Welcome to a new year. Today is 8 January, an interesting date due to the odd mix of persons born on it. For example, Elvis, Stephen Hawking, David Bowie and Larry Storch were all born on this date. Elvis would be eighty-seven (thus still possible to “sight” at southern Piggly Wiggly buying peanut butter and bananas, if you are crazy); Mr. Hawking would mark his eightieth. and Bowie would be seventy-five. Alas all are gone, but we still have Larry Storch (dear God please let him live at least til this post airs, please, please). Yes, we still have “Corporal Agarn” from F-Troop. Mr. Storch turns ninety-nine today, and has outlived the others mentioned by a considerable margin of years even though he was (and by a long way) born first.Continue reading “Week 358: The Pursuit of Meaningful Longevity, Tales For the New Year and an Elevating Saturday Special”
Saturday, 8 February 2014
Torqwamni County Convalescent Center
Naturally, the first thing healthy people experience when visiting the Torqwamni County Convalescent Center (T3C) is depression; many often secretly promise to kill themselves if they should wind up “like that,” but they never do. Mainly, T3C contains a sum of breathing bodies greater than the number of active minds. Most are elderly, and all are persons too well (in the technical sense) for the hospital but too sick to go home. Hardly any ever go home, save for in the religious view; most depart in the coroner’s van.
The inadequately appreciated orderlies and CNA’s and housekeepers, the real workers who do the staggering dirty work, and who are first blamed when something goes wrong, do their best to take care of the people in double occupancy rooms shared by pairs of the same kind of people: plainly, men with men, women with women, an active mind with another. The insensate are also kept together, or utterly alone, if their population is at an odd number.Continue reading “(100) Calling Occupant By Leila Allison”
Maab is my first FC to name herself. She was simply the Photobomb Fairie until she began to talk. When she called herself “Mab” the first time, someone pointed out that her name has been used by Shakespeare and others, and hardly original. It turns out that Mab is as common a name among Fairies as Taylor is in cheerleading.
No one remembers how the second A landed in the middle of her name, I’m guessing a typo. But Maab liked it and told everyone to call her Maab, and that she would hear it if you omitted either A.
Physically, Maab is four inches long, mostly iridescent green and is a very attractive mix of a Dragonfly and a Tinkerbell sort of person. Like everyone else, Maab moves at various speeds, but unlike the rest of us she is able to hop dimensions and seemingly disappear from common sight and yet still be “there” when captured by a camera–hence the title Photobomb Fairie.Continue reading “99 Maab and the Rehab Spirit: A Feeble Fable of the Fantasmagorical By Leila Allison”
“Fuck me, you’re looking rough!”
“Thanks very much! Pour us a hauf and get me a can of lager.”Continue reading “Affinity by Hugh Cron – Warning – Adult Content”
I recently recalled a cherished Halloween memory from my childhood: I was in the living room watching a Casper the Friendly Ghost Halloween special on TV the Saturday morning prior to the big day. My monumentally hung over grandfather just came out of the kitchen, a glass of what surely held only healthy tomato juice in his unsteady hand. A great question had formed in my mind.
“Grandpa, how did Casper die?”
“He asked the wrong people a lot of stupid questions.”
By now it must be obvious that I have seized upon Halloween as the inspiration for this post. Since the Nobel prize for literature has already been passed out, I see no reason to introduce revolutionary literary techniques or topics until the next voting cycle begins.Continue reading “347: Mental Scar Tissue, Curtain Calls and Scares A to Z”
When I was little, I was afraid aliens were going to eat me. Of course, it was just that Twilight Zone episode I’d seen, To Serve Man, the one where a message of peace turned out to be an alien cookbook and the world was its meal, people being fattened up on a spaceship for the slaughter. They had to convince me it was just a show, a parable about humanity and all that.Continue reading “To Serve by Yash Seyedbagheri “
The cathedral clock across the street from Nick’s home rang out the hours, the quarters. The clock chimed out his life, the Westminster Quarters and memories floating from the august belfry, the huge bells hidden inside, the clock ticking. The clock Nick once tended to.Continue reading “The Flight of Time by Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri”
Under the light of a punchy, yellow moon, Pops jammed a cigarette in my mouth and put his thumb to work on our flip-top lighter. After a while, the flint wheel peeled up his scab and showed me his insides, which were bright and clean (and A-negative, Pops says). He sucked the blood like barbecue sauce, then flick, flick, flick, nothing, flick, flick—Continue reading “Worm Cheeks and the Search for Lunar Secrets by Brandon McWeeney”
Jimmy’s knees were indented where his elbows dug into them.
He gently moved to and fro on the swing. He could hear his father singing some old song that he’d heard too many times. He looked across the road and saw Charlie The Paedo staring at him. Jimmy knew if he told his dad, he’d end up in jail again.
He heard the pub door open, “Here you go son. Is your mum not back from the bogs?”
The boy shook his head. He accepted the crisps and can of Coke.
So, Hugh now joins the teeny tiny group – well I say group – there’s only one other, of writers with 100 posts on the site. CONGRATULATIONS. It is fair to say that it has probably been harder for Hugh. As editors I think we are tougher on ourselves than we are on other authors. We are so keen not to be seen to be showing any sort of positive bias that we are brutal with each other. However, Hugh always accepts rejections and edit suggestions with good humour, humility and professionalism.
He is the backbone of Literally Stories, he has kept on going through his own personal traumas, never letting what is happening in his life get in the way of his work on the site. He has been an incredible rock when the rest of us have had our own dramas, kind, sympathetic and stoic (hahahahaha – his hate word – ha) and he makes the work, which at times can feel overwhelming, worthwhile and rewarding. As well as the reading and emails, Hugh comments on the stories and together with other of us give feedback to authors who have requested such or who we feel deserve an explanation as to our decisions or a suggested edit. He writes almost all the Saturday roundup posts and let’s be honest they are hilarious and a brilliant end to the week, even though the times when he says ‘That’s it there, Diane. Sorry’ I do quake in my boots.
I have never actually met Hugh, or Nik in person, or Adam or Tobias for that matter, but I count them among dear friends, but Hugh, and Nik are the blokes I want to have a drink with, the blokes I can count on to unload to when life throws cabbages at me and I just want to say thanks and, Hugh, my life is richer for knowing you. You are a fearless, uncompromising writer and I admire that more than I can say and many, many Congratulations on reaching this outstanding milestone.
Never Being Confused
It was a typical day in the life of Jim and Debbie, the parents of SeptemberThe28th.
They were on The High Street championing their offspring’s cause as usual. They wore their ‘Asexual Is Not Fluid UCUNT!’ Tshirts, The back of which said ‘LGBTQI+Forever!!‘ And underneath that was ‘I am not a label!’