Mysterious Americana Catalog: ‘Firebird’

M-A-C (13): ‘Firebird’

Category: varmint

Collection Date: November 25th, 1999

Collection Location: (REDACTED), New Mexico

Collection Report: A seemingly ordinary frozen turkey was purchased at (REDACTED) Foods and stored in preparation for the (REDACTED) family’s third annual hybrid Mexican-Thanksgiving dinner, where they cooked both traditional holiday dishes and cultural hybrids like pumpkin pie churros and hot pepper stuffing.

When the bird carcass was removed from its opaque bag, in the presence of seven witnesses, it immediately thrashed. It was dropped, but brought itself to its nub feet and aimed at the nearby open door of the oven. The oven was not yet heated, but the turkey ran for it, launched itself inside, and continued to flail.

After some seconds, multiple bystanders witnessed it ‘realize something’ and extract itself before fleeing.

Four individuals pursued it out of the kitchen, out of the house, and through a neighbor’s backyard where it created a dangerous situation by leaping into a vat of boiling oil the neighbor was about to use to deep fry their own turkey. The resulting splash dissuaded all but one pursuer.

Seemingly dissatisfied with the overturned oil as its secondary suicide method, the M-A-C proceeded through the doggy door of the next house over and attempted to insert itself into their oven.

This house belonged to a then-member of the catalog, and they acted quickly in turning away the last pursuer on the grounds of trespassing. After wrangling and registration by catalog varmint control truck 4, it was observed that the carcass, nicknamed ‘Firebird’, would perpetually try to cook itself by any methods available. It could only be contained by keeping it in a pit lined with aluminum foil, where it then ambled perpetually and aimlessly.

Current Collector: (REDACTED) Alvarez, junior rank, expelled

Notes from Collector: “In my defense, I didn’t know my family expected me to host Thanksgiving that year. They showed up and I had nothing… except for a bird begging to be cooked. If anything, it should have counted as research; we now know it tasted normal and didn’t make us run for any open graves.”

Current Status: inactive (consumed), skeleton displays no unusual properties

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Twitch Stream Stories Redux #1: The Ninth Tentacle

These stories were written live on stream based on prompts provided by the viewers. They have been edited, with this second more in-depth edit occurring much later, but not meaningfully rewritten or expanded so as to preserve the spirit of the exercise. Sadly, the prompts themselves were not recorded until many stories in.  Sometimes the prompts were silly challenges, or quirky thoughts, or dark ideas, or utter nonsense.  I did my best each time.

If you enjoy this, please check out the other activities from the stream. If you would like something longer and much more thoroughly planned, simply investigate my more traditional work at the top of the page.

The Ninth Tentacle

prompt provided by DarkLordofSheep

Jeremy’s can hit the water with a splash smaller than he would’ve liked. Its bubbling green contents leaked out into the lake while he leaned over the edge of the kayak to watch the guppies that had scattered on impact.

You shouldn’t litter,” Stephanie chided him, pulling her pale blonde hair back into a ponytail in case he tried to get the bigger splash he’d sought.

Who says I’m littering? The can’s in there… but maybe I’ll fish it out. It’s only littering if I leave it there.” The guppies failed to investigate the bobbing can, perhaps scared away by Jeremy’s snaggle-toothed grin.

How are you going to get all the lightning chug back then?” Ryan asked, referring to the bubbling caffeine concoction leaking out. “I don’t think the fish want it.” He grabbed the paddle and turned the orange kayak just enough to grab the can himself. “This is my aunt’s cabin and I don’t think she wants any hyperactive fish jumping out of the water.” Usually the quietest of the three, Ryan felt emboldened by their position in the middle of the lake. They couldn’t ignore him out there, especially since the trip was his idea in the first place. Jeremy’s only idea was to invite himself. Continue reading

Heirs of Cain: Venus in Quarantine

Severin Molochi is in love with a goddess.  She’s not the kind found in a church, or that you can take with you to church for that matter.  She’s of the old, muddy, animal line of Cain: those who gained power in the world’s first murder.  Just as Severin and his goddess Wanda are settling in their new home, setting up her future dominion, her jealous siblings come calling, but they’re not after her.  They want every gods’ most valuable asset, the mortal chosen as the conduit between them and the people, who in this case happens to share her bed.

Heirs of Cain, a gothic horror fantasy erotic thriller novelette series, continues here.

(estimated reading time: 1 hour, 27 minutes)

Heirs of Cain

Venus in Quarantine

After the thirtieth entry or so I realized what was so familiar about the process; it was as if these unsuspecting people were being added to a menu, complete with their prices, and the intention was to serve them all to a solitary but reliable customer who would appear out of the dark and damp at the same time each day without the ring of a doorbell, like a fox fed once and then forever entitled.

And her name was Wanda Blasphemer Pelts. My Wanda. My whole world, to have her tell it and me experience it. She did not permit me what used to be the most basic knowledge of position spatial and chronological, which still prevented a precise understanding of both my location and the year, but I knew that she and I had recorded three months of paradigm-gnawing history together, written in an ink of sweat and a sensual but possession-gnarled hand, our bodies intertwined like two pages stuck together, the words of experience on her, still wet, transferred messily to my blank by rapturous spineless contact. Continue reading

Cardiac Zack’s Healthy Human Shack (an animatronic horror tale)

Holden Geats makes his scratch snapping pictures of abandoned places, and he’s heard of a new one: a kid-centric educational play place about the human body.  A quick bribe and he’s in, only the singing and dancing animatronics populating the place didn’t exactly get the ‘abandoned’ memo…

Cardiac Zack’s Healthy Human Shack


Blaine Arcade

Sometimes it was difficult to get all the animals out of the way. Bugs were the worst of course, too small to shoo and too fast in flight to keep their trails out of the shafts of light coming through any fissures in the ceiling. They weren’t the only ones though: birds, rats, cats, and occasionally frogs tried to ruin it too.

An indoor miniature golf course where the artificial turf now had mountain ranges of artfully-fallen ceiling plaster. A former public park where vines with sunhat leaves had eaten a listing seesaw. The outdoor section of a dilapidated lawn goods store, a flock of plastic herons standing vigilant even though their feathers and eyes had peeled white.

Every shot was devoid of live animals, but there was a big one just behind the lens, and his name was Holden Geats. Snapping pictures was his livelihood, and what renown he had came from his very narrow purview, as he only sold pictures of a world abandoned, of a speculative future Earth where mankind had vanished months or years prior achieved by finding the quiet little places that found themselves for a time unprofitable, suitable for investment only to Mother Nature herself. Continue reading

Spilled Milk and Curbside Cookies (Horror Short)

(estimated reading time: 7 minutes)

Spilled Milk and Curbside Cookies


Blaine Arcade

Something died in the Klaxton house. The response to it was rather slow, partly because the symptoms of its demise did not present for over two weeks. January thirteenth, around there, was the likeliest date for when the first needle changed color. The evergreen dropped the ever, and then the green, and then some of the needles themselves. Continue reading

Night Skier (finale)

(back to part one)

(reading time: 1 hour, 15 minutes)

Ghosts Broke Down my Door

The soup wasn’t doing the trick. Diamond stared down into the paper cup of swirled orange tomato broth. There was some kind of tiny pasta in it, but they’d all sunk to the bottom. It was still steaming, so she played with it, chasing the end of the trail with the tip of her nose, but she couldn’t feel any warmth there.

Half of it was inside her, but she was still the coldest she’d ever been in her twenty-six years of life. She’d only been in the game of playing Dr. Pox Morbisha for a year, and they’d already run out of ideas for her gimmick. This time they’d just dropped her into a tiny black bikini. Continue reading

Night Skier (part three)

(back to part one)

(reading time: 1 hour, 29 minutes)

Sharks of the Murder Dimension

They couldn’t think of anything to say for a while. Watermelon Peak was doing all the talking. It was red in the face all over the wall, all over the side of the building, all over the other sides too by the sounds the slump had made. They had to call it a slump; it certainly wasn’t an avalanche.

Why didn’t it break the glass?” Toni asked, shocked along with Diamond and Percy that she was the first one to speak. Continue reading

Night Skier (part two)

(back to part one)

(reading time: 1 hour, 29 minutes)

Open Season on Man

Micah really only needed one other person to help him attach the chair to the lift, but he knew Charlie well enough to know he could never amount to one whole unit of helpfulness. He was the kid who always veered off the trail on his sled. Threw his bowling ball into the next lane. Got the wrong order at a restaurant and ate it without a word of acknowledgment or complaint.

He’d seen the boy, at several different ages, wander in from the trails with various bloody scrapes and contusions, a smile on his face, no idea how it happened but certain that it didn’t even hurt, not one little bit. Continue reading

Night Skier (part one)

Watermelon Peak is a unique ski resort, and fun for the whole family!  The algae in the powder dyes the whole mountain a lovely pink, and we even have an exhibit for the movie studio that used to take advantage of this unique color for many of its special effects!

Only the resort is closed for the weekend.  One group makes the trip anyway, to relive their glory days of movie making, leaving crimson trails in the disturbed snow.  Behind them comes another figure, clad in black, with sharpened skis mounted on his back.  His glory days are ahead of him.

(reading time: 56 minutes) (reading time for entire novel: 5 hours, 9 minutes)



Blaine Arcade



The Night it Snowed Blood

The single runway at the Dutcheny private airfield and hangar would never again be as smooth as it was that night. Filled with cracks, it was never that smooth to begin with, but the weeds were determined to make it so much worse. Stubborn grasses allied with the sorts of plants that don’t look prickly until you grab one and realize fine translucent hairs have embedded in your skin. Every Colorado summer they devoured the sun drawn to the rock, clawing their way up through the cracks, continuing their vendetta against civilization so they could return it to the peaceful meadow it had once been. Continue reading

Jesus has the Wheels

(reading time: 25 minutes)

Jesus has the Wheels


Blaine Arcade

It was rare to see such a nice car in Watershed, and even rarer to see one driving with purpose, never stopping once for the driver to swear at their GPS until it got them out of that mosquito-infested and mosquito-invested bog that called itself a town.

Tom knew cars, on account of a few years working as a mechanic, and he couldn’t recall if he’d ever even worked on such a fine piece of machinery. He expected it to drive on by, as nobody sitting in that sort of thing could have any business with him, but it stopped, for the first time in days, at the foot of his gravel driveway. Continue reading