My short story Le Pain Maudit is now available in an anthology of all new mythos fiction from Arc Dream Publishing.
These are 18 case histories ranging from the late 1940s to present day by some of the most popular writers in the horror and RPG field.
Here is the table of contents
- “The Color of Dust” by Laurel Halbany.
- “PAPERCLIP” by Kenneth Hite.
- “A Spider With Barbed-Wire Legs” by Davide Mana.
- “Le Pain Maudit” by Jeff C. Carter.
- “Cracks in the Door” by Jason Mical.
- “Ganzfeld Gate” by Cody Goodfellow.
- “Utopia” by David Farnell.
- “The Perplexing Demise of Stooge Wilson” by David J. Fielding.
- “Dark” by Daniel Harms.
- “Morning in America” by James Lowder.
- “Boxes Inside Boxes” and “The Mirror Maze” by Dennis Detwiller.
- “A Question of Memory” by Greg Stolze.
- “Pluperfect” by Ray Winninger.
- “Friendly Advice” by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan.
- “Passing the Torch” by Adam Scott Glancy.
- “The Lucky Ones” by John Scott Tynes.
- “Syndemic” and an introduction by Shane Ivey.
I have been a fan of Delta Green since the U.S. military stormed the blighted town at the end of ‘Shadow Over Innsmouth’. The paradigm of military vs. monsters is thrilling because we think monsters aren’t real. When you delve deeper into the military and intelligence side, however, the ground does not get more stable. The secrets you learn do not make you feel safer. This is a world of paranoia and murder. This is the real world, where even now people with unlimited budgets are scrambling to invent the next existential threat before ‘the other side’ can.
My story follows from two disturbing chapters in recent history. The first was the revelation of the CIA’s Project MKULTRA, which attempted to develop mind control techniques that they tested on innocent people without their consent.
The second was the strange tragedy known as ‘Le Pain Maudit’, the outbreak of mass hallucinations that ravaged a small French village in 1951. Some theorize that the local baker’s bread was contaminated by ergot fungus. There are clues, however, that suggest the CIA had dosed the town with LSD.
Here is an excerpt from Le Pain Maudit:
Frank, Gerhard and John stood shoulder to shoulder, watching through the two-way mirror. Edward was negotiating with Monsieur Tatin over wine, cheese and bread. John filmed the proceedings with a purring film camera.
Frank idly scratched his pen on the metal clipboard balanced on his forearm while he observed the German. Gerhard marked his log each time Tatin took a bite or sip. He checked a stop watch and smiled.
“Any moment now.”
Frank pulled off his headphones and whispered.
“What did you dose him with?”
“Ja, a potent hallucinogen. It enhances the truth-serum effects of LSD.”
A crash from the main room turned their heads.
Monsieur Tatin had dropped his wine glass and stumbled against the wall. Edward eased him into a chair.
“Relax, monsieur. It’s all right.”
“Je suis désolé, I do not feel so well. I just….”
Monsieur Tatin twisted to stare into the firelight. His eyes had dilated into gaping black holes.
“How are you feeling, monsieur? What do you see?”
The Frenchman licked his wine-stained lips and wavered.
“A black temple…with spires that reach the stars. It’s impossible. So vast. So ancient!”
Gerhard’s scratching pen fell silent. Frank looked over. The German had closed his eyes in an expression like prayer.
Tatin gripped the edge of the table and shook.
“I’m being pulled inside. I’m sinking! In the crypts, they dwell…fungal things…silently waiting. I’m frightened! They know I am there! They know!”
He spewed a stream of bile across the table and collapsed. Edward hurried over and checked his pulse.
Tatin looked around with blurry, bloodshot eyes. His pupils were returning to normal. He finally noticed Edward standing over him.
“We drank too much, monsieur. Let me walk you home.”
John turned off the recording equipment. Frank pretended to finish his notes while watching Gerhard. The German gathered the remaining food and wine with great reverence, like a priest handling sacraments.
Frank stepped out of the bedroom and waved a pen.
“Was that a success or a failure, Herr Doktor?”