Following the journey of award winning author, Alex Azar, as he travels the publishing world and all things interesting. To reproduce or publish any material found within this blog, please contact me at

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Yuletide Tales of Horror now available

Right on the heels of Monster Gallery my latest story is available in Yuletide Tales of Horror.  "The Last Noel" is a quaint little story that explains the origins of Santa Claus, Miss Claus, the elves and all the things you wanted to know about Christmas, although the answers may not be what you expected.  Below read a paragraph excerpt to get you ready for the holiday.

The book is available through the typical venues,, including my Amazon Author's Page, Barnes & Noble, and the AzarRising Mobile Bookstore.

Yuletide Tales of Horror

Choosing to focus on the only thing in those statements that wasn’t negative, I ask. “Is Josefina Mrs. Claus?”

“Ho Ho Ho, no she’s this fine piece of Brazilian tail that’s got that Memento thing going on.  Poor chick can’t remember she bangs the real Santa every few months, so she can’t tell people about me.  Ho Ho Ho.”  The bass of his laugh vibrates in my lungs, but I don’t find the joy in it I did mere minutes ago. “I like you Sammy, feels life I could be myself in front of you.”

You know you want to read the rest, so hurry up and buy this book!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Monster Gallery now available

I'm happy to announce that my 7th story has been published in an anthology called Monster Gallery.  The anthology focuses on some of the lesser known, more obscure creatures out there.  My story "Little Changes" highlights what happens when werewolves come across a different were-creature.  While the story certainly fits the horror theme, it also shows that there is a lighter side of the dark side.

You can purchase Monster Gallery the Publisher's Shoppe, my Amazon Author's Page, or as always, you can search in the trunk of my car for the best deals.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Happy Weekend Indeed!

Over the weekend I received word of another story being accepted for publication.  In fact it is the same story, The Statue Garden, that was rejected in the previous post.  Ironically, it has been accepted by the same publisher that rejected it previously, although it is a different editor for the company.  A company that has accepted and printed several of my stories already, Static Movement.

The story will be printed in an anthology called Cobwebs & Antiques and is about a girl whose hellish nightmare takes 20 years to come to fruition and destroys her life... or does it?

Okay that last bit was a tad cliched, just buy the book when it comes out to read what happens.  The theme for the anthology is very similar to the anthology I was first accepted in, which seems fitting for my 10th acceptance, that's right 10 acceptances in the span of year.

See the cover image here.

Rejection 12: The Statue Garden

It's been a while since I've posted a rejection letter, and I don't want to mislead anyone. Despite my recent string of successes, I still get rejections letters.  Below you'll find a recent rejection I received for a story I know is good.

Hello Alex,
Thank you so much for the submission, and I apologise for the delay in my response.
While I liked your story very much and enjoyed reading it; I do feel that it isn't really a suitable fit for this anthology.
If you have a story that you think would be a better fit, please feel free to send it along.
I am looking for stories to do with planting either ideas or horticulture and watching the ideas or produce flourish into your worst nightmare.

What I find interesting about this one is that I thought it may be rejected for a completely different reason.  In the story the main character as an adult recollects a nightmare she had at the age of 5.  In the dream her adult self is raped by a creature/man.  I was worried that although it was only a dream, and I made it clear it was her future adult body, the editor/publisher would have an issue with a 5 year old having a nightmare of being raped.  As you can tell from my next post, I was wrong.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

New Dawn Fades

Hello everybody! My latest story has been published by Post Mortem Press.  The story "Mindless Thoughts" is a zombie story with a different point of view.  So pick up New Dawn Fades and read my latest for an interesting perspective of a classic genre.

You can purchase the book at Post Mortem-Press or search for it on Amazon.  And as with all my books, you can purchase a signed and personalized copy from me at the AzarRising Mobile Bookstore.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Latest Story Acceptance

Good tidings to all! Doesn't it feel like Halloween just passed us?

Today's good news comes courtesy of Yule Tide Terror the latest anthology I've been accepted in.  "The Last Noel" is a tale that explains why Santa Claus has all those different names, and the real story behind the elves is finally revealed.

Warning: If you still believe in the magic of Christmas time you may not want to read any further.

Below is a quick excerpt from the story.

Reaching into his velour bag that’s deeper than it looks, I find a heavy winter coat, and sure enough on a tag hanging from the zipper is my name.  I put it on, and the chill just melts away, “Wow, this is the warmest jacket ever, thank you sir.”
“Please call me Santa, or Chris, or Papa… the different people I’ve gotten over the years tend to choose a name they think will be more relatable to their countrymen.” 
“Hmm, well if it were up to me…” 
“It is up to you, as of now, my entire lore is up to you. No pressure, Ho Ho Ho.” He jokes, but it is a lot of pressure. 
“Ok then, as an American, I’m partial to the classic, good ole Santa Claus… it’s…” the rest of my thought trails off as does the air in my lungs and surrounding space.
Santa takes the reign and cracks the whip with what looks like anger in his eyes, “Hey you shits, I told you when I’ve got someone in here with me you can’t fly so damn high!”
The sled drops altitude and air returns to me, “Thank you, Santa.” The display of anger still throwing me off.  While it’s a natural reaction for anyone, I imagined him, freaking Santa Claus to be above such things.
“These shitheads almost killed Josefina a few weeks back.  They think because they’re immortal I won’t punish them.”
Choosing to focus on the only thing in those statements that wasn’t negative, I ask. “Is Josefina Mrs. Claus?”
“Ho Ho Ho, no she’s this fine piece of Brazilian tail that’s got that Memento thing going on.  Poor chick can’t remember she bangs the real Santa every few months, so she can’t tell people about me.  Ho Ho Ho.”  The bass of his laugh vibrates in my lungs, but I don’t find the joy in it I did mere minutes ago. “I like you Sammy, feels life I could be myself in front of you.”

After reading that, I'm sure we can all agree your Christmas shopping list is done. You're welcome!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Azar Rising Mobile Bookstore

For all of you who have been searching for one convenient location to purchase all of my anthologies physically, you're in luck.  I'm proud to announce that the Azar Rising Mobile Bookstore is now open for business and is fully stocked with all of my books.  So if you can find the store (the trunk of my car) you can now complete all your Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Ramadan, and all gift giving needs at a discounted price you won't find anywhere else.  And if you're real lucky you might be able to check in on Foursquare.  At this time we're only accepting cash... don't expect that to change anytime soon.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Newest Book is Available!

Great news everyone, not only has Look What I Found been published, by NorGus press, but they've also just published Undertaker Tales: What They Don't Teach You at Mortuary School as well (that's five books now, but who's counting).  Both are available on as well as (below are links to their amzon pages). 

My story in Undertaker Tales was written a year ago almost to the day in anticipation of Halloween, and it's great to have it see print the same time of year.  The whole anthology deals with undertakers, gravediggers, crypt keepers, and the like.  My story "The Gravedigger's Aprentice" is a not-so-nice tale about how wrong decisions born of bitterness can come back and haunt you.  So be careful of whose grave you spit on.

"Look What I Found" The Anonymous Portrait

"Undertaker Tales" The Gravedigger's Apprentice

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cool little video

This is for the next book I'll be published in, coming out around Halloween.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Look What I Found" now available!

Remember that creepy cover of the baby doll's head? Well I hope you have room on your bookshelves (or at least space on your eReaders) because "Look What I Found" is now available.  This anthology is actually kind of special to me, it contains the first story of mine to get accepted for publication.  It's a story titled "The Anonymous Portrait" and was inspired by one of my favorite authors, Edgar Allan Poe.  While this isn't my first published story, this is the story that started this great year for my writing.  Since it's acceptance, I've had another seven stories follow, three of which have already seen print.  Thanks to everyone for the support, and keep reading.

You can purchase the book here, do it now!

Despite the previous joke, this book is NOT currently available as an eBook.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Latest Story Acceptance

I am pleased to announce that "Mindless Thoughts" has been accepted for publication in Post Mortem Press' anthology New Dawn Fades, a collection of zombie stories.  The tentative release date is late 2011/early 2012.

I'll post the cover image in a month or so to continue hype for these release rolling. Keeping checking back for more updates.

For those keeping track, three of my stories have been published and five more are on their way in as little as four months (hopefully).  If you'd like an easy way to find all of my publications in one spot, check out my author's page at, by clicking here.

Thanks, and enjoy it

Monday, August 22, 2011

Latest story is available

I'm very pleased to announce that my third story has been published and available to be purchased at the link below.  "Remember Me" is an interesting tale about a dead white guy, dying black guys, a talentless detective, and a transvestite that has a bigger secret than one might think.

Pick up Obsession to find out.  The book is also available on, however if you follow the link provided, you will be able to purchase the book at discounted price.

Thank you, and enjoy.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Look What I Found!

I am very pleased to announce that my first story that was accepted is now ready for print in the anthology Look What I Found. Aside from being the first story accepted, I'm proud of this story in general.  I feel it's one of my best written stories, and I'm happy it found a home with NorGus Press.  As an added bonus, whoever buys this anthology will also be getting a story by one of my best friends. This is going to be our first time published together, but of course my story comes first.  If all that isn't enough to entice you, look at this amazingly creepy cover.

And I really blew out the back cover so you can read the blurb on it.  Save your money and by ten copies of this, you won't be dissappointed.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Montel Williams?

While looking at the various stat of this blog I found that someone was directed here, by way of Montel Williams' wikipedia page.  I would love to know the details behind this.  If you are that person, or know how it happened, please let me know, thank you.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Happy Days indeed!

Yesterday I informed you that Static Movement accepted an offbeat story of mine called  "Remember Me" for the anthology called Obsession, now today I'm glad to announce that they have just accepted "Little Changes" for an anthology titled Monster Gallery.  This is my 7th story accepted for publication, 2 of which have already seen print.  2010 ended with a huge bang, with me getting my first acceptance letter, and now 2011 is continuing to prove a successful year for Azar Rising! Stay tuned and enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

And the hits keep coming...

I'm very pleased to announce that my previously posted story "Remember Me" has been accepted for publication.  For those of you keeping count, that's six stories accepted, two of which have already been printed. By-the-by, have you picked up your copies of Isolation featuring my story "No Lights" and School Days: Tales with an Edge featuring the lengthy titled "I Knew we Kept you Around for a Reason"? If not, follow the links to do so now.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Remember Me (updated)

The following story is for the previous rejection letter I posted.  This is a very odd story, and not one I would have typically written, but the open submission requested gory horror stories about holidays, and stressed for none of the 'big' holidays. Initially I couldn't think of anything fitting and was working on a different piece, but randomly an idea formed.  I never would have thought of writing something along these lines, but I thought it was just crazy enough to work, guess not.  Well the publisher's loss is your gain, and you can now read the entire story for free, enjoy.

                                                                            Remember Me                                                                                Alex Azar

Monday January 3rd 2011, 3:03 AM

Martin Jackson Jr., the star wide receiver for the Philadelphia Bald Eagles, is used to running these streets of his hometown, but when he was a youth and not so late at night. Now he’s running for his life as he’s chased by a bald madman wearing glasses, who is steering a horse drawn stagecoach. The chase started after Martin’s car was forced off the B.F. Turnpike by the wagon. Something apparently no other drivers seemed to notice.

After slipping on some fresh snow, the chase has ended for Martin and his pursuer. The metal rimmed wheel of the stagecoach runs over Martin’s lower back, cutting all synaptic communication to his legs. After running the football player over the horse circles around only to trample his neck, sending agonizing pain throughout his body before all feeling leaves his body.

Standing over Martin’s limp body the bald man raises his walking stick and shouts, “Remember me!” before beating in Martin’s head; the hit smashes his nose, and sends bone shards into his brain. The second blow ruptures his right eye socket, bursting his eye with it. The third, and ultimately final, strike caves in Martin’s skull, ending the pain he was unable to emote.
The bald man rides away on his stagecoach after placing a bouquet of small purple flowers. The wagon disappears into the night leaving behind no tracks.

“It’s a damn shame.” Detective Colyn Whyte proclaims as he watches the football star bagged and loaded in the coroner’s van.

Shocked at his partner’s uncharacteristic emotional display, no matter how minor, Detective Kevin Shepps agrees, “Yea, the kid was young, he had a great career in front of him. When I was still a beat cop he was a kid growing up in these parts. He kept his nose clean, but always hung with some regular juvies; he could have gone down a bad path.”

“Huh? Yea that and I had five hundred on Sunday’s game. They’re sure to lose without him, and that’s if they even play.”
Disgruntled at Whyte’s amoral response, “You always have a knack for making things about you.”

“Blow me cupcake. Round up all traffic surveillance footage in a mile radius from here and also where his car was located. God night, and give Jeff a kiss for me.”

“Fuck you.”


Well this is an unexpected turn of events, "Remember Me" has been accepted for publication.  I say unexpected because I wrote this story for a particular anthology and tailored it so.  I felt the story had too narrow of a theme to fit else where, but I sent it out on a whim to a publisher named Static Movement (if you purchased my first story "I knew we Kept you Around for a Reason" you'd recognize the name) and I'm glad they proved me wrong. Because this is a longer story, I feel comfortable leaving this first part up to whet your appetite. Be ready to purchase the book when it comes out to read the whole story.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rejection 11: Remember Me

The following is a rejection I received recently.  Aside from the typical lack of details, this rejection bothers me because I really thought the story is what the editor was looking for, but clearly not.

Dear Alex Azar,

Thank you for sending us "Remember Me". We appreciate the chance to read it. Unfortunately, the piece is not for us.

Thanks again. Best of luck with this.


S**** M*K*****

Notice the plug and play rejection.  I understand these editors have many stories to cycle through, but a little personalization would be appreciated.  In any case, look forward to reading this story on the blog in the coming days.

Friday, July 15, 2011


The following is a very brief exaggerated non-fiction telling of the origin of Blackbeard, that I wrote a number of years ago.

“Edward, please, I’m begging you don’t go on this fool’s errand for a power mad Queen.” Maria beseeched her newlywed husband, and soon to be father of her unborn child. She had made her away to his bed, kneeling by his side, her hands clasping his.

Edward had enlisted in the ‘War of the Spanish Succession’ in order to be able to afford his forthcoming child and the expenses that come with a baby, while hoping to not have to rely on Maria’s Father’s wealth, which seemed perfectly reasonable to her. “I don’t care if you’ve enlisted, you could go by my family’s name, ‘Edward Drummond’ oh my father would just love it, and you’d truly be the son he never had. Besides, you’ll miss our child’s birth. If you’re gone for years, how will our child ever know who you are?”

Not seeing the severity of the situation that his wife does, Edward replies in his typical jovial manner, “If our child will not know who I am, I shall grow my beard for the days that I am gone, so upon my return you shall not know me either. Besides, I like my name, Edward Teach, is who I am. My father was a teacher of ship builders, as was his father before him. I need to do this not only for you and our child, but for those who came before me.” Now risen out of bed, unable to sleep due to concerns of what the following morrow will bring. Well, that and his wife’s incessant nagging.

Edward retires himself to his study, and spends the better part of the evening studying his father’s writings, trying to prepare himself for the tribulations he knows await him. Edward falls asleep amidst the wise words of his father, and his grand father, yet his dreams are filled with the life he will miss of his child, and wife.

The following morning, Edward woke with doubts of his decision for the first time since he enlisted, and a horrible kink in his neck, for the countless time since moving into this house. This house, one of the most spectacular in all of Bristol; this house, which Maria’s father bought for them as a wedding gift. This house, whose every servant was a former helper of the House of Drummond. This house, where his son or daughter will be treated like royalty, by a staff and family, seemingly hand, picked by the great Mr. Drummond. This house, where his child will grow up with everything he will ever need, provided by his grandfather, not his father.

Seeing Maria still asleep with the early hints of dawn sprawling across her in bed, Edward decides right there and then, that whether he will be by his child through every waking hour or not, he will be the provider, not his money green grandfather.

Resolved to go through with this, Edward kisses Maria on the forehead, and is off before she wakes up. Shortly after Edward takes his leave, it begins to rain, not a drizzle, not a shower, but a down pour the likes of which the simple people of Bristol have never seen. Edward, however, doesn’t see it as rain, no, not rain, but the angels crying in unison of what the fates have in store him, for Edward knows, he is walking away from that house for the last time, never to see his beautiful wife Maria again, nor ever lay eyes, on his child. But in the presence of Heaven’s minstrel, and attendance of all those he once called brother, neighbor, or friend, Edward promises, nay, he vows, that with each passing year his love and thoughts of his child will grow, as will his inheritance. Edward decrees, before the eye of God hidden in the sun, that while his child may not know his father, his child will never want. And not for the sake of his father-in-law, but because Edward will do right by him.

Rising from his sopping knees, Edward finishes his route to board his assigned vessel, where he meets Captain Benjamin Hornigold. They become fast friends, and Edward quickly rises through the ranks to become Hornigold’s first mate. All the while never forgetting his vows to God and the heavens, his child, now nearing the age of four, and his dear Maria, who he prays is happy despite his absence. He has worked as hard as any man ever to board a ship, whether it be a war vessel, leisure cruiser, or a pirate ship, amassing a sizable fortune and bestowing it to his child, who he doesn’t even know if it’s a girl or a boy. He has built a reputation all men aboard the ship have come to respect, and not a day since his departure, has he shaven a whisker from his face.

However, the years have taken their toll on kind Edward. After Britain withdrew from the Queen Anne’s War, Edward was without direction. Following in his only friend’s footstep, he joined Benjamin in their new endeavor, piracy. The long years of violence, and a lifetime away from any family left Edward a heartless shell of the beautiful creature he once was. His sour disposition coupled with his unkempt facial hair earned him the infamous title… Blackbeard.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Lucy Liu in the Non sexy dream

This is a dream I had last night. Enjoy it more than I did.

The dream begins with me getting off a personal rocket, that's only slightly bigger than an adult like a personal sub.  I'm holding a large golf club and am almost immediately greeted by my wife, the a fore mentioned Lucy Liu, who is also wielding a golf club and exited her own rocket.
We're in a park that in real life I used to live across in Little Ferry, the town-wide famous Tire-Park, and we're in the midst of a game of Interstate-Golf.  And as is the nature of dreams I instinctively knew all the rules of the game.  There's a designated course in each state, and in each course there is a "drive zone".  Each player has three puts to get their ball to the drive zone and then from there one drive to hit the ball into the next state's course (remember this is a dream).
Continuing with the dream, once I realize where we are, Lucy and I begin reminiscing of our high school days, and in particular how if I hadn't broken up with her friend (a real life ex that will remain nameless) we would never have gotten together.
Lucy says "The only reason why (unnamed ex) cheated on you with that guy, is because she wanted to have a threesome with you two."
I put my ball halfway to the drive zone, and question, "But she had to know I'd never go for that."
"Well she didn't but I did, and that's why I encouraged her to do it, so we could be together." She responds before putting her ball into drive zone in a single shot.  Having taken the lead she gives me a sly smirk and I wake up just as she's going to kiss me.

Recalling the dream, I became frustrated with the movie Inception thinking that I should have known it was a dream since I was with Lucy Liu, but then again I didn't get any so...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Rejection 10: Breaking From The Pack

Dear Alex,

Thank you for your submission and I apologize for the delay in my response. After careful consideration, I have decided to pass on "Breaking from the Pack." I liked the concept behind the story, but I had trouble connecting with your protagonist, the detective.


What I find interesting about this rejection is that Breaking from the Pack is a first person story and I find it very hard to have "trouble connecting" with the main character, especially since I feel this particular story has many personal moments for the detective/  He discusses his dead wife and daughter, and how their deaths affected his outlook on the Christmas season.  Regardless, of the editor's reasons for rejecting the story, I feel that this particular publishing company, just does not like my writing.  I've submitted many things to them, some of which have later been accepted for publication, so I'll continue to hold the stance that this particular publisher just doesn't like me.  On a brighter note, this particular story should see the ink of page very soon! More to come...

Monday, June 6, 2011

Heaven Sent

Heaven Sent
Alex Azar

“Push! Come on Martha, one more push. The Baby’s crowning!” Dr. Lee instructs from the foot of the bed. “Come on, one…two…PUSH!” For a moment all that’s heard is the wailing of the newborn. “Congratulations Mr. Furr, you’re the father of a beautiful healthy baby boy.”

With a smile on his face Luscious calmly replies to the doctor, “Thank you doctor, but I think Martha’d prefer to hold it, I need some air.”

“Our son’s name is Gabriel; that was your choice so please don’t call our son ‘it.’” Martha says scolding Luscious, but he was already out the door.

As Luscious walks down the hallway of the hospital, he can hear his perfectly healthy son crying in his mother’s arms. Halfway down the hall Luscious stops and turns back to face the room, “Don’t forget son, I have plans for you.” And with that he puts on his black pinstriped derby hat and turns again, instantly Gabriel stops crying and dies in Martha’s arms. Luscious resumes his walk and unnoticed by anyone a slight knowing smile sprawls across his face matching perfectly to his finely tailored black and red suit, humming a quiet tune.

Martha’s cry can be heard well outside the hospital, over the sirens, over the car horns, over all other noises. Then all at once the cries, the sirens and horns, and all noise cease.


In an intense white flash of light Gabriel wakens in front of small polished wooden gates with no definable markings. “Hello Gabriel, I am Peter and this…” the man steps aside and opens the gates with a wave of the hand, “… is Heaven.”

Confused Gabriel gets to his feet and for the first time notices his body, and now he’s even more confused, “But I’m just a baby, right?”

Peter explains, “Yes you did pass away as a child, and now you are at the peak of physical ability as are all who are in Heaven. Do you think you’d be expected to spend eternity as a baby? You are in Heaven; you’ll never age or become ill.”

Still confused Gabriel asks, “Where is Heaven, WHAT is Heaven?”

“Forgive me; I understand you died as a baby before you could comprehend these concepts. Give it time, your mind has the capacity to understand all things, and there are certain notions and emotions instilled in everyone before birth. The rest you’ll learn while here. Trust me, you have time to learn.”

With that Gabriel floats through the gateway and is immediately comforted by the countless others he just joined. Completely carefree, Gabriel’s mind is absorbing everything he’s taking in and the longer he stays the more at home he feels. For what would have been over a decade on Earth, Gabriel nonchalantly spends his time mingling with everyone in Heaven, but mostly those he’s learned to have been in Heaven longer than he. Throughout it all he hasn’t a single care or concern, except his father.

With no sense of time in Heaven, Gabriel has no idea of the time passed on Earth. The entire time, he keeps in his mind that his father has a plan for him. Focusing on that Gabriel speaks to an angel that is said to have been there from the beginning. “John, do you know who my father is?”

With a voice that can sooth the wild out of a boar John replies, “Of course I do child, your father is the same as mine, the same as all of us here in Heaven, he is God the all father.”

“But what of my Earth father? He has a plan for me.”

“The only plan that matters is the Lord’s plan, and of your ‘father’ on Earth, he is not your father. As I said God is your father. The bearer of flesh means nothing to the creator of all life.” Placing a hand on Gabriel’s shoulder, “You’ll learn this soon; here you have nothing but the chance to learn.” Nodding with a smile Gabriel walks away, but he still isn’t satisfied.

Returning to some of the friends he has made, a group of angels who all died as children, some older than others. Speaking to a child who died at the age of 10, “Hasar, everyone says children and good people come here, right? Well, where do bad people go?”

Having died long before Gabriel, Hasar has accumulated a vast amount of information, and is always glad to relay it. “All bad souls go to the land of the fallen one, where everything goes wrong and no one is happy.”

“The fallen one? Who is that?”

“He was the greatest of all angels, but rebelled against God, leading other angels to their doom. His name was Lucifer.”

The sound of that name cracks open a barrier of thought overtaking Gabriel’s mind, Lucifer? Lucifer? Luscifer? Luscifur? Luscisfur? LUSCIOUS FURR! With that the floodgates of his mind explode with memories he never knew he had, rewriting his life. A father he couldn’t remember re-enters his life giving a new meaning to his afterlife. The plan he never knew becomes the destiny he is to fulfill. And for what seems like decades, Gabriel prepares for the inevitable.


A lifetime after being abandoned by her husband and losing her only child on the same day, Martha dies alone in an alley with a needle in her arm. At the time of his mother’s death, Gabriel embraces his new life with a new family, a family of angels influenced by a cunning he inherited from his father.

“Brahman, you lived your life as a Buddhist yet instead of achieving Nirvana, here you are in Heaven. This ‘god’ commanded his people to live a certain life style filled with prayer and ceremonies, but here we are among Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, even agnostics and atheists. Where is the importance of our lives, if we all arrive here governed by someone we didn’t believe in?” Every word that leaves Gabriel’s mouth adds another seed of doubt in the mind of the recent arrival.

Trying to present a valid rebuttal, Brahman clings to all he can, “God doesn’t govern, everyone here is equal and free to do as he pleases.”

Truly furious Gabriel responds, “Equal! Are you equal to Peter, or the powerful Michael, or better yet, my namesake, Gabriel? Free as we please! Are you truly free, are you free to leave?”

“You’re named after the Archangel Gabriel and here you are trying to convince me to revolt?”

“The ‘Messenger of good news,’ yes my father has an interesting sense of humor. However, if ‘trying’ is all I’m doing perhaps I was wrong in thinking you were worthy of being saved.” With his last con in play Gabriel turns to leave.

“Wait,” Brahman bites the bait, to the delight of Gabriel, “What do you mean saved? Saved from who, from what?”

“Despite what you naively think, we here are not equal. During the battle of Armageddon we will be nothing more than canon fodder. A distraction to be used by the higher angels in which we’ll be sacrificed for the ‘greater good.’”

“And what do you propose?”

“Join me, help me overthrow this righteous hierarchy and we twelve will have our thrones in the kingdom to follow.”

“How do you know this? How do you know what no others know?”

“I know much, for I was chosen, but if you still doubt, I shall find another to be saved.” And with that the 12th disciple of Lucifer was converted, slating an attack on the unprepared angels in Heaven.

Sometime later the 12 unholy disciples of Lucifer gather, where Gabriel dictates the coming war plans like a seasoned general. “Listen up every one, there’s no way the twelve of us are prepared or capable of completing the task at hand.”

“But I thought you said we were done recruiting Gabriel?” asks one of the disciples.

“We? What is this we? I finished recruiting but if you interrupt me again ‘we’ll’ have to find one more. As I was saying, we can’t do this alone. So our first order of business is to eliminate Emmanuelle and take her sword. With her sword we will be able to open a rift that leads to Hell where my father will be waiting with his legion of minions ready to over throw Heaven and this hypocritical hierarchy which has stood too long unchallenged, when finally I… we twelve will be able to take our rightful places in the coming kingdom. However, Emmanuelle is constantly surrounded by several powerful ‘friends’ and getting to her will be the more difficult of our tasks. That is what will require our greater numbers. We will deal with each of the three angels she will be with, with a 3-1 ratio. The strongest of the one we’ll need to deal with is Abdiel, he is perfect even among angels and was responsible for thwarting my father and his resulting banishment to that boiling inferno he’s been damned to since. The other two will be much easier to eliminate, Ammiel who basically observes the sins of humans on Earth, and Rumael, who’s nothing more than a traitorous peon who was with my father in the great rebellion, but he atoned for his sins and still resides in Paradise. I want John, Brahman, and Robert taking out Abdiel first and fast. Yoon, Mathew, and T’Chakal eliminate Ammiel while Paul, Chris, and Kl… Klie... I’m sorry I still can’t pronounce your name.”


“Yea, you three are going to deal with Rumael, and be sure he suffers. Meanwhile Mark and Anthony will attend to Emmanuelle and open the window to Hell.” Gabriel, happy with the future event he knows will so perfectly unfold, relaxes in his chair to revel in the moment for a while longer.

“And what will you be doing in the mean time?” Mathew nervously asks.

“Me? I have a theory to test.” With that Gabriel waves them off, to rest for the following night as he smiles in anticipation.

Interestingly enough, there is no following night, nor any previous night, no night at all in a kingdom of eternal light. The notion of night is another thing implanted into Gabriel’s mind from his father. None-the-less, the time arrives and John, Brahman, and Robert, lead the front followed by the rest with Gabriel following behind donning his father’s lost armor.

They approach nonchalantly enough, according to plan, and only steps away they break formation, as it were, and all attack their respective targets. Seeing John, Brahman, and Robert struggle with Abdiel, like a good general, Gabriel turns back and gives his men an unexpected hand, surprising the angel allowing the three to overpower him. Happy with his soldiers’ progress Gabriel leaves for his own mission.

After their leader’s assistance, the three point men were able to deal with Abdiel with little struggle. Same goes for the rest of the crew with their respective angels. Mark and Anthony easily dispose of the distracted Emmanuelle who was more concerned for her friends’ well being than her own. After some bumbling and windows to undesired destinations, they succeeded in opening a pathway to Lucifer and his waiting legion of demons and monsters.

In the meantime, Gabriel peaks his head past a small wooden door, “So I was right, your own arrogance leaves you unprotected, oh great one. The mighty Lord sits before me on a raggedy bench, no doubt crafted from the skills inherited from your earthly father. Your time is nigh, for you left your enemies unchecked. Or does one such as you consider yourself above having enemies? Answer me! Very well I should wait for MY father but your death is a pleasure I’ll like to see fulfilled first hand. Hmm? I wonder what happens to ‘God’ when he dies. Any last words?… Damn You Acknowledge Me! Bow before he who will succeed where his father failed. BOW Before Me!”

Gabriel charges in anger, flaming sword in hand. A tear rolls down His face just before He hangs His head in shame. Seconds before Gabriel can attack, a blindingly familiar light flashes, and Gabriel witnesses decades upon decades go by, backwards, and he awakens as a whelping babe in his mother’s arms moments after being born.

Outside of the hospital room the proud father stops his walk, a small triangularly tipped tail peaks below the pant leg of his tailored suit, he tips his hat heavenward, “Just keeping you on your toes old friend, just keeping you on your toes.” Luscious Furr resumes his walk, whistling, “You’re the Devil in Disguise.”


Alex Azar

Let me begin by saying that I wrote this story nearly 15 years ago.  At the time I recently read the bible and one thing that stuck out to me was that because God loves all kids they, like all dogs, go to Heaven. I began wondering what if one of these kids that was blindly brought to Heaven was corrupted, and from that sprung the story you read. 

On a side note, I'm not really an Elvis Presly fan, but I do really like "Devil in Disguise" and felt it more than fiting for the context of the story.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I can't read.

I've recently come to the sad realization that I cannot read, novels that is. I've long been a fan of the medium, and have a fairly extensive collection of books, mostly novels I'm fond of. However, I can no longer read them, or more accurately, I no longer enjoy them.

I remember a time not too long ago when I'd be reading two different books at the same time (one on the toilet the other for all other times), and was able to fully enjoy both. Now I'll begin a novel and only a few pages into it, I'd already be contemplating skipping ahead or stopping the book altogether. I would like to point out this hasn't affected me when rereading novels I've already read.

Aside from my adult A.D.D. (which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone) I blame this occurrence on three different, yet somehow related things;

1) Comics: I am an avid comic collector but more to the point reader. Those 4-color 22 pages of soap operas in capes have long been an obsession of mine, and in all likelihood are the precursor for my situation. Most comic titles have stories told in several issues spanning so many months, but individually sate my appetite for the medium and the story. Also, with a 30 day bumper for said story to continue I can easily shift my focus to another character/team and story and not becoming bored at any point. Even when reading graphic novels (4-7 issues of a comic collecting a full story) I only read one issue at a time allowing for the proper break in between.

2)DVR: Like most people I'm a fan of TV, but not to an obsessive point like with comics, however the invention of DVR's allows me to record and watch more TV than I regularly would. What this has to do with the topic is that it also allows me to skip any parts I find boring. Commercials are a thing of the past. Women's fights in wrestling are irrelevant. The dialogue in Smallville (R.I.P.) was non-existent (which is decidedly better than the actual scripted conversations). This must have contributed to my 'instant gratification' mentality when it comes to reading.

3) My own writing: If you've visited this blog before you've most likely come to realize that I focus most of my efforts on short stories. I did this under the belief that it would help get me published earlier, and I've accomplished that, currently published in two different anthologies, and three more on the way (potentially all this year). Unfortunately, this practice has got me thinking 10,000 words or less for stories, a habit I'll have to break in order to resume writing my own novels.

All three factors add to equal a difficult time for the chosen pastime. I'm currently "reading" a book that I haven't touched in nearly a week, and I'm on page 10 and am already contemplating to skipping to chapter 3 to see if anything worthwhile has happened.

I may also need to add the last full length novel that I actually read as a reason, Steig Larson's Millennium Trilogy. You know what I'm talking about, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The girl who played with Fire, and The girl who kicked a hornets nest. The premise to each book was OK, but the execution was so overly drown out and unnecessarily convoluted that the first book that was 700 pages easily could have been 300, and would have been a great deal better.

So, as I said I can't read, but I'm hoping my eventual shift in writing to novels will once again change that, or I just might have to start watching commercials again.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Rejection #9: Kicking @$$ so you don't have to

Here's a rejection letter I received over the weekend that I found particularly funny.  Typically rejections don't say much in terms of a reason, but this editor gave specific details and numbers.

Hello Alex,

Thanks for submitting to Local Heroes. Unfortunately I am going to pass on "Kicking @$$ So You Don't Have T" as it not quite what I'm looking for. Also, 74 utterances of the word 'shit' and at least 7 utterances of the word 'fag' and its varitions was also not an endearing quality.

Thanks again for makng the effor and taking the time to submit to LH.


Now in my defense, the story was written when I was in high school, and in my re-edit before submitting it, I cut out a lot of cursing, including over 42 utterances of the 'f-bomb'.  I find it somewhat telling that he calls me on the use of the word 'fag' but had no problem of me saying/writing a four letter Hispanic racial slur. 

I'm joking about this being a tell, but I do actually agree with him.  Had I written this story now, the language would have been toned down, and the dialogue done with much more maturity.  I still like the premise, and will most likely rework the piece and resubmit if time permits.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Short Fiction Accepted

It's my pleasure to inform all who read this that I have had another story accepted for publication!  This is my 5th, although thus far only 2 have been published.  This book will be an anthology from the publisher that also did the first book I was in (School Days: Tales With an Edge)  available here for those of you who have yet to purchase it.

This story is considered flash fiction as it is under 600 words, and if you search this site for a missing story, you should be able to figure out which one it is.

Even though I was fairly confident the story would be accepted, I have to admit my heart stopped when I noticed the reply email in my inbox this afternoon.  And I felt similar excitement as when I first read an acceptance letter.  It's such a great feeling, be sure that I'll continue to share it every time I experience it. 

As before, I'll let provide more information as it becomes available.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Save us Will Smith

The following is a quick 700 word flash fiction story. The submission call was looking for emails sent during a zombie invasion, and needed to be in actual email format. Initially I had looked over this anthology and the company publishing it altogether, but the seed was planted and this tongue in cheek story of one obsessed fan mostly wrote itself. Unfortunately, shortly after writing and submitting the story, the anthology was cancelled, and in turn the company folded. It appears my original assessment was correct, but at least now you get to read it for free, enjoy.

Save us Will Smith
Alex Azar

To: Will Smith (

From: Carl “#1 Fan” Tucker (

Mr. Smith, I know you’ve ignored my emails in the past, thinking me as just a crazed fan. And I am one, one among many.

This time however, I’m not writing about my movie idea (which I still think you’d be perfect for), but I’m not sure if you’ve noticed in your presumably lavish California mansion, but we in New Jersey are experiencing the first State-side signs of the zombie virus that plagued the UK.

I’m only bothering you because I know you’ve dealt with these kinds of things before, and you are a ‘Legend’ at it (yes, pun intended). I would have called your agent again, but the phones haven’t been working for a few days, and I’m piggybacking off of a neighbor’s Wi-Fi, and honestly, I’m scared of Jada.

I thought about emailing Bruce Campbell, but he laughed at my last movie pitch for him, so I blacklisted him, as if he has so much on his plate. You can read about it in my blog at… you know the site by now.

Oh right, the zombies. Well they’ve gotten my sister (no big lose there) but my parents are very upset about it, and are begging me to leave my room and join them. But I’ve seen the movies, I know the second I open my door, either my parents will turn, or some other zombies will break into the apartment. No thanks. I’ve got a month’s supply of Mountain Dew and PopTarts before I have to resort to my secret stash of Camo beer and beef jerky. I trust by that time, you’ll have come and saved us.

We're still not sure how the plague spread across the 'pond', but we know it started at the Jersey shore. From there it spread quicker than herpes at a frat party. New York City quickly cut off the bridges and tunnels saving the city, and the National Guard has prevented anyone from leaving. Oddly enough they're still allowing people to enter Jersey, but there never was a high amount of visitors here in the first place.

Still, even with those precautions we have to assume the zombies will breach the borders. It's that thought process that I'm trying to reason with you. If you could help us here and now, and prevent this from spreading, it'll be easier than having to save the whole country, and waiting for them to reach California.

Also, do you remember my girlfriend? I mentioned her in a couple of emails, well she hasn't been answering my emails, and I haven't talked to her in a while so I'm getting a little worried. I know she never answered my emails, or voice mails, or DM's, or texts, but now something might actually be wrong. Her last Facebook post was “OMG zombies :*(” I don't know if they got her or if she's safe. I was hoping you could check on her on your way to Jersey since she lives close to the border of Pennsylvania.

I don't want to bother you anymore, but one more thing. If the zombies have taken over New Jersey, there's going to be a lot of them. People underestimate how large of a population Jersey has. I was thinking maybe you should bring some help. I have a list of people I think are specially qualified for this situation. In no particular order;

Ving Rhames, Milla Jovovich, Woody Harrelson, and Simon Pegg should round out the team nicely. If Rose McGowan still has that machine gun leg, she'd fit perfectly, plus I don't think she's too busy nowadays anyway. And I guess if you think we need more help, I can remove Bruce Campbell from the blacklist.

I'd email all these people myself, but I think you'd have bigger sway since you are Will Smith after all. Plus, I don't know how much longer I'll have access to the Wi-Fi, and I need to post this email on my blog.

I can't wait to finally see you again, I assume the restraining order is null in lieu of the zombie apocalypse? Cool, thanks.

Your biggest fan,
Carl 'Agent C' Tucker

Alex Azar

As a side note, I had originally conceived this story with the fan writing to Bruce Campbell as mentioned in this final take, however I recalled a comic/TV movie that he had done that was along a similar premise. I then began of thinking of other actors who've fought zombies in movies, and for whatever reason I chose Will Smith. Other actors I had thought of were all mentioned in 'Carl's' email: Ving Rhames (Dawn of the Dead), Milla Jovovich (The Resident Evil series), Woody Harrelson (Zombieland) and Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bacon Product #5...

...Air Freshener
Any girlie man can have a pin-tree air freshener hanging from their rearview mirror, but it takes a special kind of person to fill their car (more likely a Hummer or Ford Bronco) with the sweet satisfying aroma of bacon to embrace all those that enter.  Guys, this is a great way to subtly hint to your date what you'd like for breakfast the following morning.  It's got to work, right?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bacon Product #4

Bacon Adhesive Bandages

Not many people know this about me, but band aids skeeve me out, especially if they're used for something other than their intended purpose, but after seeing these I might have to reconsider my stance on adhesive bandages.  Aside from the great looks, and implied amazing taste, they come with a free toy! how can anyone resist?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rejection 8: Little Changes (again)

There's something about rejection letters that don't bother to say my name or mention the name of the story I sent that really pisses me off.  I've said it before, I'm okay with rejections, but have the common decency to show that you know who you're even emailing.  The unprofessionalism of this rejection letter, gives me pause when considering to submit with them again.

Thank you for your recent submission to WEP's Once Bitten, Never Die. Unfortunately, we have decided to pass on your story. This is not reflective of the quality of your writing, we just didn't feel it was a good fit for this anthology.

We hope you will continue to submit your work to WEP, and wish you the best of luck in all of your writing endeavors.


You wouldn't know it from reading that but this is for the story Little Changes, and as you may recall, I acknowledge this isn't my best writing, but I believed it fit nicely with what the anthology was asking for. Seemingly unable to find a home for this story, I'll be posting it up on the blog shortly, judge for yourselves.

Bacon Product #3

Bacon Gumballs!

For those that need that continued bacon flavor throughout the day, inbetween breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Your loved one won't be able to get enough of your bacon flavored kisses.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bacon Product of the week...

... is Bacon Lube!

That's right, for those time's you need to remind a vegetarian/vegan partner what they're missing, or as a subtle hint at what you'd like for breakfast the following morning, it's Bacon Lube!

But please be sure to use responsibly, and in moderation.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Kinetic Art

Kinetic Art

by Alex Azar

This was an interesting letter. I'm pretty sure I bent the subject matter a little but technically it's still mostly accurate. I really like the concept of this story, and feel it has room to grow from flash fiction into at least a short story, so keep your eyes out for a revisit here.

“Fuck my life.”

“Please refrain from cursing, the audience can hear every word you say.” The voice informs Kenny with a stern tone through the mesh circle of the speaker above his head.

Kenny looks up at the speaker, shrugs his shoulders, “Sorry, I'm not even the type to curse much, but I never expected my life to bring me here.” He motions up and down his body indicating his lack of clothing, save for his wedgie inducing speedo.

“I'm a struggling artist confined to a store front window, damn near naked, as a piece of living art.”

“Kinetic art.” the voice corrects.

“Whatever you call it, I say FML.” As he gently bangs against the glass.

“Its only been three hours, Mr. Anderson. You're companions have yet to begin to complain. Do you plan on continuing this everyday?”

Kenny gives the speaker the finger before contemplating the terms of his contract: 12 hours a day for 30 days to do whatever he likes, however he;s provided no electronics or contact with the outside world beyond the ever watching crowd opposite the window. He's to bring his own food and use the crudely built toilet in view of all. And for reasons he can't finger out, he must only wear a speedo at all times.

These companions that this voice referred to are three other individuals under a similar contract. All four subjects have supplies and resources to work their chosen craft. For Kenny that means an easel and canvas with a full arrangement of brushes and palate of colors. Supposedly the others each specify in a different medium, but he can't say for sure since he's never met any of them.

Additionally, he hasn't even met the coordinator of this 'kinetic art' display. All communications thus far have been via email. Kenny was concerned at first, but when he was offered ten grand for a month's worth of no-work, he couldn't pass it up.

“Come on, hasn't it been twelve hours yet?” frustrated Kenny asks the faceless voice box.

“It's only been five hours Mr. Anderson. The door will automatically open when the twelve hours have elapsed. This exhibit is not intended to be interactive with me, please cease all communications, unless it is directed to the audience.”

“Does this mean you won't answer any more of my questions?


During the following two weeks, Kenny develops a routine: reporting in at two, 'people watch' for a few hours, have dinner, work on his new piece, but since he doesn't know what it'll be, progress is slow. Also since this project has begun, he's done more reading than in any other period in his life.

Not once in these two weeks has he heard from the speaker, but Kenny has this unconfirmed feeling that the person behind the voice is still watching. He often entertains the thought that one of the spectators that passes by daily is him, but he doesn't even know how to narrow down the field of spectators to make a choice.

Most of the day there's at least several people that pass by in an hour, but the street is just off the beaten path enough that around midnight there isn't anyone. It's at this time that he saves for his business on the toilet. Most days he'll sleep till the door opens, or tries to paint something.

On day seventeen his daily defecation was interrupted by a high pitched scream. Kenny looks up just in time to see a woman being dragged into a van. Kenny yells for help, which prompts the abductor to turn to Kenny. Upon noticing him, the abductor gives Kenny a devious grin and the middle finger.

“Hey, stop! I'll call the cops.” Banging frantically on the glass window, Kenny warns the abductor while simultaneously pleading for the speaker box voice to intervene. “Hey buddy, do you see what's going on? Call the cops! Hello!”

Without a response, Kenny is left to watch as the van drives off with the helpless woman in the back. He tries to break the glass while continuing to call the anonymous voice. “What the hell are you doing? Did you not see what the fuck just happened? You're not even watching anymore, are you?”

The door release Kenny soon after. Without his cellphone on hand, he quickly runs to a nearby diner and calls the police. A few hours later and the police are off with their investigation. The lead detective advises Kenny to continue his day as normal and they'll be in touch with Kenny with any developments.

An unmarked police car was stationed halfway down the block for the next two days. With nothing to show and an unrelated murder in the neighborhood, the cops were called off and reassigned. Kenny felt assured that whatever had happened was an isolated incident, and after more days was comfortable enough to resume his routine with one adjustment.

The days passed as though nothing had happened, and Kenny was once again with his pants down on day twenty eight. A similar scream as he heard over ten days ago, he looks up to again see the same man grabbing a woman, and tossing her into a similar, if not the same, van as before.

Kenny panics and stumbles when pulling up his pants, “Stop damn it, or I'll shoot!”

The abductor turns and laughs at Kenny, “Oh really? And with what gun?” With the prompt Kenny produces a .44 magnum, like the one Dirty Harry used, from his lunch bag. “Woah man, don't do anything stupid! Listen Mr. ...”

Before the abductor can finish what he was trying to say Kenny fires the gun, sending a bullet through the window and hitting it's target square in the shoulder. Over the cries of pain from the abductor Kenny hears the woman yelling back at him, “Kenny, what did you do?”

Fighting past the pain the abductor says through gritted teeth, “Mr. Anderson, you don't understand. You weren't the art, you were the subject, and you reacted beautifully!”

“Do I still get paid?”

The End

Unfortunately, at this point The Alphabet Project will be going on hiatus.  I wanted to be able to consistently post these stories until it's completion, however this will not be the case.  I've currently been working on other writings to actually be published, and have decided to focus my attention on those stories.  I'm very happy with how this project has developed and will definitely revisit and complete the alphabet, so keep an eye out for 'L' in the near future.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bacon product number 1 is...

... but wait, before we get to that, let's make it clear that bacon is the world's greatest condiment, and goes well with almost any food.  Anyone who thinks bacon is not a condiment you are wrong.  I most often hear the argument that a condiment has to be a liquid, but then they get proven wrong when I mention salt, pepper, or horseradish.

Now that, that is out of the way, we can focus on the many ways bacon has permeated into life beyond the norm, so the first Bacon product is...


That's right, bacon flavored mayonnaise.  Personally, I'm not a fan of mayonnaise, and I don't imagine this being good at all, but hey with bacon it's got to be better than Miracle Whip.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Colored or Normal

epic fail photos - Equality AD FAIL

Since I'm not black or yellow or brown, does this in fact mean that I am normal?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Washing Away My Demons

Everyone who knows me should know that I’m as laid back and easy going anyone could be, I’m almost always in a good mood with a smile on my face. But everyone has those days where everything goes wrong, or just one thing doesn’t go your way and it hits you like a ton of bricks. Sometimes nothing could be wrong, everything is at it should be and yet, you still can’t bring that smile to your face, its ok it happens to all of us.

How we handle those times defines how we’re viewed. For me Gene Kelly’s Singing in the Rain always brings a smile to my face. It reminds me of a time when I was legitimately always happy, and listening to it centers me.

It may be weird, but the nonstop rain on March 6th made me want to put my headphones on, play Singing in the Rain, and go for a walk amidst the constant, unfaltering, cleansing rain. Nearly an hour later I returned home thoroughly soaked, with a slightly runny nose, but I felt at ease.

Ask me how I am, and my response will always be the same “I’m always good.” And believe it or not this is the truth because I found what it takes to wash away my demons. They build up every day, but its such an easy thing to remember a better time, and remind yourself that the stress isn’t worth it. Like a good man used to say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Friday, March 4, 2011

Simply Amazing

The Question We've All Been Asking (Since the 80's)



by Alex Azar

“Sweetie, you know I hate seeing you do that.”

With the needle still in his arm, “Then turn around bitch.” Doing what Jermaine says, Tabitha turns so he can’t see her tears. “You know I can’t let this slip, without football I’ve got nothing.”

Looking over her shoulder, “You’ve still got me.”

Not bothering to make eye contact, “Yea, for how long?”

That was the last straw for Tabitha this week, and she storms out of her boyfriend’s dorm.

The repetitive act of making and breaking up with his current flame enrages Jermaine. He punches the wall with his left hand, for fear of injuring his throwing arm. Grabbing a bottle of low-grade tequila from his top drawer, “Coach Conic, she just doesn’t understand. All this is to prove to you how much I still love this game.” He takes a long disgusting swig of the brown liquid, “Wish you were still here.” Another swig, “Just don’t know why you did it, what made you do it?”


Three years ago, a full year after Jermaine’s high school graduation, Coach Conic was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. A nearby suicide note explained that after his team’s perfect season and ensuing retirement he feared spending a lifetime “post perfection”. He ‘knew’ that no experience would ever be as satisfying.

He went on to address the players that served under him this season, and everyone before, asking them to not follow in his footsteps, but to remember what he taught them. Stating, that although he had no kids of his own, Conic was as proud of them as any father could be.

His funeral was attended by nearly every player he ever coached, including the two that made it o the pros. He was given an incredible ceremony, despite his unchristian death. He was even buried in his coach’s jacket.

The shock of his death affected his players differently; many who hadn’t continued to play in college joined teams almost immediately, some who had been playing quit, despite protests that Coach Conic wouldn’t have wanted it.

Jermaine, who was accepted into school on a full athletic scholarship, viewed Coach Conic’s suicide as a challenge to prove he will always play football for the love of the sport. Unfortunately, his dedication became an obsession that caused him to turn to steroids. He’s become too blinded to realize that he’s fallen into the same pitfalls the coach warned him, and the other players, about.


The day after his most recent break up with Tabitha, Jermaine played the worst game of his career, with two missed snaps, six sacks, three interceptions, and no touchdowns. Blaming Tabitha, the scene in his dorm was something out of “The Program”, resulting in him throwing her across the room.

Hearing the commotion, Jermaine’s center, Carl Teicher stormed the room, restraining Jermaine. “Tabitha, don’t you say a fucking word of this to anyone. Your damn fault his game was off today anyway. How the hell you gonna give him shit the night before a big game like that?”

As Carl has Jermaine pinned to the floor one of the wide receivers and another lineman enter the room. Carl tells the receiver to get Tabitha to her room and make sure she’s all right. But before she’s out the door, “Remember girl, don’t tell anyone.”

By this time Jermaine’s calmed down, “I’m cool. I’m cool; get your fat ass off me.” He explains he was so upset over the game and that he just snapped, didn’t mean to take it out on her, but she was the closest one around.

“Well QB, I think you need to stay away from her till the season’s done. At this rate we ain’t making the championship so we only got a few weeks left.”

Noticing a stash of needles exposed on the dresser the lineman interjects, “You should lay off of this too, man. You can’t deny this shit’s been fucking with you anymore.”

“No, it’s not that… I mean it is yea, but I fucked up. I was stressing, so I doubled the cycle. If I go back to my regular, I’ll be good, I swear.”


Jermaine did as promised, he cut down his dosage and it greatly helped his anger issues. So much so, that when his second promise resulted in Tabitha dating a basketball player, he didn’t snap. In fact he congratulated her, and warned her new boyfriend to treat her right.

All was in order again. Jermaine’s next two games were among his best, putting the disaster of a game in the back of his mind. Now it was the last game of the season, and while they may not have had the best year, Jermaine was ensuring The Timberwolves ended on a high note.

During the halftime speech, the coach is busy hyping the team up, telling them what he thinks they need to hear. Jermaine, excited to get back on the field and finish what he started, can’t help but compare his coach to Conic, and long for his high school days. Getting up to shout the huddle chant to finish the coach’s inspiration Jermaine quickly falls to his knees.


With it looking like The Timberwolves were going to end the season with a string of wins, they finish on the lowest note possible. Jermaine Worthman died at the age of 21 during halftime of the final game of the season from steroid abuse. It will later be discovered that he was supplied the drugs by his coach, as were several other players on the team, and players from years before.

After the tragedy, the football program suffered greatly, resulting in its eventual termination. Marred with controversy and negative press, the school would change the remaining teams’ name to The Wolves.

Several years later, a football program is reestablished, and because of Jermaine’s example, drug tests are no longer conducted by school officials, but instead by the state. The team never regained its prominence, but Jermaine Worthman’s jersey is proudly hung in the stadium.

This was a difficult one. Thinking of ‘juicing’, every story I came up with seemed like a different version of ‘Anger Management’. It was later I remember a scene from the movie The Program, which inspired the whole story. For those of you who have been following me on this project, you should recognize the main character and his mentor from a different story previously in the project, and in fact is a sequel to the ‘director’s cut’ of Coaching Team Sports that I mentioned in that ‘outro’.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Now Introducing... (UPDATE)

People say she looks like me when I was born, and typically, I'd take this as bad news for her, but I was a very feminine looking baby, so this should be good for her.
 Well as of this posting my newest baby niece doesn't have a name. I know, that was her reaction too, look

 I've put in my favorite name into the vote, and it seems to be winning.  So if you agree, let's hear it for Talia Azar. How can you not, just look at how cute she looks in the arms of the one who named her.
Show your support, and vote Talia Azar. In the meantime, she'll go by ?uest Azar, and I think if enough people call her that for now, it'll stick as a life long nickname. Love you ?uest

(UPDATE) My baby niece has been officially named, and the supports helped get my name picked. Unfortunately, my brother has a penchant for misspelling names, so instead of Talia Azar, my niece is...
Talya Phoenix Azar
It was a big ordeal being named, so it's time for ?uest... I mean Talya to sleep.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Quote 1

In this debit life, we'd be immortal if it weren't for the surcharges.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011



}Ira worked at Marshal, Clearwater, and Bell for a month…

{No, he was an unpaid intern at the law firm.

}Excuse me, I’m telling this story.

{Well, I’m here to make sure you narrate it correctly.

}After a month of interning at MCB, Ira had made no friends or more to the point no connections for his future profession. No one at the firm even knew his name.

{Correction, the lunch lady knew his name. He ordered the same exact meal everyday he was there. And the recruiter knew his name.

}But technically, the recruiter doesn’t work at the office. So, yes the lunch lady knew his name, but no one that could have helped him with his career.

Everyday he’d make copies for this person; retrieve records for that person; almost always for the assistant of a lawyer, once or twice for an actual lawyer, and never for any of the partners.

{To make matters worse, Ira just moved to New York from Ohio. So, not only did he have no friends at ‘work’, he had no social life at all.

He would go back to his apartment every night thinking about quitting and returning home, but he didn’t want to give his father the satisfaction of being right.

}I think he was more scarred of being proven wrong. He put everything he had in law school, and spent more money than he had on his apartment. Failing at this, felt like an admission that he failed in life.

He didn’t make any of the sports teams in high school…

{And trust us he tried for all of them.

}…and his only girlfriend was in college and she left him for a professor. He had nothing left going for him. He forced himself to make it.

Speaking of females, he was quite smitten with Lynn from the office. Unfortunately for him, her last name’s Clearwater. She’s the daughter of one of the partners and on the path to be one of the top persecutors in the city. Unbeknownst to Ira, or anyone in the firm, Lynn is in a serious relationship with a lawyer from a different firm.

{Not that he’d have had a shot if she were single. I know I’m supposed to be defending the guy, but he really was a loser.

}That may be true, but he was also a good person. It may not be our place to say but he deserved a better lot in life.

He even baked Lynn a cake for her birthday, but he was asked to do a copy job that kept him away from the entire celebration. Lynn’s secretary by the name of Sheila even took credit for the cake

On his final day, it was all falling apart for Ira. Not only did he miss his opportunity to impress Lynn, he discovered the lie of the cake in the most demeaning of ways. He took a walk during his lunch, once again contemplating quitting the internship he found Lynn sitting on a park bench eating the cake he made. Then he watched as she fed the cake to her boyfriend from her own tongue.

He overheard Lynn’s boyfriend say that the cake was good, and Lynn responding that her secretary made it. Having taken more than he thought he ever could, Ira stormed over to the couple to expose the lie.

However, he was stopped with a pleasant surprise. Lynn recognized him from the office. About to express his joy over her knowing who he was, Lynn once again stopped him, she threatened to have him fired and beaten if he told anyone what he saw.

{That was enough for him, he ran away crying, not knowing what he saw that warranted a threat like that

}Sadly, that was the last straw. After, the deception of the cake, and the threatening by Lynn, he took his life.

{We’ve been doing this for a while now, and we just did not see this coming. He kept threatening to quit, never to actually kill himself.

}And after checking, no one thing done could be considered severe enough…

{Except maybe for the cake thing.

}…and they weren’t done maliciously…

{Except for the threatening.

}…He was just viewed and treated like a loser for so long, that he finally believed what he was hearing.

{He had no outs, so he created one for himself.

}It’s our opinion this was going to happen eventually, no avoiding it. Just so happens, this job was the catalyst.

{Even worse, it was an unpaid internship.

I wasn’t too thrilled with the topic from the get go, and everything I was thinking of for it was all cliché. So I decided my challenge for this story would be to do something new, I wrote it with two narrators and no dialogue. I don’t think it’s ever been done, and admittedly, I’m not too sure how well it works.

In my head the narrators were actually Ira’s guardian angels explaining to God why they failed. I didn’t want it reading like a religious story, so I didn’t play to that too much if at all. It was just for my amusement.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mindless Thoughts.

The screams start before the second zombie is seen. The first zombie, lets call him Cliff, grabbed a little girl our of her mother’s hands. Just as Cliff is about to bite the daughter’s forehead, not her neck, or arm, or even leg, but her forehead, zombie two slowly tackles Cliff. Using muscles that have grown desert dry over the years, zombie two bashes Cliff’s head in prior to biting into his neck.

Assuming the zombies are fighting over the girl, the gathered crowd retreats to safety. Although their assumption is wrong, we can all agree that zombies suck.

Zombies suck, and actually being a zombie is worse. I’ve been dead for 20 years and that’s been my only constant. Even my body’s betrayed me, slowly decaying to an unrecognizable mass of dehydrated flesh and torn muscles.

The only ray of light for zombies was stolen from me the moment I was turned. The thing about us that no one knows is that we’re created by vampires. I just wished there was air still in my lungs, or that my tongue hadn’t rotted away so I can verbally explain that when a vampire feeds on a human they become a zombie under the mental control of that vampire. If only the ligaments in my fingers didn’t shred in clouds of dust years ago, I’d be able to write a note detailing how a new vampire is made when a zombie is fed the blood of his creator. Sorry, I don’t mean to be sexist, ‘his or her’ creator.

Unfortunately for me, the vampire that bit me died before I awoke as a zombie, so I never had a chance to feed on him and he wasn’t able to establish a mental link over my mind. So I’ve been stuck in this body that’s unable to eat food that doesn’t come from humans, with a mind that understands the horror in a person’s face as a zombie attacks them, or the wails of terror as flesh is being torn from their still living bodies.

So I repeat, zombie suck, but I’ve decided to do something about it. I vowed not to eat any more humans, for the past two years I’ve only fed on other zombies, even though they turn my stomach, or what’s left of it, causing me to vomit a black ooze.

The remainder of this story has been removed because it will shortly be available in print and eReader forms.  Us broke authors got to make our money somehow. So now that' you're hooked wait for the book and enjoy it!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Second Book is Available

Hello Everyone!

The second anthology publishing a story of mine is now available.  Pick up Isolation and check out "No Lights" along with the other stories published.

And not to sound too pushy, but each of the authors in the anthology get paid per book sold, so thank you for supporting me, the other authors, and independent publishers.

Buy Isolation Here

Wednesday, January 12, 2011



[For my non-Arab readers; Cedo means grandfather, where Tete is grandmother.]

I want to begin by saying that I am writing this as me, not a character, not some persona, but just (not-so) little ol’ me.  This is the first, and hopefully last, non-fiction story I’m writing for my Alphabet Project.  The point of this project for me was to expand my writing style.  I tend to focus on the supernatural, paranormal, and pretty much anything beyond normal life (for example take a look at ‘D’).  So to expand my styles, I knew I’d eventually write something personal, something about me, but I didn’t expect it to come up as soon as ‘G.’ 
            I’ll be the first to admit that I could have come up with a fictional story about grandparents that would have been great, but once I started thinking about it, I couldn’t get my real grandparents out of my head, and then my lack of knowledge of my paternal grandparents really drove me.  The conversations I had with my dad made me realize how ignorant I was to my own past.  I’m glad I took this little detour into the world of nonfiction, but I don’t plan on returning anytime soon.

     By the time I was born my paternal grandparents had already passed away.  Even worse than never having met them, my memories of the stories I heard about them are shoddy at best.  I think my grandmother died of Alzheimer’s several years after my grandfather passed.  I recall my father mentioning that his father was a jokester, vaguely remember my dad telling me a joke his father would say about wearing pants backwards so when he farted, the gas wouldn’t have to travel to the front to exit via the zipper.  Unfortunately, at this point I could be completely off, my memories typically are.  I feel to properly convey who they were I’d need to do a little research.
     My research begins by asking my sister if she knows whether our dad would be comfortable talking about his parents.  She doesn’t think he’d have a problem with it.  After explaining to her the nature of my inquiry, she tells me that she recalls that our grandmother was “very petite and sweet” and that she thinks they both died of old age. It was a little more information, but not enough to explain the mystery of who my grandparents were.
     Still unsure of whether the topic would upset my father, I decide to ask my brother.  Although he’s younger than our sister, I recall him talking about them. And… he remembers about as much as I do, maybe even less.  But both he and my sister think it’s a safe topic to approach our dad about it.
     Having dinner with my dad I bring up the topic of his parents, but I do so timidly.  Since my dad just cooked, I asked if his father cooked, knowing full well that men in the old country didn’t do a damned thing.  My dad actually scoffs at the question saying that men didn’t lift a finger.  I press a little further, and ask if grandma cooked.  He tells me that she was the best cook he ever knew.  Now I’m getting somewhere. Tete was a “very petite and sweet” great cook.  He goes on to tell me that she was the sweetest woman, and not just because she was his mother.  Ask anyone who knew her, and they’d verify this.
     “And what about Cedo?” I ask, thinking to continue the story of my late grandparents. 
Let me tell you, I was not expecting what my dad said next, “He was a son of a… gun.”  Clearly meant that he was a son of a bitch, but this was at the time he and Tete met.  He tells me that Cedo carried a gun with him almost everywhere he went because when he was younger, some Turks killed his brother in front of their mother, and he was justifiably jaded because of it. 
     Now, I’m definitely thinking that my jokester memory of him is way off, but he then tells me that upon meeting my grandmother Cedo wanted to marry her.  I doubt it was love at first sight, but he wanted her.  So when war broke out and he had to move his family he also moved her, and her three sisters (who she was caring for at the age of 14) and her son (understand this was a different time and a different country, it wasn’t unexpected for a girl to be married and a mother in her teens, in fact if a girl was in her 20’s and single there was something wrong).
     My father continues to tell me a story of his entire family that truly is worthy of a feature length movie.  He tells me of being so poor at one point that his brothers, cousins and himself would have to pool money together just to buy a soccer ball to play in the streets, or even having to fill a large sock with rags and whatnot to make a ball.  Furthermore, he talks of a war torn country, and being stranded in a different country for months with his brothers until an uncle was able to retrieve them.  And of his father giving shelter and a job to a son-in-law after becoming extremely poor.
     He told me that for all the hard times he experienced when he was younger, his brothers and he had fun; which really threw me back.  Obviously I knew things were different back then, and over there, but their social network was actually talking to people around them, including family.  And while I may be close to my family, I have to assume there’s a certain bond that can only be forged, by picking wheat out of cow shit to clean and eat as your only source of food for days.
     There’s still one question I haven’t built up the courage to ask, but won’t be able to properly finish this without.  How my grandparents died?  That, and if my dad can confirm my memory of Cedo and the fart joke.
     The following week I had a second conversation with my dad, and holding nothing back I asked how his parents died, thankfully there was a death at the time in the movie we were watching so there was some kind of segue.  At least one of my memories is correct, Tete died of Alzheimer’s, however she died after I was born.  The timeline is sketchy, but she visited America around the time I was born, she died a few years later overseas.  My dad believes she saw me as a baby, but he can’t confirm this. 
     Cedo died several years after suffering from a stroke in 1976.  Also, as with Tete, one of my memories is confirmed, Cedo was a jokester.  Unfortunately, Cedo did not tell the fart joke.  My dad tells me a different story involving Cedo, farts and a rooster, that isn’t appropriate here (ask me and I’ll gladly tell you about it).  He also tells me that Cedo was excellent at playing the oud, (*ah-ouhd) an instrument that resembles a cross of a guitar and a banjo (Google it).
*            *            *
     Maternally, I knew my grandparents fairly well for most of my life.  It would be at their house that every major holiday was spent.  The house is big enough for any typical family, but with my mom being one of ten children (that survived) we had anything but a typical family, but somehow that house always seemed the right size.  No matter how cramped it would get around the kitchen table or T.V. room table, there was always room for one more cousin or sibling. 
     My grandmother would spend countless hours cooking a meal that seemed to have no end, while my grandfather would silently sit in his favorite chair, with a sly smile on his face watching his grandkids scurry about.  A trickster in his own right, whether it was purposely miss-calling Justin – Jackson, or nonchalantly pulling an ear of a passerby, he was always able to bring a smile to others. 
     My favorite story of my grandfather is when he was driving me home after I had borrowed his car because mine had broken down.  He was known for being a notoriously bad driver, I say it with a smile on my face and mean it in the best way possible.  He’d driven onto people’s lawns, had to have the police bring him home, but most significantly (at least for this story) was how slow he drove.  He wasn’t just ‘old man’ slow, he drove like molasses going uphill in the winter slow, which is surprising because of how young hearted he was.  So on the return trip home, he had decided to drive, and being the respectful grandson that I am, I didn’t interject.  We were driving, having a good conversation, while he drove 20 MPH, in the fast lane of Route 17 South, all throughout out the conversation I’m wishing I were driving.  All of a sudden he stops the conversation, and points ahead of us on the road, and tells me (in Arabic) ‘This is how close you should be to the car in front of you while driving.’  I actually had to struggle for several seconds to even locate the car in question.  Upon seeing it, it was safe to surmise that two Mac trucks could have fit between us and the other car, that was quickly and steadily expanding the gap between us.  It’s a simple story with a punch line worthy of a chuckle, maybe, but thinking about it brings a bigger smile to my face now then when it happened in the car.  It entails everything worth noting about him: reliable? Check, he took the time to take me home while in the midst of his chores (and anyone who knew him knows how important they were to him). Bad driver? Double check. But most importantly, brings a smile to my face? Check.
     Unfortunately, that’s not the only story that comes to mind when thinking about him.  My cousin, Anthony, and I were at my brother’s house watching a football game, when Chris got the call.  Upon instantly seeing his face, I mouthed the word ‘Cedo’ to Anthony and we both knew without another word that he passed.  He wasn’t sick.  Yes, he was in the hospital several times in the last few years of his life, but he wasn’t ‘dying.’  He had no terminal illness, and was still putting smiles on the faces of all those around him.  His was the first death I’ve had to experience, and unfortunately, in the few short years since his death, too many have joined him.  His were also the first initials I had tattooed on me, as part of a memorial cross tattoo.
     Together my grandparents kept the family together.  Him, a carpenter by trade, working till the day he passed. And her, always quick to point out ones flaws, and sometimes a plus. However, when my grandfather passed, it had a major affect on the family.  Suddenly, Thanksgiving dinner is no longer held at the house, while the new location is equally inviting, the food is just as good, and family is still the epicenter of the event, it’s not my childhood memory.  Easter, has become a nonexistent event, lucky if three of the families show, and not likely at the same time.
     Most dramatic of all, is the affect it had on my grandmother.  She tries to be the matriarch of the family, tries to be ‘big momma’, but she squeezes too hard, and many of us have slipped through her fingers to go a different direction, myself included. 
     Reading that last sentence, I tell myself that I’ll see her more often, but deep in my heart, I know chances are I won’t see her until Christmas.  I write this in March.