Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What is a zombie's fascination with brains?

Anyone else out there preparing for the 2012 zombie apocalypse? I am on the fence about it overall, but Mom always said hope for the best and prepare for the worst. A part of me thinks this will be like the Y2K furor and a complete non-event. However, I've watched enough History Channel to wonder if the Mayans might be up to something. I've concluded I need to learn proper use of firearms and how to ride a motorcycle since my vision of the apocalypse is seriously colored by the likes of Mad Max. I have general doctor skills which hopefully will come in handy in a pinch, but I need to know how to defend myself in multiple ways. Sure, this could all be a waste, but at least I'll have picked up some neat talents. And if it isn't, then I know precisely where I am hunkering down with my family and my dogs. All I can say for the rest of you is I hope you're training up on survival skills. Laugh all you want, but when the zombies come a knocking it'll be too late.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Time off for (mostly) good behavior

I need a vacation. Time off from work. I keep recommending this to others and am realizing it's precisely what I need myself. Usually I spend my vacations quietly writing, cooking and taking long walks so I can think. I cram my creativity into any spare moment I can find, molding it to fit the life I've chosen. Every once in a while it rebels. It wants more freedom than I allow it. When it becomes truly intrusive, that's how I know it's time to let it off the leash. The other day I had a conversation with a coworker and was distracted by a vivid story sequence which randomly chose that moment to play itself out in my head. I think she was still talking to me, but I have no memory of the last part of the discussion. I have perfect memory of what I know I need to get down on paper sooner rather than later, however. I need a vacation.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lacromia's Test

There was a strange force which drew her to the crude church at the end of the only true road in the town. The hem of the scratchy wool dress trailed mud across the oak floor as she made her way between the pews towards the altar. Flame from innumerable candles flickered, hurling cold shadows around the room, glimmering off the town’s prized possession the ornate gilded cross standing sentry on the altar. Chill seeped through her garment as she knelt on the floor, her head bent over her clasped hands. For the past two raids she enacted this same melodrama, begging a deity who refused to hear her for the strength to stop what she knew to be wrong.
“You are here at an inhospitable hour. What troubles you my child?”
Lacromia barely lifted her head, stringy chestnut hair mostly covering her face. The priest’s figure popped into view out of the corner of her eye as he drew closer. Dressed in head to toe black like all of his orthodox brethren, his long grey beard and hair could not hide the calm wisdom which radiated from his weather-beaten visage.
“I need help, father.”
“Help with what?” he asked gently as he took a seat beside her.
“I have done terrible things.”
“What terrible offense could someone so young have committed?”
“I cannot tell you. All I can say is they are horrible, monstrous crimes.”
“Why have you done these things?”
She lowered her head a bit, her hair further covering her expression. The same series of questions had been posed to each of the priests in the prior villages, searching for answers and absolution where there was none.
“My master wishes it. I am trapped, father. I cannot refuse him, but I do not want to do the things I have done.”
The priest placed a comforting arm around her and she rested her head gently on his shoulder taking what little reassurance she could in his well-meaning paternalism.
“You are being tested, my poor girl, placed in an impossible position. One in authority requires great evil of you, but it places your eternal soul in jeopardy.”
“I fear I do not have a soul left anymore. What should I do?”
“All of us are obligated to seek morality and justice wherever they may hide. There are no perfect people or solutions, but one must not do what they know to be wrong simply because they were ordered to do so. Even if it means death or persecution, one must stand and fight. Do you have the courage for this?”
The vampire threw her arms around the elderly priest, tiny sparks dancing across her skin as the coven swarmed into town. He hugged her, expecting tears, little knowing her ability to cry had disappeared many decades ago when he was still a young man.
“You are frigid, my child. How long have you been out in the cold?” he asked with concern, feeling the icy chill of the woman’s body as if she had been buried in snow for days.
“It seems like forever,” she whispered in response. “You are right, father. I cannot accept what is happening around me. I must fight this even if it means my death.”
Terrified screams began to filter through the walls, calling for help as the vampires battered the village. The priest attempted to pull away, sensing something was terribly amiss, but she clung to him, preventing his movement.
“Forgive me, father. I am being tested and tonight I will fail this trial. One day, I hope to redeem myself in your eyes.”

Monday, August 9, 2010

Nightfall of the psyche

Having fun writing short stories; enjoy the excerpt:

The blood was scalding as it spurted out of the torn artery, the vampire utilizing his fangs like twin blades as he ripped into the man's neck. He did not know what pity was, could barely remember any but the most basic driving forces. A soft gurgling was the only noise as the man choked on his own blood, his heart's drastic beating hastening his own destruction. There was no pity, no remorse, no escape. He had not wanted to die either, but no one had given him a choice. No one showed his wife and children an ounce of pity; they merely slaughtered them as they sobbed in terror. Mercy was a useless emotion. In the end, there was no peace.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Careful or you'll end up in my novel

Sometimes parts of my life intrude on the others defying my desire to compartmentalize. I walk around the hushed hospital at night and see monsters in shadows. I talk to people and engineer characters. In place of everyday life there are plot constructs. I think a certain amount of daydreaming is healthy. It allows me to fill stagnant hours and deal with stress, but occasionally my fantasy world can be distracting. Today I walked through the city orchestrating a nifty if not incredibly bloody chase scene complete with hefty body count. In place of urbanites, I see victims, heroes, demons, angels, predators and prey. I always wonder what's going through the minds of the people I pass. How many are doing the exact same thing, silently watching the world of imagination and reality collide.