The Thunderstorm

She caught me looking out the window.

All around us, everyone else seemed totally focused on the moment, the dance, the thumping bass music pumping out of the cheap, slightly tinny speakers. It was enough – almost – to drown out the sounds of an angry Nature from outside the hall, her breath howling as she mustered up her weapons to break the tenuous peace with the surface below.

She saw me looking out the window, listening less to the female singer shouting about how she needed to get up on the dance floor and more to the rolling thunder, approaching like the pounding of hooves from an onrushing stampede. She reached out, caught at my hand.

I looked up, surprised and ready to defend myself – but she just smiled, tugged me away from the dance and the other people, the sea of humanity. She led gently, but it was enough to encourage me to follow. Continue reading

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“You speak about it as if it’s human!”

The rogue appeared back in camp suddenly, barely making a single whisper to announce his presence. “They’re getting closer,” he announced.

Sitting on top of a log, the warrior nearly dropped his polishing stone in surprise. “Dammit, man, what have we told you about making some sort of noise when you show up?” he growled, his deep baritone making his plates of armor vibrate. “Scared the dickens out of me!”

“Maybe if you pried some of the waxy armor polish out of your ears, you might manage to hear me,” the rogue retorted, and the two glared daggers at each other for a moment. Continue reading

[AGttA] Chapter 10.1: The Moral Debate

Continued from Chapter 10.0, here.

Read it from the beginning, starting here.

Axiom 10: Do what makes you happy.

“What?”  I didn’t understand what the woman sitting on the other side of the desk meant.

“The price,” she repeated patiently, looking at me.  “You asked what it would take to bring your friends back, to put a stop to the Apocalypse, to restore everything back to normal.  You said that you would be willing to do anything.

“And that, it seems, is exactly the price for you.”

I felt like my stomach was dropping away from me, like I was in the front seat of a roller coaster that had just plunged over the first big drop on the ride.  “I don’t understand.” Continue reading

Cookie Clicker

No post today.  I’ve discovered this new game called Cookie Clicker.

Have you heard of it?  It’s fun.  You click on a cookie.

Each time you click the cookie, you get a cookie.  You use the cookies to buy more things to click on the cookie for you, so that you can get even more cookies.

I’m not quite sure why this has me so spellbound, but it does.

Check it out:

http://orteil.dashnet.org/cookieclicker/

Cookies.

You Just Gotta Laugh

You know, looking back on the whole thing, it’s hilarious. Real gut-buster. And it’s pretty much our own fault.

I mean, we really oughtta have found the thing a lot earlier, huh? What kind of species develops sentience, builds great flying machines, but then decides to spend the next few millennia happily slaughtering each other over minor territorial disputes instead of venturing off their little ball of rock?

And to think, we found it on the damn Moon. Literally next door. It’s a little like murdering all your roommates because you can’t find your sunglasses, and then it turns out that you left them in your car the whole time.

Really, all you can do at that point is laugh. Or cry, I suppose, but I’m one of those guys that gets off on all that morbid reality. Find it hilarious. Continue reading

"Suliman" – Part 1

Usually, people probably aren’t nervous when they’re entering small towns.  Especially dinky little places in the middle of nowhere, Texas, with under a hundred residents and some desperately high-brow name like St. Vermis.  Of course, usually people aren’t hunting for the source of pure evil and various disasters over the last hundred years or so, either.  Not to mention the fact that I didn’t have any registration for the big revolver tucked in between my socks in my hastily packed suitcase.  But maybe I should back up a bit.

To be honest, I never expected my thesis to yield any real results… Continue reading

Grading

I groaned, turning the mug over in my hands. Despite its cheery mass-printed slogan – “Number 1 Teacher!” – it felt cheap. Hell, it was. If I closed my eyes and focused, I could trace back its component elements, back through the Asian factory where these cups were churned out by the tens of thousands, back to the mud pit in backwoods China where the clay had been scraped from the ground.

I didn’t bother summoning the focus. Even an insignificant little charm like that taxed my strength almost to its breaking point. I hated knowing that I’d fallen so far, feeling my limits hit me so quickly.

The mug might be cheap, unremarkable, but it still held coffee. I got up, crossed the teachers’ lounge over to the ancient Mr. Coffee that sat on the counter, its flameless heat spells showing the strain of countless years of constant operation. I poured a cupful of hot, steaming coffee into my mug, replaced the pot back on the etheric coil that served as its heating focus. Continue reading

The first romance convention – Romanti-Con!

I stood in the midst of the chaos, at the eye of the storm. “Sorry, can you repeat the question?” I asked the reporter standing next to me.

She didn’t seem to mind, and both of us paused for a second as a very toned and muscled man passed by, dressed in little more than a white loincloth and with a spray-painted gold bow and arrow set slung over his shoulder.

“Er, right,” the reporter said after another minute. “So, how did you decide on launching this whole, er…”

“Convention,” I filled in. Continue reading

[AGttA] Chapter 10.0: The Professor’s Office

Continued from Chapter 9.2, here.

Read it from the beginning, starting here.

Axiom 10: Do what makes you happy.

At first, I was certain that I’d somehow screwed things up.

I had imagined that, upon stepping through that door, I might find myself in some vast tribunal, some sort of huge celestial court where I’d have to argue my case to God himself, standing in a massive room and with a billion angels all staring down at me.  No pressure, of course.

But instead, I found myself standing in a small, rather shabby feeling office.  I felt like I’d landed back on earth, in one of the rear rooms in some community college department building.  This felt like the kind of space where an elderly English professor might spend his tenured twilight days, reading papers that no one else ever touched and writing responses that no one would ever get around to reading. Continue reading

I have a friend I’ve never met.

Hey, uh, you mind if I share your seat with you? Bus is crowded this morning, and I’ve got, like, 30 stops until mine.

Thanks. Sorry about the bag.

What? No, I don’t have a phone charger. I usually charge mine at the office. Sorry.

Cute? Who?

Oh, on my Facebook. Here, let me scroll back up – her? Yeah, she is kind of cute, I guess. It’s a weird story with her, though. I’ve never actually met her, or really talked to her at all. But we’re friends.

No, it doesn’t really make sense. But it’s sort of an interesting story. If you don’t mind listening. I mean, if you’d rather just go to sleep for the rest of the bus ride-

Okay, I’ll tell it. Continue reading