Followers of Awesome Writing

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Lovable Monsters

This one needs some explanation, so here is the prompt that caused it...

Write 10 sentences using a different cliché in each. Now, rewrite the sentence to eliminate the cliché and find a more clever and creative way to convey its meaning.

And here is the thing it spawned.

His ideals and skills were both as useless as tits on a boar hog. Only one of them made him a marked man though. The other made him bite of more than he could chew at every turn. With a memory like and elephant he knew the lies in what he saw. The scary black man on the corner reminded him of a need for a weapon. Necessity is the mother of invention, and the gun it caused him to design was only to keep him safe. A quick buck is always more appealing than integrity though. If that did not decide him the accusations of being a stick in the mud holding back progress would have convinced him to sell out. Years later his moment of weakness led to him telling his son, "Do as I say, not as I do." In the ultimate battle between the child and the corporation holding the patent he knew his son (the hero) would win because he was the good guy.

As a man who regarded his ideals as highly as society did his skills, James did not fit in the ordered universe of normal people. Those morals that made him unique made others uncomfortable enough to desire his extinction. The brilliance that kept him alive through that jealousy also kept choking on the cloak of work he carried to defend himself from social interactions.

One of his most useful talents was a recall that extended to times before his conception. Those reflections of times before his own, infused with the image of a looming citizen the ignorance of society taught him to think of as an enemy caused his desire for something to aide in his defense. Need drives truth, which pushes inspiration; the weapon's only aim was to keep him safe; much as all weapons before it.

Integrity is always for sale, if the rewards are instant enough. Even if he was pure enough to resist reward the accusations of hampering the forward motion of science caused stronger idealists than him to betray their scientific faith.

In the years to come he would have a son, a boy he urged to live his father's dreams instead of reality he bought in to. Knowing one day the young man would stand against those who crushed his own will the father held one belief tight enough that it bled, that purity of purpose and a righteous soul would lead to a victory of biblical proportions against overwhelming odds.


Friday, January 22, 2016


For all those legends we have lost this month.

"I'd love to party but my hero just died!"

"Which one?"

"It's too soon. Why are you asking? You know what it's going to do to me."

"How would I know?"

"You know how people react when someone important to them dies."

"Dude, everyone lost someone like that this month. Come on, getting out will do you good."

"I'm not ready yet. I'm going to stay home and mope."

"You didn't even really know them."

"Do you really think that's important right now?"

"It's important to me. Wouldn't your hero want you to go out and live your life? Wouldn't you honor them more by celebrating than mourning?"

"Maybe, probably, but death isn't about the one who's gone. It's about the living. Everyone knows that."

"Okay, now you have to tell me which one it was."

"Leave it alone."

"Will you tell me if I guess?"

"This isn't a time for children's games."

"Don't you think your hero would want you to party? I mean, he liked to party right?"

"I guess so. Depends on what you mean by party."

"Well, he was about challenging the status quo."

"In their own way they were."

"So, sitting at home and moping is what normal people do. He would want you to live a life less boring. Do the unusual, get out there. Come with me and honor him."

"They might agree, but doing what you want is conformist as well."

"So I'm close."

"Why do you think I even know what you're talking about? You are making a lot of assumptions."

"Well... there's going to be a band there. This hero supported artists right?"

"Artists normally do."

"You know how I mean, like really advocated for them."

"I just want to be left alone. Again, artists normally do."

"Yes, but this artist, this hero, he supported artists, always?"

"I'm not even sure I know what you're talking about. Heroes support other artists forever."

"But yours really soared."

"Now you're just stretching and still trying to get me to say something I don't want to. Leave me alone with my grief."

"You're an idiot."

"And you're an asshole. Go to your damn party."

"Fine! I'll leave you alone to wallow in your misery!"

"That's what I've been asking for."

"Bill... don't do anything stupid okay? Call me if you need to talk."

"Why can't he leave it alone? He missed a couple, and he missed the point. Why does everyone think a hero wears just one face?"

#shortstory #author #Awethors #tribute #writer #writing

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Her Ring

Mom always told Jimmy, the number of keys on a person's ring directly related to the power they held.

That might be why she kept every key she ever came by. The ring reminded Jimmy of the ones jailers carried in old low fantasy movies.

If one went by her theory, Jimmy's mom had a lot of power. Too bad she lived her life so broke that when she died, the week before, the only thing she left him was that damnable ring. It was joking about it that kept him from shedding the tears that threatened to fall.

Jimmy loved his mother, crazy as she was. So, without question he dropped his own meager collection onto the ring with the others. That was yesterday.

Today he returned to work, then made his way home. His thoughts were of prepackaged food, like mom used to make. Then he could crash on the couch.

Hungry, tired, and missing his mother he fumbled with the keys and slammed one that felt right into the slot.

Jimmy opened the door and was sure he must already be asleep. Because his apartment was replaced by a dirt pit filled with Minotaurs. As he tried to make sense of that, one of the beasts spotted him and charged. Jimmy slammed the door, causing the keys to drop to the floor.

Shaking, he bent down, lifting them. He had every intention of opening the door and finding out what was going on with the mad cows diseasing his home. He fumbled with the keys again and unlocked his door, it opened onto a mountain scene with climbers scaling the heights.

One turned and waved at him. Clearly these extras from the Swiss Miss container thought his summer attire inappropriate for their demesne, but were too polite to say so.

Retrieving his keys, Jimmy stepped through a door that swung closed behind him. As his breath fogged the air in front of him he realized his mistake. Turning to face the cabin he stepped out of an idea struck him. He shuffled through the keys until he found one for a car belonging to one of his "uncles" growing up.

Sliding that into the door he exited the Camaro, in front of a bar.

The enormity of what he had washed over him. The truth of the power his mother left him sunk into his heart. He walked towards the tavern. Thoughts of drinking the pain away flooded his head. Yet, he stopped at the door.

Searching through the keys he found one linked to the last time he was truly happy. He slid it into the building's lock and stepped through.

The home he shared with his mother, until he was five, stood abandoned. Thirty years later its only occupants were cobwebs. He was home.

Jimmy slipped to the floor, tears finally flooding from him. A grown man, but inside was a boy who missed his mommy.

"I love you mom."

He whispered the words as saline streams left his face and made dust-mud flow along the floor. Below that boy who cried for his loss, deeper still and waiting to be discovered was another. Down there was a child awakening to a world left by his guardian. A child just beginning to wonder where these keys would take him next.

#shortstory #author #awethors #writer #writing #writingprompt

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Jeffrey and Charlie Meet the Cleavers

And now back to things that are completely different.

They never feel the prick of insertion. Too small they say. I will show them all.

I hobble back into the house, weighed down by a bag of food in one arm and the stumbling, peroxide blonde in the other. She jerks at the scene that greets us, but not very far. To be fair, I stumble too. What happened here. Something is wrong.

Dave is frozen mid strut with his face thrust forward in a cluck of challenge. He is covered in honey-mustard and feathers. He looms over the plucked carcass of last week's dinner. Dave has the worst luck, so we all know he is going to lose. Everything is normal there.

The blue flannel covering the futon is coated with yogurt, some of it crusting and flaking at the edges. Like the world's first G rated bukake. Tom is sprawled out in the middle of the makeshift bed. He wears a ring, having married the futon. The mattress wears no ring. It is not that willing to display its commitment. I know them to be wed however. I performed the ceremony myself. Nothing out of place there.

Carl balances precariously on two blades of the ceiling fan portion of the chandelier. The dog stands on the slat directly opposite of Carl. The canine stands in trot position, as Carl is obviously attempting to push himself upright, so he can run the animal down. The fan slowly spins, making the contest that much more epic. Just like I left them.

Cleetus sits at the dining room table. He holds a butcher knife in his right hand and a cleaver in the left. His hands are raised, poised to start pounding them and demanding food. He wears a grin on his face and a look of anticipation in his glassy eyes. Also right as rain.

So what is out of place?

I settle my nerves and let the uneasy feeling pass. No need for performance anxiety.

Most people would miss the tense fishing line holding everyone but Tom in place. My date doesn't miss it. I think it is the reason she tries to run. Too bad she missed the prick. So she stumbles.

A few minutes later, I am stitching up the gash in her throat, until it is an almost unseen scar. I promised Cleetus a girlfriend. One as pretty as his mother, with all of her teeth, who would never leave him. Cleetus is a demanding ass, so I could not hit her in the mouth.

When I reach for the formaldehyde I realize what is wrong. It is not where I put it. Have the feds been invading my privacy again?

#shortstory #author #writer #writing #writingprompt

Friday, January 1, 2016

Online Radio Interview

1/1/2016, my first radio interview on the Speculative Fiction Cantina. I'll be talking about Greycoat Blueback, and other things. Mostly that book though, since it is the only one I have in the right genre. Check it out at 3PM Pacific time. I'm expecting you to translate that in to your timezone, because you're smart and I'm lazy. Come support the awesomeness that is me. If you tune in early the channel will be silent until the show starts.

Be there or be slain in an upcoming novel.

This is now archived for any who missed it. I met two amazing authors, the host, Evan, is phenomenal. Gordon Bonnet made me want to read everything he has written as well. The link is the same for the archived version, for you podcast addicts out there.