by Philip W. Gorski
Simon sat on the queen-sized bed, his apartment recently having become all-too-large now that Evelyn had moved out. His phone continued to make its presence known on the nightstand, its tones and chirps only the finest the factory settings had to offer. Simon’s focus remained on the abandoned engagement ring next to his antique iPhone 4, the text messages piling up pointlessly as his friends tried to convince him of meaningful distractions.
To be fair, his friends had tried their damnedest to help Simon feel at least a little better. Greg succeeded in convincing Simon to see The Monster of Blood Lake XII: Most Bloodiest Revengery, the latest in a series of movie sequels that had long ago stopped taking itself seriously as part of the horror genre. The outing had gone so close to perfect, at least up until Simon spotted Evelyn with her five friends who showed unbridled loathing toward Simon on their best days in his company.
Life had devolved into little more than cookies and cream ice cream and Netflix-binging after that as Simon burned through vacation days and his allotted time to work from home. E-mail reminders from Simon’s all-too-lenient boss about how much of a rock star he is and how they’re there to support him in this difficult time. The standard mourning of a now-dead love life. Continue reading
Tazio Appiatavo was eager to start the first day of his apprenticeship at his Nonno Angelo’s mask shop, Many Cloaks and Daggers. He had been made to wait until his twelfth birthday, which felt like an eternity. He sat on the shop’s ancient oak front counter, a mug of cocoa in his hands, as he waited for his Nonno to finally make an appearance. Nonno Angelo Appiatavo insisted the shop would fall to pieces if he weren’t near at all times, and so he lived in an apartment on its second floor.
Whenever anyone asked how long Many Cloaks and Daggers had been there, Nonno Angelo would answer very proudly. Continue reading
This short story popped into my head a couple nights ago, and demanded attention when I was too tired to provide such thought-requiring things. I started working on it last night, and continued on it most of today. I’m very happy with the end product. I considered sending it out for publication consideration, but I’m instead opting to be a story-dragon and keep it in my hoard. That is to say that I wanted to share it with those of you who misadventure alongside me at Misadventures in Fiction. I really hope you all enjoy this as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Without further rambling, I present “The Maskmaker’s Apprentice”.
There is a small, albeit moderately insane, portion of my mind that is convinced today was a test, for me from the Universe, to see just how many times I could string together expletives in the course of one sentence. If we take into consideration that I am a man whose verbosity and capacity for complex sentences is, at its best times, unrivaled, I would dare estimate that the total curse words I managed to cram into one sentence would max out around sixty. If I were actually keeping track of that sort of thing, anyway.
I’ve ranted plenty on Twitter already. I vented to my girlfriend. I even considered researching possible ways to bring about Armageddon (which, to the relief of many, is beyond my capabilities at present). Out of some weird, misplaced mercy, I will spare the additional ranting for other outlets. Let me just leave this portion of the post off with this open-ended question: why is it the universe is most prone to go to shit on Mondays? Ignoring the business of it being after a weekend, because some of us work on weekends.
My brain is a touch soft today. Whether it’s because I burned myself out writing three short stories and a blog post last night, or how the forces of stupid really stepped up their game today, I don’t know. I do know I don’t like this lack of motivation very much, as it puts a real damper on my ability to focus on anything at all (there’s a shock).
However, as a sudden plot-twist to this post, and thanks to some Twitter-chatter with @MortuaryReport, this story happened. I realize this is a rather abrupt transition into a short story that could have never happened, but that’s sort of how I do things on days like today. This is how I managed to be creative and destructive, all at once. It, like any story that happens out of nowhere, may have gotten a bit (and by a bit I mean extremely) ridiculous. I’m not sorry.
Or “I was feeling lazy and never got past the working title, but it’s been a bad day so have some excuses for my laziness.”
This started off as a joke in a conversation with my friend Lindsey, who is an entirely remarkable writer, and it escalated into this short story. Enjoy. Warpt Factor 6 should be happening sooner than later at this point, but we’ll see where the rest of the week takes me.
Here’s a short story inspired, in part, by binge-reading Zoophobia. I linked to it again because go read it.
I’ll have a post of a personal nature to follow this one shortly, too, but for now let’s focus on this story. It was quite fun to write, and I hope it’s fun to read as well.
I’ve been writing for a fair number of years now, and one thing I’ve never been able to work up the nerve to do is ask someone if I could write something inspired by something they created. There have been plenty of times I’ve really considered it, but never quite had the nerve or motivation to ask.
One day, relatively recently, a four-line story crossed my Dashboard (let’s just gloss over the fact I was on Tumblr, please). I did what I typically would do: liked it, reblogged it, and moved along. And then it stuck with me. Those four lines rattled around in my brain, a frequent distraction.
So, after a bit of debating on the matter, I messaged caliginosity (who originally posted “the stories fairytales don’t tell”) and asked if I could write a short story based around, and inspired by, their post. Here’s the source material, which can be viewed in its original state here:
The prince fought valiantly.
He slayed the dragon.
The princess cried for days.
She loved that dragon.
— The stories fairytales don’t tell
The short story it inspired ended up a little over nine pages. I’m hoping it did the source material justice. Special thanks, again, to caliginosity for letting me write this (so long as I credited the original work and author, of course). Anyway, without further introduction, here’s “The Forgotten Side to a Fairytale.”