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Arts & Liberties => Writer's Block => Topic started by: George Potter on January 10, 2007, 10:18:13 pm

Title: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: George Potter on January 10, 2007, 10:18:13 pm
Chapter 1: Dollybones[/i]

      


      Sometimes, just after midnight, the thing that pretended to be her old doll would wake Marie up, whispering. Most of the time, she could sing songs under her breath just loud enough to block out that insidious little stream of suggestion. Sometimes, though, she couldn't.
      And sometimes she wanted to listen.

      "Mr. Douglas down the street is dying." the thing told her, silken voice slipping from the smiling facade of her plastic face. "He has thousands of dollars buried underneath his porch. No one would notice if you climbed under there and took some."
      "Stealing is bad." Marie insisted.
      "So is going to school in ugly clothes that people make fun of." the thing reminded her. "He's not a nice man, anyway. He does awful things to kittens."
      Marie shuddered. The thing was scary, and almost everything it suggested she do was naughty in some way or the other, but it had never lied to her. In fact, everything it said was perfectly, awfully true.
      "Two wrongs don't make a right." Marie said. It was one of her mother's favorite sayings.
      The thing laughed, a hoarse little chuff of sound. "Wrong. Right. Simply ideas. People like you, Marie, do not have to pay attention to such simplistic nonsense."
      "Just shut up and leave me alone!" Marie said, in a fierce whisper. "I have to go to school tomorrow."
      "Very well." the thing said, in a condescending voice. "Sleep. I'll visit you in your dreams."
      And it did.

      In the dream, the doll is a miniature little girl, sweet and lively and fun. They go under Mr. Douglas' porch and find a huge roll of bills inside a mason jar, mixed in with the kitten bones.
      "See how easy?" the thing pretending to be a girl said. "See how fun?"
      Marie refuses to pick the jar up, but discovers that it's in her hand anyway. She tosses it away, and it shatters. She feels the money in the front pocket of her now filthy jeans. She pulls it out and tosses it to the ground.
      "I won't take it!" she says, angry and on the verge of tears.
      The dollgirlthing rolls its pretty blue eyes. "You are such a tiresome creature, Marie Hanson." it chides her. "Ok, fine. But pick up your house key." It points at it, on the ground by her feet. "You must have dropped it when you threw the money away. Your mother will be angry if you lose it."
      Marie does so.
      The thing laughs.


      The laughter faded as the space under the Douglas porch dissolved into the familiar confines of her bedroom.
      Marie shivered and rolled over, relieved that the dream was over and the morning sun was peeking through the curtains.
      She felt a lump by her knee. A similar lump rose in her throat.
      She whipped her covers off the way she tore off a scab: in one go to get the pain and anticipation over with.
      The lump dropped from her throat to settle like a jagged knot in her stomach.
      A roll of bills rested accusingly by her knee. Her sneakers were on. Her sheet and jeans were covered in filth.
      Furious, she snatched the doll up and shook it. "You tricked me!" she spat. The doll made no reply, just smiled back at her with painted eyes. In the light of day, it was just a doll.
      She threw it to the floor, anyway. Kicked it under the bed.
      She managed to clean up decently before her mother called her down to breakfast -- stuffing the sheet and dirty jeans to the very bottom of the laundry hamper. Tonight was her turn to do the wash, anyway.
      What to do with the money was a tougher decision. She might be able to sneak it back under the porch  next door, but the thought of those kitten bones didn't make that an attractive option.
      She couldn't keep it, she knew that much.
      She was still diliberating when her mother called her name. "Breakfast! Hurry up or we'll be late!"
      For the moment she decided to just hold on to it. She wrapped it in toilet paper and lodged it deep into the duffel bag that was her mother's concession between the purse she wanted and the backpack she was sick of.
      I'll figure something out later, she thought, on her way down the hall to the kitchen. But the last glimpse of the roll kept dancing behind her eyes. Twenty dollar bills, and the roll was bigger than her fist. She'd never seen that much money, not in her entire short life.
      Stop it, she told her mind, as she always did when it started talking in the voice of her doll.
      Just stop it!

      On their way to work and school, Marie's mother looked tired. She always looked tired, but lately it seemed worse. She'd been taking all the overtime  she could get at the factory, where she worked an assembly line that made flourescent lights. Sometimes Marie had to cook her own dinner, something that bothered her in a strange way no matter how much she liked the Banquet microwave meals.
      And, despite the overtime and exhaustion, all her mother seemed to do was worry about bills.
      "Rents due tomorrow." she muttered, more to herself than her distracted daughter. "And next month it goes up fifty freakin' bucks. I don't know what we're going to do."
      That last sentence was one that cropped up ever more frequently these days. It always served to make Marie feel confused and guilty. She wasn't doing anything, after all. She didn't even know what she could do.
      You're such a liar. the dollvoice said in her mind. You have hundreds -- maybe more than a thousand -- dollars a few inches away from you.
      It's not mine. Marie thought back hard.
      Who does it belong to, then? the voice replied. Oh, how she hated that silk voice. How it seemed to slip past everything she knew was right and lodge down in the confused and scared part of her. Mr. Kittykiller?Mean little giggles accompanied this. Don't worry about him -- he'll be dead before you get out of school.
      SHUT UP! Marie screamed at it, and she meant it, and -- like always when she really meant it -- the thing listened to her. She imagined locking it in a steel cage, and wrapping the cage in chains, and dropping the bound cage down a well.
      It wouldn't stay there, she knew. Not for long.
      Her mother didn't shut the car off as she dropped her at school, just gave her a dry kiss to the cheek and a wan smile. "I'll be late tonight. You have your key, right?"
      "Yes, Mom."
      "I love you baby. Be good."
      "I will."
      As she climbed out of the car, tossing the duffel bag over one shoulder, Marie succumbed to the urge to climb back inside. She wrapped her mother in a fierce hug.
      "I love you too, Mommy." She almost never called her Mommy anymore. "Everything will be OK."
      Mellissa Hanson, her tired mother, faked an optimistic smile. "I hope so, baby." she whispered in her ear. "I really hope so."
      Marie watched the car pull out and motor down the street. She tried not to think about the money in the duffel bag, or the thing in an imaginary well, as she walked gloomily towards another day in the fifth grade.
      But, even over the sound of the bell announcing the start of classes, she could hear chains rattling, down on the darker levels of her mind.
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: George Potter on January 10, 2007, 10:19:33 pm
Halfway through her first class, Marie knew it was going to be what her mother called 'a real shitstorm' of a day.
      The dollthing was angry. Extremely angry. It was not content to patiently wiggle from its bindings this time. It was tearing at them. It was also screaming at her -- it's shrieking voice echoing up from the black place she'd consigned it to.
      Little miss priss! it sneered. Willing to let her mother work and slave to death rather than break some ridiculous little rules! You're nasty, child! NASTY!
      Two things really ate at her. If not for those two things, Marie could have probably ignored the tantrum.
      The first was that, on a scarily big part of her, she thought the dollthing was right. The image of her mother's exhausted eyes haunted her. The idea that the money -- no matter where and how she had got it -- might let her rest was hugely enticing.
      The second was worse. The second was a growing conviction that she had hid from for many years. Since the dollthing had shown up, almost as far back as she could remember.
      The conviction that the dollthing wasn't a thing at all.
      That it was a part of her. A part of Marie Hanson, age nine, who had lost a father long ago and was watching her mother drift away.
      A really bad part of her.
      
      It was Tuesday, so second period was free computer lab, usually Marie's favorite part of the week.       She was fascinated by computers and the internet. For the past two years it had been her only request for Christmas. A request that was always met with a 'Maybe' that inevetably transformed into a 'Maybe next year.'
      But she walked into the lab without her usual enthusiasm, just wishing for the day to be over.
      Her assigned seat was by the window, something she normally ignored, preferring to use every second of the hour to wander the web of information and oddness before her. She glanced out of it today, an idle glance, mainly wishing her head would stop hurting. The thing had stopped screaming, but the thumping and banging from the bottom of the well was getting louder and more frequent.
      Across the street, on a city bench, a young man with dark hair sat, attention focused on a laptop. There was no mystery as to why he was there. The school lab was the only area in town that boasted an open wi-fi connection. During lunch hours and on nice days, it was common to see people lounging there, enjoying a chance to access free broadband.
      But the reason she stared, almost goggled, and finally -- despite the pain in her head and the dread in her heart -- broke into a delighted smile was not common at all.
      The man had a cat perched on his knee. A small gray cat that sat there, balancing on that skinny denim clad leg, like a queen on a throne, surveying her kingdom of worshipful followers with indulgent eyes.
      Those eyes suddenly met hers. Instantly, the young man looked up and did the same.
      He smiled at her. Tossed off a little wave.
      For no reason she could name, Marie blushed, and turned quickly away. When she looked back, he was engrossed in the laptop again, typing something with speed and skill.
      Marie shook her head, and called herself a goof, because she was still blushing furiously.
      The blush faded instantly when she realized that the headache was gone. And that the noises from the well had stopped. The thing was still there, she was certain of that. But it had stopped. As if it were listening.
      As if it were afraid.
      She heard an impossible sound. The ping of an instant messenger. Impossible because instant messengers were forbidden on school equipment. She only recognized it from sleepovers at her friend Cindy's house.
      But there it was. A message pane, right on the screen. An unfamiliar one. Instead of the AIM logo and the comical little running man, this was a black and red box with the unknown acronym HMS V.07.
      The message inside was from  a "MrSlip" and read, simply:

HIYA, MARIE. :)

      She turned, slowly, and looked out the window again. The man was no longer typing, just looking at the laptop in a pose of restful intent. One hand drummed a beat on the park bench, and she noticed suddenly that he had on a pair of headphones, also connected to the laptop.
      I'm just gonna ignore this guy. She told herself. Could be some perv-o who wants to pick up elementary school girls for...perv-o stuff.
      The cat just stared at her. Stop being paranoid, its eyes said.
      I'm not gonna answer, she told herself firmly. She meant it too. Then she typed:

Stop yelling.

      ...and blushed again. It was a total rip off of something she'd seen Cindy type to some person who messaged her in all-caps.

Haha. Sorry. Capslock. :P

Ur not a perv r u?

Come on kid, would I admit it if I were?

Good point.

We don't have time to chat. I'm here to help. With your..ahem...toy problem.


      She went cold. She glanced out the window. Both cat and man met her eyes this time. The man shrugged.

How can u know about that??

No time. In thirty seconds the printer will start. Take the three sheets and do exactly what they say, OK?

Who R U???

NO TIME. Do exactly what they say. I might answer questions later. On any comp hold down Shift & CTRL and type MRSLIP. It might take me a minute, but I'll get back to you.

Wait!!

EXACTLY what they say. Bye, Marie. Be careful.


      The message pane blinked from existence. Marie turned back to the window. The chill returned.
      Gone. Man and cat. As if they were never there.
      In answer to that, the printer hummed into life and scritched out three pages.
      "Station three, pick up your printout." Mr. Calley -- the lab  teacher -- droned without looking up.
      Marie walked to the printer  feeling a little unreal. She picked up the three pages and walked back to her seat, eyes down.
      When she was safely back, she looked at the pages.
      The instructions were simple, if strange. As soon as she read them the thing in the well began fighting furiously again. It was this, more than anything else, that made her believe that what the man had told her was true.
      At the end of the third page was some sloppy handwriting, in the grayed out style of a faxed document.

"Marie --

Follow these exactly. As soon as possible. None of this is your fault, but that won't help if you let things go any further.

Remember two things. One is bad, the other good:

This is all far from over.

You are not alone.

Good luck,

-F. (aka MrSlip)

PS: Death to the Crumbler."

      When she read that final sentence, Marie felt the strangest feeling. It meant nothing to her, but it sure felt like it should. It vibrated in her heart.

      On her way out of the lab, Mr. Calley asked to see the printout, which was the rule.
      He glanced at each page. Marie saw his eyes glaze over. "Pre-Revolutionary French archithecture? Interesting." He smiled at her, and handed the pages back. "Have a good day, Marie. Death to the Crumbler."
      "What?" Marie asked, taken aback.
      "I said 'See you on Thursday'." he thought he repeated.

      It seemed to take forever for school to be over with. The thing in the well alternated between frantic fighting and deadly silence. Both un-nerved her.
      But, as with everything, the end of the day came.
      She knew bad things were brewing when Cindy's mom dropped her at home and there was an ambulance parked in Mr. Douglas' driveway. The stretcher that emerged moved too slowly. A sheet was over the old man's face. The money in her bag seemed to burn with guilt.
      She ignored it, letting herself in. She was moving down the hallway, pulling the pages from her pocket, when she realized that the thing was no longer in the well.
      She stopped in her tracks, frozen.
      From her room, a sick little giggle erupted.
      From behind her, the slamming sound of locks engaging rang through the house.
      The creature now possessing her doll stalked from the room, stiffly at first, moving quicker as it came, growing larger. It's painted eyes bored into her. It's fake ruby smile burned in a pale plastic face.
      "Could have done this easy, little bitch." It told her, voice dripping in glee. "You could have came to the Master so gently." Stiff steps became more fluid as it moved. "All you had to do was spend the money. All you had to do was help your mother you nasty little thing."
      "You can't hurt me." she whispered, not really believing it. "You're just a part of me. You can't hurt me.
      The thing stopped to spout hysterical giggles. "Stupid bitch. People hurt themselves all the time." It began to creep toward her again, outstreched arms reaching, tiny plastic fingers gripping in spasms. "Going to crawl inside you, bitch. Going to eat your insides. Break your bones and heal them and break them again, for fun. Eat this power you have. Take you to the master as a husk for him to fill."
      It shuddered, seemed to swell.
      "Burn this hovel. Your mother will think you are dead. Maybe kill herself. Delicious."
      And then, at those words, Marie was angry. Furious.
      "The hell you will." she said.
      On the first page of the print out were four large symbols. They entered her eyes as nonsense but emerged from her mouth as power. They hurt and felt better than anything at the same time. She glowed with fire as they spoke from her.
      The thing screamed and fell painfully flat to the ground, as if a huge fist had slapped it there.
      She tossed the first page aside. It evaporated into smoke.
      "Now you are bound." she told the squirming thing. "Second stage: realization."
      She sawspokepoured out the second set of symbols. The doll became flesh colored, the blush of life filled its cheeks. Real pain entered its now tearing eyes.
      "Why make me real?" it whispered in horror, perhaps knowing what was coming.
      "So I can do this." Marie said, stepping up to it, reaching down, and breaking both arms and legs in deft motions.
      The things cries cycled into the ultasonic. Every dog in the neighborhood began to howl.
      "Dollybones break too, you monster."
      It lay there, immobile. Hobbled.
      She looked at it in disgust. She wished she could throw it away.
      She couldn't.

      The most disgusting thing of all was that she needed it.

Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: George Potter on January 10, 2007, 10:23:17 pm
Gonna post the first six chapters in this thread, for ease of finding later.

Feel free to comment after each entry.

Please keep in mind that these are first drafts and subject to later revision, etc.

And, well..it gets even weirder. :P
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: ShortyDawkins on January 10, 2007, 10:56:14 pm
   George, this makes me think of Jerzy (?) Kosinski. He was unafraid to delve into the furthest reaches of his mind, and nothing was held back, nothing was sacrosanct.

  Shorty
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: Ghost on January 11, 2007, 12:38:25 am
Odd thing, and this might not make sence, but since when does sence have to make sence. This reads like a novel (I know, DUH!), but it has that epic sort of feeling to it, a grand depth that you can feel from the first moment you begin reading the story. I like where you are going with it and like the energy, atmosphere, and tone of it so far. The narration flows excellently, the scenes are well drawn, the characters are full and you can see them in your mind, you want to read ahead but also savor the writing.

It has the feeling of a good Steven King novel - say a mix of Dark Tower, the Talisman, and one other (whose name for the moment escapes me) along with a mixture of Clive Barker thrown in (Great and Secret Show, Weaveworld, and Thief of Always). Definately a "sellable" commodity.

There was one part in the house with the doll where I was expecting to hear noise - the tick tick tick of the dolls plastic feet upon the floor running furiously about. It was something that entered my mind when I was reading the chapter.

I'll already put my order in for several books so I can distribute them here, there, and wherever else the wind blows me.
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: Jac on January 11, 2007, 09:39:23 am
Wow... I think this one'll be at least as good as Roberta.

"Dollybones break too, you monster." :love4:
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: George Potter on January 11, 2007, 09:13:23 pm
NOTE: Only half a chapter tonight, folks. Surprised I got this much out. Many distractions. I'll edit in the second half of this tomorrow when I post chapter 3 (one of the distractions! :P).


Chapter 2: Lady Of Blades[/size]




      She moves with quiet grace down the stairs, swords dripping and flashing in the inadequate light, and she has never looked more beautiful.       
                 One nostril drains blood, stitching an ignored rune of liquid red on her t-shirt. Her left eye swells in shades of purple and almost black. Her hair has wrenched free of her ponytail and floats about her face, an electric dancing halo.
      Her eyes. Her eyes throw sparks. They shine with the light of righteous anger.
      She has left three men dead upstairs. Three large men, well armed. One choked on his own blood and a whisper of razor steel. One discovered what it felt like to have his heart split open. The third whined complaints to the universe as he tried in vain to collect his guts from the floor.
      She moves down the stairs and she has never looked more beautiful. She stops.
      Six sets of eyes stare at her in disbelief.
      She smiles. She places the blades in perfect attack form.
      "These are killing tools." she tells her enemy. "They are not made to wound, or to frighten. They're made to kill. They don't do nothing else."
      The six men arrayed before her stare stupidly at each other, foolishly ignoring the only true threat in the room. They have guns. Some of them have badges. All of them think, incorrectly, that those things will protect them.
      One even laughs. "Good God, honey! What kinda dope you on?"
      She ignores him. She repeats:
      "They don't do nothing else." Her breath is calm, even. Her words measured and clear. "Give me my son and I won't kill you."

      "You," Sheila Glynnis said, pausing to suck down a quarter of a Kool, "are the most worthless whore this world has ever seen."
      Kelly didn't even look up from her packing. She continued to stuff baby clothes into the diaper bag. "You'd know, Aunt Sheila." she said. "You raised me."
      "Don't blame yourself on me, honey. You are your own doing."
      Kelly did glance up. She favored her aunt with a withering look. "I sure am." she said. "The good and the bad."
      "What good?"
      Kelly ignored her. Instead, she picked up her eight month old son. As usual, his sleeping face made her smile. "You wouldn't understand." she whispered. She held him close and gathered the bag and the slim suitcase in her free hand. She started for the door.
      "Don't sell him for pills!" Sheila said, intending a parting shot. She'd probably been saving it up.
      Kelly stiffened. Sheila started to laugh.
      She never even saw her niece move, and the laugh was never released. In a single motion Kelly whirled and slammed her foot into the womans throat, shoving her and the Laz-E-Boy she lived in against the wall.
      The sleeping baby in the crook of her arm didn't stir.
      Sheila goggled at her, wishing for air.
      "Say anything you like about me, Auntie." Kelly spat, tone dangerous. "But keep your filthy mouth off my son."
      Another graceful move and she was walking again to the door.
      "Don't bother threatening me with the law. You got three warrants I know of." She dropped her worldly goods to the floor, opened the door, and retrieved them.
      She took her own parting shot. "And don't pretend you're kicking me out. The only reason you're pissed is that I wont be around to score dope for you. Lose some weight and maybe you can fuck for it yourself."

      She left the door wide open, just to be a bitch.


      Speak of the devil, Kelly complained to herself as she made her way down the rusting steel stairway outside her aunts apartment, and there he is.
      At the bottom, leaning indolently against his car, stood Deputy Sherrif Ronnie Kinsmore. As usual, the ghost of the old Kelly surfaced, judging every male she encountered via the arithmetic of the pillwhore: looks plus make and model of car divided by likelihood of holding dope.
      Ronnie wasn't a bad looking man, if you discounted the ever swelling beer gut and the beady eyes. He had a decent build, was tall enough, and had a nice smile. When he smiled. Which wasn't often.
      She didn't have to wonder about the dope. Ronnie Kinsmore was king shit of the county when it came to that.
      But that didn't matter anymore. The baby in her arms had cured her of that.
      "Afternoon, Kelly." he said. "Off on a trip?"
      "Moving out." she said, trying her damndest to keep her tone neutral. "I got a job."
      He laughed. "Really? You?"
      Her eyes tightened. "Really. Me."
      "Lemme guess." he drawled. "Janitor at the pharmacy?"
      She bit back a nasty remark about his dick size. "Just a cashier, Ronnie. At Big Lots."
      "Classy." He turned his eyes to the baby. "How's the runt?"
      "His name is Sean. And he's fine. Why do you care?"
      Ronnie pretended hurt, placing his hand over his heart. "Why Kelly -- can't a daddy ask a simple question 'bout his own son?"
      Now she was getting pissed. "You may have shot some spunk, cop...but this boy is mine."
      He didn't argue, just looked her up and down, appraisingly. "Lord god, girl. You're still hot as a firecracker. Hell, even the baby weight left on you looks good. You never did have any tits."
      "You'll never see 'em again, Ronnie. So no worries, huh?" Where the hell was her ride? It wasn't like David to be late.
      "That so?" He eyed her for a second. "Look, I don't give a damn about the runt. But my mom is just dyin' to play granmaw. What say we let her babysit tonight and have a little fun?"
      She almost laughed. He couldn't be serious.
      He played his hole card. "Got a whole bottle of Oxy 80's. The pretty orange boys you like so much.
      And there it was. She damned herself because a traitorous little piece of her perked right up at the words. A nasty, degraded little piece of her that lived in her spine. The spine never forgets. she knew. Never ever.
      But Sean wiggled a little in her arms and made a bubbling happy noise. Case steel slammed down her spine, walling off the traitorous bit, choking it in determination.
      "Fuck you." she said, and thanked god because she heard David's car rumble at the turn and head for her.
      Ronnie straightened up. He couldn't let the public see him nonchalantly chatting with a pillwhore.
      "Still seeing that little faggot?" he asked.
      Dave stopped a few yards away and waved at her out the driver's window.
      She turned to go. "He's not a faggot."
      "He writes poetry for fucks sake."
      "And he fucks like a God, buddy."
      "This ain't over."
      "Yes. It is." She hurried for the car.
      "We'll see about that!" followed her.
      She didn't turn and look.

      They were almost to Dave's house before she let herself cry. As usual, he just patted her shoulder and let her go. He knew she would dry up in a minute or two.
      When she did, she hugged him clumsily and kissed him on the cheek.
      "Better?" he asked.
      "Yes. But I want an hour with the swords before I have to go to work. Will you keep Sean occupied?"
      "Of course, grasshopper." he said in the fake Asian voice that wasn't very good but always cracked her up.

      She'd met David when she was four months pregnant and only twenty days clean. She had been miserable and sick and scared.
      He had just moved to town, from down South, and they met at a church. She was there to suffer through another rehab session for expectant mothers. He was there to listen to the choir.
      Unlike almost every other guy she'd known, he didn't hit on her. He didn't make slick little comments. He didn't stare at her ass.
      He talked to her. Really talked to her, about things she hadn't known she was interested in until he brought them up.
      And he'd introduced her to the swords.
      "It's called kendo." he told her. "It's like a combination of martial arts and ballet."
      "My granddad has swords kind of like these." she told him.
      "Really?"
      "Yeah. Brought them home from Japan after World War II."
      He raised his eyebrows and how she'd loved the light in those eyes. "Damn. Probably not like these then. These are Pakistani steel replicas. I'd love to see them some day."
      She'd sighed. "My grandad is weird. Lives in the mountains by himself with a bunch of dogs. Hates everybody. I haven't seen him in ten years. He might be dead."
      He'd shown her the basic moves and let her go, claiming she had the perfect body for it. She didn't know if that was true or not, but was certain of one thing: dancing with the blades was better than rehab. Two weeks later she quit the classes, but still sometimes went with David to hear the choir.
                 A month after that -- torn by hormones and self doubt -- she'd foolishly accused him of being impotent because he hadn't even tried to sleep with her. To a 22 year old woman who had been fighting off the advances of men since menarche, this seemed an insult.
                 He'd shook his head and handed her a sheet of paper. In very careful handwriting, she read the first poem he'd ever written for her:

Only the moon was high
the first night I saw you.
Wrapped there in her light
you seemed to gleam.

You are all angles
knife edges
facets.
My lady
of
blades.

          "There's more to love than sex, silly." he told her while she sobbed.





Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: George Potter on January 12, 2007, 11:04:26 pm

So this morning I decide to clean my keyboard. It stops working completely. Sigh.

My cousin Bob came to the rescue, sent me a very nice Memorex MX5200 via his mom.

(Yes, I saw the many offers of keyboards on the other thread and appreciate them. But the shipping would have probably been close to what a new one would cost. Thanks much anyway, folks. :) )

The only writing I got done today was some work on the novel outline. It's funny how many 'hexes' you can work into a concept when you try. Structural, personal, geographical, metaphysical, mystical...:P

Gonna stay up late and try to play catchup.

My, this keyboard makes a nice clicky sound! :D
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: Harleqwin on January 16, 2007, 08:16:08 pm
Awaiting with bated breath am I.

and you've given me a mite scarier walk home tonight.  Ice and snow are bright though.
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: George Potter on January 16, 2007, 09:08:00 pm

Having some problems keeping the characters seperated in my own head -- even though none of them are at all similar.

I 'finished' Chapter Two, but I'm not happy with it at all. Something about it doesn't hang together right -- and a big thing is I haven't yet managed to work Mr_Slip into it, and he has to be there -- he's the only connective tissue in Book I. It's also sad as hell and pretty damned bloody.

Jumped ahead and wrote chapters Five and Six. And most of three. There's also a certain amount of research that has to be done for later on in the book. I'm going to need geographic and historical detail for the Southwest. Any volunteers raise your hands now.

I guess what I'm saying is: this is freakin' harder than I thought it would be! :P

I'm still having fun, though.

I'm going to work tonight and in the morning on the rest of chapter two. Even if I'm not happy with it, I'm gonna post it. Wednesday of the week is my deadline, and I'm determined to stick to it.

Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: Jac on January 17, 2007, 09:05:08 am
Jumped ahead and wrote chapters Five and Six. And most of three. There's also a certain amount of research that has to be done for later on in the book. I'm going to need geographic and historical detail for the Southwest. Any volunteers raise your hands now.
:hello:
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: Rarick on January 17, 2007, 11:23:35 am
This reminds me of Orson Scott Card, and his 7th son series.  You've got a good concept by the tail, work it.  It reminds, you definately have a very different way with stuff like this.  I can feel new brain cells knitting and stretching with the concepts you work with- good thing- it is one of the reasons I read so much.

It has been years since I have seen a unique and good new story angle, and I think you got it.
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: George Potter on January 17, 2007, 09:06:03 pm
Kelly had her baby and found her job and moved out. Some part of her expected that her life would mellow out after that. She had given up the things that had ruined her life so far. Was the hope that the rest of it might run smoothly too much to ask?
      Apparently so.

      She finished her hour with the blades and David offered to take her for ice cream. She didn't even bother to take a shower, since they only planned to be gone for a few minutes.
      Even years later she'll never remember exactly what went down from the time they left the house to the moment, days later, when she woke up in a strange bed.
      These are the things she remembered:

      Being stopped at a roadblock.
      Ronnie Kinsmores grinning devil-face.
      David being beaten.
      Ronnie Kinsmore prying Sean from her arms and telling her: "Should have played the game, bitch."
      David's head exploding like rotten fruit when two cops shove him at Ronnie, who draws and fires.
      Her own screams.
      Being beaten, being beaten for what seemed like hours.
      Running. In the mountains, through leaves and briars and bushes, up and down hills.
      Running.




      It was the dogs who found her. Four of them. Dogs that had never in their lives laid eyes or nose on her, yet smelled connection to their master on the deepest of levels. Sensed such a connection that three of them remained at uneasy guard duty while the fourth loped hellbent back to the den to report the news. News of an uncanny stranger in their woods.
      The old man was not amused at being roused from the rare deep sleep by all hell breaking out among  the dogs.       Fargo, the messenger, was both a runt and barely out of pup-hood -- low man on the pack totem pole. His excited arrival led to several fights as his betters reprimanded him for impertinence. Rather than the usual roll-over and submission, Fargo fought back angrily this time. He was, after all, on a mission from the Queen, to the Master.
      It was this disparity among his only friends that brought him limping out of the house to squint at the fracas in the afternoon sunshine.
      Fargo danced a crazed tango in front of him -- rushing into the woods, stopping, yelping like a fool, turning around and repeating the pattern.
      "OK, boy." the old man said, grabbing his walking stick and stopping by the rusting remains of his Chevy to snag a shotgun. "Hold your horses."
      Knowing his message was received, Fargo relaxed, in an unmistakable mood of mission accomplished. The old man had to laugh, looking at the bedraggled pit and lab mix grinning crazily at him. A few shallow but messy wounds adorned his head and face. The old man figured that Fargo had just moved up a rank or two in the hierarchy of the pack. There were no politics among dogs. Only actions and performance mattered. That was why he preferred their company.
      "Let's go!" he commanded, and the dogs were on their feet, fanning out in formation around him in seconds.
      His suspicions were confirmed.
      They let Fargo lead.

      Haylie, Queen bitch of this side of the mountain, sits regally by the unconscious girl. Bolo and Katie, two of her underlings, wander the area, ears and noses alert to possible danger and for the approach of the Master.
      Only Haylie notices the  other guardian; the one with no scent or presence beyond the crackling thereness that burns behind her eyes. The other guardian hovers close to the girl, surrounding her with its invisible power.
      She doesn't fear it, because it means no malice. It simply pours love and concern for the strange woman bleeding in her territory.
      Before the sun has reached midpoint in the sky, the master arrives, bringing the rest of her pack. He gives her only a cursory acknowledgment before turning to the stranger. Haylie sees, in his eyes, that their instincts were correct: this is no stranger to the master.
      "Lordie god, child." the Master whispers in a tone foreign from his mouth. "What mess have you gotten your self into now?"

      Kelly woke up, days later, bruised and bandaged, and thirstier than she'd ever been in her life.
      That first day was a confusing rush of hours; of blurred light and shadows, of familiar voices and the smell of dogs. The voice, gentle yet insistent, gave her water in small delicious sips. It fed her thin soup in the same fashion.
      She spoke only one word that day. "David." and failed to cry, body unable to spare the liquid for a luxury like tears.
      I'm here, baby. her lying mind said in David's voice. Right here with you.
      She knew it was a lie, but let it comfort her anyway. She didn't have anything else, drifting in the black.

      When she finally regained true consciousness, she did so in a blink. She opened her eyes. The world was bright and fuzzy, but unmistakably there. Real.
      She was too weak to move more than her head. She lifted it slightly, wondering what the weight on her feet might be.
      At the foot of the bed, grinning madly at her, was the ugliest dog she'd ever seen. It's lolling tongue protruded from a blunt, oddly colored face. It's stumpy body boasted fur the color of rust. One ear was longer than the other.
      It had a cute smile, though -- despite the insanity.
      Noticing that she was awake, it started wagging it's stubby tail. The motion made a thumping whisper against the quilt. It cocked its head and uttered a single, low 'whoof'.
      The door to the room opened and the old man walked in, slowly. He didn't so much limp as aggravate his way through space. He sat down beside the dog and sighed.
      "You're awake then." he said.
      "Yeah. Guess so." she replied. Her voice was thick and mushy.
      The old man produced a pen knife and a small block of wood. Arthritic fingers began to do impossibly convoluted things with wood and blade.
      "I see you met Fargo. He's both the ugliest and smartest dog I got. Trust him to be the one to get all addlepated at the first pretty face that showed up."
      A pause.
      "Ain't no SWAT team showed up. No helichoppers flew over." he said, as if discussing the weather. "I figure that means either you ain't running from anything too bad or you covered your tracks. Which is it?"
      "It means they think I'm dead."
      The old man nodded. "Best track cover there is. And the way you were when I found you, they wasn't far wrong."
      She managed to lift herself up a bit. She was rewarded with a stab of pain from head to spine and a slightly better view. The old man ignored her. The ugly dog looked concerned.
      "You're my granddad."
      "I reckon so."
      "Thanks for taking me in."
      The old man laughed, and spared her a smile. "They say all chickens eventually come home to roost. I've found that to be true with everything from automobiles to love letters. Never figured family was any different."
      She painfully raised herself up even further. The dog slapped a paw over her, telling her to stop. Don't push it, lady. those big brown eyes reprimanded.
      Kelly grinned at him, and settled back. "I won't be here long." she told her grandfather.
      He continued to whittle. "Got plans, do you?"
      "They have my son. I'm gonna get him back."
      "Is that all you plan on gettin'?" The knife blade silently tossed slivers from the block to the floor.
      "No." she whispered.
      "Revenge." the old man said.
      "Revenge." she agreed.
      He finally looked at her. His eyes held true curiosity. "Was he a good man?"
      Tears finally came to her, burning a passage down her cheeks. "The best." she said.
      He nodded. And stood up, blade and block disappearing into the pocket of his coat.
      "Then I'll help." He straightened up. "You rest today. Tomorrow get up for breakfast. We'll start then."
      He left the room.
      She let the tears come until they stopped. No one saw but Fargo, who didn't mind.

      David was right. Her granddad's swords were nothing like the kendo blades.
      "They're not Japanese." he told her, as she experimented with them. "Made in that style, sure enough. But that writing on the side isn't Japanese. Nobody can tell me what sort of writing it is."
      She was in the front yard and he sat on the front porch, in a lawn chair, puffing contently on a pipe.
      "They can't tell me what sort of metal that is, either."
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: George Potter on January 17, 2007, 09:09:31 pm
The writing was peculiar. Runic, the David voice says in her mind. The metal is gray and flat. It doesn't reflect light. In fact, it seems to eat the light.
      The swords weigh almost nothing, but can cut through other metal. They can shave slices from an iron girder like her grandad's pen knife shaves wood.
      She likes them.
      She starts learning to use them. 

      Two months.
      Every day, from dawn till dark, she practices with the blades. She learns their desires and needs; they way they want to move. The ways that they want her to move.
      Movement defines desire, desire precedes movement. In this unbreakable loop she dances.
      Two months.
      Then the dream comes.


      In the dreams she climbs her granddad's mountain. She knows that at the top someone is waiting on her.
      She reaches the summit and looks around. She sees no one at first, then:
      A glimmer. The faint outline of a man.
      "David?" she asks, hoping.
      "Not yet." comes the ghostly voice.
      Sadness rises in her. She fights it down.
      "Who are you?"
      The phantom clarifies a bit. He's tall and skinny; this she can tell despite the fact that he's sitting in lotus position, attention focused on something in his lap.
      "Call me Mr. Slip." he says. "Call me the middleman."
      He flares then, shuddering into and out of reality. He types furiously at what she realizes is a computer in his lap:
      "Signal is faint. Let me see if I can amp it a bit..."
      She feels frozen. Moments pass like ice ages. Then...
      Mr. Slip reaches out a hand.
      "He's ready to talk."
      She hesitates, then lunges for the offered hand.
      Touch. Strange electricity pulses through her. Mr. Slips vague features melt and boil in a silver chaos.
      David stands before her, holding her hand. Smiling at her.
      "Told you I wouldn't leave you."
      "I saw you die." she whispers.
      "More to death than being gone, grasshopper."
      She laughs, like always, brushing tears away with her free hand.
      "Are you ready?"
      With dream-reason she knows what he's asking. If she's ready to go get Sean. If she's ready for revenge.
      It's like lust in her, those desires.
      "Yes."
      "Sean is the important thing." David tells her, forever practical.
      "Of course." she agrees. "But the two are so interlinked. It's impossible to separate them now."
      David sighs, a spectral sound. "We're setting out on a strange path, baby. Are you ready for that?"
      She grips his hand as tight as she can. "I'm ready for anything. As long as you and Sean are with me."
      He nods. "Sean is at his father's house. He's fine as far as that goes. He misses his mother."
      He's fading. "Look for that guy. That Mr. Slip guy. He's...important. He knows things. Will you do that?"
      "Yes."
      "Then wake up." David says, and slips inside her...

      She did, tossing the covers aside in annoyance.
      She dressed in front of the mirror. Skinny blond girl, not tall, not short. She thinks she saw a glimmer to her skin. She can feel David deep inside her.
      She took the swords and headed outside. She wasn't surprised to see Fargo waiting for her.
      "Can you keep up?" she asked him.
      Hell, lady -- I'll lead! those brown eyes and that mad grin told her.
      And he did.

      Ronnie Kinsmore lived in a large house on the other side of the mountain from her granddad's hole in the wall. Fargo led her there via secret dog trails. She had no trouble keeping up. Her muscles seemed on fire with energy, lit by the power of her desire for revenge, blazing with love for her son.
      They arrived at two minutes past midnight, stopping on the top of a small rise that afforded a good view of the house.
      Every light in the place blazed into the night, music blared and she could hear drunken laughter throbbing beneath the heavy bass signature.
      Ronnie was having a party, it seemed. The driveway was packed with cars: police cruisers mostly.
      My son is in that madhouse she thought, and the fury threatened to choke her. She took a deep breath and forced it down, forced calm into her muscles.
      Then she slipped from the rise and made her way to the house.
      Do this top down, instinct told her. She agreed.
      It's easier than anything, climbing the drainpipe to the second story window.
      
      Angie Duran shivered violently on the bed. Before her stood a ghost. A ghost she'd just watched kill three men with a pair of swords that fucking glowed.
      The guys had got a few licks in, but it had really been no contest. The ghost didn't even appear to be fighting.
      It looked like she was dancing.
      "K..K...Kelly?" she finally said. "You're 'sposed to be dead."
      Kelly stared at her, swords at her side.
      "Where is my son, Angie?"
      Angie swallowed. She was stoned out of her mind. What had been a pretty good party had went south mighty fast. But something told her not to lie to this ghost.
      "Ol' lady prolly has him downstairs." she said.
      Kelly nodded.
      "Put your clothes on and hide, Angie." the ghost told her. "That's your best chance if you want to live.
      And then she was gone.

      "Give me my son and I won't kill you." she repeats.
      She sees Bedelia Kinsmore passed out in a recliner beyond the knot of cops staring at her, her son squirming on top of her. She sees various pillwhores and hangers on abandoning the house like rats from a ship. She sees Ronnie Kinsmore's ugly face reacting badly.
      She sees Ronnie go for his gun.
      The swords decide for her. The runes flare, and she is in motion.
      Dancing, turning, movements performed before she thinks of them -- into the cops who become a gory mess of severed limbs and torn open throats.
      It lasts less than six seconds.
      None of them even get a gun out.
      Bedelia is awake, staring at her. Staring at the skinny blond wraith standing atop a pile of meat that used to be men. The swords hum with blue fire, dripping blood that boils from their metal. Unknown energy arcs between them.
      "What are you?" she whispers.
      My lady of blades David whispers to her, deep in her heart.
      "Sean Glynnis' mother." she tells the terrified woman.
      She sheathes the swords. She reaches for her son.
      Bedelia Kinsmore hands him over, trembling violently.
      She holds him, ignoring everything. Ignoring Angie Duran's half naked form running past her and out the open door. Ignoring Bedelia following her example.
      She holds her son and everything is allright. At least for the moment.
      One blessed moment.

      She goes through the cops wallets without a single misgiving. She finds three thousand dollars among them.
      On Ronnie she finds the two other things she needs. The keys to his Mazda and a Zippo lighter.

      She packed the car quickly, the way she did everything now. She took only essentials -- mostly stuff for the baby.
      In three rooms - one upstairs and two down -- she lit fires with the Zippo. Curtains, a bed, a closet full of clothes.
      The three grand she separated. Two thousand hidden in a tear under the back seat upholstery. Five hundred in her bra. Five hundred in the left front pocket of her jeans.
      The swords went under the driver's seat, arranged so that they were ready at a moment. Even that close, her hand itched for them.
      "Load up, Fargo." she said, opening the back door. He complied happily. She was proud of him. He'd left the fight to her but stayed close. He settled in and stared at her with devotion. He didn't care where they were going, only that they went together.
      The last thing she did was strap Sean into the passenger seat. Her son smiled at her and grabbed for her. He giggled.
      She smiled back and felt the same as Fargo. But she knew where she was going. Or at least the direction.
      West, David whispered in her head.
      "West." she agreed, and cranked the car.
      Behind her, Ronnie Kinsmore's house burned, a battle over and done with.
      She headed for the horizon, and the war just begun.
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: George Potter on January 17, 2007, 09:11:37 pm

Still not happy with Chapter Two, but tired of fucking with it. I'll revise it later.
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: ShortyDawkins on January 17, 2007, 10:54:32 pm
Looking REAL good, gloryroad. Keep her coming. Love it all. Intense doesn't hardly begin to describe it.

Shorty
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: George Potter on January 17, 2007, 11:05:36 pm

I ended up cutting out most of the gore. It seemed gratuitous.

I put the dog in for Claire. :P

This chapter needs a polish. It's overlong as it is, and I gave short-shift to both Kelly's grand-dad and her and D.'s relationship. I suppose I can dwell on those aspects in later chapters, but that seems clumsy.

It seems that a big theme of this book is that people don't get to abuse the innocent and peaceful lightly. That's what fighting The Crumbler is all about: fighting back against injustice.

Next up Chapter 3: Shotcaller.
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: ShortyDawkins on January 17, 2007, 11:09:11 pm

I ended up cutting out most of the gore. It seemed gratuitous.

I put the dog in for Claire. :P

This chapter needs a polish. It's overlong as it is, and I gave short-shift to both Kelly's grand-dad and her and D.'s relationship. I suppose I can dwell on those aspects in later chapters, but that seems clumsy.

It seems that a big theme of this book is that people don't get to abuse the innocent and peaceful lightly. That's what fighting The Crumbler is all about: fighting back against injustice.

Next up Chapter 3: Shotcaller.

Nothing wrong with going back to the beginning of, or an early moment of, a relationship. I presumed we'd find out more about Kelly and Grand-Dad later.
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: UnReconstructed on January 18, 2007, 10:56:27 am
My God.....to say you can write is like saying that Michaelangelo could paint........

You write like a razor.

Dude, you raise the hackles on the back of my neck........

Wonder if you would consider putting back just a little of the gore........like slicing Ronnie up a bit..........We (the readers) already hate him.....give us a little satisfaction......

Edited to say:

Please?
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: Pagan on January 18, 2007, 04:18:31 pm
UnReconstructed:
Quote
You write like a razor.

Well put...
Slash, slash. Bleed, bleed.

The only bandaid is to publish it. We'll all buy it if nobody else does.
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: George Potter on April 06, 2007, 10:29:58 pm
Chapter 3: Shotcaller
[/size][/i]


      Kevin Forrest, sometimes known as Mr. Slip, stepped through the door of Kendlewood's Used Goods ("More Good Than Used!" the sign promised cheerily) and sucked in a lungfull of moderately conditioned air.
      The perspiring fat man behind the counter glanced up lazily from his afternoon reading and eyed Kevin blankly.
      "That cat can't come in here." he decided, after thinking it over a moment.
      Kevin favored him with his best smile. "What cat?" he asked, as he felt the tremor that meant Cat had sidestepped into and out of the Howling, long enough to slip into a glamour.
      "That..." fat man said, even beginning to point. The absolute lack of a cat disgruntled him. He shook it off. "Sorry, man." he said. "Heat and boredom. Gets to a fella."
      Kevin nodded sagely, as the counter gargoyle went back to his reading. Cat wandered the place at will, looking for stuff to piss on probably, now that the essential rudeness of the proprietor had been revealed.
      "Got any computer stuff?" Kevin asked. The fat man's head creaked back up, almost painfully.
      "In the back." he admitted. "T'be honest...mostly junk."
      "No worries." Kevin told him, wandering towards the vague direction of 'back', past rows of books and racks of clothes; lonely electrical appliances silently bemoaning their once proud status as birthday and wedding gifts. The usual deitrus that collected in junk stores the world over.
      To call the bedraggled collection of computer bits and pieces cobbled along two wooden shelves 'junk' was an insult to the word. 'Trash' suited a bit better.
      Didn't have to be much though -- the rate he was going through them these days demanded disposables. Channeling that little lovers embrace the night before had did his last one in. Slagged it, actually.
      He finally found a prospect. The requisite was a USB slot -- everything else was gravy.
      The battered little laptop had seen better days, no doubt abut that. He laid a hand on it, and read its specs:
      P-333, CD drive worked, 2 gig hard drive (which was pushing the low end, but he could modify), 128 megs of slow ass RAM that he'd have to tweak to hell and back.
      But the USB functioned, and that was all that mattered.
      He toted it up to the counter and popped it before the gargoyle.
      "How much?"
      The gargoyle eyed the little laptop sullenly. "Don't got no battery," he said "but you might be able to find an adapter in the pile." He pointed to a rather scary looking box of entwined and knotted power cords and adapters at the edge of the counter.
      Kevin shuddered. "No need. Got all the power I need."
      Gargoyle shrugged. "5 bucks?" he asked rather than stated.
      Kevin nodded, and dug the bill from his wallet.
      As he was leaving, the counter gargoyle sniffed the air and asked, to no one in particular, "Is that cat piss?"
      Kevin felt the invisible brush against his leg as the door open, smiled, and said nothing.
   
      Atlanta was lousy with parks, and it was no trouble to find a shady nook in one of the many. Lunch time was over, and the well kept stretch of grass and ornamental hedges was deserted.
      Cat wandered the environs, bemoaning the lack of vermin to behead, as Kevin prepped his laptop.
      He flipped the screen open and popped the gig stick into the USB slot. The static charge of connection to the little trapped pocket of the howling raised the hair on the back of his neck and caused the longer strands on his head to sway in suspicion. On the gigstick, reduced to six sided runecode, denizens of the Howling cast beady eyes on a new interface.
      The screen lit, a baleful pulsating red. After a moment, it flashed to black and the familiar-but changed stylized logo bled through the LCD in luminous pixels: 'Inferno Inside.'
      Kevin shook his head, chuckling. The more intelligent of the Howling creatures -- the imps and furies especially -- found it endlessly amusing that most humans thought they were demonic creatures with an interest in their souls. Nothing could be further from the truth. They didn't have much interest in timespace in general. The idea of wasting time and energy tempting humans to corruption -- something humans needed no help with -- was the most boring prospect imaginable. They did have a rather mean spirited sense of humor, though, and their endless teasing of Kevin was an aspect of that.
      What they did find fascinating about the material universe -- and the humans that inhabited it -- were machines. The tools that humans designed and created were viewed as crude but filled with potential.
      They swarmed the laptop and began re-designing it, from the molecular structure up. Kevin felt it heat and shiver in his hands as the higher-energy lower planar creatures did complex things to its inner workings. After a few minutes, the screen shut down and repowered -- now drawing energy from the ambient charge of the pocket dimension.
      Cat gave up her habitual hunt in disgust. She retired beneath the bench for a nap.
      The 'puter booted, the runic OS installing quickly from the gigstick, dumb daemons (imp servants, created for specific tasks) preparing  and setting up the build saved microseconds before the last box had been destroyed.
      Kevin's desktop appeared before him. A blinking icon at the bottom of the screen indicated that he had several messages waiting.
      He logged on through the ethersocket that had -- minutes before -- been a 56k modem. The ethersockets bandwidth was limited only by the heat threshold of the chips that had been jury-rigged to receive and transmit substrate signal.
      The Howling Messenger popped into life, a long list of offline messages appearing even before the user list had initiated.
      Kevin sighed. All but one was from Dollgurl98. Marie Jensen, who was working on a scarily massive crush. Most of the messages where variations on 'R U There?' The rest were links to her profile picture, that she had changed three times since they'd started talking. He clicked on the latest one, and smiled at it. Marie was a pretty little thing: dark haired, with big-blue eyes, and a cherubs face. A beautiful woman lay coiled beneath the child's face. He avoided telling her anything like this, knowing it would simply make the crush deeper and more painful in the end.
      It was understandable, he admitted. For her entire life Marie had been subject to bizarre and frightening phenomenon that she could neither explain nor ask for advice about. He had come along, out of the blue, and not only knew about the weight on her shoulders but helped her to deal with it.
      It was still annoying, though.
      He glanced at the user list. She was on; more than likely waiting impatiently at computer lab, since school would be in session. It had taken him days of convincing to get her to spend part of the Douglas money on a functioning laptop for her personal use.
      No sense putting it off, he told himself.

Hiya Marie. :)

KEVINNNNNNNN!!!!! :) :) :)

How are you today?

Same old. Bored. U???

A little tired. Still traveling.

Awwww. *hugs*

S'ok. I like the new pic.


      There was a pause. He gave her a second, then prompted:

What's the matter?

I used more of that money. 2 buy a camera. :(


      He sighed. It was a battle to get her to understand that the guilt she felt over the money was not important. That she was caught up in a vast and ancient series of events that she had no control over. The money would have came to her somehow, was -- in fact -- a gift from an ally. That the doll thing tried to use it to corrupt her was beside the point.

Marie...

And I put some in Momz purse. 4 bills. I feel baaaaaaad. :(

...stop feeling bad. We don't have time for it.


      A change of subject was needed.

How are things toy-related?

Quiet. No sound 4 days. Is it dead u think?

Nah. It's not really alive.

I have it in a shoebox under my bed. I tied it in the knots like u told me.

Good.

Is it really part of me? :(


      She detested that thought, he knew. The 'doll' was a physical evocation of Marie's vast gift. He'd never encountered a more powerful natural witchkin. The Enemy had been manipulating that latent power for years.

Not the bad parts. :)

:) Hey...when u gonna be back here???


      Oh, lord.

When I round up the others. Might take a while. I told you.

:( I know.


      He could almost hear the dramatic little girl sigh.

Marie, I gotta go.

:(

But I'll be on tonight about 8 your time. We can chat for a while, k?

:) K. Class is almost over ne way. U promise ur gonna be on 2night?

Yes. I promise.

K! :) Byeeee!

Bye. :)

*smooooch* Love ya!


      ...and she quickly logged off. With his heightened connection through the Howling he could feel the burn of her blush and her own thrill at being so daring.
      He blushed himself, groaning into his hands. He expected complications, but the idea of breaking the heart of a sweet little kid who also happened to be one of the most powerful witchkin in human history engaged both sympathy and fear.
      He was used to problems. He was used to being the one in the crowd who knew the most. The shotcaller, the plan maker. But this called for tact, gentleness, and empathy.
      "God help me." he whispered.

      
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: George Potter on April 06, 2007, 10:33:02 pm
Compared to checking on Marie, discovering the status of Kelly Glynnis was simple. It took more effort but was happily free of emotional minefields.
      He pulled up Google and adjusted his breathing, letting trance take him, but barely.
      Search terms danced from his fingers. Some were English, some Latin, some ancient, forgotten languages. A few were languages no human had ever spoken. The human web and the pulsing matrix of the Howling meshed and mated.
      Google, with its sublime integration of most of the web, made his work much easier. It was, in fact, one of the few human artifacts that actually impressed the Howling denizens. They considered the human users ignorant of its potential, but admired its shape and structure.
      He was not limited, like most, to information entered. The daemons were privy to emotions and memories that clung to that information like ghost fire.
      Twenty minutes later, boiled down and deduced from countless thousands of MySpace pages, blog entries, forum posts, chat remnants and the psychic mist they accrued, the search brought him a clear and vibrant picture of Kelly Glynnis from this very morning.
      She sat on the hood of her car, by the side of the highway, sipping a cup of coffee. Fargo lay happy at her feet. Sean slept the sleep of the innocent in his car seat. Kelly herself watched the sunrise with moist eyes and a slight smile.
      Damn. She's beautiful. he thought, feeling something in his soul turn over. He cursed out loud. The distraction wavered the image behind his eyes and it faded. It was seared into his memory, though.
      He sighed, coming fully to the world. Cat emerged from beneath the bench, yawning. She stared up at him with impatience. Can we go somewhere with prey, now?
      The beautiful image lingered with him for a few moments. He didn't need to complicate this, damn it. Kelly Glynnis as ally would be more than problematic enough. Kelly Glynnis as anything more -- as distraction from the dangerous structure he was building, and its purpose -- could get them all killed.
      Hell. It seemed there were emotional minefields there. Maybe, in an endeavor such as this, they were unavoidable.
      He closed the laptop and stood. He smiled at Cat. "Come on, savage beast. We're headed north."
      Something, someone, was stirring in Chicago. He'd been following the first signs of it for the past week. It was time to take a closer look.

      He was out of the park entrance, and making smooth tracks down the sidewalk when he passed the homeless man. Atlanta was a good city for the homeless, it seemed. They drifted everywhere.
      Through layers of grime and frazzled beard, this one managed a smile.
      "Could I trouble you for some change, son?"
      Kevin stopped. He'd been the beneficiary of kindness too many times in his life not to pay it back when the opportunity arose. He returned the smile, digging into his front pocket where he'd left a couple of singles.
      The homeless man's arm shot out, trapping his hand in the pocket and nearly unbalancing him. His other  arm was burdened by the laptop.
      The bums smile had turned into a huge rictus grin. The rotting teeth grinding together so viciously that blood began to flow from the gums. His eyes were sunk and suddenly deepest red, pupils widened toward infinity.
      Kevin felt frozen in place by that stare. The bums grip was like a vise. He could feel skin and muscle bruising, hand already numbing from constricted blood flow. But he couldn't pull away. Couldn't speak. Couldn't breathe.
      His captors head suddenly cocked at an unnatural, agonizing looking angle. It -- whatever had taken possession of the poor man -- laughed without humor. The voice that emerged from it hurt.
      Idiot boy, collecting children and fools. Not satisfied to die alone? Must take an entourage to hell with you?
      Kevin concentrated, tried to force himself into motion. Failed.
      Killer of children and women and charmed fools. Idiot witch spawn playing with rituals you cannot comprehend.
      He could feel himself growing weak, and cold. The eyes seemed to sap his life. The voice shivered his soul into chaff and dust.
      Death is all that waits your Festival of Fools. Death is the only victory your ilk will ever claim. Death...
      And Kevin felt Cat climb with speed and grace up his back and onto his shoulder, drawing not a drop of blood. She tensed there and sprung, launching herself into the possessed mans face without pause or sound.
      Claws and teeth sank deep into that face. Kevin was released, and dropped to his knees, the entire world graying out before blood returned to his brain.
      When he looked up and managed to stand, Cat had the thing on the ground. It thrashed helplessly, squealing.
      Its face was torn. Cat hunkered over those tears. From the wounds it pulled the invading thing, like bloody smoke from its host.
      It took a few seconds. Cat leapt aside.
      The homeless man coughed and sputtered, terrified. He stared at Kevin in horror from his place on the sidewalk. He spasmed up, nearly fell back down, and ran away.
      Kevin watched him go, heart pounding. He started when he felt Cat brush against his leg. He stared down into her eyes for a moment. The gleamed with reflected sunlight that felt cold.
      "Thank you." he finally whispered.
      Cat ignored him. She began cleaning herself idly.
      When his heart calmed, and the hair on his neck finally consented to lay down, he shook off the fear and shock. Worse things were coming, he knew. Things to make that little encounter seem gentle in comparison.
      Death is all that waits your Festival of Fools, the thing -- the agent of The Crumbler -- had promised him. That was probably true.
      It didn't matter. It couldn't matter. The alternative was worse...and the pattern already forming.
                 There was no retreat.
      
                 Still shivering a little, he and Cat headed North,bathed in sunlight that no longer warmed them, towards a city with a soul, a ghost with a secret, and another facet in the pattern.



Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: Roy J. Tellason on April 07, 2007, 12:11:44 am
Whoa!

:-)
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: George Potter on April 07, 2007, 09:42:35 pm
Whoa!

:-)


I hope you mean 'Cool!' rather than 'Dude...please...stop.' :P

This thing is really starting to flow. I'm about 35k words in, which means I'm only 5k from OFFICIAL NOVEL LENGTH! :D Too bad this won't be a 40k novel. Looking to be at least 120k words...and that's if I cut down the character arcs of three of the six main chars. I hate to give short shift to any of them, but, like I told a friend, 'The world doesn't need another 1000 page 25lb libertarian tome!'

I was worried for a while that the dynamic would be on the mystical action, rather than character. But as soon as I got them all involved, weird things started happening...alliances and grudges formed, love triangles  happened, tangents got taken, hearts are set up to be broken.

The central dynamic appears to be between Kevin, Kelly, little Marie, and the ghost David. This is complicated by the fact that Kelly and David can't communicate without the aid of either Kevin or Marie. Marie may be a little kid, but remember back to that age and how intense a crush could be. Then remember that Marie may be the most powerful human on the face of the planet...

And, just as the State uses anger, fear, and prejudice to cement control, The Crumbler will use jealousy, hurt and distrust to its own ends.

One thing I know I need to work on is that Marie seems a bit too smart for 9 years old. I'd like peoples opinion on this: should I increase her age a couple of years, add detail on the fact that she's a very intellectually gifted child, or try to rewrite her 'younger'?

Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: Roy J. Tellason on April 07, 2007, 11:56:56 pm
Whoa!

:-)


I hope you mean 'Cool!' rather than 'Dude...please...stop.' :P

I do NOT want you to stop!  :-)  This stuff is at least as good as some of what I'd like of Stephen King's stuff (a fair amount of his stuff I didn't care for,  too much "gratuitous" in there).

Quote
This thing is really starting to flow. I'm about 35k words in, which means I'm only 5k from OFFICIAL NOVEL LENGTH! :D Too bad this won't be a 40k novel. Looking to be at least 120k words...and that's if I cut down the character arcs of three of the six main chars. I hate to give short shift to any of them, but, like I told a friend, 'The world doesn't need another 1000 page 25lb libertarian tome!'

No?

Quote
I was worried for a while that the dynamic would be on the mystical action, rather than character. But as soon as I got them all involved, weird things started happening...alliances and grudges formed, love triangles  happened, tangents got taken, hearts are set up to be broken.

The central dynamic appears to be between Kevin, Kelly, little Marie, and the ghost David. This is complicated by the fact that Kelly and David can't communicate without the aid of either Kevin or Marie. Marie may be a little kid, but remember back to that age and how intense a crush could be. Then remember that Marie may be the most powerful human on the face of the planet...

And, just as the State uses anger, fear, and prejudice to cement control, The Crumbler will use jealousy, hurt and distrust to its own ends.

I caught some of that...

Quote
One thing I know I need to work on is that Marie seems a bit too smart for 9 years old. I'd like peoples opinion on this: should I increase her age a couple of years, add detail on the fact that she's a very intellectually gifted child, or try to rewrite her 'younger'?

How much time have you spent around 9-year-olds?  They can be plenty smart sometimes.  I'll email you a little something directly...
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: Roy J. Tellason on April 08, 2007, 12:45:56 am
I'll email you a little something directly...


The email to the address that shows up here just bounced:

Quote
Diagnostic code: smtp;554 delivery error: dd Sorry your message to gpotter30@yahoo.com cannot be delivered. This account has been disabled or discontinued [#102]. - mta458.mail.mud.yahoo.com

Good thing I CC'd it to the other one I have here,  hopefully that'll work...
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: George Potter on April 08, 2007, 01:03:03 am
Quote

Good thing I CC'd it to the other one I have here,  hopefully that'll work...


Sheesh. I've been meaning to change that addy for weeks. I'm gonna do it RIGHT now.

Got it at gmail. Put a big ol' :) on my face. Marie just got some real life inspiration. Thanks, Roy.
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: Roy J. Tellason on April 08, 2007, 03:30:22 am
Quote

Good thing I CC'd it to the other one I have here,  hopefully that'll work...


Sheesh. I've been meaning to change that addy for weeks. I'm gonna do it RIGHT now.

Got it at gmail. Put a big ol' :) on my face. Marie just got some real life inspiration. Thanks, Roy.


I'm *so* glad you got it.  That one is a real inspiration,  she is...

Looking forward to the next installment,  when you get it here.
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: Jac on April 09, 2007, 11:47:21 am
Coming along very nicely, George. :mellow:
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: Joel on April 09, 2007, 12:28:22 pm
Loving this, George.  Very weird and evocative.  Unexpected things come at you from unanticipated directions, but always with just enough logic.

More, dammit!  Faster!  :whip2:
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: Bill St. Clair on April 09, 2007, 01:15:18 pm
Wow! Just... Wow!
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: Supertwist on April 09, 2007, 02:41:27 pm
Wonderful!  I've been eagerly waiting for more of this story and look forward to seeing where it goes.

One thing I know I need to work on is that Marie seems a bit too smart for 9 years old. I'd like peoples opinion on this: should I increase her age a couple of years, add detail on the fact that she's a very intellectually gifted child, or try to rewrite her 'younger'?

I think that children who deal with adversity early in life can exhibit more emotional maturity, especially if they are highly intelligent, so I like Marie as written.
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: Jac on April 09, 2007, 07:58:45 pm
I do have one question, though, George... where're the talking rabbits? :P
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: George Potter on April 09, 2007, 11:50:48 pm
I do have one question, though, George... where're the talking rabbits? :P

Stew and sammiges, of course. :D
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: George Potter on April 09, 2007, 11:59:57 pm
Loving this, George.  Very weird and evocative.  Unexpected things come at you from unanticipated directions, but always with just enough logic.

More, dammit!  Faster!  :whip2:

AGHHH! MY EYE!!!!

:P

Things get weirder. Chapter 4 brings the ghost of Carl Sandburg into play....Chapter 5 introduces a woman burdened with all of human knowledge seperated amongst multiple personalities...Chapter 6 rounds out our cast with a drifter who inherits a Freightliner semi powered by a banshee.

Then I stop messing around and get REALLY freaky! :D

I'm going to concentrate on finishing, cleaning up and polishing 4, 5, and 6 this week. They are in true rough draft form....chunks of writing with (NOTE: add more here) and 'Kevin turned and said "(Dialouge)"'.
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: Rarick on April 10, 2007, 12:10:36 am
Seriously twisted with enough self contained logic to make a certain amount of sense.  A definate requirement to adapt your world view, which makes one reasses the typical assumptions.  This is one of those "thinking reader's stories" that is good brain excersise(Sp? hate the word).

Good plot line building as well.
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: George Potter on April 10, 2007, 02:48:30 am
I let a friend read this earlier and she emailed me a bit ago. She enjoyed it and said she was 'hooked'. She made a comment that I found quite interesting:

Quote
As ignorant as I (and most folks I know) am about computers, this could actually be how they work.

I may well have tapped into an interesting set of submerged superstitions here. :D
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: Roy J. Tellason on April 10, 2007, 03:20:04 am
I let a friend read this earlier and she emailed me a bit ago. She enjoyed it and said she was 'hooked'. She made a comment that I found quite interesting:

Quote
As ignorant as I (and most folks I know) am about computers, this could actually be how they work.

I may well have tapped into an interesting set of submerged superstitions here. :D


My sweetie,  OTOH,  has this whole theory about "the little computer people" that live in there...
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: Joel on April 10, 2007, 10:37:57 am
I let a friend read this earlier and she emailed me a bit ago. She enjoyed it and said she was 'hooked'. She made a comment that I found quite interesting:

Quote
As ignorant as I (and most folks I know) am about computers, this could actually be how they work.

I may well have tapped into an interesting set of submerged superstitions here. :D


Ah, yes.  The IFM* Principle.  Automatic transmissions use it, too.  Unfortunately the publishing industry seems to use a version right out of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.






* It's Fucking  Magic
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: Lazarus Long on April 12, 2007, 12:33:44 am
...like I told a friend, 'The world doesn't need another 1000 page 25lb libertarian tome!'

"The world" can bite me.

What you've written clearly transcends "libertarian."

As Mae West said, too much of a good thing can be wonderful.

1000 pages of true and vivid dreaming... quit makin' me slaver.




Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: George Potter on April 12, 2007, 02:16:49 am
...like I told a friend, 'The world doesn't need another 1000 page 25lb libertarian tome!'

"The world" can bite me.

May be fairer to say: I look upon the prospect of writing a thousand page novel with dread and Lovecraftian horror. I don't even like reading 1000 page novels! At a certain point even the most vivid of description and insightful charachterization begins to feel like filler. I'm shooting for 120,000 words. Based on my general pattern, I'll more than likely overrun that by at least 20%. We're looking at around 400 pages, give or take a few.

Quote
What you've written clearly transcends "libertarian."

I hope so, in the sense that a non-libertarian wouldn't notice anything all that peculiar about the way the characters act. But libertarian readers will be able to say: "This book is very libertarian in tone and philosophy." Individualism, self reliance, self defense and the concept of reciprocal justice will be big themes. Chaos equating to freedom in all its messy glory and Order to slavery in all its regimented 'safety' is an intentionally provocative paradigm shift from standard fantasy.







Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: the small one on April 12, 2007, 04:01:43 pm
Bravo!! And thank you for sharing this.  It's riveting!
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: asbestosman on April 13, 2007, 10:03:55 pm
Please sir may i have some more?

sheeite guy you can write!!! this story raised the hair on the back of my neck. when you get her published put me down for a copy.

don't try to dumb the kid down. she is more adult than some adult just through life experience.

just wondering what the tarot deck from this would look like? :huh:

so much potential in all the characters just waiting to jump out and grab the reader and give'em a good shake.

Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: George Potter on April 20, 2007, 07:03:50 pm

I keep meaning to clean up and finish the rough Chapters 4-6 (and the Interlude between Books I & II) but the novel has taken on its own life at this point and 'what happens next' seems more important.

Odd things keep happening. Kelly's grandpaw (and his pack o' dawgs) has become a much more integral character than I initially intended him to be. Most of the books 'outlaw philosphy' is emerging from his mouth -- so much so that I finally broke down and named him 'Wolf'. :P Marie is becoming a darker, scarier thing, a development I'm not real happy about but seem to have no say over, dammit.

From not having a defined villian (The Crumbler is more concept than character, of course) I've gone to having too damn many. Some are going to have to go bye-bye just for the sake of my sanity and pacing. The most important thing about the villain, and something I wrote on a note and stuck to the wall over my monitor is: THEY THINK THEY ARE THE GOOD GUYS. They only seem conventionally 'villainous' when they act through the real heros, like the Doll in Chap. 1.

Oh yeah -- and I broke 40k! Woohoo! :)


Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: George Potter on April 29, 2007, 12:49:36 am

In writing the rough draft, on a few occasions, I have been surprised by whole little scenes that pop out almost complete. Here is one such, from Chapter 19 - Quietude:






They sat in the moonlight, wary and waiting for something neither of them could explain. Kevin felt stiff and stupid, wired up with energy but surrounded by a field that slowed his movements like molasses.

He looked at her. She was watching the moon with dreamy eyes. Her profile reminded him of the moon in a way; a quartermoon. The pale skin reflected a cold loveliness that did the light it shifted a service. The brutal shortness of her hair still surprised him. Despite it's ragged pragmatism and rough hewn cut, it did not detract from her beauty. Instead, somehow, it accentuated it.

She sensed him staring at her and cocked her head at him. She smiled, lopsided and friendly. "What?"

He blushed, grateful to the dark for covering it. "Nothing." he said. Inspiration struck him. "It's too quiet out here is all." He made it a firm statement, firmer than he felt, and reached for his laptop. He busied himself with it. "Care for some music?"

Her smile widened and she drifted back to the moon, leaning back against the car with pleased languor.

"I'd love some music."

"Anything in particular?" He called up a huge list, scrolled through it idly.

"Surprise me." Her voice was soft, distracted.

He clicked the Random button, hoping for the best. As he sat the laptop on the car's hood, the first notes struck the air, the hexamped speakers producing quality far beyond their actual means. At the same time, his arm brushed hers. He felt her stiffen, go as rigid as a post.

"Sorry." he whispered, heart and stomach sinking.

"Lord." she whispered. "Oh, Lord. What is that?"

She meant the music, he realized. That was the cause of her reaction. Not his touch. Stupid relief flooded him. He was almost ashamed of it. Of the intensity. He was headed for trouble.

The short hairs on the back of her neck were standing at full attention. Even in the moonlight, he could see the gooseflesh grip her arm.

He smiled at the laptop. "Chopin." he said. "Opus 15, Number 3, to be exact." He listened for a moment, as the notes spiraled in the air around them, haunting and lovely and sad. "The Nocturne in G Minor'"

He stole a glance at her. She hadn't moved, and he was surprised to see her crying. Slow tears made their way from wide eyes.

"Do you like it?" he asked, wishing he could think of something more profound than such a simple question.

"Shut up and let me listen, please." she whispered, not unkindly. Her eyes closed, washing faster tears down her face.

They sat in the grip of the music for a moment. "It's beautiful." she finally whispered, as the track trailed off. "Like something you can't believe came from a person. Like something you'd think angels made."

Kevin found himself at a loss for words. He wanted to reach out and touch her, but held back. She remained stock still. As he was about to say something, anything, to fill the void, she looked at him.

"You know what the worst part of wasting your life as a drug fiend is?"

He pondered. He shook his head.

She sighed. "It's living in servitude to the base of your spine. Selling your body and soul as a slave to this one single, stupid sensation. When there is a whole world of sensations out there."

She took a breath, wiped her eyes, and continued.

"You lie to yourself, and say that it's the best sensation. You lie to yourself and say that it's the only sensation that matters. But that's just the base of the spine, those lies. That's just the whiphand of the slave master. It takes everything from you. And it gives you fucking nothing back." She almost growled this last. She broke off, and stared at the moon again for a moment. When she resumed, the anger was still there, but she had control of it.

"And all that time, all that awful wasted time, there are things like that." She nodded at the laptop. "Things that ask nothing and give so much." She was crying again, but she looked right at him and managed a little laugh.

"I wasted ten years of my life that I could have been listening to Chopin. To Chopin and God only knows what else." Her smile was unsteady, but genuine. "And that's the worst thing about being a drug fiend."

He considered saying something, but everything that came to mind seemed facetious. Instead, he simply hit play again. The music spiraled up. He held out his hand.

"Would you like to dance?" he asked.

She actually blushed, wiping her eyes again. "I can't dance." she said.

He remembered her among the mob of feds the day before, the perfect, deadly,  exacting motions almost too quick for the eye to follow, the holy song that thrummed from her, and begged to disagree. But he just said:

"Neither can I. So we're even."

She laughed, but she took his hand.

There in the road, they danced. Clumsily and sweetly, the way people dance when no one else is watching.

She smiled into his eyes. "Where I grew up, the church we went to, they called dancing a sin."

He laughed. "You hear all kinds of crazy stuff in churches." he told her.

"But why a sin?" she asked, moving a little closer as they spun slowly to the lilting notes.

He thought about it, never taking his eyes from hers. "Maybe...well, think about it." His hands moved up her back, cradling the line of her shoulder blades. She melted into the spin, and his arms, like honey.

"Dancing means touching. And moving. And hearts beating...a little faster." Was it his imagination or were there faces growing closer?

"It means remembering that your alive, and curious and..."

It wasn't his imagination. Their faces were closer. Kelly's cocked at an angle. Her eyes gleamed. Her voice was a whisper. "Yeah?"

His was as quiet. "And after that realization, anything might happen."

Her eyes closed slowly. She moved towards him.

"And that's why dancing is a sin." he managed before the kiss happened.

It lasted a nice long time.











Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: Vrsovice Rebel on April 29, 2007, 02:57:11 pm
Dayum, GR, that's good shit. Every time I read your work, I'm reminded of how far I have yet to come as a writer.
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: Joel on April 30, 2007, 10:34:05 am
Quote
"It means remembering that your alive, and curious and..."

It wasn't his imagination. Their faces were closer. Kelly's cocked at an angle. Her eyes gleamed. Her voice was a whisper. "Yeah?"

His was as quiet. "And after that realization, anything might happen."

Her eyes closed slowly. She moved towards him.

"And that's why dancing is a sin." he managed before the kiss happened.

It lasted a nice long time.

Sweet.  Spot-on pacing.

I can't wait to read this, dude.
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: Roy J. Tellason on April 30, 2007, 11:29:14 pm
Quote
"It means remembering that your alive, and curious and..."

It wasn't his imagination. Their faces were closer. Kelly's cocked at an angle. Her eyes gleamed. Her voice was a whisper. "Yeah?"

His was as quiet. "And after that realization, anything might happen."

Her eyes closed slowly. She moved towards him.

"And that's why dancing is a sin." he managed before the kiss happened.

It lasted a nice long time.

Sweet.  Spot-on pacing.

I can't wait to read this, dude.

I am rather looking forward to subsequent installments of it myself.  :-)

Every time I see this thread pop up in the "unread posts since last visit" listing,  I wonder if I have more of it to read or more comments on what's already been posted.  Oh well,  next time maybe?
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: George Potter on May 15, 2007, 01:34:51 am


The first/rough draft is DONE!  ^_^ ^_^ ^_^  It clocks in at just over 93,000 words. I'm estimating that second and third drafts will add a good 35,000-40,000 to it. But the skeleton and all the major scenes are there.

To be honest, I'm absolutely flabbergasted at how the fucking thing ended. I'm happy that there is no set up for any sort of sequel, though. All through the last 20 k I was afraid my brain was going to take the easy path and leave an out. Nope.

I plan on concentrating on finishing/polishing chapters 4-6 and getting them in postable form. I'm also going to have to go back over the first three chapters and make a few minor changes to match what the story evolved into as it progressed.

Then I'm gonna take a nice break from it and let it mellow.

Whew.

 :mellow:
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: Roy J. Tellason on May 15, 2007, 02:35:03 am
I'm looking forward to reading it,  when it gets here...
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: George Potter on May 16, 2007, 04:26:17 pm

Forcing myself to bang out 2000 or more words a day focused on a single story was an interesting experience and it taught me a lot about how my brain worked:

My brain is a sneaky, seditious, rebellious asshole.

For example, three times in the writing process I found myself thousands of words into completely unrelated short fiction. I generally didn't realize this until I was past the point of no return. While this annoyed me by slowing the novel-writing down, I must admit that all three stories are pretty damn good. They're also things I would never have written conciously and without the nebulous atmosphere of the novel in progress and its many strange themes and characters.

The longest (and best, IMO) veers scarily close to erotic fantasy. It would be erotic fantasy in fact, if not for the fact that I refuse to write sex scenes. Instead, The Queen Of Summer is something much better: a tale of loyalty, a paen to the wild summers of my youth, and a tribute to young people defying authority in an organic, deeply felt, utterly unplanned manner. Stylistically, it may be the best thing I've ever written.

The other two are more traditional horror stories. While I consider both clever, they'll be tossed to the back of the pile for polishing and tweaking.

While I may never conciously sit down to write another novel (the process, for the most part, was maddening. The continuity alone is going to take me months to sort out. Thankfully, I'll have help with that. :)), I might jump into the process again just for the framework to write more short fiction.

Onward to world domination! :D
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: Joel on May 16, 2007, 04:28:15 pm
Need an editor?  Do ya?  Huh? Do ya?
Title: Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
Post by: George Potter on May 16, 2007, 04:34:21 pm
Need an editor?  Do ya?  Huh? Do ya?

Got one, actually. The lovely Astoria (also the brilliant artist who designed the micropiece themed covers) volunteered a while back. She's worked with me before: turning The Liberators into a much tighter, focused piece than the original rambling draft.

Don't worry Joel: as soon as I get a complete 2nd draft (all dialouge added and all *add more* and *expand* notes followed) I plan on sending you, Claire, Bill, Plinker, Jac and a few others the full manuscript for critique and review. :)