Changes are coming! What are they? Actual content!!!
A Selection of Short Stories and various things I find interesting.
Changes are coming! What are they? Actual content!!!
Staple Austin came and went pretty fast this weekend. It was my first Con/Expo type event and I have to say that it was FREAKING AWESOME!!!! That being said, I learned some things:
Kevin Eastman is one of the nicest people ever.
So is Scott Chitwood.
And the guys behind The Sixth Gun.
Austin has a ton of local talent and they are all eager to break in. I think it would be a great idea to get some kind of local network setup for everyone so we can share and trade ideas.
tumblrbot asked: ROBOTS OR DINOSAURS?
Here is a brief segment of a story I wrote a few years back that is getting a total overhaul except for this brief scene.
It was standing several yards away from me, crouched in some bushes. Its hair was matted down from sleeping in the dirt and snow. It was a thick, coarse dark hair that covered the entire body, even the face. The nose and features struck me as still very much human, the main difference being the elongated forehead from the dropped brow. I stood in front of my fire, pistol at the ready. I was scared shitless, my feet were rooted to the spot. I forgot to breathe for an instant, and in the same instant it let out a low snarl and lunged forward. I got off two quick shots that lodged into the creature’s right shoulder, stunning the beast momentarily, but not enough to keep it from reaching me and knocking me back as I fired a third shot. The gun flew from my hands and I fell by the fire. The beast stood over me and roared maliciously. My hands groped for anything to hurl at the monster to drive it back. My hand closed around the pot handle, and I slung the pot and its boiling contents and hit the Mutated square in the nose. I scrambled back as the creature howled, grabbing at its burning face. The hair kept most of the water away, but the scalding heat still shocked the creature. I grabbed a branch from the fire and welded it like a bat, ready to swing for the fences. I struck the creature across the head with the burning end, and coals flew from the end, landing in the snow, sizzling. The beast sent a back hand at me, smacking me across the face and sending me back. I lost the branch and I heard it go out in the snow as I hit the ground. My head hit something metallic and dazed, I grabbed it. I recognized the butt of the pistol and I grasped it firmly, firing off 5 more shots into the creature’s chest as it made a final run at me. It collapsed to the ground a few feet from me, breathing slowly and struggling to hold on for life. I struggled to my feet, my head woozy from being hit. I walked over to it and as I was about to fire off my last shot at close range, it shook violently and died coughing up blood.
"Can’t write. Can’t focus. I’m hurting and tired. There is an undercurrent of loudness in me and it is driving me crazy." His head was in his hands as he spoke, his voice directed at the floor. "What kind of writer doesn’t write", there was an anger to his voice, a quivering quality that suggested resignation. He was dooming himself to his own rage and he wasn’t sure if he cared. "I just want this to be over."
"It isn’t fair. I just want one god-damned break in my life, is that too much to ask?" He got up out of the chair and started pacing.
"Sit down, you’re making me nervous."
"I can’t, if I stay still much longer I’m going to explode." He didn’t know what to do with his hands, they kept clenching and opening sporadically and his shoulders were starting to quiver. He couldn’t help but pace the floor of the room, his shoes pounding a nervous rhythm into the floorboards.
"If you’ll just stop and tell me what is wrong…"
"Everything." He stopped pacing and ran his hands over his face roughly, leaving streaks of white in his reddening face from the pressure. "It’s just too-" and before another breath was uttered his skin turned from red to purple to blue, and with a violent Bang! and a shower of red gore and viscera he erupted.
To love in earnest
a gift to all
yet claimed by so few
Guarded is how most venture forth
closed heart and mind
never plunging into their own depth
Live not in fear of pain
live to love everday
Live to dream
Apparently for me to regress back to high school and write some poetry I have to be up way too late and eat some really nice Italian food. The following are 6 poems for your amusement and my embarrassment.
A drifting numbness
longing to forget your face
An erratic heart
Acquiescing to my fate
Words on a page
arranged in so many ways
meaning so many things
A word here
A word there
The difference between love and hate
So much at stake
For such simple things
A lovers embrace
That’s what I want
When faced with truth
It’s all I want
I don’t care for money
I don’t desire fame
Keep all your glory baby
Its just not the same
All I need
All I breathe
Is to have my lovers arms
Wrapped tightly around me
Locked in a risk
Wish it was a Tryst
Won’t take the blame
For you going insane
Fuck the joke
It isn’t what I wrote
I don’t care if it makes no sense
That’s not the point of this
It’s all a matter of time
Always ending as the day is beginning
You’ll never stop
Lathe all day
Mill all night
Always work to do
Always work to do
Except the Clang Band Whir of machines
Thin and vile
My body is its domicile
Lean and mean
It makes my eyes green
Clutch the corners of my heart
Harsh whispers through pointed teeth
Crawl through the wrinkles of my brain
There is a monster inside of me
“Hang on, we’re almost there.” He smiled wearily down at her as he spoke.
She looked up meekly, her feet dragging the ground. She stumbled and started to fall, but he reached out and caught her. “I’m sorry, just give me a moment of rest and I’ll be good to go.” He held her against him for a brief moment, “We’re too close, come on, I’ll carry you,” he took her up in his arms, she was too tired to protest.
She rested her head on his shoulder, and looked up at the sky. It was dark, clouds obscured the sky. She wondered if there were stars here. She wasn’t sure how long they had been here, it was always so dark. She shivered and she felt him hold her a little bit closer to him. She wrapped her arms around his neck and she wondered where he found all this strength. He hadn’t stopped since they arrived here, and when that man… that thing, showed up he fended him off and he found out a way for them to escape. She tensed at the thought of that man again, when he grabbed her his touch was so cold she felt her heart was going to freeze, he had wanted her, and she could tell by the look in his eyes that he would kill to get her.
Since that moment they hadn’t stopped. He kept them both moving towards the light on the horizon. She had asked him why that direction, he simply shrugged and said he felt it was the right way to go, when you find yourself in the dark, head towards the light. She closed her eyes and rested her head against his shoulder, the fabric from his suit jacket warm against her cheek.
He looked ahead at path before them. Barren trees lined each side of the path. The leafless branches, gray in the darkness, creaked and groaned. He noticed that there was no breeze and he held her a little tighter to his chest. He was weary, but he had to keep going, he had to get her back.
He almost hadn’t gone to the wedding. He had carried a flame for her for so long, to hear she was going to marry someone else had pained him deeply. He knew that he had to get over his feelings for her and he had gone to the wedding with the intent to do just that. He was happy that she had found someone, and that was what he had intended to tell her when he knocked on her door in the church. The moment she opened it all this started. He looked down at her, her wedding dress torn and dirty, and he smiled. “Maybe I shouldn’t have come to the wedding,” he stated rather plainly. She opened her eyes and looked up at him and started laughing, “And why is that?” He grinned, “Well look where it got us, stranded in some weird dimension, your wedding dress is ruined and we have a stranger hunting us. All because I knocked on your door at the church.” She looked up at him, “Eh, they always say that nothing goes right on your wedding day.”
He looked upon the path again and stopped in his tracks. She was still giggling, her head buried back into his chest. Her giggling died slowly and she looked back up at him, the look on his face had her worried, “What’s wrong, why did we stop?” He didn’t say anything, his eyes were just staring straight ahead, his jaw clenched. She twisted in his arms and looked down the path. In the middle of the path, framed in black against the light, was the stranger.
His voice seemed to echo from the darkness, “I’m so glad that you two could join me. I knew I would find you here.” He stood with his arms crossed at the breast, the brim of his hat low, hiding his face. “Now, are we going to do this the easy way or the hard way?”
“I’m going to put you down for a moment, stand behind me okay?” She nodded and he set her down, straightening up he spoke evenly, trying to hide the fear in his voice, “What do want with her?”
“She’s going to be my way into your world. I’ve grown tired of this one, I’ve drained all the color out of it.” He gestured his hand towards her, beckoning her to come to him, “I’ve watched you all of your life… It’s fitting that you’re in that wedding dress, perhaps I’ll make you my bride. Yes, I’d like that quite a lot, together we could drain your world.”
She peeked from around Finn, her hands gripping his arms in fear, “Why me? I’m no different from anyone else, I don’t even know how we got here… or where here is?!” She felt the panic in her voice, and felt a gentle squeeze from Finn’s hand on hers.
“You are no normal girl and you know it, or have you forgotten about the sculptures your father made when you were a girl?” He laughed menacingly to himself, his chest heaving under his coat. “ You are from here you silly girl, your dad brought you over to the world you call home when I started my reign of terror on this realm.” He shrugged, “But I digress, there will be plenty of time for answers once you are mine. Boy, hand her over to me, there is no need to lose your life over some girl who will never feel the same way you do.”
Finn balled his hands into fists as the words hit him like a slap to the face, “That is none of your business, and as for all this, you’ll have to kill me to get to her.” He turned to face her, “While I have him distracted, you make a mad dash for the light, I don’t think he can get through without you.”
She looked up at him, her eyes full of fear, “What about you, he’ll kill you. And what if you can’t get back? I can’t do this alone.” She was pleading with him, grabbing at his jacket, tears falling unabashedly down her cheeks. “Please…”
He smiled down at her, his fingers gently wiping the tears from her face, leaving smudges of dirt on her cheeks, “You have someone waiting for you on the other side. I’m going to make sure you get back to him.” He bent down and kissed her, briefly, for the first and last time. He gave her hand a squeeze, “Once I have his attention, go, and don’t look back.”
The stranger looked at the two impatiently, his booted foot tapping the ground, “Are you two done saying your last good byes? I’ve been waiting for this day for quite a long time and now that its upon me I find myself full of energy.”
Finn turned to face him, “You know a lot about her, but I wonder if you know nearly as much about me?” He walked towards the stranger slowly, “I wonder if you know as much about me, as I know about you… Mr. Stilskin.”
At the sound of his last name the stranger tensed up, “How could you know my name boy? There are none left living who know my name.”
“Obviously that is true, but after all Mr. Stilskin, I know your name. And don’t call me ‘boy’, my name is Finn, and as for how I know your name, that is the least of your concerns.” Finn stopped, took off his dress jacket and as he looked down, a smile graced his lips, and he whispered seemingly to himself, “Thanks little one, I’ll do my best.” He looked up again, his eyes meeting the glowing yellows of Mr. Stilskin’s eyes. “You killed this world, bled it dry. What you didn’t know, or maybe you did and just didn’t care was that the dead linger, and they hold many secrets.”
Mr. Stilskin snarled, “What do the dead matter boy? I hold no fear of the dead, what can they do to me?” He laughed to himself again, the noise echoing in the emptiness, “Now come and face me, I hate all this banter.”
Finn raised his hand, motioning for a moment more, and did his best to steady his voice “You‘ll get your wish. Although, a word of advice, don’t underestimate the dead. ”
“You can have all the knowledge in this world boy, and you still wouldn’t be able to stop me. Now enough of this! She is mine!”
Mr. Stilskin charged, throwing his hat at Finn, his arms open, coat billowing behind him as he ran. Finn moved out of the way of the hat instinctively, and found himself wrapped up in Mr.Stilskin’s arms. The arms gripped him tighter and tighter, and Finn felt the air start to leave his lungs. In the heat of the moment he was struggling to remember everything the dead ones had been saying to him since they arrived, they appeared to him as children, little ones they called themselves. They told him that Mr. Stilskin was quick to anger, and powerful, but patient and smart. Tricking him would be a hard task they said, but Finn had no intentions to trick him, only to delay him long enough for her to get through.
She watched the man charge at Finn, his coat bellowing behind him, and his hat slicing through the air. She watched him dodge the hat, but held in a scream as the monster caught Finn hard in his arms. She wanted to run, to do what Finn told her, but her legs stood frozen on the spot. She could hear Mr. Stilskin taunting at them as he slowly crushed Finn to death, “Is this your great plan boy? All that talk had me worried, but of course it was just talk. I don’t know how you know my name but it is a small matter, the dead tell no tales and soon you’ll join them!” She shivered again, was it getting colder? Mist had started to roll in from the dead wood, enveloping her feet. She felt her legs relax, and she took a tentative step forward. She felt her foot move, and felt it hit the ground. Finn called out to her, “Run!” he gasped, “Run!” She took off, keeping her eyes on the light, fatigue coursed through her body and her limbs cried out for her to stop, but she kept pushing herself forward.
Finn could feel the life ebbing out of him, the desolated trees were fading out of he edges of his sight, and he could feel the blackness closing in on him. He could feel the hot stink of the man’s breath on him, the odd chill emanating from the monster’s body. He saw her move toward the light, and for that he was glad, if he could hold out a little longer she’d make it to the other side, safe forever.
“Do you think I can’t go back and get her boy? Do you think this will be my only opportunity?” Mr. Stilskin squeezed tighter, “You’re little sacrifice means nothing, if you go ahead and die in time for me to get her before she goes through that portal, it’ll save you a lot of pain. Because if she makes it through… well I know ways to drag out your suffering a long time boy…”
Finn finally saw the mists swirling around them and they gave him hope, “You know, there was one more thing the dead told me Rumple, that you are a liar and I know you can’t go back in and get her. You don’t have the energy to open that portal back.”
Rumple Stilskin roared, “So you know my first name boy! What good does that do you?!” And with that burst of rage he threw Finn aside, and took a step toward the girl struggling to make her way to the light. The mists clung to his legs, struggling to keep him grounded, but he was so powerful his legs worked against the mist and slowly he moved forward.
It was all she could do to put one foot in front of the other, the mist obscured the ground and she found herself stumbling over roots hidden by the rolling grey. She could hear the man roar in his fury and waves rippled through the grey ocean covering the ground as he approached. She frantically tried to hurry, but fell to the ground, her foot tangled in the dead roots of a tree.
Finn felt the cool mist brush against his face as he laid at the base of a tree. He struggled to stand, every bone in his body felt broken, and his muscles had nothing left. “Help me…” he pleaded into the mist, “help me save her…” There was no reaction at first, the mist rippled across the ground as it had been, but from where Finn spoke the mist began to shake and boil. Quickly it started to rise from the ground, a bubbling mass of smoke and moisture, grey and swirling. The mist seemed to be rolling into it from everywhere, and it began to take shape. Arms seemed to sprout from the sides, pulling themselves from the ether, and soon it was standing on two legs, solid as the ground it stood on. A chest formed next, the hands helping to smooth out the wrinkles. Lastly, the hands reached into the chest and pulled out a head, faceless, eyeless, yet friendly. It seemed to smile down at Finn before walking down the path toward the maniac who was now standing over the young girl.
“Here let me help you,” his voice was could barely mask his laughter as he hoisted her off the ground and he tossed her over his shoulder “after all once upon a time you were promised to me anyway. But your awful mother found out what my name was and I lost you.” He laughed to himself, his body shaking with the force of it, “Of course I guess I got the last laugh!” His laughter echoed in the night and he started walking toward the light. She stared at the ground, now illuminated from the light of the portal into her world. His shoulder dug into her stomach, it hurt, but she didn’t care. He had her now, and all seemed lost. She felt him come to an abrupt halt, and not a moment later she was dropped carelessly to the ground. She spun around to see two people silhouetted in the light, one was the man called Rumple Stilskin, and she couldn’t see any features of the other, only that he stood blocking Stilskins’ way.
Stilskin spoke, his voice full of confidence, “Ah, now who is this? Step aside or I’ll leave you broken like that boy behind us crumpled under the tree.” He gestured behind him and the girl couldn’t help but look back. Finn was laying face down in the mist, and she couldn’t tell if he was moving at all. She felt anger welling up inside of her, why did he have to go and get hurt she asked herself, why’d he have to try and fight it himself? She wanted to go shake him, tell him to get up and get moving we have to get home, but she couldn’t, her body didn’t want to move. She turned away, to look at what stood in the way of her captor.
“What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?” asked Stilskin playfully. He was so close to having his way he couldn’t help himself.
The thing spoke. It shook the girl to her core, draining what little color she had left. Stilskins face dropped, his monstrous shoulders sagged. When it spoke, it spoke with the voices of millions, all calling out from the world of the dead, “You! You killed us! All of us! You took our world from us!” They shrieked in unison, crying out in pain and sorrow. It chilled her and all the luster and power seemed to drain from Rumple Stilskins body. He cowered in their presence, and soon the dead where upon him. They seemed to tower over the once huge Rumple Stilskin, their hands closing around his throat. They lifted him up off the ground, “It’s time you joined us,” the voices chimed over and over. “It’s time you joined us. It’s time you joined us.” A light erupted from its chest, blinding, but she couldn’t look away. Slowly they lowered Rumple into the light, his hands grasping feebly at their wrists, his feet kicking wildly as the light engulfed him. He cried out, but she could not hear, all she could hear were the words of the dead ringing in her ears.
The light faded, and Rumple Stilskin was gone. The dead stood there as one, unmoving. She felt the wind stir against her skin and slowly, their task completed and their souls at piece, the dead began to drift away with the wind. “Thank you…” was all she managed to say as the last whispers of the dead faded into the night air and she lost consciousness.
“Hey, wake up. C’mon wake up.” The voice penetrated the blackness, and she felt someone gently shaking her. “Come on, its time to go home.” Her eyes opened slowly, her lids were heavy and she fought the urge to let them close again. She blinked, there seem to be light all around her. Slowly her eyes came into focus, and she the first thing she saw was daylight. She could make out all the barren trees and she could see mountains in the distance. Finally, she saw Finn, he was sitting on the ground in front of her, the portal right behind him. He was smiling, his face dirtied with blood and soil. He had fashioned a sling out of his dress jacket for his left arm. Grinning he said, “I would have carried you over but I’ve gotten pretty lazy.” She laughed, “You and your bad jokes. Where did all this light come from?”
He shrugged, “I don’t know. It was here when I came to. Well there is no time for mysteries, this isn’t our world. Lets get you home.” He stood up, offering her his good hand which she gladly accepted and he pulled her up to her feet.
“That man said… he said I was from here.” She was scared to say the words out loud for fear they were true. She looked at him, looking for answers in his eyes.
“The man was a liar and a monster, who knows what he would have said to warp you for his own gain. Who knows what happened here, it isn’t our world and what is done is done. Lets go home.” He hugged her, and she let herself relax in his arms, “You’re right. Lets go home.”
They turned towards the portal together, and walked through, neither looking back at the world they left behind.