Nasty, Brutish, and Short
Evil Fiction by Patrick M. Tracy

Story Archive

Here are all the NBNS stories so far:

NBNS #1: The Forgotten Maxim: Here’s the first story of our series here on Nasty, Brutish, and Short. It’s a straight horror tale, in which we see our friend Eduardo having a really bad day…

NBNS #2: Shore Leave: Here’s a glimpse of how things go when a hero from the mighty days of sail wanders onto an island where eldritch horrors from the ancient world still hold sway…

NBNS #3: Anything To Get Well: Lorraine seeks a new treatment for her persistent lack of energy. After all the normal remedies fail, she finally finds a macabre cure…

NBNS #4: Need, as Associated Social Inertia: Small problems sometimes grow into pretty big ones. They sometimes become communicable, like diseases. This is one of those times…

NBNS #5: Cleanup Crew: Your basic post-apocalyptic love story, complete with zombies and everything. Props to my friend Craig, from whom I stole the line, “They still feed the dead.” Enjoy!

NBNS #6: Nameless, These Brave Ones: A pair of warriors share a moment before their final battle. This is the first Dark Fantasy for NBNS. Let me know how you like it!

NBNS #7: Barbecue at the End of the World: The world is ending. This is how one small town decides to spend the waning hours of existence.

NBNS #8: You Fall For A Girl Sometimes: Nerf Kaspersky always hoped to have a girlfriend like Verlinda. It’s just the catch that really gets him down…

NBNS #9: The Good Cognac: It’s a double size, magnum load of NBNS! Nicky Highsmith has a bit of a detour before his big gig, and it sorta ruins his life.

NBNS #10: Rough Exorcism: Another magnum load! LeeLee’s Uncle Gil’s possessed by the devil and he’s upstairs hurting her Mama. Will her family escape the shadow of the devil, or will he finally damn them all?

NBNS #11: Killing Him Back To Life: Killing angels is a rough business, and sometimes people get dead doing it. With enough blood and dark magic though, you can sometimes bring them back. It’s a love story for people who want to destroy the universe…

NBNS #12: The Roads to Megiddo, Canto One: Harkalivad and his black-shrouded blade are bound for Megiddo, where worlds end, where the battle for ultimate, dark power will take place. Along the way, he kills just about everything he comes across. As the title indicates, there will be more stories along this line of reasoning. They will stand alone, but share a common theme. It is possible that we’ll see Harkalivad again some day…

NBNS #13: What if serial killers had an online newsletter? Let’s look into their world for a moment, reading the editorial by Irv “The Trapdoor Spider” Metcalf. (Part of an ongoing series–I’ll probably be posting one of these every month for a while. I hope you like them!)

NBNS #14: Shadow Play: Steve and Marty are having problems. Something comes out of the night and makes all those problems go away…forever.

NBNS #15: Letting Go: A desperate man, a broken woman, and the bomb that brings them together.

NBNS #16: Another in our series of articles from Bloodcraft, the online newsletter for serial killers and mass murderers. This time, we get to hear all about Mr. Rayomond Starkweather and his love of ligature strangulation. (Have I gone to far this time?)

NBNS #17: The Roads to Megiddo, Canto Two: Amanda just wants to read from her book. The fact that reading from it will bring down the ancient darkness and kill everyone…that’s a complication she’s willing to accept.

NBNS #18: Little Mementos: Alex likes to keep little things around to remind him of the good times. It’s probably a weakness, but he’s a sentimental sort of guy…

NBNS #19: Yet another article from our famous underground newsletter for mass murderers and serial killers. Here we see old Irv, our editor, waxing nostalgic over a woman named Emmy March, who cut a swath across 1920s New Orleans with her machete.

NBNS #20: Predators in the Dark: For our twentieth episode, we offer you a one-time, special edition of NBNS. We take a look at the events of one Friday night in a five part series of flash fiction stories, told from multiple points of view. Read on and discover how the lives of Dave, Sandy, Randy, and Wendy all converge in blood and death.

NBNS #21: The last (for now) in our little series of Bloodcraft pieces, this one is culled from the “letters” page of our fictitious online newsletter for serial killers. The responses are to the previous episode, in which our editor, Irv, cannonized the machete work of Emmy March. Hope you like it!

NBNS #22: The Roads to Megiddo, Canto Three: Harkalivad draws ever closer to Megiddo, using the misery and sadness of a familiar conflict to gain entrance to a world near the hub of the universal wheel.

NBNS #23: At the Lake House: Ellison’s done a great many unspeakable things in his life, but sitting with Sally-Anne, knowing he’ll have to torture her until she breaks, he wonders if any rationale on his part can commute these sins.

NBNS #24: She Likes It: Walt and Marnie have a hobby. They like to go and see places where murders have taken place. It gets Marnie all revved up. When faced with the prospect of quitting they have their last adventure in an old workshed, haunted by the blood of all those who were killed there. (Not for the prudish!)

NBNS #25: Painter and Canvas: Donald doesn’t believe in suffering for his art. No, he likes other people to do that for him. His human canvases suffer the torments of the damned before the end, his workshop bearing witness to horrors few can dream of. This story was originally written for the gross-out contest at World Horror 2008. Not gross enough for that, but you still may not want to read it right after dinner, or if you’ve got a frail constitution.

NBNS #26: Any Murder You Can Walk Away From: Here’s an excerpt from our master class on how to get away with bloody murder…literally. Our host, who prefers to remain nameless, has agreed to allow me to publish his thoughts on the subject. I hope you enjoy them, and that your usage of this wisdom is only in the realms of the theoretical.

NBNS #27: Roads to Megiddo, Canto Four: Our old pal Harkalivad, whose ambition is to destroy the universe, is back again for another installment of “roads”. Here, he’s nearing his goal, and encounters an unforeseen obstacle.

NBNS #28: Roads to Megiddo, Canto Five Amelia’s Song: Here we find another traveler upon the grim roads to the world’s ending.  Amelia, our subject this time, has called forth a demon to point the way for her, for she’s destined to be one of the Conquerors of Armageddon.

NBNS #29: To Avenge, Not Lament: Billy Finkle’s a mean little trouser stain, and he’s always done his level best to destroy his toys.  One day, when he decides to mangle Stretchy Guy, he goes too far, and the toys strike back.

NBNS #30: What Hell Divides: Darlene and Martin have struck it rich with a lottery ticket and are traveling the world.  When they ask a grizzled old guide to show them “the real jungle”, they find a bit more than they were bargaining for.

NBNS #31: The Last Breakfast: The talented, yet suitably evil Kelly Swails contributes her story about succumbing to the urge, the biological imperative, and perhaps the joy of feasting on human flesh.  Of special note is her use of the second person, which is rarely done and generally feared like carpal tunnel syndrome amongst writer types.

NBNS #32: Roads to Megiddo, Canto Six: From out of the carnage of his latest battle, Harkalivad rises, victorious but stricken with a moment of remorse for all the things he’s done and seen upon the long road to the end of the universe. Undaunted, he arrives at the hidden gates at last…

NBNS #33: Roads to Megiddo, Canto Seven: A boy with remarkable gifts is propelled into the events surrounding the end of the universe. Yet another figure draws near Megiddo, to walk the same shadowed path as our once-lone antihero, Harkalivad.

NBNS #34: Death Coaching For Serial Killers: An Infomercial: Yep, it had to happen, and now it has. An infomercial specifically for the budding serial killer. Because I’m a sick person, and think of these things…

NBNS #35: In Extremis: A short little thought about the nature of life…and death.

NBNS #36: A Tyrant’s Whim: A little dark fantasy microfiction.

NBNS #37: Stepdown: A while back, my friend Emily gave me a writing assignment. Here’s the homework, turned in.

NBNS #38: Before the Moment of Death: When the black rain falls, they come out, and death comes with them. A little microfiction piece for a Saturday afternoon.

NBNS #39: On the Mountainside: I sometimes challenge myself to write a story with a single word prompt. This was was prompted by the word “popcorn”. I’m pretty pleased with the results.

NBNS #40: Leavetaking: A little something different for this Monday. No real horror or speculative element here, just a moment of sadness as a character bids farewell to one phase of her life. Founded on overhearing “school year” from a conversation and challenging myself to write a fiction about it.

NBNS #41: Witness to the Mighty One’s Arrival: Inspired by overhearing my coworker’s always saying “hello” at the beginning of phone conversations. This one’ s a nasty little slice of horror featuring a fallen-in structure and a dog catcher. Enjoy!

NBNS #42: Salted Away: A man who has been wrenched out of his own time frame and launched almost a hundred years into the future contemplates his life, and the strange artifact that changed it forever. More of a sci-fi story this time out.

NBNS #43: Worse than a Headache: I had this featured, in a slightly more compact format, at a place called 99words. Here’s the “director’s cut”, at a weighty 140 words. Charlene knew she hated blind dates, even before she went out with a psycho.

NBNS #44: Packaging Day: Sometimes, I’ll ask a person nearby to say a word, then I’ll base a story around it. This has been one of those times. Your basic sawing the demon apart fare here. Enjoy. The word, by the way: Apple Sauce.

NBNS #45: Eye in the Heavens: Two automated mining vessels in deep space have something of a religious epiphany.

NBNS #46: The First to Fall in ’82: Something of a vignette that I began writing from a prompt in a “show, don’t tell” class.

NBNS #47: Bronar Lives: Sometimes, you just write a name down on a piece of paper, and it begins to catch on with some of your friends. Such a thing occurred with Bronar. He took on a life of his own, such that I felt compelled to write a story about him, even if only a handful of people in the whole world would ever know why.

NBNS #48: Bronar: Sole Survivor: Bronar talks about the past with Tahni, and she makes a surprising offer.

NBNS #49: Bronar III: A Bloodied Spear: After several weeks of travel, winter fast approaches, and Tahni follows Bronar toward a windy mountain pass. But the roads they walk are often unkind, and Tahni has many hard lessons to learn.

NBNS #50: Bronar IV: Deeds Bereft of Glory: Yep, we’ve reached the big 5-0. Here, we find our friend Bronar in a city filled with suffering and inequity. Fun times.

NBNS #51: Bronar V: With Cruelty Paid: Bronar and Tahni suffer the unfortunate experience of meeting an elf. Also, it looks like contract killing is in their future. Which is nice.

NBNS #52: Bronar VI: Purchased Vengeance: If you really want something, you often have to kill for it.

NBNS #53: Bronar VII: Through Fire: A moment of calm, shattered by a sudden betrayal. Towering flames scorch Evaldr as our two mercenaries try to survive an attempt upon their lives.

NBNS#54: Bronar VIII: Melee Among the Ashes: In the smoldering wreckage of Evaldr, Tahni and Bronar face another deadly struggle, as the Elf’s minions still attempt to send them to the land of graves. Is all hope lost for our mismatched pair of mercenaries?

NBNS #55: Bronar IX: Cold Trails in Darkness: Healed of their wounds, Bronar and Tahni attempt to catch up with The Elf, who’d fled the wreckage of Evaldr with his inner circle. Will they be able to find the trail and get their vengeance upon him?

NBNS #56: Bronar X: By Vengeance, Taken: Bronar and Tahni catch up with the Elf, whose actions brought about the burning of Evaldr and almost killed both of them. As you might imagine, violence and bloodshed ensue.

NBNS #57: Bronar XI: All These Darkened Roads: In the aftermath of their vengeance and bitter realization, Tahni and Bronar find themselves struggling for hope, and facing a sudden, dire threat. In this, the conclusion of their first plot arc, they must find the strength to brave yet another long and difficult road…

NBNS #58: Bronar Returns: Into Winter, Into War: Bronar and Tahni have reached the Voravan Empire, looking to find a way to remove the doom an evil wizard has placed upon Bronar’s soul. But they’ve unwittingly blundered into a war against ancient beings that hate all human life…

NBNS #59: Bronar Returns: The Flesh of Kings: When Tahni calls someone “My King”, her meaning isn’t quite the same as other ladies. Being a Death Witch, and all…

NBNS #60: Bronar Returns: Born of Chaos and Eternal Night: Tahni and Bronar go to battle against the ancient enemy, an uncanny threat that none but the mightiest heroes can hope to defeat.

NBNS #61: Bronar Returns: Feasts and Lamentation: The fight against the Ancient Enemy leaves Tahni injured in both body and spirit. Many believe that her heroism won the war, but she isn’t so sure…

NBNS #62: Bronar Returns: Most Solemn and Consigned to Outer Dark: The Night Wolf comes to Tahni in a dream, telling her the great secret of what the Ancient Enemy really is. And it’s terrifying, far worse than anyone thought.

NBNS #63: Bronar Returns: Frozen Fields, and the Rictus Grin of the Dead: The Ancient Enemy attacks, the entire host of dethroned gods converging upon Conqueror’s Hall. If they are not stopped here, all is lost.

NBNS #64: Bronar Returns: Writ Large upon the Flesh: Tahni and Bronar lay in deathlike torpor after facing the horrors of the Ancient Enemy. And ghostly remainders from the universe’s beginning are not the only threat for them, for the Old Wizard’s vendetta against Bronar continues…

NBNS #65: Bronar Returns: Accolades and Titles: Following the battle wherein Tahni defeated the forces of the Ancient Enemy, the chieftains and elders vote to make her Conqueror Queen of the Varovan Empire.

NBNS #66: Bronar Returns: Gone Where We Cannot Follow: Through the long winter and into spring, Tahni sits the Conqueror’s Throne with Bronar at her side. She has vowed to pull the Varovan Empire back from the desolation and heal the wounds left by the Ancient Enemy. But the vengeful wizard Arvodeth still nurses his grudge, and sends his assassins…

NBNS #67: Bronar Returns: Symbolic Surrender and the Building of Armies: As Bronar heals from the Old Wizard’s poison, Tahni presides over the training of her Maiden’s Army. But loneliness grips her, and she must make a decision she fears…

NBNS #68: Bronar Returns: Spear of the Nemesis: Arvodeth, the Old Wizard, at last makes his thoughts known to Bronar and the crew; Tahni and Vandrid try to understand how their love grew in times of strife.

NBNS #69: Bronar Returns: Far More Than Two: Winter comes to Conqueror’s Hall, and the time has come for Tahni and Bronar to move on, back on the trail of the Old Wizard. But they are no longer alone, and stepping down from a savage throne is not done without some complications.

NBNS #70: Bronar Returns: Where the Old Kings Went to Die: The caravan of adventurers nears the Forgeheart Mountains, where the imperial catacombs lie. What strange enemies will beset them as they try to grasp the powers and secrets of old?

NBNS #71: Bronar Returns: The Riches of the Underworld Below: The caravan finally enters the holy mountain shrine where the Voravan Emperors took their final rest. But the ghostly attack from the Emperors themselves was far from the last threat that the under-realm would offer them…

NBNS #72: Bronar Returns: Through Blood and Into Fire: The serpents of the deep earth attack the caravan. From that blood-drenched battle, Tahni staggers, her spirit broken from so much death, so much carnage. With the most difficult part of their journey still remaining, how will she carry on?

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