But that doesn't mean there hasn't been some good work before, oh no. It's more what we--the publisher and yours truly--decided worked well together for a variety of tones, characters, well something like that. Hey, my original TOC was quite different from what we ended up with, but I really love the way the stories work together and flow, man, flow...
I look forward to a second collection at some point which will address more of the published work that didn't make it into my debut collection. I've already mapped it out. It's a gnarly, lethal bastard but, no, not for now. I'm working the new one, Baby!
Anyway, one of the stories that didn't make it into The Dark...is a grim drug ride entitled, "The Last Supper (The Anatomy of Addiction)" which I am about positive I would publish as simply, "The Anatomy of Addiction." It addresses one of my favorite subjects: addiction, drugs, the whole shebang. As you should know if you've picked up the collection, two of the stories deal directly with drugs. But this one also deals with a familiar Horror trope: Zombies.
I'm not big on zombies or any of the other well-trod avenues along the Horror landscape, but for some reason they do crop up on occasion. Now, that said, it's not as if they are the prime focus in any of the zombie-related fiction I've written; well, not in most. "Anatomy..." deals with, as noted, addiction. Being a fan of William S. Burroughs, Hubert Selby Jr., and Jerry Stahl, amongst others, as well as a fan of hallucinogenic fiction in general, I dabble via strange experiences and, um...talking to the pros.
Yeah, like with this story. My best friend, Fred, has dealt with drugs over the years, though is mostly clean nowadays, besides the occasional relapse. At the time I was writing this story, I remember calling him and saying, "I need info on shooting up." He said it would be better if he just showed me.
No, I'm not Kidding.
So, he showed up at the house I was renting with my ex-wife, or was she my girlfriend then? Ah, no matter, she was out. We sat in the dimly lit dining room as he set up. And he did it, a lot like what's written in this story, talking through it, what this or that is called. And I soaked it up, watched the transformation. It was a freaky, discomfitting experience, yet it made the story work. I remember Brian Keene's reaction when I sent it to Horrorfind online, he called it a "seriously messed up" tale.
It's now out in Best New Zombie Tales Volume 3, available via Amazon.com. You should check it out but, ahhhh, first, how about a taste here? Yes, I am going to go for it. Here's the scene in question, memories as dreams for Razor, our lead character, trapped within this zombie world.
This is what came out after I watched Fred shoot up.
Okay, we'll stop there, it's alllllll about to fall apart. Again, it's available in the aforementioned anthology. Please check it out!
Next time? Ahhhhh, I see the Print Version of The Dark is thisclose, really, it is, to being published. Or perhaps we'll deal with "Broken Teacup"? That one is pure messed up bliss! Hmmm...well, stick with me and find out. ;-)
Here's the cover art for the anthology. Check out that stellar list of contributors including Paul Kane, Tim Lebbon, Joe McKinney, Nancy Kilpatrick...I am in GREAT company!