#NaNoWriMo18.02

A week into NaNo & how things change in big ways & small way. Being a pantser I jump in with ideas period. No names for characters or no professions. Quickly those things appear, as they need to appear. Jobs are only important because characters have to have jobs, whether that job relates to the plot is irrelevant but it can inform our hero’s actions. But when events only happen to them because of their job it can seem a bit hokey – serial killer profiler who gets stalked by a serial killer.

Names are important as they can inform readers of nationality, gender, class but, for my liking, have to be easily pronounceable if they re going to appear more than once. So my character’s names have changed a few times already. For my secondary characters I’ve decided to use names drawn from either Frankenstein or Dracula to pay homage to two of the inspirations for Blludstun. 

 

I was going to have a gay male triad but found that three voices striving to be heard was too much work & also distracting. Two is enough. Professions are falling into place. I have my hero, Matthew Taylor, as a transcriber in a hi-tech security firm – he makes hard copies of investigators’ written and/or dictated findings. His partner, Gabe Zhang, has become a 2nd generation Chinese, doctor doing the final year of his residency as St. Michaels (a hospital here in Toronto). This gives both of them ages, locations & tells us something about their background.

 

Progress is being made 🙂

please note Don has been renamed Gabe – it’s established that he is Chinese & that he is in last year of residency at St. Micheal Hospital. Also keep on mind this is unedited cookie dough – I put things down in rush as images came to me.

“How long was I … in a trance?” Gabe sat in his armchair.

“Less than two minutes. I wasn’t looking at the time.”

“Two minutes! It felt like hours. It had to be longer than that. My legs are aching from all the walking. Even doing the morning rounds was this exhausting.” Gabe rubbed his calves.

“Walking? You were out this afternoon?”

“No! In the trance I found myself in a … house. No outside of a house. It looked like one of those ultra-modernity places only it had some deco touches around the door frames.

“You were with me for the first moment then you went into the house so fast I lost sight of you. The front doors were shutting behind you as I ran up the stairs to follow you. It’s all so vivid. I can smell the lemon polish on the door. It hadn’t quiet shut and opened with just a gentle touch.

“I was surprised because it was a massive door. Thick, twice as tall as me. It shut noiselessly once I was inside. I was in a foyer that had a pair of stairs curving along each wall like arms reaching down to hold me. There were doorless rooms on both side.

“I looked into each to see which room you had gone into. I knew you hadn’t gone up the stairs. There were two regular doors in the middle of the wall under the stairs. I wanted to study the furniture it all was in the same style as the outside of the house.  Lamps, side tables, even the carpet seemed to repeat those same deco details. I was thinking someone very rich must have really loved that deco look. 

“I also thought it was odd that there was no other detailing, you know, like floral sprays or abstract patterns. Everything was along the edges while the body was in solid colours. Mostly deep rust with gold detailing but there were some in a garish yellow with blue detailing.

“I could hear someone walking quickly away from one of doors. The foot steps were on marble. I opened each of the doors and the first opened to carpeted hallways and the other opened to a marble floor. I could hear your footsteps. I called out to you but all I heard was my echo. I took my shoes off so you wouldn’t hear me following you. I wanted sneak up to surprise you.

“The marble was warm underfoot. After walking along it I sensed that the corridor had sloped gently downward. There were doors along it either and I was thinking I hope Matt knows where this leads. The floor began to feel less polished underfoot. I looked down and it was no longer that high grade marble but a sort of granite. You know the stuff with bits of mica in it that glitters when the sun is on it. I stooped down to feel it. When I stood I was at a doorway that had a brocaded curtain over it.

“I pushed the curtain aside and found myself in a chapel. There was several rows of pews on each side of an aisle. The door opened into this central aisle. swag lamps on either side illuminated the room. There was an altar at the far end with statues on either side. The light was dim at that end so I couldn’t really make out what the figures were. 

“The room was musty, like it needed to be aired out. The pews were dusty too. On the walls were tapestries of forest scenes filled with strange beasts. Not dragons but serpentine horses rearing fearfully. I was afraid. I sensed this wasn’t where I was supposed be. There were no footprints in the dust on the floor in front of me so I knew you hadn’t come into this room.

“The tapestry to the left of me fluttered as if someone had been there watching me. I lifted it and there was corridor behind it. I called your name as I walked down it. You replied ‘Hurry up slow poke’ I walked faster. This corridor wasn’t straight, it had sudden corners. Some sharp other with curves that I feel were taking me back the way I had come. I stopped to catch my breath, put my shoes back on and saw a flight of stairs that lead down.

“I went down the stairs. I wondered where the light was coming from because I didn’t see any wall sconces or overhead lights. The stairs began to curve into a spiral until I found myself in what I assumed was the basement. There were shelves of containers with various dishwater, sheets, household stuff in them. One was filled with what looked like silver spoons with monogrammed handles. I took one and there was were gems in the middle of the top of an ornate ‘B’. I put it in my pocket.

“By now I was exhausted. You know me, five minutes of walking and I’m ready to sit down but I didn’t see anyplace to rest. I thought there would be an area for furniture down here both this other stuff they’s stored in the basement. I figured if I came to another set of stairs I’d sit on them for a rest but I knew I had to keep following you.

“I heard some chanting and followed it. I found myself in another … I want to say chapel but was more of a grotto, a cave. Rough hewn walls, wet and lit by tall candles. When I stepped in the singing stopped. There was about a dozen people in robes and cowls. Just like in the movies I thought. They all turned to me at once and pushed their cowls back. Their faces. Oh my God. Their faces.

“I must have fainted and when I came to you were holding me. I was back here in this room.”

Gabe was trembling so much Matt pulled a blanket from the floor beside the couch and put it around their shoulders. 

“All that is those few minutes?” Matt said.

“They were chanting ‘Vos autem non rogavimus – Nolite facere malum in arbitrium’” Gabe sang the words as he had heard them in the chant.

They sat in silence for a few minutes. Both staring into space. 

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November 1 -30

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November 15: Hot Damn! It’s a Queer Slam – 8p.m. – Buddies In Bad Time Theatre, Toronto



http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday


June  – Capturing Fire 2019 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

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NaNoWriMo.01 2018

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to tackle NaNoWriMo this year. I’ve done good work every outlast year it felt like work – previous years were like sailing without needing a steering wheel. Last year was like rowing in molasses. So this year I’m going to start with cliche plots, queer them up & see where that takes me.

 

Cliche plots will include haunted houses, possession, paranormal investigators, explicit gore and who knows what else. I’ve been watching the current season of American Horror Story (mildly enjoying it), recently watched Castle Rock, have the current Channel Zero on my pvr to watch – so I’m clearly interested in this genre yet have never really written about it so time to get on that broom 🙂

Rather than try to fashion a single plot, plus sub-plot I’m going to a series of linked short stories using the same characters in various supernatural circumstances. Perhaps allowing the lead pov to move from story to story. Starting with one of them getting a mysterious letter informing them that they’ve inherited a mysterious estate in a mysterious country.

I also want to play around with various form of narrative – Frankenstein is told by the captain who finds the doctor on the ice floes; Dracula is told via letters & journal entries. I recently watched The Saragossa Manuscript  in which a man tells a story in which a man tells story about man telling a story. James Joyce’s Ulysses as a horror novel 🙂 Working title The Blludstun Chronicles.

Please keep in mind this is a fresh off the keyboard sample that has had minimal editing – I haven’t even checked it for typos.

“Matt, You’ve got mail!” It was a text message from Don, my partner.

“Thanks” I texted back. I checked my email box and there was nothing there. Don would often send longer messages as emails because typing them in the cell phone annoyed him.

“There’s nothing there.” I sent back to him with a frown emoji.

He texted back a photograph of a letter addressed to me. ‘Mr. Matthew Taylor, 75a Crombie Mews, Toronto, Ontario” All written by hand.

“Very clever marketing.” I texted back. “Looks like real handwriting.”

The video alert flashed and Don was sending a live feed of the envelope.

“It’s not marketing.” Don said. “I recognize real ink.”

“Show me the stamp.” I said.

He angled the letter so the stamp came into view. 

“It’s a real stamp!” Don said as he picked at a corner of the stamp. “Glue not pre-sticky.”

The stamp was a Greek athlete throwing a disc. The lettering on the stamp wasn’t one I recognized. I did a quick image search on Google. It was from Dashan. 

“It’s from Dashan!” I exclaimed.

“Who is Dashan?” Don asked. 

“It’s a country not a person. Who’s the sender?”

“I can’t tell. The return address is in that gothic font.” He brought the return address into view on the phone.

“It’s blurred.” I said. “Hold it still.”

“I am.” He pulled the cell away from the developed so it was all in view.

“Strange. Everything else is readable except it’s like there’s some smudge on your lens distorting it. Open it!”

“I don’t think I should.” Don panned his phone’s camera to the lower portion of the envelope.

In thick red hand printing it said “To be opened only my the addressee.”

“Go on,” I said. “The envelope won’t know who opened it, will it?”

“Something important?” Frank, my supervisor was standing by my desk.

“Yeah. I got mail!”

“Not on company time.” 

“Sorry. But I mean I got snail mail.”

“What?” He stepped inot the cubical to take a closer look at the photo on my phone. “I’ll be.”

“I gotta go. I’ll open it when I get home.” I turned off the video link.

“It’s not your birthday.” Frank said. “Or did I miss the reminder.”

“Birthday?”

“It was at one time a tradition to snail mail birthday greetings.”

“It’s not my birthday. I have the Beaufort report to finish.”

“George Innis was on that case?”

“Yes. His notes are impossible to read and transcribing his audio is no easier. When he isn’t spilling coffee on his paper he’s slurping it went he records his findings.”

(Matthew works for a corporate investigative firm that specializes in corporate surveillance.)

When he got home he saw that the envelope was on the dining table. Unopened. He went toward the table and the air was noticeably cooler. 

“You feel it, too?” Don came out of the kitchen and kissed Matt. “The cool.”

“Yes. Must be draft from one of the windows?” Matt hugged Don and looked over his shoulder at the envelope. All day he’d wanted to get home to tear it open but now he wanted to wait.

“You didn’t open it?” He asked Don.

“I … it didn’t feel right.” Don said. “After I showed it to you with the cell I couldn’t wait to put it down. It was almost if it jumped out of my hands.” 

I stared at the envelope. It was an off-white, a little larger than standard business. 

“Why are you staring at it. Open it.” Don gave me a little nudge toward the table.

“I don’t know.” I approached the table. “I get this strange vibe from it too. Fuck! It’s even colder here. Maybe I’ll need my gloves to even pick it up.”

I picked it up and the cold immediately dispersed. The paper was a linen weave. Expensive, not some drugstore bought envelope. I could see the return address clearer but the name was indecipherable. 

“Open it.” Don said. “The suspense is killing me.”

“Okay. Here goes.” I ran my finger under the back flap. As it opened I caught a scent, sort of a peppery rose, that came from it. A place red mist flashed out of it then dispersed. I dropped the envelope. The lights flicker and dimmed in the room. I could no linger see anything around me.

Don moaned. I looked at him and his eyes rolled up in his head. He stepped back unsteadily, turned and reached for the sofa. He collapsed to the floor before he could reach it. I tried to help him to sit but my hands couldn’t grasp his body. It felt like I was trying to pull spotting out of an oily river and that something kept slipping out of my hands.

“You have no choice. Don’t make the wrong one.” Don spoke but the voice wasn’t his.

The room had gone from freezing cold to suffocatingly warm. I hooked two of my fingers into Don’s pant waist and pulled him to me. I clasped him to me. His body was vibrating.

“You have no choice. Don’t make the wrong one.” He repeated several times. For a moment I couldn’t feel the floor under me. Don’s body shuddered then went limp in my arms. The lights returned to normal.

“What does it say?” He asked.

“You don’t remember what just happened?”

“Yes you opened the envelope. What? Did I miss something?”

“You went into some sort of trance.” I said. “When I opened the envelope you seemed to be taken over.”

“Taken over? Please.”

“I don’t want to know what’s in that letter. From what’s happened already without even reading it I don’t want to know.”

“Whatever it is, now that you’ve opened it you have no choice.”

“I can put it in the shredder undread, I mean, unread.” I stopped to pick it up and saw the the contents had scattered on the floor. One of them, folded in three, was held by a gold ribbon. I picked it up and turned it over. It said “The Last Will and Testament of Thomas D. Blludstun” 

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October scary poetry every Wednesday & Thursday

November 1 -30

http://nanowrimo.org

November 15: Hot Damn! It’s a Queer Slam – 8p.m. – Buddies In Bad Time Theatre, Toronto



http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday


June  – Capturing Fire 2019 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet