anouncement (and thoughts on writing)

Hate to toot my own horn but 2051: A Space Monstrosity turned out much better than I thought it would. I also wrote a lot more than I intended.

It’s not perfect. Far from it. And I blatantly ripped off lines from various Star Trek productions, almost verbatim, because I’m a shameless hack.

But I’m getting closer to being able to tell stories the way I want to: where I create a plot on the fly by establishing a rhythm and hitting the story beats. If you do a few setups and meet the payoffs in any ridiculous way you can, BAM…you have yourself a story.

Maybe not a GOOD story, but a story nonetheless.

My method is akin to Bill Walsh’s “West Coast Offense” in football: where players lack in athletic ability (or, in my case, artistic genius), you can make up for in precision and timing.

This runs entirely contrary to the way my high school teacher tried to teach me. It was his belief that that the secret to writing was in rewriting.

The problem I found with this practice is that my interest always waned and the magic was gone. Editing and proofreading is necessary of course, but frankly it’s boring and if I spend too much time on it, I end up hating everything about the piece itself.

It is my belief that art works best when it exists in the moment….when the artist can, however briefly, be completely honest with themselves.

So I’ve written a lot to get the practice in. And most of the stories are in fragmented pieces. Therefore I created a separate page to compile all these short stories.

…that is, once when I figure out how to get the page up on the website. Right now it looks like shit. I dunno 🤷‍♂️

I’ll get it figured out.

That is all.

2051: a space monstrosity (part ix)-conclusion

“Hey God, God Alliance, the Holy Divers…whatever the fuck you call yourselves…come get your boy!” I radioed to the new energy source on radar.

Yah jammed the transmission. “Captain, you have fucked me over for the last time,” he said over the intercom. “You will never escape me. I’ll chase you around the moons of Nibia and around the Antares Maelstrom and around perdition’s flames before I give you up!”

“Suck my limp dick!” I replied.

The energy source pursuing Yah was gaining on him. And with his final act, Yah tail whipped the rear of the Sagan, causing the ship to spin out of control.

“Fire the braking thrusters!” I ordered Valdez.

“Thrusters are having no effect!”

I radioed down to engineering. “Nia, more power to the brakes!”

“Sir,” she replied, “breaking thrusters were destroyed in the last hit! There’s a coolant leak in engineering. I’m diverting power to both the lift and main thrusters. That will stop the spinning, but we will be unable to stop in forward motion!”

“Captain, we’re hurdling towards a massive object ahead. 50,000km and closing,” Dr. Jackass said.

“Valdez! Give it some gas!” I yelled.

Valdez floored it. We were seconds away from crashing into a large meteor in front of us. The Sagan got caught in the object’s orbit and we spun around it a few times until we broke free.

The ship was now on a straight path, but we were still traveling at light speed. “We dodged that bullet,” The Doctor said, “but it’s only a matter of time before we collide with another object!”

I called back down to engineering. “Nia, can you stop the engines?”

“Not at this speed sir!” she replied. “And with our coolant depleted, I am unable to ramp them down. We will continue to increase speed until the engines burn out, but there will be no way of stopping the ship!”

We were now traveling at 1.5 times the speed of light and increasing. It was the fastest that humanity had ever achieved. But it was going to cost the lives of my crew.

Valdez and Jackass looked to me for answers. I had none.

I went over the intercom.

“Attention crew of the Sagan,”I said, “it has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve as your captain. All of you are fine officers. You have achieved only what others have dreamt. Let’s just hope history never forgets the name: The USV Carl Sagan.

I leaned back in the seat and closed my eyes. Vibration began increasing.

Then there was a miracle.

“Sir!” Valdez yelled. “Speed is decreasing!”

I opened my eyes. The universe was no longer speeding past us. Finally, the Sagan reached a full stop.

“What the hell happened?” I asked.

There was a voice behind me. “I stopped this piece of shit from flying apart, that’s what happened,” it said.

I turned around and there was a Jack Lemmon-looking asshole dressed in white robes standing on the bridge.

“Who are you?” I said to the strange man.

“God, dumbass!”

“You’re God?! I thought Yah was God!”

“No moron! Yah’s that damn Deceiver fella mentioned in that book of yours, the uhh…,” God started snapping his fingers to jog his memory.

“The Bible?” I said

“The Bible! That’s it! He had this cockamamie idea that he could come to Earth and establish a kingdom for himself or some stupid crap. I dunno. We stopped him and thought that he should be a prisoner to YOU guys because he tortured all of you for so long. Clearly that didn’t work out. So now we’re gonna have to find some other way to punish Yah. That guy’s fucking nuts!”

“So are you the ONLY God?”

“I’m the only one NAMED God, if that’s what you mean. But no, there’s a lot more like me.”

“What do you guys DO?”

“Hey! You stay out of our affairs and we’ll stay out of yours PAL!”

“But Earth needs your help.”

“Let me tell you something: no they don’t. You think that because we’re “gods” that we don’t know what it’s like to be you guys? Guess what? We were like you humans at one time. Humanity can climb out of this mess and come back stronger than ever. You know what? I believe in YOU. How do you like that irony?”

“Can you at least help the Ishnarians?”

“Yeah yeah, I’ll go back to Ishnar. I’m used to cleaning up Yah’s shit.”

“I have just one more favor to ask.”

“What do you want now?”

“Can you send us back to Earth? The ship’s kinda broken.”

“Look, I’m not allowed to break the laws of time. Earth’s kinda a shithole right now. Don’t worry though, there’s still people there but they’re all living underground. How bout I put you back in your hibernation chambers and by the time you reach Earth, radiation levels will be back to normal. Sound like a deal?”

“Thanks God.”

“Alright, sweet dreams.” Then God snapped his fingers again.

Many decades later…

The Sagan was orbiting Earth. Tranquility Bay was abandoned and uninhabitable. I made the decision to land on the surface.

“Radiation levels have stabilized, Captain,” Dr. Jackass said.

“Thank you Doctor.” From the bridge, I looked out through the view screen, down to the big blue marble below. “Should we attempt communication?” I asked.

“There doesn’t appear to be any technology to receive it,” the Doctor replied.

“We really are back to the stone ages then,” I said. “I’ll be down in engineering.”

I met with Commander Mwangi at her station. “How’s the landing gear?” I asked.

“All systems are functioning normally, sir,” she replied. But she wouldn’t look at me.

“Is everything alright Commander?”

Mwangi stood up from her desk and turned her face towards me. “You took a big gamble Captain,” she said. “You risked the safety of the entire crew.”

“I ain’t apologizing for getting into a stare down with the devil and winning,” I replied.

“We could’ve been killed!”

“I couldn’t allow you to live in sexual slavery!”

Mwangi sucker punched me right in the face. As I stood in a daze, she grabbed my head and kissed me passionately. “You are one stupid, STUPID son of a bitch,” she said, “but I thank you for it.” She rubbed her body against mine as she sidestepped her way back to work.

I had no idea what just happened. But I liked it.

I returned to the bridge and patted Valdez on the shoulder. “I never congratulated you on your pregnancy. Congratulations Commander,” I told her.

“Thank you, sir.”

“Are you ready to raise this child in a brave new world?”

She smiled. “Yes sir.”

I smiled back.

“Prepare for landing.”

THE END

world war (part iii)

Sry 😞

You can blame Putin for my absence. I’ve been distracted by Twitterverse’s brain rot due to America not being (directly) implicated in an international crisis.

I mean, what’s the world coming to? I thought America was supposed to be responsible for ALL the global fuck ups.

Smh

Anyway, recent events have reminded me that you should never trust someone that gets paid to express political opinions. Spoiler Alert: they’re full of shit and need to be ostracized from civil society.

So anyways, WWIII could happen. Check back with you later.

😘

pennies for the dead (part viii)

Here we are! The conclusion to Pennies For The Dead.

I’m sorry that you’ve read this far 😔

I instantly wasted 5 bullets.

Sadly, I had to borrow a weapon from Pete. And let me tell you: it ain’t easy killing demons with a pocket knife.

In the midst of the mayhem, I lost track of Jezebel. “She escaped to the roof!” Pete yelled while decapitating a goblin.

I sprinted up the stairs to the very top of this 666-storied building. I was out of breath when I reached the roof. Jezebel was waiting.

“Your pathetic little weapon will do nothing to me,” she said.

“That’s not the first time I’ve heard that,” I replied.

Above the roof, Jezebel was opening a portal to Earth where all the spirits of this evil domain could trespass. I was running out of time. So I rushed Jezebel with the knife.

As I leapt towards her heart, she blocked my movement, knocking loose the pocket knife.

I was on the ground. Powerless. Jezebel laughed. “What a weakling,” she said as she put her pitchfork up to my neck.

“If you kill me,” I asked Jezebel, “where am I gonna go? I’m already in hell!”

“If you think it’s bad here, wait till I send you to Bridgeport!”

I closed my eyes in preparation for eternity. Then thunderbolts rained down on Jezebel. While Joe unleashed his unholy powers from the staff, Pete went absolute apeshit on Jezebel with his machete. This severely damaged her powers, thus closing the portal.

With her powers nearly drained, Jezebel stood at the edge of the roof. “Halt!” I yelled before Joe could make the final kill shot. “Jezebel still possesses Sheila’s body.”

I looked deep into Jezebel’s eyes. I could still see Sheila. “Sheila,” I pleaded, “I know that we never had sex because of my undiagnosed ED. I know that I’d often disappear into the bathroom and leave you with the bill. I know that I’d also clog the toilet and blame it on the cat,” I said, “but I also know that I love you and you should probably attend AA.”

Right then, Jezebel began to spastically writhe on the ground. The evil spirit departed Sheila’s body, and there alone stood a defeated Jezebel.

With one bullet left, I pulled out the .38. “Back to where you belong Satan: Massachusetts.”

I pulled the trigger.

The flash from the barrel echoed throughout Hell. In a puff of smoke went Jezebel.

I couldn’t believe it.

“Is she gone for good?” I asked Joe.

He looked out to the horizon. “We defeated her for the time being,” Joe said. “But the devil is never really gone. Where Jezebel resides now is in a hell of her own making, a place so unfathomable that God himself wouldn’t dare set foot. So Norway probably.”

I walked over to an unconscious Sheila. I kneeled down to awaken her. “What happened?” she asked.

“Just a temporary demonic possession. Nothing to worry about,” I said.

Sheila stood up and looked down to the sprawling city below. “Where are we?”

“We’re in Hell dear,” I said.

“It looks like Orlando.”

THE END

a quiet life (part II)

Guys, I don’t know.

I’m beginning to think we need a villain, a hero, and a plot to make a good story.

But we’ll see where this goes…

***

So my Audi was doing 95 through a school zone when I went around a flashing red bus. An officer pulled me over.

“License and registration please.”

“Sorry Officer, I’m driving on a suspended license due to numerous DUI arrests,” I said. “Also, this vehicle is registered to my ex-wife. I stole it from her because she accused me of domestic abuse.”

“Well slow down,” he replied. And I was on my merry way.

When I pulled into the driveway, my neighbor was waiting on me. “Don’t ever pull a gun on my husband again!” she yelled.

“Bitch! This is America!” I replied. Then I fired an entire clip into the air.

Later that night, my girlfriend gave me oral. When she asked me to return the favor, I said, “Heh, no thanks. I gotta kiss my mother with this mouth.”

Then I went to sleep.

TO BE CONTINUED

lamentations

Think hard enough and you’d realize that life is pretty stupid.

Sure it’s easy to marvel at the miracle of consciousness, but when you consider the immensity of the universe, there’s nothing miraculous about it.

Your suffering is pointless.

The universe is the totality of all there is, all there can be. All possibilities are both infinite and determined.

God has abandoned you.

All is vanity, all is darkness. Consider Voltaire: we live in the worst of all possible worlds.

In this world void of hope, there is one beacon of light:

Arby’s: Put Some Meaning in Your Life

legit ?

You know how there were a bunch of mediocre period films from the 80s and 90s?

You know, like Gandhi, Out of Africa, Titanic, Rob Roy, The Ghost and the Darkness, The Man in the Iron Mask, The 13th Warrior, Enemy at the Gates? Etc etc…

Has there ever been a movie that started off vanilla and then did a complete 180?

Like I have an idea of a period piece, during the Napoleonic Wars or Mongol Invasions or some shit, where the typical tropes are established: a virtuous hero, a mustache-twirling villain, a love interest, and a community standing up to the forces of evil, etc. The film will open with some boring quote on the nature of war: “In war, there are no heroes”, or whatever. Even the leading man will be the safest, whitest, most bland actor you can think of…one of the “Chris’s” probably (Chris Pratt, Chris Evans, Chris Pine). The entire first half will be nothing but tropes and cliches…even the cinematography and music are flat and unoriginal, to the point where the audience will stop paying attention…as our hero prepares his community for battle against some dumb villain.

Then the second half opens and all fucking hell breaks loose: the “hero” and his army, as one thing leads to another, just commits straight-up genocide in the most offensive and disgusting way possible. And the worst part: the “hero” doesn’t reflect on his dishonorable victory. To him, it’s all glory. The film is told from his perspective as he slaughters men, women, children, and takes slaves for good measure…all told through the lens of bland 90s filmmaking.

Then the lame quote from the beginning… “In war, there are no heroes” …reappears at the end, just so you can show the audience that you tried to warn them. And that’s the moral of the film: everyone is capable of evil so pay attention, we’re all blinded by ideology, blah blah blah

Is anyone else seeing what I’m seeing here?

Sure there are films that deliberately fuck with the audience, but is there one out there that fucks with the audience based on expectation (like making the audience believe they’re watching standard Hollywood fare, but reveal that they’re actually watching torture porn)?