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Author Topic: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides  (Read 14536 times)

ShortyDawkins

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Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
« Reply #15 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
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George Potter

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Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
« Reply #16 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.
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ShortyDawkins

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Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
« Reply #17 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.
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UnReconstructed

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Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
« Reply #18 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?
« Last Edit: January 19, 2007, 12:58:16 pm by UnReconstructed »
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Pagan

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Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
« Reply #19 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.
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George Potter

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Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
« Reply #20 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.

      
« Last Edit: April 06, 2007, 10:40:25 pm by Gloryroad »
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George Potter

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Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
« Reply #21 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.



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Roy J. Tellason

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Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2007, 12:11:44 am »

Whoa!

:-)
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George Potter

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Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
« Reply #23 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'?

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Roy J. Tellason

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Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
« Reply #24 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...
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Roy J. Tellason

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Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
« Reply #25 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...
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Member of the toughest, meanest, deadliest, most unrelenting -- and ablest -- form of life in this section of space,  a critter that can be killed but can't be tamed.  --Robert A. Heinlein, "The Puppet Masters"
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Information is more dangerous than cannon to a society ruled by lies. --James M Dakin

George Potter

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Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
« Reply #26 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.
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Roy J. Tellason

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Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
« Reply #27 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.
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Information is more dangerous than cannon to a society ruled by lies. --James M Dakin

Jac

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Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
« Reply #28 on: April 09, 2007, 11:47:21 am »

Coming along very nicely, George. :mellow:
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Joel

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Re: The Crumbler: Book I - Six Sides
« Reply #29 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:
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