Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Bad Therapy

Here are my thoughts about and then the actual draft of a story I'm working on.

THOUGHTS:

So check it out. I had this horrible experience back in 1996 when I was working at a Chevron station holding my freshly minted bachelors in English. It was a low point in my life. A wife, two kids and a part-time, minimum wage job in a foreign country. I was stressed.

I have carried this story with me since then. I told my father about it, but that's really about it. It was this confused, racist exchange that left me in an eternal introspective loop.

In Canada, African-Americans don't catch the racial heat. It is the East Indians that do. But because I am not your typical looking black man, the "old guard" miscategorize me all the time. They don't know what to do with me. At a distance I can look like a pissed-off Asian if the light hits me right.

So I was catching East Indian racial heat at this Chevron station. Actually, the description of the guy in the story is generous. The guy I was dealing with was cadaverous. His hands were yellow from nicotine smoke and his eyes were shotblood. I mean like blown vessels.

The police did arrive. What I learned from it all, is that someone can say whatever they want to to another human being and they can get away with it. What this old guy said to me was pure, vitriolic hatred. In fact, in the draft below, I steer away from most of it.

But here is the rub: After I wrote this thing out, and catharcized what I thought would have been a dark experience in my life the result of it was this: I was in a HORRIBLE mood the next day. It was as if I had lived out the existence of the clerk in the story I had written, and I was full of anger.

Hence the title of the blog.

This is the 7th draft in a goal of 10 short stories by mid-December. 7 drafts means I am behind the 8-ball. But I have ideas, so its gonna happen.

Enjoy:

CLERK

"That'll be five dollars and two cents sir." The clerk said.

"Here is five." The well-dressed, white, fifty-something, balding, pudgy man said, flicking a bill into the gutter below the plexiglass shield.

The clerk looked down at the bill.

"Well?" The older man asked.

The clerk had been awkwardly wondering if the older man was going to produce the two cents, or a quarter or something else to break. There had been an issue with the penny dish that used to be by the counter, so it was no longer, but that is a different story.

"Uh, I was figuring out the two cents, sir." The clerk stammered.

The clerk had literally been doing just that. The clerk was very precise with his register, and had prided himself on having perfect cash coutout numbers at the end of shift. To miss-key the $5.02 and only add five dollars to the register would make a little bit of a forgiveable deficit, but his numbers would be out. He'd had clean numbers for three weeks now. The clerk had been very, very precise and careful with the money. It was the only thing that he really had power over while working, the cash that he was in charge of. The clerk was bored with the job, and this was his one thing that he did that kept his brain occupied. His manager had even complimented andencouraged him on his stellar register work.

The clerk had to process the thought. He didn't have two pennies in his pocket, and he knew there weren't any pennies floating around in the back office.

The two pennies didn't matter, but they did.

All of these thoughts whipped through the clerk's head in a few seconds, but it was too long for the patience of the customer, who had steadily become irate.

"You. You sonofabitch. You people come to this country and you demand everything. Fuck you. I will not pay your two cents." The man sputtered. His face had turned red. There was more than anger in his tone. This was a man who had been offended to the point of committing assault, for some reason.

"I'm from America, sir. Listen. I just have to figure out the register for a second ok? I have been trying to run perfect numbers for awhile here, and you caught me off-guard." The clerk said. His voice was wavering. Stress was in the air.

"How about I come around the counter and kick your ass?" The older man said. "Oh wait, you're locked in there aren't you. Cheap son of a bitch. If I could, I would knock your teeth down your throat." The man growled.

"Sir, I am going to call the police." The clerk said. His voice was still trembling. The clerk tightened his fists and flexed his arms. He started to fumble for the wall-phone. The five dollar bill stayed in the gutter.

"Sure, call the police, you asshole." The older man hissed. He was leaning over the counter. He was slamming his open palms on the plexiglass barrier.

The clerk pecked out 9-1-1 on the touchtone phone, nervously. The phone was ringing, but no operator.

The man and the clerk locked eyes through the plexiglass, as the clerk listened to the phone ring three times.

"Asshole." The man hissed at him again. Then he turned, and started back up the candy aisle to leave.

The clerk gently put the phone down into its wall holster. He glanced out into the parking lot and only saw the Mercedes coupe that the obnoxious old customer had driven. The clerk stepped 4 steps to his left, opened the security door and entered the store area.

The man had lingered by the magazines at the door. Pompous. He had just put the guy behind glass in his place, and now he was going to look at magazines, because he could.

The clerk hunched, and crept purposefully up the candy aisle to the front door.

The clerk walked quietly up behind the angry old man. The overweight, suit jacket wearing man didn't notice that the clerk was behind him. He hadn't even processed the fact that the clerk had left the booth.

"Hey." The clerk hissed at the back of the older man's balding head with a bar of hair that evenly reached from ear to ear.

The old man flinched. Surprised.

The clerk didn't wait for the man to turn around. He swung a direct right punch into the center of the back of the man's head. Two inches lower, that same force would have severed the man's neck-string. The older man pitched forward. Knees buckled. He fell to his right. He fell away from the magazine rack and towards the door.

"Look at you now, asshole." The clerk said.

The older man broke his fall, sloppily, by landing on his  right elbow. His head bobbed oddly as it recoiled from the sudden halting of his right shoulder. He rolled onto his back, looked up at the clerk. He sat up, and rested his hands, palms down on the floor. His face was a scowl of pain and hatred.

"You sonofabitch. Just you wait till I get back up." The man spit between clenched teeth.

"Then stay down." The clerk said, matter of factly. He took a bound in the older man's direction with his right foot. Using that momentum, the clerk brought his left knee, square into the older man's soft face. The older man had propped himself up with his two straight arms, leaning back. His legs splayed forward. The impact of the clerk's knee caused the man's arms to buckle and let his upper torso fall back. The man's head dropped straight back to the concrete floor with a hollow crunch, re-worrying the place where the clerk's fist had first landed. The irate customer was now unconscious.

The clerk ran back to the booth. He fumbled for the keys. He turned the knob and got back behind the plexiglass shield. Turning to his right, the clerk moved quickly to the back office. He fumbled for another key. He turned the knob. He stepped into the closet-sized office. The light was already on. The clerk looked at the dark monitors, stacked on top of each other. The security system still wasn't recording. There were Post-it notes and papers with  notes and phone numbers all over the monitor station. It had been out of order for two weeks now.

The clerk breathed a sigh of relief and went back to his stool by the register. The clerk looked out into the parking lot and saw that a black and white police car had just parked by the empty Mercedes. Two officers were now making their way into the store.

The older man was still unconscious, on his back, by the entrance to the store. A pool of blood had formed around the back of his head.

The officers entered.

"Officers! That man at your feet was assaulted by a teenager. The kid was driving an old Chevy." The clerk yelled.

The first officer stood, looking around. Assessing. He stayed close to the man on the ground, but wasn't going to do the dirty work.

"There was a 9-1-1 call placed from here. Was that you?" The first officer asked.

"Yeah, I called. But I hung up." The clerk said.

The first officer then applied his attention to the second officer who was at the side of the unconscious man, squatting. He reached forward and took the man's pulse. With his other hand, he rifled through the man's coat pockets. He pulled out a medication bottle.

RISPERDAL

"Hey Leonard, this guy was on anti-psychotics." The second officer said.

The first officer nodded. Then he turned and started pacing towards the clerk behind the glass.

"What color was the attacker? Can you give us a description?" The first officer asked.

"White." The clerk responded.










Tuesday, October 13, 2015

That Dark Woman pt. 2

I picked up my 14 year old from school today and discussed story ideas. She writes, I write and we discuss plot points and developments. She comes from a much more anime orientation to this world, I dunno, I come from a post-Xtian, heavy-metal horror orientation. She shopped a few ideas. Some didn't work, but some did.  The main point is the one that I am developing below and I credit her with a hard assist.

So this David guy...

I want him to hyperbolize the way his heart was ripped out and destroyed by his ex. I weant this thought pattern to be locked in, and vivid, because at the end, that is what I want Marlenai to do to him for real.  My issue is still the notion that Marlenai is a maneater. My daughter suggested that the form of Marlenai be that of some sort of god or demon and that the finality of the final reveal will be that it is more than a woman with tentacles and claws and tubing (there is a draft that you haven't seen yet, dear reader). So tonight, I am blessed to be working with this guy who it is better to just not talk to, so I am on the job. I have to find a succubus or something that is in mainstream religious thought and use her to get this story going. I can reveal her identity as an aside in the earlier parts of the story and then it will seem less and less of a jump when I finally get to paint the walls with David's entrails.

Because the truth of the matter is this: I have a vision on how to dispatch someone. I explained to my daughter the concept of "kinesis" and how I like to write kinetically when I am applying violence.

I have to somehow make David a protagonist that you don't mind following around, but compromised that you don't feel abused by the author when he gets taken apart.  So my game is the hoodwink and the bait and switch. But I will have priming references all throughout the text so there will be no totaly surprise when it goes down. This is going to take some research. Or do i want to just create my own monster and legend?  I actually just thought of the concept of a "succubus" when i sat down here to type. I just took a walk here at work and was considering Kali one more time. But to use her, I think that i would like to be a lot more familiar with her mythology. I don't think that I am up to bending reality enough to pull that one off.

All I need is someone that is more powerful than a man. A concept of such, and then i will bend it. But understand that if i am delving into some sort of religious iconography, I want to stick the landing properly. This means that i would have to comprehend said religion. Trust me when I say that I absolutely HATE texts and films that draw in just a bit of the Xtian imagery but then fumble and proceed to offend everyone in this process. THE SEVENTH SIGN starring Demi Moore was my first serious introduction to such a rage. It has continued. WARLOCK was another. I mean seriously, Satan has someone over him call the all-powerful Anti-God? Is you kidding me? That doens't hit the note that needs to be hit. That is a workaround. Ray Garton wrote WARLOCK the book and I saw it on my shelf earlier this afternoon, maybe it is time to finally finish that thing (I put a pin in it in the last century).

I am thinking succubus, but I don't want to make this a battle of the sexes. I don't want to make women look bad. I am not here on the misogyny tip. I just want to shred David. So i have to make him ugly.

I am also gonna make it that she can indeed read his mind. I also like the idea that she will be quoting his thought patterns back to him as she kills him. This gives her leverage.

Geez, I am torn. If she can really hear his thoughts, then there is no reason to really go further with a spiritual explanation of her. The reason why is that he will be incriminated by his thoughts. I sure would like to have a stronger explanation to the reader though. I don't want to just close it. I have seen suchg a closure in a short story in the past, and if it is frenetic enough, it works.

In fact, I won't completely dispatch David. In fact, i think that the last paragraph should be David wrestling with this concept of a woman. Wondering how she knows. Wondering where the claws and tubing are coming from (trust me, you'll get that stuff soon enough).

Ok. I have gathered my thoughts enough to go to it. I will post what i have completed in my 3rd entry in this series. I should be pretty tight by then. I just have till Friday, and then i am going to be off onto another short story.

I'll get back with you.

Monday, October 12, 2015

That Dark Woman pt.1

This thing isn't evn close to being done. But I need to get the timeline and the points that I want.

The Dark Woman is about this woman who lives on this street and kind of seems to be an aloof seductress. This smoker named David walks by her place daily and sees her. She is always watering her plants on the windowsill.

I had originally penned her as your traditional blonde bombshell, but then I thought to myself that it would be much more interesting and sexy if she were the swarthy dark woman of mysterious origins, rather than Bel-Air.

So here is what I am really doing: I want to write a violent, blood-soaked sequence that will be so visceral and frenetic that it will be the climax of it all. So I have to work out a combination.
#1. The woman is a monster.
#2. I have to make the guy likeable, but also hateable. Why? I want to kill him at the end. I need some sort of acrid nature about him. I need to do this in order to justify his takedown. This comes in a few different ways.
a. He is a smoker. I have him in the final throes of his addiction. He is down to 3 cigarettes a day. he is constantly reminiscing and flashing back to how much he has smoked in the past. I think that his lack of control here can be played to explain how the woman gets him into her lair.
b. He is fantasizing about her. I want to be inside of his head. I want him to cross lines in his head that make him less appealing and forgiveable as a human being.

I also have to make this thing fair to the woman in a way. She is what she is, but she shouldn't be a traditional "maneater". Like maybe I will have David talking to a different neighbor in her vicinity and he says something off-color about her and then it turns out that she is behind the fence or something. I have to be aware of the sexual tones in this and not make this into a chauvinistic manifesto.

Obviously, I had to arrive on the name of DAVID for this guy. There are many different reasons, but I could think of at least 1 David from my past that I could really see disemboweled.

What I like about the short stoiry is that I don't have to explain her origins so much as I have to make her believeable in the place where you currently find her.

So there are twists and turns in the story, but I did some pretty solid noodling last night and came up with some smoking ramblings, and setting ramblings that I will dissect and add to and spread about.


Here:

David hit the bigtime. He'd secured his promotion and now he could work from home. This was good for David, because David was a smoker.

He'd never been able to give up the habit. He knew it was killing him. David was only 28, but he felt that he'd smoked more than most. He'd weaned himself down of late to just three cigarettes a day. At his height as a tobacco king, he had "strung" packs of cigarettes in an afternoon, lighting the next cigarette off of the last until all 20 were gone. David had strung 3 packs in an afternoon once, and the effect was so unique that he couldn't taste his dinner afterward, but the cigarette after dinner was better than the first of the day.
David had loved the sensual throes of the nicotine addiction. He knew what it was like to wait until the last possible moment until he lit up. He knew that urge. That whisper. That twitch. That inner-request line that constantly yammered. He knew the switch in his brain. He knew when he threw it, and when it was now moments before the nicotine would rush through his blood and calm him again.

Coffee.
A strong dark coffee. Hot, but not piping, just hot enough to swallow. A heavy, robust coffee. Pungent. toasty, roasted. Full of dark, and a darker exhale. Then, a puff of smoke, and the lungs pull the smoke down. Fueling the nicotine crave. It is such a lustful feeling. Your body demanding the smoke, paying you with a seratonin load and waking you up. Then, another swallow of coffee, and the loop is set. It wouldn't stop looping until the cigarette is done.

David loved to smoke. Now, he had a neighborhood to walk, with a Camel hanging from his lips.

David was a realist. He smoked Camel unfiltered. He knew that cigarettes were going to someday kill him, so why waste time with a filter?

Mrs. Andrea, the woman he was renting from had expressly told him not to smoke inside of the premises. David respected her wishes.

David, now down to three cigarettes a day, fancied an evening walk. There is a house up the street from him with a woman who lives in it.  She is beautiful.  Her face is dark, with high cheekbones and full, joyful eyes. Her sharp nose was actually soft, yet appeared severe because it was so perfectly symmetrical in the center of her face. Her lips were full, yet not overwhelming. Her jawline framed her face, making it an appealing mystery, shrouded by a thick, freshly combed mane of dark brown hair. The hair hung, heavy past her shoulders, long, with a loose curly bounce to it, that contradicted its weight. The woman had to hold her head slightly askew in order to see, if her hair was in front of her shoulders. She is full figured. Her shoulders were square. Her posture well-practiced. She was proper, and ladylike. Her breasts were under control. She neither flaunted them nor played them down. They were a part of her, and her proper posture was what actually accentuated them.

David had walked by her house many times and seen her lean out of her kitchen window to water plants don her windowsill.  She seems to deliberately ignore him, yet is visible in this fashion, coinciding with David's walk two or three times a week.  David remains aloof, but entertains the idea in the back of his head that one day he will win this stuckup buxom woman over [I need more of this kind of thought process. Dude is on some privilege*].  Someday they will be friends.
 Someday, maybe even lovers.  He keeps this card close to his heart because he knows that he doesn't want to get hurt like that again.  She reached into him and tore it out of him, that last one.  His heart still hurt. Goddammit and if she didn't take a bite out of it and throw it on the floor.


***More notes

I like the idea of David working through a heartbreak. I think of all times in my life that I have been most unpredictable and unstable, it has been in the middle of some form of heartbreak. So I like the idea of the wound being fresh. David is killing time trying to heal.

I am going to zero in on his malicious daydream. Perhaps that is what it is all about. Perhaps he has this intense monologue within himself and he gets caught in this horrible patterns and this woman is a part of the landscape. After he fantasizes about her wrong a few times, he enters his a weakness stage where she can mess with him.

I can also subtly imply that she knows what he is thinking. When she gets going as the machine that she is, it will make it more interesting.

Also, I had this thing that I was doing in part of my drafting that he has this "one card close to his heat that he won't play." I actually forget at this time what it is, but in the final killing, she mentions to him about "you shoulda played your card." So I have been on this thing about her being able to read his thoughts for awhile now.
I also have to have her ask him into her house so that she can take him apart. I have to do this in a realistic way. She is batining him, but he is ripe for the baiting.

What is that quote? The heart hungers for what it is fed? Something like that. Oh, I think it is the brain actually. What I need is a quote like that to set this whole thing off. Maybe I will look for one while I am at work tonight. I'll dig into the Latin and see if I can find something gothic yet on point.

Maybe the smoker pauses outside of her window and observes her silhouette and takes it all in. Lustfully drinking in the image and then she notices? That awkward moment. I mean, when I have walked the dog at night and come across the nude in the window (I believe that this in inevitable) I always make a point of NOT looking back. Did I see something? I don't care, I don't want to know. That person is uncomfortable, and I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Time to GTFO. But if I was to park it, pull up a lamppost and smoke, whilst ogling the shape in the window, well, that is a killable offense.

I think I have David pinned now. If I couple that one with his monologue, the reader is going to be glad to see him go.

I have to think of a sultry name MARLENA. Something like that. I also have to consider her monstrosities. They have to make sense. I will save that for a different post. I read through the killing sequence that I penned back in 2013, and I could do so much more. I am going to rip this fool limb from limb and pain the walls with him. The reader will recognize the buildup, and I am going to flower it up and make it look as potentially porno-sex as possible before I pull the rug. The twist will be multi-layered, because the shredding will not be what is being built towards.

HOWEVER, I am really going to have to make sure that the hyperbole is in place for the pain that he feels from his previous relationship. Yes, she ripped his heart out of his chest, and yes, that is what Marlenai (exoticafy it) is going to do. I am gonna have the telegraph set up on the first page. The literal shredding happens at the end. I have to keep this tight. Maybe under 5000 words.

I'll get back with you.

Hey Man

I have writings. Lots of them. This blog has been more of a photojournal than anything for the past few years. The reason why? I was writing elsewhere. I dunno. I had gotten away from the whole blogging notion probably as a result of Twitter and Facebook. The personal bytes that people throw out are much more concise and witty these days. To slug through the concept of BLOGGING seems cumbersome. And unnecessary.

But here is the thing, I have been writing. I have all of this random stuff that I have been generating text file after text file for. Some of it is good blog material and a lot of it is good short story material.

Here is how it all converges:

I have 10 short stories that I want to have polished off by mid-December. This is a project that doesn't concern my usual writing fellowes. I mean, in a way it does, because 2 or 3 of the short stories will be developed in their direction. But the big thing is to get 10 short stories off, and here it is October 12.

I can do it though. This is where the blog comes in. Because I have no real sounding board (Susannah is going to be at work until mid-December, you see how this is piecing together?). I have to write it out though. I have spools and spools of ideas and information in my head that I have to express or else I will lose them.

So I am going to be dumping the ideas here and processing them.

Next post it is on.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

New Fire Pit

Took 2 hrs to assemble.

-Peter

Poyo

That bird is a demon. #Chew

-Peter

Gimmick Vino

Looks cool, but you know it's sour.

-Peter

Walking The Dog

Down a street I've never been down.

-Peter

I finally purchased a mask

That'll wreck us all.

-Peter

Every Night

It's something.

-Peter

Hummingbird

Out the damn window.

-Peter

Sammich Assembly

For my favorite person.

-Peter

The only Angle

That fool would let me shoot him from.

-Peter

Look at that SAMMICH

Someone scored.

-Peter

A Dive Bar

Called the Rush Inn.

-Peter

Mas Nacadillos

MAS Y MAS

-Peter

Dead Possum Snack

For the killer. Not hungry or interested.

-Peter

Don't look at me wrong

Because i'll straight KILL YOU.

-Peter

Nice Overcast Walk

With the killer.

-Peter

The Truth

About Tofu.

-Peter

Wakey Wakey

Look closely.

-Peter

Bacon Chops

GOT DAMN.

-Peter

Cigar Chomp.

I won't smoke it, but I will chomp it. Thx Yams.

-Peter

Someone lucky

‎Gets a dope sammich. 

-Peter

SEND MORE

CSOs.

-Peter

Toast and Eggs

Sunday mornings.

-Peter

Glassy

Santa Cruz afternoon.

-Peter

Santa Cruz

Always looking good.

-Peter

Feta

‎Makes it work. 

-Peter

That 8ball

Is going down.

-Peter

Camper Park

Trash. Every year there is a scabies outbreak here.

-Peter

Another

West Cliff Shot.

-Peter

Not Ozzy

Still Iron Man.

-Peter

This is how it starts

College 10. On stage.

-Peter

Whale Tyme

‎That's a humpback. 

-Peter

Whale Spout

‎West Cliff. 

-Peter

BEG FACE

‎At 4AM. 

-Peter

I Make Sammiches

‎Late at night on the reg.

-Peter

Garage Needs

A re-org.

-Peter

I Get To See This

5 days a week.

-Peter

I have finally learned

To not look over the side here. This is where Sausage Park, the nudist beach is. #SantaCruz

-Peter

How to get blocked.

Yeah, I always knew who you were, Nashville.

-Peter

The Cyclops

How I'm getting down in the dark.

-Peter

Raccoon In The Tree.

I lit him up with the Cyclops.

-Peter

Lost Weekend

At the apex.

-Peter