B. Horror  

Wendell Mayo


 "Mayo is a magician who uses stylish prose and droll humor for his cape and wand." --Enid Shomer, author of Imaginary Men


Wendell Mayo's second collection probes what lies behind the dailyness of life by using horror movie images and plots as metaphors. Has Robert’s bride forsaken her selfness for Robert just as the Mummy did for the Egyptian princess? Will an older brother’s lifelong efforts in mimicking Godzilla eventually reach through to his ever more withdrawn sister? Or are there depths that even "Big Greenie" can’t plummet? Do werewolves stalk the streets of a Lithuanian village? Or do the vintage WWII fighter planes flying overhead remind us that something much more horrible, much more concrete, might yet remain? While Mayo’s vision is dark, it is not unremittingly so. In the playful "Who Made You" the Baltimore Catechism's rote questions offer an unexpected anchor to a couple on the verge of separation and financial disaster. Dark or light Mayo’s skein of words threads insistently, beautifully, and poignantly.

ISBN 0-942979-62-1, trade paper, $11.00       Sale $3.50

ISBN 0-942979-61-3, library binding, $23.00   Sale $9.50

144 pages

 About the Author: 

Wendell Mayo directs the Creative Writing Program at Bowling Green State University, where he teaches fiction writing, form and theory of fiction, and modern and contemporary literature. He is author of two other book. The first is a story collection, Centaur of the North (Arte Público Press), which was the 1997 winner of the Aztlán Prize, and a finalist in both the Violet Crown Book Awards and The Associated Writing Program's Award Series in Short Fiction. The second is a novel-in-stories titled In Lithuanian Wood (White Pine Press, 1999).

  Excerpt from the Book:

Robert’s Bride

The very life seems warm upon her lip.

      —Polixones, The Winter’s Tale

        Robert’s older than me, but not much. His hair is dark and he still has most of it. You can smell his hair tonic, which mostly smells like alcohol. Sometimes, it’s hard to differentiate how Robert’s hair tonic smells from the smells in the Lacquer Room where they are priming Cutlass quarterpanels today.
    Robert comes straight over to me in the break room, sits, and goes into his lunch sack with both hands. He fishes out a Slim Jim beef stick, strips the plastic off, and begins to chew on it. Robert’s a well‑kept guy. Thin. But I don’t know how he stays thin, the way he eats. He’s one of those guys who can eat everything in sight and never has to worry about getting fat. He has no concept of calories, no scruples about eating whatever he pleases. Now Robert pauses, sets the stick down, and begins to unbutton his shirt.
    He spreads the lapels of his denim shirt apart.
    “The Bride got me this T‑shirt last night,” he says proudly. The T‑shirt underneath says: NEVER TRY TO TEACH A PIG TO SING; IT WASTES YOUR TIME, AND ANNOYS THE PIG.
    Robert is beaming. “What do you think?” he asks me.

    I am thinking about Pygmalion and My Fair Lady, trying to remember which came first. I have nothing to say, like I usually have nothing to say.