Took liquid ibuprofen with a fork.
I made a biscuit sandwich with lots of butter (so much that it seeped through to the crust), bacon and cheese. I set it in the cabinet and when I pulled it down to microwave it, webbing and bugs — not spiders exactly, something like large black mantises or ants standing upright — stuck to one side of it. I wiped it off and put it back, not realizing I was placing the plate right in a spider web. I took it down again and the bugs were back and there were twice as many, and a bite had been taken out of it. I was so frustrated I started crying and tossed the plate aside, yelling at Momma about it and behaving as if the whole thing was completely unavoidable.
– April 2, 2012
© Wicked Sushi
Old Wife’s Tail
by Mekenzie Larsen
Whiskers tickled his chin. A weight on his chest, no lighter than a bowling ball, shifted languidly from one rib to the other. His wrists bled. His ankles were bruised. His foggy eyes rolled in their sockets till they landed on hers, sharp blue and full of poison.
He whimpered, waiting for the next strike. It didn’t take long. A practiced set of crimson-stained claws flashed across his cheek, his nose, his lips. “Why?” He could hear the others, light feet pacing the room, flooding the stairwell. Some had wandered into the basement in search of smaller prey. “Why do you do this?” He wept, salt burning a trail from his eyes to the hair at his temples. She drew closer, smiling.
“It’s not your breath we want,” she hissed. “It’s your tears.”
Apex Magazine #46
Apex Magazine #45
Are You Listening? (The Fathomless Abyss) by J.M. McDermott
“And He Built a Crooked House” by Robert A. Heinlin
“The Man and the River” by Therese Pieczynski
“Subject AT-171″ by Melissa Mead
“Linger” by Ken Liu
“Doctor was Madman, Family Man” by Paul Blonsky
“Sweet Justice” by Melissa Mead
“Mirror, Mirror” by Davyne DeSye
“Heaven” by Janet Shell Anderson
“Soft” by Cat Rambo
I’ve also been reading Anti-Requiem: New Orleans Stories by Louis Maistros (fantastic) and the increasingly irritating (because it never ends!) Moby Dick.
Last night, our rocker bench got drunk. It’s the only explanation for why it dragged its sorry chipped ass across our back porch before throwing itself into the arms of a lounge chair. Sure, it was raining, but the hard stuff had blown over and the wind had calmed to a whisper. We heard it first, a knock on the back door then a crash and the sound of concrete screaming. Our first thought: The dogs tipped something over, or they were nosing around and nudging a chair along the wall. When we made it to the window, the bench was gone and the dogs were standing in the rain with wide eyes and ears raised.
Now, Cujo and Baby are big dogs — they carry almost 300 pounds between them — but there’s no way they did that. One, I’ve never known them to flip the furniture over, even though they could. Two, they couldn’t have flipped it other, pushed it against the wall, scrape it past the door, then flip it forward, up and over another chair without pulling a shit-ton of junk (cardboard boxes, a small trash can, their water bowl) along with it. Neither could the wind, for that matter. If the wind had been strong enough to pick it up and toss it, that would be one thing. But then we’d be talking about wind capable of lifting something that weighs more than I do yet leaves papers and cigarette butts and spindly tree branches behind.
The dogs were scared. We were paranoid. Stuff like this always happens when we start packing. Three houses and countless cases of furniture moving, pipes bursting, and photos vanishing from their frames. My mother blames it on gremlins she’s only read about. I blame it on ghosts I can see.
That, or the bench was drunk. I just hope the tread marks were worth it.
It’s been a rough few weeks, so reading has had to take a backseat to sick kitties and work. Here’s what I managed to squeeze in.
Guns by Stephen King
“Hungry” by Robert E. Stutts
“Wildness and Wet” by Lee Hallison
“The Time Travel Device” by James Van Pelt
“They’re Made Out of Meat” by Terry Bisson
“A Hairy Predicament” by Melissa Mead
The Universe Doesn’t Give a Flying Fuck About You by Johnny B. Truant
“The Mountain” by Andrew Kozma
“Coffee Pot” by Jez Patterson
“I Heard You Got a Cat, I Heard You Named Him Charles” by M. Bennardo
“Hazel Tree” by Melissa Mead
“The Princess of the Perfume River” by Aliette de Bodard
“White as Snow, Red as Blood” by Melissa Mead
I got my first camera, a Canon Digital Rebel XT, for Christmas 2007. These were some of the first pictures I took.
Cruising, looking at houses in the middle of the night. I’m sitting in the backseat to the left. My parents are arguing about where we’re going. All the houses we pass sit very close to the road and almost all are on sharp curves. I tell them the place we’re headed is flooded and trashed but they don’t hear me or don’t care. Once we arrive, it’s obvious there isn’t any electricity and we leave the doors open and light candles to see by. There is now an older couple with us.
We begin digging and making piles of stuff we want to take home. I grab a very old book and study it. It was originally published in 1815 but this printing is from 1821. The cover is clay or similar and embossed or etched with red details and a man’s portrait. Most pages have numbers handwritten in blue ink at the bottom and there are hastily scrawled notes in the margins. The book is in a dark red/maroon wrap made of either leather or soft canvas, about twice the size of the actual book, ties hanging from the right flap meant to keep it shut. I think the ties are too stiff to use without snapping. Someone had written on the wrap — more numbers, I think — but it’s long since worn away. I know that it’s worth at least $1,000 because I’m familiar with the first edition, so I carry it with me into the front room. The old man with us recognizes it and says that that copy wouldn’t go for less than $4,000 and that he would buy it off me right there before mentioning that it could be worth as much as $7,000. I turn him down and hold onto it until we leave.
– February 17, 2011
A couple things worth noting: This was at the height of my family’s Pawn Stars addiction, and (unrelated) I had become obsessed with finding my mother’s copy of Night Shift, convinced it was a first edition. I never was able to flush it out.
© Zach Den Adel
• Stewie, the world’s longest cat, passed away at at the age eight. He was 48.5 inches from toe to tail, and his tail measured 16.34 inches. Wow.
• After seven days, the little boy held hostage in a bunker in Alabama has been freed and his kidnapper killed. The local children called Jimmy Lee Dykes — who believed the government and the mafia were controlling the dog races he bet on — “the scoop man.”
• Shooter Boys and At-Risk Girls, an essay by Molly Crabapple on the culture surrounding school shootings.
• Have you caught up on the Applebee’s scandal yet? Here’s a breakdown with photos.
• I’m still making my way through Moby Dick, and this annotated version has been especially useful.
• This handy list by Mary Robinette Kowal of every word used by Jane Austen, all 14,793 of them, is a great starting point for anyone writing historical fiction. Bonus Mary: How to make entrails!
• Looking for the motivation to write? Written? Kitten! to the rescue.
• Duotrope alternatives, in case you’re still looking: Dark Markets, Bloody Bookish, and Horror Tree for horror writers, and The Grinder for stats and tracking. Bloody Bookish in particular lets you easily add deadlines to your Google calendar.
• Chuck Wendig’s 25 thoughts on book piracy.
• More than $60,000 has been pledged to John Scalzi’s Counteract a Bigot drive. In return, Scalzi commissioned this brilliant piece of art. Shirts may be forthcoming.
• King Richard III’s body has been found beneath a parking lot in Leicester.
• The 256-year-old man, Li Ching-Yuen. He supposedly lived on rice, herbs, and wine and said the secret to longevity was to “keep a quiet heart, sit like a tortoise, walk sprightly like a pigeon, and sleep like a dog.” His age is disputed; Ching-Yuen himself said he was 197. Do you believe it?
• Hey, Amazon? No.
More about Neil’s Calendar of Tales.
Somebody get this guy a wetsuit!