Saturday, 14 March 2009
“The Lucifer Cage: The Day the Earth Went Away.” by Charlie Wilkins and Craig Cermak is my second favorite of the four tales in this collected crypt of Comic Related horror. Once again perfectly placed in the book. Starts out very strong...but then falls a little short with a story that ends up relying on a plotline very much in the vein of Clive Barker’s Hellraiser films.
I did think that the photo of writer Charlie Wilkins hanging with the Man Behind the Mask…Mister Alice Cooper was pretty freakin’ cool.
I was surprised at how young Charlie was…..in two ways. That a guy like him gets into music like Cooper….extra-points just added to your coolness score, Charlie…and a guy as young as he is…writing stuff like Lucifer’s Cage…more coolness points. This young man has a lot of time to grow into the writer he hints he can become with this story.
I have never seen Hellraiser. Always wanted to, never got round to it. The point he’s talking about (the box) is named after Danzig's second album Danzig II: Lucifuge, and then wikpedia’d about, but it’s an awesome piece of criticism, and everything negative he talks about is something we were aware of and working to fix. I am happy like a little girl!
Follow the link for a Podcast which involves an interview with Brandon Herren, the mastermind behind Psychotronik, and Chris Paugh, the wacky sidekick (if you're reading this Chris, you know I jest...), and realise that all this talk of me being a published writer? Not bull shit.
Tuesday, 10 March 2009
“I can taste the rain,” he said.
The clouds had gathered over their heads as they had stood in the clearing, the two of them doing nothing but thinking, nothing but being together. They’d not noticed the blemish that had spilled out across the sky, they were too busy with the simple act of being.
“Feel it in your bones?”
John smiled at her. “Across my skin and tingling down my spine.”
This was their secret place when they were children. After school, on the weekends, whenever they had a moment free, this was where they would come. Hurtling down the hill with arms open wide, screaming with the defiance of youth, this was where they would come.
Tumbling through the brambles and pushing through the branches, searching for the magical spot, arriving where no one else would come. This was where they would spend their days watching the clouds drift across the sky in the day and the stars pass by overhead at night, the two of them content that this was all there ever would be.
“It hasn’t changed,” she said, “and neither have you.”
Lauren wore the long black dress, chosen for solemn occasions such as these, and his jacket was over her shoulders, keeping her warm. Her shins were a light patchwork of scratches, the folly and belief of invulnerability that one could carry over from childhood failing her as they had journeyed here.
“It’s weird being home,” he said simply. He didn’t think he would ever come back, but with events turning out how they had, he simply didn’t have a choice. He loosened his tie, looked up at the sky, and his smile drained into a look of sorrow. “I’m sorry it took me so long.”
She walked over to him, hugging herself warm. “You’re here now.”
“I… I’m sorry for your loss.”
She shook her head. “You’re here now.” Her hand found his shoulder, and she squeezed, and for that instant they were no longer the grown-ups they so much wanted to be when they were young. For that moment, he had just turned fifteen, she was still fourteen, and they were alone in this mystical clearing, where bird sounds carried softly and trees creaked reassuringly.
“I think I love you,” he had said, nearly tripping over the words as a boy in his position so often would.
“Don’t think,” she had replied, and the moment of youthful infatuation faded and time pulled back and they were together, older, wiser, and brought back home by a mutual loss. They were no longer just turned fifteen and still fourteen. They were no longer tripping over words and sending half glances. He stood up as the rain finally burst down from up above, and reached over to her cheek, and instead of turning back the clock, or lingering in the moment, the years passed and they were grey and even wiser, together as the storm broke miles away.
Sunday, 8 March 2009
Saturday, 7 March 2009
You see a student of Creative Writing use "Your" when it's supposed to be "You're". And I'm sorry, but you're doing this even when you scream and shout and kick that what you want to do is write on a professional level... and yet you can't fully string a sentence together? I see people making mistakes again and again, blindly, or maybe willingly, and it just... drives me to insanity. Don't cut corners! Don't take the easy, lazy way out.
It makes my head hurt.
I don't like people that tell and tell and don't show. I think we, as "word-smiths", as Creative Writers, shouldn't fall back on the proper and correct name for something that we're describing. I think words are used too freely, like "oh, but they're big and important, so why shouldn't we use them?"... I have an answer. Because we're better than that. We should be, I think. Maybe.
It's like a really brutal, angry form of masturbation. Like you're screaming at yourself while you're doing it, but you keep doing it (if you're following the metaphor still, shame on you) because you can't help it. So bad it's good.
Oh, who am I to say anything?
Thursday, 5 March 2009
This is old. I wrote it when I was home alone, last year some time, because I had this niggling feeling in the back of my head that yes, there was someone at the bottom of the garden looking at me. And yes, he was getting closer.
The Man Who Wasn’t There
I caught my first glimpse of him when I was pissing. I leant back, looked out the window to my left, and I saw him, caught an idea of him by the garage, at the bottom of the garden. I didn’t see all of him, I saw a snippet, but what I did see, I knew. Because that was everything I was fearful of, this whole concept of fear came together at the bottom of the garden, and it was just… Standing. He grinned. Winked. Stood and watched, and then as I noticed that he noticed that I had noticed him, I leant back forward, piss nearly spilling off the toilet and onto the floor. I controlled myself. Regained composure, and then leant back, peeking out the window like a scared child (which, in all honesty, I had become). He still stood there. He grinned. He winked. I closed the blinds, turned off the bathroom light, and I left. I left the bathroom, and I went into my bedroom, I closed the curtain (he was just within eyeshot, I saw him, lurking, still near the garage), and locked my door. The light stayed on. I didn’t sleep.
The next day, I looked out my window at first light. Nothing. In the bright light of the day, the worries of yesterday had faded, though, I think, not completely. I saw a shadow by the garage. Maybe the door was open. I didn’t want to check, why would I? If I checked there might be something there. The bottom of my garden was a fearful place. There were corners. Shadows. Places things could lurk and hide and wait. The day ached on, and I didn’t do anything. I sat and I waited for the night. Because, I thought, the night brings comfort. Comfort because it meant the day was coming sooner. When the day was here, I’m uncomfortable in the knowledge it’s going. When it’s not here, I’m fearful, because it’s not here, but then the cycle turns and continues and moves on and I’m stuck. Constantly afraid. Constantly on edge.
Night came sooner than expected. I must have, somehow, fallen asleep. I sat in the back of the house, and tried to read. It was the warmest room we had in this cold, echoing place we called home, and at night, there was a cosy sense of security. The wind outside didn’t bother me, and why should it? The doors were locked, the curtains closed, and the windows sealed. I stood. I didn’t know why. The book didn’t engross me, piffy non-fiction fiction that was wasting the paper it was printed on. The wind didn’t irritate me either. I was pulled toward the doors, and when there, I pressed my hands against the cold glass. The wind whistled louder then. I looked out across the darkness. The grass waved in synch with the wind, and for a minute it didn’t click that one was causing the other, and I wondered why the two were dancing together like old familiar lovers… I breathed out, one long breath, and the glass blurred, and as my reflection obscured then vanished, I wiped my finger down, only to see, framed by the gap I had created, what was beyond the grass. The bench, beside the old shed, was not unoccupied. He sat there. His suit immaculate, his grin constant, and even in the wind, blowing so hard, he did not shiver, he did not shy away. He stared at me. I stared back. He winked. The curtains close soon after. I shivered, not from the cold, and made doubly sure all the doors were locked. I go again without sleep. Merely because.
The day winded on. Too quickly, it felt like. The night came sooner than expected, and I found the centre of the house, wrapped myself up good and proper in a quilt, and I sat. If I looked, he got closer. If I looked, he’s there. If I sat, and I didn’t look, and I didn’t wonder, he couldn’t exist. He couldn’t… Be. I didn’t sleep. I couldn’t sleep. If I slept… If I slept… There was no logic behind why I didn’t sleep. If I slept, tomorrow would come sooner. If I didn’t sleep, tomorrow would come slow and steady. If I slept… He would come sooner. He was there. I could feel it. Probably on the path. Probably on the grass. Probably pressing his face against the cold window. Probably breathing hard and heavy and streaking his finger down the glass pane. Probablys. Probablys.
Fourth day. Was it the fourth day? Could have been the twentieth, the way I was feeling. Drained and dead inside, hoping that the day will end and just end. No more. No more after that. Just… Infinite nothingness. No fear. No nothing. I sat at the computer, buzzing screen before me. I type something on the screen. I caught and then I stop. I caught a glimpse of him and I paused and thought about the words that left me. Who was he? What was he? Why? Why was he taunting me? Following me? Why did no one else notice that this man was standing in the middle of my garden in the middle of the night with the smile and that wink and that suit? Why? I caught my first glimpse of him when I was pissing. The words flowed out like they had to. Like a tap that was left running. I turn to my right, to the door that lead to the garden, and there he is. There he stands, on the porch, watching me tell the story of him and his haunting. I looked away. And stared at the screen. My eyes grew heavy, but I kept writing. I turned, and he was gone. Was he gone? Maybe I was too tired to tell. If I slept… Why hadn’t I slept? There was no logic behind why I didn’t sleep. I should have slept. Should have slept the worry away. I saved the document under a non-descript title. Piffy non-fiction fiction and all that. I stood up, and entered the kitchen, and I hoped a glass of water would drown the dread inside my chest. And quite simply, there he was. Standing inside my house. Down the hall. In front of the mirror, his suit was immaculate, his grin wide and his skin so pale and dead. His face looked stretched, pulled at the back and stapled on. His eyes were thin and black and penetrating. "Hello," he said, as he took a step forward. His voice was soft. Too soft. I took a step back, and he took a step forward, "I have, if you hadn’t gathered, been watching you." The glass in my hand shattered on impact to the floor. "And I don’t mean to bother you, but I need something from you--"
Tuesday, 3 March 2009
Why would this be happening?
I mean, what have you ever done to the universe? Well, let's just say you did nothing. Not the you that you know, anyway. Q: Who is the person the universe hates? A: The you from twelve hundred dimensions across, a person so bastardy, so evil, so freaking heinous, that the megaverse needs to get rid of you as fast as it can as universally possible.
So anyway. The universe tries to kill you using it's hand picked agents. The worst killers from across the world all with the same sudden thought in their heads... you must die. You wake up one morning with a gun at your head and a cocky remark whispered in your ear and you close your eyes and then--
You open them again. You're running. Blood on your hands, adrenaline pumping through your body. What just happened? And who is that following you that looks so damn familiar?
I think I have a story idea.
"Not this girl. Not this day."
After watching "A Hole In The World" and the final moment in that episode, I couldn't watch the next one, "Shells". It made me hurt. I'm a big fan of Angel, and so the death of Fred was like a gut punch and I never really could watch it again without feeling terrible and sad.
"W-Wesley... why can't I stay?"
I never did watch Six Feet Under, yet this montage... made me want to. Made me want to learn about these characters that again, were so fully formed... why does this keep happening? I did however want to start when I watched Michael C. Hall in Dexter. Now that is television.
Oh, I so intend to buy Due South season one after seeing this again. Just reminds me of what a brilliant show that was.
Third Watch was something I used to view in tandem with ER when I was ill. Simply brilliant, such a shame it didn't get the attention it deserved (this was the case for so many brilliant American shows in the late 90s, early 00s, such as my personal favourite Ed, Providence, Judging Amy, the aforementioned Third Watch...) but it lives on in us all.
Sunday, 1 March 2009
I think about all the stories that have made a lump in my throat form, and I don't think I can achieve that kind of poignancy. Moments of sheer character driven sadness that make you put down what you're reading and mourn for the lacking in your own ability to achieve such a thing.
I'm a comic book fan. And I know people look down at this for being something immature and geeky and pathetic, but look at the film adaptions for these kinds of stories. The Rocketeer. Iron Man. Ghost World. The Dark Knight. Watchmen. All these potential masterpieces that either work or don't (I accept a lot don't work. Hulk (first), Catwoman, etc), and make so much money and attract a whole new kind of readership, these are mainstream, aren't they?
There's a point to this.
The story that touched me in ways that no "classic literature" has ever done so, is called Starman. #0-80, two annuals, one special, a mini-series showcasing the greatest non-villain there ever was (The Shade), and it was such a beautiful package that is so enthralling that I think my life is the richer for reading it. I'm not going to explain why I love it, or why you should, or why so many others do, but the entirety of the run culminates in #73 and the funeral of a much loved character... I want to care. A lot of things don't make me care. So if you want to achieve something in regards to me, now you know what to do. Make me care.
I like how the black guys are their secret weapon. Racism much?