Monday, June 28, 2010

Neglect and the World Cup

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The title pretty much says it all. World Cup 2010 has been sucking up just about every waking hour here at Chez Korolenko, as I'm working midnights at the "day" job this month, and sleeping in shifts between matches. Our regularly scheduled program will resume shortly after Brazil wins this thing on July 11.

In the meantime, I managed to redraft a short story called "The Miracle of Birth," which is a nasty little tale of obsession and isolation. I have also reviewed the video of "A Requiem for the Unnamed," from the June 20th reading in Rochester, and I've decided to hold off on posting it here for the moment. There are very cool things in the works for both of these stories, and when you see the end results, I'm certain you will agree that the wait was worth it.

So, for now, go forth. See you soon.


Monday, June 21, 2010


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This blog lacks consistency, I know. You can be sure, though, that I am busy writing and creating and working hard to entertain you. There are all kinds of goodies coming down the hatch in the near future, so keep checking back.

Up From The Underground was fun. If you missed out, you . . . well, missed out. Lots of cool people, great art, trippy art-housy film, fantastic music, and me. "A Requiem for the Unnamed" went over quite well, I think, and if you're lucky, maybe I'll post a video of the reading on this very site within the next couple of days. Thanks to everyone who came out, participated, or simply wandered in to take a look around.

Work continues on "Night Terrors," which is about two-thirds complete. Briefly distracted by two new shorts (tentatively titled "Trust" and "Box 32"), I've resumed focus with tunnel vision. I'd like to finish a first draft by the end of July and move forward with the next project, which will either be a new novel or a film adaptation of an old one.

Thanks again for stopping by. This place can be as cold and lonely as a crypt sometimes.


Monday, June 7, 2010


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I had a long post written about the differences between penning novels and short stories, and which I prefer, when I realized there is nothing more boring (at least from the POV of non-writers) than a writer writing about writing.

So, instead, here’s a story about mousetraps.

A guy (we’ll call him Jarrod) came home from vacation to find a kitchen sink full of splintery mouse turds. The little sonofabitch rodent must’ve been searching for water, since Jarrod kept his apartment spotless and free from foodie crumbles. In a fit of rage our hero acquired several mousetraps, baited them with tasty peanut-buttery goodness, and spread them about the apartment.

Jarrod slept that night with a smile.

Sometime in the infant hours of morning, a sharp crack woke him from a sweet dream of beaches and beer. The trap in the bathroom had been triggered, but there was no mouse carcass to be found. The little bastard had picked the trap clean, then set it off (probably) just to flip Jarrod a mousey-middle-finger.

If he was trying to piss Jarrod off, it worked.

In a desperate fury, our hero replaced the trap with a fresh one and returned to bed. Sleep was a long time coming as Jarrod waited and waited, eyes squeezed painfully shut, for the violent, satisfying snap of metal on mouse. Sometime before dawn, his patience was rewarded.

This time, though, the triggered trap was in the kitchen. Not only was the trap mouseless and bare of bait, but there was a fresh turd right there on the countertop.

Mouse, two. Jarrod, zero.

Jarrod, consumed with hatred, went to work that day with only one thing on his mind: rodent genocide. 

After a long, distracted day crunching numbers and fielding calls from needy clients, Jarrod purchased a sack-load of mousetraps. Not the PETA-friendly mouse houses that allowed you to catch the offending pest without harm and then release the beautiful creature back into the environment. No. Jarrod loaded up on the old-school, wood-and-metal clap traps. The girl at the counter had even said that sometimes, if you were lucky, a trapped mouse would chew its own leg off to escape.

If only.

So he set them, all thirty, and climbed into bed. He giggled himself to sleep, knowing there was no way Mighty Mouse would get away from him this night.

The first trap went off at 1:30 sharp, and Jarrod jolted up. He couldn’t tell from the echo which trap had been triggered, so he sat there a moment, rubbed his eyes. While fighting his way back from dreamland, a second trap snapped shut.

Not a good sign.

There was a light switch on the other side of the room, but Jarrod's eyes hadn’t yet adjusted enough to find it. He stumbled through the dark, groping, when the third trap cracked. Then the fourth. Followed swiftly, inconceivably, by a fifth. A moment before Jarrod’s fingers found the switch, all twenty-something remaining traps went off within a fraction of a second.

Every single trap was picked clean of bait, and not a single one sported a mouse corpse.

Jarrod spent the rest of the night in a hotel.

Kind of a true story.