ABAM halloween relic short story a book a month

‘Relic’ – A Halloween short story

‘Tis the season, so it only seems about right to throw out a Halloween short story for your ocular or aural imbibement.

‘Relic’ is about an old man who cannot die.  The last man alive, longing for death.  It is not a happy story full of puppies and rainbows, but it is 100% rated PG.

You can download direct via these links, head to the iBooks, Nook or Kobo stores to have it download straight to your device, or read the whole thing below, after the explanation of where it (and the writing style) came from.

AZW3  – ePub Mobi PDF audiobook MP3download via iTunes

(apologies if the audiobook isn’t of the best quality, the recording was somewhat rushed.)

If you enjoy the story, do please review it on Goodreads. Any feedback is muchly appreciated.


This story, ‘Relic’, was written approximately eight years ago, whilst heavily dosing on nootropics. Nootropics, for the uninitiated, are so-called ‘smart drugs’. I was working full-time as a writer and producer for an ‘internet video content’ company at the time, whilst sidelining as the producer of a feature film, and also developing a concept for a TV show. As you can imagine, I was a little overworked, and used nootropics to make my brain not collapse.

The unfortunate side effect (which to some degree still lingers with me to this day) is that I ended up speaking entirely in some kind of mangled Dickensian / Poe style prose, with more rhyming to one’s sentence structure than normal society takes kindly to.  Luckily, everyone who was employing me assumed I was just eccentric, which is pretty much how I’ve survived in this business for however bastard long.  In the midst of all that, the short was written, I believe on a plane to New York. An abridged version (not that it’s *that* long) was turned into a short film about 5 years ago and won an award somewhere, but this version is certainly better.

Anyway, enough about me and my self-medication tales.  To the story!





A short story by Lee Isserow


Sitting, waiting, wanting,
For an answer to his question,
Joseph Myers watches from his window,
As the sun doeth rise.
And he speaks not in the open,
As his words not need be spoken,
But the thoughts they are evoking,
Are of those he knows long lost.
He sits the soul survivor,
Of thirteen from the same mother,
With a myriad different fathers,
They never knew for long.
Separated by a war,
Though what they fought hard for,
Does not seem important,
Now the fighters are all gone.


But Joseph, he survives,
Although he longs to die.
A relic from another time,
When friends long gone still walked the earth.


He recalls long lost love gone,
Remembers big band songs,
But questions if those memories,
Are just half-remembered dreams.
Holding faces without names,
Claiming them all as old friends,
He cannot comprehend,
What it was to see them die.
But the faces will not leave,
Sentient, he does perceive,
And they talk to him,
As if they were alive.
Thus a fraction of his mind still sparks,
A fraction nonetheless still works,
And where it falls to fail,
He fills the gap with lies.


Time goes past,
And lives, they pass,
But Joe, he lasts.
A relic from another time,
When friends long gone still walked the earth.


He’s had no visitors for years.
His children passed, but he shed no tears.
Perhaps he never could cry,
And thus he never has.
But their faces haunt him daily,
Without names or voice, and maybe,
They assemble to remind him,
Of all his darkest deeds.
Praying every day for death,
He still eludes its wrath,
And wonders if the Reaper,
Will ever come for him.
So he sits and waits asunder,
With his heart heavy and wonders,
Asking just how long eternity can last.


Time spins on,
All others gone,
But Joe lives on.
A relic from another time,
When friends long gone still walked the earth.


He knows their deaths were at his hands,
An agreement made in darkest times,
Barter life by taking life,
And siphoning their years.
But now it seems for naught,
As he’s old, and somewhat fraught,
The only living man,
In a world that just decays.
He sits at windowsill,
And begs and begs until,
A figure long forgotten,
Approaches as sun sets.
Leaping from his chair,
Aching bones no more a care,
He opens wide the door,
In hope of one last visitor.


“Joseph”, it declares.
“Still alive!”, it sneers.
“Not for long…” it jeers.
“A relic from another time,
When friends you culled still walked the earth.”


Then from somewhere deep inside,
Names and faces, they collide,
And the memories come flooding back in spades.
As he tries to beg forgiveness,
His utterings are worthless,
For a tightening in his chest becomes too much.
The faces watch in silence,
As he collapses in their eyelines,
Before too long he has no breath,
To apologize for wrongs.
Joseph Myers passes on,
As all those he knew had done,
And ne’er again will he ask for answers.


While his body, it does stay,
His consciousness is free.
A relic from another time,
As dead as those who once walked the earth.





Well, that was fun, wasn’t it. Nothing like a sad old satanic-bargain-making murderer dying to start off your Halloween with a bang.


If you enjoyed this, do please come back over the forthcoming weeks for the sample chapter and video trailer for the very first full-length BAM ‘@’.  You can find out more and pre-order via the links below.

Amazon UK Amazon US

ABAM is also on Facebook now, because I have been shouted at for not being on Facebook.  So why not like the page, because it is currently sad and lonely and needs your attention.  Also, I’ll be giving away free gifts from there every month, so that’s a perk too.