Somewhere in the gray wood by the river is the huntsman and in the brooming corn and in the castellated press of cities. His work lies all wheres and his hounds tire not. I have seen them in a dream, slaverous and wild and their eyes crazed with ravening for souls in this world. Fly them.

Suttree, Cormac McCarthy

On Donnie Darko and the Convergence of Sci-Fi and Horror


Horror and science fiction films are outgrowths of a human collective consciousness that address universal fears and concerns that in our early development had been shared in the form of myth and folktale. The two genres, when boiled down to their basics, seem contradictory in their concerns: horror films overwhelmingly deal with the fear of death, while science fiction films, in their more satiric nature, deal with a fear of life, or of our future. This dichotomy is the reason that the convergence of the two genres can create such vibrant films. Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko is a film that manages to balance the two genres adeptly and is as good a film as any to display why the two work well together in creating a significant tension throughout.

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This town begins as a series of homes nestled in the foothills of the Olympics and as the ground rolls down to the coast becomes a loosely structured downtown with hardware stores and a highway diner and antique shops and two stoplights. Because elk migrate through our yards and our streets, we have a large statue of one at the city limit welcoming anyone coming to town. Because wolves hunt in packs in our surrounding forests, our high school mascot is large and grey with a long snout and sharp teeth. Our main exports are lavender and crab. Our main import is retired seniors. As you can guess, nothing of much significance goes on here, but it’s my job to make it seem as if it does.

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Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.

E. L. Doctorow

Losing Sight

Morning ran its silky fingers down her body and she knew he was gone. His arm was no longer flung over her limply and she didn’t hear the snoring she’d come accustomed to. It was silence that woke her to covers half down and fog beating lightly against the windows. This was not the first time she rose from their bed and jerked her robe over her body while walking into the kitchen (vacant chair, place setting) and on into the living room (bare too, save furniture and fireplace) and opened the sliding glass door they’d had frosted to prevent him from running into it. The door protested, rumbling and squeaking against its ball bearings as she set her foot onto the weathered wooden porch. Step softly. Avoid the splinters. She felt a burred velvet scrape her ankle and turned to the source, “Jesus, Chloe! Shoo!” but her cat softly purred, with pleading eyes.

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The Assignment

In the fat belly of the C-130 they arrived on the island before the sun: a glittering dark spread out to their one side and to their other stood mountains jagged against the lightening sky. This was their home now, at least for a while. Bruce took the metal stairs to the runway and rode with his family in a Jeep to billeting as dawn inched over the hangars, the base, the outer jungle and finally consumed the horizon. The world was lit. And it was hot. They hadn’t prepared for this. Bruce and his family. They had brought shorts and tees, but, Lord, this heat. It was something else.

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Thoughts & Jots

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