Posted in writing

Game Show

The money came out of the tills and into the bag; the bag into his hands.  He knew there was more, but there wasn’t enough time to get it.  The poor girl behind the counter looked scared enough.  She must be new here.  What poor luck for her.  At least she knew what to do in this situation.  Press the panic button, give them what they want.

The traffic outside would at least slow down the police from getting there.  That was also part two of him and his partner’s plan.  Out of the bank doors they went, then around the corner into the alleyway.  They had already seen that the cameras were easy to avoid. Off with the masks, and out to the opposite side of the block.

There was no getaway car.  It would be too easy to track, license plate and all.  There were plenty of cabs in the city that would serve them the same purpose.  Standing on the side of the street to hail one, they would be indistinguishable from every other business-casual office worker that day, heading back from lunch.

One showed up.  They slid into the back seat, one by one.  Tell them where you need to go, and shut the door without another glance outside.  The vacancy light goes off, and they would be home free behind their tinted glass windows.

The bright lights come on, followed by the extravagant music.  A video camera points at them from the front seat, and the driver, gleaming smile and all, looks back at them.

What the fuck is this?

“Welcome to the Money-Mobile, where we ask you stupid questions for the chance to win our chump change on the way to your destination!”

No, we just need to go.

“Sorry fellas, if you guys don’t want to appear on the show, we have to let you out.  We’ll comp you a ride with another taxi, but you will have to wait for it to come.”

No, no.  We need to go now.

“Well let’s get this started then!  You two fellas look like you’ve had a hard enough day.  Let’s make it a little better with a chance to win some money.  But before that, here’s some messages from our sponsors!  –Alright guys, we need you to sign these waivers and release documents so we can put you on TV.  You’re all cool with that, right?–”

 

 

 

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Posted in writing

Mechanical Cacophony

In a world where people turned to robots to carry out battles, it wasn’t long before the AI within the robots developed feelings themselves.

It started out in a fairly humble manner.  Well, as humble as two hunks of metal tearing into each other would be.  Originally, the robots were controlled by humans.  When makers started to develop partial AI control for their bots, they started seeing improvements in the overall precision they could carry out.  The next obvious step would be to allow artificial intelligence to fully take control of these machines.

Those who could develop the technology first were ahead of the game.  However, others caught up fast.  Necessity is the mother of invention after all.  Some would say survival is something necessary.  Eventually, fights evolved into contests based on how well programmed one’s AI was.

We taught robots to fight.  We taught them to hate, to desire destruction and violence. The more vicious, the more likely it would not hold back against other machines. Somewhere in the mess of it all, it seemed as if the AIs also developed feelings.  Not literal happy-sad feelings like that, but rather the ability to sense pain.  Nobody knew how it happened, as a robot has no central nervous system, and barely what you could call a brain. Nevertheless, when a bot took damage, it would react as if it had been physically hurt.

Before that time, they had no way of communicating verbally.  The introduction of speakers into the bots lead to a predictable outcome: screaming.  Metallic screams of agony each time some saw blade or hammered strike made contact with their shell. No words of any sort could be coaxed out, either.  It was if they were inconsolable.

When the artificial howls of misery finally ceased, we considered all of our options.  The final consensus was that it would be a good idea to retire out bots, and just return to fighting the ways we had always done it, allowing real people to hurt each other.  Robot screams are just too weird after all.

Posted in Updates, writing

The House by the Lake

Before you read this excerpt, here’s a quick announcement.  The project this comes from is my Camp NaNoWriMo projected called “The Tallboy,” a biographical fiction based loosely on one of my family members.  I am including other writing projects I’m currently working on into the word count goal because I’m not sure I can reach it on this story alone, and because I can’t say no to the ideas in my head.  For this same reason, I’ve also started a second blog featuring various works of manga.  Check it out!


I grew up in a little house by a lake.  I would probably venture to say that many houses in the area were by a lake.  Minnesota is known as the land of a thousand lakes after all.  So, no matter where you built, you were guaranteed to be not far from a lake, be it big or small.

I think saying it was a little house would be a bit of a misnomer as well.  It probably felt small to me because by the time I arrived, it was pretty much packed full.  When I was born, I gained the title ‘baby’ of the family, and ended up holding on to it because I ended up being the last child that my parents would pop out.  By the time my first memories started forming, my two older brothers and two older sisters were already ‘big kids’ as you might say.  So, there we all were, in that little house by a lake.

My father, Lawrence, was a working man.  As a kid, that meant to me that he was always leaving the house going to work.  He managed a movie theater there in the little town where we lived.  Until a certain age though, I never saw it.  My mother, Marinda, was always at home without a doubt, taking care of my siblings and I.  However, she never had enough time to devote to each of us, especially when it was just here trying to run around after all five of us.

My two brothers, Randy and Perry, were the trouble makers. I can remember my mother running around after them the most, trying to keep them from hurting themselves or others.  My two sisters, Sarah and Ilene, were the oldest siblings.  I remember them being the ones who often were taking care of me; preparing meals, getting me dressed.  They probably ended up changing my diapers a few times too.

By the time I was old enough to go to school, I was also helping out my father at the theater.  It was almost like my playground where I could go to hang out after school.  I was often forced to help, though.  My father would spend most of his time fiddling with the two projectors; feeding the reels, checking sound, alignment, ordering new films.  Then he would run around to the front and take the nickels for the ticket price and let people in. Continue reading “The House by the Lake”

Posted in writing

Banshee’s Warning

The scream came.  It chilled me to the bone, because I knew what it could be.  Nobody else lives around these parts, really. The neighbors- they’re miles away.  It didn’t sound like an animal either, at least not like one I had heard before. Not even some beast on the brink of death would utter such a cry.  It had to have been a banshee.

The sound it utters can’t measure up to the horror of the message it brings.  She– it– whatever– would be out there, like some sort of specter, its existence simply something not of this world, and yet here it lingers.   Its presence, however, means that there’s death impending upon your household.  The bitch could barely even be considered akin to a god of death, rather just some sort of macabre messenger.

If only my husband were here, and not away in town.  Though, I doubt he would be able to do anything in this situation.  My kids had crept into the back corner of the room, huddling against each other.  They heard it too.  I told them they should not fear it, as it would most likely mean them no harm.  I didn’t know if that would be the case or not.  I wrapped them in a blanket, hoping to give them the illusion of safety.

In turn, I went around the house extinguishing the candles.  Should the banshee drop by and detect no life in our home, perhaps it would simply pass.  Again, I have no idea if this may have done anything at all.

As the sweet smoky smell of smothered wicks filled the room, I heard a loud clang outside the back window. The sound was corporeal, created by the sound of two solid objects colliding.  Yet, I was unsure of whether to trust it.  It sounded like the cellar doors had been lifted open in the wind, and banged back down by gravity… yet, the air outside had been completely still.

Fumbling around in the moonlight drifting through the window, I found my husband’s pistol buried in the back of the cabinet by the door.  I don’t know how to load it, but my husband always leaves a fresh set of rounds in it for times like this when he’s gone.  I didn’t think I would ever have to use it, and I found it hard to believe when I was doing it then.

With the heavy weapon in my hands, I stood and listened.  Something below the floorboards, down in the cellar, was on the move.  Opening the door with as much caution my shaky hand could muster, I exited the small house and crept around the backside to the doorway leading downwards.

The cellar door opened with a muted creak.  I stopped and listened again, the heavy wooden installation resting partway open in my hand.  Through the tiny window came a ray of moonlight, illuminating a tall figure shifting around the mason-jar filled shelves. Gun held up against my opposite wrist to steady the barrel, I pulled the door open more, this time with a loud creak.  The figure jumped and turned.

“You should’a just let me rob ya’.”  Bellowed the man, almost in a growl.  Before he could take a step towards me, I reflexively yanked the heavy trigger with a loud bang, followed by a breathy shudder from the man.  The sound of metal and wood hitting the floor came to my ears, as a hatchet fell from the man’s hands and into the light cast through the window.  The scream came again, this time distant, waning.

 

Posted in writing

Base Nine

–Hey man, help me with this tip.  What’s like 15% of $24?

–I dunno.  My phones’ dead.

–I wouldn’t have asked you if I could have just done it on my phone myself.  You think three dollar is enough?  The waitress was pretty cool with us.

–Sure, I guess.  I’m not really good with math, though.

–It’s not that hard actually.  Just move the decimal point over by one and add an extra half of that.

–I can’t keep up with you when you say that.  Like I said, I’m really not good at math.  I don’t really even like it either.

–That just means you had a bad teacher or something.

–No, it all just started out bad actually.  You know how they encourage you to count on your fingers until you eventually can do simple stuff in your head?  That never worked for me to begin with.  I only have 9 fingers.

–Really?  Wow, I never noticed.

–Yeah.  Neither did I.  Nor my parents, or any doctors.  Not even the teachers, despite all my struggles.  Everyone was told to count to ten on their fingers, but I always just assumed that there was an extra number in there that I was adding or something.  I can’t remember which number I cut out of my own personal existence, but once that one was gone, I could count to ten just fine, except the number four or something didn’t exist.  I became overwhelmed trying to find out which numbers were wrong or right.

–No way.

–Eventually when I got into more complex math, I was already way behind, and nothing made sense.  It wasn’t until much later after failing many Math classes later that I discovered the problem, but only after getting my first girlfriend.

–What did that do?

–You know when you hold hands with someone and your fingers kind of lace together nicely?  My left hand would never do that, and the girl eventually examined my fingers to try and find out the problem.  I was born without a ring finger on that hand.  Never occurred to me that it wasn’t normal.

–So you’ve been in base nine all your life, then?

–What?  I told you, don’t talk that math stuff with me.

Posted in Updates

New Projects

Well, it’s April now, and I haven’t had the chance to actually write much in the way of stories to put up here.  I spent the other day, or at least a good four hours of it, learning Adobe Illustrator and putting together that comic for April Fools (if you haven’t seen it, you should check it out.)

Real life has been slightly busy, messing around with insurance and eye doctor’s appointments and stuff.  Also job interviews- very interesting, but the lead up to them is nerve wracking.  However, the worst thing is that the warmth is starting to creep up here, while I’m still hesitant to pull the wool blanket off my bed.  I prefer winter.

HOWEVER…  none of that matters to you all.  I’m participating once again in Camp NaNoWriMo- you know; the event in which last year I wrote Wall of Trump.  I’m trying my hand at a biographical fiction novel this time, called “The Tallboy.” I’ll try to explain the premise probably some time later when I have a better understanding personally of what I want the story to be about.

I had one last thought on my mind, something that popped in there today.  I’ve been watching people play Breath of the Wild- The newest Legend of Zelda game- on Twitch.tv. Personally, I’m vicariously in love with this game through the streamers I get to watch, including the game’s story.  I have an idea for a fan fiction based on it, as much as I hate to say so.  Personally, even though I’ve barely read any fan fiction, I’ve always strayed away from it because I’ve always tended to think of it as a corruption of the source work. I’m sure there’s good stuff out there, but there’s probably just as many works that are poorly written, derogatory, and distasteful.   But I love the world and characters of BotW so much, I feel as if I can’t help myself.

The biggest problem with this is that if I ever was to try and publish/monetize it under the Legend of Zelda name, Nintendo would be all over me with cease and desists.  They love that stuff apparently.  I guess I’ll see what it turns into.

I hate to bore with walls of text that aren’t story time, so here’s a cool album I discovered today to make up for it.  Hope you like post rock!

Posted in Updates

The Debut

If you happened to see my vlog way back when I was still in Paris, I took a short detour to an anime type shop as well as a manga/video game cafe.  I revealed that I am very much a big fan of Japanese culture and anime and stuff.

I decided that I would take a bigger step.  You see, while I like writing regular books, just putting walls of text on lifeless white pages is just so boring.  Have you ever read a manga?  That shit’s crazy!  I’ve always told myself; that’s what I wanna do!  So, I decided to give up traditional writing to become a mangaka (for you baka gaijin that means manga author.)

For my first work, I’ve decided to convert my story “Wall of Trump” into an action filled coming of age manga telling the tale of our main man Sergio fighting against the reign of Trump himself.  See the first chapter after the jump: Continue reading “The Debut”