July 26, 2015 – Excerpt

“The children never seemed to sleep. Eventually, as the day grew later, they all fell quiet but their eyes remained open. The children stared into space. They looked at the walls. Their eyes rolled from one end of the room to the other. In those moments, they seemed like contemplative children. They were the sort of children any parent would want, fifteen little ones all with closed mouths and wide eyes. Whenever I saw the children that way, I felt almost fooled. These children could not possibly be the monsters I thought they were. But the quiet was a trap.”

July 24, 2015 – Excerpt

“I hid in a little room beneath the stairs. It was a cramped room, the way I liked my rooms, tight spaces with four walls and only one way out. The room was rarely used. The man often forgot that the room existed at all. He rarely went downstairs and so any spare rooms in that subterranean dark were barely given a thought. I had a lock to put on the door latch. The rule of the house stated that who so locked a door was given ownership over the corresponding room. I had the lock and therefore, the room was mine.”

July 22, 2015 – Excerpt

“Eventually, the time came that the children needed to meet family. Everyone wanted to visit immediately after the children were born but we forced them to wait while we tried to understand why our children were not children. The man and I placed many phone calls, inviting our parents to the house, then our siblings, then our various other relatives: grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. We invited family friends and then those strange distant relations that were neither friends nor family but some strange hybrid of the two, those people whom were never quite clear on whether or not there was any blood connection. The man and I told everyone to arrive at our house during a weekend in the early afternoon. When we opened the door, our family members were arranged in a long line stretching down the sidewalk.”

July 16, 2015 – Excerpt

“At night, I asked the man if he thought our having children was a mistake. The man turned over in bed so that his back faced me. He mumbled something into his pillow about our duty to the progeny. His words unsettled me. I could not stop thinking about the pregnancy. The children ran back and forth on the other side of the door. They stormed the hallway. They sprinted this way and that. They were too young to be running but they did just that. That was another problem with the children. They were too formed to be neonates. From the womb, they could stand and chew. They had an inexhaustible craving for meat.”

July 11, 2015 – Excerpt

“I sat in a room with an old mannequin named Phil. Phil was the remnant of mid-20th century atomic testing. His clothing was mostly burned off and he wore the remnants of a suit and tie. He was a sad mannequin in a depressing marriage. I found Phil sitting on a bed with his back so straight, the posture seemed unnatural. He never moved. When I finally sat beside him, he lost his balance and fell onto me.”

July 9, 2015 – Excerpt

“There was a shadow outside the curtained bedroom window. It looked distinctly like half a person. It was so clear. There was a head, a neck, shoulders. I saw the slump of the arms. A man and I stared at the shadow for some time, trying to understand what it was doing there. We were confident it was a person but who? There was no one else in the motel. We were alone. We could barely remember the last time someone came prowling across the dunes. The man and I were afraid to pull the curtain back.”

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.”

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