Thursday, January 30, 2014

Shout-out and a Poem

Holy shit on a stick. My friend Paddy did me a solid and converted my blog to a downloadable format. That way, you can read this blog on the go! Go on, give it a download.

Do it or I'll murder you.

In addition, I'm sharing a poem I wrote for my universe. I've got to be honest, I'm scraping at the bottom of the barrel for content. Writing the book has pretty much killed my output for this blog. God willing, I'll be finished with it soon.

"Rag man, bone man, what do you have today? 
Nothing in my bag but hurt and dismay. 
Pots lost their shine, rags lost their color,
If you see me shamble'n, best call your mother. 

Rag man, bone man, why do you sway? 
Because I've managed to lose my way. 
The sun is too bright, and laughter is too, 
Please run children, 
because I hunger for you."

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Night Market

Ha, I probably should have mentioned -- the last story was written for a friend's birthday. It's the same for this one. The character of the Whispering Woman is inspired by my friend, Kelly. When she was younger, she had a storyteller who would have shapes dangling from the ceiling. The child would pick the shape and the woman would pick the story.

It was far too interesting to pass up.

A few candles flickered in the room, casting shadows on the curved wall. A rabbit here, a house there, assorted flowers and even a wine glass. A thousand different shapes wandered the room. They were just pieces of paper suspended from string, mere ornaments guided by a mobile above, but the candlelight made them more. It brought the shapes to life.

It unnerved her.

"Take your time," said the Whispering Woman. The words were no encouragement. You only came to the Whispering Woman if you were desperate. Desperation didn't exactly breed patience. The girl wandered between shapes and string, chewing at her lip. None of them called to her. They all seemed random and unconnected, both to one another and her life. She thought about grabbing one at random and being done with the whole, terrible process, but then her future would be decided.

It could be Wrong.

"Would you like some tea while you search?" The Whispering Woman stood in the middle of the room, hands clasped. She was the picture of elegance with her straight back, willowy frame, and long neck, things Anna sorely lacked. Even the seer's smile contained nobility, patient and gentle, if disconcerting.  It had to be the lack of eyes. The Whispering Woman's straw hat shaded the top half of her face, leaving it to imagination and dark thoughts.

Anna stopped in the sea of shapes, fists tightening. She couldn't continue like this.

"What if I pick wrong?" A laugh answered her, dancing through the room.

"Noone has ever chosen incorrectly," she said simply. Anna looked back at the woman, her stomach churning.

"What if it's bad?" she asked.

The smile faded. "That has happened," she admitted. "Good or bad, the future is always uncertain. I cannot change that fact, dear. The only thing I can do is prepare you for it."

There was comfort in the words. Anna took a deep breath and closed her eyes. She stepped at random, paper fluttering against her skin. If the woman's words were true, she would find her future, no matter what she did. Left and then right, up and then down, side-to-side. It was a dance and she was being lead.

The girl opened her eyes.

It was a star. Not the typical five-sided kind, but a diamond, the type that twinkled in the sky. It was the sort of star that you made wishes on as a child. Anna was too old for such silliness, superstition and make-believe, but that didn't stop her -- she crossed her fingers and plucked it from the sky.

"Oh," sighed the Whispering Woman, now standing next to Anna. "It has been ages since I've seen that one." Anna twisted around in surprise, drawing the shape protectively to her chest. She looked to the woman, but the mystic only had eyes for the star.

"What does it mean?" asked Anna apprehensively.

"Good things," said the seer with a smile.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Little 'n Big

This was written several months ago for a friend's birthday. It features a character she created, and is a protagonist in the book I'm writing. I like Ethel. She's small, unassuming, and as stubborn as a retarded dog. I never knew if she would wind up as one of the main characters, but I couldn't help myself -- the little Tomte just kept coming back.

I was pretty proud of this, but looking at it now, I can see it's a little rough. Still, give it a read. I hope it'll entertain you.

She was little, he was big, and that's why she would die. It was the way of the world, really. Big things squashed, crushed, and typically ate little things. Little things in turn, while perhaps not accepting their lot, learned to live with it. It was a hard but well-established fact of life.

Ethel was having a hard time embracing that fact. It was probably the reason why she dived out of the way. A man-sized club shattered the cement where she once stood. The boom rang in her ears. Ethel clumsily climbed to her feet, her legs swinging her left and then right. It wasn't exactly what she needed for escape. Especially after a blow that would have left her a boneless, bloody spot on the ground.

Ethel quite liked her bones. Keeping her blood inside of her body was also deemed a priority. The piece of lumber crashed down again as she fled, on two legs for a few steps, on all fours for others. The Troll was overreacting, really. He had bullied her! Ethel had taken his attitude patiently before he started pushing. That may have made things take a wrong turn.

Still, he probably didn't even know his mother. Why be so offended at what a little Tomte said? Ethel continued her mad scramble. The Troll was tireless while her lungs screamed for air.  Of course, that didn't keep her from insulting the chump. She was exhausted, after all, not dead.

"You couldn't hit the broadside of a barn!" shouted Ethel. It wasn't particularly original, but it'd do. All Ethel had to do was piss him off. Anger had a way of making folks dumber (if Trolls could get any dumber), and it'd give her the advantage. The Troll's eyes slitted as he roared.


The next strike flew over her head as she hugged the ground, the wind off the blow whipping her hair. It was too close for comfort, but it was a truly stupid swing. The big guy was sacrificing speed for strength, putting his all behind the club -- as if a careless swipe wouldn’t leave her lifeless. At least it gave her time to catch her breath as she danced away from the blows.

There was no way she could take him in a straight up fight. His skin was thick and she wasn't exactly musclebound. Even if that wasn't an issue, a few tiny punches on such a large body wouldn't make much headway. If fighting didn't work, there was also flight. She could run, but she had tried that before and almost got crushed for her efforts. The experience taught her the only exit to the building was behind old big and ugly, and she wasn't about to turn her back on the lumber in his hands. That left only one option.

It was stupid as hell. Still, stupid as hell was all Ethel had. The monster could keep going all day while Ethel was forged of much daintier fare. So she waited. The club arced upward, casting a shadow on her head. Almost .All it would take would be one hit and she would be gone. Ethel's heart thumped steadily in her chest. All she needed was the nerve to stand still. Somehow, she found it.

Then the log swung down. That's when she moved, all nerves and adrenaline. It was a mad dash for the Troll. The ground splintered behind her with the Troll's wrist mere inches above the ground. It was perfect. All it took was a hop and she was scrambling aboard.

The Troll blinked. In its list of lifetime expectations, a Tomte leaping on its arm probably didn't rank high. The aforementioned Tomte charging straight at him wasn't even on the list. The Troll stared as the Tomte rushed, a little scream in her lungs as she wound back her black fist and swung at his wide eye.

Ethel expected many things. She expected the monster to shudder, wince, or even howl. Hell, she even expected her fist to bounce off harmlessly. What she didn't expect was the eyeball to burst around her fist. Occular fluid sprayed the Tomte as her forearm sunk into a mess of jelly and blood. It took a second for the sight to register, for her stomach to twist, and her jaw to drop.

Ethel screamed. The Troll screamed. Both went tumbling to the ground. The only difference was that Ethel got up and the Troll stayed down. The beast roared and wailed, stubby legs kicking up rocks and dust as big hands cradled his face. Ethel's eyes rolled down to her arm as she waved it frantically, sending bits of ick here and chunks of jelly there. She reined in her stomach before looking back to the Troll, the door behind him clear.

"... Johnny's never gonna believe this," Ethel murmured. She wandered up to the troll, steering clear of his flailing limbs, and settled by his head. She was little, he was big, but facts be damned. Ethel kicked him in the head.

And then she ran.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


I wish that this had come out of my head. My friend Andy was talking to me last week about a story idea. He didn't know how to make it work, but it sounded so damned interesting that I had to take a stab. This isn't set in my universe like the rest of the stories here, but I hope to be able to explore it one day.

I feel like it could be something great. Damn your inspiration, Andy!

Men feared the sea. It was said to be brutal and cruel, tempestuous at the best of times and wrathful at the worst. Man could not read the sea's moods, and they always reviled that which was unknown. Adair had no such problem. He could see a squall coming a hundred miles away and knew when the water would be soft and sweet. Adair would watch the dolphins play or the sharks hunt, and took equal pleasure in both. He loved the sea.

It was probably why he lived underneath it. Adair’s home was small, little more than a shanty at the bottom of the sea, but he wanted for nothing. When he needed food, he would enter his seaweed garden. When he craved meat, he would hunt amongst the coral. The casual observer would note that there was only one exception to his bliss, an unavoidable absence in so remote a place: The company of others. Of course, they could never understand his little whispers to the emptiness, his sudden jokes when sitting alone, the way that he smiled so warmly at the water around him. It seemed that he was half-mad from loneliness, but how could anyone understand the truth?

The sea itself was alive, not in the sense that nature lives, composed of animals and plants, but rather that the sea was a force of constantly shifting will. Every drop of water contained a life, every bead of moisture held a soul. When a man’s eyes closed on the earth above, another drop was added to the ocean below. It was not the end of life but merely the continuation of it, no matter how unfamiliar the location might be. To not fear death was a lesson that few men ever seemed to grasp, but could they be blamed? Not even the gods themselves could overcome their preoccupation with the end, in equal measures dreading and lamenting its approach. It was why the gods could have no rivals, no matter how innocuous they might be.

It was why men died as a matter of course. They could build, and they could write, but it was their ability to dream that most frightened the heavenly host. Mankind’s ambitions grew ever larger even as the world grew more hostile, the desire for heaven increased as men walked through hell. Civilizations rose, technology expanded, and man slowly began to replace fickle gods. Adair understood that their time had come and gone, that creator would have to bend to creation sometime. He was willing to pass away as so many men had before him.

The others were not so accepting. Waves rocked and water shook as lightning flashed across the surface. A storm brewed on the horizon, bringing a million sad souls with it. The first drops whimpered into the water, but those that followed howled at their fate. The sea frothed with fear and lashed out at the sky, guided by the last moments of men. With each drop the water grew wilder, with each drop Adair’s heart grew heavier. Death was a natural part of life, but there was nothing natural about that slaughter.

Men feared the sea because it was unknown. Adair feared the gods because he knew them. Their hearts were jealous, hard and cruel, and not even a million lives would stop their march. Sorrow and anguish filled the water, and haunted his thoughts. Adair loved the sea.

It was for that reason he would have to leave it.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Hey guys. This isn't a story update (that comes tomorrow), but I wanted to say, "I'm sorry." At the inception of this page, my "About Me" section involved some insulting, derogatory language. As you can see from my first two posts, I was trying to be edgy, essentially a caricature of what a southerner is supposed to be. This was meant to be a humorist blog, with that type of character spearheading the posts. 

The problem was, the character was too convincing. A few people I have known for years felt that I actually did oppose gay marriage. Nothing could be further from the truth. Gays are human beings like us all. They've just had the misfortune of being a minority, and being shit on for that very reason. I couldn't look some of my friends in the eyes if I didn't believe they were my equals.That was just heavy on my chest. 

I hope I can get your forgiveness.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Rainy Day

This is a little character study I made a while back in a RP with my friend Courtney. I was just thinking about the character, and what might be running through his mind during a certain period. It really helped me wrap my mind around Johnny.

He also happens to be the central character of the book I'm writing, so that was probably important..

He liked the rain. Not slight showers that snuck in and then back out, but serious storms. He wanted lightning that lit up the sky and thunder that shook the earth to its foundations. Men and women ran below. Some wielded umbrellas and while an unfortunate few held newspapers against the torrent. None looked happy to be caught by the downpour.

 The deadman was safe, though, concealed in glass and concrete. Thunder rattled the windowsill before vibrating through his bones. It felt good. It was on rainy days that his mind seemed to move a little faster, a bit more impetus placed with the pleasure. As always lately, he thought of her.

Blonde hair, blue eyes, and a sailor's tongue, the complete package, to be sure. She could fight like a man but flirt like a woman. Even her smile was something special, infectious, drawing him out of dark moods. The fact she was fearless was perhaps the best thing about her. He could flash his wide, white grin and she wouldn't bat a lash. She was immune to the Fear that seemed to infect everyone else. To her, he was a person.

Of course, she had her faults. All women did. She was a dirty mick to start. In a city where race mattered, it was certainly strike one. She wasn't exactly sane, either. Any person who could face down a draugr with a grin was certifiable. That was strike two. 

Her family's hospitality was definitely strike three.

The deadman reached into his pocket, pulling out a pack of Lucky Strikes. It wasn't as if his body needed them anymore. Tobacco, alcohol, food and air, all of the familiar addictions had fallen away. Still, he ate, drank and even smoked with the best of them. To drop them was to lose the last vestiges of humanity he had left. Sometimes, he just needed to feel human.

A flick of a Zippo and the deadman inhaled.

Maybe that's why he thought of the girl. Soft, pink lips. Freckles danced along her cheeks and ran down her shoulders. The thought shook its way down his spine, more pleasing than any rumble of thunder. She had struck out in his head, but her memory still occupied other regions. He didn't need the girl, but he sure as hell wanted her. The deadman couldn't forget the feel of her in his arms again, her warm skin easing the cold from his. The contact was just too brief. She had said he wasn't her type, some old line about commitment.

Maybe it was true. Maybe it was for the best. As slim as it might be, the girl had a chance at a normal life, maybe even a happy one. Marry some well-to-do, get the white picket fence, and she'd be well on her way to the American dream. He wasn't good for her, and certainly could never give her that. She sure as hell wasn't good for his long-term prospects of survival. That tiff in the alley showed that clearer than anything else.
His eyes returned to the empty streets as water rushed along curbs and  through sewer drains. The thunder was gone, and so was the lightning. The deadman was left alone with a forgotten Lucky Strike and a mind run amuck.

He couldn't forget her smile.