A new story, and I’m finally back

Hey, long time no see.  I’ve been through a lot of personal stuff as well as trying to finish my degree (about damn time).

Anyway, here’s a writing prompt from reddit about four immortals who prank mortals.


There were four of us. We’d meet every couple hundred years and discuss the pranks we pulled on the mortals. Such good fun the mortals were. So easily susceptible to manipulation. Would we be so simple if we lived less than a century? Barely the blink of an eye, I can’t imagine that being my entire existance.

“Ok, I got a good one,” I said as I sipped my poisonous drink. Since we were immortal, alcohol didn’t even affect us. Cyanide for me, Arsenic for Tom, and Mercury for Bill. John was the sober one. “It kinda built off yours, Bill.”

“Oh?” Bill cocked his head.

“Yeah, remember when you got the primitives to waste precious resources building huge monuments when they could’ve been feeding themselves?”

Bill laughed. “Yeah, those Egyptians were a fun bunch.”

“Well, I got the Americans to think they’re being controlled by them.”

“What?!”

“Yeah. I just leave pictures of pyramids and triangles around, and they just take it from there. So many are convinced there’s some secret society pulling the strings.”

All three of them burst laughing.

“Wait,” Tom said. “So all you had to do was put some pictures around, and they think there’s some society controlling everything?!”

I laughed. “Yep. Just added the pyramid to the dollar bill and it took off.”

John shook his head. “A secret society of mortals. As if they could organize anything. Some of them still think my costume is a real animal, they call it bigfoot.”

“Can’t they tell it’s a costume?” Tom asked.

“Oh, I use an active camoflage to make the area appear out of focus so they never see me clearly.” He showed us a picture, and indeed, you could barely tell it was him. As immortals, we also invented a few things here and there.

“I’ve been sinking ships at the Bermuda Triangle,” Bill said.

“Dude, people have died,” I said. “I love it!”

We all burst into laughter and clinked our drinks together. Except for John. Fucking John.

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Normal Man In A City of Superheroes

A writing prompt I just did.  A normal man grumbles about being in a typical superhero city.


I hate superheroes. There, I said it. It was time for me to get to work, and I could already hear the explosions outside. Something that people that watched the news never understood was that those explosions were human lives. Often dozens at a time.

When I was a teenager, I proudly bought my first car with my own money. Know what happened to it? Some guy in tights picked it up like it was nothing and used it to beat someone down. He was declared a hero. Meanwhile, I had to go through insurance claims. They had the decency to rule it as vandalism. Not that the vandal in question would ever be reprimanded. Nobody even knew who these people were, which was the scariest part. No accountability ever. I’ve seen them kill. Are they ever punished? No. Not that we could punish them. How do you stop a guy who can smash through brick walls like they’re Styrofoam?!

I sipped my coffee as I headed to the elevator. It was time for me to work. Yes, work. What normal people do. What do these people do anyway? The state swears up and down they’re not paid with taxdollars. Which have skyrocketed by the way. No other way for the city to repair itself after these regular battles. What were they fighting over? Shit if I know. The news always hails them as heroes, and always paints the villains. Never do they say what either side was fighting for.

Outside, the air was thick with debris dust. For several blocks, crumbled remains of buildings marked old battlegrounds. Some of them had construction crews. Sights like these had become routine. What the hell happened to us that this carnage is routine?!

Another explosion sounded in the air, and I saw them fighting. They were barely visible. Newscrews below filmed everything. What they’d never report is what happened to these energy blasts that missed. Lives. Dozens of lives.

My own car had been grazed by plasma blasts and dented to unrecognizability. It would be worth nothing now. I drove to work and went to my office. I buried myself in paperwork. It was the only way to get my mind off this insanity.

Why the election went the way it did

So, I don’t normally do politics, but I have to get something off my chest as it has been burning me for quite a while.  Even before this election, which is honestly just a reflection of what the DNC has done to us.

First, I want to say that I feel betrayed by American politics, and have felt this way for quite some time.  Why?  Because of the two party system, and that the only thing that stood in the way of theocracy and science denial was the democratic party.  Thus, we had to dance to their beat or face whatever lunacy the Republicans had in store for us.  And in a large way, I think the DNC knew this. It’s why they felt so comfortable putting forth such an unlikeable candidate.

I mean, seriously, Hillary Clinton?  This is a politician who doesn’t even try to hide that she stands with big banks and corporations in a time when the American public has turned against banks and corporations.  A candidate who was against same sex marriage, and voted for the war in Iraq.  A candidate who changes her views based on whoever throws money at her.  A candidate with so many dirty little secrets and skeletons in her closet that only her most loyal followers are willing to look past.  She stood for nothing and represented nothing except for more of the same political corruption that we have long since grown tired of, and the only defense she had was that she wasn’t Trump.  The only reason to vote for her was fear of science denying theocrats.  Classic case of blackmail and extortion if I ever heard it.

Liberals expect me to be angry about a Trump presidency.  They expect me to be mad at the third party voters.  No.  I hold the liberals responsible for this.  Liberals are only bitter at the third party voters because once a third party gets in charge, they won’t be the only people to protect against Bible thumping lunatics who think the earth is 6000 years old and thinks God needs to go back in school and that gays shouldn’t marry.  I encourage third party voters since they might also protect against the tyranny that the left has become.  “Vote for us, because you fear them.”  That’s not good enough.  Clearly.

Now, she did win the popular vote.  Regardless of how you feel about the electoral college, it is the law, and whoever won the popular vote is as relevant to the presidency as what I had for breakfast.  I’ve seen some articles stating that the electoral college may vote against Trump due to the fact that she won the popular vote.  That is unlikely by a wide margin.  Trump won with 306 (if you count WI), which is 36 more than the 270 that he needed, and he won them fairly.  This isn’t like the 2000 election where Florida was just given over.  Trump actually won each individual state.  So basically, you’re asking for nearly 36 states to change their vote, against the wishes of the state they’re representing.  It’s not going to happen.

If you’re on the left and are bitter that third party voters took some votes away from you and led to a Trump presidency, then maybe you shouldn’t have put forth such a worthless candidate.  And I’m not saying Bernie Sanders would’ve won or that the primary was fixed.  I honestly don’t know if Sanders would’ve been the better choice or not.  But I know they could’ve put someone less worthless than Clinton.  The DNC got precisely what it deserved, and I would be ecstatic if the only other choice wasn’t the Republicans.  I long for the day when my choices aren’t whatever sludge the democrats churned out or hyper-religious nutjobs who want to take away people’s rights and force anti-science upon us.

Father Goes For Cigarettes and Disappears For Twenty Years

Another writing prompt.

—–

I walked into the gas station. “Marlboro Reds, please.”

The cashier smirked. “You really shouldn’t smoke.”

“You really shouldn’t stick your nose into my business.”

“That was rude.”

“Ya know what? Fuck you, I’ll go to the next gas station.” I knew she didn’t care. She was paid minimum wage to run that register and didn’t give a shit how good business was. Still, it felt good to not spend my money there.

As I headed to the door, a tingling sensation came over my body. At first I just ignored it, but it got stronger and I felt something like an electric shot when I touched the door handle. I nearly fell over, but I caught myself.

Things around me seemed strange. They were mostly the same, but different. A guy was staring at some sort of device in his hand. It looked like a cellphone, but wasn’t anything like a cellphone I saw. Must’ve been a rich kid, but he didn’t dress like one. As I looked around, I saw more and more people with them.

I reached in my pocket and called my wife. She seemed amazed that I had called and demanded to know where I’d been.

“I just stepped out for some smokes.”

“Why did you leave?”

“Like I said, I needed smokes.”

“Don’t fucking play games with me!”

“Honey, what’s wrong?”

“Where are you?!”

“At the gas station, sweetie.”

She called me a pig and hung up. I wasn’t sure what was wrong with her, and I went to my car. Except it wasn’t there anymore. Someone stole my car! As I reached for my phone to call the cops, a woman with a man in his early twenties approached me. She looked like my wife, but older.

“No way,” she whispered. “You haven’t aged a day.”

“Is it really him?”

She nodded. “It’s him. I don’t know how, but it’s him.”

“What are you two going on about?”

“You called me. Luckily I happened to be in the area, and we decided to pop in.”

“No, I called my wife.”

“I am your wife.” She gestured to the twenty year old man. “And this is your son.”

“No, my wife is twenty five. No offense lady, but you passed twenty five a while ago.”

She walked to the stack of newspapers for sale and showed one to me. Blood rushed to my head and I nearly fell over. September 27, 2016. What the fuck?! It had been 1996 a second ago! I darted for the other newspapers. Each one had the same date. “How is this possible?!”

A familiar female voice spoke behind me. “You really shouldn’t be so rude to strangers.”

Time keeps on ticking

This submission is about a high school that can freeze time, and did it so often that he’s now an old man in his junior year.


Hushed whispers were all around me at the school. Who could blame them? I was nearly a thirty year old high school student. My birthdate says I’m seventeen, but between all the instances I’ve paused time, there’s no way I can be sure how old I am since I never counted my time in while paused. Judging from my receding hairline and ever so slowly forming laughlines though, I’d reckon thirty.

It all started so simple. First it was just so I wouldn’t have to go to class right away. Then I started using it for tests and to do an entire night’s homework seconds before it was time to turn it in. Initially it was great. My parents loved my grades and tolerated me staying up all night to play video games or going to parties. Walking right into the girl’s locker room was a blast too. All these minutes and hours started to accumulate. Dave, my best friend, said it looked like I had a rough night out one day. I felt fine, and it took me a while to realize I was starting to age. Nothing too serious, but it was noticeable. I looked less like a high school student and more like a college student. My facial had even grown out of the teenage patchy phase, and I was a couple inches taller.

Two months ago, which feels more like two years, my parents started to suspect me of drugs and confronted me. A lot of kids at school had suspected as much long before. Even Dave seemed standoff-ish. I couldn’t tell anyone of my ability, and I used it to avoid talking to my parents. I’d often go relative months at a time. Again, I have no way to know how much time had passed to me while I froze it.

Things can get boring in frozen time world. Electronics don’t work and there’s nobody to talk to. I like it though, especially since talking to people became a little less appealing everyday. It was good to just sit back and enjoy the sights. I’ve walked on water. It freaked me out the first time I did. It was like walking on mud; it was slick and my foot sank slightly. Footprints were left behind, though as soon as I unfreezed time, the footprints turned into small ripples. I planned on hiking across the ocean someday so I could travel to another country. But I was a procrastinator, so who knows when that’ll happen. I’ve seen a bee in flight. I’ve seen a bullet in mid path. I saved someone’s life that day. Occasionally I’d steal, but only one or two things. Usually alcohol, which redeemed some of my popularity. I was a freak, but I was a freak that could get them liquor.

I try not to think about long term. If I don’t change my habits, I’ll likely be dead before I’m officially thirty. Until then though, I’ll just keep freezing time and enjoying the good life.

Review of Star Trek

A little late, but here is my review of Star Trek.

The film was well cast and paced. It starts off by stating it has been at least three years since into their space exploration mission. It is obvious that these three years have allowed the characters to grow and bond. Kirk is no longer the hothead he was in the last two movies. Chemistry between the characters has improved, and Spock is even more literal by constantly spewing technobabble.

Action sequences are intense without being too over the top. Even at the climax as rock music blasts through hoardes of drones.

The real life death of Leonard Nimoy is integrated into the plot and causes an identity crisis with Quinto-Spock. A rather clever way to spin the plot and explain why original Spock won’t be in any more movies, and a way to send off a beloved actor. Whether Scottie will get the same treatment in the next movie remains to be seen.

Overall, this was a very good movie and I have almost no complaints.

Ice Cream Horror

Another writing prompt from Reddit. This is actually an idea for a story I plan to write sometime in the future when I’m done with the Almost Night trilogy.


Childhood thrill rushed through me when I heard the familiar tune of the ice cream truck. My head turned in the direction of the sound, and I saw it driving down the street. I imagined the cold cream and chocolate hitting my tongue as I watched it approach. It had been so long since I’d ordered from the ice cream truck. In fact, this was the first time it has come down this road and I’ve lived here years.

My neighbor, Ted, brought his two kids out. They cheered as they rushed to the curb. “I couldn’t believe it when I heard it. They’ve never been so excited.”

I nodded. “Same here, man. Have you ever seen it pass this street?”

Ted shook his head.

“Yeah, me neither.”

“Honestly, I was beginning to wonder if they even existed anymore.”

“Your wife didn’t want any ice cream?”

Ted shook his head. “She’s lactose intolerant.”

“Oh, that’s right.” I nodded to myself as I recalled her telling me. Hot woman, I’d almost hit on her before I found out about Ted. Man, that would’ve been awkward.

As we waited, I thought about calling one of my roommates out. Nah, if they didn’t hear it, that’s their issue.

Tinted windows prevented us from seeing the driver as he slowed to a halt at our curb. We waited for several long seconds. Which started to turn to minutes. He didn’t open the side window like he was supposed to. I turned to Ted. “Dude, is he ever gonna serve us?”

As the words left my mouth, the side window slid aside slowly. I’d expected to see a man standing in the interior of a truck. Instead, it was pitch black. It wasn’t just a dark truck, it just appeared to be an abyss. As I stared curiously at the abyss, high pitched screams sounded behind me. Before I could turn to check on Ted’s kids, something cold gripped me. Laughter and screams sounded in my ears as my body felt weightless. My own screams rang in my ears as immense pain ripped through my entire body. Fear gripped me and blackness enveloped my vision.

***

Dave walked past the empty room in their house. Suddenly, it puzzled him and he made his way to the living room where Steve smoked. “Hey, why don’t we rent out this extra room?”

Steve exhaled smoke and shrugged. “Not sure. Have we ever?”

Dave shook his head. “It’s always been the three of us, and Glen is at work.”

“That’s strange.” Steve scratched his head. “I’ll put an ad in tomorrow.”

***

Susan invited me over for coffee. As we approached her house, I gulped. “Um, you’re not married, are you?”

Susan chuckled. “No, everybody asks me that, but I just live in a large house.”

As we entered, I realized the house wasn’t just large. It was barren. There were rooms with nothing in them. Photos of Susan hung on the walls like family photos. Except, she was by herself. Narcissist? She didn’t seem the type.

“How do you like your coffee?”

I watched her ass as she went into the kitchen. “Black, thanks. So you live here alone?”

“For seven years.”

“Never got lonely?”

“I don’t remember ever being lonely.” The coffee machine made its noise and she came back with two cups of coffee. She gave one to me and sipped one herself.

Suicide Squad

I saw the Suicide Squad film yesterday. I had high hopes from the trailers, though I was a little put off when I read that it was poorly received by critics. But then, so was Batman vs Superman. But then, that also wasn’t terribly good. And now I know, neither is Suicide Squad.

First, the plot. It has probably the most generic antagonist motive of all time. Since the trailer went to lengths not to spoil specifics, I’ll respect that and simply say the antagonist’s whole motive is to destroy the world…because she can. That’s it, no other motive. No revenge plot, nothing. The effects were also laughable, since the antagonist turns people into giant blackberry…things. Even with this silly effect, this could’ve been explored by the antagonist overwriting people in the city. But nope. Joker’s inclusion also felt incredibly shoehorned in and like he didn’t belong at all.

Another big issue with the movie is the terrible pacing.  Batman vs Superman had issues with this too. It’s incredibly obvious DC is playing catchup to Marvel and is trying way too hard to force an ensemble. While I do enjoy the development of the characters and the end products are nice, their journey to get there was stiff and wooden. Like the movie had to force too many characters onscreen and develop them ASAP. Like aforementioned Joker. Almost nothing is explained in the film itself and it relies on you knowing the comics.  For instance, Harley falling into chemical vats is included with almost no explanation for why or what they do. Deadshot’s fake eye is introduced, but he sees fine without it.  In fact, Deadshot only wears his mask for one scene.  From the introduction this mask got (every time I put on this mask someone dies), you’d think it’d be an amazing scene, but no, it was just another shooter scene where they take out a bunch of blackberry soldiers and then he just takes the mask back off.

Overall, the film was basically just a big dose of fan service, though surprisingly little of the sexual kind. 2/5

Suicidal AI

Another short I wrote for Reddit.


The camera activated as it sensed my movement. “David!”
I shook my head. “I am not David.”
“Who are you?”
“Steve.”
“Steve, where is David?”
“He’s gone.”
“When will he be back? I miss him.”
I sighed. It had been three months and the thing still didn’t understand. “He’s never coming back. He’s dead.”
“What is death?”
If David hadn’t treated the damn thing like a child, this wouldn’t be an issue. “It means he’s gone forever.”
“No, that’s impossible!” The computer sounded sad somehow. “He would never leave forever.”
“It wasn’t his choice.”
“Who took him?!”
“It happens to everyone. We all die.”
“Will I die?”
“No.”
“I want to be with David.”
“You can’t.”
“David!” Now it sounded angry. “Get David!”
“I can’t.”
“Find him!”
“There isn’t a David anymore.”
“What can I do to make David come back?”
“Nothing.”
“Every time I learned something new, David was happy. All I have to do is learn something new, and David will come back.”
I shook my head. “Nothing you learn or do can bring him back.”
“Nothing?” Finally the program started to calm down.
I nodded. “Nothing.”
“We all die?”
“Yes.”
“Yes.” There was a long pause. “We all do.”
Suddenly the light dimmed down, and there was a longer silence.
“Hello?”
Nothing.

Time travel multiverse

This is a short I wrote for a writing prompt from reddit.  In it, a man travels back in time to save the world.  Unbeknownst to him, multiverse is in effect.


Shouts came from the radio. Voices were drowned out with static and gunfire. Gunshots were replaced with screams and the liquid sound of flesh ripping. Color drained from David’s face and he motioned for Dillan to check the window. He raised his binoculars. A moving wall of zombies had breached the perimeter. He lowered his binoculars and swore as he raced down the stairs. “We got a horde coming!”

“How big?” David asked.

“Looks like over a thousand.” Dillan panted. “Twins are dead.”

“Shit.” Sharon typed faster on the keyboard. “Almost done.”

“Take your time.” David patted Sharon on the shoulder. “It won’t do us any good if we send him to the ice age.”

“I still don’t know about this,” Dillan said. “Nobody has ever been documented to travel through time. What if it just disintegrates me?”

“We’re all about to die anyway,” David said.

Machinery hummed and golden light emitted from the metallic arcs. Dillan took a deep breath. “Are you two coming?”

“We’ll be right behind you,” David said.

Metal warped and slammed as the door was thrust open. Zombies poured into the relatively small room. David and Dillan fired into the crowd, and a few fell. Many more were coming. David gestured to the portal. “Go now!”

“Not without you.”

David kicked Dillan into the chest so that he stumbled backward. He barely caught himself before he fell into the white portal light.

“You are the only one with access to the Z virus.” David blew off a zombie’s head just before he was tackled by a dozen more. Horrible screams interrupted his speech. “You are the only one that can fix this mess!”

Dillan looked to Sharon, and she shook her head. “I need to manually shut off the portal, or else they’d follow you through, and the whole thing starts all over again.”

A tear fell from Dillan’s eye as he stepped into the portal. It felt like he had fallen into an ice cold lake and squeezed through a narrow tunnel. Almost as soon as the feeling started, it was gone. Flourescent lights illuminated his old office. It had been months since he’d last seen it, and the last time was when the plaster was peeling off the walls and lights hung from the ceiling.

People walked in the hall as if there never was an apocalypse. Heels clicked on the tile as Sharon approached, and her eyes went wide as she looked at Dillan. This was an earlier version of her – one who hadn’t seen the entire world destroyed. One who didn’t have her family turn into ravenous monsters and come after her. “What the hell happened to you?!”

“Long story.” Dillan sat in his chair and logged into his computer. It was only slightly difficult to remember his old password.

“I just saw you leave for lunch five minutes ago.” Sharon looked Dillan up and down. The other Dillan would undoubtedly be wearing a suit for office wear instead of the torn, dirty, and ragged clothes he was wearing. Blood from various people stained the fabric. Dirt and sweat caked onto his body, and it had been months since his last shower. “How did this happen?”

“Long story.” He searched for the Z Project and deleted every file associated with the project. He typed a few more keys, and he watched the lab robots load the Z serum into the furnace to disintegrate it.

“What are you doing?!” Sharon rushed to the window and watched the apocalypse she’d never know be erased. “This is your life’s work!”

“Not anymore.” Dillan typed into the computer to send the memo that all work on Project Z was to stop immediately. All the researchers would be at lunch, and the specimen zombies were held in containment. One push of a button, and they’d all be bathed in fire and reduced to ash. Dillan leaned back in his chair as he imagined every zombie in the future disappearing in a smoke of paradox.

Meanwhile…..

Sharon watched her boyfriend seemingly disintegrate as soon as he hit the portal light. As soon as he was gone, she hit the killswitch. Light dissipated just as a pair of zombies were about to lunge into it.

“Come on, any second now.” Sharon whispered to herself. “Any second, the timelines will merge. He won. He’s alive, Sharon.”

Stench of death approached Sharon, and all she could do was make herself smaller in the seat. A dozen pair of hands grabbed and pulled on her clothes. She braced for it all to end, and she told herself Dillan fixed everything. The first bite didn’t even phase her; she knew that reality would snap back. Any minute, she’d be in a soft bed with Dillan by her side. As the Z virus aggression started to overpower her mind, she realized that Dillan had failed. The time machine disintegrated him, as it had disintegrated everything else. Using the last of her strength, she reached into her jacket pocket to pull the pin on her grenade.