Issue 42 – Out of the Crypts

On one awful day
Dead stir, awaken to life
Step out of their crypts
Present themselves to the world
Overturn old certainties

By DS Davidson

Old Ladies from Hades
By Mark Hudson

The crypts have become undone,
the rise of the dead has begun.
Here come the old ladies from Hades,
they died when they were in their eighties.

Riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles;
head on fire, hearts cold as icicles.
Riding down the highway to hell,
you can hear their rebellious yell.

Come to ignite the world with fire,
a black leather jacket is their attire.
Long after their husbands had retired,
they had listened to the ultimate liar.

Their husbands died by poison in the tea,
so they hog all the money, with grandma glee.
Now they’re back with a vengeance for their cash,
and they’re flying down the highway with a flash.

Was the money hidden in a secret vault?
They tend to think it was the banker’s fault.
The account was frozen for the bankers to steal,
Now the old ladies would make their last deal.

Into the bank, they came as bank robbers,
With canes to beat up, canes to clobber.
They hypnotize the bank tellers with spells,
these old ladies from the bowels of hell.

They fill big bags with all the loot,
they get all the money, they don’t have to shoot.
Then they’ve got all the money from the account,
back to Hades, where the money doesn’t count.

Back to Hades, to give it to their master,
so he can buy away some sheep from a pastor.
God works hard, but the devil does too,
but when you are dead it’s too late to sue!


Dweller in the Hidden Chamber
(The Great Pyramid, Giza)
By Frank Coffman

Ah! They have detected my cell as last!
Compared to the millennia I have lain in wait—
Now but a short time before they delve some gate,
Some doorway to this place that has held me fast.

Far blacker than the blackness of my tomb
Have grown my Dark Spirit and my Evil Will.
They hoped these walls of lead, these tons of stone
Would keep them safe—perhaps would be my doom!
But I, Apep-Asfet, Chaos, Champion of Evil,
Have grown my plans for eons here alone.

They have forgotten why this hidden hall
Was formed, this crypt of horror without a portal.
Now dead are all the priests and mages. No mortal
Can stop the Terror, the Darkness that will befall.


Death in a Graveyard
By Harris Coverley

It seemed so sane
It seemed so sane!

Get to the party—
Get to the party!
Cut through the graveyard
Take a chance—
Take the shortcut!

And who da thought?
Who da thought it?
The ‘yard was full!
But not of guys and gals—oh no, oh no!

Goblins, ghouls, ghosts, and imps!
Not in costume—for real, for real!

Dancing, fighting, puking, biting, screaming—the real party!

They wanted us to join ‘em—
And they wanted it rough and ready!

Nasty types the lot of ‘em
We got our cuts and bruises
And one finger nearly sheared off

But Jimmy—he thought he could out-party all of ‘em!
Out-party goblins, ghouls, ghosts, and imps!
The damn bloody idiot!
Bloody idiot!

It’s all too horrible to describe in detail
But ol’ Jimmy couldn’t take it—

Legs in the air
Arms outstretched
Brains on the tombstones
Teeth in the weeds

The end result would’ve been obvious to anybody
But still, but still—

Who da thought it?
Who da thought it?
A death in a graveyard!


From the Tomb
By DJ Tyrer

Unexpected stirrings
Behind heavy stone doors
Eased slowly aside
With ominous grating sounds
Inhabitants stepping forth
Into the grey light
Of misty day
Stumbling from the tombs
Where they were laid
Others clawing up through earth
Desperate for air
Or worse
A multitude of the dead
Marching forth
Revisiting their haunts of life


The Doorway
By Frank Coffman

ina qabri ba-a-bi iptu-uma-a inakitiba-a-bi iptetu-u”
In the tomb, they opened a doorway to the Netherworld.”
(Sumerian, from The UDUG HUL*)

From Uruk, the site was several miles to the east.
A wild-wind Shamal had cleared the ancient stone,
Revealing an entrance to whose tomb? As yet unknown.
Two days after that great dust-storm had ceased—
Despite the warnings of that Zoroastrian priest—
Our team went quickly to that House of Bone.
We found more cautions on the lintel stone
In Early Sumerian….They told that an Evil Beast
Had been sealed in behind a black stone door.
Indeed the “tomb” was but a hollow vault.
No mortal remains or funerary gear
Are in that chamber, etched on walls and floor
With horrid charms. The growling made us halt,
Fill in, and rebury that place of Primeval Fear.

*[The Udug Hul: tablets of text containing chants or charms to exorcise  the “Evil Udug” —literally “Udug Evil” or “Demon of Evil”])

Issue 36 – Monster Mash


Monstrous Meetings
By Frank Coffman

“See how these children mock us, avatars
Of we who would confound their foolish play
With horror if they met US ‘neath these stars,”
The Dead Undead vampiric wight did say.
“Truly, they are quite foolish This Night to tread;
Full moon, by chance. I will choose one to slay,”
The man-wolf answered. “His joy will turn to dread
When he beholds these fangs ere break of day.”
“Yes. Must know the truth,” said the assembled man,
Reanimated by the force of lightning’s might.
The three moved forward. The children screamed and ran…
But three young souls returned not home that night.
One gave his blood, One a beast’s maw sated,
One was crushed from life. Misguided play thus fated.

Listen to Frank reading his poem on the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association “Halloween” webpage


A Strange Night at Loch Ness
By DJ Tyrer

Hallowe’en on the shores of Loch Ness
Mist creeping steadily through the Great Glen
Something else creeping, too
A chupacabra over from Mexico
Having heard that Highland Cattle
Were tastier than goats to suck
And, that haggis might be to its taste
Past the still waters it went
Avoiding villages and trick-or-treaters
Hungry for its prey
When, suddenly, the waters churned
A long eel-like neck uprose
Two great eyes looked at the chupacabra
Uncertain what this foreign thing was
Not a nuckalavee, that was for sure
Nessie, for it was she
Decided the only way to resolve her dilemma
Was to have a taste
Bent low and swallowed it whole
The chupacabra becoming dinner
Rather than diner
Though Nessie was unimpressed with the taste
And, sank back down below

The Roof Party
By K. A. Williams

Count Dracula looked around the roof at people in their different costumes – vampires, goblins, ghouls, witches, warlocks, zombies, and werewolves. He saw a familiar hairy face and maneuvered through the crowd.

“Wolfy, I’m glad that’s just a costume.”

“Good to see you Drac, my friend. How have you been?”

“I am well. Van Helsing’s descendents still think I was staked over a century ago. How are you?”

“Okay, but I’ve spent a lot of money on clothes and shoes. Now I buy them used at thrift stores. What are you doing here?”

Dracula waved his hand around. “All this free food. How can I resist such a feast? I wasn’t going to kill anyone, just a few sips here and there. I don’t want to be noticed. But you, Wolfy, will find it impossible to restrain yourself. There’s a full moon tonight.”

“I’ll be fine. The weather forecast is for thick clouds with rain after midnight. So you see – ”

Wolfy stopped talking because light was now visible from the moon which the clouds had uncovered.

His clothes and shoes tore as his shape changed. Soon his outfit was rags. His body became furry and his human face with the fake hair transformed into a wolf’s head. Jaws filled with sharp teeth opened and he howled.

“I know you can’t understand me, Wolfy,” said the Count, “but you sure know how to ruin a party.” His food was now screaming and fleeing down the stairs. He sighed. “You can’t trust the weather forecast.”

The wolfman growled and sprang at Dracula who quickly changed into a bat and flew off to hunt for another Halloween party.



A Goblin Kidnapped by a Martian
By Celine Rose Mariotti

The two goblins
Daedalus and Icarus
Hid out in the moonlit night,
The sounds of witches and wizards
Was all about,
Vampires were coming
Out of their coffins,
And a light beamed from above,
The sky lit up
A spaceship landed,
The Martians came out,
Little green men with antennas,
And green hair,
Yellow eyes,
Big flabby noses,
Daedalus in his black and yellow costume,
His magic wand in his hand,
Shook the other goblin,
Icarus who was dressed in a blue and white costume,
With broken wings
Shook at the sight of the spaceship,
They hid behind a huge stone,
But the Martians spied them,
Seized them,
Dragged them out to their spaceship,
Shot them with a laser beam,
Before they knew it,
Up, up went the spaceship,
They awoke hours later,
Unaware of their environment,
They called out,
“Where are we?
Where are the ghosts?
Where is the candy?
Where are the horror movies?”
“We’re Martians and you’re on your way to Mars!
Happy Halloween!”

When Duat is Full…
By Harris Coverley

The moon and planets and stars at last aligned and allowed my rise from darkest Duat, not four thousand years too soon—yet when I exited my sarcophagus I found a most curious thing.

To break out of the crypt was simple enough, to walk out into the sun, to feel it even through my wrap of decrepit linen.

Nobody greeted me, but that was expected.

In the far distance I saw slaves panicking and running—indeed, panic and run!

Fear me!

But as I walked down the river it became apparent that something was amiss.

The people ignored me as they scurried about blindly, some in chariots of metal and crystal, while others, stumbling about, smelling fouler even than myself I must admit, took whatever chance they could to take bites out of the others as they fell screaming to the ground.

At last I reached the largest city on the river, a magnificent polity of vertiginous towers, all aflame and crumbling, the mass alarm ongoing, the slaves in riot.

Was this all for me?

Had the terror of my awakening sent the whole realm mad?

I stood in a square and announced my presence: “I am Naarhotep the Boundless, most exalted wizard of Great Aegypt, and you will obey me!”

No response was given—the chaos continued, flesh was ripped, blood streamed, and the odd stumbler attempted to take a bite out of me—the insolence!—but I swiftly tore him in half and the others got the message.

However disappointing this was for the most powerful man in the universe, ruling the world was not as pressing an issue as was finding my love, sweetest Nauhet, her soul transmitted body to body through the centuries, her innate beauty always rising to her surface.

Across a burning realm I searched for her, incanting spells, tossing away these mindless dregs, until, across the sea, I found my dearest Nauhet reincarnated near the half-buried ruins of Troy—an insensible, staggering cadaver like the rest!

But…no matter!

With her chained at my side I can take her occasional gnawing on my dried flesh, and I will rule this earth where the dead now walk the way they do in Duat…the ma’at ruptured, the pharaohs of all nations vanquished, and I will take my chance, the moon and planets and stars permitting…

The End