“It was a dark and stormy night,” Silverman typed, self-satisfied, and then a hair-strewn crimson arm with eighteen bladed fingers outstretched from his computer monitor and weed-whacked his head off his torso. Thus divorced from the rest of his body, Silverman’s head smacked into the top corner of his room with such force that it became wedged and stuck. It was from this comfortable vantage point that Silverman watched the rest of the beast emerge from his monitor screen. Its head resembled a shoot of broccoli dipped in cherry sauce. Its torso was as hairy and crimson as its arms, although darker near the neck, which suggested the tan-lines one might associate with a sleeveless T. As the beast crawled across the expanse of Silverman’s desk and the blood-honeyed remains of Silverman’s body, its hindquarters finally came into view, although the less said about them, the better.
Silverman, to his credit, never closed his eyes.
“YOU!” growled the beast. Its broccoli shoot head shook violently, as if caught downwind from a mighty fart. “YOU DARE SUMMON ME?!”
At this point, Silverman became confused. “I was just writing a story,” he said. “I’m on deadline.”
“YOU INCANTED THE SACRED SPELL AND WOKE ME FROM MY SLUMBER! FOR THIS, YOUR SOUL SHALL BE DEVOURED!”
“It was an accident. Really.” Silverman noticed that his mouth was becoming dry and concluded that his saliva was probably dribbling out the hole at the bottom of his head. Oh, what he would have given at that moment for a tall glass of water. “I was just trying to set a sinister mood before I introduced my protagonist who is hard-on-his-luck. He’s a PI, you see, and his wife just divorced him and and he’s in his office, staring bleary-eyed down the long neck of a bottle of Jim Beam and—“
Another beast emerged from the computer monitor, a twin of the first save for its skin color, which was all of one shade and thus lacked the embarrassing two-tone tan lines of his brother.
“WHO INCANTS THE SACRED SPELL?” the second beast asked. “WHO SUMMONS US?”
"My name’s Silverman. Perhaps you’ve heard of me? I’ve published fourteen stories online, not counting my Law & Order: SVU fan fiction. There’s a contest at this website and the winner’s story gets included in this chapbook that all contributors can purchase for a discount and I was just writing my entry when all this started. I really didn’t intend to cause a ruckus.”
The two beasts glanced at each other, if two mounds of cherry-sauced broccoli could be said to glance.
“HE WILL BE A WASTE OF OUR TORTURES,” they decided in unison.
Silverman was mildly offended by this, and he opened his mouth to retort but by now all the saliva left in his mouth had left his mouth and he couldn’t speak.
“WE WILL LEAVE YOU,” intoned the first beast. “BE MORE CAREFUL WITH YOUR WORDS OF POWER, HUMAN.”
They shuffled back to the desk, which by now was more a basin of ooze, and returned to their netherworld via Silverman’s computer monitor. The moment that the hindquarters of the final beast had passed through the gateway, Silverman felt a rush of sensation fill his skull, stopping up each of his senses, and as soon as the sensation ceased and his senses returned, he realized he was back in his desk chair. All the gore had vanished from his room and the document on his monitor was absent of words.
“Well,” said Silverman, “I’m sure not going to begin with that sentence.”
He cracked his knuckles, thought for a moment, took a deep breath, and typed out his fresh opening: “Once upon a time…”
This time when Silverman's head was lopped off, it bounced off one of the walls of the room and landed with a wet thump in the bottom of his wicker-sewn wastepaper basket.