Empty for the Moment

Empty for the Moment

Well, I am back! Its been a rough couple months with a broken laptop, a death…and the recent cold spells.

First off…. .Ah, I remember it was in the bleak December; And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.” Poe said that and a bleak December it was…… It started with putting my dog to sleep. I will discuss that in a further blog for its a lot that has been written and I do not feel like talking about it at this given moment. My laptop broke and my novel I was working on was lost with it…..until it wasn’t. 

Do you believe in Divine Intervention? I am not sure if I do, but my novel was lost, only to just magically appear on an external hard drive that was stored in another room. The date that states when it was uploaded is even creepier for it was after the laptop broke. I don’t know how my novel got on there, but it did. 

I have been slowly but surly been working on a few writing projects. An article about otters for a magazine, a short story for a digital magazine, and of course my most recent novel, which was nearly lost. (Thank the God(s)) January has just been a failure, like every year. It is when the cold really starts to sink in and so far this year has really proved it. I can’t express how much I love tip toeing down my icy driveway, bundled in multiple layers, feeling Arctic temps make me rethink where I am currently living, all just to go to a job that never closes, and all the while I notice that most businesses, are closed…..I guess I just have to reap the fruit of my choices, including the bad ones. 

The motivations of the current world of work have hit a critical low within me. There has been many low times (All the fucking time) but right now I feel broken. I am not sure if it is a combination of Nessie dying, tearing a muscle in my foot, the new system at work, or hell, even a missed kick in a Chicago playoff game, but something seems off. I have this displeasure in the robot cycle of life. Doing the same things, the exact same way, every fucking day, every fucking year. It leaves a distaste in my mouth that I can’t wash away, and it leads to these overwhelming feelings of despair. People will say, “Tyler, this is just how the world is!” NO! It doesn’t have to be, that is just how you choose to see it. I can’t see past the obvious, and this drowning feeling of swimming in a cesspool with no current. Stagnant with no change, and I am too self aware of it. I look around and see so many people who are completely content with life that way, almost blinded by it so much they really can’t see what they are worth. I chose to do everything I currently am. I decided to jump off the bridge and dive straight into the unknown, following a dream that some days seems brighter than other peoples dull choices of fulfillment, but there has to be more than this….right?

I am not looking for the meaning of life or even a sense of fulfillment. I think most people just follow the path to find fulfillment, which is a crock of shit because there is no such thing. Go buy your over priced white picket fence and fill it with a spouse, pop out a couple of kids even! That is what your parents did, so why the fuck not? Once you get all of that, wait till its dark out, lay in bed and try to wonder why you can’t sleep at night. Fantasize about what life is going to look like in the next 5 or even 10 years. Look at that, you still can’t sleep years later. You thought you would find fulfillment but all you found were more problems that deep down in the back of your mind you never really wanted…Soon you will remember the good times, when you had nothing, and you lived on the razor’s edge. It may make you smile in the dark and get you harder or wetter than the person laying next to you could ever do….or used to.

OF COURSE! You will not say these things out loud because you have people that you love and all your sacrifices you do are worth it….or so you tell yourself when there is noise. But when it is silent, you think about the truths. Honestly I am not even sure what I am bitching about! I lack all of those things so how would I really know! I don’t so I should be happy, hell I am probably happier than most people, but what I empty… 

I want to see the world, travel and find adventure. I want to jump out of planes at the highest point, and scuba dive to the lowest point. Hike through the mountains and sleep under the stars and wonder what is really out there. I want to eat weird food, and meet more wondering souls that I can share conversations with over a glass of absinthe. I want to tattoo the memories across my body, inspire the mind to pump out more stories with references from my life. I want to fall in love even if it is for only five minutes….I want my dog back, but I can’t so I want to raise a new puppy using everything I learned with Nessie and teach it to them. That is what I want…all of it. 

So where do I begin? When do I break the wheel and travel out of it? 

If I offended anyone, it was not my intention, just me ranting through some thoughts that have plagued my brain in the last couple months. 

I am going to to do that pretentious thing that other people do to make themselves seem deep. I am going to end on a quote 

“The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.”

Hello November

Hello November

45150747_10156630813152593_3865849915091451904_oIt has been awhile, but it always has been. I’ll get better about it one of these days. Thank God October is over! That is a busy month for me with my 31 Nights of horror, which is 31 nights of watching horror films. This year I did a Halloween marathon for 11 nights. Ten Halloween movies followed by the new one (It is really good!) My favorite random horror film to watch was The Invitation (2015) It is a solid movie! Watch it! Now, onto November….

There is thing where I try to write one page a day in November….but here we are on day six and I have already written over twenty pages on a new novel. At this rate I will be at a finished first draft by December! All of 2018 I have been lost on what I have wanted to write about since my collection of short stories (Stories we tell our Dead) and I have ideas for horror, syfy, fantasy, and even romance, but I couldn’t decide. A lot of changes have occurred this year and my loneliness had gotten the better of me….I need to write about the summer of 2016…

That was an interesting summer. A bad summer. I was drunk probably every single night back then….and adventures happened and i learned stories from many people and saw situations occur…all not good but at the very least it slowly formed a story in my brain…..my great American novel. (Life on Mended Wings) Since November 1st I began tapping away on this keyboard, and Buddy, business is booming!

I tell a lot of truths and secrets I have never told anyone. I feel I need to for reasons that are lost in the stratosphere. However the book is about millennials, mental illness, love, hate, sex, booze, drugs, and coming of age. Maybe you will like it? Or maybe you will piss on it? Lets see shall we….

Life. Life has been weird. I have been going through weird bouts of loneliness for some reason. I never really have this issue but something is causing it. I am having paranoid thoughts about my closest friends. Maybe they hate me, what did I do?  I only ever see Shaffer, Andrew, and Fat John which is cool I love those guys, some of my best friends but there are others and it makes me wonder….. Then there is my dog….

Nessie, my favorite. She is a 10 year old lab with some health issues. One issue that took a biopsy to check. I have not received the results yet and I am strong about it. I’ll do anything to save that dog. There isn’t a person on this world that understands me like that dog, and I know that there is a big chance at her death, and that will send me deep into a pit of despair that will take awhile for me to climb out of. If I am right about my thoughts on my friends then I can’t lose her….I can’t I just fucking can’t! She wouldn’t give up on me and I can read her face..she wants to live, she doesn’t want to leave. This loneliness, I’ll do anything. I love that dog so much! It was always suppose to her and I against the world but fate and life decided to take their big dicks out and slap me in the face. That is the world for you……..

In other news….I voted for Gov. and it looks like I voted right! JB do your thing Boy! Illinois Gov. usually end up in prison. So, if he succeeds that is awesome! If he goes to prison, well, that is pretty funny! Win, win!

I almost shot a deer last night while hunting. Didn’t work out, laws of mother nature playing her cards. Next time hopefully!!!!

I recently went to a club for some live music and had my face painted for charity. I had it painted like the wrestler Jeff Hardy. I kinda look like an I.C.P bitch, but I promise you I was going for the charismatic Enigma look!

20181103_002803

received_350302528861880

My Chicago Bulls are losing…Levine Looks great though! My Bears are finally looking great! It is really exciting to watch them play….it hasn’t been that way since 2006…….I probably just fucking jinxed it (For fucks sake Tyler)

My kidneys started hurting bad last month, so bad at work I went into the bathroom and crawled into the fetal position, keeping myself from screaming. It was hurting so bad I wanted to fucking die. I kept remembering parts of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to try and take my mind off of it. Since then, I have made an appointment with my doctor, went on a diet, and have been working out after work. I cut back on the drinking pretty hardcore. Takes days off, but tonight I decided to mix cheap whiskey with filtered water and its doing the trick. Sorry vanilla coke zero…I do not trust you….

To all my Tyler Wayniacs who buy copies of my books, who support me, follow me, or even read these blog posts, just remember that I love you and will always be grateful for it. No matter what!

Till next time!

Love, Tyler Wayne

1795735_10201305929604908_2839679191201980940_n

 

 

 

 

Whiskey Wednesday: Rants and Horrors

Whiskey Wednesday: Rants and Horrors

Well well well….It is whiskey Wednesday…whiskey not whisky. (Its the bourbon spelling this time, not the scotch spelling) The drink is Evan Williams with iced tea. The summer has been adequate, could be better, could be worse. My motivations for self improvement are as lacking as my sleep, which comes and goes. Some days I awake after sound sleep with the power to conquer the day! Other times I am still awake when the sun is coming up and all I can say is, “For fucks sake, really!?”

“Sleep, those little slices of death — how I loathe them.”

Poe wrote that. Maybe he never slept much? Perhaps I can take a little silver lining in the meaning. Maybe, just maybe I am living more than the average person? Not that I complain to compare and to open the door for criticism, just a thought.

My work is coming well, but slowly. When I am in a melancholic mood, I want to write dark tragic tales of people of thy generation tweaked by society we live in. The death of the Millennials will be the ignored view points of a generation, but that is going to be damn near impossible. (Luckily) Change is the only true building block in life.

However, when I am in a…mood of sorts, my creativity drops down into the pit of horrors and pulls something gruesome out of the toy chest. I play with it in my brain, toss it around and type it up. I never wanted to be known as a horror writer, but I can’t help it anymore. It is coming slowly because I am bouncing from each story. It seems to be the genre I adore, even though I am very critical of the genre as a whole. I once heard someone say, “If a person can think of these terrible things then maybe they have something wrong with them.” That’s all bullshit! I don’t recall Dahmer, Gacy or Bundy publishing horror novels or directed films of torture, rape, and cannibalism. Hell no! Gacy worked at KFC! (Finger licking good indeed!) Bundy worked for a suicide hotline! Dahmer…..I don’t recall what he did, maybe he just cooked people, but whatever! Stephen King gets into rants about politics, and cheers on the Boston Red Sox, all while eating cheesecake and probably wondering why he directed Maximum Overdrive!

So this is my situation. I am a horror writer…for the most part. I do have a taste for the depressing though. I really wish I could write happy stories but its hard for me, my brain doesn’t work that way….even though I can be a very happy person. My Fiction isn’t me, just influenced by this so called life.

When I am at my stress filled job, I stare out the windows when the rain works its way down. I see the damp darkened leaves, hear the water trickle and watch the rain slide down the glass. I wish I could be out there, which may sound depressing, but honestly it makes me fill with peace. It is calming, even the lighting and thunder.

Nessie is getting old, poor old pup! She is getting as gray as my old man! Still gets her attitude when I come around though. Rain or shine, that dog wants to go for a walk! That’s good because I am pretty sure my snakes have no care for me. One likes to hide and the other one wants to kill me….You gotta love those pets…….

I bought a new truck, mainly because my old one is finally on its last leg, which the issue I have is how vex it all is. Money…so much money….loans from the bank, and they metaphorically have their dirty, bony fingers squeezing my metaphoric balls…but hey isn’t that everybody?

I was talking to a girl, hanging out, all platonic. (Surprise! I know, right?) But that all came crashing down when she realized that I deer hunt. A large argument carried out outside the BCPA and continued into a restaurant. Well, she believes me to be a murderer and somehow was able to compare hunting deer with a bow to police killing African Americans. (WHAT!?) I gave very valid points that were ignored, but this girl worships the moon in some witchcraft ideology. (But I am the psycho right?) Either way that piece of fat is now cut off from my life.

Comic con was fun! I met Ernie Hudson! He played Winston in Ghostbusters! He gave me an autograph and was just an awesome guy! Cons are awesome except when people you wanted to see canceled last minute (James Marsters) but I always have a lot of fun and I look forward to every single one in the future.

 

I have been writing one of my novels on my cell phone. I have this app that lets me write and email it to myself where I can download and edit. Its fun to sit in a bar and write on my phone, analyzing and making up stories about the people around me. I can write about the sad man sitting alone on the other side, dirt on his clothes, and a small drink in his hand, looking like the world pissed on him time and time again….I could also write about that girl, following her friends in front of her, Lacking proper clothes, raining in vodka and long islands. I wonder what her life is like? Loved or self esteem lacked? It seems blurred in a gray area, but that is how bars can be. I learn a lot when drinking alone.  Hemingway once said, “Don’t bother with churches, government buildings or city squares. If you want to know about a culture, spend a night in its bars.”

A Life on Mended Wings is my novel on culture at this point in life. It is my love letter to artists who are trying to make something out of themselves at this day and age. Chasing dreams or whatever makes us happy is the hardest challenge we can accomplish. I understand it, for I swim through the cesspool, trying to pull myself up high enough to breathe just a little. The book is a long way from being finished, but when its done, it will be a storm of emotion.

Fall is approaching, and how my smile grows! Deer hunting, Halloween, and fantasy football, also the beginning of a revamped Chicago Bears and Bulls. It all should be interesting…..

Personal life seems stale though, I sit in my apartment currently and I am watching the walls close in on me……I need more life, more excitement and experiences….but how?

I’LL close this  with some words of wisdom…. lets use Hemingway again…

“All things truly wicked start from innocence.”

 

 

 

Summer! To do is to Dare!

Summer! To do is to Dare!

Here we are…..I am a little older, a little wiser, and covered in poison ivy. The summer struck like a well placed arrow, as I placed a few arrows into some supple fish. Since my last post I have ran off on some adventures. Written words, weddings, Blind Melon concert in Chicago, C2E2 and the hordes of Harley Quinn. (real original ladies) I had a vacation already, most of which was spent bowfishing and the rest was writing and researching most unpleasant things for a dark horror story i am working on. Melancholy bar stool stories have been told, catching up with old broken things (friends) and half my hair was chopped off.

Summer has started for sure and I am fucking excited for it!

As a child, I grew up always assuming summer break was going to be awesome! No school, no problems, hello world! Well, that all ended during my parents divorce and I saw the heated world of people and nature. Summer kind of sucked, and it was boring.

My teen years were filled with a job in the summer….at the good ole movie theater. A lot of learning and growing occurred during these blurry days. Dating, girls, true friends, fake friends, endless drama, and the fact that the processed nacho cheese goes great on popcorn! Those days are long over!

Since then, my summers have consisted of drinking and some fishing. I of course wrote and read, seeing all the summer blockbusters and becoming less and less excited about the next Marvel repeat movie. Friends ran away to their own lives and the world got smaller. By then end of last summer it was easy to say….Summer sucks!

This year I feel a certain excitement for it, one of which I have no way how to process. My heart is fluttering in ways I have not felt in a long time. My imagination is in full swing. The stories I am trying to sell to magazines are blowing up, and when I am away from that cesspool rent maker I have to go to…..there is just not enough time in the day or night!

I have ambitions, dreams, goals, and energy I felt was lost a long time ago! My attitude is poor at that job of mine…I know…but I never planned on making a life out of it….that teenage rebel side from like 10 years ago is starting to emerge for some reason….and the more people try to bring me down, or try to show me that seating people and making sure they got coffee is the most I can do in my life…well….fuck you….middle fingers to everyone and to remind myself to tell the bitch that California wasn’t Wisconsin and it sure as hell aint Illinois, so she should probably buy a map and figure out where knowledge and jurisdiction actually meet.

Spineless people who finished last in life decided to make themselves feel important, but lack anything worth while. Someone recently told me that I am not as attractive as I was when I was 19….obviously….but what the bitch doesn’t realize is that maybe I traded in, soaked up my looks for something worth more…..maybe a personality? One to make friends and have a fun filled life, not sitting around staring into a mirror with caked makeup wondering if these cold streets are worse than the world I left. No matter where you go, Love….Time is your enemy…stop bringing people down and own your shit. Her thoughts are useless and can’t draw blood anymore. To hell with the past, right?

I had an epiphany a month ago…..Everything I used to disregard are things i want know. I want love, a family, and a life full of adventures, constantly learning from my mistakes and never allowing the world or my past make me a victim…..There is a buzz in the air this summer….changes….I can feel it coming….even if it starts bad, the learning factor will make me rise through the ashes and realize those fears that I had are long gone. I won’t just be another bum from a small town. I’ll be something great! Audere est Facere!

So I guess this is a reboot…of me….my life….my thoughts….this blog….fiction….and a reboot of Scalp Collectors. Till next time!

Peace!

Tyler Wayne

 

When Life gives you Lemons….

When Life gives you Lemons….

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade……It is a quote apparently by Elbert Hubbard. In some creepy coincidence, Elbert was born in the town I am currently writing this. Looking at this quote with its real meaning, it makes sense, but looking at it literally it seems ridiculous….so I kind of hate it.

If the only thing that life gives me is lemons, and nothing else, I may pop a testicle. When in life am I ever going to need a fucking lemon? Out of all the things that I need in this world, lemons are pretty fucking close to the bottom, right next sewage and used condoms. I don’t need that shit! Who this hell sits back and says, “You know what sounds good right now? A Lemon!” Who the fuck eats lemons!? (Yes I know Lemon juice is useful in the cooking of fish, along with other foods that are fucking prissy, but if you only cook fish in lemon then maybe you should learn how to cook!)

If you have a friend who gets you lemons, then its about time to get some better friends.  If I ever have a friend that brings over a lemon, then it better be for the mixed drinks we are going to be sipping and slopping while chilling like broke ass millionaires.

What life should be giving me is sugar. You cant make lemonade without that! I should know, because I am an American, which means we take healthy food and pour sugar on it. (We also love guns)

So if life gives me lemons I am suppose to make lemonade without sugar. So what, I squeeze the bitch in a pitcher of water? There better be a fucking green tea bag swimming in the bitch if you expect me to drink watery lemon juice.

I guess life should just give me sugar, so then I can make lemonade, Kool-aid, cakes, doughnuts, cereal, soda, and all junk food. Then, surprisingly, life can give me diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and eventually an early death. Then my body will lie rotting in the in the gutter, floating next to the sewage and used condoms.

(This was all a thought that went through my mind when I couldn’t sleep and is not to be taken seriously. I love to rant!)

If you want Lemonade, I suggest the song from Blind Melon.

 

 

Lets talk about my new book

Lets talk about my new book

Welly Welly Well! So after a long absence of nothing but Scalp Collectors, I finally finished my book of short stories, Stories We Tell Our Dead. With a grand total of 7 stories, it is really fucking surprising it took me 18 months to release it. (18 months from my first novel)  I guess I just wasted my time, but with good and bad reasons…..

Fresh off the heels of my first book, I wanted to do a story collection of ones I have not released or no one has really seen. I wrote a couple already, a fantasy story for a friend, and a horror story for a contest (I didn’t win) so I went with those and dove into more elaborate long stories with complex plots and lots of characters….then I realized I was writing a novel. At the time it was called The Glass Spider, but it was topping out around 30,000 words and was still very far from the ending….so after a couple months of working on it, I hit a writers block and put the book away that I may one day go back to.

The next set back was once again another horror story called Blood of the Scarecrow. I really liked it, and wrote a sequel story to it, that became its own chapter, and then I was balls deep into 5 chapters before I hit a block and placed that on the back burner. My confidence level was dropping at a fast pace, clouds of depression slipped into the cracks of my skull, and I fell out of motivation.

I began drinking at impressive levels, blowing what little money I had on whiskey rather than going to the grocery store. Of course being drunk and dealing with a hangover every day while working a full time shit job really gets a big ZERO in the writing world….but then something happened…..

Scalp Collectors. Never meant to be anything serious, just a free online series I was doing for mental relaxation and for fun. A dark comedy set in a strange apocalypse world. Instead of focusing on back story or reasons and questions…I focused on the lead characters and how they interact…and I felt so relieved. However, every single day I worked on those chapters…I felt a voice in the back of my head….

So, I came back to it, not long after I ended most of my hard drinking. I stopped wasting my money and ruining my health to work, edit and focus on new stories. The ones I brought on board did much better, the new edits of old stories I felt confident about….and so everything seemed great….

But I fucking hated it. We loath the things we create…its a curse, and I feel unsure on a few things, but I did my best to make it look pretty (almost pretty) so I felt positive about that overall, but I was and still am confused.

I am not sure how good it is, but I will let you decide that. For the next couple of days you can get the digital copy for free, so give it a shot!

Scalp Collectors 5: The Hen House

Scalp Collectors 5: The Hen House

Kramer cackled like a loon, and Jones growled like an animal as they were dragged away to separate vehicles. They both had their hands tied behind their back and Kramer was dragged by two men and thrown into the back of a truck. Jones was dragged by his long hair, feeling strands ripping out of the scalp. The dragger stopped to look down at Jones with his dark blue eyes. He studied Jones like he was a fish in a bowl. Jones only noticed that the dragger had taken his knife and was wearing it in his belt.

“You sure are pretty, boy. Hair like this makes my marbles jump a throb. Yes sir! Yes sir!” The man said, blowing his dragon breath in Jones’s face. The yellowed teeth were picks in his mouth, but his eyes were dark blue and seemed to vibrate in the pupils. Jones had heard of these types before. A sickening breed of cannibal that made Head Hunters look like saints.

The cannibal began to smell Jones’s hair, and Jones let him get lost in his locks, so he could sink his teeth into the cannibal’s ear and rip it off. “YOU FUCK!” The man screamed, falling away from Jones in the dirt. Blood poured down his head and collected in the white of his shirt. Jones spat the ear from his mouth, blood worn on his lips, grinning. The beating Jones would receive from the man was worth it.

As the cannibal beat him, another man shouted at him. “Quit it! If you bring him all bloody to Ivy she might have the same thing done to you!”

The dragger looked down at Jones, with distance. “I’ll skull fuck you before I scrape your brains!”

“I look forward to it.”

Meanwhile, in the other truck, Kramer was laid flat on his back, with all his weapons removed. An oily muscled man stood over him. His skin was colored like cinnamon and Kramer bet his scalp would look beautiful drying from his window. He would be sure to keep it later. “Your fat friend was stuck under the car. We unfortunately had to cut him out, piece by piece. As he said this, Kramer saw Spencer’s severed head being carried into the truck.

“Well, I guess ginger prick got what he deserved. What are you going to do with us?”

The muscled man smiled as he cracked his knuckles. “Well, your fat friend will be made into soap, and the meat will be fed to the dogs. You and your friend will be featured at our feast this afternoon. We needed two more to appease our Goddess. All our followers will be there. It will be a bigger feast than last year. Your skulls will probably be used as sex toys or bowls. We will probably make canvas out of your back skin.”

The muscled man explained this without a flinch. He has said this before, maybe a thousand times and has performed it just as much. Kramer knew he wasn’t joking, but he didn’t so much care, for he was more distracted by the girl standing to the side of him. As the muscled man was talking, she walked over and began sucking on his left nipple. She was a short girl with a skeleton like body and short strawberry blonde hair.

As the truck began rolling, all the other cannibal hunters packed into the trucks. Kramer watched as this muscled man and girl started going at it. It wasn’t hard to miss since they decided to use Kramer as a mattress. As the muscled man yanked his pants off, Kramer witnessed a man who had mutilated his own penis. It looked he had sawed the head down the middle, giving the appearance of two heads.

As he began to thrust into the girl Kramer said, “Hey girl. If you reach back, you can unzip my zipper and I can slide into your other hole”

“Don’t talk to her!” The muscled man said, and struck Kramer across the face and bloodied his nose.

“Blood play! My favorite!” Kramer said, and used his head to rub blood across the girl’s back.

The muscled man struck Kramer multiple times and of course he spoke again. “Oh, shit! I forgot the safe word!” He felt the man’s fists hit him several more times. “Was it beach? Was it skunk? Maybe ravioli? Maybe monkey balls? Bacon strips?” This went on for several minutes, till Kramer could no longer speak, but he still cackled through a mouth full of blood.

As the trucks pulled the separate scalp collectors to the same destination, they both had secrets on how to get free. At any given moment, they could free themselves and possible escape the truck. The thought was provoking, and the common person would attempt it. They were Scalp Collectors and were above average at their skills. They knew patience was the safest route, because it was best not to panic. One of the largest tests from their training was about patience. Their teacher was a retired old Scalp Collector who went by the code name, Crook Shaw. During his prime, Crook and his late partner were the best Scalp Collectors that had ever lived. After his partner was killed when he stepped on a land mine, Shaw began to teach the up and comers. He was a rough teacher who would beat mistakes out of you, whip your back bare and force you to go days without sleeping. He was the weapons trainer and a survivalist master. His survival skills were the keys to his passing, his training, and his biggest test was his patience test.

He stated, “One day, some men are going to come and take you away. When they do, they will torture you, using any method. Normally, in these situations you would escape and kill everyone. This is not a killing test. Your test is to find a means to escape them and report back to me. If you escape the proper way, you are well on your way to being Scalp Collectors. If you use the wrong ways, then you will be punished. The right way to accomplish this, is with patience. If you do not escape, you will be expelled from the school. Now, these men, may not get you tonight, maybe not tomorrow, or hell, a month from now, but they know who you are, and they are coming. I wish you the best of luck.”

Most victims of the test were dragged through the dirt with wire wrapped around their toes. The easiest way to escape was simple. Rip your toes off. These people were crippled and never became Scalp Collectors. Jones and Kramer used patience and found a proper way to escape.

The trucks arrived in front of a church. Jones was kicked out of the back, “Shit, another church. Be more creative next time!”

The one eared cannibal dragged Jones be his hair again, towards the front door. Kramer followed him, his face a bloody mess, cackling as the pulled. “You people think you are savages, fuck, we are the real savages. Leading us to your leader is the worse fucking thing you could ever do. Most of you will die….and you have no idea!”

“Shut up!” The short hair girl yelled and stomped Kramer in the balls. “I will feed you your guts like spaghetti.

“I only eat tangerines with my sghetti!” Kramer yelled and spat his blood into her mouth. She screamed and spat the blood on the ground.

“Bitch be drinking blood but is afraid of my spit.”

Both Scalp Collectors were dropped at the back of the church. They were surprised to see that the church was filled. Every seat was taken by different people, not dressed like savages but in their normal every day garments, some were even in suits and dresses. They turned to look at the commotion at the back of the church. Someone called out, “Dinner is served. The audience clapped their hands and cheered. A couple of the cannibal hunters placed their weapons on a steal table to the left of Jones. One was carrying Kramer’s lightning bolt shaped knife and seemed memorized by the blade. On his back, he was carrying Spencer’s bag of credits. Jones and Kramer both eyed this with pleasure. The one eared hunter stood in front of Jones. His scalping blade was in the front of his belt. It should be too close for comfort, but the dumb hunter felt safe because he personally tied Jones’s hands behind his back. This is the biggest mistake they did that day. Since both collectors were forced on their knees, they had access to their escape.

“I’m going to bite your ear off first, boy!”

“Is that going to be before I bite your nose off and escape. You are running out of time!”

The hunter all stood in front of them and laughed. The Scalp Collectors counted twelve armed hunters and two more standing at the front of the church. Easy.

“Order!” A man yelled walking to church podium. “It looks that our Hunters have brought us the rest of our dinner for us. They were tipped off that some foolish men were traveling the Devil’s Alley. Our trusty friend Allocer and his lovely friend tipped us off! The rest of our pigs have been slaughtered and are currently being cooked in the basement below. These two will be ceremonially eaten to welcome out feast. Our Goddess Ivy will feast on their hearts like tradition has shown. They are Scalp Collectors, so their meat might be a little tough, but we will make screamers out of them no doubt.”

“I am a moaner!” Kramer yelled back.

“We shall see Pig!” Allocer said, walking down the aisle. His silver hair hanging on his shoulders. His smile made the blue crosses on his cheeks appear awkward, almost how awkward it was for Jones to see Amaryllis following him, flexing her razor fingers as she did.

“Pig!” Allocer said walking over to Kramer. “You have no idea it is for me to see you like this, all bloody and broken. It’s good to see you so filled of pride.”

“Wait till I get free.” Kramer said.

Amaryllis walked over to Jones. She looked stunning, her tanned skin covered in a long silver dress, her eyes bright with a sick love. She bent down in front of jones, close enough for him to smell her intoxicating scent. “This will hurt me, My Love. I asked to personally have your cock.”

“Maybe it will taste like what you remember. That’s only because you don’t get to eat my heart out like you tried before. Another girl gets that right.”

She whispered to him, “If they knew you like I do, they should have killed you when they had the chance. I am betting your heart will still be up for grabs before this day is over.” She kissed him on the tip of his nose and stood up.

“Fair well boys! It’s been a real pleasure knowing you. We are going to watch from the side!” Allocer said.

“Order!” The man at the podium cried. “It is time to introduce our Goddess! It is a real pleasure this year, for I Dokken, oversee bringing her forth!

“His name is Dokken?” Kramer said, confused.

“OUR GODDESS IVY, QUEEN OF THE CANNIBALS AND THE MEAT MEN, FOLLOWER OF THE WITCH GODS, TAKER OF SKULLS, DEVOURER OF HEARTS, MASTER OF THE HUNT AND SEX BEAST OF THE RED DESIRE! COME FORTH FOR US!”

The crowd cheered as if the anticipation brought forth a surge of an entrance, something they could tell people for years, but that is not what occurred. She simply walked out with her arms raised and took the podium. She was a brunette, but all the hair was pulled back into a single long braid, that went all the way down to the floor. The gold jewels that lined her ivory skin, gave her an Egyptian look, or based on what the Scalp Collectors knew of Egypt. The makeup was caked as if to make her a great beauty, but she lacked the interest or the raw power of a real woman. She wore an odd bikini top. It was made with the faces of skulls, and covered each breast except the nipples stuck out of the eye sockets. She was an interesting sight to the Scalp Collectors.

“Greetings my children! Welcome to our yearly feast!” Everyone cheered, children were raised in the air and she pointed to each one with a smile.

“This is your Goddess?” Kramer said. “Looks like someone brought a hem to the rooster house!”

Everyone froze in place.

“What?” Kramer asked within the silence.

Jones turned to him, “That is not a saying!”

“Yes, it is! It is what they used to say in the old days.”

“No, no one has ever said that!”

“Yes, they did! That is how we get chicken eggs!” Kramer screamed.

“How? A horny chicken walks into a rooster house and all the roosters take turns with her until she produces eggs?”

“Yes! Exactly!”

“No!” Jones screamed. “That’s not how it happens!

“Yes, it is!”

The muscled cannibal lost his temper. “Be quiet!” He slapped Kramer in the back of his head.

“Trust me, you can keep doing that to him and he will keep talking. He has the need to talk to everybody” It’s kinda annoying.” Jones said.

“Exactly!” Kramer said. “We have to talk about how I think your Goddess is the equivalent of a chicken, and how she is about to let everyone in this room how a go on her!”

This time Kramer took a several stomps to the stomach till he was on his back. He laughed through the whole experience.

“BE QUIET!” Dokken bellowed. “THIS IS OUR GODDESS IVY! QUUEN OF THE CANNIBALS AND THE ME- “

“We already heard this fucking part! Just get to the killing already!” These words were spoken by Jones, a surprise even to himself.

“Yeah, Bokken Dokken, whatever your fucking name is!” Kramer said, moving to his side to help himself up.

The confusing nature of this conversation the Scalp Collectors had was entirely intentional. For they were distracting their captors from what they were doing. While they spoke to each other, they were blinking in rapid unique fashion. They spoke in a language they constructed on their own with winks and blinks. During this, their bound hands laid motionless on the back of their boots, slowly pulling the razor blades they had hidden in the skin of the boots. They rubbed their bound wrists against this, freeing themselves. They both were free, just waiting, being patient, just like they were taught. The whole while they devised their plan of escape. It wasn’t a smart plan, but they could operate it.

Ivy returned to her speech, completely unaffected by what had just occurred. “As I said, welcome to the yearly feast. We have many activities to attend to before the eating, mainly the sacrifice-.”

“The one eared cannibal lowered himself in front of Jones. The blood from his missing ear had dried down his neck, and browned in his shirt. He whispered carefully, his rotten breath was filling his nostrils with dread. “The killing starts real soon. Yes sir, yes sir. I think I will start with the ear.”

“Why not the nose?” Jones asked, headbutting him right in the spot with a satisfying crunch.

The cannibal fell back holding his nose, leaving Jones’s knife in his belt unattended. To everyone’s surprise, Jones stole the knife from the belt and slipped the tip across the cannibal’s throat. One of the other hunters ran at Jones and he stuck the blade through his belly, pulling him around and spilling his innards out.

Two armed guns from the stage fired at Jones, but he used the dying cannibal as a human shield as he back tracked to the steal table, flipping it on its side, spilling his weapons to the floor. Jones dropped the body and dove behind it to take cover.

Meanwhile, Kramer attacked too. He knew he couldn’t over power the muscled man with his own strength, so he took a note from Jones and bit him in the throat. His teeth tore through the skin as he pulled the neck open, like a wolf ripping apart a rabbit. Kramer threw the cannibal back and ran towards the opposite table, throwing down for cover, grabbing his hand gun and blunderbuss. The first cannibal tried to get him with Kramer’s own knife, but he jumps shot him through the head before he could use it. Kramer grabbed his knife and began firing.

Jones found his pistol and fired at the hunter’s dropping them where they stood. He fired one shot at Dokken, hitting him in the throat. Ivy was nowhere in sight. Jones ran from his side of the table, firing his shotgun as he did, drilling a few of the hunters down. He slides into the spot Kramer was. They circled into the corner of the church, hiding behind thick pillars. The towns people seemed to be armed as well, as they rained shots at the pillars, chips and dust breaking off the pillars. Clouds of dust were so thick no one could see. Kramer could make out several children all holding guns and firing wildly at them.

“Really wish I had my tommy gun right now.” Kramer said.

“Out gunned, out manned and back into a corner. This is not good for us.” Jones said, looking around. “You think Allocer is still around? I would love to end him right now.”

“Can’t tell. You think I could use my blunderbuss right now. Maybe blow like twenty of them down. Even the odds a bit?”

“How the fuck, do you think that is going to work?” Jones said.

“Watch and learn.” Kramer said, shouldering the gun and spinning around to fire around the pillar.

Before he could fire the gun, an explosion blew apart the side wall of the church. Anyone standing near that wall was killed instantly and several lifeless corpses flew across the building. The air turned to smoke, and the bright light of the sun shined into the church. Grenades were thrown through the hole and exploded into the crowd of people.

“Run for the hole!” Kramer said and took off into the smoke oh what could have been a suicidal approach to what was about to happen.

Jones followed, but was unsure. If they stayed they were easily killed and if they jumped through the hole they could also be killed. The idea did cut into his brain that this could very well be the day they die. Shots flew bouncing around as the Scalp Collectors found the wall and worked their way to the hole. Fire had ignited in the church and the screams and cries of the families inside were sickening.

When they approached the hole, they held their hands up, holding their dog tags in one hand. Several vehicles could be seen on the outside, mounted guns and armed soldiers stood on each end. A bald woman towered over them as she approached. She was wearing large black sunglasses and he facial expression went well with the muscled arms she had exposed. A large logo was patched over the front of her tan jacket, and all the other soldier matched as well. “Freedom Fighters.” Kramer said. “I guess we should be glad to see these guys.”

“You don’t think she is still mad at us?” Jones said.

The bald woman drew her katana at her side as she walked up to them.

“Well I had sex with her because we needed to distract her while you scalped her brother.” Kramer said.

“Well, fuck.”