Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Theater of My Brain

I drive a lot for work, which means I spend a lot of time alone, in a car, with nothing but top 40 radio and my own thoughts.  Music always gets my brain working, the songs creating a narrative in my head.  The narrative may get replayed or rewritten, but it is constantly evolving, moving, shifting, growing.  When the music stops, and I sit down to write, the story continues to carry the beats that formed it.

I love my time in the car.  I've done most of my plotting for the stories on this blog during my drives.  The stories grow and take form as I rush from courthouse to courthouse.  Not all the stories I create end up on the blog.  Not all of them get written.  

The ones that do get written, the ones that I don't know what to do with, sit unfinished in a folder on my computer, waiting for the day when they pop back into my brain, and the story becomes something solid, ready to be born.  That doesn't always happen.  Some of those stories may never amount to anything more than just a few pages.

I don't let the fact that a story doesn't take form stop me though.  I press on, onto the next story, onto the next drama that my brain has formulated.  It took me years and years before I could ever even complete a major project that I started, and even now, it isn't always a given.  Writing takes energy.  It takes more energy then people even realize.  It can fill you up with joy and excitement, while also draining your mind.  Writing takes time, something that I seem to have less and less of as I get older.  Writing takes passion, which seems to be my driving force.  Not a passion to make it, or be recognized, but to get the world of my sometimes dark and twisted, sometimes goofy, sometimes playful mind out onto the page, and out into the world.

I don't let the failures or the stalled ideas stop me though.  I love this too much to let it stop me.  I don't write this blog to gain fans.  I write this blog to share something I love with those who are willing to listen.  If that is one person or one hundred people, I am just grateful that someone has taken the time, that precious and limited commodity, out of their day to even glance at something I have made.  If no one looks, then it just there for me to enjoy, to create, to release.

Life is never easy.  As I approach thirty, my life looking nothing like I had planned, I still find myself drawn to writing and creating.  When I was younger I dreamed of being the next great horror author, but now the success doesn't matter.  I can find success elsewhere in my life.  That doesn't mean the writing will stop.  That just means that I can remove the pressure to succeed, and replace it with the joy of creation.  So what if I will never be as good as King, or even Koontz or Saul? I yearn to tell stories, and so that is what I do.  I do it because I love it, because no matter what, my brain will create stories and characters and worlds, and I will take great pleasure into putting those thoughts into words.

Even this post has been bubbling up in my brain.  Originally I had intended it to be a slice of advice, but soon I realized that I am not in a position to give advice.  I am not a teacher, but a student.  I am still learning, and will always be learning, listening and growing.  If I have any advice to give it would be this:

Do what you love.  Do it not because it will bring you wealth, success or fame, but because it will bring you joy.  Do it because it is yours, your gift, your art, your creation, a child of your thoughts and dreams.  If it brings you success, fame or wealth, then great.  If not, then it is still great, because it is yours, a part of you.  Don't do it so that others will praise you.  Others are fickle.  Others can, and most likely will, tell you to do something else, something worthwhile.  Know that your passion, your drive, is worthwhile, if not for them, than at least for you.  

Monday, September 29, 2014

Accidental Demon Slayers: Melody of Light pt. 19

Ashtyn could sense something creeping across the room.  It was thick and cold, and seemed to cling to her skin.  She felt her stomach start to knot up and her muscles grew tense. 

“Liz, we need to get out of here.” Ashtyn took a step forward, reaching out towards the other woman. 

Liz stood at the edge of the black pool, her eyes transfixed on the morbid statue, and her mouth hung open, her jaw slack. 

“Liz…” Ashtyn touched the woman’s shoulder, and felt a shock of cold shoot down her arm and into her chest.  She stepped back quickly. 

Liz seemed to snap out of her hypnosis.  “How… how do we get out of here?” 

“I think the guys are trying to find the entrance to the cellar.”  Ashtyn almost reached out again, but caught herself.  She was surprised to find that she was afraid to touch Liz. 

“Are you alright?”  It was Tabitha’s voice. 

“Yeah.”  Ashtyn gritted her teeth, doing her best not to speak out loud. “What the hell is going on?” 

“I’m not entirely sure, but something is in here with us.” Tabitha’s voice was strong and sure, which made Ashtyn feel a little bit better about the whole situation, but not by much.  “It’s weak, and other than creating a slight chill in the air, I find that it poses no real threat at the moment.” 

“At the moment?” Ashtyn put her hand over her mouth.  That one slipped out. 

“Did you say something?” Liz turned towards her. 

“I was just… talking to myself.” Ashtyn smiled. 

There was a loud crash, and the musty cellar was suddenly filled with a bright swath of sunlight as the cellar door burst open, revealing a set of wooden steps that had previously been hidden in the shadows.  

“We’re coming down!” Max’s voice echoed through the small room. 

“Be careful on the steps.”  Ashtyn stepped into the ray of light, and could see Max and Rita making their way down the rotted, wooden stairs slowly. 

Within seconds whatever presence had been filling the room faded away, replaced by the damp heat that seemed to hang over the rest of the island. 

“Is that a good thing?” Ashtyn closed her eyes, doing her best to concentrate on speaking only in her mind. 

Normally she would have been fine, she had practiced enough, but at that moment her mind was racing to quickly for her to truly concentrate, and keeping a mental conversation was proving itself a little too difficult. 

“No.” Tabitha’s voice made Ashtyn’s heart drop. 

“It escaped, didn’t it?”


Rita was the first one off the steps, and she rushed to Ashtyn’s side.  “What?  That look, I don’t like that…” She shivered. 

“You sense something?” Ashtyn watched Rita’s face. 

“It felt like it was passing by me.  I… I don’t know what it was, but it just blew right past me.” 

“We should get upstairs.” Ashtyn took Rita by the arm gently, and started towards the steps. 

“Are you kidding me?  This is prime material for the show!” Liz pointed towards the black pool.  “I mean, look at that thing, it’s… it’s perfect.”

Ashtyn couldn’t bring herself to look at the statue again, but she could see Rita and Max’s reactions.  Neither of them seemed as transfixed as Liz had been, but instead appeared disgusted and unnerved. 

“Once we make sure that everyone is okay,” Max spoke slowly, “and that the stairs can handle the weight of our equipment, we can get some shots, but right now I think Ashtyn is right.” 

Ashtyn started up the stairs, and when her eyes landed on the doorway, she nearly screamed.  

Friday, September 26, 2014

Accidental Demon Slayers: Melody of Light pt. 18

With Bobby otherwise occupied, Juktha was able to slip away unnoticed, and enter into Doctore’s garden. 

The old man still stood at the pond, his head bowed as if he was watching the water.  His eyes seemed to focus on nothing. 

“You told him?”  Juktha stepped forward, her arms crossed in front of her chest.  She couldn’t hide her scowl. 

“I did what I thought was best.” Doctore didn’t look up.  

“She isn’t a threat.” She took another step.  As she spoke she did her best to remain calm, but her anger was too strong to hide.  “At least, she isn’t one yet.  You could have given them more time.” 

“This is the time to strike, then.” He turned to her.  “Would you rather they wait until she truly is dangerous?  You and I both know very well what that witch is capable of.  You sensed it, I know you did.” 

“I just… just one day of peace.”  Juktha was yelling.  She couldn’t help it.  “Couldn’t they have had just one day of peace? No dire warnings or impending doom.  Doctore, you do not see what I see.  You are so focused on strategy that you miss everything else.” 

“They are warriors.” He turned away from her, walking back towards the temple entrance.  “I know, I know.  They did not choose these roles, but never the less, if a warrior puts down his guard for one second, just one, they will be taken out.” 

“They are not warriors!” She reached out, grabbing Doctore’s shoulder, turning him so that they were face to face.  “They are people.  Normal people, stuck in extraordinary circumstances. They are… they are lovers.  They are friends, and family to each other.” 

“Then what would you have chosen?”  His voice was low, soft. 

Juktha looked at him, into his eyes.  She could see that hidden deep inside was the same pain that she herself felt.  No, not just pain, but guilt.  They were guilty of taking over people’s lives, and forcing them into battles and wars that they didn’t fully understand. 

Of course, it was their destiny, both human and deity, to fight.  That had been decided long ago, but it did not make any of this easier.  Not for her.  In the time she had been awake and been able to not only communicate with Bobby, but also witness his life through his eyes, she had grown to care for him.  She wanted nothing more than to protect him, and see him be happy and grow old.  Every adversary made that goal more difficult.  Every battle threatened not only Bobby’s life, but also the lives of those he loved. 

“Just one day, Doctore.”  She released his shoulder.  “They deserved just one whole day of normalcy.” 

“They are not normal Juktha.  Do not lie to yourself.”  He touched her cheek, his hand feeling warm and inviting.  “They are amazing, strong, resilient and brave.  They are everything we had hoped for, and more..”  His hand moved to her chin, and he tipped her face so that they were looking eye to eye.  “They find joy when they can, and they fight when they must.  How many do you think would be capable of that?” 

In that moment Juktha was shocked to find herself drawn to Doctore, to the youth in his eyes, and the strength in the lines on his face.  He was older, yes, but handsome.

What was she thinking?  The pull towards Doctore was nothing more than a reflection of Bobby and Kurt’s own relationship.  Deities shared many things with their human counterparts, and that included the occasional emotional overlap.  At that moment what she was feeling was nothing more than a fleeting burst of romantic energy.  That was what she told herself, at least.

“I guess I had shared their hope for a peaceful vacation.” She stepped back, and Doctore’s hand fell to his side. 

“Have you heard from Tabitha since the presence became detectable?” Doctore cleared his throat. 

Juktha was glad to let the moment pass.  “No. She’s too far away to make a proper connection through the Mind Scape.  Hopefully she is well trained enough to sense the potential danger, and alert Ashtyn.”

“I sense that you are uncomfortable with your daughter being so close to the witch’s presence?”

“She can handle herself.” Juktha allowed her eyes to wander back to Doctore’s.  “Mothers worry.  It can’ be helped.” 

“Mothers aren’t the only ones who worry, Juktha.” Doctore gave her a gentle nod, and then entered his temple.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pom Pom Angel: Love Rescue pt. 9

Soul’s office was cramped, with stacks of books lining all four walls, and her desk. 

“Just clear off a chair and have a seat.”  Soul motioned towards two old, wooden chairs that were buried under piles of paperbacks. 

Gus initially thought of Soul’s office as a musty fire hazard, but over the time he had been working at her bookstore, he had come to find the room a safe haven.  At that moment, with everything in his life seemingly blowing up around him, a safe haven was exactly what he needed. 

Soul took her seat behind the desk, and Gus did his best to dig out the two chairs for Missy and himself. 

Once they were all seated Soul cleared her throat. “So, Gus, what’s your type.”

“I… I don’t…” He really hated being put on the spot like that.  “I haven’t really thought about it.”

“You are a grown adult, and you haven’t figured out what kind of women you’re attracted to?” Soul frowned so deep that her brow furrowed. 

“Well,” now it was Missy’s turn to pipe in, “it’s Gus’s complete disinterest in romance that led me to him.” 

“His lack of romanticism is so severe that it could be spotted from Heaven?” Soul laughed. “Now that is sad.” 

“Hey, I’m sitting right here!” Gus could feel his cheeks growing hot. 

“So, is there any reason you’ve avoided even thinking about finding someone?” Soul leaned forward.  “If you tell me it’s because of the state of the world, war, famine, or anything like that I will deck you, just so you know.  Emo shit doesn’t fly with me.” 

“Umm…” He gulped.  She had just cut out every excuse he had ever used in the past with one sentence.  “I’m allergic to drama?” He shrugged and gave a half smile. 

“Missy, right?” Soul sat back, folding her hands onto her lap. 

“Yep.” Missy perked up at the sound of her name. 

“You sure as hell have your work cut out for you.”

“Oh, I’m aware.”  Missy gave Gus a sharp poke to the shoulder.  “He’s so far gone that he needed divine intervention.” 

“Again, I’m right here!” Gus caught himself yelling, and quickly ducked down in his chair. 

“So,” Soul sighed, “let’s start with the basics.  Are you a tits man, or an ass man?”

“Wha…” His cheeks were burning hot with embarrassment.  He glanced at Missy, who was just watching him, wide eyed and innocent, then back at Soul.

Couldn’t she start somewhere else?  Maybe shared interests, or taste in music?  Nope, she had to go right to the animalistic, sexual draw.  The worst part was that he didn’t even know the answer to that question.  He had repressed so much of his own desire that he refused to acknowledge what he actually found physically attractive in a woman. 

He knew he was attracted to woman, but he just never allowed himself to really formulate what exactly made them attractive. 

“I think he’s a tits man.” Missy nodded her head, the word ‘tits’ sounding even more wrong coming out of her mouth. 

“Well…” Soul raised one eyebrow, her eyes seeming to bore into him. 

“Tits… I guess.”  Gus could barely choke the words out. 

Soul clapped her hands.  “Progress!  Now, does ethnicity matter?” 

“Not really.”  That one Gus could answer for sure.  As abstract as his attraction was, he knew that the women he did find attractive varied when it came to race. 

It was odd, but now that he was actually examining this side of himself, he found that even he was curious. 

“Okay, so that gives me a pretty wide field to work with!” Missy seemed to jump up in her seat. 

For the next twenty minutes Soul and Missy continued to question him, and as the conversation went on Gus found himself slowly becoming more comfortable.  The questions pertaining to sex still made him blush, but when the topic was more intellectual he couldn’t help but slowly form an image of his ideal partner in his head. 

“So, what did we end up with?” Soul placed a notepad down on the table. 

When did she start taking notes, he thought to himself. 

“You want a woman around your age, who enjoys reading classic literature, but who has an appreciation for genre fiction.  She has to enjoy classic rock and folk music, enjoys hiking and other outdoor activities, or at least, is open to them.  Physically… well, you’re a whole lot less specific.”  Soul’s finger moved down the page as she listed off all of Gus’s requirements. 

“She does have to have nice tits, though!”  Missy pointed at the paper.  “Add that in there.  Nice tits.” 

“Missy,” Gus couldn’t even look up at her, “will you stop saying that.” 

“Saying what?” Missy looked at him.  “Tits?” 

“Yes.” Gus nodded, but kept his gaze firmly planted at his feet. 

“Gus,” Missy gently took Gus’s hand in hers.  “Do not fear the breasts.” 

He felt something firm, and yet soft in his hand.  His hand squeezed without realizing it, and Missy giggled.  His eyes shot up, and he saw that she had suddenly clutched his hand to her right breasts. 

“Oh God!” Gus pulled his hand back so fast that his chair rose up onto two legs, and then crashed to the ground, sending him sprawling into a stack of books. 

“Baby steps, sweetie.  Baby steps.” Soul was obviously trying to hold back her laughter.  “Now, onto our next problem.” 

“What’s that?” Gus slowly stood up, his side sore from smacking into the floor.  He gently placed his seat in the upright position, and sat down. 

“Missy, we need to do something about your look.” Soul’s eyes shifted from Gus to Missy, and he couldn’t have been happier to have the attention off of him. 

“What about my look?” Missy glanced down at her uniform, her mouth forming a pouty frown. 

“While I get the whole… cheerleader motif, you can’t go wandering around the city like that, so you and I are going shopping.”  Soul stood up and pulled her purse off of the back of her chair.  “Gus, watch the store.” 

Before Gus could get one word out Soul and Missy were gone, and he was alone… on storybook day… with a growing number of families congregating around the children’s books section. 

Damn it.  

Monday, September 22, 2014

Accidental Demon Slayers: Melody of Light pt. 17

Kurt didn’t even realize that he had drifted off to sleep, but suddenly he found himself sitting in the Japanese garden.  Doctore sat across from him, his face tight with worry. 

“How did…” Kurt shook his head, unsure of how he had gotten there.  A moment ago he had been wide awake and getting ready to go down to the pool to meet Clare and Bobby, and the next he was back in the Mind Scape.

“I pulled you here.” Doctore nodded his head.  “I don’t like doing it, but I felt I had no choice.” 

The worry in Doctore’s voice sent a chill down Kurt’s spine. 

Usually the old man was warm, maybe a little distant, but there was always a faint, playful smile on his lips.  Now, though, he looked older, more worn. 

“What’s going on?”  Kurt stood, and was still surprised when he felt the blades of grass under his palms.  As much as he trained, he wasn’t entirely adjusted to the way his senses worked within his Mind Scape. 

“Something has been released.” Doctore’s old, red-rimmed eyes followed him.  “Something very powerful.”

“Aren’t they always?”  Kurt held back a laugh.  He knew the situation was serious, but serious situations came with his every day life.  “Let me guess, Max and his crew did something they shouldn’t have.” 

“You’ve grown jaded.”  He shook his head.  “I know you have been through a great deal, but Kurt, you need to understand that each threat brings a new set of challenges.” 

Kurt sighed, turning towards the small pond in the center of the garden.  A large koi swam past quickly, and then hid under some rocks.  He wished he could hide.  He wished he and Bobby could just escape one threat.  Just this once. 

“What is it?” Kurt turned towards his inner deity.  “What’s the new threat?” 

“It is not demonic by nature, although it does harbor the powers of the dark ones.”  Doctore stood, moving with an ease that seemed at odds with his elderly appearance.  “I believe she is the legend the islanders speak of.” 

“The witch?” Kurt shook his head.  “She’s dead.” 

For the first time during their visit Doctore smiled, but its presence did not ease the worry growing in Kurt’s mind. 

“Death means very little in our world, you know that.”  The old man walked towards the pond, his steps strong and smooth.  “For now she is weak, but like any villain in one of our adventures, she aims to grow stronger.” 

“You speak like you’ve been through more than you actually have.”  Kurt knelt down, picking up a pebble and tossing it into the pond.  It skipped across the water, finally sinking with a loud thunk.

“Just because you were not aware of me does not mean I have not been with you from the beginning.” The old man placed a hand on Kurt’s shoulder. “Tabitha and I did not become fully formed until your last battle, but we have been with you.  Some part of us has always been inside of you.  We are not just creations that you have been gifted with.  We are a part of you, connected to your very soul.” 

“After everything we learned about the Scribes and the Nameless, and how they just seem to be making this up as they go, I find that hard to believe.”  Kurt couldn’t hide his disappointment anymore. 

“From your inception, we are there.  Our potential is inside of you.” Doctore turned Kurt towards him, their eyes meeting.  “Even Bobby and Juktha were destined.  Their connection was made even before he went down into the basement of that chapel.” 

“So, it’s our destiny to never have a moment of peace?” The anger crept into his voice.  He couldn’t control it, not anymore.  “This was supposed to be our time.  Just us, together, like a normal couple. Is it too much to ask for?”

Doctore didn’t speak.  He just wrapped his arms around Kurt, pulling him close; embracing him like a father would his child.  “Enjoy the peace while you can, because the darkness will always be near by.” 

Slowly the Japanese Garden faded from Kurt’s view, and was replaced by his darkened hotel room.

He sat up, and could feel the hot streak of tears on his cheeks, and that anger, that familiar bitterness welling up inside of him still. 

The hotel room door opened, letting light and music spill into the room. Standing in the doorway, a silhouette.  Bobby was looking at him.  As he walked closer, Kurt could see his smile. 

“You take a nap?” Bobby sat down on the bed next to him, setting his towel on the floor.  He was looking closer now.  Kurt knew he could see the tears.  “You okay?” 

Should he tell him?  He would find out soon enough.  The smile on Bobby’s face began to slip away, replaced by that familiar look of worry. 

“I’m fine.”  Kurt laughed, wiping at his cheeks.  “Just a bad dream.” 

“How can you have nightmares in a place like this?”  He laughed and kissed the tip of Kurt’s nose.  “Come on, the Aria concert starts soon, I want to get good seats.”  Bobby grabbed Kurt’s hand, pulling him to his feet, and towards the bathroom.  “First, I need a shower.” 

“And you need me for this, why?” Kurt pushed his conversation with Doctore from his mind.  He let a bit of playfulness creep in, and a coy smile. 

“Do you really need to ask?”  He kissed him. 

“Enjoy the peace while you can…” Doctore’s voice repeated in his head.

He kissed his boyfriend back, and let him lead the way.