Publications

I am the humble author of short horror fiction, and a few of my stories have made it into print. Here they are:

Strange Tales of Horror: An Anthology, ed. Matt Nord

“All Your Flesh Are Belong to Us”

Dead History 2: A Zombie Anthology, ed. Anthony Giangregorio

Apprentice”

Daily Bites of Flesh 2011: 365 Days of Horrifying Flash Fiction, ed. Jessy Marie Roberts

“New Eden” & “Craving”

And here is a bonus flash fiction story, published for the first time right here!

CLEANED OUT

Galen had always been told the village doctor knew best, although his family almost never called on him. They could usually deal with the colds, scrapes, scratches, dislocated joints and headaches, even a broken finger or two. But this one was different.

A horrific incident with the plough horse left Galen with his leg broken in a terrible fashion, throwing him nearly ten feet. His mother spotted him flying through the air and assumed he was dead before he even hit the ground. The femur jutted out at an obscene angle, pink and red gobs of flesh clinging to his pant leg and the end of jagged bone. He wasn’t even screaming, in fact, he wasn’t making any sounds, he was out cold, a sweat broken out across his forehead.

His mother called his father and sister to help and they managed to get him onto the straw mattress with a cool rag on his head, soaked in well water. His sister was sent into the village to fetch the doctor, and preparations were made. Leather straps and a stick to bite down on were set out, a kettle was hung over the fire to boil, herbs were picked, compresses made and the bone was set, however rudimentary.

The doctor arrived nearly two days later. Now the wound was an infected mess, blackened and necrotic, requiring severe debridement. From a jar the doctor produced maggots and began treatment, stuffing handfuls into bandages and wrapping the wound. He worked quickly while Galen howled like a raging wolf. Payment made, prayers said, and the doctor left, charging the family to take turns watching his fitful sleep throughout the night.

Over the next few days Galen seemed improved. He took a little stew and the wound seemed on the mend, and he was left to lay and rest, a welcome respite from daily chores. The doctor returned and the bloated maggots were removed from the pink wound, the abscess cleaned and healing. But Galen began to complain of pains in his head, behind his eyes, and along his leg, but they saw nothing. At night Galen began to dream of fishing, of bait on hooks made from slivers of birch, and he could hear the worm wriggling, crawling, twisting, filling his ears, burrowing deep into his brain.

He awoke screaming, sweating, soaked shirt clinging to his skin. The pain was unbearable, and the doctor was summoned. Galen screamed, his eyes felt like they would explode, the pain under his skin unbelievable. The doctor arrived and reached for his scalpel, pressing into visibly squirming masses just below the surface. A trail of writhing, engorged maggots spilled out, squelching sounds making him wince as they hit the floor. They wriggled free from the countless cuts in his legs, chest, his forearms, and a repugnant stench filled the air. The doctor vainly excised the crawling things from Galen’s flesh as maggots continued to eat the boy from the inside, devouring even his eyeballs from their sockets.

(Jason M. Bloom – All Rights Reserved)

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