Is It Just Me?

I’m working on my next book and it’s been so long since my last one that I have to go back and review.

Not by choice, of course.  If I could, I would write for ten to fourteen hours each day instead of driving.  Unfortunately, the latter pays better.  Even more unfortunate, It only allows for less than a handful of hours per week of ‘me’ time.  Finally, at the bottom of the unfortunate well, is me reading my last book for consistency issues.  I know what I want to do, I just can’t remember how I got here.

backTracking

I had to ask myself, “Has it been so long since I got here?”

The answer is “Yes, yes it has.”

I published The Hunter Reborn in 2013.  And while it doesn’t feel like it was that long ago, I still have the need to return and refresh.  My protagonist is always at the top of my thoughts.  His adventures, past and current, dominate my creative process, so much, that I have little time to pursue any of my smaller writing projects.  Yet, I find myself struggling to remember some of the details.

OF course I don’t expect to remember them all, I’m just disappointed at my lack of idyllic memory.

So I ask again, “Is it just me,” or do you also have to return, and refresh?  Whether writing the next book in a series, or just for the sake of it?

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She Has A Pretty Face Though (Part II)

Disclaimer

The following is one of many installments for a story designed specifically for my blog.  While it does step out of my usual genre, there are some things still not suitable for a younger audience.  Violent/Graphic descriptions, strong language and sexual situations may be found through different sections.  If this isn’t your cup of tea, then avoid these excerpts and hopefully I’ll see you around my other posts!

There were some punches thrown.  There were also some taken as well.  When it was over, the two bullies stood triumphantly over him as he lay bleeding and barely conscious on the ground.

“Tommy, that’s enough!  Leave him alone!”

He had curled into the fetal position, so it was difficult to see who was talking, but there could be no mistaking the melodic chords of Misty Vandiver.  The most popular girl in their class, she could have any boy she wanted and it was at this exact moment she was stopping hers from putting Scott in the hospital.

Tommy leaned down and grabbed a fistful of his hair, pulling his head up and backward, effectively exposing his neck.  As Misty continued to scream at him from somewhere just out of sight, Tommy put his mouth next to his ear and whispered;

“You better listen to me, you little creep.  I don’t want to see your pimply ghost face looking at my girl again, you got it?  If I ever see you making eyes on her again, I’ll make sure next time there’s no one around to stop me.”

Tommy slammed his head into the ground, punctuating his threat with a resounding finality before letting him go.

“Damn it Tommy, can’t you just let it go?  He didn’t mean anything by it…”

She stepped up behind him and wrapped an arm around his waist.

“Besides,” she whined.  “I’m booored!  Let’s go for a ride!”

“Yeah, sure thing baby.  I’m finished here anyway.”

Scott watched them through his fingers.  His hands had been covering his face protectively since Tommy had first attacked him and there they had remained.  Despite the warning he had just received, his eyes roamed up the naked legs of the Redbird’s head cheerleader.

The skin was tight, well toned from years of track, volleyball and most recently, cheerleading.  It was no secret that both of her parents were in the military and that they pushed her to ‘be all she could be’.

The seconds stretched by agonizingly slow as his eyes continued upward to the edge of her skirt.  He cursed himself inwardly for perving on her so soon after having received a beating from her boyfriend, but he couldn’t stop himself.  His teenage hormones forced his eyes further up her legs, to the holy grail of every boy’s fantasy.

And there it was, the source of inspiration for every future one on fun session he would have for the next several weeks.

Then, just like that, the moment was over.  Tommy and Misty were walking toward the parking lot with their arms around each other.  While his walk was straight and arrogant, she hopped gaily at his side, her legs crisscrossing in front of each other, and when they reached the edge of the sidewalk, she looked once over her shoulder and smiled brightly in his direction as she chewed on the tip of her index finger.

His cheeks flushed, embarrassed by the playful look she had given him.  Had she known where he had been looking, he wondered?  His face had been behind his hands, but in his excitement, he hadn’t been hiding the fact of where his eyes were looking.

He stood on shaky legs and brushed his jeans off.  His body ached where he had taken his beating.  Tommy had punched him several times on his side and stomach while B.J. held his arms from behind. When he had swooned from the injuries, they had both taken turns kicking him about the legs, back and stomach until Tommy had climbed atop him and given him his final message.

“Asshole,” he muttered.

He rubbed the back of his head gingerly as he inspected the most recent injury.  He winced from the pain but was relieved when he didn’t find any blood.

“Hey, I saw what happened.  You okay?”

As he was bending down to gather his things, he looked over as Arnie Jameson approached.  Arnie, short for Arnold, was more of a reject than he was, but not by much. Barely over five foot, and so thin that even the slightest breeze threatened to topple him over, Arnie was every bit the poster boy for bullied school kids.

He made the mistake of looking up into his pimply face, giving the kid all the fuel he needed to attach himself to him until they had to be back in class.  He sighed.

“Great…  Things just keep getting better.”

“I’m sorry,” Arnie asked.  He had apparently not heard him.  Too bad, maybe he would have taken the hint.

“I said; never better.”

“Oh.”  He stood a couple of feet away from Scott, shifting his weight back and forth.

Scott felt a surge of irritation rising up within him when he realized that the other wasn’t going to help him pick up his things.

“Are you going to help me or what?”

“Oh, sure!”  He started gathering Scott’s papers while the latter finished getting his books together.  “You know?  Someday, someone’s gonna really hand it to him if he’s not careful.”

“Yeah…  I’d pay to see that,” he murmured.

“Say, you sure are lucky!”

Scott turned to him with an incredulous look on his face.

“How the hell do you figure that?!”

“You uh… I mean…”

“What, Arnie?  You mean, what?”

“You know…  From where you were laying…”

Scott knew what he was talking about.  The image was burned into his retinas.  He would have dream after wet dream thinking about the soft curves behind those hot pink garments.

“Goddamn, Arnie!  What are you, some kind of pervert or something?  Jesus…”  The words flew out of his mouth before he could catch himself.  After all, wasn’t it just a few moments before that he was positioning his fingers so that he could better see around them?

Arnie blushed, his eyes immediately downcast.  “I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean anything by it.”

“Yeah, whatever Arnie.  You keep telling yourself that.”

“You know what, Scott?  Fudge you, okay.  I was just trying to be friendly, you know?  I thought…”

“You thought what, Arnie?  That because you and I have now had our asses stomped by Tommy that we were suddenly gonna be pals?  Oh, and ‘Fudge you’?  Really?  What are you, in middle school or something?  I believe the term is; Fuck you, Arnie.”

He snatched his homework papers out of Arnie’s hand and brushed past him as he walked back to the commons area.

She Has A Pretty Face Though (Part I)

The following is the first of what will be many short pieces of a story I thought of while at work.  The title was actually overheard by a customer at my PT job, who was trying to set up her male friend with the female friend in question.  I’ve never been a fan of this phrase, and when I heard it I thought of a great story to accompany it.  Special thanks go out to my co-worker, Gabe, who let me in on some special insight and ideas for certain areas of the story.  Finally, this story is a step away from what I am used to writing and not in the Horror genre.  There will be some language, as well as violent scenes/descriptions along the way.  If this isn’t your cup of tea, then I hope to see you in one of my other posts!

“Scott?  Are you listening to a word I’m saying?”

“Yes mom…”

“Now, don’t forget.  After school, I won’t be able to pick you up.  You’re going to have to ride the bus.  Also, I need you to walk over to the market after you get off.  The list is in your lunchbox.”

“Yeeess mom, I won’t forget!”

He pulled the visor down and checked his hair for the umpteenth time.  Just as it was the last time he looked, it was still parted to the side but he worried it with a comb anyhow.  When he was sure that the part was where he wanted it; parted from the left side to the right, he took a moment to study the reflection looking back at him.

Scott was the youngest of four children and the only one who had inherited his father’s looks.  Unlike his siblings, however, this was not a good thing.  His shoulders were way too broad for his skinny frame and whenever he walked, it was with his toes facing in.  His skin, sickly and pale compared to the rest of his family, always stood out in contrast to those around him and it was one of two things about him that made him a target with the bullies.  The other was his round freckled face, topped by an unruly mop of red hair.

It was these last features he studied in the visor’s mirror.  He looked into his brown eyes, trying to see in himself the good that his mother said was there but what she saw and what he found were two different things.

“…you listening?”

“Huh?”

“I swear…  What am I ever going to do with you?”

The question was rhetorical, and when he didn’t offer any suggestions, she repeated her last question.

“Your sister has recital practice tonight and your brothers will be studying with friends, so you’ll have the house to yourself.  Please see to the trash and make sure Tippy gets let out for a little bit?”

He let out a long, irritated sigh before answering.

“God mom, can’t she walk her own damn dog?  Why do I always have to do it?”

“Scott!  I’m not asking much you know.  Would you please put the dog out?  And watch your language when you talk to me.”

He angrily flipped the visor up and let out another long sigh as he rested his forehead against the window and watched the houses pass by.

“Okay?”

It wasn’t okay, however, and even though he nodded in agreement, he wasn’t very thrilled about it at all.  Why should he be?  His sister had been nothing short of a sneaky little bitch to him for the last two years.  She watched him like a hawk, and whenever he did something that was even remotely against the rules, she was the first to blow the whistle.

“Whatever,” he muttered halfheartedly. .

The rest of the ride was in silence with his mom casting a few worried glances over at him, but he didn’t let her know that he knew she was watching him.  It didn’t really matter to him what she was thinking, because right at that moment he was entertaining a dozen different ways to get rid of a certain little mutt.

He stood over the Labradoodle, sneering in contempt for the wretched little creature.  Its light brown hair is long and unkempt from not getting enough attention with the brush, and it was tangled into knots in several places on its body.  The smell of its unwashed hide was enough to make him puke.  The dog looked up at him with a stupid expression and it was all he could do to keep from laughing.  

“Come on girl.  Come on, you mangy sack of crap, let’s go outside.  You wanna go outside?  Yeah?  Come on, you nasty waste of space, lets go!”

His shot his foot out at the dog, smiling with satisfaction when it connected with its ribs.,  Tippy yelped in pain as she flew through the open door and out into the…

“Scott?  Heeeellllo McFly!”

He blinked, looking around warily as he recovered from his daydream.

“Huh..?”

“We’re almost there.  Geez, Scott.  Where do you go all the time?”

He didn’t answer, instead opting to watch out the window as they pulled into the school parking lot.  He slunk down into his seat as the anxiety of being seen dropped off by his mother started to come over him.  It was too late.  Two of the worst possible people had spotted him.

“uuhhhnnn…” he moaned at the thought of having to walk by them.

The first of the two was Tommy Finkle, star quarterback of the Redbird’s football team. The regular lifting of weights, in conjunction with daily cardio regiments kept him in peak shape, while his blond hair, blue eyes and boyish good looks drew in the trust of the adults.  He also knew just enough to get any girl he wanted.

The second of the two was William Jackson, a weaselly little boy whom Scott had always thought looked like a young Steve Buscemi, only without the crazy eyes.

As their car pulled up to the curb, William, also known as B.J. to his friends, covered his mouth and snickered.

“Scott?  Everything okay?”

He scowled as he opened the door to get out.

“I wish you’d goddam listen to me when I say; Drop me off at the other entrance.”

Before she could respond, he stepped out of the car and slammed the door.

“ooOOoo,” came the inevitable catcall from Tommy.  “Lover’s quarrel, Scotty?  What’s the matter?  Did mommy not give you a kiss goodbye?”

The words stung.  Not that he cared much about what they said, it was the intent behind them which was most effective.  It was one thing when those pricks found ways to pick on him without the teachers seeing, but when they did it in front of the rest of his class was when it hurt the most.

He heard the car pull away behind him, but didn’t bother to turn around and see her off.  His jaw was set and his pace determined as he strode confidently up the stairs to the front entrance.  The other students continued to laugh, pointing and whispering behind their hands to one another, but it made no difference.  Nothing mattered anymore.  

He walked in slow motion they way they do in the movies before the credits begin to roll, or when the hero sets off on some great adventure.  He could even hear music playing out of the window of someones car, something about how he was wanted; dead or alive.  As he approached the doors, B.J. and Tommy stepped in front of him.

“Where do you think you’re going,” Tommy sneered at him.

“I don’t want any trouble, partner,” he answered in a slow drawl.

“Easy there, Brokeback Mountain,” B.J. laughed.  “We don’t want any trouble!”

Both boys broke into hysterical laughter, cackling as if that were the funniest joke in the world.

Tommy moved his right hand as if to push him, but he saw it coming.  Stepping aside, he grabbed the preppie’s wrist, turning it over and bending his arm up behind him.  

“Leave me be and I’ll allow you to finish the day without a broken arm,” he said menacingly while looking over Tommy and into B.J.’s eyes.  “Or, if you like, I can finish it.”  His last word spoken was punctuated by bending Tommy’s arm further backward, causing the latter to yelp in pain. 

He smiled to himself as the fantasy continued to play out in his mind.  There were some punches thrown.  There were also some taken, but in his fantasy, he stood triumphant over the two as they lay bleeding and barely conscious on the ground.

(to be continued)