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The Aykler Report #14 – Summertime and the Living is Creepy

Hello from North American mid-summer! I’m back in the states for a couple months before venturing out into the wider world.

Ah summer… Warm mornings. Hot afternoons. So many better excuses for letting laziness get the better of me.

Afternoon hours lost to the gentle swinging crescent of the nearest available hammock. Rising to fill myself on over-sauced barbecued hotdogs, seven layer dip, and the kind of beer that reminds me of uncles (mine and others) telling jokes they shouldn’t around the campfire.

Night falls, but the day’s heat lingers. If you turn off all your devices and listen, you can hear the world doing its thing. Screen doors slam.

Distance distorts a baseball announcer’s voice blaring from a small “outside” TV half a block over. A neighbor’s air conditioner chugs along, refusing to die on the planned obsolescence schedule. Crickets chirp as they have before humans could hear them and surely will long after we’ve cooked, polluted, and technologically optimized ourselves right off the planet.

Go ahead, the world tells me, let your guard down. Sleep easy tonight. Tomorrow you will wake to the sweet coolness of a summer morning. But I never do. I can’t. The night is worse than the terror of a blank screen.

I wander the neighborhood looking deep into the darkest shadows of night, the ones between houses, under cars, and beyond the blurry edge of street lamps. I am looking for what I hope never to find: all those things that I fear must inevitably rise to stalk us in the dark. I feel thousands of eyes on me, hungry and on the hunt.

The Undead. Werewolves. Vampires. Zombies. Countless shadowy monsters of unusual appetites and size.

I take refuge in my laptop and clack away on a story I hope won’t be as haunted as my reality. But that fails too. Same as always. The night is not mine to rewrite. Every event, every word, every character I try to invent tells the story of running from something terrifying.

This summer the enemy has risen as nearly unseeable almost-ghosts of aliens shot down over New Mexico. Creatures no bigger than a grain of sand, swarming in collective malice intent on taking over planet earth….

If I say anymore, I’ll spoil my current project. I have a lot brewing in various drafts these days. My laptop is a prep kitchen for a smorgasbord of sci fi horror weirdness. One or more of those files is going to crawl out of draft form into your e-reader soon.

Meanwhile, rest easy. If you can.

Yours in undead infection affection,

Al-not-bert Aykler


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