Sunday, June 14, 2009

Stories for Sunday: Patti Abbott and Paul D. Brazill

The Internet has been especially generous this past week, giving us two spectacular new stores from Patti Abbott and Paul D. Brazill, both of which I am featuring for this week’s edition of Stories for Sunday.

Abbott’s “The Tortoise and the Tortoise” was published over at Pulp Pusher, and is a darkly comic gem you might describe as “nursing home noir.” George, the protagonist of the story, may be in the autumn of his life but he’s determined not to go quietly. The reigning king of bingo, Nintendo wii bowling champ, leader of the Mardi Gras parade – he’s the all-around life of the party who still knows how to piss in his bed to annoy the aides. But then comes the arrival of Father Ryan who threatens to steal all of George’s limelight, and George must do something to protect his territory. Like Margaret Millar, Abbott’s details focus on the all-too-human element of her characters and the reality of their situation.

Read Patti Abbott’s “The Tortoise and the Tortoise” here at Pulp Pusher.

Brazill’s latest is the cleverly titled “The Tut” from the excellent online magazine Beat To a Pulp. With echoes of Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” Brazill’s story of a husband who has finally lost patience with his nagging wife and decided to shut her up…permanently. This is a corkscrew world inhabited by twisted characters unable to recognize their skewed perception until it’s too late to save themselves or their sanity. Only a fiendish mind like Brazill’s could make something this psychotic so thoroughly enjoyable.

Read Paul D. Brazill’s “The Tut” here at Beat to a Pulp.

(The above image is an illustration for "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Harry Clarke from 1919, courtesy of Wikipedia.)


  1. Hey, Cullen. Thanks and I loved TUT too. It was such a clever take-off on Poe.

  2. I much enjoyed "Tut" and am off now to read Patti's story. Thanks for the links.

  3. Two writers who couldn't be more different but both are great. I always enjoy both of these guys.

  4. Patti is on one helluva roll and with "Tut" Paul has delivered his finest story to date.

  5. Cullen, thanks very much. Charles, Patti, David, Gary - I'm more than happy that you enjoyed it. And, of course, 'The Tortoise...' is a great story and a benchmark for all of us.

  6. Wow. The Tortoise... What an incredible read. In the end, will his memory fail him? This one stays with you and makes you wonder how it all turns out. Love this one.


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