Keys Reef Part 1

            “Doris? Doris! Did you eat my worms and baby shrimp?”

            “You know I don’t like your food choices Larcus.”

            “So, my food just swam away, did they?”

            “Probably. You never pay attention to anything.”

            “I don’t like your tone. When I take over the world you won’t get to talk to me like that.”

            “I always talk to you like this.”

            “Let me guess, you think because I’m a lobster and you’re an alligator that you’re better than me.”

            “Here we go.”

            “Everyone will respect the lobster once I complete my master plan.”

            “And what’s your master plan?”

            “To conquer everything!”

            “And how do you plan to do that this week?”

            “I will melt the ice caps.”

            “What?”

            “The ice caps will melt raising the sea level, drowning millions of humans. Then the sea life will take back this watery rock. Hahahaha!”

            “And you expect all sea life to make you their leader?”

            “Well yeah. It’s my master plan.”

            “Some might resist you.”

            “Then I will crush them in my claws.”

            “Like that time you tried to crush Wallace the sea turtle?”

            “He hid in his shell which is the same as running from a fight. What a coward!”

            “Okay. Assuming everyone goes along with your crazy scheme…”

            “It’s not a scheme. It’s a master plan for world domination.”

            “Whatever. How do you plan to melt the ice caps?”

            “Well…I haven’t…worked that part out yet.”

            “I thought not. Why don’t you brainstorm some ideas while I pop up top for a little sun bathing.”

            “But I can’t think on an empty stomach. That’s why I wanted my worms and baby shrimp. We still haven’t determined whether you ate them or not.”

            “Where did you last see them?”

            “Yesterday right before I…oh. I guess I ate them yesterday.”

            “You are so dumb.”

            “Maybe you could get me some things while you pop up top?”

            “Get your own food.”

            “You never help me when I need it.”

            “Don’t be a dick.”

            “Fine. Leave. But if I starve today, it’ll be your fault.”

Part 2 Coming May 14.

Coffee and Contemplation: A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

After a brief hiatus, we are returning to discussing supernatural fiction. Tremblay’s novel “A Head Full of Ghosts” was not what I expected. It was much better than it first sounded. It’s a kind of story where the reader isn’t sure what’s real or not. It’s open for interpretation but that was Tremblay’s purpose for the story. There are a couple of references to “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. That story is also open to a lot of interpretation. The reader will have to decide what kind of story they’re reading, and they have to decide if they want to believe the narrator. 

One of my favorite things about discussing stories is deciding on the validity of the narrator. Is the narrator lying? Are they projecting their own biases on the story? Are they telling their story or someone else’s? What gives them the authority to tell this story? Consider these questions after reading Tremblay’s novel. This is the only novel I’ve read by Tremblay so I can’t speak much on his style, but he makes everything feel rooted in the real world. Even the supernatural events have a way of being explained but the reader isn’t sure which parts of the story are truth and which are fiction. One of many reasons I enjoyed this book so much.

I recommend this book to everyone.

Spooky Spider Scale (How scary was the book?): 6 spiders 🕷️🕷️🕷️🕷️🕷️🕷️

Overall rating: 4 stars ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Coffee and Contemplation: Studies in Supernatural Storytelling

As promised, I am changing up how I approach the weekly Coffee and Contemplation segments. Think of this as the introduction post. This will kind of be like reviews but focused on the spooky things. This may include films, television, and various other things. My main focus will be on books. As I want to be a writer of supernatural horror, speculative fiction, and magical realism, these are the kinds of books I’ve been reading for the past couple years. I plan to go through them one by one offering my opinion of the works, saying how spooky they are, and perhaps something I learned about writing in this genre.

I can tell you one thing I’ve learned already. The best supernatural horror stories have some real-life horrors included. I mean things that actually have or could happen such as genocide and rape. I will offer and overall rating of the work between one and five stars like so many other rating systems. I will also include a Spooky Spider Scale. I will rate the level of scariness in the book between one and ten spiders. I don’t scare easy. For example, a children’s book might have some scary bits for kids but not for adults. These might be one or two spiders. The average horror novel might get 5 or 6 spiders. It’s too scary for kids but teens and young adults won’t get too scared.

I may need to perfect this scale as I start writing about these different novels. I have read many and have many a book on my To-Read list. I try to keep my list updated on my Goodreads profile. Follow me or friend request me there to see what I’m reading now. And feel free to offer suggestions or comment on what you thought about whichever book I discussed on a certain week. These posts are intended to be a conversation and I want to hear from you all. I hope to have lots of fun with this new approach to my Sunday posts. I’m already excited. Will you join me on this journey into spookiness?