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Confessions of a Not-So-Secret Admirer

You asked me to write an explanation for the inexplicable behavior of the men in your life, myself included.

The simple answer to your question is this: Love does funny things to men.

The long answer? That one will take some doing. I’m drunk and in a love-filled depression as I write this, so please bear with me. Why do I inadvertently sabotage my best attempts to be nearer, closer to you?

Why do I self destruct the moments with my anguish and self-pity? Why do I do the things that drive you mad? Why do others call you a dozen times a day? Why do others still cling to your memory as though it were a dead loved one?

You.

That seems to be the best answer. You bewitch me and I imagine you bewitch others. The sad pall of inevitability looms over every life you touch. No one knows how to crack the code and those that do don’t manage it for long. No one knows how to get in deep. I try. You bring out the raw romance in my soul. Your coy rejections of my affection only egg on my tort…

The Dollar

This is something I thought I'd toss on here while I'm finishing up another short story.

This is a script that I actually filmed twice, once as a mostly silent film and again as a completely silent film. Sadly, neither version exists. Hard drives crashing can be a bitch, since I was really happy with the second one.

INT - UNKNOWN LOCATION

CLOSE ON a desk.

Two hands slap a wrinkled dollar bill on the desk.

They ably tape the two pieces together, flip the bill over and tape the other side.

CLOSE ON the hands putting a stack of cash and the "dollar" in a deposit envelope.

I/E. CAR - NIGHT

CLOSE ON the hands driving--steering--with the deposit envelope in one hand.

EXT. BANK NIGHT DEPOSIT - NIGHT

CLOSE ON the hands depositing the envelope in the night deposit slot.

Track back to see a HOBO sleeping outside the bank.

LONG SHOT of the hobo sleeping on his bench.

The depositor gets back in his car and pulls out of the bank driveway, driving away.

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

The car speeds awa…

GUEST STORY: An Interview With God

Jason Young is back again, this time with "An Interview With God".

I'll be here in a few days with something of mine, so be on the lookout.

(FYI, if anyone else wants to have me post their short stories here, get in contact with me and we might be able to work something out...)
Jason Young: For the record, would you please tell us who you are?God Almighty: Yes, (clears his throat) I’m everyone’s heavenly father, God Almighty.JY: And what is it you do exactly?GA: Well first off I created the world, and everything on it. I make sure…….JY: Okay, whatever. Next question. What is Heaven?GA: Well there's clouds and all that jazz, but mostly it’s the place good people go when they die to spend all eternity.JY: That doesn’t sound so great to me. Eternity is a scary word.GA: I didn’t say it was great, simply what happens.JY: What “happens” to the bad people?GA: Well they go to hell to spend all eternity.JY: That doesn’t sound much different from heaven.GA: Well noti…

Some Wintry Reminiscence

It was almost ten years since we’d spoken. You left so quickly that we’d made promises about circumstances under which you’d come back to me that, perhaps, we both knew neither of us could keep, though I didn’t allow myself those thoughts. Not then, anyway. I didn’t realize how much of an impression you’d made on me. In your curlicued handwriting, you’d written down you address for me to write to you. I kept that scrap of paper in my wallet for just over two years. In that time I wrote three letters and was too much of a coward to send any of them.

I thought about you a lot, but my memory of you began to fade after I met someone else, but never completely. As Mr. Bernstein explained, you were my girl with the white parasol. Who knew if you’d ever remember me, but I would bet there hasn’t been a month that has gone by in all that time when I haven’t thought of you.


The rest of this story is available in the collection "Cupid Painted Blind" available on Amazon for the Ki…

GUEST STORY: The Ego

by Jason Young(Editors Note: This is a complete work of fiction. So relax. Jason was trying his had at some Woody Allen absurdism...)
When I was a kid my dad used to take me to baseball games at Angel Stadium and we would cheer for them the whole game. When they lost, which was the case most of the time, we would call them bums as they left the field.
My dad was a bastard, and now I hate baseball.
Although I never lost the urge to catch a home-run ball.He put me in little league when I was seven years old. My team never lost a game and I was the best player on the team. I played left field.In little league it seems to me that the outfielders have very little to do. Even a ball being hit by the mightiest seven-year-old batter rarely travels past the pitcher. I would get very bored in the outfield, and would feel like no one was watching me. Not that I didn’t put on a hell of a show. I once caught a ball by expanding the elastics on my pants to an absurd length. Good thing th…

Complicated

I will present this without comment. Let me know what you think.

I used to think it was clichéd in books and stories when I would read about that sinking feeling of love at first sight when you, at long last, catch a glimpse of the person you know you’re meant to spend your life with. But I don’t anymore. After I saw Katie for the first time I felt as though I was going to explode with joy and burst into forlorn tears all at the same time.

It was on campus where I first laid eyes on her, beneath the shadow of “Y” mountain, before the sun crested over, spilling the rays of morning over Utah Valley and the rest of Brigham Young University. I’m not sure where she was going, but I assumed she must have been heading somewhere to study; the library perhaps.

It didn’t matter.

As though I were written into the pages of a dime-store novel, my heart truly skipped a beat. She had long dark hair knotted into two neat pigtails with blue ribbons. She wore a BYU t-shirt and a skirt far to…

An Evening of Chthulhu

This is but a sample of this story.  The complete version is available in my print collection Man Against the Future.  From there, you can order signed copies, or buy it for the Kindle or the Nook.

My name is Phillip Quillan and I used to be a police officer in my day and, as they say, every dog has one. Before we continue further, a few things should be noted. First, for the fact that you are reading this means that I have passed on for reasons that will most likely forever remain my own. I have requested that this be published posthumously. Secondly, no matter how ludicrous or completely untrue any of this sounds, take heart that it is the absolute truth. Finally, whenever possible, I’ve corroborated the facts and incidents with the diaries and the enumerating parties involved in this eerie situation.

We begin on August 1st, 1949 in the diary of Elizabeth Shumway:

I saw “it” today. I don’t know what “it” was, but it was absolutely horrid. I’m not sure how my sanity was kept …

Bitter-Sweet Dreams

Here's a short exercise I wrote.

I've been working on this other short story that's proving to be a bear and this sort of came out of me on the side.

I dreamed of you last night.

It was the type of dream where things don’t seem to happen, you seem to just know that they have.

I arrived at a party that we’d both planned on attending, the location of the party seemed to be a kind of industrial building with the back wall decorated as a cave. I came out onto a balcony looking over the party to see you sitting there, wearing that short black dress you bought that night we drank too much wine and went shopping at the mall.

But you weren’t happy. You were on the phone. I never knew for sure, but it seemed to be your boyfriend whom I not-so-affectionately always referred to as Ringo.

It seemed as though we’d been planning on getting together for this party for a long time, but once you got there Ringo harassed you by phone… I came over to you and offered you my hand, you took it …

Flight Delayed

My boarding pass said to arrive three hours early, you know, to check my bags and get through security. And so, three hours early I arrived to an empty airport and no lines for baggage checking or security. Apparently, I was on the last flight out that night. I’m not from Philadelphia and was trying to get home, so my only option was to wait it out.

The Philadelphia airport is shaped like a massive “H”, with the hundred-yard crossbeam serving as a giant stretch of mall. If nothing else, I’d have plenty to do while I waited to board. The newsstand was my first stop. Perhaps, I thought, I can find something to read, you know, get my mind off of things. I’d already read the news of the day, so I walked by the newspapers. The magazines were mostly cologne and fashion ads, so I didn’t linger long in front of them, either. A bookshelf spanned the back wall. Popular fiction trash lined the shelves from one side to the other, top to bottom. Dozens of copies of Dan Brown, John Sandf…

Pirate Club Vs. The Birdwatcher Club

So, Derek asked me for a four page Pirate Club short on really short notice to try to have ready soon.

Truth be told, four pages is a really tough nut to crack.

This is what I came up with....

PAGE 1:
Panel 1:
John, standing like a captain, arms folded behind his back, is in front of an old-school wheeled cannon, aimed up at a tree.

Bear and Bat are to the other side of the cannon, faces frothing with blood lust.

Mike is behind the cannon, holding the rope to pull to set it off.

JOHN: Members of the Bird Watchers club! The Pirate Club is prepared to board but we’re willing to grant you a most generous offer!
(beat)
Surrender to us and we’ll only steal your booty, but you’ll leave with your lives!
(beat)
Or, we can do this the hard way!

Panel 2:

The bird watchers tree house. Telescopes sprout from every window...

A small head is peeking from the bottom of a window.

BIRD WATCHER: (in a small, timid font) Never!

Panel 3:

Close on John, with Mike in the background.

JOHN: Fire the warning shot.

Panel 4:

Mike…

The Fine Print

A friend of mine is putting together a play and asked me to write a segment of it. The idea for the play is quite an interesting one, one that uses various mixed media. But it tells stories from Greek drama in short contemporary situations adapted by writers like myself. The story I was adapting was that of a roadside charlatan, offering people the perfect nights sleep in a magical bed that fit whoever laid in it. What he didn't tell people was that if they were too tall, he'd cut their legs off and those that were too short were stretched on a rack.

It was an interesting moral that I had some fun adapting to the here and now, and the closest thing I could come up with for a contemporary setting were the used-car-salesmen and check cash emporium sorts of bastards that we see on every street corner now.

INT. A LIVING ROOM

A couch is in the middle of the stage, and a YOUNG MARRIED COUPLE cuddles on it, watching the audience as though they were a TV.

Faint audio can be heard of a…

Unfaithful (An unfinished work)

I thought this would be an interesting thing to show all both of you who read this. This is the beginnings of a novel that came to me suddenly. It's plotted out completely, but I haven't the time to work on beyond this point. In truth, I feel bad working on this when I have screenplays to work on and my first novel still needs to be transcribed and revised as well.

Obviously, as you read this, you should be able to pick out the preposterous amount of influence Graham Greene has had on me

I thought I'd offer this to see if anybody is interested in seeing me finish it. I'll keep a quick recap of the rest of the hook at the bottom of the story.

I’m writing this in retrospect, knowing full well that if I don’t write down my thoughts of what has happened I’ll certainly go mad. This is mainly a tale of jealousy and, in hindsight, how it brought me to the brink of insanity, that stony precipice I currently teeter on. It’s funny that they say hindsight is always 20/20, …

The Night Sky

The first time I saw her we were at a quiet party in the city hosted by a mutual acquaintance. Parties were never my forte, not loud parties with music played loud enough to cause bleeding ears, anyway. This one wasn’t like that. This party was much more subdued, Henry Mancini spun quietly on a record player in the back room, red wine was served and everyone chatted quietly. These pseudo-sophisticated get-togethers weren’t my favorite thing in the world to attend, but it wasn’t so bad as some social functions I’d been forced to.

The only person at the party I even half knew was the host and he was busy tending the rest of his guests. My plan was to arrive, have a few drinks, thank my host and leave, participating in any conversation that was offered my way in the meantime, but, by no means, initiating one myself. It was a good plan. It would have worked, too, had fate not crossed Sarah into my path.

Like clockwork, I arrived thirty minutes late, dressed casually in khaki slacks,…

It Was Over

This was an interesting experiment for me.

A guy around here was doing a research paper and asked a number of people to write about 250 words about one of a number of photos. The task was to describe the events leading up to the photo, in the photo and what might happen after.

I went a little over on words (I did about 320), but I sort of liked this... I might try to expand this into something much longer since I like it and in the spare word count I wasn't able to do what I had in my head justice....

So, here's the photo that served as the prompt and then what I came up with:


“It’s just not working out,” I told her and she began to cry, softly at first and then harder as the news sank in. The thrill of hurting her exhilarating to me beyond reason. I’d been fanaticizing about it for so long, I was half sure this moment would never come.

“But… I love you,” she pleaded. But it didn’t matter. I had no feelings for her. I picked her up and strung her along for this mom…

The Calm Before

I wrote this for Joel's short film project. Hopefully we'll see it soon as a short.

EXT. CITY STREET - NIGHT - THE FORTIES (BLACK AND WHITE)

A crowded main-street. The ground is shimmering, wet with a recent rain.

It’s crowded. A handful of people are leaving a movie theatre.

Beyond the crowd, briskly moving toward them, through them, is a middle-aged fellow in a trench coat. His name is JOHNNY and he has the defined and chiseled features of an everyman in 1945.

As he moves through the people, he’s constantly looking over his shoulder.

JOHNNY (V.O.)
As soon as I arrived in town I
knew they meant to kill me.

Indeed there are two burly men in suits and derby hats trailing him, fifteen feet behind.
He pulls both sides of his collar together and walks on, turning a corner to an:

EXT. ALLEY WAY - CONTINUOUS

It’s deserted except for the rats and the trash.

The thugs get twice as menacing now that they don’t have anyone watching them.

One brandishes a knife...

JOHNNY (V.O.)
These bruisers are t…

The Other Man

I've been watching too much Alfred Hitchcock Presents...

I can’t imagine why any husband would want to meet his wife’s lover and the cause of his pending divorce casually over coffee. To meet the newer model? To meet the competition? His reasons would always remain a mystery to me.

I understand it would be a blow to a sexagenarian to lose the trophy wife younger than half his age to a kid ten years her junior, but let’s be realistic: he had to have seen it coming. How long could he have expected to keep her interest?

I’d arrived first and got a table for two in a café if his choosing, his turf. It was filled with a crowd of would-be college professors in their fifties, most wearing sandals or turtlenecks, some both, all debating the genius of Ginsberg and Kerouac. I was truly out of my element, sitting there, waiting for the man I’ve cuckolded to arrive and offer me his condemnation. I felt awkward and dizzy, that feeling you get when you’ve taken that first walk i…

Cupid Painted Blind

Michael toed the fresh snow with his shoe, revealing the frozen black slush left from a week old storm. He pulled his jacket collar up over his bare neck and tried to look at nothing in particular.

Trying desperately to keep the coral rose in his left hand from sight, he carried on, continuing his way down the street along the uneven, un-shoveled sidewalk. He left a dissipating trail of breath behind him as well as a long line of footprints in the snow. Every step brought him closer and closer to her house and further and further away from contentment.

Shifting his grip on the flower, he caught a thorn on his index finger, drawing blood. The blood crept down, past his fingernail, the moisture inviting the cold to bite his finger. Such a bite as to cause Michael to wonder whose idea it was to give spring flowers to lovers in the middle of winter. It made little sense to him, but custom dictated his gift.

Well, he thought, perhaps not so much custom as the inevitable smile that it w…

The Mighty Thor

I thought you guys might find this interesting. This is a pitch Elias and I wrote for Marvel's Thor. This would have been a cool mini-series. Maybe it still could be...

One year ago Odin slumbered. All was well in the kingdom of Asgard. Although the citizens of Asgard respect their lords rule, during the Odinsleep, Asgardians carry on more freely and with less fear of respite; for when God sleeps, so sleeps his Godly expectations. And for the sons of this God, the same rings true.

While one brother plots in the shadows, the other enjoys the tranquility and reminisces of days filled more with mischievous sibling rivalries and less with evil plots. And on some days, within the God of Evil still resides the God of Mischief. On this day at Odin’s stables mischief is afoot.

The stable door splinters into a million pieces as Loki, astride Odin’s eight legged stallion Sleipnir, rides into the Asgardian countryside in a blaze of mischievous glory. He lets out an exaggerated …

Canceled Date

Up at the festival, up too late, couldn't sleep without writing. Enjoy:

In a hoarse voice better suited to a motor engine than a soft, delicate girl she tells me over the phone, “They sent me home sick from work today.”

“Are you okay?” I wonder, concerned.

“I’m fine. I just don’t know if I’ll be able to make it tonight. I want to so bad, though.”

“I want you to.” As I speak, I imagine her lips coming closer and closer to mine, but, as if it were in a bad dream, they never touch.

She coughs away from the phone, then, “When is the show again?”

“It’s at 9:30, but listen, sweetheart, if you’re not feeling well, you don’t have to come. I’ll just bring someone else. I don’t want you to come out if you’re not feeling well on my account.” It kills me to say that. Of course I want her to come.

“Well…” As she debates with herself, I can almost feel my cheek pressed to hers.

“Seriously, if you’re sick I don’t want you to feel obligated to come out here to see me. I’m not that important.”

“…