Wednesday, August 14, 2019


I met my roommates the way most people do – online. They had introduced themselves as Gabriel and Beelzebub, which I had taken as a joke. It was funny, especially since their address was 7666 Other Way, but when I actually drove up to the house, I began to think they took the joke a little too far. I mean, they were friendly enough, but half of the lawn was scorched and the other half just overgrown.
Gabriel was a slob. As someone who had been raised in the faith, recently backslidden, it was jarring to meet someone who claimed to be an archangel subsist entirely off of Doritos and Little Caesar’s Pizza. Old candy wrappers seemed to leave a trail from anywhere he had been, but his face was always bright and he was always jovial.
Beelzebub was his opposite. He was a total neat freak – bordering on obsessive – and a strict vegan. He always wore bright colors but they never seemed… right on him. Looking at his face for too long always made some primal sense lingering at the fringes of my mind tense and he seemed to have too many teeth.
Over all things were fine. Beel, as I had started to call him, told me to never venture into the basement. That was his space, and he’d made some kind of a joke about his friends sacrificing me to the devil if I ever went down there. Thinking about it now, with all that I know, he probably hadn’t been joking. I guess it’s a good thing that I value people’s privacy.
Gabriel worked at the nearest Little Caesar’s down the road, no surprise there. He was always bringing food back and permanently smelled like buffalo wings. There were worse things you could smell like, and I always had free food so it was a win for me.
Beel worked at a gym teaching yoga and CrossFit classes and volunteered at the local no kill animal shelter on the weekends. I take some of his classes, and let me tell you, they’re torture. There’s a reason the job appeals to so many demons.
As for me, I work IT for a large tech company. It’s good work, if dull, but man did it pay well. I was making more in first few months there than I had years at my previous job. Still, it was a tech company, so I wasn’t needed all that much. I found myself surfing the web for vegan pepperoni recipes – Gabriel insisted that when he returned to Heaven it would have to be vegan pizza only, but I suspected he just wanted to get Beelzebub in on the fun.
So one day I worked a full shift and my coworker Clara calls in sick. There’s been a nasty bug going around and she has kids in school and one of them got it and you know how that goes. Long story short I picked up her shift and stayed late. That was a mistake I would never make again.
My first indication that something was wrong came after I had missed three calls from Gabriel. He was an extrovert to the extreme, but when I missed a call from Beel? That worried me. Naturally I called him back right away.
“You need to come home right now,” Beelzebub had said. “What are you up to? You’re never out this late.”
“I had to cover a shift. Relax, I’ll be home in another three hours.”
“Three hours?” Beelzebub groaned. “The city won’t survive another three hours. I know you don’t see it because you mortals are so funny about this kind of thing, but I need you to really open that third eye that’s been closed for the past five centuries. An archangel and a demon can’t live together without someone to bring balance. Get home.”
“You’re taking the joke too far,” I’d replied. “You’re pissing me off. I’m at work.”
“Just talk to your manager. She’ll understand. I swear.”
I ended the call as dramatically as my smartphone would allow and went back to work. Not even five minutes had passed before the first earthquake hit. Someone turned the news on and it was… Well, unbelievable doesn’t begin to describe what it was. Wildflowers, trees, bushes, and springs sprang up out of nowhere, growing in cars and on the sidewalk, in houses, all to the left of the house on 7666 Other Way. To the left of the house fire broke out, burning the roads. It was a literal miracle that no one was injured.
Within minutes of the first earthquake half of the city was overgrown, the other half destroyed. My manager sprinted to my desk. “What did you say your address was?” she asked.
I blinked. The woman standing before me no longer looked… Human. Two purple horns grew from her perfectly coiffed hair, her tongue was too long to stay in her mouth, and she was at least two feet taller than I’d remembered.
She smiled, a wicked, cruel grin flashing a terrifying number of teeth. “Oh good,” she said with a bit of a hiss. “That third eye is opening. Go home. If I’d realized you were their roommate I wouldn’t have had you work a double,” she said.
I was speechless, but I was not about to fight with my boss, who was quiet possibly a fiend from hell. I was fairly certain she winked at me as I left, but her eyes were so snakelike I couldn’t have been sure. I couldn’t drive with the roads the way they were, so I ran home. I ran, and I’ve never run that fast before or since.
Inside was quiet chaos. Beelzebub was much taller and larger than I remembered, his eyes were bright red and snake like, and he was literally hissing in rage. Gabriel was glowing, and I mean really glowing, and he held a sword that was on fire and raised at Beel. I could see them, for the first time since we met I could see them in all of their supernatural terror and glory.
Beelzebub turned to me, fire springing from his hands. “Would you please tell this idiot that vegan pepperoni is disgusting and to get it out of my face?!” he screamed.
“Did, did you destroy half the city over pepperoni?” I stammered.
Beelzebub shrank down to a more appropriate size, his skin and eyes and tongue returning to normal. With an awkward laugh he scratched his head. “Sorry, we’ll fix that,” he said.
Gabriel calmed as well, sheathing his sword and letting his light fade. “Old grudges,” he said. “We’ll put it all back together.”
And that was that. Gabriel kept working on a recipe for vegan pepperoni. It’s terrible, but according to him he has another seventy years of his shift on earth to perfect it. Beelzebub adopted a couple of dogs to help bring balance to the place should I ever work late again (corgi mutts, if you can believe it. Apparently, demons love corgis). And me, well I take care of the lawn. I go to work, and I’ve even started dating my manager. I know, I know, it’s a bad idea to date your boss, but at least she swore she’d never sacrifice me to Satan.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Arsonist

Sophia sat at the bus stop, eyes glazed over. Her bus would be there soon. She could board, go to work, live her life, but what was the point? She felt empty, hollowed out from sadness. She knew there was only one thing that would make her feel better when she got this way, but she was conflicted about it.
It was becoming obvious that she’d made promises that she couldn’t keep. To her credit she had really tried, and if…
Sophia shook her head, hoping the thoughts would be flung from her mind. It didn’t matter. It had happened and she couldn’t keep her promises. One of them would be broken today.
She’d gotten here early, her water bottle filled with gasoline. She’d poked a hole in the bottom of it and just let it leak, a thin, unnoticeable line. Sophia crossed the street, trailing the liquid in a line at the crosswalk, then she returned to the other side, following the box of walkways before returning to her seat at the stop. Her bus came and went, driving through the gasoline.
Lucky bastards. They could just get on with things. Sophia sighed, taking in a deep breath. She didn’t have to do this, there was always the other option. This had always brought her joy in the past and honestly, she wanted to know if it still would. Was she numb, dead inside? No. If she were already dead she wouldn’t have this searing hot pain in her soul.
No one was paying attention to her, and that was fine. Sophia lit a match and dropped it on the ground. Flame instantly sparked, catching on the gasoline. The stoplight was red which meant there were cars and busses stopped. Cars never stopped where they were supposed to – each one was in the pedestrian’s walkway.
The fire lit beneath each of the vehicles in seconds, bringing a slight smile to Sophia’s face. She stood and slowly walked away as the fires raged behind her. She could watch the rest of it from further back. The fire continued before any passersby noticed. The cars at the opposite intersection had started to catch, the box of crosswalk now a box of fire.
The screaming started about the same time that one of the vehicles blew up. It had been so long since Sophia had heard terror like that, and she had to admit, some of that twisted joy was coming back.
God it was beautiful. Tires were melting, screams filled the atmosphere, and the smoke was thicker than she’d seen in recent years. It was doubtful that anyone would die from the flames. Safety was a big concern nowadays, and the car companies didn’t want to be held liable for death in the event someone was trapped in a burning car. The smoke was drifting up in the sky, so very few would die from inhalation or ash, but there was chaos.
This is why Sophia burned things. She wasn’t the villain–no. The only thing Sophia was guilty of was property damage. That’s the way it works though, isn’t it? You set a fire and then all of the good little people kill each other in a stampede to escape. She couldn’t help but laugh. Oh, this was great. She could feel that tear in her soul mending already!
Sirens welled in the distance, getting closer. It was time for her to go, but she didn’t want to leave. That’s the problem with Sophia’s vice–the powers at be know she wants to stay and watch it. Everyone here would be a suspect. She calmly walked away, blending in with the crowd.
Sophia was downright giddy. She’d had a plan to announce her return, and it would be her biggest yet. There was a car parked along a side street. She smashed the window and hot-wired it, a trick she’d learned long ago. She drove like mad, no one stopping her. Everyone would be on alert because of the fires, but no one expected her to be on the move.
She followed the route she had planned and pulled over. Sophia poured gasoline into the car, letting it slosh onto the street. With a smile she tossed another match and ran. The car exploded, but by then she was at a safe distance. Sophia ran like hell as people walked out of their building to see what happened.
Okay, so they were going to die, but they probably deserved it. Sophia had met very few people who lived to adulthood and still deserved to live. In fact, she had met only one, but she wasn’t thinking about that right now.
The flame spread wildly and there was a much larger explosion once the fire caught the gas line. What idiot decided to put that under the road?
There was one more fire that needed to be set. Sophia looked around, trying to see what she could find quickly. Some hippie had ridden his bicycle to work and parked it in a parking space. It was cute, really, but mostly it was fast. Sophia hopped on the bicycle and rode toward her destination. It wasn’t far, and she only had the one bottle left anyway.
She stopped short at the shopping center. Her fires were already on the news. Sophia smiled ear to ear as she poured out the last of the gasoline. This one wouldn’t be a big fire, but the wind was blowing just right to make the statement she needed. For the last time today, Sophia dropped a match and let the fire burn.
By the time she got home her handiwork was featured on every news outlet. She was even trending on Twitter! #theArsonistReturns. People were speculating about it. Was it a copycat? Is the Arsonist back? Why did they return after all these years?
Oh yeah, she was back, and more alive than she’d ever been.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019



Artwork by Tara Cumella

I bet you’re wondering how I got here. Well it all started when I pissed off a wizard. Don’t do that kids; that’s how you wind up cursed as a spider and locked into your own pocket universe at the bottom of the ocean.
Yeah, it wasn’t my best idea. I was human once. A man, a handsome one. Beauty and vanity go hand in hand, and few hundred years ago my ego got a little out of control. I made a few bad decisions and slept with the wrong man’s wife. Wizards aren’t exactly known for being forgiving individuals, or lenient, but I really thought I could get away with it. And I did, up until she gave birth and the kid came out looking a hell of a lot like me and nothing like him.
God, I hope the kid’s okay. Well, grandkid by now.
Anyway, so the wizard found out his wife had been fooling around, with me no less. I don’t what he did to her, or if he did anything to her at all, but he turned me into a spider and shoved me into the ocean and I just… Sank. Yeah, okay, that isn’t entirely true, I fought like hell, but this body was new to me and I hadn’t actually believed in magic so I was caught completely off guard.
I eventually hit the ocean floor. I don’t know why he didn’t just crush me and let me die, but this is where I am. Where I’ve been for hundreds of years. Wherever I go this pocket of dry land follows. I can’t break it, though I’ve tried. There aren’t any other living things in my bubble, just me. I can’t communicate with the fish at all, and they don’t seem to like me very much. The best reaction I get is for them to ignore me completely.
I’m very bored. There’s nothing to do. Literally, it’s just me, walking in the same bubble, for hundreds of years. I can’t leave, I can’t escape, I can’t even die. When I was a kid, I would often use hyperbole. “Oh mom!” I’d say, “I’m dying of boredom!” Yeah, well, now spider me knows how ridiculous that was. I would give anything to die of boredom now.
I remember hearing once that wizards live a very long time, like multiple lifetimes. I’ve also heard that a wizard’s magic only lasts as long as he’s alive and now I’m scared.
You see, dying of boredom is one thing. I’d like that, that would be okay with me. I’d even be grateful if one day the wizard would just kick it and let my bubble pop. I’d be crushed by the weight of the ocean, sure, but at least then it would be an instant death. Really anything as long as this torture ends would be fine by me.
No, the problem is that my little bubble kept getting just a little smaller every day. I didn’t mind at first because I figured that was because the wizard was dying. He starts to go, and his spells start to end, you know, that kind of thing. So my bubble got smaller and smaller and smaller until my legs were frozen in place. It was terrifying, but I welcomed it.
But then something weird happened. I fell asleep and overnight my bubble grew! Overnight it had grown up to twice it’s original size. I don’t know how, but I get the sense that somehow the bastard just cheat death. It’s like he just doubled his already insanely long life span, and his magic down here doubled with it.
I bet he doesn’t even remember that I’m down here.
I don’t want to be here anymore. I don’t know how much longer I can keep it together. Really, I really don’t want to spend another couple of centuries down here and – oh God. If he did it once he could probably do it again.
Am I going to be stuck here? For eternity? Please, somebody help me.
With nothing else to do I continue meandering the ocean floor, hoping some day some creature will burst this bubble, or that the wizard that trapped me here dies.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

What to do with an Uninvited Guest - Flash Fiction

What to do with an Uninvited Guest by Christina Chapman

Artwork by Tara Cumella

“This idiot’s going to get himself killed,” she thought to herself. “But they don’t want to hear it from me.” Talia rolled her eyes and let a soft pink flower float up into her mouth. These intruders had no understanding of the gravity and foliage of this place, no understanding of her or life here. Sure, flying around in zero G was fun, even Talia occasionally indulged, but crashing to the ground from that height would be objectively painful.
Oh well. She had shit to get done. Fuck them, she hadn’t invited them to her domain. Talia
turned her back to the intruders – their mess of equipment disgusted her. Talia took each step with
caution, sensing the changing air. She planted roots with her feet, sowing her own flowers with each
The idiot had bounced his way up a cliff and leapt off of it so he could soar in the air. Gravity
returned and he fell hard. He would have been better off if he’d gone up the mountain, because at least then he would have died instantly.
Talia felt the impact of his fall through the roots she had planted there last week. His spine gave way with a satisfying snap which would have paralyzed him, but was survivable. At least, it would have been survivable if he hadn’t landed on a piece of equipment that punctured his suit and drew blood.
          The unpicked flowers budded with anticipation, the blood calling to them. They grew, young at
first, springing up along the roots Talia had laid down. It would be too late by the time the intruders
noticed them. It was always this way – first the flowers were ignored, then remarked upon as pretty,
then interesting, and then the screaming would begin and wouldn’t end until all of the intruders had
Talia made her way home and rolled a stone over the entryway to help muffle the sound. She
only had a few seconds before the screaming started in earnest and she needed to bake bread for
tonight’s dinner.
She plucked two soft mushrooms from her arm and stuffed them into her ears to help mask the noise. The second intruder was screaming now and Talia was more than a little annoyed by his
disruption of her quiet home. Talia went about her business, crushing flowers and mixing them together before pouring them into her bread pan.
She sensed the coming change and laid out toots so she wouldn’t float away, anchoring herself
to the ground. The screaming stopped and her old roots returned to her, almost slithering their way
across her home until they settled, birthing bright red flowers on her kitchen floor.
“My warnings might be more effective if I let them see or hear me,” she thought to herself. “Oh well. I didn’t invite them anyway.”

Monday, April 29, 2019

Uphill Battle
Flash Fiction by
Christina Chapman
1,000 Words

Shauna stood at the bottom of the hill, watching as the executioner swung his machete. A head flew off shoulders and a body dropped to the hard ground. The head rolled downhill, stopped face up by her feet, the body tossed aside.
She lifted the head by the hair and shrugged. “I never liked him,” she yelled up the hill. “I can still forgive your foolishness.” Shauna tossed the severed head over her shoulder. Balor stepped out of the way, letting the head fly behind them. It was someone else’s problem now.
“Seriously, you can stop this right now,” Shauna said. “There’s no need to fight.” Facing her was an army of thousands, swords drawn and gleaming. Behind her was an army of sorts, only about fifteen total, but Shauna would rather fight with these fifteen battle born than with the whole world.
“Honestly, I don’t know what happened between us,” Shauna said. “We were here, just minding our own business, and you just show up, build your killing stand, and start beheading people.”
A response came in the form of another rolling head, another body thrown into the pile. Much to Shauna’s annoyance this head landed face down. “Now that’s just rude,” she said, again taking the head by the hair.
All sound was sucked from the air as she looked into the face of another someone who meant nothing to her. Shauna dusted off the head and handed it to Balor, making a show of her imaginary affection. “Make sure he is reunited with his body,” she said.
Balor nodded his head and gently passed the head off to the next guy, who passed it off to the next, until it eventually ended up out of sight and back on the ground. Shauna held out her arms as if beckoning the masses. “Now that I cannot forgive!” she declared. The whole world seemed silent, not even the wind dared make a sound. It was always unnervingly quiet when Shauna went to war. Balor couldn’t stop the smile from showing on his face, his too many teeth gleaming wickedly.
The executioner tried to speak, his feeble attempt at offering an excuse. Shauna didn’t allow the sound to leave him. Oh no, she controlled that now. She let out a laugh loud enough to shake the ground, raised her dark sword, and stood much taller now than she had mere seconds ago.
“Onward!” she called and her small but unnatural army charged up the hill. Balor had grown by two feet already and he hadn’t even killed anyone yet. Once the call to action had been made Shauna rushed up the hill. The first kill was always hers and she had her sights on the executioner. He died quickly with disappointingly little fanfare as she plunged her long talons into his chest and withdrew his heart.
“I really should wait,” she said, staring at the heart in her hand. “It’s rude having dessert first.” Shauna scanned the scene, no one was looking at her. Her forces were terrorizing people, ripping them apart, and they weren’t worried about when to eat dessert. With a smile she bit into the heart, savoring the warm metallic blood. It was electrifying, the energy from the heart poured into her, renewing her after centuries of being locked away.
Panic ran wild among the humans, who hadn’t even seen her true form yet. Balor lunged, bringing his broadsword down, severing the heads of two fighters who’d been unlucky enough to stand next to one another. The humans ran, retreating in terror as Shauna’s army chased them down. Heads were flying, then arms, hands; the melee was a delight.
And silent. Shauna enjoyed the silence, basked in it. God had given the gift of speech to mankind and she’d been forced to listen to their infantile babbling ever since. Now at least she could get some peace. She wasn’t like the other demons, she didn’t want the whole world, just this corner of it. She was happy to live here with her friends, a few worshippers, and only came out when she was disturbed.
If the humans could just stop with their noisemaking for five minutes she could let them live. But no, that was too much to ask of the little flea ridden flesh bags. They wanted to make their music and sing their songs and talk, talk, talk. They were always talking.
Shauna heard a snap and realized she’d been holding someone’s neck. She dropped the corpse, let it roll down the hill. She bet even now somewhere some human was talking. Maybe she should take the world. Very few moments had passed and her warriors were already through more than half of the army that had come to meet her. If this was their best how hard could world domination be?
The panic was electrifying. She fed on it, breathed it in. Shauna had been weakened by her long sleep, but now that she had begun to feed she was ravenous. Dark wings sprouted at her back and before she even realized that she wished it she was soaring over the battle. Her beautiful and terrible wings had been sealed for so long that Shauna had forgotten she even had them.
There was no audible cheering because she didn’t allow it, but she saw fifteen shadowy fists raised in the air to salute her. She couldn’t help but smile. They wanted her to come back down and end it, and who was she to deny her dear friends?
Shauna swooped down, just barely above the heads of the humans, soared again, this time showing off. With one final swoop she landed gracefully back on the hilltop and released all of the noise that she had captured. The sound ruptured and sparked, burning the frail humanity beneath her.
The earth still wasn’t quiet. Miles to east she heard the sounds of humans talking and laughing. Perhaps she should go put an end to them, too.

Artwork by Tara Cumella at 

ChristinaFiction: Terrifying. Weird. Unnatural.

I will be publishing stories written by yours truly at least once every two weeks. There will be a variety of flash fiction and short stories, as well as the occasional novel chapter. Expect healthy doses of horror, fantasy, espionage, and general weirdness.

Any and all artwork has been provided by the lovely and talented

xo Christina