Fucked-Up Bedtime Stories #5: Legs Eleven by Peter Caffrey

Arnold desperately wants to attend the school dance, but he doesn’t have a date. While Jimmy the Chimp thinks it’s ridiculous that Arnold even wants to waste his time on something so stupid, he decides it’s better to help Arnold than to listen to him whimpering and being depressed.
Attempts to meet a woman in a shopping center or to obtain a prostitute with the winnings from Pork Chop’s dogfighting don’t go smoothly, but Arnold finds a date on his own in Emily, a crippled girl he meets while performing charity at school.
It wouldn’t be a Peter Caffrey story if everything came up roses from there, and the story devolves into murder, accusations of molestation, and Jimmy the Chimp leading Arnold on a mission that’s sure to destroy more lives in the process.
As always, Caffrey provides his fans with audio narration of this story in addition to the usual digital files for reading, and his enjoyment is clear if you take the time to give the audio edition a listen.

You can pick up all of Peter Caffrey’s Fucked-Up Bedtime Stories by going to http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below:

Fucked-Up Bedtime Stories #2: Little Donkey by Peter Caffrey

Arnold and Jimmy the Chimp are up to no good yet again as Christmas approaches. The school is preparing their annual Christmas performance, and Arnold initially believes he’s being left out, without a role to play. When Arnold is tasked with handling the donkey for the nativity play, it’s only a matter of time before everything goes wrong.
Problems with erectile dysfunction from his father provide Arnold and Jimmy with all the inspiration they need, and Terry the donkey has the excitement of his life ahead of him. As a prank becomes an unforgettable nightmare for the students and family in attendance, Christmas will never be the same again.
As with all of the Fucked-Up Bedtime Stories, Peter Caffrey provides us with audio narration of this delectably depraved tale that is unsuitable for all but the most emotionally and psychologically scarred children and the adults they grow up to become. The quality of his narration is no less impressive than many of the professional audiobook narrators on the market, so readers/listeners have no cause for disappointment.

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

Man, Fuck This House by Brian Asman

When the Haskins family moves halfway across the country from their previous lives in Columbus, Ohio, no one would’ve expected the dramatic changes that accompanied their move into the new home. It begins almost immediately, as little things change and strange messages appear, but it gets weirder from there.
As the atmosphere becomes increasingly surreal and unsettling, it’s the strained and peculiar relationship dynamics within the Haskins family that accelerate everything. The odd occurrences grow more sinister as the story progresses. In large part, thanks to Damien’s need to torment his mother out of bitterness that she’s always suspected him of being a monster. Hal’s thinking his wife’s losing her mind doesn’t help, either.
Sabrina is not a particularly bright woman–in addition to being both scatterbrained and indecisive–but the bizarre apparitions and wish-fulfillment manifestations are not symptoms of insanity. Unfortunately, it’ll probably be too late by the time the rest of the family figures that out.
Asman has crafted a wholly unique haunted house story, turning the whole thing on its head and steering readers toward a climax no sane reader would see coming. It’s both amusing and perplexing along the way, and–as one should expect from Asman–the characters are so thoroughly captivating that they draw the reader in just as effectively as the narrative itself.
If you want to avoid spoilers, you should probably stop here because I can’t avoid saying things that will ruin some of the surprises.
This is indeed a haunted house story–in a whole different sense. A house that’s haunted by the neglect and mistreatment of its former resident in the same way a person can be haunted by their earlier life experiences. Much like a person troubled by trauma, the house seems to go a bit overboard, overcompensating when it thinks it might have found someone who can love it for what it is. With a single-minded, short-sighted fixation on Sabrina and her well-being, the house itself might be acting with questionable judgment.
That questionable judgment becomes readily apparent as the house uproots itself and storms through town like the most unlikely kaiju ever, heedless of the damage it causes along the way.
The moral of the story is that houses need love too.

Mumma by Ash Ericmore

Mumma confirms for readers that the Smalls brothers came by their nature honestly; whether nature or nurture was the primary factor in their development, Mumma was sure to be a massive influence. It would be a challenge not to become a hard man with a matriarch like this at the head of the family.
We’re introduced to Mumma as she’s performing to the best of her ability–with a less-than-optimum partner–for a pornographic movie. It seems like it might be a boring day for her until it turns out that a friend of Peter’s has gotten her son involved in a predicament with one of Mumma’s peers in the criminal underworld.
Unfortunately, sorting everything out with the pimp in question isn’t going to be a smooth and painless process. One should expect nothing less when the Smalls family is involved.
Ericmore never fails to satisfy, and that’s especially true where the Smalls are concerned. From weaponized sex toys to feats of athleticism one wouldn’t expect from an older lady, the excitement doesn’t falter.

You can pick this up for yourself by going to http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device. The link is below:

The Proud & The Dumb by Bob Freville

The Proud & The Dumb manages to be simultaneously hilarious and depressing, irreverent and poignant. There’s a message in Freville’s story. Sadly, the people who should benefit from that message are probably just as incapable of reading at the appropriate grade level as Liam, Connie, and Gunther. It’s up to the rest of us to enjoy this bitter, sarcastic, and cynical glimpse into an evening amidst a small crew of white nationalists in the midwest.
Nothing is quite as it seems, and least of all Curry, the compatriot this trio of imbecilic alt-right gentlemen suspect of being a closet-libtard. Desperate to keep his former associates from killing him in cold blood, Curry talks circles around the other three, calling into question the coherence and consistency of the beliefs they supposedly stand for in their neverending battle against immigrants, homosexuals, and liberals. But is it simple desperation or a more sinister objective pushing Curry to test the limits of the tolerance of his three former friends, as well as their intellects?
While there isn’t much wit to be found in the characters populating this novelette, from the trio of alt-right fellas to the police who find themselves dealing with this unfortunate assortment of dregs, there’s plenty of wit in Freville’s storytelling. He expertly showcases examples of the seemingly limitless barrage of inconsistent, incoherent, and–frequently–incompatible beliefs espoused by groups just like those featured in The Proud & The Dumb. Within these few pages, we’re exposed to so many contradictory statements from the characters that we can only wish it was satire; but that same duration spent listening to people who travel in these social circles would quickly erase any hope of that being true.
The truest absurdity of this tale is that the truth is stranger than fiction.

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

Manic Christmas by Lindsay Crook

For “Snowflake,” there’s perhaps no greater torture than performing as a Christmas elf at the mall. Understandably, she’d feel that way, from the pedophile Santa to the grimy, screaming children. It doesn’t get much worse than that. Except for maybe being subjected to a hot box apartment with no air conditioning, a bare trickle of water pressure, and an elderly neighbor who listens to her television far too loud for anyone not hard of hearing. She’s got problems, but it’s about to get more interesting. She’s about to make them your problems instead.
With irreverence and humor, Lindsay Crook assaults the hyper-commercialized Christmas holiday. She also sets her sights on inconsiderate neighbors, annoying coworkers, perverts, and Karens through the proxy of her protagonist, exhibiting knee-jerk reactions of violence that every reader is sure to relate to.
How much chaos can one Christmas elf cause in the week before Christmas? You might be surprised.
As with the previous Manic story, Crook manages to hit on topics from misogyny to miserable workplace conditions, while also attacking the seeming ubiquitousness of perverse male behavior, from the security guard to the mall Santa. Sure, it’s a fun romp as well, but there’s a whole lot of uncomfortable truth in this story as well.

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

Manic by Lindsay Crook

Is there a more horrible occupational combination of thankless and stressful than working in fast food? Probably not. For the protagonist of Lindsay Crook’s Manic, life at Bill’s Burger Barn is one endless flow of disrespectful customers, sleazy bosses, and revolting working conditions. It’s enough to drive anyone mad. But maybe, if her personal life weren’t also in shambles, she could hold herself together past Wednesday. That’s a big maybe, though.
It’s going to be a long week, but she’s going to make it everyone else’s problem if she has her way. One can hardly blame her when the universe seems to set things up just right.
Crook is making poverty and impulse control issues sexy again.
Wait, were those things ever sexy in the first place?
I’m sure they were.
I’m going to let it ride. Crook is bringing sexy back in a big way!
Lindsay Crook fills these few pages with plenty of violence, biological warfare in the form of toxic food treatment, and even more violence. There’s more than that, though. At the core, this is a story that showcases how unutterably awful life can be for women because, as much a caricature as Manic might be, it’s probably not far off from the average week for altogether too many women. The world might be a better place if those women finally had enough, just like this protagonist did. Of course, it would be a better place if people just behaved better in the first place, but that might be asking a bit too much. Crook also manages to capture the stress and hopelessness that goes hand-in-hand with poverty-level existence and working demeaning, demoralizing jobs, only to barely make ends meet.

You can pick up a copy of Manic by going to http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below:

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

My Best Friend’s Exorcism is a nostalgia-packed excursion into the life of adolescent girls in the 1980s. We meet Abby and Gretchen when the girls are in fourth grade, as Abby attempts to celebrate her birthday party at a roller-skating rink. Alone with her family, Abby fears no one will show up, but the strange new girl from school appears. What begins as an awful experience for the birthday girl develops into the best friendship either of them could hope for.
We’re provided with snapshots of the friendship between these two girls throughout the narrative, the bulk of the story devoted to character development.
The meat of the story picks up when the girls are in their Sophomore year of high school at the prestigious Albemarle private school. They’re near the top of the class, and they have bright futures ahead of them. That’s when everything changes. Abby finds herself helpless as she watches Gretchen changing into someone she no longer recognizes, and everything becomes a dizzying nightmare of lies and manipulation that she struggles to navigate while learning that there’s more going on than she can easily comprehend.
As a story about friendship and coming-of-age, it’s pretty fantastic, really delving into what it means to be best friends from childhood. As a horror or thriller story, it falls well short of the mark. I have the same issue with this Hendrix novel as I had with The Final Girl Support Group, in that the story grows tedious before it truly begins to get to the point where anything is happening that propels the narrative forward. Much like that novel, when this story starts getting good, it gets great, but it takes an awfully long time getting there. There are points when it appears to be picking up speed, only to revert to a meandering, detail-filled exploration of Abby’s day-to-day life, and it was challenging to make it through those intervals.
The narration provided by Emily Woo Zeller brings this story of youth and friendship to life in a way that it desperately required. Her performance of the various girls, notably Abby and Gretchen, was terrific. The voice provided for Christian (The Exorcist) was amusing and captured the absurd, muscle-bound character in such a way as to make him almost feel real. The audiobook edition of this novel made an otherwise unsatisfactory experience a much better one, and that is due entirely to the quality of the narration provided.

My Dildo Is a Serial Killer by Simon McHardy and Sean Hawker

I’ve never looked at a dildo and mistaken it for a chest expander, but I’m not a priest, so there’s that. This is how Hawker and McHardy begin their novella, My Dildo Is a Serial Killer.
A priest opens a box containing what he believes to be exercise equipment, and insanity ensues. Of course, this mistake arises because someone who couldn’t spell “exorcism” delivered the box with the expectation that someone associated with the church would be able to remedy the problem with the giant purple dildo possessed by the spirit of a serial killer. His name is Terry.
Escaping from the exorcism performed by a couple of priests, Terry finds his way to Christina, a disgusting human being with potentially no redeeming qualities. She is the perfect tool for the fulfillment of Terry’s needs. It’s not totally her fault, though. Wait until you meet her parents because, as messed up as Christina happens to be, there’s no doubt they played a key role in nudging her along that path.
I’m not telling you anything more about this one. You have to experience it for yourself. The deaths are over-the-top and gruesome, the humor is dark and perverse, and the blistering pace keeps the reader raw and sore as McHardy and Hawker bestow us with a barrage of absurd, graphic, and hilarious events from beginning to climax.
These two are fantastic on their own. Combined, they craft a seamless narrative that captures the best of both worlds.

This title was released as part of the 31 Days of Godless event at http://www.godless.com for October of 2021. You can pick up a digital copy of this release by going to the website or by downloading the Godless app on your mobile device of choice.

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