Queer Magic: Part 2, The Cat and Mouse Game

Last time we talked, Ihavegonetoofar and Dog, two strange beings living in the City, took refuge in an equally strange bar on a cold night. There, the bartender offers relief in exchange for stories about the people in the bar. Ihavegonetoofar accepts the offer. It remains to be seen if it was prudent to do so.

Once, there was a mouse and a cat.

The cat stalked the mouse. It used the magic of Walking This Way, which is known to everything that hunts on four legs and which is why Man does not know how to walk like cats. It followed the mouse, which had magic of its own. Move Quiet Quiet, See Without Sight, and the strongest magic of all, Fear. The mouse did not know it was being stalked, but Fear worked its spell and so the Mouse always thought it was followed. Even safe in the nest it would look over its shoulder with eyes that did not see, smelt with noses that listen, and listened with ears that tasted. There was nothing behind it. There is everything there, Fear whispered to the Mouse, and suddenly there would be. But this time it worked the magic of Want, which drove away Fear, and which drove away safety.

Continue reading “Queer Magic: Part 2, The Cat and Mouse Game”

Castlevania Ep. 2: Necropolis, Or, “Attack of the Ninja Priest”

Apologies for keeping absolutely no defined schedule lately; a long-distance move interrupted my life and only now am I back to something approaching normalcy. More will be up, and more regularly now!

castlevania_netflix

It begins:

Scene 1, the Intro: Brief, cut to almost nothing if you binge watch this.

Scene 2, a bar in a podunk village: We return to the podunk bar in the podunk tavern. A man complains about the major families, and directs his ire against the Belmonts. Trevor asks for a drink and is found to be a Belmont. A fight ensues that Trevor almost loses. He gets hit in the testicles, asks not to be hit there, is hit there again. It is unclear if this is a joke.

Scene 3, outside: Trevor vomits outside. He hopes his opponents “bleed out through their arses.” We hope Castlevania gets a new screenwriter.

Continue reading “Castlevania Ep. 2: Necropolis, Or, “Attack of the Ninja Priest””

Queer Magic: Part 1, Looking for a Small Corner in a Big City

What is magic other than the applied use of mystery? And what is more mysterious than a city full of millions of people, each with their own stories, their own mysteries? Their own magic? Queer Magic is a collection of stories about mysterious, magical people and the city they live in. 

Remember though: all magic has cost. Forget that, and you may forget what price you are willing to pay.

Part the First:

Looking for A Small Corner in a Big City

 

We can not stand the light.

I? Is it me? I do not remember.

We are ourselves a cockroach, a scuttler who abhors the light. We hide under bags of refuse and peer into windows, pulling our hat down to hide our eyes when the lights within shine too brightly and we must cry. We were naked until we scrounged gloves to hide our hands and dirty white shoes to hide our feet. We wear a winter coat despite the heat of the summer. The stench and filth cling to us and our withered legs, match-sticks that shiver, trying to spark a light. Our hands hurt. They always hurt.

We are. We do not know what we are.

I. I should be an I only and not a We. But who are these other voices in my head? Is it my head?

Hush. Go back to sleep.

I shall, thank you.

& & &

Continue reading “Queer Magic: Part 1, Looking for a Small Corner in a Big City”

Castlevania Ep.1: Witchbottle, or, “Oh, Warren, No!”

castlevania_netflix

This is a post-episode discussion of the show so of course there will be spoilers, but we’ll try to keep them small. Regardless, you have been warned.

It begins:

Scene 1: A field of skeletons and a flurry of bats. A woman kills one because. She meets Dracula, and explains she seeking knowledge so she can become a doctor. She believes in “science” (which begs the question of why she went to a vampire) and scolds Dracula about his manners, showing us how the show will fail at being funny. She wants to show him how to “like people again” and will use his knowledge to improve the lives of her fellow people. Dracula agrees.

Scene 2, Targoviste, Wallachia: Ominous church music. The woman is being burnt at the stake while priests hold aloft crosses. Designated Bad Churchman (DBC) #1 looks on in approval. Is very concerned because of bottles the woman had and expresses disapproval of “science”. The woman calls to the sky, asking someone not to hurt them. DBC shows he doesn’t understand what religion is or what church he’s part of, while woman screams that “they don’t know what they’re doing, be better than them please!”

Cut to title.

Continue reading “Castlevania Ep.1: Witchbottle, or, “Oh, Warren, No!””

Top of the Heap

No-one reads these, but I’d feel awkward not having a proper introduction. So, hello, I’m Caoimhin (pronounced “Caoim-hin”), and welcome to The Heap. It’s a blog about writing, fiction, politics, games, and a whole bunch of other stuff all thrown together eponymously. I determined that the world required another blog, and it is my solemn duty to deliver.

Alright then, what the hell is this?

I guess the question you’re actually asking (rude) is: why oh why in 2017 are you making a blog? The answer is simple: because the blog format works. I’ve tried this before, several times, and every time it failed because of my efforts or lack thereof. The Internet has changed and so has how we interact with it, but what hasn’t changed is that a blog remains the best place to write short-form pieces, long-form, post shameless pictures of cats I like, and everything in-between.

So that’s what it is! A place for me (and others, hopefully) to write short-form pieces, long-form efforts, everything in-between, and enjoy ourselves while we do it.

Why not social media? And aren’t blogs dead? I heard they were dead.

Well, sure. Maybe. There was a blog explosion in the early/mid-2000s, I would know because I was a part of it, and it’s since dwindled as Internet users have streamlined and the app environment has appeared. Why freely browse the Internet when much of the Internet is now served in bite-sized app form? And how would you find this if you didn’t know it already existed? Not to mention the sheer difficulty of keeping up a blog. Blogs of yore, even big ones, have come and gone. A Dribble of Inks death hit many of us hard. I’ve personally started and shuttered three blogs, and one can only guess how many innumerable webcomics and mommy and foodie blogs have called it quits.

But there are stalwarts who are still kicking. Whatever will keep going until the heat death of the universe, while Making Light will probably go on until the Big Crunch. Besides, what media would I put it on? Twitter, which seems to be in its death-throes every year? Tumblr, which has been dying and resurrecting for years? Facebook (I’d rather eat and then pass broken glass, thank you kindly(and please ignore the irony that I’m definitely linking this to FB))? Or let’s think of the platforms that died, taking with them works of equal and often far-greater value: MySpace, Orkut(?), Angelfire (yes, I was there too), and what else? Considering venerable (by our standards) Twitter is facing a rough death, what’s next?

Finally, I took a quick look at the most popular social media these days. Outside of Facebook, the next 14(!) had strict content standards or didn’t even allow posting of text. If you’re posting a video or images online, there are a dozen places to do it before/in tandem with a blog. Text? Especially long form? Good luck. A site, while not the most visible, is better.

Also, I can swear here, so that’s a benefit too.

Fine, I get it. But isn’t this just another writer’s blog? Don’t we have enough of those?

 Nope! We could never have enough! I think one of the greatest, if not the greatest, values of the Internet is that it gives everyone a platform. And yes, while that means a whole lot of people we don’t want to have a platform now do, it also means that we can use it to make wonderful things.

The only sin when writing (aside from not using the Oxford comma) is assuming that someone doesn’t have a story worth sharing. It’s just up to them to make it good enough to be worth the reader’s time.

Yeah, but between Netflix, Steam, and maybe reading the occasional book, there isn’t enough time out there. Sorry, you’re cut.

 And that’s a totally fair attitude to have. Hell, I’m still behind on Stranger Things. Between work and family and life (remember that?), if I’m perpetually behind on everything then I’m guessing we all are. Time is of the essence these days, and despite what they might say on Queen Street, time might be money, but money is certainly not time.

But if your argument is that that means I shouldn’t try, there’s the door. Or the little “X” at the top right of your screen. Either way, you can take a hike.

What that does mean, though, is that I have to prove myself with my work. More on that later, but I agree: I’m not here to waste your time. If you deign to give it to me, then by all that’s holy it’s up to me not to spend it frivolously. That’s a judgement for you to make, but if I can at least keep you reading this long, then that’s a start, isn’t it?

Alright, alright. I guess that all makes sense. But oh! One more point: are you at all ashamed you stole this format directly from John Scalzi’s dialogues about Trump?

 Nope! And if you’re real clever, you’ll see what I did there.

So that’s that! Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you again!

-C