Archive for December, 2010

December 31st, 2010

Santa Must Die

Celebrate New Year’s Eve by reading “Santa Must Die” by friend of Dark Valentine Cormac Brown.  He’ll be contributing to our Twelve Days of Christmas fiction roundup, so stay tuned for that.  In the meantinme, go over to Do Some Damage and enjoy!
Happy New Year Everyone.

December 31st, 2010

Twelve Days of Christmas–Day Six

Six Geese A Laying
by Paul D Brazill

A Roman Dalton Investigation

Illustration by Joanne Renaud
It was a cold and wan evening as the plane touched down in an airport slightly bigger than a public toilet. I had the usual thirty minute wait for my luggage, if you can call a battered old suitcase luggage, and [...]

December 30th, 2010

Twelve Days of Christmas–Day Five

Five for the Price of One

By Blue Jackson
Illustration by Joanne Renaud
Antoine was a player but he treated his ladies right. He made sure they had no call to complain because when mama’s not happy, ain’t nobody happy and Antoine liked being happy.
He took his ladies out to nice places and made a fuss over [...]

December 29th, 2010

Dexter is Designated Dark Valentine Dog

This is Dexter, Dark Valentine Magazine’s designated dog. He is the newest addition to artist Mark Satchwill’s family.  He shares designated dog duties  with editor Joy Sillesen’s dog, who is also very cute but not a puppy.  We thought it might be nice to publish a cute puppy picture so our readers would believe  [...]

December 28th, 2010

Twelve Days of Christmas – Day Four

“Would you shut those damn things up?”

Samantha stuck her head out the bathroom door, eyes wide, mascara tube in one hand. “What?”

“Those goddamn birds. They won’t frigging shut up.”

A roll of the eyes he knew all too well, followed by, “Jesus, Mike, they’re just birds. It’s morning. They’re happy.”

Since he couldn’t come up with an answer to that without sounding like a Grade-A asshole, he settled for scowling at the birds in question before he grabbed his sweatshirt and headed for the relative safety of the kitchen.

What kind of lunatic kept a cage full of birds in her bedroom, anyway? When he’d first started seeing Samantha, he’d thought the finches were kind of cute, in a wind-up toy sort of way. And they really hadn’t been that noisy at night…at least as far as he could recall. [More...]

But then he lost his job, and Sam suggested he move in with her, and now he was stuck in the condo all day while she was at work, and he had to listen to those damn birds hour after hour. And they didn’t even sing like normal birds, for Chrissake – they beeped. Or at least that was the best word he could think of to describe the sound they made, which might have been tolerable in small doses but now was slowly driving him nuts.

He couldn’t complain, though – oh, no, then Sam would only give him one of those knowing looks, the kind that somehow managed to be pitying and yet also told him he was the world’s biggest loser. And he knew he shouldn’t be bitching, because she let him stay here rent-free and only asked him to chip in for groceries and part of the utility bills out of his meager unemployment checks. Of course, now he was doing all the housework, but he had to do something, right?

The beeping of the birds followed him into the living room, and Mike picked up the remote and turned on the local morning news, pumping the volume so the co-hosts’ inane chatter effectively drowned out the sound of the finches. He drifted into the kitchen and spent his time fixing a second cup of coffee. Hell, why not? It wasn’t as if he had to shower and shave for a job interview.

When she appeared, Sam had that faint pucker between her eyebrows that told him she was less than thrilled with his behavior, but luckily it was almost 7:30, and she had to get out the door now so she wouldn’t be late for work. Her kiss was perfunctory at best, but at least she did kiss him.

“Don’t forget the laundry,” she said, and then shut the front door behind her.

Oh, sure, how could he forget? She reminded him about it every ten minutes.

He drained his coffee and went back to the bedroom, where he started yanking clothes out of the hamper and stuffing them in the laundry basket. At least the condo had a small stackable unit in a closet off the kitchen; he didn’t think he could have handled the indignity of facing a public laundry room while washing his girlfriend’s bras.

The whole time he was sorting laundry, the little birds kept beeping at him. He gritted his teeth and tried to ignore them.

That was pretty much his whole week. Grit his teeth and endure. The gentle questions about his job search, the polite but pointed reminders about all the chores he had to do. At least he was still getting laid, but he was starting to wonder if his dick was just going to shrivel up one day because of all the nagging.

He’d tried covering up the birds during the day so he wouldn’t have to listen to them, but one day he forgot to take the sheet off the cage before Sam came home, and she gave him holy hell about it.

“You can’t do that,” she snapped. “It messes up their biorhythms.”

Fine, what about his biorhythms? Sometimes he felt as if he were going to start screaming if he had to listen to those little bastards for one more second. And they got their revenge, anyway, because the day he had kept them covered up too long they spent half the night beeping, and he couldn’t get any sleep at all. Finally Sam got out of bed, picked up the cage, and carried it out into the living room, but he knew that was only temporary. Sure enough, the birds were back on the dresser the next afternoon.

He started fantasizing about letting them go. It would be so easy – just take them out onto the condo’s balcony, cluttered with Sam’s less than successful attempts at container gardening, and open the door to the cage. Fly, be free, you little fuckers.

December 28th, 2010

Twelve Days of Christmas–Day Three

Laurent Couvelaire and Pascal Trannoy had been rivals since they both worked in the kitchen of legendary chef Georges Meneau, who hadn’t been impressed with either one of them.

Laurent, who was quite handsome in a Jean-Christophe Novelli way, moved from Meneau’s restaurant into the bedroom of a television producer 20 years his senior and parlayed that relationship into his own half-hour show on the then-fledgling Food Network.

The gimmick the producer cooked up (so to speak) was that Laurent was a sort of culinary idiot savant who somehow stumbled his way into a kitchen each week to produce carefully crafted “accidental” masterpiece meals that were then devoured with great relish by an all-female audience.

December 27th, 2010

The Twelve Days of Christmas – Day Two

Algernon didn’t really understand his wife’s fondness for birds. She had come into their marriage with a parrot that had belonged to her grandmama and it had lived in a cage in the drawing room where it had moulted and shed and screeched and squawked. Algernon had loathed the parrot. One day when his wife was out making calls, Algernon had poured a dose of Godfrey’s Cordial down its feathered throat and that had been the end of the parrot.

December 26th, 2010

The Twelve Days of Christmas–Day One

In a Pear Tree
By Alexander Douglas
Illustration: Joanne Renaud

Merry Christmas to you…Isabell sings softly to the “Happy Birthday” tune.
Merry Christmas to You…
Merry Christmas, dear Bar-ry!
Merry Christmas to you.
She squeezes And Happy New Year! into the space normally reserved for: And many more!

That’s Izzi, always mixing things up. And on top of it all [...]

December 20th, 2010

Kudos for Christine Pope

As we’ve told you, Dark Valentine Magazine’s frequent contributor Christine Pope (she wrote the cover story for the Winter issue and the hilarious “Welcome to Skullcrusher Mountain” for the Fall Fiction Frenzy) has just published a paranormal romance, Sympathy for the Devil.  We told you it was great, but now you don’t have [...]

December 19th, 2010

The Party’s Over…new at NoHo Noir

Read the latest episode in Katherine Tomlinson’s  NoHo Noir:  After Party.  As always, the illustration is from Mark Satchwill.