First, there were all the real ghost stories I could think of, and then there were all the ghost stories I could make up. This year, in honor of the Halloween season, I give you “The Witch’s Friend“–a tale of a god, a grandma, a little girl, and the biker gang that ties them together.
I’ll warn you that there is some violence that takes place very near a child and the story contains some disturbing imagery. If those things are not to your taste, I’d rather you didn’t read than read and not enjoy.
Hurray, it’s October!
Oh, just lovely. Your trees, your women, and most especially the way your women talk to the beings that aren’t exactly men that they talk to, these are the things that reverberate most for me.
And I like that there are crows.
I will read it–but just at the moment my headspace is not receptive to any sort of fright fiction. So I’ve not only got a list of questions about the Apex Mag. story belayed, I’ve got this as well.
But yes…I WILL read it. (And regardless, thank you for the thoughtfulness of warning re. content. Would that all authors had that consideration.)
Jess, crows are constantly hollering at me. I assume what they’re saying is “write about us!” So I do.
Coble, no problem. I know this won’t be up everyone’s alley and I don’t want anyone to feel blindsided by things, especially since there’s no good description. If you read the back of a book, you can kind of tell what you’re getting into (usually) or if a short story is at a certain magazine, you can give a good guess as to what the content will be like, but in this instance, if I don’t say, you won’t know.
Noisy crows are a completely personal good omen, and one I hear when I’m on the right track, generally.
I would very much like to live inside your fiction, B. The way the world works there is rough, but comprehensible and almost just. And it’s possible there to live as an odd woman alone through wits, talent and skills. Not that you won’t be lonely, but you won’t have to suffer fools much either. And you may have interesting friends.
Jess, that may be the kindest thing anyone’s ever said about my writing. Thank you. Really. Wow.
And, really, I would like to live in that world as well.
B, I said this on Twitter, but I friggen loved this. It just worked!
I loved this. I loved the Old Man. I loved the women. I loved how it was their story, and he played a part; but it wasn’t his story.
I’d love to see him and the Devil have a chat someday.
Anyway. Loved this.
I can’t decide if he and the Devil would have an interesting conversation or if there’d just be some kind of shirtless muscle-flexing display as they competed for the attention of passersby.
I don’t see the downside to either option, frankly.
Ha, well, true enough!
B, did you see this at Slate?
No, I didn’t, but that’s awesome. I like the ridiculous smack-talk. I wasn’t aware that people thought Shelley Jackson was a shitty writer, for instance.
But I say more power to him.
Well, shoot, after I sat here for like a minute not typing anything let me just say this, instead. When I was studying hypertext literature, there was a shit-ton of excitement about whether and how this fit in with French feminist literary theory and whether it was a type of experimental fiction particularly well-suited for women experimental authors.
Now, we could argue about a thousand presumptions that go into that above paragraph and those are useful arguments to have.
But I have to say, when a guy struts down a dead end where women had been hanging out and playing around at equal levels with men, if not more prolific levels, and declares that this is only a dead end because the people who were hanging out at the end of it didn’t have enough talent to make it go anywhere, it raises my hackles.
Oh, please, Mr. La Farge, save us dumb womenfolk from ourselves with your massive talent.
Re the Old Man and the Devil (aka Durard):
I believe it could go either way. They could start out running into each other at a bar and getting into a lengthy existential conversation and then getting drunk and posturing for passers-by (and getting arrested and disappearing from behind bars, *poof*), or posture first, on a dare at a big family reunion (perhaps at neighboring state-park picnic pavilions), and then get drunk and have their late-night existential conversation. And then get arrested and disappear, etc.
There also could possibly be smooching.
I’m just sayin’.
Oooh, what if they got into a betting mood during the conversation, and tried to predict/influence the behavior of one of B’s wonderful women, a la Job. That could be interesting.
Both would cheat relentlessly, and she would know as soon as it started just what was up, because they would be so not subtle about it.
Both would absolutely cheat relentlessly. It’d be almost cartoonish in the level of cheating.
But I feel like this ends up in another Devil’s Threesome. How can it not? What woman can resist two men so full of shit?
i started this in early october and didn’t really get it. i was reading it on my phone, and the “next” and “previous” links weren’t shown, so i was just clicking the hyperlinks randomly, and I got all kinds of confused. then i told myself something i used to say to get out of reading assigned books in high school. “the protagonist is female, and i’m a male, so i can’t identify with the main character, so i won’t be able to enjoy this.” but i knew that was bs. i was mainly just hurt because i couldn’t figure out the layout. then, on monday, i pulled up the blog to read some of your “city of ghosts” stories in preparation for the night. i decided that i needed to try reading this again, especially after reading the other stories that you had posted that day. after successfully reading this, i have to say that you are currently my favorite author. i’ve read through the whole thing three times and i’m probably not done. you are an incredible storyteller, and a brilliant author. i hope you receive the recognition you deserve. the only downside is that reading this made me realize that i’m not ready for NaNoWriMo. but, that’s probably a disguised kindness. thanks for being awesome, and reminding me of my sister.
Oh, lucas, you’re making me blush. That is so sweet. And I’m sorry the reading experience sucked in the mobile version. I confess, I never looked at it on my phone. I just assumed it would be okay. So, that’s my bad. But I’m really glad you gave it a chance on computer, then.
And don’t feel bad about NaNoWriMo. I don’t think I could pour out 50,000 fiction words in a month, even with all the help and encouragement and discipline in the world. I need to do a lot of staring off into space when I write. Sometimes that takes a while.