Lit Up Magazine interviewed by Pat King at Outsider Writers

The Meat Suite (Apocalypse Rising) by Pat King

System Shock.
Come out and play.
Dream play. Does this count for nothing? Anything?
It’s time for me to play. I’ve come to play and play the word. And now, finally, Morning.
Did you remember to love? She curses you by kissing you on the ear.
“I wrote a short story.”
“I read it. I thought it was terrible.”
“But there were lifelike images, realistic descriptions, dancing clowns.”
“All good. But you left the reader with a hardon and didn’t finish it off.”
“What?”
“Every story should end in orgasm.”
“You mean?”
“It’s true. After I put the story down I was able to forget about it, to move on with my life.”
“Horror.”
No matter how often I throw myself at her feet, Philadelphia won’t open her legs for me. She is a frigid city.
It’s Sunday afternoon and Philip is driving Pete and I around West Philly in his dying Dodge Neon. We’re looking for a copy shop. All copy shops closed for Easter. But does anyone in Philly really care about Easter?
That’s when we notice the line of men and women (white) dressed in black on the other side of the street. Continue reading

The Redneck Kafka by Pat King

(Reprinted by permission. Originally in Babel Magazine #57 and The Whirligig #6)

There was a simple sign on the window. Cheap Used Books. I was unemployed, trying to sell off some books, hoping to buy dinner for the night, then return to the apartment from which I was soon to be evicted. The apartment in which I had been married for a very short time.

I walked in, chiming a welcome bell. I had a box of hard covers in my arms. On top was my favorite book, a collection of Kafka’s short stories. The shopkeeper, a thin, old man in his sixties or seventies, was helping an elderly lady decide on a paperback romance novel.

The shopkeeper waved at me. “Hello,” he said. “Just stick the books on the counter. I’ll be with you as soon as I can.”

“Yes sir,” I said. I gently sat the box down, being careful not to scratch the beautiful oak counter with the corner of my box. God, the store was warm. My apartment was freezing, without heat or electricity.

I had passed this store before. It was within walking distance of my apartment, about twenty minutes away. It’s a hell of a walk if you’re carrying a few pounds of books. It was my entire collection, the books that I had kept since I was a kid. I read them all the time, several times each. I loved them, I think, more than I loved my soul. But I was hungry, so damned hungry. Continue reading