KIERAN SHEA’s fiction has appeared in dozens of venues including Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Thuglit, Dogmatika, Word Riot, Plots with Guns, Beat to a Pulp, Crimefactory, and Needle: A Magazine of Noir well as in some beefy-looking anthologies most of which will make you question the tether of his shiny, red balloon. To his self-deprecating astonishment he's also been nominated for the Story South’s Million Writers Award twice without sending the judges so much as a thank you note. He co-edited the satiric transgressive fiction collection D*CKED: DARK FICTION INSPIRED BY DICK CHENEY and his debut novel KOKO TAKES A HOLIDAY is out now from Titan Books. Kieran divides his time between 38°58′22.6″N- 76°30′4.17″W and 39.2775° N, 74.5750° W.


HTFU: The Days After

Unless you've been in a coma, you probably have seen the pictures. Pretty bad. My house, miraculously, was unaffected save for a bit of foundation flooding. Old bones, built in 1912 and one of the oldest sets of dunes in town is at the end of our street. Don't know for sure about other damage yet because I'm getting this Ocean City/NJ intel secondhand and need to charge out there tomorrow. Here's a tip: if you want to live near the ocean, go for the high ground even if the high ground is less than eight feet above sea level. Yeah, you might have to walk a bit farther to the beach, but it's better than getting flushed into billion pieces. Good friends on our street not as lucky. Total roofs gone. Homes ruined. Places up north in Monmouth and Ocean Counties where I grew up? Pummeled or erased. Of course on the news this morning there are riot vibes percolating way up in Hoboken. Ohhh, great, that'll help. Jesus. So, now what? Well, three sectors pay for something like this--the government (best of luck on that, chum), the insurance companies (mmm...yeah...I'm thinking this didn't figure into their projections) and, well, the people (who at last check are whipped and either crying uncle or very, very angry.) So, with the usual bailout coffers looking hollow and the bitterness surging high, what happens? Who pays for this catastrophic mess? No one and everyone, that's your answer...and the stinging dividends will ache for a long, long time to come...possibly festering into something much, much worse. You cannot blame nature for being nature, but you can point the finger at our overwhelming hubris. Huh? But what and who do you mean? Look, man, you need to look lean and hard at every face you see and into the corrupt ulcers of our greedy national soul, is what I'm saying. Man, I'm tired. So tired. Maybe I'm not making any sense...but for those ready to make jokes about "Jersey" (har, great loss) here's a piece of advice--don't. Not on my watch or in my presence because if you do I will lay you out flat, and that's a promise. Last check I'm 6' 3" weigh in at 215 and I have no qualms whatsoever of throwing every pound of that into my springs and swings. Don't think much of the Garden State or that it doesn't really affect you? Enjoy your gas price hikes, asshole, because we refine 700,000 barrels a day. And think about the other impact zones. NYC and NY? CT? RI? DE? MD? VA? NC? What about those financial shock waves? And if you're from PA and don't think all this affects you, last time I checked we are pretty much you number one vacation spot, so take pause. Now then, I've trimmed most of my profanities from this, so all I can do now is get to work helping who I can, because Sean Penn sure as hell ain't showing up on my street. Storm of the Century?  Pretty bold statement as the century is only twelve years old and anyway, wasn't Katrina supposed to be the Storm of the Century? Onward.