Writer's BlockI first met Alistair Creaux at WritersCon '97, and from the first words he uttered to me in a drunken slur I knew he was destined for greatness: Sometimes I get an idea and it's so so sweet I'll just ride it like a buckin bronc and donkey-punch that fucker.
I'd nodded sagely, not quite understanding but impressed by his zeal. Once I'd actually read Creaux's work it all made sense. Wonderful, crazy sense. He wrote like a combination of Hunter S. Thompson, William Burroughs, and Stephen King. Epic storytelling, accessible to the common man, but shot through with Deeper Meaning for those willing to delve.
His fame skyrocketed since I'd discovered him. He was BorderHouse's number one draw; every book pre-sold by the millions as soon as it was announced, anticipated by rabid fans (Creauxians, they called themselves) and lovingly dissected on numerous internet fan sites around the world. Two of his books had beco
SomedayI was there in the playground the day Debra Mae told Penny Tomleson her mamma was going to die.Someday4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Liar!" Penny screamed, eyes closed and fists balled.
Debra Mae just smiled sadly and shook her head. "She's gonna fall off a horse and die. Can't take it back, wish I could."
"Liar!" she screamed again, this time flailing at Debra Mae, who stepped aside calmly at the last minute. Almost like she could see it coming.
"My mamma doesn't even like horses! We don't even have a horse!"
The kids started chanting fight, fight, fight! in the playground, but I didn't join in. Debra Mae looked me straight in the eye, the very first time she'd ever done that, and smiled her sad little smile again. My heart went floppity-flop. I wanted to rush over and wrap my arms around her, defend her, protect her. But for some reason I didn't.
Penny spun herself around but there was no fight in he
WildcardThe van sealed itself behind me with a clunk of magnetic bolts. I was wearing my delivery-boy uniform: black leather duster over jeans and my signature vest, a crisp cotton dress shirt open at the collar, a pair of cowboy boots older than I am.Wildcard5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Okay, so not the kind of delivery boy you may have thought of.
I pushed my way into the foyer of 1112 Abernathy and found the button for 4B. The speaker crackled to life, inquiring sounds beneath the beat of party music. I stood back to let the camera see me, and thunk, the door granted me access as if by magic. I was expected. I pushed through to the elevator.
1112 Abernathy was much nicer inside than the street would suggest. One of the many stealth penthouses arrayed along the block; something the mostly-rich did when they wanted privacy and a modicum of safety, hiding in refurbished ghetto. I doubted the street was a dangerous as it appeare
Jesus and LazarusJohn 11:1-45Jesus and Lazarus6 years ago in Humor More Like This
"Yo, Lazarus. Wake up."
The still form of Lazarus, Jesus's closest friend, remained dead on his rock slab. Jesus frowned, hummed to himself, fed a few twigs into the small fire he maintained in the cave.
"I'm not kidding," he intoned. "I command thee: back from the dead. Now!"
Nothing. Jesus sighed. He was new to the miracle business. Mary'd contacted him four days prior or was it six? No matter. A few days ago she'd told him Lazarus had fallen ill.
Wow. This wasn't "ill". This was stone-cold dead. He reached out and felt for a pulse, some trace of warmth. Nothing. He sighed again.
"Father? Help me out here? I kinda promised some folks I'd do this thing. I'm gonna look pretty lame if I don't "
He blew out his cheeks, looked around the cave for something that might lend inspirati
Weather BalloonDale's hands were shaking so badly he could barely dial the phone.Weather Balloon4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Whiteman Air Force base. How may I direct your call?"
Dale took a deep breath. He had to sound calm, credible.
"I just saw a UFO. I mean, I'd like to report a sighting"
"One moment please," came the reply. No judgment, no surprise, no laughter. Maybe they handled this sort of thing all the time. Dale listened to military recruitment ads while he waited, which was good because it allowed him to organize his thoughts.
The voice on the phone sounded weary, world-worn.
"I'd like to report an unidentified flying object. A machine, actually, hovering over my property. It was circular, maybe 60 feet in diameter, and it emitted a blue glow"
"Son, hold on a sec. You saw a what?"
Dale sighed. "A flying saucer. I swear, that's what it was. Hov
The Minotaur's Bride"Why, such untruths," says the Minotaur, stroking my cheek with a waxen claw. "What reason have I to murder and, ugh, how I shudder to say it," (he provides a theatrical little twitch of fur) "eat my guests?"The Minotaur's Bride4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"That is merely what they say."
"They, they, they. And who is they, and how do you suppose they know? Have they been here? Do they dine with me?"
"Well, no, sir, but . . ."
"You silly little girl. So silly. So charmingly silly." He holds my entire chin now in his massive hand, and I know he can feel my frantic swallows like a sparrow's heartbeat against his flesh. "Why do you suppose I request only maidens and unwed men?"
"I... I do not know, sir."
"Well, goodness, it can't be that they taste better. Why on earth would anyone suppose a virgin tastes better than a slut, or vice versa? Humans are humans. I imagine you lot all taste the same."
"But marriage "
"I'm a lonely creature. Admittedly a greedy one as well. No one needs seven wives at once. But I do enjoy i
Test SubjectRay didn't like the smell of this place. It reminded him of that time he'd gone to the emergency room when he'd fallen off his bike. They'd put three stitches in his chin, and while he wanted to squirm and cry he'd sat perfectly still. It hurt like hell, but his mom was so proud of him that it was worth it.Test Subject4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
And afterwards, he got ice cream.
Now he was surrounded by hospital smell, a smell you never got used to. And like then, he wanted to squirm and cry but something inside Ray held him perfectly still. It was important he remain calm, the inner-Ray whispered. Very important. Stay calm, keep track of everything.
Maybe mom would come get him soon.
He snapped back to himself, blinking. They wanted him to do the trick with the concrete blocks again, so he sighed and concentrated.
And, up they went: three big grey bricks, hovering in the air above the concrete not-hospital floor
Back Pain"Hmmm, that's odd," Doctor Bunsen muttered, holding my x-rays up to the light.Back Pain5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"You have an unusual structure at the base of your spine. Here, look."
I tried to see what his finger pointed to, but all I saw was a knot of bone, shaped like all the other knots of bone in my back. I shrugged, and immediately regretted it: bolts of agony shot up my spine.
"That's what's causing my pain?"
"Honestly, I don't know." He appeared deep in thought, the x-rays now held at waist level, unseen. He was clearly racking his brain, a half-forgotten memory triggered by something he'd just seen.
"Hmm, what? Oh yes." He snapped back to the present, smiled at me sheepishly. "Tell you what, I'll be right back."
When he left the room I picked up my x-rays from where he'd laid them next to me. No matter how I oriented them, I just couldn't see what he saw. I mean, there was
So Long, I Must Be GoingWashington - The American space agency Nasa has lost contact with the 9-year-old Prometheus I space probe to Alpha Centauri, officials have announced. Prometheus was the first to pass through the Oort cloud and send to Earth close-up images of comets and proto-comets found there, on its way to our nearest neighboring star system. Catastrophic hardware failure is suspected, perhaps as the result of collision with space debris.So Long, I Must Be Going5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
As it turns out, the galaxy is teeming with intelligence, and I found it. Or it found me. Wait, let me back up and start over. I'm new at all this story telling stuff. Never had to do it before.
I'm a deep-space probe from Earth. I'm not going to bother explaining where that is, because if you're from there you already know and if you're not, you probably don't care. It's tiny, an insignificant spark orbiting a medium-sized yellow star that's all you need to kn
Becoming BrianThe soldier coming up on him was swaying, limping, climbing wearily up the stony street towards the terrace. He walked like an old man, thought Brian Strong, though he was scarcely older than Brian himself. He dragged himself along, tripping over the cracks in the cobblestones, hauling behind him a filthy rucksack all covered in gray trench clay. Pausing by the café, the old boy took off his garrison cap and worried it between his black-tipped fingers.Becoming Brian4 years ago in Historical More Like This
"Well, hey," said Brian Strong. "Sit down and have a drink on me."
Regarding him for a moment, the soldier conceded and sat.
Brian Strong ran his hands over a perfectly polished uniform and propped his shiny-shoed feet up on the trumpet case under his table. The fellow soldier opposite him rested his head on his hand and, though his eyes seemed hollow, Brian thought with a good night's sleep and a shave he'd be right as rain. He looked like a man who had seen things, thought Brian, and done things. A worldly man. He saw now that t
1986Rosa Lee sat next to the stranger in the hotel lounge because all the other seats at the bar were taken. She caught the bartender's eye and held up a finger; within moments an ice-cold Corona was placed before her, bottle-sweat running down the sides. She carefully removed the lime before taking a mouthful.19864 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
The stranger next to her was smoking. That's all she knew so far; had not expended the attention for a closer look. The smoke didn't particularly bother her, far from it. In fact it made her wistful for the habit she'd given up years ago.
"Rosa Lee, isn't it?"
She opened her eyes with a start. Nobody here knew her real name, not even the bartender. She turned to regard the stranger, who gazed back with a gentle smile.
"I'm sorry, do I know you?"
He was middle-aged no, young, but with a receding hair line. No, that wasn't right either. His tanned face was smooth, not even stubble.
Most Magical SwordSarith the Mage was also a master craftsman. He possessed a rare combination of talents, able to work with metal, leather, and wood as well as magic. His name was spoken with reverence among the Twenty Tribes.Most Magical Sword6 years ago in Fantasy More Like This
He was a kind man, also, giving freely of his abilities to those in need. Gifts are returned in thrice, was his common response to awkward thanks offered by grateful clansmen. And his influence was great, leading by example as he did, for his neighbors bore a reputation for fairness and reliability among the Twenty.
Naturally, then, it came to pass that the invaders sought him out. The Twenty Tribes were a loose affiliation of villages really, not a unified state. And one by one they fell to Krune: master strategist and cunning tactician of the Ravaging Horde.
Krune stood before him now, a huge icon of barely contained rage. Everything about the man bespoke power, from his precise
Top 10: Jesus or SupermanTop 10: Ways of Identifying Jesus or SupermanTop 10: Jesus or Superman6 years ago in Humor More Like This
10. Has returned from the dead more than once, and might possibly do so again.
9. Exploits are followed by millions of avid readers for many years.
8. Subject of painful disagreement and arguments among fans.
7. Does good works without expectation of reward.
6. Maintains a tax-free Fortress of Solitude.
5. Was sent to earth to save us all.
4. Shoots heat-beams from eyes.
3. Primary opponent is evil and prefers underground lair.
2. Native language is not English.
1. Has a superb sense of humor and would never hurt the author of a Top 10 list.
ComplicationsIndy was being chased. Again.Complications4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
He pounded through the cool night air, boots thudding pavement, whip and holster jostling on his belt with a familiar rhythm. He was always running. What was up with that?
And behind him: Nazis. Always Nazis. Some things never changed
Starting to feel the bloom of a stitch in his side, Indiana Jones found the end of this particular dark alley and turned a corner, skidding slightly on one boot, balancing himself with the touch of a gloved palm against brick.
Shouts of Anhalten! from behind as he disappeared from sight. But soon, they'd make the same corner and probably start shooting. They'd held off for now, thinking they could maybe catch him, retrieve the Prize without damaging it. But they wouldn't risk losing him again. He knew only seconds remained before
Shit! A dark shape emerged from the night before him, ri
The Bog ManGather round, gents! I has a story I likes to call THE BOG MAN!The Bog Man5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The bong man?
Clean out yer ears, boy! BOG man! Like, peaty mossy swampy horribleness what lurks in the loamy soil in some parts of
Pffft. I know what "bog" is. Seriously, I thought this was a story about drugs or something. So, the Bog Man.
YES! The BOG MAN.
I do, I do tell! It was not so long ago, round these very parts it seems. A young boy an' his pal are rowing through the local swamp lookin fer catfish
Hold up. Swamp? Catfish? This is suburbia, dude. Nearest swamp is, what? Florida? We're drinking beer in a strip mall for god's sake.
LOOKIN FER CATFISH, I said, but secretly the boy was hell bent on these stories his science teacher told him of perfectly preserved mummified remains of people what died in certain kinds of s
What Fools You Mortals BeAnd then they all got chased by some killer bees.What Fools You Mortals Be6 years ago in Fan Fiction More Like This
And then Toni was actually the Giant Hulking Lungfish of Lake Oblongata that was stealing children's brains.
And then Veser became Czar of all of Russia and decreed that everyone should own a pet shark.
And then Conrad flew to the moon and started a colony of immortal chocolate Easter bunnies that would one day take over the world.
And then Hanna and his zombie friend said, "Screw this stupid Victorian Age!" and traveled to the future using a time machine built by Doc Worth which created a tear in the fabric of time and space effectively destroying the universe for all eternity.
And that's why bananas grow on trees.
Recycled DreamsI was halfway down the second floor apartment stairs when I realized I'd left my left arm on the table.Recycled Dreams5 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
It's no surprise of course, for I've always had a habit of misplacing important things like keys, documents, and identification cards, but to leave one’s arm on the table is truly embarrassing. I would have run back to get it, but the bus driver is always a bit early on Tuesdays and I could already hear the distant hum of the engine making its way to me. And it's not like I really need it for work anyway. So I left it behind.
It's penguins and oranges today; my latest client is a fairly normal one. The last dreamer wanted marsupial martial arts masters in Atlantis. In space. You would think putting dreams to canvas is an easy job, and you'd be right - but truly I wonder about humanity at times. Subconscious wanderings are laid bare to my paintbrush - they get their dreams, and I don't fall apart entirely.
Morpheus is upstairs. I know because I can see the color runn
deliverance does not come,as does the bell-boy from his duties,deliverance does not come,5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the rough-boned burly man from his cell.
with the calendar days deemed ignorant,
the time-clocks cloak themselves. from what?
natural disasters are nothing, nothing I say,
compared to cold metal making nests
within a womb. and men, are wild -
run rampant through the night,
start fights, take heaven to tired veins and
in blind glory, ignite.
1000 Fluffy Labcoat BatsConbat paced bloodily back and forth. Rotten dread filled his heart. Worth should have been home at least an hour ago and it wasn't like him to be late. Oh, my delicious love, Conbat thought. Where could you be?1000 Fluffy Labcoat Bats6 years ago in Fan Fiction More Like This
Just then, the phone rang. It was the police. Worth had been taken hostage by Fluffy Fang, a supervillain who had the city in a state of charming terror. Conbat fainted dead away, like a beautiful unicorn in an iridescent negligee.
When he came to, there was a bump on his wing and the rotten dread had returned. "Worth, my filthy honey bunny," he cried out absurdly. "What is Fluffy Fang doing to you?" Probably torturing him, laughing pervishly as he licked him in the hair.
In the midst of all the terror and tears, Conbat remembered a story his grandmother had told him. If you fold 1000 fluffy labcoat bats, then whatever you wish for will come true.
Conbat ordered in a supply of fluffy labcoats and set to work, folding bats until his wing was sore and he could hardly see. It took
Black Night Before ChristmasAll through the house, not a creature was stirring,Black Night Before Christmas6 years ago in Humor More Like This
The mousies were all D-Con'd and gone
When what should I hear: a strange kind of whirring?
From someplace down below on the lawn!
I flew to the window and my eyes did behold
The most curious of curious sights:
A black unmarked helicopter was landing!
Unmarked, I say, and without lights.
Fearing Men In Black, or government goons,
I shuddered with fear, began ransacking the room.
I located my machete and shotgun real quick.
And made for the groundfloor, feeling a bit sick.
I was too late; the door busted in three.
Sounds came from near the old christmas tree!
I heard rummaging and breakage and hideous chuckles
What was it: Agents? Ninjas? Pirate swashbucklers?
And then I saw him, my shotgun forgotten.
A feeling of dread plugging my head like cotton.
Those boots, that suit, and the laser that thaws,
Good god almighty, it was Anti-Claus!
He stomped and he crashed,
He smashed and he threw,
Our presents were tras
7. Lem's PathThey could have kept to the streets, but the Commons would be safer. There was a section of the wall where the ivy was thick enough to climb. Lem went up first, dropped his bag on the other side and helped Melody up. They both dropped down into another world, leaving concrete jungle behind for overgrown weeping willows that draped moss along the grass. Bugs and frogs sang everywhere, and the street lights beyond the wall vanished behind the foliage.7. Lem's Path4 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Lem had written a bit to Melody about this place during the walk here.
The Commons is like a park. The city grew up around it. They don't take good care of it, so it's all overgrown now. Not a lot of cops around here. Good place to stay hidden, but look out for drug dealers and such.
He almost wrote that it was a good place to bait and fish too, but decided against it. She would learn that stuff soon enough.
He tasted the air, and motioned to Melody to do the same. She was moving slowly, as Lem thought she would. Right now, she was p
Editorial DecisionEdward, you LEECH!Editorial Decision6 years ago in Humor More Like This
Youre a stinking DOG, Jacob!
Then the two fell upon each other, snarling and biting, ripping at each others clothes, then flesh. Jacob was the first to clutch Edwards penis and slide it into his mouth, chomping down. Edward followed suit, grasping Jacobs
I tossed the manuscript on my desk before I tossed my cookies. This was hopeless. This was also the best work Id received yet for the newspaper writing contest. I rubbed my eyes, trying to think up yet another new, polite way to say you so utterly suck.
So? What do you think?
I looked up at the writer responsible for this masterpiece. Mrs. Muldoon was a deacon in our church, and had fallen inexplicably hard for Ms.Meyers vampire wiles. I was as mystified as anyone, I suppose.
The Shoe DiagnosisA couple nights later I went through the same motions. I put my shoes on, having entirely disbanded the whole mental process of figuring out why they were so strangely different and why they were so strangely the same to Worth's shoes. I went to fetch my blood as per usual, but when I came in, repeating my usual mantra in my mind (I will not let Worth's words, actions, phrases, curses, assumptions, and/or sneers affect me tonight. I will not punch him, I will not grow angry and flustered and allow him to catch me and keep me where he wants me.), I realized that I was horrendously tardy. Four hours tardy. I'd slept in quite late and then gotten up and finished one of my more important commissions instead of gone straight over for dinner- breakfast- whatever.The Shoe Diagnosis6 years ago in Fan Fiction More Like This
I frowned. Worth wasn't here? Hanna said he was ALWAYS here. Of course, I know that 'always' is a ridiculous sort of adjective to use, but I'd only ever seen Worth leave his office once before, and to think of him as a m
The Vampire's Lament +PART 1+The hunger that ravaged most newborn fledgling vampires was intense, and often times consumed vampires to the point of insanity, and yet Conrad still insisted on waiting as long as he could in a sort of test of endurance to see how long he could last before succumbing to the unearthly hunger. He hated going to Worth's for various reasons, and he grumbled to himself about the unfairness of it all as he left his apartment yet again to make an appointment with the man and set out into the night.The Vampire's Lament +PART 1+6 years ago in Fan Fiction More Like This
He hated the transition as he made his way through the artsy part of town he lived in to the slummier bits, as everything went eerily still. No usual city-slick sounds intruded upon him, and he couldn't help but feel he was being watched.
Immediately, he put up his guard as best he could, afraid of who, or what, he'd run into. Rather, more specifically, he was frightened at the aspect of running into enemies of Adelaide who'd learned of his existence and come seeking his eradication for wha