All posts by Rodney Turner

The Summoned

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Carl Johnson sat in the yellow light of a dim desk lamp. A mostly ignored cigarette dangled between his trembling fingers like the weakest of security blankets. He took a nervous drag before crushing it out in the overflowing ashtray. Whiskey called to him from the half-empty bottle standing watch by the lamp. He felt a longing for the rot-gut liquor, for the numbness that it could bring. Johnson reached for it, but retracted his hand as if an angry rattlesnake were coiled around the bottle. Not even drunken stupor could save him from the things he had done. It would not dull the terror of the hideous thing that hunched in the darkness, barring his escape.

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Blooms

This slow-burn story is reminiscent of Night Shift–era Stephen King. Lots of characterization leading to a surprising and horrifying, but somehow inevitable, climax.

Stephen Forest hated ties. He always felt that they were choking the life from him like a paisley constrictor preparing to feast. He tugged at the uncomfortable piece of fabric while adjusting himself in the equally uncomfortable chair. The waiting room was dully off-white and nearly silent save for the occasional flurry of clicking as the receptionist rush-typed some sort of correspondence. Waiting rooms were supposed to have some form of reading material, weren’t they? Stephen would have given anything for a ragged copy of Field & Stream or Time. Anything to distract his mind from that damn tie and the wait. He hated waiting almost as much as he hated ties. On the other hand, a steady paycheck would make all this mess worthwhile.

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