Class Division: “Spores”

K thinks the boss is in love with her.

She looks like a mosaic puffball, her skin covered with checkered patterns.

The boss was born Earthstar. He’d never look her way. His spores were meant to go else: to a Silverleaf. Or a Shag. Not K that smelled like wet rot. All scaly cap and throat gills. She belonged with other Common.

Varnish and varnish. I’ll say this for K: she is tenacious. Especially about her delusions.

Wrote this story coming out of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, 2014. Got all of the imagery from a book about mushrooms.

Stay tuned.

Dystopia: Tyrone Guthrie Centre, 2014

Self is trying to put together a collection. Which involves a laboriously slow process of selection. It is nice, though, re-reading stuff.

from Spores:

(Set in the far future. Very, very, very far. Society’s divided into classes:  Earthstar, Silverleaf, Shag, and Common. The main characters are a pair of lab workers named K and R. K is a girl, R is a boy. The story’s told from R’s point of view)

“We be needing foxes,” I said once.

“You lousy hedgehog,” the boss said, giving me a good one. My right eye swelled up almost immediately.

“You not be asking me to fetch, you lousy Common!” He gave me another good one on the way out.

K trembling there in the corner.

The voice was birthed while eavesdropping at the dinner table in Annaghmakerrig.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Still More “Thing”

The factories still cry out sometimes. When we hear the keening sound, we know it is herds of ghost pigs, running into walls and crying because they can never find their way out. They are inside people’s heads, like the memory of old ways. And when people’s heads get too full of memories, the first ones to tumble out are the pigs, running every which way and squealing.

— from New Orleans Review 38.1, 2012

More “Thing”

  • We pig tenders go about our work with cowls pulled forward, shielding our faces. The sun is too bright: it scalds everything. At least, with a cowl, we still have faces.

New Orleans Review 38.1, 2012

Looking Back: “Thing”

“Thing” was the first of self’s dystopian fantasies to be published. It appeared in New Orleans Review, Vol. 38.1, 2012.

In the far future, a zoo for pigs exists in the desert. The minders are mutants, like the pigs they care for. The characters have names like Shrimp and Plankton (An editor asked if I got the names from SpongeBob Squarepants and I was so confused)

We feed the animals, clean their pens, that kind of thing. Our pigs are the result of experiments. They have all kinds of weird traits: one had a mouth in the middle of its forehead. Another had six legs. Another stared skyward, unable to bend its neck. Still another had the body of a snake and three noses. Each of the Not-Rights was unique and completely different from the others.

The mouth-in-the-forehead pig was mine. I named it Ed. I remembered that name from somewhere, I’m not sure where. When it cried, white foam spilled out of its mouth; the red of its pupils was astonishing, like fire. I never got tired of looking at it. It lasted longer than the others, I even let myself hope that it would happen differently. But one day its bristles started to fall out — big, black clumps of them, all over the pen. After that, it was just days.

But why should a pig cry, Shrimp said. What gives it the right?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

In Honor of International Women’s Day

Books that rocked self’s world:

  • Break It Down, by Lydia Davis
  • Empty Chairs, by Liu Xia
  • The Charm Buyers, by Lillian Howan
  • Yes (A screenplay), by Sally Potter
  • The Hunger Games Trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
  • Night Willow, by Luisa Igloria
  • Palayok: Philippine Food Through Time, by Doreen Fernandez
  • The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin
  • Bad Behavior, by Mary Gaitskill
  • Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
  • After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
  • Memories Flow In Our Veins: Forty Years of Women’s Writings from Calyx, edited by the Calyx Editorial Collective
  • The Infernal Devices Trilogy, by Cassandra Clare
  • Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
  • Going Home to a Landscape: a Filipino Women’s Anthology, edited by Virginia Cerenio and Marianne Villanueva

The Next 3 Books on Self’s 2017 Reading List

Self began reading Ape House, by Sara Gruen. It really plays with your head because right away, the bonobos are introduced with such clearly human traits, and we don’t see them as “animal.” (So what is the point? If they’re already human, why are we reading? Dare self say — because on p. 11 there are already seeds sown of a romance? Ugh. It’s not that self hates romance. It’s just that she wanted to read a story that was primarily about bonobos) But, no denying, Sara Gruen really goes for it. She bare-knuckles her story and you either buy her point of view or you don’t.

Self then began reading the next book on her reading list: American Gods, by Neil Gaiman. And, OMG, he doesn’t pull any punches either. He goes straight for the mythopoetic, quoting from a book on American folklore (and, eerily, finding the exact quote to reflect what self has been thinking all these years, which is: why are there no tikbalangs or mangkukulams in the United States? Is it because these creatures cannot get on a plane?)

So, because self is always searching for certainty, and she just finished reading Peter Lovesey’s Skeleton Hill and it was excellent, and self thinks she might be on something of a run, she decides to be truly daring and pick up the third book on her 2017 reading list: Phil Klay’s Redeployment. And here’s yet another writer who doesn’t pull any punches. His stories of men fighting in the front lines in Iraq — they will not thrill you. For instance, the title story: “We shot dogs. Not by accident.”

Which to read first? In point of fact, self already has six books lined up: the other three books on her current reading list are by Mary Beard, Francis Parkman, and Edward Gibbon. Eminent historians, all. Self hasn’t read so much history in a very long time.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

In Which Sunny and Self Discuss/De-Construct “Passengers”

Of course, because this is the future and we write fan fiction, watching “Passengers” leads to some interesting gender flipping in our de-construction of said movie.

The idea of having Jennifer Lawrence doing the choosing was entirely Sunny’s. Self thought: Go for it!

Exhibit A

Stay tuned.

“First Causes” in Quarterly West

  • Big starts walking towards me. His voice drops. “Now, now, now, now. Is this payback? For what I did to Her? Her was a stray. Made me look like a clump. You another. Know what I do to strays? You stupid, fucking Fog Brain! I’ll rip you in half!”

“First Causes” in Quarterly West, Issue 89

This has got to be the strangest science fiction ever.

Morgan was right: self’s language sounds like it would be right at home in a North Dublin chip shop. But this is the future. In the last human colony on Earth.

A group of Quarterly West contributors, self included, will be reading in DC, Feb. 8, at Sixth Engine (Firehouse & Bar), 438 Massachusetts Ave., NW.

The companion piece to “First Causes” is “First Life.” Read it on Juked.com.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amwriting: Dystopia, the End

A classroom of the future. The teacher is Fire Lizard.

Fire Lizard really is turning into a lizard.

The students are Dragon, Drinker, and Knot. Dragon and Drinker are boys. Knot is a girl.

This is a sequel to self’s “First Causes.”

Fire Lizard looking greener than usual today. He pays no mind about Big’s chair, sitting empty.

“Nature,” Fire Lizard begins, “will vindicate her laws.”

We nod. Our cornea slips engage.

This is a series of stories in which the protagonists mostly just sit in a classroom. Because this is a classroom of the future, there’s fancy stuff like cornea slips.

“First Life” was published in Juked.com, July 2015.

“First Causes” is forthcoming in Quarterly West.

For more of this dystopian universe, refer also to decomP, which in August this year published “Spores,” along with audio from Morgan Cooke, reading in full Dublin accent, lol!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

« Older entries

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photography

Learning and teaching the art of composition.

fashionnotfear.wordpress.com/

Fear holds you back, fashion takes you places!

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery

transcribingmemory

Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog

litadoolan

Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum

the contemporary small press

A site for small presses, writers, poets & readers

The 100 Greatest Books Challenge

A journey from one end of the bookshelf to the other

Random Storyteller

“Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.”― Madeleine L'Engle

Rants Of A Gypsy

Amuse Thyself Reader!

FashionPoetry by Val

Sometimes, I write down my thoughts (and other random stuff) and I share them

Kanlaon

Just another Wordpress.com weblog