fractured fictions

A man who has died just seconds ago communicates the uncertainty of his final destination with The Great Unknown as consciousness slips away. A young woman composes a sarcastic letter of healing to her abusive father prior to defending her title as the psychiatric hospital’s karaoke champion. A secluded rural family performs a bizarre ritual meant to harm the psyche of their estranged daughter and sister, whose only crime was to move far away from the family.

Enter a speculative universe where logic has been put on life-support, traditions are seen as useless appendages, and nearly every character in these overtly farcical tales lives a hopelessly bewildered existence, carried along by a dysfunctioning self-awareness antithetical to his or her well-being. If this sounds like our present day lives, it is, only ratcheted up a few dozen notches. Lurking underneath the stories is the reality that we humans simply take ourselves far too seriously, and it might behoove us to lighten up before the you-know-what hits the fan. Fractured Fictions is my second story collection and most absurdist writing yet. It includes the novella Gummy Worm Mind Invasion, a near-futuristic look at what happens when a science writer’s immovable skepticism collides head-on with irresistible supernatural forces.


the man who sailed around his soul

“The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul” takes a brash, satiric, and cryptic look at the insanity of a future society where corporate advertising behaves like a ruthless king, creating its own laws in the acquisition of wealth.

In contrast, slacker extraordinaire Josef Meddleson lives happily with very little. Jif peanut butter and loose older women pretty much covers it. What about his soul, you ask? According to his beloved mystic guru teacher Hydria Reaves, there is no soul, silly!

He’s rather smug about not being a cog in the new kind of hyper-active, barbaric world of commercialism. But Josef is about to get sucked into the madness in ways he could never dream of.

Speaking of dreams, he’s been experiencing lurid waking nightmares of late. So often in fact, he’s afraid several screws are loosening. This and other grisly events are spinning his life out of control. The most startling has Founding Father Thomas Jefferson trying to hunt him down in an effort to pummel him to death. Has TJ somehow reanimated back to life, or has Josef truly lost his mind? Or both?

As life’s grim absurdities pile up like a three-day old Las Vegas buffet, and while battling the brutality of corporate advertising, it becomes clear to Josef he’s experiencing something new and profound that could be his soul. He’s now convinced dreaming and reality are two sides of the same nickel. Escaping Jefferson’s murderous advances, however, is priority one. It will be the most heroic thing he will ever accomplish… even if he’s not certain it’s really happening.

Coming to terms with his “soul” will have to wait a bit.

frying on this rock

My first story collection revolves around the macabre and absurd manner in which we search for meaning, how misguided we are imagining our seeking will solve problems. The cosmos, laughing uproariously at our efforts, inevitably will decide it’s had enough of each and every one of us, turning our brains into pina colada slushies.

The characters in this book are either administering some monstrous form of their unique power-play onto the world or are its naive victims. The result is a grisly demise to all participants, in many creatively funny ways! Projecting one’s peculiar brand of belief, when given enough energy, can result in terror like this:

-In “The Interstellar Maintenance Man,” newly retired Renaldo Powell has invented an intensely hallucinogenic gum, that when chewed, reveals the reason for life on Earth. People love the flavor, but the aftertaste is devastating.

-Can a workaholic law firm researcher trying to access his true individuality, and a government-grown miniature clown, co-exist without driving each other crazy? “A Flower?” is a story about dying to laugh again.

-“In The Future, Everyone Will Be A Terrorist For Fifteen Minutes” tells the story of Chuck and Riley, two elderly homeless men trying to survive in a new town where terrorism is as natural as breathing, and being accepted means total compliance, or the town’s history will cast its tragic spell.

Let’s face facts. Life, much like this book, is crazy. We’re only a few twitchy fingers from total annihilation. That realization drives the subtle horror, and a not-so-subtle irreality lingering within these stories. ‘Frying On This Rock’ won’t save mankind from itself, but it sure is funny tasting medicine for this new foolish dark age.