New Short Story: “Day Job”

img_5705

Waiting for the moment.

 

Happy Summer, all!

To beat the heat, I decided to knuckle down with the AC on and finish a story I’ve been kicking around for a few months. It’s a brief bit of a contradiction: realistic, yet outlandish; a joke, yet serious; autobiographical, yet anything but.

In any event, I had fun teasing it out, and I hope you do as well! So grab a coffee, get a seat with a good view of your surroundings, and swipe right to hear about a city kid’s trouble with balancing his passion for writing and his, well…

Day Job

Advertisements

The Top 7 Micro-Creepypastas – Part III

Welcome to the third compilation video of me reading some of my all-time favorite short creepypastas!

1) “Peripheral Vision”
2) “Food”
3) “Heavy Sleeper”
4) “’Other’ Channels”
5) “Breath”
6) “GET HELP”
7) “Growths”

Last I checked, stories can be found here. No clue who originally wrote these, but if said individuals are concerned about this video, just say the word.

All photography by me! See more on my Instagram at TNW24.

New Page: “Top Stories!”

img_0139

A shelf full of inspiration.

For ease of access, I added a dedicated page on the sidebar for “top stories!” It’s pretty much every one, but I called it that because there’s some stories I posted that are rough drafts of ones in Love&Darkness or, well, just filler from creative writing class back in undergrad.

So check it out to read anew or revisit a favorite:

Top Stories!

“Feeding Day” – Election Day 2016 Story

breakingest news.png

Always remember to find your local feeding station online in advance!

Happy election day, everybody!

Yeah… I don’t know too many people who are psyched about the choices for Who Wants to Be the Next POTUS, as this reality show has shaped up. With all the legitimate humor and horror that’s arisen over what both major candidates and their compatriots have (allegedly) done, though, I felt an unprecedented need to write an Election Day story this year. At least, how often does an author get a chance to be so timely? I’d have to wait another four years otherwise!

A Halloween deadline got away from me, what with the new job (and, last week, various celebrations for my 25th birthday!), but I decided I didn’t mind. Because this story, more than anything else, is admittedly just… strange. It’s about the political system, overall, but it’s also about how I feel like the world looks when we question too little, campaign too much, and value our own idea of a cause over any real person who actually cares about it.

So whether you lean right, left, somewhere in the middle, or couldn’t care less either way, assemble your offerings, grab your tickets for the White Womb, and try not to get too much blood on you. November 8th has come, but it’s better known as…

Feeding Day

Quick Update: Print “Pruritus”!

IMG_1069

Well, I had to put *something* here.

Like reading in print? Who doesn’t! Issue 44 of Sanitarium magazine, featuring my horror story “Pruritus,” is now available in paperback from Amazon CreateSpace.

Only $7.99 for mine and like eight other cool scary stories!

My First Published Story!

IMG_1109

Well, outside of college-based publications, that is. But yes: My short horror story “Pruritus” is now available alongside eight other cool authors in Issue 44 of the mad, macabre magazine “Sanitarium“! And for a low, low price to boot!

Check out the purchase links below if you’re itching for a good read on…

Amazon Kindle

Google Play

Apple Newsstand

Pocketmags

The BeeBQ (True Story)

And now for something completely different: The short and comedic true story of the time I sort of helped save the family over Thanksgiving dinner (the same day of that blog background you see before you!).

. . .

IMG_5634

November 26, 2015. As is traditional, my parents invited the lot of our immediate family—including but not limited to me and my brother, dual grandparents, a great aunt and uncle, cousin, and assorted honorable relatives (which may include two old cats)—to our home in the countryside for Thanksgiving. The house rests on a manmade hill but, around us, shaggy fields and thinned forests stretch for acres. It was a chilly day; the morning sun had looked more like a shrunken moon, and the horizon blushed in the high-altitude breeze.

The meal was a late lunch which extended into dinner, and it covered enough food for both: Tender rows of light and dark meat, salads of both the fruit and vegetable variety, deviled eggs, and a whole sugary spectrum of pastries waiting in the wings. Over amiable conversation, the hours passed as swiftly as my grandmother’s homemade rolls ‘round the table.

To the right of our cramped but lavish dining room, a broad archway led to the living room where many of us made pre-meal conversation. Now, it was simply a blind spot beside where my mother and I sat near the table’s end. It was around three o’clock when, my appetite concluding, fork corralling what sumptuous scraps remained on my plate, a small, dark shape entered my peripheral vision.

I turned my head, and my eyes widened and then narrowed to see a familiar foe encroaching on our gathering: A bee. Not a honeybee or bumblebee, but a black, yellowjacket-like thing, crossing the jade-colored carpet with purpose. I knew all too well that insects, particularly this manner of bee, had a tendency to emerge in our living room more than the rest of the house. I alerted the family, rose from my seat without hesitation, and smote the insect with the sole of my Nike. The plush carpeting necessitated several stomps, but I eventually returned to the table equally flustered and satisfied.

No sooner had I sat down, though, then I noticed another bee flanking his predecessor’s husk further down the carpet. And yet another, adjacent to the coffee table! I enlisted my brother to deal with the escalated threat, and still the same thing happened: we eliminated the pests, only to turn around and spy another hotfooting it across the carpet, or resting on the windowsill, or staking out a set of drapes.

Our raucous attempts to mitigate the invasion began providing an amusing cap for the waning feast. But the mystery remained: where were they coming from? None were present near the AC ducts, or even the old sliding windows—two chief candidates from lesser breaches prior.

That was when I noticed a disproportionate number occupying the marble tiles that shadowed the fireplace. We crouched before it and, sure enough, bees were fleeing by the handful through the cracks and crevices in the glass gate that ostensibly sealed off the hearth. The bees, it seemed, seeking refuge from the pre-Winter weather, were funneling into our underused chimney and spilling out into the warm living room. Sympathetic as I was to their plight, if this would be the Thanksgiving we were besieged by bees, it would not happen without a fight.

The rest of the family was now on high alert. We quickly assented that closing the flue would be but a temporary solution. And so, careful to minimize the flow of bees, my father pried open the grate and ignited a log atop the ashes of Duraflames past. As he stoked the blaze, my mother went outside to check the chimney, hands on her hips as she scrutinized the roof. Taking over for her later, I could confirm the sight of small black dots frantically circling high above our two-story Tudor.

IMG_5657

My father knelt attentively in front of the fire all the while, an emergency blanket-like silver rectangle and rag his sword and shield, monitoring the bees’ departure or demise. As a flattened box of Life cereal dribbled ironic sparks, he implored me and my brother to procure further fuel from the garage. We returned with armfuls of flattened cardboard boxes and newspapers, to be distributed within the inferno. My grandmother paced the vicinity with concern, while others sat amused on the furniture, keeping watch and snagging stray bees with tissues.

Within an hour, the bodies piled millimeters high before the waning flame, we deemed the encroachment neutralized. The evening closed without further incident, and we went our separate ways with our bellies full and primal dominance reaffirmed.

Overall, though, it brought me no pleasure to take time out of my day to set bees on fire. Indeed, I do not wish to linger on the image of their passing.

You’re welcome to, though, because it was still kind of awesome.