“Estate Sale Blues” / Memorable Fancies #1821

My neighbor died. There was an estate sale the next week, items unwanted by the family heirs who’d picked the place over already. Mostly old things of little value – my neighbor had been old and her things were old, but ordinary. In the kitchen, amid other brics and bracs, a coffee mug sat alone on a shelf, the word “Grandma” on its side. That item was tagged five cents, and no one had bought it. Or even picked it up, I think, to see how weighty, how fraught it might feel in their … [Read more...]

“Hell’s Open House” / Memorable Fancies #1694

Hell has an open house. There are refreshments, “hot” hors d'oeuvres still wriggling on their skewers, crying for mercy. You say, how extraordinary: one of them looks just like me! And your host, smiling broadly, says, “Yes ... yes.” [Click ‘Random Post’ above – be astonished] … [Read more...]

“Heavenly Dreams” / Memorable Fancies #1670

[“To dream that you are resurrected from the dead” – from What Your Dreams Mean] Suddenly I’m here again. What happened? I look around. People in white robes are standing around me, staring down at me. One raises a scalpel... [Click ‘Random Post’ above – be astonished] … [Read more...]

“November 2 :: All Souls Day” / Memorable Fancies #1665

In our community, every year on All Souls Day we honor our oldest living resident. Flowers, bright cards, and breathing equipment are frequently given. There is a rule that no one can win this award more than once. This rule has certain consequences.... … [Read more...]

“Who’s in charge here?” / Memorable Fancies #1626

[“I cannot self-terminate.” – Terminator 2: Judgment Day] [“I’d rather be nothing.” – Alien 3] [“It is forbidden to unplug yourself.” – Jean Baudrillard] Opinions differ about suicide. Some call every death a suicide, giving up the will to survive the disease, or elude the killer. Others dismiss this view as delusive; we have no say in our deaths, they say, however much we passionately want to control this second-most-important life event, no matter how well we’ve convinced ourselves … [Read more...]

“The Shadow-Merchant” / Memorable Fancies #1457

[“When the coffin is about to be lowered into the grave, most of the spectators recoil a little lest their shadows fall in.” – Frazer, The Golden Bough] My profession is to stand near the graves as coffins are being lowered, and let a bit of my shadow be interred with the worthy dead (and I’m sure they’re worthy, as my fees are high). In this way, a slight loss of my self has comforted those now underground, while above ground I prosper. In my own will, I have asked that twelve other … [Read more...]

“In lieu of flowers…” / Memorable Fancies #1432

In lieu of flowers, send a shovel and a strong man to dig me out. By the time you read this, I will already have tired of my new, dark home. <END> Buy it at amazon.com/author/terencekuch: The Trees of Malice, 16 stories of horror and the weird too creepy to share. From Abuzz Press. … [Read more...]

“We Remember Charlie” / Memorable Fancies #1404

Charlie died up there, in that little room. That was his favorite place in all the world to hang out, with all his books and gadgets and stuff, and it just seemed such a shame to move him, take him away to someplace he never knew, someplace cold and dark he probably wouldn’t have liked. So Charlie’s still in the attic. We hold our noses and remember him. <END> Buy it at amazon.com/author/terencekuch: The Trees of Malice, 16 stories of horror and the weird too creepy to share. From Abuzz … [Read more...]

“The Last Missile” / Memorable Fancies #1331

The last missile looks for someone to kill But there is no one <END> Buy it at amazon.com/author/terencekuch: See/Saw. In this novel from Ink Smith Publishing, you can sell your memories for cash. And regret it. … [Read more...]

“Burial” / Memorable Fancies #1329

The funeral was strangely like the wedding had been, many years before. Even to the flowers and the weeping friends, the photographers, the expected sentiments ... and the death of something that had once been alive. [inspired by Rohan's blog] <END> Buy it at amazon.com/author/terencekuch: The Trees of Malice, 16 stories of horror and the weird too creepy to share. From Abuzz Press. … [Read more...]

“No Longer Humous” / Memorable Fancies #1244

[“When you are posthumous it is cold and dark” – Roger McGough]        If I could just sense the cold and the dark, appreciate there being just something if only these, I think I could tolerate being posthumous. <END> [** OK, I know “humous” doesn’t mean “alive” – but I couldn’t resist.] … [Read more...]

“Mortem” / Memorable Fancies #552

[“Imagine being a corpse.” – Zadie Smith]      There are many kinds of corpse. I expect to be one of the better sort, a sweet-smeller like some of those saints. And with eyes open, staring up at those who remain, those looming guests at my funeral. In rigor, my pointing finger will accuse them as they slink away.      Afterwards, I will have very small guests. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in StumbleUpon, Reddit, … [Read more...]

“The Flowers – II” / A Memorable Fancy #355

     The cemeteries in our suburb allow plastic flowers only. Nothing placed on a grave can be allowed to fade, wilt, rot. Nothing in the ground beneath these plastic flowers can rot, either, or the promise of plastic would not be fulfilled.      There are stirrings below, the artificial things that were real for us. <END> … If you enjoyed this post, pass it on to your friends. If quoting or reprinting, please credit www.terencekuch.com. Thank you - tk       … [Read more...]

“Dying to See the Movie” / A Memorable Fancy #352

[“Cinema … is exactly like the visions sick people have when they are dying.” -- Eliot Weinberger]     In the hospice, the dying are shown special movies of how the world will be better for their having lived – everyone healthy, everyone without hatred, everyone remembering how beautiful you were, how you were under-appreciated in life, all you did for your children that they never thanked you for, how you tried to improve things even though things got worse, how you screwed up your first … [Read more...]

“A Problem with Death” / A Memorable Fancy #308

     The dead are aggrieved at the shabby treatment they’re getting, and annoyed because they can’t do anything about it. Not being bodiless – they expected that. But floating immaterially through the world forever, they’re bound once in a while to hear their name mentioned, or find some slighting reference to them in a database. Sometimes they find outright lies, as in old personnel evaluations or speeding tickets or what their ex-wives texted to their friends. Even kind things spoken or … [Read more...]

A Memorable Fancy #250: The Seeking

Now the house is quiet. The family is asleep. The surrounding forest crawls with things of night on their crouching way; each one seeks the mouth it will feed.                – after Alain Robbe-Grillet <END> ... If quoting or reprinting, please credit www.terencekuch.com.     See www.terencekuch.net for a profile of the author, publications, reviews, etc. His speculative fiction novels * may be purchased in paperback or Kindle formats via his Amazon author page. Review copies are … [Read more...]

“Trouble” / A Memorable Fancy #166

That day I knew Trouble. Our castle wall breached, tower surrounded, we sallied out in one last desperate chance, arms a-quiver, bow-strings taut. Across the feasting moat we charged. "Run them through for God and King!" came the captain's quaking shout, his last. We poured out upon the plain, bellowing for our very lives. Arrows flew; most clattered to the stones, their desires unmet. But one – too late. I fell pretending death among the dead, and waited long beside our castle now in flames, … [Read more...]

“A Darkness of Mirrors” / A Memorable Fancy #165

There is a death in the dusty mansion; an old man has died. From long custom, all the mirrors are covered in dark cloth for mourning. A five-year-old grandson pokes around the house, finds himself in the old man’s bedroom where the man lies, dead. The child spies a black velvet drape covering a large mirror. That would make a super-cool dress-up, the five-year-old thinks. Grandpa will not mind, because he is dead. The child pulls the cloth from the mirror. There are various ways this event … [Read more...]

“The Flowers – I” / A Memorable Fancy #151

The cemeteries in our suburb allow plastic flowers only. Nothing placed on a grave can be allowed to fade, wilt, rot. The illusion must be maintained that our loved ones are as immortal as plastic, as perfect as plastic, as immune to fading, wilting, rotting. Those of us who do not want to be turned into plastic have taken our lives elsewhere. … [Read more...]

“Two Words” / A Memorable Fancy #145

[“Have we really fathomed how grief and melancholy line the underside of our languages?” – Julia Kristeva]     Even our nouns tell of grief. This one, from a foreign tongue, means “death.” It’s the last thing the invaders left us, aside from raped wives and bastard children. And this other word, home-grown, means “despair.” We speak it often.       … [Read more...]

“Psychiatrists for the Dead” / A Memorable Fancy #140

This country needs a program to cover the cost of psychiatrists for the dead. Mentally traumatized by what may have been a violent death, or suffocating in a hospital bed when the call button is pushed and pushed and pushed and no one comes – there are significant traumas here. It is unfair that mental health needs are assumed to end at death. After all, the dead have to cope with a new world where there is no breathing, no light, no friends, no loved ones, nothing but a lost hope of … [Read more...]

“The First Christian Dies” / A Memorable Fancy #116

He is surely saved, old Mordechai, a peaceful man, loved God, gave bread sure that he would never die, but taken up alive one day as the Lord foretold. Perhaps he was too good to have to wait; perhaps he is in Heaven’s hold even now. But – other Christians are old and sick; they wonder why the Lord has not come for them. Let us say, of Mordechai, “He sleeps.”     … [Read more...]

“Mother Says” / A Memorable Fancy #103

The child hears about death, is terrified. Mother says, That’s just a superstition. No one really dies, except a few very bad little children. You’re not a very bad little child, are you? Drink your orange juice now. Mother says, You have a guardian angel. It is watching you all the time. It can fly faster than you can run. It can see in the dark. No matter how quickly you turn your head, it zips around behind your back. Sometimes you hear a noise and you can’t figure out where it’s coming … [Read more...]

“Heart” / A Memorable Fancy #095

I watched as the chaplain held up the chicken. “Take, O Lord, this living being.” The chicken screamed and desperately flailed her wings. The chaplain held tighter. “To be a humble and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the depraved and indolent gathered here.” Taking our sins upon it, I suppose, our main sin being the end of an innocent life, but wasn’t that what we were here for? “Lift up your heart!” said the chaplain to the chicken. No one uttered the traditional response. … [Read more...]