Saturday, March 20, 2010

(Recommended Reads) "Another Glass of Chardonnay" by Tony Noland

Carol couldn't go on sitting there, just sipping her wine and wiping her lips. As much as she hated the old saying about bridesmaids and getting laid, if she didn't make a move on this guy, some kind of a move, she'd be kicking herself for weeks. It wasn't just the tuxedo; Daniel would have been heart attack gorgeous wearing jeans and flip flops. No, it was everything about him. His eyes, his hands, his ass, everything. Out of the corner of her right eye, she watched him...

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(Recommended Reads) "Black Jacket" by Amy Taylor

As she drew herself, reluctantly, from the thick cotton wool of sleep, Penny caught sight of a tangled shock of shaggy, dark hair, splayed across the pillow beside her...

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(Recommended Reads) "Lofty Pursuits" by Laura Eno

The spires of the glass building rose high into the sky, the sun kissing the many facets until it seemed to be crafted from crystal. A bit ostentatious, Lucien thought, but where else would one expect God to conduct business...

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(Recommended Article) THE LIGHTNING BUGS LAIR gives us a glimpse of THE DESCENT 2

It's time for another Frightening Friday, and I have something very special to talk about this week. Way back in December '08, I was invited to take part in The Vault of Horror's project to determine the Top 10 Horror Films of the Modern Era. Sitting down to make the list, I immediately filled in my number one, Neil Marshall's The Descent. I can't even count the number of times I've sat down, popped in the DVD, and enjoyed every minute of the claustrophobic cavernous horror. The film leaves me breathless with its oppressive atmosphere, stylish camerawork, and a haunting emotional resonance that pervades the entire film. So when I first heard about a pending sequel, I was filled with trepidation...

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Yet ANOTHER Doctor Who teaser trailer!

Friday, March 19, 2010

The trailer for "ADELE BLANC-SEC" looks AWESOME!

Twitch has more info about this film but here's the trailer!

John Stewart of the DAILY SHOW destroys Glen Beck

(Recommended Reads) “Wire-in-the-Mire” by Carrie Clevenger

The room languished in deep shadows cast from the cheap brass lamp with the paper shade as Peter wrote his letter. Note. It was on a pretty piece of stationery; he'd found it in the drawer, right next to Mindy's wedding ring...

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(Recommended Reads) “Dave's House” by P.J. Kaiser

I sat on the floor in my living room and gazed at the glimmers of light cast by the street lamps. I gripped the handle of the metal bucket and my heart raced with anticipation. I turned to the digital clock whose red numbers glowed: 2:30am. I stood and carried the bucket to the deserted house across the street, wading through the high grass and discarded belongings that surrounded it. The two windows facing the street had already been broken by neglectful tenants and mother nature. I walked to the side of the house where the two windows remained whole...

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(Recommended Reads) “New Life” by Peggy McFarland

Sue sliced through the tape of another box and groaned. The movers marked this one "kitchen" but it contained Jake's video game system. At least she found it. If she heard "I'm bored" one more time, she knew she'd scream.

Come to think of it, Jake hadn't complained for over twenty minutes. Her mother instinct screamed too quiet. He was up to something...

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(Recommended Article) "Frankenstein Conquers The World" Reviewed by VAULT OF HORROR

This here is the kind of a movie that is going to help determine if you are a tried-and-true kaiju fanatic, or just someone who enjoyed watching a couple of Godzilla movies on syndicated TV when you were a kid. Simply put, Frankenstein Conquers the World is not for everyone. But if you love this sort of thing--Japanese giant monster movies--then it's a veritable treasure trove of rubber-suited goodness...

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(Recommended Reads) "Witches Brew" by Maria Protopapadaki-Smith

"You have brought Laura's ashes?"
"Yes," he said, handing the urn to the witch. She lifted the lid, peered into the receptacle, then turned her stern gaze towards him.
"I must ask you to reassure me one last time - you are sure she was a pure-hearted woman?"

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A teaser clip for the 11th Doctor's Debut!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Beyond The Pale
Al Bruno III

The Lincoln Continental swerved and crashed into a telephone pole. A moment later the Mayor Bellgoody tumbled out of the driver's side door, his clothes were disheveled, his bloated body drenched with terrified sweat; his toupee was barely hanging on, it flapped as he ran.
His secret empire of crime and corruption had been laid open for all the world to see and now he had to get out of River City. All he had to do now was get a hold of another car and with his briefcase full of cash in one hand and a gun in another that wouldn't be any problem at all.
A rushing sound filled the air. Bellgoody's eyes widened in terror. A heartbeat later the masked hero Lightning was standing in front of him blocking the way. Lightning's bright blue costume almost shone in the night, his handsome ebony features were pulled into a triumphant smile, "Going somewhere?"
Lightning was a decorated veteran of the Vietnam war, an experimental super soldier formula had left him with super speed and now he fought to protect the innocent as he tried to come to terms with the lives he took overseas.
Blinded with panic Bellgoody ran into a nearby alley hoping to find a place to hide, a place to escape, but it was a dead end. A figure in a winged metal suit dropped out of the sky, the stylized helmet was designed to have the fierce features of a bird of prey. It was Peregrine. He had invented his rocket armor for use in outer space but then he thought better of it when he realized that the Man was never going to let a black man go into space. Another member of the damned Midnight Marvels- could the rest be far behind?
"Listen," the Mayor said, "I have almost two million dollars here, you can take it all. Just let me go."
"Two million dollars?" A voice from a nearby fire escape hissed. It was Black Ice the cold hand of justice, his dark purple costume was featureless, even the mask he wore hid his entire face from view. No one knew where he came from or who he was, he was a mystery even to his teammates. He wore a specialized gauntlet on one arm that fired bursts of dark frost, "Is that the money you made selling junk to schoolchildren? Or from your prostitution ring?"
The three heroes were drawing in closer, Bellgoody tried to muster a laugh, "Does it matter? It's money you could do anything with it. Give it away to all your friends in the ghetto, I don't care, just let me go. I can't go to prison. I can't!"
Black Ice jumped from the fire escape, "Prison is the least of your worries. You'll get the chair for what you did."
There was a roar and a gold plated motorcycle skidded to a halt in the alley. Apocalypse Jones she had a gun in each hand, her ebony skin was marked with dozens of cuts and bruises. "You!" Bellgoody shouted, "You're alive?"
"Alive and kickin' sugar," she grinned but there was a limp in her step. She had come to the 1970's from a future that had been destroyed by war, zombies and worse.
"Hey guys," a thick set man in spandex and wearing a cape brought up the rear. It was Lightning's partner, Thunder. Thunder had been on the path to becoming the world's first black sumo wrestler but after his brother had overdosed on drugs he had turned his attentions to cleaning up River City, "Save some of that cracker for me."
Black Ice cackled, "Plenty to go around."
That pushed Bellgoody to the breaking point, he spun and fired at the frozen hand of justice, the bullet catching him in the shoulder.
Then there was a second shot and Mayor Bellgoody fell to the pavement, a wide hole where his forehead had been. Apocalypse Jones blew smoke from the barrel of her gun, "You're history sucka."
"Damn," Lightning said, "whatever happened to a warning shot?"
"I just saved the city the cost of an execution."
Thunder ran over to Black Ice, "Are you OK?"
"Yeah yeah," he gazed at his torn costume, "just a flesh wound."
Thunder's jaw dropped, "What th- guys get over here!"
The rest of the team approached, they were all stunned.
"What?" Black Ice said, "Is it worse than I thought?"
"Take off your mask," Peregrine said.
Black Ice sounded incredulous, "No. I'm-"
But Lightning was too fast, he whipped off the other hero's mask. Apocalypse Jones dropped her gun in surprise. Thunder's voice was a whisper, "You're white?"
The frozen hand of justice shrugged, "So?"
"I can't believe this is happening..." Peregrine buried his face in his hands, "Dolemite's never gonna let us live this down,"
"What's the big deal?" Black Ice said again, "And give me back my mask."
"What's the big deal?" Apocalypse Jones shouted, "We're all black."
"So? I don't mind."
Thunder turned away and turned back, "You don't mind? We're 'the Midnight Marvels', we're an all black superhero team!"
"We are?" Black Ice's brow furrowed in confusion.
"That's why we call ourselves 'the Midnight Marvels' for God's sake."
"Oh," he blushed, "I thought it was more if a thematic thing."
Lightning had to laugh, he threw the featureless mask to the other hero, "Thematic?"
"What are you guys saying exactly?" Black Ice asked, "Are you kicking me out?"
The silence that followed was long and uncomfortable. The Midnight Marvels exchanged helpless glances. A rat had come out of a nearby alleyway to sniff at Mayor Bellgoody's corpse. No one noticed.
Peregrine was the first to come out and say it, "Yes."
"But that's discrimination!" Black Ice cried.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Sixty Two

"Commander Infinity prefers to fight crime from 50 feet in the air," Amazing Ed said, "aloof doesn't even begin to describe him."

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Sixty One

He said to his wife, "I can explain everything." Even though the midget prostitute was still hanging from the ceiling fan.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Sixty

Slim believed most gunfighters were suffering from trauma related to their potty training. When said this aloud he got shot.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Fifty Nine

Audra smiled, "Mom said that the first time casting a spell is like the first time doing anything else. You get stains everywhere."

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Fifty Eight

When you have a sexual fetish for breakfast cereals it isn't easy to sow your oats.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Fifty Seven

While in the future many time travelers are stunned to learn the Vatican made Charlie Sheen the patron saint of bachelor parties.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Fifty Six

Abner Deggent crashed in the door with guns blazing but due to a mis-remembered address little Terry's birthday party was ruined.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Fifty Five

The met via Facebook, flirted via email and broke up via Twitter.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Fifty Four

One his parents named him Christian Diablo he was pretty much guaranteed to become a supervillain.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Fifty Three

She awoke to find a vengeful long haired Japanese ghost sucking her nipples- talk about nursing a Grudge.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Fifty Two

Abner Deggent overheard the girls at the brothel talk about how he kept going and going. He didn't know they meant his bragging.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Fifty One

All she wanted was a man with crazy eyes, a dirty mouth and grab-able ears.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Fifty

It isn't easy taking a shower when you're a cyborg but thankfully Rusty Johnson had paid extra for the undercoating.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Forty Nine

Abner Deggent knew that once the girls had exhausted him the fertility ritual would end and he would die. He stiffened his resolve.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Forty Eight

"I have traveled in time! Fought gods and monsters!" Hrothgar the Viking roared, but it didn't help him qualify for a credit card.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Supa Life is Big Down Under!

Check out the latest installment of MY SUPA LIFE!!

Then head over to Mr. Hogan's website to see more!

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Forty Seven

The first rule of Mime Club is you don't talk about Mime Club.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Forty Six

Held prisoner by a tribe of bloodthirsty cannibals Abner Deggent had only two goals; escape and scoring with one of their women.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Forty Five

It wasn't the first time something in Captain Hero's utility belt had gone off accidentally but now he was banned from Denny's.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Forty Four

Anger the League of Time Traveling Dominatrices and you'll get a retro-active spanking which usually makes you a customer for life.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Forty Three

For him Heaven was spending eternity with the four girlfriends he had loved the most, oddly enough that was their version of Hell.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Forty Two

Karl had considered himself a breast man until that terrible day he found himself trapped in an elevator full of sumo wrestlers.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Forty One

None of the Local Heroes knew why the Shriners hated Psychotic Kid but whenever they attacked there was free candy everywhere.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Forty

He had a thing for plus-sized mathematicians, the more full-figured the better.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Thirty Nine

Abner Deggent tried to establish dominance over the swarm of snapping turtles by waving his genitals at them. It didn't end well.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Thirty Eight

"There's a madman in River City killing people with electrified shoes," Fuego said, "Truly these are times that try mens' soles."

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Thirty Seven

Polidori Lord of the vampires perused the 'Paranormal Romance' section of the bookstore and then promptly killed himself.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Thirty Six

Captain Hero's taxi skidded to a halt and he charged out tackling the jewel thieves. The meter was running- on Justice!

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Thirty Five

The girls talked about their first times- they involved summer camp, a world cruse and 20 minutes before a bus crash respectively.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Thirty Four

She met him via speed dating only to find out later he could only perform speed loving.

5 second Fiction One Thousand and Thirty Three

Sometimes Abner Deggent crossed paths with a mysterious character called 'the Scotsman' but then he got kilt.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Thirty Two

Brian was overjoyed to go to Heaven and become an angel, then he discovered he was allergic to feathers.

5 Second Fiction One Thousand and Thirty One

Abner Deggent claimed he was sent to break Nazi morale by seducing their women; he said it was a long hard mission.

In The Shadow Of His Nemesis chapter fifty five

In The Shadow Of His Nemesis

Chapter Fifty Five


Sunday November 24th 1996

Hao retreated into the antechamber, she pushed the thick stone door to Damiea's Crucible to a close. She was dressed in shorts and a t-shirt that sweat had rendered all but transparent.

The antechamber was dark marble marked with striations of red that almost seemed to slither in the flickering light. Braziers lit the room, they were of polished steel that never needed to be polished and full of glowing embers that never needed to be tended. The sound of windchimes crowded echoed everywhere sounding for all the world like a flock of birds that had gone mad with terror.

“Was it bad?” Jack was leaning against the far wall, he offered her towel and a glass of water. He was dressed in jeans nad had hair tied back; that meant he was up to something, be it yardwork or magic. In truth Laurel House had more than enough of both but she knew he needed to keep busy.

“It's always bad,” she took the towel but waved away the water. Her stomach was still a little too jittery to be trusted. She buried her face in the soft fabric, pressing it against her skin. At moments like this she wondered where the towel had came from, she wondered where it all came from. Were there sundries and bedsheets that simply went missing all across the world? Or were they simply conjured up out of the nothingness?

She knew the why, but not the how; she knew the cost but not the mechanism. Hao looked back to the stone doorway then said, “Lets get out of here.”

“I don't want to say I told you so,” Jack followed her as she began to trudge up the cramped stairwway,“but this isn't something you ever get used to.”

The walls of the stairway were so close they made it practically a tunnel; the black marble pressed in on every side but it was becoming veined with ordinary stone; with each step those veins became thicker and thicker. “Are you checking up on me?” she turned and smiled down at him from her upper step, “Worrying I might crack up?”

Jack didn't smile back, “I trust you but I know from experience that the more... controversial the guest the more the Castellan suffers.”

“Trust me, I can handle this,” her smile was suddenly grim.

The started walking again, and she could feel Jack running his eyes over all the old familiar curves. They had been an item very briefly and now years later Hao still didn't know how she felt about it. Her shirt had stayed on every time they were together; she was willing to share a bed with him but not her scars.

“How big is the Crucible now?” There was a trace of anxiety in his voice.


The stairway was widening out now, the walls were just plain old granite but within a few footsteps they had become ordinary wood. Jack moved up beside her, “Big?”

“What did you expect?” she said with a shrug, “The weird thing is that it's getting bigger and filling in at the same time.”

“Shit,” Jack turned and looked back, “how long can we keep this up?”

“Retirement's made you softhearted.” There was a door at the top of the stairs, she slid the bolt back and opened the way through to Laurel Houe's wine cellar.

Grinning Jack blocked her way with a thickly muscled arm, “And love's made you tougher. You are in love with him aren't you?”

“How could I not? He's so... sweet.” she ducked under his arm. The air was so much colder here. She shivered.

Jack closed the door behind them, “Sweet and mortal.”

“Sweet and vulnerable.” Hao ran her hands along the long rack of tinted bottles.

“Love makes you vulnerable, that's part of the price.”

“Jealous?” she gave him a glance out of the corner of her eye.

“In a way,” Jack put his arm around her, “Want some ice cream?

“I wouldn't say no.”

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

MTV reality show sculpture angers Truckee officials

TRUCKEE, CA - An obscene snow sculpture built in the center of downtown Truckee by a crew producing an MTV reality show has angered town officials and residents.

"It was a giant penis with water shooting out," said downtown merchant Stefani Olivieri, whose store is directly across the street from the historic train depot where the sculpture was built. "It was not appropriate. There were a lot of children around."...

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Monday, March 15, 2010

(Recommended Reads) "Curio Killed The Cat" by Skyla Dawn Cameron

Welcome to Curio Killed the Cat, an occult shop in Kensington Market, Toronto. Meet the quirky (and sometimes supernatural) employees, customers, and a few strange characters that pass along the way.

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Fries And The Fury part one

Price Breaks and Heartaches

a journal of retail and failed romance

Chapter Two

The Fries And The Fury

part one

(The following story is as true as the movie ‘Braveheart’. The names have been changed because I was bored.)

They say it always brings tears to a mother’s eyes the first time she sees her son in uniform, maybe that’s why my Mom was crying as I headed out of the house in my Empire Burger duds that first day of work. At least I told myself that was why.

Now you might not agree that working in a fast food joint isn’t retail but I think otherwise. Those places aren’t restaurants. A kid’s lemonade stand is run more like a restaurant than your average Taco King or Long John Burger. Employee turnover is high, no one, from the manager to the guy sweeping the floors, sees fast food as a long term career move. And that’s the way it was at Empire Burger, everyone there was either keeping time until a better opportunity came along or was trapped there by personal or economic circumstance. No one in their right mind was happy to be working there.

Except of course for me.

After the indignities of Nice Shopper, Empire Burger was like a breath of fresh, flame broiled air. The pay was better and it looked like there might be a chance for recognition and advancement. The manager Mr. Prowse was more than happy to have an enthusiastic eighteen year-old on the payroll. I still remember the tour of the facilities. Of course there was the dining room with tables, booths and dented napkin dispensers; it was decorated with a cast of poorly thought out cartoon mascots and dusty plastic plants. Then there was the front counter, with four cash registers and a drive through window; the green Formica countertop was dulled and scratched with the passage of time but it still had enough of a shine to reflect the illumination from the florescent lights back into the cashiers’ faces making them look ghoulish and haggard. Past the registers was the food prep area with fryers and microwaves clustered on one side, buns and condiments were stored on the other. The broiler dominated center of the room; a boxy Rube Goldberg-esque machine, it spat flames and hissed grease as a pair of automated metal conveyor belts took frozen burger patties and hamburger buns in one end and dropped (barely) cooked meat and slightly scorched buns into chutes at the other end. Past the food prep area was the cramped manager’s office, the spacious freezer, the sinks and the rear exit. At peak times every part of the Empire Burger kitchen was buzzing with activity.

Mr. Prowse also introduced me to the assistant managers Ms. Colley and Skippy Vanderhausen. Ms. Colley was a sad-eyed single mother with tastes in men and cars that were equally ruinous. Skippy Vanderhausen was a graduate of a prestigious culinary institute. His inability to secure work anywhere but at Empire Burger had turned him into one the most bitter human beings I had ever met- and speaking as a writer that’s really saying something.

I was working the evening shift as a closer. That first night they had longtime employee Rick Raleigh show me the ropes;


“Ok each hour there are a certain number of burgers and buns that need to be left in the steam chute.” Rick explained as he led me around to the back of the broiler. He had wild red hair that was forever struggling to be free of his official Empire Burger visor. He was in his final years of study at the State University and his major was in political science. I secretly laughed at him because of that, certain that there was no future in such a degree. A creative writing degree on the other hand? I knew THAT was where the real money was.

“Steam chute?” I asked.

He led me back to the front of the broiler and showed me a metal drawer. It was the kind of drawer that a villain in a James Bond flick would use to house the controls for a doomsday weapon. When Rick slid back the metal door however all I was greeted with was a cloud of vapor and a row of soggy-looking hamburgers. “Now,” He explained, “The burgers can only stay in here for twenty minutes after that they go in that green pail over there.”

“Isn’t that kind of wasteful?”

Rick shrugged, “If we don’t do it we’ve violated our freshness guarantee. Now don’t forget to mark down the number of burgers you’ve thrown away on the clipboard attached to the green bucket. And when the bucket is full dump it in the big garbage can over there and take the discarded burger inventory sheet in to the manager.”

I nodded. I had eaten at Empire Burger for years and my stomach seemed to twist a little more at each new thing I learned about their operating procedures, “And what happens then?”

The only answer I got was another shrug as I was led back around to the front of the broiler. “Now what you do is you look up on the green screen on the wall there and it will tell you how many burgers should be holding. You take the frozen patties from the cooler there and put them on the lower conveyor belt to cook them. The buns go up here. The guys working the condiments station will prep the food based on the orders being given. Here why don’t you try making a burger?”

“Sure.” I said eager to prove my mettle.

“Well not too bad,” Rick commented. “I mean everyone burns their finger at least once and since the heat cauterized the wound from the fingernail that got torn off you’ve saved the company the cost of a bandage.”

I blinked back tears and let him lead me to the bubbling vats of the fry station. He showed me how to load frozen fries into the little metal baskets, lower them in and set the timer. “And once the fries are done,” he explained, “you want to dump them here under the heat lamp. Each load gets five dashes of salt from the shaker. We change the shortening every week or if the customer’s start complaining the fries taste like feet. Here why don’t you try it loading it yourself?”

“No problem.”

I can only assume the clasp of my wristwatch was faulty because it landed in the sizzling shortening with a tiny splash.

“Don’t grab after it!” Rick pulled me away.

“We have to shut the fryer down so I can…”

“We don’t shut the fryer down until midnight. Corporate policy.”


“Natalie lost her glasses in there last summer and she has astigmatism.” Rick explained, “I still don’t know how she made the drive home alive.”

“My grandmother bought me that watch.”

“Sorry man. Why don’t we go over here to the shake machine? There’s no way you can burn your fingers on that one eh?”

“Ok sure.” I said, “I always wonder how the milkshakes were made here.”

“Ah.” Rick smiled ruefully, “That is a common misconception. You see these are not ‘milkshakes’, these are shakes. Milk has nothing to do with any aspect of their production.”

My hand drifted to my gut, phantom pains wracked my bowels, “Oh.”

“What you do is you take this plastic bag of flavored of flavored oils and fat, and hook the nozzle up to the shake machine.”

“What does the machine do with those interesting chemicals?”

“No one really knows but for God’s sake don’t let any of the unprocessed shake mix get on your uniform. It stains.” Rick said, “Now why don’t you try loading the bag of shake mix into the machine?”

“Sounds easy.” I said and following Rick’s instructions as carefully as I could.”

“Now.” Rick explained when I was done, “That was good, but next time you want to do it without tipping the machine over. Still though, we would never have known about that nest of brown recluse spiders if you hadn’t so lets call it even. Why don’t you go back to mopping again for a while I fix this. Just try not the break any more windows this time ok?”

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