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”

Posted in Updates, writing

Get’chur Ebooks

If anyone was still in doubt, I am still a vlogger, despite my paltry view on Youtube.  Possibly I may be making the move to a different career soon too, one that doesn’t involve putting ingredients between slices of bread.

For now, getting those fat (read: purely fringe) royalty numbers from Amazon is nice to see. Getting my own physical copy of the book that I wrote myself, however,  had a bigger impact than anything else.  From tomorrow, the 30th, to Monday, the third, and eBook copy of Mother of Mars will be free on Amazon.  Additionally, if you buy the physical copy for 6.99, you can get an ebook copy for free as well.

I still need to decide what to do, or otherwise give away this copy I do have, but I don’t know how I plan to do it just yet.  It will give me time to work on my signature, though…

Posted in writing

Getting High on Rising Action

You start off on the straight edge, taking prescription reports assigned by your high school English teacher.  It’s some rhetorical analysis, non habit forming.  But the feeling of injecting lines of text into your word processor begins taking a hold of you.  Visions of fiction start to appear in your dreams.

You start of by just imagining the feeling.  You’ve got characters, scenarios, but you would never roll them up in a plot, blow them up into the smoke of a story.

Your friend shows you some of his poetry.  Crazy stuff, way out there.  You try some yourself, but it’s a trip you’re not ready for.  Seeing syllables line up like in some sort of pattern isn’t your thing, but you’ve already entered the gateway.

Prose isn’t that bad in comparison, right?  You lay down some short stories here and there, but it never feels like enough.  You could have so much more if you just expand on those characters, letting their rising actions taking them to climaxes in the plot-line.

You start feeling the need to shut yourself off, stashing your notebooks, lined paper, hiding the evidence.  The composition book sitting on the shelf at the mini-mart stares back at you, even though you only have enough money for the gas you need to get home.  You feel like taking it, but you know your parents raised you better.  But you need that fix.

Friends start to come to you.  Yo man, give me some of that historical fiction.  You’re passing out novellas so they can get their fix.  They come back for more, but you’re dry with writer’s block.  Just get me like a page, they say, even double-spaced is fine.

There comes a point when you have to come out.  There’s no longer a way you can hide it, bear to hide it.  Mom, Dad.  I’m a writer.

“It’s because you read him all those stories before bed.”  You mom would say, accusing your dad.

“You ordered that collection of encyclopedias too.  I saw him sitting with the second half of the E section, you know.”

It’s too late though.  You’ve got publishers breathing down your neck.  They want their stuff, but your parents took your keyboard away to try and ‘help’ you.  You’re scribbling with pencil nubs on the tags on your clothes, trying just to pull out one more chapter.

Writing.  Not even once.

Posted in writing

The Foggy Toll Booth

“Feck off.”  Cries the barkeeper as Smith stumbles out the bar, slurring incomprehensible curses back at the other patrons who were almost prepared to beat him themselves.

As he finds his car pulled up crooked at the side of the curb, he struggles to find the keyhole to unlock the door.  The keys somehow find their way to the moist asphalt below a couple times despite Smith’s earnest efforts.  Finally climbing in, the seat belt resists the best it could, and he decides to leave it be.  What, his house is only a few kilometers away at best.

Pulling out from under the protective glow of the street lamp, he jams in the accelerator, the streets his own personal raceway at this time of night.  Out from the bay, the fog can be seen rolling in against the backdrop of the bright, full moon hanging above the water.

By the time Smith had reached the coastal road to lead him the final stretch home, the fog had drifted onto the road, swallowing up the car and any light coming from the town on one side, or the moon from the other.  Turning on his brights in hopes to pierce the thick grey veil, something shines back at him, something probably on the bridge ahead.

Releasing the gas just a bit, he squints his eyes down, trying to find the source of the reflection.  The dark painted structure-work of the bridge comes into view, along with something new he had never seen.  A lone guardhouse sits by the road, holding up a bar across the roadway, and on it, a round orange reflector.

Inside the tiny structure sits a man atop a stool, seemingly waiting patiently under the tiny light danging from the ceiling. Smith pulls carefully up to the bar and rolls down his window.  The man appears just outside as he looks up from the window crank.

“Who’re you?”  Smith grumbles at the man.

“How are you tonight, sir?”  The man asks chipperly.  “Toll is just a humble 75 pence.”

Smith pats himself down, searching his empty pockets for the wallet that seemed to have gone missing.  “I don’t got it.”  He peers out at the man once again.  “Since when ya’ been here, feller?”

“Some time.  Now, unless I can collect you toll, I unfortunately can’t let you pass.”

“Wadd’a ya want me to do?”  Smith points out his window at the bridge.  “I live out here.  You sayin’ I godda go the long  way around?”

“Unfortunately, yes, sir.”

Smith lets out a ‘hmph’ and rolls the window back up.  Quickly turning the car around, he rolls off back in the direction of town.  As he takes the exit off the bay road, the heaviness in his eyes threatens to stop his excursion, and he pulls off to the side of the road to shut his eyes.

Sunlight drifts in the windows of the car as a knock at the window startles Smith awake.  A man in a blue uniform stands outside.  Staring into the bight morning sun, Smith rolls the window down.  “Can I help you?”  He mutters, his mouth dry.

“Just making sure you’re okay, sir.”  The officer looks down upon him.

“Course I am.  Just about to head back home, I am.”  Smith points back in the direction of the bridge.

“Oh, I wouldn’t go that way if I were you.”  The officer shakes his head.  “Bad accident on the bridge last night, in the fog.  Luckily both the drivers were wearing their seat belts, so they weren’t too banged up.  You better buckle up yourself, my friend.”  The man points down at Smith’s lap.

“What about that toll booth down there?  Did he see anything?”  Smith twists his back to look behind him.

“Toll booth?  Ain’t never been one there on that bridge.  You sure you’re okay?”

Posted in writing

Noire

Open up to a rain-drenched city, grey, dotted with orange streetlights piercing through the darkness intermittently.  The roads are empty, the low grumbling of my old Caddy’s engine pierces through the tapping of raindrops on the metal roof above me.

As I pull up to the crime scene, red and blue lights flash off the brick walls of the buildings and the shiny, wet ground.  Parking in front of the yellow police tape, I step out of the car with a slam of the heavy door.  Smooth saxophone music starts playing in the background as I pull the trench coat up over my shoulders.  Fat drops of water land on the fabric, slowly sinking and dissipating into the canvas.

Just inside the alleyway, a copper waves at me.  Excuse me, that may be rude.  A man of the law rather, a police officer.  He beckons to me and I step under the tape blocking off the area, holding the wide brimmed hat on my head.

Mixed among the muddy, trash filled puddles is a clear sign of crimson, trailing away from a body laying lifeless on the ground.  The police officer nods to me, starting to explain the circumstances of the death.  It’s a mob hit so it seems, as are many of the other crimes that happen here in this city.  All of the crime in this city is a result of the mob, in fact.  It’s strange.  Someone steal a candy bar from a convenience store?  That’s the mob.  Pushing an old lady down the stairs?  Definitely the mob.  Double parking?  Loitering?  The mobs’ involved.

Some coroner hovers over the body, examining the obvious wounds.  A bullet through the forehead.  Any signs of struggle, or otherwise presence of would be the perpetrators had already been washed away by the rain.  It seems the man’s wallet had been picked too, maybe by the perps.  More likely some bum who was passing by and wanted the money out of it.  Damn you mobsters.

Rather than taking the time to confirm things for myself, I duck under the fire escape to get out of the rain, if only by a bit.  I had an overall feeling of apathy about the whole situation, a nicotine craving, and most of all, a pack of cigarettes calling my name.

The match finally caught flame, dodging the drops of rain coming down overhead, and I lit up.  Bringing the cigarette to my lips, I take in the musty goodness, or whatever.  The person writing this has never smoked, so who knows.

Just as the first hot ember had dropped off the end, I hear one of the cop cars nearby roar to life, siren letting out a blare that begins to echo down through the buildings as it hurdles away from the scene.  I quickly get another officer’s attention who had heard the call.  Just my luck… another scene to go to, since this one seemed to be under control.  I wonder what the mob might have done this time…

Posted in writing

Pi Day

Let me tell you about Pi day.  March 14th, which reads out as 3.14.  First off, it only works in the states because of how we list our dates; month-day-year, which doesn’t really make sense if you think about it.  Whatever, it doesn’t matter.

My math teacher in high school loved Pi day for obvious reasons.  He always had a party that day.  I had the favor of taking a two year math course in high school, which meant getting to have the party twice with this same teacher.  I also found out I don’t like math, but that’s neither here nor there.

For this party, you had to bring things related to Pi.  Usually Pie.  However, pie would get old after the fourth kid or so brought something random from the store.  So, bringing anything round and edible would suffice.  If you could find the circumference of the item, it was good to go.

I was no trouble maker in high school, but I could see how people could abuse this.  First, you have kids bringing in stuff like watermelons.  They’re messy, unwieldy, and probably not easy to share among a lot of people.  Probably not the best option for a classroom party.

You could have students bringing in pepperoni or sausage, because after all, who doesn’t like a smorgasbord/ charcuterie tray, with cheese and stuff?  Pi day doesn’t have to be all about sweets.  But then you could have somebody bring in a whole ham round.  Next, we find that one person who is upset because of religious reasons, and you end up with a quarter-eaten ham at the end of the party.  The kid leaves it in the grocery bag he brought it in and forgets about it at the end of the day.  It stays in the class room over the weekend, and when class resumes on Monday, it smells like something has died.

To this day, I still remember a decent number of digits to pi, although writing them down here doesn’t prove that I didn’t just copy/paste it from somewhere else.

Posted in writing

And on and on…

I’m going to try an exercise; writing a run on sentence.  -Deep Breath-

Sometimes when you write you just get a stream of consciousness where you just say whatever first comes to your mind, like when I was writing back for National Novel Writing Month, something which I have to explain to many people a lot because I usually just shorten it to ‘nanowrimo’ because that’s what the site and the other people who participate in it do, after all saying the whole title is long, but when you hear just ‘nanowrimo,” it doesn’t sound like what you might expect it to be, I think partially because the W in writing is silent, and it doesn’t really translate when you say the abbreviated version, which I just so happen to be writing on my resume right now because I’m applying for a lot of real life jobs, and something like writing 50 thousand words, especially under the constraint of one book, is a good measure of productivity, creativity and goal orientation that an employer might look for, so there it is sitting right at the bottom of my resume, in a strange place because my friend helped me format my resume in word to look more fancy, and now it’s just stuck like that because he used some weird witchcraft to format it in a certain way to maximize space and verbosity, so any time I try to go and change something, or paste it somewhere else, like on a cover letter which every employer seems to require nowadays, the entire formatting of it breaks.

It still looks great nonetheless.

That went places.