JC Ciesielski

JC Ciesielski (55)

The future, ladies and gents, is now. I rarely carry cash, get most of my sundries online, and my phone has a touch screen and only responds to my fingerprint to unlock. High tech, my pallies, is here and only getting stronger. Try getting onto a personal website. You'd better have your username and password ready to go, and GET. IT. RIGHT. Get it wrong a few times, and you'll get locked out and so on and so on. So, unless you're fluent in 1s and 0s, the criminal life just keeps getting harder and harder. That makes life more convoluted and difficult for your average criminal, let alone a crooked cop.

How many times has this happened to you? You're in the Sudan for years trying to help the natives, and then you get a message saying that your estranged sister is in the hospital, in LA, clinging to life? Must happen all the time . . . right? Part Kill Bill, part Sin City, and part Dolemite meets Death Wish, Pimpkillah is the story of Sloane Stone, a woman who can hold her own, while dealing with her own personal demons regarding her past, present, and future. Getting the word about her sister unlocks some memories that would have been better off forgotten, Sloane starts her own investigation, bringing back a past that should have stayed there.

Gravity. Not only a force tethering us to the planet, but pulling us to specific people, people we share so much in common with that much greater forces pull us to one another. It especially pulls strong on those people on the fringe. People who have common interests find each other to relate with when it comes to sports or film or music. A person who, let's say, can speak with the dead, may not know it, but forces are pulling them toward others with similar abilities and desires. It's only that there aren't as many with which to converge.

What if you took a few well-known origin or separation stories, some continuations, a smattering of angst, and blended them all together? Insufferable is very similar to that cocktail, but at least it's served in a Buddha cup, with a hole in the belly for a straw.

After surviving a crash landing that destroyed his spaceship, a stranded alien hopes to live quietly undercover in Patience, USA, masquerading as Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle—a semi-retired doctor—until his home world can find him. He has some alien powers of empathy and the ability to mask his odd appearance from most people, which comes in handy after the local mayor and police chief both ask for Harry’s help. Harry replaces the town’s murdered doctor and also gets involved in the case, sparking a deep interest in forensics but leading him down some dangerous paths . . .

How many times has this happened to you? Someone you know is talking trash about a mutual acquaintance, and that person is, in turn, talking similar trash on the other. All you can think is, "Well, isn't THAT the pot calling the kettle black?" Accurate and well known in the parlance of our (and previous generations') time, but why? Unless you have some magical kitchenware that can speak, why do we use that metaphor? That's what The Figure-of-Speech Mongoose calls to attention.

Deadhorse. Not exactly an enticing name for a location, but hey, this is America. You buy some property, build on it, make it a place on a map, and you can name it any damned thing you like. Blue Ball. Intercourse. Beaver. (All real places.) Hell, you can just Americanize a foreign word or name and change the pronunciation, like the French, "Dubois." It sounds lovely as the maiden name of Blanche in A Street Car Named Desire. 'Dew-bwah.' Now, pretend that you're a giddy, 12 year old who gets a kick from anything that sounds remotely naughty, and you get the name of a lovely, little hamlet in Pennsylvania by the name of . . . wait for it . . . 'DO-BOYS!' The snickering can last for days. The point being, the name of a place doesn't have to coincide with what goes on there, it just helps the place to be remembered at all.

Born into the family business, that's how some describe their occupations. "My father's, father's, father . . . ," so on and so on. Pride can be taken from keeping up the family business. To be so proud that it encourages foolhardiness is a chance one takes with such pride. Many celebrities are driven to such pride and status that they let little things about them out that they wished they hadn't. Those little things snowball until they feel it's their (lucrative) responsibility to let the world know what it's like to step into their lives and see exactly what it's like to be with them. Even if others really with them would like to be kept out of the spotlight. Sometimes, that gives those who would do harm just the edge they need to take the prideful down.

You ever have one of those days where you just wake up in a haze? Not in a "Man, I think I did one Jagerbomb too many" haze, but the kind where you can barely figure out how to work your way out of the sheets. Our protagonist, the 'firefighter,' comes to in a similar fashion, he just needs to work his way out of a body bag. Trying to scrape the scum off his brain and clear it out until he can remember what he's supposed to be doing that day, he wanders through the street to the local bank to grab some cash. He remembers. Barbeque. Gotta buy provisions, plus there's the chance the hot bank teller is working today. Then, of course, the bank gets held up. Ain't it always the way? There are a few things with which you never interfere a man. Don't mess with his money, don't be a C-blocker, and don't get in the way of his hunger. Especially that last one. You never can tell what a man might do when his life and hunger are backed against a wall. Even if he's dead.

Someone sits across from you on the bus or at the bar. Walking down the street, you pass by that certain someone in the neighborhood who has always seems "off" to you in some way. As you intersect, just as the opportunity has all but diminished, you glance up to see them inspecting you out of more than just the corner of their eye. There is always that person. That person that views the world the same as you, but maybe the details are what doesn't match up, or they are catching something you chose not to notice. That's the feeling Milk for the Ugly elicited from me. Then again, who's to say that's what it wants.

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