Monday, May 26, 2014

(Fiction) Lemon Sky


"I got it!"

Mauve looked up from the day’s mail. Kason had practically bounced through the door, enormous grin on his face, a small rectangular box clasped in his hand.

"What?" asked Mauve.

Still grinning, Kason placed the box on the kitchen table and tore away the paper. Mauve winced at the waste, but her eyes grew wide as she saw the box beneath the brown paper. It was yellow and shiny. The world-famous icon of the Sensatryp Corporation was displayed, discreetly, on the side of the box.

Kason picked up the slender box and presented it to her, with a little bow. "Your present, m’lady."

Mauve took the box from him with excited fingers. The plastic surface was slick and warm beneath her fingertips.

"Is this for real?"

"Yep," said Kason, still grinning.

"How?" asked Mauve. She looked at him, brow furrowing. "It’s not stolen, is it?"

"No!" He looked aghast and Mauve felt a flush of shame. Kason was a lot of things, but he wasn’t a thief.

She eyed the box. "It’s not a bootleg version, is it?"

"Again, no," said Kason, sounding a bit irritated. "It’s authentic. I bought it at the store. If you want, I can show you the receipt."

"How can you afford this?" she asked.

"It was on sale," said Kason. "Thirty percent off because they’re about to release the new one. Strawberry Fields."


That made sense, thought Mauve.

She grinned, then, and leaned forward to kiss Kason’s cheek.

"Thank you."

"You’re welcome." The grin was back, infectious and cheeky. "So, do you want to use it now or save it for later?"

"Now," said Mauve. "Definitely, now."

They pulled open the sofa bed and undressed. Kason turned off the phone. Mauve opened the bright yellow box with trembling fingers.

Inside, nestled in black foam, was a vial of pale, swirling liquid.

"Would you like to do the honors, sir?" Mauve asked, giggling, presenting the vial to Kason.

Chuckling, he grasped the plastic stopper securing the vial’s contents and plucked it free. The instant the white liquid was exposed to open air, it began to evaporate. Thick clouds of tart sweetness enveloped Mauve and Kason’s tiny studio flat. Grasping hands, they drew in deep lungfuls of the agent.

Mauve’s skin tingled. She felt warmth and light against her eyelids. Opening her eyes, she found herself transported. Gone was the windowless flat with its third-hand furnishings. Instead, she and Kason were kneeling on a bright red blanket. Around them stretched a golden beach, the sand shimmering like glass. The ocean was slate gray, slapping gently at the golden sand with foamy waves.

The ocean wind caressed her skin and Mauve looked down.

Kason was sitting across the blanket from her, grinning.

"Look up," he said.

Mauve did. The sky was pale yellow, dominated by what appeared to be a huge ringed planet, its surface a blur of dark reds and swirling umbers.

The air was tart, but it was a pleasant sort of tartness. The tartness of cold lemonade on a hot summer day.

"Welcome to Lemon Sky," said Kason.

He stood and pulled her to her feet.

"How long will it last?" asked Mauve. Some of these sense-holidays lasted for real hours, others for virtual days.

"Who cares?" asked Kason, and pulled her, laughing, toward the alien ocean.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Suck It Up!

The last few days, gentle readers, have not been fun for yours truly.
I'm not going to go into the details because (1) they're boring and (2) they're private.  However, I will recount my reaction to said events.
Suck it up and get on with your life.
The world would be such a better place if people quit whining about their situations and just dealt with their shit and moved on.
That's what I'm doing.
Granted, if you've just lost a limb or something, this may sound cruel, but eventually you're going to have to get used to the loss anyway.
Sorry if I sound a tad harsh, ladies and gentlemen, but I sort of needed to vent and, well, isn't that what blogs are for? At least when you're not using them to pimp your merchandise?

Monday, May 12, 2014

(Fiction) The Newcomer's Guide to Hell

The Newcomer’s Guide to Hell.
That was the title of the book that Natchez held in his hands.  He had found it among the desiccated remains of a woman, clutched to her breast like a starving babe.  When he pried the book out of her hands, the woman’s eyelids fluttered, opening to reveal black pits full of writhing red maggots.
Natchez had screamed and jumped away from the woman, who remained still.  He did not realize until later that he was clutching the book like a talisman.
Now he stared at the book.  It was covered in supple brown leather with a curious golden finish that glimmered in the harsh light.  The title was picked out in gold thread.
Swallowing, Natchez opened the book.
The first line of black script read, Welcome to Hell.
Natchez shut the book.  After a moment, he opened it again and continued to read.
The first thing you need to know is that this is not a dream or a trick or a psychotic episode. If you are reading these words, you have died and gone to Hell.
“Oh fuck,” muttered Natchez.
The second thing you need to know is that no one in Hell cares about you.
No one.
You are on your own.
It was all written so plainly, so matter-of-factly, that Natchez did not doubt the author for a moment.
The third thing you need to know is that you cannot trust anyone in Hell. 
Or any thing.
Be warned.
The book continued in that vein and Natchez kept reading.
* * * * *
Kizamatza found the man, lying on his side, little more than bones wrapped in flesh.
The scavenger snorted and knelt.  He was a big man, six feet tall, with piss-yellow eyes and scarred skin mottled by multicolored tumors.  In his right hand, he carried a bone knife, in his left, he carried a satchel.
Kizamatza prodded the dry man with his foot.  The man did not move or utter a sound.
He knelt and saw that the man clutched a book to his chest.
Frowning, Kizamatza plunged his bone knife into the dry man’s skull.  With an audible pop, the man’s spirit exploded from his flesh.  It circled the body in confused circles, a sickly green will-o-the-wisp, barely visible in the bright cancerlight.
Kizamatza pulled a spirit-catcher from his satchel, and swatted the confused soul with it.  The soul mewed pitifully as it was caught in the spirit-catcher’s web.  Casually, Kizamatza shoved spirit-catcher and prize back into his satchel.
He examined the body, but there was nothing there worth taking.  Not really.  The skin might have been worth something, but Kizamatza’s skinning knife had broken two nights ago. Scowling, he started to stand, when he remembered the book.
He pulled it free of the dry man’s fingers and examined it.  Bound in fine human skin. Decorated with real thread-of-gold.  Kizamatza could feel the prickle of necrotic energies under his fingertips.
“I could sell you for a pretty price in the markets at Dis,” rumbled Kizamatza.  “If I got there.”
Snorting, he tossed the book aside, unopened and resumed his trek.
Behind him, the book glittered like gold.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Home is Where the Hearth Is

Good evening, gentle readers!
I'm sorry that I've been missing in action the last week or so, but I've been taking care of certain domestic issues.
Namely, I've been painting my living room.
When I moved into my townhouse a few months back, I liked most of the rooms except the living room. Why? Because it was painted a godawful shade of brown that just sucked all the life and energy right out of the place.

I was determined at some point to fix that problem, but I haven't been able to get to it until lately. So, for the last week or so, as time permits, I've been prepping the living room walls and deciding on paint colors.
I decided on a nice apple mint green for the wall behind the fire place and a peach-like color called - I kid you not! - shrimp ice for the other three walls.  I finished painting the walls today, and decided that even though I love my wall colors, they make the room feel a little too relaxed.
So, I painted my fireplace.

So, now you know why I've been a bit absent lately.  Hope no one was worrying and 'Hello!' to all the folks in China checking out the blog.  I hope you find it entertaining.
What's next?
Hopefully back to the writing!