Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Art Inspired Words: "The Medusa Syndrome."

I'm a big fan of art.  Give me Surrealism or simply Dark Stuff, the Classics or photo manipulation, etc., on and on, I enjoy how my wicked playground imagination is often triggered to create something of words from a painting, music as well.  Actually, that was my specialty (well, it's what I did; a specialty, who knows?!) when I was heavily into music journalism.  My reviews were usually not simply the average blow by blow bass, guitar, drums, blah blah, going to sleep now, boring reviews.  Often I would listen to the music and create a story from what the sounds inspired; another world.  Of course, considering I primarily reviewed fringe genres--Dark Ambient, Power Electronics, Noise, Experimental, variations of all that and leaning into Goth, Industrial and Metal--it was mandatory as far as I cared, as much of the former catagories came off as mini-soundtracks, sonic documentaries of other worlds and dimensions, or deep within our own, or at least within my riffing mind. 

Wait!  Another aside?  See, that's the fun of these blogs.  I often have a bit of a plan, but does it ever follow suit? Eventually, but with many off ramps and such.  I know where they are going and will end up, but as with my novels, though at times with them the "know where they are going" thing was not something that came up until, oh, perhaps 40,000 words into the first draft, how they get there is a constant surprise to me. 

Often on FB,. I post art and on occasion I will riff and make up a spontaneous story as I am figuring out what to say about a piece.  I've done it many times and have written a couple actual very short flash pieces based on the riffing, and have a longer piece in progress, and will do more, I'm sure.

Anyway, the piece below was one of those blurb stories that I decided to expand on a bit, though not much. I looked at the painting by David Ho and had this off-the-wall riff transpire, liked it so much that, well, here's the mini-expansion of the original, just giving it a slight bit more direction, but not much.  Sometimes, you get it mostly right in the first case.

So, about 300 words here, a piece called, "The Medusa Syndrome."



      "My head’s a snake pit!" Ivan screamed. "I feel them inside me."  Drool streamed on his chin, down his gunmetal gray uniform.

     Nord shook him, looked in his eyes and said, "No! They won't get you! You can’t be a victim of The Medusa Syndrome. I won't..." but then backed off and looked into the sky, where Ivan had been staring, having never looked into his worried friend’s eyes.

     There was nothing there but the scarlet mist.  A mist that was moving of its own volition, as there was no wind to nudge it along.

     And then the sound sliced through it all.  Nord distinctly watched the mist separate as the pitch warbled, almost vocal, not just into his ear, but into view.  The sky rippled, assimilating the slithering chaos of the snake pit.  Invisible snakes, more like vibrations with teeth.

     The mysterious tattoo that had risen up from beneath Ivan’s face, surrounding his features, started to trickle blood.  The blood increased and he had the fleeting instinct to scream, but that was clipped into echo as the circular incision suddenly caused Ivan's face to burst off his head, like a manhole cover shooting skyward from too much pressure from below. The snakes were everywhere, snapping and hungry--vicious. 
     Nord tried to step backward but his legs were frozen in place.  He was paralyzed, a human statue.  He grew immediately pensive, feeling the twitch at his ears, feeling the tickle as they nibbled his brain.

     Feeling the tattoo rise from within, circling around his shocked façade.

     His last thought was about how this strange devolution, something they‘d read about but thought impossible--“somebody must be playing a joke on us”--proved the existence of the reptile brain.  Proved it in a most disturbing way.

     Sucking the gathering mist into his heaving lungs, his eyes went slit and his face shot off, just like Nord's.


Yeah, just a bit of very dark freaky fun, all inspired by a painting. 

BTW, don't forget, I have a collection of dark fiction/horror tales out right now called, The Dark is Light Enough for Me.  Available via Amazon in the USA, UK, Germany and France, as well as B&N and OmniLit.   Only ebook right now, but I have seen a photo of the print version which, after some of this and that, eye of newt, tongue of toad, whatever, it's finally about ready to be unleashed.  I'll give sordid details and links here when that happens.  But for those of you with digital readers, what's keeping you?  Yeah, go out and buy a copy now (please), it's only $3.99, that's 12 stories at about 33 cents a story, well worth it, I think!  hahaha...y'know...this being a salesman all the time is hilarious to me.  I mean, in the old days, writers would send it off and the publisher would take care of promotions and, sure, you might do some signings and such, but nowadays, haha...so, I suppose tossing this out there now makes sense.  Interviews. Yeah, I'll talk about the book and horror/dark fiction.  Life.  Italy.  Whatever's good.  Yeah, I'm talking to you, Letterman.  Have your people call my people or, um, email me at least.  Hahaha...  (You think I'm kidding? I have a dream sequence scene in my first novel, The Corner of His Mind, that references a loony interview on Letterman.)  And reviews? Well, if anybody actually reads this blog and is a reviewer or knows real reviewers, let me see your blog/website/magazine, I'm sure I can get you a free pdf or even kindle or nook ready version.
You can contact me via email ( jcsmith0919@yahoo.com ) but, yes, I know, I know, I must contact them as well...and am, and have, and will and...

"For the words of the prophets were written on the studio wall
Concert hall
And echoes with the sounds of salesmen..."

Yeah, thanks Neil and Alex and Geddy, wailing away.  I needed that.


Here's the piece that inspired, "The Medusa Syndrome."  It's called Leviathan by David Ho.  Brilliant and bizarre work!  Dig it!


No comments:

Post a Comment