Friday, December 25, 2009

(Recommended Reads) "Death Goes To Motoread" by Maria Protopapadaki-Smith

The band were leaving the stage to loud applause from the crowd as Death walked unseen into the venue...

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(NSFW Recommended Reads) " Winter Solstice Ritual" by Fantasia Lillith

For years she had celebrated alone. Yet, like so many things in the last few months, this too had changed.

A part of her was nervous, the other overjoyed. She had become accustomed to being a solitary witch. His presence although exhilarating, also threw her off her game a little. Deep inside her, she knew things would never be the same. She was now truly understanding the level of his commitment to them as a couple. It scared her. It pleased her...

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Role Playing Public Radio Dramatizes My rants

The Team That Couldn't Shoot Straight This ones new!

Achy Breaky Mythos

Death By Thumbs

The Bad Rifts Project

The D&D Session That Mostly Wasn't

These guys make me laugh at my own material!

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Seventy Five

Fighting in Harnett's Rebellion left Megan scarred and limping; the war left her a mercenary, her wounds left her cruel.

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Seventy Four

Doomsday Girl was alive! Captain Hero found it darn unnerving how often things like that happened in the superhero world.

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Seventy Three

A December snowstorm stranded Karl far in a motel full of strippers with boundary issues. It was the best Christmas ever.

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Seventy Two

It would have helped if the Voice of the Resistance hadn't been so squeaky and annoying.

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Seventy One

And what to my wondering eyes should appear but a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer! Yep the acid had kicked in.

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Seventy

Harry Balzak hated telling people his name.

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Sixty Nine

Every year corporate served a lavish Christmas dinner to all the employees and just to keep them humble they served venison.

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Sixty Eight

The superhero known as Amoeba Man could divide into two Amoeba Men but they frequently argued about which of them was the sidekick.

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Sixty Seven

Look,” Judy said. “I like the strong silent type but when we're screwing can you at least grunt or something?”

The Christmas Stories of Al Bruno III

Blood And Tinsel (a novella)

Acquainted With The Night (a novella)

Merry Christmas To All And To All A Good Fight

Thursday, December 24, 2009

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Sixty Six

Werewolves never tell anyone to have a Merry Christmas, some however will wish you Happy Howlidays.

THE LOCAL HEROES: Merry Christmas To All And To All A Good Fight

Merry Christmas To All And To All A Good Fight


Al Bruno III

Some superheroes patrolled the River city by leaping from rooftop to snowy rooftop, others flew and some just sat by a police scanner and waited; Captain Hero kept River City safe from behind the wheel of his specially modified taxicab. The red and white taxi made its way through the snowy streets, its headlights glinting off the Christmas decorations that marked every lamppost and window front.

A taxicab might seem like a strange way for a superhero to get about but it was a fuel-efficient mobile crime lab and the fares helped pay for costume repairs and medical bills. Citizens walking the darkened streets waved as he drove past, sometimes tourists took pictures but tourists were a rare thing in River City now that crime was the only growth industry. Things had been so very different in the 1980's, back when ShadoMask had still been active and the big time heroes from Megalopolis City had made regular flyovers. Now ShadoMask was either retired or dead and the likes of Commander Infinity and Mighty Woman could no longer be bothered to deal with the deformed mobsters and petty villainy of River City.

That was why Captain Hero never rested, not even tonight on Christmas Eve.

His patrol went on as normal, then after dealing with two purse snatchings and a kitten in a tree he spied a convenience store in flames. The owners were out on the street with tears in their eyes. The taxicab skidded to a halt and the Captain bounded out; he was short for a superhero, barely five feet tall and wore a costume of red and white, a cowl covered his face and a cape was draped over his shoulders. Unlike some of the new heroes he still wore spandex instead of molded plastic and Kevlar. His six pack abs were real!

Captain Hero realized he had forgotten something and bounded back to get his fire extinguisher. He cautioned the store owners to keep back and headed inside spraying , spraying chemical foam ahead of him.

The scorching heat pressed in from all sides, the edges of his cape began to singe filling the air with with the scent of burning Lycra. Soon he had the flames under control but the damage was considerable. As a small businessman himself he felt for the owners and wondered if perhaps he could get cyborg adventurer/contractor Rusty Johnson to-

Something crunched underfoot. He looked down to see broken bottles of dip all along the main aisle, there were footprints in the salsa. Footprints that could only belong to one man.

Captain Hero dropped the fire extinguisher and dove behind a holiday display just in time to avoid a burst of machine gun fire. Bullets quickly reduced his cover to festively colored shrapnel and the Captain had to make a run for back of the store.

“Take that hero!!” a mocking voice called.

And Captain Hero knew that voice, it was one of the Shellfish gang- the armored villain known as Overkrill. He strode through the store looking like a nightmarish stainless steel prawn (although Captain Hero didn't think there was a time when the sight of a stainless steel prawn wouldn't be nightmarish.).

“Using hi-tech armor to rob a convenience store?” the Captain tutted as he crawled from one aisle to the next, “I'd say that's overkill Overkrill.”

“You won't be joking when you're dead!”

“True.” Captain Hero pulled a box of wine from a shelf and tossed it towards in his adversary. It was quickly obliterated in a hail of weapons fire.

The fire was starting to re-assert itself, casting the entire scene into flickering shades of yellow and orange. Thick curls of smoke hung low in the air. Overkrill coughed as he walked through a particularly dense patch.

Coughed? Captain Hero realized.

“Keep talking,” Overkrill stomped through a pile of Hostess Twinkies, by the time he had past they were already returning to their original shapes. “I'm going to break your back, unmask you and deliver you to Boss Aragosta.”

The armored figure passed right by Captain Hero without seeing him; the red and white clad avenger knew he only had one chance to take Overkrill down. If he failed he might very well be unmasked, revealing his secret identity and worse yet his terrible case of male pattern baldness.

A burning rafter fell from the ceiling. The sound of sirens began to fill the air, began to drown out the roar of the fire, River City's finest were on their way. the Captain didn't want any of them getting hurt in the crossfire- it was time to put an end to this. He grabbed a handful of sneezing powder from the third pocket from the left on his utility belt and rushed up to his enemy.

It was just as he had suspected, Overkrill had neglected to add any kind of air filtration system to his helmet. He began to sneeze violently, each outburst marked by an eruption of gunfire. the Captain ran one aisle over and with a single well-timed push toppled a shelf onto the armored criminal. Once he was pinned the red and white clad avenger knocked him out with a kick to the head.

A few moments later the white and red clad avenger limped triumphantly out of the burning building dragging the limp form of Overkrill behind him. The police took charge of the villain and Captain Hero returned to his taxi before anyone could pester him with thank yous and requests for autographs because that wasn't why he did what he did.

Justice was it's own reward.

Of course the fares didn't hurt either, and he saw one waving him down just now.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Sixty Five

“There's nothing worse than outliving someone you admire,” Zeth said. “That's why I don't believe in heroes.”

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Sixty Four

She converted to Atheism to Catholicism because a good dose of shame made sex all the better.

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Sixty Three

History teacher Mr. Roberts had an unhealthy musk and a love of spicy colognes, when the students were bad he shut the windows.

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Sixty Two

Magwier sneered at the decorations, “Holiday sentiment to humanity is like sterilizing a blade before you slit someone's throat.”

5 Second Fiction Seven Hundred and Sixty One

A postal error sent many childrens' letters to Mexican wrestler Santo instead of Santa Claus, and a new Christmas special was born.

I have a new short short story available in the online magazine SHORT, FAST AND DEADLY

Thanks to Joseph A. W. Quintela for finding my work a home!

In The Shadow Of His Nemesis chapter forty three

In The Shadow Of His Nemesis

Chapter Forty Three



The front and back doors exploded open. Armed men in body armor stormed into the house, toppling furniture and filling the air with shouts. The laser sights on their weapons flitted over the walls. The bright yellow lettering on their bulletproof vests marked them as agents of local law enforcement. The three suspects in the living room dropped to the floor at the sight of them and were quickly restrained with zip ties.

One of the suspects sitting at the kitchen table was too stunned to react, his grip tightened around his hand of poker cards. The other suspect cursed and drew a pistol from a shoulder holster.

At the sight of the weapon everything erupted into chaos. Each of the tactical weapons specialists opened fire, killing both suspects instantly. One of the suspects in the living room screamed only to be silenced with a blow to the head. When the gunfire had ended a chorus of shouts went from one room to another as each group of armed men made sure the other was all right. The pulses of the dead men on the kitchen floor were checked in a cursory fashion.

The three suspects in the living room were dragged to their knees and photographs were taken with a digital camera. Movement was heard on the second floor and four of the tactical weapons specialists were ordered up the stairs to investigate.

Outside the plain blue two story house police, fire and rescue vehicles moved into place. The street was cordoned off and people were ordered to stay in their homes. Digital cameras were trained on the crowds gathering at the barricades. Ten minutes after the raid had begun a heavy-set man in an expensive suit exited from a car with government plates. He slowly made his way to the van that was parked closest to the house and found the senior officer on duty and asked if everything was secure.

“Yes sir.” Lieutenant Gabriel's uneasy frown deepened at the sight of the man, “three suspects in custody, two dead and one of them is holed up in an upstairs bathroom.”

“So by secured…” Special Agent Mario Krump said, “…you mean not quite secured.”

“He’s not going anywhere.”

“Don't be too sure,” Mario said. “What have they found?”

More special weapons and tactics officers were heading into the house, a helicopter passed overhead, both men craned their necks to watch. “Some guns,” Lieutenant Gabriel said, “some cash.”

“Is that it?” Mario bristled. He hated having to rely on the local police but things were stretched too thin right now, too many things going wrong at the same time. He imagined the officers inside the house looking under the beds and in the closets for meth.

Lieutenant Gabriel said, “Maybe if you told us what we were doing here.”

“The warrant said stolen goods and contraband. Is that so hard?”

“Patriot Act bullshit.”

The paramedics were heading in now, shortly they would be bustling body bags out to one of the waiting ambulances. The men at the bathroom door radioed to tell the Lieutenant that the suspect in the bathroom wasn't responding. He told them to give it a few more minutes, then break down the door.

Mario Krump poked the taller man with his finger, “What makes you think I know any more than you do? All I know is these idiots robbed a Trinity Advance Research facility.”

“What is a Trinity Advance?”

“They're a medical company, big into prosthetics and stem cell research.”

“Did these guys steal some kind of germ warfare shit? Do I need a biohazzard team?

“Do you think I'd be here if you did?” Mario's voice was almost gleeful in its contempt. If there was one thing he couldn't stand it was someone that didn't know their place in the scheme of things. Didn't the Lieutenant know that shit ran down hill? Homeland Security Senior Assistant Brian Hayes rained crap down on to Mario, and it turn Mario got to rain it down all over the Lieutenant and his Keystone cops. Just for the hell of it though Mario threw the man a few crumbs, “They stole classified research data, we're looking for laptops, flash drives, anything like that.”

“Finally. Was that so damn hard?” Lieutenant Gabriel started barking fresh orders.

“And let me know if they find any kind of graffiti.”


“It’s this thing they might paint on the walls or on a door. It looks like a big circle with three smaller circles around it. If you look at it right it kind of looks like a man howling.”

“Yeah.” Lieutenant Gabriel rolled his eyes, “Well keep an eye out for that. Anything else?”

That was more than the man deserved to know, but Special Agent Mario Krump wanted to get out of Troy, NY as fast as possible. The whole damn town was nothing but trouble and the last thing his career with Homeland Security needed was trouble, not when he'd managed to turn his career around, not when he'd managed to make most of the Federal bureaucracy forget he was one of the last of the Pharos Agents.

Project Pharos had been a federal agency created in the 1920's and tasked with investigating and debunking the criminals that passed themselves off as spiritualists or prophets. While they had done good work dealing with the murderous followers of the so- called 'Dark Gods' it had turned out that the director of the project, Victor Kovach, had gathered quite a team of thugs and grifters to become his agents. They all ended up killing each other in some kind of a meltdown, the causes and results of which are still being debated. Mario's old boss Gawain Wight had even been convinced that Victor was still alive but since Gawain and the rest of the team-Thalia Blackwell, Ben Gammon and George Butler- were either imprisoned, dead or on the run it didn't matter much anymore did it?

As far as Mario was concerned Project Pharos being absorbed into the Department of Homeland Security was the best thing that had ever happened to him. His specialties were appreciated and he got to spend considerably less time in the field. Of course s there were still days like this when he had to waste an afternoon moron wrangling.

There was another flurry of activity at the house, the paramedics and police officers were fleeing; they dragged the surviving suspects after them. “What the Hell is this?” Mario asked but Lieutenant Gabriel was too busy chattering back and fourth on his radio to answer, “I asked you a question!”

“He said he's got a bomb!” Lieutenant Gabriel turned to him, “And he wants to talk to you.”


“He says he knows you,” there was an accusation in the man's glare.

Mario shrugged and turned away, “Maybe he does but I'm not talking to him. Do what you have to but I want this wrapped up by sunset.”

“I'm not getting my men killed for you!”

“Then I'll have you removed and get someone that will.” Mario walked back to the car with government plates, what was left of his lunch waiting for him there. Not that he was really hungry he, just wanted something to pick at. That was half the problem of being in law enforcement, sometimes there was nothing to do but eat and finish paperwork.

He had actually come down with a case of gout a few months ago and that had led to kidney stones. These were things he always associated with old age, not middle age but the doctors told him his weight wasn't doing him any favors.

Well that wouldn't be something he would have to worry about much longer, once he was finished here the good people at Trinity Advance were going to give him a little corrective surgery at no charge. One of the rewards of learning to play ball with the powers that be, A lesson that his old boss never learned. His cell phone bleeped. Sighing to himself Mario answered it, “Yes Mr. Grant. Everything is secured, well not completely secured but its just a matter of time.”

The men in body armor stormed back in to the house.