SPIRIT OF THE WOODS "Nature waited. Nature and his dark secrets. He tried to tell her so much that first time, show her so much. Like a coarse dark blanket he covered her all muscle and sinew, harsh rough skin, monstrous teeth like stubborn roots, ivy eyes. She screamed, escaped from him."
"Stringy bits and tiny limbs beings swallowed by the swelling trunks, long twisted branches mashing pieces of her into the orifices of other trees. A shoe fell to the ground and was swallowed by the earth. The tip of Beth's dotted yellow dress was sucked in between two shards of bark at the height of a woodpecker's perch."
"He laughed, the sound of splintering wood, but she saw the pity on his face, felt shame of her failure." Philip Fracassi, Coffin
"Animal flashcards flipped through Jim's mind — raccoon, possum, dog, cat — but none of theme fit the creature that slammed headlong into the Roadmaster's front wheel. The thing was fas, faster than anything Jim'd ever seen. It ran on four legs, but was bigger than a cat or an opossum, and more hairy, almost like a bear cub. Later, when recounting the incident, he would dismiss the other things his mind had noticed: the snarling mouth and long fangs, the deep red eyes — dark as blood but also bright, as if illuminated from behind. In the days to come, he would try and convince himself it was a large fox, or lynx, even if he never really believed it."
"He didn't look much like a human anymore. His head was that of a huge black horse, or a unicorn, but it was nasty. The horn was long as I am, it stuck out forever! And it was drippy and twisted, moving up and down like it was covered in little skinny snakes. He pretty much doubled in size, and even though he still had his normal body, it was bigger. Way bigger. All covered in a thick hair and he had a tail and when he walked everything shook, like tiny earthquakes."
"Large beetles to be sure, an most closely resembling the scarabaeidae or, more commonly known, Scarab beetle."
"It was a massive thing, long as a small dog, perhaps, and wide as a baby sea tortoise. It's antennae were long and black, tensing and twitching in the depths. The shell was a solid bright gold, shiny and clean as chrome, with three bright green luminescent dots set neatly across, about midway down its shell."
"It had slick jaws and a monstrous beak. The beak was shaped like jagged teeth."
"I see more demons among them, all black as night. On has horns that spiral high and twisting over its head. One wears the gray poncho of a fallen soldier like a cape, while another lies like a crow, weaving between men. I stare too long at the horned creature and am noticed. White eyes stare back, flicker red and yellow. I catch a glimpse of its face - a mouthful of teeth, a wet snout. I look away, look down. I find my musket in the mud, lift it free, pause, then walk away from the battle. Back toward the ticket, the spot of the ambush, and my brother."
"I was about to rise when I head strange sounds beside me. Slowly, I turned my head toward Julie, my body stiff with tension beneath the grimy, slick excretions of my flesh, It was dark, so horribly dark, and yet I could see the sheets rolled around her as to form a womb. It encompassed her from head to toe, not a bit of flesh visible. No moonlight came through the blinds, no ambient light from the hallway. The bedroom door gaped open to an even deeper darkness beyond."
"She stumbled and tripped, fell to her knees as petals slapped down onto her face, over her eyes, into her mouth. She gagged, hands pulling them away, tearing them apart. Everywhere they touched flesh burned like fire. Her tongue dissolved in her mouth. The flooding stench of then, of him, filled her. She collapsed to the floor, a writhing form, covered in a thick blanket of petals as she fought, clawing rotten flesh, begging for forgiveness."
"The pulsing, twisted shape of fluttering petals rose into the air, what was left of Sylvia squirming inside, screaming as the cocoon of shifting colors drifted toward the open coffin, where her nana waited, arms open wide."
BARNACLE MAN "Some white hair was visible, sticking out between two hardened black shells where his head should be. Something tube-like wiggled near his belly, seeking purchase.
"Jack moved the light from one end of the captain to the other, the glistening wet ebony of th ecrustaceans reflecting back at him like hateful eyes. Tentacles moved in and out of the shells all along the corpse, and the great belly appeared to be swelling and sinking as if the old man were still breathing under there." Philip Fracassi, Sacculina
RECONSTRUCTED WOMAN "On the bed, on the mattress, is a brown comforter and a humped tangle of bedding. The thing underneath is lumpy and large, like a bag of playground balls with a sheet tossed over them. Tom walks to the bed and clutches the sheet in one sweating fist."
"He jerks the sheet away and screams. His sanity leaps from him like a burned animal, his mind snaps like kindling and he screams and screams." Philip Fracassi, Soft Construction Of A Sunset