Monday, June 30, 2014

SQ Mag Presents My Visceral/Psychological Horror Tale, "It's Only Going To End Badly."

Actually, a lot of my tales are visceral and psychological.  Depth charges, y'know? Dropping something deep into the subconscious realm to think about amidst the physical mayhem. Perhaps. 


The origin of the story: I was living in Portland, OR, with my ex-girlfriend in a funky studio apartment. This was the early 2000s.  Out back, a smattering of small statues and a struggling garden...and beyond the fence that separated the apartment complex from the residential houses, there was a couple that let the World know when they were having a...disagreement.  Waves of hatred flooded into our apartment on more-often-than-should-happen occasions.  (Once, when I was going to be out for the evening, I told my ex to play some SPK--Information Overload [this track is the opener, "Emanation Machine"] if she wanted to shut them up; that evening, they argued, she set up the CD player and speakers against the window screen...and told me, yes, she did play it and, yes, they shut up, but by perhaps the fifth song, she could no longer take it!)

Where was I?

I used this couple as a starting point on a story I had no idea what it would be, but knew I wanted the tension amped up to unbearable...and for the level of something weird--you'll see--to overlay that...and then, with no idea where I was going, a trapdoor in my creativity opened up to the psychological possibilities.  After the reader has been strung out to the snapping point, it all slams to a sinister finale, totally unexpected.  Deeply wrong.

I hadn't submitted the story in a while when the SQ Mag 2013 Story Quest competition came up and thought, yeah, why not? SQ Mag does quality Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror. My Winter's Bone influenced tale, "Ring Finger," was published there, so obviously they have, um...good taste. Ahem...

I tweaked it and sent it off.  Made the finals, brought a smile and, more so, this weird tale that I often don't know what to make of had found a home. 

Here, for your enjoyment or to make you uncomfortable or...well, there are many possible reactions, is "It's Only Going To End Badly."

There's also links to my two books, Autumn in the Abyss and The Dark Is Light Enough For Me, after you read the story and think, hey, I need to read more John Claude Smith. :-P  (Of course, I've linked the books here, too. Easy access...)

When I say strap in tight, it's mandatory for "It's Only Going To End Badly." 


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