I actually planned to and wrote a review for battlefield 1 for yesterday but it was so dull and pointless I just didn’t post it, insert rant about modern gaming haha. Basically sums up what I thought of it. It was ok, considering I paid nothing for it.
Good news just got back the second to last piece of Diana and the last piece is on it’s way, our baby gonna be whole and beautiful soon enough. Then I can make the final changes, get her looking good and get her ready to shake her ass for some literary agents which in all likelihood will be all be women haha. True fact about literary agents, the gatekeepers of the industry, most of them are women. But then again most book readers today are women I think.
Well that is you see a lot of books targeting women specifically. Mostly about sex with vampires or werewolves or handsome rich guys haha. Kinda makes me wonder why that is, when did our culture move away from men reading books? What am I talking about? I literally started this blog mentioning the reason, it’s fucking videogames of course and movies and tv obviously. Fucking videogames killed men’s desire to read, goddamn it haha.
Well maybe that was when videogame stories were half decent, now they’re either totally ass or non-existent. The non gamers are probably off watching netflix or sport. But the thing is for me, my love of books really cushioned the blow for shitty videogame stories. I never really expect much from a games story and don’t care if it doesn’t even have one, in fact I prefer it. Because if I want a good story, there’s one waiting for me in a book. In the same respect if I want to see shitty cgi and explosions I go watch a marvel movie haha.
If you go looking for good stories in a videogame you will be disappointed. Even so we see novelists working with games developers to make decent stories and captivating world like the guy that wrote the metro novels which spawned the awesome metro games and yes I will be preordering the next instalment haha. Probably, if I’m not broke still when it comes out. Spent the last of my money, i.e the banks money on the last round of editing for D. If I work all through christmas I might be able to eat sometime late january haha.
To a lesser extent the witcher, though I won’t get into that because I fucking hate the witcher books with a passion and the writer is such a jackass. The games are great, they really elevate his boring overrated writing but the asshat is still suing them for more money despite the fact he thought they would fail so didn’t opt in for royalties, he just took a cash lump sum I guess. But of course now it’s like the hottest game of the decade he’s all in wanting his cut. If you read any of his books you’d be utterly disgusted by this.
They turned his boring slog into a living world full of interesting folklore and action and memorable interesting characters and GWENT! Holy of holies. I just saw they released a gwent rpg card game and I had hold myself to resist buying it at full price.
In other news the Parker book I’m reading has got lit, it’s pretty good, like it’s all out war at this point where Parker enlisted an army of his old heist buddies to take this mob town apart. Just gutting it of money, they take like a quarter mil in one night which is awesome. But the heists are a little too easy honestly, it’s nice but the hard stuff is coming and I can’t wait.
Anyhoo, gotta get back to work, got a new piece of my lovely lady Diana to clean up and I have to prioritise that obviously.
A dry morning wind lashed at the dusty emptiness of the wasteland as the sounds of muted activity echoed over all the stark nothing. The ambience of a frail egg shell headache, a morn after the night before, everyone tip toeing around busily packing up their lives. Still cool and dank but the sun bright and blinding coming up over another centuries old pile of garbage in the distance.
A slight figure blotted out that bright sun and cast an angular shadow on the side of a circus tent. One of the boys taking it down turned his scruffy dirty face in the direction of the shadow maker. He squinted with his hand attempting to block out the sun, a strange blinking collar around his neck.
“Mornin’” The young carny said as if it were a phrase buttoned to his tattered coveralls. He squinted harder trying to make out the figure. Rubbing his eyes as strange images of malformed birds filled his mind and he saw a grotesque heron mask. “Oh lady Hero, I didn’t know it-“
“The Ringmaster, where is he?”
“Oh, the boss, he’s-he’s still up in the big top, they’re getting ready to pull it next.”
“Thank you” Heron said flatly, slowly walking in the direction the boy gesticulated to.
The boy nervously returned to his tinkering, loosening the ties on the tent and scratching under his bomb collar.
Heron walked in between the stalls, more carny’s tinkering away to dismantle and pack away games and rides. All so they could move on to the next town, she could feel them they trying not to look directly at her.
“Hows tricks bird girl?” A voice mocked.
Heron looked coldly out of the corner of her eye, the voice came from a tall gaunt figure leaning out the window of his icecream van. He laughed and stared with his sharp dagger like beady eyes as he smoked from the corner of his mouth letting ash hit the counter without a care.
She turned her head to the front and continued saying nothing.
The Icecream man laughed and watched her go tapping ash out the window.
At the foot of the big top the dogfaced boy sat sullenly falling in and out of consciousness.
Upon seeing her he decided to be awake and quickly bound over to her.
“Ya bring me anything?” He said.
“Not this time, the big man in here?” Heron said.
“Yeah, he and Tanner are arguing about how the mutant sea lions are kept again, it’s really boring.”
“I see” She said as she patted him on the head and went on through into the big top.
Inside it was even cooler without the sun, the smell was so familiar; woodchips and blood and vomit and piss. Death and life, love and hate, there was nothing that wasn’t under this big top.
Heron looked up at the rigging, staring at it without knowing why, for a moment she couldn’t take her eyes off the tightrope.
Then remembering her purpose she pushed on into the ring.
As she was fortold the Ringleader was having a heated discussion with Tanner the animal tamer.
The Ringleader was a large man with a round belly but without hint of sagging. His roundness was almost perfect and complete, spherical and tightly packed, as if he were a baseball that could tuck in his arms and legs and roll away. But attached to the baseball were strong ropey arms and legs and a head he used to hold an oversized black top hat. His face always carrying the merest hint of a jovial smile betraying a wicked set of eyes which poked into every corner. He stroked and twirled his vaudeville mustache as he gestured wildly with his free hand.
“My good man, you realise these ‘creatures’ of yours cost an arm and a leg to feed, quite literally. I simply cannot afford any more lavish accomodations for them and certainly can’t spare the water to give them a dipping pool.”
“But you don’t understand, the heat is worse than ever this year, they’re going crazy, they need a way to cool off.” Tanner said as he stooped. Tanner was a large man with soft eyes, a lover of animals and wildly homicidally protective the particular species he’d trained from birth.
A rather unusual species of sea dwelling creatures that had with the drying of the oceans evolved to live on land. Undoubtedly with the help of the rampant radioactive fallout after the first war. One of the creatures playfully practised a routine where it would stand to attention on a podium. Then accused criminals would be dropped from the rigging for him to catch and eat. In this instance a side of beef or some other indistinguishable meat was dropped. The huge thing lumbered into position on the podium wobbling back and forth comically.
The creatures were huge twice maybe three times the size of a human. Scaly shiney skin but rough and course like sand paper. They had huge heads with large teeth and tusks but oddly reptilian features, with clawed hands ridged flippers for digging in the sand.
The ringmaster looked the creature over. The creature almost seemed to be trained to beg and look as cute as a giant reptilian mutant man eater could.
The meat was dropped and in an instant the creature timed it’s movements perfectly and snapped the meat out of the air with it’s ferocious jaws. The power of the bite bisecting the meat without need of sharp teeth, just the power of the jaw was enough to rip anything apart.
It moved with so much power, all those large muscles moving at once, spurred by instinct and training, the ground seemed to quake, the air shifting. The amount of power necessary to move that bulk would astound any crowd. The amount will to train the beast even more so.
Heron stared at the Ringmaster and he turned and noticed her out of the corner of his eye. He turned back to Tanner to dismiss him. “I’ll see what I can do”.
“Very well” Tanner said also having noticed Heron waiting. He left abruptly without saying anything more. Exiting through a large opening in the back. The creature bounded after him flopping around comically dragging it’s large finned tail.
“Yes?” The Ringmaster said crossing his hands behind his back he tilted his head as if he were talking to a child “Do you have something to say?”
“They’re all dead”
The Ringmaster showed no great surprise in his stoney features, he only let out a long disappointed sigh “I see”. He turned to walk up the steps towards his ‘throne’ on the edge of the big top. It was a monstrosity made of collected pieces of wood and metal. Different discarded weapons of the long dead clans that came before. The scattered remnants now making up most of the circus a generation or so on.
He sat and waited for her to say more “Is there more?”
“The ronin clown Pookie lives” She said flat.
He hid it well but at the corner of his eyes, wrinkles started to appear. “And why didn’t you stop him?”
Heron stood not moving, expressionless behind her mask. “That was not my mission”
“Your mission was to bring back a body, so where is it?” He gestured spreading out the fingers of one hand.
Heron said nothing.
The Ringmaster tutted “Forgive me, you’ve lost your friends and I’ve lost a headline act” He paused and thought about the implications. “I want his head atop my throne by this afternoon”
“Yes Ringmaster.” Heron said.
“Wait, I changed my mind!” He tapped his lips with a long finger “I want you to shadow him for me. Report to me on his movements through carrier pidgeon” He sighed deep in thought. “More information is necessary.” He said to himself. The ringmaster straightened his moustache and tugged at it a little more before he noticed Heron was still standing there. “You’re dismissed.”
Read the rest on inkitt Imaginary folklore
So this is the concluding part to the first little 3 Ring novella about favourite clown samurai; Pookie.
I’m planning to do this on and off, just short and fun episodic novellas with different enclosed little beats. I wouldn’t say ‘story’ this one doesn’t really have much of an enclosed story on it’s own but the idea for the plot is from a kung fu movie I like, kung fu movies not known for their shakesperian storylines.
It’s just a fun little series I can keep on with in between things I’m working on, maybe I could get some of it in an anthology or a magazine eventually, who knows. For now I’m just blowing off steam with it, a bit of fun between more serious work I’m doing.
Bit of a shitty week honestly, only had two solid days of writing, then I had to go to work on father’s day and it was pretty depressing. Just watching all those happy families and knowing in the pit of my soul that that would never be me. It really upset me and then even when I got home I couldn’t shake the feeling and there was no one I could turn to.
So I’ll probably have a poem about that feeling tomorrow maybe. I wrote some on my break but I got distracted.
Very little bitching about the witcher today. I’m finally getting to some of the romance between Geralt and Yen and it’s I dunno, sometimes this book strikes me as if the author thinks he’s shakespeare and he can just have people spout flowery shit and then they have sex and that somehow constitutes romance. I guess to some people but I can’t tell if he’s an idiot or a genius in this regard. But this isn’t really a romance, it’s sort of an anti-romance because all the while I’m wondering why they love eachother when every scene they share it seems they literally can’t stand eachother.
Later he has this interaction with one of her other lovers (of which supposedly she has several) and it basically rips into their romance by pointing out that Geralt has no human emotions because he’s a mutant and Yen doesn’t love her as much as she’s intrigued by him and under a genie’s spell. So basically they don’t love eachother, Geralt just fancies her and is afraid he can’t get anyone else to stay with him because he literally can’t give them the love of a normal man. So it’s not really a romance since neither of them can truly be in love with the other.
So that’s an interesting part, the characters aren’t really likeable, Yen is horrible and Geralt is just sort of a placeholder character, he’s not really interesting on his own. The story too seems more interested in subverting expectations than actually being good. I mean it’s all well and good if you can surprise the reader but if the surprise is nothing happens, that’s not a good surprise.
I don’t mind if something is predictable as long as it’s good and interesting and fun. The first story is basically this huge build up to Geralt fighting a dragon which he decides not to do. The next story is about him having a duel with a mage which he walks away from. Oh yeah, really subverted my expectations by not having interesting things happen in your action fantasy book, really blowing my socks off here.
Well that’s enough of that I guess, the Parker book is probably the slowest and worst one of the series so far but it’s still miles better than the witcher and even the most boring parts where nothing is happening still manage to maintain tension and work really well. So it’s not a bad book, it’s fantastic but it’s just not as good as some of the others. I think it may just be that you’re seeing a softer side of Parker we shouldn’t be seeing. Because for me Parker is just this ineffable statuesque character that can never be stopped or show any weakness and in this he seems a little off and I think that’s done on purpose to show that his involvement with this woman is softening him and putting him at risk.
Anyway, enough waffling, hope you enjoy the samurai clown action and hold on for more fantasy brutality when I release more Cur.
The moon was high and Crow had grown tired of waiting for the clown to wake. His claw sang to him as he scratched the glass and it thirsted for the clown’s blood, whispering thusly.
He knew honor dictated that his foe should be conscious. But his mind and his claw would come up with a million and one good reasons why the code of honor didn’t apply. Such as ‘it only counted in the circus and he was a traitor, a ronin, a vagabond’, ‘no one would know’, ‘it would feel sooooo good!’.
The boy that was watching over him had long fallen asleep in his chair and Crow had given up pretense of hiding and was perched on the window ledge.
He scratched longingly at the glass staring at the mound of covers he knew the clown to be sleeping under like a cat licking the side of an aquarium.
“Ooh I c-can’t, I c-can’t wait!”
Almost on it’s own his claw started to scratch and scrape at a pain of glass in the hatched window. And as if on pure accident the small pain popped out and fell soundlessly on the inner windowsill.
Crow felt his mask rising as his face stretched into a drawn out long grin. It must be fate, the glass just fell out. The night, the moon wants me to kill him, he told himself as without thinking he snaked his free hand through the window and unlatched it.
Slowly he eased the window up, it was sticky but he managed to open it silently. Staring his empty cold eyes at the sleeping boy, his chin to his chest drooling and snoring loudly.
He thought about silencing the boy permanently, but something told him that the clown should be the one that dies first.
Crow dropped soundlessly into the room, rolling like a dust bunny from hell. He tiptoed towards the bed and then without telegraphing he leapt like he was wires. With an inhuman speed and agility he pounced on the sleeping Pookie stabbing and shredding the bed with an animal furosity.
“Huh, n-no blood, w-where’s the blood?” He shrieked and stabbed the head under the covers and was startled by a loud popping noise. He withdrew his claw attached to the end was a balloon with a silly clown face drawn on it quickly deflating with an anti-climatic farting noise.
Crow bobbed his head nervously and swivelled his eyes around the room. The boy somehow was still asleep, still snoring loudly and drooling even more than before.
He swivelled his head like an animal and looked at the closet.
“Ah s-so you’re hiding, like a coward.”
He hopped off the bed with no noise except the tired springs of the bed sighing.
His skinny sandaled feet touched down weightlessly and he came around the bed to reach the closet.
The crow fell forward as a quick swiping sound and a flash of silver caused one of his legs to fall off as it was attached by a clasp that suddenly burst. He stood looking down at it puzzled as blood began to spurt from the stump.
Pookie rolled out from under the bed and sprung to his feet putting the sword to the crow’s throat.
“I do balloon animals too- for the kids.”
The crow laughed maniacally moving the sword away from his throat with his three pronged claw “Just a s-scratch”
“Even a one legged crow can still f-fly!” He shrieked as he leapt as if his one leg was a pogo stick. He mounted Pookie’s shoulders and started to furiously scratch and slash at Pookie’s back. He was far too fast and unpredictable for Pookie to fight back and too close for him strike with his sword. All he could do was feebly slam the freak against the thin wooden walls as he mauled him like a cat.
In one fluid motion he threw Crow out of the window. Without hesitation Pookie leaned out to see where he landed but saw nothing but a claw flying into his face he only had time to block with his fleshy hand. The claw pierced right through and the crow pulled him right through the window. His sword hanging on just barely as he slid down the slanted metal roof covered in broken glass.
He slid all the way down catching onto some gutter with his bleeding hand, his sword hand hanging loose as he dangled off the roof. The drop wasn’t that high but it would still hurt. But before he could even consider making the drop a slender hand wrapped around his wrist and his face was an inch away from the black crow mask.
“Need a hand?” He raised his claw.
Pookie looked down at his sword hanging loose and then up at the curved points of the claw hook. There was a brief moment of silence that seemed to last an eternity.
Then out of nowhere an odd whooping whistling sound and a spray of blood hit Pookie’s face. The Crow’s head fell off and rolled over his shoulder and then they were both falling.
“Oops” Finch smiled under his mask as his glaive boomeranged back around. He caught it in his armoured gauntlet with a mechanical locking noise.
Pookie groaned as he lay in the loose top dust on the ground, Crow’s dismembered body lying next to him. He rose to an indian sitting position with a painful creaking noise, cracking his neck from side to side shaking off the cobwebs. He looked at Crow’s body “Did I do that?”
A sudden shrinking feeling put his teeth on edge as he heard wooden sandals clacking on metal roves coming closer. Realising it wasn’t over he scrabbled to his feet and listened. It was dark now, but the moon was high and the stars were stage lights twinkling. It was deathly quiet, just the wind and the creaking of wooden buildings and the long way off call of some nocturnal beast, a coyote or an owl, both.
He’d landed in a tight back alley with lots of cover but he was out in the open, the saloon backed onto a bunch of houses that looked empty in the dark. Two story shacks with wooden shutters.
There was that damn whooping noise again, like a bat or some kind of bird swooping down on him. He batted it away with his sword and sparks split the night in two for just a moment and flew away again.
It came down again and he had to roll, which was a bad move forgetting all the cuts on his back. Rolling through the dirt hurt like hell and he probably picked up more damn glass from the window.
It was no good, he had to run and find some place where he wasn’t so exposed
He took off in a random direction that damn noise following him. The feet clacking and the blade spinning and getting closer nipping at his heels like some flying cockerspaniel.
Pookie bust open some little shack and barricaded the door with a hatrack. The whooping sound reached it’s peak as he slammed the door in the face of the flying cockerspaniel. Only to get a long curved blade stopping an inch from his face as it embedded itself with into the door.
Pookie opened the door again and yanked the thing out of the wood. It was almost like a bladed boomerang or shuriken. Made- it seemed from some kind of cross shaped tool forged into a shape reminiscent of a bladed swastika.
He looked at it with some puzzlement before sticking it down the back of his trousers and sheepishly poking his head out of the door. Looking up and around the roofs and ledges he gingerly exited the shack and started to look up and down the street. And then the noise came again louder and faster and seemingly in greater numbers.
Two of the damn things criss crossing coming right at him, he ducked one and the other cut the whiskers off his chin.
He heard a shrill laughter in the dead silence “YOU DIDN’T THINK I’D HAVE ANY MORE RIGHT?”
Pookie tried to place the voice but it echoed off the buildings and travelled all around him. He was too busy not getting his head cut off to see where the blades flew back to or if they came at all. Pookie had no choice but to get to higher ground. He scaled the ramshackle buildings using the rough edges of wood and large gaps in the planks, keeping an ear pinned for those spinning blades.
He reached the top and got his footing and then waited and listened. They came again one right at him, the other on a curved trajectory coming around his side. He dodged the first and deflected the other up over his head with his sword.
“YOU CAN’T KEEP THAT UP FOREVER.”
Pookie sneered but he couldn’t disagree, there was no way he could keep this up, the blades would keep coming and just ware him down or wait til he made a mistake. He had to think of something.
Finch quickly caught and launched another volley from his perch on a richety old wooden water tower overlooking the saloon. It creaked and moaned under him as he shifted his weight to throw the two shurikens.
He’d staggered them so he could use one hand to launch both, he just threw one after the other as soon as caught them in his gauntlet.
He watched them quickly disappear into the night only catching glimpses as the moonlight touched them. He smiled as they got closer to the clown running around like an ant on the rooftops below.
The clown flipped and flopped around barely escaping them once again. Finch simply snickered and planned a new trajectory in his head as he watched the blades arcing back to his position.
“Getting closer” He whispered.
The blades came back casting moonlight off of them like silver water. But there was something wrong, a sudden uneasiness gripped Finch. Struck by an imminent giddiness or vertigo, his face felt hot and he felt off balance as if realising a horrible miscalculation.
And at the last minute he saw it but it was too late.
He caught the first blade and before he could throw it back another – a third blade hidden in the shadow of it’s trajectory cut his hand off. It fell from the roof still holding the first blade. The second blade still coming unimpeded without any way to catch it Finch dodged uneasily, the blade cutting him along the side. He tumbled onto the rooftops below, sliding down the slick tin and onto the dusty ground below.
Finch was still for a moment. He stirred and then rose to his knees pulling his stump of a hand closer to his body. He took out another blade from his cloak and shouted “THAT WAS A CUTE TRICK, BUT IT CAN ONLY WORK ONCE!”
“It only has to work once” A voice above him said.
Finch looked up to see Pookie on the rooftop looking down at him. Finch scrambled to his feet and into a run as he flung the shuriken in his hand.
Pookie easily deflected it and jumped down to his level. He stopped and thoughtfully picked up Finch’s hand with the blade still clasped in it.
“Hey you forgot this”
Finch stopped only a few feet form Pookie in the shadow of the tall water tower, he turned holding his stump.
“You bastard, you couldn’t find me so you just copied the trajectory of their arc coming back. Hoping I wouldn’t notice a third blade under the others.”
“And you didn’t” Pookie smiled as he threw Finch’s hand down. “Can I go back to bed now?”
Finch thought for a moment and pulled out another blade and lifted it as if he meant to throw it.
“Haven’t we played this game already?” Pookie jeered.
Finch launched the blade with much more force than before but it was wild and in a wide uncontrolled arc. Pookie didn’t even have to move to dodge or deflect it.
It simply passed with a burst of air and that loud whooping noise.
Pookie was puzzled as he felt little droplets of water hitting him, followed by a loud creaking and snapping. He turned to see the water tower quickly buckling under it’s weight as one of it’s ramshackle supports had been cut away by Finch. The remaining supports wobbled and groaned painfully as the whole thing started to come down leaking from either side.
There was nowhere to go in the alley, and it all happened so fast. Pookie were pinned on either side by houses and there was no time to cut through Finch and outrun it.
He couldn’t think of anything else but to cut it. He held his sword over his head and watched in slow motion as all that water and steel and wood fell on him.
Finch’s continued to laugh maniacally until his laughter was turned into a high pitched yelping noise. As he was instantly crushed by the falling debris.
Everything went white for a second and he couldn’t breathe and then he opened his eyes and he was in his bed again.
“Was it a dream?”
“Err” Donny said motioning to the blood all over and the broken glass and then further swivelling to point out the street covered in wet debris.
“How did I-?”
“All that commotion woke me up and first I hid in the closet but then I thought you might need my help. So I got a little closer hiding in one of those houses and when I saw the tower coming down I opened a door and yanked you inside before the thing fell.”
“Don’t people live in those houses”
“I guess not” the kid smirked. “Aren’t too many folks live in a place like this, use to be a mining town I’ll bet but the mine must have gone dry, no mine, no miners.”
“I thought you lived here?”
“No I’m just visiting, I live in the next town over, it’s close enough so I can walk and see the shows twice.”
“You really like that stuff huh?”
“I mean, yeah, what else is there?”
“Huh, I never really thought about it that way”
“This world is nothing but suffering and blood and misery but- I dunno. I go in that big tent and it starts to feel like it’s not real. Like it’s all just one big show and we’re just performers and death is just a game we all play- there’s just something about that you know?”
The clown groaned as he turned over “You might be right”.
The kid smiled as he looked at the back of the clowns head and then he saw the scratches on his back. “You know you should really get those looked at, they might be infected.”
“Ah I dated a chick with long nails once, I’ll be fine.”
“I dunno-“ Donny was cut off by a loud whirring noise and he turned to see the door shaking. A small blade sawing through the door launching wood chips and dust into the room.
“Goddamit!” Pookie yelled as he reached for the sword resting against the wall next to the bed. “People are trying to sleep in here” He shouted as he quickly unsheathed his sword letting out that mocking laughter.
The saw cut a precise square out of the door. Turkey then retracted the blade slowly allowing the square piece of door to fall away replacing it with his masked face.
“Heeeerrr-“ Turkey was cut off as Pookie, frustrated just turned the blade over in his hand and launched the sword like a spear through the door. Pinning Turkey in place, the blade still laughing. He then rolled over and slept the rest of the night.
In the morning he woke to birds cawing outside, the sky was a bruised putrid orange. Pookie felt somewhat rested although he hurt in numerous places, more numerous to count. He got out of bed drowsily, he picked up his sword sheathe puzzled by it’s lack of a sword and looking out the window. Seeing the streets covered in debris like a hurricane passed through. He slipped on a patch of almost congealed blood on the floor as he stumbled towards the door. Confronted by the Turkey mask through the square porthole and the silly face of his sword pommel staring back at him.
He shrugged and pulled the sword out of the door resulting in a loud thudding noise as Turkey’s body hit the ground. He looked over the blade before tutting and wiping it on his pants and sliding it back in his sheathe. He yawned opened the door and stepped over Turkey’s body going down for breakfast.
Donny waved as he sat waiting in the booth one to the right of the one he was sitting in the other day.
The pool players were gone and only the old coots remained still playing their game.
“Morning” he croaked.
Pookie just winced holding his head in a freshly bandaged palm as he sat his sword down next to him in the booth.
“How’d you sleep?”
“Like a baby”
“You should thank Ethel, she came in and treated the scratches on your back, your hand too. She was even more annoyed when you didn’t scream after she poured grain alcohol on them. Didn’t even wake you.”
“I’m a real deep sleeper” Pookie reached down to feel the plasters and ointments on his back. He turned over to the bar where the old woman was grimacing and polishing bar glass.
“Err- thanks – Ethel.”
She just grunted back angrily and pretended the glass she was vigorously rubbing was a clown’s face.
Pookie sighed leaning back on his seat “I need to get out of this town” He winced as he put pressure on the cuts. His side too was still giving him trouble.
“You can come back with me, my town is ok, I mean you haven’t trashed it yet” He laughed.
“Is it far?”
“Nah, just gotta go over a gorge, but it’s no big deal, I do it all the time.”
Ethel interrupted them by throwing down two plates of eggs down on the table and storming off.
“I paid up for everything so we can head out as soon as you finish breakfast- boy my friends won’t believe this, I’ll be the coolest kid for miles” He smirked.
“THE CLOWN THAT CALLS HIMSELF POOKIE!” A booming voice shouted. “I’M GIVING YOU TEN SECONDS TO COME OUT AND FACE ME”
“-OR ELSE WHAT?” Pookie shouted back.
“Hmm” Cardinal thought about it for a minute before dropping his chain sickle to the floor. He started to spin it over his head like a lasoo and then threw it through the window. Hooking Ethel through the throat before yanking her out of the window like a ragdoll.
“TEN- NINE – EIGHT- screw it!” He started to spin the chain over his head faster and faster until it was spinning like a helicopter blade or a giant blender. He started to throw it and pull chunks out of the building, first collapsing the porch with a crashing snapping noise. He seemed intent on pulling the building down on top of Pookie. The chain whipped past the bar like the tentacle of a giant squid smashing all the liquor bottles and the lamp that was on the side igniting it instantly.
“We gotta get outta here” The kid said.
“Nah, I was gonna get out a packet of wienies”
There was a loud banging outside like a crash of thunder and an old man was standing behind the man in the bird mask.
“We’ve got a deal with you folks, we give ya food, our women, our kids, in return you leave us alone. – that’s the deal” The old man was thin and bowed and had a heavy looking sheriff badge pinned to a plaid shirt.
Cardinal turned and without saying anything he brought the chain down and cut the sheriff in half right down the centre.
“No!” Another voice said. “You didn’t have to kill him!”
The deputy ran to the sheriff’s body, tears in his eyes. “He was just a silly old man, you didn’t have to kill him.”
Cardinal stepped forward and said nothing. “He was your friend?”
“He was my uncle” The deputy said as he pointed the gun at Cardinal still on his knees, still with tears in his eyes.
“I see- “ Cardinal launched the chain at the deputy, it snaked and wrapped around his forearm yanking the gun loose pulling him forward. He pulled the chain back and forth yanking the deputy around by his arm. Painfully punctuating every turn with a bone cracking sound and a pained yelping from the young lad.
“But I did have to kill him, just as I have to kill you. We are all born into this world with a singular purpose and once we find it, we have no choice but to carry it out until our end.”
He yanked him forward and he fell into the dry dusty top soil, tears streaming down his face “Why? Why do we have to suffer, for that goddamn clown? Just kill him and get out of here and never come back!”
“Why do you have to suffer? Because you exist, you were born to suffer. If I did not make you suffer you would make yourself suffer, drink or bore yourself to death, is it any better than dying here in the dirt like this? Would you prefer he died of old age alone with shit in his trousers barely conscious?”
“Honk honk” A voice above them said.
Cardinal laughed and covered his eyes with his hand to look up at Pookie with the sun behind him standing on the roof of the burning building.
“I was wondering when you would make your grand entrance- you’ve done well up to now, you gave my comrades good deaths and I thank you for that. Shall we get on with it?”
“Get on with what?”
“My- “ Pookie shit a brick as the burning saloon started to collapse under him and he stumbled to tactically fall off the building landing on his arse. He got up and rubbed his bottom. “I meant to do that”.
“Pookie the clown! You have been found guilty of killing your master Chuckles the clown lord, do you accept judgement?”
“I- I mean- you weren’t there!”
“Yes or no!
“No!- fuck no!- I didn’t mean to- it was an accident!”
“There are no accidents, the chain of fate is one unbroken- err chain” A moment passed.
There was another thunder crack and something heavy hit Cardinal in the shoulder and there was a light puff of blood.
He turned and yanked the chain tossing the deputy against the wall, his body going limp and the gun dropping by his head.
Before he could turn Pookie pulled the cord and let out that ridiculous whirring kazoo noise. With one hand on the handle as a counter weight and his other hand pulling. The blade shot out at an incredible speed and Pookie cut Cardinal across his back.
Cardinal span and tossed the chain around Pookie’s sword arm flipping him over his shoulder. The sickle came down in Cardinal’s hand and he planted it right next to Pookie’s head missing his ear by a hair as he rolled.
“You can’t fight your destiny, you can’t stand against the caravan. They’ll kill you and everyone that ever laid eyes on you!”
“What’s so special about me?”
“Nothing- nothing at all” He threw the sickle at Pookie hungering for his death but the sickle stopped short and hooked into the ground. “What?”
Cardinal turned to see his chain was hung up on Pookie’s scabbard which was stuck in the ground. “How annoying!” He quickly unlooped the chain and turned to see that Pookie was gone “Huh?”
“Those masks don’t give you a lot of peripheral vision huh?” He said right next to him.
Pookie slashed him across the chest and once more downward toward the groin and Cardinal fell to his knees.
“They look cool though”. He said walking towards his back as he knelt.
“Thanks” Was the last word Cardinal said before Pookie cut his head off with one quick strike.
A couple of hours later Pookie lead by Donny wearing his travelling gear which consisted of a wide brim straw hat. A long segmented hiking stick and galoshes to the gorge he spoke of which was crossable via a sad looking rope bridge.
“Cool huh? This would be like an awesome spot for a final boss battle” The kid forshadowed.
“Yup” Pookie’s face looked long and drawn starring at the old bridge hanging over the wide gorge. A torrent of dirty irradiated water flowing beneath it.
The kid smiled “Don’t worry about it, I’ll cross first, show you it’s safe.” He took a step forward then turned back and laughed. “Besides you fall in there you’ll probably come out with super powers or something!”
“Or an extra toe”.
“I’d rather have a spare than missing one.” He called over his shoulder as he slowly traversed the swaying rope bridge carefully holding on to either side of the fraying ropes. He made it across dismounted with a little hop as if he expected applause.
“Your turn” he shouted playfully.
Pookie hiked up his baggy pants, his sword bobbing up and down as he cautiously took his first step onto the bridge.
The bridge reluctantly took the clown’s weight moaning and creaking as he edged his way gingerly across.
It was only when he made it about halfway across before he heard a hideous snapping cracking noise and he felt the boards shifting under his feet. He struggled to get his balance as the bridge started to collapse the parts breaking away like falling leaves.
The only part that remained was a single piece of rope connecting one end of gorge to the other that Pookie precariously balanced on. Shifting his weight back and forth wobbling in and out trying to stay upright.
“I guess I underestimated you” A voice said.
Pookie turned to see Donny kicking his galoshes off as he expertly mounted the tight rope. His bare feet clinging to it tightly like another set of hands. He walked along the rope with ease, like it wasn’t even there, his walking cane held out in front of him for balance.
“I was sure you’d be washed up by now” Donny smiled as he cast a glance at the toxic rapids below.
“Who are you?”
The kid grinned “Donald Duck” He said as he slid the Duck mask over his emotionless waxy face.
He quickly flicked his cane like a switchblade and a long spear point flipped out of it. “My friends call me ‘Canard’”
Read the rest here.
3 Ring Samurai
Good morrow fine folk, it is I your humble bard..
And that’s enough of that. Ok so updates; I fucking did it and it turned out pretty damn great. I wasn’t really intending to do my standard 2k a day word count challenge thing but I was just so fucking eager I start an hour earlier than I usually do and spent like the next four or five hours just bounding around this fictional world I was creating like a dog with a ball it it’s mouth. And before I knew it I’d written way too much and that’s pretty much how it went for the last four days but it did work out to a nice neat round a bout 8k.
So that right now shapes up to about a chapter and a half because I got a little carried away and the flashback chapter is like a short story in itself so I may have to break it down a little bit but it turned out really cool and it has one of the best (and shortest) fight scenes I’ve ever written, just the level of gravity and intensity really swept me away and I hope that goes the same for anyone reading it. If people have a tenth of the fun and excitement I got from just writing it then I’m on to a winner.
I almost couldn’t wait to get up this morning and write about and go over, this is the first time I’ve been this excited about proofreading and putting something on inkitt.
I think the first chapter is great, I had my baby mama go over it and she made me rethink the whole chapter and I’m so glad she did because I love the changes I made to it. I think the chapter really nails the character hook, she even compared him to Alucard from Hellsing, which was a character I wasn’t even thinking of but it was music to my ears. Although I hate that anime (Not so much hate it, I just found it underwhelming), Alucard is the only reason its worth watching.
Well anyway wanna keep this terse so I can actually do the proofreading I just mentioned so just want to mention inkitt a bit and then get on to some Blood and Elves hate which I find more and more of the more I read it.
I dunno, it’s weird ‘The One that Came Back’ is really popular on inkitt, it’s nearly surpassing Green Sunday which has been on way longer and I spammed the living hell out of and everytime I go on inkitt someone has added it to a list or saved it but I get new reads constantly when I never spam it at all and I literally give it away for free now haha. So that’s cool, I mean what are the odds that that is the first book I get legit published haha, that would be great but also suck since I wrote it in literally thirty days and lots of it is me just transcribing a documentary haha.
Ok so I realise why the witcher Blood of Elves sucks so much and it does suck, it was a meme at first, when I was like halfway through but I’m near the end now and I swear this book is like 95% really boring conversations about nothing. It’s literally just conversation after conversation and any action or interesting thing that happens in like a page or two then the conversation will just be the rest of the chapter and then it’ll cut away to another completely different conversation in another part of the world and it may or may not be related. That’s the whole book. And the chapters are stupidly fucking long, it’s a three hundred plus page long book and it has eight chapters, so you just have these bloated chapters full of pointless dialogue most of which could be shortened to a sentence at most. And what’s more is the chapters don’t really need to be that bloated, the chapter breaks seem arbitrary since there are constant cutaways without transition to other conversations entirely. It almost seems like chapters are there just as a formality.
So anyway, why it sucks. It sucks sort of for the same reason The last wish fell short. The last wish is just a series of short stories not connected except that they involve Geralt, that’s it. But it’s a series of fun and action packed short stories that are interesting and varied and have lots of subtle nods.
The problem with Blood of Elves is it’s not a novel, it’s a short story or two short stories that have been stretched out to be the length of a novel and packed with filler conversation and political commentary. That’s literally all it is. Because the main plot begins at the start to try and hook us then it’s filler city for the next hundred odd pages then there’s a smidgeon of action in the middle then the story is sort of coming back around at the end. Some people say the filler is like character fill but I don’t think so, the characters still seem really generic, I don’t feel like I know anymore about Geralt or Ciri and all I learnt about Triss is she can’t drink potions, maybe she’s lactose intolerant haha.
And it occurred to me last night that I gloss over romances in my stories because they don’t interest me. But I sort of pay some lip service to them but I make a point that it is lip service.
In this book he’s in love with a woman he literally forced to love him with magic genie powers and now they’re apart in this book but their epic romance is sort of just hinted at. So essentially *insert epic romance here*, it just struck me as really lazy having like a time jump to say they had a really great romance but now they’re avoiding eachother like the plague.
Anyway really didn’t meet my goal of being quick and concise but I will have the first chapter of Cur: Blood and Soil (working title) up on inkitt by the end of the week probably sooner. I really can’t wait to hear people’s opinion on it, although I probably wont source reviews on inkitt until I have more done, I’ll just poll the poles at work haha. My biggest fan is a polish guy I work with who got me into the witcher and now I hate it haha.
Ok must do actual work now gah!
“Morning Ethel, hows tricks?” Deputy Pete said, a cheeky grin painted on his wooden boyish face.
“Aint run tricks in here for years, ever since that damn circus came, snatched up all the good whores from here to the crater” Ethel stated.
“It’s just an expression-“ He smiled awkwardly taking stock of the bar with a quick side eye glance. He got a weird feeling all of a sudden but couldn’t explain it, like he walked into an animal cage and found it empty. Like something was looking at him deciding which part to pull off and eat first.
He swallowed but kept smiling as he tried to be as inconspicuous as possible sizing up the strangers in the bar. So far there were only two he could see, they were sat at a booth in the corner, the same one the clown was sitting in the day before but they weren’t clowns. Nevertheless they looked strange, the one facing his way was around thirty with dark receding hair and a grotesque scar on his neck that made the skin look pale and flabby. The one with his back turned was a giant with arms as thick as barrels, he was pretty hard to miss.
There were more in the back standing around the pool table. They were playing pool but there was something off about it. Their movements looked practised and robotic like they were playing pool in a stage play. Like no one was really interested in winning. Three guys, one a short jittery guy with spikey hair and beady eyes. A thin guy who was all angles with long hair tied back, and a tall guy with broad shoulders with his back turned.
“Nothing- I just gotta check something.” Pete said not looking at her.
He hitched up his gun belt, took a deep breath and approached the two sitting at the booth. He walked slow and deliberately but neither of the stranger decided to notice him. Or his heavy footfalls on the loose wooden floor.
He cleared his throat and put on his best shit eating grin. “Anything I can help you folks with?” His feet betrayed him with the sound of boot leather tensing.
The one with the scar turned his eyes slowly up to look at the deputy, one of them was milky and probably blind. He cut a weird grin that made him look like a shark. It was the kind of face someone might make if they’d never seen their face in a mirror.
“No officer” he said in a soft mocking tone with a gravelly voice.
The large man let out a grunt or a groan and Pete tried not to stare at him.
“You folks staying long, it’s just we don’t get too many strangers out here.”
“We’re not strangers” the strange man smiled again.
“Is that right?” The deputy tensed his jaw and swallowed. “You mind telling me what your business is here?”
“Just passing through” He said.
“Just passing through” Pete nodded, tapping his feet nervously.
“Is that a crime officer?”
“You wanna ask me how I got these scars?” he smirked.
“Cooking fried chicken” he laughed “That hot oil does get everywhere.” He grinned at the deputy.
“Is that right- you folks wouldn’t be carrying any weapons would you?” He let his hand fall onto his holster.
“Me? Not a one sir.” He said.
Pete took a look at the large man who didn’t say anything. Hulking arms framed a large gut and barrel chest with a small head on top.
“Does he look like he needs a weapon?” The man smiled again and let out a breathy laugh. “I’m just foolin’ around, he’s harmless, got the mind of a child- wouldn’t hurt a fly.” He smirked.
“I used to pull the wings off flies when I was a child” The deputy said.
“Is that right? – well I’ll bare that mind.”
“You do that” He said. “You folks have a nice day.” He stood there for a moment trying to think of something else to say tapping his gun belt. After a moment he turned and gave Ethel a worried look trying to signal with his head as he walked out of the saloon.
He walked out into the street looking back still feeling those predator eyes on him. A cold shiver like a knife playfully dragged down his back. His fingers drumming on the wooden handle of his colt. Trying to shake the feeling that it really wouldn’t do any good.
The deputy walked at a quick clip to get back to the sheriff’s station. He entered quickly looking at his gun rack silently thinking.
“H-hey you said you’d get me outta here! A strained nasally whining voice said.
Deputy Pete turned to the source of the noise absent mindedly, it was Bull with his head still stuck in the door of the jail cell.
“Oh right, I was going to see if Ethel had any butter or cooking grease or something- slipped my mind, sorry about that” He smiled sadly.
“S-Sorry?” Bull whined incredulous with his shiny bowling ball head unable to turn and look at him.
The rest of his crew were awake but in varying states of disrepair, battered and bruised all crushed up one side of the cell. As far as they could get away from the clown who lay on his back on the floor looking up at the ceiling fan spinning.
“Well good morning!” Deputy Pete said to the clown. He opened the cell slowly edging around Bully as he was dragged around by it having his head stuck in it.
“N-not so fast!”
“I’m being as gentle as I can be”. He said still looking at the clown “Hey you, you’re released, you can go, preferably as far away from here as possible.”
The clown got to his feet and walked towards the deputy. “The sword”.
“Oh that’s right-“ He stepped out of his way letting him step around Bull before shutting and locking the cell again. Everyone else inside seemed to breathe a sigh of relief seeing the clown go.
“Here take the damn thing” The deputy said letting a little of his nerves show as he took the sword out from under his desk and tossed it on the counter top.
Pookie readjusted his pants and slid the sword into his string belt. “Who took a crap in your cornflakes?”
“You did, you took a crap in my cornflakes- and what in the hell are cornflakes anyway?” The deputy snapped. He breathed out through his nose pressing his lips together “Your buddies showed up.”
“Well why don’t you just shoot’em” Pookie smiled.
“I’d love to but they haven’t done anything yet and I don’t wanna give’em the chance, that’s why you’re getting your clown ass outta town right now!”
“Wasn’t I promised a plate of beans?”
“That was yesterday, this is today.”
“I don’t even know where I’m going, I need a map, supplies a real bed for the night would be good.”
“I can throw you back in the cell if you want, tell your buddies to come right here.”
“NO!” the other men in the cell shouted in unison.
The deputy stopped to look out of the window. “You got any tickets?”
Pookie’s stomach growled.
“I’ll take that as a no- but none of that is my problem and if you’re not outta town by sundown I’ll run you out myself strapped to a mule.”
Pookie nodded and walked out of the jail into the morning sun, struck then realising he had no idea where he was going or what he was going to do. This world was entirely alien to him.
“Hey mister” A high pitched voice said.
Pookie turned shielding his eyes. A tall kid with milk bottle top glasses hopped off the bench outside of the jail licking an icecream cone.
The kid came up to him smiling his freckled face, he had light blonde hair pushed forward on his head. And he was wearing a set of coveralls with an anime robot over the breast pocket. Despite his voice and age he was just a little shorter than Pookie although he couldn’t seem to stand up straight. A chronic sloucher who nevertheless carried himself with an optimistic child-like bounce in his step.
“You’re from the circus right?” The boy gestured with the icecream cone.
“Wooooww! I know you, what’s your name? Pokey? Banjo? Poopy?”
“Yeah that’s right, Pookie- I’m like your biggest fan, the name’s Donny.” The boy smirked holding out his hand for Pookie to stare at. “-I watch all your shows when you come to town. I watched the one where you did the thing and you were like …- ya know” He started miming sword strikes with his icecream “And they were like bleurgh, ow my guts haha!” Donny smiled miming being disembowled and catching drips from his melting icecream. “My mom tries to stop me from going but I’ve got my own money” He winked.
“That’s great” Pookie said as he continued to walk on.
“Hey wait, I heard what the deputy said, you need tickets right?”
“What if I brought you breakfast at the saloon- and you can tell me all your cool stories?” He screeched in an unbroken line of dialogue gasping for breath between each word. “Like like like- you could tell me your cool backstory.” He said chasing after the clown trying not to drop his quickly melting icecream.. “Like maybe your whole family was killed by mutant wolves but one of the wolves raised you as their own and then you joined the circus. Or like your parents were from a rival tribe and clowns killed them but one of them couldn’t bring themselves to kill you. So raised you as their own living with the shame to one day have to reveal it in an emotional confrontation.” He paused thinking “Wait that’s pretty much the same story- I guess I’m not a good writer but I bet the real story is much cooler.” Taking a bite out of his icecream and in his excitement instantly regretting it “Brainfreeze!”
“So you’ll tell me?”
Pookie’s stomach growled even louder “Sure”
“Awesome!” The kid screamed chasing after the strange clown.
Pookie entered the saloon for the second time but this time the air was very different.
“Oh it’s you again- didn’t Pete lock you up?” Ethel said.
“No that was a different clown with a sword.”
“Oh” Ethel gaped.
“Morning Ethel!” The kid chirped excitedly wafting his icream around before letting a malformed blob of it fall onto the saloon floor. “My you’re looking lovely today”
“Can we get two plates of the house special for me and my new pal?”
“Sure thing kid”
The old bint disappeared into the back and Donny excitedly lead Pookie to a booth just to the left of the one he sat at when he first got there.
The kid was practically dragging the clown as he tried to get his bearings in this new ecosystem he’d stumbled into. He looked over in the back where the old men were still dozing and attempting to play some card game. The pool players replaced by the cardboard cutouts of generic pool players laughing and hitting balls at seemingly random intervals.
Excitedly the kid ushered Pookie into his seat which was facing out towards the bar and the exit adjacent to it.
Pookie was a little annoyed by the kids youthful exuberance but he promised to fill his belly so he could hardly protest too harshly. Then as if out of nowhere Pookie felt a sudden crushing feeling, the air in the room getting ten times heavier almost soupy. He could feel the hairs on the back of his neck raising up as if someone or something was sharpening their fangs waiting to pounce. More than that, straining to stop itself from doing exactly that. Every ounce of willpower holding it back from running its necessary course and ripping him apart.
Then there was a sinking feeling and an odd warmth at his back, a cloud moved out of the way of the sun and it cast a huge shadow over his table. A giant humanoid shape.
There was an itching scratching sound and a distinct whispering.
“…not yet… patience”
A low rumbling groan.
The old woman came back with their food and it looked like that might be the cause of the distress. The smell from the kitchen causing some form of mild epilepsy. The kid looked happy enough with whatever it was, possibly roadkill or the road itself. Pookie couldn’t make heads or tails of it. It looked almost like a plate full of yellow congealed earwax. Some hitherto unknown animal species roasted beyond all recognition lying next to it.
Pookie ate with long teeth but only a few bites in there came a hideous snapping sound that he hoped wasn’t anything vital in his intestinal lining. A scraping screeching noise followed, a cold chill swept through as a huge shadow fell like a curtain over the table.
Pookie turned his head leaning over his food to see a giant figure standing over him with a broken table leg in his hand and a cracked penguin mask on his face.
The giant swung with an intense speed and ferocity aiming to pin and obliterate his head against the table.
Pookie leaned back and let the blow annihilate the table leaving only splinters. Acting on instinct alone he pulled the draw string on his scabbard making that odd winding kazoo noise. The blade launched the handle of his sword past the giant’s face. The eyes in the pommel lit up letting out that tinny cringey laugh as the bottom of the blade sliced the side of the penguins neck open.
The clown tried to hop out of his seat holding his sword only partially out of the scabbard in his off hand.
Penguin stumbled, holding onto his neck with his other hand to stop the bleeding. He lifted his enormous arm up for another strike coming down just as hard and fast as before almost as an unbroken chain of attacks.
Pookie swiftly ducked under his large arm and with his sword and sheath fully out of his belt he lifted the bottom end of the scabbard. Tilting the scabbard up allowing the gravity to empty his sword into his hand.
He took it and it laughed again as he jammed it into the Penguin’s chest. Not smoothly but with a ratcheting wrenching motion as he tried to lever the point through layers of muscle and sinew and bone. Going as deep as it possibly could.
The giant didn’t make a sound other than a low heavy breathing as it looked down at the sword sticking out of it’s chest. It dropped the chair leg on the ground with a hollow sound and took a step forward before wrapping both it’s hands around Pookie’s neck. Lifting him off of the ground.
Without his hand there the cut on his neck sprayed vital fluid on Pookie and all over the saloon floor but it didn’t seem to phase him as he kept applying more and more pressure to Pookie’s neck. His hands were so large it seemed like he might just pop Pookie’s head off like toothpaste cap.
Pookie could do nothing but wriggled like a frog pinned to a dissection table. His legs flailing and kicking as he tried to free himself, his hands occupied with trying feebly to remove the hands of the giant around his neck. In the futility of it he let go of the giants wrist and put both hands around the handle of his sword and started to try and wiggle it free.
The giant penguin let out an echoing moan and Pookie felt his grip slackening but still he couldn’t breathe and he was starting to see spots.
He wriggled it harder but it wouldn’t budge, it wasn’t coming out, at least not the way it came in.
Pookie started to wrench it and pull it like it was an awe on a rowing boat. And he was churning up really choppy water full of meat and bones cracking and shifting.
The penguin moaned louder and his grip slackened a little more but still Pookie couldn’t breathe. In his desperation he started to knee the handle and hammer the pommel with his heel driving the sword deeper into the wound. By the time the guard was all the way in his chest cavity was when the penguin finally moaned like an oxen and let Pookie flop to the floor. Coughing and gasping for breath.
Pookie put his legs under him as soon as he had a lungful. The Penguin stood like a statue, his chest heaving, that stupid clown face pommel sticking out of it.
The penguin swayed thoughtfully and put his hands out for the clown. But Pookie wasn’t about to let himself get wrung out like a dirty dish clothe again. He ducked, dipping under one of his arms and turning into a sweeping heel kick hitting the clown face pommel driving it further towards it’s target.
Penguin tilted and swept around with his other hand but he’d become slow, his movements were like he was swimming through molasses. Pookie ducked the swipe again delivered a tight donkey kick on the clown faced pommel driving it further still.
The tip was now protruding all the way out of the giant’s back. He heaved and wheezed like a dog who swallowed a squeaky chew toy. His head hanging low, a light coloured blood bubbling up from under his mask.
But Pookie wasn’t done. He stepped forward quickly sweeping his front leg and spinning in the air to deliver a powerful turning kick to the pommel. Striking it like a soccer ball and launching it all the way through the monster and out the other side. It’s final destination the mirror above the bar, it wobbled spattered blood and other such liquids in all directions as the mirror spiderwebbed on impact. That dumb clown face lighting up and laughing as it shook.
The giant groaned and stumbled and looked down at the hole in it’s chest.
Pookie stooped to peek through at the terrified Ethel who was cowering behind the bar.
“Peekaboo”. He waved through the sizeable cavity in the giant’s chest.
Ethel ducked under the counter.
Penguin fell slow and it almost looked like he was shattering under his own weight, the colossus of Rhodes made grotesque flesh. Falling piece by piece with heavy deliberate sounds like it was raining whole sides of beef for a moment. And then came the silence.
Pookie looked around, covered head to toe in blood. The old coots were continuing their card game under the table. Ethel was peaking up from the bar and the pool players were looking over. The larger one with the broad shoulders just chalking the end of the cue and blowing it over and over.
Pookie mounted the bar and ripped his sword out of the mirror completely shattering it and almost raining ethel in shards of broken glass.
Donny popped up as if from nowhere. “Holy crap that was awesome!” He looked down at Ethel over the bar “Don’t worry old gal, I’ll cover all the damages, I promise. He looked back at Pookie as he cleaned the blood and guts off his sword with a bar mat. “Are you ok? I mean it looked like he almost ripped your head off.”
“Just peachy” Pookie grinned.
He let out a sharp gasp and clung to his side falling off the bar quite spectacularly landing face first onto a bar stool, his sword clanging by his side.
“Holy crap!- Quick, help me get-im to a bed” Donny yelped.
The young lad helped the clown to his feet, and lead by the old woman he helped the dazed man up the ramshackle wood stairs of the saloon. The construction of which was almost that of a tree house, barely holding together with tape and happy thoughts. The walls a bare unvarnished wood patched with rusty sheet steel.
Ethel opened a door to one of the rooms, it was small with only enough room for the bed with a deeply sweat stained mattress. A single chair and a closet at the end of the bed. The floor was bare floorboards with a thin hide rug of some unidentifiable grey animal with six legs.
“Lay him down here”
“Yeah I know how a bed works” The kid smirked as he gradually lowered Pookie onto the mattress.
“This room aint free kid.”
Donny smiled “I’ll cover it.”
“You better” Ethel waddled over to the door “What are you doing all this for, he a friend of yours?”
“I’m his biggest fan” He smirked.
“Uh huh, I’ll be back with some linen and hot towels” She quipped as she waddled down the hall.
Despite her surliness Ethel did return with some sheets but no hot towels or happy ending was to be had at this time.
Donny had some food brought up to him but the clown slept most of the day away in a near comatose state as his body tried to repair itself.
As the sun went down patience started to wear thin. There was a tapping on the metallic roof of the saloon with steel toes. And at the window; a nervous rapping on the glass slipped into the background as a dull metronome. A claw scraped the glass and a hushed voice repeated over and over at a manic pace.
“I can’t wait! I can’t wait! I can’t wait! I c-c-ccan’t wait!”
Like this? Wanna read more head on over to inkitt boiiii!
Ok so this is a first.
I’m kinda surprised actually that it took this long but as of today this is the first story that has been rejected, I repeat ‘REJECTED’ from inkitt haha.
Maybe it’s something to do with the a clown samurai killing a hillybilly tranny in the first chapter haha.
But yeah, this is now an exclusive to my site story, novelette series because it’s too hot for inkitt, because fuck if I’m changing it. I’m not altering it one iota for some pc culture bullshit coming from germany of all places (imagun mi sherk!). They can fuck right off, I’ll just fight it and see what they have to say and have a damn good laugh doing it haha.
So that’s a thing and if you’re on my mailing list right now there should be a nice little copy or two of two of ‘the’ best e-novellas in the world written by yours truly with all the love attention and wit I could muster stored inside them. If you’re not on my mailing and just joining, you’ll have to wait until next month.
Arms literally feel like noodles, last month of the heavy lifting routine then gonna move onto some lifting cardio type things to mix it up a bit.
Aside from all this bullshit, I did finish the first part of 3 Ring and it’s pretty fun. I don’t know if I’ll move onto the next, I might just keep it episodic and keep coming back to it. As soon as I finished the first part I started jotting down ideas for the Cur the fantasy novel I’ve been brewing.
It’s helping a lot reading on into the second witcher book, although I read it and there is a lot of world building that people think is essential to a fantasy book which I find sort of superfluous. I mean it sounds great and all but all you’re doing is talking about a story within a story while I’m I don’t know how man chapters into the Blood of elves and Geralt hasn’t even shown up yet haha.
So you’re like stuck with probably the least likeable characters in the series; Dandilion and Yennifer talking about Geralt and Ciri.
I also found the intro super generic, I don’t know how many fantasy stories that started with a battle or some kind of horrific event described from the perspective of a little girl or something. I dunno, it just seemed kind of cringe worthy and I’d rather it from Geralt’s perspective and had more action. It was just like action without any actual action. Like ‘Look at all that action going on over there isn’t great?’.
I finished editing the chunk of Diana after Dark I got back from Chrissy, awaiting the next chunk. Paying for it in segments because I am broke haha. I’m just chomping at the bit to start throwing this at agents but I have to be patient, I can’t start emailing people until the package is ready to ship. I need to take my time with this one, I won’t get another after this.
That’s all for now, if this was available on inkitt I would have posted a link but sadly it is not haha.
But still head on over to inkitt or wherever you spot me on social media and send me happy joyjoy feeling.
Also fuck inkitt haha.
A flock of bird-like creatures flapped their misshapen black wings blocking out the sun as they passed. Making an ear aching warbling sqwarking noise. Their shadows passed over the mound of garbage left by the circus caravan. As their shadows passed and their dirty black feathers fell; seven humanoid shapes started to appear. The curtain of shadow slowly rising to reveal a group of odd hooded figures picking over the mound like carrion. Their movements light and ethereal like the spirits of the dead looking for unfinished business.
“He’s not here” One of the figures said.
The figure at the front turned his head, the orange bill of a strange vaudevillian duck mask he wore protruding out. The emerald green paint was dull and faded and chipped. With what looked like deep gouges and cuts. “I can see that.”
The crowds cheering became a dull metronome in his head slowing in time with his heartbeat. He felt the warm spray of the blood on his face, the woodchips shifting under his feet. The steel biting into bone and sinew, the smell of cheap popcorn, candy floss and vomit.
The sword in his hand laughing, laughing, endlessly laughing, never satisfied. Grey flesh shifting in front of him, an endless see of grey leathery flesh. The crowd are replaced with a stampede of raging elephants coming at him from all around. His enemies replaced with grey flesh and tusks and trunks getting closer and he can’t escape.
Pookie woke in a cold sweat, he wheezed as the pain in his side came back and his hood came off. He must have made a sound because some old geezers on a table in the back were laughing at him. He quickly pulled the hood back up over his head. He must have dozed off for a moment with his head down on a table in the only watering hole in the town he just left behind. He picked up a long coat with a hood and a scarf to cover his face from a washing line on his way in and was trying to keep a low profile until he could move on.
Three old geezers were yammering incessantly to each other as they played some card game.
“Who’s turn is it again?” The old coot in the straw hat said.
“It’s your turn you old coot!” The old coot with the corn cob pipe said.
“Yeah it’s your turn and we’ve been waiting!” The old coot with the slack jaw said.
“Goddamn ungrateful sumbitches. You wouldn’t even have this place lest I built it with my own two hands” Strawhat said banging his old fist against the table.
“You built it?” Corncob said pointing his pipe.
“Is that right? Slackjaw said drooling a little and staring at the ceiling fan.
“Yeah I built this whole town after the real badness with my two good buddies” Strawhat said scratching his grizzled chin.
“We’re the two good buddies you’re talking about” Corncob said gesturing at himself with the pipe.
“Yup” Slackjaw said.
“I planted all the crops and put up all the fences with the sweat of my back.” Strawhat whined
“I planted those crops right along with ya” Corncob scowled.
“Me too” Slackjaw said.
“You was always planting crops of a different kind though” Strawhat said giving him a sideways glance through tight wrinkly slits. “To think I was a big guy on wallstreet before the crash”
“I thought it was a zombie apocalypse” Corncob mused
“Wasn’t it a solar flare?” Slackjawed dozed.
“Zambies? You see any zambies around? Strawhat said.
“I seen plenty of’em, I’m looking at one right now!” Corncob chuckled.
“I killed a zombie once” Slack jaw said. “Hit it with a shovel”.
“Nevermind about that, those damn circus folk come here every goddamn year and rob us of our hard earned food. Leave us barely enough to get through the season – and they steal our kids for their goddamn shows. It’s like those damn white haired guys from that videogame, what was it called, the snitcher 11?.
“You don’t have any kids and you don’t have any vidya games neither” Corncob said as he chewed his pipe and looked over his cards.
“Grand kids” Slack jaw said.
“Your grand kids all left for the circus!” Strawhat said.
“Little bastards!” Corncobs said staring at his cards like he wanted to fight them.
“Ungrateful little shits!” Slawjaw yawned.
“And for what?” Strawhat said thoughtfully looking at his hand.
“I don’t even like the circus” Corncob said.
“It clears out the jails I guess” Slackjaw said wiping his mouth on his sleeve.
“I bet half of’em are innocent” Strawhat interjected pursing his lips.”No trials or nothing.”
“I wish someone would come along and wipe’em all out” Corncob said biting down on his pipe.
“Yeah so someone worse can take their place I’ll bet.” Slack jaw said.
“Yep sounds about right.” Strawhat said.
“Uh huh” Corncob said.
“Yup.” Slackjaw agreed.
“Oh yeah” Strawhat said as he studied his hand. “I fold.”
“Oh goddamit” Corncob spat.
“Everytime” Slackjaw sighed.
“Shut it you old coots!” A large man with a head like bowling ball with a thin strip of hair on it shouted over a pool table.
He and a group of solid citizens wearing loose dirty coveralls were loitering around the pool table cursing and talking about women.
It was a small border town that Pookie hadn’t actually set foot in before. The circus set up further out and then carnys would put up posters telling people where and when they’d be there. No one had actually seen his face but it just made sense not to make a big song and dance about the tattoos.
The bar was laid out adjacent to the saloon style doors. Pookie had picked a spot right at the back, parallel to the bar so he could watch the door without being spotted right away.
The poker game quieted down as a tall slim young man walked cockily through the swing doors smiling like he owned the place and everyone in it. The old hag behind the bar smiled at him and greeted him like she was his nurse maid.
“Morning Pete” She said with a lilting fondness in her voice.
“That’s deputy Pete” He laughed feigning an air of formality, and then dropping his elbows on the bar like a kid about to ask for a strawberry milkshake. “Morning Ethel, hows it hanging?” He smirked tipping up his ten gallon hat that looked just a little too big for his head and a little too small for his cocky smirk.
“Lower everyday” She cackled.
He laughed as a formality but Pookie felt a crude and quick searching glance. Then he saw the light hit the sheriff star and he tensed up and lowered his head. “What’s the agenda for the day?”
“Same old, same old, pick up after these old bastards, maybe mop up some vomit and break up a fight, whoop de fucking doo.” She said with her hands on her wide hips.
“Absolutely thrilling, as always Ethel-“ He stood erect and adjusted his gunbelt. Took another shrewd but casual glance towards the back of the saloon sighed and wet his lips. “Welp, you keep me posted now.” He smiled wide and said “Just holler and I’ll come a running.”
“I’m sure you will” She said with an added withering glance.
He laughed and tipped his hat again before walking out the way he came.
Pookie knew he couldn’t stay here all day, but he didn’t know what else to do. He had to find a place to rest before he could move on and even then he had no idea where he was going or even had a reason to go. What choice did he have but the life of a wanderer?
Waiting around here made him a little too conspicuous. Even with the coat and scarf he stuck out like a sore thumb in a town that probably didn’t get a lot of visitors.
He shuffled along the booth he was sitting in, doing his best to hide the sword on his hip under the long coat and he walked out of the saloon. It was midday by the time he got to the town, so it was getting cooler in the afternoon. The sun slipping behind the rows of houses and stores along the mainstreet. The town was basically one street lined with business and the more houses on the outer sides making up the backstreets. All the houses looked like they were cobbled together from old furniture and packing crates.
Making his way through the alleys and side streets to avoid undo attention was his best bet. But apparently he’d already failed at it if heavy footfalls padding in the dirt was any indication.
He turned keeping his head dipped and saw the solid citizens from the pool game, bowling ball head standing in front still with the pool cue in his hand.
The sun seemed to shift and duck behind the houses again and cast the alley into a cool semi-shadow and for a moment they said nothing.
“Yyyou think I wouldn’t recognise you?” Bowling ball head stammered, his tongue loose and full of spittle. “Tttthhis is a small town, strangers like you stick out like a boil on a hhhhogs ass!”
Pookie looked him up and down and said nothing.
“Yyyou think you’re too good to talk to me?” He said as he squeezed the pool cue in his hands. “Yyyyou don’t look so tough without your fffreakshow pals” He looked around at the swelling faces of his hapless cohorts. “Ttten tickets say I can take him on my own”
“Yeah go for it Bully!”
“I’ll take that!
“Break his ass Bull!”
Bull smirked with a wide open half toothy grin. “I’m gggonna kick your ass!”
Pookie tossed the hem of his coat back revealing the hilt of the sword with the silly face.
“Yyyyou’re not allowed that, nnnno weapons in the city limits, ttthose the rules.” He said as he turned to look at his buddies.
“Heh, he doesn’t know anything”
“What an r-tard”
“Ggguess I’ve got to ttteach you a lesson.” he said like a basic bitch anime villain. Without turning, looking with the corner of his eye he swung the pool cue in an upward arch trying to catch Pookie under the chin. All he saw was a ridiculous clown face pommel coming at him like a freight train right between the eyes.
Pookie pulled at a decorative yellow ring attached to a string like the rip cord on a parachute, pulling it as if he was starting a lawn mower. It made a strange noise like a kazoo or some kind of wind up toy as it propelled the sword out of the sheathe. Rocketing the clown face pommel into the middle of Bull’s bowling ball head. Unleashing the cringe inducing mechanical laughing sound and sending Bully reeling backwards followed by an arc of thick red blood and snot.
He bent over and groaned with his hand over his face and said “Yyyyou broke my nose, you mmmmother fucker!”
The sword hadn’t fully left the sheathe and Pookie let gravity pull it back in with a click. The string he pulled retracted quickly back into the scabbard with a tinny mechanical noise.
Bully looked at the blood in his hand as he took it away from his face and he got redder in the cheeks and seemed to stand a foot taller. “Iiiit’s on now” He said as he took the pool cue and snapped it easily into two sharp stakes.
Pookie made his eyes into hard uncaring slits, threw his hood back and moved his sword around to the front of his draw string belt.
A loud thunderclapping sound stopped them all in their tracks. Bull with the sharp stakes in his hand and Pookie with his thumb in the ring of the pull string on his scabbard.
“Well that didn’t take long did it” The voice from behind the crowd of yokels said. “First day in my town and you’re already causing trouble, and you wonder why folks don’t like outsiders.” The deputy pushed through the crowd as he holstered his gun and walked up to Pookie and had a good look at him. ”Especially outsiders who look like you” he said jutting his jaw out and tutting.
The deputy turned around and looked at the crowd both his thumbs under his gun belt “You’ll relinquish your weapon and accompany me to the local jail.” He turned to Pookie and pursed his lips, “Well?” He put his hand out.
Pookie looked at him, narrowing his eyes and he took hold of his sword by the scabbard gripping it firmly.
After a moment of silence, only the wind and their breath making a sound. Pookie lifted the sword out of the cradle of his belt and put in the Deputies hand.
The Deputy looked it up and down and it was a strange thing to behold, multi-coloured like a lollipop with seemingly useless tassles and ball-balls hanging off the scabbard and the unusual pommel.
“Well you don’t see that everyday.” He looked up from the odd blade and then gestured with the hilt “Welp, I aint got all eternity, follow me.”
The two men passed the crowd who sniggered.
“What are you giggling like school girls for, you’re all coming too, more the merrier at this barbecue.”
“Aww come on Pete” The crowd collectively groaned.
“Wwwhat for? He the one done broke my nose!” Bull spat.
“Public assholery, not being welcoming to our new guest” Deputy Pete quipped. He gestured with the sword. “Move on now”
They all groaned and dipped their heads like school kids as they followed him towards the jail.
“Sch-a-gdm-pssy” The trapper in the dungarees blubbered “Guy-kilt-yer-kin-cnt-ebn-shoot!” He was frantically rummaging around in drawers trying to pack a threadbare suitcase, tears and snot streaming down his face.
“Is this a bad time?” A voice said behind him.
He craned his neck around to see a man dressed in a long dark raincoat with a hood wearing a dark green duck mask standing in his open doorway. He froze like a deer in headlights and then started towards his filthy stained bed which was just a dead mattress on the floor, where his crossbow lay.
The man with the duck mask watched him slowly edge towards the makeshift weapon in the dingey trappers house. Which consisted of a large dirty single room operating as bedroom, kitchen and living room all in one.
He made it to the bed and picked up the cross bow and pointed it at the man in the duck mask.
There was a thudding skiting noise on the roof. He turned to see something that looked like a big crow in the corner of his eye flutter past the mesh windows of the house.
“What are you gonna do with that?” The man in the duck mask said.
There was a sudden heaving creaking behind him, near the backdoor. The man in the dungarees turned to see a giant figure looming over him dressed exactly like the first but with a horrifying cracked and stained penguin mask. Black and white with some yellow around the rim and the same empty haunting hollow eyes staring at him. The man shrieked and instinctively fired the only bolt striking the monstrous figure in the shoulder.
But the hulking man made no sound of pain, barely reacting at all. Only lifting a gargantuan hand to snap the bolt off and the other slamming down with some sort of cudgel made of burled wood and covered in barbed wire. The blow splintered the already weakened floorboards sending the man in the dungarees down under his house.
Operating on survival instinct alone the man in the dungarees skittered under the house like a dung beetle looking for shade. Fighting for every terrified breath. He waited for a moment in the crawl space, holding it in, listening to the creaking of the floorboards.
After a moment he heard a strange whooping noise getting closer and then as it reached it’s peak he felt a stinging waft of air and then his face felt wet. But before he could inspect what it was he was shaken awake by a loud buzzing noise and a wrending of the floor boards as a slim chainsaw-like knife poked close to his face.
He flattened and wriggled away from it as fast as he could but the buzzing knife kept cutting until it had opened up a wide hole. A man with a turkey mask stuck his head through and looked at the man in the dungarees.The mask was a rich blue colour with a red neck.
“He’s here!” The man in the turkey mask said.
The man in the dungarees was breathing hard and sweating as he dragged himself to the edge of his house and out of the crawlspace.
The sun was setting and cruel twilight had descended, the sun still blinding but in a numbing darkness that surrounded the hapless figure. He touched his face and looked at his hand and there was a little blood there. He touched a small cut running down the side of his face confused, looking around.
There was a loud crashing sound as a man wearing a bright yellow and black finch mask landed on a junked car. He cocked his head to the side to look at the man as he turned and ran deeper into the junkyard.
He saw the jet black crow again in the corner of his eye hopping and bobbing on rusted out tractors and buses as he followed closely. The man in the dungarees ran frantically trying to get lost in the rusted maze he’d constructed for himself.
He quickly turned a corner around a stack of crushed cars and he saw the reflection of a slim feminine figure standing on top of them in a car window. Looking down at him with some large covered object strapped to her back, the long beak of a black and grey heron mask following him as he ran in the opposite direction.
The man in the duck mask yawned “Annnd I’m bored of this now.” He turned to a broad cloaked figure wearing a cardinal bird mask, a black faced bird with deep red spiked feathers at the top and around the edges. “Cardinal, if you’d be so kind.”
“My pleasure, Canard”.
Cardinal dropped off his perch on top of a rusted out trailer and landed right in front of the man in the dungarees who fell back onto his ass.
Cardinal laughed and let a small sickle on a chain fall out of his sleeve and land in the dust at his feet.
The man in the dungarees instantly started to scuttle in the opposite direction.
Cardinal stayed where he was and started to spin the chain over his head, letting more and more slack into it, getting faster.
The man in the dungarees was in a full sprint, going as fast as his little legs could carry him now straight in the opposite direction. Noticing more masks following him in the corner of his eyes as he went. He was seeing them everywhere and then suddenly something small with weight landed in front of him and he stopped in his tracks trying to see what it was.
Something snaked and writhed in the sand next to him. The chain growing taught and the sickle coming up and back fast cutting off his left leg and leaving him flailing on the floor in the blink of an eye.
He lay on his back still trying to crawl away despite bleeding profusely from his leg. He heard a fluttering light thudding noise behind him and he looked up and saw an upside down duck mask looking down at him holding a piece of shiny paper.
“Have you seen this clown?”
“I’m only laughing on the outside / My smile is just skin deep / If you could see inside I’m really crying / You might join me for a weep.” – Jack Napier
If anyone doesn’t know who Jack Napier is, go away confused haha.
It’s finally here, the moment none of you have been waiting for, erm still not happy with the fight scene in it, *spoilers there’s a fight scene it, it’s a story about a clown samurai, what can I tell ya?
Ok yeah so what prompted me to do a dieselpunk clown samurai story? Not sure. But hey here it is after one proofread.
Been a little down recently, life just seems to be taking and not giving as the smiths would put it. Although it’s hard to be depressed when you look this good and feel this swole but somehow I manage it.
It’s why I’m looking forward to getting stuck back into this, I was actually really pissed when I had to stop working on this to eat on monday haha. My schedule is usually writing friday through to monday and then blogging and spamming from tuesday to thursday. So when I had to stop, I was like, ‘but I don’t wanna’. Which is great, it’s why it’s good to do fun stuff like this, recharges your creative batteries.
I’m not sure if other people will like it and I’m sure it won’t make me rich and famous but it’s like creative chocolate, it won’t fill me up but it’ll make me feel like life is worth living again and I really need that.
Also I think my editor broke her arm or something which is why she’s taking her time getting Diana back to me, why do I have such lousy luck with editors, I must be cursed.
Maybe it’s just women in general, I can never seem to get that right. Always seem to pick the wrong ones, or I let them pick me. Make me want to listen to the smiths in the dark and not move, being super fucking edgy today haha.
I just came to a realisation that I’m never going to have a relationship with one person in particular, not a real one anyway. She’ll always just be there in the back of my mind and I’ll never be able to touch her or hear her voice, she may not even know I exist or care, why would she? I’ll never be the person she needs and I’ll never have the unconditional love I want. She’ll just exist there without me and it wont really matter. I wish there was someone to blame, but there isn’t. All that remains is this numbing painful feeling, can you imagine the person you love the most in the world doesn’t even know who you are? Doesn’t know your face or your voice. It’s a crushing feeling know that I just have to watch her grow up like a fly on the wall.
Anyway, it turned out differently from the comic, it’s had a complete tonal shift and I think it works, it’s more serious, the characters are more defined, I hope someone enjoys it half as much as I did writing it. I tried to keep the action as restrained as possible like the witcher, leave as much to the imagination as possible but still keep it tight.
Let me know what you think.
Chapter 1 ‘Zip Code’
“Garfield, come back boy!” A young girl in a moth eaten yellow sundress said, short of breath as she chased after the six legged mutant mutt as he ascended a mountain of garbage.
“What have you got over there you dumb mutt?” A boy behind her in a torn duster two sizes two big for him said as he watched from the base of the trash mountain. Resting his weight on a cracked Louisville slugger like a walking cane.
The sun beat down unimpeded by the any cloud cover at all, a big yellow beam of light baking a mound of garbage left by the circus convoy that passed only the other night.
The two children reluctantly chased the mutated dog-like creature up the mountain of garbage. Ranging from empty food containers, popped balloons and ripped posters to bone fragments, broken blades and needles. Until they reached the object that so interested their faithful companion.
“Eww what is that?” The little girl said as she skipped up the trash pile to find the dog barking and gnawing at something or other, a mass of rags and garbage.
The boy got to her elevation using the bat as a walking stick, he adjusted the googles on his face to look closer at the thing the dog was distressing. “Ahh just some dead guy” The kid sighed.
The little girl paused and blinked a few times before she said “Can we eat’im?”
“Nah, he’s probably rotten, no telling how long he’s been out here.” The boy said as he lifted his cracked goggles up from his dirt and soot caked face tossing the bat over his shoulder. “We gotta keep looking”.
“But I think he’s still moving, gotta be super fresh.” The little girl said smiling through her two missing front teeth, freckles fighting for their place with dirt and muck on her tanned face a shock of dry dirty red hair sticking up on her head in all directions.
Lying face down in a pile of hot garbage a corpse lay still, it’s skin waxy and pale and almost yellow. The dog wasted no time in sniffing and licking and trying to devour the corpse feet first.
“Errrrggghhhh” An unknown voice echoed.
“What was that?” The little girl asked.
“Probably gas escaping, dead people poop their pants sometimes.”
Garfield the dog didn’t seem too discouraged as his two tongues went to work licking the corpses feet, chomping at them playfully
“Errrgghhh!” The voice said again.
The corpse seemed to jostle suddenly and then shambolicly roll onto it’s back.
The two kids froze in terror as the corpse seemed to reanimate right in front of them it’s horrible face covered in sticky icecream wrappers forming a horrifying multi-coloured mask that looked like desiccated mutant flesh.
“Ahhh” The girl screamed “It’s a zombie!”
“Zombie?!” The boy yelped.
The dog was seemingly less worried about the zombie and kept licking it’s stinky feet.
The zombie moved as if it was in a dream, rising to a sitting position in a most unnatural fashion, almost flopping forward like a fish with no bones in it’s back. Slumping into an open indian sitting position it said “That tickles.”
By this time the boy had worked his way around the back of the slowly reanimating corpse and delivered a decisive blow to the back of it’s head.
“So it’s not a zombie?”
“Nope, it’s not a zombie.” An old man said as he leant over a makeshift cook stove made of truck gas tank cut in half over a fire of burning cardboard and plastic making a gnoxious green smoke. Something unidentifiable gently simmering in the pot.
“What part of he’s breathing and bleeding and farting in his sleep makes you think he’s a zombie?” The young boy said.
The girl made a face and touched her chin as she thought about it pursing her lips in her dry tanned freckled face “Does that mean we can eat him now?” The little girl chirped smiling broadly.
“Efron, we talked about this, you can’t just go around eating folk you find out in the wasteland.” The old man said scratching his beard and tugging at his red suspenders over his dingy white shirt as if he was grappling for a good reason to why that was the case but coming up with nothing and changing the subject. “Well we gotta talk to him first, that seems like what decent folks would do” The old coot said.
“What’s with his face?” The boy said as he leaned over the unconscious man.
“Yeah what’s with that?” Efron said as she joined the boy shoulder to shoulder bending over the unconscious stranger as he lay on his back on a bed made of old truck tires and unidentified furs, his breathing shallow.
“I think he’s one of them ladymen, they got in the city- although I wouldn’t know nothing about that” The old man blushed.
“So it’s like paint?” The little girl said as she prodded at the sleeping the stranger’s big red rose.
“They won’t come off” The boy said puzzled as the makeup wouldn’t so much as smudge.
The old man stopped stirring whatever it was he was cooking and readjusted a stool made of an old motorcycle seat and joined the kids in inspecting the unconscious man.
After a moment of contemplation he sighed heavily and said “They’re tattoos.”
“What are tattoos?” The little girl asked?
“They’re like drawings under your skin” The older boy said “Jeez don’t you know anything?” He sneered.
She scrunched up her face and stuck her tongue out at him making a raspberry noise. “I know more than you Zach buttrat brain!”
“Shut yer pieholes!” The old man shushed them harshly as he took his suspenders off his shoulders and took a closer look. He opened one of the man’s eyes and then took a closer prodding inspection with his fingers along the man’s side and found a small stab wound in his midsection. “Zach, get my sewing kit, would ya?”
The boy bolted out of the door and after some scuffling and breaking noises he came back with a needle and thread and the old man went about stitching the wound and then putting a bandage over it.
“Hmm, bleeding already stopped, nothing good must have been hit, lucky bastard”. The old man scoffed.
Efron looked on, downtrodden “So we’re really not gonna eat him?” She whined.
The old man looked at her and then at the unconscious man and said “Someone’s gonna be looking for that boy.”
“How you know that gramps?” Zach said.
“Tattoos on his face, I’ve seen’em before – means he’s connected”
“Connected to what?” The little girl said.
“Circus folk, I haven’t see one for a long time but I think those markings on his face mean he’s one of them clown gangers”
“What’s a clown?”
The old man sighed deeply and said “A cold blooded killer.” An icy chill running through his words and down his back.
“Then why’d you help him?” The boy said in a harsh whisper.
“Ya see a long time ago, before all this, before you were born, in the bad bad times just after the almighty badness. Folks were wild, worse than they are now, I know it’s hard to imagine but it was fucking chaos-
People raping and eating eachother in the street, no law, no god, no judgement. Just blood and pain and mutation and suffering and out of that came a travelling circus lead by the devil himself and bound by some obscure code.
They purged the land of mutants and freaks and crazies and they united the bandit tribes of the wasteland into one travelling militia. The clowns were just one band of gangsters they recruited.
One man brought them all together, he called himself the ringmaster, he was worse than all of them combined, more terrible than any hammer or sickle. He lead a gang called the ‘Third ring’ and He beat the wasteland into shape and it limped on ever since.
The circus trying to hold it together moving from town to town putting on their show. Purging the wicked in a woodchip ring that’s what they were doing up in Woodsmoke, they take all the food they need and move on.
I hear they even snatch kids now to make bolster their ranks.” The old man paused and sighed as the two kids looked and listened silently. “That’s probably what happened to him. After the second food war, the chaos, lots of kids were left without parents and had no choice but to join.”
“How do you know all this old man?” The boy asked
“I used to be a carny – it’s like a really dirty person that does all the dirty jobs but I got too old, too tired, sick of cleaning up all that blood.”
“Then why help him, if he’s a monster?” The little girl asked without a hint of malice in her voice, instead a curious optimism eking out.
The old man let out another sigh “What else can we do? ‘Sides if he dies and they found out we just let him, and they have their ways mind you – no telling what they might do.”
Both the kids looked at the sleeping man with the silly crude smiling face drawn over his real face in a fearful awe as he began to stir.
The kids ran out of the shack. The shack itself was small and bare and made of rusty scrap corrugated iron so wobbled and bustled with every breeze. The whole thing clanged and banged as they ran around it and climbed on top of it.
The clown let out a groan and his hand listlessly touched his bandaged head.
“Ow” The clown said dreamily.
“Err ya bumped your head pretty bad, and I guess someone stabbed ya, I bandaged you up best I could but I’m not a magician”
“Look buddy, you were like this when we found ya, no sword, no shoes, no name.”
“Yeah we haven’t been introduced, they call me Gramps” He said with a sigh like he’d told a million people already and this was the million and first.
The shack rattled with the wind and banged with little footsteps on the roof.
The clown groaned as he tried to rise to a sitting position, seized with pain and fell back down and went limp.
“My name’s Pookie” He said breathlessly.
“Pookie?” A little girls voice rang with glee through a hole in the roof.
Surprised the clown looked up at the ceiling but she was gone before he clocked her but he could still hear her giggling.
“What was your name before?”
The clown didn’t respond.
“Look, I know what yer thinkin’. I didn’t take your stuff, we’re not the only scavvers out here. There’s a place over the mound, I traded with’em a couple of times but I wouldn’t trust them with a jar of warm piss.”
Pookie breathed in deeply and shifted his weight to the side of the makeshift bed and painfully levered himself off. Not accounting for how stiff he’d become just lying there, falling flat on his face.
“You can’t be movin’ around like that, you need to rest, you’ll get yisself killed foolin’ around like that.”
Pookie groaned again and tried his legs getting his knees up under him, holding his side.
The old man bit his lip and started looking around the shack and digging under a pile of clothes and hats. He pulled out a long dried looking stick with a little Y shape at the top.
“Here, if you’re fixed on getting yisself killed you might as well do it on yer two feet.” He lifted Pookie up to a standing position and slipped the stick under his arm. “Put your weight on that stick” He said as he clasped him by the shoulder. He looked weak, bandages wrapped all around his waist and head. He was skinny but lined with sinewy muscles and deep inset scars that looked decades old on top of obscure tattoos that danced up his arms and peaked up from out of the bandages on his back, the tail of a fish swished in a stream.
His face was a boy’s but hard, carved from sheet rock with red and white ink. A grotesquely large smile tore across his real mouth which was small and downturned. It flecked out almost like a brush stroke in a brutal crimson, red lines made an arc over his eyes and there was some bluing around the top lids on his forehead and a pair of black diamond shapes under each eye forming a disturbing mask, his face covered in war paint he could never take off. His hair was mostly shaved off in seemingly random patches and tied up into a high dark brown top knot on the back of his head.
He shifted his weight onto the stick and stood up on his own strength and the old man stepped away.
“Thanks” The clown said as he started to limp towards the opening of the shack.
The old man watched him go with a puzzled look on his face. “Yer welcome- and brush yer teeth!” He shouted after him.
The two kids watched him as he slowly limped and hopped his way over the mound as the sun reached its highest point, getting full and fat and ready to drop.
“Really think we should have eaten him” A little voice said from the hole in the roof.
The trappers house looked like an old station building the tracks that used to run parallel, long dug up and cannibalised, made into weapons or defences of some sort. Only the circus had use for trains and other such vehicles, it was for simple folk to use beasts of burden and their own two aching limbs. You saw some on bikes and even in cars but it was rare, fuel was more scarce than water in the wasteland. Nothing grew here anymore, it was just barren, open country.
The house wasn’t much to look at, just an old wood building that looked like it was in constant disrepair, covered as it was with different coloured wood patches and wire mesh where the window glass used to be.
The yard was full of empty rusty cages and broken down tractors and train cars and junk. The house itself was situated at the bottom of the mound in a hilly region so there was no doubt he was seen coming over and down the shallow hill. But surprise was never on his mind.
He made his way slowly down the hill trying not to fall over his own feet watching for the windows. He walked through the yard trying not to get tetnis, looking at all the rust and junk. Everything from the old dead world lovlingly collected and allowed to rot right here.
Pookie didn’t get within a fifteen feet of the house before a stout bald man wearing nothing but a pair of dungarees kicked open his own door like he was gate crashing a barn dance.
“Wh-th-hel-re-wht-ya-wnt? He warbled, all his words trying to get out of his mouth at once and coming out as a garbled mess running together and bumping into eachother.
Pookie breathed heavy leaning on the old stick but said nothing.
“Cnt-ya-tlk-ya-tarded?” His head was thick and round like an egg and he had no neck to speak of, his head was just a seamless, sweaty, greasy transition to a stout little body and stubby limbs.
The man got impatient and slammed a chair leg full of rusty nails against one of the support of the porch making a loud sound and gouging a chunk of old wood out of the strut.
“What’s the gaff pops?” A younger version of the man in front of him stepped out of the house. He had a full mop of greasy black hair under a black and white striped moth eaten fedora and he wore a long black leather coat a shirt underneahe with a cat on it but most notably he wore a sword on his back.
“What’s all the racket paw?” Another voice said, but it was a softer and what looked like a woman stepped onto the porch with a frying pan in her hand. The ‘woman’ was the tallest of the bunch with a chin and stubble that could cut glass. She tossed a waft of toxic green wig hair out of ‘her’ face and said “Who’s this handsome man?”
“Nobody” Pookie answered.
The three looked at eachother confused and then laughed.
“Wow bro, you’re super edgey, like your edge cut me over here” The kid said scratching his patchy neck beard. Pookie watched the sword jangle on his back as he spoke.
They stopped laughing and got serious. “Teh-hel-ya-wnt?”
“The sword” Pookie said.
“Eh?” The older man said.
“You wannit, you gotta come and get it” The kid said. “I aint afraid of some crippled heshe.” He said as he cockily dismounted the porch and made his way towards the still Pookie.
“Kek” The boy smirked and reached for the handle of the sword. It was an odd design, coloured like a red and white lollipop, or a candy striped barber poll with an evil laughing clown face as a pommel it’s mouth open wide.
“Daaaad, I can do it, I’ve been practicing in the mirror!” The kid said as he turned around to yell at his father.
The kid took a firm grip on the handle and tugged hard but it dragged the scabbard with it. He only managed to choke himself with the strap he had around his torso.
“Hawhawhaw!” His dad laughed.
The kid blushed and then remembered to grab the bottom of the scabbard. He rounded the blade out of the sheathe making a scraping noise and then the blade laughed. The handle let out a cheesey clown laugh on repeat and LED lights on the pommel in the clowns eyes lit up for a few seconds before shutting off.
“Hahahahahaha” The man and the ‘woman’ were now in hysterics laughing at the boy and his ridiculous sword.
“Wut-a-stpd-pisa-crp!” The older man snorted almost crying.
“Daaaadd, you’re embarrassing me!” The kids face got red as he craned his neck to chastise his father but then as he got no response but more laughter he turned his red freckled fat face at Pookie who stared straight passed him as if he wasn’t even there.
“You think you can fuck with me?” He swallowed loud and puffed up his chest straining his kitty t-shirt with his man boobs pulling it apart. “I’m your worst nightmare!” The kid took up a firm stance he must have seen in an old comic book and put two hands on the sword as tight as he little fat hands could and he ran straight at Pookie with the blade in the air.
He swung it down with both hands like a baseball bat and hit nothing but dirt.
Pookie stood right over him and breathed in his face.
The kid reeled back pulling the sword with him, the mirror polished blade tossing loose dirt as it retreated.
“Your breath stinks!”
Pookie smiled and stuck out his tongue.
“The fuck is wrong with you? I’ll kill you!” He slashed for Pookie head in a rough semi circle. But it was slow with no care for edge alighnment, just swinging away like he was hammering a nail, so each strike was getting too much wind resistance. With every missed strike he it took more out of him. Each clumsy miss left him more out of breath.
Before long the boy was toppled over fighting for breath. Pookie was watching the sun go down not having broken a sweat. He stared at that big ball in the sky with his back turned to the boy as he heaved for air vomitting on in his own lap.
“You know- kind of suck at this” Pookie said without looking at him.
The kid instantly flew into a rage and staggered to his feet running with all his strength, the sword tip held high determined to run Pookie through.
It was then that he felt it, the rushing tide, the blood pumping, his muscles awake and supple, the need. The desire to kill that spurred him, the roar of the crowd, that sound it made when air escaped a perfect cut.
He was lost for a minute and then the kids heavy footfalls reminded him of where he was. He turned to see the kid trying to skewer him in slow motion and not a thought crossed his mind before he turned the blade around and impaled the kid on it. He didn’t even think about it, it just happened.
Pookie pulled the sword out of the kid. It was covered in blood all the way even past the hilt and he slumped into the dirt to join all that junk in the old world.
“Sonofabitch” the vaguely feminine creature shrieked with the frying pan overhead.
Pookie still leaning on the crutch, his bloody laughing sword hanging loose at his side as the crazed he/she charged at him, Pookie limped slowly closer.
She/he/it over shot their attack and Pookie had cut them three times before frying pan came down. They walked a few steps before the dress they were wearing seemed to peel off in sections and the green wig fell off, blood slowly seeping as he fell forward.
“Fkn-pissa-sht” The older man said as he loaded and cocked some sort of makeshift cross bow made from animal gut and car parts, tears streaming down his egg-like face.
Pookie looked up at him, his face covered in blood, his eyes sad and empty. “Just the sword”.
The old man swallowed and stared for a long time at the bodies and at Pookie and he shook and after a long moment he lowered the crossbow and watched Pookie limp away.
Pookie collapsed in front of the old man’s tin shack, Efron and Zach stared at the odd figure through the door.
The old man approached him, the sword fallen in front of him in it’s pin stripe scabbard covered in weird stickers and he saw the blood.
“I told you not to go”
“Did you?” Pookie said into the dirt. His eyes open and clear staring at nothing.
“You’re close to death, you should rest.”
“It’s not the first time” He said dreamily.
The old man cleared his throat and eased the stranger to his feet and helped him into the shack.
When the stranger woke up again it was light and the old man was again leaning over the makeshift cooking pot an odd smell was emanating from it.
“Thank you- again.”
The old man let out a heavy breath and said “You told me it wasn’t the first time you’d been close to death.”
“You wanna tell me about that?”
“Ha-“ The old man paused and breathed deeply raising his back as he stirred. “You didn’t have to kill them ya know”
The old man sighed again. “I think you should clear out as soon as you can”
Pookie groaned and peeled himself off the bed. He looked around the inside of the tin shack catching glimpses of the kids sneaking peeks at him through the holes. “I think you’re right”
“Nearest town, is north west over the ridge”
“Thanks” He groaned as he got to his feet and breathed heavy and sore like two planks of unplained wood rubbing together. He looked around for his sword and he saw it resting against the door next to his walking stick. He stopped for a second to think and then picked up the sword and walked out the door leaving the stick behind.