Thursday, December 24, 2009

Unexpected Visitors

After exchanging brief glances with his son and wife, David stood and started toward the door.

Laurie's question wandered after him, "Who do you think it is, hon?"

He called back, "Probably religious zealots, decrying the apocalypse. I'll assure them we're insured and send them off."

Two police awaited him at the door. (I'm going to edit this post so it fits with the story, and continues - I just wanted to get this down)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Let's try something else

(believe it or not the title is a quote from a videogame; BlastCorps on the Nintendo 64. Rare was a fantastic developer back then. Okay.)

"Where's that damned soccer ball? Laurie! Are you sure it's under here?"

David's probing arm could find no purchase, and he stooped down low to peer under the deck. Cool, damp air upon his face helped him to forget the early afternoon sun while he vainly tried to pierce the darkness through thick-framed glasses. Moving closer, he reached again. Something was there... just a bit farther.

"Maybe Shawn got it earlier! You know how many times I've told him to get that thing out -- come help in the kitchen then!" came his wife's response. Off the hook.

Stretching as he stood upright, David lamented the effects of the past few years on his back. Golf and the BMW were his great passions now; no football and certainly no war games with his friends. A hot day like this would produce a perfect evening - cloudless skies and dry earth to lie upon, keeping watches and capturing objectives in a nearby park. Laurie used to scold him for holding to such childish traditions, but it was just so much fun. Maybe too much fun for a man in his sixth decade.

Through their sliding glass door, inside the kitchen, steaks were nearly marinated in Laurie's delicious homemade sauce, and she was working at pulling a bag of potatoes up from a cupboard. David stood back and admired her curvaceous figure while she struggled to heft the bag onto the counter. Her smirking revenge was to drop the peeler into his hands.

- - -

Shawn Hunter lounged atop the climbing equipment at Benson Park, just a few minutes' walk from his home. With his eyes closed, he couldn't see his friends Lewis, Kevin, or Andrew sneaking into difficult to reach positions all around him. His silent countdown concluded, and he called "Ready or not, you get the idea!"

Listening intently, Shawn felt like the Daredevil or any other imaginary sightless hero. He envisioned the structure around him, and focused on detecting indications of motion -- any vibrations, scents, or quiet scuffling which could give his target's locations away. Forward, forward, slowly down a two step ladder, forward again. Someone was to the left of him - he could hear breathing. Probably Lewis, whose body mass index would mockingly label as "obese".

Shawn turned slowly to the right, toward a red slide he knew no one would reasonably be sitting on. Crouching and putting a leg forward, he prepared to strike. Shawn lunged backward and up, turning around to face his loud-breathing foe, and swung his arm widely in front of him. Nothing but air. And a thump.

"Grounder!" the word leapt from his mouth after his prey, and Lewis' groan came back to him in response. "You're peeking, Shawn! You always peek!" Shaun ignored the taunts and continued to his right, down another step and forward to the monkey bars. People always sit on the top of the monkey bars.

Shawn asked aloud, "Who is it, Lewis? Is it Andrew or Kevin that's up here?"

Lewis' answer was unexpected, "Andrew's cheating! He shouldn't be allowed to stand on the outer wooden border!"

Now came the bickering. Andrew defended his right to walk the edge of the playground without being vulnerable, Lewis continued his accusations of cheating, and Kevin began to argue Andrew's side - from atop the monkey bars. The game was effectively over, so Shawn opened his eyes again to the blinding summer sunlight. Checking the time, he realized his family lunch was soon - and his friends offered distracted farewells as he departed. They'd all meet again in a few hours for baseball. There'd been less arguing before Daryl moved away.

Shawn's trip home was a game: count the number of steps he could take on the curb while running as fast as he could, and then try to beat that. He'd made a deal with God that if he could make it the whole way and only fall off once, then he would get a new bike for his birthday in two weeks. He missed twice, but assured himself that he could do it before his birthday.


At home, both his parents were relaxing at the table, his father reading a newspaper.

"Where's Jenn? Isn't lunch soon?"

"Oh your sister couldn't make it, honey. Something was delaying the train - she called and said that all of the outgoing trains were on hold until further notice. We decided to put our nice lunch off to tomorrow. I can make you a sandwich if you're hungry."

Shawn's curiosity piqued, "Was there an accident or something?"

"Oh I'm not sure... I didn't think to ask. I'll call your sister back if we don't hear from her in an hour or two. Did you want the sandwich?"

Shawn nodded and sat down across from his father. Someone pounded obnoxiously on their front door.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Uncertain and whimsy still, but in a good way

I'm in a fantastic mood.

Grenadier Six stood at Outpost Sierra, near the peak of Mount Recliner. He'd radioed in as soon as that beast Moriarty came into view - and watched the entire pathetic transgression between an unknown Rifleman and the ungodly monster. The Rifleman was now headed in this direction, looking like he meant business.

It could not be taken as good for the Tan army that a Green unit was coming inward to the line, looking like he meant business. As soon as Field Base returned orders, Grenadier Six would be prepared to bring a stop to the Rifleman's assault. Checking his pinned percussives, the Grenadier eased back into his lookout seat.

The War was built into these men. These toys.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I stand at the corner of whimsy and uncertain

I really kind of liked the line from an upcoming george clooney movie, that I saw in the trailer, something to the effect of, "relationships are the heaviest things we have in our lives. Weight keeps us from moving, and movement is life."

It was kind of depressing, but it had a stoic pragmatism to it. At the same time, it holds a kind of wild flame. It's independent, and fearlessly so, but it still makes me feel sad.

Not fiction, but I'm not clogging Kickass with something dumb like this.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Let's keep on with Rifleman Three, shall we?

Rifleman Three's milliscale feet stumbled just a moment when the whole plastic world rocked with an unfathomable blast. As he bolted down the smooth, circular-studded path the airsoft-pellet shrapnel rained upon him. A roar came from the sky as the opposing general of today's combat joyfully pranced; celebrating what he felt was his imminent victory. The Rifleman was not allowed to stop.

The objective was simple: get to Charlie Base. If Rifleman Three could arrive there, the whole war would be over. That statement may seem easy to comprehend, but it is one of weight and savour: the whole war would be over. Not this battle, not this campaign. The war.

Charlie Base lay about fifteen feet farther west. There were two mountains on the path - one with a long, smooth tunnel beneath it, which was a deathtrap if he was sighted on entrance, the other which would have to be scaled. The great cushioney mass was climbable, but without tools it would prove treacherous. A thumping, padding sound which was more felt than heard brought the Rifleman from his thoughts, still running on those little plastic feet. In comparison, they rang shrill against the ground. The terrible source of the noise entered his sight.

"Mrooow", boomed the growling monster. Standing easily five men high and more in length than could be counted, the enormous thing closed on the Rifleman fast. He'd seen it before, but never from within 5 feet. It would pass beneath an airbase, or in the arms of a general. This beast known as Moriarty was an object of fear among all armies, and the Rifleman could do nothing but throw himself to the ground in an attempt to hide.

The pounding drew closer, soft pads of the beast beating the earth like a drum - the Rifleman truly cowered, sliding as close to the plastic line-tree near him as possible. The awful noise would deafen anyone! Now came the hot breath, as the horrific feline slowed and made to capture its puny prey. This was his last moment - the war would go on, Charlie Base would not be reached. Images of the glorious Package flashed in Rifleman Three's plastic mind. He longed for the closeness afforded by the pile he would be tossed into when the war finished. The eternal sleep he could share with his bretheren - now cut from his future. That fishy breath cooled a moment - relief? What could this be?

And a swooshing, awful noise struck. He rolled through the air, smashed by a mighty paw.

Landing in a pile of 1x1 3-high lego blocks, Rifleman Three had a full view of his captor, charging... away? The tree had been ripped from the earth, and sent careening down the path in the direction he had come. Moriarty leaped after it, batting with his terrible arms. The Rifleman was sore, but unscathed. The war could still be won. He pressed on west, to Charlie Base.

-_- ... I'm really not sure what I was thinking when I came up with this.

Monday, November 2, 2009

more writing, less structure

time blends together, so that I don't know what was when
I sit here and puzzle, with my conceited ojectives, but cannot figure out when that was, where were you, why this or that

don't live in the past, it's the only thing more confusing than the present

I enjoy free writing. I'm sitting here, hidden, not even looking at the screen, just relaxing. I'm typing and flowing, it's good. I like Zoot Woman. I like to sleep a lot. There are no labs for the graphics course. Calvert thinks that students can find their own way around a computer by the time they've hit 4th year. That makes sense. I'm going to take Graphics and Compilers next semester, instead of going back to Microsoft. I'd planned to go back in the winter, but I never really worked to make that happen. Oh well - it means I get to be here and see the people I like to see, for longer. I will hopefully be able to go back there and do something really interesting. Pause. I stopped to breath - just to sit here and exhale, inhale,exhale, inhale. It's nice. I have a lot of work to do -- why aren't I working? I don't really want to at the moment - nah.

Stopped to read.

Turned some music on. It's so easy to question, to sit here and feel down for no reason. There's an easy answer though: don't. So I won't. I'll sit here and be positive. I'm just a tiny cog in a great big unchanging system, and that makes me very goddamned happy. THat brings me the kind of infinite joy that one could normally only extend to the likes of big brother.

Hours pass, I eat and sit. The whole village walks by. Then I sleep, in the home away from home. And now I'm back. To be finished.

--enh, that didn't work quite as well as I'd like.

Let's write something during networking

A little man went running westward down the path, his tiny feet made hollow noises against the plastic earth.

This wasn't a rare sight here. Day in and out, week on and off, miniature men skittered back and forth on artificial, well maintained terrain, fighting out battles and working together in ways real men only wished they could. They fought for valour, for honour, and for victory. The fate of the little plastic world hung in the balance - until the next day and the next battle. Unless this was a multiday campaign or something, then it might hang until the game is reset.

That's pretty much how you play with Army Men. You slap 'em down and shuffle them around, shoot and kick and jump and run (at a tiny plastic scale) and it all works out in the end. The good guys (you) win, and the bad guys (your friend Jimmy) lose, and the greatest tales of brotherly love, sacrifice, and heroism are played out in a child's mind. This is a great game. But it's not always just a game.

This tiny plastic man knew something. Something very, very big. What Rifleman Three knew could change the whole big outer (not plastic) world. And he was about to be killed.

---yeah that`s a good enough place to stop

Monday, October 26, 2009

From a while back

Gonna post a few that I found in a notebook from a year or so ago. As usual, they're unfinished and short. See how quick you guess what this one is about?

Swoosh, swish, flip, flick, flap, flop, whoop, slap, swoosh, flip, flick, flap, flop -

I'm next.

Air bursts onto my face and my eyes are filled with the dim distant ceiling bulbs on a failed of black. A blur of motion replaces them in an instant and resolves into the faces of my friends.

Every day, my friends change. I sometimes see the same friend twice, three times rarely, but they're often quite glad to see me.

(hint: it's about gambling) - ultra short but hey, I like it.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Looking back over the few things I put here, I'm kind of disappointed by the lack of quality. Then I look at this thing I wrote just now, and it's just more of the same.

But I'll still post it. Why destroy the fruits of even a small bit of effort?

Whenever we left the park, my little sister would cry. Mom would soothe her and tell her we'd come back, that everything would be here next time, and that we had exciting things ahead of us. She would cry, and cry, and then be better. All she needed to know was that she had something to look forward to.

I wish I had something to look forward to.

I'm sitting here, closer to morning's light than evening's dark, drearily awaiting the time when I'm required to move. Staring into the blank space of the computer monitor - another wasted night. Another lost sleep.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

something really short and crummy and incomplete

hmmmm... story

short.. story.. hm. Sci fi?

Rapid footfalls echoed loudly inside the stone and metal Grand Observatory. This evening the most important, momentous, and exciting event in all history had occurred.

Young Jian was manning the controls when it happened. A simple click. That was only the

rapid footfalls made
hollow echoes throughout the

well I'll post this. It's been open for about a hundred hours and it's got fewer total words. About halfway through writing that sentence I decided I was being maybe too verbose, so I thought about how I could tell the same story more economically. Thus you have the first sentence remade into a haiku. From here it was going to some form of contact; I don't really remember where I was writing. I've got a very loose-cut different idea in mind now, so I'll start up on that.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Flash Forward

While this isn't my fiction, I just wanted to commment that Robert J. Sawyer's book Flash Forward is being really enthralling and has kept me up past my bedtime the last few nights. I'll be done it soon and then I think I'll be back to rereading the Wheel of Time.

Gonna maybe write a bit tonight.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Life on a Mountain

Okay, let's just free write.

Time passed so quickly there.

At approximately 7,000ft, I'd moved rocks back and forth for days on end. Sleeping with a blanket wrapped around myself and a tiny fire by my side, I knew. What I was building would let me live.

On the fourth day or so was when it really took form - a shape borne of necessity and hope. This would be my home. Over a thousand of the loose-fit rocks plucked and placed made my abode, squat and holey, but thickset enough to block the harsh wind that battered my soul. How I miss it -- the rock house.

I mostly ate the berries during that time. I don't think it occurred to me that I'd run out of berries. When I did run out, I tried to start hunting marmots. That's a much harder task than it sounds! Running along a rock outcropping beside a thousand foot drop, after a foot high creature born to these lands and built for them, hastily throwing rocks at it and trying to trap it up? It's nearly impossible. I caught one once. It was gamey - I ate it regardless. Best meal I'd had in months. I tended to eat the grasses, boiled up in a disgusting sort of tea. Gave me enough to keep going - you don't use a lot of energy up there, when you don't have to.

I explored every day I felt up to it. He must've known I was looking for him - but there was nothing that that would change. I knew I'd eventually find a way in, work my way down, and kill him.

When I found the door, it was over a thousand feet above my house and across a particularly unstable feeling glacier. I felt an odd wind on a rock patch - seemed to pull into the ground. I pulled a few large stones aside, and the pull only grew. I knew it then - not having seen it, but feeling the way. Just a few days' work and I'd be in. Nothing compared to the last two years I'd lived on that mountain.

The nights are what I'll remember about life there. What I'll remember the strongest. The howling wind tearing at you. No matter the house you build, the blanket you're in. The fire you huddle beside. That wind will take you up and ruin you. There was -- is -- no respite. I've certainly lost a fair piece of my mind to that wailing, screaming, unending icy blast. I think that helped motivate me, to find the door and get inside.

Once the door was visible, I knew I wasn't going back home. That I'd have to press on and finish, and that I could leave the forsaken place when I was done. I pried it up with thinned fingers and sinewy strength. It came free, exposing the tunnel beneath. Descending to black., don't feel like writing more.

Saturday, February 28, 2009


This was not the first time.

Rachel ran full tilt across the frozen water, muscles screaming their prophecies of revenge to her bones.


How could this happen again? And so far. He must be absolutely mindless! Her feet pounded on the ice; her heart hammered in her chest. Somewhere deep within, she knew why she was so angry. Her anger kept the fear from creeping outward - the fear of a truth she could never, ever accept.

--- I make no claims about the quality of things I write. These tend to be bus-ride jots about things I find interesting at the time. Also, they're a full page of text in my notebooks, which is a length I'm comfortable with. I recognize that that is short.