Friday, September 27, 2013

Another story that's an old favorite... MURIEL






Muriel

by

Al Bruno III


This Town is a cluster of homes and businesses that mark the point where the highway begins to stretch across the open desert. The Town is slowly fading; the population growing older and dying off leaving their homes and dreams behind. I live in a trailer park near the scrapyard that employs me.

The woman that lives on the other side of the trailer park is a middle aged widow living off her husband's pension, but the money she receives barely covers her rent. She lives on a diet of fast food and reads tabloid magazines by candlelight. To make ends meet she sells her body. Her name is Muriel and I'm her last customer on the nights I can afford it. Our physical intimacies are just a ritual, she knows I'm there because I'll pay dearly for not having to wake up alone.

One night it was too warm to sleep. We sat on the bed in the dark smoking cigarettes and talking. I thought to myself how beautiful she looked as a shadow, her every feature softened. It was only when she inhaled on her cigarette that the orange pinpoint of light revealed the toll time and her husband's cruelties had taken on her.

Somehow the conversation turned to personal photographs and she said, “No pictures, burned all there was after my Mamma passed on and I told Joe I didn't want no wedding photos either. I don't want anything to do with any of it. I don't like the way photographs look. It's not that I don't like the way a picture makes me look. I know I ain't no beauty queen. What I mean to say is that I don't like the way pictures look.”

In my long lost university days I had studied psychology and this sounded like a case of paranoia but bitter experience had taught me never to judge, never to be sure. “Why did you burn your mother's pictures of you?” I asked.

“By the time I was sixteen I was staying out all night, drinking and screwing around. It didn't matter what time I came home, my Mamma was waiting up for me. She always knew who I was with and she always knew what I was up to. She would yell at me but she always yelled at me, and sometimes she slapped and pushed. It was that way ever since I was twelve. I used to tell myself she was jealous because...” Muriel paused, I could hear how much she wanted me to believe what she said next, “...I was beautiful then.”

“Go on.”

“I was maybe twenty-one when the cancer took her. I started going through her things, deciding what to keep and what to give away or sell. I started to find photos of me, not in an album or a frame, they were just stashed all around,” Muriel lit another cigarette and shook out the match, “all the photos I found of me were ruined. She marked them up with some kind of a pin.”

“What did she do?” I stubbed put my hand on her shoulder but she pulled away.

“She poked out the eyes. I didn't know why, I thought maybe she was crazy or she hated me more than I thought,” Muriel explained, “I don't know what came over me but I held one of those ruined pictures up to the light and stared through the holes. I saw something through them. I looked closer, held the picture right up to my face. The holes were like windows. I saw where I was when the picture was taken. It was the old playground off Sixteenth Street.”

“How?” I asked.

If Muriel heard she ignored me “It was the same with every picture I found, they all showed me someplace I had been but everything looked spent and tired. I searched and found more photographs I never knew she took, some really new. She hadn’t gotten to a few of them. So I poked out the eyes. When I looked through the holes I was suddenly watching the past. It was like I had gone back in time and I was four years younger and heading out of the house to raise a little Hell. I saw every minute of it, even the things I had been too drunk to remember before. It was like a memory but brighter.”

I was shivering, I told her she could stop now if she wanted to.

A tone of annoyance crept into her voice, “I don’t know how it works, maybe I don’t want to. But now I’ll never know if she was just a shitty mom or if she treated me the way she did so I would run wild to spite her. I'll never know if I was just a puppet.”

“So you burned all the pictures,” I said.

“Just in case someone ever wants to try and look through my eyes. My life may be shit but it's mine,” she got out of bed and threw me my clothes, “get dressed, you can't stay here. Not tonight.”

There was nothing else to say; I pulled on my pants and shirt and walked back to my trailer with my boots in my hand. The ground was cold and rough under my feet. I thought to myself of what Muriel's life had become, of what it might have been. Instead of going inside I sat on my front steps and looked back to Muriel's trailer and thought of all the glossy magazines she had strewn about every room. I wondered to myself what I would find if I thumbed through one- would the pages be pristine or would the eyes of choice celebrities be poked out?

But I never asked or looked for fear of having to spend all my nights alone.

Let BUZZFEED remind you that Lois Lane is high maintenance!

From 21 Strange And Offensive Things That Happened To Lois Lane








Will the DOCTOR WHO minisode RAIN GODS tide you over until November?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

BUZZFEED presents book covers from Hell!

Are these for real BUZZFEED? Are they?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the best horror films of the year? Well, I like the trailer so far- IN FEAR

From TWITCH


The Cold Inside (a serial novel) Chapter Thirty-One part two


The Cold Inside
Chapter Thirty-One
part two
By AL BRUNO III

Friday January 13, 1995

Not everyone had seen the police car and ambulance that had taken away Bobby Hilton and Dean Jackson respectively but by lunch they were all talking about it. At the first table the remaining students clustered around Pam and Ronnie and talked in hushed tones, further down Brie and Evan found themselves ostracized. The Magnificent Seven's table was equally under populated but the conversation was no less animated.

“It was amazing.” Warren said with a smile, “Mr. Erdoes sent a bunch of us up to the board to do problems. Then all of a sudden Bobby whips around and pulls Mr.Erdoes pants down. His legs looked like they should have a message tied to them.”

Rich shook a finger at Warren, “Careful with that joke it’s an antique.”

Greg sat at the table as far from Tristam as he dared, “This is not funny. It never was funny. We are talking about possession here, the bible talks a lot about possession too.”

Warren scowled, “Give it a rest.”

Yusuf had an uneasy look on his face, “Some of this might be funny if it wasn’t for this hospital and police thing.”

“That was spur of the moment.” Tristam explained, “I did it for Adelphos. Dean Jackson had no right to expel him, besides I remember that he once told my mother that he couldn't protect me from getting beat up. That it wasn't his job. He said learning to deal with bullying was an important life lesson.”

Warren nodded, “I've heard similar.”

“You think he got the lesson now?”

Greg's tone was frightened and angry, “Can you hear yourself? You're talking about assault.”

Tristam raised an eyebrow, “Hey I never laid a hand on the guy”

“This has to stop.”

“Why because it offends your delicate Christian sensibilities?”

Up at the front table Evan shouted something to Ronnie, Ronnie glared back. Pam flipped him off. Linda Kaspary was seated somewhere between Ronnie and Brie, she had never before looked so uncomfortable.

Of all the looks she's worn I think this is my favorite. Tristam thought to himself. He wondered how Bobby and the Dean were doing right now, one looking at juvenile hall the other at reconstructive surgery. Tristam considered it his best work yet. The only drawback was the phantom discomfort lingering in his right hand, Phil had warned him that when he was occupying someone else's body he might find his own body echoing their pleasures and pains later on.

Sometimes it happened sometimes it didn't, Phil was at a loss to explain why.

“I am not a Christian.” Yusuf said, “And I too am disturbed by this. I thought we would play pranks, perhaps learn a secret or two. Someone is going to get killed if we are not careful.”

Greg breathed a sigh of relief, “Thank you.”

“Tell me something.” Tristam said, “Do you think those shit bags over there would ever have the same considerations? You think if they couldn't do the same things to us that they wouldn't?”

Warren agreed, “Look at what they did to us already, and they don't even have any powers.”

“Aside from being wealthy, white and good-looking.”

Rich laughed, “That's a super power? Heck I'm two thirds of the way there.”

“How can you be making jokes about this?” Greg said, “This is dangerous and scary stuff.”

Yusuf said, “I think we should stop.”

“You pussies.” Warren sneered.

Rich suggested, “Couldn't we just tone it down? Make it less rough. Make them tie their shoes together and lose their car keys? Maybe make a few of the girls forget to take their birth control pills?”

“Are you out of your mind?” Greg shouted.

Tristam said, “What are you so worried about? No one can tell what I'm doing. They think they're just going crazy. Heck, Ronnie and my sister think that this is all being caused by bad drugs. No one can see us. No one can touch us.”

“What about God?”

“What about God?” Warren sneered.

Tristam grinned a little, “If there was a God why isn't he stopping me? Unless of course, maybe God approves of what I'm doing. Either way I'm covered.”

At the front table the war of insults between Evan and Ronnie started up again. Soon enough the whole table was bickering back and forth. Evan spat something and it hit Pam on the cheek. There was a collective gasp from the other cheerleaders. Fists clenching Ronnie slowly stood. Evan threw himself out of his chair and at Ronnie with such force that he knocked Brie to the floor. Pam was shouting at her boyfriend to stop. The cafeteria staff got between them before they could come to blows.

When it was over and both boys had been taken to the office, and the staff cleared the cafeteria. No one was allowed to take their food with them. All the students were been ordered to wait in the nearby hallway for the assistant Dean to come by and give them a collective scolding. Warren asked, “Tristam, did you do that?”

Tristam shook his head, “No. I'm saving Evan for last and trust me it will be spectacular.”

Greg's voice was agonized, “Tristam please…”

“But I do think I should pay his latest girlfriend a visit but don't worry - I won’t cause any permanent damage.”

Rich nodded approvingly, “With a name like Brie she's already suffering enough.”


Monday, September 23, 2013

The trailer for CONTRACTED is reverse boner fuel.

From ARROW IN THE HEAD

PLAID STALLIONS presents another thoughtful look back at 70's fashion. Also: OH GOD MY EYES!!!

From PLAID STALLIONS


My video blog review for DEVIL DOG: HOUND OF HELL

From my YouTube channel

 

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