Friday, September 25, 2009

Other Blogs Other Stories

I am finally catching up on Philippa Ballantine's very well written and performed audio adventure. Check it out!
Weather Child - the tale of alternate history, madness and magic in New Zealand.

Here are some more 5 Second Fictions from Darcknyt

#5secfic "He's laid out quite a spread," Det. Ng muttered as he studied the map of The Picnic Killer's crime scenes.

#5secfic So...much...mayo..." The victim muttered the phrase over and over. Det. Ng knew he'd be no help in catching The Picnic Killer now.

#5secfic "I wasn't ready to have a kid," he mulled. "Not to worry," she soothed, "it isn't yours."

Here is Annetta Ribken's #fridayflash fiction
“Long time, no see,” she said.

Upon hearing that voice, my whole body stiffened, including Mr. Happy. What can I say? I’m a guy, and that’s what happens to guys when a beautiful Goddess sneaks up behind you and whispers something like that in your ear.

I didn’t turn, because I didn’t want her to see how she could still affect Mr. Happy that way. Although, I’m pretty sure she was more than aware.

Another #FridayFlash this one from Karen Schindler

"I know honey, I heard it too. It's probably our pizza. Will you be alright for a minute if I go see who it is?"

"Sure, Lizbeth and I are going to do our nails and then we're going to color."

As he left the room Randy glanced back over his shoulder at Sara and Elizabeth as they sat on the floor playing together.

So far he didn't get what all the hoopla had been about Sara needing constant supervision. He'd been here two pleasant hours and was thinking about making this a regular baby sitting gig.

Larry Latham's LOVECRAFT IS MISSING continues to kick ass Alan Moore style!

Kate Sherrod gives another bit of her work in progress The Interstellar Feller
The shuttle's plume of flame as it departs
Draws much attention 'round the neighborhood,
Especially that of good old Farmer Hartz
Whose field was decorated by the good
And hearty crew of Grokluator. He
Emerges from the farmhouse with a rake
He brandishes as what must surely be
His only weapon, but they are long gone,
The artists who made of his field a shrine
To Pepi's manly beauty. As the dawn
Breaks on Hartz' landscape, all that fine
Detail work is lost on the landowner
But 'mongst the news 'copters is caused a stir.

Now truth be told there is a lot more great stuff out there to listen to and watch but I am about to fall asleep in my chair so I hope to share more recommendations soon!

Tales From The Oddside: Living Dead Nerd

Living Dead Nerd
Al Bruno III

I can’t really blame what happened on some kind of horror movie outbreak or evil spell. I just woke up one morning and I was dead.

Dead, totally dead but walking around, no pulse but a head still full of Star Trek trivia. I was 16 years old and it looked like I wasn’t going to be getting any older. So weird. I’m still not sure what I am really. Am I some kind of a zombie or vampire or something? Has this ever happened to anyone else? Even Wikipedia couldn’t tell me, maybe when I’m done here I’ll make an entry.

My complexion had always been pale and my parents never listened to me really so the whole I can’t go to school because I’m only breathing out of habit. excuse didn’t fly so I still had to shamble on out to catch the bus for school.

The ride to Allen Palmer High School was always rough, insults and blunt objects get thrown at me not matter how close I sit to the bus driver. That day was no different, so I guess we can add dead people to the things that metalhead stoners have no respect for.

Sometimes the shit they pulled would make me get angry or even cry but that day none of it bugged me. Of course it made the shop class rejects even madder when I didn’t react to them. Finally a textbook hit me in the back of the head and I turned in my seat to glare at them.

Except I wasn’t really glaring on purpose, I thought I looked surprised because I was trying to figure why in the Hell one of those idiots would have a calculus textbook. Still it shut them up for the rest of the bus ride and they left me alone from then on.

School wasn’t much of anything, I kind of just went through the motions but that’s sophomore year for you isn’t it? It’s like the middle film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, not good, not bad just kinda killing time until the ending.

I wasn’t sure what my ending was going to be now though, was I going to rot away and fall apart? I didn’t know, I still don’t but it doesn’t bug me much. After you’re dead what’s the worst that could happen?

The next week went on like nothing had happened, it was school, home and then World of Warcraft.

Of course now I didn’t have to worry about bathroom breaks messing up my raids.

Occasionally I would get hungry- not the kind of hungry you know. It was like my bones were aching, like I could feel them going soft. It was a hunger that fish sticks and fries couldn’t touch. Thankfully my neighborhood is full of cats, some of the stupidest cats you’ve ever seen.

And plump too, like those little chickens they serve at weddings.

By the second week of my new ‘life’ things started to change, I smelled a little but it was nothing that my Dad’s Hi Karate couldn’t hide. People started treating me differently, even when I smiled I had this look that weirded people out. I told the gym teacher I wasn’t going to play dodgeball, I was going to the library and he just let me. Amazing!

My skin cleared up but my grades stayed the same. You jocks even stopped calling me ‘Timmy the Tard’ not that I cared anymore. One guy did pick a fight with me, some seven foot tall freshman. He punched me a few times, it didn’t much hurt and for once I hit back. One smack and he was crying on the floor. Didn’t know my own strength. I sure as Hell got called into the principal’s office for that but after he realized I was staring at his carotid artery and licking my lips he cut his speech about responsibility and citizenship short and just suspended me for the a week.

Not that I cared. My Mom hit the roof when she found out, my Dad actually seemed kind of proud of me for once. One of the neighbor’s dogs went missing that night, I felt like celebrating.

Since I was suspended my mom gave me punishment chores to keep me busy while she and Dad were at work. That was ok by me. I liked the physical activity it kept me from just sitting around the house because when you’re dead that’s what you do- just sit around a lot. You don’t get bored, you don’t think, you just are. You kind of let things happen to you.

What was it my Aunt said? Let go and let God.

Not that God was something I worried about much either anymore. I do wonder sometimes if Jesus was just a nerd like me, if he was just someone that kept having to swallow abuse and insults until he just choked on it.

Of course he got cool powers out of the deal. All I got was this thousand yard stare.

And I got laid too.

Seriously. It was the girl next door. Well, across the street.

You don’t have anything to say about that? Well, anyway, she’s this gothy chick named Stephanie but she wants everyone to call her ‘Serpentina’. She doesn’t go to school anymore. They expelled her for spraying the tampon dispenser in the girls’ room with lighter fluid and setting it on fire. I had been taking out the trash and I had just kind of zoned out. I didn’t even notice when it started raining. Stephanie- I mean Serpentina- came over and started talking to me, talking about how much she liked standing in the rain too and how I sure had changed. That never happened before.

She invited me in to talk but the next thing I knew we were making out on her parent’s couch. They were at work too. I was already hard, mostly because I had died with one of those piss erections I guess. She starts taking off her clothes, showing me all the places she’s going to get tattooed and pierced as soon as she’s eighteen.

Girl’s gonna be busy.

Now it didn’t feel like I expected, mostly because I was dead but I got off in other ways. She was so warm, I didn’t realize how cold I was until I had her on top of me. I let her do the driving, she kissed me and moved my hands to wherever she wanted to be touched. Then she guided me into her.

So warm. And since we’re both guys here let me tell you that I was doing the full on zombie groan if you know what I mean. You know what I mean? Serpentina was going crazy too, she kept complimenting me on my staying power. I think we could have still been at it if I hadn’t faked and orgasm and told her I’d call her later.

Bet you thought I was gonna kill her and eat her or something right?

Well are you out of your mind? She’s crazy about me, and she told me she wanted to introduce me to this girlfriend of hers named Umbra. And it was the way she said girlfriend that has me thinking. I may be dead but I’m not stupid.

Of course all that exertion has me tired out and that’s where you come in you big broad shouldered jock you. I knew you couldn’t resist the chance to follow me here to ‘teach me a lesson’ after what I did to that mongoloid brother of yours. The dogs and the cats went neck first but since you pulled down my shorts in gym class

I’m going to start with your guts.

Scream all you want. No one is gonna hear you.

Man, I always wanted to say that.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Fifty Six

Once he saw the truth he had to look away.

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Fifty Five

Nature Boy's only power was the the ability to find convenient vines to swing from, even on the subway. It was uncanny.

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Fifty Four

For his 1st adventure Mr. Xtreme tried to arrest a biker gang for double parking, there was no 2nd adventure.

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Fifty Three

If nothing else putting Darrin Puffnstuff in charge of the HR Department did raise morale.

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Fifty Two

If nothing else putting Darrin Puffnstuff in charge of the HR Department did raise morale.

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Fifty One

Like every mad scientist he started out in childhood with an Etch-A-Sketch, an EZ-Bake Oven and a thirst for revenge.

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Fifty

Orphaned, raised by a family of Bonobos and then orphaned again, Nature Boy had issues with boundaries, hygiene and abandonment.

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Forty Nine

Hrothgar the Viking never thought of himself as much of a superhero, the supervillains he stabbed felt likewise.

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Forty Eight

They raised the prices on the snack machine as downsizings neared, it was binge and purge on a corporate scale.

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Forty Seven

No one thought of Jason as technically-minded but he really was on the cutting edge of upskirt technology.

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Forty Six

In the future everyone will have a blog they update in real time, no one will ever have free time to read any of it.

Uncle Al's Halloween Hoedown Part One- In Which I Confess My Love Of Straw Fedoras and Flying Balls

Up until Halloween I want to try and watch one episode of a horror TV series and one movie as often as I can and then share my feelings about what I have seen. It could be fun and besides it's cheaper than therapy.

We begin with the gold standard of horror telemovies- 1972's THE NIGHT STALKER. Don't let the 'Made For TV' thing turn you off kids- this is better than some of the movies out in the theaters now. THE NIGHT STALKER stars Darren McGavin as a Las Vegas crime reporter that blunders onto the case of what could be a real live vampire prowling the streets. I first saw this when I was 5 years old, my Grandma Vi was a big one for letting me watch age-inappropriate material on purpose as opposed to my parents letting me watch age-inappropriate material by accident.

Really- they thought the drive in sign advertising a showing of FLESH GORDON was a misprint.

And they wonder how I got the way I am.

But that's not what we are here to talk about, we're here to talk about how awesome THE NIGHT STALKER is. The directing and music are terrific, the entire cast is engaging- especially that Carol Lynley RAWR! Richard Matheson’s script is clever, scary, funny and surprisingly hard boiled. The soundtrack is iconic- just play a few seconds and most horror fans will recognize it. But none of that is really what makes this film the classic it is.

Darren McGavin is what makes this film, his performance is the perfect, we meet a Carl Kolchak that is bitter, intrepid, smug and as forever walking the line between brave and foolhardy.

As the story progresses we are never bored as we see detective work, verbal sparring of the highest order and the occasional glimpse of Darren McGavin shirtless! (I will never in a million years be as manly.)While there is a fantastic knock down drag out battle between the Vampire and the Las Vegas police we don't get a good look at the monster's face until the ending. And what an ending! I rank it right up there with the ending of 'HORROR OF DRACULA' as one of my top monster kid memories

I can't say enough good things about this one. You should see it if you haven't. If you have seen it you should see it again.

And now PHANTASM – my favorite horror film.

That's right, I said it and if loving a bittersweet coming of age story where the local slackers and an ice cream man face off against a trans-gendered mortician from beyond reality with an undocumented midget zombie labor scheme that has random references to Frank Herbert's novel DUNE is wrong than I don't want to be right.

PHANTASM was released in 1979 but I didn't see it until much later. Odd I know but there was something about the commercials for that movie that made me a little nervous about it. You know the ones where the kid is on his bed and the midget zombies start clawing at him. It is too bad really because one of the girls in my 8th grade English class asked me if I wanted to go see it with her and I chickened out because, well because I was kind of afraid of girls when I was in 8th grade. In later years I would just be afraid of everyone.

Once the age of the VCR came along and I became old enough to rent R rated flicks, and then worked up the nerve to rent R rated flicks from the judgmental looking woman at the local video store I finally saw the movie and was just blown away by it. Maybe because I was finally ready for it- after all by the time I was 18 I had devoted myself to the works of HP Lovecraft, Clive Barker and Stephen King and I was ready for a wild story that wasn't quite a slasher film, wasn't quite a monster movie and wasn't quite an Afterschool Special with nudity.

(Which would have been the greatest Afterschool Special EVER!)

The cast is all top notch, Jody, Mike and Reggie all seem like real people that you wouldn't mind hanging out with. Of course these days 12 year old Mike would have been scooped up by social services because he had a guardian that let him drive, gave him access to firearms, alchohol and left him in the charge of hot chicks for hours at a time.

The world has a changed folks.

And no review of PHANTASM would be complete without a shout out to Angus Scrimm's portrayal of the villainous Tall Man. He is quite simply one of my favorite horror movie baddies ever, right up there with the Universal Mummy and Hammer's Dr. Frankenstein. I showed my college girlfriend three horror films- HELLRAISER, DEAD RINGERS, and PHANTASM. The first two grossed her out and made her squirm in her seat- the Tall Man gave her nightmares and God Bless him for it. The Tall Man is menacing, powerful, unkillable, and has command of an army of killer dwarves and silver spheres. Also the Tall Man apparently enjoys spending his free time morphed into the body of a woman, hanging around in bars and picking up guys.

I don't think Jigsaw is ever gonna top that.

So there you have it, my favorite horror film. I watch it every year for my birthday. Sometimes I watch the film and I am a little appalled at how much it has influences my fiction.

Sometimes I'm just appalled by my fiction.

I recommend both movies as essential Halloween viewing.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Forty Five

There are a thousand ways to say you're leaving for good this time, but each sounds like something breaking.

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Forty Four

Brad's parents didn't realize they had put their son on the bus for ballet camp instead of Boy Scouts. It was the best summer ever.

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Forty Three

Leo's wife didn't understand him, mostly because he refused to speak anything but Klingon these days.

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Forty Two

It wasn't easy for Agent Krump to justify spending $4000 at a strip club on his expense account but that was the challenge of it.

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Forty One

Captain Hero explained to Novablaze he didn't have anything against fire based powers but the team just didn't have the insurance.

Monday, September 21, 2009

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Forty

Agent Krump captured a serial killer with a fetish for elaborate deathtraps by watching the hardware stores with the best prices.

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Thirty Nine

The laziest zombies learned to follow retirees as they drove to the Golden Corral or the farmer's market.

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Thirty Eight

Today would be the last chance for her to throw her arms around him and confess her love, sadly he had chosen to be cremated.

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Thirty Seven

In the cruelest of ironies Hell's only radio station only plays nothing but 'Stairway to Heaven' 24 hours a day.

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Thirty Six

Captain Hero worked hard at rehabilitating Doomsday Girl, sometimes until it chafed.

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Thirty Five

Each time he hit the snooze alarm he was sent to a new and bizarre parallel world but in each of them he was still late for work.

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Thirty Four

“I've lived with ghosts and I've lived with cats,” Magwier explained, “and I don't like either watching me on the toilet.”

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Thirty Three

And 9 months later she gave birth to a bouncing baby boy, that's what they got for having sex on a trampoline.

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Thirty Two

Corporates' new 'Problem Ownership' policy made it easy for everyone to blame the new guy in IT for everything.

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Thirty One

The only place more dreaded than the Garden of Torture and the Pit of Terror was the Foyer of 1,000 Screams.

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Thirty

George was a mechanic and every time a customer tried to imitate the sound their car was making he died a little more inside.

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Twenty Nine

“I thought you were joking!” she cried.

He stood there naked save for flippers and KY jelly trying to think of something to say.

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Twenty Eight

Psychotic Kid always wanted an animal sidekick but Snappy the Box Turtle of Justice was more trouble than he was worth.

5 Second Fiction Four Hundred and Twenty Seven

It doesn't matter what the subject of that day's group therapy for monsters will be, it will always end with the vampires crying.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Asia Argento!

A beautiful woman that fascinates and intimidates me all at once...

Kinda like my wife in that respect... except my wife has less tattoos.