The Alley [Words Inside My Head]

A spectre or inhuman creature of some sort has appeared to a man dressed in conservative, contemporary clothing. A bright light from behind him indicates to me that the creature comes from another dimension, another time, another place.

The street is a back alley, maybe factory district, ground is cobbled stone. The back of the building, exposed pipe, wooden structure. There is a doorway, bordered in old wood. Steps – maybe three leading up to the door – looks to be solid wood, cloDSCN1638-wetstreet_smallersed and locked.

The looming spectre has mesmerizing red eyes, threatening to the man. Barring his way? Why is a businessman walking along this alley? Has he been summoned here? Victim or villain? Innocent or jaded?

Oh wait, the spectre holds something in his hand. As I thought – he is a messenger, he is a servant – minion to another. It’s a message for the man. Who is it from? Who does this creature serve?

Will the business man turn and run? Is he weak or strong. Brave or a coward. More or less than he appears? My sense is that he also in some way serves or will serve, the same master as this creature. Blackmailed or willing servant?

What is he offered in return? What enticement will take him from ordinary businessman to servant of some dark unknown master?

Is the businessman actually the one who summoned the creature because he wants something. Is he the reason the creature has been called to this world? What kind of business is he in? What does he need? What are his desires?

It’s nighttime. Perhaps midnight? There is no moon to light the passage. Is the creature here to serve? To see the deed is accomplished? To perform a dark and dirty task?

The man will soon no longer be simply ordinary – but will he become a monster like this creature in the hooded robe? He thinks he’s smarter, that he can control what is about to happen. He’s about to make his deal with the devil. The moment he accepts the message the businessman’s becoming will commence. Eagerly he accept the paper, opens it. It has begun.

March Newsletter Is Available

This will be short and sweet. Not the newsletter, just this post. I got a bit wordy in the newsletter. Three months and on a roll. New releases, contests, links to excerpts, book covers. It’s all gathered together. Lots to share in March. I had a new release come out on March15th. The second book in the Pandemonia series is now available.

This modified photo is from one taken at a local steam show. Enjoyed playing around with it.

Hope you all had a thresher23_small great St. Patrick’s Day yesterday and are recovering nicely!

Here’s the link to my newsletter:

Spawn [Words Inside My Head]

Money. Earthly. Young. Round. Disc. Stone. Carved. Display. Medieval/Gothic church/archway. The number six and the number one. Trepidation.

“I offer this to you.”

Do you see the icon? I fear whDSCN2204_smallat it portends. Cave-like darkness behind him. Where does it lead? The page is an assistant.

Follow me.

Magenta, red. Gold trim. Long fingers.

“You don’t want to go there. I’m warning you. I serve him. Not you. He is great and powerful, will do great things. See, the disk? He is immortal. You cannot win.”

Whatever lies in wait is not revealed. Behind him is the unknown.

“I have no choice. He has shackled me to his service. I cannot leave, but you can. There’s still time.”

How little he knows. You are more shackled than he. You have a right to follow this path. It is pre-ordained. You will not leave. There are answers down that corridor. Your father? He’s waiting. He knows you’re coming. Has known you would come for quite some time. Once begun there can be no turning back. He’s a monster. And you are spawn of the monster. You are of his blood. He has the answers you need. As his daughter, he has already shaped your destiny. You have come a long way to discover the answers to your questions.

Why do you shift? Why do you crave the ravaging of flesh?

He’s a scientist. He hasn’t just fathered you, he created you to be in the image of his dream. Your nightmares.

Your mother took you away as a young child. But she is dead – you killed her. That is the stain upon your soul. A guilt you can’t outrun. And it’s his fault.

This page, this child, doesn’t see the darkness in you; he sees the innocence. He sees what you want him to see. And he will lead you below, through the labyrinth. So you may end the life of he who made you.

The page – a closer link than you think. He is your half-brother. Created by him you seek, a child you cannot deny. When it is over, you will take him with you. Or is it already too late for him as well? Perhaps, but you must try. And at least neither of you will be left alone. Are there others?

You hear him laughing, laughing. You are incidental to his plan. One will live, one will die. It makes no difference to him. The page smiles, he takes your hand. You know what you must do.

He waits.

Need Arises [Words Inside My Head]

A full moon. Black birds or bats in the air. A statue (Roman) with a missing arm. A young male vampire recently fed, blood dripping from his mouth down upon his chest. A human skull, blood-spattered.

The eyes of the vampire are white. He’s on the hunt for another kill.

Tell me, is he with others, or alone? Is he newly made? Was this his first kill? Is he frenzied, KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAthe thirst for blood overwhelming in his newness?

Does he look to his master or mistress for approval or for orders as to what comes next?

Who does the skull belong to? A friend? A foe? Someone he once loved?  Would he have vengeance upon his maker if that were possible? Whose blood has he taken? Friend, foe, stranger?

What is next? Is he one of the thirteen? By the look of his clothes too new to be the master.

He’s one of the younger ones. He has no choice but to follow. He has no choice but to do his bidding.

He is a wily master and allows the boy to glut himself on blood. This is how he shall bind him. To give the boy just enough, and then to exact payment – to make him his slave.

His will power is gone. He belongs to him now. There’s no going back once one is immortal. Once one is dead.

Queen of the Pack [Words Inside My Head]

A Roman guard standing sentry. Bandaged shoulder, seeping blood. He hears something. I see a sense of wariness on his face. He grips the spear. Nostrils flare as he seeks a scent from the night. Human scent or animal?

The dwelling has been pillaged. Smoke spirals into the sky. Remnants of a fruitful life are scattered about, broken pieces, torn clothing. Blood spatters the walls. Whose home does he guard?KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

It is dark, torchlight burns. No real sense of time of year. Soot on his arms and legs. The city has been burned. Who goes there? Man or woman? Or something else that the night has spawned?

Who has been angered by the attack on the city? What has been unleashed? Who has the soldier killed with his sharp, pointy spear?

Foot soldier, not of rank. He will die.

Wolf or vampire who waits in the darkness? Or some other creature of the night? Will it attack? A sense of female, of great power. Angry, teeth, snarling, snapping. The scent of burning flesh searing its nostrils.

Conquerors will die, one by one. She will be captured by a Roman general, chained and taunted. It has happened before, it will happen again.

As he is set upon destruction, so is she. She has bitten and thus he will be changed. A remote city in the mountains of Italy. She will take him as her mate. For a time. They never last.

He’s always been conflicted about his duty. She is a queen of her kind. Her mate has been killed and now she will take another. She will take him. The others of her kind need their queen strong and fruitful. She is distracted without a mate. He will take the place of her dead mate, the smell of his slaughter still permeating the night.

She is of the old ways. An original pack of Rome, who is she today? Her mates always die, leaving her alone. Thus, it is the fate of a queen of her kind. To mate is her duty, to kill is her legacy.

Bone Puzzles [Words Inside My Head]

It was not an awakening from sleep in the truest sense. It was more an…awareness, where before there was voidness. It was not an emergence from dreams, it was pain that thrust him back into the world. He did not breathe, his heart did not beat. And yet he was aware. That was the word. He did not smell in the sense of humans, the scents being more visually represented inDSCN2038_contrastcontrast2croppedlargercroppedside his brain. His skin was indestructible because of his origins. His heart had once beat as human. His bones, those belonging to a beloved dead man. When he walked he felt them slide together. He was one of many. Skeletal remains pieced together inside bronze, a beating heart the final piece to an intricate puzzle.

“The first is aware,” the sculptor said. “His flesh is supple.”

“You’ve done good work,” the boy heard a voice say. The sound of the voice materialized inside his head. A gigantic man, bearded, hairy, muscular. The boy was aware of the man as not a stranger. Someone familiar. But the boy had no memories of names.

His eyes focused and stiffly he stepped forward as though he had not used his limbs in a very long time. The bones inside him rubbed together, almost like flint to stone to wood, something inside him sparked and a warm shower of sparks shot through him. He gasped as the heart inside his chest thundered powerfully, and seemed to expand. He went breathless, for a moment.

“It’s all right,” a soothing voice said. The sound formed inside the boy’s head. A shape of gentle, hands sensitive, smooth pale human flesh. Lightly bearded, long dark hair. The boy’s heart sped faster. Liquid seemed to gush inside him, the sparks of bone rub diminished. Something warm spread across the boy’s bronze flesh. The boy turned toward the sound of the warm voice, already knowing the measure of the man.

“Father,” he said. “Creator.”

A gleam entered the sculptor’s eyes. “He is aware of me.”

“I have known you, father, from the moment this heart connected me to life. I felt your work upon my husk. You polished me, your hands upon my shell. You oiled me, you fashioned the whole of me. Your hands are callused, I felt you. They are knowledgeable hands.” He cocked his head. “What do you call me, creator?”

“The first,” responded his father creator. “You shall be known as Tyro.”

And thus that was the word stamped onto the boy’s forearm, an indelible mark of his beginnings.

The first of his kind.

Constable of Disturbia – revise to Ch1, Pt1 – deliverance

Chapter 1 has lengthened considerably. I’m posting the first part of Chapter 1 today. One of the things I know I needed to do with this story was delve deeper into the background of the main characters. Thus, I begin the journey of discovering who these characters really are.

Chapter 1 – Part 1

“Am I satisfactory, sir?”

Sam inspected the handsome young man standing before him. Pretty might be a better word with his dark brows perfectly arched over periwinkle eyes, and long, gorgeous dark lashes. The stunning brilliance of shoulder-length bright copper-colored hair dusted his broad shoulders. He was dressed not as an upscale gentleman, but clothed in a conglomeration of beautiful and bright colors. The trousers dyed a peacock shade of blue, and resting casually on narrow hips, were fashionable and dapper. A loose cream shirt was opened at the neck, exposing a pale column of Constable of Disturbia: Deliverancethroat, and a glimpse of his smooth, hairless chest. He wore a fitted waistcoat of paisley, stitched and sewn to enhance his slender, youthful frame. The beige leather coat, utilitarian, or might have been, except for the black velvet-covered lapels and cuffs, adding that dash of dapper and debonair, with just a touch of rugged and earthy. And then, of course, the hat resting upon his neatly trimmed and styled locks topped off the look. His head was capped stylishly with a black bowler beribboned in periwinkle to match the shade of his eyes, a brace of vivid scarlet poppies settled at the curve of the brim seemed to match the vivid shade of his lovely perfect lips.

It wasn’t the outfit that Sam scrutinized so thoroughly, it was the man-image encased beneath the civilian accessories. The quality of the skin, ivory-hued and pampered exquisitely with specially concocted lotions, measured up to human expectation—its pale tone, texture, and elasticity would easily pass for human flesh upon close inspection. Then there were his almond-shaped dark-lined deep-set periwinkle eyes that seemed to see everything with a remarkable absorption of detail, the perfect nose, nostrils flared and scenting the faintest nuance of aroma in the air, topped his image of the eligible and virile young male. Sam brushed back one unruly shining lock of hair at Bobby’s brow and peered closely at the fine stitching, then allowed the hair to settle back into its natural fall, the mane buoyant and springy.

“Is something wrong, sir?” Bobby’s expression exhibited curiosity, his gaze was sharp as a hawk’s and all-seeing. The color of his eyes changed, lightening from the bluish-purple to a brighter shade of brilliant turquoise as he looked at Sam. The look still bordered between intimacy and duty. It was an odd quirk about his eyes which changed color depending on the task at hand, be it the dark navy, almost black of close magnification, the sky blue of far-reaching observation, the brilliant turquoise of sexual flirtation and intimate congress, or the periwinkle of ordinary daily engagement. Sam had learned to decipher exactly which task Bobby engaged in at any given moment. He was far too exquisite and complex a creature for Sam’s peace of mind, but there was no turning back. The brilliancy of Bobby’s gaze as it connected with Sam’s just at that moment almost made Sam forget the important matters they were about today.

Sam stepped away. A mournful dread bore down upon him, a punishing weight of iron settling inside his chest made it difficult to breathe. He worked to tamp down the feeling of unease–and regret. He forced his thoughts to the weighty matters at hand.

“You understand what will happen today, Bobby.” Their creation was so perfect in practically every way. Well, really it was Oberon’s creation; Sam’s hand in it was cursory at best, seeing to the execution of Oberon’s half-mad, yet brilliant scheme. Perhaps it was because Bobby was imprinted with at least a shadow of Oberon’s personality that had Sam so taken with the automaton.

Bobby Robbins, the creation standing before him, was truly splendid. The team, and Oberon, had left the naming up to Sam. Bobby Robbins–an unremarkable name for a very remarkable automaton. To Sam it had seemed fitting.

A year of living with him, knowing him, enjoying his companionship altered Sam’s original understanding of where this little intrigue was intended to lead.

“Of course, sir,” Bobby responded in an even tone, no true inflection of emotion suffused his expression now, the blue of his eyes returned to periwinkle. Fear had not been built into his mechanical workings, so that was to be expected. Curiosity and a thirst for knowledge were at the center of his mechanical emotional core. After all, Bobby wasn’t human–he was an automaton. A very well executed, detailed, top-of-the-line creation that could only have come from the brilliant mind of a man like Dr. Oberon Ophelian. The scientific researcher some called a mad man, was now incarcerated at the experimental government bathypelogic internment facility at Mission Point, located just beyond the city limits.

“Oberon, what sort of mess have you gotten me into this time?” Sam muttered to himself.

Complications abounded, and black and white had merged to gray for Sam, which seemed to match the poisonous smog-filled sky that hovered over Ragstown, as well as infiltrating his current mood. Nothing was as clear-cut as it had been at university, nor so simple.

[End Chapter 1, Part I]

I’ve begun revisions to a free short story I have up on Goodreads. I thought this might be a good venue to share the metamorphosis of this story. A bit of an introduction about this story which is really grabbing my muse by the throat and taking me further along my rather demented writing path…

Constable of Disturbia: Deliverance

Constable of Disturbia: Deliverance

A twisted tale of love, loyalty, devotion, and honor in a dangerously insane dystopian world.

Madness does strange things to a man’s passions, especially under trying circumstances. But one adapts… Take Dr. Oberon Ophelian, a mad scientist incarcerated in an institution deep below the water, who is a perfect example of passions gone askew. He is a man disturbed, deeply so, no small thanks to the Mission Point Bathypelogic Internment Facility where he now resides. It’s a cruel fact that sometimes the caretakers are more corrupt and depraved than the inmates, especially those in charge at the Mission Point Incarceratorium.

Constable Sam Dart is an honorable young man, and truly tested by his loyalty to a man so warped by circumstance and his own choices. He and Ophelian go back a long way having attended university together. Sam is the man responsible for putting Ophelian behind bars. But the matter is not so easily put behind him because he’s also a man who is devoted to Oberon–who married Oberon. And now he is the man who plans to free Oberon from the depravity of his confinement. Sane you say? Perhaps not so much. Only by comparison to Oberon. And then there’s Bobby…

A sweet, sexy automaton named Bobby Robbins, fully equipped and who passes surprising well for human, has been at Sam’s side to assist with the insanely wild scheme…as well as other companionable pursuits…and will remain on hand to aid with Oberon’s escape. A bribe here, a promise – a sacrifice – and a career destroyed. Obvious insanity quite fully realized. A tarnished knight, an especially bright automaton, a maniacally unbalanced scientist, how can this mad scheme possibly come out right? Love is quite an insistent, chaotic, and demanding emotion in the best of times.

And this is truly a strange and twisted affair.

Constable of Disturbia – the blurb revision to deliverance