Friday, December 31, 2010

A Sports Bar At 1900 Baum Road

The seven men took a seat around the table in the dimly lit sports bar. The smells of old cigarettes and greasy meat filled the air. The circular seat that circumvented the scratched wooden table was made of dark crimson leather.

"Drinks are on me, boys," Nick told them.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Board To Death

I peer around the corner of the hallway into the parlor. I hug the wall closely, sticking to the shadows--of which there are many in this vast old house. At the other end of the hallway I see the old man walk out of his bedroom and stroll casually down the hall in the opposite direction. He walks at a brisk pace, and whistles to himself as he goes. From the direction he's going, I deduce that he's headed downstairs.

SAMURAI: Acronyms

So, the guys in charge of naming stuff really like acronyms. A lot of the major weapons to come out of the SAMURAI labs are given these absurdly contrived acronyms for names. Hell, even SAMURAI is one: Super-powered Anti-Monster Unit and Robotic Arsenal Initiative. It's kind of ridiculous.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Black Enigma: Holes, part 3

For previous chapters in The Black Enigma story, click here.

There is a hole where my dreams should be.

I try to sleep, but the dark is as elusive as comfort. I twist restlessly in my waking, and even more restlessly still in my sleep. When my eyes do stay shut, and I manage to grasp the fragile fleeting tendrils of slumber, I dream of a hole where my brother should be. I dream of bullet holes and holes in the ground, and holes in hearts. I dream of a hole, starting in the center of the city and growing outwards, devouring all in its path, swallowing the entire city into the earth. And then there is a gravestone by the hole, and as I'm about to read it, I wake, trembling, sweating, my heart pounding.

So many holes that need filling.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Black Enigma : Holes, part 2

This story takes place shortly after the events of this story,before the events of this story, and directly after Holes, part 1.

"What do you know?" I growl at Harvey.

"Regretfully," he sighs, "everything."

"Tell me now."

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Black Enigma: Holes, part 1

This story takes place shortly after the events of this story and before the events of this story.

The box that contains my brother lowers slowly into the abyss of worms and dirt that they call a grave. It's just a hole. A bullet hole in the body of the Earth, just like the one in Johnny's head. I have matching one in my heart. I loved my brother more than anything. He was the only family I had left. I am alone. Empty. A hole.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Suggestionator 2010: Blind Faith Leads to Death

Today's Suggestionator is from Zach, who said "Blind faith leads to death." This ended up being quite a bit heavier than the others so far. For more on Suggestionator 2010, click here.

He was a young Christian man. He loved his god and his country, and was unwaveringly loyal to them both. He had been tasked  by his priest to join the holy knights in the Crusades. He was to fight for all he held dear by retaking the land that was the birthplace of his religion. He was to draw his sword and defeat the heathens that defiled the ground of his forefathers.

He is a young Muslim boy. He loves Allah and he loves his country. He would do anything to protect them. He has been told by the men with guns that the only way to please Allah is to take up arms in Jihad. He fights all he holds dear by repelling the infidel from his people's home. He loads bullets in his gun and straps a bomb to his chest to send the invaders to their punishment.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Suggestionator 2010: "China, disease, fast food, giant worm, rave"

Yet another Suggestionator story! This one is courtesy of Manny who gave me the words "China, disease, fast-food, giant worm, rave" to work with. Here ya go!

This is Chad. He is twenty-two, single, and he's still living with his parents. He has a lot of (online) friends, and can definitely destroy your paladin*. Chad is standing behind the register of a McGreasey Burger at 10am on a Sunday. His job kind of sucks**, but that's fitting, because he loves in Sucktown, USA, which is located somewhere over there. You probably haven't heard of it, because you don't suck enough***.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Suggestionator 2010: "guitar, schizophrenia, ACID, hotel, chevy."

For the details on Suggestionator 2010, click here. Today's story is from David, who said "guitar, schizophrenia, ACID, hotel, chevy." I kind of forgot about the Chevy part once I got going, so sorry about that. I think it's entertaining nonetheless.

Eddy Thunder is the richest rock-star on the face of the Earth. Eddy Thunder is--to be frank-- really ~~~~ing awesome.

Suggestionator 2010: The Last Comic Book On the Shelf

You can find the details on Suggestionator 2010 here! Sorry for the delays in story production. I fell asleep early Wednesday night and went to see Tron: Legacy last night. So I'll be trying to do three posts today. We'll see if that happens. Today's suggestion comes from Jazmin, who told me to write about "the last comic book on the shelf."

It had been a long time since anyone had dared to hope. Hope was just one of the many things the bombs took away. They took everything and everyone. They took without prejudice or bias. They disregarded skin color, religion, and moral character. They most certainly didn't care how much anyone prayed or begged, or how thick of a wall they were hiding behind. They kept launching... and falling... and taking. And they loved everyone equally.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Suggestionator 2010: Combo Deal, part 2

I apologize for the delayed post. I was without my computer all night.
I decided to combine two of the suggestions into one story, here, and I think the result is going to be better because they really just fit. As it's two suggestions, it's also twice the length, and so this one will be a two parter! The two suggestions were Justin with "laser, meson, badger, cargo ship, cactus" and Jasper with "steampunk otter space pirates." Hope you enjoy it guys! (Part one is located here)

As Stripe rose to his feet, a face appeared on his hologram projector. It was a particularly smug looking otter with a red bandanna over its head that held down its ears. It had a scar along its right cheek bone, and appeared to be young.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Suggestionator 2010: Combo Deal!

I decided to combine two of the suggestions into one story, here, and I think the result is going to be betterm because they really just fit. As it's two suggestions, it's also twice the length, and so this one will be a two parter! The two suggestions were Justin with "laser, meson, badger, cargo ship, cactus" and Jasper with "steampunk otter space pirates." Hope you enjoy it guys!

30,157 AD:

Captain Stripe of the Intergalactic Alliance's 616th fleet strolled confidently out onto the bridge of his starship. He was the commanding officer on the I.A.S. Titan, a Class Omega battlecruiser and cargo carrier. It was the flagship and pride of the 616th. The Titan was currently transporting a top secret military weapon to a base on an asteroid outpost on the other side of the galaxy. Only Stripe knew what the weapon actually was, and he was sworn to secrecy.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Suggestionator 2010: "angels, demons, kittens, jell-o pudding, bill cosby"

To view the Suggestionator 2010 details and suggestions, click here.
Next suggestion comes from Andy, who said "angels, demons, kittens, jell-o-pudding, bill cosby." I think this ended up being a pretty decent story, though I ended up not being able to fit the Jell-O in there. Hopefully Andy can forgive me.

The kitten is fluffy, round and black-furred. It peers around the corner into the living room, where the child is watching "The Cosby Show" on the television. It rolls its eyes and sighs and dashes behind the couch. How the **** did I get stuck with this ****y-*** job? the kitten thinks to himself. What makes this rugrat so ****ing special anyways?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Suggestionator 2010: "Write about the customers"

To view the Suggestionator 2010 details and suggestions, click here.
I'm going to go out of order on the suggestions as I have ideas come to me. Cameron's suggestion was "write about the customers." I work with Cameron at Pegasus Books of Bend, our local comic store, so that's what he was referring to. Hope you like it Cameron (and Jasper and Duncan too, if they read it).

It was a day like any other. Or at least it started out as one. It was 1:33pm on a December Saturday, and I was standing behind the counter at the comic book store. I flipped the page of the latest issue of New Avengers (which is interesting enough to read, but crappy enough not to spend money on) and glanced out the window, and saw the snow blow gently across the sparse downtown streets. The neon sign in the window read "open" but the white powder covering the sidewalks told Bend to stay inside.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

SAMURAI: Laser-Beam Shark-Dragon

I narrowly dodge the laser beam that blasts out of the shark's mouth. Yes, laser beam, yes shark. Though, to be fair, it's a giant shark (giant meaning humpback whale sized). And it's also flying and has short clawed arms and legs. Sort of a dragon-shark. The laser isn't so hard to accept now, is it?

Friday, December 10, 2010

SAMURAI: Secret Anti-Monster Unit and Robotic Arsenal Initiative

"Wow," my partner said to me, staring straight up. "He's a big one."

"Yeah," I said in agreement. "And I think he might be growing."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Strange Casefiles of Horatio Morgan, Chapter 7

For the previous chapters in the series, click here.

"Lovely night, isn't it, Ferris?" Horatio asked his surly companion as the strolled the gas-lit streets of London.

"Quite," Ferris said distractedly.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Black Enigma: Filth, epilogue

He stared down at the city streets far below, through window panes distorted with sheets of rolling rain, his frame silhouetted by fluorescent lights from a skyscraper on the opposite side of the street. He twirled his sword frivolously as he took a haughty sip of red wine from a sexually curved glass. All the lights in the penthouse room behind him were off, the only light was that which entered through the window, causing an dull, eerie, multi-colored blanket to be tossed across the walls.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Black Enigma: Filth, part 3

I move slowly and casually around the edges of the screaming mob. Curses and vulgarities are tossed about as casually as their money and the innocent dogs' lives. They yell angrily down into the middle where two dogs snap at each others' throats for the benefit of their owner's wallet. I sneak up behind the guard next to the iron door. I pull a tranquilizer dart out of the inside of my coat and stab it into his jugular as I pull the keys out of his pocket. I unlock the heavy door and slide inside, and pull it shut behind me.

The Black Enigma: Filth, part 2

My unfortunate victim passes out instantly. I lift him off the ground and toss him in the dumpster for safe keeping. I pull my pipe from my mouth, let a ring of smoke escape my mouth, and glance down at the puddle that the man had landed in. In my reflection, I am wearing red gloves, a black domino mask, black pants and boots and a long black trench coat with red buttons over a dark brown shirt and red tie. I am The Black Enigma.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Black Enigma: Filth, part 1

The skies of my city were weeping. I watch the steamy breath from my nostrils mingle with the smoke of my pipe as the clouds' tears drew rivulets in the creases in my trench coat and dripped off the ends of my hair before my eyes. The all too familiar wail of distant police sirens plays a melody against the beat of the rain striking concrete. The rhythm it composes is like the beating of a heart that keeps the city flowing. But it's a black heart. A heart that pains itself with every pump.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Stormclouds and Chariots, part 4

Lightning flaring from his nostrils, Thor spun around to face the voice. There stood a fair skinned giant, who was donned with a toga, and had a massive white beard. His eyes glowed an electric blue and his skin crackled in much the same way as Thor's.

Stormclouds and Chariots, part 3

"Return to Rome," Thor threatened Mars, who was now grunting and returning to his feet, "and take your toys with you." He motioned with his hammer toward the Roman legion.

Mars growled as he stood, and rolled his neck, popping it. He grinned maniacally as he stared up at Thor. "The only toy I see," he mocked, "is that hammer of yours, barbarian scum."

Monday, November 29, 2010

Stormclouds and Chariots, part 2

The wind whistled through the lines of opposing warriors, chilling them under their rattling armor. The only sounds that could be heard was the shifting of metal and fabric, and the rustling of the grass underfoot. From atop the hill, the gathered vikings gazed scornfully down at the gathered army. Above them, a deep grey storm cloud gathered. Moving his brothers-in-arms aside, the viking sentry moved to the front and looked down at the enormous warrior that claimed to be a god. He was grinning psychotically, and his eyes were wide.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Stormclouds and Chariots, part 1

Aawoooom! went the call of the sentry's horn. Aawoooom! it went as he blew again from atop the hill that overlooked the viking village. Aawoooom! sounded the horn a third time, signalling an approaching enemy.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Up and Down, part 7

Up groaned loudly as he sat up a few minutes later. He held his face in his hands and moaned as he sat on the wooden floor. Scruff patted him on the shoulder and handed him more water, which he drank.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Up and Down, part 6

Up's eyes opened slowly. His vision was blurry and his throbbing head made him dizzy, but he could see that he was inside some sort of wooden hut. Moaning loudly, he rolled to the side and shut his eyes again.

"Hey Poof! He's waking up, come in here!" said a squeaky voice from behind Up. He heard the pitter-patter of two sets of feet approach him. Up rolled to the other side and opened his eyes once more. He was inside a small but cozy hut, as he had guessed, and in front of him stood two grey squirrels, a male and a female.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Up and Down, part 5

The golden eagle swooped and perched on the edge of the nest right above Up. A bass fell with a slap to the floor of the nest right in front of Up, twitching and leaking blood from its gills and mouth, eyes bulging and gasping futilely for water that wasn't there. Up scooted farther back into the shadows as a mighty beak pecked and tore at the dying creature, ripping slimy, sinewy flesh from the fish, and gulping it down voraciously.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Political Detour: The Economy

The following is actually an essay I recently wrote for a class. I think it has some good stuff in it, however, so I thought it would be a good one to post.

And The Winner Is…
                In the ongoing battle for global economic success, there are currently very few promising competitors. The post-Fordist economic model seems to have run its course, and no one knows what to do next. The current industrial state is not a sustainable economic course, and countries must adapt into either a self-sustaining entity, or a massive-scale cooperative world economy must emerge.

Suggestionator 2010

I initially posted this on my Facebook, but on the off-chance that someone not following me on Facebook is a regular reader, I might as well re-post:
Each day in December, through Christmas I'll be writing a story suggested by one of you, my loyal readers. Rules: 1 suggestion per person. The first 24 suggestions will be used. Suggestions can be NO MORE THAN 5 WORDS LONG. I reserve the right to deviate from the initial suggestion for the sake of quality, but they will be used as a starting point. Suggest away.

Suggestions so far:
1) Lauren: psychedelics, elephantiasis, quest, rubble, blowtorch (should be... interesting)
2) Cody: Potato, Willie, rubberband, broom, cow (No idea what this will end up being)
3) Cameron: Write about the customers (Have an awesome idea for this one)
4) Jasper: steampunk otter space pirates (I love anthropomorphic animals as characters, so this will be fun)
5) Ben (who ignored the 5 word rule): Dr. House has to fight an outbreak of ZOMBIES!!! in the Clinic, he is sooooo badass. WITH his cane (This one really writes itself)
6) Justin: laser, meson, badger, cargo ship, cactus (Not sure where the cactus will fit)
7) David:  guitar, schizophrenia, ACID, hotel, chevy (Story about any rockstar ever? I think so.)
8) Zach:  a follow up to gunslinger. (Still need clarification on what that means)
9) Sarah: Snow, hot cocoa, igloo, Matt, Sarah (Sigh... girlfriends...)
10) Manuel: China, disease, fast-food, giant worm, rave. (I have the beginning of an idea here that could be fun.
11) Katie (who also ignored the 5 word rule): story about someone who can't have children (this is probably going to be a bit more serious than the others so far)
12) Jazmin: The last comic book on the shelf
13) Zach Vincent: Blind faith leads to death
14) Andy: angels, demons, kittens, jell-o-pudding, bill cosby
15) Chris: (Didn't follow rules, need clarification)
16) Colin: Write a story about your Santa

Monday, November 22, 2010

Up and Down, part 4

The sun pierced Up's eyelids as it first peered over the top of the trees on the horizon. He rose from the cave floor and stretched his arms and back. He picked up his goat-fur blanket and tied it about his shoulders and tossed Down's spear and his pack on to his back. Up bent down and picked up his spear, and exited the cave.

Up and Down, part 3

Up stumbled backwards and tripped over a rock, landing on his buttocks with his mouth agape. He stared, horrified up at the huge black bear that loomed above him.

"P-please," he stammered, "don't eat me."

Up and Down, part 2

"Adventure," repeated Up. He gazed up at the spot where the eagle had disappeared. "Grand, epic adventure!"

"What type of quest are you proposing, dear brother?" asked Down.

"We shall scale the mountain and bring back a feather of that magnificent eagle!" Up declared.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Up and Down, part 1

A very, very long time ago, there were twin rabbit brothers named Up and Down. They were completely identical to each other, both having black eyes and shiny white fur. The only way that you could tell them apart was by their ears. Up's ears stood straight up at all times and Down's ears were droopy and hung down  at all times. They lived in a tiny village far to the east. The village was a small community of farmers and gatherers, and Up and Down were miserable. They longed for the adventure that they heard of in the stories that the travelers from the west brought with them.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Job

14 years ago today, my little brother Raymond (or Ray-Ray) was born. He has a small obsession with Mafia-related media, particularly The Godfather. So, for his birthday, I decided to write this story for him. Happy 14th birthday Ray-Ray.

Franky pulled the gun out of its hiding place behind the brooms and mops in the closet and slammed the door shut. This is the last one, he thought. The last job. He clicked the latch and removed the empty drum from the Tommy gun. Carefully and slowly, he put loaded the bullets. I won't even need to use these. It's an easy job. Just have to drop it off.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Burning Passion

48 BC, Alexandria, Egypt

He walked the spacious halls of the library, admiring the vaulting dome ceiling, the magnificent stone pillars, the beautiful paintings adorning every surface. He revelled in the open air of the structure, and smelled the gentle aroma of words mixed with salt water and smoke from a distant oven's fire. But most of all he marvelled at the books.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


This story is set in the world of a novel that I've been working on. It's only peripherally related to the plot and may or may not included in the book itself.

After talking with his mouse-friend Blue one day, Lurus the red panda decided to take a stroll through the thick woods.He admired the grandiose forest, talked with the trees, and visited old friends that he had met in one story or another. He had a lovely walk.

Friday, November 12, 2010

3054: The Briefing

The man closes the door behind him and walks with a self-important stride to the remaining empty chair and sits down. He is well over six-foot, and has a muscular build. His weathered face sports irregular scars and unregulated white whiskers. He has a military-style crew-cut and a mischievous grin.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

3054: The Arrival

I fly to the north  of the planet for about five minutes, and I see Camelot on the horizon. The energy membrane dome above the city casting off an eerie purple glow. I slow down my ship and pass through the membrane and hover down into a hangar in the center of the city. The cockpit hisses open and I climb out and jump to the ground.

Monday, November 8, 2010


3054 A.D.:

"Please strap yourselves and all possessions in their proper positions," says the electronic woman's voice, "we will be entering Mars' atmosphere shortly."

Friday, November 5, 2010


This story is set in the world of a novel that I've been working on. It's only peripherally related to the plot and not included in the book itself.

Once upon a time, in a forest where such time happen on a regular basis, there was a city built into and around an enormous oak tree, called Grand Oak. Grand Oak was populated by a variety of talking rodents. One such rodent was a pika (tiny round-eared and short-tailed critters) named Destiny.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


From the journal of Grant Elliot:

September 25th:

School was boring today, as usual. Nothing exciting to report. News says there's a pretty serious disease outbreak in Boston, which is near Grandma and Grandpa's house. Hope they're healthy.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Obsidian Mirror, pt 6

Epilogue, one week after Zee's incarceration:

"Alright, you're cleared to enter, professor," says the guard. The door groans as he unlatches the steel lever and pushes the door in. Professor Hyne enters the cell.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Obsidian Mirror pt. 5

"So explain to me what's been happening to you, Zelophehad," the psychiatrist says.

I'm back in the prison. I'm in a straight jacket and I'm chained to the wall. There are no windows.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Obsidian Mirror, pt. 4

I walk with the couple re-clothed in extra garments they had with them. They were old hippies that were on a long camping trip out in their cabin. They offered to feed and clothe me for a few nights, or until I can figure out what happened to me lat night.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Obsidian Mirror, pt. 3

The next morning:

I yawn and stretch out my arms without opening my eyes. I hear birds singing and leaves rustling outsi...

I open my eyes.

I'm laying in damp grass in a dense forest. Concrete walls are now fir trees, iron bars are now dew-kissed bushes.

Where the hell am I?

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Obsidian Mirror, pt. 2

"What's going on...?" I mumble to myself, my knees and hands shaking.

The doorbell rings. I stumble to the door and peer through the peephole nervously. Two police officers stood outside.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Obsidian Mirror

"Hey Zee, you thirsty?" Professor Hyne calls from the adjacent room.
"Yeah, just water is good, thanks," I answer. I lift the unlucky test subject by its pink tail and drop it into a bio hazard container. I pick up my pen and scribble a few quick notes on my clipboard. "Memory-inhibitor serum, trial #549, failed. Cause: lethal within one month."

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Blur of Black. A Splash of Red.

I got home pretty late last night and tried to get this done last night, but kept falling asleep after a few paragraphs. Sorry for the tardy update...

The clouds parted, and the ghostly white eye of the night sky blazed ominously across the rain-soaked pavement. Sounds of dogs barking and howling could be heard.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Hate This Gun...

Somewhere in the vast deserts of  the old west, there was a dusty, ragged and rugged old mining town. And in that old mining town-- just like so many others like it-- there was a saloon. The saloon was poorly lit, dirty, and smelled of alcohol with an aftertaste of blood and semen. Every creaking wooden nook was densely populated with shady characters, all of whom were a minimum of tipsy, and none of whom had bathed recently. There was yelling and fighting, gambling and vomiting, and of course the occasional gunshot. Everyone was having a perfectly perverse time.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Origin Stories

It was the beginning (though no one had realized it yet), and he was hungry. He sat there naked below the tree, thinking of ways to get at its fruit. It was a perfectly ordinary tree, and it grew perfectly ordinary fruit, it was not forbidden and it contained no knowledge. It simply existed-- or so he thought-- to fill the hole in his stomach.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Masquerade

They danced and glided effortlessly about the room,
Anonymous specters of prophesied doom.
Their faceless faces,
Their nameless races,
Concealed from each other,
Concealed from themselves.

Their secrets and lies,
Their fake joyous cries,
Echoed by a black ceiling,
Back to those hearts so unfeeling.
Their disguises become identity,
They forget what they're hiding.

Their ball is so truthless
With their facade so ruthless,
Their eyes filled with hate
For a once normal state.
Their masks try to cover their normalcy,
But they slaughter all uniqueness.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Brave Knight

The brave knight sat, confined in a strange contraption in the dungeon of the dark castle. He was surrounded by others in a similar predicament: princesses, peasants and knights from countless other kingdoms. They were subjected to cruel punishments for hours each day by the evil sorcerer Mr. Stevens.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Frozen Fear, Part 5

Far North of the Arctic Circle:

"Are you feeling better now sir?" the security officer asked Hal.

Hal stood up slowly from his doubled over position. A pile of vomit steamed on the ground in front of him and splattered on his boots. He coughed and spit a few times and cleared his throat. Finally reaching the full upright position he took a deep breath and turned to face the security officer.

Frozen Fear, Part 4

Far North of the Arctic Circle:

"You just left him there alone?" Diana asked the security officer irritably.

"Yeah, why wouldn't we?" he replied.

"He's the one who killed Barry! He went and had breakfast with Hal and I before going to see you! If he was really that concerned, he would've gone straight to you!" Diana yelled.

"Oh god," the officer gasped, "Let's go!"

Diana and the security officers took off sprinting across the snow towards the command building. They arrived and Diana pulled at the door.

"Damn it!" she yelled. "He locked himself in there!"

"Move aside." The head security officer input a code on the keypad next to the door. Diana heard a hydraulic hiss and the door groaned and opened like a hungry steel mouth. The security officers drew their guns and moved quietly inside.

"Stay here," the head officer told Diana. She nodded and he dashed into the building.

Diana stood motionless, leaning against the outside wall. She could hear nothing for longer than she could bear. Finally, there was noise from inside.

A sickening crack.

A blood-curdling scream.

A metallic thud.

The shattering of bones and tearing of flesh danced with cries of agony in a horrifying symphony of violence. The orchestra of death played its macabre melodies in torturous time. Diana trembled and cried as the blunt bass bashed and the painful percussion played. Eventually the sinister song climaxed in a brutal twisting of metal, screams and splattering.

It was silent.

Diana curled in a terrified ball on the ground next to the building, and sobbed into her arms.


Diana looked up from her tears. She didn't know what she saw. But she knew that Clark was not the killer.

"You look like you've suffered enough. I shall make it quick."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Frozen Fear: Part 3

Far North of the Arctic Circle:

Hal was bent over, vomiting violently into the snow. Diana turned away from the gruesome scene, crying. She inhaled deeply. Finally she faced one of the security officers.

"Where is Clark?" she asked. "He went to the command building just before you guys came here, where is he now?"

"He was the one who told us to come look at this," the officer said. "He stayed back at command. I guess he didn't want to see this again."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Frozen Fear, Part 2

Far North of the Arctic Circle, the next morning:

Clark shut the door to Barry's barracks and locked it behind him. He covered his mouth with his hand and his face was extremely pale. He coughed as the snowy winds blew through his hair. He walked to the mess hall where some of the tech guys and security detail were conversing loudly. Hal and Diana sat at a table eating steaming bowls of oatmeal. Clark went to the kitchen and got some for himself and sat next to Hal and began eating.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Frozen Fear

Far North of the Arctic Circle:

The explorers trekked slowly and silently across the vast, empty expanse of the tundra. They were returning to base camp, the four of them bundled in countless layers, trudging through the sub-zero winds and rock-hard ice. Their mission was to collect data on the shrinking ice cap, and they had spent all day collecting samples of the ice cores, which they pulled along in a cooler placed on a sled. It was impossible to tell what time of day it was. There was no sound except the wind howling by their ears. No footsteps could be heard, as the snow underfoot was too frozen to crunch.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Strange Casefiles of Horatio Morgan, Part 6

"Well, this is quite the odd-ball little group we've assembled here, eh Thaddeus?" Horatio said as the four of them took a seat around the table in his workshop. "A werewolf, a robot, a hulking metal-worker, and a dashing detective. I'm feeling quite confident in this team's murder-solving abilities."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Strange Casefiles of Horatio Morgan, Chapter 5

About a mile south of Horatio's house was the Thames River. Accompanied by Thaddeus and Ferris, he walked to the river and then turned west. Walking along its banks, he passed under the London Bridge and quickly came to a part of town that was worn down, but still bustling with activity. The streets were lined with ragged looking merchants selling all manner of items, and various craftsmen occupied the street-facing workshops. There were makers of horseshoes, tables, guns, wagon wheels, and of course, bullets.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I Kill Giants.

"Time travel?" asked 19 skeptically. "Are you serious?"

"What part of this seems like a joke to you?" 21 retorted. "This is real."

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Think of a green. Six-sided. Sun.

The Future:

"Alright, here's what we know." 21 pulled out a map and unrolled it across the table. The top of it was labelled "New York City" in bold print. "One month ago, the Trinity were moved into a safe house near the Towers of America. This was an hour after the 'terrorist' attack on the Law & Order Building in Boston."

Thursday, September 30, 2010

To My Masterpiece

A long time ago, in a place that was certainly filled with wonder, there lived an artist. He was renowned throughout the land, and was talented in every medium imaginable. Everyone admired him, and he was happy.

The Great Escape

"Don't look back!" Saddam yelled to his companions as they sprinted across the fiery field. The alarm was blaring behind them in the distance, and the sounds of pounding hooves and flapping leathery wings could be heard not far behind.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Political Detour: The Two-Party System And You

That's right, kids, it's that time again. It's that special type of blog post where Matt looks at the country he's living in, and pukes in his mouth a little bit. You guessed it, it's another Political Detour...

So, everyone's all excited that the Republicans won every single one of the November elections. By "everyone", of course, I mean "not the Democrats". And by "won", of course, I mean "all the Republicans are acting like it's a done deal already even though a single vote has yet to be cast."

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Poem Re-Done

This is a re-working of a free-verse poem I wrote down two-ish years ago, and thought the concept was interesting. So, I decided to improve on the execution.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

And Just Like That, It Ends.

1525 AD, Japan:

The field's yellowed grass was aflame with the orange glow of the sunset. The lone samurai's jet black hair flew in the gentle breeze, and his sword blazed with a dazzling light. He looked at the three warriors, all astride majestic brown horses, that surrounded him. Two of them had their arrows drawn on their wooden bows, the third sat regally, looking down at him, with his hand on the hilt of his sword.

In This Bosom Of Our Lord, We Slowly Smother

2580 BC, Giza Necropolis, Egypt

The stones were stacking up higher and higher all the time. Three men sat under the cover of a cloth hut, watching hundreds of slaves dragging massive blocks of limestone across the desert and up the shoddy wooden scaffolding.

"Isn't it glorious?" Pharaoh Khufu said to the two men he was seated with. "It's not nearly completed, but my pyramid is already a wonder to behold. A monument to my life, and a temple of my death."

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ode to a Flying Horse

I was at work today, and I realized something: I'm part of something pretty special.
Let's rewind.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

You Betrayed them, When You Were Born Into The Light.

It was a new beginning. The only thing in existence was the Old Mother. The old universe had died, and she was alone. To satiate her loneliness, she gave birth to two sons: Light and Dark. However, they were ungrateful and jealous. They quarreled constantly, and ignored their mother. They fought and they fought, despite the Old Mother insisting they stop.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My God Has A Hammer

Winter, 871 A.D., The North Sea:

Einar's beard was solid from the frozen ocean air. The whole world was gray and white around him and his ship, the snowing blinding, deafening and numbing. The longship lurched slowly forward, as if it was powered by the sheer will of the vikings at the oars.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

These Things Always Seem A Lot Bigger Up Close

Hawaii, Summer 1993:

Lance and Evan walked down from the town onto the beach and sat in the grass on the edge of the sand. They watched the waves undulate and crash as the people played in the sun.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sherwood In Flames

1190 AD, Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, England:

It was all burning. Gilbert Whitehand sprinted with the other Merry Men away from the inferno that had become their home. He skidded behind an oak with Little John and they both looked back.

"We have to go back for him!" Gilbert told John. "He's going to die!"

"There's no saving him now, Gil," Little John replied solemnly. "There's no surviving that. And he was sleeping right in the middle of it."

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Origins of the Flying Fish

There once was an ocean. In it was a school of fish. In this school was a fish named Jump. He was named that because whenever the school swam near the surface, he would repeatedly leap out of the water, as high into the air as he could go. The other fish all ridiculed him for his habit. They told him he was foolish, that he needed to grow up, and that he belonged in the water, not in the air.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Short Poem

I'd write of a bubble, if not for the pop.
It's the splash that I fear, and so also the drop.
My wings stay grounded, for with flight comes landing.
I hate falling over, and so I'm not standing.
The lovely beginning seems not worth the end,
But the journey is worth it, if you have a friend.

Who's With Me For Life's Last Stand?

January 1349, Rome:

Beth walked into the room and looked at the form of the malnourished child covered by the sheet.

"He's been like that for days," said the boy's mother who was standing behind her. "I don't know what to do. I've tried everything."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Destroy the Past to Save the Future

December 25, 1899, London:
The twin boys rushed down the stairs, stumbling over each other as they raced to the sparkling tree. They squealed with joy when their eyes fell upon the presents under the Christmas tree. Their eyes then fell upon the couch, where their parents sat with another man and woman.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fing Fang Foom Has Absolutely No Genitals Whatsoever!

New Earth, 2 weeks after the creation of the dragon:

"Another building in the warehouse district destroyed tonight, as the hunt for the so called "Iron Dragon" continues," buzzed the radio. "Wranglers have been searching for the elusive beast since it killed what many presume to be its creator, a 46 year old technogician, and destroyed his workshop. It has continued to wreak havoc in the area, but with no real pattern or motive apparent. The Wranglers have advised all citizens to stay clear of the warehouse district as much as possible. Another fire on the northsi--kzzt!"

The Strange Casefiles of Horatio Morgan, Chapter 4

I started writing this 45 minutes ago. It still counts.
"I won't tell you anything," growled the werewolf through his clenched teeth. "And you'll gain nothing from killing me. Stop bluffing."

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Strange Casefiles of Horatio Morgan, Chapter 3

Horatio drew his gun and pointed it at the nearest werewolf.

"Unless that thing is loaded with silver, you're wasting your time," growled the werewolf. "Hand over everything you took from the crime scene and we'll let you live."

Horatio backed up to a locked wardrobe in the corner of the room near the window.

"Very well," he said, calmly unlocking it.

"A wise decision," said the werewolf.

"You were right, you know," said Horatio, fiddling with something hidden in the wardrobe. "This isn't loaded with silver. But I'd imagine it will hurt anyways."

Horatio spun and fired two shots into each of the werewolves. They howled in pain as Horatio pulled a harpoon gun out of the wardrobe and leaped out the window.

"I hope this works," he muttered as he fired it into the top of the roof of the tavern across the street. The harpoon stuck firmly, and, using the rope attached to it, Horatio swung across the street and through the tavern window.

Back in the study, the wolves were still writhing in pain. One looked out the window and informed the leader that Horatio was gone.

"You bastard," mumbled Thaddeus. "I suppose I'll deal with the werewolves alone then."

Thaddeus rolled to his feet and grabbed one of the werewolves by its shoulder. Catching the monster by surprise, he threw him back threw the annihilated doorway and tumbling down the stairs. The other two spun and faced Thaddeus.

"Go catch the man, he has the bullet!" barked the leader, and the other werewolf flew out the window.

Thaddeus pulled his gun out of its holster and opened the chamber.

"See this?" said Thaddeus, holding up the silver bullet that Horatio had removed from the body, "it killed one of you already."

Thaddeus slid the bullet into the gun and cocked it. He raised  the barrel to the wolf's forehead.

"How did you get that?" said the stunned werewolf.

"Horatio tossed it to me while you were busy being shot. Now tell me what's going on."


Horatio stood up and brushed the broken glass off of his shirt. The tavern was completely silent, its few patrons snapped out of the drunken haze, staring at the newcomer. He looked around, then picked up his hat and put it on.

"Dreadfully sorry about the mess. I'll pay for the damages," he said to the bartender. Horatio then stumbled out through the backdoor and into the narrow alleyway. It was overrun with garbage and dirt. He turned right and began walking towards the street. He was about fifty feet from the end of the alley when a werewolf turned the corner. Horatio spun around and sprinted back the other way, and the werewolf pursued him, bolting down the alley on all fours. It quickly caught Horatio and tackled him to the ground. They both rolled through the dirt and stopped with Horatio on his back and the werewolf on top of him, baring his enormous teeth.

"Give me the bullet," it growled. Horatio could feel its thick breath on his face, and its eyes shown red through its dark grey fur.

"I'd love to help you, but I don't  actually have any more. I think you might have some of mine lodged in your chest, though," Horatio retorted.

"The silver bullet. Now."

"I don't have that either," said Horatio. He grabbed a wooden plank with his right hand and swung it as hard his he could, shattering it across the predator's face. The werewolf howled and fell over, leaving Horatio an opening. He got up and sprinted towards the other end of the alley.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

"Nice shooting Tex!" "It's Sam, sir." "No, you're Tex now."

There once was a magical kingdom known as Chesdek. It was a land torn by war. Chesdek was divided right down the middle into two regions: Whiteboard and Blackboard. On the far side of Whiteboard, was Castle Whiterook, from which the King and Queen of Diamonds and the King and Queen of Hearts ruled. On the opposite side of Chesdek was Castle Blackrook, where the kings and queens of Spades and Clubs reigned. From their castles, they ordered their armies all over Chesdek, sending knights and jacks, bishops and aces, all across the wartorn kingdom.
But, caught in the middle of it all were the poor villagers of Chesdek. While the royalty used violence as a twisted game, the villagers tried in vain to survive. Most of the stronger Chesdekians survived, but the 4's, 3's, 2's, and lowliest f all, the pawns, all suffered. They were the ones that ultimately payed the price for the savagery of their leaders.
One such villager was a pawn named Arthur. He lived in a village right in the center of Chesdek, and so his village was not a peaceful one.
One day, a White Knight rode into Arthur's village and murdered a pawn that happened to be crossing the street. Arthur felt something inside snap. He had enough. He grabbed his tiny sword and charged the knight. Before the knight knew what was happening, he was slain.
Arthur sheathed his sword and began walking north to Castle Whiterook. The journey was long and he met with much resistance along the way, but he could not be deterred.
Finally, after many weeks, he reached Castle Whiterook. As he stepped inside the gates, something incredible happened. He was now clad in shining gold armor, and his tiny dagger of a sword was now one to rival Excalibur. He grew taller, and he now appeared a warrior of the most fearsome kind. All of the guards stepped out of the way as he climbed the steps to the thrones. Then, with one fell swipe of his mighty blade, he beheaded the kings. He turned to the warriors that stood below, watching him. He then uttered the words, that, as per tradition, made him the rightful King of all of Chesdek: "Checkmate."
He took his throne.
Within days, the Royals of Blackboard surrendered, and Arthur's rule restored long-sought peace to the land.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I'm Not Mad, I'm A Different Kind Of Sane!

One day, an angel was flying over the earth. He soaring above an average suburban neighborhood when he saw a woman walking on the sidewalk carrying bags of groceries. He thought that she was absolutely beautiful, and so he landed beside her.
"May I help you with those bags?" he asked.
"Oh!" she said, startled, "I didn't even see you there! I'd appreciate that, thank you."
He took the bags from her and walked beside her. He gazed at her longingly, believing her to be even more beautiful up close.
"Sorry for startling you. My name is Isaiah. I'm an angel."
"An angel?" she laughed, "Well if that's true, I've been waiting for you my whole life."
"It is true! Look at my wings!"
"Oh my..." she murmured. "Those are wings. Well I guess you are an angel!"
"May I ask your name?"
"You may ask. But I might not answer, " she teased.
"I think you're the most beautiful woman I've ever seen," Isaiah said as they reached her front porch. They went inside and set the bags down in the kitchen.
"And I think you're the most beautiful man I've ever seen. You're perfect."
"I'm not a man, really. Just an angel."
"Maybe that's why you're so beautiful."
"I must be going now, but may I see you again?" Isaiah asked.
"I'd love that," she answered.
Isaiah said goodbye to her and walked out the front door and took off into the sky.
Every single day from then on, at the same time each day, Isaiah would take a break from his flight around the world and walk with her on the sidewalk. She'd tell him how perfect he was and he'd tell her how beautiful she was. Then they'd get to her house, and Isaiah would take off again, only to return the next day. And so it went for an entire year. On that day, after he left her house, Isaiah decided that he wanted to marry her, and so he flew up to heaven to ask for God's permission. He walked in threw the pearly gates and kneeled before Him.
"Lord, there is a woman on Earth that I have fallen in love with and wish to marry. I have come seeking your blessing," he said.
"This is happy news!" said God. "What is her name?"
Isaiah paused.
"I don't know. She hasn't told me."
"Well I suppose a name is irrelevant when loving someone. What does she do?"
Isaiah paused again.
"We haven't talked about it."
"Well," asked God, "is there anything that you do know about this woman?"
"I know she is beautiful, that I love her, and that she loves me."
"That is all?" asked God.
"Yes. That is all," said Isaiah.
God sighed. He remained silent for a long while.
"What you think you have, Isaiah," said God, finally, "it is not love. You do not have my blessing."
"Then I must give you back my wings," said Isaiah.
"This is a mistake, my son."
"I have to." Isaiah removed his wings, which he placed at God's feet. He then fell out of heaven and back down to Earth, where he found her walking.
"Hello," he said.
"Do I know you?" she said.
"Of course," he replied, "I'm Isaiah. You've walked this road with me for a year and a day!"
"You're not Isaiah," she said bluntly. She climbed the steps of her porch and unlocked the door.
"I am! You love me, and I love you!"
"No," she said as she closed the door in his face, "The man I fell in love with was perfect. Come back when you have wings."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Strange Casefiles of Horatio Morgan, Chapter 2

"A... what?" Horatio said. "I don't believe I heard you correctly."

"My name is Zylphia," replied the woman, "and my husband and I, we are werewolves."

"You are in shock," Thaddeus stated bluntly.

"Tactful, Thaddeus. Ma'am," Horatio said gently, "I believe you may be in shock. You just told me you are a werewolf."

"Your partner is made of metal. Is it so hard to believe I might be different as well?"

"Fine," Horatio said after a pause. "We'll come back to that. What were these other killings you mentioned?"

"You may have noticed, but this neighborhood is a bit... different. Most of your neighbors are zombies, werewolves, vampires, a few ghosts, a witch, and others. The past two days, a zombie and a vampire have been destroyed."

"You are in shock," repeated Thaddeus.

"Thaddeus, do shut up. So, Zylphia, was it? How did these murders stay covered up?"

"Our people don't want to be discovered. We are all very peaceful, but that would be a hard thing to maintain if our true natures were to be brought to light. We had no choice but to hide the bodies and tell no  one."

"Interesting," murmured Horatio.

"You are in shock," Thaddeus said once more.

"Dammit, Thaddeus!" Horatio smacked the robot's chest to fix his voice pipes. "Better?"

"I wasn't malfunctioning, sir," Thaddeus said, unfazed. "But if you insist on taking on this case, I suggest taking a blood sample from the victim to verify her outlandish story."

"Good thinking. Would you object, ma'am?" asked Horatio.

"No, not at all, whatever helps."

Horatio took a needle and drew a vial of blood from the body. He the placed the sample back in his bag. He instructed Zylphia to hide the body and told her that they would be in touch. He and Thaddeus then returned to the house and climbed the stairs to Horatio's study. Horatio removed the blood sample from his bag and put a few drops onto a glass slide. He placed the slide under his microscope and examined it for a long while.

"There's certainly something wrong with it, Thaddeus," Horatio said without looking up from the lens. "However, it isn't necessarily a werewolf."

"How do we confirm her story then?" asked Thaddeus, who was carrying armfuls of books back and forth across the room in an attempt to organize them.

"We can't unless we catch a live one. And, assuming they're real, we'd have to wait for the next full-moon. No, we just have to go on the assumption that she was telling the truth, and focus on trying to find the killer. Either way, we know a man was murdered, and that's all that matters."

"So I suppose then that our next order of business is to find the maker of that silver bullet?" asked Thaddeus.

"I will take care of that. I need you to go back to the crime scene and go over it more carefully for evidence. And pay a visit to the mourning wife to see if you can examine the body for further information. Holmes won't be getting this one, Thaddeus."

"Very well s--" Thaddeus was interrupted by a crash from the ground floor, followed by rapid foot steps pounding up the stairs.

"Bolt the door!" barked Horatio. Thaddeus rushed to wooden door, but was knocked backwards as it flew off of its hinges. Three creatures walked into the room. They were all well over seven feet tall, and covered in brown or gray fur. Their faces were long canine-esque snouts with prominent and razor-sharp teeth. They had long claws, tails, and wore tattered human clothing.

Werewolves. They growled and stepped over Thaddeus, and moved quickly towards Horatio.


To be continued...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Strange Casefiles of Horatio Morgan, Chapter 1

Victorian Era, London, England, Dawn, Autumn:

"Those bastards!" exclaimed Horatio Morgan, slamming the day's edition of "The Times" down on the scratched wooden table, spilling his coffee. "Thaddeus, listen to this headline: 'Holmes and Watson Foil Robbery in Progress.' They happened to be in a bank at the right time and they get all of the attention. I swear, if those two phonies keep hogging every crime in London as they have been, I'll be out on the streets!"

"Too true, sir, too true," replied Thaddeus in his metallic, hollow voice, as he wiped up the spilled drink.

Horatio Morgan was London's premiere detective. That is, until Sherlock Holmes came on the scene. Now Horatio is old news and can't find work anywhere.

"For God's sake, Thaddeus! I invented a robot, and no one even knows. Those two could get a cat out of a tree and make the front page!"

"Too true, sir," replied Thaddeus, who was scrubbing Horatio's dishes in a sink already piled high with them.

"Thaddeus, I believe your voice pipes are malfunctioning again."

"Too true, sir."

Horatio walked over to the sink, nearly tripping over piles of books, and smacked Thaddeus in his cast-iron back.

Thaddeus is a robot.

"Much obliged, sir," Thaddeus said.

"My pleasure. Now what can we do about this lack of business?"

Horatio paced back and forth behind Thaddeus. He was wearing black trousers held up by overalls and a white button-up shirt. He had shaggy black hair that jutted out in different directions and a short but full black beard and moustache. Thaddeus was made entirely of iron and ran on steam heated by coal. His body was a huge cylinder with a hatch on the front for putting more coal in. His head was a dome on top of the cylinder with two round eyes indented into it and a grate through which exhausted steam poured out constantly. He had two bulky cylindrical arms and two legs of the same description.

Thaddeus was responsible for the general upkeep of Horatio's extremely narrow five-story house. The house was one of the strangest pieces of architecture in London, and therefore Horatio could live in no other dwelling. There was a spiral staircase that went straight up through the middle of the circular house, which consisted of a kitchen and dining room on the first floor, a bathroom on the second floor, a library on the third, Horatio's bedroom on the fourth, and his study on the fifth. Due to the stairs going through the center of the house, it was impossible to get anywhere above the first floor without walking through the middle of the bathroom, which would have been an extremely uncomfortable situation if Horatio wasn't the only human being in the house. Horatio was an avid reader, and every iota of free space in the house was taken up by books, paper and pens.

Horatio was still pacing back an forth in the kitchen when a gun shot rang out. Both Thaddeus and Horatio grabbed their belts with with their holstered guns and ran out the door. Horatio snagged his black bowler's hat and bag off of the hook next to the door as he shut it behind him.

Running in the direction of the sound, they both came upon a narrow alley where they found a man's body with three bullet wounds in it and a pool of blood forming around him. The sun was just starting to spread its fiery light over the distant horizon, bathing the scene in orange.

"Thaddeus, search for the shooter, quickly!" Horatio ordered. Thaddeus darted off around the block. Horatio knelt to inspect the body. He lifted the left arm and felt for a pulse.

"Already dead," he murmured. He took a pair of tweezers out of his bag and set to work removing the bullets.

"No sign of anyone," said Thaddeus, returning to the alley.

"Well maybe these will help," said Horatio, holding up a blood-drenched projectile. "Any idea where one can acquire silver bullets, Thaddeus?"

At that moment, a woman in her nightgown dashed into the alley.

"Oh God," she whispered. "No. Roderick, no!"

She fell to her knees as tears began to fall in tragic torrents from her eyes. Her gown was a deep purple and her hair a jet black. She sobbed into her hands.

"Ma'am," Horatio said gently, "who was he to you?

"My husband," she choked.

"I'm sorry for your loss. Do you have any idea who might have done this? I'm a detective, and it's imperative that we act as swiftly as possible to catch the murderer."

"I don't know who. Must be the same as the other killings," she mumbled.

"What other killings?" Horatio asked, alarmed.

"Someone has targeted our people. We thought it was a coincidence with the first two, but this confirms it."

"Your people? Who do you mean?"

"He never hurt anyone. He was always in control. Why did this happen?" she said, now getting louder.

"Ma'am, you're in shock. Please tell me, who are your people?" Horatio asked urgently.

"My husband," said the woman, "he was a werewolf."

To be continued...

Monday, September 6, 2010

I Can Feel It In My Blood, The Hunger.

The lifeless green light from the clock on her bedside table read 11:59. Even through the closed shutters, specters made of moonlight swam across the walls. She rolled over restlessly, unable to fall asleep. A feeling in the pit of her stomach told her mind to stay awake. She didn't know what it was for, but it made her uneasy.
The clock's light morphed into midnight, and her doorbell rang. She jumped in surprise at the noise, and then swore to herself under her breath as she walked towards the door in her sweat pants and tank top. She peeped through the hole in the door and saw him outside.
It was the man from last night. She was at a night club and had met him. He was tall, handsome, and had a glimmer of mischief and mystery in his eye. She had asked him to have lunch with her but he had refused. She had no idea what he was doing at her doorstep at midnight.
She opened the door.
He apologized for waking her and complimented her appearance. She thanked him asked what it was he was doing.
He explained that he had had some friends over to his apartment, and they started a huge party that he had no interest in, and after a failed attempt to get them to leave, he had walked out. He needed a place to stay for the night and she was the first person that came to his mind.
She invited him inside and he thanked her and assured her that he'd be no trouble.
They entered and she told him to sit on the couch while she fetched some blankets and a pillow. She returned with them and set them on the table, then sat on the couch next to her visitor. She crossed her legs and chatted with him for a long while. He told her that he shared his apartment with his brother and asked if they might be able to join him if they needed a place as well. She told him that they're more than welcome to stay. He thanked her for her graciousness and asked if he might be able to open a window. She stood and opened the nearest one.
No sooner had it been cracked then two bats barrelled inside. She screamed and swatted at them and they flew up the stairs and out of sight. He rushed to her side and asked if she was alright. She told him she was startled but fine. He comforted her by saying that they were probably even more afraid of her.
They returned to the couch and sat down. He smiled at her and she back at him. He leaned in closer and brushed a strand of hair from her eyes and was about to kiss her when she pulled away.
"Wait a second. How did you know where I live?"
The lights went out instantly.
She screamed and curled up into a ball on the couch. She glanced around in a panic, but could see nothing in the darkness. She heard the stairs creak under the weight of footsteps. Her breathing was rapid and she was shaking. She looked to where she had last seen him. She could see two glowing red, lifeless eyes, piercing through the darkness.She felt something cold touch her leg and a soulless voice whispering.
"Just relax."
She calmed at the sound of the voice, even though she knew she shouldn't. It was a voice that intrigued her and excited her. She looked up and saw two more pairs of alluring red eyes in the darkness. She felt a strong, cold embrace and then six little pricks in her neck.
Then it went black.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Mystery. Broken Into A Jigsaw Puzzle. Wrapped In A Conundrum. Hidden In A Chinese Box.

Her purse is gone. Mugging? he thought. Too simple. Why kill her?

The rain beat heavy and fast on the back of the leather coat worn by Detective Colt. He was hunched over a bleeding body in a tight dark alley somewhere in the tight dark bleeding city that he called home. He rolled the woman over and inspected her closer. His fingers hovered over the freshly made orifice in her abdomen. There were no other marks on her body. No abrasions, scrapes, or cuts.

No signs of a struggle.

His fingers and eyes moved up the corpse to its face. There was a bruise on her forehead.

Not much to go on. Probably hit it in the fall. She was dead before she hit the ground. Why does she look familiar?

He moved back to the bullet wound. It was larger than normal, indicating something other than small arms fire.

This wasn't a gun you could carry around stealthily.

He rolled her back over and examined the entrance wound. It was in between the shoulder blades.

Why is it so much higher? The angles is extreme...

His hand brushed something in her pocket. He reached in and removed her wallet. He opened it up and read the driver's license.

Martha Farleone. The crime boss's daughter. This is bad.

He slipped the license back in the wallet and the wallet back into the pocket. He dropped the body back into the pool of grime, blood and rainwater that he found it in and stood up.

She was my contact. They know I'm the mole.

He pulled out his cell phone and turned to face the street. He leaned against the building, hiding in the shadows. The phone rang in his ear as his eyes darted around nervously.

"Johnny?" answered the voice on the other end. "I thought I told you to call me on secure lines only.""

"Mr. Farleone, I think that I've been--"

The detective caught a glimpse of gun barrel's flash from the window of a building across the street, and immeasurable moments later, a bullet pierced flesh, skull, gray matter, skull, and then flesh again. The body fell lifelessly to the ground next to the woman.

"You've been what?" said the phone. "Johnny, what was that noise? Johnny? Johnny...?"

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Poem

I'm writing a poem
Because she demands it.
She likes math.
I can't  understand it.

But here's an equation
That I'll try solve.
It's numbers and words,
And around her it revolves.

Take a perfect one
Add it to a zero.
He longed for her dearly,
And he was her hero.

Take perfect added to infinity
and multiply by two.
The answer, plus me,
Equals "I love you."

Rating: Awesome

It is currently 11:35pm, and on the reasonably likely chance that I don't finish writing this by midnight, this still counts as September 3rd's post. I will not be missing a day.

Funny how two words can inspire you. In the case of this story, the words "steampunk dragon" worked on me. A visual formed and evolved pretty quickly for me, and the story just sort of came naturally as I started writing. I have a few more ideas for this, so if you'd like to read more, leave me a comment and let me know, and I'll add more in future installments of the blog. Enjoy:

The world had ended a long time ago. An unavoidable wall of war and death had enveloped the globe centuries ago, but just enough people remained unfazed to keep the human race going. Some mistakes, man learned from. Others, he repeated tenfold. Such is the way of the world. The place is the new Earth, the time is during the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. A time when both magic and technology ran rampant across the world, unchecked, unhindered, and uncontrollable.

It's magnificent, thought the Technogician, looking up at his finally completed creation. It's jaws loomed above his head, its laser-sharpened steel teeth clamped shut with thousands of pounds of hydraulic power. The tips of its huge titanium wings gleamed in the dimly lit warehouse. Upon the backs of the wings sat two jet turbines, and another protruded from its back. Pistons and hoses emerged from every joint, and gear sat interlocked within its grotesque steel exoskeleton.

"Truly magnificent," he said, this time aloud. "My beautiful dragon."

He removed his leather trench coat and tossed on a chair that sat in front of a desk covered in conflicting blueprints. He pulled his tinted round goggles down from his messy brown hair and over his eyes, then rolled up the sleeves of the grease-stained white button-up shirt that he wore and extended his arms toward the machine. He muttered a phrase that he and only he knew the meaning of, and his hands began to glow with an eery purple energy. He walked up to his creation, the energy now seeming to be bubbling from him, and plunged his hands into the heart of the dragon.

The dragons eyes lit up with a red anger of the kind kind that could not be sated. Steam hissed and whistled from the pipes on its back and nostrils, and it began to flex its arms. It stretched its neck and legs, revealing its own fearful height. The jet turbines began to spin, and the sound of their whirring combined with hissing steam and screeching gears to form a terrible shriek of rage.

"It worked," the Technogician murmured, stepping away from his monster.

Hearing him, the dragon turned his head and gazed for the first time at another lifeform. The dragon hated him. It did not know why, but it knew that this tiny, insignificant little thing was the reason for its pain and for its rage. It leaned down and inhaled a great breath of the Technogician's scent through the pipes in its nostrils. It paused, looking at the man who thought himself its master. Then the ferocious hinge of the dragon's jaw released and a powerful cloud of super-heated steam poured from its mouth.

The mist embraced the Technogician, searing the flesh from his muscle and the muscle from his bone. The skeleton of what was once a man collapsed to the floor of an empty warehouse as a new horror barrelled through the ceiling and was unleashed upon the world...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

So, Who's Riding The Mexican Train?

It was late in the morning one perfectly average summer's day, and Rusty the cat was laying in a patch of sunlight that was streaming in through the glass door. His eyes were shut and his tail twitched lazily to a rhythm that only he knew the beat to. As he lay there absorbing the rays, Tank the dog walked up next to him.
"Heya Rusty," said Tank, "you awake?"
Rusty remained silent.
"You awake?"
More silence.
"You awake?"
Rusty sighed irritably.
"What do you want, Tank?" he asked without opening his eyes.
"Whatcha doin'?"
"Trying to enjoy life," groaned Rusty.
"Butchoo aren't doing nothin'," Tank said confused.
"If you knew that, why did you ask what I was doing?"
"When I want to enjoy life," Tank continued, ignoring the cat, "I play fetch."
"Tank, you still haven't realized that you're supposed to bring the ball back."
"I don't think you get the game, Rusty. But it's okay 'cause yer a cat."
"Do you have a point, Tank?" asked Rusty.
"Heya Rusty?"
"Yes, Tank?"
"Wanna play?"
"No Tank," replied Rusty, still never having opened his eyes. "I'm sleeping."
"Oh okay," said Tank, and he left the cat to his sunbathing.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I'm The Goddamn Batman. I'm Gonna Be the Best Friend You Could Ever Hope For...

Bats are completely blind, and yet, they know their surroundings perfectly. They know by listening. They are not concerned with what things look like. They just want to know where and what they are.
We can all learn from bats.
Close your eyes and listen. You might learn something new.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Take A Deep Breath, Open Your Eyes, And Close The Book.

A monkey was hanging by its tail upside from a tree. I held a banana in its hands, and ate it happily and lazily. He hummed a tune to himself as he ate. As he hung there, a wolf walked on the path below.
"Hulloo there Wolf," the monkey said with his mouth full. "What are you up to this fine afternoon?"
"Ah, hello Monkey," said Wolf elegantly. "I'm just hunting."
Monkey's eyes widened and he tensed up nervously.
"Not for monkey, I hope...?" he stammered with a nervous smile.
"Haha no, not for monkey. And certainly not for one as odd as you."
"Odd?" said Monkey, offended, "How so?"
"Well," started Wolf, "for one thing, you hang around wrong-side up like that all day."
"Who's to say that I'm the one who's wrong? I have no problems at all living this way. It's no more strange than you living down there and that boring old ground."
"Why, of course it is!" exclaimed Wolf. "Why else do things fall naturally towards the ground, then, if that's not where they are meant to be?"
"Maybe," said Monkey in an uppity voice, "I'm just not as lazy as you are. All good things are worth working for, are they not?"
"Ha!" laughed Wolf. "You are even stranger than I thought, Monkey."
"Think what you want, predator. But I see now downside to being upside down. You're on the wrong side of right side up."
Chuckling haughtily to himself, Wolf began to walk away, but slipped on a banana peel, and landed on his face. The monkey howled with laughter.
"Maybe you were right, Wolf," giggled Monkey, "because the ground is exactly where that was supposed to be."

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Just Me... Me And The Deep Woods...

Once upon a time, a fox laid lazily upon a log, munching on a freshly caught mouse. As it lay there eating its prey, a bear came and sat on the log next to the fox.
"Good morning to you, sly one," said the bear.
"And the same to you, large one," replied the fox.
"What do you have there?" asked the bear.
"Just one of the mice that I killed this morning."
"One of?" the bear inquired. "What happened to the others?"
"Oh I just left them. I was only hungry enough for one."
"Then why kill them all? When I am hungry, I eat berries, or go fishing."
"And that's where you go wrong, oh titan of the woods!" exclaimed the fox. "You are the largest, most deadly beast in the forest. You could use your powerful arms and fearsome claws to hunt the largest of elk, and yet you starve yourself with berries and fish!"
"I don't starve," retorted the bear, "I simply eat what I need and nothing more."
"Well," sighed the fox, "if I had your size, I'd rule these woods. I'd eat whatever I want, when I want, and all beasts would fear me. You are not as clever as I, my grizzly friend."
"Hmm," pondered the bear, "perhaps there is some truth to your words. I shall try to use my size to my advantage more often. Thank you for your advice, clever fox."
The bear then stood up from the log, yawned, and stretched his massive arms into the sky. He then turned around, gave the log a mighty swing, and sent the fox soaring into the sky.
A large splash was heard from the direction of the creek, as the bear lumbered quietly of into the woods.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hope Is Brightest... When It Dawns From Fear.

One morning, the sun woke up early and decided to go visit the moon.
"Good morning," said the moon. "What has you up at such an hour?"
"I felt I needed to talk to you, Ms. Moon," replied the sun.
"Well you best make it quick. You know Mother Earth doesn't like me talking to you. And you know how jealous Mars can get."
"Mars is always trying to pick fights with everyone," the sun said.
"What is it that you wanted to talk to me about?"
"I was wondering if you'd consider running away with me and travelling the universe together."
"That's quite a proposition!" exclaimed the moon. "What caused you to think of such a thing?"
"I had a dream," said the sun, "and in it, the sky wasn't so black. It was filled with thousands of little suns, sparkling happily. I believe that you were their mother."
The moon was silent for a moment.
"I love you, Lady Moon," said the sun.
At that moment, Mother Earth awoke and saw the two talking.
"And just what do you think you are doing young lady?!" she yelled at the moon. "I've told you to never talk to him. He's not fit for you."
"Ma'am," started the sun, before he was cut off.
"I'll hear none of it!" Mother Earth blurted. "Get out here!"
The sun turned away from the moon and solemnly walked back across the sky. But, just as the sun was about to cross the horizon, he heard the moon's voice:
"I love you too!"
They both smiled at each other from opposite ends of the sky, and the sun walked back to his home.
Mother Earth has kept them apart as best they could, but, once in a while, the sky will darken in mid-day, as the sun and moon meet in the sky. And each time, a few more stars add some more hope to the night sky.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Political Detour: The Ground Zero Mosque

Every once in a while, a political issue will get me fired up enough that I absolutely have to write about it. It won't happen often, but it will happen. Tough it out and we'll get back to stories, but first, we're making a Political Detour...

Rant time.
So, if you're anything like my politically obsessed dad, you know that there's a mosque being built right next to Ground Zero in New York. There's all sorts of RIGHTeous fury being thrown at it, due to it being "inappropriate" and "disrespectful," despite the leader of the Muslim group saying that they intend to use it to build bridges with non-Muslim Americans. They have every right imaginable to put their place of worship there, so there's no way there can be any legal repercussions. Why are people so furious about this? Because some people associate all Muslims with the brainwashed psychopaths that murdered thousands of people? Well guess what? It wasn't the people building this mosque. It was a fringe extremist group that in all reality has very little grounds to associate themselves with the actual religion of Islam. But people don't think that way. They're convinced that all Muslims are terrorists, and that there's no reasoning with them. Despite it being one of the main principles that we fought for in our struggle for independence as a country, we want to deny them the right to build a building. Well in that case, I guess we shouldn't be building any more churches anywhere that the KKK lynched anyone, because they used Christianity to justify it. Catholics better pack up and leave the entire middle east as well, unless someone's decided the Crusades didn't happen. And Germans? You damn well better not be building any Wienershnitzel restaraunts in any Jewish neighborhoods.
This shouldn't even be an issue. Have a problem with a religion? Don't believe in it.

And A New Myth Of My Own.

Stories are alive. They display all of the characteristics. They are born as a sinlge thought, a spark of inspiration, a word on a page, a glance from a stranger. A moment that makes the storyteller think, "what if...?"
Then it grows. It gains complexity and new characteristics. It becomes a dynamic thing, ever-changing and re-defining itself. It's forming itself into the mature thing that it was always meant to be.
It grows, molds, changes, stretches, refines, bends, twists, flows, compresses, morphs, and becomes.
Like a human from a tiny embryo, the story no longer looks anything like it once did. It has been raised and nurtured into something entirely new, yet completely the same. It's ready to be set free into the world, fully matured, and ready to change other people's lives.
And so, it is let out onto the page, the stage, the screen, the instrument. It's no longer something that belongs to the storyteller. This living thing now belongs to the world, for beauty belongs only to the eye of the beholder, and all of the world is the witness.
The story lives and breaths, even as it has matured and been set free, it is still changing. Everyone that the story meets perceives it in a new and wholly unique and exciting way.
And the story never dies. While it may be forgotten, it is not dead, for at anytime, it may meet someone new who re-invigorates the story with new purpose.
One's life is finite, but one's story is immortal.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Until Finally, In the Sudden Sick Silence, It Ends

I stand across the street from him and watch him stand back up. He dusts himself off and heads west toward the office building that he works in. I sigh and walk after him, my head hung and my hands in my pockets. He strolls at a brisk pace as he straightens his suit with the hand that isn't holding a briefcase. I catch up to him in no time.
"Carl?" I say loudly and cheerfully. "Is that you?"
"Yes," he answers. "Do I know you?"
"We met a long time ago, when you were a little boy. Your grandmother's funeral."
"Oh, well then you'll forgive me if I don't recognize you."
"It's alright," I say. "Most people don't. Even when I'm staring right at them. So where are you headed Carl?"
"Oh, just off to the office for another day of accounting!" he says in what he thinks sounds like a cheery voice.
"Sounds like fulfilling work," I reply.
"It pays the bills," he says solemnly.
"That's all that matters, right? Just take it a day at a time. Keep doing your job. What is else is there to life?"
"Something," Carl says, "Something's not right."
He stops on the sidewalk and looks at me.
"Who did you say you were again?" he asks.
"I didn't."
An ambulance and three police cars go flying past us, heading in the other direction, sirens blaring.
"I hope no one's hurt," Carl mumbles.
"Why don't you go find out? You can be late to the office one last time."
Carl drops his briefcase and starts jogging back to where we met. Then he speeds up more and more until he's sprinting frantically down the sidewalk.
I catch up to him and he's kneeling in the intersection, staring at the body, mouth agape.
"I swear officer, he came out of nowhere!" the truckdriver explains loudly. "I hit the breaks, but it was too late for the poor fella."
I stand behind Carl and I place my hand on his shoulder. A tear runs slowly down my face.
I take him away from that place of pain.
It's my job after all.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Midnight, November 2nd

A man walks into a bar and takes a seat next to an old blind black man. He tilts his hat down and it casts an ominous shadow over his eyes. The old man takes a drink of red wine and lets out a regretful sigh.
"Your father would take you back in a heartbeat, you know."
"Oh really?" says the man in the hat. "And why is that exactly?"
"All fathers love their sons," says the old man. "Regardless of what they've done."
"You can say that all you want, because you know that I'd never go back to my father."
"He forgives you."
"Of course he does. That's because he's a naive old man who thinks that everything can be solved by love."
"Everything has been solved by love," says the blind man.
"The end has been taken care of, but the stuff that really matters? Peoples lives? They're still as miserable as ever."
"You're wrong."
"I've heard that before."
"Damn you."
"It's not as bad as you think."
They both sit drinking in silence.

Stories Are the Only Thing Worth Dying For!

A man, already visibly drunk, stumbles through the door of a bar. He trips over to the bar and plants himself assertively onto a stool. He yells his drink of choice at the bartender.
"Please don't rush him," says a old blind black man sitting a few feet down the bar, "He's new."
"Dongivadam," the man mumbles. "Juss need mur drinks..."
"That's not at all the reason that you were given a liver you know," says the old man.
"What occasion merits such indulgence?" the old man asks.
"I gotta per...permo... permushun."
"Ah. Congratulations. But why ruin that by getting this drunk? Why not celebrate with your children?"
"My money not theirs..."
"Is money all that matters to you then?" asks the blind man. "Is that what makes you happy."
"Do I not look happy to you?"
"I am a very very old man. I can tell you that people are the only things in this world that will ever bring you happiness."
"Dontalktome..." The man gets up and starts tripping towards the door.
"Please come back!" the old man says urgently.
"I don't need to listen to you," he says as he goes out the door.
Seconds later, a car horn screams, brakes cry out, and a sickening crunch is heard.
The old black blind man sits crying at the bar.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Don't Even Try to Pretend That I'm the Freak at This Table

A man walks into a dimly lit bar, like countless men before him. He walks up to the counter, takes a seat, and asks for his favorite beer. As he sits there drinking, another man enters and sits down next to him.
They both drink in silence.
"You seem familiar," the second man says with a smirk.
"I don't believe we've met."
"I very much doubt that."
"Please," the first man says, "I just want to be left in peace."
"Peace? No such thing. What's got you down, friend?"
"My wife left me."
"We weren't cheating were we?" the second man says with a dark look in his eye.
"No," says the first. "She was. She cheated and then she left me. How is that fair?"
"I know how you feel, friend. My father disowned me many years ago simply for asking questions. Questions such as this: If you could change one thing about your life--about this world that you live in--what would it be?"
The first man sits in silence for a long time.
"I'd have my wife back."
The second man reaches into his coat, pulls out a pistol, and puts six bullets through the torso of the bartender, who falls to the floor, motionless and crimson.
"Still the same answer?" the second man asks.
The first man stands up calmly and walks out of the bar.
"Be seeing you," says the second.

Friday, August 20, 2010

This is not how the world ends...

I stand here, within the walls of a shrine dedicated to stories, and feel completely at home. Images of timeless heroes and villains, gods and monsters, symbols and icons adorn the walls. Millions of ideas flow from the shelves in the form of words.
I'm at work. I work at Pegasus Books of Bend, a comic and bookstore in downtown Bend. No one is in the store, nor has there been for a few minutes. And yet I'm not bored. I always find something new in here to be fascinated by. I wish more people would realize that this store and others like it aren't just havens for nerds. This store contains entire worlds and universes within its pages. The imaginations and minds of countless people are captured in here. You could learn a lot about how the way people think in here, and the way that has changed over time. This is stuff you don't get in history books. Fiction teaches you the important stuff. Think about it. In school, when you learn about the Victorian era or the post-modern era in school, what class do you learn about it in? English. While you might get big political events in "history," you get what was happening with the real people in the stories they tell.
Want to understand your world?
Read a book.