Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Let's write some labored metaphors!

The wine swirled in her glass like a dark purple dog circling to lie down in a transparent glass bed.

The clouds were like gigantic couch cushions that someone had ripped open and pulled all the stuffing out of for some reason.

He recoiled from her touch like a mouse who was just about to eat some cheese only to realize the cheese was bait in a mouse trap.

Her skin was like chocolate pudding, although firmer and not as sticky, and a different color.

His laugh was like rock concert if the band was a comedy band and they were working the crowd pretty well.

That summer in Seattle was like the Detroit Race Riots, except instead of looters we had uncomfortably hot people and instead of racial tensions we had 85 degree heat that we weren't used to.

Her eyes were like two sailboats if the boats were round and painted light blue.

He gasped for air like a football quarterback who just got chased for twenty blocks by drug dealers after things went bad in a drug deal that happened during the off-season.

He had a face like a sawmill if a sawmill could somehow be like a face.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

My First Literary Event (Don't come)

Seattle friends:

I'm unexpectedly doing a reading at the Hugo House in Capitol Hill next Wednesday, September 30th.

This is not an "official" author reading, like "Isaac Marion reads Warm Bodies" or anything so fancy, I just got invited to participate in the book release of local author Greg Hofmann and decided it would be a good way to wet my toes or cut my teeth or whichever such folksy saying applies. I'm going to read a few short stories in between Greg reading from his book and a few bands playing songs.

I'm not big on public speaking and have never done any kind of live literary performance before so here's what to expect:

1. I nervously drink a few whiskeys. White man's Asian Glow ensues.
2. My sinuses constrict so that my voice becomes very nasally.
3. My chest constricts so that my voice becomes very dry and cracked.
4. Forehead sweat (glistening under spotlights)

I'm not telling you about this event because I desperately want you to attend. I'm actually undecided on whether or not I DO want you to attend, as your effects on my nerves are not known at this time, but on the other hand, depending on who you are, it might be more fun to have you there, so I'm just putting it out there. Come if you want, but feel NO OBLIGATION to come, seriously, even if you're my family members.

That is all.
Good morning.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Terror Has No Expiration Date

I will now write a screenplay based entirely on the tagline that I just thought of approximately 20 seconds ago: "Terror Has No Expiration Date..."


by Isaac Marion


A beautiful woman, WOMAN, pushes a shopping cart through the produce aisle of a large, empty supermarket. Her Chihuahua, MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS sits in the cart's rear basket, watching her. The woman checks her grocery list.

Ok, Mary Queen of Scots, we're almost done. The only item left on our list is...

ANGLE ON: the Feminine Hygiene and Family Planning aisle. The fluorescent lights above this aisle are all broken out except one, which flickers ominously.

...personal lubricant. That aisle doesn't look very inviting, does it Mary Queen of Scots?

Mary Queen of Scots whimpers.

Oh well, can't go home without the lube. Come on Mary Queen of Scots, let's go.

Woman pushes her cart toward the aisle.

ANGLE ON: Aisle sign. The raised lettering for the number 6 is broken off, leaving a dark outline of bare wood that almost seems to have been burned into the sign.

Woman looks around nervously. The aisle is dark forbidding and seems to grow darker as she goes further in.

CUT TO: POV shot, slowly approaching Woman from behind.

CUT TO: Closeup of Woman's face, cutting her surroundings out of the frame.

Woman suddenly screams and whirls around as something surprises her from behind with a loud musical sting.

ANGLE ON: Mary Queen of Scots, still sitting in the cart basket. Mary Queen of Scots puts her tongue out and pants good-naturedly.

Oh God, Mary Queen of Scots, it's just you. You scared me! This Aisle 6 is kind of creeping me out. I guess I'm just jumpy from all the anal sex I've been having lately. Come on, let's get the lube and go home.

She reaches for a bottle of lube, but just as her fingers touch the shelf a withered hand with long clawed fingernails drops onto her back. She screams and runs away, pushing the cart in front of her.

CUT TO: POV shot of Woman being pursued down the aisle.

Woman gets a running start and hops up onto the cart axle, coasting toward the exit doors, but just as she is about to emerge from Aisle 6, the floor warps upward into a steep slope underneath her. She screams, and she and the cart roll backward until they crash into the Dairy Case, breaking the glass.

We hear a noise and a flicker of movement from behind the milk cartons.

WOMAN (panicked)
Is there someone back there? Help me! There's something in Aisle 6 that's trying to kill me!

There is no response. She looks at the Aisle and finds it back to normal, though still darkly lit.

WOMAN (to milk cartons)

A pair of withered hands burst out from behind the milk and grab her head in their clawed fingers. The woman screams, we hear a tearing sound, and her head rips off, disappearing into shadows behind the dairy products.




Two men are chatting in the grocery store stock room. One of them, JAY, wears a store uniform vest and is stacking boxes marked NUMBING CONDOMS. The other is in a gray janitor jumpsuit and is holding a janitor mop. This is CHRISTIAN, a grizzled man in his early thirties with a cynical, heartbroken, tormented, atheistic glint in his eyes.

So did you hear about the murder that happened over at the downtown branch store? Some chick got her head ripped off and no one saw who did it. And it was right next to Aisle 6...

Don't start with that Aisle 6 bullshit, Jay.

Oh that's right, you don't believe in the supernatural.

Damn straight. I used to, but not no more.

Even though you used to be a priest.

That's right, until my wife died in a car wreck. How can I believe in a God who lets things like that happen? That's why I quit the priesthood and became a janitor.

So you don't believe in God either?

Nope. I don't believe in God OR the afterlife. And I sure as hell don't believe in vengeful ghosts like the one that lives in Aisle 6.

Well how do you explain that over 3 people have died in that aisle in the last ten years?

Christian frowns at Jay but doesn't say anything. Jay stops stacking boxes and lowers his voice.

They say a woman was murdered in Aisle 6 like a hundred years ago, back in the 1800s. Some religious fanatic ripped her head off with his bare hands because he saw her buying Astroglide. They say her spirit haunts that aisle to this day and every few years, comes out to take revenge on whoever is shopping there at that moment.

Yeah well I don't believe in any of that stuff.

Hey Christian!

They both jump, then look at the manager, a middle-aged man in a shirt with a tag that says his name and "MANAGER"


You're being transferred. They need some help at another store.

Transferred to where?

To the downtown branch store.

Music tenses. Christian looks at Jay. Jay looks at Christian significantly, then crosses himself....

Ok, that should be enough to sell the studios on. I'll finish writing this later.