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.
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.”
Read the rest on inkitt Imaginary folklore
Got some more of that wacky clown anime action stuff I guess haha.
I dunno I’m kinda just fucking around right now waiting for inspiration to hit me and jump start my next big project while also thinking seriously about getting Diana off the ground and grinding my teeth waiting, endlessly waiting.
I got older recently haha, I won’t say how old but it started me thinking about some things and also I went to the doctor finally to get a referral to see if I actually do have aspergers. And those two things colliding got me thinking even harder about the paths I chose and whether or not I chose them at all, or maybe I just fell into them and that’s why I’m in the hole I am right now.
I was thinking to myself about the choices I made in the past and my dreams and fantasies I had about myself. Because I always wanted to be a writer, ever since secondary school but I told myself I would be a character from a book before I wrote them. So I tried to go to the root of all awesome characters and join the army and it didn’t go well.
I mean some stupid thing stopped me, just one stupid thing I said completely changed my path and I can’t say for the worse because thinking about it now I don’t see how I could have ever made army life work. I mean I think I could have but knowing what I know or I think I know about myself now I don’t think I have the social skills to really be an effective part of a unit. I’ve always been a loner, I’ve always sort out my own space or felt alone even in a crowd and just wanted to get behind a locked door as soon as I could. And I think the aspergers thing might explain a lot of that.
But I always cherished the people that would force me to go outside and interact with people and hated them too, pushed them away if I could, isolated myself. I just can’t help it, I feel bad about it but it’s just in my nature. I can’t wait to see people I cherish but also in the back of mind I’m relieved when I don’t, I’m at peace when I’m alone. I’m happy when they’re with me but I also can’t wait til I’m alone with my thoughts again.
Loneliness terrifies but I also crave solitude on an instinctual level.
Even in the job I work now, it was initially customer facing but somehow I managed to transform it into a job where I’m alone most of the time but still making more money. Basically just through an anal level of attention to detail I made my own job and made myself vital in some sense to the organisation at my work. I completely removed myself from customer interaction to essentially focus on the engine of the business itself, like the wizard of oz working the levers behind the curtains, you don’t see me but you feel my presence when things are going right.
I just don’t know how that would translate in any other job because that’s what I’ve been thinking about, facing the reality of this THIS not working out. If Diana flops I can’t see the validity of continuing on really because I completely lack the part of my brain that would give me the social skills to craft my own fanbase and I don’t have the clout or the right hook to find an agent to do it for me.
I could keep lying to myself and just blindly keep carrying on until I’m dead and one day someone unearths my work and so desperate for story uses it to make some shitty movie. But now I don’t know because soon enough the world I came to know, this comfortable bubble I exist in will pop and I’ll be all alone and have to abandon it just to eat and stay warm and moreover there’s someone I NEED to see. Someone I NEED to be known and remembered by.
And sadly I need money to do that, a lot of money.
I don’t know who to trust or who to take advice from, nothing seems to make sense, but I feel a change is coming and everyday it gets harder to see the future and I just feel its crushing weight upon me and all I can do is tell myself everything will be ok, but by what standard?
I know I’m lazy, I know it’s pathetic and I know only I can make a change but I don’t know what path to take and it’s so much easier to sit and wait for an opportunity that might never arise to come.
I want to be with the ones I love but I also crave being left alone in this hole I made myself and I hate myself for feeling that way, I fucking hate feeling like that. It’s like being a vampire who craves the light but loves the dark too much to leave. Terrible analogy, I suck at analogies as always.
I just don’t know what to do and I feel like all I have to do is wait, but for how long?
Who can say?
I mean this whole thing is not so much for you as it is for me, I have no one else to talk to so I’m sort of talking to myself, trying to understand how I feel about it and I can’t tell if it’s helping.
Anyway I can’t keep harping on about this, getting nothing more than this done today will just exacerbate the problem of not feeling like I’m making good use of my time on this earth and then worrying about whether that contribution is really worth anything.
The night was uncommonly warm and seemed to hum with an unnatural energy, an electricity which vibrated the ground. It was dark as dark could get. Years of pollution had dulled every star and the night sky was a pitch blanket. But still glowed with a vile orange effulgence that made it almost possible to see the outline of every rock and tree. Just barely.
There was no doubt someone was watching him, Pookie could feel eyes on him. Efron was following him with the little candle from the shack. “Put out that light” he whispered.
“Just do it.”
The little girl blew the candle out and let the darkness take them for a ride. Their eyes adjusting to the radiant glow of the orange night. There was a light, a dim echo of one strangled to a fine point. They passed several dark shacks like the one they awoke in. Pookie was still and quiet and listened for breathing, farting or any movement at all but surmised they were all empty.
As they got closer to the light they could see that it was coming from an opening in a small cave. The cave was little more than a hole in the ground that lead down under a large slab of rock.
“Are we going in there?” Efron whispered.
“It would be a pretty boring plot point if we didn’t” Pookie said.
“You could call it ‘subverting expectations’” Someone behind them said.
They both turned together to see someone grotesquely lit by the dim torch light of the cave and they froze stifling a shriek.
But it was just Canard.
“What are you doing here?” Pookie whispered emphatically.
“I got bored”
“How did you sneak up on me with one leg?”
Canard grinned and let his head loll to one side. “Buddy I could sneak up on you with no legs”
“That would be pretty easy actually, like squirming on the ground like a worm.” Efron chimed in trying to get between them, standing on her tip toes.
Pookie glared at him and Canard glared back.
“You can’t hear that, that humming noise?” Canard broke the brittle silence.
“I thought that was just my ears ringing” Pookie said wiggling his little finger in his ear trying to get the irritating noise out.
“I hear it too” Efron said, her eyes wide and excited by the cool night air.
“We going in or not?” Canard said.
“After you” Pookie said, his eyes locked on the deadly bird.
“Be my guest” Canard retorted returning the icy glare, retreating back into uncomfortable silence.
“Weeeee” Efron said as she ran into the cave waving her arms like an airplane.
They followed her into the cave shushing her as they went.
Inside the cave it was predictably dark but less dark than outside as it was lit by some fire deeper down in the cave.
The followed the glow which had started out a white yellowish colour but was getting more green as they made their way deeper into the cave. The heat too was becoming unbearable and the humming sound was all around them.
They made their through a small alcove which opened onto an outcropping overlooking the main chamber.
The main chamber was a grand irregular dome shaped room lit by a huge bonfire. The bonfire glowed and burned violently with a green flame rising almost to the ceiling. But strangely producing almost no smoke and what smoke it did produce was ventilated through a small hole in the roof of the cave.
Hundreds of cloaked figures knelt around the fire. The strange humming noise was now revealed to be coming from them. They droned in a form of odd ritualistic chanting that was completely unintelligible. But sounded something like a girl in a tentacle porn hentai saying ‘no’ over and over again. And then something that sounded like someone trying to say ‘chicken fingers’ while sneezing.
Pookie et al ducked behind the outcropping of the irregular stone to watch in bemused astonishment.
“What are they doing?” Efron said.
“Err” Pookie said as he stared intently at the shifting throng as they gyrated strangely.
One figure emerged from the crowd dressed almost exactly the same as the others but with his hood down and walking with a long stick. He walked seemingly with some difficulty as if his legs weren’t fit for walking on just the two anymore. He ascended a raised carved stone podium backed by a makeshift fence of some sort made from scrap metal, consisting of road signs and tar.
He turned to his flock, his face seemed to glow green and his grey hair too, what was left of it shone unnaturally in uneven tufts on his head. A big set of moist bug eyes in his head looking everywhere and taking up most of the space on his wet looking face darted around the room.
The crowd hummed with excitement and the torches flickered.
“THE DAY OF PROPHECY HAS COME!”
“That’s what you said last week!” A heckler at the back said.
“WHO SAID THAT?!” The man at the podium said narrowing his bulbous eyes. “I thought as much!” He said as no one came forward to claim their remarks.
“I KNOW SOME OF YOU ARE TIRED, IRRITABLE. WAITING FOR THE ONE THAT WOULD BRING US UP OUT OF THIS EXISTENCE AND ELEVATE US TO OUR RIGHTFUL PLACE AS GODS OF THIS WORLD!”
“TOO LONG WE’VE BEEN DOWN HERE KEPT ALIVE ONLY BY THE GLOWING RIVER OF LIFE THAT RUNS THROUGH OUR VILLAGE. IT’S HEALING POWERS MAKING US STRONG AND EXTENDING OUR LIVES AS THE WATER RUNS THROUGH OUR VEINS.”
“FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS WE’VE WAITED AND WATCHED AS THE ONES ABOVE LAYED WASTE TO THIS WORLD.” He paused and scanned the crowd as if it was them that had done it.
“THE RAIDERS, THE MONGRELS, THE MARAUDERS AND MADMEN AND OF COURSE- THE CLOWNS”
“WHILE THESE GANGS OF WAISTRELS DESTROYED, RAPED AND PILLAGED JOINING FORCES TO TURN THIS WORLD INSIDE OUT. WE WAITED HERE FOR THE ONE WHO WOULD BRING US THE KEY TO OUR SALVATION.”
“AND THAT TIME IS UPON US!”
The crowd cheered uproariously at this as he swept them into a frenzy.
“WITH THIS GIRL, WE WILL MARCH ON THE SURFACE ONCE MORE” The strange man jeered and lifted Efron up as if she was Simba in the lion king.
“Wait what?” Pookie said looking over at the space Efron was just in now vacant.
“Huh?” Canard said also noting her absence.
If you wanna checkout the rest of the chapter or more weird stuff head on over to my inkitt page. Taint no sin
So this is the concluding part to the first little 3 Ring novella about favourite clown samurai; Pookie.
I’m planning to do this on and off, just short and fun episodic novellas with different enclosed little beats. I wouldn’t say ‘story’ this one doesn’t really have much of an enclosed story on it’s own but the idea for the plot is from a kung fu movie I like, kung fu movies not known for their shakesperian storylines.
It’s just a fun little series I can keep on with in between things I’m working on, maybe I could get some of it in an anthology or a magazine eventually, who knows. For now I’m just blowing off steam with it, a bit of fun between more serious work I’m doing.
Bit of a shitty week honestly, only had two solid days of writing, then I had to go to work on father’s day and it was pretty depressing. Just watching all those happy families and knowing in the pit of my soul that that would never be me. It really upset me and then even when I got home I couldn’t shake the feeling and there was no one I could turn to.
So I’ll probably have a poem about that feeling tomorrow maybe. I wrote some on my break but I got distracted.
Very little bitching about the witcher today. I’m finally getting to some of the romance between Geralt and Yen and it’s I dunno, sometimes this book strikes me as if the author thinks he’s shakespeare and he can just have people spout flowery shit and then they have sex and that somehow constitutes romance. I guess to some people but I can’t tell if he’s an idiot or a genius in this regard. But this isn’t really a romance, it’s sort of an anti-romance because all the while I’m wondering why they love eachother when every scene they share it seems they literally can’t stand eachother.
Later he has this interaction with one of her other lovers (of which supposedly she has several) and it basically rips into their romance by pointing out that Geralt has no human emotions because he’s a mutant and Yen doesn’t love her as much as she’s intrigued by him and under a genie’s spell. So basically they don’t love eachother, Geralt just fancies her and is afraid he can’t get anyone else to stay with him because he literally can’t give them the love of a normal man. So it’s not really a romance since neither of them can truly be in love with the other.
So that’s an interesting part, the characters aren’t really likeable, Yen is horrible and Geralt is just sort of a placeholder character, he’s not really interesting on his own. The story too seems more interested in subverting expectations than actually being good. I mean it’s all well and good if you can surprise the reader but if the surprise is nothing happens, that’s not a good surprise.
I don’t mind if something is predictable as long as it’s good and interesting and fun. The first story is basically this huge build up to Geralt fighting a dragon which he decides not to do. The next story is about him having a duel with a mage which he walks away from. Oh yeah, really subverted my expectations by not having interesting things happen in your action fantasy book, really blowing my socks off here.
Well that’s enough of that I guess, the Parker book is probably the slowest and worst one of the series so far but it’s still miles better than the witcher and even the most boring parts where nothing is happening still manage to maintain tension and work really well. So it’s not a bad book, it’s fantastic but it’s just not as good as some of the others. I think it may just be that you’re seeing a softer side of Parker we shouldn’t be seeing. Because for me Parker is just this ineffable statuesque character that can never be stopped or show any weakness and in this he seems a little off and I think that’s done on purpose to show that his involvement with this woman is softening him and putting him at risk.
Anyway, enough waffling, hope you enjoy the samurai clown action and hold on for more fantasy brutality when I release more Cur.
The moon was high and Crow had grown tired of waiting for the clown to wake. His claw sang to him as he scratched the glass and it thirsted for the clown’s blood, whispering thusly.
He knew honor dictated that his foe should be conscious. But his mind and his claw would come up with a million and one good reasons why the code of honor didn’t apply. Such as ‘it only counted in the circus and he was a traitor, a ronin, a vagabond’, ‘no one would know’, ‘it would feel sooooo good!’.
The boy that was watching over him had long fallen asleep in his chair and Crow had given up pretense of hiding and was perched on the window ledge.
He scratched longingly at the glass staring at the mound of covers he knew the clown to be sleeping under like a cat licking the side of an aquarium.
“Ooh I c-can’t, I c-can’t wait!”
Almost on it’s own his claw started to scratch and scrape at a pain of glass in the hatched window. And as if on pure accident the small pain popped out and fell soundlessly on the inner windowsill.
Crow felt his mask rising as his face stretched into a drawn out long grin. It must be fate, the glass just fell out. The night, the moon wants me to kill him, he told himself as without thinking he snaked his free hand through the window and unlatched it.
Slowly he eased the window up, it was sticky but he managed to open it silently. Staring his empty cold eyes at the sleeping boy, his chin to his chest drooling and snoring loudly.
He thought about silencing the boy permanently, but something told him that the clown should be the one that dies first.
Crow dropped soundlessly into the room, rolling like a dust bunny from hell. He tiptoed towards the bed and then without telegraphing he leapt like he was wires. With an inhuman speed and agility he pounced on the sleeping Pookie stabbing and shredding the bed with an animal furosity.
“Huh, n-no blood, w-where’s the blood?” He shrieked and stabbed the head under the covers and was startled by a loud popping noise. He withdrew his claw attached to the end was a balloon with a silly clown face drawn on it quickly deflating with an anti-climatic farting noise.
Crow bobbed his head nervously and swivelled his eyes around the room. The boy somehow was still asleep, still snoring loudly and drooling even more than before.
He swivelled his head like an animal and looked at the closet.
“Ah s-so you’re hiding, like a coward.”
He hopped off the bed with no noise except the tired springs of the bed sighing.
His skinny sandaled feet touched down weightlessly and he came around the bed to reach the closet.
The crow fell forward as a quick swiping sound and a flash of silver caused one of his legs to fall off as it was attached by a clasp that suddenly burst. He stood looking down at it puzzled as blood began to spurt from the stump.
Pookie rolled out from under the bed and sprung to his feet putting the sword to the crow’s throat.
“I do balloon animals too- for the kids.”
The crow laughed maniacally moving the sword away from his throat with his three pronged claw “Just a s-scratch”
“Even a one legged crow can still f-fly!” He shrieked as he leapt as if his one leg was a pogo stick. He mounted Pookie’s shoulders and started to furiously scratch and slash at Pookie’s back. He was far too fast and unpredictable for Pookie to fight back and too close for him strike with his sword. All he could do was feebly slam the freak against the thin wooden walls as he mauled him like a cat.
In one fluid motion he threw Crow out of the window. Without hesitation Pookie leaned out to see where he landed but saw nothing but a claw flying into his face he only had time to block with his fleshy hand. The claw pierced right through and the crow pulled him right through the window. His sword hanging on just barely as he slid down the slanted metal roof covered in broken glass.
He slid all the way down catching onto some gutter with his bleeding hand, his sword hand hanging loose as he dangled off the roof. The drop wasn’t that high but it would still hurt. But before he could even consider making the drop a slender hand wrapped around his wrist and his face was an inch away from the black crow mask.
“Need a hand?” He raised his claw.
Pookie looked down at his sword hanging loose and then up at the curved points of the claw hook. There was a brief moment of silence that seemed to last an eternity.
Then out of nowhere an odd whooping whistling sound and a spray of blood hit Pookie’s face. The Crow’s head fell off and rolled over his shoulder and then they were both falling.
“Oops” Finch smiled under his mask as his glaive boomeranged back around. He caught it in his armoured gauntlet with a mechanical locking noise.
Pookie groaned as he lay in the loose top dust on the ground, Crow’s dismembered body lying next to him. He rose to an indian sitting position with a painful creaking noise, cracking his neck from side to side shaking off the cobwebs. He looked at Crow’s body “Did I do that?”
A sudden shrinking feeling put his teeth on edge as he heard wooden sandals clacking on metal roves coming closer. Realising it wasn’t over he scrabbled to his feet and listened. It was dark now, but the moon was high and the stars were stage lights twinkling. It was deathly quiet, just the wind and the creaking of wooden buildings and the long way off call of some nocturnal beast, a coyote or an owl, both.
He’d landed in a tight back alley with lots of cover but he was out in the open, the saloon backed onto a bunch of houses that looked empty in the dark. Two story shacks with wooden shutters.
There was that damn whooping noise again, like a bat or some kind of bird swooping down on him. He batted it away with his sword and sparks split the night in two for just a moment and flew away again.
It came down again and he had to roll, which was a bad move forgetting all the cuts on his back. Rolling through the dirt hurt like hell and he probably picked up more damn glass from the window.
It was no good, he had to run and find some place where he wasn’t so exposed
He took off in a random direction that damn noise following him. The feet clacking and the blade spinning and getting closer nipping at his heels like some flying cockerspaniel.
Pookie bust open some little shack and barricaded the door with a hatrack. The whooping sound reached it’s peak as he slammed the door in the face of the flying cockerspaniel. Only to get a long curved blade stopping an inch from his face as it embedded itself with into the door.
Pookie opened the door again and yanked the thing out of the wood. It was almost like a bladed boomerang or shuriken. Made- it seemed from some kind of cross shaped tool forged into a shape reminiscent of a bladed swastika.
He looked at it with some puzzlement before sticking it down the back of his trousers and sheepishly poking his head out of the door. Looking up and around the roofs and ledges he gingerly exited the shack and started to look up and down the street. And then the noise came again louder and faster and seemingly in greater numbers.
Two of the damn things criss crossing coming right at him, he ducked one and the other cut the whiskers off his chin.
He heard a shrill laughter in the dead silence “YOU DIDN’T THINK I’D HAVE ANY MORE RIGHT?”
Pookie tried to place the voice but it echoed off the buildings and travelled all around him. He was too busy not getting his head cut off to see where the blades flew back to or if they came at all. Pookie had no choice but to get to higher ground. He scaled the ramshackle buildings using the rough edges of wood and large gaps in the planks, keeping an ear pinned for those spinning blades.
He reached the top and got his footing and then waited and listened. They came again one right at him, the other on a curved trajectory coming around his side. He dodged the first and deflected the other up over his head with his sword.
“YOU CAN’T KEEP THAT UP FOREVER.”
Pookie sneered but he couldn’t disagree, there was no way he could keep this up, the blades would keep coming and just ware him down or wait til he made a mistake. He had to think of something.
Finch quickly caught and launched another volley from his perch on a richety old wooden water tower overlooking the saloon. It creaked and moaned under him as he shifted his weight to throw the two shurikens.
He’d staggered them so he could use one hand to launch both, he just threw one after the other as soon as caught them in his gauntlet.
He watched them quickly disappear into the night only catching glimpses as the moonlight touched them. He smiled as they got closer to the clown running around like an ant on the rooftops below.
The clown flipped and flopped around barely escaping them once again. Finch simply snickered and planned a new trajectory in his head as he watched the blades arcing back to his position.
“Getting closer” He whispered.
The blades came back casting moonlight off of them like silver water. But there was something wrong, a sudden uneasiness gripped Finch. Struck by an imminent giddiness or vertigo, his face felt hot and he felt off balance as if realising a horrible miscalculation.
And at the last minute he saw it but it was too late.
He caught the first blade and before he could throw it back another – a third blade hidden in the shadow of it’s trajectory cut his hand off. It fell from the roof still holding the first blade. The second blade still coming unimpeded without any way to catch it Finch dodged uneasily, the blade cutting him along the side. He tumbled onto the rooftops below, sliding down the slick tin and onto the dusty ground below.
Finch was still for a moment. He stirred and then rose to his knees pulling his stump of a hand closer to his body. He took out another blade from his cloak and shouted “THAT WAS A CUTE TRICK, BUT IT CAN ONLY WORK ONCE!”
“It only has to work once” A voice above him said.
Finch looked up to see Pookie on the rooftop looking down at him. Finch scrambled to his feet and into a run as he flung the shuriken in his hand.
Pookie easily deflected it and jumped down to his level. He stopped and thoughtfully picked up Finch’s hand with the blade still clasped in it.
“Hey you forgot this”
Finch stopped only a few feet form Pookie in the shadow of the tall water tower, he turned holding his stump.
“You bastard, you couldn’t find me so you just copied the trajectory of their arc coming back. Hoping I wouldn’t notice a third blade under the others.”
“And you didn’t” Pookie smiled as he threw Finch’s hand down. “Can I go back to bed now?”
Finch thought for a moment and pulled out another blade and lifted it as if he meant to throw it.
“Haven’t we played this game already?” Pookie jeered.
Finch launched the blade with much more force than before but it was wild and in a wide uncontrolled arc. Pookie didn’t even have to move to dodge or deflect it.
It simply passed with a burst of air and that loud whooping noise.
Pookie was puzzled as he felt little droplets of water hitting him, followed by a loud creaking and snapping. He turned to see the water tower quickly buckling under it’s weight as one of it’s ramshackle supports had been cut away by Finch. The remaining supports wobbled and groaned painfully as the whole thing started to come down leaking from either side.
There was nowhere to go in the alley, and it all happened so fast. Pookie were pinned on either side by houses and there was no time to cut through Finch and outrun it.
He couldn’t think of anything else but to cut it. He held his sword over his head and watched in slow motion as all that water and steel and wood fell on him.
Finch’s continued to laugh maniacally until his laughter was turned into a high pitched yelping noise. As he was instantly crushed by the falling debris.
Everything went white for a second and he couldn’t breathe and then he opened his eyes and he was in his bed again.
“Was it a dream?”
“Err” Donny said motioning to the blood all over and the broken glass and then further swivelling to point out the street covered in wet debris.
“How did I-?”
“All that commotion woke me up and first I hid in the closet but then I thought you might need my help. So I got a little closer hiding in one of those houses and when I saw the tower coming down I opened a door and yanked you inside before the thing fell.”
“Don’t people live in those houses”
“I guess not” the kid smirked. “Aren’t too many folks live in a place like this, use to be a mining town I’ll bet but the mine must have gone dry, no mine, no miners.”
“I thought you lived here?”
“No I’m just visiting, I live in the next town over, it’s close enough so I can walk and see the shows twice.”
“You really like that stuff huh?”
“I mean, yeah, what else is there?”
“Huh, I never really thought about it that way”
“This world is nothing but suffering and blood and misery but- I dunno. I go in that big tent and it starts to feel like it’s not real. Like it’s all just one big show and we’re just performers and death is just a game we all play- there’s just something about that you know?”
The clown groaned as he turned over “You might be right”.
The kid smiled as he looked at the back of the clowns head and then he saw the scratches on his back. “You know you should really get those looked at, they might be infected.”
“Ah I dated a chick with long nails once, I’ll be fine.”
“I dunno-“ Donny was cut off by a loud whirring noise and he turned to see the door shaking. A small blade sawing through the door launching wood chips and dust into the room.
“Goddamit!” Pookie yelled as he reached for the sword resting against the wall next to the bed. “People are trying to sleep in here” He shouted as he quickly unsheathed his sword letting out that mocking laughter.
The saw cut a precise square out of the door. Turkey then retracted the blade slowly allowing the square piece of door to fall away replacing it with his masked face.
“Heeeerrr-“ Turkey was cut off as Pookie, frustrated just turned the blade over in his hand and launched the sword like a spear through the door. Pinning Turkey in place, the blade still laughing. He then rolled over and slept the rest of the night.
In the morning he woke to birds cawing outside, the sky was a bruised putrid orange. Pookie felt somewhat rested although he hurt in numerous places, more numerous to count. He got out of bed drowsily, he picked up his sword sheathe puzzled by it’s lack of a sword and looking out the window. Seeing the streets covered in debris like a hurricane passed through. He slipped on a patch of almost congealed blood on the floor as he stumbled towards the door. Confronted by the Turkey mask through the square porthole and the silly face of his sword pommel staring back at him.
He shrugged and pulled the sword out of the door resulting in a loud thudding noise as Turkey’s body hit the ground. He looked over the blade before tutting and wiping it on his pants and sliding it back in his sheathe. He yawned opened the door and stepped over Turkey’s body going down for breakfast.
Donny waved as he sat waiting in the booth one to the right of the one he was sitting in the other day.
The pool players were gone and only the old coots remained still playing their game.
“Morning” he croaked.
Pookie just winced holding his head in a freshly bandaged palm as he sat his sword down next to him in the booth.
“How’d you sleep?”
“Like a baby”
“You should thank Ethel, she came in and treated the scratches on your back, your hand too. She was even more annoyed when you didn’t scream after she poured grain alcohol on them. Didn’t even wake you.”
“I’m a real deep sleeper” Pookie reached down to feel the plasters and ointments on his back. He turned over to the bar where the old woman was grimacing and polishing bar glass.
“Err- thanks – Ethel.”
She just grunted back angrily and pretended the glass she was vigorously rubbing was a clown’s face.
Pookie sighed leaning back on his seat “I need to get out of this town” He winced as he put pressure on the cuts. His side too was still giving him trouble.
“You can come back with me, my town is ok, I mean you haven’t trashed it yet” He laughed.
“Is it far?”
“Nah, just gotta go over a gorge, but it’s no big deal, I do it all the time.”
Ethel interrupted them by throwing down two plates of eggs down on the table and storming off.
“I paid up for everything so we can head out as soon as you finish breakfast- boy my friends won’t believe this, I’ll be the coolest kid for miles” He smirked.
“THE CLOWN THAT CALLS HIMSELF POOKIE!” A booming voice shouted. “I’M GIVING YOU TEN SECONDS TO COME OUT AND FACE ME”
“-OR ELSE WHAT?” Pookie shouted back.
“Hmm” Cardinal thought about it for a minute before dropping his chain sickle to the floor. He started to spin it over his head like a lasoo and then threw it through the window. Hooking Ethel through the throat before yanking her out of the window like a ragdoll.
“TEN- NINE – EIGHT- screw it!” He started to spin the chain over his head faster and faster until it was spinning like a helicopter blade or a giant blender. He started to throw it and pull chunks out of the building, first collapsing the porch with a crashing snapping noise. He seemed intent on pulling the building down on top of Pookie. The chain whipped past the bar like the tentacle of a giant squid smashing all the liquor bottles and the lamp that was on the side igniting it instantly.
“We gotta get outta here” The kid said.
“Nah, I was gonna get out a packet of wienies”
There was a loud banging outside like a crash of thunder and an old man was standing behind the man in the bird mask.
“We’ve got a deal with you folks, we give ya food, our women, our kids, in return you leave us alone. – that’s the deal” The old man was thin and bowed and had a heavy looking sheriff badge pinned to a plaid shirt.
Cardinal turned and without saying anything he brought the chain down and cut the sheriff in half right down the centre.
“No!” Another voice said. “You didn’t have to kill him!”
The deputy ran to the sheriff’s body, tears in his eyes. “He was just a silly old man, you didn’t have to kill him.”
Cardinal stepped forward and said nothing. “He was your friend?”
“He was my uncle” The deputy said as he pointed the gun at Cardinal still on his knees, still with tears in his eyes.
“I see- “ Cardinal launched the chain at the deputy, it snaked and wrapped around his forearm yanking the gun loose pulling him forward. He pulled the chain back and forth yanking the deputy around by his arm. Painfully punctuating every turn with a bone cracking sound and a pained yelping from the young lad.
“But I did have to kill him, just as I have to kill you. We are all born into this world with a singular purpose and once we find it, we have no choice but to carry it out until our end.”
He yanked him forward and he fell into the dry dusty top soil, tears streaming down his face “Why? Why do we have to suffer, for that goddamn clown? Just kill him and get out of here and never come back!”
“Why do you have to suffer? Because you exist, you were born to suffer. If I did not make you suffer you would make yourself suffer, drink or bore yourself to death, is it any better than dying here in the dirt like this? Would you prefer he died of old age alone with shit in his trousers barely conscious?”
“Honk honk” A voice above them said.
Cardinal laughed and covered his eyes with his hand to look up at Pookie with the sun behind him standing on the roof of the burning building.
“I was wondering when you would make your grand entrance- you’ve done well up to now, you gave my comrades good deaths and I thank you for that. Shall we get on with it?”
“Get on with what?”
“My- “ Pookie shit a brick as the burning saloon started to collapse under him and he stumbled to tactically fall off the building landing on his arse. He got up and rubbed his bottom. “I meant to do that”.
“Pookie the clown! You have been found guilty of killing your master Chuckles the clown lord, do you accept judgement?”
“I- I mean- you weren’t there!”
“Yes or no!
“No!- fuck no!- I didn’t mean to- it was an accident!”
“There are no accidents, the chain of fate is one unbroken- err chain” A moment passed.
There was another thunder crack and something heavy hit Cardinal in the shoulder and there was a light puff of blood.
He turned and yanked the chain tossing the deputy against the wall, his body going limp and the gun dropping by his head.
Before he could turn Pookie pulled the cord and let out that ridiculous whirring kazoo noise. With one hand on the handle as a counter weight and his other hand pulling. The blade shot out at an incredible speed and Pookie cut Cardinal across his back.
Cardinal span and tossed the chain around Pookie’s sword arm flipping him over his shoulder. The sickle came down in Cardinal’s hand and he planted it right next to Pookie’s head missing his ear by a hair as he rolled.
“You can’t fight your destiny, you can’t stand against the caravan. They’ll kill you and everyone that ever laid eyes on you!”
“What’s so special about me?”
“Nothing- nothing at all” He threw the sickle at Pookie hungering for his death but the sickle stopped short and hooked into the ground. “What?”
Cardinal turned to see his chain was hung up on Pookie’s scabbard which was stuck in the ground. “How annoying!” He quickly unlooped the chain and turned to see that Pookie was gone “Huh?”
“Those masks don’t give you a lot of peripheral vision huh?” He said right next to him.
Pookie slashed him across the chest and once more downward toward the groin and Cardinal fell to his knees.
“They look cool though”. He said walking towards his back as he knelt.
“Thanks” Was the last word Cardinal said before Pookie cut his head off with one quick strike.
A couple of hours later Pookie lead by Donny wearing his travelling gear which consisted of a wide brim straw hat. A long segmented hiking stick and galoshes to the gorge he spoke of which was crossable via a sad looking rope bridge.
“Cool huh? This would be like an awesome spot for a final boss battle” The kid forshadowed.
“Yup” Pookie’s face looked long and drawn starring at the old bridge hanging over the wide gorge. A torrent of dirty irradiated water flowing beneath it.
The kid smiled “Don’t worry about it, I’ll cross first, show you it’s safe.” He took a step forward then turned back and laughed. “Besides you fall in there you’ll probably come out with super powers or something!”
“Or an extra toe”.
“I’d rather have a spare than missing one.” He called over his shoulder as he slowly traversed the swaying rope bridge carefully holding on to either side of the fraying ropes. He made it across dismounted with a little hop as if he expected applause.
“Your turn” he shouted playfully.
Pookie hiked up his baggy pants, his sword bobbing up and down as he cautiously took his first step onto the bridge.
The bridge reluctantly took the clown’s weight moaning and creaking as he edged his way gingerly across.
It was only when he made it about halfway across before he heard a hideous snapping cracking noise and he felt the boards shifting under his feet. He struggled to get his balance as the bridge started to collapse the parts breaking away like falling leaves.
The only part that remained was a single piece of rope connecting one end of gorge to the other that Pookie precariously balanced on. Shifting his weight back and forth wobbling in and out trying to stay upright.
“I guess I underestimated you” A voice said.
Pookie turned to see Donny kicking his galoshes off as he expertly mounted the tight rope. His bare feet clinging to it tightly like another set of hands. He walked along the rope with ease, like it wasn’t even there, his walking cane held out in front of him for balance.
“I was sure you’d be washed up by now” Donny smiled as he cast a glance at the toxic rapids below.
“Who are you?”
The kid grinned “Donald Duck” He said as he slid the Duck mask over his emotionless waxy face.
He quickly flicked his cane like a switchblade and a long spear point flipped out of it. “My friends call me ‘Canard’”
Read the rest here.
3 Ring Samurai
Well hello there again,
As usual I don’t know how to start this, oh I rewatched all the Mad Max movies and they sucked a lot more than I remember when I was a kid and I never got why people hated thunderdome and now I totally get it haha. Like the first movie is sort of a nonsensical mess but it’s entertaining, and then I made the hipster realisation that the second movie is just in his head after what happens to him in the first. And the second movie is the quintisential Mad Max movie because it sort of gets the formula right, it gives in to the absurdist shit in the first movie but doesn’t take itself as seriously but takes itself seriously enough to make an action packed entertaining little romp which Thunderdome completely fucks up.
I was enjoying Road Warrior and thinking to myself ‘Why didn’t this become a big series, why aren’t we on Mad Max 12 Angry street? Well evidently because George Miller changed his mind and instead of wanting to make gritty post apocalyptic movies pretty much inventing diesel punk he wanted to make a reboot of Peter Pan. Because that’s what thunderdome feels like, it feels like a Robin Williams movie and it completely ruins the tone of Mad Max and turns it into a joke where no one even dies. Completely took what Mad Max was and turned it into a glorified kids movie where Tina Turner and Mel Gibson with a bunch of kids fight over a midget. And don’t get me started on Fury Road anyway onto real stuff haha.
I’ve felt really overwhelmed recently but in a good way, in the best way. I feel like I’ve been on a fucking insane bender but it was in my living room with my laptop watching documentaries of celtic folklore on youtube and scouring the internet for more stories.
I literally spent the last four days reading nothing but celtic folklore until my eyes actually hurt. My eyes were bloodshot from reading, it was like being possessed and I just felt so high building this story in my head I couldn’t stop. It felt uncontrollable and so good, just right. And I honestly have to fight the feeling and remember about Diana and how important that story is. Because I so just want to forget about it and delve into this because this feels like it for me.
So what did I do? I spent four days building a compendium of info from the internet (mostly wikipedia 😦 don’t hate me, and youtube) which is now 87 pages of frantically copy pasted articles about releveant places, people, events, myths and monsters to draw from when I start writing. This sounds like laborious bullshit but it felt so good to make it didn’t feel like work at all. I felt like I was uncovering the fucking holy grail haha.
Then I tried to start writing a synopsis but there’s just so much stuff, so much story and character I had to write a timeline first. I couldn’t just do what I usually do, take some notes, build a synopsis and then do a chapter breakdown and then start writing. I’ve spent weeks now plotting this in my head so I had to build a timeline of events to build my synopsis from. So now I’m going from the beginning and the end of my saga to see how fare the rabbit hole goes and now I’m fighting myself tooth and nail because I don’t know whether to start the first book with the synopsis I have or go through and complete the entire timeline and go from there.
I don’t know whether I should just do this one part first and build it up or try to look at it basically from a big picture perspective and build this large circular story. And it’s lots of things at play, basically my perfectionism and anal retentive streaks battling my impulsive need to just do and write and throw myself head long into it and it’s my nature to love to pull in those opposite directions. I want to just jump in and start tearing shit up but it feels too good to hold myself back to the eventual cathartic release of unleashing all my creative energy at once.
And right now I just want to stop writing this fucking blog and get back to doing that, because this is getting me nowhere haha.
Also the witcher sucks haha. (Not the game though)
The deputy slammed the jail door shut and locked it, Pookie lingered at the door, looking out, watching his sword as the deputy took it over to his desk. The rest of the punks dispersed murmuring angrily shooting eye daggers at the back of Pookie’s head.
Pookie rested his arms through the bars as he watched the deputy sit in his chair at his desk. He continued to study the weird sword like he was wondering which end was the pointy one.
“Now I saw this thing work” He said pointing at the ringpull on the scabbard. “Shoots it out real fast right?” He looked up at Pookie “Now how in the hell does that work?”
Pookie shrugged and made a face.
“Sure” He turned the sword over and studied the handle. “That is the goofiest thing I’ve ever seen” He laughed. “Oh and what in the hell does this one do?” He said pointing at another but much smaller hidden ring pull on the handle itself.
“I’d leave that one alone.” Pookie said.
“Is that right?” The deputy smirked as he put his feet up on his desk and cocked his chin out. He looked it up and down again. “I might take your advice on this one” He smiled and put the sword down on his desk.
“So what now?” Pookie asked.
“Now you watch shadows grow bud”
“Is that all?”
“You’ll cool your heels with your buddies in there and then in the morning you’ll get your sword back and be on your way. There may even be a plate a cold beans in it if I’m feeling hospitable.” He smiled and tipped his hat down as he reclined in his seat closing his eyes.
“Others may come”
“Oh so you’re one of those huh? – A run away, they got a name for that?” The deputy poked his hat up over his head and opened one eye. “So what did you do? Ya kill someone you weren’t supposed to?”
“I see- so now you’ve got a price on your head- I’m not about to get mixed up in all that. Not a big fan of your shows but I know what you do- all that blood really turns my stomach, I gotta, say.” He tutted “I don’t know how you stand it” He let out a spiteful laugh. “You probably like it, only way your pecker gets hard I’ll bet”.
“It’s not like that.”
“Uh huh- Well don’t you worry, you’ll leave town in the morning and you’ll never come back ya hear.”
“Gramps there are some weird guys outside” Efron squeaked.
“Eh?” The old man peaked outside his door trying to look through the distant heat haze. Blackened shifting shapes moving in his general direction. “Just look like big birds to me, probably just want some of my worm broth”. He chuckled.
There was a loud banging on the roof and a dent to match and then more foot steps and a strange scratching and whispering and high pitch mocking laughter.
“What the hell was that?” Zach said in harsh whisper. He got up on the bed and tried to look through one of the holes in the roof and saw nothing. Then for a split second he was face to face with a wooden crow face, it’s empty black eyes staring at him. He jumped back falling off the bed.
They watched not breathing as the dents in the roof moved towards the door. There was a flapping fluttering noise and a thud and then a knock at the door.
“Who is it?” Efron said.
“Shhhhhh!” Gramps and Zach hushed her in unison.
There was an ominous cawing noise made more so by the fact it was a human voice making the sound.
They waited a moment and the sounds stopped. After about ten minutes of listening to nothing but the wind the old man gingerly walked towards the door and peaked out. Opening the door wider to get a better look. “Take a gander through the hole again” He whispered.
Zach did as he was told and sheepishly probed his head around the hole, making sure not to get too close. “I can’t see nothing” He whispered back.
The old man feeling a little more sure of himself opened the door all the way and stepped out to look around. He instantly regretted it as a three pronged meat hook claw came down and hooked him under the shoulder blade. Picking him up like a toy grabber at an arcade.
The kids sat inside listening to his screams as he was dragged onto the roof bleeding and kicking and crying. The sounds of the claw ripping into his flesh and then it went quiet again and all that they could hear was the blood running off the tin roof.
The door opened slowly and a man with a duck mask was standing there. The crow dropped off the roof in a crouching position behind him covered in the old man’s blood.
“It might’ve been good to talk to someone around here who could actually communicate in full sentences.” Canard said.
“S-sorry, all the f-fun from before and I didn’t even get my beak wet” Crow tittered as he looked at the blood dripping off his claws. “I c-couldn’t help myself” He flicked his head erraticy, bobbing like a birds.
Canard sighed and looked at the kids as they stared up at the old man’s bloody hand through the hole in the roof. “Hey, any of you kids seen a clown around here.”
“Yeah he went into Woodsmoke, town not too far from here, just over the ridge.” Zach said without looking away from the old man’s hand as it dripped.
Canard scratched his face under his mask “Well that was easy.”
“W-what do we do now?” Crow said bobbing his head erraticly.
“Business as usual I guess”.
“M-me first” Crow said eagerly.
“Ay ya ya, hold your horses there bucko” Canard said barring the door with his arm. “We do this the right way, Finch, fetch the chart will you.”
Finch appeared pulling out a rolled up scroll from his coat sleeve and he walked up to Efron.
She looked up at this strange thin man in the bird mask as he began to unravel the scroll next to her.
He held it up next to her and on it was a picture of a clown with his hand out over a height chart. He stood it next to her and measured. Her head was just under the clowns hand.
Finch tutted and said. “This one is too small.”
“Come on out honey” Canard said. “It’s alright”
Efron cautiously walked towards the door as Finch moved on to Zach.
He held the chart up to Zach and his head was just over the clown’s hand.
“Ah we have a winner.” Finch said. He rolled up the scroll and put it back in his sleeve as he made his way out of the shack.
“Well what has he won?” Canard said turning to Crow.
“H-ha-ha.” Crow hopped and bobbed into the shack, the door slamming behind him.
“What are we gonna do with this one” A female voice said over the muffled sounds of Zach’s screams.
Canard turned to Heron and then back to Efron and patted her on the head. “I always loved that motherly instinct you have”
Heron said nothing.
“Well we can’t take her with us until we complete our mission” He said looking down at her mussing up her scruffy red hair. She looked up at him, her face screwed up into a puzzled frown. “You wanna babysit?”
Canard sighed “I guess you’ll just have to go play somewhere else kid. Auntie Heron is too busy to take care of you, she really doesn’t have time for kids, what with her high flying career and all.” He looked for a reaction from her and got none. “Scoot kid, before I change my mind.”
Efron didn’t take a second to think about it she just started to run in a seemingly random direction without looking back.
“See ya” Canard waved.
“What do we do now? Turkey asked.
“Hmm- What do you think big guy?” Canard said looking at Penguin.
Penguin breathed deeply and made a low growling noise.
“That’s what I thought- Crow! Aren’t you done yet?” Canard shouted.
Crow appeared behind him covered in blood from head to toe. “W-whats up?”
“I’m calling a little ‘family meeting’” Canard said.
“Who died and made you boss?” Cardinal said.
Canard laughed “I’ve got the biggest mouth”
“No argument there” Finch sighed.
“You got a plan Cardinal? Nah, didn’t think so, so why don’t you keep your beak shut” Turkey sniped.
“We were only supposed to recover the body” Heron chimed in.
Canard scratched his cheek under the mask. “Yeah well, ‘the body’ appears to be walking around killing wasteland transvestites and weebs, or did you not notice that?”
“If you wanna go back and report-be my guest.” Canard continued.
“You think Regus is gonna give you a pat on the head if you bring him the clown’s head?”
“You think you’re gonna get one for tattling on us?” Canard laughed.
“Tell you what, we’ll make up our minds when we get there, deal?” He said smiling with his voice.
Ah ah ah if you want to read the rest of this utter madness you must follow this link.
“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.
Chapter 1 ‘Zip Code’
“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.
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.”
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?”
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”
“Look buddy, you were like this when we found ya, no sword, no shoes, no 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?”
“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.
“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.”
“You wanna tell me about that?”
“Ha-“ The old man paused and breathed deeply raising his back as he stirred. “You didn’t have to kill them ya 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.
I wanted to blog about the first issue of Three Ring Samurai and Bat Country in more detail but I think I’ll tackle them separately and talk more broadly on how I feel about first issues because I find I feel quite strongly about them.
To me the first issue of a comic is like an introduction to an essay or a film or anything of that nature, it sets up the plot but it also has to stand almost on its own. I read so many indie comics who see the first issue as almost a hurdle to be jumped as swiftly and as neatly as possible to get to the ‘good bits’ but if you have ‘good bits’ why aren’t they in the first issue people will see?
You have to give people a reason to want to get to the ‘good bits’, I’m not going to read your entire graphic novel and then decide whether or not it was worth my time at the end. I’m going to see what the first issue is telling me and decide from that moment whether to keep reading or not.
So in my mind the first issue should almost encapsulate everything you want to say or achieve throughout the entire comic. It’s not the start of a story, it IS the whole story. I read quite a few comics that start at the beginning despite nothing really happening, and slowly building to that point.
A comic is not like a novel, you have to grab people’s attention as soon as possible or you’ll never have it. I’d structure it so it started at or after the inciting incident and work backwards, it’s a common device but that’s because it works and if you think you can’t make a common device work for you or you can’t make something like that fresh and exciting or scoff at cliché’s you really shouldn’t be a writer. Because that’s all we do, nothing is original, nothing is new, everything is a cliché, we’ve been on this planet for thousands of years as a species, we have to keep recycling and keep mixing things up to keep… LIFE interesting. It’s not what you write about, its how you write about it that makes what you do interesting.
Now my post apocalyptic diesel punk samurai clown epic, Three Ring Samurai, if I may be so modest has an oddly modest first issue in comparison from where the story goes. I see the premise, and the elevator pitch alone is incredibly flamboyant and done by anyone else it would too silly, too wacky and just wouldn’t work. I wanted to go for a more anime like feel, where there can be silliness and there can be wackiness but you always understand that there are real world consequences and life and death and it’ll be at its core a serious story because in my opinion those are the stories I like and want to tell.
I think seriousness and sadness and humour work off each other well and in some instances deepen eachother. It’s like twin peaks, again; you have all this wackiness going on in the episode but by the end you have to remember that Laura is dead and that’s what the show is about, it’s a comedy surrounding a tragedy and only the end can truly define where the pointer lands.
So with the first issue I really wanted to undersell it and be as subtle as I possibly could so that I could contain the bombastic title and concept and really blue ball the reader, as well as giving them a little something that would make them want to read the next issue (which is still being drawn) and give them a feel for the tone of entire series.
I really had to restrain myself because the concept is so rich and so fucking explosive, it’s almost too tempting to take it and run and just burn yourself out. But I wanted a really plodding and structured approach. And I know I said I hated comics that took a long time to get going but I think this comic had enough momentum behind it in terms of interest with the unique subject matter to cut me a little slack if just for the first issue. To be a little mysterious, a little enigmatic even in a comic that is so tongue in cheek at its core as this.
So the first page, I read that and I hear Ron Perlman’s voice saying ‘War, war never changes’, and I just can’t resist, the zoom out on the post apocalyptic setting, I really wanted to give a feel of scope and loss with the idea that people were still clinging on to something which is Fallout at its heart.
We’re introduced to these two kids, like the wastelands answer to tin tin, two innocents bounding onto some dark strange discovery and this is how we’re introduced to our hero. I tried to use this to set the tone in terms of the fact the kids didn’t find it strange to find a dead body, the light normality of death being so prevalent in a harsh wasteland.
Pookie is almost like an alien or a baby or a fish wacked on the head and brought back to life. With the scenes of the shack, I almost wanted a sleepy feel, a sort of cool peace that fell on the wasteland at dusk in contrast to the chaos of the day.
I had a lot of fun with the kids, sneaking in exposition and building up to the character of Pookie by essentially mocking him in this cartoony anime sort of way. I want him to be this figure of fun, a silly character that can fall on his ass and make a fool of himself because he’s not afraid of being a fool because he knows when it comes down to it, he’ll have the last laugh.
The grandpa character is a sort of wily comic relief, someone to bounce weird jokes off the kids (fuck just noticed a spelling mistake haha). Someone who plays dumb to lull people into a false sense of security but secretly knows more than he lets on. And then we can have this hushed voices real talk between him and Pookie, nods and gestures of two people in tune in some way.
The dream sequences are something I plucked directly from the opening sequence of David Lynch’s Elephantman. I wanted something surreal but also very silly, and I really can’t get away with genuine serious surrealism. I’ve always been more drawn to comedy surrealism like Luis Bunuel and to some extent David Lynch, I find he takes his surrealism (besides possibly Eraserhead, that movie freaks a lot of people out but I found it quite silly and funny in a way) very lightly and with many pinches of salt.
I think if I remember correctly, the reason I made it elephants is mainly because I loved the way Ike (The artist) drew the elephant on the opening page and then I took the opening sequence from David Lynch’s Elephantman, which is a pretty fucking weird intro and ran with it. I’m pretty sure it’s an elephant rape scene, or that’s at least what he’s hinting at, I wouldn’t put that past him to be fair, he’s done weirder shit than that.
I shamelessly stole the Musashi joke from Champloo. I have no shame, it’s just too funny and I read the book of the five rings before I started writing this, so why the fuck not?
We’re introduced to Pookie in earnest, I always like characters with silly names, it almost makes it twice as amazing when they do something incredible, I almost wish I came up with it but I think that was all Ike as is the original concept.
Only 11 pages in do we get to the meat of the story. Pookie has been robbed and the natural imperative of gramps is just to let it go, some stuff isn’t worth your life and Pookie is injured, but Pookie is not like them. Someone takes something from him, he gets it back. He is almost an alien, dropped into a dog eat dog world with an inordinately large set of teeth. This is where I like to think I injected some of the Cain in Kung Fu elements I wanted to bring forward. A lone wanderer, from a strange culture, a warrior with incredible skill plucked out of a fantasy; an almost mockery to human potential, an anime character walking Deus Ex Machina.
The main purpose of this issue is that Pookie was essentially destroyed, his life, his past. He was killed, reborn and everything he knew stripped away from him. So now he has to find himself, he has to decide who he is in this new world, without the world he’d come to know. The first thing he’s drawn to is his sword and violence because that’s all he’d known all his life.
In a lot of ways this is a coming of age story, someone thrown out of their old life like Kung Fu and thrust into a strange new world, forced to make sense of who he has to become to survive.
This whole issue is essentially about Pookie’s rebirth (fuck that’s pretentious), he’s trying to establish who he really is, because for so long he was one thing (no spoilers); it was his whole world, his identity and in one moment it’s taken from him and now he has to re-establish his identity and who he is as a character. As a writer it was and is a tricky character to write for because he’s almost forming himself with every page, piecing himself together like Doctor Manhattan.
I’m oddly proud of the sword, a sword with a handle like one of those cheesy laughing boxes Jack Nicholson joker has at the end of Batman. He always gets the last laugh even if he dies. I sort of wanted to mock the idea of swords in general.
A katana is as clichéd as you can get these days, so saturated in popular culture. I wanted to make his sword out to be some ridiculous piece of joke shop crap, a silly show piece, a gimmick for laughs, a sword that laughs for a man that doesn’t need to.
It’s also sort of homage to my early knife collection. I bought this crappy machete from Doncaster market when I was like 13 I think. It had a dragon or lions head handle with glowing led’s for eyes that lit up when you pressed a button, jesus what the fuck was I thinking?
The combat I wanted to keep as theatrical as possible, death is a show, it had to be fairly flash but also brutally inefficient. He’s a monster, a vicious killer, who expects applause for his butchery, someone shaped by the brutality of the vicious curiosity of a bloodthirsty crowd egging him on to further heights of gut-wrenching violence. To him violence and killing is a parlour trick, it’s almost a joke, like hitting someone in the face with a custard pie.
That’s how I wanted to capture this element of silliness in this very grotesque and ultra-violent package. I really wanted to hone that feeling of 80’s action movie ultra-violence, like Robocop. Someone is torn apart in this ridiculously over the top death sequence but it’s wrapped up in this really silly camp vibe that makes it all the more sinister and weird.
Ok maybe the ending with the cheesy ‘see ya around kid’ was a little too much but I couldn’t resist. I wanted to end it in a way that made it uncertain where he was going, he was just going somewhere, anywhere to forge a new Pookie, one that followed his own rules and didn’t need no stinkin’ circus.
Well how did I do? haha. Fuck I waffled on like a man possessed, if you read this far through I commend you.
All in all not a lot happens but I think it’s a tight and tidy package, I’ve got a handful of positive reviews for it under my belt already and I feel confident it was a solid first issue. but it gives enough, succinctly I think, to grab the attention for another issue or two.
Well I hope you like it anyway, I’ve rambled enough for a lifetime, as always you can check it out for free at; http://tapastic.com/series/Three-Ring-Samurai
Thanks for reading, peace out.
Forgive me in advance for the rambling nature of this blog, I really don’t have a plan, I just have two words ‘Kung fu’.
For those not familiar with it, Kung Fu is a tv show with David Carradine playing a half Chinese half American boy raised in a shaolin temple after both his parents are killed by a tyrannical Emperor.
The story is based around his travels to seek out his family in America after his master is killed he must flee china wanted for killing the emperors son in an act of hot on the spot vengeance for the unwarranted killing.
He travels America looking for his family, evading the snare of the emperor and getting into scrapes and adventures, meeting interesting people along the way. With each new adventure a piece of his teachings is called upon to assist him and make sense of a world he’s only just coming face to face with.
Secluded all his life Caine is as a child with the fighting skills of a shaolin priest, through a series of flashback his past is brought to light to help him overcome and decide on certain courses of action to aid him in his adventures.
I initially watched the show out of the blue, maybe as some form of research for 3 Ring, I know I definitely shamelessly ripped a lot off for the issue plan, I borrowed a lot of ideas and I in an upcoming arc and I decided to completely parody the montage of Caine’s training in the shaolin temple and make it Pookie’s ridiculous clown training, I just couldn’t resist.
I really, really loved the style; the way the story was structured in the first season was perfect, calling on back-story applying it to current plot. It worked really well because you learned more about him every episode in a way that felt very consistent. And every episode you learnt a valuable and somewhat touching lesson.
It padded the main plot nicely as we learned about Caine throughout his various adventures and then kept us interested in the search for his brother and the threat of the Emperor on his heels and for a guy that had never done kung fu before kung fu David Carradine isn’t half bad as an actor or a fighter coming from someone who knows kung fu. He wasn’t amazing and he did use a stunt double in season one I believe but ditched that for his own stunts in later seasons.
Long story short I loved the show and I wanted the same feel for 3 Ring Samurai, I wanted every arc to be a self contained movie, something that engaged people and had action and drama and suspense and just enough thread of main plot to keep people reading but not enough to overwhelm them.
Sadly the second two seasons of Kung fu really fell short for me and I must admit I almost breathed a sigh of relief, I’m not proud to admit I take pleasure in the downfall of other but I think a lot of people feel shadenfreud a lot more than they’d like to admit. I was relieved to see the show fall because to live up to that, for it to continue at that level of quality would have rendered my endeavours to emulate it seem futile.
I don’t blame the show for this, I blame the times and the idea that writing staff are disposable, they chose to change the writers for season two and with the nature of television in the seventies I feel like they had to make it more consumable for people to watch as re-runs.
Tv wasn’t like how it is now with netflix and the internet, you couldn’t choose to watch a tv show whenever you wanted, and watch them in order, you watched them when they were on, in the order they were on and if you missed an episode you had to watch it in a rerun. You couldn’t just buy the boxset on dvd.
So each episode had to be standalone and almost interchangeable in terms of the timeline of the story so someone could watch any episode in any order and still keep up and enjoy the show.
This change of writers and restructuring of the show is a noticeable decline in cogent plot and although I watched each season through it didn’t measure up in any shape or form to season one.
I don’t know why but my mind keeps drawing back to Twin Peaks and the dire mistake of revealing the mystery around the death of Laura Palmer half way between season two which without a doubt killed the show. Lynch himself said he never wanted to reveal the mystery and I and Edgar Allen Poe would have agreed that the greatest mystery is one that goes unsolved. It was the fault of the producers of the show that forced him to reveal the mystery and then have the show limp on to the end without much a hook to keep the show going.
It’s almost amazing to even think that an entire tv show could be framed around one murder or one person’s life like Kung Fu. But it can because people themselves can be unsolvable mysteries.
And every time the credits rolled over Laura Palmer’s picture I would feel a pang of sorrow for the mystery of her life and even more so for the tawdry reveal of that perfect mystery and then the shop bought replacement mystery awkwardly wedged in its place.
I think if Kung Fu were re-made today it would be an incredibly feat but also a really rewarding one, (Note to self, call Keanu Reeves ;)). This is the golden age of television where the possibilities for stories and budgets and scope and acting talent are virtually limitless and at a time where there is so much pressure on the structure of films and now games it’s really necessary.
So please forgive the faux fanboy ranting, I just wanted to give some perspective to the narrative structure and style of 3 Ring, think Kung Fu meets Fallout 4 haha.
Peace out people.