Good evening. I appear to be sort of a pox on technology. I meant for this post to go live this morning, but the System had other plans and left me doing it this evening. There are some things nice to have in life and one of them is a good dark-ass book of short stories. AS the winter drags on and we wonder if we’ll survive the next four years, take the time to leave reality and enter a world where maybe… just maybe we don’t have it so bad. Tonight, it is with great pleasure that I introduce you to fellow Sirens Call Publications author, Jessica B. Bell…
Jessica B. Bell is a Canadian writer of strange fiction. It is rumoured that she lives in a damp, dark basement, writing her twisted tales in her own blood on faded yellow parchment. Her stories have been published in various anthologies, the most recent of which is Voices. She also writes under the name Helena Hann-Basquiat, and has published two novels on the metafictional topic of Jessica B. Bell, titled Jessica and Singularity. A third and final novel is planned for 2017.
Find more of Jessica’s (and Helena’s) writing at whoisjessica.com
Right now, Jessica is celebrating the release of her book, Viscera. She was ver gracious enough to stop in here to hang out and let in on what she has going in that dark mind of hers…
Skeletons in the Closet
Jessica B. Bell
I love mythologies of all sorts, whether they take the form of myths and legends, or even religions. I’m especially fond of the Greek and Roman Pantheons, and all the stories that came from them. Then you get into the Norse traditions, and you’ve got Valkyries and Grendel and vicious warrior gods. March forward through the ages and you get folktales by the Brothers Grimm, and the Arthurian legend, Baba Yaga and Koschei the Deathless, as well as lesser-known secret myths of the Hyperborean men or the modern C’thulhu mythos by H.P. Lovecraft.
One of my favourite modern writers is Neil Gaiman, and he is a walking encyclopedia of mythology, often blending various mythologies into one universe, creating his own mythos of The Endless in his seminal work Sandman. Here one might meet both Lucifer and Loki, Auberon and Titania, along with witches, nightmares, and any number of other mythological beings. I especially love how he places ancient beings into a modern world, and explores how these beings would evolve to survive in our world.
Growing up, I spent some time in the Christian sub-culture, and met people who believed that every temptation – everything sinful – was basically ruled by demons. The demon of Lust led you into sexual temptation; the demon of Greed led you to steal; the demon of Wrath led you to murder – you get the picture. I often wondered what the demon of Nicotine did with his time before Sir Walter Raleigh brought tobacco back to England, but that’s a mystery that will never be answered, I suppose.
But anyhow, that’s the line of thought that got me to thinking about demons, both Judeo-Christian as well as those of the Greek myths, and I wondered they might get up to after they’d outlived their usefulness. I mean, what does the guy who drives the chariot that moves the sun across the sky do after nobody believes he does that anymore? Can he pick up seasonal work pulling a plow somewhere? Some must have it easier than others, I suppose. Guardian angels must have no problem picking up security jobs or bodyguard gigs, but what would vengeance demons get up to in a world that no longer really believes in them? Might they offer their services for sale? If these beings truly are immortal, surely they’ve had to change with the times, or else be forgotten altogether.
Enter a woman with skeletons in her closet, and a husband desperate to expose them. He’s tried reasoning with his wife, suggested counseling, given her all the space she’s asked for. He’s been patient with her for long enough, so when he hears about the services of Eumenides Consulting, he signs her up for a weekend session. After all, he thinks, he’s tried everything else. What can it hurt? At the very least, maybe she’ll finally quit smoking.
That’s where the story starts, and you’ll just have to read Three Cigarettes to find out where it goes. Three Cigarettes is a story in Viscera, published by Sirens Call Publications and available now.
Jessica is kindred soul in the mythology department. Part of my history degree focused on ancient Greek and Roman culture. Portions of my studies was heavy on the gods, goddesses, and demigods in both Pantheons. So, if you like a little myth with your dark fiction, go and give Jessica a read.
Viscera — Jessica B. Bell
Viscera is a collection of short stories full of all the things that make you squirm, cringe, and laugh when you know you shouldn’t. You’ll remember why you’re afraid of the dark and experience an abundance of weird creatures: witches, ancient gods, and all-too-human monsters – the scariest of all.
Indulge your twisted sense of humor with stories about unconventional werewolves and a woman with a frog fetish. Know what it’s like to arrive too late to save an unusual alien abductee, or giggle with sick delight as a woman serves up a special Hasenpfeffer dinner to her pig of a husband.
Settle in for bedtime stories fit for monsters.
Viscera will grab you by the gut and squeeze, making you cry for mercy—or laugh like a fiend!
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Until next time,