From Bram Stoker Award-winning author Nicole Cushing comes a novel about family, grief, aliens, mental illness, trauma, sexism, the Mothman legend, Covid, and the encroachment of unreality into American political life. Mothwoman combines the style and playful dark satire of A Sick Gray Laugh with the grimness and relatively quick pace of Mr. Suicide.
Cover Art and Design: Matthew Revert
Praise For Mothwoman
“A dizzying story about one individual’s confrontation with the transient nature of reality, and what this encounter strips away within her. A sharp, quirky adventure that overlaps alien abduction, horror, conspiracy, cryptids and existential dread in a way that only Nicole Cushing could manage to pull off.”
–Brian Evenson, author of Song for the Unraveling of the World
Complexity amongst the oddities and absurdities in the metamorphosis, entropy and satire with first person narration and interior-monologue, writing that flows well and mesmerised in this unique journey of mothwomam, one who faces a paradox of choices for survival amidst existential dread and in a world gone absurd not too different from the reality of the last two years we be living in the real world except for the alien and moth entities, in a great weird tale of which readers of strange and weird worlds that appreciate fluid storytelling would love her prose a joy to read constructed with a great style and choice of words with the humorous and weird.
You like aliens, loved Star Trek, watched a pbs series The Power of Myth and Mothman prophecies whilst slightly dreamy and have interest in levitation, telepathy, and time travel, you have attend conventions, you love moths and live under a president called Tr**p and possess a weird imagination then you just may just be able to write this story.
I won’t be reading mothman prophecies the book, the film was adequate enough, and this mothwoman.
Bye for now have a Mothman convention to attend.
“I enjoy making up little stories about lots of things. It kills time.
I used to think time was too precious to kill. Now that I’m unemployed, I know better. Work is toil, yes. I hate work. But the only thing I hate more than work is the absence of work. Work means money. Even more importantly, work is Something to Do.”
“Bottom line: I know I’m not lazy. I know the irrational, heavy intrusion is real. I can’t see it, but it’s there.
I know it has a name. I know that name rhymes with “recession”. I know our society has said it’s a disease. I know there are doctors who could, for a price, provide a cure. A pill, a potion, an incantation, a validation. Pharmaceutical corporations make a fortune off such magic. They’re always advertising on TV. “
“I call it The Theory of Nocturnal Purgation. In plain English, I believe my depression lifts after dark because daytime is cluttered and nighttime is clean.
I mean, just think about it. Daylight allows us to see all sorts of objects. Too many objects. The world is now surfeit with objects. Little plastic things. Big plastic things. Ironic things. Action figures. Cute little collectible Funko Pops! Candy. Pills. Rusted-out sheet metal. Plastic grocery bags. Squirrels. Broken glass. Dogs with only three legs. Dogs cross-bred with coyotes. Ridiculous small dogs. Cats with debilitating mutations. Televisions infected with talking heads. Screaming heads. Doll heads. Shrunken heads. Secondhand books with strange cover art. Store brand soda cans. Store brand cereal boxes. Obsolete electronics. Phones and stop lights and microwaves and refrigerators.”
“Covid-19 might kill you, or it might maim your lungs, or it might hit you no worse than the common cold, or it might give you blood clots, or it might slow down your brain function, or it might result in chronic fatigue, or it might not cause you any symptoms at all. Everything’s ambiguous until it’s not, right?”
“My bowels clench. My throat tightens. My brain spins around in my skull. I brace myself against the wall. I pretend I didn’t hear him. I pretend my sister doesn’t have Covid. I pretend my father never had a stroke. I pretend I’m dreaming all this nonsense. I’m not in West Virginia, because I never needed to travel east. I’m not in a hotel, I’m safe at home. There was never a Starer. The Starer was a little story I made up to entertain myself. Covid was a little story I made up to entertain myself. President Trump was a little story I made up to entertain myself. None of it’s real.
I pinch myself. I click my heels three times and think to myself: There’s no place like home. I expect to find myself back in Indiana, back in bed, staring at my ceiling fan.”
“Floating objects, floating objects, and short fingers! Short fingers grasping a Family Bible. Cosmic Maiden, Beast of Light, and Rapacious Creation. Rapacious Creation, Insolent Offspring, and Swollen Funeral Pyres. Rough, angular, yellow blobs overhead and HELL IS…
“Of course, I’ve heard about Mothman. I know he’s a kitschy cryptozoological entity, Bigfoot’s avian kin, the subject of credulous History Channel documentaries.”
“The ancients thought there were four basic elements which served as the building blocks of the universe: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. This belief was, of course, mistaken. The four elements are actually Annoyance, Tragedy, Abnormality, and Brokenness.
Emptiness is the Brokenness taken to the extreme. Grandeur is Abnormality taken to the extreme. Ridiculousness is an especially perverse alloy of Annoyance and Abnormality. And so on, and so on, for every last thing in the universe.”
“There’s a thrill in coming up with little stories. A light, frothy thrill. Little stories are insubstantial. There’s little effort required for their construction. This enables me to adopt an “easy come, easy go” mentality with them. I can abandon them at will, anytime I please. (When was the last time you heard me refer to Giuseppe the Puppeteer?) I feel no pressure to make people believe them, let alone turn hearers into adherents.
Big Stories (Myths, Dogmas, Party Lines) control people. Little stories serve them.”
About Nicole Cushing
Nicole Cushing is a Bram Stoker Award® winning novelist and a two-time nominee for the Shirley Jackson Award.
Various reviewers have described her work as “cerebral”, “brutal”, “transgressive”, “wickedly funny”, “taboo”, “groundbreaking” and “mind-bending”.
Rue Morgue magazine included Nicole in its list of 13 Wicked Women to Watch, praising her as an “an intense and uncompromising literary voice”. She has also garnered praise from Brian Evenson, Jack Ketchum, Thomas Ligotti, and Poppy Z. Brite (aka, Billy Martin).
Her second novel, A Sick Gray Laugh (2019) was named to LitReactor’s Best Horror Novels of the Last Decade list and the Locus Recommended Reading List. Her third novel, Mothwoman, is scheduled for a release in late 2022. Nicole lives in Indiana.