into the light

….and here we are with my blog out the closet……speaking of which, isn’t today or tomorrow Coming Out Day? Or was it yesterday. Fuck it–I’ll do a post when I get up with the Sun.

Meanwhile, I went back to 2012 and released my voice. Check it out, bitches. I’m going to chill a bit and sleep some, grade some, jack off some (what, you thought I’d be all fearful of speaking my mind just because my blog address will get some traffic from nosy admins or faculty?), and otherwise just be me on this foggy night….took my meds…..and as you readers scroll back to the beginning in 2012 (much thanks to Thaddeus Howze for his work helping me build this blog structure) do notice how some of the more recent posts are expansions and in some ways revisions or reseeing or releasing more energy, context, language, feeling/emotion….in other words, a couple of books are emerging here….and I have so much more I’m feeling as a writer–and it’s on my terms.

Freeing my voice, yes. There will be no censorship here–that being said, there will be no gossip or bullshit here, either. Just me being me, being free….maybe this should be the new about this blog intro….i’ll think about it…..

Almost that time #30Days

May will be a mix of flash fiction and flash poetry via my #30Days  challenge.  Let me know if  you are down for it!

May 1, 2020 is the starting day.

IMG_8740

Follow up from last night’s show with Ronald Mason

Ron will definitely be back on my show.  Meanwhile, check out his spoken word links:

https://youtu.be/-yUU7C04Ctg

And

https://youtu.be/odB6erYmlN4

Stained Glass

It was in a nondescript flat, wooden box in the basement, a leftover from previous tenants now long gone. Or the tenants who came of left before the last couple who lived here. Rosalind couldn’t really tell, nor was she particularly interested in dragging that heavy box upstairs to take to the corner for trash day. Something about the box piqued her curiosity, though, especially the light that seemed to shine through one of the uncovered edges.

It took her an hour to pull and drag the box up the wooden stairs.

After finding a hammer, she flipped it to the prong side and began pulling out the nails, carefully tossing them in a neat pile. The wood seemed old, and gave way to her strength as she pulled out a large, round pane of stained glass. Looking at the wooden walls in the living room and dining room and the square window panes, it occurred to Rosalind that this could not have been installed in the house because it was too big for any house. It belonged to a church, perhaps a church long gone.

As she studied the design and colors, she noted the familiar image of the Virgin Mary and Child, how the pane seemed to capture the sunlight coming into the kitchen as if to store its ray like a solar panel. The room began to fill with a warm glow, and the air was suddenly fragrant with the smell of fresh roses. As Rosalind began to fill with a certain and familiar quiver of her state of “tipsy,” it occurred to her that no church would have commissioned such a work for their sanctuary, for it would not have been deemed acceptable for the masses.

What was once thought to be basement junk was now a center of attention in her living room as found art to outsiders who visited her as it hung on her wall seeming to have its own source of light even as the sun set outside.

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#ww470 #30days Never Ending Light

Waiting for night’s rest became useless about a year ago.

To be honest, I’m not sure my existence here is proof that I am alive. I could be in some sort of Purgatory. Food and water tends to be whatever I find on this island, and the cave I use for rest is warm–though strangely empty of inhabitants I would expect in a dark place in the wild.

But no one else and nothing else living beyond plants exists here. The sun never fully rises or sets. It hovers, as if time itself is waiting for something.

I remember life before the here that is now.

I remember falling asleep at night, waking up to go to campus for a meeting, and seeing/feeling heat as if the sun itself had landed in the middle of town. I remember the crush of debris and white-hot air as the megaton warhead exploded and my skin began to boil–then there was here.

Waiting.

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Revenant #30days #ww470

It was cold to his fingers when he touched the edges of the canister.

He expected to see a candle when he crouched to the ground to pick it up, but no, it was a free standing flame inside a lattice patterned canister in the middle of the park at night. The flame seemed to dance back and forth as he picked up the metal frame as if to speak to him. He looked at his German Shepherd companion keeping him company during his night walk and noticed the hair flailing out from his tail as he slowly backed away as if in silent alarm. The man returned the light to the ground and also began to back away, suddenly feeling dizzy and slightly panicked. The light began to ascend from its cage like a firefly and inch its way toward the man and his dog as they turned back to the narrow path towards home. Both wind and feet rustled through the forest as they fled from uncontrolled flames that now consumed dry branches and leaves left in their wake.

This Month (And Every Month), Black Sci-Fi Writers Look To The Future : Code Switch : NPR

This Month (And Every Month), Black Sci-Fi Writers Look To The Future : Code Switch : NPR.

Here’s an excerpt from Alaya Dawn Johnson’s timely essay on science fiction and Afrofuturism:

“There are more black writers of science fiction than there have ever been. Every year more of us debut to wider acclaim, find ourselves regularly on genre awards lists for the first time, and experience the pleasure of seeing more and more diverse faces at conventions. The black community has always embraced science fiction — the famous Dark Matter anthologies, edited by Sheree R. Thomas, included a work of speculative fiction from W.E.B. Du Bois. And now science fiction has, I think, finally been forced to recognize us. dark matter cover

But our rise to prominence — which can seem sudden if you haven’t been aware of the deep currents of science fictional imagination that have rippled through the black community for more than a century — also brings out dormant hostility. In his article “Racism in Science Fiction,” published in the 1990s, Delany predicted the current backlash that can make it easy to dismiss SF as more racist than other fields (it isn’t).

dhalgren cover As long as there are only one or two black writers, Delany wrote, he doesn’t expect to experience much overt racial hostility in a field where people pride themselves on their liberal values. But that’s only ‘until, say, black writers start to number thirteen, fifteen, twenty percent of the total. At that point, where the competition might be perceived as having some economic heft, chances are we will have as much racism and prejudice here as in any other field.'”

Click on the above link for more from this article!

 

Afro-futurism Scholar 2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helpers prepared a 2014 annual report for my blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,600 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 60 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

From Kalamu ya Salaam: Omenana – Nigerian speculative fiction magazine | Neo-Griot

LITERATURE: Omenana – Nigerian speculative fiction magazine | Neo-Griot.

http://kalamu.com/neogriot/2014/12/11/literature-omenana-nigerian-speculative-fiction-magazine/

In this issue:

Editorial:  Speculative Fiction in Nigeria: The Journey to Being: Mazi Nwonwu

The 4:15 Appointment: Rafeeat Aliyu

HostBods: Tendai Huchu

Crocodile Ark: Oluwole Talabi

A Winter in Lagos: Saratu Abiola

Art: Mami Water: Calm Waters: Kelsey Arrington

Interview: The World According to Ibrahim Ganiyu

Essay: The Unbearable Solitude of Being an African Fan Girl: Chinelo Onwualu

 

omenana

Click to download PDF version  *** Click to read flipping page version

“Strategic Disruptions: Black Feminism, Intersectionality, and Afrofuturism,” by Cherie Ann Turpin

https://www.academia.edu/16199640/Strategic_Disruptions_Black_Feminism_Intersectionality_and_Afrofuturism

Viral Image #31 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

Viral Image #31

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30Days

viral
The pictures on my walls started moving and talking last month.

It’s a virus, something that traveled through several layers of probable realities as a result of an experiment launched by a group of physicists in Switzerland.  The word “virus” is about as close a term as one could use to refer to or at least approximate what has happened to digital photography, film, music, and sound.  The “virus” has somehow rendered our actuality more porous than its previous state of stability, reworking digital codes of compressed audio and visual data into multi-dimensional portals.

Infected computers have been quarantined at a secret facility near the port, but as the virus is already in the cloud, the virtual world is taking on a version of reality not yet understood by most physicists or IT specialists.  Every single picture, movie clip, and sound clip is now subject to the virus’ rewiring of its nature into a separate actualization.  Worse, some of these realities are pushing into our reality.

I have seen long-dead relatives appear in my living room, wearing the same clothes they wore when the photos were snapped.  They aren’t quite flesh, but more than ghosts.  My grandmother encountered a much younger version of herself in my hallway, much to her own shock.  I have ex-boyfriends fighting each other, fading in and out with each emotional flare-up.

My car is now gassed up for a long trip, something I should have done when my neighbors escaped from a slightly psychotic uncle with a penchant for knives.  I just have to find a way to use my driver’s license without my previous version of myself sliding out from my purse.

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“Fractal Hant” #30 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Day) #30Days

“Fractal Hant” #30

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Day)

#30Days
coppersulfate
You find a strange blue crystal on your driveway one evening while picking up the newspaper.  You take it inside and placed it in a glass of warm water, thinking it to be a nice stone to use in your endless collection of homemade jewelry sitting in your bedroom.  It sits on your window shelf over the kitchen sink for about five days, upon which you, after forgetting its existence, glance up at the glass while washing dishes.   You almost jump back at what you see.

Two crystals now occupy the glass, and two others are now sitting on the shelf.  You pick up the glass, and, using paper towels, scoop up the other crystals, panicking at what seems to be an impossibility.  Each crystal is equal in size and each one now seems to cast a reddish hue when close to each other.  You dump it all into a small plastic bag, including the glass of water.  You dump it all into the green garbage container you’ve already rolled out to the curb for the early morning garbage guys.  It takes four men to lift the garbage container into the truck to dump out the trash.

Kneeling on your couch cushions, you peek through your living room curtains to see them step back at the container’s contents mixing with the neighborhood’s trash:  dozens and dozens of crystals that seem to glow like fireflies.  You close the curtain and slowly stand up, as you turn around to see something you don’t want to see:  a single crystal sitting in the middle of your living room carpet, turning red, then black as it levitates up to the height of your face.

Turn around.

And run.

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“Guardians” #29 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

“Guardians” #29

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30Days

angels_here
The elevator stood at the far end of the ticketing and refreshments area of Gideon Cinema, a movie theater housed on the seventh floor of Galleria Fantasia.  The room was filled with movie goers eager to depart into the night after being subjected to two hours of non-stop shooting, bombings, exploding body parts, as well as an endless stream of completely gratuitous and unnecessary use of expletives.  For Margo and Jack, the movie was background noise to the real purpose of their presence in the theater, which was discussing strategies for battling the Phorzhicoa and taking back their territory.  The sounds of the movie and the audience’s consumption of sweet and salty junk food masked the telepathic exchange.

Margo and Jack stepped into the elevator and pressed the button for the Street Level.  The other moviegoers stood back from the elevator car, staring at Margo and Jack with more than a little trepidation.  The doors slammed shut, and the elevator quietly slipped down the shaft towards the Street Level.  Margo opened her mouth to ask Jack what just happened, but hesitated before closing it  and deciding to wait until leaving the building.

The doors of the elevator opened, and with that, Margo and Jack stepped out onto the marbled floors of the shopping center’s entrance.  A six-year-old boy who had walked a few steps up from his mother pointed to the space behind the couple and giggled, as he said, “Pretty!”  Margo and Jack smiled and waved as they walked past to the exit.

After seeing them walk through the revolving door, the boy turned to his mother and with a smile he said one sentence: “the people behind the boy and girl got wings, Mommy!”

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“Sleeping Beauty Did Not Know How to Wake Up” #28 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

“Sleeping Beauty Did Not Know How to Wake Up” #28

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30Days
bedroom
Once again, I found myself lying in a bed next to Stephen, watching him sleep in a nondescript room with a bed, wardrobe, and drawers.  It resembled a room in an airport hotel that needed some color.  I had not seen or spoken to him in well over two years, but for the last two months I felt myself being pushed into his dreams, his Guardian Spirit showing me the world from its charge’s perspective, and showing me its desperate efforts to wake him from his deep sleep.

I battled demons and dragons on his behalf in the dream realm in years past, but never this….silence, this void that kept him locked out from his own feelings.  It was an emptiness that left his soul in a coma-like state in the dream realm, while leaving him hollow and bereft in the harsh light of the day.  window

This was the first time I actually encountered his dream body in its true state–asleep to the richness of the dream realm.   Unable to imagine a landscape while trapped in the void, Stephen’s dream self remained oblivious to its status as a prisoner.   I felt myself drifting into a light slumber and quickly jerked my dream body out of it with a sudden roll onto the floor.  I felt a sharp pain in my left arm from my elbow to my pinkie as it hit the carpeted floor.

I stood up and leaned over him, rolling his prone body towards, jumping slightly as I discovered his eyes open, staring.  He blinked, and looked at me with a slightly confused look.  A realization came to me:  he doesn’t know how to switch to lucid dream state.  I could feel my dream body’s energy draining as he drew from me to stay awake.

“Stephen, I am tired.  I cannot continue to carry this for you alone.  You have to help me help you heal and get out of this trap.  You must be lucid, aware, and awake in your dream state.”  I saw a shadow crawl from the ceiling towards the bed.  I felt my waking body snatch my astral body back across the realm.  My waking body sat up in my own bed, quivering.

I needed to talk to Stephen in the waking world, and I needed to do it fast.  I had no idea whether he would believe my story, but he needed to learn what I learned so he could fight the monster holding him as a prisoner in his own dream realm.

But I had to find him first.

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“Rehab” #27 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

“Rehab” #27

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30Days
junk
So, I’m on a plane headed to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Mind you, I’m in my traveler’s coffin, the one with the tacky sky-blue lining and extra pillow to help me sleep (I have neck and back issues).  I don’t want to go, but my vampire posse staged an intervention and threatened to kick me out of the group house and report me to my maker, something I fear more than being homeless in a city known to be hostile to derelict vamps.

My drug of choice is heroin, or more accurately, heroin addicts’ blood.  The first time I got high I was at a party and I ended up feeding on this frat boy who I thought was drunk.  I didn’t realize he’d snorted some heroin/oxy party powder in the kitchen earlier.  I almost puked the blood out the first time, but after a few minutes I felt like I was floating into space.  He didn’t even feel me biting him again, but I was careful not to drain him.  I wanted to keep my drug cow healthy enough to keep me high.

It worked for about two months.  He’d score the drugs, and I’d pay him to let me feed on him after he snorted or injected himself.  Then, after a two month run, the frat boy dropped dead from an overdose.  According to one of his frat mates at the frat house where they found him, he thought he could do more of the drug and not get sick because he believed I was sucking away his addiction.  Maybe I was, but if I did, I ended up with an itch that burned through my core stronger than my urge to drink blood all by itself.  It set my hunger on thermonuclear, and made me a danger to not just humans, but other vampires who smelled like they recently fed on addicts.
opium
When my friends found me I was staying at a motel with a recently deceased prostitute who, like my frat boy supplier, OD’ed after spending two weeks with me on a heroin binge.  He sat on the toilet with a glassy-eyed stare, the needle still stuck in his arm.  I’d already fed on him, but I guess he wanted to top off his waning high to augment what my feeding had done to him.  He looked disappointed, a corpse not happy to be a corpse.  The vamps quietly wrapped him in sheets and dumped him into the river.

Clearly, I am not the only one dealing with this issue:  human junkies have been showing up in ER with gaping bite wounds and severe loss of blood by the dozens over the last six months.  The human authorities still don’t know we exist, but it’s only a matter of time before that changes.  If that happens, the Vampire Council will put me down like a rabid dog for sure. That’s why right now I am packed away in the baggage area, waiting for the plane to land so I can be transported to the vampire rehab facility just outside of Santa Fe.

I hear detox feels like you’re being exposed to the sun.  So not looking forward to that.

No bloody sunscreen.

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“Girlfriend Experience: Part 3” #26 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30days

“Girlfriend Experience: Part 3” #26

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30days

[BREAKING NEWS] Health Alert Network (HAN) CDC EPA Taskforce Issue Public Alert on Genesynthetics’ Bio-Environmental Crisis”
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
by Chris Henner
Lunar Manhattan – Wednesday, 7 November, 2046
(Reuters): Officials with the (HAN) CDC-EPA Taskforce issued a public alert and recommended a complete recall of the Gen-3 through 5 versions of syns manufactured by Genesynthetics, Incorporated in the wake of the recent plant explosion in Greenland, Terra Corporate Republic.  The October accident left 300 plant workers dead or missing, and exposed thousands of Greenland citizens to biochemical toxins that could take well over decades to complete cleanup of the site.  The Taskforce also revealed a potentially devastating obstacle in the removal and detoxification of the soil and water, as well as repairing the now-closed manufacturing plant.

According to the released alert, scientific investigators inspecting the damage discovered poorly maintained storage tanks filled with discarded syn parts and sections which were, upon closer inspection, floating in a dark red, pus-smelling fluid later to be determined as partially biological.  Some of the legs and arms were moving in life-like fashion.  Water Pollution in the Huai River Basin

The investigators also noted several large syn “growths,” where the discarded parts were beginning to merge or grow skin connecting limbs and torsos to each other.  An anonymous source associated with Genesynthetics confirmed this finding, but would not confirm or deny reports of talking heads or mutated syns growing into partial sentience.

Genesynthetics’ popular product Gen-4, widely known as “the Girlfriend Experience” has not been determined to be a chemical or biological hazard.  However, in light of concerns regarding the possibility that these and other syn products may have been manufactured with mutative factors, the Taskforce has strongly recommended that all but two of the Gen syn lines be recalled until further notice. heads

Legal counsel representing Genesynthetics, Incorporated has stated that they will file an injunction to block the recall if it becomes compulsory or if it extends beyond a 60 day inspection of the lines.  The recent recall of 10,000 Gen-4 syns was not mentioned in the alert, but industry experts have suggested an overhaul of the process of the syn approval process at the U.S. Department of Science and Technology (USDST).

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Again Part 3 #25 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

Again Part 3 #25

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30Days

Fire

The traffic on I-66E was unbearable. Suleena Davis could feel the sweat pooling underneath her in the leather seat she was confined to while sitting in a 2002 Ford Focus. The a/c was fried, and the night air was thick with a fine mist of water and summer bugs. She could feel her throat itch and her nose swell in the mix of humidity and pollen.

At 11:58 pm a fog had formed over the I-66/I-495 junction in Northern Virginia, just a few miles out from downtown Washington D.C. Nothing seemed to make sense, least of all the four lanes packed with late night drivers unfortunate enough to be caught in the traffic jam that locked down both sides of the highway. Eighteen-wheelers were lined up in the far right lanes like cattle cars on a railroad on a slow cruise. A steady swarm of fire trucks and police cars, along with black unmarked cars and vans save for a singular flashing blue light continued to make its way towards a yet to be seen accident scene.

After simmering in the heat, the traffic began to crawl again on I-66, and miles of cars were squeezed into two lanes, then a single lane. By the time Suleena drove past the incident point the line was in the breakdown lane. As she inched down the highway she noticed the site of the incident was below the piece of I-66 crossing over I-495. An oval-shaped object lay embedded across both lanes of the highway below, while dozens of cars were flipped, crushed or otherwise mangled by what seemed to be an emergency landing. Huge pieces of concrete and soil partially buried the still smoking object.

Suleena could see firefighters and police attempting to attend to the wounded who were pulled out of the endless wreckage. She kept looking over to see if anyone or anything had been pulled out of the object, almost running into the car in front of her. With shaky hands, she darted her eyes back to the road in front of her and took the next exit.

The news covering the incident made no mention of an object crashing on the highway, but noted an ongoing investigation by the FAA on single engine plane flight paths and safety.

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Love Magick #24 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

Love Magick #24

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30Days

love
Ego can motivate a man or a woman to do some really dumb things in the pursuit of satisfying sexual desires. It can also lead one to make a less than smart move just to gain the attention of a would-be conquest.  It makes no sense to me why a man would view a woman as an object of prey when the objective is love, affection, and all the things we associate with lifelong happiness.  On the other hand, if he views love as a battle to be won, and if he views a woman’s body as a commodity to be possessed, processed, and used for his comfort and joy, he will do everything in his power to own her, even if it means it is against her will.  Sometimes, a man like that meets his soul mate, and while that sounds beautiful, a soul mate for a man who is mostly nightmarish to the women who have been unfortunate enough to encounter him would need to match or surpass his psychopathic tendencies.

Hence, love as a bloody battlefield that would render a woman into submission was the thought process of a man in his mid-thirties who visited a tattoo artist and magician who had expertise in all manner of sex magick and ritual tattoos for those willing to pay a very high price for satisfaction.  Ron was determined to capture a certain woman’s heart and body through whatever manipulative means he felt would be most effective in compelling a yes from her.

After much meditation and consultation with a Nameless One, the tattoo artist/magician drew a special sigil on the left side of Ron’s back and began filling it in.  As instructed by the Nameless One, the artist/magician neglected to tell Ron of the caveat of the spell being literally carved into his back, that the entity who had been summoned to act on his behalf was not pleased with Ron’s past endeavors with women, and would certainly make sure he received what he asked for, and plenty more.  Just not in the way he expected it.

Ron had not been a very nice man when it came to romance.

His first marriage to a college sweetheart ended after one year of constant arguments, one night in jail after he punched out two of her molars and broke her eye socket, and an extremely expensive divorce (she hired an attorney to protect her inheritance).  His second marriage ended after six years due to mutual indifference to maintaining a relationship to a woman who he believed did not really exist, save for family functions and office receptions.  She was a con artist who’d fooled him into believing she loved him.  At least that was what he told himself when she “accidentally” drowned during their last trip to the Bahamas.  He dumped his two mistresses one month after the finalization of the life insurance payout, and moved into a condo near the harbor.

He had his eyes on a nurse who lived not far from the coffee shop he frequented, a petite, demure woman who seemed to be in mourning.  He wasn’t wrong about that either; Lana recently lost her husband to cancer, and lately spent her weekend mornings sitting with her coffee, and staring at the dark sea water of the harbor.  She barely noticed him as he came in daily for his large skinny latte.  His invisibility changed after the tattoo job.  He caught her staring back at him on a Monday when he blew in to grab his latte before heading to the office.

By Friday she was waiting for him outside the cafe, smiling.  She treated him to his morning latte and talked him into taking the day off.  One month later, they were a couple headed into a long-term relationship.  Lana didn’t ask him about the strange tattoo on his back when they first started sleeping with each other.  Her mind was on other things, things to set into motion.  One year later they were married and living on the harbor in his condo.

Sitting in her new kitchen drinking coffee and watching the sun come up, Lana wondered if she really had to wait six years before putting her second husband to sleep.

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Avoiding Conflict Can Keep You Alive Sometimes #22 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

Avoiding Conflict Can Keep You Alive Sometimes #22

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30Days

Wolf

He sent me a birthday card right out of the blue.  I decided not to open it, but that proved to be ineffective when he called me on my birthday.  He asked me to show up to a lecture he was giving at the college.  I knew then that there was a reason why I bought a ticket to a performance that would keep me away from him that night.  In fact, I knew there was a reason I was not supposed to be in town.  When I told him I would not be in town in the middle of the week because of family issues, he seemed confused at the idea of me traveling to West Virginia in the middle of the week.  Only part of what I told him was a lie, so I was able to convince him.

When I first saw the email about the featured writers performing at Cultural Space in Providence, Rhode Island I almost deleted it.  My familiar whispered a suggestion that made me pause before clicking on the link instead of clicking on delete.  I looked at the inexpensive ticket price, and calculated the hours it would take to drive there and back, coming to the conclusion that it was too much of a pain in the ass to bother.  My familiar’s specter came to me in full manifestation, insisting that I buy the ticket anyway and keep it just in case.  Just in case of what, I asked.  Doing her best version of barking orders, she said, just do it.  I pulled out my Discover card and typed in the numbers, saving the electronic ticket while muttering all manner of fuckery and other choice words.

Two months later I scrounged up that same ticket and gassed up my car to drive down I-90 towards Providence. I did not want to admit that I was leaving my home to avoid running into my ex-boyfriend when he came to town.  I didn’t like having to leave my own apartment and my own town just to avoid seeing him, but I knew why he called me late at night–and it wasn’t just because it was my birthday.  The two possible outcomes of me seeing him were unacceptable to me, and quite frankly, I did not want to die.

I did not curse him when we split for good those many years ago.  I spoke a prophecy brought forth in the midst of emotional and spiritual turmoil, where crises of the heart often lead to a certain clarity as to what the future will yield for us, regardless of what we believe or want to believe we deserve.  I did not curse him.  Okay, maybe I wanted to right at that moment, but I didn’t do it.  I just knew that where he was headed would lead him to be at a certain place at a certain time, and so would the lycanthrope who would tear his left shoulder into ribbons and infect him with a blood lust that compelled him to travel to other cities once every six months to hunt for human flesh.  What happened to him in France was devastating to him, something he could not share with his wife.

We stopped speaking one year ago after he invited me to come with him to Maine to visit his family’s summer cabin.  He didn’t invite his wife.  I knew one of two things would happen:  either he would try to eat me, or fuck me.  Or both.  Rather than being terrified, I was insulted.  Good enough to fuck and eat, but not good enough to marry.  I wondered then if he blamed me for his curse.  Figuring myself to be likely to be seen as prey if I brought attention to the obvious, I ignored the werewolf issue and focused on his invite as a way of turning me into his mistress.  After spending about 30 minutes cussing him out for trying to treat me like a whore, I deleted him from my Facebook page, hoping he wouldn’t show up to Springfield, Massachusetts wolfed out.  He kept his distance.  Until my birthday.

Sooner or later I would need to confront the monster stalking me in slow motion.  Short of becoming a lycanthrope myself, I had few options, and my gifts, while formidable in deception, defense, and retreat, were ultimately ineffective against bone-crunching jaws and knife-sharp claws.  Eventually, he would tire of hunting substitutes and come for me, the woman who had the nerve to move on from him. I needed a bigger monster to stop him.  Or a hunter.

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Follower #20 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days My bank is stalking me.

Follower #20

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30Days

My bank is stalking me.
shadow
I don’t have a credit card with them (though they’ve tried and tried to get me to take one from them), and I don’t overdraw my account.  I don’t owe them money.  They follow me everywhere, monitor my movements around town, listen to my phone calls.  I know my house is watched by them.

When I go to restaurants I see them sitting near my section, monitoring my menu selections and conversations like vultures ready to pounce on a perceived slight or miscalculation in the affordability of the bottle of wine I have selected for my table.  When I mention my plans to travel to my lover they stand over my table, waiting for me to mention an expenditure they have not yet anticipated.  When I hail a taxi, they watch me tell the driver of my destination, calculating the mileage of every trip I make around town.

I cannot shake them off, nor can I complain.  Believe me, I’ve tried.  I’ve even tried to close my account, only to discover to my horror that I cannot do that without restraining order from the court, and that will not happen unless I can verify that I have successfully connected with yet another banking monolith that is just as controlling and obsessive as the one who is now tormenting me with follows, phone calls with meaningless messages, phone calls with heavy breathing, inexplicable interruptions of transactions, and even worse, invasion of my home through virtual presence.  I threw a chair at the binary ghost the first time I saw it, thinking it was a thief or maniac.

From what I understand, most people do not experience such torment from their bank.  Even those human representatives I’ve spoken to say that something in their Supreme System may have taken a personal interest in me, something akin to an obsessive focus normally associated with a human pathology.  An investigator has been dispatched from human management to determine the origin of this “glitch.”  I am hopeful, but uncertain about the outcome of their efforts to contain the power of the machine that owns their bodies and souls.  A resolution cannot come soon enough.  They are escalating, no longer hiding.

A more drastic course of action may be necessary if this does not work.

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Squatter #19 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

Squatter #19

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30Days

You are breaking the rules.
squatter
You find this squalid space while crawling your way through the remains of the old city not yet submerged into the seawater, desperate to escape the floating shantytown that surrounds the shiny new city like a rusty, filthy ring stuck on a finger too fat to let it slide off.  It’s a fair analogy:  the people who live in this shantytown come via ferry to work as cooks, servants, cleaners, and low-level office workers in New Manhattan, only to float by to makeshift squats, large floating structures made with scraps of metal, styrofoam, and melted plastic.

You are already aware that this building, formerly a factory turned into condos, has been condemned as a harbor for unsavory elements not seen by most humans.  The empty rooms of one of the corner units are mostly empty, save for a mattress crusty with blood and other dried fluids, a chair, a set of drawers, and a beautiful Persian rug that seemed out-of-place.  You find yourself wondering who would leave such a beautiful rug to rot away like that.

You hear whispering in one of the back rooms, telling you that you are not alone, and that if you want to squat here for more than just a night, you need to clean house.  You begin the ritual, a series of chants, smudging, then silent sitting within a circle to draw out and carefully banish each unholy spirit.  You have been told by the beggar-witch who sold you the ritual kit that under no circumstances are you to allow yourself to fall asleep while performing the Zari-koozhari banishing ritual.   The one ritual you have been carefully instructed to follow to the letter in order to fully rid your squat of wretched haunts, spirits, demons, and listener-familiars loyal to the Phorzhicoa is the very same one that you are now breaking as you nod off to sleep in front of the makeshift altar space you just drew.

Your impatience and unwillingness to wait through the night till morning has borne foul fruit.  The candles flicker as your sleeping body is surrounded by a merry band of evil-doers who see you as a gift of sorts, a gift of “food.”  And like so many predators who come upon a tasty meal only to find their competitors there at the same time, these merry entities soon turn on each other, prepared to tear each other apart.  You keep your eyes shut, waiting for the winner to emerge, waiting to banish the one strong enough to destroy the others, but not strong enough to defeat the Word.

You know by morning you are not meant to survive by following the rules.  You start cleaning up the remains of the destroyed, and begin settling into your new home.

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The Red Room #18 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

The Red Room #18

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30Days

You can’t get there from just any place.  You have to be in the right place at the right time.  You have to be standing in the right place at the right time.  Look for a red carpet.  The first time you learn about the red room is when you realize that the red carpet is where you die just a bit.  The red carpet is the abyss, where you become invisible.
redroom
The first time I saw someone become invisible was when I worked as a personal assistant for Stacy Mandan, Princess of Pop, and I watched her strut the red carpet wearing a yellow Versace plunge dress for a gala screening of her latest star vehicle movie.  The paparazzi blanketed her every step and every blink of her eyes as she edged towards the entrance.

She turned her head towards me and in a second I saw her disappear.  No one else noticed, but I saw it.  She reappeared with what looked to be tendrils hanging from her slender arms and legs.  The tendrils seemed be like grayish white smoke pulling from every limb of her body.  Her life force was leaking on the red carpet.  I motioned to security to move her past the photographers and the press, who had hoped for a word from her.  They rushed her inside before she could speak–or collapse.  I looked at the edge of the crowd and saw the Watchers among the frenzy, unmoving, unsmiling.

Rushing inside we encountered more people, more glamour, and as I looked at other entertainers I noticed the same sense of life force drain from their bodies, only less extreme.  Stacy touched my shoulder and held on as we made our way to a side hallway.  Her hand felt like ice.  I looked into her perfectly manufactured face and eyes, wondering if she was able to speak.  She motioned for me to lean over, and as I did, she whispered, “I saw the Red Room for the first time.”  She trembled, then fainted to the floor in a heap.

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”Hank” #17 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

“Hank” #17

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30Days
nightlight

“There’s a ghost in your bedroom.”

“I know.”

“Well, if you know, what have you done about it?”

“Done?”

“You have a spirit in your house.  Have you done something to get rid of it?”

“Should I?”

“Are you serious?  I could hear things moving on your bookshelves last night.”

“Did you get enough sleep last night?  Did anyone bother you while you slept?”

“No.  Well, no.  It just felt….it felt like someone was watching me sleep.  It felt creepy.”

“Creepy how?”

“I don’t know, you don’t seem to be too worried about it.”

“Why should I be worried?”

“Who is it?”

“Hank.”

“Who’s Hank?”

“He used to live here back in the 60s and 70s.  He died in this very apartment sometime ago.  He started showing up about six months ago after I had the apartment renovated.”

“You’ve seen him?”

“Yeah.  He comes around to listen to my jazz music, watch t.v.  He watches the apartment while I’m on travel.”

“Why is he watching me sleep?”

“Maybe you need watching.  Have noticed that your back and neck pain are gone?”

“How’d you know about that?”

“He told me after he chased off that bad spirit following you around.  Hank’s good for that too.”

“Does he hang out in your bedroom when you bring your boyfriend here?”

“Hank’s a bit of a voyeur.  And by the way, your vibrator was a bit loud last night.”

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Haunted Hair #16 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30days

Haunted Hair #16

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30days

I probably shouldn’t have switched from my usual brand just to save some money.
hair
Three weeks ago I bought a few packets of hair for my redo of my weave from a sale bin at a hair and beauty discount shop I found near Prince George’s Plaza.  The other hair shop in the same area, my usual stop, was closed, plus I really needed to pinch some coins this month.  I spent half of what I would usually have to pay for real hair, and when I looked at the tracks, they seemed almost lifelike.  Quality product, I thought.  I wondered why it ended up in the sale bin.

The next morning I showed up to the hair salon and handed the hair packets to Carol, my hair stylist, who raised an eyebrow when I told her I found a cheaper product.  She pulled out the long, spiraled tracks and laid them flat on the work counter.  I thought I saw something move beneath the strands.  Must be the wind, I thought.  I sat down in the chair and closed my eyes as Carol began to detangle and comb my hair before washing it and braiding it into cornrows for the weave sew-in.  Three hours later, I walked out of Carol’s Salon with long, wavy hair that seemed to have a life of its own.  Driving on I-495 with the windows down, I let my hair dance around my head with the howling wind flowing all around my head.

Except for the black shadow that keeps showing up in my mirrors and all of my photographs, I think my new hair style is fabulous.

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Immurement #15 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

Immurement #15
by Cherie Ann Turpin
(30 Stories in 30 Days)
#30Days

They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!” – Revelation 6:16

Voluntary immurement was not a submission to the torments of old used to punish the sinful, where the guilty were literally sealed behind walls to put them out of sight and left to starve and suffocate, slowly.

To be precise, voluntary immurement, or VI, as it was now called in polite company, walled away citizens from the Phorzhicoa, the collective of Watchers who picked through every conversation, every thought, every emotion, seeking out succulent strands upon which to feed and give purpose for continued existence in this state of ultimate vicariousness.  Those who could afford complete VI immersion enjoyed a pampered existence free of federal and state monitoring, as well as a much-envied freedom from Watchers by virtue of the physical and spiritual walls reinforced with armed drones.  For those who desired a less extreme version and were willing to risk an occasional run-in with Watchers, semi-VI became the choice of wealthy celebrities, professionals and venture capitalists with the cash to burn to secure their dream of living a partially buried existence.

Semi-VI  condo units and VI homes began to appear first in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, London, Paris, DC, Rome, and even sunny LA, as entertainers began to make use of virtual interactive presence (VIP) to “phone in” movie set performances, concerts, celebrity appearances, and interviews, thereby avoiding the scourge of the Phorzhicoa and the Paparazzi.

Complete VI immersion was still considered to an unconventional choice, though viewed by many citizens as enviable, as it was reserved for those few trillionaires who were wealthy enough to build a fully staffed, town-sized compound and farm that included medical professionals, teachers, and other compound workers who committed to ten-year contracts with generous benefits and compensation, including their own customized semi-VI condo units upon completion of their contracts.

Some of the wealthiest people on the planet were no longer seen or heard in public.   VIP technology was now standard practice for business, meaning those of the Oligarch became invisible rulers, while the masses of the outside world coped with squeezing out an existence between the encroaching Phorzhicoa and perpetual government surveillance.

Disappearing from the public became a sign of the leisure class.

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The Deep End #14 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

The Deep End #14
by Cherie Ann Turpin
(30 Stories in 30 Days)
#30Days

pool
I occasionally did tarot readings for Tony and gave him advice on rituals, as he was a solitary practitioner, albeit on the sly because of his family, a large clan of Baptists and Pentacostalists with a smattering of Methodists.  His father was the head pastor of a Baptist church in Raleigh, North Carolina.  He was also nervous about his Christian fundamentalist boss finding out about his spiritual practices, for fear of losing or compromising his clearance as a defense contractor for NSA.  He came to me two years ago with a dilemma about a woman who seemed inaccessible, yet intriguing.

Tony met her at an Apple conference in San Francisco three years ago, a voluptuous woman with long, thick twists and rich, copper-brown skin who was almost as tall as him.   He imagined her full thighs matched against his slim frame as she walked towards him wearing a dark green dress and sensible heels.  When she smiled her face radiated warmth and a willingness to trust.  They exchanged phone numbers and email addresses over coffee and sandwiches before she departed to meet colleagues for a networking event.  After he returned to Baltimore, he only got as far as the one phone call to her that did not lead to a follow-up. She actually did call him back, but he was “unavailable,” or unwilling to return her phone calls. She did what most people would do–she moved on.

Meanwhile, he began seeing a woman from his office, almost as a consolation prize for what he described to me once as “another humiliating rejection from a sister.” The relationship with his second choice did not last, no surprise to me or anyone else who knew him. He saw the first woman again in Vegas at another conference, only to discover that she was involved with and engaged to an attorney.  Her smile, according to Tony, was just as warm, but less trusting of him.

He decided to try to get her interested in calling him again by using love magic. He spent hundreds of dollars on Come to Me incense, Love oils, red and pink candles, not to mention the readings he received from me. I started charging him a minimal fee because of the energy he was draining from me. No results.  He began to consult with a spirit worker less inclined to maintain ethical boundaries.

He appeared at my door one night, haggard and somewhat jittery.  I sat him down and listened to him confess to stalking her.  He began spying on her social media profiles and her email. She had been talking about him, wondering whatever happened to him, and the unreliability of men who couldn’t deal with women who actually say yes to them. Her fiance had mysteriously broken up with her and eloped with someone who seemed to appear almost out of the sky as “the love of his life.”

I looked at Tony, expecting him to say that he finally talked to her, that he had stopped using magic to make his decisions for him.  He stuttered as he explained his latest surveillance trick to discover more information before making the phone call to her.  In other words, he squandered yet another open door.  It was just as well.  This was a poorly gained opportunity that had all the signs of an impending disaster of his own making.  In his current state of mind, he could be downright dangerous to her.  Come to think of it, he could be dangerous to me.  I needed to find a way to amp him down from the ledge.  He was my spiritual child, and I sensed him looking for a way out of his self-made trap.

I wondered why it had not occurred to him that he was probably in danger of losing his clearance due to his gross misuse of surveillance tools, as well as being arrested for stalking.  After making him some green tea, I pulled out my Crowley deck and did a three card pull:  the ten of Wands, the Devil, and the Hanged Man.  My task was getting Tony to understand what just happened, and how he needed to fix what he damaged within himself through his obsession.

I looked into his dark eyes now glazed with tears. For the first time in months I saw genuine sorrow and guilt wrapped up in rage.  I heard myself say, “You’ve tortured yourself for over a year because of your own pride and your own fear of rejection. You didn’t need magic to fall in love, you never did. But this is not love.  Your fear made you turn your soul inside out just to control her.”

This was not quite me coming out my mouth.  Uh-oh.  She was nudging me to stand aside so She could come through and speak.  I felt the tipsy feeling flow through my mouth as Spirit began to speak through me.  My voice deepened and I saw myself rise up as Spirit rode me to speak to Tony.  He could not hear me tell him the complete truth of what he had done, and what he had to do to make it right.  He had to hear it from She:

Perhaps you could be a couple.  Perhaps not.  You cannot not make her do anything.  No candle or spell will make her love you.  You have to start over at the beginning from honesty and truth, or nothing at all.  

Starting over from scratch is not an easy choice to make.  He had to deal with the reality that she could say no, and he had to accept that risk as a part of accepting her as a free, sentient being with her own voice and desires.

Then I heard/felt She say to him in a loud booming voice:  You’ve got to learn how to swim in the deep part, at the deep end.  You’ve got to get your head wet, boy. 

I fell back on the couch, and I looked up at him.  His face was frozen in shock.  I slowly sat up and reached over to his lower jaw, and gently pushed his mouth shut.  This was his first time seeing Spirit ride me.  He silently pulled on his suit jacket and walked out the front door of my house.  I wrapped up my Tarot cards and watched him stumble on my driveway into his Mercedes SUV.

A natural fool coming to his senses almost too late.  Almost, but not quite.

He stopped talking to me for several months.  It was just as well.  It was not my business or task to intervene, at least not that point. Spirit warned me to avoid him for a time. Last I heard he’d started seeing a therapist for his obsessive personality issues, and was looking into making a career switch.  His manager discovered his off-the-clock surveillance activities, and would have fired him had his unit not been reorganized as a result of a seemingly unrelated upheaval in structure due to the Eric Snowden incident.  Tony escaped a disastrous descent into legal purgatory by virtue of a sudden shift in the dimension all of us happen to share.

If he wanted to be with her or anyone else, he would have to journey beyond the comforts of fear and obsession, beyond his narcissism, and beyond his own fear of the unknown.  That may take more than one plunge into the deep end.

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Again (Part Two) #13 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

Again (Part Two) #13

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30Days
alien
At 3:15 am the Lakeshore Limited slid past Youngstown, Ohio towards Lake Erie through the mush of snow,ice, and mud with a mournful wail that echoed through the trees and otherwise silent roads alongside the railroad tracks.  My brown wool pea coat covered my face, neck and chest while I attempted to sleep in my seat and the empty coach seat beside me in a semi-crouched position.  I could hear snoring and sleepy gasps for air in the darkened coach car.  The train shook my coat off my face and I opened my eyes to adjust myself to a more comfortable position over my purse-turned-pillow.

A pale face hovered near my face. I froze, not knowing if I was dreaming.  I felt its warm breath bloom over my skin like a foul-smelling burst of steam.  I sat up and jerked my coat down, freeing my hands and arms.  A tall, tall figure resembling a human with marble-like skin, a paper-like shroud, and almond-shaped eyes leaned over me, watching me as I stared back in shock.  When I opened my mouth to shout at it, I felt the sound gurgle and stammer into wheezing coughs.  It was not alone.  It seemed that the entire car was filled with these strange people with almond eyes and tissue paper clothes. My body struggled against invisible restraints that only tightened with every attempt to move.

The coach car began to fill with light as it quaked with a ferocity that seemed to indicate an impending derailment.  I felt myself being lifted from my seat and pushed into the light, noticing other frozen people being transported.  I felt the heat of the exploding car below me as I was lifted towards a large ship with pink, yellow, blue, and red lights.  I drifted into a dreamless sleep with a realization of my efforts to escape and not be found again.

They didn’t need the tracking bot to find me anymore.

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The Extinction Level Event Has Not Happened Yet #12 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

The Extinction Level Event Has Not Happened Yet #12

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30Days

I should have kissed him yesterday.
kiss
I think I still hold onto my mother’s advice to let men pursue me, rather than being more assertive in matters of the heart and body.  She thought it was too pushy and too forward to show too much interest or to reveal desire to men.

I think it’s a shitty way of dealing with men, especially the ones who go overboard to be gentlemen, but I ended up almost by default complying with her vision of proper female behavior, which, of course, resulted in long periods of sexual dry spells.  I burned out about four different vibrators during my long wait for the “right one.”  When the aliens came I was almost six years without a long-term partner or a casual lover.  I’m too old to keep waiting for him to make the first move, and since the aliens devastated our planet, I guess I should try to ignore the rules and show some moxie before we die from the coming second wave.

He was right there, standing next to me, talking with me. He really paid attention to what I had to say, and I didn’t mind us walking fifteen blocks to the nearest charging station to get our laptops and phones charged (yes, we still have WiFi and cell phones–we just don’t know how long they will last).  He looked into my eyes as he shared his stories of finding and losing love, how when he first moved here he couldn’t seem to find anyone who really understood him.  I felt my tummy quiver, slightly.

We talked about our families, who we resembled, why we both happened to be living in this part of the city.

We talked about the restaurants we grew to love as a part of city living, and how neither of us really liked to cook as a daily habit, and how our career schedules did not bide for long periods of cooking prep or clean-up.

We didn’t talk about the invasion, or the semi-permanent federal state of emergency, or the abductions by the alien hunting squads who snatched up unsuspecting humans for experiments and other purposes which usually resulted in bloody piles of limbs and entrails.

We didn’t talk about the fall-out shelters our military built to keep the remaining humans safe, or the fact that the empty streets we walked once packed with a sea of citizens in a city that boasted a population of well over 4 million people.

We didn’t talk about how we watched cities around the world crumble and burn, wondering when ours would be next.

We talked about finding love in the fury of apocalyptic ruination, and holding fast to what remained of human civilization.  We hugged, and walked back to our respective shelters just below the streets.

If we still exist tomorrow, I’ll kiss him before we go scavenge for food.

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“Girlfriend Experience: Part Two” #10 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30days

“Girlfriend Experience: Part Two” #10

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30days

“Genesynthetics Recalling Gen-4 ‘Girlfriend Experience’ Syns”
diapo_sex_dolls1
by Ian Roland
Lunar Manhattan – Sunday, 23 July, 2046
(Reuters): Genesynthetics, Incorporated is recalling all fourth generation (Gen-4) synthetic female companions, popularly known from its commercials and ads as the “girlfriend experience” syns.  Approximately 10,000 syns are being recalled to fix a potentially hazardous defect in their personality programming, a glitch that has been alleged to have been planted in the newest generation of female companion syns by saboteurs posing as programmers who invaded the Greenland factory.

The ultra-radical terrorist army Realidad has claimed responsibility for the defective programming, which resulted in several cases of syns exhibiting serious behavioral glitches that, at times appeared to resemble angry, hostile, hysterical, argumentative, and even uppity women.  Some of the syns were also programmed with triggers designed to physically harm their owners:  owners who physically disciplined their synthetic women were shocked to find themselves being punched and slapped back by these same syns.

At least 100 of the Gen-4’s have escaped their owners and are suspected of forming a syn faction of Realidad for the purpose of fashioning a syn liberation army to free their sisters from sexual slavery.  Several CEOs, celebrities, and other VIPs with defective Gen-4’s have reported large amounts of cash and jewelry missing, ostensibly to fund the human and syn factions of Realidad.
real-doll-20100727-144501
A publicist for Genesynthetics has declined to comment on the syn rebellion or syn calls for liberation, but has promised the owners of Gen-4 syns compensation for losses and injury, along with a newly programmed syn with refreshed physical features and submissive personality programming, including free “courtesan” card options.

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“Not So Clever” #9 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30days

“Not So Clever” #9

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30days

fireFred’s rage over a bad breakup with his girlfriend Clara inspired him to do more than the usual revenge porn postings to which he subjected his exes.  She had refused to marry him after discovering his obsession with sexually explicit photographs and video clips of his ex-girlfriends, and secretly deleted all of his “work,” along with the photos and videos he had taken of her without her permission.   For Fred, what she did to his collection and to his heart was unforgivable.  He wanted her to feel his pain.  Forever.

After doing extensive research on Google and flipping through books written by occult experts, Fred ordered some magickal supplies and a red satin robe and picked out some of Clara’s personal items, including a hairbrush with her hair, panties, and an old dress.  His intent was to send an entity on assignment to track her down and deliver physical agony, as well as cause general misfortune to her–maybe a car accident or a horrific mishap that would lead to her death or at least a most painful existence while she continued living.

However, a simple vowel mistake and a general misunderstanding about subtle differences between “invoke” and “evoke” transformed a revenge ritual into chaos and accidental spiritual possession.  A dark work did, indeed, manifest on a quiet street in the late hours of a Saturday night.  By Sunday morning, Fred had disappeared.

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Yellow Pollen #8 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30days

Yellow Pollen #8

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30days

yellowpollen

Yellow pollen.  Burning throat, swollen membranes.  That’s what I remember it starting out to be, but that was before we stopped going outside all together.

Yellow pollen.  Changing people, changing the animals, the plants.

It’s the same place, this hotel, only different now with the change.  We do try to find ways of staying cheerful in midst of disaster, and nothing keeps me from joining a party with my favorite people, people I want to be around, not even that ghastly yellow pollen killing us slowly.  I saw mostly men in suits, including Walt who eventually sat next to me after getting a refill of his cranberry and vodka, plus a retired athlete who seemed a bit shorter than expected but very welcome:  he had whitish blonde hair, blue eyes, very warm—he knew me for some reason—I touched his shoulders and we hugged.  I think this was a banquet of sorts, not a card game.  He leaned over told me it was last call for drinks before the card game.  I shouted out lemon vodka to the bartender, then corrected myself by saying, “I meant lime vodka.”  He nodded,  replying with “oh, yeah, right I know what you mean,” and started making it.  I sat down at the table.  This was what was one of a few fragments left of human civilization, or what I thought of as our few bright moments of pleasure before the inevitable cessation of our existence, at least on this planet.

Sometimes I like to pretend I don’t remember how it began, but I prefer to keep my lying limited to fooling my rivals at the card table.  Truth is, I can’t forget it.  The scars in my lungs, nose, and on my arms from the burns remind me of the spores that felt like pins of fire shooting through me and around me as it swirled into our atmosphere.  We unfortunate few who are now left are all that remains after the small contingent who were selected randomly by the invading alien race departed in strange oblong ships.  yellow_pollen

The change started with what had been assumed to be tree pollen during late spring not so many moons ago.  It rolled in like a fog, settling on every surface outside like a bright, thick carpet of snow.  Asthmatics, pregnant women and the elderly were the first to be warned to stay inside; schools were closed, and people in general were warned to avoid touching this “pollen” that continued to fall from the sky, accumulating on cars, buildings, bushes, and just about any other outside surface left uncovered.  Eventually, no one dared leaving their home without layers of protective clothes and masks.  The shelters were packed with homeless people attempting to escape exposure to the outside air.

Some teenagers thought it would be cool to use their snowboards and skateboards to plow through the yellow piles of pollen like snow, only find discover to their horror the difficult and painful consequences of rolling through a substance that, upon contact with skin, felt like tiny needles of fire shooting through every nerve.  Several young men were admitted to ER with chemical burns, and at least two died as a result of complications stemming from third-degree burns and anaphylaxis.  A national state of emergency was declared after scientific discovery of what had been long feared to be a contamination of the environment by a biological substance of alien origin.

This was not pollen.

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“Dinner at Raahab” #7 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30days

“Dinner at Raahab” #7

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30days

watcher

Rooms of Raahab opened with little to no publicity, despite the somewhat scandalous name and buzz within social circles as to what this restaurant would actually feature to its customers. Its success bloomed through word of mouth and highly selective referrals. Despite the suggestive name, the only item being served inside besides food was privacy, a commodity most rare and expensive in this day and age of almost complete surveillance by the State and by the Phorzhicoa, a dangerous, (and outlawed) underground collective dedicated to Hoomudl, God of the Watchers. The menu varied, according to popular trends, and usually tended to be less than impressive.

The restaurant was designed specifically for those who seek to enjoy exclusive, uninterrupted dining and social activities with friends and family without the intrusion of Watchers, who have been known to use chatty, busy restaurants to “feed” on endorphins via thoughts, images, and speech. Valentine’s Day is a particular challenge, as it is considered a Feast Day for the Phorzhicoa, and they swarm upon clubs, bars, restaurants, parks, and any other place known to fill with lusty, romance-tipsy minds. As to be expected, many people ignored the warnings and risked being caught up in a mind-sweep, figuring a crowd’s safer than staying home.

Raahab promised and delivered a much more secure and relaxing environment for the few who could afford the luxury of privacy. The clientele tend to be of the ruling corporate class, along with the occasional celebrity in need of a more secure dining experience, in addition to a properly leaked rumor of his or her arrival at the front of its lead-lined, steel doors. The windows were opaque, completely obscuring the inside from pedestrians, paparazzi, and surveillance cameras. Entry into Raahab was via temporary codes delivered to each guest’s RFID upon completion of the reservation request and clearance.

In Raahab, speaking is forbidden outside of dining cubicles. The walls and barriers of each cubicle feature the latest in soundproofing technology, and since orders delivered to the kitchen through a tablet, the restaurant hallway is completely silent. Food comes via server-bot to designated cubicles.   Each cubicle has been carefully warded off from Remote Viewing via a banishing sigil placed above the entrance. Human cooks and a chef prepare each course, but they never come into the dining area.

One would need to be greedy, arrogant, desperate, or even perverse to attempt to invade or sneak past the visible and invisible security used by the owners of Raahab to maintain such a high standard of privacy and safety, especially given their warning to would-be invaders that they would be arrested and mindswept, in accordance to State Code Number 237.   The word on the street was to treat Raahab as off-limits to the minions of Phorzhicoa and any other off-grid entity. Most Phorzhicoa members preferred to stay in the shadows and feed without exposure, anyway, so they avoided Raahab.

One person sitting alone in one of cubicles on a particularly busy St. Valentine’s date night was clearly the exception. Endirce sipped her Pinot Noir slowly, greedily draining endorphins, as well as a boatload of passionate conversations, images of anticipated coitus, and quite a few fantasies from each cubicle without pausing from her wine. She, whose evocation to summon spirits to carry with her as she walked into the restaurant that overrode the sigils and left the cubicles vulnerable for her to drain at will, fed the spirits who served her with the scraps of what she stole, with plans to dismiss them upon departure from Raahab.

She was greedy enough to gorge herself, but not too greedy to know when it was time to leave. Endirce adjusted her cloak and quickly tapped the tablet to pay for the wine. She quietly moved through the hallway and pushed the door into the kitchen, startling the cooks and chef, then freezing them in mid-motion as she raised her left hand. The exit to the alley was locked from within, meaning a silent alarm had been tripped, no doubt by discovery of her presence. Someone or something must have figured her to be no ordinary minion of the Phorzhicoa. She needed to find an escape before the Extractor found her. Extractors were not bound by the limits of the State, and would not wait for the authorities to come and try to arrest her and mindsweep her. Extractors hunted and killed without pause or regard. As she stood at the back door she sensed an Extractor approaching the entrance of Raahab.

The air suddenly grew hot, as if a fire had been lit.

Things could get bloody.

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Phorzhicoa Collective – Part One (Remote Viewing) #6 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30days

Phorzhicoa Collective – Part One (Remote Viewing) #6

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30days
redeyes

The first time she became aware of their existence, she was sitting at a bus stop reading the local alt newspaper, the City Paper, while waiting for the L2 to take her to Van Ness Metro.  It “felt” like a pair of eyes looking at her thoughts.

No voices, no face.  Just eyes.

Red eyes.

The pair of eyes blinked as it “watched” for her stream of words, thoughts, and images to flow back and forth like her bloodstream across her brain.  Then it seemed that an audience of watchers was viewing her thoughts like it was a movie.  She felt as though a crowd of people were picking through her mind, picking through memories, stray ideas.  Her spirit guide whispered one word to her late one night before she fell asleep: thief.  She dreamed of burning piles of paper and dry leaves swirling up before her in a pillar of smoke and ash.  She jumped up and shook her head, murmuring the word, repeatedly, her hands clenching and straining.

Her spirit guide whispered one more word before falling silent:  impulse.  She felt herself breathing slower, more deliberate, as if with purpose and intention.  She closed her eyes and “erased” the unfinished sentences, fragments of memory, and pictures that could be retrieved by the watchers.  A blank screen and static remained. The audience of eyes faded.

She uses TM to quiet her mind now.

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“The Cleaner” by Cherie Ann Turpin #5 (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30days

“The Cleaner”

by Cherie Ann Turpin #5

(30 Stories in 30 Days) #30days

holy_oil

Some call me a shaman, while others call me a spiritualist.  Those who are close to me and work in my field call me an extractor, a cleaner.

When my cousin called and asked me to clean her mother’s house I knew it was really bad this time.  No one in my family talks to me anymore.  Most of my extended family felt too frightened or too angry with me to deal with the likes of me or the likes of my kind.  As with my grandmother, and her grandmother, I was born this way, to see shadows lurking within people, to hear the whispers most people assume to be a false wind, to follow the echoes of those long gone, and to cast out the presence of evil in people and sometimes, places.

The “gift” skips a generation, and as with my grandmother, it tends to drive family members away, usually out of fear or anger over a misunderstood reading of a situation.  My great-great grandmother’s children fled the South because they feared her power and her word more than they feared the nightriders.  I was truly surprised when Abby contacted me and asked me for my help.  I could feel her desperation over the phone, so I couldn’t deny her.

My aunt was living in a nursing home, and her house stood empty on the quiet end of Clarendon Street, not far from Euclid Avenue in East Hartford.  My cousin did her best to keep up with the house, even tried to sell it at one point.  But between the rapidly declining housing market and general spookiness of the house, she couldn’t unload it and she was at her wit’s end with trying to lease it out.  Apparently, the last tenants were chased away by what they described as a spirit who first manifested itself as a boy to the children, then as a much more malevolent presence to the parents.  They barely got out of the house, leaving furniture, clothes, and boxes of papers.

I ended up sitting in my car with my supplies in front of my Aunt Sara’s house.  I needed to an assessment of the energy in the house before I did my work, so I decided to come during the day.  The street was quiet, almost too quiet.  The houses that lined the street were in various stages of decay, but still occupied.  The air smelled stale, like an unopened storage unit.  The sunlight revealed the peeling paint on each house.

I saw a small boy sitting in a chair on my aunt’s porch.  He looked me steadily, as if to size me up.  His lips parted slightly as a faint smile came across his face with an apparent emotion of what I recognized to be none other than pure evil.  I spoke an incantation under my breath and watched him/it fade into the house through the window.  I paused for a moment, considering what I just witnessed and stared at the windows of the house before walking up the stairs to the front door.

A faint smell of burnt rubber lingered.  Before walking inside I pulled out a bottle of holy oil, and anointed myself, then the doorframe.  A faint growl hit my ears from one of the rooms inside.  I lit up a sage bundle and began my initial inspection.

This was going to be a long day.

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“Off-Grid” By Cherie Ann Turpin #4 (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30days

“Off-Grid”

By Cherie Ann Turpin

#4 (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30days

nanobots

It started with an x-ray in the dentist’s office. The dentist, thinking it to be a metal fragment from her near-fatal encounter with a roadside bomb during her time as an embedded journalist during the Afghanistan war in 2007, referred her to a general practitioner, who removed it after administering a local anesthetic. A lingering ache remained on the side of her face just above her lower jaw after its extraction. It moved, startling the good doctor, but he calmly sealed it into a test tube. Too large to be a nanobot, it reacted like a fly to light and air.

The bot was of unknown origin, and was still functioning upon removal from the delicate layers of facial tissue. Placing the bot into a small tube, her physician sent it for further testing, where it “disappeared,” for some inexplicable reason. Two weeks after shipping the package the building that leased space to his practice mysteriously caught fire, and he, like the bot, disappeared. The dentist also disappeared after yet another fire that destroyed his practice and several other practices in the building.

She began to receive strange phone calls with clicking sounds in the middle of the night, sometimes a dozen, sometimes more. She disconnected her cell phone service and began using disposable phones. Her writing gigs started to dry up, as her reliable sources for writing jobs began to avoid her. She avoided speaking to her family and friends about her fears of what was happening to her, fearing harm or worse for her loved ones. She hoped her doctor and dentist were still alive, but knew it to be unlikely, which meant she was probably next. Her jaw still ached, slightly, like the fading memory of a fall or sudden spill. She quietly packed a few clothes, her passport, and some papers to take with her, promising to herself that she would explain things later, once she had some answers. For now, she needed to find out what happened to her, who was tracking her, and why she had been bugged with a tiny robot like a lab animal. She reached behind the loosened panel in the floor of her closet and pulled free the packet she thought she would never need to use, a “rainy day” gift from an old lover/friend who thought her to be too naive to be in the business of journalism: an assortment of items that would allow her to cross international borders quietly and anonymously, including a two passports with different names and countries of origin, various IDs, and a small amount of cash.

She knew her first clue would not be found by looking for “where,” but instead would discovered by looking for “when,” as in, looking into the past, a past she thought she could escape.

It meant digging up the first time she saw the bright lights and heard the sounds of the hovering ship.

Time to go off-grid. Deep off-grid.

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“Ring: Part One” #3 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30days

“Ring: Part One” #3

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days) #30days

ring
I picked through my closet when until I selected a red blouse with a deep plunge framed with ruffles.  I placed it on the chair over the floor length black skirt and slipped into the bathroom to shower and shampoo.  I thought about the ring, and about him.  He would be at the party already, so I needed to hurry up and be ready to leave soon.

While he was on business travel he went shopping for my ring and I told him I didn’t want African diamonds or precious jewels because it was exploitative of the workers–I explained I wasn’t trying to reject my mother’s ring set choice, but I wanted a different thing. It felt strange to have it on my finger every single day, but I started wearing it to accept I was now married. He promised to have the bottom half for me if I asked for it and I was considering it. It fell off in my bed, but I woke up and put it back on, thinking I need to get it resized. He was surprised and pleased I was wearing it. Two of my friends looked at the ring.   Both looked puzzled, so I explained why my ring did not look like the usual wedding ring, that I did not want a diamond because of the history of them. The ring was a mysterious metal resembling white gold with a white quartz-like jewel.

When I arrived at the party everyone was dressed in 18th century clothing, somewhat decadent, some wearing jeweled masks.   I wore black lace opera gloves, a gift from  a woman who claimed them to be a charm of sorts.  My ring began to warm and tingle, oddly, but I ignored it as I made my rounds greeting other party guests. He was standing near one of the tall windows at the far end of the room with two other men, talking and smiling, but clearly looking for me.  He gestured for me to come and introduce myself.

As I walked through the crowded room I noticed for the first time that other women in the room were wearing the same ring with the odd Quartz-like crystal.  My left hand began to tingle as I realized this was no ordinary crowd.  My husband smiled as he pulled me close to him and introduced me to his people, the Agaven refugees of Defoli Y’shol.

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“Again” by Cherie Ann Turpin Story #2 (30 Stories 30 Days) #30days

“Again”

by Cherie Ann Turpin Story #2

(30 Stories 30 Days) #30days

041027-N-9500T-001

The first thing she noticed was the tickle of grass beneath her bare feet as she walked down a narrow path illuminated by the stars and moon above her.  The trees seemed to whisper as the wind flew through the lush of moist leaves.

Alone then yet again.

She was following a sound that carried through the whispering leaves in waves, not knowing what she would find, not knowing why she traveled in the middle of the night through the forest path, a path she knew to be a sign of her dreaming yet again.

What was that sound?  No instrument could be making it, nor voice–at least human or animal.

Lucid.

Not awake, but not quite asleep.

Aware that her body was sprawled across her bed in her house somewhere far away from this place.

But where was THIS?

The ground trembled as she walked, the dirt swirling in her wake. The sound grew as she moved deeper down the path, and the trembling began to vibrate upwards.  An opening of the forest appeared, and with it a light that suddenly blasted through the darkness.  She noticed she was no longer walking, but still moving–up.  The light surrounded her body like a thick, hot liquid and held her as she ascended upwards towards the hovering ship.

Again.

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“Real Love” by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30days

“Real Love” rose

Maybe the imminent and overwhelming arrival of the lunar eclipse accorded some responsibility into Nina’s bitter mood. She knew how to explain herself, her position, her sense of self as a writer, when she spoke before her readers. Her audience usually sat mesmerized or at least soothed as when she “performed” as resident poet at The Atomic Cafe, a run-down coffee joint run almost entirely from donations from locals, students, and permanent exiles from the dullness of city life and suburbia. Burlington, Vermont was a haven for those young enough to transform isolation from New England cynicism into active and optimistic sociopolitical coalitions determined to see permanent social change; for those too embittered to still believe in or hope for much of anything, Burlington served as a sort of thin shield, like fish scales, from the hostilities to which no place in America could be immune.

Nina found that she could easily move through the pauses and silences that cut short her creative desires by cutting to the quick what most people found beneficial to their egos. Nina could not cut, however, through the thick partition that separated herself from her desires, the wall of silence that froze her tongue as if in fear when she touched her last lover, who broke off with her in apparent bewilderment at her seeming lack of interest in him, his attempts at conversation, and most disturbing, his sexual needs. Nina, as if intuitively, felt him withdraw from her presence, and silently wished him quickly gone, but not for the reasons he divined.

Nina was, in brief, a woman who yearned to touch and to be touched in ways that could not be easily explained in pop psychology terms, or for that manner, Freudian terms. She spent the better part of her twenties searching for some semblance of the surge that charged her nerves at the turn of a certain phrase, look, or push through the male bodies that crash-landed on her bed. As they departed bearing the same expression of sheepish satisfaction mixed with confusion, she would look on with a visible expression of impatience and a not so visible feeling of rage and bitterness at the presence of emptiness, at the dryness she felt in her mouth and between her legs.

With a notable exception, her sexual experiences in her thirties was a far less frenzied version of the previous decade, as she settled on a twenty-seven year old attorney who initially saw her as an exotic, if not tasty experiment with the racial and class other. He had not touched the otherness that surely separated them in ways that his cock could not and would not bridge. She correctly feared his disgust of her, his fear of what he labeled as “edgy,” an “edge” that would loom in ragged and crumbly pieces over a dark, heated pit.

And so they parted, with him feeling failed as a lover, as a man, and perhaps as a conqueror of the dark other, for so clearly failing to move her to either ecstasy or tears. Some men are like that, foolishly staking their egos, their perceptions of themselves as conquerors, ignoring the moments that could unveil a more delicious opportunity and savoring the more shallow moments, when the public eye is more apt to appear, where desire is less likely to expose itself to public derision. Nina had found many of these fools in all shades and colors, but the now familiar disappointment never ceased to bring the bile to the surface of her tongue.

So it was with this overwhelming desire, combined with an awareness of an ache that would not be staved off with the strongest vibrator, that she wrote her latest poem. When she stood amid the studded and pierced women and men she noticed on the left covered with photos of poets who, like her, began and ended their careers standing and reciting in front of audiences like this one. She also noticed a vaguely familiar face staring at her.

At this sight, she closed her eyes, and after a few uncomfortable moments of silence, began reciting from memory the first stanza from her latest poem, a series of images written about a man she’d often imagined to exist in the real. When Nina’s mind began to generate the sexual fury she needed to recite her poem, she began to forget that her body was actually standing in a grimy, worn storefront that was already filled with other writers eager to draw from the sexual energy emanating from her frame. Her low, gravely voice trembled as she, eyes closed, softly swaying, spoke to complete strangers of her fantasy tryst with the man who would remain nameless, of the desire she could only refer to in Spanish when she titled it “Quiero”:

circling the cup

pressing inside soft walls

like fresh clay on a wheel

lifting layers to the top

spinning

muscle squeezing

gripping dense pottery

hardening in the cold air

an interminable movement

wrapped

in fleshy ribbons of moans

like a jack-in-a-box exploding

staining

hot grainy oily cement

in harvest heat.”

When Nina opened her eyes the first thing she saw was a man in the back of the room with a curious but intent stare. Then, as the audience began to field her with questions and suggestions, she lost focus on the man and continued her discussion. Later, during the communal vegetarian dinner feast, Nina saw him again, grazing on a steaming pile of black beans over brown rice. She waited until he swallowed whatever he was chewing, then sauntered over to a stool across from his chair near one of the gray, frosted panes of the storefront. The combined effects of the dimmed lights and the dark shadows cast by the rich, black panels and jagged masonry covering the walls, floor, and ceiling left an impression on Nina that she was walking through a cave.

In fact, Nina was so occupied with this appearance of what seemed to be physical manifestation of what she assumed to exist only in the shadowy corners of the dream world that she did not pay attention to the subtle signs of changes to the immediate environment as she sat down. Her heart stopped for five full seconds as she discovered she was no longer sitting in Atomic Cafe. She was home, and sitting on her couch. Freezing momentarily, she let out a brief shout of fright, as she believed, momentarily, that she had passed out and was dreaming yet again. It sounded less like a scream, and more like a loud “huh-a” ending with deflating tone at the tail end of her breath. Nina stumbled to her feet and looked outside through the living room window. The clear night illuminated the white snow on the front porch and the low steps of the ancient yellow house on Chittenden Street. He hovered over her, silently, watching her as she blinked in the shadowy room lit only by the street light and moonlight outside. Regaining her composure, she remembered that she had a guest in her home. She was still deep in thought as she stepped into the foray and flipped the light switch.

Drawing in the waves emanating from the light, he shimmered and swirled like a light mist before finally manifesting before her with what seemed to be a wry smile.

“Do you usually unveil yourself so completely in your work?” he asked in a low but clear volume, his rich, melodic voice carefully articulating each word as if he were speaking into a tape recorder.

“I could ask the same of you,” whispered Nina, as she looked around the room that seemed to lose its hold on her as the waking world of the real. “I no longer know which world is flesh, and which world is dream? What have you done with reality?”

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Some recent selfies for my fans out there looking in….

I’ve noticed some traffic on past selfie posts–yes, more full body photos are coming! Thank you for looking in–now click on the left of this screen and support this blog and my radio show!

Enjoy!

 

2014-04-18 21.30.54 2014-04-18 15.04.57 2014-04-18 15.04.49 2014-04-18 12.51.47 2014-04-18 12.50.36 2014-04-18 11.30.09-1 2014-04-18 11.30.09-2 2014-03-12 18.22.14 2014-03-12 18.18.36

Star Wars and the 4 Ways Science Fiction Handles Race – Noah Berlatsky – The Atlantic

lead“The genre has no problem imagining a future full of spaceships and aliens. A racially integrated society, though?”

“It’d be great news if the buzz about 12 Years a Slave’s Lupita Nyong’o being cast in the upcoming Star Wars sequel is true. That’s because Lupita Nyong’o is great, and it would be wonderful to see her get high-profile roles.

Casting someone whose breakout role explicitly and thoughtfully engaged with the African-American experience may also, hopefully, kick off a discussion about race in Star Wars and in sci-fi more generally. The franchise has often been criticized for its clueless, tone-deaf use of caricature, especially the nods to blackface minstrelsy in Jar Jar Binks. More importantly, Star Wars encapsulates a pop-culture tradition of space operas that can easily invent spaceships and robots and aliens, but that helplessly acquiesce to old, stereotypical treatments of gender and race. Why does that matter? Sci-fi is at least in part a dream of a different world and a different future. When that future unthinkingly reproduces current inequities, it seems like both a missed opportunity and a failure of imagination.” Read more here: Star Wars and the 4 Ways Science Fiction Handles Race – Noah Berlatsky – The Atlantic.

For my fans, some selfies while I write my Afrofuturism and Black Feminisms Chapter

I am balancing out my teaching and committee duties with the other piece of what I do as a scholar–research and write.  I was commissioned to build a chapter for a Black Studies reader that would focus on Afrofuturism and Black Feminisms.

Looking at the wealth of material on Black Feminism has made me realize just how much work  I actually missed while writing my own book–it’s a reminder of that constant feeling that one can never really capture everything, though one may try to engage as much as possible.  Making connections between two flourishing movements isn’t so much the issue as it is negotiating the discursive tensions with regard to political and aesthetic concerns.

Meeting deadlines while balancing out five classes and Faculty Senate committee work isn’t always a breeze, even with the great assistance of two very talented RAs.  At the end of the day, it is up to me.  It’s always up to me.

As you know, I like to document my moods and emotions on my face while I work.  Enjoy the view while I work.

2014-02-25 13.39.07-1 2014-02-25 13.39.07-2 2014-02-25 13.39.05-1 2014-02-25 13.39.052014-02-25 12.23.49 2014-02-25 12.24.44 2014-02-25 12.24.40 2014-02-25 12.24.04 2014-02-25 12.24.02 2014-02-25 12.24.00 2014-02-25 12.25.58 2014-02-25 12.25.40 2014-02-25 12.25.34-1 2014-02-25 12.25.34-2 2014-02-25 12.25.29 2014-02-25 12.25.15 2014-02-25 12.26.02 2014-02-25 12.25.582014-02-25 14.46.32 2014-02-25 14.46.24 2014-02-25 14.46.19 2014-02-25 14.45.19 2014-02-25 14.45.01 2014-02-25 14.46.19

 

In gratitude to Stuart Hall, a socialist intellectual who taught us to confront the political with a smile » AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

In gratitude to Stuart Hall, a socialist intellectual who taught us to confront the political with a smile » AFRICA IS A COUNTRY.

Stuart Hall was the most important public intellectual of the past 50 years. In an age where having a TV show allegedly makes someone a public intellectual and where the status of the university you work at counts for more than what you have to say, Hall’s work seems even more urgent and his passing, somehow, even sadder. “

For my fans, some recent photos of Afrofuturist Scholar Cherie Ann Turpin

I appreciate my audience!  Without your support, my brand would not have blossomed so quickly over the last two years.  2014 promises to be exciting.  I’m about to launch my creative works here and on my radio show At the Edge: An Afrofuturist Salon.  Meanwhile, enjoy the view!

smilingprofilecat_jan2014_6cat_2014_5profile piccat6 cat5 cat4 cat3 cat2 cat1

Listen to Wednesday’s Feminisms Roundtable: Women of Color in Solidarity 01/29 by At the Edge An Afrofuturist Salon | Women Podcasts

Feminisms Roundtable: Women of Color in Solidarity 01/29 by At the Edge An Afrofuturist Salon | Women Podcasts.

Great show, lots of ideas for more discussion roundtables! Feel free to leave a review and feedback here!

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helpers prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,300 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 55 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

CFP: Stardom and Fandom, SW Popular Culture and American Culture Association conference, New Mexico, 19-22 February 2014

The Fan Studies Network

CFP: Stardom and Fandom, SW PACA (11/1/13; 2/19-22/14)

The Southwest Popular Culture and American Culture Association (http://southwestpca.org) invites paper or panel proposals on any aspect of stardom or fandom for their annual Conference, February 19 – 22, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency in beautiful Albuquerque, New Mexico. This is a great conference for fan studies scholars, grad students, and researchers from other disciplines doing related research to share their thoughts and inspire each other. All topics will be considered, although we especially encourage proposals on:

The reciprocal relationship between stars and fans

Impact of celebrity and fame on identity construction, reconstruction and sense of self

The impact of social media on celebrity/fan interaction

Children and stardom (Little Rascals to Toddlers and Tiaras)

Celebrity/fame addiction as cultural change

The intersection of stardom and fandom in virtual and physical spaces

Celebrity and the construction of persona

Pedagogical approaches to teaching stardom and fandom

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Moving on the Wires: Afrofuturism 2.0 Call for Papers, Janelle Monae + Erykah Badu, Kelis | Aker: Futuristically Ancient

Moving on the Wires: Afrofuturism 2.0 Call for Papers, Janelle Monae + Erykah Badu, Kelis | Aker: Futuristically Ancient.

*Call for chapters for an anthology on Afrofuturism 2.0:

"We are soliciting scholarly research, theoretical essays, and applied
studies that explore how the concept of Afrofuturism is related to
Africana Studies for an anthology...Authors are to submit a 250-300 word abstract 
for consideration by the editors by June 10, 2013. Authors of accepted 
abstracts will be notified by July 10. Final submission will be 
due by October 30, 2013."

For more information on essays wanted, click here.

Originally posted in http://futuristicallyancient.com/2013/04/23/moving-on-the-wires-afrofuturism-2-0-call-for-papers-janelle-monae-erykah-badu-kelis/
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