Friday, September 16, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

THE LOCAL HEROES: Apocalypse Jones And The Race Against Time - Chapter Four

Apocalypse Jones
And The Race Against Time
Al Bruno III

Chapter Four

Conquest Of The Planet Of The 70’s

Time has stopped, 90% of the Earth has been destroyed and we may be the last human beings alive. Annabelle Jones thought, And here I am modeling a gold bodysuit!

It wasn’t just any bodysuit, it had been designed using Professor Tibbs’ gospels of science and Lady Indigo’s principles of sorcery. In theory the skintight weave of leather, kevlar and alchemically treated thread would protect her from eldritch magic and hard radiation.

All that and it comes with a helmet and goggles.

“I feel ridiculous.” Annabelle said. She was in the Laboratory, a part of the bunker that had been set aside for Project Omega. It was a chaos of computers, engine parts and mystical tomes.

“Hold still,” Lady Indigo’s azure features were set in a scowl. She was hard at work making last minute adjustments to the suit, “I have no patience to play at being a seamstress.”

“Sorry, this is all just a little strange to me.” Annabelle ran her hands over the fabric.

“I felt much the same way the first time I gave birth to myself.”

“Wh- what?”

“How are you girls doing over there?” Professor Sidney Tibbs called to them from a tangle of circuits. He was hard at work putting the finishing touches on his own part of Project Omega. The technically and mystically modified Kawasaki Kz1000 was only a part of it. The motorcycle was inside of a giant sphere of white metal and glass that was bordered on either side by giant Tesla coils. Professor Tibbs had christened his device the ‘Photon Sling’ but everyone else in the bunker called it the ‘Celestial Treadmill’.

Annabelle called back, “We’re fine, just talking about you.”

He chuckled and went back to his soldering iron.

“How sweet you two are,” Lady Indigo said.

“Sweet? What do you mean sweet?”

Lady Indigo raised a painted eyebrow, “If it was the end of the world and there was a handsome man watching my every move I would have shared my body and true name with him by now.”

“It isn’t like that.”

“Isn’t it?” There was an air of exasperation in the blue-skinned woman’s voice. “now for the rest.”

Annabelle retrieved the gloves, goggles and crash helmet from the table behind her. She put on the goggles first and blinked as the whole world seem to become a a little sharper. The goggles had been specialy treated and with them she could see in the dark yet never be blinded by a flash of light.

So much work for a one way trip. Annabelle put on her gloves, like the boots they were the color of gun metal. Then she pulled the gold plated crash helmet over her head and fastened the chin strap.

Lady Indigo held up her left hand, the second and fifth fingers glowed momentarily. “Perfect,” she said, “as perfect as possible under such conditions.”

“Can I take off the helmet now?”

“Yes,” the blue skinned woman, “I am done here.”

Before Annabelle could say anything else Lady Indigo was walking out the door. At first Annabelle had found the woman’s brusque behavior infuriating but now she understood it was just her way. In her old life Lady Indigo had surrounded herself with apprentices and servants. She didn’t know how to win friends and influence people, and she really didn’t care to learn.

A new suit, a new motorcycle and a new gunbelt, Annabelle smiled to herself as she pulled the helmet and goggles off. With a get up like this she could actually be a superhero. She wondered what it would have been like to zoom through the streets of River City. That would have been one way to live up to the ridiculous nickname she’d been given by the gangs and mobsters.

Her hands settled on her holsters then she remembered they were empty. “Where are my girls?” she called out.

Sidney was putting the finishing touches on the Photon Sling’s main hatch, the hatch that would allow her to climb into the device when the time came. “They’re over there,” he pointed vaguely, “on the workbench.”


“Right by you.”

“I don’t see-” Annabelle began but then she saw her revolvers. What she saw made her shout, “What the Hell did you do?”

“Oh that.”

“Yes that!” Thick wires had been embedded in the grip of each firearm, they gave off a dull glow that pulsed like a heartbeat. The chambers had been altered too, strange rounds had been welded into place, they were gold and throbbed in time with the wires on the handles. “You’ve ruined them!”

“Not at all.” Sidney put his work aside and approached her.

“Then what did you do?”

“I installed Schrödinger bullets,” he took one of he revolvers from her hand and examined it.

Annabelle wanted to reward that comment with a withering glare but just couldn’t. She slipped the other revolver into her right holster “What the Hell does that mean?”

“Simply put, each of these chambers is empty and loaded at the same time,” he placed the other revolver in her left holster, “you’ll never need to reload again... but fifty percent of the time when you pull the trigger nothing will happen at all.”

She just stared at him.

“It has to do with quantum physics,” he began to blush, “you see-”

“Your hand-” she spoke softly, “-is still on my hip.”

Now he was really blushing, “Oh! I’m so sorry!” He pulled his hand away and retreated a step.

“I didn’t say you had to move it.” Annabelle grabbed Sidney’s hand and drew him close for the kiss they had both been waiting for.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

(Recommended Article) That was my brother's death you were cheering, you a$$holes

I had not planned on watching the debate because it conflicted with more important activities, like a new episode of The Closer. But even more importantly, it was being held at a time when I had committed to posting a diary for The Grieving Room. That diary was about the death of my brother from a very painful, uninsured struggle against metastatic cancer.

I had planned to write another separate diary about his journey through what passes for health care in a nation fixated on the profits that that care brings. In a nation where his death was cheered in front of a panel of politicians, none of whom had the decency to object. It is not yet a capital crime in this nation to be uninsured.

Steve worked 14 hours a day building beautiful guitars. Songs will not be sung because he died and will make no more. Thanks to the Republican Party’s theft of our national wealth, he barely eked out an existence with financial help from my husband and me. Money for health insurance? Don’t be ridiculous.

He was 63. He had to start Social Security early so he could afford to eat. He was too young for Medicare and too male for Medicaid. This nation does not recognize the years he spent working for others and making this economy grow, it only focused on the years he worked for himself, creating instruments of rare beauty.

When he had a pain in the butt, he had to wait until early in the morning of December 3rd to present himself at the ER of Highland Hospital, the Alameda County medical facility. There are guards at Highland, and a football field full of plastic chairs for the indigent to use while they wait treatment. He was sent home with a handful of Vicodin and a suggestion to follow up with a pulmonologist for the 3 cm spot the Xray showed on his lung. The soonest appointment was Feb 25.

He was in so much pain that he could not stand up for more than a few seconds at a time. He got Vicodin. And steroid suppositories.

His buddies came up with the $2000 a proctologist wanted to do an outpatient surgery. But the hospital wanted $20,000 for use of the room for the brief procedure because he was uninsured. Because the pain didn’t matter half as much as the profit.

For six weeks he suffered at home. You bastards, you would have liked to watch that, wouldn’t you? Too bad there were no cameras to catch him as he collapsed when he tried to microwave his oatmeal. No microphones to catch his cries of pain or despair...

That was my brother's death you were cheering, you a$$holes Updated

THE MASK COLLECTOR (a serial novel) chapter five


The Mask Collector

Chapter Five

Sunday June 15th 2003

The roads around the apartment complex were twisted little cul-de-sacs, free of stop signs and sidewalks but heavy with road kill. The low rising red sun glared into Darren’s eyes as he jogged. The workout regimen was, like his new mustache, still in its formative stages but Darren was sure that it would all pay off eventually.

The first few days of jogging had been rough, with stitches in side and a charley horse or two but now he had the hang of it – you had to stretch and warm up beforehand.

Darren kept his mind off the ache in his lungs by running over the list of things he needed to do on Monday in his head. He needed to make sure his project supervisor got wind of the problems with the Malaysian account, something about some local customs being disturbed. Then he needed to make sure his home and cell phone number got changed, he was getting tired of Marnie’s voicemails clogging up the system. Couldn’t she get it in her head that it was all over? He didn’t need any second or third chances. And lastly he needed to speak to the building super about the noise in his bedroom. It had been getting louder and louder; and Darren was sure he was hearing mocking laughter mixed in with it all. What was Chad doing with his nights?

That reminds me, Darren thought as he reached an intersection and turned left. Maybe I should just do a salad for lunch today. This road was still under development, all the houses on either side of the street were half-built and skeletal, the lawns just square patches of dirt and gravel. It was a nice place to jog because the chance of encountering traffic and hecklers was minimal.

Maybe I'm hearing noise from downstairs, I think they have a teen-ager. Darren was already thinking about moving on when his lease expired. The place just wasn't working out like he had expected - his ratio of encounters with crazy half -clothed aged neighbors compared with his encounters with cute half-clothed college girls was damn depressing.

The black Trans Am careened around the corner, its horn blaring. Darren turned to get out of the way but the car still clipped him. He tumbled backwards into a ditch. Dizzy with pain Darren tried to raise himself back up but his leg was twisted beneath him at a sickening angle. The black Trans Am slowed as it passed him and then sped off. Darren glimpsed the license plate AHTU 0291 and then his senses left him.

Click Here To Continue

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I've heard of a 'Brass Band' but never an 'Ass Band'

Man my blog is pervy today...