Breakfast at Ihop

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Today I get to take  my daughter to the new Ihop here in Mcminnvile. I haven’t has Ihop since the one in Roseburg closed (boo!)

My littl girl is wearing her new witch’s hat headband, and loving the whole experience.

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The Training Video

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In the magical community, The Organization protects us from the world in general. Most people think it’s just keeping the pitchforks and torches at bay, but that’s just a small part of it.

It’s a delicate balance between being open with magic, and being in the closet. It’s been general policy to keep secrecy as our highest priority, but our precogs have determined that’s going to change soon. However, that’s not the issue at hand. In the 1920’s A startling discovery was made about the nature of our universe. Normies have had an interesting go at a few ideas like the many world theories, and they’re dead on, for the most part. Here’s the thing: Our reality (and most of the alternate universes) are a thin smudge enveloping (and enveloped by) some other space. Not a big deal, right? Wrong. There are Ancient Ones lurking in there, and they don’t like the fact that our space is a essentially a partition between more other space. They try to tear it down at every chance, by corrupting people on our side and making them open a gate for them. It’s worked for them a few times, but never on a scale large enough to pop our reality like a balloon, and reunite the other spaces.

Unfortunately for us, our minds cant comprehend the nature of these Ancient Ones without going –and this is a technical term– batshit insane. Some of our …weirder mages have had a meeting of the minds and figured out a way to protect ourselves from this encroaching madness.

The decision is that to protect ourselves, we need to become jaded. They discovered that by constant immersion to horrible things, we become desensitized to them. In order to ensure this would happen on the scale we need, a delivery device had to be invented.

So, behind the scenes, we fostered the invention of a technology that would quickly be adopted by the world, one that would mold the minds of everyone who used it, by providing both the stupidly cute, and the most horrific things that could be imagined.

That’s right! We invented the internet!

And it had made huge swaths of the population into jaded trolls who can flat out deny the madness with a simple “Lame shoop”, “Tits or GTFO” or “Seen better”.

So the next time you’re faced with a creeping extradimensional madness, you’ll have us to thank for your sanity. (but you’d better run away!)

So, we’d like to welcome you to the team!

Please report to Mr. Hartwood for your ID’s and if you’re assigned to the Sasquatch sighting assurance squad, your flea powder.

–The Management

11 Things You Should Never Say to a Writer

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SO true.

A Writer's Path

by Annie Earnshaw

As you can tell, I was pretty irate while writing this post and I’m not even published yet.  (I have to say “I’m not even published yet” because I’m trying to be positive after writing this excessively salty post).  Putting my personal vendettas aside, here is a comprehensive list of eleven things you should never say to a writer:

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Show and Tell (part 9)

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Previous Chapter

The slow, steady beeping from the monitors that sat by his bed roused Eddie from his sleep. His eyelids fluttered open slowly, and he struggled to focus his eyes. Now that he was fully awake, his senses sharpened, granting him a much wider field of view. To the left and right were two beds, holding Maddie and her mother respectively.

He tried to rise, but found himself unable to move his limbs.

From a speaker near the door, a voice blurted, “Hello there! You’re being held still for your safety, if you’ll just relax, the doctor will be in to see you momentarily.”

Sure enough, the door opened just a few seconds later, and a late-middle aged man entered, followed by his father, who didn’t seem to look any worse for the wear from the mauling he had received.

“I’m Doctor Herrera, and old friend of your father. The four of you seem to have had quite the scrape,” he inspected a tablet, and tapped its screen a few times.

“Son. I’m so sorry,” His father interrupted, “I tried to keep you safe. I guess I failed.”

Eddie pulled himself upright like a marionette using his mind, “Is Mads OK? I saw her…”

The doctor swiped his tablet, scanning the contents, “She’s received some head trauma, as well as a broken arm and leg. She’ll have a full recovery in a moment. She’ll wake when the treatment is complete.

“What?” Eddie blurted, a look of confusion clouded his face.

“Well, son, this is a special doctor, he normally treats  …special patients,” His father said, cautiously.

“Let me release the paralysis,” Dr. Herrera said, swiping back and tapping his screen, “Please refrain from using your powers for now.”

Suddenly, Eddie had full control of his body again, and swooned, but caught himself. He saw that Maddie had begun to stir, while on the other side, her mother lay still, inside an open meshed enclosure containing small machines that raced around on the wires, and casting invisible beams of energy over her wounds.

“It’s too much. I see too much.” Eddie groaned, rubbing the heels of his palms into his eye sockets.

The doctor tapped his tablet. “Please bring a sleep mask please.” Directing his attention back to Eddie, he nodded, “For now, please keep your eyes closed.”

Eddie nodded, and closed his eyes.

“I can still see!”

“Is it as intense?” The doctor asked.

“N-no.”

The door opened, and a cart was wheeled in by a short bald man, “Masks, sir.”

“Thank you, that will be all,” The doctor’s eyes scanned through the various masks, and lit on one. “This will do.”

He slipped the mask over Eddie’s eyes, and tightened it down lightly using its velcro straps, “Too tight?”

“No. It’s fine, thanks” Eddie’s shoulders slumped slightly, but perked up again, “Mads is awake.”

A groan from the bed next to him confirmed this.

“Yeah, Yeah. I’m awake. Unhook me from alla’ this.” She flailed weakly.

The doctor removed the probes and deflated the sheath that held her leg in position as it healed, before removing it.

“You should be fine now. Try to take a few steps.”

Maddie swung her legs over the edge of the bed, and eased herself off gingerly. Her eyes widened, “I’m healed!”

The doctor smiled, “Be more careful in future. Don’t waste my hard work.”

Maddie caught a glimpse of her mother, on the other side of the room and rushed to her side.

“Mom! What did they do to you?”

The doctor cleared his throat, “She’s had extensive damage to her face and hands. Give her another day, and you’ll never know she was hurt. We’re keeping her asleep until then, so there’s no complications with treatment.”

“Mads, I’m so glad you’re OK.” Eddie said, choking up, “You were thrown into the room like a rag doll.”

Maddie frowned, but quickly covered it with a grin, “I got too cocky, lesson learned, but more importantly….” She stared at his father intently.

Jake sighed, “Whelp. I knew this day was coming.”

Eddie stared at him through his mask, “You knew I had powers?”

His father looked embarrased, “No. Well, yes. But no.”

Eddie cocked his head, “One more time, but this time, go with one answer.”

“Ah, well. The powers are hereditary, and either you have them from the beginning, or puberty activates them.”

“Does mom know?”

He looked alarmed, “Gosh no. She’d flip her lid. And it’s gonna stay that way, you got me?”

Maddie held up an arm, “But I know, and my parents too.”

The doctor too this moment to interject, “That can be fixed. We used to have to ‘fix’ memories all the time, back in the day.”

Jake nodded, “So, that’s what brings us to this point in the conversation.”

“Not sure I’m liking your tone, Dad.” Eddie crossed his arms.

“I don’t like it either, but Sue and Ned are my best friends, and knowing this could be dangerous. More to the point, do I really want Ned to be haunted with the memory of his wife being tortured in front of him? It’s has him broken. I’ve been trying to talk him down for hours, and I’ll be honest. It ain’t going well.”

“What about me?” Maddie asked.

“Every hero needs someone to confide in. If you want, you can remember, but it’s a heavy responsibility.”

“I trust her. Always have.” Eddie said, reaching out towards her.

Maddie took his hand and squeezed it tightly, “Make them forget. Can you give them a good night out instead? Something sweet?”

Jake smiled, “Sure. We can do that.”

“Thanks.”

“OK you two, Eddie needs to have some more treatment soon, but if you two want to stretch your legs a bit while we clean up here…” The doctor said, opening the door  and beckoning Maddie’s father who had been waiting outside on an old couch covered in clear plastic.

***

The loud clunk of the vending machine dispelled the silence, he reached into the slot and pulled out the ice-cold beverage. He rolled it against his face, it’s coldness soothing to the touch. He popped the tab and took a deep swig.

“Well, Eddie. Our lives just changed in a weird way.” Maddie said, staring down at her own cola as she sat.

“It doesn’t feel real to me yet. Not really.”

“You mean despite the fact that you can see perfectly clearly when you’re wearing a light-blocking mask?”

He chuckled half-heartedly, “Yeah, despite that.”

“Well you’re a super hero now!”

“I dunno. I don’t feel very super.”

She scooted closer to him a bit, and kissed him on the cheek, making him turn a deep crimson.

“Well you are. Trust me.”

“Uh, thanks.” He took another deep pull on his drink to buy him time while he thought of something cool to say.

“You need a super hero name,” She said, rubbing her head thoughtfully.

“Do I?” He asked.

“You do. I got it!” She exclaimed, standing, “You will be called UnstEddie.”

He grinned, “I like it.”

 

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Show and Tell (Part 8)

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Eddie slammed into the room, startling the principal, who looked up from her bloody handiwork.

Principal Thrope scowled, “Dee! Take care of the kid. I think we’re about to finally have a breakthrough here.”

MissDemeanor nodded, and donned a mask.

“Unless you start seeing things my way, it’s detention for you.” She snapped her fingers at Eddie, sending a series of waves of light at him.

Eddie blinked. Yeah. She was right. His parents would be furious if he got detention. Better to just obey authority, that was safe.

“Yes ma’am,” he said, listing somewhat.

“Good. Now sit down, and be silent. This is a grown-up conversation we’re having here.” She pointed to a chair against the wall.

Eddie nodded.

That sounded like a great idea. He sat down and stared vacantly ahead, oblivious to his surroundings.

The tiniest of niggles wiggled in the back of Eddie’s brain. This wiggling became more insistent when the wall crashed in revealing a muscular man in a flashy costume.

No. Best to not pay it any mind. I might get in trouble.

But the man seemed awfully familiar though.

Ah. I see. He’s pretty angry. But the Principal is shouting something at him. Must not be very important, though, because he couldn’t seem to quite make it out. He’s just thrown a filing cabinet at her.

That niggle is back. This time, it’s back with a vengeance.

The big guy is shouting at me for some reason, but I’d be better off just ignoring him.

Maddie is thrown into the room, and slides to a stop beside Eddie, who looks down at his fallen friend. A brief ripple of emotion crosses his face, then he returns to looking into the mid-distance.

Miss Meanor points at the large man and shouts something very angry and very specific. He seems to have taken it seriously, and staggers a bit. As he did so, the principal leaped on his back, and revealed a mouth full of large –and lengthening– fangs, before burying them in his shoulder, he screamed out in pain, and that brought that persistent niggle to the very front of his mind.

That’s.

My.

Dad.

Eddie leaped out of the chair in horror as his father fell under the weight of the principal.

MissDemeanor gestured at him with both hands this time, but the waves of light crashed against him without effect.

Suddenly, everything came into focus. It was as if his entire life had been lived in a haze. He could see everything in the room in such detail, that it almost made him dizzy. He stared at MissDemeanor and could see into her. He knew what to do.

Reaching out with his mind, he touched her head.

MissDemeanor’s eyes narrowed and began shaking wildly before falling to the floor, trailing a plume of vomit as she went.

He turned to Principal Thrope, who had just realized what happened.  She stopped worrying his father with her bite, and growled at him, her features becoming bestial.

“Down! Bad doggie!” Eddie shouted.

As  he reached out for her head, he saw Helga enter the room, behind him. Raising her hockey stick in the air to fell him, he raised both hands to the air, feeling everyone’s position out.

“Everybody down!”

Like a sack of grumpy potatoes, Helga fell without resistance, but her mother continued to approach, unfazed by the vertigo he had inflicted on the others.

“Get back!” He shouted, and the principal was flung against the far wall.

With a yelp, the principal bounced with a meaty thud, but recovered herself easily and leaped at him, fangs bared.

Reaching out again, he caught her midair and found her jugular, pumping wildly with rage. He squeezed with his mind, blocking the blood flow until she passed out. Releasing her, she fell to the floor, looking more-or-less normal once more, albeit covered in his father’s blood.

Eddie fell to his knees, as a sudden wave of exhaustion swept over him.

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Show and Tell (part 7)

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Eddie paused as he saw Maddie charge down the stairs and around the corner into the basement of the school, and cast his eyes to the ceiling in frustration. She was surely about to get into a world of hurt, but if his father had imparted one thing to him over these years, it was that you never let a friend go into danger alone.

Even when you couldn’t actually fight.

Yes, his father had on more than one occasion suggested –sometimes forcefully– that he join Maddies martial arts classes, but he couldn’t find it in himself to do it. Not that he was a pacifist, it just didn’t feel right. His mother sometimes took his refusals as an opportunity to try to get him to come to the range with her, as she was not only a gold-winning Olympian in the marksmanship sports, but quite famous in the Single Action Sports Shooting competitions. (She had the reputation of being the modern-day Annie Oakley, but she insisted she was better than that, even.) But this too, didn’t quite fit his style.

Despite all of that, he found himself hurtling his way into the dimly lit basement, hot on Maddie’s tail.

***

As she dashed down the stairs, she felt her heart rate raising, and through her training, her vision became sharper, revealing a figure standing at the end of the hall. Through her heightened senses, she recognized Helga, a sixth-grader who was not only the head of the field hockey team, but the principal’s daughter, and she was prepared for company, holding her hockey stick over her shoulders.

“Well Well. Madison, right?” she sneered, “Hope you’re ready for a whoopin’.”

With a well practiced move, she spun the stick off of her shoulders, and into a ready position.

Maddie grinned. She ate bullies like Helga for breakfast. It seemed weird that she had never come up on her bully radar, though. Regardless, she streaked towards her and leaped with a flying front kick, but was dodged easily. It seemed that she may have underestimated her opponent. She spun her stance, and threw a tornado kick.

As her foot arced towards Helga’s head, she interposed her hockey stick in between them, and a sharp pain flowed up her leg and out of her as a shout of agony, her stick was reinforced! She managed to tumble away and back up, wincing as she put weight on her foot.

“This is no good,” she thought, “I think I fractured my leg.”

“Eddie! Get in there, I got this!” She shouted, and advanced on Helga again.

***

Eddie saw the two of them mix it up with a flash of motion, and Maddie come out worse for the wear. Despite that, she still had the swagger to keep fighting. He sometimes wished he was like that, but as it was, he seriously hoped he wasn’t about to be pulverized by a cranky sixth-grader with a blunt object. Taking advantage of the highly polished linoleum flooring, he dove to the floor as he neared the melee, slid past them and thankfully out of the range of that brutal looking hockey stick. Standing, he approached the door and saw the principal reaching back to take another swing at Maddie’s mother.

Taking a deep breath, he pulled open the door and charged inside.

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