Zachariah

by Melchior Zimmermann

warmth by Kris VargaZachariah ran up the hill, his feet flying over the yellow brimstone. Here and there, billows of smoke escaped from between the smoldering rocks. From time to time, he could glimpse a piece of charred limestone, remnants of a house or palace.

Zachariah’s father had told him that before the great destruction there had been a mighty city in this place. His ancestors had lived here, prospering through their prowess in trade and craftsmanship. But five years ago, when Zachariah had only been two years old, the hill tribes had declared war on them. They had beseeched their powerful god to help them in their battle, and he had rained fire and brimstone upon the mighty city of Gomorrah. Unable to ward off the wrath of the heathen god, his ancestors had fled the city. Few of them had made it alive.

As they were roaming through the plains in search of a new home, the hill tribes had descended upon them, killing man, woman, and child and slicing the throats of their livestock. Only a few dozen managed to escape this second onslaught. Alone, left with nowhere to go, his family decided to head back to Gomorrah to rebuild their home.

Finish reading the rest of this story in Sulfurings: Tales from Sodom & Gomorrah, or download the book at:

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Restaurant Gnomes

My wife and I tried a new restaurant over the weekend and bumped into some garden gnomes in the kitchen. Enjoy this little treat from Fenrir and his friends. It’s a little blurry, but you can see they’re still gnomes.

garden gnomes in restaurant

Submit a gnome bomb.

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Thick Air

by Terry Alexander

warmth by Kris VargaThe thick sulfur dust hung in the air like a hot mist. The slave master moaned at my feet. A flaming yellow ball struck his leg and reduced it to ash. I slipped the rope from my neck as he screamed in agony.

“James, help me. Save me and win your freedom.” Pain etched deep lines across his face. “Save me.”

My shaking hands closed on his robes and tore a long strip of cloth free. I tied it across my face to filter the thick air. His weak hands pawed at my legs. Blinking away the tears, I stared down at the man who had tormented me for nearly a year.

“Please, James, save me.” His face blistered from the hot powder falling from the sky. “Save me.” His hands fastened on the hem of my slave tunic. He was trying to pull me down.

I kicked him in the face. The blisters popped, draining a thick clear liquid. The sole on my sandal tore through his cheek. Blood gushed from the split flesh as panic gripped my heart. I gazed around, looking for the authorities. Rebellious slaves are dealt with quickly, savagely, by dismemberment and death.

Finish reading the rest of this story in Sulfurings: Tales from Sodom & Gomorrah, or download the book at:

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Twenty-Foot High Heels

By Jeff Suwak

super high heelsThe first one was spotted crossing the train tracks across from the Glass Museum–-a redheaded woman wearing twenty-foot high heels. The incident reports said she looked like some kind of enormous humanoid velociraptor lumbering through the mist, her feet grotesquely elongated and her back hunched over by the footwear’s unnatural anatomical demands.

Dozens more stories soon filled the airwaves. By noon, there were thousands of women in twenty-foot high heels clacking through the streets and alleyways, apparently indifferent to everything and anything except for each other.

My first thoughts were for Susan and Elizabeth, and I rushed home to find them after they didn’t answer their phones. Like every other man on the planet, I soon learned that the women in my life had never been in danger of the twenty-foot high-heeled women; no, they were the twenty-foot high-heeled women. All at once, we knew that our lives would never be the same again.

We searched for our ladies and screamed their names, but they all seemed bent to some mysterious purpose that had nothing to do with us. That first day, nearly a hundred of me were impaled by the heels of oblivious women. After that, we all locked ourselves indoors.

Five days after the terror began, the Guerilla Fashionistas made their first broadcasts on the radio. Their one-sentence statement, which they repeated over and over again, was as simple as it was confounding. We demand that our demands are met, they said. We demand that our demands are met.

I sat by my radio day and night like a naïve, expectant child, waiting for explanation on what the women wanted. What a fool I was! Nothing more ever came. It was just that one line, over and over and over again. We demand that our demands are met.

Men started taking the bridge. The rest drank and fought and sobbed in each other’s arms. The world slowed all around us. If it wasn’t for the gay men, all of civilization would have collapsed. For us straight guys, there just didn’t seem to be any point to any of it with no women around.

Before the coming of the twenty-foot high heels, I’d never realized how completely my motivation stemmed from the desire to attract and please women. Without Susan or Elizabeth, there was no reason to shave my face or do sit ups, much less sit in an office cubicle for eight hours. Instead, I spent my time in drunken despair, screaming outside the window for my wife and daughter to come home. No answer came. Still, no answer ever comes.

So it is that I am left in this decaying world, simultaneously cowering from the women in the twenty-foot high heels and yearning desperately for their return. Many times I think that being impaled upon Susan’s heel would be better than this fate, but I lack the fortitude for such a sacrifice.

Would things have been different if I’d told her more often how important she was to me? But I didn’t know! No, I couldn’t see any of it until she was gone.

Through the first weeks of the terror, I consoled myself with the notion that the women in the twenty-foot high heels would someday specify their demands and clarify what they wanted from us. Lately, however, a more terrifying question has come to occupy my mind: what if they don’t even know what their demands are?

Some of Jeff Suwak’s recent short fiction publication credits include Plasma Frequency Magazine, The Colored Lens, Specklit, and Spark: A Creative Anthology. He is the author of “Beyond the Tempest Gate” and “No Punchline” and is a regular contributor to the Prague Revue, Song Places, and Song Facts.

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Warmth

by Kris Varga

warmth by Kris VargaCold. The word shutters over the mind. Cold is the cobbled streets in the brink of winter, resonating with the season appropriately. Cold is the city under a dainty snowfall while fleeting teal sparks reach for the heavens. Cold is the sound of vacancy among Gomorrah, whose electricity has been discontinued via an electromagnetic pulse. Cold is the soul at the brink of survival.

Patrick was cold.

“The Day of Shock,” Patrick creatively coined it, left him immobile and incapable of returning to an energy pod to restore his battery. He computed a light chuckle in his thoughts, one that was innocent enough to maintain the positive attitude he was designed to omit. His bio-constructed flesh tingled as his eyes transfixed on snowy open vastness. Patrick had traveled this path many times, but this time he gained a new perspective, catching a glimpse of himself as if a stranger. He computed a silent sigh.

“Soon enough,” he speculated, “Evelyn will return.”

Evelyn always returned.

#

Four days, two hours, thirty-six minutes and fifty-seven seconds ago, Patrick and Evelyn had passed through the quieter outlets of the city’s boundaries: the grasslands, as they were referred to by the people of Gomorrah. Their weekly destination, however routine, pleased Patrick.

Beyond the bubble-shaped buildings and transcendent automobiles, emitting violent screeches to convey each individual’s animosity towards another, lay the incandescent fields, preserved for the rare produce proprietors who lived a “simpler life.” Twenty-four degrees above the Earth’s meeting with the sky rested the sun, whose lackadaisical clock reminded Patrick of the bells that would ring ever so briefly from Divine Intelligence’s control tower. The grocery bags in Patrick’s hands would only slow down their travels.

“Patrick, slow down! I wanna enjoy the sunset.”

“My dear, we must hurry—for time, you see, is dwindling. It is almost of the eve.”

“Sing me the Clair de Lune.” Her eyes smiled their childish embellishment. “Pretty please?”

Patrick halted and glanced cheerfully at the heart of the city, then at the enticing sun, then at Evelyn’s purity. Against all odds, Evelyn’s smile won out, and she placed her knapsack on the ground and rested cross-legged in the open field as Patrick hummed the tune to his best ability. Even though this was not a part of his programming, Evelyn seemed to enjoy the flawed sound he produced. “Human-like”, she would call it.

Finish reading the rest of this story in Sulfurings: Tales from Sodom & Gomorrah, or download the book at:

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The Legend of the Rattlesnake Doctor

by Michael Gosack

The Legend of the Rattlesnake DoctorIt is cool and quiet under the gnarled pines around the cabin. The silence is watchful, as if hateful eyes lie in wait in every shadow and behind every tree. Something like a dead fish stench hangs in the air here. Heads of rusted nails protrude from the trees, and the posts and frame of the porch. According to the reports that I have managed to uncover, this is a result of the Rattlesnake Doctor’s foul prayers.

His was the Black Work. No one knew where he’d been raised. No one knew of any sure kin, though a few lost souls came forward after his death claiming to be his bastards. Trick babies to a one, they shared his legendary hatchet face, fiery dark eyes, and straight black Indian hair.

Twenty miles east inland from the Lake Michigan coastline and the county seat, well into timber country, just outside a whistle-stop town populated largely by rough men and their loose women, there arose the not-infrequent need for incorporeal revenge. To get him to do a job, all you had to bring him was a bottle of whiskey. All ten of my sources agreed on this detail.

The single mother in the tar-paper basement shack had the most information to offer. Her mother had brought him a bottle in exchange for the death of her own stepfather, for crimes which remain shrouded in the oblivion of history. They walked together through the trees, as was apparently his custom, him sniffing the air like an animal until he found a snake nest. He broke a rod from the lower trunk of a lone old red pine and tormented the serpent until, rattling with fury, it struck out at his riding boots. A flick of his buck knife severed the reptile’s spine, and he plucked up a thing alive, in agony, and harmless.

On his table, in the single room cabin reeking of drink, the Rattlesnake Doctor slit open the snake’s belly and shoved inside of it was the name of the stepfather written nine times on a page torn from the Book of Revelation, along with some hair stolen from the cursed one’s genitals. With muttered prayers in some unknown tongue, the Rattlesnake Doctor stitched up the serpent with black thread and nailed the snake to a tree through the neck. As it rotted, the single mother’s stepfather sickened, going into a terrible fever in which he vomited and shat a black purge fluid that stank like a dead reptile. He screamed throughout the night, hideous cries about poison and ghosts, and things that dwelt in the trees, until, after seven days and seven nights, he lay wasted and dead.

An interview at the local nursing home with one Mister Seppanen, formerly a sheriff’s deputy, revealed more of the Rattlesnake Doctor’s character. Of Finnish blood, the deputy had been raised on witch stories going all the way back to the land of the midnight sun, though the community had been tamed by the doctrines of Lutheranism and had abandoned the reputation of readiness to resort to either knives or sorcery to settle dispute. Still, there remained a healthy respect for the black arts in his generation. He’d removed the Rattlesnake Doctor from the back room of an Ottawa roadhouse, the girl the Doctor had assaulted all stained with tears and blood. She refused to press charges and would only mutter medicine prayers in response to questioning.

Nothing remains of that roadhouse now. It was built on wooden foundations, and the Ottawa’s land has all been piece-mealed away by trickery and squattage. And no one ever agreed to testify against the Rattlesnake Doctor. He silenced all witnesses with a glare from his black eyes. Former Deputy Seppanen shuddered to imagine it, sixty years hence, from the safety of his wheelchair.

What crimes gave the Rattlesnake Doctor authority over death? A country and western song, which had enjoyed brief notoriety a few decades ago, mentions the Rattlesnake Doctor and his crimes. Though there was only one pressing of the album, I was able to listen to this rare piece of vinyl due to the generosity of the county seat’s own AM radio station. Entitled “the Rattlesnake Doctor’s Hand” for its main hit, it added relatively little to the information I have gathered here, save for the claim that his mother was a full-blooded Cherokee and his father was a dark Spaniard.

We pass now from direct sources to folklore, and thus the veracity of this claim can be neither confirmed nor denied. But the song explicitly discusses his powers of malice, identifying his as a “killing hand,” its potency lost if his heart ever flushed with kindness, or love, or mercy. Regrettably, the artist in question was crushed shortly thereafter while working at his regular employment on the county seat’s train yards, when a freight car became uncoupled during a switching move, causing the train to derail and roll forward, striking him dead. As yet, I have not been able to locate any members of the family to interview and must assume that they, like so many others, left the area looking for work.

One source asserts that the Rattlesnake Doctor drained his captive reptiles of blood, which he kept in small bottles hung by rope deep enough down his well so as to preserve them from decay in the cool of the earth. A drop of this cursed blood, secreted in a man’s drink, could infect their bodies with a plague of serpents. Some lay the death of the unfaithful young wife of the owner of a local sawmill, which culminated in her vomiting a clutch of freshly-hatched serpents in a black mess of blood and rot, squarely at his feet. Other alleged murders occurred by even more surreptitious means. When one of his maledictions dried into a mummiform length of bones and hide, he allegedly crumbled the remains, mixed them with shavings of bullet lead, belladonna, and dirt bought from the graves of murderers.

Such a potent killing powder, blown through the bars of the county jail, cast down an unnamed traveling gambler, held imprisoned to save him from the wrath of those half-starved men who’d caught him gaming with lead-loaded dice. He never awoke from the fever, save to scream obscenities at the chimeras he described assaulting him from every corner of his cell.

I can picture it as clearly as if I stood before it in his time, my own bottle of whiskey in my hands, a hateful name written nine times on my lips. In my sleep, I have walked the long path through the miles of cullwood from the whistle-stop town, a cluster of buildings along the railroad tracks, mud and water puddling its filthy streets. In my mind’s eye, the whole cabin hangs with nailed serpents, each one with maledictions stitched inside its rotting hide. Each jack pine slithers with the poisoned shade of a cursed soul, watching you with slitted eyes, dripping death from spectral fangs.

How did he sleep at night, with the pine needles rustling against the dry scales of hungry ghosts? The answer is clear–he drank himself into nightly torpor, to drown out the endless rattles of his victims. When he woke up and drug himself into the sunlight to wash his face in the well, did he listen for the sound of reptiles in the leaves?

Originally hailing from rural Northern Michigan, Michael Gosack lives and writes in New Orleans.

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Morphic Resonance

by Bear Jack Gebhardt

morphic resonance and reality“I’ll be out of the office tomorrow, Gladys, so here’s my monthly report. I’ve footnoted the expenditures with a copy of my receipts so you can itemize how each was necessary and what line item it references for each of our projects.”

Gladys, sitting at the front desk, was looking up at Dr. Weingarten, not aware that her mouth was hanging open. Dr. Weingarten’s wide grin made his normally thin sunken cheeks puff out. He knew he’d surprised her, again.

“Thank you, Bruce,” Gladys said, meekly.

“My pleasure,” he said. “Just doing my job.” He almost clicked his heels as he turned smoothly, went through the doors, and disappeared.

“Something’s really changed with that guy,” Gladys turned and whispered to Belinda, her co-conspirator. “You think he’s on drugs?”

“Definitely,” Belinda responded. “And whatever he’s on, I want some.”

For the seven years he had been with the department, Dr. Bruce Weinstein was notorious for missing his monthly deadlines and quarterly summaries, so necessary for grant administration and renewal. It had been Gladys’ unhappy challenge to regularly coax and pry the reports from him.

“Some of us are actually too busy doing the real work,” was always his irritated excuse.

Not only was this the second month in a row that he had turned in his reports ahead of deadline, he had also found time to repair a long faulty drawer in one of the front desk filing cabinets, fix the leaky faucet in the sink in the break room, and transplant two African violets wilting and overcrowded that had been sitting forlorn in the administrator’s waiting room.

Gladys and Belinda were not the only ones who had noticed a change in his behavior.

“Bruce, my God, what have you done to your laboratory?” asked Dr. Murphy, the department chairman, one day in passing.

“Morphic resonance,” Bruce replied with a smile. “Every form evolves towards its ideal.”

“Don’t give me that crap,” Dr. Murphy said, obviously irritated. Bruce just shrugged and grinned. “Well, whatever it is, it looks good, even slightly professional, for a change.” Dr. Murphy continued on to his office.

Bruce Weinstein’s small genetics lab had been notorious for its disarray. Old coffee cups on top of the mass spectrometer, buried under journals and loose papers in no apparent order. Last year’s test tubes and beakers shoved aside to make room for this year’s new projects.

“Morphic resonance,” Bruce repeated after Dr. Murphy had disappeared down the hallway.

“Explain it to me again,” his wife Denise had begged. They were sitting on the newly cleaned patio with a glass of wine and salmon on the grill. This was a different man than the one she had known the previous twelve years. This new man was clean, tidy, and very adept.

“The magical germ crawled out of the test tube and into my brain,” he said, raising his glass to her.

“Bruce, quit talking in riddles. You’ve used that silly phrase before and I don’t know what it means or what the hell you’re talking about. Explain it to me again. What’s happened to you?”

“Morphic resonance,” Bruce said. “That’s the germ of the magical idea that I saw in the test tube. I saw that the higher level field modifies the probability structure of the lower level field.”

“I don’t get it,” Denise said. “Talk plain English.”

“Sorry, love, I really don’t mean to be flippant. It has to do with hierarchal structures. Every form in the universe is part of a field, with an ideal form towards which it is moving, or evolving.”

“English, Bruce, English,” Denise said, taking another sip of her wine, studying him, truly wanting to understand.

“Okay, take our patio,” Bruce said. “There’s a living field here. We could call it a patio field. Our patio wants to express its own unique version of every patio that has ever existed.”

“You’ve lost me.”

Bruce drank from his own wine. “Okay, let’s simplify. Take a stuck drawer in a filing cabinet. Because of morphic resonance…”

“What’s morphic resonance?“

“It means higher form, or field, rules the lower form, or field, or at least influences it. Big fish eats the little fish.”

“Okay, go ahead, but I don’t know how this relates to a stuck filing cabinet drawer.”

“The stuck drawer is a lower field. It actually wants to become unstuck and act like the other drawers in the bigger field. Drawers are designed to function. There’s an underlying harmony in the universe.“

“The drawer wants to become unstuck?”

“Well, in a manner of speaking, yes. But we are human beings. The human being field is inherently a very high field—an incredibly higher order field. Just being present, we influence our surroundings. So all outer forms and functions want to conform to the human field, or at least are willing to conform. The higher field influences the lower field.”

“Are you taking some kind of drug?” Denise interrupted. “The germ out of the test tube thing? Gives you energy? Makes you want to fix things? Did you cook something up there in your lab?”

Bruce laughed. “No, no, love. Not at all. I just finally understood, at least a little, how things come into existence. They do it through morphic resonance.”

“Sorry, but I just don’t get it,” Denise said. She took another sip of her wine, then held her glass back, studying it. “Where’d you get this stuff? This isn’t what we generally drink, out of the box. This is really, really good.”

Bruce looked at her, somewhat frightened, but understanding perfectly how it happened.

Bear Gebhardt is a freelance writer. His seventh book, The Potless Pot High: How to Get High, Clear and Spunky without Weed, was published last year by Seven Traditions Press. His fourth and favorite book—-Practicing the Presence of Peace— was published in 2009 by Pathbinder Press. He has fiction, non-fiction and poetry credits in a wide variety of national and international publications, including The Columbia Journalism Review, The Christian Science Monitor, Jive, Fitness, Modern Maturity, and Hallmark.

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Are You Weird Enough?

by Allen Taylor

weird frog birdWorking on my third Biblical Legends anthology now, I’ve noticed that for every anthology I’ve edited so far I have received a handful of well-written stories that I can’t publish. I won’t publish.

That might sound odd, especially if you’re the type of person who believes that quality literature should be published. In fact, you may even believe that the best submissions should get their place in the anthology. But I don’t go that route.

Despite my best attempts to encourage writers to be weird, it is inevitable that I get submissions for each anthology that don’t even attempt to be weird. And, frankly, I’m a bit befuddled.

Watch Out For That … Flood

I went so far in the guidelines for Deluge: Stories of Survival & Tragedy in the Great Flood to ask writers to send their best tales of an alternative flood scenario.

Tell us a story of a catastrophic flood somewhere and at some time. It can be past, present, or future. It can be on Mars or one of Jupiter’s moons. Maybe it’s in an alternate space and time. Or maybe it’s a flood of dark matter into the earth’s ionosphere. Whatever the case, give us strong characters with a need to survive.

Still, I get stories of some character named Josiah who is Noah’s cousin’s best friend. He and Noah are as tight as a nut and bolt on the Titanic.

I’m not calling anyone out, and that scenario is one I made up, by the way. But you get the gist.

It seems that writers want to tell their flood stories, but they don’t want to let their imaginations loose to do it. There could be any number of reasons for this, which I won’t go into. The gnomes could be partly responsible. But I thought I’d offer some encouragement to writers who want to have a story published for one of the BLAS anthologies to, first, rip the straightjacket off your imagination.

I’d encourage you to start by reading at least one of the anthologies we’ve already published, preferably both. It’s not because we want your money. It’s because we want your best and most imaginative tales. Ideas give birth to new ideas. Even then, I’d say many of the stories we’ve already published, though they may touch on the weird, aren’t weird enough.

Which brings me to my next question: What is weird literature?

Well, Asshole, What IS Weird Lit?

Weird lit is somewhat difficult to define. It’s more a tone than a genre. But there are some distinctive elements. And it runs the gamut from extremely weird—like many Bizarro authors—to simple absurdism. We like it all.

One of our goals at Garden Gnome Publications is to publish weird literature that is representative of the breadth that can be found in the weird lit pantheon.

Diversity of style is difficult to achieve. Of course, the garden gnomes are partly to blame because maybe we haven’t done all that we could to reach every corner of the weird lit marketplace (at least, where the writers hang out). We do, after all, have day jobs. But that’s a morbid digression.

If I had to say succinctly what we’re looking for in all of our Biblical Legends anthologies, I’d say it’s three things:

  • Weirdness
  • Excellent storytelling
  • Boundless imagination

Stories do not have to stick closely to the original. As long as readers can tell your story is based on, in same way, the original Bible story, it’s good. You can be Christian, atheist, or somewhere in between. Heck, we won’t even ask. All we want is a good story that makes us laugh, say “huh?”, or send us to the toilet to make us retch at the horridness.

We aren’t officially re-opening the submissions process (we’re still reading some of the short stories we already have), but if you have a story you’d like us to consider for the flood anthology, send it now. Our biggest needs are flash fiction, narrative poems, and essays. We’d really like to see some gut-wrenching or thought-provoking essays on the flood theme.

To learn more about the guidelines for the formats we seek, read our submissions page, and get familiar with the BLAS submissions page, as well. We look forward to seeing what seeps out of your gray matter. Otherwise, we’ll see you in a crater on the dark side of Ganymede.

Allen Taylor publisher at Garden Gnome Publications and editor of the Biblical Legends Anthology Series. Check out Sulfurings: Tales from Sodom and Gomorrah now.

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Payment

by Gary Hewitt

payment by gary hewittTwo guards approached.

“Why are you here?”

“I have come to see if the stories are true.”

Two lowered rifles met the visitor’s chest.

“What have you heard?”

“The rich prosper and the poor are fucked.”

The elder of the sentries snorted and kept his gun level.

“Are you rich or target practice?”

“Check your records and look for Mr Kitchener.”

He made a call and put his weapon away.

“Go straight to Big Eddie. It’s up the end of the street.”

Finish reading the rest of this story in Sulfurings: Tales from Sodom & Gomorrah, or download the book at:

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Explaining the Inexplicable

by AmyBeth Inverness

On Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park in California, there are rocks that move seeming of their own volition, sometimes even sliding uphill. They leave long trails behind them. It is a well-documented phenomenon, and numerous scientific studies have attempted to solve the mystery. An abundance of theories have been proposed over the years, such as some kind of interaction with the Earth’s magnetic field or hurricane force winds. With no conclusive evidence, the sailing stones remained a mystery until 2014 when a pair of investigators used GPS to solve the puzzle. When conditions are just right, a combination of daytime rain and nighttime freezing followed by high winds pushes the rocks along on thin sheets of ice. Several scientific authors wrote an article on the phenomenon in August this year.

One might think that this news would be greeted with enthusiastic cheers by the world at large. However, there were some who expressed a certain disappointment that the mystery was no longer a mystery. There is a sense of loss that something once thought to be fantastic has turned out to be, if not exactly normal, mundane.

Humans are fascinated by the paranormal. The sailing rocks are no longer in that category.

As humans, we strive to understand the world around us. For millennia, scientists have performed careful studies while self-proclaimed intellectuals fabricated theories based on speculation instead of evidence. Junk science is alive and well, where investigators use questionable methods to reach their often paranormal conclusions.

Explaining Paranormal Activity

Paranormal phenomena abound on Earth. An anomaly does not have to be proven to involve aliens, ghosts or gods to be considered paranormal, it only has to lack an explanation related to what scientists know about our world. These mysteries are the perfect inspiration for speculative fiction. The Stargate franchise, for instance, is based on the idea that aliens once lived on Earth and enslaved humans. The show points to the pyramids at Giza and hypothesizes that the ancient Egyptians did not have the technology to build them, therefore it must have been aliens with superior technology.

Reality television also jumps on the bandwagon of pseudoscience. Several shows claim to hunt for and even find evidence of ghosts. For thousands of years, humans have postulated that, sometimes, when a person dies, their spirit lingers on Earth in some kind of other state of being. With such equipment as infrared cameras and EMF meters, investigators attempt to prove their existence.

Sherlock Holmes, a popular fictional character, is known for saying “Eliminate the impossible; whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” A good speculative fiction writer can come up with near infinite explanations for any scenario, whether mundane or abnormal.

Introducing The Incorporeum

The Incorporeum stories (included in the Biblical Legends anthology series from Garden Gnome Publications) postulate a single theory to explain multiple phenomena. The Incorporeum are non-corporeal creatures that exist symbiotically with humans. They are sentient and benevolent, referring to their human hosts as ‘Beloveds.’

The Incorporeum are not constrained by time. They move forwards and backwards at will, slipping seamlessly from a host in one era to a host in another and then back again. Ghosts are not the spirits of the dead, they are incorporeum who linger for a time after their hosts have died. A person remembering past lives is not reincarnated. They are simply sharing the memories of their incorporeum’s other hosts. Someone who hears a voice in their head is simply having a conversation with their symbiote.

In this purely fictional scenario, not all humans have an incorporeum, and those who do have one don’t always know it. Without evidence to the contrary, humans form mundane explanations for Incorporeum-related phenomena. They postulate that a person is mentally ill, or a charlatan, or that they are recalling something fictional and believing it is real. Sometimes humans attribute the Incorporeum’s presence to something supernatural, such as communion with an angel or a telepathic link with aliens.

Science Vs. Speculative Fiction

Real science and speculative fiction will forever be interrelated. A science-fiction writer looks at the science of their time and imagines how life would be different if the technology was much further advanced. Real scientists look at science fiction and sometimes find ways to turn the imagined science into something real and useful.

The purpose of science is the advancement of human knowledge and betterment of the human condition. The purpose of speculative fiction is to entertain and inspire. Both make valuable contributions to our world. The key is to always know which is which.

A writer by birth, a redhead by choice, and an outcast of Colorado by temporary necessity, AmyBeth Inverness is a creator of Speculative Fiction and Romance. She can usually be found tapping away at her laptop, writing the next novel, or procrastinating by posting a SciFi Question of the Day on Facebook and Google Plus. When she’s not writing she’s kept very busy making aluminum foil hats and raising two energetic kids and many pets with her husband in their New England home. AmyBeth Inverness is a featured writer in Garden Gnome Publications’ Garden of Eden and Sulfurings: Tales from Sodom & Gomorrah anthologies.

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