Ad Nauseam, Ad Mortem, Ad Infinitum Trilogy


  • A Downward Spiral- A large inspiration comes from the Nine Inch Nails discography. (Mainly "The Fragile" and "The Downward Spiral") With direct references being made to both CDs ("The great below" and "A Warm Place" for example).
  • Black Hole Sun contains a large amount of Soundgarden references such as lyrics, character names, and chapter titles. Was nominated for PotM.
  • Drunk Tank is mainly inspired by the creepy pasta Dogscape and Robert Brockway’s hilarious book “Everything is Going to Kill Everyone”.
  • EmpyrealInvective's Collection of Short Stories has a lot of inspirations. The main one being the flash fiction piece "Baby shoes for sale: Never worn." and its impact on short story fiction.
  • Tryps- A lot of Alice in Chains drove this story as well as body horror movies like Videodrome and The Fly.

At My Most Human State Series

Evils, Angels, and Ethereals

  • Solomon's Key- Solomon's key is an occult book that details summoning and using demons. Aka Manah is a Zoroastrian daeva who is the patron of evil intent.
  • Abraham's Dagger- References the biblical story of Abraham being told to sacrifice his son. Zadkiel is the patron angel of mercy.
  • Job's Ashes contains some slight biblical references and in-jokes but nothing too telling.

Nicaraguan Myths and Stories

All of these stories are based off of my experience in the Peace Corps and from common myths/stories I heard while I was over there (Like the Sisinique, la Llorona, and la Carretanagua.) or lived through over there like the entirety of "True Tales of Terror from the Peace Corps".

Occupational Hazards

  • A Night in the Hospital Based off an experience in my security job when an abusive father lied his way into the ER visited his daughter. Richard Parker (RP, get it?) Was nominated for PotM.
  • Echoing Calls The protagonist's surname is a minor homage to When a Stranger Calls and Dave Eastwood references the director of Play Misty for Me
  • Lavender In this story, the female characters are named after horror movie femme fatals. Hedra Carlson, Claire Bartel, and of course Tuke. Based around an abysmal first date that mirrored the protagonist's date. (before the insanity)

Reminisces From the Apocalypse Trilogy

  • I'm Not a Monster Guy Ralph is, of course, a direct reference to "Mr. Sardonicus" and the recently deceased Judith O'dea is an homage to "Night of the Living Dead".
  • She's Gone- This zombie story also references popular culture with the protagonist's surname
  • Campfire Tales- Contains a minor reference to Office Space and The Walking Dead with the title being worked into the story at the end.

The Whispers Through the Wall Series

A number of these stories were written while I was living in a shoddy little motel in Colorado, looking for a job, a thousand miles away from home, worried that I was going to crash and burn in this new state.

Two Possibilities Story Arc

Stand-alone Stories

  • A Small Piece of Lead contains wide-spread references to Kurt Vonnegut and his works. Oddly enough, this was inspired by games that give you a 'moral choice' and how your decision directly impacts your appearance. This story shares some similarities to the La Dispute song King Park. Unfortunately I was not aware of the song before writing the story. I really wish I knew in advance as I would have loved to build and reference the excellent song more. Was Pasta of the Month for March 2015.
  • A White Horse is based off a mental experiment my Psychology professor used to explain mental processes. ("Don't think of a white horse") The story contains allusions to Freud's case studies who foreshadows the ending by mentioning the Richard Matheson story "Long Distance Call" which follows a similar plot and inspired the story itself.
  • Ashes: A Soldier's Diary The protagonist's name is a reference to Catch-22 and its author alongside his friend, Snowden.
  • Children's Games draws influence from events where I was younger when my friends and I used to sneak into partially constructed house to hang out.
  • Chimerical My first real attempt at body horror has a few references to firefighting movies and re-tells a story about a man that died in the shower that a firefighter friend told me one night.
  • Danse Macabre This story was based on the Dancing Plague of 1518 and contains a number of references to that historical event. There is also a minor reference to a re-occuring character in the Shin Megami Tensei series.
  • Don't Know You from Adam The protagonist shares a name with Oliver Sacks who wrote about a special form of prosopagnosia that rendered him unable to differentiate between faces and objects. While the husband gets his surname from the protagonist of "The Shawshank Redemption", a man who is falsely accused.
  • Doppeldater The story features a slight nod to Kurt Vonnegut's "Breakfast of Champions" with the mention of a character's 'bad chemicals'. Other than that, I really wanted to play off of someone's analysis of Fleshgait when they suggested the creatures were feeding off of the protagonists' emotions.
  • Fleshgait An attempt at camping horror stories. It's mainly inspired by Reddit's fleshgait/skinwalker forum and a Rick and Morty episode called Total Rickall.
  • Gliomas and Graves Other than the character names which are a reference to two stalker movies, there aren't many references here. Lightly inspired by Mike Macdee's New Girlfriend.
  • How Does It End? I really started this one after reading Stephen King's "Misery" and felt like portraying a toxic relationship.
  • I Was Fourteen When I First Killed Myself I wanted to take another crack at existential horror and this was the result.
  • It Breathes, It Bleeds, It Breeds Largely inspired by the works of Junji Ito (mainly the "Tomie" series) and cases of parasitic twins/fetus en fetu.
  • It's Just a Mirage Dalia Livingstone and H.M. Stanley are both references to explorers, David Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley. I also toyed with hidden messages revealing key story elements.
  • Ouroboros Al Elloan is an anagram of "all alone" and foreshadows the twist at the end of the story. It was originally going to be a two sentence story, but that idea was abandoned as more details started to come through and seemed like fleshing it out would be a better option.
  • Paid for in Blood This was heavily inspired by H.P. Lovecraft and Red Hook Studios' [Darkest Dungeon. The character names are homages to Lovecraftian authors.
  • Post-Apocalyptic Solitude is heavily influenced by Knock, and the shortest horror story.
  • Spasms Joe Cowart's story bears some similarity to Dax Cowart and is inspired by the novel/movie “Johnny Got His Gun”. I listened to Rage against the Machines Born a Borken Man a lot as well and felt it was necessary to include a snippet of lyrics at the end.
  • Stalk has no interesting references/allusions and was mainly influenced by Dear Abby, although I wanted to take it in a different direction at the end.
  • Stares I wanted to try an epistolary story where the framing device plays a larger impact on understanding the plot.
  • Tenebrous Lionel Upton Xion's initials form the Latin word for "light".
  • The Chaplain contains references to Bullit and a number of war novelists: Remarque, Heller, and Jones.
  • The Creeping Horror contains no interesting allusions/references. It was inspired mainly from a desire to make a creepypasta based around a monster which didn't exist in the story.
  • The Cuckoo Conundrum contains no interesting allusions/references. It was created after hearing about home invaders hacking into baby webcam feeds to learn when the house was unoccupied and the fact that they would stake out houses using something that the parents themselves installed in their babies' rooms.
  • The Die contains no interesting allusions/references.
  • The Scariest Thing to Me contains no interesting allusions/references. It is based on true events from when I was a kid and home alone for a weekend and heard something tapping on my second story window in the middle of the night.
  • Ultimatums- The protagonist's name is an allusion to Thomas Hobson and Hobson's choice as well as Alexandra Forest from "Fatal Attraction".
  • The Unpalatable Made Palatable- This was heavily inspired by an English professor at my college talking about instances where satire was misinterpreted and in one situation where it was taken as advice and used to continue persecution.
  • Waking Life- Each character's name is from a movie/novel involving time travel. Ash, Kazak, Lola, and William Pilgrim. The draws a lot of influence from Croyd Crenson of the Wild Cards series. He has the unique ability of every time he falls asleep, he undergoes a metamorphosis and changes powers. (Although he retains his identity, while William shifts to an entirely new person.)
  • Wasted- Directly references "A Clockwork Orange", "Carrie", and "The Fly" and the newspaper's title shares the same name of the hospital Gloria Ramirez a.k.a. "The Toxic Lady" visited.
  • What Remains...- Christopher Rank (C.Rank as in crank, a practical joke) as well as Virginia containing the word "virgin".
  • What We Are is heavily influenced by Tool's Rosetta Stoned. Lines like "somniferous almond eyes" and the opening premise of a man being abducted outside of Area 51 are inspired by the song.


  • A Small Bit of Belt- I wanted to do a different take on my story "A Small Piece of Lead".
  • Billy's Wish- Inspired mainly by "The Twilight Zone" episode in which a child has supreme power and ends up terrorizing his town. I decided to cover what would happen if the child were younger and the darkly comical that it would result in.
  • Billy's World- This was mainly written after re-reading some of the stuff I wrote as a child and visiting a few old fandoms of series that I used to watch.


  • A Good Ending- There are quite a lot for this story: Cormac McCarthy's "The Road", Harlan Ellison's short story "A Boy and His Dog", and Stephen King's "The Dark Tower" series. I also reference the films "When the Wind Blows", the "Mad Max" series, and I directly quote a number of authors.
  • The Quarantine- As I mentioned in the opening, this story was largely cooked up from my experiences in a hospital as a child and a horrible case of food poisoning in Nicaragua and draws influence from "The Lord of the Flies" and "Battle Royale".
  • Tu Fui Ego Eris- Too many zombie movies and novels to even begin cataloguing. I also named a number of protagonists after my favorite writers. (Ellison, Poe, Wong, Stoker, Brooks, Campbell, and of course, Lovecraft.)
  • We R Leejun- First and foremost, thanks is in order for H.P. Lovecraft's elder gods mythos, this novella was heavily inspired by David Wong's "John Dies at the End" and Legion's characteristics was largely influenced by System Shock 2 and the many. I also focused on a theory I have about how people making stupid decisions tend to do so in large groups.
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