The Hand That Makes – A Fiction

I have this nasty habit of writing simply dialogues and (in this particular case) monologues.  I think it’s because doing so skips on descriptions, and I hate, hate, hate descriptions.  Of course, they’re also easier to write and easier to finish.  Mustn’t discount natural laziness.

That confessed to, sometimes with the monologues I come up with rather neat little stories.  Not really something I could sell, but something I think worthy, or neat.

With this particular tale, the monologue format helps with the overall effect of the tale.  Properly told with descriptions, it might not work as well.

Then again, as I’m writing this note some ideas about how it could be done are coming to me.

In any case, here is the tale.  I hope it amuses.


Don’t whisper like that. It’s unbecoming.

Much better. Thought you could enunciate a little better.

That’s it. That’s the way.

The whole line now. Don’t miss a word. It’s important to get it all right and remember.

Yes. Progress. I think tomorrow we might try a different passage.

You can rest now.

#

I don’t care if it hurts. You have to do it.

Why? Don’t ask me why. You just do.

Okay, because if you don’t I’ll resend outside privileges.

Ah. Don’t like the thought of that, now do you?

And there you go. Flex and relax. Flex and relax. Each day a little stronger, each day a little less pain.

You can rest now.

#

Finished. No more stitches. When you’ve healed there won’t even be a scar. So much better than my last one. I might be learning a thing or two myself.

Don’t mutter like that. It’s worse than whispering.

I can understand your frustrations. It must seem like it’s taking forever for you. You must believe me, though, you’re advancing at quite a steady rate.

Everyone says exactly what you did. At least at first. It’s completely understandable.

Each day you become better and better. And one day it and the pain will all be over.

You can rest now.

#

Exciting news. From now on, instead of a full day of therapy, you’ll have only a half day.

I know! The rest of the day you will be outside. That’s right! Outside doing so much. And better still it will be for the benefit of all.

Oh, lifting and pulling. Building and cleaning. Whatever the schedule says for the day, that’s what you’ll do.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. One of the things you’ll build? It’ll be a new house for me. Now isn’t that a wonderful thing to be building?

Oh no. No, I won’t be helping. Don’t be silly. I have far too many important things to do myself.

You can rest now.

#

Well done! A full therapy, and not a word of complaint. If all could see your progress!

Better than who now?

It’s not fair to compare the two of you. Nor should you do any comparing. You’re on the same shift as he, and must work together in any case, for the benefit of all.

He can’t help smelling bad, any more than you can. Though perhaps if you bathed more, it wouldn’t be such a problem.

Yes, yes, I’ll make the same suggestion to him when he comes into therapy.

You can rest now.

#

Now that was ugly, now wasn’t it? So unbecoming. So less like you should be.

His fault? What do you mean, his fault? It doesn’t matter what you think he thinks or how he smells. You shouldn’t have done it. You should have left him alone.

No. No, you didn’t kill him. We wouldn’t be having this conversation if you did. Just delayed production, bad enough.

No, we won’t be doing therapy tomorrow. I’ll be attending your… playmate.

Oh, let me assure you, I’ll get that arm back on and functioning. He’ll be back to normal in no time. Until then you’ll just have to work a second shift as well as yours.

Get back to resting.

#

I hear you went a calling today. And let me tell you, no one is happier that you sought to apologize than me. Well done. Well done indeed.

Oh, I wouldn’t have made you do it. Don’t be silly. Forced apologies are pointless.

Don’t say that.

I told you not to say that.

Well you’ve certainly spoiled that gesture, now haven’t you? And such folly. Had you not opened your big yap, I might never have known.

I’m done with you today.

#

Did I tell you to rest?

DID I TELL YOU TO REST?

I don’t care how upset you are I want you working on my building now get up off your lazy ass and—

Oh, so that’s how it is, is it? That’s what you think?

You think that’s a threat? Go ahead, try and rip off my arms. Go ahead, big Man, you go right on and—

THERE! HOW’S THAT GOING FOR YOU? LIKE IT? LIKE IT?

#

Round and round we go. Sometimes for every step forward there is a step back. For me as well as for you.

For what it’s worth, I am sorry for what happened. I should never had let it go so far.

Oh, that’s all right. No need for you to apologize. Remember, you were hurt much worse than I.

Now, now. Everything will be fine. You will be fine. The bones will heal just fine, and you’ll be back on track to being what you always should have been. Just like how the Father Doctor always meant us to be.

After all, do we not now walk on two legs? Do we not drink from glass and eat from plates?

Are we not Men?

Look, Just Because I Mentioned Lemons In the Title of One Post–ONE POST!–Doesn’t Mean I Want a Metric Ton of Them Dumped On My Lawn, Okay?

I knew better than to setting up a schedule.

I.

Knew.

Better.

This time it wasn’t my fault.  Completely.  This time I lost internet access.  And phone access.  For two days.

Two whole days.

If we could have some how harness the power generated by me clicking the Chrome button, then saying, “Internet’s out, stupid!” I’m sure we could reach Mars in a day.

So what did Mr. Waters do in his unintended vacation from the wonderful wonderful web?

I made lemonade.

Not literally.  But I would have, had I thought of it.

First off, I cleaned up my Devil Box desktop.  Condensed it down to a few links, then made icons for each link:

my-devil-box-desktop-000

I like making icons.  Really like it.  I made icons for a ton of folders.  Hopefully this will make things easier to find.

Also?  I went through my writing stuff and organized that too.  Found a few short stories that seem worthy of posting.  Maybe tomorrow.

This inspired me to look at some old backup disks and, more importantly, make a new one.

Last one I made was in August of last year.  Ie yi yi.

I hope I spelled that last bit right.

To go back to icons, working on then inspired me to revamp the feature images of the sister site.  This was a little hard to do, as it involves access to the internet to do.  But I think it’ll improve things.  But I want it 100% ready to carry out before starting to change things.  So expect that… Probably never.  Who knows?  Projects and me are like schedules: we don’t always follow through.

I’m working on that.

Speaking of projects, I also progressed with Goblinstomper!  I’m actually quite happy with the game so far.  In fact, I have maybe one more map to do before I’m finished with the ruins.  Then a final cut scene and I’ll be done with the first stage of the proceedings.  We’ll talk about that Friday, as well as brush upon how I’m insane and probably shouldn’t be working on a game like this.

It’ll be fun!

I also played a few video games.  But I do that every day.

What didn’t get done was any work on writing any novel.  However, I had several nifty ideas.  I even used RPG Maker’s character designer to work on character appearances, thus getting to see some of my characters’ faces for the first time.

Kinda neat, that.

Anyways, that’s my week so far.  Hopefully the rest of the week will be a little less… lemony…

Keeping a Schedule Attempt #1756

Another day, another lack of anything to say.  This, as experience has taught, leads to long blog silences.  Rather than do that, I thought maybe I’d plan out my week.  Working on another life style change, don’t you know.

It’s not a big list, but this is what I’m planning:

  • Monday’s a new Cullen Reads?  Which isn’t me asking you about it; that’s the title.  I intend to talk about Costigan’s Needle, a Science Fiction novel by Jerry Sohl.  It won’t be in-depth, but there will be spoilers, including the ending (which is the part I really want to talk about.)
  • Tuesday I’d like to do another Walking the Outline.  Things haven’t been moving forward with the other outlines like I’d hoped.  Maybe a deadline will help.  Or not.  we shall see.
  • Wednesday and Thursday I’m leaving open.
  • Friday and Saturday are Goblinstomper! Development Diary days.  Though Saturday will be a joke entry; it’ll be entry XXX, and if there’s one thing I can’t resist, it’s an incredibly obvious joke.

The schedule is, of course, subject to change. Especially if something comes up in the meantime.

Goblinstomper! Development Diary (XXVIII) – Fiddling, Puzzle, Doors

Time slips away from us all.  I apparently thought I had more hours today than the actual 24, and didn’t get all done what I intended.  But I did get some work done.

Another Fiddling With Maps

One of the great things about writing, in general, is how fluid it can be.  Ideas that seemed great one day are replaced the next by hopefully better ones the next.  And if those better ones aren’t so hot, they can always go to the wayside.

For instance:

gs-development-070

This was the original map I had the first time I tried making a game.  Not too shabby, I thought then.

I reach this point last week, though, and I thought better.  I wanted puzzles.  Not great puzzles, maybe, but something.

My first thought was switches and doors.  Flip the right sequence of switches to open the door.  That sort of thing.

In fiddling with that, I made closes walls and doors, as mentioned in the earlier post.  I also dumped the door idea and went back to calling up a bridge, like I’d done at a MUCH earlier stage.

All of these ideas lead to a change in the map.  Like so:

gs-development-071

Not too shabby, but, as I said before, I’d lost the maze aspect to the proceedings, and I liked the maze.

Thus after what passes for a lot of thought with me, I went back to the old map.  But with some changes:

gs-development-073

I’m going to call this done for now.  I can fiddle with things until the cows come home and still want to fiddle some more.  Best to set it on the shelf and move on (though I might get some Door Events ready just to give it a better look while I test it out.)

My work here brings up two further points I’d like to discuss with you.  If for no other reason than to keep this from being two posts in a row on the same flarking area.

Puzzling Out Some Puzzles

One of the things holding me back on this part was the puzzle.  I kept thinking that it had to relate to those little matters I set up in the woods.  Needed to be switches, that sort of thing.  Only how many of these things could I make without them becoming derivative and cliché?  Which wouldn’t be long, as sequence switches are ALREADY derivative and cliché.

Just like them, is all.

Anyways, to circle back to an earlier point, I suddenly changed what this first act was about.  This was the tutorial act.  The act where I show the various features of the game, then expanded on in the later acts.

Thus inspiration came.  Go crystal:gs-development-075

The Player touched the crystal and a bridge appears.  Or a door opens.  Depending on the situation.

Not any different from a switch, you say?  Well on the next floor I set up three crystals.  Turn one off and the one next to it turns on or off, depending on what lit or not.  It’s no more original than the switches, but, again, I like it.

For the next point, allow me to draw your attention to the lower right corner of the above image.  You know what’s there?

Obviously a Door

Sure, it’s a door:

gs-development-076

This brings up an interesting little point.  Or at least it was an interesting point for me; you’re mileage might vary.

With the perspective of this game, you can’t just have doors in just any wall.  It needs to be demonstrated to the Player to be used by the Player.  Am I right or am I right?

That’s where those silly shadows on the floor come in.  Put in the right place, they say door just as surely as a doorway.

The shadow could be drawn a little smaller than that.  I considered it a bit, then rejected it.  Didn’t look right to me.

Still, it behooves me to show what the gap in the shadow means.  I was thinking of redesigning an earlier map anyways (LATER!), so I’ll no doubt do it then.  Might even have it in a few other places, just to be sure.

Not the greatest point, again, but who knows?  Maybe it’ll be vital for me to know and now I have a place to look for it.

When Life Hands You Lemons, Tell Life You Don’t Like Lemons and Hand Them Back. Unless You DO Like Lemons. In That Case the Polite Thing to Do Is Thank Life For the Gift.

I had a whole Goblinstomper! post raring to go.  Was happily writing it up in my head, getting screen shots, the works.  Only when I sat down to write the post, I learned that a vital screen shot was absent.  The only way to get said shot would be to remove all the work I’d done, and, ha ha, I love this site and all, but not that much.  So no post on that.  Suffice to say the game advances, and hopefully I’ll get something I can share with y’all tomorrow.

It might be script work, it might be game, I dunno.  It will be Goblinstomper! and it will be me moving forward.  That’s what matters about that.

This leaves me with a lot of nothing to talk about today.  As that was the worst thing to happen to me, We’re going to put February 17, 2017 in the good day file (fingers cross for the few hours remaining.)

As I vowed not to have posts up that just say I have nothing going on postwise, it behooves me to come up with something to talk about.

Thus a couple of things spring to mind:

One:  I’ve mentioned elsewhere that they’ve canceled the potential Friday the 13th reboot/remake/sequel/thing.  That same link gives you my thoughts on how a reboot etc. should go, so I won’t go into it here.

However, today the website Bloody Disgusting (such a name) posted a synopsis of the proposed film, and mein Gott have Friday the 13th fans missed a bullet.  A complete disaster, that’s what that sounded like.  You want a perfect example of over thinking what should be a very simple premise, here it is.  Three killers!  One after the other.  There’s no way there’s going to be anything close to the original series standard of characterization.  A particular bar that’s oh so very low.

Two: While looking up the link for the previous thing, I discovered that there’s going to be a new series based on Stephen King’s Castle Rock.  Sounds like it has possibilities.  Which is the only thing I can say about it, as there’s nothing else to it.

It really depends on how many King stories the series draws on.  I rather doubt any of the novels will be adapted for it.  Hopefully there’s a chance for some of the stories making it.

And that’s all I gots for today.  Sorry about that!

Quick Glance: Assassination Classroom

assassination-classroom-000I might have said this about previous weeks, but this hasn’t been my week for writing.  Various reasons, none of which I’m going into here, save that once again the world is safe from rabid stuffed alligators and once again I’m not getting enough pay for the job.

Or pay at all, come to that.

Really have to talk to someone about that.

In any case, I’ve found myself a new anime obsession, Assassination Classroom, the story of an octopus like creature who’s only desire is to teach a class.  A desire that, once fulfilled,  will leave him to destroy the Earth.  Unless his beloved class can kill him first.

It is, to keep it quick, a hoot.  I’m about five episodes in and have been having a blast with Koro-sensei (the yellow guy to the right) and his students.  Like One Punch Man (currently my favorite anime OF ALL TIME), it takes what I’d have thought to be a single joke premise and gives it a wonderful amount of depth.  Deeply entertaining.  It’s taking most of my will not to binge through it like I did with Voltron.

Worth checking out.

The Great Echoing Hollowness and Other Stories About the Inside of My Head

My Greatest Adventure 6 000

So.  In the process of writing another post, I came across the above image in this blog’s media files.

Not a bad little cover.  Does its job, it does.

I can’t for the life of me tell you why I’d want to talk about it.

I know it was important enough to make a copy of, but not why.

Looking up the post it’s attached to did me no good.  That would be yet another essay doing what every right thinking comic book fan should be doing.  (And if you just thought “Praising Power Girl?” either you’re a reader with refined tastes or me.  Because I forgot what I’d linked to here.)

In case you didn’t click-through, that particular post was all about a completely different comic cover.  There’s no possible way to connect this one to that one.  Unless you do it under the banner of being covers that caught my interest some how.  A broad connection, to be sure.

It makes me wonder how many more of these images I’ve got in my media files that I have no idea why they’re there.

Going through my writing files, I’ve come across story titles that have no stories.  Not even a note to tell me what I was thinking.

Sometimes this can lead to amusing moments, I admit.  But man, am I tired of doing that.

One of the many reasons for changing my life.

More Stuff You Never See Happen to Power Girl

super-girl-000

A cover is the first thing anyone sees of a book, comic or otherwise.  It’s supposed to draw the reader in, make them want to buy the book.

The only way this cover works, if it works at all, is that this is somebody’s effort to draw in the all important Romance Comic (RC) crowd to the title.  “Oh, poor Supergirl!  However will she cope?  Will she find love?  Who’s kitten is that?”

Or something like that.

Look, I don’t know what RC fans look for in a comic.  I’m a Horror Comic guy.  No severed head, no dangling corpse, pass.  Let’s go see what Little Lulu is doing this week.  That’s me.

Anyways, they’re drawing the RC reader, the reader has the comic in hand, and he/she looks down and sees that title.  The Garden of Death.

Which is a great title.  Don’t get me wrong.  But it really doesn’t fit the cover.  At all.

Who’s kitten is that, anyways?  Is that Streaky, the Supercat in his mild manner disguise?

I’m trying to come up with something (allegedly) funny for Zatanna, but I’m coming up blank.  Outside of the backwards talk for spell casting, I’ve got nothing on her.  Not even interest.

Whatever her “surprise feature” is, it has to be better than this cover.  Gads.  Dull.

Cullen Reads? (I) – John Charrington’s Wedding By Edith Nesbit

This is a series of indeterminate length talking about various things I’ve read.  Novels, short stories, what have you, all are potential subjects for me to talk about.

Today’s subject is the short story John Charrington’s Wedding by Edith Nesbit.  The provided link will take you to the work in question.  From here on out expect dread SPOILERS!  You have been warned!

————————-

I picked this particular tale for two reasons.  The first that it was relatively short (I suspected this would be a late post).  The second was that I’d thought I’d read it before and was after a fashion familiar with it.  Not sure if I have or not, but it is still familiar.

Seee, John Charrington’s Wedding follows the oft told tale of a soul entirely too determined for his own good.  John’s going to marry May Forster, dead or alive.  And it’s no real surprise which it is.

This is true with a lot of Ghost Stories.  Lots of familiar trails being trod.  So I knew what would happen well before Nesbit reached her points.

Not a mark against the story mind.  It’s still a well told, creepy little thing.

Take the opening line:

No one ever thought that May Forster would marry John Charrington; but he thought differently, and things which John Charrington intended had a queer way of coming to pass.

 Boom.  Right there she’s setting the ground work for the supernatural happenings to come.  Far more efficient, I think, than John’s repeated declarations about getting married “dead or alive.”

Another thing I liked is that at no point is there a reason for the haunting beyond that first explanation.  There are no bad people involved, no vengeance from beyond the grave.  For whatever reason John always gets what he wants, and does so one last time.  Much to May’s detriment.

Nesbit has a nice, simple writing style that’s easy to read and gets the point across.  After reading this story, I’m rather curious about some of her other Ghost Stories.  Maybe after reading it, you might be too.

Well There Went THAT Idea

I was climbing up into bed last night when I suddenly realized I hadn’t posted anything here.  As my bed time is midnight and I usually stay up a little past, this proved to be a problematic insight.

Oops.  There goes the every post in February thing.  Oh well.  Good thing I don’t get paid for these things.

On the outline front, I have another partial completed, one I like quite a bit.  I now need at least one more before moving from this here Stage Two to that there Stage Three.

On the review front, I’ve looked at the Godzilla box but have yet to watch the film.  A fact I find depressing.

However! I intend a new feature here at this blog called Cullen Reads?  in which I review a book, short story, whatever ever week.  I hope to have one up every Monday, which means I’ll be posting again later today.  Unless I forget.  In which case the first one will go up next week.  Unless I forget again.

Finally, to make this post have a nice, warm, fuzzy feel, here’s a picture of Power Girl considering causing a great deal of pain to someone who probably deserves it.

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