Sunday, October 24, 2021

A Warlock Lives Across the Street

A warlock lives in the house across the street.  Not directly across the street, because the houses are all sort of offset, so the left half of our house is across from this perfectly ordinary creamy house with white trim and white hydrangeas and tidy, weedless grass.  Most of the houses on the street look like that.  My dad says it's because our neighborhood used to have a covenant ordering you to paint your house earth tones.  So the other houses are cream, beige, or brown.  The most hideous one is also the biggest, with diseased-beige paint and dried-out-orange trim.  It's a huge house, too, so big it takes up almost its whole lot, so all you can see of it is too many ugly garage doors.  A real eyesore.

Anyway.  The warlock's house is earth-toned too, if the earth you're on happens to be a tarry bog.  Except that makes it sound greenish, and it's not.  It's just black.  Worn, weathered, dark-magic black with black trim and a black roof and gnarly trees the warlock decorates with absolute masses of cottony cobwebs every Halloween.  Honestly, there's no telling what secrets that house holds.

But my house has secrets of its own.  There's a reason I named it Cardolon, after the Barrow-down kingdom in The Lord of the Rings.  That's right: I build my house on top of an ancient king's barrow.  But it's okay; it was falling apart, and now he has a brand-new house to rest under instead, and his voice in my wi-fi .  I painted my house the color of blood, too (red is an earth-tone, I will argue until the day I die).  He'll look after us.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Surviving in Horror: supernatural agents combat story genres invading the real world

The first 3 episodes (stand-alone, about 11,000 words) are always free!  After that, you can buy and redeem tokens for a low cost.  Reviews, thumbs up, and favorites are deeply, greatly, enormously appreciated.

Surviving in Horror is a serial action-packed suspenseful dark fantasy drama with an odd-couple team.

Romance coerces strangers into "love"; Mystery pops out armchair detectives; Humor prat falls on banana peels. And then there's Horror. Agent Lawrence has survived in Horror for 12 years, partly by letting her partners die. Now, she's been assigned ex-Romance agent Daisy Allen, who pretends to be sweet while she manipulates people's thoughts. Who refuses to die. 

This is going to be one epic partnership. . . .

Saturday, July 17, 2021

The Truth About Greenbacks

I have an exciting announcement coming soon -- but in the meantime, some off-the-cuff limericks. Why? Because around here (but apparently not most places), we have a coin shortage.  Again. The federal reserve says that even though it's printing more coins than ever, coin requests have been higher than ever and coin deposits are oddly low. I have my own theory.  It even accounts for why the $5 bills around here tend to be gross . . .

The Truth About Greenbacks
by Deborah J. Natelson

There once were just bills that were green,
The finest that ever were seen
Then said the Reserve
“Our people deserve,
A rainbow of colors umpteen.”

Then said the people right back,
“What are you doing, you hack?
How dare you defile
Traditional style—
Return us the green that we lack!”

Upon hearing this whining, the Fed
Got so mad that it snarled and said,
“You think that’s a pain?
Have a shortage again
And each bill missing half of its head!”

There is surely some lesson in this
That only a fool’d dismiss
About needless complaint,
Governmental restraint,
And the half-truth of ignorant bliss.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Boop in a Poem

 For whatever reason, I was watching this video.  It's by Markiplier, a YouTuber who plays video games (and especially horror games) while monologuing in a humorous fashion.

Well, in the video, one of the things his character does is pick words for a poem to impress the four beautiful girls in the literature club he just joined.  The girls fed him cupcakes.  The words Markiplier chose for his character ("Morp") were: Boop, sticky, fear, agonizing, parfait, destiny, flee, nightgown, covet, incongruent, spinning, nibble, hop, explode, frightening, fester, uncanny, kawaii, tenacious, vivacious

He commented on how weird his selections were and challenged commenters to create his poem.  That was four years ago, and the video now has over 41K comments.  I'm sure my rendition that I spent way to long in will never be seen.  But I wrote it and, in the spirit of sharing, here it is:

Nightgowns and Nightmares: A Poem by Morp

When I joined, I thought I’d love it: chicks that any guy would covet,
Cuter than a piled parfait: nibble, hop, your heart explode.
Sticky with a homemade cupcake, swore that I would be the one to take
Up the challenge, prove to them by special ode
That I was their destiny.

What a fool I was in thinking of ladies in nightgowns drinking
Up my words; how incongruent now I think of only fear.
Ladies brilliantly vivacious; death uncanny and tenacious,
Though I’m spinning, fleeing, screaming, they are already right here.
Saying, this is destiny.

And also, “Boop!”

. . . no, I'm not going to polish it any more, even though I realize I accidentally cut out "kawaii," which was in an earlier draft but doesn't scan well in this poem.  That's already at least 30 minutes of my life spent doing that.  :P

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Farah’s Marvelous Hot Air Balloon

Farah had had rather a large supper the night before, and ended up sleeping straight through the flood warning.  When she awoke, the water was already sloshing through her floorboards.

“This is no good!” she exclaimed, jumping off her bed to run look out the window.  But it was even worse outside: the water had risen up to leak through the windows of cars, and there wasn’t a person to be seen.

“I have to get out of here, but how?” Farah wondered.  “Obviously, I can’t drive, and that water looks too filthy to swim in.  A makeshift raft?  That would make me horribly seasick.”  Her stomach gurgled, hungry after being stuffed the night before, and she patted it reassuringly.  “Of course, you’re right,” she said.  “If I can’t escape by land or by sea, I’ll go by air!”

There wasn’t much time, so Farah dashed to the kitchen.  She turned on the stove and dumped a can of kidney beans in a pot to heat through.  After some thought, she dumped in a dollop of spaghetti sauce, two cloves of garlic, and an entire chopped-up onion.

There wasn’t any time to do more than let the food warm before she ladled it straight into her mouth.  She grimaced at the crunch of raw onion, but she kept eating until not a drop remained.  Figuring the flood would wash the pot for her, Farah took her umbrella and a book and headed to the roof to wait.

Farah had barely read a chapter, wishing she’d thought to bring a lawn chair, before the water covered the tops of the cars entirely and crept up to her stove to sizzled over the still-hot burner.  It was halfway up the stairs when Farah’s stomach interrupted her with an uneasy gurgle.

Finding she couldn’t concentrate on her book, Farah folded it and looked out at the rain instead, and at the funny things floating past.

By the time the water bashed against the edge of the roof, Farah’s stomach was making noises like crazy, and her intestines had bloated uncomfortably.  Farah retreated further, to perch on the chimney, her feet dangling.  “Hurry up, digestion,” she said as the water rose .  The water touched her toes, and she got up to stand on the chimney.  

The water splashed and lapped over the chimney edge—but it was too late!  The gases inside Farah’s body had finally become too much, and they lifted her off the chimney belly first.  It felt awkward, floating like that and being rained on. (She had dropped her umbrella.)  Then the wind gusted and lifted her farther up and away, carrying her who knew where.

“I’ll make my new home wherever I land,” Farah told herself as she flew along, hair streaming below her.  After a moment’s thought, she added, “I hope they have good food.”



Author's Note: I woke up with this story in my brain.  No, not autobiographical.  I don't eat onions any more . . .

Monday, April 5, 2021


I am quite sick today, but not as sick as yesterday (or as dizzy or as perpetually asleep), and for some reason, my brain said, "Perfect timing!  Finish that k-pop mix and write a story!"

Yes, I'm still making these, although much more slowly.  I actually have a mix album before this that I haven't posted, because the story is potentially much, much longer.  Really, these are more like mini-prompts for me, though I hope you enjoy them as well.  This one is slightly different, stylistically, with one song per independent clause (mostly).

The challenge is: 

1. Have a well-balanced mix-album

2. That can make a coherent story

3. With tonally appropriate songs  (For example, Carnival of Lunacy had songs with circusy sounds and this one has songs with creepy sounds.  Not universally, but noticeably.)

4. That I like.  No picking songs because the titles are cool!  I must actively like the song.

Anyway, here we go:

Shadowland Part 1

“Please,” Dawn begged her parents, “don’t leave me alone.  It’ll call for me” (Paranoia).

Her parents exchange a strained look.  “Sleep well,” they say, and turn out the light (Good Night).

Dawn huddles the blanket close, trying not to look, or to think about what might emerge from the mirror (Monster).

But all too soon, the whispers come (Think Hole).  “Your soul is ours,” they tell her (Seoul), and by now, she’s heard it so many times, she’s begun to believe them (Déjà Vu).  “Stop resisting,” they whisper beguilingly (Say Yes).  “Come” (Go Beyond the Barrier).

Dawn closes her eyes, but she cannot block out the voices, and so she obeys (Into the Mirror).

The moment she steps through the Mirror, new life blooms upon her (Blaze).  She spreads her arms and throws back her head, dancing in the strange mirror land, under the pale moonlight (Moondance).

From the shadows, the one who summoned her watches admiringly (Tight).  He is the Master of this place (Master), and what he wants, he takes (Give me dat).  But even as he steps out and reaches for her, the sun rises beyond the mirror (Think of Dawn), and she dances back to her own bedroom (Adios).

No matter; the Master is content to wait for the night to come again (BingBing).


Shadowland Part 2

The sun rises and falls, and night comes again—and not just any night, either (Full Moon).  Once again, Dawn begs her parents not to leave her alone (Rewind).  She fears that tonight of all nights, the monsters will be able to trap her in their mirror world forever (One (Monster & Infinity)).

Her parents tell her that it’s her imagination (Impressionable) and leave her to her fate (Dead or Alive).  As if in a dream, she again passes through the mirror (Silent Night), under the watching eyes of the Master (Romanticism).  He smiles secretly to himself, for on this night, his power is so great that he can keep her with him forever (Checkmate).

But Dawn, too, is different in this mirror world, and she laughs and dances without seeing him (La Di Da), until he steps out and takes her hand, joining the dance (Hello).  They spin around, and he admires her power in this place (Time to Shine).  “Be my wife,” he tells her, along with many fine promises (Piano).

Dawn, vibrant and unimpressed, laughs.  “No” (No).

The Master is angry and shocked (Dangerous); and in his confusion, Dawn skips away and vanishes into the night (Blind).

As he watches her go, a mysterious smile comes to the Master's lips, and he finds himself vastly pleased (Secret Door).  The night is long, and it seems he has at last found his equal (Endless Night).

1.       Paranoia – Kang Daniel

2.       Good Night – Dreamcatcher

3.       Monster – SuperM

4.       Think Hole – B.A.P.

5.       Seoul – Ghost9

6.       Déjà Vu – Dreamcatcher

7.       Say Yes – IZ

8.       G.B.T.B. – Verivery

9.       Into the Mirror – Victon

10.     Blaze – Rolling Quartz

11.     Moondance – B.A.P.

12.     Tight – Leo

13.     Master – TVXQ!

14.     Give me dat – Argon

15.     Think of Dawn – Ghost9

16.     Adios – Everglow

17.     BingBing – Oneus

18.     Full Moon – Dreamcatcher

19.     Rewind – B.A.P.

20.     One (Monster & Infinity)  – SuperM

21.     Impressionable – Taemin

22.     Dead or Alive – Oneus

23.     Silent Night – Dreamcatcher

24.     Romanticism – Leo

25.     Checkmate – Boyz

26.     La Di Da – Everglow

27.     Hello – TVXQ!

28.     Time to Shine – AboutU

29.     Piano – Max Changmin

30.     No – CLC

31.     Dangerous – E’last

32.     Blind – B.A.P.

33.     Secret Door – Block B

34.     Endless Night – Dreamcatche

Friday, March 19, 2021

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Why did the egg cross the road?  It wanted to be first.

Why did the coward cross the road?  She was a chicken.

Why did the rooster cross the road?  To get to the chicken.

Why did the farmer cross the road?  It was almost lunch time.

Why did the paramedics cross the road?  It wasn't a crosswalk.

. . . I amuse myself