Memphis Fast Fiction Home
Shawn Wolowicz

There is no home like the house on Willett I grew up in.

This might be an obvious statement, but it really was special.

You see, my house had monsters. And every night as I went to bed, we would go to war.

Shrieking banshees and clawing imps lived in the walls, tormenting me with their constant howling and scratching.

A werewolf made his nest in our attic, dragging his claws and dripping his slobber on the boards above my head.

Frankenstein’s monster lived in our basement, howling and rattling his chains every time he got too cold in the winter.

For years, I slept under my blankets, a flashlight my only protection against the things that went bump in the night.

But then I got older, and I started to help my father around the house.

I helped him fix the drafty mouse holes in our walls, to patch leaking, rattling pipes in our attic, to replace the antiquated furnace in the basement.

As I worked with my father, the monsters started to disappear, one at a time.

Then, one night, they weren’t there at all.

In that house on Willett, my father had taught me to slay monsters.

Memphis Note
Every house in Midtown Memphis has its own set of monsters. They are the unique noises old homes make that you can never quite decide if they are your pipes expanding…or something horrible living in your walls. I find children that survive these monsters to be of a heartier, more assured stock than those that grew up in monster-free homes.

Scout Anglin

“I’m telling you, you’ve got to stop the pumps!”

In hindsight, yelling and slamming my fist down on the head of Memphis Light, Gas and Water’s desk probably wasn’t the smartest idea.

Thankfully, he held his hands up and kept the security guards tackling me.

“Mister-,” he began.

“Professor,” I interrupted.

He coughed, then continued. “Professor Lucas, even if I believed a single word of what you’re telling me – and I don’t – this company supplies water to nearly a million people. Would you suggest I simply let them die of dehydration to satisfy your…speculations?”

I hung my head in frustration.

“The water in the aquifer belongs to them. They sealed themselves down there, God knows how long ago, God knows why, with a hundred trillion gallons of clean water.”

I was talking too fast, I tried to slow down.

“We’ve been pumping water out of an underground sea for nearly a hundred and fifty years. We never knew what was down there before. But with modern scanning, I’ve seen it. There is another city beneath this one. And it is waking up.

Now, please. You’ve got to stop the pumps.”

That’s when he threw me out of his office.

Memphis Note
There are actually four separate aquifers beneath Memphis, the largest of which is estimated to be somewhere around a hundred trillion gallons, maybe more. In all the time we’ve been pumping water out of it, the water hasn’t even dropped a hundred and fifty feet from its original level.

Shawn Wolowicz

“They always thought that pathetic bigot of a horror writer was talking about Egypt whenever he mentioned Memphis,” he says, stooping down on the muddy shore of the pond.

Dipping his fingers into the brown water, he begins to trace patterns; horrible, maddening patterns of eldritch things that should never exist in our world.

He hums softly to himself. And then the surface of the pond begins to hum along with him.

“But, we know the truth, don’t we? He wasn’t talking about that Memphis at all.” He smiles a gleeful, evil smile, “And won’t we give them such a shock when they see just how wrong they were?”

A lone tentacle, putrid in color, rough in texture and entirely wrong in its very nature, rises out of the water. It pushes upward, as far up from the water as a man is tall, suckers pulling at the air, foulness permeating everything around it. Then it comes for him, wrapping itself around his arm, spiraling up past his shoulder.

It pauses there for a moment, hanging menacingly in the air next to his exposed neck, before reaching over, and gently stroking his face.

“Yes, we will,” he coos to it.

Memphis Note
HP Lovecraft is a 20th century horror writer that is credited with bringing the genre into maturity. If Poe birthed the genre, Lovecraft was its experimental, drunken college years. He wrote a lot about ancient evils and horrors out of time and space that would consume your sanity. And everything had tentacles for some reason. He liked to reference obscure places from antiquity in nefarious was, and mentioned “a dark thing” under Memphis on more than one occasion. I just thought it might be fun to make that our Memphis.

Linda Rizzuto

Chuck stumbled out to Beale after me. He lurched to the side, looked like he was going to fall, then extended his arm, beer in hand, and managed to stay up right.

“Last one in the bucket!” He grinned drunkenly at me.

I shook my head at him, then instantly regretted it. I was just as drunk as he was, and the world swam before my eyes for a moment.

“Hey! Hey! Watch this!” Chuck slurred at me. He had his lighter out in his hand, and the beer angled oddly in the other. Slashing out with the lighter, he knocked the cap off the beer, spilling a good portion of it in the process. “Lighter sabrage!”

“Was a twist off, you dink!” I waved dismissively at him, turned and walked smack into someone.

I took a step back, excused myself and tried not to vomit on their shoes. Then my vision focused a little bit.

Lifeless eyes milky-colored eyes stared up at me from sunken sockets and rotting, sloughing skin.

“Braaaaiiinnnssss,” the thing said.

I looked at the thing for a moment, then poked it in the shoulder.

“You don’t want mine. I’ve done bad things to them.”

Memphis Note
Late every spring, downtown Memphis is swarmed by the Memphis Zombie Walk. Thousands of people, all dressed up in their finest zombie gore taking over the streets for a few surreal hours of fun.