For this final installment of the editor’s line up, we have two editors…
Some vengeful horror from Atlas Booth, editor of Viridian Door, with a custom illustration by Katy Somerville, editor of Cream Scene Carnival.
Writing by Atlas Lincoln Booth
Art by Katy Somerville
Ethan looked up at the night sky. It was a warm night, not a hint of chill in the air. In a few minutes the process would start and then he would have the last laugh. Let’s see how well the town would do without him to protect them while their own children razed the place to the ground.
Ethan had just finished high school. Had just finished enduring the children that made up his peers. Had suffered while none of the adults helped. He had his piano playing fingers broken one by one by a group of the so-called elite of the town. Had been mocked by everyone else. Bruised and exiled before he could even try to make a friend.
Now it was his turn. Finding some of the items had been more than a little difficult. A paw print of a direwolf, a species said to have died out, was no easy feat. The myth of drinking water out of the paw print of a wolf, turning you into a wolf man was actually accurate even if most didn’t know it. He searched for a long while before he found the local news of a small county called Gevaudan.
The wolf was no La Bête, but it was big enough to serve the purpose. The paw mould took some effort to make, but the rest was easy. All he had to do was wait for a blood moon. All in all, the task took just shy of a year to complete.
When the day of the blood moon finally arrived, he took the paw print outside. He filled it up with good, drinkable water and waited. When the first traces of dawn started creeping up, Ethan carefully scooped up and bottled all the water in 50ml bottles. The resulting ‘electrolyte shots’ came out at just over 200 bottles.
He carefully placed them in an airtight container so that no sunlight could touch them. He wanted the shots at the full potency of the moon when imbibed. The local youth rave, due a month from then, was going to be unforgettable.
Ethan could hardly wait. He had spent too many hours, too many days, at the hands of the town’s youths. Time to show them how ugly they were on the inside to everyone around.
It was time to be karma.
The rave was the most anticipated event in town. Everyone was going. No matter who you were, you went. It was one of three events that happened each year, and in a town that small, it meant there would finally be some form of entertainment.
The music was an upbeat electro pop, making the people on the dance floor look like malfunctioning chickens. The lights were flashing in tandem to the beat in a way that was probably supposed to look cool, but ended up just blinding everyone it hit in the face.
Despite all this, Ethan was sporting a wide grin. He had started marketing a wonder shot the week before. Take one before you started drinking and voila, no hangover. Of course, like the good business man he acted like, he sponsored a shot for every kid there that night. A tester to see it in action.
The first two turned before anyone even knew what was happening, the noise covering up the pained screams. Slowly, their jaws unhinged to allow the snout to form, their limbs cracked and grew, and their spines reshaped. As more and more turned, Ethan left the party. The frightened eyes, panicked screams and terrified sobs echoed after him as he swiftly closed the doors behind him.
The first howl broke out just as the clouds parted on a full moon that night. Ethan smirked from his rental car before leaving for the next town over.
The population dropped by a third in less than seven hours, newspapers reported. The Times left nothing to the imagination. The kids that weren’t shot, were being detained in secure locations. Would probably be studied, tortured.
Ethan sipped on his cappuccino while reading the last of the news, awaiting the bus that would take him to his new life. Dole would never be the same again.
About the Author
Atlas Booth is a writer who lives in Cape Town, South Africa. He has been published in several lit mags. He enjoys an assortment of tea’s and cold brew coffee.
About the Artist
Katy Somerville was beamed into existence on a Monday night in the mid-eighties by stars, glitter, and a glorious Italian woman from a long line of very strong women. In the present timeline, she likes to drink coffee, pat any animal that will engage with her, make collages, and spend time laughing and finding moments of joy wherever she can with her partner and her goofy, lanky dog.