Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Wolf's Cannonball

Little Red skipped and hopped through the forest with a wicker picnic basket in hand and a sunshine smile on her face. Her red cloak and hood flapped like a flag in the morning wind while goose bumps formed on her arms from the chilly weather. After a lengthy summer of boiling hot weather, a gentle breeze was most certainly welcome. By the time Red reached the top of the hill, she gazed into the distance with a star-struck expression and said, “My, what big eyes you have! You dead bastard!”

Her innocent aura was replaced with a menacing scowl as she pulled the hood over her face and knelt down to unload her picnic basket. Instead of delicious treats for grandma, Red pulled out pieces of a sniper rifle and assembled them with military quickness. She laid on her stomach and peered through the scope to acquire her target. Even with so many trees standing in her way, the target was as clear as the morning weather. “That bounty money is as good as mine, motherfucker!” she said with a sadistic grin.

Within Little Red Sniper’s crosshairs was the Big Bad Wolf himself, the hairy beast moving gracefully with martial arts movements. Every spin kick and palm strike would have made the legendary Bruce Lee proud. One of his spin kicks managed to slice one of the trees down. The thunderous crash to the ground made Little Red Sniper giggle and shake her head. “Pathetic. That’s what it is,” she said under her breath. “All that kung fu BS won’t mean a damn thing with a bullet in your head.”

After performing his kata, the Big Bad Wolf stood still and breathed intensely to relax his body while he spread his palms out. This wasn’t the kind of breath that could huff and puff and blow somebody’s house down, but it did let Little Red know that he worked hard to perfect his craft despite her unimpressed stare through the scope. The innocent-looking sniper focused her crosshairs right between Wolfie’s eyes and she took the perfect shot.

As the thunderous blast rang out through the forest, Little Red Sniper got up and celebrated her perfect shot with arm swinging dances and moonwalk shuffles. She giggled as she peered through the sniper scope to see just how badly Wolfie’s head exploded. “No fucking way,” she said to herself. “This is some sugar frosted bullshit!”

Wolfie had caught the bullet with his fangs and spit it out like chewed bubblegum. Instead of splattered brains, all she got was a tiny trickle of blood running down his furry chin. The martial arts genius’s deadly grin showed a dark side of him that the public was used to seeing. Even Little Red had been quivering in her boots upon seeing such a vicious expression.

With her rifle still concentrated on the Big Bad Wolf, Little Red slowly backed away while stuttering uh’s repeatedly. The further she backed away, the closer Wolfie got as he power walked across the forest to go in for the kill. Little Red kept backing away until she bumped into a muscular figure behind her and dropped to her knees, losing her rifle in the process.

When Little Red reached over shakily to pick up her weapon, she felt a death grip around the nape of her neck as it yanked her off the ground kicking and screaming. “Put me down, you big oaf! I’ll pop your head open once I get my rifle!” she threatened.

The massive hand turned her around and now she was face to face with yet another razor sharp mouth and bloodlust glare. The orange flannel shirt, the baggy blue jeans, the black combat boots, and the blood-covered axe, not to mention the filthy green skin: they all spelled the presence of Hacksaw the grumpy lumberjack. The orc leaned his face closer to Red’s and said in a throaty voice, “You ain’t gonna do shit!” before tossing her aside easier than a beach ball.

After Little Red bounced off of a tree stump, Hacksaw kicked the sniper rifle away into the nearby bushes while the Big Bad Wolf leapt onto the battlefield with grace and dexterity. Wolfie did some marital arts punches and tornado kicks in the air to warm himself up, but only received a belly laugh from an indifferent Hacksaw. “You think any of that shit’s going to matter once I chop your goddamn head off?” he mockingly asked. “I don’t give a damn about your big bad reputation; that money is mine!”

Hacksaw charged at Wolfie and swung his axe like a barbarian possessed by eye-bulging rage. While that battle was going on, Little Red wiped the dirt out of her eyes and slowly crawled towards the bushes where her sniper rifle was kicked. “Almost there…” she said weakly before Hacksaw accidentally stepped on her hand and made it sound like he walked on packing peanuts.

“Yeouch!” hollered Little Red as she pulled her hand out and felt it pulsate with redness like she was in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. “Watch where you’re stepping, you giant sack of turds!”

Hacksaw grabbed Little Red by her crunchy wrist and slammed her against Wolfie, sending him flying backwards against a tree, which crackled and smashed upon impact. After tossing Little Red aside once again, Hacksaw raised his axe to the sky and shouted, “Yes! That bounty money’s mine! Ha-ha! I did it! Woo!”

Little Red once again attempted to crawl towards her weapon, broken hand and all. This time she was sure she would retrieve it. It was inches away from her good fingertips. Victory would be hers and bullets would fly everywhere in this god forsaken forest. Her fingertips were on the barrel when she felt a hard boot come down across her spinal cord. She yelped in pain and howled like a puppy while Hacksaw pulled her up by her blond locks.

“I’ve had just about all I can stand of you, you crazy bitch!” grunted Hacksaw with his axe raised in the air. “All I wanted was a nice beachside vacation for my family and you’re out here trying to take that shit away from me! That pretty little head of yours is coming off today!”

Little Red spit out blood and protested, “Beachside vacation?! You’re doing all of this to get sand in your ass?! My grandmother has cancer, for god’s sake! Hell, there are lots of guys out there who need that bounty money more than you do! There will always be time to get salt water in your nose and sand in your G-string! My grandmother has six weeks to live! I need this money, damn it!”

“Ah, who cares about that old hag?!” grumbled Hacksaw. “She would have been dead even if she didn’t have cancer! She’s probably so old that she has Jesus on speed dial!”

“So this is it, huh?” said a familiar grunting voice. Once Hacksaw recognized it as an arm-folded Big Bad Wolf, he released his grip on Little Red and allowed her to scoot away while holding her lower back. Wolfie continued with, “You two are finally going to be the ones who take me to jail for a crime I didn’t commit? Of course they’re going to pin it on me. I’m a fucking wolf! Never mind that the two of you are killing each other over some ill-gotten reward. Never mind that children go missing every day around here. Never mind that not one body was found out in these woods. Not one fucking body!”

A beat of silence befell the bounty hunters as their expressions softened and their shoulders slacked. Wolfie wasn’t done yet. “I know how the so-called justice system works. It can’t be called justice at all. The guy with the sharpest teeth and the martial arts skills is automatically guilty despite there being no fucking evidence of any crime. How dare you judge me based on a fake reputation! How dare you come at me looking for a shallow reward! If I wanted to waste my time with you guys, both of you would be dead as fried chicken by now!”

Wolfie stroked his chin and as a light bulb went off in his head. “Come to think of it, there is one technique I’d like to try, but it might actually kill me, it’s so powerful. I’ve been working on it for years. If I could get it right, both of you would be dead ass motherfuckers and I could finally live in peace. Yeah, that sounds about right…I call it the Wolf’s Cannonball!”

Holding her hands up in defeat, Little Red pleaded, “Now listen, Wolfie-Pie: you don’t need to do that shit. Both of us will get out of here and leave you alone. Hell, we’ll probably start a petition to get that bounty off your head. Right, Hacksaw?”

“Wolf’s Cannonball, my ass! I ain’t gonna help him with a damn thing! He needs to die and if you’re too much of a sissy to collect that bounty, I’m going to do it!” shouted Hacksaw as he charged at Wolfie with his axe yet again despite Little Red’s protests.

In defense the Big Bad Wolf backed up Hacksaw by curling into a ball and spinning in the air with mystic blue energy surrounding him. Little Red crawled on the ground like a snail while Hacksaw tripped over everything in fear until he was on his knees crouching into the fetal position. The faster Wolfie spun in the air, the wider the blue energy spread and the tighter Little Red and Hacksaw clutched their prone bodies. In a moment of desperation, the two hunters even hugged each other knowing their financial wishes wouldn’t come true and their lives would be over.

In a blinding flash of blue light, a jet engine wooshing noise flew past Little Red Sniper and Hacksaw and had them screaming like torture victims in hell. They screamed even louder as their skin boiled and their hairs stood up. The energy got hotter and the light was bright enough to damage eyes worse than a solar eclipse. And then…total darkness. All that remained of Little Red and Hacksaw’s pain were migraine-sized headaches and pulsating eyeballs.

“You can let go of me now, Hacksaw,” said Little Red Sniper in a sheepish voice. The orc lumberjack obeyed and the two of them slowly rose to their feet while dusting themselves off. Once Little Red popped her spine back into place, she and Hacksaw saw that the Wolf’s Cannonball had left a deep trail beneath them and that trail was leading into the city. They could see the castle from here as it exploded into a bright blue fire before being sucked up in a gigantic energy beam blasting into the sky.

“So that’s the Wolf’s Cannonball. He didn’t want to use it on a couple of bounty hunters. He wanted to take down the justice system. Eh, makes sense,” said Little Red with shrugged shoulders.

“I bet that castle as a shit load of gold in it somewhere. Government buildings usually do. There’s probably enough in there for both of us to get what we want,” said Hacksaw.

“Are you suggesting that we loot the castle?” asked Little Red in minor shock. Once Hacksaw smiled and winked at her, she smiled back and said, “For the first time in my life, I like the way you think!”

The two bounty hunters wrapped their arms around each other and walked from the scene. Hacksaw asked, “Don’t you want your sniper rifle?”

“Meh. I’ll just buy a new one. Maybe I’ll get a rocket launcher, who knows?” said Little Red nonchalantly.


“I also like the way you think!”

Monday, August 21, 2017

How Dare You?

VERSE 1
How dare you label me a snake in the grass?
How dare you kick me when I’m on my ass?
How dare you dig up the secrets from my past?
How dare you…How dare you?!

CHORUS
You didn’t know me until I made that mistake
You tried to judge me until the day I break
You tried to label my apologies as fake
How dare you?! How dare you?!

VERSE 2
How dare you unleash the world upon me?
How dare you wish for the buckets I bleed?
How dare you judge me before you read?
How dare you…How dare you?!

CHORUS
You didn’t know me until I made that mistake
You tried to judge me until the day I break
You tried to label my apologies as fake
How dare you?! How dare you?!

BRIDGE
Sound the alarm! It’s time to do some harm!
Ring the bell! It’s time to burn it to hell!
Flash the sirens! Let’s kill the tyrant!
How dare you?! How dare you?!

EXTENDED CHORUS
You didn’t know me until I made that mistake
You tried to judge me until the day I break
You tried to label my apologies as fake
How dare you?! How dare you?!
You think this is a game? Can you handle fame?
You think this is a joke going up in smoke?
You think you’re clever until the end of forever?

How dare you?! How dare you?!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Conspiracy Theory

CHORUS
I have a conspiracy theory
No rest for the weary
Have no choice but to hear me
I have a conspiracy theory

VERSE 1
Bill Maher wants to commit fat guy genocide
Put millennials in ovens until they are fried
Beat Muslims with a bat, it’s what he wants
Since their symbol is a crescent, he eats croissants
Listen, ‘cause the story that I’m telling is true
If he tried to sue, he would badly lose
Maybe I embellished just a little tiny bit
But as long as you’re willing to eat bullshit…

CHORUS
I have a conspiracy theory
No rest for the weary
Have no choice but to hear me
I have a conspiracy theory

VERSE 2
Donald Trump was born on the planet of Mars
Sitting on his pudgy ass eating chocolate bars
The orange on his skin is moldy Wheat Thins
Doritos, Cheetohs, and rotten Papas Fritos
Listen, ‘cause the story that I’m telling is real
It’ll make him squeal, the stuff I reveal
Maybe it’s built on a little white lie
But as long as you’re willing to pray to the sky…

CHORUS
I have a conspiracy theory
No rest for the weary
Have no choice but to hear me
I have a conspiracy theory

VERSE 3
James Woods once sued a starving African teen
For twenty million dollars and his ruptured spleen
The charges stemmed from a 1912 Twitter post
About the so-called actor having brains of buttered toast
Listen, ‘cause the story will involve Dr. Luke
And how they drowned each other in Roman shower puke
If they win their lawsuits, it’ll only be a fluke
Conspiracy theories don’t have to be rebuked

FINAL LINE

I have a conspiracy theory X4

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Chicken Shit Scale

***THE CHICKEN SHIT SCALE***

Just to clarify, no, this journal topic has nothing to do with the last topic, which was about cowardly villains. It’s about a certain idiom we’ve all heard at least one point in our lives: “Making chicken salad out of chicken shit”. In other words, it’s a blunt way of saying that you’re going to make the best out of a bad situation. Sometimes you can make a delicious salad, other times you’ve still got a big heaping plate of chicken shit.

I know this because back in 2006, I tried to make chicken salad out of chicken shit with a movie script previously called Pumping Filter. It was drenched with violence and slurs that made absolutely no sense in that context, so I took the script to a woman named Heather for evaluation. Despite the fact that we couldn’t see eye to eye on a lot of things and our professional relationship was a complete failure, Pumping Filter, now called Snakes in a Cage, was slightly better because of her critiques. Unfortunately, the newly christened Snakes in a Cage has been deleted from my archives because in the end it was still a heaping pile of chicken shit. A lot of my past creative writing projects have met this fate and perhaps the silver lining in all of this is that they are learning experiences I will have forever.

Today in 2017, I face the chicken shit dilemma once again. As many of you know, I’m currently shooting towards finishing three different anthologies for publication: American Darkness 2 (contemporary drama), Poison Tongue Tales 2 (sci-fi, fantasy, and horror), and the newly christened Lunatic Justice (dark poetry and heavy metal songs). I also have three first draft novels that I finished a long time ago that need to be looked at: Filter Feeder (environmental fantasy), Watch You Burn (psychological fantasy), and Demon Axe (musical fantasy).

When I eventually put the finishing touches on the anthologies, that will be when I present my beautiful beta reader Marie Krepps with choices as to what she wants to work on. I’m not saying I’m incapable of making my own decisions or that my love of surprises has spiraled out of control. I’m saying that some of these first drafts are better than others (despite the fact that all first drafts by their very nature suck ass). The question I need to ask myself is, which ones are easier to fix and which ones will completely drain me?

In an effort to answer this question, I came up with something called The Chicken Shit Scale, where I rank my first drafts on a scale of one to six, where one is the worst rough draft (and therefore needs a LOT of work) and six is the best (easy breezy lemon squeezy). Is it better to make chicken salad out of chicken shit or is it better to make more diamonds out of…well…diamonds! Sorry, that last analogy sucked, which doesn’t help my case for making the most out of a bad situation. Anyways, here are my rankings for my first drafts:

  1. Filter Feeder
  2. Watch You Burn
  3. Demon Axe
  4. Poison Tongue Tales 2
  5. American Darkness 2
  6. Lunatic Justice

I want you to notice that I’ve grouped the novels, short story anthologies, and the singular poetry collection separately. In my experience, short stories and poetry are easier to correct than a full-fledged novel since there aren’t as many variables to deal with. I put Filter Feeder on the bottom of the list because…well…have you seen it lately? It was written a long time ago, so naturally the more recent ones, Watch You Burn and Demon Axe, are going to overwhelmingly outrank it. American Darkness 2 outranks Poison Tongue Tales 2 because I feel like with the latter I’m writing the same story over and over again with different characters are different circumstances. It’s the same ass beating on repeat, which is pretty much what WWE is, but I watch that weekly anyways. Lunatic Justice ranks the highest because people seem to love my poetry anyways, as noted by the grades reviewers have given my previous poetry books Confessions of a Schizophrenic Savage and Necrograph (I swear I’m not trying to stroke myself…maybe).

When the last three items on the list are complete, then that would be a good time to recruit Marie’s services so that I can have a singular focus in my creative work (editing). I know she’s been pretty busy lately and money isn’t coming easy for her, so that’s why I’m treading lightly with this one. To be honest, I’ll pay her whatever she wants because it’ll be worth it in the end. I trust her judgment no matter what the project is. Plus, she’s got a wicked sense of humor. Regarding the “magic wand” joke in the Poison Tongue Tales story Streetwalker, she said, “I’d rather get raped than listen to another one of [Ryan Brock’s] stupid jokes.” She’s brutally honest, but she’s right on the money with that one. Did I mention I trust her completely?

So what will it be? Will I make chicken salad out of chicken shit or will I…uh…uh…make golden earrings out of gold? (What the fuck was that?) We’ve got ears, say cheers!


***CREATIVE WORK***

Besides this journal, I haven’t done any creative work today, so nothing has changed since the Cowardly Villains blog. I might as well put on my “Please Don’t Make Me Do Stuff” T-shirt, because that’s how I feel today.


***MUSIC JOKE OF THE DAY***

Q: What does the lead singer of In This Moment say every time she does a commercial for underwear?

A: Even in these Hanes you can’t Jockey.


***POST-SCIRPT***


If you can make chicken salad out of that chicken shit joke, by all means, go for it. Hehe!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Cowardly Villains

***COWARDLY VILLAINS***

Villains, by their very definition, have at least some level of cowardice when it comes to exercising their evilness upon innocent people. Criminals run away whenever the police show up. High ranking villains use their wealth and power to control their adversaries. Bullies target only people who are weaker than them. If villains didn’t have any kind of power over their intended targets, they would scurry away in fear when the heat gets too hot. When was the last time you saw a caterpillar bully a full sized human adult? It doesn’t happen.

And then you have the kind of cowardly villain that uses their chicken shit ways in order to frustrate their opponents. You see this all the time in WWE with guys like The Miz and Kevin Owens. While the frustration tactic may be effective at times and believable more often than not, you don’t really hear about these kinds of villains in any other medium. Jaws was a big badass shark who devoured his victims. The giant tarantulas in Eight Legged Freaks felt no need to run away from their prey to frustrate them.

In short, whenever I write a story, I prefer that my villains be badasses who will gladly go toe-to-toe with their opponents and will most likely win. Those ones are the hardest to defeat. Those are the ones with the most power over their victims. Yes, Roger Zee from my most recent first draft novel Demon Axe had cowardly traits, such as relying on mass manipulation more than his own fighting skills, but hardcore fighting skills he did have. If anything, manipulating people into believing him was little more than an insurance policy. So you have this deadly assassin who’s unmatched in machete swordsmanship and he’s got an army of believers behind him. Holy shit!

The reason manipulating people is considered cowardly is because the ones doing the manipulating target impressionable youths and already-converted adults exclusively. Do you think for one minute that the white nationalists in Charlottesville are capable of brainwashing hard left resisters? I don’t fucking think so. They stick to their own base and that’s what gives them power. And then that kind of indoctrination is passed on from generation to generation behind closed doors.

So what should an ideal villain be as far as the cowardice-bravery spectrum goes? As I’ve illustrated with Roger Zee a few paragraphs ago, it could very well be a middle of the road deal. If Roger relied on his fighting skills exclusively, there’s still a small chance he’ll get blown to bits by the military or police. But if he blackmails those same police and military members, he becomes even more unnecessarily powerful. The power hungry crave more power and it’s an addiction that rivals cocaine and sugar.

For villains who don’t have the kind of power Roger Zee possessed in Demon Axe, cowardly tactics could be perceived as intelligence in disguise. That’s why we see assassins and hit men in movies run away from the police rather than taking them down with a bazooka in either hand while riding a tank. Some battles just can’t be won, but it’s the war that will determine a permanent victor. In the case of evading police, power over the public comes through self-preservation. The one who is the most energetic at the end of the war will be the winner.

So now we have an axis of bravery-cowardice (X coordinates) and wisdom-naivety (Y coordinates). I’d draw the graph myself, but I don’t have that kind of software on my computer nor will it show up very well when I copy and paste this blog entry online. When crafting a villain, these are the kinds of personalities you’ll have to consider. It may not be as simple as plotting points on the X-Y graph. There are variables to consider such as a powerful dictator being too lazy to do the job himself or maybe some underlying sense of entitlement due to being overpowered. I’m not saying one way is better than the other except for when I write my own novels and short stories. I prefer badasses who will go toe-to-toe with everyone, but that’s my opinion and everyone is entitled to their own.

And now that I’ve mentioned this mind-blowing idea of everyone having their own opinions, I’d like to hear some of yours, my lovely audience. Should villains be completely cowardly or not at all? How many shades of gray are there when determining an answer? Where does your main source of creative fuel for villains come from? We’ve got ears, say cheers!


***AMERICAN DARKNESS 2: WE ARE THE MACHINE***

This collection of short stories is only three away from being complete. The third to final story will not be featured at the WSS as a contest entry, but rather as an independent piece. It’s called “Bloodstained Paycheck” and it goes like this:

CHARACTERS:

1.      Owen Edge, Crime Scene Cleaner
2.      Dennis McKay, Porn Theater Bouncer
3.      Felicia Strom, Kidnapped Teenager

PROMPT CONFORMITY: None.

SYNOPSIS: As part of his occupation, Owen doesn’t discriminate when it comes to clients as long as they pay his expensive fees. His latest assignment comes when Dennis hires him to clean up a bloodstained nudy booth after the bulky bouncer got too rough with a client and committed manslaughter. Owen’s neutrality is put to the test when he catches Felicia trying to sneak free from captivity. She spills the gory details of how she was being forced to perform sex acts on the other side of the glass for men’s entertainment at the threat of being murdered or raped by Dennis. Owen must now make a decision to stay true to his profession or pull the gun from his pocket and put one between Dennis’s eyes.


***POISON TONGUE TALES 2: THE RIGHT TO REMAIN PSYCHOTIC***

This story, on the other hand, will definitely be a part of the WSS contests. The prompt for this week comes from a list of lyrics CJ (the admin) laid out for us and the ones I chose came from “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett. This story is called “Wolf’s Cannonball” and will bear resemblance to last year’s “Tiger Bullet Kick”. Here’s how the story goes:

CHARACTERS:

  1. Big Bad Wolf, Martial Arts Genius
  2. Little Red Sniper, Assassin
  3. Hacksaw, Lumberjack

PROMPT CONFORMITY: Big Bad Wolf doesn’t give a damn about his bad reputation (judging by how he treats his bounty hunters).

SYNOPSIS: The unfortunately labeled Big Bad Wolf has been wrongly accused of stealing children from various villages and now has a price on his head that Little Red Sniper and Hacksaw plan to collect. Instead of trying to explain his innocence, Big Bad Wolf has taken on all comers with no absence of malice. He has a move in his arsenal known as the Wolf’s Cannonball, a rolling attack so powerful that it could be dangerous to his health.


***NOVEL IDEA EXPANSION***

American Darkness 2 and Poison Tongue Tales 2 are both well on their way to being completed and ready for Marie Krepps’ critiques. While there will definitely be a third installment in both series, my main goal after completing those anthologies will be to write another novel. As of now, I have more novel ideas than I do complete scene-by-scene blueprints for them. I’ve made it my mission to write those blueprints for all of my novels so that I’ll have something to fall back on when one novel idea is written out. I did it with a synopsis called “69 Bullets” and I plan on doing it with “Backwoods Barbarian”, the next in the alphabetical order. While I won’t give away spoilers for 69 Bullets, you can have a short synopsis:

HEROES:

  1. Daniel Jameson a.k.a. Chakko, Teenaged Porn Addict
  2. Leon De Taj, Electromancer
  3. Tina Ryan, Heavy Metal Guitarist

VILLAINS:

  1. Dominick Zola, Vampire Mob Boss
  2. Markus Bathory, Red Knight
  3. Bailey Krause, Mercenary

SYNOPSIS: Daniel Jameson is a high school student with a 3.7 grade point average and the admiration of his female classmates. Chakko, on the other hand, is the online alias he uses whenever he surfs the web for porn, both to use and to distribute to other teenagers. Chakko’s main crush is Tina Ryan, the super attractive heavy metal guitarist from an all-girl band called The Angry Amazons. The band is coming to his home town of Seattle, but Chakko may not get a chance to see them. During his internet moonlighting, he downloaded nude pictures of Bailey Krause, a member of Dominick Zola’s criminal empire. Dominick is not happy and wants to burn Chakko alive.


***DARK FANTASY WARRIORS***

I’ve been pumping out drawings like crazy and the next one on the chopping block will be Hacksaw, the orcish lumberjack from my eventual WSS contest entry “Wolf’s Cannonball”. He figures since he cuts down trees for a living, hacking the Big Bad Wolf to pieces won’t be any more of a struggle. The only difference is, trees aren’t capable of perfecting martial arts techniques. Be careful what you wish for, Hacksaw, because you just might get it.


***COMEDIC QUOTE OF THE DAY***

“Human beings are nothing more than ordinary jungle beasts. Savages. No different from the Cro-Magnon men who lived 25,000 years ago in the plasticine forests eating grubs off of rotten logs. No different. Our DNA hasn’t changed substantially in 100,000 years. We’re still operating out of the lower brain. The reptilian brain. Fight of flight, kill or be killed. We like to think we’ve evolved and advanced, because we can build a computer, fly an airplane, travel underwater, paint a painting, write a poem, and compose an opera. But you know what? We’re barely out of the fucking jungle. We’re really just semi-civilized beasts with baseball caps and automatic weapons.


-George Carlin-

STEM Sell

VERSE 1
You show off your engineering degree
And laugh at those with artistic needs
Telling them to get a real fucking job
Dress in suits and ties, not like a slob
When will the lesson finally sink in?
Creativity is never an economic sin
While you’re miserable and stressed
Money isn’t happiness’s litmus test

CHORUS
Don’t try to sell me a life of pain!
I’d rather keep from going insane!
Art is my life, my heaven, my hell!
I’m not buying your STEM sell!

VERSE 2
You can buy a house and a fancy car
Yet you still waste away at the bar
A boring life marred with depression
The sadness spreads like an infection
Take out your blight on those who write
Those who paint and those who create
Those who strum chords on a guitar
Those whose dreams seem so far

CHORUS
Don’t try to sell me a life of pain!
I’d rather keep from going insane!
Art is my life, my heaven, my hell!
I’m not buying your STEM sell!

BRIDGE
I’m not a machine for a technomancer
I’m not a pill, the doctor’s answer
I’m not a number, don’t file me away
I’m an artist and proud to stay that way!

EXTENDED CHORUS
Don’t try to sell me a life of pain!
I’d rather keep from going insane!
Art is my life, my heaven, my hell!
I’m not buying your STEM sell!
Take your paycheck and shove it!
I create true art because I love it!
Drive your Mustang into the river!

Coldness and sorrow will make you shiver!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mine All Mine

Chris Buyatt’s motorcycle blazed down the empty highway and created skid marks in the road when he pulled off to the side. Not one cop car was within his sniper sight, but he had no illusions about safety even after making it this far. There it was as obvious as daylight: the entrance to the old style salt mine, complete with one of those wheeled carts blocking in the doorway.

He felt it in his gut: somebody beat him to this place. Once he sped towards the entrance, he dismounted in a flippy-floppy fashion reminiscent of capoeira training. Chris even danced and spun around to get his muscles warmed up. He then removed his motorcycle helmet and flipped his dreadlocks back. Taking a deep breath to steady his nerves, he shoved the mine cart over and ventured inside this dark tunnel.

Fishing the flashlight out of his baggy shorts pocket, Chris Buyatt illuminated the tunnel and scared a flock of bats which flew right over his crouched head. The initial shock sent him jumping out of his boots, but then he shook his head and sighed in disappointment. “Pathetic. That’s all it is,” he said to himself.

The deeper he trudged into the mines, the more his flashlight gave out on him. Chris banged it against the wall to shift the batteries in the right place, but that only gave him a few more seconds of light at best. “Son of a bitch,” he said under his breath. He felt around to get some kind of idea where he was, but all he got was a palm full of dust and salt.

“Allow me!” said a baritone voice in the darkness. A singular flame illuminated the mine shaft as well as the face of a red haired gentleman with a 70’s porn moustache and neon green eyes. He chuckled with evil delight before blowing the flame like a fireball kiss toward his nemesis. Chris cartwheeled out of the way just in time to land on his ass, hip bone connecting with the cart tracks.

The flame descended upon the ground and formed a circle around the two opponents. Michael Tyoni shined brightly in his new light. The cheesy haircut, the even cheesier moustache, the red robes with flaming emblems on it, Chris could have recognized that getup from a mile away. He had indeed been beaten here.

“Running from the law again, are we, Mr. Buyatt?” said Michael in a serpentine tone. “At this rate, you’ll be running for the rest of your wasted life. I know what you’re here for and it’s not golden treasure. That shit only appears in fairytales. You’re looking for something a little more…vengeful.”

Chris nipped up and flipped his dreadlocks back before pointing a finger at his nemesis and barking, “Cut the bullshit, Mikey-Boy! Where’s the goddamn tape?! You better not have burned that shit or you and I are going to dance, bitch!”

Michael shrugged his shoulders and said nonchalantly, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. What is this tape you speak of? Scotch tape? Masking tape? Or even more exciting than those two, duct tape? I had no idea you were into such thrilling activities.” The pyromancer chuckled in a mock sexual tone before throwing another flame at Chris and having him cartwheel out of harm’s way again.

The authoritative finger of doom was waved at Mr. Tyoni once more while Chris shouted, “You know damn well I’m looking for a videotape, nigga! Fork that shit over or I’m going to slap you silly, motherfucker!”

“And just where do you plan on slapping him, Mr. Buyatt?” asked an elderly feminine voice in the shadows. “On the ass? Is this another part of your liberal agenda? I’m sure the Lettuce, Guacamole, Bacon, and Tomato community will love it. Wait a minute, is that what LGBT stands for? Or does it stand for Lovers of Grabbing Boners and Testicles? I can never figure these overblown phrases out these days.”

With a devilish smirk, Michael lifted his palms in the air and raised the flames so that Chris could see Governor Nina Thomas standing behind the pyromancer with a shotgun in hand. The Marlboro lines in her face, the ratty white and brown hair, and that god awful teal pantsuit: that was the Governor alright.

“And by the way, Mr. Buyatt,” said the condescending politician. “You should personally thank your brother for giving you this location. He’s making a huge sacrifice just for you. He’ll spend the rest of his life in solitary confinement. I hope it’s worth it.”

“You two are full of shit!” blasted Chris. “My brother doesn’t belong in there and you know it! You locked him up for the same reason you want to lock me up!” He then pointed to his black face to make the reference clear. “Hand over the motherfucking tape, assholes! The whole world’s going to see what you bitches do to those so-called crooks!”

“Oh, that’s okay, Chris, they already know,” said Nina with a wave of her hand. The bravado melted off of the capoeira ace’s visage like butter. Miss Thomas said, “Everybody knows what’s going on these days. It’s all over the media. The problem is, they just don’t care, that’s all. What are they going to do about cops locking up black offenders, anyways? File a complaint? Sue them? Yeah, that’ll work! You actually thought playing that tape would do anything to hurt me or my career? Nobody gives a shit anymore, Chris! Get with the program!” Nina’s tirade ended with a witch’s cackle while Chris’s face became even longer with solemnity. “Kill him, Mr. Tyoni. Just kill him.”

Michael lobbed fireball after fireball at Chris and all the capoeira master could do was cartwheel and flip out of the way with little passion in his movements. As much as he hated to admit it, Nina Thomas was right: nobody gave a shit about oppression anymore. He remembered all the times people brushed him off with, “Don’t break the law” and “It’s your fault.” Chris got so caught up in his thoughts that he barely noticed his right boot catching on fire while Michael and Nina laughed at him.

Chris screamed and spun around in pain as he tried to extinguish the flame. While Michael twirled another fireball in his hands, Chris spun upside down on his hands in an attempt to use the wind pressure to extinguish his foot. He even punched his own boot to see if that would help. After whirling around like a fidget spinner, his flaming boot came flying off and launched like a missile in Nina’s wrinkly face, sending her rolling backwards against the steel wall. During the scuffle, Governor Thomas dropped the shotgun and blasted the ceiling above Michael’s head, causing a chunk to land on his shoulders.

Chris’s sock was pasted to his ebony skin, Michael’s shoulders were redder than any flame he could produce, and Nina was in la-la hand with a scar across her jowls the size of Texas. “Nina! No!” shouted Michael through gritted teeth. He turned his venomous gaze back to Chris and sneered, “You’d better pray to God above that solitary confinement is all that happens to you!”

Michael threw another fireball at his adversary only to have him twirl out of the way on his hands. The capoeira master nipped up on his one good foot and nearly lost his balance. As the pyromancer’s teeth gritted harder, the flames in his hands burned brighter. He rushed towards Chris and threw fiery haymakers his way, missing only a few times before catching him on the cheek and knocking him down.

Mr. Buyatt coughed up blood and spit out a tooth along with some ashen skin. All he could do with his bum foot was try to crawl away to get some separation. Michael’s healthy feet stomped towards Chris and the pyromancer, still with hands flaming, twisted Chris’s foot in an ankle lock submission hold. Both men screamed like demons, Michael to enhance his rage and Chris to suffer in mind-blowing agony. The pain in the latter’s foot felt as though he was exercising on a treadmill in the bowels of hell. And then…the foot was ripped off and the wound was cauterized in more hellish pain.

Chris clutched his forcefully removed foot and shouted to the heavens above in a cataclysm of agony. His voice was thunderous and his throat and lungs felt as fiery and pain-wracked as his former foot. Michael continued the torment by grabbing his victim’s blue Hawaiian shirt in one hand and conjuring a fireball in the other.

“I am sick and tired of you lazy fuckers thinking you can beat the system!” shouted Michael with more fire in his voice than in his palm. “Nobody beats the system! There will be no change in this world! Your American dream is nothing more than bullshit! Only the powerful survive and nobody’s going to tell us otherwise! Not some pundit on TV! Not some lady with a dick! Not two faggots kissing! And certainly not a street rat nigger like you!”

Michael raised his fiery fist to the sky and brought it down with a fury, only to be stopped midway by Chris spitting blood in the pyromancer’s mouth. He gagged and coughed long enough for Chris Buyatt to mount some offence of his own. With a head butt of stone, he shouted, “This is for my brother!” With a punch to the face, he shouted, “This is for my people! And THIS is for everybody Nina Thomas fucked over!”

That last sentence was punctuated by Chris wrapping his burning legs around Michael’s throat, squeezing his neck pencil thin. The cauterized foot added some extra sizzle to the pyromancer’s restricted breathing. Every time Chris thought about his brother being locked in the hole on the brink of insanity, he squeezed harder. Every time he played the N-word in his head, he squeezed harder. Every time he imagined someone telling him not to break the law, he squeezed harder. The final squeeze came when he replayed Michael Tynoi’s rant about American dreams being bullshit. With that final squeeze, the sounds of bones popping signified a limp body was soon to follow. Michael Tyoni dropped dead and the flames he caused died down with him.

Chris breathed a sigh of relief and plopped backwards. Once the adrenaline wore off, his missing foot seared with pain and he had no choice but to cradle it and scream while spitting out more blood and ashes from the punch earlier. He took deep, muffled breaths to try and calm himself down, but all that did was intensify the raging agony surging through his body like hot lava.

His tightly closed eyelids slowly opened when he heard the sound of a shotgun pumping. Through salt-covered redness, he saw Nina Thomas standing over him with a singed face that fumed with anger and hatred. “Are you happy now, young man? You killed my right hand man and now everything’s going to be better for you and your ghetto family, right? A lifetime in the hole is too good for you and your drug-addicted brother. After I blast the shit out of you, I’m recommending the death penalty to that little whiny bitch. Any last words?”

Chris took in more hard breaths as Nina’s trigger finger was getting closer to sealing his fate. He then chuckled a few times and said, “You really think anybody’s going to take you seriously anymore with that ugly ass scar on your face?”

“Excuse me?!” grunted Nina.

“Before I snapped his damn neck like a toothpick, your boy Michael told me that nobody beats the system and that only the powerful survive. You think anybody’s going to give power to you now that you’re vulnerable? You don’t look like a politician anymore. You’re no Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann. You’re a shallow motherfucker’s worst nightmare. And really, isn’t it all about looks these days? Is that why Obama served two terms in office? Because he was handsome and charismatic? You’re not oozing charisma right now, Governor. You’re oozing pus and blood. But hey, you could always use the taxpayers’ money for plastic surgery. After all…nobody gives a shit anymore!”

Nina pressed the barrel of her shotgun against Chris’s face and scowled at him with an itchy trigger finger ready to blow. She breathed intensely through her nose while staring daggers into her victim. And then her expression softened and her shotgun lowered. She pulled a makeup mirror out of her pocket and stared at the nasty gash across her face. “I don’t look like a politician…I look like…I look like one of you! A freak! You ruined my career, you son of a bitch!”

Governor Thomas smashed the butt of her gun against Chris’s face and almost knocked him out. While spitting more blood out of his mouth, he stayed awake long enough to see even more blood spiral off of Nina’s shoulders. The last image he saw before passing out was Nina Thomas headless and the shotgun barrel smoking like a cigarette.

During Chris Buyatt’s moment of unconsciousness, he dreamed that life would somehow improve with Nina and Michael dead. The two most corrupt people in the Paulson City government drifted to the other side. Flowers would blossom everywhere. Children would play around without fear of getting shot or locked up. His brother would be out of prison to enjoy life again.


But even with this little victory, Chris Buyatt knew that wasn’t how politics worked. The system was comprised of many small pieces and taking out one doesn’t throw everything else out of balance. His brother would be lost forever in the penal system and Chris would most likely be the newest member of that exclusive club. Business must go on and nobody would be blamed. However, this one small step was clearly in the right direction. No matter how long he would be locked up, it was a bigger step than if he was actually afforded a prosthetic foot. If the cops were going to drag him away, they were going to drag him away with a big fat grin on his face. Fuck the system. Fuck it hard.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Piece of My Mind

VERSE 1
Motherfucker! Cocksucker!
You’re going to listen to me
Dumb shit! This is it!
My speech is wild and free
I’m going to lay into you
Whether or not you want me to
Give you a piece of my mind
No authority to hide behind!

CHORUS
My words cut like an axe
I speak the hardest facts
You cannot run and hide
You’ll get a piece of my mind!

VERSE 2
Splooge eater! Bottom feeder!
I’m getting this off of my chest
Ass kisser! Pants pisser!
There’ll be nothing of you left
For too long, you’ve censored me
Made my silence your deity
The chains are off just like the gloves
Cutting you down is what I love!

EXTENDED CHORUS 1
My words cut like an axe
I speak the hardest facts
You cannot run and hide
You’ll get a piece of my mind!
I shoot straight from the hip
I will empty my clip
I hate all you stand for and more
A piece of my mind is what’s in store!

BRIDGE
Sorry sad ass son of a bitch!
Dirty bastard born in a ditch!
Sorry sack of horse’s shit!
Lower than a witch’s tits!

EXTENDED CHORUS 2
My words cut like an axe
I speak the hardest facts
You cannot run and hide
You’ll get a piece of my mind!
I’ve waited for such a long time
To give you a piece of my mind
Nothing to lose, nothing holding me back
The time has come for my final attack!

PARAPHRASED STOLEN LINE

One of these days, I’m going to cut you into little pieces, you maggot dick motherfucker!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Cody Trigger

VERSE 1
On death row, time’s moving slow
A blast to the past is where Cody goes
An adrenaline junkie, funky like a monkey
Beat some ass and earn prizefight money
Squash medieval knights like metal cans
Psychopaths are his number one fans
He doesn’t care if you’re man, beast, or car
He’ll knock your ass down and rip you apart

CHORUS
Criminal Uppercut! Ruffian Kick!
Cheap Shot Stone! Dagger tricks!
Final Destruction! Dead End Irony!
Still want to brag about being fiery?!
Cody Trigger! Chrono Travers!
Cody Trigger! Chrono Travers!

VERSE 2
He could save Metro City, but not himself
He’s nowhere near the hero we knew so well
Can he save us all from the Lavos apocalypse?
If he turns his back, can you still be an apologist?
Can he play nice with the red-haired samurai?
Can he be sweeter to Marle than an apple pie?
Can he throw fists with Robo on the frontline?
Or will he be forever lost in the sands of time?

CHORUS
Criminal Uppercut! Ruffian Kick!
Cheap Shot Stone! Dagger tricks!
Final Destruction! Dead End Irony!
Still want to brag about being fiery?!
Cody Trigger! Chrono Travers!
Cody Trigger! Chrono Travers!

VERSE 3
He’s the future and evil beasts are history
He’ll turn this hell into a bigger misery
Dragons, monsters, and the living fireball
He’ll burst into a rage and slaughter them all
He can throw kicks with the cute cavewoman
Save Jessica again and call her puddin’
Save the frog knight from Magus’s blight
You want a battle? Here’s a Dixie dogfight!

CHORUS
Criminal Uppercut! Ruffian Kick!
Cheap Shot Stone! Dagger tricks!
Final Destruction! Dead End Irony!
Still want to brag about being fiery?!
Cody Trigger! Chrono Travers!

Cody Trigger! Chrono Travers!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Street Warriors

Kristen Miranda’s legs felt like they had blocks of cement tied to them. Running for that long in knee-high leather boots would do that to a skinny girl like her. The boots were a nice compliment to her black hoodie, black Pantera halter top, and black mini skirt with fishnet stockings. The mascara would have been a nice touch if she hadn’t spent the last hour with tears streaking down her innocent face. Her makeup looked messier than an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Her black lipstick dried out from all of the huffing and puffing she did.

Kristen wondered exactly how long she had been running away from home. She could still feel the sting of her parents grabbing her arms tightly as they argued relentlessly. What the hell were they fighting about? Did it matter? She was finally free in the outskirts of Paulson City, though dark red skies, graffiti-covered walls, and dumpster fires didn’t look a whole lot like freedom. The stern look on her previously crying face gave the impression that these greasy hobos would be better company than her parents any day of the week.

Most of these trench-coat and newspaper wearing folk were already asleep by the time Kristen reached the encampment (out of sheer luck). Their machinegun snores filled the air as did their whiskey burps and green-clouded farts. Kristen held her nose while gently treading across the garbage can fires. She rubbed her sore arms vigorously as if that would stop the chill.

She spotted an unattended dumpster fire next to a chain link fence and rushed over to hold her hands to the flames. Chills of warmth and sadness surged through her body. How would she survive out here on the streets? She only had a pocketful of one dollar bills and some spare quarters. There was a donut shop around the corner from here, but a Bavarian cream-filled pastry would only last her for so long. She sighed as her stomach rumbled like grinding machinery.

The gothic teen snapped out of her trance and gasped deeply when she felt a hand even stronger than her parents grab her by the arm. The strength at which this man squeezed was reminiscent of a blood pressure cuff and left purple impressions on her bicep. Kristen gazed at this man in wide-eyed horror while weakly trying to pull away from his grasp. Like the other hobos, he had a filthy gray trench coat, little underneath, and newspaper shoes. Why he was wearing a demonic clown mask with horns and a rainbow wig was a mystery in and of itself.

“Shouldn’t you be at home playing with Barbies and blowing your boyfriend?” asked the clown in a gravelly voice. “This is not your territory, bitch. This place ain’t no rave party.”

“P…please, sir!” stuttered Kristen. “I don’t have anywhere else to go! I just need a place to sleep tonight and then I’ll leave, I promise!”

“Sleep? You want a place to sleep?!” grimaced the clown, sending tremors throughout his victim’s body. “I wish I had a place to sleep other than this dumpster fire. I used to have a nice warm bed with lots to eat and a woman to snuggle with. And then do you know what happened?” With teary eyes, Kristen shook her head. “The bitch took it all from me!” shouted the clown, prompting even more tears from the teenaged girl. “In fact, you kind of look like her with those pretty brown eyes and black sexy hair.” The clown took a big sniff of Kristen’s hair. “Yeah, she used that same shampoo. Oh, I’m going to have some serious fun with you tonight!”

Kristen slapped the clown with her free hand, but it barely fazed him and only put an evil grin on his face. The clown grabbed the teen by her throat and bull rushed her against the chain link face. She tried to yell, but only gagging sounds and red spit came out. The clown quickly cuffed her hands to the fence and shoved a ball gag in her mouth the shape of a cheeseburger. While the teen moaned through her gag, the clown said, “You want to eat so badly? Choke on that, you slutty bitch!”

The clown’s ghostly laughter was silenced by an Indian-accent shouting, “Hey, Crackers!” The teen and her captor stared saucer-eyed at a hobo with torn sweat pants, newspaper shoes, and a dirty white turban, who could be seen carrying a wooden plank wrapped in razor wire. “That girl doesn’t belong to you!” he said. “You owe me for that box of donuts I gave you! If anybody’s taking that bitch’s cherry, it’s me!”

Kristen screamed through her foul-tasting gag and prompted Crackers to yell, “Shut up!” and slap her across the face. Tears flooded from Kristen’s eyes and burned the now open wound.

Crackers folded his arms and said to his rival, “Samir, I don’t owe you a goddamn thing. If you didn’t give me that box of donuts, I would have smashed your fucking face in and taken them from you. Are you new to this shit or something? You know how this works!”

“You better hand over that hot piece of ass or I’m shoving this plank up yours!” threatened Samir while he held his weapon high in the air.

“Oh, you want to go? You want to do this right now? Let’s go, bitch!” shouted Crackers as he threw his trench coat down and revealed bloody polka dot pants underneath.

Kristen watched the fight unfold with a sore jaw, sore cheeks, a whimpering voice, and hazy eyes. For every fist Crackers threw, for every swing of Samir’s plank, the gothic teen struggled in vain to jerk herself free from the handcuffs. The two combatants’ attacks missed wildly due to their initial drunkenness, but Samir was finally able to bury his plank into Crackers’ thigh, earning a wild scream from both him and Kristen in the process.

Despite the bleeding, Crackers yanked the 2 X 4 out of his leg and broke it over his good knee, earning more cuts in the process (he was too drunk to care). He then threw rapid fire punches Samir’s way and ended up punching the cage and various dumpster fires as he missed. Samir picked up a trash can lid off the ground and smashed it across Crackers’ face. The demonic clown no-sold that blow and head butted the Indian for his efforts, knocking the turban off his greasy scalp and sending him crashing to the ground.

Kristen continued to struggle and scream while Crackers hoisted Samir up by his neck and attempted to throw him into a nearby dumpster fire. The Indian braced himself by shoving against the metal structure with his feet. Just when he was getting forced closer to the flame, he reached down for another wooden plank, lit it on fire, and smashed it across Crackers’ face. Once again, the clown no-sold the offence despite the ashes forming on his cheeks.

With a wicked smile on his face, Crackers grabbed Samir by the armpits and tossed him against the chain link fence. The clown then grinded the Indian’s face against the wire and opened some massive cuts, even managing to pop one of his eyeballs and break some of the fencing.

Seeing how easily the fence broke under Crackers’ violent force gave Kristen the confidence to struggle harder. This time she pressed against the cage using her boots and grinded her metal studs across the wire. She even used the studs on her novelty gag to shred the wires even more.

Every time she saw Samir’s blood fly across the cage, Kristen missed her family more and more. Her parents could be a pain in the ass, but they were nowhere close to being as violent or psychotic as these two street warriors. How she longed for the taste of mother’s cooking. How she loved bullshitting with her father about classic rock bands they both loved. How she missed petting her dog across the back and feeling fluff and love. Each of these images and more fueled her passionate struggle against the fence. She heard a wire snap and struggled harder. She heard another one snap. And another. And another.

Her efforts were halted by Crackers grabbing her hair and yanking her head backwards. As Kristen breathed heavily through her nose, the clown said, “Nobody’s coming to save you, you dumb bitch! Not your parents, not the police, not even nacho nuts over there!”

Despite looking like a cross between a horror movie victim and a slaughterhouse cow with his splattered blood and popped eyeball, Samir managed to pick up a piece of broken razor wire and slam it against Crackers’ wrist (the rapid bleeding took away some of his equilibrium). This time Crackers sold it like a champ since his wound was juicier than a spilled soda truck.

What Samir unwittingly did in the process was slash the chain on Kristen’s handcuffs and allow her to jerk free from the cage. With nothing but adrenaline and a tearful love for her family, Kristen unfastened her cuffs and cheeseburger gag before bolting out of the hobo hideout with demonic swearing behind her. She didn’t care if running away from home made her exhausted. Running back home was sure to put her in a coma, but she ignored her burning pain and sprinted like a motherfucker.

Her legs felt like liquid shit. Her face felt like gonorrhea piss. Her ribs felt more crushed than Samir’s bloody eye. Yet she ran screaming and never looked back. She didn’t care about being covered in darkness. She didn’t care about the red sky polluted with industrial filth. She cared less about the car pulling up to her on the street potentially being filled with bad guys. She threw the back door open and leapt inside while screaming, “Go, go, go!” The car pulled away in a big fucking hurry, leaving skid marks underneath its tires.

Despite having gelatinous green fluid in her nose from crying so much, Kristen detected the familiar scents of a pine tree air freshener and old leather seats. She was in her parents’ car. They actually went out to find her. While Mr. Miranda was busy speeding away from the scene, Mrs. Miranda reached behind her shotgun seat and hugged her daughter tightly while showering her with kisses. “Don’t ever run away from us again, Kristen! We love you! We love you forever!”


“I love you too, Mom!” sobbed Kristen. While she and her mom continued hugging it out, Mr. Miranda turned on the radio and played “Pigs On the Wing” by Pink Floyd, a love song with no hint of shallowness or perversion. Oh, how good it felt to hear “old people music” again. Kristen couldn’t help but smile through her tears at the sound of such a familiar tune. She was finally going home to a warm bed that didn’t feel anything remotely like a dumpster fire. Crackers and Samir could bleed each other dry for all she cared. It was over now. It was all over.

Thank You

CHORUS 1
Thank you for saving my loneliest life
Thank you for standing right by my side
Thank you for all of the creative fuel
Thank you for standing against the cruel

VERSE 1
Whenever the world was something to fear
I’d blast all your lyrics in both of my ears
My soul was on fire, I’d never get tired
Of all the music my bleeding heart required
I could stand up to oppressive forces
Run through them all like knights on horses
Break the walls down with the heaviest sounds
Thank you for being worthy of the crown

CHORUS 2
Thank you for giving me a reason to live
Thank you for all of the blood that you give
Thank you for taking away all of my pain
Thank you for keeping me happy and sane

VERSE 2
Don’t listen to haters, they mean you harm
They could never live up to your badass charm
Don’t listen to stalkers, they don’t know love
They’re no different from the ones who shove
Don’t listen to critics, they’re never happy
If they won the lottery, they’d still feel crappy
Listen to your heart, listen to your friends
Listen to anyone who will stay until the end

CHORUS 3
Thank you for fighting for what you believe
Thank you for never being one to deceive
Thank you for all the melodies and madness
Thank you for curing my ultimate sadness

BRIDGE
I bought your entire CD collection
They feel like an adrenaline injection
Spreading the message like an infection
Being yourself was the only intention

FINAL LINE

Thank you for everything in this world! Goodnight! Be safe!

Dark Identity

***DARK IDENTITY***

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times (actually, that number is pretty accurate, to say the least): creative fuel can come from anywhere, and I do mean anywhere. There’s a fucking movie about emojis, for shit’s sake (which is also accurate considering there’s a poop emoji as one of the main characters). Back in the year 2004, a different kind of creative fuel flooded my mind: an X-Box game called Unreal Championship. It’s a first person shooter featuring sci-fi creatures, clowns, robots, giants, the works. The female aliens and clowns had raspy voices that reminded me somehow of Starscream from the Transformers cartoons in the 80’s. Thus, the seeds are sown for a one chapter novel idea slash pencil and paper RPG called Dark Identity.

Keep in mind, this was the year 2004, so I was five years away from being a serious reader and even further away from being a semi-pro. In a world of genetic engineering and stratified warriors, you had a badass motherfucker named Dujak Heil (nice last name; not racist at all). He went to a peaceful town armed to the tooth and got arrested for vagrancy in a scene laced with profanity and anti-Nazi references (from a guy whose last name was Heil).

This was the second and final story I submitted to my creative writing class at Olympic College (the same one where I went berserk after a kid named Patrick said my writing sucked). This second outing was much better than the Raggyd presentation. I had students tell me my story should be on Adult Swim. That’s a fucking compliment if I’ve ever heard one! And then I had a bearded troll named Alex tell me he wants Dujak to die a nasty horrible death. The feeling was mutual at the time.

Could Dark Identity have been something more than a one chapter cluster fuck? With some research on genetic engineering and serious commitment to the story, yes, it could have. Do I want to recreate this concept in the year 2017? Probably not. This whole story was centered around Unreal Championship fandom and hearing female clowns yell, “Enemy flag carrier is here!”

I officially beat Unreal Championship in February 2005 (just days after I was suspended from college for writing a nasty poem about my geology teacher). I’ve played it a handful of times with friends since then and that’s about it. So I guess it’s safe to say I’ve outgrown that game. I’d definitely consider playing it again to refresh my memory, but I must confess, the thumb stick sensitivity in that game makes it next to impossible to aim properly with anything but an automatic rifle.

Aside from outgrowing a popular X-Box game, maybe there was some truth to what Alex said about Dujak being a hate-worthy character. He betrayed his tribe, he brought weapons into a peaceful town, and he made wisecracks at the guards for trying to arrest him. Unless there’s some mustard behind those remarks, those aren’t likeable qualities in a main character. The best kinds of protagonists are the ones we can sympathize with. That’s why we have a lot of heroes as protagonists rather than villains: because most of us can relate to being good people with hearts of gold. Mitch McLeod needed a massive overhaul in his character in order to make Occupy Wrestling as polished as it is today.

Dark Identity is just another potentially good idea that got lost in the shuffle of other projects. It hasn’t aged well since 2004/2005, so it won’t be made into a novel or short story. The lesson of the day: not everything you touch will turn to gold. Knowing the difference between diamonds and coal is something all writers need to do. I once heard an internet personality call it a “crap detector”. We all think our crap detectors are strong until we’re proven otherwise, but even then some authors will fight that uphill battle until the end. Listening to your peers (the helpful ones) is paramount to success as an author. We’ve got ears, say cheers!


***CREATIVE OUTPUT AND BOREDOM***

These days, I can’t really decide between having a lot of projects to do and having a small amount. I’m either bored out of my mind or overwhelmed to the point of chaos. I need to find a middle ground, but I’m no closer to finding it now than I was the past few weeks, where I had so little to do that I got bored easily. One of my solutions to this boredom is to write short stories for American Darkness 2 and Poison Tongue Tales 2 outside of the WSS. I did that for the first Poison Tongue Tales book back in 2015 during NaNoWriMo and it was a massive success. Perhaps I could do it again this time around, provided I have the energy for it. It turns out, though, that the next AD2 story I plan on writing fits in with the WSS prompt for the week, which is “Searing”.


***AMERICAN DARKNESS 2: WE ARE THE MACHINE***

Yes, you’ll notice that both American Darkness 2 and Poison Tongue Tales 2 have different subtitles than what I originally gave them. In the case of AD2, Black State could have so many different meanings that it could be misinterpreted. Now it’s called We Are the Machine. It sounds cool and nobody’s reading too much into its intended meaning. For this collection, the next story will be called “Street Warriors” (another title I’m considering changing) and it goes like this:

CHARACTERS:

  1. Samir the Skull Crusher, Indian Street Brawler
  2. Crackers the Clown, Evil Clown
  3. Kristen Miranda, Runaway Teen

PROMPT CONFORMITY: Kristen starts the story by searching for shelter.

SYNOPSIS: Kristen runs away from home and finds herself in the darkest, dankest part of Paulson City. When she tries to warm up next to a garbage can fire, she’s confronted by Crackers the Clown, who claims that she doesn’t belong in these streets and needs to get the hell out. The only way Crackers will let Kristen stay is if she agrees to have sex with him, to which Samir the Skull Crusher intervenes, claiming to be the one who gets to have her. The two scary characters brawl while Kristen is cowering in the corner wishing she was home right now.


***POISON TONGUE TALES 2: THE RIGHT TO REMAIN PSYCHOTIC***

Here’s the story I plan on working on independently. It’s called “Mine All Mine” and it goes like this:

CHARACTERS:

  1. Chris Buyatt, Capoeira Fighter
  2. Michael Tyoni, Pyromancer
  3. Nina Thomas, Politician

PROMPT CONFORMITY: To be announced.

SYNOPSIS: Chris and Michael’s race against each other leads them to the Black Dust Salt Mine, where videotaped evidence against Nina’s corruption is being secretly kept. Chris wants to bring the evidence to light while Michael wants to use his pyromancy to burn it and save Nina from embarrassment. The warrior and the wizard battle it out with Mayor Thomas watching in the background with a shotgun in hand.


***DARK FANTASY WARRIORS***

With new characters come new drawings. The first on the barbecue rack is Chris Buyatt from Mine All Mine. He was previously used in my Final Fantasy videogame idea from 2002-2005 as Gail Reinhold’s ex-boyfriend, but has since been scrapped until now. Gail is now a part of the Poison Tongue Tales story “Zombie” and Chris will make his official debut in “Mine All Mine”.


***MOVIE DIALOGUE OF THE DAY***

CRAZY K: Sensory what?!

DR. CUSHING: Sensory deprivation chamber. You will see nothing, you will hear nothing. Your mind will have nothing to feed upon but itself. It’s a tiny meal indeed. Hahahahaha!


-Tales From the Hood: Hardcore Convert-

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Bullshit

VERSE 1
Packed like sardines in our death machines
Sanity bursting like a bomb at the seams
Tired and sore from the heavy metal war
Sweat oozing like a faucet from every pore
Somebody move it or I’m going to lose it
You have a gas pedal, just fucking use it
Nobody cares about the road construction
Everything else is whirling to destruction

CHORUS X4
Move it! Move it! Move it!
This is bullshit!

VERSE 2
Far from home in this cage of chrome
Rubberneck rednecks stalling on the road
Look at all the brutality on the pavement
He made a shit sandwich and fucking ate it
Bodies piled high and we all know why
Somebody’s head was stuck in the sky
Texting and talking on their fucking device
Crushing bones into piles of white rice

CHORUS X4
Move it! Move it! Move it!
This is bullshit!

VERSE 3
I’m finally home and tucked into bed
The next morning I’m sore and red
Everything hurts, my eyeballs burn
When will I stay home? When will I learn?
Public life is as addictive as cocaine
Is it worth all of the aches and pains?
Don’t wake me up until it’s noon
Don’t make me do stuff anytime soon

EXTENDED CHORUS
Move it! Move it! Move it!
This is bullshit!
Prove it! Prove it! Prove it!
I’m tired and sick!
Get up! Get up! Get up!
Fuck that shit!
Move it! Move it! Move it!

Eat a dick!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Blue Sky Blues

VERSE 1
You think the skies are your personal toilet?
You think you can heat the ocean and boil it?
You think your actions have no consequences?
You think we can solve this problem with fences?
Breathing the cleanest air is a god-given right
It never should have come to a verbal fight
It never should have resulted in casualties
That you bury in the ground so casually

CHORUS
More smoke in the air than a hookah bar
More poison in the water with oily tar
More politicians who don’t give a shit
These are blue sky blues, not a comedy bit

VERSE 2
Gas masks are not a fashion trend setter
Bigger trucks will not make things better
Lead doesn’t belong anywhere near water
You’ve led us all to the fucking slaughter
You answer to the world, owe them everything
You talk a lot, but haven’t said anything
As long as your bank account continues to grow
You’ll never be wrong, what the fuck do we know?

EXTENDED CHORUS 1
More smoke in the air than a hookah bar
More poison in the water with oily tar
More politicians who don’t give a shit
These are blue sky blues, not a comedy bit
Coal country blues, not a sitcom scene
Steel country blues, so fucking obscene
Pipeline blues, covering rivers in black
Blue sky blues, earth is under attack

BRIDGE
Climate change is as real as it gets
The safest bet, get paid until death
It’s not too late to clean this mess
This will be your ultimate test

EXTENDED CHORUS 2
More smoke in the air than a hookah bar
More poison in the water with oily tar
More politicians who don’t give a shit
These are blue sky blues, not a comedy bit
Drill baby drill, more people to kill
This ain’t no hoax, this is real, folks
The planet will drag you to hell with it

Find a cure for this pollution sickness

One Million Faces

***ONE MILLION FACES***

One of my mother’s favorite nicknames for me is Sonshine (no, that’s not a typo), so it’s only natural that for my 32nd birthday she would buy me a copy of Anette Olzon’s solo album called “Shine”. Before her termination in 2012, Anette Olzon was the lead singer for Nightwish and Tarja Turunen’s replacement in that same band. Her solo album is a much softer departure from her work with Tuomas Holopainen’s symphonic metal band. I contemplated referring to Anette Olzon as the female Michael Bolton with her new soft rock sound, but I don’t know if she would take it as an insult or a compliment, so I decided to keep it to myself. Hehe! Anyways, my favorite track on the CD has easily become “One Million Faces”. I listen to that song more often than anything else on that album and it’s because of the melodic and sorrowful nature that I’ve grown attracted to in music recently. If you’re ever surfing You Tube, be sure to look up “One Million Faces” by Anette Olzon. Or better yet, buy her entire solo album and support her music career. She’s been through a rough breakup with both her ex-husband and her old band Nightwish, so she needs all the support she can get. There’s not one bad track on that CD, but you’ll really get sentimental about “One Million Faces”. These are the lyrics:

VERSE 1
Where are those hidden miracles
We once shared
The laughter in the night
No one knows how the story goes
Make believes
Hidden like a ghost

CHORUS
All I wanted in my life was you
Dreams and moments that was shared with you
One million faces but the one I knew
Were all a masquerade
One million faces

VERSE 2
In the dark
In the darkest night
All I hear are shadows from behind
Now I see all the things so clear
But my pain still remains the same

CHORUS
All I wanted in my life was you
Dreams and moments that was shared with you
One million faces but the one I knew
Were all a masquerade
One million faces


***DARK FANTASY WARRIORS***

Normally, I begin my litany of self-promotions by talking about my next WSS contest entry. Yesterday evening, I already posted “The Golden Angel”, so that kind of spoils the surprise of it all. But with this new piece of superhero fiction comes new characters to draw. I’ve already drawn The Golden Angel himself and he looks like a weird hybrid between Goldust and Stardust from the WWE. The Dark Paladin, Goldie’s nemesis, is next on deck and he’s going to look just as terrifying as he was in that story, minus the maggot-infested dick.


***THE BEST IN THE WORLD: AT WHAT I HAVE NO IDEA***

If you follow me on Good Reads, you would have noticed that I deleted “Dana White: King of MMA” by June White from my reading list. I tried to read it earlier today, but I just couldn’t get into it. She repeats herself a lot, she has a boring writing style, and she tells instead of shows. I didn’t want to give her a one-star review because I generally don’t like giving those since they have the power to ruin an author’s reputation. So instead of dragging June White’s name through the mud, I decided my next nonfiction book should be a breath of fresh air: “The Best in the World: At What I Have No Idea” by Chris Jericho. Chris has always been a source of wisdom and entertainment in books past, so this third memoir of his should be just as exciting and fun.


***MOVIE DIALOGUE OF THE DAY***

CRAZY K: Shut up! Shut the fuck up!

DR. CUSHING: Why should they, Jerome? Are they saying things you don’t like to hear?

CRAZY K: So now you’re going to blame all this shit on me? You trying to make me crazy, motherfucker? I don’t owe any responsibilities to these motherfuckers!

DR. CUSHING: But you are responsible, Jerome, for the lives you’ve taken and for the dreams you’ve turned into nightmares.

CRAZY K: Nightmares? Motherfucker, what about my nightmares? What about the nightmare I’ve lived in? What about the nightmare I’ve lived in since I was born in this motherfucker? Who’s responsible for that?

DR. CUSHING: I don’t know, Jerome, you tell me! Who is responsible? Your mother? Your father? Your teachers? The world? Who?!

CRAZY K: Yeah, that’s right! All those motherfuckers created me! So now I’m the motherfucking nightmare!

DR. CUSHING: The nightmare ends when you say it does, Jerome! You’ve got to take responsibility to wake up! You’ve got to take responsibility to break this chain!

CRAZY K: I’ve only got one fucking responsibility in this world and that’s me! That’s it, motherfucker! So everybody and everything that ain’t me ain’t shit! Do you understand me?!

DR. CUSHING: That’s a question best posed to yourself. I’m giving you a chance! I’m giving you a shot at redemption! Do you understand that?!

CRAZY K: I don’t give a fuck about any of these stupid motherfuckers! So what you do is stop fucking with my mind, man, and let me out of this motherfucker!

DR. CUSHING: There’s nothing to stop you, Jerome.

(Crazy K breaks free and puts Nurse Roland in a sleeper hold.)

DR. CUSHING: Jerome!

CRAZY K: Shut the fuck up! Shut up! You let me out of this motherfucker or I swear to God I’ll snap this bitch’s neck!

DR. CUSHING: Jerome, it’s not too late to be saved! You won’t get another chance!

CRAZY K: I don’t need no motherfucking chance! You know why?! ‘Cause I don’t give a fuck! I said I don’t give a fuck! I don’t give a fuck! I don’t give a fuck! I don’t give a fuck! I don’t give a fuck! I don’t give a FUCK!


-Tales From the Hood: Hardcore Convert-