Author Archives: John Chronikal

About John Chronikal

John Chronikal is a blogger, storyteller, poet, artist, composer, and songwriter. He loves to drink bourbon and write things that make his poor grandmother cringe. He is a gigantic man –– his bear hugs can crush bones –– but he is a gentle giant. Give him bourbon and chocolate and he will be your bestest friend forever.

The Creek

Dog

I fell in love in the creek near my house
with weeds and mud and rocks and sand
the things I found there as a boy,
the things I learned there, you wouldn’t believe
the way it changed me

but nothing ever really changed
everything stayed exactly the same
exactly as it was, as it was supposed to be
in the creek near my house
where I played as a boy

I found a bottle filled with dirt,
a keychain with a rusted rebel flag,
a broken silver pendant necklace,
they were all once loved by someone
now they were all loved by me

I fell in love with the quiet
the awful silence of the woods
birds and bugs and leaves rustling
but there was never any sound
that I did not want to hear there

I found a doll covered in red,
one eye missing, arm torn, shoes gone
hair matted and sticky from the muck of that place
that dreadful creek near my house
where I fell in love with horrible stillness

the doll was broken, and I fixed it
I gave it back to the creek
I gave it back to the earth
and it was still once more
it was loved again

the next day I found a dog,
the tag on its neck said Lady
she walked with a limp, and she whimpered
when I held out my hand
and I fell in love with her

if there was one thing I’d learned
it’s that the creek could heal any wound
all you needed was a little quiet, a little stillness
and all the hurt would go away
I knew Lady was in pain

so I gave her to the creek
and she was still at last
she was free from pain
that dog, that was once loved by someone
was loved by me for a day

and ever since, when I think back
to those days in the creek near my house as a boy
I remember Lady, and I hear her whimper
as the water rose to meet her nose
and the mud swirled and surrounded her ears

and I smile when I think
that I gave her stillness
I gave her peace
and left her there for the next boy
to find and fall in love

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Please, someone… punch me in the face.

Suicide


The Crime of Passion

Imagine a world where sex is illegal.

I don’t know about you, but for me, THIS is the first image that comes to mind:

rage

Now, go back to watching dirty sluts on Spankwire and thank your lucky stars that this is not the case.

It is, however, the central premise for my newest flash fiction challenge piece!  This week, Wendig‘s assignment was to come up with our own sub genre of the something-punk category (cyberpunk, steampunk, or in Chuck’s case – cornpunk) and write a short story ~ 1,000 words or less in that new style.

Like the typical horny man that I am, I came up with the idea for a SEXPUNK story.  Here’s my tweet-friendly synopsis:  In a time when overpopulation threatens to destroy civilization as we know it, the government bans sex in an effort to slow the birth rate.

So, here goes:

The Crime of Passion

The moment our eyes met for the first time, I knew.

I was in trouble.

Continue reading


The House On Hollow Hill

Writing a good horror story is really hard.

But it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.  I’m not sure I can check it off the bucket list, either.  Not just yet.  But I gave it my best shot, and I’ve got to give another big shout out to penmonkey extraordinaire Chuck Wendig for the inspiration.  I wrote this piece for his weekly Flash Fiction challenge; I didn’t end up submitting it, however –– mostly because I went over the 1,000 word limit (pretty much doubled it) and I missed the deadline by an hour (damn you, time zones… Daaamn you!).  But that’s not going to stop me from putting it out there to add to my growing collection.

Last week’s challenge was to write a story containing four random items from a list of ten total; we got to choose which items we wanted to use.

My four random items:

1. a rocking chair
2. a road sign
3. a child’s toy
4. a policeman’s badge

And here’s my story!  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

The House on Hollow Hill

Abandoned House

 

“Riley County 911, what’s your emergency?” 

“It’s my granddaughter.  She’s… She’s been hit by a car.”

“Okay ma’am.  I see you’re calling from two-two-three Hollow Hill Road.  Is that correct?”

“Oh god… There’s so much blood… it’s – everywhere.”

“Ma’am, I need you to stay calm for me.  Is there anyone else there with you?”

“No.  My husband is – he’s gone.  Oh god…  She’s not breathing!”

“Ma’am, just hold on.  I’m sending an ambulance to your location now.  There’s a patrol car nearby – the officer will be there in a few minutes.  Just sit tight.  Help is on the way.”

“Okay… Okay.  Please, my grandbaby’s not breathing.  Please… hurry.”

Continue reading


Icarus: Episode 3

The adventure continues as the crew of the cargo ship Icarus narrowly escape a deadly collision.

alien_planet-1280x800

1800hrs. 14th Oct. 413P.C.
On the surface of Bronos,
the island of Baro-Lii.

Later, Alligator

“Get that damn light out of my face!”

Captain Vizirov sat up slowly, cringing from the sharp pain in his forehead.  He touched a hand to his head and quickly drew back three fingertips covered in blood.  Everything was spinning.  It looked like someone had covered his eyes with film, a thick grey haze that he could not blink away at first, try as he might.  A tall figure stood over him, shining a light in his eyes.  It was Jaime – the ship’s medical officer.

“Sir, you need to lay back,” Jaime said, flicking the flashlight down at her feet.  “You may have a concussion.”

The Captain ignored her.  “Dullard, status report.”  He blinked hard and got to his feet, the haze finally beginning to recede.  “Dullard!”

“He’s below deck checking the ship with the rest of the crew.  You took a pretty nasty blow to the head when we– um, landed, sir.”

Continue reading


50+ things I learned in college

Alright, class… it’s time for a quick recap on the last four six years.

graduation cap diploma isolated on a white background

Ahh, college… a time of growth and experimentation; when baby bird flees the nest, learning to fly on their own for the first time.  No parents, no rules.  Well, except there ARE rules.  Lots of rules.  And the dreaded “R” word.  Not rape.  The other one…  Responsibility.  Yeah, that’s it.  And there is also temptation…  (*cue dramatic music*)

There are many acceptable paths to “successfully” getting that coveted piece of paper with your name on it; you know – the one that’s still in the manilla envelope, crammed into a box in the bottom of your closet?  Point is… actually, that pretty much sums it up.

This list was originally going to be, “101+ things I learned in college”… But after I started ransacking my closet looking for old textbooks – and texting my friends to ask what the hell happened while we were in college – I decided it might be better to do the abridged version.  (bad sign?)

Anyway, enjoy this list of wisdom from a guy who went to school long enough to get his PhD, and only came out with a BA in Music Business.

Beware:  NSFW.  Mom and Dad, please don’t read this.  I swear, it’s not all true about me.  Remember, I somehow managed to survive, and I’m a wiser man because of the stupid mistakes I’ve made.  Plus, if I was the only one who’d ever done these things, the world (or, college  – at least) would be a woefully boring place.  It’s all in good fun.


In no particular order:

  1. You don’t pick your major, your major picks you.
  2. Always keep a stash of Ramen Noodles in the pantry.
  3. Cell phones like to die in the middle of the night while you sleep.  Buy a good alarm clock.
  4. Parties are great – just keep it to the weekends, champ.
  5. (Speaking of which…) Liquor before beer.
  6. (Oh yeah, and also…) don’t chase vodka with water.  Just, don’t do it.
  7. If someone challenges you to a game of Roh-Sham-Boh, just say “no” and walk away.
  8. Fraternities are for jackasses.  Yes, this makes me a bonafide jackass.  (Tell us something we didn’t know…)
  9. ^^^ I second that.  ^^^
  10. If your buddies try to talk you into stealing road signs in the middle of the night, just say…
    “Fuck yeah!”  It’s fun as shit.  It’s especially awesome if there’s an “I-69” highway in your state.  Thanks, KY Board of Transportation. Continue reading

“Icarus” Episode 2

In this installment, an alien shipping worker catches a glimpse of a cargo vessel plummeting out of control toward the surface of the planet.

Episode 2-crashing object

Coming In Hot

14th Oct. 413P.C.
Outside the Primary Loading Bay, 
Island of Baro-Lii / Planet: Bronos

 Continue reading

10 things my girlfriend wishes I didn’t do

I think it’s time we heard from someone else, for a change.

Chelsy

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been compiling a list of article topics that would make for some really badass blog posts in the future.  I came across this great list on Osmosio called, “101+ Killer Blog Post Ideas” and immediately decided I had to write a few of these.  (Point of order: See any topics you’d like me to write about?  Hit me up with a comment and I’ll get right on it!) 

So now you all know who to thank when I go off the deep-end, bitching about a random _________ (product, book, movie, encounter with a random stranger, etc;) or posting up ridiculous pictures of my little sister dressed as Baby Bop.  I’m armed to the teeth with fresh ideas for the future, motivated more than ever to publish mass-quantities of brilliant and whacky articles (such as this one).

Plus, it gave my lovely lady Chelsy a rare but deliciously exciting opportunity to point out a few of the things I do on a regular basis that make her want to smash her head through our bedroom window.  Since we’re extremely comfortable in our relationship – and we’re both quick to make it known to each other when something pisses us off – I thought it would be a fun, embarrassing, and informative first-ever guest article.

Without further adieu, I’ll give it over to Chelsy.

Decor_Line

First, let me preface this list by saying that honestly, it was really hard coming up with ten things he does that rub me the wrong way.  Don’t get me wrong, our relationship isn’t perfect – but this man is a wonderful partner.  That being said, I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to voice my opinion.  Alright, here comes the punishment.

1. Stop leaving your wet towels on the bedroom floor.

wet towel

It’s bad enough that all my good towels smell like a moldy jockstrap.  But now, the cats are going in there thinking it’s some kind of alternative pissing-spot… for the love of god, hang them over the shower when you’re done drying off!  Is that really too much to ask?

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“Icarus” Episode 1

Step on board and meet the disparate crew of the cargo ship Icarus as they approach their destination hundreds of light years from Earth. (Chapter 1 of a brand new, ongoing Sci-Fi short-series)

meteor-earth-dinosaur

The Bronos Approach

1700hrs. 14th Oct.  413P.C. 
Aboard the cargo ship Icarus,
near the Cygnus star system, Planet: Bronos

“You see sum’ wrong wi’ dis picsha?” Benjy always laid on the thick English accent whenever he was intentionally being a condescending dick.  Presently, he was frowning and pointing at the bright red liquid spurting from a small hose on top of the main fusion drive.  The stuff smelled like burning hair – Ruben had no idea what to make of it.

 Continue reading

5 things I’ve been doing wrong

I am a criminal mastermind.

Dr_Evil

Okay, maybe not… but I am at least a very devious machinator… the point is, I stole the idea for this piece from Chelsea Sutton, 2011 winner of NYC Midnight’s Annual Flash Fiction Challenge, and there is nothing you can do to stop me!  AAAHahahahaha!

Thanks for the inspiration, Chelsea.  Love your work, by the way.  🙂

Alright, enough of this.  Onward, I say!  ONWARD!

1. I can’t stop buying new books!

Books-06 Continue reading


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