Sunday, August 22, 2010

Propaganda

[Please visit www.jasonkorolenko.com for updated content]

The fiancĂ©e and I are on vacation soon, so updates will be sporadic for a few weeks. In the meantime, on the Stories page, you can find all the parts of "The Miracle of Birth" that have been published so far. Killing Boxx put up the sixth chapter yesterday, and there are three more to go. Keep checking their site on Saturdays for new additions. Or new editions. Whichever you prefer.

I have also added a Propaganda page that will contain links to articles, reviews, and other goodies related to the various projects to which my name is attached. For now, we have The Big Foot Diaries, an independent mockumentary made by Jamie Sharps of Sharps Films. I spent an evening assisting on set and sweating my fat off in a bigfoot costume for scenes that were eventually cut (but are included in the DVD extras). We also have Setting the Scene, an article by Kathleen Baglio Humphreys for The Cabinet Press, a New Hampshire newspaper. Kathleen discusses Rick Dumont's film-in-progress, "The Bond,"
written by Rick, Carla Bonney, and yours truly.

I guess that's it for now. Spread the word.

JAK

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Back from the Dead

[Please visit www.jasonkorolenko.com for updated content]

I've recently returned from six days on Star, a notoriously haunted island off the coast of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and I didn't see a single ghost. Not one. And I made it as easy as possible for them to access my spirit by lubing it up with plenty of alcohol. I attended a bedtime storytelling for a few dead children, gravitated nightly to the oldest grave in NH, and not a single supernatural, pants-pissing experience. But I did get to hang out with a group of amazing writers and generally cool people all around, and that made it all worth it.

While I was gone, Killing Boxx posted up chapters three and four of "The Miracle of Birth." Links can also be found on the Stories page.

And since the residency on Star Island was billed as a "writer's retreat," I might as well slap a chunk of raw material here that I wrote there specifically for one of the open mic readings. Enjoy.

____


            Cheryl’s breath stank of cigarettes and coffee and sex. She sat at the bar, one tattered sleeve pushed up to her elbow to show off the faded Tinkerbell tattoo she’d gotten when Del last saw her ten years ago. She drank Coke, no Jack. Del had heard she’d cleaned up after the accident, but the way her gaze lingered on the glittering row of bottles behind the bar made him wonder how long her sobriety would last.
            Del didn’t want to talk to her, not after what had happened. His breath caught in brief despair like a pinprick in his lungs, and he wondered how long she’d been back in town. Wondered if he could make an escape without her seeing.
            She had a cell phone glued to her ear, spoke two conversations at once. Said to the bartender, “Can we get some more pretzels?” Said to the phone, “Can you believe the nerve of that bitch?” Then she turned slightly, her eyes like laser scopes painting a target on Del’s forehead.
            “I’ll call you back,” she said, brow scrunched, clapping the phone shut, and then ambled over with a leg drag she hadn’t had before.
            This was not going to be fun.
            “Cheryl.” Del nodded, as if nothing at all had happened. As if he wasn’t responsible for getting her locked up a decade earlier.
            “Son on a bitch,” she said, and open-handed him hard enough that tiny tears sprang up.
            “I can see you’re still angry.” Del shrugged, aware of the heads swiveling in the their direction, pretending his cheek didn’t feel as if it had just been stung by a couple of killer bees.
            “I want those ten years back,” she said. Her mouth opened too wide, revealing three gaps where teeth had gone missing.
            “They don’t have dentists in jail?” Del said.
            “It should’ve been you.”
            “It was your car.”
            “But you were driving.”
            “I think your memory ran off with your teeth.”
            She hit him again but not quite as hard. Del thought he could take her if he had to.
            “If you’re looking for an apology,” he said, “you’re not gonna get it from me.”
            A crowd had gathered, sides were drawn even though Del didn’t recognize anyone in there but her, and he was sure no one remembered Cheryl. Small towns like Belmont were places where memories went to die.
            Men and women alike stood behind Cheryl. No one stood behind Del.
            “What good would an apology do?” she said. Her bottom lip quivered, left eye twitched at the inside corner. She’d been unconscious, not breathing, when the cops had arrived that night all those years ago, her crimson VW Bug crumpled into the guardrail, a bright red scar slashed across the dying sunlight. The officers had peeled her off of the steering wheel, Cheryl’s head as shattered as the windshield, and worked her until the ambulance showed up to take over.
            She’d woken up in the hospital with a vehicular manslaughter charge. Her friend Melissa had woken up dead.
            “It’s pretty fucking shallow of you,” Del said, “to be more concerned with your freedom than your friend’s life.”
            “You killed her.” Cheryl’s cheeks went red and she shifted to place one foot slightly ahead of the other.
            Del stepped back, keeping his nuts well out of kicking range.
            He’d been driving that night, and the only one wearing a seat belt. Cheryl up front, Melissa in the back straddled over the gap between the two front seats. When Del had lost control and hit the guardrail head on, both girls smashed into the windshield, but only Melissa went through it. The force of the impact had shattered Del’s left collarbone. His license had already been suspended for drunk driving and these two chicks were in a bad way. Much worse than him, anyhow.
            Del had dragged Cheryl into the driver’s seat, hopped into the passenger’s side and prayed that when the cops arrived, they wouldn’t notice he had broken the wrong shoulder.
            They hadn’t.