Currently working on-WIP and Inspo

Once upon a time I had a blog where I was playing with posting just inspiration shit without context.

We’re gonna play with that here. With whatever format fits for the shits.

My current WIP is titled: Uchisa aLenore et Black Head, Beloved.

Music first:

 

Words/Names:

  • Limerence.
  • Corvidae.
  • Armin Meiwe
  • Lust/blood.
  • Flesh.

A bite:

“You look, very pretty Mary. Pretty Mary. Is that a new hat? Very elegant. Almost, like a little brown budgie.” Mr. Peach White things budgies are the cutest things in the world and the compliment makes me blush. “Yes, new hat. It was made by the milliner what specializes in human heads. Near the river.” 

A few other WIP factoids:

I am actually personally terrified of birds so this story is fucking with my poor brainmeats.

This is lovey horrory weirdness? I dunno.

It is happening.

I am not thrilled about how many goddamn birds I’ve looked at including some gigantic ass dinorsaurs.

So that’s all.

 

Advertisements

Happy Women in Horror Month- Post 1.

Some meandering thinky thoughts.

Hi homies. I’m having a day and y’all know that means I’m just gonna dump my brain until I can focus.

Sooooooooooo horror.

I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned it but, I’ve been working on some new horror stories. As I’ve mentioned before, my fiction work has become the slow deliberate I have a fucking mission type work that my non-fiction used to be.

My new shit is different than what I’ve done before. If you’ve been here a while you may know that my first professional level sale was yonks ago and I made my bones writing a lot of erotic horror. Not sparkly vampire twinks but rough trade I want to rip off your head and fuck your neck monsters. I wasn’t into more classic horror at the time and found that my personal aesthetic was very at home in the porny horror.

Fast forward and I’ve been writing/working on some more classic type horror. Ghost stories, demons, etc. However, these are without a doubt Black stories.

Now I have to confess some things.

I don’t read a lot of horror anymore except very specifically because, frankly I am disinterested. A lot of my disinterest is in a vein of conservatism in horror. For me it started with horror mags for a few years having very eh, narrow ideas of what is acceptable. I don’t know how many guidelines I read that prohibited sex of any sort, naughty words, etc.

At the time, it felt kind of silly to me. I mean, some supposedly scary shit is going down and nobody says fuck? Okay. Upon rear-view, I realize what made me uncomfortable was that we couldn’t have anything too sexy, too cursebirdy but, the anti Blackness and anti womanness and anti non white dude was fine. Totally fine.

We could have booboo ass scary witch doctors and have storylines with suburban white kids going into the scary ghetto and gross outs because zomfg periods!! FAT WOMEN but, don’t have sexytimes or say fuck. I hated it and hate it now.

This is not a new feeling. Here is an excerpt from an essay I put at Medium about being a horror nerd. (Also peep the awesome photo of me screaming)

As an adult I think about some more of those stories and realize I was trying to see myself in those very White worlds. I didn’t have the language to express my hunger to see Black people populating the fictional towns or saving the day.

When I wrote my first novel in high school, it was a vampire epic in a very Anne Rice style, my vampires weren’t pale and smooth as marble. They were dark and smooth as my Mom’s living room table. They didn’t come from France they came from Egypt, not movie everyone is White Egypt, they came from the Haitian Revolution and from Zululand. Their history was my history told and learned through the lens of the vampire mythos.

This is what drove me/drives me out of horror. I feel like I’m disinterested because any bit of Blackness is King style magical negro or white kids triumph or or or…it is just so fucking boring.

So what AM I doing?

First thing is I’ve bit the bullet and changed how I write genre fiction visually. For a few years, because of how I like to space things, I just couldn’t stomach trying to re-format to manuscript format. Aesthetically, I tend to use line breaks etc as part of how I’m telling the story. That has been rough for me. I’m trying because so many places that publish genre fiction in print or online still use it.

Second thing, I’m being very deliberate in what I’m making up. Being that it is women in horror month, my stories (I’ll give you a taste soon) are women heavy.

Black women specifically.

Here is a taste of a ghost story I’m working on. Central to this is to understand this is happening in The Hood. This is a Black Ghost Story. For reference, somebody in this passage is dead:

At home my wife and I sat with our horde of cats and dogs going over the events. “I guess we should probably tell him.” I knew she was right but, we’d only just started working with the guy. “I know but I don’t want to. You remember what happened with the last two. I mean, he was crying babe.” She turned her big dark gaze on me, I bravely resisted the urge to cower. “Don’t start with that super masculine shit Pablo. The first time something reached out and touched you, you couldn’t speak English for an hour and you cried. Don’t.” 

She was right. I didn’t want her to be, not that I wanted to keep secrets but some things are just too much to explain. Something walloped me on the back of the head and two of the dogs looked behind me, tails wagging. The voice was loud and clear as always. “I heard you was talkin shit.” My sister Letiticia was the most irritating and amazing dead person. She had the uncanniest timing, she made herself comfortable on the floor with the big dogs and I sighed. “Hi Letty, so nice to see you. Oh, what no come in. No bother, it’s not like I was trying to get some alone time with my wife.” 

What I want to point you to here is that we are not using the Black body as the vehicle of fear. Blackness is not the mysterious scary other. It just is. This is the intimate vernacular the way (something I LOVE about Daniel Jose Older y’all know) folks talk to each other. These are people I know, if you are also a POC you probably know them too. I’m taking the haunted house trope away from the burbs and the seemingly always Victorian or whatever ghosts and bringing it into my community.

In terms of how I’m writing the women. In a lot of horror, the women are either fat ugly and scary (unfuckable and therefor support “the scare”) or they are super fuckable. She’s pale as milk with a long graceful neck and sweet brown eyes with a narrow waist and hefty titties and OH she speaks forty languages and is innocent and horny and shrieks with terror when a thing goes bump in the night.

Y’all know.

And if you are the writer, suddenly the question is are U FUCKABLE? EW NO U R NOT SO UR STORY IS UNREALISTIC.

We’ll talk about that shit more later.

My women are the heroines. As the maker of this myth, I’m giving them the power that women tend not to get in these stories. And yet, they aren’t ass kicker barbies.

I want to say more but I don’t want to spoil it also I’m not done yet.

This story is Black y’all. It is Blackity Black Black Black. It is a love note to my fellow Black fen. And to women.

Ahem.

I’ve babbled a lot.

I’ll do more through the month.

For now how about some of my other woman centric, WOC centric horror?

From my Yeah Write Archives a few favorites from my experimental horror series.

Beautiful Pit Vipers.

Black Pharaoh in the Morning. 

Down home.

Starveling.

I Dream of Doormen. 

AND

How about my Wifey’s fave?

I can be funny bros.

Puppy.

Next time we’ll talk about things I want to see more of in  horror and how race and gender can be included in how we view what is or isn’t horror as a thing.

YeahWrite #342 Weekend Writing Showcase

 

CONTENT WARNING- SERIOUSLY. NECROPHILIA AHEAD. 

Beyond Love.

 

I love you.

I loved you.

Until death do us part.

Congratulations darling, we made it. Can you believe it? I know, it was such a surprise but the look on your face was worth. The shock, the wide eyes and the screaming. Your little piggy squeals made my heart leap. It was really the sweetest most charming thing I’ve ever seen. I just love you so much. You are the perfect girl.

Oh, hold on I see you had a little accident. It’s okay love, don’t be embarrassed. These things happen when our bodies are cleansing themselves after death. Let me just, yeah okay let’s put your arm around my neck so we can get you rolled over. Good, perfect. Now, let’s wipe that off. when I was researching how best to help take care of your skin, you know what happened? I spent four days researching Lenin of all people. I wish I could do that for you, you know that don’t you?

I know, I’m sorry about this. Oh sweetheart, I understand. A bit of skin slippage is completely normal. The rigor took a bit of a toll on you too. Good news, you are all clean again. Did you like it when I touched you there? I liked it. I’ve never done you know, no you know. Am I blushing? I’ve never done any back door stuff with anyone. You see, you see how special you are?

Maybe we can try some, you know butt stuff? I don’t want to rush you. I know the other place; the sacred place is waiting for me. I can wait.

I want to wait. We’ve already been through so much together. Arterial spray, the piglet screams, the slow ebbing away of that light in your eyes. In those final moments, I saw how you saw me. You saw through what society says and what anyone else thinks. You saw into my heart and then, you laid back and closed your eyes. I can still feel the wetness of your last breath on my lips, it was right in that moment that I knew I’d chosen right.

You have always been the one.

I promised you as your body relaxed and released that I would be with you through it all. As far as I can. I will love you through bloat and CDI.

I promise my love, when the moment is right and the heat of decomposition runs riot in your body, we will be one. My love will drive the creatures from your body and I won’t share you ever again. When you begin to desiccate and your flesh is sloughing away, you will still be beautiful to me.

When you are bones, I will carry you with me for the rest of my life.

I love you.

I loved you.

After death do us part.

Yeah, Write #324. Black Pharaoh in the Morning

Black Pharaoh in the Morning

The air is strange against my skin. The current carries damp salt, cold sea and warmth like the breath of a stranger sliding up the back of my skirt, uncomfortable but not entirely unwelcome. The night passed too cool and quiet, my sleep was too thin and loose. I don’t feel rested but my body feels anticipatory anxiousness.

The way the dim sun struggles to make a show of dawn feels ominous. I’m nervous.

In the street, things don’t feel much better. Construction workers and street dudes all mill around looking pensive and trying to hide it behind wilted banter.

Everything is so strange and slightly off. I can feel my baby hairs fuzzing up and the urge to free my hair and run gibbering secret words is so strong I have to stop and breathe. Remind myself why I am here. Reassign the feel of the air from tenebrous to only another lukewarm summer morning.

This is not when the stories say it will happen. In the tales, it comes in the deep of night. There is madness and incantations. The Stygian alienist should awaken the chosen with his strange words and the air should reek of the void.

The stories lie.

I was born or made with the  R’lyehian mark already in my flesh. with the sweet malodorous putrefying  blue candy smell in my mouth. I move through the world with my human face and I wait and work and hold some tiny sliver of hope that my knowledge will come to use.

I am not afraid, but I am tired. This damp that ruins my hair and makes my body ache only serves to remind me how far from Hadoth I am. I am forlorn. I am singular. I am Nephren-Ka, I am the Crawling Chaos and mine is the duty to do the will of the Outer Gods. I know this. I am also Black and woman. I am dangerous on the Earth and beyond it, mornings like this I have to remind myself that I am no victim of weather and messy edges.

“Mornin’ Cactus.”

I don’t like strange men speaking to me. I smile and I know he calls me Cactus because he thinks it is a cute way to comment on my hair.

“Fm’latgh.”

As I step away, his screaming overtakes the traffic noise and he runs into the street clawing at his clothes until he is bare chested. His skin turns red and starts to bubble, he looks like a hot dog and I smile more.

I, am he of a Thousand Forms. I am in flesh what drives White men to gibbering madness and terror that tightens their trigger fingers. I am The Nightmare.

Around me, the morning erupts in chaos. The man burning from within writhes and sings the song of the damned, people are running around the intersection like confused insects and the crash and thump of cars running into each other and the tired damp morning is rendered glorious.

I let down my hair and fluff it until it is a dark halo around my head. All is right and beautiful.

A warm current kisses the backs of my thighs under my skirt as I turn to spread my effulgent accursed joy. As he is loaded into the ambulance, the boiling man holds the EMT close and speaks between clenched teeth, his breath hot and fetid with the terror of one who has been touched by my hand.

“I failed to see Nyarlathotep has come.”

###
**

For those not familiar with Lovecraft see here for vocab help.

Yeah Write #261- Starveling

Starveling

By

Shannon Barber

As the bass drops she walks out on stage unsmiling. Her gaze floats as she sweeps her long braids off one elegant brown shoulder. She spots her mark easily, a mousy White boy looking at her bouncing breasts with lust heavy cow eyes. She undulates like a snake to the slow, heavy beat, watching him lick his lips as her breasts drop heavy and full from her loosened bikini top.

She gives him a sly look while the DJ does his thing. Money appears as she turns her back and bends over. The mark offers his meager cash shyly, she crawls to him. Her mouth is glossy carmine invitation, her big black eyes full of promises and the certainty that he is the one.

It works. It always works. As her number ends she watches him skitter to the ATM as she gathers her cash.

She’ll make him wait while she freshens up.

“Lia? Girl there is some White dude out here with his rent waiting on you.”

She blows the house mother a kiss and waits another two minutes.

Of course she’s right, he’s waiting with a fist full of cash. He follows like a puppy when she turns to walk into the dim confines of VIP. She watches his Adam’s apple Bob as he swallows hard.

“So, uh, what’s your real name?”

She smiles and drops her silky chemise on his head.

“Shhh “

She moves against him, letting the ring in her left nipple flicker against his lips. He sighs long and from deep inside, his lips drop open in wait of succor.

Two songs and she’s naked. Glorious and dark in the low light, his fingers telegraph desire as the tap and clutch his thighs. When she takes the last of his cash and lets him rest his flushed face on her belly for a moment, she knows.

“Meet me out back in ten minutes. I’ll be done for the night.”

She disappears again, smiling. Making rent is nothing but eating, yes, eating is always the real reward. Eating is why she left The World. She is no Sidus or other beast gibbering in the darkness. She is different. She is always so hungry.

She learned to drape herself in the sweet flesh that draws her prey. She finds the bars and strip clubs and other dark corners where a man gone missing from the ragged edges of polite society is no worry of the world. It is merely a function of the darkness the world denies.

Twenty minutes later she finds him waiting, trembling and full of the idea that he has at last found the one.

“My name is the thousand names for pain and you will learn them all. I am your death, come love me.”

She waits as he decides and his body leans into her.

As they walk away, she murmurs her thanks to the world and the darkness it denies. Tonight she will eat. She will eat.

###

PS,

I’ve missed y’all and The World. If you’re curious the song that inspired this is this Massive Attack cover by Sepultura.

More Free Fiction. Experimental Horror.

I am still in a mood so how about some more free to read experimental horror and craft yammer?

Before I post the thing, let’s talk about what I was playing with.

Outside of horror I’m also a huge fan of drug fiction. Low culture, junkies yanno.

I have Mike Arnzen’s book Instigation: Creative Prompts on the Dark Side a book full of dark prompts. I have talked about it before and HIGHLY recommend y’all. I bought it when it came out and use it regularly.

I believe I used a prompt about demons and I started wondering, what about a junkie demon? As with most things, it started with a what if a junkie became some kind of demon.

I also wanted to play with the non-believer doing something dumb trope. The point in a horror movie where you start yelling DO NOT GO IN THERE/DO THAT STUPID YOU GONNA DIE.

And with that, I present y’all with Light Junkie. This is another one that I submitted to a few places with pretty loose horror definitions and it wasn’t really Horror Horror.

OH also in case you are subbed and don’t click over, click over. I wanted to change ONE tiny thing and went entirely left and changed everything. Also now you can hit that link to see everything I’ve published that is available/that I can remember.

Enjoy.

Continue reading “More Free Fiction. Experimental Horror.”

Oh Cubby

If you know me or you’ve been here for a while, you know that one of my literary idols is Hubert Selby jr.

His work and general existence have been such a huge influence on me, I can’t really stand it.

As I do at least yearly I reread The Room recently and have been thinking about my mode of horror writing.

That book is some of the darkest, most brutal shit I have ever read.

As it pertains to my horror writing the thing about Selby’s work I love so much is that it is so beautiful and so terrifying.

In the context of what I want to do with my work is that. I want to get to that place where I am writing terrible terrible things, horror or otherwise but with such elevated language it makes it beautiful.

I think I’ve hit it on occasion. It’s so fucking hard to do.

What else?

I’m working on a horror story involving common American crows, a hood round the way type girl, a chosen one narrative and revenge. And, um, metamorphosis. I think it’s horror. Feels horrory. Maybe a little weird.

While I’m writing this I remember the original Crow stories by James O’Barr. I remember devouring the original and the subsequent anthologies. I remember I wrote a story about the crow coming to get the Green River Killer. I never showed a soul, but I spent a good amount of time fantasizing about getting to be one of those authors who got to dabble in that world.

I kind of wish that more lit was like comic books and graphic novels. I’d love to see more authors get to play in each others worlds. YES, I know this is the most simplistic naive view. I know. I don’t give a shit I STILL think it would be cool.

I want more stuff like Welcome to Bordertown, but without the HEY DID YOU KNOW ELVES ARE Whiteness.

I want it both as a writer and as a reader.

I have a migraine. I’m babbling.

I suppose my migraine is not helping me not just be full of feelings and writing some horrory things has me in my feelings too. I’m still feeling hesitant about trying to re-enter the markets. I’m still not super sure how well my ideas and execution of those ideas will fare.

So yeah.

I posted a little experimental ghost story I wrote a long time ago over on Catapult. 

That is one of those flash things that pretty much as is without the fancy text formatting was rejected I think 13 times at last count. Almost all of them were super loving and full of praise, but again, it was a, we think this is beautiful but don’t know what to do with it.

Ah, my life y’all.

I can’t even handle my brain.

Now go read that, maybe on Sunday I’ll talk about zine making.

And next week I’ll give all the poop on where I’ll be at AWP, where I’m reading and how to track me down to buy a zine out of my purse.