An original work of fiction, Tales of Henry Swallow Issue #1 is ready set go to be the first installment of an on-going, open-ended series of tales and chaps. Each chapbook issue will include two short stories. They will be released according to no schedule. Featured within is a father-son duo of apparent time-travelers who are equal parts amateur detectives and professional gentlemen thieves.
Kaplowitz Media. Books are self-published chapbooks, to be more precise. Pamphlets, to those of you in the UK. ::: very ::: underground. As I've said elsewhere and will paste here: many blogs and podcasts have 'merch.' Maybe think of these small KM. books as such. Although they will take longer to read than a T-shirt. Also available is 'How to Enjoy a Cigar.'
For more information or to order either or both offerings: kaplowitzmedia(at)yahoo(dot)com
An excerpt from Issue #1 of Tales of Henry Swallow:
Night fell after a long day of soggy nothingness. Wind had begun to kick up at midday and howled its cries through the streets and in through loose doors and windows, all relentlessly slashed. The streets were empty save for those souls with nowhere to be in the world. Swallow walked down a familiar alleyway under the glowing and watchful eyes of mangy cats and scuttering rats. He smiled to himself about how their collective droppings smelled somehow of humanity. He carried an umbrella aloft in one hand and swung a cane in the other. His top hat and frock both damply clung to his sinewy form. His soft shoes left no echo but his whistling announced his presence in a floating and shrill way, winding on ahead of him and back behind as he progressed further along to the assigned meeting place. He saw the three men all leaning on the grimy mossy bricks of the buildings. One on one side, the two others across from him. Sooted-over paint chipped from the grout holding it altogether oh so tiredly.
Frederick wished he had a drink. The faces of the woman and child had maybe it was hours ago told him they had long ago perished. He said a rusty prayer for their souls. Did they die here, he thought aloud. He thought of screaming. Instead banged on the ceiling some more. Nothing. Elsewhere, Eliza began to calmly wonder at his whereabouts as she puttered around their home watering plants and reading further into her yellow-backed book. She always possessed an air of royalty. In another place entirely, Tompkins looked over his notes after speaking to the three petty thugs and all but rethought everything by the fire of his sitting room while puffing a searing clay pipe and drinking brandy. Father sat still in his chair after making a small meal slowly in oscillating motions.
[from the first story, titled Piss Off]
Salvatore Bruno tried not to remember, but he could not forget. The light shone down upon the ring through the smoke of a hundred stogies spread-out in stagnant blue-grey layers. By the time it filtered down upon his bare back it had lit only the beads of sweat and the glistening stream of blood which poured from his busted nose and gashed brow. His sweat-matted hair was black and thinning and seemed to darkly absorb all light, as did his baggy yet clinging trunks. The trunks were black with white piping which was by then dyed a sick hue of a pretty pink. The black kid who shared the ring was fast. Slicing. Powerful. His jabs cut at angles and his hooks were felt but never seen malicious specters. They were like stars, maybe. Sal saw stars now. A right cross finally did the job and Salvatore Bruno, once a middleweight champion, was then the bottom layer of acrid pungent fog. Out on his back, arms splayed, dizzy eyes wondering up at ethereal lights, lifeless legs. The ref was counting and then he was not. Did Pontius Pilate give a ten-count?
People wonder, maybe, what getting knocked-out feels like. It doesn’t feel like anything, bodily at least. The trauma is numbing and it inflicts the very soul of a man. Sal found himself while he was wondering up at those ethereal lights, in a long and liminal-space corridor. Dully lit and grainily viewed as if he stood in a poorly-taken photograph. A scratchy selection from the American Songbook played. But there were not simply two exits at either end as first thought. There were no exits but unseen walls instead. Beneath the flooring was a black viscous current that pulled him to itself as it moaned longingly. Primal, familiar, and forever. But above him, always those damned lights. He was no stranger to those damned lights. Or the demons below who beckoned him into their fold.
Sal was done.
[from the second story titled The Fighting Brunos]
Both Piss Off and The Fighting Brunos, to be clear, appear in Tales of Henry Swallow Issue #1 AVAILABLE NOW from Kaplowitz Media. To order, send an email to kaplowitzmedia(at)yahoo(dot)com
EDIT 2/27: for more info regarding Kaplowitz Media. Books, visit HERE.
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