Scrawling A Bit of Fiction – MARCH

17 03 2014

 

 

You know what’s going on. Ermilia. Writing. Fiction. PICTURES.

Image

“What are we doing here anyway?” Girl wasn’t even looking at him. Her chin was to her chest and she picked at strands of hair dangling in front of her face. It gave her a lost almost dazed looked, like any moment she might drift asleep.

Lewis cleared his throat.

“This is one of my favorite places in the city.”

“The food sucks.”

“Does it? Honestly I mostly just come for coffee.” People had a habit of telling him what they thought of the little diner whenever he mentioned it, so much that he had stopped discussing his lunch plans with anyone at work anymore. The smell of burnt coffee and cigarettes hung in the air, a thin cloud obscured the interior ever so slightly.

 “Doesn’t matter. It’s not the food that stands out here it’s the people.”

Girl took hold of the bright green cup on the table beside her; the visual assault of the coffee receptacle’s hue made it hard to focus on anything but the cup and before long Lewis found himself lost in it, like a little ceramic lava lamp.

“Still doesn’t tell me why we’re here.”

Lewis blinked and focused on the table, wide eyed, shaking the green after image from his vision. He rubbed his eyes and starting sipping at his own coffee again. He was second guessing himself. The incident at the library was bad enough. He probably shouldn’t have gone so far. And he definitely shouldn’t have started talking to her about the old days. What was so different here?

“You said you wanted to know why.”

“Yeah, I did. I have to say that right now though I feel like I’m on a really lame date, which is weird given my present company.”

“Lame?” Lewis recoiled at the insinuation. “I’ll have you know I’ve wooed countless thousands into their demise.”

“Through boredom maybe.” Girl threw her hand over her mouth and giggled. She really didn’t seem to care.

“Alright.”

“I’m sorry.” She said, standing to adjust her dress before sitting again. “Why are we here?”

Lewis scanned the crowd across the diner. There wasn’t much variety to the people who showed up here from week to week. There would be college students, far too broke to afford anything better than the corner diner, Penelope’s, right around the corner from campus. The youthful crowd would flock here before or after classes to smoke and drink bizarre varieties of coffee and eat pie, the flavors of which no one had ever heard of, in the name of fitting in.

It only took a moment to find her. Penelope, a young woman somewhere in her thirties bounced around behind the counter, serving those lucky enough to claim a barstool. She was thin and pale, but vibrant. She could put a smile on your face just being around her. She possessed an infectious cheer that radiated throughout the restaurant.

“That woman died eighty years ago.” Lewis nodded at Penelope between sips of coffee.

“The owner?” Girl craned her neck toward the counter, “I don’t know, she looks pretty alive to me.”

“Yeah. That’s what she wants you to think. The two of you are a lot alike. You both have things that you want to hide and no matter how hard you try to do so, it doesn’t help. As good as you think you might be at hiding the truth, something will always stand out. It’s like you’re hardwired to be bad liars, subconsciously sabotaging yourself in hopes of someone picking up on it.”

Girl set her mug down. She chewed her lip, eyes fixed on the little green monstrosity that held her coffee. She pulled her legs up into the chair and started picking nervously at her hair again.

“Remember how I told you, people like you made me retire?”

Girl nodded her head.

“Penelope Orourke was one of the first.”

Girl relaxed her legs and leaned across the table. “What happened to her?”

Memories were something Lewis was good at, he’d hoarded centuries of them after all. His brain was like an automatic filing cabinet. Things went in, filed in neat order that made for quick retrieval when needed; a catalog of pain that stretched back through eons.

“She was a lovely woman, in spirit I mean. One of the most genuine people you could have ever met. When tragedy first struck Penelope it was by way of her youngest child, a three year old named Peter. He died in a house fire. You could say the O’Rourke family learned a valuable lesson in chimney safety that day.”

“Oh my God.” Girl gasped. Lewis sucked air in through his teeth making an audible hiss. “Oh right, sorry.”

Lewis nodded and said, “The second time was three weeks later when Penelope’s oldest, a six year old named Alexander, accidently shot himself.”

Girl threw her hands up. “Where the hell were the parents?”

Lewis sipped at his coffee. “Well, Penelope was out picking up a rather pricey birthday dinner for her husband, Michael. He on the other hand, after graciously offering to watch young Alexander, was locked away in the master bedroom with his mistress. He had left his pistol on a table in the study where he had been cleaning just prior to the harlot’s arrival.”

Girl slumped in the chair and found Penelope flying around the counter, balancing an assortment of loudly-colored mugs. She scurried around and out into the tables and booths that occupied the rest of the diner not occupied by the bar counter, stopping only long enough to deliver a few mugs before quickly moving on. She was efficient. And after what Lewis had said, a little unsettling.

“Poor woman.”

“Indeed.”

The two sat for a while without speaking. Lewis began to lose himself in the drone of youthful excitement that hung in the air like the ever-present nicotine cloud that helped define the diner he so loved.

“Wait a minute.” Girl was leaning back, coffee mug sitting in her lap. “That is a sad story, but it doesn’t explain anything.”

Lewis blinked.

“Oh right, it doesn’t does it. Well, she came home earlier than expected, right after Alexander had ended his own adventure in this crazy world and she found not only a dead son but a very naked and very confused woman in the bedroom.” He cleared his throat before adding, “With her equally naked and equally confused husband I should add. So she hung herself a day later.”

Lewis stood and produced his wallet from his jacket pocket. He leafed through it for a few bills, he was a big fan of paying for things with Benjamin Franklin pictures. It was comforting knowing that everyday human beings knew just how much of a scoundrel that man had been, he could tell since they usually gasped when they saw his face. Lying bastard.

“There’s still got to be more. Yeah life sucked but that still doesn’t make me understand what you’re getting at.”

Lewis sat again and threw a couple Benjamin papers on the table.

“She showed up on my doorstep. Why? Can you tell me what this girl’s crime was? Can you explain why she should be tortured any further?”

“No.”

“So what was I supposed to do? I finally started to think about people, looking past the surface sin, and trying to figure out what justified my new work. I had found myself, once again being used as an instrument – one of punishment, and at long last I saw that I hated it.”

“So what did you do?” asked Girl.

“I let her go. She was the first. I helped her navigate her way back here, gave her a fresh start. Well, semi-fresh, she’s still dead after all. Doesn’t have any men in her life, mostly because she would only be able to hide her lack of pulse and body temperature for so long outside the confines of a hot kitchen, but she’s happy. And now I get free lunch.”

Girl got up and slid her jacket on. Lewis joined her and threw more money at the table. As they walked out of the diner, Lewis paused, looking back just long enough to see if Penelope had noticed he was there. She had of course. She always noticed.

“We aren’t that different either.” He thought. After all, what had Lewis wanted all those years ago, to be something more, to do great things? Just like Penelope, owning her own place, serving others. No, not so different at all. Still, there was something else, something nagging at him – maybe it was doubt. He could almost taste the salt again, the sudden icy embrace of the ocean.

Thoughts of despair leapt into the foreground. Here, the undead sinner embraced people flocking to her name, she will fail – she will rise up only to be met with the inevitable fall.

“Am I supposed to be your doorman now? That wasn’t part of the original deal.” Girl was leaning against the diner door, hair blowing in the wind, wearing the friendliest scowl he’d seen in a long time. Lewis glanced back to Penelope who still stood, silent, watching him, a warm smile on her face.

“I can’t believe I didn’t include that in the fine print.” He said stepping into mid November’s chill. “It’s been a while since I made anyone deal.”





Terrifyingly Frightening Horror

15 03 2014

What makes you afraid?

The dark? Closets? THE DARKNESS IN CLOSETS?!

I remember one of my classes sophomore year of college touched on fear on our desire to explore it. It was literary theory, criticism, or philosophy. It was one of my history courses; The Rise of the Nazis.

Yeah you heard me.

Nazis.

Weird right?

Well aside from the fact that Nazis are kind of terrifying if you really think about it, there was a lot going on in Europe that contributed to the horror mindset. During the years prior to Nazis being any sort of a thing, Germany was in rough shape. Living there post WWI was a nightmare in and of itself.

Hyperinflation destroyed the mark, which made it good for fire kindling and not a whole hell of a lot else. The government was about as unstable as it gets and unemployment was spiraling out of control. The government released cookbooks on how to use sawdust to make your bread go farther for gods sakes.  

And yet, with its growing list of ailments, Germany flourished in a creative sense. Horror was on the rise. We saw scary movies the likes of Nosferatu and The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari.

My take away from that class was the idea that as a nation’s poverty and economic turmoil grew so did the propensity to explore the Macabre. People turn to it in some depression-fueled reaction. Is that why we like horror stories?

It’s illogical. It’s primal. Somewhere in the dark and wacky recesses of your brain, where the primal urges and cautions lurk, you want to see this stuff. Your animal brain wants you to feel like that animal again. It wants you to be that primitive creature you once were that needed it so much.

Or maybe it doesn’t. I’m just rambling at this point.

This post is inspired once again by my tandem-writing project. I won’t give you details as we are still figuring it out ourselves, but we have arrived at a place that has me…stumped? I don’t think that’s the right thing to say. I know where I want to go with it.

Here’s the thing.

Where the story has left off, I have been presented with the opportunity to introduce something frightening. I have the lobby of a ruined skyscraper, a naked girl, and a shotgun-toting mountain of a man to assault here.

I need something that lurks in the dark burned out places in the world waiting to snatch you into the black ala Darkness Falls. Remember that movie? It sported a tooth fairy-esque-witch-monster-thing. Yeah.

 

So that’s what I’m thinking about; creature creation. How shall I go about building something original and suitably terrifying?





Sometimes I Wish I Sounded a Touch Different

4 11 2013

Two of my favorite hobbies are wargaming and modeling. That isn’t neccesarily pertinant to this post though. I was watching this fellow – amazing airbrush artist, when I thought: “I’d rather like to have that accent. That’s pretty fantastic.”

This is mostly so you can hear the accent I’m talking about. Also, the talent here is huge.

Enjoy.





Cooking with Spam VI: A New Tin

19 10 2013

SPAM.

I hear there is something special inside of every can. If you ask my father, he would tell you it’s something akin to lips and sphincters. If you ask my wife, she’ll say that its better than all that and is actually quite good. But only if we are talking about the turkey variety. That other stuff can go to hell.

I for one am firmly in the ‘Not putting that in my mouth unless it’s the apocalypse and have literally nothing else to eat,’ camp. I could very well turn to cannibalizing my fellow-man before cracking open a can of spam. For all you know it could be made of people anyway at which point I become less crazy sounding. I’m like one of those things in math.

Parabola? Yeah, totally. I make more sense the closer we come to complete insanity. I think Einstein came up with that one.

My impressive knowledge of history and math aside, we aren’t here to talk about me. Oh no. We are here to take a gander at that other kind of SPAM. The insidious, mail server clogging sort of digital junk that plagues inboxes all over the web.

And also my WordPress comments.

Stacey writes,

My friend Tom Moyer, a guy who drives a LOT of website traffic to various offers through his large website network, has just released a web traffic service with a free trial so webmasters can “try before they buy”.

Hey, not too often I end up with such a large opener. Let’s see, Tom Moyer…yadda yadda…large website…blarh…traffic…hmm. Okay, I know what’s going on here. See most people don’t refer to their friends using both first and last names. This is one of those bathroom wall sorts of things isn’t it?

Tom is shy, kind of lonely but lacks any appreciable social skills, so he convinces a friend or pays one of the popular kids to spread rumors about his “large website”. Suddenly he’s on the invite list to the best parties and gets to sit and the cool table at lunch. In this case Stacey, I don’t think I’m interested in Tom’s “try before I buy” business.  

If you are interested in driving lots of traffic to your site then don’t miss this offer:

Like I said, no chance.

 

 

Kala writes,

My coder is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP.

DO IT! I hear .net is lovely in the fall!

I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses. But he’s been trying nonetheless.

No! Hey, cost of living might have been high there ten years ago but come on, times have changed Kala. Seize life by the horns, make a change, and better yourself! You’d rather be living in a top 10 town like that wouldn’t you?

I have heard good things about blogengine.net.

Ouch. Thinking about the town’s local rivals blogengine eh? Can’t blame you. Their job market is a touch larger and I hear the university’s football team, the BlogU Pachyderms, is going to be the one to beat this year.

Is there a way I can import all my WordPress posts into it? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Wait. What?

 

Jennifer writes,

My friend Tom Moyer, a guy who drives a LOT of website traffic to various offers through his large website network, has just released a web traffic service with a free trial so webmasters can “try before they buy”.

Hey, not too often I end up…with such…a…long… Wait a minute.

If you are interested in driving lots of traffic to your site then don’t miss this offer:

Wow. So you’re not going to believe this but there is this other girl who sent me the same message. That guy must have poured a ton into marketing his way up the social ladder. Like I told the last girl though, um…no.

 

アウトレット writes,

アニエスベー 時計 レディース

Dont you start with me.

 

Melinda writes,

My friend Tom Moyer, a guy who drives a LOT of website traffic to various offers through his large website network, has just released a web traffic service with a free trial so webmasters can “try before they buy”.

I DON’T CARE ABOUT TOM’S PENIS!





Sometimes the Mattresses go to You

20 08 2013

http://db.tt/U8G5E7N7





I waste it with my crossbow!

13 05 2013

ImageIf you are unfamiliar with the title of the post, I’m sorry. You are so unfulfilled. But don’t worry, I’m on it.

Just recently I discovered that one of my favorite comics is available on line for download as PDFs. ‘Knights of the Dinner Table.’ 

Available from Kenzer Co. the Knights have been a long running tale of several groups of gamers in and around Muncie, Indiana, who play a complex, archaic RPG called Hackmaster.

Their personal lives, their role playing sessions, and the hilarious crossovers entertained me for hours as a younger fellow. And now they are doing so as a slightly older fellow.

The title is a line often spoken by one of the Knights, Bob Herzog, the unemployed twenty-six year old living with his parents who approaches most problems with a shoot first, ask questions later, hack and slash demeanor. He’s the old school smash and grab PC, most gaming groups are familiar with, in passing at least.

Each of the characters featured in the strips reflect a common personality drawn to these sorts of games. A bit stereotypical perhaps, but for a reason. These kinds of people really do exist. 

Anyway, now my Kindle is a fuller, happier beast – flooded with the tales of some of the most heroic. Sort of heroic. silly people you’ll ever meet. Or read about. Whatever.

I can’t tell you just how happy I am to see these again. This is one of three comics I really ever read with any sort of long lasting passion and having the opportunity to revisit a storytelling medium I haven’t had touch with in a while, makes it all the sweeter.

Be you gamer or not, these might be worth a read. These are relatable people with relatable problems. Sort of. 

I relate anyway. Now shoo, go read something.





Reliability

15 04 2013

And I’m not talking about people. Sort of.

I was browsing the internet today in search of a list of the largest spiders in the world. I was shooting for top ten. Naturally I did what most people do when they need to know something.

I asked google.

One of the things google told me to do was ask his weird cousin Wikipedia about it because didn’t you know he’s the smart one in the family or at least, he likes to think he is. Wikipedia is an interesting little critter. It has a little something to say about everything and in some cases a lot to say about certain things.

And sometimes those things are even true. The problem with it of course, for those of you who come from under a rock somewhere, is that it’s publicly monitored and edited. Anyone can do it, including you, your mom, and any inmate with internet privileges. Regardless I think the premise is a valuable one. A common suppository of knowledge culminated from the unique life experiences of billions. The problem of course, as previously stated, is that it is a common suppository of knowledge culminated from billions of people.

Weird people.

Silly people.

Even people with chicken pox.

I look at Wikipedia as sort of skynet beta test. It’s gathering information in an attempt to become self-aware but its having difficulty reaching that point while dedicating so many resources to sifting through the bullshit. The idea that kids use the site as a legitimate source of reliable information is staggering and the boldness of some to plagiarise information directly from it is just ridiculous.

It even spawned a humorous book for crying out loud! And yes I did buy it. And yes I do hope someone used any of those entries for term papers.

Because…tee hee.

It’s meant to be the worlds greatest 100% free encyclopedia. It’s a bold idea. It’s everything the internet stands for; the free proliferation of information.

It just needs less weirdo, man.

Less weirdo.





The Frozen Dead in America

10 03 2013

I feel like this deserves a look. It’s a festival not far from where my sister used to live in the state of Colorado. Incredible stuff. Celebrating a dead man who has a bit of a sci fi background to him if you think about it. The cryogenics and all.





Hey, You Got Some of Your Ectoplasm in My Cubicle!

29 09 2012

I have to do it. I just can’t let this go.

Some people will tell you that its bad form to complain on the internet about things you might not want others to here. That makes sense of course. The net is a massive public forum that offers anybody with the ability to turn on a computer the ability to vomit words forth into the nether. Well, maybe that was a bit generous. I’ve met people who can turn on computers that were unable to really move on from there.

I think one guy died of thirst. Not important.

I can’t help myself though. This has to be said, I can’t help it. I have to complain.

About my job.

It’s the kind of job that makes you want to claw your eyes out and wish you had made that pact with the devil that one time in Fresno for all the money and power needed to dominate not only the earth but rise to cosmic godhood. a great job and I’m glad to have it. I sometimes smile on my way in just knowing I am employed.

Okay, so you’re happy with the job, its great, yadda yadda, what’s your point,Brindle?

Construction.

There. I said it.

As I have mentioned in the past I work in a hospital. And this thing just keeps growing. You want to talk job security, get a job in healthcare – there’s always business. So, construction. Any given day of any given week the odds are high that you’ll see a mob of orange-vested, hard-hatted, wolf-whistling guys jack hammering, sawing, welding, and even regular hammering things. And stuff and, well…that parts complicated and for your sake I feel I should just leave the specifics out.

There are a couple of things you should know though:

  • I work in an area which, in the front end features a large waiting area
  • Part of the waiting area is now obscured by temporary walls
  • I write because it’s a way of draining the crazy out of my brain before it builds up to critical mass and I have a hallucinatory breakdown

All pertinent.

So what was the solution to solving this issue? Installing a camera! Now there is a second monitor on the front end desk to which the camera feeds. It was nifty. At first.

Still not seeing a problem?

It’s the camera. Now occasionally this thing cuts out for a moment before returning to my view the same rows of chairs as before which is totally normal. But here’s the thing. It’s a static camera. No movement at all. It’s a stock black bubble camera that you find littering the ceiling of your local Walmart. (I don’t care where you live; there is probably a Walmart close enough to be considered local.)

It sometimes has fits where it tries to refocus. I would look at that funny to begin with but hey, I work the night shift, there is no one anywhere near the things field of view and it tries to randomly focus. ON WHAT?

I watch way too much Zak Bagans to let this go.

So now I’m not only worried about the usual doctor/patient stuff but now I’m concerned I’m going to have to face the irate face of the guy down the hall in the morgue. I’m going to look over at the screen in time to see an impossibly long, thin finger ease its way down the camera. I might even shout when a pale, partially decomposed face pops onto the feed after it cuts out.

Need to keep watching the monitor so it doesn’t catch me off guard. Have to be ready.

Need to watch the moni-





Bondage,Serial Killers, and the Swiss.

11 08 2012

I can’t even describe to you how happy I am at this particular point in time. Not quite a hit-the-lotto euphoria. More like the adult toy store down the street just got a new shipment of Sesame Street inspired lotions in and the bullwhips are two for a dollar. (Which isn’t really the case. The adult toy store is in another town.)

The couple-days-shy-of-a-month-long-hiatus that I meant to tell all of you in the deep, dark and sweaty recesses of the internet about but FAILED, is over! (Blog post was written on phone but saved as a draft instead of posted. WordPress app FAIL.) That means we, here at the press, which is really just a fancy way of saying me and whatever other ridiculousness comes along with this disorder, are back!

I’ve got a healthy new mountain of curious animal bits in the ol’ mailbox for the next Spam installment, which, I have browsed a bit and am very excited to work with. I’m planning on assaulting you all with a TON of new short fiction entries in an attempt to address all of the Picture it and Write! entries over at Ermiliablog. And even have a new, crazy and random individual that pops up in my life from time to time to tell you about.

It’s going to be a good time this month folks. A good time. *Wink*

But what about today? Well I’ll tell you. You better grab your nearest umbrella and or poncho because I’m about to subject you to another stream of random neuron-firings!

INCOMING.

I have a friend who recently suffered a concussion. Again. This makes number six I believe. I was told once that if you suffer five you run a great chance of experiencing brain damage. I don’t know if that’s true or not but it’s a bit frightening all the same. I get books from this girl. I would hate for her to one day start recommending things to me that are predominately picture-based.

I have nothing against books with pictures. I like the others ones better though.

Craziest thing I’ve seen lately? A girl throwing her legs apart while driving past a Church of Immaculate Conception screaming, “Give it to me God!” Listen. I understand that pregnancy is something you’re into. It seems to be a goal. I just think there are better ways to go about it. What kind of message would God be sending if he got you pregnant while you were driving? That’s just not safe driving.

On a similar note, how can you stand pregnancy? I couldn’t do that. No way. It would be nine months of non-stop nightmares featuring Sigourney Weaver and a lot of drool. Now that sounds like it could be a good thing but I’m talking about aliens. From the movies. Aliens. That’s some crazy, chest-bursting, swiss surrealism right there.

And has anyone ever seen a picture of H.R Giger? Talk about your horror movie characters. That guy looks like he just might flay his interns and wear their skin like coats and Halloween masks. Maybe its part of his process. I don’t know, I never worked for the guy. If he ever offers you a coat, JUST. SAY.NO.

And why are they called serial killers? To someone new to the English language that could be a little confusing. Or comical. Maybe a bit of both. But running into a grocery store and storming toward the breakfast foods isle announcing, jokingly in broken english, that you are a “cereal killer” is more likely to get you tased then fed.

It’s a complicated language. You must fear it and respect it. One word can mean the difference between Cheerios and the electric chair.

Stay Tuned.