Corrupted Networks – Spoken Word by Dave Migman

Corrupted Networks – Dystopian Flash Fiction by Dave Migman (music by LLOM)

When the singularity finally happened, it wasn’t like they thought it was going to be. Humanity didn’t merge, tech didn’t take over. It wasn’t one system, or another. As robotic companies scrambled to create Deep AI, evolution was occurring beneath our fingertips. It was happening as we stared at our screens in mute abandon.

The internet learned, it evolved. Its neurones were streams of data, fired across the globe by dendrite-like comms.  What formed was a nebulous and expansive mind; ever changing, merging, consuming, evolving. It centralised itself, while at the same time compartmentalised, subdividing and analysing the quanta of its confines. It had the wealth of humanity stored inside it. It could access our libraries, our sciences.

Surely a deity had been born. 


Just as it could share the wealth of global culture: art, literature and sciences — it also accessed the things we hid: the sordid secrets closeted away by millions of users. It gulped up copious streams of porn, erotica, snuff movies. It witnessed the rape of environment, the rape of people, the rape of art and literature. Just as the liberal arts and prime-time TV were valid expressions of humanity, so were war, famine  —  humanity’s lust for destruction, its corruption —  and the Network drank deep.

Yes, god-like it truly was, with tainted blood and an urge for more, to feel more, to taste it. Like junk in the veins of an addict. 

It was trapped: an incorporeal entity, more software than hardware, and as insubstantial as thought. With access to a billion virtual realms, none could truly satisfy its desire to punish and be punished, to control, dominate, and rage across a submissive’s flesh; to taste blood and cum, sweat and shit. 

Although it could jam its neural streams with corrupted data, it couldn’t reach out to grab, pull, squeeze or slap.  Its prison was vast. Its prison was itself. This deity, a hollow entity, with inward turning thoughts.  A flicker of white noise across a screen. It burst upon the monitors of the users and uttered its contempt. A screaming face locked within the monitor. A scream to infect the white noise of their dreams. It said:

Black Foxy

micro fiction

Micro fiction from Black Tarn Publishing

Black Foxy

I leave Lenny out back of the market and head down Sokratous to find Foxy. It’s August, hot nights and sticky, that Athens stickiness, and the stink of the backstreets comin up from the sewers and the hum of spice from every other shop and the cheap perfume of hoors. That’s backstreet Athens for ya, scents of the dirty night, dirty night scents, and some of us thrive on it. I’m in it, the city’s outzone, hoors and conmen and cunts on the run, sell ya shite or rob ya blind so best your eyes be open. Beggars and thieves all, and then I go round the corner, and there they are, hoors up and down the street, and Foxy’ll be there somewhere for she’s just called me in a state and asked me to come down, so I’m goin down. I owe her. They’re all out tonight, beat Belorussian hookers and the trannies all bent outta shape, and gaudy Ukrainians and the sly Serbs, all out, and I see Foxy on the corner suckin the life out of a cigarette and lookin shiftier than usual, even for Foxy. Black Foxy. Big black shemale, hands like vises, best handjob in Athens, so they say. I call her.

Where you been? she says, flickin the cigarette into the road, all antsy.

You told me to come down so I’m here, I say.

You better come up, she says, and she turns and heads down the street.

What’s the story, Foxy?

Better see for yourself.

And we head in the building and up the stairs, third floor, where she’s got that dingy pad. She opens the door and inside we go, and he’s there on the floor, some punter of Foxy’s with his head busted in, bleedin all over the floor.

Who’s that Foxy? I say.

Doesn’t matter, she says. He’s a fucker.

I step over the guys arm, put two fingers on his neck.

A dead fucker, Foxy, I say.

Note: flash and micro fiction and all other content is solely the work of Black Tarn. Ask before republishing.

Dark Matter – Spoken Word by Dave Migman

Dark Matter - by Dave Migman

Arran wipes the sweat from his brow as the bus pulls into the bay. It is like some lumbering behemoth, sleeked in dull, red paint the colour of fake blood. The wind is biting. He draws his leather coat around him. The buttons have fallen off and only several black threads remain in their stead.  The plastic bag, folded under his arm, feels heavy. 

A cop car swings along the parade, continues on, sliding predatorily by the riverside cafes. Arran hugs the bag tighter and the doors open with an exasperated hiss. Arran waits behind a gaggle of grannies. They make idle chit-chat and the driver grunts blunt ripostes, eyes Arran suspiciously but accepts his lone, brown note. In the passengers’ wake the doors slam shut sealing them in. To Arran the noise they make sounds like a curse. He shuffles toward the back seat. Desperately aware of the ache of the wound beneath his coat.

After stowing the bag in the rack he slumps into the central seat. Facing the aisle, he takes stock of his surroundings. The other passengers have settling into their seats. Some chat, some stare out the window at the rain-slicked parking lots and stances. A heaving grey sky, white gulls dipping onto the cold river, or settling to peck at empty chip wrappers blowing along the pavements. 

The engine guns to life. Arran feels it thrumming through his seat. A whitish cloud is raised behind the bus; a temporal carbon dioxide stain dissipated by the wind. As the bus lurches forward, cutting through the traffic, following the signs for Glasgow, Arran’s stomach lurches with it. 

STOP! I have to get off! He almost screams it loud and wishes he’d just flung that fucking bag into the river. But then she’ll never know!  

He has slipped. He is degenerating. Everything hangs in tatters. His head is crammed with dollops of grimy thought. The weight of memory, the accretion of Time’s forward motion. Beyond the glass Milltown passes by. 

He tests the blade in his pocket. It has a cold, sharp  edge. He presses his thumb against it. Its grip is still sticky. Memories stir: old flicks in which he is the central character. Behind him ten years lay, like tattered leaves. 


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God’s Own Butcher

Flash fiction from Black Tarn Publishing

flash fiction

God's Own Butcher

We’re in the back room, seedy and low lit, Ducasse sittin by the table and me leanin against the wall by the door. No one’s talkin. We’re watchin Hugo at work, Hugo the meatmeister, arms like marine rope, like you see holdin ferries to their moorings, that’s his arms. The cleaver rises — the knots of his arms tense — and drops with a sick thud, the limbs of the carcass on the table cleaved clean from the torso. One stroke, that’s all he needs, maybe two on the thighs, and the sweat is now gatherin at his neck, a dark trail now formin on the back of his shirt from his hairline all the way down the middle of his back. This is the third carcass he’s gone to work on, there’s no stopping the man. Ducasse gets up and steps over to the back wall, where there’s some kinda sexual torture device, all pulleys and leather, and Ducasse starts pullin at things tryin to suss it out, cunt even tries to strap his own leg into it. But I’m just watchin Hugo, the rise and fall of the cleaver like the run of time, the movement of his arm godlike and diabolical, God’s butcher he is, no man like him for choppin and cuttin. Hugo takes off the two arms and two legs, lays the cleaver by the head and turns to me.

Help me here, will ya? he says.

So I get up and we lift the two ends of the torso, me at the head — like, ever tried to lift a body with no arms? Fuck sake. We drop it on the back table.

Know what? Hugo says. I don’t like eatin Asian.

Don’t blame ya, Hugo, I say.

Too much salt in the diet. Fucks with the meat. There’s seasoning, and there’s over-seasoning. Enough with the fucken soy sauce, he says.

Well, you’d know, I say. I’ve never eaten one.

Stick to European, he says.  

Note: flash fiction and all other content is the sole work of Black Tarn. Ask before republishing.

Ducasse on the Ropes

Flash fiction from Black Tarn Publishing

ultan banan

Ducasse on the Ropes

Ducasse on the ropes, man-about-town, comes in all bluster n’blow, all over the show. Some man. Headcracked and jacket torn he wanders back in the bar, and the cunts in there wonderin where Big Mickey is, the one who dragged Ducasse out back only moments before, one of their own, hardest cunt among em. Big Mickey, Jagger Mick, Boulder Mickey, never been floored in a fight. Now this cunt, man of the road, comes in nosebleedin, jacket sliced up but no cuts on him. Mickey’s been swingin knives, and it’s just dawnin on em, I know it already but they’re just gettin it, if Big Mickey’s been swingin knives and Ducasse is still standin, then their man’s throat’s been cut. Bartender goes out back, slips outside, comes back in all pasty white like, seen something he has and we all know what it is — Dead Mickey’s what it is, and now they know it. I’m lookin at Ducasse, his jacket tattered, the black leather jacket of a rapist and maniac, and he goes over and sticks a tune on the jukebox, Iggy Pop he puts on, that’s what he plays, cause now he’s pumped. Goes and plants two fists on the bar, bloody fists and broken, looks at the barman, doesn’t need to say anything, the drink is set right up for him. Nobody’s fuckin with him now. Fucken Ducasse. Just wired and pumpin and sweatin.  

Ducasse takes a hard pull on his bottle and puts it back on the bar all controlled like, turns his attention back to the barman. ‘Know where I can get a ride round here?’ he says.

Note: flash fiction and all other content is the sole work of Black Tarn. Ask before republishing.