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by Nicholas Knight

Wealthy old man Jacobs didn't get up to answer the door. He didn't have to -- his chair was situated perfectly.

The trick-or-treaters crowded in, holding out their bags. The smallest one screamed when she saw the blood dripping from the knife sticking out of Jacobs' head. "I can't see the headband," the tallest one said. "Cool costume!"

Jacobs raised his hand and deposited treats in each of the bags. The children thanked him and left.

After he shoved the door closed, the butler pulled his arm out of Jacobs' sleeve, and stood up from behind him.

"Phew, that was close!"

end story

Nicholas Knight's stories can be found in BLACKEST DEATH, Black Petals, Camp Horror, Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine, H.P. Lovecraft's Magazine of Horror, THE MIDNIGHTERS CLUB, MYSTERY IN MIND, OPEN SPACE, RAGING HORRORMONES, SIDE SHOW, Underworlds, and THE WITCHING HOUR, among other publications. Readers can contact him at

by Michael Bracken

They come with their proposals, half-baked schemes destined for failure. Or they come with a few small successes under their belts, convinced they have the makings of greatness. A few I watch from afar, monitoring their efforts in obscurity, awaiting the moment when I might best approach them.

Many I turn away, harshly discouraging further endeavors. Some I direct to others, suggesting boutique agencies better equipped to handle family dramas and projects with limited regional interest.

Occasionally, I misjudge potential clients. Who could have suspected the lasting appeal of Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, and O. J. Simpson?

Still, I prefer clients who work on a grander scale, clients whose work touches thousands of souls and whose work endures for generations--Adolf Hitler, Idi Amin, Pol Pot.

So I select my clients carefully, shape their careers, ensure their success, and never receive the credit I deserve.

All for a percentage that barely pays my heating bill.

I think next time, I'll demand fifteen percent.

The end

Noir Geek
© Vin Blesi

Thomas looked down at his hands, covered in dried blood. His "Got Root" t-shirt also shared the same bloodstains. His thoughts were cloudy; he needed to get away somewhere to think this through. He had only met her today, and there she lay like a perfect heroin chic model, curled up and bloody.

Earlier today, he was living his normal "geek" life, fixing the out of date computers at the Earnest Insurance Co. He first saw her at the "Healthy Carrot" where he went to have his daily veggie chili and smoothie. Too shy to approach her, he quietly finished his lunch, while reading the latest tech magazine. When he was paying his check, he felt a soft touch on his arm. It felt like the touch of an angel. He turned to see lips like soft velvet and eyes made of heaven. They both retreated to "Fat Freddy's", a local pub known for its import beer and cool jukebox. It was a regular hangout for most of the computer IT people in the area. Thomas deposited his quarters into the hungry mouth of the jukebox and picked some "Blondie" tunes.

Her name was Naomi and she said she was in trouble and she needed Thomas' help. Thomas was rarely needed by anyone, much less as a knight in shining armour. She gulped down her drink and grabbed Thomas by the hand. "I really need your help, please meet me at my hotel tonight." Thomas weighed his options of trying out the latest version of Linux at home or meeting this white skinned goddess in her hotel room. The answer was obvious.

As Thomas got ready that night, he frantically searched his medicine cabinet for that jar of cologne sent to him as a Christmas gift last year. He greased up his short spiked hair and wore his favorite t-shirt. He nervously rang the bell of Naomi's hotel room. He rang repeatedly only to get no reply. "Not again", Thomas thought, remembering the many times he had been stood up in the past. Gathering up inner strength he never knew he had, Thomas tried the door handle and found that it was open. He entered. He saw.

The questions from the detectives began to blur and Thomas could no longer reply to them. His eyes glazed over. His brain remembered only Naomi's soft touch on his arm in the health food café. Occasionally Thomas gets to work on the odd computer problem at the institution. He likes to watch "Survivor" and make toothpick houses. He can't remember his past life. He only remembers her touch.

the end

THIS ISSUE OF FLASH FANTASTIC -- "Costume Killer" is ©2003 by Nicholas Knight.  "Percentage" is ©2003 by Michael Bracken.  "Noir Geek" is ©2003 by Vin Blesi.  All contents of Flash Fantastic edited by Patty G. Henderson. All contents of Crazed Fanboy dotcom and Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova.

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