The Last Horror Novel in the History of the World

BOOK: The Last Horror Novel in the History of the World
2.16Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
















Lazy Fascist Press

Portland, Oregon

PO Box 10065

Portland, OR 97296

[email protected]


ISBN: 978-1-62105-146-6


Copyright © 2014 by Brian Allen Carr


Cover Design by Matthew Revert


Edited by Cameron Pierce


All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written consent of the publisher, except where permitted by law.


All persons in this book are fictitious, and any resemblance that may seem to exist to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental. This is a work of fiction.


Printed in the USA.
















The Mexico/Texas border—near which Brian Allen Carr has lived most of his writing life—is easily demarcated on a map. The Rio Grande separates the nation and the state (though, as its ad agencies would like us to remember, Texas is “a whole other country”), yet it can be an easily traversed border, and the influences that flow back and forth cannot be overlooked, as it’s easy to wander through the streets of, say, Nuevo Laredo and think things look much like a typical US city, or stumble upon a section of McAllen and think it would fit right into Mexico. In all, if borders are meant to designate two different sides, the Rio Grande is doing a pretty lousy job.

To be true, the border that exists between fiction deemed as literary and that deemed as genre is far better policed and regulated than that between Mexico and Texas. I would go so far as to venture to say that the natives on each side are far more hostile toward one another, and that as soon as one has crossed over, she need not attempt to return. Further, unlike the somewhat naturally occurring Rio Grande as border, the divide between literary and genre is entirely manmade and likely as unnecessary as, a Texan might say, tits on a teacup.

Yet there it lies, forcing literary writers to gripe about vampire teen detective novels (while whispering about their “guilty pleasures” of fantasy, sci-fi, thriller, or English cozy) and ginning up the defensiveness of genre writers who know that pointing to their sales only confirms that something must be wrong on that side of the border, if so many people want to buy those quote unquote books.

And then there is Brian Allen Carr. Like the Texan that he is, who daily breathes  air scented by both cultures while digging into a hybrid cuisine, he moves easily across borders. None of the jabs the natives of literary and genre fiction might fling at him can penetrate his defense. His sentences soar, his action entices. His sharks scare more than Spielberg’s, while his characterizations help you know every-damn-body in the book as well as a best friend. And in this ineffable novella—part-apocalypse narrative, part-fable, part-prayer—he rains down terror so indescribable you have to read it for yourself while breaking your heart when his characters share their secrets.

In this fantastic (in both senses of the word) fiction, Brian Allen Carr reminds us that borders are not to be feared but forded, crisscrossed and zigzagged until no border remains and a new frontier results. What we need after
The Last Horror Novel in the History of the World
is a modifier to describe his accomplishment. Carresque? Carrvian? I’m going with Carrful. Because that’s where I want to be with Brian Allen Carr: riding in the backseat with his indelible prose, unerring comedy, mad scientist plot, and social worker heart while he howls behind the wheel, foot on the accelerator,  ninety-miles an hour, headed for the abyss.













































Scrape, Texas—far from fame or infamy—appeared on maps, was passed through by travelers. A blink of crummy buildings, wooden households—the harsh-hearted look of them, like a thing that’s born old.




















When we stood on the rooftop of Blue Parson’s tree house, we could see, in the navy, swollen night sky, the orange glow of better towns to be from, could hear the highways to them hissing with car traffic and train horns cooing from their age-rusted tracks. We knew the direction, you just didn’t see us walking. The salt smell of the bayside was the church of our childhood, and we would not play the role of heretic just because America said, in its school-mannered way, “If you stay where you come from, you’re doomed to repeat yourself.”

What we sadly witnessed, what fate befell us, never happened to anyone in this whole world’s history.

But, tragically, will never happen again.




















The black magic of bad living only looks hideous to honest eyes.

These few streets at dusk, still except for tarrying dogs, their milk-heavy tits swaying.

Rob Cooder breaks a banjo string, clears his throat, smokes cloves.

Mindy Stuart has herpes.

Tim Bittles has a cell phone and is on it, texting a girl named Meredith two towns over, and every time she obliges with a picture, he shows us her faceless nudity on the screen.

Scarlett and Teddy are in love, say: we’ll quit Scrape, Texas when we can. Put everything of worth into a U-Haul, drive to Austin and get schooling in us and not look back ever.

“Good. Good. Do it. You should.”





















Scrape lies between two legitimate cities.

Corpus Christi and Houston.

There are saltwater puddles the whole way between them.

There’s the constant smell of turning fish.

On the water, boats with filled sails slow their patterns eternal.

We pull crab traps from the shallows, cast dead shrimp at unseen trout, gig flounder in the nighttime, shoot Redhead drake from bleak-winter skies.

We invent a game to anger the city folk.

Rob and Tim go to the highway and drive thirty-five miles an hour side by side.

There’s no way to pass, so the cars clump up in their commuting.

BOOK: The Last Horror Novel in the History of the World
2.16Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

Deadly Errors by Allen Wyler
Crazy in Chicago by Norah-Jean Perkin
Freedom's Children by Ellen S. Levine
Poisonous Kiss by Andras Totisz
Frost & Bothered by Gayla Drummond
13 French Street by Gil Brewer
Goddess of Light by P. C. Cast
Legacy by Jeanette Baker