Category Archives: Writing

Vegas Dreams In High Def

Street noise permeated his skull and he slowly peeled back his eyelids to reveal a ceiling he recognized. The waters stains and the Pall-Mall potpourri of his cheap Vegas motel were unmistakable.

He cranked up the shower and his shorts hit the bathroom floor before the water had a chance to heat up. Noticing himself in the dingy mirror, he noticed a sea of pink free of black and blue.
He took stock and decided for a middle-aged pink punching bag he didn’t look half bad. He didn’t worry about which half was good.

The perfect, aged adjusted, condition of his body made no sense though after his evening in the pawn shop. He stepped into the shower to let the hot water work its magic on him.

It must have been a dream, he thought. The pawn shop mafia would not be coming for him.

The stress he felt melted away with the steam. What the hell is it with Vegas and dreams. Most dreams got crushed in this town. His seemed to be in high def.

He donned his gambling clothes and checked himself in the mirror before he made for the front door.

It may have been a stretch to call them “gambling” clothes.

His ensemble consisted of just jeans and a black short sleeve shirt but the Panama hat complete with palm trees added a certain Vegas Strip panache to the outfit.

He needed two hundred bucks to break even on this trip and his mindset was a key ingredient for a  successful night at the tables. He wasn’t about to leave anything to chance. Chance was for suckers.

“Lady Luck come my way,” he uttered as he did a little soft shoe and closed the door behind him.

It’s a shame he was feeling too good to notice the steel briefcase under the bed.

Beatdown In Vegas

This is part of a story started here->

After further inspection, he decided the back of his eyelids had not changed since the last time he visited them.

He came to in what he assumed was the back room of his last known location, a Vegas pawn shop. If not, it should be. The essence of nicotine was strong here. So was the pain.

“I told you your lifespan had a limit and there is no aftermarket warranty,” said Ivan.

He didn’t know his name, “Ivan” just fit.

He also had no idea what this man was saying. Oh, he understood the man’s English, it had no problem cutting through the fog that currently enveloped his mind.
He just didn’t know the reason for the beatdown.

“May I trouble you with a question oh kind sir?”

Immediate pain to the back of his head rudely suggested that sarcasm was not the proper tact to take with this individual.”

“I told you to knock it off with the noir crap.”

His original opinion on the man’s English changed. He wanted to give him a dictionary with the word “noir” hi-lighted but two other thoughts convinced him it was not a good idea; 1) He was plumb out of dictionaries, 2) He was averse to continual pain.

“I apologize, I may have misunderstood your use of the word but how did I get here?”

“You walked in here you fool.”

“Yes, but why am I duct-taped to this chair?”

“Really? Is that your only question?”

“Is asking “Who is your decorator?” out of the question?”
Again, pain danced on the back of the head.

“Ok you want to keep the style to yourself I get it.”

“I told you that you had one week to pick up the package and two weeks to turn that into the two hundred big ones for me.”

His first reaction was to come back with a remark about keeping his private life private but decided the ensuing beatdown was not worth it.

“Who am I, David Copperfield?”

Head meet your new friend pain.

“I apologize, I should have gone with someone less dated. Chris Angel perhaps?
Cue the lights….

 

Vegas, Most Dreams Die Here.

Vegas, most dreams died here. His came alive.

Vegas, he anticipated his return. His last visit tantalized the possibilities. It wasn’t so much what had consciously happened, it was what he couldn’t control.

Gravity boots supported by the broken nose union.                             Blood rushing to his head, vivid dreams indeed.

He awoke to a nightstand holding a pawn ticket for something he never owned. He began to revisit the concept of vivid.

A few years passed. He still had the pawn ticket and he found himself back in Vegas. He checked out the address of the pawnshop. It was not far from the hotel. What harm could it do? Well, to be honest, a few broken bones and multiple contusions but that was an afterthought.

It was dark, it was seedy, it was a pawnshop. It met his expectations for what a pawnshop could and would ever be. From a writers perspective it was perfect.

The moment he entered the establishment he knew he made a grave mistake.

The man behind the counter was the proprietor he assumed because in his limited experiences pawnshop proprietors always looked like they could do with an ironing and extra starch.

He also did not look happy to see him.

“Do you have the ticket,” asked the man in a thick accent. He had seen enough bad television shows to recognize an eastern European accent when he heard one.

“That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it.”

“Enough with your noir bullshit,” he said.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Then there was pain and darkness.

Fences

Stimulated by todays DailyPrompt at WordPress.   No humor here. Laughter does not exist in a vacuum…

images – white picket, steel barbed, concrete.

What’s on the other side?”

“Don’t know.”

“Kind of ugly isn’t it”

“Yeah. Wasn’t always this way.”

“Really. What was it like.”

“Wooden, white, actually kinda pretty as fences go.”

“Really.”

“Yea, the kind that reminds you of Tom Sawyer.”

“Sounds nice. What happened?”

“What always happens.”

“Whats that?”

“More things needed to be kept out.”

“Did it work?”

“Don’t know. Can’t tell the difference between either side now”.

Life is Saga

We live therefore we know saga. We all have a narrative. Our lives tell a story. If we really pay attention to our lives we find that they are populated with interesting and even great characters. Myself included. Yes, I consider dust bunnies characters. I write fiction. I could also be considered a great character in someone else’s narrative. I’m convinced i’ve been called a character many times when coworkers and friends talk about their day to their loved ones.

“You’ll never believe what this character said today…”

The word saga has gotten a bad rap. Somewhere along the line modern culture has linked saga with drama. The pop use of drama itself is abused.
“You don’t want to get involved with them. They bring to much drama.”
“OMG , they’re into daytime television?”

A perusal of some olde fashioned writing tools, dictionaries, will reveal that drama is not even in the lexicon of the definition. The following description appears number one among most definitions. “A long story of heroic achievement, especially a medieval prose narrative in Old Norse or Old Icelandic: a figure straight out of a Viking saga.”

I am not naive in the belief that figures straight out of Viking Sagas were not without some drama. On more than one occasion during the saga of Erik The Red, a character must had the following conversation.

“Where ever Erik goes there is always some kind of drama, what with the pillaging and the looting and all.”

“You know it. Where his he now?”

“The town had him exiled again and he didn’t know what to do with himself. I told him to find an island to explore. That should keep him busy for a while.”

In between the looting and pillaging, what we have come to spin as “conquering,” lands were discovered, legends were born and tales told.

Your life is a saga,hopefully devoid of pillaging and looting, but a saga none-the-less. You are the protagonist in your story. Make sure your character is a nice one.  A heroic protagonist would be epic, but a nice person in the least. The world is populated with enough antagonists. By all accounts Erik The Red was not a nice guy.

You don’t get exiled from two towns in Iceland by being a nice guy.

So go live your saga but don’t be like Erik The Red. He brought a lot of drama.

This post happened as a result of  the daily prompt meeting my mind. Fortunately there were survivors.

Image – Summer in the Greenland coast circa year 1000 Jens Erik Carl Rasmussen (1841–1893) (public domain).
Saga

 

Dawn of the Living Character Mash-up (Target Audience Characterpalooza)

I had just completed developing a new character for a series of books I was planning. I was quite proud of Zach and his bright shiny characteristics would appeal to a huge audience.

It was late and the braincells that had not been weeded out by reading, writing and drinking were telling me it was time to hit the sack. I knew enough not to argue, besides arguing with said brain cells would qualify me for a new room with really soft walls and some funky pajamas.

The following morning announced itself brightly and forced me to achieve consciousness. I have got to hang some blinds in that window, I thought. A hot shower and a cup of joe later I headed up to my writers nook anxious to let my character roam freely across the blank pages of my mind; no comment from the gallery please.

I took a seat in my writer’s chair*, powered up my laptop and opened up the notes file for Zach and stared at a blank ‘page’. I waited a few moments for the page to render itself but still nothing. No words, no stray commas, nothing. I double checked the laptop but it was fine. Unfortunately I had not bothered to back up my notes, Zach had disappeared.

It was as if the notes came together to create Zach and he walked off the page (or is it out of the file?). At that moment I heard screams off in the distance. Strange, I guess that’s what happened, I thought.

Well, he is relatively harmless. What could happen? The first rays of light that found him would kill him. That’s what happens to all vampires. Oops, not this one. He has an annoying habit of just sparkling in the sun. It was a surefire way to attract an audience of teenage girls. Vampires can be very romantic until the sun hits them. The whole ‘mass of putrid flesh’ thing is too grody for teenage girls to handle. Sparkling is much more fashionable.

That’s fine, I thought it’s not like he doesn’t have other limitations. As a vampire-zombie he will start decaying soon and no teenage girl will stick around long enough to be in danger. It’s a good thing I took that whole 50 shades of gray thing literally. He should be fairly easy to kill. An axe to the head and a stake to the heart should do the trick.

I gave the problem a bit more thought and found an additional flaw with that scenario. As a vampire-zombie-wizard he may be able to use magic to re-attach his head, as long he still has a wand and one of his hands. That can be overcome, I thought. He can still be killed, if in addition to removing the head and staking the heart his hands are also removed. That can’t be too difficult can it? No, definitely not a deal-breaker. The bigger problem is if he finds a broom and takes to the air. If that happens all bets are off.

This last thought put a damper on the whole ‘stop the character and save the local populace’ notion. I had run out of ideas and enthusiasm. It would be easier to
create a new character from scratch. This time I will have to rethink the whole vampire-zombie-wizard concept. Perhaps I went a little overboard trying to maximize the target audience. Now if I can just ignore the screams until Zach moves on to the next neighborhood. I hope he finds a broom.

*No , it’s nothing fancy, just a regular chair but since I would be writing it became my writers chair. It was parked in front of a desk. A writer’s desk. You can see where this is going.