If you wear an apron while you're cooking, the food will almost surely turn out better than if you didn't wear one. And if the apron has happy faces on it or pretty flowers with uplifting sayings like 'God Loves You', whatever you cook will be delicious. You can set out a beautiful tablecloth, use your best china and light some candles and everyone will be enchanted by the glowing light and special feelings, and your husband will make lots of money and your children will go to Harvard.
On the other hand--if you hate to cook but you still have to do it because your family is waiting for their meals, and this is your job because your husband goes to work every day and makes all the money, but you can't cook very well so you get ridiculed for your mediocre cooking skills, bad things start to happen. Like the activation of the soft, wispy poison found in all of us from being told how terrible we are. If you look at your face in the mirror when there is just the tiniest bit of light, sometime in the middle of the night when something you can't figure out wakes you up, you can see what you really look like.
We look in the mirror and can't tell if the reflection we are seeing is still us and we have to put our hands over our mouths because if we scream everyone in the house will wake up and remind us how terrible and mediocre we are.
So we stir the soup and carve the meat and give the miasma the chance to leave us and spread around. We think we are different--we would never do this on purpose--but if we think hard about our true selves--the self that no one could ever know without needing medication for the rest of out lives, we all know what we would do.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Friday, January 24, 2014
My best friend went to Portugal for a month during the summer we were in tenth grade. Her health had been slightly off and I was surprised her family was taking her on such a long trip. When she came home she has on a new gold necklace with a locket and a bracelet with some charms on it. I asked her if anything was in the locket and she told me she would rather not talk about it.
Eventually she talked.
She told me the priest in Portugal gave them to her after her exorcism to keep away the devils. He told her she had been possessed by several demons, and she should wear the charms at all times, and never open the locket. She told me her relatives kept her in her room for several days and nights, and through the walls she could hear chanting in a language she could not understand.
She said the night before the exorcism she could understand.
The next day her family brought her to a cave and the priest began a prayer. That was the last thing she remembered. They told her she fell with her head bent back so far they thought her neck would break. Her stomach began to rise and fall and her eyes fluttered like she might be waking. All four people present tried but could not lift her. They told her the priest said one of the spirits that haunted her was someone her father had harmed in a business transaction, and this was its way of doing him harm.
On a rainy, boring Saturday we sat in her room and she decided to open the locket. Inside was a tiny ladder, a lightning bolt, some white cloth, dust or dirt, a cross, and several other items I cannot remember. She poured the out into her palm and as she was examining them she shook her hand and remarked they had burned her. She told me they left red marks on her hand but would not show me.
I was scared and went home.
I remember her thinking the devil was after her, and her boyfriend and I would tease her and try and scare he. She got sicker and sicker from an ailment that was never quite figured out, and eventually passed away from what the doctors said was Wilson's disease.
A few years after that her boyfriend fell off of a second story balcony and broke his neck. He has been in a wheelchair since.
I called her in the hospital in NYC a few days before she died and her mother would not let her speak to me on the phone, but I heard her voice in the background. Her once friendly, happy voice sounded like knives being dragged down a chalkboard, and I will never forget it.
Part of me feels I should not be writing this--that I should leave it alone.
I don't want to believe in the devil, but I may have to say I do...
Protection from St. Michael--you may need it:
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
The pain behind my eye reminds me I have worms in my brain. Not a few, but millions. They have no room to multiply and are either dying or boring their way through to another part of my skull. If a doctor were to ask me what my symptoms were I could say there is pressure in my head from an overpopulation of spirochetes. Sometimes I can’t think straight—and I get nervous. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night because my dreams go wrong. Like last night’s dream. I was having a delightful breakfast…steaming hot tea poured from an English service, light muffins with sweet butter, thin Swedish pancakes dusted with sugar and currants all situated on perfectly ironed linen on a balcony overlooking a garden. And then my teacup cracked. The linen darkened with soot and grease. Small crawling insects found my food and fell onto my lap. Shriveling and curling in at the edges, the pancakes turned black, yet I still wanted to eat them—but if I ate them the man at the train station would stop waiting and turn and start to walk to find me. Even if it were late at night, way past my bedtime, he would suddenly know where I was and need to get me—and that would not be a good thing. He would make his way closer, his face getting redder and redder, and I would hide behind whatever door I could find because I could hear him breathing. He doesn’t need a knife but sometimes he carries one.
There are three times in 24 hours when you have to be nervous. Some people know about these times, and some don’t. Some get a feeling, but they don’t know what’s wrong. The first time is when you wake up in the morning. The mornings are bad, but I can’t tell you the reason. The second time is right before you fall asleep. Anything that wants to get you has a pretty good chance of doing it at this time. These things wait and have far more patience than you or I. You are completely vulnerable at this time. Sometimes you think you’re awake when you have already drifted. You have no ability to discern what you’re allowing in or keeping out. And an invitation is an invitation after all. Once they are in, they don’t necessarily make themselves known right away. They can wait for hours, or days. They can wait years.
This brings us to the third time, in the black of night. In the middle of your dream cycle. When you are dead asleep. And something is going on. Something is infiltrating your mind and your soul and your psyche but you’re unaware of it. So you wake up. Sometimes you think it was just a nightmare. You wake up scared and your heart is pounding and you are covered in sweat. And you tell yourself again, it’s just a dream. But why does the TV decided at that very moment to reset itself? Why does it shut off now…or turn on? Why does the dog wake up and start pacing around the house? Why does your son wake up and call you? You didn’t make any noise—none. You just opened your eyes and looked around because you were scared. Something is there with you, and you know it, but you talk yourself out of it. And what’s worse is you try and go back to sleep. A little crack is formed for the worms to get in—and they do. And after this, you never feel the same ever again.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Click Above to Watch or Listen
"There are worms in my brain. Not a few but millions..."
And so begins your trip through a season with a madwoman. Only for lovers of the dark.
A FIVE STAR review from J Chase:
"I began reading 100 Unfortunate Days over a month ago. I read more than half, late at night, in one sitting. I felt an immediate kinship with the protagonist. I asked myself, had Crowe inexplicably been inside my head extracting images? Or had the worms squished their way inside, muddying up my brain? I had an uneasy feeling that the worms were already there, dormant, and 100 Unfortunate Days disturbed them. That night I had a dream or a vision of an old ghost-man smiling at me, on the verge of a laugh, at the foot of my bed. I didn't read any more for 7 days. Then I read a bit past day 75. This time i was visited by a demon troll who tried to take away my breath as I slept. I didn't read again for 14 days. I finished it today and I agree with Crowe, there should be a disclaimer before Day 1 because I am fairly certain that parts of this book may have been infected by the devil and in turn may contaminate you. That's balderdash, right? Maybe. If you are a skeptic and take this work as pure fiction from a very talented, highly imaginative authoress, go ahead and turn the page...and wish me luck tonight while I sleep...
by Malina Roos, Hellnotes Reviewer
- Scars on the Face of God Chris Bauer
- 100 Unfortunate Days Penelope Crowe**
- Apparition Michaelbrent Collings**
- Gifted Trust John Paul Allen***
- Seven Point Star Craig Saunders
- Requiem for Dead Flies Peter Dudar
- Nightwhere John Everson*
- Selection Event Wayne Wightman
- Wishbone Brooklyn Hudson
- Shining in Crimson Robert S Wilson
- Don of the Living Dead Robert DeCouteau****
- Critique Daniel I Russel**
- Pressure Jeff Strand
- The Vampire Club Scott Nicholson****
- One Night Stan's Greg Sisco****
- Zomblog Todd Brown
- Plague Lisa Hinsley
- Widow Billie Sue Mosiman
- World Mart Leigh M Lane
- Anon Pete Giglio
See entire list here: https://www.facebook.com/#!/notes/malina-roos/solstice-list-books-and-short-stories-not-to-be-missed-2012/10151234790069565
VOTED BEST BOOK of 2012 by Precious Monsters Review Blog
The AMAZON REVIEW:
"Someone said we should really be judged by how we act when we think no one is looking. Can anyone say they are good? Maybe WE are the devil..."
I wish I could tell you that whenever I read a book, it's hard for me to put the book down. Unfortunately, I can't tell you that. Many of the books I start, I don't finish. At my age, if a book doesn't grab me by page 50, I'm done with it.
100 Unfortunate Days not only grabbed me, it pushed me down and held me down. It is, by far, the best book I've read in 2012.
Penelope Crowe takes us through a 100 day, first person, brutally honest journey.
"And now we have diseases that can't be cured with antibiotics--super-bugs that are going to kill us like before we had antibiotics. It's just a matter of time. Soon the drive-thru eye operations will enable us to see better than before--maybe better than anyone has ever seen. We will have x-ray vision that allows us to see into the souls of others. We will be able to know who is filled with poison and who is not. Then we can get rid of all the people that are toxic and we won't ever have to worry about them again."
This appears in Day 3. I'm not perfect. I can be downright evil at times. But I can admit it. Can you?
"Even if you don't figure out what's wrong, it never ever, ever, ever stops. You wake up again and again and you wonder if the jail time for murder would be worth it. But oh, the baby is so adorable! The most beautiful thing anyone has ever seen--and it is. And your husband can't figure why you are such an idiot. Why can't you like this like everyone else? The baby is perfect and healthy and beautiful and you should be ashamed of yourself. And you are. You are. You are. And now every hour seems like five hours and you do anything to get through the day."
It's passages like these, frank and in-your-face, that make this book so brilliant.
"I heard that you cannot feel pain during an orgasm, and I told my friend. He didn't believe me, and we argued a little, and then he had sex with his girlfriend, even though he wanted to have sex with me, and he told her to stick him with a pin when he started to come. She did and he told me it hurt so much."
Revenge feels good. You know it does.
"Demons blind you against what is right and make you not really care about anything after a while. You will be able to make excuses for yourself for just about anything."
As Penelope reveals the demons, she forces us to confront our own. On the one hand, I want to hug Penelope for doing this. On the other hand, I'm afraid she would put a spider in my soup if she were ever mad at me. That's how honest this book is. We need honest books. We need books that cut to the chase and bypass the crap. I'm sick of the crap. I've been sick of the crap for a long time.
By the way, Penelope doesn't always follow grammar rules, and if you care, you're missing the forest for the trees.
Thank you, Penelope, for a brilliant book.
Go to Precious Monsters Blog: http://www.preciousmonsters.com/search/label/100%20Unfortunate%20Days