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Category Archives: free fiction

[free fiction] The Jamcoi

Jason Sizemore and Apex Publications have posted a free short story from my collection, DISINTEGRATION VISIONS, that is not to be read whilst eating.

“The Jamcoi”
Preface:
Sometimes I wonder how long it will be until we start eating each other again. The factory farming system will come around to it, eventually, as soon as there’s enough money to be made doing it, and there are people who would sell themselves if they could.
Morality isn’t for everyone. Some people just like a burger.
Be open-minded.
Eat something.
It’s good for you.
 The Jamcoi
by J.M. McDermott
SHARON HAD GROWN UP IN A Turkey household. Once, her mother had branched out with honeyed ham, but it was uniformly considered a disaster among Sharon’s family, and after that, it was nothing but turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, and also for Christmas. Her mother was not a talented chef. At Thanksgiving, the fact that she was actually cooking instead of ordering out was special enough. The family was just fine without jamcoi. This was fine by Sharon’s mother. Sharon’s mother was intimidated by the jamcoi, and she had no desire to cook one instead of a turkey, even if the new bird was all the rage.
Sharon didn’t mind. She liked turkey, and had no real fondness for the endorphin-rich jamcoi meat that was always a bit too soft. Jamcoi gave her a slight headache if she ate too much of it. She claimed she had a slight allergy to get out of eating it at restaurants, though it was probably just that her body was not accustomed to the rich, buttery meat.
Sharon had hoped to go her entire adult, married life without cooking either a lobster or a jamcoi. She never told this to her husband, David, because it had never come up in conversation. It wasn’t an aversion quite on par with never having a ménage à trois, or even her aversion to nagging her husband for not separating the whites and the colors in the wash, though he knew they never quite came out as clean that way. Still, her aversion to jamcoi was something she knew in a deep place inside of her. The thing was that she didn’t like the idea of shoving something still alive into the terrible fires, to baste in its blood and flood its body with natural chemicals of pleasure. The whole thing seemed quite unpalatable to Sharon.

Read the rest?
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Filed under Disintegration Visions, free fiction, Read on an Empty Stomach, The Jamcoi

[free fiction] Nausicaa

The last temptation of Odysseus. The last hope she had of complacency with her father and king came and went when the man who would be her husband fell back into the sea.
1
Peter,
I guess I can’t tell you anything too specific, in case you get caught.
Today, I sat in a cathedral until nightfall because people will leave me alone and it’s quiet so I can think. Cathedrals remind me of my family’s priest, and his little church on my father’s island, where I was confirmed the day that I ran away from that life.
I can’t wrap my head around this world, or the people in it. I float among trains and hostels. I am at sea. That is where I am, and where I was when I was on father’s island. I wondered if I shouldn’t kill myself, because it’s hard out here. It’s so hard. I see why my father didn’t want this for me. I guess I’m glad I’m out here, though. I’ll stay out here until the end of the world.
I dreamed about this last night, and I was thinking about this in the cathedral. On this city block, where I am right now, I live with all these strangers in a hazy window of five or ten minutes where stores open and close and clocks aren’t all synchronized. That’s kind of how the end of the world will be, I think. When the end of the world comes, two eyes will bend shut. Ten fingers will curl closed. One tongue will wilt like a dead flower, and two ears will hear nothing. When someone dies, it’s the end of the world for them. It might as well be.

Read the rest?
http://womenandmonsters.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/nausicaa/

This is the last short story of the collection. All that remains is the epilogue, which is a trivial thing. If you enjoyed the stories, please consider passing along a donation through paypal to sankgreall (a) gmail (dot) com. Five dollars and more will get you a free eBook, in any format, for your collection.

Donations of thirteen dollars and up will also get you a copy of the book, itself, which I’ll ship to you via paypal.

Donations of over fifteen dollars? I’ll sign the book and personalize it before passing it along to you.

Simple, right?

Naturally, you can skip all of that, and just pick up a copy for your library, virtual or otherwise, wherever fine books are sold.

I hope you enjoyed.

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Filed under free fiction, ulysses

[Free Fiction] Hestia

Would you give up your throne to sit by the fire? Would you hold a baby over it? Would you empty the chamber pots of heaven when you hold rightful claim over the highest throne in the room, as the eldest child? There’s prideful power in that: in claiming to be too righteous to sit among kings.
Big city’s growing. Chomping up them small towns like hungry, hungry hippos. Used to be this was one small town. Now it’s three the way we’ve grown into our neighbors, entwining with them, and it isn’t hardly separated at all from Atlanta. City folks pushing out from the center like they’re crawling out of the ground below Five Points, pushing everything up, out, and away, and everyone in the city is rolling over like the little bear said, until the crowd of us presses into the ocean and then everyone is tumbling into boats, and the waves will catch us, then catch the mole men climbing up out of the ground, and everything spreads all over everywhere. The towers rising up and up and up and the city climbing up alongside like a forest canopy clambering after the most light.

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[free fiction] Helen of Troy

“What were all the world’s alarms
To mighty Paris when he found
Sleep upon a golden bed
That first dawn in Helen’s arms?”
– William Butler Yeats
 We fell into the sea.
Did they tell you that? No? Well, after the headlines wind down, people move on. So much time spent at war, we forgot how to live together, and we fell into the sea. When it comes right down to it, we forgot how to wake up next to each other, go to work, pay bills. So, we lost the house. We lost everything. We live underwater, now. This town’s so gone the only school in town that isn’t in debilitating debt is fish. We moved into this track house two blocks from the diner where I work. The place is infested with octopus, but there isn’t an exterminator in town. Even if there was, who could get rid of them?  Worse than spiders. Bigger. Hungrier. Smarter.
That’s our life, now. Has been this way for a while. It’s not so bad, underwater. I actually like it, a little. I work at a diner where we mostly serve oysters. He stays home and watches TV, and drinks. When I get back, he’s usually too drowned to do anything to me, even if he wanted to.

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Filed under free fiction, helen of troy, ulysses, women and monsters

[Free Fiction] Medea

“O hapless mother, surely thou hast a heart of stone or steel to slay the offspring of thy womb by such a murderous doom.” – Euripides, Medea
They say that when Theseus was a young child, his mother had told him that he would only know his father when he could lift the heaviest rock of the villa, and see what the boy’s mysterious father had hidden beneath the stone. They say, the boy, when he came of age, found a sword beneath the rock.
But there was no sword there. In fact, there was nothing there at all that was tangible.
Something far more dangerous was under that rock, and it had no form and no shape: a broken promise, honed to a hateful edge after so many years of aging, and carried in the palm like the tattoo of a knife.

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[Free Fiction] Iphigenia at Aulis


You know her story, don’t you? The great king Agamemnon offended Artemis, by murdering her sacred deer. He spoke arrogantly of this goddess.
1
 Later on, a prophet had to be called to the council of kings. No storms had come to wash the battleships to war. Zeus’ commanded siege of Troy depended upon the famous storms of Aulis that never seemed to come. The gods had to be consulted.
The blind prophet, Calcas, announced that the great king had to sacrifice his daughter. This was subsequently, immediately, done by that terrible tyrant.
But, there are as many versions of a myth as there are grandmothers in Greece.

http://womenandmonsters.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/iphigeniaataulis/

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[Free Fiction] Arachne

Penelope wove her husband back to life in nineteen years. Arachne wove greater than this, until the gods in their jealousy left her with nothing but the application of her art.
1
If it bends, it can be woven. Hair braids, rivers braid, and fingers fold together in prayer. Cars crash into each other; the metals bend around the engines. With a strong enough machine, cars could be woven into each other – crumple zone to crumple zone, gas lines snaking like Hermes’ staff between two twisted engine blocks. I’m too disciplined to stop what I’m doing to doodle the weaving of cars on the naked particleboard walls of this café. In a few weeks, I don’t know if I will still have that discipline. I may lose my mind if I keep this up.
I sit in a corner of an abandoned café, and weave endlessly, endlessly, with all the threads and yarns and found things from the empty café. The weave of my own life bent me here. My back is hunched over. My fingers are long and nimble. I never abandon my weave
.

http://womenandmonsters.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/arachne/

Of Note: The trade paperback edition of the collection is currently available. The eBook successfully funded the trade paperback.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=httpjmmcdtrip-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=0615583571

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[Free Fiction] Eurydice

“What shall I do without Eurydice?
Where shall I go without my love?
Eurydice! Eurydice!
O heavens! Answer!”
– Orfeo ed Euridice, Glück
On the farthest shore of the stillest lake, the boatman was only a child. I thought he would be older – skeletal, perhaps -in some kind of robe. He was just a little boy in dirty, mismatched basketball shoes, and a worn-out soccer uniform. He was covered in jewelry. His fingers were coiled in rings that sparkled even in the muted moonlight of this place. His neck was covered in necklaces. His wrists and ankles were lined with bracelets. His face was hollowed out, like the kids I had seen with me in the cancer wards.
His paddle boat was not what I expected, either. It was a plastic two-seater. Both people had to pump their legs on bicycle pedals to drive the little boat forward.
Of course, paddle boats are always rentals.
-Hey there, lady. You going across?

[Read the rest? http://womenandmonsters.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/eurydice/ ]

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Filed under free fiction, Orpheus, women and monsters

[Free Fiction] Tiresius

Tiresius
Everyone remembers how he was blind, but nobody remembers the why of it. He blinded himself, when he was made a woman for seven years by pitiless gods.

When he was young and he wasn’t yet a prophet, the gods turned Tiresius into a woman. She found, after being a man among men, that she could not live among her people as a woman. She learned the truth about the men and women of her time and place in a flash of violence: men were drunk and laughing together all the time; women endured. Tiresius could not walk the streets alone without the risk of rape. She could not stand in a doorway and say hello to the men that used to be her friends. They looked at her differently now. They had a smile that should not have been there. They had a lingering touch that promised of unwanted advances, and soon.

Want to read the rest? head over to http://womenandmonsters.wordpress.com to read the rest. Or, one could go to the nearest eBook retailer for a copy of the whole collection, now before it goes live.

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[Free Fiction] Siren

“Yet lost were I not won;
For beauty hath created been
T’ undo, or be undone.”

– from Ulysses and the Siren by Samuel Daniel

Don’t let that lying creep, my first manager that we fired, suggest it was him. Odysseus was my first.

My Odysseus walked up the beach with his friends and a surfboard under his arm, an olive-skinned man with hair curled and dark. Muscular, and famous, I knew him on sight. I was posing with a book I didn’t read for the camera men along the edge of the sand. I was alone, against the rules my parents had set for me. There I was. I believed I could sing, but it was a voice that came from deep inside of me, passed through microphones and soundboards and sound men. I had never heard my voice alone in an empty room. I never sang unless I had to, for joy. It was my job, and I was told to rest my voice outside the studio.

Read this one, for free, at http://womenandmonsters.wordpress.com/ or pick up the whole collection or go grab a copy of the PopFicReview where this particular story first appeared

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