Sunday, April 29, 2007

First Sentence Assignment!!

Dear Friends,
All right, now since we got Stewart's brutal, but very fun assignment out of the way (I'm still improving that last awful attempt by the way) it's time for a new first sentence assignment.
For those of you who missed the last one, this is how we roll:
I post a beginning sentence and it is your job to come up with the rest of the story. It can be in any genre, and must be in your own style. The word limit is 2,000 words, give or take. If it runs a little over, don't worry about it, just show us the story. Always story. This is fun, trust me.
There were a few who participated the last time. Kate Sterling came up with a wonderful fantasy yarn that I'm still waiting to see how it turns out. She has it posted under Stewart's Assignments if your curious. Etain also came up with a great story, also fantasy. And Charles Gramlich wrote a creepy little tale that made me both smile, and shiver as I read it. All are very good and I recommend reading them if you haven't already.
All right, so you know the basics, you know past stories started with a single sentence. Why not give it a try? What's there to lose? I promise you, it'll be fun...

Here's the first sentence: Beyond all I've seen before, this was the worst.

The deadline is Friday, May 4th.

Okay now, shoo! Git! Write something grand, and remember...have fun.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dangerous Lines: A Search for a Beloved Heart

Well, here we. Again, I decided to participate in another Stewart Sternberg assignment. This story came out so smooth it was scary. I've had it happen before with a few stories I've written in the past, but this was a first in a while. It was great to feel that ease as I saw what my story was trying to lead me to. To feel so free!Thanks Stewart! Thanks everyone for taking the time to look. And remember, this goes for all my work, be honest about this. I like honesty.

Dangerous Lines: A Search for a Beloved Heart

Is there a set time for a person’s death? Could it be that there is some force, some being out there that knows every person’s life span, and what they will die from? And is it this being, this force, which decides our fates? Well…

Yes, and no.

I turned to Val, my half brother, and scowled at him. He knew nothing of what it was to be human. And yet he insisted on tormenting me about all its faults. Humans die, humans get ill easily, humans can’t fly, and so on.

I was able to fly once upon a time, before my choice; I had wings. The choice to remain as I was, a creature that flew the night skies and feasted upon terror and anarchy. What was I, you ask? Well, not a vampire, if that’s what you thought. No. I…was a demon; one in a million that skimmed through this world’s shadows to literally fuck up human existence. I used to love it. Until I fell in love. Yes. I hear you scoffing right now. Demons don’t know how to love. True, but we can learn. Once I met Angela, I began to learn. We’ve been together for six years.

Val scowled back, his leathery wings folding up to hide behind his back. I needed no words of his anger. I saw his trembling fists, his cold red eyes on my new blue ones.

“You betrayed us all!” Val burst out as he stalked toward me. I held up a hand.

“Far enough, brother.” I said.

Val growled. His eyes like fiery orbs in the night. My own eyes had turned blue my second year with my dearest Angela. My dark gray skin was now a dark tan. Even my fangs have gone. I’m more human than I ever hoped to be. And I’m still changing.

Val stopped. All he’d have to do was swipe out with one claw and that would be the end of me. Yet, he remained a goodish distance away. Who said demons were all action and no talk?

He thrust one long talon capped finger at me.

“You left us for one of them! The very creatures we’re trying to kill! How could you be so fucking stupid?”

“I love her.” I said, as if that explained everything.

Val roared and rushed at me. I held up a hand again, not afraid. And he stopped. This surprised me as much as I was surprised when I found demons could learn to love. But, in the end, Val would surely kill me. He has displayed a great deal of self control, but it was fading fast.

Val sighed.

“Let her go. Come with me and the Lord might give you back your wings.”

“No.” I said and shook my head. “I can’t. If you were to love, you’d understand.”

I could tell by the way Val’s red eyes glowed hotter that that little piece of advice, or whatever it was, enraged him greatly. He stood nearly a foot away from me now, face to face. I could feel the cold radiating off him and shivered. HE must have seen this because he grinned.

“Come back and you’ll never have to feel again.”

“No!” Shouted into his face.

Val recoiled a little and then his flat, ape-like nose was pressed against mine. He was so cold that I could feel my new skin blistering. His fangs were bared. Not good. I backed away just enough to relieve my burning nose.

“Then you’ll die as you are, weak.” Val said.

“Rather that than die as you are. A monster.” I said, wanting to rub my hurt nose, but not daring to with Val so close. I didn’t want to show him just how weak I had become. But humans do have their strengths, oh yes, and I knew of one Val didn’t.

I gave him the kindest smile I could muster. He cringed back, frowning at me.

“What-“ He began, and then I said.

“I love you too, Val, my brother.”

To this, Val looked sick, he backed away from me, gagging. I stepped forward, meaning to say just how much I love him, which was false, of course, when he straightened and charged toward me, claws out, fangs snapping. He was going to kill me now.

Yet, he stopped a couple feet away from me, snarling like a rabid dog.

“Don’t you ever say that to me again! I’ll kill you if you do!” Val said.

“Go away, Val.” I said. “Go away, I’m happy now.”

“You’re fucking brain washed! How do you know if you’re happy or not? Huh? How do you know how to love?”
I smiled.

“I learned.” I said.

“Fuck you!” Val screamed into my face. His breath was like a dangerous gas. Mustard, perhaps.

Val was so angry he couldn’t stop from trembling all over. I knew what he wanted to do, so why didn’t he do it? Why not just end it all? What was holding him back?

“You’re a disgrace to what we are!” Val boomed. He pushed me, hard, but I managed to keep my balance.

The old rage bloomed in me just then. I glared at him and roared.

“You have no right to touch me! Go away!”

The creature that was my half brother, growled and we began to move in a slow circle eyes fixed on one another. Then-

“Will what’s-“

The sound of the back screen door slapping shut an her words made me freeze where I stood. Val’s eyes, those wretched eyes, flickered passed me. HE looked at me again, and grinned.

“No.” I told him, but his grin lengthened.

“Don’t you touch her.” I said.

Val leaned closer to me, his grin like a dark cut sliced ear to ear.

“You will come back to us, Will.” He said to me.

He flashed passed me so fast I didn’t have time to realize it until after it had happened. Then I heard her scream, my wife, my life. Angela. I whirled on legs that felt like stacked water balloons. My heart clenched.

Val held her in the air above our back deck. He laughed.

Then, they vanished. Just like that…gone.

“Aaannnggelaaaa!” I cried. I raced to the porch.

Gone, gone. They were gone. Suddenly I knew why my half brother did not attack me, why he restrained himself from killing me.

“Because there are other ways to kill.” I murmured.

I sent my sight to the sky. My Lords have changed since I met Angela. I now worshiped the one from the Heavens. The other, that bowel sucking serpent, was mostly to blame for taking my dear Angela.

A few minutes later I went into the house, packed some clothes into a duffel bag, grabbed all the money from Angela’s purse and the small safe we kept in our office, and left the place I have called home for six years.

The night was warm, somber. As my shoes made soft scuffing clacks on the pavement, I brought up a fresh image of my Angela. Sweet, caring, loving, perfect.

I would find them, Val and my beloved wife, even if it took me eternities to do so. I would find them.

The End

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


For the final ingredient, Anarchy, I have only a few words to say: Virginia Tech, Columbine, 9/11.

Need I say more? Need I write a story about it? There's too much right now to even go into. It's sad, and appauling. Scary, and horrifying. To get the perfect horror stories, simply watch the news. Horror is all around us. It's monsters wear our faces. We are the true monsters. We are Blood, Madness, and Anarchy. I say we in general, of course. Not all of us are monsters. But there are quite a few out there. Quite a few. I mourn all of those lost in a scatter of bullets, a madman's torture, and fire. Need I say more?

Virginia Tech Massacre:

BLACKSBURG, Va. - The gunman suspected of carrying out the Virginia Tech massacre that left 33 people dead was described Tuesday as a sullen loner whose creative writing in English class was so disturbing that he was referred to the school's counseling service.

"He was a loner, and we're having difficulty finding information about him," school spokesman Larry Hincker said.

Professor Carolyn Rude, chairwoman of the university's English department, said she did not know Cho. But she said she spoke with Lucinda Roy, the department's director of creative writing, who had Cho in one of her classes and described him as "troubled."

"There was some concern about him," Rude said. "Sometimes, in creative writing, people reveal things and you never know if it's creative or if they're describing things, if they're imagining things or just how real it might be. But we're all alert to not ignore things like this."
I write horror fiction, but notice the word "fiction". This guy lost contact of that word somewhere along the line. Somewhere...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Inside the outside

Here's a story for the second ingredient. Madness. Enjoy, my fine feathered friends...enjoy.

Inside the Outside

"I told you," Ted said and walked over to the coffee table.

"I'm perfectly sane."

Bill stepped into the living room. Ted had been his best friend since the first grade. But Ted hasn't quite been on the mark lately.

"I know people who'd say different, buddy." Bill said. He took a seat in Ted's recliner.

Ted whirled around.

"Who?" He asked.

Bill shrugged.

"Your wife. She's worried about you."

Ted let go a breath and rolled his eyes.

"What do I care what she thinks. Stupid woman. You know I had to take over cleaning the house because she's too lazy to do it?"

"I heard." Bill said and stood from the recliner. All at once he was scared. The room felt as though the walls themselves were alive, and wanting crush him, needing to. And yeah, he heard. Ted had taken over cleaning the house because ehe barely realized he was married anymore.

He shuddered and moved toward his friend. Ted's wife, Ellen, had asked him to come and talk with Ted; to have a sit down, as it were. Well, by the looks they won't be sitting down anytime soon. Well, save for that brief touch and go on the recliner, of course. The problem with Ted now days, was that he had become compulsive, when earlier in his life he was quite satisfied with things. There were other things too. Ted had begun to scratch wildly at the back of his right ear a lot, like he was doing now. He also talked to himself, even in company. So far the old boy hasn't done that yet. There were more tics and peculiar behavior, of course, but nothing of consequence.

Bill sighed and said.

"Ted, man, let's take a walk or something. Get some fresh air. What do ya say?"

"No." ted said immediately and then-

"Kiddies heads on stakes where devils leave their rakes."

Bill stood, his breath suddenly dying in hias throat. Here was Ted talking to himself. Bill decided to let it go. Christ he needed to get out of this house. HE felt like he couldn't bretahe at all.

"Blood drippin, drippin, down the slippin hill." Ted said, his eyes wide and fixed on Bill.

Ted took a step closer to Bill. Bill retreated a step. Ted caught up. Shit.

"Hey, Ted. Give me some air huh?" Bill said nervously.

"Yellowed fork tongues in the mouths of infants and rogues." Ted said and suddenly rushed at Bill.

Bill, shocked to see this sort of behavior, even from Ted, who has been losing his mind ever since his daughter drowned in the bathtub under his watch, side stepped and saw his old friend stumble passed.

Ted stopped, turned, his eyes wider. Terror leaped up and bit into Bill's gut. He winced.

"Kill the interloper that wields the water of logic!" Ted shrieked and lunged for Bill again.

Bill dodged his friend easily. Ted had never been very good on his feet. Ted collided with the coffee table, flew over top and landed on the floor. He made a giggling sound and shot to his feet. HE scratched frantically at the back of his right ear. Then he roared and came at Bill again.

"Ted for Christ sake!" Bill shouted and dodged Ted again. But this time Ted wheeled around unexpectidly and caught Bill on the jaw with a hard hook.

Bill saw stars for a moment and then Ted rammed into him. They both went to the floor, Ted screaming something about cookies in the dark will make all the dogs fart. Bill shoved Ted off him, sat up, and punched his friend hard in the chin. Ted's eyes rolled up to reveal only the whites, and then he collapsed to the floor. Out cold.

Bill got to his feet, shuddered and went to the cordless phone hung in its cradle on the wall. He dialed 911. He told the dispatcher what the problem was and she said there would be a unit there in ten minutes. Must be a slow day.

As Bill waited for the police to arrive to haul his friend away, he sat int eh relciner, watching Ted as he slept. He shook his head. Such good person. Why is it always the good ones? Bill didn't know. And soon he heard a car pull into Ted's driveway. The police. And from the police station, poor Ted will go to the mental hospital over in Independence.

Bill got up from the recliner, took one last look at his best friend, and went to the front door to let the police officer in.

The End

Monday, April 9, 2007

Blood, Madness and Anarchy!


What is the significance of blood in a horror story? Why does the very thought of it churn our stomachs and make our hearts beat a little faster? What is it that makes us all think about our own mortality? Is it mortality itself? Could it be that every splash of blood brings us that much closer to realizing we are destructible, that we too are like the victims on the page and on the screen? Why am I answering questions with more questions?

For me blood is one key to unlocking a horror story. Of course you really don't need blood to make a good horror story, but where's that sense of mortality? Where's the real fear? I need at least a dribble of blood in a story to keep me reading. I need that feeling that the character isn't a rock but real living flesh, destructible. I need to know the character is like myself, able to bleed, and to hurt. Blood is what makes us....


There he is. Yes, over there in the far corner of your house. He's gibbering to himself as he stares at you. His eyes are fixed, haunting, mad. In his right hand he's gripping the handle of a steak knife so tightly he begins to tremble. He titters, and...well, I think you should be moving your ass right about now, wouldn't you say?

Madness creates suspense, which in turn creates a terrific mood for a great horror story. Not a slasher flick. There must be more to this person's madness than just wild killing sprees. They have feelings of their own you know. We must delve deeper into them, find what really makes them tick, huh? Yeah. I love both read and write what a ma person thinks and feels. It's really a grand time and if you haven't, I'd say give it a try. But I'm warning you...madness is infectious...


And so the world is in chaos...need I go further into the realm of anarchy? We all know what it means and how terrifying it can be. Perhaps I will leave this for someone else to show us. Howe about you? What do you think?

Saturday, April 7, 2007

HAPPY EASTER TO ALL!! If you're into that...

To you Devoted Readers and writers who celebrate it...HAPPY EASTER!!! To those who do not, hey, HAPPY SUNDAY!!!

Okay, okay, if you're reading this and it's still Saturday, please forget you even saw it. Close the window or jump to another blog. But on Sunday, be sure to stop by again and take a look. It's nothing much, but i hope it at least brings a twitch of smile to your face.

For those of you who happen on this blog and it's Sunday, well then, come along, let me show you something silly, for today is not a horror day. Today is a day of peace, of love, and of brightness. Of family and friends. This is a day to celebrate, no matter if you celebrate Easter or not. It's Sunday damn it! Enjoy it. Relax. Okay, are you ready?

Tommorws forecast tells me it's supposed to be cold and windy, not very good weather for Easter egg hunting let me tell you. That's a stinker. Now let me tell you a brief story that popped into my head just when I turned on the computer this evening. Here goes...

Sunday's Eggs

"Found one!" Pam cried and stuffed the colored plastic egg in the plastic Wal-Mart bag.

Her brother Drew shot a glare her way and then opened his bag to look at the contents. There were only four eggs in there. Not anything to be proud of. He turned and started looking harder for the remaining eggs. He knew there were more. There had to be. Pam had eight and he had four. There had to be more out ther in the yard somewhere.

Ignoring the cold wind that threatened to pick him up and carry him away, Drew re-started his search. Behind him he heard a voice shout.

"Got another one! Drew walked right passed it!"

He didn't trun around, and instead kept up his search. So what if he walked by an egg? There were more out here...somewhere.

He walked around to the back yeard and paused, eyes scanning the patch of land before him. And there! Something that didn't go well with the bark of a small maple tree. Something purple. He ran toward it, smiling in triumph, the plastic bag with his four plastic eggs clattered and crackled, and swung in his right hand.

But as he came closer, Drew's speed slowed, slowed, until he fell to a stop about eight feet from the tree. His brow creased. What the hell was that? It was purple sure, but that , that thing wasn't a plastic egg left behind by that fabled bunny, but what appeared to be a fat little man.

The man looked at him, hand on his meaty sides, tiny head cocked to the left,as if ponderin Drew's exsistance. Drew, eyes large, mouth gaping, took a step forward. The fat little man flinched and his hands came up in a warding guesture.

"Go away, go away! Don't eat me!" Cried the little man. Drew could barely hear him even at this distance.

"I won't eat you." Drew heard himself say, though he was curious to exactly what this little man really was. HE started forward again.

"No, no! Stay back! Bunny'll be back!"

Bunny? No. This little man dressed in what appeared to be a purple sweat suit didn't actually say that. Hell, the fellow didn't exsist in the first palce. Drew had to be imagining all this.

Drew went to the tiny man standing in the elbow two joining branches. The man shook his head vigorously.

"He'll be back! When he gets back he won't be happy to see you here. You're supposed to be out front!"

Drew frowned. Could this be for real? He reached out to touch the little man then-

"Hey! Hey you! Get your paws off my assistant!"

Drew whirled and spotted a large brown rabbit bounding toward him from the his dad's wood pile. And, was that a cigar hanging from the rabbit's mouth? Yes. Instead of a carrot it was chomping on a fat cigar. Wierd.

The large rabbit came to a halt at Drew's feet, and then stood up on its hind legs. Its face looked hotly up at his.

"You're supposed to be out front kid." Said the rabitt.

"I-I-" Drew began but the rabbit interupted.

"You're interfering with my job. I can't afford interference."

"Are you the Easter Bunny?" Drew managed.

Teh bunny blinked up at him for a moment, glanced over at the little man in the tree and then looked at Drew again.

"Perhaps." It said and smiled. Yes! IT smiled! Its mout lengthed around its cigar.

Then it sighed, glanced around and then motioned with one paw back the way Drew had come.

"Get back out front, kid. I'm not ready for you back here yet. Go out front and count to twenty, then come back here. I'll leave you soemthing speacial." The rabbit smield again.

Drew looked at the man in teh tree, at the rabbitt and then hurried off.

The rabbit glanced up at the little man once the kid was gone.

"That was a close one." Said the man.

"I know." Bunny said and sighed. "I'm getting slow with my age."

"Let's get to it. He'll be back here real soon and we got more to hide yet." The little man said.

Bunny nodded, and then hopped off to finish the job.

Drew counted to twenty. Pam had all ready gone back inside. Good.

He hurried to the back yard, and came to a sudden halt. His eyes grew as large as coffe cup saucers. A smile curled his lips.

Drew saw them all! Colorful plastic eggs, everywhere! And he went to collect them; and collect them he did. Later that day he opened his eggs one by one as his parents stood by, baffled. They hadn't hidden that many eggs. Not enough to fill three shopping bags! But they did not tell Drew this, he was just so happy. Besides, what's wrong with a little magic from time to to time anyway? Nothing at all.

The End

And if you haven't noticed my blog is supposed to represent an Easter egg. Colorful and so forth. Just incase you think I've fallen off my rocker or something.

Monday, April 2, 2007

First Sentence Links!

Wow! Here are the links to a few folks who have given my little First Sentence assignment a try. Thanks! Look for "Lila: Heart of the Beast Part2" A great novel beginning A story with a wonderful twist