So my good buddy Funka! (not his real name, at least I'm pretty sure, no, I'm sure. But his real name isn't nearly as fun to say. Who wouldn't want to have a punctuation mark in their name!) has requested some more of my fiction.
Which is a tremendous compliment. And I thank him for what was probably an innocuous comment (made to fill up that awkward MSN pause where nobody is sure who's turn it is to type something, but neither wants to just exit MSN, and you are both just stuck there, watching that little window, hoping it doesn't flash, just trying to finish off your word document or excel spreadsheet, or that one last mine you have to find in Minesweeper, whatever).
Er, so, I put it to you readers (who have dropped from the heady number of 60 something returning visitors to a meager 38 (I can only assume Google is cracking down on spiders and bots)), what sort of fiction would y'all like to read?
Right now I'm working very sluggishly on my third unpublished novel. As you all know, Hayden Smith: Sardonic Space Cowboy. But really really really slow. For my last two, I tried my darndest to keep to 2000 words per day: as recommended by Stephen King (in his book On Writing, and in his article "Everything You Need To Know To Write Successfully In 10 Minutes". In this current work, I'm really dragging my feet. I'm lucky to get 4000 words a WEEK.
In my defense, I'm working through my very least favorite thing to do : plotting. Which just bogs me the hell down.
I have a few pieces I haven't posted yet. I think most of them are urban fantasy. Which is fantasy in 'real world' setting. Mostly offices. Er, only offices. Actually, just like "One Over, Three Down". Well sorta, without the horror aspect. That is, there is horror, but only in style of writing and the hackneyed language as opposed to any intentioned effect (affect?).
Oh, heck, I'll post a little challenge on of the writers in my critique group gave me. Write a short story without using the letters q or w.
The guppy cuts through the stream. Krest only looks at it, doesn't move to spear it, kill it, catch it for dinner. He looks up the cobbled tunnel. It's a long trek for him yet. But at the end, oh, at the end.
It's from the stream, it's so cold, so clear. The stories of it running red from blood skitter and scatter over his mind. But those stories are in the past. Ancient history.
The village elders never told him the origins of the tunnel. Only that it housed the Darkness. The Darkness comes every one hundred years. No exceptions. And this being year 100, somebody had to do something. Preferably someone that believes in the legends. Someone still in thrall of ancient stories.
His friends all laughed, they made fun relentlessly before he left. But the day came, he climbed aboard his raft, a simple leaf, and they did not laugh, they did not chatter, they did not jibe.
He hopes to hear their jibes again. They chatter about the oddness of a Darkness coming from The Patched Cave. The Tunnel. The Bringer of Darkness, as the elders called it.
Krest peered into the tunnel. Past the area that the boys dared one another. Go past there, go past there. Far past the touch of sunlight.
It looks almost inviting. There are thick pipes that run in the darkness. Not The Darkness, only the darkened recesses. No one can recall if those pipes are for the tribe, from the tribe, or from another, more ancient storied race. Nevertheless, the pipes, they zing and ping. They ting invitingly.
Krest approaches the cobbled sides. It's commonly thought that the safest, surest path is to climb the sides. Climb the sides into the cave, cavern, Tunnel, Bringer of Darkness. He's a sure climber, but the cobbled stones are massive, heavy things. Moved into place by a forgotten people for forgotten reasons.
The Tunnel echoes. Every slipped grip, every gasp of surprise, every grunt of strain is magnified to a giant. He hopes that The Darkness is scared of giants. He hopes he isn't too scared of the Darkness. But soon, the black mantle of Tunnel is about him. There are the dimmest of outlines of the cobbled stones. The rich heady smells of moss creeping on every surface.
It's a skeleton. A skeleton of a monster. Hell rending teeth, long terrible body bound to the earth. Krest jumps to the ground to look at it. It has a metal colllar around its neck. it reads, "Elvis the Croc".
Krest chuckles. A pet. A giant pet. Large enough to devour his entire village. But a pet nonetheless. A dead pet. Besides it rests a gigantic box not made of bark or cedar, paper or cotton. It's light, too light. "McDonald's" is emblazoned on it. Surely one of the ancients.
The elders are not pleased on Krest's report. It is not as prophecy had foretold. The Darkness is a cloud of death and teeth. It rains pain and misery upon the village. Every one hundred years. The end is nigh. The end is nigh. If legend had not informed the elders of anything, it had told them the end is nigh.
Krest leaves camp. Or Krest is exiled. His friends do not jibe him, chide is foolishness. They do laugh even louder to the proclamations of the elder. Loud forceful laughter.