J.P. Langan has masterminded a tremendous impromptu online anthology of stories involving horror writer Laird Barron. Those of you who have met Laird will be entirely willing to believe that he was kidnapped by a man intent on sacrificing him to darker powers, as Langan recounts:
Mr. Norris swept his arms around him, almost upsetting his balance. “I’m no longer alone; I haven’t been for some time, now. The Word’s attendants, its supplicants… As I’ve drawn nearer to the end of my task, I’ve had glimpses of them—not enough to say what I’ve seen with any certainty, just that they’re present, all around me.”
As if in reply, the branches of the evergreens around them clashed in a sudden breeze, and Laird thought the spaces between them darkened.
That he took a turn as a very exotic dancer, according to Lee Thomas:
The Husky threw back the beaded curtain and burst into the lantern light, stomping his mink thigh-high boots in heated rhythm to Motley Crue, who expounded the virtues and the vices of the Wild Side. He strutted to the edge of the stage and spun, slipped the jacket to the crook of his elbow to reveal a white, muscled shoulder, and the men shouted as if for blood.
That he studied carnivorous ants in Cancun with Sarah Langan:
“Well,” Barron explained, “I’m bringing a colony back with me to Alaska and training them, so probably pretty soon. The west coast, then across the continent. Their neurochemical signals are very strong—you’d be surprised. Ants make hosts of lots of animals, even humans. But don’t worry, they work fast. When your time comes, you won’t feel a thing.”
That he fled an angry volcano spirit as described by Jack Haringa (himself recently the victim of a similar literary roast):
A hot wind chased him up the side of the cinder cone. He didn’t know if it was natural, but he knew it smelled wrong. It could have been the trade winds or the breath of whatever dragged itself across the beach. He knew it was behind him and that was enough.
At the top he wanted to rest but the ground shook again and he could smell burning and something else, something rotten, and the wind spun dust into his eye and heard a sound like the inhalation of the very sea itself. His senses wanted to shut down, to deny these things, but he wouldn’t let them. He did not want to hear what voice or roar or cry would follow that great gulping of atmosphere nor to see what could make such a sound. But he had to hear and see if he wanted to live.
That he ate himself to death at a book signing with Jeff Ford:
When his lunch was revealed, I did a double take. Between two circular slices of rye bread the size of coffee saucers was stacked about four inches of what looked like bad chicken. The chunks of it were emerald green, like something you’d find at the back of the fridge before moving from a place you’d lived in for 8 years. Dripping from within onto the table top was a pale yellow sauce. I instinctively pushed my chair back a few inches and said, “What the fuck is that?”
He turned his head and stared at me with his good eye—a look devoid of emotion. “Lunch,” he said.
And many more sordid tales that J.P. Langan has collected links to here. Read them all–and wonder what secrets from your past might be revealed by your own writerly friends should they take it upon themselves to “celebrate” you in such a fashion.