by Kristine Ong Muslim

Landscapes of Death

The great outdoors are swept
With infernal chaos.
The gods paused, and one by one,
The people rushed to their deaths.
Hard and unforgiving
A trapdoor gapes and slams against them.
Crushing each other, with the weak trampled
Below their companions' charging feet.
Death throes serenade the grandest nightmares
In this season of destruction.
Outside, a skeletal horse neighs, its rider
Impaled on its back
While a child dies slowly, his marrow gently
Sucked by the roots of a tree.

The gods paused in the balcony by the sky
And, one by one,
We all must die.

The Hours Replicate

I have cold eyes
Sunken cheeks
Broken bones.

I count backwards
Before I strike.
Three sheep.
Two sheep.
One sheep.
Let all bloody lambs die.

I have no names
But I have my memories.

I burn in my precious
For I have black
Molting into
Vicious layers.

Everyone Lives in the Dark

It is late then. The moon
Is out. The kids are safely tucked in.
Only the wind makes the leaves
Rustle. Everything is in black and
All the TVs are on. Interesting
How everyone can die so easily
In the movies
While, outside, a woman jerks comically
As blood gushes out
Of her slit throat.

Overcoming Decay

Putrefaction sets in
As you wait to be relieved
Of the terrible itch
On your pale skin.

Rebirth is so much easier
Than this, this alien feeling
Of numbness and boredom.
You fancy getting out.
Will the sun ever get close enough
To sting you?

How far can you walk without
Your legs falling off
Painlessly, just like what
Your father used to say.

The woods are cool and deep,
Waiting for centuries for your coming.
Must hurry up, you staggering lump
Of flesh you,
The earth swallows the meek.

You must not rub your eyes.
They might come out.

They Only Whisper In The Dark

Listen closely to the silence.
You might hear something there
Between the soft rustle of the wind
Through the trees and
And the steady tap of footfalls
Against the pavement outside your room.
There are muffled tones,
Comforting and tender,
Underneath this infusing stillness,
Subdued whispers that seem to chuckle,
Exhale, and breathe hoarse invitations
For you to take the razor
And lovingly slit your throat.

About the Author: Kristine Ong Muslim has been published in several speculative and mainstream magazines which include Star*Line, Dreams and Nightmares, llumen, Kenoma, The Fifth Di..., The Martian Wave, Crossroads Magic, Between Kisses, Revelation, Jupiter SF, Electric Velocipede, and The Dream Zone. Some of her works will also be included in future issues of Wicked Hollow, Penumbric, Flesh and Blood, Midnight Street, The Dark Krypt, Seasons in the Night, Night to Dawn, Trunk Stories, and many others. Two upcoming Cyber Pulp anthologies will contain her stories. Kristine Ong Muslim can be reached at blackroom8@yahoo.com.

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