Drabblecast 092 - Synesthesia

Discuss episodes and stories from the Drabblecast Main Feed and from Drabbleclassics
User avatar
strawman
Member
Posts: 5966
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 2:20 pm
Location: South Georgia

Drabblecast 092 - Synesthesia

Postby strawman » Sat Dec 06, 2008 4:18 pm

Image

Synesthesia by J. Alan Pierce

Pain is a sinister shade of purple. Sirens smell of distant burning.....

Drabble- Tainted by Saul Lemerond
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

cammoblammo
Member
Posts: 361
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:54 am
Location: Colac, Victoria
Contact:

Postby cammoblammo » Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:52 am

I didn't really get into this story to begin with, but a weird thing happened. I listened to it on my computer and I started fiddling with those visualisation things I normally find such a waste of hard drive space. I found a sort of nice one which flashed all sorts of colours up all over the screen.

The bizarre thing was the colours matched what was going on in the story and I was drawn right into the narrative. Magentas came up when magentas were called for, as were mixtures of purple and blue. I'd just finished a tin of smoked tuna which sort of spoke to the burning smell in the story. It really proved to me how good story-telling involves all the senses. In fact, I had to stop myself from getting up and heading into my daughters' bedrooms for a quick taste? look? sniff? I'm confused. Anyway, I had to stop myself.

In short, this one began slow, but finished brilliantly. Good, original, and deserving of strawman's commendation.

(Incidentally Norm, the mp3 feed gave me a .mov file with mp3 extension. It wasn't a problem for me, but it might be for those sasquatch bitches you're so concerned about.)
It is something that has to be proved scientifically, that a human being turned into a goat.

User avatar
normsherman
Site Admin
Posts: 1355
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2007 4:58 am

Postby normsherman » Sun Dec 07, 2008 8:59 pm

Woops, I'm not sure why sometimes they randomly pop up as mov files- I know how to fix it though, will do tonight.

Richmazzer
Member
Posts: 181
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:26 pm

Postby Richmazzer » Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:49 pm

I didn't think it started slow at all. In fact, I don't see how anyone could write a more intense opener.
All in all, I was horrified throughout most of this and a bit nauseus in the end (although that could have been the bad chinese food). The story was original, I don't even know if I'd file it as a zombie story, and gripping, although I think could have benefited from a little trimming and spot editing (I think I heard hair described as "matted" at least 3 times for example, and multiple uses of thrashing in short periods that seemed to stick out to me for some reason). The production was truly chilling- the little girl screams sent a chill down my spine,as did when Jessica howled, and the whole thing had such a grey, apocalyptic, hopeless tone.
I did have some questions about the virus or whatever- Jessica got it through a head wound from the accident? Or did another afflicted bite her head? How is it that she is able to walk home and just start to be in the final stages, while the narrator starts to change shortly after being bitten?
Finally, I thought the present/past/present tense structure was an interesting way to frame the story, worked well in giving background and then facilitating the action. Another good story from Mr Pierce.

RicV
Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:48 pm

Postby RicV » Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:47 pm

1st persn zombie stories are kewl. This one was no exception. A few loose ends like why he could hold on to his humanity for much longer than his wife and why he could use some of the zombie speed and strength before he was taken by the virus. I use the term virus loosly, this could be radioactivity, cthulian curse or any other transmittable zombie creatin p[lot device.

The love conquers all theme was a bit over the top, and I wonder if the containment crew would even examine the little girl. After all everyone knows that kid zombies are the most dangerous with their cute little sympathy generating spider eyes. :)

User avatar
Mr. Tweedy
Member
Posts: 1733
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 5:03 pm
Location: Illinois (Land of Obama)
Contact:

Postby Mr. Tweedy » Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:08 pm

Meh. Zombies are only good as targets in video games. They're just too simple of a concept to anchor a narrative, even one who's only goal is to horrify. (Well, they do fine anchoring comedy, I suppose.)

The Synesthesia bit was very cool and actually more disturbing to me than the spider-eyed flesh eater. Synesthesia is something that I might actually experience and having my senses or my reason compromised is one of the scariest things I can imagine. I think it's a shame that synesthesia was just a signpost on the way to turning into a zombie, because it was really interesting, but zombies are about the most cliché thing out there. Brilliant lines like "Sirens smell of distant burning" get wasted on a story that follows the boilerplate zombie formula almost to the letter.

A much more horrifying and tragic story would have been one in which people retain their essential sanity but injure and kill each other unknowingly because the Synesthesia Virus is messing with their heads. That would have given me some chills.
Advertise in this space!

User avatar
strawman
Member
Posts: 5966
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 2:20 pm
Location: South Georgia

Postby strawman » Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:08 pm

Yeah, I think I have to go with Tweedy on this one, although it does seem possible grounds for DC excommunication to dis zombies that way. Comedy was an original new angle to the genre with Sean of the Dead. But the novelty there wore off before the movie was over. Norm's Zombie Bardle condensed emo and comedy and zombies into exactly the right length to sustain interest, so it came close to perfection for me. The only area I can think of left unexplored is the blasphemous one I suggested in my original unexpurgated topic post, which was deservedly genetically modified. But the last line was the reason I went with it: Zombies when the sun goes down... it's just really drabbly.
But Tweedy's right that synesthesia is worthy of more than zombie apocalypse treatment. It's a concept worthy of Drabble News on its own. Imagine what an advertising agency would pay if it could induce synesthesia with an advertisement for a food product, or what political consultants would give if every time their opponent's image was shown, those who saw it had the experience of stepping in a pile of sh*t.

Wait a minute, if they had already done this, why would they tell anyone? It would explain everything, (including The Day Tweedy Stood Still).
(':lol:')
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

Richmazzer
Member
Posts: 181
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:26 pm

Postby Richmazzer » Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:45 pm

Well, staying away from the "zombie stories are lame" blanket statement I'll ask, why was this a zombie story? Aren't zombies by definition the walking, unthinking dead? Cannibals aren't zombies. Eating other human beings, whether ritualistic or because of mental illness/rabies-like infection, seems to be a different animal. That was one of the things that I thought was truly horrifying that could have been delved deeper into: the fact that their behavior may have made them come across as rabid/zombie like beasts, but, like the narrator, they may still have been cognizant of their behavior to some degree the entire time. Also, maybe the intention wasn't even to eat other humans? Just to attack/maul/eat them some, to spread the virus?
I wonder how/why a rabid racoon can attack a bear in pure rage, with no fear; maybe it is afraid the entire time? What's going on in that racoon's head when it's at its final stages?

I felt like it wasn't a love conquers all thing, ("love becomes uncontrolable hunger" is actually what it said I think) but that he still maintained some waning control of his behavior and sensory perceptions so made a sacrifice while he could.

cammoblammo
Member
Posts: 361
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:54 am
Location: Colac, Victoria
Contact:

Postby cammoblammo » Mon Dec 08, 2008 9:09 pm

I have to agree with richmazzer. Notwithstanding my previous comment I didn't really think of this as a zombie story until I read strawman's original comment.

You see, I don't think it's right to label all flesh-eating undead as 'zombies.' What's with the label? As this story shows, they have desires and needs beyond the flesh. They have families and mouths to feed.

'Zombies' are people too.

Can't we celebrate what they contribute our society? You see a one dimensional people eater, I see somebody who knows what they want from life (theirs or others) and goes after it with a single-mindedness and zeal we 'living' could only ever hope for.

Please, everyone, this forum doesn't need your prejudice.
It is something that has to be proved scientifically, that a human being turned into a goat.

User avatar
strawman
Member
Posts: 5966
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 2:20 pm
Location: South Georgia

Postby strawman » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:09 pm

Richmazzer wrote:I felt like it wasn't a love conquers all thing, ("love becomes uncontrolable hunger" is actually what it said I think) but that he still maintained some waning control of his behavior and sensory perceptions so made a sacrifice while he could.


Some say love it is a river
that drowns the tender reed
Some say love it is a razor
that leaves your head to bleed

Some say love it is a hunger
an endless aching need
I say love it is a flower
and it smells like fresh-baked bread

When the night has been too lonely
and the road has been too long
and your wife is lurching homeward
moaning black-eyed gurgle songs
Just remember in the winter far beneath the soot and ash
lies bacteria
that with the sun's love
in the spring
becomes the rash
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

auf_weiderzen
Member
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:20 pm

Postby auf_weiderzen » Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:59 pm

Ahh, this is why I want to have kids - so I can eventually be infected with a psychotropic disease by my spouse and eat them.

I don't find the logical consistencies too glaring: the duration of infection and loss of control was unspecified - the wife had been walking for an unknown amount of time (though presumably a while) before changing and being consumed by the hunger. Potentially her love drove her to go home (who wouldn't want to go home in that situation?), but if that was slowly supplanted by the hunger (as was the case with the narrator) it makes sense.

The narrator himself passed out on the bed upon locking themselves in - fade to black, time passes, no one knows how long. Maybe the wife had tried going through the door, or had to climb the bougainvillea lattice to the second floor, or some such device.

Lastly, various people have varying degrees of willpower in various situations. The narrator's level of control/self-sacrifice may have simply been stronger than his wife's. (Please do not attempt misogyny - this is fiction, not literature, we are seeking entertainment no deeper truth here.)

User avatar
Goldenrat
Member
Posts: 265
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 2:07 am
Location: Minnesota

Postby Goldenrat » Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:25 am

Yoinks! I had the day off today so I thought I'd get my Christmas shopping done in one fell swoop at the nearest mall. So with visions of sugarplums dancing in my head I started my 30 minute drive to the mall and started up the Drabblecast. By the time I got to the mall I was a quivering shell of my former self. Wow, that creeped the hell out of me. The creepiest drabblecast yet, I would say. Great production as always. My middle school lad is always asking to listen to the drabblecast. I think he'll skip this week. Great stuff!
Raise your fists and scream "black smut"!

User avatar
zZzacha
Member
Posts: 358
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:33 pm
Location: Teh Netherlandz
Contact:

Postby zZzacha » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:54 am

Great episode, again! I had a great time with it, anywayz.

The episode felt like a Zombie episode, but I think that's because of the drabble. That drabble tainted my experience of the main story and put me in in a Zombie Mind. Freaking meth heads..

With or without the drabble, Synesthesia was very zombie'ish and very entertaining. Again, Norm, I am mucho impressed! Especially the girl, screaming "Mommy!" Wow, that must have taken some time to get right and I think you did a great job screaming like a little girl. If I didn't know any better, I'd say that was a real girl screaming! W00t!
I'll be there in 5 minutes. If not, read this again.

RicV
Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:48 pm

Postby RicV » Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:46 pm

auf_weiderzen wrote:this is fiction, not literature, we are seeking entertainment no deeper truth here.)


Um I will agree to disagree. All fiction is literature. We seek it for different reasons and we take more or less from it depending on personality and disposition. Some lit is crap in our opinions and some is good. Some is thought provoking, and some is thought deadening.

If you are here for entertainment..cheers. I applaud you for finding something other than 90210. But I have never found many strange readers/listeners that aren't always looking for thought provocation from the fiction they consume. So too each his own and have a happy listen.

Talk to you l8r,
Ric

G. E. Lee
Member
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 9:13 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Postby G. E. Lee » Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:02 pm

Excellent story. Nice use of first person perspective, and under novel circustances.
Zombies (and I use the term loosley) keep coming up because they are a great metaphor. The zombie is the essential Id, observing no taboos, and seeking nothing but the fulfillment of it's sole desire: to eat people. That zombie may have been your freind, or your grandma, or your daughter, but now it's just Id, and will totally eat your punk ass.
The Zombie Apocalypse story is a variation on that theme: The breaking down of societal norms and the ascendancy of barbarism that lies innate in all people. Robert E. Howard tried, after his own fashion, to talk about this with his Conan and Kull stories. When you strip away all our pretty window dressing and social conventions, we're all just zombies/barbarians of a sort.
mogera robusta

adam
Member
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 6:24 am
Location: baltimore
Contact:

Postby adam » Sun Jan 11, 2009 3:21 am

let me go ahead and admit that i have a terrible attention span, so stories that jump right into it with something hardcore and exciting work really well for me, and getting me focused. having said that, this was one of my favorite episodes to date.

im glad people are hesitant to classify it as a "zombie story" as to me it was a lot more than that. delving into the psychology, first person, of a transformation of motivations and senses to explain a breakdown behavior- undead or otherwise- in a fairly genius and original way, was awesome.
if it can be classified as a zombie story, i think we should be careful not to write the genre off in a broad sense. defining what makes a zombie is an interesting discussion we could "flesh" out more. to dislike a story because you define it in its most broad sense, as the reanimation of something that dies, is risky, because then technically jesus was a zombie, and the bible a zombie story, and therefore impossible to like. but not everyone does like the bible, and that's ok i guess. all im saying is that when it comes to the bible and synesthesia, you can't like one or the other- it's a package deal.

cammoblammo
Member
Posts: 361
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:54 am
Location: Colac, Victoria
Contact:

Postby cammoblammo » Sun Jan 11, 2009 3:56 am

adam wrote: to dislike a story because you define it in its most broad sense, as the reanimation of something that dies, is risky, because then technically jesus was a zombie, and the bible a zombie story, and therefore impossible to like. but not everyone does like the bible, and that's ok i guess. all im saying is that when it comes to the bible and synesthesia, you can't like one or the other- it's a package deal.


Ye gods. A google search for 'Zombie Jesus' gets 391,000 hits. There's some great art there, too.

The difference is, though, that Jesus wants you to eat his flesh and drink his blood. Now that's sacrifice.
It is something that has to be proved scientifically, that a human being turned into a goat.

User avatar
Mr. Tweedy
Member
Posts: 1733
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 5:03 pm
Location: Illinois (Land of Obama)
Contact:

Postby Mr. Tweedy » Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:03 pm

The only common characteristics shared by all zombies in fiction (not in real life; real-life zombies are much worse) are a monomaniacal desire to eat human and complete disregard for self-preservation. If you want to eat people and you don't care about your limbs being hacked off, you're a zombie. The rest is details.

Jesus doesn't meet those criteria, so I would say he's not a zombie, whether or not the more general term "undead" could apply. As cammo points out, Jesus is actually sort of a reverse zombie. He rises from the dead so that humans can eat His flesh. An un-zombie. Is Jesus the unundead?

But this zombie talk has made me wonder: Do zombies poop? We always see them eating, but all that soft pink human flesh has to go somewhere right? Does it get digested or just sort of fall out?
Advertise in this space!

cammoblammo
Member
Posts: 361
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:54 am
Location: Colac, Victoria
Contact:

Postby cammoblammo » Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:46 pm

Mr. Tweedy wrote:Jesus doesn't meet those criteria, so I would say he's not a zombie, whether or not the more general term "undead" could apply. As cammo points out, Jesus is actually sort of a reverse zombie. He rises from the dead so that humans can eat His flesh. An un-zombie. Is Jesus the unundead?


Thanks, Tweedy. You just wrote my Easter sermon. It might need a few visual aids. Hmm... Zombie flicks and chocolate make for fun church!
It is something that has to be proved scientifically, that a human being turned into a goat.

User avatar
strawman
Member
Posts: 5966
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 2:20 pm
Location: South Georgia

Postby strawman » Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:25 pm

Who eats whose body and blood is the salient theological issue, according to John6 (ZIV). If we are not the consumers, then logically they have everlasting death within them. Rick Warren's book The Purpose Driven Undead covers this authoritatively.
And to think, some believe gay marriage is the problem...

Probably belongs in drabble news, but look, here's an actual picture of the undead "revival" of zombie Todd Bentley:


Image
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"


Return to “Story Discussion - Main and Drabbleclassics”



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron