Hybrid Moments: A Literary Tribute to the Misfits, the collection that contains my story “American Gods, American Monsters,” has just dropped from Weirdpunk Books. My contributor’s copy arrived in the mail yesterday. Justin Coons’ artwork is very nice to hold.
There’s a veritable Riot Fest of creeps, scoundrels, and psychos lurking in the contents here, and I’m happy to have gotten the chance to honor a band that has so provoked and influenced me over the years. Editors MP Johnson and Sam Richard interviewed me the other month to ask about my history with the Misfits and the genesis of my story. You can read it here.
For those who’d prefer an actual taste, the Rod Serling-flavored opening to the story goes something like this…
The Editor is driving a battered Impala down a haunted stretch of Florida backroad on a late afternoon in October. The scrapbook rides shotgun.
A raw-gold sun blisters the windshield and gives illumination to the refuse of a roadbound life: fast food wrappers balled into knots; sweat-sogged cigarette packs, most half-full; amber-bottled stimulants illegally obtained; a scuffed thermos containing traces of brown water from a restroom tap, gas station coffee, lighter fluid masquerading as whiskey. The fumes from the tailpipe have taken on an ominous shade, and the engine hacks noisily in the hot, heavy air.
The Editor isn’t in any better shape. He hasn’t been for some time. The scarlet rings under his eyes were ironed into the flesh years before from too many sleepless nights spent cobbling together a shit-can magazine at the cluttered kitchen table of his Atlanta duplex. The sallow paunch that bulges against his nicotine-starched shirt has been nurtured through a lifetime of microwaveable dinners eaten alone. There is more hair in his beard than his scalp; both are healthily peppered with gray.
The Editor is a sad man in a dying car pulling through the steaming Florida countryland on a late afternoon in October, thinking that for perhaps the first time in his long, unfulfilling life, he has finally come to the gates of transcendence. The key to the gates rides shotgun.
The Editor is chasing a ghost.
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