“The Dragonfly Story” by @AlexChaseWriter @CoffinHop 2013


Hello Travelers,

I wrote this… I’ll be honest, I have no idea when I wrote this or what my intention for it was. The piece is unfinished, but I was so enamored with some of what I’ve said here that, if I get enough positive feedback, I’ll be sure to finish it. Luckily, my past self left me one enigmatic hint by saving this as “The Dragonfly Story.” I don’t know what that means, but, enjoy this snippet, Friends.

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Few humans are ever blessed with knowing what a gift their body is. Most only gain such an appreciation after they’ve lost a part of it. I am no exception

If anyone had attempted to tell me how strange my life would become, I would have laughed aloud and called the police to report an escaped mental patient. If I had been told a mere twenty-four hours ago that I would become like this, I would’ve had the same reaction.

My story begins, I suppose, with an event so mundane that it stands in stark and shocking juxtaposition to the details that are to follow. Almost one year ago, I was riding the bus, which usually took me from my apartment to a stop less than a block from my office at Lexington and West, LLC., when it missed a regular turn and meandered into a less savory part of town.

I pulled the cable to signal that I needed to leave only to find that the driver was new and was not aware of what such a signal meant. I approached the driver and explained the situation; he was courteous enough to stop the bus and kick me out while only shouting a few mild expletives at me.

My boss, Joel Lexington, didn’t seem to care that the error wasn’t mine. According to him, the fact that I had only graduated law school a few months prior meant that I was easily replaced. I hung up in the sad, slow manner of one whose only options are to accept defeat graciously or rebel like a child who tries not to sleep. I sighed, knowing how futile it would be to fight to regain my position.

Though I considered myself a local, I had no knowledge of where I was. I escaped the blistering heat of the sun by vanishing into a nearby Starbucks. I took one look at the woman by the counter and forgot my woes.

I do not know if it was love, but I do know I was utterly captivated. She had the eyes of a wolf– smooth and beautiful yet fierce and unrelenting. I couldn’t look away. My heart began to throb erratically as her gaze fell upon me. I prayed that I would die in that instant so that I could say I passed while looking upon the most beautiful sight in the world.

She noticed me and, upon realizing that I’d been entranced by her beauty, smiled. It was a smile of gentle violence, of a complete, actualized nihilism. It was so beautiful, yet so broken. It startled me to find that she was beautiful because she was broken, as if her mistakes and flaws were greater than the virtue and grace of any other being.

***

Walk with me from October 24-31 as I post some of my work in honor of Coffin Hop 2013. Some of this is quite old, some of it not–guess which is which, Traveler. Perhaps a right answer will earn a stroke of fortune for you…

For this tour, I’ll be giving away one signed anthology in which a story of mine has been featured. Which anthology is up to the winner. Keep in mind, I reserve the right to award additional gifts as per Coffin Hop rules. Who knows–if I get a lot of hits, you might see a lot of rewards in the future. Be sure to click the badge at the side of my page and visit the other Hoppers!

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666 Words by @demonauthor


Hello Travelers,

Birthright is a funny thing. Whether of noble or common blood, of modest or majestic inheritance, or of superior or inferior DNA, many believe we are a product of the circumstances of our birth and nothing more. Have we the power to resist what is determined for us before we’re even born?

The Damned’s Dan Dillard presents an interesting situation, leading to yet another question: if we embrace our birthright, are we limited only to that one life, or could, perhaps, fulfilling our ‘destiny’ yield something greater?

666 Words.

My Love Hate Relationship with Film (Part one of many)


Hello Travelers,

Today I came across this video. Be warned that there’s a spoiler alert below, so you may want to see it first (it’s only a minute).

The good: This is an example high-impact psychological horror. A dark ambiance and haunting surreality make this more than worth the viewing. Maybe not 100% original, but it’s on the right track.

The bad: There are already traces of Hollywood horror corruption visible in this filmmaker.

It isn’t horror or even horrifying to have something lurch out and scream as the camera changes angles. It’s surprising at best and, what’s more,  distracting because the viewer is actively threatened by the image, causing them to be thrown headlong back into reality as their brain checks them over, making sure all systems are go.

Please, if you’re a budding artist of the visual medium, think about this: would it be scary on paper? Consider the following.

Jason crept down a deserted hallway, feeling a bead of his cold sweat drip down his spine. The flashlight his brother Jerry had insisted he take began to flicker, and for an instant, he thought about the beeping of the heart rate monitor, and the instant his father had flat lined. He heard a creak and turned back, only for a hideous demon to jut into his view, screaming. 

Did that scare you, Traveler? I doubt it. So why is it ‘scary’ in film? Because the writers and directors feel shock value and an adrenaline spike are worth more than genuinely terrifying creatures and scenarios.

I’m not saying these films aren’t worth their salt, to certain crowds and for certain reasons, but consider Saw- one of the reasons I really enjoyed the antagonist here isn’t because he leapt out of a closet with a Chucky mask and a bloody knife, but because he single-handedly outsmarted everyone in the movie and was so confident he could do so (spoiler!) that he laid on the floor right in front of his victims, then got up and left at the end without a second thought.

Or, if mental horror is not your speed, consider Jacob’s Ladder, which was terrifying simply because you had no idea what was going on and couldn’t really trust the protagonist. Hell, for a while, it looks like he’s the bad guy.

Dracula (the book) was horrifying because it was almost impossible to kill the eponymous vampire and he was getting stronger every day. He had few concerns and didn’t bother trying to kill the protagonists that were trying to kill him because, for the most part, no human posed a threat to him.

Or Frankenstein (Again, book), which held the scare-inducing notion of a man defying god to raise the dead, and that undead specimen then trying to kill his own father because humanity itself was one giant, heartless monster that drove the creation mad.

Perhaps I’m ranting and raving, but I consider myself a bit of an old soul, and I don’t believe that true fear will ever be inspired by loud noises and sudden screen flickers. Disagree with me if you want, or hate me for bashing your beloved slasher films, but I prefer quality terror to cheap jerks and jolts every day of the week.

Comment, share, and do what you will with my diatribe, Travelers, just be sure to send a tweet my way if you appreciate where I’m coming from. It’d be nice to know I’m not alone on this road.

May the wind be at your back, no matter where you turn your eyes,

A. Chase

The Other by @Sotet_Angyal @penofthedamned


Hello Travelers,

I love the phrase ‘significant other’ for many reasons. One of which is that it implies there are insignificant others, lovers who represent such a small part of our own existence that we could utterly forget about them.

Similarly, it means there are Others who are bound to us with no regard to significance at all. But does that make their existence more or less meaningful? Let’s see what the Dark Angel of Pen of the Damned has to say about that…

The Other.

Down In A Hole by @tyrkieran @penofthedamned


Hello Travelers,

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? These long roads have kept me away for some time as I pursued my various projects. One or two, unfortunately, have been, how shall we say… dead… ends.

However, it is my distinct pleasure to bring you Tyr Kieran’s “Down in a Hole”. At times, we must use all of our power to do what we think we must. But what qualifies as something we ‘must’ do? Is it something that makes us more than human? Or does our doing it make us less so?

Take a moment to see what Tyr thinks of this matter…

Down In A Hole.

FILTHY by @demonauthor


Hello Travelers,

 

Did you know that, statistically, your keyboard is one of the most germ-ridden places in your home or office? Does this mean anything to you, or do you (like me) find that life’s legions of  bacteria are ignorable?

Well, Dan Dillard’s latest Damned contribution is certain to leave you squirming, as most good stories will. Be sure to give it a look, though you may need to wash your hands after…

 

FILTHY.

Sweet Nothings by @JosephAPinto


Hello Travelers,

 

Love is such a volatile thing, isn’t it? We say it’s delicate and tender, but who are we kidding- it’s about power or the lackthereof, about trust and betrayal, about the give and take. What do you do when your significant other is giving and taking when s/he shouldn’t be?

Perhaps Joseph Pinto has an answer. It may not be THE answer, but it’s certainly an interesting one. Be sure to read it, friends.

 

Sweet Nothings.