Showing posts with label Fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fiction. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Confessions of the Unrequited

As intelligent human beings we sometimes have a tendency to ignore basic fundamental truths about life.   One being our instincts and how accurate they are most of the time.  In my opinion, as we have become more and more 'civilized' we have figured out how to ignore our animal natures for the sake of logic.  I particularly have a tendency to ignore all that defies logic.

Love has and always will defy logic.  Why would I, how could I fall in love in a moment without a thought other than this.  I am in love.  Frozen and in shock completely unbidden. I never asked for this part. For so long I've been aware of your existence and never noticed anything about it. One moment, one chance meeting and I see nothing else. I feel like I'm insane.  I am an intelligent, rational, pragmatic creature that only on occasion commits to flights of fancy and fantasy driven rhetoric.  And when I do, I'm careful to keep it contained.  But this overwhelms me and I can't hold it in not one second longer.

What are the rules of engagement when it comes to declaring impossible, unrequited fairytale love?  In person, by love letter, over a near death experience.  All can either take the path of enlightenment or fall short to suffer the slow pangs of death by the mundane rudimentary nature of our normal existences.  But I was never a stickler for normalcy. Normalcy feels like art without passion. Just an empty shell of what could be. I'm rambling and stalling.

I hope this is taken with the utmost suspension of disbelief.  Because I don't believe I have ever been so painfully honest as I am being right now for you.

I don't know you, yet what I feel . . . I am in love with you and I know as surely as the sun will rise in the morning and set the following night that I will love whoever I find you to be. 


When you tell others of this foolish strange wordy woman throwing herself at you shamelessly, please feel flattered.  I beg of you to speak kindly of someone who has never conducted herself like this before and try not to make it into too big of a joke at my expense.  I may be insane but I stopped believing in fairytales a long time ago so I expect nothing more than the knowledge that I was honest enough to tell you.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

And Now the Running

Sandra had a corner apartment on the third floor.  They were the only units in the building that offered the large obnoxious roman bathtubs.  The only draw back, if you saw it that way, was that they were at the end of the living group for the hallway.  The closest thing to her door was the fire escape across the hall. It was open, and Sandra loved to climb it instead of taking the elevator or the interior stairs.  In her heart of hearts Sandra was really a recluse, and this suited her.
While musing over the oddities that comprised her best friend, Charlotte had locked the door, and had that feeling. As soon as she had turned the bolt, the sudden creepy crawly feeling of being watched covered her.  It had been in a split second, but her mind had yelled RUN!!  She hadn’t thought about it, she had just reacted.  She had run to the elevator of the long hall way as the door was closing.  Then she bolted for the stairwell at the end of the hall.  Charlotte hadn’t heard the footsteps, but she had felt the eyes.
Don’t look back.’  She heard her brother in her head yelling at her.  The self-defense pointers he had given her starting to play in her mind. 
Focus on what is in front of you.  Will yourself to that place.’  She flew through the doorway to the stairwell. 
If you get a chance, hide, don’t try and outrun them.’
She turned the stairwell, and went up instead of down.  The stairwell was a myriad of walled half flights, carpeted, and quiet.  She crouched on the other side of the wall facing the steps leading to the next level hoping her pursuer didn’t realize that she was there.  Charlotte pressed her back to the wall of the stairwell flattening her palms near her hips.  She balanced on the balls of her feet ready to spring because of the low heels on her black boots.  Her breath was coming out loudly almost panting. The air-conditioned area was musty like carpet that had been left wet.  There was a single oval recessed light on each landing right above the open space before you stepped through the door.
The creaking of the door on the landing beneath her as it flew open made her stop breathing.  Charlotte swallowed her gasp. Her heart was beating so loudly it could probably be heard from the street. She flexed her hands against the wall willing herself not to move. Even as the slight sound of padded footsteps receding reached her she waited before she let out the breath she had been holding.
Be patient. Don’t make a mistake now. You’re almost there.’
Charlotte slowly moved away from the wall, and made her way back down to the landing she had come from.  She walked slowly, fearful that her pursuer would get wise, and come bolting back up the stairs at any moment. When she reached the hallway she stood nervously in front of the elevator knowing that she couldn’t go down it alone.  She paced a few moments as a crowd of young adults made their way to the elevator.  A few of the ladies had hair like hers.
Don’t shy away from people.  Other people are your best cover if someone is looking for you to be alone.
She boarded the elevator with them.  They reached the garage under the building where she had parked her F-150.  Because of her brother’s diligent teachings, she always parked very close to elevators, and always under highly lit areas.  Charlotte streaked for her F-150, and got in locking the doors, and starting the truck in the same motion.  The creepy feeling returned, and for a split second she stared into the black eyes of a tall stocky man with a greasy look and feel to him.  His face snarled as she hit reverse, shifted to drive, and burned rubber pealing out of the parking lot.
It had all happened so quickly.  She had come home locked all her doors, closed all her blinds, and battled herself into not calling the police.  What would she say?  I think this guy was following me.  Oh yeah because my best friend and me have gotten ourselves into some serious trouble with a local oil baron.  And did I mention the CIA agent that kidnapped her off to Japan.

She had finally convinced herself that she would’ve sounded nuts.  At that time she most likely would have.  After all who was to say the guy didn’t need change or something.  Maybe he was a bill collector she had missed and was trying to find Sandra.  Charlotte had spent the night concocting an array of amusing, interesting antidotes that would explain what had happened at Sandra’s apartment.  Then it had happened again.

An excerpt from Charlotte's Chance on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords

Friday, May 6, 2016

Tripping the Light Fantastic an excerpt from Shuttered Vision

Fiona was running, the earth was moving fast beneath her feet. She was laughing and playing.  The sun was bright and florid. The air rich with the scent of poppies.  She stopped running and started twirling in circles, just like she had when she was little.  The man that stared down at her was her favorite man in the world. She stopped spinning and threw herself into his waiting arms.

“Fee-Fee.” He said like he always had softly, quickly and yet insistently giving it all the French inclinations it desired. “What are you doing here?” he asked in his odd Spanish, Texan, French accent.

“I wanted to see you.”

He gave her that chiding look that only an overindulging father gives his child. “Petite, you have other things to do besides obsess over me.  How is your mother?”

“She misses you.”

He shielded his dark eyes. “And I her.  We will meet again she and I.”

“Soon?”

He gave her a firm look. “What have I told you about asking about the future?”

“Don’t do it.”

“You have something to do.” He stated as he gave her a final hug and then put her down.  He looked into the horizon of the grassy area that they were on.  It was like a still set almost.  Wind blew and there was grass and the smell of poppies but it was static, none moving giving cry to the illusion of the place.  With firm steps he walked to the edge of her vision and poked the sky.  It rippled from the spot.

“He’s eavesdropping.” He stated.

Fiona felt shock and surprise. “No one comes here but me, not even Momma. How--”

“He’s searching for you cherie. And he has found you.”

He moved now to stand behind Fiona, slowly he took her hand and moved it across the sky.  It felt like satin under her fingertips and like water the fabric of the sky parted and fell away to reveal her field and there was a tall blonde man standing in the middle of it.  Fiona turned to go back but it was too late, she was now in her field.

Instantly Fiona was enraged with the man. “What are you doing here and who in the hell are you?”

He stood there staring at her. “You can see me.” He said softly.

“Of course I can see you.”

He shrugged. “You were running and twirling, it looked like you were talking to someone but I didn’t see anyone else.”

Fiona felt herself take a deep breath. “What are you doing here?”

“Hiding.” He smiled back at her.

“Should I bother asking who you are?”

“I’m nobody darling.”

Fiona felt herself start to move towards him, but she didn’t walk.  It was almost as if he willed her to him and she merely floated over. She looked down and saw her field moving beneath her feet.  She tried a few times to stop the motion and was unsuccessful.

“What are you?” she asked in a ragged fashion.

“Just a man.” He said evenly.

“No way, no one does –“

“I know, no one controls this but you.”

She was right in front of him now. She was elevated so that she could look him in the eye.  His sea green eyes searched her face. “My those are amazing eyes you’re got.  With the right light, they’d film like a dream.  People would think they’re CGI’d.”

“I doubt I’m the filming type.”

“You’re right. You’re gorgeous but you’re built too much like a real woman for Hollywood.  It’s all about the illusion you see, trick the world into believing only filmable things should exist.  Very few men would even see your face with the rest of that displayed.”
Fiona felt herself blush.

“Beautiful lips.” And then he leaned into her.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Colan Abrams from an excerpt of Shuttered Vision

“Mr. Abrams.”

A pause.

“Mr. Abrams.”

Longer pause.

“Colan.”  From a different voice.

He jerked awake. “Yeah, yeah what is it.”

“I can’t even describe how rude what you’re doing is.”

Colan wiped his face and resettled himself in his chair. “It wasn’t intentional I had a rough night last night.  I apologize.”

The four people at the table stared at him.

“Please continue.” He gestured loosely at the man speaking.

“So here is where the film actually moves . . “

What movement Colan thought to himself.  Another horror film where people disembody each other in horrific ways.  There is no movement in a film about brutal death.  There is brutal death, a half to fully naked chick and oh yeah a glorified psychopath.  Alfred Hitchcock knew what horror was.  It was an element of the mind.  He understood that what the human mind could imagine was much more horrific and gruesome than what he could ever show on a screen.  Even with today’s technology he would only redefine darkness, horror, true terror.  He would create art.  Film making was an art.  True film making, movie making however was a tired racket.  He could always tell within the first 30 seconds of a pitch if he was talking to an artist or a hack.

The horror flick being pitched, “Until Dawn” was a movie, not a film.  The screenwriter had cobbled together the shock value factors of the last 4 years of highest grossing horror movies and was selling them like they were fresh stock. And because Colan was in the business he was in, he would have to underwrite it and start production as soon as the hack was ready.  Because he was not a film producer, he was a movie producer and never should the two actually met.

If he had known that a Bachelor’s from Berkeley and a Master’s from NYU would’ve gotten him here, he would’ve saved the money.  That way at least he’d be like Paul sitting next to him, none wiser about the difference between art and crap.

“You hear that Col, the ending, it’s totally unique.”

“No it was done in 1976.  It’s a variation on the original ending of Carrie, the one they didn’t have the funds to do during that time period, the one Stephen King actually wrote.” Colan corrected without really thinking about it.  He sat up straight.

“Bottom line, it’ll easily be the Halloween blockbuster the year its’ released.”  He paused as the pasty man’s excitement started to fill the room. His partner nodding in agreement.  It was always like this when he talked to these guys.  Had to be how music producers felt about most rap styles that had nothing to do with the original slam poetry and hip hop styles they so carelessly discarded yet have to thank for their future success.

“Any plans for sequels?” He asked carelessly.

The man grinned from ear to ear. “Well I was trying to produce a stand alone but if the studio would like a franchise I am more than willing to negotiate those terms.”

Colan stood. “Wonderful, you and Paul here can hack it out. I mean hash it out.”  He fixed Paul with a blank look. “In the current media market we can shoot for 3 total, with a possible 4th upon villain restructuring.  Get me 2 in the can in 28 months.”

Paul was taking notes and nodding.  Colan stared down at his pristine bottle platinum blond locks carefully and artfully moussed and gelled into hip spikes. Reflexively he ran his hand through his own shoulder length blonde mane trying to remember the last time he’d even washed it with shampoo and conditioned it.  Felt pretty rough to the touch.

“Done.” Paul confirmed and looked suspiciously up at him with his dark brown eyes.

Colan smiled at the look of suspicion.  He was always wondering what he was up to.  What angle he was playing.  Wouldn’t he be surprised the day he told him there never had been one. He turned and left the room. 

Couldn’t blame Paul.  That was the life.  Movies made a lot of money, they also spent a lot of money.  Those two factors together drew a certain kind of person.  A land shark.  But there were levels of shark and cannibalism was not only tolerated it was often encouraged.  To reach the level and status that Colan had reached required a lot of guilty memories.  Paul was just being careful because you never knew when one of those beasts was going to turn on you.

Colan would’ve had a guy like Paul for lunch eight years ago.  He had been without remorse when it came to getting to the top and being able to call the shots.  He had been a fool to believe that being at the top of this industry would do anything but change his priorities. People have this fantasy that once they get to the top of something, they can just instantly change the entire institution and structure.  They think they have a noble cause and noble goals. 

Colan had been no different. For most of his 36 years of life, films had sustained and carried him.  He would never forget his first drive thru experience.  His mother and father had taken them to see something he thought he really wanted to see until he turned around to look at another screen in the tri screen theatre.  There he watched, without sound, Superman. Shortly there after his father had left and he fell completely into the world of moving pictures as his mother had to leave him to fend for himself as she had to work more.  So he watched movies, every kind he could watch.

He was raised in a back water Oklahoma town called Chandler right outside of Oklahoma City.  When he had become high school age he had talked his mother into letting him go to the best high school in the state located in Norman Oklahoma near Oklahoma State University.  There he had started the process to get into the University of California Berkeley. From there he had gone to Tisch with New York University with a 4.0.

Colan had graduated full of zest, zeal and an appropriate amount of artistic angst and he had hit the independent film scene a blaze.  His first three movies had been shot down instantly.  The people he pitched to insisting that America didn’t want to think, they wanted blood guts and senseless violence. He had been unconvinced.  The public took what they could get. He was going to make films again. 
All of his professors had seen the idealist in him and knew what that meant.  One by one over the years they had warned him away from Hollywood.  Make films overseas first, he had been advised. But he had been a patriot.  He had only wanted to give his creations to American audiences first. 

With the choices being Disney and Hollywood, he had chosen the later.

So there he had gone.  Hollywood was everything he thought it would be and a slew of other things he hadn’t expected.  He had expected to be disgusted to be insulted as the art he loved was being canonized and mass produced without thought or originality.  What he hadn’t expected was to be lured in by the potential of ultimate power. To be held enwrapt by the bright lights the lifestyle, the parties, the drugs, the sex.  Some of those women he had met along the way had been willing to do anything.  Anything at all for a shot. It isn’t until it’s much too late do you realize what you had to become to get there.

But the most seductive lure of it had been the competition.  Being better, doing better hopefully in a way that shows everyone how bad someone else is at this job. Colan had started as a rigging grip. After 5 years of wheeling and dealing, flaunting his degree, his good looks, and southern charm, Colan Abrams from bumfuck Oklahoma and a broken home was the most sought after movie producer in Hollywood.  He had gotten to be an assistant of a producer within a year and half of being in the company.  Produced his first film within the next six months as the man he was working for cracked under the pressure.  Pressure Colan had eagerly and liberally applied. That year he had turned a summer blockbuster that would’ve fallen on its ass with the previous producer into a multi-billion dollar worldwide hit.

The rules are simple for success in Hollywood.  Money is the name of the game and the only resume item that’s respected. Rule one summer, you got lucky, rule two summers, you might just have what it takes.  Three summers followed by a killer Halloween and an amazing Christmas showing, baby you’re a star.

Colan was a country boy at the core of his being.  And like any boy not used to women that looked like Hollywood wanna be starlets did or men willing to prostitute like Hollywood wanna be leading men did, he had lost his way. He had been exposed to it during school, but it wasn’t the same.  In the end, the purity of the art always held him first and kept him focused.  But with the purity of the art gone, all that was left was this sickening people pulsing floor show.  When the lifestyle had started not to be enough he was a little worried.  When the drugs had started to not be enough, his worry escalated.  When the sex became practically another form of currency he had started having full blown panic attacks.

Two years ago Colan Abrams, multi billion dollar movie producer, film company executive, and all around Hollywood behind the scenes badass, had a nervous breakdown.  And his perception of the world had never been the same since.  


Monday, May 2, 2016

The Artists - Those with Sight

The concept of the artists is the first stage of reconciling the inequality of the world as far as creation is concerned.  We live in a society that in some instances value art for the wrong reasons.  The human spirit is a treasure trove of beauty and beautiful instances.  However we as a species sometimes condemn creation and invalidate it based on conventions that should be explored because of how rich they make the content that is given. Art is popularity not art. Many of the leading societal structures in the world have a very rudimentary appreciation for art as it stands and for the sake of. It gets dolled off as frivolous and unnecessary.  And yet most of our living world as it stands and is imagined is a product of an artistic mind. Without art nothing of what we have would exist.  From household appliances to all of our technological advances. We would be bereft of homes, cars, buildings. In the beginning there was art.  Creation and the desire to create drawn on cave walls is the beginning of our gradual evolution into communication. Without art we are without.

So I present the first selection. Those with sight.


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Life Goes On

All over the world awakenings are happening.  Each day an ordinary person is waking up with new extraordinary talents.  And those who already had these talents are finding themselves much much stronger. One day the world will know it's history and this time shall be known as the shift.  The brief period of time where humanity succumbed to vanity, pride, lust, envy, anger, sloth and greed to become their own gods.  The loss of life was monumental.  The true powers of the universe stood by and let it happen.  In most situations the problem will eventually weed itself out and this time was no different than the many, many times before.

But each time humanity returns more refined.  They adapt to change faster.  They understand the theories in less time.  And they build their monuments to themselves higher and higher.  This wasn't the first time they declared themselves gods. However it might be the last time.

In the preparation for the shift a select few have been chosen.  Of course in every story such as this, there are those who have actually been given divinity. They were chosen not because of what they were but because of who they could become.  Potential is not a dirty word, it is a compliment. The bottom line is, when the universe calls on one to become bigger.  The last thing one can do is deny the request. 

The world must begin again and it has been determined that when the time comes only those born of the 9 matched pairs will remain.  All else shall perish, by decree of the seven deadly sins.  They will fall for an idea or person, for power and glory.  Only the children of the 9 will survive and only they will seed the future to humanity.  Life must go on . . 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Not Another Bodice Ripper - The Case for Serious Romance Part One

THE INTRODUCTION
Romance in general has always prescribed to formulas. Ask any literary agent who religiously sticks to what sells, and any aspiring romance novelist that would like to change things up. Romance novel trends seem to hate change more than any other genre. It is ironic then that it is the category of fiction that needs a makeover the most. However not truly in style, just in the context this style is delivered and perceived.

THE ISSUE
Romance has always suffered from a fallacy of perception as the people who don't actually read the genre seem to have the most to say about their inefficiency as a viable form of fiction. Yet in their vaulted wisdom of what is literary genius, and what is the lowest common denomination of literary fair, I must broach some fallacies of logic. Most high brow fiction involves some version of a love affair. The difference is usually how sexual interactions are portrayed if they are even portrayed.

THE COMPETITION
I think of some proverbial heavyweights of fiction such as Charles Dickens, Earnest Hemingway, and even Jane Austen. In their stories they seem to have very austere, pre-described, and idealized versions of love being portrayed. This is in some terms a 'clean' ethereal based love that only leaves a mess of the tongue and not of the person in a literal sense. The characters generate more passion for misplaced ideas than they do for the presence of another. Is it this sense of high dungeon that produces literary excellence?

In some instances in Hemingway's work for example there are clear overtones of a consuming misogyny as women can be easily trapped in a box and label of a mother, or a whore. It's always painfully Freudian when they end up as both, and thus rendered perfect. Yet this somehow manages to always be observed as part of the literary genius. The analogous representation of the purity of story because of the personalization of sexuality that is hardly ever actually realized just theorized.

THE THEORY
In some ways I believe the bias towards romance is a much deeper seated issue of humanity's perception of itself. The baser instincts of mating that romance points out are seen as 'immature' and 'unrefined' for many. Physical desire is usually seen as an indication of a simple beast instead of a hallmark of one in tune with the nature of whom and what it actually is. Human beings are mammals, and in many situations that animal instinct and urge is much more reliable in choosing a mate than a pros and cons list. The feeling is that romance makes absurd assumptions about this level of attraction and magnetism. That this 'animal' urge cannot be the basis to eventually grow into a deep and abiding love because love is something of a human nature, and not an animal one.

People with pets will tell you how well animals know love. Better sometimes than other human beings. They don't go with logic that their love will be returned. They operate on instinct, sometimes presenting themselves to an owner unsolicited on the street. This is how they love. Why is the idea that human love can be similar so seemingly odd? Or maybe they just have issues with the sex.

To Be Continued

Monday, January 12, 2015

Blog in Review Best of 2014 #5 Inseparable

She could feel him all the time now.  She would catch a certain scent in the air and anxiety would rise in her belly. The whisper of a voice in the back of her mind. She closed her eyes, because she could almost feel breath tickle her ear. She inhaled deeply knowing this was the only way to manage it when they were connected like this. She opened her right hand in front of her staring at the lines and veins.  Warmth glided across the surface ever so lightly.  A fleeting thing feeling as it touched, touching as she felt. The sensation went up her arm, soaked her shoulder, then spread like wine staining carpet over her chest. She sighed in the feeling as her body was slowly being eaten away by his essence his aura. It warmed more in random spots like tiny starburst across her skin.  Tiny eruptions of warm sensations exploded softly all over. He called it sprinkle kisses.

The connection had always been there and visceral. It was like a train station that no one used. The tracks had been laid long ago.  When they first met it was pain.  It had dropped her to her knees the first time it poured through her. She had felt the sharp instant cut, the initial numbness and then she had nearly in slow motion dropped to her knees as the numbness faded for a dull aching that had no source yet could not be appeased. She had gasped loudly as if she had been hit in the stomach.  The sound of the gasp nearly lost in the sudden and hard release of air. She covered her heart with both hands as tears built in her eyes.  She stared dumbfounded to the heavens as they streaked brilliant salty trails down her cheeks. She vaguely felt them streaming down her neck to her chest.  Her skin dried some, her sweater caught the rest. She had stayed there for an eternity it seemed.  Nailed to her living room floor in pain, she had fallen to her back, eyes wide, tears streaming, mouth agape. The pain was acute, sustained.  Her first thought was his name and the pain doubled. This was a soul deep hurt that had survived and fed itself with his passions, ate his shattered dreams and drank of his broken heart. It fueled his nightmares, ignited his pessimism, and nurtured the hearth of his rage.

As she lay there unable to move, barely able to stand the pulsing burning fire that was both pain and rage she understood what true intimacy was.  It wasn't sexual at all, it was emotional.  It was living with someone else's pain inside you.  Bound to you in the core of your own soul. No closer mating could ever be attained. She wept as his despair raced through her.  Somehow she had always thought hopelessness was a passive emotion.  How utterly unrelentingly foolishly wrong she had been.  She saw now that hopelessness was a tidal wave. A raging ocean always building to overtake you. He was at war with it constantly. She was not fit for the fight.  For a moment she surrendered to it.  She let her mind drift into the darkness that only soul shattering pain could produce. She felt herself sinking through the carpet, through the floor, through the layers of dimensions that separated them.  She had retreated from this plane and was in a space she had never seen before.

The space was dark, wet and cold.  She was surrounded by walls. Black dirty walls, the ceiling was too high.  Several stories over her head it loomed.  The smell was lacking in life.  Despite the moisture it seemed nothing could live in this space.  The walls and the floor seamlessly bent from one to the other.  She walked gingerly down the hallway.  It had to be, it was no bigger than 4 feet wide. She passed a mirror and stopped to observe herself. She was bathed in light, and that was all. Her dusky skin nearly glowed with an iridescent pearl gleam that was blue and purple. Her eyes glittered as if set alive by flames. Her hair a curly long orange red mane that drifted to some space right past her ass.

Startled she stepped forward to touch the mirror.  Lightly she placed her fingers right above where her heart would in the image. She heard the tinkling of glass.  The mirror contracted at her touch, seemed to take a deep quick breath then shattered.  Instinctively she covered her face waiting for the additional pain of the cutting glass.  Instead she felt a fine mist.  She dropped her arms and stared at them as the dust left red and gold speckles on her skin, fine and iridescent. She glanced up quickly at the spot the mirror came from and she saw a door.

The door wasn't like anything else in the hallway. It was carved wood, deep brown with hints of red. On it was a tower.  It was long and tall, a perfect cylinder of brick and mortar rising from the middle of the ocean it seemed. The top of the tower had a lookout much like a lighthouse. In the window there was the clear figure of a young boy staring out. Dragons circled overhead their tails blending as they formed a ring around the top of the tower. Snakes slithered from the water inching up the base of the tower. The ocean raged and crashed beneath them. The scene was framed with thorny vines braided outside of the main image.

That's when she noticed the door had no knob.  She walked up to it and traced a wave.  The wood was cool and smooth to the touch. She traced up to a snake to the tower and continued to inch upward. She touched the face of the boy briefly on the cheek. She couldn't tell if the door had whelped or if she had.  The touch had spiked the pain for a second forcing the sound. Instinct only made her lean in closer and press her lips to the boy's forehead. Her closed eyes didn't see what happened because in the next moment she was kissing air.

It was a small room before her. Just a rustic setting. A lovely rug on the wooden floor, a fireplace in the corner lit and blazing.  A comfortable chair with armrests and a high back with velvet red coverings. The fact that there were no windows and the walls were bare was a bit odd.  However it was not nearly as odd as seeing him kneeling in front of the chair putting makeup on what was clearly a dead woman. Her skin was blue. The unnatural hue of someone who has long passed. Her hair was a grey stringy mop falling to her threadbare shoulders.  The white gown was dingy with bits of makeup mistakenly dropped on spots. Her lifeless form stared with eyes dark cold and dead. The hallows of her skull were apparent in her cheeks and mouth.  She was propped in the chair with her arms on the rests and her legs pulled closed, feet planted, makeup in her lap.

He would place makeup on a spot on her face that made her look flesh colored. As he would move on to another area the makeup would slowly disappear. He would notice when the spot he was working on was done and then go back to reapply. She slowly walked over to where he fussed and placed a hand on his shoulder.

"She's not gone you know." he whispered in a well-rehearsed way. "Any minute now she'll be back and this time she'll love me."

She didn't say anything. She knew what this was and she knew who she was. She took has hand away from her face.  She was surprised that he offered no resistance.  She removed the make up sponge from his hand and placed it in the lap of the woman where the rest was. He just stared at the face of the woman as she went blue. In a matter of moments she faded to gray and then dissolved into ash.

The low keening moan that came from him managed to come through her as well as they watched this happen. He sat back on the floor.  She knelt beside him and pulled his head against her chest. She sifted her fingers through his short brown hair enjoying the solid feel of him. He was cold though. Her other hand soothingly rubbed the back of his neck. He let her hold him as he tried to quiet the storm within him. She closed her eyes and held him closer.  She took slow deep breaths and focused herself. When she inhaled she focused on his pain, when she exhaled she focused on soothing. It didn't take long before they were breathing together and the pain storm was subsiding. Slowly his arms crept up and wrapped around her waist.

She jolted up and was in her living room again. As long as she lived she would never forget that day.  That had been the beginning of their unique odyssey.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

When Alex met Thomas

Excerpt from Sandra's Social:

This morning was the clearest Alex’s mind had been since the accident.  He focused on the girl Danielle as she brought over his breakfast.  She looked like she fell right out of the 17th century. Her skin looked like cappuccino froth dusted lightly with cinnamon.  The long plain beige skirt she was wearing looked made of cotton.  The simple white top was too big for her as the large scoop neck toyed with falling off her creamy lightly freckled shoulders with every movement. It was held to her form by a simple white apron cinched tight to her small waist. She had a brown bandana tied around her gold-laced brown hair holding it out of her face.  With no makeup, and only a freshly washed face with broad evenly placed features, golden amber eyes sparkled mischievously with an even broader smile.
“Morning Beautiful; here’s some eats for you.  Hope this day finds you blessed.”
“Who is he to you?”
Danielle gave him an odd look as she placed the steaming plate of eggs and hash on the table near his bed. “That was a complete sentence. This day sees you blessed indeed.”
“Answer the question.”
“My name’s Danielle by the way.  He told me you were Alex, -”
“Please, answer the question.”
“My brother, now can we move on to more civilized conversation?”
Alex merely regarded her with hooded eyes.
“I suppose that’s a no.  Pity I figured you had something interesting to say.”
“When is Glendel coming back?”
She shrugged as she turned, and started to leave the room.
Alex stewed for a second over Danielle’s uncooperative nature.  He then took a mental detail of his physical condition.  He moved both legs successfully, but the truth would come when he tried to put weight on those legs.  His right shoulder was definitely wrenched.  He had pain in various places; his face, his chest, and back. It was safe to say he truly hurt from head to toe.  He was staring at his feet dangling over the end of the bed when Glendel casually strolled into the room.
“Done with your vacation? Talk about an inopportune time to take a break.” His gold eyes pinned Alex where he lay as the deep smooth voice of the man filled the room.
Glendel stood at the doorway in pretty much the same ensemble he had been in when they had met three weeks ago, but without the hat.  His brown hair was greasy, and lay flat to his skull as if he had been wearing a hat before he came to the bedroom.  
Alex really wasn’t in the mood for this man’s off color sense of humor, and said so. “I can’t say that I’m in a good frame of mind for your particular brand of wit.”
Glendel arched a brow mockingly. “Why that was slightly British. Odd from a big slant eyed Bolshevik like you. What’s your story Stefanov?”
Alex merely glared at the man.
“Okay, I see you woke up in a grand mood.” Glendel commented as he went over to a chair that was by the bed.  It was the perch that Danielle had maintained during her vigil over his prone body.
“Where’s McNeil?” Alex slanted his dark blue eyes at Glendel.
“Back to his charmed lifestyle.” His expression appeared bland at most.
Alex stared at the ceiling as he thought about the places Shane McNeil could hole up. “How did the rest of the IRA feel about Shane’s statement?”
“They claim it, but I happen to know firsthand that it leaves a sour taste in the mouth of many of them.  They want Shane dead.” This was accompanied by an even blander look on his face considering the subject.
Alex fixed Glendel with a hard look. “How do you know so much?  How long have you been working this?”
“Since it started it seems. This is my home Alex. I see to what’s mine.” Glendel ended fiercely, his tone defying the unresponsive features of his face.
“Will you get in my way when I go after McNeil?”
“Not at all, I intend to help.  Unfortunately if I want to maintain my inside you’ll have to be the one to kill McNeil, and then I’ll do the right thing, and kill you.”
“You’re breaking my cover.” Alex jerked wanting to sit up, but flinching instead, and staying prone.
“Yes I want you out of Ireland mate,” he said deadpan.
“My orders-,” Alex started raising his voice.
“Are superseded by mine,” was said softly, but with force.
“No fucking way will I just roll over and let you kick me out.”
“You aren’t being given a choice in the matter.  I’m offering you plenty by giving you McNeil, and a fake death. I could give you neither.” Glendel’s eyes gleamed with malicious intent. The most expression he had showed yet.
Alex frowned at the man that he was quickly beginning to not like one bit. They were on the same side. Why was he being told to run home with his tail between his legs?  It wasn’t even from his superior, but by some CIA field agent. It made no bloody sense.  Then realization dawned on him.  The man being in the right place at the right time, his unreadable countenance, and obvious community ties.
“You’re first wave intel.”
Glendel’s answering smile was dark and cold. “Now you’re catching on laddie; much bigger things here than the IRA.”
Alex closed his eyes in frustration, but knew that he had to heed the man before him.  



Saturday, November 3, 2012

My NaNoWriMo Offering: Holy Bounty


“For Nicolette there is nothing worth destroying more than evil.  When did you realize it would be your death as well?”
Nicki felt her mouth form a soundless moan and felt the whispers of truth in her soul as she stared into the black glowing pits that the creature holding her had for eyes. She could hear Dalen in the back of her head. “Never stare there for too long, they are infinite space, soul less, you’ll get lost in there.” She felt the pull of oblivion in his eyes and the waning of her light at her core.  All replaced by the question she refused to ask.
She knew the second the Almighty decided to interfere, moments before they were both thrown from the gate.  They landed in a heap of bloodied flesh and rendered fabric.  Neither of their outfits had survived their battle.
Nicki tensed as the beast threw her away from himself to run back to the gate. Her left eye was nearly swollen shut but she was healing as she always did. If his tantrum continued she might get back up to partial strength to attack him again.  The sound that erupted from him made Nicki’s blood curdle.  It was a howl of pain, desperation and a deep deep rage.  He had discovered what she knew moments before they were tossed away.  The crack he had so carefully cultivated was gone.  The way was shut to him once again.
He made his way over to her and Nicki geared herself for the next phase of the battle when a whisper in her soul declared. . . . submit.  She fought the thought and reached within herself for the light that burned like an unending furnace in her core, but could pull nothing from it.  Fear clutched her anew when the beast lifted her and started chanting again.
A soundless gurgle fell from her lips as her body began stretching as if pulled from every end by some unseen force. The pain started as an intense burning at first, then the monster changed his cadence and it built to a sharp intensity she had never known. 
From Dalen’s mouth it seemed, whispered in her ear, “Pain is for focus, use it to see where you went wrong.”
She shifted her mind from the pain and back to the moment this battle started. He had already gotten pretty far by the time she shifted to this plane.  The energy field that sealed off the Heavens had a substantial crack in it.  Over the past few hundred years 250 holy men had been collected.  Their souls now glowed from the crack.  Someone must have told him that would be enough to displace the amount of energy needed for him to pass through. They had been wrong.
Nicki breathed in deeply, focused on the air around him, centered her will around it and breathed out. It was a basic gravity manipulation, which normally wouldn’t work on a creature so powerful, but he had been distracted.  His energy focused on pushing through the crack.  Under these circumstances he was nearly tossed off of the mountain.  She quickly positioned herself between him and the gate.
He pulled himself back up and began stalking towards her.  There was something about this plane that suited him and Nicki couldn’t figure out why that was.  He was so dark, the surrounding so light.  The top plateau they were on was bathed in light from an unnamed source.  The blades of grass the greenest you’d ever see.  The trees never lost their leaves and were shaped like the most pleasing Bonsai tree meticulously cut to perfection.  The sky a harmony of shade from lavender to yellow.  The breeze light, tempting, and sweet to the smell.
His dark hair trailed in the breeze as he walked towards her, measuring her up.  His skin swarthy with an iridescent sheen, like glazed oak.  He was in skins, not actual clothing but the hides of animals.  His feet were shodded in sheepskin wrapped with string.  The wolf’s pelt on his shoulders nearly covered the leather vest and pants cured to a soft durable suede.  His hands were ungloved but symbols ran over his fingers painted there in blood.
Nicki knew there was something she was supposed to remember if she ever faced one garbed like this. Instinctively she reached for her hip only to realize that her blades were gone.  She looked the creature over again, realization dawning as he speaks.
“Stand aside child.” His voice felt like a cat’s tongue, wet, grated, sharp.  The tone deep and sonorous with an underlying harmony.
“You know I can’t do that.” She hoarsely answered becoming more and more sure of what he was.
“You’ve expelled much of your energy shifting here and then moving me. Use your freewill girl.”
“I serve.” She gritted back.
He laughed a joyless sound. “Don’t we all.” He moved closer, his gait resembling a prowling lion. “You aren’t fit for the fight.”
“Neither are you. No small feat, trying to power through the crack. You must be running low.”
He gave her an appraising look.  She could feel him taking in her appearance. Her reddish brown hair was braided back as always, out of her way. She always fought in leather because of durability, steel toed boots and her lucky riding jacket.  Her skintone was dusky, had been since the incident in Egypt with one of Dalen’s old curses.  She in no way resembled the Hungarian girl she had been born as centuries ago.
He closed in on her and Nicki adjusted for the height and reach disadvantage she was going to have.  She was a modest 5’ 8” to his well over six feet. Luckily her trainer had been a big guy as well.  When you were low on the core energy you needed for a normal battle, old school rules applied.
“Old fashioned now; how quaint.” He muttered before he came at her with a right cross.
She ate it, this was the only way to feel him out.  Both his speed and power.  Like most beings on their level he could alter his speed just like she could. But he was bigger, she had no choice but to be faster.  She blocked and dodged the next series of attempted strikes.  Surprisingly he was fast enough to block all of hers as well.
He’s old, she thought immediately, much older than me.
She raised her arm to block the kick coming for her head.  The energy blast pushed it aside letting him score a bell ringing shot to the temple. 
Here we go, she thinks to herself as she launched with her feet and a smidge of gravity manipulation to get him into a headlock, using her strength and momentum she flings him head over feet to fly past her.  On his way he grounded himself and grabbed her leg slamming her into the ground.
Nicki braced fort he ground and planted her hands behind herself.  She absorbed the impact through her hands and sent it shooting back up her body as she planted both of her feet in his face. He flies back but gets his barring fast as he pivots using the momentum to send him barreling towards her.
Nicki takes her push with a slight grunt and then a thud as he fits her to the crack in the gate.  Nicki needed to act fast.  If he used her energy he would get in at no time at all. Must’ve been the plan all along.
She shot a burst of energy into the crack behind her offering a patch, then she ripped the ground right from under their feet.  As they fell through the mountain Nicki shoved his face against the rock.  Eh got his footing and shot them both across the divide driving her through the mountain face first. Nicki elbowed him in he gut, then the throat. She pushed away from the side, landing on his chest feet first seconds after he hit. He shifts the rocks falling around them to pummel her.  Nicki starts deflecting with energy fields until she regains her footing. She immediately drops gravity again tunneling to the core of the mountain.  He follows her down.
Pay dirt, she thought as she felt the heat.  Bursting through she plants on a rock ledge.  She shifted the molten lava beneath her into the hole.  With an intense pressure shift she molds the lava to rock around him. Before his mouth is covered he mutters a phrase. The rock turns back to lava and lands on Nicki.  Cursing and screaming she instinctively turns it to ash.  But it was just enough distraction for him to grab her by her throat and shift them back to the gate.
He shoved her in and the crack began to widen.  Nicki struggled but he began chanting and she felt her strength begin to drain.  She tried shifting but his grip on her throat tightened, his will holding her in place. The gap widened.  She tried shifting gravity.  The ground fell away but they did not move.  The crack widened, his chanting becoming more intent.  She felt the wall at her back giving away.
Nicki closed her eyes and moved deeply within herself.  The pillar of light burned brighter than ever.  She hated to pull from it. The price for using it was very, very high. She walked up to it cupped her hand and drank the golden liquid that flowed into her palms.
Her eyes popped open and a sonic energy burst came from her, knocking her enemy back, staggering him. Nicki’s eyes grew wide as he staggered back to her.  Terrified she focuses harder, pulls even more; the most she’d ever dare to take and fires with everything she has.  He staggered back again but continued to approach to resume pushing her through.
He meets her eyes, soulless orbs are staring into her, divining her secrets, memorizing her nightmares. And then he said the words that broke her very spirit.  The pillar of light flickered and waned; her connection to the divine audibly snapped.
She slowly returns to the present, the searing pain of being slowly pulled apart a reality again.  He had been torturing her for quite a while.  But it wasn’t for her.  It was for his audience. Both her shoulders were out of their sockets, she knew the feeling well.  Now tendons were being cruelly stretched in ways not meant.  Her spine was straining to hold onto the bulk of her tendons the longest were beginning to tear.  She felt her eyes widen as her Achilles tendons went yet she uttered not a word.  Merely a loud exhalation of breath. Not that the creature noticed. He was yelling at the gate.  Words she doesn’t know, in that language that she didn’t understand.  But unlike the before the meaning she comprehends.  As the pain of the rest of her tendons ripping away from her spine forces her to pass out, his words were ringing clearly in her head.
“Where is your God now?”

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Single male looking for the right lady . . .click. I know how to show a lady a good time . . . click. Looking for a sweet down to earth girl. . . .click. Look no further I’m . . .click. Nice guy with a . . . .click. Looking for . . . click. All you need. . . .click. Take a look. . . .click. I am all . . . click. I need. . .click. I want . . . click. I desire. . . click I. . . click. I. . .click. I. . . .click.

“Shut up!!!” she finally yelled at the screen blinking back at her. With a sense of growing despair she threw her head into her hands. “There is nothing attractive about beginning with what you want.” Now empowered by rage, and not caring who knew it, she penned the online ad that she would like to read.

Opening line, she thought to herself, and then her fingers flew across the keyboard. “Just in case. . .”

Body : “You are tired of every other ad talking about what the man wants. . . I’m going to ask . . .what do you want?

“Let’s be honest. Who cares if I have a six pack, am dashingly good looking in that soap opera way? Who cares if I have a well paying job and a car, house, boat, insert whatever random possessions here that make you feel good? Who cares if I like walks in the rain, snuggling with the right girl? Who cares if I always root for the underdog and stand up for my female friends? Who cares if I fall in love quickly, passionately, deeply, and won’t be shy about admitting it? Who cares that when I am in that state all I see is how beautiful you are? And who cares that I fell for you for who you are, and not what I think you can do for me, my reputation or my appearance? And who cares that this means that no matter what, I will always love you?

I don’t, because it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans if you aren’t there to show me the depth of you. I don’t, if you aren’t around to show me what I am capable of. I don’t, if your strength isn’t there to push me. If your femininity isn’t there to make me desire to be more. Challenging me with every vibrant breath you take, every passionate declaration and na├»ve expectation. I don’t, if your eyes aren’t on me loving me because of me, despite me. What on earth does my opinion of myself matter if I am the only one that believes it? I know self-esteem is necessary, but how can you find who would stand beside you, outside of you, if you never look outside of yourself?

I’m sorry that we’ve missed the point for so long now. Always wondering what to give, what present, what thought, what trinket or comment to temporarily sedate you into staying. When all this time all you have ever wanted is all of who we are. Good or bad, whether for this moment or always. As much as we are willing to give. And foolishly, without fail, we meet the one woman we can give all to and run away before memories can even be made. Forgive our weakness and accept this one man upon the alter of your mercy. For I will sacrifice all of who I am to one woman for the sake of us all.”

She took a long deep breath and reread her words. Once, twice. . . a few times more and imagined what this man would look like. Then she knew that it didn’t matter. This creature was a creation, merely an artifice of her own vivid imagination. Something that she would have to let go of if she ever wanted to allow an actual man in her life. She knew what men were. Not a one of them could reproduce what she had just penned.

With a sigh she headed back to the dating ads and realized that while she had been writing her own ad, someone had tried to contact her. The title of the message was, “In case you were wondering.” She blinked hard at the screen and clicked it open.

“I didn’t write you to tell you how much your profile sounds like everything I’ve ever wanted. I’m writing you to say that I haven’t ever specified or even known what I’ve wanted in a woman. I just know that if I ever had, it would most likely be you. Whoever it is I find on the other end of those words. In just a conversation, I might give all of me to all of you. What a tragically odd realization to have about a stranger.”

Tears pricked her eyes as she read the message. She clicked respond and typed. “Not exactly right, but close enough that I’m listening.”

With a sense of wonder, a hair of disbelief and an inkling that the Almighty was trying to teach her a lesson she was still stubborn about learning, she clicked send.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Not Another Bodice Ripper - The Case for Serious Romance Part One

THE INTRODUCTION
Romance in general has always prescribed to formulas. Ask any literary agent who religiously sticks to what sells, and any aspiring romance novelist that would like to change things up. Romance novel trends seem to hate change more than any other genre. It is ironic then that it is the category of fiction that needs a makeover the most. However not truly in style, just in the context this style is delivered and perceived.

THE ISSUE
Romance has always suffered from a fallacy of perception as the people who don't actually read the genre seem to have the most to say about their inefficiency as a viable form of fiction. Yet in their vaulted wisdom of what is literary genius, and what is the lowest common denomination of literary fair, I must broach some fallacies of logic. Most high brow fiction involves some version of a love affair. The difference is usually how sexual interactions are portrayed if they are even portrayed.

THE COMPETITION
I think of some proverbial heavyweights of fiction such as Charles Dickens, Earnest Hemingway, and even Jane Austen. In their stories they seem to have very austere, pre-described, and idealized versions of love being portrayed. This is in some terms a 'clean' ethereal based love that only leaves a mess of the tongue and not of the person in a literal sense. The characters generate more passion for misplaced ideas than they do for the presence of another. Is it this sense of high dungeon that produces literary excellence?

In some instances in Hemingway's work for example there are clear overtones of a consuming misogyny as women can be easily trapped in a box and label of a mother, or a whore. It's always painfully Freudian when they end up as both, and thus rendered perfect. Yet this somehow manages to always be observed as part of the literary genius. The analogous representation of the purity of story because of the personalization of sexuality that is hardly ever actually realized just theorized.

THE THEORY
In some ways I believe the bias towards romance is a much deeper seated issue of humanity's perception of itself. The baser instincts of mating that romance points out are seen as 'immature' and 'unrefined' for many. Physical desire is usually seen as an indication of a simple beast instead of a hallmark of one in tune with the nature of whom and what it actually is. Human beings are mammals, and in many situations that animal instinct and urge is much more reliable in choosing a mate than a pros and cons list. The feeling is that romance makes absurd assumptions about this level of attraction and magnetism. That this 'animal' urge cannot be the basis to eventually grow into a deep and abiding love because love is something of a human nature, and not an animal one.

People with pets will tell you how well animals know love. Better sometimes than other human beings. They don't go with logic that their love will be returned. They operate on instinct, sometimes presenting themselves to an owner unsolicited on the street. This is how they love. Why is the idea that human love can be similar so seemingly odd? Or maybe they just have issues with the sex.

To Be Continued