Something Must Break (Excerpt)

Did he jump or was he pushed? The suicide continued to play on his mind. Not because he cared, but because he couldn’t help but wonder. What could possibly drive a man to take his own life? Could things really be that bad? Steve opined that this question was an absurdity, knowing full well that they could, and often were. Ever since university, Steve’s perspective on self-immolation were subject to a questioning, a cynicism that he didn’t like to rationalise. Back in uni, he’d shared a house with some dropout waster who’s succeeded in becoming a raging alcoholic by the second semester of their second year. They’d started out as friends in the first year, but Adrian had become increasingly erratic in his behaviour, and at some point entirely gave up on sobriety. Before long, he had almost ceased being human. He had probably needed help, but Steve was in no position to offer sympathy. He had his own troubles, for starters. So when Adrian went into the self-pitying mode, sobbing about how no-one loved him, about how he was a loser and a waste of space, and how he might as well be dead, Steve hadn’t bothered to contradict him.

‘Why don’t you just fucking kill yourself?’ he had hissed venomously.

‘You’d fucking love that, wouldn’t you?’ the twat had spat through a veil of tears and saliva during many of his drink-induced crying jags. ‘One day, I will, and it’ll be on your fucking conscience.’

‘Fine. As long as I don’t have to look at you in this state, or listen to any more of your self-absorbed, wallowing, self-pitying bullshit or step in any more of your fucking puke around the house, I can live with the guilt,’ Steve had replied on more than one occasion. He’d been ice cold in his delivery. He’d fucking meant it.

Eventually, after repeated instruction to fuck off and die, Adrian had done as he had been bid. It had been Steve who had discovered him, slumped in his room, a bloated mess of vomit and early decomposition. The housemates had all gone home for reading week. Steve had been the first to return and was perplexed to find the front door unlocked. Everything had seemed normal, other than the house being vacant, or so it had appeared. Shrugging, he had unpacked, prepared himself some food and watched television for a while, before growing curious.

On discovering the corpse, he had been fascinated and repelled in equal measure. Pity hadn’t entered his emotional range, and the sadness he felt in his chest was no more than a fleeting pang. He had called the police, and then poked a boot into the dead fucker’s ribs. Waster. He was no real loss.

The coroner had concluded a verdict of suicide on account of there being no sign of forced entry or anyone else present, and vast quantities of alcohol and barbiturates residual in the bloodstream of the deceased. Steve had snapped a handful of photographs before the services had arrived and removed the body from the premises.

 

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Something Must Break / Dream of the Flood are available in print and e-book format from 1 February 2016 to midnight on 29 February 2016.

The blurb:

‘Something Must Break’: A dissonant tale of mental fragmentation and duality.

‘Dream of the Flood’: A meditation on climate change and possibilities of the near future, of human interaction and solipsism.

Together, these two pieces represent Christopher Nosnibor’s more literary side as he continues to explore narrative forms and voices.

The links:

Purchase the print edition here. (Enter code LULURC at checkout to receive 25% discount and free priority shipping on qualifying orders)

Purchase the e-book here.

The 29 Days of February Start Here

February 2016 has a bonus day. The month has already arrived in the southern hemisphere, but I’m marking the arrival of the extended leap-year February in GMT and celebrating with the publication of a pamphlet and e-book containing a brace of short stories which will only be available for the 29 days of February.

At Midnight on 29th February, Something Must Break / Before the Flood will be deleted and will not be republished.

 

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The blurb:

‘Something Must Break’: A dissonant tale of mental fragmentation and duality.

‘Dream of the Flood’: A meditation on climate change and possibilities of the near future, of human interaction and solipsism.

Together, these two pieces represent Christopher Nosnibor’s more literary side as he continues to explore narrative forms and voices.

The links:

Purchase the print edition here. (Enter code LULURC at checkout to receive 25% discount and free priority shipping on qualifying orders)

Purchase the e-book here.

Review: Dr Sadistic’s House of Whorrors by Lisa Dabrowski (Oneiros Books)

Lisa Dabrowski, the pensmith behind the dominatrix, sexual terrorist and demi Goddess that is Mistress Rosie, takes her celebrated kinkiness a step further with this collection. Be warned: it’s a bold work, and while half the world’s still frigging itself silly over EL James’ ‘literary’ creations Dabrowski shows us she knows what real Sadomasochism is all about. It’s not hard to see why it found a home at Oneiros Books, because 50 Shades style mummy porn it most certainly isn’t.

There’s a distinctly ‘vintage’ feel to the whole publication: the narratives are executed in a way that feels like it belongs to a former time in history. This is certainly no criticism: in eschewing the trappings of the contemporary and instead feeding from more historical stylistic tropes, ‘Dr Sadistic’s House of Whorrors’ is imbued with a ‘classic’ and ‘timeless’ quality absent from the majority of contemporary texts. This ‘old school’ feel feeds through into the presentation, far beyond the pen-and-ink cover art an into the very fabric of the text, laid out in a heavy and ornate script that stentoriously announces itself as ‘17th Century’. These are only a few of the book’s many strengths, and Dabrowski builds things well across the series of pieces contained here.

The blurb promises ‘Poignant accounts of male correction that are both arousing and politically subversive’ and ‘Dr Sadistic’s House of Whorrors’ doesn’t disappoint. This is pretty dark stuff. Our first meeting with Dr Sadistic reveals that he’s a character worthy of his name. ‘He opened the door to the lab; I notice on the shelves were what appeared to be canning jars, full of discarded fetuses. I should have run, but curiosity on what his explanation would be got the best of me.’ A such, we’re escorted – with a firm grip on the arm and the unspoken threat of unimaginable pain – into a world of classic psychological horror. I say psychological, because the horrors depicted are those that instead fear and dread. It’s not nearly as much about the fear of physical pain as the torment the images elicit.

‘Dr Sadistic and the Zombie Slaves’ draws on classic tropes and combines it with elements of contemporary horror while also incorporating some sharp twists on genre trappings coupled with some great storytelling.

It isn’t easy to cover this book without giving away many of the essential features which means I should probably halt at this juncture with the admonition that if you’re after something darkly perverse, look no further.

Dr Sadistic’s House of Whorrors is available on line.

 

 

 

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Reviewed: The Theosophical Teapot by John D. Chadwick

A little thematic unity can go a long way in bringing a thread of cohesion to a collection of short stories. The Theosophical Teapot, which features some of Chadwick’s earlier works of fiction, some of which have featured in various small publications and others which are previously unseen, present the reader with a disparate range of strange, desperate and ugly characters, from all walks of life and spanning a range of historical times.

Stylistically diverse and presenting a litany of different voices and scenarios, Chadwick returns – like a dog to its vomit – to the maladjusted, to the dark, to the mysterious, to magic, to Aleister Crowley, to Jack the Ripper, to William S. Burroughs.

There’s some strong writing to be found in here, but what really stands out is Chadwick’s knack for a killer twist. On many occasions, just as you find yourself wondering where he’s going, he’ll slam the most unexpected of turns, and often save it as late as thee last two or three lines.

By turns funny and bleak, The Theosophical Teapot shows Chadwick to be an innovative and imaginative writer, while the illustrations that separate these twisted tale prove he’s pretty adept on the visuals front too.

 

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The Theosophical Teapot on Amazon.

And if you’re loving my work, there’s more of the same (only different) at Christophernosnibor.co.uk