Author Archive for Kaine Andrews

18
May
19

9 Tips for Writing Better Short Stories — A Writer’s Path

(Reblog. Comments are disabled here, please visit the original post.)

by Allison Maruska In April, I was a judge for two writing contests – Dan Alatorre’s Word Weaver contest and Ryan Lanz’s short story contest. I was honored to be asked to fill the role once, let alone twice. And while I enjoyed judging great stories, I also learned a few things about […]

via 9 Tips for Writing Better Short Stories — A Writer’s Path

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10
Jan
19

What I’m Afraid Of

I call myself a writer. When pressed as to what type, I typically fall back to “horror,” mainly because I have a tendency to throw in all kinds of oogity-boogities. Just my nature.

But that doesn’t scare me. I may believe in spooks, and there may be times when I hear a noise in the night and suffer a brief flash of worry. There may be games, books, or movies that make me a trifle anxious or give me a “nuh uh, not going in there” mentality. But that’s not real fear.

Sometimes I worry that my asthma will get the better of me and I’ll just drop dead at some point, having been unable to get to my aspirator in time. Or that I’ll go to sleep and just not wake up, a fit of apnea doing me in quietly with no fuss, muss, or bother. But that’s not really fear, either.

Instead I fear judgement, the judgement that seems unique to the last few years. I am paranoid about every word I write and say, and most of those I think, because at any moment it feels like one wrong word can summon the mobs to crucify me and leave me with nothing, a very special kind of nothing that clings to you for years, decades, potentially the rest of your life, and all for the crime of voicing an opinion that ran counter to the current “acceptable” ones.

But that’s not all. I fear that I may have said, done, Tweeted, blogged or commented somewhere years or decades ago, and something in that might be considered offensive and worthy of assault for mindcrime or wrongthink. Even if it was off-hand, written in anger, an opinion I no longer hold, humor – pathetic attempt or otherwise – or just baiting someone.

I fear that what is acceptable today will become unacceptable tomorrow, and some screengrab of something that was totally okay and unoffensive when I said it will turn into criminal evidence a decade later.

Result of that fear? Complete mind-freeze. A couple of my projects have gone into the trash drawer, not because I don’t like them or because they stalled, but because I was informed that I didn’t have a right to write about certain things. Once upon a time I would have told someone saying that to me to go fuck themselves, but now doing that is a great way to get blacklisted.

It seems like a ridiculous situation, especially given that the apparent thought police who have created this situation are frequently claiming to be on the side of free speech, free expression, anti-fascism, diversity, and inclusion.

I don’t get it. I don’t know what to do about it. Do I throw Lune de Amant away because it’s apparently criminal to include Marie Laveau in a book set in Louisiana during the 19th century with werewolves and ghosts about? According to a pair of e-mails I have received, yes, yes I must. Removing Ms. Laveau and inserting some fictionalized version isn’t allowed, either; I’m culturally appropriating voudoun at that point. Make them a generic white sorcerer of Hermetic traditions? Now I’m whitewashing. Given that one needs a wizard character, and one really likes the late 19th century New Orleans vibe, there doesn’t seem to be a way to do it that isn’t sending the trigger police out in droves. So into the trash my darling goes.

There’s other examples. I choose not to speak about it right now, because honestly, I think I’ve probably said too much as it is. I’m not going to be surprised if even posting this gets me a target of some kind, or leads to being referred to as regressive, a Nazi, a racist, or god knows what else. It doesn’t seem to take a lot. But I had to get it off my chest.

What about you out there? Are there subjects, characters, concepts or stories you’d like to write about but can’t, either due to fear or the reactions of potential readers? Do you think the way social media and the public trial of any opinion currently operate is good or bad for artistic pursuits and creativity, or society at large? Let us know down below.

03
Jan
19

Thanks to My Patrons!

Just wanted to take a moment to thank my Patrons and give them a bit of a shout-out! Your support helps keep me alive – figuratively and literally – and keeps content coming!

Thanks to OhNoTuxedoMask, who does some streaming on Twitch; drop by and give her a subscribe if you have a minute!

Thanks also to Hayley Bault, who does YouTube videos and makeup tutorials; you can find her site right here.

Want your name, tag or site listed here? Want to help out? You can stop by my Patreon and join the club! Help is always appreciated!

02
Jan
19

Fiction – Bones

This… is a bone. Some people will know why it’s here, some people won’t. That’s okay. But think that you find an old, derelict building. Maybe it used to be a fortress, or a castle, or something important… but it’s fallen into disrepair and rot, neglected and used for target practice, the stones and things of value stolen or destroyed, the ground salted over and cursed by some Gypsy woman long in her grave.

And maybe in the middle of that, down a spiral staircase lined with a soot-coated silver rail and made of pitted glasslike steps that might have been ebony, or onyx, or basalt before time and vandalism wore away what made them special, there’s a small clearing. In what might have been the basement, nestled in a natural valley. Maybe there you see a well, or perhaps it’s a fountain. But no water runs from this place, nothing clean and cooling and refreshing. The ring of the well is lined with marble and silver, perhaps once arranged to resemble the gaping maw of the old draculs, but now the teeth are curved in and broken off, the silver is tarnished, and the scale motif of the well walls has become chipped, moss-eaten. The only thing that doesn’t appear to be centuries old and gone to seed are the chains, driving down into that black maw. Wrought of brass and iron, barbed with cruel spikes and locked into place with sturdy rungs of unidentifiable material that pulses a sickly green.

Maybe, because something demands you do it and, in the way of dreams, you can’t resist it, you lay hands on one of those chains and begin to pull. Somewhere below you, ancient gears begin to turn, and you hear the patter of stagnant water dripping for perhaps the first time in a thousand years. Your hands are pierced by the blades between the chain links, and your blood flows freely, staining the cobbles at your feet. Pain twists up from your palms to your shoulder blades like a horde of ants burrowing into your flesh from the open wound, and still you pull. From somewhere you hear the caw of a raven, and on the broken walls above you see dozens of corvid shapes taking roost, watching you with their black and somehow knowing eyes. Still you pull.

After a time, the bucket finally rises. You reach out and pull your find from within it. A single bone. Small, like a child’s; a shoulder blade with no spine or arm to support it. It’s covered in moss, scorched in places, chipped in others. You bring it to your face and inhale deeply. The scents of rot, age, death, dust and rancid water fill your lungs, but bring with it an image. A memory. The dusty smell… it’s not decay and powdered bone, it’s chalkdust.

In a classroom. Everyone midgets, barely two feet tall. No, not midgets. Children. Laughing. Singing. Scrawling their first disastrous attempts at their letters and giggling with glee each time the teacher pats them on the head or affixes a sticker to their papers. But one child stands away from the rest. This one isn’t giggling. This one is only watching, an expression of cold hatred gleaming in his green eyes. You come closer, and realize he can’t see you… but you can see inside him. See what’s wrong.

He’s been in that position for the better part of an hour. When asked to draw his letters, he did. All of them. Upper and lower. And the teacher looked at the paper, told him he must have cheated, and gave him a new paper to make him do it again. When he did it again, she gave him a harder paper; write words, and say and spell them. Which he did. Rather than a sticker, or a pat on the head, he was sent away from the others and told his parents will have to be talked to. He has been waiting since then.

When recess came, he wasn’t allowed to go outside. He has afflictions, they tell him, that mean he can’t run and play with the other children. His mother – or the woman he calls such, as the supposedly real thing left him long ago – is on the playground. Watching the other children. She has done it for years, and will continue to do it for years. She will hug them, pat them on the head, tell them how proud she is over each rock they turn up or each time they put the ball through the oversize hoop. But when she comes to the classroom, to examine the boy’s paper and talk about it with the teacher, she will only purse her lips and glare. Later she will take the boy to another place, where he will be poked and prodded and asked questions he doesn’t want to answer and pricked with needles and made to read and write things that will be thrown away and discarded as lies. He knows, because it’s happened before.

You’re pulled away, brought back to the courtyard and the well as the smell fades. But then you see the scorch mark, the place where someone or something must have burned the bone – or it’s owner – and you reach out to it, rubbing your finger against it for a moment, then placing the soot into your mouth. As the taste overcomes you, that flavor of death and decay burning into the roof of your mouth, you go away again.

You’re in a room; austere, with little to recommend it in the way of furniture except for a lamp and a crib. The boy is there, asleep in the crib though it’s much too small for him. Curled into the corner of it as best he can, thumb in his mouth, tear tracks on his dirty face and a bandaid with gaily dancing cartoon characters over a seeping needle mark on his forearm. Lying next to him is a stuffed animal, big and blue and strange-looking. Another figure enters the room. Smiles coldly. And pushes the uncovered lamp into the crib, resting the hot bulb against the faux blue fur. Nothing can be seen of this figure, only that it is tall, vaguely female, and wearing a nasty smile as it surveys its work. As the first tendrils of smoke come from the stuffed toy, it walks away.

You feel the heat baking your skin, cooking the tears that are yours as much as the boy’s. Feel your lungs start to close up as the cloud of burning plastic and polyester invades your nostrils and works its way down your throat.

Again you come back to the courtyard, and see one last thing that makes this bone different from the shoulderblades of any other dead thing. A gouge, running down the back of it. Deep, jagged, not quite straight. You dig your fingertip into it – it’s deep enough for that, and nearly wide enough, and you’re again somewhere else.

A living room. Brown furniture. Shag carpet. Family scene. On one couch an older couple – the ones the boy calls mother and father. On the other, a teenage girl and a boy, barely out of diapers. Sitting at the corner of the table between them, the boy is there. The tear tracks are gone, the bandaid no longer in evidence… but blisters are on his cheeks, and the angry welt of the needle is still on his arm. He is rocking, staring at the television the others are watching but not really seeing it. The urge to urinate comes over him, and he goes to rise.

The table, you see, has a jagged corner. You know the boy did that, broke it off when he was younger by running into it. That corner points at the boy’s back like an accusing finger, dangerously near to the soft place at the base of his skull each time his head rocks backwards. When he sat down, perhaps it hadn’t been so close, but the kicking of those he calls his siblings pushed it closer, or perhaps his rocking scooted him back. Regardless, when he goes to stand, that broken-off bit of old wood and plastic finds flesh… and bites.

It digs into his shoulder, but his upward momentum won’t be stopped; his shirt splits alongside his flesh, unravelling and hanging in two ragged flaps like tattered wings. The boy begins to shriek as blood begins to soak into the atrocious carpet. Time skips. The mother is behind him, cursing at the boy for being clumsy, for having an accident. The father is before him, laughing at the warm, wet spot that has formed on the boy’s jeans. More pain. Another shriek as the wings that had once been an unmarked spot of flesh are yanked back together and taped down. Liquid, burning and sizzling at the flesh, feeling like teeth chewing at the place where the skin ends and the pain begins as iodine and bactine are applied. More tape. Finally he is given a pill – the pink and white ones that make him tired, because that’s all they know to do with him – and sent back to the still-scorched crib.

He curls up – biting down further cries when the movement tugs at the tape they’ve given him instead of the stitches and real medicine he probably requires – and puts his thumb in his mouth. He pulls the blue thing – the face now mostly gone, a knot of melted plastic that reeks of it’s own destruction – closer to him. And sleeps.

You come back at last to the courtyard, and set the bone down. Part of you wants to toss it back into the well, but you know that’s not right; you bled to get this, your shoulders are still quaking with the effort of pulling the chains, and you feel a curious sense of gratitude as you lay it on the ground before the well, turning to walk away.

You found what you came for. The memory. The bone belongs to someone else.


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01
Jan
19

How Broken Am I?

Happy New Year, everyone. December, and by extension 2018, are finally gone, leaving us a fresh 365 days to try to do better.

I hope to all higher and lower powers it’s better. In 2018 I missed roughly 8 months of work due to illness, saw progressive decay in my physical and mental state, and spent quite a bit of time wondering just how sharp the knives in the drawer were. That is not exaggeration, nor is it an attempt to elicit reactions. Merely truth.

Most followers know I’ve got quite a lot wrong with me. For those who don’t, here’s the laundry list:

Asthma. I’m on three kinds of steroid and two kinds of “as needed” meds so I can pretend to function at least semi-normally. Walking down the stairs or across my parking lot on a good day is liable to end with a severe coughing fit and potential vomiting, followed by an hour or more of wheezing. On a bad day it’s impossible and may result in crawling when I try to push myself to do it anyway.

Bipolar Disorder. Apparently I’m on the low end of this one, for which I should be grateful I guess. Doesn’t mean that I can’t go from feeling “okay” to “staring at the knives” in 10 seconds under the right – or wrong, depending on your viewpoint – circumstances. It can also go from placid and considering the knives for… ahem… personal use to contemplating how many times you can stab someone before they just…shut…up. Yes, I am unstable and sometimes not a pleasant person to be around. I do my best, and they gave me a bottle of lovely pills that I take to “even it out,” which helps… but not always.

Chronic Depressive Disorder. On top of being prone to psychotic mood swings, I’m also almost permanently stuck in a depressive state. That means I get all the negatives of the bipolar without the fun and occasionally useful manic periods. I’ve got pills for this, too, but even when they’re working on my brain there’s a lot of factors involved in depression besides just not having the right chemistry lab in your skull. Being a practical invalid, constantly being stressed about bills as you fight with your company’s disability reps – a situation that still hasn’t been resolved – and seeing nothing but doctor’s offices, the gas station between your house and those offices, and the walls of your tiny apartment for months on end, with similarly limited human contact takes its toll on one’s mood and ability to cope just as much as a lack of serotonin and dopamine.

Carpal Tunnel / Arthritis. My wrists and hands are turning into barely functioning hooks, and I spend the first two to three hours of the day – once I sort out my morning candy bag of pills and huff on my assorted aspirators, anyway – with alternating numbness and agony twisting through my forearms and hands. It’s not considered severe enough for medication at this point, and they’re afraid to try surgery due to my lung problems, so I chew naproxen sodium and ibuprofen like they’re going out of style and spend a lot of time trying to type or game with big clunky braces on (which then gets me frustrated and causes problems with the mental/emotional disorders, and what a merry-go-round that is.) I’m supposed to wear them to bed, too; problem is that I have a nasty tendency to strip them off and hide them when I’m asleep. Which leads us to our next issue.

Restless Leg Syndrome. I used to think this one was a joke. Then they did some tweaks on my other meds and I discovered that, hey, this is a thing. Your body will jump around and just do things whether you want it to or not. You can feel the muscles in your thighs and calves thrumming, begging to be flexed, and if you give in to it, it only gets worse. You then get two choices; endure it, and fight for every minute of sleep you manage to get, risking waking yourself up by kicking yourself, the wall, the cat, your sleepmate or whatever, or take the tranquilizers they prescribed, which stops that and helps you sleep, but tends to cause early-waking insomnia and general grogginess for a bit when you wake up. Which also leads to another fun one.

Severe Acid Reflux. With the asthma and allergies, I wheeze and cough a lot in my sleep. With a sensitive gut, sometimes that leads to nausea. More than once I’ve woken myself up with vomit burning in my throat, almost choking as I make a mad dash to the bathroom. Now do that with numb legs and a groggy head because of the tranquilizers you had to take to get to sleep at all and you have a fun situation. More pills for this, but I can’t take them all the time because apparently they can dissolve my stomach lining, so that severely limits diet and when it’s “safe” to eat. Combine with an odd work schedule – when I’m actually capable of working, ha ha – and I get to literally starve some days. Hooray.

Mild Schizophrenia. At least, that’s what they’re debating right now. The docs are teetering on whether they think it’s harmless delusions that should be death with via therapy, just an overactive imagination and lack of stimuli, or actual psychosis that needs more magical pills, but regardless of the final diagnosis, I see shit that’s not there, I hear shit that’s not there, and my memory is only to be trusted about 80%. Fun.

I’m not trying to complain, though I’m not going to lie and say it’s a bloody picnic or anything. The meds help, in as much as they can, and I’m doing my best. But when I disappear for long periods, or the output seems to be suffering, one or some or all of these things are likely to blame.

As noted, it’s a new year. New chance to try again and post as much as I can and try to grow my YouTube and Twitch channels, and publish a new book and finish the one on the burner like it deserves to be. That’s my resolution. To do my best to do those things.

I can always use a little help; like, share, subscribe if you’re of a mind. Follow me on Twitter (or fill my timeline and DMs with vitriol, if you like!). Watch me play games badly here on Twitch. And if you are taken with the spirit, you can help keep my stuff working and my meds on order via Patreon or GoFundMe.

If you can’t – or just won’t – do those things, that’s okay, too. You read this, which means a lot. You’re still paying attention, even with all my bitching and long silences, which is pretty impressive. So thank you.

What about you folks out there? How broken are you, and how does that impact your creative endeavors? Got tips for helping others through those times? Drop your thoughts down below, if you’re of a mind.

Happy New Year!

31
Dec
18

Game Review: Darksiders III

It’s been an interesting year. I’m not going to go into all of it here; there will probably be a post about it later, but the short version is it’s been a long December, and one is hoping next year will be better than the last. Illness, financial concerns, and mental and emotional difficulties have plagued this one.

This is supposed to be a happy post. Despite all the bad press about gaming over the year, there’s been a lot of good things that have happened, with some amazing titles.

There’s the obvious ones; God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Red Dead Redemption. Everyone knows those names. Two of those are amazing games, the third is competent (unlike many, I am not a huge RDR fan. I don’t have anything against it… it just doesn’t hold me down and make me play it.)

There’s some lesser-known titles that deserved some love, too; Octopath Traveler was an incredible old-school RPG (and yes, I still think it was robbed on some counts at the video game awards) for the Switch fans, Call of Cthulhu was also pretty good and enjoyable title, though I don’t think it was worth the initial outlay. When it drops down to $30 or so, it’s well worth your time. Yakuza 6 and Shenmue HD both dropped this year, and if you enjoy brawling RPGs, crazy minigames, and “slice-of-life” sims, all three are well worth checking out.

The clear owner of my heart right now is Darksiders III. It’s taking a bit of a beating, with people complaining about too many Dark Souls similarities, unfair and unintuitive difficulty, graphics that aren’t quite photo-realistic and amazing.

I think they’re wrong.

Darksiders III looks good for what it is; a labor of love from a smaller studio who basically relied on that love, hope, and the support of fans – alongside a healthy dose of luck – to give rise to it. It’s not a AAA title, and it’s not meant to be. But the graphics are still damn good, pleasing and understandable. The character and enemy designs are great, clearly cut from the Darksiders mold. From the moment you start the game, you know what you’re getting into if you’re in any way a fan of the previous titles.

Gameplay wise, the Dark Souls comparisons are a little odd. The checkpoint and XP/currency system is similar, yes. Control and combat wise I think comparisons are being overblown; Fury is infinitely more maneuverable than any of the Soulsborne protagonists, and there’s a great deal more fast-paced hack and slash than you’d expect from those titles. Some enemies need you to drop back and study their patterns a bit more than your average God of War-like game, but those are intended to be the more difficult or mini-boss type enemies. Once you level up and unlock a few of the additional skills and weapons, it’s not quite like that.

So far as difficulty, I don’t see it. I’m going at it on Apocalyptic, as I did on the previous two titles, and yes. Combat is challenging. Not insurmountable, and I never feel as though my deaths are unfair. Grinding and learning patterns gets you past it. It feels appropriately difficult. A lot of folks complain about the lack of a minimap and the way the compass in the game works… but it doesn’t seem that hard to know where you are and where you’ve been. The compass adjusts quite quickly and is always pointing in the direction you need to go. If you can’t go the way it wants, swinging the camera around for a moment will typically show the path, usually a minor puzzle that needs dealing with (most of which are neon and color-coded to which power you need to do it.)

I think the root problem isn’t with Darksiders; it’s more in the mindset of gamers. Old farts like myself probably played more games with minimal direction or confusing UIs, punishing difficulty spikes that were designed to suck up your quarters or your continues. Compared to some of those, Darksiders is a walk in the park; at least you have that wonky compass (which still works better than that found in, say, Destiny, cough cough) and the reasonable expectation that learning the mechanics and patterns of a fight will lead to victory without random chance and glitching screwing you out of it.

All in all, I have to say Darksiders III is well worth it, and a lot of places still have it discounted to $40 post-holiday, so a great time to jump into it. Give it a shot.

If you didn’t know, I have a Twitch channel; I’ve mostly been playing Binding of Isaac‘s new Forgotten update and the PSVR on there, but I try to get on reasonably regularly. It’s been a bit of solace, as gaming has been about all I can do lately. If you want to check it out or follow me, clicky-clicky here.

As always, if you enjoy my content and want to keep it coming and keep me breathing, you can always show your support by dropping a dime in the box over at Patreon or GoFundMe. If you can’t or don’t feel like it, that’s okay, too. Knowing someone is paying attention to my insane ramblings is certainly good enough. But it helps.

09
Dec
18

Black Friday Woes

[EDIT: A rep from Kohl’s did finally respond, as of Monday morning. Their response was a canned “Your credit will be available within 7 days, we’re sorry for any frustration.”]

Another Black Friday has come and gone, and with it ridiculous price cuts and psychotic shoppers. That’s not news. Nor do I particularly care. I did most of my Black Friday shopping online, and had no issues.

Well, except for one.

You see, I’ve been looking at the PlayStation VR for a bit. Not sure how much I’ll get out of it, having problems with depth perception and being mostly blind in one eye, but there’s piles of horror games I’d love to try that are only for that format. Plus there’s part of me that wants to see just how nasty Marguerite Baker from Resident Evil 7 looks when she’s literally in your face. Given my handicaps, I figured waiting for a sale was the best way to go. Pretty much everywhere had the units on sale for $100 off, so the time seemed ready to pounce.

There was much deliberation on what retailer to go with, and after that it was determined that Kohl’s was the way to go. The promise of $60 in Kohl’s Cash and having a coupon that would apply to the purchase tipped the scale. So the order was placed.

I’m going to be petty, now. I’m going to bitch and moan for no reason other than to vent in the vain hope that someone, somewhere, notices and cares. If anyone out there had issues with Kohl’s this holiday season, let loose your own rage and vent your frustrations in the comment box, so we can take solace in knowing it wasn’t just us.

Anyway, they gave an estimated delivery date of 11/30. 11/30 came and went. No headset. No word. “Not an issue; it was Black Friday after all, they’re probably just running a bit behind.” Checked on UPS, says there was a tracking ID created, and label printed, they just hadn’t gotten it from Kohl’s yet.

Another week passes. We’re on the 7th of December, now. Still no sign, no changes on the UPS site. Kohl’s site claims the order is “complete.” I give them a ring, just to see what’s up, and the friendly, heavily accented individual informs me “I’m sorry, we cannot answer any questions at this time, please call back in an hour,” before hanging up. This is before I’ve even been asked my name or what my issue might be. I tried calling back, and get a different individual who says the same and hangs up again.

I shrug, say “Okay” to myself, and prepare to wait out an hour. I call back. I am given the same spiel and a hangup yet again.

I wait another hour, call back. Same results, though this time there was 30 seconds of foreign language shrieking to someone in the background before the rep gave their speech.

One more hour, I call again. At this point I am told that the item is out of stock, will not be restocked, and that I’m out of luck. They’ll refund it, of course, but that will take up to 7 business days. Would I like to place another order?

Fuck no, I wouldn’t. They had no answers as to the initial hangups. Not even a canned response as to why they couldn’t be asked to e-mail me and tell me “Hey, we screwed up, you’re not getting your item.”

So, of course, I’m out a headset, since all the sales are long gone, and in my area at least, the units themselves seem to be pretty universally sold out. Whatever; I can live with that. I’ve gone this long without one, I won’t die. I’m a teensy bit irate about the games and accessories that were purchased to go with the unit, since they’re either digital or outside of the return period, but that’s secondary.

What’s got me riled is the goddamn psychosis of the way Kohl’s has handled this, without even giving a “Sorry.” I even Tweeted about it, at which point Kohl’s responded to me asking me to DM them the details. They did that tweet about 5 seconds after I posted mine, and I immediately DM’d them, but they didn’t see fit to answer for another 20 hours. At that point they asked for my order number, which I provided, and have said nothing since. That was two days ago; I’m not expecting results any time soon. Not a surprise. Given they couldn’t bother to tell me anything about the inability to fulfill the order, why would I expect any communication from them now that I am no longer of use to them?

Further investigation shows several thousand 1-star reviews and reports of others suffering the same problems, alongside several multiple charges, wrong items, Kohl’s cancelling orders because they were suspected of being fraudulent (and then charging full price to replace the order, as the sale had ended and Kohl’s doesn’t feel the need to adjust the pricing down or otherwise compensate those affected) and incredibly poor customer service on the rare occasions someone can get a response out of them at all.

The best part is their constant self-congratulatory articles, Tweets and posts, bragging about having had their most successful Black Friday ever. I bet; raking in cash from multiple charges and items you don’t intend to send, charging people and sitting on the money (some reports indicate that even now, approaching 3 weeks later, the charges for cancelled items and duplicate charges are still impacting customer’s balances), and forcing people to pay full price and pay for any Kohl’s cash they used during the sale will certainly inflate that accounting… and if/when it’s fixed, it’ll show on a different report, thus making them look even better to their shareholders and accountants. At least until the amended report with the refunds comes in. That’s assuming there aren’t folks out there still waiting to find out what happened to their items, or those who just forget or write it off. (You wouldn’t think that would happen, but I work in the financial sector and the number of times I’ve had to file claims against items not received a year or longer after the initial charge is far more than any credulous person would believe.)

I’m done complaining, now. At least here. As noted, if anyone else had similar experiences with Kohl’s – or other retailers – in the Black Friday frenzy, feel free to share your stories below. If you’ve any advice on what else can be done – or know a place where I can still find a PSVR for $200 that isn’t eBay – drop it down below.

Beyond that, Happy Holidays, everyone. Hopefully next year is better.




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