Manic by Lindsay Crook

Is there a more horrible occupational combination of thankless and stressful than working in fast food? Probably not. For the protagonist of Lindsay Crook’s Manic, life at Bill’s Burger Barn is one endless flow of disrespectful customers, sleazy bosses, and revolting working conditions. It’s enough to drive anyone mad. But maybe, if her personal life weren’t also in shambles, she could hold herself together past Wednesday. That’s a big maybe, though.
It’s going to be a long week, but she’s going to make it everyone else’s problem if she has her way. One can hardly blame her when the universe seems to set things up just right.
Crook is making poverty and impulse control issues sexy again.
Wait, were those things ever sexy in the first place?
I’m sure they were.
I’m going to let it ride. Crook is bringing sexy back in a big way!
Lindsay Crook fills these few pages with plenty of violence, biological warfare in the form of toxic food treatment, and even more violence. There’s more than that, though. At the core, this is a story that showcases how unutterably awful life can be for women because, as much a caricature as Manic might be, it’s probably not far off from the average week for altogether too many women. The world might be a better place if those women finally had enough, just like this protagonist did. Of course, it would be a better place if people just behaved better in the first place, but that might be asking a bit too much. Crook also manages to capture the stress and hopelessness that goes hand-in-hand with poverty-level existence and working demeaning, demoralizing jobs, only to barely make ends meet.

You can pick up a copy of Manic by going to http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below:

Scats, Splats, and Stupid Twats by Jonathan Butcher

Jonathan Butcher has assembled quite the vile and visceral collection of stories in Scats, Splats, and Stupid Twats. It’s a quick read, but one that manages to leave one hell of an impact on the reader.
The anchor of this collection, The Chocolateman, definitely has me anticipating the release of the novel inspired by this short. A disorienting and frankly revolting chance encounter in a public restroom sets the stage for a particularly filthy sort of horror befalling a man who despises any manner of filth.
The stories Slop and Pretty Cunt showcase a certain graphic and visceral reaction to infidelity that will satisfy anyone who has been on the receiving end of that sort of treatment. Taking everything too far, Butcher provides a catharsis, penning fantasies that bring to light some of the darker thoughts people have experienced in times of pain and vulnerability.
The other four stories run the gamut of topics. We experience the undying love between a mother and child, the harsh consequence of senility afflicting a wizard, a Halloween ritual of monstrous proportions, and a broken home struggling to stitch itself together.
Butcher also includes a poem replete with fantastic descriptive elements and visually stunning imagery.
This is a fantastic collection of shorts that will absolutely demand the attention of any reader brave enough to dive in.

This collection was released on http://www.godless.com as part of the 31 Days of Godless event. You can grab a copy for yourself by going to the website or by downloading the app. The link is below:

Scats, Splats, and Stupid Twats by Jonathan Butcher

Flushed by Chris Miller, narrated by S. W. Salzman

Chris Miller’s Flushed is short. I’d go so far as to suggest the value of giving this story a listen is inversely proportional to the size of the tale.
What we have here is an uncomfortably–horrifyingly–relatable story of one of those times when we absolutely know our bowels are going to fail us in the worst possible way, at the most calamitous conceivable location, when the timing couldn’t be worse. While we all may not be able to relate to a drunken workplace hook-up with someone we’d sooner have avoided, I think we can all imagine how such a thing might happen.
Miller tells an entertaining tale, increasingly implausible as Murphy’s Law takes a cruel toll on Marty.
The narration provided by S. W. Salzman brings the extreme discomfort and humiliation to life.