Wednesday, August 30, 2017

How Could You?

Ross Maynard sipped his iced tea and read his newspaper as nonchalantly as he could. Even with a nearly deserted Denny’s like this one, he still had to keep his secret in the public eye. Wouldn’t want a nosy waitress making too much small talk with him. In between reading various stories in the paper, Ross would sneak a quick peek at the front entrance. He knew he had to keep calm at a time like this, but his racing nerves wouldn’t slow down for even a moment.

And then the Mexican bombshell Fatima Ruiz entered the establishment with a frilly red cocktail dress on and a heat-seeking glare. Normally she glided across the room with the grace of an angel. But even in high heels, she pulled off the perfect angry stomp with both fists at her side. Ross took another sip of iced tea to settle himself for the shit sandwich he was about to eat (not because he was dining at Denny’s).

Fatima sat across the booth from Ross and spent the first few seconds staring icicles into her former lover. She tapped on the table with her manicured fingernails and fidgeted with her long black hair, but never once taking that ice cold stare off of Ross. The guilty-looking gentleman took another sip of tea and maintained his silence. This lengthy moment of discomfort melted Ross’s heart like butter on an English muffin. He knew why she was here. He knew he was screwed.

Fatima gazed down at her engagement ring with even more ice cold bitchiness before ripping it off and waving it in front of the smart phone she pulled out of her purse. The sounds of popping and crackling echoed in Ross’s ears while a siren going off in his head told him to get the fuck out of there.

“When were you planning on telling me you were a cop?” asked the stone cold Fatima Ruiz. “Did you think I was stupid? Did you think I would never find out? Do you think this shit is going to end now that my father is in jail? This shit’s not over until I say it is.”

Ross fluffed his jacket and wiped his wet hands on his jeans to buy time. When he had enough of it, he folded his hands across the table and looked seriously into his lover’s eyes. “Your father was the leader of the Ruiz Cartel. He was responsible for too many deaths in this city. He had politicians and policemen alike in his back pocket. Not this time. A lifetime in the hole is where he’s headed. I make no apologies for my detective work, Fatima. It’s my job.”

“No apologies, huh?” asked Fatima rhetorically while nodding. “That’s your job: breaking women’s hearts? I trusted you, Ross. I let you into my home. We made love together. And now you’re telling me that doesn’t mean shit to you?” When Ross refused to show remorse for his actions, Fatima swatted the newspaper off the table and yelled, “What do you have to say for yourself?!”

“Nothing,” said Ross with a frosty tone. His confidence returned and he showed it with furrowed eyebrows. “I’m an FBI agent. It’s what I do. You were an easy target. You were my golden ticket into the Ruiz Compound. That’s how these investigations work, Fatima. I’m sorry you got your heart broken, but it is what it is. None of it was real. It was all business.”

Ross’s stony expression countered Fatima’s criminal rage to where the Latina beauty hung her head and allowed tears to flow softly from her eyes. Agent Maynard slowly reached his hand over to comfort his now ex-lover and she jerked away while shouting, “Don’t touch me!”

The agent allowed the tension between them to simmer down before asking, “So what did you come here for? To let me know that you’re on to me? To deliver some veiled threat? To kill me? Your entire cartel is being rounded up even as we speak. There’s nobody left to help you, Fatima. Your empire is gone. Gone!”

The Latina sobbed some more while gently saying, “I could kill you right now…” When Ross snapped at her to speak up, she snapped back with, “I could kill you right now! I don’t need a gun or a knife. I want to strangle you with my bare hands. I want to rip your balls off. I want to rip out your tongue for all of the lies you’ve told me!”

“If you’re so eager to join your empire behind bars, I’d say go for it. Go ahead. Slap me. Punch me. Do whatever it is you want to do. I don’t give a shit. I’ve got the cuffs in my jacket pocket. You want some new jewelry, be my guest,” said Ross in his increasingly icy tone.

Fatima wiped the tears from her eyes and gingerly picked her head up to meet her ex-lover’s hateful gaze. Her own heartless expression turned into a sadistic smile, but Ross remained undeterred. “Like I said,” she started with. “This isn’t over until I say it is. You think you’ve got the upper hand because you put my family in jail? You think you’re the only one who can play games with people’s emotions? I’m pregnant!”

Ross scoffed, “Bullshit!” and Fatima smiled even harder. She even threw in a few giggles. The detective’s solemn expression grew even darker as he contemplated the potential reality of what his lover just said. “Please tell me you’re bullshitting. This is all a joke, isn’t it?”

“I make no apologies for my detective work, Agent Maynard,” said Fatima. “I’m keeping this baby and I’m going to raise him as my own. You and I are going to have a family together, Ross. Oh wait, you already have a family, don’t you? A wife and daughter of your own. I wonder what they’ll think when they find out daddy impregnated a gangster chick. What will your coworkers think? What will the judge think when I demand child support from you?”

“You don’t know shit about being a mother!” belted Ross.

“And you don’t know shit about being in love. It’s all fake to you, right? I bet your own family doesn’t get to see the side of you that you’ve shown me all this time. All those expensive gifts. All of those happy moments. All of the love we shared. The whole world will know and you can do nothing about it,” grinned Fatima.

“So what are you going to do with that little runt, anyways?” asked Ross hastily. “You’re going to raise him to be a gangster just like every other member of your sick family? You’re going to teach him to murder and steal? You’re not a mother. You’re a damn fool! You’re going to march over to that abortion clinic and…”

“And what? Give you the satisfaction of fucking me over one more time? I don’t think so, honey. We’ve done things your way for the past couple of months. Now we’re going to do them my way. Here’s what’s going to happen: I’m going to rebuild my empire from the ground up and you’re going to help me. That means getting my peeps out of jail and recruiting new members. I don’t want just some hoods and thugs running around here. I want top brass motherfuckers on my payroll. I want cops, politicians, and other cartel factions. And who knows? Maybe if you do all these lovely things for me, I’ll show you what true love really is. That’s what you seem to be lacking these days,” said Fatima with a red-hot smile and villainous eyes.

“Give me some time to think about it, Fatima,” said Ross.

“Take all the time you need, baby cakes. It’s not like this little guy is going to pop out anytime soon,” said Fatima. She mockingly waved goodbye to her ex-lover and blew him a kiss before turning heel and model-walking out of the restaurant.

Ross tried to keep up his emotionless stature, but he couldn’t help holding his head in his hands and wondering how the hell Fatima Ruiz got the best of him. He thought of his own wife and daughter and all of the happy days at the beach they had. The little lady would run across the sand and bounce in the water like a little froggy. He would hold hands with his wife and shower her in kisses despite the disgust of those around them. He loved his family and he didn’t care what anybody thought.

He cared what his fellow FBI agents thought, however. They were going to tear him limb from limb, rip his badge away along with his heart and soul, and leave him homeless and alone. What kind of life was that for a soon-to-be former detective and his family? They’d have to do illegal, disgusting things just to get by, much like how the Ruiz Cartel got started. Ruiz Cartel…Fatima Ruiz…that bitch!

Ross pulled out a six shooter and fully loaded every chamber. One bullet for her. One bullet for him. Four bullets for anybody who disagreed with his dark logic. He kissed the barrel of his weapon and angrily whispered, “I’ll show you what love is, Fatima, you fucking bitch. I’ll kiss you with a bullet!” He knew he looked insane to the waitresses and waiters, but he didn’t give two shits and a flying fuck. In fact, he loved the bloodlust in his bulging eyes.

Kickboxer: Vengeance

MOVIE TITLE: Kickboxer: Vengeance
DIRECTOR: John Stockwell
YEAR: 2016
GENRE: Martial Arts
RATING: R for bloody violence, mild swearing, and nudity
GRADE: Mixed

Martial arts prospect Kurt Sloane travels to Thailand to exact revenge for his brother Eric after undefeated Muay Thai champion Tong Po kills Eric in an underground fight. Kurt attempts to murder Po in his sleep with a pistol, but gets taken away by the police instead. Kurt’s only chance at avenging his brother is to train with the legendary Master Durand, who initially prepared Eric for his own fight with Tong Po. While all of this is going on, the Thai police are building a case against a fight promoter with corrupt connections to the law. Between Tong Po and Marcia (the crooked promoter), Kurt Sloane has an uphill battle that will see him spill more blood on the canvas than even his own dead brother.

Because this is a marital arts movie with various UFC fighters and former WWE Champion Dave Bautista in starring roles, the obvious positive point of this movie was the high octane violence. Kurt Sloane is a badass warrior, but even he has to succumb to much more powerful fighters in the early going of the movie. The training under Master Durand is no joke: cracking coconuts, bicycling under water, vertical pushups, and of course, getting the crap kicked out of him from time to time by his own teacher. No battle in this movie is gorier than Kurt’s eventual championship fight with Tong Po (it’s not much of a spoiler since even the dumbest viewer can see it from miles away). In that fight, blood splatters the arena like a modern art masterpiece as they get to use glass-covered gloves and katanas. All in all, this is a well-choreographed movie. Every beating Kurt takes both in training and in real fights will shape him to become the ultimate Muay Thai warrior (or he can die trying, one of the two).

And then we have the low points of the movie, most of which include clichés, bad acting from UFC fighters, cheesy dialogue, and characters I couldn’t give a damn about either way. As far as clichés go, there are so many of them peppered throughout the movie: classic revenge tale, training a nobody to become a champion in a short time span, instant relationships, vanilla sex, and lax authority just to name a few. The characters were so badly acted that I couldn’t get emotionally invested in them. I didn’t shed one tear when Eric was murdered by Tong Po. It felt like Eric and all the other characters were just there for the sake of being there. The only performance I could really praise was Dave Bautista as he took the role of the villainous Tong Po. He had the look, the athleticism, and the menacing aura of a warrior, all of which he probably picked up while working with the WWE. Other than that, there’s really nobody to cheer for in this movie.

I’m probably being a little too generous when I give this movie a mixed grade (three stars out of five), but I’m a huge fan of martial arts ultra violence, so that’s pretty much the only thing that saved the movie from being a train wreck. It would be hypocritical of me to disrespect the violence in this movie considering I watch pro-wrestling and mixed-martial arts on a regular basis. The storylines, dialogue, and acting in WWE isn’t always Oscar-worthy, but at least it keeps bringing me back to my TV every Monday and Tuesday. Maybe a mixed grade is appropriate after all.

Monday, August 28, 2017

"The Best in the World" by Chris Jericho

BOOK TITLE: The Best in the World: At What I Have No Idea
AUTHOR: Chris Jericho (with Peter Thomas Fornatale)
YEAR: 2014
GENRE: Nonfiction
SUBGENRE: Pro-Wrestling Memoir

Chronicling his WWE career from 2007 to 2013, Chris Jericho was the wrestling industry’s most despised villain in an era when they were in short supply. Whether he was feuding with Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio, Edge, or CM Punk to name a few, the WWE Universe kept their eyes glued to the TV screen and those in attendance got so aggressive that they nearly rioted. In addition to being a wrestling heel, Jericho was also the front man for the heavy metal act Fozzy and a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. No matter what he did in life, he was always the best in the world at it. Millions of Jerichoholics couldn’t all be wrong.

Watching Chris Jericho’s multiple careers unfold before my very eyes was satisfying to me as a reader. The fact that a small town boy from Canada could reach such heights of fame and fortune is inspiring to anybody who wants to follow their dreams. He’s done it all and he’s maintained friendships with some of the best in the industry, whether it’s members of his own WWE locker room, James Hetfield from Metallica, or M. Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold. All Jericho needed was a fiery passion and a tireless work ethic and he achieved everything he wanted and more. Wrestling championships, music awards, rave reviews, the accolades just kept piling on for Y2J. As a fan of his work for many years, it was an honor to live vicariously through him while reading this book.

Just like his previous two memoirs, A Lion’s Tale and Undisputed, with the help of his ghostwriter, Jericho employs a witty style when telling his life stories. If he wasn’t so busy with pro-wrestling and heavy metal, he could easily enjoy a career as a standup comedian. Hell, he already has access to Hollywood’s biggest names due to his wrestling feud with actor Mickey Rourke and his time on Dancing with the Stars, so maybe that’s something he could do when he eventually hangs up his boots. He relies on pop culture references that are accessible to pretty much any age group, so there’s no need to worry about dud jokes. I don’t want to spoil the jokes for my audience, so that’ll be even more incentive to buy this book and laugh your asses off.

If I could give one piece of criticism to this book, it’s that Chris Jericho has a habit of blowing through entire performances with just “it was a great match” (wrestling for WWE) or “it was a fun set” (touring with Fozzy). There are plenty of times when he goes into gory details such as how he lost a tooth during a ladder match with Shawn Michaels or how he injured his back during his final performance on Dancing with the Stars. However, there are also plenty of other high stakes events that I would have liked more details on. I let him get away with it since this is a celebrity memoir, but as an author myself, if I don’t point this lack of detail out, it’ll be a missed opportunity on my part. Show, don’t tell!

Don’t let that last paragraph shy you away from purchasing this book, though. Whether you’re a wrestling fan, a music fan, or just a guy who likes to watch people succeed while having a good laugh, I highly recommend this memoir from Chris Jericho. After all is said and done, you’ll only have one question: “What are the ropes made out of?!” I’m kidding, of course. Spoiler alert: they’re made out of ropes! Got that, Jon Lovitz, or do you need thirty more minutes of haranguing the WWE superstars? A passing grade will go to this fast-paced fun fest!

Sunday, August 27, 2017


I gave up on helping you a long time ago
The tears in your eyes continued to flow
You never wanted help, never wanted peace
The negativity never really wanted to cease
You argue even after being proven wrong
Your heart is weak, your ego is strong
I’ll never help those who won’t help themselves
I guess that makes my heart cold as hell

You wonder why I act so cold
Because this shit is getting old
Sick of watching drama unfold
It’s the final time you will be told

Believe it or not, I was once in your shoes
But I turned negativity into the oldest news
Took me many years to see clearly now
At my kind of age, I’m feeling damn proud
My ego was once the size of good old Texas
I had no interest in cleaning my own messes
I hated the world with a burning passion
If I hadn’t listened, I’d wear funeral fashion

You wonder why I act so cold
Because this shit is getting old
Sick of watching drama unfold
It’s the final time you will be told
Call me heartless, call me cold
Your hand was never mine to hold
Take a chance, be brave and bold
Or sleep underground covered in mold

I’ve never been great at the toughest love
Now my new role fits just like a glove
You’ve pushed my buttons too many times
With the number of times I’ve heard you whine

You wonder why I act so cold
Because this shit is getting old
Sick of watching drama unfold
It’s the final time you will be told
Call me an asshole, call me a bastard
Call me anything, it doesn’t matter
You’re going to listen if you like it or not

Wipe away your tears and bubbly snot

Friday, August 25, 2017

Bloodstained Paycheck

Owen Edge took a sip of his black coffee out of a thermos and smiled at the strong flavor. He sat in his car as the morning sun peaked over the horizon and gave him that little burst of sunshine he needed to start his day. He loved orange clouds and pink skies since they reminded him of eating sherbet ice cream as a kid. What he didn’t love was the fact that his car was parked outside of a porn theater. Sure, masturbation was a natural function, but pressing sticky white fluids against the walls was straight up disgusting. Nonetheless, Owen had a job to do.

He took one last sip of his coffee, straightened his brown jacket and blue tie, and exited the vehicle after popping his trunk. He pulled a gigantic blue tarp along with some cleaning supplies out of said trunk before sighing heavily and trudging his way into the porn theater. Because his arms were full, he kicked at the steel door to let the bouncer know he was here.

A little slide on the door opened up to reveal harsh eyes staring bullets into Owen’s soul. The cleaner asked, “Are you Dennis McKay?”

“Who wants to know?”

“I’m Owen. I clean messes for a living. Mind if I come in?”

Dennis slid the eye hole shut and opened the door for Owen, who was hurried inside and patted down by the hulking bouncer. Dennis’s muscular frame made the skinnier Owen look like a small child by comparison. The bouncer wore a black security T-shirt that magnified every muscle in his body along with a pair of blue jeans that were conversely too baggy.

Once Dennis found no weapons or contraband on Owen, he said, “Security protocol. I’ve got to do it with everybody…even if you are earning a bloodstained paycheck today.” Mr. McKay handed Owen a taped up stack of freshly laundered one hundred dollar bills, to which Owen dropped his cleaning supplies and thumbed through it quickly to see if it was real money.

Satisfied with his findings, Owen picked up his acidic spray bottles and sponges and said, “Grab that tarp. It’s time to get busy. Show me where the body is.”

The two of them strolled to a glass booth only protected by a thin black curtain. As if the semen stains on the glass and curtain weren’t disgusting enough, the bloody corpse of a young man with a college logo T-shirt made the claustrophobic booth look like a slaughterhouse. “Jesus Christ, Dennis, what the fuck did you do to him?”

“The bastard had it coming. Yeah, it was a little rough, but come on, if you saw the shit he was doing, you’d go berserk too. He thinks he can do whatever he wants just because he’s got a liberal arts degree from some faggot university.”

“Fair enough,” said Owen. The two of them rolled the dead body in the tarp like a burrito so that not even the head and feet could stick out. The cleaner then gave the beefcake bouncer a book of matches and ordered, “Take the corpse out to the dumpster and burn that motherfucker. If some cop sticks his nose where it shouldn’t be, just tell him some homeless fucker got drunk and fell into his own fire.”

“Got it,” said Dennis. “Just make sure you’ve got all that blood cleaned up and I’ll give you the other half of your payment. My boss paid good money for you.”

Owen patted the hulking ogre on his shoulder and assured him, “Trust me, Dennis, by the time I’m done with this place, people will be able to eat off of it, in more ways than one.” That last joke was punctuated with a wink, to which Dennis smiled and hauled the corpse out to the back alley.

The cleaner evaluated the work he had cut out for him with a mixture of disgust and professionalism. The blood and semen would be the easiest part of his job. It was the pieces of brain, skull, and god knows what else that would prove to be difficult.

Nonetheless, Owen knelt down, wetted his sponge with the acidic cleaning spray and scrubbed down the mess as hard as he could. Despite being a skinny guy, he scrubbed like he had Dennis’s 24-inch pythons, working his arms and hands down to the bone. Even with this tiring effort, the stains wouldn’t come out so easily, so he sprayed them some more.

As he was wiping the carpeted floor, he could hear rapping underneath. His eyes darted from side to side in confusion, but Owen Edge ultimately shrugged his shoulders and continued scrubbing. The rapping got progressively louder until Owen threw his sponge in frustration. “What, has he got fucking rats down here or something? Shit!”

He scoped his general vicinity to make sure all was clear before spraying acid on the corner of the carpet and ripping it up with ruthless force. Underneath the carpet was a trap door that took the brunt of the light rapping. Soon that rapping turned to kicking. And then the kicking turned to muffled female moaning. Owen squirted acid on the wooden door and used the newly formed hole as a leverage point to heave the heavy son of a bitch. The cleaner gazed into the hole with wide eyes and shaky hands before whispering, “Holy shit…”

Fifteen minutes later, Owen Edge stood cross legged and arms folded against the wall of the porn shop’s lobby, preferably a wall that wasn’t decorated with dildos, ball gags, whips, chains, gimp hoods, god knows what else. With the way the cleaner drummed his fingers against his arm, he knew there was going to be hell to pay for Dennis once he got his giant ass back in here. What was taking him so long to burn the body?

“Owen? You’re done already? Holy shit, you are the best! High five, buddy!” said Dennis as he sneaked back into the lobby with his hand held high in the air.

“You know, Dennis, I’d love to high five you right now, but I actually figured out where that hand has been. Not even my superior cleaning skills can get that mess off. You need help, buddy,” said Owen sternly.

“You’re in a porn theater, dumb ass. Get used to it!” barked Dennis.

“Oh, I’m fully aware of my current location. In fact, I seem to know this place up and down, backwards and forwards…first floor and underground.” Dennis’s arrogant smile melted off of his face like a popsicle. “That girl has a name, asshole: it’s Felicia Strom. She told me everything, every goddamn detail, although I could figure most of it out by the fact that she had a ball gag in her mouth and she was in a leather thong and bra. Were you planning on telling me this minute detail?”

Dennis chuckled nervously and said, “What her? She works here. She needs the money just like we all do in this life. You know something about that, don’t you, Owen. Besides, when did you get a moral compass all of the sudden?”

“Yeah, who knew that fucking with teenaged girls would be one of my berserk buttons?” said Owen as he sized up his bouncer nemesis. “Everybody has standards, Dennis. Everybody has a line that they don’t cross. I don’t know what yours is, but mine happens to be kidnapping young ladies and making them…do the things she did.” He gagged at that last sentence.

“Where is she?” asked Dennis before screaming the same question and grabbing Owen’s suit jacket.

“She’s long gone, probably going back home to her parents for the first time in forever. But you? You’re going straight to hell if you don’t get your splooge-covered hands off of me,” threatened Owen.

Dennis burst into a rage and hoisted Owen up by his arm pits before slamming him repeatedly against the wall. The cleaner felt the air being driven out of his lungs with every hard slam as well as his head popping and his neck creaking. Dennis’s barbaric anger caused him to slam Owen into other parts of the wall, knocking sex novelties off their display holders. Owen tried to grab a dildo off the wall and pound Dennis over the head with it, but the bouncer no-sold it, smiled, and chucked the cleaner over the counter.

Owen could feel his muscles weakening, his bones chipping, and his brain fogging up. He also coughed up a liberal amount of blood as he grabbed the counter and gingerly pulled himself to his wobbly feet. He fell down a few times and coughed up more blood, but found his footing after the third or fourth try. His vision was dark and hazy, but he could make out the shape of Dennis with his arms folded. The bouncer laughed at him with a demonic voice, one that was ear-splitting enough to keep Owen from falling asleep. The only words Owen could muster at that point were, “Felicia…run!”

The sex slave teenager stood in the doorway naked, shivering, and teary-eyed. She also had Owen’s thermos of black coffee, which was still steaming hot even after all of the time spent cleaning the crime scene.

Dennis mocked her by spreading his arms out and saying, “You’re going to throw that in my face, bitch? Go ahead. Do it. I fucking dare you! Come on! Throw that shit in my face! It’ll be like what my customers do to you every night, but with a different liquid!”

Felicia continued shivering and crying while weakly holding the coffee thermos out to potentially throw. “I…I…I won’t let you…I…you can’t…”

“Leave her alone, Dennis! Felicia, run!” shouted Owen as he still struggled to maintain his equilibrium.

“That’s what I thought, bitch. Give me that fucking coffee, I’m thirsty!” grunted Dennis as he yanked the thermos out of his victim’s hand. He gulped it down in a hurry, not giving a damn how hot it was. He sighed and said, “That’s some damn good coffee, bitch! Mmm-mmm-mmm! What flavor is this? Taster’s Choice?”

“Actually, Dennis…” squeaked Felicia. “There’s vanilla…some caramel…some whipped cream…and…Viagra! Lots and lots of Viagra!” The last list item was punctuated with a confident stance and deadly eyes.

Dennis’s own eyes bulged out of his head as he coughed violently and clutched his chest with a death grip. He dropped to his knees and hacked some more. He tried sucking down air, but it came out raspy and sweat poured off of him like a fire hydrant. “How could you?” he said weakly. “We gave you everything. A home…good money…and…” Dennis coughed up blood before rolling on his back and passing out with a bulge in his jeans. His breathing became shallow and his eyes rolled back in his head. His skin whitened like glue. And then, his head twisted to the side to signify his otherwise limp body.

Owen kept holding onto the counter for balance, but he struggled even more when he couldn’t stop laughing. “Dennis McKay takes Viagra? Holy shit! All that muscle mass and….god, what was I saying?” The cleaner lost his balance again and collapsed to the floor.

Felicia rushed to his side and held his hand. “Are you okay? Speak to me!”

“Oh, I’m fine, Miss Strom. This ain’t my first rodeo and it won’t be my last. I’m more worried about how you are.” Owen dug in his jacket pocket and pulled out the wad of one hundred dollar bills. Felicia’s eyes widened as she handled all of that money. The cleaner said, “Listen, babe: that bloodstained paycheck belongs to you. Get your ass home, spend that money on college or some shit, and don’t ever come back to this place again. Got it? Don’t worry about me, I’ll find my way out of here. I’ll get to a hospital…or hell…or heaven…who knows where I’m going from here…”

Owen nodded off while Felicia pounded his chest in an attempt to wake him up. The further he drifted off, the harder she shook him. During his last few moments of consciousness, he kept wondering if being in the cleaning business was worth it anymore. Would there be other scummy clients like Dennis McKay? Of course. Would they go to his extremes? More likely than not. Being neutral and coldhearted was Owen Edge’s mantra for so long. Now that he was about to meet his maker, all the laundered money in the world couldn’t help him in the afterlife.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Body Positivity


Judging from how my selfies look these days, this is going to come as a major shock to a lot of people (eye roll). I treat the fat guy with the same respect that I treat the athlete. There are good and bad people on both sides of that spectrum and that’s really the only criteria I use to decide if I like someone or not. You can do bicep curls and military presses until the end of time, but until you treat your fellow human being with love and kindness, you don’t deserve my respect.

I know that sounds ironic considering my love for WWE and how only a small minority of those wrestlers are out of shape. Yes, I enjoy the flippy-floppy techniques of guys like Neville and Seth Rollins, but I also don’t feel the need to bash out of shape wrestlers like Kevin Owens and Bray Wyatt simply because of how they look. Whether it’s with WWE or real life, looks don’t mean shit anymore. There are fat guys who are happily married and muscle studs who are struggling to find a girlfriend. Yes, I know Family Guy is only a cartoon where the characters beat the shit out of each other constantly, but the fact that a chubby guy like Peter Griffin can have a sexy redhead like Lois isn’t lost on me.

Not everybody on this planet has to be a sex object with rippling muscles and firm thighs. Sometimes I get the feeling that the only reason we have fat shaming in our society today is because the ones doing the shaming want someone to jerk off to. They don’t have enough people wax the carrot to, so they expect the whole world to look like sex statues. So that’s it, huh? If I were to go to the gym and exercise my ass off until I was 200 lbs, my biggest reward would be people jerking off to me? Gee, thanks a lot.

Another excuse fat shamers like to use to do what they do is that they’re concerned for their target’s health. So let me get this straight: you’re worried they might die from a heart attack or a stroke, so you insult them until they feel suicidal? Great logic. Great fucking logic. If you’re legitimately concerned about a fat guy’s health, cheer them on, don’t insult them. That drill instructor logic will get you five knuckles of death right in the fucking jaw.

So, the primary excuses people have for making fun of fat people are not enough wanking material and fake health concerns. I thought that would have been the end of it. And then Bill Maher closes an episode of Real Time with one of the most disgusting monologues I’ve heard in a long while. He chastised publications like The Huffington Post for promoting body positivity because obesity is supposed to be a disease, not a fashion trend. It’s one thing for him to make fat jokes about guys like Donald Trump, Chris Christie, and Rush Limbaugh, because those three are bona fide assholes. But to generalize the argument to include everyday people? Unbelievable.

Imagine if the wrong person were to see that kind of message on TV. Maybe it’s a fat guy in high school being bullied by jocks. Maybe it’s a binge-eating fat woman with low self-esteem and suicidal thoughts. No less than a week after doing an ending monologue about Republicans being trolls, Bill Maher became a troll himself to the entire obese population. He was already on my shit list for telling his audience how to dress and bitching about superhero movies and fast-paced novels. Those things I can deal with. But after that night of fat shaming, I have to reconsider my fandom for Mr. Maher. Yes, he and I are both proud liberals with a strong sense of zeal, but is he really fighting for someone like me with his show?

On one hand, I understand the health risks of being overweight. I know this, because there were times when I’d get winded climbing the stairs. I would come home from walks to the convenience store dripping with sweat like a fire hydrant. I have sleep apnea that isn’t always cured with my CPAP. The fact that I even have a CPAP says a lot about the state of my body. Am I the healthiest person on earth? Not really. But that doesn’t mean I have to feel like shit because of it. There are worse things in this world than being fat, such as being evil, stupid, shallow, obnoxious, and hateful among other negative qualities.

In the end, the only one who has the right to an opinion of your body is you yourself. If you like the way you look, good for you. If you don’t, do something about it. But if you are going to do something about it, make sure you have the final say. It’s your body, after all. Making diet and exercise choices shouldn’t be taken lightly and shouldn’t be because of coercion or insults. Surround yourself with people who embody a positive state of mind. They’re the ones who will help you through your body issues, not the jerk-offs and trolls. Somebody out there loves you and hopefully you love yourself too. We’ve got ears, say cheers!


Two days ago, I finally pumped out “Wolf’s Cannonball”, the martial arts retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. The next character from that story to be drawn will be Little Red Sniper. I ordered some red colored pencils from Amazon and I might wait for them to get here before I get started on this drawing. I might have other variations of red in my collection, I just have to look for them.


I only have a little over a hundred pages left to read from Chris Jericho’s third memoir “The Best in the World: At What I Have No Idea”. I would have made some progress on it today, but I was feeling the blahs as far as creativity went. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a more energetic day. I plan on giving this book the same grade I gave to Chris Jericho’s first two memoirs: four stars out of five. He’s witty, he’s to-the-point, he’s entertaining…what more could I ask for out of a pro-wrestler turned author?


Q: What did Barack Obama say to the Republican Party in 2012?

A: Damn Mitt!

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?

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?!

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?!

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?!

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?!

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?!

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

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

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…

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

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…

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

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


I have a conspiracy theory X4

Friday, August 18, 2017

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!


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.


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.


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


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!


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:


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


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.


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:


  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.


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:


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


  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.


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.


“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-


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

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!

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

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!

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!

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.