J.R. Pfeiffer

Jealous Ghoul

Greg brought the bone ceramic to his lips. The coffee steam swirled up his sinuses and soothed his soul. He gazed over the white sheets as they soaked the buried hills. Down the hill, a film of fog blurred the distant sticks, once holding thousands of orange and red specs of fluttering candy. New England animating inside his oak framed living room window: inspiration to write.

Journalist Greg’s writing deadline ended at five PM. The story argued for allowing graffiti to be painted on the town’s skatepark as long as nothing obscene. The city’s bourgeois against graffiti’s “low art”.

A black squirrel hopped in the snowflakes carrying Greg’s eyes to a queer arrangement: Two tan breasts protruding out from the fresh snow. He squinted out the shapes of two flesh-skinned water balloons with scarlet nipples. “…a dead body,” he said.

He reddened his ankles as he strangled on snow boots. He marched out twenty yards to the two humps. On his knees, he sculpted out the breasts like a sandcastle. With his fingers, he dusted a feminine neck like a fossil. The oval shape of a face formed with blond frozen hair like crystalized honey.

Greg’s penis grew in his beige long johns. It marbleized when his wrists flattened the warmness of her tits. He squeezed them and watched her mouth gasp open. Her arms lifted. He palmed her burning right tit and sucked the nipple. Her fingers crawled under the webbing of his long johns and tickled the underbelly of his scrotum.

She climbed out of the snowy grave. Tan as a California blonde, she flipped over and buried her palms and knees into the cold. Greg slapped the frost off her ass as his erected dick leered the wobble. New and bathed in the early sun; a firm smooth honey ass for his cock to hide. He fucked her. A million-dollar ass that jiggled as his smacking pelvis echoed across the Berkshire mountains.

A red barn a mile down the road reflected Greg’s eyes as he cried in disbelief. This being the first hot pussy since college twenty years back. His knee caps slid apart as he fondled her tits like heavy sacs of water. He slid her knees flush, tightening her bubble butt. Her bulging ass swollen ripe, the head of his cock smooshed into a slippery slope back inside and filled her pussy for five more minutes.

Holding her hips firm, semen flooded and spilled down her gingerbread flesh into the frozen blanket below. His eyes contemplated the distant red barn.

He looked back down to see his dick inside a zombie unicorn. He jumped back and left a trail of vomit to the blue wooded planks of his patio. Oh my God. I fucked a zombie unicorn.

Greg showered and squeezed half a bottle of shampoo over his fleshly temple. Particles of wild magical beast and hardened blood twirled into the drain specs. Vomit fountained off his torso and into the porcelain curves. Everything splashed clean before he ran back and found the oak framed window. Nothing outside but a brown spot the size of coconut.

Ashamed of his continued numbness from the best sex ever, he spilled tears over his keyboard. He needed to finish the skateboard piece, or he could lose his job at Farmville Times. The morning light in the monitor reflected the deer’s head behind him. Drilled into the living room wall, a hefty buck that his father put an arrow into.

Greg’s stiff fingers pounded away seven hundred unsophisticated words, the monitor smeared movement. A brunette with leviathan tits like Elvira leaned forty-five degrees out of the wood paneled wall. Her juicy crimson lips kissed vowels, “Come here big boy.”

Greg hopped up like a spring rabbit and watched Elvira slither out of the wall. Her milky skin and snowball tits swayed with each step. She peeled down his jeans and stroked his hard cock. He rubbed her tits and sculpted her ass with firm smearing.

She bounced on his arched cock on the flowered sofa by the window. The red barn swelled in her ice blue retinas. He palmed her cold tits and unloaded his left-over juice. She squealed from the abdomen.

In the vanity mirror over the fireplace, the severed neck of a purple zombie unicorn crowned his cock, and he death gripped the glowing pegasus. I am losing my fucking mind.

In his orange mushroom bathrobe, he tossed the shampoo bottle in the blue recycling bin. Dried his hair and tried to swallow. The phone rang and pierced the empty cabin’s stillness.

“Greg, you finish the skateboard story?”

“No Ralph. Give me a half hour,” Greg said.

“Hurry up. One half hour,” Ralph said.

Greg penned the graffiti pros and cons on the tiled kitchen counter. His pad laid flat in the shadow of a skyline of hemorrhoid cream, his wife’s stone urn, a stack of delinquent mortgage statements, and an empty .38 special.

After twenty minutes, he finished the piece with blue ink but needed to type and email it. Jack Daniels burned his esophagus as he emailed a mediocre story to his boss. An hour later, no email back. The phone silent like the third batch of afternoon snow.

An intoxicated Greg examined his dick in the bathroom light. Over the toilet, a framed watercolor of the red barn brushed by Debbie, his late wife. The same cherry red as the pick-up that ran her over. The medicine cabinet squeaked to a forty-five-degree angle; its reflective surface carried the shine of the silver .38. The doorbell chimed.

He opened to the pink winter landscape obscured by a transparent apparition: his wife bobbing up and down with fluorescent green eyes. “I’ve been fucking with you.”

“By having me fuck zombie unicorns?”

“I will make it up to you,” she said.

“I think I lost my job. I cannot pay the mortgage. I miss you and I have been fucking zombie unicorns. I figure, what a good time to blow my brains out.”

“Go to the red barn silly,” she said. Her ghost soaked into Greg’s bone marrow. He then layered his gaunt body with old winter clothes and carried a shot gun. He marched two miles to the barn.

The front door opened to a black crevice. Cold air with gardenia fragrance inflated his lungs like sweet gas. He lifted forward the darkness into a warm lantern. A hearth rug covered in valentine’s hearts flickered by a crackling fire. The most beautiful calligraphy black haired woman with emerald eyes walked out naked. Her torso soft like butter that shaped into perked swollen tits. As she moved, her shaved pussy smiled. She carried a red cape.

Greg charged like a bull with rotating testicles. She dodged and unveiled behind her cape; one gold typewriter. His wife’s voice as tough as gravity filled his ear drums: “You must type a forty-thousand-word bestseller,” she said. “You will keep the cabin, have your hemorrhoids laser beamed, and fuck this woman for the rest of your reclusive life.”

Three months later, Greg’s bloody finger prints stained the alphabet keys. He wrote a story about an artist that almost committed suicide but stayed alive. After years of misery, the artist found himself having the time of his life—even better than his greatest childhood memories. The book became a bestseller and he built a fence around the cabin to keep out the zombie unicorn.

The emerald eyed woman knocked on the door. Her violet silk thong covered nothing but a dimple above her ass. A bra hung from her neck and obscured the rings around her nipples. His wife’s voice dripped out the air vent: “This is your reward my darling.”

“Can I have kids with her sweetie?” Greg said.

The air vent continued to blow freezing air like a flamethrower kept on by the rigged finger of a dead soldier.

With his teeth, he revealed her farmer’s tan. After pulling the violet silk past her toes, he spread her white thighs on his cedar writing desk. His erection plummeted. Debbie watched her living husband’s pelvis slap the woman’s belly. “Oh, this pussy is so nice baby. I wish you were here honey,” Greg said. The flesh of his bare ass wobbled with each thrust. His floating wife had it.

Greg flooded the inside of another zombie unicorn.

“You are a fucking bitch,” Greg said.

“It is the best that I can do,” Debbie said. “I am a jealous woman.”

Greg ran to his van. He turned the engine for CVS to buy a fresh bottle of Head & Shoulders.

David Boski

Out to Lunch

One of the local crazies
was walking toward us
shouting non-sensical bullshit
and the ladies in front of her
looked nervous.

As I walked by, we made
eye contact and she screamed:
“and you, you and your dog
raped me last night,
you fucked me!”

I chuckled and then I thought about
how she was probably normal once,
how she was somebody’s beautiful
little girl once; but that, that was a
long time ago.

Now she was out to lunch,
now she had a creative imagination.

I was jealous of it.

I was in awe.

I hope we showed her a good time.

James Babbs

Dead Leaves

The leaves were scattered around the tree in the middle of the yard. The leaves looked like crumpled pieces of paper. Maybe they were discarded love letters that had been caught up and blown by the wind. Summer was over and the shadows fell across the grass stretching toward the house but not quite reaching it.

I was standing near the window with a beer in my hand and I kept looking at the dead leaves and the shadows on the ground and I knew I was no longer young. I drank some beer and in my mind I didn’t feel old. I mean, maybe, I felt lost and, maybe, I felt afraid and, maybe, sometimes I felt like I was stuck and there was something above me that kept pushing downward and something else under me and it kept pushing upward and I felt like I was trapped and I couldn’t breathe. But I didn’t feel old.

I finished off the beer and tossed the empty in the trash. I heard it clinking against the other bottles that were already there. I came back and looked out the window and I saw Rachel pulling into the driveway. I wondered what she was doing here since the last time I had seen her I thought she had made it pretty clear she didn’t want to see me anymore. But it was definitely her and I watched her get out of the car and come up to the door.

“What’s going on?” I asked her when I opened the door. She looked good. She looked really good.

“Hey,” she said. “Are you going to let me in?”

“Sure,” I said, stepping out of the way. I watched her glide slowly into the room as if she had wheels instead of feet.

“Did you miss me?” she asked, throwing a smile my way.

Her smile splashed against the side of my face and I raised my hand to touch the dissolving layer of heat. Rachel came over and put her arms around me.

“I missed you,” she said.

Now everything was getting warmer and I pulled her into me and tried to put my mouth on hers. It wasn’t much of a kiss because she laughed and turned her head before breaking loose and taking a few steps away from me.

“Hey,” I said.  Rachel laughed again.

“Easy now,” she said. “I didn’t mean to get you all fired up.”

It made me angry but I tried not to let it show.

“So what do you want?” I asked. “Do you want a beer?”

She waved her hand at me. “No,” she said, “I don’t want a beer.”

It was my turn to laugh.

“Well,” okay, I said. “I’m going to have a beer.” I went to the fridge and got me another beer. I came back and looked out the window again. I saw the shadows had reached the house. It was going to be dark soon.

“Have you been thinking about me?” Rachel asked.

I took a long pull from the beer. It felt good going down my throat. Instead of making me feel drunker, the cold beer cleared my head.

“What do you want?” My voice came louder this time and it startled her.

She gave me another smile but I saw in her eyes something had changed. She didn’t come over and try to touch me the way she had before.

“Okay,” she said. “I was wondering if you could give me some money. I’m kind of in a jam and I could pay you back in a few weeks.”

I took another drink of beer and waved the bottle back and forth in my hand.

“How much do you need?” I asked her.

Rachel pulled at the front of her blouse so that the fabric stretched tighter across her tits.  Damn. She did look really good. I turned away and looked out the window again.

“A couple of hundred,” she said.

I didn’t say anything. I had some more beer and then I looked at the bottle. I saw how little was left and finished it off. I took the empty to the trash before going to the fridge for another one.

“You sure you don’t want a beer?” I called out from the kitchen.

I heard Rachel’s voice flare up from the other room.

“No,” she said before she caught herself. “I don’t want a beer, thanks.”

“I’m sorry,” I said as I returned to my spot near the window. “I don’t think I can help you.”

Rachel was doing something with her mouth, and I was just about ready to tell her I was only joking with her and she could have anything she wanted, but then she turned and headed for the door.

“Okay,” I heard her saying. “Okay.”

She opened the door and went back to her car. I watched her until she was gone. Her face never gave away any sign of anger, but I was sure she cursed my name all the way back home.

I laughed again. I stood near the window and looked at the dead leaves. I looked at the shadows on the ground. I drank some more beer and I still didn’t feel old. No. I didn’t feel old at all. I just felt tired. I felt so fucking tired.

Joshua Jordan

Backdoor Bitch

Am I really a bitch
even though I call
myself a man?
While bending over
the stall and taking it
in the can

Tell me this!
Shout it in my ear
Hearing you say it
while pounding
my rear

It’s just an experiment
I’m really a guy
But when you slip
your dick in me
Baby, I fly!

Football fantasies
Masculine men fight
But extra large dildos
Oh wow, they own
my night

Being called a faggot
yeah that’s my greatest
But if you whisper
sweet nothings
I won’t shed a

A plastic pounding
my insides do adore

Such a feminine touch
but my ass desires
So much

You’re my master
I promise not
to flinch
Now slip it in my ass
and call me
your bitch

Matthew Licht

Big City Dreams, Part 6

Mr van Alen didn’t waste much pencil lead or blueprint paper on his masterpiece’s netherworld. Polished cement floor, and a labyrinth of plywood doors straight from 8th Avenue hardware stores. The Chrysler Building’s basement reeked of disinfectant and mildewed mops, but it was a secret agent Shangri-La for Jena Panhard, the rich girl who dreamt of washing dishes.

“Where’s this theater you dreamed up? We don’t have much time. There’s cameras everywhere. Chrysler security guards are watching to see if we do dirty stuff. They’ll call the cops. We’ll wind up in handcuffs. They’ll throw us into separate cells at Riker’s Island. Dyke matrons will rape me with a mop handle.”

Mop handles are the stuff of wet dreams, for some rich girls.

No alarms sounded as we tried door after door. Liveried Chrysler Corp security couch potatoes snoozed as ghostly images danced from square green screen to square green screen. Soundtrack of snores, an audience share of zero, our late show was a brain-dead sleeper.

Unless Lester Frills was watching. What Security outfit would hire a wild-eyed, flowery weirdo as a rent-a-pig?

Security camera scans might be good meditation material. Zen adepts rack up hours like airline pilots. I lost count of meditation time long ago, but the zen clock never stops ticking. I popped locks, shouldered doors. Jena acted impressed.

There were no secret stairwells, or sliding doors behind the elevator. No hollow floors, no batpoles to slide down. Besides, Jena was wearing a Poiret gown.

During the search, I tried to telepathically transmit Deco dream pictures to Jena’s Deco-radar.

When the Deco Theater case closed, and whatever in-Deco-rous disaster followed on the heels of Lester Frills’ musical ambitions, the next job would be to remove Jena Panhard’s dull-as-dishwater dream life. Figure out how Lester’s dream-projector worked, and give Jena Deco Technicolor Nirvana-dreams. The words and music came from out of nowhere:

“Take my dreams,

Make my dreams,

Come completely true…”

A song for groggy muted horns and torch singer in the Rainbow Room. Jena took up the melody.

“Attractive dreams

moon-light my way/

Banal nightmares will fade away.

Dream me to serenity/

Dream for two in the Big City.”

Piano notes tinkled and trailed off like flowers from a happy childhood. Jena said she had to use the little girls’ room.

The sub-basement grotto had a little girls’ room. The door was suspiciously ornate. Sparkplug inlays sparked and metal-flake comets streaked. Nickel-plated letters spelled out “Little Girls’ Room”.

A Deco architect’s signature on a top-secret collaboration.

The women’s toilet was a small Art Deco treasure chamber. The streamlined stalls were pink shellac. The sea-green tile walls had a waving seaweed motif. Jena hummed a song from intertwined dreams, and hoisted Poiret silk. I pushed panels, rapped for false walls, tapped the mirror over the sink where jazz babies sprinkle their pinkies after they tinkle.

Live, Strive, Dream was etched on the silvered glass. A phony reflection gazed out.

Lester Frills snorts rails of crystal Brain Drano off Deco mirrors, lifts his head, offers the rolled C-note to the next person in line. That was me.

Too late to pull back. The mirror was stuck to the wall with Deco-rative nipple-shaped screws. Jena giggled as I twiddled them. I pushed the glass. No give to it. No choice but to smash the thing. I shrugged out of the jacket borrowed from Jena’s dear departed grandfather. Off with the wig-hat. Off with the pants too, what the hell.

The key to breaking things is to concentrate on the space behind them.

“Stand back, Jena. They hadn’t invented safety glass when this was made. Close your eyes.” Too bad about the last part. I wanted her to see me smash something heavy. But if I messed up, she wouldn’t see a fist turn into a bloody cauliflower.

Hadn’t done kung fu in ages. Take a stance, go into a trance. The mirror image became an opponent.

Before I could yell hi-yah, the mirror slid inwards. The sinks sunk into the floor with a hum and were covered by a trapdoor whose intarsio inlay read, Live Strive Dream. A woman in a pointy-ear bat headdress spread her bat-wing cape in a gesture of welcome. There was a door where the mirror once hung. Beyond was the Deco theater of New York dreams.

“How’d you do it, Zee Gee? Power of peaceful meditation?”

“Uh yeah something like that I guess.” A glimpse of oneself the way one is was the price of admission.

We went in. The mirror door and fake-sink floor whirred shut behind us. Chrysler goons would burst in on an empty Deco Little Girls’ Room.

Jena waltzed to the proscenium. Her gown rustled, her heels clicked. She vaulted onstage. I settled on a gilt-and-black velvet seat.

“Dance,” I said. “Bring the place to life.”

Fresh air blew in from a pine tree forest in the Poconos or Adirondacks. The pressure of Jena’s feet on the stage boards summoned a Wurlitzer organ from the orchestra pit. Jena’s clothes fluttered in a major-chord breeze. A spotlight shadowed her like a moonbeam on a lake as she danced. No underwear, no hair down there, Jena’s silhouette laid bare in bas-relief.

Satori, or as close as this zen garbageman had ever been. I stomped, clapped, whistled like a wolf while Jena whirled, twirled and frugged. “Whoo! Aw, take it off, baby. Strip! Peel! Shake it!”

Nirvana, transcendence, cosmic consciousness, right in your face. Twenty years in pursuit of The Way, and you act like Joe Lunchpail.

A Paul Poiret gown fluttered like a butterfly wing. Where had Jena spent her off-hours from the Hayden? Billy’s Topless? The Baby-Doll? In answer to the koan, a Zeiss projector descended on cables from the ceiling and bombed to life with strobes, red-and-blue laser beams. Jena’s nude body glowed. The Man in the Moon snorted neon cocaine from a magnesium-flare spoon and turned into a banana on Josephine Baker’s Van Allen Belt.

Champagne corks popped, the fizz flew. The music said, Dance, dance, dance, dance.


Dazed, Jena and I circumambulated the Chrysler Corporation’s skyrise. The phone rang in one of the last glass phone-booths left on Manhattan Island.

Lester Frills drooled into an over-designed techno-mouthpiece on the other end of the line.

“You brilliant, beautiful Sanitation Department sanitary napkin, you. You found it. They hid a diamond on 47thStreet. Can you comprehend the genius? I’m ready to take possession. In other words, gimme!”

“Not so fast, Frills. First, I want Rei. And if you harmed a hair on her head, I’ll personally tear you a new one.”

“Slapping Japs ain’t my style, Garbage Dumpster. Wipe the jism out of your mind’s eye and you’ll see where she’s stashed. And you can have her. Man, I’ve had more fun playing parcheesi with showroom dummies. Collecting stamps is Studio 54 compared to her aphorisms. You two’ll get along like a fucking maison de couture on fire.”

Lester’s dream projector blazed a Japanese Living Treasure™ of avant-garde fashion design, suspended from a ceiling in a squalid shopping mall. Rei Kawakubo was a prisoner of SoHo.

“Tell,” Lester rasped. “Give up the secret for entry to my stage. I wasn’t able to glean the proper phrase or gesture from my dream-surveillance mechanism network. Tell me how you got in, or I’ll send 10,000 volts through little Rei’s fashion-puppet strings. She fries like teriyaki.”

“You mean tempura,” I said. “Go down to the little girls’ room. Look in the mirror, and Live, Strive, Dream. See yourself the way you are.”

“Cinch! It’s show time!” Lester crowed in triumph. “Make sure you reserve your banquette seats now, you socially mismatched lovebirds. Attendance shall be mandatory.”

The early-morning Chrysler doorman yawned as he held the door to Jena’s Hudson. Instead of a tip, I handed him a koan. “If you stage a musical and no one shows, does it count as a no-show?”

The key is to never take no for a Noh.

Rei Kawakubo was strung up in the sub-basement of her former flagship store. The place was packed with overpriced sneakers, designer jeans, and T-shirts. She must’ve suffered horribly. I cut her down, pulled the gag from her lips. After a few minutes, I put the gag back on and left it there until we reached the zen diner. Rei broke her fast with edamame, sea salt and green tea.

“Green is most problematic color,” she said. “But look ah-so smashing next to black.”

She handed me a perforated disk of sea-green jade on a string braided from human hair. Hers. “Amulet,” she said. “Protect you from vanity and acquisitiveness.”

The zen waitress misunderstood. She brought Rei a tempe omelette with banana tea and asparagus mist. We laughed, then contemplated uneaten food on the table.

Pollice collared Lester Frills in the Chrysler Building’s sub-basement ladies’ bathroom. Security staff spotted him pressing his face against a mirror, muttering magic mumbo-jumbo from old movies, turning chimp-like backward somersaults of rage and frustration.

The cuffs went on—snap! Entrance to the Theater of Deco Dreams forever denied to those incapable of self-perception. Lester begged the arresting officers to put him out of his misery.

Police dumptrucks carted off his state-of-the-art Karaoke sound system and costume changes.

Every now and then, I head the Hayden Planetarium towards closing time. A pretty lady locks the place up for the night and we walk downtown to take in a show under the Chrysler Building. The show is us, our dreams.

Lester can’t interfere with our dreams from his cell at Riker’s Island. He wouldn’t be interested, anyway. His life has changed. He got married. His husband, who’s built like the Sears Tower in Chicago, claps, laughs and shakes his head whenever Lester performs, “Drag Me In! Drag Me Out! Drag Me Off!”

Jena said she dreamt of a wooden house near a beach, set among dunes covered in waves of sea-grass. The house was full of happy mixed-race children.

Rei Kawakubo opened a new store at an undisclosed New York location. The phone number is unlisted. No one is allowed in to shop. There’s no merchandise on display, nothing to buy.


HSTQ: Winter 2020

w20 cover

horror, adj.
inspiring or creating loathing, aversion, etc.

sleaze, adj.
contemptibly low, mean, or disreputable

trash, n.
literary or artistic material of poor or inferior quality

Welcome to HSTQ: Winter 2020, the curated collection from Horror, Sleaze and Trash!

Featuring poetry by Thumper Devotchka, Anthony Dirk Ray, Judge Santiago Burdon, David Boski, Gwil James Thomas, Stacey Z Lawrence, Robert Beveridge, David Estringel, Mitch Green, Maté Jarai, Jane-Rebecca Cannarella, Benjamin Blake, Puma Perl, Jack Henry, James Diaz, Josef Desade, John Grey, Bogdan Dragos, Arthur Graham, and Mendes Biondo.

Kindly PayPal 5 USD to arthur.graham.pub@gmail.com for print copies,
or download the FREE ebook instead!

J.J. Campbell

endless void of fear

whispers in
the darkness

her neon soul
resting on your
endless void
of fear

too old to fall
in love but not
quite dead

you’ve learned
that hope is some
ancient feeling
from the fantasy
novels of your

but she looks
in your eyes

you swear
angels are
starting up
the band

Judge Santiago Burdon

I’m Not Dancing With That Bitch Anymore

First time that I met her
I never had a suspicion
when I loved her
She always made me feel so fine
but she’d always leave me wanting more
Then I’d find myself begging
back at her door
I’m not dancing with that bitch anymore

Every time I saw my face in the mirror
making love to those little white lines
I never thought I was losing control
She did my thinking for me
but baby now I know
I’m not dancing with that bitch anymore

There was nothing pure
in her driven snow
Just a whiter shade of darkness
where I betrayed my shadow
She choreographed
every move I made
I’d perform for her my spastic ballet
I’m not dancing with that bitch anymore

I was ready to sell my soul for her
if I could just find me a buyer
I spent my friends for the lies she told
I just could not deny her
She had me under her thumb
My legs could move
but I couldn’t run
I’m not dancing with that bitch anymore.

Ben Newell

staff picks

I’m allowed
2 books for the display shelf.

I choose
and Jaws

A little girl
with an awesome power.

An enormous shark
with a voracious appetite.

As co-workers
and patrons approach
I want them to sense danger.

I want them to turn around
and walk away, far away.

Lest they get burned.

Lest they get bit.