A Custodian’s Duties 2

Posted in Custodians, Story Subjects, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 25, 2015 by davidburtonwriting

(SP) -The revised edition of my vamp novella Young Blood is only $.99 until May 1. Yeah.

Custodians don’t save the world every day, but there’s always recalcitrant teachers who think they know what’s what…, and mice. A problematic combination. Not to worry. Us professional Custodians are highly trained to take care of any situation. Especially ones specific to our particular school. Like this guy.

The Custodian 2janitor4

The Night Custodian, dark cap pulled low, wearing a well-fitting T-shirt and khaki pants pushed his custodial cart along the outside walkways of the Grace Glass Elementary school. Still daylight, the students had left for the day and only a few teachers remained.

He approached the bullpen, a fenced in space next to the main building where dumpsters, old furniture, pallets and boxes were kept. The chain link gate was open.

bullpen1A woman's short little scream came from inside. Calm, despite the invasion of his area, he looked inside.
With a broken mop handle, Miss Penki, a young teacher new to the school,
poked agitatedly between two dumpsters. Seeing the Custodian, she
dropped the handle and nervously wiped her hands on her skirt as she
backed away.

Oh, there you are,” she said with an annoyingly haughty tone. “I caught a mouse in my classroom on one of those sticky traps. I was throwing the filthy thing into the trash when it squeaked at me. It dropped down there so I pushed it back out of sight.” She shook her hands as if ridding herself of mouse cooties. “Just let the thing die by itself. If you did your job, I wouldn’t have to do things like this.”

Miss Penki shuddered and quickly walked away.

From the gate, the Custodian watched her with a frown and narrowed eyes. He entered the bullpen and dumpsters2peered into the dark between the dumpsters. With the broken handle he slid the trap out. It was torn, and there was no mouse.

He heard a scuttling, claws-scratching-on-cement sound. Alert he looked deep into a cluttered corner. Large, human-sized, beady red eyes regarded him. Slowly they blinked, then whatever owned the eyes turned and vanished. rats3

Thoughtfully, the Custodian folded the trap together, shook his head, and pitched it in the trash, then resumed his rounds.

******

The next day as The Custodian closed his office door a kid stopped in front of him. “Mr Custodian, the Principle wants to see you in her office.”

The Custodian nodded, pointed a strong finger at the boy. The boy touched the finger with his own, tip to tip, smiled and ran off through the outside gate, the last student to leave.

In the Principal’s office he leaned casually against the wall, hands in pockets.

office chair womanLounging in her chair, the Principal, a handsome Hispanic woman, said, “Miss Penki seems to be missing. She was here for fourth period, but didn’t show up for fifth period. Her car is still here. Have you seen her lately?”

The Custodian raised a quizzical eyebrow.

Apparently she had some uncomplimentary words to say about you yesterday. Not doing your job?”

He hung his head, but didn’t mean it. Their eyes stayed connected.

Do you have any idea where she might be? Or do I need to call the police?”

Frowning, thinking, he stared at the floor. He had a thought.

What?” the principal asked.

A minute later they stalk toward the bullpen.

And she just pushed it away? Fool.”

It was late in a cloudy day and the bullpen was shaded, a bit spooky. He moved a couple pallets and boxes from where he saw the red eyes. Behind them he found a two foot diameter hole in the wall. Picking up the broken handle, he spun it like a martial arts Bo-staff as he studied the hole.bostaff

Still casually, yet expertly, spinning the broken mop handle, he led the way to a storage closet. The Principle waited as he found a half-filled plastic jug and a large flashlight. Together, they moved to a blank door with no number or name. The Custodian handed her the jug, opened the door with his key, and cautiously entered.

Wary, they made their way down a dark, narrow, dusty passage littered with old boxes, old equipment, and old furniture toward a muffled, keening cry for help. At the end, in a small open space covered with gravel The Custodian’s flashlight revealed Miss Penki, hands, knees, and face awkwardly stuck to a giant sticky trap.

Little mice scrambled out of the beam, giving a wide berth to a two foot tall rat. The big rodent growled a warning through long, pointy, unrodent-like teeth. Its red eyes simmered.rats2

Eyes on the rat, otherwise unperturbed, The Custodian poured a yellow liquid from the jug around Miss Penki’s knees, feet, hands and face. As she came loose from the trap the rat made a grab at her foot with human-looking claws. She yelped and scrabbled across the gravel while The Custodian beat the creature back with the handle.

The Principle helped her to her feet. Miss Penki opened her mouth to speak.

Not a word, Miss Penki,” The principle said in her no nonsense principle voice. A very unrat-like roar sounded behind the women as they stumbled toward the door.

Fighting noises, growls and grunts, gravel scrabbling and handle whacking, follow them out the door. Twin red beams of light burn gouges in the cement walls.

Outside, Miss Penki collapsed on the grass. “Oh my God! What was that thing? What happened to me?”

Still in principle mode, the Principle said, “There is no thing, Miss Penki. And nothing happened to you.”

What? But…?”

Miss Penki, in the unfortunate event you have to kill a mouse around her, do it quick and clean. Do not shove it under a Dumpster to suffer and die of thirst or hunger. Do you understand?”

The teacher’s eyes grew wide. She looked to the bullpen then the open door then the Principle. “You mean…?”

Yes.”

The Custodian closed the door. He carried the sticky trap folded together. Blood spattered his ripped shirt and pants. The broken handle dripped blood. He nodded to the Principle.

She nodded back. “Put in a damage form. The school will buy you a new shirt and pants.”

The Custodian nodded, shot Miss Penki a hard look, and headed for the bullpen, twirling the bloody mop handle.

END

Janitor3We know what we’re doing. Be glad.

Don’t forget my newest thriller Blood on the Water.

Soul Retrievers, a supernatural adventure novel is available for download pre-order, delivered July 10.

SP = Shameless promotion.

A Custodian’s duties.

Posted in calamities, deal with the Devil, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , on April 5, 2015 by davidburtonwriting

I haven’t posted for quite awhile, so with a new book, a new novella and a much revised short story out I thought I’d make it hard on myself and start my What If? Blog again.

We’ll see how that works out.

As some of you know, besides being a writerclick here to check that outI’m also a night Custodian (that’s Janitor to those uninformed about the proper nomenclature, you, of course, knew that) at a High School. Now you might think cleaning toilets, mopping floors, and picking up trash is mundane, yucky work. janitor5woman

Well, in can be, but, every time you go into a student bathroom that was sparkly clean twenty-four hours ago it’s an adventure. You never know what you’ll find!

janitor4However, us dedicated custodians do have other duties. Even those at a grammar school. Here’s a short little story to illustrate. What If? man?

The Custodian

The Custodian checked his blue cart in the custodial closet of Grace Glass Elementary School. He secured a trash can on the cart’s front platform, checked for trash bags, paper towels, rags and a couple spray bottles. Besides the usual supplies he set a paper bag with a heavy package inside on top of the cart. He flipped off the light and rolled outside into a quiet evening, students long gone.

Covered walkways accessed all the school’s classrooms. He collected trash from the teacher’s lounge, and the work room. Stopping outside the administration offices, a door opened and Principal Sanchez, a pretty middle-aged Hispanic woman, came out.

He smiled and nodded.

She returned his smile. “Have a good night.” She regarded the paper bag. “Is that…?”

Smile gone, he nodded again.

She gripped his well muscled arm. “Be careful.” She walked out the main gate, and he locked it behind her.

The custodian trashed the offices and the classrooms beyond then worked his way through the classrooms of two other long, single-story buildings. Beyond those were four square buildings with four classrooms each. In room 7 of D building, he blocked the door open and flipped on one set of lights. After dumping the trash, he retrieved a stepladder from an interior hallway and set it up in the middle of the room.

From the cart he brought the paper bag and set it on top of the ladder. He mounted the ladder and slid one of the ceiling tiles aside.

At the edge of his vision he noted a hint of movement. He ignored it. Closer, another hint, joined by childish chitter-chatter. Closer, from another direction, childish whispers. “Stop him. Bad man. Don’t do it, Mister. Hurt him. Stop.”

The Custodian ignored the voices and pulled a homemade bomb out of the bag and set it inside the ceiling.

No. No. Stop him. Hurt him.”

The ladder shook for no discernible reason. He steadied himself until the shaking stopped. ladder2

Ladder returned, he turned out the lights, shut the door. In the trash he noticed a comic book. Its title, Invasion from Space!” He shook his head and rolled his eyes at the absurdity of it. Flipped it into the trash.

The next night, another trash run and another paper bag. Inside Room 8, more chitter-chatter and excited laughter. He set up the ladder, slid aside a ceiling tile and placed another bomb. He jerked his hand out. A scorpion hung from his hand by its stinger. Ignoring the chittering laughter, with only a slight wince, he plucked it off and tossed it back into the ceiling.

Next night, Room 9, another bomb. He descended the ladder and stepped on a large stuffed animal that wasn’t there when he went up. He fell backward, barely missing a teacher’s desk. A computer monitor moved with jerky movements to the edge and fell. The Custodian caught it inches from his face.

Monitor replaced, he continued on his steady rounds.

Another night. The Custodian lounged in his tiny office eating a sandwich and reading a gun magazine. Principal Sanchez peeked in the open door.

Have a good night. Be careful.”

Their eyes connected with hidden meaning. He nodded gravely. Waved one finger.

Lips tight, she nodded back and left.

On his usual trash rounds he noticed a flickering light in classroom 8. Wary, he opened the door.

One interior wall contained a ten foot diameter black hole. Deep inside, as if in a curved, downward slanting tunnel, reddish light cast vague dancing shadows.

The chitter-chatter became more excited as the light brightened and the clank of weapons increased. “Yess. Yess. He comes. Finally, he comes. We will rule. We will kill. We will eat.”

In the tunnel, the silhouette of a huge, grotesque creature marched up the wall. Janitormonster1

The Custodian breathed deep, nodded, and closed the door. Walking away, he took a cell phone from his pocket. With his thumb, he dialed a number. Hit send. There was a faint sound of a cell phone chirp.

BOOM! The interior of classroom 8 flashed a blast of white light, the explosion totally contained inside. Mixed with the blast, an unearthly scream of pain and anger.

Lips forming a minimal smile of satisfaction, the Custodian continued his rounds.                                 Janitor3

See, it’s not all scraping gum or setting up chairs.

Cheers.

Recycling is Dangerous

Posted in Bad Laws, Novel writing, Recycling, screenwriting, Short Story Writing, story ideas, Story Subjects, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2014 by davidburtonwriting

Sorry I haven’t posted in so long, I know you’ve been worried, but I’ve been on the run for a few months. Hiding out in friends’ basements, sleeping in homeless shelters, under bridges, making contact with other recyclers. I tried to cross the border, but they were watching. border1

I had to keep moving. They’re relentless! They stop at nothing. The fate of the people who have helped me is unknown. They’ve vanished! But I’m tired of running without telling my side of the story to the public.

Okay, I’ll admit it, I did the deed. I couldn’t help it. It was just laying there on top of the trash, calling out to me, “Recycle me. Mister, please recycle me. Don’t throw me out with the other trash to slowly and painfully deteriorate for a hundred years or more in some stinking landfill.”  I admit I felt sorry for that No. 1 plastic bottle.water bottle2

It knew the right thing to do. So did I. So I took it, and damn the draconian rules against recycling at my work place in a camouflaged office building tucked into a far corner of Area 51, right next to Area 52,area 51 1 that state, for no logical reason that I’ve heard, “Do not touch recyclable plastic bottles or aluminum cans. They are trash, worth money and environmental points, but you deprive them from their place in the landfill AT YOUR PERIL!”

So, yes, I took it.  I was weak. But I took that one lonesome bottle and stashed it in my roller trash cart. Sure I was scared, but it felt damned good, doing the right thing, helping a plastic bottle, and not even one of those ubiquitous  flimsy little water bottles – it was a full-size Gatorade bottle –gatorade large to it’s rightful environmental place.  I was a proud Green Warrior, defying the nonsensical proclamations of those on high who drive gas guzzlers, take long, hot showers,  never turn off the lights when leaving the room, and deny Global Warming.

That courageous feeling lasted until the next afternoon when Sir called me into his office. Without a word he tapped a key on his computer and played a video of me holding the bottle in my hands, squaring my shoulders and putting the bottle in a bottom pouch of my trash can. “You’re under arrest for recycling,” he said, pronouncing “Recycling” with the same tone he’d accuse one of murdering his mother.

I was busted. What did I have to lose? “You’re a smart guy,” I said. “You know that the Ban Recycling Decree is, as everyone I’ve told has responded, ‘A stupid idea.’ Right?” I followed his glance out the window. Two burly Recycle Agents, or as they’re colloquially called, the Plastic Police, strode toward the office door. I didn’t have much time to decide what to do.

“That’s the law. It’s my job to enforce them, not question them.”

I stood up. Leaned on his desk. “Your laws go against Federal, State and City environmental and waste reduction programs. When this gets out, and it will, it will be you running from the Storm Troopers. stormtroop2I hope they make you all dig up all the tens of thousands of bottles and cans from the landfill, and the thousands of dollars you forced us to throw away are used to repay us for our pain and anguish at having to follow such a crazy law.”

Sir cocked his head and squinted at me. “Running?”

The front door slammed and I heard the hobnail boots click – clack on the tile floor. I grabbed a half-full water bottle off his desk. “Running.” Then I spun around and dashed out the door. I had no idea where I was going. All I knew was I had to stay free and expose this travesty of misuse of power to all the good people of the land. So now you know what’s happening here. I beg you, please, for the sake of all the plastic, numbers 1-7, and aluminum cans big and small that yearn to be recycled, speak up, question, demonstrate. Don’t let one more bottle or can linger for hundreds of years in an anonymous landfill.

BTW – If someone can arrange a clandestine trip out of the country to an anonymous location (preferably tropic) free from pursuit, I might know a thing or two about what really happens in Area 52. Just saying.  

IDEAS

What if there was a logical, from their point of view, reason to put the plastic in the landfill?landfill1 Maybe Area 52 was a special landfill keeping alien worms captive and they only ate #1 plastic. These wormsworm1 were telepathic and the Feds were experimenting on them to learn how to be  telepathic. And maybe if someone was on the run and hid under the tarp he might make a deal with the worms – He helps them escape to their hidden ship and they will make him telepathic – a useful ability for a man on the run.

What If plastic was a rare commodity in the galaxy? And after we almost exterminated ourselves by ignoring Global Warming, Earth was discovered by aliens and they found the rich deposits of plastic in our old landfills. Then, they either enslaved the surviving humans to mine the plastic, or they ignored the pesky survivors who asked them for help. Then, what if another alien race, no friends of the first, discovered the precious deposits. Maybe, in the ensuing Plastic War, the humans took advantage, helping the aliens destroy each other, allowing the humans to appropriate their technology and head for the stars with ships full of plastic wealth.

space ship2

What If in some future world a powerful wizard was being hassled by the Powers That Be (PTB). To get even, get revenge, get free, get power, the wizard makes a golem out of ancient plastic found only in the Abandoned lands. Maybe he needs an apprentice to help him, or a soldier, or a guide. Of course Golemsgolem2 have a reputation of being unpredictable.

So, please speak up against onerous anti-recycling rules. Hiding in strange basements and sleeping in boxcars is only fun the first time. I’d like to go home.

Just got a great review from Vampireforums.com for my book Blood Justice. Check it out – http://vampireforums.com/blood-justice-book-review/

For links to my latest mystery novel, Passion Street, please go to: http://dcburtonwriting.wordpress.com/passion-street

Or, go to: http://dcburtonwriting.wordpress.com  to find all my books and stories.

What was that? Oh, man, I got to g….

 

 

My Earth, All Mine

Posted in calamities, Destruction, Disasters, Disasters, End of the world, Loners, Losers, Novel writing, screenwriting, Short Story Writing, solitary life, story ideas, Story Subjects, Uncategorized, Writing, Young Adult book with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2013 by davidburtonwriting

“Happy Holidays?”  Had enough merriment and good cheer? Tired of  “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year?” Too much generosity and good cheer for you? How about some doom and gloom? This is the time when loners feel their lonesome the most. Give them a little love.

So there’s loners and there’s LONERS. What if you were in the latter group and you didn’t want to be just left alone in your cabin in the woods or your little apartment in the city. You wanted to be the only human on Earth. How would you go about it?earthmine

You’d want to consult with Gaia first. I’m sure she’d be glad to be rid of the human pests, but you wouldn’t want to piss her off by screwing with her plans for us, would you?

I’m not talking about evil super villains who want to have all the money and rule the world.  They need people to lord it over. The same with religious fanatics. They need people to listen to them preach doom and gloom, fire and brimstone, and you’d better have sex with me or God’s going to be mad at you. And political despots. They need somebody to enslave, harangue, and be paranoid about. Without people they’re just crazy dudes ranting at themselves.

The main problem of eliminating humans from the planet is getting rid of them without killing yourself. What good is having a planet of your own if you’re too dead to enjoy it? Inciting a nuclear war probably isn’t so easy now days. And if you could, say, obtain the launch codes for all the missiles in the US or Russia and set them all off and create a full on nuclear winter killing most everything that lives, that doesn’t sound very agreeable. If you’re going to be alone, having warm, secluded beaches or pleasant woodland walks would be a necessity. Whether 8 billion people crowd the planet or none, what difference would it make if you’re shut in your bomb shelter for the next 1000 years?

Mosquitoes are your friends. They inhabit all the earth except Antarctica. They infect hundreds of millionsmosie1 and kill millions every year. All you’d have to do is cook up a big batch of a human specific virus or bacteria, infect  a few million mosquito eggs, and distribute them around some of the busiest airports. Within days of hatching, your personal little pandemic would have spread throughout the world. Then, all you’d have to do is sit back with your beach towel and umbrella in hand and wait for the beach to clear out. Assuming you thought to immunize yourself against your private plague.

Or, you might want to learn how to sail before hand. Once you let the little monsters loose a long cruise into the ocean while the sun, bacteria, insects, and animals dispose of the dead would be nice. If you’re smart, and watched too many horror movies, you made sure that the dead stayed dead.  It wouldn’t do to come back to shore and bezombieblog2 greeted by a few billion hungry Zombies. That could be just as bothersome as a few billion regular folks. Vampires could be a problem. There’re already dead and they’d be really hungry. Better stock up on holy water, silver bullets and learn how to use a svampblogword.

Of course, with humans gone the world will start fixing all the damage we’ve done to it. This includes the return of wildlife. I imagine Bigfoot will sigh with relief not to have all those little humans stalking him with cameras. With small wildlife expansion comes the revival of the big predators; bears, big cats, wolves and the like. So, while you relax on that empty beach best keep an eye out. Those big cats only respect you for your food value, not your desire for solitude.catsblog4 wolfcatsblog2

IDEAS

What If? there really was (there probably is, tucked away in some government vault)  a virus/ bacteria that was capable of wiping humans from the planet? Then some group in a simple steal it/ransom it operation successfully steals it. But, just before they were to get their millions, one of their own, a stealth religious fanatic, steals it from them for his own highly misguided, God, Jesus, Mary Magdalene-told-me-to- do-it  cleanse the earth scheme. Suddenly the bad guys and the good guys have to work together to save all of humanity. Of course the good guy leader is an attractive woman, and the second in command bad guy is an attractive man (or vice versa) and they have to work together, close together.

What If? somebody did wipe humanity from the planet and  was enjoying their solitude when he/she came across a group of aliens intent on taking over the Earth. Well, he went to a lot of trouble to depopulate the world so now he has to fight the aliens for the planet.  He wins and once again enjoys his solitude when a group of astronauts who have been on a long space journey returns. Our single inhabitant sighs, “Can’t a guy get a little peace and quiet on his private beach?” A series for sure.beach2

What If? you were in a group of astronauts returning from a long mission and you found the only survivor of the Great Plague that wiped out humanity. You fight him at first, but he/she kidnaps one of your people and finally decides you can stay. But, the nasty bug is still around and the only way you will survive is if he gives you the vaccine, but it’s across the country and you may or may not have time to get there. Who will survive the journey? Surely not Adam and Eve – that would be too cheesy.

So, whether you’re a loner alone or a loner in a crowd find a bit of Christmas spirit and don’t vanish humanity, at least until after New Years.

Check out and share my first attempt at a book trailer for my story Heartbreak – http://youtu.be/NNLTJNUgYHs

My website (such as it is) with information on my books and stories is: http://dcburtonwriting.wordpress.com

Feel free to comment and Please share.

dcburtonjr@gmail.com

Nowhere

Posted in Book Release, Novel writing, screenwriting, Short Story Writing, solitary life, story ideas, Story Subjects, Uncategorized, Writing, Young Adult book with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2013 by davidburtonwriting

Pulling the idea out of nowhere, I think a blogger is supposed to put all their promotional material at the end of the blog. Probably because by the end you, the reader, are supposed to be so enthralled by the brilliant writing and incredibly useful and timely information that you’ll buy whatever their selling or go wherever they want you to go with a smile on your face and your heart and wallet wide open. But what if you, the mightily intelligent and astute reader that you are, doesn’t (gasp!) read to the end? Not this blog, of course, but those other ones. You’d miss all the clever calls to action they got from a list touted on some other blog. What then? Think of all the opportunities and cleverness missed and/or wasted! To that end (wouldn’t want you to miss anything) – Go to. Click on. Buy! Jump! Buy! Share. Like! You’ll be amazed how much smarter, how psychologically stable and emotionally cleansed you’ll feel after you Buy!, and read these incredible (may be based on real persons) e-stories. And if you (deeply generous person that you are) share these links with others, why in no time, Overnight! you’ll have thousands of likes, friends, followers, money, happiness and success. I promise. You trust me, don’t you? So just to help you out, here are —- The first two stories in the Ancient Mariners Story series:AM Heartbreak final cover 2

Ancient Mariners serieshttps://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/9146

 Heartbreak

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FNWB8LA

Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/363624

Beth, 14, and Silas, 42, have lost their families to violence. Now, sailing together, they have found a home and a new family in Mexico. But Death has other plans for them – This is the first step on a journey to revenge that will set them free.AM First Kill cover

First Kill

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FP1Q6PM

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/364885

“I thought we were spared for the events fourteen days after my sixteenth birthday. When I killed my first man.” – Beth, 16. — Beth and Silas enjoy a beautiful tropical night aboard some new friends’ yacht. Until it goes bad and Beth has no choice but to make her – First Kill.

YOUNG BLOOD – An Accidental Vampire Serieshttps://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/6017

 Young Blood cover

Smashwords-http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/362496

Young Blood is the third story (a 29,000 word novella) in the An Accidental Vampire series. 

In 1648 France, Simone Gireaux, a Young Blood vampire, is persuaded to help find the truth behind a Duchess’s murder.

Okay, got that out of way. You wouldn’t have wanted to miss that, right? Right? I’ll take that as a, “No. Of course I didn’t want to miss all that, even though there wasn’t much cleverness to it.” Now, where was I? You’re probably thinking – Nowhere. Ha.

Speaking of Nowhere, where is nowhere? Does it exist? Everything is somewhere relative to something. Even in space. You may be 2.68 parsecs from the planet Gigglbot surrounded by Dark Matter and nothingness, but you’re somewhere, even if you don’t know exactly where.

There is Limbo, which is, depending on the story you’re writing, either a dark void or, like in my sometime forthcoming novel Blood on the Water, a white room with no entrance, no exit, and no time that exists but doesn’t exist. It makes that old saw – “You can’t get there from here,” a true statement.

Maybe the only real Nowhere is in your mind?

“Where are you in your investigation?”

“Nowhere.”

“Where are the car keys you’ve been looking for for half an hour?”

“F&%$*@ing nowhere.”

“Hands on the wall, scumbag. Where do think you’re going?”

“Nowhere.”

Speaking of nowhere, Limbo, and space stations, Nowhere is where the occupants, vampire and mortal, of the space station Haven hope the Sunvamps who have taken over Earth think they are. Orbiting 400 miles over Earth is not nowhere, but, “Out of sight, out of mind,” works for the people of Haven – until it doesn’t.  — Down Home is a An Accidental Vampire Series novella waiting for a second draft.

Lost in limbo, consigned to oblivion, stuck, ennui, neither here nor there = Nowhere… unless… something out of your control happens and gives you hope that in your mind or physical being you can change nowhere, whether self-imposed or circumstance-imposed, to somewhere. (See Down Home)

“Can’t get there from here”  works the other way, too. Once you get to nowhere it can be hard to get back, mentally or physically. Physically, magic helps. Just ask Teresa of Blood Justice and Blood on the Water. Mentally, a goal to focus on can pull you out of your ennui and get you back on the road to SOMEWHERE. (See Down Home)

IDEAS

What If someone or something you wanted was trapped in Limbo, or the like, and the only way to get to them was by magic, but you didn’t happen to have a witch or sorcerer in your social circle?  Where would you go to find one to help you? Maybe that homeless guy who for some reason nobody messes with and never seems to get wet in the rain or cold in the winter and has that I-know-something-you-don’t look. Or that palmist in that little rundown house on the edge of town your friends swear is dead accurate? Or maybe there’s something in that old book your uncle everybody said was wizard (yeah, sure, ha ha) left you. And where would that journey lead you?

What If you were nowhere in your mind? Lost, confused, discombobulated, having done something BAD but now with nowhere to go and no way to get there? You were just walking, when – “Hands on the wall, scumbag. Where do think you’re going?” – “Nowhere.” – So they put you in jail (somewhere!) on suspicion of murdering somebody who needed murdering. But, of course the cops wouldn’t see it that way even though they agreed he/she should have been killed in as long and painful way as possible. Cops got to do their cop thing.  In the next cell is a strange person who calls him/her self a Journey Agent. This agent promises you a wonderful life journey if you do something for him/her.  Not caring, you agree. Maybe you do his task (that didn’t seem too bad) right away or maybe later. In any case you lead a wonderful life – great spouse, kids, house, job. If you haven’t done the task maybe it comes due. Maybe you have to choose between doing something bad or losing your family and happiness. Maybe you end up sacrificing your life and end up dying by lethal injection – it was all a dream. (Lame) Maybe you figure it out and find a workaround, do the task but live. (Better) Maybe you find the Journey Agent and…? (Best)

What If there really is a Middle of Nowhere, and it’s in the ocean a thousand miles from land (been there, missed it) and you sail right into it and find yourself in Nowhere Land an amazing  place of….

What If what happens in Nowheresvile stays in Nowheresville? Maybe you die and go to an alternative Vegas where the winner of the big Poker Game of Life gets to return to life and try again. Of course you’ll be playing for high stakes against people who will do anything to get back to Somewhere.

 So don’t be a nowhere man, be on http://dcburtonwriting.wordpress.com for links and excerpts of other books and stories.

Overcoming the Monster

Posted in death, Disasters, Global Warming, Love, Novel writing, screenwriting, Short Story Writing, story ideas, Uncategorized, Writing, Young Adult book with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2013 by davidburtonwriting

Okay, first things first, (which is a majorly obvious statement because whatever is first is first so it’s actually a wasted 16 bytes (17 if you include the comma to satisfy all the grammar snobs out there) and we all know there’s a limited amount of bytes (would I kid you?!) in the universe and the internet is gobbling them up like a doper with the “munchies” inhales peanut M&Ms, so forget I mentioned that saying, aphorism, idiom, expression, motto, slogan, colloquialism, phrase, archaism, etc., or whatever it is and go right into the shameless promotional moment you were hoping for).

Okay, the first thing (or is it now the second thing?) is a shameless promo for my novel Hell Cop which is now available in paperback for the e-reader impaired or those of us who just like to hold a damn book in our hands, sniff that new book aroma, and turn real pages. Plus, isn’t it more comfortable with a real book lying open on your stomach when you fall asleep? Not falling asleep with my books, of course. Just all those other hacks. However, if you’re fully digitized, go to http://dcburtonwriting.wordpress.com for links to all my bytes, vampire and otherwise.

I wouldn’t bother to tell you about these books, but I’m looking out for your well being. I want you to be prepared when the zombies attack, which it seems could be any day now by the number of books, comics, TV shows and movies about them. You wouldn’t want to be trapped in that ancient, leaky bomb shelter for months or years without a good book or two because that (safe?) genetically modified killer virus escaped and wiped out most of human kind. And no good books for all those years while cowering in that high mountain cave after the whole globe turns into a deadly environmental disaster area because global warming (that’s not happening, according to some____(fill in your own naughty word)) kicked into high gear–Oh please, no. BTW – If you don’t believe in Global Warming feel free to buy that beachfront property that seems so cheap.

Monsters? What monsters? Oh… yeah, them. I’ve been rummaging around the 720 page, 500+ words/page (whew) book,  The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker. The first one is Overcoming the Monster. There’s plenty of monsters out there — Medusa, Cyclops, Grendel, Mr. Hyde, Moriarity, supernatural nasties  by the score, ex-wives/husbands/boyfriends/girlfriends, vamps, and, okay, okay, zombies. According to Booker, since stories began thousands of years ago, Overcoming the Monster stories have 5 stages– Spoiler Alert! — If you’re a reader you might want to scroll down a bit. You don’t need to know how stories are written. It  might take away some of the mystery and excitement that are my books. And… well… maybe a few others.

1.  The Call – Anticipation stage

2. Initial Success – Dream stage

3. Confrontation – Frustration stage

4. Final Ordeal – Nightmare stage

5. Miraculous Escape – Death of the monster.

Most all overcoming the monster stories follow this pattern. It seems to be in our genes. What struck me was that, though it was finished before I read the book, I found my latest novel, Blood on the Water, (at the publisher, sequel to Blood Justice , paperback here) – naturally followed the 5 stages. Do yours?

Ideas

What if your monster was your ex-wife/husband. Your divorce seemed amicable enough, but your spouse was not happy, carried a grudge, and was slightly (majorly) unhinged by it. You’ve moved on, found your princess/prince. The Ex seemed to have moved on, but hasn’t. Then your princess disappears. (Call to action)  You’re down and out but rally, search about and discover that the Ex has taken her and locked her in the attic, basement, pit, cell, cave, high tower. (Initial success) You man up, confront the monster, but the princess is gone and you get the shit beat out of you. (Confrontation)  You despair, want to give up, but your love rallies you, and win or lose, doing whatever you have to, you once again confront the monster (final ordeal) You’re up, you’re down, you fight through and finally rescue the one who makes you whole (miraculous escape) The monster is defeated and you and your princess/prince live happily ever after.

What if you were a kid and instead of monsters under the bed, in your closet was another world. Not a magical one with talking lions and such, but your world, only different. In it you are someone else, a nice person, with a nice boy/girlfriend. You like these people. They’re happy, you’re happy. Then, tragedy. The b/gfriend is murdered. You’re a witness. They’re after you. You run. You see the date; it’s tomorrow. Back in your bedroom you freak out. Parents think you’re high, big sister thinks you’re crazy. What the hell? You have a name, know their school, know somebody who knows somebody there. You go, search, just miss them. You saw where it happened, but don’t know where it is. You look for someone to help you. You find a nice (very) goodlooking person, with a great smile and sympathetic eyes who doesn’t think you’re nuts. Together you search for the coming murder scene. There it is! There they are! “Stop!” Bam. A car hits you. You’re hurt. Doesn’t matter. Running, limping, you chase after. There’s the killer, the monster. Only one thing to do…. Your new friend with the eyes and the smile is very proud of you.

What if there really was a monster that was guarding an artifact that would bring you unlimited riches and power over the world? So you and your evil henchmen go to the desert, mountains, jungle, city, underwater, space after it. It’s a tough slog. One by one your men are lost. You don’t care. You want that power, damn it. Hurt, starving, you come across a poor family. They show you kindness. Local bad guys are harassing them, stealing food, taking their daughter. They don’t ask for help, but for the first time you’re willing to give it and you take care of the bad guys. Finally you confront the monster, and being an evil genius you defeat it and gain the artifact. The family knows of the artifact and advises you not to use it. Of course you don’t listen and head back to civilization to put it to use. –End of the book in the series.

My monster is promoting, marketing my books and stories. Reviews, likes, shares, and word of mouth would all help slay that dragon.

Watch for Programed for Murder a mystery available soon. In return for a review I’d be happy to send you a PDF of the book.

A preview of the novella Young Blood is available here. I’d appreciate any comments and answers to the three questions.

Website – http://dcburtonwriting.wordpress.com    —  Find info and links on all my work here.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DBurtonWriting

 

Vamps in Space!

Posted in death, Novel writing, reincarnation, screenwriting, Short Story Writing, solitary life, story ideas, Uncategorized, Vampires, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2013 by davidburtonwriting

First, a shameless plug… hustle… ah, notice of importance. My novel Hell Cop is now available in print from Amazon.

I’ve been thinking lately (always good to try something new) about what happens to vampires in space. Why am I thinking about that, you ask. And you should ask, because who the hell thinks, or cares, about the physiological effects of space on vampires? Except for Vampires and those who want to round them up, send them up and Good-fracking-bye paleface bloodsuckers.

It all began a long time ago, but never mind that. What matters is that I recently sent off the sequel to my novel Blood Justice — tentatively titled Blood on the Water.  So, fool, glutton for punishment, and/or masochist that I am, I’m already thinking about the next book in the series. There has to be a next book because two isn’t a series — it’s a couple of books looking for a third for gin rummy, a night of kinky pleasure, or maybe just a chaperon. I already have an idea for that all important third; but what about the next and next and next? If you keep going far enough you have to go up to space or down to Hell.

fire facecrop2

Hell — been there — the Hell Cop almost series (2 1/4 and counting) — and plan to go again, but vamps have to go up. So what are the rules up there? Think a space station, inside and out, no suit.

space1spacesuit com

No air – No problem. Vampires don’t need to breathe, except to talk. Though if one got shoved out an airlock they could beat on the door all they wanted but would certainly prove the truth of the  phrase – “In space, nobody can hear you scream.” (Thank you, James Cameron)

spacepic2Vacuum – Problem, sort of. Explosive decompression will do to vamps what it did to all those mortals in all those B Sci-Fi movies when their helmets got cracked – Phump, all nasty inside the faceplate. However, slow decompression they can handle, though not without a lot of grimacing and uncomfortableness  in the nether regions. Their quick healing can counteract all that cell and gas (yes they have gas, too) expansion.

Cold –  Even the toughest already dead vampire will be a stone-cold vamp way before getting close to absolute zero (0° K, 273.15°c,459.67° F) By -50°c, they’re getting creaky. By -100° C they’re barely able to move. Below that for any  time and they’re likely to be stone dead and not coming back a third time. Even vampire healing can only go so far. Although that might depend on whether they’re a good guy or bad guy and the state of alien technology . (See below)

Heat — For you, much time over 115° and you’re done. Vampires, 130-140° and their super repair faculty can’t keep up with the damage.  From vamp to mummy real quick.mummies1

Sun — Big Problem. We (unless you’re a hard core Buffy buff) all know that a Vampire has a maximum 30 minutes in the sun until they’re ash and dust. At 15 minutes they are praying for the immolation agony to be over. That’s on Earth where they get some shielding from the atmosphere. In space — 15 minutes max and they’re dust in the solar wind. No repairs. No redos.

spacesuit1With a proper space suit (a mortal one will do) they would be good to go for a long time. That sounds good until you get kicked out an air lock and are flung out into space to drift to the next star. You’d get mighty lonely floating out there for years, ravaged by a Blood Hunger that can never be fulfilled.

IDEAS

What if a vampire was ejected, intentionally or accidentally, into space for decades or years or even a really long time and was picked up by some aliens and rejuvenated, reconstituted, reanimated, revived, or whatever. What would they think? What would he or she think? What if the aliens were at war with some nasty invaders — like humans? Who would the vamp fight for? What would humans be/look like by that time? Would the long lost vampire finally find romance in an alien war?

What if  a vampire was a security chief on a huge Ark ship on the way to ____? He would have to solve murders, find stolen goods, locate missing people (whether they wanted to be missing or not) in a sort of Hardboiled/Spock/Sherlock H. kind of way. But who would be Watson?

What if the Earth was invaded by aliens and they were winning. There was one last escape ship ready to go with lots of important people — scientists, engineers, women, children on board. No vampires allowed – they’re being blamed for the invasion. The last group (the ones who know how to run the ship and where to go once they get away) race toward the ship. A group of vamps want to escape, too, and they know that one of the last group is an agent for the aliens. Would they be able to stop him/her from boarding? Of course not. So, how do they get onboard and find the spy before the Ark ship is blown up or captured, the humans enslaved, tortured or eaten? Whew!

zombie1

Makes me hungry just thinking about it. And thinking about eating, unlike zombies, not all vampires are bad. And you don’t have to be an immortal dead to read about some. Go HERE at vamp speed, not zombie speed, and check it out. In the UK go HERE.

Pleasant dreams.

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