Short Story – Collecting Lives

This week’s short story was written to be presented as part of The Encyclopedia Show at Die Laughing.  The theme of the show was public transportation.

The format for The Encyclopedia Show allows performers to present anything that connects to the theme.  Because I’ve been writing a lot of fiction, I decided to write a story about a bus driver

It’s a much more bittersweet story that I typically write and it is more of a character study than anything else.  But hey – it’s about public transportation!  Sort of.

For being written in a state of sleep deprivation at 8:00 in the morning, I feel like it turned out well.  As always, feel free to read, comment, and share!

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Short Story – The Forest

This week’s story is a very brief little horror piece.  In a rare occurrence, the entire narrative came to me all at once.  I knew the beginning, middle, and end.  Often, I know only the end or the beginning when I start writing.

When I think about horror, sometimes what I’m looking for is an object that isn’t particularly dangerous but has a hidden feature that makes it dangerous.  In this story, I picked something that often ignite people’s imaginations but aren’t inherently dangerous outside of your own fears.

Then I asked myself “what if there was a really good reason to be afraid?”

As always, I hope you enjoy and please comment and share if you are so inclined!

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Shit that Pissed me Off – 3/24

Soccer Player who Had his Girlfriend Murdered and Fed to Dogs Gets Out of Jail and Proceeds to Get a Job Playing Soccer

Look, I honestly believe that someone charged with a crime should serve their time but then they should have the chance to live their life.  People make horrible, awful, stupid, mistakes and sometimes we need to be big and forgive them.  Give them a chance to be better people.

We aren’t, generally, interested in such things.  We are interested in placing people into the category of “generally a good person” or “they should be dead.”

So anyway, Bruno Fernandes de Souza was a star goaltender in the Most Popular Sport in Every Country But America (TM) and he had his girlfriend murdered and fed to dogs. He was sentenced to 22 years but after only six years, he was released on a technicality.

So what happened next?  He got a chance to play Soccer again.  Because he’s that good.  Or at least he was.

I am grateful my life has reached a point where I had need of this image.

I might even be able to deal with that if he wasn’t an insufferable jackass.  He basically categorized what he did as “a mistake.”  To be fair, he did say it was “a serious one.”

And here’s the thing – he’s has a skill that is important to a lot of people and that means he will get as many chances so long as he’s still good at it.  And that’s the bullshit message of this story.

You can get away with murder.  As long as you are a celebrity.

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Shit that Pissed me Off – 3/17

Democratic Congressman Makes Me Defend Kellyanne Conway

I was on vacation for the last two weeks and that means I need to play a little bit of catch up.

Now let’s be clear that I think Kellyanne Conway is a tool.  Her job is to go to the press and ignore their questions as a way of obfuscating all the stupid bullshit our rich white President tweets out.  More on that later.

However, the controversy around the following picture is a bunch of bullshit.

Conway is taking a picture of her President surrounded by black people in an attempt to make it look like he has a lot of friends who are black.  I could totally make fun of that because I’m pretty sure Donald Trump knows as much about the black experience in America as Ben Carson.

But instead, people like Democratic Congressman Cedric Richmond made fun of conway for being barefoot on a couch.  I suppose the implication is that she slept her way to the top or something while ignoring the fact she was instrumental in getting Donald Trump elected.

I can hate her for that.  But I also have to respect her for that.  And in spite of the bad taste it leaves in my mouth, I have to defend Conway on the grounds that you don’t get to make that kind of joke about her.

Given all the stuff she does that is completely horrible, shouldn’t it be OK to shy away from calling her a slut because she’s taking a picture with her shoes off?  Do we lack so much creativity as a society that when we are presented with a woman we don’t like, we can find no other outlet to criticize her than shaming her for not behaving like we think a woman should behave.

Conway and her President will do and say so many stupid things in the next 24 hours (pick any 24 hour period), it seems like wasted effort to focus on something so unimportant.

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Short Story – Farmer’s Almanac Gordon

This week’s short story is a weird one.

A few weeks ago, I wrote this story to be presented as part of a show called The Encyclopedia show.  Performers are asked to come up with a presentation on a specific topic and it is always interesting to see the variety of work the topics inspire.

The topic for this show was Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts.  I assumed (correctly), that most everyone was going to talk about the Girl Scouts in some way shape or form.  So I opted out of that concept.

Instead, I decided to write about her youth, when she was known simply as Juliette Gordon.  Further, I decided to write about her youth in post Civil War Georgia as if she was the protagonist in an Encyclopedia Brown story.  I can’t ever be certain if anyone in the audience completely understood what I was going for that evening.

Anyway, here is a story about a little girl in post Civil War Georgia who helps her father solve crimes.  Or rather…well, you’ll see.

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Short Story – A Long Flight

unnamed-5I was on an airplane when I started writing this next story.  That might give some indication of my inspiration for what followed.  I was also thinking about how I’d like to write a fantasy story because I’ve not written one of those in some time.

So I hit on this, which takes a rather strange and wacky turn in the middle.  Right now, I feel like I need to re-work the opening and turn it into a radio script for CONvergence this year.

I hope this one makes you smile a little.  As always, I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read my story and definitely anyone who choses to share and/or comment!

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Shit that Pissed me Off – 2/23

Bad Headline Theater

Dear liberal friends.  We had a bad election.  We are going to have a bad run here and the conservatives are going to do a lot of stuff that makes us angry.  At least fifty percent of the time, our anger will be justified.

Some of the time, though, we need to make sure we understand what is making us angry.

Earlier this week, a friend posted this article with the headline “Dino’s Gyros Cans Employee who Took off for ‘Day Without Immigrants’ Protest.”

Now it is true Dino’s Gyros canned an employee who didn’t show up for work and it is true that employee was taking part in the day without immigrants protest.  This headline would make you think Dino’s Gyros were Capitalist fucks who didn’t give a shit about causes important to their employees.

And let’s be fair – they may be.

The truth, which we see if we read the whole article, is that they admitted they should not have fired him because he was participating in a legal strike and they offered him his job back with a raise.  He turned it down.

Then there is this story which has the headline “Oklahoma Legislature Just Passed the Most Oppressive law Against Women in History.”

I checked the great seal for the state of Oklahoma and it doesn't say "fuck women" anywhere.  Not even in Latin.

I checked the great seal for the state of Oklahoma and it doesn’t say “fuck women” anywhere. Not even in Latin.

In this case, the law in question is pretty horrible.  It requires a woman to get permission from the father before she has an abortion, which is some seriously misogynistic bullshit because it takes a woman’s control of her own body away from her.

But – and given the headline this is super important –  the law hasn’t passed yet.  Later in the article you will read that it has only been passed out of committee.

And believe me, if the legislature actually passes this law as it is written, I’m going to be bringing it up again.  And I will find an opportunity to refer to Oklahoma lawmakers as “controlling gibbons who care about the lives and health of women only slightly less than they care about the lives and health of babies once they are born” when that happens.

All the bad laws in the world don’t justify a headline that is demonstrably untrue.  In a world where the term “fake news” is used as a weapon, we have to be doubly sure we are precise.

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