Today is June 10th, and that means you only have 20 more days to pre-order the special edition of CHROMOPHOBIA. You can place your order HERE.
by G.G. Silverman
When the gray comes, people shutter their windows and doors, and call in their children and loved ones. The first warning is the mass of clouds that gathers at the horizon, streaking the sky with melancholy. Then the ocean grows dark as a broken mirror. Fishermen and women bring in their boats, families pull in their linens. Boys and girls tug kites down from the sky or scramble from forts in the trees. The animals are left out to pasture, because the gray never comes for the animals.
Thick rolling mist creeps in from the water’s edge, delving down the road, slowly enveloping everything. It rolls over the docks, down Main Street, swallowing white-painted shops and faded salt-box cottages. It blankets the schoolyard and the churchyard and the gravestones, sifting toward the woods, where it filters through the trees in ribbons. It only ever comes in summer, though no one can predict when. And that’s why in summer we’re never truly at peace. Even on the brightest of days, the winds might change at any time and bring the gray.
Many who’ve gotten lost in the gray never return, and those that do are altered and forever silent—like Pa, a shell of his former self, a shell that hides something or someone else. It’s been ten years since Pa got swallowed by the gray, only to reemerge ten days later; though for Pa, time had passed in ways we couldn’t fathom.
The day he returned, when the gray rolled back to the ocean, we found him naked and shivering at the edge of the woods. Ma ran over, throwing a blanket over his clammy skin. His eyes stared ahead, beholding everything and nothing. His face had been ravaged by an impossible passing of decades. He was stooped and bone-thin, his hair and beard long and white.
After all these years, no one ever leaves this town because everyone’s lost someone to the gray. They hope their loved one will come back, even though it’s known that if they do, they’ll be a shadow of themselves. Some folks reappear years later, looking no different than when they left, but everything inside is gone. Some come back as children, but with lost souls. No one ever speaks about the returned, except in the politest of ways, asking about them only to be told that they’re just fine, thank you for asking.
Though Pa hasn’t spoken a word since the day he was found, sometimes other sounds emerge from him, like the crackle of static, or an ominous low hum that comes from deep inside his body. Sometimes there’s a shriek like the gears of an unknown future machine. Other times Pa levitates and convulses. And my blood goes cold, so cold, I fall to my knees, weeping, begging, praying that the infernal sound will stop.
We said it before, but “The Gray” is just a helluva story, and one that we wouldn’t be surprised to see hit the Stoker noms. And, honestly, we mean that from the bottom of our hearts. Just saying…
In other news, it seems that Grant Wamack’s return to fiction, GOD’S LEFTOVERS, is not without its fans. The Bizarro Pulp Press release has been collecting an impressive number of blurbs. We want to share those with you!
“God‘s Leftovers is not for the faint of heart. This brutal, visceral, shocking work of fiction is Ketchum meets Barker with a sprinkling of classic slashers and grindhouse pulp. If you want to be disgusted and unsettled, tapping into the vibe of films like Martyrs, I Spit on Your Grave, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre—this is your jam. I need to take a shower and douse myself in holy water.”—Richard Thomas, author of Spontaneous Human Combustion, and Bram Stoker nominee
—Michael J. Seidlinger, author of Anybody Home?
Pre-order your hardcover edition of CHROMOPHOBIA HERE.