Wednesday, September 23, 2009

His breath came in ragged pants as his shoes splashed through the puddles in the streetlamp lit alley. Just keep running, he thought. Just keep running. If he catches you you're dead. The vague shadow in the corner of his eye was still there- taunting him, playing with him like an orca with a seal, or a young psychopath w/ a poor, unfortunate animal- barely distinguishable from the other shadows of the night.
Another sound of metal on brick dopplered in his ear. Was that a knife? Is he throwing knives at me now? I have to find someplace to hide. Need time to think.
He started rounding corners every chance he got; using fire escapes, jumping fences, ducking in unlocked doors. He didn't know where he was. He didn't care, just so long as the one hunting him wasn't on his trail anymore. No place seemed to be good enough to hide from HIM, so he just kept running. He didn't know how long he ran, but he knew dawn was approaching when he finally collapsed in a heap against a chain link fence at the edge of a vacant lot beside the trainyards.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

In working on the story begun w/ my previous entry's brainstorming I started thinking about theme, mood, and setting. Following through w/ that I thought that I'd try some scene painting as it were w/out fleshing out any characters, so that's what this exercise is about.
The great, black locomotive rocketed forward on it's inexorable trajectory along the tracks. The explosive force that had removed an expansive section of the support trestle had previously steered the train around the adamantine edifice of the towering donjon. Without the guidance of the rails the train's momentum dictated it's direction... straight into the wall of the keep.
Across the city citizens struggled to keep their feet while those in the nearby blocks closest to the catastrophe suffered from temporary hearing loss. A jet black smoke rose from the wreckage obscuring the street below and the paths along the crenelations above.


She stepped through the steaming manhole beneath the subway tunnel, the meager light cast by her dim lamp creating many channels of shadow. There was enough light to reveal the holes of grating circling down into the darkness supported by curved, studded girders. Taking a broken pencil out of her pocket she deliberately dropped it into the darkness below. It clanged against the supportwork for some time.
(Note: I'm concerned that this image might be cliche, however it also seems like an obvious metaphor for my theme. Thoughts?)

The sandhog came to the end of the street and stood before the wall. The stones used to built it were too massive for any one man to have moved by himself, nay a small team would need mechanical assistance. He looked up to see the top of the barrier only to see clouds brushing the stonework before viewing the pinnacle of the wall. How was he supposed to get up there?

Saturday, January 03, 2009


Inspired by the Wily Writers group I'm just setting out ehre to list elements of favorite genres it my be neat to incorporate into a story.

clockwork machines
secret societies
Cthulhu by gaslight
journey to the moon
industrial aesthetic
world travel
ether goggles
pseudo-scientific experiments
steam powered "jet"packs

courtroom intrigue
corrupt governments
witty banter/repartee
"the fine art of fighting w/ furniture"

Arthurian Romance
secret affairs
wizards, knights, & dragons
questing beast
quest for magic item
castle in the sky
ley lines

Gothic Romance
Female protagonist
imposing castle
Faustian deal
tragic flaws
Catholic iconography

Sword and Sorcery
thieves (actually make the thief a villain idea)
intelligent magic items
exotic locales
giant snakes
scantilly clad damsels/chain mail bikinis-clad warrior women
powerful magics
many sorts of monsters

New Weird
fairy tale elements in contemporary setting
coming of age stories
Otherworld element/through the looking glass

Friday, December 22, 2006

She approached in a wide circle so that her father could see her coming. It was not a good idea to disturb him while he was practicing throwing axes. Sneak up on him at the wrong moment and he tended to react instinctively. Tia didn't fancy the idea of an axe sticking out of the middle of her forehead. He had berated her for a whole hour before he sent her to bed without supper the one time she had interrupted him while he was practicing... and almost lost an ear to boot.
He had the eyepatch flipped up. The scars were horrible over that eye, but somehow he could still see out of it. Her father had told her that he wore it so as not to offend or disgust anyone he met. He could be disconcerting enough on his own with his gruff manner now that he was settled down and living amongst "polite society". Tia was used to the scars however and just considered them part of what made him her father. They had always been there to her.
"What is it, Tia?" he asked.
"Supper's ready, father."
"I'll be there..." THUNK! "in a minute."
She didn't turn to leave. She was watching as he alternated between throwing the axes, and using them to chop wood.
"I thought that was bad for throwing axes; that it ruined their balance...?" she queried.
"That's the point. These are my old throwing axes. Their balance is off anyway. You don't always have a choice what you have available to throw in a scrap, hon. Sometimes you have to make due with something that's not in the shape you'd like it to be in," he responded.
"So you're practicing to be able to use bad axes." It wasn't a question. It was a declaration to show that she understood what he was trying to tell her. He grunted a nod in response.
She returned by the path to the cabin from which she came; a benefit of the awarded nobility her father had earned as a Knight of the Realm. It was no small cabin, and the view over the valley was gorgeous. Tia still occasionally brought out her easel to paint images of it from different angles.
As she approached the cabin Zephyr and Brutus came gliding and trundling up respectively in her and his own time. Zephyr licked Tia's face w/ her long tongue. The story of how her father had come by these animal companions (they were still too wild to even consider calling them pets) was a tale unto itself. Zephyr was a she-wolf ostracized from her pack as a pup. She somehow had managed to form her own pack with Brutus, a middle-aged black bear with no mate. Father had rescued them both from the duel dangers of a hunter and a mountain lion. They visited him off and on regularly as hunting and the seasons permitted thereafter.
Brutus stood on his hind legs, waved his forepaws, and whined in that deep, lonesome growl of his that indicated he was begging for food.
"Just a moment, Brutus. I'll get you something," she smiled as she went into the cabin. Zephy wagged her tail and followed her in. Brutus was too big to enter, but that never stopped him from sticking his head in through the window- usually when it was still closed! Father and the local window-maker were good friends now...

Monday, June 05, 2006

Clinbing out of the timbers of the smoking ruins that had been his home the boy surveyed the damage. The events of the past twenty-four hours had left him exhausted. I knew he should feel the pain of his loss, the rage against the raping pillagers that invaded his home and left his town a smouldering wasteland, the hunger and thirst of starvation lying trapped where he was lest he be found and sent to join his community in the afterlife, but all he felt was the need for sleep, and a safe place to do it. The question was- where? There wasn't any place left in town. The nearest town would be next on the invaders' list to attack.
He ran. Into the woods. Uphill. To the wild highlands, where the mountain goats, and giant eagles ruled. He didn't care where he went, his only thought was away from the invaders to some safe cave where they would never find him. HIs footing was unsure in his flight and he slipped several times. Then he came to a place where he had no choice but to climb and in his adrenaline-fueled flight he leapt to it with more vigor than his tired frame told him he could, or should do. He climbed until his muscles ached. He could not believe that he could feel more exhausted than he already had when he left his late village, but he became so tired that his grip just could't last.
He fell. Exhaustion was replaced by pain. Pain dark and sweet. Sweet because it told him he was still alive, could still feel, but he might not be for much longer. He lay there still for quite some time, willing the pain away. The last thing he heard before darkness came was the shriek of vultures.
Somewhere in the fever dream he thought he saw a furclad silhouette, but he was too tired to know fear and accepted whatever fate it might give him. In his dream it took on the visage of the berserk chieftain that led the invaders that attacked his village. It frothed at the mouth and hungered for his blood. HIs blood. The blood of his father. Blood smeared over his father's face bashed in by an invader's axe. The hidey-hole where he kneeled didn't protect him from the warm spray of red. The warmth was chilling.
The warmth of bare skin bordered by fur reached somewhere into his fever dream and reminded him of being cradled to his mother's bosom as a babe. He didn't know he could still remember that. Shouldn't he be too old to remember that? He'd known thirteen winters. The warmth of skin was replaced after a rise-and-fall of a slowing climber's pace by the heat of a fire, smells of meat and herbs. He drifted back to sleep feeling strong, tender hands administer to his wounds.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

These are simply another morning pages, so don't expect much content beyond the usual mad ramblings, and stream of consciousness writing that you have come to expect from me. I got to go for a walk this morning and found how while I knew that Olde West became some other road, I did not realize that I already knew the other end of that road- that other end being one that has looped around over to Shrader near Longford. I keep searching for a mythical passage to Broad other than going to Hungary Springs to get there. I see a road off of Broad that would logically seem to connect, but as of yet I have not tried to get here from there. I believe someone has told me that there is no connection, but it seems foolish for there not to be one. I guess like so many other things in this world doing the logical thing just doesn't make sense. Now I'm not entirely known for doing things the logical way, but even I have my limits. In my work environment for example, there's just far too many things that just don't make sense. Rules are supposed to solve problems, not make more. As my manager Tanya put it "We just have to get creative." Someone else put it, "Don't work harder, work smarter." Either way I don't seem up to the task and it's utterly frustrating. This might explain my desires to open up a game shop, but I still have to get through the moving process before I can even begin that... not that that's going to stop me, but it will slow me down. I know that I am going to have to find a backer, and that could prove difficult. I still have yet to go by the Department of the Economy for Chesterfield Co., but I have to call lenders first and get the ball rolling on finding a new place to live. It had been Erin's and my intention to use the money Pop-Pop gave us as a wedding present to move into a new place, but I've had to steadily wheedle that down just to pay off bills. Erin had a job interview this past week, but they only wanted her for evenings and weekends, which is exactly the opposite of daycare center hours. I.e. that just wouldn't work.
Brandon's coming today. I'm looking forward to it because I've missed him the past two visits he's made because I had to go to work. I saw him briefly at the door and then I was gone. I could use some catching up on what's been going on, esp. since I don't have access to my e-mail right now. I'm aching for a game of pirates too. Of course sitting in front of the TV and watching the NFL might be what he has in mind. I haven't been able to keep track of that as well since our subscription to the Richmond Times Dispatch ran out. It's a rather Republican rag, but at least I could keep tabs on the NFL, the comics, and I enjoyed the Channels section for looking up what I wanted to watch next. Erin prefers the Guide on the remote, but I think the section is faster. I can scan down a page faster than I can hit the down button and read just about five or six stations at a time.
I miss being able to game. I'm planning on running D&D again Saturday. It'll be the first time in a while that I've been able to run.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Joshua Banks: age 13...

A lonely kid walks home from the bus-stop after school. He's being followed by a pack of five boys who for the most part have a puffed up sense of their own self-worth. It starts with catcalls, jibes, and Lunch Money's style of play. Joshua tries to ignore it and them, hoping they'll become bored and go away. It's naive wishful thinking of course. And then one of them makes the mistake of touching him. It's not much, but it's enough to sift through and find the right painful moment in the boy's emotional memory. Joshua grabs onto it, holds on for dear life, breaking into a sweat.
"Look guys! He's so scared he's sweating! Do we make ya nervous, Banks? Hahahahaha!"
"Don't do it," Joshua simply says.
"Do what? This?" The punch is thrown even as he utters the last word. Joshua bleeds and reels, but manages to stay on his feet if just barely. The surprize comes to the other boys when the pugilist grabs his own head and explodes in tears of heart-wrenched pain.
"No. No. No," is all Joshua can mutter. He stands almost in a fetal position. The pugilist is almost a mirror of him. Does he understand how much it hurt himself to do what he did to him. It's more than just an Excedrin headache. The would-be bully is in shock. Three of the boys run in fear. The last was a kid Joshua thought was someone he could be friends with, until he joined the other bullys in school. He's the smallest of them and maybe he thought it was better to be at the devil's side than in his path. Now he just stares in horror as he realizes they weren't the devil he needed to fear.