Inspired from the Iron Maiden album, Best of the Beast. Heads & Tales is a collection of 28 short stories and flash fiction in the genres of horror, comedy, science fiction, romance, thriller, just to name a few. Entertaining, thought provoking stories. includes the award winning horror story, Crossed.
This is straight story telling at it's best.
“Well, that's it. Now we wait again,” Maria announced.
Phil watched her sit at a cluttered desk to scribble yet
more failure notes. But his eyes did not linger. He scanned the
laboratory. It might be the last time he'd see it. Beds lined the
walls of the spacious room, all but hiding its sterile, white-tiled
floor. “How long until we see results this time — if any?” he
“Same as the others. Twelve hours.”
“That doesn't give us much time to administer a vaccine.”
“No. And — yes, before you say it, you're right — there's
no guarantee we'll ever find an acceptable vaccine.”
On each bed lay a test subject. Even those that had
succumbed remained, since the examination of their rotting
bodies still offered the faint hope of a cure.
But Phil knew. The virus had won this war. There was no
hope. Eight months of this. And nothing but 665. The
committee were right.
Phil turned his face away from the rotting, deformed
victims, and stared at his co-worker. It was time to tell her,
although he knew how she'd react. Maria was obstinate — so
certain she'd find a cure.
Phil walked to her desk. Each step weighed heavily on
him, like the weight they'd shouldered as a team these past few
months. He rested his hand on her shoulder.
“Maria?” he whispered.
Her eyes shimmered. “Yes?”
Phil blinked and spoke. “The committee decided if this
last trial is unsuccessful, they'll go with 665. They've already
“What? You're joking?”
“They say there's no more time to be choosey. It's 665 or
“Choosey! Don't they realise what will happen? 665 has
such awful side effects.”
“Sorry. Maybe choosey was the wrong word, and yes, they
know the peril. I agree with them. What other choice do we
“I'd rather die.”
Phil turned and looked at the bed beside him. Clear
plastic sheeting did nothing to hide its demonic deformities. IT
was the only way to describe this once-person. Its new facial
appearance removed any identification of what sex, race or age
test subject 665 once had.
“At least it's a life,” Phil assured.
“We'd be like a totally different species,” Maria said. “And
there may be other side effects.”
“We don't have time. The countdown has begun. Half the
population is infected. Six hundred and sixty-four test subjects
died, 665 was the only survivor.”
“Yes, but with diabolical consequences.”
“Nevertheless, the committee has decided.”
Maria rubbed her eyes. “But what of our future? What
about our children? They may not be born with mutations.
Who'd be the freaks then?” She ran a hand through her hair in
“I can't give you the answers you seek, Maria. No one
Maria sighed. “So we wait. And in eleven and a half hours
we'll know our fate.”
Two heads simultaneously turned towards the large, white
clock on the wall. The thick, black hands held a new
responsibility now — to count time down for 666 — the
number of the beast.
Heads & Tales is available from the publisher in paperback and affordable e-book format.
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