Chapter One/Teaser: Telephone Games

Below is the first chapter to a surreal detective novel that I have in the works.
If you’re interested in reading more, check out my Patreon page (www.patreon.com/LoganRiley) and pledge just $1 a month for updates on the novel plus exclusive looks at my art process and if you pledge $20, you will receive original paintings in the mail monthly.

Enjoy, and thank you for all your support throughout the years here and on Strange News From Las Vegas.

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The phone rings and she reaches a tattooed arm across me from underneath the sheets.
The tattoos don’t look familiar, but this early everything feels like a mystery.

“Who is it?”

“I don’t know. I don’t have my glasses on.”
“Well hang up then.”
“…hello? It’s for you.”

She drops the phone on my chest and rolls over.

“Yeah?”

Faint static on the line, nothing else.

She’s snoring softly.

I swear her tattoos were different last night,

Static.

Then a tinny sound like…cows?

The sound of a baby crying in an aluminum can.

A whisper, harsh and fast.

“Five thousand or we kill the kid.”

A roaring noise.
I’ve heard it before.

A shotgun.

Single barrel.

The line goes dead.

I lean over her and kiss an inked mermaid before I sit up.

Looking at my phone, staring at a random number from New Jersey, the echo of a blast and a crying baby.

Who asks for only five thousand?

She stretches and smiles.

“Who was it?”

I’m pulling my pants on, scanning the room for a lost sock.

“I have no fucking idea.”

“They asked for Charles, who is Charles?”

“Fuck if I know, babe. Fuck if I know.”

Through the window, grey light slowly crept in.

Not even fully morning yet.

Better make some coffee.

Do you have The Blues?

One of the things I am most proud of is a comic called “The Blues” illustrated by the extremely talented Silent James.
The story that is the basis of so many blues songs – the devil, the crossroads, that deep down soulful music.
The comic is finally available for you to hold in your hands. Whether in paperback or on your e-Reader.
Have a look and let us know what you think!

You can find the comic on Amazon right HERE!

Strange News From Nowhere…Review

The fine folk over at Still Eating Oranges were kind enough to review and spread the word about the new book. Here’s what they had to say:

Regarding… Strange News from Nowhere

Today we bring you a post outside our usual fare. A long-time supporter of Still Eating Oranges, Logan Riley (@unshapereality), recently self-published a book of flash fiction; and he asked us whether we’d like to spread the word. After reading its lengthy preview on Amazon, we agreed.

The book is entitled Strange News from Nowhere. It is a series of fictitious gonzo journalism articles, written by a disappeared reporter who frequently encountered the weird. The result recalls classic episodes of The Twilight Zone: high-concept irrealism; mysterious snapshots that refuse to add up. Those who’ve enjoyed the fiction posted on this blog will likely feel at home in Riley’s world.

In one story, a woman has a small black hole in her brain. Elsewhere we find the apocalypse, or something like it, in New York City: “Washington Square Park seems to be the beginning of the end. Concentric concrete circles filled with burning garbage cans and stray animals.” All we’ve read so far has been compelling, and we have much to read yet.

Those interested may find the book on Amazon. Kindle Unlimited subscribers (or trial users) may read it for free. Riley is a talented up-and-comer whose support we’ve valued for years–and we hope to find him a few new readers. Although we rarely ask for reblogs, they would be much appreciated in this case.

Still Eating Oranges

This write up makes me happy. They definitely get the voice I was going for. They are an artist collective and their posts are deep and true and always worthwhile spending some time with. Check them out. And buy the book!

August 28, 2015: Migraine

His scream shook the heavens.
Clouds trembles, lightning flashed across the sky – reaching the ground, electric trees.
Rain fell in torrents, swallowing cities and their inhabitants.

The pain became so unbearable he could not keep form. His skin turned to scales and his tongue slithered out. Feathers sprouted from his shoulders. Gill grew and disappeared and reappeared again.

He cradled his head, screaming out thunder, his family gathered and watching.

Between each scream an owl could be heard, it’s hoots sounding like laughter.

The man’s stomach began to ache.
Each family member suggested remedies, cures.
His wife, with a stern face, held a cool cloth to his forehead.

His cries became louder, painful. Blood began to drip from my ears.

One of his family had enough. I don’t know what they were hoping for, but they took a giant hammer to his head.
The swing was strong and swift.
The crack of his skull silenced the world.
The heavens opened and he lay on the ground.

He began to drool. An idiot.
The owl flew away.

My head began to hurt. I followed the owl and left the chamber.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw a beautiful woman, crowned in glory and intelligence – the owl resting on her shoulder.

Like A Rock: Part 2

I caught them in a park. Sitting on a bench, slightly turned away from each other.

They reached for each other’s hand at the same time, fingers interlocking, smiling in different directions.

They spoke softly. Laughing and nodding.
Communication through light touches and caresses.

They closed their eyes when they kissed.
They put their foreheads together, their fingertips exploring each other’s cheeks, throats, arms…

They leaned on each other, back to back, reading poems, stories, jokes, parts of interviews they found interesting.

You could hear in their voices they loved each other.

“I wish I could see your eyes.”
“I wish I could see yours too, but you know the rules.”

He smiled, nodded, leaned back and kissed her shoulder.
She smiled, too, and tucked a snake back under her hat.