Final Cuts by Ellen Datlow

Final Cuts

Final Cuts: New Tales of Hollywood Horror and Other Spectacles by Ellen Datlow (editor)
English | 2020 | Fantasy > Horror| ePUB | 2.9 MB

Legendary genre editor Ellen Datlow brings together eighteen dark and terrifying original stories inspired by cinema and television.

From the secret reels of a notoriously cursed cinematic masterpiece to the debauched livestreams of modern movie junkies who will do anything for clicks, Final Cuts brings together new and terrifying stories inspired by the many screens we can’t peel our eyes away from. Inspired by the rich golden age of the film and television industries as well as the new media present, this new anthology reveals what evils hide behind the scenes and between the frames of our favorite medium. With original stories from a diverse list of some of the best-known names in horror, Final Cuts will haunt you long after the credits roll.

NEW STORIES FROM: Josh Malerman, Chris Golden, Stephen Graham Jones, Garth Nix, Laird Barron, Kelley Armstrong, John Langan, Richard Kadrey, Paul Cornell, Lisa Morton, AC Wise, Dale Bailey, Jeffrey Ford, Cassandra Khaw, Nathan Ballingrud, Gemma Files, Usman T. Malik, and Brian Hodge.

“It was after midnight when we went over the top. It was chaos, Heinrich. You could hear the intermittent boom of the sixty-pounders and the chunk of the Lewis guns chopping rounds into the mud. Tracers slashed green streaks through the darkness. When a shell dropped, the sky would light up a smoky crimson, revealing the hellish doomscape around you: men screaming and dying, their bodies dancing grotesquely in the blizzard of .303s. And everywhere the stench of gas and gunpowder and the miasma of rotting corpses that had not yet been recovered—that might never be recovered.

“And then I heard the whistle of a descending shell. The night exploded around me. I squeezed shut my eyes, I took a breath—

“—and I was staring up into the flawless blue vault of a bright morning sky. I hurt—everything hurt, Heinrich—but I was whole. I’d survived. The explosion had driven me back into a deep pit in the wasteland. The stench of the place was unbearable. I haven’t the words to describe it.

“A constant, low hum filled the air. It was the buzz of flies, Heinrich. Thousands of them. Dense, whirling clouds of them, their bodies glistening black and green when they came to rest upon me. I still hear that loathsome insect drone. I will see the sheen of their eyes until the day I die. I’d fallen into a pit of corpses, and the flies had come to feed.”

The old man cannot bring himself to share the details that followed. Eleanor Farrell is already looking at him in dismay. Yet he can’t help recalling Heldt’s description of the flies gathering around his eyes, of the flies clogging his nostrils and worming their way between his lips.

The rest, though—

“I lurched up,” Heldt had told him. “Waving my arms to keep them away, I staggered toward the rim of the pit. I began to climb, clawing my way through mud and snarls of barbed wire and decomposing bodies.”

He’d been almost to the top when the hand had closed around his ankle. Slipping to his knees, Heldt found himself staring down into the countenance of a wounded Tommy. Half his face had been shot away, revealing a complex ligature of muscle and tendon, with here and there a white grin of bone. His eyeball lay exposed within its shattered orbit. Flies massed everywhere upon this broken visage. They sipped at the wells of his nostrils and devoured the raw flesh that strung his jaw. They squirmed into the crevice beneath his eyeball to glut themselves upon his brain.

“Kill me,” the Tommy whispered. Heldt reached for the blade sheathed at his belt. It was the only thing to do. It would be a mercy. And then he had a nightmare vision of his companions in the trenches—men who’d eaten and gambled and battled alongside him—Dreckfressers like himself, mud gluttons conscripted into a war they’d never chosen to fight, gunned down by British machine guns. He turned away.

DAS GESICHT by Dale Bailey
DRUNK PHYSICS by Kelley Armstrong
EXHALATION #10 by A. C. Wise
SCREAM QUEEN by Nathan Ballingrud
FAMILY by Lisa Morton
NIGHT OF THE LIVING by Paul Cornell
THE ONE WE TELL BAD CHILDREN by Laird Barron
SNUFF IN SIX SCENES by Richard Kadrey
INSANITY AMONG PENGUINS by Brian Hodge
FROM THE BALCONY OF THE IDAWOLF ARMS by Jeffrey Ford
LORDS OF THE MATINEE by Stephen Graham Jones
A BEN EVANS FILM by Josh Malerman
THE FACE IS A MASK by Christopher Golden
FOLIE À DEUX, OR THE TICKING HOURGLASS by Usman T. Malik
HUNGRY GIRLS by Cassandra Khaw
CUT FRAME by Gemma Files
MANY MOUTHS TO MAKE A MEAL by Garth Nix
ALTERED BEAST, ALTERED ME by John Langan

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