Friday, June 30, 2017

A Weasel and a Thief

The early morning darkness did wonders in comforting Private Laurel Tate’s battle scarred mind. Maybe it was the way her platoon snored like little kittens as they laid in their sleeping bags on the desert ground. Maybe it was the vanilla ice cream-like texture of the full moon that night. Maybe it was the way the stars twinkled brightly across her field of vision. Whatever this comfort was, Laurel envied her platoon mates as she marched back and forth with her AK-47 drawn ready to shower any insurgent with bullets at a moment’s notice.

There seemed to be no need for such a brutal weapon that moment. It was surprisingly quiet for a war-torn desert. No bombs going off, no machinegun fire, just peace and quiet. Because of the strangeness of it all, Laurel had to be extra vigilant and the caffeine pills she took before her shift would help her do that. Every once and a while she would drift off while she was on her feet, but only for a few seconds at best. A lifetime of drinking coffee made her somewhat immune to these military-grade caffeine pills. Nevertheless, she remained steadfast in her night watch.

She reached for the radio on her hip and said into it, “Coast is clear, over.” But when she hit the button, the entire device popped like a balloon and gave Laurel a quick jump scare. “What the hell?” she asked herself as she saw that her radio was indeed a clown’s balloon. With wide eyes and a tight trigger finger, she looked around at her platoon and saw that their weapons had been replaced by balloon animals and their radios were replaced with bicycle helmets.

“Hey! Wake up! We’ve been made!” shouted Laurel, but the mechanical snoring continued. “I said wake up, goddamn it! We’re under attack!” Still no answer from the drowsy crew. “Fucking morons! Wake your asses up, now!” she barked with even more sauce in her voice. She even squeezed off a few rounds of her assault rifle in the air, but that too turned out to be an exploding balloon animal. “What the fuck is going on here?!” she asked while tightly squeezing the remains of her inflatable giraffe.

“You can yell all you want, sweetheart, but they ain’t waking up!” said a cartoon voice with two honks of a bicycle horn to follow. Private Tate’s what-the-fuck face was cranked up to eleven when she saw a tiny gnome in a clown suit waving at her and peddling a child’s bike with a wagon full of AK-47’s and other military equipment. “Turn that frown upside down! Without these bad boys, you won’t have to go to war anymore! Smile, you silly goose!” From the gnome clown’s gigantic sleeves shot a volley of crepe paper in Laurel’s now red hot face.

The marine private slowly wiped the paper off her face while maintaining a contorted look of disgust and vitriol. “You little shit weasel! You better give that shit back or else…”

“Or else what? You’ll get a spanking from your daddy?” mocked the gnome with a sarcastic hand of concern over his mouth. “You really need to loosen up, baby cakes! Here, have some music to brighten your day!” The clown flipped the switch on a radio mounted to his handle bars and played church organ circus music. He laughed like a hyena and started peddling away in his little bicycle while waving goodbye.

While she wouldn’t get “a spanking from her daddy”, Laurel would get an earful from her commanding officer if she allowed this little freak of nature to get away so easily with expensive military equipment. Physical training until her body resembled a skeleton. A firing squad that put more holes in her than a mesh fence. God knows how many years in a military prison that would rival most shit houses. Any one of these possibilities shook Laurel to her core and her nerves fired off like the assault rifles stolen from her platoon.

“Get over here, you little creep!” grunted Private Tate through gritted teeth while she darted after her thief at a deadlier speed than when she ran obstacles in boot camp. With every ounce of strength she pumped into her thick legs, she crept inches closer to her elusive assailant. Her heart pumped at a million beats per minute and sweat poured from her brow like a water park. She reached out her hand only inches away from her slick thief’s rainbow-colored hair. Two fingertips turned into three and three turned into an entire handful of clown hair.

With one clean jerk, Private Tate yanked the little fucker off of his bike and started raining punches down on his face. She could feel the molten lead pumping through her veins as well as the blood and juices splashing against her already red eyes and face. She finally relented her attack when she saw that she had been punching a watermelon this entire time. The burgundy in her face flashed a mixture of boiling anger and douche chills of embarrassment.

Standing right beside her and laughing like a lunatic, the gnome clown said, “Gotcha! I gotcha good, didn’t I!” before cooling off Laurel’s face with a spray of lapel water. The clown rolled on the floor laughing and kicking the air while slamming his fists into the desert sand.

With her anger hot enough to make her head explode like a car bomb, Laurel finally got her hands wrapped around the little bastard’s throat and squeezed so hard that the gnome’s facial redness was easily visible through his white makeup. “Alright, you little shit head! Tell me who you are and what the fuck you’re doing here! I’ll make your death quick and painless if you listen to reason!”

The clown’s head popped in balloon fashion once again and his real head slid through the neck of his jacket. “Gotcha again!” said the diminutive booger as he rolled around laughing yet again. Laurel could do nothing but remain on her knees and watch this nut job with burning red eyes.

Upon witnessing the marine’s frustration, the clown stopped laughing and changed his expression to mock sadness. “Aww, what’s wrong? Don’t be sad, little girl. I’m just having some fun with you tonight. I suppose introductions are in order. My name is Ozzy May. Nice to meet you!” The two of them shook hands only for Laurel to get a jolt in her fingers and for Ozzy to have another reason to chuckle and hee-haw.

“I give up. I fucking give up,” said Laurel with a low and solemn voice. “I didn’t sign up for this goofy shit. I’m supposed to be shooting terrorists, not little shit stains like you!”

Ozzy nipped up and sat on the seat of his bicycle with his legs crossed and big red feet swinging. “So what of it? You want to go home? You want to see your husband and daughter again? Have you finally had enough of this god awful war that nobody needs to be fighting?”

“I need to fight it!” barked Laurel. “I joined the marines so that I could protect my country and if I have to protect it from little punks like you, then I’ll gladly do it!”

Ozzy May rested his jaw on his fingertips and said, “Really? Who told you that? A politician? A recruiter? A TV pundit? Come on, little girl, you can’t really be serious about all of that rhetoric. The only reason why there aren’t any bullets flying tonight is because nobody’s alive to shoot them. I’m not just talking about whackos with bombs. I’m talking about women and children too. You’ve seen their bodies up close and you can’t get those images out of your mind. Those aren’t caffeine pills you’re taking. That’s trauma medication!”

Laurel’s facial expression melted into softness upon realizing that this little guy had a point. The tears were building in her eyes, but she didn’t want them flooding and Ozzy noticed that. She couldn’t let this clown see her cry. Instead her sorrow turned to rage when she bolted to her feet and spear tackled Ozzy to the ground with her fist raised high. “What do you know about the shit going on in my head?! Huh?! What makes you a fucking authority?!”

“I know this because that’s how my gnomish race was wiped out,” said Ozzy with rare seriousness in his voice. “Too many of them were blown to bits while others lynched themselves into a peaceful death. That’s the reality of war, but no politician will ever tell you that. But of course, what does a gnome like me know about war? I’m too small to fight other people’s battles for them. Even if I wanted to be a soldier, nobody would recruit me because I’m small enough to get my ass kicked by normal sized men. If you need proof, just look at you and that raised fist!”

Slowly lowering her hand, Laurel’s tears burst from her eyes, but she refused to sob in front of this tiny man. “Why are you telling me these things? You’re just a clown. You’re here to torment me!”

“Exactly!” said Ozzy. “If I don’t set you straight, these desert warriors will. I’d much rather you’d be pranked by a clown instead of blown up by a rocket launcher. Is that really what it’s going to take to get you home? A blown off leg? A mindful of shitty memories? A hole in your chest the size of a sewer lid? Or maybe you prefer to travel home in a wooden box with an American flag draped over it!”

Even more tears poured from Laurel’s eyes as she rolled onto her back and gazed at the night sky. It still looked beautiful despite her tormented mind. She could have more nights like this if she came home alive and well to a family that depended on her for income and love. She didn’t want to admit it, but Ozzy May was right. But the more she pushed away his talking points, the stronger they hit her.

“How the fuck am I supposed to go home now?” asked Laurel wearily. “It’s not like my commanding officer is just going to let me go. He’ll probably punish the shit out of me before that happens.”

Wrapping his tiny arm around her shoulders, Ozzy said, “Did I mention that those weren’t caffeine pills you were taking? At least those are allowed. Illegally obtained prescription drugs? Not so much. The marines don’t want drug addicted trauma victims on their team. They want young healthy soldiers who can run into battle and beat some ass with the best of them. Your CO will find out sooner or later. But in your case, it’s as soon as you decide to wake up!”

That final sentence was punctuated with a cream pie to Laurel’s face. She coughed and spit up the pieces of whipped cream before angrily wiping it from her field of vision. By the time her eyes were clear enough to see, it was the break of dawn and her once snoring marine friends were gathered all around her with scornful looks in their eyes. Was this whole thing just a dream? A fucked up god awful dream about midget clowns?

One of them had a prescription bottle of pills with the name Dr. Ozzy May on the top of the label. That same marine knelt down to Laurel’s side and said with stern conviction, “We need to talk.”

“Am…am I busted?” asked Laurel.

“You’re goddamn right you are,” said the head marine.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Brit Floyd Concert


Of all four times I’ve seen Roger Waters in concert, last Saturday night was by far his best performance. He may be north of 70 years old, but he hasn’t missed a step. I especially liked when he played Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2 and had those black middle school children come out and sing with him. They wore orange prison suits and then once they were done singing their part they took them off and had “Resist” T-shirts underneath. That was a huge theme throughout the concert: resistance to Trump. Pigs (Three Different Ones) and Money were the most insulting songs to our piggish president. Speaking of pigs, the inflatable pig happened to have Agent Orange’s face on it. All in all, it was a tremendous show and I hope he does another one soon. Pink Floyd in general has always been my biggest musical influence and Roger Waters brought out those feelings within me that night.


These two subjects couldn’t have segued any better together. This coming Saturday, it’s yet another concert slash one day vacation for me. It seems as though 2017 has been famous for these kinds of getaways. Even as I write this journal, my mom and step-dad are both in Denver, Colorado enjoying Paul Simon’s final performance before he retires. And then when they come home, Mom and I are taking a trip to Seattle to see Brit Floyd, a tribute band to, you guessed it, Captain Obvious, Pink Floyd. Last Saturday featured the real deal and now this Saturday will be an excellent tribute. Two weekends bookended by the music of Pink Floyd. That’s a lot of putty-faced schoolchildren, screaming teachers, colorful prisms, saggy-jowled dogs, and flying pigs. Pink Floyd’s music had a huge impact on me during my younger days and it continues to mean the world to me in today’s life. Whether it’s Roger Waters himself or someone else playing his music, I can still hear that sense of rebellion screaming vulgar lyrics in my ear. As far as WSS stories go, I’ll try to get my story submitted before the day of the concert. Speaking of which (another seamless segue)…


TITLE: A Weasel and a Thief


  1. Ozzy May, Gnome Rogue
  2. Laurel Tate, Human Marine

PROMPT: Slumber

PROMPT CONFORMITY: The rest of Laurel’s platoon are in a state of slumber for the evening.

SYNOPSIS: Laurel is an active duty soldier assigned to stand guard for her platoon at night. Midway through the shift, she realizes her radio is missing and is scrambling to find it. She eventually catches a little thief named Ozzy in the act of stealing weapons and money from her platoon. Laurel chases the little bastard, but he is too quick for her even when she’s opening fire on him. If she doesn’t get the equipment back to her platoon, she will be punished severely by her commanding officer.

FUN FACT: The title of this story is WWE inspired. Back in 2015, Brock Lesnar was giving an interview about his upcoming WWE Championship match against Seth Rollins at the Battleground pay-per-view. Lesnar described Rollins as “a weasel and a thief” because of the way the latter won his championship and basically stole it from Lesnar. The WWE is always such a huge source of creative fuel for me. Why shouldn’t it be? It’s pretty much the only thing I watch on TV these days.


(From mid-June of this year.)

I seem to be having plenty of dreams about going to rock concerts lately. Last night I dreamed I was going to a multi-band festival that took place…in an art museum. I guess anything can qualify for an arena these days. Hell, I once had a dream where Pantera performed “This Love” in an abandoned grocery store. Back to the topic at hand, the first band that performed at this festival was Brit Floyd (a Pink Floyd cover band obviously). They kept having equipment problems and had to move to different stages throughout the art gallery. I got so mad at them that I went online and called them Shit Floyd. Then I woke up and the weirdness was over. Truth is, I do plan on seeing Brit Floyd in Seattle on July 1st, but I know for a fact my dream was just a dream. I’ve seen them on TV before and they were fucking stellar!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"Hunting Vampires with Grandma" by Ashley Uzzell

BOOK TITLE: Hunting Vampires with Grandma
AUTHOR: Ashley Uzzell
YEAR: 2017
GENRE: Fiction
SUBGENRE: Vampire Horror

Markie’s evening begins innocently enough when she goes to a nightclub with her friends and mixes it up on the dance floor. She even brings home a handsome stranger named Playboy Paul. But when this sexy gentleman flashes his vampire fangs and lunges after her, Markie knows she screwed up badly by inviting him into her grandma’s home. G saves the day when she plunges knitting needles into the vampire’s heart and dissolves him into a pile of ashes. Markie’s shock continues when she learns her grandma is part of a sorority of vampire hunters which include fellow old ladies Ariel, Claire, and Lavern. The band is back together for one last run and Markie is both excited and frightened to be a part of it.

My favorite part of this short novel is the witty banter back and forth between the four old ladies. They’re sassy, vulgar, and aren’t afraid to keep their youth alive with sexual references here and there. They come off as genuine kick-ass ladies rather than ageist stereotypes. And speaking of kicking ass, despite their old ages, smoking habits, and terrible cardio, they can get the job done when it comes to killing vampires. Nobody’s going to screw with these venerable warriors whether it’s physical combat, a verbal spat, or playing rummy (and possibly cheating). Their minds are sharp after all of these years as evidenced by their careful planning when it comes to vampire hunting. I love the point they made when they said fanny packs are safer to carry around than purses when it comes to combat. Like I said, nobody messes with these chicks. Nobody!

As far as critiques go, I don’t have many of them, but they’re worth pointing out, though they won’t devalue the well-deserved passing grade Ashley Uzzell has earned for this book. I would have liked to see the combat scenes fleshed out a little more since it seemed like the battles were too easily won. Then again, I understand why they were so short: because the old ladies don’t have the cardio they did back in their youth. Shorter battles favor the old ladies and they sure make the most of their time spent. Not every battle has to be a UFC masterpiece of a WWE match of the year candidate, so maybe this particular critique isn’t anything to lose sleep over. I enjoyed the battles while they lasted, though.

The only other critique I have for this story is that I would have liked to see Markie in a more combative role instead of being vampire bait or a damsel in distress. For all intents and purposes, Markie is the main protagonist of the story and I’ve always been a firm believer in the idea of the main hero getting the spoils of victory. But at the same time, I understand why she was relegated to a rookie role. The fact that vampires exist at all is shocking to her, so she’s going into these battles slightly unprepared. She’s not a martial artist in any sense of the word, but maybe she could get away with a surprise attack for the final blow. Even that would build her confidence as she continues her new role as part of the vampire hunting sorority. By the end of the story, though, we don’t have to worry about her confidence at all. She’s all smiles and her newfound happiness is well deserved. She loves her grandma and loves her new old lady friends just as much. They make an awesome team, to say the least!

Despite these microscopic issues I have with the story, Ashley Uzzell knocks it out of the park yet again. She’s a runaway freight train of literary achievements and no amount of chaos in her life is going to stop her momentum. I loved this book so much that I would recommend it to even those who aren’t interested in vampire stories to begin with. Mrs. Uzzell is a woman who transcends genres every time she puts pen to paper. She’ll continue to do that as her nonstop career progresses. Congratulations on scoring another passing grade, Mrs. Uzzell! You don’t just set the bar; you ARE the bar!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Dayton Spoke Choir

The ethereal beauty of the choir’s voices haunted Detective Matt McQueen’s mind like a schizophrenic voice. He felt as though he was being lovingly pulled into the center of this heavenly sound, but kept his pistol drawn knowing this was the calm before the storm. He already ventured into the unknown by looking for clues in this dense forest. Every once and a while a spider would land on him and he’d get chills running down his spine before swatting the arachnids away. Those voices. So innocent. So magnificent. They couldn’t have been older than the single digits. What were small children doing all the way out in this secluded nightmare?

Matt took a massive gulp of saliva and wiped the sweat off of his forehead when he found the source of the voices: a broken down church covered in foliage and insects. Another plunge into the unknown. With every one of Detective McQueen’s steps, the choir grew louder and more haunting. His finger tightly wrapped around the trigger, the cop slowly advanced toward the front entrance, which was guarded with little else than a cracked wooden door barely on its hinges. It wasn’t so much the robust structure that kept city folks away; it was the creepiness of it all.

Matt’s eyebrows furrowed and his goateed mouth curled into a dark frown as he kicked down the front door and stormed in on the church screaming, “Freeze! Paulson City Police!” His all-business attitude softened into creeped out jitters when he saw what was inside. He lowered his weapon and asked, “What the fuck?!” He was careful not to drop the pistol, but with his shaky hands, it almost happened.

The children’s choir’s lovely voices were tainted by blue jumpsuits and putty-faced masks with blood dripping down from their mouth and eye holes. Each and every one of them had puppet strings attached to their ankles and wrists, strings that lifted their arms in conformist salute when prompted by their leader.

“Matthew, Matthew, Matthew! It’s so good to see you again. Perhaps you’d like to sing some hymns with us.” Detective McQueen quickly turned around with his pistol aimed at the source of the creepily sensual voice: Reverend Laguna Pearman. No longer was he the trusted member of the Paulson City religious community. No longer was he a donor to the poor and an educator of children. All that remained of Reverend Pearman was a wicked smile and a black choir robe with his fingers tapping together playfully.

“Laguna…I trusted you!” shrieked Matt before bull rushing the preacher and slamming him against the wooden wall. Even with the barrel of Matt’s pistol planted firmly in his jaw line, Laguna’s smile never faded. “I went to your sermons every Sunday. I let my child around you. And this is what you’ve been doing this whole time?! Where’s Caylee?! She better be in here or I’ll blast your fucking head clean off your shoulders!”

“Daddy, no!” shouted a little girl from the choir, who came flying toward her father on puppet strings before clamping around his legs tightly. “Daddy, please don’t kill him! He’s going to take us to heaven to see God! This is our mission!”

“You heard her, Detective. Caylee is much happier here than she was at home. She’s not your child anymore. She belongs to Jesus Christ now,” said Laguna, still not wiping that smug grin off his slender face.

“Shut up, you snaky piece of shit!” yelled Matt before pistol whipping Laguna’s breakable face repeatedly. Caylee begged and pleaded with her father while pounding on his legs with those tiny child hands. The rest of the choir levitated in on their puppet strings to pull Matt off of their “master”. By the time the detective was being held on the ground, Laguna’s visage was covered in blood and bone splinters.

“My face…my beautiful face…how could you do this to me? How could you do this to the face of God?!” sobbed Laguna as he dropped to his knees clutching his shattered mug. While some children held a struggling Matt to the ground, others circled around Laguna and hugged him tightly while crying drops of pink tears.

“Is this what you call leadership?!” bellowed Matt. “This guy’s not your master! He’s not anyone’s master! He’s a false prophet with a child fetish and he needs to be locked up forever!”

“Don’t talk that way about my new daddy!” shouted Caylee with tears running down her masked face.

Matt’s own eyes were sore and swollen from the sorrow of watching his daughter being ripped away from him by this monster. Detective McQueen’s heart felt like it was being put through a juicer. His stomach felt like he’d taken a liver kick from an MMA champion. “Caylee, please don’t say those things,” begged Matt with all of his soul.

“I hate you, Dad! I hate you! I belong to God now!” shrilled Caylee with her fists at her side.

“Oh, Matthew, don’t you ever get sick of questioning things you don’t understand?” asked the bloodied Laguna Pearman rhetorically. “Don’t you ever get sick of taking my name in vain? You should be. It’s a mortal sin after all. And you know how we punish sinners in my church, don’t you?” That last line was punctuated by Laguna gently rubbing his calloused hand across Caylee’s trembling back.

“Don’t touch my daughter!” roared Matt as he struggled even harder to free himself from the choir’s grips.

Laguna spit out some teeth before he reached down for Matt’s gun (which he dropped on the floor earlier) and pointed the weapon at the wiggly detective. “Looks like your beautiful daughter isn’t the only one who belongs to God now. Rest in peace, Detective McQueen!” Matt wiggled his foot free and kicked Laguna in the ankle, causing his gun blast to accidentally strike one of his pupils in the chest. The false prophet along with his choir watched in horror as the child clutched his wound and bled all over the floor, dying a slow and painful death.

“No…no, no, no! Why, God?! Why would you take this innocent child from me?!” shouted Laguna as he dropped to his knees and shook his fists to the sky. “We’ve done so much for you! We’ve done everything we could to make you happy! Why, my lord! Why?!”

The shocked children’s grips were loosened by this sudden turn of events and Matt shoved them off to earn his freedom. He spear tackled Laguna to the ground and wrestled the gun out of the preacher’s hands. Despite the knee-bending pleas from the choir, Matt unloaded all six rounds into Laguna’s already shattered face, spreading his brains and skull all over the wooden church floor. Caylee shouted, “No!” as she watched the preacher’s blood run down a tiny crack in the floor.

What started out as a kidnapping investigation turned into a full-on massacre for Matt McQueen. His hands trembled as he held his now unloaded gun still in Laguna’s splattered face. The cop slowly climbed to his feet and finally holstered his weapon when the realization set in at what he’d done. Still shaky, yet firm to the core, Matt declared, “Alright, kids. It’s time to go home to your parents. This investigation’s over. Enough with the Halloween bullshit. Take your masks off and load up in the van outside.”

With their puppet strings loosened and their heads hung low, the children, Caylee included, removed their putty-faced masks. When they lifted their heads again, Matt’s newfound resolve shattered into trembling fear. Their faces were even bloodier than Laguna’s was. Their frowns were contorted beyond their natural limits. Some of their teeth and eyes were missing. They even had abscesses that peeled off parts of their faces to reveal their teeth.

“Sorry, Daddy. We warned you!” whispered Caylee. The choir formed a circle around the shivering Matt before jumping on him and chewing at his flesh. The detective’s screams were muffled by the blood pouring out of the hole in his throat. His eyeballs squished and squashed inside the maulers of the deformed children. His blood was slobbered up off the ground and his flesh was ripped and shredded. The final munch came when the evilly smiling Caylee devoured her father’s exposed heart like it was a juicy steak. All that remained of the detective were his bones and small pieces of slashed skin.

As the children lapped down the final pools of blood and chewed the last of their meals like animals, one of them asked, “Hey, Caylee! What should we do with Master Pearman’s body?”

The little brat’s grin never washed away from her bloody face when she said, “We’ve already had our supper for the evening….but we haven’t had dessert yet! Come on, everybody! Sing with me!”

As the choir carried the lifeless body of Laguna Pearman away from the church, they sang in their most innocent voices, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!”

Laughing Devil

He sits there and laughs all day
He sits there and laughs all day
He reminds you of the devil anyway
‘Cause he sits there and laughs all day

Tickling in his brain until he goes insane
Until his ribs are in tremendous pain
What the fuck is going on in his mind?
Is this the answer you really want to find?
Torture and violence, the comedy of choice
Death jokes will unleash the chuckling noise
The hyena demon laughs about his semen
He plants the seeds just in time for the season

He sits there and laughs all day
He sits there and laughs all day
He reminds you of the devil anyway
‘Cause he sits there and laughs all day

Carlin has nothing on the demons from hell
Maher has nothing on the jokes they tell
Noah never went to the darkest places
Never put slasher smiles on their faces
This kind of humor should never be public
But there’s always one who says, “Fuck it!”
He sits there and laughs all fucking day
There’s something funny about unholy decay

Laugh like Nelson from The Simpsons
Like a coyote hunting down a chicken
Like a serial killer in an erotic thriller
A cartel gangster carving up a prankster

He sits there and laughs all day
He sits there and laughs all day
He reminds you of the devil anyway
‘Cause he sits there and laughs all day
Lock his ass up in the darkest corner
Far beyond this nation’s borders
Far beyond this solar system

Only Dahmer has ever missed him

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Wolves

When you put yourself out there
There’s no asking, “How dare?”
They devour all the cowards
To reclaim their power
The wolves!
The wolves!
The wolves!
Put your career on hold!

The world is a stage, the wolves are your audience
You hold the mike, you’re the ultimate embodiment
Of hope, strength, charisma, and leadership
They can embody love or just plain evil shit
Howl for the moon, the dark side of it
Pour your heart out, because you love it
If you miss a beat, it’s your flesh they’ll eat
There’re no short cuts, there’s no way to cheat

When you put yourself out there
There’s no asking, “How dare?”
They devour all the cowards
To reclaim their power
The wolves!
The wolves!
The wolves!
Put your career on hold!

The wolves are reading every one of your words
In order to decide if they’ll chew you like a bird
Fill your dead body with the filthiest of worms
Watch your career die, watch your family burn
It could be as simple as an auto correction
Or a casual joke about a rapist’s erection
Or a full diatribe about how people should die
You’re more delicious to the wolves than apple pie

Throw your ass to the wolves for being so bold!
Throw you out in the snow to go numb in the cold!
Put your life’s work on an auction block to be sold!
A pocketful of change is what you now hold!

You can’t be an autocrat to the pack of wolves
You can’t rip their hearts out and eat their souls
No matter how many times you cry out to the skies
Not one motherfucker is going to feed you kind lies
These hungry beasts only dabble in the truth
They don’t give a shit about egotistical youth
They don’t care if you’re dying of hunger
If you fuck up, you’ll be buried six feet under

When you put yourself out there
There’s no asking, “How dare?”
They devour all the cowards
To reclaim their power
The wolves!
The wolves!
The wolves!

Put your career on hold!

Roger Waters: Us & Them


This past Monday and Tuesday, I was staying at the Great Wolf Lodge in Centralia with my brother James, my niece Reina, and her friend Abby. The indoor water park had some badass slides, to say the least. My Old Yeller moniker was in full effect that day as I flew through those tubes at a million miles an hour. I also liked those buckets of water that kids could dump over our heads once they filled up automatically. It’s the most innocent form of trolling imaginable. But the food, goddamn, all that food. The burger joint across the street had a one-pound burger with four fucking patties, enough cheese to fill an entire dairy farm, and more grease than the water park had water. There were probably enough calories in that meal alone to power The Rock through his six hour workout. All in all, it was an enjoyable trip and a worthy birthday present. And now here’s your feature presentation.


This coming Saturday night, former Pink Floyd bassist, singer, and songwriter Roger Waters is going to do a concert at the Tacoma Dome. Like nearly all of his shows before this one, he’s not going to have an opening act. This will be my fourth time seeing him live with my first three times being in 2000 in Portland, 2006 in Seattle, and 2010 at the Tacoma Dome. Roger puts on such elaborate shows that transcend the music itself. It’s never the same concert twice. The giant video screen, the inflatable pig, the laser show, and the pyrotechnics all come together to accompany the always awesome music of Mr. Pink Floyd himself. For this particular concert, he’s supporting a solo album he put out recently called “Is This the Life We Really Want?” I got it for my 32nd birthday this year and I love every track on the album. I believe it’s the first one of his that received an explicit lyrics warning. Swearison Killy loves his filthy language! As far as creative output goes, I’m going to try and get my WSS contest entry written before Saturday night. Since we’re on the topic of that:


TITLE: Dayton Spoke Choir


1.      Laguna Pearman, Charismatic Cult Leader
2.      Matt McQueen, Detective
3.      Caylee McQueen, Matt’s Daughter

PROMPT: Into the Unknown

PROMPT CONFORMITY: Matt doesn’t know what to expect when he enters the church, so he’s definitely diving into the unknown.

SYNOPSIS: Matt takes time off work to rescue his kidnapped daughter. He finds her in an abandoned church, but not the way he wants to. Caylee is singing in a brainwashed choir of kidnapped children led by Laguna. Sickened and infuriated at the same time, Matt won’t hold back when he tries to beat the crap out of Laguna.

EXTRA NOTE: I’m having second thoughts about this one since it sounds eerily similar to a Poison Tongue Tales story I wrote called “Lord of the Crack House”, which involves a detective father trying to free his drug addicted daughter from a boarded up building occupied by a crazy coke dealer. I’ll have to think of some ways to differentiate the two stories before I go in and write it out.


“Oh, for fuck’s sake! Stop letting off fireworks and shouting and screaming! I’m trying to sing a song! I mean, I don’t care! If you don’t want to hear it, you know, fuck you! I’m sure there’re a lot of people here who do want to hear it! So why don’t you just be quiet! If you want to let your fireworks off, go outside and let them off out there! And if you want to shout and scream and holler, go do it outside! I’m trying to sing a song that some people want to listen to! I want to listen to it!”

-Roger Waters-

Sunday, June 18, 2017

This Is Violence

Natron gazed up and down the Tower of Hell with not even mild trepidation. So what if it had spikes and demon masks all over the stone structure? So what if it was crawling with monsters bearing razor sharp fangs and claws? So what if Shivo Black was waiting for him at the top with the intent to disembowel him? Natron wasn’t paid to be scared and he wasn’t paid by the hour. Decked out in black ninja gear and light chain mail while twirling a pair of nunchucks to get his cardio going, the elf warrior stared a hole through the front entrance prepared for battle. It may have been his final battle, but if he had to die tonight, he was going down swinging.

“This is violence!” shouted the elf ninja as he kicked down the wooden door of the tower and faced his opponents with venom in his eyes. Just like he predicted, the bottom level was peppered with little goblins crawling about chewing on the flesh of their victims. Natron bolted inside and whacked the hell out of these bloodthirsty beasts with his twirling nunchucks. Skulls splattered like watermelons as blood and brains decorated the already shit-stained walls. Some of the goblins tried to latch onto Natron and chew him like bubblegum, but they were thrown so hard against the wall that they exploded.

Still leaving goblin cannibals clinging from his arms and legs, Natron ignored the sharp pain and rushed up the spiral staircase while bumping against the walls to get the little bastards off of him. Their slimy green skin peeled off with every bounce against the cobblestone and soon they tumbled down the stairs like a battered slinky. The elf had only murder on his mind and bright red in his vision. Adrenaline surged through his veins like a forest fire. His blood was boiling lava ready to spew.

All Natron could think about was slaughtering Shivo Black for his sins against this world. He took a lovely place like the Ivory Tower and turned it into the shit hole that was the Tower of Hell. This tower was once a holy sanctuary for the elven people and a haven from the demonic forces of this apocalyptic nightmare. Now the beautiful religious artwork and tapestry was torn down in favor of retched demonic masks, skulls of the damned, and strung up corpses of the priests and clerics who once lived here. Passing by these dangling bodies caused Natorn’s muscles to bulge and shiver with raw hatred.

“Must kill…must kill…must kill!” Natron repeated to himself over and over again. His next opportunity to kill came in the form of deformed ogres covered in spiked metal armor and carrying tridents into battle with them. One by one these creatures marched down the spiral staircase swearing at Natron in their native grunt language. The first of them thrust his trident in rapid fire succession at the wily ninja. The elf warrior dodged, flipped, and did the splits to avoid getting impaled. He then delivered a ball-shattering nunchuck blow to the ogre’s groin.

The ogre coughed up a liberal amount of blood and vomited all over the stairs before tumbling down them like a bowling ball. Natron front flipped over the hefty body to avoid getting caught in the avalanche of rotten flesh. The narrow staircase only allowed one ogre to come through at a time, but the next one threw even quicker trident shots than the last. Natron dodged and flipped to evade these shots and then wrapped his nunchucks around his opponent’s neck and threw him down the stairs with a bloodletting jerk.

Instead of wasting precious time dodging trident shots like an acrobat, when the next thrust came, Natron flipped on top of the ogre’s head and dashed across the top of the squadron with his steel sole boots. The chubby warriors tried to thrust their tridents upward, but the ninja was too fast and too brutal for them. His boots caved in their skulls and snapped their shoulders. His nunchuck shots popped their eyes out of their heads. By the time he reached the final ogre, he dropped his knees across the creature’s shoulders and slammed him head first into the corner of the stone stairs.

The ogres were little more than a pile of smelly corpses. Those who lived wouldn’t for long as they rolled down the stairs like whiskey barrels. Blood and muck decorated the walls. The creatures’ saggy flesh lay shredded and slashed across the stairs. Natron stood at the top of the spiral with his hands on his hips while he admired his handiwork. Beneath his ninja mask the corners of his mouth formed a sadistic smirk. “This is violence and nothing more,” he said to himself.

Before he could get too complacent, Natron slowly turned his head toward the wooden door which lead to the top level. This door once held a lovely painting of the elven god Io. Now it held the shackled remains of a skeleton with pieces of flesh dangling off the bones and rats chewing on it like it was their last meal. “Shivo!” bellowed Natron. “I know you’re behind that door! You’d better prepare for the ass-kicking of your fucking life!”

With one savage kick, the rats scurried away and the door collapsed to splinters. The broken door revealed a room full of torture devices ranging from the stretching rack to the iron maiden to the guillotine itself. Dead elven clerics were strewn across the top level with their eyes and tongues cut out. Watching this scene made Natron puke a little bit in his mouth. If he wasn’t burning hot with anger before, he was the embodiment of hell itself now.

Sitting across the room in a throne of bone was Shivo Black himself. With his fingers tapping against themselves and a smug look on his demonic face, he didn’t look too worried that Natron had completely leveled his forces. Why would he? Shivo could easily tip the scales at seven feet tall and god knows how many pounds of muscle. His hairy brown flesh, spiraled horns, sharp fangs, and golden armor gave him the appearance of an oppressive warlord. When he stood up and towered over the smaller Natron, the demon king’s muscles pulsated with sadistic might.

“Not even death can save you from me, you little shit weasel!” barked Shivo in a throaty voice. “This tower belongs to me now. Those faggot elves can burn in hell for all I care. Their religion means nothing to me. Their lives mean even less. You’re not a hero to your people. You’re a walking corpse. Time to die, you pathetic child!” The demon spread his metallic wings and soared through the air right at his target.

Natron tucked and rolled on the ground to avoid getting slashed by Shivo’s sword-like claws. It was all the ninja could do since the demon was surprisingly fast for a man his size. Shivo threw heavy kicks that shattered his own torture devices when they failed to hit their intended mark. He breathed fire upon the ninja and Natron tucked and rolled some more. “If you can’t do any better than that, you’re going to lose!” roared Shivo. “Then again, your people should be accustomed to failure by now. They lost their Ivory Tower and now they’re going to lose the last shred of hope their pathetic souls ever had. Die, you little puke! Die!”

Shivo breathed another stream of fire upon Natron, who by this time was huffing and puffing through his mask and drooling wildly to keep his tongue from burning. He had exerted so much energy during this mission that his ribs felt like he was in a sumo wrestler’s bear hug. His legs trembled with such force that he couldn’t stand up all the way. When the ball of fire sailed his way, the fact that Natron collapsed in exhaustion and evaded it that way was pure luck.

King Black folded his massive arms and chuckled in delight. “So this is it, huh?” he said. “This is the man who slaughtered my ogres and goblins like they were small children? I wasn’t expecting comedy tonight, but I’ll take my laughs wherever I can get them.” Shivo flew towards the fallen Natron with his arms extended, intending to impale the ninja upon contact and put and end to this “comedy” as he so eloquently put it.

Lifting his head slowly to see the blades blasting toward him, Natron’s last burst of energy came when he threw a nunchuck shot and shattered Shivo’s claws like glass. The demon screamed in tremendous pain while the tips of his fingers bleed profusely. King Black cursed in his diabolic language while Natron did a weak attempt at a push up to bring himself to his hands and knees. Every little movement felt like he was trying to bench press a small car. He huffed, puffed, and wheezed while struggling to stay on his feet.

“You little piece of shit!” growled Shivo. “I’ll break your ass in half and feed you to my rats!” The demon threw a powerful side kick, but Natron quickly wrapped his nunchucks around the king’s ankle.

With the steel chain cutting off the circulation to Shivo’s legs, Natron gazed at him with nuclear heat and said in a raspy voice, “You know nothing about my people, you ignorant sack of shit!” Natron spun Shivo around by his leg and leaped on the demon’s back before wrapping his nunchuck chain around the beast’s throat. He squeezed with enough tightness to make the guillotine jealous. The iron maiden couldn’t even dream of the sharpness Shivo felt in his lungs. The king’s neck stretched like taffy as his windpipe collapsed into a heap.

When Shivo was down on both knees gasping for air, Natron released his chokehold and allowed the monster to vomit his own blood and organs. With one last twirl, the elf ninja smashed his nunchucks against Shivo’s head and splattered his brains all over the floor while breaking those hideous horns in two. The revenge was complete. The elven race was avenged for their heavy loss. Natron could do nothing but smile with tears in his eyes as he fell backwards into a deep slumber.

This entire scenario played out on a computer screen for a teenaged boy in his bedroom decorated with music posters and dirty laundry. Natron was not only his screen name, but it was one that would be synonymous with gaming greatness. The teenager laughed gently to himself in disbelief that he actually beat this ultra-hard game. He even gave himself a light applause. It was the first time he smiled since his father went away to fight in an overseas war. Daddy was quite the gamer in his day with Super Mario Bros. and Double Dragon to his credit. Now the second generation followed in his footsteps with a victory over the appropriately named This Is Violence.

Now it was time to watch the ending, which was usually the reward for such a hard game. The elf ninja woke up in a bed made of the softest material as sunlight caused him to slowly squint his eyes open. Could this really be? Was the elven name restored to its former glory? No.

Instead he was at the bottom floor of the Tower of Hell once again, this time with living goblins holding the corpse of the teenager’s dead father like a hand puppet. The kid recognized the face, the uniform, the haircut, and most importantly, the bloodstains all over his body. As the goblins laughed and chanted, “You’re daddy’s dead! He’s never coming back!” over and over again, the teenager’s sudden elation at beating the game turned into tear-filled sorrow. His cheeks were hot, his eyes were sore, and his screams were leonine. He even banged on the keyboard like a savage several times for good measure.

Somewhere in the goblins’ song and dance, they managed to throw the last bit of salt on this festering emotional wound: “April fools!” The teenager’s raging tears poured like the blood of the elf ninja’s enemies. In a way, he wished he was dead instead of his father. Maybe if he could find a belt somewhere in his room, he could see him again. Wiping away the tears and sucking up the snot in his nose, the teen sat in his computer chair with his head hung low not knowing what the fuck to do. His heart was in more pieces than the skulls of the ogres on the staircase.

Now that he thought about it, This Is Violence wasn’t an official game made by a reputable company. It was given to the kid by a “friend”. The game showed just how friendly it could be when the elf ninja took over the screen and spoke to Natron like he knew him. “Are you going to let those bastards talk to you like that? The world hates you, Natron, but we don’t. Your dad didn’t die because of a war. He died because of the politicians who sent him to war. You need revenge. You need it badly. Come join our outfit and we’ll show you how to get revenge. It’ll be just as bloody and delicious as this game turned out to be. You’ve already completed the first step. Now you can be your own ninja and start a worldwide revolution. Come join ISIS!”

The teenager gazed at the computer screen still sniffing and snorting. He never felt more offended in his life, not when the jocks shoved him around at school, not when the cyber bullies picked on his art work online. What that ninja said was vile, sadistic, and borderline insane. Yet to the kid known as Natron, those words made the most sense out of any “so-called” loved one he knew. “Let’s do this!” he said to the computer screen.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

American Sad Ass

If you ever walk into my bedroom and hear me listening to sad-ass music, don’t be alarmed. This kind of music is what inspires me to write poetry and heavy metal songs since they’re usually dark and dour in nature. I already have two books of poetry published called “Confessions of a Schizophrenic Savage” and “Necrograph”. A third one, called “Prophecy”, will be published as soon as I can cram a hundred poems into a single volume. If you want to know what my poetry-inspiring playlist looks like, here it is. Feel free to look up any or all of these songs on You Tube.

  1. “1979” by Smashing Pumpkins
  2. “Always” by Killswitch Engage
  3. “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan
  4. “Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 1” by Pink Floyd
  5. “Ashes of Eden” by Breaking Benjamin
  6. “At the Bottom of Night” from Chrono Trigger
  7. “Be Somebody” by 3 Doors Down
  8. “Beautiful Goodbye” by Amanda Marshall
  9. “Beauty Is Within Us” from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
  10. “Because of You” by Kelly Clarkson
  11. “Behind Closed Doors” by Pop Evil
  12. “Bent to Fly” by Slash feat. Myles Kennedy
  13. “The Bottom” by Devour the Day
  14. “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day
  15. “Breakdown” by Tantric
  16. “Broken Home” by Papa Roach
  17. “Bury Your Heart” by Flyleaf
  18. “Candle of Life” by The Moody Blues
  19. “Can’t Forget You” by My Darkest Days
  20. “Careless Whisper” by George Michael
  21. “Cemetery Gates” by Pantera
  22. “Cold” by Five Finger Death Punch
  23. “Come Undone” by My Darkest Days
  24. “The Crow, the Owl, and the Dove” by Nightwish
  25. “Daisy Jane” by America
  26. “Dead Boy’s Poem” by Nightwish
  27. “Dear Cocaine” by Crossfade
  28. “Decompression Period” by Papa Roach
  29. “Don’t Leave Me Now” by Pink Floyd
  30. “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt
  31. “Driven Under” by Seether
  32. “Dry Your Eyes” by The Streets
  33. “Each Small Candle” by Roger Waters
  34. “Falling” by Anette Olzon
  35. “Far Away” by Nickelback
  36. “Father’s Son” by 3 Doors Down
  37. “Fine Again” by Seether
  38. “The Fletcher Memorial Home” by Pink Floyd
  39. “Forever Autumn” by Justin Hayward
  40. “The Forgotten” by Green Day
  41. “Four Minutes” by Roger Waters
  42. “From the Inside” by Linkin Park
  43. “Frozen” by Within Temptation
  44. “Ghost of Muskegon” by Pop Evil
  45. “God Went North” by Nothing More
  46. “Goodbye Agony” by Black Veil Brides
  47. “Goodbye Cruel World” by Pink Floyd
  48. “Goodbye My Lover” by James Blunt
  49. “Haunted” by The Moody Blues
  50. “Heart of Gold” by James Blunt
  51. “Heaven” by Otherwise feat. Ashley Costello
  52. “Hesitate” by Stone Sour
  53. “The High Road” by Three Days Grace
  54. “Hold On” by Limp Bizkit
  55. “Hollow” by Breaking Benjamin
  56. “House of Wax” by Tarja Turunen
  57. “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You?” by Michael Bolton
  58. “Hurt” by Johnny Cash
  59. “Hush” by Hellyeah
  60. “I Burn For You” by The Police
  61. “I Can’t Be With You” by The Cranberries
  62. “I Don’t Believe In Love” by Queensryche
  63. “I Hate Everything” by George Strait
  64. “I Think It’s Better” by Jill Scott
  65. “I Think You Should Know” by Crossfade
  66. “I’m Still Remembering” by The Cranberries
  67. “Inside the Fire” by Disturbed
  68. “Is There Anybody Out There?” by Pink Floyd
  69. Island of Souls” by Sting
  70. “It’s Too Late” by The Streets
  71. “Killpop” by Slipknot
  72. “Kiss” by Korn
  73. “Landing in London” by 3 Doors Down
  74. “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac
  75. “The Last Night” by Skillet
  76. “Leave Out All the Rest” by Linkin Park
  77. “Like Nobody Else” by My Darkest Days
  78. “Little Sister” by Your Favorite Enemies
  79. “Lonely Day” by System of a Down
  80. “Loser” by 3 Doors Down
  81. “Lost” by Within Temptation
  82. “Lovehatetragedy” by Papa Roach
  83. “Lullaby” by Nickelback
  84. “Master of Disaster” by Seether
  85. “Me or Him” by Roger Waters
  86. “Meadows of Heaven” by Nightwish
  87. “Melancholy Man” by The Moody Blues
  88. “My Child” by Disturbed
  89. “My Confessions” by Pop Evil
  90. “My December” by Linkin Park
  91. “My Friends” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
  92. “My Heart Beats Pain” by Martin Kesici
  93. “My Heart Lied” by Five Finger Death Punch
  94. “My Immortal” by Evanescence
  95. “My Skin” by Natalie Merchant
  96. “Never Coming Home” by Crossfade
  97. “Never Surrender” by Skillet
  98. “A New World” from Final Fantasy V
  99. “No Bravery” by James Blunt
  100. “No One in the World” by Anita Baker
  101. “Nobody Home” by Pink Floyd
  102. “Nobody Praying For Me” by Seether
  103. “Not Alone” by Patty Griffin
  104. “Oh” from Afro Samurai
  105. “On My Own” by Patti Labelle and Michael McDonald
  106. “Once Upon a Daydream” by The Police
  107. “One Million Faces” by Anette Olzon
  108. “One of My Turns” by Pink Floyd
  109. “Our Decades in the Sun” by Nightwish
  110. “Out of Hell” by In This Moment
  111. “Out of Love” by Toto
  112. “Overcome” by Live
  113. “Pass Slowly” by Seether
  114. “Perfect” by My Darkest Days
  115. “The Pirate’s Bride” by Sting
  116. “Rain” from Cowboy Bebop
  117. “The Real You” by Three Days Grace
  118. “The Reckoning” by Halestorm
  119. “Remember Every Scar” by Escape the Fate
  120. “Remember Everything” by Five Finger Death Punch
  121. “Restless Heart Syndrome” by Green Day
  122. “Rocket Man” by Elton John
  123. “Roses On My Grave” by Papa Roach
  124. “Russians” by Sting
  125. “Save Our Last Goodbye” by Disturbed
  126. “Save Today” by Seether
  127. “Savin’ Me” by Nickelback
  128. “Say Goodnight” by Gemini Syndrome
  129. “The Scientist” by Coldplay
  130. “Sealed Door” from Chrono Trigger
  131. “Seemann” by Rammstein
  132. “Shadow of the Day” by Linkin Park
  133. “Shape of My Heart” by Sting
  134. “She’s Leaving Home” by The Beatles
  135. “Shot in the Dark” by Within Temptation
  136. “The Silence Remains” by 3 Doors Down
  137. “Sleeping Sun” by Nightwish
  138. “Slip Away” by David Arkenstone and Charlee Brooks
  139. “Snuff” by Slipknot
  140. “Someone to Talk to” by The Police
  141. “Someone Who Cares” by Three Days Grace
  142. “Stay Positive” by The Streets
  143. “Stick to Your Guns” by Sick Puppies
  144. “Stole” by Kelly Rowland
  145. “Stressed Out” by A Tribe Called Quest feat. Faith Evans
  146. “Suicide Is Painless” by Lady & Bird
  147. “Suteki Da Ne” from Final Fantasy X
  148. “Take This” by Gemini Syndrome
  149. “Telescope” by Starset
  150. “Terra’s Theme” from Final Fantasy VI
  151. “This Love” by Pantera
  152. “To Kill the Child” by Roger Waters
  153. “Tourniquet Man” by The Mars Volta
  154. “Underneath” by Tarja Turunen
  155. “Until Silence” by Tarja Turunen
  156. “Us All” by Silent Season
  157. “Vera” by Pink Floyd
  158. “Volcanic” by Death Angel
  159. “Walking in the Air” by Nightwish
  160. “Watching for Comets” by Skillet
  161. “Wearing the Inside Out” by Pink Floyd
  162. “What God Wants, Pt. 3” by Roger Waters
  163. “What Sober Couldn’t Say” by Halestorm
  164. “When I’m Back On My Feet Again” by Michael Bolton
  165. “Where Is the Edge?” by Within Temptation
  166. “While Your Lips Are Still Red” by Nightwish
  167. “You Again” by Arstioir
  168. “You Can Let Go” by Crystal Shawanda
  169. “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” by Kim Wilde
  170. “Youth of the Nation” by P.O.D.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Wonder Woman

MOVIE TITLE: Wonder Woman
DIRECTOR: Patty Jenkins
YEAR: 2017
GENRE: Superhero
RATING: PG-13 for violence and language
GRADE: Extra Credit

In the middle of World War I, Amazon warrior Princess Diana grows up on an island of like-minded female fighters who train hard to one day be able to fend off an attack from Ares, God of War and slayer of Zeus. When an American spy crash lands on the island and is rescued from drowning by Diana, he unintentionally brings German soldiers with him and a battle ensues between the Amazons and the invaders. During the struggle Diana’s aunt is murdered in cold blood. Now Wonder Woman wants to venture outside the island to kill Ares herself in an attempt to bring an end to war. Her mother is against it at first, but knows she can do nothing to stop Diana and her independent ways.

We all know from past incarnations of Wonder Woman that she’s a badass superheroine who can withstand ungodly amounts of punishment and beat the hell out of anybody she deems fit for a royal ass-kicking. But she’s more than a mere fighting machine. Diana’s journey leads her to the shades of gray world of war, where nobody is purely evil or purely good. We all have to find the balance within ourselves and decide on our own what is right and wrong. This inner crisis makes Diana a stronger woman for what she goes through. She sees the horrors of war and decides she’s on the side of love and hope. The American spy she saves, Captain Steve Trevor, plays an intricate role in helping her see these shades of gray, but it is ultimately up to Diana which road to take. Her heroic aspirations are admirable, but she needs a little something extra. That is the point of this film and that’s a beautiful statement to make.

Part of Diana’s character development is learning the ways of the outside world since she spent all of her life on the island of Amazons. Watching her struggle to adapt is amusing at times and actually brings out the cuteness in her character. Whether she’s trying on outfits, figuring out relationships, or criticizing a general to his face, she comes off as socially awkward and that’s the source of comedy for this movie. My favorite part of this trope is when Steve Trevor’s secretary is describing what she does for a living and Diana says that it’s basically slavery. Can’t argue with that! But then there are some socially awkward moments that make her appear romantic, like when she learns out to dance (or sway from side to side) with Steve. This kind of culture shock is realistic for anybody who’s lived in isolation, but it doesn’t turn into a chaotic disaster and that’s what makes the quirk effective.

Of course, what would a superhero movie be without that delicious action-packed violence? Wonder Woman will give you plenty of that, but sometimes you’ll have to be a good little boy and wait patiently. The training on the Amazonian island, the crossing of No Man’s Land, and most definitely the final battle with Ares, these are all filled with martial arts action, gun play, and explosions. Lots and lots of explosions. It’s also quite refreshing to see a strong female role model like Diana dishing out these ass-kickings. And while we’re on the subject of role-modeling, please stop complaining about the “sexy” nature of her outfit. She can wear whatever she damn well wants to and beat the crap out of her opponents at the same time. Sexual predators would get beaten into powder if they tried anything they shouldn’t. If I was fighting a war of any kind, I’d want Wonder Woman on my side at all times. She’s tough, she’s brutal, and she’s brave as hell.

Now that we’re on the topic of feminist superheroines, there’s a massive elephant in the room that needs to be addressed. I’m sure most of my audience has read in the news about a theater in Austin, Texas having an all-female screening of the movie as a show of solidarity and girl power. Even though I’m a man, I’m not at all offended by that. The reason we have feminism in the first place is because for far too long women have been treated like second class citizens. They still get treated that way today. Good for that movie theater for stepping up! And good for Gal Gadot for putting on an awesome show for that female audience! Because of the profound influence this movie has had on the female community, I’m giving it an ultra-rare Extra Credit grade! How does that sound?!

Why Won't You Love Me?

An autograph for your necrograph
Yet you turn away and belly laugh
Tell the world I’m damaged goods
I’m a psycho hiding out in the woods
Imagination short circuited by pills
Wasted potential killed off by the ills
Scandalous past kicking my own ass
The quiet one in the back of the class

Why won’t you love me?
Why do you shove me?
Enough room in my heart for an army
Even for the ones who try to harm me
Why won’t you love me?
You’re so high above me
Enough room in my mind for a choir
Love me or leave me, down to the wire

Jealousy is a sincere form of flattery
Exclusion is a real form of battery
Failure is the true root of all agony
Suffering is the beginning of tragedy
I see you flying like a golden angel
My wings are bent at a funny angle
I’ll see you on the bottom of the barrel
I’ll find you when I’m lonely and feral

Why won’t you love me?
Why do you shove me?
Enough room in my heart for an army
Even for the ones who try to harm me
Why won’t you love me?
You’re so high above me
Enough room in my mind for a choir
Love me or leave me, down to the wire

My passion won’t allow me to let go
My anxiety won’t allow me to know
The answer to this riddle called life
No matter how I hard I fucking try
They tell me to be patient and wait
Until the day I’m at the pearly gates
Work harder than I’ve ever worked
Until I blow a fuse and go berserk

Why won’t you love me?
Why won’t you care?
Why do the masses
Give me a blank stare?
Why won’t you love me?
Why won’t you join me?
Could my cries for help
Be that fucking annoying?

Why won’t you love me?
Why do you shove me?
Enough room in my heart for an army
Even for the ones who try to harm me
Why won’t you love me?
You’re so high above me
Enough room in my mind for a choir

Love me or leave me, down to the wire

Thursday, June 15, 2017



Yes, you read that right, ladies and gentlemen. I’m dedicating an entire blog entry to…nunchucks. Two wooden or metal tubes attached by a chain or a rope. You can twirl them around, you can spin them overhead, or more importantly, you can whack people with them and cause blunt force trauma. It could be that I’m living under a rock these days, so feel free to correct me if I’m wrong when I say this. Nunchucks are an underrated weapon in fantasy and sci-fi canons. I can count on one hand how many examples of nunchuck usage I can think of: Panthro form The Thundercats, Billy and Jimmy Lee from the Double Dragon franchise, the karateka from the first Final Fantasy game, on rare occasions in Dungeons & Dragons Version 3.5, Guy from Final Fight III, and…holy shit, that’s it!

As evidenced by my WWE fandom of Daniel Bryan, I’m a huge supporter of the underdog and the little guy. Nunchucks are like the Daniel Bryan of fantasy novel weapons. That needs to change and hopefully I can do it with some of my stories from Poison Tongue Tales 2: Warrior Spirit. And while we’re on the topic of WSS short stories, I might as well get this out of the way now. The next contest entry will be called “This Is Violence” and it’ll feature an elf ninja named Natron who uses nunchucks. It’ll be meta fiction since most of the story takes place in a computer game played by a teenaged boy, but those nunchucks will come into play in a big fucking hurry, trust me. Here’s the synopsis for my story:


1.      Natron, Computer Gamer
2.      Shivo Black, Demonic Final Boss

PROMPT: Ivory Tower

PROMPT CONFORMITY: The Tower of Hell is jokingly called The Ivory Tower by those who have easily beaten this RPG.

SYNOPSIS: A teenaged boy with the online alias Natron is on the final stage of a dark fantasy computer RPG called “This Is Violence”. In order to beat this final level, he has to climb the Tower of Hell and defeat a demonic warrior named Shivo Black. It takes Natron a long time to defeat this hellish monster, but when he finally does, he receives an end message that completely shatters his world and leaves him in tears.

FUN FACT: This Is Violence has nothing to do with the first act of a dark fantasy novel I wrote years ago called Fireball Nightmare. That old story featured an army of Gary-Stu warriors, this version of This Is Violence will have relatable characters. The title for both stories was stolen from a Soulfly song of the same name.

So why did I just now decide to give Natron’s RPG character nunchucks? Surely, a sword will have sufficed just perfectly. Everybody and their uncle uses swords these days and they seem to do a good enough job of hacking off limbs and exploding hearts. But that’s the thing: everybody uses swords. Everybody! Cloud Strife used swords, Conan used a sword, Cecil Harvey used a sword, so many goddamn swords! Where are the nunchucks? Even in a game like Diablo II where there’s a huge variety of weapons and a martial arts-based character class, there are no fucking nunchucks!

While it is true that it’s nearly impossible to decapitate someone with a nunchuck attack, bludgeoning weapons shouldn’t be cast aside so easily. Nobody scoffs at war hammers and maces, so why should they scoff at nunchucks? They’re blunt, they’re deadly, and they crush bones when used by the right kind of warrior. You know what I’d like to see? A heavily armored paladin with a pair of bamboo nunchucks. A bloodthirsty barbarian with a pair of steel nunchucks. Even a feeble gnome wizard could use a pair…of nunchucks. What did you think I meant? Huh?

It’s not that hard to take down an enemy of considerable fortitude with a pair of nunchucks provided you know how to use them. You could break arms and legs with one fierce whack. You could break hands and feet and disable a lot of their attacks. Even the weakest strike could concuss an enemy worse than an NFL player. Or it could make their head explode like that creature from Pink Floyd’s music video for “What Shall We Do Now?” There’s no reason for a warrior not to use nunchucks. They’re quick, they’re light, and they hurt like shit. So why the underrated status?

You don’t even have to use them in a combative situation. When I was rehabbing my shoulder in physical therapy a year ago, they had me twirl a pair of nunchucks to get blood circulation in my labrum. While it’s true that I ended up hitting myself a lot with these things, it was an intricate part of the healing process and my arm hasn’t popped out since those sessions.

Whether you’re a monk named Chip or a nun named Chuck, these weapons are for you. They take practice, sure, but what weapon doesn’t? Personally, I’d rather accidentally whack myself in the nuts with nunchucks than accidentally chop my arm off with a katana. Wouldn’t you just love to see Jason Voorhees or Freddy Kruger with a pair of these bad boys? They’d be exploding limbs left and right and it’d be just as creepy!

So come on, fantasy authors, let’s see some nunchuck action! Don’t be like the main character in They Call Me Bruce and use them as chopsticks to get out of an arrest for possessing weapons. Chow mein doesn’t taste nearly as good when it has blood on them. Or maybe it does…if you’re sick enough to be into that sort of thing. But wait, doesn’t that just prove my point that Jason Voorhees should use nunchucks too? Hehehehehe! I’m Garrison Kelly and I’ll see you next time!


Remember a few blog entries ago how I said I was going to review movies more often as part of my creative contribution to society? Well, I haven’t done jack shit in that department as of today. But tomorrow, that will change. I’m going to the movie theater with Reina to see Wonder Woman and I’m already anticipating an Extra Credit grade due to the strong feminist tropes, which we need in world run by a misogynist orange blob named Donald Dump. I hope Wonder Woman lives up to the hype! Or in the case of an Extra Credit grade, exceeds it!

***THIS IS ME***

While the movie reviewing process begins tomorrow night, the book reviewing process is still going strong as evidenced by my thoughts on “Basket Case” by Carl Hiaasen, which, surprise, surprise, received a passing grade. The next randomly chosen book will be one that Marie Krepps recommended to me as a favor to her author friends. It’s called “This Is Me” by C.E. Wilson and from what I can tell it’s a cyborg romance novel. I like a good lovely-dovey ooey-gooey romance story every now and then. I’m not always about bloodbaths and beyond. I hope it’s a good one!


If you’re an author and you’re describing an intense foot chase between a serial killer and his prey, don’t say the victim “ran like a Baywatch character”. I don’t have any cases where an author did this, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened at least once in this lifetime.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

"Basket Case" by Carl Hiaasen

BOOK TITLE: Basket Case
AUTHOR: Carl Hiaasen
YEAR: 2002
GENRE: Fiction

Jack Tagger, Jr. is a middle-aged former elite reporter who has since been demoted to writing micromanaged obituaries after going on a tirade against his newspaper’s corporate masters. Life is slow, miserable, and boring for Mr. Tagger until he’s tasked with writing an obituary for Jimmy Stoma, a rock and roll icon who is believed to have drowned in an unfortunate diving accident. Jack’s investigative instincts cause him to dig deeper into this case in an attempt to uncover a conspiracy involving murder and number one hit songs. Without the support of his supervisors, Jack has to make do with his relatively short leash and his modicum of clues and suspicions. Can he bring closure to the family of his all-time favorite musician or will Mr. Stoma’s case go cold before it even begins?

Colorful, wisecracking characters are to be expected from Carl Hiaasen’s thrillers and Jack Tagger himself is no exception to that rule. It won’t matter whether the subject is sex, rock and roll, journalism, politics, or violence, because Jack, who happens to be the first person narrator, will always get a chuckle out of the reader with his commentary. A sense of humor is probably necessary for his necromantic line of work. Without it, he’d probably go crazy and there would be nobody to give Jimmy Stoma his due sending off. If he wasn’t so dedicated to being a newspaper reporter, he could probably make it as a standup comedian.

But he’s a truth-seeker first and a smart-ass second. He’s dedicated to weeding out the BS of corporate news even if it means getting himself in boiling hot water. His dedication to his art form is second to none, so much so that he would have seen Jimmy Stoma’s case through even after potentially being fired. In today’s era, we need more honest people like him to deliver the world’s news, even if that news tastes bitterer than a dissolved Xanax tablet washed down with horse piss beer. At forty-six years old, he doesn’t have time for corporate shenanigans or dishonest scum bags.

Speaking of not having time, Jack Tagger’s obsession with death is fascinating to read about, especially when he compares his own age to those of dead celebrities he once admired. Writing obituaries for so long makes him wonder when his morbid end will finally come and how it will happen. So many of his favorite public figures have died at forty-six years old and even at slightly older than that. His grim obsession has driven his loved ones away from him despite their pleas for him to just forget it and be happy with what he has.

It’s creepy to think about, but since it’s a Carl Hiaasen novel, it’s almost comical in a way. One of Mr. Hiaasen’s gifts to his profession is his ability to mix seriousness with humor in a subtle way that doesn’t take the reader out of the story. Trust me, there will be plenty of times to get darkly serious, especially when more bodies drop and living people mysteriously vanish. Despite Jack Tagger’s disdain for guns, he just might have to use one in order to see this case through. You can still chuckle at his wisecracks, just stay on the edge of your seat while it’s happening.

Of course, Jack Tagger isn’t the only colorful character you can expect great things from. Jimmy Stoma, even in death, is mentioned as a party animal with a deep soul and undying charisma. Emma Cole, the twenty-something editor at Jack’s paper, is a pain in the butt at first, but turns out to be a charming sweetheart once the reader gets to know her. Janet Thrush, Jimmy Stoma’s sister, has a day job as an internet stripper with a SWAT team gimmick; if that doesn’t pique your interest, I don’t know what will. Juan Rodriguez is a Cuban immigrant who is so good at writing newspaper stories that he might as well be a New York Times bestselling novelist.

And then you have the characters that deserve a stone-handed punch to the face. Cleo Rio, Jimmy Stoma’s widow, comes off as a shallow and spoiled pop princess with no appreciation for what her husband left behind. Jerry, Cleo’s chubby bodyguard, is a little harder to punch in the face due to his fighting abilities, but that doesn’t mean you won’t want to at least give it a try. Loreal is a bogus music producer with about as much credibility as the corporate profiteers running Jack’s newspaper outlet. Speaking of which, Race Maggad III (jokingly called “Master Race” by Jack Tagger) cares more about making money than he does about producing truthful news and his crippling budget cuts make that very clear.

The battlefield is set and the goofy characters are ready to clash with each other over the mystery of Jimmy Stoma’s suspicious death and the fate of realistic journalism. If you want a well-constructed mystery with quotable one-liners and a reliable narrator, grab a copy of “Basket Case” by Carl Hiaasen. To my knowledge, he hasn’t written a bad novel in all of the times I’ve read his work. I don’t think he knows how to!

Friday, June 9, 2017

El Divorcio

Is this the life you really want?
Is it worth the price of the ring you bought?
Is it worth the senseless fights?
Do you have to do this every night?
Starting arguments for the hell of it
Your rage and tears are irrelevant
Does any part of you want to break up?
Is it time to dry your eyes and wake up?

El divorcio, el divorcio
It’s all over forever and now
El divorcio, el divorcio
There is nothing to smile about
No more holding hands in public
No more kisses that are sudden
No more passionate love making
When your heart is breaking

Who was right or wrong all along?
Who’s to blame for this sorrowful song?
Lawyers and judges get to decide
Who gets the gold, who gets the hearse ride
The tiring war goes on for months
It soon turns into a bounty hunt
Is this the result you really need?
Surrendering to aggravated greed?

El divorcio, el divorcio
It’s all over forever and now
El divorcio, el divorcio
There is nothing to smile about
No more holding hands in public
No more kisses that are sudden
No more passionate love making
When your heart is breaking

Is it too late to start over again?
A newfound lover or just a friend?
A shattered dream to mend with gold?
Another soft hand to gently hold?
Is it too late to turn back the clock?
Find a shoulder to cry on and be your rock?
Are you your own hero? Can you save the day?
Or will you forever push the masses away?

It’s not over until you say it’s over
Don’t be afraid to pull her closer
Don’t be afraid to say you’re sorry

Let’s start again, my precious darling