Spirit Guide (freewrite)

(DISCLAIMER: this is like… super ultra first draft stuff, I literally just finished it about six minutes ago, so don’t be too harsh, eh?)

“Hey, mate,” a familiar voice said from my left.

I looked over to see the garden gnome sitting on the arm of the couch. A sigh escaped me after I blinked my eyes a few times.

“Great,” I muttered. “You again.”

“Exactly!” the gnome said without moving its lips. “Me again.”

“Go away,” I mumbled. “You’re not real.”

“Are you sure about that?” the gnome asked slyly.

“Yeah, I’m sure.”

I reached out to the gnome, sure my hand would pass right through it since it was nothing more than a figment of my imagination—a figment that had followed me around for the last three days after a binge on what I had thought was absinthe at a local watering hole in San Elira. I still didn’t know what I had consumed, but I knew it wasn’t absinthe even if it was the same electric-green color. My fingers bumped up against the solid ceramic gnome, sending it crashing to the floor.

“Owwww!” the gnome cried, its voice muffled. “What the hell, Mike?”

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General Megatron videobook project update

Here’s a couple more sketches from Vlad Momot for chapter 2 of “General Megatron.”

Vlad Momot
http://vladmomotart.tumblr.com (English)
https://vk.com/vladmomotart (Russian)
Twitter: @VladMomotArt / Instagram: @Vladmomotart

“General Megatron – Chapter 2: The Doom Lord” videobook sketches by Vlad Momot

“General Megatron – Chapter 2: The Doom Lord” videobook sketches by Vlad Momot

“General Megatron – Chapter 2: The Doom Lord” videobook sketches by Vlad Momot

Videobook Project #1 (General Megatron)

Just wanted to post a few images and a voice sample from a new project I’m working on where we’ll be taking one of my short stories and having it voice acted / narrated (Matthew Burtless-Creps & Halli Stewart), then taking that and making a video with a series of sketches (sort of like an audiobook + comic book mash-up).

Here’s Matthew Burtless-Creps with a test voice for The Evil Queen Mother:

These are preliminary rough sketches from Vlad Momot for chapter 2 of “General Megatron.” I’ll post more as they come in, and each chapter will feature the work of a different artist.

“General Megatron” – Chapter 2: The Doom Lord – artwork by Vlad Momot

“General Megatron” – Chapter 2: The Doom Lord – artwork by Vlad Momot

“General Megatron” – Chapter 2: The Doom Lord – artwork by Vlad Momot

The Definitive History of Ronald K. Drumpf’s Presidency: The First 14 Days

CHAPTER ONE – WEEK TWO
White House Waiting Room – 9:30PM Eastern Standard Time

“They’re ready for you, Mr. President,” the Chief of Staff said.

“Did you hear something?” President Drumpf asked his Secretary of Defense as they stood in the waiting room going over the president’s speech.

“I don’t think so, Mr. President,” Secretary of Defense Ralphie Thaddeus Cruise said, hoping that it was the right answer. Wrong answers had caused the previous Secretary of Defense to be fired three days into the new administration.

“Mr. President?” Don Kaylic said again. “It’s time for your speech.”

“There it is again,” President Drumpf said, looking around the waiting room. He spotted an almost invisible man near the door. “Oh, it’s you Don,” he said with a chuckle. “It’s pretty hard to remember you even exist sometimes.”

“Yes, Sir,” his Chief of Staff replied, blending back into the wallpaper.

“Well, let’s get this over with,” Drumpf grunted.

The 45th President of the United States of America and Greatest Nation On Planet Earth and Maybe the Galaxy led the Secretary of Defense from the waiting room into the hallway. They walked for almost a minute in silence until President Drumpf put his hand on Cruise’s arm, bringing the man to a stop.

“I’m supposed to thank you, Ralphie,” Drumpf said in his most presidential voice. “But we all know it was me who solved this important problem. I mean, you did help a little bit, but not as much as I did. So it really should be you thanking me.”

The longing desire in the SecDef’s eyes made the president’s smile widen into a feral grin.

“You know how to thank me, Ralphie,” President Drumpf said, pushing down on the Defense Secretary’s shoulder until the man was on his knees. Continue reading

“The Big Bhang” published!

Right. “The Big Bhang” is now live at Amazon.com and all countries where Amazon has a presence. Amazon gets exclusivity for 90 days, but then it will go live at iTunes / Barnes & Noble / Google Play / Kobo / elsewhere.

“The Big Bhang” – Amazon store link
375 pages
Marijuana themes / Profanity / Stuff You Shouldn’t Be Reading

"The Big Bhang" - Science Fiction + Stoner Fiction

“The Big Bhang” – Science Fiction + Stoner Fiction

“The Big Bhang” is finished!

Now I just have to find an editor and proofreader, then I can publish it and wait for the DEA to show up and kick in my door! Ebook cover by Keith Draws!

"The Big Bhang" - Science Fiction + Stoner Fiction

“The Big Bhang” – Science Fiction + Stoner Fiction

Henchman: Ordering A Superweapon Online

I sneaked past Kellie’s desk while she was on the phone. Dr. Carbon’s door was open, so I stepped in. He was seated at his desk, and looked up when he heard (or sensed, I still wasn’t exactly sure what Dr. Carbon’s full capabilities were) me enter.

“Ah, Mike, thanks for coming so quickly,” he said.

I froze almost in mid-step. I’d interacted with Dr. Carbon quite often in my time with him, but I was sure I was just another faceless hireling to him, a name on a check or a jail roster whom the attorney had to bail out. If he knew my name, he probably had it in a file that he’d been reading just so he could address me properly before firing me. I had no idea what I’d done wrong, but to be called into a Vil’s office out of the blue… It wasn’t usually a pleasant experience from what I’d heard.

“Please, Mr. Williams, sit down,” Dr. Carbon said, pointing casually to one of the chairs in front of his desk.

I sat, wary of the chair being a trap, my mind visualizing webs or straps locking me in so he could tell me why he was about to toss me into a volcano. I have no idea why I was so paranoid, but the mind control incident had happened only a few days ago, and the Supes and Vils pretty much share the same information grapevine.

“Mike, the reason I know your name is because you’re a good worker.”

I froze again, this time in surprise that he might be able to read minds.

“The reason I’m an A-lister, Mike, is because I pay attention to details.”

I nodded, letting him know I respected him and enjoyed working for him because he paid attention to details enough to be an A-lister. At least I hoped that’s what my nod conveyed.

“A big part of the details,” he continued, “are the people working for me. I know most citizens and Supers only see you and your fellow associates as faceless goons, and too many of my own associates, the C-listers and below, make the same mistake. You’ve always done great work for me, and HR knows that any time your name comes up on the rotation, they are to do whatever it takes to get you back with us for another six months.

“And as an employee who is one of two on the HR list to get such special treatment, it means whenever I have a tough job, one that I dare not trust to anyone but someone I consider fully capable of successfully completing it, you and Washington are at the top of my list.”

I didn’t know what to say. I wasn’t too surprised to hear Washington’s name. The guy scared the hell out of me, scared the hell out of most people, including the Vils he worked for. I tried to imagine what kind of scheme Dr. Carbon had cooked up that he had to call me in and praise me.
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Smash and Grab and Loot and Steal #1

Well… I just wrote this about 30 minutes ago (I’ve spent the last 30 minutes trying to figure out why WordPress 4.0 no longer keeps proper formatting like paragraph indents and such). I don’t even know what the hell it is, so you probably should avoid reading it.

Smash and Grab and Loot and Steal #1

“May I help you?” the stuffy man at the counter asked the young woman standing across from him. The six pirates standing behind her all began to shout at once.

“Arrrr!”

“Keep yer eyes to yerself, matey!”

“Ye best be helpful, dog!”

A dirty hand loaded with shiny gold rings reached across the counter and tweaked the salesman’s name tag. “Don’t be thinkin’ we ain’t watching ya, Gary.”

The way the hand’s owner had said his name made Gary think of how someone might describe a pile of fecal matter. Another chorus of arrrr’s and grunts and snarls and other pirate-y noises followed the boisterous threats directed at the customer service rep. Carly held up her hand, and the store became quiet other than the rustling of sword scabbards and knife sheaths, the tinkling of jewelery, and the clink of coins within their purses.

“Don’t mind them,” the woman said to the man behind the counter. “They’re just…”

The man raised an eyebrow at her, waiting to hear what her answer could possibly be.

“They’re just a band of pirates my husband hired to follow me around to make sure no one gives me any trouble,” she said with a sigh, sounding as if she’d had to explain it for the hundredth time in the last ten minutes.

Gary gave a wary glance to the six pirates gathered around the woman. “I see,” he said. He looked back at the attractive woman standing before him. “How may I be of assistance?”

“Do you think you could fix this?” she asked, holding out her hand.

Gary leaned forward to get a look at the gold chain. He paused when he felt the tip of a sword under his chin. He glanced up to see a mouth full of shiny gold teeth greeting him.

“I see ya achin’ to get a look-see down M’lady’s shirt,” Captain Ironbeak growled, his voice dangerous and his breath only slightly less toxic than the atmosphere of Jupiter.

The woman cleared her throat, and the sword disappeared. The pirate’s snarl morphed into a smile that promised a walk off the plank at the point of a scimitar. Gary blinked a few times, then turned his attention back to the gold chain. He studied it for a few moments before raising his head, making sure to focus on the woman’s eyes.

“May I?” he asked, holding out his hand, which caused a number of swords and knives to rattle in their scabbards and sheaths.

“Certainly,” she said, handing the chain to the salesman.

Gary gave another wary look around, the six pirates all staring daggers at him, before he focused on the ugly knot in the woman’s chain. Within seconds, he saw the problem, and visualized how Frank, the master jeweler, would repair it. He’d just opened his mouth to give the customer a quote when a resounding crash erupted behind her, followed by much cursing, yelling, and gnashing of teeth.

“Get yer sticky hands away from here, pup!” Pirate Rustblade snarled, waving a saber at a small child who was sprawled on the floor of the jewelery store’s wide entrance.

Three other pirates were brandishing their weapons at the child’s parents, while a fourth gave a challenging stare to the mall cop who had finally left the Food Court to make his rounds.

“Uh,” Gary said in a voice loud enough to get everyone’s attention. A little too loud, he thought when six angry pirate faces swiveled back to wish evil things on him. “Please don’t get blood on the carpet.”

Gary was sure that he’d formed some other thought to vocalize, but his brain and mouth were on vacation at the moment. The only thing his mind had been able to focus after the pirates had turned their attention to him again was how Mr. Douglas would erupt into a fit of rage at having to replace a section of blood-stained carpet. Gary thought Mr. Douglas was a pretty decent guy, other than the constant complaining about how much everything cost, how much money he was losing, how the government was out to get his every last dime, and how his employees were getting a free ride since jewelery practically sold itself to anyone who could afford it.

The woman snapped her fingers and the pirates immediately formed up into a small mob behind her. She gave Gary a sheepish grin, one that said he was lucky all they’d done was accost a small child holding a cookie.

“Frank will be able to take care of this for you,” Gary said, once again making sure to keep his eyes locked on the woman’s face. “It will take him maybe three or four days, as he’s kind of busy this week, but it shouldn’t run anymore than twenty-five dollars, depending on how intricate the work is.”

An explosion of roars and threats and blustery howls met his ears, along with three sword blades that met his neck.

“Let me have ‘is head, M’lady?” Pirate Bloodeye asked.

“I say we tenderize ‘im a bit,” Pirate Fangtooth rumbled, giving the fancy salesman a triple poke with the tip of his cutlass.

“Walk the plank!” Pirate Hookfist shouted.

The band of pirates exploded in cheers and shouts and calls and barks and demands that the criminal behind the glass counter be forced down the plank with a sword at his spine. Gary thought about asking the pirates where they’d parked their ship, since Idaho was a landlocked state, and Boise was too far upriver for a galleon, or a caravel, or a brigantine, or whatever type of ship a pirate crew would sail, to navigate safely. The three pirate blades waving near his neck and eyes made him decide to keep his question to himself.

“Twenty-five dollars is fine,” the customer said.

The threats and howls and grunts behind her turned into low grumbles of agreement, along with a single dissenting belch that sounded like a broken foghorn.

“Please fill out the top section of this,” Gary said, careful to reach slowly for a repair ticket.

He looked at the pirate that he thought might be the leader, though to his eyes, all six of the men seemed to be dressed the same in a mash-up of tattered, torn cotton, and fine vivid silks, with hair that ranged from long and greasy to longer and greasier. Captain Ironbeak nodded, the pirate’s massive, calloused nose hypnotizing Gary for a moment as he watched it bob up and down.

“Thank you so much,” said the woman, Carly, according to the repair ticket, after handing it back to Gary. “Next Monday, maybe?”

“Frank will call you and let you know, but it shouldn’t be any problem to get it done by then.”

“Ye best warn yer ol’ pal Frank to get right on it,” Pirate Devildog threatened.

“Don’t make us angry!” Pirate Rustblade yelled, receiving a number of hoots and shouted agreements.

“You’ll walk the plank!” Pirate Hookfist cried out.

“Walk the plank!” came the chorus of whoops, cheers, and shrieks, punctuated by the harmony of rattling swords, jangling jewelery, and plinking coins.

Gary could only stare when the customer gave him one last smile, as if she still had three hours of shopping to do while lugging around six small, cranky toddlers, then turned around and walked to the door. The pirates parted, then closed ranks behind her, each of them shooting a final hateful glare at the landlubber behind the counter. The sounds of a jaunty pirate tune soon rolled back through the store’s opening, the occasional blustery shouting of the song’s chorus and the rattling of sabers and cutlasses and rapiers and spadroons slowly fading as the strange group made its way to the JC Penny anchoring the mall’s eastern end.

Le $.99 / Free Sale (this weekend)

This weekend, I’m offering all of my books at either $.99 or Free @ Amazon!

Angry Sale

Including my latest release “Diabolus”

The Big Bhang #4: Make Joints, Not War

The Big Bhang #1: The Master & The Streak
The Big Bhang #2: Global Legalization & The Human War Machine
The Big Bhang #3: The Lill & The Backstory of the Backstory

             4. Make Joints, Not War

Forjay sat in the lobby of the GlrgHlkd Hotel and Convention Center on Rialta-9, spreading his attention between watching the numerous strange aliens wander past him, and watching GANJA on his wrist comm. Galactic Al-Jazeera News and Journalism Association anchor Zarg Graxon, a Ji, which is a race of lizard-like bipeds, vaguely humanoid, except for the upper classes, who all have a third eye on a stalk protruding from the top of their heads, was relaying the latest galactic day’s news. The top story, for the four hundredth day in a row, was about how little time the upstart humans had left before being ground into raw elements by the combined might of the Galactic Union.

Humans, other than Forjay, of course, raged at their holo sets and flat screens and wrist comms at the news, with a number of them using the Federation internet to lodge complaints detailing how GANJA was nothing but an alien tool to spout propaganda to the masses about how awful humans were, and how they should be exterminated. Of course, like most humans, the majority of them refused to pay for premium cable or satellite, and watched the clips on the net. The clips, when not pure propaganda from xenophobic types that lived in trailer parks and on bubbles attached to asteroids, were generally badly subtitled from half-assed translations.

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