Walter Ruhlmann

From the Depths

I would need the depths,
the immeasurable abysses:
the gaping holes, the bottomless faults,
the caves opened like mouths ready to suck.
They are regaled with the spurts,
they revel on the warm, fecund flows,
submerging the skins of the cheerful beasts,
on the disruptive, turbid rivers.

To hold back the currents in these gorges,
because drowning is forbidden.
Yet the flux goes beyond reason,
it takes away:
the leaves, the trees, the flowers,
the scarabs, the centipedes.

To brush the ground littered with corpses,
animals, undone, skinned, ripped.
A heap of rotten plants on which the slugs wallow.

Dubious surface, superficial am I,
the depths spit me back, vomit me,
no depth of thought,
I treat myself to no arpeggio.
I lay bare, bottomless, with nothing,
only white blood runs in my veins,
they empty slowly on the forehead
of a bitter and cancerous elf.

Wayne F. Burke

Lethal Beauty

The gun Mai Ling held in her hand, a Smith & Wesson .38 revolver, had come packaged in a velvet-lined case, like a musical instrument.

She slid the gun barrel into her mouth. The taste of the metal was unpleasant. Would she die, she wondered, or only maim herself? Instead of casket, would she end in some institution, sitting in some horribly drab common room before a television that played 24/7?

She cocked the hammer. Squeezed the trigger. The hammer made a loud click, like a door being shut inside her head.

She set the gun aside, got up off her couch, and walked out of her apartment to her car in the lot. She drove to the Sporting Goods Store, bought a box of bullets from “Fred,” a short overweight salesman, so smitten by Mai Ling’s statuesque beauty and long silky raven-black hair that he had trouble speaking.

Back at her apartment, and on her couch, and holding the gun, Mai Ling’s China-doll face grew pensive. She wondered what would happen to the bullet. Would it go through the wall and kill Mrs. Dearborn in the next apartment? Would it go out a window and kill some passerby?

She got up off her couch and drove herself back to the Sporting Goods Store. She told Fred that she had decided to take-up ice hockey and was in need of a helmet. Fred showed her a line of helmets. She decided on a black and paisley blue number.

Back at her apartment, Mai Ling strapped the helmet on. It capped her head like a melon-half.

She put the gun barrel into her mouth. Curled her finger around the trigger…

She hoped everything would go smoothly; she hated watching television.

David Sprehe


The walls, pinkish membrane walls, breathed, contracting closer and tighter. Inside the walls were birthing sacs filled with tiny eggs. The eggs hatched with cackling sound. Little bug creatures swarmed out the tiny sac holes. The little bug creatures ate at the walls. The walls bled. The frothy purple blood had a septic stench. I squeaked, but should have remained silent. The floor was minced organ meat mud. Thick and hot. I stood naked, sunken in the slop. The meat liquids inflamed my skin. The ceiling was an eyeball. The eye watched me, me sucked into the floor glop, glop sucking, clutching my limbs. The bug babies found me, crawled over me, stuck me with tiny pins. A million, billion pain points. Tiny friggin’ bugs. The eye was happy. The eye happy it seen me sad. I gabbed, toothless, clacked my gums, drool dripping, tear flow, pain a million, billion everywhere. The bugs tore me to shreds. The bug babies tied my flesh in strips and attached them up along the bleeding shit walls. The walls shuddered. I giggle-shiggled. A hurt tickle. Here I was, waist high in glop poop, stink to heavy heaven pressing hard upon boy soul hole, and I jerked, spasm thrusting my chest and lolling my head around and around, tongue lapping the thick air, tasted of cheap wine sick and spiders. My dance made the bug babies happy.

Eye. The ceiling folded, twisted in a cellular split. Made two eyes. Her eyes. Her head shaven. Dots tattooed along her brow and down her nose. Comets streamed a white light streak from her nostrils. Lips colored of raw meat. Cheeks sunken with proud bones. She said something.


Her swollen globes spurted milky dribble drops upon her stomach. Her stomach a smooth caress to snake scaled tail curled among the flowers. Flowers large as beds. Light glowed from the petals. I laid with her upon a fleshy flower. We kissed. Her tongue went down my throat into my guts, slithered out my butthole to tickle my testicles. The tongue surface grew tendrils, searched inside me, curled around my spine. Hurt bad, but secreted juices, her special spit, made me feel alright. She smiled, tongue in me, teeth white perfect fuck-paste. She bit off her tongue. Blood ran off her chin and dripped along my chest. The tongue flailed and convulsed. I wiggled with, wiggled a worm writhe. She grabbed at my wiener. Her fingernail caught the testicle sack. Scraped the skin like fucking goddammit. Jerked off in her hand, bouncing my ass on the flower, blood dripping on me, severed tongue end lashing about my mouth. Came. Was ok. Weren’t much more than old cold pizza. She rubbed some semen into her scales. Scales flaked off, revealing pubic hair. Thin, bony pink fingers poked out, like the backs of two hands pressed together, shaking and wiggling, strung with slime. The fingers stiffened. Her eyelids fluttered and she peed on me. Was stinky pee, warm and thick golden just flowed from between her pussy fingers and over my limp, leaky dick and stung the cut in my balls sack. I died happy. Which was somewhat unexpected.


George Anderson

Detox Dreams

I’m covered in a silky orange
parachute like material. I yank

it free from me & realize I am
attached to an improvised roadside bomb.

I am studying a group of children
interacting in a school playground

I take discrete notes on how their behavior
differs from the gender norm.

I am talking to a lady with wooden legs
& as I saw one at the thigh I explain to her,

‘I need the firewood.’ I have cracked a large fat
The length of my leg. Folding back my foreskin

I find a plastic black monkey hunched forwards
grasping its ears. A truck beeps backwards to deliver

bales of hay about twenty feet high in neat stacks.
I purchase a .22 rifle to pick off rabbits and sheep in

the local park. A flock of fluffy & brightly ribboned
ewes stroll by. I am anxious to start firing but young children

on skateboards pass. A young thug thrashes a broken branch
against concrete. He spots me & figures I’m his next victim.

‘If you touch me, I’ll put you in the hospital for fifteen months’, I tell him.
He drops the tree. As I approach the automatic doors to a local shop

a glowing yellow tube about nine inches in length floats along the
ground & as it accelerates towards me I step on it and it vanishes.

Last night I confronted a baby lamb, its left eye a gleaming yellow
twice the size of its green right eye. Later, it was attacked & carried away

by a large hawk into a nesting tree. As the hawk plucked out the lamb’s eyes it shrieked like a baby. Blinded it wails hysterically, the hawk’s beak penetrating further into the lamb’s skull.


I attend another session with my psychologist, Ms Drew. I hand her my poem “Detox Dreams”

“I was wondering Ms Drew, if you tell me what this dream reveals about me.”

SR Gorski

în céleste

Geoff holds a large pair of VR goggles gingerly up to his webcam for his sister to see.

“You’re going to br…” She coughs up some latte in quick moment of realization before regaining herself. “You’re going to break those, Geoffrey.”

Cass always chides him like this whenever they Skype, like a maternal judge raining criticism on his every decision.

“They’re solid, like way sturdier than they look,” he says, ignoring the passive aggressive jab and removing the goggles from his webcam’s view.

Geoff has no RL friends to share his purchase with, so he pathetically called his sister, although he can’t be 100% honest about the buy. The Heavenly Body™ VR headset cost over 2 months’ of his shitty temp salary, its package including a 3D panoramic visor plus a haptic feedback suit and a ton of other gear. It can be used to play games, meet people, or explore virtual landscapes.

Geoff plans to use it for one very important thing.

After their chat, Geoff looks at his open door and decides to quickly masturbate without closing it even though his roommate is probably home. He regrets showing off his rig—Cass only saw the goggles, so she doesn’t know about the rest of the gear. The collection of wires and tech are all splayed out over his bare mattress.

He’s going to use it to rid himself of his abhorrent virginity.

He realizes it’ll only be sensors reading pantomimed actions—electrical equipment and lubricated polycarbonate, not human flesh. But when girls cringe at the sight of you, like they have Geoff’s whole life, certain exceptions must be made. The guys on the image board will love hearing about how much he spent on what is essentially a souped-up, peer-to-peer fleshlight.


“He’s such a fucking idiot if he thinks I don’t know what that goes to,” Cass thinks aloud as she spins in her computer chair—he never calls unless he needs affirmation.

And since he doesn’t live with mommy anymore, he resorts to calling Cass, playing it off like he doesn’t need her approval. She knows what line of gear that VR headset is offered with. They don’t sell that series individually, it comes with a haptic response suit and a bunch of other expensive gear. Hers is a little older but works just the same. It can do stuff like transfer soft touching, hard pressure, and even wetness/airflow from one suit to another, once properly synced.

Cass knows exactly what her brother is up to because she dons a digital visage almost every night herself, playing out other high-end perverted fantasies. She’s an e-hooker, so she doesn’t judge. She really can’t, because at this point nothing surprises her. Cass has come to realize that people’s sordid tastes haven’t evolved much over time—they have just been consumerized, made more accessible by technology. She has gotten used to dissociating herself from her job’s inherent repulsiveness. Customers visiting the Cumquad often have faith-questioning demands. Her last John had her crushing the life out of digital puppies and kittens in 6-inch stilettos while in full latex, all legal of course because it wasn’t real, even though it often felt real enough.

She jokes with herself about putting acting credentials on her CV if she ever applies for a real job.


Earlier in the day, Geoff loaded a pic of his rig onto the forum for the guys to see. Alongside the pictures, its features were listed:

– microcomputer control unit
– mesh sensor vest exo-skin and arm units/gloves
– 120 self-adhesive haptic/tactile pads
male/female genital transduction actuator with bottle of water-based lubricant
– panoramic visor/facemask with polymer gel

He posts: “This is it, fags. The only way for me to lose my fucking V before I end it lul. Gonna slay some e-thots, my way—what better way to spend my Friday night?”

Geoff quickly breezes through instructions, attaching pieces of equipment where they look like they should go. In a rush of adrenaline, he clears an area of space for his soon-to-be-virtual movements, kicking aside empty energy drink cans, unrefilled epilepsy script bottles, clothes that would never be washed.


It is Friday night, so Cass pushes her chair across her studio apartment’s wood-finished floor and breaks out her own VR gear. The cramped room essentially orbits around this one 10 x 10 area in front of her computer—no roommates, barely any furniture, no obstacles, no problem.

The weekends are usually busy at Cass’s club, the Cumquad. It’s membership only, so she never really has to worry about the quality of customers, just the requests. Roleplay spans from harmless stuff like pay-pig fantasies to pretty traumatizing demands… like childplay, violence, and other unpleasantries.


Geoff’s “best friend,” who he met back when Silk Road was still up, sent him a celebratory gift after Geoff posted his VR pictures. “Have fun” is all it said. Geoff opens it up:

>Indiscernible programming language

>Html garble, java script, trash

>Scrolling down, some words and information—a bio

>A guy’s credit card information and personal address

>Next is active login information for various websites

>One stands out: Cumquad, some high-end cyber brothel, and username: Daddy1029

>Finally, a picture of the guy’s obituary and a “=]”

Geoff probably has one night to use this.


After making dinner, Cass signs on Cumquad early with the intent of landing a big fish. Most of the girls at Cumquad have regulars just like any brothel, but if someone snags your John because you geared up late, then it’s tough shit. She can look like anyone or anything, whatever the guest requests. Nevertheless, she dons her favorite avatar, a relatively similar version of herself—give or take a bra size and nose hump—and joins a Special Request Server.

She checks in with a server moderator for the OK to go Live. She then double-checks biometrics… integrated feedback looking good—depending on who she gets, she can do different things or limit herself to the customer’s suit restrictions. She could also turn off or lower her suit’s responses if the John creeps her out. She leaves them on for now; tonight feels like a lucky night. Her system is in the green and she can feel her pussy swell in anticipation for her vaginal actuator… if it comes to that.

She hopes it does.


>Daddy1029 joins the Green Room

>Cass’s Cumquad username, Celeste, floats over her avatar

>She gives the OK to her Mod

>The John is approved and enters

>A man in his mid-50’s, aged but fit, grey hair—not unrealistically representative but obviously altered

>Geoff begins to speak: “…”

>Cass shushes off by running a heurism diagnostic, a.k.a. the touch-and-feel test

>She grabs his crotch, checking for a response, he sucks in air fast and holds his breath

>“OK Daddy, it looks like you are all rigged up for me—you can have whatever you want tonight…”


Cass feels for her actuator toggle and flips it on. She braces herself for the test insertion—the modestly sized dildo has been the only action she’s gotten in a while. E-girls don’t get out much; she lost her virginity to her first boyfriend and discovered the Cumquad not long after they broke up.

The lubed-up silicone phallus is ironically named after him.


The reality of Geoff’s situation sinks in as his suit responds to every brush, squeeze, and breath. She hasn’t even started anything serious, and he already feels the levy gates in his nuts begin to weaken. He wants to make a sick joke about Hurricane Katrina but cannot blow his cover. Geoff cannot shake the overwhelming urge to expose her, reveal his true identity, and make this dumb bitch admit she would never sleep with any decent guy who wasn’t some gym fuck-boy Chad or a cuck pay-pig.

He bears the jaw-clenching temptation. He at least has to do the deed, so the fags on his board will stop calling him Virgin Immobile.


Cass purrs seductively: “I’m so wet for you right now…”

She stripteases him, undressing down to her virtual bra and thong. Her suit, gloves, and haptic pads respond to where his virtual body is. They even give an indication of the kind of clothing his avatar is wearing. Cass rubs her ass against his bulge, noting that he hasn’t supersized his dick, like some assholes do to overcompensate.


Goeff finally musters the balls to blurt out: “Get on all fours for me”

An odd starter request, but Cass knows not to raise a fuss over a high roller’s lack of decorum. Their kind tips in quantities of monthly rent. And she knows he is ready.


Geoff knows not only what he wants to do, but what he has to do. He’s going to blow this stupid e-thot’s spot up and revel in her helplessness. He’s going to have his cake and eat it too. She had gotten him going for sure—but he could hold on a little longer—the sensation of his suit’s phallic actuator is as good as it will ever get for him. Celeste clearly knew how to tease him, but his mission was true and manifold. He wasn’t going to bust an early nut, like a chump, without giving this whore what she deserves.


Cass bends on all fours, removing her virtual thong—revealing to Geoff a juicy, engorged, and entirely convincing simulacrum; a reddened reminder of what he would never get to  experience IRL.

Geoff makes the motion to pull down his white boxer briefs—revealing a below-average penis, his “true” dick. He would never digitally alter his body for some e-thot; he’d make her deal with him as he truly was.


>Without a slap, tickle, or tease, he thrusts himself hard into her

>She had been ready for it, but “Damn, fuck baby, easy”

>“Yeah? You like that, you fuckin whore?”

>“Easy Daddy, let’s make this good for both of us”

>Geoff doesn’t let up, hammering himself into her ass as his suit simulates the savagery

>The pressure is overwhelming—Cass’s suit has safety measures, but she just can’t take the violence any longer

>She flips the suit off

>“What the fuck dude”


Just as Geoff’s about to come, he abruptly loses sensation. His cock withers within the suit’s genital actuator, sending him into paroxysms of impotent rage.

>Daddy1029 attempts to sign off

>Attempt failed

He was hasty in prepping his equipment and hadn’t looked up the instructions for this particular contingency.

He reaches for his visor to manually exit the simulated sex scene, but it is then that he notices something about Celeste he hadn’t seen before.

Her face is that of his sister’s.


“You fucking idiot!”

Disgust and rage fill Cass’s heart as she stares back at her brother’s state of disbelief. Yet, she feels no disbelief of her own. She’s known all about Geoff’s sad habits all along, but this pathetic attempt to humiliate a stranger—to exact some sort of anonymous power—made her sick.

She’d been through much worse than this at the hands of men she actually allowed herself to endure. Somehow the impotence of his anger and words made her feel something past resentment, past wanting to teach him a lesson. He had no clue how the benefits of this virtual environment could be turned against him.

Cass lived and breathed this world.

She could craft pain where there was meant to be pleasure.

And that’s just what she’d do.


“This can’t be real! How do you know her? How do you know me..?”

Before any more mental cogs can lick, the naked girl before Geoff begins to writhe, glow, then grow.

A tumescent mass of regolith-hued organs, tentacles, and muck envelopes him.

Overwhelmed by his senses, he fails to remove his gear in time. The overstimulation triggers an electrical storm in his cortex.

Geoff collapses into a wiry heap. His visor comes unplugged with his body’s violent convulsions. Staring into black, his half-conscious brain registers faraway emotions like disbelief, anger, and especially hate.

Pressure sensors still active, his body is enveloped by an overwhelming digital horror. Foam leaks from the corners of his mouth as his eyes roll back into his head, and then there is only numb.

Ian Copestick

Evil Is Alive And Well And Living In Stoke On Trent

The old, damp Victorian houses
Seem to give off a smell of dark
Secrets. Of a casual, everyday

Of an era when single girls
Who got pregnant were sent
Away, a dirty embarrassment.
An era of innocence and incest.

When the Church held an amount
Of power that’s almost inconceivable
Today. The evils that were committed
In the name of the Lord.

The abuse swept under the carpet,
but as we know anything swept under a carpet
Doesn’t just go away. It stays there, an
Unhealthy lump like a cyst or a tumor.

Then there are the murders that
Infect the air, the Black Panther hanging
Poor Lesley Whittall  with a barbed wire noose,
Less than a mile from my house.

A mile in the other direction
There’s the taxi driver that was nearly
Decapitated driving down a lonely
Country lane at 3 am.

No one was ever arrested.

Yes Evil’s here and it’s thriving
Just like any place where there’s
A lot of people
And very little money.

Yes, evil is alive and well
And living in Stoke On Trent
And everywhere else
On this Earth.

Matthew Licht

Blue Smoke

She’d left her book face-down on the blanket while she tanned her back. I asked what she was reading. She looked up, turned the book and herself over, and said she was on her way to a post-graduate degree in Comparative Literature.

“Has anyone ever compared you to Marilyn Monroe?”

She said she heard it all the time.

The gloom in her apartment mysteriously added years to her face. She played it up with whispers and kisses blown into the air.

Marilyn Monroe said anyone who got her in bed was in for disappointment. This Marilyn pulled a sad face when I rolled on a rubber. She said she wanted to feel everything. But I went to college too, for a bit. You learn stuff.

New York Marilyn wanted music for the act. She stuffed a 45 in her plastic record player’s slot. Her favorite Italian single skipped.

Forty-Second Street was a few dozen blocks away. It felt like we’d have to joylessly pump away forever. A damaged loop conjured long-dead foreign summers, “Fumo blu, fumo blu…”

She yelled Joe when she came. Made-up names were like condoms, something I should’ve learned to use. She flopped around enough to eke one out of me, then slumped. The foxed mirror on the back of the door of her room reflected a couple in near-darkness.