Category Archives: Postmodern whatchamacallitism

Deorum et Viri: Of Gods and Men, Chapter 1

So I’ve mentioned before that I’m working on this sort of epic-literary-sci-fi-fantasy thing, and I finally finished the first draft of the first chapter.

And . . . since this site is as much about the process of writing as it is actual writing, I’m sharing said draft with you guys, today! (Hopefully you don’t hate it!)

Chapter 1:
The Pale Wastes

Colossal dust devils carved their way through the ravaged North Pangæan badlands, whipping microscopic particulates of obsidian and various corroded metals through the air like tiny, invisible daggers. Only the hardiest vegetation grew near the borders of Valamyr to the west and Anukhan to the east. Boastful adventurers claimed the further they trekked into The Pale Wastes, the more the terrain shifted from ordinary desert to desolate, inhospitable moonscape. As they approached the invisible delineation bisecting the continental rift, the less the land became capable of supporting anything. Indeed, all but the most hardened turn back well before ever crossing the rubicon.

Despite the savage elements raging through such a hostile environment, a lone figure trudged through nearly knee-deep sand, a dark balaclava barely visible underneath a thick fur-lined hood pulled close to his face.

Kneeling to shield his water skin from the swirling dust and ubiquitous sand, the lone trekker—a man of grizzled countenance—took a small sip of water, just enough to moisten the cracks in his parched tongue and cheeks. He knew resupplying during the latter stages of this expedition would be out of the question, so he’d packed and carried everything he might conceivably need. Shielding his eyes and scanning the skyline, the man confirmed the soil surrounding him has been utterly depleted—it was truly, in every sense of the word: dead. Even the sand had lost its color. Giant, swollen dunes of pale grey and ecru stretched endlessly toward the horizon in all four cardinal directions. The pair of dowsing rods the man had packed, just in case the rumors of small veins of underground water was true, rested splayed and inert in his clenched fists.

The man unwillingly began to recall tales of the badlands more frightening than any camp fire ghost stories. Travelers recounted a feeling utter disorientation as soon as they enter The Pale Wastes, of feeling mercurial and uncannily . . . adrift. The man remembered being told repeatedly that North could only be determined by orienting himself within the plane of an imaginary meridian while trying to face the rising sun—a strategy predicated, he thought, upon him surviving the night to actually see the rising sun. . . .

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5 Things About the Unicorn Apocalypse

unicorn_apocalypse1)    Glitter no longer is despised by men everywhere; it is instead manufactured by the Unicorns, given extreme hypnotically stimulating properties, and quickly takes the place of cocaine. Unsavory “gentlemen” snort lines of Glitter off strippers’ asses in shady club bathrooms the world over. The whole thing is still pretty unsanitary.

2)    Skittles become the currency by which nations measure their wealth. “Taste the Rainbow,” however, becomes a global sex act phenomenon, sparking the advent of the “Rainbow Orgy.”

3)    Due to the “Taste the Rainbow” global sex act phenomenon, Leprechauns in all corners of the world are ultimately forced, by necessity, to become extremely underpaid novelty sex workers. Pots of gold only spark genuine interest if the gold coins are the gold foil-wrapped chocolate kind (or the eponymous prophylactics). Regarding the latter, the Unicorns approve of the humans’ newfound concern for sexual safety and subsequent prevention of any future population explosions.

4)    Circumcision is soon considered grotesque and, thus, becomes taboo. Men desire a corporeal aesthetic look more akin to their new rulers’ most distinguishing physical characteristic. The unicorns are amused at the humans’ sheep-like mentality but still basically/ostensibly find them pesky and irksome. Between Glitter benders and Tasting the Rainbow, Humans can’t be bothered to worry about things like governing, working, or really anything that does not include Glitter benders and Rainbow orgies.

5)    Humans, amid their narcotic-infused bacchanalia—due primarily to the nearly infinite supply of Glitter—become truly useless to Earth’s new Unicorn overlords and, as a consequence of their lacking any real raison d’être, are swiftly eliminated. (Though, it should be noted, that in their altogether tweaked-out reveling in drugs and debauchery, mankind barely even noticed.) The sudden hostile power grab by Unicorns over the now-extinct human race almost immediately sparks the great “Hundred Years Unicorn-Pegasus War,” even dividing the once formidable union between Care Bears and My Little Ponies. Narwhals and Swordfish take the fight of one-horned creatures to the sea.

  1. The resulting war of Rainbows, Glitter, and Blood reduces the planet to rubble and among mammals, only the three-toed sloth survives to inherit the earth (who survived simply because they moved too slowly to join the conflict on either side. Their cries of victory, “The giant carnivorous Megatherium will rise again!” takes an entire millennia to disseminate among their kind.
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My Pet Serial Killer: Authors Abducted!

mypetserialkiller

Local authors are missing; many more are now seeking placement in WitSec.

Another mysterious message, the second after yesterday’s nebulous ransom note, was discovered at 3:14 a.m. Central Standard Time at the Cat13 offices that read simply: “PLEASE HELP!”

However, the new handwriting sample differs from that appearing on the back of yesterday’s ransom note. This time, the frantic word’s were hastily painted directly on the brick facade of the Cat13 HQ, downtown.

Omaha Police are working together with Federal agents, but few leads reportedly exist. Two expert graphologist teams are stumped.

Legendary profiler and criminologist, Michael J. Seidlinger, arrived moments ago to create a composite description of the suspect:

Alias/Known As: “The Main Plot Marauder”

Real name: Joseph Michael Owens

Number of victims: 37

Description:

~Wrote short stories published in local newspapers and journals.
~Targeted interested parties responding to published fiction; proceeded to write addendums to effective fiction, often with interested parties enticed into becoming secondary characters in his fiction.
~Continued communication with interested parties for up to 6 months prior to first incursion; promised immortality in the form of his characters.
~Targeted up to 5 victims at any given time; met with victims at least twice a month, often with minor lacerations and damage to victim’s body, all in line with fiction originally written.
~Progressed over 6-12 month duration until victim was rendered weak and incapacitated based on death of fictional character(s) of source material found in local newspapers and journals.
~Completed fiction/target victim by rendering victim weak and vulnerable, lured victim to a secluded location for subsequent dispatch.
~Victims’ bodies never found; only fingers and eyes found in killer’s ice-locker.

Be Mine

“So no matter what, the media’s going to make the victim as innocent as can be, no matter what the victim might have done, there’ll be this disconnection from reality and fiction when it comes to serial murder so it doesn’t really mean that much to answer why, and I’m really trying not to answer the question why because no matter how hard I try I’m not going to be saying what you want me to say because I don’t really know what you want. I don’t know the answer.”

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C@T13 R@N$0M3!! [and only a note left behind…]

Ransom Note

The note, written on the back of this ransom (in tense, narrow handwriting that favors a “left of upright slant”), says that it may or may not be pertinent to something — or someone(s) — missing and was only signed, “MPSK”…

We’re told we should know more tomorrow once graphologists can analyze the penmanship further.

Early tomorrow…

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Party In Your Eye-Socket!

CALLING ALL WRITERS: please reblog and help get the word around about this exciting new project.

More information HERE

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New Year’s Eve Suitcase Porn | 12.31.11

A) North Face Vault

B) MacBook Air with Banksy vinyl sticker

C) Nintendo DS

D) Pill cutter

E) Business cards

F) iPhone 4S

G) Chevelle’s Hats Off to the Bull CD (remember those?)

H) Books: Meat is All, How the Days of Love & Diphtheria, Normally Special, So You Know It’s Me

I) Pilot G-2 pens, 0.38 thickness

J) 4gb USB PenDrive

K) Hi-Liter, Sharpie

L) Volvo key

M) Aviators

N) Custom Moleskine notebook

O) iPad 2 inside Moleskine case (with extra Moleskine tablet)

P) Westone earbuds

Q) Swiss Army Knife (always be prepared)

R) Ben Marcus’s The Age of Wire and String

S) The Paris Review #199

T) Concord Saratoga watch

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“The New Thing” finally has an official title!

…and a (semi)sweet-ass plot synopsis to go with it! Here it is in a roughly sketched form, below:

HUMAN SERVICES is a novel about people. Flawed people. Damaged people. More specifically, it’s a novel about flawed and damaged people desperately trying to help other flawed and damaged people. Problems arise when the unnamed Midwestern state’s government decides to privatize its Department of Health and Human Services, giving lead contracts to large, out-of-state corporate entities.

Rumors of imminent bankruptcy now facing the Furlong & Associates Agency begin to run rampant. Human service workers begin jumping ship. Supervisors weigh employment options against an inevitable economic recession. Everyone involved with The Agency is on pins and needles.

The ultimate success or failure depends on the business savvy of the Furlong & Associates upper management and their employees coming together as a team—as a family, even—putting aside petty personal rivalries for the future survival of The Agency.

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Tom Banerjek will not use the restroom at work for #2

Everyone who works at The Agency has his or her own personal quirks. Stan Manley is highly anxious in nearly every conceivable social or interactive situation. Bambi St. James basically seems annoyed and/or irritable even when she’s actually trying to be nice, which isn’t very often. Monica Salters will only drink coffee from purple mugs. Vicki Furlong does, in fact, lack even the most basic levels of social grace and tact—she is, for all intents and purposes, blunt to a fault. Zooey Feeney is incredibly nice to everyone she works with—including Travis McEvoy—which her coworkers hypothesize stems from a strong desire to never intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings or rock the boat or create any kind of social dissonance whatsoever. Travis McEvoy mysteriously can’t pronounce Darrell’s Sweeney’s first name properly; instead, he sort of monosyllablizes it as “Drrl,” which everyone who isn’t Darrell actually finds pretty amusing and says is basically Travis’s one redeeming social quality. Darrell himself always seems to bring leftovers for lunch that makes the office refrigerator smell bad, but always bad in different ways.[1] Rachel Bauman keeps stockpiles of expired, individually wrapped food items in her desk. Kathy Adkins is often inappropriately sweet, syrupy sweet,[2] even in situations where numerous other emotions would be much better suited. Xiang Liu and Dharini Mohapatra literally compete over just about everything imaginable[3] and somehow still manage to stay both friendly and professional w/r/t each other at all times. Todd “Fuzzy” Lomeier unfailingly smells like old hotdog water.

Tom Banerjek steadfastly refuses to evacuate his bowels at work.

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A sort-of-excerpt from “The New Thing”

“Brick and mortar” is perhaps not the best way to describe the actual building that serves as HQ for the Furlong & Company’s[1] offices. The building itself is ostensibly a large aluminum cuboid structure with very only a few windows peppered across its four rectangular sides. The front side, which faces west, is adorned with blue awnings that display the company’s name—FURLONG AND COMPANY—in a white sans serif’d font in all caps, nondescript. The aluminum building’s roof is pancake-flat, which proves problematic to clear after heavy Nebraska snows.

However, the aluminum siding on all four sides, despite being mostly low maintenance, prove to be the building’s most problematic structural feature as it wreaks all kinds of wireless havoc on cellular signals within the building itself, a circumstance most of The Agency’s employees are forced to grapple with on a daily basis. E.g. when someone’s phone rings, coworkers watch on as that person hurriedly makes a bee-line for an exterior wall—preferably one with one of The Agency’s few windows—in hopes of reclaiming a lost bar or two of signal strength, only then to flusteredly inform their caller that the call is cutting out and they’ll (i.e. The Agency employee will) have to call the caller back from an interior office landline, which, while dramatically improving audible conversation quality and ease, can also completely irk a cellular-only client if they are low on minutes for the month. Various avenues have been explored to improve cellular usability within The Agency’s HQ, but the Furlong and Company’s building simply remains a solutionless vortex of cellular unreliability.

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