Vampires! Zombies! Giant killer hamsters!

hamsterHorror has become big business these days and you can hardly have failed to notice the waves of the undead shuffling, flying or bounding across screens big and small. With a plethora of assorted suckers, rippers and biters, horror fans are spoiled for choice when it comes to grisly supernatural thrills.

There are a ton of psychological theories about why we love to scare ourselves silly with these films. But whatever the truth, many of us just can’t help but subject ourselves to what one might call a safe scare. All the adrenalin and terror without any real danger (despite what some cunning marketing people would have us believe).

We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.” – Stephen King

What would the creators of Nosferatu or Dracula make of all this ghoulish entertainment? Would Mary Shelly find our modern day monsters a little OTT? Could George Romero have ever imagined we’d become so addicted to the brain-munchers?
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Halfbananas awards – the winners!

The agonising wait is over at last! Here are the winners in the very first ever halfbananas awards.

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There are so many amazing blogs out there, it’s hard to keep up. I hope you enjoy discovering some great new ones, and if you’ve won a coveted halfbananas award, congratulations!

The dedicated awards committee have tried to recognise the best examples in various categories, but inevitably there will be lots of other fabulous blogs that missed out this time around. But never fear, there will be more awards, accolades and virtual pats-on-backs coming soon. Let’s spread the love people!

I look forward to seeing all the lucky winners and honourable mentions, at the lavish Hollywood party I will be hosting, assuming awards condition #3 is met (see below).
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Tiny tales for a Tuesday

A new collection of fifty-word micro-fiction.

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Lucky day
On the way to work I found a sports bag, filled with cash. Overjoyed, I decided to quit and went straight to see my manager. She looked shocked. “Holy shit, you found it!” Dazed, I handed over the bag and spent the rest of the day quietly weeping at my desk.

Second bite
The week my wife left me, the cat disappeared too. I kinda imploded and hit the booze hard. I felt like ending it, till that stray mutt showed up. One day, he bit a postal worker. Luckily she was the forgiving type, and single too. Things are finally looking up.
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Summer shorts #2: more fifty-word fiction

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Goals
David focused his thoughts for the crucial penalty kick. At the last moment, a vivid butterfly landed on the ball and the shot went sailing wide. The howls of disappointment from the fans were somehow softened by a profound sense of relief as he watched the colourful insect flutter by.

Bone idle
“You lazy shit!” she yelled, “You’re manipulative, messy and just lounge around the flat all day, eating. I don’t think you give a damn about me Tom.” He gazed sleepily into her eyes and stretched out languorously. “Okay, I’ll get your dinner. But first we take care of those fleas.”

Battle scars
As a kid I fell playing football and cut my knee. After stitches, the nurse gave me a lollipop for being brave. Now, on those rare occasions when I’m brave, I crave a reward – usually something sweet. But I’m married and the nurses seem unimpressed by my old scar.

Allergies
We strolled across the meadow this afternoon, mesmerised by the abundance of wild flowers and butterflies. Pairs of Magpies engaged in crazy aerial displays, and a flock of sheep lazed in the shade. One of them sneezed, breaking the spell. I’m not sure if the sheep laughed, but we did.

It is written
In my story, an author in a parallel universe is writing a story about a writer who imagines authors in other universes. He wonders if they are also writing about authors and writers in other universes. My head starts to hurt. Maybe I’m someone’s fictional character? Maybe you are too?

 
© Copyright Jason Lennick 2016. All rights reserved.
 
 

Fifty shades of great

mean-nun_medFor people of a certain age, being disciplined invokes a trip to the headmaster for punishment, while for others something rather more kinky. Or perhaps both.

But I will leave any salacious discussions of corporal punishment or saucy S&M shenanigans for another time. Here I want to try and get to the bottom of the mental discipline we apply, or fail to apply to ourselves.

Self discipline: The ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses. OED

Self-discipline seems to be fundamental to success. Pretty much any type of challenging endeavour requires it, unless you join the military services and let someone else impose their discipline upon you.

I can see the potential advantages of having such a well-structured life: a clear set of rules and goals, strong motivators and the fellowship of comrades in arms. Not to mention the simplicity of wardrobe choices. But personally I would rather be skinned alive, lightly seasoned and fed to wolves than submit to such an authoritarian way of living.

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The Procrastinators

sliced cucumber_medIt was almost a year to the day since Peter Pike – AKA Procrastination Man – had last donned his ill-fitting spandex outfit and battled the forces of evil. But Peter had not been idle, far from it. In that time he had thoroughly reorganised his cutlery drawer, joined a gym (although not actually visited it) and made detailed plans to re-decorate the lounge and repair the kitchen window. There had even been a few half-hearted attempts to start writing his autobiography.

He had also, much to his surprise, found a partner, Melanie Grant, with whom he had made some exciting and probably completely impractical plans. An attractive, if slightly geeky young science graduate, she had been inspired by the press coverage of his earlier adventures and had responded to his online quest for a partner:

WANTED: SMART, KICK-ARSE PARTNER FOR A UNIQUE CRIME-FIGHTING OPPORTUNITY! NO TIME-WASTERS PLEASE.

Their first meeting at The Black Crow pub hadn’t gone quite as well as they’d hoped. A nervous Peter had arrived late as usual, and then managed to spill his pint of beer all over their table. Melanie had ended up trapped in the women’s toilet cubicle, a faulty lock requiring intervention from the local fire brigade. But they had been able to laugh about it afterwards, and their disastrous evening had eventually ended on a unexpected high note.

As they had slowly gotten to know each other in the months that followed, the future suddenly seemed to be full of promise and adventure.

After a long planning phase, they were determined not to let any more grass grow under their feet. It was time for action, just as soon as they’d saved up enough cash to advertise their services in the papers, and whipped themselves into shape at the gym. And paid off the credit card bills. Yes, quite soon they would be ready to unleash the force of THE PROACTIVATORS upon an unsuspecting criminal world.

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And the winner is…

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There seem to be a fair few awards flying around of late and I have been nominated a few times myself. (The best of breed at Crufts dog show was certainly a surprise)

I always feel chuffed to get nominated, until I remember that some blogging awards require one to nominate up to fifteen other blogs, in the form of a sort of chain letter (or pyramid scheme?) deal. Of course unlike a pyramid scheme, nobody is scamming people to get rich and the intentions are honourable, as far as I know.

This leaves one torn between the nice ego boost of a nomination and the realisation one has to actually find that many other blogs to nominate and contact them all, as well as answering a series of searching personal questions (Favourite Italian biscuit? Most used Klingon curse word?)

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