Dear Purveyors of Canned Meat

spam_varietiesWho knew it came in so many different varieties?

By Maggie Rascal

If only the spammers would listen, this is what I’d tell them…

Dear Purveyors of Canned Meat:

Thank you for your interest in our website. Because so many of you have left similar comments, we’ve put together a list of common observations, questions and concerns. Please consult this FAS (frequently added spam) guide before posting.

Most Sincerely,

The Site Administrators


FAS

The Helper

It’s thoughtful of you to be concerned about our SEO scores, Google ranking, social media marketing strategy and website layout. Really, though, we’re happy with how everything is going right now. We’ll keep your contact information on hand if we’re ever looking to make a change. Yup, it will be right there in its own special, circular file.

The Newbie

You have a lot of questions! Fortunately, the answers to most of them can be found easily, eliminating the need for us to post your comment that (coincidentally, we’re certain) leads to a site selling cheap shoes/purses/NFL jerseys/silicone wristbands. Here is the information you’re seeking: Continue reading

Straight or Left

lake-pontchartrain-ksbrooks-creditedBy M.P. Witwer

Taking a deep breath and pursing her lips, Tanya depressed the accelerator. Straight it would be.

Straight away from her lifetime home. Straight into the unknown. Straight onto the longest bridge in the world — ironic for someone panicky about crossing bridges, but that was how desperate her situation had become.

After discovering his great-grandmother’s “collection,” Jesse had immersed himself in the dark arts, over time morphing into a scary and paranoid Doppelganger, the very opposite of the man she had married.

When Tanya confronted him, he claimed it was all in fun, that the bizarre rituals he performed didn’t really do anything. But she knew better, on both counts. The last straw came when she found him, trance-like, mumbling an incantation over their wedding photo. Tanya waited until he’d left, then packed the car and headed for the bridge.

Her fear lifted as she drove. She felt ready to start over, comfortable facing the unfamiliar.

All too soon, however, the “other side” began to seem familiar. Frighteningly familiar. Spotting a Piggly Wiggly store just like the one at home didn’t unsettle her, but seeing the identical twin of their local diner next to it did. An exact replica of Pontchartrain Elementary three blocks away sent her into a cold sweat. Tanya haltingly followed her usual route, dread growing with each well-known landmark. She parked and sat in terrified silence, staring at her house — and Jesse out front, expecting her.

“Welcome home, darlin’,” he drawled, his eyes gleaming red. “Welcome home.

* * *
© 2015 by M.P. Witwer • All rights reserved

Originally published at www.indiesunlimited.com on April 10, 2015. Photo of Lake Pontchartrain © K.S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

Even Prosaic Things Cast Disquieting Shadows

Quote

fearFear is a wonderful thing, in small doses. You ride the ghost train into the darkness, knowing that eventually the doors will open and you will step out into the daylight once again. It’s always reassuring to know that you’re still here, still safe. That nothing strange has happened, not really. It’s good to be a child again, for a little while, and to fear — not governments, not regulations, not infidelities or accountants or distant wars, but ghosts and such things that don’t exist, and even if they do, can do nothing to hurt us.

And this time of year is best for a haunting, as even the most prosaic things cast the most disquieting shadows.

~ Neil Gaiman

The Raven

the-ravenBy Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

Click here to read Poe’s classic poem in its entirety

Why We Read Scary Stories

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scary-stories“We read scary stories so we can experience artificial situations of ‘fight or flight.’ These scenarios, whether real or imagined, get your body ready for action by giving you an extra dose of adrenaline. Your heart beat speeds up, your breathing increases and your blood pressure increases—in other words, it’s like an instant dose of caffeine combined with heavy exercise. You’re ready to leap over tall buildings in a single bound, although you may be screaming ‘Mommy!’ all the way.”
~ Merrie Destefano

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane (1858) by John Quidor

The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane (1858) by John Quidor

Get into the Halloween spirit by revisiting Washington Irving’s 1820 story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. This chilling tale is one of our favorite classic short stories. At nearly 12,000 words, it is longer than many short stories; set aside 40 minutes or so to enjoy it in one sitting.

Click here to read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Prepping for College and for Life

brailleBy Bill Fullerton

This fictionalized memoir is based on the author’s personal experience. The names have been changed to protect the innocent and not-so-innocent.

Back when he’d been a kid, Mark Cahill’s mother often took him along when she and her sister went shopping. One of the familiar sights on these trips was an old, legless, blind man peddling pencils at a downtown street corner. That the man was blind hadn’t impressed Mark nearly as much as had the small, wheeled cart he used to get around.

Still, except for a few old folks with failing eyesight, the man with the cart was the only blind person Mark had known prior to his being blinded in Vietnam. That lack of experience meant he faced the loss of sight with no preconceived opinions about being blind. It wasn’t until two years later, in the spring of ’71, when he reported to a blind rehab center for something called a college prep course, that he began to understand what it meant to be blind. The techniques and tools he learned were interesting, but what surprised him most was the wide variety of people in training. Continue reading