Bubblews, a blogging site that housed a good number of my shorter works of fiction and articles, shut down without warning earlier today, so I will be hunting down bad links over the course of the next few days (or, alas, probably weeks) and trying to repost what I can. Some, but not all, of the material was backed up. Now I just have to remember everything that was there... with well over a hundred posts sitting on that site, this should be loads of fun...
Although I haven't played with Polyvore in quite some time, it's still a creative outlet that really intrigues me. I keep intending to go back to it, and I'm sure it will suck me back in again eventually. I wanted to share some of my past dalliances with it, and for those of you who are not familiar with the site or its artistic potential, here isExploring New Social Media: Polyvore as Global Art Gallery,an article I wrote about it a while back.
Miriam had begun to sense that the trappings of civilization were just that -- trappings. Underneath, man was still as primal as he once was.
She contemplated the primal nature of man as she pushed her cart up and down the frozen food aisles of the grocery store. The absurdity of this was not lost upon her. She would have been hard pressed to think of a more sterile activity; the teeth had been thoroughly pulled out of the process of food acquisition. But man was still a predator. A carnivore is still a carnivore even if he distances himself from the kill of the animal by buying its meat wrapped up in neat little packages.
One could cloak a nasty truth in pretty finery -- fine clothes, face powder, perfume. But putting a ball gown on a rhinoceros doesn't make it any less a rhinoceros.
The sweater Reginald's grandmother had knitted made him terribly itchy. Not just normal itchy, but prickly, burning, must-scratch-until-I'm-raw-and-bleeding itchy.
In fact, if Reginald hadn't known any better, he would have thought the darned thing was infested with bugs. His skin got red and puffy whenever he put it on, and his eyes swelled. He had to take a Benadryl just to survive wearing it.
"Don't be so ungrateful!" Reginald's mother chided him. "Your grandmother worked painstakingly on that sweater! Do you know how long it takes to knit with cat hair?"
Dreaded Sweater, Alisha Adkins, copyright 2013. First published on bubblews.com. It also appears (adapted) in the Abecedary of the Absurd as part of the collection Twisted Tales for Twisted Minds, second edition.
Mabel worried all the time. She worried that she would have a gruesome fatal accident, so she stopped driving. She worried that she would slip in the shower and crack her skull open, so she resorted to only taking sponge baths. She worried that she might step on a nail or fall down a manhole, so she stopped walking any further from her house than her mailbox. She had rendered herself a recluse. Although Mabel loved beef, pork, and poultry, she stopped eating meat because she worried that she would choke on a lump of gristle. However, she was also worried that she might cut herself chopping vegetables, so she now ate only baby food purees. The fact of the matter was that Mabel was so paralyzed with worry that she might do something that would inadvertently result in her demise that she tried not to do anything at all. She spent her days watching reality television from her sofa, where she sat nearly motionless, surrounded by soft, nonthreatening pillows. One evening, as Mabel reclined in her bubble of safety while watching The Biggest Loser, a meteor, traveling at great velocity, randomly hurtled in from space. It crashed through her roof and came to rest directly on top of Mabel and her innocuous sofa. She was killed instantly.
Susie was a timid, shy girl. In fact, she shrank from all human contact, cowering when adults spoke to her and answering their questions in little more than a tiny whisper. Susie's mother had begun to worry about her daughter's social development. Susie refused to even go outside and, except for when her presence was absolutely required elsewhere in the house, she preferred to remain safely isolated behind the closed door of her bedroom, where she carried on long conversations with her stuffed animals. Susie's father didn't believe there was anything wrong with his little girl. "She doesn't need therapy!" he told his wife adamantly. "Susie's seven. So she's shy. So what? She'll grow out of it." But her mother wasn't so sure. To be on the safe side, she began to research treatments online. "Susie?" she called to her daughter one morning. "Susie, come get a yummy snack!" Susie dutifully appeared in the kitchen and climbed up onto a stool at the counter. Silently, she began to eat her cookies and juice. "Mommy?" she whispered hesitantly in a tiny squeak of a voice. "Mommy, this juice tastes funny..." "Don't worry," her mother said. "I just added vitamins to it. Drink up!" Susie screwed up her face at the taste, but she drank the contents of the cup. After she was done, she wiped her mouth, burped once, and then she suddenly began to grow. The previous evening, her mother had found an interesting recipe online for an elixir that was supposed to give the imbiber confidence. Admittedly, she had found it on a dubious site about secret ancient ceremonies, rituals, and recipes, but the ancient Mayans had apparently considered the elixir very powerful, so she just mixed it with kool-aid and gave it a try. Susie grew and grew. Her little girl dress became tight against her and then ripped right off of her. And still she grew. Her mother was wide-eyed, unsure what to do. Her husband was never going to let her hear the end of this. Susie grew until she was the size of a giant. She was a giant, naked seven year old girl. She surveyed her surroundings and suddenly realized that she no longer felt timid. In fact, she felt downright gregarious. What did she have to be afraid of? People were unlikely to be able to hurt her. In fact, she could hurt them. Susie proceeded to smash her way out of her house. Venturing outside for the first time in ages, she happily tromped down her street, joyously stepping on people and knocking over houses. Susie's Transformation, Alisha Adkins, copyright 2013. This also appears in the Abecedary of the Absurd as part of the collection Twisted Tales for Twisted Minds, second edition.
For years, her mother had drilled it into her. "Sit up straight! You'll ruin your posture!" In Sally's household, good posture was next to godliness. "Only slackers slump!" her mother always cautioned as she put her daughter through rigorous posture exercises for hours each day. These initially involved balancing a book on her head but grew more elaborate and difficult as Sally got older and her mother got more OCD. One day, while balancing a large stack of garden stones on her forehead, Sally's neck unexpectedly gave out and her head fell off her shoulders with an unceremonious "plop." Although racked with guilt for subjecting her daughter to such arduous (and, as it had turned out, dangerous) exercises, Sally's mother couldn't help but feel a secret hint of pride when she saw how straight her daughter lay in her coffin.