Deadly Ever After

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Halloween Wars: Julie Gets Her Way

TODAY’S BREW: Enough Chocolate Cappuccino flavored coffee to keep my freezing hands warm.

By Julie

There’s 3 teams left at the beginning of this episode of Halloween Wars; Psychotic Misfits (my personal pick), Black Magic and Skeleton Crew, who I’m just not feeling.

Charlaine Harris, author of The Sookie Stackhouse novels, of course, was the guest judge. I am personally not a fan of the novels, and have fallen out of of love with True Blood, but that’s beside the point. She was a good judge.

The Small Scare challenge was of technology becoming a nightmare. They did this last year, and I hated the team that won. Stupid grim reaper coming out of a computer screen through an email. Too far out of the box. Just dumb. This year, I was eager to see what happened to my team. I enjoy Team Psychotic Misfits for Brian Stevens, who is a serious talent, and a cool guy overall if you ask me. I love that he and the rock star pumpkin carver, David, go at it on every episode. These guys are true artists, and don’t really work well with others. I appreciate that.

Skeleton Crew had a pretty cool piece with a vacuum that comes to life. Psychotic Misfits came up with a pair of headphones that turns on the skull listener, and drives a music note through its brain. (The music note totally sucked it.) Black Magic definitely had the coolest creation with an 80’s television with a broken screen turned to teeth, eating its watcher. A grisly hand was still clawing, trying to get out. Very cool. The poor pumpkin carver had to start from scratch at one point, too, because his pumpkin was too soft. I’m seriously impressed he could do it. When MY team actually won, Psychotic Misfits, I was kinda pissed because theirs just was not as good.

The big challenge was the classic swamp creature. YES. Brian Stevens actually said “I love the swamp,” so I was really excited to see what he came up with. Their lady girl candymaker, Theresa, came up with the idea of a swamp creature digesting who it ate, which was really different, and I loved this team even more for it. They worked together really well, and Theresa is a powerhouse.

Skeleton Crew came up with a suckass idea of a giant snake eating a guy. Not good enough. Black Magic rocked it with a gian moster underneath the water, with a fisherman above, half submerged, following his sunken boat. Very cool idea. Skeleton Crew pissed me the hell off with this pumpkin carving guy who did everything from complain about having to stack pumpkins to his poor, aching back, which he stopped everything to stretch. All of this is done with his own whiny commentary. “Aww, I hope we didn’t get a rotten pumpkin, man!” When they came up with a shitty creation, it made the whole team unbearable for me. So I was happy to see the bitches go home. (Spoiler.)

Black Magic’s fisherman scene was killer. Their baker also made a killer sour cherry candy that looked so good I wanted to murder someone for it. There were amazing details; a wound on the fisherman’s knee, skulls on the floor of the swamp, a beautiful fish…. A great story. Really well done.

Psychotic Misfits has done a couple of comic book-looking pieces, which I loved. The Three Blind Mice piece, the Zombie Prom with the lockers and the disco ball. Excellent. But this challenge was the best I’ve seen from any team this season. The monster was actually scary. The thing looked real. It sat in a reflective “pool” made of sugar that looked like real water. The monster had this wild giant tusk out of the middle of its jaw, and these awful eyes. Amazingly beautiful and gruesome.

What I really loved was that team Psychotic Misfits had an enormous problem, leaving them less than an hour to fill 6 inches of space with anything they could find to bridge a gap between the pumpkin body and the cake head. Bitching at each other the whole time, they came together and filled it with cake, rice crispie treats, anything they could find, and it was magnificent. MAGNIFICENT. Brian Stevens finished the challenge saying, “Now that’s how you make a fricking monster!” He was right. His monster actually got the soft, melodic “You did it” music when Shin Min Lee told him this was the piece she’d been waiting to see him create.

There was no question Team Psychotic Misfits was the winner and Team Skeleton Crew sucked it hard and needed to go home, despite being ingenious enough to use green-dyed noodles for swamp moss and making a neon green tea candy for the tasting element. They had this cool lightning bug jar, but just generic looking overall. Black Magic is really strong, and seeing them go to the finale with Psychotic Misfits is going to make for a really intense battle. I, of course, will tell you all the things I think that you may or may not want to know.

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Haunting Poetry From Alistair Cross

TODAY’S BREW: An almost sexual amount of Hazelnut.

By Julie

You met my friend Alistair Cross, aka Jared S. Anderson for Flash Fiction Friday with an excerpt from his work in progress, The White Room. (You can read it here, and I highly suggest you do or else. http://wp.me/p2x7oj-yW). I’m not done with him yet. I love his poetry, and so we bring you some of Alistair’s more eerie work in the spirit of the month and stuff. I’ll start with my favorite.

The Wooden Box

She wasn’t really beautiful

But she exuded such a grace

That it was easy to overlook

The imperfections of her face

She wasn’t unusually well-spoken

But she said such beautiful things

That you’d get caught up in her words

And give no attention to their meanings

She wasn’t remarkably brilliant

But she had such inscrutable insight

That it was easy to believe

She was ingenious and ultra-bright

She was never immoderately animated

But she looked so alive in red

That if she weren’t in that wooden box

I would have never known that she was dead

* * *

My Lovers Face

I never get tired

Of watching her face

It’s prettier now

Than it was in the first place

With my hands I explore

Every valley and peak

Of that beautiful face

Each night before sleep

And as for my deed

It had to be done

If ever I was

To be her only one

At first she was kind

But now she’s so cold

For, I love her to death…

She will never get old

And maybe it’s strange

Or so some would say

But at least they will never

Take her away

So, every night

To the icebox I traipse

Because that’s where I keep

My lovers face

*   *   *

Dark Hotel

At the top of the winding road

That was only evident through moonlight

Stood the hotels silhouette…

Tall and black against the night

I’m not sure where we were coming from

I’m not sure where we were going

But as we near the looming structure

I feel a nearly-eerie knowing

On a level deeper than instinct

And deeper than intellect

I know that I’ve been here before

Though I can’t fully recollect…

I don’t recall the lobby

Any stairs or any halls

But our room had scarlet carpet

And famous paintings on the walls

The hotel was bathed in silence

Yet I was somehow made aware

That you and I were not

The only creatures dwelling there

I approach an open window

Where red curtains billow inward

And I gaze on blackened trees

And hear the haunted songs of night birds

And you touch me on the shoulder

And whisper something in my ear…

Perhaps, a command I can’t remember

Or a rumor I wasn’t meant to hear

But those shapeless words sedate me

Like poison in warm milk

And as the clock strikes some late hour

We slip in sheets of wintered silk

…And the dream is a forewarning

Or so, at least, it seems

As I wake at breakneck speed

Just to wonder what it means

* * *

I, Madman

Sometimes I still dream of her

In a deep and empty splendor

A fool for love and money, yes

But I will still defend her

She is not my friend

And she will never be my love

But her lullaby soothes me gratefully

And shades me as it does…

Every river meets the sea

And waterfalls just slide

Into pools of dormant thought

And claim that they survived

But she was not a river…

Somewhat unlike me

And not at all a waterfall

This one was the sea…

I am still skating around

A truth I’ll never know

I have ravished all these rooms

And caught not one glimpse of her shadow

But sometimes at night

Outside my bedroom door

I hear her whisper through the light

That the moon casts on the floor

And in these chambers, like a grave

Days on end I weep

For a woman that is cold and gray

And buried six feet deep

* * *

Contact Alistair:

Twitter: @crossalistair

Blog: http://alistaircross.wordpress.com/

Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/crossalistair

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/jsascribes

 

Because The Night Character Expo: Tristan

Today’s Brew: Water. I have to set my alarm for 3:30 AM.

by Kristen


As long as I’ve thought that boys don’t have cooties, I’ve been fascinated by musicians.  Besides the fact that so many of them are drop dead gorgeous, creativity is sexy.  And as someone with a creative mind, I found them magical.  When I was in junior high, hairbands were a thing.  And I can’t tell you how much I loved it.  I still do.  Guys with long hair, eyeliner, leather pants and boots? Yes please. That is how I like my rock stars.  I was attracted to the debauchery and danger.

Tristan. So. Tristan.

Over the years, I went to hundreds of concerts and met tons of bands, befriending local and internationally performing bands.  Many of my girl friends felt the same way. They either just loved the music or they dated the guys in the bands. These were my people. Because it’s been a part of my life for so long, a lot of my stories seem tame to me, although they might be wilder than I consider them.  Since there are no rules in rock n roll, I was always fascinated with where the adventure might lead.

Naturally, the Motley Crue biography, The Dirt, captured my imagination. I should correct what I said earlier.  My stories are tame compared to the ones shared in this book.  These guys lived the epitome of the sex, drugs and rock n roll stereotype.

When I created a larger than life rock star male lead character, I looked no further than Nikki Sixx.  I’ve said many times before that anyone who has died twice and lived to tell about it deserves a fictional character based on him.  Tristan Trevosier is that character.  He’s only died once, so he’s got some catching up to do.

Totally Tristan.

Tristan is a spoiled brat who thrives on negative attention.  He is the life of the party and he goes through girls like other people might order ice coffees.  But he’s one of those guys who pushes the limits with what he can get away with, and still manages to be charming.  The bad boy no one can resist.

What’s Tristan so bitter about? He’s the son of a famous actor, and everyone wants something from him because of who he is.  Until he meets Callie, a girl who could totally care less about all of that and just wants to be his friend.  With Callie, he finds his Achilles heel.

Tristan’s never had to take anything seriously, since someone’s always around to save him.  Once his excesses led him to immortality, nothing changed.  He covered up his anger and confusion with drink and drugs, and didn’t bother to find out what the afterlife had in store for him.

Tristan

So when I say it like that, he sounds pretty awful.  But like any expert on the dark side, Tristan’s charming enough that he intrigues you. You want to know what he’s going to do next.  You close your eyes as he walks the tightrope, knowing he’s got no safety net. And you cheer when he makes it to the other side, unscathed.

Flash Fiction Friday: THE WHITE ROOM excerpt from Alistair Cross

TODAY’S BREW: Red velvet Dark Roast. I need something dark and decadent for today’s post.

By Julie

Jared Anderson, aka Alistair Cross, gets immediate attention from me whenever he writes something new.  His work is haunting, sexy, brooding and eerie. His poetry I read over and over for its jarring images and richness of language. The man himself is hilarious, or I wouldn’t like him. It’s possible I have a crush on him now.  SHUT UP, YOU DO. (Sorry, knee jerk)

I have a bunch of his work to pick from for Flash Fiction Friday, and I want to put it all up, so this will sort of be Allistair Weekend. It’s happening. Today, you don’t get any poetry. NO, YOU COME BACK TOMORROW FOR THAT. Today, an excerpt from his work in progress. I want to die at how much you guys will love this.

Download 314502_102607213178371_100002872777585_9875_6911060_n.jpg (108.1 KB)

That’s the guy.

First, WATCH THE BEAUTIFUL MONSTER TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNt8ZQFUC2o

Download Monsterblue.jpg (197.1 KB)

This is not him. This is his book. Come on guys, you knew that.

NOW PREPARE FOR HEAVY BREATHING……..

EXCERPT FROM THE WHITE ROOM

work in progress

* * *

“I’m not going to hurt you,” he said. His voice was steady and gentle, almost soothing.

Marnie gaped at the air like a fish suffocating on oxygen. She felt the painful thrum of her heart beat in every nerve ending of her body. Fear held her in place as he walked slowly toward her. Her mind raced, but whatever sense the situation might have made, it eluded her.

He stood directly in front of her now, staring down at her. His eyes were intense and busy, as if he were trying to take in as much of her as he could. His respiration was heavy but controlled, and his breath, as it pulsed down on her, smelled sweet and somehow sickening.

The man knelt, as if he were going to propose marriage to her. He took the fabric of her apron and lifted it, slow and gentle, above her knees.

“What do you want?” Marnie’s voice sounded foreign to her own ears.

“Shh,” said the stranger.

He pried her legs apart from each other in a fluid, non-threatening way, as if there were nothing unusual about the act. Bringing his face closer to the center of her, he inhaled, and appeared to be relishing the scent of her.

Marnie stared down at the man, trying to make sense of what he was doing to her.  She was terrified and somehow excited, uncertain whether this was a nightmare or a fantasy.

He grabbed a handful of each of her plump hips and pulled her to edge of the chair. A mouse-like squeak slipped from her lips.

“Please, don’t hurt me,” she whispered.

He probed his head between her knees again, using it to pry them apart until his face was at her core. He inhaled her again, then pinched at the fabric on either side of the seam in her slacks and ripped the fabric away from itself.

Marnie squeaked again, tensed, and felt utterly helpless as he began to tear at the material with his hands and teeth. Terrified, Marnie put her hand on his head as if to push him away, but the man’s neck seemed to have more strength in it than both her arms.

He clawed and chewed at the material, a low growling noise, like an angry dog, issuing from somewhere very deep in his lungs.

Marnie felt pieces of her pants slip away from her flesh and in less than thirty seconds, her lower half was bare except for the few shredded remnants of what had been her slacks and panties.

The man had bared her flesh like an expert, somehow managing not to hurt her. She instinctively brought her knees together to conceal her privates, but the man pushed them apart again, burrowing his face into the thickness of her meaty, plentiful thighs until she could feel his breath on her most intimate place. He placed a hand on each of her hips, holding her in place. It was a powerful, solid grip, and she wondered if she could have escaped it if she tried to.

Her breath came in shuddering gasps. She whispered the word no more than once, but somehow, she knew it went unheard.

She felt something sharp, like the edge of a paring knife gently tracing the skin in the hollow where thigh and pelvis met. The pressure increased, then she felt a slight pricking. She panicked a moment, realizing the man had bitten her.

She screamed and tried to scramble away, but the man’s arms became iron bars that locked her in place. Then, just as her anxiety peaked and she thought she might have to bring the computer monitor down on his head, she felt a pleasant, tingling warmth where just a moment ago there had been pain. Within seconds, her fear drained away like slow rivulets of rain down a window. A kind of warm, soothing electricity moved like a velvet serpent through her veins, replacing her terror with an unequivocal sense that everything was okay, that nothing would ever be wrong again. Marnie let her head loll back in her chair and widened her thighs to allow the man more room to work with. “Who are you?” she said in a breathy whisper as her mind began to lift and wander away from her.

She thought she heard a voice, but she couldn’t make out any words. Her nerve endings began to tingle with a rapturous buzz, and a silky feeling wrapped itself all around her. She felt light, as if she were no more than a mote of pollen on barely perceptible breeze. She wondered if this was what it must be like to die, then realized without any dissent or trepidation, that this was exactly what dying felt like.

I KNOW, RIGHT?!  Do yourself a favor, pick up BEAUTIFUL MONSTER while you wait for THE WHITE ROOM.

Beautiful Monster is available at:

Damnation Books: http://www.damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615727742

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beautiful-monster-mimi-a-williams/1112783047?ean=9781615727759

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Monster-Mimi-A-Williams/dp/1615727752/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1354247199&sr=8-5&keywords=Beautiful+Monster

Contact Alistair:

Twitter: @crossalistair

Blog: http://alistaircross.wordpress.com/

Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/crossalistair

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/jsascribes

Falling Off The Cliff: Banning Books

Today’s Brew: My last Pumpkin Spice K cup. Must. Get. More.

by Kristen

In this week’s news, the US Government got the band back together. Whatever. Besides the people who were unfairly put out of a job because of their foolishness,  I don’ t think many of us noticed they were gone. There was also another group of workers effected by foolishness of big bureaucracy:  self published authors.

This is how I understand it:  WH Smith, a UK bookseller, received complaints that pornographic books were being marketed along side children’s books.  Instead of simply fixing the problem, they took down their entire website so they could remove all self published books.

Again, this is how I understand it:  Someone at WH Smith didn’t do their job correctly in the first place, causing books that should never be mixed together to come up together. Instead of fixing the immediate problem, they punished a huge percentage of their vendors who aren’t part of the problem.

Instead of pointing and laughing about how stupid this is, Kobo pulled all their self published books from its UK site. Amazon and Barnes and Noble pulled hard core erotica.

The UK has an Obscene Publications Act, which is vague at best, and the United States Supreme Court famously defines pornography as:

I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [“hard-core pornography”]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that. –Justice Potter Stewart

So you don’t write Dinosaur Daddy Porn and you’re not self published.  Why should you do more than shrug?

Think about building a beautiful house overlooking the ocean.  Of course you build a safe distance from the cliff.  You need to protect your family, your safety, and your investment.  But each storm erodes a little bit of the earth that separates your beautiful family home from falling into the ocean. Your neighbor’s house starts to fall into the ocean.  Suddenly, you’re not so safe anymore.

If this seems like an extreme example, this is a real concern on the south shore of Massachusetts, and I’m sure many coastal communities.

When someone draws a line, we all get closer to it every time.  First it’s “pornography” or “offensive literature.” But we already decided we can’t define it. So hardcore erotica goes first.  So what about all these BDSM books?  Are they safe?   Let’s look at paranormal romance.  We have humans having sex with shapeshifters, or part time animals, so bestiality, or humans having sex with vampires, or dead people, so necrophilia.  Pretty offensive when you think of it like that.  Now what about extramarital affairs?  Sex before marriage? Sex before a certain age?  Kissing a boy?

When do we start attacking books that are too violent?  Horror?  True crime?

See where I’m going here?

I read the Story of O earlier this year, and I thought it was one of the most abusive tales I’d ever encountered.  But that’s safe since it has a major publisher. VC Andrews books are still up, in all their incestual glory.  So as long as you have the backing of major publishing, your offensive literature is safe.  For now anyway.  But self published romance authors have had their books removed.  Magan Vernon, a contemporary romance author, had her work removed from Kobo.  It’s back up in the United States, but she’s not sure about other countries.  I’ve read Magan’s work. It’s not pornography.

Romance is the top selling genre in literature today.  That includes erotica.  I know it’s because women love having the anonymity of reading steamy books on their electronic devices.  They don’t have to face a cashier to buy it, and no one can see what they’re reading on the train. If it wasn’t for sex, none of us would be here.  Why are we so uptight about human nature?  The more uptight we become, the more outlandish people will act in response to the repression.

I don’t condone abusive behavior of any kind.  These booksellers should have filtered out books that advocated sexual violence against children in the first place.

Destructo Girl And Julie Make This Happen

TODAY’S BREW: So much coffee. Any I can get. My mind is spinning and I need to fuel it.

By Julie

My sister in sarcasm, who goes by the name Destructo Girl, is one of those few tweeters whose time line I read every day. So when she asked me to interview for her blog, I jumped on it. I drank some stuff, and answered her hilarious questions. I highly suggest you follow this brilliant mind on twitter @sk_sophia for constant entertainment. But first, go check out the interview she granted me. See what a girl who would do THIS comes up with:

TO READ OUR INTERVIEW, CLICK HERE: http://t.co/DlKa1rvwAw

 

RUNNING HOME and All Books of the Dead Titles Have a Celebration Sale!

TODAY’S BREW: Not cider. Drank it all.

By Julie

THINGS HAVE HAPPENED! My publisher, Books of the Dead Press’s blog has hit a quarter million views, and so to celebrate

ALL BOOKS OF THE DEAD NOVELS ARE 99 CENTS THIS WEEK!!!!

Yes, that means Running Home, which you can get here, for the same price as shitty 7-11 coffee. http://t.co/wXBPE87nMX

You’ve also heard me babble incessantly about my good friend, J.C. who wrote the horror I fangirl over, Discoredia. HIS book is less than a buck, too. If you like the hidden themes and story within a story style of my writing, Discoredia is for you. I’m hard put to find a novelist that can create something so frightening, but with so much poetic beauty to it. There’s no cheap thrills here, I actually started talking to J.C. on Authonomy, when I got my first review and it was a little overly critical, perhaps. This guy came out of nowhere and told my critic to shut up, and then I got a peek at Discoredia, and was instantly hooked on his writing style. We became close friends over the last year and a half, and that became even thicker when we both got picked up by Books of the Dead. Discoredia was one of the rare books to make it to the Harper Collins editor’s desk at Authonomy, and they had actual good things to say about it! There’s a rarity.

“Readers also won’t be surprised to learn that I swear a lot, have a bad temper, and have been known to display a nasty streak at times. Marriage and fatherhood have mellowed me, but Discoredia was written in, and belongs to, the period of my life before that,” J.C. said to me, when I told him I want people to know him the way I do.

The reason I think the book works so well is because J.C. never wrote it to be published. “I wrote Discoredia because I was challenged to write a novel. It was written for two people, myself and the person that made that challenge. I never aimed on it being published. That’s why it’s so personal, and also why it’s quite commercially naive in that it doesn’t “fit” the genre. Now it’s not about me any more, it’s about something which other people will hopefully enjoy. So click here to buy it y’fuckers.”  YES, THIS IS LITERALLY FRESH OUT THE EMAIL HE SENT ME. http://t.co/UZXLvCqGcD

The band of freaks that Books of the Dead Press picked up this past spring became fast friends, but Mark Matthews and I clicked and are constantly in each other’s faces these days. One of the most genuine guys on the planet, but Jesus, Mary and Joseph, that man can creep me out with the shit he comes up with in a mere tweet, let alone the insane stories he comes up with. (If you don’t believe me, check out last Friday’s flash fiction bit from Mark right here.  http://wp.me/p2x7oj-y3. His writing is so crisp, so evocative and deeply disturbing, I just shake my head at how he comes up with it. SO FOR A BUCK, BUY On the Lips of Children right here. http://t.co/mFzbjq8rNL. Thank me later via check or credit card.

TO SEE ALL OF THE TITLES THAT ARE 99CENTS, GO SLAP AROUND BOOKS OF THE DEAD PRESS HERE http://t.co/3YowvUPte4. (Shut up and buy Mountain Home by Bracken MacLeod, too. Shut up, baby, I won’t recommend any more books, I swear to God.)

Spotlight: Because The Night by Kristen Strassel coming November 5th, 2013

Tammy wrote a blurb better than my own.

Tammy Farrell

SEX, BLOOD AND ROCK N’ ROLL

Recently I had the opportunity to read an advance copy of Kristen Strassel’s novel, Because The Night, and I was blown away!

Kristen is one half of the undead duo behind deadlyeverafter.com, a hilarious tweeter, and as I’ve recently discovered, one hell of a writer.

Because the Night is  set in the dark underworld of Las Vegas, where vampires play in rock bands, star in reality shows, and attract groupies crazier than Beliebers. But when Callie arrives to save her ex, Tristan, from himself, she becomes immersed in his world. And things become even more complicated when her new love interest, Blade, steals her heart. Callie quickly learns it’s not easy juggling two men, especially when one of them is dead. But these aren’t mere games of the heart. In Las Vegas, it’s dangerous to love someone when your soul belongs to another.

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Mama Mosh Pit

Today’s Brew: Woodchuck Pear Cider

by Kristen

Can ya’ll believe I was a Nine Inch Nails virgin until Friday night?  That was unacceptable in my book.  (I also never saw Marilyn Manson until June. I should really have my rocker girl card pulled. Actually, just kidding. I’ll do better, I promise.)

Here are the reasons I’d never seen NIN before:

  • My friends all went to see them play in a tiny club before Pretty Hate Machine broke, but I couldn’t go, because I wasn’t 18. Don’t think I didn’t consider it. But if my mission failed, it was going to be a long hard night on the sidewalk. Oh, shush. All of you.
  • Another set of friends went to see the NIN/Marilyn Manson tour but I couldn’t ask for the night off from Chadwick’s of Boston. Getting yelled at about backordered business clothes was so much better than a show. This is why I work for myself now, people.

I know, all pretty lame. But now that I have my new partner in ill advised adventure, Liz, all lameness is off. And Liz’s favorite band just happens to be Nine Inch Nails.  She even went as far as to describe Trent Reznor as “her Tristan.” I swooned for all the wrong (or maybe right) reasons. Trent and Tristan have a lot in common. If Trent wasn’t sober now, they could totally have some Venom and hang. At least I know if Tristan was ever going to get old, he’d still be awesome.

Liz wanted to be up at the front. Now, you’ve probably done the math on my concert going history. I’m old. The idea of being possibly caught in a mosh didn’t thrill me, but Liz does things like go to Jersey on a whim to see my bands, so I sucked it up.  After all, everyone else going to the show was probably old too. Do people still even mosh? I was about to find out.

Obviously, I left my party clothes at home, but I had to do something cute! So I went pinup with my hair and pinned it up in victory rolls, and a flower just in case nobody got what I was going for.

To Liz’s dismay, we didn’t make it to the rail, but we were pretty damn close.  Everyone around us was really chill and fun to talk to. For some reason, there were a ton of Canadians in the crowd. Did Trent Reznor get his passport revoked or something?  Dude, you are loved north of the border. Go play for them.

Then the roid ragey frat boys showed up. Brandishing open wounds.

Moshing was cool when it was actually a punk thing. When drunk college boys used it as an excuse to hit people and piss in a crowd, it was just as over as Miley wagging her tongue all over god knows what.

The girl next to me tried and failed to get this jerk out of her face, so of course, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. I just had to tell him how uncouth I found him and nasty bleeding elbow.  I called him an asshole, he called me a poser and told me I wouldn’t make it 5 minutes into the show.

Please explain to me: why am I a poser?  Because I’m a female, because I wasn’t all gothed out (in fact, I was the ONE wearing pink), or because I thought he was being a jerk? What does any of this have to do with my taste in music?

Most arenas now have this nice little number you can text if someone is acting like an asshat during a game or show. So after I smoothed everything over with Chris (yes, we intoduced ourselves), I had his ass tossed out by security before Trent darkened the stage.

The lesson: Don’t fuck with me, frat boys.

Finally, Nine Inch Nails came on!  And yes, people still mosh!  I was so close to complete strangers I could feel the inner workings of their bodies. I was covered in other people’s sweat. One of my victory rolls might have been dislodged by a boot. But, frat boys, since none of you made it up front til the end of the show, just letting you know, I did. *winks*

And for those who stuck around with me, I was like the mosh pit mama.  I moved people’s hair so I didn’t pull it, I moved people around so they’d be with their friends, and smoothed out disagreements. Everyone loved it.  No one really loves getting pushed around.  Like I said earlier, now it’s just a bunch of drunken assholes acting like drunken assholes.  You can dance and have fun without being an asshole. Sorry I keep using the word, but that’s what they are.  Assholes.

The lighting was the most impressive part of the show. Liz had mentioned it many times, but I didn’t know how it could be different that other concerts. Yeah, I’m dumb. It was awesome. Sometimes I realized I was watching the lights and not the band.  Trent sounds just like he does on the CDs and the band was tight.  There’s this guitarist, Josh, who was smokin’ hot.

I took the train into the city, but Liz had to drive me back to my car. After 2 hours in that crowd, I’d looked like I’d been doing something very different. I couldn’t be riding public transportation looking like that.  A sign of an excellent outing.

My Infection by Mark Matthews for Flash Fiction Friday

TODAY’S BREW: Hazelnut times a zillion

By Julie

At Books of the Dead Press, I met some great people. Mark Matthews and I hit it off fast and have become really good friends. He also happens to be a fantastic author, and the world is finally figuring it out. His latest creation, On the Lips of Children just hit the top 100 in horror on Amazon. If you haven’t read this uniquely disturbing novel, trust me, do so. You won’t be the same after. Get this book. NOW. http://t.co/mFzbjq8rNL.

NOW GET EXCITED BECAUSE I MADE MARK WRITE THIS CREEPY ASS STORY FOR FLASH FICTION FRDAY. Enjoy.

MY INFECTION

By Mark Matthews

Puddles of mud.
After she confessed her eyes became puddles of mud, like tears had fallen upon dirty eye sockets and left a muddy mess. “Okay, yes, we had sex,” she squeaked. “Three times only. I didn’t meant to. Will you still take care of us?”
Latrice only confessed because she was caught. The paternity test showed 99 percent chance I wasn’t the father. She held the child of Puckett in her womb.
“Will you take care of us?” she asked again. It wasn’t a question, she was giving me a challenge.
“I will take care of things,” I answered, but I didn’t say the rest that I wanted to, which was “because the day I fucked you I caught an infection and now I have it for life.”
“What about Puckett? Will you take care of him like you usually do?”
“Yes, I will.”
I had to. Because now Puckeet has the infection too, and I can’t have him talking smack about me taking care of his baby.
Puckeett spent 3 more days alive before I found him. Suffocation by choking has always been my choice when I want others to think for a moment on whose hands is killing them. Later, they shall swim deep. The Detroit River doesn’t give up its dead easy. And my Latrice loved it when I killed for her.
The birthing room was lit like a spaceship and reminded me of Vegas. No windows. I couldn’t tell if it was day or night only that that hours passed. New kinds of liquid flowed from between Latrice’s propped up legs. She sweat and spasmed, and when the head crowned, I felt both nauseous bile and warm shivers of hope.
There was a one percent chance that the baby would have my ebony flesh. But she did not. In fact, her flesh was so white it was see through. Nearly blue and fucking see through.
A heart condition kept the child in intensive care for days, in an incubater, looking like a frog ready to be dissected. I peeked at her, tried to make eye contact, did make eye contact. This infant seemed to be my very own heart beating in front of me, shriveled with doctors prodding it to keep her alive.
“She’s going to die,” Latrice repeated again and again. “I can’t take this, I can’t see her. You do it, you take care of her.”
I did, and stayed in the hospital and put my finger in the sterile glove and touched an index finger to her forehead.
Where’s my mother? she asked with tiny motions of her incubated arms.
“Soon you will see her. I am here. This is how it is,” I answered.
Days later I brought the child home to Latrice. Life had grown stronger in the nameless infant, but she was still barely bigger than the palm of my hand. At home the child shrieked and wailed as if she held the pain from a thousands past lives.
“This is not how it’s supposed to be,” Latrice said, watching me hold the child at 3:36 a:m: in the rocker on a Tuesday.
“This is how its going to be.”
I slept with the week old flesh on mine. It was skin so thin you could see her insides, like she was made of rubbery glass. I put her on my chest, rocked her until 4:25 a:m: and she beat with my heart.
The rocker was to be where the baby fed, yet it refused to take the breast of her mother.
Medications the baby did take. I injected them into an IV port in her neck. Warnings from doctors rang in my ears. Too large of an injection can lead to affixiation. Failure to administer will do the same.
Latrice curled up into a ball much of the time, like a fetus afraid to be born into her new life. Her hair, unwashed for days, became stringy like a broom. Pill bottles with the prescription label rubbed off sat on the counter. Oxy’s or Xanax or both.
The infant tears came at night, sometimes causing trips to the hospital wrapping ourselves in jackets gainst the cold, only to be sent back home again. Sleeplessness weighed us down like soaking wet clothes.
“This isn’t how its supposed to be,” she said.
“This is how it is,” I answered.
“No. You can take care of this. Take care of her like you do. Make it like it was before. She’s not meant to be alive.” Her eyes become the muddy puddles of tears and dirt. They pleaded to me. The infection bubbled in my veins.
Killing again would be easy. The pillow held down with my weight covered her whole face. Things were fragile, and it was just tiny breaths to take away this time.
The body fit easily in the trunk. The night felt cold. The car seats were frigid leather. Soon the car would heat up, and things would be better. I whispered my middle of the night words to my passenger in the back seat.
“We’re taking mommy to the river. Then we’ll be home, and I will give you a name, and I will take care of you”.
My infection was gone.

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