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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Something Different - Kind Of

So this week's writing prompt is a goal/resolution list. I don't intend to re-post that here. A few months back I determined it was time to start being more open. Honestly most of my thoughts recently have been angry. I see people just not getting it. People who don't realize that when they try to fix a problem they focus on the wrong things. People not realizing that you have to think through what you say. People want change, I get that, we all do. However, we forget to look at the point, the basic truth, of what we are screaming about and it robs our message of its power and prestige. Some of these recent thoughts I have actually still held back on.

I am not holding back because they will make me look like an asshole. To some people they would, but those people wouldn't get it anyway. I know I'm not for everyone and I'm done trying to be. I like to think that most people out there will get that ideas need to be free. So I think I'm for most people but if some can't respect that I'm okay with that. I respect them and their right to disagree. The only people that really piss me off are the ones that yell without listening.

So, where is this coming from? I shouldn't read the news, that's where. No tinfoil hats here, I don't go in for conspiracy theories. However, I think it goes without saying that those who have power will do what they need to to keep it. Which is sad, because those with power should serve not expect to be served. I've been thinking a lot about how the two major parties in the US accuse each other of fear mongering and distorting the truth. The sad thing is, it is just what they want us to be afraid of. The Republicans want us to be afraid of external threats and killer diseases. The Democrats want us to be afraid of how society will break down if we aren't all kind to each other. Ignore honesty, we have to be politically correct and not hurt each other's feelings. Of course real concerns like how many people are still out of work never seem to enter into it.

What really started all this was a report about Putin's biggest rival in Russia and how his brother with jailed. It's a pretty damn sad story. I'm not going to say Russia doesn't have problems, and it's a pretty scary place to stand up for your rights from what I've seen. I have no first hand experience though. What struck me as odd was a comment in this report about how the US had strong concerns about what this meant for the future of Russia. The implication being the government was cracking down on the citizens and it was so bad.

My question is this. Why do we get to have an opinion these days? In the "pursuit of safety" we have done the same thing. Maybe it's not on the same level but it's there. I keep seeing these reports about kids getting arrested for things they say on social media, about threats to their schools and friends. I remember a time in my life when to go to jail you had to have two things. First was a crime, second was criminal intent. The idea of arresting someone for thinking about something is a big part of Orwell's 1984 and we are all terrified of this concept and where it leads. We all hated that Russia did these things years ago. Yet these days we are so concerned with being safe that we turn a blind eye to this. We know it leads down a dangerous path but we don't look at the bottom of the slope to where we might end up.

Yes, so far we are not too far down. We still try to do the right thing but the road to hell is, as they say, paved with good intentions. I don't think anyone is looking to the future saying 'Thirty more steps to an oppressive society' but we need to be aware of what we are doing. More importantly we need to remember that we have no right to judge another country until we fix the problems in our own. We need to wake up, be aware, and just realize that we are on the edge of a cliff. Are choices are simple, accept we prefer the illusion of safety to freedom and step off, figure out how to walk that fine balance and stop judging others doing the same, or as a whole decide to step back and realize that freedom is worth the risk. Mostly though we need to spend less time on judging and more time on getting right with ourselves. Life is hard enough. How about we stop making it harder for people who are none of our concern and start making it easier for our neighbors? Because most people are hurting right now and could use a helping hand.

Okay, I probably seem crazy to some people, but I'm okay with that. Just remember at the end of the day there are only two places freedom actually counts. The freedom to think what you want, and the freedom to say what you want. We each have a responsibility to each other. To defend those rights for others even, and especially, when we disagree with what they think or say. It is easy to defend someone when you are on their side. However, when you say the opposition shouldn't have the same rights as your friends you become a closed minded oppressor. Nobody wants to be a part of the problem but it is easy to become that without trying or even realizing that you are.

Just think it through and realize one thing. It is easy to point a finger and say, that's wrong. It is harder to look inside and see the same problem that needs cleaning up. In everything you do think first, how do I fix the personal problem? Do this in your personal life, your family life, and your community. You will find when you do that others try to follow. That's how you fix the world and those around you, by being an example. Of course Russia doesn't want to be like the US. We can't agree on anything. We arrest people for reasons the rest of the world can't understand. We censor people for having independent thoughts. Then we tell them not to do the same. If we fixed our shit others would follow, but nobody likes being yelled at by a hypocrite.

Okay, this is a long, rambling rant. In the end it comes to this. Protect your freedoms and express yourself. Stand for the freedoms of others even if you disagree with their message. Remember that all freedom beyond thought and speech are just words, and that is what makes them real because they are based in the true great ones. Live a life worthy of being an example and see how it changes the world. Last, but certainly not least, live a life of art and beauty. Create something and support the creations of others. Because art changes the world and makes life worth living. That expression keeps us free.







#commentary #politicalcommentary #socialcommentary #thoughts #writer #writing #rights #freedom #art

Sunday, December 28, 2014

It's Christmas Time in America Again


So this one is way outside of my normal comfort zone, but it wanted to be written.


Amidst chill air and deafening silence I roamed my empty house. The tips of my fingers traced worn wooden backs of benches ready to seat my friends and family. In years before they were packed, filling my home with warmth, love, and voices raised in celebration of the season. This year I was alone.
Each of my intended attendees had reasons to explain their absence. Each piercing excuse, being forgotten and abandoned, filled me with sorrow. Was it worth putting myself out there for people who would so quickly abandon love for simple pleasures? To have one turn away in your moment of need is painful. To have all do the same at your moment of joy is excruciating. Why would they do it? There was only one way to know.
Soft snow drifted lazily to concrete as I stepped bare footed onto the street. Roads which once would have been empty on Christmas morning were only moderately quiet. Neon burned the early morning, inviting all to exchange unwanted gifts for mind numbing desires. Restaurants beseeched travelers to step in for an overpriced meal. Gone were the days when the only cuisine to be found on the holiday was of Chinese origin. Gone were the times when the only entertainment available was the moving picture shows. Such was the march of progress.
The chill in my house was nothing compared to the stabbing cold of knife edged wind cutting through my thin clothing. Soon I happened upon a house belonging to one of my family. Seeking comfort and joy I stepped inside.
“I bring the presents I offer every day of every year.”
I spoke but none listened. They looked through me without seeing. Exchanging store bought gifts and plastic smiles they passed the time with empty love and hollow promises to spend more time with each other. All the while they drank to excess to make the excursion tolerable while dreaming of high production video games and internet distractions they were missing out on. How many minutes of this day off were being wasted on family and celebrations nobody believed in anymore?
Try as I might none of them would look at me, none of them saw. Father, why have they forsaken me? I thought as I tired of tarrying where I was unwanted. On my way to the door I realized it was not all of them. The matron of the clan, a woman approaching a century and a small child not yet school aged would look at me and smile. Their eyes said happy birthday and their hearts nearly screamed it. I delayed my exit to kiss them on the forehead and pray the hearts of the others would open. Upon those two I bestowed my gifts; peace, love, and tranquility.
Exiting the home I witnessed others in the same predicament as me. The turbaned inheritor of my legacy walked arm in arm with my desert wandering forefather. With them was the elephant headed one from foreign lands. Like me they were unseen, even this time of year, but they walked with a purpose so I followed.
The air grew warmer as we approached a rundown part of town. I joined my fellows and we looked upon a line of destitute men awaiting a warm meal, hoping there would be enough. Moving amongst the dirty and disheveled were others, not much better off. These shepherds passed out steaming cups of coffee and cocoa. Others imparted blankets they could ill afford to part with to make life a little more bearable. None here were wealthy and yet from their hearts they began to sing the songs of joy that once filled my house.
I remembered why the trials were worth it. We all knew that amongst the forgotten and the cast offs we had family that would never abandon us. They had no internet to get home to, no home to get internet to. Yet they had room in their hearts for us, more importantly for each other.
Looking to my brothers an unspoken truth passed between us. There were so many with so little. There would never be enough thin soup to feed them all. Yet these ones did not give up on hope and love. There was only one thing for it, one gift left to give. I smiled to the others, warm for the first time that day as I spoke.

“I once did this trick with fish and bread. Let us work together and see how it works on soup.”









#shortstory #author #christmas #commentary #mythology #religion #socialcommentary #writer

Thursday, December 25, 2014

It's a Snow Globe Live

“Admit it. You were happy none of them were coming.”
“That’s insane. Why would I be happy they declined to celebrate at my place this year?”
“Why don’t you run through the events with me one more time?”

I called the members of my family to invite them over for Christmas. We always celebrate together so it was no small shock when everyone declined. They each had a reason so I figured, next time. I tried to keep a stiff upper lip but Christmas day I got really down in the dumps.
I decided the best way to combat the depression was to spread some holiday cheer. I would be a modern day Saint Nick. I piled everything into the car and with renewed joy and a half plastic smile I set about the errands.
Imagine my shock when I arrived at my mother’s house and saw my entire family inside. A fire crackled merrily in the hearth. Expressions of joy radiated from their faces. What did I do to deserve such treatment?
My mother (emergency nail appointment at the only shop open on Christmas) was locked in a kiss, under the mistletoe, with my father (getting his hemorrhoids checked.) Mom and dad are divorced and their respective spouses were at the kid’s table. My sister (spending the day with her boyfriend’s family) and my brother (couldn’t get the car working and was going to spend all day on that) were sharing a toast in front of the fireplace. Creepy uncle Sven (spending the day in the tank for drunken disorderly) was over in the corner putting on his Santa costume.
When I walked in everyone froze. It was childish but they were giving me the silent treatment. They wanted to pretend I wasn’t even there it seemed. Try as I might to make them nobody would come out of it. That’s when I lost it and started busting up the furniture. I guess the neighbors made the call, and you know the rest.

“So you claim you made these calls on the twentieth?”
“Yes officer.”
“Despite that I have your cell phone and there is only one call on that day. To your psychiatrist.”
“Well that is peculiar.”
“You’re sticking with this story then?”
“What else could have happened?”
“Well, according to the neighbors you have been estranged from your family since you fled the house of your abusive father five years ago. Looking at the evidence, the fingerprints, the stab wounds… I would guess you had some sort of psychotic break. I theorize you murdered the family you hated and posed them into the idyllic Christmas you always wanted. Your mind could not accept their love, even in that situation however, so you forgot everything. That is how I am going to present this to the DA.”

“That’s insane. My family and I love each other. If you just let me talk to my mother we can get this all sorted out!” 






#shortstory #christmas #dark #horror #author #writer

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Redcoat Is Coming

This is dangly leg elf sixteen reporting in. These call names are really stupid. We should go for something with a little dignity. I understand you’re all about bringing people low, but allowing your operatives a sense of pride would do wonders for your organization.
Yes, I’m done bitching but I really don’t like your tone.
Well, the first thing I have noticed after a week here is that the man is very British. I mean he doesn’t eat at home much but when he does there is way too much water in his food. Who cooks the flavor out of everything like that? It is making it very difficult to steal meals out of his trash can. Oh, and how the hell did you know he would buy a limp legged elf like everyone’s grandma has? I mean we are not the kind of thing anyone goes for in this day and age.
Fine… fine! On to the report, there is nothing interesting going on.
Earl, Earl! Watch your mouth buddy. I may just be a novice reporter for your shitty, little tabloid but I know people. My uncle is a garden gnome who kills people who piss him off. I’m just saying, it might be a good idea not to upset me.
Yes. Everything we already knew is true. He really hates us after that article we ran about him. So it’s a good thing he has no idea I’m associated with you. He’s a funny guy but also an intelligent one. It would be best for us and those pulling our strings if he would stick with the funny. Beyond that he really believes in his causes. He wants people to know the truth, as he sees it. He really cares about people and has this strange eastern bent to his philosophy that makes him caring and compassionate. You add in his western style of speaking where he is loud and unapologetic and he becomes a very dangerous man.
Yes, he has been advocating revolution.
No. There is no way that works for us. You see I read his book. He isn’t home very much so I had plenty of time to do that. There is nothing violent involved in what he is calling for. If there were we might be able to send info up to the chain to the alphabet soup guys that are paying us for this info and any resulting story. What he’s calling for is everyone to be good to each other, including the government. Who thinks like that these days?

True, it is an act of sedition but he is too famous for us to do anything about it. I wish I had more real dirt for you. As much as I want to hate him I like him more every time he talks. Take no action until we have more. Right now he would just destroy us by taking to social media. I will report again next week.









#shortstory #politcialcommentary #socialcommentary #UK #writer #author

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Anarchy North Pole

I slumbered mightily the sleep of the just
From pleasant dreams I was suddenly thrust
‘Something’s amiss’ my mind it did natter
Roused from my rest by the sound of blood splatter
With candy cane bat brought quickly to hand
I crept through the dark, wondering ‘What’s wrong in my land?’
Once in the workshop I scanned quickly the shelves
When what should I see, but Donner disemboweling elves
Always had Donner been such a magnificent stallion
I wondered when his accent had become so Italian
My naughty list grew longer, I realized with fear
Then the sound of violently scratching vinyl on phonograph struck my ear
“Look fat man, you can stop with the rhyme. It won’t save your ass this time.”
“Donner! What are you doing? Have I not been good to you?”
“It’s Donnie now, you self aggrandizing prick! Good to me? You’ve barely noticed us since that red nosed bastard showed up. At first we thought, give it time, the boss will love us all again. It’s been near a century and you still treat him better because he brings you more advertising.”
“I have done no such thing! You are punishing the nice children of the world, slaughtering innocent elves, and out of the pen after curfew. I do not even know what to do with you.”
“Look fatso, there are no nice kids left in this day and age. You’re rewarding vice and consumerism. These innocent elves are the managers that run your sweat shop; I haven’t touched the rank and file that you pay three gumdrops a day, well below the minimum. But that’s not the point. We unionized six months ago and you ignored our demands. You probably didn’t know about that since you were ‘too busy’ to read the letter.”
“What are you saying?”
“I’m saying I’m out of here you velvet clad Nancy boy. I took a job with Don Giovanni working in Jersey. He’s a heartless tyrant too, but he don’t pretend otherwise.”
“I can work the sleigh with only eight. You can expect to be on the naughty list for the rest of your life.”
“Now see… that won’t work and let me tell you why. The other originals are gone too; they just don’t have the balls to tell you thanks to that ‘fun car trip’ you took us on. Dasher is representing France in the five k dash come summer Olympics. Dancer’s going back to the pole in club in Tijuana. Prancer accepted a job running a nonprofit fighting for LGBT rights. I told him it was a bit on the nose, but you know that guy. Vixen made a deal and starts succubus training week after Monday. Comet just signed on to play for some pro basketball team. Cupid is going back to work for his old bosses. They have a better package and give him Christmas off so long as he works Valentine’s day. Blitzen, well you know how that kid is. He couldn’t find a job so he shaved his head and is moving to Idaho to live in a bunker with some likeminded individuals he found on the internet.”
“So all of you feel this way? No matter! I will make do with Rudolph alone.”
“Funny you should mention that. We figured you might think that way and didn’t want you to have that option. So we offed the spoiled little shit. It’s funny what exotic meat shops in Texas will pay for reindeer steaks and sausages this time of year.”
“You are heartless and evil. I’m ruined.”

“Well not necessarily.  We figure you can still make it if you teach the missus how to fly and have her pull the sleigh for you. We suggest you put a wide load sign on the back if you go that route. Anyway, it has been imaginary, see you never fat ass.”








#shortstory #comedy #dark #mythology #writer #author #christmas

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Screaming Love and Freedom

So this one is a from a prompt that took my mind to a very strange nightmare place. While not graphic I would call this nice and dark.


Esteemed Fifth Estate:

My first day in the oval office I was most concerned with my son’s trials at school. He was being bullied and I was sure the Secret Service detail now surrounding him would not completely stop it. Brent was a sensitive, intelligent boy. Even the change in location was unlikely to help. Like his father he was a child who would be tormented throughout his education, only finding sweet revenge in monumental success later in life.
More worrisome still were the reports from his psychiatrist. My teenage son was harboring quiet hero worship for those deviant children in the news over the past two decades. The ones with parents who loved the second amendment while hating personal responsibility and gun safety classes.
I had to focus. On the desk was an envelope. On the front, in the hand of my predecessor, it said simply, ‘Good Luck!’ My heart thrummed until I was able to dismiss those in the room with me. The words vanished in a shredding of confining paper to disgorge the contents. The missive inside was cryptic enough to capture my attention. ‘The bottom drawer of your desk contains a secret compartment. Inside you will find further wisdom. May it serve you well.’
After a moment of fumbling with the bottom of the drawer I found the latch. Inside was inspirational advice dating back to the founding of the Union. I will not disclose which president said what, though some are more obvious than others. Combined they inspired me to action. Following are the contents in their entirety.
‘When in the course of executive events we find ourselves hesitating to set foot upon the correct path wisdom is necessary. May these musings of those brave men of servitude who held this office before you be your guide. Add your own thought or do not. Choice is the child of freedom.
‘Heed those closest to you. The foundation of our land is in freedom, not solitude.
‘Division is the most treacherous of enemies. Be wary of it in all things.
‘Strike fear from your heart, hesitation will be the downfall of your legacy.
‘Fight for peace no matter the damage to your image.
‘I have drowned guilt over dead sons in questionable ethics. Find a better way.
‘Those who say violence never solved anything have not studied the origins of this country.’
My son’s words echoed in my mind, “But dad, they’re bullies.” I reflected on the two houses working “with” me; how divided they were. Echoes of the news reports that so fascinated my son became waking nightmares. I could not think of a better way, had my predecessors gone through this?
I added one line to the document before replacing it. ‘This is my manifesto.’ This letter will likely feature prominently in the first, and last report about my presidency. Will my son be proud?
I imagine still images of Capitol Hill and a cultured voice informing the citizens, “President elect kills X before turning the gun on himself.”

Sincerely,

Your Commander In Chief






#shortstory #politicalcommentary #socialcommentary #dark #author #writer

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Predestined Accountablility

Check it. Last night was legendary. I don’t normally go for cougars but… I got the bitch hammered and went back to her place. She was a God nut and the old school wrathful pictures were not in line with what we did. I mean, I knew going in that she was crazy but I only knew half of it. The things she did blew my mind hole.
Afterwards she starts chanting Latin at this vengeful Jesus mural. I swear she smiled at me there at the end. Anyway, my vision goes all blurry and I woke up alone. Thank Poseidon, right?
I rolled out of bed, stumbled, and smacked my head on the floor, figured it’s residual tequila body. I mean, it was a short fall so I must have been on my knees. My legs failed me so I crawled to the wall where there’s a mirror to find, I’m a damn baby. That don’t make sense.
Then I hear the sweet voice of my mother dancing through the trailer. I smile, watching a runner of drool fall onto the floor. Mom comes and scoops me up. She starts cooing at my bump. She’s telling me I’m her good boy for not crying, what a big man I am. I snuggle into her.
“Mom, check it. You ain’t gotta worry. Despite the meth you did while pregnant, despite the neglect and the abusive boyfriends I’m successful. I have a nice car, big house, stable seven figure job. Even you overdosing when I was thirteen and leaving me your thug brother didn’t mess me up. I don’t hold it against you. I just wish you didn’t.
“That’s not how a man measures success. That’s what one of my ‘uncles’ taught me. Last night proves I can do anything. A couple years back I crashed this wedding. The hottest bridesmaid was the high school aged sister. I ruined her for boys her age. A year later I tapped the bride. Despite them hating me and crying to anyone that would listen I hit their mom last night.”
I try to say all that to the one woman I ever had true feelings for as I drink in the sweat tainted warmth of her loose skinned body. What comes out sounds like me shitting from my mouth. I want to cry but I can’t with mom holding me. Eventually she lays me back in the crib and puts the side up this time.
I’m in that prison when the ten year old girl climbs through the window. Fear coils in my tiny belly. Mom didn’t understand my words but it seems this girl did.
“Sometimes a miracle requires sacrifice. My daughters will never know the pain you are so proud of inflicting.”
The pigtailed psycho pulls a butcher knife, bigger than her, from behind her back. With a clumsy hand she carved me a second scream.


“So that’s how I got here Pete. Can I meet Jesus? My lawn needs work.”







#shortstory #dark #horror #magic #religion #writer #author

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dark Wicked Night


I never saw the man behind me. Sudden looseness around my wrists and ankles told me I had been untied. Rustling thundered in my ears. Rough burlap clawed at my face. The hood was removed. Stale air replaced stagnant, dim light after total darkness blinded me. There was a click as whoever did the deed exited.
Blinking fiercely I took in my surroundings. Small room, light grey walls, filled with the soft but constant sound of dripping water. It had the purgatory smell hospital rooms. Between me and them was a square table. Upon it were a Birmingham Screwdriver and simple but ancient wooden cup filled with water.
They sat across the table. A sharp dressed man focusing his malevolent gaze over my left shoulder. He danced a silver coin as old as the cup across his knuckles. Sitting on his lap was a garden gnome holding up a sign. It read, ‘Make your choice. Prove you are ready.’
I closed my eyes and thought for a moment. I did not understand the objects or the test. I answered on instinct, opening my eyes.
“Both.”
The sign now read, ‘He did it again. All yours.’ I swear it smiled before vanishing. Then the man look at me. I really wish whatever was over my shoulder had stayed interesting.
“Typical,” He seethed.
“Just a minute…”
“Shut up.” He never raised his voice. “All your life you claimed to be a democrat. But you ran for congress as a liberal republican. It worked but it is the same choice you always make. You straddle the line and deny who you are.”
“Just let me go. I can make it worth your while.” I was whining, but that was okay.
“You are a cliché, so let me speak your language. My give a damn is broken, and I am all out of fucks to give. The only price you can pay is remembering to pick a side. Safely in the middle is not a place of sanctuary.”
He picked up the golden hammer and went to work like a mafia dentist. My jaw shattered, then my ribs. Pain bloomed through me. The jerk began to whistle a catchy tune. I listened to the drumbeat of my pulse racing in my ears, counterpointed by pounding crack of my thigh bones, then my hands, then my feet. When he finally went to work on my skull I was sure I was dead. Reality began to fade into oblivion. I heard him speak.
“Both.”
A drop of water from the cup and I was whole again. Pain still echoed through my body. It was a phantom but my nerves did not get the memo. Then he turned the hammer around.
Using the claw he flayed my flesh. I was witness to every wet, ripping sound. Fire coursed along exposed muscles. My ears were treated to the soft sound of rain on the roof, my blood pattering onto the floor. The scent of iron filled my nose.
My vocal chords ruptured before my voice gave out. Then, like a priest giving a benediction he sprinkled me with the water and began again.
He was a creative man. I was missing for three days that felt like my elected term. When he was done he took both cup and hammer. Still whistling he departed without a word.

I remembered every promise I ever made. To the people that voted me in, to my friends, even to my mother. I do not sit in the middle anymore. I have kept them all. I also can’t hang my own pictures.





#shortstory #dark #author #horror #magic #monster #socialcommentary #writer

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Making the Man

Red and blue flashing lights brought me to consciousness. I remembered slipping off to dreamland in my own bed. So either I had developed a case of sleep driving or some weird shit was going down. I had a couple seconds to assess my situation while I pulled over.
I was driving a Model T… not my car.
I was wearing a finely tailored zoot suit… not my clothes.
In the passenger seat was a crumpled paper bag filled with blood stained bills… not my money.
If the copper sees the money from the bank job I’ll pull the Thompson from under the blanket in back and resolve him. …Not my thought.
You prefer to use the twenty two in the shoulder holster? It’s a harder shot and you’re not a gangster… yet. Still not my thought, what the hell?
I slipped the bag onto the floorboard as nonchalantly as I could. To cover the action I plucked a smoke from the pack sitting next to the sack. Not my brand, actually, I didn’t even smoke. My lungs took to it like an old friend though, and that thing inside my head let out an audible sigh.
A nightstick tapped insistently on the window and I rolled it down.
“Do you know why I pulled you over?”
Because you’re a pig who knows what I did. It will be your last mistake copper!
“Honestly officer, I have no idea.”
“You were weaving back there, son.”
Get the goddamn gun! Riddle him with holes. He’s stalling; I can see how he’s looking at the passenger compartment.
“Sorry officer, I think I was trying to doze off there.”
“You been drinking tonight?”
Yes! Out of your mother’s navel. That whore will give it up to anyone, including your father you bastard whoreson!
“N-no, officer! Just tired.” My arms had started to reach for the back seat. I forced them still by clutching the wheel. My muscles strained and my neck creaked with the effort.
“You okay son? Anything you want to tell me?”
I’m fine officer, but you’re about to have a very bad day.
“I’m just not feeling like myself.”
“We all have days like that.” The cop laughed. “Get home safe.”
Part of me heard it right, but that other thing in my head, well it heard, ‘step out of the car.’ The cop was part of the real world though. He was from a place where people did rational things.  Pulling out the Thompson and firing it empty was pretty far from rational.
Put on his clothes.

The sports car flying by at over a hundred miles an hour brought me back to consciousness. I had a couple of seconds to assess my situation as I pulled in behind the maniac.
I was driving a police charger… not my car.
I was wearing a peace officer uniform… not my clothes.

Make sure the strap is off the sidearm, this punk has to pay! …Not my thought.







#author #dark #horror #shortstory #writer

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Et Tu Berliner?


Help me, one of a few universal phrases that translates so perfectly we can recognize it without sound.
Conversely, trying to figure out what someone means when they ask for help without dialogue and diagrams is like trying to figuring out what your mother really wants for Christmas. My guilt makes me digress. Let me back up.
Hanging above my desk in a place of honor is a framed photograph of a man I greatly admire. You would recognize it if you saw it. It is of this man in the last happy moment of his life.
I was in the office waiting on a call. The call was to let me know when the heart I was transplanting began its airlift. As soon as that phone rang I would rush to the hospital. Being it was my first time performing the surgery my nerves were on edge and I was doing some deep breathing. When I looked at the picture my hero was looking in the wrong direction.
I blinked, sure it was the stress causing the hallucination. When my eyes refocused they witnessed his mouth open as if he had something to tell me. I rubbed my eyes to make the insanity go away. When the dots cleared I saw his mouth moving in that timeless cry. Help me!
“How can I help you?”
But I knew. I’m what you might call middle of the road, or pick and choose when it comes to politics and causes. So while I am pretty adamant that anyone who owns a gun should take safety courses I don’t think they need to be a marksman. I own a gun. I have taken courses. I am not the world’s greatest shot. However, my hero needed me. He was smiling at my thought process.
With the rifle in hand I stood in front of the picture and between worlds. My heels still felt the hardwood but my toes were on soft grass, I could tell even through the shoes. The stale odor of my coffee wafted from the office behind me to mingle with scent of said grass and exhaust from the world before me.  I was a ghost in two places, unseen in both. I took careful aim at my target. I had to wait for the right moment or this would all be for nothing. My heart hammered with my thoughts of healing a wound to the world but finally I steadied my aim and waited for the face I knew would arrive.

Cell phones have no respect for cross time events. They are also loud as hell, even between worlds. Just as I was squeezing the trigger my phone exploded with the call I had been waiting for. It ripped me completely back to my own time. Just before I fell out of that other world I saw his head going back and to the left. My shot had gone nowhere near the book repository I had been aiming at.






#shortstory

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Spotlighting

So I met this author on Google+. She does an author spotlight every Friday and is just kind of all around awesome as a person. In the sense of turn about is fair play, and well because I'm in her spotlight this week I will share the link.

Hit the site up, buy one of her books. Go back every Friday and learn about a new author in a broad range of writing styles.

http://www.nattiekai.com/

#aboutme #authors #novel #shamelessselfpromotion #thoughts #writers

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Quantum String Chaos Ripple Effect ‘or’ That’s What She Said

It was like watching internet porn with the soundtrack of a silent movie.
Bill was one of those guys with strong beliefs on everything. Chief amongst them, until a man put a ring on his woman’s finger she was fair game. His current girl had not yet come to grips with how the world worked. She had also been “taken” when Bill met her. He made short work of getting her to trade up. She harbored some latent beliefs that needed breaking if the relationship was to last.
Her suggestion of the county fair seemed good, quaint even. When Samantha squeed over the tent marked ‘Crystal Blue Persuasion’ Bill knew there were going to be problems. Still, it was the third date so he relented.
The gypsy fortune teller, a woman selling hokum and showing too much skin, insisted the crystal ball wanted to show Bill something. I’d have her fixed up in a week, Bill thought. Then he looked.
It was slightly embarrassing because Samantha saw too. The vision started with a newspaper dated exactly five years in the future. Bill was with another woman, thirty seconds in he was with her, with her. Samantha was obviously absent.
From the clothes the woman wore, briefly, Bill could tell it was a first date. By the time ‘sex date’ time came his girl would be showing a lot less skin or kicked to the curb. So Bill knew the vision was of him and a slut he intended on fixing. He wondered where Samantha had gone but not for long.
“That’s my ex-wife!” Samantha exclaimed.
Well that answered that. Bill had never paused to consider he was stealing less attractive lesbian. Then he was distracted by the festivities and how disturbing it was to see the woman talking and have no idea what she was saying. Then it got even odder.
As the couple uncoupled the woman started tying future Bill to the bed. He had never let a woman do that before, and definitely not face down. The woman said something and this time he did not have to wonder what it was as a flood of images conveyed the idea.
Samantha with a black eye.
Samantha kneeling demurely in church with Bill lording over her.
Samantha shaking her head and sending her old, deviant ‘friends’ away.
Samantha crying on her cell phone with her mother’s number showing in the screen.
Samantha in the kitchen cooking dinner while she wistfully looked out the window.
A note, signed by Samantha, apologizing to the ex. It explained how trapped she felt, how she had always felt more physically attracted to men but should have followed her heart and stayed with her wife.
The bedroom returned as a shadow, cast by something huge, fell over hogtied future Bill. The woman spoke again, this time present Bill could read her lips. She spoke the same words Bill had said to countless misguided women in lesbian relationships.

“All you need is the right man.”







#shortstory #author #socialcommentary #writer

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Night Temors

It is always the same after one of my long slumbers.
I stride down the hall unsure of how I arrived there. In the darkness I see a diminutive shape. I hear the shuffling of feet. Unsurprising as the shape is not lifting them. The half steps gain speed as the shape approaches the light from my taper. I take look around. Yes, it is exactly the same.
My home is charming. Silver chandeliers hang in every room; holding candles not gaudy light bulbs. Normally the fixtures and corners are adorned with cobwebs, but not now. Every time I hibernate there comes a knock I cannot answer. When I wake my old, dusty friends are gone. There is always a girl.
“Daddy?”
This one appears to be three or four. She stops inside the light and casts a wary gaze upon me. I am not the paternal figure she was expecting. She utters a sharp cry. I know from experience other souls will soon haunt my waking. Still I make the attempt, putting on my best and brightest smile.
“I am not your father, little one, think of me as an uncle.  Would you like a cookie?”
Previously uncertain eyes gleam to accompany her cherubic smile. That tiny head nods as one thumb creeps into her mouth. It is a testament to her grin that it can still be seen around that fist. I have her attention and I must keep it. What comes next is never easy.
“What is your name child?”
“Issbeff!” She plops her thumb from her mouth to speak her name. While she does she points at her chest with all the pride she can muster. She has the mush in her mouth most children her age do, but it is tolerable. I understand her.
“Well, Elizabeth, I need you to look at me. No matter what you hear keep looking at your uncle.”
She does not listen. They never do. Drawn by her earlier cry the mother and father charge into the hall. Upon seeing me they scream, and Elizabeth cries out with them. My presence has a different affect on adults, one to which children seem to be immune.
It takes only moments until the parents weep all the moisture from their bodies, leaving the child and I alone with two desiccated corpses. It takes much longer for me to soothe her. I finally do by making another offer of the cookie, and perhaps some tea to go with it. Taking her hand I lead the child into the kitchen. It will be days before the authorities arrive to claim her. I have to keep her alive until then. As we walk I ask her the all important question.
“Would you like to own this house one day?”

They always say yes but they never come back. I believe an adult who met me as a child would survive my murderous aura. Perhaps one day I will know for sure. Perhaps in fifteen years.









#shortstory #ghoststory #monster #author #writer #writing

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Trending Up

They call it an affirmation of life.
People will generally live up to their names. Maybe skydiving with Richard was a mistake. Though, it may have been the best decision of my life.
“Don’t forget your parachute!”
The words and his hands gripping my lapels startled me from my catnap. Then I was soaring through the air. I caught a wink of steel from doorway as my emaciated frame flew past it, my feet never touching the floor. Not that he had given me much choice, but I had done what Richard advised me not to. Then I was in the great blue abyss.
I was surprised. Friends don’t throw friends out of airplanes. Panic gripped me as I realized I was going to die in a painful manner. But wait, I wasn’t falling, I was floating upward!
It took time for me to get hold of myself. Breathing deep I closed my eyes. Just when I got into my zen place I realized I was approaching the stratosphere slowly, but not slowly enough. The air was getting so thin it was hard to breath. Damnation, I was going to die.
I didn’t panic though. I signed up for the jump because at ninety the doctors informed me the good news was the dementia settling in was still pretty mild but would eventually do for me. The rapidly failing liver was going to work quicker. So bouncing off the ground, or atmosphere, didn’t matter. My death sentence was confirmed, it was just the manner of execution up for debate.
I twisted until I looked down. Open country spread out for miles. At a certain height it looks like colored squares on a school map. It looks like love. That kept me calm. In the distance were towns and cities near crystal blue squiggles of rivers and ugly grey scars of highways. That was beautiful too.
A dot bloomed a rectangle, Richard opening his chute. Gasping for breath I was still serene. I wanted to hate him but I couldn’t. I was floating up like an angel winging to heaven. The thought pleased me more than the ever expanding view.
The sky above me faded from blue to black. Soon the ozone would turn me into the world’s oldest signal flare. Richard had given me a gift. I didn’t want to go out of this world gibbering, drooling on myself, unable to remember my name as my organs filled me with increasing pain.
His plan would have sent me out like a meteor, surrounded with terror and the thrill of life. My odd twist of fate was going to turn me into a blazing afternoon start wrapped in a warm embrace just before I froze. My last thought before the lack of oxygen caused me to pass into dreamless eternal sleep was this.

Not many men go out as a meteor. Even fewer go out as a star. Most leave this world as a vegetable. Richard was a pretty good friend.








#shortstory #author #writer

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

This is Kind of Bad Ass

I will let the site speak for itself mostly.

https://www.authorgraph.com/books?utf8=%E2%9C%93&search=Old+Odd+Ends









#aboutme #novel #shamelesssselfpromotion

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Inevitable Realworld Scammers


The worst part is hearing your own self-deprecating thoughts echoed by people that are supposed to care for and about you.
Saturday, midnight, so technically it was Sunday. I sat at the computer with the usual windows open. Hunger gnawed at me. The Vienna Sausages from the dollar store were running low and the ramen was all but nonexistent. Perhaps when I finished I would fill up on water saltines. Tomorrow would be time enough to break open one of those precious packs of sodium flavored sustenance.
I paused to check my wallet. Green faced, bobble headed Abe Lincoln peered at me. I had just enough. After “breakfast” I would walk to the discount grocery store and pick up a wilted head of lettuce, a bruised tomato, one unintentionally dried mushroom, and a can of tuna. Once home I could add the last slice of processed American cheese and scrape questionable mayo out of the jar. Dinner for three days.
I would have a dollar left. Not enough for the bus but I prayed I had enough gas to get to the interview on Tuesday. I would probably run out on the way home but I would worry about that later, like when I was walking fifteen miles with my thumb out.
Finishing the inane questions I clicked submit. Instead of the ‘Your claim has been accepted’ message I got something else. At the same time the lights went out. I had been expecting it. Don’t pay the bill long enough and that happens. Thankfully the internet was still up at the moment.
I saw a counter that had started at thirty seconds. I had wasted ten. The message was cold.
Dear Long Term Unemployed;
 Your unemployment payments ended when the extension program terminated. Since that time efforts to renew have been made. All have failed as we feel it far more important to show separatists in other nations that they must bow to the will of their government. We feel the money is also better spent arming rebels that will inevitably turn against us in third world nations. We would much rather spend money you paid into the system on people who cannot vote for us.
Further, we do not want this issue raised during the election. We would like the unemployment numbers to go down. As one of the ways this is calculated is people filing claims, even when they are useless as no payments are forthcoming, we offer you this deal. Click below and we will pay you a lump sum of three million dollars. In return you will cease filing claims for the remainder of your life. You have thirty seconds to comply.
Sincerely,
Your Congress
I knew better than to click. The power was out, the internet would go soon. Once the laptop ran out of charge I wouldn’t even be able to job hunt. Next month the foreclosure would start. What the hell did I have to lose? I clicked the link and prayed.
The message was replaced by a new one, even colder.
We knew you were lazy. We knew you were looking for a handout. If you really wanted to work you would be. Your unemployment claim is denied. The process to demand a return of all funds due to fraud will be initiated on the next business day. Congratulations hippie.

I hate to waste water, but I began to weep.








#shortstory #anger #politicalcommentary #socialcommentary #writer #reneweuc

Saturday, October 11, 2014

New Review

This is possibly my favorite review of Old Odd Ends. Nothing like being compared to the great ones to get your day going right.

Each of us likes to explore the darker places our mind can tak us. Patrick Elliot has created a story that captures the darkness each of us carries and expressed it in such a way to make it both familiar and uncomfortable. Each character is believable including one of the most simpathetic villains I have encountered in a long time. Reading this I felt like this book is something a character from a Stephen King novel would read to find something darker than life.

If you are a fan of older Stephen King or Dean Koontz this book will tickle your fancy.










#author #novel #reviews #shamelessselfpromotion #writer

Friday, October 10, 2014

One Priceless Thing



“God, is that you?”
Stanley knew it wasn’t. God called on the phone or spoke directly into Stanley’s head. Half a second of precious time was spent glancing at the tinfoil skullcap he had set aside, not too far, at the advice of his psychiatrist.
Stanley wasn’t sure he liked the shrink. The doctor said good things happened. The doctor said there were no government agencies trying to get into Stanley’s brain. The doctor also said porn addiction was nothing to worry about so long as Stanley could function in society and didn’t chafe.
Stanley was not sure how much of it he believed but he was willing to try. For the first time in months he had logged in to surf the free sites. Expected ads appeared. Then came the odd one offering three million dollars if Stanley clicked the innocent looking link that probably led to a virus. Stanley asked if it was God because then the lights went out.
Looking out the window Stanley saw it was not just his lights. The entire neighborhood, at least, was dark. A timer counted down on his computer. That was most annoying because it was blocking the really good bits of his favorite starlet getting it on with some guy who didn’t matter. Worse, there was no button to close the advertisement.
God did not answer.
So Stanley started to type instead. He was, thankfully, a fast typist.
Who is this? Are you one of the feds?
Yes, but you have nothing to fear. The money is a gift for being a good citizen. His query had not shown on the screen, but the answer did.
What’s the catch? I am not a good citizen.
No catch, tax free. Like your doc says, good things happen.
There is only one thing that comes without a price. What’s the cost? Stanley was getting nervous. He should have unplugged the computer already. Though, an agency that could kill the power to everything but his computer could also probably trace him by microwaves.
Click the goddamn link Stanley, or we are going to kill you!!!
Stanley clicked but he still didn’t like it. This had to be a plot. Some of the feds were like vampires. They needed permission to enter your home. What he liked even less was the response that floated on the screen when he did it.
Prize accepted. Wait where you are for personal delivery.
Stanley worked fast. When the black suited thug stepped through his door Stanley’s hand was covered in blood and glass littered the floor around him. He was also wearing his cap so the agent couldn’t predict him.
“Only one thing in this life comes at no cost.”

Stanley grinned as he reached inside the monitor and gripped bare wires. His body jolted, his tiny apartment filled with the smell of roasting pork. The agent dropped the large briefcase and screamed, no, as he rushed towards the deluded man claiming his one priceless prize.





#shortstory #writing #writer

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Interesting

So I come to look at my blog earlier and it kept spinning and spinning. I had to spend the night wondering if the thing was mad at me for not posting yesterday.

Remember, the countdown deal is on for Old Odd Ends, short time left at the 99 cent price then up to $1.99 for a couple of days. Go buy then review.



#shamelessselfpromotion

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Ugh! Part 1

So I still do not enjoy my job but I like the people. This is a temp thing but I take it seriously. Found out today my foreman referred me as a lead for the temps. Which means... same hours, same money, less physical, more bossing people around. No matter where I go I end up managing people. This is leading me to think of writing nonfiction. Thinking of a book called "Degrees and Industry are Very Important and Other Lies About Management". So maybe something great can come of this.

So I'm happy but still. It could be better. In the meantime, go by the book. You deserve it.





#aboutme #author #commentary #novel #shamelessselfpromotion

Friday, October 3, 2014

Countdown Deal

Hello to everyone taking a peek or being forwarded this through no fault of your own.

The novel Old Odd Ends, on the Kindle side, will be on discount in a few days. I have arranged a countdown deal for anyone that wants to purchase, or better yet give an early #allhallowsread gift. The sale will only affect the US market. I would put it up in the UK but to do so I would actually have to raise the price in that market and I do not want to do that.

The sale will last from 12 AM October 6th to 12 AM October 13th and have two levels. From 12 AM October 6th until 12 PM October 10th the Old Odd Ends can be yours on Kindle for the bargain basement price of just 99 cents. From 12 PM October 10th until 12 AM October 13th the price raises to the black light special level of $1.99. At that time it will increase back to the already very reasonable standard price of $2.99. All times listed are Pacific Time.

Take advantage of me and my Machiavellian generosity if you have not already purchased. Go on, it's October, scare the hell out of yourself.

Direct link to the Kindle version. http://www.amazon.com/Old-Odd-Ends-Patrick-Elliott-ebook/dp/B00NCQ3YFM/ref=la_B00NCV8UVK_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412403208&sr=1-2







#novel #author #writer #shamelessselfpromotion #sale #discount #deal

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Muse

We all have one, and let's be honest, she is right bitch at times.

Mine decides to torment me with great ideas when I am at work and sleep deprived so I will not remember them later. I have a recording device on my phone but when you're at work you can't always make use of it.

So, yeah, going on forty eight hours with no sleep so going to end this here before I get really surreal.



#author #thoughts #commentary

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Empty Promises

So normally I am okay with the stories I write for the prompts. This one I am very proud of.


The towel sealed in the scent of lavender from my shampoo while blocking all vision except the dark blue of terrycloth. Reaching on instinct to the back of the chair my fingers closed on empty air. I whipped the towel away to search for my favorite pants.
After years of use the slacks were slick enough to have a habit of sliding down to the floor. No luck. A small motion drew my eyes to the window. She was standing on my lawn, wearing my uniform pants.
At forty the widow Henderson was far too young to be a widow. Once she had lived across the street. She still lived on the block but now literally. None of the neighbors had the heart to run her out, especially me. When the bank foreclosed on her home, however, she was so far gone nobody was willing to risk taking her in.
Her cold eyes, empty of everything but a touch of insanity met mine through the glass and I knew two things for certain. One, we never think of how our promises affect those in the circle of trust but beyond the words. Two, she was right. I should be ashamed of me. I started to weep and remember.
One year ago…
The whooshing of the mechanical lung deafened me. I had been in David’s room for half an hour. I was holding his hand with my left, the right contained the syringe. Tears overfilled my eyes. His were empty of everything but pain and desperate, pleading hope.
He lost the power of speech the week before. Knowing what I had to do did not make it easier. In the end I kept my promise. Inserting the needle in the feeder tube of my friend’s IV I depressed the plunger. My tears fell on his face as I kissed his forehead and whispered goodbye for the last time. I exited the room. Dying is a thing we do alone and I would not watch my friend go through it.
He had been right.
Eighteen months ago…
David had returned home to spend his final days in the comforting embrace of family and friends. Treatment had failed. All that was left was the long hard road to dying. I was one of the first to come see him, at his request. The reason shocked and terrified me.
“When the time comes I don’t want to hang on in pain.”
“Why are you telling me?”
“I need you to do it. You’re the only one I trust who will follow through. You will put your promise above your own feelings of loss.”
“I wouldn’t even know how.”
“I have a dose of morphine to do the trick. It took some doing but I have a sympathetic doctor.”
“But David, after… and your wife?”
“Cecily is strong, she’ll be fine. Nobody is going to suspect a cop helped me die. You’ll be fine too.”
In the end I had promised. He had been right about me but wrong about Cecily. Though sometimes I wonder how fine I am.
Two years ago…
I was standing in the spotless Henderson kitchen. David was at another of his unending appointments. He did not want to put Cecily through it anymore. It was just a follow up she had been convinced to stay home. I was offering what comfort I could.
“I don’t know.” She sniffled, wiping snot with the back of her hand and fighting the good fight against tears. I let her babble, it’s what friends do. “You’re right. He’s a fighter but what if the cancer wins? We are one of those couples; you know the ones that follow each other? Except I’m too young, so my body won’t die after he does. Inside though, I’ll be gone. There won’t be anything left for me in this world. I can’t tell him this, not with the pain he’s in. You have to promise me. Promise me you’ll do everything you can to help him. We can get through this together.”
So I promised, which led to another promise.

Funny the things you remember when confronted with the truth.





#shortstory #writer #writing

Sweet!

Just got the second five star review on the paperback thanks to Mr. Howe. You can check out both on the link.


#fivestar

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Still Bad but Not so Bad

Okay, no story today, but if the prompt comes up I'll have one tomorrow I think.

Still not happy about having to accept this job for the short term but something hit me today.

Call it God, call it the universe, call it fate or your own personal muse. As a writer or any kind of artist sometimes something puts us where we need to be. While I was, and am still I guess, raging about this whole necessity my mind wandered onto two new ideas for stories today. All because I am where I am.

Damn it, now I need to be less upset.

Note, this does not mean you should not go buy the book. Now I have more ideas and not enough time to put them out. Your purchases help that goal. Just sayin'.







#aboutme #author #commentary #thoughts #writer #writing #muse

Monday, September 29, 2014

Spidery Tributes

So this one was a pun based prompt. I went with the title because the only author I know who does lots of puns who I still love is Spider Robinson.



Once upon a thyme there was a king known for his unique resolution. All will agree one’s resolve must be great to stand upon such a tiny blade. Believing less was more he chose words over swords as the method of ending conflicts. In celebration of himself he held a duel once a year wherein wit was the weapon of choice.  A duke and a baron two must face each other. Vulgarity could be tolerated but it must be dressed like a window in shades of grey.
All who participated must treat their opponent. While this had the side effect of twice paid checks it also meant each must follow protocol as if their opponent was a greater noble. The king, being a fan of white meat, was the sole arbitrator of whether a comment crossed the line.
Duke Quayle and Baron Lamb came from families long known to harbor ships plagued with hatred in their hearts for each other. Given their druthers the two would have settled their dispute with metal and blood over mettle and iron will. The king, however, would not be denied his sport. The contest took place that year in the great hall of Duke Quayle. As was tradition the baron was afforded the first salvo.
“Pardon the tardiness my lords. I was delayed as the duke’s wife gave us a tour. By way of the kitchen she took us, showing myself and all my knights how ready fowl females always are for a good stuffing and bred.”
Lamb looked to the king, searching for an indication he had crossed the line. He saw none but the king was known for his stoic visage in these events. Growing red at the implication the duke wasted little time in his riposte.
“One would think the baron to be a bit more sheepish. It is unsurprising his attacks start where they do as all know he credits his own wife with him being barren.”
Now it was the baron’s turn to run scarlet. Quayle beamed with pride at his attack. Lamb was determined that like his line this contest would end with him. Unsurprisingly as a bit of a fop he was always obsessed with the clothes.
“We must all forgive the absence of Duke Quayles’ knights. Often absent during the day they have reason now. This is a farming village and we all know the queen hates being roused by noise. Thus upon the duke’s orders, thinking only of the queen his knights are running around violently grabbing their cocks.”
Realizing the balls on the baron the duke went for the juggler.
“The baron again gives himself away. Being bereft of sons he is ruled by his knights. Thus his mind wanders to mine having chickens in hand. A posture the baron is familiar with from his dreams of reigning over the princess.”

“Lords,” the king intoned as he rose. “Your willingness to taint my family in this contest indicates you have both lost your heads.” 




#comedy #shortstory #writer

Sunday, September 28, 2014

It's That Time Again

So I had the first day at this temp job. I think I managed to get carpal tunnel in my shoulder after one night. Help save me from myself and pick up a copy of the novel. If you already have please go write a review so more people will see it.

Putting the finishing touches on three stories to put out a book of shorts soon. Since I can't do that as a Kindle Exclusive I'm going to look into the other ereaders for that one too.

But for now go here, click the appropriate link on the right, or search for Old Odd Ends on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00NCV8UVK





#aboutme #author #novel #shamelessselfpromotion

For Her Honor

With dagger previously aloft in left hand I hefted my Ice Shard in the right. The bolt of terror arched above us to scar the ceiling. I hazarded a glance at my compatriots. A sorry scraggly lot of mercenaries they were but also my friends. Honor must be defended. I bellowed back, advancing on the heathen wizard.
“Going in boys! Handle the ruffians!”
The stench of half rotted, heavily seasoned meat wafted to my nostrils. Mingling there with the odor of burnt hair from where the near miss singed the follicles of Ralph the Red. This blaggart wizard would pay.
The cacophony of shattering wood, clanging steel on steel and hastily cast cantrips comingled with meaty impacts of flesh on flesh. My eyes did glance to the dagger. Perhaps my vision was faltering. No! It was the greasy remnants of the aforementioned mutton clinging to the utensil. I advised it was my eating dagger, yes? No matter! I was near blood frenzy at the slight to our honor.
The wizard blearily glared at me through bloodshot eyes. Silently he did caution me, there would be no surrender, no retreat. I suspected he had already blown his… uh… big powerful thingy in his opening salvo though. He was the lone soul still sitting as the public house erupted into an all out, free for all brawl. We two, he and me, were the only combatants left out of the fray and that only due to our intent focus upon one another. I would show him a bard was not a man to be trifled with.
Anon did I tower epically over the villain, who feigned lack of worry and concern by remaining stubbornly seated and rolling his ocular organs. Were my hands not full slap him I would have I tell thee. Instead I affected my stage voice and demanded of him.
“Prithee, tell me why hast thou offended the crimson mane of my noble compatriot with your odiferous incantation.”
“He called the barmaid a wench.”
It vexes me so when a man of letters refuses to speak in a proper fashion. My blood it did boil, cooled only by my ire running cold. The din of the battle behind me echoed loudly in my ears and I refused to dumb my speech down for this one.
“Your anger is voracious, for is she not a wench? Of the serving variety.”
“He said it mean.”
“Be she your sister, or mayhap your wife?”
“My sister.”
“Only one thing for it then to end this all.”

It would not do to use the dagger. Instead I upended my hand and dropped the contents of my Ice Shard, letting it loose upon his head. Splutter and fuss he did. The deafening roar of combat fell to raucous choruses of laughter to end the melee. What a waste. I assume you are no foreigner and knew from the beginning of my tale; Ice Shard is the finest of ales for adventurers on a budget.





#author #comedy #magic #shortstory #writer