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short stories


look what they did to john f. kennedy

recent short stories



ZOMBIE BETRAYAL and THIS MOMENT OF BRILLIANCE were written between FATHER FIGURE and KID (as were BEATEN UP BY GIRLS and THE RAPE). WHEN THE BIG ONE THAWS and VISIBILITY were written a year after KID (as was DADDY'S GLAD HANDS). All had been in my mind for a while, waiting their turn to get down on paper.

The idea for ZOMBIE BETRAYAL occurred after Mary and I saw our hundredth or so cheap European horror film on video, the type that's always a joint production among Spanish, Italian and sometimes German film companies. I found myself starting to imagine a married, middle-aged couple who acted in these films, one of them experiencing, after so many scenes with fake death, a brush against the real thing. As a writer I was also intrigued by the idea of starting a story funny, then moving towards sorrow.

THIS MOMENT OF BRILLIANCE remained for a long time the hotel room scene. After several years the opening attached itself, finally, so that I would then think of both scenes when reviewing this particular fantasy in my mind, and sometime after that the rest of the spaces started filling in. I wanted the simplest, plainest name possible for the main character, a wet work specialist who gives himself a little too much wiggle room in the Maine-to-Florida corridor. I finally decided on Ed.

WHEN THE BIG ONE THAWS is about a beautiful red-haired wife, a brand-new baby, and something old and cold living in the green mud at the bottom of a thawing pond. The night noises are true, based on the time Mary and I lived in Cape Elizabeth, Maine and would leave the front windows of our third story apartment lifted an inch or two starting each March. It's amazing what night noises would travel then from the cold, dark woods to the window screens.

I've been walking around with the first scene of VISIBILITY in my head for years, two middle-aged men scuba diving off a California beach late at night, holding hands beneath the dark green waters, but only recently did I see that the first scene leads to a Sheriff's substation, where the two and the Sheriff wait for the arrival of a young girl's parents.

ZOMBIE BETRAYAL and THIS MOMENT OF BRILLIANCE have not been published at this time. WHEN THE BIG ONE THAWS appeared in the Summer, 1999 issue of Fugue Magazine, published by the University of Idaho. VISIBILITY was published in the Spring, 2001 issue of the British magazine ROADWORKS, and went on to receive an Honorable Mention in the 2002 edition of The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, published by St. Martin's Press.


ZOMBIE BETRAYAL
THIS MOMENT OF BRILLIANCE
WHEN THE BIG ONE THAWS
VISIBILITY




ART CREDIT

Interior in Paddington. Copyright 1951 by Lucien Freud. All Rights Reserved.