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    Ethical Aspects of Animal Husbandry
    by Craig Terlson

    A collection of short stories where the humour runs dark and the slipstream bubbles up.

     

    ...imagine if Raymond Carver called up George Saunders and Joe Lansdale, and they all went drinking with Neil Gaiman.

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Wednesday
May032017

Get Bent - Time Travel (woofreakinhoo style)

A writer colleague messaged me this morning and said,

I just read Bent Highway and LOVED it. Where's the rest?

...Yes, indeed, where is the rest?

This should go into the wooback machine - except the story is no longer here on the blog. So some background is in order...

Bent Highway was my first foray into Serial Fiction. Chapters were released a week at a time here at the woo-blog. (I did this again with a certain detective who likes Mexican beer). I loved the rush of having to come up with a new chapter every week, really putting into place my "write like your head is on fire and only words can put it out" adage.)

I am not sure if it's because time travel is a popular subject - or the weirdness of the story - but Bent Highway attracted a lot of viewers. At it's peak more than 2000 readers came to catch up on the exploits of "M".

I catch myself thinking about this story every once in a while. I left the reader (and actually, the writer) hanging. I called it Part One, put it up on Amazon for the grand sum of .99 and that was it.

But now... hmmm. I did really like that crazy-ass story. And my writer friend seemed to as well. I am kind of thinking it might be time for a reboot.

For now, here is how it began...
 - oh, and if you think this is something you'd like to read more of, drop me a note on twitter, or post a comment below. If people want this thing - I will write this thing.

 

Bent Highway
chapter one 

I clacked open my Zippo and held it under the bent coffee spoon. I watched the thin blue flame dance, not thinking of anything, just following the reflections and the metal turning colours. Did I have the guts to put the hot spoon to the barely scabbed over gash that grinned at me like it was about to break wide open and gush red ants – I was going to cauterize the mother.

Crazy shit like that had been going through my brain for over a month, or maybe longer. For me, time was a dog's breakfast shoved in a blender and spun out like a crazy woman's quilt. I knew it had been at least a year since I first started driving. I think I had that right. The handle of the spoon warmed in my hand, I'd have to drop it soon. It was ready. I'd make damn sure nothing would bust out of there.

"Honey, what in the hell are you about to do?"

I jerked back, slammed my lighter shut, and plunged the spoon into the coffee.

"You need a warm up, you just gotta ask."

The waitress was pushing forty-five, but her hair spilled across her shoulders like she could still turn heads at the 7-11. A badge dangled off one of her pointed breasts and shouted at me Dandy Diner, and underneath in a curled script that made me wince, Janine.

She poured the coffee into the cup with my rocket hot spoon. It had made a little sizzle when I dunked it in the murky brew.

"Good and hot now. Anything else?"

I shook my head. I waited for her to say something about a rough night or some other corn-pone inquiry – you out slamming  cougars against the rose bushes again? I shouldn't be hard on poor Janine. She probably had herself a trailer park boyfriend with a pack of cigs rolled up his sleeve, a tattoo that said bitchin' and a piece of shit car he treated better than her.

Here was the thing: between the black patches of my so called memory and the pictures in my head that were soaked in flourscent dye, I couldn't tell if I had a rough night, week, month or life. I sipped my coffee and considered that I'd finally lost it, checked into the faraway hotel, which was a helluva lot worse than the one in California, and a damn sight harder to check out of.

I finished the last greasy egg before it slid off my plate and guzzled the coffee. Okay, my body and mind ached bad enough for it to be hungover. But where the hell did that cut come from? That was a big-ass scab. 

 

Here is a link to a bit more about the story.

And here is the amazon link - but tell you what. If you like this thing, and send me a comment - I'll send you part one for free!

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