Posted in Stories

WP: Out of Retirement

Little-Man-Ice-Cream-350x524The light of the television screen painted the tan carpet in a washed out blue strobe. There was no sound, closed captioning trying desperately to keep up with what was being spoken on the screen. Fire engines and police vehicles created a spectacle of lights in front of the giant vintage milk container that made up Little Man Ice Cream. Standing on top of the unique building, was a person crackling with electricity from head to toe.

“Daddy, that man sparkles.”

Joe Gatton glanced over at his daughter from the tiny kitchen where he prepared her favorite meal: Spaghetti O’s with mustard and pickles. Her mother ate that very same concoction while pregnant, smiling at Joe as she ate bowl after bowl of it right across from him at their tiny table. Now the only time Joe saw his wife was in pictures.

“Is he an angel, daddy?” Embry continued. Joe looked at the television, feeling his chest tighten.

What he saw was not the same thing his daughter saw. She did not see the danger standing atop Little Man Ice Cream. He knew what that thing was and it was no angel.

Denver was supposed to be a haven, a safe place away from people like the man on the television screen. The laws were still different state by state, city by city. Denver did not allow people like that inside their borders. Technically, they didn’t allow people like Joe.

“Come eat your dinner, Em,” Joe said, drawing his daughter’s attention away from the breaking news on screen. She happily complied. He kissed her cheek, setting the bowl of food down in front of her before changing the channel to cartoons. She watched while she ate, letting him slip back into his bedroom unnoticed.

He dug around his drawers and under-bed boxes until finding a small hand-held device oval in shape and bright white in color despite being in a dusty old corner for over five years. Joe shut his eyes, took in a deep breath, and pressed his thumb to the center of the oval.

“Recognized: Greenlight. Connecting you to PeaceKeeper Headquarters…”

The voice held a childish tone, accented in a British lilt, but also robotic. It was not a voice Joe ever thought he would hear again; a voice he didn’t want to hear again.

“WiFire; state your emergency, Greenlight,” said a woman with a heavy Russian accent. Her face popped up as a hologram from the oval device in his hand, her hair a bright electric blue.

“My emergency is that there’s an electric shit head standing on top of my favorite ice cream shop in Denver, WiFire. What gives? I had assurances that this place was safe.”

“There’s been complications,” she said by way of explanation. “Do you not watch television?”

“If NickToons counts as television, then yes, I watch that all the dammed time. My daughter is here, WiFire. Do you understand that? My daughter. There is a Stronghold not sixty miles north of here, dammit. Are they all on vacation??”

“Sixty-five miles,” WiFire corrected. “And there is no Stronghold in Fort-”

“Spare me! I know there is a Stronghold in Fort Collins!”

“No, there is not,” WiFire corrected again with a firmer tone in her voice and set jaw on her face. “The Strongholds were compromised. Many have been shut down or moved. The Secretary of Defense felt that it was not in the best interests of anyone to maintain a compromised posting within a military base. The Stronghold beneath Fort Collins has been destroyed.”

Joe was speechless. He felt his jaw drop open and knew that she could see his shock. Five years; he’d stepped away five years ago and never looked back, never once thought of his previous life until tonight.

“I am monitoring the activity in Denver now. There has been no damage. Without a name, I cannot track this particular Evolved, especially since your state has no database of Evolved.”

“Because they’re not allowed,” Joe nearly growled.

“I am aware,” WiFire replied calmly. “I am transmitting the situation to-”

“Let me talk to Karma,” Joe interrupted again with a heavy sigh.

“I am afraid that is not possible,” WiFire answered making Joe frown and glare at the blue-haired woman in the hologram call. “Karma is no longer in PeaceKeeper Headquarters. He is in Spain.”

“Spain,” Joe repeated with heavy annoyance on his voice.

“Daddy!”

He looked up, tucking the device behind his back. He kicked the under-bed box back into its spot with his foot and stood quickly. Embry bounded into his room with her empty bowl, red sauce and mustard all over her face.

“All done! Can I have a cookie?”

“Yeah, baby, uhm, just give daddy a second and I’ll get you a cookie. Put your bowl in the sink.”

“K!” Embry said, spinning around with her pigtails flying through the air as she ran back out to the kitchen. Joe watched her, feeling his chest tighten again and his stomach twist itself up in knots. No one was coming to help them, it didn’t matter what WiFire did or didn’t do, who she transmitted the situation to or not. He knew what the PeaceKeeper’s capabilities were.

“Where is the nearest Stronghold?” he asked, partially dreading the answer.

“Los Angeles,” WiFire answered. The PeaceKeepers were good, they were fast, but they weren’t that fast.

“Reinstate me, WiFire,” he said almost sadly. “Formal request, Gatton, Joseph Andrew aka Greenlight with additional request for full protective custody of Embry Elizabeth Gatton, effective immediately.”

“Do you want to list a next of kin or specific guardian for Embry?” WiFire asked, her eyes looking down to the keys upon which she typed the request. He could hear the keys clacking together, felt a lump form in his throat, but suppressed it long enough to speak.

“There is no next of kin. She’s it. Requested guardian – Kristian Lyle aka Seraph.”

“Reinstatement completed, Greenlight. I am sorry,” WiFire said. “You will report to Auspex. They have been made aware of the situation. ETA – five hours.”

“Five hours?” Joe echoed.

“There is a situation in San Francisco that they are currently involved in. Again, I am sorry, Greenlight. Things have changed. Good luck.”

The call ended, WiFire’s image vanishing in a blink. Silence filled the room again.

“Daddy!” Embry called from the kitchen.

Joe blinked and glanced over to the side table where his wedding picture stood in a silver frame. His wife smiled at the camera while he kissed her cheek. Beside the frame, was a small urn with her ashes.

“Coming, Em,” he said though not loud enough for her to hear him. He put the oval communication device in his back pocket as he walked out to the kitchen where his daughter waited.

 

* For more super hero fun, check out Hellfire, available in print and eBook on Amazon.

 

Posted in Chelle, General Updates/News, Stories

And We’re Off!

download Got your attention, didn’t I? GOOD!! Cuz I have done another thing!!

Black Eyes: A Demon’s Curse was released for publication over the weekend. While it is only a short story, it is definitely something and it is all mine. Quite exciting. I quit full-time work to do this full time and, thus far, life has intervened in every way until now. It is also available on Smashwords along with some of my other works that I am no longer concerned about sharing with others. I write many things, erotica being one of them, though I opted to write that under a pen name and set up separate things that over complicated stuff and now I’m just saying $@^!% it and y’all can just deal with the fact that I’m a writer of all genres. BUT, for anyone interested, that stuff can be found on Smashwords and Amazon as well or just look up Noa Rose – that’s the other me.

Additionally, I have a piece in the Corrugated Sky Publications, Inc. anthology Tales of the Black Dog, available in print and ePub formats. Plus, Corrugated Sky will have their new anthology, Smoke and Steam, premiering soon in which I am also a feature author. *insert giant cheesy smile here*  Where are the emoticons on this thing when you need them?

So, now that I have my shameless plug inserted into the post, what in life precludes a writer from writing?

All. of. the. Things.

And, when I say all of the things, I mean all of the things. From the insanely mundane, to the insanely complex, there is a reason I have coined myself as the Tamer of Chaos. I’ve mentioned it before, but it seems to have given itself its own pretChaos Typwriterernatural existence in the last few weeks.  It just won’t end!

I have learned to work out of my mother’s car (since my van is still being used as a fabulously expensive lawn ornament accumulating its own Halloween decorations at the moment) while waiting for people to do what they need to do, getting in words here or there as I am able. I have, miraculously, managed to plan for this year’s NaNoWriMo event in November (Who else is doing it with me!? Hook up with Tatsuyuri – that’s me – if you are!), push a new short story out into the world (see above if you haven’t already), and begun the excruciatingly long process of planning and plotting not one, but two different novels hopefully due out next year (if life calms down some, otherwise y’all are only getting one novel).

Bottom line: I am tired. But rest is for those buried six feet under and novels (or stories) do not write themselves. Thus, onward and upward!! The race is on to keep writing, keep publishing, and just. keep. going!

Author’s Releases:

BE Cover v.2 Black Eyes: A Demon’s Curse – Available NOW!

kindlecover1 Tales of the Black Dog – Available NOW!

SteamCoverFullSleeveFINAL Smoke and Steam: A Steampunk Anthology – Fall 2017

NaNoWriMo 2017 – In the planning phases (whew!)

Demons – Winter 2018

Clockwork Gods – Fall 2018

Ashes to Embers – Fall 2019

More as it comes, of course. There are more stories in the works, both normal and erotic (which will maintain its own page). Don’t forget to follow on FB, Twitter, Tumblr, and even Pinterest if you’ve got it!

Posted in Chelle, Stories

Story Time!

CYOA_DUPLEX_LOGO

I know, I know – I missed last week. Monday totally escaped me while I was still trying to wake up and then it was Tuesday and there were things and Wednesday just tore me a new one…  It was a hard week. This week isn’t looking to be much different as we enter the last days of the school year (already??/thank gods!!) when schedules change, running must be done and then more things happen with stuff and people and mornings. It’s a mess. Just one being giant cluster of ChAoS and weird.

Anyway, entirely beside the point.

In a couple of weeks I will be doing something fun, something a little different. Everyone remembers those silly Choose Your Own Adventure books we all read as a kid, right? The ones that let you pick whether the protagonist succeeded or failed, got eaten by the giant snake or turned it into his beloved pet – yeah those. Well, I have decided to do something similar with my own works and let you, the audience, decide what direction things should go in the comments. Fun, right?!

We’ll start with an introductory piece, something that isn’t too long – don’t want to lose your attention right out the gate – and then I’ll leave everyone with a choice (I’ll even make it a poll if my pathetic sense of tech savvy works in my favor). Let me know what you think in the comments, feel free to make suggestions if you have them and then, I will take those suggestions and write the next piece to be posted within 2 weeks of the first (just cuz, life, it happens).

I’ll even start taking suggestions for story topic if you’ve got them (though I have plenty of my own if you don’t) so let me hear from ya! Let’s write together!!

Posted in General Updates/News, Steampunk, Stories

Twins

You’ve made it too hot. How do you blunder a blasted cuppa?

What on Earth is a ‘cuppa’?

We cannot possibly be related.

Next time roll yourself into the kitchen on your own and make your own stupid cuppa then. We should’ve left you in the alley.                      Oliver.

Elizabeth.

The little line on this computing device is typing out all of the things we’re saying.

What?

Come look. Is it supposed to do that?

I don’t build computing devices.

That’s not what I asked.

Well, seeing as how I don’t build them, how am I supposed to know what one is intended to do?

Unbelievable – well find a way to turn it off.

How?! Oh, look, it caught my inflection. Interesting. Stop touching things you’re going to make it worse. Go find your significantly psychotic other.

We’re not dating.

That is not what it looks like from my vantage point.

Says the idiot with two significant others. Oh look, it does catch inflection. How fabulous!

The status of my relationships has nothing to do with this stupid machine. This is his computing device, go retrieve him.                            What?? Look, it did it again.

F O U N D Y O U

I didn’t say that.

Neither did I.

Oliver…

 

 

Heart of the Matter coming Fall 2017

Clockwork Gods coming Fall 2018.