THE NIGHTLY CHILL
By Steve Arviso
Pale Horse (Act One).
FIGHT THE DAWN!
As the sunlit sanity of the waking world burns the night to ash,
embrace the unbound madness of your wildest dreams,
laugh into the endless abyss of your darkest fantasies,
and rage against the coming dawn.
The Nightly Chill is the unstable experience of the mind and madness of Steve Arviso (@AmoralCrackpot). Mon-Fri. Ish.
- PALE HORSE (ACT ONE)
- THE MIXTAPE
I was debating which of several ideas to run with this month, all of them revolving around some violent vigilante. There’s a supernaturally powered priest. I’ve got a few stories about a deadly woman who hunts wicked men by moonlight. And the return of Dr. Howard Fine in an all-new ELSEWHERE adventure.
But tonight, I think we’re starting off with a more strange…I don’t want to say, “hero.” But a stranger cursed by his own hand, aiding those who might curse themselves.
VIRAL LOAD PODCAST
WE ARE THE LOST
The Nightly Chill wants to show some love to a variety of cool shit from local and other independent artists, performers, and assorted creative types!
If you have a show you want to promote, especially if it’s located in SoCal, let’s get your poster and links! Got a cool short film you made for no money, or a song your band is trying to get out there to more peeps? Let’s embed that YouTube video and link new listeners to where they can support you!
Hit us up if you make:
- Music, audio dramas
- Genre fiction, poetry, films, etc!
The weirder, the better!
We are The Lost. And together, we’ll make sure the world sees and hears us.
Chill with original audio projects such as Adena’s lil’ audio love note to the (great) granddaddy of pulp vigilantes, The Shadow. Or with Steve’s original short-form audio drama, Where Stars Collide!
Listen now on Spotify or sub to the PulpBusters audio feed using the links below.
PALE HORSE (ACT ONE)
A dark tale of young love tragically cut short and supernatural revenge.
SCENE 1 – A DARK ROAD.
SOUNDSCAPE: THE DRAMATICALLY APPROPRIATE SOUNDS OF A LONELY CANYON ROAD AT NIGHT.
The year is 1955. The place, a moonlit stretch of road cutting and weaving through a weed and bramble-choked canyon somewhere in California.
A CLASSIC ROADSTER APPROACHES, ROARS PAST, AND AWAY.
The car, meanwhile, belongs to the young man behind the wheel–Benny Sierra. But while his eyes are on the road, Benny’s attention and affection both belong to the charming young woman seated beside him.
SOUNDSCAPE: THE ROCK ‘N ROLL INTERIOR OF A 1955 BEL AIR AS IT SPEEDS DOWN A LONELY CANYON ROAD AT NIGHT.
I had a really nice time tonight.
Me too, Natalie.
(Putting on the charm.)
So, uh… what was your favorite part?
Well… I want to say it was the part where I got to share a moonlit picnic by the lake with a dark, handsome stranger.
But? Wait. What? Why’s there a but?
(Big smile. Pressing on.)
But… I gotta say, I kinda wish I stayed with that Mutant fellow with the big brain.
Laws, that was an awful movie!
Did you hear that man sitting behind us?
Hear him? I still can’t get his bad jokes out of my head. He was talking through the whole movie!
(Snuggling up close.)
I guess it’s a good thing we left early, huh?
(Smiling. In love.)
Yeah. I guess it was.
WOOP-WOOP! POLICE CRUISER FLASHES LIGHTS AND SIREN.
Aw, man. What now?
Benny, you better pull over.
BEL AIR PULLS TO THE SIDE OF THE ROAD, STOPS.
SOUNDSCAPE: THE UNCOMFORTABLE AMBIENCE OF AN UNWARRANTED TRAFFIC STOP ON THE SIDE OF A LONELY CANYON ROAD AT NIGHT.
OFFICER APPROACHES, TAPS ON GLASS.
BENNY ROLLS, CRANKS DOWN WINDOW.
Please step out of the car, Sir.
(To Benny.) (Casually pleading.)
Sir, please. Step out of the car.
Jimmy, what are you doing?
I’m sorry, Nat.
(OFF.) (Booming. Calm. Firm.)
The man asked you to step out of the car twice now. Don’t make him ask you a third time.
NATALIE STORMS OUT OF THE CAR, AT CLARENCE.
Natalie. You get back in there. This ain’t got nothing to do with you.
CLARENCE SLAPS NATALIE.
See what you’ve made me go and do, Mr. Sierra? Think you want to step out of that car now, hm?
BENNY STEPS OUT OF THE CAR.
That’s a good boy.
See? Was that too hard? All I wanted was a little pow-wow with our mutual friend.
What do you want, Clarence–
(To OFFICER. Calmer.)
Jimmy. Take Natalie home.
Come along, Nat.
What do we have to talk about? Was I speeding? You gonna give me a ticket?
No. We’re past that, Mr. Sierra.
CLARENCE UNHOLSTERS HIS SIDEARM, PISTOLWHIPS BENNY.
BENNY DROPS LIKE A ROCK WITH A BROKEN JAW.
Yeah. I bet that smarts.
Jimmy. Wouldn’t you agree that there is a God-given order to the world? A purpose. A plan. A place for everything, and everything in its place.
Yeah. Yeah, I guess so. But, uh… Clarence, I don’t think–
Nor should you. Didn’t I order you to take Natalie home?
Then I suggest you mind your place and do your job.
And you, Mr. Sierra. We’re going to see if we can sort out exactly where you belong.
CLARENCE KICKS BENNY IN THE RIBS.
Clarence! Stop this!
Jimmy, I told you–!
BENNY TACKLES CLARENCE TO THE GROUND.
BENNY AND CLARENCE WRESTLE, STRUGGLE OVER GUN.
Both of you! Cut this out right this instant!
BENNY PINS, PUNCHES CLARENCE. ONCE, TWICE…
BANG! A SINGLE GUNSHOT ECHOES THROUGH THE CANYON.
BENNY DROPS DEAD.
Clarence… Clarence, what did you do?
(Rising, dusting off.)
Eliminated the threat.
You shot him, Clarence. He’s dead. He ain’t supposed to be dead. But you shot him, and now he’s dead.
Then I guess he knows his place now, don’t he?
This is wrong. This is all wrong.
The only thing wrong is that you haven’t left yet. Get her home.
What are you going to do?
Remember? A place for everything, and everything in its place. And someone’s gotta take out the trash.
OFFICER ESCORTS A BROKEN NATALIE INTO THE CRUISER, DRIVES AWAY.
FADE TO UNCOMFORTABLE SILENCE.
END ACT ONE.
TO BE CONTINUED…
I’VE GOT A RECEIPT
An absurd tale of consumerism and cosmic horror.
- Read it on PulpBusters.com!
Tracks I’m currently chillin’ with. Tonight, other nights. Follow the Playlist on YouTube to keep up with all the changes.
GRAND GHOULISH – THE E-BOOK!
Originally serialized in the digital pages of The Nightly Chill, Steve Arviso’s Grand Ghoulish collects the completed absurd twisted romance between a photographer, a housewife, and her husband–a surgeon who enjoys getting a little blood on his hands!
Read it for FREE in the back issues of The Nightly Chill, or directly support The Nightly Chill and other works by purchasing a copy of the e-book!
SUBSCRIBE FOR THAT WALK-OF-SHAME FEELING EVERY MORNING AFTER!
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YOU ARE NOT ALONE
THE NIGHTLY CHILL