The Monster (2016)

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The Monster (2016) Bryan Bertino (writer/director) It turns out, the real “monster” is poor parenting . . . no, wait, it’s an actual monster and it’s kind of lame.  I did enjoy the relationship between the (crappy) mother and (forced-to-be-the-parent) daughter, which is something I don’t usually see and was appropriately fleshed out through some good flashback scenes.  There was even some nice tension after the mother and daughter’s car breaks down and they are under siege by an unknown entity that picks off the first responders.  However, the titular monster looks goofy in the light, there’s a pointless “sacrifice” […]

Is the world getting away from us, and/or should we let it?

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Found this statue in a public space while walking through Midtown the other day.  Not sure what the context is, but I’d prefer not to know, I think.  If you look at it one way, the cloaked figure is trying to hold on to the world as it rushes past.  If you look at it another way, the Earth is trying to escape from the grasp of this hooded figure. It’s like one of those pictures with an image that’s a vase or two faces, or an old woman or a young woman, a rabbit or a duck.  I think […]

Father’s Day

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After my father passed away, I was compelled to try to work through it in writing.  Most of it was venting, but a few ended up as completed pieces and were published online. One of my favorites was this following villanelle which was published by Shadow Road Quarterly which, sadly, now appears defunct.  So, here it is for posterity. The Life-Sized, Horizontal  (a villanelle) Then, mythology could save us.  I meantTo lay him out in state as only sons can serve:The life-sized, horizontal. As I dreamt Distant Cancer, unwrapped caducei rentPrometheus’s liver. Yet if demigods deserve,Then mythology could save us. I meant To […]

Review of Shadows & Tall Trees No. 6 at Hellnotes

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Jeebus, I’ve been terrible about keeping this updated! In the off-season I’ve fallen way behind on anything that isn’t my day job, but I’ve done some good stuff here and there.  For example, I won a Flash! Friday challenge and did the obligatory 60-Seconds interview.  I’m also continuing to read for Kraken Press and am very pleased with some of the novels we’ve pulled out of the slush.  (In particular, keep your eyes peeled for Leah Erickson’s novel The Gilded Lynx.  It’s a change of pace, but it really is amazing and was the first thing in the slush to ever […]

“Like, like, produces like, okay?” – 360 words

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It’s called ‘sympathetic magic,’ and if you can’t understand that, then you’re stupider than Charlene.  I read a lot of articles, so I probably know more than you, but you can totally Wikipedia it on your phone.  Look for, like, the part on ‘similarity and contagion.’ I’m not like other girls at school, just so you know.  The women in my family have what my mum calls The Gift.  She’s the one that told me about this. What?  This.  This ritual. Are you serious? Okay, see, the doll represents a baby.  Why?  Because I want a baby, of course. I’ll […]

“Praise be to the Master, all knowledge comes from him” – 159 words

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“And what, students, is this?” Pulling back the corpse’s parchment skin, the Master pointed to the vertebra. “The ajbu adh-dhanab,” the students whispered. “The resurrection bone.” With deft motions, the Master severed the cartilage and withered roots of nerves. He twisted the ajbu adh-dhanab from its setting and placed it like a pink almond upon the table. “But what is it, truly?” “It is the most precious bone.” “It cannot be burned or broken.” “It is the seed of life after death.” The Master’s anatomy hammer smashed down, chipping the bone and scattering pieces across the marble floor. “Here is […]

New Flash Fiction Pages

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I’ve updated my [Flashes of Genius] page to include more of my full-fledged flash fiction.  A lot of these new pieces are complete pieces that were originally posted on weekly blog contests like [Flash! Friday] and [Race the Date]. Check them out and consider joining in! [Flashes of Genius]:http://www.grizzlyspectacles.com/?cat=13 [Race the Date]: http://www.caramichaels.com/defiantlyliterate/ [Flash! Friday]: http://flashfriday.wordpress.com

“Infernal Inspiration (A Comedy)” – 294 Words

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The Poet came home a little late, very drunk, and a with a moderate amount of some woman’s lipstick on his cap and collar. He tried to play it cool, but the woman who’d been waiting for him would have none. “You treacherous bastard!” With a grand sweep of her arm, she cleared the table to the crash of earthenware and spaghetti puttanesca. “Wait a second, Bee, I just, you see.” But her fiery hair was already burning out the doorway, into the chilly evening and the pale marble alleys of Florence. “Damn it,” he said, staring at the red […]

“Creation Myth” – 300 Words

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CREATION MYTH Maybe it’s time I told you why you and your sister don’t look your mommy and I. You see, my darling, you two are from a far-off country across the ocean. Princesses? Not quite. You two are far more special. Do you know how some mommies get big before they have babies? Well, your mommy and I had tried, but that didn’t happen for us. So, because your mommy was sad, we took a trip. A trip to the far-off country. It was so pretty, but still, your mommy couldn’t smile. Nothing I tried could help. Finally, it […]

“Kamtchotchke Roulette” – 300 Words

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A matryoshka nesting doll the size of a baby squats on the plastic tablecloth in center of Darya and Zoya’s kitchen table. The outside, at least, always has the same rough features – heavy brow, hooked nose, sarafan of coarse hair. Its painted eyes follow Darya’s hands as she picks up the sheep’s knucklebone, roughly scored into a die ages ago. Tonight, Darya rolls first. “2.” Darya unscrews the beast woman. Lifting off her upper half, inside she finds another strong-faced woman, but with less piercing eyes, a less pronounced jawline. “That’s one.” Darya unscrews and removes that one, revealing […]