Keep on pushin’

October 16, 2013

Several months ago, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds released their latest album, “Push the Sky Away”.  I’ve listened to it probably every day since I got my hands on it.  As a huge fan of NC&tBS, I have a lot of thoughts on it.  I’m sure in a year or so, I’ll never want to listen to anything from it, then go back to gushing about the validity of the music or lyrics or cover art, or whatever.

But tonight, I made a revelation about this album.

Aside from seeing it as Nick’s darkest album yet (yes, even more so than “Let Love In”), I see it as a man coming to his senses.  A man who has realized that life has gone by and he’s only starting to experience it.  A man who has made choices and has to come to terms with them.

Maybe that man is Nick himself, maybe it’s the random protagonist narrator he so often portrays.  That doesn’t matter.  What does matter, to me, is that I have realized I can actually write about this.

Songs inspire me.  I’m a musician (although I haven’t picked up a guitar in a long time), and spent much of my twenties writing lyrics that never went anywhere, and music that sort of worked for its purpose.  But I’m also a man who loves music, so much so that if I’m writing a story and there’s silence, I can’t concentrate.  All the background noise gets to me, and I need music to block it out.

Anything by Nick is welcome while I’m writing.  “Nocturama” was played more times than I can count while I wrote “Absolution”.  Maybe someday that book will actually get published, and I can thank Nick in the Author Notes–and mean it.

But another songs do is inspire my writing.  I’ve written stories based on, inspired by, and about, songs.  Not songs I’ve written, but other stuff that I love.  “In the Blue Room”, hopefully getting published soon, was inspired by the music video for “Blue” by The Birthday Massacre, for instance.

As for Nick’s songs?  I’ve never once had an inspiration to write anything from one of his songs.

I was thinking about it, and I believe that it’s because the songs are always such complete thoughts.  A story, from start to finish.  I have no need to write about his stuff, because he’s said what needed to be said already.

Until I listened to “Push the Sky Away”.

I feel like I can write a story about every single song on that album.  Maybe I will.  But I know one thing is for certain–I know that I can listen to that album, no matter what my mood, and smile.

Because it is nothing but damn fine work.  Nick, if you decide right this instant to quit music forever, you’ve left me with a great ending.

I couldn’t ask for more.  And hopefully, the stories I write can do the songs justice.

That damned twist

October 5, 2013

I just watched the Nicole Kidman movie, “The Others”.  It was released in 2001.  That was twelve years ago.

Aside from hating every second of my life at the time and not doing what a normal 21-year old man should have been doing, I can say that writing twist endings to my stories was not included.  In fact, the endings to my stories at the time were dull and predictable, the kind of “I’m so happy to be alive even though I have nothing!” bullshit that a lovestruck, confused guy would write.

I was a mess.

But regardless of that, I just watched “The Others” and have to say that the twist ending was no big surprise.  Maybe back then it would have been, as twist endings were “new” and “unique” and “rare” at the time.  I know, I know, O. Henry had been using them long before, and many, many people had used them long before.  But in the end of the millennium era, Myke Edwards was transitioning from happy go lucky teenager to miserable adult, and movies were coming out with twist endings.  People were stunned.

Now, I expect it.  In fact, if a movie doesn’t have a twist ending, I’m more shocked than I would be under other circumstances.

It just made me think.  Do I try to put in twists?  Or do they come naturally?  Or do I not even use them?

Because to me, they’re just endings.

Whatever the case, it was a predictable ending.  Suspenseful movie, but I pretty much figured out the end before it happened.  Good night all.

Jade’s Last Stand

October 1, 2013

Today is the first of my free flash fiction pieces.  Written in a flash, edited in less time, it’s just something short and fun for ya’ll to read–that doesn’t take 4,000 words to say!  Sound off in the comments, but just remember: it’s free!  

Jade’s Last Stand

The Gray fell to the floor, dead.

Jade looked down on the skinny, rubbery-looking alien and tossed his pistol aside.  It bounced when it landed on his tightly made bed.  The barrel smoked, but not as much as the hole in the alien’s massive head.

Approaching twenty-nine, he had been abducted twice as many times in half as many years.  He couldn’t even keep track of how many anal probes he had received.  Tubes up his urethra, spikes in every limb, hoses up his nose, down his throat, up his ass and everywhere in between.

He had had it.

Once, he had fought back.  On the ship, on the way to whatever world these things came from—Jade had never been there, mind you, they simply took him up, flew off into space, and went joyriding while the scientists poked and prodded at him—he thrashed around.  Kicked on in the chest, another in the side of its massive dome.  One stood there quivering, speaking in that undecipherable hibbity-jibbity language of theirs, massive black eyes threatening to burst into flowing waves of goo.  Jade grabbed it by the throat and punched repeatedly.

Two Grays ran into the lab, shocked him with electric prods that looked a lot like his sister’s dildo (a tragic result of a really boring Sunday afternoon), and he went down.  When he awoke, his arms and legs had been amputated.  The scientists, now a little puffy and dented, laughed and taunted him.  Later on, after they sewed his limbs back, they amputated his penis and grafted it to his chin.

Jade tried hard to forget the memory of that day.  Much like the abductions, it never stopped.

But this time, early in October, mere days before his birthday, he had been getting ready for bed.  One of the Grays came to his room the same as always, its appearance telling him “Surprise!  Butt Sex!”  But not the good butt sex, like the kind he had once paid a hooker five-hundred big ones for.  Nope, it was the kind where he was on the receiving end, and not getting paid unfortunately.

Not anymore.

Jade bought a gun.  Like fluid, he saw the alien, dove for the bedside table, and yanked it out from the small drawer.  Before the creepy invader had a chance to blather in the ridiculous voice, Jade pulled the trigger.

It went down.  He was happy.

But outside the window, the ship appeared.  Jade’s skin became gooseflesh.  His scrotum shriveled into a prune.  His heart went into overdrive.  They were coming.  And whether he wanted to go or not, he was going.

Not anymore.

As the dildo-prod-bearing Gray security detail materialized in his bedroom, Jade laughed.  He picked up the pistol from his bed and aimed it at the intruders.  On second thought, however, killing them was a bad idea.  After all, they’d just send more.

Jade put the barrel of the gun in his mouth.  With a smile and a wink at the Grays, he pulled the trigger.