Monday, July 21, 2014

An Open Letter to Stephen King

Dear Steve (Steph?),

I just finished your book, On Writing.  Pretty scary stuff.  No wonder you are known as the guy who writes horror.

But if you’re the guy who writes horror, how come two of my favorite movies are The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile?  I guess I just like prison movies.  You should think about writing a book set in a prison.  I might read it.

So, I heard you tweet the names of books you like, thus boosting sales for those authors.  I thought maybe you could tweet and like my book Dinosaur Ghost.



Currently the book is only available for free as a pdf, so you’re going to have to tweet really hard if I’m going to make any money on this project.

But I know you can do it.  Anybody who can write three books a year can easily write 12 Dinosaur Ghost-related tweets an hour, seven hours a day, for 363 days a year.  (Go ahead and take this weekend off.)  We’ll split the profits 50-50!

Also, you should probably think of some good blurbs to tweet.  I call them Twurbs.  I’ve taken the liberty of dropping a few choice nuggets for you to choose from.

Dinosaur Ghost gave goosebumps to my Goose, Bumps.  (My goose knows how to read.) - Stephen King

Dinosaur Ghost is the best dinosaur-related pornography I’ve ever read.  (Actually, Jonathan Franzen has dibs on this one.)

Dinosaur Ghost is like a dose of shock mixed with a heaping helping of awe, with a side of mashed potatoes.  Hold the butter.  -Stephen King

Dinosaur Ghost is the one book I wish I’d written, or at least read. -Stephen King.

Just let me know which twurb you want me to start twurbing and using in my promotional material within the next 24 hours (Go!) or else I’ll assume you want me to pick one for you and sign your name to it. 

I’ll close with perhaps the scariest thing I’ve ever read:  “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There's no way around these two things that I'm aware of, no shortcut.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft


Your Friend,

Christamar Varicella

Wanna know which literary heavyweights are lining up to praise Dinosaur Ghost?  An Open Letter to Thomas Pynchon,  An Open Letter to Cormac McCarthyAn Open Letter to Jonathan Franzen

Sunday, July 20, 2014

An Open Letter to MSNBC


I’m going to be honest with you, I haven’t watched any of your programming since 2008 because, well, WE WON!!!! Woo Hoo! OBAMA! OBAMA! OBAMA!

After that, I disengaged in politics because it seemed to me that a complete and total liberal victory in all of the partisan battles was a foregone conclusion. 

Universal Healthcare through a single payer system: DONE.

Guantanamo Bay: CLOSED.

Violence and War: ENDED.


Don’t tell me if I’m wrong about any of that.  I hate spoilers.

So anyhoo, how’s Keith Olbermann doing?  Is he still sticking it to those corporate fat cats?

Listen, as a fellow liberal I wanted to cut you in on something that CNN and FOX NEWS have already jumped all over--I’m talking about Dinosaur Ghosts.


I know.  You should be all over this story. 

But listen.  We have to proceed carefully with this one lest the right wing reaction machine react by trying to pin the latest spate of attacks on you.  You’ll need to stick to the facts.

Here are the facts:

1) Dinosaur Ghosts crashed an NRA meeting, resulting in a number of self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

2) Dinosaur Ghosts incinerated a popular television pundit through the power of flatulence.

3) Dinosaur Ghosts desecrated a creationist museum.

4) Dinosaur Ghosts consumed the right wing of the Supreme Court.

5) Other stuff.

Now, once you start ticking off these factualities during regular programming, things are likely to get pretty hot.  But your network can cool it down with your level-headed coolness of head.
But you better get going.  As we speak, FOX NEWS is preparing to use this information to scare the elephant doo out of its loyal viewers.  Your loyal viewer(s) need(s) you to counteract the madness with some good old fashioned madness of your own.

Now, go get to work!

Oh, and tell that boy who looks like Rachel Maddow I said hi.  Also, tell Rachel Maddow I said hi.

Yours in Christ(amar Varicella),

Christamar Varicella

Why not learn more about the issue of Dinosaur Ghosts by reading An Open Letter to Thomas Pynchon,  An Open Letter to Cormac McCarthy, and/or An Open Letter to Jonathan Franzen or by reading the book Dinosaur Ghost

An Open Letter to FOX NEWS

You’re looking foxy today.  Not like some other “news” sources I could name.  I put quotation marks around “news” because, let’s face it, reporting on “Dinosaur Ghosts” is not really “news.”  But it is according to CNN!  Those guys/gals are totally about to scoop you on the existence of Dinosaur Ghosts!

And if you think that’s frightening (It is!), it gets worse.  (Oh no!)

The Dinosaur Ghosts are totally freakin’ liberal!  According to my sources, they are TARGETING REPUBLICANS worse than the IRS!  They are TARGETING REPUBLICANS not for the content of their character but for the immorality of their policy positions.  And I for one aren’t gonna take it anymore! 
You guys need to get on this story like pronto (or sooner!)

Don’t sit idly by while the liberal media is TARGETING REPUBLICANS.  Honest god-fearin’ Americans need you to report the facts now!  Because if you think the IRS is scary (Boy howdy!) just wait until you see what the dinosaur ghosts are doing.  We need to scare people into understanding the truth about these liberal dinosaur ghosts who are TARGETING REPUBLICANS. 

Now let’s get scarin’!

Your friend,

And fellow conservative!

Christamar Varicella

To learn more about how the liberal media is TARGETING REPUBLICANS click the following links: An Open Letter to Thomas Pynchon,  An Open Letter to Cormac McCarthyAn Open Letter to Jonathan Franzen, An Open Letter to CNN, and/or An Open Letter to MSNBC

An Open Letter to CNN

Dear CNN,
I understand the pressure you’re under.  The imminent deadlines.  The constant need to fill every minute of every day with... something. All that time to fill--basically infinity--and so little of the news is actually interesting.

I tell you, Brother/Sister, I’ve been through it.  I just wrote a novella (short novel)  in 15 days, and it was brutal.  Every day I woke up and said to myself, “Time to feed the beast.” (That’s what I call my grandmother.)  Then I would sit down and type up a chapter.

All that hard work, and yet, my viewers were never satisfied! (By viewers I mean the people who like to watch me write.)

“When are you going to finish the book?” They would say.

And I would reply, “Alright, Grandma.  I’m doing it.  I’m doing it.  But I’m still not getting a job when I’m done!”

The moral of that story is that I feel your pain.  And I’m here to help.

Instead of reporting the actual news (things that really happen), why not increase your market share by reporting on things that MIGHT happen?  It’s really a small step from where you are now, but it’s one giant leap for mankind.  (Pretty good line, huh? I just made that up.) 

With that in mind, I happen to be the world’s leading authority on a little known phenomena known as Dinosaur Ghosts.

What are Dinosaur Ghosts, you ask?

I’m glad you asked.  Imagine a world in which dinosaurs walk the Earth.  Now imagine that they go extinct.  Now imagine that they come back and start eating republicans because of their stance on gay marriage?  Can you imagine that? 

Good.  Now, go report it.  Then sit back and wait for the ratings Bonanza

I understand if you have some reservations, but don’t worry.  I can totally back up the existence of Dinosaur Ghosts with hard evidence.

Now, things could get pretty heated once you break the story and scoop your competitors, so from now on, I want you to refer to me by my code name, Deep Throat.  (I made that up too.  It’s based on a movie I watched with my dentist.  It’s also based on how long some of the throats are of dinosaur ghosts.  Have you ever seen a diplodocus?  Pretty deep throat, huh?) 

I look forward to hearing from you soon,
Your Pal,

Christamar Varicella (Diplodocus Throat)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

An Open Letter to Jonathan Franzen

Dear Jon,

I heard some guy on Twitter made you an emperor.  Good for you.  I’m surprised the New York Times didn’t confer that honor upon you a long time ago. 

I’ve read both of your books and I agree with Oprah--they’re solid.  Maybe if I put you in my book club you could come do my show like you did hers.  Good idea, huh?  I call my show, “Come into my Basement with Chip and the Strange Guy.” I’m thinking about maybe recording it or broadcasting it somehow.

Hey, wasn’t Chip the name of one of your characters in The Corrections?  If I’m not mistaken, he was the one who liked to wear leather and his dad was basically Archie Bunker with dementia. 

Oh! And remember how you totally invented Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo only four years after the guys from South Park?  That cameo really made the book for me.  No wonder you’re considered a creative genius.

I liked Freedom too, although I don’t remember much about it.  Only that it was based in Minnesota and it taught me that cats eat birds.  When did that happen?

So anyway, if you ever get tired of finding new ways to write about your messed-up family, you and I should work on a project together.  I just finished a novella (short novel) that’s getting rave reviews on my message board.  (I hang it over my bed.)  It’s called Dinosaur Ghost

Here’s the tagline: “Dinosaur Ghosts are real and they’re eating republicans.”  Pretty cool, huh?

How about a blurb?

You’re probably busy with all the bird watching and whatnot, so I’ve taken the liberty of typing up a few choice nuggets for you to choose from.

I never knew reading could be such a fulfilling emotional experience until I read Dinosaur Ghost. - Jonathan Franzen

Dinosaur Ghost will knock your socks off!  Then it will eat your republican grandmother! -Jonathan Franzen.

Dinosaur Ghost is way better than any of the other Dinosaur Porn I’ve read. -Jonathan Franzen

In the immortal words of Jimmy “JJ” Walker, Dinosaur Ghost is DINO-MITE  - Jonathan Franzen

I tell you what.  If I haven’t heard from you in 24 hours (Starting now.  Go!) I’ll assume you want me to pick one for you and then sign your name to it.  Deal? (Go!)

Oh, and if you’re serious about that writing partnership, I’ve already got a project in mind that would be perfect for you.  It’s a romance novel called The Oiliest Secret.  It’s guaranteed to be DYNO-MITE!

You can take my other books, but you can’t take my Freedom!  (Feel free to use that in future editions.)

Your Pal,

Christamar Varicella

An Open Letter to Cormac McCarthy

The original version of this letter appeared here.

Dear Cormac,

I know you’re a busy man, what with your endless self-promotion and all, so let’s just get down to business.  I need you to do a job for me.  Some too-bit redneck ran off with my briefcase full of money, and the psychopath I hired to find him has turned out to be unstable.  I need you to find the redneck and the psychopath and kill them for me.  I believe the standard fee in a case like this is five thousand dollars

Now, I’m a little short on funds right now on account of that briefcase had most of my money in it, and I won’t get paid again until a week from Thursday, BUT, I’d be willing to give you twenty five dollars up front and the remaining four thousand nine hundred and seventy five upon receipt of the briefcase (It’s black and it has a couple of clasps and a handle.  There should be money inside.), and the two bullet-riddled corpses.  It’s a tough job, but I know you can handle it.

I know you can handle it because I read Blood Meridian.  That book could only have been written by a stone-cold sicko. 

I don’t mean to criticize your work or anything, but yuck!  I assume you put a lot of yourself into your characters and, well, I don’t know how to end this sentence without offending you.  The last thing I want is to cause your crazy ass to come after me!  Ha Ha. 

Besides your characters, another problem I had with your book was the setting.  Too dusty. 

Also the plot was no good.

What if, instead of a gang of Indian killers and outlaws roaming the old west slaughtering babies and whatnot, you wrote about a band of sorority sisters working at a candy store!  Now that’s a story I could get into!  Also, how about throwing a love story into the mix?  What if Judge Holden fell in love with a sexy Mexican maid or something?  Jennifer Lopez could play her in the movie version, opposite Ben Affleck.  Wouldn’t you like to see those two get back together?  I know I would.  By the way, feel free to use any of these ideas the next time your publisher issues a reprint.  Just remember to give me credit and a share of the royalties.

Also, let me know if you want to take the hired-killer job.  Scratch that.  If you want the job, don’t tell me.  I don’t want to be connected to the actual crime.  How about this?  If I don’t hear back from you before a week from Thursday, I’ll start checking my mailbox for bullet-riddled corpses. 

Oh, I almost forgot to give you the name of the redneck.  Her name is Shirley.  Technically she didn’t steal my briefcase full of money.  It was actually my prized album collection. I know what you’re thinking, and don’t worry about the money.  Those albums are extremely valuable.  I’m talking about the Jim Neighbor’s Christmas Album, the original Alvin and the Chipmunks Sing the Blues, and a compilation featuring Men at Work and that band that sang “Oh Mickey, you’re so fine.  You’re so fine, you blow my mind.  Hey Mickey!”  I took very good care of them.  Only a few are scratched, and one of my Pat Benatar albums got warped after I left it in the trunk of my car for a couple of years.  The rest are pristine.  I could totally pawn the bunch and easily make the four thousand nine hundred and seventy five bucks I’m gonna owe you.  You’d be a fool not to take this job!

There is no psychopath by the way.  Well, except for you.  So, just take care of Shirley for me and you can owe me that extra bullet-riddled corpse.  See?  This job is getting easier all the time. 

Watch out for Shirley, though.  No man can resist her charms.  But she’s evil, I tell you.  She made fun of my genitalia!  Here's what she looks like: she’s brunette, a little over four feet tall, and she weighs four hundred and fifty pounds.  She also has a giant mole on her lip in the shape of Nebraska.  You can’t miss her.  

If you decide to pass on this job, be sure to let me know by next Thursday, so I can go to my safety killer.  You might know him.  His name is Anton Sugar, or something like that.  I’m worried he’s not up to the task though.  He has a funny-looking haircut that makes it extremely difficult to take him seriously. 

OK.  That’s it for now. 
Your Pal,

Christamar Varicella  

P.S. What kind of name is Cormac?  Was your dad a magician or something?  If not, I’m pretty sure you made that name up.  It’s OK though, my name sounds made up too.  Christamar means “Christ, a sea!” and Varicella is Latin, which I don’t even think is a real language. 

P.P.S. Since I drafted this letter, Shirley and I got back together, so ixna on the illka. K?  God, I hope you speak Pig Latin.  Anyway, I’m willing to let you keep the $25 (industry standard) if you’d be willing to blurb my new book Dinosaur GhostThey’re real and they’re eating republicans.”  Thanks! CV

An Open Letter to Thomas Pynchon

A version of this letter originally appeared a while back.

Dear Thom,

I just finished reading (the first three pages of) Gravity’s Rainbow, and I have to say, I think you were grossly misinformed about the outcome of World War II.  I believe the allies, not the Germans, won.  I am now turning on the History Channel to confirm this fact.  I’m watching... I’m watching... Yes, the allies definitely won.  Also, Nostradamus predicted they would win several hundred years ago.  Also, Hitler may have descended from an ancient race of space aliens and Barack Obama is descended from Satan.  Now that's good history!

Wait a second.  Hold the phone.  I just looked up GR on Wikipedia, and it turns out you do know who won WWII.   Sorry about that.  I guess I didn’t know what the hell was going on in that book.  I did understand Slow Learner however.  And while I agree with your assessment of your early stories in the introduction of that book--that they weren’t very good--you can’t know how much it meant to me to know that an author of your caliber, whose books I don’t understand or care to read, could have written stories just as crappy as mine.  Well, let’s just say it gave me hope.  Maybe I’ll be the next Thomas Pynchon when I grow up.  (I’m only 43, so there is still plenty of time.)

Say, that gives me an idea.  I know how secretive you are--people used to think you and JD Salinger were the same person because you were so reclusive, even though Salinger wrote books on a seventh grade reading level, and you have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what you’re writing about--so, what if I spread a rumor that you are the author of some of my stories.  Can you think of any reason why you wouldn’t want to be considered the author of a book about Dinosaur Ghosts? Of course you can’t.

With that in mind, let me just say, I LOVED your book Dinosaur Ghost.  It was so nice to see an actual plot in one of your books, and by that I mean a plot I could understand.  Not that it wasn’t complicated: Boy meets girl.  Boy gets eaten by ghost of a dinosaur.  Dinosaur Ghost seeks revenge against conservatives for using remains to fuel SUVs.  Dinosaur Ghost seeks comfort and companionship with other male dinosaur ghost.   Second dinosaur ghost gets drunk and makes out with diplodocus at a dinner party.  First dinosaur ghost takes revenge on second dinosaur ghost by having sex with girl.  Girl falls in love with dinosaur ghost.  Dinosaur Ghost reconciles with other dinosaur ghost.  Girl falls for next best thing--monkey man monster that wandered into the story in chapter eleven.  Now that's complication I can get into!

You know, I’m pretty sure this is the kind of story prize committees are looking for.  This may finally get you that Pulitzer you’ve been waiting for. 


Your pal,

Friday, July 18, 2014

Dinosaur Ghost is Now Available for Free as a PDF

That's right.  You now have free access to the critically acclaimed novella Dinosaur Ghost.

"Dinosaur Ghosts are real and they're eating republicans!"

Just follow the link below and save your copy!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Dinosaur Ghost Epilogue

Dinosaur Ghost is now free as a pdf.  

Steve loped down the hall of an upscale apartment in Provincetown, his tail sweeping the floor as he went.  He straightened picture frames with his front hooves and head, while, unbeknownst to him, his back end inadvertently knocked over lamps, tables, and poked holes in the walls with his six-foot long serrated spikes.  
Steve wanted everything to be perfect for his and Rex's anniversary dinner.  Their relationship had been off kilter ever since “the incident,” and this would be an opportunity to launch a fresh start.  
Then again, Steve wondered if he would ever be able to trust Rex again.  The image of Rex and that woman had been seared into his brain: the way he had tossed her around like a rag doll only reminded Steve of their own personal shortcomings in the bedroom.  
It was also a side of Rex that he had never seen before.  The fact that he could defy his own natural instincts merely to inflict pain on Steve was truly frightening.  A part of Steve had gone extinct that night, and he knew that he would never be the same again.
He was placing fresh flowers in a vase in the bedroom when he heard the front door open and close, followed by a mumbled greeting from Rex.  In that moment, he wanted to drop the vase, rush into the den, and throw his hooves around his lover, but then he heard the sound of the television, and he knew that Rex would be sprawled out on the couch--probably crushing it--and for the next thirty minutes he would vegetate in front of the evening news.  His first words would almost certainly be, “What’s for dinner?”  
(Rex took it for granted that Steve would have prepared something, and yes, Steve had trapped a rather succulent goat that morning, and then let it run loose in the back of the apartment, just the way Rex liked.  Rex would fool himself into thinking he was a mighty hunter, but would he even bother to compliment Steve on his hard work?  Doubtful.  No, he would scarf down the entire goat in a single bite and then ask if they had any horse or donkey.) 
Steve’s mood deflated.  Rather than rushing into Rex’s tiny forearms, he went to the bathroom to freshen up.
Ten minutes later, he cautiously ventured to the front of the apartment.  As he neared the living room, he heard the sound of hushed voices.  Who was Rex talking to?  He quickened his step, causing the apartment to shake violently as he thundered into the living room.
Rex was facing the window.  He turned when he heard Steve approach, a guilty smile affixed to his face. 
“Steve, Baby!”  He said, trying to guard the window with his massive bulk.
Steve tilted his head and caught a glimpse of a pterodactyl on the fire escape.
“Who’s that?” Steve asked.  “Rex, who are you talking to?”
The pterodactyl squawked, “Call me,” and then flew away.
Rex’s smile cracked and faded.  “It’s no one, Babe. Just the building inspector.”
“Why does he want you to call him?”
It was then that Rex’s green eyes narrowed into that look of pure reptilian hatred that frightened Steve so.  “I can’t win with you, Steve.  No matter what I do, you’re never going to trust me.”
“I just want to know why that stupid bird on the fire escape asked you to call him.  I think I’m entitled to an answer.”
“Don’t worry, Steve,” Rex said, his roar dripping with sarcasm.  “I wasn’t going to make out with him like a diplodocus at a dinner party if that’s what you were thinking."
Steve recoiled.  “When are you going to stop throwing that in  my face.  I was drunk.  I never would have given Terrance a second glance in the sober light of day.”
“I’ve seen the way you look at him.”
Steve rolled his eyes and affected mock laughter.  “Oh my God.”
“Yes, oh your God.  Oh your God.” Rex paced the living room like he was stalking a kill.
Steve’s eyes began to water.  “I don’t know what I did to make you hate me so much.”
“Oh, don’t start this again,” Rex said in a dismissive tone.  “You’re so damned manipulative when you do this.”
Steve sobbed.  “I’m sorry if my pain antagonizes you.”
“You know what, Steve?  You stay here and play the victim.  I’ve got better things to do.”  He stormed toward the door, tearing clumps out of the carpet with his claws.
“Go on then.  Run off to your slutty pterodactyl.  See if I care.”
“Bah,” said the tyrannosaur.  He took a swipe at the air with his tiny forearm, and then he was gone.
As the door slammed shut, Steve collapsed in a heap on the floor and shook with grief.  He had planned the evening so carefully.  How had it come to this?
Slowly, he became aware of a voice in the room. It was a human’s voice.  A male human’s voice.  He looked up at the television and saw that it was tuned to a 24-hour news channel.  A pundit was railing against gay marriage.
“Marriage is supposed to be between a man and a woman.  It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” said the talking head.
“Or Rex and Steve,” thought the dinosaur ghost.
“My bible defines marriage as being between one man and at least one woman.  We can’t go changing that now.  We can’t go redefining words willy nilly.  It will confuse the children.  And when you get married, the preacher is supposed to say, ‘I now pronounce you man and wife,’ not 'man and man.'  What does that even mean?  They’re already men!  It doesn’t change anything.  See?  It renders the whole ceremony meaningless.”
Steve felt a flash of anger.  He reached out and stomped the remote control, smashing it into a thousand tiny pieces.  The talking head continued to drone on and on with ever more fallacious arguments.   Finally, Steve could take it no more.  His roar shook the complex.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dinosaur Ghost Chapter 13: Denouement in the Hall of Biodiversity

Dinosaur Ghost is now available for free as a pdf!

Stumpy found an old blanket in one of the store rooms and wrapped it around Helen.
Helen thanked him, put her arm around him, and used him for support as she hobbled toward the exit.  The museum was deserted now, a vast empty warehouse of antiquities.  . 
“Get me out of the dinosaur room,” she said.   
Entering the Hall of Biodiversity, they found that they were not alone after all.  A single gentleman stood examining the endangered species wall.  As Helen and Stumpy limped closer, the man seemed to grow in both dignity and stature.  Helen could not take her eyes off of him.  He stood nearly seven feet tall and wore a gray double-breasted overcoat and a black bowler hat.  He had a pronounced jaw and forehead and wore a monocle over his left eye that he used to study the exhibits.
“Oh, hello,” he said upon noticing their approach.  “How do you do?” He gave a slight bow and extended his hand.
“I’ve been better,” Helen said, ignoring his offer.  She continued to stare at the massive gentleman.  There was something familiar about him that she couldn’t quite put her finger on.  “Have we met?” She asked.
The gentleman sighed.  “No,” he said. “Not officially.”  He removed his black leather gloves and placed them in his hip pocket.
Helen honed in on his hairy knuckles.  Her eyes darted up to his unibrow.  “It’s you,” she said.  “You’re the Monkey Man Monster.”
“MMM,” whispered Stumpy.
Helen turned away.  “You killed Eric.”
 “I am terribly sorry about that,” the man said.  Really, he was more of a man than a monkey or a monster at this point.  “I don’t suppose you’ll ever forgive me.  Just know that I hate myself for what I’ve done.  I was acting on instinct, but I like to think I’ve evolved since then.”
“It happened yesterday.”
“Yes, well, I no longer feel the need to impose my will on others.  I no longer go looking for conservatives to bash the shit out of with my club.”  He lifted a silver-handled walking stick to indicate that he no longer carried a club.
“Bully for you,” Helen said.  “I suppose next you’ll blame it all on your tragic upbringing.”
“It’s true, mine was a rough childhood.  My father was eaten by a saber-tooth tiger.  My mother, trampled by a Woolly mammoth.  I’ve fended for myself ever since I was very young, and yes, it has been a struggle to survive at times, but I can’t blame my actions entirely on my environment.  I made my own choices, and now I’ll have to live with them.”
“How did you survive?” Stumpy asked.  “Why are you here?”
“That’s something I’ve been asking myself for a long time,” said the newly civilized man.  “I guess it’s something we all ask ourselves from time to time.”
“Yes, but you died hundreds of thousands of years ago.”
“Oh yes, that.  Funny thing, really.  I never died.  The last thing I remember from those days was going for a quick nap on top of a glacier.  The next thing I knew it was 1998 and the world had become new and incredibly strange.”
“Where were you during all that time?” Stumpy asked.
“For years I was buried under the hockey rink at the old Boston Garden.  I thawed out prior to its demolition, and I’ve been wandering around ever since.  It’s taken me a while, but I think I’m finally starting to adapt to my new environment.”
“I’d say you’re up to the Victorian Era,” Helen said.
“Again, I do apologize for killing your boyfriend.  It was a savage thing to do.  I’ve since forsworn acts of violence and have dedicated my remaining years to atoning for such barbarism.  In fact,” he lifted a gold pocket watch out of his vest, “I’ll soon be on my way to volunteer at a local community center.”
Helen studied his face for cracks in his facade.  
He smiled back sweetly.
“What did you say your name was?” Helen asked.
“Oh, I’m afraid I didn’t.  Terribly sorry.  My Christian name is Ug, but these days I go by Thaddeus.”  He bowed deeply.
“I think I’ll call you Tad,” Helen said.
“Very good,” said Tad.  
“You know,” Helen said, extending her elbow.  “I happen to be going near the community center myself.”
“Good show,” Tad said, taking her arm.  “Allow me to escort you.”  He slipped his timepiece into his pocket, adjusted his monocle, and away they went.
Stumpy trailed behind them. “You know there’s still something I don’t understand.  How did the dinosaur ghosts come back from extinction and what happened to them when you shot them with that blizzblaster?”
“Oh Stumpy,” Helen said, tussling his hair.  “You’re such an inquisitive boy.”
“I’m thirty two.”
“All in good time,” Helen said.  “All in good time.”
As they made their way down the front steps, a swat team rushed passed them, heading in the opposite direction.  Helen paused, prompting Tad to ask if there was something he could do to assist her.  Helen shook her head.  "Tad, this may be a little forward of me, but would you mind telling me if you have any particular political affiliations?"
"I say," Tad said, raising an eyebrows and dropping his monocle.  "I suppose it would be alright. I fancy myself a libertarian.”

Helen gasped and touched her heart.  Now what was she getting herself into?
Go to epilogue

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Dinosaur Ghost Chapter 12: Climax Within a Climax

Dinosaur Ghost is now available for free as a pdf!

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Once again, Helen checked her supply of paranormal armaments: the Specter Deflector, the Phantom Blaster, The Ghost Roaster, Apparition Munitions, and, just to be safe, a half-dozen stink bombs.  It was all there. 
“Sexy outfit?”  She looked down at her body.  “Check.”  
She had everything she needed.  Now all she needed was to find the dinosaur ghosts.
“Where should we look first?” Stumpy asked.  “K-Street?  Congress?  Tea Party Convention?  The titty bar downtown?”
“You aren’t going anywhere,” Helen snarled.  She threw the rest of her weapons into her backpack and slung it over her shoulder.  Then she cocked her Ghost Roaster (there was a switch on the side.)  “I’m going to catch me a dinosaur ghost.”
Stumpy, who had evidently wandered off while Helen was packing, came back into the room carrying a soda.  “Okay.  I’ll come too.”
Helen glared.  Stumpy took a sip of soda.
Forty five minutes later they arrived at the Museum of Natural History in fabulous New York City.  “What are we doing here?”  Stumpy asked.  “I thought we wanted to find republicans.”
“If I can’t go to the dinosaur ghosts, then I’ll have to bring the dinosaur ghosts to me,” Helen said.
“Ooh.  I want to see the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda!” said Stumpy.
They went into the museum.  Helen made a beeline for the famous tyrannosaurus skeleton.  She took off her backpack, let it drop to the floor.
“What do we do now?” Stumpy asked.
Helen cupped a hand over her mouth and called out, “I believe that human life begins at conception and that it is sacrosanct!”
“Helen, what are you doing? People are looking at us,” Stumpy said.
Helen yelled, “I think a path to citizenship wouldn’t be fair to the immigrants who came here legally.”
“Helen, please, the children.”
Chaperones for an elementary school field trip quickly ushered the children into another room.  Two security guards approached from opposite wings.
A faint rumbling sounded  in the distance. 
 “The best way to stimulate the economy is through additional tax cuts!”
The rumbling sound intensified.  The windows rattled.
“Helen,” Stumpy said, easing away from her.
Helen shouted, “Alternative energy sources aren’t yet viable!”
The entire room shook now.  The two security guards fell down.  Everyone else ran out of the room.
“Marriage should be legally defined as the union between a man and a woman!”
The walls cracked open and debris rained down from the ceiling.  The security guards bolted toward the exit.  Stumpy lingered nearby. 
The scaffolding maintaining the tyrannosaurus skeleton collapsed, but the skeleton itself remained erect and intact.  It turned on its own volition and, as it did so, muscle and flesh enveloped its bones.  A growl emanated from its newly formed throat.  Eyes rolled into their sockets and looked down at Helen with extreme loathing.
“Helen,” Stumpy said.  “There is something I have to tell you.”
“Not now, Stumpy.  I have to finish this.”
Helen fired a blast from her Ghost Roaster, narrowly missing the T-Rex’s torso.  A sudden movement flashed in her peripheral vision as the tail of a stegosaurus snapped her weapon out of her hands in one bullwhip motion and sent it flying across the room.  She lunged for her backpack as the tail snapped back down and crushed the ground where she had been standing.  She stretched out her arm for the bag, but the tyrannosaurus was ready.  It crushed her backpack beneath its heal, forcing Helen to roll behind a triceratops display.  She watched in horror as the dinosaur gobbled down her backpack and all its contents.
“My stink bombs!”
The T-Rex then went after the triceratops display, but Helen refused to run. Not this time.  Instead, she eased around the stone base, all the while staring into the eyes of her predator.
Without the benefit of weaponry, she turned to the only weapon she had left: her raw, animalistic sexuality.  She leaned over, giving the terrible lizard an eyeful of cleavage.
“Hey, Big Boy.  What do you think of these?”
The tyrannosaurus cocked its head to one side as if to say, “Did she really just do that?”
“Helen,” Stumpy implored from across the room. “It’s really important.”
“Not now, Stumpy,” Helen shouted.  This was personal. This was the dinosaur that had eaten her last two boyfriends, and she wasn’t about to let it get away with it.  For once, just once, she was going to seize the upper hand in a relationship.
“But Helen,” Stumpy said.  “It’s really important.  I reconfigured some of my earlier calculations and it turns out that dinosaur ghosts aren’t just angry about the burning  of fossil fuels.  That’s only a small part of it.  The real issue is much closer to their hearts.”
“What are you talking about, Stumpy?”  Helen had the tyrannosaurus locked in her sultry gaze.  Casually, she pulled the straps of her dress away from her shoulders, lowered the front of her dress, and flashed her boobs.
“You were right all along. It wasn’t the comet that killed off the dinosaurs,” Stumpy yelled.
“What was it then?”  Helen hiked up her skirt and winked at the dinosaur, who looked back at the stegosaurus.
“Gay marriage,” Stumpy said.  “Gay marriage killed the dinosaurs.”
Helen froze.   She looked over at the stegosaurus who was looking at the tyrannosaurus and shaking its head.  “Don’t do it,” it seemed to be saying.  It turned to Helen and scowled.  Its head bounced from side to side as if saying, “You best stay away from my boyfriend, bitch!”
“Stumpy, start making sense please.”
“It’s impossible to procreate through homosexual relations. And since the dinosaurs were all gay, they weren’t able to perpetuate the species, so they just died out.”
“But they had babies!”
“They tried it for a while.  You know, using surrogates, but technology wasn’t where it is today and their hearts weren’t in it.”
Helen stood in the center of the Museum of Natural History, naked above the waist, facing the most feared animal ever to walk the Earth, this colossal apparition soaring above her, and yet, at that moment, her mind formed only a single thought: this dinosaur better not be gay. 
“Well,” Helen said.  “This is the moment of truth.”
The ghost of the tyrannosaurus took one last look at the stegosaurus moping in the background and then looked back at Helen and nodded. 
“Oh,” Helen said, caught off guard by this reaction.  “You really want to go through with this?” She climbed onto the giant stone table that had once held a triceratops skeleton and lay down on her back.  “Remember me, Stumpy.  Remember what I did here today.”
“What are you doing?” Stumpy shouted.
Helen thought for a moment.  What was the plan again? 
The tyrannosaurus took several deep breaths, as if psyching itself up for something it really did not want to do.
Helen slid her skirt up over her waist.
The dinosaur ghost shuddered, unable to hide a look of disgust.  It glanced over its shoulder at the stegosaurus in the corner and then stared off into space.  With its tiny forearms, it threw a rapid succession of one-two punches at the air like a boxer readying for a bout. 
A soft mournful wail emanated from the stegosaurus.  Every now and then it let out a great sigh. 
Helen looked up  at the tyrannosaurus, the thing that was about to inflict upon her twenty tons of unbridled reptilian passion.  Her gaze then dropped to its stiffening dinosaurhood.  It compared proportionally to its tiny forearms.  All things considered, this was probably a good thing.
“Well?” She asked.  “What are you waiting for?”
The tyrannosaurus began to hyperventilate.  However, whatever had transpired between the two dinosaurs was serious enough that the tyrannosaur was determined to go through with an act that it found extremely icky.  It took several more deep breaths and then moved into position. 
In the corner, the stegosaurus began to sob.
This wasn't a completely unusual position for Helen to be in--lying on her back, a sweaty beast on top of her, silently waiting for it all to be over. It wasn’t even the first time she’d been with someone whose heart wasn’t in it, but this time she found it impossible to let her thoughts drift to a list of things she needed to do the next day.  She simply couldn’t take her mind off the fact that she was being plowed by a tyrannosaurus. 
“Just finish already!” she cried.
Looking up into its sweaty, straining, scaly face, she could see a flash of determination pass through its expression, and at that moment she felt as if it was telling itself the same thing.  “Just finish already!”
It glanced back at the stegosaurus, quietly chewing on a fern, and then looked back at Helen and resumed with such vigor that Helen howled like a wild animal.
Ten seconds later it was all over. 
Helen lay there, sweaty, panting, wondering if she’d ever walk again.
The tyrannosaurus withdrew, staggered back to the stegosaurus with malicious swagger.  It roared then a way that suggested to Helen that it was saying, “That’s what you get for making out with that diplodocus at the Pomelroy’s dinner party.”
An argument of sorts ensued in the form of roars. 
Stumpy, who’d been watching transfixed from the corner of the room, suddenly snapped out of his trance.  He ran over to where Helen’s homemade Ghost Roaster lay on the floor.
“Helen,” he said.  “Here, catch.” He threw the device across the room where it landed with a splat against her belly.
“What?” Helen said. “Now you throw this to me?  You're the worst sidekick ever!”
Through immeasurable pain, she propped herself onto her elbow.  Powering on her doodad, she watched the stegosaurus deliver a wicked slap of the hoof across the face of the T-Rex.
“Hey, Assholes,” Helen shouted.
Both dinosaurs froze in place momentarily and then turned in her direction.

“Why don’t you both go back to where you came from." She pulled the trigger, sending a laser blasting across the room.  The dinosaur ghosts tensed with rage, but remained frozen in place as the ray gun continued to pour its ammunition into them.  They began to shake, and then exploded in a flash of light.  When the smoke cleared, the dinosaur ghosts were gone.
Go to chapter 13