This piece was submitted to ZeroFlash’s October/November Contest. Didn’t win anything, but I’m proud of it nonetheless as a creepy little fiction. Note: I’ve edited it slightly.
This piece won 2nd Place in Zeroflash’s June Contest. So, progress, I guess. The prompt was to write a fantasy adventure akin to a choose-your-own-adventure novel but under 300 words. I decided on fun over phenomenal and literary fathoms. Credit where credit’s due—my pal Jevin Goleman came up with the title (mine—”Ironfell”—not so good). Continue reading “2nd Place—”Forge Your Own Adventure””
[A literary quickie for Valentine’s Day.]
Duck Marston ran home and kissed his wife and patted his daughter’s head and asked them both: “Be Mine?” It was Valentine’s, that nasty holiday of love making, and despite all the chocolates and flowers Duck had brought, his women gave him little attention. The wife turned away so he kissed her by the ear, inhaling an orange grain of wax. His daughter took his pats like a surly dog and bit three of his fingers. The chocolates they threw away—“We’re dieting, remember?” The flowers went in compost. The girls were too disgusted by this desperate mewling man to explain that flowers were just twenty dollars to watch something die, and they already had front row seats—free of charge—to his life.
[Click here for “A Few Valentine’s Day Literary Cards.”]
[Click here for “everything you need to know about my love life in haiku.”]
My paragraph piece “An Old War Hog” just published in Ghost Parachute, a magazine devoted to “fresh and vibrant imagery,” to “unleash[ing] the spider behind the rose.” The piece is small so I won’t ruin it with a summary. Just know that Ghost Parachute has an interesting format—every story is paired with an original image created by their artists. Credit for the picture above goes to Felix Sanchez.
My philosophy is a lone night, with the wife far-flung on the couch watching videos about tape worms. I’ve gone to bed early, and the rain is caught by the tree canopy, except for a black fall from the roof that taps the cement. In the dark it could be the crackle of fire. My philosophy is my beating heart compared to her’s. I can only imagine she still lives, eyes fixed on the doctor’s spool, trapped by elemental darkness.
“It doesn’t matter” was his mantra.
“It doesn’t matter.”
In the bar, Dr. Bysshe clung to the utter frivolity and therefore futility of human life — its meaninglessness, its atoms, its empty spaces. He would witness a woman pulling gum off her shoe or a video of a school shooter offing himself after offing his class with the same perplexity, the same inquiry of who cares?
Every name, he argued, would be erased. No love, sorrow, contact, or conflict could endure the eternal siege of Time and Entropy.
So we have remembered him. It is our one countermeasure, or consolation.
Although Dr. Bysshe lived a hundred years ago, we remember, and we transmit his crushing spirit forward across state lines and timelines.
We will immortalize his shattered visage, his wrinkled lip, his frown, and his philosophic vision that so neatly suspends us over the Pit, so that all may look on his Works and Laugh, before completing their flight and lying down to sleep in lonesome sands.
He came home worried about the broth smell misting through the house. He went straight for the cage to find it empty. Did she do it? Did she cook the rabbit?
He sat at the table, disheartened, and when she brought a bowl of soup—just water and meat chunk—he felt an internal brokenness, a crack in that childish hopefulness that had helped him survive poverty for so many years.
The rabbit, the little innocent, sacrificed like everything else.
But when the rabbit hopped out from under the table, he sighed, relieved, and pet it gently.
“Eat,” said his wife, happily. She gestured to his bowl, but where her hand should be was a stump wrapped in bandages.
“Eat,” said his wife. “Eat.”