June 30, 2015 – Excerpt

“There was always a chance that a corpse might be stored within the mattresses. Plenty of motels were plagued by cadaver storage. The bodies died in the middle of the night and were rolled into the bed-frame, then covered up. It was easy to sleep upon a body without noticing. The meat just sunk down into the coils and the once putrefaction set in, the bones sank down even more. It often took months before the bodies were noticed and that was only because of the smell.”

June 24, 2015 – Excerpt

“Before the desert, a series of terrible things occurred: a cluster of mouths lay before me, each one wired to the others, all with cramped jaws snapping. The mouths were open wide and I thought of them as lily pads. I tried balancing upon them but the mouths collapsed inward. Their flesh filled their throats. They consumed themselves while I watched. Sometimes their tongues got in the way and they chewed through the meat. There was no blood. There was just a purple trickling that looked like grease. It was moldy grease, furred across the top of each droplet. I left the consumed/consuming mouths to reach a highway cracked in half.”

June 12, 2015 – Excerpt

“I stood amidst the meat men. They were humanoid forms but made of solid meat. There was no skin over their muscles, no breaks between their teeth. They blinked but the blinking consisted of thin meat pieces sliding down over fatter meat pieces indented in their faces. The men watched me for some time. They blinked slowly. Sometimes, their tongues pushed free of their mouths and ran around their flayed lips. It was beautiful, the licking and the blinking. It was almost an oral dance.”

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I was going through the last draft of my current project and managed to salvage another 12,000 words. There was a good deal of tinkering involved (I’m still tinkering) but the word count is now at around 74,000 words. When I do the first editing sweep, I’ll probably end up adding a few parts here and there but as it stands right now, I think the story is progressing nicely.

June 9, 2015 – Excerpt

“From the top of the staircase, the man asked if I wanted a drink of water. I tilted my head in his direction and screamed until my throat was sore. I did not scream words; I screamed sounds. I screamed like a banshee. I screamed until I could not be certain if the screaming was in my head or throat. Did it matter where the screaming came from as long as the screaming came out? It did not. I did not need anyone to assure me of that fact. Every so often, something came sliding out the back of the basement. I felt it moving. I kept my eyes closed so that I would not accidentally make out its shadow while blinking. The thing asked questions I did not want to answer. It asked if I ever wanted to become a mother. I said I was already a mother but my children were all dead.”

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Sorry for the lack of posting, friendlies. I was so focused on the writing lately that I just forgot to put some writing up. Plus, I’ve been making more of an effort to send out submissions. Before this month, my last submissions were sent out in March which is pretty horrible. So I’m really trying to make up for that submission lull. Also, the present manuscript (which is a re-working of a previous manuscript) is almost done. It’s around 59,000 words at present and I think there are a few thousand more words that need to be written before the story reaches its end.

May 30, 2015 – (Short) Excerpt

“A woman stood in the doorway with a meat lampshade upon her head. We could just see the bottom of her mouth. Several times, she spread her lips so that her tongue came hanging out. The woman said we had destroyed her work of art.”

May 28, 2015 – Excerpt

“The man and I made children. We joined together and the children were the end result. The children’s heads were interchangeable. They ripped them off and switched them around depending on their many moods. I thought the children might be schizophrenic. They stabbed their knees with unfolded metal wires while laughing hysterically. Several of the children leaned forward and shoved their fists into their belly buttons in order to tickled their stomachs and get a palm wet with acid. The children licked that acid burn and giggled while showing one another the many burns formed on their tongue centers. They screamed for birds while slurping tiny lines of tar trickling across their playpen floors.”

I’ve been struggling with my latest manuscript for the last week. The manuscript was becoming so bizarre (a bad kind of bizarre) that I had no idea what to do with it. Then I tried reworking some of the text and ended up writing myself into a corner. I’m still in the process of adjustments but it seems clearer now. The manuscript was past 40,000 words at the end of last week and by the time I figured out how to fix it, I chopped the manuscript down to around 24,000 words. So much cutting always makes me nervous but I know that it’s necessary. I just hope that now that I’m starting to piece it back together, the writing will come more easily.

May 19, 2015 – Excerpt

“I made friends with the parasites within the basement. They were worm forms, many resembling scrolls of red wax, the others stringy lines of black wire. The worms were flat across their tops with arrowhead ends and a small snout. The worms constantly crawled over my body. When I slept, the worms were there, embedding themselves in my elbows. The worms lacked teeth and so in order to eat from me, they released nets of white proboscis, the tree-limbed fibers covering an expanse of skin.”

May 16, 2015 – Excerpt

“I found an egg beside my head. Like all things in the MEAT PLACE, the egg was made of steak. I tapped the shell with my fingernail and it clicked solidly. The sausage links and meat breasts and entrails were withered, their brown remnants dusting up the floor. I tapped the egg again and when it did not break, I tapped harder. A hairline fracture ran down the length of the egg, separating the oval into hemispheres.”

May 15, 2015 – Excerpt

“There was nothing on the other side of the red door. There was only a flight of stairs. The stairs were made of solid metal enmeshed with meat. The metal was not real. The metal looked metal enough but the MEAT PLACE was based on trickery. What was metal, might not be metal at all. What was meat was always meat. Meat was the only guarantee. I leaned against the red door, not wanting to walk down the stairs. There was a dark patch hovering over the stairs’ landing and beyond that, I was uncertain what else existed. I listened for flies and children’s babbling.”

May 14, 2015 – Excerpt

“The man with a green face and I walked through the spongey MEAT PLACE. The meat place was less a land than it was a house. We came near red spores lifting out the dirty carpeting. The spores were smooth across their tops and unembellished. I reached to touch one thinking the red spores were just mushroom forms and the man smacked my hand away. The red spores spewed a clear fluid that caused the surrounding fibers to sizzle. The man said not to walk upon the spores. Forms like those were living mouths.”

May 12, 2015 – Excerpt

“Just within the MEAT WALL, there stood a man with a green face who picked me up by my waist, then curled me around his lap. We stood like that for a time, he and I, while he breathed onto the top of my head, his lungs sometimes silent, then rasping. The man’s hands dripped yellow mucus and he used them to touch my hair. His fingers stroked the long strands, tangling in the curls, leaving them slick with the slop. I cringed away from the man but he gripped the ends of my hair, yanking me hard. My scalp burned. As the man petted me, he hummed.”

May 4, 2015 – Excerpt

“The man with a gray face wept into his open hands, then pulled meat from the gutters. He dropped the flesh over the edge to fester on the concrete sidewalk blocks. I walked along below that rain and tilted my head when the red came down. Red dripped into my eyes and I blinked desperately to clear my vision. I thought I dreamed the meat but when I looked up, the meat was coming down faster and faster. The man laughed hysterically, waving in my direction, beckoning me near. Open your mouth, he screamed and my jaws came apart involuntarily. They sprang open like metal springs made up the jointed hinges. I caught the meat in my mouth and chewed thoughtfully. The meat tasted lean and I thought it might be buffalo.”

May 2, 2015 – Excerpt

“I ate a septic mushroom and it was creamy upon my tongue. There were two septic mushrooms—I ate one, saved the other for a man with a gray face, then changed my mind, and ate the second as well. The septic mushroom tasted just as it was. It was meat and shit and fungus compacted in a mushroom body. Before I ate the mushrooms, I kept them in my hands. I turned them from side to side, examining the way the gills expanded and contracted as if they were fungal lungs. I touched the smooth stems. I looked at the spots upon the mushroom meat where the dirt chunks gathered. I examined, then cleaned with my fingernails.”

April 30, 2015 – NaPoWriMo days 29 & 30

“The dead girls came into the seafood place. They were not quite dead yet but they were getting close. They asked for lobsters, crabs, and mayonnaise-sauced cabbage salad. The girls smiled at one another, then glared at everyone else. I leaned over their seats while they shoved fried fish into their mouths. I told them this town was no place for fertile young girls. I said the Stitcher was walking up the street. I said the crab they ate was not real meat. I said there were unwanted things tucked beneath the tables.”

***

“The Stitcher came up the stairs. The Stitcher walked slowly. He creeped along. He ran his fingernails along the wallpaper, slitting the top layer without maiming the plaster beneath. I watched the Stitcher come. I did not hide from him. I was in awe of his stitching skills but the awe was not fearful. I was never afraid of the men. They were the ones who were afraid of me. The Stitcher’s arms swung at his sides as he walked. He kept his eyes on me. For several steps, he salivated in anticipation. For several steps, he glared. The Stitcher reached the top of the staircase and grabbed me by the shoulders.”

April 28, 2015 – NaPoWriMo day 28

“In a past life, the man with a gray face was a butcher. He worked in a refrigerated store, packing meat into containers, stacking it into display units. He piled meat on counters and left it in boxes. The man couldn’t get the smell of meat out of his nose. He sniffed and snorted but the meat smell was still there. It was a harsh stench. It was acidic. He went home to eat a steak and gagged at the brown-gray hunk on his plate. Every day, the man went into the land of meat and sniffed around.”

April 27, 2015 – NaPoWriMo days 26 & 27

“The old house had thirteen bedrooms, thirteen bathrooms, and thirteen doorways on each of its three floors. The old house was inspired by another old house across the country but then, old houses always had superstition in common. It was the same way hotels always skipped the number thirteen. Something unfortunate happened in one house and then the same unfortunate event happened in another house, those two events being linked by a tenuous pattern that became more obvious the longer it was considered.”

***

“There was a little center that looked like an indentation. I liked digging my fingers into it. I stretched the meat out, then removed my fingers. Sometimes I packed items into the indentation. I pushed in dolls’ severed heads. I pushed in matchsticks. I pushed in balls of gray dryer lint. I pushed in small pieces of plaster that came from the crumbling walls. Then I scooped all those items out.”

The last week and a half have been rough on the posting front. It’s because I had to edit my newest manuscript and thus, wasn’t doing as much writing as normal. Editing is a time-consuming task but I’m always relieved when it’s finished, not only because the task is finally done but because at least I know the manuscript is as polished as I can get it. Now that the edits are out of the way, I can get back to my usual writing. Currently, I’m jumping between two manuscripts, one that is a re-do of an old project and one that is brand new. Today’s post has an excerpt from each of those projects.

April 25, 2015 – NaPoWriMo days 23, 24, & 25

“Every time the men threw a fishing line into the ocean and waited for a bite, they hoped to haul up yet another dead girl, maybe one a little fresher than the last, and then the body would put on ice and stared at until the men’s eyes watered. Was it wrong that when the dead girls were considered, stomachs growled and all anyone could think of was squeezing lemon juice onto pale limbs?”

***

“It rained while the men looked at the dead girls. The windswept sand became packed down. The drops left faint pockmarks on the beach around them. When their hands were not on the dead girls checking their skins’ clamminess, they tilted their heads back so they could catch the rain on their tongues. I tasted the rain through them. The droplets danced in their mouths. The water was delicious. I wished I could drink it for myself.”

***

“I tapped my fingernails against his forehead, then pushed his head back. He barely resisted. Before his scalp could touch the tub bottom, I reached beneath his head and pulled the drain plug. Water poured past him. I shoved him down. His head landed on the drain. He became suctioned to the hole. I straddled his waist, weighing him down, and no matter how he moved, he could not throw me off. His hips bucked but I stayed on. I said, I PROMISE THAT I WILL TEACH YOU.”

April 22, 2015 – NaPoWriMo days 21 & 22

“Sometimes the women wondered who the first man was who ate a meal prepared by the bleed and died immediately after. Sometimes they wondered who gave them the blood originally and not even I had an answer for them. There were stories about the beginning that not even I knew. The women wrapped towels around their hips to keep the blood from flowing over the sides of their panties, and then they laid upon their beds, pulling the blankets over their heads until in that smothering dark, they fell into a fidgeting sleep that became wet, then somewhat drowned.”

***

“He kept a small tin of oil-packed anchovies beside his soap. I hooked a finger in the side of his mouth, then pulled his jaws apart, my smile growing the wider his mouth became. When his jaws cracked, I let him go, then took the anchovy tin. I gripped one small fish by its slick tail, then dangled it above the water. He watched the fish helplessly. I brought the fish beneath the bath bubbles and wiped it over his mouth, smearing him with grease. The oil came off the preserved body and made a rainbow cloud in the water.”

April 20, 2015 – NaPoWriMo Day 20

“You smelled the blood everywhere. It came from the sidewalks and the street lamps and the underbellies. It came from car exhaust and window shades and door cracks. It smelled as if you smeared your face along the walls of an abattoir basement. The smell was that strong. It was thick with copper and grease and flesh. You gagged on it. You were ill with it. You opened your mouth wide and you vomited the blood up. This was not your first blood smell. You knew countless other blood stenches and each was as strong.”

April 19, 2015 – NaPoWriMo days 18 & 19

“No matter where we turned, the mermaids were there, staring at us in the way only dead girls could. There were so many photographs on display, the town began treating the building like a museum. First one person went in, then four, then hoards of us. We came into the police station in the morning and stayed until late afternoon. We walked from wall to wall. The officers walked around us but got distracted by the mermaids. We stood with them in front of the mermaids, all our eyes directed at the waterlogged cheeks.”

***

“You went to the fishmonger. You bought pounds and pounds of fish. You chose a wide assortment. Small fish and medium fish and large fish. You liked the way the fish smelled. You leaned close to the icy display cases and inhaled. Sometimes the townswomen would pass by you and comment on how much fish you purchased. You explained that you were a pescatarian. By that, you only ate fish. No vegetables, no grains. Nothing but fish. You said it so sadly, as if it were a sickness you could not help.”

April 17, 2015 – NaPoWriMo days 15, 16, & 17

“We said no one made pancakes as well as father. We said father was the best at getting the ice cubes from out their trays. We said the sky was purple when it was meant to be blue and the basement stairs were now rope ladders and there was something walking back and forth in the attic. No matter how we pleaded with father, he would not respond. We went through the kitchen cabinets, pulling drawers out and looking behind. We crawled around beneath the dining room table.”

***

“Mother said she heard father whispering in her ear. She said the house had a room picked especially for them. We could knock on the door but there was no guarantee that we would be allowed in. Mother said the hammer was ours now. She said we should fill the basement with grease, then concrete. She said we should break the walls down, then cleave open the lake until the water spilled out, leaving the well form empty. Mother said we should prepare dinner together once a year at least. The older we became, the more spread apart we would be.”

***

“We went to the room beneath the stairs, pushed the table out of the way, and forced the door open. We used the tools mother told us to collect. We used a screwdriver and crowbar. We pried the door from its frame and when it snapped open, we gathered in the entrance to stare. The room was empty. It was a small room, a broom closet size, with barely enough space for a single person to step inside and turn around. There were no lights in the room. We stepped inside and touched the four walls. We knocked on the tightly packed shelves for any signs of hollowness.”

April 14, 2015 – NaPoWriMo days 13 & 14

“Mother had her hammer. She switched it from hand to hand. She swung the hammer and broke a hole through the plaster. Mother cleaved the wall apart. The plaster chipped and shattered, revealing a large black space. When the space was as tall as mother and as wide, mother put her hammer down. She stood before the hole for a long, long time, then gestured for us to come near.”

***

“The mother outside the hall turned the hammer in her hand, then directed the metal head at her other hand’s thumb. She shattered the nail. Her finger turned black immediately. The bruise spread from fingertip to bottom knuckle. The black was tinged with green and yellow. It was such a large splotch. It seemed contagious. But the splotch was just a splotch. And the mother outside the hole waved her hand in front of her face for a moment, shaking her hand hard to change the blood flow. Her finger swelled with rushing blood. The bruise darkened. It puffed. She aimed the hammer at her thumb again, swung, and missed. She said her thumb was lucky.”

April 12, 2015 – NaPoWriMo days 11 & 12

“There was something in the basement. It jerked and twitched. It was not a monster. It was mother but without her mother face. She sat in a corner, rocking in her favorite chair, which was bashed and splintered. Each time she rocked, the back of the chair struck a wall. The chair grew weaker and weaker. The splinters grew larger, changing from shards to planks. The chair disintegrated beneath her. Mother rocked the chair into oblivion.”

***

“Mother was barefoot. Her clothing was soggy upon her. Mother lay on the tiles for a long time. Half of the tiles were gone, patched over with thick layers of uneven plaster. The plaster created a thin floor that was best not to walk upon. And so mother lay to the side of that gone hole. If she rolled onto the plaster, the hole would reopen, and mother would drop to the basement.”

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