Posts

Showing posts from July, 2017

Paternal Instinct

This is a rewrite of a previous story titled "Dismemberment." I wanted to refashion it into something sharper and more visceral. Hopefully, I succeeded in some way.

The gleaming fright-filled eyes of a boy wearing an oversized soldier's helmet clutching a rifle almost as long as him was the last thing Marie had seen before the cellar door closed leaving them in darkness as enveloping as the grave itself. She had her two daughters huddled against the stone walls clutching each other tighter every time a shell impact shook the house and showered them with dust.
The blinding darkness made time imperceptible to the terrified widow holding onto her crying children. It seemed like the fighting had petered out, but there was no way to tell how long it was before the last shot, so she decided to wait just a little longer.
The static darkness made the futility of her prudence apparent. She decided if any time warranted using their last bit of kerosene this was probably it. She li…

Denial

Ellen Bergman was by anyone’s standards a woman of her era. She had her only child at an age where she was steady in her career; she was actively involved in regimenting her young son’s in the hopes structure was a crucial element in raising a child into a respectable adult. She carefully planned her own waking hours meticulously allotting sufficient time to every personal and professional priority. When she turned these energies towards choreographing “traditional” dinners for her family, she found herself surprised by just how conventional the arrangement turned out.
Her husband sat at the head of the table while she sat to one side and their son directly across from her. In between, them was an array of taking out containers. The Bergman’s hadn't put too much stock into the arcane concept of the daily family meal. Not until the recent passing of Allan Bergman. Ellen’s husband and Ethan’s father.
Allan had been buried sixteen days ago, noticeably absent from his wake and funeral…

Communications

When communicating via text, you can gauge someone's reaction to any attempt at humor you might make using this scale; one "ha" is the equivalent of a polite chuckle. It was forced and contrived. Interpret this to mean your attempt was a failure. Two "ha's" or a" haha" the chance you made this person audibly chuckle is around 50%. I know 50% amounts to either did or didn't and doesn't seem very helpful but it this can still be used as a basis to assess further reactions. Now anything more than 2 sequential "ha's" or a "hahaha" the chance you made that person laugh is probably better than three in four.

Autophagia

Image
I got my copy of the Retrospective zine from Palm Sized Press! It features one of my stories as well pieces from close to a dozen other authors all in a booklet the size of a cd cover! Remember those things?

The maggot’s existence began as abruptly as any other organism’s tenure on earth.  The slimy, milky white infant writhed with its brethren embedded in the decomposing human flesh. Only when the body is human is it called a corpse, but the maggot holds no such concept as sanctity and simply eats the remains breaking down the biological shell that once held and animated every intangible aspect of a human being into its most basic organic components.
Like the imperceptible scavengers nurturing themselves by the billions in the rot, the maggot was born from atrophy's terminal cycle.  A single complex entity was dissolving and distributing its energies among an inconceivable variety of far simpler life forms like the eyeless maggot at the early stages of a process that inevitably …

Youthful Angst

The camp was a collection of ragged tarp huts, and tattered mud caked plastic pup tents. Like the fighters who put their stakes down in this remote part of the desert their hastily improvised base was a messy, unorganized patchwork that perfectly reflected the cohesion and unity of this armed force. Militants of every political and ideological stripe had been brought here to fight under the banner of Paul Reiser the youngest warlord to ever operate on American soil.
The temperature was topping off at 115 degrees. The fiercely engorged sun turned the desert into an inescapable oven. Shady spots were at a premium, and desperate men fought over any shadow that could provide some refuge from the flesh roasting rays.
Those squeezed out we’re like losers in a macabre game of musical chairs. They staggered around in the sand as the air gradually wrung out ever last drop from their wilting bodies. Some begged for just a moment in the shade while others deliriously dug through the rotting refu…

They Say Beauty is Fleeting

The popular night spot was a dimly lit den for hip urban youths, the self-stylized creative class. Chalkboard portraits and band stickers covered the interior and layered over physical remains of the establishment's past from when it was a working-class dive. The construction workers and tradesmen who once patronized the watering hole had been replaced by a clientele of self-proclaimed artists and musicians, a new class of bohemians who enjoyed the freedom of the lifestyle along with the security of wealth.
The bartender rang the bell and announced last call. A tattooed mob rushed the tired service workers in a desperate bid to enjoy one final libation before retiring for the night.
 Amanda was a striking young woman with fair skin and blue hair was sitting alone at a table covered in empty bottles and shot glasses. She wore a small white t-shirt that hung from her tattooed shoulders. The tattered cloth stretched down from her slender neck giving an ample view of her chest where f…