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A collection of published horror and science fiction stories.
For science fiction and horror fans only, "Desolation: Stories" contains 6 previously published and unpublished short stories by Ken Brosky ...
"The Desolation Will Consume You" (Finalist, Writer's Digest Fiction Competition)
The world is dying. The climate is changing. But hidden away deep inside a forest in the heart of Canada sits a home with everything you need. You can survive here. You can start a new life. But you must make a terrible sacrifice ...
"Ashes to Ashes" (previously unpublished)
Justin Breneview's job search led him to what seems like an easy job: take bodies out of the morgue, throw them in the furnace. Nothing to it. But when complications arise, he quickly learns that there is no such thing as an "easy job."
"High Stakes" (first published in Diabolic Tales)
The gambler arrived in Kansas City for a game with high stakes and a high payout. Everyone else was there for blood.
"Enjoy Your Job!" (first published in Dark Moon Rising)
All little Timmy wants is to be an astronaut. But in the future, those types of decisions no longer rest in the hands of the individual. That would be irresponsible. No, economies must thrive in order for society to progress, and that means planning ahead.
"Ten-Four" (first published on Homepage of the Dead)
"This is Jack Hutchingston, ace trucker at your service. Boy oh boy, do I have a story for you. It all started when I was passing through the largest graveyard on the planet. You like zombies? Good. This story's got plenty of 'em."
"Mr. Peoples" (previously unpublished)
Billy loves his invisible friend. His invisible friend loves Billy. He would even kill for Billy ...
"X" (first published in The Harrow)
An author suffering from writer's block finds the perfect prescription: sex. But as his story unfolds on the page, he finds that he must go to greater and greater lengths in order to feed his muse. Where will it end?
"Vultures" (previously unpublished)
A bankrupt gambler has one last plan to win back everything he's lost. It's going to take a little magic, a little luck, and a few dead vultures.
Fans of Stephen King, John Shirley, Harlan Ellison and Suzanne Collins will feel right at home in this collection.
To Whom it May Concern:
I hope before you move my body, you’ll at the very least hear my story. I’m writing this to leave you with some tips, some pointers, things I never received when I moved into this god-forsaken house. Did you come through the pine forest to the south? You probably did. Lots of people come from the south, trying to flee the climate.
I don’t remember how long I’d been walking when I came upon the gravel road that wound its way through the old pine forest. It was January. I was wearing a soft jacket that got too hot on sunny days and jeans with black grease stains near the pockets. I had grease stains because I’d been traveling north, earning food by helping fix cars that were broken down. People were desperate. They wanted to get in their cars and flee, but no one knew where to flee.
I was fleeing Milwaukee. Once the draughts really hit the west, once the rising ocean began consuming entire cities along the southeastern U.S. coast, people flocked north. They saw Lake Michigan as humanity’s savior. Fresh water. It could have been currency. Throw away your dollars! We only accept water. A box of dried fruit? Three gallons, please.
Of course, 12 million refugees are a lot for anyone to handle. I saw it coming. I knew what would happen next because it had already happened in other countries. There would be angst. There would be resentment. Let them die. They’re taking our resources now. Parasites. Moochers. Depression. War.
So I left. I went north. I reached Canada and I continued, hitching rides and then traveling by foot. I had no destination. I only wanted to experience winter again.
When I reached the clearing and saw this house, I expected someone to be stowed inside, waiting out this “changing climate” in quiet solitude. It was too perfect: alone, in an open space surrounded by trees and shrubs, shrubs that were still alive. There was even an apple tree next to the house. A beautiful apple tree that still produced red apples with a gentle swirl of gold.
Away from all the bullshit happening around the world. Away from the starving masses and the thirsty crops.
Curious, I walked up to the porch and called out for the owner. I think my exact words were: “Can I have an apple before I move on? I’m so hungry, sir.”
No one answered. I tried the door—it was unlocked so I opened it and called out again. I walked into the living room, which was filled with stacks of old New York Times newspapers, drying and fading yellow, surrounding a small brown couch. There were no pictures hanging on the bare walls, and the tall wooden bookshelf sitting next to the windows overlooking the clearing was lined with dusty paperback books.
I read a lot of those books later—you can tell which just by looking.
In the kitchen cupboards were cans of vegetables and soup, and I could see through the dirt-encrusted windows over the sink that a brass-colored water pump had been built just off the back porch. It seemed too good to be true: an empty house, stocked, just waiting for a hapless starving fool who’d gotten lost in the woods.
I searched the basement and found large containers of water, hundreds of boxes of food, seeds, fertilizer, and an assortment of old rusted gardening equipment. Shovels. Hand pruners. Hoes. Cotton swabs for pollination.
Cultivators. Gloves. As if the owner of the house had simply bought up everything he possibly could before locking himself away.