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Darkly Dreaming Demographic.

Where weird shit hits bizarre fans.

Soft cheek

I’d do anything,

Just to be the one who waits,

Outside those same gates.
For you to come home,

As the summer slowly fades,

I’ve you to keep warm.
To kiss your soft cheek,

Is all I’ll ever need now,

To carry me on.

Autumn again.

Its getting darker,

I only see you in dreams.

I can still feel you.
You are always here,

So close, but I cant touch you.

You weigh down my heart.
It’s getting colder.

I so wanted to be there.

But I never will.

TOTCB Chapter 12 ‘Running Scared’

Bonjour,

Not much up, still doing the second draft of Diana in the dark, Diana the Daydreamer, Diana After Dark, Diana by day. Still messing with that. I should have it done soon, get TOTCB editing out of the way and oh all the rejection.

I mean people wonder why there are so few female writers historically, it’s because men are more used to rejection. Men have no choice but face rejection everyday otherwise the species couldn’t continue, it’s always men that have to compete for the right to breed and it’s just women that have to accept or decline. They’ve never had to go looking for a mate and face the possibility of rejection, so dealing with rejection is an evolutionary traite for men in particular, I’m not saying I like rejection any more than anyone else, it still sucks but I’ve usually forgotten about it by lunch.

But now the game has changed, because now all the agents and publishers are women so in group preference works in a way that means they actively discriminate against men. That’s why you see so many female authors at the top of the charts these days with books that are frankly fucking garbage, I mean twilight, fifty shades of grey, these books are borderline retarded. I mean I like Harry Potter but it’s sort of spergy too with it’s fanbase.

The films were fun, I like watching them christmas, I had wanted to forge a nice tradition with my ex where we’d watch them every year but she’s now my ex so that went out the window. But it’s hardly the fucking holy grail of literary perfection.

I’m not saying men don’t write utter garbage that is nevertheless popular a la Darren Brown, that’s the guy that does the Davinci code or whatever, I’m just ranting.

I knew TOTCB wouldn’t do well, too many male main characters, not enough ‘strong empowered women’. I tried to do a female centric zombie story with Green Sunday but obviously it could never reach mainstream appeal purely because of the subject matter. So I’m hoping Diana will do a lot better because it’s a more mainstream subject matter and it’s pretty damn female centric, I mean you’re in a woman’s head the whole time, well it’s my head with a woman’s voice haha.
Not saying I intended it to be this way. I didn’t write it to pander to women it was just a happy coincidence really. Originally I wanted to centre it around the male child Cody but I realised after a while that wouldn’t really work and I’d have way more fun putting it from the perspective of the youngest child and actual blood relation to Dexter. And I had way more fun with what I actually did with Cody, no spoilers haha. I mean I could have based it on his male child from the tv show but that would have sucked, it would have been too generic.

I wrote it because I knew I could have fun with the set up, I never ever write anything with anyone in mind, particularly, I’m just thinking what would be the most interesting thing for me to explore. It just so happens that it might be appealing to these nutty feminist new yorker type literary agents haha. But that’s yet to be seen, scheduling it for editing some time later this month. I’ll see what Nat (The editor) says, always like to hear her take on it, even if it is a little ‘too nice’ at times.

Aurevoir

It was late, Johnny was taking a shower. He just let the water run over his head, his eyes closed, trying not to think.

It was just him in the house, Peggy was out at a bar, some kind of girls night with her and friends from work. The kids and his mother were tucked away in bed and Brandon was working the night shift.

He got out the shower and dried his head with a crisp white towel. It was a simple bathroom with a bath shower combo with a round tub. That bathroom was all white tile with a touch of light blue. The sink was littered with kids toothpastes and brushes and shampoos. All those bright colours and cartoon characters in between those standard brands.

He went to his room which was the guest room at the end of the hall. The top floor was carpreted in this white almost shag and it made his footsteps quiet and soft, if a little itchy.

He put on a shirt and a pair of boxer shorts ready for bed. Sitting on the end of the made double bed in his bare room with only the bedside lamp on. The windows in this room had no shades, just venetian blinds which he’d taken all the way up. Now he was just staring into space quite literally. The sky was black and seemed to ooze into his room with the occasional dot of light.

After a while of sitting and staring the thought of sleep seemed a waste. His mind was tearing at the seams trying to make sense of all this. A lot of time seemed to pass of him just staring out into the night sky and not thinking. Just letting the empty blackness enter him and clear his mind of itchy thoughts.

He’d soaked up enough darkness. He turned the bedside lamp off and then noticed the light coming from the crack in his door. He’d left the hall light on. He got up and went to his door and walked into the hallway to turn off the light.

The switch was at the top of the stairs next to Peggy and Brandon’s room. The door of which was tightly shut but as he probed, not locked.

He turned the handle and the door opened with a jerk. Something light and small fluttered in the corner of his eye and as he slowly entered. He could smell her perfume and almost hear her voice. He switched the light on and the room lit up. He stepped inside and noticed there was a small piece of tissue paper under his feet. He picked it up and it was blank so he thought nothing of it.

The room was fairly nice but there was something odd about it. It looked almost like you’d expect a little girl’s room to look, cuddly toys, lots of pink and lace. A dressing table like her mothers but smaller and more modern and less cluttered. The bed was big with too many pillows and looked like it had never been slept in ever with more plush toys on top. This was the room Brandon shared with her but there was almost nothing of him in here. Shy maybe a few sets of the same kinds of shirts in the dresser near the bed.

The room was layed out almost indentically to her mother’s room without the ensuite. The dresser on the left as you came in, the bed across the wall on the right and the dresser against the wall opposite.

The room was neat. It almost made his room seem less like a hotel room seeing that her room was almost as bare. Besides the little touches and the stuffed animals.

He walked around barefoot on the soft carpet. She had long pink and white drapes that touched the floor tightly pulled together. He walked over to them and looked out onto the street. It was empty, lit only by the street lamps and the neighbour flood lamps.

He closed them and went over to sit on her bed, the covers of which were tightly pulled over. He didn’t know why he was there or what he was looking for but he felt different in this room. There was a cold static energy to it that he could feel running up his back. Touching the tips of the tiny hairs on the back of his neck, touching each of his finger tips.

He looked over to the bedside table, the one closest the window, the drawer of which was open about a half an inch. He slowly slid it open, it was almost empty but for a worn looking purple address book.

He opened it, careful that nothing would fall out but something did. Something small and cold and metallic fell into his lap and onto the floor. Upon closer inspection it was something of crude journal. Used to jot down her thoughts in short hand that was barely legible. Things like groceries and things she did. It didn’t seem to go back too far or have too many of her inner most thoughts such as you might expect. But it was stuffed with pieces of folded paper which looked to be a few years older than the book itself.

He unfolded the first one as carefully as possible. Trying to remember the exact way it was folded so he could fold it back again. It was a child’s drawing, but a fairly detailed one drawn by an older child. At first it just looked like something a bored teen would draw. Just mindless gore of a battlefield, stickmen killing eachother. As he looked closer he saw specifics and recurring themes.

In them a child sleeps with tears running down, his dreams in a bubble above his head. In the bubble a man with a bullshead turns the boy on a spit over a raging fire, laughing as he does it.

The next picture was of a man with a beard sitting in a chair. The man being bludgeoned to death with a hammer by someone marked as ‘J’. A woman in red watched in the background. There was lots of blood.

The last picture was a boy running away from a mass of darkness made up of garbled words. The only one of which he could make out was ‘Nobody’ repeated over and over.

After he folded the pictures away he remembered the thing that fell out. It must have hit the carpet and made no sound. He closed the book with the drawings folded up in it and placed it on the bed. He looked down at this feet and couldn’t see anything, it must have bounced under the bed.

“Shit”

Johnny got on his hands and knees on the carpet and started padding the floor. Under the bed where he assumed the thing had bounced. After a few moments of padding nothing he felt some hard and small and metallic and he pulled it out. It was a chain, some kind of necklace. He pulled on the chain and the necklace came into view and he cradled it in his hand to get a better look at it in the light. It was some kind of bird, an owl most likely, atop a five pointed star in a circle.

Mystery of the Fat Cat By David Frenkel Review

Hard boiled second grader

I read this with much ‘perspicacity’, new word learned haha.
I actually really liked this, I don’t know why people are down on it. I wanna say it went over people’s heads without seeming too pretentious. People who aren’t a fan of this kind of genre like I am wont really get it. it’s like a fun kiddy version of a Sam Spade novel.
I see it for what it is, a nice neo-noir almost essay or an opener. It’s a nice little show piece. Fun kiddy noir style diaglogue and characters, i don’t see what’s not to like. I can’t say I’d like to see you do an actual noir story with adults because that would lose it’s uniqueness but maybe you could use this as an opener to a book with a bigger mystery down the line or a series of cases like this for a children’s book.
I think it has a lot of potential.

https://www.inkitt.com/stories/mystery/156850

Diana After Dark Chapter 5 ‘The Magic Hour’

Henlo my dudes,

I’m using ‘dudes’ like california people do now, it’s gender neutral over there.

So what is up? Haven’t been that busy recently if I’m to be honest still kind of coming out of that funk, dealing with the constant and ever present rejection of literary agents, I never know if I should respond, maybe send them bags of burning dogshit, I dunno. But honestly I didn’t expect TOTCB to get much traction, that’s big brain nibba stuff for sure, way above some fucking cat lady literary agent who’s just looking for a new harry potter but with more preferably non-white vag to stock her portfolio with.

But I’m getting the editing wrapped up with Nat and I’m working on a second draft for Diana and trying to decide on a title, taking this one much more seriously. I have high hopes for it, it ticks a lot of catlady boxes and I enjoy writing it and subverting their expectation. It’s like writing a harry potter book where harry drops out of wizard school to join the third reich and do meth. I dunno haha.

Like it fits these normie cat lady parameters but in doing that it lets me slip in a lot of my own counter-subversive hyper-sanity. If that makes sense (I know it doesn’t).

So yeah, just underway with that and playing the surge, which you won’t be getting a review for because I actually like it, it’s like an awesome mix of dead space and dark souls. Gets that risk and reward hierarchy down perfectly, I actually returned prey and got this in exchange from amazon, only paid postage on the return so I’m really happy. Traded one shitty sci-fi borefest for an all out grindcore balls to the wall sci-fi dark souls action rpg.

That’s all, enjoy the stuff haha.

Also my book is on sale as if you care haha. www.hyperurl.co/kcio3t

The Magic Hour

He took me back to his place in French court, about a two minute drive from the Starbucks. It was a nice little bungalow that looked like it should have a picket fence but it didn’t. It was a small red brick building with white trim and a brick chimney. The small patch of lawn in the front was of course neatly manicured. The bushes I suspected were tested with a spirit level. The house was pristine, it looked brand new, could have single handedly raised the property value of the entire neighbourhood which had seen better days. He lived directly opposite the elementary school he went to as a kid.

The area wasn’t too bad, well-kept palms, and lawns. It was quality middle of the road Mediterranean style housing and home to some of the best seafood in the OC. There was a restaurant called Ambrosia he seemed very proud of. It was a beacon in the least shiny part of Orange County. The birds chirping on resilient in their fortitude for this too to be a slice of paradise. Nonetheless they all had wrought iron fences guarding their lawns, except Paul’s house. Just a small white porch with roman style pillars. There was something about it sitting on the corner like that, looking like a model house. Like a house sitting on a nuclear test site about to be blown up, full of wax fruit bowels and mannequins sitting at dinner tables. It didn’t look lived in, it looked like it was a trap house begging for someone to step on that carefully trimmed lawn. Teeth gnawing and clicking and tensing against each other. Praying the mailman would plant a foot off the path and then something could be unleashed, some dark righteous fury bottled up just for this moment. But it never came. The birds just chirped on incessantly.

It was Sunday so the elementary school was quiet and still, which I’m sure was a welcome change. We got out of the car. Parking it in the lot behind the house and he lead the way into his cool still house. “Come on in” He smiled.

It was a show house alright. I can’t remember the last time I was in here, funny enough. I didn’t spend a lot of time with Paul, despite being my boyfriend he and I didn’t really know what that meant. We appeared places together, we were together at school but when the curtains came down the actors went back to their trailers and rested. Nothing more.

That was really as far as our interactions went. A pantomime for an audience of slack jawed watchers probably begging to be us and having no idea about the truth. I guess, we just liked our own space.

He cleared his throat and threw the keys down on a Formica top kitchen counter and said. “Well?”

 

I smiled and took in a lungful of the cool musky air in his house. It didn’t smell bad or like dust, just old leather and new plastic and rubber.

“Well what?” I sighed.

“What was that all about?” He asked, almost stuttering.

I sat at a small functional kitchen table and said “Some weirdo just tried to grab me, it’s nothing”.

“Some guy tries to grab you and that’s nothing?” He almost coughed and screeched. His face became a shade redder and his tone was strangled off by some violent shifting of gears in his throat. “How are you- I mean how is-?” A clever aside from ‘What was it like to see severed human heads’.

I looked up at him with a raised eyebrow and massaged my temples. “I’m fine”.

The house was oddly dark and cold. Even though none of the blinds were drawn it seemed shaded somehow. It was pleasantly cool, like the underside of a rock. Probably just the position of the house relevant to the sun.

I took out my phone completely displacing his concerns, they seemed too banal for me to even want to press. Why should he care if Skeletor tried to grab me with a boney claw and what could he have done to prevent it? And he most certainly couldn’t make me un-see the heads with a back rub or a sonnet and moreover- I wouldn’t want him to.

Did the posturing and planning make him feel better, should I embellish him just for his own ease of mind? Wasn’t I the one who had been through two supposedly traumatic events? Why should I be responsible for setting things right in his world? Humans, why do I bother?

Who was that strange metal pincher man, my mind instantly drawing back to one of those toy grabbers you get at the beach arcades. I guess that made me a hapless stuffed animal. Deer in headlights Diana. Did he really know about me? What was there to know? A naughty search history, a little amateur hack magic, hardly seemed enough to raise the dead. And hardly the most alarming thing to happen to me all week.

I swiped on my phone back to twitter and I pointed the screen at him.

“Do you know this guy?”

He took the phone off of me with a curt urgency, what did my phone do to him?

He turned the screen back to me and pointed at it and said “Is this the guy who grabbed you?”

“He lives around here?” I asked.

“Yeah I know this scumbag, deals dope out of a house in Central City, has these wild parties” He trailed off.

“How do you know him?” I asked with a raised eyebrow.

“We went to the same elementary school, he dropped out”

“He dropped out of elementary school, see a future in orange sherbert or something?”

“Or something” He sighed. “He’s a pretty bad dude, heard a lot of – rumours about him, I guess.” He shook his head and scrunched up his eyes as he said it, like he really wasn’t sure.

Central city for the uniformed was the unofficial gang hub of Orange County. A veritable hive of scum and villainy. Surely every nice little berg has one. You could get almost anything down there, drugs, unlicensed guns, prostitutes maybe even human lives and knock-off levis. The kind of place someone goes when they haven’t discovered you can get all that stuff on the internet without having to leave your mom’s basement.

“So?” I asked in my best pixie dream girl voice.

He held up the phone and then caught himself “You wanna go there?” He asked agasp, ruffling that long handsome brow of his.

I nodded and started to kick my feet like a kid on a swing set. Trying to hide a rising tide of dark angel trumpets calling me. A shrill laughter in the dark depths, a shock doing a Mexican wave across the invisible microscopic fine hairs I failed to pluck. I wax too, I said feminism didn’t interest me. Hairy pits in California heat? No thanks.

“Tonight?” He said, his voice almost shaking, with something I couldn’t quite fathom. Was he afraid, or was it something else? The way he said it, it was almost like a challenge.

“Is he having one of the parties tonight, it’s a Sunday” As soon as I said it, I felt decidedly dumb once again. Getting to be a bad habit today.

He made a hissing sound in his mouth. “Every night, these people don’t have jobs to go to, or school.” It was a school night.

Of course I knew that. I just felt awash with some new profound feeling of the unknown and the fact we had school in the morning made it seem twice as delicious to try tonight. But why would I go there? Just to see him for myself, and then what? ‘Hey Antoine, have you been leaving a trail of body parts for me to follow?’ Did I even think it was him, no, well I didn’t want it to be him, the twitter activity alone shattered a lot of the mystique around him. If he was the one I’d feel decidedly deflated. And what would he do when he saw me? Would it be ‘off with her head’ or ‘Hi friend, you got the message, let’s play’?

Either way if I could get Paul to go along it would be to my advantage, if only to be a distraction in case I needed to run far and fast away. Was I really that callous? Maybe, maybe not.

“Ok?” I said, rising to this illusory challenge.

He shook his head and let out a breathy laugh. “Sure.”

Prey… they don’t make a sequel

Yup, I went there, shitty kind of pun where I mix up ‘prey’ and ‘pray’, that’s how much this game disappointed me.

Honestly, I really, really wanted to like this, I looked at it and I liked what I saw, I heard a lot of hate for it but blew it off because I mean people love shitty games and decent games sometimes come out at the wrong time and I thought a lot of the hate was coming from people who liked the original Prey game and those just sick of games like this after we reached peak space survival horror of alien isolation. Although admittedly I have a love hate relationship with arcane studios, I love the gameplay of Dishonored but it’s everything else that’s the problem and those problems as you will see are ten times that in this game.

So I really went into this expecting to be surprised and at the start I really was, the intro is great, I love a good intro to a game, if a game can blow you away within the first ten minute you know you’re onto a winner. Without spoilers the intro is this really nice mind fuck and I was really feeling this game after that, a great set up and then you get into the game and there isn’t a lot of hand holding you’re just expected to go out and explore which is awesome, it’s laden with atmosphere and you’re jumping at every sound and then coffee cups start attacking you.

Yeah, the best part of this game is probably the mimics, they’re these little aliens that can transform into anything so when you encounter one you end up hitting everything that has a double next to it with a wrench just to make sure.

I hear a lot of people whining about the difficulty curve of this game and to those people I say ‘git gud’. The game is quite punishing at the start because it’s trying to herd you in a certain direction so you can measure your strength from the start to later on in the game which is how games should work, that’s whats satisfying about a game like this, you start off shit but by the end you can deal with almost any problem you face. And I really liked that and I found myself really dreading he next enemy encounter merely because every fight felt like this intense ordeal… which is how a survival horror game should feel, that’s where the intensity comes from.

Another thing I saw people hating on was the gluegun, which is exactly what it sounds like it’s this projectile glue gun which acts as like a freezeray and covers enemies in glue so you can better shoot them or in my case hit them with a wrench and even better you can create vertical paths to get to objectives by climbing the glue when it drys. Which being a big portal fan I loved because you have a weapon that not only incapacitates enemies but also allows you to better traverse the 3d world.

2976125-paragon.0

Now onto the bad stuff, why I didn’t ultimately finish this game, I literally put my controller down and uninstalled it and sent it back to amazon. It’s not because of the difficulty believe me, it’s the overall design flaws inherent in the game and the glaring fact that this game has no character.

What do I mean by ‘character’?

Ok so this game is basically bioshock in space, the game plays pretty much exactly the same, you have guns and collect implants to get crazy powers and fight freak but is that all bioshock is? On the surface yes. But beneath the surface you have this very atmospheric game where every room, every section is a character in itself, rapture is a character but then on top of that you have this massively imposing figure like Andrew Ryan and Steinman and Sander Cohen and Atlas. And even in the audiologs you have these interesting characters that you want to know more about, you want to learn more about rapture and what happened to the people there and because of that you want to progress.

Moreover at every twist and turn you’re discovering new powers and new weapons so you have this tailored experience of risk and reward leading you through the game and that’s how a game sucks you in with this delicate balance of risk and challenge with rewards put at intervals that keep you going to find more.

Prey on the other hand is nothing like that, it’s a lot more like deus ex, a lot more free form, less linear and as you unlock more abilities more paths become available to you but Deus has characters that are interesting and a story that is engaging and a living breathing world that is immersive Prey has none of that.

Talos is just this dead piece of junk floating in the sky and you could say rapture is this dead city at the bottom of the sea but it just isn’t, every room is alive with its history, every piece of the game tells a story. Every enemy is unique and weird and surprising.

Now for the many technical gripes I have and why I ultimately stopped playing the game. Weapons, there aren’t enough of them, the only weapons in the game are a shotgun and a pistol and the upgrade system is just a numbers cranking mechanic, you just fill boxes to make the gun not shit. Yeah you get a lazer and a tazer and a gluegun but there still isn’t enough weapons for this game to call itself a shooter. The grenades are cool but it just seems lazy to have so few weapons in a game like this. None of the weapons are particularly impressive honestly, even the lazer gun is just ‘hold down to mulch target’.

Another problem I have with it is the enemies are boring, there isn’t really any variety to them, it’s just the mimics which are little blobs of tentacally black goo and then the phantoms which are human size blobs of black goo and then there are big floating blobs of black goo and then an even bigger glob of black goo. Seeing a pattern here? Sure some of them shoot electricity for some reason and some shoot fire for some reason and some control technology for some reason but they’re boring enemies, to look at and to fight. They’re not scary at all so this game can’t be classed as a survival horror, not enough guns so it can’t be classed as a shooter and there isn’t enough customization to be called an rpg so what is it?

This game has an identity crisis but worst of all it’s boring.

I don’t know how else to say it, there isn’t one interesting character in the bunch. I get that it’s going for the realism vibe like dead space or alien isolation so you can’t have wacky bioshock characters but Dead space has this terrifying oppressive atmosphere and scary grotesque monsters and alien isolation has tension in spades. This game has none of that. So its like in this horrible sweet spot where it can’t be a serious horror game but it also can’t laugh at itself.

There are no villains in the game, I know this might seem realistic because no one is truly evil but you need a villain, you need some kind of interesting antagonist and the closest you get is the main characters brother who is basically a fat filthy frank lookalike with the most boring voice I have ever heard. I seriously want to fall asleep whenever I hear him talk and every other character is either a robot or acts just like them.

So I found myself sort of rushing through the game when I realised how empty it was and how little I cared about any of the characters and that everything was explored already. Who can be bothered to read all these emails when you don’t care about the characters or what happened to the ship? It’s tedious and pointless, Whereas in bioshock I read every scrap and listened to every audiolog trying to find out any titbit of what befell rapture. In Prey I found myself skipping over lots of audiologs and even when I listened to them I soon forgot what they said and couldn’t even see how it related to any of the side quests which are all just boring fetch quests really.

There basically is no story, admittedly the gameplay is fun but repetitive and I realise I’m waffling now. The reason I stopped playing is because all the enemies respawn, which is fine for a game like Dark Souls where you have an unlimited amount of sword swings but the supplies you find in drawers or wherever don’t respawn so you have limited resources but your enemy does not. And then by the end of the game these robots are constantly respawned as they’re created in a 3d printer so you kill one and another is instantly created to replace it and they kill you really quickly and are really annoying to kill.

So yeah, ‘git gud’ right, I could have just run past them and the newly spawned aliens and let them fight it out to accomplish the mission and finish the game but thinking about it I was just thought to myself, ‘why?’

Why do I even want to complete this game? It just seemed like more hassle than it was worth, it’s risk and reward scale was tossed out the window. I’d already just discarded all the submissions left undone as pointless busy work at this point. Because oh I’m so fucking sorry, the ship is filling with aliens that I don’t have enough ammo to kill and now killer robots that constantly respawn and you want me to find a recording of some dead pianists brain for whatever fucking reason, piss off.

Because at this point I realise I’m doing these submissions just to do them, they’re utterly pointless and then I realised that this game stopped being fun like an hour ago when I thought it was ending and I lost track of even what the objective was and I was just following a way point. I just want it to end and then it ratcheted up a level of difficulty that made the game just too tedious to bother with. I mean yeah I could have completed this game but for what point? I don’t care about his brother or any of the characters or even the ending.

So I just stopped playing. I don’t know how to describe it but arcane studios are just bad, and they should feel bad. They can make games that are technically good, good looking and well made but they entirely miss out the human element. And it’s the exact problem I have with dishonored. It’s a fun game but the characters and story and world building has the depth of a puddle. They try to copy games like thief and deadspace and bioshock but its like they don’t understand what made those games good wasn’t just the technical aspects. Deadspace isnt just good ‘cos aliens in space rarrr’, bioshock isn’t just ‘cos spoopy powers pew pew’. It’s like trying to explain the feeling of looking at a picasso to a robot, it can see all the lines and shapes but it can’t process them in a way that gives it a raw feel for what it is. Arcane is literally a design team of blind men all trying to describe an elephant and failing miserably.

Prey ultimately is a soul less tedious bioshock clone which deserves to sink to the bottom of a bargain bin and stay there and arcane needs to hire better writers or just stop making games all together because they just don’t get them.

Long story short, don’t waste your time or your money on this game, you’ll just feel empty and dirty at the end of it. Just play bioshock or deadspace again, you’ll feel infinitely better.

Needlessly overlong rant over haha.

See you…

GS2 Chapter 8 ‘Five Fingers of Death’

Yo,

Gonna keep this short and sweet because I’ve been sending out querys to literary agents all day and I have some leftover fajitas I made calling my name. So quick updates, moving forward a little bit prematurely with The One Who Came Back. I don’t really know what I hope to achieve because I’m really that sure of it and I only have three chapters edited so far and trying to rush my editor seems to be in vein, I’m considering hiring someone else but I’m sort of broke and I can’t find anyone cheaper and she’s a really nice person, I don’t feel like an asshole giving money to.

This is sort of a dry tun I guess for Diana, just scoping out the thriller lit agents, seeding the ground before I unleash that insanity on them. Got all my women centric ones bookmarked because they might get a kick out of a female Dexter, I know I did ha.

Not that it really matters but honestly, have you ever googled literary agents? Like literally 90% of them are women, maybe even more so, it’s ridiculous and the amount that are looking for ‘women centric stories’ or just ‘women’s fiction’ is astonishing and you wonder why so many of the big authors this decade are women *Hmm emoji* haha.

Ranting aside, I’m edging my way out of the completionist funk, just by doing something and hopefully tomorrow I can throw myself into a new project just to get the gears spinning again.

That’s enough for now.

See you…

Five Fingers of Death

Bobby rummaged around in a large key bang as he entered the station’s jail muttering to himself in the near darknessOnly the orange emergency lights giving off an anaemic glow that lit nothing except the hands in front of his face.

“This is the last straw, he’s lost his fucking mind, fuck. First he’s making me bury bodies in the back lot, now he’s shooting people right in the office, he’s losing it, this is it, this is it!” He panted and took in disjointed slakes of breathes like he was having a panic attack. “Gotta, gotta let you guys out, gotta get out, gotta let you and we can leave this fucking mess!” He screeched.

The back of the cells were in complete darkness. He got closer, the hot nervousness in the back of his throat made his fingers and thumbs thick square blocks of dull round weiner meat. Which made finding the right key near impossible. The jangling of the key bang summoning fits of excited hackles from something akin to a dog.

A shadowed figure uncoiled, a dank smell and a quick fluttering of what seemed like wings and the voice. A hot stinking breath that smelled like raw potatoes and meat said right by his ear “Maybe I wanna be in here.” The voice said. Breath was hot and wet and burning like raw onions on the deputies face. He jumped back, tripping over his own feet and tumbling, the back of his head trying to make out with the corner of a metal desk not ending well.

He lay on the floor twitching, blood and brains spreading like hot homemade jam.

“Oops” Carpenter said as he slipped back away from the bars with a slithering sqeaking noise as his arms retracted into the dark cell.

Hitman – An Autopsy

Ok so I bought this game as a digital copy because it was on sale, so it was like twenty quid for the whole lot and I felt like doing a review just for my own gratification. Just to sort of get my thoughts on it straight, put them to paper to just be rid of them.

So I’m a massive fan of the Hitman series, played every game and watched all two of the films and I was actually disappointed that it didn’t turn into a franchise or get any sequels. I liked the Timothy Olymphant movie and I felt it had some potential but honestly I just like it because I like the series. The reboot was awfully lackluster.

Honestly there really was only three decent Hitman games, the first one I played was Hitman 2 which was amazing and got me hooked on the series. Contracts is like the best of Hitman remaking some of the levels from the first game and Blood Money took it to the next level with the accident kills and the newspaper reviews. The first game is sort of a trashy mess of good ideas and shitty movie references. It’s fun but it doesn’t really come together in any coherent way and it’s terribly dated. Absolution is a tone deaf paint by numbers hitman sequel which gets close but doesn’t hit the mark and then there’s this.

Hitman as it’s calling itself is probably the most limp-wristed reboot of a franchise I’ve ever seen. It’s going for this whole like mystery tv show feel with it’s episodic levels and little photo realistic cutscenes supposed to pull you in but in all honest the storyline of hitman has never been the draw of the game. I mean having a story in a hitman game is kind of difficult because he’s just an assassin with not a lot of connection to the people he’s killing because that would defeat the purpose of hiring an assassin.

So all the story is peripheral and kept sort of in the shadows, out of the way of the game. I like that it didn’t try to retcon his backstory but I also hate that this is a reboot at all. I mean I get what they’re going for and it would have been amazing if it had worked out. Basically a playable Hitman Tv show. Pretty much sounds like the most awesome thing imaginable but it’s just not there.

I mean the game failed outright and the creative team as far as I’ve heard have been liquidated and there probably won’t be a season 2. Which is another big problem with the ending because there is no satisfying conclusion because it’s being handled like a tv show and not a movie. All the while people expect to get a full package and all they get is what feels like an unfinished mess. They were going for this slow boil that had no pay off.

I totally get the vision here, it’s a brilliant idea, it’s just been executed poorly, the marketing and delivery have tanked it.

Now on to the game itself because all this stuff aside I could have looked passed it if the game was half decent but it isn’t. I don’t quite know how to put it into words but this isn’t hitman, it looks like hitman, it sounds like hitman but it’s not hitman.

I like the look, I love the visuals, some of the locations are gorgeous and multi-levelled and great fun to explore, the combat is on point if you feel like a good rampage and the Ai is decent.

The gameplay is ok, standard chameleon murder dress up social stealth with some bloody violence.

My main problem with it is the difficulty level.

It’s too fucking easy.

I’m used to a somewhat brutal level of trial and error difficulty when it comes to hitman, to having limited saves and trying to figure out someone’s pattern and how to get them when they’re vulnerable. The game is essentially about watching people and learning their weaknesses and exploiting them to lethal effect. But this game takes all the fun out of it by just outright telling you what to do.
Gone is the fun of discovery and the accomplishment of out of the box thinking when it comes to finding innovative solutions to kill someone because the game will just set a fucking way point to go to. “Hey here’s the thing you need to kill the guy, now go here and kill the guy”.

It’s such pathetic hand holding I haven’t experienced since games like COD. It’s pathetic, it’s patronising their core fans by trying to appeal to this type of casual gamer who doesn’t like challenge or frankly doesn’t like thinking. It may have well have just been a tv show where the player chooses the method of kill for all the imput the player has.

And I know the usual response would be ‘Well why don’t you try a higher difficulty?’ Well yeah I would if you didn’t have to unlock the harder difficulty. And what does the harder difficulty even do? Does it change all the methods of killing, does it change the characters habits and traits, is it a whole new game to the one you just played? No it just moves some items around and it adds more guards.

I honestly wish I could just wash my brain of this game and turn all the hints off and just play it straight, there really should have been a mode for hard core hitman fans where you could turn off all hints. Because they just ruin the game.

I mean you’re walking a tightrope here, this game is such a niche. It appeals to a very small demographic of people that like methodical puzzle based controlled mayhem stealth but you also want to branch out and attract these COD yahoos and casuals. It’s just not going to happen, you have to pick one and by not doing that you’ve alienated both. The hardcore hitman fans who are into this type of stealth game think it’s patronising and easy and boring and the COD players think it’s boring without enough guns and explosions.

I don’t hate this game, I did have some fun playing it but this game is a disgrace to Hitman, it’s babies first hitman. Boring and safe, the only risks taken were in it’s marketing and distribution and that was also a colossal failure.

I’m let down by it, honestly even being a fan I wasn’t that hyped by it because it didn’t look like anything special coming after Absolution. All I can say is Square Enix have done something no one thought possible, they’ve killed the Hitman. RIP Agent 47, hopefully they’ll let you stay dead.

 

TOtCB Chapter 11 ‘The Boy with the Thorn in His Side’

Hey, hows it going my imaginary audience.

So, it’s done, sorta. I finished Diana After Dark, if that’s even what I’m still calling it by the time I post this. And I’m sinking into my usual funk. That completionist depression, when you walk away from a book. Like when you finish a videogame that really gripped you and then it’s over and you’re like ‘I want more’. Same for books I guess but my first experience with that feeling was videogames, just getting engrossed in that world and then having to leave it behind because there’s nothing left to do. It’s depressing.

That’s done, I say ‘done’ what I really mean is it needs shitloads more editing and fixing and tweaking which could take months but I’ll happily do it, also I think I might change her aunt character into a cop. It just might make more sense later on, give her more leverage in the story and it sort of makes sense in regard to the character she’s based on I guess.

It’s finished and I feel lost once again, trapped in that miasma of deciding what to do next. Because honestly the first thing I wanted to do was just say fuck it and write the sequel right away. Start drafting up the ideas floating around in my head and put it on paper, I literally have ideas for at least two more but I don’t know if it’s healthy to stay in that headspace for so long and listen to the same music. I figure I should put something in between.

I’m thinking I might do something that’s a twist on a bunch of Lovecraft stories. I did do a sort of weird almost Lovecraftian super hero story a while back that I could revive. It might be fun, like a cosmic horror thriller novella. Then maybe I could do another Diana or that fantasy novel I’ve been planning to do or that other fantasy novel I’ve been planning to do.

I dunno, just feeling bummed the fuck out recently and I need to get reinvigorated and throw myself back into something and I need to get this stuff cleaned up and start talking to agents again and try to get some money out of it so I can start getting deeper into potential series’.

Also planning on making a pilot or something for a Starship troopers tv show, I was just at a party recently and I thought how awesome would that be if netflix dropped all this gay ass superhero shit (Punisher not included, The Punisher is awesome, they could still fuck up his standalone show though) and started a high budget live action starship troopers tv show. I mean shit I would watch that in a second.

I mean I would be happier if I didn’t even write it, if I just gave the idea to a good screen writer and then I could just enjoy it. But it’s netflix so they’d probably still fuck it up haha. Or shit even worse if it was taken on by AMC and it couldn’t have any nudity or swearing like Preacher, fuck me sideways that was fucking retarded.

Anyway, enough of me ranting about bullshit, got another chapter of The one that came back for your viewing pleasure. You know the drill.

See you…

The Boy with the Thorn in His Side.

Porter couldn’t let it go. there was something about it that he knew would haunt him if he didn’t get something squared away. He figured a few questions, a couple of hours out of his life. That would spare him the sleepless nights, tossing and turning thinking about it.

So here he was sitting in his truck on Swallow Street. Outside Johnny’s old house. He looked into the old case reports on the boy’s disappearance online. They were bare enough for the cops to not care who looked at them and all the addresses were old anyway. This is Johnny’s old neighbourhood, he was taken in a park not too far from his home. The family moved out after his disappearance because of a new job across town.

He thought about watching the kid at first. As far as he could tell the neighbours he had. The friends he had back then were still kicking around here so they might have more to say. As far as he was concerned the person he met and the boy that went missing were two different people. So following him wouldn’t teach him anything he didn’t already know.

He’d gotten hold of a Photostat copy of his missing poster. He went over it a couple of times trying to get a picture of the kid in his mind.

Johnnathon William Bartlett Missing Since Jun 13, 2013, Missing From San Antonio, TX. DOB Dec 31, 2000. Sex Male. Race Caucasian. Hair Color Lt. Brown. Eye Color Blue. Height 4′8″. Weight 80 lbs.

Identifying features; Has three tattoos. The letter T on his left hand between his thumb and forefinger. The letter J on his left shoulder, and the letters L and N on the outside of his left ankle.

What’s a thirteen year old doing with tattoos? He thought to himself. He made the drive out to fort Sam Houston where the boy was abducted. It was at least a twenty minute drive, maybe an hour bike ride away, or a three hour walk from his house. A picture of this kid was forming already. The missing poster said he was diagnosed with adhd. So this wasn’t your average kid. Normal kids don’t have tattoos or take hour bike rides to go play basketball away from home.

Swallow street was a normal neighbourhood. Lined with modest single story homes in reasonable condition. Nothing out of the ordinary about it, no gangs, or drugs or undesirables about. The house he was looking for was 14118 Swallow Street.

The house was a small red brick building with a tiny covered porch at the entrance and a single car garage at the side. A black mailbox outfront. The lawn was small and sloped down with a single tree in the front that looked like a hand sticking out of the earth. Bare of all its leaves. All the houses in the neighbourhood were pretty much the same sandy colours. Like they all just rose out of the desert.

It was early and there weren’t too many people out, the odd dog walker or baby stroller. A squat Mexican woman one yard over was raking leaves and mumbling to herself in Spanish.

He didn’t think it would do much good asking the new owner about the missing kid. Chances are he wouldn’t have even known about the thing at all. Not exactly need to know information for a realtor to give out. ‘Oh by the way a kid who used to live here disappeared’.

But he figured it couldn’t hurt to talk to the guy. Maybe if he got talking something might tumble out and he’d get to look around a bit.

Porter parked on the sidewalk next to the black mailbox. The sidewalks were those little strip sidewalks. Like they expected you to walk single file.

Porter crossed the lawn, it was well kept, a little too short even, dry looking.

He passed through the little alcove and tapped on the glass in the door. No one answered, Porter went around the side and peeked through windows. It didn’t look like anyone was home.

“HE NOT HOME!” A shrill voice called.

Porter looked towards where the sound came from. The squat Mexican woman was looking at him from across the yard. Holding her rake close to her as she bagged leaves. Porter put on his best smile and hopped across the lawn like a little bunny. Pretending to be out of breathe when he reached her.

“Mr Hostelle not home, he work in construction travel a lot, he come back next week.”

“Right, thanks” He was surprised, he didn’t even need to ask any questions yet.

“Something you want?”

“As a matter of fact, I was wondering if you knew the family who used to live here?”

“You here about the boy who disappeared, Johnny whatshisname?” She said tutting trying to remember his name. Waving her hand trying to pre-empt Porter correcting her and progressing the conversation.

“Bartlett” He said flat.

“That’s it Bar-lett, the news people already been here, you with them?” She probed the air with the end of her rake acquisatorially.

“Not really, I just wanted to know more about the boy, can you tell me anything?”

“Si, I remember.” She said curtly as she tied up the garbage bag full of leaves a little too tight. She looked up from the bag and cocked her head to the side. “You want me to say he was the pefect little angel who flew away, is not true. That one was a little puta!”

Porter thought it best to keep quiet and pretend he was taking mental notes, which he was.

“The policia, they come around all the time for this kid, and this a good neighbourhood”. She swung around as if to give him a good look at the neighbourhood, her house was simple but nice. A single story house with a slanted roof, a large two car garage with a 4×4 taking up one a half cars worth of space. The windows outside looked almost like church windows, three in a row. Twin cedar trees dominating her lawn. “We don’t get much trouble, but with him always trouble. He come home late, screaming and shouting and fighting and drug”.

“Drugs?”

“That’s what I hear, I never see, and that not the first time he run away either. Last time he was hiding down the bottom of my yard. Tearing up my flower bed.” She started to get fidgety now. “And these not little kid fights. When they fight, they fight, they use knive, the mother she have boyfriends and they no good.” Something told Porter she was enjoying this a little too much. The reporters didn’t let her get to the nit gritty. Like she wanted.

“Do you know what happened to Johnny’s father?”

“No, we moved in after he was already gone, they say, err, he run away” She shrugged.

She started looking a little more nervous than aggravated. She started rubbing a cross that was hanging around her neck. She made the sign of the cross. “Madre dios, that’s not all, one night we call the police because we heard noise”.

“What kind of noise?”

“Like an animal cry and like singing, err not singing, like a droning noise. The police come and the man, err what his name J- something. He answer the door cover in blood”. She moved her hands to signify the blood was all over and her eyes were wide now and he could see the whites. She was excited, a little theatre crept in.

“What did the cops say” Porter stayed cold and flat like a frozen flank steak.

“He say, the man, that it was chicken blood. He kill a chicken for dinner, no way, in mehico we kill chickens, very little blood. You see a chicken, they very small, not very much blood. Head to toe. The policia, they leave him alone”. She shrugged and wrinkled her bottom lip.

“Was this around the time Johnny went missing?”

“I don’t remember exactly, maybe. It get so bad, with the boy that they had to bring in his Uncle to come live with them because the boy was so violent. He was hitting his mother so they bring in the man J-something to keep the boy, behave, you know. But you know the news they only want to hear how good he was. Cute little blonde boy with blue eyes go missing. They only want to hear nice things about him” She chuckled to herself.

“Thanks, you’ve been a big help”

“Si” The woman said as she raised her eyebrows and got back to raking leaves.

Porter went back to the dodge and got in and sat there for a moment, tossing gravel in his head.

 

 

 

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