WTF Am I Reading?: Sawney’s Twisted Short Stories

EVERYONE IS A MOON is my definitive collection of short stories (at least, until I write a bunch more). While I’ve categorized the book as Dark Fiction as a whole, I don’t think that label really does it justice. These short stories are eclectic, ranging from absurdist dark comedy to psychological sci-fi to full-throttle horror. Since I like my readers to have an inkling of what they’re getting themselves into, here are TV Guide-worthy descriptions of each included tale:

The Good Touch — This whimsical, irreverent story spawned from my newfound fascination with trailer parks, faith healers, and Jesus making His comeback on burnt slices of toast.

Cutting Remarks — My stab (or rather, bludgeon) at an Alfred Hitchcock Presents type of tale, one specifically inspired by a Roald Dahl short story. There is nothing a married couple can’t reconcile if they work it out together.

The Boy Who Cried Alien — I’ve always been a fan of ’50s Sci-Fi alien/monster movies (see my anthology WHAT HAS TWO HEADS, TENS EYES, AND TERRIFYING TABLE MANNERS?). This is an homage to those films, and the people who watch too many of them.

Pet — Here is your typical “boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy keeps girl’s pet” Science Fiction story. It was inspired by the sad end of classic Hollywood movie actress Marie Prevost.

In Memoriam the Ostrich — Hypocrisy is one of my favorite themes. And cannibalism. What does the Bible say about cannibalism? Turns out, pretty much nothing. Which does not make the pastor’s job in this piece easy.

The Mortality Machine — A love story of sorts that poses the question: if you say you’ll love somebody forever, can you mean it literally? If you are a genius, maybe there’s a way.

The Lord Is My Rocket — This is my satirical poke at religious zealotry, wherein the devout Christian caregiver of a developmentally disabled man vows to save his soul by taking him to a unique monastery. Moral: you can’t save everyone.

The Beholder — The first draft of this character study about a man who finds beauty in everything he encounters was written back when I was in high school. Though edited substantially since then, all versions have retained its original theme.

Mr. Gregori — In this Horror tale, a man cursed by a demon becomes infatuated with the new tenant of his apartment. Maybe she would love him in return… if only she could see, hear, or feel him.

FYVP — This is a nasty little teeth-clencher about body modification and those who get a thrill out of it, made a bit classier by the literary reference at its climax.

The Dark at the Deep End — Loosely (very loosely) based on some of my own teenage experiences, this conte cruel (“cruel tale”) chronicles a budding serial killer before he acts on his sadistic impulses. 

Suitable for Framing — With a plot salvaged from one of my earliest unproduced screenplays, it is a commentary on art, artists, and their fans. How much you enjoy this story perhaps says something about what kind of fan you are. Not judging; just putting it out there.

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