Saturday, December 21, 2013

Book Review: Johannes Cabal the Necromancer

I'm sure you saw the title of the book I'm reviewing and are already sold on it, but I'll give my thoughts about it anyway. It's the kind of title that just makes me sad I won't come up with something as good.

And look at the beautiful cover on that thing, it's a work of art, it is. This is a series of books by the same author and I've read the second as well which I'll probably review some time as well. I have the paperback version of this which of the three sizes of paperback books I've seen it is the middle size, and I hate that size because it automatically makes it $5 more expensive than a normal size paperback. Anyway probably time to get to a review and not rambling.

As you may have guessed from the title of the book Johannes Cabal is the main character and he also happens to be a necromancer who makes a bet with the devil. Turns out he sold his soul to Satan and the lack of a soul is messing up his experiments so he wants it back. All he has to do is use a demonic carnival to get one hundred people to sign their souls over to the devil in a year and he'll get his soul back. Johannes has no clue how to deal with people so he recruits his brother Horst to help him. The fact that Horst got turned into a vampire eight years ago due to some mistakes on Johannes part means it will take some convincing.

The relationship between the two men is interesting to see play out, especially with a vampire playing the role of the honest moral character among the two. They play off each other really well and the problems between them make sense even with the backstory not being completely explored. And that's a strength this book rides all the way to the end as you don't learn what's driving Johannes until the end. He does awful things and deals with bad people, but he's still a sympathetic character and Horst manages to help that fact along. It's a book that does a great job of having an unlikable main character all the way through, but you sympathize with him and enjoy the journey.

The backdrop of the demonic traveling carnival is a fun one to see all the stories play out in. There's lot of different freaks and attractions that provide nice cameos and a nice sense of humor to a story that would seem to have a really dark narrative. The balance between the darkness and serious aspects of the story while still having fun and making jokes is well done. I do find at times the author tries to be a little too cute with the jokes and language, but those only happen once in a while and it never bothers me for long.

The stakes of the bet come close to the deadline in a city that may be too good for Johannes to find anybody corruptible and with the life on the line what measures will he be willing to take to win the bet?

Read the book and find out. I recommend checking this book out. It's a playful book with a serious edge, but it's always fun to read. It's a quick read as well as everything just flows and it's hard to put down. If you enjoy dark humor this is a book you can grab for an enjoyable read.

Friday, November 1, 2013

National Novel Writing Month 2013

So I've started off Nano with a bang this year garnering over 5,000 words in day one so I have a good start and I should be able to capitalize on the momentum with a solid outline in place. Although I should have a separate piece of paper for the random names I'm coming up with who are probably going to matter later on instead of scribbling names in the margins. So beyond that the terrible minds challenge for this Friday is to post your first 1667 words and since I've done that I'm more than willing to share,also I'm sharing the first 1799 words so deal with it, and enjoy!

Smoke poured into the sky from the skyline of Port Fortune. Tarek Karp stood on the bow of his ship and looked through the spy glass to see the fires spread throughout the city. He handed the spyglass down to Sufjan then jumped down to the deck.

“The harbor seems clear of any fighting for right now, but the city is a mess. It seems you're information was outdated, Captain.”

“Could be they just moved faster than we expected.”

“Aye, they're definitely moving quickly,” Tarek said. “Any chance this is going to deter you from your mission?”

“No, I'm honor sworn to return the Prince to his father. I've never given the King reason to doubt my loyalty before and this skirmish isn't going to be the thing that does it in.”

“It's a bit more than a skirmish. There's a good portion of the town on fire. I don't know if you've noticed all the smoke in the air above the city.”

“Then my mission is even more urgent than before.”

“Unless he was already evacuated.”

“We would have seen a ship bound for Fort Kosin. There are protocols to be followed.”

“You soldiers and your protocol, being predictable is how you get killed.”

“It's not often we evacuate members of the royal family so I'm sure there aren't any out there who know how it is carried out.”

“Get your men armed and armored, Captain. We're going to have to carry this out quickly. I don't want to leave my ship long. You're paying me well, but not well enough to lose my ship.”

“We'll be back as quickly as we can.”

“I can guarantee that, I'll be going with you.”

“And leaving your ship all alone?”

“I have plenty of men capable of guarding it from the neer do wells that hang out on the docks. I'm going with you to make sure we find the Prince and I get my payday when all is said and done.”

“I'll have my men ready to move out as soon as we dock.”

The Captain went below deck and Tarek turned back to the city and watched as the destruction drew nearer and he could start to make out the fires more easily, or perhaps they were just growing larger. Everything about the bad feeling he had when he accepted the job made sense now. This would be the last time he overruled his gut feeling because of an outrageous payout. Whenever there was a lot of money to be made there were high risks. Taking his ship to a city that the Yeskorman were coming down from the North to take was not smart.

Yeskorman, he never thought of them as the boogie man that so many other people did. Now he was smack in the middle of them and soon would be seeing them up close and personal for the first time.

“Captain, you've got us into a fine mess this time,” Sufjan said as he came up behind Tarek.

“We've been in tight spots before, Sufjan. This time you'll all be in pretty good shape, depending on how quickly those Yeskormen move through the city. Might just have to keep the riff raff off the boat until I get back with the Prince.”

“What should we do about refugees, sir.”

“That's an interesting question.,” Tarek said as he rubbed his chin and the stubble along it. “I don't want to say no, but we've got to be able to move fast once we've got the Prince on board. Try to keep it non-violent though, but keep yourselves the boat safe first and foremost.”

“Wouldn't expect you to run out into the middle of a battle ground.”

“Well at least I know the city, and I made a promise to Aleksa.”

“Nobody makes you do stupider things than Aleksa,” Sufjan said. “Got you taking jobs carrying a load of soldiers to Fortune and now you're going to go run out with them.”

“It's not just her there's a lot of money in it for everybody as well, plus it's good to have the royal family owing us a favor. Make the inspections a little more lenient.”

“As long as we get the ship back in one piece to keep making runs that will work well. Aren't you going to get some armor on?”

“I'm not a soldier, I don't use armor, I move fast and avoid getting hit not wearing enough armor that they can beat the shit out of me,” Tarek said. “This city is looking worse the closer we get. I can't believe I got talked into this.”

“There's always time to turn around.”

“Not with those soldiers down there. They're better than we are at fighting so we'll just have to play this one out. Beside, Matawan has too much good business for us to get locked out of the country for pissing off the royals. Just keep that fish gutter of yours out and that should intimidate anybody trying to get on board.”

“Aye, aye, Captain.”

The harbor was more crowded than usual as ships fled the city packed with people who watched the burning city as they pulled away from it. Chisek kept the ship moving forward toward the destination through all the obstacles. The ship slowed as they came near the dock and Captain Kazak led his soldiers onto the deck of the ship. Seven soldiers in chain mail with shields and swords at the ready. They cut an impressive figure.

“I thought you were coming with us, Captain,” Tarek said.

“I am, I just don't need the kind of armor you do. I prefer my rapier to a slashing weapon like you have.”

“Then you can stay behind us for now. I like to have a big solid wall in front and no offense, but you don't know how to work with us either.”

“Always happy to be in the back and watching others do the work.”

“Good, we're on the move.”

Kazak led the way down the gangplank as soon as it hit the dock and they pushed their way through the people milling around on the dock looking for a way out of the city. At the end of the dock a group of armed men were holding back an even bigger crowd than what had made their way past already. Tarek grabbed the dockmaster who stood behind the line looking worried.

“Hector, it's been a while since I've seen you on the docks, you look worried today.”

“Tarek, you have quite a gift for understatement. We've got a full scale retreat going on right now.”

“So I can see. Do you think you're men can hold the dock so my boat is safe?”

“Depends on how long you're in the city, but it's going to be tough, and we might need something in return. A lot of us working here would like to get out of the city as well. I know you're ship is better than the other things we've got here for us to use.”

“Ready to flee your dock already?”

“It's been like this since last night. There's only so long we can put up with this. The city has some great guards, but they weren't ready for a full scale assault. You know Fortune, though. Lots of mercenaries laying around that we can hire and throw into the fight and give us some breathing room. It looks like you've got a good group of mercenaries with you.”

“Not mercenaries, Matawan soldiers. They're here to get some important people out of the city. So hopefully this dock will be secure when we come back and we can get you on the Terraphin when we leave.”

“That sounds good to me, I'll do my best to keep people off the dock, but it's going to be tough.”

“That's all I can ask for.”

The armed men at the end of the dock open a small gap for the soldiers to pass through and quickly close behind Tarek to stop anybody from slipping past them. The crowd is slow to give because of it's size, but people are more than happy to get out of the way of heavily armed soldiers. Two blocks gets them out of the press of people and into the city proper. Buildings are abandoned or boarded up with people watching from upper story windows with arrows nocked ready to fight off anybody who tried to break in. Kazak led his men into a fast trot which created quite a din as they moved through the city. They covered four blocks with just stragglers fleeing their buildings before they got the the Matawan ambassador building.

“Captain Kazak Morgan reporting,” Kazak said as he walked up to the guards at the gate.

“I need your orders, soldier,” one of the guards said.

Kazak reached into a satchel slung along his hip and pulled out a rolled up up paper that he handed to the guard. He gave it a quick perusal before handing it back.

“I've got bad news for you, Captain. They've taken Prince Starn as well as all the other ambassadors to the Capitol building. More security and bigger walls. They felt everybody would be safer there. We've only got a small contingent of soldiers left here to protect the building.”

“They just left you guys here to protect a house?” Tarek said. “They do know that the city is falling, right?”

“This is sovereign Matawan land, Tarek. It's not something we take lightly. But he does make a good point. There is no need to get you all killed. I believe my orders should speak for my authority so round up all your soldiers and come with me. We're going to get the Prince and then get out of here. No need to have you all die for a political point.”

“Yes, sir,” the soldier said. “I can't say it's an order I'd want to argue with.”

Two soldiers climb up the wall on either side of the gate and make their way along to send their fellow soldiers to the gate.

“How long ago did they move to the Capitol?”

“Early this morning, probably eight hours ago. That's when the Yeskormen broke through the city walls. We can hold off a riot fairly well here, but for a full scale assault we just don't have the man power or wall strength.”

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Drop

I finally wrote something again. Here's a Alternate History WWII Kaiju story for a terribleminds challenge.


Petty Officer Nolan Daniels mopped the deck of the USS Massachusetts and looked at the island they were anchored just off shore of. It looked nice with a long beach, palm trees, and the scantily clad female natives. The warning horn blared and he grabbed the glasses from his pocket and put them on. He turned toward the ocean and the site of the air detonation nuke. He could almost make out the gray specks of the empty ships that would prove how efficient it was at taking out a fleet. The experts said they were at a safe distance, but if the waves were stronger than expected everybody could swim to the island, at least theoretically.

Beneath the deck Nolan could hear people strapping all the ammo and supplies down tight in preparation of a possible shockwave, and the definite waves that would be coming, but thankfully that wasn't his job today so he leaned on the edge of the railing and waited. He hadn't seen a nuclear explosion before, but he'd heard from other guys who had and it sounded impressive, and nobody had seen one detonated above water before. Another horn blared and shortly after a second, and that meant it was close. More people came up above deck and officers tried to keep people from bunching up too much, but to little avail.

The waves rocked the ship back and forth and did the same to the gray spots on the horizon that everybody watched. Nothing happened as they stood there. The crowd started to fidget as the wait dragged on. Finally a plane came overhead from the horizon and most of the sailors looked up, but Nolan kept his eyes on the horizon and saw the detonation. It blossomed silently then formed the mushroom cloud that everybody had told him about. At that point everybody had turned their attention back and the sound of the detonation reached the ship as well the shockwave that rocked the ship backwards and had lots of the sailors staggered backward. The ship righted itself and was buffeted by some more waves, but nothing compared to the initial shockwave. The sailors clapped for the display and the gray specks on the horizon couldn't be seen anymore.

The sailors started to go back to their work, but Nolan kept watch. The waves started to grow bigger and rocked the ship more violently again. A bubble of water rose up out of the ocean and broke and poured down over a scaled reptilian head that pushed through the surface. A roar went up from the sailors and the monster lifted his whole head from the ocean and let loose with a bellow that made Nolan tremble. The monster pushed forward through the water coming right at the Massachusetts.

“Get the guns armed and loaded,” Commander Hershall shouted from the conn tower.

The announcement's replaced his voice as they commanded everybody to their battle stations. Nolan ran toward the bow and the 16” gun he manned. The rest of the crew had already unplugged the barrels, so he got to the interior and helped load the ammunition. Turret one had all three barrels loaded and they fired all three guns at once. The rest of the armament went off shortly afterward and everything fell silent. Nolan wandered out of the battery and saw no sign of the monster anymore. One of the men by the railing pointed toward the water and the wake moving along the surface, much larger than any torpedo. The monster's head burst out of the water again maybe fifty feet from the ship. All the turrets fired a full salvo that sent fire nearly to the beast let alone the ordinance slamming into it's head and body, which Nolan could barely make out through the smoke. The machine guns kept up their constant fire, but their noise didn't compare to the howl the monster let out. A spider-like leg slammed into the deck ten feet from him and ripped through the deck, Nolan had no idea how far, but it was definitely too far.

The monster's head broke through the smoke with its mouth wide open. It clamped down on turret number one and ripped the assembly from the ship. It reared its head back and sent the machinery flying away. The leg near Nolan came out of the deck then slammed down with a second leg in the hole that used to be turret number one and detonated the spare ammo. The explosion lifted Nolan off the deck and he flew with his limbs pinwheeling before he slammed into the water.

It took him several seconds to get his bearings, and he swallowed a good amount of disgusting water before that happened then started swimming toward the island. First he had to go around fifty feet of Massachusetts, but he was swimming faster than he ever had before. None of the big guns were firing, but most of the machine guns were still going, or maybe that was just the ringing in his ears. Nolan didn't look back to find out, he just kept going. He kept the island in sight and ignored the devastation behind him. He swam until his hands dug into the ocean floor and he dragged himself forward then turned and sat in the shallows and looked back. The Massachusetts was listing badly as the monster stood tall over it. The two front legs kept striking holes into the ship, but the monster didn't look like it had taken a full broadside from the battle ship. There was some damage, but not even as much as another ship would have taken. Nolan got to his feet and ran from the edge of the island. The natives weren't there anymore and they knew best.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Smooth Operator

Here's another flash fiction piece from the message board invasion of what the artists are doing. This time the story is based on this picture


Miesha clung to the ivy along the wall and waited for the light to leave the window. She sidled along the wall on the ledge and crossed the eight feet to the window then wedged the dagger under the frame to pop it up before she could work her fingers underneath and open it. She slid into the gap, closed the window behind her, and moved to the door. As the footsteps moved away into the distance she slowly opened the door and entered the hallway. The servant was three doors down and only halfway down the hall as Miesha tucked herself along the wall and slowly followed along behind him. Eventually he checked all the rooms and made his way down the stairs.

Finally alone Miesha made her way to the master bedroom of the mansion and found the doors locked. An obstacle, but not an insurmountable one. She slipped her picks out of her pouch and slowly worked at the tumblers of the lock until it gave way and she pushed the door open. The moon was shining brightly into the room and all the reflections off polished wood and the shiny metal lying around confirmed that she was in the right room. A vanity held the middle position against one of the walls and Miesha made her way over there and started opening the drawers. The first drawer she opened had a bunch of letters and envelops that she sorted through and found nothing of interest. The second drawer had more letters, but on top was a necklace with a large ruby hung on it. She pushed her hood back and slid it over her neck and lifted her hair up to let the gold chain fall against her neck. Always nice when the haul offered a way to carry it out.

The third drawer was a larger one and when she pulled it open their was a jewelry box inside of it. Miesha lifted it up and a bell started ringing in the distance. She looked down and saw a metal plate under where the box had been. She opened a pouch and quickly dumped drawers of jewelry into it then closed it up and tied it.

The door of the room opened and a man burst in with a sword in his hand. Miesha spun toward him as she drew her dagger and released it as she squared up with him. The blade slid into his neck and blood bubbled around there as he released a soundless scream. She hooked the pouch onto her belt and went over to the man to retrieve her dagger, but it wouldn't come out, apparently lodged into the spine somehow. She took the sword from the ground and opened the window and as she knew from how she planned her entrance there was no easy way to the ground. Miesha could hear a bunch of feet stomping on the stairs as people made her way up so she took a deep breath and jumped out of the window and hit the ground twenty feet below and immediately went into a forward roll, but she definitely felt something tweak in her right ankle.
She got up to her feet and felt the pain in her foot, but kept going and didn't let the pain slow her down, there was enough adrenaline pumping that the pain wasn't too bad, for now. A bunch of people started screaming from the window, but none of them were willing to take the leap, but the noise would attract the city guards. Miesha angled to the left toward the wall and jumped off her left foot and grabbed the rope she had left there. She pulled herself up and levered herself over the wall for another drop although this one was only about eight feet, but her right ankle gave out again and she rolled along the ground before getting to her feet again.

She was reduced to a limping run down the street with the gas lights providing little more illumination than the moon. She was halfway over the first bridge when a pair of guards showed up behind her yelling for her to stop. Miesha ignored them and started going faster trying to ignore the pain in her ankle as she ran. The guards were closing in, but she still had a good amount of distance when she reached the town proper instead of all the rich people houses. She ducked down the first alley she found and clambered up the crumbling bricks to the roof and started moving along the tops of the buildings. The guards started shouting from ground level flummoxed by her disappearance. The city wall to her left was only a couple of buildings away so she ran and made a leap to cross the first gap. Her ankle held up so she kept going and jumped the next, then jumped again and landed on the catwalk of the city wall then jumped again and once again landed hard with a somersault.

Miesha kept up her limp run and made it a good way into the thick forest and was confident she had lost her pursuit and stopped running. She grabbed the pouch of stolen goods and saw a good amount of reflection from the moonlight that trickled through the overgrowth although nothing compared to the ruby on her chest.

Monday, June 24, 2013

My Gal Scout

This short story is part of a competition in a message board I go to where the writers make stories out of artist drawings and vice versa. This picture is where I got the inspiration and you can see more of his pretty drawings Here so without further ado here is my story. All 844 words of it.


Even with the thrusters and a parachute I felt the mech make solid contact with the ground. Right in the middle of the manufacturing park like she was supposed to be, a nice surprise for guidance to work that well on a drop. A quick scan of the video feeds confirmed everything the instruments told me; there were no hostile weapons present, just a bunch of surprised and scared workers who scattered as I guided the mech forward.

I fired a rocket that blew open a loading bay door in manufacturing building six. A quick jump with a little thruster boost dropped me and Scout in the building. Now there were hostiles in the area, exactly the thing I'd expected from an illegal build site. Five guards were arrayed around the room shooting at Scout, but they'd have to get lucky to even do enough damage to slow us down a little bit. I swung the right arm across the mech's body at table height with the machine gun firing steadily. All of the workers fleeing added to the confusion, but anybody involved in this was in trouble even if that created more of a body count than command wanted. I raised the left arm and unleashed the flame thrower and made solid contact with the guard on the walkway who screamed and flailed before he flipped over the guardrail and crashed to the floor below.

The targeting system put up red boxes over the two guards still on their feet so I swung the right hand over and unloaded with the machine gun to tear through the flipped tables and the men behind them. I put Scout into motion and he burst through the huge double doors and knocked one off the hinges as we entered the long hallway. Scout's evasion systems did an automatic quick step to the right as an RPG flew past and exploded against the wall behind us. I replied with a missile of my own that detonated against their security post; blasted it to fragments and filled them with shrapnel. I got Scout moving forward again and watched the display for the isotope sniffer as it kept going up and then red lined.

I turned Scout and again we slammed through a pair of double doors, this time into a lab. And this lab seemed to be where the guards had decided to make their stand as Scout was rocked by heavy gunfire and the mech staggered to the right to stay on his feet from the impact. The only plus side was these guys wouldn't use explosives as they didn't want the laser in the middle of the lab being destroyed. I was just the opposite so with a quick lock I fired a missile that inexplicably connected with one of their bullets and exploded in midair, so I fired another. This missile flew true and exploded the makeshift machine gun nest and sent the men wielding it flying. The targeting screen showed ten guards outlined in red still up and firing and doing a lot of damage to Scout's paint job. I rotated the upperbody of Scout while unloading with all of the weapons I had. The machine gun on the right, the flame thrower on the left, and the small flechette guns above the flame thrower. It was a terrifying display while doing it, I couldn't imagine being on the receiving end. All the soldiers were down on the floor; Some of them dead or dying and the rest cowering for their lives.

I grabbed the package of explosives next to me and opened the front hatch, my least favorite part of this mission. I dropped to the floor with the bag on one shoulder and my pistol in the other. I attached two bundles of C4 to each end of the laser module. I grabbed the ladder to get back into Scout and bullets pinged off the metal next to me. I dropped into a crouch and aimed down my pistol, but Scout reacted first and ripped apart the chest of my attacker with the flechette launcher. I scrambled up the ladder quickly and the hatch sealed behind me. I put Scout into a full run the way we came in. Outside the loading bay security had set up with a lot of men, but nothing pegged as immediately dangerous.

Scout leapt into the air as I put on full thrusters and dropped some mines out the back of the mech as we lifted over the buildings and out of the manufacturing plant while the mines exploded amidst the security forces. Once we hit the ground I detonated the C4. Manufacturing building six went up in a series of explosions. Way more than just the C4 would have done, the result of all the volatile material they were using for building stuff.

“Commander Kyle Warren ready for pick up outside the target zone. Illegal weapon was been destroyed along with the manufacturing building.”

“Good work, Commander. We're coming in for pickup now.”

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Yippee Ki Yay, Nerf Herder

I sat at the bar with my third Jack and coke in front of me as I waited for Madeline. Fifteen years of service in the army with a lot of that time spent on various fronts and meeting up with her was making me more nervous than I'd been there. I turned on the bar stool and watched the entrance and saw her come in. She looked as stunning as the day she left me five years ago. Short brown hair framed her heart shaped face perfectly. I got up from my seat and made a beeline to the bathroom before she could spot me.

My pep talk staring at the mirror was cut short by a screaming and mechanical voices from the dining area. I confirmed my fears with a platoon of robo-soldiers. Ten machines designed to work perfectly together and now liberated from government control as members of the Dedicated Intelligent Electronic Harbingers of Absolute Robot Dictatorship. The bane of his life for the past year, but it also meant he knew how to take them on and neutralize their Strategic Threat Analysis/Reaction programming and the Weapon Active Radar System once in combat. I checked my phone and found it jammed, standard procedure for the robots, but they forgot to check the bathrooms. They always did, and with the opening I had left my service pistol at home, but being Psy-Ops I was a weapon.

I could take out a platoon by myself in the field, but there I wouldn't have to worry about a bunch of civilian hostages being killed, including Madeline. I went into the handicapped stall and brought my foot down in an axe kick to remove one of the ends of the hand rail, then ripped the other end free giving myself a club. I opened the door and got a good look at the robots, the smartest thing those fuckers did was paint themselves all the same so we couldn't identify the leader.

I focused my mental powers and grabbed the fire controls of two of the robots and had them fire at two other robots. Enough to mess up the friend or foe systems and hopefully do serious damage. At the same time I pushed off the ground to leap ten feet towards the entrance where two robots held Madeline and the hostess. I brought the metal rod down over the head of the robot right behind Madeline with a solid thunk that forced him to the ground. The other robot turned as the hostess dropped to the ground and I swung as hard as I could and lifted the robot off the ground and sent him flying into the bar.

The two robots who fired on their compatriots didn't do much damage, but did set off the STAR system and were gunned down thanks to my efforts. I reached out and telekinetically grabbed a serving platter and pushed it against the nearest bot as he fired his launcher. The grenade detonated and blew the robot to pieces. Half of the robot force was down as I leaped onto the bar to draw attention away from the hostages. I focused on the furthest away bot, and pushed him through the front window as he screamed “Roger, roger.”

I dropped behind the bar as the four bots focused fire on me and blew apart hundreds of bottles of liquor that I had just been standing in front of. I stood up and threw the pole then grabbed it telekinetically and pushed it harder and it went straight through the chest of one of the remaining bots and pinned the lifeless metal against the wall. I stood up over the bar and only two robots were left standing. The other two were being ganged up on by the other restaurant patrons. I propelled myself up in the air and pulled the metal bar back to me as I landed behind one of the robots and grabbed him in a strangle hold. Obviously ineffective as he didn't need to breath, but it did give me a good amount of leverage to twist and disconnect the head from the processor in the head, from the power source in the body.

I lifted the lifeless hulk and flung it through the air directly into the last standing robot and the two went down in a pile. I charged after the projectile and swung a hard blow as the bot tried to stand and sent the head flying to stop any thoughts of retaliation. Madeline slowly made her way to her feet and I pushed through the disoriented crowd to steady her.

“You never could leave work behind could you?”

“Glad to see your sense of humor hasn't disappeared.”

“You came out of the bathroom,” she said. “Nervous about seeing me again?”

“Sounds kind of silly considering I just beat up a bunch of robots to save you.”

“And everybody else here, but you were still nervous about seeing me.”

“I can do a lot of things with my mind, but I can't control everything.”

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Warmth of a Good Book

Once James accepted that he had no choice but to burn the books, the question became which to burn first. There were a lot of choices and all of them would serve his purposes perfectly well, but there were factors to take into account. The textbooks would burn longer, but they were expensive and if he made it out of here he'd have to buy them again if he wanted to pass his classes this semester. Not burning them wouldn't keep him warm though. Just over a week he'd been trapped in the cabin after the avalanche. Luckily the snow hadn't rolled over the house and covered the chimney, but unfortunately it was just a wood stove and not a real fireplace that might have allowed him to make his way up and out of the building. At least he had been inside unlike Rachel and Jeremy who had been outside when it happened, and he could only hope they were okay. Food was running low as well, but with planning it could last quite a few more days. Help had to be coming soon, the landlord knew people were renting the cabin, he must be aware of the avalanche as well.

Yesterday he had finished off the last of the furniture and fuel for the fire was becoming scarce as was the food supply no matter how well he rationed it. There was a decent collection of books in the cabin as well as the ones he had brought. James was gung-ho on burning the set of encyclopedias until he pulled it out and saw it was just a cardboard box decorated to look like a series of books. He'd already burned a couple of magazines, but they didn't last long, but they were better than nothing. He'd brought a couple of novels with him for the nights, but unlike the text books he actually liked reading these and didn't want to burn them. His copy of Neuromancer had seen a lot of action as he reread it regularly and a new copy just wouldn't be the same. James came to a compromise and figured the way to go about it was to stack up the books and alternate between the text books and paperbacks.

Calculus was the first book in line and the fire kept going as it finished off the wood and started on the cardboard cover before reaching the paper interior. The light was the same, but it felt colder, but that could all be in James' mind. He pulled the blanket around himself tighter as he listened to the book burn and waited to hear digging nearby. He hoped they showed up before he had to burn a book he loved.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wrestlemania Weekend Thoughts Part 2

Kind of late on this but whatever. It's a good thing though so I can talk about the Raw on Monday as well.

So Sunday started off with Dragongate USA's Mercury Rising PPV. I missed the first match because hooking my computer up to my cousin's TV didn't work, but the PS3 web app pulled through where as the X-Box 360 never worked for me.

So Scott Reed vs. Caleb Konley started the show for me, and I was surprised with how good this match was, because the tag team matches from the scene are too filled with outside interference for me to have really enjoyed. Shenanigans at the end allow the bad guy, Scott Reed. The Super Smash Bros vs. DUF was a good match. The downside being that it looks like Uno dislocated his shoulder again.

Chuck Taylor vs. Brian Kendrick was a fun match, as any match with a swamp monster at ringside should be. Lots of nice back and forth before Kendrick picked up the win. The next match was the high flyers fray and it was awesome. Christina Von Eeries arrival in the match was cool and good to see her hit some nice moves before the Young Bucks superkicked her a ton of times to get the pin. I was disappointed to see Del Sol get eliminated so quickly, but he did hit a beautiful springboard reverse hurrincanranna before he left. Felt bad for Facade as he got no reaction from the crowd, but whatever. Fox eliminated him with a meteora from the top of a ladder which was awesome. Ricochet came down and hit Fox with a 630 on a ladder to let the Bucks eliminate him, and then there was a great 2 on 1 sequence with the Young Bucks taking on Uhaa Nation. Uhaa ends up getting the win with a rollup and then hitting his awesome standing moonsault/shooting star press combo.

John Davis vs. Orange Cassidy didn't last long, but it was a solid comedy match to start with neither man moving out of the corner to attack for a minute to start the match. Davis eventually had enough shenanigans and beat up the ref and all of the Gentleman's Club including the Swamp Monster. Then we have Ricochet, Gargano & Swann vs. EITA, Tomahawk TT & CIMA and this was my favorite match of the day. There was tons of action from everybody as well as Swann getting the shit chopped out of him for most of the match. Just everything you'd want from a DG six man and Richochet picked up the win and earned a title shot. There's some good stuff after the match with Gargano being a heel towards CIMA as well which hints there will be a CIMA vs. Gargano belt vs. belt match.

Shingo vs. Akira Tozawa was the main event of the show and it was awesome, and everybody who left the show early for Mania is a fool. Hard hitting action and the finish of this match was awesome with all the fighting spirit shown that leads to tons of head drops and great near falls. Shingo gets the win with two Made in Japans and a huge lariat. My favorite show of the weekend was this one, and I'm kicking myself that I didn't buy the replay option for it.

Then it was time for Mania and I liked that the show was mostly wrestling based. No backstage stuff and only a couple of video packages, but I could have lived without them, especially the big break between Punk/Taker and Lesnar/HHH.

The opening matches were all solid and used their time well. I've realized this is long so I'm not going to go into huge detail with them. I was surprised Ziggler and Big E. didn't pick up the win, but I guess WWE doesn't plan on breaking up Team Hell No so it makes sense. I didn't foresee Henry beating Ryback at all, that was crazy in a good way.

So for the main events Punk vs. Taker was the best as everybody was expecting and it was a really good match. I don't know why Lesnar/HHH went after this, they couldn't follow it up. Punk mocked Taker perfectly throughout the match and they just did everything right. Damn that announce table for not breaking for them on the elbow drop to the outside. One of the best matches of the weekend. HHH vs. Lesnar was a little long, but I still liked the match. It did plod at times, but it was violent, and physical and I loved that about it. A really good finish for the match as well. Rock vs. Cena was better than last year, but at the end it seemed to be too much of escaping the finisher and then finally hitting the finisher that wins. That works better in Puro where wrestlers have several finishers and they do it with some speed and impact. Still a good show over all and worth watching.

Raw the next night was awesome because the crowd made it that way. WWE made a lot of good decisions on that show, but the crowd was phenomenal. The pop for everything Ziggler did while cashing in Money in the Bank was awesome. The crowd shitting all over Sheamus/Orton was great and the random wrestler chants was awesome, as was them doing the wave, and then cheering for themselves. Obviously their masterstroke came when Fandango came out and they hummed his theme music, and then continued to do that for the rest of the night, when they left the stadium, and when they rode the train home. It was fucking magical and a great way to cap off four days of wrestling.

These posts are pretty fucking dense so next year I'll try and break it up better so it's not so rough to read, but I can't help it, I get pretty excited about wrestling.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Wrestlemania Weekend Thoughts Part 1

So far I've watched two and a half indy shows so far this weekend, with Evolve 19 being plagued by connection issues, but I do have the replay of that show to watch later. Although the matches I watched were kind of disappointing, but I missed the main event, the first match, and then Super Smash Bros vs. The Young Bucks so that show was a disappointment, but I'm hopeful watching the rest of the show may make it better.

RoH's Supercard of Honor 7 was an awesome show though to cap off the night. Opening tag match was a sound, fun opener and it was quite enjoyable. Shelton Benjamin vs. Mike Bennett was my favorite match from both men in RoH that I've seen. It was phenomenal and the dirty finish worked for the match, but it was one of those super sloppy reffing things that drives me crazy.

Jay Lethal vs. Michael Elgin was phenomenal. This match had everything, and there were perfect near falls, that had me convinced either man was going to lose and was genuinely surprised when somebody kicked out. The finish to this match was fucking awesome. Elgin hits a big powerbomb off the top rope, then a lariat, a turnbuckle bomb, and then an Elgin bomb to get the win. It was awesome. SCUM attacks them after the match and then leads into the SCUM vs. RoH match.

This 10 man tag was a solid match and everybody got to get some good spots in and look good and of course SCUM gets the win after some shenanigans which isn't unexpected, but pretty welcome. Karl Anderson vs. Roderick Strong was a good match from both men. Kind of disappointed Strong didn't get the win here, but both men looked good.

Matt Taven vs. Adam Cole vs. Matt Hardy was better than I expected, but I feel like right now they are really giving Taven short shift as the champ with the Hardy/Cole feud taking center stage. Truth Martini's antics ringside distract from him as well, but I actually like Martini working with a less well known guy, but I've only seen Taven on the last two PPVs so I'm not sure how good he is, but I feel like he's better than being minimized in the matches and I'm hopeful he's going to get some good time on PPVs afterward.

ReDRagon vs. American Wolves was a brutal hard hitting affair with some phenomenal near falls, and the action was non-stop and enjoyable throughout. A nice dirty finish for ReDRagon with a handful of tights which I enjoyed for the story, and I'm confident we haven't seen the last of this feud and I'm excited about that.

Jay Briscoe vs. Kevin Steen for the RoH Championship was phenomenal. It was a strong match, and the story was great. RoH wrestlers intercepting SCUM coming out was great, especially Mark intercepting Jacobs at the beginning of the SCUM invasion. Tons of great near falls and big moves at the end and Jay winning this match, and the title was surprising and fucking awesome. DAY ONE!

Then on Saturday I watched the Shimmer show and it was really strong as well. I thought the show started later and missed the opening of Yim vs. Kong, but the ending was fantastic, and definitely a good way to start the show to get the crowd excited. A lot of these wrestlers were new to me as I haven't watched Shimmer in quite some time, but I still liked it.

Veda Scott & Shazza McKenzie vs. Cherry Bomb & Kimber Lee was a solid tag match, and the only production mistake as the cameras missed Scott hitting the Mind Trip, but it was still good. The five lady match was good as well, but it was kind of quick and confusing as there were occasional times when tags were enforced and mostly people just hit big moves, although everybody looked good. Evie debuted and looked awesome, so I should remember to get some older Shimmer shows, or at least get ready to buy the shows taped next weekend.

Mercedes Martinez vs. Ayumi Kurihama really stepped up the game of this show, and it's weird to see Martinez being a heel, but she does it well and pummels Kurihama like a dick. Also female wrestlers seem to bump way better for dropkicks than guys do. A good victory for Martinez and a nice run up to the finish. Serena Deeb & Regeneration X vs. Neheah, Jessika Havok, and Sassy Stephi was a solid six man tag, but it was disappointing to see so little of Havok. Regeneration X had an awesome entrance dressed as Jay & Silent Bob, and Serena Deeb is one of the best women wrestlers in the world and I love to see her come back

Madison Eagles vs. Jessie McKay was an awesome match that didn't get the crowd reaction it deserved. This was one of my favorite matches of the show and both ladies had some enjoyable comments they yelled at the crowd. I also enjoyed Eagles biting McKay's arm to stop a rope break. The tag title four way was good, but it definitely didn't have enough Kana, although to satisfy my Kana needs she would have had to win the titles. It was a good match and LuFisto messed up her knee when she missed a moonsault to the outside. Still a fun match to watch and everybody looked good, although the finish felt kind of overbooked as Nakagawa didn't seem to know what to do while her teammate was getting beat up.

Athena vs. Ayako Hamada was an awesome match, and Athena's finisher the O-Face out of nowhere was awesome. This was my favorite match of the show, and the major reason I didn't love the main event as much as I should have. There was a long break as they set up the cage and it was an impressive cage. Saraya and Melissa used the cage well and delivered a tough match. Melissa hit several awesome curb stomps and gained the advantage after a big hurrincanranna on Saraya off the top rope then hit an air raid crash to get the win. Saraya has some really lazy kick outs where she lifts her arm up, but never bothers to actually roll her shoulder off the mat, which really bothers me for stupid reason. Still it was a good match and a really good show from Shimmer.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pro Wrestling Guerilla's Mystery Vortex Review

PWG Mystery Vortex

Team Dojo Bros (Roderick Strong & Eddie Edwards) vs. The Young Bucks (Nick & Matt Jackson)

The show starts off with an amazing tag team match that could, and probably should be a main event. This match has a bunch of amazing near falls and a lot of hard shots for both teams and of course the Young Bucks delivering their unique blend of new moves, and classic heel tactics. Of course Strong and Eddie deliver their stiff chops throughout the match. Both teams deliver on some the double team moves. Both teams get in all their trademark offense and the end comes when Roderick picks up a Jackson for a dominator and Edwards delivers a double stomp to take him down for a three count. This fucking match is awesome, and if you're disc only had this match you'd be satisfied, and it's only the first match.

Drake Younger vs. Sami Callihan

Hard hitting action, that's what this match is all about. Drake Young busts his head open delivering headbutts to Callihan, which is pretty normal for him. The very beginning of this match has both men taking some wicked bumps that are kind of ignored later in the match, but the are awesome. Younger takes a nice bump off the apron onto some chairs from a bicycle kick. Younger then delivers a nice piledriver to Callihan on the apron, and all that is just in the first five minutes of the match. Sami eventually pulls out a win with a seated stretch muffler in a brutal match between two bruisers.

Super Smash Bros. vs. RockNES Monsters

Comedy shenanigans occur in this match as well as awesome wrestling, it's a delightful combination. The Monsters also provide classic heel shenanigans in the match which are quite enjoyable. I also enjoyed Goodtime cutting part of his beard and blowing it into Stupefied's face to allow Yuma to get a rollup that doesn't quite work. Yuma also hits one of the best looking reverse hurrincanrannas I've ever seen. Nobody can withstand the double team maneuvers of the Super Smash Bros. though, and they retain the belts in a really good match.

Joey Ryan vs. Scorpio Sky

A good technical start to the match after the two hug, and they each throw in references to retired members of the Dynasty. Joey does a Scott Lost double boot/stomp out of the corner and Sky delivers a Lion Cock Punch. After Sky hits a big tope con hilo on Ryan he fixes the chairs at ringside so Ryan can hit a mustache ride off the apron through the chairs afterward, it looked awesome and brutal. Scorpio gets the win with a nice combo ending in a TKO, and this is a great match for Ryan's PWG career to end on.

B-Boy vs. Brian Cage vs. Willie Mack vs. TJ Perkins

An awesome four way match between these guys. Lots of good stuff from everybody and TJ has a lot of nice multiperson submissions going for him in this match. There's a nice chop exchange between TJ. Cage, and B-Boy where TJ is avoiding the chops meant for him before he delivers a chop so Cage and B-Boy stop and both hit him with a chop. They do a couple of excellent sequences where everybody hits a big move, and they all fit into the match well. Even the dive sequence makes sense in the match. I like the ending with TJ having Cage in an STF, but Mack his the Chocolate Thunder Driver on B-Boy to get the pin before TJ gets a submission. Great work from all four guys especially TJ who is one of my favorite wrestlers.

El Generico vs. Rich Swann

An odd match for Generico as he plays the heel to start the match and slows the match down and grinds on Swann. Of course Swann escapes that and delivers all his high flying offense which is pretty awesome. I especially liked the jump up top rope hurrincanranna where he lands on his feet after delivering it. A good match from these two where Generico picks up the victory with his crazy flip the opponent around a couple of times into a powerbomb. That's an awful description of that move, but whatever.

Team Dojo Bros vs. Super Smash Bros.

Goddamn this match. Dojo Bros attack while SSB are doing their opening pose and then lay a beatdown on Uno. They deliver awesome offense and keep Stupefied on the outside. Once Stupefied gets the hot tag it might be the hottest tag I've ever seen. He throws Edwards to the outside and hits him with a dive, runs into the ring and hits a springboard move on Strong, then another dive on Edwards, a springboard DDT on Strong, another dive, and then a Meteora on Strong and the crowd goes apeshit, 'cause it's awesome. The finish is amazing with Edwards hitting some sick double stomps and Roderick hitting one of the best of his suplex into a backbreaker on Stupefied. I love both these teams, and this was a baller match especially considering they had both wrestled awesome matches earlier in the show.

Adam Cole vs. Kevin Steen (Guerilla Warfare)

This match is best summed up by the word violence. To start Steen runs Cole dong first into every corner post on the outside, and then hits a powerbomb onto the apron on all four sides of the ring. Several ladders and many chairs are used to beat on each other before the two men construct a brutal looking stack of chairs. Steen wins the battle on the top rope and puts Cole through the chairs with a fisherman buster in one of the coolest looking spots ever and the crowd and announcers go nuts, and when Cole kicks out they go even nuttier. Steen then brings in some thumbtacks including some he drinks and then spits onto Cole because Steen is fucking insane. They tease the tacks several times before Cole delivers a nice german suplex into them and follows up with a superkick and straighjacket german suplex to get the win and become the PWG Champion.

Overall: Buy this fucking show now, it's fucking awesome. Every match is main event caliber and everybody is going all out the whole time to provide the best wrestling on the planet. The best wrestling show of 2012 from top to bottom and there's not a single match that isn't good, and most of them are great.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Editing Second Draft

I dropped fifty words in this edit and tightened every thing up. There was a lot done in the intro and the beginning of the action. After this step I would have other people look at it to get feedback on what I should change, this next edit might take a while as I need opinions before I make changes.

Edit: I have removed the story so I can submit it to places. I should have thought of that when I started this thing. Although I hadn't planned on writing something of good quality, just a demo piece.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Seeing the Editing Process

So to keep myself active I'm going to show you fine readers of my blog the process I would go through to edit a story from rough draft to something good. Normally my editing process is very long because I'm bad at editing, but I'm going to keep it fairly quick for this go around. Here is the rough draft of a flash fiction piece I wrote tonight. Tomorrow I'm going to post the first draft with my edits. After that I'm going to get crits from friends and then post a second draft on the blog and you can see how things change with each edit. So with that said I present the flash fiction piece.

Edit: Removed so I can submit this beast.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Bird Banded

I'm doing the Terribleminds flash fiction challenge that had these Inspiration Pictures to create a story on. I went with #1 because it's so ridiculous I couldn't resist.


Finally our band had its first paying gig and I slid into the costume then stood up to let it drop down to seat itself. I strapped on wrist braces to hold the wings off my hands enough to play then the tech worked the guitar over the head of the raven costume. Three years I had played without any costume for nothing except for occasional studio gigs, but finally Vladov, Yuri, and I created Quoth the Raven and after four months of playing in parks and wherever people might here somebody got interested in a trio playing music in bird costumes.

I walked onto the stage and the bar was packed, but mostly with drunks, not with the kind of person who seemed like they would be interested in our music. Vladov sat down at his drums while Yuri went to the microphone with his bass slung low.

“We are Quoth the Raven, and this is The Murder.”

Vladov started off with a slow beat, but as he slammed hard on the bass drum I started thrashing out the chords on my guitar. It was a sonic wave and it woke up even the hardcore drinkers from their stupor. An old lady looked up at the stage from her nearly empty glass and screamed. She threw her seat to the ground and charged at the stage, more specifically me. She screamed about the giant birds as she she dove into my legs. I shifted my balance to stay on my feet, but beyond that I had no clue what to do. The costume made playing guitar hard let alone doing anything else, and I didn't want to hit this lady. Vladov pounded away on the drums apparently unaware of the lady's attack, but Yuri had stopped playing and was just laughing.

His mirth was cut short when one of the other patrons shattered a chair over the back of his head and sent him sprawling to the stage. Vladov stopped playing, stood up, and with his costume got tangled up in the drum set and fell down with a clatter. I turned to the left and saw another guy coming toward the stage and I took a punch to the face, the costume providing some padding, but the mask got turned around and left me blind. I staggered, but with the lady holding onto my legs I fell to the stage. I felt more kicks and stomps to my body with slightly more cushioning as the suit was thicker in that area before I finally started to hear the sirens of police cars. Normally that meant time to flee before they broke up our sidewalk performance, but this time it meant safety.

The beating slowed as the sirens drew nearer, but it didn't stop until the sirens had finished their approach. Somebody hauled me to my feet and tugged the mask around until I could see out of it again.

“Looks like you boys can't run away from us this time.”

“We were supposed to play here,” I said.

“Did they want you to start a riot?”

“Probably not, but I didn't ask,” Yuri said.

The pithy response got him a police baton to the midsection and he doubled over gasping for breath. The cops pulled us out of the club with the drunk lady still screaming about the giant birds attacking. Afterward came a bunch of the assailants. Thankfully the band got our own paddy wagon to the station, and I knew this was the final time I was going to play music in a bird suit.