Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Nov 122014

Good news is followed by even better news! When I announced my contest win, I said something else exciting was on the way, and here it is: my short horror story “Rokurokubi” has been accepted for publication by Wicked Words Quarterly, to appear in the December issue.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies, Jinxie Tenma

Jinxie would be proud.
Or terrified.
Probably terrified.

“Rokurokubi,” if that title has you scratching your head, was inspired by the yokai from Japanese folklore. Believe it or not, I owe Ace Attorney some thanks for this publication. I originally wrote this story as the final project for my class on Readings in the Genre: Monsters. One of the key instructions was that it had to be an obscure monster, rather than something common.

Around the same time, I played (and loved) Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies, so I was a bit obsessed with it. The game’s second case has a yokai theme. One of the characters is even obsessed with yokai and sees them everywhere.

So, I researched some yokai. Yokai are crazy. There are so many bizarre ones… but also a lot of real creepy ones. One yokai, the hari-onago or hari-onna, appears like a woman, but each strand of her hair ends in a hook. When you get close enough, she flays you with all the tiny hooks. I really want to write a story about that one someday. But anyway, that isn’t the one I picked for my final project story. I picked the rokurokubi…

…and don’t¬†rush off and look up what a rokurokubi is! Let it be a surprise when you read the story!

On the other hand, if you’re interested in yokai and want to learn more about them, I recommend you pick up a copy of Matthew Meyer’s The Night Parade of 100 Demons: a Field Guide to Japanese Yokai. This 224-page book features over 100 yokai, each with a full color illustration, a description, and more. It’s been a fantastic resource for me, and I don’t know of a better way to learn about yokai. (And speaking of yokai, here’s hoping the hit game Yokai Watch makes it to the West! Bring on the localization news, Level-5!)

I’ll let you know as soon as I have a release date for “Rokurokubi.” In the meantime, keep an eye out for my review of Grave’s End and the exciting video game reviews I have in store next!

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