Kolchak Meets Poe in New Graphic Novel   Leave a comment

kolchak

By C. Michael Forsyth

Before there was The X Files and Supernatural, there was Kolchak: The Nightstalker, and before H.P. Lovecraft, there was Edgar Allan Poe. Both these wellsprings of the macabre fueled my imagination when I was a teenager, and it is a delight to see them combined in a recent graphic novel.

In Kolchak, The Night Stalker: Forgotten Lore of Edgar Allan Poe, the intrepid monster-chasing reporter played by Darren McGavin in the 1974-1975 TV show, is back in action, knee-deep in paranormal mysteries revolving around tales by Poe—the grandfather of the weird short story. The writer, James Chambers, does a smashing job of recapturing the personality of the determined underdog, as well as the show’s storytelling style. In the book, Kolchak has a series of adventures, each playing off of a Poe story, including The Telltale Heart, The Premature Burial, the Black Cat, the Tomb of Ligeia and The Masque of the Red Death. These episodes, while satisfying reads individually, are all linked by a narrative that runs through the graphic novel—concerning a magician obsessed with Poe. There are plenty of nuggets to please Poe fans, such as a character named Annabelle Lee.

kolchak. com

REPORTER Kolchak hasn’t lost his knack for uncovering the uncanny.

Carl Kolchak is unchanged, still sporting his signature rumpled white suit and straw hat. He has made a few concessions to 2017. Instead of his old tape recorder and typewriter, he travels with a laptop that he uses to Skype his boss, the grumpy Tony Vincenzo. An interesting touch is that three different artists with distinct styles contributed to the book, depicting the character with varying degrees of success. Between Luis Czerniawski, Felipe Kroll and Jim Fern, I think the last does the best job in nailing McGavin’s mischievous Irish face. To me, the actor resembled a less-handsome Sean Connery.

Darren Best

ICONIC Kolchak was only on TV for one year.

I was a huge fan of the series, in which Kolchak, a reporter for the fictional INS wire service, investigated crimes that invariably turned out to have a supernatural cause. The police were useless, either refusing to believe anything abnormal was going on, or getting tossed about like rag dolls by whatever creature happened to be wreaking havoc that week. So, the plucky journalist always had to take matters into his own hands and dispatch the monster.

In the course of the show, Kolchak’s investigative reporting turned up vampires, werewolves, mummies, doppelgangers and many other of the usual unusual suspects. What made the show so great was McGavin’s character: sly, streetwise, with a sense of humor. I often thought that Kolchak would be fun to follow even if there were no supernatural element and he was doggedly exposing crooked politicians and solving ordinary crimes.

Although the iconic character was McGavin’s best work and is his chief legacy as an actor, he wasn’t satisfied with the show, despite rewriting many scenes himself, and bailed after one season. He was principally frustrated with the monster-of-the-week aspect of the show. This was, indeed, its main weakness. It was never explained why Kolchak “just happened” to stumble onto the supernatural on a regular basis. Chris Carter, creator of The X Files, cites The Night Stalker as his biggest source of inspiration. And in his show that problem is solved: his heroes’ job is hunting the paranormal.

As a kid watching The Night Stalker, I came up with my own explanation that is as good as any. Kolchak, although he doesn’t know it, has been appointed by some higher power to be a champion of good, a white-suited knight battling the darkness.


Check out works by this reviewer, including the horror novel Hour of the BeastHERE.

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In Hour of the Beast, a young bride is raped by a werewolf on her wedding night. When her sons grow up and head to college, things REALLY get out of hand.

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After Silencer Bill, Assassin Organization Wants Laws Eased on Cyanide Capsules.   Leave a comment

By C. Michael Forsyth

WASHINGTON — As Congress prepares to pass a bill easing restrictions on gun silencers, the International Society of Gentlemen Assassins is hailing the move–and is asking for equal treatment for other tools of the trade, such as cyanide capsules and poison darts!

“We’re pleased as punch that the government is taking action on silencers, which are so helpful in making it hard to tell where your shots are coming from,” said Dan Castlewick, a spokesperson for the prestigious 80-year-old organization. “Now is the time to make other essential weapons easier to obtain and reduce the hassle of using tried-and-true assassination techniques.”

The I.S.G.A. wants the law relaxed on the following items:

razor-edged bowler hat

Razor-Edged Bowler Hats

cyanide capsules

Cyanide capsules

blow dart 3

Poison Darts

pirhana 1

Feeding to Piranhas

Javiar

Cattle Stunners (Captive Bolt Pistols)

car bomb

Car Bombs

 

garotte byzantium

Garottes

 

tarantula better

Tarantulas

 If you enjoyed this news satire by fiction writer C. Michael Forsyth, check out his collection of bizarre news, available on Kindle and in other eBook formats.

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Copyright C. Michael Forsyth

 

 

New Law Will Make Pledge of Allegiance at Office Mandatory.   Leave a comment

 

plege 1

LOYALTY OATH: Saying the Pledge is already required in schools across America.

By C. Michael Forsyth

Good news for patriots! A new federal law will make it mandatory for every worker in America to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of each work day.

The Defense of Liberty Act will require companies to allot two minutes every morning for workers in offices and on factory floors to salute a regulation-size flag and declare their loyalty to the United States. Furthermore, before any major event such as a company retreat, picnic or baseball game, the National Anthem must be played. Firms that fail to enact the policy face a stiff penalty of up to $3,500 per day.

The bill is still in committee, but lawmakers are confident that there will be enough votes for it to pass both the House and Senate, and that super-patriotic President Donald Trump will sign it into law.

“In the current environment, many Americans don’t feel comfortable exhibiting their love for this country. This law makes it safe to be a patriot again,” says conservative activist Newton Lartley, a strong advocate for the legislation. “When you hear all your coworkers saying the Pledge alongside you, just like in elementary school, you know that it’s OK to be proud of our flag.”

Not surprisingly, many ACLU types are up in arms, protesting that the act would violate the “rights” of citizens who aren’t all that patriotic. But supporters say that our number one priority should be encouraging devotion to America, the land of liberty.

Notes one Republican lawmaker, “It’s not asking a lot for Americans to, once a day, show their gratitude to this great land by confirming that we are indeed ‘one nation, under God, invisible.’”

Trump thumbs up

FLAG-LOVING Donald Trump will go down in history as our most patriotic President, if allegations that he is a Russian agent are disproved.

If you enjoyed this news satire by fiction writer C. Michael Forsyth, check out his collection of bizarre news, available on Kindle and in other eBook formats.

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Copyright C. Michael Forsyth

HERO FIRES GUN INTO HURRICANE IRMA, SAVES FAMILY FROM SHARKS.   Leave a comment

 

sharknado

The movie “Sharknado” brought to light the danger of airborne sharks.

By C. Michael Forsyth

KEY WEST – A Florida man who fearlessly fired his rifle into Hurricane Irma is being hailed as a hero, after shooting down a pair of great white sharks that were spiraling toward a mom and her toddlers.

Edward “Slim” Wilderghast, 61, a lifelong NRA member and avid hunter, hit one of the enormous sea creatures in the heart and nailed the second directly between the eyes, authorities confirm.

Neighbor Kelly Burenwick, whose mobile home had been reduced to splinters by the storm, recalls sheltering her 3-year-old twin girls with her body as the terrifying predators tumbled toward them through the air, mouths agape.

“The sharks were coming straight for us. I thought we were goners for sure,” said Ms. Burenwick, 29. “I told Rose and Abigail, ‘Close your eyes, girls.’ Then out of nowhere I heard gunshots. I looked up and there on his roof was our neighbor Mr. Wilderghast with his rifle. We owe him our lives.”

Hurricane Irma was one of the strongest storms in recorded history. Newspapers reported sightings of seagulls, squids, tuna, sharks and other creatures being swept up by the Category 5 hurricane as it raked across the Caribbean and bore down on the Florida peninsula.

A short time before Irma struck Florida, two men posted a Facebook event page encouraging Americans to shoot at the hurricane as a gesture of defiance, to “prove to Irma that we shoot first.” As many as 80,000 gun enthusiasts expressed interest in participating. That led the Sheriff’s Office to issue a stern warning: “DO NOT shoot weapons at Irma. You won’t make it turn around and it will have very dangerous side effects.”

 

Irma sharks

SIGHTINGS of sharks and other fish blown aloft by Irma were widespread.

 

“I didn’t hear about the police telling folks not to shoot,” Wilderghast explained. “If I had, I would never have loaded Bessie and gone up on my roof. I just thought it was the patriotic thing to do.”

Wilderghast, a former rodeo trick-shooter, made the incredible shots with his Remington 700 AAC at about 300 yards, having a matter of seconds to account for factors such as wind speed and air currents. Killing the second shark was more difficult, because his line of sight was blocked by an airborne doghouse.

“I had to wait for just the right moment and shoot so the bullet ricocheted off a wok that was flying around and hit the shark in the brain,” he said.

FEMA official Larry Utell calls the incident highly unusual.

“I’ve seen some pretty fancy shooting in my day, but that takes the cake,” he marveled. “There are probably fewer than six men in the world who could have made that shot.”

Remarkably, Wilderghast isn’t the only gunslinger who used good old-fashioned American firepower to save lives during the hurricane. A Texas man on vacation in the British Virgin Islands used his six-shooter to kill three electric eels that were flung ashore by the massive storm.

 

Hurricane shooting

DON’T try this at home: Shooting at a hurricane is highly risky, experts say.

 

Copyright C. Michael Forsyth

If you enjoyed this whimsical yarn by fiction writer C. Michael Forsyth, check out his collection of bizarre news, available on Kindle and in other eBook formats.

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Confederate Statues Coming to Life — and Taking Vengeance.   Leave a comment

Nathan 3

STATUE of Civil War legend and KKK leader Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest escaped from warehouse where it was stored.

By. C. Michael Forsyth

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The statues of 13 Confederate war heroes have come alive to seek revenge on the living, according to horrified paranormal investigators.

At least eight deaths and 36 sword and cannon injuries have been attributed to the golem-like figures, since their removal from public parks and town squares. The victims have primarily been liberal activists who had pushed for the removal of the controversial monuments, but the take-no-prisoners statues mow down anyone who stands in their way. Even an ice cream vendor was trampled to death when he inadvertently blocked the path of the mounted statue of General Robert E. Lee as the frightening figure galloped down the sidewalk.

“These entities are very, very angry,” said psychic researcher Ted Luebeck. ” We’re asking for the public’s help in tracking the statues down before they do more harm.”

Community organizer Margaret Fisling fell victim to a 102-year-old statue of General Stonewall Jackson as she was erecting an “Impeach Donald Trump” lawn sign outside her Charlotte home. Her husband Keith watched in helpless horror as the marble menace bore down on the 45-year-old woman, sword waving.

“First, we heard the eerie sound of ‘Dixie’ whistling over the wind,” said Fisling. “When we looked up we saw the statue, which we recognized from protest marches, charging straight us. I dove behind our garden gnome, but Maggie couldn’t get out of the way in time. Gen. Jackson’s horse knocked her down, then after about 50 feet, he turned around. He pointed his saber, galloped forward at full speed and sliced off her head off. It was like something out of a horror movie.”

Authorities were initially skeptical of the far-fetched story, until police discovered horse tracks on the scene and residue consistent with pigeon droppings.

Since May, scores of monuments honoring Confederate generals, as well as Jefferson Davis and the judge who ruled in favor of slavery in the Dredd Scott decision, have been removed from cities in North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and other states. While some have found new homes in museums, or as lawn ornaments for Civil War buffs, most have been shipped for temporary housing at warehouses. The 13 that sprang to life were all kept at the Old Times Warehouse and Antique Shop on the outskirts of Charlotte, according to investigator Luebeck.

Robert E. Lee

REMOVAL of statues of Confederate greats like the beloved General Robert E. Lee has sparked a nationwide debate.

A statue of General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who became an organizer of the Klu Klux Klan after the war, was the first to go missing from the storage facility, on August 16.

“That morning, I was wheeling in the latest addition, some colonel who fought in the Battle of Bull Run, when I found the spot where the Forrest statue had been gathering dust for months was empty,” said warehouse employee Stan Beasby. “At first, we figured it had been stolen, but it was funny because that statue weighs over 3,500 pounds. Who would have thought these guys have been marching and riding straight out of here?”

Over the following several nights, the statues of other legendary soldiers went on the lam, as well as a bust of General P.G.T. Beauregard that’s believed to have hopped to freedom. Paranormal experts can’t explain how the statues, most chiseled out of solid stone or made of bronze, and have no joints, are moving about. However, they do have a theory about the supernatural mechanism that has animated them.

“The warehouse also holds old store mannequins, junk from amusement park haunted houses, and figures from a wax museum in New Orleans that shut down last year,” Luebeck revealed.

“Back in 1988, a group of college students carried out a ‘voodoo’ ceremony that briefly brought some of the wax figures alive for two days, including one of Lizzie Borden. There were several serious injuries before they were put down with a blowtorch. We believe it’s conceivable that the surviving wax figures somehow ‘infected’ the Confederate statues.”

Talos

STATUES rarely come to life outside of movies like the 1963 Ray Harryhausen classic “Jason and the Argonauts.”

While baffled police race to track down the missing monuments, dozens of self-proclaimed “monster hunters” have converged on the area to put a stop to the killing spree. But some proud southerners profess sympathy for the hard-charging symbols of the South. And they reject any connection between their idols and slavery or racism.

“It’s not a racial thing,” insisted Beau Castland of the organization Keep Your Yankee Hands Off Our Heritage. “The media doesn’t point this out, but only one of the victims was black. Four were white, two were Asian Americans and one was a visitor from Samoa.”

Copyright C. Michael Forsyth

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1 in 20 Chance Eclipse will Never End, Expert Warns   Leave a comment

Solar_eclipse_1999_4_NRBy C. Michael Forsyth

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Millions of enthusiastic American children will run outside today to view the solar eclipse, but their joy may be short-lived — because the eclipse will never end, if members of a diabolical secret society have their way.

The mysterious cabal of 13 self-proclaimed sorcerers, telepaths and necromancers reportedly plans to perform a terrifying ancient ritual which, if successful, will freeze the moon in position blocking the sun – plunging the Earth into darkness permanently.

“It sounds crazy – so crazy it just might work,” says Dr. Henry Jorgenbach, a professor of astrological physics who learned of the scheme at a recent New Age gathering. “My colleagues and I calculate that there’s a 5 % chance that they’ll pull it off and the eclipse will continue indefinitely. The cult hopes to usher in a new Dark Age, in which science and reason are abandoned and mankind is ruled by superstition and fear.”

The sinister secret society, known as the Circle of Dark, has existed for thousands of years and has tried many times before to interfere with the rare celestial events, according to the expert.

tablet“A Syrian clay tablet, in the ancient Ugaritic language, records a solar eclipse that occurred on March 5, 1223 B.C.,” Dr. Jorgenbach reveals. “The tablet describes how a group of renegade priests tried to perform a forbidden ceremony to make the eclipse last forever. Fortunately, they were stopped in the nick of time. Evidence suggests that this was the origin of the Circle of Dark.”

The Circle has attempted the ritual countless times since then, but has never been able to extend an eclipse longer than six days. The most recent bid, in 1979, failed when a shipment of goat’s blood needed for the ceremony got lost in the mail. But this time, the secret society has all its ducks in a row.

“They’ve assembled some of the most powerful telepaths and sorcerers in the world here in Greenville, S.C., one of the best viewing spots for the eclipse,” says Dr. Jorgenbach. “They’ve never been better positioned to succeed.”

In many cultures worldwide, myths warn of a civilization-ending eclipse. The Ch’orti’, indigenous Mayas, believed “an eclipse of the sun that lasts more than a day will bring the end of the world, and the spirits of the dead will come to life and eat those on earth,” an anthropologist was quoted as saying in the prestigious New York Times.

If the ceremony succeeds, the earth will also cease to rotate, leaving America perpetually under the eclipse, and subject to sinister supernatural forces. But it will be no bed of roses on the other side of the world, which, without the sun, will simply be in eternal darkness.

“If something like this were to happen, which sounds unlikely, the effects on agriculture would be devastating and almost immediate,” explains a U.S. Department of Agriculture source. “Plant life depends on photosynthesis and with that interrupted, we’d be looking at worldwide famine.”

The fanatics are scheduled to converge on Greenville’s famous Falls Park, a site popular for picnicking and outdoor performances of Shakespeare, several hours before the eclipse begins.

Panic and chaos would likely sweep the U.S. if the eclipse fails to end as expected. But hopefully, that will never happen. Dr. Jorgenbach and his colleagues have organized a team of local psychics, ministers and rabbis to perform a counter-ceremony during the eclipse, designed to derail the Circle’s scheme.

He says, “All that ordinary citizens can do now is wait, pray and watch the skies.”

Copyright C. Michael Forsyth

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Don’t Have Sex During Eclipse, Occult Experts Warn.   Leave a comment

 

eclipse love two

Love-making under full moon has less dire supernatural consequences.

 

By C. Michael Forsyth

Getting busy between the sheets during Monday’s solar eclipse might sound like a naughty, once-in-a-lifetime thrill — but experts warn that a child conceived during the rare celestial event could be born a demon!

“According to Eastern mythology, any child conceived during a total eclipse will become one of the ‘Children of Rahu,’ fierce creatures that suck the life force out of ordinary humans,” reveals occult researcher Roger C. Bertswill.

While most Americans will don special glasses to gawk as the moon blocks the sun for several minutes, some adventurous young lovebirds plan to celebrate by toasting with champagne and then making whoopee.

“They think it’s a romantic way to mark the occasion and that there’s something magical about becoming pregnant at the moment the earth is plunged into darkness,” explains Bertwill. “To them, it’s as special as your baby being the first delivered in a new millennium. They have no idea how dangerous these mystical forces can be.”

An ancient Hindu myth states that eclipses are the handiwork of the demon Rahu, who was punished with decapitation by the god Vishnu for drinking the elixir of eternal life.

“Only Rahu’s head survived, becoming immortal, and his vengeance on the world is to ‘swallow’ the sun, creating an eclipse,” the expert says. “For centuries, certain mystics who’ve devoted their lives to the study of forbidden texts about the powerful demonic entity have taught that a child conceived during a solar eclipse, when day turns to night, is doomed to become a Child of Rahu.”

Legend has it the demonoids can only be killed by beheading, or by being tricked into eating a very spicy Indian dish called phall. In rare instances, when raised with kindness, the strange, purple-eyed offspring can learn to serve humanity for good, becoming “demon warriors” not unlike the famed comic book hero Hellboy. But in most cases, they are highly destructive, often setting fires and carrying off livestock.

“I strongly advise Americans to refrain from engaging in intercourse during the eclipse,” Bertswill says. “But if you cannot resist the temptation, for God’s sake please use appropriate birth control.”

Copyright C. Michael Forsyth

If you enjoyed this mind-bending “what if” story by C. Michael Forsyth, check out his collection of bizarre news, available on Kindle and in other eBook formats.

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