Friday, December 25, 2009

Centaurs - From DRUID DERRICK - Unpublished

The Æ‘Tallo, Chonkin and three other centaurs sat down with them. While the supper was being prepared and during the meal, Derrick learned quite a bit about them, the largest amount of information came from merely watching them; they were fascinating creatures to watch.

In form, their human half was human in shape far less than he had originally thought. Their ribcage was shorter than a human's was, and if the layering of muscle attached to them was any indication, the bones were quite heavy. Since they weren't there to protect a heart and lungs or even the structure of a diaphragm, their only purpose was to support the muscle and bone structure of their arms and shoulders.

Their arms looked like a foreshortened version of their front legs with a more versatile joint structure. Their hands looked like a cross between human hands an a horse's hoof. They were heavy and wide with only three fingers instead of four, the middle finger being heaver than the other two and nearly as heavy as the thumb. The thumb was more centered on the wrist than a human's; it opposed the middle finger directly across a surprisingly small palm. This structure prevented the hand from lying flat on a surface but then a human's hands are built to take a human's weight from time to time whereas centaurs almost never used their hands in that manner. Their fingernails were likely the most human thing about their hands aside from the fact that they were very thick.

Their human waist was surprisingly narrow but no narrower than a horse's neck and their human neck was rather thick topped by a very human head though the eyes looked like horse's eyes. The nose was heavier than the normal human nose but it was something Derrick noticed only because he was expressly looking for similarities and differences.

Now the ears. The elven ear was a lot like a bat's ear; it was indeed pointed but much of its structure was built directly into the head; the end result was that it lay very close to the skull. The centaur's ears were very horsey though smaller than the average horse's ears might be. They swiveled freely and independently, and Derrick had seen first hand how they could be pulled back to protect them during an attack. Chonkin's ears had been almost unnoticeable during their entire conversation the night before.

The entire human half of their structure was longer than the normal horse's neck. This structure was lengthened to accommodate the ribcage and shoulder structure adding a foot or more to the length of the spine. The backbone was different from a horse's too. The arc of a horse's back continued its curve up into the human body to support that part upright rather than forward like a horse's head and neck.

The horse part of their body had differences too though they were harder to spot. The lifestyle that included a good deal of hunting had made for a very broad chest between the front legs of the horse half and yet their horse's waist was quite trim on the average, making them look something like a greyhound dog though not quite so sucked up as that. Thickening happened there from age or pregnancy. This was likely a direct result of being omnivores rather than pure grazers.

Derrick couldn't spot much else that was obviously different aside. from the possibility that they were more flexible as they seemed to be more graceful in their everyday movements than the average horse was.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Blog Tag!

There is a fun game being played lately in the blogosphere.  It's a type of 'Tag!  You're it!’  I've been tagged, so now it's time to answer some writing related questions.  I hope you're not too bored with my answers.  At the end of the questions I will tag three more bloggers, so be sure to check them out, too.  Thanks, TK for tagging me.
1. What's the last thing you wrote?  What's the first thing you wrote that you still have? 
My latest project is a book I’m calling Druid Derrick.  It is about a Dungeons & Dragons Druid who is also a 20th century American boy.  I’m having a lot of fun melding the two worlds together.  It’s roughly half done. 

The oldest of my unpublished stories is called To Reclaim the Throne.  It’s about a prince who was raised by an evil regent bent on making him the most hated prince in history.  When, as a young man, he learns the truth, he must work to undo it all and wrest his throne and his betrothed back from the regent. 
2. Write poetry? 
Though I like to read some poetry, I can’t write it.  Me and poetry just don’t get along. 
3. Angsty poetry? 
Na – my efforts at poetry are truly frightening. 
4. Favorite genre of writing? 
My writing is all over the place under the big heading of fiction.  I have touched on space travel, time travel, medieval, sword and sorcery, and magic. 
5. Most annoying character you've ever created? 
I’m not sure that any of my characters quite qualify as annoying but I’ve definitely had some difficult characters.  One who cannot speak is hard. 
6. Best plot you've ever created? 
I think my best plot is by coincidence my longest story - The Making of a Mage-King.  The story takes an average American boy and dumps him in a world where magic is common.  While there, he must learn his own magic, unravel an ancient prophecy, and decipher the dreams that drive him. 
7. Coolest plot twist you've ever created? 
That’s a hard one, because I am always trying to twist things somewhat.  I think The Making of a Mage-King qualifies for the coolest twist because it’s full of them. 
8. How often do you get writer's block? 
Ah, it happens, but when it does, I just turn to another idea or back up and read through some of what has already been written.  If that doesn’t work, I sleep on it. 
9. Write fan fiction? 
Not fan fiction.  I think the closest I’ve gotten to such a thing is using the rules and spells from a computer game my husband was playing at the time.  However, the story does not resemble the game in any other ways. 
10.Do you type or write by hand? 
My first book started out being hand written.  Back then I didn’t have a computer and the ribbon on my typewriter was faded.  It was just a ‘fill my empty time’ thing.  It was never going to be anything more.  Then my son gave me an old laptop.  That changed everything. 
11. Do you save everything you write? 
Oh yes.  I have copies on discs and on storage sticks.  The fun part is keeping them updated. 
12. Do you ever go back to an idea after you've abandoned it? 
No idea is ever abandoned, merely shelved for a while. 
13. What's your favorite thing you've ever written? 
My favorite I think is The Making of a Mage-King, but that’s completed now so I think Druid Derrick is my new fav. 
14. What's everyone else's favorite story you've written? 
Having only one out there makes this question very hard to answer, but so far, all my reviews have been good ones. 
15. Ever written romance or angsty teen? 
I don’t even know what one writes for an angsty teen but I have dabbled in romance.  Romance is everywhere to a certain degree. 
16. What's your favorite setting for your characters? 
I love warhorses, swords and magic so if I can put my characters in the middle of all that, I’m happy.  Then again, I also like the mysteries of outer space so that’s a cool setting too.  Try a staff fight in a weightless environment. 
17. How many writing projects are you working on now? 
Right now my current writing project, Druid Derrick, has been shelved in favor of a little polishing on my other works.  It’s been a while and I’ve learned a lot since I’ve had internet. 
18. Have you ever won an award for your writing? 
Nope, not even.  I never even dreamed of being a writer.  I always thought I’d raise horses and teach kids how to ride.  Then I moved to the wilderness of Alaska where horses are bear-bait. 
19. What are your five favorite words? 
I know you’re talking about what words I use most, but I really think I like to hear “I just bought your book” the best.  It always sends a thrill up my spine. 
20. What character have you created that is most like yourself? 
Almost all of my characters have a piece of me in them, but then they get a life of their own and all resemblance ends there. 
21. Where do you get your ideas for your characters? 
He, he, he, he – read on. 
22. Do you ever write based on your dreams? 
As a matter of fact, most of my writing comes from dreams.  It’s usually a scene or a germ of an idea if not the whole thing.  When I get one, I sit down at the computer and type like mad for – however long it takes to get that scene or idea down.  Then I think of the characters and wrap the rest of the story around it.  The story The Making of a Mage-King is riddled with dreams and 99% of them were dreams I had while writing the story.  This one really took over my life at the time. 
23. Do you favor happy endings? 
Yeah, I like happy endings or at least proper culminations, but at least one of my books ends with tears. 
24. Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write? 
Thanks to that nice little thing computers do with the squiggly green and red lines, I pay attention to the spelling and grammar.  It was my first learning tool when it came to writing. 
25. Does music help you write? 
I don’t mind music so much, so long as it’s not something loud and obnoxious, but mostly I prefer quiet.  I’ve been known to get up at 3 in the morning, write for about 4 hours and then crash until noon (or until it gets light out – about 10am).  After that, life has many distractions and in the afternoon, my husband must have the TV on *sigh* 
26. Quote something you've written.  Whatever pops in your head. 
“When they were all seated, Sean laid his hands on the table and drew all of their magic to the center, lighting the crystal like a light bulb, thus lighting the room brightly, but not so brightly that it couldn’t be closely studied as everyone did now.  With the light lit, if anyone in the room used magic for any reason, all of them would feel it and know exactly who it was and what they were trying to do with it.  No magical slight of hand could happen within this room.”  (Near the end of The Making of a Mage-King)

And now the three blogs I will tag are: (be sure to visit their blogs, too)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Legend of the Candy Cane

Look at the Candy Cane
What do you see?
Stripes that are red
Like the blood shed for me
White is for my Savior
Who's sinless and Pure!
"J" is for Jeasus, My Lord, that's for sure!
Turn it around
And a staff you will see
Jesus my shepherd
Was born for Me!

Many years ago, a candy maker wanted to make a candy at Christmas time that would serve as a witness to his Christian faith. He wanted to incorporate several symbols for the birth, ministry and death of Jesus. He began with a stick of pure white hard candy; white to symbolize the Virgin Birth and the sinless nature of Jesus; hard to symbolize the solid rock, the foundation of the Church; firmness to represent the promise of God. The candy maker made the candy in the form of a "J" to represent the name of Jesus, who came to earth as our Savior. He thought it could also represent the staff of the Good Shepherd, with which he reached down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray.

Thinking that the candy was somewhat plain, the candy maker stainded it with red stripes. He used three small stripes to show the stripes of the scourging Jesus received, by which we are healed. The large red stripe was for the blood shed by Christ on the cross so that we could have the promise of eternal life. Unfortunately, the candy became known as a candy cane - a meaningless decoration seen at Christmas time. But the true meaning is still there for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.

Author Unknown

Sunday, December 13, 2009


When was the last time you told someone how much you loved them?
(Princess Anella is faced with the need to marry in order to seal a treaty that would garner military aid to bolster her country's defenses, but the decision is breaking her heart)

Anella took a sip of wine and considered what she should tell him. "Paul, you don't understand. I now I am strong and I can make the decisions asked of me quickly, and I believe, well. But inside, I am still that little princess, my father's youngest daughter, the one no one ever noticed or spoke to very much. I am still that little girl who, at the age of six, looked into the most wonderful blue eyes she had ever seen. The ceremony and all of the ritualistic things over the years were all boring and distant to me, but you and your eyes were always there in my heart. You have always been my foundation and I need you. I don't need a general or a diplomat. I don't need anything they offer me: my country could use some of what they offer, but I don't. I need you, and I need you close. If I marry one of them - it won't matter which one - you will be gone, whether you actually leave or not. I couldn't.... I love you and I need you. You are what keeps me, me." She hadn't intended to pour all of her feelings out like this. She never thought about her connection to him very much, but as the words colored the air, she found every one of them true.

Paul leaned back in his chair, his wine forgotten, and studied her face for a long moment. He gripped the arm of his chair with a hard hand, trying desperately to hide his reeling senses. "I could never leave," he whispered, his eyes intense. "The first thing I remembered was your face in my room and you saying my name. Your voice did something, and it felt like huge massive walls of stone and ice inside my soul were cracking. I cried that first night before I fell back asleep. I didn't remember that until much later. And that other time, when my face hurt so much and you came, you were angry: you were quiet, but you were so angry. I think I learned from you that I could be angry too, and if I could be angry, I didn't have to hide anymore. Norlan talked to me non-stop out in the stables. He talked about the horses and your horse, Devil; he talked about you too. While he talked, my walls crumbled into dust. I had to come find you; I needed you to make me whole. I could never leave you, no matter whether, or if, you married anyone else. As long as you were near...." He rose and came around the table and laid a hand on her shoulder, gently restraining her from rising as well. If she rose now, he would fold her in his arms, and if he did that, he knew it would lead to things he knew nothing about, and he couldn't let it start, not now. "You need to clear things up with these men," he continued. "You should choose one of them without further delay, it's what they expect. If you don't marry one of them soon, you run the risk of insulting all of them and that may be grounds for war."

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Custom - from DRUID DERRICK - incomplete

For the full moon of December, Derrick decided it was his turn to go visiting, bearing gifts, though he wouldn't take anything like the colorful bobbles Mariah had brought last year. For Mariah, he made an apothecary cabinet with twenty-five small drawers, and for Pat, he made a jewelry box with a lift-out shelf. The shelf had four spaces, and under it, the bottom of the box was divided into three spaces, the third, and largest, held another little box with a lid. He took another piece of wood and formed it out as thin as parchment, which he then wrapped around the presents, melding the folds back together since he had no other way to hold them closed. He turned his cloak into a carrying sack for the trip to Pat's house.

He didn't know what he expected, but he didn't expect to see the house all lit up with colored lights. When he was invited inside, he saw a small tree in the corner all clothed in lights, glitter and color. Though it was quite lovely, it was difficult for him to look at. The ten, maybe fifteen, year old life had been cut short in order to display this festoon of gaudy glory. It was all he could do to hide his mourning since both Mariah and her mother seemed to be quite gay.

Their happiness had two and now three reasons. The first was that Sam and all of his men had left several days ago. The second was the Christmas season, something Derrick didn't know enough about to understand. And now the third reason was that someone had come bringing gifts.

Over the course of the day, Derrick got the impression that the actual day of celebration was several days away yet, but Derrick's arrival warranted that it happen today, since he refused to stay past sundown.

He grit his teeth when his presents went under that poor tree, but they didn't stay there long when it was decided that they would be opened while Derrick was here. Mariah was completely thrilled with her present, especially when Derrick explained what it was for. Pat too liked her present and immediately went to retrieve her jewelry from their several random locations. She'd never had a jewelry box, not much jewelry either, but what she had was draped on the mirror in the bathroom or tucked into a safe corner with her underwear. There were other such random places like the back of the sink both in the bathroom and in the kitchen, and a necklace with a broken chain had been on a windowsill for two years. Now it was all in one box and Derrick had fixed the broken chain.

After the presents were open, Pat went into the kitchen to prepare what she could for a big dinner. Mariah went to help and even Derrick got involved, though all he did was 'find' things that seemed to become misplaced, that along with whatever slicing and dicing they would let him do under careful supervision. In general, things were sliced and diced much quicker when he wasn't being watched - things tended to multiply then too. Nonetheless, Derrick had no idea what it took to put together a meal that wasn't some sort of stew, so he was pleasantly surprised when they finally sat down to a meal of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, beets and salad with biscuits on the side. The drink was sweet coolaid poured into wine glasses - Pat's idea. According to Pat, it wasn't a proper Christmas dinner but Derrick thought it was the best he'd had, rivaling the meals he'd had at Kristin's table.

Derrick left at dark, carrying several changes of her dead husband's clothes. He'd kept those he had in one piece but they were still showing the wear.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


There came a day when everyone's eyes were turned to the sky, to the exclusion of all else. Those who couldn't see with their naked eyes turned to their televisions, their computers or even their radios. They watched in helpless, disbelieving horror as an asteroid half the size of the moon approached with agonizing slowness and ground its bulk into the only orbiting body of this Earth. They watched as the two bodies fought for supremacy of the sky, and they watched them both lose. Then no one watched anymore; they just ran.

Every major and minor fault line around the world began cracking and shifting. Volcanoes, old and new, spewed their ash and toxic gases into the atmosphere. What the earthquakes didn't shake to the ground, the rain of rock smashed. And the people ran.

When the tidal waves came, they were so large that they reached far inland, trying their best to pull down the highest peaks and wash away all evidence of the great civilization of man.

The nuclear power plants that dotted the world were not exempt from the destruction, and the radiation man's arrogance had tried to harness escaped to mingle with the volcanic gases, ash and dust, to make a devastating soup that would affect all the generations to come.

When the rocks stopped falling from the sky, when much of the dust had settled, millions of people around the world found themselves still among the living. It was a mere pittance compared to the billions who had crawled across its surface before an asteroid wandered into their skies. But now they were faced with a far grimmer problem than they had ever faced before. Cities were leveled, farmlands were pulverized and roads were broken. Many people had no food or shelter and only a few were knowledgeable enough to improvise. But if mere survival were their only problem, they would have fourished again with scarcely a pause. What they faced with their meager skills was a type of nuclear winter, and millions more died of starvation and sickness before they figured out how to cope.

Winter came, and then winter stayed. Glaciers grew as the Earth struggled to wash the ash and dust from her skies, and within a few years, a new ice age was well underway. The people were reduced to living in hide tents because caves, if they could find them, were unstable due to the earthquakes that still shook the world as it strove to find a new balance within itself that did not include a moon.

The hurricane winds that swept the surface diluted and distributed the nuclear waste to the farthest corners, but it remained enough of a problem that, though there were deaths at first, they were relatively few and the people failed to make the connection. Only where the nuclear fallout was concentrated the most did the people see the danger and flee, but it still had an effect on every living thing, and mutations began to show up with each successive generation.

Ten thousand generations later, the mutations were no longer mutations; they were a fact of life. Some people could move objects, and at first, they used their skill to increase their success with the hunt by whatever means they could devise. Some people became sensitive to the noise in other people's minds, and they used it liberally to tell when people were lying. Some of the more drastic cases of mutation could change the shape and appearance of their bodies, learning to mimic other people, or even animals, down to the last hair.

As these effects became increasingly pronounced, the nomadic lifestyle of the people permitted them to segregate. Those who could read minds remained on the coast. Seeking refuge from the mental noise, they built boats and sought out islands far away from their fellows,where they continued to change. Those who could shape the bones and cells of their bodies sought out the heat far away from the forever snows, since they were also much more susceptible to arthritis and osteoporosis. There, they continued to follow a nomadic life, which allowed them to seek a middle ground between the heat their bones craved and the grasslands that could support their livestock.

Those who could move objects quickly learned to make good and valuable use of their skill. Causing death - even for food - was too frightening for the people to accept; the dangers of their lives were already numerous, so they learned to move injured flesh and bone instead, placing them in the right place to heal with the least amount of scarring or laming. Eventually they learned how to tell the difference between cells that belonged to the wounded person and matter that did not, and they learned to move the foreign matter out, thereby reducing infection. They became the healers, and since they did not seek segregation, they could be found in almost any group.

The greatest majority of the people remained normal. The self-segregation of the shape-shifters and the mind-readers, however, ultimately caused knowledge of them and the genes that produced their skills to fade from the rest of the population. And over the next ten thousand years, their cultures evolved along separate paths. The healers, however, so much needed by every group, were spread among them all and revered by everyone. Everyone respected a family who could claim a healer among their number.

All of the people, in their struggle to survive, did their best to preserve what they could of what they once were. Legends and tales were handed down, along with the skill for reading and writing. Old names were handed down too as one way of remembering the past. Someday there would be libraries again, and someday the people would reclaim their former greatness, if they could just remember enough. But life was hard. The machines of man's civilization had long since been reduced to dust and their great cities had been smashed to rubble. When the choice came between carrying food or carrying artifacts from the past, food won every time. Eventually, all they were left with were stories that had lost their meaning and the skill to write, though all they had to write on was leather, which, in times of hardship, was also left behind. More writings would be created in times of plenty.

For over a million years, the people struggled and the Earth groaned under its weight of ice. But life is a circle, be it large or small, and all things come to an end, or perhaps a new beginning.

As the forever snows began to recede before the warmth of the sun, societies began to grow. Men settled down and tilled the ground, raise livestock or fish the rivers and seas. Leaders built fortresses, and as is inevitable with the race of man, skirmishes ensued, and kingdoms were carved out. But all in all, these skirmishes were few and far between; the population was still sparse, no one was stepping anyone's toes too hard - yet.

Friday, November 27, 2009


The following is a couple different points of view. I thought they were very nice but ultimately, it's possible they may be deleted. However, I didn't want to lose them entirely, so I am sharing them with all of you.

As Master Pierson watched her dancing around the ballroom, he felt as if he was slowly letting her go or perhaps it was she who was slipping away. He was the teacher who could watch the fruits of his labor coming to fruition or perhaps he was someone who had picked up a baby bird from the ground, fed and cared for it and now was watching it take its first flight as a strong and healthy . . . hawk. He had to smile at the picture he had just created in his mind; she had been a tiny baby sparrow and she had grown up into a fine strong hunter.


Francis watched her too. He had always been surprised by the bold young lady who was brave enough to not only dress as a man might with delightfully surprising results, but to have taken up the sword with such skill. He knew very well that she had saved his life that afternoon in the alley, but what he witnessed then, paled in comparison to what he had seen since. It hadn’t been much; just the one event in Toledo and then here in Mayrit, plus some practices, but the depth of her skill had expanded tremendously since those early morning exercises in his courtyard. A learned man might see poetry in the written word, but a fighter saw it in the skilled perfection of the sword; what she did lifted the written word from the page and gave it a life attainable only in the imagination of the innocent.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving to all my wonderful fans. I have a very non-thanksgiving announcement, though. Though I suppose it is something I am thankful for. I have just started my own website. It is a work in progress so I would greatly appreciate any feedback there (or here) (or in an email) (or whatever) (ha) (can I keep doing this?) - ANNA'S PASSION

I look forward to your visits. I also hope you have a great Thanksgiving day.

Love ya all

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I started this blog to show off some of my writing.  I had, and have, no intention of starting to review movies though I may post a few reviews here, those I've done for some of my facebook friends or those I've done as a tradeoff.  However, I simply had to say something about this movie and this seemed like a good place to do it.  This too is a sample of my writing.  I hope I can convey my views without hurting anyone's feelings too much.


I bought this movie, as I'm sure others have and will, because of who is on the cover.  Our favorite Twilight vampire, Robert Pattinson.   Being a fan of the first two books and the first movie, I'm sure this movie is suddenly booming.  I was, however, totally disappointed.  Since I've never seen Mr. Pattinson in any live appearances, I can't honestly comment on his acting ability, but in my watchers experience, little that it is, I have discovered that handsome men commonly fall into two categories.  They either flaunt and market their looks like Brad Pitt or they are overly shy and would be much more comfortable in a shadowy corner.  At this point, I think young Mr. Pattinson falls into this latter category though I haven't really researched the issue.

The movie was appalling.  It took place during WWI I believe and Flight Lieutenant Jugg was wounded during a bombing run.  I'm thinking this was a very low budget movie because the cast was so small.  At any rate, you can't tell which man in the aircraft was Jugg and you can't tell that he got wounded, only that the plane took damage.

The next scene shows Jugg being dropped off at some deserted castle, paralyzed from the waist down.  Perhaps such occurrences were common at the time, I can't say, I chalked it up to his paralysis and his need for special care, something he got from an understanding nurse who became somewhat of a confidant.  I am aware of fuel rationings at the time so the announcement that the generator would be turned off at seven to save fuel was fine with me.

Jugg had an unnatural fascination with his brother's widow that I found disturbing.  Especially as she seemed to return the attention and yet insisted that she remain his aunt and wanted nothing closer - ever.  The was supposed to progress and show the young lieutenant's love of his aunt betrayed, and yet I saw little emotion in Mr. Pattinson's performance, perhaps that's why he made such a good vampire.  The only window into his troubled mind were the quiet narration of the letters he wrote to his aunt.

Throughout the movie, there were a few psychotic scenes and a lot of nightmares, though the only indication of them was Jugg's inability to sleep and fear of the dark.  According to the back, his beloved aunt betrays his trust and yet what does he do?   One night, he catches her with his doctor and rather than rile at his lot, or even internalize it as he's done with the rest of his problems, he waylays her and murders her while the doctor looks on.

The doctor, in his own right, was just freaky.  He liked spiders and brags about being able to control them to a certain extent.  He allows Juggs self induced isolation to continue, fueling it even by not sending his letters or delivering his aunt's.  He even tells Jugg that his bombing runs were right and for the good side, though I think this may be a common practice and belief at the time.  He even goes so far as to say that Jugg can leave any time he wants and yet the gates are kept closed and locked, not that a wheelchair bound man could go anywhere anyway, not by himself.

It is a theatrical performance that should have died on the stage - then again, I have a strong dislike for theatrical movies.  I can hardly stand Dune because of that and I love that movie.

I hope you don't waste your money on this movie.  And if I've insulted Mr. Pattinson, I apologize and I welcome his contacting me and setting me straight.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Night at the Inn - In TO BECOME WHOLE

He turned around to see Cepheid standing in the middle of their furs with nothing on.  She had lost weight and her ribs were plain to see, but that was not what he was looking at.  In fact, he wasn’t too sure what he was looking at.  He wasn’t sure of anything except the fact that she was so far away.
He was at her side without quite knowing how he got there.  His laces were being unruly, but her warm hands pushed his away and pulled the laces free before he could tear them out of his way.  His coat dropped away and his shirt followed soon after.  A chill rippled his flesh as she pulled at the lacings to his pants.
If his coat and shirt vanished with astonishing speed, she pushed his pants down slowly, and he melted after them, and found himself suddenly sprawling on the pile of furs that was the soft nest she had made.
She unlaced his boots and tossed them aside, then pulled the pants free of his feet with languid movements that took many detours back up his legs.  With hot hands, she rubbed his feet, each of them, slowly and carefully while Canis struggled not to pant.  Satisfied, she began to crawl up his frame all too slowly allowing the full length of her body to caress every inch of her path.  By the time she found his mouth with hers, he was putty in her hands.  He couldn’t have protested if his life had depended on it.  He wasn’t even sure he knew how to breathe.
She had curves in all the right places.  She was soft in such a fascinating way.  She took his hardness and consumed it with her heat.  She molded him to her demand.  He was lost in the sensation of touch.  Their climax shattered his senses.
Somewhere shortly before he fell into a sated sleep, he had a brief thought of how vulnerable they had been.  If someone had tried to attack them, it was entirely possible that he would have been utterly unaware until it was far too late.
I am here, friend,’ said Ggrrawrr.  ‘I watch over you as you watch over me.’
With a sigh, Canis lost the all too brief battle to stay on the alert.  It had been utterly washed away from him.  He slept.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Avalanche - In TO BECOME WHOLE

Until Canis turned sixteen, nothing more serious happened than a few new births, a few skinned knees and a few youths being greeted into manhood.  There were no illnesses, no miscarriages or even births that were more difficult than usual and no deaths in the clan.
Andromeda’s oldest son, Corvus was chosen by Aquarius’ oldest daughter, Carina, who later also chose Cassiopeia’s oldest boy Hydra and the new woman of the clan, Halley, gave birth to a fine strong boy and was happily pregnant again.
This time of relative calm gave Canis the opportunity to settle into clan life in a more normal manner.  Canis grew tall and strong with powerful wide shoulders and strong arms, narrow hips and long legs.  He no longer appeared years younger than his actual age.  His human heritage gave him longer bones and heavier muscles; it also gave him his face, as he never developed the profile of a clan male.
Though all of the girls let their eyes linger on him when he passed, none of them detained him more than social interaction demanded.  Unbeknownst to him, Nike had made it known from the first that she had her designs on him and Canis had made no secret of the fact that he intended to leave one day.
This time of happiness and peace couldn’t go on forever.  The winter of Canis’s sixteenth year was a year of heavy snowfalls and avalanches.  Not a week went by, but what another snowstorm brought several more feet of new snow.  Hunting became almost impossible and the hunters were forced to range far in search of meat.  Despite the help of their four footed citizens, they didn’t always return successful.
Canis and his usual hunting partners, Leo and Eridanus were no exception, though they seemed to have better luck than most.  It seemed that Canis had a good instinct when it came to finding game, but even someone with good luck can have a bad day.  They were on a hunt five hard days from home, when they were caught in an avalanche.  Canis had scant minutes to sound the alarm and it was almost enough.  Both Leo and Eridanus were able to make it free of the crashing snow.  Most of the wolves made it out of danger too.  Canis wasn’t so lucky.  Though he wasn’t caught in the direct flow, a flying clod of snow hit him in the head and knocked him off the trail, launching him into the ravine being filled with packed snow.
Two of the eight wolves that hunted with them were also lost in the crushing snow.  Rrusharr, who was closest to Canis at the time he was struck, was knocked off the ledge with him, but sustained little more than a few bruises.
When Leo and Eridanus found Canis, he was piled face down at the bottom of one of the giant trees that was out of the avalanche’s reach; he was also bleeding.  A cursory examination revealed three puncture wounds in his back, one high in his right shoulder and one low near his right hip.  The third one, deep in his left ribcage, still had the broken branch in it.  There was also a nasty cut in the center of a fist-sized lump on the left side of his head and a growing black eye.
Despite their grim findings, Canis was still breathing.
“Go see if you can find a sled, Leo,” said Eridanus.  “We need to get him back home as fast as we can.”
With the wolves’ help, the eighteen year old youth was able to find the sleds, but the first two had been smashed or broken and useless, the third was also broken, but intact enough that it could be used.
While Leo searched, Canis woke up and coughed, something, he discovered, he shouldn’t have done, as the pain from that shallow cough robbed him of the ability to breathe at all for seconds.
“Take it easy, Canis,” said Eridanus.  “Leo found a sled.  He’ll be back here in a few minutes.”
Canis, still sprawled face down in the snow, clutched at it as the pain washed over him.  As the tension increased, the amount of pain also increased.  When he started to tremble, he finally fainted.
They loaded him on the sled and tied him the best that they could.  It was impossible to make him more comfortable.  They had no warm pelt to wrap him in and he was forced to ride mostly on his belly, plus sleds are far from comfortable to begin with, made much more so when the rider is already in pain.
Canis drifted in and out of consciousness for the duration of the first day of their trek, but seemed to stabilize somewhat after that.  Each bump was agony and he sought the quiet of unconsciousness as often as possible, but with the tracker’s instinct running strong in his blood, not even that distracted him from keeping track of where he was, especially when he had a constant feed of sights, sounds and scents from five different points.
Leo and Eridanus toiled away day and night.  They took turns pulling the sled without stopping longer than it took to pass around the water skin, then fill it again with snow.  There was nothing to stop for, their provisions had been lost with the sleds and Canis needed to be taken home as soon as possible.  Even though there was nothing that resembled a healer there, neither of them would have done any less.  No one wanted to die out in the wilderness.
They were cutting across the terrain in search of their original trail and Canis was aware of this.  He also knew that he had led them on a twisted route in search of the elusive game.  “Head right,” whispered Canis for the wolves to hear; he would do what he could to shorten their trek.  It took his mind off the pain.
This change of course and its source got back to the Leo and Eridanus through their companions and they stopped to check on him.
“Did you tell the wolves to change course?” asked Leo.
With a white knuckled grip on the edge of the sled, Canis opened what he could of his eyes.  “Yeah,” he whispered then closed his eyes as he fought down the urge to cough.  His lips were already lined with blood.
“Are you sure we should turn?  How could you know where we are?” asked Leo.
Canis cocked half a smile.  “Have I ever . . . led you wrong?” he whispered then struggled not to writhe as a jab of pain lanced through his body.
“No,” said Leo, “no, you never have.”
After giving Canis another sip of water, they headed out again on the new course.  For the rest of their trip, Canis occasionally requested small course adjustments and in the end, he managed to cut an entire day off their trek.  Unfortunately, Canis had succumbed to blood loss and cold and he wasn’t aware of their successful return to the stockade or how much time he had saved them.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A whole new beginning - from TO BECOME WHOLE

Canis listened to the sounds out in the room.  Curled in his old blanket, he listened as his mother entertained another man.  He was drunk and loud.  His mother would have red marks on her face again when he left.  He could never ask her about them and when he touched them, she merely smiled sadly and held his hand away from them.
His mother had been entertaining men ever since he could remember, and ever since he could remember, Canis had been kept hidden away whenever a man was with her.  Sometimes, he was found anyway, either by one of her men or by the house owner, and they would travel for a while before his mother found them a new place, then she would start entertaining again.  She didn’t bring a man to their tiny room every night.  On those free nights, Canis’s mother would bring out some much-abused paper, and with a coal from the fireplace, they would curl up on the warm hearth and she would help him trace his letters.
Canis had no problem tracing the letters, but when it came to grouping them into words, it was as if he stumbled into a giant dark chasm.  His mother was very patient with him but she couldn’t understand how wide and dark that chasm was.  It was as if a vast empty hole was inside his head right where writing and speaking was supposed to be.  Canis could read though.  His mother read to him from their one tattered book over and over again.  Canis had the words of the story memorized but his mother didn’t suspect, not even when she caught him reading it; she merely assumed that he was only looking at the pictures.  There was no way he could tell her otherwise.
Canis was working on a surprise for her though.  Whenever she was away, he struggled to say a single word - Canis - his name.  His mother had told him once that it was the name of a star - that it had something to do with his father and his father’s family but he didn’t understand and he couldn’t ask. 
The first time he succeeded in uttering the whole word in one halting piece, it felt like a rope had been tossed across that vast emptiness.  It was like a single strand of spider’s web strung across a canyon so wide the other side could not be seen.  It was so small and fragile compared to the vastness but Canis could feel it and he treasured its hold.
When he finally showed his mother his achievement, she cried.  It wasn’t the response he expected but then she hugged him hard and told him how happy she was.
The man his mother was entertaining this time was stomping around, banging on the table and shouting about his plans.  Canis could scarcely hear his mother’s quiet voice as she tried to calm him.  The man ranted of riding and cutting but Canis didn’t understand it all.  He hoped he didn’t cut her hair; he liked her shiny copper braid, it was long and silky.  He would stroke it while she read to him.  Suddenly the man fell into the closet where Canis hid, breaking the door with his weight.  Startled, Canis growl and the man reached for him.
Cornered in the closet, he couldn’t dodge away so he was forced to fight back the only way he could.  His sharp teeth left four slices in the man’s wrist but that didn’t save him.  The man’s blunt nails scored painful welts across Canis’s chest as he grabbed for him.  He cried out when Canis’s teeth drew blood but the pain only seemed to increase his rage.  He pulled Canis out into the light and gave him a shake, roaring “changeling” for the wounding.  “You hid a beast in your closet, woman, a Changeling, I say; only animals have eyes that glow in the dark.  It was an animal that bit me, I say.  What is this witchcraft?  It’s bad enough that you have hair of the devil’s fire.  This spawn with an animal’s teeth is proof of your witchery.”  He shoved the woman from his path.
As he headed for the door with a snarling bundle of fury in his meaty hand Stephani wailed her denials.  “No, that’s my baby.  Look at him.  See, he’s just a child.  Give me my baby.  You can’t take my baby.”
The man wasn’t listening.  By the time he reached the common room, Canis was struggling in earnest.  Every time he came close to finding more flesh with his teeth, the man would give him another violent shake.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Canis in a Cage - from TO BECOME WHOLE - the second book of which King by Right is the first

Porter took them to the market square and to one of those massive stone building. Porter went inside while the rest of them waited. He came back out with a ring of four keys. Moving a couple at a time, those on the leashes were taken to great stone cages with bars on their front wall. When they were all behind bars and without their leashes for the first time, Canis found a dark corner and curled up with his arms around his knees. When the heavy metal door clanged shut, Canis winced as if he had just been struck. Had he known how bad this cage would feel, he would have made a break for freedom. Maybe he was growing used to his captivity.
“Gem,” said Porter. Even his voice made Canis flinch. “Try to get him to come out of that corner. He’s not for sale yet, but he’s got to start sometime.” Canis didn’t look up to see who Porter was talking about
“Yes master,” replied Gem.
While the metal collar had antagonized his nerves, the bars were positively suffocating, though there was plenty of room for them to stretch out or walk around. Sitting in a dark corner was no comfort. Even Gem’s gentle touch sent him cringing inside.
“Move around,” she said. “Let them see you,” she said. He tried but all that happened was his pacing the bars like a caged animal.
Porter saw this and gave Gem permission to desist her encouragement. His prowling was affecting the other five slaves in the pen.
Gem pulled him back to his corner but it was no use; once set in motion, Canis couldn’t seem to stop. In an effort to make Gem happy, he sat in his corner, but now that he’d moved once, he had to move again. He went and tested the bars but they were just as sturdy as before and still too close together even for his spare frame.
The first time he reached through the bars, he tried to follow his hand but the others pulled him away from his effort to slip through. Gem’s explanation of “we’ll all be beaten if you get away” was enough to halt that try but he couldn’t seem to stop pacing as long as the bars were close and freedom just on the other side.
His days in this cage became a grueling cycle. He’d pace to the bars and test their strength. He’d reach through, sometimes here, sometimes there, as far as he could reach without alarming his companions. He’d allow Gem to pull him away and head him back to his corner. In frustration, he’d curl up on his agony unable to cry, unable to explain the pain. Then the cycle would start again, he couldn’t stop, just as he couldn’t lie down and sleep. The nights were worse. Though they were further from such common noises as a couple having an argument in the night, the city sounds were still there. Armed men walked through three of four times every night and one night they chased another. Sometimes there was a catfight and sometimes it was a dog barking in the distance or the slamming of a door. there was no rest. Not here. Freedom was just there, just over there, so close yet so far away.

Monday, October 19, 2009

EMBER OF WRILOGONZIA - A Blog Opera - Part 3

Imagine her shock and dismay when things come back into focus... and finds herself standing on a grassy plain.  This can’t be Komosnia, and it certainly couldn’t be Mystik Falls; there didn’t appear to be anything magical about it.  It was suddenly cold enough that she could see her breath but there wasn’t any snow on the ground.  She looked around - I mean really - where had winter come from?  And then she looked around again; where were the others?  Even the Komosny that had been riding on her shoulder and talking her ear off was nowhere to be seen. The only thing her ever-increasing frozenness saw was a town but it looked like it was a stage set for a King Arthur movie or something.  There was this squalid little village all huddled up next to this wall that looked like it was built to keep out the local wildlife rather than a really determined knight in shining armor even though it was made of stone.  In the middle was this plain little castle or really big house - I mean really - since when does King Author’s castle not have towers?
It did look warm though.  Maybe someone in the castle had a computer.  It was obvious that thinking about pushing the keys on her own computer hadn’t worked, at least, not the way she had hoped.  Before she took that first fateful step, she looked back - just to be sure, she hadn’t stumbled through some door that was a lot closer and a lot warmer than the alternative.  Nada - with a sigh, she started her frozen carcass moving.
The village market was everything you could have hoped for from King Arthur in short-pants - nothing.  Not much anyway.  This had to be the poorest village in all of her imaginings.  There were a couple things though.  An old woman was selling what looked like pieces of dried meat rolled in sugar.  ‘Probably salt though,’ she thought to herself as she nonetheless searched her pockets for some money.  With nothing but lint to show for her search.  She was left to wonder if it really was salt, though her mouth watered for a little sugar just now.  Now if she passed someone hawking chocolate she’d very strongly consider mugging the person.
Suddenly the ground under her feet began to tremble and everyone around her was looking for the source.  ‘Great, just before I get there, the castle is going to be shaken to the ground by an earthquake.  What is it; can’t I have any luck today?’  She headed on anyway.
She hadn’t taken more than a dozen steps before she realized that the earthquake wasn’t ending.  There was nothing for it but to keep walking, at least she could almost feel her feet again.
The quake finally ended just as she reached the open gate to look in on a courtyard all abuzz over apparently nothing - nothing she could see anyway.  Unchallenged, she wondered on in hoping to find someone who would answer some of her questions and provide her with a little heat in the process.  To her surprise and pleasure, a plump woman found her.
“Here deary, you look half frozen.  Come inside by the cook-stove.  I’ll fix you a hot cup of tea.”
“Yes, thanks you,” said Ember, as she allowed the woman to guide her across the courtyard to a side door.
The woman continued to fuss.  “You shouldn’t be out here without a cloak, despite what the master’s doing.”
“I left my coat at home in the closet.  What did he do?” asked Ember.
“Well you shouldn’t have.  It’ll be snowing any day now, I expect.”  She waved away the question with a shake of her head.  “He’s such a fine lad but I just don’t understand what he’s done.  What’s your name, deary?”
It’s Ember, Ember Innocenzi.”
“Oh my word.  Such an exotic name.  I like it though, and I’ll have no trouble remembering it too, what with all the fire in your hair.  Don’t think I’ve ever seen the like before.  everyone calls me Della around here, unless they’re calling me mom.  I have three boys and two girls here, though you can’t tell by looking.  All of them are taller than me.  They get it from their father, their height.”
The door opened to a blast of heat.  It made Ember wonder if they weren’t entering an oven, though she certainly didn’t hesitate at the door.  The smell of fresh bread and some kind of roast simmering somewhere drew her inside like a magnet.
“You sit down right here,” said Della.  She sat Ember down at a massive plank table that was loaded with the coming meal in progress.  Della took one look at where Ember’s eyes were directed and began ladening down a plate with a sampling of everything that didn’t still need to be cooked.  After she set down the huge mug of steaming tea, Ember scarcely noticed the woman disappear.  She was starving and she was warming nicely.
Just as she was determinedly going to find room for the last grape on her plate, the little bug-eyed creature, Perhluna, sauntered across the table bold as can be and took the grape from her fingers.  “Just who do you think you are?” she asked, and then,”Where did you go?” blurted out right after - the question quite beyond her control.
“He, he, he, he, you are full anyway,” said Perhluna.  “You?  You appear to be lost.  How you managed to miss Mistic Falls, I have no idea, but this sure isn’t it.  You were lucky I found you.”
Just then, Della came back.  “Here you go, deary.  This’ll keep you nice and warm.”  She produced a heavy cloak lined with soft gray fur and draped it around her shoulders.  Ember looked over at her words and then quickly back - Perhluna was gone as if he - she - it had never been.
As if the kitchen wasn’t warm enough, and now she had a very full belly.  The mystery of where she was quickly drowned in mint tea sweetened with honey.
Ember sat there watching Della baste a roast in a massive oven and sipped at her tea.  It wasn’t long before her cheek found a fur-covered arm and her eyes were closing.  Just as the warm kitchen disappeared behind closed eyelids, she remembered she was going to ask after a computer.  She sighed, maybe a little nap first.

This was started by Carter -
This follows Crystal -

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

From KING BY RIGHT OF BLOOD AND MIGHT - Available on Amazon - The Mother's Touch

In the courtyard, off to the side out of the way, was a small wooden building of obvious age.  For as long as Harris could remember, it had always been locked and had gone undisturbed for years.  Harris remembered someone telling him that it was used for storing old things no one was quite willing to throw away, though he couldn’t remember anyone ever putting anything in it, and no one ever bothered to clear it out.
Daniella’s mother, however, was never so lax about such things.  When she discovered its true contents, she had stopped right there and showed her daughter, who was shaken enough to tell Harris.
Long before he could see what was inside, Harris began to feel uncomfortable.  He found he was unable to touch even the doorjamb, but when he looked inside, what he saw turned his blood to ice.  It used to be a shrine to the Mother, but layers of dried blood all but obliterated the features of the small statue.
“Blood sacrifices,” whispered Makkovik at his shoulder, “a lot of blood sacrifices.”
There were chicken’s feet tied around the wrists and neck of the statue in a macabre imitation of jewelry; a kid’s head crowned its head, with the tiny hooves draped over its shoulders and the rest of the desiccated skin hanging down its back in a gruesome imitation of a hooded cape.  Something once slimy but now old and dried was wrapped around its feet, as if to trip up or shackle the figure in the middle.  Other - mostly unidentifiable - things were strewn around in obscene arrangements.
“Are those entrails?” asked the boy of no one in particular.
Harris couldn’t look anymore.  He turned and moved several strides away, very close to being sick.  “Who has been doing this - for how long - why?”  He looked toward the palace, mentally searching his childhood memories for possible answers.
Daniella touched his arm in sympathy.  “We can’t leave it like this.  What should we do?”
Harris was shaking as if he was very cold.  “Destroy it all, smash every stone to rubble unusable for any building and burn every piece of wood.  If I can bring myself to touch the statue, I’ll see if I can’t clean it up somehow.”
Daniella nodded.  “Are you all right?  You’re shaking.”
“I’ll be fine; I’ve just never seen anything like that before.  It’s . . . it’s vile.”
Hardening his resolve and steeling his nerves to face it again, Harris took his cloak off and handed it to the boy just before entering the little building.
The boy’s eyes widened with astonishment as his hand brushed Harris’s and he said, “Get everyone out of the courtyard.  Everyone!”
Makkovik and the boy headed for the palace, while Daniella ran for the stables to get the horses and their handlers inside as well.
Inside the shrine, Harris stood in front of the statue.  He bowed his head and touched his sword hand to the stone that rested between his eyebrows.  “Mother, forgive us for this desecration.  Cleanse this place if You will, for we need Your presence among us.  Or take it back to Your womb, and I will build another.  Your grace and guidance is vital to the core of us.”  He allowed himself to sink deep into meditation, while a view of all the shrines he had ever visited marched across his mind, accompanied by all of the feelings and emotions he had felt at each one.
Lost in the Mother’s tender embrace, Harris was unaware of the changes going on around him.  The little building and its small statue with its grisly decorations, even the floor underneath it all, dissolved into dust and blew away on the cold wind that whipped through the courtyard without quite touching him.  Then the ground began to tremble, not hard enough to break the windows of the palace, but enough to get everyone’s attention.
All who watched, saw a large circle of rock grow up out of the ground around Harris.  The striations were a wonder to behold.  Every color the Earth had to offer was displayed in thick or thin streaks somewhere on the surface of the stone.  When the shaking finally stopped, there was a large stone dome where the old shrine had stood.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Long before she reached the doors, she missed the sound of the musicians that should have been filling the furthest corners with sound.  When she cautiously opened the side door to the great hall, the first thing she saw was several men, also in the black and red she’d seen too much of already, struggling with something she couldn’t identify.  It wasn’t until she followed the ropes up from their hands that she saw the hanging bodies.  Two of them.  They were wearing gold pants.  Their sleeves were red.  Both of them.  Their short armor was hooked in the back with a grappling hook.  The rope made a twisted detour around their necks before going up - up to . . . .  They were swinging but they were doing nothing to make themselves swing.  ‘Why were they . . . ?’  ‘Who were they?’  With horror, all the pieces fell into place.  Her brothers were hanging . . . had been hung . . . were dead.  Her brothers were dead.  Her eyes went to the throne.  ‘Father should have . . . .’  A gasp escaped before she could stifle it and his head turned.  His eyes found her and widened with surprise.  A sound came from his mouth or was it something else?  Was it a word?  ‘Did he say run?’  ‘Why was he so high?’  Her eyes looked for the answer and found only the flagstaff firmly planted upright ‘but how . . . .  Oh no, not that.  No, not that.  It couldn’t be.’  She tried to breathe.  The flag was on the floor soiled with more than blood.  Discarded.  Desecrated.  Another whisper came from her father.  She looked up in time to see his head fall forward onto his chest.

Friday, October 2, 2009


On April 22, 2008 at about 7:30 or so in the morning, I learned that my book, KING BY RIGHT OF BLOOD AND MIGHT was a real book. I was, of course, ecstatic. A few days later I got a package in the mail. You have to understand that at the time I was staying with my son; I had no reason to expect any mail I hadn't asked for. When I opened it and discovered a copy of my book, I think I was in shock. I mean, after all, it's one thing to know in my head that my book was now published - it's quite another to actually be able to touch it and turn pages made out of real paper and see the familiar words there on the page instead of on my computer screen. I don't think I stopped grinning for days. That evening, after work, my son and his wife took me out for a drink (I needed one). I was delightfully pleased when the bar gave me my drinks for free. I don't know who picked up the tab, whether it was the waitress or the bartender but it was really cool. As I recall, I had three drinks and I don't remember what they were called. My daughter-in-law, Stacy, wanted me to try one she liked and of course I like margaritas. I'm not sure what the other one was. Needless to say, I was still grinning like a Cheshire cat at this point.

Now, to top off this ecstasy, my son's neighbor went out and ordered a copy from Barns & Noble right away so about a week after touching my first book, she brought me her copy for me to sign. Once again, shock nearly overcame me and I came perilously close to forgetting how to write my name. My hand was actually shaking and I'm not prone to trembling hands, unless I'm cold. Ah, such is the very fond memory, now immortalized for everyone to share, of my first published book. We'll see if I go through the same thing next time. And yes, come hell or high water, there will be a next time.

More of my Obsession - DRUID DERRICK

“I present to the council Derrick Edward Johnson,” said Aboleth.
The use of his full name had a strange affect on Derrick; it left him reeling and dizzy.  Nearly panicked, he almost missed the first question.
“When did you first use your magic?” asked the Grand Druid.  This was the first Derrick had heard him speak and his voice was so gravely that any inflection was lost.
Clutching at the subject, Derrick said the first thing that came to mind.  He’d, of course, used magic for the first time several lifetimes ago.  “I suppose it was when I was a young cleric at the temple of Pelorus . . . ,” he started, but he was interrupted by a murmur around the gathering.
“You name a very old god, boy,” said one of the sitters.
Haltingly Derrick continued; he hated being the center of attention.  “Yes, well, it was . . . a very long time ago.  I don’t . . . remember . . . for sure, but I think I’ve lived five or six lives since then . . . .  There might have been more; my memories are very confusing.”
A woman spoke up, disbelieving.  “You’re claiming to remember several lives, any of which could have lasted a hundred years, using a round number.  That’s hundreds of years.”
“I am, but it’s even longer than that; there was at least two elves as well . . . maybe three, I just don’t remember clearly enough.”
The woman scoffed.  “The elves can live for up to eight hundred years, and you’re talking a possibility of three.  Just how far back are you trying to make us believe you remember?”
Derrick’s voice was starting to tremble, but he clenched his hands into fists and tried to do the math.  “Three elves - I think they lived full lives - that’s twenty-four hundred years.  I think there was a halfling - that’s around two hundred years.  I think there was a dwarf too - that’s four hundred years or so.  And I think there were five or six humans, some were clerics, most were druids - say five hundred years.  Altogether that’s thirty-five hundred years or so.”
“That’s nearly fifteen hundred years before Christianity,” said another sitter, incredulous at the very idea.  “I suppose that’s not too far off from the time of Pelorus.”

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

DRUID DERRICK - incomplete - my current obsession

Sam looked at the boy’s fearless eyes. Though he’d been able to subdue Pat and scare Mariah, he hadn’t made the slightest chip in this boy’s confidence. That, as nothing else, reminded him of the man he’d seen in the mountains, the same man he’d had nightmares about for two years now. He couldn’t fathom the connection; the nightmares had come before the possible sighting and that sighting had been a nightmare in and of itself. This boy looked like that man - a lot - but surely, this boy couldn’t be that man; it just wasn’t possible. “How about we take the fight outside then,” he said his eyes narrowing.

Derrick stood. “Fine.” He snatched up his staff and strode out the front door before Pat could object and the three men followed. Half way across the yard, Derrick turned with his staff at the ready. Sam and his men spread out around him.

“We’re not armed,” said Sam. “It wouldn’t be fair for you to be armed with that big stick. Why don’t you use your new sword?”

“My sword is sharp,” said Derrick. “I might cut you . . . or even kill you with it. Course I might kill you with my staff too; is that acceptable?”

They all laughed - three grown men against one collage kid dressed in cheap armor and he was talking about killing and asking if that was okay - what a crock.

“How about we even the odds a little?” said Sam and they all drew their preferred handgun.

“Three pistols against a wooden staff, a sword and a dagger,” commented Derrick. “I guess I’ll have to be very good at all of them, won’t I?”

“Is death still acceptable to you?” asked Mick.

“To the death then, and no mercy,” replied Derrick as he crouched.

Tom started to back out. “I’m not playing this game.”

Sam, however, wouldn’t hear of it. “You will stand your ground and fight this little twerp or I’ll kill you myself.”

Tom froze and then returned to his place.

“Woohoo,” crowed Mick and he leveled his pistol and started firing.

Derrick wasn’t to be found downrange. Even though they were less than twenty feet apart, Mick found tracking Derrick to be far more difficult than he had anticipated. Then Sam started firing as well. Derrick managed to land one hard blow on Mick with his staff before it was shot out of his hand but before Mick had even hit the ground - dead or not, Derrick didn’t care - he drew his knife and buried it in his heart as he passed over him in a long summersault.

With Sam’s bullets passing over him, Tom dove for the ground. Derrick rolled over him and dealt out a hard backhand to the side of his head, laying him out senseless in passing, then he rose to his feet drawing his sword in one fluid move.

Tom dropped his clip and slapped another one in place just as Derrick reached his feet. He managed to get off three more rounds before his gun hand was severed from his body, and then, before he could even gasp, that blade was screaming through the cold air directly for his neck.