Sunday, August 24, 2014

Hate to Say I Told You So, Part 2

The Guns of Brixton

Troy put the didgeridoo to his lips and began to blow.  The tones came out with an unexpected power, a beauty entrancing.  He weaved the instrument through the air and the music followed developing, growing, becoming physical.  The colors of the room swam and time seemed to slow.

The invaders drew truncheons from within their hoods.  The ones holding Maggie Pipp yanked her back by the hair.  Others moved forward on Abby, who dropped to the ground.

Troy stood weaving a spell all around the room.  While it developed, slowing growing, blossoming, spreading; Dart stepped out of the office brandishing a hockey stick as a kendo shinai.  With a shrill cry he leapt at the intruders.

As four of the strangers neared Abby, prostrate on the floor, she spun and with a leg sweep took down two assailants.  In one graceful movement she was up with their truncheons in each hand.  She became beautiful mayhem.  Her movements were graceful, fluid, expert and precise.  She looked like she was dancing through the men, striking and bringing them down.

In their defense, it is quite distracting to get your butt handed to you by a beautiful naked woman using what looks like gymnastic ballet moves.

Dart too was having quite a bit of success.  His long, thin limbs in black tie made him look like a cross between one of Sinbad's fighting skeletons and Jack Skellington, but the reach and skill were masterfully effective.  The intruders fell left and right.  Though many of them returned to their feet, they didn't remain there long.

Even Maggie was fighting back.  She brought her foot up behind her to plant her heal in the groin of one of her restrainers.  She stamped down on the instep of the other, though in her bare feet the effect was painful but not debilitating.

The music Troy was knitting through the room was starting to envelope them all palpably.  There was a feeling of the magic through them, touching their souls.

Suddenly, just as Abby's foot arched to land on a face, the face was gone.  The owner of the face had vanished.

Across the room, as Dart was swinging down to waylay one of the interlopers still holding Maggie, that man too vanished, blinked away.

Maggie, finding a hand free, swung a fist at the other detainer.  Again, the blow was too light to make any real impact, but as it struck home he disappeared.

The music built up, layering upon itself.  It seemed that notes, chords, the tune itself was lingering and lacing itself around the gatecrashers.  Suddenly, in a great crescendo, with music filling the room, wall to wall, floor to ceiling, the climax was reached and every hooded ruffian ceased to be there.

The whirling Amazonian devastation came to a halt near Troy, who, as he took the tubular instrument from his mouth, pulled Abby to him and kissed her long and deep.  She came away smiling.

"Who were they?"  Dart asked.

"What did they want?"  Maggie asked.

"Hammer of the Gods, Guns of Brixton," Troy slurred slightly.

There was a crashing sound from the office.  They rushed into the room, led by Troy.  There they found a case shattered and a hooded intruder standing with a meter long bell mallet in his hands.  He threw his head back and sang a single note, pure and clear.  Then he vanished.

"That was the Hammer of the Gods?"

"Hammers, mallets, same thing, translation error," Troy shrugged.  "Let's have that coffee and brush our teeth.  I have to make a few phone calls.  Then I'll go after him."

"Coffee?  Don't we need to go now?"  Abby asked.

"Listen, I need coffee right now.  Also, I am brushing my teeth and getting dressed.   I have no intention of gallivanting around Arthur Dent-esque."

Saturday, August 02, 2014

End of Poll(s)

The last poll we had is going to be the last poll we're going to do for a while.  They are not generating as much discussion or replying as I had hoped, and I often have trouble coming up with ideas for them.

Our last poll was for what is your favorite movie/literary monster.  The results were two vampire types and one Other.  I like cosmic horror which I think would fall under other.

Thanks to everyone who has participated.  If you want more polls please let me know.  If you have ideas for polls let me know as well.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hate to Say I Told You So - Part 1

Kiss Off

"Troy Green!"

The pounding was incessant.

"Mr. Green!" 

He wondered how on earth she was able to keep up that level of knocking on apartment door.

He rolled over and bumped into a girl.  He hadn't remembered there being a girl there, hadn't remembered bringing her home; but he had done a lot of magic the previous night.

When he bumped her she groaned and slid out her side of the bed.  The sound of it was like the toll booth warning strips to his hung-over ears.

"I think someone's at the door.  I gotta pee."  She stood and walked naked to the bathroom.  She was far too skinny for her own good and far too young for his.

"Mr. Green?"  The voice was plaintive, and he realized the pounding was mostly in his own head.  He took a deep breath, grit his teeth and got himself up.  His world spun for a moment.  He waited for it to stop before he put a robe over his boxers and went to answer the door.

In the front room of his Chicago two flat he found another girl, or rather he found a woman, healthier and older than his bedmate.  She was under blankets on the couch but he would have guessed she too was naked.  He had done a lot of magic the night before.

The knocking and calling had stopped.  He picked up his pace and answered the door as quickly as he could while fighting back vomit.

Beyond the door was no one, the hallway empty.

"May I help you?"  He called, cursing his esoteric oath under his breath.

"Um, Mr. Green?"  A woman called from outside his field of view.

"Doctor, actually; may I help you?"

A head appeared just above the floor from the stairway below.  It was not the head of a woman unless she was the kind of woman with a full beard and male patterned baldness.  His very high pitched voice matched his body like fingernails match a chalkboard (go ask your grandfather what a chalkboard is).

He walked back up the stairs, getting taller and taller until Troy expected him to have to duck or hit his head on the ceiling. The ring of hair starting above his ears was long and braided.  He wore a soiled, wrinkled and skewed tuxedo.

He smiled hopefully at Troy and stuck out a boat oar of a hand.  "I'm D'Artagnan Pneuman.  The "P" is silent."

"Of course it is."

"I'm so glad you're home.  I'm a very desperate man."

"Why don't you come inside and sit down before I fall down.  What did you say your name was?"

"D'Artagnan Pneuman, P-N-E-U-M-A-N, like pneumonia.  My friends call me, 'Dart' for short."

"I refuse to believe there is anything short about you."

Dart laughed and a girl slipped out the door while the men were trying to go in.

"I think you just lost a friend," Dart said.

"He has plenty," a deep womanly voice said from the kitchen.  Troy expected the older one would be difficult to dislodge.  It was the skinny one that had scampered out, wearing some clothes and clutching the rest.

"Can I get you two gentlemen some coffee?"  Her voice was deep and rich like Kathleen Turner eating dark chocolate covered strawberries.  She was at least ten years older than Troy, curvy but fit, she wore the blanket seductively off her shoulders and one ashen lock fell over an eye.  It made Troy stammer.

"In my office, please," Troy pointed in the direction of the office and then forced his feet to follow his finger.  He just had to remember her name, or at lease who she was. 

He led Dart into a book, artifact and musical instrument filled room.  Dart had to duck under each doorway.

"Have a seat, Mr. Pneuman and tell me why you're desperate."

"A curse has been put on my house and family.  My daughter has been put under a magical spell and I think she is going to be kidnapped today."

"What makes you think that?"

"I got this note," he handed Troy a small scrap of velum.  In a brown ink it said, "We're coming to get Barbara tomorrow."

"Can you help us, Dr. Green?"

"You got this at the wedding, no?"

"What?  How did you know we were at a wedding?"

"The tux."

"It was Susan's wedding, Barbara's sister.  We were all having a lovely time.  Everyone was dancing and then the music got louder and faster, and faster.  It was too fast but nobody could stop dancing.  Suddenly it stopped and a woman appeared on the stage with the band.  The room was also surrounded by dark, ominous figures in robes, or hooded sweatshirts.

"The woman raised a stick and waived it around.  Then she sang some chant I couldn't understand.  The hoodie guys sang too.  They started swaying until suddenly Barbara collapsed in the middle of the floor."



"She had a staff, not a stick.  Go on."

"Barbara fell to the floor.  The band tried to grab the old woman, but she snatched up the accordion, squeezed it and with a G minor chord she vanished.  One of the hoodie fellas gave me the note."

"A G minor chord, hmm."

"Can you help us?"  Dart asked, but his voice seemed to be deeper on certain words.

"Say that again."

"Help, can you help us?"

That time it was clear that the words, "Help" were far deeper and coming from the other room.

Doctor Troy Green sprang from his chair and snatching a didgeridoo from beside the office door he rushed into the front room.

The older woman, Abby, Abby Bancroft, mother of the groom, what a relief that was to Troy.  Abby was standing naked in the front room with the blanket she had been wearing fallen around her.

Also around her, around the room in fact were a dozen or so stocky short figures in hoods. One of which was holding the younger woman, Maggie Pipp, boy it was all coming back to him now.

"Give us what we want, Green or the girls get it," the leader said menacingly.

Troy Green Associate Professor of Ethnology and Comparative Religions brandished his oddly painted and carved Australian Aboriginally inspired musical instrument and said, "Kiss off!"

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Καλό Μήνα Ιούλιος - Good Month, July!

I've changed the background in the blog.  I thought I needed a change.  I love that picture I was using.  I took that picture myself, but I need to change my approach, my attitude and I'm starting with the theme.

I'll be changing it again.  I don't have much time tonight and I need to find the right picture.  Like a favorite song, a cherished aroma, comfort food, an inspirational picture can make a dramatic difference.

I'm going to write.  I'm going to post.  It may be sloppy, ugly and short at first, but I'm sure it will grow on me, and hopefully on my readers as well.

I went back and read, "Barfight at Simplicity Genoid" as well as the Empire Beyond Mars stuff I have on this blog.  I'm fairly inspired. I've also been listening to the Indiana Jones theme and the weather has been very inspirational.  This blog post is a good first step.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Surrender, June!

As June draws to a close I look here at this blog and realize that I did not post once this month.  That is inexcusable.  I had intended to post regularly, once a week. I wanted to post fun things.  I was going to post about world building through a character.  I didn't do any of it.

What was wrong; why didn't I?  I don't think I was moving in the right direction.  I am absolutely swamped with things to do.  I have family, work, scouts, etc and as it stands I relax maybe a few hours a week while sleeping about five hours a night.  I literally don't have enough time in the day.

That's still no excuse.  I get a great deal of pleasure from writing.  I am proud, entertained, happy, thrifty, accomplished, tickled and so much more.  I need to find some way to write here and share that in a way that is consumable by others.

I tell myself stories all the time.  That was one of the major reasons I started writing.  I figured I was already doing it, I might as well do it so that others can read and enjoy.  If I could make money doing it all the better.  I will never make money writing if I can't write regularly.  I won't even get to enjoy it unless I do it.

So, as we say goodbye to June, I also say goodbye to Zoso Angrybarn, at least for now.  She is a lovely girl and her country is a very nice and interesting place.  I just couldn't really find her, nor could I find an actual story for her to live in.  It just wasn't coming together.

I am itching to write.  I will be doing some writing very soon and it will be the kind of writing I can share here.

June?  I'm afraid I'm going
to have to let you go.
The good news is, I have been writing.  I finished a story this year and had some help editing it.  It is a rather long short story, but I was aiming at a particular market.  Unfortunately that market is not accepting submissions right now.  Missed that boat.

I may be throwing some questionable stuff on this blog in the near future.  It may not be my best stuff, but I resolve not to start something and not finish it.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Movie Poll Review - New Poll (don't be frightened)

Gene Hackman as Polish MG Sosabowski
Our last poll was a movie one.  What is your favorite Chicago movie.  Blogger dumped our results lately, but if I remember correctly it was one Ferris Bueller, one Blues Brothers and one Other.

My next poll is regarding horror stories.  What is your favorite type of monster?

Stephen King in his non-fiction book, Danse Macabre describes four basic archetypal
"monsters."  He names them The Frankenstein, The Vampire, The Werewolf and The Ghost.  In our poll we'll look at them another way.  This other way perhaps may expand the tropes is (respectively):

  • The Thing that Should Not Be
    • Frankenstein
    • Cruel intelligences
    • Demons and devils
    • Evil incarnate
    • Mindless destroyers
  • The Thing that Devours Us
    • The Vampire
    • Animal predators
    • Parasites
    • Possessing demons
    • Succubi
    • Viruses
    • Zombies 
  • The Thing with Two Faces
    • The Werewolf
    • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
    • Dictators
    • Serial killers
    • Transmorgifiers
  • The Thing that Would Not Die
    • The Ghost
    • Banshees
    • Liches
    • Slashers
    • Spectres
    • That which demands revenge
    • That which seeks death
    • Wraiths
I'm not sure where Lovecraftian Cosmic Horror falls.  I suppose some of it is Mindless Destroyers, but not always.  I just don't know.  If you don't know what your favorite monster fall under, please  put in a comment and we can try to figure it out together.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Thursdays Are Right Out

Writing on Thursday is not working for me either.  I volunteered to help coach the local High School Rugby club as it is just getting started.  That's all my "free" time on Thursday.
Penoan flag

I'm going to make this a quick post, but I wanted to introduce someone you our blogging community.  Her name is Zoso (I hope she forgives me, I think her last name is Volvóodis-Lagenam Iratus-Phteris, but I could be wrong).  She lives in Chicago, but she emigrated from a small country called Penoa to the USA.  I would like her to share some of her native country's culture and history through interviews in the coming weeks.

She will likely say that she actually emigrated to the US from Canada.  In point of fact, her mother was expecting as they were coming from Penoa to America.  She went into labor when they had a layover in Canada.  They only stayed 24 hours before continuing on to the States, however Zoso maintains a duel citizenship, a fierce love of Hockey and all thing Canadian.

When I can get hold of her I will interview her and share her answers here.