Author Archive: Anthony Ferrante

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#7 Rory

| November 9, 2010 | 0 Comments

It was finally over.

Tears collected in the purple corners of Rory’s eyes. Spilling over in a slow cascade down her flushed cheeks and tracing along her jawline, they dripped onto her white tank top in a discolored blob on her chest. Splotchy bruises plotted a course up her frail, feminine arms. Her hands a severe crimson, contrasting with the alabaster of her elbows and neck. She held an ornate dagger, its blade matching the red hue of the fingers that grasped it so tightly.

Rory wept fiercely, slumped into a corner of her cozy living room. The television blared white noise, its scrambled glow lit the nearby area. Black and white photos of her family looked down on her, less reassuring and more accusatory.

A body laid sprawled out on the floor. Human, mostly.

Its brown fur damp and matted with blood. The shirt on its body was torn and more resembled a frayed cape. Deep trenches were dug into the maplewood floor in jagged lines originating from thick, onyx claws. Its snout was swollen, dripping mucus formed a small puddle underneath a row of exposed feral teeth.

Frantic knocking at Rory’s front door broke the tense drone of her cries. Rory looked up at the door and drew in a breath, raising the dagger to her chest and squeezing it harder than before. The knocking turned into violent banging. Rory pulled her knees into her chest and peered at the small window at the top of the door. It was night, and she could see the moon beyond the trees. Perfectly round, a disc of ivory pocked with tiny slate divots — it seemed brighter than its older, yellow brother. She would stare at the familiar orb at night when her parents were away and sleep would escape her, finding security in its consistency.

Rory’s view of the moon was interrupted when rabid eyes met hers through the small window. They were golden and wild, yearning for her. The banging grew more intense. Small splinters erupted from the door with each slam. Sensing the urgency of the situation Rory rose to her feet and backed out of the room. She headed into the dark hallway, never looking away from the door. Eventually, her back bumped a wall and she leaned against it. She would have to fight again, she thought.

A drop of warm liquid fell onto her forehead, and Rory wiped it away casually. Another drop hit her in the same spot, this time accompanied by a moist, tepid breeze. She went to wipe her forehead again, but stopped when she realized. Her heart clenched and her face dropped. There was no wall behind her, only horror.

She could hear a dozen voices baying as rows of snarling teeth pierced her skin.


#6 Merrin Oakheart

| November 7, 2010 | 1 Comment

The piercing clang of metal upon metal could be heard throughout the encampment. Slow cookfires lit the ground with an amber hue. Dirt and dust alike jumped into the air as Merrin Oakheart readied her back foot and held her sword vertically solid. The slick sage skin of her arms glistened against the moonlight.

Her attacker was twice her size and thrice her ferocity. He swung his arms behind his head notching his great longsword,the blade glinted in the orange hue. Gregor Marshborn was an uninviting sight, ugly and bulbous. His eyes often twitched without reason and he stank of rotting crickets, a pipe dangled from his mouth adding to his noxious perfume. Gregor charged Merrin and with a thunderous croak brought his weapon down overhead in a menacing arc. Merrin deftly parried the strike and twirled to her left, slapping Gregor in the back of the thigh with the flat of her blade. Gregor yelped in immediate, sharp pain as Merrin took no time for humor and gripped the hilt of her sword in a defensive stance.

“Grah! You are a quick thing, are you not girl?” Gregor snarled at Merrin, brandishing her gender as a weapon just as smithed steel.

“Quicker than you.” Merrin quipped. The pair had now taken to circling one another, their gaze intensely locked. The cookfires that surrounded them made dancing reflections in Merrin’s eyes. Merrin studied Gregor, his clumsy yet deliberate steps, his constant pauses revealed his wont to rush her once more. He was a bullfrog, this was apparent, but she was too graceful to be struck down by such an obvious rush. She stopped her circling path, baiting the colossal Marshborn.

Gregor again charged at Merrin, holding his longsword at his hip with both hands, tensing his muscles. His pipe dropped from his mouth and he again croaked, even more ferociously than before. Merrin waited until the brute was within an arm’s reach and dropped to the ground, her small frame made minuscule. Gregor was too large and too slow-witted to stop his locomotion and he rumbled past the agile girl. Merrin sprung to her feet and with surprising might brought the hilt of her blade down on the back of Gregor Marshborn’s head, knocking him to the ground in a dizzy spill. Merrin sheathed her sword and knelt down beside the fallen giant.

“Who is teaching who here, Gregor?” Merrin said with a light to her words.

Gregor rolled onto his back in a slow and laborious turn. Once on his back, he let out a breath and rubbed his pounding head.

“You are fortunate I like you, Oakheart,” Gregor spat. “But do not mistake me for a dullard. Your jests have no place on the field of battle.” His voice was low and his tone hard.

Merrin extended a hand to Gregor. “Noted. Do you think me ready to join the battalion? Will you recommend me to my Uncle?” She had a twinge of optimism to her words.

Gregor slapped away Merrin’s trifling hand and erected himself with a struggle. When finally he stood, Merrin was once again intimidated. She raised her chin and broadened her shoulders, a convincing image she hoped. He smiled at this, and patted her on the head dismissively. “You are just a girl, Merrin. Girls cook, tend to the wounded, mend our cloaks. They do not fight under the banner of Greenrock. I am merely humoring you at your Uncle’s command. He has more than just a crown weighing down his mind.” Gregor said flatly, with no effort to spare Merrin’s feelings.

“But Greenrock needs swords! And mine is better than half the men who ride!” Merrin pleaded.

“Aye, this is true, but your Uncle king forbids it. Best if you accept this, Merrin.” Gregor said as he brushed the debris from his chest.

“No, Gregor. I will not.” She mounted a nearby hitched sparrow hawk and kicked at its sides. The bird’s wings flapped in response, hoisting it and Merrin upward. Brown and grey feathers fluttered about.

“My Uncle will hear my voice. I will fight for Greenrock like my father and his father.” Merrin proclaimed. “Girl or not.”

The bird thrashed its wings with vigor and soared over the tree-line, into the black night sky.

Gregor shook his head, “Never have I seen someone in such a rush to die.”


#5 Jacob

| November 6, 2010 | 0 Comments

“Jacob I’ve asked you a hundred times, please stop pulling on Mommy’s apron when she’s making dinner.” Jacob’s mother declared, not turning away from the stove top where she was concocting her famous macaroni and cheese — Jacob’s favorite.

“But Mom I want a cookie! I’m starving!” Jacob whined, while tugging on his mother’s floral printed apron.

“Absolutely not. You’ll ruin your appetite. Now Jacob, go outside and play. Mommy has to finish up in here.” Jacob’s mother still had not broken eye contact with the vat of yellow goop. “Dinner will be ready in fifteen minutes.”

“But Mom!” Wailed Jacob as he swung his torso to and fro in an act of frustration.

Jacob’s mother’s shoulders slowly lulled up and down with an exasperated sigh.

“Enough.” She raised an arm and extended a long slender finger toward the door. “Outside.” It was only now that she turned her head slightly and looked over at Jacob, who’s head hung low and arms dangled beneath. “And don’t you even think of going near Daddy’s work shed.” Jacob drew in as dramatic a breath he ever could, and let it out with audible intent as he shuffled out into the yard.

The sky was an unending grey cloud, touching horizon to horizon without a sign of any sort of color. The tree’s branches yawned toward the flat expanse, yearning for some hidden incalescence underneath the ashen canvas to thaw their bony bark. Toys were strewn about the bristly crabgrass just as Jacob had left them, despite the countless scoldings to the contrary. Jacob placed his hands on on his hips and assessed the mundane scene.

“There’s never anything to do out here.” Jacob whined to himself, the futility escaping his mind of eight years. Off to the side, tucked away between stacks of firewood beneath blue tarp and the tall, ornate fence was his father’s shed. His father had told Jacob ad nauseum to stay out of that place, that it was dangerous and not for little boys. It was always sealed, a dense padlock standing sentinel … except for this day, when the padlock was missing and the shed door ajar.

Jacob weighed his options. He was bored, yes, but dinner would be done in ten minutes now. However, ten minutes is more than enough time to peek inside the shed and see what all the fuss was about. How could he be injured by just looking? What a silly thought, Jacob reasoned.

Jacob shoved the door open and pulled his shoulders up to his ears, bracing himself for a loud creak. When the door had finished wailing and settled against an old lawnmower, he took a single step inside. With a yank of a suspended white cord, the shed was illuminated.

Jacob gasped in amazement.

Standing before him was a fellow of metal made, larger than any man Jacob had ever known, even his father. An amalgamation of brass and gears, pipes and pistons that was as intimidating as it was fantastic. To the right of the metal-man was a great lever, matching Jacob’s height. Above it was a sign. It read, “IGNITION.”

Jacob scurried to the lever, and grasping it with both hands yanked down on it with all of his might. Once it had reached its apex, the lever sprang back to default, sending Jacob to the shed’s entryway. On the metal-man, gears began to crank and pistons pump. With a lurching inertial push, its brassy cranium rose and eyes glowed a magnificent emerald. With a scan of the room, its gaze fell on Jacob and head cocked slightly.

“HOW MAY I FACILITATE YOU, SIR?” Its voice was tinny and emanated from its ribcage.

Jacob collected himself and thought pensively. After a moment, he turned to face the doorway of the shed. He grinned with one corner of his mouth and lifted his hand, pointing back at the kitchen with conviction.

“To the cookie jar,” he commanded.


#4 Ava

| November 4, 2010 | 1 Comment

The clomp-clomp-clomp sound of the battalion’s shiny black boots traveled left to right above their heads in unison, the peering sunlight slatted across their faces flickered as their shadows passed through them. They held each other, embracing tightly and holding their breath, trying desperately to exist as ghosts would — incorporeal and hidden. The thudding cadence halted.

“Check the crawlspace underneath,” barked one of the soldiers.

Ava could not help but gasp at the order. Realizing what she had done, she caught herself and buried her face into Alistair’s shoulder. She could feel the prickle of his day-old stubble on her cheek. She could smell his skin. Her grip on his hand tightened turning it white above the knuckle. She thought back to her mother and the Sundays they would spend baking pastries and cakes for her father and brothers who were out for the day on a hunt. They would return with a pheasant or a rabbit, and she and her mother would roast it with mushrooms and apples. Afterwards they would partake in dessert and her father would comment how Ava was a marvelous baker, a wonderful daughter.


The footsteps stopped directly above Ava and Alistair. Ava retreated even further into Alistair’s arms, if even possible. Alistair looked up through the slit spaces between the dull brown floorboards. Bits of debris and dust tumbled down through the cracks and Alistair used his sleeve to rub them out. Blinking several times to reset his focus and moisten his eyes once more, Alistair looked back up at the soldier, who was now looking directly back at him.

“Here, sir! The boy is here!” The soldier shouted, eager to please his superior.

“Pry them out.” The voice was deep and stern, not unlike Ava’s father’s.

Alistair put his hands on either side of Ava’s face, and directed it at his. He could see her eyes glassed over with frightened tears, darting back and forth to each of his own. Her lip trembled, her delicate and fair eyebrows were arched both upward and inward, desperately seeking hope. He swallowed down his fear and noted how soft her cheeks were against his fingertips.

“I love you, my Ava.” His words were frantic and hurried. “Our passion is my energy, your being my vindication.”

A crowbar penetrated the floor with a clang, prying up a splintering board just behind Ava.

“Do you remember the first night we met? Do you remember? Beneath the sprawling oak tree on my father’s land.” Unfeeling black boots were suddenly in Alistair’s view as the soldier stomped clear a hole in the only barrier between he and they. Ava blinked once, a salty bead somberly traveled down her cheek.

“I was a man whole, that day. I had never known true joy until I had known you, Ava.” Alistair’s pulse had quickened and muscles tensed.

“I love you, Alistair.” Whispered Ava with what little breath she had left to give.

“My love for you is undying Av-” Alistair’s words were interrupted by a resonant bang!and a flash of light.

The crimson line slowly drew itself over Alistair’s brow and down the front of his nose, drip-dripping at the tip. Pat-patting onto the dust below. Ava’s jaw hung in disbelief, her breaths short and involuntary.

A large gloved hand came down onto Ava’s shoulder and clenched it tight. Instinctively, she whipped her head toward it.

“My queen, the king will be pleased to hear you are safe once again.”


#3 Superfriends

| November 3, 2010 | 0 Comments

He’s my best friend.

We met at work, a newsroom of a local paper. I was there a few years before he was hired, but we connected straight away. I found a kindred spirit in Kent that I couldn’t find in anyone else. I took pictures. He wrote fluff pieces. Probably the only guy there less intimidating than me. Chubby, awkward, thick-rimmed glasses, he wore clothes two sizes too small and always seemed to vomit out the wrong words at the wrong times. There was one time Percy, our boss, called him into his office fuming with anger. Kent didn’t know what to do, so being the pitiful sack he is … was … , hid in the copy room closet until an hour after the place had closed. I took a little pride in that, no longer being the weakest of the bunch. Sometimes I made him pay for my lunch, pretending I had forgotten my wallet. Just for that rarest burst of superiority.

He pulled the wool over my eyes. Over all of our eyes. He wasn’t a pushover, wasn’t weak like me. Hell, he wasn’t even human. Spent all his time away from the paper floating around, saving grandmothers and punching unpronounceable space-deities into orbit.

That was before. Before all of this happened. Before I pushed this creaky wheelbarrow. Before I collected the arms and the legs and the ears and the pelvises and the half decomposed faces. I was his friend once, but my motives were selfish. I think he knew that. Now, he forces me to tidy up his mess. These chains I wear are heavy and tight. He couldn’t kill his pal, Timmy Nelson. Maybe he wouldn’t kill me.

I wish he would.

It’s that slut Lola’s fault. She broke his heart. Fucked Percy on his pretentiously huge mahogany desk. The son of a bitch can hear a quartz vibrate inside a Breitling in Chicago while doing a crossword on the Moon, you don’t think he’d pay special attention to his woman? She murdered everyone. The catalyst to the end of humanity.

Although the end isn’t coming quickly. He’s toying with us. Earth’s entire population is on edge, waiting for the next outburst. Last time it was Sydney. Tore the heads off of a hundred thousand people in less than thirty-two seconds. Piled them up. Sat at the top. King of the universe.

My best friend.


#2 The Kingmaker

| November 2, 2010 | 1 Comment

Robert Feldman is the most popular, most talked about, most widely loved man in the known world.

“Well isn’t this the bother,” proclaimed Robert. The prickly blades of the fraying rope poke and scratch at his throat like tiny needles as he tightens the perfectly tied noose.

Robert is dressed in a brown tweed suit his father once wore on a date with his mother back in Portland (an evening under the stars complete with crusty bread and a 1968 vintage red), their third. When on that night he had embraced her greedily and kissed her deeply, he had known she was the woman he would marry. After the pair fulfilled the “til death do us part” clause in their wedding vows, the musty suit was left to Robert, and he treasured it. He desired so earnestly to be like his father; loved unconditionally by another.

“Let’s carry on, then,” sighed Robert.

With a flick of a shin and the flash of a brown leather shoe against the fluorescent ceiling lights, Robert kicked out the dusty and skeletal wooden chair from beneath his feet. His previously cappuccino skin transformed into a cadaverous shade of white. His blue irises suddenly surrounded by red arching fingers, ravenously reaching for that central sapphire. Dangling there, jerking about, Robert’s mind wandered to the past.

Robert was known as The Kingmaker throughout the global media. Dubbed as such when but a touch from Robert would grant those tapped with euphoric extra-human capability lasting a full sixty minutes. Exactly was sort of capability was seemingly random and ranged anywhere from a humdrum extra pair of eyes to absolute omniscience.

Robert kept to himself as often as he could, but once word of this endowment spread there were entire countries of people looking to him for religious guidance. For leadership. For fleeting power. Grabbing, scratching, pinching, pushing, poking, punching, kissing, biting — wherever he would travel, someone would be there, looking for that lovely hour they felt so entitled to, without so much as an iota of remorse for the man they were slowly eroding.

He could take it no longer.

Now, dancing about unevenly like a marionette with all but a single string cut, he felt as vast a sadness as he had ever felt. Robert knew even if he were to live out his pitied existence, he’d never be his father, he would never had what he had. There would never be twinkling beacons above a true and passionate display, red with drink and fire. There would always be ulterior motives.

He felt gravity pull him down to the ground as he crumpled to the floor with a dense thud. Confused and grasping for the air he just now forsaken, he opened his eyes and saw them: his maniacal devotees. Robert, we could not let you do this to yourself, we love you they would say with transparent feeling. Not before we touch you, they would think with voracious avarice — just once.


#1 Maurice Estlebraun the Gunpriest

| November 1, 2010 | 0 Comments

The air in the room hung low overhead, musty and thick like the grey grasping plumes of smoke at the Olde Sanctuary once did years earlier in celebration of a successful exorcism.

“A simpler time,” thought Maurice as he lifted the remains of the body slightly with the barrel of his abnormally long pistol.  A dry, black arm crumbled off at the joint with the small movement, settling on the smooth pavement below without sound. Small flecks of previously pink flesh darted upward from the resulting breeze, glad to be free of the charred husk. The smell that wafted into Maurice’s nostrils would make any lesser man cringe and wretch. There was something oddly familiar about this unidentifiable and burned corpse. He thought of flowers.

Maurice Estlebraun stroked his thick brown mustache outward in thought using his thumb and forefinger, surveying the scene. He had an intense face, a brow perpetually furrowed and a mouth like a razor’s cut, thin and sharp. His hair had gone years ago, even before he was consecrated. He wore the garb of the Gunpriests, white and red robes atop hinges and clasps of dull steel and worn leather.

As a Gunpriest of the Unified Church-States of the Judeo-Christian Order proper for the better half of his 39 years, Maurice had seen and smelled horrors such as this many times before. His Brothers in training at the Olde Sanctuary had told him stories… self-impalements, self-flayings, self-incinerations. The Demonkind would use these displays of mutilation as demoralizing examples, shock and awe. It is the first known instance of the Hellhounds’ adaptation of human combat tactics since the war began. It seemed so long ago now, so many lost and missing months as the fight spiraled into wanton destruction. So very many days in service to the Lord and his herd, so many hours since he had breathed in the hint of jasmine in her hair.

With an exhalation, Maurice grimly rose from his kneeled position and holstered his Crucifixion Device, the smooth golden hilt felt familiar as it slid down his palm and into its leather cradle. He closed his eyes and muttered a short prayersong for the deceased. Afterward his eye caught a glint in the death that laid before him.

A jolt of electricity shot from his gut to his throat.

Reluctantly reaching back down, he pulled the shining bauble closer to his face: a silver cross, its perfection starkly contrasting with the morbid surroundings of the cellar. Along the side, an engraving.

It read, “To my Rose: God is with you, even though I am not. I love you. -Maurice.”

The cross clanged as it hit the cold ground, a mark left on its face, never again the same.


30 Character Challenger: Anthony Ferrante

| October 25, 2010 | 3 Comments

Hey there. My name is Anthony Ferrante, I am a writer and founder of the Black Hole Cavalry, a creator studio based on Long Island. I’ve written The Rejects, of which the second volume will begin to see digital print by the end of the year, Legacy, a project that’s currently being pitched, Electrical Resistance, also on the verge of pitching and The Triumvirate of Thicketwood, which is in its very infancy. I’ve recently done some work with Titan Books and the WWE.

Being a dirty common vagrant writer of the comic books, I realize that my posts may not be as interesting to the basic site-skimmer who will most likely frequent this virtual space. However, complete this I must – thirty individuals will be born in this space.

Tyler’s a good guy, and an indy comics maven, so I felt it was a good idea to get in on this platform and use it as not only a personal goal to achieve, but also as a nexus of likewise creative minds who one day I may collaborate with. I plan to learn, absorb, network and create together with a bunch of talented folks.

You can find me elsewhere on Twitter and Facebook.