Click on the titles to read the stories.
Greedo shot first – The imagery of the second part was taken from ‘Full metal jacket,’ but of course the titular idea came from ‘Star wars’ fandom. I personally believe Han shot first.
The great barrier – The only worrisome thing about writing this was how blatantly obvious it was that I was referring to Donald Trump. Where I live, sentiment is overwhelmingly against Trump, so I wanted to somehow spin things in his favor.
Dumbest President Ever – In my notes, I wrote “Imagine Moss [from ‘The IT crowd’] as president…” From that tiny seed came one of the funnest writing experiences I’ve had. After I wrote the first part, it was easy to imagine what a ‘secret first lady’ of his would be like.
Passing – This story, along with ‘Peace at last’ below, belongs to a similar universe, the images of which are inspired by Isabel Allende’s ‘The house of the spirits,’ in feeling hacienda-ish. The very first idea of ‘Passing’ was also the first line, with the president telling his son about power.
Peace at last – The feud is reminiscent of ‘Romeo & Juliet,’ but it was more directly inspired by the second series of ‘Broadchurch,’ which I had seen four episodes of the day before. I imagined the high tension during a trial, where forgiving gestures could allow the grandchildren of those involved to be at peace.
Philosopher-king – I never mention what musicians encompass the elite ‘Five,’ but that’s beside the point. Such authoritarianism might have been favorable to me when I was younger.
Shadow of hate – This was derived from two quite disparate ideas: a has-been terrorist, and a sitcom-like plot of impersonating a dead grandson. Why not have the has-been terrorist play the grandson? You might notice my avoidance of mentioning specific religions, even though it’s quite obvious that I’m referring to Islam and Christianity. As I see it, it’s not an attempt at political correctness. It’s pointless to put one religion over another, because it’s the person’s values, with whatever linguistic means of expression he uses, that counts. If you try to impose your beliefs on others, it’s called being an asshole.
Disclosure – This is an attempt at expounding on Batman’s no-kill policy, which I don’t necessarily agree with. The beauty of writing is to say with your whole heart things you don’t mean.
Christ is for losers – Another ‘apology’ similar to the aforementioned ‘Disclosure,’ and inspired by all the current talk of microaggressions and trigger warnings, which are still, thankfully, relegated to the academe. The provocative title is also in keeping with this, even though the story itself is a realization borne of a kind of agony in the garden, and the tone, I’d like to imagine, is similar to Jesus telling off the Pharisees.
Before and after – The run up the semi-fictional Hibok mountain was inspired by an actual hike of mine, but Jane’s ‘awakening’ is derived from something I thought of in front of my laptop. Jane’s decision to never discuss politics again is an extreme position. Politics as a topic has no power to destroy relationships, apart from the spirit in which it is deliberated.
Drill – When I first thought of a vigilante using drills to assassinate officials, the story was more comic-book-ish. By the end, it became more of a TV soap.
The faintness – I keep picturing the ships in ‘Independence Day,’ although in my story, no one actually sees what’s causing the ‘faint’ sound, the idea of which was inspired by me learning a Bach bass line at this time.
God & Milia – This 5,000-worder has an assortment of influences. The first part’s convenience store scene, and the third part’s scene outside the firearms store, were inspired by ‘Taxi driver.’ The characters God and Milia are projections, in my often blundering attempts at reaching out to others. The writing of this came so naturally, and the creative flow during those four days is something I want to emulate in the future.
Repeating itself – I wrote this during a national holiday celebrating Marcos’ removal from power. It was so easy to put down on paper, I immediately forgot what I had written.
Unofficial caretaker – This was the last of the 200 stories I wrote in 2015-2016, but is not definitive of the growth I’d experienced as a writer. I like the whimsicality of it though. One of these days, I’m going to bring back the Justice Renegettes.
Adult talk – I’ve written several princess stories, but this is the only one I cared to publish. Audrey Hepburn is the primary inspiration for all the princesses I write.
Victim – I imagine prisons of the future as monasteries, with a killer retiring in a church with monks who could kick his ass.
Following – Written just when the last election campaign and mudslinging were picking up steam. Unfortunately, nothing even as juicy as this story surfaced during the campaign. My favorite thing about it is Avery and Melanie’s manner of conversation.
The incident – I like the differing tone of the two parts, the former quite solemn and the other a not-too-far-out parody of crap you hear from politicians.
The tip of awesome – This is hardly a political story, apart from Will’s climb up the social ladder. I imagine professional players to be so much better at what they do when not playing professionally.
Diplomatic immunity! – Just a dumb look at the ‘Lethal weapon 2’ villain’s defense taken to absurdity.
The dead fan – I was at a traffic light, when I looked to the election flyers someone left in the car, and thought of what the public would surmise if I, who wouldn’t vote for anybody seeking public office, were crushed by two reckless buses.
Trilogy – I never got around to renaming this ‘trilogy’ of stories, each one with a different protagonist. The inspiration for the first part was imagining what it would be like to be in the same picture as that taken of terror suspects. The second and third parts were derived from seemingly small events mentioned in the preceding installments. Part three wasn’t intended as such, but could serve as a primer on inflation.
‘Dumbest President Ever: 23 tales of Politica’ is available on Amazon. I’m offering it for FREE for the next three Mondays.