This week: Stories From Around the Internet Edited by: Shannon
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Welcome to the Short Stories Newsletter. I am Shannon and I'm your editor this week.
Keep reading for your chance to claim an exclusive trinket!
|Inspiration often comes from unexpected places. The horrific behavior of Ed Gein inspired numerous horror movies; sometimes all it takes is a single event or individual to inspire the creative process. Liz Robinson says , "There are a number of ways that an author can write about real events or people, they could have completed painstaking research, or take the germ of an idea from an event and run with it."|
This week we'll learn about strange but true stories from around the internet. Maybe something here will spark your creativity.
The Spite House
During the Civil War, two brothers inherited a chunk of land in Boston. While brother #1 left to serve in the war, he was furious upon his return to discover brother #2 had built a home while he was away, using more than his share of the land. Out of spite, brother #1 built a 4-level skinny house (10-feet wide) in the remaining space, blocking brother #2's access to the bigger house as well as views of the city and harbor.
Between 1983 and 1994, La Grele committed several murders throughout the city of Paris, France. Dubbed "The Pockmarked Man" due to eyewitness reports of the killer's acne-scarred face, evidence eventually pointed to a fellow police officer named Francois Verove. When asked to supply a DNA sample Verove didn't comply. Authorities dispatched to his residence found Verove's lifeless body. The officer had killed himself, leaving behind a suicide note in which he confessed to the brutal crimes. Verove, a married man with two children, brazenly told his victims he was a police officer and, upon encountering a victim's brother, told the man to have "a very, very good day."
Bord för en
Just when you'd thought you'd seen it all in this age of Covid, Bord för en comes along.
Located in the Swedish village of Ransäter, your host offers "One table. One chair. Right in the middle of a Swedish summer field. Bord för en is a solo dining experience, and as such one of the only true Covid-19 safe restaurants in the world." Diners are treated to Råraka (Swedish style hash brown, smetana, seaweed caviar, wood plucked sorrel), Black & Yellow (yellow carrot-ginger puree, browned hazelnut butter, sweet corn croquettes, serpent root ash), and Last Days of Summer (ginned blueberries, iced buttermilk, viola sugar from our own beets), all delivered in a picnic basket via a 50-meter rope pulley. They only serve one guest per day, and reservations are booked through next summer.
Traveling is expensive! Hotels and Airbnb aren't cheap; it's a blessing when you can go to some faraway location and crash at a friend or family member's house, am I right? At least for the short term. Guests who overstay their welcome are like litterboxes: after a few days, they really start to stink.
If you're on a budget and happen to find yourself in Fukuoka, Japan, you can stay at the Asahi Ryokan hotel for $1 a night. That's right, one dollar. But there's a catch: you must agree to have your entire stay live-streamed on YouTube.
Male Slapping Competition
If you travel to Krasnoyarsk, Russia, don't miss the Male Slapping Championship. Yep, it's exactly what it sounds like: grown men facing off across a podium, taking turns slapping the crap out of each other. The one who doesn't pass out wins. Sounds simple, right? I guess it would until you're confronted by 370-pound Vasily "Dumpling" Pelman who slapped his way to victory, earning the equivalent of 470 American dollars. This is arguably the world's greatest sport.
The Angel Makers of Nagyrév
Between 1914 and 1926, thirty-four women and one man poisoned as many as 300 people with arsenic in the small town of Nagyrév, Hungary. Cheating husbands, well-to-do parents, even children were among the victims. Twelve perpetrators were sentenced to life in prison and eight were sentenced to death, but only two were actually executed.
Biological Resource Center
In 2014, the FBI raided Biological Resource Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Families donated their loved one's bodies to the center because they believed doing so would help someone else who was suffering from a debilitating disease like Alzheimer's. The families were shocked to discover their loved ones' corpses were used in experiments by the Defense Department or sold on the black market.
The Voyeur's Motel
Decades ago, Gerald Foos purchased a 21-room fleabag motel in Colorado for $145,000, cut 6"x14" one-way ventilation holes in the ceilings, and spied on his guests for decades from the safety of the attic above.
Some doubt the validity of Foos's story. For instance, there's an eight-year span during which Foos kept detailed journal entries documenting his guests' activities, but property records prove Foos didn't own the place at that time.
Even if his story is only partially true, Foos is, in my opinion, a degenerate scumbag of unfathomable proportions.
Benedictine monk Father Pellegrino Ernetti claimed to have partnered with 12 scientists, including Nazi scientist Werhner von Braun, to invent a device that sees through time, allowing the user to view historic events such as the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The device is reported to be housed within the Vatican's walls.
Joyce Carol Vincent
How is it possible for a 38-year-old woman to pass away in her apartment, the body going undiscovered for nearly three years? It sounds unbelievable, but that's exactly what happened to Joyce Vincent. Miss Vincent's skeletal remains were found inside her London bedsit more than two years after her demise. Her mummified corpse was found next to a pile of unopened Christmas presents while the BBC played on the corner TV.
The Sound of Insects
Filmed documentary-style, The Sound of Insects is both unsettling and heartbreaking. "The story was inspired by the novella Miira ni narumade by the Japanese writer Shimada Masahiko, who was in turn inspired by a incredible true story. A hunter discovered the mummified corpse of a man aged forty in one of the most remote areas of the country. From his detailed diary notes, it became clear that he had committed suicide by starving himself."
Barbara Shackleford spent the Christmas of 2019 without her husband, Robert, who died in May of that year. It was the first Christmas the couple had spent apart in 59 years. After his death, Barbara's grandchildren found love letters the couple had written to each other six decades prior--letters Barbara had no idea Robert held onto. The family presented them to Barbara on Christmas Day. TISSUE WARNING: this video will make you cry.
Did anything you read give you an idea for a story? What's your current work in progress about? How do you find inspiration? Do you have a crazy story you'd like to share with the writing.com community? Every registered author who shares their ideas and/or creative endeavors relating to or inspired by this week's topic will receive an exclusive trinket. I will retire this month's limited-edition trinket at 11:59 p.m. WDC time on Tuesday, December 21, 2021, when my next short stories newsletter goes live.
Until next time, thank you for reading.
|I hope you enjoy this week's featured selections. I occasionally feature static items by members who are no longer with us; some have passed away while others simply aren't active members. Their absence doesn't render their work any less relevant, and if it fits the week's topic I will include it.|
Thank you, and have a great week!
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|The following is in response to "Fearless Writing with Émile Zola" :|
wdwilcox writes: Wow, that was intense
BIG BAD WOLF is Merry writes: Truth is stranger than fiction.
JCosmos writes: I have a couple of short stories that I am going to revise and re-submit over the next two weeks using new techniques learned through Gabriele Pereria DYI MFA class which I recommend highly. The first is called "Escape from Hell" which tells the tale of a man who goes to hell to rescue his wife who had been wrongly sent to hell by a computer glitch. He manages to break into hell, bribe his way to his wife and bring her back. According to Hell's own laws, anyone alive who goes to hell to rescue a person wrongly sent to hell who makes it back will be guaranteed 70 more years in a new body and guaranteed a place in heaven. The second one is about a man who is a marine salvager and rescues the last mermaid left on earth. The third story is a story looking at the Q phenomenon from the point of view that Q was partially right, but the conspiracy goes back to ancient Atlantis when reptilian shapeshifters destroyed their colony on Atlantis over what to do with humans. The red lizards wanted to continue to enslave them. The green lizards wanted to elevate and educate them and live with them in peace. The two parties continued to exist until the present day but there were very few purebred left, and many humans, perhaps ten percent, are part alien.
Jeff writes: Two of my favorite storytellers are Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, et al) and Michael Lewis (Moneyball, The Big Short, The Blind Side, et al). Both of them have a way of distilling really complex ideas and complicated concepts into something that any reader can understand. They also manage to find incredibly human moments even in topics as clinical as the financial crisis, or how our opinions are quickly shaped by our unconscious minds.
Queen NormaJean ValentinaQueen writes: I found in a thrift store, in Roundup, MT, of all places, a DVD of a TV series based on Therese Raquin. Who knew someone in this town in the back of beyond would be interested in Emile Zola.
Elfin Dragon-finally published writes: I really enjoyed, "The biggest FAIL in military history." I love history in general and often try and work it into stories I write, or into my novel. I think it's important, even the strange bits that not many people know about. Such as the little-known laws which still exist in the books.
Lilli ☕️🧿 Busy w/Quills writes: Wow! What a collection of videos! Interesting and thought-provoking.
sindbad writes: Hi, Shannon. This is a sensational newsletter, and l was thrilled to watch all the inspirational videos. I learnt so many things especially the major disaster that happened to the Russian fleet and other videos with unique and rare information. To be honest, l liked this newsletter way better. The information gathered here is awesome.
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