To start Nightmares of Hell at the beginning, click here.
Author’s Note—Well guys, the seaman’s dead, and how ’bout that. He died last chapter, which seems like eons ago. Maybe it was two weeks ago. But unfortunately for the seaman, dead lasts forever.
But fortunately for us, Nightmares of Hell lasts forever too.
The seaman’s 600 progeny all went to his funeral. So did his friends. As you can see, this means the seaman had a truly massive funeral. The family all had to chip in to rent a big place. They got a buffet 100 yards long. And, everyone wanted to speak. Everyone had a few things to say about the seaman, a process that, perhaps unsurprisingly, took a long, long time. A time during which the cheese at the buffet got warm and the soup got cold. The ice in the punch melted and the vapors on the coffee ran out of gas. The buffet became tepid. Six hundred progeny became weary. When they finally got to the end, all they had was warm cheese and cold coffee. The vegetables had all gone to seed. The fruit had gone to seed too. And the meat? That’s a whole other nightmare.
But as you were probably expecting, upon hitting the buffet, having been wearied by 600-plus speeches, the seaman’s progeny withered and died too. Which was unfortunate. Because The Seaman’s Progeny might make for a nice book.
Perhaps you believe in the afterlife.
Author’s Note—What’s up, guys. Well I guess the body count in Nightmares of Hell just climbed from one to 601. That’s an increase of, well… you do the math. At times like these, percentages go out the window. The increase could be summed up more eloquently with the language God gave me: English, a language that can do more than numbers. So what percentage did the body count climb between chapters four and five in Nightmares of Hell? A shitload, and that’s a fact.
We live in a world where everyone dies all the time. We live in a world where some people are already dead, due to poor decisions. We live in a world where some people are already dead, due to chance. There are factors, causes. They’re abundant. They’re everywhere. Sometimes you feel electric. Like your hair’s on end.
If you do, the seaman won’t blame you. That’s right. He’s dead, but he can see too.
Author’s Note—If the seaman’s dead, but he can still see, dead isn’t dead, and now I’ve proved that life is eternal and God is a fact.
Tom Dibblee is Trop’s editor. His fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train and his nonfiction has appeared in Pacific Standard, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Point. He lives in Los Angeles.