Monday, October 5, 2015

Hey, here's a treat - it's a scene I just wrote in my current novel that I think is really cute.

The smile floated off of Fallo’s lips and performed an intricate dance of lust, satisfaction, bliss, and just plain old giggly, embarrassed giddiness in the air over Morra’s lumpy bed.  Fallo lay there, smoking a suggarrette (as people and imps have done from time immemorial in all universes everywhere in such circumstances), waiting for Morra, who was rummaging in his tiny kitchenette for a flagon of wine.
Morra lived in a one room flat in a crumbling building in the Second Ward.  Cracks in his walls conversed with one another in hushed tones about the impish acrobatics they’d just witnessed, and the green bulb in the ceiling flickered, making the shadows look like they were applauding.
“Hah, I knew I had one,” said Morra, and came up smiling with his flagon. 
“I never doubted it,” said Fallo. 
Morra lay back down next to Fallo and handed him the wine.  Fallo took a long pull, feeling the warm, sweet, under-aged wine swirl its way around his bloodstream.  He handed the flagon back to Morra, who took a demure sip.
“So.  Fallo Gapple.  What makes you tick?  Why are we…here?  Why me? Why you?”  Morra traced a finger along the orange skin of Fallo’s chest. 
“Why all the questions?”  Fallo took another sip of wine and settled back into the pillows.
“I need to figure you out,” said Morra. “Why would a successful imp with a nice place in the Quarter want to hang out with a bunch of revolutionaries from the Second Ward, and then why would he pick up one of those revolutionaries for a night of quite stunning sexual exploration?”
“Ganna and that scarred imp whose name I never got – they’re the ones that got me to the meeting.  You’re the one that kept me there.”
Fallo began to feel the wine flow around his reptilian brain, the alcohol cooling his blood, slowing his heart rate, relaxing him utterly.  With cold blood it was really easy to overdo it, get into a dangerous spot where the metabolism would just shut down. But a nice sip of wine now and then was a nice treat.  Fallo took a deep drag of sugga and exhaled, slowly, watching the multicolored cloud swirl.
Morra looked at Fallo again with that face, and Fallo kissed him.  And kissed him some more.  The flickering shadows and cracks in the walls looked away again, fearing a repeat. 
“That was nice, but you still haven’t really answered my question,” said Morra.
“What do you want from me?  You are a very sexy imp and from the first time I saw you I wanted into your work shorts.”
 Morra grinned with that grin, and Fallo was ready for round two.  He grabbed the flagon of wine from the other imp and made a move.
“Now now…let’s not gorge ourselves, shall we?”  admonished the other imp, gently pushing Fallo away.  Fallo pouted a little.  He found a spot to snuggle in a crook of the other imp’s arm. 
“So what’s next, Morra?”
“Well I thought we’d lie here for a bit and then maybe grab a bite to eat?”
“What’s there to eat around here?”
“I’ve got some leftover pastries stashed away – they’re filled with …well, maybe ‘meat’ isn’t the right word, but it’s something.”
“And when I asked ‘what’s next,’ I meant what’s next in the bigger picture.  Revolution?  Rebellion?  Who’s leading this thing?  How have all of us not been Reclaimed?  What does Ganna have up his sleeve?”
“Arms, I think.  I don’t know.  He hasn’t told me much – he hasn’t told any of us much.”
“Well he’d better start talking soon, because none of this makes sense to me.”
“I know,” said Morra, reaching over Fallo to grab the wine again.  “But we’re getting somewhere. I know we are.”
“Yeah, but where, exactly?”
“A world where imps are treated with respect and dignity.  Where there are no Reclamation officers.  Where we can, I don’t know, let’s go a little crazy here, but maybe a world where we can vote.
“Shush.  Wine, relaxing, cuddling.  No more politics.”
“Ok,” said Fallo.  “I’m sorry.”  He accepted the proffered wine flagon, sipping deeply.
The two imps lay there for a bit, and then they shared the leftover pastries.  Fallo’s grin floated along the ceiling, watching the two of them, dancing in a pirouette of ridiculous, over the top ecstasy that would have been embarrassing if it had actually been a visible phenomenon.  The cracks in the walls and the flickering shadows got back to the busy work of undermining the structure of the building and obscuring visibility.  The world kept turning, and the story continued on the next page. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Saturday, July 11, 2015


Dang, did I accidentally come back to July 11 instead of May 26?  Well shoot.  Sorry, had to run off and fight the Daleks and all that.

Actually, I've been engaged in a singular project: writing an entire novel that I have actually outlined beforehand.  It has a beginning, a middle, AND - most importantly - an ENDING.  I know where the story's going, and what each character does in it.  Not every scene, mind you, but enough that I can usually figure out what the next scene is - which is always the thing that trips me up.

Thus, without further ado, an excerpt is in order.

Please understand this is still a draft, but I really like this chapter.


Fallo Gapple was convinced that he'd heard his master's voice up there, calling for help.  It didn't really make sense that Madame Voskamp would be in that particular apartment, but Fallo's knowledge of his master's social schedule was somewhat limited beyond the portion of the day when he was at her beck and call.  He listened, trying to hear again what he'd just heard and convince himself it wasn't what he'd thought. 
Help!”  The voice was faint, but it very clearly belonged to Madame Voskamp.  Fallo sprung into action.  Well, sprung might have been a bit of an overstatement.  He said “pardon me” to a portion of the sea of human legs swirling around his small frame, said “excuse me” when the “pardon me” proved ineffective, and finally waved his orange arms over his head and made a ululating noise that he thought might scare them off.  He was finally able to get across the flow and to the door, where he was presented with another problem.  The buzzers for this building were quite high up, and he found himself hopping and reaching to get to them.  He did the old trick of hitting every buzzer in hopes that someone would just open the door. 
Nobody did. 
Fallo pounded on the front door. 
Fallo jumped up and hit all the buzzers again.
“Can I help you, little fellow?”  A voice from behind.  Fallo whirled around and faced a set of knees.  He looked up into the leaning face of a particularly tall human.
“I need to get in there.  My master is in trouble,” said Fallo.
“Now how do you know that?”
“I heard her.  With these,” said Fallo, pointing to all three of the ears arranged around his vaguely pyramidal skull.
“Well, I live here, so I'm going to open the door, and I'll let you in, but you behave yourself, ok little guy?  I don't want to have to call a Reclamation unit on you.”
Fallo bristled at the human's condescension, but held back any insult.
“Yes, sir,” he said instead.  “Thank you, sir.”
The human's legs swept past Fallo, and the human's hands opened the building's door with a swipe card.  Fallo followed behind and entered the building.
The lobby had been hexed to be bigger on the inside, so what had looked like a simple brownstone from the outside was now a sumptuous mansion's entry hall, and a sweeping staircase led upward. An elevator with blue doors stood next to it.  The human walked to a bank of mailboxes on one side, and Fallo walked to the elevator and pressed “up.”
The elevator arrived a few minutes later and opened.  It, too, had been hexed to be bigger on the inside, no doubt an expensive touch to quell claustrophobia in the building's residents.  Still, Fallo found it disconcerting to be constantly thrust into spaces that didn't make dimensional sense. 
His ears had pinpointed the sound of Madame Voskamp's voice to an apartment on the fourth floor, so he pressed the button to go to that floor.  The elevator doors, much farther away from him than they should have been, closed, and the elevator started moving.
At the fourth floor, the doors opened, and Fallo felt a weird sense of vertigo as he exited the cavernous elevator into a narrow hallway that could not have possibly contained it. 
A scream to his left.  It was definitely Madame Voskamp.  He launched himself at a door, hit it, and bounced off, his thin shoulder throbbing. 
Still, he'd clearly made enough noise to rouse the occupants.  The door opened, and a human male, who Fallo estimated to be somewhere in that vague age range humans called “middle,” answered wearing a shiny purple robe that flowed down to a bare set of feet.  Fallo looked past the human to see if he could get a glimpse of Madame Voskamp. 
“Yes?”  The human male asked.
“Is Madame Voskamp here?”
Fallo?  The voice was clearly coming from inside.  “That you, Fallo?”
“I'm here, Madame.  I heard you calling for help.”
“What?  No I didn't.”
“We're all fine here,” said the human male, blocking Fallo from entering.
 “But I could swear -”
“Did you just talk back to me?” The human male asked.
“No, sir.  I just -”
“Fallo, it's all fine,” said Madame Voskamp from somewhere.  Fallo trained his ears, trying to get a sense of her state of mind. 
It honestly all seemed to be fine. 
Then what was that all about?
“A- are you sure you're ok, Madame?”
“Yeah,” said Madame Voskamp, coming to the door at last.  She was clad in a skintight plastic leotard.  A set of handcuffs dangled unlocked from one wrist.  Fallo began to get the picture. 
“Oh, um, very sorry to disturb. I thought you – I'll just...I'll show myself out.”  He bowed effusively and backed into the hallway.
“Be at the club early tonight, Fallo.  I'm doing my special act,” said Madame Voskamp.    She gave a little giggle.  The human male closed the door.
The humiliation burned a pink hue into the orange skin on Fallo's cheeks.  He took a deep breath.
“What are you doing in here, imp?”  A short human was addressing him, a male child, about Fallo's height. 
“Nothing, apparently,” Fallo responded.  “Wasting my time,” he added.
“Is it true you can walk through doors?”
Fallo winced at that.  “No.”
“But I heard -”
“Some imps can walk through doors.  I cannot.  Which, to be honest, was a good thing just now.”
“Because of reasons.” 
“What reasons?”
“Reasons you'll know about when you're older.  Now, please excuse me.”  Fallo turned away from the human child and walked down the hall back to the elevator.  The blue doors opened and the impossibly large space behind them caverned away from him.  He decided to take the stairs.
Back out on the street, Fallo seethed.  He knew that nothing that had just happened had been Madame Voskamp's fault, per se, but it was the sense of obligation he had for her well-being that was really pissing Fallo off.  Fallo was a smart imp, smarter than a lot of other imps he knew.  And yet here he was.  Subservient.  Menial.  Doing his imp duty. 
“Hey, brother,” a voice Fallo recognized said behind him.  It was Ganna Magog.  Fallo was glad to see an orange face at his level, and he embraced the other imp with enthusiasm.
“Ganna, glad to see you,” said Fallo. 
“What are you doing in this part of town?”
Fallo shook his head.  “Don't even ask.  It's just...don't even ask.”
“Ok, brother, fair enough.  Listen, I'm glad I ran into you, actually.”  Ganna reached into a pocket of his work shorts and pulled out a rumpled leaflet. He handed it to Fallo. 
Fallo began to read the leaflet.  “FELLOW IMPS,” it began portentously. 
A human bumped into Fallo's arm, making him drop the leaflet.  It was immediately trampled and lost in a sea of human feet.
Ganna cursed under his breath, watching the leaflet disappear. 
“Sorry,” said Fallo.
“It's ok.  Hell, I could just tell you.  There's a meeting in three days.  A meeting of imps.  I want you there.”
“What's the meeting about?  Is it a religious thing?  Is this that weird cult of Garroth I've heard about?  Tell me you're not into that...”
Ganna shook his head.  “No no no...nothing like that.  This is...ok, I really think we should keep our voices down.  Come over here.”  Ganna grabbed Fallo by the elbow and maneuvered him around the current of knees to the mouth of an alley. 
“What's so secretive?”
“SHH.  Look, this is about imp self-preservation.  Imp self-determination.  It's about thinking about our relationship to humans in a completely different way.”
“Whoa, slow down.  This is a political thing?”
Ganna nodded.  “Yeah it's political.  It's about rights.”
“What are you two imps conspiring about?”  The voice came from a green clad Reclamation officer standing nearby.  The sea of pedestrians parted for him. 
“Nothing, just catching up on old times, officer.  Sorry,” said Ganna. 
“Move along, you two,” said the officer.
“I'll get in touch with you later,” said Ganna.  Fallo nodded.  Ganna walked away.  The officer gave Fallo a sideways glance and then moved on.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Happy Towel Day, hoopy froods!

The world still misses you, Douglas Adams.

“Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as the final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God.
The argument goes something like this: "I refuse to prove that I exist,'" says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."
"But," says Man, "The Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED."
"Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.
"Oh, that was easy," says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.” 
― Douglas AdamsThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy