Bigfoot. El Chupacabra. The Eastern Bunny. Grapefruit.
You've heard the rumors. Now, one of them actually exists.
Welcome to Grapefruit: Pulp with a Twist, where contemporary writers take a crack at mystery, science-fiction, western, and anything other genre you could find in a ten cent paperback, circa 1920.
The Twist? Grapefruit may pay homage to the classic pulps, but the writers aren't beholden to the traditional tropes. Noir goes neo. And, there's tofu in our spaghetti westerns.
Sound tasty? Sounds like Grapefruit.
And now on to this month's releases:
AMAZING MISTER BRASS, Chapter 1 by Josh Reynolds
Dark. His first thought was that it was dark.
Not an unusual state in and of itself, but highly suspect considering his current circumstances.
Memories flashed through his mind, crawling across its surface like creeping flickers of lightning. Jumbled pictures whirled into place, showing him scenes he vaguely recognized. The flash of a gun, the bite of a bullet. An echo of pain that made him flinch. Other faces and places. Things, people he should know but didn't.
And, strangely enough, the smell of caramel.
A sweet odor that seemed to fill and cover him. Not unpleasant, but strange.
He remembered a name as well.
Was that his name? He rolled it around in his head, tasting it. Maybe.
CRUEL ENTOURAGE, Chapter 1 by Brent Lambert
“Stop with the nostalgia. It won’t get you anywhere,” Narria told herself for the thousandth time. Thinking of the old days was simultaneously maddening and soothing. It provided her with some comfort from the physical torture, but only served to fuel the fire that was her mental torment.
It was then that she heard the knocking at her dungeon door. Only one of her four torturers took the time to actually knock, and he was by far the worst of them. If she wanted her pain to be less she had to respond, with a kind “Come in.”
The door, desperately needing to be oiled, creaked open to reveal a diminutive monster with a devilish grin full of jagged, yellow teeth. A dusty beige cloak covered the green-scaled creature, but his tail was still wagging underneath. Skipping playfully, the child-sized torturer stopped only inches from the heavily chained prisoner...
LUV + H8, Chapter 1 by Chris Munn
"I ain’t your fuckin’ homes!" he shouted, a jerk of his body resulting in a squirt of leg blood flying across Henry’s chest. "What, just ‘cause I’m black means you can talk all street with me? Fuck you, old man!"
No, fuck this, Henry decided, noticing the jet-streams of blood cascading across his black polyester shirt. "Mandalay, a suggestion for you,: he said, eyes narrowing as he spoke, "next time you get the drop on somebody..."
Mandalay’s eyes enlarged, the deer-in-headlight effect taking place as he saw the twin pieces of steel fly forward.
"...make sure you disarm their asses first."
Slugs the size of a gorilla’s thumbs exploded from the barrels of the two Desert Eagles, striking Mandalay in the chest with the momentum of a moving car. The hanging light above them suddenly went red, coated with the blood bursting out the man’s back. He was on the floor, breathing his last gasps of breath, before he even conceived pulling the trigger on his own gun.
A MAN CALLED MONGREL, Chapter 1 by Derrick Ferguson
Sylvester did not argue just asked a question: "You see them?"
The big man pointed at three dots in the sky that were rapidly coming closer. "Delegene Mark II Vibroflyers, probably modified for combat, just as my informants told me."
"You sure you can take them?"
"No doubt. Get outta here."
Sylvester began herding the people on the podium toward the main building. His son, Tyrell paused long enough to shout over his shoulder, "Kick their ass, Uncle Mongrel!"
Mongrel smiled slightly and said; "Help your dad get the family to safety, Tyrell. And watch your language." He turned back to watch the tri-engine Vibroflyers come in closer and closer. "time to go to work," he said, running to the edge of the podium and with a powerful thrust of his legs launched himself into the air right at the flyers.
ONE NIGHT AT THE OPERA, Chapter 1 by Mike Rasbury
Seventy stories above, the black form-fitting suit cut his shadow from the sun-bleached purple sky; his humanness disappearing into the jungle of large towers and skyscrapers. He dotted his sweat jeweled forehead with the back of his hand, annoyed, then stared over the parapet.
His watch beeped. He was behind schedule.
He only had a narrow window to succeed; just after the flashbulb nation rested their cyclops eye, but before the first twinkle of neon romanced the ink-well sky, Rio went ghost town.
He watched as the sun tucked slowly into the thin blankets of deep purple, orange and mahogany for its slumber. His watch read 9:30. The window was closing quickly and if it did, he would fail. That was something Johann Margrave didn't do.
Mixed Fruit #1
Three miserable men suffer an unbearable road-trip through middle-of-nowhere; purgatory, Mexico. Death on their minds; an appointment with their maker. Three men travel alone, the last things on Earth. "The Sons of Shock and the Dark Lord Throwdown" by Josh Reynolds
Come along on a semiotician fairy tale as Miskatonic University uncovers, and translates the mysterious Burroughs Codex wherein lies the the startling journey of the Chamber wolf. "Codex" by Greg Hernandez