There are a lot of happy people in the United States right now. Writers of dystopian fantasy, builders and designers of underground bunkers, canned food salesmen, the Kleenex™ brand, carpenters specializing in flammable crosses.
"This is too perfect," Ellie said while scanning the clean lines of the tiny vacation apartment they'd rented in Osaka. "It's like being in a bento box." She slipped her shoes off in the depression at the doorway and shuffled out of the way so that Gordon could step inside and see for himself.
Gordon shook his head. "We'd absolutely destroy a place like this in, what?"
Ellie finished the thought. "Fifteen seconds? Three minutes?" They both missed the cue to share a laugh.
"Don't touch anything."
As a liberal residing in a wealthy coastal city, it struck me that while I may find a Trump presidency horrifying, in all likelihood it won't affect me materially. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't have wished Trump on anybody, even those who voted for him. It got me thinking, though—what will I do now that he's President?
My first memory was of whorls of dust circling a soundless explosion in the darkness; falling toward that fire as other primal motes coalesced into my siblings. A long while later, I realized that I was circling closer and closer to an inevitable end, when the particles that had so improbably found one another to form my body would be disintegrated. I sped through the void, a meteor suffering from the twin curses of consciousness and longevity. My orbit was not stable. It wobbled ever so slightly on its ellipse, and would one day plunge me into another orbiting body.
In the last moments as I neared oblivion the dense silence was broken: I heard a voice; and another, and one after that.
Ten years ago I was hit in the face with a pint glass. I was in a pub in Sydney and it was around three o' clock in the morning. The night ended with some broken bones in my hand, an emergency room visit, and an interesting cab around nine am.
Three and a half years ago I decided that if I was ever going to be a writer I would have to, you know, nail my ass to a chair and write. I figured I'd give myself five years to make this little hobby of mine a real thing. I also took Ira Glass's famous quote about creative work to heart and acknowledged that it would be a very long time before my writing didn't suck.
Nearly every time I find out that I’ve been reviewed I read it with my hands over my face, peeking between my fingers. I’m sure that the reviewer will have seen everything that is wrong about what I’ve done, that I’ll be flayed alive, shamed forever. Sometimes it doesn’t turn out like that. As it turns out, people seem to like my shorts. At least enough to be an Editor’s Pick at Blog Critics, in this review by Sheri Hoyte:
. . . fascinating collection of short stories sure to engross readers through multiple levels of entertainment satisfaction. The stories span the genres, and with elements of horror, urban fantasy, contemporary fiction, and humor, the anthology has something for all literary tastes.
Hear that? “Multiple levels of entertainment satisfaction.” I can only take that to mean that I satisfy like a snickers bar, bitches.
The writing is nothing short of brilliant, and the straightforward clever dialogue of the characters and dramatically depicted scenes engage the reader completely from the first story to the last.
Please go read it. I have crippling narcissism and crave your approval. Plus, the review goes on to say even more lovely things.
Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world. It is dwarfed by ancient city of Angkor Thom which is just next door and sprawls over nine square kilometers. Standing amongst the colossal four-faced towers of Prasat Bayon it is easy to imagine living in a time where the fantastic was a part of every day life, when people weren't so sure the bumps in the night could be rationally explained away—unless of course those rational explanations included water spirits.
The Shinkansen looks like a Boeing business jet stripped of wings and stretched long. The seats are wide with ample room to recline. A waitress dutifully attends to your car, passing out all manner of snack. The bathrooms have toilets that will wash your ass with a laser focused stream of water only to bathe you in warm air until dry. To feel uncivilized as an American in Japan is to be an Acela rider stepping onto a bullet train for the first time.
THE NIGHT TRAIN pulled into Jaipur city station at a little past eight in the evening. Laura, me, and my buddy Kevin boarded in Delhi the day before. As we step off, a young man in a black shirt says, “Need a ride?”
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