Behind column #1
Pros: this column is wide and sturdy.
Cons: the metal pipes make sounds and heat. Just the pipes.
I have a new horror story in Mythic Delirium 3.3, “The Famine King.” You can read it online heeeere: Mythic Delirium 3.3, February Featured Story. It’s about wendigo movies, psychosis, hunger, and the cannibal world we live in. Although the story is among my most personal and complex, this blog post will not comment on its meaning(s) or try to direct reader interpretation. However, I’d like to discuss (briefly) the main character, Irene. During the story, she has a psychotic episode, and guess what! She’s not the bad guy! That’s no spoiler, by the way: it’s something that should go without saying. Unfortunately, the horror genre is not known for realistic or sympathetic portrayals of mental illness. Cough. It’s time for a change!
Final fun fact: alternate universe versions of Irene and Az (protagonists in “The Famine King”) appeared in the first story I sold, “To Sleep.” It’s a creepy flash about troubled dreams and small-town hatred. It’s inspired by the worst place I ever lived, a little town called Castleton, Vermont. Ask me about Castleton sometime. I dare you. The story is still in the Fiction 365 archives, but you can also read a copy on my blog: To Sleep
Pros: very quiet.
Cons: required contortion.
I received this in the mail!
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(This is a piece of fiction.)
Hello friends! As a scary person, I often share my paranormal experiences online. Here’s the latest, originally posted on twitter:
Once, with Ouija board and planchette, I asked the ghosts, “What is it like?” They said to me, “We’ll show you. Turn off the lights.” So …
I waited in silence. Minutes passed. One, five, ten. Thirty. “Nothing,” I said. “I don’t hear anything. I don’t see anything.”
The planchette slid across the board. “Exactly,” spelled the ghosts. And they never spoke to me again. Goodnight, Twitter.
True story. Aren’t they all? 😉
Clearly, I enjoy horror/dark fiction anthologies. Behold my partial collection (above), arranged on a freshly swept floor!
During this blog series, I will review ONE personal favorite story from each anthology (without spoilers)!
Why don’t I dish on the bad stuff instead? Good question! Yes, I’ve read my share of less-than-stellar stuff: stories populated by insulting stereotypes, eye-rollable twists, plot holes large enough to swallow a whale. It would be easy to fill my blog with negative critiques. However, I’d much rather help people find great reads! This series will focus on the positive by celebrating phenomenal writers and editors.
That said, today I’m going to discuss one of my favorite recent anthologies, Hauntings (2013, edited by Ellen Datlow). The cover has a bird person on it. Does it get better than that? I thoroughly enjoyed this collection, which contains works from the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. As the title suggests, a haunting atmosphere thematically links the 24 dark fantasy/horror stories, yet they’re a refreshingly diverse group, offering different literary structures, voices, and fiends. I highly, highly, highly recommend this anthology to any fan of weird, beautifully written dark fiction. Ellen Datlow yet again shines!
It was difficult to choose a favorite story from Hauntings. Too difficult! So, in review #1, I will break the rules (already X-X) and discuss a piece that made me think more than the others. Continue reading
I found the red-winged blackbird behind a pickup truck in the apartment parking lot. One wing bent and bleeding, she crowed defiantly as I approached. Blackbird stared me down with dark, round eyes, her feathered breast heaving, her mouth cracked open. It was summer in Texas, and the air near the concrete ground shimmered. I ran inside and returned with a towel and shoebox. Five minutes later, we left the parking lot in my Monte Carlo from the nineties, heading to the wildlife rehabilitation center thirty miles away. I hoped that somebody there could rescue Blackbird or, at the very least, provide a calm death. The working veterinarian gave me papers to sign, release forms that gave the center permission to treat Blackbird, as if she became mine when I interfered with nature’s plans. Continue reading