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book of the five rings

3 ring samurai part 2 Chapter 6 ‘The long way of drums’

Hey there time for some excuses from a really lazy dude with no real life to speak of.
Yeah so no poem tomorrow, I don’t know just personal life stuff and work stuff getting in the way and likely to get in the way until january.
I’m just in a really weird place which is not too different from any other day. I just feel kind of like I’m drifting, not really sure what I want to do, instantly bouncing between manic happiness and basement depression. Because I’m like in this place where I’m not only losing lots of time due to work and other such nonsense but also I feel like I’m making the best use of the time I have and it’s driving me fucking nuts. I want to finish the edit for Diana and take my time going over it but I also just want to get it the fuck done and stuff keeps getting in the way.
And then the cloud of looming doubt comes back telling me I’m never going to get it done and even if I do it’s going to suck and no one is going to like it or pick it up and I’m just going to be a loser sitting in my bath robe writing nonsense no one is ever going to read and have nothing to offer any other living person ever in my life. Ultimately dying alone and miserable after wasting my life chasing a dream I know is impossible.
Fuck I hate christmass haha.
Also didn’t get to read any more shadow pulps and I still can’t review red dead 2 because I have no real desire to play it. I mean I get on it for a couple of hours but I just find myself sort of not really drawn to it. I mean I like the world, the gameplay is great but the story is a fucking dead weight, the characters aside from Arthur are a little flat. The villains are a little lame. It just sort of feels like a safe easy game they made that they knew would make money and didn’t put much more effort into over the lighting and graphics and stuff like that. I mean it’s good it just sort of lacks the heart of the previous games that makes you want to get into it. And I wonder if it’s because I heard that their game development is run like a sweat shop, that they’re just churning this game out as fast as possible, I dunno. I just don’t find it that compelling or necessary. Like the title says it all, you have the first game Red dead and then red dead redemption and then this is just red dead redemption 2 not red dead revolution, red dead revenge, red dead revocation, its just red dead here’s another one give us money please.
Don’t get me wrong, I like it, I think it’s fun at times, I love robberies, I think it’s got solid mechanics and costumes and all that, I just think it didn’t really deliver on hype and maybe the hype was too high. Not really from me because I didn’t expect much, I wasn’t a huge fan of the first game, I’m a niche retard who thinks L.A Noire is still the best rockstar but we’re never getting a sequel to that or Max Payne for a while, although I heard a bully sequel is coming out which would be great. It’s basically Gta as a coming of age story for a highschool kid haha. It’s great.
Yeah well those are some thoughts for the day, enjoy the new chapter and sub to my mailing list because it gives me warm happy feelings.
See you…
 
“I’m sorry about your brother” The stranger said as he poked at the small fire in the centre of the darkened shack. One knee raised, a sword behind it resting against the wall.
 
“Juan was a fool, always rushing in headlong.” The first born said, a large tanned Mexican with a barrel chest and a pencil thin moustache.
 
“When he heard about the man you wanted us to kill, he wanted all the glory for himself, he got what he deserved.” The second born said, almost as large as his brother sporting a goatee.
 
“We won’t fail you” The firstborn said.
 
The man at the fire lifted his head, the light from the flickering flames licked the strange acrylic clown mask on his face. “I admire your pragmatism, I know what it’s like to lose a brother.” He said.
 
 
Click, click!
 
“Wait Pookie! You’re only supposed to pull the trigger once per turn!” Efron squealed as she reached for the gun. “Why?” Pookie said with the gun still to his head “This is faster”
 
“Its not ab- Nevermind” Efron frowned.
 
Pookie put the gun down on the table and slid it over to Canard who was completely devoid of expression.
 
“Ok now just on-“
 
Before she could finish Canard had already put the gun to his head.
 
Click click! “-ce! What did I just say, now there are only two chambers left so it’s a fifty fifty chance that the next chamber has the bullet in it.”
 
“And it’s your turn” Canard grinned as he slid the revolver across the table.
 
Pookie’s face stayed the same as he picked up the gun concentrating on the chamber, emptying it with his mind. Breathing in deeply and tensing his finger around the trigger.
 
KATHOOOOMMM!!!!!
 
A giant wrecking ball crashed through the window and tore a giant hole through the thin walled saloon. The walls splintered like kindling sending glass, wood and shards of metal shrapnel everywhere.
 
The giant wrecking rested in the destruction attached to a chain which snaked on the ground. Slowly the chain retracted and then quickly whipped away taking half the building with it.
 
Pookie coughed as he cleared his lungs of dust and looked around the saloon that now looked like an apple with a giant bite taken out of it.
 
He looked around.
 
“Everyone ok?”
 
“Great” Canard said from underneath the booth seat he was only a minute ago sitting on.
 
A little hand with a gun in it came up from behind the bar “I’m ok” Efron said.
 
The bartender, a balding middle aged man with an unflattering haircut popped up next to her “What the hell was that, a hurricane?”
 
“Yeah, hale stones the size of your head.” Pookie shook his head like there was dust in it and got up off the ground dizzily looking for his sword. He found it underneath a pile of old magazines from a broken spinning rack.
 
“A little help for the cripple?” Canard voice muffled by the furniture on top of it.
 
Pookie sighed and attempted to push the couch off of him.
 
“IF THERE’S ANYONE STILL ALIVE IN THERE YOU’VE GOT TO THE COUNT OF THREE TO COME OUT!” A booming voice with the slight twang of a spanish accent said.
 
“I guess that’s for us” Pookie said as he strained with the couch.
 
Just for you, I’m guessing” Canard retorted.
 
Pookie sighed and dropped the couch back on him. “I guess so” He said with a melancholy tone in his voice as he went to climb out of the hole in the side of the saloon.
 
Outside it was hotter than before, the sun was bright and glaring blotted out only by two round figures standing in the middle of the street.
 
Pookie walked out squinting at them.
 
“You’re him”
 
“The man who killed our brother”
 
“Who?”
 
“Juan Ramirez”
 
“Oh that guy, well that was kind of an accident, but yeah I guess that was me” He sighed “So you’re the masters of swallowing or whatever huh?”
 
“That’s us” The first born said.
 
“So you really think they’ll let you in the circus if you kill me? It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.”
 
“It’s more than that now”. The second said.
 
“There’s a blood debt to pay.”
 
“So hows this gonna go down? We gonna duel one on one like last time?” Pookie asked.
 
“Hahahahahahahahahaha!” Both brothers laughed.
 
The brother with the goatee didn’t laugh with his voice only his face as his throat started to bulge to an enormous size like a toad. His jaw unhinged and a giant black ball appeared in his mouth.
 
Pookie squinted in disbelief as he watched this inhuman display. There followed a grotesque suction popping cracking noise as the wrecking was spat with a tremendous speed.
 
The ball hit like a meteor right at Pookie’s feet. The clown samurai jumped at the last second and under the cover of the dust it kicked up he ran along the chain towards the two assassins.
 
His sword at his side, his finger in the ring pull.
 
“There he is!” The second born said his voice sounding like he had cotton balls in his mouth.
 
The first born cut off his laughter, his eyes bulging and bloodshot. He opened his mouth and started to wretch, his throat distending with a long spherical shape. The opening in his mouth a pitch black emptiness.
 
Pookie caught sight of it in the corner of his eye but couldn’t make out what it was and then at once he knew he was staring into the barrel of a cannon.
 
“Oh crap” He whispered.
 
The firstborn leaned forward to ready for the recoil and somehow through some internal mechanism he fired.
 
Time slowed and Pookie saw the chain shot swirling at him, a ball connected by a thin chain swirling destruction aimed right at him. Without thinking he pulling the ripcord on his sword and it roared with laughter cutting the chain in half. The cut freed the two balls which shot off at either side of him.
 
One of the balls hit the ground and exploded with a dull thud. The other took out a storefront, both explosions bouncing Pookie like a skipping stone, skidding along the ground.
 
He came to a stop, his naked sword in his hand quivering. The clown samurai stabbed it into the ground raising himself to a knee, breathing heavily.
 
“Interesting” The firstborn said. “You’re the first to survive that”.
 
“What are you made out of, rubber?” The second born asked.
 
“He’s too dumb to die” Canard said.
 
Pookie scowled as he scraped himself off the ground.
 
Efron giggled, “It’s still your turn”.
 
“Can’t ya see I’m a little busy right now?” Pookie shouted.
 
“Are you forfeiting?” Efron sounded shocked.
 
That weird suction noise again ending the brief pause as the wrecking ball came barrelling at Pookie again. He rolled out of its way as it carved a hideous scar into the earth. “I’ll just skip my turn and get the next one.”
 
“That’s not how it works!”
 
“Hmm, but that means if this chamber is empty the next one has to be the bullet.” Canard scratched his chin, weighing his options.
 
“So if you live-“ Efron looked away.
 
“He dies”
 
 
Read the rest of the chapter on inkitt. The long way of drums

3 Ring Samurai part 2 Chapter 5 ‘The lost highway’

Ok well at least you couldn’t say my week was boring, went from being on top of the world to being under it, straight up into space and right now I’m falling fast, but that I’m used to haha.
Needless to say everything blew up in my face as it usually does because I fell in love with someone who can never leave well enough alone just like myself. And when they push I push back twice as hard as is my nature, not to be out done when it comes to being a stubborn prick.
It goes without saying that my life is a fucking joke and no one should try and emulate it haha. At the very least I’m less lonely than Lovecraft but that’s not saying much and loneliness would probably help me more than harm me. Relationships only seem to be a hindrance and a time sink when it comes to my work, filler, if you will.
Well I’m cutting that shit right out, that is until someone else comes along to fuck it all up again haha. Can’t wait -_-.
Speaking of my work for a nice segue, finally I have the final piece of Diana and I have diverted all efforts to putting the lady back together again. So I’m putting Loverman writing on hold for the time being and focusing totally on editing and proofreading and the eventual debut of Diana to agents here and in the US. I’m still gonna put out regular chapters of completed work like 3 ring and Cur but Diana must take precedent because that is the real deal. Not all my eggs are in here basket but enough of them to make me nervous so here’s hoping to the first big step on the this journey I’ve undertaken so many years ago now.
(Insert one hour of looking for pictures of clowns) Sigh.
Ok better stop talking about it and get on with it, all those rejection letters aren’t gonna write themselves.
See you…
Achoo! Pookie rubbed his red nose and looked around the saloon sleepily amazed how similar it looked to the one in the town he just escaped from.
“Ya know, they say when you sneeze it means people are talking about ya” Canard said as he sat opposite him in a booth whittling a piece of wood.
“What are you whittling?” Efron asked.
Canard smirked “You’ll just have to wait and se-“
He was suddenly cut off by the weird dog thing Garfield biting the end of the bit of wood and fighting to take it.
“Hey ya dumb whatever ya are! Let go” He said as he tugged at the bit of wood the dog was gnawing on “Ahh you’re drooling on it!”
Efron hid her snickering behind her hand.
“What are you laughing at?” He said.
“You’re funny” She said.
“Yeah I’m hilarious, would you buzz off kid, go play or something” He said shooing her away.
Efron giggled childlishly and disappeared from sight.
He turned around in his seat furrowing his brow and cocking out his lower lip. “That’s better, I think you and me need to talk some more”
Pookie sniffled not looking at him “About what?” he said petulently.
“About what we do next?”
“’We’ there is no ‘we’, I don’t owe you nothing.” Pookie said in a disinterested way.
“I saved your life back there” Canard had an easy meaningless smile.
“I don’t remember that” Pookie raised an eyebrow and waved his hand away.
“Yeah back in the cave- nevermind, it’s not important, what’s important is we need to find someone who can look at that weird mark on the kid and tell us what it means?” He said emphatically, his movements overcooked exaggerations like he’d put too much thought into them.
“Why do we need to that?” Pookie asked with his eyes closed.
“To propel the plot dummy”
Pookie blinked.
“I know a mutual friend of ours who might know something.” He spoke a little softer and seemed to lean forward.
“What’s in it for you if we take her to see this guy?” Pookie reclined in his seat with his arms folded and his eyes half open.
He looked around before leaning in more “I owe her”
“I don’t get it.” Pookie sighed.
“The guy owes me a favour, if we can find him maybe he can hook the kid up and we can part ways.” Canard almost whispering now.
Pookie sneezed again.
“Or we could just kill eachother” Canard said letting a little ice slide into his voice as he leaned all the way back in his seat.
Pookie’s eyes narrows and his fingers crawled closer to his sword that was resting under the table between his legs.
Canard eyed him and gripped his whittling knife firmly.
“Hey!”
They both turned to see Efron pointing her gun at them “You promised you wouldn’t kill eachother!” A look on her face like someone was turning the car around not going to get icecream.
They looked at eachother “No we didn’t” They both said in unison.
“Yeah you did, when we were in that cave and I saved you from the zombies and there was like a cave in. And we thought it was all over but then the leader was all alive and like ‘I’m gonna get you rawr’ and I shot him and saved you both”. She said in a matter fact chipper way rising at the end as if expecting applause.
Literally none of that happened” Pookie said as he rubbed his nose.
Canard just shook his head.
“So you’re just gonna kill eachother, that’s pretty boring” She huffed stomping her feet.
“You got a better idea?” Pookie asked cocking his head to one side.
“I just might” Efron said. She quickly cracked open the revolver and proceeded to empty the shells into her dress which she held out at the bottom to catch them. When she was done she snapped the heavy chamber back into place. “There’s one bullet in this gun, you each take turns pulling the trigger at your own head until one of you blows your brains out.” She said throwing the gun on the table like it was a chew toy. “But if neither of you are dead after four turns you have to both be my bodyguards for life, deal?”
“Ey esse’ I challenge you to a duel hombre!”
“Who me?” Efron said starry eyed “What’s a duel?”
“No not you!” The stranger said “This gringo with the funny face!” The man said as he pointed at Pookie who looked like he was going to sneeze again.
They turned to look at the stranger, a rotund Mexican of average height wearing a sombrero and a flannel shirt with imitation snake skin boots. A big ridiculous moustache on his face, his smile sporting what looked like gold teeth.
He waited for them to say something but they just continued to stare at the odd character waiting for him to burtst into song.
“Ahem, allow me to introduce myself. I am Juan Sandwich phillysub Ramirez of the infamous Ramirez brothers, known as the masters of swallowing. Surely you’ve undoubtedly heard of us” He said smirking and putting on a posher accent trying to sound like zorro or something.
Efron, Pookie and Canard all looked at him and shook their heads.
“Nomatter, after I kill the wasteland famous Pookie the clown, killer of a thousand men. My name will live on forever.”
“Look guy, we kinda just got done with a wacky misadventure so can you just buzz off and come back later?” Pookie sighed.
“-Long ago when we were very young we dreamed of being in the circus, fame and fortune, travel and the women-”
“He’s already doing an anime backstory monologue” Canard said dryly. “Is this what I sounded like?”
“Ah crap” Pookie said. “Come on buddy can you give us the cliff notes?”
“Huh?” Juan froze his lips pursed, sweat beading on his forehead, totally dumbstruck by the heckling.
“Summarize” Canard said.
Juan cleared his throat and began to speak plainly, all the theatrics drained from him. “Me and my brothers were rejected by the Ringmaster because he said our act wasn’t original enough. But, if I kill you he’ll have to let us in and then we’ll be super famous and get all the chicks.”
“Thanks.”
“De nada.”
Pookie looked around the table and back at Juan and sighed. “Ok, lets get this over with I guess.”
“That’s what she said” Juan remarked.
Canard looked at him shaking his head “You’re a terrible character.”
Read the rest of the chapter on inkitt The lost highway

3 Ring Samurai Part 2 Chapter 4 ‘Imaginary Folklore’

Yo,

I actually planned to and wrote a review for battlefield 1 for yesterday but it was so dull and pointless I just didn’t post it, insert rant about modern gaming haha. Basically sums up what I thought of it. It was ok, considering I paid nothing for it.

Good news just got back the second to last piece of Diana and the last piece is on it’s way, our baby gonna be whole and beautiful soon enough. Then I can make the final changes, get her looking good and get her ready to shake her ass for some literary agents which in all likelihood will be all be women haha. True fact about literary agents, the gatekeepers of the industry, most of them are women. But then again most book readers today are women I think.
Well that is you see a lot of books targeting women specifically. Mostly about sex with vampires or werewolves or handsome rich guys haha. Kinda makes me wonder why that is, when did our culture move away from men reading books? What am I talking about? I literally started this blog mentioning the reason, it’s fucking videogames of course and movies and tv obviously. Fucking videogames killed men’s desire to read, goddamn it haha.

Well maybe that was when videogame stories were half decent, now they’re either totally ass or non-existent. The non gamers are probably off watching netflix or sport. But the thing is for me, my love of books really cushioned the blow for shitty videogame stories. I never really expect much from a games story and don’t care if it doesn’t even have one, in fact I prefer it. Because if I want a good story, there’s one waiting for me in a book. In the same respect if I want to see shitty cgi and explosions I go watch a marvel movie haha.

If you go looking for good stories in a videogame you will be disappointed. Even so we see novelists working with games developers to make decent stories and captivating world like the guy that wrote the metro novels which spawned the awesome metro games and yes I will be preordering the next instalment haha. Probably, if I’m not broke still when it comes out. Spent the last of my money, i.e the banks money on the last round of editing for D. If I work all through christmas I might be able to eat sometime late january haha.

To a lesser extent the witcher, though I won’t get into that because I fucking hate the witcher books with a passion and the writer is such a jackass. The games are great, they really elevate his boring overrated writing but the asshat is still suing them for more money despite the fact he thought they would fail so didn’t opt in for royalties, he just took a cash lump sum I guess. But of course now it’s like the hottest game of the decade he’s all in wanting his cut. If you read any of his books you’d be utterly disgusted by this.

They turned his boring slog into a living world full of interesting folklore and action and memorable interesting characters and GWENT! Holy of holies. I just saw they released a gwent rpg card game and I had hold myself to resist buying it at full price.

In other news the Parker book I’m reading has got lit, it’s pretty good, like it’s all out war at this point where Parker enlisted an army of his old heist buddies to take this mob town apart. Just gutting it of money, they take like a quarter mil in one night which is awesome. But the heists are a little too easy honestly, it’s nice but the hard stuff is coming and I can’t wait.

Anyhoo, gotta get back to work, got a new piece of my lovely lady Diana to clean up and I have to prioritise that obviously.

See you…

A dry morning wind lashed at the dusty emptiness of the wasteland as the sounds of muted activity echoed over all the stark nothing. The ambience of a frail egg shell headache, a morn after the night before, everyone tip toeing around busily packing up their lives. Still cool and dank but the sun bright and blinding coming up over another centuries old pile of garbage in the distance.

A slight figure blotted out that bright sun and cast an angular shadow on the side of a circus tent. One of the boys taking it down turned his scruffy dirty face in the direction of the shadow maker. He squinted with his hand attempting to block out the sun, a strange blinking collar around his neck.

“Mornin’” The young carny said as if it were a phrase buttoned to his tattered coveralls. He squinted harder trying to make out the figure. Rubbing his eyes as strange images of malformed birds filled his mind and he saw a grotesque heron mask. “Oh lady Hero, I didn’t know it-“

“The Ringmaster, where is he?”

“Oh, the boss, he’s-he’s still up in the big top, they’re getting ready to pull it next.”

“Thank you” Heron said flatly, slowly walking in the direction the boy gesticulated to.

The boy nervously returned to his tinkering, loosening the ties on the tent and scratching under his bomb collar.

Heron walked in between the stalls, more carny’s tinkering away to dismantle and pack away games and rides. All so they could move on to the next town, she could feel them they trying not to look directly at her.

“Hows tricks bird girl?” A voice mocked.

Heron looked coldly out of the corner of her eye, the voice came from a tall gaunt figure leaning out the window of his icecream van. He laughed and stared with his sharp dagger like beady eyes as he smoked from the corner of his mouth letting ash hit the counter without a care.

She turned her head to the front and continued saying nothing.

The Icecream man laughed and watched her go tapping ash out the window.

At the foot of the big top the dogfaced boy sat sullenly falling in and out of consciousness.

Upon seeing her he decided to be awake and quickly bound over to her.

“Ya bring me anything?” He said.

“Not this time, the big man in here?” Heron said.

“Yeah, he and Tanner are arguing about how the mutant sea lions are kept again, it’s really boring.”

“I see” She said as she patted him on the head and went on through into the big top.

Inside it was even cooler without the sun, the smell was so familiar; woodchips and blood and vomit and piss. Death and life, love and hate, there was nothing that wasn’t under this big top.

Heron looked up at the rigging, staring at it without knowing why, for a moment she couldn’t take her eyes off the tightrope.

Then remembering her purpose she pushed on into the ring.

As she was fortold the Ringleader was having a heated discussion with Tanner the animal tamer.

The Ringleader was a large man with a round belly but without hint of sagging. His roundness was almost perfect and complete, spherical and tightly packed, as if he were a baseball that could tuck in his arms and legs and roll away. But attached to the baseball were strong ropey arms and legs and a head he used to hold an oversized black top hat. His face always carrying the merest hint of a jovial smile betraying a wicked set of eyes which poked into every corner. He stroked and twirled his vaudeville mustache as he gestured wildly with his free hand.

“My good man, you realise these ‘creatures’ of yours cost an arm and a leg to feed, quite literally. I simply cannot afford any more lavish accomodations for them and certainly can’t spare the water to give them a dipping pool.”

“But you don’t understand, the heat is worse than ever this year, they’re going crazy, they need a way to cool off.” Tanner said as he stooped. Tanner was a large man with soft eyes, a lover of animals and wildly homicidally protective the particular species he’d trained from birth.

A rather unusual species of sea dwelling creatures that had with the drying of the oceans evolved to live on land. Undoubtedly with the help of the rampant radioactive fallout after the first war. One of the creatures playfully practised a routine where it would stand to attention on a podium. Then accused criminals would be dropped from the rigging for him to catch and eat. In this instance a side of beef or some other indistinguishable meat was dropped. The huge thing lumbered into position on the podium wobbling back and forth comically.

The creatures were huge twice maybe three times the size of a human. Scaly shiney skin but rough and course like sand paper. They had huge heads with large teeth and tusks but oddly reptilian features, with clawed hands ridged flippers for digging in the sand.

The ringmaster looked the creature over. The creature almost seemed to be trained to beg and look as cute as a giant reptilian mutant man eater could.

The meat was dropped and in an instant the creature timed it’s movements perfectly and snapped the meat out of the air with it’s ferocious jaws. The power of the bite bisecting the meat without need of sharp teeth, just the power of the jaw was enough to rip anything apart.

It moved with so much power, all those large muscles moving at once, spurred by instinct and training, the ground seemed to quake, the air shifting. The amount of power necessary to move that bulk would astound any crowd. The amount will to train the beast even more so.

Heron stared at the Ringmaster and he turned and noticed her out of the corner of his eye. He turned back to Tanner to dismiss him. “I’ll see what I can do”.

“Very well” Tanner said also having noticed Heron waiting. He left abruptly without saying anything more. Exiting through a large opening in the back. The creature bounded after him flopping around comically dragging it’s large finned tail.

“Yes?” The Ringmaster said crossing his hands behind his back he tilted his head as if he were talking to a child “Do you have something to say?”

“They’re all dead”

The Ringmaster showed no great surprise in his stoney features, he only let out a long disappointed sigh “I see”. He turned to walk up the steps towards his ‘throne’ on the edge of the big top. It was a monstrosity made of collected pieces of wood and metal. Different discarded weapons of the long dead clans that came before. The scattered remnants now making up most of the circus a generation or so on.

He sat and waited for her to say more “Is there more?”

“The ronin clown Pookie lives” She said flat.

He hid it well but at the corner of his eyes, wrinkles started to appear. “And why didn’t you stop him?”

Heron stood not moving, expressionless behind her mask. “That was not my mission”

“Your mission was to bring back a body, so where is it?” He gestured spreading out the fingers of one hand.

Heron said nothing.

The Ringmaster tutted “Forgive me, you’ve lost your friends and I’ve lost a headline act” He paused and thought about the implications. “I want his head atop my throne by this afternoon”

“Yes Ringmaster.” Heron said.

“Wait, I changed my mind!” He tapped his lips with a long finger “I want you to shadow him for me. Report to me on his movements through carrier pidgeon” He sighed deep in thought. “More information is necessary.” He said to himself. The ringmaster straightened his moustache and tugged at it a little more before he noticed Heron was still standing there. “You’re dismissed.”

“Yes Ringmaster”.

Read the rest on inkitt Imaginary folklore

3 Ring Samurai Part 1; The man with the laughing sword

“I’m only laughing on the outside / My smile is just skin deep / If you could see inside I’m really crying / You might join me for a weep.” – Jack Napier

If anyone doesn’t know who Jack Napier is, go away confused haha. 

It’s finally here, the moment none of you have been waiting for, erm still not happy with the fight scene in it, *spoilers there’s a fight scene it, it’s a story about a clown samurai, what can I tell ya?

Ok yeah so what prompted me to do a dieselpunk clown samurai story? Not sure. But hey here it is after one proofread.

Been a little down recently, life just seems to be taking and not giving as the smiths would put it. Although it’s hard to be depressed when you look this good and feel this swole but somehow I manage it.

It’s why I’m looking forward to getting stuck back into this, I was actually really pissed when I had to stop working on this to eat on monday haha. My schedule is usually writing friday through to monday and then blogging and spamming from tuesday to thursday. So when I had to stop, I was like, ‘but I don’t wanna’. Which is great, it’s why it’s good to do fun stuff like this, recharges your creative batteries.

I’m not sure if other people will like it and I’m sure it won’t make me rich and famous but it’s like creative chocolate, it won’t fill me up but it’ll make me feel like life is worth living again and I really need that. 

Also I think my editor broke her arm or something which is why she’s taking her time getting Diana back to me, why do I have such lousy luck with editors, I must be cursed.

Maybe it’s just women in general, I can never seem to get that right. Always seem to pick the wrong ones, or I let them pick me. Make me want to listen to the smiths in the dark and not move, being super fucking edgy today haha.

I just came to a realisation that I’m never going to have a relationship with one person in particular, not a real one anyway. She’ll always just be there in the back of my mind and I’ll never be able to touch her or hear her voice, she may not even know I exist or care, why would she? I’ll never be the person she needs and I’ll never have the unconditional love I want. She’ll just exist there without me and it wont really matter. I wish there was someone to blame, but there isn’t. All that remains is this numbing painful feeling, can you imagine the person you love the most in the world doesn’t even know who you are? Doesn’t know your face or your voice. It’s a crushing feeling know that I just have to watch her grow up like a fly on the wall. 

Anyway, it turned out differently from the comic, it’s had a complete tonal shift and I think it works, it’s more serious, the characters are more defined, I hope someone enjoys it half as much as I did writing it. I tried to keep the action as restrained as possible like the witcher, leave as much to the imagination as possible but still keep it tight.

Let me know what you think.

See you…

~

Chapter 1 ‘Zip Code’

“Ruff ruff”

 

“Garfield, come back boy!” A young girl in a moth eaten yellow sundress said, short of breath as she chased after the six legged mutant mutt as he ascended a mountain of garbage.

 

“What have you got over there you dumb mutt?” A boy behind her in a torn duster two sizes two big for him said as he watched from the base of the trash mountain. Resting his weight on a cracked Louisville slugger like a walking cane.

 

The sun beat down unimpeded by the any cloud cover at all, a big yellow beam of light baking a mound of garbage left by the circus convoy that passed only the other night.

 

The two children reluctantly chased the mutated dog-like creature up the mountain of garbage. Ranging from empty food containers, popped balloons and ripped posters to bone fragments, broken blades and needles. Until they reached the object that so interested their faithful companion.

 

“Eww what is that?” The little girl said as she skipped up the trash pile to find the dog barking and gnawing at something or other, a mass of rags and garbage.

 

The boy got to her elevation using the bat as a walking stick, he adjusted the googles on his face to look closer at the thing the dog was distressing. “Ahh just some dead guy” The kid sighed.

 

The little girl paused and blinked a few times before she said “Can we eat’im?”

 

“Nah, he’s probably rotten, no telling how long he’s been out here.” The boy said as he lifted his cracked goggles up from his dirt and soot caked face tossing the bat over his shoulder. “We gotta keep looking”.

 

“But I think he’s still moving, gotta be super fresh.” The little girl said smiling through her two missing front teeth, freckles fighting for their place with dirt and muck on her tanned face a shock of dry dirty red hair sticking up on her head in all directions.

 

“Eh?”

 

Lying face down in a pile of hot garbage a corpse lay still, it’s skin waxy and pale and almost yellow. The dog wasted no time in sniffing and licking and trying to devour the corpse feet first.

 

“Errrrggghhhh” An unknown voice echoed.

 

“What was that?” The little girl asked.

 

“Probably gas escaping, dead people poop their pants sometimes.”

 

“Ewwww”

 

Garfield the dog didn’t seem too discouraged as his two tongues went to work licking the corpses feet, chomping at them playfully

 

“Errrgghhh!” The voice said again.

 

The corpse seemed to jostle suddenly and then shambolicly roll onto it’s back.

 

The two kids froze in terror as the corpse seemed to reanimate right in front of them it’s horrible face covered in sticky icecream wrappers forming a horrifying multi-coloured mask that looked like desiccated mutant flesh.

 

“Ahhh” The girl screamed “It’s a zombie!”

 

“Zombie?!” The boy yelped.

 

The dog was seemingly less worried about the zombie and kept licking it’s stinky feet.

 

The zombie moved as if it was in a dream, rising to a sitting position in a most unnatural fashion, almost flopping forward like a fish with no bones in it’s back. Slumping into an open indian sitting position it said “That tickles.”

 

By this time the boy had worked his way around the back of the slowly reanimating corpse and delivered a decisive blow to the back of it’s head.

 

 

“So it’s not a zombie?”

 

“Nope, it’s not a zombie.” An old man said as he leant over a makeshift cook stove made of truck gas tank cut in half over a fire of burning cardboard and plastic making a gnoxious green smoke. Something unidentifiable gently simmering in the pot.

 

“What part of he’s breathing and bleeding and farting in his sleep makes you think he’s a zombie?” The young boy said.

 

The girl made a face and touched her chin as she thought about it pursing her lips in her dry tanned freckled face “Does that mean we can eat him now?” The little girl chirped smiling broadly.

 

“Efron, we talked about this, you can’t just go around eating folk you find out in the wasteland.” The old man said scratching his beard and tugging at his red suspenders over his dingy white shirt as if he was grappling for a good reason to why that was the case but coming up with nothing and changing the subject. “Well we gotta talk to him first, that seems like what decent folks would do” The old coot said.

 

“What’s with his face?” The boy said as he leaned over the unconscious man.

 

“Yeah what’s with that?” Efron said as she joined the boy shoulder to shoulder bending over the unconscious stranger as he lay on his back on a bed made of old truck tires and unidentified furs, his breathing shallow.

 

“I think he’s one of them ladymen, they got in the city- although I wouldn’t know nothing about that” The old man blushed.

 

“So it’s like paint?” The little girl said as she prodded at the sleeping the stranger’s big red rose.

 

“They won’t come off” The boy said puzzled as the makeup wouldn’t so much as smudge.

 

The old man stopped stirring whatever it was he was cooking and readjusted a stool made of an old motorcycle seat and joined the kids in inspecting the unconscious man.

 

After a moment of contemplation he sighed heavily and said “They’re tattoos.”

 

“What are tattoos?” The little girl asked?

 

“They’re like drawings under your skin” The older boy said “Jeez don’t you know anything?” He sneered.

 

She scrunched up her face and stuck her tongue out at him making a raspberry noise. “I know more than you Zach buttrat brain!”

 

“Shut yer pieholes!” The old man shushed them harshly as he took his suspenders off his shoulders and took a closer look. He opened one of the man’s eyes and then took a closer prodding inspection with his fingers along the man’s side and found a small stab wound in his midsection. “Zach, get my sewing kit, would ya?”

 

“Err”

 

“Now!”

 

The boy bolted out of the door and after some scuffling and breaking noises he came back with a needle and thread and the old man went about stitching the wound and then putting a bandage over it.

 

“Hmm, bleeding already stopped, nothing good must have been hit, lucky bastard”. The old man scoffed.

 

Efron looked on, downtrodden “So we’re really not gonna eat him?” She whined.

 

The old man looked at her and then at the unconscious man and said “Someone’s gonna be looking for that boy.”

 

“How you know that gramps?” Zach said.

 

“Tattoos on his face, I’ve seen’em before – means he’s connected”

 

“Connected to what?” The little girl said.

 

“Circus folk, I haven’t see one for a long time but I think those markings on his face mean he’s one of them clown gangers”

 

“What’s a clown?”

 

The old man sighed deeply and said “A cold blooded killer.” An icy chill running through his words and down his back.

 

“Then why’d you help him?” The boy said in a harsh whisper.

 

“Ya see a long time ago, before all this, before you were born, in the bad bad times just after the almighty badness. Folks were wild, worse than they are now, I know it’s hard to imagine but it was fucking chaos-

 

People raping and eating eachother in the street, no law, no god, no judgement. Just blood and pain and mutation and suffering and out of that came a travelling circus lead by the devil himself and bound by some obscure code.

 

They purged the land of mutants and freaks and crazies and they united the bandit tribes of the wasteland into one travelling militia. The clowns were just one band of gangsters they recruited.

 

One man brought them all together, he called himself the ringmaster, he was worse than all of them combined, more terrible than any hammer or sickle. He lead a gang called the ‘Third ring’ and He beat the wasteland into shape and it limped on ever since.

 

The circus trying to hold it together moving from town to town putting on their show. Purging the wicked in a woodchip ring that’s what they were doing up in Woodsmoke, they take all the food they need and move on.

I hear they even snatch kids now to make bolster their ranks.” The old man paused and sighed as the two kids looked and listened silently. “That’s probably what happened to him. After the second food war, the chaos, lots of kids were left without parents and had no choice but to join.”

 

“How do you know all this old man?” The boy asked

 

“I used to be a carny – it’s like a really dirty person that does all the dirty jobs but I got too old, too tired, sick of cleaning up all that blood.”

 

“Then why help him, if he’s a monster?” The little girl asked without a hint of malice in her voice, instead a curious optimism eking out.

 

The old man let out another sigh “What else can we do? ‘Sides if he dies and they found out we just let him, and they have their ways mind you – no telling what they might do.”

 

Both the kids looked at the sleeping man with the silly crude smiling face drawn over his real face in a fearful awe as he began to stir.

 

The kids ran out of the shack. The shack itself was small and bare and made of rusty scrap corrugated iron so wobbled and bustled with every breeze. The whole thing clanged and banged as they ran around it and climbed on top of it.

 

The clown let out a groan and his hand listlessly touched his bandaged head.

 

“Ow” The clown said dreamily.

 

“Err ya bumped your head pretty bad, and I guess someone stabbed ya, I bandaged you up best I could but I’m not a magician”

 

“My sword”

 

“Look buddy, you were like this when we found ya, no sword, no shoes, no name.”

 

“Name?”

 

“Yeah we haven’t been introduced, they call me Gramps” He said with a sigh like he’d told a million people already and this was the million and first.

 

The shack rattled with the wind and banged with little footsteps on the roof.

 

The clown groaned as he tried to rise to a sitting position, seized with pain and fell back down and went limp.

 

“My name’s Pookie” He said breathlessly.

 

“Pookie?” A little girls voice rang with glee through a hole in the roof.

 

Surprised the clown looked up at the ceiling but she was gone before he clocked her but he could still hear her giggling.

 

“What was your name before?”

 

The clown didn’t respond.

 

“Look, I know what yer thinkin’. I didn’t take your stuff, we’re not the only scavvers out here. There’s a place over the mound, I traded with’em a couple of times but I wouldn’t trust them with a jar of warm piss.”

 

Pookie breathed in deeply and shifted his weight to the side of the makeshift bed and painfully levered himself off. Not accounting for how stiff he’d become just lying there, falling flat on his face.

 

“You can’t be movin’ around like that, you need to rest, you’ll get yisself killed foolin’ around like that.”

 

Pookie groaned again and tried his legs getting his knees up under him, holding his side.

 

The old man bit his lip and started looking around the shack and digging under a pile of clothes and hats. He pulled out a long dried looking stick with a little Y shape at the top.

 

“Here, if you’re fixed on getting yisself killed you might as well do it on yer two feet.” He lifted Pookie up to a standing position and slipped the stick under his arm. “Put your weight on that stick” He said as he clasped him by the shoulder. He looked weak, bandages wrapped all around his waist and head. He was skinny but lined with sinewy muscles and deep inset scars that looked decades old on top of obscure tattoos that danced up his arms and peaked up from out of the bandages on his back, the tail of a fish swished in a stream.

 

His face was a boy’s but hard, carved from sheet rock with red and white ink. A grotesquely large smile tore across his real mouth which was small and downturned. It flecked out almost like a brush stroke in a brutal crimson, red lines made an arc over his eyes and there was some bluing around the top lids on his forehead and a pair of black diamond shapes under each eye forming a disturbing mask, his face covered in war paint he could never take off. His hair was mostly shaved off in seemingly random patches and tied up into a high dark brown top knot on the back of his head.

 

He shifted his weight onto the stick and stood up on his own strength and the old man stepped away.

 

“Thanks” The clown said as he started to limp towards the opening of the shack.

 

The old man watched him go with a puzzled look on his face. “Yer welcome- and brush yer teeth!” He shouted after him.

 

The two kids watched him as he slowly limped and hopped his way over the mound as the sun reached its highest point, getting full and fat and ready to drop.

 

“Really think we should have eaten him” A little voice said from the hole in the roof.

 

 

The trappers house looked like an old station building the tracks that used to run parallel, long dug up and cannibalised, made into weapons or defences of some sort. Only the circus had use for trains and other such vehicles, it was for simple folk to use beasts of burden and their own two aching limbs. You saw some on bikes and even in cars but it was rare, fuel was more scarce than water in the wasteland. Nothing grew here anymore, it was just barren, open country.

 

The house wasn’t much to look at, just an old wood building that looked like it was in constant disrepair, covered as it was with different coloured wood patches and wire mesh where the window glass used to be.

 

The yard was full of empty rusty cages and broken down tractors and train cars and junk. The house itself was situated at the bottom of the mound in a hilly region so there was no doubt he was seen coming over and down the shallow hill. But surprise was never on his mind.

 

He made his way slowly down the hill trying not to fall over his own feet watching for the windows. He walked through the yard trying not to get tetnis, looking at all the rust and junk. Everything from the old dead world lovlingly collected and allowed to rot right here.

 

Pookie didn’t get within a fifteen feet of the house before a stout bald man wearing nothing but a pair of dungarees kicked open his own door like he was gate crashing a barn dance.

 

“Wh-th-hel-re-wht-ya-wnt? He warbled, all his words trying to get out of his mouth at once and coming out as a garbled mess running together and bumping into eachother.

 

Pookie breathed heavy leaning on the old stick but said nothing.

 

“Cnt-ya-tlk-ya-tarded?” His head was thick and round like an egg and he had no neck to speak of, his head was just a seamless, sweaty, greasy transition to a stout little body and stubby limbs.

 

The man got impatient and slammed a chair leg full of rusty nails against one of the support of the porch making a loud sound and gouging a chunk of old wood out of the strut.

 

“What’s the gaff pops?” A younger version of the man in front of him stepped out of the house. He had a full mop of greasy black hair under a black and white striped moth eaten fedora and he wore a long black leather coat a shirt underneahe with a cat on it but most notably he wore a sword on his back.

 

“What’s all the racket paw?” Another voice said, but it was a softer and what looked like a woman stepped onto the porch with a frying pan in her hand. The ‘woman’ was the tallest of the bunch with a chin and stubble that could cut glass. She tossed a waft of toxic green wig hair out of ‘her’ face and said “Who’s this handsome man?”

 

“The-hel-r-ya?”

 

“Nobody” Pookie answered.

 

The three looked at eachother confused and then laughed.

 

“Wow bro, you’re super edgey, like your edge cut me over here” The kid said scratching his patchy neck beard. Pookie watched the sword jangle on his back as he spoke.

 

They stopped laughing and got serious. “Teh-hel-ya-wnt?”

 

“The sword” Pookie said.

 

“Eh?” The older man said.

 

“You wannit, you gotta come and get it” The kid said. “I aint afraid of some crippled heshe.” He said as he cockily dismounted the porch and made his way towards the still Pookie.

 

“Kek” The boy smirked and reached for the handle of the sword. It was an odd design, coloured like a red and white lollipop, or a candy striped barber poll with an evil laughing clown face as a pommel it’s mouth open wide.

 

“Ya-cnt-drw-a-swrd-frm-yer-bck-ya-idjt!”

 

“Daaaad, I can do it, I’ve been practicing in the mirror!” The kid said as he turned around to yell at his father.

 

The kid took a firm grip on the handle and tugged hard but it dragged the scabbard with it. He only managed to choke himself with the strap he had around his torso.

 

“Hawhawhaw!” His dad laughed.

 

The kid blushed and then remembered to grab the bottom of the scabbard. He rounded the blade out of the sheathe making a scraping noise and then the blade laughed. The handle let out a cheesey clown laugh on repeat and LED lights on the pommel in the clowns eyes lit up for a few seconds before shutting off.

 

“Hahahahahaha” The man and the ‘woman’ were now in hysterics laughing at the boy and his ridiculous sword.

 

“Wut-a-stpd-pisa-crp!” The older man snorted almost crying.

 

“Daaaadd, you’re embarrassing me!” The kids face got red as he craned his neck to chastise his father but then as he got no response but more laughter he turned his red freckled fat face at Pookie who stared straight passed him as if he wasn’t even there.

 

“You think you can fuck with me?” He swallowed loud and puffed up his chest straining his kitty t-shirt with his man boobs pulling it apart. “I’m your worst nightmare!” The kid took up a firm stance he must have seen in an old comic book and put two hands on the sword as tight as he little fat hands could and he ran straight at Pookie with the blade in the air.

 

He swung it down with both hands like a baseball bat and hit nothing but dirt.

 

Pookie stood right over him and breathed in his face.

 

The kid reeled back pulling the sword with him, the mirror polished blade tossing loose dirt as it retreated.

 

“Your breath stinks!”

 

Pookie smiled and stuck out his tongue.

 

“The fuck is wrong with you? I’ll kill you!” He slashed for Pookie head in a rough semi circle. But it was slow with no care for edge alighnment, just swinging away like he was hammering a nail, so each strike was getting too much wind resistance. With every missed strike he it took more out of him. Each clumsy miss left him more out of breath.

 

Before long the boy was toppled over fighting for breath. Pookie was watching the sun go down not having broken a sweat. He stared at that big ball in the sky with his back turned to the boy as he heaved for air vomitting on in his own lap.

 

“You know- kind of suck at this” Pookie said without looking at him.

 

The kid instantly flew into a rage and staggered to his feet running with all his strength, the sword tip held high determined to run Pookie through.

 

It was then that he felt it, the rushing tide, the blood pumping, his muscles awake and supple, the need. The desire to kill that spurred him, the roar of the crowd, that sound it made when air escaped a perfect cut.

 

He was lost for a minute and then the kids heavy footfalls reminded him of where he was. He turned to see the kid trying to skewer him in slow motion and not a thought crossed his mind before he turned the blade around and impaled the kid on it. He didn’t even think about it, it just happened.

 

Pookie pulled the sword out of the kid. It was covered in blood all the way even past the hilt and he slumped into the dirt to join all that junk in the old world.

 

“Sonofabitch” the vaguely feminine creature shrieked with the frying pan overhead.

 

Pookie still leaning on the crutch, his bloody laughing sword hanging loose at his side as the crazed he/she charged at him, Pookie limped slowly closer.

 

She/he/it over shot their attack and Pookie had cut them three times before frying pan came down. They walked a few steps before the dress they were wearing seemed to peel off in sections and the green wig fell off, blood slowly seeping as he fell forward.

 

“Fkn-pissa-sht” The older man said as he loaded and cocked some sort of makeshift cross bow made from animal gut and car parts, tears streaming down his egg-like face.

 

Pookie looked up at him, his face covered in blood, his eyes sad and empty. “Just the sword”.

 

The old man swallowed and stared for a long time at the bodies and at Pookie and he shook and after a long moment he lowered the crossbow and watched Pookie limp away.

 

 

Pookie collapsed in front of the old man’s tin shack, Efron and Zach stared at the odd figure through the door.

 

The old man approached him, the sword fallen in front of him in it’s pin stripe scabbard covered in weird stickers and he saw the blood.

 

“I told you not to go”

 

“Did you?” Pookie said into the dirt. His eyes open and clear staring at nothing.

 

“You’re close to death, you should rest.”

 

“It’s not the first time” He said dreamily.

 

The old man cleared his throat and eased the stranger to his feet and helped him into the shack.

 

When the stranger woke up again it was light and the old man was again leaning over the makeshift cooking pot an odd smell was emanating from it.

 

“Thank you- again.”

 

The old man let out a heavy breath and said “You told me it wasn’t the first time you’d been close to death.”

 

“I did.”

 

“You wanna tell me about that?”

 

“-Not really”

 

“Ha-“ The old man paused and breathed deeply raising his back as he stirred. “You didn’t have to kill them ya know”

 

“I know.”

 

The old man sighed again. “I think you should clear out as soon as you can”

 

Pookie groaned and peeled himself off the bed. He looked around the inside of the tin shack catching glimpses of the kids sneaking peeks at him through the holes. “I think you’re right”

 

“Nearest town, is north west over the ridge”

 

“Thanks” He groaned as he got to his feet and breathed heavy and sore like two planks of unplained wood rubbing together. He looked around for his sword and he saw it resting against the door next to his walking stick. He stopped for a second to think and then picked up the sword and walked out the door leaving the stick behind.

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