Wasted most of my day making home made marinara sauce and meatballs and then I got a hair cut on my quickly shrinking circle of hair, aint getting old grand.
Mostly been working, I think I found a new job that could make a little more cash and still give enough flexibility to keep writing and I might even get to wear a cool suit haha. In the mean time I finished up the next part of 3 ring. I kinda didn’t get as far into the main plot as I thought I would and I kinda pulled a lot of it outta my ass haha. But it still turned out kinda good, I think. Not amazing, I don’t take it very seriously, just a way to blow off steam between serious projects and I think I might do the second Diana next. See how I’m feeling on friday.
The plot is shaping up pretty nicely, spent most of my time building the world a little bit and adding new characters which was fun. I know people might not like the whole ‘the little girl is the key’ plotline, think I’m ripping off the witcher making it all about Ciri. Well you’re wrong I’m actually ripping off Waterworld haha. Didn’t see that one coming did ya haha?
Nope and you probably haven’t seen waterworld either but I like it haha. I actually like it more than Mad Max in some respects, because Mad Max kind of shit the bed in my opinion. The first one is boring and makes no sense, the second is the best, gets it just right and the third is diesel punk peter pan and the less said about fury road the better.
Waterworld was just a nice one a done movie and I really liked the concept and I’m sort of borrowing the plotline from there with a little bit of total recall thrown in not to give too many spoilers.
Still enjoying the latest Parker book although they kinda made my favourite character look like a bitch and then killed him off, like wtf but he’s not like dead I guess, I mean it’s just a book he could live but it doesn’t look good. But then again I don’t know when his book series is set, either before or after this and honestly I preferred Handy Mckay to Grofield because I always pictured Handy as just this gristled guy who was just a little less carved out of granite than Parker, who got out but now he’s coming back to inevitably die haha.
Kinda feel like this is gonna turn into the game of thrones of pulp novels and all my favourite characters are going to be murdered right in front of me haha.
But at least it’s not boring.
I stepped over the doorman and went inside. The house was dark and smoky; it smelled like weed and burning plastic. Loud music played; like a mix of salsa and dubstep. A mongrel jungle beat getting deep down into my veins and shaking them like a tensile rope bridge over a bottomless gorge.
It was a cramped house; a single corridor connected a series of dimly lit rooms. A bedroom to the left otherwise occupied by people in varying stages of undress and intoxication. Writhing like they were about to be turned into pillars of salt at any minute. A door on the right which probably lead to the front room or the kitchen and two more doors at the end of the hall which were most likely the master bedroom and bathroom.
The house was almost like a living thing, like I was walking on a carpet of raw nerves. There were eyes everywhere in the dark watching and not watching. Some peeling back to view the insides of their skulls. There were literally just people lying on the floor in the hall and I might have stepped on a couple of them.
People talked in varying dialects, crossing English, bad English and Spanish. None of which I could understand over the loud beat drowning out all my senses. It was so loud and thick it was like my head was in a box of trail mix.
All the while it was building and building, shaking the walls of my chest. My heart beating just out of time with the rhythm as we moved closer to the source of the sound. I clung to Paul as he walked in front of me, my hand in his, my face at his back.
I could feel the gun under his jacket; I could smell the strong scent of his cologne. A fresh musky scent, like pine cones and sandalwood. It was oddly comforting, soothing as we waded through this den of iniquity.
We entered the living room, which was out-of-place, lavish and well lit. The room was decked out almost like a small nightclub. A disco ball spun pointlessly from the ceiling, as the light was on so there were just odd dots of dim sparkling orbs around the room.
A large flat screen on the wall displayed one of the Fast and Furious movies, but with no sound. God knew which one, they were pretty much indistinguishable at this point.
There was a large leather couch pointed at it with a glass coffee table laden with a veritable banquet of Chinese takeout going cold. The varying smells drifting and mingling into one greasy mass at the back of my sinus wall.
They had a small kitchenette at the far end converted into what looked like a real granite bar. Complete with a stalwart bartender in a Santa Muerte mask and bowtie, standing with his hands behind his back. The smiling skull face stared out with empty black eyes in a midst a red tribal pattern. Very scary.
Was it like this every night?
The music was coming from two huge speakers connected to an iPhone either side of a fake fireplace under the flat screen.
We entered quietly, trying not to draw too much attention; almost tiptoeing on the hardwood floor. The safest thing to do seemed to be go to the bar at the back of the room. Get a drink and maybe try to gravitate to a dark corner and pretend to watch the movie.
Paul and I crossed the room, as if completely oblivious to the other people in it. A certain shy sheepishness had come over me and I couldn’t raise my head for fear of it being bitten off by a bigger dog.
“Hey,” a hoarse voice fought over the noise of the speakers.
“Who, me?” I froze.
“Yeah, you.” The stranger spat back.
I turned my head like a wooden figurine on a rusty cuckoo clock and looked over at the couch in the general direction of the voice. A moment passed, like charging feet over my grave. Stomping down the dirt flat and dancing and laughing. The little hissing voice inside the stygian well chuckled silently. Spitting into a crescendo of ever-faster beating wings rising from the deep dark murk.
It was him.
No mistaking it.
I wasn’t too surprised, I was in his house after all.
He sat on the leather coach, wearing a pair of baggy jeans and basketball jersey. Sandwiched in between two ethnic looking prostitutes.
Large Hispanic men who were definitely carrying guns or machetes or both under their Hawaiian shirts stood like bookends on either side of the sofa.
His face was young with oily straight features, and he looked very short sitting down, a wispy dark goatee on his chin, his hair slicked back on his head in a wavy pattern. He was very thin with almost puppet like movements, exaggerated and stiff.
I scanned the room again, feeling dumb and drowning in the spotlight. Pointing at myself literally, like ‘who me?’
Paul was at the bar already, ordering some drinks—which seemed like an ocean away with his back turned as I stared intently at Ruiz’s sneakers.
“Yeah, you! Are you deaf or something?” He leaned forward cupping his ear with the same exaggerated stiffness getting a polite chuckle from his ‘bitches’.
My eyes caught his, and he gave me an odd look, almost like he recognized me as he sunk back into the couch. I heard a catatonic purring noise inside.
Ruiz didn’t stand; just stared at me up and down, probing me.
I felt naked, and almost like I’d forgotten how to stand. Every gesture seeming practiced and awkward, how-to-human?
Did he know? Could he see it, could he hear it?
Was this it? Was I about to have a cap popped into my ass and spend the last few minutes of sentience rolled up in a cheap rug?
“Yeah, can you like get out of the way?” He gestured shaking the gold bling hanging off on his boney arm. “We’re trying to watch a movie here.”
“Err…sorry,” said Dumb Dithering Diana smiling like an idiot.
I moved out of the way, my eyes roving up and down to his, then his shoes and the floor, as I watched him watch me go.
He went back to cavorting with the pros and not watching the movie.
Feeling a little exposed and flustered I almost bumped into Paul on his way back from the bar. Two glasses of some indeterminate golden liquid was in square tumblers in his hands. Wrapped in white napkins with little black straws sticking out of them.
The bartender gave a little bow. Have to admit, I was impressed. A little.
“Sex on the beach.” He smirked. “Don’t worry, mine’s a virgin.” The smirk slid into a smartass grin.
“Uh huh.” I took a sip from the black straw, still looking at his mouth. “Let’s hope it stays that way.” That was dumb.
He laughed anyway.
Who said women can’t be funny?
I felt a little shaky, like I needed something to hold on to.
Paul would have to do.
We found our dark corner and sipped our drinks in comfortable silence. It was pretty good; I couldn’t even taste the booze. I wasn’t much of a drinker, and my fast metabolism made it pretty hard for me to get stupid-drunk. I wasn’t worried about vomiting on my potential victims’ Jordans. Or making an ass of myself.
Some time passed of standing and pretending we were having fun; well I was pretending, maybe Paul was, too. He was a lot better at it than me. Here in the lion’s den, he didn’t seem to have a care in the world. But…he caught me looking through the small crowd of people idly dancing around the front of the little bar.
My eyes drifted over to the couch and my probable prey and Paul’s face dropped as he followed my quick glance over at Ruiz.
In an instant he was that person again, a quick flash of a harsh blank slate, a vicious mirror. A cold malevolence flowed over him and passed quickly, his smile rolling back over his face. “Just gimme a minute.” He put his drink down on the bar.
“Wait, Paul, you can’t—” I started to feel heavy and dull, like wading through water. As if I was in a dream up to my knees in cotton candy. My head was swimming, a dim chuckle inside and a sudden mugginess. I was light-headed, the lights of the disco ball got brighter, stretching out like little lazer pointers.
He stood in front of the TV, it like I was watching one of the good Tarantino movies. True Romance, that was Tarantino right?
“Can you turn the music down, I wanna talk to you,” Paul barked. He stood straight up and played it tough.
Ruiz pretended not to hear him craning his neck in an exaggerated motion pretending he was trying to see the tv. Shaking his bling at Paul like it was some kind of magic talisman that would get him to move.
What was he doing, he wasn’t John Wayne or John Wick. This wasn’t a movie, was it?
My head spun; I put my hand on my temple, as the music rang in and out, I started to feel nauseous, how much booze was in this?
I looked up; the movie got worse as the doorman limped in, helped by some extras that looked a lot meaner.
He said something in Spanish, but it was drowned out by the music.
I just watched and sipped my drink, waiting for the good bit.
Paul just stood there, waiting.
Waiting for what? For them to make the first move?
My temples throbbed, and I could almost feel my fingers opening and closing. Losing sensation, the glass slowly slipping from my hand. I searched for a place to put my glass down and something strange caught my eye.
Now that most of the golden liquid was gone, I could see the napkin through the glass. There was something written on the underside.
Do you see?
The drink dropped out of my hand. Like someone stole the bones from my legs, I followed it down into the dark place.
Just another little sneak peak at the final edition of Diana, you’ll have to buy it when it comes out to get all that goodness but in the mean time you can read the rough cut right here if you can’t wait that long. Rescue him