Tag Archives: monsters

Of course you can have more Macabre Macaroni

Lisa BurtonHi gang, welcome back for another helping of Macabre Macaroni. This week we’re trying to garner a bit of sympathy for the monster.

Maybe the determination of a monster is just your point of view. Some of us are different, and that freaks people out. It isn’t what appears on the outside as much as the inside.

I’m not saying there aren’t monsters out there, but you might have to dig under the surface to identify them. Maybe it isn’t about the way you look as much as how you think or act.

Today’s story is called Monster Spotting. How many can you find?

Monster Spotting

Cori Vincent fought back the shadows and fog. Her entire body hurt. Not the sharp biting pain of something recent, but the throbbing ache of something long term. Before she blacked back out she overheard a few words.

“Day two-hundred forty-three. Stem cells and neural dust have accelerated healing, nervous system repairs are remarkable. We have not been able to stimulate the nerves that will bring her out of the coma.

“Ms. Vincent has taught us much, and there is more to learn. Ultimately, we will have to terminate the experiment if she does not regain consciousness–”

Cori fought to hear more. This time she was able to open her eyes. It was dark in her room, and only a faint glow told her she succeeded. A thin layer of gauze covered her eyes, and she pawed at it.

She pulled the gauze away and breathed deeper. The glow came from under the door. Her left eye told her more than the right. She rubbed the right, but complete vision eluded her. The window revealed only the night outside.

Her legs felt leaden as she swung them off the bed and forced herself upright. Even this simple act caused her to gasp for air. She breathed deeply, but didn’t feel as though her lungs were processing the precious oxygen.

The voice said two-hundred forty-three days. That’s eight months. How many days had it been since she heard the voice?

She reached the door by using the bed to get to her feet, then falling forward until she could lean against the wall. Her hands fumbled at the light switch, so she used the back of her wrist to swipe it on.

The room was spartan at best. A bed, a sink in some cabinetry, and nothing else; not even a call-button for the nurse. At least the door knob was one of the handle type and not round. She used the back of her hand once more to open it. Hello! Is anyone here? Nurse? “Naawwwrrrrss!”

She recoiled at the guttural noise. That isn’t my voice. What happened to my words? Her throat immediately ached, and she coughed up phlegm. She stumbled to the sink and spit.

The building was closed. What kind of hospital closes? She stumbled into the hallway and moved toward the front of the building. A surgical suite sat off to the left, and a private office to the right. She appeared to be the only patient here; the only person here.

The office had a desk, a computer, and a chair. She needed the chair. A newspaper article pinned to a board beside the desk caught her attention. She had to close her right eye completely to focus on the letters.

The headline read, “Automobile Accident Claims Couple.” Her head reeled. Eric was driving. She was trying to keep the girls from fighting. The girls!

She pawed at the article and tore it from the board. She froze in her actions. These aren’t my hands?

Her hands were huge masculine paws, with black skin. Possibly from an industrial worker or a carpenter of some kind, judging by the calluses.

The office had a private bathroom. Cori stumbled inside and found the mirror. She was a man now. Not just any man, a gigantic black man. Surgical scars completely circled her head above the eyes and ears. Her head was balding, and her right eye permanently squinted. Palsy claimed the right side of her face, and her lip and cheek sagged. Someone had dressed her in ill-fitting grey flannel pajamas. She spun to lean against the wall, and lifted the article to her good eye. She and her husband died, and the children were given to child protective services. My babies! “Baaaaabbbaa!”

The article said she and Eric were buried together in Shady Grove. Could Eric still be somewhere in the same condition as her? It didn’t matter. Someone else had her babies. She stumbled to the front door and forced it open. Glass shattered and an alarm went off as she stumbled into the night.

A street sign at the corner indicated she was only a couple of blocks from the courthouse. Child Protective Services would know where her girls were.

She tripped on the curb when she crossed against the light and stumbled into someone’s yard, taking out three feet of picket fence along the way. They’d left their sprinkler on, and thirst overwhelmed her. She pulled the sprinkler head off and drank. Water dribbled from the damaged right side of her mouth, but she didn’t care. She tried to avoid ruining any more of the fence when she left, but knocked another section down. At least it didn’t break, and they could stand it back up.

Her small-town courthouse was closed for the night. She battered the door open and went inside. Child Protective Services was simple enough to figure out. A sequence of locked file cabinets in alphabetical order. She found the drawer where V might be, tossed the wet and rumpled newspaper article from her hand, and ripped the cabinet apart like someone peeling an orange.

The girls went to two different foster families. How could they? They just lost their parents, now they have to endure losing each other. She screamed into the night, but it sounded more like an animalistic roar.

This was a small town. Her small town. She was alive, somehow, and these were still her children. They would figure out something.

She plodded along Cedar Avenue with the faint flashing of police lights behind her. They responded to the alarm at whatever facility she escaped from.

She lurched down the street until she came to the first house shortly after sunrise. A simple craftsman style, with a yard-full of toys. A purple tricycle, some multi-colored plastic construction blocks, and a small plastic slide.

The door opened and she slid behind a tree. Emily looked beautiful in her summer dress, if a bit sad. “Driveway only honey. No tricycle on the sidewalk or street. Remember?”

“Yes, Mommie.”

Mommie? I’m her mommie. It’s me honey. Everything is going to be just fine. “Hhhhoonn Maaaaam.”

Emily screamed.

The door opened.

A woman came out, scooped Emily up, and ran back inside. The woman peeked out a window, and held a cell phone to her ear.

Cori glanced left and right, then faded into the shadows of a nearby alley. This woman cared. Emily was safe for the time being. The police, or her attorney could sort it all out later. She needed to see her other daughter. Dawn was older, and might have deeper understanding of her parent’s death. She needed to know Dawn was alright too.

Cori trudged her way across town. She stopped frequently for rest and water, hiding occasionally as police cruisers combed through the neighborhoods. She cut through an industrial area and the police presence faded.

A chain-link fence prevented her from leaving the industrial park. She tried to tear through it, but it just pulled loose from the poles. She rampaged at being tangled, but managed to crawl over the wiring and out the other side. After crossing a dry irrigation ditch, she wound up in the right neighborhood.

The doublewide sat back from the street. It was at least twenty years old and in need of serious repairs. Tall trees cast deep shade across the yard. A yard cluttered by old appliances and plastic garbage bags.

She flailed at a swarm of flies as she lumbered toward the sound of voices in back.

“I told you to clean up that dog kennel! What do I have to do to get it through your thick head?”

Cori quickened her pace.

A man in his late twenties backhanded Dawn and sent her sprawling to the ground. Her second hand jeans looked like they had never been washed, and someone had cut all of her beautiful hair until she looked like a boy.

“Your mother’s going to be pissed when she gets off shift.”

“She isn’t my mother!”

The man kicked her with his boot.

Cori charged in, but it was more of a rolling act of desperation. Don’t touch her, you bastard! “Bassssttaaa!”

The man looked up and his eyes went white.

Cori swung both arms at him by turning her chest and popping her hips. They didn’t work very well, but made heavy clubs. She knocked the man to the ground and moved forward.

Dawn screamed.

Someone’s voice caught Cori’s attention. “…that’s right officer. The Lawrence place again. Send someone quick. It looks like one of his drug deals went bad. I’m going to film it…”

The man got up, made a kick at Dawn. “Get in the house.”

Cori grabbed him around the neck. Her hands only moderately functioned, so she used the crook of her elbow. She stomped the man’s foot and jerked upward.

The man’s neck broke with a sickening sound.

She flung him across the yard like one of the bags of garbage. He hit an old washing machine and knocked it over. It’s alright now, honey. Mommie’s here. “Mmaaaaam.”

She lumbered to the door as the police car skidded to a stop with lights flashing. Two officers bailed out, and drew their pistols.

Cori gestured toward the officers with her arms outstretched. Thank God you’re here officers. This man was beating my daughter. “Daaaaghhhhrrr!”

“Turn around. On your knees. Lace your fingers together on top of your head.”

You don’t understand officers. My daughter needs your help. She could be injured. “Jurrrrddd!” Cori took a step toward the policemen.

The younger officer opened fire.

Cori stumbled forward.

The older officer joined his partner, and they poured rounds into Cori’s chest.

The bullets hurt, but not like she expected. Much of her body was without feeling. She felt the impact more than anything, but any remaining strength left her and her legs buckled.

The officers stood and approached with guns pointed at her. Cori lay still.

Before she lost consciousness forever, she over heard the neighbor. “I told you the Lawrences were awful people. Look what they brought to our neighborhood. They should never have been given a child either.”

“Go back inside, ma’am. It may not be safe yet. I don’t think the girl will be staying here any longer.”

***

Lisa again, Craig tells me I’ve been a bit remis on these posts. I need to point out that if you enjoy micro-fiction, Craig has plenty of it available. They are bundled together with some short stories into two Experimental Notebooks. There is a third collection called The Enhanced League and the stories there tell an overarching story. Many of the micros in Enhanced League are in the form of second person point of view “anthems.” You know how Craig likes to experiment. You can pick up any one of them for 99¢, just click on the covers.

The Experimental Notebook of C. S. BoyackThe Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack IIThe Enhanced League

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Filed under Short Stories & Vignettes

Is a tragedy acceptable today?

I stayed up until midnight playing video games with my son. I knew I'd pay for it today, but did it anyway.

Frankie, the alarm dog, got me up at 4:30. I should be overjoyed that she gave me twenty minutes longer than my alarm clock usually does. It's a flex day, so maybe I'll grab a nap this after noon.

I hacked out another micro-fiction while the dogs managed to go back to sleep. Then I grabbed a fresh coffee and sat beside the footboard of my bed.

A slurping noise moved from the darkness to just the other side of the footboard. A black tentacle slid a Nylabone out on the floor beside me.

“Black is a new look for you, isn't it?”

“Oh, you know me. Always trying something new. I think it makes me scarier in the dark.”

“You could be onto something. Things you can't quite see are more frightening. What's with the dog toy?”

“Oh, Frankie and Otto were tugging at it yesterday and it flew under the bed. I thought she might need it back.”

“Not for much longer. I think her puppy teeth are almost all gone now.”

“Good thing too. Those babies are sharp. I had to steal a Bandaid while you guys were sleeping.”

“No problem, that's why they're there.”

“So what brings you to talk to the old under-the-bed monster today?”

“Tragedy.”

“You're going to have to be more specific.”

“Okay, tragedy is a time honored kind of story. When done well, it produces a powerful emotional experience for the reader–“

“Right a PEE, I read your blog. Too funny.”

“As I was going to say, it seems to be out of favor today.”

“Times change and all that.”

“Maybe they do, but maybe they shouldn't. Not everyone gets a happily-ever-after in real life. Fiction should reflect real life.”

“Riiiight. You write stories about spacemen, witches, and dwarves.”

“Okay, but I try to get real human emotions into them.”

“You still haven't told me what specifically brings you here today.”

“I nearly wrote a Greek tragedy a few years ago with The Cock of the South. I chickened out, and didn't completely go that route. Well, I've gone and done it again.”

“And you're worried it will make people mad. You're looking at it from the wrong side of the mirror. For every one of those happy endings, a monster dies somewhere. Do you know how many of my friends are hanging around the Union Hall just waiting for another story?”

“How many?”

“All of em, and they aren't going to get another story because the author killed them off.”

“Don't you guys always manage to stick a hand out of the grave right at the end, or open your eyes suddenly?”

“Only in horror. Not every monster story is technically a horror story.”

“That's all great, and I appreciate that monsters would understand, but they don't buy many books these days.”

“So it's a commercial thing?”

“Not exactly, it's a story for my blog.”

“Now you're just being stupid. Those things have the lifespan of a gnat. Eight hours later the readership forgets all about them.”

“Maybe they do, and maybe they don't. They don't swarm back and re-read the posts, but the story might stick with them.”

“Yeah, that's a good point. Is this for your macaroni thing?”

“It's called Macabre Macaroni, and yeah.”

“Maybe you can bracket it with something happy on either side. End with one that isn't a tragedy. They always remember the last one.”

“So bury it in the middle somewhere?”

“That's my opinion.”

“Thanks Under-The-Bed Monster, I owe you one.”

“You owe me several, but who's counting.”

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Filed under Writing

Fizzle the Drite, on Lisa Burton Radio

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I'm your host, Lisa the robot girl, and we're going to try something a little bit different today. There is a character I've been dying to interview, but he's kind of hard to catch up with.

Fizzle is a drite, and they can be kind of reclusive. If we don't find him, I may have to think on the fly here for something to broadcast. I have a secret weapon though. I bought a beautiful basket of organic apples the last time I was at Whole Foods.

<Pop>

“OH! You scared me. Are you Fizzle?”

“Fizzle is Fizzle. Told to speak of self here. Uh . . . Fizzle small dragon. Fizzle live in woods. Fizzle leave woods to help friends. Tradespeak hard. Fizzle learn from tiny human. Fizzle love apples. What organic?”

“Oh my gosh, you're so cute. For those listening, Fizzle looks like a dragonfly, in that he's a small dragon with dragonfly wings.”

“Fizzle called drite. Not like big dragons or fake dragons. Fizzle and kind dif . . diffe . . . other thing. Drites small with great magic. Fizzle hide easy and have spell called disin . . . dis . . . make bad things go poof. Friends like warning when Fizzle cast poof spell. Give time to be safe. Fizzle have great aim, so no worry. Oh, drites have long tails too.”

“Don't you guys usually protect a forest or something?”

“Many drites protect nature. Not all. Some lazy and some curious. Fizzle protect Visindor Forest and sword lady’s school. Fizzle there before school, but Betty make yummy apple pies. Betty not sword lady. She friend of sword lady. Fizzle leave home and job to cousin. Plimp odd, but strong and good. He planting pine trees. Says pinecones yummier than apples. Fizzle not agree.”

“So why would you leave that all behind? It must be pretty important.”

<smack, chomp, burp> “Fizzle’s friends need help. Luke get into trouble. He need guarding while part of prophecy. Other champions help, but Fizzle protect Luke first. Also, like Nyx smell and Delvin know how to make apple pie. Timoran fun to perch on too. Sari just fun. Fizzle like having friends. Fizzle make sure they stay safe. Gods tell Fizzle to keep them safe.”

“You're pretty small, what would you do if someone threatened your friends.”

“Fizzle say magic. Fizzle very fast and smart. Stay hidden until strike. Bad people never see Fizzle coming. Well, blue lady did once. Evil Man did too, but Fizzle smack him. Evil Man very scary. Fizzle friends all hurt by him. Fizzle too when caught by surprise. Fizzle no like Evil Man. Rather fight Lich, who is a rotting man. Make that one go poof, but he not stay poofed. Very frus . . . frustr . . . make Fizzle pout.”

“Sounds like they could use some protecting. Do you ever sleep?”

“Fizzle have regular sleep. Also have long sleep. Drites need growing sleep for month to get stronger. Fizzle do this and friends get in trouble. This why friends need Fizzle.”

“That has to be nerve wracking. Maybe they could get a fu dog or something to cover for that year.”

“Fizzle like dogs. Luke like dogs too. Fizzle think that hard topic. Luke miss big dog. Fizzle give many apples to cheer up. Fizzle not worry now. Nyx get stronger and other champions wiser. Only Luke and Sari cause trouble. Timoran say they too young for adult wisdom. Nyx say they need head smack. Fizzle think they hide hurt with fun. Oh! Maybe Fizzle take form of dog. Bad people not expect dog to cast poof spell. Can dogs fly?”

“You know what I think? If you protect the champions, that makes you a champion too.”

“Fizzle no champion. Fizzle protector of champions. Prophecy go on with or without Fizzle and other friends. Fizzle know champions need friends. Though champions do not know that champions need friends to win. Not sure how, but Fizzle feel that right. Old Evil have demons, so why not champions have friends?”

“The champion's mission sounds like a dangerous adventure, but Windemere sounds like it has beautiful places too. Do you ever think you might adopt a new forest once everything is sorted out?”

“Fizzle no know. May take Visindor back or stay with Nyx. Fizzle have strong bond with Nyx. Luke call her city rat. Not sure if Fizzle want stay in city. Depend on what around. Many forests without drites. Fizzle can make new home and new friends. Fizzle can travel and plant a forest of every apple tree in world. Call it Yummy Woods and protect it.”

“Thank you for being with is today, Fizzle. The sponsor of today's show is Charms of the Feykin, the newest entry in the Legends of Windemere series. Don't forget to tip your waitress by clicking on those sharing buttons at the end of the post.

***

To make a champion fall, one must wound their very soul.

Nyx is leading the charge to rescue Delvin and Sari, who have gone missing in the southern jungles of Windemere. Battling through the local predators, the champions are surprised when they reunite in the Feykin city of Rhundar. Instead of captives, the missing heroes have become the city’s rulers and are on the verge of starting a war with those that want to exterminate their new followers. Even with such a noble cause, Delvin and Sari have changed into brutal warlords that may kill each other and their friends long before they step onto the battlefield.

Have Delvin and Sari really changed for the worst or is there a greater threat pulling the champions’ strings?

 

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

 

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com

Twitter: @cyallowitz

Facebook: Charles Yallowitz

Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

 

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Filed under Lisa Burton Radio

Calling all lovers of fantasy

Charles Yallowitz has a new entry into his long running Windemere series. This one promises tension galore. It sounds like there might be dissension amongst the troops. Here’s Charles to tell us about it.

 

Return to Windemere in Charms of the Feykin!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

To make a champion fall, one must wound their very soul.

Nyx is leading the charge to rescue Delvin and Sari, who have gone missing in the southern jungles of Windemere. Battling through the local predators, the champions are surprised when they reunite in the Feykin city of Rhundar. Instead of captives, the missing heroes have become the city’s rulers and are on the verge of starting a war with those that want to exterminate their new followers. Even with such a noble cause, Delvin and Sari have changed into brutal warlords that may kill each other and their friends long before they step onto the battlefield.

Have Delvin and Sari really changed for the worst or is there a greater threat pulling the champions’ strings?

Grab it on Amazon!

Add it to your Goodreads ‘To Read’ List!

Excerpt: Broken Bonds

Sari draws two daggers and sprints at Luke, slashing at his sabers in an attempt to cut his hands as he unsheathes his weapons. Instead, the forest tracker unclips the scabbards from his belt and spreads his arms to avoid the gypsy’s attack. The swords still sheathed, he does his best to deflect his former friend’s strikes while harmlessly smacking her in the sides. When a dagger slices his arm, Luke kicks out to knock Sari back. A hint of a grin on her face causes him to slow his attack, his foot aching as it bounces off her immovable body. Knowing he has to trick her, the half-elf runs backwards to get the gypsy to charge. Before she falls behind, the warrior lets her gradually catch up while remaining out of slashing range. Once Luke reaches the riverbank, he lunges forward and aims a swing at the sprinting woman’s knee. Forced to decide between taking a blow that would surely break bone or risk a similar injury by turning her power on while running, Sari tries to twist out of the way. She lands on her back at the forest tracker’s feet and curses when he pins her arms by jamming his sabers against her wrists.

Before Luke can tell the gypsy to stop struggling, an arm of water bursts from the river and bats him away. Phelan leaps out of the rapids and sprints at the prone warrior, his daggers lengthened by keenly edged liquid. The weapons sink into the muddy earth when their target rolls away, the ringing of drawn steel revealing that the champion is no longer restraining himself. With a flurry of stabs and slashes, the half-elf drives his new opponent back and whittles away at the watery daggers. Trying not to kill the Feykin, Luke delivers an echoing hilt punch to Phelan’s head every time the other warrior attempts a counterattack. Faced with the full speed and skill of the agile forest tracker, the outclassed hunter has various watery weapons fly out of the river. None of them hit the champion, who remains close enough to continue his barrage of muscle-rattling strikes.

Ducking to the side, Luke slashes at the other man’s exposed flank in what he hopes will be a crippling, but non-lethal, blow. The saber clangs off a patch of icy armor and a freezing tremor makes the half-elf’s arm go numb. A searing pain erupts from his lower back and he whirls around, the motion preventing Sari’s dagger from doing more than a long cut across his side. His first saber swings an inch over her head, but his second weapon leaves a gash up the middle of her chin. Enraged by the pain, the gypsy moves out of Luke’s reach and summons a massive hammer of water. She freezes the forest tracker’s feet to the ground before he can move, which allows the large weapon to connect. It repeatedly comes down on the warrior, breaking several ribs and one of his arms. Sheathing his sabers and remaining on the ground, the half-elf draws the stiletto and hurls it into Sari’s thigh. A look of shock is on her face and she stares at Luke’s battered form as if seeing such injuries for the first time.

Need to catch Legends of Windemere from the beginning? Then click on the covers below!

You can start for FREE . . .

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Or grab the $4.99 ‘3 in 1’ bundles!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen 3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

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Also Available in Single eBooks:

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover art by Jason Pedersen

Cover art by Jason Pedersen

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Interested in a new adventure? Then grab your Kindle & dive back into the world of Windemere! Don’t forget an apple for Fizzle.

Author Photo

About the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

Note from Craig: Come back Thursday and check out Lisa Burton’s special guest, on Lisa Burton Radio.

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Filed under Writing

Monsters and Saviors

I go to work in the dark almost year round. This time of year, there’s a little bit of dawn before I walk in the office, but the days are getting shorter now. It will soon be dark for the whole commute. The point is, I have no idea what goes on in my back yard while I’m away.

Today is my rotating day off. It was glorious to get a couple more hours of sleep. My awakening was not how I wanted to start the day. There were monsters in my back yard.

They make a shrill twittering noise at first. This is the sound of a solo invader. He’s soon joined by others and the sound grows. It’s never loud. Not so loud as to rouse the unaware from slumber. I am not unaware.

I bolted from my bed and shoved a cold cup of coffee in the microwave. While it heated, I downed my blood pressure medication. This encounter would surely test my blood pressure. I even recorded the sound on my iPhone with every intention of sharing with you. I couldn’t figure out how to get it on my blog to prove I’m not crazy.

The monsters fled at the sight of me. They’re only about two inches tall. They aren’t here for me, they only come to steal away my happiness. They did a lot of damage, but I managed to salvage a bit for myself.

It's flat peach season

The dirty buggers start their harvest early. I want a fully ripened peach. The winged monsters don’t wait that long. Peaches ripen a bit at a time. The monsters eat that one perfect bit and move on, leaving the unripened portion to rot. Where they move on to, is the next nearest peach. One tiny little beast will ruin five beautiful peaches to fill its microscopic belly.

My tree overproduced last year, despite my thinning like a madman. It was certain this year would be puny by comparison. It’s not enough to deal with a tiny granddaughter who discovered a baby pumpkin tree. That part I can laugh off. (And it was pretty funny.) These peach eating demons are just wasteful.

I grabbed some small baskets and filled my refrigerator with peaches. There are some green edges on a few of them, but they are mouth wateringly good. I need to scrub them down before eating even though I’m not a big pesticide user. You just never know what the monsters left behind.

Life’s funny sometimes. After salvaging some of my tree’s fruit for myself I heated up another cup of coffee and checked my email. I discovered I had apps to update.

Pinnic updated their cork board app to include index cards. They now offer everything I want in a storyboard app. I emailed them a month or so ago and mentioned this to them. They assured me that index cards would be in the next update. The heavens parted and the angels sang. I think I’m going to recreate my four outlines today in Pinnic. As I do it, I’ll be downing microwave coffee and eating the most perfect flat peaches ever.

Either that, or I’m going to go stand under my tree and eat peaches until the juice runs down my beard. All the while watching the monsters weep from my neighbor’s yard. I haven’t decided yet.

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Filed under Uncategorized, Writing

Something to consider

I slacked off on my Wednesday post. I had a tough week at work, and even took tomorrow off to recover. At least I had a couple of awesome reblogs for everyone.

I snapped this photo while camping last weekend. I sat under the awning and watched the lake for about an hour. There wasn't a boat around anywhere. When this happened, I snapped a quick photo.

So, I ask you, what caused that swirl in the middle of the lake? It stayed like that for about twenty minutes. Everyone seemed to have fun with my conspiracy theory about my camping neighbor. Let's hear your theories.

Waterborne monsters are scary, because humans are so helpless in the water. In fact, a big part of monsters involves isolation and difficult environments. Authors have to sell the sizzle and not the steak here. We rarely see an author place a scary monster in a crowd during broad daylight. That's because we are at our best under those circumstances. Most monsters appear miles from help, where there isn't a cellular signal, and mostly at night.

So here we have a bizarre swirl on the surface of Brownlee Reservoir. Is it jet wash from a cloaked spaceship? Maybe it's caused by something underneath the water. Let me hear it. Maybe it's the mothership come to retrieve my erie camping neighbor.

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The research phase

It’s time to do a little bit of research for my outlines. This is only preliminary stuff, more research will happen if I wind up writing one of these stories. For those who are new to my experiment, I’m in the middle of outlining four stories. I intend to make them slug it out survivor style for my writing time. This could make subsequent stories come along much faster, because they’ll be partly outlined.

***

The text, from Lisa* at the writing cabin, arrived at 2:30 today. “A group of guys just dropped off an old beater car. They said you ordered it.”

“I did. Check the model year and download a repair manual. I’ll be out after work today.”

As soon as I got home from work, I flew out to the writing cabin.

“Are you going somewhere in that junker?” Lisa asked.

“No, we are going somewhere in that junker. And it’s not a junker, it’s a Land Rover. We’re going on a research safari.”

“I can’t go camping. I have batteries to charge. And besides, who’s going to watch Bunny?

“Not to worry. Your friend Faith said she would tend Bunny while we’re gone.” I pushed my safari hat back out of my eyes. “Remember the Anurans from Arson?”

“Yeah…” She placed her hands on her hips and waited.

“I found some Anurans who operate a safari company. They dropped everything off using the Skyway system. They even pitched the tents and dropped off a generator.”

“It won’t be like a real safari. You have wooly mammoths and cave lions around here. And there are no bears on a safari.”

I ran inside and started packing books to the Land Rover. “I’ll have to use my imagination and improvise a bit. We’re going quite a ways, and we may find some real elephants, or some Cape buffalo.”

“Oh my gosh! I need to pack my clothes.” Lisa ran off in a flurry.

I loaded these books into the vehicle.

I’ve read them all before

I really need a book about propaganda, but maybe something will turn up. Do they have libraries on the savannah?

My hand moved to my beard, and I paused. I turned and yelled up the stairs. “We’ll drop Bunny off along the way. You probably ought to bring that big assed gun of yours.”

“Why? Crocodiles don’t eat robots.” The snicker echoed down the staircase.

“Very funny. If we hurry, we can probably get there just after dark.”

“Don’t wait for me. I’m ready for Camp Research.” She sat her trunk on the floor with a thud.

“Camp Research. I like that, we should put up a sign when we get there.” I stroked my beard again. “Um, what’s in the trunk?”

“Clothes and stuff. You don’t expect me to leave without a change of clothes do you?”

“Um, no. What was I thinking. You’ll have to lash it down in the back. And download a map, you’re driving.”

She lifted her trunk with one hand and carried it to the Land Rover. It’s surprising how strong she really is.

Lisa turned over the ancient four-wheel-drive’s engine. “Did you lock the door?”

“Yes.”

“Did you go pee?”

“Yes.”

“Can you see if Bunny’s scared?”

“He’s fine.”

“Will we find some natives?” She dropped the clutch and we made our way down the access road.

“I hope so.”

“Witch doctors too?”

“That’s the plan. You haven’t been out lately, have you?”

“Not really, why do you ask?”

“No reason. I think you have sixteen questions to go.”

*Lisa Burton is the main character in Wild Concept. She’s a robot and helps me around the writing cabin these days.

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