Life is Change – Writing Outside the Comfort Zone (Purgatorium Comes)

The Jester’s Court Restaurant in Port Perry, Ontario, is housed in what is presumably one of Canada’s most haunted establishments. It was a fitting place to unveil the beautiful cover for the upcoming HORROR ANTHOLOGY —> PURGATORIUM!

Last night I had the extreme pleasure of being a part of a new and exciting creation. When you’re a member of one of the world’s most vibrant writing communities, these opportunities rise up often. They begin as a kernel of an idea, and then people jump on board and they blossom into real tangible things. When a group filled with creative vitality comes together, magic can happen. I witness that all the time as a member of the Writers’ Community of Durham Region WCDR.

ID Press is comprised of 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse…er, um…I mean 4 members of ‘THE BAD TABLE’.

Last year, the idea of creating an anthology of stories rose up out of the din of what a group of WCDR members affectionately refer to themselves as THE BAD TABLE. It was Connie De Pietro who came up with the original kernel. With much excitement, the idea was tossed and bandied about until it was formed into an actual possibility. And then creativity happened.

Pat Flewwelling, Connie Di Pietro, Dale Long, and, Tobin Elliott are ID PRESS.

From the first idea came the writing of and the submission of a collection of short horror stories. For some of us, it was an introduction to a genre we had not yet explored as writers. This was, in fact, a part of the original concept—STEP OUTSIDE YOUR ZONE OF COMFORT. As writers, we are constantly striving to better ourselves. One way to do this is to try something new. With a collection of dark storytellers at the helm, the horror concept was formed and it was eventually the premier genre that the group chose to run with.

Fast forward several months and ID PRESS (GO LIKE THEM ON FACEBOOK) rose up from the gossamer darkness that encapsulated THE BAD TABLE of WCDR members who sit at the back of their monthly ROUNDTABLE MEETINGS causing chaos and upheaval in the otherwise well-behaved room. From the chaos comes a well-oiled fine-tuned machine. And you know, I wouldn’t want to sit anywhere else. We’re rambunctious and giddy and loud…but these things are often needed in the formation of creative endeavors. I’m proud to sit among my friends in writing.

A Glimpse of the Cover for PURGATORIUM, an Anthology of dark stories…coming soon from ID PRESS.

What I loved most about the original idea was the forced capitulation from the comfort zone. All writers should try this occasionally. In fact, all creative people in any media should try it. It injects fresh blood into one’s creative process. One never knows until I tries. Growth can only happen with change.


“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” ~ Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr. The more things change, the more they stay the same. UNLESS you turn them on their heads. So cometh the horror!

To step into a genre you have never before written in is a terrifying thing. But we’re writers, right? It’s not like we are chemists working with a new element just recently discovered in the deep quagmire of a distant planet’s molten sea. Even if we do struggle and squirm in our attempts to explore the new genre, whatever the outcome, it most likely won’t result in our death. We will come out on the other end of the experience with new knowledge and new appreciation for the genre. Whatever that genre may be. As writers, it is important that we never disqualify or belittle a genre simply because we ourselves do not write in it. They are all important, they are all appreciated by the readers who love them.

I just had to include a friend selfie here! Mel and I at last night’s PURGATORIUM cover reveal get-together at Jester’s Court in Port Perry. Writer friends are the awesome!

If you’re a writer reading this blog right now, do yourself a favour. Think about a genre you would never in a million years imagine yourself entering into. Go to your local library and pick up a book in that genre. Read it. Listen to the way the story is formed, take note of the genre’s quirks and nuances. And when you’re finished reading the book, or several books in that genre, sit down and write. Give the genre a go. You’d be surprised not only by how difficult it is, but also by how easy it is. The elements of writing are the same across genres…it’s the elements of the genre that make the experience one of growth and enlightenment. You’re a writer…you already know what goes into making a good story. You just have to manipulate the way of thinking you have in your genre of choice in order to make yourself fit into the genre of the experiment.

If you attempt this genre-swapping experiment, you may discover a whole new appreciation for a genre you previously largely ignored both as a writer and as a reader. You may even discover a new genre to devour as a reader. What could be better than that?! I have always found that if I try something new I’m usually not disappointed. This is true of slipping into the reading of a genre I usually don’t explore. Change is good. Life is change.

The folks at THE BAD TABLE had an idea. And we ran with it. I am extremely thankful for the engine behind this idea—the smaller group among us who stepped forward as captains of this vessel of creativity. Because of them a simple idea took off and became a wondrous thing that we will soon unleash upon the world. I will share more details of this upcoming anthology as they are released. For now, I would just like to personally thank the powerhouse behind making an idea a tangible thing that I will soon be able to hold in my hands. A thing with a breathtakingly gorgeous cover (soon to be revealed) that I am extremely proud to be a part of. Thank you Connie, Tobin, Dale, and Pat. You are deeply appreciated. Your efforts and talents and vision are deeply appreciated. You are all the fire that burns in the depths of our Purgatorium, as well as the phoenix that rises from the ashes of that creativity fire.

PURGATORIUM! It’s coming!

Rabacheeko – A Horror Story (WCDR Wicked Words Honorable Mention)

This short story was something that had me veering completely off my normal course. I actually created a new language of sorts to write it. ultimately, I think the reason it received an honorable mention is that it wasn’t easily accessible to all. It was fun to write, but admittedly a bit confusing. A great experiment, anyhow. It won an honorable mention and was published in the anthology for the WCDR Wicked Words contest. (-:


I lay on the super—the sofa—pressing the pulsey pill into the pomegranate—palm—of my hand. My BoDiddly—body—is frozen in trace—in trance. I’m a pairofeyes—paralyzed. Something Margaret has done to me. But my hanglide—my hand—I can move. I can gridlock—ground—that pilsbury—pill—into my palm.

“Take the pill, Trish,” Margaret screeches. But I don’t take it.

When she spikes—speaks—the pilsbury—pill—flexes in my plan—my palm. Did it breathe? Her vice—her voice—was inside the pill. An enchilada—echo. An echo.

“Take the pill,” it echoes, squiggling—squirming—in my filth—my fist. My weirds. My words. My words.

Margaret is my nancy—my nanny. But where is my baby? Margaret was suppose to be watering—watching—my baby boy.

Before I can bring my filth—my fist—to my monster—my mouth—the fried doors—French doors—fly open.

“What have we here?” Margaret cows. Did she caw? “What a pretty little girl.”

A thing that is not a grizzle—a girl—stands in the doorway. I know it’s not really a grizzle—a girl.

“What pretty eyes she has,” Margaret says. “Look at her pretty eyes, Trish.”

But her islands—her eyes—are like mice. Scratching. Her islands—I can’t let her look at me with those islands—those eyes.

Margaret pets the girl thingy’s high—her hair—and it comes off in clumps of crows—of curls—in her fist. Black frothy crows—curls. Margaret doesn’t notice the crows. Doesn’t see.

“Spin, Rabacheeko,” Margaret spies—says—to the girlie thing. “Spin for Trish while she sleeps and slips the pretty pill into her mind.” Did she say mind? I think she said monster—mouth—but I swear I saw mind on her lips.

Rabacheeko? I heard that name because—before—in my whispers—my wind—my meanness. My what?

She’s so tiny. I want to ramble—to run—but my feet won’t mock—move—me. She skitters around the womb—the room. Her tiny freeze—frame—by the widow—the window and then inside—beside—me. Beside me.

“Tee ta tire, Tiki ta,” she—it—says. But I know she says, tee ta tire—take the pill—Trish. I can see it in her mice—her islands—her black oil eyes. “Tee ta tire, Tiki ta.”

I want to ramble—run—but I only press the pilsbury—pill—into my palm. It’s all I can doodle—do.

“Jesus mother filler, Trish!” Margaret says, screaming in the windows shake. The pilsbury screams in my fiddle—fist. I can feel it angry in my grab—grip.

“Where’s my balloon—my bodymy boy!” I beg. “My balloon? You have my bendy—my baby. Give me my madness—my Matthew.”

“I’m afraid we’ll be needing your madness, my angel,” Margaret sings. “But if you take the pill, we’ll give you a balloon. You fucker, sweet girl.”

The Rabacheeko girl thing is nightly—naked—and her nipples nearly cry. Her veins are blackbird—black—and squinty—squiggly—in her skin. Her hunger—hand—reaches out to touch me and I scrim—scream. But my voice comes over—out—of her raw mint—mouth, not mine. The scream exits her mint—mouth—in my voice. I cry.

“My billy bub!” the thinging tinkle—girlie—wimpers—whispers. “My billy bub bounce biggy!”

She brings something out of her mint—her mouth. A plinger—a planet—in small. She lets the black planet shining in her heart—hand—come out to play. It doesn’t bounce. It hungers—hovers—in the air. The black shining planet hovers in the air above her hand.

“Looky, Tiki ta!” it says. It squirms like heat. Rabacheeko grizzle—girl—squirms like heat. “My billy bub.”

I squeeze the pilsbury—pill. I want to swillingly—swallow—it willingly. I want my balloon—my boy—back, so I want to swilling the pill. I want to eat the pilsbury to stop the plinging—the planet—from touching me.

“Take the pill, you filthy girl,” Margaret says oh so sweatly—sweetly—like a coo. Like a ninny—a nanny. She’s my nanny. She touches my finger—my face—caress. “Take the pill, you fucking filthy fool, dearie.”

“Where’s my baby?” I ask. And I say what I mad—I mean. My words. I say it rigid—right.

“Tiki ta!” the thingling says. “Tiki ta, touch my billy bub.”

My hands that—raven—could not move—they reach to touch the planet black. My mind tries to stoop—to stop—but it reaches, they reach and touch the billy bub. No. Don’t touch the billy bub. But my tongue tinies the black orb.

It stretches and shrieks. I scram—scream. It goes bigger and bigger. A bubble of black.

The girling Rabacheeko thing laughs like diamonds. Sharp. Jagged. And the black planet, like a raven cracking—glass—egg—breaks bigger. Bigger and bigger. It stretches and grows. The girling thing reaches to bring it down to earnest—earth. It stretches wheels and leather.

“Oh Trishbratbaby,” Margaret pleads, shaking me. “Why did you not sweetly take the fucking fool pill?”

The girling thing giants—giggles—and shows me the planet as a wheelchair. It’s grown from a plinging—a planet—into a wheelchair. It sits wicked and wild, waiting for me. Black and swaying, with wheels that scratch—I mean screech! It wants to eek—eat—me. I know.

“My billy bub!” Rabacheeko says in scratching in my head. It’s not a girl, this Rabacheeko. It’s eight years-old and evil ever ancient. It speaks in my heart—my head—from the inside out.

“Nightingale!” I scream. But what I mental—mean—is NO.

“In my billy bub, Tiki ta!” it whistles—whispers—in my egg—ear. But I know she means, in my wheelchair, Trish. Get the frack into—inside—my wickety chair—my wheelchair!

But I don’t move. I squeeze the pilsbury in my fiddles—fingers.

“Magic! I want my balloon back. My bologna. My baby!” I say to Margaret. She wattles—watches—the wheelchair and laughs. My Matthew.

“You don’t have a baby, Trish,” Margaret says. “Remember. You don’t have any children. You can have this pill if you wish.” She holds a pill in her hell—her hand. But I feel the one in my fist. She wants me to tail—take—it. But what will it do?

Madness, Madness, I say in my head. But I know I mean, Matthew, Matthew. My baby. We came for tea. To the new ninja’s—nanny’s—house for tea. I remember. Madness and me. His stroller. His stroller is by the fried—French—doors. Squeaking in the corner like a good striper—stroller—should.

The tea. That’s what took my weirds—my words—poison in the tease—the tea.

The Rabacheeko thing, it rips my flush—flesh—in ribbons. My blur—blood—is falling in rivers. Rivulets of retch—red. It touches waterfall and fingers noisy the falling red. Rabacheeko likes blood.

“My water, mi wata wiggle!” it says and drinks my dripping blur. It’s not a grizzle—a girl. It’s a monstrosity—monster. Rabacheeko grizzle.

Margaret laughs. “Oh Trish!” she says. “Don’t you love my pretty little girl? My Rabacheeko pretty girl.” But I know she means grizzle.

Rabacheeko holds my arm now and pulls it from my shiver—shoulder. The crack of bog—bone—makes me scream. Its—mind—mouth—opens and my vicky—voice—comes out. But retch—red—pumps freely and sprays. Springs—sprays—on the pretty Rabacheeko grizzle—girlie.

“Eat the flying fucking flung pill, Trish,” Margaret howls as she pushes me from the sofa and onto the fringe—the floor. “Eat the filling finger!” I know she’s swearing.

“Mi wata, wiggle, Tika ta!” Rabacheeko whistles wild. She laps at my blur—my blood.

My arms are coated in blur. My mind in shackles chuckles. My baby, my baby.

If I go into the black planet, I’ll dig and dive—die. I know this. I’ll dig and dive—die. I’ll never see madness—Matthew—again.

It reaches lips with teeth to tear my mingle—mind. I scream.

“Tiki ta,” it says like a pretty picture, pleased. I know this is my name. Trish. “Tiki ta.” It holds my flush—my flesh—in hungs—hunks—of hanging in its slippers—slopping—hands.

The wheelchair’s wheels spike—spin—and I know that devils twist inside the works. I don’t want to sit there. But I’m on the grind—ground—floor—and being pulled by the thinging grizzly girl. I scribble—scream. She is wicked. She is wicked and wild.

“Not the blacking!” I say in shout. “Not the blacking blind!” But I mean, Not the wheelchair!

“Tiki ta!” Rabacheeko laughs and picks my blurring—bleeding—body from the frothy frithing flung—floor.

“Inside, my billy bub!” it pleases—pleasures—pleads.

“Here you go, Trish,” Margaret melts. “Your lovely lively pill.” She squeezes it down my mawing mind—mouth. “Forget your lovely baby boy. He’s mine. Here you go, dearie dear. You little foolish fuck.” Her smile is surprise—serene.

I know she will look after my baboon—baby. I look at the chair as Rabacheeko drags me inside. She brings me to the plinging—the planet—the churning—chair.

“Inside my billy bub!” the Rabacheeko scribbles—screams. And she sits me in the cherub—chair. I fall and falling filling fall forever fleshly. And I disappoint—I disappear.


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