Showing posts from April, 2018

The Conjuring of Demons

Saturday Stories April 28, 2018

There are spells for casting out demons. Some of these date back to the Druids, and some are even more ancient that the Babylonians.

And there are also spells to summon them. One of the common elements is the blood of a virgin.

The most dangerous is the "hand of glory," said to be the severed hand of a man who died in the gallows – but occult practitioners know it is something else.

The first victim was carrying some gel capsules for her stomach pains, made from a chemical derived from belladonna, an herb attributed with mystical properties – and also known as the hand of glory.

The paranormal expert and the veteran detective (me and Gene Hackman in my mental movie version) hadn't known about the gel capsules when they came to confront the haunting.

What they did know is this: when you use the hand of glory to call up a spirit, you will face a demon that is immune to exorcism, one that "could eat a stack of Bibles for breakfast."…

The Magic of Frankie Presto

Saturday Stories April 21, 2018

We all join a band in our lives. Some of them we will want to last a lifetime.

Franciso knew he'd marry Aurora when they met when they were eight. It was one of the few times he felt what it was like to be happy.

The boy had already lost so much in his young life – not knowing he would soon lose everything else.

They were in the forest where they saw the bodies of six people dumped in a mass grave, victims of extrajudicial killings under the regime of a psychopath. 

Francisco was carrying his guitar, as always, and Aurora asked him to play. "For you?" he asked. The girl looked towards the grave and said: "For them..."

He played "Maalaala Mo Kaya," a beautiful melody by Filipino composer Constancio de Guzman. His teacher, El Maestro, said it was "sad enough to make the phonograph needle melt."

I've just read "The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto" by my beloved Mitch Albom for the seventh time – a…

The House That Telepaths Built

Saturday Stories April 14, 2018

Even before Jack opened his eyes he already knew where he was. He found himself in a middle of a field, surrounded by untouched grass, as if he had popped out of thin air.

He was back where his uncanny abilities come from. It was also where he must find the world's most powerful telekinetic before it's too late.

Of all the characters of Stephen King, my favorite is Jack Sawyer, the hero of Black House, his second collaboration with Peter Straub. Their first, The Talisman, is when Jack was still a young boy, when he first possessed the powers that will forever mark him different from ordinary men.

And of all the mental movies I've "directed" as I read novels, this is one of the most epic. My "scenes" as Jack with Kevin Costner (Dale Gilbertson), Morgan Freeman (Speedy Parker), Robert Downey Jr. (Henry Leyden), Jeff Bridges (Beezer St. Pierre), Joseph Gordon Levitt (Bobby Dulac), Charlize Theron (Tansy Freneau), Viola Davi…

What Is The Sound of One-Hand Clapping?

Saturday Stories April 7, 2018

There is a story I want to tell. "All I need is to create the first sentence and everything will flow," I told a friend yesterday. While I was thinking about it, he was playing with Google Assistant on his Android. 
"Hey Google," he asked, as Ironman would ask Jarvis, "did Jonathan get laid last night?" Google said: "Yes!" We laughed and I told him the truth – which I won't share with the public.

"Ask him how to describe the color red to someone who is blind," I told him. It only responds to the voice of the owner of the mobile device.

"Explain that heat, such as a fire or candle flame, or a hot stove burner, is red," answered Google. "Red can usually be thought of as heat, or even a burn. Tell the person, 'If you have ever had a sun burn, your skin turns a red color. Or, if you have felt embarrassed and blushed, that heat on your cheeks looks red.'"

"Hey Google,"…