strange, desolate place. An echoing, empty land. Tumbledown ruins of towers
half-buried by sluggish grey sands, dunes of which muffle footsteps in that
somewhere a voice, repetitive like a hollow echo, calls: “Death awaits those
who fall into the clutches of the Laughing God!”
draws near, then –
dream in cold sweat, panicked. Warm dampness on chin. Blood
Runs to the
bathroom. Nosebleed garish smile like that of a clown grins back from mirror.
across chin, splashing gore away. Droplets land on mouldy splashback, dribble
strange patterns of red across black.
estate is a remorseless domain of brutalist architecture, designed to break the
spirit. At least, that’s how he feels about it. No jobs, no joy, just a lonely
flat. Not even neighbours.
It’s as if
the place is dead and he’s the only one living there.
though. He can hear the beat of harsh music echoing from somewhere, muffled
words of a bitter rap.
entrance to the block, someone’s tagged an elaborate symbol, swirling lines of
black and red paint dribbling down the wall, and words:
without differentiation, one blurring into the next, weeks merging. He sees
nobody. Sometimes, he hears the distant pounding of a beat. Sometimes, only
hammering on his door.
They want to
know. He just knows what they want, some primal part of his brain acknowledging
seems to be in time to the distant beat.
a repeated refrain to the song: Death awaits those who fall into the
clutches of the Laughing God!
dream, he drew closer. Here, he cowers, waits.
DJ Tyrer is the person behind
Atlantean Publishing and has been published in such places as
Chilling Horror Short Stories (Flame Tree), Steampunk Cthulhu
(Chaosium), and issues of Sirens Call,
Hypnos, Occult Detective
Magazine, parABnormal, and Weirdbook,
and in addition, has a novella available in paperback and on the Kindle, The
Yellow House (Dunhams Manor). Two PDFs featuring stories related to Joke
can be downloaded from the Atlantean Publishing website.
DJ Tyrer's website is
DJ Tyrer's Facebook
page is at https://www.facebook.com/DJTyrerwriter/
Atlantean Publishing website is at https://atlanteanpublishing.wordpress.com/