Yellow Mama Archives

Jack Campbell, Jr.
Adhikari, Sudeep
Ahern, Edward
Aldrich, Janet M.
Allan, T. N.
Allen, M. G.
Ammonds, Phillip J.
Anderson, Peter
Andreopoulos, Elliott
Arab, Bint
Augustyn, P. K.
Aymar, E. A.
Babbs, James
Baber, Bill
Bagwell, Dennis
Baird, Meg
Bakala, Brendan
Baker, Nathan
Balaz, Joe
Barber, Shannon
Bates, Jack
Baugh, Darlene
Bauman, Michael
Baumgartner, Jessica Marie
Beale, Jonathan
Beck, George
Beckman, Paul
Benet, Esme
Bennett, Brett
Bennett, Charlie
Berg, Carly
Berman, Daniel
Bernardara, Will Jr.
Berriozabal, Luis
Beveridge, Robert
Bickerstaff, Russ
Bigney, Tyler
Blake, Steven
Bohem, Charlie Keys and Les
Booth, Brenton
Bougger, Jason
Boyd, A. V.
Boyd, Morgan
Bracey, DG
Brewka-Clark, Nancy
Britt, Alan
Brooke, j
Brown, R. Thomas
Brown, Sam
Burton, Michael
Bushtalov, Denis
Butkowski, Jason
Butler, Simon Hardy
Cameron, W. B.
Campbell, J. J.
Campbell, Jack Jr.
Cano, Valentina
Carlton, Bob
Cartwright, Steve
Carver, Marc
Castle, Chris
Catlin, Alan
Chesler, Adam
Clausen, Daniel
Clevenger, Victor
Clifton, Gary
Coffey, James
Colasuonno, Alfonso
Conley, Jen
Connor, Tod
Cooper, Malcolm Graham
Coral, Jay
Cosby, S. A.
Crandall, Rob
Criscuolo, Carla
Crist, Kenneth
Crouch & Woods
D., Jack
Dallett, Cassandra
Danoski, Joseph V.
Daly, Sean
Davis, Christopher
Day, Holly
de Bruler, Connor
Degani, Gay
De France, Steve
De La Garza, Lela Marie
Deming, Ruth Z.
Demmer, Calvin
Dennehy, John W.
DeVeau, Spencer
Di Chellis, Peter
Dick, Earl
Dick, Paul "Deadeye"
DiLorenzo, Ciro
Dionne, Ron
Domenichini, John
Dominelli, Rob
Doran, Phil
Doreski, William
Dorman, Roy
Doherty, Rachel
Dosser, Jeff
Doyle, John
Draime, Doug
Drake, Lena Judith
Dromey, John H.
Duschesneau, Pauline
Duke, Jason
Duncan, Gary
Dunham, T. Fox
Dunn, Robin Wyatt
Duxbury, Karen
Duy, Michelle
Elliott, Garnett
Ellman, Neil
England, Kristina
Erianne, John
Espinosa, Maria
Esterholm, Jeff
Fallow, Jeff
Farren, Jim
Fenster, Timothy
Ferraro, Diana
Filas, Cameron
Flanagan, Daniel N.
Flanagan, Ryan Quinn
Francisco, Edward
Funk, Matthew C.
Gann, Alan
Gardner, Cheryl Ann
Garvey, Kevin Z.
Genz, Brian
Gladeview, Lawrence
Glass, Donald
Goddard, L. B.
Godwin, Richard
Goff, Christopher
Goss, Christopher
Gradowski, Janel
Graham, Sam
Grant, Christopher
Grant, Stewart
Greenberg, Paul
Grey, John
Gunn, Johnny
Gurney, Kenneth P.
Haglund, Tobias
Halleck, Robert
Hamlin, Mason
Hanson, Christopher Kenneth
Hanson, Kip
Harris, Bruce
Hart, GJ
Hartman, Michelle
Haskins, Chad
Hawley, Doug
Haycock, Brian
Hayes, A. J.
Hayes, John
Hayes, Peter W. J.
Heatley, Paul
Heimler, Heidi
Helmsley, Fiona
Hendry, Mark
Heslop, Karen
Heyns, Heather
Hilary, Sarah
Hill, Richard
Hivner, Christopher
Hockey, Matthew J.
Hogan, Andrew J.
Holderfield, Culley
Holton, Dave
Howells, Ann
Huchu, Tendai
Hudson, Rick
Huffman, A. J.
Huguenin, Timothy G.
Huskey, Jason L.
Irascible, Dr. I. M.
Jaggers, J. David
James, Christopher
Johnson, Beau
Johnson, Moctezuma
Johnson, Zakariah
Jones, D. S.
Jones, Erin J.
Jones, Mark
Kabel, Dana
Kaplan, Barry Jay
Kay, S.
Kempka, Hal
Kerins, Mike
Keshigian, Michael
King, Michelle Ann
Kirk, D.
Knott, Anthony
Koenig, Michael
Korpon, Nik
Kovacs, Sandor
Kowalcyzk, Alec
Krafft, E. K.
Lacks, Lee Todd
Lang, Preston
Larkham, Jack
La Rosa, F. Michael
Leasure, Colt
Leatherwood, Roger
Lees, Arlette
Lees, Lonni
Leins, Tom
Lemming, Jennifer
Lerner, Steven M
Lewis, Cynthia Ruth
Lewis, LuAnn
Lifshin, Lyn
Liskey, Tom Darin
Lodge, Oliver
Lopez, Aurelio Rico III
Lorca, Aurelia
Lovisi, Gary
Lucas, Gregory E.
Lukas, Anthony
Lynch, Nulty
Lyon, Hillary
Lyons, Matthew
Mac, David
MacArthur, Jodi
Malone, Joe
Mann, Aiki
Manzolillo, Nicholas
Marcius, Cal
Marrotti, Michael
Mason, Wayne
Mattila, Matt
McAdams, Liz
McCartney, Chris
McDaris, Catfish
McFarlane, Adam Beau
McGinley, Chris
McGinley, Jerry
McElhiney, Sean
McKim, Marci
McMannus, Jack
McQuiston, Rick
Mellon, Mark
Memi, Samantha
Miles, Marietta
Miller, Max
Monson, Mike
Mooney, Christopher P.
Morgan, Bill W.
Moss, David Harry
Mullins, Ian
Mulvihill, Michael
Muslim, Kristine Ong
Nardolilli, Ben
Nelson, Trevor
Nessly, Ray
Nester, Steven
Neuda, M. C.
Newell, Ben
Newman, Paul
Nielsen, Ayaz
Ogurek, Douglas J.
Ortiz, Sergio
Pagel, Briane
Park, Jon
Parr, Rodger
Parrish, Rhonda
Partin-Nielsen, Judith
Perez, Juan M.
Perez, Robert Aguon
Peterson, Ross
Petroziello, Brian
Pettie, Jack
Petyo, Robert
Picher, Gabrielle
Pierce, Rob
Pietrzykowski, Marc
Plath, Rob
Pointer, David
Power, Jed
Powers, M. P.
Prusky, Steve
Pruitt, Eryk
Purfield, M. E.
Purkis, Gordon
Quinlan, Joseph R.
Quinn, Frank
Ram, Sri
Rapth, Sam
Ravindra, Rudy
Renney, Mark
reutter, g emil
Rhatigan, Chris
Richardson, Travis
Richey, John Lunar
Ridgeway, Kevin
Ritchie, Salvadore
Robinson, John D.
Robinson, Kent
Rodgers, K. M.
Roger, Frank
Rose, Mandi
Rosenberger, Brian
Rosenblum, Mark
Rosmus, Cindy
Ruhlman, Walter
Rutherford, Scotch
Savage, Jack
Sayles, Betty J.
Schneeweiss, Jonathan
Schraeder, E. F.
Schumejda, Rebecca
See, Tom
Sethi, Sanjeev
Sexton, Rex
Seymour, J. E.
Shaikh, Aftab Yusuf
Shepherd, Robert
Sim, Anton
Simmler, T. Maxim
Sinisi, J. J.
Sixsmith, JD
Slagle, Cutter
Slaviero, Susan
Sloan, Frank
Smith, Brian J.
Smith, Ben
Smith, C.R.J.
Smith, Copper
Smith, Paul
Smith, Stephanie
Smith, Willie
Smuts, Carolyn
Snethen, Daniel G.
Snoody, Elmore
Sojka, Carol
Solender, Michael J.
Sparling, George
Spicer, David
Squirrell, William
Stewart, Michael S.
Stickel, Anne
Stolec, Trina
Stryker, Joseph H.
Stucchio, Chris
Succre, Ray
Sullivan, Thomas
Swanson, Peter
Swartz, Justin A.
Sweet, John
Tarbard, Grant
Taylor, J. M.
Thompson, John L.
Thompson, Phillip
Tillman, Stephen
Titus, Lori
Tivey, Lauren
Tobin, Tim
Tu, Andy
Ullerich, Eric
Valent, Raymond A.
Valvis, James
Vilhotti, Jerry
Waldman, Dr. Mel
Walsh, Patricia
Walters, Luke
Ward, Emma
Weber, R.O.
Weil, Lester L.
White, Judy Friedman
White, Robb
White, Terry
Wilsky, Jim
Wilson, Robley
Wilson, Tabitha
Young, Mark
Yuan, Changming
Zackel, Fred
Zafiro, Frank
Zapata, Angel
Zee, Carly
Zimmerman, Thomas

Art by Kevin Duncan 2015

Mercury Beach




Jack Campbell, Jr.



The shark brought Glen the angel. It wasn’t something he normally would have eaten, but there, in the Yoshi Steakhouse, Glen decided to feast on a flank of the world’s oldest predator.

          That night, lying down to sleep between handmade silk sheets, he closed his sake-weighted eyes and slept the greatest sleep of his life.

          In his dream, he strolled along a pristine, white beach, the wet sand slick between his toes. The crisp blue sky lit against his eyes, so bright he had to squint to see the ocean.

          There, amongst the waves, the angel walked, unlike any woman Glen had ever seen. Her feet slid over the water, without sinking. She rose and fell with the surf. Her naked skin radiated pale white, like a sun-soaked cloud on a summer day. The surf sat her gently down upon the beach, light as the ocean breeze.

          Her sunrise-gold hair floated in the breeze, her eyes were deep blue whirlpools, pulling Glen into their depths and drowning him. Every detail of her body was a masterwork. She smiled. Glen’s soul wept.

          “Swim with me,” the angel said, not a request or command, but a simple truth. Every moment in his life led to a single dip in the ocean.

          The angel’s beauty rendered Glen mute. She turned, swaying silently back to the ocean, her movements calm as the slow swell of the seas. He followed.

          Glen jerked awake. His wife had moved in the bed. Glen made a desperate attempt to fall back to sleep, to go back to that dream, but his sleep remained simple sleep. He dreamt meaningless fantasies and nonsense. Truth had passed. Only the lie he had known for a lifetime remained.

          In the morning, Glen’s wife, Alice, made him coffee.

          “This ought to wake you up,” Alice said. “Get you back to the land of the living.”

          Glen smiled politely. He resented Alice and her coffee. He despised the waking world, desiring only the angel and the dream.

          Alice ate poached eggs and toast while reading the latest Cosmopolitan. Glen was shamed by her ordinary nature. Her demeanor was so pedestrian, so human. Certainly, many men would call her beautiful, but Alice could not compare to the angel.

          Glen went to the beach to remember. It’s dirty expanse stretched before him, trashy and used up by tourists. Cloudy, polluted water flowed beneath a smog-filled sky.

          Alice didn’t complain much about the shark steaks he brought home for dinner that night.

          “That restaurant must have made an impression. Who knew you would like shark?” she joked. Glen gorged himself on three of the shark steaks at Yoshi’s for lunch.

          She didn’t complain when he excused himself for bed at seven that evening. Glen gave Alice a light peck on the cheek before he rushed to bed without even brushing his teeth. But when he brought home shark steaks the next night, then the one after that, and then each night the next week, she worried.

          After a week of nothing but shark steaks, there had been arguments ranging from disapproval to all out accusations of insanity. Glen made no attempt to defend himself. His failure to return to the angel was too damning.

          Glen had never slept more in his life, but he felt so tired, so disconnected. The angel was his El Dorado. He searched, knowing in his heart that his city of gold must exist somewhere deep between REM cycles.

          Glen barely noticed when Alice left. Her sister screamed insults at Glen as she helped remove Alice’s belongings from the house. Glen sat at the table, blank-faced, eating shark and drinking sake, hoping they would leave soon so that the house would be quiet by bedtime.

          Weeks of sleep passed. Glen couldn’t find the energy to work, the disappointment was too great. He felt sluggish. He stopped showering when handfuls of hair fell out. He pulled the soapy hair away from his scalp in strands. What remained on his head was patchy and thin, with an unhealthy texture.

          A week after his hair came out, Glen lost a tooth. His molar wiggled lose. He nearly swallowed it along with the shark before feeling its crunch beneath the fish, like a foul rock hidden beneath the firm flesh of his dinner. Brushing his teeth that night, Glen pulled out an incisor, then a canine. He grinned in the mirror, his smile full of gaping holes. His remaining teeth wiggled in their sockets. Glen wondered if he could eat shark with bare gums.

Someone came by, some work friend. Glen couldn’t recall his name. Every time he thought he remembered, it fled like a scared animal. The guy spoke in concerned tones, but none of the words made sense. When Glen tried to respond, his words slurred over a slow, swollen tongue or got lost on their way from brain to lips.

          Nothing held Glen’s interest. Faded, fuzzy images swirled incoherently from his big screen. He shut off the television, but muffled whispers still sought him. They warned him the shadows were not right, that demons knocked at the door. Nothing could come between Glen, the shark, and sleep.

          Glen finished the steak in spite of angry, incomprehensible voices and the pain radiating from every remaining tooth. He stumbled to bed, unable to hold a straight line. He slept, but he did not see the beach. The angel did not come for him.

          Glen awoke in the night to pain wracking his body. He could not move. Glen’s heart was unsteady, a sluggish beat from a broken metronome. It rushed, then slowed, unable to hold a tempo.

          Glen’s eyes were closed, yet still, he saw light in the distance, a pin prick in a sheet of black paper, slowly growing, tearing to let more light through. Brightness surrounded Glen, a radiant blinding bright that could only be his beach. The rushing sound in his ears could only be the waves caressing the shore.

          Glen could not breathe. He must have found the ocean. He must have sunk below the surface. His lungs burned.  He swam towards the light, drowning in desire, hoping to find his angel.

Jack Campbell’s short stories have appeared in around a dozen different venues, including Bete Noire, Hungur, and Dark Eclipse. He is a contributor to the Confabulator Cafe and a member of the Horror Writer's Association.

In Association with Fossil Publications