Seeking knowledge and healing through intoxicants is nothing new.
Shamans, thinkers, curious daydreamers—throughout history, traveling souls from every walk of life have taken both natural and chemical substances to induce hallucinations and peer beyond the veil due to the nagging suspicion that there is something more to reality than what meets the eye. Meditation, drugs, and religion have long attempted to discover truths about the world around us by looking inward, diving past what is visible on the surface and plunging into the unknown. Although ingesting mind-altering substances is considered taboo, the results they have had on our art, music, and literature are undeniable.
My TRANSCENDENT entry, “The Tapping,” focuses on a small community of Anoki, descendants from warring tribes who scavenged the Wastelands long after humanity has obliterated themselves, resources, and technology. Hallucinogenic sap from the mysterious woem tree granted their ancestors powerful visions that taught them how to stop wandering a bankrupt world and rebuild society anew. Over time, however, this nonrenewable crop has been harvested to near extinction. One woem remains, and the Anoki plan on rejoicing in a final, exclusive rite reserved for only the most elite tribe members.
But how does society decide who is worthy of the last bounty?
Is it worth destroying the last of something so rare and beautiful for a few temporary answers when in the future there will no doubt be more questions?
Is this religious ceremony or addicts simply trying to get a fix?
“The Tapping” explores these themes with symbology and metaphor, as is often used when dealing with the language of dreams, visions, nightmares, and hallucinations.
Living and creating in New Orleans, Louisiana, Anthony S. Buoni haunts the swamps and bayous along the Gulf of Mexico, writing, editing, producing, and lecturing about his craft. A practicing pagan, he’s responsible for the BETWEEN THERE anthologies, his screenplay-novel, CONVERSION PARTY, and his new collection of short stories, OSSUARY TALES. Recently, he’s co-edited and co-produced several exciting anthologies alongsideAlisha Costanzo with their independent imprint, Transmundane Press: DISTORTED, UNDERWATER, AFTER THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER, and ON FIRE.
In the past, he has produced the underground zine MEOW and the illustrated horror rag OUTRÉ from Meow Press, and his work has appeared in WATERFRONT LIVING, NORTH FLORIDA NOIR, and SMALL HAPPY. Currently, he’s writing a New Orleans monster novel as well as putting the final edits on novels featuring ghosts, zombies, and a café between life and death filled with secrets and philosophy.
When not writing, Anthony poses as a Bourbon Street bartender, underground musician, and DJ, drawing down the moon with new wave, trance, and melancholy tunes. Other interests include film, gardening, comic books, and playing video games with his son, Fallon.
TRANSCENDENT is available now, be sure to get your copy!