Little known fact: in addition to the media analysis, recaps, and other assorted posts that show up here, I also occasionally write stories! You can find check them out at the links below.
It starts with the attempted theft of the Necronomicon; turns into a road trip involving a con artist looking to make some of that sweet, sweet cult money and probably the only student to ever actually be expelled from Miskatonic without raising some unspeakable horror (and even then…), and ends…well, I wouldn’t want to spoil it.
(Part of the Cthulhusattva: Tales of the Black Gnosis anthology)
In which very real breakdowns are soothed by the music of very fictional inspectors. Or, teenage anxiety disorders for fun and profit (written for a charity anthology – proceeds go to Rock the Cause).
After weeks of putting things off, Devon and Sarah have come down to the big day. The big day for planning the big day, anyway. As Devon runs the gauntlet of flowers, cakes, and dresses, all she can think about is how she got here. How did deciding to spend the rest of her life with the woman she loves turn into a the stuff of reality-show nightmares?
This story is also available in a collected anthology format.
UPDATE: Because Torquere went under in a rather messy fashion, this story isn’t currently available for purchase
I’m looking for Mulan’s military uniform. Looking for Ping — the male persona Mulan adopted to save her father and prove her own self-worth. And it shouldn’t matter this much. But it DOES. So I drag my mother to every department store in town, every specialty store. She puts her foot down, gently, after the eighth try.
So I wear the damn dress.
It pulls snug where it’s not supposed to, and it’s harder to take long steps with the skirt around my legs. I make one long stride and catch my boot on the hem of the skirt, falling face-first into a pile of slush. I want to get up quickly to avoid feeling like more of an idiot than I already do. I wave everyone else ahead, not wanting them to see me.
Wanting to pretend they hadn’t.
I stare at him, trying to find any trace of the kid I knew, the kid who cried when I shot him with a squirt gun, afraid he’d get in trouble for messing up his clothes. I’d never made anyone cry before.
“I’m what they call a functional alcoholic,” he says, smiling like it’s a joke. “I never feel hungover, and I’m always at work on time. I still get things done, so nobody cares. It’s not a big deal.”
I imagine his liver inside his body, fat and swollen and pulsating like the Taurus Demon.
I think he’s probably right when he says no one cares, so long as he’s functional. I imagine getting a Facebook message for his funeral, cold and abrupt. The thought makes me sad beyond measure.
At my after-school job at the library, I find myself still thinking about it: an unrelenting force that can’t be reasoned with, because it has no logic behind its grudge. You are not a person. You are meat. I carry those thoughts with me out into the stacks, prepared to spend a few hours in silence reshelving books. Paper is more familiar to me than human skin, and infinitely more comforting.
I am a short, pale, chubby kid who buys men’s jeans and spends every night willing my body to stop developing the curves that first emerged when I was 9.
This human body is meat, a prison for my brain. I drag it along after me every day, feeling trapped. It shuffles as I move through the rows of fiction. Crichton to Faulkner. Harris to Jones.
I am thinking about my body when I feel a hand brush my ass.
Nobody ever tells these stories. It’s the middle of nowhere, after all. A flyover state. Hick country. I’m standing outside of it now, where Ennis Del Mar never set foot. I wake up every day and feel the piece of me that’s marked “where I came from,” and feel it in the hum of awkwardness when I brush off questions about how I’m feeling. It’s why I avoid reaching out until a problem is dire.
I think about people I love who are still in Wyoming, where you can buy a gun far more easily than you can get a Prozac prescription, and everyone knows someone who’s died by their own hand. There’s really no unlearning that you live in the highest suicide-per-capita region of the country. A regular Suicide County.
Michael is an indie game maker who meets a fellow aspiring artist in designer Nolan. The two fall into a business partnership that becomes a romance, though Michael can’t help but find himself uneasy at his the physical changes in his partner or the way she would much he think of her as one of the guys. He becomes fixated on the private sketchbook she spends hours with, wondering if Nolan’s visions for the future will be able to match his own. (Published April 2015)