Author Archives: Webgoji

About Webgoji

I am a member of the Kansas Writers Association and Wichita Writers Guild. I have successfully completed National Novel Writing Month and have completed 3 different novels. My first novel "The Fay Dragon Chronicles" unfortunately wasn't published, but I am currently trying to get my second book "The Seraphim Protocol" published.

Dang Trolls

“Okay, so why do trolls like to live under bridges anyway?” Kevin asked as the squad car drove them away from the homeless shelter.  Brigitte, the person in charge of the shelter, had told them that Fraaphknot lived under the Brooklyn Bridge.

“Honestly,” Atheara said, unwrapping another chocolate bar, “I never gave it any thought.”  Twisting up her face, the fairy lost herself in deep thought, “They aren’t that sharp, maybe they like it under there.”

“It’s not just a stereotype?” Kevin asked.

Taking a bite of her chocolate bar, the fairy shook her head, “Mmm … nope.  Every one I’ve known lived under a bridge.”  She was glowing green that day and shaking her head cast off a scattering of golden, glittering mystical particles.

Blowing off some of the particles that landed on him, Kevin switched mental gears, “Are these things like fairy dandruff or something?”

The car came to a stop by the bridge and the doors opened for them as Atheara answered, “Uh nooo!  But if you mix them with fruit juice they’ll turn you into a frog … or is it a giraffe?”

Her face twisted up again, “Manatee?”

Shaking his head, Kevin climbed out and cast a look around the underside of the bridge.  Fraaphknot wasn’t hard to find among the homeless.  At over eight feet tall, as broad as a house and with ashen skin, he stood out worse than a manatee at a masquerade party.

Sitting against one of the Brooklyn Bridge supports in a flannel vest and blue jeans, he was scratching a mongrel dog behind the ears.  He seemed strangely gentle although somewhat disconnected.  The scratching was absent-minded.  Had he been any other race, Kevin would have assumed he was deep in thought.  But trolls didn’t have deep thoughts … did they?

“Fraaphknot?” Kevin asked, approaching the huge beast.

The troll looked up at him with his beady red eyes and blinked.

“We need to ask you a few questions about London if you don’t mind,” Kevin started, but the troll shook his head.

“Look, we just need to …”

The troll shook his head again, “Am I under arrest?”

“No, but are you aware ..?” Kevin started, but the troll cut him off.

“I don’t talk to cops without a lawyer,” Fraaphknot said through his tusks  and continued scratching the dog.

“Look,” Atheara stepped in, “You’re not a suspect, not under suspicion …”

Fraaphknot shook his head again.

“Come on,” Kevin groaned, grabbing Atheara by the shoulder, “Leave him here.”

“Hold on,” Atheara tapped the PC on her wrist.  Quickly she began scanning the holographic text that appeared in front of her.

“Honorable discharge huh?” she nodded.

The troll just blinked.

“But they wouldn’t let you re-sign huh?  Section Eight?” she smiled.

“You can drag up whatever you want …” Fraaphknot started to say, but the young detective cut him off.

“So you were kicked out for mental issues, your boss and a guy you fought came up dead,” she noted, raising one eyebrow.   “But why would you kill the dwarf?”

Fraaphknot likewise raised one eyebrow, “What dwarf?”

Kevin stepped forward, “That has your attention?  Why would Dwaldin Vtharth get your attention?”

“The jeweler right?” the massive troll pulled himself up.

“So you do know something,” Kevin smiled.

“Aye,” the beast swatted at Atheara’s hologram, causing it to warble and distort.  “You detectives suck.  Come on.”

The big troll pushed past as Atheara spoke up, “Wait, what …”

Stopping, he looked over his shoulder at the police, “A jeweler is killed.  A lost key is stolen.  A security company owner is killed.”

“How do you know about the key?” Kevin started, but quickly knew it was a stupid question.

“The news jackass,” Fraaphknot groaned.  “Now come on, we don’t have long.”

“Before what?  Where are we going?” Atheara asked, quickly gliding to the troll’s side.

“The House of Lords,” the troll explained.

In the year 2019, a musician and actress who went by the name of Traci Lords had gained prominence by becoming the Senator for the state of California.  At the age of fifty-eight, she had become President.  The former pornographic star turned trance musician was voted into two terms before popular vote put her back in office for two additional terms.  In an unprecedented move, she turned down a fifth vote so she could focus on peace in the Middle East.  In what became known as the Middle East Unification Treaty, she had managed to bring all the feuding countries together under an umbrella of mutual assistance.  The Middle East Unification Treaty was the start of what later became known as the Century of Peace; one-hundred-fifty years with no territorial wars, police actions or skirmishes.  She had died at the ripe age of ninety-seven, a legendary world leader and humanitarian.

Then started the worship.  Her media quotes were used as gospels, the club music she had written was used in churches devoted to her and her effigy became a symbol of peace.  Even the pornographic videos she had been in when she was underage were re-released as holy objects.  By the year 3000, the House of Lords was the most prominent religion in the world.

“That place weirds me out,” Kevin mumbled.

Fraaphknot stopped by the car, an amused look on his dull face.  There wasn’t a shoe-horn big enough to pry him into the little vehicle.

“Why?” he asked.

“It always seemed like I was just going to a dance club,” Kevin explained, catching up to the big troll, “Just with prayers.”

Snorting, the troll chuckled, “You might want to say one now … it’s about to get real ugly.”

 

I’ve been listening to way to much Traci Lords on my “I Heart Radio” stations.  It’s weird how much of her music has found its way into popular culture without people knowing she even did music … thus the idea for the House of Lords.

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The Chosen One – A Short Story

I apologize for the lack of updates lately.  I have three stories in the works, but can’t seem to get them done.  Here’s an odd little concept that’s been bouncing around in my head for while though.

The Chosen One.  It was said that a woman child would be chosen by the goddess to defeat the demon, a woman that would be the demon’s polar opposite.  It was said that she, herself, would be a dichotomy.  She would be born with hair the scarlet of flames and eyes the color of ice, she would be gentle and compassionate but deadly in battle, small and weak but strong and deadly.

Thasrie shifted in her saddle.  Eighteen years of non-stop training.  All the signs had pointed to her, all the efforts of her people had been poured into her and now was the time.  Chaste and pure as the virgin snow, her life had been dedicated to knowledge and comabat.  She had won the Underblade armor; gleaming steel armor forged by forgotten dwarves.  She had retrieved the Waveripper blade; a sword forged by the sirens of the north sea.  And with it all, she carried the hopes and dreams of her people.

Below her, the demon and its army tore into their forces.  Soldiers from her own kingdom fought side by side with the northern barbarians; savages known for their viciousness in battle and ability to sail through the most harsh seas.

The demon, fifteen feet tall and burning with the fires of the fifteen hells, lashed out at the soldiers with its blackened iron sword.  Their armor was useless, it crumpled before the beast’s onslaught.  Men were scattered like so many leaves before the typhoon of the monster.  As the body-count grew, Thasrie tapped her horse in the haunches, urging it forward.

“It’s time for this evil to fall,” she announced to her comrade.

On her left, the Knight Captain Chelter nodded.  He had been her constant companion throughout her life; training her, educating her and protecting her.  He was tall, quiet and stunningly handsome.  A true noble knight, his only goals were honor and duty.

Drawing her blade, The Chosen One lowered the visor on her helmet and they charged into the battle.  The Waveripper blade tore through the loose hides that the ogre soldiers wore, one after another they fell before the woman and Knight Captain.  As she cut a swath through the beasts to their demon leader, the young woman managed to see more movement out of the corner of her eye.

Turning, she saw a barbarian woman likewise charging toward the demon.  Her people where not known for their equestrian skills, but she guided the massive warhorse expertly.  Buxom with child-bearing hips, the large woman was filthy and her long blond hair was twisted in knots.  She wore the simple leather armor of her people and brandished a massive great-sword common to the barbarian warriors.  She charged past some ogres and mowed down others, her target being the demon in the center of the fray.

Thasrie smiled.  The poor woman.  She was overcome with the bravado of her people and would be cut down just as the soldiers had been.

Driving forward, Thasrie and her companion continued slicing through the wall of ogres.  One after another collapsed under the blade until the demon was in sight … and the barbarian woman!

Hopping onto her destrier’s saddle, the filthy woman with her chipped sword held the reins as the demon swung at her.  At the last moment, she jumped.  Clearing the attack, she brought her own massive sword around.  With a Valkyrie scream, she cut through the neck of the beast, sending its head flying as she tumbled to the ground herself.

Dead?  The demon’s body collapsed and quivered in the stunned silence of everyone on the battlefield.  It … it was dead.

But it couldn’t have been!  The barbarian wasn’t the Chosen One.  She … she was just a filthy savage!  Probably not even a virgin!

As the woman stood up and dusted herself, Thasrie approached her, “How … how did you ..?”

“Chopped ‘is ‘ead off din’t I?” the woman chuckled.

As the Knight Captain next to her dismounted, Thasrie lifted her visor in confusion, “But nobody but the Chosen One could kill it,” she said in a stunned mumble.  “I … the goddess picked me.”

Watching the Knight Captain take off his helmet, the barbarian woman snickered, “‘ell princess, yer goddess,” she turned and sneered at the young woman, “was wrong.”

Grabbing the blond man by the collar of his armor, the woman laughed, “Dumb gods, always talkin’ crap.  No good ta anyone.”

“What … now?” the dumbfounded Thasrie stammered as the ogres quietly dispersed and the barbarian horde cheered their victory.

Pulling the knight to her, the barbarian woman kissed him roughly on the mouth, “Ya go back ta princessin’.  We’re gonna celebrate ain’t we gorgeous?” she smiled at the handsome man.

Turning away and dragging the stunned knight behind her, the barbarian woman laughed, “I’ma be yer goddess ta’night boy.  I’ma make ya call me momma.”

The Chosen One could only watch as the filthy savage stole her glory away.


Dang Cameo Appearances

Kevin looked up at the power plant.  Soaring hundreds of feet above the city, the floating island provided power for the entire state of New York.  It was an amazing site.  Waterfalls of pure green energy fell from the island, splashing down into the reactors on the ground, generating power from both the kinetic and mystical energies of the rivers.

“Uh, Kevin,” Atheara mumbled next to him.

No.  There was no more chocolate.  She had eaten it all.  All of it.  Every bit of freakin’ chocolate in the whole state of New York!

“Yeah,” the detective replied.

“You know our ogre?”

“Yeah,” Kevin chuckled, “The one that got his butt whooped by the troll?  Man that was one hell of a fight.”

“He’s dead,” the fairy responded matter-of-factly.

The platform on which they were standing began to lift them up to the power plant, “Dead!?  How?  That troll didn’t beat him that bad.”

“Well, see … same as our dwarf,” Atheara moved the reports around on the holographic image in front of her.  “The gore-bots found that our dwarf died of loss of blood to the brain.  His heart stopped for no reason.  Curse scans have come up empty.  Our ogre is the same.  He just kicked over in the jail.”

The platform stopped and they stepped off in front of a skinny young man with nervous hair, “Hello detectives,” he said while handing Kevin a pair of headphones.

“You’ll be needing those sir,” the young man tapped his own set, “Matching pair.”

“Okay, so let’s see the victim here,” Kevin nodded.

“Yeah, sure,” the young man nodded, leading them toward the interior of the power plant.

As they passed several uniformed police officers directing gore-bots and talking with workers, Kevin had to pause momentarily to look at the heart of the plant.  There, in the center, were four blue columns of gleaming mystical energy.  Drifting happily around the columns were the most beautiful women Kevin had ever seen.  They sang into golden cones toward the columns and as their voices struck the energy, glowing gold and silver symbols appeared in the viscous ether.  The symbols would then dissolve, leaving the energy green and ready for processing.

It was amazing.

The music their voices created was enchanting, enticing and more lovely than any sound Kevin had ever heard … even with the earmuffs.  It was no wonder sailors would sail to their deaths hearing their songs.  Leaning on the rail, watching the enchantresses sing to the energy, the detective noticed something just down the rail from him.

“Oh that’s soooo cute!” Atheara gasped.

Two miniature dragons sat on the railing, watching the sirens.  One was purple with golden antler-like horns and the other was pink with silvery horns.  Their tails were intertwined and they were watching the women with the same interest people would watch opera singers.

“Leave ’em alone Atheara,” Kevin snickered.  He felt a case of diabetes developing from how sweet the sight was.

“So our victim ..?” Kevin asked.

“Security contractor,” the nervous man answered.  “We hired him to make sure our security was up to snuff.  Then he just … died.”

Stopping by the crime scene, Kevin knelt by the body of a tall, white-haired man, “Got anything Atheara?”

Looking at the hologram projecting from the PC on her wrist, she shuffled a few files around, “London McCray.  Owner of Immovable Wall Security.  They provide security systems and personnel to …”

“Personnel?” Kevin asked, blinking.  Like rent-a-cops?

“Already on it …” the fairy said smiling.

Grabbing a gore-bot that drifted by, Kevin checked its preliminary findings.  Same as before, no sign of injury.  London had simply died.

“Fraaphknot works for Immovable Wall Security,” Atheara noted.

Kevin stood up, dusting himself off, “But I can’t believe that troll is smart enough to figure out how to kill someone without pounding them into goo.”  The singing of the women in the back was distracting.

“No, but he knew this victim,” Atheara said, shaking a scattering of pink particles out of her hair.

Singing … singing …

That was it!

“Atheara,” Kevin grabbed her, “Check if the ogre had a PC.  Then have them check the records, but warn them not to listen to anything.”

“Why?” the fairy closed her holograms with a confused look.

“I need to know where all the registered banshees are in the city,” Kevin responded, quickly heading back to the lift.  “But I’m still missing a motive …”

Why would someone kill a dwarven jeweler, a security business owner and a big ogre with a long rap sheet?  The only connection was the troll who worked for the security company and who beat up the ogre.  But that didn’t explain the jeweler … how did it all fit together?

“Hey, let’s stop at the Stop-and-Rob on the way back,” Atheara said as they climbed into the squad car.  “I need some chocolate.”

Dang fairies.


Dang Ogres

Who would have thought that fairies were candy fiends?  Atheara sat next to Kevin in the squad car, happily enjoying her crunchy chocolate bars, as the vehicle drove them to their next murder site.

… All twelve chocolate bars.

The worst part was the munching.  Munch, munch, crunch.  Crackle, crumple, tear.  Munch, munch …

She was insatiable!  It was like she hadn’t eaten in months.

Atheara swallowed as the PC on her wrist went off.  She was glowing purple that day and a flood of pink, glowing particles scattered off of her as she tapped the personal computer.

As a holographic report appeared in front of her she said, “So I got to thinking about our dwarf.  Dwarves don’t get allergic reactions, so I had the gore-bots run another toxicology report.”

Gore-bots was the affectionate name for the robots that scanned murder sites.  They had to record all of the gore for the detectives, thus the name Gore-bots.

Kevin rolled his eyes, “But if he was infected with lycanthropy, he would react to silver.”

Pointing at the report, she nodded, “Yep, but according to the curse scan … no lycanthropy AND … look at this.”

Pointing at some bone scans she smiled, “His middle fingers were cut short and then healed.  There’s the scar tissue.”

Kevin leaned in, “Hmm … good work.  I was wrong.  So we’re looking at a mage killer?”

Looking closely at the report, he saw that Dwaldin Vtharth was a jeweler from Times Square.  Before he could read any more, the front wall to the bank they were passing exploded.

Something huge slammed into the squad car, throwing it sideways and causing the safety foam to erupt inside.

“Holy fuck!” Kevin barked as the car came to a stop on its roof.

Wet and frazzled, he staggered out of the damaged vehicle to find that his fairy partner was sitting on one of the tires on top of the overturned car.  Dang fairies.  Dragging himself to the front of the car, he saw what had hit them.  A massive ogre was picking itself up off the asphalt.  Broad and powerful with green skin and a bald head, the beast roared, focusing back on something at the bank.

Turning his head to the building, Kevin watched a huge troll burst through the hole in the wall and return the roar.  Dressed in a rent-a-cop uniform, the monster’s grey skin glinted in the sunlight.  Easily as broad as the ogre, the troll’s arms hung to his knees and were as big around as his waist.  He had huge tusks and his hair was shaved on the sides and braided in the back.

Impacting each other like angry buffalo, the giant-kin rained punches into each other.  The detective could almost feel the impact from the blows.  Both beasts were insanely powerful and their kinds were known for being dangerously short-fused.

Looking at the holographic map of the city from her PC, Atheara commented, “Getting in the middle of that would be hazardous to our health.  We’ve got containment on the way.  And it seems someone is running out of the Museum of Natural History with something.”

The ogre ducked under a punch from the troll and picked it up.  It turned and drove the troll through the bottom of the squad car sending metal pieces flying and a dazed detective rolling to the ground.

Looking up Kevin noticed that the fairy had popped up next to him, still studying her PC, “That was close.  Boy those guys are strong,” she noted distractedly.

While the troll tore into the car, bending the metal out of the way so it could get up, the ogre rushed to a street sign and ripped it out of the ground.  Just as the first beast freed itself, the green behemoth charged it, brandishing its new weapon.  Like a linebacker tackling a running back, the troll put his shoulder into the ogre’s gut, stopping the assailant in mid stride.  He lifted the monster into the air and slammed it into the street with such force that the ground shook under Kevin and the asphalt fractured around the ogre.

“Our troll friend there is Fraaphknot and I I.D.’d our ogre as Grolf Skullsmasher,” the fairy continued.  “Grolf has a pretty long rap sheet, mostly assault charges.”

“And Fraaphknot there is a former Marine, Force Recon,” Kevin noted, standing up and dusting himself off as the troll staggered back a few steps.

“How did you know!?” Atheara gasped, pulling up the troll’s records.  “You don’t even …”

“Look at the tattoo on his neck,” Kevin pointed, “That’s the Force Reconnaissance emblem.”

“Oh,” the fairy sighed, closing her holographic pad.  “Here come the people in the bank.”

A flood swarmed around the big troll as he straightened his uniform amid the calls of the containment squad vehicles arriving.  With claps on his broad back and cheers and thanks, the monster lumbered back to his post, seemingly unconcerned with the previous events.

“Let the containment squad handle the clean up,” Kevin offered, tapping his own PC to get a ride back to the station, “We’re gonna be late getting to the power plant.”

*  *  *

Leaving the Brooklyn West Family Center with a can of beans, Fraaphknot tucked his uniform into a plastic bag.  He would need to get it cleaned.  Damn ogre.  That meant another few weeks living under the Brooklyn Bridge until he could afford an apartment.  Stopping next to a man who sat with his back against the wall of an alley, the troll took a moment to look at the can of beans in his hand.  Handing it to the man, he continued toward the bridge.

Rats again for dinner.


Dang Fairies

Buckminster Fullerene was probably the laziest Basset hound on planet Earth.  He didn’t do walks, he went for a drag.  He didn’t fetch sticks, he imitated them.  Buckminster, or Buck, had made sleeping into an art form, napping into a athletic endeavor and snoozing into a profession.

And he was perfecting it in the seat next to Kevin.

Kevin Warren pulled his squad car into the parking garage and poked the tri-colored hound, “Okay Buck, time to wake up.”

The power source on the car shut down and the manual steering mechanism retracted.  Kevin was a bit of a dinosaur, he still liked to steer the vehicle when it wasn’t an emergency.  The doors opened and Buck sighed.

“Oh come on,” Kevin groaned.

Reaching across the car, he grabbed the snoring hound dog and hoisted Buck into his arms.  Lugging the dog into the police headquarters, the detective carried his hound to the lift that would take him to the ninety-seventh floor.  A few seconds later, he was laying Buck down in the doggy bed next to Kevin’s desk.

“Hey Kevin,” a light, feathery voice said over his shoulder.

Standing up, Kevin sighed before turning around, “Yes Etheara, what do you want?”

Sitting on his desk was the new detective, a fairy named Etheara.  Her hair, the color of quicksilver, flowed in the air like a human woman’s hair flowed under water.  She was glowing blue that day and blue glistening particles were drifting off of her like pollen.  The old stories had always depicted fairies as being small and having wings, but they were just as tall as humans and didn’t need wings.

A fairy detective was definitely something new.  They tended to be a little to mischievous for something as serious as police work.  They always had been since they came out of their fae mounds in the later part of the twenty-sixth century.  The fairies and their kin had brought back magic and a whole host of other problems.

The young fairy gasped, “Why would I have to want something?  Maybe I just want to say hi to my friend!”

Kevin blinked.  She wanted something.  She always wanted something.

Drifting on magical currents to Buck’s bed, she petted him on the head and smiled up at Kevin, “See? I just wanted to pet Bucky.”

Kevin blinked again.  The easiest way to catch Etheara in a lie was to wait.  Eventually the awkward silence would be too much for her and she would spill the beans.  Her blue glow brightened, illuminating Kevin’s mocha skin and making it seem to glow as well.

“See!?” she patted Buck, “Petting … pet … okay!  Can you take a look at something for me?”

Leading Kevin into the holo-scene simulator, Etheara drifted to the center of the crime scene depicted inside.  A dwarf was lying face down in the middle of an alley.  A first glance, Kevin didn’t see any sign of injury.

Kneeling down next to the dwarf, he studied the body, “No obvious signs of injury.  Toxicology?”

The holographic toxicology report popped up next to Kevin.  High levels of histamines in his system.

“Interesting,” Kevin commented.  “Take a look at his lips.”

The fairy drifted to the holographic corpse and lifted his head, “What am I looking for?  Oh, he’s got a little sore on his lip.”

Kevin nodded, “Did you find out where he’d been?”

“Yeah,” Atheara nodded, pulling up the holographic report she had made.  “He ate at Chez Misard about twenty minutes before time of death.  You think he was poisoned?”

She was quick, Kevin had to admit that.  But for a fairy, she thought from an awfully human perspective.

“Take a look at his hands,” Kevin said, nodding to the short fairy-kin on the ground.

Atheara furrowed her brown in confusion, but picked up the hand of the victim.  Looking at it for a moment, she sighed and then sat it back down.

“His index finger is longer than his middle finger,” she frowned, “So he’s a werewolf.”

“But fae …” Kevin started to say, but the fairy in front of him caught on.

“Are immune to lycanthropy.  Sooo ..?” she groaned in confusion.  “He couldn’t be a werewolf.”

“But he could be a carrier,” Kevin added.

“So?” Atheara raised one eyebrow over her violet eyes that were devoid of pupils.

“Okay,” Kevin said, standing up and dusting himself off, “Put it together here.  He has a sore on his lip, ate at a fancy French restaurant and is infected with lycanthropy.”

Gasping, the fairy’s eyes widened, “Silverware!”

“End simulation,” Kevin commanded.  “You’re dwarf was infected with lycanthropy, ate off real silverware and died from an allergic reaction.”

The alley disappeared and Kevin and the fairy were standing in a round, black room.  Forensics in 3246 was so much more simple than in the two thousands.

“I’m guessing he didn’t know he was infected,” Kevin thought out loud.

“Thank you!” the young fairy squealed, hugging Kevin roughly.

Shortly, Kevin was sitting down next to Buck, “Hey dude,” he said, scratching the sleeping hound dog behind his floppy ears.  “You hold down the fort?”

Buck groaned.

The communicator on his desk chirped, “Hey Kevin?” his captain’s voice said.

“Yeah?” Kevin responded.

“Hey, you need to meet Atheara in my office, she’s going to be your partner on this next one,” he explained.

Great.  A partner.  A fairy partner.

“Yes sir,” Kevin groaned.  He didn’t want a partner.  Much less someone as ornery as Atheara.

Dang fairies.


Of Gnomes and Trolls – Cameo

Ruadhrí peeked over the ridge one more time, counting the number of soldiers blocking the road.  One, two …too many.  They would have to go around.

“Well your High-and-mightyness,” the old dwarf sighed, sitting down on the ground, “We’re gonna have ‘ta go North to take the Vilhelm Pass.  Can’t get through down there.”

Shaking her head from the back of the pony, the young woman kept her chin up, “No, we’ll take Hydra Pass.”

“Are you daft!?” Ruadhrí barked in exasperation, “That path changes constantly.  We can’t be goin’ there or we’ll be lost fer months!”

The dwarven baker looked up at the huge troll Fraaphknot who seemed to be counting something on his fingers.  He would bring two together, separate them, hold one up, hold all five together … over and over the monster’s beady eyes watched his fingers until suddenly they stopped.

He was holding up his middle finger to Ruadhrí.

“Oh hardy har!” the dwarf rolled his eyes.

“How dare you!” Caoilinn gasped.

A small voice answered from the trees, “I bet she says that a lot, but he means to take the middle path.”

Looking up, Ruadhrí saw a small dragon perched in the tree under which they were sitting.  He was the gleaming color of an amethyst, maybe three feet long and had a golden, antler-like horn (the other was broken off).  It was a fey dragon!

“Oh!” the princess squealed, “He’s so cute!  Get him for me!”

Fraaphknot rolled his eyes while Ruadhrí rubbed the bridge of his nose between his eyes, “Ya don’t just ‘get’ a fey dragon lass.  Seein’ one is good luck.  Catchin’ one is really bad luck.”

“And we’re extremely venomous,” the little dragon added, smiling a toothy grin.  “I would suggest the bunny trail myself.  Vilhelm is much safer.”

A fat, green caterpillar slowly made its way along the branch toward the little dragon.  Cocking his head slightly, watching the insect for a moment, the diminutive wrym snapped out and gobbled up the bug.

Then spit it out.

Scrapping his tongue with his back leg, the little dragon hacked and gagged, “Gah!  It’s … like … like … black licorice and toe jam!  Bleh!”

“Disgusting!” Caoilinn gasped.

The troll snickered while the little dragon ran back and forth along the branch, dragging his tongue on the bark.  Hacking and coughing, he scraped his tongue on the branch, trying to get the rancid flavor of the bug out of his mouth.

Fraaphknot laughed loudly, stunning Ruadhrí.  It was impossible!  The troll didn’t have a personality!

Watching the nonsense with saucer-eyes, the old dwarf mumbled, “That’s two votes and one tongue drag for Vilhelm’s Pass and two votes for the Hydra’s Pass.”

Watching the little dragon roll around and fall off the branch into the bushes, Ruadhrí shook his head, “The tongue drag and spaz attack is the tie breaker.  We go north!”

Mounting his pony in front of the princess, the old dwarf took one last look at the choking, hacking little dragon.  Who would have thought that little dragon had saved the kingdom only a year ago?

As they rode north, Ruadhrí smiled to himself.  There was another reason he wanted to take Vilhelm Pass.

Erin would be at the Stumble Inn at the entrance to the pass.  A perfect nanny for Ruadhrí’s riding companion.

Yes, that little purple dragon was Dink from my first book.  He gets to make cameo appearances in pretty much everything I write.


Of Gnomes and Trolls – Enter Fraaphknot

A princess was not supposed to be wallowing in the mud!  No.  A princess was supposed to be riding in a carriage.

A princess was not supposed to be accosted by brigands!  No.  A princess was supposed to escorted by soldiers.

But there she was, Caoilinn Mag Uidhir, wading through the mud of a lake without her escort, without her carriage.  She wanted to scream!  She was even without clean clothes!

Stopping momentarily, she shook the mud off the bottom of her dress.  How completely … uncivilized!  To be attacked by highwaymen.  For all her guards to be killed.  What was the world coming too?

“Well, well, there you are Your Highness,” a voice said to her out of the bushes.

Looking up slowly, she saw a tall man with long smooth hair sitting on a horse above her.  He wasn’t one of the lowly brigands, that was obvious.  His armor gleamed in the daylight and his sword sheath was well oiled.  He was someone of importance.

And usefulness!

Quickly pushing her ruby hair out of her eyes, the princess straightened her back, “Yes, we were attacked by robbers.  You will take me back to my home now.”

“Oh, you’re quite right about that Your Highness,” the man smiled widely.  “You’re going back … with me.”

There was a sparkle in his eyes.  A … gleam.  Caoilinn’s breath left her chest.

“You’re a fae!” she gasped.

*  *  *

The first dwarf out of the tunnels was Ruadhrí Mac Giolla Eoin.  The bramble berries would only be ripe for one day, the very first day of Spring and he had to be there first.  His pony rumbled through the underbrush while he searched intently for a bramble bush.

The dwarves would be the first to get to the bushes.  The fairies and pixies would be sleeping late … as usual.  But to be able to make his bramble berry pie, he would have to get two full baskets.  The other dwarves would just sit around eating the bramble berries … they didn’t appreciate the delicacy of making bramble berry pie.  But they certainly appreciated his pie when he sold it for two copper coins for each slice.

The forest was nice that morning.  The birds were signing, the breeze was rustling through the new leaves and the women were screaming.

Wait … screaming women?

Ruadhrí groaned and reined his pony forward.  A fairy maiden had probably gotten lost again.  Now his berries would have to wait.

*  *  *

The screaming grew louder and Ruadhrí peeked through some bushes next to Sapphire Lake.  There, on the shore, were ten fairies and one of them was roughly pushing a young human woman onto his horse.

A gentleman would rush out and help her.  A gentleman would fight to protect her.

Groaning, Ruadhrí kicked a rock.  It sucked being a gentleman.

Grabbing his hand axe, the old dwarf stepped out of the bushes, “All right lads, you’ve ‘ad yer fun.  Let the lassie go now.”

The dark haired fae paused without looking back, “A hero?”

Turning, he faced Ruadhrí and smiled, “Well.  I know you,” he sneered while pulling his sword from its sheath.  “You fought in the Northern Border Skirmish didn’t you?”

“Aye lad,” Ruadhrí nodded, carefully watching the other fae as they backed up, forming a circle around the old dwarf.  “Now you just let that lass go and we won’t have ta relive that.”

The fae moved toward him, brandishing the gleaming sword, “Oh, but that’s not where it ended did it?  You’re a … what?” he turned his head quizzically, “A baker now?”

“Aye,” the dwarf nodded.

Ruadhrí was worried.  Being surrounded by a group of aggressive fae had not been his plan.  He was supposed to be gathering berries, not fighting.  He was too old for that heroic garbage.

“Well then,” the fae took a fighting stance, “Defend yourse …”

The forest exploded with a deafening roar.  A beast nearly eight feet tall ripped through the lower branches and crushed the bushes.  It was unnaturally broad and its biceps were as big as its waist.

Exuding power and violence, the ashen-skinned monster tore into the fae soldiers, scattering them like insects.  Its huge claymore cut through the surrounding fairies like a sickle mowing down shocks of wheat.

Roaring past its long tusks, the monster grabbed a fairy and tossed him into the lake like child throwing a ragdoll.  With all but the leader dead or running, it lowered its long arms where his hands hung below his knees and turned slowly toward the dark-haired man.

“Ah ha!” the man laughed, “I know you!”

Caoilinn gasped.  The creature’s face was scarred with ritualistic swirling brands.  Its armor was forged from blackened steel and its claymore bore the most recognizable runes in the kingdgom.

The beast was a troll from the Wyrmreaver tribe.

Vicious and brutal warriors, they were known for being more intelligent than their usual barbaric brethren.  Being capable of metalsmithing and literature, the Wyrmreaver tribe was notoriously neutral, never taking sides in any conflict, but unceasingly hunting their most hated enemies … dragons.

The troll looked at Ruadhrí, its beard was braided and its black hair, shaved on the sides, was likewise braided in the style of the dwarven knights.  It blinked dully and then turned back to the fae knight.

“We’ve been graced by the presence of the mighty Fraaphknot,” the fae laughed.  “The Scourge of the Southern Barbarians, slayer of the Western Daggerwyrm, blah, blah, blah …”

Ripping up his blade, he brandished it before the huge troll, “So its your decision.  Die here or hunt your dragons somewhere else?”

Fraaphknot circled the soldier and stopped in front of the still mounted young woman.  Unceremoniously, he roughly grabbed her with his left hand and lifted her off the horse while keeping his eyes fixed on the soldier.

“What!?” the young princess kicked and thrashed.  “How dare you!  You filthy beast!  Unhand …”

Caoilinn landed roughly on her butt as the beast dropped her.

The dark-haired fae fainted and the lunged, driving his blade toward the gut of the troll.  Fraaphknot, without a flinch, backhanded the soldier like a drunken wife backhands a willful husband, sending his sword whirling into the lake and dropping the fae to the ground.

Without saying a word, the huge troll grabbed the smaller man off the ground and threw him over its shoulder.

Ruadhrí laughed as he watched the armored man fly into the bushes, “Well lad, guess ya bit off a bit more’n ya could …”

The troll turned toward him just as a monstrous mountain-boar emerged from bushes.  Dressed in a riding saddle and saddle bags, the boar appeared to be Fraaphknot’s mount.

“Ya … don’t wanna do this lad,” the old dwarf explained, adjusting his grip on his axe, “I don’t want’cha to do this,” he chuckled.

Fraaphknot blinked again and then reached back, grabbing the red-headed princess.  With complete disregard for her social station he lifted her to her feet and pushed her toward the dwarf.

“Hey!” Caoilinn barked, “Get you’re hands off of me beast.”

“And just what would ya have me do with this lass?” Ruadhrí asked, stroking his own mahogany beard.

“You, dwarf,” Caoilinn ordered, trying in vain to straighten her dress, “Take me home.”

The mighty troll climbed onto his own boar and nodded to the dwarf.

Chuckling, Ruadhrí turned to the young princess, “Well lass, ya see I only have a wee pony.  If ya’ll be ridin’ with me we’ll be gettin’ real personal.”

Caoilinn looked back at the troll who was sitting patiently, “I’m not riding on a pig.  I’ll ride your pony and you can guide me.”

“Oh no lass,” Ruadhrí laughed loudly, “Took a mace to the knee.  We ride together or ya walk home alone.”

Following after the dwarf as he went after his pony, the young woman huffed, “How dare you!”

“You say that a lot don’t ya lass?” Ruadhrí snickered.

“You!” Caoilinn gasped.  “You would … I am your princess!!  You will show me the proper resp …”

Just as they reached the pony, she felt the familiar rough hands grab her from behind.  Lacking delicacy and proper manners, she was dumped on the little horse behind the saddle.

“You were sayin’ Your Highness?” Ruadhrí couldn’t stop laughing.  The troll certainly didn’t care for her breeding or station.

Climbing into the saddle in front of the princess, Ruadhrí noted that the troll was still next to him.  He was coming with them.  Why?  Ruadhrí didn’t know or care why, but the brute force of Fraaphknot would be helpful if they ran into more fae.

Caoilinn could only huff, crossing her arms over her chest.

“You should probably hold on Your Highness,” Ruadhrí smiled, “Having him with us, it’s gonna be a ride!” he nodded to Fraaphknot.

Urging his pony forward, Ruadhrí cast a longing glance at a nearby bramble bush.  So much for his bramble berry pie.


Tales from Charon – Bitter Reunion

Jenny Barrister could barely contain herself.  She was going down in history.  They were already talking about a Nobel for her work exposing the Biocorp hunter/killer program and their work on the Delta Units.

But every image could always use a little bit of tweaking and she had a perfect human interest story that would cement her image.  Caprice Parker, reunited with the son she couldn’t remember.  And a son, reunited with the mother he never met.

It was perfect.

As if on cue, the gate came to life in front of Jenny.  The polished steel supports began humming and the green swirling gases under the glass floor froze.  Inside the gravitational field contained by the gate, reality began to bend.  It was folding, breaking down.  The gateway functioned by folding space-time, putting one location directly on top of another that was millions of light years away.  The visual appearance of two locations sharing the same space was something to behold.

A young man came into focus.  He was tall with gently curling blond hair and square glasses.  He was thin and gangly, a consequence of teenage hormones run amok.

“Ian Parker?” Jenny asked.

The young man staggered and stumbled out of the gate, “Yeah … I … whoa!”

Jenny caught him and laughed, “Your first time through is a little wild huh?”

“Yeah,”  the boy laughed with her, “Hey, so where’s my mom?”

Jenny nodded.  Perfect.

“Now keep in mind,” she took him by the hand, “You’re mom is what they call a Beta Unit.  Even though she generally looks like she did on Earth, her body has changed quite a bit.”

Ian patted her on the back, “I don’t remember my mom so I guess I won’t be surprised,” he smiled.

“Then let’s go find her,” Jenny offered.

 

*  *  *

 

“Shoot him!” Caprice yelled from the back of the warpig.  “Just shoot!”

It was her worst fear, instead of adapting and finding a way to kill the warpig, the soldiers were just relying on her to do it all.  Just because their plasma weapons didn’t work didn’t mean they didn’t have other options!

But there she was, gored twice by the monsters huge tusks, bleeding out of her mouth and stuck riding on the back of the giant boar.  At least it was outside the  city.

Hearing the baying of the gorehounds on the hill behind her, Caprice was able to grab her wakazashi.  She had to stop the damn thing from crashing back through the gates of the city.  It would kill too many civilians if it got back in.

Holding onto the back of the boar with her legs, she grabbed one tusk.  Her breathing was coming in short, excruciating gasps and more blood poured out of her mouth.  At the very least her ribs were broken, more likely she had a punctured and collapsed lung.

As the creature charged the gates, Caprice actually thanked the Bardo.  When it had come, the skin had peeled off the monster and she could see its vertebrae underneath the muscle tissue.  All she needed to do … was …

The blade bounced off the bone of the beast’s spine.  Her damn hands were still shaking!  Just one more time!  One time dammit!

Kicking the creature, Caprice dug her heels into its sides.  The warpig kicked its front legs out, skidding to a stop and throwing the platinum blond over its head.

“She’s clear!” she heard the soldiers start yelling.

Just one more …

The wakazashi struck true!  She slipped the blade between the armored boar’s vertebrae and felt the satisfying tug as the edge sliced through its spinal cord.  The monster’s head instantly collapsed to the dirt and Caprice tumbled through the air.

Slamming back-first into the gates, Caprice heard a sickening crunch issue from her spine and any remaining breath left her body.  Crumpling to the ground, her head hit the dirt and more blood poured out of her mouth.  Only yards away, the warpig tried to gasp for breath, it stared at her in confusion.  It didn’t understand how she had beat it, it didn’t understand what she had done to it.  It didn’t understand why she wasn’t dead.

That was it!  A wave a relief rolled through Caprice.  The moment of clarity draped a blanket of understanding over her, warming and calming her.

Death had been there for her the whole time!  Charon was death, it wasn’t denying her.  She was denying it!  All those years, all that time, she thought she’d been lucky (or unlucky) enough to stay alive.  She had fought and fought and fought.

For what?

Once the soldiers’ plasma rifles didn’t work, they gave up.  The civilians wouldn’t fight.  Like always, it was up to her.

Why?  Because Charon wanted her!  It had always wanted her and even though she wanted the fight to end, she wouldn’t stop fighting.

Pushing herself to her feet, she started staggering toward the paralyzed boar.  She couldn’t hear the shouts of the soldiers, didn’t want to.  Gorehounds loved to follow warpigs, feeding on the scraps left by the bulldozer-like monsters and they were singing to her on the hill.

Their baying was her requiem.

Stopping by the warpig, she drove her sword into its skull, extinguishing the remaining  life in the beast.  Continuing her practice of following the ancient rituals, she punched her hand into the pommel of the katana, breaking the blade.  The sword had been made for her and she would be the only person to ever use it.

Her weapons were all used up and her armor was destroyed.

 

*  *  *

 

“Come on!” Jenny yelled.

Caprice was just on the other side of the gates.  The floodlights were shining down and Jenny would have her human-interest piece.

Ian followed after her, panting, “She, she’s okay?  Right?”

“Your mom’s as tough as anyone I’ve ever seen!” Jenny yelled as the gates opened, but the light wasn’t going to be on her this time.

Caprice held her hands out to the sides, blood dripping from her fingertips.  She couldn’t breathe, but it didn’t matter.  She wouldn’t have to for long.  They could see she was unarmed.  The gorehounds wouldn’t hesitate.

Her hands didn’t shake.  Her muscles weren’t tense.  The platinum woman who had trained so many killers, slaughtered so many monsters, was completely at ease.  She wasn’t afraid.

“M … Mom?” Ian stammered.

Caprice smiled as the creatures fell on her.  It wasn’t pain that she was feeling, it was contentment.  She was getting to meet an old friend for the first time.  The animals tore and ripped at her and her body gave out.  She fell to the ground, smiling as skinless hounds the size of cougars tore the flesh from her bones.

“MOM!” Ian tried to rush forward, but Jenny grabbed him.

“No Ian!  No!  They’ll kill you too!” Jenny yelled.  She was losing it!  Losing everything.  This was supposed to be her big moment!

Caprice closed her eyes and sighed one last time.  Darkness embraced her, her body faded away, feeling faded away, sound was gone.  Then there were colors, red and then smoke.  But then the smoke was driven away by a brilliant white light.

The light was peaceful.  The light was understanding.  Caprice was happy.  No, she was joyful.  No, that wasn’t it either.

Bliss.  Caprice reached out without hands and touched bliss.

It was over.


Tales from Charon – Birthing Center

I have to apologize for the lack of updates lately.  Work has been so crazy that I don’t even have time to think and frankly, I need a little time to think if I’m going to write.  Mrs. Webgoji has been working extra hard and will be applying for Director in Qualification with Mary Kay and I myself have been putting in quite a bit of overtime at work.  But all that said, here is another Tales from Charon!

 

Her damn hands were shaking too bad to make a decent cut.  The wakazashi shook violently in Caprice’s grip as it was poised to enter her stomach.  If she could just get her hands to work!

Biocorp had claimed that the reason the Beta units were retired was because they couldn’t adapt.  That wasn’t entirely untrue.  It hadn’t been long before Biocorp had realized their Beta weapons were exhibiting a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that they called Repeated Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Most, if not all, of the remaining Betas suffered from Major Depressive Disorder, hypervigilance and paranoia, suicidal tendencies and hyperadrenalism.

It was the damn hyperadrenalism that was making her hands shake.  Her adrenal glands were pumping out hormones constantly at a rate that would kill most normal people.  But she couldn’t be lucky enough to have it kill her.

So there she sat.  Wearing only her underwear and on her knees in her dingy little room with sweat pouring down her body as she tried to get her blade aimed at her abdomen.  She  had to get it done before someone came in asking …

The door burst open and Sergeant Jackson leaned in, “Ma’am!  We found … what the hell!”

… for help.  They always came to her for help.

Grabbing the weapon out of her hands, the sergeant barked, “What are you doing!?”

Trying to steady her jaw, Caprice blew her sweaty bangs out of her eyes, “It’s called harakiri Sergeant.  It was an ancient ritual practiced by the Samurai of Japan.”

“Thank the lord,” the young man wiped his brow, “I thought you were trying to kill yourself.”  Quickly, her turned away from her, “Sorry about seeing you in your unmentionables Ma’am.”

Spitting on the floor, Caprice grabbed her armor.  Another little technique she used when she was upset.  By spitting, Caprice had conditioned herself to diffuse her anger when she was mad at someone.

“First, I don’t believe in your god Sergeant.  You want to spout that crap take it somewhere else,” Caprice barked, roughly pulling up her ES Poly armor.  “Second, what’s the problem?”

“Uh, yes Ma’am.  Sorry about that,” the young man’s dark skin turned a slightly blush color.  “We found a Biocorp facility out in the forest Ma’am.  We don’t have any records of it, it’s like it never existed.  We want you’re help securing it Ma’am.”

“Nuke it,” Caprice groaned, sheathing her wakazashi.

“Ma’am?”

“What part of ‘nuke it’ didn’t you get Sergeant?” Caprice barked again.  The platinum blond spit on the ground again trying to calm herself.  “Unless I miss my guess, that forest you’re talking about is the one near the village.  During the Bardo all kinds of nasty shit comes out in that forest.  Don’t risk the men.  Blow the whole damn thing back to hell.”

The Sergeant looked up as Caprice put her hand on his shoulder, she was as ready as she was going to be.

“I’m sorry Ms. Parker.  We’ve got orders,” he shrugged.  “We have to find out what they’re doing in there before we can destroy it.”

Shaking her head Caprice sighed, “Fine, let’s do it.  It’s a good day to die anyway.”

 

*  *  *

 

The troop transport was getting close to the forest and Sergeant Jackson was chattering like a bird, “… so anyway, can you tell us anything about the Bardo?  Where did that name come from?”

Caprice leaned back, looking up at the top of the transport, “You need to read your history Sarge.  There’s only one religion left; The Church of Light.  It’s based on an old dead religion that came from a prophet who was supposed to be the son of a god.  It’s teachings are gone, but some of the basic concepts are in your religion.  At that time though, there was another religion that was older and died off sooner.  That other religion stated that there was a state between life and death.”

“Bardo,” the soldier nodded, understanding.  “And since so many people die during the darkness here, we call it Bardo.”

“Yup,” Caprice nodded.

The truck came to a stop and the soldiers started checking their weapons and armor, “Is that where your harry-carry ritual came from?”

Banging her head against the side of the transport, the woman groaned, “Not remotely,” was all she said as her finger tapped involuntarily on the side of her plasma rifle.  Damn hyperadrenalism.

“Well anyway,” the soldier seemed to be wrapping things up, “Can you give me your workout plan?”

The other nineteen soldiers piled out of the back of the transport as they disembarked.  Caprice followed suit, taking her rifle off safety.

“Why?” she asked, looking up at the canopy of trees.

“Because I would give anything to have arms and abs like yours,” the young man laughed.  “Seriously!”

“Sell yourself to Biocorp, give them all your memories and sanity and you can have a Gamma body,” Caprice snorted.  “Who knows?  Maybe I would train you.”

Ahead of the troops loomed a two story glass and steel building.  It was strangely out of place in the rotten, dark woods.  The building was like a gleaming scalpel cutting into the rotten flesh of the forest.

“Stay here,” Caprice ordered.  “If they’ve got bioweapons as security, you’ll have to stay back and shoot them from a distance.”

“What about you?” the sergeant asked.  Was there a hint of concern?  Yearning?  In his voice.

“I told you,” Caprice walked toward the building, “It’s a good day to die.”

 

*  *  *

 

Just as she entered the building, Caprice was greeted by a strange receptionist behind a grand, oaken desk.  The woman was like nothing she had ever seen.  Tall and so thin she might have been anorexic, the woman … the being, had skin that was the color of malachite and long, long pointed ears.  Her eyes were black with only green rings around what would be the pupil and her hands were long and ended in vicious talons.

“Hello, can I help you?” the creature asked with a song-bird voice through deadly fangs.

Snapping the rifle to her shoulder, Caprice aimed between the creature’s eyes, “What the hell are you?”

Her eyes widened with shock and the creature raised her hands, “I … I’m Fifteen.  Do … don’t sh … sh … shoot okay?”

“You look older than fifteen,” Caprice grunted, looking for security, “Who’s in charge here?”

“I … I’ll j … j … ” tears were starting to roll down the beast’s cheeks as she lowered a trembling hand toward an intercom  button.

“Fifteen?” another melodic voice came from the hall behind the desk, “Are you okay?”

Another creature emerged from the hall.  This differed from the first only in the color of its satin hair and hellish eyes.  That and the second creature appeared to be uncomfortably pregnant.

Caprice snapped her rifle up to the new beast, “Stop right there.  Move and you’re dead.  Got it!?”

The second creature raised her arms as well, “Don’t!  My baby!” she yelled.

“Don’t move Eighteen,” the first creature said, “She wants the doctor.”

“Eighteen?” Caprice looked back at the first creature without lowering her weapon, “What the hell are you?”

Fifteen’s trembling hand poked the intercom button, “D … d … d …”

A voice responded, “Yes Fifteen?  Are you okay?”

Caprice stepped forward and shoved the receptionist out of the way, causing her to fall to the ground and whimper like a scared child.  Keeping her weapon pointed at the second monster, Caprice poked the intercom button.

“This is the Earth Military.  You in charge?” she said.

“Don’t hurt them!” the man’s voice responded, “I’ll be right down.  Just don’t hurt them!”

In moments, a well dressed human man with sleazy black hair and thick glasses burst around the corner of the hall.  Caprice took her aim off the crying creatures in front of her and motioned for the man to raise his hands.

“We’re unarmed Miss,” the man panted, “Please don’t hurt them.  Let me show you.”

“Keep you hands where I can see them,” Caprice nodded.  “You so much as twitch and I’ll kill everything in here.”

“Understood,” the man agreed and motioned for Caprice to follow him.  “If you’ll just follow me, you’ll see.”

The man lead the bleach-blond woman into the hallway past several open windows.  Inside the rooms were more of the creatures with young boys that looked like them.  They were playing and laughing with toys like normal humans.  In other rooms creatures were nursing their black skinned babies and in yet other rooms, they waddled around like pregnant mothers, happy, glowing and uncomfortable.

“As you can see, we’re raising the next generation of bioweapons,” the man explained.  “We lost communications recently, but we’ve continued our work.”

He stopped by a room where several doctors were working on a skrill, “Thanks to the Delta Prototype, we know we can produce Epsilon units by impregnating deltas with skrill genes.  The resultant weapons are … amazing.”

Deltas?  Epsilons?

Caprice lowered her rifle and put her left hand on her plasma pistol, “You impregnate those … things with skrill to make … monsters?” she asked, holding back the urge to vomit.

It was the most disgusting thing she’d ever seen.  The poor creatures seemed so happy to be carrying monster babies in their bellies.  Blinking, Caprice remembered reading about Nazi breeding programs during World War II.  It was sickening.

“Well, they’re not monsters,” the man corrected her, “But they are so much more advanced than you that they even make the Deltas obsolete …”

Faster than the man could finished his sentence, Caprice drew her pistol and placed the barrel on his temple, pulling the trigger.  She didn’t take her eyes off the horrible semen extraction even as the doctor’s brains hit the wall.  The place couldn’t be allowed to stand.

Killing every creature she passed, Caprice stormed through the cries of anguish and fear until she was out of the building and stopping in front of Sergeant Jackson, “Nuke it!  Now!”

“What’s in there?” the soldier asked, grabbing his com unit, “Epsilon Seven requesting tactical nuclear air strike.”

“They’re making monsters,” Caprice mumbled.

 

*  *  *

 

Watching the mushroom cloud grow over the trees Caprice pressed her cheek against the glass window of the transport.  There was one other symptom of Repeated Traumatic Stress Disorder that Caprice had never experienced; an uncaring disassociation.

The blond woman sighed and sat back.  Death was a release from suffering on Charon.  Why wouldn’t it come for her?


Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Well isn’t this curious?  I was actually nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award by the IdesOfLife blog.  I don’t usually get nominated for anything other than extra duties at work.  (I said doodies.)

Anyway, according to the rules someone came up with:

1. Display the Award Certificate on your website
2. Announce your win with a post and link to whoever presented your award
3. Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers
4. Drop them a comment to tip them off after you’ve linked them in the post
5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

 

very-inspirational-blogger1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, got that, let’s see … seven interesting things:

  1. By education I’m actually a chemical engineer.  By the time I decided to call it quits I had ten years of experience and was a New Product Engineer working for GE Energy … and finally made as much as the guys in the shop.  I was scheduled for a trip to Japan, then California and then China and that’s when I decided family was more important than the less than amazing salary I was getting.
  2. My religious practice is actually Buddhist.  Can’t really see that in my writing though … or can you?  (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.)
  3. I’ve been married to Mrs. Webgoji for 13 years now and have three amazing children, a son-in-law who has really come into his own in the Army and two grandchildren that are quite a riot.  Yep, I’m a grandpa at age 40 and could feasibly be a great-grandpa by 55.  Yikes.
  4. I’ve been writing most of my life and the main focus of my writing was actually poetry through high school and college.  I got so sick of hearing poetry about who doesn’t love whom though that ran as fast as I could to prose.  I technically have written three books so far, one of which was written in two weeks during NaNoWriMo and it sucks mightily.  The other two I will be self-publishing in the near future.
  5. I write using a method called Dramatica Theory.  It doesn’t work quite so well for my short stories though.
  6. My writing isn’t pure horror nor is it pure science fiction.  Mrs. Webgoji has probably best described it as “Traumatic Drama”.  I like that!  Rather than being plot focused as most horror and science fiction is, I like to character oriented giving some great conflict outside of the usual physical threats.
  7. Harold the Cat, Liza the Lab, Ben the Doofus … they were all real pets.  The stories I’ve told about them, while embellished because frankly dogs and cats can’t talk, are real events based around real animals.

Okay, the fifteen other nominations will take a while so I’ll be working on those as time rolls on.

 


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