Thursday, January 28, 2010

Battle Of Olmen-Ra - 3WW Post

I still dream of that fateful night atop Olmen-Ra. Dozens of our kindred passed into memory that evening, and many is the dream I have had since, remembering the fallen and the loss of our loved ones.

We had gathered at the base of the mountain in the early dusk, prepared to rescue our beloved Queen from the forces of Dwindor. She had been taken from us many weeks before, and it had taken time for us to locate her and devise a plan of action. It had fallen to me, as war chief, to lead the rescue.

Gregor, the invisible, had lit the beacon from the hilltop; our signal to begin the surge to the top of the hill. We were ten score strong but the Dwindorians were stronger still. The battle had been bloody, the loss of life innumerable.

We fell back into the night, still Queen-less. I do not know what has become of her. I grieve for those lost, but especially for my betrothed. I shall never forget that night – or her.

Circle Of Friends Blog Awards

Spreading faster than Paris Hilton's legs after a night at the casino, the Circle of Friends Awards have been doing the rounds and I have surprisingly been awarded one by David Barber; an aspiring author (or so he says on his blog) from Scotland. In my books, he is a damn fine bloke and a damn fine (aspiring) writer. You can find his excellent blog page HERE.

The downside to this award is trying to pick only 5 blogs/writers to pass this award on to. It is never easy to pick "favourites" as there are so many people who contribute to the writing of certain stories, but my list is for the people who have had the biggest influence on my writing; people who have taken the time to encourage me and people who have read my writings and offered useful and contructive comments.

My five (in no particular order) are:

Absolutely*Kate - At The Bijou

Kate has been, from the very beginnings of my time at 6 Sentences, one of the few people who has not only encouraged my writing (even if she does have to close her eyes at the scary bits) but has also been a great friend in matters other than writing. She has mojo and moxie - bucket loads of it, in fact. She has a writing style that has no equal, and a personality to match. She has a brilliant sense of humour and knows also when to be smart and serious. You rock Kate (as usual, said in my ultra-cool accent!!)

Daniel Stine - Daniel's In China

My mate, Big Red, and I have a passion for music and Mustangs. We also like to dabble in writing as well. He has always been more than happy to read manuscripts (if I can be so cheeky as to call what I write a 'manuscript') and offer advice that is always spot-on. Even with his busy life, he always finds time for a quick hello and we have even found time to write a couple of 6S pieces together. Dan is THE MAN!!!

Harry Sanderford - Posterous

What can I say about Har? The man who christened me a Phillipstine? We both have a liking for James Lee Burke (to the point that we sent books to each other across the damn big ocean!!); we talk about the NFL; we discuss the shortcomings of modern society; we have also been known to occassionally discuss writing. Like Daniel, Harry has always been eager to read pre-posting stories of mine, always offering helpful advice and encouraging commentary. He may love a surf (I can't swim), he may like the odd flutter on the gee-gee's (gamblings bad, m'kay?) and he may live in the world's largest retirement home, but to me, Harry is fantastic value and a great friend indeed!!

Erin Cole - Listen To The Voices

Now, I realise that Erin probably has more than her fair share of awards by now (and if she doesn't, she damn well should!!) I have always found visiting Erin's blog page to be a thrill. She writes like I wish I could (and I think a lot of us feel the same way!) and I find a nicely dark and disturbing place to haunt when the mood strikes me. It was an absolute honour (yes, spelled with a 'u'...we do use the proper English language down here!!) to be asked by Erin to contribute to her 13 Days Of Horror late last year and to be included amongst some of the best writers I have come to know on the web. Erin's writing sometimes scares the shit out of me...and we wouldn't want it any other way!!!

Mike Whitney - Livin' In The Hills

Mr. Mike "Mongo" Whitney...having a fantastic sense of humour doesn't necessarily make it's way on to the page but Mike, through Mongo, does it flawlessly. Mongo is character that needs to be experienced to fully understand but once you know him, you wanna keep going back. Aside from Mongo, Mike pens some wonderful memoir-style pieces on his life on the road as a musician, or just his life in general. His music writings are fascinating - some things are better not knowing (especially with an aspiring musician for a son!) but always told in Mike's brilliant voice. He is also a gifted musician and often blogs videos of performances, or new songs as he records them. A damn fine guy and a pleasure to know!

Having done that, I would like to make special mention of the websites that have published my writings these last 12 months:

Powder Burn Flash
Six Sentences

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Make a Difference - One Comment At A Time!

Fellow 6S-er and blogger, Linda, over at leftbrainwrite has come up with, what I think, a brilliant idea to help those people suffering in Haiti. And it won't cost you, dear reader, a cent.

She has proposed that for every comment that gets left on her blog thread - Helping Haiti: Cash For Comments - up until midnight this Friday, she will donate a dollar to the Doctors Without Borders organisation. If you link a blog to her page, she will double that donation.

If every there was a cause worth supporting, this is it. And let's face it, it doesn't require any work except a click of the mouse button.

Go on, you know you want to....

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Punishment Fit The Crime - 3WW Post

“...and then I kicked him once more to the head for good measure.”

Jimmy looked up at his older brother in awe and asked, for the third time, for him to tell the ending again.

“I reached down and grabbed him by his now-bloodied hair and wrenched his head back. I could see him teetering on the edge of consciousness but I wanted him to know just how much he had pissed me off. I cocked my arm, ready to finish him off, when I felt a rough hand on the back of my neck haul me off the bastard. I rolled over and saw a fucking copper standing there with a smug look on his face.”

“Then what happened, Billy, then what happened?” Jimmy asked.

“Well, then the damned copper pulled me to my feet and told me that he knew the ideal place for people like me.”

A bell chimed in the background and Jimmy slowly rose from his chair. He looked at his brother once more.

“See you next Thursday, Billy.”

Howl: Dark Tales of the Feral and Infernal - Lame Goat Press

Mark Crittenden is the guest editor and artwork illustrator for Lame Goat Press and is hosting a new anthology this spring — Howl: Dark Tales of the Feral and Infernal.

"What I am looking for in this anthology is something off the beaten path: strange tales about the struggle between man and the animal-beasts of myth and legend. I am looking for horror, so that means scary. Average story length should be between 1000-4000 words. Send your story in .rtf format with the title line "Howl Submission-(story title)" to Please include a cover letter with word count of submission, your name, address, email address, and list of writing credits. Also include a brief 100 word or less bio in the third person."

So, If you have something that you think might serve the purpose, get busy and get it in.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Dialogue Contest at Fantastic Horror

A little something different this time for me.

The people at Fantastic Horror have created a 13-line Dialogue Horror contest entitled The Passenger. The rules are very simple:

"Craft the most compelling piece of horror fiction. A driver stops to pick up a passenger. They speak a total of thirteen (13) lines forming the entirety of the text. Narration is not allowed, only spoken words in quotation marks."

Here is my entry:

As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs

“Thanks for stopping, Mister."
“What are you doing out here in the woods by yourself at this time of night, kid? Where are your parents? And what happened to your clothes?”
“I am looking for my sister, Katy-Taty. She has gone missing.”
“Where did you last see her? Maybe I can help you look.”
“She was down there by the lake and she walked into the mist and she just dog-gone disappeared.”
“How long ago was this?”
“About two days. Katy-Taty has never been gone this long before and I am scared, Mister. There are sounds out there that scare me bad. I think the bad things killed her dead.”
“Two days? My god, kid, no wonder you look like hell. Look, get in the car and I will help you search.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea, Mister. I think there is something out there and it has taken Katy-Taty. And, as sure as eggs is eggs, the same thing will happen to you and you will end up as dead as she is.”
“Don’t you worry about that, I am an adult and can take care of myself.”
“Are you sure, Mister, because you don’t look that...did you hear that? Oh my god, I think the bad thing has found us...”
“What in the blue hell is that?”
"That, Mister, best I can tell, is Katy-Taty and she ain't dead no more. Which is more than I can say for you. Thanks for stopping, Mister..."

There have been some great entries so far, including some of my favourite writers and bloggers. Go and check 'em out...definitely worth a look!!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Shock To The System

The house was silent; her husband had gone to work earlier in the evening and the children were now both sleeping soundly in bed. Jennifer now went about her work with an almost religious zeal, knowing that what she was doing was for the best – her family would benefit greatly from her actions. She tied the ribbon off; the same ribbon she had worn on their first “official” date. She stared at her handiwork and was pleased with her creation.

Her thoughts drifted to the counselling sessions she and her husband had attended. She thought about the progress the counsellor told them they were making. She also thought about the affair her husband had continued even after these sessions. She shrugged these thoughts off and finished the job she had started.

Taking a deep breath, she grabbed the ribbon-laden knife in her right hand and jabbed into the power socket. The initial jolt surprised her by its ferocity and the subsequent shocks stopped her heart. Her last thought was one of deep concern – did her insurance policy cover suicide?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Garage Days

“Aren’t you coming, Daddy?” Her voice reached him in the garage, more insistent this time around. Her sing-song refrain drifted down the breezeway; it filled his heart with love and his eyes with tears and, in an attempt to deceive himself that she was not calling to him, he reached for the Bakelite radio on the shelf she had given him for his birthday and turned the volume higher, an act which had been successful many times in the past. She suddenly appeared in the doorway; her face a mirror image of the one he dwelt upon following the car accident that had taken her life more than fifteen years ago. He broke down and shed bitter tears; with his whole heart and soul he sobbed for the mistakes he had made until, finally, he took down the shotgun he kept on cast iron brackets on an otherwise blank wall. Yes dear, he thought, Daddy’s coming.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Screening The Competition

I had recently been married and my wife and I had decided that we would make Friday nights our ‘special’ night – as a way to relax after a long week at work, we would catch a movie and have dinner out at some fancy restaurant.
One night, a few months ago, when Nikki went and purchased the tickets for the film, she came back laughing and, after asking what was so funny, she explained to me that the young girl behind the counter had admitted to her that she found me cute and sexy. Nikki thought this was a laugh-riot and we thought nothing more of it. Over the following weeks, though, we started seeing this girl everywhere we went; the movies, obviously, but also in shopping centres, bus stops, garages and the cafe where we usually had lunch on a Sunday.
Nikki told me not to worry about it, that it was just a teenage crush and that it would soon fade as her attentions would become focussed on someone else just as quickly as they were on me.
Last week, I got home from work to find Nikki in an agitated state. I thought something was wrong but she quickly told me that she had gotten herself a new job. She wouldn’t tell me where it was, but seeing her so excited was infectious so I didn’t press her for details.
Last night, we saw on the news that the young girl who worked at the cinema, the one with the teenage crush, had been brutally murdered in the back office and the movie theatre.
Last night, I discovered the usher’s uniform in the bathroom pantry.


She stood beneath the streetlamp, eagerly searching for the bus that would take her from this dark, squalid street corner to her home in a vastly brighter suburban neighbourhood. She had been keeping tabs on the stranger across the road, watching him intently in the darkened doorway. His Yankees cap was pulled down low and she couldn’t see his eyes; his hands were in his pockets, perhaps from the cold, but her mind pictured something else entirely. She glanced around, hoping to catch sight of other late night commuters but she was seemingly alone on the deserted street. Alone, that is, except for the stranger.
Finally, the bus appeared in the distance and she found that she had been holding her breath and, exhaling slowly, she dared another fleeting look at the man in the shadows, only to find him making his way across the street. As a single passenger alighted from the bus, she felt the stranger standing directly behind her, touching her, rubbing himself against her and it took all her will to stop herself from screaming in disgust. A sudden agony gripped her chest as she turned and found the passenger unhurriedly removing a blade from her chest, dripping her sanguine fluids onto the pavement. Her knees buckled, her vision starting to blur, her determination gone as she screams; shrieks of pain and fear and of sudden understanding. The last thing she sees is the two men standing over her, rifling through her belongings and the stranger smile and say “Same time tomorrow night over on Jackson?”