl under the bus.
“Hey, look, you must have me confused with someone. I just want to get out of here, okay? We don’t want any trouble.”
“Oh, but we do, darling,” the woman quickly replied.
Paul hit the button on his key to automatically open his van’s side door. As the side door slowly slid open, Rebecca let out a scream. A man in what appeared to be a gimp mask let out a muffled laugh while holding Paul’s camera.
“Hey, wait!” Paul called out. No sooner had he said it, he was doubled over in pain as he felt the wind knocked out of him from a punch to the gut. Quickly, he felt heavy boots upon him.
The beating continued for a while. All that Paul could hear was mad laughter as this pack of dogs leapt upon him. He was helpless as he felt himself being lifted with a bear-like strength. Then he was standing, with the two larger men holding him up.
As he stood there, the woman looked him dead in the eyes.
“Awww, sweetheart…it seems your little playdate got scared and ran away. Looks like you’re going to have to play with us instead. And I got to say, we are known to get a little rough. So, I hope you don’t mind if we tape your mouth shut? I mean, we wouldn’t want to disturb the peace or anything, Officer Beasley.”
Paul tried to speak, but was powerless to this group of whatever the hell they were. He felt the duct tape wrap around his head and knew damn well that, whoever these people were, they were out for blood.
The two men hauled him into the woods as if he were light as a feather while the strange, slightly hunched over man in the gimp mask simply filmed in odd silence.
Once far back in the tree line, they dumped Paul like a sack of potatoes. Pain surged through his body, and Paul was almost certain that his ribs were broken. One of the men who had hauled Paul to this place stood over him. He looked down at Paul, placing his boot over his throat as he stepped down. Paul felt as if his windpipe was going to be crushed.
Then the woman leaped onto the man’s back, only intensifying Paul’s pain that much more.
“Look how blue he’s turning! Baby, be careful…we don’t want to kill him this quickly.”
“Yeah, we wouldn’t to want disappoint his audience. They wanted something far more exciting than this.”
“I say we light his ass up like the Fourth of July,” Paul heard the mountain of a man say as he slowly went unconscious. “Of course, we would have to remove the duct tape. Wouldn’t want to miss out on his screams as he cooks away. Now that would be fun.”
Paul thought he had died. But he awoke with his hands bound behind his back and, to his surprise, the duct tape removed from his mouth.
“Please! Look, I have money! Just let me go! I’m sorry about the girl…”
The large man smacked Paul, almost knocking him over as he held him by the throat.
“Look, Officer, here’s the truth. We don't care about your little playdates with children. In fact, we care about nothing but the fact that you seem to enjoy hunting upon our grounds. You see, you’ve tricked yourself into believing you’re a monster. But when you search the truest depths of the abyss, you will find there’s always something far more vicious and dark than yourself.”
“Tex, help our friend to his feet.”
Paul was silent as the one they called Tex pulled him to his feet.
“Paul, I know you’re a busy man. But let’s cut the shit. I know you want to get out of here, so I’m going to grant you your wish. You see that tree there? All you got to do is make it to that tree and we’re good.”
Paul knew his cause was hopeless even as his hands were freed. There is a point when you abandon hope. Some call it shock; others, just the acceptance of death.
Either way, as Paul took his first step, he knew it was only a matter of time until the predator grew tired of its prey. And as he began to pass the man who seemed to be the unspoken leader, he felt the knife plunge into his stomach. It quickly ripped across his belly as he felt his intestines slowly begin to spill out of the wound.
Laughter erupted around him.
As if on autopilot, Paul remained standing and began to walk toward the tree that stood near the entrance of the park. His tormentors walked with him, but only the one who had disemboweled him spoke.
“You know, the Norse had a punishment called The Fatal Walk. It was reserved for the absolute worst, Paul. I really believe in the ways of the Old Gods. So do my Brothers.”
Paul was beyond the realm of pain as he tried to push his intestines back in. The blood was vast and thick.
The man referred to by his brothers as Bishop kept his voice calm as Paul struggled to keep standing. And, at last, when he reached the tree, Bishop pushed Paul’s back against it, looking into his eyes.
“You showed great strength for someone who will soon be suffering again for eternity. I respect that about you. But, my friend, upon this plain your hell is far from over. Brothers, let us give or guests the final part of this equation.”
With that said, the four individuals pulled Paul’s intestines out, wrapping them around the tree as his screams filled the night air. Although he prayed for death, he remained very much alive. He was unable to fall, being that he was bound to this tree by his own intestines.
As Bishop laughed the most sinister laugh, Paul begged for death. Leo kissed him, biting into his bottom lip, tearing off a chunk and spitting it to the ground as the odd, hunched over freak known as Tick filmed away.
“Well, Paul, I am afraid we must now depart. Seems we got to go find your little friend and tie up some loose ends. But don’t worry, we won’t be giving her this special treatment. No, she will just get the run of the mill, head-being-caved-in. I don't know what we will do.”
Paul could not respond. The pain was too vast. The pain would only allow him to scream.
“Well, Paulie, we would invite you to tag along, but I can see you’re all tied up at the moment. So don’t sweat it, we will see you in Hel sometime down the road.”
With that, the group left, speaking as casually as if they had just enjoyed a family picnic.
Paul Beasley stood for hours, dying a slow, agonizing death. He prayed to God for forgiveness, prayed for death’s embrace.
Paul had crossed paths with the hounds of hell themselves. Whenever we assume to know monsters, something truly evil raises its head to show us that The Devil is alive and well. And, unfortunately for Paul, there are always those who are far more fucked up, and willing to show us the true depths of madness.
Killing season had only just begun.
Sunday, January 23, 2022
Everything’s a ceremony
in the arena of the damned
Beneath the glare and excess,
there’s a sadness knowing
beatitude’s nowhere to be found
Banality breeds the vanity blues
and death cults of personality
and reverse cowgirls
are automatic cliches
There are more lives in transit
than a downtown bus station
but everybody takes a ride
on the Catherine Wheel
This is Nathanael west country
where the sturm und drang of prestige
turns into sugar water
and the air strangles worse
than Ken Bianchi in 1977
Its less a city of angels
and more the gates to hell
The Marquis De Sade
would feel right at home
Michael N. Thompson likes bacon, cats and fantasy football. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals including Word Riot, Toronto Quarterly and San Pedro River Review. He is the author of four poetry collections, the most recent being A Murder Of Crows published by University of Hell Press. www.michaelnthompson.com
Friday, December 17, 2021
He has no need to pull up and search for the last bits of bone. There is little chance of finding any. The splinters may have tempted a fox, or flew away in the beak of the crow nested above the fig bush. Perhaps he should search closer to the well-house. His feet would leave deeper prints in the soft soil there. Why wonder? He has no cause to search for the bones that fell from the scaffold once erected in the oak's shadows. He can now go to the coast and watch his moments concentrate sunlight on the sea.
John Riley has published poetry and fiction in Smokelong Quarterly, The Ekphrastic Review, Better Than Starbucks, Banyan Review, Connotation Press, Bindweed, Fiction Daily, The Molotov Cocktail, Dead Mule, St. Anne's Review, and numerous other anthologies and journals both online and in print. EXOT Books will publish a volume of 100 of his 100-word prose poems in 2022. He worked in educational publishing for many years and has published over forty books of nonfiction for young readers.