Tim Curran; Tim Johnson Two Die Four

ISBN 13: 9781933511016

Two Die Four

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9781933511016: Two Die Four

Two authors. Four stories. So many ways to die...

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From "Cold House in the Dark Woods" "Are you afraid?" Are you afraid? That's how it started, really. With those three words. Words that of themselves carried no real weight, but slapped together in a sentence? Yeah, the impact was unmistakable. And I liked those three words. I was always putting them to Candy, gauging her reaction, digging, probing, trying to work that last nerve. And it wasn't just a game with me, either. When I asked her that, I really wanted to know. Because fear was my thing. Maybe with some it's football or women, drugs or fast cars, but with me it was fear. Terror. Dread. I liked the way it felt when it got down deep inside you, white and chill and electric, made the flesh at the back of your neck go rigid, made your guts knot in greasy, undulating corkscrews. Yeah, when it got real bad, started scratching and picking, unlocking cages and letting loose the primal nightmares we all carry inside ourselves. I liked it in myself, and I liked it just a little bit more in others. "Are you afraid?" I asked her again. Candy looked at me with those eyes bluer than a Montana sky, those dreamy and wonderful eyes that always seemed to be so close and yet so very distant. Like stars, you could feel their light, but never touch what made them smolder. "I don't know the meaning of fear, Jim," she said to me, the dome light of my SUV casting shadows under those eyes. "You can't scare me." Shannon, in the back seat said, "You can't scare me either, Jim...as long as you keep your pants on." She paused. "Oh, I'm sorry, exposing yourself wouldn't scare me, it would make me laugh. Fear, humor. I get these things mixed up." Ha, good old Shannon. She was Candy's friend and maybe my enemy and I guess that's why I let her come along--I wanted to scare the shit out of her. I wanted to rip the cynicism and sarcasm out of her in squirming handfuls. I wanted to wipe that smartassed smirk off her pretty little mouth and replace it with a scream. Shannon. She was always on me. Always giving me shit and expecting me to chew it carefully and like the taste. I'd never let her come with us before. When Candy and I spent the night in crypts or mausoleums or reputedly haunted houses, she was always left out of the loop. It was my decision. I didn't want that mouth of hers destroying the atmosphere. But this time I let her come simply because old Shannon thought she was beyond fear. And I was going to show her a thing or two. I was going to scare her to death.

From "Bandwagon to Hell" All that hell (and joy) I went through years ago has been entrenched deep in my mind. It's a trench I wander through in my dreams, even during my wakeful hours. No matter how hard I try, I just can't forget it. I can remember that shit-covered fan perfectly. Perfectly. Like it's still rotating in front of me. Sometimes all I have to do is close my eyes--blink--and I'm there again. Living it, feeling my mind torn to pieces by aggressive emotions like hungry dogs fighting for a piece of tender meat. After all, who would forget something like that? It seemed to stunt my growth--not physically, but mentally. Nobody ever really wants to grow up. Nobody ever really wants to die. To hell with that. I know better.

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