May 30 2014

Clipper Bohl

Flank herder was one of the most lethal positions to hold among the Funari plainsmen. The nomadic ritualists followed the sacred herd, guiding the symbiotic life path of both cultures with singular purpose. To serve as a flank herder was both personal and penitent.

Clipper Bohl volunteered to hunt the herd flank, serving as protector and scout for the ever moving force. Packs of Sarks were the worst of the predators that descended from the rugged hills to feed upon the herd. Fast and silent, the sizable packs made quick work of incompetent herders. Many times though, perishing as such restored the honor of a besmeeched bloodline. Continue reading

May 29 2014

Tent Flap II

Gordon was all too aware that he was very likely trespassing.  The approach to the vicinity was easy enough, but there were clear barriers between where he was and the tent which summoned him.  “Fuck it,” he said.  His mental demons trespassed without care, and he was going to confront them one way or another.

He parked his car in the shadow of the golem, a flippant dare if ever his mind saw one.  But what was going to happen?  Was the hulking figure going to take a stony shit on his car?  No, he didn’t think so, but the image lodged in his mind all the same.  He was chuckling as he walked toward the speedway. Continue reading

May 28 2014

Shredder 46

“Yes, I did, didn’t I?” Anibel said, her ghostly finger tapping against her translucent lips in thought, “How much time has passed since we spoke at the attack site, Gerard?”

Gerard gave it a moment’s thought, then said, “Almost a second sun since we last spoke.”

Anibel smirked and shook her head.  “I’m not sure if the divining methods I envisioned will still be sound.  The magics will likely have dissipated beyond reasonable tracking methods.” Continue reading

May 27 2014

Redhouse VI

Lydia bulled through the exit door and the notion of rifling for her keys withered.  Every single tire of the ten or so cars she could see was flat.  The all-seeing eye within her knew that every tire on every vehicle would be flat.  Such was the method of her stalker.  At the thought, she spun around and pushed the exit door closed, dragging a pair of carts in front of it.

There were bodies dotting the parking lot.  A pair trampled in flight.  A man who had wrestled with the killer.  A mother and a young girl splayed into the back of an SUV.  As she rounded the entry portico near her car, she almost tripped over the legs of a young worker, impaled by a length of pipe. Continue reading

May 26 2014

Shadow of Hope 37

Cheskith raised his voice then, albeit just enough to carry to those discussing things at the fore.  “Another route, I wonder?  Go back a short while, then circle around?  To travel in the dark is preferable to being eaten in the dark, I think.”

All the same, he still keeps alert for any signs or sounds of approach.

The barbarian replied to Kurn, “I was too far from the bodies, and they are too far rotted to see what sort of wounds they have.”

Kurn nodded.  Given Borlak’s expressed preference, and Zulian’s, and Rôhn’s absence of objection, Kurn spoke up, “If we’re to camp soon and near, if this predator or predators can be found, let’s deal with it now.  Backtracking to an alternate route may still find us in its domain when we must rest.” Continue reading

May 25 2014

Ruprecht the Monkey Boy

6a00d8341dbac353ef0133f369b473970bFormative characters.  You never know when one will cross your path.  They etch themselves into the memory and live there for the duration.  One such for me is Ruprecht the Monkey Boy as portrayed by Steve Martin in the film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

What was the magical component that etched Ruprecht into my mind?  I have no idea.  I suspect it was an amalgam of elements:  my age at the time, the hair, the hugging, the trident, the cork fork, the toileting, the excessive absurdity…so many priceless moments.  Memorable moments.  Scarring moments.

Ruprecht surfaces in dialogue every few weeks here in the house of Tales.  The warm, wicked nostalgia which accompanies him is a familiar caress that I would never replace.  Would another bit of remembered information serve me better?  Quite possibly.  A bit of poetry, or a snippet of quantum mechanics, or a story seed, or a game strategy.  All would be practically more applicable, but none would fill the void that would be left behind.

Ruprecht the Monkey Boy walks as a paragon in my mind.  Who are some of your formative characters?

May 23 2014

Prince Kavar and the Glimma Man

Prince Kavar Jessik, seventeenth in line for the throne of Caramahr, was a skilled archer, a noble huntsman and educated in numerous mathematical forms.  Fair in appearance, he bore the cultivated visage of the female line with the rigid bone structure of the Jessik bloodline barely identifiable.  The host of siblings and servants and tutors engendered an affable and approachable persona as the prince matured, but few saw into the deeper recesses of the old soul which wandered within his heart.

For all of the opportunity presented to him, Prince Kavar lived within a prison of privilege.  His personal beliefs were overshadowed by the propriety of a society in which he would not have chosen to exist.  Those naysayers that would scoff at the notion, proclaiming the pining of a spoiled prince little more than idle boredom, abide until the tale’s completion and pass judgment only once both sides of the coin have been revealed. Continue reading

May 22 2014

Tent Flap

How many times had Gordon driven by that automotive wasteland?  The hulking shrine to speed stood desolate for the majority of its days.  Those few times when RVs painted the landscape and the reek of sweat and septic baptized thousands were nightmarish.  For any who worshipped this particular god it was a time of celebration and revelry.  The rest forsook the area as plague ridden.

The commute was ninety minutes each way, and Gordon was starting to wonder if a life change wasn’t overdue.  The wasteland sprawled ahead of him, the stone golem guardian looming.  The banners and flags flapped in the wind as life poured by on the thoroughfare.  Gordon’s mouth turned down at the corners, his psyche all too aware of his namesake shared with one of this religion’s paragons.

A lone tent of blaze white tarp nestled against the base of the autodrome, razor wire garland shining along its peak.  It was the flapping of one angled corner which caught Gordon’s eye.  It was the ghost of a figure standing just beyond which caught his mind. Continue reading

May 21 2014

Shredder 45

Both Halflings turned to Merinde, their expressions equally dubious.  Gerard was the more concerned.  Merinde had displayed no positivity since her arrival.  Her tone and words had conveyed that her sardonic wit was razor sharp.  He hadn’t known her for very long, but core characteristics were hard to mask.  Hearing the positive notes coming from her mouth gave him pause.

“What?” she asked, “It’s not like I’m going to wander off on my own, and the nearest piece of civilization is what, a tenday or so away?” Continue reading

May 20 2014

Redhouse V

The greenhouse employee reached for his belt and withdrew his walkie talkie.  “Jan, it’s Karl.  Call an ambulance.  We have some people bleeding in house six.”

Lydia stared for a moment, surprised that he hadn’t been murdered yet.  Karl didn’t even seem to register the killer’s presence.  Didn’t see him, which meant–  “Oh God,” she whispered.  Her primal instincts kicked in and her head swiveled, searching and almost too late.

The maniac stalked toward them from house four, having circled back around, driven by whatever hunter’s instinct such a mind possessed.  “Jan?”  Her fevered senses picked up on Karl’s struggle to pierce the white noise on the other end of his line.

Continue reading