A Promise – A Fiction

I think this was inspired by a writer’s prompt, but I’ll be damned if I can remember where the prompt came from.  In any case, it’s a little bit of nothing that I kinda like.  Thus so it might have some life, I’ve put it here.


He ran.

He ran with all the strength he could muster towards the horizon. Already he had fallen once, scraped his face, his hands, his arms. Already he had to stop, to catch his breath, to pray for a second wind. Now there was a stagger in his step, suggesting another fall, another stop. He knew this—how could he not?—but it doesn’t matter. In fact, if anything it made him run all the harder. He had to reach the sea before it happened. He had to, had to, had to.

His course took him alongside a four lane city street, never mind which city, never mind just where. Cars, trucks, and vans raced past him at a frightening rate. Not a one pause, despite his clear and frantic face.

Not a one headed in the same direction as he did. Only he headed towards the horizon.

The day around him could have been spring, it could have been winter. It didn’t matter. He burned. Every iota of his being burned. He was beyond pain now, beyond any agony he had ever known in his long, long life. His body was flame, and inferno, and he burned on and on as he ran.

Up ahead waited a final green hill. Over it was the beach, the sea. Seeing it sent a surge of hope through him.

The same moment his foot caught a crack in the pavement. Or perhaps a phantom leg struck out for one cruel final jest. Whichever, he staggered forward, almost caught himself, but found his legs too weak, too rubbery. Down he went. Concrete scraped through his jeans to his knees, then across his face. At once he struggled to get up, to start running again. None of his limbs wanted to help him; he cursed them and made them do what he wanted.

As he got to his feet, the Voice spoke once again. Still it sounded neither male nor female, and still it said the same five words: A promise is a promise.

“Cheater.” That came out as a croak. He swallowed, then screamed, “Cheater! You put water in the gas tank! Didn’t you? Didn’t you? I’d have been there by now otherwise and you know it!

The Voice didn’t even acknowledge the accusation. A promise is a promise.

He was on his feet. Staggered. Walked. Ran. Tears streaked his face as he went up the hill. For two thousand years he had kept the covenant. For two thousand years he had done everything asked of him. He had watched the world he knew fade to half forgotten history. He had watched his children grow old and die, as well as their children after that and their children after that, on and on. So much suffering, so much hardship, and without complaint.

He was due a little leeway. A little consideration.

He was due.

He crested the top of the hill, only to stagger to a stop again. Below him, after a brief spate of green grass, was the beach. Cluttered with towels and folding chairs and umbrellas, but absolutely empty of people. Some sandals scatter about, most heading towards one parking lot or another, but no people in them. They had long gone.

As had the sea.

For the beach didn’t meet the water. Instead, it met with what the water hid. The brackish sediment. On top of this flopped a few still living fish, but most were dead.

All of this stretched out before him for miles.

In the distance, at the very horizon, was a line of midnight blue and foamy white. It moved out there. Perhaps away, but more likely not.

An instant was all it took to take this in. Then he screamed wordlessly and began to run once more.

His ankle twisted when he hit the beach. The sediment sucked at his shoes, then at his shins, then at his knees. It didn’t stop him. Nothing would stop him. He would uphold the covenant even if that covenant was now broken and useless. If that was all he could do then he would do it.

There was one other thing, though, he could do. He glanced at the watch on his wrist. He glance at his watch and he saw.

And he screamed at the uncaring horizon, “Damn you, I would have made it if you hadn’t moved the water! Do you hear me? I WOULD HAVE MADE IT!

A promise, the Voice said, is a promise.

The blue and white at the horizon began to grow. It would grow and grow until it towered over him, roaring, blotting out sight and sound. And still he would head towards it as best he could, screaming.

It was all he could do.

* * *

The waters of the oceans pulled away from the coast. Not just one coast, but all coasts. Not just one continent but all continents. Even the inland seas and lakes. Even there.

The waters pulled back, then raced forward with incredible speed. The great Wave smashed into the land, crushing all it came across. The righteous and the corrupt, it didn’t matter. The Wave didn’t care.

When it reached its full length, it pulled back. Back beyond it’s normal boundaries, back to its outer limits. Then it came racing forward and slammed into the land again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

For after all, a promise is a promise.

Woo-hoo

Brother Eric and I watched a lot of DuckTales as kids.  A lot.  So I went into watching this trailer with a heavy heart.  Especially with the art style.  It really does nothing for me.

Let me start out by saying that, with the exception of Donald Duck, all the voices sound WRONG.  Gone are the duckese voices for the nephews, Launchpad, while close to right as any of them, sounds off, and Scrooge…

No one’s going to replace Alan Young in the part.  No one.  I don’t care how Scottish the new guy is, Young is Scrooge and no one will replace him.  Ever.

Beyond that, my God am I looking forward to seeing a full episode.

This looks fun.  The nephews look to be an improvement on the original series (you can tell them apart even without the individual color schemes!)  Plus, more Donald Duck is never a bad thing.  More importantly, David Tennant, the new Scrooge, sounds like he’s having a blast playing the part, and I’m sure that’s going to help the series.

There are signs of the typical Disneyisms here and there, but this looks promising.

That’s One Big Ape – Rambling Thoughts on the Eighth Wonder of the World

So we step one step closer to the Rematch of All Rematches.   I’m excited, but then it’s a Giant Monster Movie; I tend to dig those bad boys.  Especially the ones with monsters fighting monsters.

A quick, amused thought: watching Kong go after the helicopters in the above trailer, I thought, This is Kong’s revenge for the Dino De Laurentiis flick.

I haven’t sat through the De Laurentiis Kong in years.  Decades.

The original Kong I own on DVD–it’s around my desk somewhere.  The Toho versions are there, too.  There might even be a Peter Jackson version hidden in the shadows somewhere.

No  De Laurentiis.

As a kid, we had a jigsaw puzzle that was based on the movie poster.  I had a Kong board game.  I think I even liked the movie; I know I regretted sleeping through it when Mom and Dad took Brother Eric and me out to the drive thru to see it.

And I haven’t watched it in decades.

My standard criteria for Godzilla films is “Please be better than Godzilla v. Megalon.”  If the film’s better than Godzilla v. Megalon, I’m generally happy.

I have no such criteria for Kong flicks.  Maybe I should.  King Kong Lives was wretched enough.  Maybe I should be hoping this new one is better than that.

No.  No, that’s setting the bar too low.

Anyways, enough rambling.  One step closer to Godzilla v. Kong the second.  I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating, the only way this could be better is if we were stepping closer to Godzilla v. Gamera.

Oh–dare I dream?–Kong v. Gamera

I Really Don’t Like Lemons or Lemonade. Though Both Are Handy If Good Titles Are Hard to Come By

It’s strange.

Some days are superproductive.  You get what you want done, when you want done.  Sometimes even more than expected.

Then there are days when you have done something, yet have nothing to show for it.  Just the vague sense of moving forward, despite the appearances of holding still.

Personally I’ll take the first over the second any day.  But when a pinch comes, the second will do.  The second will do nicely.

What have I done today?  Overcame an outline problem.  Nothing big, nothing amazing.  Just something that might help me move forward tomorrow.

In life, we have to enjoy and be thankful for what good comes along.  There have been and will always be days when no good will come.

Power Girl in Yellow

power-girl-in-yellow-000

One of the things about Power Girl is that she seldom has what you would could call a “good” costume.  For instance, the boob window on her more typical duds really is kinda silly.

This particular outfit, worn during her Justice League days, is on the cusp.  Why I think that I can’t explain.  Maybe it’s the neck line.  That looks ridamndiculuce.  The yellow/white color scheme doesn’t do a lot for me, but it’s growing on me.

Anyways, Power Girl.  In a costume we haven’t seen her in before (at least not on this site.)

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 rescind 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?

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!

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.

4,704

No series posts today.  After I finished yesterday’s post I worked on three potential outlines, finishing only two and only having a good (hell, GREAT) feeling about one.  Today I’m either watching the original Godzilla for the Sister Site or working on Goblinstomper!  There might be more work on outlines, too, I won’t rule that out.

But that’s not what I want to talk about today.

Yesterday I pumped out close to five thousand words.

That’s including yesterday’s post, but not anything by good ole Lester Dent.

Not sure how to feel about that.

It’s almost a fourth of what I’d need for the Three Day Novel, so it’s a disappointment in that regard.

But the positives all out way that.

This means that, by rights, I should be able to crank out a novel in two weeks. Small caveat and reminder: That’s 4704 words on four separate projects.  Different stories, different thoughts.

It’s still suggestive.

The GREAT outline was sort of like the Tailor, Brave and True one in that I wrote it in a white heat of beautiful creative energy.  It was an idea that I’d tried outlining before (and had some success with), which, to me, says that if I’m familiar enough with the material, I can do the dance.  I can create.  I’ll be fine.

Now if it comes up, speed ≠ quality.  It doesn’t mean racing through is producing crap, either.  What it is producing it material to be refined.  It’s giving me something I can work on.  Something I can improve upon.

Something I can actually see published one day.

I’m rather excited about this.