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  • Endless Joke
    Endless Joke
    by David Antrobus

    Here's that writers' manual you were reaching and scrambling for. You know the one: filled with juicy writing tidbits and dripping with pop cultural snark and smartassery. Ew. Not an attractive look. But effective. And by the end, you'll either want to kiss me or kill me. With extreme prejudice. Go on. You know you want to.

  • Dissolute Kinship: A 9/11 Road Trip
    Dissolute Kinship: A 9/11 Road Trip
    by David Antrobus

    Please click on the above thumbnail to buy my short, intense nonfiction book featuring 9/11 and trauma. It's less than the price of a cup of coffee... and contains fewer calories. Although, unlike most caffeine boosts, it might make you cry.

  • Music Speaks
    Music Speaks
    by LB Clark

    My story "Solo" appears in this excellent music charity anthology, Music Speaks. It is an odd hybrid of the darkly comic and the eerily apocalyptic... with a musical theme. Aw, rather than me explain it, just read it. Okay, uh, please?

  • First Time Dead 3 (Volume 3)
    First Time Dead 3 (Volume 3)
    by Sybil Wilen, P. J. Ruce, Jeffrey McDonald, John Page, Susan Burdorf, Christina Gavi, David Alexander, Joanna Parypinski, Jack Flynn, Graeme Edwardson, David Antrobus, Jason Bailey, Xavier Axelson

    My story "Unquiet Slumbers" appears in the zombie anthology First Time Dead, Volume 3. It spills blood, gore and genuine tears of sorrow. Anyway, buy this stellar anthology and judge for yourself.

  • Seasons
    Seasons
    by David Antrobus, Edward Lorn, JD Mader, Jo-Anne Teal

    Four stories, four writers, four seasons. Characters broken by life, although not necessarily beaten. Are the seasons reminders of our growth or a glimpse of our slow decay?

  • Indies Unlimited: 2012 Flash Fiction Anthology
    Indies Unlimited: 2012 Flash Fiction Anthology
    Indies Unlimited

    I have two stories in this delightful compendium of every 2012 winner of their Flash Fiction Challenge—one a nasty little horror short, the other an amusing misadventure of Og the caveman, his first appearance.

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Entries in politics (3)

Saturday
Aug172019

Jaquinta

You clamber down the embankment, under a squeal of rail. A blaring assemblage sparks and screams above. How soon until your ears bleed?

Jaquinta knows your story. For a good price, she might even give it up.

Things might escalate, although they might not. 

Love the aftermath. The silent hiss of conifers, under a windless sky. Why is it they still hiss, even in stillness? Their very tops somehow moving while the evening settles so quiet, a scattershot of dogs barking hollow in the throat of this dry valley. 

Back in my dream, Jaquinta, you told me something, and I heard it, and to this day I want that story spilled over eggshells crackling alive, overrun with raccoons ruining a coop.

“I don’t care where you bin,” you say, so quietly, and a cloud of bright parakeets flutter from a nearby roof, and you dream the same hoarse breath. “I just care where you at.”

Ain’t none of us one thing. 

These glittering cities. Emerald Seattle. Quicksilver Vancouver. The glistening infernal Bay. The bristling, stockpiled western edge of the continent. We rooted them in beauty. We sang their swollen choral praises. And they abandoned us. We, the workers, the dreamers, the pragmatists, the saints: you don’t get to hate a thing until you love it. 

The shriek of the train trails into a lingering tail, a dwindling lonesome coda echoing across the hallowed plain.

This is a story clinging to the coattails of another, and one day I’ll muster the cojones to tell that one too.

Friday
Mar232018

Mutiny

"Pain, unlike pleasure, wears no mask." — Oscar Wilde

She smiled at him in the evening. She wanted to cry, but she laughed. Gators slipped off the banks, dropped like sudden drab stones into the depths.

Don't drag me. I smell the bright smell of brass in the runnels of your fingertips. Make me your instrument.

"Those who have much are often greedy; those who have little always share."

Each time you want to say "I'm sorry," say "I love you" instead. It's only a tiny thing, really. Summon the guts to say as much.

I'm taking a guess. He might have been somewhere. Aces wild. A cascade. His dissident prayer was splashed from above, skittering over rock, shining with the refracted sun, shot with the sorrowing incandescence of sundown as it begins its lament for the day.

"Nature, whose sweet rains fall on unjust and just alike, will have clefts in the rocks where I may hide, and secret valleys in whose silence I may weep undisturbed. She will hang the night with stars so that I may walk abroad in the darkness without stumbling, and send the wind over my footprints so that none may track me to my hurt: she will cleanse me in great waters, and with bitter herbs make me whole."

A secular psalm. A spasm of glory. We are all mutineers; never apologists. 

Somewhere outside Salzburg, a dove flies in the dimming valley, beneath the alpenglow, above the russet rooftops. A train attempts to follow, mostly fails. Barn doors creak. Hooves on straw like the ghosts of ancient tantrums. Darkness comes in fast, hurt and hushed, and no one is awake. 

O love. You cannot even speak. The shush of a song, the breath of a woman, follicle-fragile voice carried to your quivering ear on the gossamer wing of a damselfly, right behind you, from over your hunched shoulders while you cry into the silence, wishing to puncture a vacuum, yearning for the eternal indignant, the coal-black haven unspoken.

"You will never rue those times you watched the wide sargasso mouth from some imaginary bridge as it opened to swallow the world, one blighted fly-blown dream at a time."

"Why say any of this?" 

"I must speak these things for you, so you are not left anguished."

"But where I walk there are thorns."

"Then learn to avoid their points."

Reptiles in water. Gulf weed. Moccasins. Choked and blinked. Vertiginous. 

He smiled at her at daybreak, wanted her to cry, but she laughed. 

Monday
May142012

Pod People

I am now officially a pod person. I've been interviewed before, which is an interesting experience the first few times, but when you notice yourself repeating many of the same answers in slightly different ways, it can be a case of diminishing returns. Which illustrates the importance of fresh questions on the part of the interviewer, but also behooves the interviewee to remember to dig deep and not resort to phoning it in... which is an apt figure of speech for the most recent experience I had of this strange concept in which one person asks questions of another person and they share the result of the conversation in the assumption others will find it interesting. But anyway, what I'm getting at is, on this occasion I did actually phone it in. Almost literally. Well, okay, Skyped it in. And the interviewer, Carolyn Steele, who runs the website Trucking In English, shaped this audio into something very listenable—a podcast, in fact, and the only known recording of my voice on the internet.

Ostensibly a conversation about Dissolute Kinship, it moves surprisingly seamlessly (given my propensity for inexplicable tangents and, um, awkward, ah, speech fillers) between the topics of New York City itself, both then and now, and the wider implications and fallout of the attacks of September 11, 2001. I even talk a little about growing up Catholic in a Protestant country. So, uh, religion and politics. Great. I eagerly await the hate mail.

But somewhere in there, she somehow manages to get me to make a connection between the unifying nature of the world's initial reaction to the horrors that day and the subsequent democratization that's largely been wrought by the internet, offsetting the more rigid and authoritarian reaction in the political sphere. It's an interesting counterpoint to the almost dystopian pessimism into which it's far too easy to lapse. And it takes no small amount of skill to elicit thoughts I probably wouldn't have come up with on my own. I guess that kind of synergy is the point, really, is why interviews can be so illuminating. Greater than the sum, kind of thing.

Anyway, have a listen here and if nothing else, see how mockable my outlandish Anglo-Canadian accent is.

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also writes for Indies Unlimited and BlergPop. Be sure to check out his work there if you like what you read here.