17 August 2016

Quick Hits

Hey! I hope you, uh, maybe liked that month-long story that I posted here back in April!

Since then I've been writing up a storm, enjoying ("enjoying") the weirdest, driest summer Southern Ontario's had for a while, and getting ready, among other things, to release a collection of previously published and new stories. (That's coming up shortly. I commissioned a cover for it that is TO DIE FOR. I think you'll like it. Furthermore...and this is just between you and me...it's going to be free. These stories have just been kind of sort of sitting there, unread, for a while, and I want you to have them, if you want 'em, that is.)

In the meantime, I've had two ultra-short pieces published. The most recent is a reprint of "The Bell," just out from Digital Fiction Publishing. It features that old timey coffin technology whereby the buried person could signal the surface if there had been, you know, a mistake. But it's really about melancholy and helplessness. 

Via Snopes

A little while back, my 200-ish word story, "Status: Quarantined" was included in the AE Micro 2016 issue. This little gem of a magazine, published by the absolutely gorgeous AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review, contains five ultra-short stories on the topic of Change. You can read my story here, or, you can print out a pdf of the issue and fold it into an adorable tiny origami book.

For my piece, I wanted to explore the transformative nature of parasites, and the behavioural changes some of them create in their hosts. I wrote about that from a host's perspective. The story's a little bit about biological imperative and altruism.

(You know about parasites that change host behaviour, yeah? If you don't, this is the cutest video I could find on the topic. Click at your own risk though. Watching that could cause YouTube to suggest utterly gross stuff to you for longer than you might like.)

30 April 2016


You can try to count down from one hundred by sevens, but you can't, not really. You stop at two, or you go too far and end up with a negative number. The ritual is broken.

What seemed to Celia like a green trap looks like paradise to me. You reach a limit in this world, and if you're lucky, you find a door.

I made a promise, written in mud, long ago. A trade: me for her. I didn't remember. I do now. It's time that I fulfilled it.

I'm leaving now. I don't think I'll be back. 

29 April 2016

You can't hang on to anything in the end.

Celia told me the story again. She says she's told me many times, since it happened.

I'm typing as fast as I can, to get it down before it fades.

One day, the last day we walked together, Celia stumbled off the trail, and landed in a green place. Tall strangers fed her herbs, and gave her sweet water. They told her she was theirs.

I don't remember that. I remember pulling her out of the mud, where she had fallen. A simple act.

According to Celia, it was a promise. 

28 April 2016

Xeroxed sheets appeared overnight on my refrigerator. Emergency phone numbers, schedules of appointments, information about what's wrong with me.

Celia is sticking to the clock doctor's program.

She knows another program is running, one that will trump whatever she's planned.

She was waiting for me in the living room this morning, perched on the couch with a cup of coffee. Neat. Efficient.

Last night--last night! I couldn't sleep in my bed. I had to go out, to lie out under the singing stars.

Celia gasped when I walked in. "I know, my love," I said. "I'm full of starlight!"

27 April 2016

Went to the woods again today.

When I arrived at the green place, the voices were clearer than they'd ever been. I'm not sure the words are English, but I'm beginning to understand. I fell asleep, in the grass, to the sound of the singing, the sun warming me.

I saw them. The owners of the voices, dancing on the edge of the clearing. They're taller than I thought they'd be, dressed in such colours.

I told them I would come back, and I would stay.

There's nothing for me in the world now, except pills and hopelessness. And Celia. 

26 April 2016

Very upsetting news today, at least, according to Celia. The clock doctor confirmed my diagnosis.

So now there are pills, three types, none of which I will take. I tried this evening, for Celia's sake. The pills dull the music.

Of course there is something wrong with me! I know that very well! I don't belong here any more. It's obvious. I don't fit, and haven't for some time, not in the world of grocery stores and appointments and seniors fitness classes.

Celia frets. She needn't worry. When I'm in that bright green place, I'm fine. It's where I belong. 

25 April 2016

Under the trees in summer, it's all shadows. This time of year, there's bright sunlight, and mud, and buds just beginning to unfurl, from the finger bones of bare branches.

It's beautiful.

The green place, miraculous with grass and leaves, has burst out with flowers, white snowdrops and purple fairy slippers. The air is filled with the scent of warm earth.

I stayed there all night last night, listening to the singers. I can almost make out the words now.

Celia is wrong to be afraid, but I can't tell her that. She still wants to live in the world.