Jason Fischer has a story appearing in Jack Dann’s new anthology Dreaming Again.

Ken Brady’s latest story, “Walkers of the Deep Blue Sea and Sky” appears in the Exquisite Corpuscle anthology, edited by Jay Lake and Frank Wu.

Trent Walters, poetry editor at A&A, has a chapbook, Learning the Ropes, from Morpo Press.

Edd Vick’s latest story, “The Corsair and the Lady” may be found in Talebones #37.

Archive for the ‘From the Book of Monsters’ Category

The Black Bees

Monday, August 23rd, 2010



Page 274

Excerpt from the journals of  demon hunter and exorcist Reginald Mallion


Paranormalist Edwin Sullinger earned his fortune in the 1930’s and early 1940’s working as a medium for wealthy socialites in Connecticut. His wife Mary Elizabeth was a horticulturist and artist. She kept several beehives in her greenhouses. The Sullinger residence was filled with her watercolor studies of rare orchards and smelled sweet from the honey used in her baking.

In the mid 1940’s Mr. Sullinger’s work turned towards the removal of unwanted spirits. In 1949 I visited the Sullinger residence seeking Mr. Sullinger’s aid with a troubling exorcism.  Mrs. Sullinger informed me that Edwin was away on a field operation for the Department of Applied Light Sciences. (FN-1) I was given a tour of the greenhouses and that was the first time I saw a black bee. The creature was the size of a regular honeybee but from looking at its black chitin and the faint red haze of sulfuric-brimstone surrounding it, it was clear this was not an insect but a denison from an infernal realm.

I never met with Mr. Sullinger. My client succumbed to the possession. The Sullinger residence and greenhouses perished in a suspicious fire prompting the Sullingers to relocate to an orchard farm in upstate New York. (FN-2)

Mr. Sullinger contacted me, in 1952, asking for my aid. I arrived at the Sullinger farm to find the apple trees in a state of rot. Swarms of black bees like the one I had seen in Connecticut plagued the property. I theorized, at the time, that one of Mrs. Sullinger’s bees had somehow crossed over into the infernal realms. Some door left open from Mr. Sullinger’s frequent banishings, I could not say. I did know that bees are known for their astute direction systems which they communicate to the hive in complex “dances”.  Perhaps these black bees followed the lost honeybee back.

The situation was beyond me and I entreated Mr. Sullinger to contact the Department of Applied Light and Sciences. My experience with the Department is not one I’d like to repeat and is chronicled elsewhere.  The Sullinger farm was cleansed but I am not legally allowed to speak of how or of what I saw.

It is believed that a few black bees and other entities present from Mr. Sullinger’s “open doors” fled the fires and are responsible for several other entries in this book.

After the incident, Mary Elizabeth moved to Paris to raise bees and went by her maiden name, Giancarlo. Mr. Sullinger disappeared and his whereabouts were unknown, however several government documents confirm field operations involving one operative Sullinger until the mid 1960’s.



Footnote One ( The D.A.L.S was a short-lived government bureau that received funding from Congress to explore practical applications of lasers and solar power. In fact it handled the U.S. government’s paranormal research and demon hunting until it was absorbed into other programs.)

Footnote Two ( Although I was questioned in connection with the fire, which was ruled suspicious, no charges were ever filed against me.)

From the Book of Monsters

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Page 2169

The Indonesian Orange Smoke Tang

(also known as Bali Hai Flying Clove Fish)

The Indonesian Smoke Tang is not a fish at all, though in its adult form it manifests in a smoky fish like shape akin to the ones found on the packaging of Bali Hai clove cigarettes a fine Turkish tobacco made by Djarum an Indonesian company.

Smoke Tangs, particularly the orange variety, have been regularly and reliably sighted in Southeast Asia since the mid 1800’s. Reported sightings did not begin in the United States until the 1950’s with the popularity of clove cigarettes among the beatnik culture who called the Orange Smoke Tangs, Flying Clove Fish, because of the way the creatures glided through the air like a flying fish before disappearing back into the aether.

With the recent popularity of the Bali Hai brand, particularly in Cancun, a new generation has come to call these creatures the Bali Hai Flying Clove Fish. Whether this has anything to do with the brightly colored fish on the package is a matter of speculation.


Update 2009

In late 2009, President of the United States Barak Obama signed a tobacco bill into law that effectively banned clove cigarettes in the United States.

While the rationale for the bill was public health and safety, mainly curbing the marketing of cigarettes, such as popular clove cigarette brands like Bali Hai to teens, the real reason likely has more to do with the new found dangers of the Indonesian Smoke Tang. While its adult form is a benign, pleasant ethereal creature that glides through the air in a graceful lifespan shorter than any butterfly, its larval form has been found to be very dangerous.

The mite size larva live in the cloved tobacco and enter the human body through the mouth of the smoker. Filters are not a deterrent to the creatures. Once in the body the larva cause the smoker to crave and often ingest large amounts of alcohol. In several reported instances the alcohol was various blends of sake and sweet tea alcohol. Whether this is statistically significant is yet unclear. Also the smokers crave more clove cigarettes and inject more larva, thus creating a vicious circle. How the Smoke Fish reproduce is yet unclear, as is the effectiveness of the Obama administration’s smoke ban.

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