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“No shit, bludgeoned with a bottle of Laphroaig? Damn shame to waste good scotch like that; I hope they at least drank some first. Okay, let’s get this started, someone get the M.E. over here. I want what’s left of this guys skull bagged and tagged asap.” He says with the attitude of an alley cat who knows he can take on all the other Tom’s sniffing around. Nope, nothing out of the ordinary here, folks. Or is there? Oh, I do so love being right! There is much lurking behind the calm exterior of this well trained mind; and we’ve been given a back-stage pass to the Terror Enforcer and his motivation to write… cuddly bunny tales? Hell no, horror!

The Man Behind the Bloody Keyboard
Zack Kullis

Zack_Kullis_FBAn author’s life and personal experiences undoubtedly play a role in what they write. This is definitely the case with me. I’ve lived in a number of different countries, and experienced both the good and bad of many cultures. My feet have been down some pretty dark roads full of pain and anguish. Because of this, I appreciate the good times and have a healthy perspective on life. But when I dive into a story, or an idea begins to dig its way out of my slightly troubled grey matter, you can be sure it’s horror-filled essence was born from a dark and surreal experience.

Some of the dark and surreal experiences stem from my daily grind. I work for the FBI and I’ve seen and been involved with some pretty hairy stuff. When I say hairy, I’m not trying to blow smoke up anybody’s wazoo. It’s just the way it is.

Want to know what corpse wax (adipocere) looks like? I can tell you. A billiard ball in a sock makes a very distinct wound pattern on a person’s head, and I’ve dealt with the leftovers. Upper thyroid horn fracture consistent with asphyxiation from manual or mechanical strangulation? Yeah, I’ve seen it. Murder. Check. Real life blood and gore, death and violence? Check and check.

What does that have to do with me or my writing for that matter? Quite a bit. There’s only so much of that shit a person can take without losing a part of themselves. I have seen just about the worst that people can do to each other. Consequently there are sights, smells and sounds that I will never get out of my head. While this leaves its mark on me, it also gives me a bloody cornucopia of sensory experiences to draw from when I write about something horrible.

I’ve been asked how I can write about horror when I see so much of it at work, and the answer is both complicated and simple. Horror has always been my go-to pleasure, my literature ‘du jour’. I write what I enjoy writing. My muse doesn’t give me fluffy lambs unless they are going to slaughter. It’s just the way it is. There is a second reason I write horror – it allows me to vent and decompress. If I didn’t have a way to expel all of the gnarly wickedness I absorb, I would lose my mind.

So there you have it. If you happen to meet me, let’s talk and hang out. I’m an easy-going guy that just happens to be pretty damned disturbed. I might be one of the nicest guys you’ve ever met, unless of course you piss me off. Then all bets are off.

Zack_hookahAbout Zack: I am an author of dark literature – horror, paranormal, fantasy and suspense. While my writing is always my own, I don’t always feel like I’m the puppet master of the sinister products of my mind. I work for the FBI, and am on the SWAT team for our division. Check out http://www.zackkullis.com/ for stories and writing, or you can go to my blog http://zkullis.wordpress.com/ – Flashbangs and Fiction.


Read Zack’s Latest Post on Pen of the Damned

Mergers & Acquisitions
Zack Kullis

“Demosthenes, bring my drink.”

His voice was a command. His words an edict. This was how he ruled his business, and business was pretty damned good. Beleth relaxed in his large chair and held out his hand expectantly. The drink had better be in his hand before he grew tired of waiting or there would be hell to pay.

The telltale sound of his servant approaching was music to his ears. Demosthenes was exceptional and would have been hard to replace. Wiry fingers carefully placed the cup in Beleth’s hand. He took a sip of the scalding liquid. It was perfect.

Demosthenes waited for his master to savor the drink before he spoke. “Sire, your next appointment is in 30 minutes.”

Beleth relished the time he had to relax, but understood that some mergers and acquisitions required his presence. Not everybody was okay with dealing with his underlings. Some were pompous enough to demand a visit with the big dog himself. What those idiots didn’t understand was the extra cost incurred when dealing with the person at the top.

Demosthenes was nearly out of the office when he stopped abruptly. He turned apprehensively and spoke in a tone riddled with fear. “Master, your appointment has arrived early and requests your presence.”

Beleth almost spilled the rest of his drink with sudden fury. “What? Early!”

He stood quickly, his tall form moving with a predator’s agility. This new acquisition was not going to go well for somebody. Beleth strode over to Demosthenes and handed him the drink.

“I will finish this later,” Beleth growled. He started to walk towards the door when he stopped and turned. A sinister smile curled the sides of his lips. “Domesthenes, I will call for my drink in a few minutes. I will have need of you in the appointment.”

Domesthenes bowed excitedly – he knew what this meant.

A long, dark corridor lead from Beleth’s office to the place where the meetings were held. There was no light between here and there. Only darkness. It made it possible for Beleth to approach his next acquisition unnoticed and see what the man was going to try to use as leverage in the negotiation.

Beleth stood at the end of the meeting place, concealed in the thick shadows, and watched the man who was waiting. This one was perhaps forty-five. He kept himself in good shape, was obviously wealthy, and appeared to be extremely confident in himself. Beleth looked around to see what the man had brought for the negotiation and soon found what he was looking for. There were papers, offerings both symbolic and literal, but the man seemed most dependent upon what he had in his hand. This was going to be easy.

Beleth stepped out into the dim light and stood motionless in front of the surprised man. An oddly cold wind played around the above ground graves and ‘oven’ vaults, moaning as it whipped at Beleth’s pants and buffeted his silk suit jacket. The man stumbled backwards a few steps as the Louisiana night strangled the air. Beleth looked into the mind of his newest acquisition. His name was Steven.

“Steven. You look shocked. Is my appearance not what you were expecting?”

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