Saturday, March 6, 2010

(Recommended Article) "The Call of Cthulhu (2005): Enjoy the Silence" by The Lightning Bug

I've been known in my time to rail against people who won't watch a film because it is old or ~gasp~ worse yet filmed in black and white, and I've talked trash about people who won't check out foreign cinema just because they won't read subtitles. What I've never mentioned is my own shortcoming as a film viewer, the silent film. While I've sat through quite a few of the more popular titles like Nosferatu, Metropolis, and The Phantom of the Opera, silent horror and drama fail to capture my attention (comedies on the other hand by the likes of Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin are always enjoyable). I've given it the old college try quite a few times. I think I attempted to watch Lon Chaney Sr.'s 1920 film The Penalty four times before giving up. The problem comes down to this. Without dialog to listen to, my mind tends to start wandering. It's not something I'm proud of, but silent film is my movie prejudice...

click here to read the rest

(Recommended Reads) Evolution of Silverware, OR, “Do you believe forks evolved from spoons?” by John Wiswell

"Well, do you?" asked the knife. "You know how to kill a mood," said the spoon. "We're finally both clean and alone, I just laid down a fresh napkin, and you have to bring up relatives." "So you think they are descended from you?" "We do not have a common ancestor. Do I look anything like a fork to you?"...

click here to read the rest

(Recommended Reads) “You Must Not Fall. You Must Remain Safe.” by P.J. Kaiser

Bodies pressed against Gerald as he gripped his cane in one hand and the subway pole in the other. The throng swayed in unison as the brakes began to slow down the F train and it slid into the 23rd Street stop. People moved toward the exits and Gerald heard a crackling sound over the loudspeaker. "You must not fall. You must remain safe," said an authoritative male voice. Gerald looked up in confusion as if to find the source of the voice - what a strange thing for the driver to say. Then it came again, "You must not fall. You must remain safe."...

click here to continue

(Recommended Article) "Who Can Kill A Child?" from The Horror Digest

Who Can Kill a Child among others things has been referred to as an abomination, a masterpiece, a rip off of movies like Village of the Damned, and the victim of ripping off by Stephen King. What is it really? Well, it is most of those things, but it is also one of the finest examples of red paint blood that exists AND entirely thought provoking and possibly even a little bit terrifying. Terrifying of course in the sense that the things, the "themes" happening here are some of the more twisted and complicated ones that I've come across in a long time. I may never know what it is exactly that this movie is trying to tell me, or what it is I'm supposed to get out of it, but I do know that something is eating at my brain and I don't really like it...

click here to read the rest

(Recommended Reads) "Following A Pattern" by Jim Dempsey

The boy slid his fingers round the open edge of the corrugated iron door. It was a door without a handle, without a frame, without a lock. It was, in fact, a rectangular piece of corrugated metal filling a deliberate gap in a mud-brick wall. Its hinges groaned as the boy prised it away from its rightful place; exposing the gap, not covering it...

click here to read the rest

oh My GOD - Most Terrifying Star Wars Fan Video Ever!

(Recommended Reads) "To Make Sense Of It" by Taliana

Ever since I saw the dead bird on the sidewalk when I was a child, I knew I wanted to be a writer. More than anything, I wanted to describe the reddish hue of its spread wings, the glassy stones that had become its eyes, the way the natural shroud of death had spread over the bird completely...

click here to read the rest

(Recommended Reads) A Friday Flash Submission by Virginia Moffatt

The bus rattled along the bumpy road, through miles of brown rock and pink dust. It was not the image of desert I'd had in mind when Lee suggested the trip. I knew it was irrational to feel disappointed when we reached the oasis on the outskirts of the town. But images of palm trees, shimmering water, camels and sand dunes were hard to shake off. Mud, a trickle of water, and scraggy trees were poor substitutes...

click here to read the rest

The trailer for '100% Lucha: El Amo De Los Clones'

Do details really matter when you're dealing with a kids' adventure film revolving around a squad of masked wrestlers doing battle against cloned versions of themselves? Really? Okay ...

click here to go to TWITCHfilm and learn more.

(Recommended Reads) "Surf's Up" by Laura Eno

hronos flopped down on his sofa, grateful to be back home after the strain of holding time in neutral for twelve hours straight. Suddenly, 'Surfing USA' assaulted his ears as Death plunked his bony frame down next to him, the earphones from his iPod reverberating the music much like a pinball machine would bounce a ball...

click here to read the rest

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Ninety Two

Bad enough the Maven had escaped from their deathtrap but then to find out she finished the NY Times Crossword first? And in PEN?

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Ninety One

He crashed his crotch rocket while trying to use an ear candle and barely escaped by the skin of his teeth.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Ninety

Cyrborg redneck Rusty Johnson added a flame thrower attachment just in time to be the torchbearer for the Monster Truck Olympics.

Friday, March 5, 2010

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Eighty Nine

He really got into impersonating different celebrities on Twitter, within a year he had begun producing a movie with himself.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Eighty Eight

At first Thalia got criminals to surrender by offering sex, it was effective but it wreaked havoc with the rate of recidivism.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Eighty Seven

"No going sky-clad," Judy said, "how does my bare ass have anything to do with magic?"

Lorelei shrugged, "Maybe a fear spell?"

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Eighty Six

They found a way to make diamonds out of human hair but no one wanted a pubic zirconia.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Eighty Five

In the 1950's Abner Deggent's manly, two-fisted adventures thrilled a nation; sadly many of them were reclassified as hate crimes.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Eighty Four

Commander Infinity reminded the members of the team to use the official battle cry. It was all about branding these days.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Eighty Three

At first she was disturbed by her lover's foot fetish, then she realized her toes had never been more lint free.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Eighty Two

If not for his first love he might never have found religion, he might never have learned what it was to be cast out.

You've got to hand it to MY SUPA LIFE for not knuckling under...

(Recommended Article) MONSTER BRAINS gives us a glimpse of the old school comic book awesomeness that was The Occult Files Of Dr. Spektor!

(Recommended Reads) "Slice Of Life" by Maria Protopapadaki-Smith

Rodolphus walked into the hall, his belly preceding him by a good ten inches. The annual Soulgatherers' Banquet was in full swing, the waiters struggling to keep up with the demand for the delectable slices. His gaze swept the room until he saw the group he was looking for: Antimus, Tenemius and Tarsus - seven chins between them, three of them Tarsus's alone...

click here to read the rest

(Recommended Article) "The King Kong Effect: A hazy remembering of the first time I saw a King Kong Movie. (post #1 of 4)" by wiec?

One of the oldest memories from my life revolves around the first King Kong movie. I grew up living about an hour from my Grandparent's house and on weekends my fam would get in the car and go visit them...

click here to read the rest

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Eighty One

He came in to work each morning full of enthusiasm, eager to face the day's challenges- and that was why his co-workers killed him.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Eighty

No one suspected that Fuego constantly wore a mask to hide his shameful past as an actor in direct to video family comedies.

The Nick Of Time (and other abrasions): Tombs Of The Blonde Dead Part Five- The Nine Sisters

The Nick Of Time

(and other Abrasions)

Tombs Of The Blonde Dead

part five

The Nine Sisters


Al Bruno III

The hallways of Gurlich manor were littered with dead servants and broken finery, Lorelei stepped gingerly around both. When she glanced behind her she could see the Garden of Duchesses was on fire, doubtlessly braziers had been toppled in the mass panic but while the fire was growing in strength, the sounds of panic were dwindling as the guests fell to the ravenous appetites of the Nine Sisters of Kashchei.

Stepping over a bloodied butler Lorelei made her way up the stairs, her senses telling her this was where the trouble had started. It was the story of her whole damn life, if there was something terrible to be found it was either near the roof or the lowest sub-basement- dark forces rarely dawdled in the lobby. Glass crunched underfoot and she noticed that particular attention had been paid to the mirrors- while bones and memorabilia had been smashed with an almost casual brutality the mirrors had been shattered and re-shattered again until all that remained was dust.

But that made sense didn't it? The Nine Sisters of Kashchei were as vain as they were hungry- they couldn't bear the sight of what they had become.

What a world, Lorelei thought, even the demons live in denial.

She paused at the third floor and let her senses reach out across the realms of dream and magic. What she wanted was two more floors up. Lorelei started running, things, were already out of hand, too many souls had been lost forever. The stairs were grimy with chips of glass and splashes of blood.

A figure came at her from the shadows swinging an ax handle, Lorelei turned slipped in a puddle of warm red and felt the weapon connect with her leg. Her knee gave way with a sickening pop that was half sensation and half sound. When her assailant swung again she blocked the blow with her forearm but the pain of it left her numb from fingertips to elbow.

But that gave her time to kick.

And they thought these boots were just a fashion statement!

Lorelei planted her heel right in her attacker's gut. The ax handle clattered down the stairs. She was about to kick again when she felt a warm tuneless humming in her ears.

Now that they were finished with the final guests of Gurlich manor the Nine Sisters had moved on to the house. They flowed in through the doorway, their feast had returned the flesh of their adopted bodies to its former glories. They were all supple curves, inviting smiles and of course, blond hair but there was something hateful about their beauty now, their eyes were dull and doll-like, their skin flawless to the point of looking airbrushed.

Her attacker forgot everything and ran to them. "Beautiful!" he shouted, "More beautiful than life!"

It wasn't much of a distraction but it was all Lorelei had, favoring her useless leg she hopped the rest of the way up to the fifth floor, cursing under her breath with each step she cleared.

Larry Gurlich's study that was in no better shape than the rest of his kingdom; the bookshelves were toppled, the mirrors smashed, a telescope, a globe and dozens of rare baseball cards were scattered across the floor.

On the top of the desk there was a mummified hand, a black candle guttering in the center of the palm.

It was a Persephone Claw- the hand of a virgin that had been tortured to death. Just the thing for a layman sorcerer that didn't find a Hand of Glory gruesome enough. Lorelei swept it off the table, the flame went out but it was going to take more than that to break this spell.

The sound reached her ears again, the song of the Nine Sisters grasping at her soul, a normal human would have been dead already but Lorelei just felt dizzy. What was it going to take to send these things back? Or worse yet, what if she couldn't send them back?

Adept of the Seventh Circle or not, if she let these things get to close to her all the training and incantations in the world wouldn't matter.

Moving as one the Nine Sisters entered the room.

Suddenly Lorelei saw just what she needed. She retreated until she could get her hand around the telescope.

The Nine Sisters were drawing closer, cooing seductions and taunting her with soul with promises of oblivion.

Lorelei cracked the telescope in half over her good knee and spent a terrifying moment blundering through the bits and pieces that tumbled free.

Where is it?

Where is it?


Every telescope has a small mirror in it, and a small mirror was all she needed. The Nine Sisters of Kashchei were of looming over her. Lorelei held the two inch circle of polished metal and glass at eye level.

The first of the Nine caught her reflection and her face twisted into a scowl of disgust, the others tried to look away but the Nine rose as one and the Nine fell as one.

First the color, then the very substance of their bodies bled away until all that wasleft on the floor was rags and tatters. It was as horrible a sight as any other Lorelei had seen, she leaned on the antique desk for support and tried to catch her breath, tried to feel safe.

Footsteps approached, she looked up to see Audra DiMico and Judy Bauer staggering into the room, their faces ashen.

Lorelei gave them a grim smile, "What took you so long?"

Click Here To Continue

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Seventy Nine

"It's an unwritten rule," Captain Hero explained, "the longer your fight crime, the more padding you add to your costume."

Captain Hero by Chris Scheetz

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Seventy Eight

"I'm trapped," Magwier said, "trapped between the man I'm going to become and the man I could be. They're fighting for my soul."

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Seventy Seven

She'd lost count of the number of times she'd become distracted.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Seventy Six

He brought his razor sharp wit to college where he made short work of one dull course after another.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Seventy Six

Psychotic Kid couldn't wait for this year's master ninja convention, last year there had only been twenty survivors.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Seventy Five

Melvin didn't know a dead athlete was haunting him until he awoke to the sensation of a ghostly scrotum resting on his cheek.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Seventy Four

"Then, once I'm hooked on meth I'll wait until I withered away to my target BMI then I go to rehab. It's so crazy it might work!"

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Seventy Three

He tore open his shirt with a cry of "This is a job for Amazing Ed!" Then he realized he was already in costume.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Seventy Two

Gwen loved him from the moment she saw him, but she never saw him again.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Seventy One

There are stationary stores in Hell with all kinds of personalized cards but none of them have sympathy for the Devil.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

In The Shadow Of His Nemesis chapter fifty three

In The Shadow Of His Nemesis
Chapter Fifty Three

Wednesday November 20th 1996

The library was crowded with the sounds of conversation. The fireplace was glowing embers and pale smoke. A pair of half emptied wine bottles were on the mantlepiece. Zeth did his best to ignore it all and keep his attention on the grid of squares and the slowly dwindling army of pieces before him.

It had just been a chess game, one of the several he and Bodivar had shared over the last few weeks but today they had drawn a crowd. First it had been just Hao and Warren. She had been promising to show him a certain book only to find herself distracted by the contest taking place. She had been surprised to see someone doing so well against Bodivar.

Then Bodivar had told her that his last four games with Zeth had ended in a draw and all Hell had broken loose. Hao had run out to get Jack and Roxanne, and Jack and Roxanne had run to the cellar to get a variety of cheeses and wines. Apparently Bodivar was the reigning chess champion at Laurel House.

Zeth stared at the patterns on the board, at the way the trajectories of the bishops and rooks intersected and- more importantly- how they might intersect. He moved a pawn, placing it certain peril but wasn't that what pawns were for?

That sounds like something Magwier would say... Zeth mused; but in truth Jason Magwier had never understood the value of a pawn. It was one of the reasons why he could be a lousy chess player and a worse friend.

After his latest game of chess with Bodivar had ended in another draw someone else had volunteered to match their skill against Zeth. This wasn't really the way Zeth had wanted to spend his evening but he saw it as a good enough way to try and gauge who the traitor in the house might be.

Someone in this room was going to betray Galen to the enemy, Magwier was sure of it but the question was who? There were no obvious suspects, after all each an every person in this room had blood on their hands.

Except for Warren of course... Warren was so harmless it was almost pitiful. It was the same situation with his sister and Angie- the three of them were little more than refugees. Sig worried Zeth but Magwier insisted the old man no longer mattered.

Zeth's first opponent after Bodivar was Jack Waterford, aka Henry de la Poer Beresford; he played an aggressive game of chess but his foolish blunders made quick work of him in the end. He ate and drank heavily as he played, paying more attention to palate than his strategy. Zeth had to wonder what could have driven this once-legendary man to go into hiding. There had been a time when Jack had terrorized the citizens of London and Liverpool, painting the town red in more ways than one.

Once he realized he was checkmated Jack laughed and gave Zeth a handshake. "Who's next?" Zeth had asked jokingly.

"Oh him definitely," Jack pushed Warren down into the chair.

"Do you know who to play chess?" Zeth asked as he reset the pieces.

The question left Warren sounding miffed, "I know how."

"All right then."

Their game was mercifully brief and Zeth realized that while Warren might know the rules of chess he didn't have the slightest idea of how to actually play or more importantly, win a game. By the time it was over Zeth almost felt guilty. "I haven't played in a while." Warren shrugged.

"I can tell."

After that Warren had refilled his wineglass and headed out to the solarium. It was Hao's turn at the board now. As she made her first move Roxanne began passing out expensive cigars.

Her game was more deft, her moves showed real forethought and anticipation but she was too cautious, afraid to sacrifice any of her pieces. Zeth knew her story of course, but he wasn't sure he believed it.

A half-breed Vlodek kept as a slave? That happened all the time.

But a half breed Vlodek taught the ways and mysteries of magic? That was preposterous. You didn't give the prisoners the floorplans to the jail and you certainly didn't give the damned the slightest scrap of hope.

There were stories told among the High Born Vlodek told of a woman called Oeil De Lune. A half-breed escapee that had stolen magic and bargained with the darkest powers so that she might have revenge on the ruling families. The stories say that Oeil De Lune used the dead as her assassins; filling their empty shells with the spirits of demons and Dread Lords.

An interesting story, but it was most likely just that, a story. And the woman playing chess with him couldn't be such a creature because she would have to be far older than she was admitting and covered with the most terrible scars.

Zeth didn't think that Warren would have the stomach to play house with a woman like that; he doubted Warren could work his way past the Missionary Position without a diagram or two.

Once Hao lost her queen she was checkmated in a matter of five moves. She was grinning at her defeat, "You're an amazing player."

"I've had lots of practice," Zeth said. He had to admit that he was starting to enjoy himself, "I think I'll take one of those cigars."

His last opponent of the night was Roxanne Lunt- former oracle and courtesan. Her moves were fast and brutal, Zeth lost two pawns and a knight before he knew what was happening. As he scrambled to mount his defenses he had to wonder if she still might be a bit of an oracle after all.

Roxanne had a beautiful face, skin like cream, eyes that glittered and a smile that could made a thousand propositions. Her beauty was all the more impressive because she was a large woman in a world that prized shallow features and painfully thin physiques. Her beauty and the Lunt fortune did her no good here and Zeth had to wonder if she had taken Jack as a lover out of attraction or the need for security.

A cry from the solarium interrupted Zeth's contemplations.

"You were a virgin?"

The room went quiet, then Hao started giggling. Jack swirled his wine in his glass, "My my my..."

Zeth moved his rook into place, readying another attack.

Roxanne grinned and shifted her bishop across the board, "Check."

Disbelief left him gaping. He had been expertly maneuvered - she had backed him into a corner without even breaking a sweat.

"Do you concede?"

Zeth studied the board for a few more moments before nodding. He offered her a hand to shake, her grip was warm, almost feverish. "How is it you're not the house champion?" he asked.

"You're easy to read," she jerked a thumb at Bodivar, "but not him. You never know what he's going to do."

Bodivar raised his glass in a toast, "I'm going to bed, that's what I'm going to do."

"I've got a nice hot bath with my name on it," Roxanne grabbed her lover's arm. "Come on, I need you to make some bubbles."

Jack stubbed out his cigar, "Duty calls."

Smiling after them, Hao wished Zeth a goodnight and made her way to the solarium. Alone in the library with the half empty board and the sounds of the fire Zeth pondered his next move. Would Galen join the Cause before everything came crashing down?

I'll kill him if I have to, Zeth thought. No matter what he is, no matter who he is. If we want to keep the Monarchs from using the Torweigs we should just make sure the information dies with him.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

It was ten years ago today...

That my daughter was born.
That I started to lose all my hair.
That I truly started to learn what it was to be a man.
For that I am grateful to her and I will be for the rest of my life.
Happy Birthday Rebecca from the first man that ever loved you.
Now go clean your room.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Seventy

The shuttle successfully brought the first cross-dresser into space, but upon re-entry there were problems with the drag chute.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Sixty Nine

No one realized just how mad a scientist Professor Lindquist was until he started trying to get body parts off cragislist.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Sixty Eight

The Cheerleaders of the Apocolypse made their way across the desert jeep that was heavily armored, and gaily streamered.

The Cheerleaders of the Apocalypse by Chris Sheetz

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Sixty Seven

Once perverted time travelers started traveling back in time to have sex with neanderthals things started to get hairy.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Sixty Six

It was obvious that Cletus didn't know anything about Hip Hop music when he showed up at the concert with a pogo stick.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Sixty Four

Amazing Ed's nemesis Angry Dan hinted at his crimes with strongly worded letters to the editor.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Sixty Five

Hero or villain, if you made a wisecrack with the phrase "Quoth the-" in it the Maven gave you a beating.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Sixty Three

His habit of saying "I dare you" resulted in two failed marriages, an arrest and an unfortunate tattoo.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Sixty Two

They tried to have a Quality Assurance department for assassins but anyone that gave a bad evaluation was dead within 24 hours.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Sixty One

The best thing about robot hookers was using the inbuilt ATM to pay for some ATM.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Sixty

The Invisible Handyman used a special lacquer to varnish from sight.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Fifty Nine

Jason Magwier explained, "It is easy enough to summon angels and demons, but it isn't easy getting the angels to leave."

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Fifty Eight

Jason Magwier explained, "It is easy enough to summon angels and demons, but it isn't easy getting the angels to leave."

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Fifty Seven

Crimefighting luchador Fuego loved to relax with a sauna after a long day; his costume off, his mask still on.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Fifty Six

The actual motorcycle accident didn't upset him, flying into the back end of an open manure truck did.

Monday, March 1, 2010

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Fifty Five

They tried to have sex while parachuting but were blown off course.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Fifty Four

At the brothel you could pay extra for 'the girlfriend experience' or half price for 'the ex-wife ordeal'.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Fifty Three

Rusty Johnson didn't realize he'd chased Megaton Minotaur into quicksand until he started to get a sinking feeling.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Fifty Two

Thalia got as many letters denouncng her as a pagan whore as she did requests for pictures. Sometimes from the same return address.


Mistakenly engaging in substandard intercourse with an unclean but affable tramp, being gang raped and murdered by an unruly throng of bums and lowlifes, and having your lifeless corpse violated by a morbidly obese junkyard foreman are surprisingly not the worst things that can happen to you in the soiled universe that is Street Trash,J. Michael Muro's mucilaginous...

Click here to read the rest

A delightfully dark and strange film...

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Fifty One

She hated the back columns of the newspaper, it was personal.

Hey readers! Don't forget the circulate the blog!

Seriously, pass it around like Paris Hilton at a rich douchebag convention.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Fifty

The dean of the school would go missing for days so Audra liked to break into his house, that was how she found the secret passage.

5 Second Fiction Nine Hundred and Forty Nine

The hospital tried to use bungee catheters but it was a bit of a stretch.

Welcome To Hell, Here's Your Smock part five

Price Breaks and Heartaches

a journal of retail and failed romance

Chapter One

Welcome To Hell, Here's Your Smock

part five

They say time flies when you're having fun, they say time is relative, I don't know about that. What I do know is that when you played CHAMPIONS THE SUPER HERO ROLE PAYING GAME time lost all meaning.

Now when I mention CHAMPIONS I bet you're thinking of the online game but that is not what we are talking about here. After all this story takes place in 1986 when Colecovison ruled the world.

This version of CHAMPIONS was a pencil and paper role playing game that combined aspects of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS with elements of old style wargaming.

The game was clever, customizable and had a fun roster of pre-generated super villains for your undoubtedly derivative defenders of truth, justice and the American way to tangle with.

This was one of the ways I spent those rare afternoons when I wasn't at Nice Shopper having my ego destroyed at minimum wage.

So there I was at Adrian's house, well his parent's house anyway. Adrian was a wealthy, privileged, arrogant and self-involved- he was also one of the best friends I ever had.

Adrian's best friend meanwhile was a freshman kid named Daniel and I thought it was kind of neat that the guy running a super hero role playing game had a sidekick of his own.

Green shorts not included.

Thank God.

The last but not least player of the group was Gordon. The only thing Gordon loved more than role playing games was the character of Chewbacca, in fact one of his long term goals was to hunt down George Lucas and slap him for not setting RETURN OF THE JEDI on the Wookie homeworld.


Everything about Adrian's parent's house was ostentations, they were a people drawn to shiny things like magpies or rappers. They gave Adrian everything he could possibly want, videogames, computers and of course gaming supplies.

"Is everyone ready?" Adrian asked.

"I have extra rulebooks on hand if anyone needs one," Gordon said. Gordon always had extra of gaming supplies on hand thanks to his exceptional shoplifting skills. His horde of Geek treasures sometimes rivaled Adrians', especially during the cold winter months when he could wear a heavy coat without anyone being suspicious.

Daniel said, "I have a new character this week. I call him Spider-Lad."

"Well," I said, "isn't that... new."

"You're still playing Frost?"

"That's THE Frost."

Gordon said, "And of course I will be playing Patient Zero the One Man Biohazard."

"Excellent," Adrian was setting the map up, he had a map that covered the table and used Monopoly pieces to represent the different heroes and villains. "Now it has come to your heroes' attention that a convoy transporting a nuclear missile will be moving through town..."

I rolled my eyes, "Again?"

"Yes, you got a problem with that?"

"This is like the attempted third nuclear missile hijacking this month," I said, "I mean you think they would change the route or something."

"Well, at least it isn't another bank robbery," Gordon said.

"You know what would be cool?" Daniel said, "If someone tried to rob a bank with a nuclear missile."

"Hmmm," Adrian rubbed the peach fuzz on his chin, "interesting idea."

"All I know," Gordon said, "is that I damn well better get to be the thimble this time."


With that the game began and let's be honest, the plot didn't matter because what every CHAMPIONS game was really about people in spandex beating he crap out of each other.

You know, like Pro Wrestling but slightly more believable.

In order to simulate comic book action on a dining room table the game broke down every minute into 12 rounds that certain characters could use or not use according to their speed score. It was innovative and a lot of fun but it also meant that a five minute battle often took four hours to complete, six if Daniel was playing his Wolverine ripoff.

All the side conversations and digressions didn't help either.


"So I saw the video of the talent show," Gordon said.

I tried to keep my face neutral, "Oh."

"Come on man," Daniel said, "it's your impulse turn Al."


Gordon said, "I'm surprised you showed your face in school after that disaster."

"Well," I said, "the lighting could have been better."

Adrian stood, "You guys talk if you want, I'm going to make myself some pizza rolls."

Daniel brightened, "Oh, I'll have some."

"I said I'm making myself some pizza rolls."

"Oh sorry."

"Well, you should be."

With that Adrian left. I tried to look busy by going over my character sheet but Gordon still had more to say. He gave me a little smile, "So you did your standup routine at the show huh?"

"Yeah." I said.

"Was it the same material you showed us?"

"Some old, some new," I chewed the end of my pencil. "Do you think I should put more points into Presence attacks?"

Gordon said, "I heard you got booed off the stage."

"Really?" Daniel commented, "I heard he got dragged off the stage."

"Well, obviously they dragged him off the stage so they could stop the booing."

I sighed heavily, "They removed me from the stage because my set ran long."

"Because of the booing."

Daniel nodded, "I heard some old lady was screaming at him to get the Hell off the stage."

I buried my face in my hands, both to hide my shame and to block the smell of burning pizza rolls, "That was my grandma."


Yeah, Grandma didn't really think much of me going into showbiz. Here's hoping she doesn't read my blog.

The talent show was a disaster, my wry observational humor didn't really play well to high school kids hungry for sex jokes and scatological humor.

But as you can see from these postings I have pretty much kicked wry humor to the curb in favor of dick jokes.

Yes, I should have known better but the only reason I even got involved in the talent show was because Lily was there and it was a chance to spend time with her. She performed the overwrought 80's hit TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART and in my mind she was singing it just for me.

But sadly she went home that night with someone else.

As if I wasn't having enough trouble finding a date for the senior prom already I was now known as the guy that made an ass of himself at the talent show.

I would never go back on stage again and just like every other one of my youthful dreams that died my family and friends were more than willing to help dig its grave.

Even if it wasn't quite dead yet.

Is it any wonder that I didn't mind spending an entire afternoon pretending to be a super hero?

Click Here To Continue

Sunday, February 28, 2010

(Recommended Reads) "Act Normal" by Cascade Lily

It was eleven o'clock on a Tuesday morning and Andie was lined up at the dispensary counter of a pharmacy at her local shopping centre, waiting to be served. Doing her best to blend in with the other customers, mostly elderly folk who cashed their pension checks each fortnight to do the prescription shuffle, she pretended to examine the merchandise crowding the shelving under a sign that read 'Foot Solutions'...

click here to read the rest