Sunday, June 13, 2010

Rejection Letter

They say its a good sign when the editor actually takes the time to tell you why they are rejecting a particular piece. I'm choosing to see this as a good sign.

Thank you for your submission to ******. I enjoyed the idea behind your story, but I felt that there was no resolution to the situation, and so it didn't seem like a complete story. For this reason, I'm afraid we won't be publishing this piece. Best of luck with it in the future.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Kindness of Strangers #fridayflash

Clyde was talking his buddies when he saw the boy slip below the surface. He waited a moment, then jumped in when the boy did not come back up. Diving to the bottom of the lake, he felt around, running his hands over mud and slimy rocks until they brushed against cloth. He grabbed the boy by his shirt and pulled. The boy kicked his legs wildly, twisted his body around and desperately clung to Clyde. He struggled to free himself from the boy's panicked flailing and rise toward the surface for air. The boy pulled at him like a rock, however, and the light above them grew dim as they both sank deeper.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Best Medicine #fridayflash

Carmella wrapped her lips around her fangs to take a puff from her cigarette, then exhaled the smoke through her clenched teeth while making a sssssssss sound. She shifted one pendulous breast over to the side to scratch an itch and looked out over the crowd. A group of werewolves were line dancing over in the corner, all with the same deadpan expression on their faces. Frank was doing his best to sing karaoke, but his vocal chords were beginning to rot away as well as his tongue so most of it came out as an unintelligible moan.

“I wish to hell that that zombie would shut his fly-trap,” said Vlad the bartender.

“Oh, cut him some slack. He's a good kid. Its not his fault he got bitten by the wrong kind of monster.”

Vlad snorted.

“You are such a softie Carmella. I don't know how you ever manage to get any blood off your victims. I imagine you loan them all a twenty and give them a ride home rather than helping them to shuffle off their mortal coils.”

“I do ok,” Carmella shrugged. Vlad polished some glasses and Carmella puffed on her cigarette some more while watching the line dancers. Frank finished warbling into the microphone and there was a sprinkling of applause from the crowd. One of the werewolves put a quarter in the jukebox and the line dancing began again, their boots clicking on the floor in unison and their eyes staring straight ahead at nothing.

“You sounded good up there,” Carmella said to Frank as he came up to the bar for a drink.

“Haannnks,” he groaned. “Eeii yiiiikh hat shoongh.”

“Yeah, its a real toe tapper,” Carmella said.

“Yoo ohkay? Yoo shound a yittle hown.”

“Eh, I'm ok I guess. Just a little moody. Eternity isn't quite what I thought it would be.”

“Hell me about hit,” Frank said, downed his shot and shuffled off the men's room.

Carmella crushed her cigarette into the ash tray and sighed.

“Hey Vlad, give me a bloody mary, would ya?”

“If you're down in the dumps, why don't you go out and get you the real thing? A nice plump virgin always lifts my spirits when I'm feeling down.”

“Nah, I don't think that would help much. Its just the futility of it all. Every night we come to this run down bar and do the same things over and over again. The same faces, the same songs, the same drinks. The thought of doing the same crap for over and over for the rest of eternity is just depressing.”

“I think its great. I can do whatever I want whenever I want to who ever I want. I don't have to worry about the consequences because I can't die.” Vlad held his hands out as if to emphasize his point and backed up a step. He slipped in a puddle of spilled beer and fell backwards onto one of the beer taps. It pierced him through the heart and he instantly turned into dust. Everyone in the bar stopped moving and talking all at once and turned to stare at the pile of dust that was formally Vlad. Carmella doubled over and began to laugh uncontrollably. She clutched her side with one hand and steadied herself on the bar with the other so that the force of her guffaws didn't knock her off her barstool. After several minutes she straightened up and wiped a tear from her eye.

“Ooh, thanks Vlad. I needed that.”

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Escape Artists Flash Fiction Contest

I submitted a flash to the Pseudopod (horror) portion of Escape Artists Flash Fiction contest. The first round of submissions has been posted on the forum and the winners will be chosen by the readers. I can't tell you which one is mine (the by-lines are taken off prior to posting) but I can tell you that mine is not in the first batch. If you like horror, you should check out the first group of flash stories. Also, submissions just opened up for the Escape Pod (sci-fi) portion of the contest. Details here. Winners of the contest get the usual Escape Artists publication (if its a podcast is it still called publication?) rate of $100 and their stories will be features on the podcast of the respective genre. Happy submitting.