The Mothers of Yernus–Short Story

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What if I told you there was a world where mothers were honored by feasting on a child of their choosing. The savage race of almost humanoid beings on the planet of Yernus, have developed such a tradition. It might seem horrific to advanced and civilized societies like ours. But these beings haven’t, and may never, reach our level of evolution. The toxic environment of the planet has mutated their bodies and minds. Their misshapen bodies appear to be a grotesque mix of apeish humanoid and reptile. They display very little intelligence and are very hostile, even among the small tribes they’ve formed.

Tribes tend to include few males, those not killed in battle for dominance are driven away.  Female numbers vary greatly, averaging about five times the adult males. They mate as you would expect of wild animals, polyamorously and bearing offspring in litters. Each pregnancy produces no less than three and up to six babies. The women of the tribe care for the children communally, many women die in childbirth or for any number of other reasons. Survival on the planet is not easy, many are born with life threatening illnesses, resources and food are hard to find, and their nomadic life can quickly wear down the body. Only half of the babies will survive past five years of age, and only one in five will make it to adulthood.

At some unknown point in time it appears that rather than waiting for nature to take it’s course they began sacrificing the weakest born. Though savage and primitive in its nature it does show some progress towards a cultured society, with customs dictated by a belief system. In fact, to watch as they choose the child and prepare it for the evening feast, it mimics sacred religious ceremonies. The chosen children and the mothers bathe together before the tribe gathers to form a sacrificial circle. One at a time the children are led to the middle where the dominant male slits their throat. The males, as usual, build a large fire, butcher the bodies and cook the meat. While the males attend to preparation of the feast the women perform ritual dances around the fire shrieking, while banging sticks and rocks. It’s not clear if they’ve fully developed a language yet, they communicate in mostly undecipherable grunts and screams. However, there does appear to be a recognizable word among those high pitched female screams, Car Rar. Those that study these beings are in utter disagreement about its significance. Some theorize it’s the name of some god, they are calling out for forgiveness for their beastly acts of the day. Others believe it is either the word for mother or child, as they seem to be the beings of significance on the day. And yet others believe its the designated word for the day or the ritual itself.

We may never know the meaning of anything these creature do, but we can conclude they may not be as unintelligent as we first assumed. Even if this is merely a survival tactic for the women of the world, it’s clearly evolved into a ceremonial practice. It’s hard to imagine, but somewhere in this horrific act is an honorable place for those responsible for bearing and caring for the races young.

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Feel free to leave some feedback in the comments. I welcome any helpful suggestions or critiques.

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Gotham Writers Workshop’s At-a-Glance Free Class

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As somebody who always wanted a career in writing and publishing, I thought many times of trying out the Gotham Writers Workshop classes. However, after looking at some of the prices and not knowing what to expect I wasn’t sure if it would be worth it.  Recently, after following their Facebook page I saw an offer for the At-A-Glance free class. Of course, I’m up for almost anything as long as it is free and it was completely worth it.

They had instructors in three different genres discuss major elements and then we worked on a short exercise. We went over fiction writing, focusing on character development. The class answered questions about the character’s occupation, dream job, relationship status, age, and even what she looked like. The exercise got us writing about a conflict like what the worst thing she ever did. We also went over non-fiction and how you could still use your imagination with character descriptions, structure, and even speculating about particular elements of the story. Our exercise prompted us to speculate on a true story.

I think the most fun and enlightening was the lesson in screen writing. The instructor spoke about the tone of a movie. The tone can be another way to describe the perspective of the story. Through changing the perspective the tone will change. This then leads to distinguishing the genre. The exercise we had was to take a log line (short description of plot) of a movie and write it from a different perspective changing the genre. This is a good exercise to help define the genre and lead your writing if you are struggling. Because I enjoyed this so much I’ll share with you what I wrote. I picked the movie, American Psycho.

“A young successful Wall Street Broker struggles to fit in with his overly-materialistic social circle. Infidelity, drug-use and petty jealousy leads to a mental breakdown.”

I wasn’t sure what to expect but I’m was really glad that they were able to work in exercises to get us writing. They also had food and drinks for after that class and we got the chance to socialize with the other attendees and the instructors. I’m very glad I got to find out about their classes. In fact I found out that in addition to their courses that last several weeks they also have single day workshops called write-ins. The write-ins seem like a great way to get writing more often and a great way to meet other writers.

Heavy Metal Horror Anthology Ebook

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Heavy Metal Horror ebook cover

Excerpt from She Isn’t Real by Me, published in Rymfire books Heavy Metal Horror Anthology Ebook.

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They were in Park Slope and she led him up the avenues towards Prospect Park. He wondered where exactly it was that she lived. As they walked he tried to make small talk. Actually, he was babbling as a result of being a little drunk, nervous and insecure. He was amazed that she seemed perfectly sober. Meanwhile, he could barely walk straight.

“So how long have you lived around here?”

“A very long time. You know, we’re not too far from the park, I say we take a little detour and walk through the park for a bit. I just love walking through it at night and haven’t done it in a while.”

“Well, I guess we could. Don’t you think that’s a little dangerous though? I’ve heard a lot of stories about people being mugged or even killed there even in broad daylight.”

“Awww, you scared? Don’t worry I’ll protect you. Trust me I think I’m a more dangerous than any criminal you’ll find there.” She teased him, as they reached the park and turned into it.

“No I’m not scared, but I’m not stupid either and don’t like to attract trouble.”

“Well in that case you shouldn’t have started talking to me in the bar.” She whispered as they headed toward one of the wooded areas.

He started to get a little nervous. He thought, Oh great, I knew this was too good to be true.  She’s a little wacked.  Of course that’s my luck. Well that’s not always a bad thing and it’s not really that dangerous, is it?

As they walked deeper into the park it got darker and creepier. Jack started to get a little nervous and scared. “Maybe we should head back. I can barely see right in front of me. I’m not up for getting lost in the park in the middle of the night.”

“Don’t worry I know the park real good.  I’m in here all the time, we won’t get lost.”

“I thought you said you hadn’t been in here for a while.”

“Did I? Oh well maybe it hasn’t been that long.”  She smiled but this time it wasn’t the sweet smile he had seen on her all night, there was something odd about it. He also thought her voice seemed to have dropped a couple octaves. “If you want, we can stop here for a second and just talk. There are a couple of benches over there.” She said while pointing out into the darkness.

Before he could even respond she hooked his arm, pulled him hard and started leading toward the benches. They got to the benches and sat for a minute. Then without a word Liz hopped on Jack’s lap and kissed him. Then she ran her tongue down along his neck. As they are kissed he felt like they were being watched. He even thought he saw somebody walking in the shadows a couple feet away. He quietly freaked out but didn’t want to seem like a complete pussy so he kept it to himself. All of a sudden he felt her bite his neck, hard, really hard.

To find out what happens you have to order the ebook.

Order your copy here http://rymfireebooks.com/HMHorror.html