[Fiction] The Hand That Makes

This originally appeared on the original version of this site February 23, 2017. It’s repost as a part of the Stuff Cullen Wants To Be Seen project with minor editing here and there. It’s probably too clever for it’s own good, but I like it. Five years later it has a kick for me. That has to mean something.

Don’t whisper like that. It’s unbecoming.

Much better. Though you could enunciate a little more.

That’s it. That’s the way.

The whole line now. Don’t miss a word. It’s important to get it correct and remember.

Yes. Progress. I think tomorrow we might try a different passage.

You can rest now.

I don’t care if it hurts. You have to do it.

Why? Don’t ask me why. You just do.

Okay, because if you don’t I’ll rescind outside privileges.

Ah. Don’t like the thought of that, now do you?

And there you go. Flex and relax. Flex and relax. Each day a little stronger, each day a little less pain.

You can rest now.

Finished. No more stitches. When you’ve healed there won’t even be a scar. So much better than my last one. I might be learning a thing or two myself.

Don’t mutter like that. It’s worse than whispering.

I can understand your frustrations. It must seem like it’s taking forever for you. You must believe me, though, you’re advancing at quite a steady rate.

Everyone says exactly what you did. At least at first. It’s completely understandable.

Each day you become better and better. And one day it and the pain will all be over.

You can rest now.

Exciting news. From now on, instead of a full day of therapy, you’ll have only a half day.

I knew you’d be pleased! The rest of the day you will be outside. That’s right! Outside doing so much. And better still it will be for the benefit of all.

Oh, lifting and pulling. Building and cleaning. Whatever the schedule says for the day, that’s what you’ll do.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. One of the things you’ll build? It’ll be a new house for me. Now isn’t that a wonderful thing to be building?

Oh no. No, I won’t be helping. Don’t be silly. I have far too many important things to do myself.

You can rest now.

Well done! A full therapy, and not a word of complaint. If all could see your progress!

Better than who now?

It’s not fair to compare the two of you. Nor should you do any comparing. You’re on the same shift as he, and must work together in any case, for the benefit of all.

He can’t help smelling bad, any more than you can. Though perhaps if you bathed more, it wouldn’t be such a problem.

Yes, yes, I’ll make the same suggestion to him when he comes into therapy.

You can rest now.

That was ugly, now wasn’t it? So unbecoming. So less like you should be

His fault? What do you mean, his fault? It doesn’t matter what you think he thinks or how he smells. You shouldn’t have done it. You should have left him alone.

No. No, you didn’t kill him. We wouldn’t be having this conversation if you did. Just delayed production, bad enough.

No, we won’t be doing therapy tomorrow. I’ll be attending your… playmate.

Oh, let me assure you, I’ll get that arm back on and functioning. He’ll be back to normal in no time. Until then you’ll just have to work a second shift as well as yours.

Get back to resting.

I hear you went a calling today. And let me tell you, no one is happier that you sought to apologize than me. Well done. Well done indeed.

Oh, I wouldn’t have made you do it. Don’t be silly. Forced apologies are pointless.

Don’t you say that.

I told you not to say that.

Well you’ve certainly spoiled that gesture, now haven’t you? And such folly. Had you not opened your big yap, I might never have known.

I’m done with you today.

Did I tell you to rest?


I don’t care how upset you are. I want you working on my building! Now get up off your lazy ass and—

Oh, so that’s how it is, is it? That’s what you think?

You think that’s a threat? Go ahead, try and rip off my arms. Go ahead, big Man, you go right on and—


Round and round we go. Sometimes for every step forward there is a step back. For me as well as for you.

For what it’s worth, I am sorry for what happened. I mean that. I should never had let it go so far.

Oh, that’s all right. No need for you to apologize, my good Man. You were hurt much worse than I in all this. Not that I have to tell you that, of course. Hm hm.

Now, now. Everything will be fine. You will be fine. The bones will heal just fine, and you’ll be back on track to being what you always should have been. Just like how the Father Doctor always meant us to be.

After all, do we both not now walk on two legs? Do we not drink from glasses and eat from plates?

Are we not Men?

[Site] Done, But Not Done

Last month I wrote and finished a short story. While I liked the story, I set it aside, intending to go back to it later for reevaluation. I thought I could make it better.

Maybe I can.

This week I finished an essay for this site. Had it ready to post today. Only to pull it the night before.

I liked it. Just think it can be better.

Maybe it can.

There is a problem with not letting go. With not sending what you got out out of a misguided sense that it’s not good enough. Or, in these cases, that they could be “better.”

There is also a problem with sending things out before their time. With thinking “This is good enough.” Or “This is fine.”

Holding back in some cases, hopefully in these cases, allows the passion and fire to cool, to let me approach what I’ve written with fresh eyes. Maybe I can do better. Maybe I can just hit send and move on to the next project.

As all of this is going on, I’m working on notes for more stories that I’ll ever have time to write. I’m being productive. I’m moving closer to writing something.

And yet there is an ever present fear I’m just spinning my wheels.

Maybe I am.

Last month I wrote and finished a short story. The first one in a long, long time.

This week, I wrote a blog post. Sat down and wrote it beginning, middle, and end.

If I am spinning my wheels, at least something is in gear. That doesn’t feel too bad.

Hopefully the blog post will pop up next week. It just needs one more pass through. Maybe dig up a picture or two.

[Site] Real Life Writes the Plot

My mom went into the hospital, so the need to update the blog went into the header. That’s why I haven’t been writing.

The reason I’m writing now is that last Thursday I wrote and finished a short story. First in a long time. This Thursday I’m going to look at it and fiddle with it to see if I can’t improve on it.

I have just started a four day weekend, which hopefully will result in writing. For this blog, for the other blog, for myself.

Once again, trying to get into a routine. Not as easy as it looks. Though you could say I’ve gotten into a routine of not being in a routine…

[Sister Site] NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! or, How Many Time Am I Gonna Watch This Flick Again?


Was prepping the Review Site to resume service.

Going to dust off Cathy’s Curse. The first review has to be first, right? I’ll just go over the review, change the format, put it up Friday. I can’t Print Screen Blu Rays, so darn, can’t redo the picture. Just going to have to watch my Blu Ray copy after I finish, refresh the memories, that sort of thing.

Only it occurs to me to look the film up on YouTube.

And I watch some of it to refresh my memories of a problem I had. Namely that in the initial incident, where the antagonist gets killed in a fire, you can clearly see a door open behind her.

In watching, I notice something.

The version I had of the movie? Had title cards explaining the action.

This one? Doesn’t.

Worse? So far, it doesn’t look that bad.

Which means…

Which means…

I’m watching Cathy’s Curse, aren’t I? A third time.

God knows what that’ll do to my fragile little mind. Pray for me.

[Site] Blathering As Writing Practice

Every week I need to post something.

It’s to encourage me to write. To make time in my “busy schedule” to write.

There are two problems with this.

Problem number one is that I don’t always think of something to write about. It happens.

I also sometimes think “This would be a good post” while at work, then when I come home wonder what I was thinking. Or the key to what I want to write is gone. Or I no longer have enough time to work on the project.

On the one hand you can’t force something into being. On the other hand, that’s just an excuse not to write.

Instead of doing what I was thinking of, I could write something I hadn’t. Do a stream of conscious thing. Let the words flow. The important thing is that I’m writing, and that the writing flows more or less logically from one point to the next.

That’s what this post is an attempt at doing. Super effective so far.

Problem number two really isn’t a problem. I actually am writing. I’m working on novel notes. Character work, world work, story work. Stuff I should have done years ago. Stuff I’ve been fiddling with for the past two years.

This, however, does nothing for the blog. And I am now paying good money for this blog.

Same holds true for the review site. For over a year I’ve been paying for it, and not once have I posted a review.

Put that aside for now.

All of this is a long winded way of saying I need to do something about it A bit of writing that interests me that I can post on site that I don’t force myself to do. Yet I actually force myself to do. If you can dig it.

An idea I’ve been toying with is doing a sort of review of The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft. Not of the collection, though, but the stories therein, starting with Dagon. They might not be long reviews. They might not be thoughtful. I might even skip some or all of the other tales. But I’ve had some thoughts rereading Old Providence, and maybe that would be worth fiddling with.

Connected to this thought (seriously, there is a link) I’ve been mulling over talking about a revelation I’ve had dealing with The Cask of Amontillado. Over the years this has become one of my favorite of Poe’s works, and I have a thing or two to say about it. Maybe not the most original of things. A fact that has stopped no writer from blathering before.

I have also figured out just why Godzilla keeps coming to shore at Japan. And there’s my little Anime Theory of Godzilla that simply must be aired.

I could, of course, mention the worst short story I’ve ever written. Seriously, knowing it’s existence is such a weight off my chest. Everything after it has been so much better because of it. The only problem here is that to do it justice (ha!) I have to reread it. A task I’m not certain I’m up to.

Oh dear God, is it bad.

As I’m restarting the site, I could revamp or rework some old school series. The Hell… ?! comes to mind on that, though I’ve not hit too many bizarre situations that warrant that title.

Well, except for the plagiarist who, in the process of apologizing for her theft, plagiarized an essay about plagiarism from I believe a magazine dealing with plagiarism. Something that is… Well it’s kinda… The Hell… ?!

And so on and so forth. The ideas are there. And next week I hope to do one of them.

Of course, I could again rattle on as I’m doing now. To be honest this stream of thought experiment hasn’t been a bad thing, all things considered. It just has to be on a subject that isn’t what I might be writing about.

That leaves potential things I might draw as fair game. Or not.

Anyways, see you next Friday. Or sooner. Or later. Whenever I plant myself here and write.

The Big Three (IV) – Summation

So. Why start out like this? Why talk, if ever so fleetingly, of these three characters as a personal introduction?

I could have, of course, listed the authors that made me want to be a Writer (Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, and H. P. Lovecraft, in order, for the record.) I could have talked about the One Big Moment in Junior High that pushed me in that direction. I could have talked genre, of my interest in Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy.

I could have done a lot of things.

This, I think, covers most of who I am. Why I am.

All three characters have stories of action and adventure.

All three have moments of Horror and bits of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

All three filled a bored child’s life when he needed it.

And all three, for good or ill, influenced and influence me. They were the first. They lead the way.

It might be important to know that. Heading forward.

The Big Three (III) – He Walks in Eternity

There’s a minor family dispute over the following history. But we’ll get to that.

The main facts are these: My Dad watched Doctor Who back in the Seventies and was not impressed. He did, however, tell My Mom about it and suggest that her monster loving eldest might like it.

Correction: According to Mom, Dad had only heard of Doctor Who when recommending me watching it. Would have sworn she had told me differently. Hey, it’s been over forty years, it’s a miracle I remember anything from back then. Or now.

Which was how I ended up having one of the most terrifying viewing experiences of my young life.

See, there’s this pretty lady in a room, and while she was watching something on a TV this metal snake monster attacks her. A guy in the scarf comes to rescue her, but he’s too late, she’s been Got. He and another guy take her away, leaving behind this old guy who stares at the snake monster.

Now I knew for a fact that another snake monster is in the room. Doesn’t matter that there was no reason to believe this, I just knew. And that monster was going to jump out any second and Get the old guy!

This scared me to death.

Now here’s where the dispute comes in. Mom says I ran out of the room. She also says the episode was about cannibalism, so her memory of the issue is suspect.

My memory of is of turning the TV off. I might have ran away after that. That is a possibility.

You can never be too certain with monsters.

There were other terrifying encounters with the show, which piqued my Dad’s interest. What could possibly be frightening about Doctor Who? He watched it and got hook.

It became a family favorite, more so than my other two heroes.

(Me? I finally watched an episode with the Doctor beating a monster. That helped.)

Any ways, as with the others, I collected, I had help collecting. And to a large degree, even now, I’m a fan.

[Site Update] Identifying the Sites Peccadilloes 

This site has always had two main problems. Well, it’s really one main problem as it all connects back to me. Call it two symptoms, if you will.

The first is that it doesn’t update regularly. I did wonders at the start, but at the start I was a jobless wastrel with plenty of time on my hands. These days I have a draining job and frantically working on finishing even one of my novels before I die of old age.

(Over twelve potential protagonists. Some with series story lines. With more coming every day it seems. Where was this wellspring in my youth?)

The point is I plan to post every Friday. Doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. But I’m trying to do better.

The second problem of the original run was that I’d start series and never finish them. Just ran out of things to say, stopped, planned to go back, never did.

This is more of an issue than the first. As guys like G. R. R. Martin might tell you.

This I don’t want to see happen now that I’ve started over. But when the well runs dry, when I don’t know how to proceed, there’s a problem.

Hence no updates.

Problems been solved. The series is finished (should have been finished before I started, but that’s something for another day)

The next two updates we continue on this strange little excursion. Then we’ll see what we shall see.