Windhaven 13

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Well, weekly posts doesn’t seem to be happening. A bit of surgery and then some tables falling on me have slowed me down some. Not much action this time, but after the Wave you gotta have some recuperation time.

I usually write about supernatural stuff or mystery/thrillers. Windhaven might have some thrills but no mystery and no vampires or trips to hell (see my other books.) It’s a survival adventure that could happen any day now.  I’m not doing official chapters every post, just whenever.  The numbers are to keep it all in order, for you and me.  Comments and suggestions are always welcome. Dcburtonjr@gmail.com

To start Windhaven from the beginning go HERE

What Ifs are random ideas for future stories by me or you. Feel free to use them as you will.

What Ifs

What if vampires, satan3-readingwitches, werewolves, etc. were real, but, for obvious reasons given human nature, they wanted to stay hidden from us mere mortals? As if they actually could over the centuries, A Discovery of Witches notwithstanding. What if you were the only one who knew about them? What would you do? Keep it very quiet? Yell it from the rooftops – and end up in the Looney Bin? Befriend them, use them for your own nefarious purposes? What If someone else found out about them and planned to use that knowledge exactly the opposite of you. Could, would, that precipitate a war that couldn’t be hidden from the merely human. Knowledge should be used with care.

 

What If  you were on a spaceship space ship2and discovered a planet populated by vampires.  Like us they cultivated there own animals for their food supply, and had never tasted human blood. Maybe after an accident one tasted your blood. Oh Yum! What would they do to you? What would you do? Dole out you blood for favors in return. Would they force you to give them directions to Earth? Would you sacrifice yourself to save Earth? Maybe figure out a clever way to save Earth and yourself. What kind of hero are you?

 

Windhaven

Chapter 13

Thomas emitted a muffled scream; his body arched then slumped back. He lapsed into unconsciousness.

Leigh released her grip and the bone slid more or less into place.

Noah relaxed, tried to catch his breath. “That was… intense.”

Leigh nodded. “You have an awfully light touch. Effective though. We need to clean him up and bandage him. I’ve given him antibiotics. I don’t think there’s anything else we can do for him.”

“Right, then we need to get this water out and contact someone.”

They checked on Alain. He lay still but for labored breathing. Leigh pulled down the blanket covering him. “Feel here,” she said, pointing to an indentation by his ribs.

Noah gently ran a couple fingers over the depression. Alain moaned. Noah said, “Probably broken ribs.”

“I think they’ve punctured his lung. I have no idea how to fix that. His lungs were full of water, which probably isn’t helping. I got him breathing again. I doubt I did him a favor.”

“You had to try. We need to find that emergency medical book.”

Red’s eyes were open, the slightly bulging eyeballs twitching as he muttered nonsense.

They watched him for a minute, but said nothing.

On deck, under partly cloudy skies, Leigh stood in the cockpit her face upturned, arms out. “Many times lately, I thought I’d never see the sun again.” She rolled her head to look at Noah working the bilge pump again. “Thanks for saving the boat.”

“Thank this safety harness. If it wasn’t for it I’d be floating face down twenty miles back there and Windhaven would be on the bottom leaving a mystery about what happened.”

“Well, we’ll still be a mystery if we don’t get our shit together. We should put up a jib. It’ll help balance the boat and help your self-steering rig.”

Together they cleaned the foredeck of stray lines and the remnants of the shredded headsail. While Noah adjusted his self-steering rig Leigh, on her knees, looking astern, worked the bilge pump.

“I really don’t want to go back below. It’s so wet and musty and it smells and there’s no ventilation and I can’t help any of those guys.” She stopped pumping and stared at the approaching waves. “I’ll be real surprised if Alain makes it. That will be a real tragedy. He has a very pretty wife and two beautiful kids. Except for the fact that he tends to go sailing for months at a time he has the perfect family. The one everybody thinks they’re going to get.” She started working the bilge pump again.

“You married?” Noah asked.

A minute of silence passed. “Yes.”

“He not so perfect?” She glanced up at him. “I expect, if we survive at all, it’s going to be just you and me for quite awhile.” Leigh smiled to herself. “He’s about as perfect as a man can be – His name is Sam.”

“Is Sam as perfect as you thought you would get?”

She stared at the coming waves, seven to ten feet, but not close together and not steep. “I never thought I’d get married to a man. I’m married to the sea.”

“Will he be worried about you?”

She stopped pumping. “You take over. The big pump below is more efficient that this, but I’m not ready to go down there yet.”

Leigh sat behind the helm her face tilted up to catch a tiny bit of warmth from the afternoon sun.woman at the helm

“Will somebody be worried about you?” she asked.

“No. Not really.” Then he pictured Linda in the morning, smiling, blonde hair a tangle, green eyes glittery with sleep and sex. “Well… maybe.”

Noah left Leigh at the helm and went below. He checked on the men then worked the big manual bilge pump hard for thirty minutes. The water level had receded significantly so he could pick up clothes, books, papers, and food. Wet clothes, soggy books, including the emergency medical book, and spoiled food he threw into the cockpit where Leigh sorted it out. He checked the fresh water. There was no power at all, but the manual foot pump in the galley and one head worked. It took a few minutes to get the stove working, a little longer to make some coffee. He handed a cup to a grateful Leigh.

“Well, maybe we will survive after all,” she said. “Can you cook?”

“As long as I can find the can opener.”

“An electric can opener won’t do you much good.”

“I know my way around basic wiring, but electronics are beyond me.”

“We all need food. Can you fix something?”

“Right. Food first, electricity tomorrow.”

While Noah heated up, not really cooking, a meal with two cans of baked beans and one of Spam, he checked the water tanks. The forward 35 gallon tank was almost full. Of the two 55 gallon tanks one was empty; the other held about 40 gallons. Windhaven had a watermaker, useless unless he could restore power.

Thomas woke enough to feed himself. Groggy, he said, “Shit, Noah, this Spam almost makes up for hitting my leg. That hurt like hell, man. Still hurts, but not quite up to Hell level. Purgatory, maybe.”

“Sorry, but that bone wasn’t cooperating, so….”

“No worries.” Thomas held out his empty bowl and let his head fall back. “You contacted anybody yet?”

“No. We’ve been trying to get our shit together so we can survive to be rescued.”

“I know. Leigh saved all our asses down here. EPIRBS?”

“The main antenna is broken off. With no power it probably wouldn’t work anyway. The other one is missing.”

Red regained consciousness enough to eat and drink a little, but not enough to speak any sense.

Alain took some water and an antibiotic pill while continuing to murmur in undecipherable French.

Though Noah desperately needed sleep he had to take a quick look into the engine compartment. The water level was a few inches below the diesel engine. On the starboard side two of the four motor mounts of a diesel generator had broken, leaving the generator on its side ready to tumble into the bilge at any time.

On the port side were three battery boxes, two holding two large GEL batteries, the third holding one. Along with the batteries were much of the miscellaneous mechanical and electrical equipment, including the watermaker. Or what was left of it.

One of the batteries had broken loose and smashed into it. Another was jammed between the engine and hull. Two other batteries were missing, thrown into the saltwater filled bilge. The lone, smaller, battery hung by its wires over the bilge. The whole compartment reeked of damp with an overtone of ozone from the batteries shorting out while under water.

Noah held the flashlight under his arm as he carefully pulled up the small battery. The flashlight slipped away, hit the hull and rolled toward the bilge. Noah reached out with his foot to stop it from rolling into the bilge. His other foot slipped. He grabbed an engine hose to keep himself from slipping into the water while still trapping the flashlight with his other foot. Simultaneously, he lost his grip on the small battery wire.

The roll of the boat gave the battery momentum. One of the two attached wires broke off when it took the full weight. It slid halfway into the water before the second wire stopped it.

Noah carefully retrieved the flashlight then equally as careful pulled up the battery and installed it in its box.

He called that a day and a minute later fell asleep on a damp pipe berth.

 

Comments and suggestions are welcome. Dcburtonjr@gmail.com

 

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Windhaven 11 – click here for the full page

Windhaven 11

I usually write about supernatural stuff or mystery/thrillers. Windhaven might have some thrills but no mystery and no vampires or trips to hell (see my other books.) It’s a survival adventure that could happen any day now. I’m not doing official chapters every post, just whenever. The numbers are to keep it all in order, for you and me. Comments and suggestions are always welcome as long as you know that I may or may not follow them.
To start Windhaven from the beginning go HERE.

What If?s

What If when a particular person was killed her soul would jump to the nearest person, the person who killed her. She wouldn’t have outright control of the new body, just varying levels of influence. Just enough make the killer step in front of a bus or jump off a roof. She’s been doing it for a long time, met some nasty people and some good people. She now picked the way the bad ones died, so she’d be close to a good person, who she might influence for good. But there’s one very bad killer, maybe he murdered a friend, and she searches for him, so he will kill her, and then she can punish him.  What If there was a detective on is trail, too? Or, on her trail?

What If a woman reports that her boyfriend is missing. An officer is sent to get information. It turns out that the boyfriend is a ghost. She says he comes and goes through a closet. The officer likes the woman, though he thinks she’s a bit nuts. He looks in the closet, nothing weird. He steps in – and finds himself in a netherworld of ghosts and spirits.

He’s freaked out, but intrigued. The officer’s brother died a year ago, but he always felt that the brother was still around, wanting to tell him something. So, on his own he does some research and reenters the closet, searching for the boyfriend, who in life had his own secrets, and his brother. The woman goes in with him and turns out not to be so nuts during their netherworld adventure.

 

Windhaven  11

Tons of cold water smashed him against the wheel then the roiling water plucked him up and tumbled him about like inside a salty, freezing clothes washer. His safety harness bit into his shoulders, yanking him back. Water buffeted him about, attempting to knock the air out of his lungs and drown him.

Somehow he held in the air. He wasn’t going to drown. He wasn’t going to die. He had something, someone to live for. As the water attempted one more time to yank him away from the boat, squeezing his last breath out, the water let him go.

He crashed down on the helm. A flash of pain bit his left wrist. His head smacked the edge of the cockpit. The full cockpit sloshed him about as he gasped for air.

“Ahhh,” he cried out, grasping for a solid handhold.

Windhaven slid out of control down the back of the freak wave. The reefed mainsail had split in half. The boom traveler had been ripped from the deck and swung widely, crashing into the two aft shrouds.

Noah struggled through dizziness to gain his feet. He held on with his one good hand as the next wave picked up the stern and threw it aside. With no guidance Windhaven broached, turning broadside to the wave. She rolled ninety degrees, the masthead touching the water as the wave broke over her. The cockpit filled as The cold, dark water flowed from the cockpit through the hole left by the torn loose traveler.

She righted herself in the trough between waves. Noah, knowing another broach would sink the boat, forced himself to take control of the helm. Wind caught the mast and torn sails. The boat made some headway. Noah threw the wheel over as the new wave tried to broach her. His actions reversed the broach though allowing the wave to break over the stern. Wheezing, coughing, freezing, in pain, Noah wrestled Windhaven from disaster.

Half filled with water Windhaven wallowed in the seaway, yet fought with Noah to maintain a steady course. Breathing easier, expecting help from below any second, Noah surveyed the damage.

The mast still stood, though the aft lower shrouds were loose due to the constant beat by the swinging boom. The whole traveler apparatus slammed into the deck with each swing, gouging the deck and cabin top. The stainless steel array over the stern that sprouted with all the radar, radio and satellite communications antennas had bent almost double, shattering much of the equipment.wrecked boat1

The mainsail was ripped horizontally from mast to leech. The headsail clew was ripped off, the rest tatters blowing forward by the forty, fifty knot winds.

Noah searched for Ricky and Ivan. There were no signs of them, they must have made it down below. Then why hadn’t he heard from any of the crew?

Windhaven shuddered as the boom swung against the rigging again. Once he had the helm in hand, to secure the boom was a top priority, not only for the rigging, but each time it whipped the traveler over the deck it opened the hole bigger and if anybody was incautious enough to exit the companionway without looking could easily have their head taken off.

Fighting through the dizziness and deep chill, he determined that the only way to secure the boom would be to get a line around the end and use a winch to hold it in place. Tangled lines were strewn about the cockpit. He picked out a suitable line, timed the waves then locked the wheel and staggered to a winch and quickly, with one hand, unwound the line and returned to the wheel in time to navigate another wave.

His left hand had no strength to it and hurt like hell, but after several tries he fashioned a fixed loop large enough to throw over the boom end.

“Hey. Anybody. Hey!”

The sun had set. All lights were out. Thirty to forty foot waves still crashed around him. Occasional thin breaks in the streaming clouds offered an occasional glimpse of moonlight. Noah attempted to get his breathing under control. “Hey!” No answer. He had never felt so alone.

Using his innate feel of the boat’s motion Noah attempted to loop the line around the end of the boom. On his fourth try he succeeded. Quickly he took the line he’d already run through a fixed block and whipped it around a winch. The effort took him away from the helm too long. Windhaven skipped sideways, knocking him down, but the boom was minimally secured.

Noah crawled back to the helm and spent five minutes planning his next move.

“Hello! Anyone?” Surely, someone must be conscious.

With another line Noah secured the boom with a second line to the opposite side of the boat. A few minutes later of shivering and pain he pushed through the water still filling the cockpit faster than it could drain and knelt by the open companion way hatch. Inside, no light, no movement except for three or four feet of water sloshing side to side with each roll of the boat.

“Hello!” Noah shouted, though his voice came out as a dry croak. “Is anybody there? Please, is anybody in there? Tommy, Ivan, Larry? Answer me.”

He heard no sounds from below except water splashing and the sound of debris knocking on the bulkheads. Tears formed in his eyes as fear and loss and loneliness settled over him like a black cloak.

Beside the helmsman’s seat there was a flip up plastic cover. Underneath was a socket for an eighteen inch handle that worked a manual bilge pump. He found the handle still secured. With his bad, probably broken, left hand he almost unconsciously kept Windhaven stern to the seas. With his right hand he worked the bilge pump. One full movement of the handle pumped out one gallon of water.

He kept asking himself why he continued to pump. One gallon out of hundreds or thousands of gallons. What difference would one, two, three… gallons make? No solid water was flowing in, but the spray from breaking waves and gusting winds and probably a leak or two or three from inside were replacing the gallon he removed. Why bother? Why put off the inevitable?

Because that would mean giving up, and years ago Noah had learned to never give up. He was one of the smartest in his high school class. Algebra baffled him. His father told him that if he wanted a car when graduated he had to get a B or better on his final exam. He wanted to give up, but he wanted the car. It was up to him. He studied, to little effect. He finally checked his pride and asked a girl in his class to tutor him. She made algebra make sense. He got a B+ on the exam, the car, and the girl. His writing career was built on hundreds of rejections. Jobs he wanted, the wife he wanted, the boat he wanted – persistence pays.

He wanted to live, he wanted that girl. So he pumped.

At first Noah thought about how to rig some sort of self steering. There were ways to use the wind direction on the sails to turn the wheel. He thought about Linda. He thought about books he wanted to write. He thought about his crewmates. Between, he thought about thirst, cold, hunger, exhaustion.

While he thought the night marched on. Imperceptibly, the clouds thinned, the wind slacked, the waves calmed, Windhaven wallowed less. Throughout, Noah pumped and steered.

The sun had not rising above the horizon when a the playful slap of an errant wave jolted Noah awake. His head hung under cover of his rain gear hood. His right hand, frozen and still, gripped, the pump handle. His left hand rested unmoving on a spoke of the wheel. His only movement the partial lifting of his eyelids and the slow roving of his eyes, his first real look at the destruction.

eyes 1

Then, his eyes opened slowly opened, fixing on movement in the damaged companionway. A face there, unidentifiable, pale, ragged.

Someone.

Alive.

Loneliness slipped off his shoulders like a heavy cloak.

 

Comment and suggestions are welcome – dcburtonjr@gmail.com

The Custodian 2

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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–.

The Custodian 2

© David Burton 2018

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, most of 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.

A woman’s short little scream came from inside.

Calm, despite the invasion of his area, he looked in. 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 peered 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.

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.

Lounging 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 stalked 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’d seen 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.

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.

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, followed them out the door. Twin red beams of light burned 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 here, 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.

 The End

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Destiny plus 6

A quick announcment: Hell Cop: Sneaker will be a free download on Amazon.com this Saturday and Sunday, March 31 and April 1. No fooling. Find it here. (It’s your Destiny. That sounds better than Fate, don’t you think?)

What’s your destiny, and do you even have one? And how can you tell? After all, no matter what you do, you can never know if it was of your own free will or just what Destiny, one of Dream’s  brothers in Neil Gamin’s Sandman graphic novel series, had written in one of his books.

Speaking of books and destiny – I recently finished the first draft of a short story that experienced an unplanned  growth spurt to 25000 words. Destiny made me do it. Maybe Destiny has the hots for beautiful French Accidental Vampires? Maybe it’s my destiny to become rich and famous by writing about Simone Gireaux’s first 350 years. I’ll never know until I try and you buy. (Sorry, couldn’t resist. It’s the long hidden, for good reason, huckster in me.)

Coincidence or fate, can you ever know the truth and could you handle it if you did. Like, you can never know if that person you had a one night stand with and then slipped out before they woke up and then, with some trepidation, ran into a few days later but they were only pissed because they wanted to ask you out on a proper date and they did and you ended up happily/unhappily married to was only a coincidence or Destiny looking at his Big Book of You and pushing you here or there with his Unfickle Finger of Fixed Fate.

The only way that I can think of offhand to KNOW if you fucked up your life on your own or if it was written in some big blank book by a pothead with a trust fund, would be to die and ask St. Peter, if you go that way, or Joe Smith the ticket taker on Captain Charon’s Cross River Excursion pontoon boat for an appeal. It’s your right, after all. That way you get to review all the documents and videos pertaining to your life and you should be able to ascertain why it went so bad.  If it went good, keep your mouth shut and take the credit.

One reason to believe in Destiny is that you don’t have to take the blame if things go bad. “Oh come on. It’s not my fault I’m  lazy and carry a few extra pounds which BTW I can take off any time, and nothing good ever happened to me, and I still live in my parent’s basement and that stupid manager at the video store won’t give me a raise to $8.25 an hour so I can get my own place and go to school and get married to my high School girlfriend even though she lives in an oceanfront mansion with her husband and three kids. It’s destiny’s fault. I’m the victim here!”

I think we’re all born with a do-it-yourself Destiny Kit. All you have to do is read and follow the instructions, even if the ones giving you the instructions (presumably parents) didn’t follow them because they believed that Dream’s brother had already written their life so why bother. Bother, man! Maybe Destiny has an eraser.

IDEAS

What if Destiny really did have an eraser? What would his price be to change yours? You know there’s always a price for that sort of thing. But what is it? Maybe you’d have to seek out a Fate Broker. It’s his or her job to go to Destiny’s secluded secret library and negotiate with the head librarian. There’s usually a task involved in these things. If you achieve your task then you get what you want out of life. If not, you go back one step. Make sure you read the fine print.

What if you weren’t happy with the way your life turned out and then you died. You’d been beginning to believe in reincarnation lately and thinking maybe you should do something good for someone else for a change when you died. Then you’re standing in that never-ending Purgatorial line waiting to find out if you get the golden escalator up or that rattley, stinky service elevator down, when you see stuck in a crack in the rough stone wall a business card. You take it. It’s for an attorney who promises to handle an appeal/assessment/refund of your destiny. Hmmm? Eventually you come across a pay phone, but you have no dimes (Inflation hasn’t caught up down there, yet.) A guy behind you has a slug on a string. You have the number, he has the slug. You call, make an appointment for both of you. He/she is slick and slimy – Angel, Demon, Soul? – and makes you fill out stacks of bureaucraticly official red tape, jump through hoops, (literally) and find witnesses (far too many are already in Hell. Hmmm). Finally you get your professional assessment of your destiny, and you find… What?! Your attorney urges you to sue.

What if you worked for Destiny? You had to make sure that what he wrote, happened as he wrote it. So you go to Life on a job and… fall in love. We all know the crazy shit that makes people do.

So we do have a destiny. But you’ll never know whether it’s Dream’s brother’s fault or your own. So just in case it ain’t him, better get to it.

Please watch out for the new novella whose title I don’t know yet. It was Mentor, then A Novice Vampire to go with the orignal, An Accidental Vampire, but neither one is quite right. If you happen on a novella by me and it’s about a Young Blood French vampire named Simone Gireaux, that’ll be it.  Young Blood. Hmmm.

Free Story

Sorry to say this is no What If? blog post. I know you’re disappointed, because you look forward so much to my occasional ramble through subjects I know little about but sometimes manage to fake it enough to write about. This is another shameless (well, mostly shameless, I do feel bad that I have to do it because I’m not (YET?) a big-time writer who has a staff and a Big 5 publisher to do all the dirty work)  promotion, but it’s for something FREE.  That is if you don’t count the cash or credit laid out for a Kindle E-reader which I believe you have to have to take advantage of this stupendous offer. I could be wrong (Really?) What the hell, go into techogeek mode and try it with a Nook or KOBO. All they (the rats) can say is no.

Okay, you can stop holding your breath now. I’m going to tell you the name of the free novelette (Damn it, according to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America I almost had a novella – I have 17,400 words and it takes 17,500+ to make a novella. Darn) on offer this weekend, Jan 20-22. Hell Cop: Sneaker. I know, exciting. If you can’t possibly contain your  rapidly growing obsession to read this fine tale of Hell go right now to www.amazon.com/dp/B006kixrxs and get it, man. You deserve it.

If you’re wondering, Hell Cop? Sneaker? try this – Go to the pages at the top right and click on Hell Cop: Sneaker for an interview with Sneaker herself. She is a Hell Cop, or Soul Retriever. She is hired to go into Hell and retrieve innocent souls sent down by purgitorial error.  Most times she partners up with Getter, a soon to be (if unwilling)  legendary Retriever. See Hell Cop and Hell CopII: The Golden Palace on Amazon.com or at Smashwords.com. Unfortunately, Mephisto, the chief of Helland Security in case you forgot, wants to take over Hell from Satan and thinks Getter is the one chosen  (he is) to stop him because of some silly prophecy and like that. So check out Sneaker and go from there. Reviews are appreciated.

Something else. The reason there’s no What If? post this time is because I’m heavy into a new story that is a sequel to my An Accidental Vampire story (see Amazon or Smashwords again. I told you, shameless) It takes place in 17th Century France, a place I haven’t been, though I used to travel a lot. Besides the previous story I haven’t written in the Historical genre before.  I could use some research help about the life and times of  the 1650’s in France. If you know anybody who lived there back then, or who knows about the times, or if you have any research suggestions, I would greatly appreciate hearing about them.

La Belle France is calling, so au revoir for now. Thanks for listening and for your support.