Saturday, 23 January 2010

Busy, Busy!

I am in the middle of writing a few short stories that are taking longer than I thought. I am also waiting on a couple of flash submissions, which, if I get a knock back I'll post here. :p

I recently took part in SF Signal's Mind Meld on Anime films, check it out for some great choice from among others Charles Stross.

I also volunteered to look after TTA Press' fan page on Facebook.

Other than that I got word that my story Boxed In has been accepted for a future issue of the BFS's New Horizons publication. It will not appear until December, or possibly even June 2011, due to the fact it only comes out twice a year. I am well chuffed.

I will try and get something posted over the next few days.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Kali's Dance

They danced as the world fell around them. Her head on his shoulder, his hand placed delicately on her waist.
Steven could hear people scream in the distance, causing him to start.
"Shhh," her soft voice tickled his ear. "It'll be done soon." He swept her round in a spin as lightning flashed above them, followed immediately by the cymbal crash of thunder.

Not long before, the sun had been shining and children had played on the streets. They called out to one another in their games of hide and seek or tig. A girl screamed at the sight of a slug in her brother's hand, this teasing a squeal of joy from the brother. Water balloons were thrown and footballs kicked.
In the shadows of his living room Steven sat, tapping his nervous fingers on the threadbare armchair that had once belonged to his mother. Usually when he sat there memories of his mother brought him calm. The smell of her perfume, soft and sweet, would fill his nose bringing comfort and security.
Not today though. Today he was going to go too far.

Eyes squeezed shut Steven,somehow, managed to lead his partner. He had never danced before, never had the opportunity, and yet he felt graceful. It was a strange feeling.
"What will happen to them?" He couldn't bring himself to look. His ears were filled with a music now, at once violent and gentle. His own voice part of the melody.
When she spoke it was a gentle soothing kiss in his head, "What do you want to happen to them?"

"Shit-head Steven! What's the matter mummy's boy? You shit your pants?" Brian Denning, Steven's tormentor since primary school, towered over him drawing back his foot for another kick. Fanned out behind him were his usual squad of vapid goons. Not an original thought in one of them, his mother had always said.
The size twelve landed with a dull thump on Steven's backside, eliciting a yelp of pain.
Denning beamed down at him, "I heard you get it worse from your dad." One of the goons plucked up the courage and aimed a kick at the prone boy's head.
Steven felt it connect then the warm blood trickled down his face.
The whole group laughed and a wad of spit hit his hair.

The beat was faster now, punctuated by explosions and screams.
All around them things were launched into the air, flung about as if in a tornado. Somewhere, in the background of the song, Steven could here other things; discordant notes, calls that he wasn't sure he wanted to be real.
Eyes still screwed shut, his hand tightened on his partners waist. "I-I don't know." Faces of the people he knew filled his mind. They weren't all bad, just most of them. "Will it happen to everyone?"
She let out a deep laugh, Steven was embarrassed to find himself aroused by it. "No, little one. You do not have so much power." Despite the laugh he didn't feel like she was mocking him. "Only those in your little world."

"You are always off on your own little world, ya wee shite!" His dad was drunk again.
Steven had made the mistake of doing his homework with his headphones on. His father had come in drunk wanting some one to shout at and didn't appreciate not being heard.
"Just like your useless mother." A hand lashed out, leaving a red mark on the boy's face. "You should have died when she did."
Steven thought his dad might have went to bed, then he heard the belt buckle being undone and began to shake.
"I'll show you boy." If he had thought it would have helped Steven would have screamed.

The discordant notes started to incorporate themselves into the tune, no longer sounding quite so dangerous. He knew those sounds were made by nothing human, but he didn't care. He shouldn't have to suffer anymore.
"I want them to pay," he whispered, afraid of the words he was uttering.
"To do that you have to open your eyes, honey. Look at me." There was a smile in her tone.
Gently she pushed him back, so that they were standing face to face.
Slowly, he opened his eyes.

At first they darted from side to side, unable to take it all in, then his mind began to separate things.
There was fire everywhere, not red and orange but blue and green. Bits of the sky were crashing onto streets already cracked and torn, cars were crushed or ripped apart. The roofs of houses had collapsed leaving ragged scars on the facades.
People ran in all directions, some cut and bloodied others with a look of madness that was infinitely worse. Behind the people came creatures cloaked in shadow, threatening shapes with hints of violence. Their voices now sounded sweet rather than terrible.
Then his eyes landed on her.

Her smile was sharp as a diamond blade, but stunning. She was the most beautiful creature he could ever have imagined. Like something out of a film, with alabaster skin, blood red lips and almond shaped eyes. The eyes caught him; black orbs that looked so deep, he could easily lose himself in them.
"See what I do for you my boy?" She pulled him to her her once again, making him take the lead in their dance. "Now we come to the question of price."
Steven pulled his head back slightly, "Price?" Her smile was still sharp, still stunning, but was now more terrible than the monsters had been.
"Nothing is free, my darling. Nothing." She kissed him, and he fell into darkness.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Programmer's Curse


David's fingers were stiff and painful as he typed, the tips felt raw with every press of a key.
But he couldn't stop.
It had been days since he had moved from his desk, since he had even stood up. His legs tingled from the bad circulation and, had he been in a fit state, the stench of stale urine and faeces was over powering. The desk itself was littered, as it always was, documents and food wrappers. A half eaten sandwich lay at his elbow, spores of mould colonising it freely.
He noticed none of it. The screen and keyboard was all there was.

The doorbell rang, some time later it rang again.
His mobile phone kept blaring out the same three ringtones he had downloaded the week before; one for mum, one for dad and one for Jean.
Somewhere, in the back of his head he realised that something was wrong. That it wasn't normal to do this. But he also knew that, if he didn't get this code done, something terrible would happen.
It was the longest piece he had ever worked on and he had no idea what it was for. He had no idea where it had come from.

The mobile went off again, mum, at the same time the landline let loose it's high pitched shriek. Then came the doorbell and the shouts. They were banging on the door, kicking it.
"Almost done!" he called, his tone distant but cheerful. "Down in a minute!"
His fingers typed faster, sending blood drops flying in all directions, as the banging grew in intensity.
"David! David, are you okay? Oh God let him be okay." That was mum.
"Darling, please come out." That would be Jean, pleading.
There was a crash as the front door broke inwards. That would be dad.

David's dad reached the office first, the smell hitting him like a wall, making him gag. His son sat hunched over his keyboard, dirty face illuminated by the lines of code racing across the screen. In the electric glare David's wide grin looked horrifying.
"Be right with you dad, just gotta finish this off. Really proud of this one dad." The mundanity of his tone caused his father to pause.
"Are you alright David?" Behind him, David's mum and fiance stood in the hall, hands over their mouths trying not to gag. He edged his way forward, trying not to startle his son.
David's fingers flew over the keys, faster and faster until his dad was at his shoulder then he stopped.

A fog lifted from his head, the smell and the pain battled for his attention. He let out a small scream and turned to look at his dad, bloody hands held out in front of him. "Dad? What's going on?"
David's dad looked at his son with tears in his eyes, when something else caught his attention. On the monitor behind David things were still moving, swirling in strange patterns. Words popped up, or rather, strange mixtures of letters making nonsense words. The small, red sprayed speakers started to emit a keening tone.
David turned to the screen and his dad watched as David's hand fell one last time to the keyboard.
The speakers screamed and the screen started to bulge.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Follow the white rabbit...

I'm late, I'm late! I'll have the next story up in a day or two, what I was workin on just didn't wanna work unf =(