Monday, February 12, 2018

Blank Tapes Volume 1: Weird and Dangerous Tales, edited by Paul Huxley

Release date: February 1, 2018
Subgenre: Slipstream anthology

About Blank Tapes Volume 1


'blank tapes’ brings you nine stories from the fringes of reality. Challenging, thought provoking and just plain absurd, these stories are not your regular feel-good tales. It’s their job to worm their way into your thoughts and never leave. Bold new voices bring you disturbing insights from the further reaches of the possible. Just because you’re from around here doesn’t mean that you’re not alien.

Red Arrows by Anna Cotton: When Raymond goes for a haircut he isn't the only one who's going to come out with a new look.
Shark Girls by Dermot Jelfs: Thoughts on the true nature of dolphins and other concerns.
Down in the Dirt by L. Tucker: Meet Colin, your kid’s new best friend.
BLOCK parts 1-3 by Paul Huxley: The boy, the businessman, the doctor and the mother. Four lives irrevocably changed by the impossible.
I Don’t Believe in Ghosts by Damn Sung: There’s something strange in this house, but who are you going to call?
Filiarch by Gareth Pale: She always tips well, but this is the last time this pizza-boy is making the delivery.
Binky by Paul Huxley: He’s such a sweet little thing, unless his master is threatened.



Had it not been raining that day there may have been some witnesses.
They would first have seen a woman cradling her pregnant belly in her arms as she ran down the neon splashed street, past the darkened shop fronts and alleyways. An observer would have caught sight of two heavy set men jogging after her some way back, their right hands under the breast of their jackets. Anyone standing on the street may have also noticed one of the thugs pull a gun with casual grace from under the crook of his arm and take aim. They certainly would have heard the shot rip through the air and the four that followed. Through the confusion and panic that gunfire causes somebody may have seen much to their surprise that the heavily pregnant woman was unhurt and had managed to escape down the subway steps. A passer-by would have seen the clouds of debris as the bullets struck the tiled walls either side of her.
But nobody was there that thick-clouded night and these events went unseen, unheard, unnoticed. Nobody saw the rain turn to steam on the hot snub-nose barrel. Nobody saw the thugs reload their weapons and slowly descend the slippery steps after their prey.
Nobody saw or heard the two shots that followed.
Jude lay on the floor of the underpass clutching a wound in her chest. Those two fuckers had got her. She'd heard several shots and felt two. One in her chest and the other... oh shit... the back of her hea-
A quiet rainy night under the streets, a pregnant woman named Jude lies still. Skull cracked and leaking consciousness fading, ebbing and dripping. Puddle of grey thought. Before the blackness came she noticed the intricate tiling on the ceiling. Blue and white tiles. And the occasional red.

Blood pooled around Jude's head like a halo and ran down the fine guttering between the tiles of the station floor. The criss-crossing red matrix spread along the platform; a map of vivid colour. Conjoined crimson cruciform tessellating in a widening pattern. A dull bass rumble and a gust of wind heralded an approaching train. The express doesn't stop at this platform at this late hour, so it continued past to its destination, oblivious to the lonely body just outside its doors.
And then Jude fell.
A vast emptiness spread around her and she tumbled into oblivion. Her senses became clear and sharp. She could see web of fine filaments below her, each spreading out from a central point as if an explosion of a million sparks had left a trace of their trajectory. It was into the mesh of silver strings that she now fell.


About Paul Huxley:

Paul Huxley was born in Northampton, England and at the age of nine, moved with his parents to the south of France where they lived for five years. It was here that he found his passion for books, having discovered an English language library tucked away in a small rural village.
Having worked in film (in which he still dabbles), with several features and shorts in production, Paul ventured into fiction.
In 2017 Paul established Twin Monocle Publishing to release new and exciting genre stories from talented writers.

He lives in Sheffield England, with Elizabeth, Harrison, Eloise and their terrible dog Milly

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