Dilation Exercise 43

In an effort to further promote my new novel, Of Thimble and Threat: The Life of a Ripper Victim, released by Lazy Fascist Press, my Dilation Exercise for today is based on a Jack the Ripper illustration I did many years ago.

I’ve brought in a guest trainer, Randy Fox, for this week’s Dilation Exercise. His captions, seen with the image below, first appeared with the painting in a slide show of my artwork that he and another friend, Peteso, helped me work up to show at SF and Fantasy conventions back in the 1990s. The slide show was called “Dexter’s Funny World.” It breaks my Dilation Exercise rule of limiting the text to two lines, but rules are made to be broken. Randy expanded his caption into a short story, titled “Dexter’s Great Adventure,” that appeared in More Phobias, edited by Wendy Webb, Richard Gilliam, Edward E. Kramer and Martin Greenberg — Pocket Books Horror 1995.

Please look at the picture, read the caption, above and below the image, and allow your imagination to go to work on it. If the artwork inspires a story, please say something about it in a comment. Need a further explanation? Go to Imagination Workout—The Dilation Exercises.

His hobby of people-watching was made all the more difficult by his fear of looking directly at them. After much though, he had solved the problem by always carrying some kind of reflective surface with him.

In the case of the butcher knife, that new dish detergent had really made a difference. During his late night constitutional he could watch everyone around him, and no one would suspect a thing. People were sure acting funny tonight, though. But that was the whole reason he liked to watch them. People were just doggone strange.

Artwork: “Shadow Games” copyright © 1993 Alan M. Clark.
Cover illustration for Shadow Games, by Ed Gorman, published by Cemetery Dance Publication. Captions seen here are original to this post and have nothing to do with the literary project with which the artwork first appeared.

—Alan M. Clark

Eugene, Oregon