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Darkly Dreaming Demographic.

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Diana After Dark Chapter 2 ‘Do you see what I see?’

Yeah more of these lazy stalling tactics haha. Well is it laziness or do I just want to take my time and make sure the proofreading of Cur is perfect before I put out another chapter, no you’re right it’s laziness.

But I felt like I’ve been putting off proofreading this pitch stuff, which is arguably more important. And I was for a good reason, I think it’s good to let something sit for awhile and then come back to it with fresh eyes. You find a lot more of the mistakes that way.

Still happily can say I’ve read no witcher in a couple of days and my polish friend who got me into the witcher told me the next book is the most boring of all so I can’t wait to slog through this to get to that… yay.

I dunno, I just feel like I have to do something to escape inevitable depression, I have to keep moving forward, to stop or slow is death.

I’m still rocking Cur, I’m about over the hump now working my way into the home stretch and into the real meat of the story, which I think is fucking epic but I’m biased haha.

Because up to this point it’s been pretty apocryphal, building my own story around a character that was meant to die in the original literature that I revived sort of creating an alternate timeline. So this is when we’re about to start getting into my dramatisation or interpretation of the actual mythology and it’s pretty awesome. I actually already started writing it awhile ago because I was gonna slot it in right at the start.

But then my buddy said I should move it to the end as like a reveal and a part of me thought it would be better at the part because it’s a little bit of an obvious twist in my opinion and I thought it might be cheesier than it would be epic. But now as I’ve built up to it in the story I think it will be really cool. If readers feel half as pumped as I did writing it it’ll hit the mark.

Yeah so here’s the next edited and double proof read chapter of Diana after dark, this should be what professional agents will read so if there are still mistakes I’m pretty much fucked. But I’m being a lot more patient and conscientious this time around. The last couple of times I jumped the gun a little bit and my content really wasn’t as good as this so I have high hopes for it. I mean fuck me it’s better than twilight.

Anyway gotta do something actually productive today, I’m back on facebook so I’m gonna do some spamming with this lovely little chapter people can’t complain about being unedited. Despite the fact people will just to be dicks haha.

Yeah so here’s that, now I have to get to proofreading and spamming and all that good stuff.

See you…

 

Paul drove his dad’s car when he was out in some Middle-Eastern hell hole doing what I could only dream about, literally. But in an altogether less neat and ritualistic way at the behest of his Uncle Sam.

That’s a level of trust you can’t kill for. His dad was obviously very confident in the offspring he’d carefully chiseled out of clay. That, or he was indelibly dim-witted, allowing his only child to drive around in his top-of-the-line vehicle. Having only met him a handful of times, I couldn’t say which was the case.

It was an older model olive drab Hummer, with leather interiors that smelled like discipline and spearmint gum. The thing ran like it was brand new, the old man kept it in peak condition, and his son took it just as seriously.

I opened a bag of chips in her once on the way to an Ariana Grande concert and he made me get out and finish them on the side of the freeway. That was fun.

Another thing I loved about Paul Alan Junior was, he rarely talked. There’s the strong silent types. Then there’s this type, the type that’s conditioned to ‘being seen and not heard,’ on levels that teeter on ‘culty’, if that’s a word. His father taught him well; sometimes I wondered if he wasn’t as damaged as I was. Instead of breaking the mold, he’d been hammered perfectly into it. A living Ken doll with no visible cracks or creases.

Thankfully, unlike a Ken Doll, they’d seen fit to leave the important places ‘unsmoothed,’—not that that really mattered to me.

Unlike most people, I’m a big fan of comfortable silence; sadly in Orange County, near the coast, it’s in short supply. Inside the sealed air conditioned mobile command center that was Paul’s dad’s car, it was preserved. Like some kind of orchid, hermetically sealed for freshness. I could almost taste it as I watched the anemic palm trees and midafternoon roller-skaters go by. Baking and cracking in the sun while I felt like a lizard on a cool dry rock; bliss.

With a full stomach, it was even better. He took me to this little taco place we like near the beach because it’s quiet and he knows that’s why I like it.

I had the vegan taco; not vegan but I like their food and for some strange reason I like animals. Not really people or kids. Of course, people are kids but there needed to be a distinction. Although, I don’t hate them.

I just have a callous indifference for everything that doesn’t walk on four legs. There’s something about them I like, their raw natures, their lack of pretense, lack of a filter. Their natural instincts just accepted, not sanded away by school or television.

Sadly, the feeling is not mutual. Every cat or dog my aunt ever brought back would rather jump under a semi than let me pet them. I won a gold fish at a fair once, got it a bowl and a little castle, the whole bit. As soon as we put it in the bowl, it climbed those castle steps and was never seen again. It chose a life of solitude like some hunchback. It starved to death rather than see me for all of the five seconds it took for me to sprinkle food on the surface of the water.

Paul paid for the tacos, of course, perfect gentleman.

Feminism, what’s that?

“Are you mad at me?” he asked, as he kept his eyes straight, hands at ten and two.

I looked at him and sighed, and smiled with the corners of my mouth like a snake. “No.” suggesting it could’ve gone either way.

He looked good in profile, a strong chin, long straight nose, light dusting of designer stubble. The aviator sunglasses were probably also his dad’s. His hair was tight at the sides with a bit of gel assisted lift at the front.

“Is that a real ‘no’ or a woman’s ‘no’?” he asked, without taking his eyes off the road, just smiled out at nothing.

“No as in no.” I just couldn’t get those dreams out of my head. Picturing the city under the blanket of night and me stalking its street like some carrion bird picking off the weak and strong alike. It was a mix of horror and sheer splendor mixing in my chest. A feeling so unexplainable, to try seemed like blasphemy.

“You just seem—” The leather squeaked under him; his eyes remained forward, he poked his tongue into his cheek, as if looking for the right word. “Different”.

Should I tell him about my dream, maybe just to shut him up? I don’t have to tell him about the good bits, I can keep those to myself, locked away in Dear Diana’s vault of diabolical deeds.

I make a bit of a show of it, lick my lips so he can hear, maybe not over the air-conditioning. “I had this weird dream.” I shrugged and smiled again.

Paul readjusted the rearview mirror, still he wore that dumb smile. “What kind of dream?”

Two questions in one day. Aren’t we the inquisitive type today?

“I was walking…walking, at night.” I tapped my front teeth together anxiously. A creeping odd feeling of cold hit me and I rubbed my bare pale arms to warm them but my hands were just as cold.

“Like a vampire?”

I scoffed.

“You really shouldn’t be walking alone at night Di—even in your dreams.” He made a hawing laugh sound in his throat, and turned that smile directly on me.

“Cute.”

Paul unwrapped a stick of gum and popped it into his mouth, somehow without taking his hands off the wheel. “You haven’t heard?” He poked the gum packet in my general direction.

“Apparently not,” I said, losing a sliver of patience, as I politely batted away the offer of gum.

He lifted his aviators and looked into the rearview mirror, as he chewed loudly. “You haven’t been watching the news?”

“Not if I don’t have to, boring show.” There goes another one.

Paul took in a deep breath and continued to chew. “They found a couple’ a bodies washed up on Huntington Beach.” He said.

“Bodies?” Happens every other day here. Some fat tourist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania goes belly up in a rubber dingy and we have to pretend to care.

“Headless bodies.” He made a chopping motion at his neck, like I didn’t know what headless meant. “They think it’s a serial killer or something.”

Or something, something like a chip of ice broken off, a cold laughter in the dark, a tinny voice spoke a language only I could understand. Those words set my teeth on edge, my skin to a cool burn.

“Really?” I tried to sound like I wasn’t chomping at the bit to Google this on my phone right in front of him. I swallowed, trying to pretend it didn’t faze me at all; like it wasn’t the most rapturous news I’d heard in my life.

Like there weren’t alarm bells ringing all through Diana’s dark deep depths. Like a light didn’t go off in my head, telling me somewhere, somehow, this is what I’d been waiting for.

But what else? Of course I need to feign some sort of fear, some kind of concern, for the victims for their family’s maybe.

I realized suddenly, a whole minute had passed since I last spoke. I just threw out a stock, “That’s horrible, those poor people.” For effect. No tears, no screams? Too much.

“Don’t worry, I’ll protect you.” Paul smiled.

“Did they find them?”

“Did they find what?” he asked, tipping his sunglasses down.

“The heads.” I asked quietly, as I tried to restrain myself from biting my lip.

He started chewing out of the other side of his mouth. “Now that you mention it, I don’t think they said.”

“Oh, terrible, I’m so scared!” I muttered almost shaking with excitement. What could it mean, why take the heads? Was it just a gang thing? Maybe the cartel. They love murdering random people and scattering them all over the place. Maybe some kind of Santeria voodoo hoodoo thing. But what happened to the heads?

Maybe they washed away and became a house for a family of California Dungeness crabs.

But not to find one, that stood out to me. It could’ve just been Paul forgot, but it seemed to strike a chord with Diana’s Dark Double. A shrill laughter, a tingle, a shiver up my spine, electricity on my fingertips. Every hair on the back of my neck stood up to salute the day, I had to check my lip to make sure I wasn’t drooling. Something seemed so right about it, something I had no idea I was waiting for.

I had to find out.

The moment he stopped the car, I bound out of the door like a dog seeing another passing car full of burning cats. I tossed back a feeble kissing noise and something like “Bye, babe, see you tomorrow!”

He said something equally as vapid back and swung a wide U-turn around the tiny roundabout at the end of the cul-de-sac I lived in, and drove off in a cloud of diesel smoke. The maneuver was something akin to the Titanic trying to do a Mexican Hat Dance around the iceberg.

Paul almost always just drove over it, leaving muddy tire tracks and crushed flowers in his wake, which seemed to really piss off my neighbors for some reason.

Oh well.

I quickstepped to the door of our ‘reasonably’ priced Orange County bungalow that looked like a little beach hut. Complete with beach towels drying on a spinner in the tiny front yard.

I was trying not to break into a full-scale sprint. I managed to keep my hand loose enough so I didn’t break the key off in the lock. Just to avoid any unnecessary time wasting conversations with my aunt. I wanted to be free to sit down at my computer as quick as humanly possible.

The keys on my chain rattled and it took me too long to find the right one and keep it still long enough to get it to go in the lock.

I turned the key, flinging the door open, closed it behind me and strode through the hall. I passed the living room, which I followed with my eyes.

The TV was on, the news, something about the killings. What a coincidence, but something in me told me this had to be a private moment, shared with no one.

Not even my own flesh and blood, and I also didn’t want any spoilers, no fluff, or padding. Just raw stark reality, no artist’s impression for Diana of the Dark.

I hurried past, slurring my words. “Hey, I’m home, had a great day, not hungry, kinda tired, going to my room, kthanksbye!”

Bustled past what felt like a crowd in a train station, but was just a bunch of squash equipment occupying the hall for some reason. I got in my room, pulled the door shut and had a fight with a wooden hat rack I’d thought was cute on Amazon, but had yet to buy a hat for.

My room was a hovel. Clothes, clean and dirty in piles throughout the room and on my bed. Posters of bands I didn’t listen to anymore, if I ever did in the first place, peeled off the walls and ceiling. Containers of soft drinks and burgers—I’m not a vegetarian. I like animals, big difference. They could have been vegie burgers, I don’t remember.

The curtains were drawn and the room was dark and humid. I put on the fan, and it started to cough and move warm air around my small room.

My laptop sat atop a throne of dirty clothes on my bed, half open like a clamshell.

I snatched it up and almost tossed it onto my dresser/desk/landfill. I turned it on and found a swivel chair with a sock wrapped tightly around one of the wheels. Its swiveling days were over, as the sock had lodged itself deep in one of the wheels. I parked my butt down and waited for my laptop to boot up, which seemed to be taking much longer than usual.

Punching it wouldn’t make it go any faster. So I didn’t do that.

Patience Diana.

It finally booted up, and I quickly logged in. My fingers almost tripped over themselves to type in my password, Dahmer7.

I opened a browser and typed, “Headless bodies, Huntington beach.”

There were a lot of results, but the top results seemed to be the most recent.

The Beachcomber had the juiciest title. The bodies had been found on the beach after all. So it seemed fitting.

 ‘Is there a head-hunter in Orange County?’ Jess Wode of The Beachcomber asked

I hope so Jess, I do hope so.

 It was apparent from the outset, this person had no idea what was actually going on. They were reading a police report, and adding their own ‘unique spin’. Or more likely, recycling a headline from another newspaper that also knew nothing.

Nothing more than headless bodies were found on the beach. That sells newspapers.

I was grinding my teeth, considering the prospects of a journalism degree. How much easier it would be to get access to all the morbid tripe I could get my hands on, if only I were a cop or a forensic tech or something.

The article was trite speculation and useless filler and what’s more, no pictures. What a waste of time.

I went through a few more sites. before I realized the police must be keeping a really tight lid on this one. No leaks, no cracks, no crevices, not even a video on someone’s phone, a selfie of a morbid dog walker, nothing.

Well that was disappointing. Even more so realizing that I would have to do the exact same thing as in my blog.

I opened another window and clicked on the bookmark tab for my blog. It wasn’t very fancy, I’m okay with computers, what kid born post y2k isn’t?

A super script kiddy hacker, I am not, but I’m getting there. The blog was just a standard WordPress blog dolled up with emo fonts and cheesy blood spatter effects as a background.

Mostly a serial killer fansite, where I documented murders and weird goings-on in the world at large. I ran it anonymously, obviously for the same reason I didn’t collect knives or listen to death metal.

Not that there’s anything right with that, but the connotations are the problem. People’s impressions really are everything.

If I do go on a killing spree out of the blue, I’d make it way too easy on them. They could blame reality TV, or Marilyn Manson or videogames instead of the harsh reality they’re hiding from.

Which is, Diana of the Dark Descent?

A shiver up my spine and that mocking chortle; the word I’m looking for is banal at best. ‘Evil’ doesn’t really cover it.

When I think evil, it’s more twirling moustaches and girls tied to train tracks. Some brawny hero coming to the rescue. This wasn’t so simple, it was never truly that simple.

Besides, how selfish would I have to be to let my ‘appetites’ harm the good name of videogames and death metal?

I logged in and tried to compose something, anything.

No pictures, maybe I should’ve just Googled ‘headless bodies’ in images. What kind of ‘leet’ hacker would I be if I didn’t figure out how to turn off my aunt’s safe search—in the fourth grade no less?

I felt dumb and dithering, as I looked at that blank text box I was about to fill with smoke, definitively from my ass. This must be what it feels like to be a real journalist.

My eyes wandered from the blank text box to my notifications. There was one. I clicked it, pretending I wasn’t mildly excited. Almost an addiction, checking notifications, expecting some great revelation. Some invisible backslap from a stranger or shit slung from some obtuse basement dweller, or maybe even a picture of a dick.

Other women complain about this constantly, I don’t get the fuss. It’s just a dick. I get the distinct feeling they’d be more miserable if the conveyer belt of phallic imagery would ebb. Maybe around their mid to late thirties.

It was a comment from one of the handfuls of subs to this small corner of the internet I call my own.

Spoopyshadowguy666 writes, ‘Check your inbox’.

This guy again, he subbed to me maybe a month or two ago, and he’s always sending me these weird cryptic emails. Like puzzles or riddles, games, and no pictures of his penis, woe is me.

Okay, I’ll bite.

I opened my inbox and it was empty, funny, my room looked like a homeless shelter, but I like to keep a tidy inbox.

I check the spam folder and waded through all the phishing emails and things trying to sell me Viagra and dildos and wart remover. A combination I can’t recommend.

His emails in the past didn’t really seem all that interesting. Mostly pictures of people, their names and addresses. Odd things, like their habits and work schedules, where they like to hang out.

It was weird but it didn’t cross the boundaries of being really strange. Seemed like the random fixations of a professional stalker. The standard fare for any fan of a serial killer page.

None of the people in the pictures seemed to be connected in anyway, different races, ages, jobs, sexes. If there was a pattern I didn’t pick it up, so into the spam folder it went. 

Today I was feeling ready for a distraction. Anything that would save me from the blank text box, and raking the bottom of my own skull for inane bullshit.

There it was, the subject of the email read ‘Do you see what I see?’ There were some attachments.

Here we go, finally the validation of seeing a nice hard cock of a stranger, can’t wait.

Clicking on the email revealed that it was pretty much the same as before. Pictures of seemingly random people, with little to no correlation in the way they looked.

I scrolled through them aimlessly, feeling silly for wasting my time. Then I saw a face that sent a little sliver of ice into the dark well.  I felt it stir.

A small flap of leathery wings, a tail uncoiling.

The face seemed oddly familiar. It was a Hispanic guy, maybe in his late twenties-early thirties, curly brown hair, small almond eyes, a flat nose and wide lips. The name on the image was Antoine Ruiz.

Ruiz, that name also seems familiar but it’s a Hispanic name and I go to a school that has a sizeable population. I think I sat behind a Ruiz in calculus.

I decided I was being silly, it was meaningless. I was making a big deal over nothing. I could have seen this guy while I was eating tacos an hour ago. He could have been staring right at me while he was grating vegan cheese and I wouldn’t have noticed.

There was something odd about these photos, though. They seemed different. The ones before were almost stock images pulled straight from Facebook or Twitter. Selfies, pictures taken by friends of them standing with surf board or in front of lobster dinners or on vacation.

These pictures seemed more intrusive, and increasingly so, as I cycled through them. Pictures from a distance, with their faces turned away from the camera, as if they had no idea they were being taken.

There were no smirks of the impending picture taking, no glib grins of people trying to show themselves at their bests. Instead it was the harsh glare of the camera’s eye revealing them in their natural state, completely unaware.

The first pictures of this Ruiz character made it obvious he was some kind of small time drug pusher or pimp. At night, with girls. Clandestine exchanges with people in cars with tinted windows. Moving his gun around the waistband of his Jordans.

Quite a character. Another small tingle was conjured as the next image was that of a small single story house, not mine. That would have been really ‘spoopy’.

No, it was a lot more ‘low-key’. Wider but with an unkempt, dried out lawn, and some desert plants in front. He’s really going to be hearing from the homeowners’ society.

The pictures got closer, looking through the windows at Ruiz. There was some kind of party going on, armed bouncers at the doors, people going in and out at all hours. The time stamps said as much.

Girls of the paid variety hanging around.

Quite the operation he has going on there.

Then more, after the party was over and people were leaving. It could have been just my imagination, but on a headcount it seemed like they were one girl short.

Then the next morning. Ruiz appeared, pulling heavy duty black trash bags to the boot of his car.

I clicked back and forth through the pictures like I was watching a video. Trying to separate reality from some daytime TV show with a cheesy title. ‘Appointment for murder’. Waiting for the other shoe to truly drop.

Was this a joke? A prank? Was someone playing a trick on poor delusional Diana? A trap? It didn’t seem to want to go in my brain, make the jump from pictures on a screen to actual things happening in real living color.

Something inside told me it was very real, hyper real, and right in front of my eyes. My teeth clenched, wishing there were some pictures inside the trash bags but that’s where the pictures ended.

What a tease.

I didn’t get it, who was this guy? A cop? Was it some kind of message? A warning? Was I being investigated? It looked like surveillance footage, and it looked like Antoine Ruiz was the type that needed to be ‘surveilled’.

Why send these pictures to Dainty Diana? Was it a mistake? It made no sense, and the more sense I tried to make out of it, I realized there was no sense to be made.

There was a puzzle piece missing, deliberately so and there was no way I was going to find it here.

The email itself was blank, but I scrolled down to the bottom.

If I sent a response, what do I say?

‘Do you see what I see?’ I see it, I think I do.

If ‘it’ was what I thought it was. I see it like no one else can see it.

There was something more than that, something deeper. Something that spoke directly to that part no one else should know about. What was it saying?

What would I want to say? What would I want?

To feel in control, to feel a step ahead of the person getting the email. To let them know I know them and they know nothing about me and I’m watching and waiting for what, for me?

To do what? Who am I? I’m no one, less than no one.

A high school senior with a tiny blog and a love for comfortable silences and Mexican food and occasionally living vicariously through famous serial killers.

Now I’m rolling my eyes back in my skull, looking into that pure clear darkness. The blackboard where truth is written by my dark professor.

It laughed, a cold mirthless laughter that shakes flecks of cool sea water off its irreverent scales.

What was it teaching me? What does he want from me? What does he want me to do with Antoine Ruiz?

What would I want it to say, not just, ‘Do you see what I see?’ But; ‘I see you.’

He sees me.

Diana After Dark Chapter one ‘Darkly Dreaming’ *remurdered edition.

(posted late because there was a freak storm here that knocked out my internet for a day haha)
Yes I’m this lazy, rather than proof reading and posting another chapter of Cur (of which I have lots of) I’m re-using Diana chapters haha. Ok well they have been fully edited and now I’m going over them again for the final proof read before I submit them so it’s a little different.

This is essentially the final version so it’s a much more polished version than I give the plebs on inkitt haha. And honestly looking at it, it has changed a lot, it’s really grown up with the help of my new editor and I’m really proud of it and really glad I went over it again because some of the formatting was fucking broken from the editing software haha.

I’m just posting the whole chapter because this is not going up on inkitt, this is just a sample. You gotta pay for this haha. Or maybe I’ll give it away for free next year who knows. I really hope I don’t have to.

Feel really shitty today because I missed another day of work and I really really need the money right now. I just fucked up and I feel really fucking frazzled trying to reset my body clock coming back from the holiday. I feel like a zombie only getting the 4/5 hours again so it’ll be a couple of days before it becomes normal again and this fucking heat is not helping. I feel like I’m fucking melting, two fans on me and I feel like a polar bear in an oven.

Maybe I should switch to drinking cold green tea.

Actually fuck it, I’m gonna do that right now brb haha.

*30 minutes later

Well that took longer than I expected.

Not much to report beyond that. I like this Parker book but it’s not really delivering on characters and suspense in the usual way. I like it when Parker is just this unstoppable force like in the first books he’s going against the whole mob and they can’t touch him. Because he’s this one guy who can dissapear and reappear wherever and he has a network of people just like him who’ll help him and the mob is this stalwart force with names and faces and addresses he can find. The third book is when it hits home that really the mob can’t touch him because he’s not a real person with a real name or even a real face by that point he’s already had facial surgery.

Parker basically lives like a ghost and they’re vulnerable because they have houses and families and cars in their names and he can just roll up to their front door and kill them which is exactly what he does. Because nomatter how rich or powerful you are you can still be gotten to if someone knows where you are and wants you bad enough and has the balls to do it.

It’s such a good book, the first three books are so solid. They really inspired me. In regards to Diana and especially LCYE and TOTCB. Just tight tense terse stories with great action.

This one is a little more loose and it’s good but it’s scope is a little small so far and I just feel like Parker is whining and being kind of a bitch. I just feel like he’s getting softer and I don’t like that. I mean in some of the books it’s almost like he’s the bad guy because he’s like this unstoppable monster and most of the books swap to his quarry and they’re fucking terrified of him and you really feel like they’re being stalked by the devil.

In this he’s like a little lost sheep hiding in a barn. It’s different but I like the stories that are about the job, I think this book and the last Stark got a little tired of the same formula and wanted to switch it up but in my opinion if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I want to read a book about a hard as nails master thief planning the ultimate job, it just seems a little bit like Stark is running out of ideas for cool heists so he sets all the book after the heist to get around doing the same things. Which is a good idea to stop the books from getting stale but it’s just a little underwhelming and there isn’t any direct interaction Parker has with another character so there doesn’t really feel like there’s progression or structure or pacing because he’s in this one place the whole book trying to do the same thing.

In the other books he’s moving all over the place talking to different people and doing stuff, this book is just small in it’s scope and I don’t mind that, its fresh for a Parker book but I really hope it goes back to classic Parker in the next book. And the next book is called ‘Plunder squad’ so that sounds promising haha. A cool cast of characters and lots of loot.

It’s literally taken me all day to write this because there was a lovely little storm knocking out my net and power and since I live in the middle of nowhere I just have to wait.

Anyway I’ve waffled enough, must dash.

See you…

My high heels tapped on the wet concrete like anxious teeth clacking. It’s dark, I’m alone. Scared.

It’s a good kind of scared.

A fear of coming waves of something unexplainable, something inevitable.

I’ve felt it building for so long, and now as I walked the street, alone in the dark, it’s all around me like the tropical heat.

I picked up the pace, it’s a neighborhood I didn’t recognize, low slung houses, high fences with glass teeth. Dogs barking in the arid heat of the night. Salsa music played in the distance, muffled shouting in Spanish.

I swam through its want, waded through its need.

It called to me, it’s hunger passed down through what feel like eons. An insatiable hunger. Teeth strain against gums. I tasted blood, and it felt good.

I heard a splash, and it’s my feet hitting a puddle, it watched, and it waited, the hunger growing.

The moon reflected in the puddle, its smile so wide and manic. Those white teeth, sharp and ready, it’s just right. Projected on my back, it filled me with that white pure light. Filled every corner, carried me like I was on strings.

My steps were weightless and without agency, carried by a wave of lustful righteous anger.

His eyes landed on me before I heard his silent voice.

I heard a fluttering of dark angel wings. A leathery tightening inside, as it whispered and laughed, it told me to keep going.

Told me to be patient even though that’s not a word it understands at all.

A cool breeze blew through the little hairs on my neck.

He called to me, and I’m out of it for a second.

A man—but I couldn’t see his face reflected in the glass of a bus stop because of a huge hairline crack down the middle. He walked down the street on my side, toward me.

I saw myself, dressed in my best impression of a hooker from a nineties cop movie in a car window. The fishnets might’ve been a little too on the nose but it seemed to have worked.

 

I caught a big fish after all.

Just the one I wanted.

He called to me again, but I can’t respond now.

My tongue is somewhere far removed, and words seem like pointless frail things.

I kept going with my arms folded like I was cold, when nothing but cool clear clarity and vicious joy washed over me.  Faster now, the puddles and the car windows revealed he was following.

He looked around and kept pace, how far will he go?

I went along a pink stucco wall that seems to stretch on for miles, passing houses all with their curtains drawn tightly, small dirty lawns cluttered with broken children’s toys, dry dying grass.

The shadow inside shifted and wriggled, like a kid in a bean bag chair. So excited, it hissed and tossed, just where it wanted to be, so close.

The man called to me, something crude in Spanish, but I couldn’t react, not yet.

A little further.

My heels clicked louder and faster, almost breaking out into a run, and what do dogs do when someone runs?

They chase of course, and predictably, he’s caught the scent of something he likes.

Me.

I knew him, his name escaped me, and his face seemed familiar but unimportant right now. No eyes, no nose, no mouth, just a blank pale face not unlike the face of the moon.

Maybe I’m giving him too much credit.

Who’s hunting whom after all?

His need is palpable; I’ve watched him. A small petty monster, a dog chasing cars, not sure what he wants until he gets his hands on them. A bottom feeder, a wanton monster with no attempt to hide it, no need. How free he must have felt, not like me at all.

Something inside me called to him but he can’t hear it, he’s just along for the ride.

I moved faster but I’m not out of breath, it’s a humid night with a cool ocean breeze and I felt brisk and tight. I quickly checked in another car window. He still shadowed me.

Good, almost there now. One more block, follow me little rat.

The thing inside shifted like an eel in a glass vial. Happy, tensing and releasing like a balled fist, electric, with terse excitement.

Impending release just over the horizon.

The man is still following, muttering to himself, looking around, he put his hood up..

The streets are dark and desolate, and lined with houses full of people that don’t talk to cops about strange goings on in the dead of night.

That’s why he picked this place, that’s why I picked it too.

A perfect playground for Diana the Dark Dabbler.

The pink stucco wall ended abruptly, and I rounded the corner fast down the back alley of a Chinese restaurant with bars on the windows, breaking line of sight.

Hidden in the shadow of the large smooth square building. The clear black sky overhead.

He made some sort of noise in his throat that somehow I heard.

I kicked off my heels already and tossed them into the open dumpster. It was neatly tucked away, behind a chained metal fence until I came by earlier and freed it.

That dull thudding sound sent the rats circling.

I ducked behind the spot I picked. A pile of cardboard fortune cookie boxes was all I needed.

The odor sent shivers up my spine. Old shell fish, the smell of the ocean, the spray, maggots—refreshing—like smelling salts.

He rounded the corner fast and confused, like he’s the only kid that doesn’t get the magic act at the birthday party.

My lips parted and curved up; my heart beat hard in my chest, can he hear it? Can he hear the wings beating, can he hear the moon’s teeth clacking, feel it’s beaming maniacal smile?

I hope so. He will.

The man looked around, pulled his hood down tighter. All those chemicals rushing, he felt it too, the chase, the thing inside of him that fed on my fear. Got high off that night air, stumbled into my trap.

I took my cellphone out of my purse and dialed the number of the burner I put in the dumpster.

It rang with a mocking eight-bit Mariachi band song.

He heard it, and swung around taking offense at everything.

Stired up that rabbit in head lights feeling. Trapped in a beam of ambivalent bone white moonlight.

It carried me, gave me goose bumps- goose bumps. Teeth chattered, but I’m not cold, not even close, I felt nothing but pure icy potential. The thing inside purred and waited.

He poked open the dumpster with the barrel of a Glock and looked inside.

We waited until he reaches in for the phone. It took the wheel and we fell out of our hiding spot, lithe and ready in a sliver of moonlight. Invisible, invincible, stun gun in hand, as we moved low and slow and sleek toward his back.

I shouldn’t look..

He turned but it’s too late; It pressed the stun gun to his neck and his legs went limp.

We caught him, took the gun out of his hands like a child with a squirt gun. “You’re mine now,” I whispered and heard not my voice but another vibrating just below the surface.

He heard it too, that eternal voice that speaks to both of us.

His heart beat faster but he couldn’t move. I hiked him up and leveraged him into the open dumpster.

The gun held in my hand, my heart sped up, pumped all those good chemicals hard. The Glock bounced and scraped into the gutter from my toss. Can’t risk some little kid picking it up and blowing his face off—that would be tragic.

I climbed into the dumpster.

Diana the Dumpster Diver, c’est moi?

Afraid not.

A dumpster is just a big metal coffin. It can be cleaned and prepped like any other space.  Prepared it I have; it didn’t take that long, a little tape, a little clear plastic. A battery lamp hooked on a loop of duct tape.

Then there was light.

It still didn’t smell great, cramped and hot, with a faint smell of soy sauce. It wasn’t a room at the Cali Hilton but it’d do fine for about the four hours this would take.

Then home and a lot of showers later would let all those good vibrations course through my muscles. Loosening and straightening out all that bad juju that’d been building. Making me tense and not quite myself.

Set up another light, I blocked out a lot of it in that tight space. Made quick work of taping his hands and feet, cutting his clothes away with garden shears. Shaved and buffed out the areas I wanted to work in.

He didn’t know, couldn’t know or feel what was about to happen. What was about to happen?

My tongue touched all of my teeth; I let out a little laugh.

Just had to have gotten the most powerful stun gun they had; he was out like a light, complete reboot.

A quick slap to his face and he made a noise like someone finding a hair in their lingquini and muttered something in Spanish that might’ve have been, “Ten more minutes, Mama.” I suck at Spanish.

Found the bag I’d stashed there. A small black overnight duffel, and I plan to stay the night. Inside, a sharp fillet knife, a scalpel, a razor and a framing hammer. The gangs all here!

The dumpster was cramped but I could move, as well as lay him out flat. The restaurant it was attached to was closed today. So I’d had all the time I needed to make it ready. Then leave my own trash behind in neatly wrapped packages ready to garnish the local landfill.

We slapped my friend again and his eyes opened wide. I taped his mouth shut.

He couldn’t scream muffled Spanish slurs.

We showed him the knife and his eyes darted back to absorb his surroundings.

He may have well been buried six feet under already.

He had to know he was ours.

The man didn’t seem too impressed with the knife, so the framing hammer was the next item in show and tell day. He didn’t like that, not one bit, his eyes got wider, his pupils shrinking.

It seemed like he was getting it.

We breathed out a cool controlled breath and we watched him shrink, his muscles tightened feebly against the tape, his veins popped, we breathed in his fear.

The pretty girl thing might’ve thrown him at first, or maybe it was a prank.

I heard the mirthless tinny laughter inside and I think he heard it, too.

There was no turning back, one step on the dark path was enough.

There would be blood, a lot of blood.

I could almost hear it rushing inside him, that disgusting hot sticky stuff, waiting to come out.

He was mumbling something; I could feel his panic rising. His longing for release reaching up and touching mine. His eyes were talking, he was drooling, his mouth moving.

There was something really important he had to tell me.

I was hungry for anything. I’d been watching him. What he liked, young girls with wide scared eyes looking up at a knife or a gun or a framing hammer. Feeling him on top of them heaving and sweating, then nothing.

He’d killed four in the last month, and it was nothing to sniff at. Mostly prostitutes, because he was an amateur, no procedure, just pure bare need.

A pathetic creature, but I didn’t hate him.

How could I? We were the same, sort of, but more than that, I loved him; he was a brother.

He sputtered.

His eyes tried frantically to reach inside of me and find some small tear. Like some buried motherly instinct would battle the forces of darkness in the dungeons of my deep dreadfulness. Seeing fit to spare him and maybe take him out to lunch..

I was curious, bad form for a cat.

Didn’t like begging, but was ready to hear anything.

He looked up at me after the tape was ripped off. “Diana, you’re gonna be late for school.”

“School?”

“Yes, school.” I heard my aunt’s indignant voice break through the cozy wall of the pillow over my head.

A dream?

How you tease me. I can still hear the laughing, it’s taunts. Me, Dark Dreamless Diana.

I don’t dream, I never dream, it’s just serene blackness every other night, or I don’t remember. I miss the cool crisp void of sleep, the nothingness. What happened to my nothingness? Bring back the void.

Not to say the dream wasn’t, stimulating.

I moved the pillow off my face and started to rend myself of my sopping sheets. I was drenched in a layer of thick cold sweat.

It isn’t the first time, different people, men, women, different places, times.

It seemed like the dreams were getting more frequent and they always end the same way.

Unsatisfying, they always end just before…

Murderus interruptus.

“Didn’t you say you had a test or something today?”

“There’s always a test or a final or a quiz,” I tell my aunt Mary-anne, a fat girl’s name, but she wasn’t fat, not yet anyway.

A soft and pretty woman, not much older than myself. Kind of a hippy dippy sort but a good soul, raised me from an egg to the velociraptor I picture myself as now.

She had that ‘good hair.’ The type that’s long and straight, a deep chocolatey brown she nevertheless always tied back in a tight ponytail for work. Delicate straight features TV pretty people had, but she never really liked to flaunt it with make-up or fancy clothes; I guess it runs in the family.

I’m Diana, the poor orphan, boohoo. My parents died when I was just an innocent tot. Oh woe is me, the poor child, parents taken so young.

Is this a superheroes backstory? Afraid not.

Were they slain by a wicked murderer or super villain? No, not unless the truck that hit them was a Decepticon. A petty car accident robbed me  of any parental love I was owed and cast me as the martyr in my own passion piece.

“Well, that’s school for ya,” she said, she smiled with her hands on her hips as she waited for me to fully ascend my damp throne.

It’s not that I don’t like school; in fact, I love school. All those plastic minds clinging to some form of identity or another. Forming their own sense of self, all those people pretending to be human hoping the shape would stick. I fit right in.

Maybe I’m not very good at this, I feel like I skipped a step. I’m completely hollow inside. It sounds like teen angst, which is an easy way to pigeon-hole it since I am a senior in high school.

But it’s been this way since before I can remember. Since before I could think, I’ve felt nothing.

My aunt tells me, even as a baby I wouldn’t cry or laugh or smile, nothing. Every emotion I fake is for other people. I’ve been forced to become the perfect mirror of every person I’ve ever known, but I’m good at it.

I’m the best.

I trudged my way to the shower, down the hall from my modest bedroom. It’s hot today, it’s always hot in Cali. That’s why I keep my hair short, easy to clean, easy to dry and it looks cute.

What does anyone else’s opinion matter anyway? Only, that’s a lie people tell themselves on occasion. I don’t, I’m not people. Other people’s opinions are all that matters. It’s the glue that binds this world together. Without it, the world would be the perfect clean chaos of my dreams.

The world where that mocking laughter I hear comes from.

Lies we tell others, and the lies we tell ourselves, are what stops this world from falling apart and it’s what keeps me out of a sanatorium. Are there any sanatoriums in Long Beach? Probably some rich kid day spa with Vicodin vending machines that take hundred dollar bills. So Miley Cyrus can clean up for the next time she needs to squeeze her ass inside a rubber glove.

Rubber gloves, was I even wearing gloves in my dream? Need to write that down.

The things that you remember in the shower. Running water stimulates creativity, or some such other new age nonsense. Massages the chakras or stimulates the karma flow, vibrates the mediclorians. I toweled off and wiped the mirror with my hand. Empty blue-green eyes stared back. I made a toothy fake grin, showed those pearly whites. Such a practiced grin, straight out of the Sears catalogue, 1997.

It’s easier for girls I guess, people don’t look too closely at a girls’ smile. As long as it’s there, it’s good enough, a perfect disguise.

The mirror steamed up again, and I’m gone, poof.

The test was easy, done and gone and I was already forgetting what it was about. The dream was growing stronger and taking up more space in my head. All I could think about was that night and the ripple of the plastic wrap.

I looked outside; it was nice day. Every day was a nice day in California, starts to get boring after a while.

University High was the number one ranked public school in Orange County, go Trojans. It looked like a cross between a prison and a high end motel on the outside. Monstrous palm trees swaying behind sturdy chain-link fences. A backdrop of concrete covered in coral white stucco.

It was a standard mix. An even smattering of Hispanic, caucasian and black kids, the motto, ‘Unity through Diversity,’ as supercilious a statement as the American flag outside.

This wasn’t America, this was some place all new, a fantasy island floating in the clouds where all the beautiful people and one or two monsters lived. Every day, I was rubbing elbows with the future career criminals and politicians of the greater California area. Was there a distinction? I felt blessed walking through the halls. A real rainbow family of love and diversity.

I had no idea how my aunt got the money to put me here on a rookie cop’s salary, but we have a don’t ask don’t tell relationship that seemed to be working for us even better as I got older.

She chose the school because the campus tour video gave off a distinct ‘cult vibe’ and the teachers were nice enough. They really went out of their way to pretend they cared, despite fading into the background in Dark Diana’s World.

I wasn’t bad at school, I was too good at it. It’s amazing the pointless facts and figures you can memorize when you don’t have all that teen angst or hormones or any emotions whatsoever clouding your mind. Pure emptiness to fill with whatever the school board wanted. The perfect clean slate.

I made my way to my locker before I realized I forgot to eat breakfast, a common occurrence. But that’s not to say I’m anorexic. I love to eat, but I could never put on much weight, compliments of a super-fast metabolism, must be genetic, or maybe I was a sleep jogger.

Sleep walking?

I hovered in front of my open locker.

Nah.

As soon as I slammed the door shut

Whom was standing behind it? None other than the notorious Wendy Vargas. How cliché.

Another cliché would be that the most popular girl in the school and I would be bitter rivals.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

“Morning, bestie,” she crooned in her best vocal fry valley girl as she opened her locker.

It might have something to do with my painfully cringe-inducing habit of flattering everyone. A trait I polished like the turd it is. I say things most people with any sense of dignity wouldn’t dare.

Happily, I lack any of those mortal inhibitions; my gag reflex was never there. When your goal is to blend in and make people like you, lacking any shame is pivotal. So I can tell everyone everything they want to hear and keep a straight face while I do it.

Funny, it’s not even that hard. I can usually tell at first meeting someone what they want to hear. No one even bothers to hide it, they might as well write it on a sign around their necks.

Wendy’s locker being next to mine also tipped the scales of fate. I can’t remember exactly how we met or became friends but I assume proximity is what allowed me to use my powers of butt-kissing to full effect.

Maybe I just complimented her on how she opened her locker. How she applied her lip-gloss in the mirror she had inside the door, or some other banal little detail I’d felt wasn’t worth the storage in my head.

“Looking sexy as always, my love. Wendy Vargas, when will you marry me?” I say in a perfect mocking impression of her voice; she will of course ignore that, and only hear the compliment.

“Thank you, my dear but you know as well as I do, I’m taken and I am a one-woman man,” she said, as she pursed her snake-bitten lips.

She was a beautiful golden goddess one might expect to see in some Spanish soap opera, with a set of expressions just as fake. Heir to a fortune in Cuban sandwich shops. Head of the cheerleading squad, of course, but also a strange passion for ‘nerdy stuff,’ as she called it. Mostly kitsch nerdsploitation, like The Big Bang Theory. Big lens less glasses, wearing comic book superhero T-shirts and pretending to like the new Star Wars movies.

It was all an act so she could rule over a hoard of thirsty geeks in the AV club who’d do whatever she said.

I still have no idea why she likes me. I really could’ve slipped right through the cracks right where I wanted to, if it wasn’t for her.

It might be because I’m the only one in the state that knows she poisoned her stepfather with anti-freeze, and framed her mother.

Did she tell me? Not in so many words. I wasn’t an accomplice or anything, either. Poison’s not my style.

That’s such a ‘girly’ way to kill someone, and I’d never stoop so low as to kill for money. No, a passion is best left free, like all the good things in life.

She didn’t confess to me, but something did. That little voice, that little clawing thing that rolled around deep inside the dark depths of Diana.

It could smell it on her, not her guilt, not her shame, her complete indifference. She had a monster too, a dark secret, but it was a small and covetous thing, a greedy opportunistic monster.

“Where’s that handsome new beau of yours?” I enquired.

Wendy’s new boyfriend was some chad from out of state, what was his name? Bradie? Brodie? Brodo?

She tends to go through them quickly, but this new one had peaked her interest. He was a transplant from Miami, very exotic.

“He’s off collecting that order of red cups and plates for prom.”

“I sense, we’re about get down to business.” I winked.

“You’re senses are keen, as always, my young padawan,” Wendy bowed with her hands pressed together, like she was going to Kung-fu me.

“I learned from the best, master.” I dipped my head.

“I need you to print off some fliers for me.” She smiled, like she was doing me a favor, her arms swaying at her sides, as her voice rose at the end.

Wendy was head of the prom committee, they put on the senior prom every year, and this time it was our turn.

I, Diana, sweetness and light, am on the prom committee, too. All because it would’ve been too strange for me not to, being best friends with the head of the committee. Oh, sweet nepotism.

Part of the practice of being normal was doing things ‘normal’ girls do. I’m not a cheerleader, that was too much for even me to stomach, some things truly are beyond even me. I can’t remember how I got out of that one, must’ve made up something about having one leg longer than the other or something, extreme corns perhaps.

Cheerleading is also surprisingly time consuming, all those pep rallies and practices and incessant parties. Which could prove a problem for my other ‘interests’. I looked around at the fliers already up around the hall. They were on almost every locker, and bulletin board and classroom door. I cast sparring glances at people who don’t need to make conscious efforts to be normal. What blissful cow-like expressions they all had.

“What’s wrong with the old fliers?” I asked in a robotic fashion, but I already knew exactly what she was going to say.

“They’re old,” Wendy shook her head like it was obvious; which it was.

“Okay,” I said without argument, because, what a waste of time and energy that would be.

She sucked her lips like she was tasting her cherry lip gloss and she liked it, then looked over my head. “Oh, there’s a sight for sour eyes.”

I looked over my shoulder, and stage left appeared my stalwart boyfriend Paul.

An ordinary name for an ever so ordinary boyfriend. He was practically perfect in every way, the male Mary Poppins of University high. Tall, but not too tall, smart, but not too smart, conventionally handsome but not too conventionally handsome.

He was into sports, basketball mostly. An army brat through and through, his dad was almost always away on maneuvers.

If I was painfully honest, I mainly liked him for his car, and for the places he was willing to take me in said motor vehicle. I had my license already, but no car of my own.

My aunt was sort of an eco-nut, forcing me to take the bus when possible and if she did buy me a car, with the no money she had saved. It would end up being one just like her work car. One of those terrible eco-bubble little hair dryers powered by happy thoughts and bunny farts.

Did I mention his dad was deployed most of the time? So if I ever did go visit we had the run of the house, and from time to time, his gun cabinet.

His mom was a mystery I didn’t care to explore. Seemed like a sore subject I had no interest in. Sobs stories are no fun, unless they’re your own.

Most of all, I liked him because he was normal. Painfully normal, bone achingly, teeth rattlingly normal. So much so, just being around him made me feel normal by osmosis. Like he absorbed some of my weird into himself and excreted it as a form of non-toxic handsome. He was kryptonite to my superman. Paul is the perfect disguise.

His upbringing, one of strict discipline had forced him to become the perfect gentleman. Thus, his urges were dutifully restrained, not unlike my own.

I really have no interest in sex. I have no hang ups about it either, we’ve had sex.

Honestly didn’t much care for it, a sweaty messy thing, waste of time and sheets. The smell of it was enough to keep him by my side, and to drive me where I wanted to go and do most of anything I wanted.

Being a woman is pretty easy when you have no shame. Anyone that says different is a liar.

Men will put up with almost any shit from a woman if he thinks sex may possibly happen at some point in the near future.

Paul was presentable, neat and clean and always smelled good, never a blond hair out of place, or a blue eye in the wrong direction. A stern solid posture always maintained for some hidden watcher like someone stuck a broom up his ass without any KY and expected him to clean the ceiling.

The perfect scarecrow he was, scaring off all those hangers-on and beta orbiters that like to cling to pretty girls who don’t carry mace on a key chain.

The bell rang, and Wendy looked up, as if to make sure. “Shit, gotta get back to class, see you guys later.” She said as she vocal fried her way down the hall. Swished and swayed spreading a sweet fake scent as she floated away.

“Hey, baby, what’s up?” Paul said.

He speaks! He Leaned in for a hello peck, his arms wrapped around me.

I dutifully resisted, pushed back against him. “Hunger,” I said, without a hint of irony.

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

Cur Chapter 3 ‘A kind of magic’

Hello there dudes and dudettes,

Ok sliding in another Cur chapter because I realised I wanted to release a chapter a week and I kind of fucked that up so I’m gonna release two chapters this week to get back on track haha.

Pretty decent week of writing, I’m cutting out filler left and right which is great, really getting into the meat of the story and riding that wave, some things I need to change but I’m really liking where it was taking me. I kind of felt for a little bit that I was going with the motions and not feeling too inspired or if I was tired or fucked, my new sleep routine puts a lot of strain on my eyes because I’m just literally using them more.
My general philosophy when I feel kind of uninspired is just to keep going and go over it later, which I find works for me because I always write detailed synopsises of my work so I never get stuck looking at a blank page, I always have the next thing to go to. I always have something I can refer to if I get stuck.
I know there are lots of writers who don’t use plans and just go at with a blank page and their balls in their hands haha. I have no idea how they do it, to me that’s like fighting a fucking dragon with a toothbrush haha.
I always like to have a plan and a detailed structure at my back so I’m not stuck looking at a blank page with just my dick in my hand. I can always keep my flow going and if I hit a bump I can just take a break and sip some tea and come back to it.

But I was looking back at it and I was pleasantly surprised, it needs work but there’s something there, I won’t be polishing a turd just clearing away the crap on an unfettered gem.

Now for some witcher hate haha. I just don’t care about any of the characters honestly, not one of them, I just can’t care about them, I dunno, I just don’t think I’d get on with any of them and I don’t know what this author’s life is like but he must have some really complicated relationships with women. Every female character he writes is more obnoxious than the last.
Not saying women can’t be obnoxious but it’s every one of them, there’s maybe one woman in any of his stories that isn’t Ciri that has any redeeming qualities at all and even then it’s kind of only in comparison to the others who are awful.
Don’t get me wrong I’m not some rabid feminist by any means haha, I get that women can be assholes but when it’s literally every one of them it just gets tedious and loses all it’s power.
I mean the queen of brokilon was just an endless stream of unfettered cuntiness that I could barely stand. You could replace her dialogue with just farting noises and it would have been less obnoxious and tedious haha. It just reaches a point of parody and I can’t take it seriously and I never thought I’d actually be clambering for a likeable/identifiable female character.
Even in my work I don’t want to put women on a pedestal but represent them as they are warts and all but I also want them to be likeable enough to care about even a little bit and honestly when you find yourself rooting for the people that might rape and murder a character in a book you’ve done something wrong haha.

The Parker novel is pretty good, definitely one of Stark’s weaker ones, but the whole series is the perfect example of unsubverted expectations still being excellent. The witcher is so preoccupied with subverting expectations it forgets to be entertaining. Whereas in the Parker novels you know exactly whats going to happen and you can’t wait to read it haha.
Someone fucks over Parker and you know he’s going to track them down and curb stomp them and you’re tearing through chapters to get to it haha. The mystery comes into play when the why and who and the how are revealed. You what’s going to happen because you know Parker and what happens to people that cross him but you don’t know how he’s going to do it and who he’s going to do it to and that’s why you keep reading for that glorious catharsis that is nowhere to be found in the witcher books, the stories generally go nowhere or full circle, just generally unsatisfying.

Anyway enough of that I need to get proofreading the next chapter of Cur or I won’t have anything to post on thursday haha.

See you…

Ooh almost forgot, The One That Came Back for whatever reason has become super popular on inkitt so I thought fuck it, I uploaded the full edited version to inkitt so if you don’t want to download it you can just read it there.

A kind of magic

That night a dense bluish fog came low over the village. The calls of hounds barking filled the silence as the moon rode high on the crest and half full overhead as the village slept all, all but one.

 

Some form of morbid curiosity and fascination drew her to the empty mucky bog that would be the stranger’s grave. As proclaimed, no markings but a heavy stone pressed down on the grave. The grave that lay far from the town.

 

What she was going to do not even she knew herself but the druiddess felt some unearthly pull to the spot. Maybe a morbid trophy would belay her curiosity maybe not.

 

She approached the grave with trepidation, as if it were the steps to a grand and foreboding house. With no torch whatsoever and the necessity arising. The young girl tutting pulled her sleeve back revealing a gold half torgue around her wrist, with which she gave three quick taps.

 

On the third tap the torque began to give off an errie glow almost like a will-o-the-whisp. A slightly greenish hue that gave her all the light she needed to see the grave clearly.

 

“I have to know” She told herself “I just need to see the body for a moment, I can’t let this opportunity pass me by.”

 

Her curiosity had betrayed her as she was not alone. Too late she noticed the noise, a slight drawn out scratching noise and veiled breathing sniffing sounds and a low growl or whine or whistle.

 

“Who is that?” She called out but no one answered.

 

The scratching sounds got louder and the breathing deeper and faster as she approached the grave. Her footfalls sinking into the loose wet earth of the bog.

 

“I warn you, I have a weapon!” The druiddess swallowed her fear as she approached fumbling her small hands over the clasps. Moving her robes awkwardly to reach the handle of the strange sword she had found herself the owner of.

 

The druiddess drew closer to the noise. Her and on the hilt of the sword and her other on the oddly designed scabbard but she did not draw the blade as she feared to do so. The blade it seemed to her analysis had some magical properties but to the nature of which she had hitherto not discerned. Drawing it in anger could have unforseen consequences.

 

“I have use of magic” She croaked, her voice breaking as she said it, casting the light from her torque over the grave. A dark small dark figure hunched over the grave was digging in the loose earth around the stone.

 

The druiddess forgot to breath, she tensed her cheeks as she tried to swallow the lump of fear in her throat. Having no choice but to pass the light of her torque over the squat stygian figure scrabbling in the muck.

 

To her relief, the light revealed little more than a shaggy mutt. A dog of an indetterminent breed was digging and scratching at the freshly laid grave of the stranger from a by gone age.

 

“Shoo!” she cried. Feelings of anger and relief washing over her. Anger more at herself for being scared of something so pathetic looking.

 

She assumed the beast was just after the freshly planted dead flesh as a not so easy meal beneath the heavy stone.

 

“Away with you!” She swiped her hand in the air but the dog took no notice, continuing to paw and scratch at the soft earth.

 

Birog looked around her feet and found a small piece of sandstone and hucked it at the beast landing a few feet away from it. The creature lifted it’s head to growl and bear it’s teeth briefly before skulking away into the mist again.

 

 

 

Cur Chapter 2 ‘The executioner’s song’

Oh my god, I wasted so much time writing a really savage review of this story on inkitt. Another salty exchange, one of many on inkitt haha.
I just logged in to find a three star review on inkitt from someone who had a weird name and no avatar and the review basically consisted of “Hur durr, the characters are mean, too much violence”. Then I was like ‘seriously a three star review because you thought the characters weren’t nice’
Then he’s like “Hurr durr, I like to give constructive criticism and harsh reviews” And me not knowing I was dealing with the Rodger Ebert of inkitt deigned to read his abortion of a story which literally reads like it was written by the Isla vista shooter. This is literally what Elliot Rodger would write if he wanted to write a sci-fi fantasy mash up story instead of being a weird incel spree killer.
The story is basically all about sci-fi rape and it’s- I can’t find any other word to describe it but as Todd Howard would say; ‘Degenerate’ haha.
But the difference is I actually gave constructive criticism in my review instead of just saying ‘the characters are too mean’.
I mean honestly I don’t care about the reviews on inkitt, really I just put it up there for ease of reading and general feedback but you’re not gonna get a good critique from that page. But when someone just pops up out of nowhere to shit on you it pisses me off. And it pisses me off even more so that the critique isn’t even good. There’s nothing he said that was constructive criticism, I literally can’t make my characters nicer because they’re supposed to evil and cruel because of what happened to them. And then on top of that his story is a steaming pile of literal garbage that is literally like Tommy Wiseau wrote a sci-fi novel haha,

Anyway, I’ll post that next week or you can go on my inkitt page and read it and his review if you give a shit, which I suspect most people don’t haha.
No bitching about the witcher today because I haven’t read any this week because I don’t fucking want to haha. I’ll probably read more tomorrow. But I’m really into the Parker novel I’m reading and it’s getting to the good bit.
So that’s about it, woke up with butthurt in my heart and needed to vent and fuck a schedule for chapter releases I’m planning to release a Cur chapter a week for my one fan haha.
Other than that I’ve wasted too much time already and I need to do some spamming or proofreading or quit drinking coffee haha.

See you…

The executioner’s song

Cur awoke with a bucket of water in his face, locked in a pig pen for a day and a half, stinking as he was. They only let him out once to torture him but too little avail. The pigs snorted and snuffled him as he sat shirtless and dirty as one of them. His head down, suspended by his one arm tightly wrapped with a piece of fibrous twine to the thicket fence.

The dwarves cut him loose and he grinned at them as they shuddered, shrinking behind their pikes at the sight of him.

They lifted him to his feet but he could stand on his own well and they walked him at pike point to the large round house on the hill.

The chieftain of Killaloe sat cross legged on a beautifully decorated hide rug. An ash wood tray with clay pots on it and a large ornately decorated axe at his feet. The hut itself was not anymore grand than the one used as a tavern but it smelled less of piss and old mead.

“Leave us” He said waving his hand.

“Sir he-“

“I know, I said leave us”

The chieftain was a wide portly clean shaven dwarf, only a few tufts of hair on his face he’d missed. He was wearing a gold trimmed tunic that still smelt of smoke and pig shit like everything in this village did. A gold torque around his neck and a conical cap made of birch bark on his head symbolized his status. “Please sit” He said pointing at the rug on the floor.

Cur sat crossed legged with one knee raised.

“Do you know me?” The dwarf’s face was sallow and looked slick to the touch, bouncing up and down as he spoke and dropping when he stopped.

Cur looked through him with a set of icy blue eyes. “I know your name” He hissed.

“Good” He had a pot of some liquid in front of him that he poured out into round clay mugs. “Are you really of the Firbolg?” He said without looking up.

“The Firbolg are dead”.

“I see.” He handed one of the cups to Cur. His down turned face unchanged and grim.

Cur batted it out of his hand letting it roll around on the deer hide rug. The chieftain’s face didn’t move, it stayed perfectly still as if numbed by snake venom.

He cleared his throat.

“We hear many rumors here as you may imagine, a small village like this, all we have are rumors” He tried to smile shyly but his face seemed almost too heavy. “Two in particular interest me, one of a strange series of attacks by blood suckers or ‘Dearg due’ as they call it. Whole villages are slaughtered for not adhering to some elder god or some such triviality. And another about a wandering mercenary that kills for coin and cheaply at that who lacks the good grace to die.” The dwarf managed a pinching at the side of his mouth that might have been a smile.

“Perhaps those rumors are much the same” Cur grinned speaking from his throat.

“We face hard times, some love Bres for his beauty, the fools, women mostly, others.” He paused and breathed out letting his face sag even further “Loathe him for the unfair taxes he levies. A third of our corn and of our milk, its extortion, I and a few others outright refuse to pay it.”

“This doesn’t concern me”

“You’re right of course, but I’m a farmer, it concerns me and that’s why I didn’t deliver you directly to the gallows.”

“Your point?”

“Very well, you’re very skilled and are attached to no clan as no clan alive would have you because of- well look at you.” He scratched his sagging jowl and tipped his head as if to speak to his own round gut. “Kill Abartach of Slaverghty. Do this and you walk free.”

“I walk free now”

“Hard times make desperate men Firbolg.” He sighed deeply and lifted his eyes a little looking for mercy in the man before him and found none. “I see a deadly pattern emerging, the Offaly villages of Annally and Lusmagh were hit first. Formally parts of Connacht as I remember.” His sharp eyes darted to the Firbolg for confirmation and found none. “All their people scattered or dead never heard from again.”

“Then how do you know it?”

“Travellers pass through, say the villages are deserted, all their livestock taken or dead. Not a man woman or child alive, almost no signs of struggle at all, no weapons, no survivors, no witnesses.” He narrowed his eyes to scrutinize the stranger yet again and found only a scornful calm.

“This Abartach?”

“He is the one profiting from their deaths.”

“How?”

“Abartach moves illicit goods from ports in Munster up and down the Shannon river from Slaverghty. Forbidden items smuggled out of the cities of knowledge and other such places. all the villages along the river know of this as it’s safer to transport them by water. Bandits can’t swim. As those villages are aware of this practice they expect tribute for silence. I suspect Annally and Lusmagh got too greedy.”

“How does he do it?”

“That’s what I hope you will find out for me, your freedom and a weight silver.”

“Petty squabbles between dwarves don’t interest me.”

“Well surely your freedom and your life interest you.” He tone shifted became faster and more breathy. This is more than just petty squabbles this is conspiracy, this fratricide.” His face was red and his eyes began to bulge out of their socket, spitting as he spoke. He may well be working for Bres himself!” His face was hot, a bead of sweat trickled down his cheek and then he paused for a moment “How did you know he was a dwarf?” He said as his blood rain cold.

Cur smirked wickedly.

The chieftain’s face became drawn and white and he coughed. “You’re an assassin then?”

“Sometimes”

The chieftain’s face drained of color as he looked at the ghostly white visage of the man before him. “Then the scene in the tavern, just so you could be before me – How much is he paying you? I’ll double it, triple it!”

“He offers me more than mere silver.” He croaked ominously in his gravelly voice.

“What then? Land? His ugly daughter? Spit it out!”

Cur breathed in deeply, his eyes wide and manic as he smiled like a ghoul. “A future!” He said stonily.

“Ahhhhhhh!” The chieftain wailed his flabby face rippled as his ornate axe leapt into his hand. He swung at Cur’s neck getting one good but shallow whack in it at the base of his neck.

No blood just a gaping wound like a notch in a tree. Cur’s head tilted to one side with that manic insane smile on his face still, laughing low and menacing like a demon.

The chieftain crying out pulled his hand back for another strike to free the monster’s head from its shoulders.

Cur caught the little man’s stubby hand in his gargantuan fist with a hard sapping sound. He squeezed the dwarf’s hand letting the heavy axe drop on the hide rug.

“What now dead ma- ahhhhh!” The chieftain cried as Cur pulled him by the arm like a tavern strumpet and lunged forward to rip out his throat with his front teeth.

 

 

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

 

A quiet place – Review

I wasn’t really planning to review this movie but then I saw all the insane buzz around it and my contrarian senses were tingling and I had to get it out. Honestly I didn’t hate it, it was just like ‘bleh’ it was a nothing burger of a movie for me. Tired re-used ideas done before, better and worse a hundred times and it really didn’t work for me. But fuck me if rotten tomatoes aren’t sucking the sweat from this movies balls.

It’s disturbing, and I don’t really get why. I understood why they were fanning get outs balls, it was the same reason black panther negative reviews were deleted, it was the race angle. But for this I have no idea why everyone has to like it, are deaf kids the new black guys?
I watched it with my brother who is an avid pirate arr and I just couldn’t get into it. The movie seems to never get going then it ends. I remarked to him that it was kind of like tremors meets it comes at night but not as fun or interesting as either. Actually this movie really makes me appreciate it comes at night more, despite the fact nothing actually comes at night the movie could have been half an hour longer at least. But it was suspenseful and interesting and did the end of world scenario in a fresh interesting way.

A way this movie doesn’t do. This movie is basically the road without the road, it’s stakeland without the land. It’s I am legend without the legend, can I stop this now?

I’m not going to get bogged down in the lazy/non-existent world building or sperg out about the many many plotholes and inconsistencies, if we did that we’d be here all day and all we’d have to show for it would be a headache.
The main problem I have with this movie is there’s no journey, there’s no attempt at a story or an arc or a goal. And it’s so easily done. The whole movie is centred around Blunt’s character having a baby so maybe there are complications and they need to find a doctor, or they hear a radio frequency about a settlement or something, anything but nothing like that happens. The movies plot could fit into an episode of tales from crypt, farmhouse attacked by sound monsters the end. Nothing happens the whole movie is just a circular mess of chasing around this farmhouse and pointless filler to get to the main beats of the bath scene and the *spoilers* dad’s death sequence *spoilers end*. And that whole scene is sad but it feels unearned and shoe horned in to a point that it makes the rest of the movie seem pointless.

The bath scene particularly I didn’t find tense at all because I knew she’d be fine, I knew none of the kids could die because they already made a big deal about killing one of their kids in the opening of the movie. So it’s completely without tension because I know none of these characters can die and there aren’t any other characters around them to act as monster fodder.

So there’s no story but movies like this can get by with no story as long as there’s a tense character drama like Cloverfield lane but there’s no character drama either because no one can talk. There are only four characters, beard shooshing dad, pregnant mom, deaf kid, none deaf kid. Emily Blunt and Krasinski are married in real life and they have a lot of chemistry during interviews but in this movie they’re playing a couple with little to no chemistry there’s no levity or romance. You’re supposed to believe these people care about eachother but their kids are running around a corn field with sound monsters that somehow took out the entire of america’s military and they’re like ‘they’ll be fine the script says so’.
The deaf kid is ok as long as it said in the script to do your best Dustin from stranger things pretending to be a fish impression, then she was spot on, the other kid is just a non-entity.

The main beats of the movie are painfully predictable, when the thing with the earpiece came up as a plot device for defeating the monsters my brother turned to me and said “Swing away” and he nailed it, it was just like that. It was a stupid Shamalamamadingdong premise, oh the sound monsters don’t like weird frequency noises, no one in the whole of america thought of using sound weapons on monsters that hunt by sound, wouldn’t it be awesome if we had something like sound cannons. Yeah that’d be great.
It was painfully dumb and I think honestly it’s just because I’ve seen too many movies I can just work out every beat of the movie and see the structure. This movie’s structure is mess, it’s a circle, they don’t go anywhere, no story is progressed, there’s no arc, we’re supposed to feel like they’ve been on some epic journey by the end when they’re on their front lawn.

By the end of the movie where the epic plot twist is that the monsters are powerless without their heads I turned to my brother and I said; “Emily Blunt is going to cock the shotgun and then the credits will roll” and would you guess that’s exactly what happened.

And we couldn’t believe it, that was the cheesiest and worst ending I could’ve imagined to this movie that was going for this serious grounded tone, it suddenly becomes aliens. I almost burst out laughing. It was so cheesey and unselfaware yet all the critics at rotten tomatoes are totally drinking the coolaid.
I mean is it as bad as Tom Hanks on like an actors guild video saying Get out is the greatest movie ever? Not really, it’s pretty bad but not that bad. I was talking about that to my brother and I said ‘Can you imagine if he was talking about It follows, people would laugh in his fucking face’ and It follows actually was a really clever horror movie with great atmosphere and genuine scares but no one would dare elevate it to the level of get out because it wasn’t directed by a half black guy and it wasn’t about racism, or whatever the fuck that movie was about.

I mean Quiet place isn’t bad, it’s just derivative and unoriginal and really unsatisfying, just watch the road or stakeland or war of the worlds, they’re the same movies but ten times better. People actually have arcs and they do stuff and go on a journey, there are characters and dialogue and goals and emotions not just people signing “I love you” at eachother. Fuck it ignore the critic group think behind this movie and just go watch Tremors, it’s like a quiet place if it was any fun.

See you…

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

 

 

 

 

 

3 Ring Samurai Chapter 3 “Hatin’ Don’t Pay”

Well hello there again,

As usual I don’t know how to start this, oh I rewatched all the Mad Max movies and they sucked a lot more than I remember when I was a kid and I never got why people hated thunderdome and now I totally get it haha. Like the first movie is sort of a nonsensical mess but it’s entertaining, and then I made the hipster realisation that the second movie is just in his head after what happens to him in the first. And the second movie is the quintisential Mad Max movie because it sort of gets the formula right, it gives in to the absurdist shit in the first movie but doesn’t take itself as seriously but takes itself seriously enough to make an action packed entertaining little romp which Thunderdome completely fucks up.

I was enjoying Road Warrior and thinking to myself ‘Why didn’t this become a big series, why aren’t we on Mad Max 12 Angry street? Well evidently because George Miller changed his mind and instead of wanting to make gritty post apocalyptic movies pretty much inventing diesel punk he wanted to make a reboot of Peter Pan. Because that’s what thunderdome feels like, it feels like a Robin Williams movie and it completely ruins the tone of Mad Max and turns it into a joke where no one even dies. Completely took what Mad Max was and turned it into a glorified kids movie where Tina Turner and Mel Gibson with a bunch of kids fight over a midget. And don’t get me started on Fury Road anyway onto real stuff haha.

I’ve felt really overwhelmed recently but in a good way, in the best way. I feel like I’ve been on a fucking insane bender but it was in my living room with my laptop watching documentaries of celtic folklore on youtube and scouring the internet for more stories.

I literally spent the last four days reading nothing but celtic folklore until my eyes actually hurt. My eyes were bloodshot from reading, it was like being possessed and I just felt so high building this story in my head I couldn’t stop. It felt uncontrollable and so good, just right. And I honestly have to fight the feeling and remember about Diana and how important that story is. Because I so just want to forget about it and delve into this because this feels like it for me.

So what did I do? I spent four days building a compendium of info from the internet (mostly wikipedia 😦 don’t hate me, and youtube) which is now 87 pages of frantically copy pasted articles about releveant places, people, events, myths and monsters to draw from when I start writing. This sounds like laborious bullshit but it felt so good to make it didn’t feel like work at all. I felt like I was uncovering the fucking holy grail haha.

Then I tried to start writing a synopsis but there’s just so much stuff, so much story and character I had to write a timeline first. I couldn’t just do what I usually do, take some notes, build a synopsis and then do a chapter breakdown and then start writing. I’ve spent weeks now plotting this in my head so I had to build a timeline of events to build my synopsis from. So now I’m going from the beginning and the end of my saga to see how fare the rabbit hole goes and now I’m fighting myself tooth and nail because I don’t know whether to start the first book with the synopsis I have or go through and complete the entire timeline and go from there.

I don’t know whether I should just do this one part first and build it up or try to look at it basically from a big picture perspective and build this large circular story. And it’s lots of things at play, basically my perfectionism and anal retentive streaks battling my impulsive need to just do and write and throw myself head long into it and it’s my nature to love to pull in those opposite directions. I want to just jump in and start tearing shit up but it feels too good to hold myself back to the eventual cathartic release of unleashing all my creative energy at once.

And right now I just want to stop writing this fucking blog and get back to doing that, because this is getting me nowhere haha.

Also the witcher sucks haha. (Not the game though)

See you…

~

The deputy slammed the jail door shut and locked it, Pookie lingered at the door, looking out, watching his sword as the deputy took it over to his desk. The rest of the punks dispersed murmuring angrily shooting eye daggers at the back of Pookie’s head.

 

Pookie rested his arms through the bars as he watched the deputy sit in his chair at his desk. He continued to study the weird sword like he was wondering which end was the pointy one.

 

“Now I saw this thing work” He said pointing at the ringpull on the scabbard. “Shoots it out real fast right?” He looked up at Pookie “Now how in the hell does that work?”

 

Pookie shrugged and made a face.

 

“Sure” He turned the sword over and studied the handle. “That is the goofiest thing I’ve ever seen” He laughed. “Oh and what in the hell does this one do?” He said pointing at another but much smaller hidden ring pull on the handle itself.

 

“I’d leave that one alone.” Pookie said.

 

“Is that right?” The deputy smirked as he put his feet up on his desk and cocked his chin out. He looked it up and down again. “I might take your advice on this one” He smiled and put the sword down on his desk.

 

“So what now?” Pookie asked.

 

“Now you watch shadows grow bud”

 

“Is that all?”

 

“You’ll cool your heels with your buddies in there and then in the morning you’ll get your sword back and be on your way. There may even be a plate a cold beans in it if I’m feeling hospitable.” He smiled and tipped his hat down as he reclined in his seat closing his eyes.

 

“Others may come”

 

“Oh so you’re one of those huh? – A run away, they got a name for that?” The deputy poked his hat up over his head and opened one eye. “So what did you do? Ya kill someone you weren’t supposed to?”

 

“…”

 

“I see- so now you’ve got a price on your head- I’m not about to get mixed up in all that. Not a big fan of your shows but I know what you do- all that blood really turns my stomach, I gotta, say.” He tutted “I don’t know how you stand it” He let out a spiteful laugh. “You probably like it, only way your pecker gets hard I’ll bet”.

 

“It’s not like that.”

 

“Uh huh- Well don’t you worry, you’ll leave town in the morning and you’ll never come back ya hear.”

 

 

“Gramps there are some weird guys outside” Efron squeaked.

 

“Eh?” The old man peaked outside his door trying to look through the distant heat haze. Blackened shifting shapes moving in his general direction. “Just look like big birds to me, probably just want some of my worm broth”. He chuckled.

 

There was a loud banging on the roof and a dent to match and then more foot steps and a strange scratching and whispering and high pitch mocking laughter.

 

“What the hell was that?” Zach said in harsh whisper. He got up on the bed and tried to look through one of the holes in the roof and saw nothing. Then for a split second he was face to face with a wooden crow face, it’s empty black eyes staring at him. He jumped back falling off the bed.

 

They watched not breathing as the dents in the roof moved towards the door. There was a flapping fluttering noise and a thud and then a knock at the door.

 

“Who is it?” Efron said.

 

“Shhhhhh!” Gramps and Zach hushed her in unison.

 

There was an ominous cawing noise made more so by the fact it was a human voice making the sound.

 

They waited a moment and the sounds stopped. After about ten minutes of listening to nothing but the wind the old man gingerly walked towards the door and peaked out. Opening the door wider to get a better look. “Take a gander through the hole again” He whispered.

 

Zach did as he was told and sheepishly probed his head around the hole, making sure not to get too close. “I can’t see nothing” He whispered back.

 

The old man feeling a little more sure of himself opened the door all the way and stepped out to look around. He instantly regretted it as a three pronged meat hook claw came down and hooked him under the shoulder blade. Picking him up like a toy grabber at an arcade.

The kids sat inside listening to his screams as he was dragged onto the roof bleeding and kicking and crying. The sounds of the claw ripping into his flesh and then it went quiet again and all that they could hear was the blood running off the tin roof.

 

The door opened slowly and a man with a duck mask was standing there. The crow dropped off the roof in a crouching position behind him covered in the old man’s blood.

 

“It might’ve been good to talk to someone around here who could actually communicate in full sentences.” Canard said.

 

“S-sorry, all the f-fun from before and I didn’t even get my beak wet” Crow tittered as he looked at the blood dripping off his claws. “I c-couldn’t help myself” He flicked his head erraticy, bobbing like a birds.

 

Canard sighed and looked at the kids as they stared up at the old man’s bloody hand through the hole in the roof. “Hey, any of you kids seen a clown around here.”

 

“Yeah he went into Woodsmoke, town not too far from here, just over the ridge.” Zach said without looking away from the old man’s hand as it dripped.

 

Canard scratched his face under his mask “Well that was easy.”

 

“W-what do we do now?” Crow said bobbing his head erraticly.

 

“Business as usual I guess”.

 

“M-me first” Crow said eagerly.

 

“Ay ya ya, hold your horses there bucko” Canard said barring the door with his arm. “We do this the right way, Finch, fetch the chart will you.”

 

Finch appeared pulling out a rolled up scroll from his coat sleeve and he walked up to Efron.

 

She looked up at this strange thin man in the bird mask as he began to unravel the scroll next to her.

 

He held it up next to her and on it was a picture of a clown with his hand out over a height chart. He stood it next to her and measured. Her head was just under the clowns hand.

 

Finch tutted and said. “This one is too small.”

 

“Come on out honey” Canard said. “It’s alright”

 

Efron cautiously walked towards the door as Finch moved on to Zach.

 

He held the chart up to Zach and his head was just over the clown’s hand.

 

“Ah we have a winner.” Finch said. He rolled up the scroll and put it back in his sleeve as he made his way out of the shack.

 

“Well what has he won?” Canard said turning to Crow.

 

“H-ha-ha.” Crow hopped and bobbed into the shack, the door slamming behind him.

 

“What are we gonna do with this one” A female voice said over the muffled sounds of Zach’s screams.

 

Canard turned to Heron and then back to Efron and patted her on the head. “I always loved that motherly instinct you have”

 

Heron said nothing.

 

“Well we can’t take her with us until we complete our mission” He said looking down at her mussing up her scruffy red hair. She looked up at him, her face screwed up into a puzzled frown. “You wanna babysit?”

 

“…”

 

Canard sighed “I guess you’ll just have to go play somewhere else kid. Auntie Heron is too busy to take care of you, she really doesn’t have time for kids, what with her high flying career and all.” He looked for a reaction from her and got none. “Scoot kid, before I change my mind.”

 

Efron didn’t take a second to think about it she just started to run in a seemingly random direction without looking back.

 

“See ya” Canard waved.

 

“What do we do now? Turkey asked.

 

“Hmm- What do you think big guy?” Canard said looking at Penguin.

 

Penguin breathed deeply and made a low growling noise.

 

“That’s what I thought- Crow! Aren’t you done yet?” Canard shouted.

 

Crow appeared behind him covered in blood from head to toe. “W-whats up?”

 

“I’m calling a little ‘family meeting’” Canard said.

 

“Who died and made you boss?” Cardinal said.

 

Canard laughed “I’ve got the biggest mouth”

 

“No argument there” Finch sighed.

 

“You got a plan Cardinal? Nah, didn’t think so, so why don’t you keep your beak shut” Turkey sniped.

 

“We were only supposed to recover the body” Heron chimed in.

 

Canard scratched his cheek under the mask. “Yeah well, ‘the body’ appears to be walking around killing wasteland transvestites and weebs, or did you not notice that?”

 

“…”

 

“If you wanna go back and report-be my guest.” Canard continued.

 

“You think Regus is gonna give you a pat on the head if you bring him the clown’s head?”

 

“You think you’re gonna get one for tattling on us?” Canard laughed.

 

“…”

 

“Tell you what, we’ll make up our minds when we get there, deal?” He said smiling with his voice.

 

~

Ah ah ah if you want to read the rest of this utter madness you must follow this link.

See ya.

Hatin’ Don’t Pay

 

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