Rendered mute by the terror of… a baby?

People are dumb.

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So this is a rarity, but this post has nothing to do with writing, heavy metal, video games, or horror movies. You might get a kick out if it though if you enjoy any of those things…

I had the most bizarre experience walking with my 1 year old son Gannicus Picard down to the gas station. We’re in line and I’m holding him on one arm and my reusable bag full of drinks in the other, when I notice he’s started spitting up some rather foul smelling something or other. It’s some gross white gunk that’s unpleasant, but not exactly The Exorcist level crazy, either. Not all that unusual for a baby, though, right?

I look at the lady at the register and ask “Hey, you got any napkins or paper towels or something?” and she stares at me, slack jawed, apparently unable to speak. She’s looking at me as though I’ve sprouted a second head. I ask again, and she remains open mouthed and utterly silent.

There’s a woman behind me who looks very mom-ish with a huge purse, so I turn and say “You got any wipes or something I can use?” and she’s staring at me, again utterly silent, as though I’ve not only sprouted a second head, but both of them are prophesying in tongues about the end times.

At this point I’m getting pretty pissed off, because both of these people can clearly see and hear me, but they are both just refusing to respond in any way, so I leave my spot in line and storm off to the counter to find some napkins… but there aren’t any.

There is a kid wiping down the counter with a rag though, who is somehow also fucking staring slack jawed and silent at me, as though I’ve sprouted two heads, one of them is prophesying in tongues, and the other one is shouting the contents of his browser history to his parents. Seriously, this kid looks TERRIFIED. I literally grab the rag out of his hand with a disgusted snort, wipe Gannicus and I off, and then hand it back to him. He says NOTHING during this encounter.

I go back up to the woman at the register, who finally finds her voice to ask about Gannicus as she rings me up… and the total for my soda and three beers somehow ends up $6.66, which makes her eyes go wide as saucers and renders her silent again, as I’m certain she now believes either my son or I are the Antichrist. All I can do is roll my eyes and toss a wad of bills at her before walking out.

Somehow a baby spitting up managed to render three separate human beings deaf, mute, and utterly terrified. I don’t think any of my horror stories have even managed that feat yet!

UPDATE: Someone made this comment on Facebook:

I feel like you’re leaving the part out where you were wearing a promo shirt from some black metal band from Norway that had an upside down burning cross on it or something.
So I just thought I’d address that, since yeah, me wearing a metal or video game band shirt would be within the realm of possibilities. In this case, it was a Great America Eclipse shirt.

 

The subject matter itself of course is harmless (unless you ascribe nefarious events to solar eclipses, which I suppose people who are afraid of the number 666 probably do…) although the shirt had a giant black image of the sun being blotted out that kind of looked like the logo to the Ring horror movies, so maybe that added to the Antichrist vibe for the horrified checker 🙂
A solar eclipse is seen from the beach of Ternate island

2017 Books You Should Be Checking Out

From horror to romance and sci-fi!

Now that Light Dawning fervor is dying down and work is underway on new material (stay tuned for info coming soon), let’s take a look at books from other authors you should be reading this year!

Grimdark Fantasy

darklandsM.L. Spencer’s Rhenwars series is getting a ton of praise lately, and the third and final book Darklands just came out earlier this summer.

Going a bit different direction is the highly-praised Kings Of The Wyld by Nicolas Eames, which interjects rock ‘n roll into the dark fantasy genre as a band of old mercenaries come back together for one last job.

If you like your fantasy to feature an orc invasion, don’t miss out on The Eighth God by Paul S. Lavender either!

 

Grimdark Sci-Fi

lucGrimdark is definitely focused on the fantasy lately, but don’t forget that it very much has roots in sci-fi, with the grand daddy of the genre of course being Warhammer 40,000.

Offering up a futuristic rendition of the dark fantasy style is C.T. Phipps and his space opera Lucifer’s Star.

 

 

 

Sci-Fi Romance

1861379684Now hold on a sec… romance you say? Yeah, it’s not my normal thing, but Wendie Nordgren’s Space Merchants series is actually some pretty legit action sci-fi that happens to have a lot of heavy breathing, beefcake princes, and will-they won’t-they going on.

Teagan starts from humble beginnings on earth but goes on to rule a galaxy-spanning empire. The Space Merchants series is now in its fifth iteration with the recently-released Spider Queen. The whole series just got some killer new covers as well.

 

How About Some Horror?

metalmagicBrian Barr has been pumping out some bizarre and wonderfully weird horror shorts this year, including the Three H trilogy (The Head, The House, and The Hell) along with some music themed stories, which of course always piques my interest.

This prolific author’s heavy metal / horror extravaganza Metal Magic is out now, with a punk themed follow-up also in the works and due out soon.

 

 

Speculative Fiction… With Dinosaur Races!

5120Vk0ivnLWe’ll cap this off with a fun anthology feature Stant Litore, a Facebook friend of mine since I read his biblical zombie epic Strangers In The Land a few years back.

The Jurassic Chronicles features 13 different authors all giving their take on everybody’s favorite extinct creatures brought to life!

Fantasy is missing the horror element

How often do eagles really swoop down and save you from certain doom?

mighty

The epic MightyThorJrs blog was kind enough to host me for a new guest post, this time discussing the curious lack of horror in the fantasy genre. Some excerpts follow:

As much as I will always treasure those books and how they shaped my youth, that aspect of the genre doesn’t ring true for me. I can’t think of a single time that eagles ever swooped down – literally or metaphorically – to save me from certain doom. The local cleric has never brought a loved one back from the dead. Standing up for the oppressed very rarely results in recognition or reward, and can be actively dangerous.

When I was writing Light Dawning, I didn’t want to just surgically remove all those aspects of fantasy that felt like wish fulfillment or vicarious living through written characters – I wanted to viciously hack them apart, violently ripping them out with tooth and claw before throwing them into the uncaring fire. My take on the genre consists of forcibly colliding fantasy with an unpleasant dose of grim reality, then injecting some looming cosmic horror elements to take it all one step further into the abyss.

Check out the full article right here and be sure to check out the other recent posts there covering some killer new grimdark material!

Third chapter premiere now online

Meet the unhinged Father Erret as he tries to teach an acolyte the path of the light

book-excerpt

Very excited to announce even more “Light Dawning” news today as another chapter has come online introducing the world to the horrors of occupied Cestia.

Following the premiere of chapter 1 at Metalundeground and chapter 2 right here at this very blog, a third and final book excerpt has now come online.

Check out the full third chapter, introducing unhinged missionary Father Erret, via the Tattooed Book Geek here.

Brushstroke Picture Frame: https://www.tuxpi.com/photo-effects/brushstroke-photo-frame

GBHBL Gets Grim With “Light Dawning”

Got my first comparison to Game Of Thrones!

brains

Just saw a killer new review of “Light Dawning” from Games, Braaaaaaaains, and a Headbanging Life (hey, it’s the three things I like most all in one site)! Here’s a few excerpts:

Light Dawning has the feel of a world that reminded me of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. The huge conquering army sweeping across the world, the once powerful city now in ruins, the hopelessness of the continuing fight, the different religious factions trying to take control and the dark and powerful magic.

The claustrophobic feel of Cestia adds a certain hopelessness to the story making it feel especially glum and desperate.

Ty Arthur wanted to put a story down to spread around some of the anger and hurt he was feeling at the time. He succeeded there. Read it, enjoy it, feel down for a bit and then hope for a sequel sometime soon.

You can read the full 8 / 10 review right here.

Light Dawning

Which is worse… the darkness, or the light?

LightDawningCovWebVersionFollowing previous sci-fi novella “Empty” from 2016,  new full-length horror novel “Light Dawning” pivots away from the emptiness of space and dives headlong into the waters of fantasy, but with a seriously grimdark twist.

This next foray into the bleaker corners of human existence is out now and can be picked up on Kindle here or paperback at this location.

As with all my work, this story is inspired by a real life experience translated into a fictional setting, and completing this book took a lot out of me.

It is set in an unquestionably fantasy universe, but you won’t find any elves or farm boy chosen ones saving the world. My take on the genre draws more from cosmic dread and the horror of war than anything with unlikely heroes or lovable rogues. Don’t expect any happy endings.

Once known as the City on the Hill and revered far and wide for its independence and boundless opportunity, Cestia has become home only to the damned. Surviving under the brutal occupation of a southern empire for three long years, the oppressed populace has lost hope of liberation, turning instead towards an increasingly desperate rebellion willing to commit any atrocity for a chance at freedom.

As total war approaches, four lost souls trapped behind Cestia’s walls are on a collision course with fate, destined to either save the city or see it utterly destroyed while calling on forces beyond mankind’s comprehension. For good or ill, the light of a new day is about to dawn.

Like its predecessor, the creation of “Light Dawning” was driven forward by the power of music. To get an advance preview of the themes and tone of the novel, a music playlist matching several scenes can be heard via the Spotify player below.