Tag Archives: Fear

From Fears to Funds: How to Make a Killing Off a Killing by George Zimmerman

Here at The Annual we regularly turn down offers from publishers desperate for attention. When the print industry comes a knocking, odds are our response is “been there, failed at that.” But when we were given the opportunity to publish an advanced excerpt from George Zimmerman’s book we knew this was a man who needed no cash-in. To turn down America’s foremost entrepreneur is to turn down the obvious grab for attention that comes with uttering his name. Printed with permission from Hardly Perennials  Inc, is an incredible excerpt from George Zimmerman’s Fears to Funds: How To Make a Killing Off a Killing.

Fears Cover

Preface: Only in America

The beast lay below me, slain. “What have I done?” I thought for a fleeting moment before the answer came to me like the shots I had just fired; quick and unrelenting. I had created a world of opportunity for myself. Once a neighborhood watchman, I would soon rise to prominence as a national hero, the man who saved an entire community, if not an entire country. Would I be given parades? A national holiday? Obviously things heven’t panned out that way, but the situation did afford me the chance to make a name for myself and start a whole new career.

The trick to becoming a Zimmerman-success story is to look for opportunity in the tragedy that surrounds you. I found it on that fateful and historic evening. In my hands rest Little Sherrie, a no-name pistol I purchased from Big Jim’s Gun Emporium in Sarasota. I didn’t realize it at the time, but Little Sherrie would soon go from Exhibit B to American history. Not everyone will see it as “American history” but that’s the beauty of entrepreneurship, you get to decide the significance of your product.

As I waited for the police to arrive (not that they were needed at that point, let’s face it, I was the police) I looked around for my next muse. There on the ground lay a bag of Skittles, passing the time, I considered the inevitable endorsement. It would be a Skittles ad like no other. An epic car chase across the mean streets of a dark and gritty city, the thug in front crashes his car into a dumpster but is alive. He opens the door and limps out, when I pull up beside him, exit my Mustang and hold up a prop replica of Little Sherrie, “taste the rainbow, punk.” I exclaim while firing 5 delicious flavors into his head.

The fantasy ends as the police roll up and we begin to take account of the incident, we’re on a street that will be inevitably called “George Zimmerman Way” in a neighborhood soon to be “The Zimmerman Luxury Gated Community.” The responding officers and I had a pleasant interaction, we were colleagues after all, equals on the force. I wish I could take a moment to paint the scene, really immortalize it for the Smithsonian.

In this book, I’ll teach you how to exploit age old loopholes and turn fear into the greatest strength you have. Methods that have been replicated with great success by Darren Wilson, the Cleveland Police Department and so many others. Once you know how to get away with a crime using fear as your sole defense, you’ll learn just how profitable these life-changing events can become.

George Zimmerman

What Scares Us

As Halloween approaches, I’ve gone back and watched several classic horror films—notably, the Halloween series. While interesting to see how horror films have changed in the past decades, I was not truly scared by anything occurring on-screen. I didn’t go to bed worrying there would be a murderer in my closet; I didn’t double-check the locks to make sure no homicidal maniacs could get in undisturbed. Hell, I even left one leg out from under the covers, even though that guarantees a monster will ooze out from under the bed to devour it!

Americans aren’t as scared of the world as they used to be. We’ve all been desensitized. Off-key piano chords or a ghost jumping out from a wardrobe don’t have the same effect on us as those same tactics did forty years ago. People these days are more worried about healthcare, police brutality and Trump actually getting enough votes to become President!

So I thought: if I were a filmmaker, what could I use that would be truly scary? Something that everyone who went to the theater would be screaming about and cause them to have mental issues after viewing? Based on a study done in 2014, here is a list of things Americans fear:

  • Public Speaking
  • Heights
  • Bugs, snakes,and other animals
  • Drowning
  • Blood, needles
  • Tight, confined spaces
  • Flying
  • Strangers
  • Zombies
  • Darkness
  • Clowns
  • Ghosts

Very few of these have justly been expressed in horror movies to date, so I now pitch the scariest film of all time:

The film opens at the airport. An attractive, single woman is boarding by herself, having just recently broken up with her boyfriend who was cheating on her with her best girlfriends (so now she is lonely and heartbroken, too).

She boards the plane (FLYING), and is seated in the middle seat (TIGHT, CONFINED SPACES) between two attractive men with foreign accents (STRANGERS). As the plane takes off (HEIGHTS), the men tell her more about themselves; one is a CLOWN in a travelling circus, while the other works for the Red Cross and is very pushy in his attempts to get her to become a blood donor (BLOOD, NEEDLES)! As they both begin to ask for more and more donations (CHARITIES), our protagonist excuses herself to go to the restroom.

In the very small (TIGHT, CONFINED SPACES) airplane bathroom, we see a flashback to a young girl, playing by the pool while her mother (MOTHERS) looks on. Suddenly, a traveling door-to-door vacuum salesman (STRANGERS) comes to the door, and the mother goes to talk to him. The girl is on her own, and she can’t seem to remember how to swim! She sinks to the bottom of the deep end…(DROWNING)

She awakens and realizes she must have dozed off in the airplane bathroom (ROOFIES). She quickly composes herself and walks out. She opens the door to discover all the lights are off (DARKNESS). She thinks that it must be dark outside the plane, and the lights have been turned off so others can sleep (INSOMNIA). She begins to see shapes moving about (GHOSTS), and thinks it is just her eyes adjusting to the DARK, as well as other passengers moving about. She struggles to get to her seat.

She gets to her middle seat, only to discover the two men are now ZOMBIES! She fights them off, and now realizes the entire plane is full of ZOMBIES! She gets to the divider between first class and coach, where the flight attendants are huddled scared. They tell her that the only way to stop the ZOMBIES is to use the on board microphone and recite the ancient incantation they accidentally used to summon them; but the trick is, she has to do it with all the ZOMBIES watching her! (PUBLIC SPEAKING!) She gathers her courage, digs deep, and reaches for the microphone. Oh, but did we forget to mention the microphone cord is now a COBRA and the mouthpiece is COVERED IN BUGS and the plane is now just ONE GIANT ALBINO RAT?!  Our heroine no longer cares! She screams, grabs for the microphone and recites the incantation!

She awakens back in her middle seat between the two foreign men, cheerful and talkative as ever, with the sun shining bright outside. All the people from her dream are there, and nothing bad has happened. She reaches into her purse, pulls out her phone, and realizes SHE JUST HAD THAT CRAZY DREAM BECAUSE THERE IS NO FREE WIFI ON THE PLANE!!!!!!!


See? Kids these days aren’t scared anymore. Only by threat of taking away their internet and electronic gadgets can we get a rise out of them. There are plenty more sequels where this movie comes from. I’m thinking a cinematic universe combining Apple, Samsung, Google—hell, we might as well get a Microsoft straight-to-HD DVD version in there somewhere. Enjoy it while it lasts, America, because one day you might wake up, and your cell phone signal will only be two-and-a-half bars…

T.M. Scholtes

New Friend: I’m Afraid to Stay Here

I’m afraid that if I stay here I’ll be forced to have the talk with my son. Not the sex talk, but the what to do if you’re stopped by the police talk. “Keep your hands on the steering wheel, and announce what you’re doing before you reach for your wallet – announce what you’re doing before you reach for anything. Never run.”

I’m afraid that the parents of his prom date won’t be comfortable with letting their daughter hold his hand. I’m afraid of telling him why she’s dating him. I’m afraid to tell him that he can’t afford to go through a rebellious phase like his white friends. I’m afraid that we won’t survive in America.

A black man is killed by the police every twenty-eight hours; I’m afraid that he’ll grow up without a father, like his father. I’m afraid people won’t take this seriously because I’m not black enough. I’m afraid that I’m not white enough.

I’m afraid that writing this will make him see me as a stereotype. I’m afraid his mother will never understand me. I’m afraid that the world is privileged enough not to care. Little black boys don’t need a gun when your perceptions are loaded with fear. I’m afraid to stay here.

Giovanni Kavota