Excerpt eleven

Excerpt eleven

A Story by Mike Lamb

from Jack's Inferno, chapter 10


There's a dog up ahead. Not exactly a dog...a jackal? That's strange. I wouldn't expect--oh dear God it's a man in a loin cloth with the head of a jackal. That is truly disturbing. Wait, don't tell me, I know this one. Something Egyptian. One of those dead-people gods that hangs out in the Underworld. It'll come to me.

The jackal slinks towards me, eyes wide. His back is hunched and his claws drag the ground, drawing blood from the backs of the dead. He's slack-jawed and salivating, tongue uncoiled and draped to the side. He's almost grinning. A rabid psychotic. The perfect hybrid of madman and mad dog.

In a few strides he's eclipsed me in his shadow. His quick shallow breathing hisses in my face as he casts his lunatic gaze down on me. I crane my neck to stare up at him.

Anubis. His name is Anubis. Now I remember. Jackal-headed funeral home director of the Great Beyond. The hieroglyphics somehow don't seem quite as intimidating as the real thing.

"Welcome to land of death. Have you come to be judged?"

"No I have not. But thank you for offering."

"Perhaps later...nothing but time. Come. Sit. Have a drink." He gestures towards a large wooden dining table at the peak of a foothill of bodies. Other figures are sitting at the table. Sipping from porcelain cups. "You're just in time for tea."

Can't say that I really want to meet any of them. But then again I don't want Dogboy here ripping my throat out, either. So I guess I'm off to the tea party.

"I would be delighted," I say without any trace of delight in my tone.


Anubis sits across from me. The bestial monstrosity at the head of the table is introduced as King Minos. Another high and mighty judge-of-the-dead. Just my luck. This one has the head of a bison or a buffalo or...something. Maybe a yak? A mutant ox? What am I, a zoologist? Let's just go with bison.

He's dressed in costume jewelry and women's clothing stolen off the dead w****s. His black dress almost resembles a judge's robe, and the purple fur coat has a slightly regal look about it. Lots of gaudy rings and necklaces complete the illusion. A cheap prom queen tiara for a crown.

There's a large glass bowl on the table. In the oversized fishbowl are several of the pink bunnies, trying to hop away. Minos grabs one and eats it in a single bite. It makes a pitiful death-squeak before being swallowed.

The other six seats are filled with dead girls propped up in their chairs like mock wives at a dinner party. There were seven, but Anubis kicked one of them over and sent her rolling down the hill in order for me to have a space to sit at the table. That was nice of him.

All of them are staring at me.

Ever have one of those awkward social moments where you can't think of anything appropriate to say?

"So...these two guys go out into the woods for a hunting trip. One keels over of a heart attack. His friend calls 911 and says you gotta help me! I'm out in the woods and my friend just dropped dead! What should I do?! The operator says alright, sir...calm down. The first thing you need to do is make sure that he's really dead. The operator hears a loud BANG over the phone. Then the hunter gets back on the line and says ok, now what?"

Huh. Tough crowd.

King Minos sips tea from a tiny cup and looks down at me with quiet contempt. No witty remarks from the jury of dead girls. Anubis drums his claws on the table and narrows his eyes.

Without warning, the jackal plunges his hand into my chest and pulls out something that resembles a human heart...

Oh. F**k. That's mine, isn't it?

There's a large set of copper scales on the table. He plops my rudely extracted heart on one side of the scales, forcing it to drop to the table with a loud clank. He looks at the scales, now completely unbalanced, then back at me. And then back at the scales again. He places a feather on the raised empty side. It has no effect.

"You have been judged! Your heart is black and filled with lust and corruption!"

"Yeah. I know. Can I have it back now?"

"Your soul will be imprisoned here for all of eternity!"

"That's what they tell me."

"You will spend all your days tormented with shame for your filthy sins that have brought you here!" Anubis shouts at me with the lurid enthusiasm of a zealot with a retribution fetish. I think he's even drooling a little.

"You're wearing panties and you live in a human dumpster. Let's not be too quick to play the shame card." It had to be said. Minos raises his upper lip in a snarl; Anubis is unfazed. The dead w****s take no offense.

Anubis just smiles and says, "Drink your tea."

"Is it poisonous?" I ask.


"I see. What flavor?"

"Psilocybin. And a pinch of cinnamon."

"You don't say."

"One cap or two?"

"Better make it two."

Alright. I've been at worse parties.

The tea is surprisingly palatable. He may be a dog-faced freak, but the crazy b*****d knows how to brew a good mushroom tea.

© 2012 Mike Lamb

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"no witty remarks from the jury of dead girls."
I don't know why, it's never stopped them before.

I'm picking up on a latent bunny fetish here.... you were traumatized by Cadbury commercials weren't you...

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Added on September 15, 2010
Last Updated on March 15, 2012


Mike Lamb
Mike Lamb

greenville, NC

Artist, writer, and a drunken lunatic prophet. I am the author of Jack's Inferno, a dark comedy bizarro/horror novel about Hell, previously published through Wordplague (now defunct). I am also a pro.. more..

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