Badboy Badger caressed his martial black coat with some satisfaction, as he surveyed the fauna gathered below him in the greenly grassed hillside. “My dear colleagues!” He boomed. “My fellow Recoverers! Word has come down from Headquarters about a new, most important, most thrilling mission, so I need critters three, to brave death with me! Be bold and be free: I need critters three!”

Rat and hare and bat and hen, goose and hedgehog shouted then:

“Me! Me! Me! I’ll Recover!”

But Lousey Mousey and Wacko Mole and Nobull Frog had already scampered and tunneled and hopped up the hill. Badboy Badger greeted the volunteers, and the rest of the Army of Recoverers knew to retreat back to warrens and burrows, to dens and to ponds. As they departed, Badboy Badger fare-welled them:

“You’ll be called upon too! Wait your turn. The sun waits its turn, and so does the moon; if your chance won’t come now, then it’s going to come soon. For the world always needs something Rescued, something Borrowed, or something Saved.”




“Morning, class. Welcome to Culinary Education. Coach Wicker was supposed to go over this orientation, but the Bulldogs are getting ready for the Championship. How about them Bulldogs, huh? Anyway! Ok! I’m Coach Dobbett. Ok. I know the Fillmore High quilting club had a lot of yarns to spin about Ms. Grazinski and why she was let go but let’s put a lid on that bubbling cauldron, shall we?

“Heads butted over a budgetary matter. Simple. The ball of bull rolled down from the County and landed on your Culinary Education class… Ah, you kids don’t care. Anyway, Ms. Grazinski? Her little experiment with Eat Ed went kaplooey when she started planning some free-for-all end-of-semester potluck party. IN-appropriate! IN-and-OUT-appropriate!

“Oh, I know some of you were all googly about Ms. Grazinski. I never met her, but I know those pervy types. Did she swish around chirping: ‘Ooh, let’s give in to the joy of food! Yummy yummy nom nom! Oooh, let’s learn exotic dishes from other cultures! I’ll introduce you to obscure butter churning practices! Let’s SPICE things up with Panang curry! Have any of you tried tempura mint ice cream?! Isn’t being a foodie FUN?’

“Sure, sure. It can be. IF YOU’RE TWELVE AND LIKE TO PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD! Culinary Education is serious business. Ok, pass the permission slips to the front. This is going to get controversial. Weissenberg, we WILL get around to the whole Kosher thing, so keep your undies on. Oh, geez. Where to start.

Continue reading “EAT ED.”




“G. Lamour, P. I.”

It was etched on the frosted glass door that led into the office. It was carved on a wooden sign that was propped up on a room-dominating desk. It was even stamped on the steaming coffee mug in the hands of the tall, brown-pony-tailed girl who sat behind the desk.

Still, on that Monday morning, a shy-looking dye-job blonde in her mid-30s knocked on the glass door, and poked her canary-colored head into the office, and examined the young detective with sincere skepticism, and felt the need to ask the question:

“Is this the right place? You are G. Lamour, right? The private investigator, right? Like it said in the newspaper ad, right?”


THE WRITER (Revised)

THE WRITER (Revised)

He was another writer.

At the age of six he was spinning yarns to an imaginary audience, (wondrous tales of hyper-cosmic rocket-ships commandeered by samurais, of cunning foxes ruling rabbit kingdoms, of clockwork hearts sitting square in the metal chests of sentimental robots.)

The writer’s mother said: “With a mind like that, he’s going to write books.”

The writer’s father said: “We’ll see, we’ll see.”

Continue reading “THE WRITER (Revised)”



Dear Imaginary Reader:

Let me catch you up. Hallucina used to be quite the encyclopedic pop culture blog. Writer Hansel Castro loved exploring culture from ABBA to ZAPPA. From Chinua Achebe to Stefan Zweig. From ABC to BBC to CW to HBO. J. K. Rowling and J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis had a mighty gathering where they agreed not to be so cryptically pretentious about their names. There were Davids there: Bowie, Lynch, Fincher, Cronenberg. A Dickensian David Copperfield, and even a commenting David Freer. There were a lot of French movies for some reason and there was Alexandre Dumas, specially the SUPER ABRIDGED MARIE ANTOINETTE SAGA! There were Bob Dylans and Woody Allens and there were Stephen Kings and Steven Spielbergs and Steven Soderberghs, and Stephen Sondheim came in one day to have a conversation with Green Day. Movies, music, books, television, video-games, theater, graphic novels, art, etc…


And then it was doing too many things. There was too much going on and it was about to topple. It was a big messy bear of a blog and like bears, it needed to hibernate. Cubs came out of the cave ( A SonOfHallucina Tumblr. The TILT. INTERFAKE. Spinoffs like THE SUPER ABRIDGED COUNT OF MONTECRISTO. THE PAGEAHOLIC, still on-going, which reviews books.) Facebook and Twitter posts were spawned. Simply put, Hans couldn’t dedicate as much time as he wanted to the blogging world while still delivering the same level of quality. So he stopped doing all that. Went into the wilderness. Abjured social media. Sorta. (Sporadic Facebook blurbs and Instagram posts appeared here and there.)

And yet many people kept reminding Hans about HALLUCINA and how they missed it. Hans missed HALLUCINA too! And so now HALLUCINA is quietly back as Hallucina 2 ( I hope you read along. This will be fun!