Show and Tell (Part 3)

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Having figured out the gimmick to make the secret panel close again, the two of them snuck the scrapbook into Maddie’s room, where the two of them pored over its contents carefully.

“I can’t believe it! Our parents were superheroes!” She squealed.

“I know! We gotta show our friends! They’re going to be so jelly!”

“Supa jelly!” Maddie nodded, closing it with finality and shoving it under her pillow.

“Tomorrow then?”

A car horn tooted twice in quick succession.

“Ah! Your mom’s here. Check your place to see if your parents have anything.” She spun Eddie around and shoved him out the door of her room.

“Yeah, yeah. I’m on it.” Eddie waved as he snagged his book bag from the couch and headed out.

***

“Hey Mad,” Eddie said as his best friend slid into the bench of the cafeteria table beside him, “You bring it?”

“You betcha,” she grinned, “Ready to get this show on the road?”

He grinned manically, mimicking her “You betcha.”

A few minutes later, the two of them had a large crowd of students around them jockeying for the best spot to see the scrapbook. Even before the first bell had rung, the entire school had heard about it, which suited Maddie just fine, because neither of them had ever really been the center of attention of anything.

“Hey, Maddie,” Julie whispered, “Are your parents still superheroes?”

Maddie shook her head, “I’m pretty sure they retired, my dad is an IT manager. I can’t really imagine him going out and fighting crime anymore. It’s a career for the young, you know. He’s almost thirty-five.”

“Wow, that’s old.”

“Yeah, but he’s still active.”

Julie nodded as if she had grasped something deep and wandered away.

“Ah, I’ll see you at lunch, Eddie. Gotta get to science class,” Maddie closed the notebook, and shoved it under her arm.

“OK, Mad. I have something to show you too.” Eddie held his fist out, and it was met with Maddie’s, “Later chick.”

***

Mr. Horowicz tapped the blackboard with his pointer.

“And if you move further into the solioquy, you’ll see more phrases that have been taken into common usage. For example, Here, where it says  ‘When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,’ and further down, ‘The undiscovered country, from whose bourn no traveler returns’ Who can tell me how these were used in pop culture in the late twentieth century?”

Eddie had only been listening with half an ear, as he had been fiddling with a gadget that he had snuck off of the utility belt of the costume in Maddie’s closet.

“Mister Polowski!”

Eddie jumped up, the unknown gadget tumbling to the floor where it began to slowly unfold.

“Ah, yes. There’s a Star Trek reference there, sir.”

Mr. Horowicz glowered at Eddie for a moment, then glanced to the floor where the device had unfolded to reveal itself as some sort of a mini drone, “Yes, that’s right. Do I really have to tell you that we don’t allow toys in class?

The bell rang, and the class immediately began to leave, causing Eddie to snatch the drone up, to keep it from being trampled inadvertently by his classmates.

“S-sorry! I forgot I had it with me.”

His teacher grunted and dismissed him with a wave, which Eddie gratefully accepted, grabbed his things, and joined the press of bodies heading into the hall.

 

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On The NecroNomNomNomicon series

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I was asked recently, “How can I call my series Lovecraftian, when the world is seemingly humor based?”

I admit, it was a good question, and although I know the answer, I never brought it up with anyone other than my brother Travis.

Here’s the f’real deal.

The original Lovecraftian world is dead serious. As well it should be. Folks don’t often get out alive or sane. And that’s kind of a problem.

A group of mages who were tasked to prevent Mythos type uprisings realized that the very nature of them tended to completely ruin a normal person’s life with just a glance. Sure they were usually fine themselves, but that’s what they’re trained for, but not the average guy.

What to do.

So they took it upon themselves to change the world in a very literal way. They molded pop culture, and guided technology to essentially jade the masses against what would make your 20’s era gumshoes lose their nuts. All the super HD horror movies, apps, television and other new and exciting things have gradually been desensitizing people against the reality-warping sanity-shredding nonsense from other universes.

Think about it. How many people do you know that would LOVE to see a zombie apocalypse? (raises hand)

Exactly.

The humor is a defense against the impossibleness of the Mythos.

But there’s more to the defense than that, but it’s a secret!

–Felix

 

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.