“There’s a part of the brain tells us you can’t
be dead and alive at the same time,” said
the Yellow Man. “It doesn’t work in you.“
October’s here, time for tales that send shivers along the spine, that whisper “What if?” to the part of you that thrills to the dread and unspeakable.
If you want a cerebral, eerie but ultimately humanistic read, check out my novelette, “The Yellow Man,” winner of the 2016 Mariner Awards, available at Bewildering Stories.
It’s an unsettling tale about Allan, who’s 11 and sits alone in a basement, fitting puzzle pieces together as visitors come and go, people from the town who sit quietly with Allan, saying nothing before fading again into nothingness.
One of his visitors is his best friend, Sheri. But something has gone wrong in their friendship. And she is only a shadow of what he remembers.
Allan knows his visitor have something to do with what is on the other side of the basement wall.
He knows they are not alive.
And then there is the one who is something worse than that, and the key to all of Allan’s problems and why he has been in the basement so long …
I’m honored that, for my novelette “The Yellow Man,” I’ve been named a recipient of Bewildering Stories’ 2016 Mariner Awards. Because it was broken into installments, my story is listed on the awards page among “serials.”
My thanks to the editors at Bewildering Stories who treated this story with loving care since accepting it for publication earlier in the year.
Check out “The Yellow Man” and other recipients of the 2016 Mariner Awards.
I’d like to offer a warm word of thanks to the very civilized folks at online literary journal “Bewildering Stories.” They’ve been friendly and communicative with me since generously agreeing to publish my very long story, “The Yellow Man.”
On top of that, their panel of review editors have granted me the further honor of including “The Yellow Man” in the latest quarterly edition of “Bewildering Stories,” their second such installment for 2016. Check it out: Bewildering Stories’ Second Quarterly Review of 2016.
If you haven’t read “The Yellow Man” yet, please do so, and let me know what you think. If you have read it, now’s your chance to enjoy some of the other eclectic offerings at “Bewildering Stories.”
From “The Yellow Man” by Philip Ivory:
“All you have to do is lift up that circle in the middle of the floor. Do you see it? And then go down there, under the floor, and get something. You’ll know it when you see it.”
Indeed, there was a circle in the concrete of the floor, about the size and shape of a manhole, and it seemed to be moving slightly.
That wasn’t right.
“No,” said Allan.
His heart was racing. Something about the circle made him uneasy. All his instincts told him to stay clear of it. When he tried to understand why, it just made the fear worse.
“You have to,” said the Yellow Man. “Or things will never get better.”
My first published novelette, “The Yellow Man,” is now available courtesy of the venerable online journal, “Bewildering Stories.” CLICK HERE to read it now. (Because of its length, the story’s been broken, like a dark wizard’s soul, into seven horcrux-like parts, all of which are now available to read.)
“The Yellow Man” is a puzzle box of a tale, dealing with childhood loneliness, identity and the shadow world between life and death. You may find it a bit sad and scary — but perhaps also touching and surprising.
For those interested in such distinctions, a novelette — something more than a story and something less than a novella — is a piece of fiction landing somewhere between 7,500 words to 17,500 words.
This is by far the longest piece I’ve had published yet. I’ve written one other novelette, yet unpublished, that’s about the same length as this one. And I presently have a novel in the works, but it will be a while before that one’s ready for public consumption.
“The Yellow Man” began last year in my advanced class at Writers Studio Tucson. My thanks to WS teacher Renee Bibby and my fellow class members for their encouragement and feedback, which were essential to this tale’s development.
“Bewildering Stories,” which features quite a dazzling smorgasbord of prose and poetry that you really should check out, has also posted an author profile about me. CLICK HERE to see it.
Please read “The Yellow Man,” and post your reactions here on the blog. Your feedback means everything to me.
Thanks for reading!
I’m very excited to announce that within the space of about a week, I received word that two fiction pieces of mine have been accepted for publication in two different online journals. That’s in addition to my first published piece, “The Dead Outnumber the Living,” which was published in Dali’s Lovechild last December.
One of the new stories, “The Yellow Man” is quite substantial, officially a novelette. And a spooky, moody one, to boot. It is slated to go online in “Bewildering Stories” on March 15. I understand it may be broken into pieces to accommodate its length.
The second new endeavor is a flash fiction piece titled “Apparition on the Threshold,” only about 600 words. I didn’t know if I would ever find a home for this mysterious, otherworldly piece, an account of an uncanny childhood vision that may or may not have happened … or perhaps never will. I was delighted to find an online journal called “Mystic Illuminations” that said “Apparition on the Threshold” was right up their alley. It should be online soon.
Both stories were developed with the help of the teachers and students at Writers Studio Tucson, where I’m working to further my skills.
I’ll post again on each piece when they are available online, telling a bit more about their genesis and development. Stay tuned. Thanks.