James Dorr’s ‘Marcie’ in Writers Co-op Production’s The Rabbit Hole Weird Stories Destination:Journey Anthology

I asked fellow The Rabbit Hole Weird Stories Destination:Journey anthology contributors to share some things about themselves prior to publication and those generous enough to do so will be appearing here for the next week or so.

Each entry gives a taste of their contribution, a little about them, how to contact them, how their story came about, and definitely a link to The Rabbit Hole Weird Stories Destination:Journey (which you should purchase because it would make each and every one of us happy.
you do want to make us happy, don’t you?
i mean, considering what we wrote, you want us to know you’re a good person, right?).

Let’s start with an introduction to the anthology as a whole:

“Life is a journey, not a destination.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Emerson’s point has been echoed by many, but in the Land of the Weird the question arises, “A journey to what destination?” At the same time, you might ask, “Is the journey therefore the destination?” The journey may well be an individual’s destination, because it will define them physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And in the Land of the Weird, that journey can take twists and turns that amuse, sadden, or horrify.
This trip into the Land of the Weird offers you 39 unique trails to follow, assisted by 35 different guides, each leading you down their own singular paths, manifesting their own view of journey as destination, some laughing, some weeping, and some, eyes wide with fear, shaking as they point out the spectral footpath for you to follow on your way down The Rabbit Hole.

A Writers Co-op Production
Stories by: Chere Taylor, Brian R. Quinn, Arthur M. Doweyko, Donna J. W. Munro, Tom Howard, Kayla Whittle, Leslie Muzingo, Pete Barnstrom, Emmie Christie, Thomas Nicholson, GD Deckard, Richard DeRobertis, M.C. Schmidt, James Dorr, Rosalind Goldsmith, Margaret Karmazin, J.W.Wood, James Rumpel, Bill McCormick, v.f. thompson, Fran Tabor, David K. Slay, Joseph Carrabis, Jane Frankel, Alice Baburek, Susan R. Morritt, Bobby Rollins, Lee Clark Zumpe, Denice Penrose, Stephen McQuiggan, H. Donovan Lyón, Anna Ross, Michael Pudney, Beth Gaydon, and Tom Wolosz.

James’ contribution is Marcie. Here’s the opening:

There were two kinds of zombies. Of course, Marcie realized that — she wasn’t stupid. There was the bad kind, the kind they were always showing in movies, that ate human flesh. Sometimes, even, they only ate brains. But that was just an addiction, she understood. Like coke or meth, it got you all screwed up — not that she was into those kinds of things herself. Well, maybe she and her sisters a little bit in college, but. . . . But the point was, you couldn’t condemn a whole class of people because of the bad habits of just a few of them.

How the story came about:
“Marcie and Her Sisters” was first published in the cinema-horror anthology REEL DARK (BlackWyrm, 2015), in part for thematic similarities to the Woody Allen film HANNAH AND HER SISTERS, though oddly that hadn’t been a factor in my original inspiration. Rather, it was a thought that just came to me, of a couple of women where one says to the other, “Let’s go to the zombie store and buy ourselves husbands.” That led to my thinking of the medieval tale of “Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell” (one variant is “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” in Chaucer’s THE CANTERBURY TALES — so, okay, I have a MA in English Lit with specialization in the Middle Ages) in which he marries a woman under a spell where she can be either beautiful at night when they’re alone together, but hideous by day when they’re with others, or vice versa. So too perhaps with zombies then, where the women must choose between these different aspects — and why not, for that matter, add a third? And then — one more notion — some stories don’t always have entirely reliable narrators.

About James Dorr:
Bloomington, Indiana author James Dorr’s THE TEARS OF ISIS was a 2013 Bram Stoker Award® finalist for Fiction Collection, with his latest book, TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, a novel-in-stories from Elder Signs Press. A short fiction writer and sometime poet working primarily in dark fantasy/horror, with some forays into science fiction and mystery, he currently harbors a Goth cat named Triana, and counts among his major influences Ray Bradbury, Edgar Allan Poe, Allen Ginsberg, and Bertolt Brecht.
For more information, visit Dorr’s blog and Facebook.

See all The Rabbit Hole Weird Stories Destination:Journey stories here.