Your English Is Good by Colt Skinner

Colt Skinner’s debut, brought to us by the unholy alliance of D&T Publishing and Godless, is one hell of a ride. Your English Is Good introduces us to Eddy, a biker hired as protection for Grace as she entertains clients for the night. On the surface, Grace appears to be a prostitute or dominatrix, but appearances can be deceiving.
We learn a great deal about Eddy–both his past and aspirations within the Dead Mariachis Motorcycle Club–as he finds himself drifting through reminiscence and reflection in the strangest way upon first meeting Grace. She seems to have a peculiar effect on him, but it’s nothing compared to the influence she has on her clients, but that’s what they’re paying her for.
While short, this story succeeds in blending elements of cosmic and body horror with a meditation on morality and sacrifice. In the end, we’re forced to consider that it may be that the most inhuman among us who display the most compassion and decency and that it’s all-too-human to exhibit a total lack of humanity.
Skinner leaves the reader wanting, hoping there’s more to the story of Grace and Eddy than what we’ve been exposed to. More than that, we’re left hoping there’s a lot more on the horizon from this emerging author because his English is good, but his writing is excellent.

You can obtain this story from http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below:

Merry and Bright by Matt Henshaw

This story begins with what appears to be a charming little family gathered together near the tree to open presents on Christmas morning. Of course, knowing that this is a story from Matt Henshaw should give you pause, and provide some indication that things will not remain so tame and prosaic.
It isn’t until grandma and uncle arrive with three presents left near the front door that things begin to change for the worse. Driven by compulsion, the trio of Daniel, Sally, and Billy start unwrapping the presents with disastrous consequences.
A lump of coal is just fine with me if that’s an alternative to what happens to this family when they find themselves on Santa’s naughty list. Thankfully, Henshaw isn’t in R&D at Santa’s workshop, because Christmas would be a rather different experience for a lot of people.

This story was released as part of the AntiChristmas event at http://www.godless.com for December of 2021. You can obtain it for yourself by going to the website or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below:

The Breed by Ash Ericmore

The Breed begins with Theo seeking refuge, hoping for nothing more than to use a phone to call his mother, his bike broken down in the rain. When he knocks at the door of Cullis House, his belief that he’s found a refuge is short-lived.
Ericmore leaps ahead a matter of decades and we join two friends hoping to stay at Cullis House in the middle of their backpacking trip. Sore feet and the attention of a sleazy guest already in attendance are soon the least of their concerns.
This story could be adapted to serve as a Hellraiser sequel with only minimal alteration required. One needs only think of the house in place of the Lament Configuration. Ericmore crafts a grotesque, sexually-charged nightmare that even Barker would be hard-pressed to deny as a suitable abbatoir for his playthings to explore.

Effucuss by Tim Eagle

In the third installment of the Vasectomus Trilogy, Tim Eagle brings us back around to Charles Effucuss, the former courier who supplied Sabre with the fluids he required for his parasitic children.
While “Chuckles” was a bit player in the original story, Effucuss fleshes him out in detail. From the moment he begins buying drugs from Sabre, the small-town dynamic of Stevats begins to feel like a force of destiny. Coincidences and happenstance proliferate his everyday life, propelling the young man on a collision course that will take him from isolation and sexism, through the shattered remains of Sue and Sabre’s doomed marriage, to a peculiar sort of fatherhood.
The bizarro and body horror elements from Vasectomus are back in full force in this conclusion to the trilogy. As Eagle takes the components he introduced and amplifies them for this final tale, we’re left wondering how and why all of these events came to pass. But perhaps it’s best not to question these things.

Effucuss was released as part of the 31 Days of Godless event at http://www.godless.com for October of 2021. You can find this story for yourself by going to the website or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device. The link is below:

Walking Free by Tim Eagle

Tim Eagle’s Walking Free reintroduces us to Sue, sometime after the events of Vasectomus, as she’s about to participate in a peculiar ceremony, presumably something isolated to the town of Stevats. We find her wearing a mask as she takes her turn to publicly share her stories of Sabre. Sue joins in a ritual with other residents who gather together near a bonfire to share these often unflattering and purgative tales that wouldn’t be appropriate at a funeral.
Sue’s life before Sabre appears to be one of success and upward mobility, with a bright future ahead of her until she decides that she’s missing only one thing, a family. Unfortunately for Sue, Sabre wasn’t the best choice with that future in mind.
We discover that she knew of Sabre’s machinations and that she was pulling strings to get what she wanted long before the events of Vasectomus took place.
And though she’s a widow now, is it possible she might just have the family she was searching for, despite Sabre’s protestations?
This middle story of the Vasectomus trilogy wasn’t quite as peculiar and captivating as the first installment, but the ending certainly provides a snapshot containing a healthy dose of bizarre and unsettling family.

You can pick up Walking Free and the other two volumes of the Vasectomus Trilogy by going to http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app on your mobile device. The link is below:

Vasectomus by Tim Eagle

In Vasectomus, Tim Eagle invites us to spend some time with Sabre and his wife. They’re an unhappy couple fueled by acrimony and bitterness. The primary source of spite between the two is Sue’s unrelenting insistence that she and Sabre have children and Sabre’s unflinching contempt for the whole concept.
A peculiar encounter with the old woman next door interrupts the couple’s most recent argument, and from there, Vasectomus leads us along a strange path blending bizarro and body horror.
Eagle gives us a story of secrets, lack of communication, and backstabbing that befits the most absurdly over-the-top soap opera marriages. That is, assuming those soap operas are written by the likes of David Lynch or David Cronenberg.
In the first of three tales, Vasectomus introduces us to the strange town of Stevats and the residents living there. Eagle manages to entice readers to return, against all better judgment, by sharing with us a place that thankfully can only exist in the feverish imagination of its author.

You can pick up Vasectomus as well as the two sequel stories by going to http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below:

Sudden Death by Adrian Ludens

Wayne expected a normal evening of hockey, announcing the penalties and the scores just like any other day at the arena. When he started feeling ill, he thought it might just be a cold, until he saw the tiny figure he’d coughed up. Unfortunately, for Wayne, that little person is only the first of many.
As the announcer’s body is pushed past its limits, and what starts off a curious–albeit revolting–spectacle for the fans becomes a nightmare of body horror as an unstoppable surge of humanoid figures continues to erupt into the arena.
Ludens blends body horror and science fiction in an entertainingly vile fashion with Sudden Death. Sadly, death doesn’t arrive suddenly enough for our poor, besieged protagonist, as his suffering continues beyond what anyone should experience.

Sudden Death was released as a Godless exclusive short at http://www.godless.com and you can pick it up for yourself by going to the website or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device. The link is below:

https://godless.com/products/sudden-deathby-adrian-ludens

Celestial/Chthonic by Ben Arzate

Celestial/Chthonic provides the reader with two vastly different stories delivering a familiar hallucinatory characteristic one might expect from Arzate, if one has been exposed to some of his other writing.
Angel Lust escorts the reader on a journey that blurs the lines between fiction and reality, not only for the reader but for Sylvia as well. Is there something strange taking place? Is this some recurring, disorienting nightmare or is the actress simply supplying us with a spectacular example of method acting? I know which interpretation I choose. You’ll have to find your own.
Outhouse Boy is equal parts heartbreaking and disgusting, telling the tale of an unwanted pregnancy and an infant cast away in filth. Surviving, against all odds, the infant grows into a young man hoping for the same companionship we all crave.
These two stories definitely show the reader both the range and distinct flair in style and substance that will continue to mark Arzate as a fantastic writer.

This two-story collection is available as part of the 31 Days of Godless event, celebrating Halloween at http://www.godless.com. You can pick it up for yourself by going to the site or by downloading the app to your mobile device. The link is below:

Celestial/Chthonic by Ben Arzate

Curse of the Ratman by Jay Wilburn

To set the stage for this story, the best I can think to suggest is that it’s a twisted abomination crafted by combining Willard (either the 1971 classic or the superior 2003 remake) with the Clive Barker story, “In the Hills, the Cities.” That doesn’t truly capture the sheer giant monster lunacy of what Wilburn’s created here, but it’ll whet the appetite and prepare the reader as best one can.
A family curse comes on with a vengeance, rampaging across the southeast, leaving a swath of devastation that can only be explained as a natural disaster. To call it an act of God would be to beg the question of what sort of God would allow such a monstrosity to exist.
The intense pacing of Wilburn’s tale propels us forward even as we want to turn back, knowing that nothing good can come of what he’s racing us toward.
If he’d written a novel, including more of the family history and details of the events in the distant past, I’d have gleefully settled in to read the whole thing. As captivating as the story gets, with the expanding threat thundering its way across the landscape, I would love to dive into the origins of the curse in greater detail. There’s a thoroughly fascinating story to be told, and maybe if we beg Wilburn enough–in the form of spreading the word of the Ratman–he’ll find himself compelled to share that part of the tale with us in similar detail.

This novella was released as part of the 31 Days of Godless event at http://www.godless.com and you can pick it up for yourself by going to the website or by downloading the app. The link is below:

Curse of the Ratman by Jay Wilburn

Scats, Splats, and Stupid Twats by Jonathan Butcher

Jonathan Butcher has assembled quite the vile and visceral collection of stories in Scats, Splats, and Stupid Twats. It’s a quick read, but one that manages to leave one hell of an impact on the reader.
The anchor of this collection, The Chocolateman, definitely has me anticipating the release of the novel inspired by this short. A disorienting and frankly revolting chance encounter in a public restroom sets the stage for a particularly filthy sort of horror befalling a man who despises any manner of filth.
The stories Slop and Pretty Cunt showcase a certain graphic and visceral reaction to infidelity that will satisfy anyone who has been on the receiving end of that sort of treatment. Taking everything too far, Butcher provides a catharsis, penning fantasies that bring to light some of the darker thoughts people have experienced in times of pain and vulnerability.
The other four stories run the gamut of topics. We experience the undying love between a mother and child, the harsh consequence of senility afflicting a wizard, a Halloween ritual of monstrous proportions, and a broken home struggling to stitch itself together.
Butcher also includes a poem replete with fantastic descriptive elements and visually stunning imagery.
This is a fantastic collection of shorts that will absolutely demand the attention of any reader brave enough to dive in.

This collection was released on http://www.godless.com as part of the 31 Days of Godless event. You can grab a copy for yourself by going to the website or by downloading the app. The link is below:

Scats, Splats, and Stupid Twats by Jonathan Butcher