Friday, February 24, 2012

As Dark as it gets? Grave Demand presents "Broken Teacup."

Yes, this may be as Dark as it gets, or at least in the running, though in stating that, the story deals with love, baby, love sweet love...and the desire to know exactly what it is.  Which in this case and with these characters gets extremely explicit and messed up in ways you cannot imagine.  Trust me, you really can't.  Okay, perhaps some of you sick folks can, which is what "Broken Teacup" deals with.  Our host, Bobby, and his scummy best friend, Lemmy, and their newly recruited cohort, Elvis.  Bobby and Lemmy create Power Electronics noise laced with perverse samples, all based on bands I have had the pleasure of hearing, reviewing, and wondering as to their status as human beings--negligible at best?--and more. (And enjoying.  Admit it, John Claude, you're as sick as...)  After events open up, they move on to internet snuff videos and it only gets worse from there.  A trip to the SF East Bay from their humble abode amidst the blood-spattered landscape of Texas sets them up to meet the title character and...


Oh, yes, you were wondering what kind of title that was for such a depraved piece of horror fiction, eh?  Well, out cruisin' one morning, Bobby spots a woman and...well, let's let him take over.  Here's a sample, crude as it needs to be.


     “There.  Over there.  Look at her.”

      “What?  It’s Sunday morning and there ain’t no hookers—”

      “Fuck that, she’s lookin’ for some action.  She’s perfect, look at her.”

       I was smitten by this dyed blond bitch with a rockin’ shape and looking all nervous and shit.  If she’s hooking, it’s clear it’s not been for long, that’s for sure.  She’s got victim stamped onto her corneas with that pleading look.

      “She’s perfect, look at her eyes, that desperate look, she really needs something, boys.  And that smile, kind of like a broken teacup, some kind of beautiful design scarred, chipped, she’s barely hanging on, can’t you see it?  Can’t you see her future, peering into the broken teacup and reading the tea leaves and there’s nothing left but this dismal existence…?”

     Lemmy pulled the car past her, into the Lucky grocery store parking lot.  I know I looked hard at her when we passed by, so obvious what she was doing.  The brakes squealed as we stopped and the car felt hot, like death and sex and more death just waiting to be distributed. 

     “Well, Shakespeare, I think your eloquent description is a prime example of what Mr. Liu is looking for, so I’ll—”

      “No, I’ll get her.  I’ll…do her.  I’ll give Mr. Liu everything he wants, and more.”

     “What the fuck, you gonna get your hands dirty, eh?”

     Without looking at him, and with no malice: “Fuck you.  I’ve killed before, just because you get most of that out of the way don’t mean I won’t do it again.  Like now.”

     “Don’t scrunch your scrotum, pal.  She’s yours.”

     I was love-struck, but my love was dangerous.  Everything about this damaged bitch had my balls tingling and my cock starting to strain in my jeans.

    I leaned out of the passenger side window, waved her over.  She was still looking at me; I saw an impression of a smile caress her lips, not really taking hold.  God damn, this was too easy—and I wanted her.  Something in me really wanted to destroy her, break her into a thousand little pieces.


A lot of my stories deal with love in all it's grand and miniscule and harsh and heartfelt ways.  You read that tidbit and think these are simply bad guys and why should you care, but there's so much more going on. 

Especially when the mysterious Mr. Liu makes his appearance and all hell, heaven, and imagination gone wild springboards into focus.  The story may seem like it's got no redeeming quality, but it's got layers of possibilities being explored, options, choices, even love...if Bobby understands his predicament.

Don't want to give too much away, but must say, of all the short stories I've ever written, this one is right there among my favorite two or three.  It originated after reading a piece by John Everson in which the main character was just bad news, yet by the end of the story, the reader was made to somehow care for him.  Same deal here, to some extent.  (Not unlike "I Wish I Was A Pretty Little Girl" from my collection, The Dark is Light Enough for Me, which really makes readers uncomfortable at the beginning, but by the end, an understanding is formed, which is all I can ask, hehe...) (Yes, I am an insidious soul sometimes!)  (And, please, tell me you've bought the collection.)  

The magazine with the cajones to publish this truly hardcore piece of fiction is a new one, Grave Demand.  I'm delighted to be in their debut issue.  Here's what they say they want to publish:

"Grave Demand Magazine is dedicated to producing uncompromising articles and fiction that are too extreme for mainstream. Incendiary and transgressive content with a purpose: to broaden and illuminate the darkest aspects of the human condition."
Sounds Perfect for a lot of what I write.  I've read samples of the other work, some rough, rough stuff.  Finally, a magazine that asks for "too extreme" and backs it up!  I'm anxiously awaiting my contributor's copy and info on ordering will come through any day now.  I will post that info as soon as I get it so you can buy a copy and support what promises to be quite a magazine for the extreme horror enthusiasts!
Here's the cover art.  Looks like I'm in stellar company.  Can't wait for all of you to get your hands on this one. 


  1. Sounds great John Claude! Congratulations on your acceptance. I like horror but I'm not into blood + guts, etc. My extreme runs to the psychological kind, but I'm still in the exploring phrase so who knows what kind of writer I'll be when I grow up.

  2. SwagBucks is a very popular get-paid-to website.