Yellow Mama Archives II

Dionisio Traverso, Jr.

Acuff, Gale
Ahern, Edward
Allen, R. A.
Alleyne, Chris
Andes, Tom
Arnold, Sandra
Aronoff, Mikki
Ayers, Tony
Baber, Bill
Baird, Meg
Baker, J. D.
Balaz, Joe
Barker, Adelaide
Barker, Tom
Barnett, Brian
Barry, Tina
Bartlett, Daniel C.
Bates, Greta T.
Bayly, Karen
Beckman, Paul
Bellani, Arnaav
Berriozabal, Luis Cuauhtemoc
Beveridge, Robert
Blakey, James
Booth, Brenton
Bracken, Michael
Burke, Wayne F.
Burnwell, Otto
Campbell, J. J.
Cancel, Charlie
Capshaw, Ron
Carr, Steve
Carrabis, Joseph
Cartwright, Steve
Centorbi, David Calogero
Cherches, Peter
Christensen, Jan
Clifton, Gary
Cody, Bethany
Costello, Bruce
Coverly, Harris
Crist, Kenneth James
Cumming, Scott
Davie, Andrew
Davis, Michael D.
Degani, Gay
De Neve, M. A.
Dillon, John J.
Dinsmoor, Robert
Dominguez, Diana
Dorman, Roy
Doughty, Brandon
Doyle, John
Dunham, T. Fox
Ebel, Pamela
Fagan, Brian Peter
Fillion, Tom
Fortier, M. L.
Fowler, Michael
Galef, David
Garnet, George
Garrett, Jack
Graysol, Jacob
Grech, Amy
Greenberg, KJ Hannah
Grey, John
Hagerty, David
Hardin, Scott
Held, Shari
Hicks, Darryl
Hivner, Christopher
Hoerner, Keith
Hohmann, Kurt
Holt, M. J.
Holtzman, Bernard
Holtzman, Bernice
Holtzman, Rebecca
Hopson, Kevin
Hubbs, Damon
Irwin, Daniel S.
Jabaut, Mark
Jermin, Wayne
Jeschonek, Robert
Johns. Roger
Kanner, Mike
Karl, Frank S.
Kempe, Lucinda
Kennedy, Cecilia
Keshigian, Michael
Kirchner, Craig
Kitcher, William
Kompany, James
Kondek, Charlie
Koperwas, Tom
Kreuiter, Victor
Larsen, Ted R.
Le Due, Richard
Leotta, Joan
Lester, Louella
Lubaczewski, Paul
Lucas, Gregory E.
Luer, Ken
Lukas, Anthony
Lyon, Hillary
Mannone, John C.
Margel, Abe
Martinez, Richard
McConnell, Logan
McQuiston, Rick
Middleton, Bradford
Milam, Chris
Miller, Dawn L. C.
Mladinic, Peter
Mobili, Juan
Mullins, Ian
Myers, Beverle Graves
Myers, Jen
Newell, Ben
Nielsen, Ayaz Daryl
Nielsen, Judith
Onken, Bernard
Owen, Deidre J.
Park, Jon
Parker, Becky
Pettus, Robert
Plath, Rob
Potter, John R. C.
Prusky, Steve
Radcliffe, Paul
Reddick, Niles M.
Reedman, Maree
Reutter, G. Emil
Riekki, Ron
Robson, Merrilee
Rockwood, KM
Rollins, Janna
Rose, Brad
Rosmus, Cindy
Ross, Gary Earl
Rowland, C. A.
Saier, Monique
Sarkar, Partha
Scharhag, Lauren
Schauber, Karen
Schildgen, Bob
Schmitt, Di
Sesling, Zvi E.
Short, John
Simpson, Henry
Slota, Richelle Lee
Smith, Elena E.
Snell, Cheryl
Snethen, Daniel G.
Steven, Michael
Stoler, Cathi
Stoll, Don
Surkiewicz, Joe
Swartz, Justin
Taylor, J. M.
Temples. Phillip
Tobin, Tim
Traverso Jr., Dionisio "Don"
Turner, Lamont A.
Tustin, John
Tyrer, DJ
Varghese, Davis
Verlaine, Rp
Viola, Saira
Waldman, Dr. Mel
Al Wassif, Amirah
Weibezahl, Robert
Weil, Lester L.
Weisfeld, Victoria
Weld, Charles
White, Robb
Wilhide, Zachary
Williams, E. E.
Williams, K. A.
Wilsky, Jim
Wiseman-Rose, Sophia
Woods, Jonathan
Young, Mark
Zackel, Fred
Zelvin, Elizabeth
Zeigler, Martin
Zimmerman, Thomas
Zumpe, Lee Clark

Slaying The Siren




Dionisio “Don” Traverso Jr.




Sirens blaring, the vehicle carrying Inspector Jacqueline Juve weaves through the evening traffic, racing against murder. She focuses on the streets, mind projecting and magnifying the urgency the sirens should convey to the drivers ahead of her. A life is at stake, and they need to know it and get out of her way. In spite of this, she still has to steer around dawdlers.

It has been a puzzling case, one that would be strange in another city, but not in Crystal, the first psykopolis. Five deaths, the victims all drained of life. Not blood, but life, the essential energy that fuels the human machine, that naturally dissipates throughout the years unless the machine is damaged or diseased. In a typical murder, Juve can, for the first few hours, read the fading electrical impulses in the victims’ brains, piece together the final fragmentary thoughts to gain clues as to why, how, and who. The more freshly dead, the stronger the impulses. That wasn’t true of the victims of these particular deaths. They all were devoid of any kind of spark. Their life force, down to the cellular level, had been completely drained.

Vampirism and parasitism are nothing new in Crystal. The psychetecture used for most of the city’s buildings enhance the natural psychic inclinations of most of the city’s inhabitants. Some become geniuses, healers, prophets. Others become madmen, succubae, saboteurs. New marvels are invented every day, as are new crimes. In this case, it’s a new variation of the new crime of vampirism. Never has Juve seen energy drained so completely from the victims, their bodies rotting so quickly autopsies were almost impossible. They were all male, and, Juve discovered through her investigation, all connected to Alicia Bayton.

A woman of robust body and red hair that literally shimmers, Bayton had been intimate with each victim. At first she was the main suspect, but her fellow members of the commune she lives in accounted for her presence during each murder. One of them mentioned another paramour, Ronald Daughtry, with whom Bayton had broken up before the murders. Bayton gave Juve a mental image of Daughtry, a thin dark man with angry eyes, but Juve asked for a physical photograph instead. She had learned in this job that you can’t trust how others see a person because of the biases that color their perception. The photograph matched the image, except for the eyes. This led Juve to Daughtry’s apartment, earlier today.

He lived in a studio in Regent Park, a growing neighborhood of new structures showcasing the latest advances in psychetecture. The buildings gave off bright subliminals, impressions of serenity that belied the presence of a possible killer. Juve and her partner, Jerome Rambert, were searching Daughtry’s room, scanning for any psychic traces. In the bathroom, she felt a chill in the air. Her breath steamed. A compulsion brought her to the bathroom mirror. She breathed upon it. The steam settled on the mirror, then words were spelled out on the condensation as by an invisible finger:


“Jerry!” she called, sending him a snapshot of the message to his mind, in case it disappeared before he entered the room. He saw it just before it faded. “Scan this room, inch by inch! I’m going to Bayton’s place! Hopefully I’ll get there first!”

She now drives into Franklin Heights, an older neighborhood of first and second generation psychetecture. Bayton’s commune is a large two-story house, with many bedrooms. Juve pulls up and runs out toward the front door, using her mind to pick the lock, as she had learned from a thief who is now one of her confidential informants. She enters the house, hears the voices.

You’re dead! You can’t be here!

“I am now, thanks to you. I told you I’d end this.”

Juve recognizes the first voice as Bayton’s. The second is a man’s voice. It has to be Daughtry’s. She rushes up the stairs, gun out, to Bayton’s bedroom, yelling, “Police! Don’t move!”

What she sees inside the room burns into her memory till her dying day.

Bayton’s hair is gone, replaced by red tentacles wrapping around Daughtry’s face, pulling it closer to her open mouth, from which extruded a tenacled tongue.

“Not this time, bitch!” Daughtry says through clenched teeth as he brings up the knife to her throat. Blood splatters on him as he hacks away at her, the tentacles sliding off him as she falls. She coughs more blood as half the tentacles change back to hair, then softly gurgles as she dies.

“She killed them all,” Daughtry says to a still stunned Juve. “I know, because she tried to kill me too. When she kisses you, you get lost in the sensation. It feels good as she drains you. I would’ve been her fourth victim, but I fought back. I knew somehow that it wasn’t good. Something felt…off. I escaped, barely. Pulled away from her at the last moment, but she had taken much from me. I lay in my bed for four days. Then she killed again. I heard it on the newscast. I thought about going to the police, but I guess the energy she stole also connected my mind to hers. She found out somehow and told her commune I was coming to kill her. She convinced them to kill me at my home. That way, you’d think I’d done her murders.”

Juve shakes herself out of her shock, points her gun at Daughtry. “You have to come with me. Put the knife down. We’ll go to the station and get your statement, settle all this.”

“I’m afraid you have to do that by yourself. Thanks for the boost you gave me at my apartment. Believing I was alive made me so, for a while. You’ll find me in the Regent Park Lagoon.”

He vanishes, the knife dropping to the ground.

The commune members are arrested for killing him in his bathroom, then dumping the body. Later, Daughtry’s corpse is found in the lagoon. Watching it being put in the coroner’s wagon, Juve can’t help but think of how much life force he must’ve had. Maybe Bayton wouldn’t have needed to kill anyone at all if she had realized this.



Copyright September 25, 2021 by Dionisio “Don” Traverso Jr. - All rights reserved.

Dionisio “Don” Traverso Jr. currently lives in middle-of-nowhere Wisconsin with his partner and muse, two children, and a cat. His stories have been published with the byline of Don Traverso, in Rod Serling's Twilight Zone Magazine, Aberations, Midnight Zoo, Aphelion Webzine, and Armageddon Buffet. Most recently his stories have appeared in Cheapjack Pulp and Black Petals. He currently has a weird horror collection out, Tales From Walken County. He also makes rhythmic noise as Mekano 46. 

Site Maintained by Fossil Publications