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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My take on TIW 103

Caught up with all the TIW challenges. Here's my 500 word take of Challenge 103...an interesting one...

The Elements: Iron Handcuffs, Barn owls, a light bulb salesperson, a Bumper sticker

Unsatisfied

How is it that straw can always find a way under your clothes and scratch you to death?
"It's a jeep. If I wanted a Hummer, I'd call your sister." He threw my ripped off bumper sticker at me.
"Hey! That wasn't cheap! $1.99 at the drive-through!"
"You were robbed."
I was assaulted. Driving down Highway 10 past Phoenix, I noticed this pick-up on my tail. I thought nothing of it until it rammed me and pushed my car off the road and into a ditch. Before I could recover, a fist came through my window and that was that. Now I'm lying in some farm building, dead of night, trousers missing, tied to a strut on a chain with iron handcuffs, with only a couple of hooting barn owls and a crazy to keep me company.
"You think you can disrespect my sister like that, you got another thing coming!" It wasn't his loud manner that was disturbing, it was the shotgun under his arm.
"It's only a bumper sticker! Hell, you knocked me off the road for that? Unchain me right now!"
"You're in no position to order anyone around! Shut your mouth or I'll shut it for you!"
He paced up and down, glancing at me and toying with his gun.
"Look, guy, I'm a nobody. If it's money you want, I've got some in my..." He'd taken my jacket.
"Yes, I know. I've got all your stuff."
"Then...what? What is this all about?"
"Don't go playing the fool with me!" It isn't the weapon that hurts you, it's the person holding it. A gun butt hurts when placed forcefully against your head. Took me a while to get up from that one.
"So...it's not money, you've got my money. It's the bumper sticker? Seriously?"
"No, of course not! But it shows your shallow mentality!"
"Do...do I know you?" I would have recognised this monster of a man with a gun under his arm if I'd seen him before.
"No. But I know someone you've met."
Met? I'm a light bulb salesperson. I meet a lot of people, sometimes in dark rooms.
"Who? Who do I know?"
"My mother!"
Crap. I'd done a few dodgy deals with some old ladies in the past week. Even sold a tonload of LEDs to an old girl down in Ajo. About $200 worth. What she was going to do with them, I had no idea. Perhaps make a disco ball from all her chandaliers. Nice town.
"Really?"
"Yes, really. Does Mavis Henkell ring a bell?"
"Err..." That was the one. Damn. He threw a large opened cardboard box in front of me and aimed his gun.
"Remember her now?"
"Err...yes, yes, I do. I'll reimburse her, I promise. I'll give back double she paid...really, really, I will. I'm sorry..."
"What? Reimburse! No, you dumbass! You gave her the wrong box! She wanted pink and purple lights, not blue and green!"
He locked and loaded.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Escribe de’Trois Challenge

Escribe de’Trois Challenge - mmm, yes, I'm in this.
There was a grudge match set up on TIW, where 3 teams of 3 writers battled it out...well, when the date finally came, only 4 of those writers wrote a story with the 3 set elements. And then each writer chose a 'pen name'...I can't tell you which one I am but if you've read enough of me, I'm sure you can spot which one it is :-)
Please go and vote for the one which makes you laugh :-)

http://theironwriter.com/escribe-detrois-challenge/

Saturday, February 21, 2015

#livestory over in Twitter

I'm trying something out on Twitter with another writer, A. Francis Raymond (see blog here).
We're writing a story. Who knows where it'll go? Who knows how long it'll be? We don't.
We just write a little within the confines of a tweet (140 characters including @AFrancisRaymond or whoever and #livestory #amwriting - which gives me about 100). Sometimes we do 3 or 4 tweets a day, sometimes 1.
It's a Sci-fi. Here's what we have so far.


    I counted 12 stars. Yesterday, there were only 11. I checked my goggles, maybe some sand had broken the seal during the storm. No sand, no breaks. And twelve more hours before the comm sat was overhead again and I could get a message back to base.
     Checking and rechecking didn't change that there were now 12. The implications were too vast...
     The Trollers move had begun. This was only the 1st star of a billion to be moved from their galaxy to ours. Slowly at first, they said, the first of many trials... and then the real 'invasion' would begin.
     I couldn't think about that now. The task at hand was to pack up and get back to base. With three hours to go before the next storm, the chances of getting back were slim. They weren't expecting me back, either. And I wasn't certain the shuttle left to me would get off the ground.
     There was, of course, always the beacon. No one had used it yet. I'd read the manual but it was only supposed to be used if my life was in danger. Which is wasn't. I just wanted out.
     The choice. Use the beacon and be court-martialed or die trying to get back to base in the storm. What was that my mother used to say?
     "Always wear clean underwear." No, not that one. Underwear was the least of my problems.
     I would ask her when I got back. So yeah, I flipped up the beacon's outer control panel and hit the power on. Damn the High Commission, damn Officer Trappet and his shiny blue buttons. This information needed to be delivered from my outpost on our galaxy's far edge.
     The beacon's light flashed indicating success. All I could do was sit back and wait. There was nothing more to do than look on and wonder at what the night sky would look like from any corner of the galaxy before long. A few moments later the comm came to life with an automated message.

"Control 472 Sector 7, Base has been notified of emergency status. Rescue and return drone on approaching your location. Do you need medical assistance?"

Medical assistance? How was I to reply? Perhaps these messages were salvaged from a defunct system.I pressed the button to acknowledge the message with no response. The only thing left to do was...wait. The small screen above my comm system flickered to life. I'd never seen the thing work. A pixelated face appeared. Only half the data bits were getting through, but I still recognized the face as that jackass Dilby. A couple of ranks higher up the ladder and he thought he owned the solar system.An annoyance not helped by the fact that he did indeed own 7 of the 12 planets and a handful of moons.

"472, our sensors indicate that other than a little cholesterol and 3lbs overweight, you are inno medical danger. Are there outside threats?"

 "Yes," I responded, providing no details. They would have todelve a bit deeper than that. Besides, I wanted that drone to go past the halfway point, about      the time I'd have my stuff packed up. Dilby's pixelated face snorted.

"Fine, when you get back we'll debrief you of all necessary information. 2 seconds left on this message. See you...” The screen image broke up for a brief moment. The last word I heard before Dilby's face disappeared was "forget."

I looked up at the cluster of stars in the sky once more before putting away my essentials. Yes, I was looking forward to getting off this rock earlier than planned. And I knew what I'd say to Meesha, if she would allow me to get a word in before her usual gush of greetings from being away for so many years. Even though I knew she'd forgive me I'd say "I'm sorry. I know where I went wrong." Sitting in this damn box of an outpost for one. But the offer was too good to miss.

In hindsight, I should have stayed my post on Comm Ops 5. I could have asked her to marry me there. We could have been living the family life. In poverty with the majority of the State's citizens but at least life would be simple. None of this thankless work monitoring dead outposts watching for signs of Trollers.

Contrary to belief, there are no sounds in space, but the clang of metal against metal rang clearly through the thin atmosphere surrounding my outpost. I put on my helmet and opened the small window portal. It was a common occurrence that small metallic crystals from the nearby orbiting rings magnetised some electronic components in my gear, which is why they were shielded so well. This was different. This was too big to be a crystal. Was it the drone? Surely it was too early, too soon. I switched on the outside light. What I saw was five times the size of the drone I was expecting. Landing lights reflected on the roof of my boxlike outpost. Drones had no need for landing lights. There were no markings I...








Friday, February 20, 2015

"How to" review on Goodreads!

Now here's a reader who knows what he's talking about! He got it!
...Hey! Only 4 stars! I heard 4 is the new 5...

"How to Build a Castle in 7 easy steps"

Tiaan Lubbe rated it 4 of 5 stars
 
Imaginitive and hilliarious! Which is a very hard combination to master. I think Caile has done exactly so. The best thing for me is how haunting it was at the same time. Cannibals and sarcastic cats! What more could you want? I recommend it with a smile! 
 
 
You can get it here...
 
 
 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

In the Hunts Post! Way-hey!

My new book got an article in the Hunts Post, my local paper back in Huntingdon, UK. It goes from door to door in all the villages and towns and cities, 100,000s of people...maybe one of them will see it and think "Mmm, I might have a look at that..."
This is a BIG break for me! Thanks to Lauren Nash at the Hunts Post! :-)

Two of my kinkiest :-)

Just finished writing up the last two Weekend Quickies. The elements seemed to have a certain 'quality' about them. Perhaps our 'erotica' writer DL Zwissler in TIW was having that kind of weekend, what with Valentine's...
So, here are perhaps possibly my 'kinkiest' to date (rather silly)

Weekend Quickie (#86)???

(Edible Underwear, Godzilla, a Mannequin that looks like your mother, Victoria Secret. 150 words)


“Hey, Simmons! That mannequin looks like your mother!”
He gave Johnson the bird and continued to stare at the lingerie window display.  The dummy in question was wearing some line from Victoria Secret. At least that’s what it said on the tag. He wondered whether they stocked what he was looking for.
“The Porno shop is down the street, Simmons! Go get yourself a film or summit! Ha!”
Ignoring his classmates’ taunts, he stepped into the shop, passing by a couple of women searching through the bras. They gave him evil stares. The shop assistant at the counter seemed a little surprised to see a small uniformed boy standing before her, but she smiled.
“Yes? Can I help you?”
“Yes, please. Do you have edible underwear?”
“What?” The shop assistant looked at him like he was Godzilla.
“The sweet shop down the street is closed. I’m dying for some candy...”

Weekend Quickie (#87)??? Sunday Edition

(RPaticorn (Robert Pattinson), a Brick, a Palm tree, a Japanese Fisherman. 150 words)

Down by the river, I watched the ducks and swans fight for what crumbs were left from the kids who’d stopped there for a break to or from wherever they were going or coming. A fisherman sat close by and mumbled under his breath.
“Sorry?”
Sorera no imaimashī kodomo-tachi wa, karera ga sakana o hanarete obie!”
“Erm...”
“Anata no eigo, anata wa nani no tame no keii o motteinai!”
Confused, I moved on quickly, only to trip on the edge of a brick which was set higher than the others in the newly-laid path near the river and found myself hugging what looked like a palm tree to keep from falling. Images of Robert Pattinson in a pink unicorn costume came into my head, ‘RPaticorn’. The fisherman held up his fist and said something.
Next time I’m gonna lay off those double choc chip brownies from my mate in Amsterdam.




Tuesday, February 17, 2015

New review for 'How to" :-)

Yes, finally got my second review from Jason Brick, a fantastic guy! He's putting together an anthology called "Baby Shoes" and I'm contributing. Watch that space...
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1727584460/baby-shoes-celebrating-flash-fiction

TIW...looks like I'm gonna stay in the background for a while. I still have a Grudge match and a challenge to do, though. And probably a few Quickies...
Can't find much time to work on that novel, but I am doing a "Robin Round" with A. Francis Raymond on Twitter. She writes a bit, I write a bit. We're getting there, slowly. It might stop tomorrow, it might never stop...just search for #amwriting #livestory on twitter and you'll find it. She also wrote a blog about it here...
http://afrancisraymond.com/1/post/2015/02/our-first-twitter-live-story.html

Oh, here's that review :-) (Do you know Robert Asprin?)

"A twisted faerie tale in the proud tradition of Robert Asprin"

By BrickCommaJaons on February 17, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
A twisted faerie tale in the proud tradition of Robert Asprin's Myth series. Wit from dry to ridiculous, banter to be proud of and a storyline that walks the divide between the familiar and the bizarre.

This is my first taste of Dani J Caile. I will be back for seconds.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

TIW Challenge 100

Almost 2 years of Iron Writer...
Yes, it's TIW 100 and I'm in it. Please go and read and vote :-)
http://theironwriter.com/challenge-100/
This time, I've tried a little 'non-omnipotent' POV of a 'princess', a kind of bubble view from a hole in a castle wall. It starts with a hint of 'Death of a Moth' and moves into a 'Carry On/Monty Python' type, finishing with a 'happy' ending...Mathew...hehehe...

"How to Build a Castle in Seven Easy Steps" is still very available. Please pick up a copy here...
http://www.amazon.com/Build-Castle-Seven-Easy-Steps-ebook/dp/B00SOZYR6G

There is also a hint that I'll be contributing to a NEW emag some time in the future, with reviews, articles, etc. Who knows if that'll help.

The other day I was standing in my usual place in the train station, waiting, early morning, the moon shining bright. Opposite the tracks from where I stand is an almost derelict house. The kitchen light is usually on. In my sleepy state I found myself staring into the blackness of a window, only to see a silhouette of some movement...I quickly turned away. I think I'll find another place to stand.



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

TIW Novel entry :-) Chapter 1...

January was difficult. Broke my wrist in December, trying to recover from that, and handed in the first Chapter of the TIW novel (see first half of it below).
I also had an idea for a kid's book, an idea for a Dr Seuss book, and an idea for a sequel to...
'How to Build a Castle in Seven Easy Steps'...which is still out there, waiting for a home...
http://www.amazon.com/Build-Castle-Seven-Easy-Steps-ebook/dp/B00SOZYR6G


Here's the first half of Chapter 1 of my TIW Novel entry "Along Bobbed a Peanut"...I might change it as I go on, though...




Chapter One

"Have you noticed..." began Nigel. His partner-in-crime, Horris, opened one eye from his early morning nap and glared. "Have you noticed..."
"Not yet, no," replied Horris.
"...that certain chocolate bars these days are smaller?" He held up an empty wrapper of an example he'd eaten much earlier for all to see. The two of them in the boat. "They weigh exactly the same but..."
"What's your argument, Nigel? That as the years have passed, chocolate factories across the globe have surreptitiously recalibrated their machines, millimetre by millimetre, milligram by milligram, to decrease the size of their products and increase the weight of their packaging so that their loyal sugar-toothed consumers continue on in their sad little cocoa-driven lives, unaware of this atrocious, villianous conspiracy?"
"Err...yeah, something like that, yeah." Nigel dropped the empty wrapper into the boat and glanced over the side. "They're not biting this morning, are they?"
"No." Horris shifted his fishing hat to cover his forehead and continued with his nap. It wasn't long before Nigel woke him again, moving the boat and splashing water. "What are you doing?"
"Eating," munched Nigel.
"What? You into sushi now? And when did you start catching fish with your hands?"
"I don't, I mean I'm not, erm...I'm eating peanuts." Horris heard the crunching.
"Peanuts? I thought you'd eaten everything you brought?" Where had he stashed them?
"I had."
"Then..." Horris shifted his hat back up to cover his bald patch and opened both eyes. He saw Nigel scooping peanuts from the river. "Since when do peanuts come from the water?"
"Since now, I guess," smiled Nigel, who seemed happy and content with his find. Looking up river and down, Horris observed a thin line of peanuts floating on the surface of the water, moving with the flow. "Not very salty, though, but they hit the spo..."
Tasting a single peanut floating by, Horris noticed they sat in silence. Nigel's face had turned white, his arm like stone, with his hand hidden under the water.
"What is it?" asked Horris. Last time he'd seen Nigel this spooked was when he'd lost his change down at the Mad Cat and couldn't get that last short. Nigel slowly lifted his hand, water dripping into the river. "What is...holy shit!" Nigel gripped a thin, white wrist, a feminine hand hanging limp from the joint with the connecting arm disappearing into the dark depths...

 




Probably the BEST quickies ever...

There were two new TIW Weekend Quickies hidden on the TIW website, so I tried them.
They are probably the best I've written for a while. What do you think?



Snow Day

(Elements: a Snow Day, Cajun food, a letter to a stranger. 150 words)
 
It was a snow day like no other. The drifts were six feet deep, some reaching ten, the roads frozen oceans waiting to crash against the rocks of the houses and street lamps were survivors of some unknown ship wreak, overboard and struggling to keep afloat above the white raging waves. The children, their schools shut for the day or week, no one cared, crunched through the soft cool cover with a fury, punching through the halted breakers and throwing snowballs to whomever they could find, while their guardians and providers of all stood aside, envying their every second.
It was that day she left us, dictating her last will and testament like some letter to a stranger, leaving her lifetime collections to her abundant loved ones, including her recipe for gumbo to Aunt Jemima. That day I would never forget.
And the children they played on regardless, unknowing. Innocent.

Allergy

(Elements: Superbowl halftime show, Peanuts, Allergic reaction to stadium seating. 150 words)

I held onto her hand, the machine breathing for her.
"I'm sorry, I thought it was the peanuts," I whimpered, looking over her face for some sign of consciousness. "I shouldn't have dragged you to the Super Bowl, but hey, it was a chance of a lifetime to bag those tickets. We had to go! How...How was I to know?"
Okay, she had a little eczema when she put on that special lingerie I bought her for our anniversary, but nothing like this. It started with a rash, then a little cough, though by the halftime show, she'd collapsed in the aisle, trying to escape. Give them credit, the medics knew exactly what to do.
"How was I to know? Polyamide? Polyamide? It's a damn plastic! How was I to know you'd have an allergic reaction to the stadium seating?" I sobbed as the ambulance rushed through the traffic.