Skylined – PART 5

ITEM: I wanted to take a moment to mention that the new anthology from Gravelight Press (an imprint of Devil’s Party Press) entitled EXHUMED is now available. It’s priced at $9.99 and features 13 scary tales spanning the various sub-genres of horror. Find it on Amazon or order from Devil’s Party.

ITEM: Speaking of Gravelight Press, we are still accepting submissions for our 2021 horror anthology. If you write short horror fiction, be sure to check out the details and submission guidelines here.

Skylined – PART 5

The bus rounded Chesapeake Street. Combustible was distant now but its skyline stood tall and immobile,  a barrier designed to the undeserving out, and to trap all others within.

Combustible’s focal point was the Despayre Tower, a 68-story behemoth erected in 1932 post-Depression America. To its immediate left stood the 28-story Carlisle Estate and the 27-story Federal Building. To the right of Despayre stood the Burple Building, a mid-century-32 story condominium occupied by many of the city’s elite, and The Walsh, a 26-story office building constructed in 1973. This architectural quintet was the heart of Combustible. Viewed afar from due north, they looked not unlike the hand gesture Treat had just witnessed. How had he failed to notice this before? This was, Treat realized, no architectural accident. No coincidence. Combustible was sending a clear, silent warning–a defiant, obscene threat that could not be misinterpreted: do not screw with me.

In that instant Treat saw the city for what he always suspected it was: an ugly vulgarian whose buildings and structures were the bastard children of long-dead parents, parents that had been sacrificed to make way for taller, stronger offspring. Structures built during imperfect times by imperfect men for the solitary reason of financial gain through expanse. Within the walls of those architecturally designed glass and steel boxes lived, breathed, worked, and eventually died, generation upon generation of cogs who served the city blissfully. In gratitude, Combustible bade them each farewell as the dead were ultimately laid to rest outside the city proper but within view of its towering facade.

NEXT: Skylined continues

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