Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Meme's Abound (AKA I'm the Sicko?)

Oh dear Haggis, be thankful I like dogs. I'm The Sicko, eh? Okay, I guess that fits, lol. ;-)

So I was meme slapped by Haggis, hell, it's better that than having to eat haggis. I mean, do you have any idea what's in that stuff? Anyway, I digress. A meme is basically a mini-interview, started by someone who picks a set number of people to answer a group of questions, those people copy the questions to their blog and pass them on to the set number (in this case 3) of waiting victims, who pass it along, and so-forth.

So here we go:

1. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Why?
Ten years ago I would have answered differently, but now I'd like to have Wolverine's adamantium metal skeleton and ability to heal. Anybody who knows me will understand why.

2. Who is your style icon?
For dress I wear jeans and a lot of button-up shirts, and have long hair. So I guess you could picture Sam from Supernatural, just much shorter...

Writing, well I have often said if you put Dean Koontz, Stephen King, and James Patterson in a blender I'm what would come out. I don't write like any of them, but their influence is there.

3. What is your favorite quote?
"I'll get all the sleep I need when I'm dead." Sam Eliiot in Roadhouse.

4. What is the best compliment you've ever received?
"You're a good father." Is there really a better one?

5. What playlist/CD is in your CD Player/iPod right now?
Iron Maiden, Avenged Sevenfold, old Metallica, Led Zeppelin, and Jorn (Google him).

6. Are you a night owl or a morning person?
It's 4 AM right now... what do you think? I usually stay up all night, watch the baby until my wife gets home, napping when she naps, then sleep a few hours. A couple times a week I sleep more normal hours to catch up. It works for me, even if it sounds weird. I can't write during the day, no matter how hard I try. So I guess I'm a night owl by nature. Can't fight who we are. *shrug*

7. Do you prefer dogs or cats?
Dogs. I'm allergic to both dogs and cats, but much less to dogs. We recently rescued a beagle who had been abused. It's been hard, she's a little skittish, but the kids love her and she's great with them. And I guess beagles give off less dander, because she hasn't affected my allergies.

8. What is the meaning behind your blog name?
I guess it means this is my spot to be myself. If I want to be funny, I can. If I want to say what's in my heart, or vent, or be weird. That's what a blog is all about, right?

My 3 victims:
Gini Koch

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Five Years Tomorrow

So tomorrow, Wednesday, September 29, 2010 will mark five years' sobriety. I can't believe it's been so long! What once seemed an impossible feat is just daily life now. Thank you God for my sobriety!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Perils of Sibling-Rivary

Watching: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Reading: Relentless by Dean Koontz
Next on Reading List: Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane

My brother-in-law came to stay with us when I went into the hospital for my stomach surgery in July. He's still here. Not that it's a bad thing, or anything. It's kind of funny, except for the fact that it's a small apartment, and we now have 3 adults and 2 children living here. Hopefully Matt will be able to go stay with his mother soon, she lives alone in a 2 bedroom apartment. It is nice having him here, though. It gives me someone to talk to when I'm up all night. Plus he's been a great help with the kids. I'm still rebuilding my strength, after all. Last week I took out the trash and hurt my stomach. Luckily didn't get a hernia!

But what is on my mind, the reason for this post, is the sibling rivalry going on here. Our 8 year-old son and 15 month-old daughter don't annoy each other this much. Matt is 25, and Crystal will be an undisclosed age between 29 and 31 on September 9th. These two constantly flip each other off, Matt comes and sits down right up against Crystal--which for some reason creeps her out--they hit, slap, call each other names... it goes on and on. Then they fight about who started it. When they start the gross-out contest it gets bad. I found out how to end things, though. At least for a little while. When I've had enough, and they won't stop I say something like--now this is bad, so turn away now--"You secretly look at naked pictures of your mom." Or, "You like to go nude hot-tubbing with your mom." Not pretty, but it seems to work. If that seems bad, Matt likes to text Crystal pictures of his butt, and once, a turd in the toilet. I mistakenly thought we were adults, here.

Oh well, I guess they really love each other, because they sure as hell couldn't live in the same apartment this way if they didn't.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Fire is Back

Listening to: Avenged Sevenfold
Reading: Relentless by Dean Koontz
Next in Reading List: Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane, then perhaps Floating Dragon by Peter Straub (Again)

So, after my story 'Jack Rainey and the Apocalypse Swarm' was accepted by Black Label Books for publication I noticed they publish novellas as well. I had a novel I was working on around November last year, 'Kept'. But it stalled around 27,000 words. There was no way I could extend it to a full-length novel. I am close to the ending, I expect it to finish out around 30,000-32,000 words. So, I've decided to make it a novella. After I finish the first draft (This coming week, hopefully), maybe get that beta-ed, get editing and rewrites completed, I have somewhere to sub it to.

I know other publications accept novellas, that was never the issue, but Black Label pubs in E-Book format, and I like that. Plus, they're great people to work with. Mad Props to Julie and Julia! And it's kind of a hard story to categorize. It's probably Dark Fiction. A short synopsis (on the fly, people, so it won't be great) is: A woman wakes to find she's been kidnapped. While she looks around the room she discovers she can see through one of the walls. She steps through the wall, and it's a portal to a whole other world. A world where women are controlled by a father-figure of evil proportions. Her husband, a ex-government assassin (unbeknownst to her) begins a fevered search for her, enlisting friends, one of whom has psychic abilities (unbeknownst to HER before this). A man who's brother the husband killed had paid for the kidnapping, but when the woman disappears everything gets weird, to say the least. Another kidnap victim, who also passed through the wall, and one of the cowed women from the other world make up the cast. It's a fun, scary, and intriguing story.

I can't wait to see how it ends. I'm happy that seeing Black Label pubs novellas relit the fire I once had for this story.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Smelling Sheep-Worthy Post

I intended to post something worthy of my nomination by the I Smell Sheep Crew yesterday, but needed a little time to think. I'll start out with the craziest/funniest music video known to man. You'll be hard pressed to not roll your eyes and laugh till your gut hurts when you watch it. (Only the first 3 minutes are the actual video)
Scatterbrain Down with the Ship

Shepard's tip: To keep your sheep from running away during those 'special' moments, stick their hind legs in your boots...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits Award

I have been nominated by I Smell Sheep for the Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits Award. It is based on Cate Gardner's short story collection, 'Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits'. This collection is available for pre-order at a discount of $1.99 off the cover price. To help celebrate the release, Cate and Strange Publications have a contest, with two awesome prize packages to choose from. The Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits Award is given to only the strangest folk, and as the recipient of such you are deemed very strange indeed.


Now for some rule-type stuff:

  1. Add the logo of the award to your blog post.

  2. Add a link to the person who nominated you. (Play fair, don't have all the links go back to your own post *wink*)

  3. Nominate 7 other blogs, tell us wh you think they deserve the Strangness Award.

  4. Leave a message for those nominated on their blogs.

  5. And if you leave an e-mail for catephoenix(at)gmail(dot)com and tell her you've recieved the award for your strangeness, she'll enter you in the biggest, kick-ass Strange Men competition ever.

Details over at (Click on the award logo on the home page.)

So now I must picky out 7 worthy friends for this. *scratches head...* *headdesk* *flips television channels to mind-numbing SpongeBob...* *HEADDESK*

Bettielee strange in a totally normal way ;-)

SLCBoston don't let the camels fool you, he's really a sheep :D

GypsyScarlett one of my first really good friends at Absolute Write

Melanie Avila Coolness and strangeness wrapped all up nicely and tied with a bow

FotsGreg need I say more?

LaurieD she's a crazy, rabbit skwirrel... ;P

Adam Slade a frosty customer ;-)

Now, let's all celebrate our strangeness, we're writers, after all... a strange bunch by nature.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Story Acceptance & Sobriety Update

My story "Jack Rainey and the Apocalypse Swarm" has officially been accepted, as of Saturday, by Black Label Books. Clicky on that, and check them out. Click on the "Like" tab at the top of the page. They're a really cool start-up publisher, and I'm really excited to be a part. Updates for my story will be coming soon. My friend Annie DuVall also has two stories, "Delicious," and "Sam" coming out from Black Label.

On Sunday I celebrated 4 years 11 months of sobriety. One more month and it will be 5 years. Such an accomplishment. I'm floating on air--never would have thought I'd be here!

So it was an exceptionally great weekend for me! Yay!

A Good Read. So Read It!

Listening to: Stevie Ray Vaughan
Reading: Relentless by Dean Koontz
Next on Reading List: Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane

Finally finished "Touched By an Alien" by my friend Gini Koch. Clicky, and check out her website, and then go out and buy the book! That's an order! Okay, it's a strong suggestion. :-)

Gini has somehow packed 500 pages worth of action into a 389 page book. That's not to say it is over-laden with the action, and forgets the story. Quite the opposite. This book is an eclectic mix of action, sexiness, pure romance, humor, and good-looking aliens and humans countered with fugly, evil parasitic aliens.

It's listed under 'Sci-Fi', which is a bit unusual for me to read. I write dark fiction and horror, and I read mainly the same. Not that I only read in those genres, but I read what I write as a rule. So I can honestly say my opinion of this book is not biased, not even by our friendship, or my ever-growing need to suck up (my friends at the 2010 Weekend Progress Report will understand that *wink*). It is just a really good book.

And her website (once again, clicky up above and check it out) was designed by LostGirl from Absolute Write, and is very cool, and chock-full of up-to-the-minute updates and info. Stop by, tell her I sent you, and stay for the coffee ;-)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

How to Enjoy Life (or Random Mutterings Posted to Pass the Time)

Listening to: Iron Maiden (What else?)
Reading: Touched By an Alien by Gini Koch.
Next on Reading List: Relentless by Dean Koontz, then Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane

How do I enjoy life? That's simple, I think. I love being a stay-at-home Dad, watching my children grow and learn new things. It's the only benefit to beig disabled. I love my beautiful wife, who has been at my side through so much over the years. I love being a sober man. Nearly 5 years now. I write dark fiction and horror, play guitar, listen to music and watch tv and movies. And yes, I READ.

Sounds like a mundane existence. I admit freely to being too much of a couch potato. With the lung-removal last December I can't do all of the outdoor activities I once took pleasure in. That doesn't mean I'm an invalid by any means. I do housework, the laundry and dishes, I enjoy cooking, which I have a real talent for. Maybe one day I'll post some recipes here. I cook by way of instinct, so I generally don't have recipes written down, but I can probably come up with something.

So what does my recipe for enjoying life have to do with you? Simple, really. I could have easily taken my recent health problems differently. I've had 8 surgeries since July 30, 2007. I could be buried in a well of depression, to have given up on these things I enjoy. But I choose to smile, and keep an upbeat attitude about it. I'm still alive, after all.

So, how about you? Are you letting issues in life rob you of what you once found pleasure in? Does the daily grind get you down? Don't let it consume you. Find something you can dive into, put on a wetsuit and DIVE! If I can come back from more major surgery than I like to remember, and an 18 day coma, so can you. If you have difficulty doing some of the things you enjoy, adapt to something else you can find yourself immersed in. Even if it's writing a daily journal, updating a blog, writing a novel or short stories, putting a cd or movie in and relaxing--whatever you can find is right. As long as it's right for you. Get out there and enjoy life.

I do.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Thankful: Laurie's Project

So many times we get caught up in our lives and forget to take the time to appreciate our friends, our acquaintences, our co-workers, or just the good points of our days. My good friend Laurie has started a Daily Blogging Project with a really cool concept: Pick something each day you are thankful for. Anything. Anythings. If you're having a bad day it can make you sit for five minutes and go over why it's so bad. I bet while you're lamenting over the horrible-ness of your day you find something to laugh about, to be happy about... to be thankful for.

I'm not going to do the same thing here. First, I post my thankfuls on Laurie's Blog. Second, it's her project. Third, I don't update my own blog often enough. A problem I'm going to try to remedy. But I want anyone who reads this to try to find one thing (or more) a day--even if you don't post it on Laurie's blog, at least find it for yourself. Within one week of doing this I bet you'll find the quality of your own life improving.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Perception and Damage I've Done

I've recently forgotten that text does not convey proper inflection. You can add a smilie, or a "lol" after a post, or message--but things can get terribly misconstrued, and taken out of context despite any good intentions.

The Damage I've Done: The Heads

I really need to invent a sarcasm key for computers and cell phones. Though sarcasm isn't my only problem. Things can be taken to mean many things they weren't intended to, and once said, a post cannot be taken back. The way the reciever percieves it is how it stays.

There is the possibilty I have lost a dear friend due to this problem. This hurts me in a way you can't imagine. As a recovering alcoholic I left my old life behind, and my old friends. So when I make new friends it's a big deal for me. And the fact I've done something completely stupid that put this friendship in jeopardy eats at me. There's nothing to be done but wait and see if time will heal these wounds.

Now, in the future I have to watch out for signals that my thpughts are being recieved in a different manner than I'd intended, and maybe I can fix the problem before it gets out of hand. Because the written word is a very fluid thing, always different to each reader.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Time Gets Away

So I've learned a few things these past couple weeks. I don't sleep. Not necessarily a bad thing, though it can be frustrating at times. Thinking if I can't sleep, why do I have so few blogs lately?

I have nothing to say, maybe.

Nah... I have lots to say. But I'm trying to get them out in the form of award-winning horror stories. That's not working out so well either.

Not that I'm writing bad stories... I've written quite a few these past few weeks that are really good, they just need a little TLC to be ready for submission.

Now back to not sleeping. If I'm up all night why aren't I revising my works in the wee hours of the morning? I keep letting time get away from me. I jump online with the intention of answering e-mail, updating the fine people at the Absolute Write Water Cooler, playing around on Facebook for a couple minutes, then doing my writing.

But I spend a considerable amount of time on games, AW posts, uploading rock videos to my FB page, then I realize I need to do the dishes and laundry and get my wife's work clothes ready, and make her a lunch. Next thing I know Time got away and it's time for my daughter to wake up. Anyone trying to write award-winning stories while a one-year-old little girl runs around knows what I'm talking about.

Then there's my eight-year-old son. He's great, don't get me wrong, but every three point two seconds he's updating me on his baseball cards, Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, Pokemon cards, or it's problems with friends I have to deal with. If I ever get a book published it will certainly be at the loss of a lot of hair.

I love my family, tomorrow I celebrate four years, nine months of sobriety, and I wouldn't change any of this for the world.

But it can be soooooooooooo difficult to remember why I love my life.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Dark-Clad Man and My First Day on the Job


I stole a glance over my left shoulder, stumbling as I ran. He was still behind me, The Dark-Clad Man, though he didn’t seem to move at all. It was as if he was attached to me by an invisible tether attached to an invisible sled, and I was the sled dog.

I needed a job, but this was ridiculous.

Something in his fist glowed, spilling yellow light between his fingers. It was another of those marble-things.

He tossed the reality-altering marble (you think you can come up with a better name, feel free to use it. Me, I just call ‘em like I see ‘em) in my direction; it landed about three feet in front of me. Instantly, a fissure opened—a tear in the fabric of the real world—the real world and something else, something much darker. The fissure widened quickly, and I had no chance of avoiding it. Tripping over my own two feet, I went flailing in, head first.

My first thought after I crossed the barrier was that I’d been struck blind, then I realized wherever I was, it was pitch-black.

Slowly, as my eyes became accustomed to the dark, I saw that I was in a room with a chair, and a desk. Hollow laughter filled the room, and torches I hadn’t seen; one of either side of the desk, came to life, giving the room spooky, flickering light. The Dark-Clad-Man appeared behind the desk in a plume of smoke.

“Who are you? The devil?” I said.

“Think of me as the gatekeeper. And you’re here on a job interview.”

“So, am I dead?” I said, shaking.

“You’re terrified, why?” asked The Dark-Clad Man.

“Oh, hell and damnation and eternal torment.”

“That, son, was a rhetorical question. You are not in hell, you are not destined for it, unless that is the path you choose. You were praying earlier tonight for a job. I’ve come to recruit you.

“We need a new Reaper. I’ve kept tabs on you since your birth, as any father would his only son.”

The words hit me harder than a safe falling on my head in some old cartoon. I was flattened. My father, some sort of demon. I flashed back to my youth, asking my mother why I didn’t have a Daddy, like other kids. She never kept to the same story on that—“He left us after you were born,” or “He was a man I met for only one night” (which may have been close to the truth), or “We’re better off without him” (definitely the truth).” When I was eighteen, Mom died, suddenly and unexpectedly. I was alone, set loose to find my own way in the world.

I realized The Dark-Clad Man was talking again. I heard words, but it was like they came in all garbled and out of order. Some of what he said came through—I had to die to fulfill my destiny.

I won’t lie… I crapped my pants.

“It will be painless, and instantaneous,” he said, then touched my forearm with one finger.

I felt no change, no gasping for breath, no great clutching pain in my chest. Absolutely nothing. That’s when I knew I had to be dreaming.

Only things didn’t change.

The Dark-Clad Man gazed at me, allowing me time to collect my thoughts, smiling as he saw my realization that this was true. I knew what he smiled at, for I could see into his mind; a dark, sinister, but not necessarily evil place. After all, death was a natural part of life. His job was to impart souls on their correct paths—mine would be to collect those souls at the appointed time.

“So, do I get a black cloak and a scythe?” I asked.

“You’ve watched too many movies, however if that is your wish…” he snapped his fingers, and I was dressed as the Grim Reaper image I grew up believing in. “You needed new underpants,

“This will do, for now, I guess, but I think I’ll make some modifications,” I said, still half-believing it was a dream. “I do thank you for the new underwear, though.”

“’Tis no dream,” he said. Then he held out his hand, there were no more of the marble-things, but a glowing aura, ever-changing in shape and size and color sat there. He took a leather necklace with a small ampoule dangling from it, removed a tiny cork from the top, and the aura flew inside. “This is your soul, and you will wear it at all times, until your work is finished. Then it will be decided to which path I will send it.

“Your work must always be swift and true, judgment is not yours to bestow, that is handed down from above, or below. You were mortal, and mortal feelings still will haunt you. You cannot, must not let them interfere. When it is time for a soul to depart its earthly confines, you will touch them with one finger, as I have done with you. The souls will enter this bag,” The Dark-Clad Man handed me an ancient leather satchel. “Every morning you will bring me the bag, then go back to your curse.”

“Millions of people die all over the world, thousands every minute—how can I do it all?” I asked.

“The truth is that there are thousands of Reapers, or Collectors. You have a jurisdiction, and that is what you will canvas, like the thief in the night. You will no longer require rest, sleep, food, or any mortal pleasures. But you only will crave the dank, unstoppable horrors, and sometimes delight, of taking life.”

“Babies? Will I have to kill babies?”

“Sometimes. But don’t think of it like that. You have a job to do, their time was set long before you came along.

“Now, it’s your last night before the work begins. Come with me and I will teach you everything you need to know.”


I think he took pity on me, as our first stop was a nursing home. It wasn’t my neighborhood, or even my state, as far as I could tell. He read my mind.

“We never put you in your own hometown—too much risk of personal feelings getting in the way.

“Now, look down at that man,” he said.

The bedside lamp was off, but I could see as clearly as if a bright sun shone in the window. The man lying there, under the covers, in a peaceful sleep, was maybe seventy, wrinkled, with liver-spots on his hands, crossed on his chest. They slowly rose and fell with his breathing.

“He doesn’t look sick, just old,” I said.

“He isn’t. But it’s his time.” The Dark-Clad Man took my hand and placed my finger on the old-timer’s arm. He took one last deep breath—as he exhaled I felt his soul escape. There it was, in my hand. Well, floating above it. There was a penetrating warmth emanating from it. I flipped back the flap on the leather satchel and the soul immediately flew inside. Then The Dark-Clad Man took me by the hand, off to another collection point.

I thought.

In truth, he was setting me out on my own. Of course, he would be watching me. “Follow the call. You’ll hear it—feel it—pulling at your heart.”

“Like GPS,” I said.



This should be easy, right? Put my body on autopilot and follow the course. Find the persons ready to breathe their last, touch them and detach the soul from the body.

This was easier said than done, as so many things often are.

I got through the first collections on my own without incident. Two more elderly persons, who had lived long, full lives. No moral dilemmas, nothing controversial.

Then my inner compass lead me to a room in a sorority house. I found myself standing at the bedside of a beautiful, young, vibrant woman. Her breath was even, and I could hear her heartbeat, regular and strong. What could she be dying from?

Then a young man, a coed, I assumed, entered the room. He had been crying, and was muttering.

“Cheat on me, you selfish bitch,” I was able to make out. Then more words, muddied by sobs, then a knife appeared from his pocket. I tried to scream, probably did, but the sound was not heard by the living.

The coed brought the knife across her throat, a line of red appearing from ear to ear on her otherwise perfect skin.

I had no choice; I had to touch her and dispatch her soul from her body. Then I once again had no choice—I touched the coed and stole his soul as well.

The Dark-Clad Man was immediately in front of me, a disapproving frown on his face.

“And what do you think we do now? Now that you have taken one not ready for the eternal curse?”

I didn’t have an answer for that. “You saw what he did,” was all I could muster.

“Yes, I saw. And it was not even the most horrific thing I’ve seen this week.

“Now we must pass over one who would die tonight, for there must be balance. You will have a choice, one you meet tonight you must spare—for now.”

So maybe this wasn’t the end of the world. I could spare a life to make up for the un-ripened soul I’d harvested. But who? What a decision to be left to a greenhorn like myself.


Three collections later, I came to a hospital room, the maternity ward, it appeared. The woman on the bed was dripping, her hair disheveled and matted. Her color was that of cottage cheese, except her face, which was flushed red from strain.

It was not her I was there for, however—it was the child.

“This is the one,” I said.

“Are you positive? You cannot take back your decision,” The Dark-Clad Man replied.

“Yes, save the child.”

So the baby lived. The cord, once tight around his tiny neck loosened, and life giving oxygen flooded his new lungs. I felt good about my decision, and the rest of the night’s collections went smoothly.

Until we got back to… the office, I guess you would call it. That was when he showed me.

“Here is the curse of your decision.”

It was like watching a drive-in movie.

“You have any popcorn?” I asked.

He glared at me, and snapped his fingers. A tub of fresh popped corn appeared in my hands.

“What? No butter?”

I watched as the baby I’d spared grew up. At three years old he stood at the top of a staircase, nobody was around save a little girl, about his own age.

The boy shoved the girl, and head over heels she toppled down the stairs, hitting the hardwood floor at the bottom with great force. The mother ran out from a room atop the stairs, screaming.
She bounded down the staircase, too late.

The little girl was gone.

Nobody would blame a three-year-old for the death.

At about fourteen, the boy was becoming a young man. A pretty nanny had charge of his care, and the boy was enamored by her. I watched as she politely turned away his advances.
The boy was in the kitchen, using a blender to puree some fruit, and ice. He added an ingredient, from a box I didn’t recognize until he set it back on the counter.

Rat B-Gone. Arsenic.

I gazed in horror as he brought the smoothie to the nanny, a peace offering, of sorts.

Once again a death not attributed to the boy.

This went on. By the time he was a full-grown adult I counted four more murders.

Then the boy was a man. A birthday cake attributed his age to be thirty-three. After a party he began to give a speech, calling himself the messiah. People cried, cheered, and fainted as he touched them.

I had spared the Anti-Christ.

“Don’t be ashamed, the world has waited for his arrival, and it was inevitable,” said The Dark-Clad Man, before extinguishing the ‘movie.’ Then he left the room in a cloud of smoke and steam.

I should have been horrified. Maybe I was. But I decided to find what passed in this world as a bar, have a beer, and contemplate the meaning of life, death, and everything in between. Then I would get some rest.

After all, tomorrow was another day.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Evrybody Eats Marie (Horror "Raymond" Parody)

Everybody Eats Marie
By Steven Michael Sarber

Debra walked through the living room, picking up toys as she went. God help her, this had been one hell of a day already. Raymond had schemed his way into another day of golf, and then she had found his stash of girlie magazines, buried beneath the “Sporting News” and “Sports Illustrated” next to his desk in the office. Jeez, Ray, you are getting lazy—not even really hiding stuff anymore. Not that she should care; whatever it took to keep his hands off her. After last month, when Frank and Marie walked right into their bedroom while she rode high atop him, she couldn’t even think about sex with him.

If Marie barged in today, and gave her any grief about the state of the house, the kids, or the pot roast in the oven, Debra thought she just might lose it altogether.
She went upstairs to collect laundry from the twins’ room, being careful not to wake her two tow-headed darlings. Then the front door burst open. She heard Marie’s thick thighs rub together as the meddlesome woman walked through the door. Tell me how to run my family, try running yourself to the diet store.

Debra grabbed the laundry basket and started down the steps. Marie hadn’t spoken a word yet, and as Debra rounded the corner she saw the large profile view of her mother-in-law’s hindquarters. She was already in the oven tampering with the roast. What nerve!
Debra decided to stop in the living room and see what she would do. Marie took the roast from the oven, smelled it, and carried it outside, muttering that it was only fit for stray dogs. That was it. Debra rushed into the kitchen and grabbed the marble rolling pin from the counter. She exited through the back door, rage building as she went.

There Marie was, actually tossing the dinner, tray and all into the garbage. Before she even thought what to do next, Debra saw the rolling pin crash into her mother-in-law’s head. One hit and the woman was down. Wow! I thought there’d be more blood, aren’t head wounds supposed to bleed more? Oh well, don’t ponder too much on that. Just get to work.
Using the kids sled Debra pulled Marie back inside, then up the stairs to the bathroom. Then she woke up the twins and took them across the street. She told Frank she needed him to watch them for a couple hours.

“Sure,” he said. “Hey, have you seen Marie? I’m starving, and she didn’t make me lunch.”

Time was running out. Ally would be home from school in two hours, and Raymond would be back from golf soon. “I’ll make you a sandwich, okay, Frank?”

“Okay. Hey, don’t forget the pickles!”

Just wait till you get dinner, ha-ha. She made a sandwich quickly with leftover ham, tomatoes, lettuce and cheddar. Pickles on the side. Then ran back across the street.

With scissors, she cut off Marie’s clothes. Boy, I really never wanted to see this. Then she turned on the shower, and ran back down the stairs to get the meat cleaver and electric knife, and a roll of heavy black garbage bags.

It was bloody work, Debra hacked off Marie’s head with the cleaver, placed it in a bag, which she secured with a twist-tie. Then she used the electric knife to cut through the flesh of her mother-in-law’s upper arms, to the shoulder socket. Then using the cleaver she separated the arms from the torso. She then repeated the process with the legs. After sawing through the skin at Marie’s left knee, Debra skinned Marie’s left thigh, cut the meat from the bone, placed the leg meat in one bag and sat it off to the side.

She then bagged up the rest of the pieces, and torso, and carried it all downstairs, a bag at a time. It wouldn’t all fit in the garbage cans, so she put the torso bag in the shed in the back yard, then ran back in to clean up the tub and shower the blood off herself. She bagged her bloody clothes, and added them to the garbage can.

Preparing the leg meat was easier than she expected. In no time Debra had a new roast in the oven, and ran across the street to get the twins.

“Come on over for dinner later, Frank,” she said. Then she took the kids home and called Amy to invite her and Robert. “It’s a meal we’ll all remember.”


The children were seated in the living room with hot dogs and grilled cheese, the adults at the dining room table. The roast sat in the center of the table, parsley sprigs and basil leaves accented its golden brown caramel color, garlic mashed potatoes, and roasted carrots complimented the meal. As Debra poured wine, Raymond carved the roast.

“Holy crap!” said Frank. “This is freaking delicious!”

“Yeah, Debra,” Robert said, touching a forkful of meat to his chin. “It’s so juicy, but a bit gamey, maybe. What kind of roast is this?”

Debra started laughing uncontrollably. Before she could say anything Raymond said, “Hey, anybody seen Mom? She’d actually love this meal.”

Debra took a drink of wine, “No, Ray, I don’t think she’d like this meal at all.”

The End

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ten Rules; and Mine...

Here's some good stuff for us writers, borrowed from Uncle Jim's thread at Absolute Write Water Cooler: 10 Rules for Writing Fiction. Of course, there is no better rule in my book than reading fiction, and practicing your craft. Don't take shortcuts, they get you lost. Write all the time. If you don't have your laptop or pen and paper handy, think of the lines, imgine the characters, visualize the setting. You may not remember it verbatim later, and you may improve the original idea. I do this at bedtime and in the shower a lot.

So, practice, and Happy Writing!

Friday, February 19, 2010

More Fun

I had to go back into the hospital to have the chest tube changed out. On Saturday I stepped on the tube and pulled it out about four inches. Then my blood was too thin for the procedure, so they had to admit me and give me Vitamin K and four units of fresh frozen plasma so I wouldn't bleed during the procedure. They put in a larger tube, and shortened it so I shouldn't step on it again.

On the upside, I am writing alot right now. And that keeps my spirits up.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Home at Last

I had surgery to remove the remainder of my right lung on Dec. 16, on the 18th back under the knife to repair a hematoma, then on the 20th back for a perforated bowel. Spent 70 long days hospitalized. One thing that helped was the support of a new friend, Elise (Cella). She not only brought me a plant, but visited a few times and even gave my wife (whom she'd never met) a Christmas present. I still have one more surgery coming up, to reverse the ostomy from the bowel-issue. Can't wait. I have to wear a colostomy bag on my stomach, and it's a pain in the a**. But I'm home now. Back with the family who loves me, and writing again. Things are pretty great.