Nauseating strobes flash through the packed night club and break everyone down into static. My head spins as I try to focus on a blurred blond woman across from me on a curved leather bench. I watch her tap her neon-painted fingernails along the table.
With one hand running along the side of my head, she makes me recoil even before she flashes her cracked grin. This ghost of a woman digs her nails into her face and peels down her flesh. Rather than cartilage or tissue, underneath her skin is a deep blackness with only her eyes and bone structure to reveal.
One thing you might not realize is that most killers are not psychopathic, according to James Fallon, a neurobiologist at UC Irvine. In fact, he argues most of them like their lives too much to want to destroy it. Instead, they would rather bring you into their world through coy seduction. These are people all around you. In fact, there's about 1 psychopath for every work environment with around 35 people or more.
Continuing reading to see how the psychopath slips into our everyday lives - or to see if there might be one close to you.
The last shot for Chance Black to save his family . . .
Chance Black, while not the writer he hoped to be, was a pretty damn good photographer. With his skills, Chance turned a dollar or two--enough for him, his wife, and his son to get by on. One day, a comparatively sizable paycheck came along. An opportunity arose to photograph an event for the Long Brooke Sync, a local tabloid publication, but Chance had no idea what would come along with the cash. By coincidence, one of his photographs captured suspicious behavior in the background, and unfortunately for Chance, the man committing the act figured it out first. In order to take the photograph back from Chance, the man in the photo decided he needed some major collateral.
It's been awhile since I wrote the popular "5 Elements of a Good Horror Story", which made me wonder if there was anything more I could add to the list. As I worked a bit more on Ashland's Asylum, I realized there is a great concept I completely missed - the concept of false antagonists and allies. After all, shouldn't any good horror story keep you guessing who's the bad guy and who's the hero?
If you're in the Plains or Midwest, maybe this is a good thing for you. Maybe not. Who knows?
All I know is that I'd almost forgotten to keep this short story going until I had an email inquiring about it. Well, the email itself wasn't performing any such action, but the emailer (Thanks, Jenny!) actually liked this story. It's another oldie from my first waves as a writer that I hope you enjoy.
To catch you up, Chance Black, freelance photographer working for the Long Brooke Sync, a tabloid publication of all goings-on around downtown Long Brooke, accidentally snaps a photo of someone and something he should have. Now he has to return the photos to a madman who cannot afford the risk of having another set of eyes on them. He either does that, or he loses his family.
Many apologies for the delay lately. I figured I could handle the workload of this brand-spankin' new site, but apparently my ego was writing checks my skill set couldn't cash. It's coming soon, though, and it's going to be awesome. If you've got a fancy-smancy smartphone or tablet, the new library page is going to be a lot of fun. It'll be fully touchscreen active. Stories will look like eBooks. Easy accessibility. And for those of you like me who stick to the PC or Mac, this site will be easy to read, quicker, contain more media, well-organized, pretty, yada yada. So bear with me and pardon the dust.
Photo: Coraline-Neil Gaiman and Tim Burton by darvinha. Click link for full image.
Recently Neil Gaiman, most famous for his book& animated film Coraline, explored the importance of reading. His focus was how we estimated the number of prison and jail cells we will need in the future. He concluded that the formula was quite simple: figure out how many 11-year-olds were illiterate.
Every so often when I'm cleaning up my files, I come across a piece of literature I never continued on with. Sometimes I wonder why I gave up on a certain piece. Here's one in particular. Let me know what you think.