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Nemesis Version of Story-Telling

Some of you may remember me talking about my time at Clarion West, and one instructor in particular, Mr. John Crowley.

Mr. Crowley is an award-winning writer, winning the World Fantasy Award for his novel, "Little, Big," and one of the few writers mention by Stephen King as, "worth their salt."

Mr. Crowley and I, to put things mildly, did not get along. So much in fact, that when it came to schedule my private conference with him, his words to me were, "You know, you're probably the person here at Clarion that needs my help the least." Which, if you'll pardon my saying so, is the most polite "fuck off," I've ever heard.

Our disagreement started early in his week, when a fellow student handed in a horror story. Mr. Crowley's critique essentially boiled down to one telling remark: "I really don't see the point in stories like this; beyond the momentary thrill . . ."

A fairly animated discussion took place afterwards between myself and Mr. Crowley. I asked him about the ghost stories of Henry James. He responded that that was completely different. I disagreed, stating that they were as shocking to the sensibilities and mores at the time they were written as any splatterpunk is today. He smiled his "whatever, punk," smile and moved on to another subject.

In response, I scrapped my work on the nice sociological science-fiction story I was working on, and instead let the Crypt-Keeper out of his coffin for my story that week.

The name of the story is, "Scratch."

You can find it now online at Nocturnal Ooze Magazine

So, if you don't like gore; if you don't like good old fashioned pulp horror, don't read it. But if you want to read the story I wrote just to piss off John Crowley, have fun.

Joseph Haines, signing off from The Edge of the Abyss.

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