This page contains random excerpts from my book and short stories. Eventually, when I can figure it out, I’ll turn these into static page posts that you can comment on… And I plan to put out a collection of shorts at some point, hopefully with artwork from various artists!
Takhoma And Beacon Hill is a short story I wrote in early 2015 for a Seattle Fake-Mythology project. Seems appropriate given all the discussion around the big earthquake, that I post this story in FULL for your reading pleasure. So here's my mythological take on the big earthquake some millennia ago. With much reverence and apologies to natives of the PNW...
TAKHOMA AND BEACON HILL
[Full short story]
By Rich Helzerman
In eons past, back when the great Pacific North West was but a flat land, in the time before the horrors of Vanilla Coke, the gods toyed with man, bending them to their will. In their hatred of all things Montana, the gods decided that they should have their own set of mountains. They chose a few men and women, bestowing great strength upon them. Out of their efforts arose an army of mountain builders, the greatest of these being Takhoma.
The great Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges rose steadily, dwarfing all around it. Their grandeur was a source of pride among the mortal inhabitants of the area. Many would make toasts, raising their overly bitter craft beers and milk-infused espressos, at their own greatness over the other inferior humans of the world, especially the inhabitants of Spokane who seemed happy in their ignorance of living in such a crappy desert.
But all were not so happy. The god of the sea, Komokwa, who had formed great structures, invisible from the surface dwellers in the depths of his abyss, and who had carved out the Puget Sound, filling it with all sorts of hip creatures, not even caring to have it named after himself, was growing increasingly angry at the surface gods' braggadocio. His ire could not be quenched by saltwater bathes or seaweed scrubs, no matter the purity of the organic plant.
The final straw came when, in their pomposity, the surface dwellers tricked Komokwa, into attempting to take a delicious dark roast brew neath the waves, claiming their screw-top cup to be perfectly water proof. The deception complete, the coffee was quickly ruined and he was out $3.50 plus a generous tip.
Komokwa decided right then and there, to destroy the legged mortals through a Tsunami.Read more
The Mire of Ezmeralda is about someone trying to escape the confines and comforts of a day-to-day existence. It's difficult and painful to leave comforts behind and move into the unknown. And truthfully, it isn't always necessarily better. But many of us decide to do just that, at least for a time. This story is for those people...
THE MIRE OF EZMERALDA
[short story excerpt]
by Rich Helzerman
Ezmeralda stared at the red balloon in front of her. How long it had been there, she knew not, only that it was there now; something new in her life. Save for the balloon, the mire of Ezmeralda's life surrounded her completely, fully enveloping her. Its pink-gray mass threatening to suffocate her at any moment.
She thought back to a time before the mire. It was difficult. There was such distance between that time and now. The mire had seeped in, filled in areas when she wasn't looking. Invaded before she had time or desire to escape. The sticky bland substance seemed to feed off of her, comforting hands protecting her fragile being from the dangers of life.
At times she could imagine nothing else, nothing more serene than giving in to the mire completely. Breathing its sickeningly sweet odor deep into her lungs. Becoming one with the monotonous oblivion it offered her.
There were pockets of joy, to be sure. Areas when the mire parted, allowing her to briefly see the stars. Sparkling possibilities of a life beyond her own. Cruel taunts of what might have been or might be, before it came back down, punishing her for daring to dream beyond its existence. Putting her into her place.
And Ezmeralda obeyed...