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About The Behrg
The Behrg is the author of dark literary works ranging from screenplays to 'to-do' lists. His debut novel, Housebroken, was a First-Round Kindle Scout Selection, and semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Awards. Author of The Creation Series, his short fiction has been featured in various publications and Best-Of Anthologies. His 'to-do' list, however, will likely never be completed.
A former child actor turned wanna-be rockstar, Behrg lives outside Los Angeles with his wife and four children. Discover why he writes as "The Behrg" at his website: thebehrg.com
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"Not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach, the 19 stories in this new best-of annual anthology feature episodes of graphic gore and violence—including torture, dismemberment, self-mutilation, and home abortion—that are designed to push buttons as well as boundaries...strictly for hardcore horror fans."—Publishers Weekly
”...glutted with graphic scenes of torture, dismemberment, evisceration...” — Publishers Weekly (Volume 2)
Editors Randy Chandler and Cheryl Mullenax put the call out to horror writers and editors of extreme stories, the hardcore stuff that breaks boundaries and trashes taboos, the transgressive tales you can't "unread" (as Chuck Palahniuk says). We staked out our territory and nailed this to the wall to guide us:
YEAR'S BEST HARDEST HORROR
Not your mama's best-of horror annual. This stuff comes from the edge of the abyss, stories you read at your own risk because you feel the abyss looking right back into you through the tainted lens of each twisted tale. Some of the stories you'll find here are loaded with very graphic descriptions of violence, sex and depravities, while others may contain only one shocking moment of brutality. In others, the hardcore aspect may be less graphic and subtler than you might expect. Some of these quieter tales offer the reader some time to recover from the more disturbing ones preceding. Most of the stories collected here are from small and specialty press anthologies, with a few from periodicals, like the prestigious Splatterpunk Zine in the UK and Thuglit here in the US. Bizarro is also represented with a couple of tales from the unlikely anthology Blood For You: A Literary Tribute To GG Allin from Weirdpunk Books. (If you're not familiar with the late GG Allin, you can find snippets from some of his outrageous and obscene punk shows online, which will increase your appreciation of those two tales.) So for now, forget about that neighbor you suspect is a serial killer, don't worry about the drunk driver that could take you out on your next trip to the store, push those troubling news stories to the back of your mind and immerse yourself in the imaginary horrors at hand. But don't be surprised if you sense something dark staring back at you from between the lines. That is to be expected when you enter these forbidding realms. With any luck, you may find something useful to help you survive the approaching Apocalypse.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction: The Year That Was
"Worth the Having" by Michael Paul Gonzalez
"Awakening" by Jeff Strand
"Readings Off The Charts" by Adam Cesare
"Reborn" by The Behrg
"What's Worst" by David James Keaton
"Dead End" by Kristopher Triana
"What You Wish For" by Lilith Morgan
"King Shits" by Charles Austin Muir
"Cleanup On Aisle 3" by Adam Howe
"Bath Salt Fetus" by Jorge Palacios
"Bored With Brutality" by MP Johnson
"Exposed" by Monica J. O'Rourke
"Eleanor" by Jason Parent
"The Scavengers" by Tony Knighton
"The Most Important Miracle" by Scott Emerson
"Hungry For Control" by Clare de Lune
"Clarissa" by Robert Essig & Jack Bantry
"Where The Sun Don't Shine" by Pete Kahle
"Blackbird Lullaby" by George Cotronis
BEEN THERE. DONE THAT.
You’ve heard their stories before and you’re screaming for a different breed of horror.
Those monsters have had their moments in the moonlight and now it’s time for us to bury them in their graves. Let’s lock them in their coffins, pierce their hearts with wooden stakes and shoot them between their rotting eyes with silver bullets from an AK-47.
You wanted some new monsters. You got ‘em.
Say “hello” to the ones that are still hidden by the shadows. The ones that peer from behind the gravestones with multi-faceted eyes and crawl from the sewers on slime-covered tentacles. The ones that stain the pages within this tome with the blood of their victims.
NOT YOUR AVERAGE MONSTER:
A BESTIARY OF HORRORS
22 new monstrosities unleashed upon the world from the deviant minds of:
D. Morgan Ballmer
Esther M. Leiper-Estabrooks
Billie Sue Mosiman
THIS AIN’T YOUR DADDY’S NIGHTMARE!
As the seven days of the Creation continue, those who have survived will be put to the ultimate test, for each new day brings with it immeasurable horrors. Water stripped from the Amazon rainforest; plant-life that will bring a new definition to the term carnivorous; beasts, animals and creeping things . . . All will precede the coming of this dark god's ultimate creation, the purpose for which it has come:
To create Man.
While thrust into a world they no longer recognize, both Dugan and Faye must battle not only an omnipotent being but the forces which prop it up from all sides. Forces that may come from within their own group, or even within their own minds.
In the final installment of The Creation Series the roles of Gods and Man will be redefined. For with humanity's survival at stake, no path can be left unexplored - even those which may lead to a darkness greater than the foe our heroes must defeat. For it took a devil to stop God's plans once; becoming that devil may be the only option that remains.
Within this collection of short stories by esteemed horror author The Behrg you will discover a haunted house that is not quite what it seems. A trophy collector who prefers living statues to cold ones. A truck driver who, with one good deed, finds more than he bargained for. And a world where happiness can no longer be felt.
Light and darkness. Hope and despair. Depravities and humanity. These passengers and more await. And they’ve been sharpening their claws to greet you.
And the price is going up.
One man documents his experience as he uncovers a conspiracy by the governing elite. Those who are ALWAYS happy. But he will soon discover that the cost of real Happiness may be far worse than living perpetually in the dark.
Told through blog-post entries, this non-traditional novella explores a world where darkness and misery are the norm. An allegory for living with depression, this story will open your eyes to the millions lost in darkness around you, and may prepare you for a future that is all too likely to come.
Having the word "Girl" in a title, almost guarantees a bestseller these days. But for this Girl, finding a title to her story will force her to go between the Lines, into a realm of infinite possibility. Straddling the blank space of her life, she will be forced to encounter a Darkness so unimaginable it will threaten her very existence.
The only real question is, will she make it back out alive?
"The Lines" is a dark literary short story about life and death, and the short distance between.
** This story was previously published under the name "The Girl Who Couldn't Come Up With an Original Title. This version includes the bonus short story "Reluctance" **