Oath of Office – Chapter 1

So, here’s a kind of fun but yet serious story I’ve sort of been working on between other major stories. It’s just a chapter for the moment, but if you like it, leave me a comment and tell me you want to read more!

1. Breach & Clear

“Honey?” Virginia whispered in my ear as she shook my shoulder.

“Wazza?” I asked sleepily, letting go of the slim island woman’s waist as the Caribbean jazz fusion faded into the rustling of covers and the slightest of muffled noises.

“Alex, wake up,” my wife whispered again, this time more urgently. “I think there’s someone outside.”

“Probably some fuckin’ protester assholes,” I mumbled, desperate to resume my conga line dance even if it wasn’t with my wife of twenty years. “You have my permission to shoot them.” I rolled over on my side and closed my eyes.

“Dammit, Alex, I’m serious!” she hissed, giving my shoulder one final rough shove.

“Okay, okay, sheesh,” I said then wiped the drool from the corner of my mouth. “It’s probably the cats and they see another cat outside.”

I rolled my legs onto the floor and stared into the darkness for a moment as if my slippers might suddenly glow softly so I could find them. I huffed a sigh and gingerly tiptoed barefoot toward the bedroom door, praying I avoided any number of obstacles that might make me erupt in a high-pitched scream of vulgar profanity.

I silently pulled the partially-opened bedroom door back, immediately feeling the brief sensation of fur on my bare ankles twice. I waited until I felt a third before taking another step. Stepping on one of our three cats in the middle of the night was only slightly more pleasant and slightly less heart-stopping than feeling my foot slide through a puddle of cold, slimy, chunky feline vomit.

I paused for a moment after hearing a series of strange sounds. The noises were muffled but my brain tried to interpret them as two-way radios. I shook my head and walked to the living room window to look out. The exact instant my mind tried to piece together why an army of police cars were outside our home was the exact instant what seemed like an Anti-Terror Special Operations Unit burst through every possible opening into the house.

“GET DOWN!” screamed at least seventy thousand voices all at once. Continue reading

“It’s Darkest This Way” (book #4) update!

Hey, all. I know a lot of you have powered through the “It’s Way” series and are hoping for a conclusion to it, so just wanted to let you know where I’m at with that.

#1 – It’s Better This Way
#2 – It’s Harder This Way
#3 – It’s Darker This Way
#4 – It’s Darkest This Way

Book #4 will be the final book in this series, and will conclude Evan’s story. I am hard at work on it right now (and school as well!), but hoping to have it out somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas of this year (2019). The very talented Keith Draws is working on the cover for it, and I’m 75% or more finished with the rough draft. I’m hoping to knock it out during Thanksgiving break, unless I somehow get it finished before that!

Now, as you may have read in the series, General Kendra Flanders and her Warthogs are just getting their plans off the ground while Evan & crew are finishing up their stories. Plus there’s Luna Payne, who still has a role to play, as do the fine folks from Eugene like Dallas Payne and Seth Ingram. I’m going to begin a new series for them, which will begin immediately after the “This Way” series.

There’s still a lot of story to tell, and the Bulls aren’t going to simply jump into their ships and blast off without a fight…

“The Minotaur” is live on Amazon!

“The Minotaur” is a collection of short stories/novellas with mostly horror / sci-fi themes. It will be exclusive to Amazon for 90 days, and can be read for free if you have Kindle Unlimited. Otherwise, it will be $0.99.


“The Minotaur” – 12 year old Billy Jacobs battles the devil for his soul in a game of pinball.

“Members Only” – How much would you pay to experience your darkest desires?

“Symbiosis” – “I know how you feel” is no longer an empty platitude thanks to the latest STRIKE therapy for soldiers returning home from combat.

“Paradoxis” – A serious vehicle accident ruins Anthony’s day, but it’s only the beginning…

“A Christmas Tale II” – A dark tale of Santa, stressed out parents, and naughty little children.

“The Minotaur” by Travis Hill
cover art by: Trevor Smith
typography by: Keith Draws

Spirit Guide

SPIRIT GUIDE

“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?”

I peered over the arm of the couch to see the gnome face-down on the wooden floor. I blinked a few times. This isn’t real, I reminded myself. None of this is real.

“I’ll ask again,” the gnome said, still face-down on the floor. “Are you sure?”

“Fuckin’ great,” I said, reaching down to pick the gnome up. “Now you can hear my thoughts as well. What the hell was that shit?” I asked myself, remembering the silky, smooth, slightly sweet taste of the liquid I’d gotten smashed on.

“It’s what the locals call ‘Silandra,’” the gnome answered after I put him on the roughly hewn coffee table in front of me. “I heard it was a beverage the natives concocted a thousand years ago.”

“That’s what you heard, huh?” I asked, deciding to go along with the hallucination.

I checked my surroundings beyond the couch. I was in a small bungalow or shack somewhere near the beach. The low roar of ocean waves breaking on the sandbars mixed with the slight rustling of tropical vegetation outside the shack.

“And what exactly is this ‘Silandra’?” I asked after turning my attention back to the gnome.

“It lets you talk to the gods,” the gnome said solemly. Continue reading

A Christmas Tale II

Chapter 1

CHAPTER ONE

Christmas time is supposed to be full of cheer, good food, and goodwill toward men. For Tabitha and me, Christmas time… well, let’s just say it isn’t our favorite holiday. Each year we put on a pleasant, smiling, cheerful face for our spouses and our kids, but Tabby and I both hate it with a passion. Especially now, but I guess I’m thankful that we’re old now and it won’t matter much longer.

***

My earliest memories of Christmas are from age three. I don’t remember much other than receiving a brand new gaming console that I had to share with my sister Tabby, who is a year older than me. The gaming console was nowhere near as memorable as my fully animatronic Professor Puzzleton doll. And not just the small doll without all the goodies. Santa must have known I was a good boy by the fact my Professor Puzzleton was the full-sized four foot tall version, complete with computer software to interact with and upgrade the professor’s abilities, along with a full year’s supply of board games, coloring books, and sing-a-long activities.

My father, Jason Gould, was a realtor at the time, and by my third Christmas he was earning more than mom. Rochelle Gould, my mother, worked as a financial analyst for one of the largest banks in the world, and from what she and Dad told me later, was bringing home six figures per year in salary alone. With bonuses… let’s just say that between the two of them, Tabitha and Avery Gould were spoiled little shits—but to be honest, so were Mom and Dad.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with living in a six thousand square foot mini-mansion and being dropped off at elementary school in a $140,000 Mercedes or a $125,000 BMW SUV. Once in a while it was Dad’s fully restored 1969 Dodge Superbee. He once told me he spent almost as much restoring it as he did on his Mercedes. We didn’t have servants, but I don’t remember Mom ever spending more than a few minutes actually cleaning anything other than the dishes after dinner. I barely remember Anita and Devonne, our regular housekeepers who showed up twice per week to do the chores none of us wanted to bother with.

Continue reading

Audiobook Narration via Twitch/YouTube Coming Soon!

I’ve decided I’m going to try something new this week. Once my Blue Yeti microphone arrives, I’m going to begin narrating short stories first, then full-length novels while streaming on Twitch. You can find my channel HERE.

Once the stream is done @ Twitch, I’ll upload it to YouTube.

Keep in mind that I am not a professional voice actor, so it might take me a bit to hit my groove. Because of this, I’m going to start with some shorter stories such as “Dragons Are Not Your Friends” and “Bears Are Not Your Friends Either.”

And I’ve also created a couple of very, very awful pieces of art for these two stories just so you have something to look at while listening to my terrible, nasal, annoying voice!

Art skill is definitely NOT my friend…

Why does this weird bear have a rifle and a camera???

Deja Vu (freewrite)

(disclaimer: there could be a number of errors in this, but I literally just finished writing it about 10 minutes ago!)

ONE

I banged my palms on the steering wheel in time to the music while waiting for the light to change. Twenty more minutes and I’d be home for the weekend. My mind wandered to Marla, a woman I met a few weeks back on an internet dating site. We’d spent two nights together in those three weeks, and my brain hoped that it was only because of my work schedule that we hadn’t been able to connected more often. I felt my heart race at the thought of the skin-tight dress she’d worn the previous Saturday when we’d driven up to Boise for—

The blare of at least three horns shattered my concentration and brought me back to reality. I felt my face turn red as I wondered how long I had made the cars behind me wait to turn left onto Borah Ave. A glance in my rearview mirror once my foot hit the gas pedal made me turn even more red. Their multiple rude gestures and mouthed insults were the proper payment for any dumbass who couldn’t get off his cell phone or stop picking her nose long enough to notice the light had turned green.

I crossed over the first two lanes, my light still a bright green arrow, when a blur caught my peripheral vision. I felt my nerves tingle all at once as I realized a blue Honda wasn’t going to stop at its red light. I couldn’t decide whether to jam my foot on the gas or the brake, but the Honda was moving so fast that I never got to make the decision. A loud bang preceded the crunch of metal and glass by a quarter of a second, the airbags in my Chevy Cavalier filling instantly and whiting out my world.

Continue reading

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?)

(DISCLAIMER 2 if you came here from Twitter: finally edited this piece, here’s the proper address: https://www.angrygames.com/?p=1355)

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