Cover Art by: Marcin Tyrakowski (Photoshop by:Aaron B.)
Written by: Aaron B.
Coming home from school, Bobby hung his bag up. The nightmares of Daisy ’s death had not gone away. Hanging his hoodie up and ruffling his short hair, he sat at the kitchen table to begin his homework. The sound of his cellphone got him out of the math mode he was in, lifting his phone, he saw a name he hoped to never see again.
From: Marco Payne <Hey Bobby! Wanna go hunting again? Been a while! Me and my pals are gonna spend a weekend up in the mountains. Maybe I’ll let ya shoot a furry!>
Of course, he didn’t want too, but instead of answering, he put his phone in his pocket. Instead of getting back to the work at hand, he stared into the various numbers. His mind wondered. Ever since Daisy, he had vowed to not go hunting again. The night he got home from that terrible day, he tossed his hunting gear into the trash and did nothing but cry in bed for hours. The weeks after, he grew a distain for the woods. Which was difficult being that he lived in the woods.
After telling his parents, taking him to a therapist helped a bit. As often as the doctor told him not to blame himself and to remember that furries aren’t as smart as humans, he did blame himself. He should have shoved Marco or broken the rifle in half. He had this suspicion that furries were so much more than just toys. He found some of the species even beautiful.
The work he did with Connie helped. The fact she welcomed him into her life was unexpected and heartwarming. He thought she’d turn him away and call him a ‘gross human’. He had to remember that not every furry and not every human thought either species was low and deserved death. He just wished more people felt like that. He was just about to get up and nap, try to calm his brain and maybe get some work done, but a hard knock at the door erased that idea for now.
Walking across his small living room, he opened it a crack, enough to see the most muscular, tall furry he had ever seen. He opened the door a bit wider. He had to crane his neck all the way to see the behemoth. “C-can I help you?”
“I need to talk to you about my daughter, and the man who took her life.” The buck spoke, eyeing the teenager. Darkness flooded Bobby’s soul as he went wide eyed in terror. Taking a deep breath, he slammed the door into the deer’s face, locked it and ran in the opposite direction. Time moved in slow motion for Bobby, not paying attention to his footing he tripped over his backpack. It was too late to catch his balance, he fell face first into the kitchen floor. This gave Stetson enough time to peer into the window beside the front door. With adrenaline going through him, he wrapped his hand around the door knob and with a single twist, broke it. He then used the toe of his boot to open the door, Bobby stood up at this point. The deer looked even scarier in shadow. His footsteps huge as he walked into the home, he knew he had a pistol and a hunting knife close by him. However, it seemed to him the teen was scared enough. Stetson truthfully only wished to talk and was only persistent because what Bobby held was beyond vital information.
“Kid. Settle down.”
“Settle down?! You broke into my house!”
“I need to know something.” Before the deer could speak again, Bobby charged at the buck, not with rage, but with pure terror. He cried heavily as he pummeled his muscular stomach with his fists, which apart from being annoying, meant nothing. “Get out! RIGHT now! I’ll call the cops!”
Stetson held both his wrists as he attempted to keep hitting. He wanted to yell at the hysterical teen, but he knew it wouldn’t help. He then shoved his knee into Bobby’s stomach, sending him crashing onto his back. He whined loudly as the deer then knelt to him, grasping him harshly by his t-shirt. “Did you kill my daughter?” His tone ice cold. This was a dreaded day for Bobby. As if the nightmares and self-loathing wasn’t enough. Here was her dad, facing the teen head on. “No! No!” Tears streamed down his face as he relaxed, showing Stetson a complete form of submission. Even if Bobby wanted to hurt him, the deer could split him in half with one hand.
Pinning the teen down with one hand, he reached into his vest and fetched the silver bracelet. “Connie, your friend told me you gave this too her. Where the hell did you get this?” Bobby took deep breaths, he remembered giving it too her. “I found it—in the dirt. Near my house.” He read the teen’s terror and wide eyes. He wouldn’t lie. Not now. Not while his life was on the line. Stetson knew liars. “When did you find it? Last week? Last month?”
“No! Last year—shortly after the incident.” Stetson’s tone remained monotone, he paused to think of Bobby’s words. “What incident?”
“The first time I saw a furry die in front of me. The doe. My friend drove me home that night. I—I found it after he left. You see, her body. Her body was tied to the top of his truck.” Stetson shivered. The thought of Daisy ’s bloody corpse on top of some hunter’s truck was enough to make him want to snap the first neck he saw. Sadly, it would have been Bobby.
The deer went closer to the human, his muzzle nearly touching the teen’s nose. “You didn’t pull the trigger, did you? You didn’t want to see my little girl die.” Bobby shook his head ‘no.’ His face pale. “No sir. Please don’t kill me.” He cried again. Deep in thought, Stetson re-positioned himself. Now sitting cross-legged on the floor right by the teen. Bobby was about to get up until the deer shoved him back down with one hand, then with the other, he pulled out his hunting knife, playing with it between his hands once he knew he’d stay lying down.
Bobby whimpered softly. “So, you didn’t kill her. I believe you. You’re not the type. Who is the type though? Who do you hang out with?” Bobby’s crying wasn’t as obvious, now that he knew Stetson wasn’t some mindless killer. He had motive.
For so long, Bobby felt trapped by the hunter. “M-Marco Payne. He’s the one. He’s crazy!” Stetson’s ear flicked, he still played with the knife, keeping his gaze on Bobby, lying on his back and craning his neck to meet his eye.
“Marco Payne, huh? If you’re so against hunting furries, why do you hang out with him?”
“I-I’m afraid of him, sir. He’s a family friend. He s-said he’d get pissed if he couldn’t teach me how to hunt. He wants me t-to join him. I hate him, and I hate what he does.” Putting his knife away, Stetson stood up and reached his hand out to Bobby and hoists him up quickly.
Bobby stepped away from the giant deer, his breathing heavy as he whipped access tears away. “You tell me where he hangs out, and you’ll never have to worry about him again.” Bobby went from fear, to absolute relief.
Maybe Stetson wasn’t a demon, but an avenging angel. “Fincher’s Bar and Grill. It’s an hour from here. H-he and some hunting guys go there.” The two exchange phone numbers, at this point Bobby felt this guy was trust worthy. How odd was that? Usually the teen was quite private, but maybe having someone as big and strong as Stetson by his side wouldn’t be a horrible fate. “Send me the directions. Get a new hobby.” Feeling dizzy, Bobby nodded. “You aren’t going to kill me? For being involved?”
“You’re not the evil one, kid.” He gently pat Bobby’s shoulder before heading out. The teen quickly texts him the directions along with two of his friends who frequent the bar and who he’s met on occasion, Patch and Baldy. He watched the deer drive off. That was his first real encounter with a furry, he couldn’t help but think of his life. He thought he’d die today, but he didn’t. Maybe it was time to do new things. Darkness slowly took his heart-he met the father of the girl he let die. He watched Marco shoot a fawn. He didn’t do anything to stop it.
Going back inside, the teenager lied on the couch, closing his eyes he saw what he had so long ago. The fawn flopping to the grass, covered in blood. The more this image cropped up, the more he felt Stetson’s intervention was a good thing.
Plot: After arriving at a family gathering, Mike discovers a twisted secret.
Written by: Aaron B.
I usually am not a fan of slashers, I’ve seen the classics (Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and while I can find slight enjoyment out of some of the elements of these movies, I typically find them boring. And worst of all, not scary. That can’t be said for this impressive sequel. I am calling this a sequel, since it is a continuation of the original movie. My liking for Michael had dwindled since I feel Rob Zombie ruined what made Myers scary. Those movies to me were plan annoying and I don’t think Rob has any sense of how to craft suspense and fear, I think he’s a talentless filmmaker overall. His Halloween movies were full of unnecessary nudity and profanity (not that I hate the word fuck, but when it’s said over and over-to me it shows a lack of writing ability) So, I went into this with medium expectations, I admitted that the trailer looked neat and I had never seen Michael Myers on a big screen, and it was October, so why not?
Well, I was impressed. While I wasn’t scared of this movie like I was with something like “Hereditary”, I must give credit. This was an entertaining and creepy good time. Seeing Laurie Strode as a kick-ass character was what I needed. I re-watched the original, and while I do like it quite a bit-Laurie wasn’t very well written and made a lot of mistakes (dropping the knife a ton of times for instance when Michael was right by her.) I love ‘The Shape’ himself in the original, but I feel that Halloween needed a new vision. Instead of rambling, I’ll to a section for positives and negatives.
Positives: I loved how the deaths were handled. Very little was shown apart from maybe in the last half. Leaving things up to the imagination is so much more effective than showing every hit and blood splatter. The scene in the bathroom with the reporter reminded me so much of something I’d see in a 70’s slasher, intense but again, not so gory that it was silly.
I really liked seeing Jamie Lee Curtis. She made a great return to the slasher genre and totally made Laurie awesome. She had some good dialogue as well. The long tracking shots of Michael stalking the streets was amazing-a total show stealer for me, I only wish the takes were even longer and used more often. I loved the scene in the closet with the babysitter, but my favorite section was with the backyard lights and the teen sitting out on the lawn. THAT to me was pure Michael Myers and gave me the chills. The movements of Myers were perfect. The scene where Myers pushes her off the roof, he looks down to see her gone was brilliant. My second favorite scene in the movie by far.
Negatives: I didn’t care about anyone else except for Laurie and her family. The reporters were a bit annoying. The scene with the doctor going crazy was interesting but executed poorly. I would have liked a lot more exposition. Maybe more time with him in the mental institution. Instead of the first 20 min being about the reporter, delve into the doctor a bit? Then, I could have accepted that he was nuts. Again, good idea-just done poorly.
Overall: This to me is the definitive sequel. I only wish they hadn’t made anymore until this point, so we’d have two very good Halloween movies. Instead, we have a confusing timeline and a string of mediocre movies. In my collection, it’ll be this with the original 70’s classic. I really am looking forward to watching it again on TV.
Had a great time at Rock and Shock! Cosplayed as The Creature from The Black Lagoon Friday night. People wanted lots of pictures with me which was great!
Saturday, I went with my cousin Nick and met a lot of cool indie filmmakers, such as Morbid Vision Films and It Came From The 508 Productions I also got to talk to some authors, such as Adam Cesare, who has a lot of horror novels under his belt.
Lastly, I met Linda Blair, star of the horror classic “The Exorcist”! She was so kind and talkitive.
Exclusive art from my book “Forlorn.” Set to release this year. Art by: DimikDraws
Written by: Aaron B.
Usually, books about someone living their daily life is something I’d stay away from, as I’m more into action and fantasy. But, I love stories about humanoid animals and I basically bought the book after reading the plot.
The book tells the story of ‘M’ he works at a restaurant, does car maintenance on the side and is just trying to live his life in some Southern town, it is also about the many interactions he has and a love life that may never come. While the book may be about a creature of legend living in our modern world, is one of the most human books I’ve ever read. Full of realism, the daily struggle of a guy trying to fit in and love-it’s a book I’ll remember for a long time.
The author, Steven Sherrill does an amazing job describing the daily struggles of being a half-man, half-bull. The little things like how hard it is for him to bathe, or how hard it is to fit through narrow doorways. I expected a lot of that, but what I got was something much deeper. It also is a book of M’s inner thoughts. He can barely speak, maybe one word along with a lot of guttural sounds. But his conscious is often much kinder and open-minded than the humans who inhabit the town, the book’s overarching theme to me is acceptance. A minotaur isn’t accepted by everyone, he does have his circle of friends, but even they don’t help his inner loneliness. That is where the book shined.
As someone who has autism and special needs, that message of feeling ‘different’ and ‘less than’ rang so true to me, especially when I was in school where I felt I had to compare myself to everyone else. Even during my routines, I feel like an outcast, so reading about his life and how hard it is to fit in and to connect with people, really was what made my heart go out to him. He’s one of those characters I wanted to reach out and hug multiple times.
As the story went on, I didn’t know what would happen with M. He finds some girls attractive, he has some mental breakdowns and gains some enemies and some life insight, and the way everything is resolved was satisfying. A bit sad, but realistic and not sappy or over the top.
If you’re someone who likes a unique story with some mature themes and can handle reading something that read more like a spiritual journey rather than an action packed plot with tons of violence and typical character arcs, I highly recommend this. I’m going to order a hard copy so I can have it in my collection (I got the Kindle version.) I only get hardcover books of works that really speak to me (Watership Down, Call of The Wild, War Horse, Black Beauty to name a few I have.) Those are some of the books that I want to re-visit, and this should be in the collection.
I feel it’s a disservice to just have a digital copy, as it’s a book I’d like to lend to friends who might be curious. Plus, I might want to re-read it the next time I feel low self-esteem or stupid about my disabilities, may M can cheer me up? The way M was written, made me feel like doing away with technology and just living a simpler life. Which is a good thing in my eyes.
I will read the sequel at some point, but I want to marinate in this story a bit. Think about it before I’m ready for another journey like that. Maybe read something lighter to kinda give myself a rest, because this was a heavy read. I mean that in the best possible way, the book was 100 times better then I thought. I thought I was in for a fun little story with lots of humor, but I’d compare this book to something of a truly deep drama (maybe something like “Lean on Pete” or the movie “Boyhood”.) It’s a book that made me think of outcasts and a story that reflects my own worldview as far as how to treat others who don’t look like we do. I think everyone could learn something in that moral, especially in this day and age of hatred and prejudice towards anything and everything. Sometimes I need to read books like this, to remind myself thoughtful stories are out there-you just have to look.
Written by: Aaron B.
I just got back from seeing “Slender Man”, and it was awful. Maybe no surprise there, but it truly was terrible. Instead of bashing it, here is how I would have made the movie. Give me a bit of a budget and here is what I would have done.
In fact, I made a Slender Man movie, which can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7l-Uw39idQ&t=9s
1. No summoning of Slendy. Why summon him? Why watch some stupid video wanting to summon him? I would have started off with the missing girl and gone from there. Slowly introduce the supernatural elements. Maybe have Slendy pop in a corner here and there, but keep him hidden until maybe the 35 min mark. Don’t even MENTION his name until that mark either. Make it a mysterious missing persons case.
2. No / fewer Jumpscares. Why do we need a huge BANG everytime the shadowy figure emerges? Silence is much scarier than noise. They’re so many instances where a character is walking and Slendy appears in a corner and all the music does is a loud thud noise. It’s stupid. I didn’t jump once. Have Slendy appear in a corner with only natural sounds. See if the audiences notice him on there own. Have ONE really good jumpscare instead of 100 stupid ones, OR none at all.
3. WAY Too Much CGI. Come on? CGI for a tall call in a suit? You only need to use CGI for things that you can’t do in real life. Why can’t you find an actor who’s maybe 6-7 feet tall, lanky, put him a black suit and apply some faceless make-up? That would have been effective, maybe put some cool lighting on him too. Have him walk slowly or maybe slightly off? The Marble Hornets movie did a great job with this (and everything else.)
4. Better Script. One of the major downfalls was the story. Slendy has so much lure and mystery, why couldn’t something more unique be done? With a monster that abducts kids, maybe have it from the parent’s point of view? Show his / her grief. Show how devastated they are. If you must use teens, maybe have one search for her / his missing sibling? Build up the characters instead of throwing us a bunch of cliches.
Check out DeviantArt for Slendy art and ideas. Fans have come up with great ideas and concepts, Slendy should not be a cookie cutter horror movie. It should be so much more. With all the fan theories and all the mystery, I do think Slender Man could have had a really nice story-maybe even excellent. Slender has been around for 10 years, and the script was most likely written by someone who didn’t even KNOW who Slendy was. I would have given ideas to REAL fans. Give them a chance to shine.
5. Better Direction and Editing. There’s a movie I loved, called “The Strangers.” Came out in 2008. The direction was fantastic. Just little things he did with the camera were awesome. The lack of music, using your surroundings as a character, build up to things, make us feel suspense. This is Slender Man, not Jason Voorhees. The point of Slendy is a psychological terror. I’d even say “The Conjuring” would have been good inspiration as well with its incredible sound design. If I could, I would have hired maybe the guy who directed “The Descent”, Neil Marshall, or my dad suggested Ryan Murphy, who does “American Horror Story.” For writing? I’d say Victor Surge, let him write his character and his vision. If not him, maybe James Wan? Or, an unknown? Have Blumhouse pictures release it or A24.
Final Thoughts. This is so sad. Slendy has SO much potential. So many cool pictures and short films, and this is what we get? Again, it’s sad. It makes me want to make my own feature-length Slender Man movie and give fans what they deserve.
Met one of my favorite actors, Jeff Goldblum!