Here, you can learn about all the strange, unsettling stuff I come up with myself.
» Short fiction
I’m currently writing flash fiction and short stories for submission to various publications. Here’s what I’ve achieved so far:
• Brain Slug — flash fiction forthcoming with AntipodeanSF (accepted 25.06.2021)
• Widow of the River — flash fiction forthcoming with Crow & Cross Keys (accepted 06.06.2021)
• Goblins — first place in the Hunger Flash Contest by The Arcanist (announced 01.06.2021)
• Children of Ibbdgalgar — novelette in Issue 16 of Novel Noctule (accepted 27.04.2021)
• Crocodile — short story in Issue 4 of Frost Zone Zine (accepted 23.04.2021)
• Embryo — short story in the anthology Anomalies & Curiosities by Quill & Crow Publishing House (accepted 08.04.2021)
• Not My Wife — flash fiction in The Crypt by Ghost Orchid Press (accepted 07.04.2021)
• Human Suit — flash fiction in Issue 271 of AntipodeanSF (accepted 27.12.2020)
• Demon Love — flash fiction in the anthology Seven Deadly Sins – Gluttony by Black Hare Press (accepted 01.12.2020)
• Getting to Know You — flash fiction forthcoming in the anthology Dark Drabbles – 666 by Black Hare Press (accepted 17.11.2020)
» Spinning Yarns with Nick & Paddy
Spinning Yarns with Nick & Paddy is a podcast about storytelling in all its forms.
Created by and starring Nick Petrou & Patrick McCarthy, this podcast follows two friends from Perth, Western Australia, as they immerse themselves in the world of the written word whilst attempting to be as entertaining and as smartass as possible.
The boys’ll dazzle listeners with the sheer wealth and breadth of their conversational content, carefully curated for them in lovely little half-hour chunks, in which they’ll pinwheel freely between such diverse subjects as video games, homoeroticism, cinema, bodily fluids, short prose fiction, existential ennui, pieces of poetry, a mutual crush on Anya Taylor-Joy, and the very human need to laugh maniacally at the ever-encroaching spectre of death.
» The Oracle of Aegis Isle (released 11.06.2020)
Wine shall be spilt, backs shall be broken, a daughter of Aegis Isle shall rise, and ever shall these days of festivity and sport be known as the Oracle Games. But this once-in-a-lifetime event is not for the salt-browed denizens of the island alone, and all with heart are welcome.
The Oracle of Aegis Isle is a setting-neutral adventure for 5th Edition DUNGEONS & DRAGONS that encourages social roleplay on a small but lively island. While the characters can have a whole lot of fun just by participating in competitions and otherwise enjoying the festivities of the Oracle Games, a conspiracy unfolds beneath the surface, ancient secrets and strange treasures await discovery, and the monsters guarding them await their next good meal. The Oracle of Aegis Isle is perfect for 2nd to 4th level parties in need of a holiday (a break from their main campaign)!
You can get The Oracle of Aegis Isle for free here.
» Murderhobos Must Die (released 18.08.2020)
These so-called “adventurers” take more lives than the plague and cholera combined. They ride upon our villages with flames and trouble in their wake, kicking in our doors, drinking our taverns dry, and then expecting us to turn out our pockets and suck the mud from their boots! When we speak, they cut out our tongues. When we stand, they cut us down. But no longer! This village may be a shithole, but it’s our shithole, and we’ll play host to these vagabonds no more! Murderhobos must die!
Murderhobos Must Die is a one-shot tabletop RPG adventure for commonfolk who are sick of the adventurers’ shit. The players play as pre-existing villagers trying to kill the adventurers or, more accurately, murderhobos occupying their village.
You can get Murderhobos Must Die for free here.
» #WeirdVSS (abdicated 27.12.2020)
On the 9th of September 2020, I created #WeirdVSS, a Twitter-based writing prompt service for the weird and dark. After 16 weeks of hosting it, I handed it over to @micahwrites, an avid user of the prompt and worthy successor. Click here for my old master post on #WeirdVSS, where you can also find my top five favourite stories from each week of my time as host.
» Fein’s Deluge (released 14.09.2019)
An open map work of interactive fiction set in a wretched forest village.
Click here to play Fein’s Deluge for free in your browser at itch.io.
Fein’s Deluge is a work of choice-based interactive fiction created in Twine 2 (SugarCube), inspired by the open map structure discussed in Sam Kabo Ashwell’s post Standard Patterns in Choice-Based Games. Written in the second person, you, the reader/player, divulge a vague, non-linear story by traversing a geographical space rendered in text — the village of Fein’s Deluge. You play a rookie field officer of the Witching Inquirium, a fledgling, who has been assigned to Fein’s Deluge to discern the source of a surge of foul and prohibited magic.
» in the living room (released 13.10.2019)
the living room is off, physically, as if everything has taken a small step to the left or perhaps God has nudged me off of my axis
Click here to play in the living room for free in your browser at itch.io.
in the living room is an open map work of interactive fiction which takes inspiration from the act (clue) and agenda mechanics of Fantasy Flight Games’ Arkham Horror: The Card Game. Without spoiling it too much, you progress the story by gaining insight inspecting things in a room (such as the living room) and spending insight opening other rooms (such as the kitchen or the bathroom). You gain insight when the POV character learns something new about his predicament and how it came to be. Generally, if you’re fumbling or backtracking — essentially if you’re moving without gaining or spending insight — your insanity will increase, until the POV character breaks.
» Raid on the Silver City (closed 12.09.2019)
Raid on the Silver City was a MASSIVE work of choice-based interactive fiction, drafted, but nowhere near complete. I decided to put it in the bottom drawer. It’s hard to say if I’ll return to it.
» fiction_shots (closed 03.04.2020)
fiction_shots was both a writing community and a platform for sharing and posting flash fiction and its derivatives (vss, microfiction, etc.). We posted at least one piece a week to both Instagram and Twitter, and I’d like to thank Dilini, Jon, and Sarah for contributing. As of the 2nd of April 2020 and our thirty-fifth story, I decided to convert the fiction_shots Twitter account to my own personal account and continue writing stories there; I closed the fiction_shots Instagram account soon after.
Of those thirty-five stories, these were five of my favourites.
fiction_shots 32 [Twitter #vss365 word #seagull]
Hoppy the one-legged seagull swallowed two potato chips and half a crab stick and then fluttered onto the tin roof to cackle at his pea-brained compatriots and stretch out both his legs.
fiction_shots 31 [Twitter #vss365 word #spirits]
I’d never seen a man with bone sticking out his skin in such high spirits.
He looked at me, read my thoughts. “I’m going home, mate. Home.”
He looked at nothing after that, and I spent a long minute deciding if I should put a bullet in my left asscheek or right.
fiction_shots 27 [Twitter #vss365 word #could]
It could come at any time on any day. The uncertainty’s worse than the result. He’s almost sure of it, but he hasn’t put the cross down since it arrived.
Metal hits metal, and his heart makes a fist.
A guard saunters past, dragging a baton over the iron bars.
I once saved a bee from drowning in my pool only to walk past the pool an hour later and get stung by that very same bee.
He took his grandmother’s toothy hands one last time. “You were always good to us, Bunică, fed us well.”
Eyes shut, violet lips parted, she squeezed back, pressing something hard and sticky into his palm.
“Sleep well,” he said, and then he left her open coffin, a blood-sweet between his finger and thumb and visions of the Long Rest pumping through his mind.
» Shitty short stories (closed 23.09.2017)
When I first set up this blog back in 2017, I flooded it with shitty short stories, and while the stories were shit, the cover art wasn’t.
This piece was by Oliver Ragen.
And this one was by Roderick Fernandes; it was the first he ever did for me.