Most of the symbols on the crime map were self explanatory. The blue men’s room signs with guns represented armed robberies, green cars were thefts of motor vehicles, baby blue houses were residential burglaries, red fists were aggravated assaults, purple R’s were sexual assaults, and green dollar bags represented thefts of businesses.
The symbol for what happened to me was black. The image was a floating phantom with a pointed head, winglike robes, and a curved trail for legs.
This phantom symbol covered the map around the liberal arts schools, the downtown design firms, and the bohemian blocks in Uptown.
Zoom into the map and you’d see phantom symbols across the street from the bookstore that hosted poetry readings, on the bus stop outside of the improv comedy club, and the lot behind First Avenue, the concert venue.
It was the last semester of senior year and all the cool kids were boycotting prom in favor of something better.
Why rent a limousine when you could make an entrance in an art car shaped like a pumpkin? Why break the bank on a pastel dress when you could wear a piece designed by one of your friends? Why go to a twerk-a-thon in a hotel ballroom when you could go to a masquerade in the Hollywood hills?
Moira promised carriage rides around her estate, vaudevillian cabaret dancers, and a hard rock cello quartet. She promised sword swallowers, contortionists, and devils on stilts. She promised a magician with body modifications who did tricks with his magnetic hands, a pain proof man that hammered nails into his nostrils, and a death defying woman who escaped coffins buried underground.
She promised memories worth making, which was more than our school was offering.
Moira came from wealth and fame. She was the queen bee of our hedonistic hive. If she wanted to live out her Victorian carnival fantasy us drones had, to lace up our corsets, and come a-buzzing.
SYMPTOMATIC is my first full length album. This LP is the soundtrack for a science fiction fantasy that’s playing exclusively in your imagination, featuring sound FX sequenced into dance floor beats over video game melodies. It’s the perfect score for writers working on action scenes. Stream it here or buy it on Bandcamp.
SHADOW PEOPLE is my second full length album. This LP is a soundtrack for daydreams and nightmares, filled with somber synth soundscapes, industrial rhythms, and eerie atmospheres. It’s the perfect score for writers, filled with meditations for ideation. Stream it here or buy it on Bandcamp.
Here are 8 Dreams and Nightmares turned into 8 works of flash fiction, all in 18 minutes of audio. Each one is something straight out of the Twilight Zone: haunting, surreal, and filled with twists. Stream for free or download and pay whatever price you want.
In 1895, Robert W. Chambers wrote a horror collection called The King in Yellow. Each entry was about a person who had the misfortune of reading a play called The King in Yellow, a play that had the power to drive each of them insane.
H.P. Lovecraft was so inspired by The King in Yellow that he fabricated his own tome of forbidden knowledge called the Necronomicon. The King in Yellow went on to inspire John Carpenter’s films In the Mouth of Madness and Cigarette Burns. Its influence can be felt in The Ring and most recently True Detective, which references the king, the yellow sign, and Carcosa by name.
Why writers should continue to challenge what literature can be.
I have a confession to make, now that the statute of limitations has passed: I’ve committed academic fraud. In the second grade, I was awarded a Pizza Hut gift certificate for reading more books than any other student, when in fact my mother had read them to me. Mired in guilt, I ate my ill gotten deep dish pizza on her behalf. Continue reading The Virtue of Risky Ideas→