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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 Terrence Malick (2)

Friday
Nov022018

Something Bad

“These dangers arrive quickly, just like death” — Marina Abramovic

Loss is a thing that once strayed and now lurches haltingly westward. It shuns its own footprints, ignores the dry dirty blizzard of its shedding skin, stifles with a great grey trembling paw its own desolate cries.

Don’t ever ignore what we were: combatants, companions. Custodians of conundrums. Siblings of stealth. Cryptic co-sponsors in a game without rules. Comrades. Compañeros.

The blue velvet night, the aquarium night, draws itself back for the raw abraded morning. Infected. Throbbing. Pulsing with ill-health. Gauze in a motel window still as a shroud, something lurking and medical.

The dawning truth of last night’s Chinese food scattered like a crime scene: sickly cardboard, spilled noodles, the scarlet provocation of congealed sweet-sour sauce, that fortune cookie message I thought I tossed in the trash. “Something bad is headed your way.” You ever see a fortune like that before? Yeah, me either.

The day struggles to wake, and off to the west gaunt towers of fine steel bone blink red for the airplanes like hangovers. Things no longer welcomed but necessary.

Me. You. Boy. Girl. Mojave jawline, Death Valley confluence.

Trucks pass on the interstate, insensate and tidal.

Why’d you leave? Who was the last to breathe? Why can’t I erase the name Melanie even from my dreams?

Fragments of words catch on the sodium lights, flame out, fall, all your breathless, dismal confessionals. Every confab obliterated, refashioned. I can fake amnesia better than anyone. Fake it until it’s real, so I never have to see the arc of a hunting knife flinging a bloodmist, can never hear the ragged shriek of someone who manages to track, to apprehend, without ever intending to, the lurker now wearing their own dreadful face.

Those ominous, luminous words: “Don’t leave me.” About as terrible as any three words could be. 

Deathly. Dancin’ with the ones that brung us. Let me walk you out soon. Come close and say it. What are the ardent things within us that cleave so hard to all this?

Later that evening, I hear a girl singing, comin’ around the corner. I mean barely singing. Tracing the edge of some abandoned tune while the sun skulks lower in a cardiac sky. All those reds returning to blue, the lowered pulse of the industrial night, the ceaseless, remorseless turn of the earth.

Right when I think I’ll see her, the world blinks like a giant eye, and I don’t see her.

I don’t ever see her.

 

Friday
Apr012016

Double Helix

© The Tree of LifeEveryone acts like nothing just happened but everything just happened.

I remember walking with you on the beach at sunrise, hands coupled, the clear cold air jagged in our throats, the ocean feigning benevolence. Sandpipers strutting the wet sand, stabbing their own reflections.

"Do you think it's weird how no one hardly ever talks about someone till they die unexpectedly?"

"Like?"

"I don't know. Bowie. Robin Williams."

"People talked about them a lot."

"Yeah, but not like they did when they died."

"It's because they were shocked. No one saw it coming."

"I guess. Seems strange to me still."

"Whatever."

Up ahead lay at least twenty bodies. Human bodies. We tried not to glance at them as we passed, but we saw enough to see they'd been mutilated. I wanted to make a joke about the mystery of whales beaching themselves, but I didn't. I'm glad I didn't. I hadn't known then how long we had left, and I'm glad I didn't befoul the already turbid waters of our last few hours together. Avoidance humour has its time and its place, but its time was not then and its place not there.

Who am I speaking these words to? To your memory, of course. To the strands that spiraled the precise patterns of your makeup, to the double helix that was you.

To the coiled tracks of shorebirds and the fading tracers of space junk.

I probably should have been more attentive to your theories. It's true I talked about you plenty before you were taken, but the voice in my head will no longer shut up about you, yammering about each detail like the Echo to my Narcissus, demanding I remember the time you inadvertently tucked the train of your wedding dress in your panties at the reception after returning from the bathroom (how no one even told you until the obligatory video had been captured), urging me to replay the panicked moment you thought we'd been unearthed by Bigfoot while camping in the Rockies (turned out to be a gopher), lamenting the shocked silence of the world in the sterile wake of your passing.

Have you ever imagined a field so huge it might as well be boundless? I think of you in such a place, your thin dress adhered to your curves, tall grasses eddying like liquid around you, your arms extended as if in a heaven designed by Terrence Malick. When such things could occur, before the slaughter, we would set up the TV on the porch and watch The Tree of Life and get hammered on those cocktails you called Fighting Irish, the ones only you knew how to make, while the wide cerulean day cooled into a tremulous cobalt evening, both of us poleaxed with melancholy over Brad Pitt's inkling toward his deficiencies, then stirred and charmed to grateful tears by Jessica Chastain's supple grace.

But now people act as if nothing happened, yet I know damn well plenty happened and that none of it is good and most of it is like finding your way through a dreadful dripping tunnel where dull bells toll and quick dark things skim your lowered head only to run into a sign that reads in strident black letters: This Is The Very End.