Show and Tell (part 2)

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Maddie’s heart thumped loudly in her ears. She had only seconds, and she knew it. The bed was too obvious. Only a noob would hide there. The louvred doors of the closet caught her eye. Without a second thought she slid them open silently and pressed herself behind her parents clothes, closing the doors behind her as she went.

The bedroom door opened with a near-silent click, and Eddie snuck in. He paused, ears straining to catch a clue as to her location.

    Ah! My feet!

Maddie looked around, grateful for the light that streamed in through the slats, casting a golden glow over her parent’s clothes. She thought about grabbing the bar and hoisting herself up, but discarded that idea because her hands would then be visible. Having spent the last few years taking Taekwondo, she was pretty agile for a ten-year-old.  Silently pulling herself up on the bar, she spread her legs and just managed to touch the sides of the closet. Shifting herself she let go of the bar and leaned back against the wall, confident that she was completely obscured from sight.

***

    Eddie had narrowed down the possible hiding spots to two rooms. His gut told him to check the bedroom first, and he had learned in his ten years, was that you always went with your gut. Pushing his glasses up with the tip of his index finger, he opened the door and crept inside, wincing as it clicked silently.

First, a token glance under the bed that dominated the center of the room. He knew Maddie wouldn’t have chosen such an obvious hiding place, but better safe than sorry.  Pausing, he cocked an ear, then walked around the bed, taking note of places that might contain his friend.

Feeling that he was being watched, he turned to the closet door and smiled.

“Gotcha, Mad.” He pulled open the doors in a flash, but didn’t find her.

Scrunching up his face, he hummed thoughtfully.

A sudden squeak of suprise and a thump made him spread the clothing apart. On the floor behind the clothes lay Maddie, half-inside a void in the closet wall that had suddenly opened.

“Owowowow, my butt!” Maddie rolled to her knees with a sulk, “You got me.”

“What’s with the wall, Mad?” Eddie leaned in for a better view.

“It’s too dark, hit the switch.”

Eddie flipped the switch, and to his surprise, not only did the closet light come on, but a second light, inside the mystery area.

“Ahmegershness. Ed. Get in here!” Came her voice from within.

Pressing inwards, The hidden panel revealed a further three feet of closet that had been sealed away. An illuminated stand dramatically lit two costumes displayed on the back wall, one in reinforced glistening black carbon fiber with utility belts with interesting gadgets, chunky armored boots and a tactical mask that looked like a skull.

The other was clearly feminine, resembling a cross between a Sci-Fi ninja and a tiger, complete with a cat ear headband. A display of weapons, both thrown and hand-to-hand, were displayed on the wall behind it.

Eddie stood there, slackjawed in amazement. He noticed another display, somewhat less prominent, off to the side which held an open photo album. Within, were photographs of four people in costume and news clippings, two of them, in the costumes displayed to his right, and another pair, The first looking much like a golden-age superhero, floating a good foot off of the floor beside the others, and the last, another woman who was strapped with a pair of pistols, numerous magazines of ammo on harnesses, and had an unusual looking helmet.

“Mad? Am I crazy or is this my dad?” He placed his finger on the floating man.

Muscling her way in to get a closer look, she gasped. The resemblance was uncanny, despite the half-mask that obscured his face.

The two of them flipped through the book, and saw the four costumed people doing more and more unlikely things.  Stopping an alien invasion, A giant badger, crushing a drug cartel, a handful of supervillains.

Maddie grabbed the book, “Cmon. Back to my room. I think we just might have the best Show-and-Tell ever.”

 

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Show and Tell

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“OK, Jake. You gotta tell me, How did you know that that guy was the one we could trust?” Ned said, setting his half-finished can of cola on the table with a loud thump.

Jake’s face split with a wide grin. “Simple. When the lycanthropic change happens, it’s very high energy. That’s why most were-critters are super aggressive on the full moon they’re going through a super painful process.  The pain from having the change is mitigated when the body can use body fat as fuel. So the fat guy was the one we could bet on keeping his head.”

Tina slapped her forehead and groaned, “I thought he was fat from eating lotsa people!”

“One more pie, guys,” Susan deftly snagged the empty pizza box from the table, and replaced it with a fresh one.

“Thanks sweetie,” Ned patted her affectionately on the thigh as she took her place among the other gamers.

“You’re sometimes too predictable,” Jake said around a piece of pepperoni pizza. “Not that that’s a bad thing. It just means that  we can use your world rules effectively.”

Ned nodded, pursing his lips as he ruminated on Jake’s retort. “Well, I can’t even be mad. That’s the point of the world rules, I just never thought you were paying attention.”

“So, Ned and I thought of a great prank,” Susan said, pulling a slice from the box.

Ned grinned and blew her a kiss, “Yeah we did, but all the credit goes to miss Suzy-q.”

“But we’re playing the long game here guys. And all of us are going to participate, no arguing.”

“Get to the deets, Q” Tina said, gathering her polyhedral dice back into the tattered felt crown royal bag that she had been using as a coaster.

“OK, so you know that Ned and I are trying to have a baby, and since you guys,” She nodded at Jake and Tina, “Are a few months into the oven, we thought that since we are a group of nerd-positive and higher-than-the-mean intelligence groups, we would play a trick on our future nerdlettes.”

Tina sat up straight, her errant dice forgotten, “You has my attention. Tell me more.”

“Well,” Susan began, setting her pizza down, and licking the tips of her fingers, “Remember that year we went to SuperCon in full costume?”

“Hell yes, I do. That’s where I met Jake!” Tina winked at her husband with a leer.

“Great, so here’s the dealio. We all remake our costumes. Really pour the effort and time into it. Spare no expense.”

Jake furrowed his brow, “I don’t know if I like where this is going…”

“Shut it, Jake. Let the woman talk.” Tina elbowed him roughly, “Please continue.”

Susan grinned, “Well I have a friend in the office who was a art major, and he posted a bunch of really cool looking newspaper articles in his cube. But the thing is, they’re all fake. So I thought, What if we make scrapbooks of news clippings that make it look like we’re all superheroes and hide them with the costumes in our closets where our kids will find them? How cool would that be?”

Tina bounced in her seat, “Yes. So much yes!”

Jake sighed and mumbled into the rum and coke that he had been nursing for the last hour.

“Why are you being such a negative Nancy? You don’t even have to work on your costume, yours is still in perfect shape.”

“Yeah,” Jake said, tossing back the remainder of his drink, “perfect shape…”

 

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Colossal

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Just saw this movie.

So good.

Kaiju monster trashing Seoul. Sexy leading lady. So much good.

The story gets surprisingly deep.

That said, I’m an investor in a company that had a hand in it.  Legion M.  Look it up. Invest. It’ll be worth your time (and money)

Be a part of the legion of fans who will reshape the entertainment industry!

 

Jason, reforged. (excerpt from book 3: A Recipe for War)

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Three separate cauldrons poured acrid fumes into the air. Lit from within, a bloody red glow illuminated The Professor’s face.

The golem glanced to Jason, who knelt nearby, desperately trying to remain calm.

“Are you ready?”

“Do you mean I can back out?”

“No.”

“I guess I’m ready, then,” Jason extended his smoothly scarred stump towards The Professor and averted his eyes. “Will it hurt?”

“Oh, no. Not even a tickle,” The Professor glanced at Althea and winced, nodding.

Althea, looking a bit panicked, swooped across the room and took a place behind her fiancée, then gave her golem a thumbs-up.

The Professor cleared her throat, pulled a wand from her lab coat and tapped the lip of the first cauldron. A large ball of molten titanium rose, glowing brightly. A second tap on the next one, caused a ball of molten gold rise to float next to the first.

The Professor stuck her wand behind her ear, and extended both hands outwards. Her eyes closed, she drew the two balls of liquid metal towards each other. As they neared, each released a tendril of material towards the other. As they touched, a dramatic sparking began crackling between the two, and they married, flowing into each other, becoming a large ball of magically charged metal.

“OK, Jason. Here we go. The prep spell I put on you earlier will facilitate integration.”

Retrieving her wand, The Professor muttered a short incantation and with small precise flicks of her wand, the molten metal sphere moved slowly towards Jason, who flinched from the heat.

The Professor reached towards Jason, palm down and wiggled her fingers, as if operating a marionette.

Jason straightened his arm out more and stiffened, held sway with magic. “Babe, I’m scared.”

Althea stroked his face and kissed him on the top of the head. “I know,” She nodded to The Professor.

Nodding back, the golem urged the sphere towards Jason with the wand. A tendril of radiant metal gently reached out and touched the scarred stump that was the remains of his forearm. Foul smoke and the smell of burning flesh erupted from the interaction.

Jason screamed as the molten metal found the severed ends of his radius and ulna and began working its way into and around them.

“Don’t worry. The spell is making sure your body isn’t being damaged.” Althea hugged him tightly from behind.

As the metal worked its way into his body, Althea jerked away with a shout of pain. The pajamas that Ooedo loaned him burst into flame, tracing the metal’s progress through his body until only ashes and scraps of cloth remained. The last bit of metal formed a cap around the stump, still glowing brightly.

The Professor began inscribing magical script into the metal with the tip of her wand in a fast but meticulous fashion. As she finished, she held up her left hand and touched the tip of her index finger and thumb, as if saying “OK” and blew through the hole, causing white frost to pour through.

Jason’s screaming subsided into ragged breathing and whimpers as the frost cooled the metal that had coursed its way through and around his skeleton.

The Professor released her spell on him and nodded. “Good. Lay him on the futon. It’s time to make the arm now.” She gestured to Hikaru,  who scurried to her side, carrying something wrapped in cloth.

Tapping the cauldrons again, she brought another pair of molten metal balls up, fused them, and moved them to the third cauldron, where it sank out of sight, save for the glow from within.

Hikaru unwrapped the package revealing Jason’s severed arm, now covered in runes and markings. He placed the arm before The Professor, who inspected the work for the hundredth time that day.

“Well. This is it. Hikaru.” She gestured to her assistant.

Hikaru nodded, picked up the forearm with a set of tongs and lowered it into the cauldron. Black and foul smoke poured forth and was fanned away by The Professor. Standing on some books, she peered inside and nodded with a smile. She blew frost into the cauldron, cooling it down, and beckoned for Hikaru again.

Hikaru reached in and pulled out the forearm, which besides having swollen somewhat, seemed unchanged.

The Professor grinned “Gimmie.”

Taking the arm, she began pulling off the skin, revealing bright gold metal.

“It’s beautiful,” Hikaru blurted.

“Yeah. We do good work.”

Hikaru blushed deeply at her praise. “No, it was all your work.”

She turned and approached Jason who lay naked and whimpering. “It’s ready.”

“He’s out of it for a while, “ Althea said, stroking him.

The golem nodded and held the golden forearm’s flat end to the cap that covered the end of Jason’s arm. The two of them snapped together like magnets. “At least he’s whole again.”

continued…

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The leprechaun tugged on his curly beard and furrowed his brows. “Well,” he began slowly. “I’m hearing ya, but I’m going to need a bit more to go on.”  He raised a hand and snapped his fingers to draw Ramon’s attention.

Glancing over to Gilligan’s extended hand, the world exploded in bright lights as the little man sucker punched him with a right cross. Staggering, he shook the stars from his eyes and fell back into a fighting stance

“Little man, you stepped over a line.”

“Oi!” lightning speed punches punctuated Gilligan’s speech, “I am not, nor ever have been, a man. I’m Folk. Don’t make that mistake again.”

Ramon, completely stunned by the swift attack by the leprechaun, swung wildly and attempted to put some space between the two of them, but lost track of him, and spun to get him back in his sights.

“Here it comes.” Gilligan shouted, popping up into an uppercut, but the decisive punch never landed, as Ramon staggered to the left, and instead carried him past his target.

Ramon planted a foot into Gilligan’s back and kicked him, tumbling to the ground. He spat blood and advanced on his target, who had tumbled to his feet, rather than staying down.

“Once again!” the leprechaun advanced on Ramon. The two of them exchanged blows back and forth for minutes, but no real damage was done on either side. Every few attacks, Gilligan would try some outlandish move which either missed outright, or was foiled by something in the environment.

Finally a look of understanding dawned on Gilligan’s face. He  ducked lower and sped up his attacks, breaking  Ramon’s defense utterly, sending him to the floor, where he weakly tried to stand, before giving in.

“Well,” Gilligan started, as he leaned over Ramon, “I think I know what’s going on here.”

“So clue me the fuck in and start with why I just got my ass beat,” Ramon gasped.

“So,” Gilligan said, offering a hand. “You’re being blocked. Maybe a curse. Not sure. You’ll have to have that looked into. Not my specialty”

Ramon took the offered hand and rose unsteadily.

“Blocked?”

“Yeah. Whoever did it half-assed the job, though. Your luck is so powerful that it skewed every single lucky attack I threw. Any one of them would KO an Ogre, so It’s clearly keeping you alive in emergencies, but can’t be used directly.

“That’s bad,” Ramon gingerly ran his tongue around in his mouth to find wounds. “It sure as shit didn’t save me from a whoopin.”

“Don’t think so hard on it. C’mon, I have some whiskey that needs drinking.”

Ramon grunted and followed the leprechaun inside the rear door of his cabin.

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Ramon cocked his head at the little ginger man who was, frankly, looking more and more annoyed as the seconds passed.

“Dammit. Just throw the card into the fooking hat.” Gilligan said, his voice tremoring towards shouting.

“Keep cool, man. This is Miss Nancy’s family”

“Sir.” Ramon said tensely, “I’ve been trying.”

“I dinna say try, I said do it! Just do it!” The Leprechaun tugged on his bright orange curls in frustration.

Ramon tossed another card, which spun lazily towards the top had that sat on the grass about three yards away.

“No! Like this!” he snatched the stack of cards from Ramon, held them up and stared him in the eye, and with deliberate slowness, drew a card, and flung it backwards over his shoulder.

The card spun and sailed in a delicate arc, landing in the top hat.

Drawing again and again, he repeated the process six more times, each time the card landed in the hat. He then shoved the remaining cards back at his student, who took them begrudgingly.

“Man, I just don’t have the skill…”

Gilligan sighed, “Son, if this were about skill, I’d cry along with you and go have a drink. But this ain’t that. This is about luck, so stop your sad-sacking you mopey moor.”

“Man, how many times, I gotta tell you, I’m Mexican!”

“No! You’re a seventh of seven! You’re that above all else. Never forget it.  You’re drippin’ with luck, why the hell can’t you use it?

Ramon laughed. “Man, if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.”

Hey, do me a flava.

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Most artists are neurotic about their ability. I am no exception.

It would really help if, when you find a post you like, you’d take just a few seconds and write a comment.

It would help me a lot.

Please and Thanks,

–Felix