Sunday, December 23, 2007


If you don't play the game, you will always lose, but if you do play? You can have it all.

Linda bet the house. The apartment, actually. She had dated and dumped Seth a couple of years ago and in the interim, her roommate Faith, developed a little bit of a crush on him. Faith acted upon that crush with Linda's reluctant blessing and then she went to work on getting Seth's attention.

Remembering her former relationship to be something better than it actually was, Linda changed her mind and decided that if Seth was going out with someone, it should be her and not Faith. Their previous hellish relationship and lack of compatibility be damned. She used everything in her repertoire, from physically putting herself between the would-be couple every time they grew close, to lacing Faith's food with an herb that has a laxative effect. She even feigned illness.

She even flung herself outright at Seth and he rejected her. So love triumphs all...or at least over Linda's efforts. Seth chose Faith over her and Linda moved out, losing her roommate, the apartment that Faith and Linda shared, and even Seth. She couldn't decide which hurt worse: losing two of her closest friends, losing Seth to Faith or losing out on that apartment with its ridiculously below market rent.

Linda called in sick at work and cried herself to sleep the rest of the day. She woke up the next day and figured that shopping was the best therapy, and called in sick again. She came home with four bags full of things that she really didn't want in the first place, which forced her to be civil to her mother (because she knew there was no way in the world that she would be able to pay that credit card bill all by herself) and Linda still felt empty.

The third day, Linda called in sick yet again because she had decided that going on the rebound would be the cure all to all of this misery. Though Linda was petite and not exactly what one would call "curvy," she had other weapons in her arsenal of attraction. She made sure her hair was perfectly coiffed, that her clothes and makeup were tasteful, but accentuating the right things in just the right way to get attention. Linda even chose a subtle pink toenail polish to go with her open-toed high heels.

What she didn't count on was that the kind of heels that attract men, aren't the kind of heels that you can walk around in for more that five blocks. With just about everything below the middle of her spine, sore, she retreated into the type of bar and grill that she wouldn't have frequented in a million years.

She wanted to ask the bartender for a glass of water, but he was too busy watching some cheerleader competition on TV and polishing glasses in a way that would've made even Larry Flynt uneasy. As she went towards the tables in the hope that she could at least get a waiter's attention, she saw him.

He was the male version of her.

She could tell that he spent as much effort and dedication on his hair as she did. His nails were manicured, just like hers. His clothing was just like hers, in the vein of "tastefully easy." His watch was understated, yet expensive, just like hers. He was the male version of her and that meant in Linda's mind, he was perfect.

He hadn't noticed her yet, because he seemed to be too engrossed in a magazine, while he lazily cut his food and ate it. Linda walked up to his table, picked up a sprig of parsley and held it over his head. He put his fork and knife down, and then he took a long sip of water.

When he put his glass back down, he finally noticed Linda.

Then his eyes followed her arm and he saw the parsley, and then they returned back to her.



"What's that?"

"It's mistletoe."

"It kind of looks like parsley."

"It's mistletoe."

"But it's July" he countered.

Linda smirked and gave a slight shrug.

"Works for me," he said as he stood up and gave her a long and languid kiss.

A sweet kiss.

A strong kiss.

Hell, she didn't even care about the garlic and amazingly just like that, they lived happily ever after...

...until she found that he was a Socialist. Then they lived happily ever after, except for when they argued about politics or when he left his socks on the floor.

Friday, December 21, 2007

From Raymond Chandler, Another Writing Quote

"The faster I write the better my output. If I'm going slow I'm in trouble. It means I'm pushing the words instead of being pulled by them."

– Raymond Chandler
Certainly from a short story standpoint, I agree.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Astonishing Adventures Magazine Saga Continues

The Editor JDC is no longer the "editor," but now he is publisher as the Astonishing Adventures Magazine family will soon be expanding. Tim "Yeti" Gallagher will become "Editor In Chief" and not only will the Issue #2 of AAM be coming out shortly, but also horror, in Enchanting Tales From Hell Magazine. Not to mention that there are books on the horizon, with Astonishing Adventures Books.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Maestro

"The Maestro"

Heinrich De Meester was one of the most notorious bank robbers in Holland , though he was more famous as “The Maestro,” by those in America who ran in all the wrong circles.

I am a musician, a conductor and composer, all in one.

Most would suggest that my music has a staccato tempo, but in my mind? It’s allegro fortissimo.

Even though he was almost cut off from the world in his little shack just north of Mazatlan , Heinrich knew that the American dollar was weakening against all the world’s currencies, but this was ridiculous. A bribe was a bribe and it should be honored no matter what, because even criminals should have some code of ethics, or everything would degenerate into anarchy.

He did the math as they came down his road, right into the sights of his HK fully automatic battle rifle. Two four-door trucks, eighteen men and they made absolutely no effort to conceal themselves or outflank him? This meant that there was a changing of the guard and the local drug lord was deposed. This war party also meant that the fifteen grand in protection money that was to protect him from the F.B.I. and the Federales was not going to be refunded.

He sighed; he was going to miss his little Sinaloan sanctuary. The fact that the new drug lord had sent so many men, meant that he knew Heinrich was no mere gringo. As far as he was concerned, though, the new drug lord really didn’t do his homework.

He waited until they came into the one area of his property where there wasn’t any cover to be had, then he opened fire. His first left-to-right sweep took out the drivers, as well as most of the men. The trucks veered left and right, respectively, leaving the riders in the back exposed.

As I go into my solo, everything seems to be in perfect rhythm: their danse macabre...their bodies and the shell casings hitting the gravel.

“Maestro” or not, of course the one major drawback to a bullet symphony is that even a hack can get lucky. One conscripted man that was of little or not threat because he was near-sighted, squeezed off four rounds during his death spasms. Two of them missed Heinrich entirely one struck his body armor, and the last one ricocheted off the top of the armor and into his neck.

Two objects fell towards the ground. The last shell that Heinrich’s battle rifle ejected and himself...he won their unofficial race. He was in immense pain as the three surviving men, dripping with sweat and blood, stood above him. As they sent The Maestro to his final curtain call, one thing went through his mind...

Everyone is a critic.