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Darkly Dreaming Demographic.

Where weird shit hits bizarre fans.

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Samurai Clowns

3 Ring Samurai Chapter 2 ‘Masked Avengers’ *Content too hot for inkitt haha*

Ok so this is a first.

I’m kinda surprised actually that it took this long but as of today this is the first story that has been rejected, I repeat ‘REJECTED’ from inkitt haha. 
Maybe it’s something to do with the a clown samurai killing a hillybilly tranny in the first chapter haha.

But yeah, this is now an exclusive to my site story, novelette series because it’s too hot for inkitt, because fuck if I’m changing it. I’m not altering it one iota for some pc culture bullshit coming from germany of all places (imagun mi sherk!). They can fuck right off, I’ll just fight it and see what they have to say and have a damn good laugh doing it haha.

So that’s a thing and if you’re on my mailing list right now there should be a nice little copy or two of two of ‘the’ best e-novellas in the world written by yours truly with all the love attention and wit I could muster stored inside them. If you’re not on my mailing and just joining, you’ll have to wait until next month.

Arms literally feel like noodles, last month of the heavy lifting routine then gonna move onto some lifting cardio type things to mix it up a bit.

Aside from all this bullshit, I did finish the first part of 3 Ring and it’s pretty fun. I don’t know if I’ll move onto the next, I might just keep it episodic and keep coming back to it. As soon as I finished the first part I started jotting down ideas for the Cur the fantasy novel I’ve been brewing.

It’s helping a lot reading on into the second witcher book, although I read it and there is a lot of world building that people think is essential to a fantasy book which I find sort of superfluous. I mean it sounds great and all but all you’re doing is talking about a story within a story while I’m I don’t know how man chapters into the Blood of elves and Geralt hasn’t even shown up yet haha. 
So you’re like stuck with probably the least likeable characters in the series; Dandilion and Yennifer talking about Geralt and Ciri.
I also found the intro super generic, I don’t know how many fantasy stories that started with a battle or some kind of horrific event described from the perspective of a little girl or something. I dunno, it just seemed kind of cringe worthy and I’d rather it from Geralt’s perspective and had more action. It was just like action without any actual action. Like ‘Look at all that action going on over there isn’t great?’.

I finished editing the chunk of Diana after Dark I got back from Chrissy, awaiting the next chunk. Paying for it in segments because I am broke haha. I’m just chomping at the bit to start throwing this at agents but I have to be patient, I can’t start emailing people until the package is ready to ship. I need to take my time with this one, I won’t get another after this.

That’s all for now, if this was available on inkitt I would have posted a link but sadly it is not haha.
But still head on over to inkitt or wherever you spot me on social media and send me happy joyjoy feeling.

Also fuck inkitt haha.

See you…

_

A flock of bird-like creatures flapped their misshapen black wings blocking out the sun as they passed. Making an ear aching warbling sqwarking noise. Their shadows passed over the mound of garbage left by the circus caravan. As their shadows passed and their dirty black feathers fell; seven humanoid shapes started to appear. The curtain of shadow slowly rising to reveal a group of odd hooded figures picking over the mound like carrion. Their movements light and ethereal like the spirits of the dead looking for unfinished business.

 

“He’s not here” One of the figures said.

 

The figure at the front turned his head, the orange bill of a strange vaudevillian duck mask he wore protruding out. The emerald green paint was dull and faded and chipped. With what looked like deep gouges and cuts. “I can see that.”

 

~

 

The crowds cheering became a dull metronome in his head slowing in time with his heartbeat. He felt the warm spray of the blood on his face, the woodchips shifting under his feet. The steel biting into bone and sinew, the smell of cheap popcorn, candy floss and vomit.

 

The sword in his hand laughing, laughing, endlessly laughing, never satisfied. Grey flesh shifting in front of him, an endless see of grey leathery flesh. The crowd are replaced with a stampede of raging elephants coming at him from all around. His enemies replaced with grey flesh and tusks and trunks getting closer and he can’t escape.

 

Pookie woke in a cold sweat, he wheezed as the pain in his side came back and his hood came off. He must have made a sound because some old geezers on a table in the back were laughing at him. He quickly pulled the hood back up over his head. He must have dozed off for a moment with his head down on a table in the only watering hole in the town he just left behind. He picked up a long coat with a hood and a scarf to cover his face from a washing line on his way in and was trying to keep a low profile until he could move on.

 

Three old geezers were yammering incessantly to each other as they played some card game.

 

“Who’s turn is it again?” The old coot in the straw hat said.

 

“It’s your turn you old coot!” The old coot with the corn cob pipe said.

 

“Yeah it’s your turn and we’ve been waiting!” The old coot with the slack jaw said.

 

“Goddamn ungrateful sumbitches. You wouldn’t even have this place lest I built it with my own two hands” Strawhat said banging his old fist against the table.

 

“You built it?” Corncob said pointing his pipe.

 

“Is that right? Slackjaw said drooling a little and staring at the ceiling fan.

 

“Yeah I built this whole town after the real badness with my two good buddies” Strawhat said scratching his grizzled chin.

 

“We’re the two good buddies you’re talking about” Corncob said gesturing at himself with the pipe.

 

“Yup” Slackjaw said.

 

“I planted all the crops and put up all the fences with the sweat of my back.” Strawhat whined

 

“I planted those crops right along with ya” Corncob scowled.

 

“Me too” Slackjaw said.

 

“You was always planting crops of a different kind though” Strawhat said giving him a sideways glance through tight wrinkly slits. “To think I was a big guy on wallstreet before the crash”

 

“I thought it was a zombie apocalypse” Corncob mused

 

“Wasn’t it a solar flare?” Slackjawed dozed.

 

“Zambies? You see any zambies around? Strawhat said.

 

“I seen plenty of’em, I’m looking at one right now!” Corncob chuckled.

 

“I killed a zombie once” Slack jaw said. “Hit it with a shovel”.

 

“Nevermind about that, those damn circus folk come here every goddamn year and rob us of our hard earned food. Leave us barely enough to get through the season – and they steal our kids for their goddamn shows. It’s like those damn white haired guys from that videogame, what was it called, the snitcher 11?.

 

“You don’t have any kids and you don’t have any vidya games neither” Corncob said as he chewed his pipe and looked over his cards.

 

“Grand kids” Slack jaw said.

 

“Your grand kids all left for the circus!” Strawhat said.

 

“Little bastards!” Corncobs said staring at his cards like he wanted to fight them.

 

“Ungrateful little shits!” Slawjaw yawned.

 

“And for what?” Strawhat said thoughtfully looking at his hand.

 

“I don’t even like the circus” Corncob said.

 

“It clears out the jails I guess” Slackjaw said wiping his mouth on his sleeve.

 

“I bet half of’em are innocent” Strawhat interjected pursing his lips.”No trials or nothing.”

 

“I wish someone would come along and wipe’em all out” Corncob said biting down on his pipe.

 

“Yeah so someone worse can take their place I’ll bet.” Slack jaw said.

 

“Yep sounds about right.” Strawhat said.

 

“Uh huh” Corncob said.

 

“Yup.” Slackjaw agreed.

 

“Oh yeah” Strawhat said as he studied his hand. “I fold.”

 

“Oh goddamit” Corncob spat.

 

“Everytime” Slackjaw sighed.

 

“Shut it you old coots!” A large man with a head like bowling ball with a thin strip of hair on it shouted over a pool table.

 

He and a group of solid citizens wearing loose dirty coveralls were loitering around the pool table cursing and talking about women.

 

It was a small border town that Pookie hadn’t actually set foot in before. The circus set up further out and then carnys would put up posters telling people where and when they’d be there. No one had actually seen his face but it just made sense not to make a big song and dance about the tattoos.

 

The bar was laid out adjacent to the saloon style doors. Pookie had picked a spot right at the back, parallel to the bar so he could watch the door without being spotted right away.

 

The poker game quieted down as a tall slim young man walked cockily through the swing doors smiling like he owned the place and everyone in it. The old hag behind the bar smiled at him and greeted him like she was his nurse maid.

 

“Morning Pete” She said with a lilting fondness in her voice.

 

“That’s deputy Pete” He laughed feigning an air of formality, and then dropping his elbows on the bar like a kid about to ask for a strawberry milkshake. “Morning Ethel, hows it hanging?” He smirked tipping up his ten gallon hat that looked just a little too big for his head and a little too small for his cocky smirk.

 

“Lower everyday” She cackled.

 

He laughed as a formality but Pookie felt a crude and quick searching glance. Then he saw the light hit the sheriff star and he tensed up and lowered his head. “What’s the agenda for the day?”

 

“Same old, same old, pick up after these old bastards, maybe mop up some vomit and break up a fight, whoop de fucking doo.” She said with her hands on her wide hips.

 

“Absolutely thrilling, as always Ethel-“ He stood erect and adjusted his gunbelt. Took another shrewd but casual glance towards the back of the saloon sighed and wet his lips. “Welp, you keep me posted now.” He smiled wide and said “Just holler and I’ll come a running.”

 

“I’m sure you will” She said with an added withering glance.

 

He laughed and tipped his hat again before walking out the way he came.

 

Pookie knew he couldn’t stay here all day, but he didn’t know what else to do. He had to find a place to rest before he could move on and even then he had no idea where he was going or even had a reason to go. What choice did he have but the life of a wanderer?

 

Waiting around here made him a little too conspicuous. Even with the coat and scarf he stuck out like a sore thumb in a town that probably didn’t get a lot of visitors.

 

He shuffled along the booth he was sitting in, doing his best to hide the sword on his hip under the long coat and he walked out of the saloon. It was midday by the time he got to the town, so it was getting cooler in the afternoon. The sun slipping behind the rows of houses and stores along the mainstreet. The town was basically one street lined with business and the more houses on the outer sides making up the backstreets. All the houses looked like they were cobbled together from old furniture and packing crates.

 

Making his way through the alleys and side streets to avoid undo attention was his best bet. But apparently he’d already failed at it if heavy footfalls padding in the dirt was any indication.

 

He turned keeping his head dipped and saw the solid citizens from the pool game, bowling ball head standing in front still with the pool cue in his hand.

 

The sun seemed to shift and duck behind the houses again and cast the alley into a cool semi-shadow and for a moment they said nothing.

 

“Yyyou think I wouldn’t recognise you?” Bowling ball head stammered, his tongue loose and full of spittle. “Tttthhis is a small town, strangers like you stick out like a boil on a hhhhogs ass!”

 

Pookie looked him up and down and said nothing.

 

“Yyyou think you’re too good to talk to me?” He said as he squeezed the pool cue in his hands. “Yyyyou don’t look so tough without your fffreakshow pals” He looked around at the swelling faces of his hapless cohorts. “Ttten tickets say I can take him on my own”

 

“Yeah go for it Bully!”

 

“I’ll take that!

 

“Break his ass Bull!”

 

Bull smirked with a wide open half toothy grin. “I’m gggonna kick your ass!”

 

Pookie tossed the hem of his coat back revealing the hilt of the sword with the silly face.

 

“Yyyyou’re not allowed that, nnnno weapons in the city limits, ttthose the rules.” He said as he turned to look at his buddies.

 

“Heh, he doesn’t know anything”

 

“What an r-tard”

 

“Yeah, r-tard.

 

“Ggguess I’ve got to ttteach you a lesson.” he said like a basic bitch anime villain. Without turning, looking with the corner of his eye he swung the pool cue in an upward arch trying to catch Pookie under the chin. All he saw was a ridiculous clown face pommel coming at him like a freight train right between the eyes.

 

Pookie pulled at a decorative yellow ring attached to a string like the rip cord on a parachute, pulling it as if he was starting a lawn mower. It made a strange noise like a kazoo or some kind of wind up toy as it propelled the sword out of the sheathe. Rocketing the clown face pommel into the middle of Bull’s bowling ball head. Unleashing the cringe inducing mechanical laughing sound and sending Bully reeling backwards followed by an arc of thick red blood and snot.

 

He bent over and groaned with his hand over his face and said “Yyyyou broke my nose, you mmmmother fucker!”

 

The sword hadn’t fully left the sheathe and Pookie let gravity pull it back in with a click. The string he pulled retracted quickly back into the scabbard with a tinny mechanical noise.

 

Bully looked at the blood in his hand as he took it away from his face and he got redder in the cheeks and seemed to stand a foot taller. “Iiiit’s on now” He said as he took the pool cue and snapped it easily into two sharp stakes.

 

Pookie made his eyes into hard uncaring slits, threw his hood back and moved his sword around to the front of his draw string belt.

 

A loud thunderclapping sound stopped them all in their tracks. Bull with the sharp stakes in his hand and Pookie with his thumb in the ring of the pull string on his scabbard.

 

“Well that didn’t take long did it” The voice from behind the crowd of yokels said. “First day in my town and you’re already causing trouble, and you wonder why folks don’t like outsiders.” The deputy pushed through the crowd as he holstered his gun and walked up to Pookie and had a good look at him. ”Especially outsiders who look like you” he said jutting his jaw out and tutting.

 

The deputy turned around and looked at the crowd both his thumbs under his gun belt “You’ll relinquish your weapon and accompany me to the local jail.” He turned to Pookie and pursed his lips, “Well?” He put his hand out.

 

Pookie looked at him, narrowing his eyes and he took hold of his sword by the scabbard gripping it firmly.

 

After a moment of silence, only the wind and their breath making a sound. Pookie lifted the sword out of the cradle of his belt and put in the Deputies hand.

 

The Deputy looked it up and down and it was a strange thing to behold, multi-coloured like a lollipop with seemingly useless tassles and ball-balls hanging off the scabbard and the unusual pommel.

 

“Well you don’t see that everyday.” He looked up from the odd blade and then gestured with the hilt “Welp, I aint got all eternity, follow me.”

 

The two men passed the crowd who sniggered.

 

“What are you giggling like school girls for, you’re all coming too, more the merrier at this barbecue.”

 

“Aww come on Pete” The crowd collectively groaned.

 

“Wwwhat for? He the one done broke my nose!” Bull spat.

 

“Public assholery, not being welcoming to our new guest” Deputy Pete quipped. He gestured with the sword. “Move on now”

 

They all groaned and dipped their heads like school kids as they followed him towards the jail.

 

~

 

“Sch-a-gdm-pssy” The trapper in the dungarees blubbered “Guy-kilt-yer-kin-cnt-ebn-shoot!” He was frantically rummaging around in drawers trying to pack a threadbare suitcase, tears and snot streaming down his face.

 

“Is this a bad time?” A voice said behind him.

 

He craned his neck around to see a man dressed in a long dark raincoat with a hood wearing a dark green duck mask standing in his open doorway. He froze like a deer in headlights and then started towards his filthy stained bed which was just a dead mattress on the floor, where his crossbow lay.

 

The man with the duck mask watched him slowly edge towards the makeshift weapon in the dingey trappers house. Which consisted of a large dirty single room operating as bedroom, kitchen and living room all in one.

 

He made it to the bed and picked up the cross bow and pointed it at the man in the duck mask.

 

“Git-ya-gdam-knky-werdo!”

 

There was a thudding skiting noise on the roof. He turned to see something that looked like a big crow in the corner of his eye flutter past the mesh windows of the house.

 

“What are you gonna do with that?” The man in the duck mask said.

 

“Git-of-mi-prprty!”

 

There was a sudden heaving creaking behind him, near the backdoor. The man in the dungarees turned to see a giant figure looming over him dressed exactly like the first but with a horrifying cracked and stained penguin mask. Black and white with some yellow around the rim and the same empty haunting hollow eyes staring at him. The man shrieked and instinctively fired the only bolt striking the monstrous figure in the shoulder.

 

But the hulking man made no sound of pain, barely reacting at all. Only lifting a gargantuan hand to snap the bolt off and the other slamming down with some sort of cudgel made of burled wood and covered in barbed wire. The blow splintered the already weakened floorboards sending the man in the dungarees down under his house.

 

Operating on survival instinct alone the man in the dungarees skittered under the house like a dung beetle looking for shade. Fighting for every terrified breath. He waited for a moment in the crawl space, holding it in, listening to the creaking of the floorboards.

 

After a moment he heard a strange whooping noise getting closer and then as it reached it’s peak he felt a stinging waft of air and then his face felt wet. But before he could inspect what it was he was shaken awake by a loud buzzing noise and a wrending of the floor boards as a slim chainsaw-like knife poked close to his face.

 

He flattened and wriggled away from it as fast as he could but the buzzing knife kept cutting until it had opened up a wide hole. A man with a turkey mask stuck his head through and looked at the man in the dungarees.The mask was a rich blue colour with a red neck.

 

“He’s here!” The man in the turkey mask said.

 

The man in the dungarees was breathing hard and sweating as he dragged himself to the edge of his house and out of the crawlspace.

 

The sun was setting and cruel twilight had descended, the sun still blinding but in a numbing darkness that surrounded the hapless figure. He touched his face and looked at his hand and there was a little blood there. He touched a small cut running down the side of his face confused, looking around.

 

There was a loud crashing sound as a man wearing a bright yellow and black finch mask landed on a junked car. He cocked his head to the side to look at the man as he turned and ran deeper into the junkyard.

 

He saw the jet black crow again in the corner of his eye hopping and bobbing on rusted out tractors and buses as he followed closely. The man in the dungarees ran frantically trying to get lost in the rusted maze he’d constructed for himself.

He quickly turned a corner around a stack of crushed cars and he saw the reflection of a slim feminine figure standing on top of them in a car window. Looking down at him with some large covered object strapped to her back, the long beak of a black and grey heron mask following him as he ran in the opposite direction.

 

The man in the duck mask yawned “Annnd I’m bored of this now.” He turned to a broad cloaked figure wearing a cardinal bird mask, a black faced bird with deep red spiked feathers at the top and around the edges. “Cardinal, if you’d be so kind.”

 

“My pleasure, Canard”.

 

Cardinal dropped off his perch on top of a rusted out trailer and landed right in front of the man in the dungarees who fell back onto his ass.

 

Cardinal laughed and let a small sickle on a chain fall out of his sleeve and land in the dust at his feet.

 

The man in the dungarees instantly started to scuttle in the opposite direction.

 

Cardinal stayed where he was and started to spin the chain over his head, letting more and more slack into it, getting faster.

 

The man in the dungarees was in a full sprint, going as fast as his little legs could carry him now straight in the opposite direction. Noticing more masks following him in the corner of his eyes as he went. He was seeing them everywhere and then suddenly something small with weight landed in front of him and he stopped in his tracks trying to see what it was.

 

Something snaked and writhed in the sand next to him. The chain growing taught and the sickle coming up and back fast cutting off his left leg and leaving him flailing on the floor in the blink of an eye.

 

He lay on his back still trying to crawl away despite bleeding profusely from his leg. He heard a fluttering light thudding noise behind him and he looked up and saw an upside down duck mask looking down at him holding a piece of shiny paper.

 

“Have you seen this clown?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let me know what you think.

See you…

~

Chapter 1 ‘Zip Code’

“Ruff ruff”

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

“Eh?”

 

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

 

“Errrrggghhhh” An unknown voice echoed.

 

“What was that?” The little girl asked.

 

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

 

“Ewwww”

 

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

 

“Errrgghhh!” The voice said again.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

“Zombie?!” The boy yelped.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

“So it’s not a zombie?”

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

“What are tattoos?” The little girl asked?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

“Err”

 

“Now!”

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

“How you know that gramps?” Zach said.

 

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

 

“Connected to what?” The little girl said.

 

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

 

“What’s a clown?”

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

“Ow” The clown said dreamily.

 

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

 

“My sword”

 

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

 

“Name?”

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

“My name’s Pookie” He said breathlessly.

 

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

 

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

 

“What was your name before?”

 

The clown didn’t respond.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

“The-hel-r-ya?”

 

“Nobody” Pookie answered.

 

The three looked at eachother confused and then laughed.

 

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

 

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

 

“The sword” Pookie said.

 

“Eh?” The older man said.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

“Hawhawhaw!” His dad laughed.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Pookie stood right over him and breathed in his face.

 

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

 

“Your breath stinks!”

 

Pookie smiled and stuck out his tongue.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

“I told you not to go”

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

“Thank you- again.”

 

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

 

“I did.”

 

“You wanna tell me about that?”

 

“-Not really”

 

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

 

“I know.”

 

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

 

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

 

“Nearest town, is north west over the ridge”

 

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

Walk the Earth like Pookie in Three Ring Samurai.

Forgive me in advance for the rambling nature of this blog, I really don’t have a plan, I just have two words ‘Kung fu’.

For those not familiar with it, Kung Fu is a tv show with David Carradine playing a half Chinese half American boy raised in a shaolin temple after both his parents are killed by a tyrannical Emperor.
The story is based around his travels to seek out his family in America after his master is killed he must flee china wanted for killing the emperors son in an act of hot on the spot vengeance for the unwarranted killing.

He travels America looking for his family, evading the snare of the emperor and getting into scrapes and adventures, meeting interesting people along the way. With each new adventure a piece of his teachings is called upon to assist him and make sense of a world he’s only just coming face to face with.
Secluded all his life Caine is as a child with the fighting skills of a shaolin priest, through a series of flashback his past is brought to light to help him overcome and decide on certain courses of action to aid him in his adventures.

~

I initially watched the show out of the blue, maybe as some form of research for 3 Ring, I know I definitely shamelessly ripped a lot off for the issue plan, I borrowed a lot of ideas and I in an upcoming arc and I decided to completely parody the montage of Caine’s training in the shaolin temple and make it Pookie’s ridiculous clown training, I just couldn’t resist.

I really, really loved the style; the way the story was structured in the first season was perfect, calling on back-story applying it to current plot. It worked really well because you learned more about him every episode in a way that felt very consistent. And every episode you learnt a valuable and somewhat touching lesson.

It padded the main plot nicely as we learned about Caine throughout his various adventures and then kept us interested in the search for his brother and the threat of the Emperor on his heels and for a guy that had never done kung fu before kung fu David Carradine isn’t half bad as an actor or a fighter coming from someone who knows kung fu. He wasn’t amazing and he did use a stunt double in season one I believe but ditched that for his own stunts in later seasons.

Long story short I loved the show and I wanted the same feel for 3 Ring Samurai, I wanted every arc to be a self contained movie, something that engaged people and had action and drama and suspense and just enough thread of main plot to keep people reading but not enough to overwhelm them.

Sadly the second two seasons of Kung fu really fell short for me and I must admit I almost breathed a sigh of relief, I’m not proud to admit I take pleasure in the downfall of other but I think a lot of people feel shadenfreud a lot more than they’d like to admit. I was relieved to see the show fall because to live up to that, for it to continue at that level of quality would have rendered my endeavours to emulate it seem futile.

I don’t blame the show for this, I blame the times and the idea that writing staff are disposable, they chose to change the writers for season two and with the nature of television in the seventies I feel like they had to make it more consumable for people to watch as re-runs.

Tv wasn’t like how it is now with netflix and the internet, you couldn’t choose to watch a tv show whenever you wanted, and watch them in order, you watched them when they were on, in the order they were on and if you missed an episode you had to watch it in a rerun. You couldn’t just buy the boxset on dvd.
So each episode had to be standalone and almost interchangeable in terms of the timeline of the story so someone could watch any episode in any order and still keep up and enjoy the show.
This change of writers and restructuring of the show is a noticeable decline in cogent plot and although I watched each season through it didn’t measure up in any shape or form to season one.

I don’t know why but my mind keeps drawing back to Twin Peaks and the dire mistake of revealing the mystery around the death of Laura Palmer half way between season two which without a doubt killed the show. Lynch himself said he never wanted to reveal the mystery and I and Edgar Allen Poe would have agreed that the greatest mystery is one that goes unsolved. It was the fault of the producers of the show that forced him to reveal the mystery and then have the show limp on to the end without much a hook to keep the show going.
It’s almost amazing to even think that an entire tv show could be framed around one murder or one person’s life like Kung Fu. But it can because people themselves can be unsolvable mysteries.
And every time the credits rolled over Laura Palmer’s picture I would feel a pang of sorrow for the mystery of her life and even more so for the tawdry reveal of that perfect mystery and then the shop bought replacement mystery awkwardly wedged in its place.

I think if Kung Fu were re-made today it would be an incredibly feat but also a really rewarding one, (Note to self, call Keanu Reeves ;)). This is the golden age of television where the possibilities for stories and budgets and scope and acting talent are virtually limitless and at a time where there is so much pressure on the structure of films and now games it’s really necessary.

So please forgive the faux fanboy ranting, I just wanted to give some perspective to the narrative structure and style of 3 Ring, think Kung Fu meets Fallout 4 haha.

Peace out people.

Indie comics, clown samurais, post apocalyptic swashbuckling in very used cars.

Read issue one for free.

I work on a couple of indie comics; I’d say each is a little piece of me, each with its own life. This is sort of a dark reflection of my love of anime and bastardised Japanese/Asian culture.

3 Ring Samurai is a diesel-punk clown samurai revenge story. It’s basically like Caine in Kung Fu if he was a clown and… err a samurai and not a Buddhist monk… or bald..or a clown??

Pookie is left for dead and discovered on a pile of trash by some scavenger kids who with the help of their creepy grandpa nurse him back to health so he can begin his long road to revenge and trying to find some shoes that fit.

It’s based in a world a kin to fallout, but instead of the brotherhood of steel, an order out of the military applying Knightly codes to a post apocalyptic world to bring order out of chaos, the focus is on a group applying a circus code on the wastelands bringing entertainment and blood to the wastes.

The circus is like a travelling Show-gunate (get it? Right yeah killing myself, I’ll stop, just unsee that) bringing justice, a literal bread and circus circus, where criminals are put to death by the code of the circus entertainers trained to murder in really interesting ways.

But teh’applecart has been upset and Pookie has been cast out, accused of a heinous crime and now he’s to be hunted by his ex-brothers in arms for a crime he may or may not have committed.

Terrible overview over, this comic came about when I was trawling those hapless comic sites on facebook, where people huddle around the digital equivalent of a trashcan fire trying to keep their creativity warm while working for a living as a barista giving out double mocha handjobs or whatever.
So I squeezed my way around the garbage fire and threw out a few of my short stories and some of them hit home and I caught the attention of Mike (Now Ike, there was already a Mike Golden) with a weird clown story of my own about sexy killer clowns and electric kitchen knives and menstrual blood and that’s enough of that.

We bumped into each other again in a grindhouse style facebook group talking about commissioning some little grindhouse stories that never got off the ground (as is the case with most indie shorts) and in a few other debilitatingly depressing comic groups where people try to rub their creative spark between their fat middle age thighs hoping it’ll catch fire and pimply teens with ‘gender issues’ write the most banal tripe that would turn a donkey to Braille.

So of course as in love with me as Mike was (;)) he jumped at the chance to work with me again at which point, I was like, ‘Why don’t we just do our own thing?’ since we were both tired of being let down by the flakes of facebook. We connected over a similar work ethic and a love of all things martial arts. Him being into those fancy named Filipino arts with sticks and sharp sticks flailing about and me with my taekwondo and kung fu and fencing for all those years.
We thought we could put something together that would blend post apocalyptic punk tongue in cheek fun and classic kung fu movies and samurai flicks into one odd package.

So I set forth on a journey of rediscovery, I’d done kung fu for a number of years (4 to be exact) and taekwondo since I was about 12 but oddly I was never that into martial arts movies. The only one at the time I watched more than once was Romeo must die and that’s only because it came with our first dvd player so it was the only one we had.

But maybe a year or two ago, I started getting into obscure 90’s rap for some reason and I find a nice niche in the Wu Tang Clan which lead to a fascination with the RZA, being a fan of some of his scores from movies like ‘Ghost Dog’. I felt obliged to watch his attempt at a classic kung fu movie ‘The man with the iron fists’.

Needless to say it was fucking atrocious, and I never want to see a movie with Russell Crowe in it ever again. But I fell in love with the style and I wanted to explore that more. So I started watching movies like ‘Fist of the white lotus’ and ‘Five Deadly Venoms’ and my personal favourite ’36th Chamber of Shaolin’ (Or anything thing with Gordon Liu in it tbf) and I couldn’t get enough. The style, the fights, the minimal yet effective stories.
Then I watched ‘Kung Fu’ the tv show with David Carradine playing Caine the stoic shaolin monk and it was sealed. That’s not to say that I don’t see why it was cancelled, the last two seasons are awful but I don’t blame the show for that. It was made in the wrong time I think, each episode was designed to be easily consumable on its own, like a mini movie for the purpose of reruns, so you could just watch a random episode and enjoy it without having to know the context leading up to that point (Whereas today you have the internet and netflix so you can have a flowing story and watch the episodes in order to keep up with a consistent plot). And because of that it lost its grasp on a main plot and then when it tried to rekindle that, it fumbled it horrible.

But the first season I found spellbinding and I realise if I keep going on about it, this blog is going to be three times as long as it has to be. So I’ll wrap it up by just saying, I found every episode of the first season emblematic of everything I want to do with 3 Ring; Punchy and fun and enigmatic, with a strong mysterious story that clings to a tight back story slowly unfolding episode to episode filling out the character of the hero and propelling the story forward in a way that keeps the reader/watcher coming back for more.

that keeps readers wanting more and more.

See you…

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