“The Collector (Or, Google It)” by Mason Ian Bundschuh

February 19, 2012

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Markus is having a bad day. He’s hopelessly lost in the desert with his extremely-recently-ex-girlfriend—and he’s about to meet The Collector, who plays by ancient rules a game that promises to be very grisly for those who can’t, or won’t, work together. [21min]


We both watched her walk into the dark. She never turned to look back; I hadn’t known I expected her to until that moment and it hit me.

“She’s not coming back. You know that, right?” Its teeth glinted in the sulphurous street light glow.

I tried not to look at them because every time I did I could feel them on my throat.

“We’ll see.”

To leave its words unchallenged felt too much like admitting they were true.

Its teeth clacked. A lamp-like eye moved over me. “I can wait.”

And I knew it could. It had more patience than the desert sand waiting for the oceans to come back.

The only thing I wanted to come back was Melody.

“We are so lost.” She fanned herself with her sun hat. “Marcus, you really screwed up this time.”
We’d only been dating for three months but already I was sick of the way she ground my face in failure. Still, she was a ten; how many tens does a guy like me date?

But hot or not, she’d been harping on me for the past two hours.

I still couldn’t understand how we’d gotten lost. I mean, we’d only wandered up one of the wadis above the little docking area where we’d left the others lunching on dry sandwiches and bottled water.

Since then we’d seen nothing but baked-brown desert cliffs and sand.

“There’s got to be some roads or tracks heading down to the water. Remember what they said about nomads.” Gravel dug into the sole of my foot, but I wouldn’t stop to shake it out. Last time I did Melody kept walking.

“How does one misplace the Nile?” she said without even bothering to turn. Melody stomped along the crest of the eroded hillside with disgust riding in the set of her shoulders. “If we’d just stayed with the group…”

It was midday. The heat—even this late in the year—was crippling.



Paris Crenshaw February 20, 2012 at 7:48 AM

Neat story, Mr. Bundschuh. What a fun take on a classic monster. Well done!

Dan February 29, 2012 at 1:01 AM

Loved this story. Loved the original twist on the Lovecraft mythos. Nice one.

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