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Darkly Dreaming Demographic.

Where weird shit hits bizarre fans.

Month

October 2017

Lupus By Jessica – Review

Another great opening.

Again you had me second guessing myself right at the start, I’m like a paragraph in like ‘Is this some lame sadgasm story about a girl in a car accident’ nope it’s some kind of zombie/monster apocalypse story with cars and swords- ok, I had literally no idea what was going on at the start but I liked it haha. It pulled me in right away.
Don’t get me wrong though it still needs some work, just some of the description and some of the metaphors didn’t connect. Some of the lore around the world and creatures could have been delivered better. Like you could have had the kid disgusted by the guy killing the little girl monster rather than having him just thinking about people’s reaction to it. Little things like that have a big effect, keeping showing instead of telling. Some of the dialogue needs a little work, it’s a little too edgy for it’s own good. It doesn’t feel very natural.
But overall it’s fun, it has a cool concept, the action is good, like a modern Witcher, very entertaining.

TOTCB Chapter One ‘A Little Rain’ (edited)

Ok, being a little lazy.

Just rereleasing the first chapter because people kept bitching at me for showing off DDD when it hasn’t been edited but it’s hard not to want to show my latest work to people when I’m the most excited about it but I have to wait until its more polished and in the mean time I have the first three chapters of this book edited and ready to go and will be releasing it for free on my my site for everyone on my mailing list as soon as it’s completed which is looking to be sometime next month.

Otherwise everything is good, still feeling a little uninspired recently but I’m enjoying doing the lovecraft inspired story and relistening to all his stories for inspiration. Despite that it’s still coming along quite slowly and I’ll release some of it on here when I can be bothered to proofread it. So keep your head on a swizel for that.

Anyway, here’s the remastered first chapter of The One That Came Back for your rereading pleasure.
Don’t forget a free e-copy of this and my last novella ‘Ladies Close Your Eyes’ will be winging it’s way to all the nice folks on my mailing lists so stay tuned for that and peace out.

~

Chapter 1 A little rain

 

“Police, go ahead.”

“My wife and I are here as tourists-”

“-We’ve found a kid.”

“He’s about fourteen or fifteen years old-”

“- No ID, no documents on him.”

“He’s very scared.”

It was raining.

The rain beat down, getting in all the cracks on the sidewalk. It dashed cars and made those little muted tapping sounds as it hit people’s coats as they walked by.

Neon lights of a sign, car headlights, streaked in the rain as if they were melting.

The soothing sound of the rain falling muted the sounds of thunder.

A boy tried to make himself as small as possible in the bottom of a phone booth. The rain beat down, tapping on the glass, trying to get in.

He wore a hooded coat with a cap, and a pair of running bottoms with white stripes up the sides. He sat curled up, with his head in his knees, breathing steadily, the receiver hanging by his head.

The phone booth stood alone in the centre of a cobbled town square, lined with caged trees. European-style lampposts, dotted throughout the square, cast sickly yellow pools of light. There was a square-roofed totem, plastered with ageing posters, advertising bands in Spanish; stark bushes behind it, all their leaves long gone, left with only bony finger twigs stretching out in all directions.

Distant sirens.

The boy in the booth peeled back the sleeve of his jacket and looked at a digital watch. The time was ‘9:58pm’.

The bottom of the phone booth was made of some cheap plastic, like a black shower mat, curling at the corners. It was wet with people’s footprints and the rain getting in through the cracks. Dirty cigarette butts were mashed into it, little pink pieces of paper, fliers with girls on them, soaking up muddy water, and a boy.

A police car pulled up in front of the totem with its lights off. The headlights filled up the phone booth. They stopped the car and put the lights on, red and blue flashing. They got out of the car.

Two cops with their hoods down. On the passenger side, the bald cop approached the phone booth speaking Spanish, reaching out his hand as if he was trying to feed a small animal.

The boy lifted his head to look at the light through the crack in the phone booth door. He shivered as the cold damp started to get to him. The man approached, slow and low, and the boy made himself even smaller. He shrank into his big rain coat and tried to get away from himself. But he was in a corner.

The policeman opened the door of the phone booth and asked him if he was alright. The cop was average build, in his forties with a greying beard. The concern lines on his forehead painted a vivid picture of a man with his own problems; he didn’t need to be out here.

The rain poured down on him as he spoke, trying to be heard over the constant beating of water around his head. The boy lifted his head an inch, hiding his eyes behind the lip of a cap pulled down low on his head. He cowered with his hands in front of his face.

The cop lost his patience for a moment and reached out for the boy. The boy pulled back. He was shaking.

“Tranquilo, tranquilo,” the cop said slow, as he put his hands up and backed off just a little. He signalled for the boy to come: “Vamos.”

The boy was ashen, shaking. He looked lost and frightened.

The cop took his arm and gingerly helped him to his feet.

He led the boy, hunched like a refugee, towards the brightly lit police car.

The boy’s legs seemed weak. His knees buckled and the second cop swam through the rain to prop him up on his other side. They carried him, arm in arm, to the waiting police car, the sound of the windshield wipers screeching.

They put him in the back seat and shut the door. He ducked his head and listened to the rain.

“What is your name?” a woman said in a robotic tone. “Tell us your name,” she asked again. They watched the boy’s face, even as he tried to hide, on the monitors. His cap was pulled way down and he had a scarf covering the other half of his face. “Where do you live?” she kept asking.

The pixelated camera zoomed out as he said nothing. He hung his head like a frightened animal. “Do you live with your parents? Did they hurt you?”

It looked more like an office than an interview room. It was wood panelled with a wall of  opaque glass.. The boy looked out the door and saw people at desks, lit by old fashioned lamps, sifting through papers. Phones ringing, people talking, clattering of chairs and hushed breath.

His hands were deep down in the pockets of his coat. He got comfortable in the chair, sinking further and further down into it.

It smelled like cigarettes and heady perfume in the office. Sweet and bitter smells.

He sat at a wooden table. There were loose pieces of paper in Spanish tacked onto the wall: notices, pictures of people.

The woman across the desk was pretty, in her mid to early thirties, but with a strain of concern on her face that looked like it had always been there. Her sandy hair was tied back in a tight plait littered with split ends. She was in a blue uniform adorned with shiny gold buttons. She continued to talk and he watched her lips move.

He looked behind her. On the wall were more posters. A laminated one, behind her head, had large pictures of people and said “MUY PELIGROSOS” in bold letters. There was a book shelf packed with hastily tidied files, binders and large books that looked like phone books piled on top of each other, in no particular order.

In the outer office people were smoking and tapping away at old computers. The bald policeman who had picked him up was on the phone, looking at him through the crack in the door. He nodded, putting out his cigarette and hanging up the phone.-

The boy sat in a waiting room, on a long leather couch that looked like the backseat of an old car. A hand-painted mural behind his head looked like storm clouds. He sat with his head down. A woman at a desk was speaking Spanish into a telephone.

She put the phone down with a surly click and got up, walked around her desk and sat on the front with her hands in her lap.

“Please tell us who you are. Why don’t you have any ID? Are you from Spain?”

He was in the office of a children’s home. It was a large room filled with desks and computers. On the wall, behind the director’s head, was a large map of the world and pictures, of her family, a holiday, a mossy cave, a beach somewhere, school pictures, children sitting in rows, children’s drawings.

She dipped her head as if to implore him. “If you can’t prove to us who you are, we’ll be left with no choice but to fingerprint and photograph you right now and pass them on to the police. Do you understand?”

He looked up, his eyes searching her face. She looked like she was trying to comfort him but she was also disappointed that he didn’t exist.

“Peggy, it’s your mother, are you sitting down? You’re not going to believe this.” An old woman’s whiskey-soaked voice rattled down the phone line.

“Mom, what is it?” The girl on the other end sounded startled; it was late.

“They found your brother, Johnny. They found Johnny in Linares!”

“Oh my God! What part of Texas is Linares in?”

“No, it’s not in Texas. Linares, Spain!” Peggy’s mother, Angela, coughed.

“Spain? Isn’t that on the other side of the country? When can we see him? When can we get him back?” Peggy was rushing now, almost slurring her words, her heart jumping up and down like it was on a pogo stick.

“They gave me a number of the shelter he’s in. Peggy, can you call? You have to be the one that goes and gets him. You have to go get your brother, do you understand?” Her mother was begging now; there was no one else she could rely on.

“OK.”

Peggy’s mother quickly rattled off the number and Peggy jotted it down on a piece of note paper by the phone.

She hung up the phone without saying goodbye, or even thinking, and let it sit in the dark spot of her mind for a moment. She took a few hurried breaths, feeling a little light-headed. The room felt like it was getting smaller. Finally she took the phone out of the cradle, an old-fashioned grey phone with big buttons. She put it to her ear and dialled the number.

The phone rang for a moment and then a man with a European accent answered.

“Hello, this is Peggy Carson. I was told to phone this number.” She paused with a sudden shortness of breath. “Johnny, Johnathan Bartlett.” She sucked her bottom lip. “Do you have him?” An eternity passed as she waited for a response. “Hello?”

“Yes, we have him, Johnathan Bartlett. He’s sitting right here next to me. I am Joan Dorian. I work at the children’s centre and we are sure it is him. You must understand, he is very scared. He has been through a traumatic experience, do you understand?”

“Please, can I talk to him, just for a moment?” The concern in Peggy’s voice rose. She’d begun twiddling the phone cord between her two fingers.

“I’m sorry, Mrs Carson, he doesn’t want to talk to anyone, as of this moment. He’s been through a very hard time. We believe he may have been abused by whomever abducted him and he’s not in the right frame of mind to talk to anyone.”

“I can’t talk to him at all? He’s my little brother!”

“Please, Mrs Carson, understand, this is not the same boy you knew. He’s been through a hell of a lot. He’s going to need a lot of time to come to terms with what happened to him. He’s going to need a lot of love and understanding and patience right now, OK?”

“Alright, please give him my love.” She stopped to take a breath. “Does he remember us? Does he remember his family?” Her voice croaked and shook, as if she was scared to ask.

“He doesn’t remember much. He remembers you, but not a lot else, I believe.”

“Please just let me hear his voice.” She was desperate.

Another eternity passed, before a strained child’s voice came on the line.

“Hello?” it said.

Peggy welled up and burst into tears.

“Hello, Johnny? Johnny, is that you? We missed you, baby. We’re going to get you back soon. Don’t worry, we’re coming. I love you.”

“I love you,” the voice said.

~

TOTCB Chapter 13 ‘Red Right Hand’

Heyo,

Back again with another chapter, got some interest in this actually, had a few literary agents ask for the completed manuscript but I’m still waiting on my editor to reply to my fucking emails haha!

But it’s a good feeling, it feels like with every step I take it’s a step further and although I didn’t really hold much stock in this book well not as much as I do with Diana in the Dark, it’s nice to know I’m getting closer to my goal. That this wasn’t all in vain and one day I’ll be where I want to be and it will have meant something.

Despite all that’s happened along the way, I can’t say I’d change a thing, happiness and misery only waiting over the horizon.

Still feel a little in a rut recently, victory or the chance of victory has defeated me for a time and I’ve been trying to write a lovecraftian story this last week but it’s proving trickier to manage my time with so many distractions. But I’m steadfast and I’ve been reingesting a steady diet of Lovecraft and bloodborne to try and get in the right frame of mind.
Don’t get your hopes up though, it’s not really meant to be scary, I’m writing something that’s a little like a Lovecraftian superhero origin story hence the title ‘Loverman’. It’s basically call of cthulhu meets the crow.

It should be a lot of fun once I get to the knitty gritty of it.

Anyway, back to the day to day grind.

See you…

Red Right Hand

Johnny was being held in Bexar county sheriff’s department in the centre of town. Con and Nancy were watching him through two way glass as he sat in an interrogation room. They were waiting for someone to brief them on what happened.

Johnny looked nervous, lost. Like he was searching for something, lost in his own head and he didn’t know where to start. He was pale with white bandages over portions of his face.

A sheriff’s deputy breezed in with a report in his hand, he was a short man with a beer gut and greying beard.

“Are you the fbi people?” He said without a hint of irony, chewing some kind of blue gum that made his breath smell like popcorn.

“That’s us” Con said, standing with hands in his pockets.

Nancy was still watching the kid, transfixed, her arms folded.

“Well I’ve got the report here signed by his mother. We’ve got her in a separate room waiting for the warrant to come through on the blood samples. But we should have that soon. We already have the boy’s DNA, fingerprint, palm print, photophraghed, the whole shebang”

“That’s great, forward it to our office and we’ll put it through our database and send it on over to Interpol.” Con said without removing his hands from his pockets, furrowing his all too handsome brow.

“Interpol, wow, this is some serious stuff huh?” The man smiled and swapped glances with Con and the back of Nancy’s head. He almost bowed and started to take the gum out which he now realised he’d been chewing loud. “Oh sorry, trying to quit smoking. I can leave the incident report here for you take a look at or I can give you the hightlights.”

“Highlights are good” Con said forcing a smile.

“Well alright then” The man said as he straightened up. “Well this is all from his mother and the boy doesn’t contest it. The subject, that is the young man, found what we’ve determined to be a flare gun. His mother said was out in the garage, she doesn’t have any idea how it got there. Possibly bought by her husband and put in storage”. He looked up for minute to check they were still there and he went on. “The subject took said flare gun and discharged it into the refrigerator, accidentally.” He said that last part looking at Con.

Nancy sneered as she kept looking through the glass. “What about his face?”

“He did that himself, the mother says it was an accident too. Boys will be boys and all that and she doesn’t want to press charges. After we’ve executed the search warrants we have no cause to hold them any longer”

“Is that everything?” Con said.

“Pretty much, I’ll leave you folks to it. We’ll keep you informed on the state of the warrant and forward any samples to your office.”

“Thanks deputy?”

“Kline, good to meet you folks, I heard you were from out of town, I hope its treating you well, you two have a good one ok.” The deputy closed the door behind him and left them alone in the cold darkened room. Watching Johnny squirm.

Nancy seemed to quiver from a draft as the door closed. She’d been standing with her arms folded facing the glass. Now she started to rub her arms as an almost nervous reaction. Con could tell something was wrong, he walked a few steps closer.

“You ok?”

“Mmm”

“What is it?”

“Just a feeling” Her mind was somewhere else.

“A feeling?”

“Like someone’s moonwalking on my grave” She was looking at her reflection in the glass now.

“The kid’s got you spooked?”

“It’s not just the kid, it’s the whole family, and the kid. I knew there was something off about him the minute I saw him.”

“Selection bias at it’s finest, you’re just remembering it that way to make sense of how you feel now”. He smiled knowing that would rile her in the right way.

She scowled at him and chupsed.

“There’s something wrong, it’s like he doesn’t exist. Like everything he does is out of time, out of rhythm. I can look at someone usually and see what they’re gonna do, or what they’re thinking. When I look at him it’s like static, cold white static.”

“What about the family”.

“They’re hiding something, but everytime I think I know what it is it just falls away. It’s not just that I feel like we’re taking one step forward and two steps back. It’s like we’re not moving at all or even if we find out what happened we’ll never quite know the whole truth.”

“That’s always how it is, only an idiot convinces themselves they ever have the whole truth of anything.” He was getting maudlin for a change. As soon as he said it he got that cold feeling like it was contagious.

“But it’s like even they don’t know the whole truth, like they’ve hidden it even from themselves, every one of them.”

“It shouldn’t take too long to have the test’s analysed, and once we send them on to Interpol we can put this to bed.” Part of him wanted to pat her shoulder but he knew how that would go so he kept his hands in pockets.

Mad Like Me Anthology (I’m in it)

Hey there,

Back again for a quick one, anyone not on my mailing list just wanted to shout out this cool anthology I’m in. It’s a rare occurence because so many of these projects just fizzle out, but Valerie pulled this off and it turned out really nice.

So head on over to Amazon and give it a buy maybe, it’s available of course in paperback and ebook.

Mad Like Me

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Star Wars Rogue Y Tho?

Ok so evidently I wasn’t too hyped about this moving leaving it until now to actually watch and not spending any money to do so. And really my first thoughts are just; Why? Why does this exist?

Like seriously, I think this is the first time I’ve been watching a film and been like ‘Why am I watching this? Why would someone make this?’

The answer is obvious to anyone, it’s just money, but that makes me really sad.

The fact that this movie even exists is just so cynical and I can’t help watching it and thinking about how it feels like it was literally constructed in a board room. Even before I get down to the bare bones of why I didn’t like it, I just think it didn’t need to exist. The movie is soulless and aimless. It just exists for the sake of it. With it’s beniton advert cast with it’s token chinese person, gotta grab that chinese market there and it’s token evil white guys and cg Tarkin which was also needless.

I mean that should be your first red flag, if you need to revive not one but two people with tv voodoo you probably should just leave it alone. I know people made excuses for it but come on, it looked like crap. They could have just left him out of the movie or replaced him with a guy who just never turned around and it would have looked better than this videogame character/animated corpse. It was just wrong and anyone that says otherwise is just making excuses.

Honestly I went into this movie wanting to hate it, I really did, but any hate I could have had was overshadowed by my supreme indifference towards it. I can’t hate it because there’s nothing really substantive enough in it to hate, it’s sort of a nothing burger of a film, it’s not even really there. The characters that you’re supposed to like and care about *spoilers* and subsequently watch die are bland and uninteresting.

I couldn’t help comparing it to the magnificent seven trying to work out why that worked and this didn’t because in a way I felt it could be compared. Because you have this rag tag band of people drawn together and each person gets their own little bit where they do something brave and then die, like in magnificent seven (despite some living). But the thing about the magnificent seven is it uses it’s two hour plus screen time to build up these characters and make them distinct enough to care about them in varying degrees. I know I was more upset when Charles Bronson’s character died than I was when Red died despite the fact I liked Red but they both had their moments, their own little arcs and to see it close was meaningful and significant. It felt like a whole person died as apposed to a character or in this case a market, a buying demographic.

You don’t get that in this and what really pissed me off the most I have to say and it’s not the boring fights or the sort of stunted lame story but it’s the fact your biggest grossing actors in this case Forrest Whitaker and Mads Mikkelsen are literally in it for about two minutes collectively. And this is despite Whitaker being on the box art and promotional material.

This genuinely pissed me off because first off you see him for like a second younger when he finds, shit I was about call her Rey haha. Shows how distinctive and memorable she was as a character. Gin, he find gin and then he comes back years later with metal legs and looks like a total badass but does he get in a fight? Does he fuck, he literally gets vapourized by the death after like a minute of exposition. So that was my first red flag.

Actually no, my first red flag was why is Mads Mikkelsen in this film and why is he playing a mild mannered scientist and not some bad ass villain or sith? I mean you get one chance to use this actor, the guy who literally played hannibal and a bond villain and you use him to play some nothing character that gets killed off pointlessly and spends his like two minutes of screen time cooing over the daughter he spends all of like two seconds with.

What a waste of two great actors. You can never use either of them again now, they could have been awesome bounty hunters or assassins but no, now they’re just two dead boring guys unless they’re gonna make a prequel to this shitty movie, which I hope to christ they don’t.

That’s the main thing that really annoyed me. The casting choices just seemed to be token, just trying to find the biggest names they could get and casting them as anyone.

The other characters are ultimately forgettable even the guy who played ipman, he’s just a sort of boiled down version of any character from any kung fu movie really and he’s only there to try and make money on the chinese market. (Which they failed to do)

I didn’t care about their deaths and this is a long movie, so you had all this time to make me care about these characters and I still don’t. And this movie is actually longer than magnificent seven.

Ok onto the main character, of which her backstory fits into all of the two minutes before Forest whitaker is vapourized. So she’s the daughter of this science guy and then spends sometime off screen where she becomes the best of this guys soldiers at sixteen. Which says a lot about the rebel alliance, if their best soldier is a sixteen year old girl, you’ve got problems.

So instant Mary sue badass that everyone loves and respects and would die for check. There’s not much more I can say really, the movie is just sort of bleh, it’s cookie cutter and it was made in a board room not someone’s heart.

Gonna rant a little about the ending and the decline of hollywood and I’m out.

Right so one thing I’ve noticing about hollywood and it’s painfully obvious in this movie is the step away from moral story telling and romantic plot lines. Don’t get me wrong the romance in the prequels was cringey as fuck but to not have one in this movie was a little glaring, like why not? It’s a movie. I mean that sounds dumb, I mean just because there’s a hot guy and a hot girl in a movie doesn’t mean they should hook up. But I dunno it just made it sort of awkward at the end when they’re about to be obliterated by an orbital death lazer for them to have  a platonic hug. I was like, dude got friendzoned hard #Deathstarred.

I mean it was so odd my brother swears he remembers them kissing but they did not. It just strikes a queer note. That it would have been relatively easy to inject a moral or romantic plotline but it was purposefully left out. So this movie was more preoccupied with making a bad ass woman getting money from chinese people and signalling to fans of the original franchise than having a romance or making the female character human in anyway.

Now onto the signalling, a lot of memes I see and even my brother made a big deal about this and what we’re talking about is the end sequence when Darth Vader has a bit of a fight. I say he has a fight when it’s really just him murdering a bunch of dudes in a cool way. And yeah it was cool and I spent those brief seconds of that action thinking “Wouldn’t it be cool if the other two hours of this movie was like this?”. It was a nice little treat, like a cherry on top of a bland creampie full of empty calories.

That’s whats so bad about this movie, because it hints at the other films, you get to see the pigfaced guy from the bar scene before he gets his arm cut off and it has a little cameo from r2 and 3po and vader and tarkin but they’re not actually in the film. They don’t have an impact on the story, they’re just little extras, little titbits, window dressing, little reminders of the film you actually liked, which isn’t this.

It’s just so pathetically try hard, it’s like I’m watching a sad fan film. This is the movie equivalent of halloween harley quinn cosplayer. “Hey look at me, I’m that thing you like”. But there’s a difference between those films we liked and this film that takes the time to vaguely reference those films without having any of the memorable characters or action or story. “Hey remember those films you liked, I’m pointing at some of the characters that were in that, like me please!”

It’s just pathetic honestly. And I don’t know what’s sadder the fact the movie industry is cynical and greedy enough to roll the corpse of this franchise out into this boring nothing of a film or that audiences nevertheless pay money to watch it and will defend just because it vaguely reminds them of the films they liked but in a way that’s akin to the murderer of their grandmother wearing her skin and making you peanut butter sandwiches. It’s not your grandmother, it just looks like her sort of and that isn’t peanut butter.

I mean honestly, what next? Are they going to make a movie about c3po working on jabbas pleasure barge? Are we going to get a movie about guido shooting first? If this is the standard what can’t they make a movie about at this point?

I’d heard that these guys would be recurring as the knights of ren, this order of non-force using villains which would have been awesome. If the tone of the movie was to set up a band of villains for Rey and the gang to fight in the new movies that would have given the movie purpose and gravitas, but that seems unlikely.

It genuinely adds nothing to the star wars universe, it creates characters we don’t care about only to then kill them off with no overarching moral message or parable that makes the whole message hollow. The movie doesn’t need to exist. I mean I could understand if some of them recurred in the main arch but they all die, so what was the point? Oh right, money. I mean all my gripes with the force awakens it atleast adds new characters and plots lines to the franchise. I only really like one of them but at least it added something, this is just a completely pointless film that serves only to waylay you of your time and money in exchange for one decent Darth Vader scene.

Ok rant over haha.

 

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