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The Lancing

The Lancing

Boil was in danger. It was one of many cities that existed on the skin of the space titan, Doug. Like many other cities on Doug, Boil was a blemish on the flesh of the titan. That Boil existed on Doug’s butt didn’t matter, it was in danger now from something called the Lancing.

The Lancing had been preceded by the Great Pinch. Apparently, Doug had tried to destroy Boil himself and had compressed the city between his meaty fingers and squeezed attempting to pop the city. Fortunately for the citizens of Boil, their city was made of sterner stuff and Doug’s plot had failed.

Things came to a head several days ago, when Doug finally called his healer and made and appointment for the healer to destroy Boil by lancing it. Word spread quickly of Boil’s impending doom. Citizens all over Boil panicked. They filled their vehicles with their loved ones and a few sentimental possessions and fled the city in large numbers. The freeways were clogged as everyone attempted to flee at the same damned time.

The greatest wizards of Boil gathered together in the Sanctum of Pus the Mighty; both those of light, and those from a place the sun didn’t shine. It was agreed that they would cast a grand shield over the city, protecting it from the healer’s terrible lance.

The terrible day arrived and Boil was a veritable ghost town as the wizards began casting their spell. Dawn broke and a pair of fingers dabbled at the surface of Boil with a cloth smelling of disinfectant. It would have rendered even the strongest Boilant unconscious, the mages could not allow themselves to be distracted and had prepared for such an attack, by sealing the Sanctum beneath a field of fresh air. The mages finished chanting and channeled their power to Pus. Pus raised his hands to the sky and shaped the power into a shield, just as a gleaming lance of silver approached. For a moment the shield held back the lance, but it was short-lived. The lance penetrated the shield, impaled Pus the Mighty, and scattered the gathering of mages.

The Lance’s thirst was not yet slaked though. It pressed down through the citadel into the heart of Boil. There was an audible “pop” as the lance pierced Boil’s power core, followed by a yelp of pain from Doug and a cry of disgust from the healer. The mages had tried to save their city and failed. The fellowship scattered with many fleeing to the nearby metropolis of Skin Tag or back to their homes in Dark Side of the Moon..

Lydia Dinkley

Here is a villain for use in Throwdown at the North Pole by Pinnacle Entertainment Games. It uses the Savage Worlds system, but could easily be converted to other systems.

Wynterrible is the current bearer of the mantle of the Winter Warlock. She sought out and acquired the staff once used by Winterbolt and now uses it’s powers to attempt to overthrow Santa Claus and destroy Christmas.

Wynterrible

Ended the first day of National Novel Writing Month at 1,822 words. Not quite where I envisioned myself today, but also not a bad start either.

To my friends and family also doing NaNoWriMo, don’t get discouraged. Even if you didn’t hit the target word count of 1,667 words today, just try and recoup tomorrow. I speak from experience when I say that it is easier to make up ground the second day than it is the third, fourth, or fifth day. Each day you fall further behind, it becomes harder and harder to catch up. Strive for that 1,667 mark.

No for some practical tips.

Don’t worry about editing as you go. Your goal with this is to make word count and complete the challenge of 50,000 words in 30 days. Much of what you write will be crap. Don’t try to fix it. Keep moving. If you get bogged down in editing, then you’ll sink. Allow yourself to write utter garbage. You can clean it all up later, right now, the important thing is getting the words on the page. Last year I completed the challenge. I got the 50,000 words in a month’s time and you know what – most of those words got cut in editing. Editing is a fact of a writer’s life, but it comes after you have the story written down.

Keep at it. We have 29 days to go and I fully intend to drag you all across the finish line with me.

Be A Light

Be A Light

We never truly know those closest to us. We get glimpses of their true self here and there, but seldom a complete picture of who and what they are. We reveal ourselves differently to different people, so the pieces one person has may be completely different than the pieces someone else has. Many times pieces come into play only when it is too late to complete the puzzle. All of us can add our pieces to the puzzle and in doing so gain a more complete picture of our loved ones, whether they are friends or family.

It is easy for us to recall the big things about a person such as their favorite sportsteam, their favorite song, or even what they did in their spare time, but it’s all the little things that make up most of the puzzle pieces such as the way they laughed, how much you fought with them, or even smaller things like saving envelopes from letters you sent them. These pieces, these memories come rushing back long after we’ve forgotten them. When you realize that you will never be able to see this person again, never be able to talk to them again, the locks on the vault of your memories are released and the doors flung open. Our memories become clear even as we are overwhelmed by their bittersweetness. Once again we are blessed with the ability to remember not only all the bad things about the person, but also all the good things as well. It is amazing to me how even a memory of something that was unpleasant at the time can bring a smile to your face. These memories are a reminder to cherish every moment and never pass up a chance to let your loved ones know how much they mean to you, because you never know if it might be your last chance.

The death of a loved one often leaves those left behind feeling that the world is just a bit darker; some may even become lost in this darkness. One of my favorite quotes from Harry Potter was said by Albus Dumbledore. “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” I love that quote. Sometimes we get so lost in the darkness that we forget to turn on the light, but although we may have forgotten our friends and family did not. When you’ve been stumbling around in darkness though, the light can be every bit as blinding, and at these times our loved ones can reach out, take our hands, and guide us; if we let them. None of us has to face this world alone. Friends and family please never let us forget that.

I wonder if my brother would still be here if he would have reached out and taken someone’s hand. If someone could have pulled him from the dark place in which he found himself. I think Brian started to see the light at the end, but by then it was too late. Don’t let what happened to Brian happen to you. Reach out. Be a light. Be a guide out of the darkness, because you never know who might need it.

Reggie couldn’t believe it. He had breezed through NaNoWriMo in November, and finished his story in January, but had since stalled out on editing.

It had been five months since he began working on revisions to his novel. He should have had it revised and ready to publish at the end of June, but due to writers block or laziness he had missed the chance to use some of the swag he won in November.

Perhaps it’s just as well. It needs serious work before it’s ready for public consumption. If he published it as is, he’d be roasted alive by fans and critics alike.

He didn’t know how to begin again though. His pens and notebooks lay atop his desk unopened and unused. His laptop had seen more action posting inane comments on Facebook than on working on his novel. You would have thought that  the desire to complete his novel would have pushed him through, but procrastination had proven stronger.

Reggie felt guilty about wasting so much time. His guilt became a straitjacket imprisoning him and keeping him from writing. He had tried for weeks to write something, anything, but his muse remained silent and the words would not flow.

He wanted more than anything to be a writer. His actions however told a different tale. If he really wanted to succeed, then why was he holding himself back? Was it fear? Was it guilt? Maybe so. Reggie knew though that the real reason lay with his father.

His father had often said he would never amount to anything, that he should forget his foolish notions of being a writer and get a real job. Reggie had heard that so many times that somewhere along the way he had come to believe it. Reggie’s father had died six years ago. Heart attack. Why was he still letting the opinions of a dead bitter old man shape his future.

You’re wrong, Dad. I will be a writer. I’m done with should, cant, and won’t.

For the first time in weeks, Reggie opened one of his notebooks, took up his pen, and wrote.

Trapped in WalMart.

Why do they call this place WalMart? I can’t see a damned wall anywhere. I keep following the hedge of shelving, but can’t seem to find my way out. The shelves go on for miles and I feel like I’m walking in circles. Gawd what section am I in now? “School Supplies” I thought those were back near the door.

Perhaps I should borrow a page from Theseus, find my way over to the sewing section, and get myself a few skeins of thread. In order for that to work I would need to find my way back to the entrance which is what I’ve been trying to do for the last two hours. I’ve been in shopping malls less confusing than this damned WalMart. Who in the hell decided patterning a department store after the Labyrinth of the Minotaur was good idea? Whoever it was needs to be shot.

Oh goody, “Electronics,” but that is at the back of the store. I want to go to the front of the store. There’s an employee maybe he can tell me how to get the hell out of here.

“Excuse me, but which way do I go to get back to the front of the store.”

Wonderful. Dozens of employees in this store and I get the one one that looks at me like I’m a retard.

“Uhhh… ya follow the aisles back to the front,” he said pointing back the way I came.

“Thanks Magellan,” I said stomping off back the way I came.

Follow the aisles he said. What does he think I’ve been doing the past two hours? This place needs one of those signs like they have in the mall saying “You are here” with a big red “X” and arrows pointing to the exit. I swear next time I come to WalMart(if I come back to WalMart), I’m gonna bring thread, flares, florescent paint, and chalk; as well, as a sack lunch and camping equipment. Who knew you had to be an Eagle Scout just to find your way out of a damned big box store.

Wait a minute, I’ve been going about this wrong. I just need to follow the next people I see and maybe they’ll lead me to the exit; that or have me arrested as a creepy stalker. But what if they don’t know where they are going either? Then we’ll all be lost, but at least we’ll be lost together. I wonder if there a tribe of people near the changing rooms who got lost and just decided to become permanent residents. Maybe that’s how you get a job here? Maybe its like a roach motel, you check in but you don’t check out.

Wait are those the check stands I see? Oh happy day, I can finally get the Hell outta here. What… wait…those are checks stands but I’m back in Electronics….arghhhhhhhhh!

A man was found curled up in a fetal position and foaming at the mouth today in a local WalMart. He had no identification and could not speak other than to say the words, “trapped….trapped like a rat…”  He appeared disheveled in soiled clothes with tally marks clawed into his arm. Walmart management believes the man entered several days ago, became lost, and could not find his way out. He is being sent to the hospital for examination and evaluation. More as this story develops.

I Snorted My Grandpa and Now He Won’t Shut Up

Getting into Mom’s closet was the biggest mistake I ever made. When you’re addicted to cocaine though it makes you do some weird things. I had went through Mom’s closet hoping to find some money she stashed so that me and the guys could get an eight ball and get high. There was no money though, but on opening a silver vase I saw a fine white powder and was pissed because I realized mom had been holding out on me.

I carried the vase into the living room and showed the guys. I dumped the powder out on a mirror and cut it up. I offered some to Chris and, Levi but they both turned it down. Pussies. I rolled up a one dollar bill and snorted a line. I immediately felt like someone had smacked me on the back of my head. This was some good shit.

I offered again to the guys and told them it was high grade. They both declined and just stood there with silly grins on their faces. Idiots. Oh well, their loss. More for me.

I did two more long lines and the smacks on the back of my head came harder and whipped my head forward. What the hell? This wasn’t normal. I then heard the voice of my grandfather.

Jimmy, what the hell are you doing?

I looked around, but only Levi and Chris were in the room. I must be tripping. It really was some good shit. Both of them immediately busted up laughing. I started laughing too but didn’t get the joke. I didn’t care because I was high as a kite.

No boy, you’re not high. You’re an idiot.

I whipped around trying to see where grandpa was and then remembered he couldn’t be here because he was dead. So why was I hearing his voice? Levi and Chris were no help because they were laughing their asses off.

“What’s so funny?”

Chris managed to stop laughing long enough to tell me.

“Dude, you’re an idiot. That’s not a vase it’s an urn. You just snorted your grandfather’s ashes.”

Both of them immediately busted up again.

This isn’t very damn funny, Jimmy.

I didn’t think so either. I sobered up quick. The smacks on the back of my head weren’t from any drug. They felt like the braindusters grandpa used to give me when I said or did something stupid. Almost on cue my head whipped forward from another smack on the back of my head.

“Ow, cut it out Grandpa!”

Chris and Levi both looked at me like I was crazy. I heard my mom’s car pull into the drive way. Oh shit! They both gave each other a nod and quickly ran out through the back door. They didn’t want to be part of this dumb ass mistake.

Mom walked through the door and saw the urn and my drug paraphernalia on the table.

“What the hell?”

I could hear Grandpa laughing in the recesses of my mind.

Oh this is gonna be good. Go ahead, idiot. I can’t wait to hear what she says when she finds out you snorted my ashes. See this is what happens when kids aren’t disciplined. Good thing this isn’t back when I was younger, my dad would have blistered my ass six ways from Sunday.

Shut up Grandpa.

I don’t know what Mom was more pissed about, the idea that was I doing drugs or that I had snorted the ashes of my dead grandfather up my nose. It was hard to keep track of the conversation though since I was being yelled at by two people – the one in front of me, and the one in my head.

Looks like your Grandma is gonna have to wait for me again. I’ve been called back into active duty to straighten your ass out and I ain’t leavin’ until I do.

Please dear God, no.  It was bad enough Mom had grounded me for a month, taken my cell phone, and pulled my driver’s license. I could handle those things, but having Grandpa in my head would be unbearable.

Then you better shape up, idiot. Grandpa is on the job now.  Pull your pants up, you look like a friggin’ moron!

He gave me several more psychic braindusters just so I got the message. My head snapped forward after each one, making me look like I had some sort of spasm disorder.

Someone kill me please….

Great idea, grandson then I’ll have all eternity in which to straighten you out. Grandma can help me.

Noooooo!

I know I am probably going to catch no end of hell for this, but here goes. I am fed up with characters in popular culture being altered for no other reason that to add diversity. I point to comic books which have engaged in a lot of this lately ie, changing Thor into a woman, Johnny Storm in to an African American, and so on.

If the only reason for doing this is to increase diversity, then I feel its being done for the wrong reason. I think when done for this reason alone a message is being sent that minorities and women can’t be interesting enough characters in their own right, instead they have to take an existing character usually a white male, scrub the white and the male off him, and dye him in whatever colors suit the new ideal, without addressing the underlying question of “does this add anything to the character?”

In some instances, it has. My friend pointed to the character of Nick Fury. In the comic books he was stale and boring, but when Iron Man came out and Samuel L. Jackson stepped into the role, it brought new life to the character. It was such as successful update of the character, Marvel brought him into the Marvel Universe, although they did have some explaining to do, and eventually made the updated version, Fury’s son.

When a change in ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation adds something to the character, then I have no problem with it. But when it is done just for diversity’s sake, I don’t agree with it. I think writers need to write interesting and diverse original characters, not give an existing character a new coat of paint, just because it’s suddenly the politically correct thing to do.

Like I said, I will probably catch hell for posting this, but there it is. You might not agree with me, then again maybe you will, but that is my take on it.

Eyes

Eyes

Kendra was home alone. Her step-dad had gone to pick her mother up from work and her step-sister was with her mom tonight. It was just her and her mini-Dobie, Bambi.

Kendra didn’t mind staying by herself anymore. When she was younger she hated it and would pitch a fit just to keep from being left alone. Now she enjoyed it. She spent the time by herself reading, drawing anime characters, or just watching videos on You Tube.

Tonight though, Kendra had made the mistake of reading some stories on Creepypasta, and she was starting to feel nervous and anxious. Why had she done that? She knew what those stories did to her. Kendra couldn’t help it though, she found the stories on Creepypasta interesting, even if they sometimes scared the pants off her.

The last story she had read had been a story about a young woman, like herself, that had been made to stay home alone. The girl had been about the same age as Kendra and had just finished watching a scary movie. About twenty minutes after the movie was over, the girl had begun to feel as though someone was watching her.

That story had been a little much for Kendra and so she’d stopped reading it. It must have lodged in her mind though, because twenty minutes later, she too felt like someone was watching her.

She whistled for Bambi and the little dog came running. It hopped up on the couch and crawled into her lap. Kendra felt better knowing where Bambi was, but the feeling of being watched didn’t go away. Was there someone in the house with her?

She carried Bambi with her as she checked to ensure the door was still locked. It was. She moved from room to room and flipped on all the lights. She checked under all the beds and in all the closets. Kendra even looked behind the shower curtain in the bathroom. There was no one in the house with her, she was sure of it. So why did she still feel so nervous?

Perhaps a snack would helm to calm her nerves.

She sat down Bambi and walked into the kitchen and then she saw it.

Sitting on the counter was a potato. It must have been sitting there for quite some time because practically the entire surface of its skin was covered in tumorous root-like eyes. The thing creeped her out. It sat their silently judging her with its alien eyes.

“Shouldn’t you be doing homework?”

“Shouldn’t you be asleep?”

“Are you going to cut off my eyes?”

“Are you going to boil me, mash me, and put me in a stew?”

“Are you going to slice me up for French fries? Shred me up for hashbrowns?”

Kendra’s mind was getting the better of her. She couldn’t do anything as long as she felt like she was being watched by the scary potato. She couldn’t bring herself to touch the thing though so she grabbed the dish towel and threw it over the potato.

She could almost hear the potato yelling, “Hey, who turned out the lights?”

Kendra really needed to quit reading scary stories. They were getting ridiculous.

She poured herself a bowl of cereal and topped it off with almond milk. She still felt like she was being watched. She carried the bowl of cereal into the living room and realized Bambi was watching her and licking its chops in anticipation of the treat she hoped Kendra would inevitably drop.

That was enough creepiness for one night. She turned on the television and resumed watching the video she’d began earlier, not noticing two tiny black eyes staring at her from the heater vent.