This is a story set in war-torn Okinawa - back in the final days of the Pacific Campaign of World War 2. It is told from the point of view of a young Kamikaze pilot preparing to fly his fighter plane into the side of an American battleship.
It is a story of guilt, loneliness, memory and the taste of the sea.
It happened just yesterday or perhaps the day before. The bombs were dropped.
No one knew why.
Maybe a political study was taken into careful consideration. Perhaps a research grant had been involved. A new plan to invigorate the stock market. Whatever the reason, due diligence was undoubtedly done and all aspects were carefully considered. Certainly the motion was passed around the senate a time or two.
After all, an election was coming.
And then they went ahead and did it.
Every vestige of civilization was blown away, save for a few stubborn traces barnacled along the grim fringes of existence.
Detours are amazing creatures. A detour can shortcut your existence or it can lead you down a forever long road that will linger far into the distant reaches of eternity. It is these unexpected tangents that people stumble across nearly every day that will haunt you in a frighteningly familiar fashion.
Wander into a laundromat and find a kind of a time machine. Indulge yourself in a particularly nasty game of baseball. Hitch a ride on a freight train with the piggyback man or entomb yourself in a trailer walled with books or take a ride on a bus that is going nowhere fast or just lean over an empty ocean and wait for the very first mermaid you see.
Detour around an overturned trailer of chickens and find a chance to do it all over again. Take a taxi ride with a very hungry passenger or just walk in the park and watch a juggler balancing severed heads.
Reality will take you only so far and after that there is nothing to rely on but faith and fear.
I offer you eighteen eerie tales of fantasy, horror, science fiction and all around strangeness that will take you to the edge of the map and then nudge you just a little bit further.
"If Harlan Ellison, Richard Matheson and Robert Bloch had a three-way sex romp in a hot tub, and then a team of scientists came in and filtered out the water and mixed the leftover DNA into a test tube, the resulting genetic experiment would most likely grow up into Steve Vernon." – Bookgasm
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