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today 6/2/16 on aobibliosphere™ [aobibliospotlight™: A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart]

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

guest post: Weirder by Chad Schimke

today’s feature showcases Weirder, a novelette by guest blogger Chad Schimke. he is the author of two novels, Picker and Pieces along with two novelettes, Walker and Weirder.


A young magician joins a bearded lady’s traveling carnival. He becomes an apprentice to an old-fashioned performer in the vaudevillian tradition. The mettle of each sideshow freak is tested along the way, leading to a conclusion that compels fright and horror. What is normal? It’s human nature to look down disparagingly on anyone that’s different or unusual. But, the human oddity draws a crowd; spectators recoil in horror, drawn in with morbid fascination, openly staring at the deformed, who can’t look and can’t look away.

review from The Library Thing:

“It's odd, it's weird, and it gets, you guessed it, even "Weirder." I loved this book; just like the title suggests, it is a bit weird to read, but the story is good, and off at times, but a wonderful addition to my slightly off collection. I would highly recommend it for teen boys - in that weird moment kind of read. Love it. Keep it up!”

This section contains a few disparate snippets (to keep things interesting) from my novelette titled Weirder.

“It’s too much … I’m confused and it’s weird.” Henry tried to sleep on the hard mattress in his new home. “I’ve got to get some rest for tomorrow’s shows. I’m doing six magic puppet acts, over the next three days.” After a long time, he fell into a fitful sleep with a head full of whirlwinds.


“May I have your attention please?”  The ringmaster wore a long red coat embellished with gold braid and stovepipe hat. “I’m your host tonight!” He cracked his whip and spoke into the microphone. “We’re glad you came to see the sideshow.” The ringmaster announced each act and a spotlight turned to illuminate each performer.

“The hobo!” The clown was dressed in torn clothing, derby hat, white face, red nose and giant yellow shoes.  His act was filled with physical comedy and sight gags.

“The trapeze artist!” An exceptionally fit young man was dressed in a blue singlet with white piping. He carried a balancing pole while he crossed the tightrope.

“The petrified man!” The hideous sideshow freak was covered in physical deformities textured like rough brown stone.

“The puppet show!” The puppeteer wheeled out an ornate wooden box and stepped inside. His hand puppets, a married couple named Punch and Judy, hit each other with sticks while trading insults.

“The magician!” The magician elicited a volunteer from the audience, a women that stepped inside an elaborate wooden box; he sawed her in half in front of the captivated audience.

“Giant versus dwarf!”  Finally, the ringmaster stood between them, to demonstrate the shocking difference in size. The dwarf was billed as the smallest man, while the woman was billed as a giant.


“Let me out!” The voice sounded muffled.

“What?” Henry wasn’t sure where the voice was coming from. He could barely make sense of the compressed speech. “Who are you?”

“Shut up and let me out!” The voice was rapid, muted, tinny and pitched. “What the hell are you waiting for?”

Henry stepped through a white door into the middle of a bright light, transported to an other-world. In the middle of swirling black and white- a source pulled down, further down and down again. Disembodied; his essence had no control over the descent.

“No! Where are you taking me?”

A wood face, painted in flesh tone, loomed enormously over his spirit body, unfixed in this plane; it grinned and laughed maniacally.

“You’re too close … too big!” Henry blinked, squinted and shook his head.  None of it made any difference. When the face pulled back it made him dizzy, to a point where the face was microscopically small in size. “Stop playing these games with me! How do you think I can see anything? Who are you? Show yourself!”

“Right now, that doesn’t matter. What matters is you’ll learn to do as I say. Want to know why there was a fire at your mom’s house?”

 “But, Alf said he was there.” Henry felt something strange holding him in place. Am I attached to strings? “Did he have anything to do with it or not? What are you trying to tell me?”

“In my time you’ll learn … only what I wish to say.”  The disembodied head zoomed, across from him, nose to nose. “For now, I want you to open the cabinet. Or, you’ll never get out … and we’ll stay in here, together … for an eternity.”

Henry saw a clearing break through the other-world, into the real world.

He pulled back inside his camper to watch himself open the cabinet latch.

“Take the case from the shelf and open it.”


Music played, children were thrilled on carnival rides, game joints were packed and the public jostled for position. Soon, the sideshow would begin. With its bizarre forms of human oddities- the bearded woman, the petrified man, a trapeze artist, a clown, a giant, a dwarf- along the most sensational of all. The boy wonder of stage magic and puppet mastery, he wove a tapestry of fantasy on stage.

“Get the thrill of your life!” The carnie foreman was stationed at the ticket collection counter, next to the haunted house. “There couldn’t be any real terror here … or could there?”

Outside the haunted house, customers waited in line.  They came to ride a little car and pass through a narrow tunnel- into dark recessed horror, past a skeleton crew, under flying ghosts, alongside cackling witches, beside a red eyed devil, creeping in shadowy corners- screaming along the way.

“If you dare face the terror,” the barker called.  “It pains me to see you standing there … missing the haunted house. Will you make it out alive … or not?”

The haunted house was the most elaborate ride of Ham’s Carnival. The Ferris wheel and trailer mounted roller coaster were simple by comparison.

“Excuse me.” A little boy, his mother behind him, approached the ticket counter. “What’s the thrill?”

“You’ll probably make it out alive,” the barker said.  “Step this way, inside the little car. Keep close to you mother at all times. Go into the haunted house, if you dare.”
about the author:

Chad Schimke
Why do I write? Having lived a full life, I reached a tipping point. Right now, I am overflowing. I write because I have no choice but to write. My growing up years were spent in Northwestern New Mexico. In a landscape of ancient puebloans, criminal minds, a uranium boom and UFO’s. Where there were early signposts to a writing life. Now I live in San Francisco, my adopted hometown, which is the vibrant city that inspires my work.

Where do my characters come from? All of them are shreds of truth borrowed (joined, dissected, rearranged, etc.) from real people. I have met every imaginable eccentric along the way. From the meathead bodybuilder, to a wealthy social climber, afterward a loudmouthed drag queen, then a notorious gang leader and finally a leggy brunette beauty in a skirt and heels.

What do I write? My books are occult paranormal that mix and match genre. I love crime, fantasy, horror and science fiction.

What’s next? I am currently working on a new novel that will be a paranormal action thriller. With identical twins, identity switches, secret clues, a haunted hotel and a twist ending. After that I am working on a serialized set of connected stories about spiritualism. With an Ouija board, tarot cards, a medium’s séance and a fortune teller machine.

  • Amazon Author Central
  • .99¢ sale
    • Don't miss your chance to read the Kindle edition of Picker, my 5 star paranormal crime thriller!
  • Blog
    • Check out my blog for occult paranormal novels, crime dramas, art installations and city life with updated content, free PDF and MP3 downloads, multi-media mash-ups, art assemblages, video/ audio author interviews and a tour of noir San Francisco.
  • Goodreads
    • Sign up for physical book contests and promo updates.
  • Community
    • I collaborate with the artist Solis for cover images and involvement in the city’s eclectic arts community.
  • Critique
    • I organize a weekly creative writer’s critique group that reads each other’s selections to provide written and verbal critique feedback.

the novelette Walker is a FREE download! follow the link to Goodreads HERE and select the green button labeled 'download ebook.'
happy reading !!!

i would like to say thank you to author Chad Schimke for guest posting today and to you as well for stopping by. 


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