Monthly Archives: December 2013

Dialog Excerise

For some reason there was no Chuck Wendig challenge this week.  Which is fine.  But, I decided to do something fun for writing practice. A quick dialog practice basically has two characters talking no tags, no descriptions, and no beats.

Dialog Exercise

“Have you now accepted that you are mine?”

“Lady, I don’t know what the hell your problem is.  But, you don’t own me.”

“I do.  You just don’t remember.”

“Don’t freakin’ touch me.  I pretty damn sure if somebody owned me, I’d remember.  That’s not something you write on a post it note and forget about.”

“It was long ago.  You pledged yourself to me.  Another lifetime ago.”

“What? Now you’re trying to tell me there is reincarnation.”

“I’m not attempting to tell you anything, Ricky.  I am merely stating facts.   Believe what you will.”

“I don’t believe you.  Let me out of this room.  I’ll start screaming, then some cops will bust this door down.  And, you’ll be knee high in it.”

“Scream all you wish.  It makes no difference.”

“Is that a freakin’ smirk? Are you smirking at me?”

“Your resistance is amusing.  You seek to intimidate me.”

“What aren’t you afraid of the cops, and jail?”

“There are places more terrible and damaging than Jail, Ricky.  Places most minds would break to be there.  I’ve been to all those places and emerged whole. “

“So, you’ve been to Goth clubs I get it.”

“I suspect you truly don’t.   No matter you are one of mine.”

“No, I’m not.  Whatever your name is, I’m not yours.”

“You know my name, Ricky.  When you can remember it, you’ll know I owe you.  I have patience, I can wait.”

“Yeah, well, I’m not patient.  I want to go home.  I want to drink a beer.  I’ve been here, what feels like forever.  This cramped room barely has a bed.  There’s no tv, no freakin’ internet.  Life without internet is pretty dark, unimaginable place.”

“Unfortunately, Ricky, to get those things you must remember my name.”

“How about Goth Princess?”

“Closer than you know.”

“Hey, where are you going? We aren’t done talking. You need to let me go.”

“I’m going to go drink a beer and use the internet, of course.  When you say my name, I’ll bring you one.”

“What an annoying kidnapper.”

 

 

 

 

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My Thoughts on Amon

Well, it’s been almost a year and half since I started this blog.   Now is a good time to put up another world. And, to explain that confusing and open to interruption statement, give me a second.

The original idea went I started this blog was to write about different universes IE ‘worlds’ I created in my fiction.  I tend to make a character and make a world to fit them.  Sometimes this character is later disregarded.  The worlds tend to stick around.  Amon was picked as my first, because it was the first one I dreamed up as a kid.   It fit the sort of darkness I could see in the everyday life.  Yet, it also fit the possibilities, and hopes I saw too.

I love Amon, because here are a people who have beaten on over and over.  Every time they achieve any sense of normalcy the universe conspires to take it from them.   Through nearly impossible odds they manage to survive.   The consequence being their race got darker and darker.   What originally started a small world still developing society, became a society where survival of the fittest was the only real rule.

One the concept I decided on early way back when I still couldn’t drive was to society to be slightly guided by a powerful being.  It took me a long time to come up with the idea of women who lived around a thousand years each, and passed on the wisdom of their lives to each other.   If you’ve been following along you’d know the first of which was Rilas.

Amon is also intriguing to me, because it is world on the edge.  It can either evolve into something better, or become a darker place.   Change, to me, is a great catalyst full of interesting storylines and interpersonal conflict.   What will become of this razor edge type dance?

I wish I knew.

Next week, I’ll be telling you a bit about the next world, which is Elenmitis.  It will be a fantasy world, a bit of a shift from science fiction.  It won’t be your typical fantasy universe, however.

This doesn’t mean I plan to never post another story on Amon every again, it won’t be the focus anymore is all.  In the next couple of months I’m planning for a lot of changes on the site.  I want to make a full-fledged time line and put up stories on there so you can see where they fall in the storyline.

In two weeks, I swear, we’ll be back to story time.

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200 Words at a Time, The End

Thanks to helped my story make it the final round.  I’m super happy to finish it off.  The whole challenge has been insanely fun.  My favorite challenge ever, for now anyway.   Go to here, to read more.

I picked up my own story this time.  It felt right, and dammit I wanted to know to know what was up the ring.

Galactic Mercs

First part by Me

Another shot glass slammed down as Toops flashed her big, black eyes at me. “Are you going to black out.” Her tone as dry as the desert planet we had left.

“I never black out. “ I grinned motioning for another shot. “I’m only resting my eyes.”

Toops rolled her eyes and crossed her arms. “Yeah, I believe you, Lancer. I really do.” Her scarred fingers pushed her still full glass back and forth across the metal bar top. “Didn’t you say we have a man coming in to offer us a job?

“You handle all the contracts. I’m your simple minded muscle.” I winked at her. “Me big man. Me hit things hard.” The burning fire scalded my throat as I took another shot.

Her hand snapped out faster than my eye could follow. Those strong fingers crushed mine into my palm. “Do not call for another shot. I swear I will break your fingers right now.”

A hearty chuckle rumbled up my throat. “Alright, alright boss lady.”

My fingers were released. “We are partners.”

“You say that now, but once the client gets here you’ll change your tune.” She couldn’t deny it. It was true.

Second Part by Athena

The mark joined us not too long after that. I know they’re supposed to be clients, but I can’t help thinking of them as marks. Lancer likes to think of us as noble ruffians, taking on jobs to help the weak and disenfranchised. Truth is, we take on the jobs that pay the most. Sometimes that means we take the client for a bit of a ride.

Lancer was right about one thing: when the client arrives, I play boss. Pretty much have to; no one would buy me as the hired muscle – at least no one with all their bits in tact. Marks are always weary of a girl without a purpose. They’ll buy me as the brains, but not the brawn.

Lancer brought this one in. I let him do that once in a while because it makes him feel like we’re equal partners. More importantly, it makes the marks think that I’m hot stuff. They’re so lucky to get me, I send one of my peons first to see if they’re worthwhile instead of going myself. Doesn’t always work, but when it does, it’s a much bigger payday.

Part Three by Ely

The man they called Helix walked into the bar, the sunlight rushing past his entourage, harshly drowning out the dank ambiance so welcoming to the regular patrons. I had met him through an old corps buddy whom I usually only call upon in the most dire of business droughts.

As predicted Toops straightened out immediately, her strength radiating from her core, demanding an elevated level of respect. She had a knack for nonverbal communication, in more ways than one.

“Not exactly discreet is he,” She said in a disapproving whisper.

“It’s a paying job. Rodge made it sound like it would be of particular interest to us.” I finished under my breath as the group neared, my lips spreading into an awkward greeting. I am just the muscleor I’ve had one too manyor both.

“Ms. Toops I presume,” Helix smiled, suave and somewhat greasily as he took her hand. He was dressed in a slick suit, all grey, matching tie, extravagantly out of place in this corner of the ‘verse. His three companions were obviously hired security.

“All presumptions aside, where they belong, I’ve heard you have work suitable for our expertise.”

Helix’s slimy smile grew, looking to me with positive regards to my choice of partners.

Part four by Paul Baughman

As soon as I saw Helix’s smile I mentally doubled the price we’d ask. I’ve seen smiles like that before. They never bode well. I also made a mental note to have a chat with Lancer. This buddy of his needs a talking to.

“Let’s move to a table where we can talk in private,” I said. I didn’t wait for an answer, I just turned away and headed for a corner table I had reserved earlier.

When I slid into one of the back chairs, I could tell Helix didn’t appreciate me turning my back on him. Lancer eased himself into the other back chair leaving the mark to have his back to the door.

“Well,” the slimeball said heartily, “what are we drinking?”

“We’re here for business,” I said, “what’s the job?”

“Nothing wrong with a little social interaction, is there?”

The way he said it, I knew exactly what kind of interaction he thought he was getting here. I tripled the price.

I tapped my ring on the table until it drew his eyes. It was just to derail his thoughts. Not many knew what it represented, so I was surprised when his eyes widened.

Part Five by Me (again)

“You’re the Hatchet.”  Helix eyes got wider and wider as he stared at Toops.

On the inside I let out a groan.  That woman’s bad temper was always getting us in trouble.  And, she was too proud of that ring.  “It doesn’t matter.  This is business, right, Helix?”

“You work with a murderer, a killer.”  Helix face flushed red as he stood up knocking the chair back.

To that I shrugged.  “I’m a mercenary not a priest.  You going hire us, or do we need to move on.”

Helix gave a rough shake of his head.  “Screw both of you.”  Without another word he strode out the bar.

Toops phone beeped and she took the message with a smile.  “Well, that’s good news.”

“Oh yeah, does it stack up with you being stupid and losing us a job.  Cause, that was pretty brilliant.”  I tipped my head toward the doorway our client had left through.

Her lips curled in a vicious, pleased smile. “I got a job for my sideline.  And, I now know why Helix didn’t want to work with the Hatchet.”

“Yeah, what’s that?”

“I just got hired to kill him.”  She said on a grin.

 

 

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Bound in Chain, Part 4

Suell pale gray eyes rested on her.  He let out a long sigh.  “You aren’t going to trust me if I don’t answer.”

Neela knew it wasn’t a question.  She waited.  For once in her life, she found she had patience.

“Do you know how I came to be born, Alaget?”  Suell asked in calm, soothing tone.

She shook her head.  “I know little of you Woellian culture, High Lord Suell.”

“Of course not,” He muttered.  Those strange blue hands ran through his fight hair mussing it out of place.  “Woellian live to serve the Leader Females.  It isn’t cultural behavior.  It is pure instinct.  A proper Woellian would crawl over broken glass at a single spoken word.  There is not questioning, there is no doubt.  All of them are united in their loyalty, and commitment to them.   They exert a subtle control over us.”  His brow wrinkled very slightly.  “Their morals, their beliefs are yours.  That’s why our society is so liberal in some respects.  Deviate behavior isn’t a threat when we all believe as one.”

“In a way there are three genders for them.  Male, female, and leader.  Leader females are a breed apart.”  His eyes turned inward the pale gray darkening.  “Beautiful, strong, brave, intelligent, deadly, protective, and leadership instincts to their very cores. “  Suell stopped speaking.

Neela wriggled in her seat.  In a few minutes she’d learned more than she’d ever known of the Woellian.  Yet, none of this answered her question.  “Thank you, High Lord.”  She stood up to leave.

His hand snapped out with blurring speed.  “Please sit, I’ll tell you the rest.”   He didn’t speak again until she was seated.  “My mother was born with a genetic flaw.  Many Woellian are our genetics are weak prone to random mutations due to damage inflicted on us a long time ago.  Sometimes we adapt in marvelous ways.  And, sometimes whole generations die from horrid diseases.”

Qwe-Fale-eiaa, my mother, was told she wouldn’t be allowed to breed.  They couldn’t risk the disease from passed on.  However, she wanted children.  She pointed out to the leader female in charge of the Qwe that if she managed to breed with an Alaget the child wouldn’t be flawed.   Qwe Leader Female didn’t agree.  My mother, who was once a high rank, grew angry and spilt off from her people.  She probably had a tendency to be an eiaa in her.  Otherwise, she never would be able to defy a leader female.  She searched out a male Alaget willing to accept children dying until the managed to breed one who might go insane before adulthood.”

Neela bit her lip.  “I don’t understand.”

“My mother was an eiaaEiaa tend to breed other eiaa.  My mother’s defiance doomed me.  Yet, if she hadn’t rebelled I’d never been born.”  His eyes flickered with red, his face growing taunt across his delicate bones.  “No one should have that right over others.”

“But,” Neela started without thinking, “didn’t this prove the Qwe leader female right.  Breeding was a bad idea.”

Suell’s face slackened as his mouth hung open. Then, he laughed.  “Perhaps, you are right, Citizen Neela.  But, I’ll never agree.  Do you trust me now?”

“No,” She said.  “I’m beginning to have faith you do not lie, High Lord Suell.”

“Good, someday I hope to earn all your trust.”  He tipped his head at the door.  “You may go and rest.  If you are hungry let someone know.”

As Neela dragged her weak body out the door, she began to hope.

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200 Words at a Time, Part 4

Okay, I had a really hard time picking the next part to continue.  But, this one caught my attention.  So, check out Chuck Wendig, thanks to Megan, the Wanderer, and Dave Kearney

Stewart

(Meagan)

“Yes, this penthouse view is quite breathtaking,” I turned to the luscious blonde before me, “but not nearly as lovely as—

A thunder clap, and then I was standing in a small, glowing circle, surrounded by a gaggle of chanting fools in robes.

“Oh great Sorasel im Palat, lord of fire and darkness, fell devourer of the innocent, conqueror of—” Arcane symbols covered the speaker’s robes, nearly obscuring the heavy crimson fabric.

“Yes, yes, get on with it.” I gestured with my gin martini.

He paused, then finished in a post-pubescent squeak, “We invoke thy true name and bid thee do our will.”

“Oh you do, do you? Well I want you to send me back. I was having a smashing time, and that girl may not have two brain cells to rub together, but she looked quite likely to do some rubbing together. If you know what I mean.”

The robe-wearers shuffled, and whispered amongst themselves. The leader piped up again. “O great Sorasel im—

“Stop that, stop that,” I interrupted. “Only my dad calls me that. I prefer my middle name. If you must speak, call me Stewart.”

More shuffling and whispering from my summoners.

*****

 (Wanderer)

“Oh great and mightyStewart….” the leader—whose pasty face was mostly spots—began again. “We bind thee to our will.”

I took a sip of my martini—extra dirty, extra olives—and raised an eyebrow at the little prat. Summoners used to know what they were doing. I looked at the floor where their demon trap was sloppily drawn with what smelled unmistakably like fresh, store-bought spray paint. I sighed. What happened to the blood of a virgin? Or even the vital fluids of an unwilling Christian priest?

I noticed their silence; I could practically smell their fear—a mixture of piss and that foul deodorant that promised them flocks of women. I took another gulp of the martini—it was perfect. Almost as flawless as my blonde client who was no doubt currently working her minimal intelligence into a sweat in an effort to find me.

“Well? Get on with it.”

“We bound you, oh great Sora—er—Stewart.”

“I heard that part. So,” I made sure to smile with all of my teeth. “You’ve bound me. Congratulations. Now, what do you plan to do?”

“Jaime, this was your idea.” One of the other robed figures poked the leader.

*****

(Yours truly)

“Just give me a second to think.” The one called Jaime jabbed an elbow into his pimple-faced accomplice who tripped on his robe and stumbled out of the ring of table salt surrounding the group.

Amateurs.

Before the wannabe summoner could scramble back inside the protective circle, I bound his feet with a tendril of flame and pulled him kicking and screaming toward me. With a wink, I yanked out his entrails and sucked them down like a bowl of spaghetti. Normally, I’m not such a messy eater but I got caught up in the theatre of the moment. And besides, he made me spill my martini.

Licking my fingers, I turned to the trembling gaggle. “Alright my little binders,” I said.  “The time for playing has ended. Either command me or release me from your service.”

Sweating profusely, the one called Jaime fumbled inside his oversized robe. “Behold,” he shrieked, thrusting a small wooden crucifix in my direction.

A shiver rippled through my body. I had not seen a sacramental of such power in millennia. How the Cross of St Michael came to be in the possession of this snot-nosed punk was a question that would have to wait. The more pressing question was whether he knew how to use it.

Me,  Myself, and I

Jamie’s hands shook as he held the crucifix in the air the wood gleaming.   He licked his lips as lines of sweat rolled down his face.

“Hurry up, Jamie, his dangerous.”  One of the cloaked figures squeaked.

Jamie nodded.  ” Meat esta animo…”  He stuttered, “That doesn’t sound right.” Then reached under his robe and jostled out a notepad.  “Okay, Mea est anima tua.”

His Latin accent was atrocious.  As upsetting as that was I started to worry.  This wool headed idiot seemed to know the words of the ritual.  “What are you doing?”

Jamie throat bulged out as he took a hard swallow.  “Voluntas quae tua sunt.  Et verba mea cor tuum.”

Not good, not good at all.  “Look, kid, tell me what you want.  Maybe we could work out a deal.”

Some of fear stink receded from the air.  Jamie fingers tightened around the notepad.  “Paenitentiam, angelus cecidit, paenitentiam.”

A pause as Jamie glanced around expectedly.   I felt a wellspring of relief.  He didn’t know the end part.  “Well, now that you’re done slaughtering Latin what are you doing to do with me?”

Jamie frowned for a moment, and then his expression brightened.   “Sorasel im Palat habeo vobis.”

Well crap.

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Bound in Chain, Part 3

An hour later she’d been bathed, dressed in a flowing dark blue dress, flown in a land ship, and taken up an elevator to a penthouse.  As the slick doors soundlessly opened the slave master shoved her forward.  She tried to gain her steps but her bad leg slide out from her.  A cry echoed against the glass and steel entry way as deformed leg twisted under her.

Two Alaget males reached down and pulled her up.  One lifted her into his massive arms and the other opened the door.  “Suell, she’s here.”  The man’s voice rumbled against her side.

He stepped from a door still wearing the black suit from earlier.  “They took their time.  Why are you carrying her?”  Those gray eyes started to take on a red tinge.

“Slave master shoved her.  Her body isn’t strong on the right side.”  He motioned to her disfigured body.   “You said to make sure we reduced her discomforts.”

Suell gave a tight nod the red fading.  “Neela, when do you want to start your training? Would you ready for it tonight, or would tomorrow be better.”

She blinked several times. “I don’t understand.  Are you giving me a choice?  You brought me, High Lord Suell. You may do whatever you want.”

He ran the shockingly blue hand through the mass of white.  “I brought your services.   In that I had no choice, but I will not treat you like filth.  Anyone who does so is merely someone covering their inadequacies.”  Those gray eyes looked into hers for the first time.  “We need to talk.  Are you hungry?”

Neela felt herself almost annoyed at him.  Truly, she was grateful to not be a mere chattel, to be beaten when convenient.  But, she had already resolved herself to that life.  It seemed she needed to realign her thinking once again.  “No, High Lord Suell, I am fine.”

Suell grunted.  “Put her in office, I’ll be there shortly.”

The man strode forward her legs swinging as they made it down the corridor to another set of doors.  He opened the second one to a sprawling office decorated with potted plants.  The bright blues, greens, yellows, and oranges told her they were probably from Knilt-on, Woellian home world.   He settled her into the heavily cushioned lounge across from the desk.  “Don’t get up.  He’ll be annoyed you didn’t listen to him when gets in here.”  The man left her.

Neela felt relief.  She didn’t know where she stood with these people.  Never before had she’d been this nervous.  She expected to be a slave, but now she wasn’t sure what she was.

Suell walked into her peripheral vision and passed her to sit in the large wood and cloth office chair.  “I’m sure you have questions.”

She suspected this was an opening, but she didn’t know the protocol.  Instead, she bent her head, waiting.

He let out a loud, heavy sigh.  “Ask your questions, please.  Stop standing on ceremony.  I have no patience for it.”

“Well,” She paused, and swallowed hard.  “Are you a half-breed? I mean, I know Woellian fight slavery constantly.”

His whole body flinched.  “Yes, I am.  I’m also an eiaa.  So, I don’t share their views on things.”

Eiaa, doesn’t that mean stupid, worthless idiot.”  Neela pale brow wrinkled up in puzzlement.

He shook his head.  “Only to an Alaget.  In Wol it is the rank of someone who can’t connect to the mind of the leader females.  If you can’t connect you aren’t a Woellian.  As far as they’re concerned.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.”  She felt bad that he wasn’t a full one race or the other.  And, on top of that he was some reject.

He shrugged, “An old wound.”

“Why did you want me?  You could have hired the services of any guild doctor.  And, you wouldn’t have to swallow the cost of training me either.”  Neela had no illusions that she was anything special.

“All that is true,” Suell waved a hand out.  “However, my noble house often goes on long engagements assisting my grandmother who is the ambassador to Amon.  No guild doctors were willing to be removed off world for any long period of time.  And, Woellian doctors tend to treat flesh wounds too casually and often to lead to unnecessary deaths with my Alaget employees.  And, in all honestly if I train, and pay you a modest salary it works out to very close to what I’d pay for a guild doctor.  I have one on staff due to the militant nature of our work.”

The news was rather startling.  The Nobles’ organizations, regardless of what type, didn’t do anything off world usually.   The political situations had to be watched closely.  One never knew when an ally or enemy would go for the throat.  One of the reasons she feared for her brother.

Suell tapped a data pad a few times.  “It seems you can be scheduled for training sometime tomorrow.”

“Why wouldn’t you make me infertile?”  The question forced its way out of her.  Neela wanted to ask, but had been very afraid.

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200 Words at a Time, Part 3

The telephone of writing continues.   This time I picked a story that stuck with me.  It was something I’d normally read being a horror with a religious bent.  But,  it compelled none the less.  Here’s my attempt.  

The beginning is from boydstun215.   The second part is from Adrienne.  And,  of course, the challenge is from good ole’ Chuck Wendig.

200 Words at time, Part 3

By Boydstun215

The soldiers carried the man across the narthex and through the nave. They lumbered along like some giant, wounded insect, three pairs of cold, stiff legs shuffling clumsily beneath a motley carapace of steel and leather. Close upon their heels, the master-of-arms was careful to avoid the hissing droplets of blood that the insect left in its wake. His sword was drawn.

At the end of the nave and standing at the foot of the chancel, the bishop held a gilded crosiers at arm’s length as if to thwart to advance of the shambling mass making its way toward the altar. In his other hand he grasped a large silver crucifix. Despite his advanced age and diminutive stature, the crimson-robed bishop made for an imposing figure. “No further,” he whispered. The soldiers stopped , unsure of themselves. One of the men looked down nervously into the pale face of the man he carried while the other two turned their heads in askance to the master-at-arms. For several moments the only sound was the steady hiss of the blood as fell from the lifeless man and met the cold marble floor.

“It must be done here,” said the master-at-arms. “Take him to the altar.”

By Adrienne

The bishop moved aside, letting the soldiers scramble up the few steps to the altar. His crimson robes did nothing to shield him from the cold radiating from their frozen armor. The slick marble stairs proved difficult for the exhausted soldiers as they stumbled and fell under their heavy load. Grim-faced, the master–at-arms followed their procession, only sheathing his sword to offer aid in heaving the unconscious man atop the bare altar.

The soldiers scurried away, stealing a glance at the stone table before fixing their gaze on their snow-crusted boots. The master-at-arms moved to the side of the altar where the man’s head rested. His shallow breaths produced a faint mist in the cold air. Steady drops of blood from his mouth had already created a small pool that hissed quietly on the stone. The master-at-arms looked down at the man’s face, searching for any hint of the soldier he once knew, but finding only the thing he had become. A sharp intake of air through the pale, bloodied lips tore the master-at-arms away from his thoughts.

The bishop joined the master-at-arms. Two terrified altar boys carrying trays covered with vials, books, crucifixes, and various cutting tools followed closely behind.

“It is time.”

By Me

The bishop took the vial from the boys with a slow deliberation he pulled the cork free.  The once dead soldier began to stir as he shook it, lightly, over him.  The liquid splashed against the body glowing for a moment as an acrid scent wafted upward.

The soldier’s lips pulled back bloodied teeth bared.  A low, animal like growl erupted from his mouth.

The bishop glanced at the master-at-arms.  “Hold him.”   And, he turned even as the man moved to obey.  He lifted up the cross with great reverence.   He muttered quiet words over the struggling thing.

The skin darkened, as more feral growls overwhelmed every other sound.  The soldier fought as the master-at-arms’ muscles strained to keep him still.

The bishop handed the cross back to the altar boys.  He took up a knife, and several empty vials.  He motioned to the book, “Read.”

One of the boys opened the book.  His eyes stretched wide and hands unsteady began to read. The archaic words weaved in between the snaps and snarls.

Bishop made a careful slash across the flesh of the soldier.  The blood was a dark violet against its skin.  He held the vial against the trickle allowing it to fill with blood.  “Soon, we can finish this.”

 

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