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Dexter Morgan

Diana in the Dark Chapter 8 ‘Love in high places’ (remurdered)

I know, I know, I’m milking this but I haven’t been writing recently and I’m growing lazy, just been messing around with this screenplay I’m writing.

It literally took me all weekend just to get the screenplay writing program to work, I’m that boomer with the tech stuff and then after that when I actually got started and reading the book it’s based on for inspiration. I decided I liked the books opening better than mine and then changed the whole thing haha.

It’s not totally the same obviously. I didn’t think it would work as an opener for the lack of action but I really like the visuals and how it sets up the character. The structure will be the same because the book is a similar format to the movie in that it starts later on when he’s already in a battle and then cuts back to his past before he signed up. But in the book it’s not just an intro cut away it’s this massive drawn out battle sequence which is cool and but I really think the movie handled it better in regards to letting us get a grip of our characters before throwing them in the fucking meat grinder haha.

I mean in this intro in the books Rasczak who leads the roughnecks is already dead and they’re not even fighting the bugs yet so it just gets way ahead of itself really.

The movie handled it a lot better in many ways but I still love the book, it’s just a little dry and the movie adds some much needed ‘wetness’ haha. So I’m really trying to merge them in my adaptation.

So far of what little I’ve written it’s been a fun experience, I tried to write some of that Lovecraft story while I was struggling with the screenplay software but got nowhere with it. I’ll probably finish it off soon but I just can’t bring myself to start on Diana 2 until I get feedback from agents for Diana 1. That being in tons of rejections most likely haha. But I will never quit because I have no fucking life, the person who has no life always wins haha.

Mainly just been reading the shadow (which is hit or miss really) and trying to find cheap videogames to stop me going insane or thinking about anything at all because that brings on bad times. The shadow is mostly boring honestly, it’s fun in parts but it’s weighed down by a lot of boring shit. I really liked the second one but the first and the third kinda just passed over my eyes.

Honestly though the character of the shadow is just so intriguing I think it could carry a really cool tv show if the right person (i.e me) were hired to cut down the fat and deliver a really punchy and slick show. It would be like a shitty marvel superhero show except with an actual story and actual mysteries and not just an excuse to indoctrinate children with political ideologies no one asked for. And also awesome action that would be unlike anything seen before, that would really set it apart.

The shadow really is a totally different kind of superhero, he really just keeps you guessing and I really like that, I feel like I as the reader know about as much about the shadow as his enemies do and he constantly surprises you with how inhuman and human he is at the same time. Like for a long time you can convince yourself that he’s this infallible supernatural being and then something happens and you realise he’s not. It’s really interesting. Anyway, I’ll try and have some Cur for thursday, maybe a poem for tomorrow but I’ve upped my weights, lifting heavier than ever, sleeping longer, eating more, I feel like a fucking cancer patient on chemo right now haha (i.e not very productive), so we’ll see.

See you…

I did as I was told. What else could I do?

I didn’t seem to remember a montage of ninja training in my backstory, no secret swat teams backing me up, rappelling down the roof as we speak.

My one and only knight in shining armor was probably on the other side of town with a hangover.

There I was, making little jokes to myself when my head was probably going to be decorating my own mantle in a matter of minutes.

Goodbye cruel world, we were going to have so much fun together.

I crept gingerly into the living room with the air of someone whose hand was permanently glued into the cookie jar; the proverbial curious cat, about to meet a sticky end.

It was dark, because of course it was, how else to set a mood? I couldn’t see a thing, completely pitch. A wave came over me, a sibilant ring from the demoniac back seat driver. A cold feeling at the back of my neck I assumed wasn’t the kiss of a Chanel No. 5 lipstick, but the barrel of a gun.

A hushed voice with a slight Latin twang told me to come closer.

As my eyes adjusted, I saw my aunt. Silent and solemn, on her knees in front of the couch in our living room. Her head hung like she was Marie Antoinette, awaiting the executioner’s axe with a cloistered dignity, she was about to let her captures eat cake.

I hoped they’d choke on it.

‘They’?

Then it struck me, the gun at my neck was still there, and there was another, a knife in the murk, a knife at my aunt’s neck.

There were two of them, two killers.

That made it a lot easier to lug all those parts around.

“What now, cuz?” The gun at my neck croaked with a boyish whisper.

“We do them here, no witnesses, the older bitch is yours, I’m gonna take my time with this one.” the voice I recognized said.

Hi, Antoine, great party last night.

He dropped my aunt, the knife coming away from her neck, and something deep inside told me that was good.

She was still and stoic, taking on the nature of a good martyr, no tears; just a distant and tacit acceptance; a cold detachment to the earthly plane.

The gun at my neck came around my side, and Ruiz got close enough so I could smell his breathe. “I bet you thought that was pretty funny, me all tied up like that, naked. I bet it made you feel really powerful.” He spat in the dark but I could see the odd white tooth and feel the knife twist under my chin.

I wasn’t afraid, there was something else; a shiver of cool excitement rising up from the darkness. The blackness gently shifted, building silently beneath the waves trying to tell me… What? ‘I told you so’?

“How do you feel now, huh?” he taunted.

“I—”

I was rudely interrupted by a crash of glass.

The room almost turned red with their fear, their shock.

Their perfect bubble burst by some idle cat burglar, or maybe my neighbor, Gary got carried away showing someone his backswing.

“Go check it out,” Ruiz whispered.

“Why me?” the younger one croaked behind me. My eyes were getting used to the dark but all I could see was the ceiling fan spinning.

“Because I said so,” Ruiz hissed. He turned his head to spit on our carpet.

Yuck.

“Fuck me, man,” The younger would-be killer said, as he tiptoed out of the room.

Ruiz got close again, his breathing rising and falling on my face. “I bet you’re wondering how I found you. It wasn’t the phone…”He stopped, panting, as if he wanted me to ask.

Wanted me to play some guessing game, I just looked at Aunt Dharma. There was something strange about her, something unsettling.

She said nothing, looked at nothing, like she’d expected this, like she was already dead. Like she’d been waiting for this the whole time.

“My cousin, Emilio, he goes to your school, ain’t that a trip? I described you, and he knew right away who you were, I think he must have some kind of crush on you.” He laughed. “Maybe I should let him drill you when he comes back, maybe we’ll take turns before we mount your head like you and your freak boyfriend did to my boys.”

School. It hadn’t even crossed my mind. All the faces in the crowd, blending together. So hard to pick one out, one looking at me, seeing me, waiting, watching.

That was the last place I should’ve let my guard down but I had. Emilio had probably sat behind me for years, and we wouldn’t have exchanged a qué pasa? I guess my Spanish was getting better.

There was no silent alarm from the dark watcher, no ring on the black bat phone? Surprise washed over me. A distant warbling chuckle faded in and out. An unintelligible whisper; a game of hide and seek.

Oh you were playing possum. I’m being punished, for what?

What did I do? Dreadfully Dim Diana didn’t do anything wrong.

That was exactly the point.

I was being punished for being a goodie two shoes.

What now?

“I know you didn’t do all that alone, little girl like you. You had help.” He was panting even heavier, looking around, the shadows creeping along the walls, soaking into his flesh, getting closer. He put the knife against my throat. “Who you working for, huh? The Diaz brothers? They closing in on my turf? Tell, and I’ll only cut off an ear, and leave your pretty face alone, how ‘bout that?”

Another crash came from the kitchen, then a muffled cry and a deeply disconcerting thud.

“Hey, Emilio, hurry your ass up!” Ruiz whispered harshly into the empty hallway.

“Maybe he tripped, it’s pretty dark.”

“Shut up!”

“You should go check on it, maybe he grazed his knee.”

“I said, shut up!” He hit me with the base of the knife, and the room shook, a pulse of pain radiating down through my neck and shoulders.

My knees buckled, and nausea smacked into me. My vision faded in and out, and I saw something. I could see right through him, hear the animal roar.

The shrill cry of whatever it was inside him; it was like me, but not like me. Our inner demons sent vicious feral war cries out in answer.

Two shadows stretched and crossed, but then another, deeper darkness swallowed them both. Eclipsed them, blotted them out, filled the room with a deep impenetrably black smoke thicker than ink and tar.

My knees wobbled, and he felt it, too.

“Emilio, what took you so long man?”

The boy stood in the door way, doing the strong silent type thing as the room quaked around me.

There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.

The eye of the hurricane tossed my little world up into the stars as I tried to hold on for dear life.

I fell, pulling at Ruiz, trying to stop the room from spinning, just keep still.

Could he feel it?

“Talk to me man— Get offa me, crazy bitch!” He threw me to the ground.

I spread my fingers out on the carpet, praying for this feeling to stop, the pressure inside building.

The cry of the thing inside grew louder and louder, telling me to watch.

“What the fuck, say something, you’re freakin’ me out, man!” Ruiz commanded his cousin. He strode to the door…then he felt it; the pressure, the animal fear, the dagger intent, the murder dripping from the walls, but it was too late.

I heard rustling of dark wings unfurling, stretching across the walls, casting a shadow blacker than pitch.

I can see it in the corner of my eye, but moreover I felt it, like I had sonar, echo location. I could see the whole room like it was a watercolor, every pixel laid out in front of me in stark detail.

The blackness like a piece of pin art, it was solid, I could touch it.

I crawled, and I spotted the knife.

The figure at the door moved rhythmically, like he was under water, but couldn’t seem to get out of the way.

Ruiz was frozen, the weapon in his hand at the end of a long tunnel. His movements slowed down as if I was seeing it frame by frame in a slideshow.

He lifted the knife, not knowing exactly where he wanted to put it, or if there was even a place for it.

The shadows surrounded the man at the door, covering his face, bound to him like an impenetrable armor.

I wanted to cover my eyes and ears, if I could, if I thought it would keep the screaming out.

The shadowy fires lapped at me, the blinding black light.

The man at the door cut through the room. His movements were methodic and powerful, uncaring, unfeeling, unwavering.

The killer passed through Ruiz like he was made of spider webs, like he was a memory of a far gone conclusion. He cut him once across the neck with an effortless flourish, an afterthought someone else’s mess cleaned up, my mess.

Ruiz’s head dropped to the floor and rolled toward me. There was nothing in his eyes. A voided emptiness, a perfect mirror of my own.

The part of me deep down, was rising, screaming and laughing. I couldn’t tell if this was the end or the beginning. A triumphant cavalry cry, or the last gasp of a dying lizard about to have its head crushed under a desert rock.

The crushing pressure, I couldn’t take it anymore, the blackness folding over me, getting heavier and heavier. I decided to let go, a giddiness and a drowsiness came over me. I couldn’t keep my eyes open. The rattling thing inside told me it was okay—I could sleep.

“You see it now?” A muffled scratching noise warbled too close to my ear.

There was a grating sensation at my neck, then nothing but sweet black nothingness.

Falling.

To read the rest of this you’re gonna have to wait for it to come out sometime next year hopefully, if not you can find it on inkitt in a raw format.

Diana in the Dark Chapter 7 ‘Ding dong dead’ (remurdered edition)

I’m back! 

Sorta

Kinda

Not really?

I am happy to report Diana for all intents and purposes is as done as I’ll probably ever get it, despite wanting a near infinite number of proof read from myself and any passerby on the street. As long as I can quiet that perfectionist voice in my head, it is done.

Now that that colossal time and energy suck and… Diana is done with (ha I made a joke about being single), I can move onto greater things which don’t include finishing Loverman. Yeah I might finish that but I dunno, it kind of feels like a slog. Like I have to be in a Lovecrafty mood really and I can’t seem to get there right now, but I will finish it eventually, sooner than later.

But I’ll tell you what I have been in the mood for, not writing so much as screen writing, that’s right, your boi is writing a pilot for a tv show, why? Because it was already a book and I want to see a tv show of it because, well ok there was already a tv show but it was in the 90’s I think and it was awful. Well it was good, but it kind of butchered both the movie and the book and was made of the shittest cg you’ve ever seen.

Now I’m realising I haven’t actually mentioned what it is, it’s Starship Troopers, I’m planning a tv show pilot for Starship Troopers.

I just liked the book, not as much as the films or tv show but I think a tv is really what it needs to really flesh out the world it takes place in and although I would to not write the show and just enjoy it as a member of the audience. The current state of television guarantees that it would suck the sweat off a deadman’s balls.

The reason being that it’s too tempting as a platform for satire and political narrative pushing. We wouldn’t get past the first episode without some joke about Trump’s hair and orange skin, it would be a fucking disaster.

Only someone like me could do it justice, not because I’m a genius writer, well, but because I actually fucking respect the source material enough to not just to bastardise and attempt to use it to push my own brand of brainwashing. Which funnily enough Paul Verhoeven tried and failed to do in his movie version of the book.

Because believe it or not the book is completely played straight, it’s not satire. Heindlin was an ex navy right wing guy growing up in a more conservative time and he saw a future where liberalism would tear society apart and thus envisioned a future military fascist government piecing it back together again.
Verhoeven, a great director, Robocop is probably one of my all time favourite films, tried to satirise the book and add his own brand of humor to try and make fun of and demonize the fascism glorified in the book but he just sort of made it look cool and fun haha.

I kinda wanna do both honestly. I want it to be played straight but you can’t sidestep how fun Verhoeven made it in the movie. Surely some ideal balance can be struck where you can satirise the necessary evil of fascism and glorify the order and stability of it at the same time. I want to have satire but not at the expense of the story or the fun.

That’s my number one goal always, entertainment. I don’t write to preach to people or ‘educate’ them. I write to entertain myself and others and that’s all. I think when you focus too much on a particular ideology or message you lose the ability to have fun and tell an interesting story. 
I have nothing against having a good moral message in a story though if say it’s a show for kids but I don’t write for kids and adults don’t need to be preached to about morality or whatever hair brained social justice cause is popular in the zeitgeist in any particular moment.

So what have I been up to apart from not doing that, I haven’t even started writing, still anally planning haha. Erm lots of exercising as usual, my chest is on fire as we speak, gonna need new weights soon, getting to yuge for these ones haha. Relationships janky as fuck as usual but I’m not letting it get me down I’m really hopeful about getting an agent for Diana and if I don’t get one now I think I’ll try again in September with a better cover letter. And in the mean time work on my pilot and maybe get a sequel to Diana in the works which I’ve been planning for awhile but haven’t had the guts to clinch on. 

I’m kinda just waiting for the wind to strike me on that one, I don’t want to start it too soon, I want to savour and start it at a time when I can really enjoy it.

Oh also had a great time recently playing the Resident Evil 2 remake which I might do a review for tomorrow. It’s a lot of fun unsurprisingly. Some people are shitting on it a little bit but all in all it was a lark. So stay tuned for that, I think I’m gonna go back to planning my pilot and waiting for my main facebook account to be unbanned so I get back to spamming and shitposting haha.

See you…

 

Hot, sticky, red.

Its blood isn’t it?

Blood?

All over the floor.

It smells, I don’t like it.

Why is it here?

All over the carpet.

Where am I?

Why did you do that?

A big mess.

 

Blood all over the floor, spreading and getting thicker, like a dark red plastic, coating everything. A child’s room, bunk beds, bright colors. Where was this place?

Something rose from the blood, the sea of thick hot red plastic. A head coated in it like it was molten wax. Then another and another, bobbing like croutons in a rich tomato soup.

My vision was a tiny cone surrounded by blackness, small hands, a child’s hands reached for the heads, turning them over one by one.

I recognized their faces but couldn’t place them. Buried somewhere, a tinkling, a mocking laugh and the slamming of a heavy door and they were gone.

A feeling of loss, of loss of loss. Losing something that never existed, something I never had taken before I even knew it was there.

The little hand reached for mine, and it told me to come and play. I wanted to. I wanted to so badly, but I couldn’t. Something held me back.

I woke up again, a cold sweat; it was dark. I maybe got two hours sleep on Paul’s couch.

We could’ve used the bed, of course, but I couldn’t drag him much farther than the living room. He was a big boy.

Once I’d gotten him down, I’d wanted to stay with him and make sure he was okay.

Some motherly instinct kicking in, Diana?

Channeling a little Florence Nightingale perhaps?

Hardly, a good mask needed a touch up now and then, like anything else. Soon enough, after lying next to him, the sandman had snuck up on me and wrapped a ten pound fishing cord of sleep around my neck.

I’d fallen asleep right on top of him. Now I awoke again in the wee hours of the morning, he was gone.

Paul came in after a minute or two with a glass of water and sat back on the couch like he didn’t even notice I was there. He cleared his throat and took in a big deep breath, then proceeded to take sips from his water. He yawned and hunched forward in only a pair of stripy boxer shorts. The glass perched in between his large smooth hands. “Oh, you’re up,” he said. “I was just getting some water; I didn’t want to disturb you.” A little sad smile crossed his face.

“I can see that.” I said.

“Here.” Paul handed me the glass.

I took a big gulp from it. I suddenly felt utterly bottomless, and wanted to down the entire thing. It felt like we’d never talk about what’d happened, and that was kind of how I wanted it. Pretend it’d never happened. Just let it slip off the cuff, a very interesting dream soon forgotten.

“What happened back there?” he asked, rather ineloquently breaking my fantasy of a night lost. Murderous pirate ships passing in the night.

“You don’t remember,” I stalled.

He cleared his throat and looked off into the corner of the ceiling above the TV.  “Um… I remember drinking a little and then—” He shrugged his large round shoulders. “I dunno, I guess someone jumped me and everything went black.” Paul sucked in some air from his teeth and went back to nursing the now half-empty glass. “I woke up here, and my gun was gone.” He sighed like he was talking about a botched boy scouts camping trip as he stared into the glass. “My dad is gonna kill me”.

“Doesn’t he have lots of guns? I’m sure he won’t notice one missing.” I said.

Diana deft subject dodger.

“You don’t know my dad.” He scratched the back of his neck. “I’ll have to tell him it was stolen.” He scrunched his shoulders up around his ears as some sort of stretch.

I heard a cracking sound and found myself staring at the muscles around his chest and back. He was shirtless, and I had to admit I had some fascination with the play of his muscles.

“Yeah you can’t tell him you lost it in a fight in a drug dealer’s house.”

Shut up, Diana.

Paul let out a self-deprecating sound, halfway between a laugh and a cough as he choked on some water.

We gave up on sleep after that and had a quick shower—separately. I had to change back into my previous set of clothes. Which was a little disgusting for dainty Diana, but I couldn’t exactly skip school the day after another massacre. Even if the whole finding body parts at school thing could’ve bought me a little credit.

A few short hours later, I stood in front of my locker again, staring at the space left by the volleyball. I inhaled and sighed, taking in all the smells of the pretty people passing me. Their talking all mixed together into an interminable cacophony of inane chirping, or tweeting. The occasional chortle and hushed whisper.

Did I hear my name?

If you want to read the rest of the final version you’ll have to wait until it’s out or find the horrible raw version on inkitt haha.

Diana In the Dark Chapter 6 ‘Rescue him’ (remurdered edition)

Hey there,

Wasted most of my day making home made marinara sauce and meatballs and then I got a hair cut on my quickly shrinking circle of hair, aint getting old grand.

Mostly been working, I think I found a new job that could make a little more cash and still give enough flexibility to keep writing and I might even get to wear a cool suit haha. In the mean time I finished up the next part of 3 ring. I kinda didn’t get as far into the main plot as I thought I would and I kinda pulled a lot of it outta my ass haha. But it still turned out kinda good, I think. Not amazing, I don’t take it very seriously, just a way to blow off steam between serious projects and I think I might do the second Diana next. See how I’m feeling on friday.

The plot is shaping up pretty nicely, spent most of my time building the world a little bit and adding new characters which was fun. I know people might not like the whole ‘the little girl is the key’ plotline, think I’m ripping off the witcher making it all about Ciri. Well you’re wrong I’m actually ripping off Waterworld haha. Didn’t see that one coming did ya haha?

Nope and you probably haven’t seen waterworld either but I like it haha. I actually like it more than Mad Max in some respects, because Mad Max kind of shit the bed in my opinion. The first one is boring and makes no sense, the second is the best, gets it just right and the third is diesel punk peter pan and the less said about fury road the better.

Waterworld was just a nice one a done movie and I really liked the concept and I’m sort of borrowing the plotline from there with a little bit of total recall thrown in not to give too many spoilers. 

Still enjoying the latest Parker book although they kinda made my favourite character look like a bitch and then killed him off, like wtf but he’s not like dead I guess, I mean it’s just a book he could live but it doesn’t look good. But then again I don’t know when his book series is set, either before or after this and honestly I preferred Handy Mckay to Grofield because I always pictured Handy as just this gristled guy who was just a little less carved out of granite than Parker, who got out but now he’s coming back to inevitably die haha.

Great.

Kinda feel like this is gonna turn into the game of thrones of pulp novels and all my favourite characters are going to be murdered right in front of me haha.

But at least it’s not boring.

See you…

I stepped over the doorman and went inside. The house was dark and smoky; it smelled like weed and burning plastic. Loud music played; like a mix of salsa and dubstep. A mongrel jungle beat getting deep down into my veins and shaking them like a tensile rope bridge over a bottomless gorge.

It was a cramped house; a single corridor connected a series of dimly lit rooms. A bedroom to the left otherwise occupied by people in varying stages of undress and intoxication. Writhing like they were about to be turned into pillars of salt at any minute. A door on the right which probably lead to the front room or the kitchen and two more doors at the end of the hall which were most likely the master bedroom and bathroom.

The house was almost like a living thing, like I was walking on a carpet of raw nerves. There were eyes everywhere in the dark watching and not watching. Some peeling back to view the insides of their skulls. There were literally just people lying on the floor in the hall and I might have stepped on a couple of them.

People talked in varying dialects, crossing English, bad English and Spanish. None of which I could understand over the loud beat drowning out all my senses. It was so loud and thick it was like my head was in a box of trail mix.

All the while it was building and building, shaking the walls of my chest. My heart beating just out of time with the rhythm as we moved closer to the source of the sound. I clung to Paul as he walked in front of me, my hand in his, my face at his back.

I could feel the gun under his jacket; I could smell the strong scent of his cologne. A fresh musky scent, like pine cones and sandalwood. It was oddly comforting, soothing as we waded through this den of iniquity.

We entered the living room, which was out-of-place, lavish and well lit. The room was decked out almost like a small nightclub. A disco ball spun pointlessly from the ceiling, as the light was on so there were just odd dots of dim sparkling orbs around the room.

A large flat screen on the wall displayed one of the Fast and Furious movies, but with no sound. God knew which one, they were pretty much indistinguishable at this point.

There was a large leather couch pointed at it with a glass coffee table laden with a veritable banquet of Chinese takeout going cold. The varying smells drifting and mingling into one greasy mass at the back of my sinus wall.

They had a small kitchenette at the far end converted into what looked like a real granite bar. Complete with a stalwart bartender in a Santa Muerte mask and bowtie, standing with his hands behind his back. The smiling skull face stared out with empty black eyes in a midst a red tribal pattern. Very scary.

Was it like this every night?

The music was coming from two huge speakers connected to an iPhone either side of a fake fireplace under the flat screen.

We entered quietly, trying not to draw too much attention; almost tiptoeing on the hardwood floor. The safest thing to do seemed to be go to the bar at the back of the room. Get a drink and maybe try to gravitate to a dark corner and pretend to watch the movie.

Paul and I crossed the room, as if completely oblivious to the other people in it. A certain shy sheepishness had come over me and I couldn’t raise my head for fear of it being bitten off by a bigger dog.

“Hey,” a hoarse voice fought over the noise of the speakers.

“Who, me?” I froze.

“Yeah, you.” The stranger spat back.

I turned my head like a wooden figurine on a rusty cuckoo clock and looked over at the couch in the general direction of the voice. A moment passed, like charging feet over my grave. Stomping down the dirt flat and dancing and laughing. The little hissing voice inside the stygian well chuckled silently. Spitting into a crescendo of ever-faster beating wings rising from the deep dark murk.

It was him.

No mistaking it.

I wasn’t too surprised, I was in his house after all.

He sat on the leather coach, wearing a pair of baggy jeans and basketball jersey. Sandwiched in between two ethnic looking prostitutes.

Large Hispanic men who were definitely carrying guns or machetes or both under their Hawaiian shirts stood like bookends on either side of the sofa.

His face was young with oily straight features, and he looked very short sitting down, a wispy dark goatee on his chin, his hair slicked back on his head in a wavy pattern. He was very thin with almost puppet like movements, exaggerated and stiff.

I scanned the room again, feeling dumb and drowning in the spotlight. Pointing at myself literally, like ‘who me?’

Paul was at the bar already, ordering some drinks—which seemed like an ocean away with his back turned as I stared intently at Ruiz’s sneakers.

“Yeah, you! Are you deaf or something?” He leaned forward cupping his ear with the same exaggerated stiffness getting a polite chuckle from his ‘bitches’.

My eyes caught his, and he gave me an odd look, almost like he recognized me as he sunk back into the couch. I heard a catatonic purring noise inside.

Ruiz didn’t stand; just stared at me up and down, probing me.

I felt naked, and almost like I’d forgotten how to stand. Every gesture seeming practiced and awkward, how-to-human?

Did he know? Could he see it, could he hear it?

Was this it? Was I about to have a cap popped into my ass and spend the last few minutes of sentience rolled up in a cheap rug?

“Yeah, can you like get out of the way?” He gestured shaking the gold bling hanging off on his boney arm. “We’re trying to watch a movie here.”

“Err…sorry,” said Dumb Dithering Diana smiling like an idiot.

I moved out of the way, my eyes roving up and down to his, then his shoes and the floor, as I watched him watch me go.

He went back to cavorting with the pros and not watching the movie.

Feeling a little exposed and flustered I almost bumped into Paul on his way back from the bar. Two glasses of some indeterminate golden liquid was in square tumblers in his hands. Wrapped in white napkins with little black straws sticking out of them.

The bartender gave a little bow. Have to admit, I was impressed. A little.

“Sex on the beach.” He smirked. “Don’t worry, mine’s a virgin.” The smirk slid into a smartass grin.

“Uh huh.” I took a sip from the black straw, still looking at his mouth. “Let’s hope it stays that way.” That was dumb.

He laughed anyway.

Who said women can’t be funny?

I felt a little shaky, like I needed something to hold on to.

Paul would have to do.

We found our dark corner and sipped our drinks in comfortable silence. It was pretty good; I couldn’t even taste the booze. I wasn’t much of a drinker, and my fast metabolism made it pretty hard for me to get stupid-drunk. I wasn’t worried about vomiting on my potential victims’ Jordans. Or making an ass of myself.

Some time passed of standing and pretending we were having fun; well I was pretending, maybe Paul was, too. He was a lot better at it than me. Here in the lion’s den, he didn’t seem to have a care in the world. But…he caught me looking through the small crowd of people idly dancing around the front of the little bar.

My eyes drifted over to the couch and my probable prey and Paul’s face dropped as he followed my quick glance over at Ruiz.

In an instant he was that person again, a quick flash of a harsh blank slate, a vicious mirror. A cold malevolence flowed over him and passed quickly, his smile rolling back over his face. “Just gimme a minute.” He put his drink down on the bar.

“Wait, Paul, you can’t—” I started to feel heavy and dull, like wading through water. As if I was in a dream up to my knees in cotton candy. My head was swimming, a dim chuckle inside and a sudden mugginess. I was light-headed, the lights of the disco ball got brighter, stretching out like little lazer pointers.

He stood in front of the TV, it like I was watching one of the good Tarantino movies. True Romance, that was Tarantino right?

“Can you turn the music down, I wanna talk to you,” Paul barked. He stood straight up and played it tough.

Ruiz pretended not to hear him craning his neck in an exaggerated motion pretending he was trying to see the tv. Shaking his bling at Paul like it was some kind of magic talisman that would get him to move.

What was he doing, he wasn’t John Wayne or John Wick. This wasn’t a movie, was it?

My head spun; I put my hand on my temple, as the music rang in and out, I started to feel nauseous, how much booze was in this?

I looked up; the movie got worse as the doorman limped in, helped by some extras that looked a lot meaner.

He said something in Spanish, but it was drowned out by the music.

I just watched and sipped my drink, waiting for the good bit.

Paul just stood there, waiting.

Waiting for what? For them to make the first move?

My temples throbbed, and I could almost feel my fingers opening and closing. Losing sensation, the glass slowly slipping from my hand. I searched for a place to put my glass down and something strange caught my eye.

Now that most of the golden liquid was gone, I could see the napkin through the glass. There was something written on the underside.

 Do you see?

The drink dropped out of my hand.  Like someone stole the bones from my legs, I followed it down into the dark place.

Just another little sneak peak at the final edition of Diana, you’ll have to buy it when it comes out to get all that goodness but in the mean time you can read the rough cut right here if you can’t wait that long. Rescue him

 

Diana After Dark Chapter 17 ‘Waltz me to the grave’

Ok so I’m kinda cheating today because I didn’t have time to proofread the next chapter for Cur despite promising one a week. But I’m going away for a bit and I’ve been busy packing and getting a haircut and waiting on hold with the bank all day so I haven’t had time. But I should have one out next week possibly and then I’ll be gone for a week and after that it’s back to normal for a hell of a long time haha.

Not much to comment on today, didn’t really bitch about the witcher because I’ve said all I have to say really. It’s uninspired and sort of boring with it’s good sections but there’s not really enough there to hold my interest.

On the other hand I started the next Parker book and was a little disappointed when this one again started with the heist. I like the planning and the build up. But it has this really cool element where he’s trying to hide the money and himself in an abandoned amusement park closed up for the winter from a bunch of dirty cops who want his heist money.

So it’s setting up to be like a lethal version of home alone and I really like it. So instead of having the heist set up you have like a siege set up which is just as fun.

It should be a good romp, didn’t have any time to read it today but I’ll find some time.

In the mean time you can read this chapter, ok well it’s not a chapter of Diana in the Dark, more of an epilogue. And yes I realise I use those titles interchangeably.

But yeah gotta do other things.

See you…

Epilogue Waltz me to the grave

“Oh Paul, oh Paul” I said pretending to weep as they lowered the coffin into the ground.

As fate would have it this was the first funeral I’d ever been to, although I sincerely doubted it would be my last. I actually kind of like it, there was a comfort in the routine of it, the ceremony was soothing. Everyone gathered together to think the nicest possible thoughts of the dearly departed wearing their nicest clothes. There was solemn dignity and lots of tears real or otherwise.

But it was a lovely service, flowers, tearful speeches from people I barely knew and the promise of cake in the near future.

“Oh Paul” I wept again into a balsam tissue.

“Shhh” he said as he patted my head, resting it on his shoulder.

Thankfully he remembered very little of our little midnight drive into the middle of nowhere. A combination of all the blows to the head and a cocktail of drugs concocted by my dear brother. My dear brother who was not yet dearly departed but still on the run. From what I couldn’t say because as far as the Orange County PD were concerned Antoine Ruez was and forever will be the Huntington Beach Headsman. A title far above his station. And as far as my brother had any say in it, Ruez would never be found and the myth, the meme, could live on forever. The evil slasher come to life to terrorize a group of innocent teens on prom night.

There was something about that the normies liked, a divine ritual fulfilled. Like Hollywood had been setting them up for this very occurrence and been vindicated in the best possible way. Slipped right in place into their cultural consciousness like it was another Friday night.

I continued to pretend to cry, just making the noise of crying and covering my face, constantly batting away fake tears, no one was watching.

“You need another tissue?” My Au-Sister Mary Anne said pulling a fresh pack out of her purse and giving me a tight restrained smile. I think we settled on my just calling her my Aunt, Aunt-sister was a bit of a mouthful and calling her by her name just felt weird. Plus I really didn’t want to get bogged down in explaining to people that she wasn’t actually my aunt. But in fact my estranged half-sister pretending to be my aunt because we watched our real aunt butchered before our eyes. And then put on display like a hunting trophy by our brother. That all seemed best tucked away for a rainy day.

“Thanks” I said as I took the tissues smiling a nice fake smile, far better than my Brother’s. My estimation of how deep the knife penetrated my aunt’s side was off by a wide margin. I would have assumed he didn’t want to kill her but necessity for his own life had forced him to act. Similarly the shot being off centre, it would have been nice to think she extended him the same courtesy but that might have been a stretch since she mostly carried really strong pepper spray giving out tickets in cycle shorts. Never the less her arm was in a fashionable sling or some reason. I never understood why they did that in movies, he didn’t stab her in the arm.

A sudden prodding feeling roused me from my daydream and I looked over at the grave and the nice picture they had over it. It was the one of the several taken at her sweet sixteen. Wendy did look nice in that one, so full of life. Who would suspect her of anything worse than forgetting to floss? That feeling again, like someone walking over my grave, someone drilling little hot holes in the back of my head.

I looked around at the crowd of her fake friends, the rest of the cheerleading squad, her many exes the last not withstanding and me, her best friend and then I saw her. She was hard to miss now that I noticed her. Dressed as she was in correctional facility orange chained to two cops looking up from the grave to send me icy daggers. Her hair long and greasy looking made curtains of a plain white flat unmade face. Prison make-unders are a real thing. What did they have against makeup in prison? It’s not like eyeliner was against the law. Conditioner even.

Wendy’s mother, the one currently on trial for the murder of her husband. Looking right at me. Not around, not past me but through me. Singled out.

She knew.

I could see it in her face.

I don’t know how she knew but I’d find out, when that happy vicious moon was smiling high in the sky again, D and I would ask nicely.

Waltz me to the grave

Diana After Dark Chapter 16 ‘Dark Descendants’

Yoyoyo- and that’s enough of that.
Gonna keep this one terse because I want to get right into more proofreading and editing, had a bit of a weird week. I dunno, I finally got all my day job work stuff and Diana editing out of the way and then I sat down to write Cur and I was just fucking braindead haha. Isn’t that always the way, fucking sods law. 

I dunno, I just felt sort of tired and run down and it was like getting blood out of a stone, nothing like the first week. Writing is weird like that, it’s like the weather, there are good days (in this case weeks) and bad. But I had to write something so I stayed the course telling myself that today I would fix all the lazy bullshit haha. I met a nice quota just barely hammering out the plot. I made a few hotfixes I think help the story a long and I’m feeling my villain. I’m worried he might be more sympathetic than my hero now but that might be exactly what I want haha.

So I’m gonna keep on trucking with that, I just sent out my mailing list newsletter with the freebies so that should find it’s way to you if you’re reading this. I meant to send it out last week but I was busy and it just fell out of my head, better late than never though. No updates really beside that I watched war for the planet of the apes and it really rustled me so I might do a review on that just to get it out haha.

That’s about all.

See you…

I just sat there for a moment looking down at it, turning it in my hand, getting a feel for the weight. The weight of his words swishing around in my head. I didn’t have to ask if they were true, it just made some sort of insane sense, a puzzle piece falling into place, this was what I waiting for.

“What do I do?”

“Whatever you want.” He smiled.

A lapping feeling of dark waves pouring over me, covering me, feet first. It was like a dream, like a wish. A whole dark world opened up before me, welcoming me in like some returning hero from long exile. I was home, whatever that meant. I went from a sad emo only child with a serial killer blog to Dark Diana mistress of the damned with not one but two siblings of the night at her side, more or less.

“Oh yeah” He said suddenly raising to a mid-crouch, the ceiling being far too low for his stature. He leaned over Wendy and opened each eye and then gave her a few little love taps to bring her just to the brink of consciousness. “I gave them just a little more than you to keep them under. I didn’t know whether you wanted them to talk, sometimes I like them to talk, confess, scream, spit.” He paused and looked down at her like she was Christmas ham and then looked back up at me and smiled that plastic smile. “It seems necessary sometimes but it’s up to you. I think she’s passed a confession at this point.”

“I know all I need to.” I said stonily.

“I figured as much.” He smirked.

Wendy’s head rolled back and forth and her eyes fluttered open and she looked around confused. Unable to move her head as it was pinned with plastic wrap across her forehead. She saw me and her eyes got hot and spicy, I could almost see blood squirting out of them.

I could feel it then, my heart pounding, the dark dancer gripping the knife, moving my hand, my feet moving on their own, letting go, letting it take me as it purred incessantly in my ears. I stood like someone yanked my strings and glided over by her side and looked down at her. She was beautiful, a perfect specimen really, it was a shame. A beautiful tragedy.

She was my friend, kind of. That’s what made it special I guess, the setting, the night, the company. She looked up at me with wide terrified eyes now, she saw the knife, she could feel the squashing pressure of it now. The helplessness, the hopelessness. The cornered animal anger leaving and being replaced with a dreadful solipsism. She could feel it now, see it in my empty eyes, she knew she was about to be swallowed, there was no other way. Not a muscle she could move, not a penny she could spend, not an eyelid she could flutter. Nothing would spare her this, this was fate, this was the end, her end and it was as beautiful and poetic one as I could ever hope to see.

Only one question savaged me; Where to start?

For the rest of the chapter and to read the others head on over to inkitt.
Dark Descendants

 

Diana After Dark Chapter 15 ‘The Build up’

Well here we are again, 

I’m gonna keep this brief because I woke up with a splitting eye strain headache and I’m so fucking close to finishing the chapter break down of the first of my fantasy books of which the title is fluxuating. I wanted to call them ‘Cur’ and the titular character as an homage to the character he’s based on, namely the Kurgan from highlander. 

But I was thinking because ‘the Kurgan’ isn’t actually his name, it’s his tribe and his name is never actually stated in the movie I might do a better homage just to call the book and the character by his dead tribe; ‘The Firbolg’. I’m just not so sure it has the same ring to it as the Kurgan.

It might just be me adding the extra meaning and when I write this, the name Firbolg will be steeped in meaning. I dunno, gonna have to think about it, test how it feels but right now it seems more organic than calling him ‘Cur’ since Cur was sort of the start of this project but it’s evolved so much from there I don’t see why the title should be immune from that evolution.

Also not a big fan of subtitles but I hate messy unconnected titles like the witcher, I can’t really decide. I might just call the first book ‘The Firbolg’ or ‘Firbolg – Blood and Soil’ or soil and blood, in reference to the meaning of their name and the legend of them bringing sacks of dirt over to ireland.

Still playing around with it, still storyboarding, still researching and I need to get back to it, planning to start this bad boy friday at the latest. Kinda feel like I should sacrifice a goat or something haha.

Am I worthy? Haha. I dunno, I guess I just have to get over that and get stuck in, if I doubt myself now I may never start and just get bogged down trying to make it perfect and never get anywhere.

See you…

Outside the air was hot, a tropical wind blowing a hair dryer in my face. Wendy’s caked make up melting like a wax mask off my face. Sirens in the distance creeping over the shoreline, a sudden feeling of impending brain fart looming.

What could I do except throw myself on the mercy of a barrage of police questions with only my cute girl routine to fall back on. ‘It wasn’t me Mr scary police man, it was the one armed man’. I don’t know what disgusted me more; the thought that I would actually have to resort to that or that it might actually work. Well good looks don’t last forever.

My number one priority right now was finding my aunt/sister and boyfriend and getting as far the hell away from here as possible. With Wendy more or less dealt with that only left her little commandment breaking brother, Denny. Although I struggled to think which if not all the commandments he’d broken, surely he didn’t honour his father nor his mother. Incest and drug taking were apparently just a given.

I thought it would be pretty slick to escape out of the back fire door since doubling back through the main hall might run me back into Wendy’s path. Considering she wasn’t buried under a tonne of chipboard, which seemed a likely resting place for the wicked witch of the west coast. Or even worse; an awkward conversation with my aunt/sister over a dead cop. Also I couldn’t pretend to hope Denny hadn’t heard the shots. Or for that matter seen the waves of startled human cattle stampeding into the parking lot and disappearing into the night.

It was a good bet that he thought he was well on his way to enacting some kind of bloody revenge on my hapless aunt/sister at home. For of course ruining what could have been a lovely evening for his demented sister and possible lover. Or option two he was waiting with his hand on a large knife or gun waiting for either me or his sister to come out. So they could then ship off to aspen in the middle of the night and blow Orange County a kiss from the slopes with new names and probably new noses.

This being in the front of my mind leaving through the rear exit was my best option. I opened the fire exit with a mechanical clunking noise followed by lots of banging and scraping and a distinct smell of week old garbage. The back of the lazer arcade was a tight and cluttered alley opening onto a strip mall behind the arcade. The sirens were getting louder, so if he was still there he’d have to be getting more nervous and trigger happy by the second.

I looked at down at myself, at the silly pink prom dress I was borrowing. What was it I was planning to do exactly? Teen movie him to death?

A grave scraping like death’s scythe in the dark around my feet sent icy shivers up my bare ankle. Followed by a bitter mocking chuckle from the dark back seat. I breathed out and reached down to pick up whatever the hell I’d almost tripped over. The moonlight lifting its lidded eyes a slant to shine down on this unholy implement. Ok it was just a pipe, some kind of gas pipe maybe, don’t ask me I’m not a plumber. All I knew is that it was heavy on one end with a gnarly looking gauge or something sticking out.

Clue it is.

Who did that make me? Miss Scarlett or Madame Peacock? Was there a pink clue character?

This will do nicely, the thing inside said not in so many words. It’s teeth bared behind its leathery wings sending a rush of blood through the tips of my fingers. Making me feel magnetized, electric, like I was sticking to the walls. Like I was Spiderman crawling unseen above everyone’s heads as I traced through the dark in my ridiculous pink dress- ruffles and all. Quietly, I worked my way along the side of the lazer arcade, back around to the front.

The alley leading onto the strip mall was cramped and smelled like old hamburger meat and was most likely filthy. But the darkness was kind to it and to me as well as I peeked around the side of the pastel coloured building at the now more or less vacant parking lot.

But for one stretch hummer.

The parking lot was pretty well lit but the moon had given me a few dark pools in which to wallow. There was a large billboard on wheels facing out towards the road and a few trucks dotted about. They probably belonged to the furniture store on the other side of the arcade.

With the pipe in hand I hiked up my skirt like lady Chatterley about to descend her carriage or walk over a puddle, skittering along the ground as low as possible. I came up behind the billboard and peeped out for a closer look.

There was no movement. Although the tinted glass and the inherent clash of the dark and the bright parking lot lights made it impossible to see inside. I smelled axel grease and looked down at my hands and dress to see that I was covered in it. Looking at the pipe, the obvious culprit making a silent yuck face and then slipping back into the dark mask.

My body was starting to feel loosely coiled, the feeling of letting go mashing against the rising tide of ultimate control. Dark powerful waves tossing tiny boats aside like they were in the bath tub of Cthulhu’s baby brother.

If you wanna read the rest, you know the drill.

The build up

 

 

 

 

 

Diana After Dark Chapter 14 ‘Two Way Street’

Herro seniors and seniorittas (I don’t care if that’s spelled right).

It’s been a very eventful week and by eventful I mean I did pretty much nothing but I feel good about it.

Yeah, well erm I didn’t do anything very constructive but the love life front magically out of nowhere seems to be wonderful again thankfully, like waking up from a bad dream almost. Or maybe it’s just a really good dream.

I watched Black Panther… and I fucking hated it haha. Well I was sort tossing between incredibly bored and just indifferent to it which translates to hate for me haha. If I don’t care about the story or characters and think the action is dull and uninspired with bad acting and storytelling and then think to myself; “Actually the early noughties fantastic 4 movies were pretty good” thats pretty bad to me haha. But I’ll probably do a more in depth review on it tomorrow.

As far as work is concerned (I mean real work not work work) I’ve been thinking about Cur the fantasy novel I’ve had on slow boil in my head and I think I finally cracked what I needed to get it off the ground in the old head oven, turn up the heat a little to a nice steady simmer haha. I was thinking about the witcher and the rich folklore it borrows from and I decided to go folklore shopping as you do and my babymama has always been a big fan of faeries and the fae and I thought that would be an interesting start.

So I started researching and I went through germanic and slavic folktales until I finally found my way to the celtic book of invasions and it just seemed to fit somehow. And on top of that it seemed fresh and good and it hasn’t been done before or at least done to death like the nordic and germanic folklore. 

I just started to look into it and it started to paint a picture in my head, to get back to the cooking analogy, it added a spice I was missing, it added a base to work from and it’s really coming together in my head and just thinking about it is really fun. Honestly pretty excited about it, I haven’t put much down on paper but it’s getting there in my head, momentum is building, I just need to keep working the steel a little.

Yeah a blacksmithing analogy is more manly than cooking, I should change to that haha. Can’t be bothered and go back and change my previous analogies, whatever.

Anyway I really like the way its going and I’m so glad that it’s stoking a fire in me just to stop me from rushing into another Diana book before it’s properly formed. The timing is  just too perfect and I’m really excited. Before I was a little hesitant because I didn’t really know what direction I wanted to take it in or have any real narrative, now I have too many ways to go and I’m loving it. I have my cool names, I have my cool location, I have my cool characters and I didn’t just pull it out of my ass.

It’s not going to be about faeries but it’s going to be about the world before faeries, it’s faeries the prequel with all the dark gritty stuff left in, culminating in the death of the gods and magic and the birth of faeries, which are this diminished forms of these old gods.

Anyway wasted enough time today, I need to do some spamming maybe and maybe some more proof reading I guess if I have time. Also I need to go over the Diana pitch another time for good measure and absorb more celtic folklore.

Gone back to the excerpt style just for a more bite size blog, so click the link to read the full devilishly delicious chapter on inkitt.

See you…

Two Way Street

~

Whatever the esoteric message of the photocopy meant I didn’t have enough time to make any sense of it. As a tight popping cracking noise of a microphone being tapped and tested and then a nasally voice filled the whole room.

“Folks, can I have your attention please.” Principle Maria Petro said. She stood looking over us from the balcony dressed a little like a character from the fifth element in a leopard print onesie? Cat suit? What are those called? Which actually fit with the neon space jungle theme. She was a short stodgy woman with a nest of badly dyed hair that looked a little like ramen noodles. She stood in what looked like a brightly lit star gate or arch, her hair done up as high as it would go. Thankfully it was high ceiling without any fans or low hanging lights. Her face a perfect mask of confidence and years of stored up aggression from dealing with the most spoiled kids on earth. All the make up in the world couldn’t cover up those frown lines. “Ahem Good evening everybody, I hope you’re all having a great time.” Paused for effect. Looking down at her subjects expecting an answer or maybe an uproarious applause. She cleared her throat and continued on without it. “It’s my pleasure to announce this year’s senior prom queen and king.”

I made my way back over to Paul, strategically elbowing people in their solar plexuses. Solar plexi? Swimming through the crowd, only spilling about half the contents of each cup on other people’s rented shoes. I handed him one. “Thanks”. He smiled for a moment and then stood bolt upright and his eyes got a little wider.

“What is it?” I asked.

“Err”.

“Don’t say shit” A coiled voice hissed.

“Wendy?”

“No it’s the fucking tooth fairy”

“What are you?” Paul asked looking over his shoulder keeping his neck stiff.

Wendy moved out his large shadow and poked him in the side with that deadly DG purse, her hand inside it. I imagined not clasped around her lip gloss. Her hair was coming undone, rogue strands now sticking in places to her patchy fake tan, running from the sweat. “Brodie stood me up” She said shooting me a glare like it was my fault. “They’re about to announce it now and the queen needs a king comprende?” She spat through her expensive bridgework. “So I’m just gonna borrow yours, you got a problem with that?”

“Err-“ I said eloquent and loquacious as ever.

“It’s ok, it’s cool.” Paul said as he tried his best not to look as stiff as Frankenstein’s monster with a hand up his ass.

“Walk” She said still looking at me.

He resisted the urge to raise his hands like a hostage and started to pad slowly towards the stage stairs.

There was no direct access to the stage. Wendy poked him through a set of stage doors and they disappeared hopefully to reappear on the other side of the star gate in one piece. But there was an awfully long pause and silence that followed.

“I’m happy to announce” Principle Pietro unsealed a sparkly envelope, very glamorous. She unsheathed a gold piece of card. “This years prom king and queen are-“ A sudden interruption, a dull pop and then another and then a shrill scream.

The room froze trying to recognise the sound.

Wendy burst out onto the stage the small pistol in her hand. A ruby red stream of blood flowing from a broken nose but no Paul to be seen.

“Gimme that!” she said as she snatched the studded prom queen tiara from Principle Pietro’s hand shoving her out of the way. She tried to pin it to her head with gun still in her hand. Once it was level she scanned the room of all the faces still frozen in stunned silence. Her existence now a morbid curiosity, a downward spiral, a car crash happening in slow motion and then she saw me looking up at her. The part of me that was really me wondering if Paul was still alive, the other part that was distinctly darker and couldn’t keep the smirk off my face. Here I was, a peasant in the crowd watching a debutante fall face first in the mud and I couldn’t stop the muscles in my face tensing into something like a smile.

“Fucking bitch this is all your fault!” She screamed and started firing wildly into the crowd I happened to be mingled in. The tiara drooping down and getting tangled in her hair as she cried.

Luckily at this range that little gun was about as deadly as a spud gun and there was just far too much confusion to hit anyone in particular. The crowd predictably woke from their frozen morbidity. Erupting into a flurry of fight or flight lizard brain comprehension. Stampeding towards the nearest exit. Climbing all over each other so as not to become the lucky recipient of a nine millimetre kiss blown from a killer queen.

My first instinct unlike that of a mere prey species was not to fight or to flight but to hide and wait and watch and see. I told myself I couldn’t leave without knowing what happened to Paul. He wouldn’t abandon me and I couldn’t let my mask slip off completely without at least trying to save it. What kind of girlfriend would I be if I just ran and melted into the maddening crowd of lurching farm animals and left him to bleed to death?

The exits were currently expurgating a constant stream of furious humanity. The true meaning of an ancient roman vomitorium now fully realized. Another fortuitous exit was marked out for me with a sign above the alcove that read “The glow zone”.

I broke from the herd and darted for the exit looking up to make sure she noticed I was distinct from the throng. She cursed in spanish and fired a warning shot over the bow of the balcony missing and chipping the horsehead ice sculptor, “Go Trojans”.

 

 

Diana After Dark Chapter 13 ‘Daddy’s Little Darlings’

How do fine folk?

It’s your boi… *tries to think of a witty rap name and fails*

Err moving on. So yeah erm did a story about a clown samurai, that’s a thing, it was fun to write but it’s essentially a cool kung fu movie you can’t literally see with your eyes so that’s that I guess haha. Gotta get those old noggins joggin’ my dudes. I still think it’s bette than the first witcher book because it at least has the thread of a narrative running through it.
I will continue to rag on the first witcher book despite how excellent I think it’s written ad probably the reason I am shitting on it out of pure jealousy haha. It’s really effortlessly well written, it’s irritating haha. But yeah I thought back to even the witcher game and I was thinking there isn’t really a story here either. I mean it’s basically like this book, a series of vignettes, little fun well written stories that ultimately go nowhere but in the game those stories are loosely knitted together with the bread crumbs left behind by Ciri. So it’s less of a story and more of a Mario princess hunt.
Not begrudging it at all, I loved that game, I plan on playing the others. I mean I played 3 the popular on now I’m gonna play 2 the less popular one haha. But videogame stories are basically just there to get you from point a to point b and to make you forget you’re playing a videogame which some do really well and sometimes the skill in games is getting the story out of the way to let the player make his own story and those are games I think have a better grasp of what a game is.
I kind of always wanted to write stories for videogames but then as I played more and more games I realised that story in videogames is really just a means and not an end in itself and really story unless it’s really really good like last of us or something just tends to get in the way and hinder gameplay more than it helps it. That’s why I find myself drawn to games with only peripheral or no stories whatsoever like FarCry2 and Elite Dangerous, where the fun is found in the gameplay and exploring and making your own stories.

Anyway, back to 3 ring, so I’ve almost finished the first part, probably would have finished it earlier if I wasn’t struck down for two days by the spiciest vindaloo I’ve ever eaten *conjures feelings of the acidic alien blood*. What I tried to do with the first part is to have some fun with it and introduce Pookie as a character and have a good solid set of action set pieces with interesting villains all the while subtly lacing in an overarching story and some of the world building without it being too hamfisted.

Literally trying to do what the witcher is doing essentially haha. I want to create a story like a tv show, where you have these interconnected stories in relation to the overarching plot that carries them forward. I think due to the structure I had planned I could have rewritten it and shortened it to a book or a couple of books but I think I’m too lazy for that and I’m better maybe trying something new and just having it as a series of episodic novelettes.

I think it turned out ok, maybe a little too tongue in cheek but the witcher’s style and mine are pretty different. It has some humor but very different from my own. I am enjoying it but it’s a slog as to is the game I’m currently reviewing which should make for some cathartic savagery for tomorrow haha.

So today, I’m gonna keep plugging away with the edits for Diana After Dark, maybe do a bit of spamming and this time next week I should be back on facebook and my next newsletter is scheduled for the first with more free copies of TOTCB flying out to all of my subs which surprisingly were quite a bit the last couple of weeks.

Not much else is up except I’m watching the new season of Bosch trying to get my detective story juices flowing for Diana 2. I want to start that next but I really need to psych myself for that I think.

Anyway, enough time wasted.

See you…

Daddy’s little darlings

~

Darkness, and then an eye opens, I open my eyes and he’s there.

“Come on &&^%^$(*()*&

I wanna show you something”

A little boy with a bowl cut hairstyle is leading me down a tight white hallway.

There’s a door, he wants me to go through.

What’s on the other side?

The door is huge I can barely reach the handle, it’s turning red, the door, it’s melting. What’s in there?

“A surprise

I did it for you”

Shapes start to appear in the red goo the door is turning into. A face is pushing through the malleable door.

It’s my face, it’s a mirror.

A sudden jolting and my face hits something hard and flat and I’m thrust back into the land of the living rather unceremoniously.

My head hurts, I’m still seeing spots, but that’s all I see, there’s something over my eyes. I can almost feel all the veins in my neck, my brain feels like someone slam dunked it through a stained glass window.

I can feel something wet and warm on my face, getting colder, shit, blood, it has to be blood. “I’m bleeding” I cry out to the dark to no one in particular.

“Relax” A woman’s voice says “It’s just drool- you can wipe it off when we get there”

“Get where?” I ask stupidly.

“Prom, of course” Wendy said.

I try to move but my hands are strapped with ties to something at my side and I can’t move them. But I can feel the car plaining over wet roads, feel it turning, stopping, we’re moving.

“Don’t move, don’t be dumb” Her voice was tight, stern with a bitter frosty bite. “Don’t bother screaming, we’ll just crank the radio up, the windows are tinted no one can see us in here.” She said with a cool commanding calm in her voice.

“Wendy, what’s going on?”

She laughed and said “What’s going on? We’re going to prom, didn’t I just say that?” The car slowly ground to a halt and I heard the driver get out of the car. “Just gotta make a little stop along the way”

“Wendy I-“

“I should have known it was you. My mom warned me about you, you’ve always been jealous of me- how did you know?” I heard the jewellery on her arm jangling as she talked no doubt gesturing to someone blindfolded. “I bet you felt really fucking clever sending me those little notes- how clever do you feel now huh?”

The passenger side door to my left opened and something big and heavy was slung at my side.

“Don’t make a fucking noise puto, don’t make me shoot you!” A man’s voice said.

The door shut again and the large sack of potatoes started to writhe and make groaning grunting noises in the seat next to me.

“What the fuck Denny, I told you not to hurt him, he’s fucking bleeding”

“I had to hit him with the gun, big white boy wouldn’t come on his own, thought he was a tough guy”

“Now I’m gonna have to clean him up, you better not have got blood on his tux.” She screeched.

“What the hell’s going on? Is this- a prank? – It’s not very funny” The potato sack said in between pained groans.

“Paul!- Is that you?”

“Diana? – are you?” He said groggily.

“Just stay cool” I said.

“What the hell Di?” He groaned.

“What’s going on is I’m not going to let you white trash pieces of shit ruin my senior prom.” Her voice got fast and high pitch. “Already close to ruined it having it in that fucking lazer arcade. I wanted it at the beach club, but noooo that wasn’t cool enough for little miss ‘ooh look at me I’m so quirky and interesting’!” She made a clucking sound in her throat trying to get more spit in her mouth. “Me being the great friend I am let it slide, but no you gotta stab me in the back and try to ruin it”

“Wendy?” Paul said. “What’s she talking about, what’s going?”

“Would you just shut up you fucking meat head daddy’s boy retard.” She took a deep breath and filled herself with sweetness and light and said. “We’re gonna be there soon and we’re all gonna dance and have a great time and then me and Brody are going to be crowned prom king and queen and then-“

“Then what?” I said.

She laughed and I could feel her shifting closer to me, the leather creaking under her toned brown buns. She took the sleep mask off my face and put a small gun to my head, my small James Bond-type gun to be precise. She looked over at Paul and squeezed her thin drawn on eyebrows as tight as they would go. “Oh for fucks sake.” She tutted as she pulled out a tissue from her purse and spat in it rubbing furiously at the small nick at the side of Paul’s head where Denny had hit him.

She stepped back after she was done to get a good look at him. “There, you look great” She sat back in her seat in the front of the limo with the small purse pistol trained on us. Wendy was in a gold taffeta dress looking like a real princess. Paul was in the tux my aunt picked out for him tied to one of the arm rests with a plastic tie the same as I was. He was slowly, fading in and out of consciousness like he took a hit of Nyquil and whiskey.

The interior of the limo was huge. The ceiling was much higher than you would expect and coming in at a cool five three I was almost certain I could comfortably stand up in there. It was almost as a standard bus. It was wide with black leather couches on all sides and a large bar-like table with cushioned corners all the way around stretching out the length of the interior. To top it off there were blue strobe lights around the ceiling making it look almost like a mini travelling strip club. It was missing the stripper pole though. No fog machine either.

I looked down and I was wearing one of Wendy’s hand me down dresses she wore to the homecoming dance last year. The insult to injury received. Pretty in pink my ass.

“You two make such a cute couple” She smirked. She turned and tapped the glass between the passenger compartment and the drivers cab and said “Denny you’re driving like an old lady, are we there yet?”

“Couple more minutes” He shouted back “You know, we’ve got some time” He said, his voice taking on an odd tone.

Wendy turned a redder shade of gold and said “Not here dummy” She turned back to look at me, her eyes becoming sharp slits, making a sucking sound with her gums. “You think you’ve got it all figured out don’tchoo?” Her valley girl accent slipped a little, letting a little Cubano slide in. “I took a look through your littl kit, some sick shit in there, you got the letters, you were really gonna do me like that, after all I’ve done for you?”

She sighed and her and relaxed her muscles with the gun hanging languidly in her lap as she laid back in her seat spreading her legs. “What was the plan? Gonna blackmail me after I made you?” I had a feeling somebody made me but not her and not here. “No one in that school would even know who you were if it wasn’t for me. You’d just be a nobody.” That’s what she didn’t get, that’s what she could never get, I wanted to fade into the background, I didn’t ask to be popular, I wanted to be a nobody, I just wanted to fit in. “You wouldn’t have him for sure.” We both looked over at Paul as he dozed, very still slumped in the corner of the limo. “Shit I might have to cover the cut with some make up or something.” She tutted and looked back at me with half lidded almond eyes “Now you’re gonna lose it all”

She thought I just wanted to black mail her, that was a step up I guess from what I was actually planning. “You’re gonna kill us?” I said dim as ever.

“You see another way out of this, you promise not to come after me or squeal on me?” She laughed. “The funny thing is I probably would have just given you money if you asked.” She smiled sadly “What are friends for right?” She gritted her and made her eyebrows angular again pointing the gun at me “You think I’d let you ruin my prom? We’re going and you’re going to behave, because if you don’t I’ll put a bullet in both of you. Dump your bodies in a snow drift in aspen then I’ll pay a visit to your Aunt.” She looked left then right out the window like she was trying to see her reflection. “I mean you could have told her anything.”

“No- she doesn’t-“ Something bubbling up, something new. A whole world created and then destroyed. My aunt, my sister, she built a life for us and now as her reward she’d get a bullet in the head from her sister’s best friend. Bedded in an unmarked grave because I was too smart to just be normal.

“You read the letters, you think you know the truth, shit my mom doesn’t even know, they’ve got her so doped up she probably thinks she did kill the old man. She probably wanted to.”

“Why did you-?”

“Do you actually care?” She looked at me with her head tilted, the gun at an angle like she was trying to see under a veil. “You don’t give a shit, just trying to buy yourself time” She sucked her gums.

“You know I hate awkward silences” I said.

She smiled. “I should kill you right here next to your boyfriend, but then I wouldn’t get to see your face when I’m crowned prom queen.”

“What about Brodie, when he sees this-“

She picked up her phone and looked at it “He already texted me, he’s meeting us there, had some family shit, ergh, like I care.” She said throwing the phone down on the leather couch.

“You’ve got your brother”

“Th-fuck that s’posed to mean?” She rattled the gun in her hand as the accent slipped again. “You have no idea what it’s like being the little rich spic in Orange County, surrounded by all these rich white people people”.

I rolled my eyes “I’m sure it was a nightmare.”

“Shut the fuck, what do you know? Denny was the only one who understood and it almost destroyed him. My dad found out and he was gonna send Denny away to a reform school, I couldn’t let that happen, I couldn’t live without him.”

“Stop, you’ll make my mascara run” I slipped a canine tooth out as I smiled, trying to break the ice.

She laughed and let out a little tear which she cauterized with her finger to stop her make up running. “Look in the mirror baby, nobody’s making dent in that shit” She chortled.

What did that mean. I looked in the reflection of the passenger window and saw a dim reflection of what looked like a Mexican clown but I knew unreservedly was me. “Oh goddamit, spray tan, really?”

“Better than your pale ass goth shit.” She said cocking her head. “Baby I made you look good.”

“You made me look like a clown whore, did you apply this with a shotgun?”

“We’re almost there” Denny called through the little PA system in the limo.

“Show time” She said smiling. She reached over me and cut the ties with a little fruit knife from the mini bar. I looked down at the gun and then up at her and over at Paul. “Don’t even think about it.” She spat.

She moved back, her head bowed for the lip of the door and signalled with the gun for me to get out. Denny got out the driver’s side and went around the side of the car to cut Paul free. I got out the car and stretched my legs. It was night again, I’d been out all day, she probably fed me Xanax to keep me pliable so she could dress me and do my makeup. My whole body felt and sore stiff like I was living doll rented out by a submarine full of sweaty otakus.

“Wake up pretty boy”. Denny was a tall lean Hispanic man dressed in a loosely fitting limo driver uniform with the top two buttons undone. I can see why she liked him, he was pretty much a male version of her, I wonder if they used the same eyebrow pencil. A chiselled jaw on a swarthy face and even darker hair and pencil thin moustache. He slapped Paul who was roused enough to indignantly stand, faltering a little before erecting to his full height of around six one.

“Remember my brother will be watching, so don’t try any clever shit or he’ll be paying your Aunt a little visit, got it?” She put the gun in her golden D&G purse and clipped it shut. “I still have this so if you fuck this up, all bets are off girlfriend.”

“Got it” I felt like a wrung out tube sock, I wanted to drop to my knees and just die right there. I slept but it was an unrestful semi-death like I’d been hung out to dry.

I looked up at the big black open empty sky, no moon, no light, just a blanket of dark sky lit up with the orange pollution of every damn light in the state.

We were in the parking lot of the lazertag place. I couldn’t tell the time, Wendy had taken any such devices used for such things away from me, which is understandable. But I assumed she would be fashionably late to her own funeral. Parking lot was littered with limos and rented sports cars. I then idly glanced back in my stupor at the vehicle we had arrived in seeing it for the first time from the outside. It was none other than a white stretch hummer. Classy.

“Subtle”

“I knew you’d like it” She said.

The front of the lazer arcade was a lit up like a movie theatre like it was some grand screening at Mans Chinese. Bright spots and strobes inside. A big stone awning with the Fuzion lazer tag sign on the front. I’d never actually been, it just kinda looked cool from the outside, driving past it with my Aunt/Sister. And I knew it would kind of piss off Wendy. I drilled into her the fact she chose the venue for the home coming dance, which was a golf club. I mean come on, how preppy is that? Plus it had the floor space and the lights and the food. The whole place was rented, no kids, did I mention I hate kids? I thought I’d get a kick out of watching all the people that pretended to be normal all day long chasing after eachother with toy guns, their hearts filled with playful virtual murder. But of course they weren’t actually pretending, like me.

I heard it’d been closed for a while. Some kid died here and they shut the whole thing down but with a little cutting of red tape it was under new management and back in business. Nothing stops the wheels of commerce in Orange County, not the living nor the dead. We passed the threshold which was carpeted like a theatre lobby, as in it was sticky, almost more gum than fabric. There were a few arcade machines and unmissable signs everywhere warning of impending epileptic fits.

As soon as I stepped foot inside I knew I picked the right place. The smell of popcorn and nachos the sound of shoes clipping and squeaking on linoleum floors. The pleasant cool darkness like the inside of a movie theatre. It was all black lights this and neon that, like the inside of Joel Schumacher’s sex dungeon. Obviously being on the prom committee meant I’d been in here before but all the times before it was in the day time with all the lights on. Tonight it was a completely different animal, just like me.

“Move” Wendy said through her teeth, poking me in the back with her DG purse. Those things are pointy.

She marched us past rows of foosball machines. People I barely recognised from school throwing the little balls in the holes in full prom regalia. Something about playing whack a mole in a prom dress made this whole thing seem worth it.

But I could tell Wendy hated it by the indignant sneer. “So fucking tacky” she mouthed as she watched Francine Hammond from my English lit class mount a ridge racer bike. No side saddle? Very unladylike.

Denny waited in the car, he was a few years older. He dropped out of high school to do little more than couch surf and sample a wide selection of drugs and likely crack house diseases so he wasn’t invited.

We reached the entrance to the main staging area. “Remember don’t fuck this up and I just might let you walk out of here- be cool.” She took out her hello kitty phone and pointed it at me. “If I don’t text Denny every half hour he’ll pay your Aunt a visit, got it?” She gesticulated a little more as if I might’ve forgotten what a phone looked like or maybe she thought her hello kitty phone case was intimidating. After she was done issuing threats she turned her phone over to read the screen. She opened her pursed lips and tutted. “Brodie’s running a little” She sighed as she started to text him back. “He’s gonna meet us in the main hall, come on.”

The main staging area was a large open bar and restaurant with a balcony hanging over it. Of course all the restaurant chairs and tables had been moved to sides to make way for a dance floor. Which was located under the balcony from which the prom king and queen would be announced.

The room with the main lights off was completely different. This time it literally looked like a set piece from a nineties batman movie. The one that Arnie hammed up. Strobe lights, and spotlights darted from corner to corner over a neon jungle. Complete with glowing tropical plants and monkeys hanging from pillars painted with neon paint to look like Florida palms. One almost seemed to be winking at me offering me a glowing banana.

No thanks.

I smirked because I knew on some level this had to disgust Wendy, it was tacky and kitschy and smelled like corn syrup and old beer. Cool and dark, not bright and sparkly like she dreamed. This was my world.

She turned to us both, her face agape with a wonderful disgust and then without flinching it turned into the most sugary sweet smile. I had to duck to avoid diabetic shock “Have fun you two- and remember, I’m always watching.” She said waving like a duchess.

She turned with a dramatic wafting of her poofy dress like the wicked witch of the west. Disappearing into the crowd of faceless seniors accumulating around a large ornate punch bowl, an ice sculpture in the shape of a horse’s head above it “go Trojans”, I whispered.

“What?” Paul said

I jumped almost forgetting he was here. “Oh nothing”.

“So what the hell is going on?” He whispered harshly taking me roughly by the upper arms as if he intended to shake the information out of me.

“What does it look like?” I ask as innocently as possible breaking away from his grip. Keeping my expression one of open optimism ready to mould myself to whatever situation he thought this was.

“Err well it looks like we just got kidnapped and taken to the prom by your best friend.” He said as he touched the nick on his head where he was struck.

“Yeah- I guess.” I said ditzily.

“So- what the hell are we gonna do about it?” He pouted.

“I dunno, call batman- I mean by the looks of this place he’s probably gonna be here for like a charity auction or something.”

“You think this is funny? We’re literally hostages.” He said turning to scowl at me, as if that would help.

“Thanks for noticing, wanna dance?-“

He furrowed his brow in response.

“What? She told us at gunpoint we need to have fun, so-“ Just as I said it the now iconic Simple minds – Don’t you forget about me, came on, thanks breakfast club. Yeah I know American pie already did this, how derivative.

There was already a sizeable crowd of seniors slow dancing to eighties synth wave. I dragged him into the middle of them and forced his hands around my waist and brought him close, resting my head on his shoulder rather mechanically.

“Diana, what are we doing?” He whispered into my ear.

“If we’re dancing she can’t see we’re talking and she can’t shoot through a crowd of people”.

“So?”

“So what?” I hissed.

“Do you have a plan?” He asked.

“I thought you’d have one”

“Why me?”

“You’re like- I dunno- an army guy, sorta.”

“My dad is in the army that doesn’t mean I know how to escape a hostage situation”

“Well it was worth a shot” I said sinking into the nook of his shoulder. It really did smell kind of nice. Comforting, like sandalwood or something, must have been his after shave.

“We need to find a way to signal to someone” He whispered.

I stirred from a moment of dozing on his shoulder. “She said if she didn’t text her brother every half hour he was going to kill my Aunt, we need to find a way to deal with Denny first.” I said brushing away a little drool and make up gunk from his shoulder.

“How? She’s not gonna let us leave the main hall.”

“We’ll wait until they crown the prom king and queen, she won’t be able to do anything and she’ll be too distracted with the lights to see us” I said.

“And then what?”

“We take out Denny”

“Take him out?” He said as we swayed.

“Yeah you know, punch him, knock him out, you can do that right?” I said yawning on his shoulder.

“Yeah- I guess, I mean yeah I can do that.” He was still a little groggy but my Paul was coming back hopefully bringing with him a little piss and vinegar. You’d think some help from a certain dark entity might be invaluable but this certainly wasn’t his scene, far too- neon and crowded. Tacky sure, but fun, there was no moon in here, no dark chorus, no flapping of devil or angel wings. My monster was a wall flower it seemed. Much happier in some dark corner licking dew off the neck off a virgin victim than cutting up a rug surrounded by chirpy yuppies. Maybe he’d show up fashionably late too, the night was still young after all.

We danced for a little longer waiting for them to announce the prom king and queen. Give us the distraction we needed to launch our ‘Plan’ if you can call it that. It wasn’t really much of a plan. Just wait til the backs are turned and punch someone in the face but this wasn’t exactly a spy novel. And I really didn’t need my Aunt/Sister to be butchered by some junkie she’d never met, that really would be tacky.

“Hey, I’m gonna get some punch, you want some?” I asked.

“Sure, just don’t go too far ok, I can’t see her. We have to assume she’s watching us.”

I sauntered over to the punch bowl trying not to trip over all the tassels and frilly things hanging off this ridiculous princess dress. I felt like some silly doll that was supposed to be sitting on a shelf or having a tea party with a stuffed bear not dancing and dodging bullets.

Some time had passed and the crowd around the punchbowl had dissipated and the puddle of punch had shrunk too. It was only about an inch deep of a cool looking pink liquid slowly getting room temperature under the spots.

That’s when I noticed the bowl full of cheese poofs and my stomach reminded me quite loudly that I’d been in a drug induced coma for about twelve hours and hadn’t eaten so much as a handful of lint lying on the floor of Wendy’s closet. So naturally like some half starved half crazy red squirrel (that’s the bad one right) I started grabbing literal handful of the disgusting puff balls. Filling my cheeks with the articial cheese flavoured corn starch balls of goodness. Caring not for the orange dust accumulating on my face and hands giving a sigh of relief when my stomach felt less inside out than it did a moment ago. Although lacking any actual nutritious content, they’d filled a hole and would have to do for now.

It was still pretty dark in the room so no one noticed me almost sticking my head in cheese poof bowl like a horse with a feed. I quickly used way too many napkins removing the orange dust from, well everywhere.

Why did I come over here again? Oh yeah punch.

As I said it was still pretty dark which made ladling the sweet smelling non-alcoholic liquid into the stereotypical red plastic cups much harder than it should have been. Nevertheless this slight challenge was nothing compared to my intellect and superb hand eye co-ordination. I almost patted myself on the back for pouring punch into a cup, it’s the small victories that count. I picked up the cups and was about to make my way triumphantly back to Paul when I noticed something. Something dark and oddly shaped at the bottom of the punch bowl hitting a bum note in the dark orchestra. The darkness giving me a little jab in the side to remind me it was still there waiting for its moment to bask in the spotlight. Better late than never.

Would he really pull the same trick twice? I thought as I put the cups down.

I picked up the ladle and did a quick one eighty to see if anyone was watching. But at that point everyone was either dancing or eating little wieners or starring into their cups thinking of something to talk about. I dipped the ladle in fishing for whatever the little surprise at the bottom of the punchbowl was, in the back of my head wondering where the little wieners had come from.

I moved it around, it was a large square piece of paper soaking up the punch. A moment of fumbling with the sticky sheet of paper and a happy spot light fell on me and it was lit up for a brief few seconds. Revealing what was a dark black and white photocopy of something that was a little too dark and wet to see. Further fishing bringing it closer to the surface got a reaction, a smirk, a happy sharp tooth glinting in the dark depths. I pulled it out of the sweet waters and let it drain and drip on the bottom of my faerie princes dress.

No doubt about it, it was a face, a face I recognised despite the fact it was smooshed into a copier. The likeness was uncanny, it was Ruez, what was left of him. I wasn’t dreaming, that was a Photostat of his head that had been polluting the punch for god knows how long and there was only one person who could have put it there.

The person who removed had his head of course. Now if I were still toying with the silly notion that that certain someone was me it would be a hell of a trick to have to keep that photocopy on me. Waiting for this moment only for it not to be found when I was stripped and dressed by Wendy. And then of course there was the task of taking a severed head to a copier which I didn’t own. So that meant going to a library which would go something like; “Oh hey Diana, what brings you here” – “Oh you know just gotta photocopy a severed of a gangbanger I may or may not have murdered. But it’s ok he liked to kill hookers, allegedly”. The idea alone got a chuckle from the dark backseat. It was a joke, a prank, one that only we would see the funny side of.

He/she/it was here, my plus one was sending me a message but what did it mean? “You forgot this”, “Heads up”?

Diana in the Dark Chapter 12 ‘Wandering Limbs’

Hello der, me again, your friendly psychopath leprechaun with a chainsaw wishing you all happy whatever it is today.

Ok so sleep experiment, I think my dreams of being an ubermench were a little too hasty, I just can’t do it right now. Like I’m trying it and I’m setting the alarms but my body is like ‘nah’. So doing the three hour sleep thing isn’t working because the alarms they do nothing and I either over sleep in the naps or just lie down for twenty minutes with my eyes clothed thinking happy thoughts. Neither are productive.

Although I did come up with two new ideas for short stories but I might have done that in the shower. Speaking of showers my fantasy story starting to take shape when I was washing my balls. I spend a lot of time doing that.

But I’m slowly getting more hyped for starting 3 ring samurai as a book. The reality of it as a comic was sort of underwhelming but as a book the possibilities are endless and I’m really looking forward to see how that shapes up.

So dialing back the sleep schedule to the biphasic model, so that’s five hours followed by a twenty minute nap in the afternoon which seems to fit me better because I ignored my alarm by exactly two hours this morning haha. Five hours seems like the magic hour for me although as I write this having skipped the first nap of the everyman schedule I feel zonked the fuck out haha. But I think I’ll get used to it, I hope so. I don’t wanna feel like this when it comes to writing again in earnest.

Anyway my brain has sharted and it’s time to do some sharing, social media wizardry or try to and I think I should over my Diana pitch document stuff and also maybe buff my Cur plan, that’s the name of my fantasy project I haven’t fully got my head around just yet.

Yeah so that’s about it. Hopefully you all got a copy of The One That Came Back in your inboxes and you’re reading it as we speak, if not I’ll keep on the newsletter thing, the first tuesday of the month and send out more copies then.

See you..

~

“You can’t do that to me I was worried sick.” My ‘Aunt’ said as she squeezed the cheap plastic steering wheel of her overgrown roller-skate car. Shouting but in a hushed voice like we were in a crowded place. “You can’t stay out late like that without telling me, I must have called you a hundred times”. I counted twenty two missed calls actually.

Believe me I would much rather not be having this one way conversation right now. And I definitely would much rather not have had to wait the four or five hours it took for Wendy to go to sleep before I could slip out and get on a bus home. And I would much rather have avoided the various California natives who frequented the late night buses. Talk about dick pics. It’s surely not as distressing as seeing them in person urinating on the floor of a moving bus while singing waltzing Mathilda in a sequin dress.

“I’m sorry” I said, not really meaning it. I find the word ‘sorry’ sort of meaningless if someone were truly sorry they’d never do what they were sorry for ever again or in the first place for that matter. And I surely knew that wasn’t possible. But it was a ritual that was obviously necessary for polite society to function. Despite the fact it seemed completely ineffectual, on women especially. I found the word ‘sorry’ was never enough, to be sorry and to say sorry are two different things.

“I was sure- I was so worried.” See no effect, she was still just as miserable as she was a moment ago, no magic word was going to change that, no vague promises I couldn’t keep. “Did you-?”

There was a moment that passed of stunned silence. Maybe I should have said I was sorry again, maybe I should just repeat it over and over again until she just stops talking. We were on our way to pick up my dress and shoes for the prom which seemed fast approaching. I’d soon have to get my hair done and put on lots of makeup and pretend to be having the time of my life dancing to eighties music and drinking cool aid. When I’d much rather be out in the dim darkness making other people drink cool aid, bit of an out there reference.

“I could have said I was your mother” She blurted out.

“You could have lied to me but instead you lied to me.” I said feigning indignation, honestly my capacity for disdain for lies and half-truths was very little. You really need a soul to feel pangs of sorrow and betrayal. And considering most of what made up my ‘normal’ existence was a lie it seemed petty by comparison “What difference does it make?” Teenage aloofness was my staple.

“I just thought I could help you” Her face contorted into something like a grim mask that might summon tears but none came.

“Help me?” I said, almost to myself, I didn’t even know I needed help.

“Guide you, give you a normal life, I thought you forgot. I tried so hard to forget, everything-.” She cut herself off, stuttering, making a wry almost wrenching noise like she wanted to cry but nobody taught her how.

“Forget? Forget what?” I looked at her with my wide empty blue green eyes, not sure what I was looking at anymore. Quite honestly if she told me she had had three heads I would have believed her.

“He promised he would guide us, he promised, but he, never got around to it.“ She shrugged with a little ‘that’s life’ sad smile.

“And then what?” I said looking forward as we stopped to let a couple of meth heads cross the street. For a moment I thought I recognised one of them from the bus last night, but I couldn’t tell because he was wearing pants.

“He was gone” She said it like she was talking about the phantom of the opera or something.

“Tell me- about him- Dad” I said as I looked out at the palm trees swiping past the window.

“He was – special. He was going to help us get ‘squared away’ that’s what he said.” Her eyes got a little misty and her face slackened like she was reading me a bedtime story. “His father did the same for him.”

“Get squared away?” I was looking out the window, watching the scenery fly by, the small sad houses of Santa Ana baking. A couple of Hispanic women rolled past with double strollers with gold wheels.

“We weren’t born like this. When he was gone and there was no one. No one to keep us on the straight path.“ Her face became a confusion of worry lines like she was trying to unravel a ball of headphone wires with can openers for hands.

“What aren’t you telling me?”

“We’re here” She said as she parked outside the dress shop into Santa Ana where I was measured and ambushed all in the same day.

“Is that why you sicked captain claw on me?” I called after her as she hopped out. –“To get me squared away?”

The prom was the day after so if I was going to get out of going and kill Wendy this was the best time to do it. Yeah I said kill; kill, slay, destroy, annihilate. I think I preferred kill. A part of me thought it was sort of catty to kill her before the prom she worked so hard to create. But the other half knew that it would be too difficult to kill her after. After prom she was going on vacation to aspen and would most likely be surrounded by planners and other such entourage from then until her trip. After that it would be off to college and I had it in good confidence she was going farther afield than I was. The night before was the only way I could catch her unaware and of course give me a great reason not to go to the prom.

Two birds with one stone. I get Brodsky off my back and I don’t have to take part in a great big hollow pantomime.

But was that the real reason? Of course not, a hoarse whisper sailed through my mind and told me the moon would be perfect. Round hollow ground down teeth gnashing over my head, waiting hopeful manic round eyes staring down at me. Beaming down at me filling me with that pure white light. That thick tropical night air brushing my skin and filling my lungs, lifting me like I was Marilyn Monroe and tonight maybe I was.

I’d be a passenger, watching through a rain slicked car window as my dark double took the wheel of my ‘Aunt’s’ car. Wendy’s house was a thirty minute drive north and I was suddenly feeling the benefits of driving this electric hair dryer. The ride was very quiet and smooth and at times with the cool night air flowing through the open window I almost felt like a shark. Sailing with the current of the north Atlantic up towards where the big juicy fish slumbered. Waiting for my teeth to probe their soft fatty tissues.

Oh I so wanted to probe their fatty tissues. I felt a shiver travel all the way up my spine and had it been me at the wheel I would have jerked and hit a passing minivan full of drunken teens so unlike myself. But it wasn’t me, so the car glided by, like it was an elaborate bumper car on some railed attraction heading to a certain end. Like some kind of reverse haunted ghost ride but the ghosts are the ones on the ride and everyone else is just part of the attraction.

I pulled up along the east side of the ‘compound’ as I was referring to it now, that being Wendy’s gated community. I took the long way so I didn’t have to drive past the gate. The guards might have questions for a young girl driving alone at this time of night wearing skimpy compression gear and black yoga pants. I kind of looked like a hipster cat burglar, if only my intentions were that innocent. I really didn’t need them getting some magical itch at the back of their necks, some call back to their long gone cop careers. Some mystical shaman hunch that would tell them to record the license plate of this weird but cute night prowler. Unlikely of course but why take the chance at all?

The initial plan for the prom dirge was for me to get my hair and makeup done, which wouldn’t take that long having little in the way of makeup and hair. The limo Wendy hired was then set to come pick me and Paul up respectively, obviously that plan was going to have to be put on an indefinite hold. No Wendy no limo, no prom.

I suppose I should have been a little bit let down, I did put a lot of work into the prom too, I must have folded a million napkins, I could fold a napkin in my sleep. But it was all camouflage, a necessary syncing of my outer and internal logic. A sad repetition of real life drudgery, the perfect mask was just to be average, and as uniform as those hundreds of neatly folded napkins.

I traced along the outer limits of the compound before I reached the spot I marked with a broken branch.

On my way out the other night I’d had to improvise. As the same trick that got me in wouldn’t get me out until the following morning when people were heading to work. I rummaged as quietly as possible through her kitchen drawers until I found a set of steel wire cutters. Keeping as low and looking as normal as possible ‘Oh just taking a moonlit stroll through my extremely well-lit gated community’. I crossed over from her side of the street and dipped out of the pool of streetlights and into the dark shadow it caste along the outer edges. I traced across until I found a portion of exposed fencing.

The fence at the front was mostly wrought iron and unfortunately without a file and a few more years I wasn’t getting out that way. Least of all because of the armed guards who would happily taze me just so they could stretch their legs.

But the rest of the fence was just a wire façade shielded by a thick wall of high spruce trees. Creating a sort of grotto or grove feel to the little patch of heaven up in the Orange county hills. It really was quite intimidating from the outside, especially in the dark. Like some sacred spot only for druids to make sour lemonade. Totally different feel from the front gate which was very open aside from the fence and the guards. Dotted with healthy chipper palms, ‘no really this is paradise, you didn’t take a wrong turn’.

I cut myself a small opening which I could seal back up again easy enough and then cover with a broken branch. So no eager beaver patrolman would notice it and put a claymore in front of it. That would be hard to explain but it’d still get me out of prom ‘I’m sorry Diana can’t go with you to prom. She’s had her arms and legs blown off by an improvised explosive device’.

I pulled the car over onto the grass under the outcroppings of spruce trees. I got out and it almost seemed like the little plastic car was being overgrown. It looked like a toy car someone forgot to wrap under a series of stern Christmas trees.

A warm wind blew in my face and I breathed it in, a kiss from a devil moon surely. I laughed to myself gritting my teeth, why was I laughing to myself? A manic giddiness took my knees and I felt weak for a moment like someone ripped all my bones out at once. Then suddenly I was walking to the other side of the car, a strong purposeful brisk walk. A thousand fingers manipulating my tendons and jaunts, whispering, telling me where to go, surfing on their raw intent.

I took the messenger bag out of the passenger side foot well, camouflaged as it was under a copy of teen vogue. This issue garnering much controversy of its article teaching their core audience of fourteen year olds the joys of anal sex. They grow up so fast.

I tossed the magazine in the back having next to no intention on wasting any brain cells reading it. But also having no intention of littering by throwing it out of the car. Curiosity and credulity might garner it a read if only for the dark thing inside to chuckle at the descent of modern pop culture.

I picked up the messenger bag and did a quick inventory, I tried to keep it as simple as possible, a portable murder kit. It might have been more preferable to take her some place I’d already prepared but as things stood her house was probably the place we’d get the most privacy. What’s more private than in a gated community guarded by its own small army. Surely there’d be no curious patrol cars to climb the hanging garden and shine a flash light through a second story window.

In the bag were a few things I could scramble together to get some likeness of the perfection I’d seen performed right before my eyes at Ruez’s house.

I had a few rolls of plastic wrap to keep her in place. I didn’t plan for her to put up much of a fight as I noted her bedtime routine involved a gauntlet of sleeping pills. Her medicine cabinet had enough Xanax to start her own retirement village.

I couldn’t quite place exactly how I was going to do it but I had a rough idea. I knew it’d fall into place as soon as I was there, as soon as I knew no one was watching as soon as I knew this was our time to share. Just me and my best bud Wendy.

The ‘tools’ I’d picked were simple yet effective ones; A fillet knife from the kitchen and a larger butcher knife cleaver type thing I pulled from the block at home. Accompanying the knives was a couple of long rolls of heavy duty electrical tape and a stapler with a few pictures I’d borrowed from the day before. And the little James Bond type gun Paul had so kindly leant me for ‘self-defence’. I didn’t really plan on using it but I figured this was a one of those ‘better have it and not need’ type of situations.

I cut a sheet of the plastic wrap off and poked a few holes in it to fashion a crude mask wrapping it tightly around my face to smoosh my features. It didn’t occur to me to buy one and it didn’t seem all that necessary as a precaution. Someone could see me but I also didn’t want her to know it was me, odd I know. I was going to watch the light fade from her eyes but I didn’t want her to know it was me sending her off. She was about to know me better than anyone ever had and she would have no idea. Not to mention her best friend buying a ski mask the day before her murder would look a little suspicious on my amazon order history.

I looked down at the knives twisting in the bag free, little slivers of moonlight dancing on them and reflecting its manic glee. I could almost hear the roar of the ocean like someone held two conch shells to my ears. I could feel the rush of it, the spray and I asked myself if I was really going to do this and before I could answer I could hear a voice hissing in the affirmative. I had to, the necessity of it was implacable.

It was as certain as the sun rising the next day. Her cold body, lying on her space age mattress, her head removed. Another victim of the Huntington Beach head-hunter. So sad.

But I was sad, a little fleck of sadness swallowed by that dark ocean inside me. I was about to say farewell to the only human part of me, the only person who called me friend…

Eh. I can make more friends, I slammed the car door shut and started to make my way to my little entry way.

I made it in the dark, nevertheless it was still hard to pick out, which was obviously the point. I moved some of the shrubbery as much as I could without making it sound like big foot was taking a bathroom break. Eventually I found my own handiwork cunningly hidden behind the broken branches.

I twisted the opening I had snipped back on itself remaking the little hole I exited from the previous night. I tossed the bag through first and then eased myself through the tight gap, remarking that it seemed a lot easier the night before. Probably because I spent something like five hours under her bed without food or water.

I had crossed my mind to do it then and there when she fell asleep, what was to stop me but a growling in my stomach and a weakness in the knees? That sort of thing didn’t matter to the darkness, it would still get its fill. I remember standing over her and it didn’t feel right, to rush something so perfect, so important, so poignant, my first.

It needed to be planned, it needed to be a special night, one that I and my partner would never forget. That was tonight, the moon and the dark double told me so. A whispered agreement, applauding my divine realisation that their wicked logic was true and precise. I could feel the levers of fate shifting and cogs turning. Driving me forward like some deadly Elizabethan steam train. Look out world, prepare for some second hand coal fumes.

I knew the dark thing inside didn’t truly care about my plans. Whatever shape my mayhem would take would please it. Whatever monster I would become they would welcome. But tonight I decreed, I would be a neat monster.

I would make tidy little packages of those who were just as broken as I was. Something inside me seemed to resonate with that, some stranger voice in the crowd of them deep inside the black depths. To someone somewhere that made some cruel efficient sense.

Brodsky too seemed pleased if a little morose, when I called him and told him about the letters. I told him I could send them to him but he didn’t need to see them, he heard it in my voice. I think it scared him honestly, to hear the viscous glee in my voice. Like it wasn’t even my voice, but a borrowed one from a long time ago, a snake tongue used to convince people to eat apples.

He was sure enough, he knew what I wanted and I knew he’d tacitly given his permission. Wasn’t that something, a rubber stamp, a red seal from Washington no less. For Diana of the Dark to go out and do what she thought she did best. We’ll just have to see about that.

He said something like “You’re sure? – Ok.” A sound almost like a sigh, or the rattle of a dying animal, a swallowing of pride and duty and all that’s right that he swore to uphold, but why? Did it really bother me, not knowing or did it excite me? I was freed, allowed to run free that’s all that mattered now. My mind only filled with the movement of the knife, conducting the moonlight orchestra. Making all those pieces come together and stand still, make some kind of order out of the beautiful chaos of her life.

Before I knew it, I was slinking out of the light of the bright street lamps and hugging close to the darkness of Wendy’s condo. The darkness was refreshing, comforting, the thing inside feeding off it and growing stronger and more bold.

Her door would be locked this time for sure, if not then she really did deserve to die just for sheer carelessness.

Was it time for Diana to put her YouTube learned lock picking skills to the test or did she pick up a spare key on her moonlight exit the night before. If you guessed the latter you would be correct. I circled around the back this time where the darkness would gather and hopefully the eyes would not.

I hopped a small raised wall that made up the back patio and unlocked the glass sliding door. Opening onto the living room and closing it with a muffled humming noise behind me. I crouched low on the soft cream carpet.

The darkness inside was crisp and sharp almost taking on a monotone grey. I felt like I was seeing from someone else’s eyes now and everything was clear and more defined. I saw particles in the air, I felt like I could see the sound of my footsteps fading, moving the dust, I could almost smell her. It was almost like being some cheesy TV vampire.

I felt a surge from the deep darkness, it was so strong now, the feeling of letting go. It felt like years almost, I was bobbing on the surface of that black water. Some little castaway on a raft made of childhood dreams of a husband and a house. Now it was just me, giving myself to the crushing blackness. Sinking further, letting it suck me down, letting it take control and it felt so good I could taste the blood in my lip as I bit down.

Electric shocks shooting up and down my back and coming down through my fingers grounding through my feet. I felt like I could see through the walls, feel her heartbeat feel the vibration in the ground hear the rats in the walls the ants in the grass outside. My senses pawing every flat inch of the walls floors and ceilings, hungrily stalking and licking its lips. A furious chorus of dark angels swooning and cooing as I got deeper into the house.

I ascended the stairs, slow and low, stalking like some predator escaped from the zoo. A naked slick shark moving upstream in a clear water stream on some prissy golf course, ready to bite. I crossed the hall to her room with an inhumane speed and silence. Drifting almost weightlessly, like a ghost, a petty avenging phantom for the love lost and thrown away.

A hand, I was sure it was my own pushed her door open a jar and let the darkness in. I was dragged into the room, pushed onto the stage my knees shaking but also firm and strong and rooted.

My wrist limp yet cut from granite, my eyes moist yet harsh and cruel and cold. Pushed along, puppeted by some unseen force.

I stood just inside her door letting it swing quietly open. Looking at the mound of covers and pillows she burrowed under, the chorus of devil wings beating. The thing inside stirring from memetic slumber. Kept at bay through years of conditioning, childhood drudgery and routine now standing where I stood. Seeing through my eyes living in the goose bumps and the saliva building, and the cold pallid drawn skin of my brow.

Reaching out now, letting go, letting it off the leash to eat and be full just this once and maybe a few more times after that. A cycle of anticipation, of deferred gratification and then boundless feeding, just over the horizon.

There was a hot sweet smell, not perfume, just the smell of warm pressed flesh, the little hairs standing up, the sound of flesh sliding over flesh.

The need rising, biting hard, clamping down on that soft warm flesh. No, neat, clean perfect.

I have to be a neat monster.

It has to be perfect.

I glide to her bedside, oh my sleeping beauty, a kiss I offer you. I took a knife out of the tote bag I was carrying at my hip. The nice small sharp fillet knife like the long tooth of a sabretooth tiger ready to put it to her throat. Let her know she was mine now, see the hope spark and die in her eyes. Watch her give herself to me and only me. The last, the only.

I got closer, I felt unnatural and robotic, my body moving on its own. I leant forward like nosferatu to put a hand on her mound of covers and I felt…

nothing.

Expecting to feel her warm sleeping frame, firm under the sheets I felt only a mound of covers.

A screeching inside and rustle of dark leathery wings, a warning from the dark sea, a crushing foam building. An eye watching.

The door to the bathroom creaked and I was frozen as a quick beam of light shot across my path. All the darkness shrinking and falling off of me like flakes of ash, revealed naked, weak and flaccid. Unluck, caught by a fateful bathroom break, left on stage with my yoga pants around my ankles. The thing inside shrieked and I clung to the walls and the shadow, reeling like a cockroach into the dark dank of her huge closet.

My heart racing as I watched her yawn and turn off the bathroom light and stumble back in amongst the covers. Sitting up and then collapsing back down into restful unconsciousness. So close. I was too hasty, almost ruined everything.

I waited for my heart rate to steady, for the black cloak to come back over me. The night to pull me back into her the womb, the moon to fill me with its pure carving knife of light. To feel it take over.

But something was wrong now, she shifted and writhed in bed and I turned the knife over in my hand, knowing what needed to be done and knowing who needed to do it. The darkness spurring me on, pushing me onto the stage like some pushy dance mom. The need rising again but then something else, some other voice, another hissing coiling thing hiding it’s stench downwind. Slowing it’s breathing, lying in wait. Trying not to look so I couldn’t feel its eyes on me but now it was looking at me from its dark corner and I froze like a rabbit in a trap. Hello stranger.

I flipped the knife and started to turn slowly, fast, it was fast. It leapt out of the corner of the closet and wrapped a sinewy arm around my neck breathing hard and frantic. It squeezed hard, the grip was solid and almost slippery with sweat to the touch. The knife getting heavier in my hand, I tried to- feeling light headed. My fingers dancing on the edge of the blade and then it hit the carpeted closet floor with a sad flodding sound. What a joke, my eyes were rolling back in my head and I couldn’t feel my feet anymore. My fingers felt dull like five hotdogs as they pinched at the arm stopping the blood flow to my brain. It didn’t seem to do anything, he, I assume it was he, just gripped tighter and I started to feel and empty and like I wanted to throw up, feeling all the veins popping in my forehead.

Spots, and an echoing in my head as I shrank further back into the darkness, a voice calling to me, one I recognised and then nothing but falling.

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