All posts by drewchial

When Drew Chial was very young, he found an attic hidden in his bedroom closet. He discovered it investigating an indentation in the ceiling, nudging it with a broom, until it fell inward. There was no stepladder for him to climb, so he scaled the shelves. Shining his flashlight, he found a long triangular hall, twice the length of his bedroom. Every surface was coated in pink insulation that made his skin itch. Creeping into the basement, Drew stole a sleeping bag that he unrolled on the attic floor. He set a tiny aluminum lock box on top of it. This is where he hid the things he wrote. Now Drew hides them in plain sight.

Curbside Noir (Audio Short)

This is a soundtrack for those moments when you’re stuck in limbo with just your impotent rage to keep you company. When you’re pacing back and forth on the same street corner. When you’re caught without an umbrella and you just soak it all in. When its pitch black outside and it suits you just fine.

This is an internal monologue for when the bad guys leave you in a pit of snakes. When you’ve got no traction and you’ve got to claw your way up. When life doesn’t bother to give you lemons. When it just squeezes you dry. When the hand of fate presses you down into your lowest possible moment. The one that comes right before the revelation that you either have to make a change or be changed.

This too will pass, but you’re the one who’s stuck with the mess it leaves behind.

This is your pain in black in white, emphasis on the black, on the Rembrandt lighting, on the shadows it casts. This is the alley where they catch you. Where you make your last stand. Where fedoras are helmets and trench coats are security blankets. Where you’re puzzled but never quite defeated. You’re an artist with a brush up your sleeve. It’s time for you to make some outlines on the sidewalk.

This audio short is about that film noir attitude seeping into our lives, empowering us to stand up to each and every son-of-a-bitch that comes our way. This is the first of my audio shorts to get its own score, a haunting piano melody, infused with synths and a subtle beat. The piece needed this haunting soundtrack to bring you to that dark alley, where you’re surrounded by thugs. Pain and its henchmen, here to collect their debt.

Pain has already made such an awful mess of our lives. Let’s make a mess of it. Continue reading Curbside Noir (Audio Short)

The Night the Moon Came Down to Earth

Holding the MoonThe forest is alive with nodding treetops. They’ve come to a consensus. Each of them agree to throw their branches up into the air, to cast their pinecones into the night. Each of them creak as they bow to one another. Their trunks bend, their leafs curtsy. They dance. We have a good view from our place on the prairie. We watch the current cascade through them. It looks like an evergreen chorus line, especially when the trees kick up their skirts, and something comes rushing out. Continue reading The Night the Moon Came Down to Earth

Open House (Audio Short)

There are two Internets. One where snark is the common language, where entitlement is the common currency, where shock value is the principle form of recreation, where the elevation of one’s self comes at the expense of another, where anonymity grants its people the right to turn off the lights and throw punches at the dark.

Then there’s the other Internet. The one I didn’t know about until recently. The one where support is the common language, where sharing is the common currency, where participating is the principle form of recreation, where free advice is on tap, where character is king, and where criticism takes a backseat to feedback.

A place far from the racist-homophobic-misogynistic slurs of twelve-year-olds wearing XBOX headsets (yeah, I said it).

This is an audio short dedicated to that second Internet. It’s about putting your guard down and letting other people in. It ends on a bittersweet note, but that’s okay.

Self-Sabotage (Audio Short)

Every writer runs the risk of letting their characters become so powerful that they take over their story, but sometimes the story is not enough. Sometimes the characters sneak into the writer’s waking life and start making changes of their own.

This is an audio short about a writer whose inspiration came calling for him in the middle of the night.

This is What We Do (Audio Short)

In each of us is a group of teamsters who’s job it is to fix the damage we do to ourselves.
From behind the scenes, they fix the sheet rock around our hearts. They scrape the fear from our foundations. They lay the pipes that make the self-deception flow to where we need it. They’re the reason we wake up feeling differently than when went to sleep. It’s their tireless efforts that keep the whole operation going.

This poem is dedicated to the unsung heroes that live in our subconscious. May we ease their burden. May we give them less and less to do as we grow older.

Find the Time (Audio Short)

What if you could freeze time, hit pause, hit mute, tell the whole to just wait a minute? What would you get accomplished without the looming punch clock, without the mouths to feed, without the noise pollution? What would you do if the earth rotated on your time?

This is a short story about someone with just such an ability. Too bad for the rest of the world, frozen in time, that this person happens to be a writer.

Writers Guild (Audio Short)

Writer’s can take inspiration from anywhere (emphasis on the word “take”). We snatch. We grab. We are world class thieves, stealing with our eyes, lining the halls of our lairs with observations. We quote you out of context. We plagiarize real life. We sell your mannerisms on the black market. The longer you know us the less of you will be yours. We walk around with magnets in our pockets and we take everything we can carry.

This poem is dedicated to the criminal enterprise that is fiction writing. We are a guild of thieves. You will never see us coming, but we are always watching you.

Self-Sabotage

TelescopeAt first, it was hard to find your watch. It had wandered off the end table and fallen into a pile of laundry. Then it was buried in the sock drawer. A week later, you found it tucked beneath a lamp shade wrapped around the light bulb.

You’d type your story into all hours of the night, look to your wrist and see only skin. Your hero traversed the ends of his world by the time you thought to check the clock on the monitor. It was frozen at twelve. You stumbled through a forum that said something about resetting “LOCATIONS SERVICES.” You gave up about three steps in. You said you would get around to it once you’d capped off the chapter. Continue reading Self-Sabotage

Find the Time

Time Flies
Time Flies

There’s an arc of cola in the air, a shiny brown ribbon trailed by a constellation of ice. It casts a wide shadow on the tiles below. My keyboard is right in the spill’s trajectory. I follow the floating brown bubbles to their twelve ounce origin. It’s pinched in the grip of a poor young runt. He’s a pasty faced kid with freckles on top of his acne. It looks like he’s lost his balance. Upon closer inspection, it looks like his balance has been taken from him. Taken by the fluorescent orange sneaker sweeping his ankle. I could step in, untie that gaudy orange knot at his feet, but it’s not going to put his drink back into his cup. I could move my laptop out of the splatter zone, but it doesn’t matter. Not yet it doesn’t. Continue reading Find the Time

The Devils We Know (Spoken Word)

Have you ever felt like you were helping someone else hurt you? Like you were relinquishing control of your life? Like you were dating a drill sergeant? Like you clocked out of one job and into another one in the guise of a relationship? Like the devil demanded your ear and you couldn’t help but give him his due?

Here’s a poem about those charming monsters we can’t help but submit to. I wrote it several years ago about a friend who let one of them consume her.