Title: Into the Macrocosm: Short Stories of the Dark Cosmic, Bizarre, and the Fantastic
Author: Konn Lavery
A collection of twilight zone shorts exploring the fantasy-rich past, frightful present, and uncanny future.
Enter an obscure universe known through the lives of 22 souls as the Nameless One and their ghoulish companion attempt to unlock the mysterious past of how they died. Yet, danger lurks even in the post-death realm, the Midway, and it is not keen on mortal visitors.
A talking goat head, celestial beings, self-imposed existential dread, devils and demons are a small selection of what awaits in the Macrocosm.
Award-winning author Konn Lavery’s short story collection explores his expanding Macrocosm, sharing the same universe as his previous works such as the horror novels Cultivate and Rave, thriller YEGman, and the dark fantasy series Mental Damnation. These interconnected tales bring everything under one, strange, unsettling, cosmos.
New—or familiar, depending on how you look at it—senses come to you in the form of a body. Smell: rotten. Taste: stale. Touch: bitter breeze. Sound: groans of death. Vision: unfathomable. The spiral comes to an end with a loud thundering BOOM, pushing the clouds away, bringing the haunting ghost hands with it. You fall a few feet onto a rocky grey surface with a heavy thud, nose-first.
Nose first. A nose . . . yours. The body has returned to you. It’s healthier, at prime age. You’re able to push yourself up with arms and stand upright. The form is familiar, but so much better, making you wonder how this could be. You must be alive; otherwise, you wouldn’t have a body. Perhaps this is some strange form of reincarnation. If it is, we humans got it all wrong because this grey landscape is no part of Earth. You gaze out into the scene of nothing, reinforcing your thoughts. Everything fades to blackness beyond the edges of a strange oval-shaped plateau. The dark goes on forever, just below the not-so-ordinary sky. That black-and-blue vortex of spiralling faces is directly above. The damned vacuum that pulled you from euphoria is now hovering overhead, mocking you.
“How unexpected,” a growly, reverbing voice echoes. The voice is doubled, like two beings talking simultaneously. It comes from the dark, all around, and it is impossible to pinpoint the origins.
You want to respond, but are petrified. Everything is beyond confusing. One moment you were alive, and now you’re here, in some form of life after death.
“No mortal ends up falling into and out of Death’s Vortex,” the voice continues. “This may even be a first.”
Lightning and thunder erupt from above, catching you off-guard. You take a step back, walking into a light blue smoke channelling below your feet. You move. It follows, growing larger. You try to shake it off as it spirals up your limbs. Maybe swatting will work. Nope, your hand goes right through it, and you hit yourself in the junk. It looks like you can feel pain again, too.
The animated fog swirls away from your lower region and into open space. Dark blue-and-black smoke follows, appearing from the unknown as the elements clash together, moving through and around each other. They compress and mould into a torso, lean arms, and a skull with an extended muzzle; sharp teeth, white eyes, and tentacle-like black hair form. The being’s inner core contains the bright blue vapour, while the other smoke transforms into a translucent outer layer, like the white of an egg. Even without pupils in the glowing white eyes, the being is undoubtedly looking right at you. There are no legs. It floats effortlessly from the dissipating smoke below, endlessly channelling from the body. The tentacle-like hair flows up and down in a zero-gravity state, unlike your body, which is clearly bound by gravity.
“Well?” the being says, folding its arms, exposing the crosses scarred on his wrists.
You are speechless, uncertain how to reply, and you say, “Am I dead?”
The being laughs. “Am I dead?” it repeats. “I’m guessing you were a comedian in your past life.”
“I . . .” You pause, thinking about the question. Were you a comedian? Now you’re uncertain. You try and think back to the jobs you’ve had. Blank. Nothing. There is a giant gap in your knowledge. This is disturbing. You try and recall anything else about your past. Loved ones. Your first kiss. Family. Places you’ve been. The food you like. All of it—gone. You’ve forgotten every memory and everything you knew. Yet, you’re you. You know it.
“I . . .” You look down at your hands. Yes, those are yours. “I don’t remember . . . anything?”
“No, you wouldn’t,” the being says.
“What do you mean? I know I had a life. I was there.”
“Yet you can’t recall a single memory.”
The thought annoys you. Lacking memory is frustrating. It’s there, like a dream fading away while waking up, leaving you with nothing but vague feelings. “What is happening to me?”
“You are dead. You got that right. So keep observing your surroundings.”
Dead. The being confirms it. You had a life, one that has slipped from your memories. A brief moment of sadness washes over you, for all the things you cherished in life are now gone. You can’t recall any of them, no matter how important they once were. You want to freak out and scream in horror. Your lungs tighten as you forget to breathe. Your hands are shaking. Energy hums through you as you’re about to have a conniption.
The being speaks, pulling you back into the moment. “What interests me is how did you end up here?” the being asks, coming closer to you, only an arm’s reach apart.
“This . . . this can’t be. I’m dead?”
“Yes, we just discussed that.”
You rub your fingers together, feeling the texture and pressure of your skin. “How?”
The being extends one of its long claws, poking your forehead. It hurts. The skin is punctured. “That is what makes you a fascinating anomaly.”
You touch the pierced spot on your head. There’s a small bead of blood. You can feel pain; you have to be alive.
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What’s the first binge-worthy book you read and why was it a must-read?
That’s hard to figure out! I’ve had many books over the years that hook me in. At the moment I am reading Necroscope by Brian Lumley which has my keen attention.
What makes your featured book a binge-worthy read?
Into the Macrocosm is composed of 22 shorts ranging from past, present, and future. All of these stories have a foundation of horror and are interconnected under one strange cosmos known as the Macrocosm. This gritty world is only fit for those with the wits and guts to survive the horrors they encounter. Those that don’t, well, you have an imagination. The collection is a great standalone introduction into all my work for those that are into the uncanny.
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon (US or Canada) gift card.
Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to win.
Runs August 1 – 31
Drawing will be held on September 1.
Konn Lavery is a Canadian author whose writing stems from the haunting and disturbed, frequently within the Dark Fantasy and Horror genres. His work has been described as uncanny and immersive. Each of his stories are housed within the expanding universe known as the Macrocosm spanning across time and space.
He has been recognized by Edmonton’s top five bestseller charts and by reviewers such as Reader Views, Readers’ Favorite, Literary Titan, and by award programs such as indieBRAG, The Wishing Shelf Book Awards, eLit Awards, and Dan Poynter’s Global Ebook Awards. His work has also been curated into the Edmonton Public Library’s Capital Press collection.
Konn started writing stories at a young age while being a homeschooled vegetarian, enthralled with storytelling. After graduating college, he began professionally pursuing his writing with his first release, Reality, in 2012 while balancing his graphic design business. Konn’s visual communication skills have been transcribed into the formatting and artwork found within his publications, supporting his fascination with transmedia storytelling.
His Patreon and newsletter share behind the scenes, updates, and new short stories within the Macrocosm. Both can be found at links.konnlavery.com
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