Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Poor Priorities and Procrastination

             Just in case the title didn’t slap you across the face with this fact enough: I really shouldn’t be writing this right now. I have a metric ton of other things that need my attention, and these things have strict deadlines. They will get done by those deadlines, but first I need to transfer this scene out of my head, and this seems a good as place as any to host it. The following a scene is an excerpt from the second book in my eternal pet project, the Mystic Realm Chronicles.

            The blade was sharp and the strike was true. Steel bit deeply into coarse flesh, carving a yellow swath across the creature’s leathered skin. The yellow taint shone in the moonlight as the Angel raised the sword again to end the beast. The sound of sizzling was lost to his senses, as was the odor of something burning. Both realizations, and their implication, found their way through his concentration a moment too late. The blade was already lodged in the foe’s thick skull, where it was rapidly melting.

            “Damnare.” The Angel grunted irritably when the blood splatter covering his chest and face began to burn as well. He shrugged off his tunic while he backpedaled frantically. He had made a foolish move, perhaps fatally so had he been a lesser mystic. He now had no weapon and three more foes closing in him.

            “You idiot!” A feminine voice chided from the shadow of the massive oak behind the Ghouls. A distinct clicking sound could be heard over the creature’s a shuffling, and they froze in response. Acting as one, the group turned to round on the source of the mechanical sound.  Lightning flashed three times, followed by three claps of thunder, and the three Ghouls fell into a convulsing heap. Except it was not lightning that had flared, nor thunder that had boomed. The Angel knew what made the light and the sound, and it was not something from this world.

           “You can put the gun down. You are safe now.” He stated in what was the best effort he was going to make at being soothing. He was not afraid of the bullets. That fear was beneath him.

            “I was never in danger, Rani” The voice challenged from the darkness, but she was edging closer as she continued to talk. “I expected better from you. You didn’t recognize they were Earth Ghouls; it was sloppy.” The Angel was confused, but the familiar note in the voice drove the confusion from his thoughts as she leaned closer to his face and her smile widened.

            “Aerie?” Rani said in the same moment that the figure burst from the shadows to dash into his arms. The warmth of her body was a welcome one against his on this cool night as she embraced him tightly. The brilliance of her smile pushed all over concerns away. She had changed so much since he had seen her last; she was now so confident and competent. It was still her, though, and that was all that mattered. It was Ara.

            “Sister, it’s been too long.” She hesitated then, and for a moment her smile faltered. She examined him then, and pushed away slightly until he lowered her to the ground. Her smile returned a moment later, but it was not the same. Clearly she had not needed, or wanted, to be reminded of the time they spent apart. She met his eyes again and her features melted into deathly seriousness.

             "If you ever leave me like that again, I will kill you."

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I think I can think

Quickie post today, just felt like replaying a scene from earlier today as I enjoy my Valentine's day goodies. This scene is fairly typical for me and I think it shows a perfect example of what goes on in my head. It's a simple dialogue with three parts: what she says, what I think, and what I say. The setting is late morning in the rain as I walk to class. And go...

Her: Hey! Remember me? We had (a class) together last semester.
Thought: You mean from the whole four times I actually went to classs? And do you really want to stand out here in the rain and talk about it? 
Said: Oh course, I sat beside you sometimes.
Her: You were so funny! I had so much fun talking to you.
Thought: Oh no, I must've hit on her. Wonder if I can talk her into sharing that umbrella.
Said: Yeah, that was the best part of that class.
Thought: and now I'm doing it again. Flirting will be the death of me. If a cold isn't.
Her:(Giggle). We should hang out sometime.
Thought: She's a giggler, that explains everything. Once I get them giggling, there's no stopping me.
Said: Well we could hang out in my classes, but I don't think the professors would like that.
Thought: And here we go again. Can I do this somewhere warm?
Her: (Giggle). You're so funny.
Thought: We've established that. It's also raining and the grass is green, here's your sign.
Said: Maybe we could hang out in your classes, or I could get your number and we could go out sometimes.
Thought: Smooth one, but that doesn't help me get out of the rain any faster.
Her: (Giggle). Okay, my number is (rattles off number)(Giggle).
Thought: You expect me to take my phone out in the pouring rain to put that in? Really?
Said:(pulled phone out). Can you repeat that?
Thought: Dammit, I can already see this leading to a new girlfriend. I'm an idiot.
Her: Do you want to share my umbrella?
Thought: Mission accomplished. Damn, I'm good.
Said: I was heading the other way.
Thought: What the hell? It's dry and warm under there, and she's kinda hot.
Her: I'll walk with you to class.
Thought: Do it. Do it. Do it.
Said: Sure, I'm heading to Nicks Hall.
                                  *She talks about her classes this semester while I predict a future where we're dating and she's telling all her friends about this like it's some romantic stroll in the rain. I, on the other hand, will be telling my friends that she annoyed me at first but I kept talking to her because she also amused me. We reach Nicks Hall*

Said: Well, I better get to class.
Her: Call me tonight?
Thought: I need at least a day to get over my annoyance.
Said: I'll be pretty busy tonight; I'll call you tomorrow and we can get together.
Her:(Giggle). Okay, bye.
Said: Bye.
Thought: Why didn't she just give me her number when we had class together and skip this little freezing in the rain scene? Oh right, I didn't ask her for it. I didn't know any of the girls in that class were straight. Oh well, we'll see how this plays out this weekend.

Update - So I ended up calling her, we talked for a while and made a date that I just got home from. None of that is important, however, except it allows me share the following scene that I found amusing.

Her: What happened to your hand? (grabs my hand).
Thought: Eagle eye, much? I can barely see it and I know it's there.
Said: It's a...
Her: Is that the triforce?! That is so cool.
Thought: Marry me.
Said: I've always thought it looked cool, and UV tattoos are wicked.
Her: UV like blacklight?
Thought: No, UV like under Vicki.
Said: Bingo. It glows under blacklight.
Her: That's so cool; let's go see if (her brother) has a blacklight in his room.
Thought: So you don't know if your brother is a stoner or not?
Said: Little bit late on that one, I think I just saw him leaving.
Thought: Good thing he was easily bribed, running low on cash until Monday.
Her: Oh, guess that means it's just us.
Thought: That was the point of bribing him
Said: That was the point of bribing him.
Her: (Giggles). Oh really?
Thought: Crap, I said that out loud.
Said: Did I just say that out loud?
Thought: Yes. Moron.
Her: (Giggles). It's okay.
* At this point the Zelda item find jingle sounds off from my pocket.*
Thought: That can only be Pinky, no one else has her supernatural cock blocking abilities.
Said: Sorry about that; thought I had it on vibrate.
Her: So you just think the triforce looks cool, huh?
Said: Oh, is that from Zelda? I just like the sound.
Her: Uhhuh (Giggles), it's okay. Zelda is one of my favorite games. 
Thought: I may have met my match. Game on.
Said: I was planning on saving that tune for when I got you out of your clothes.
Thought: I did not just say that. Undo, undo, undo.
Her; Oh? And what were when you planning to play when you got out of your clothes?
Thought: Hakuna Matata. Wait, did she really just say that?
Said: Hakuna Matata.
Thought: I really need to learn to filter what I say.
Her: (Giggles). I love that song.
Thought: Or maybe not. She seems to really be digging it.

Her: Are you going to answer them so they at least know you're not ignoring them?
Thought: That is oddly considerate for a female...this has to be a trap.
Said: I guess I could tell them I've been kidnapped and I'll talk to them when the ransom is met.
Thought: Where do I come up with this stuff?
Her: (Giggles). Okay.
Thought: Who cares? I could listen to the giggly all night long. Look at her hands, she's nervous. How cute.
Her: (Giggles). You know, I used to have such a crush on your last semester. You were so funny.
Thought: Used to? Who are you kidding? I wasn't the only one wet yesterday.
Thought: That was wrong; I'm going to hell for that.
Said: Oh really? Let's see what we can do about that.
Her: (Giggles). Like what?
Thought: Alright Assanova, quit screwing with the girl and go for the kill. She has me on top of my game so might as well run with it.
Said: Your hair looks nice (brush her hair behind her ear). Is that your natural color?
Her: Actually it's strawberry blonde. 
Thought: On second thought...that's only one step above ginger on the evolutionary ladder. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea.
Said: The color of Aphrodite's hair. She must be jealous.
Thought: Cheese flavored bs, where did I pull that out of? Just shut up and kiss her already.

And the moral of the story is my mind is a strange and treacherous place to be.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

G4: Got to be G'ed

No vampage tonight folks, you can blame the forced subjection to Breaking Dawn for that.  Watching nearly two hours of sighs, scowls and suctacular acting has me wanting to watch Buffy and Blade until I have regained my faith in the vampire genre. I’m tempted to yank down the lazy half-hearted beginnings of a decent vampire story, refine them into something that doesn’t cause the eyes to burst into flame and submit it to one of the online publishers I’ve been considering writing for. I’m not sure I want to take the time away from my novel(s) in progress to do that right now, though, so we’ll see which idea amuses me more.

            For now, we’ll kill some time with games, gadgets, other geekery and girls. Actually, let’s take it back to the singular level for two of those and talk about a game and a gadget. At this point you’re probably thinking something snide about a lack of girls, but sadly we all know that’s never an issue in my life. Matter of fact, belay my last and we’ll stick with the plural form of everything just for the fifth G of giggles.

            The games I’m playing currently are both throwbacks. I play Final Fantasy VIII(that’s 8 for the Roman illiterate) on the PS3 on the rare instances that I’m home for any length of time. Before all two people who recognize that name get excited: it’s not a remake for the PS3 but a PSOne download instead. I’ve yet to actually play this game to completion (the furthest I’ve made it is disc 3 of 4), but this time I’m determined to beat it. This is one of my favorite Final Fantasy games for two reasons: the Triple Triad game is insanely addictive and it pretty much allows you to play anyway you want as long as you fight the bosses you need to fight. You can depend on your GF (Guardian Forces) to dish out and take all the damage for you or your characters can win or lose on their own. Some players like to cast spell after spell and bombard the enemy with magic while others hoard their spells for junctioning and so on. If none of this paragraph makes sense to you, that’s okay. Just know FF8 was one of the first games to give you freedom on the console before freedom in a video game was redefined as driving around killing hookers.

            The rest of the time I team up with Pinky and her pretty boobs* to run rampant in Borderlands for the 360. Or I occasionally cheat on her and play with Henry because his gun is bigger than hers and we can make a bigger mess. If you don’t know what Borderlands is, kindly give me directions to the rock you’re living under so I know where to go when my misanthropy is peaking.

            For gadgets I guess we’ll talk about the PlayStation 3D Display and HDPVR I bought last month for…ahem, business purposes. As a monitor I love the display, it’s simply awesome. My only complaint about the 3D portion of things is that the glasses are about as sexy as Alpo and they tend to hurt my head after I’ve worn them for any length of time. I’m not sure whether it’s because they’re too tight a fit or if it’s because the eye strain of 3D. Either way it’s not much of a deterrent and doesn’t affect 2D playback at all. In fact, I’m probably going to watch Clash of the Titans in the 3D blu-ray as soon as I post this. For the HDPVR- it’s pretty much a box that lets me record footage of my gameplay, which will come in handy for the website when my brother finishes the adjustments he’s making to our submission system. Plus it’s fun to make commentaries on said footage.

            In other geeky news, I’ve found what I considered to be the Holy Grail for any Mythology nut. Biblioteca (aka The Library) by Apollodorus is the account of the Greek gods from back before any of us were born. This work is divided into two volumes, and I have found both. I found the e-books for free (and legally so, even) among GoogleBooks, and the university library has the physical copies as well. This has me geeking out for two reasons: I love the mythology of all cultures and Mystic Realm has heavy Mythological influences so this will be a great reference for world building.   

            Twice in the last twenty-four hours, two separate girls(of course) have described my recent social situation as being surrounded by a “gaggle of girls”. You would think that this description, combined with the rate I’m going through a certain latex contraceptive, is an indication of your typical collegiate debauchery. And you’d be wrong. While I do join my friends (mostly female, as previously established) in the occasional recreational drinking, I’ve had a whooping one romantic partner in the past year. Okay, two if you count the Rebound, but I don’t. Sure, I’ve been on a few dates but the girls already in my life make it more than slightly intimidating to bring another in.

             Two prime examples of why I don’t get as much action as everyone seems to think come in the form of my best friend (ole Pinky) and my sister (we’ll call her Ara). In addition to hating each other because they’re forced to share me (I’m paraphrasing due to the fact that I don’t feel like getting into the whole story right now), neither seems willing to allow a third leading lady onto the stage. Pinky claims she’d be fine with another girl in my life but past experience says that is bull butter. Ara, on the other hand, admits she will hate anyone she’s forced to share me with on principle. Once again, the situation is much more complicated than that but it works well enough for me to point out that I’m not having as much fun as everyone thinks. Well, not as much naked fun as everyone thinks. Hell, I haven’t even stolen any street signs lately and it’s been over a month since I’ve had any encounters with the police. No, I’m not having an off year – it’s just too cold lately. That’s my story, and I’m publishing it.

*Inside joke based on Pinky’s fixation with checking out the female character model in Borderlands and commenting on her breasts.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Down to Kill

As the little sister commands, so shall it be done. I don’t care how long it turns out this time, this will conclude the Down (henceforth known collectively as D3) series. Once if I write this it’ll be a while before I go back and read it again so typos are bound to run rampant. Usual language warning.

            The first shot was deafening, ringing out like an explosion in my head. The sound filled my skull and pushed away all thought. All I could was stand there, unable to think or move for one horrible moment. With the second shot some primitive part of my brain woke up and instinct took over. Only a vague part of my mind noticed the next three shots as I ran for cover. Once the cold tin of the utility shed was against my back, thought came cascading back to me along with a torrent of emotion.

Rage. I wanted to cut his heart out. And force feed it to Carter until he choked on it.

 Confusion. How was this happening?

 Betrayal. I trusted Carlos with my life, and now he was trying to take it.

 Sadness. No matter what happened next, I had lost one of my best friends.

 Fear. If survived long enough for it to even matter.

             I’d fired a rifle before, been around pistols being fired. This was nothing like that. Something about having the damn thing pointed out made it so much freaking louder. The bastard had shot at me! After all I had done for him, all the times I bailed his sorry ass out of trouble time and time again. Why the hell was he was doing this? My thoughts and feelings were too turbulent to recall, morphing and twisting before I could recognize the monsters taking shape in my head. It didn’t help that I couldn’t even hear myself think over the pounding of my pulse in my ears and the sound of my own erratic breathing. That changed when I heard his voice. A cold clarity washed over me and only an indifferent and ruthless part of me was left standing. There were whispers on the street of how Woodstock would stop at nothing to win and make jokes while he declared war of the status quo. If they thought that was hardcore, they were in for a real bitch slap.

            “Did you get the white boy?” Of course, it all went back to Carter. The puppeteer, with his family supplying his green strings. Hadn’t the sick fuck already caused enough damage? And who the hell was he calling white?  Homes was a hillbilly as the Clampetts.  I didn’t even realize I had reached into my pockets until I felt the reassuring comfort of warm steel against my cool hands. The blade had only tasted my own blood, the usual harmless nicks of practicing with a sharpened weapon. If it got a taste of Carter’s filthy heart, the lives of everyone would be improved a million percent. There would probably have to be a trial, but then I’m sure everyone would cheer and buy me drinks. What I wouldn’t give for a drink right now… everything’s better when you have Jack and Jim at your back. What the hell?! Maybe they were right about the jokes part; there was something seriously screwed up about me if I couldn’t even take this seriously.

            “I don’t know.” Carlos answered finally, panting as if he was the one dodging bullets. It didn’t matter that his hand had been shaking so hard each shot had to have been way off; when you hear gunshots you fucking duck and weave. “He hasn’t moved since he went behind that little shed.” The tongue of Judas, maybe Excalibur should remove that as a warm up for slicing through the heart of Carter. They were so close, I could at least get one of them. Carlos had the gun, if I took him out first…

            Shit, I need more time.

            I jumped like white boys aren’t supposed to, grabbing the edge of the roof and pulling myself up. It wasn’t ninja, that was for damn sure, but I guess they were too busy whispering to each other to hear my struggle to get on top. They were right below me now, and Old Faithful was in my left hand now while Excalibur occupied the other. Two knives, three of them in easy jumping range. I wasn’t worried about the extra, I didn’t even know who the hell he was. One fell swoop and there would be two less C’s walking the street. It would be too easy. I rose to a crouch and tensed as they crept around the building.

            “Maybe he got away. You think he’ll tell anyone?” Like that ever got me anywhere against you, Carter. Old money makes new friends.

            “I KNOW WHERE YOUR FAMILY LIVES GRINGO! SNITCH AND THEY’RE ALL FUCKING DEAD!” Son of a bitch, no one threatens my family. Three on one or three hundred on one, no amount of street trash could have protected Carlos from me if I had made that last. I was fully standing now, fully prepared to spring and drive each blade into the bastards below.

            No, that wasn’t me. I wasn’t one of them. I was just fighting fire with fire. Shaking so hard I nearly fell from the roof, I closed the knives with blurred vision and sank to a fetal position. No blood was shed that night, but as I wept silently until they were gone a part of me died.