new story “The Skeksis” on Blunderbuss Mag

Oh yeah, you remember that dream I had… well It’s FINALLY an animated story

The Skeksis <– check it out on Blunderbuss Magazine

(You can read the original story along with silly fill-in skeksis memes here.)

I’m so pleased with the way this turned out, big thanks to Blunderbuss Magazine and my “wonder sister” Yvonne. Check out my cool glasses and gold chain, haha #thingsthataregold (I didn’t even tell her to draw me that way #swag)

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 11.25.01 PM

Here’s some of her stuff, which I have been a long time fan of obvi- click here to see her website.

Untitled and Unremembered

I honestly don’t remember writing this, but it is in my journal. I know it was on a bus in Northern Argentina, but that’s about it. It was on the way up to see the Cataratas

 

Lights come up and a man is aiming a gun at a tourist-y looking woman. You can hear city noises in the distance.  She has her arms above her head.

WOMAN  (After an extremely long pause) …just shoot me.

MAN  Listen lady, gimmie your fucking shit before I blow your brains into next week (his hand is shaking slightly but he steadies his aim. She remains somber.)

WOMAN  No. (pause) I said shoot me. (She slowly lowers hers arms) its ok, do it.

MAN  Put your hands back up! (She remains tense and still, calming her nerves) I’m serious! I will- (He takes a small step toward her and she raises her arms halfway) you aren’t a good listener bitch. Let’s go-

WOMAN  I’m not a bitch, (calmly) you don’t- Don’t call me that.

MAN  BITCH SHUT UP

WOMAN  WHat if I said you were a bitch, or or your mother? How would that feel?

MAN  Fuck, I dunno, you need to just… just shut up and put your hands-

WOMAN  Is your mother a bitch?

MAN  What?

WOMAN  Is your mother, a bitch.

MAN   Tha’s none of your fucking business

WOMAN  (stronger, lowers arms) Then what business is it of yours to call me a bitch?

MAN  I don’t think you understand the situation here

WOMAN  (Suddenly aggressive and nervous) No. I don’t think YOU Understand that you should go ahead and fucking (screams) SHOOT ME!

MAN  (Stutters but regains his position of power slightly) I- I well don’t call her a bitch again.

WOMAN  Is she?

MAN  My mother?

WOMAN yes, a bitch? (SHe takes a step back and he takes a quick step toward her, steading his aim again)

MAN  So what if she is?

WOMAN  (pause as she holds back tears) I’m sorry.

MAN  (he becomes angry to stop from feeling otherwise) Look , you need to stop fucking around cause I’m getting sick of this shit.

WOMAN  Fine. (long pause) Who’s important anyway right? I mean if life is yours to bargain with too… or rather, you assume… But I think it will be in a minute… (pause) I don’t want it.. and you don’t either…. but it’s mine.

MAN  WHat the FUCK are you talking about?! You need, I mean, lady you don’t understand what this is.

WOMAN  No. I do. And I thnk you should put the gun away (she takes a step but stops when he stiffens up)  no no no listen, I need you to listen because this isn’t suppossed to happen, you aren’t- this isn’t right and you need to not be here. (SHe shudders and holds back tears, MAN is just confused and stunned) My mom was a bitch too.

MAN  So?

WOMAN  So we have somethings in common

MAN  Things?

WOMAN  Yeah, bitch moms… and some other things

MAN  yeah like what bitch? (regrets saying bitch)

WOMAN  It’s Je-

MAN  (Yells and cuts her off) DON’T tell me your name, goddamit. I don’t wanna know you, like we… why are you even talking to me? You should be scared

WOMAN  I am

MAN  Well fucking…. just…. shut up. I’m nt putting it away, you’ll just run and rat me out.

WOMAN  No, I won;t go back I-

MAN  (Walks right up and points the gun right between her eyes) Listen I don’t wanna know shit about you cept how much money you have and how much your shit is worth (grabs her necklace but lets go nd steps back when they hear a siren, as he is distracted WOMAN pulls out her own gun and puts it to her head. MAN sees and lowers his gun briefly, flabbergasted and s[puttering) Wh-what? Are you crazy?

WOMAN  It’s mine not yours, put your gun away (she is calm on the surface, but her eyes swell with emotions unexpressed)

MAN  n-no you put that shit away

WOMAN  You aren’t going to shoot me

MAN  But you said-

WOMAN  I knew you wouldn’t because that’s not what you came here to do. But it’s what I came here to do and I’m not letting you take this away from me. How dare you even begin to assume that this is yours to play with. It belongs to ME and you could NEVER take it away- you could never find it or see it or use it. It’s in there (pause, slightly less controlled) in that space in the space you cant get to, it’s outside you (she is crying now) My head, my hair (pushes the gun harder against her head) my life

(long pause as they both hold aim, arms shaking. she cocks the gun getting ready)

MAN  Put that shit away lady… y-

WOMAN  no, YOU need to get out of here. Go, GO!

MAN  Put the gun away!

(Her crying slows and she lowers the gun. He lowers his and takes a step to her. Eventually he reaches her and they embrace, she sobs as he slowly places a hand on her head. Suddenly, she shoves him and he falls to the ground)

WOMAN  It’s Jenny. (puts the gun back to her head quickly)

MAN  N-

BLACK OUT and we hear complete silence (perhaps we hear a gunshot)

 

Kiki

sneak peek of a new story I’m writing:

He sat and the piano bench creaked. It blew his mind back to the first time he heard the familiar yet perpetual squeak of polished wood under thighs. He knew he was special from the moment he hung from his teeth gopher style off his family’s record player. You can still see the little bite mark of a child who needed both his hands in order to put on the music he longed to hear. Was it curiosity or a love of music that made him endure the pain of hanging by his mouth? Was it simply a love for sound that drove this boy to genius? His inquiring mind was unstoppable- the boy devoured the technology in his environment and began to manifest wonders.
Technology and music have always been intertwined in such a perfect way that we can’t even see it; like DNA or a peanut butter and jelly taco.

SKEKSIS; or, They Wouldn’t Believe Me.

skeksis copy

So once I had a dream and forgot about it- then, an amazing friend of mine with an incredible memory told me a snippet; it sparked a fuse, and a dream redeveloped.

I have many many cinemascope sort of, larger than life, century long epic dreams. Most of them involve me trying to save the lives of a large to medium sized group of a mixture of my friends from different eras. The endings are always unknown, but there are different Act II templates. Act II templates include They Wouldn’t Believe Me, They’re Gonna Kill Us, We Gotta Get Outta Here, It’s Gonna Kill Us and the classic What is Trying to Kill Us?  I once saved a high school friend along side an old roommate and my sister in an epic fight against robots; we were at the bottom of a slide in an amusement park run by the undead… but that’s a different story.

Anyway- in this dream we insert the Act II template of They Wouldn’t Believe Me with light amounts of They’re Gonna Kill Us. This one took place in present day Los Angeles, more specifically Silver Lake where I lived in a lovely sunny apartment near the reservoir, and a bar called the Cha Cha Lounge.

From our apartment you could see the drunken bar flies zipping back and forth in front of our building. I was right there on the sidewalk that I saw the first murder in my dream. Now – don’t be worried about my mental health, because this was more of a comically frustrating dream. Think, Bill Murray in Groundhog’s Day. So anyway, I see the murder right? But it’s kinda dark and hard to see, all I can make out is a giant bird-like creature rush up behind a bearded hipster dude, grab his neck and pull him down out of sight. You could see all this going on through the window of our dim living room scene. The room had an old television which had been converted into a fish tank; but the murky tank hadn’t had fish in years.

So, I see this guy get taken down outside and quickly inform my roomies, “woah, did anyone else see that?” a sea of all the faces of everyone I’ve ever lived with looked up at me from various books/laptop screens and give me a “huh?” look.

Nobody seemed to know what I was talking about so I shrugged it off and didn’t mention it to anyone again. Later I thought to myself “that bird-guy thing creeps me out, I’m gonna see what’s up…” and decide to google ‘missing persons in Los Angeles.’

There’s a part missing here in my memory but the next scene begins with me coming home to the apartment after work a few days later. There is a shared omniscient knowledge that people have been going missing throughout L.A. without anyone knowing why or how, yet I don’t remember how this knowledge manifested itself in my dream… facebook maybe? Also, I’ve been telling my roomies about it for days and no one believes me. Don’t forget, that by roomies I mean an endless cavalcade of roommates, friends and family from the past and present; “Intervention” style.

So I come home from work a few days later, walk in and everyone is sitting in my living room laughing and eating GIANT tacos with little tacos on top. Amongst them, with his own giant taco with lil tacos on top was a Skeksis.

Skeksis_on_Display

If you aren’t familiar with the Skeksis or Jim Henson’s Dark Fantasy Sci-Fi piece, The Dark Crystal then you’re missing out- I won’t ruin it for you but the Skeksis are a race of gigantic vulture like bird kings who harshly and lavishly struggle to stay in power, while their robes turn to rags. They steal souls, sack villages, commit genocide… they are EVIL. They also worship this dark sort of crystal… hence the name.

Here’s another photo, it kinda looks like his headshot:

skeksis

*My dramaturgy for this piece (I goggled “Skeksis,” -I love you internet/wikipedia) lead me to this fun fact, “Most of the philosophical undertones of the film were inspired from “Seth Material“. The Seth Material is a collection of metaphysical texts dictated by the American psychic Jane Roberts. Which Henson kept copies of in his office and had his production staff read.”

The_Dark_Crystal_Film_Poster

ANYway so I enter the apartment and everyone’s eating these oversized cartoon looking tacos with little tacos on top and my jaw drops to the floor as I recognize the murderer I had seen the other night. Little bits of taco spewed out of his mouth as he gargle/laughed along with all my friends.

“Who is this?” I awkwardly blurted out, still holding my purse in one hand, my laptop bag slung over my shoulder.

“Oh this is Skeksis – he’s our new roomie, hope you don’t mind! We said it was cool for him to move in.” everyone smiled and chewed.

“Well, no one asked me… but,” I felt myself trailing off as the Skeksis stared at me, his eye twinkling. I didn’t want to be the only one who said it wasn’t ok… but there was definitely something wrong with this guy; besides the fact that he was a 8 foot tall, pterodactyl with a mischievous look and torn victorian robes. I tried to pull one of my roommates aside to explain, but they wouldn’t listen, “No I SWEAR that’s the guy who’s been killing people!” I pointed to Skeksis as I whispered from the kitchen, looking at him looking at me.

“Skeks? Naw man, he’s new to LA.” the room laughs at a joke Skeksis has made and everything seems to be fine, my friends pats my arm and goes back to eating her giant taco with little tacos on top. After a beat ‘Skeks’ excuses himself, putting down his giant taco, and walks out the front door to the street where the hipsters will soon be going by. I can see him out the window, past the couch where my friends are stuffing themselves with Disney tacos. I sit and watch, thinking “maybe he’s alright…” but suddenly, I see Skeksis grab an innocent girl in high waisted polka dot shorts and drag her down out of sight.

“See! LOOK!” I said and sprang up, knocking into someone’s taco and sending lettuce everywhere, “did you guys see that?” I pointed right out the window past everyone’s head, but by the time their taco stuffed mouths turned to look, there was nothing there- in true slapsticky Abbott and Costello fashion.

“What?” my friend angrily wiped lettuce off her lap, “I don’t see shit Viv, why don’t you chill out yeh?” I stared out the window, blinking and hoping that the dark would somehow clear itself out to become the picture I wanted them to see. Everyone was looking at me like I was nuts ,so I decided to relax and put my stuff down in my room. By the time I came back out Skeksis was back, eating his giant taco with little tacos on top, as if nothing had happened. I half smiled and his grin greased up the side of his face as I walked by to go to the kitchen.

“Hey, so where’s my taco? Did you guys make me one?”

There was a super awkward silence, “Oh shit sorry dude, I guess we forgot and gave yours to Skeksis!” my friend shrugged and everyone continued eating, a little guiltily, but no one slowed down.

“Oh thats ok, no worries” I said, trying not to sound so hurt. Skeksis’ eyes burned into me. I was starving so I asked, “can I have one of the little tacos on someone’s big taco?” and that’s when everyone stopped eating to look at me; my roommate looked up and me, sneered and said, “how are we supposed to eat our giant tacos without the little ones on top?” I heard a round of, “yeah, c’mon,” “duh” and “seriously?” from around the room.

“I suppose you’re right- ha…” I trailed off as my roomies’ faces disappeared behind the tacos again. Skeksis stared at me through the eyes of an alligator and then went out the front door again.

I shuffled back to my room, hungry and heard a sound like, someone screaming.

The Estate Sale

The Estate Sale

It was hot and her thighs peeled apart inside a pair of baggy short shorts as she stepped from the car and onto carson. She’d never parked on that side of the street before and her mind’s eye saw a girl carting a clarinet, kicking a rock stop slowly in front of the house with the creepy bamboo lady inside. The sun was licking hot her wounded tissue and her back started to ache a little. “Fuck my back is toasted.” she said to the girl entering the warm air on the other side of the car. She stroked her burned skin lightly with her nails upside down, sweeping away from her head…. like she was taught to do.

“It’s a little red, yeah” said chick.

“I feel like someone put a wool blanket around me, it’s so dry out!” said Kea. They had just come from the beach, her bathing suit was still a bit damp, but from salt water or sweat… she didn’t know.  Her hair had wrestled with the elements that day but she hoped she looked more like a mermaid than a bird’s nest. Sadly, she was wrong but her romantic illusion and relaxed attitude kept her from brushing it or putting makeup on. Free drinks and shade were what they were after when they saw the sign for the estate sale about two blocks away from Kea’s house. Kea was glad for the interruption. She wasn’t looking forward to going into the house where she grew up. She had moved out and now when returning, she would get this weird feeling that she was visiting someone who was terminally ill in a hospital. She felt sick and itched to leave and would start to imagine that it smelled like bleach. It wasn’t as bad when she was alone in the house.

They walked across the street which was quiet except for the sound of the sun slamming into the asphalt. A pool of sweat was beginning to form between Kea’s breasts, “shit I’m gonna get all pimply on my chest” she thought. Then she thought about the last time someone else had touched her between the breasts where the pool of sweat was forming.

“What’s an estate sale? Are they selling the house?” she said to Chick while flipping her hair around like a horse swatting at flies. “I think someone died… and they don’t have a will or something” Chick said as she shrugged and walked up into the house.

“Sad… I always wondered who lived here” Kea said to the sun.

The steel blue house was hidden behind a small forest of green bamboo looking plants that were shooting out of the ground like post growth spurt teenagers at a high school dance. Kea had always hated those plants. they almost conquered a small part of the deck in her backyard one summer a few years back. They were ugly and she never liked that this house  had them all over the front yard instead of grass. Some of the forest had been chopped down to make room for a mountain of old tupperware to sleep soundly on a red tarp. She looked for Chick for some sort of support but she had already trotted off inside where Kea’s eyes couldn’t see. She was on her own outside and found herself tiptoeing lightly around the situation. She wasn’t quite ready to walk inside the house yet. She felt like an intruder and began to awkwardly shuffle through a pile of old sweaters on a tarp. This turned out to be a gold mine for old t-shirts with the name of her hometown on them. Torrance 75th anniversary, Torrance Farmer’s Market. Torrance YMCA, Torrance grower’s Association, each one a legacy to a story that Kea had never heard of yet could somehow still be familiar with. The things they make t-shirts for… she thought condescendingly as she folded some neatly into a pile. Pointless as they seemed, she was going to buy one anyway. Deep inside her, in a closet, behind some boxes and shoes and forgotten report cards you could find Kea’s love for her old town. “This woman really loved Torrance.” thought Kea. It was obvious to Kea that the clothes had all belonged to one person, so Chick must have been right about the definition of estate sale. Kea suddenly felt like the intruder again and set everything she had greedily hoarded into her arms back down on the blue farmer’s market tarp. Once again her mind powered up its projector and she watched home movies of her walking on that very square of sidewalk, avoiding the cracks and holding her breath.

“You have to hold your breath while your walking by the witch’s house!” said her brother.

She was so scared that she held her breath all the way to the end of the block then gasped “You didn’t hold your breath when we walked by cause you told me to hold my breath which means you were breathing cause you were talking!”

“No! I can talk without breathing!”

And the witch was forgotten and replaced with an argument over how one can talk normally without breathing.

Kea looked up from the sidewalk, waved and said an awkward hello to three people sitting outside who seemed to be on the other side of the situation. Kea wondered if they were friends of the “witch” or family. Had they gone to the funeral? Did she die recently? How did she die? How many kids did she have? Grandchildren? Was she happy? Alone? Scared? Heavy thoughts made the weight of the sun on her back triple as Kea stumbled for the shade on the side of the house.