Untitled Superhero Pilot, Scene 4

2019.11.08

THE NIGHTLY CHILL

2019.11.08

By Steve Arviso

Untitled Superhero Pilot, Scene 4.


FIGHT THE DAWN!

As the sunlit sanity of the waking world burns the night to ash,
embrace the unbound madness of your wildest dreams,
laugh into the endless abyss of your darkest fantasies,
and rage against the coming dawn.

The Nightly Chill is the unstable experience of the mind and madness of Steve Arviso (@AmoralCrackpot). Mon-Fri. Ish.


CONSISTENTLY INCONSISTENT

  • WE ARE THE LOST

  • FAN FICTION THEATER

  • PULPBUSTERS

  • UNTITLED SUPERHERO PILOT, SCENE 4

  • THE MIXTAPE


Tonight, UNTITLED SUPERHERO PILOT concludes with Scene 4. And FAN FICTION THEATER returns with a full outline for revised take on the DCEU with BATMAN VERSUS SUPERMAN.


WE ARE THE LOST

The Nightly Chill wants to show some love to a variety of cool shit from local and other independent artists, performers, and assorted creative types!

If you have a show you want to promote, especially if it’s located in SoCal, let’s get your poster and links! Got a cool short film you made for no money, or a song your band is trying to get out there to more peeps? Let’s embed that YouTube video and link new listeners to where they can support you!

Hit us up if you make:

  • Art

  • Comics

  • Music, audio dramas

  • Genre fiction, poetry, films, etc!

The weirder, the better!

We are The Lost. And together, we’ll make sure the world sees and hears us.


FAN FICTION THEATER - BATMAN VS SUPERMAN

While the Marvel Cinematic Universe started off with a risky investment in smaller, lesser known properties and blew up into the hottest pop-culture franchise in the world, Warner Bros. and DC utterly failed in their attempts to replicate that success with arguably two of the biggest icons in American pop-culture of the last century--Batman and Superman.

Man of Steel was an interesting idea with flawed execution. An introspective re-contextualization of Superman for a modern, far-more cynical world should have made for an interesting movie, especially given the advancements of special effects since the days of Christopher Reeves. But it was a cynical movie from a cynical director for a cynical world. 

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is not only a convoluted, bloated mess of a title, it’s also a bad movie. Characters are lifeless, unmotivated, directionless. The story is nonsensical, and not in the delightful “dance-off to save the universe” sense. The stakes make no sense. This massive pop-culture milestone featuring the first-ever on-screen union of two pop-culture icons--both owned by the same company this entire time!--is a mess that fails in any real way that matters for a movie, aside from that historical moment.

And it didn't need to be that way. There were nugget of a good, really fun story in there. Somewhere. They mined classic stories for cool moments but left out what made those moments and stories compelling in the first place. All it takes is reinserting what was already there, making full use of existing material to bring everything to where it should be.

As we saw with Justice League, you can salvage only so much with rewrites and reshoots when most (all?) of the movie is already completed. I did my best to keep the central "themes" (if there is any such thing to really find in the original BvS), characters, and beats. I've minimized and repurposed what felt unnecessary or convoluted. And I expanded and filled in all the gaps I could think to fill. It still ultimately comes across as a significant departure from what we got in theaters, but I think it still feels very familiar and true to the supposed spirit of everything. And I hope you'll enjoy and agree.

SYNOPSIS

After the destructive Battle of Metropolis, Superman has become a polarizing figure across the world. Some see him as a savior. Others see his interference in world affairs as a threat against the freedom and rights of the human race, including the violent vigilante from Gotham City--The Batman.

BATMAN VERSUS SUPERMAN

THE KNIGHTMARE

The near future. The majority of the world live seemingly peaceful lives in Kryptonian-like, utopian metropolises under the strict authoritarian rule SUPERMAN and his High Council. A war brewing between the nations of Themyscira and Atlantis threatens the public peace. And rumors of a resistance comprised of OUTSIDERS living beyond the walls of the metropolises divides the people.

The Outsiders, comprised of several humans and metahumans led by BATMAN, attempt to recover an ELEMENT believed to be Superman’s only weakness. But Batman and the Outsiders are betrayed and captured.

Superman personally tortures and executes The Outsiders, one-by-one. But just before Superman puts his hands through Batman’s chest, Batman signals, BARRY, a young metahuman dressed in red, makeshift armor.

As Batman is executed, Barry flees, breaking the sound barrier several times over, going faster and faster, with Superman hot on his tail. But before Superman can take hold of him, Barry disappears in a FLASH of red and white lightning.

The Batcave. Years Earlier. BRUCE WAYNE is at his workstation, preparing for nightly patrol when Barry arrives in a FLASH of lightning. Barry warns Bruce of Superman’s reign of terror, and that LOIS LANE is the key to it all. But Barry’s very presence has altered the fabric of HYPERTIME. As Bruce’s mind floods with SHATTERED IMAGES of the future and of his own death at the hands of Superman, Barry’s essence dissipates atom-by-atom, until only pure energy is left. Bruce is left alone, terrified, and now sure of his next mission: kill the Man of Steel.

A DELICATE BALANCE

Present day. Reporter LOIS LANE flies into a political hot zone to speak with a GENERAL from the island nation of Themyscira, a highly-advanced, female-led democracy with a penchant for aggressive military action. But as Lois and the General engage in a heated debate about the moral and ethical implications of pre-emptive military actions, they find themselves under attack.

Amidst the chaos, Superman arrives. He pulls Lois out of harm's way and single-handedly puts a stop to the conflict, much to the chagrin of the General. But as Superman plays the smiling boy scout in light of his concern for Lois, the General isn't buying it. Instead, she warns about an alien interfering with the affairs of humanity.

HEROES AND VILLAINS

Metropolis. Superman is a polarizing public figure. Some see Superman as a savior for his proactive approach to crime and world conflicts. Others see him as a menacing outsider upsetting the natural order. This public and political opposition to Superman is led by LEX LUTHOR, the billionaire hometown hero responsible for rebuilding Metropolis after the Kryptonian invasion. They demand a public hearing against Superman by the United Nations.

The Daily Planet. CLARK KENT soaks in the political shit storm. PERRY WHITE informs Clark of the latest local threat--the urban legend of Gotham City known as the Batman. The Batman is said to serve up his own violent brand of justice, frequently brutalizing and occasionally killing criminals. Recently, he's taken to branding his "victims" as a warning to others.

We witness the latest incident. The Batman breaks up a human trafficking ring, one supposedly headed by businessman and alleged criminal kingpin, Oswald Cobblepot. Among the rescued is the plucky, CARRIE KELLEY.

Upon learning this, Clark takes the Batman story and heads to Gotham.

WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE

Clark ventures through Gotham, interviewing the criminals harmed by The Batman and the locals aided by him. The criminals fear The Batman, but civilians adore him, believing the Batman’s violent tactics are the only way to deal with criminals that the corrupt Gotham PD allow to slip through the cracks. A corruption that Clark soon witnesses firsthand.

Night. Batman hunts and chases SCARECROW--currently brewing up a new batch of fear toxin--through the streets of Gotham, resulting in severe collateral damage. As Batman beats Scarecrow half-to-death in mindless rage, Superman intervenes.

In a brief altercation, Superman threatens to put down the Batman if he continues down this violent path. But Batman, recalling Barry and the visions, stands his ground. He points out that Superman has let the Scarecrow go free, and has no idea the sort of repercussions his actions have. He’s not a man, he’s an alien. A demon playing God.

ESCALATION

As he awaits his hearing at the UN, Clark confides in Lois. He worries about his place in the world, about his future among mankind. A family. Where does he belong? But as Lois eases Clark’s mind, she receives an anonymous tip about Luthor conducting illegal activities down at the docks that evening. Clark departs for the UN alone while Lois chases the story.

The United Nations. The Themyscirian representative, DIANA PRINCE, makes her nation’s case against Superman and calls for action. Lex delivers an impassioned speech about the losses suffered at the hands of Superman during the Battle of Metropolis. He claims that only mankind can be allowed to shape its future, and presents JOHN CORBEN, former soldier gravely wounded during his service and defense of the city, now rebuilt and given a second chance at life with Lex Corp medical cybernetics. As Superman attempts to defend himself against the accusations of Luthor and Prince, he loses his composure, growing into a rage before leaving, ashamed.

THE PUNCHLINE

Night. Metropolis Docks. Lois and a photographer, JIMMY OLSON, investigate an anonymous tip regarding Luthor receiving an illegal payoff.

Batman arrives on the scene. He attacks Luthor and his PARAMILITARY HENCHMEN, searching for evidence and answers about Luthor's ties to the recent activities in Gotham. But he’s exhausted, injured, outgunned, and outmanned.

Carrie Kelley, in a cheap costume and armed to the teeth, saves Batman. She gets him to the BATMOBILE in the nick of time and escape into the night.

During the chaos, Jimmy is killed and Lois is abducted by none other than THE JOKER.

PREPARING FOR WAR

The Batcave. ALFRED tends to Bruce's serious injuries. Carrie discovers and is enthralled by a damaged costume that once belonged to Batman's "sidekick," ROBIN. Bruce recalls the Joker brutally murdering a teen boy, JASON, dressed in the very same costume Carrie is looking at. All he can manage to tell her is that the "uniform" once belonged to a soldier, a dear comrade in arms that he failed to protect.

Superman returns home to find Lois missing. He soon learns Jimmy has been killed in the line of duty. And that Batman has brought his war to Metropolis.

Elsewhere. Joker prepares for one last joke. He mocks and tortures Lois, eager to prove that Superman isn’t a pure boyscout safe from corruption and compromising his morals.

BATMAN VS SUPERMAN

Superman arrives in Gotham City, almost immediately discovers the location of the Batcave beneath WAYNE MANOR, and smashes into it. He demands Batman show himself. And then, he does. Batman tackles and pins down Superman with the aid of a highly-advanced suit of (bat-themed) armor. He’s completely ready for war with the Superman.

The two engage in a massive battle that obliterates the Batcave, Wayne Manor, and a good chunk of Gotham. Superman is going to put a stop to the Batman and his war. Batman won’t yield for no man or god--this is his city, his war, and his planet.

But the cost is great and Superman proves to be too powerful, more powerful than Batman ever thought possible. For the first time ever, the Batman is the one afraid. He’s too old, too tired, and too broken. He’s too human. And his body finally gives out, fighting until his literal final breath.

Carrie runs to his side, begging Superman to leave her and the now-dead Bruce alone.

This isn’t what Superman wanted. He’s not a killer. He only wanted to bring a violent vigilante and terrorist to justice. Physically unharmed but emotionally and morally destroyed, Superman leaves.

THE KILLING JOKE

Later. Elsewhere. As Superman struggles with the reality that he can't find or hear any sign of Lois, a terrifying broadcast hits all of Metropolis. It's the Joker.

Joker laughs about Superman killing the Batman. He never thought Big Blue would do that on his own, that he'd take out his most prized plaything. Guess the jokes on him, for once--and he hates it. And that's why, for one last huck-yuck, he's planning on taking away everything dear to Superman. He reveals he's broadcasting from the Daily Planet and that, in a short matter of time, Joker, the Planet, its staff, and all of Metropolis will be nothing but a smoking crater. A number of nuclear weapons are scattered across the city and in the foundation of the Planet. However, Lois is somewhere else. So, Superman will have to decide: his city or his lady. Man or God, make your choice.

WORLD’S FINEST

In the ruins of the Batcave, Carrie and Alfred discover Bruce is somehow still alive, coming to just in time to see Joker's broadcast. He realizes that this is the moment Barry warned him about. Carrie isn't sure what they can do, or what they should do. But Bruce knows. He understands Superman at this point. He'll go after the bomb, save the city, even if it means losing Lois. But Batman can't allow that to happen, because it'll mean the dark future he witnessed will come true. And that's why they have to save Lois Lane.

Superman races across Metropolis, dealing with various traps and tricks as he snatches up each bomb. And Batman and Carrie--now donning an alternate Robin uniform--track down Lois and kick some ass.

Superman manages to nab all the bombs, taking them into space where they safely explode. However, he's nearly killed by the experience. Half-dead, enraged, and believing Lois is now dead, he returns to Earth to kill Joker.

Batman arrives, revealing to Superman that Lois is safe. The Joker is his cross to carry, not Superman's. That it only takes one bad day for a good man to be driven to dark future. But Superman isn't a man, he's something else. Something different. Something more. He has to be better than them. Be an example for others to live up to, not fear.

With Lois alive and safe and the Joker stopped, Superman calms. He leaves Joker in Batman's care and departs with Lois.

A NEW FRONTIER

Weeks and months pass.

Luthor eagerly leads the public charge against Superman, Batman, and all metahumans and vigilantes acting of their own volition. Against the will of the people. The destruction of Metropolis, the recent near-destruction of it again would have never occurred if not for their presence and action. Lois, alone, investigates and reports on Luthor's political efforts.

Superman has retired to isolation, in his fortress of solitude somewhere in the Arctic, healing from his injuries and reflecting on his role and impact as a God among humans.

The Joker, alive but brutally injured--teeth missing and jaw broken--is locked away in the depths of Arkham.

A private gala. Bruce Wayne tracks down Diana Prince. The two flirt endlessly and discuss art, but are both aware that the other is hiding something.

Later. Diana returns to her hotel room only to find the Batman waiting for her. She swiftly and easily disarms him. Batman smiles. He knew there was something different about her. And much to his amusement, she also knows that Bruce Wayne is under the mask.

He makes a peace offering: an old photograph. It’s Diana, somehow alive and armed for battle in a strange costume during the Second World War. He knows about her too. This isn’t a threat. Just a friendly reminder that he’s watching her, just like all the others.

We see brief flashes of Bruce’s interaction with several metahumans. A scarlet speedster (a younger BARRY) in makeshift armor stopping a robbery. A supposed "AQUAMAN” attacking illegal fishing vessels and oil rigs. A gravely injured COLLEGE STUDENT receiving cybernetic augmentation by Lex Corp.

Diana looks up from the photo and discovers the Batman is gone. Impressed, her sentimentality and smile quickly turns into a focused, serious look.

THE END


PULPBUSTERS - THE SHADOW KNOWS

Adena’s lil’ audio love note to the (great) granddaddy of pulp vigilantes, The Shadow. Listen to it now on Spotify, sub to the PulpBusters audio feed, or even download a free MP3 of The Shadow Knows using the links below.


UNTITLED SUPERHERO PILOT, SCENE 4

An absurd tale of superheroic nonsense. Concluded.

THE VOICE
(V.O.)
Previously, on Untitled Superhero Pilot,
negotiations with Slither-o failed!
Now.
Gnatman takes matters into his own hands!

GNATMAN
(Frustrated.)
Ugh. Screw this.

GNATMAN OPENS DOOR.

BARRY
Hey. Where are you going?

GNATMAN
I’m gonna handle this myself.

GNATMAN LEAVES.

BARRY
(Shouting.)
But you haven’t paid me yet!

GNATMAN
(OFF. Down the hall.)
Fuck you, Barry!

SCENE 4.  THE LAIR.

SOUNDSCAPE: THE MUFFLED SOUNDS OF A MIDDLE-CLASS NEIGHBORHOOD AS HEARD FROM WITHIN A CONVERTED DETACHED GARAGE.

THE VOICE
(V.O)
Sometime later...
in a converted detached garage...
located somewhere in a middle-class neighborhood...
Slither-O sends a message to his loyal followers…

(NOTE: SLITHER-O SPEAKS WITH THE STILTED NARCISSISTIC CADENCE OF A TYPICAL VLOGGER.)

SLITHER-O
Greetings, Henchpeople!
It’s
ya boy,
LizardKing69!

ANNOYING SFX BLARES.

SLITHER-O
So,
ya’ll wouldn’t believe the shitty day I’ve been having!

ANOTHER ANNOYING SFX.

SLITHER-O
(Wooden. Weird inflection.)
But before we get to that:
Are you tired of seeking sustenance?
Don’t you wish someone else
would deliver a
big
box of food
straight to your door?
That’s why I subscribe to
Food in a Box!

BOOM! MULTIPLE SWAT OFFICERS BUST INTO THE GARAGE, ARMED TO THE TEETH.

(NOTE: SWAT SPEAKS AS A GROUP, STAGGER TALKING OVER ONE ANOTHER.)

SWAT
(Rabble-rabble. Barking orders.)
City Police!
Hands in the air!
Hands in the air!
He’s got a computer!
Down on the ground!

SLITHER-O
(Scarred pissless.)
What the shit!

SOUNDSCAPE: THE INTIMATE INTERIOR OF A 2002 DODGE NEON.

THE VOICE
(V.O.)
Meanwhile,
from the safety of a 2002 Dodge Neon…
DangerDolphin tunes into Slither-O’s live-stream
while Gnatman watches on with a pair of binoculars he doesn’t remember buying.

GNATMAN
(Maniacal cackling.)
Yes! Suck on that, you—!
(Stumped.)
You, uh…
(Struggling for something clever.)
Ass!

DANGERDOLPHIN
(Disturbed.)
Dude…
The entire SWAT team has to be in Slither-o’s bedroom!

GNATMAN
(More cackling.)
I know, right?
(A beat.)
(Annoyed.)
Goddammit. You’re not gonna ruin this for me, are you?

DANGERDOLPHIN
(Hesitant.)
No. But--

GNATMAN
(Suddenly cheered up.)
Cool!

DANGERDOLPHIN
Yeah, but--

GNATMAN
(Annoyed again.)
Ugh. Here it comes.

DANGERDOLPHIN
Don’t you think this might be just a bit much?

GNATMAN
(Puzzles this.)
No?

DANGERDOLPHIN
(Bit shocked.)
Wow. Okay.

GNATMAN
(Legit confused.)
What? What’s wrong?

DANGERDOLPHIN
Nothing.
(Blatantly changes subject.)
So, where’d you even think of something like this?

GNATMAN
I stole the idea from some kids on the internet.

DANGERDOLPHIN
That’s awful!

GNATMAN
(Suddenly, deadly serious.)
Right? Buncha psychopaths, if you ask me.

DANGERDOLPHIN
(Oh, right.)
Speaking of which!

PLOP! DANGERDOLPHIN PULLS PAPERS OUT OF NOWHERE.

GNATMAN
Ew.

DANGERDOLPHIN
This is for you.

DANGERDOLPHIN SERVES GNATMAN PAPERS.

GNATMAN
(Grossed out.)
What’s this?

DANGERDOLPHIN
My bill.

GNATMAN
(Scoffs.)
You’re shitting me, right?

DANGERDOLPHIN
You still haven’t paid me!

UNCOMFORTABLE GLARING. THEN...

GNATMAN PUNCHES DANGERDOLPHIN IN THE ARM.

DANGERDOLPHIN
(Wincing, flinching in Dolphin.)
(Swearing in Dolphin, under breath.)

GNATMAN
Yeah, yeah.
(Returns to his binoculars.)
Take it up with my idiot lawyer.

DANGERDOLPHIN
(Confused.)
What? But that’s--
(Finally sinks in.)
Oh.
(Finally “gets” it.)
Oooh…
(A beat.)
(Defeated sigh.)
Goddammit.

TITLES--UP, OUT.

THE END.

  • READ IT ALL NOW!


THE MIXTAPE

Tracks I’m currently chillin’ with. Tonight, other nights. Follow the Playlist on YouTube to keep up with all the changes.

Lose You Again (2019) - Walk the Moon


GRAND GHOULISH - THE E-BOOK!

Originally serialized in the digital pages of The Nightly Chill, Steve Arviso's Grand Ghoulish collects the completed absurd twisted romance between a photographer, a housewife, and her husband--a surgeon who enjoys getting a little blood on his hands!

Read it for FREE in the back issues of The Nightly Chill, or directly support The Nightly Chill and other works by purchasing a copy of the e-book!


SUBSCRIBE FOR THAT WALK-OF-SHAME FEELING EVERY MORNING AFTER!


If you enjoy The Nightly Chill and would like to support my work, please consider supporting it via Patreon for as little as $1 a month.



YOU ARE NOT ALONE

THE NIGHTLY CHILL
Steve Arviso
2019

Untitled Superhero Pilot, Scene 3

2019.11.07

THE NIGHTLY CHILL

2019.11.07

By Steve Arviso

Untitled Superhero Pilot, Scene 3.


FIGHT THE DAWN!

As the sunlit sanity of the waking world burns the night to ash,
embrace the unbound madness of your wildest dreams,
laugh into the endless abyss of your darkest fantasies,
and rage against the coming dawn.

The Nightly Chill is the unstable experience of the mind and madness of Steve Arviso (@AmoralCrackpot). Mon-Fri. Ish.


CONSISTENTLY INCONSISTENT

  • BETWEEN THE CRACKS

  • WE ARE THE LOST

  • PULPBUSTERS

  • UNTITLED SUPERHERO PILOT, SCENE 3

  • THE MIXTAPE


Spider-Man will always be the superhero that I feel speaks the best to us as a people--the self-sacrificing hero. Idealistic, flawed, guilt-ridden and self-doubting, but always ready and willing to fight the good fight.

Superman is a beautiful symbol, but a horrific failure as a character. He's so perfect that he's unbearably flawed. He has to be twisted in some fashion or presented in some cynical fashion for people to care.

Batman is a childish power fantasy. The one who always wins. For all the supposed tragedy imposed on the character, it hardly ever leaves some lasting impact. He’s hardly shown to actually suffer. He's the smartest, the richest, the coolest, the darkest, the most varied in his presentation. He's said to be human, but he's more a superman than, well, Superman.

I think Iron Man, especially more modern interpretations--the movies and the comics, since at least the "Extremis" storyline from about a decade ago--is a more nuanced take on the rich genius dressing up and playing hero. Tony Stark has an arc. He grows and falters, and has to learn from his tragic mistakes and failures. He's an ideal for how those with true great power--money, influence--must also act responsibly, namely for the betterment of others.

But I don't think any character has been as frequently well-written, well-tested, and well-examined as Daredevil.

Matt Murdock isn't a man haunted and motivated solely by some childhood trauma, though he certainly has plenty of that under his belt. And despite what both the 2003 feature film and the more recent Netflix series has shown, the original comicbook version of Matt wasn't even set on his path to be a hero until he was a grown man in law school. He wasn't some child sent off into the wild to be a symbol of hope. Instead, Matt Murdock wanted to be a beneficial, caring member of society by becoming a lawyer who helped those in need. He was a man who was once a boy who wanted to grow up to be a real hero, no different than those who grow up wanting to be a cop or a doctor or a firefighter. His father was around long enough to give Matt guidance and love. He pushed Matt to be a better man than some low-level prize fighter, or petty crook hustling in the streets.

Oddball powers aside, Matt is, at his core, a blind martial artist who fights all sorts of realistic and superpowered villains in a homemade Halloween costume. (Fun Fact: unlike the popular Netflix series, comicbook Matt actually stitched his first Daredevil costume together from pieces of his father's old boxing gear.) He deals frequently with real-world issues. He gets hurt and scared. His relationships deal with his lies and lifestyle in more grounded ways--associates and loved ones get scared and hurt and leave and die. People learn to hate Matt Murdock as a person. There are consequences to his actions, such as when he was disbarred in New York in a fairly recent story, after his identity was made fully public.

More so: how often do you see--specifically in a mainstream, in-continuity superhero comic--the hero dealing with serious personal issues like depression?

Yeah, like Batman, Daredevil always wins. Eventually. Sorta. The villains always get what's coming to them, at least for a time. But unlike such characters as Batman, Matt Murdock's stories carry with them the weight of years and years of writer's testing the character. The character himself has scars.

More importantly, the character doesn't simply win "because he's Daredevil." He's not going to win because he's always the smartest man in the room, or has all the money in the world to have the most asinine amount of toys, gear, tech, and even a personal army of highly-trained, super savvy children. Even his victories often come at a cost, personal or otherwise.

Superman is an ideal. Batman is a fantasy. Spider-Man is the best of us. Iron Man is wish fulfillment. But Daredevil is, at his core, just a man.

Yeah, Daredevil can fight. But he's not the best in the world. Yeah, he has some super powers. But he's more an acrobatic detective as a result. In and out of costume, Matt Murdock is still only a man. Selfish, guilt-ridden, worn and broken by the world. He has a day job that he actually needs to do. He has relationships that are unhealthy for a variety of reasons. He suffers from things like depression. His heroics, his actions and behavior are elevated even more than his "peers" because of how human and flawed he is constantly shown to be. He's given up, given in. But he always finds it in him to fight again. It's never just a given. It's never shown to be easy. He's not truly a man without fear, or even a guy who has some vague ability or personality trait to overcome such things. He's just a man who won't let himself stay down, even when by all rights he'd be forgiven for doing so. He fights and earns the title of "The Man Without Fear" by acting even when he is completely and utterly afraid.

That's beautiful writing. That's phenomenal character work.

“The measure of a man is not in how he gets knocked to the mat, it is in how he gets up.”

Sometimes I feel that I act and go about my day because I think it's the only thing there is to do. I'm tired, hurt, afraid all the time. I feel like I just carry that with me because there's only one other option, which is to just lay down and let go.

But I don't do that...because, "I don't know." I wish I did. But I don't. At best, maybe it's just more fear that keeps me from doing it. Sometimes it's pure resentment or rage, like I'm sticking it to the universe. Some stupid act of defiance by simply not giving up. I wish it was because I had the attitude that I won't and can't give up. At the very least, I wish I could see myself as a man who can get knocked down and get back up no matter what. That maybe I do live up to that notion.

I see myself as a stubborn coward, but I want to be a man without fear. Sometimes I think wanting that for myself is good enough. And maybe it is. It's a comforting thought, at least.

I mean, I haven't thrown in the towel just yet. Right?

Marvel's "Daredevil" (Vol. 4, Issue #10)


WE ARE THE LOST

The Nightly Chill wants to show some love to a variety of cool shit from local and other independent artists, performers, and assorted creative types!

If you have a show you want to promote, especially if it’s located in SoCal, let’s get your poster and links! Got a cool short film you made for no money, or a song your band is trying to get out there to more peeps? Let’s embed that YouTube video and link new listeners to where they can support you!

Hit us up if you make:

* Art
* Comics
* Music, audio dramas
* Genre fiction, poetry, films, etc!

The weirder, the better!

We are The Lost. And together, we’ll make sure the world sees and hears us.


PULPBUSTERS - THE SHADOW KNOWS

Adena’s lil’ audio love note to the (great) granddaddy of pulp vigilantes, The Shadow. Listen to it now on Spotify, sub to the PulpBusters audio feed, or even download a free MP3 of The Shadow Knows using the links below.


COOL PEEPS & THINGS

My buddy shared his buddy’s series this morning, The Portable Clint Culp Show, in which, “Portable Clint interviews the journey men and women in search of their Hollywood dreams and what not.” In the episode below, he interviews actor-comedian, Sandro Iocolano!


UNTITLED SUPERHERO PILOT, SCENE 3

An absurd tale of superheroic nonsense. Continued. Again.

THE VOICE
(V.O.)
Previously, on Untitled Superhero Pilot...
Doctor Spider delivered a message to Gnatman from Slither-o…
“I’m suing you!”
But fortunately for Gantman,
his superhero BFF, DangerDolphin, has a plan!

GNATMAN
(Hangs head. Sincere.)
I’m sorry.
I’m kinda dealing with a lot right now.

DANGERDOLPHIN
(Sighing.)
I can’t stay mad at you.
Here, take this.

PLOP! DANGERDOLPHIN PULLS A CARD OUT OF...SOMEWHERE, HANDS IT TO GNATMAN.

GNATMAN
Where did you pull that--

DANGERDOLPHIN
Not important.

GNATMAN
I mean, it’s a little important.

DANGERDOLPHIN
Look. Just be grateful that your ol’ pal DangerDolphin knows a good lawyer.

GNATMAN
(Reading.)
Barry Blowhole,
Blind Attorney-at-Law.

FADE INTO:

SCENE 3. A LAWYER’S OFFICE.

SOUNDSCAPE: THE DEPRESSING AMBIENCE OF A LOCAL “AS SEEN ON TV” LAWYER’S “OFFICE.”

THE VOICE
(V.O.)
Several days later,
at a depressing little office in yet another stripmall…

(NOTE: BARRY BLOWHOLE IS OBVIOUSLY DANGERDOLPHIN, BUT WITH ONLY A SLIGHT CHANGE IN VOICE.)

BARRY
Hi. I’m Barry Blowhole, Blind Attorney-at-Law.
You must be The Gnatman. I’ve heard so much about you.

GNATMAN
(Can’t believe this shit.)
You’re fuckin’ with me, right?

BARRY
Excuse me?

GNATMAN
(Aw, hell no.)
Oh, no.
No.
Don’t you pull this “secret identity” shit on me!

BARRY
(“Playing” dumb.)
Uh...
Not sure what you’re carrying on--

GNATMAN
(Bad acting.)
Hey, Barry.

BARRY
(Legit curious.)
Yeah?

GNATMAN
(Still bad acting.)
Didja hear? Looney Tuna was released on a technicality.

BARRY
(“DANGERDOLPHIN” voice. Furious.)
That maniacal musical mackerel slipped through the cracks again?!

UNCOMFORTABLE SILENCE.

BARRY
(Drops DANGERDOLPHIN voice. Nervous.)
Uh...
I mean...

GNATMAN
I hate you.

BARRY
(Defeated sigh.)
How did you figure it out?

GNATMAN
(Sarcastic.)
Oh, I dunno.
Maybe it’s because...
(Livid.)
YOU’RE A GODDAMN DOLPHIN!

A BEAT. THEN...

BARRY
(Politely conceding.)
Fair point.

GNATMAN
(Rolls eyes.)
Ugh.
(Mocking.)
“Barry.”
What kind of stupid name is “Barry” anyway?

BARRY
(Hurt. Angry. In that order.)
It was my father’s name.

GNATMAN
(Oops.)
Oh.

BARRY
(Emotional.)
Oh, Poppa...

OFFICE DOOR OPENS, SLITHER-O ENTERS.

BARRY
(Cheers right the fuck up.)
Mr. Slither-O!

SLITHER-O
Nice office, “Barry.”
Did it used to be a Blockbuster or a Radio Shack?

BARRY
A Quizno’s, actually.

SLITHER-O
Huh.
Anyway.
Let’s make this quick.
(Sits.)
I’ve got Dodger’s tickets.

BARRY
Can do.

THE VOICE
(V.O.)
Fifteen-minutes later…

EVERYONE’S SHOUTING, AT EACH OTHER’S THROATS.

GNATMAN
(Interjecting.)
Wait-wait-wait.
Can you even work here?
Like, legally?

SLITHER-O
(Pissed.)
What? Yes!

BARRY
Really?
Cuz, you are a man-snake and all.

SLITHER-O
(Not mad, just disappointed.)
That is so ignorant.

BARRY
(Apologetic.)
Sorry. I meant, “Snakeman.”

SLITHER-O
(That’s it.)
Viperian-American!
(A beat.)
And--
for the record--
my people were here long before any of you…
(Struggles.)
you, uh...
you
scaleless…
fleshbags showed up!

GNATMAN
(GASP. Pearl-clutching.)
Scaleless flesh--!
(Sincerely offended.)
You racist!

SLITHER-O
(Livid.)
Are you shitting me?!
(To no one in particular.)
Yeah. Okay.
I can see this is goin’ nowhere.
(To BARRY.)
Fuck you for all your nothin’, Flipper.

BARRY
(Hurt.)
Hey...

SLITHER-O
(OFF. To GNATMAN.)
And I’ll see you in court, Gnatman!

GNATMAN
(Dismissive.)
Yeah. Whatever.

SLITHER-O LEAVES, SLAMS DOOR.

A BEAT. THEN...

GNATMAN
(Heavy sigh. Sarcastic.)
Thank you, Barry.

BARRY
No need to thank me, Gnatman.
This has been just another day for
(“DD” VOICE. Heroic shouting.)
BARRY BLOWHOLE,
MAN WITH A PORPOISE!

A BEAT.

BARRY
(Drops voice, again. Nervous, again.)
I mean, uh…
“attorney-at-law.”

GNATMAN
I hate you.

BARRY
(Hangs head.)
Sorry.

GNATMAN
(Frustrated.)
Ugh. Screw this.

GNATMAN OPENS DOOR.

BARRY
Hey. Where are you going?

GNATMAN
I’m gonna handle this myself.

GNATMAN LEAVES.

BARRY
(Shouting.)
But you haven’t paid me yet!

GNATMAN
(OFF. Down the hall.)
Fuck you, Barry!

TO BE CONTINUED!

CATCH UP NOW!


THE MIXTAPE

Tracks I’m currently chillin’ with. Tonight, other nights. Follow the Playlist on YouTube to keep up with all the changes.

Lose You Again (2019) - Walk the Moon


GRAND GHOULISH - THE E-BOOK!

Originally serialized in the digital pages of The Nightly Chill, Steve Arviso's Grand Ghoulish collects the completed absurd twisted romance between a photographer, a housewife, and her husband--a surgeon who enjoys getting a little blood on his hands!

Read it for FREE in the back issues of The Nightly Chill, or directly support The Nightly Chill and other works by purchasing a copy of the e-book!


SUBSCRIBE FOR THAT WALK-OF-SHAME FEELING EVERY MORNING AFTER!


If you enjoy The Nightly Chill and would like to support my work, please consider supporting it via Patreon for as little as $1 a month.



YOU ARE NOT ALONE

THE NIGHTLY CHILL
Steve Arviso
2019

Untitled Superhero Pilot, Scene 2

2019.11.06

THE NIGHTLY CHILL

2019.11.06

By Steve Arviso

Untitled Superhero Pilot, Scene 2.


FIGHT THE DAWN!

As the sunlit sanity of the waking world burns the night to ash,
embrace the unbound madness of your wildest dreams,
laugh into the endless abyss of your darkest fantasies,
and rage against the coming dawn.

The Nightly Chill is the unstable experience of the mind and madness of Steve Arviso (@AmoralCrackpot). Mon-Fri. Ish.


CONSISTENTLY INCONSISTENT

  • BETWEEN THE CRACKS

  • PULPBUSTERS

  • UNTITLED SUPERHERO PILOT, SCENE 2

  • THE MIXTAPE


IMAGINE BATMAN WITH MOUSE EARS

You know what's weird to me, as a lifelong comicbook fan? All things considered, DC's superheroes are, historically speaking, way more in line with Disney’s style and tone than Marvel’s.

Like Disney's various works, DC’s heroes exist (and even manage to thrive) in this more idyllic, outdated bubble of storytelling and character work. Stories and conflicts are often distinct in their black-and-white view of the world, where things are often clearly good or bad. Any shades of gray are found in these faint, simplistic morality lessons due to a character being naive or misguided. Because in both Disney and DC's world, heroes themselves are lofty ideals rather than complicated, messy humans who struggle with equally complicated, often unheroic personal problems.

A few notable, highly suspect offerings aside, I've been impressed by the work from Marvel Studios. Especially as the years bring more broad, general acceptance of even the weirdest concepts to be found at Marvel. And the willingness and desire to experiment more and more with the formula that allowed the MCU to flourish in its first ten years.

But part of me would love to see Disney bring Superman to life. Their animated feature Hercules was effectively just that. And while I'm not a huge fan of that movie, largely due to the way the material had to be watered down tremendously to make it family friendly (so much death, so much sex, so much not Disney-friendly material). But taking that exact same plot and inserting Superman in it would be an instant hit. This lost young man dreaming of leaving his small farming life behind due to this innate desire to be something greater, only to discover that the hero he wants to be is also the hero the world always needed. That's a great Superman origin film. That's the film we should have seen in Man of Steel, but didn't.

I love complexity and depth in my superheroes just as much as I love the simplistic fun they can also provide. But Marvel's complexity comes from the human conflicts derived from its human (or humanoid) characters. It doesn't stem from some misguided belief that grim and broody is the extent of such things. And it's not as if Marvel's approach hasn't been integrated properly into DC properties in the past. Batman: the Animated Series and Superman: the Animated Series both did this to great success and acclaim in the 1990s. Bruce Wayne was a fleshed out, relatable person rather than some cold, disconnected shell of a man who can also somehow go toe-to-toe with god-like beings. Clark Kent struggled in ways Superman never gets to. These are, to this day, the best depiction of these characters and their worlds.

Pixar’s The Incredibles are a blatant riff on the Fantastic Four, sure. But those characters and their world are very much in the spirit of DC. And when the single best DC movies since Mask of the Phantasm comes from Pixar or in LEGO, maybe it's time to reevaluate what these characters and stories truly mean to us as a culture.


BETWEEN THE CRACKS

Salutations,

Further greetings, introduction, and communication.

Sudden Conclusion,
Not a Punchline


PULPBUSTERS - THE SHADOW KNOWS

Adena’s lil’ audio love note to the (great) granddaddy of pulp vigilantes, The Shadow. Listen to it now on Spotify, sub to the PulpBusters audio feed, or even download a free MP3 of The Shadow Knows using the links below.


UNTITLED SUPERHERO PILOT, SCENE 2

An absurd tale of superheroic nonsense. Continued.

THE VOICE
(V.O.)
Previously, on Untitled Superhero Pilot...
Gnatman illegally apprehended SLITHER-O under false pretenses...

POLICE CRUISER SIRENS--UP, AWAY.

GNATMAN
Besides. I’m sure he must’ve done something.
(Please, please say, “Yes.”)
Right?

(NOTE: DANGERDOLPHIN SPEAKS WITH A DOLPHIN-SPEAK GIMMICK. CLICKS, WHISTLES.)

DANGERDOLPHIN
(PRE-LAP)
Wrong again, BuzzBrains!

CUT TO:

SCENE 2. JUSTICE SERVED.

SOUNDSCAPE: A ROOFTOP LOOKING OUT ACROSS A FAIRLY PLEASANT URBAN LANDSCAPE AT NIGHT.

GNATMAN
What? You’re bullshitting me.

DANGERDOLPHIN
(Dolphin chuckles.)
I knew you couldn’t guess my origin story.

THE VOICE
(V.O.)
High atop a rooftop
looking out across a fairly pleasant urban landscape,
Gnatman and his superhero BFF, DangerDolphin,
piss-away another uneventful night of patrolling...

DANGERDOLPHIN
Did you hear that?

GNATMAN
Hear what?

DANGERDOLPHIN
Sounded like exposition.

GNATMAN
Huh.

DANGERDOLPHIN
Anyway. You were saying?

GNATMAN
I forgot.

DANGERDOLPHIN HOLDS UP SCRIPT TO GNATMAN.

DANGERDOLPHIN
(Pointing.)
The clunky segue right here,
where you were trying to guess my origin story.

GNATMAN
(Reading. It clicks.)
Oh, right. Sorry.
(Clears throat. Proceeds.)
Well. If you’re not a man bitten by a radioactive dolphin,
or a dolphin bitten by a radioactive man,
then what the hell are you?

THE VOICE
(V.O.)
I’ll answer that, Gnatman.

GNATMAN
Who said that?

DANGERDOLPHIN
See? It’s that voice again.

THE VOICE
(V.O.)
DangerDolphin:
once a lowly cashier at a big box retailer on Aquaworld,
DangerDolphin found himself caught in a cosmic net,
one cast by Earth’s own Dr. Magician
during a psychedelic cesarean in the Nth dimension.
now beached on a world he doesn’t care much for, really.

GNATMAN
(Disturbed.)
Where the Hell is that coming from?

DANGERDOLPHIN
Dunno. But it was mostly right.

GNATMAN
Mostly?

DANGERDOLPHIN
I mean, I wasn’t just a lowly cashier at a big box retailer.

GNATMAN
(Yawn. He doesn’t care.)
Is that right?

DANGERDOLPHIN
Yeah. I was only working there to pay my way through night school.

GNATMAN
Well, isn’t that fascinating.
(Changing subject. Blatantly.)
Hey, do you hear anything that might get the plot moving?

DANGERDOLPHIN
(Glares.)
Ass.

DANGERDOLPHIN CLICKS AS DOLPHINS DO, MIXING INTO THE WOM-WOM-WOM OF HIS ECHOLOCATION. UP, UNDER.

THE VOICE
(V.O.),
DangerDolphin uses his mildly-annoying powers of echolocation
to search for signs of trouble in the streets and alleys below!

GNATMAN
(Annoyed on top of annoyed.)
Okay. Are both of you going to do this all night?

CLICKS, WOM-WOMS CEASE.

DANGERDOLPHIN
(Jimminy Jillikers.)
Gnatman, I’ve got something!
Five blocks, south-west!

GNATMAN
(Suddenly heroic.)
Let’s go!

THE VOICE
(V.O.)
Meanwhile...
Five blocks south-west…

SOUNDSCAPE: A SOMEWHAT BUSY CITY STREET CORNER.

DOCTOR SPIDER, A HALF-MAN, HALF-SPIDER SUPERVILLAIN, CAUSES A MINOR DISTURBANCE. NOBODY REALLY CARES.

DOCTOR SPIDER
(Recites lines. Doesn’t care.)
Gnatman!
I demand to speak to Gnatman,
and Gnatman alone!

THE VOICE
(V.O.)
Doctor Spider,
once a successful orthodontic surgeon
a tragic dental accident transformed him
into a half-man, half-spider arachnid abomination
and crime against nature,
he now makes a small scene on a somewhat busy street corner!

GNATMAN AND DANGERDOLPHIN CASUALLY WALK ONTO THE SCENE.

GNATMAN
There’s that voice again!

DANGERDOLPHIN
What do you make of it, Gnatman?

GNATMAN
I’m starting to think I might need an MRI.
(Mild concern.)
I mean, I do get punched a lot.

DANGERDOLPHIN
What?
No. I mean the, uh…
(Gestures at DOCTOR SPIDER.)
“man-spider” thing.

DOCTOR SPIDER
(Continues lazy recital.)
Oh, Gnatman,
won’t you join me in my parlor!

GNATMAN
Yeah, yeah. I’m yer happy local gnatman.
The Hell do ya want?

DOCTOR SPIDER
I deliver a message.

DOCTOR SPIDER HANDS GNATMAN AN ENVELOPE.

GNATMAN
Goddammit.
Did Lorraine send you?

DOCTOR SPIDER
(Legit confused.)
Who?

GNATMAN
You go back, and you tell Loraine,
I’m not paying child support until I get a goddamn paternity test!

HUMAN SPIDER
Whoa. Dude. Wrong guy.

GNATMAN
Oh.
Sorry.

HUMAN SPIDER
(To DANGERDOLPHIN.)
He always got a short fuse?

DANGERDOLPHIN
(Scoffs.)
Don’t even get me started.

GNATMAN PUNCHES DANGERDOLPHIN IN THE ARM.

DANGERDOLPHIN
(Hurt, angry dolphin noise.)

GNATMAN
(Glares.)
Ass.

HUMAN SPIDER
Anyway.
You’ve just been served, Mr. Gnatman.
My job is done here.

GNATMAN
I thought you said Lorraine didn’t send you.

HUMAN SPIDER
She didn’t.
But Mr. Slither-O sends his regards.
Good evening.

HUMAN SPIDER CASUALLY WALKS AWAY, WHISTLING.

DANGERDOLPHIN
Huh.
Didn’t expect him to just…
walk away.
Kinda thought he’d kinda,
Ya know…
(Gestures. Thwips.)
“sling” a web, or somethin’…

GNATMAN
Can we focus on me for a second?

DANGERDOLPHIN
(Annoyed.)
Oh. Do we have a choice, now?

GNATMAN
No?

DANGERDOLPHIN
(Rolls eyes.)
Figures.

GNATMAN
What’s that?

DANGERDOLPHIN
Nothing.
Did they say, Slither-O?

GNATMAN
(Opens envelope, reads contents.)
He did.

DANGERDOLPHIN
Man,
haven’t heard that name in a long time.
But, I thought Slither-O was retired.

GNATMAN
He was.
I ran into him at a check cashing place the other day.
Hit him with a potted plant.

DANGERDOLPHIN
What were you doing at a check cashing place?

GNATMAN
(Mocking.)
“What were you doing at a check cashing place?”

A SILENCE. THEN...

GNATMAN
(Hangs head. Sincere.)
I’m sorry.
I’m kinda dealing with a lot right now.

DANGERDOLPHIN
(Sighing.)
I can’t stay mad at you.
Here, take this.

PLOP! DANGERDOLPHIN PULLS A CARD OUT OF...SOMEWHERE, HANDS IT TO GNATMAN.

GNATMAN
Where did you pull that--

DANGERDOLPHIN
Not important.

GNATMAN
I mean, it’s a little important.

DANGERDOLPHIN
Look. Just be grateful that your ol’ pal DangerDolphin knows a good lawyer.

GNATMAN
(Reading.)
Barry Blowhole,
Blind Attorney-at-Law.

FADE INTO:

SCENE 3. A LAWYER’S OFFICE.

TO BE CONTINUED!

CATCH UP NOW!


THE MIXTAPE

Tracks I’m currently chillin’ with. Tonight, other nights. Follow the Playlist on YouTube to keep up with all the changes.

Moon Tower (2018) - Dirty Heads


GRAND GHOULISH - THE E-BOOK!

Originally serialized in the digital pages of The Nightly Chill, Steve Arviso's Grand Ghoulish collects the completed absurd twisted romance between a photographer, a housewife, and her husband--a surgeon who enjoys getting a little blood on his hands!

Read it for FREE in the back issues of The Nightly Chill, or directly support The Nightly Chill and other works by purchasing a copy of the e-book!


SUBSCRIBE FOR THAT WALK-OF-SHAME FEELING EVERY MORNING AFTER!


If you enjoy The Nightly Chill and would like to support my work, please consider supporting it via Patreon for as little as $1 a month.



YOU ARE NOT ALONE

THE NIGHTLY CHILL
Steve Arviso
2019

Untitled Superhero Pilot, Scene 1

2019.11.05

THE NIGHTLY CHILL

2019.11.05

By Steve Arviso

Untitled Superhero Pilot, Scene 1.


FIGHT THE DAWN!

As the sunlit sanity of the waking world burns the night to ash,
embrace the unbound madness of your wildest dreams,
laugh into the endless abyss of your darkest fantasies,
and rage against the coming dawn.

The Nightly Chill is the unstable experience of the mind and madness of Steve Arviso (@AmoralCrackpot). Mon-Fri. Ish.


CONSISTENTLY INCONSISTENT

  • BETWEEN THE CRACKS

  • PULPBUSTERS

  • UNTITLED SUPERHERO PILOT, SCENE 1

  • THE MIXTAPE


UNTITLED SUPERHERO PILOT is a brief absurd audio drama I wrote up about a year ago, and was originally performed earlier this year at The Doll Hut in Anaheim, California. There’s some audio and video of it floating about somewhere, I think. But I figured it was worth putting out there in some way again, and soon. For now, I’ll be releasing a scene/sequence a night. There’s only four, so it’ll wrap up by Friday night. Maybe I’ll have an ebook version put up somewhere this month.

I really hope to get a performance of this properly recorded and released sooner than later. Stay tuned on that.


BETWEEN THE CRACKS

Reginald,

Last weekend at the cabin, I noticed your fly was down. Do take care of that.

Watching,
Quincy


PULPBUSTERS - THE SHADOW KNOWS

Adena’s lil’ audio love note to the (great) granddaddy of pulp vigilantes, The Shadow. Listen to it now on Spotify, sub to the PulpBusters audio feed, or even download a free MP3 of The Shadow Knows using the links below.


UNTITLED SUPERHERO PILOT, SCENE 1

An absurd tale of superheroic nonsense.

INTRO.

THEME. UP, UNDER.

HOST
(Commanding call to action.)
Defy the doubters!
Ignore the Naysayers!
Silence all fears of the unknown!
For you need only listen to the one, the only
(Booming. Unsure, as if making it up on the spot.)
“Spectacular Call
to Wild Action
Tales
of...
(Puzzles this.)
Amazement?”

ANNOUNCER
(Snappy, melodramatic announcer voice.)
“Spectacular Call to Wild Action Tales of Amazement”
is a presentation of all-new, all-original tales of heroic adventure,
villainous excitement,
(Considers this.)
etcetera.

Written and directed by Steve Arviso.
And not intended for those faint of heart, or otherwise weak constitution.

Tonight's tale…
"Untitled Superhero Pilot."

THEME--UP, FADE.

SCENE 1. A CHECK-CASHING STORE.

SOUNDSCAPE: THE GENERAL SOULLESSNESS OF A CHECK-CASHING PLACE.

(NOTE: THE VOICE IS OUR LITERAL DISEMBODIED NARRATOR. SEES-IT-ALL KNOW-IT-ALL.)

THE VOICE
(V.O.)
In a check-cashing place in a bad part of town,
Slither-O, former king of the Viperian,
an ancient reptilian-like species
from caverns beneath the surface of the Earth,
has been left waiting for almost twenty minutes.

EMPLOYEE RETURNS WITH BAD NEWS FOR SLITHER-O.

(NOTE: SLITHER-O SPEAKS WITH A TYPICAL HISS-TALK GIMMICK.)

EMPLOYEE
I’m sorry for the wait,
Mister…
(Double-checks.)
Slither-O?

SLITHER-O
Yeah-huh?

EMPLOYEE
So, I just spoke with my manager--

SLITHER-O
Here it comes.

EMPLOYEE
I’m sorry.
But, I’m afraid we won’t be able to help you cash your check today.

SLITHER-O
And why the hell not?

EMPLOYEE
Well.
You are a, uh...

SLITHER-O
A what?

EMPLOYEE
You know…

SLITHER-O
(Offended.)
No.
I don’t know.
So, why don’t you tell me?

A BEAT. THEN…

EMPLOYEE
Because you’re--

SLITHER-O
(Mocking-over EMPLOYEE.)
A “man-snake”?

EMPLOYEE
A supervillain.

AN UNCOMFORTABLE SILENCE.

SLITHER-O
Oh.

EMPLOYEE
Anyway.
Mr. Slither-o.
Because of your…
(Considers this.)
history
with our, and other, financial institutions--

SLITHER-O
Financial institution?
This is a check-cashing place in a stripmall.

EMPLOYEE
True.
But you were the one who went around robbing us.
And I do mean us.
This location.
Specifically.
On several occasions.

SLITHER-O
That was years ago!

EMPLOYEE
Also true.
But because of that very true history,
you’re officially banned from this location.

SLITHER-O
You’ve gotta be shitting me.

EMPLOYEE
And all our sister locations.

SLITHER-O
This is ridiculous!
I served my time!

EMPLOYEE
Also, the whole “man-snake” thing.

SLITHER-O
(Gobsmacked.)
Wow.

EMPLOYEE
Do man-snakes even have a valid form of identification?

SLITHER-O
I gave you my driver license!

EMPLOYEE
Yes. But aren’t man-snakes from like, Mars,
or somethin’?

SLITHER-O
My family and I are from Arizona!
(Correctsss ssself.)
Well. The caverns beneath Arizona.

BYSTANDER
(OFF. Interjecting.)
Hey! You can’t call it that.

SLITHER-O
(Genuinely offended.)
“It”?

REVEAL: A WELL-MEANING BUT COMPLETELY OUT OF THEIR ELEMENT BYSTANDER.

BYSTANDER
They prefer to be called, “Snakemen.”
Not, “man-snakes.”

SLITHER-O
Can we go back to how you called me a fuckin’ “It”?

BYSTANDER S.O.
(OFF.)
“Snake-people,” Dear.

BYSTANDER
What’s that?

REVEAL: BYSTANDER S.O., NEARBY THIS WHOLE TIME.

BYSTANDER S.O.
They prefer to be called, “Snake-people.”

SLITHER-O
No. We don’t.

BYSTANDER
(To WIFE)
Oh, right.
(To SLITHER-O)
Sorry. “Snake-people.”

SLITHER-O
I should have incinerated you people years ago.

EMPLOYEE
(Pearl-clutching.)
Excuse me?!

BYSTANDER
(Oddly calm.)
Did he just threaten us?

EMPLOYEE
(Also calm.)
I think so.

BYSTANDER S.O.
Fascist.

SLITHER-O
(Confused.)
What the Hell just happened?
(To EVERYONE.)
Are you hairless apes serious right now?

EVERYONE GASPS.

BYSTANDER S.O.
Racist.

EMPLOYEE
(Livid. Cold as ice.)
Robberies are one thing to overlook, Mr. Slither-o.
But I will not tolerate racists in my financial institution!

EMPLOYEE SLAPS A BIG BUTTON. SECURITY ALARM BLARES--UP, UNDER.

SLITHER-O
Aw, come on!
What’s next?
Is some “caped crusader” asshole gonna show up and--

GNATMAN
(From behind.)
POT! today, Slither-o!

CRASH! GNATMAN SMASHES A BIG FUCKIN’ POTTED PLANT OVER SLITHER-O’S HEAD.

SLITHER-O
(CRIES in excruciating pain.)

GNATMAN
Everyone okay?

EVERYONE
(Except SLITHER-O.)
Thank you, Gnatman!

GNATMAN
I heard the alarm from the parking lot--
(Lies. Poorly.)
I mean,
my...gnat-sense
was, uh…
(Puzzles this.)
buzzing?

SLITHER-O
Did you seriously just hit me with a potted plant?

GNATMAN
Stay down, Slither-o.

SLITHER-O
I think I have a concussion.

GNATMAN
(Helping SLITHER-O to his feet.)
Good thing they have a wonderful doctor down at...
(Melodramatic.)
City Jail!

SLITHER-O
This is such bullshit.

GNATMAN
It’s true, Mr. Potty Mouth.
(Matter-of-fact.)
They keep Dr. Magician on retainer.

SLITHER-O
(Rolls eyes.)
Huzzah.

GNATMAN
Though, I think he’s technically a registered nurse.

SLITHER-O
I don’t care.

GNATMAN
Anyway.
The police will be here any minute to deal with you.

WOOP-WOOP! A POLICE SIREN BLEETS.

ENTER: DETECTIVE.

DETECTIVE
(OFF. From behind.)
We’re here to deal with Slither-o, Gnatman.

GNATMAN
Detective! Just in time!

SLITHER-O
(Livid.)
Me?!
I was trying to cash my goddamn paycheck!
But then, The Crap-tacular Jack-ass over here--

GNATMAN
Hey!

SLITHER-O
(CONT’D.)
--conveniently shows up
“outta nowhere”
and assaults me!

GNATMAN
(Confused.)
Assault?
(Matter-of-duh.)
You’re a supervillain.

SLITHER-O
(Correcting.)
Retired!
I’ve been retired for like, five years!

DETECTIVE
Yeah-yeah.
(Cuffing SLITHER-O.)
Come on, Slither-o.
You can blog all about it while we process you down at...
(Melodramatic.)
The Station!

SLITHER-O
(Glaring.)
Why do all you idiots insist on talking like that?

DETECTIVE ESCORTS SLITHER-O OUT.

SLITHER-O
(OFF.)
You’ll be hearing from my lawyer, Gnatman!

A BEAT. THEN…

GNATMAN
(To EMPLOYEE.)
So, uh…

EMPLOYEE
Yeah?

GNATMAN
(Please say, “Yes.”)
Slither-o did try to rob you,
right?

EMPLOYEE
Uh…
(Lies. Poorly.)
Yes?

A BEAT. THEN…

GNATMAN
(Shrugs.)
Meh. Good enough for me.

POLICE CRUISER, SIRENS--UP, AWAY.

GNATMAN
Besides. I’m sure he must’ve done something.
(Please, please say, “Yes.”)
Right?

(NOTE: DANGERDOLPHIN SPEAKS WITH A DOLPHIN-SPEAK GIMMICK. CLICKS, WHISTLES.)

DANGERDOLPHIN
(PRE-LAP)
Wrong again, BuzzBrains!

CUT TO:

SCENE 2. JUSTICE SERVED.

TO BE CONTINUED!


THE MIXTAPE

Tracks I’m currently chillin’ with. Tonight, other nights. Follow the Playlist on YouTube to keep up with all the changes.

Moon Tower (2018) - Dirty Heads


GRAND GHOULISH - THE E-BOOK!

Originally serialized in the digital pages of The Nightly Chill, Steve Arviso's Grand Ghoulish collects the completed absurd twisted romance between a photographer, a housewife, and her husband--a surgeon who enjoys getting a little blood on his hands!

Read it for FREE in the back issues of The Nightly Chill, or directly support The Nightly Chill and other works by purchasing a copy of the e-book!


SUBSCRIBE FOR THAT WALK-OF-SHAME FEELING EVERY MORNING AFTER!


If you enjoy The Nightly Chill and would like to support my work, please consider supporting it via Patreon for as little as $1 a month.



YOU ARE NOT ALONE

THE NIGHTLY CHILL
Steve Arviso
2019

#FYPM

2019.11.04

THE NIGHTLY CHILL

2019.11.04

By Steve Arviso

#FYPM.


FIGHT THE DAWN!

As the sunlit sanity of the waking world burns the night to ash,
embrace the unbound madness of your wildest dreams,
laugh into the endless abyss of your darkest fantasies,
and rage against the coming dawn.

The Nightly Chill is the unstable experience of the mind and madness of Steve Arviso (@AmoralCrackpot). Mon-Fri. Ish.


CONSISTENTLY INCONSISTENT

  • BETWEEN THE CRACKS

  • PULPBUSTERS

  • WHISPERS IN THE DARK

  • THE MIXTAPE


Trying to make anything from the arts and entertainment--a few bucks, a career, a life. Trying to make anything from it is a struggle. It’s work. It requires a lot of passion for what you do to keep at it when things are at their worst. Rejection, isolation, or just a lack of eyes on you and your work can weigh heavy on you. Not to mention the financial struggle.

I have nearly 15 years experience in the local entertainment scene. Lotta good. Lotta bad. And one of the best bits of advice I can offer any inexperienced creative homies out there, is this:

Know your worth.

There’s a show out here that’s gone from a seemingly grassroots attempt to showcase local artists to a blatant scam to exploit and grift local artists out of their money. It started as free for “booked” artists, who would then be allowed to have a booth at the event to showcase and, yes, sell their work. Didn’t matter the media, as long as you were local and had legit work to show-off, you stood a chance to get booked. They now not only charge somewhere around $50 for the privilege to be booked at this show with effectively zero foot-traffic, they also expect booked talent to do all the marketing for them.

This event has had almost zero marketing since it kicked off. Since the initial show, there have been fewer and fewer people attending. Fewer artists are on display. Social media posts are almost non-existent. I live in the immediate area, and nobody around here--even those who live and work here--are unaware this show in a very public, easily accessible and well-known place is even a thing.

There's a difference between vendors and booked talent. Don't let weasel promoters convince you the two are the same. One pays, the other gets paid.

There’s nothing wrong wanting vendors. There’s nothing wrong being a vendor at this or that show. But if you’re the key attraction, if the show is booking you as talent, you aren’t a vendor--you’re the fuckin’ show. Either you get paid, or you get to sell your merch without paying up like the actual vendors. That hotdog truck ain’t the draw, you and your art are.

We all start somewhere. Sometimes you don’t get paid, but you get a chance to reach an exclusive, captive audience. Sometimes you end up in the red to make that trip and back, but it pays off in experience AND marketing--people saw you, know you, and, hopefully, now follow you. There’s still a mutually beneficial relationship.

But when that relationship becomes a one-way street they’re bullshitting?

Know your worth. That way you can tell that weasel of a promoter the 4 most important words in your arsenal as a talent: “Fuck you, pay me.”

#fuckyoupayme #DontTrustTheP


BETWEEN THE CRACKS

Artists, Musicians, and Other Assorted Suckers,

It is our proud pleasure to present you potential participants at this month’s Local Showcase of Local Talent!

As you may already know, we have failed repeatedly and utterly to make any effort to market this event, month-after-month, resulting in a lack of attendance, low (read: no) sales, and generally bad optics. Our bad.

To rectify this, we are now requiring all of you to promote the show for us.

Note: We will provide no materials for this, as this would require effort on our part, and we can’t have that shit.

Those who fail to post twice a day on their social media AND bring AT LEAST ten (10!) people to the event (two item minimum!) will be asked to go home.

Failure to pay the $50 booked talent fee will result in the same.

Look. Just because all you idiots are fine going home with empty pockets doesn’t mean we’re are. And it’s not like you can just promote your own work for free on the internet, use targeted ads to reach more people for a few bucks, or get a booth at the always-busy swapmeet for the same amount of money. I mean, you could. But why do that when you can give us that money instead?

Have a Blessed Day,

Duncan and Ashlynnifer Parasite
GIVE US MONEY Local Showcase of Local Talent
Co-Owners and Con Artists


PULPBUSTERS - THE SHADOW KNOWS

Adena’s lil’ audio love note to the (great) granddaddy of pulp vigilantes, The Shadow. Listen to it now on Spotify, sub to the PulpBusters audio feed, or even download a free MP3 of The Shadow Knows using the links below.


WHISPERS IN THE DARK

Scattered bits and pieces that come to me. Maybe something will come of them.

I'm her trouble maker, she's my setting sun
Burn it down around me, let her take me under
Beneath the water and waves where things are wild and wetter
And in that darkness, we'll swim forever

Woke up last night, your side of the bed
Stirred by a sound that’d wake the dead
Shoulda, woulda, coulda ran when I had the chance
But I was too busy lovin’ your ghost instead
She's a killer smile, a pair of demon's eyes

A devil in a blue dress, got lost between her thighs
Don't know what's wrong with me, the priest gave me last rights
All my sins forgiven, but she burns me up at night

She’s a nightmare I can’t outrun
A demon tied up in my basement
A mistake, I cannot face it


THE MIXTAPE

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkH1g9RIa-I08n-fUcunZ69q1wFDXEmeN


GRAND GHOULISH - THE E-BOOK!

Originally serialized in the digital pages of The Nightly Chill, Steve Arviso's Grand Ghoulish collects the completed absurd twisted romance between a photographer, a housewife, and her husband--a surgeon who enjoys getting a little blood on his hands!

Read it for FREE in the back issues of The Nightly Chill, or directly support The Nightly Chill and other works by purchasing a copy of the e-book!


SUBSCRIBE FOR THAT WALK-OF-SHAME FEELING EVERY MORNING AFTER!


If you enjoy The Nightly Chill and would like to support my work, please consider supporting it via Patreon for as little as $1 a month.



YOU ARE NOT ALONE

THE NIGHTLY CHILL
Steve Arviso
2019

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