As a kid, when I wasn't playing make-believe, I was creating it in my head. I would make appointments with myself to pick up where the stories left off, gazing out the window of the school bus during the long rides home. Twice that I can recall I tried to write books. Those childhood endeavors are stories in themselves! I lost interest pretty early on, but fortunately re-discovered it a few years ago and haven't stopped typing since.
My short story "Purpose", a Caprica fan fiction, was published on the "Beginning of Line" web site. You can read it here. It's illustrated by myself and my friend Elizabeth Louvaris.
I also wrote a short story called "Cotton Balls" which has never been published anywhere. I'm still trying to decide what to do with that one.
My main work-in-progress, however, is "Fate's Apology", a scifi-romance-adventure mash-up that began as a bit of Star Wars fanfic fun but soon morphed into an all-out attempt at creating my own universe complete with people, planets, politics, piety and problems. What's it about? Well, my so-far best single-sentence summary is: A runaway slave and a wealthy businessman forge a shared destiny when they become entangled in a conspiracy of genocide. Now, to expand that into a novel! *type type, think think, jot jot, scribble scribble, sweat sweat, smile smile, work work work*
For fun and interest-piquing I'm launching "Short Snippet Saturday", in which I'll post bits-n-pieces I've written. Maybe I'll even throw in some cuts from "Cotton Balls". Below is rather an 'archive' of such, that will now take the place of longer excerpts I once had posted.
(Note: Everything here is my own, original intellectual property and work and is not to be copied, reproduced, or used in any way without my explicit permission.)
Short Snippet Saturday - Fate's Apology - posted 28 Jan. 2012
Jaiynder snorted derisively and shook his head, his tangled hair skirting about his stealthy eyes. "Friends we may be, but in my business work must override such social conventions. So I would suggest, 'friend', that you make yourself comfortable. It's going to be a long ride."
The captive man glared at Jaiynder for a long moment, then spat into his face. "I don't suppose you have an extra pillow I could borrow?" he snarled.
Jaiynder reached up and methodically wiped the saliva from his cheek. "Now that is going to cost you."
Short Snippet Saturday - Fate's Apology - posted 04 Feb. 2012
Nala watched the man moving inside the cage as she listened to the monotonous sound of metal scraping against metal. Her muscles were starting to cramp from holding her position, but she dared not give herself away. She wasn't even sure if she wanted him to succeed, possibly being one more foe to fend off. Was he like that? Like the other humans? He called Jaiynder a friend, so they must have something in common. No…he is a prisoner too. He is likely more concerned with his own escape. Still...wait. Don't say anything until…
Short Snippet Saturday - Fate's Apology - posted 25 Feb. 2012
Rey backed out of the cage, then kneeled beside her once more. Nala rubbed her arms, noticing the chill now that he had moved away.
"You're cold. Here, take this," he said as he removed the poncho again.
"No, it is okay," she said.
"No, it isn't. You're half-starved and freezing. Now please..."
He frowned, then realized her motive for refusing. "I'm not giving it to you," he said. "I'm just letting you use it for a bit." He unfolded the garment and held it over her, waiting. She nodded, then raised her arms. He dropped it onto her.
"Better," she agreed.
Short Snippet Saturday - Fate's Apology - posted 18 Mar. 2012
Jaiynder looked with dismay at the many streets fanning out before him. Which one? Which way? Making a decision, he pointed. "That one!"
Zarkis turned the hauler and sped across the courtyard, then guided the unwieldy vehicle down the narrow road, causing others to swerve out of his way.
Jaiynder scrutinized the passing cityscape, cursing his mistake. How long were we in the cantina? Ten minutes? Fifteen? They can't have gone far. Not on foot.
Short Snippet Saturday - Fate's Apology - posted 14 April 2012
At the halfway point, the zaraxen balked. No matter how hard he tugged, the creature stubbornly refused to follow. It was unable to move to either side in the tight space, and it could not look down to see the terrain at its feet. Its eyes were wide, showing their whites, and it began scrabbling backwards, threatening to drag Rey down the rocky chute.
Lucky 7 Meme - Fate's Apology - posted 29 April 2012
"Should they fail again, you will be held responsible. Whatever punishment with which you have threatened them will be carried out upon yourself. Do I make myself clear?"
"Yes, Marquem." Callos ended the transmission, then sat for a moment remembering the threats he had uttered: blinding, skinning, and spit-roasting. Not the way he had envisioned himself to pass from existence. With a frown on his birch-skinned features, he pulled one of his throwing stars from its pouch and tapped it on the arm of his Spherniture, leaving tiny scratches in the gleaming obsidiate.
Short Snippet Saturday - Fate's Apology - posted 7 July 2012
A lone man descended the ramp of a small, golden craft, his gleaming white cape flapping in the breeze like the wings of a giant bird. Shielding his violet-colored eyes, he gazed at the majestic vista before him. Snow reflected brilliantly in the blinding sun, and shimmering clouds of it billowed off saw-toothed mountaintops, picked up by icy, gale-force winds. On one particularly lofty pinnacle shone a mirror of glacier making its way into the jagged valley below. The man closed his eyes and breathed deeply, then spoke in a meditative tone.
"As I have ascended to the highest peak among the crystalline clouds, so too shall Driva'Ri ascend to the Crown of the Galaxy. And I will be its brightest gem."
Short Snippet Saturday - Fate's Apology - posted 22 September 2012
"Welcome, Marquem Vexu," a deep voice said from the shadows. "It is an honor to finally meet a most mysterious source of income."
The sound of a heavy, rolling object was followed by the appearance of a grotesque creature seated upon a massive cathedra. A single, black obsidiate ball formed the base of the ornate wheeled throne, upon which a bloated, birch-skinned Po Krotan sat. His wide mouth in the lower half of a pear-shaped head was twisted into a grin, and his small, translucent eyes crinkled with pleasure. In the manner of tradition for his species, only his own yellow-gray hair patches served to conceal certain parts of his body. Long growths of it sprouted from head, chest, arms and torso, and were arranged in chaotic patterns that were held in place by metal loops embedded in his flaky, foul-smelling flesh. His bulbous legs long-since useful for carrying his obese body, he was permanently ensconced upon the Sphereniture, a vehicle designed by himself for transporting his bulk around his palace.
A slight twitch of the nose was Vexu's only response to the repulsive site. "The honor is mine, Callos. But I would be even more honored to be shown to the jinari chamber, so that I may see that is has been built to my specifications."
Short Snippet Saturday - Fate's Apology - posted 4 November 2012
Jaiynder pulled Torek's gray, bloody hand out of his pocket. Straightening the stiffened fingers, he pressed its palm against the biosec pad and opened the door to the cargo area.
"Wouldn't a key be less cumbersome?" Vaim asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Yeah, but not as nifty a conversation-starter." He pocketed the body part and entered the hold. "Careful, not all the red stuff in here is Rey's." He opened the cage on the right and pointed. "You'll be wanting that blood puddle."
Vaim felt the dark smears on the metal shelf, then touched her fingers to her tongue. "Useable. Barely." She turned to him. "Okay, time to give a lady her privacy."
Short Snippet Saturday - Fate's Apology - posted 12 January 2013
Together they sprinted to the Hanora, dodging migs fleeing in the opposite direction. Lights strobed and the grinding of mechanisms deep within the walls rumbled around them.
Entering the hold, Nala flipped the magnelifts to Rey. He lifted the heavy panel. Nala crouched at the edge of the dark pit, then recoiled as it exhaled a reek of sweat and urine.
"What's wrong?" Rey asked, anxiously watching the loading ramp for unwanted company.
"There are people in there!" she sputtered. She peered into the pit. Eyes gazed at her from mouthless faces. She looked closer and noted dusky skin, hand-woven fabric, and thick braids tied with leather thongs. "Tendarans!" she cried, realizing the mouthless appearance was caused by swatches of tape crisscrossing their lips.
Rey flung the magnelifts down the ramp, then moved around to the open end of the panel and looked inside. "Oh, no," he said. A door slammed, jerking his attention to the hatch. Footsteps approached from within the craft, the noise doubled by a similar march in the docking bay. "Get in there!" he hissed.
"Nala, it's now or never!"
Short Snippet Saturday - Fate's Apology - posted 27 January 2013
The woman bit her lip, then drew an inverted triangle and looked hopefully at Vaim.
Vaim shook her head and grabbed the woman by the shoulder, pushing her to her knees as she pinched. "That letter is in two of the three worlds' names and isn't the first letter of any of them," she growled. "Stop playing with me and show me the name of the destination world!"
The woman gritted her teeth and reached for the coat. She drew an oval with a straight line bisecting one side. "That's all I remember!"
"Could be Gamanarr," Jaiynder said, scrutinizing the scrawl.
"Could be Kirn, too. Try again!" She squeezed harder.
"I don't remember!" the woman cried, panic setting in. "You're hurting me!"
"Let her go," Jaiynder said. "Now you're just being nasty for fun."
Vaim released the woman and cocked her head at him, a wicked glint in her hazel eyes. "You used to like when that was the case."
Short Snippet Saturday - Fate's Apology - posted 16 February 2013
The screen went black and Rey hustled Nala from the com station. They walked several paces, then wedged themselves into a narrow doorway that smelled of neglect.
"This 'Syd'," Nala began. "He did not seem overjoyed with your story."
"Sid knows too much about my past. I can't blame him for making assumptions."
"Kweranton is the intoxicant of fools. I have seen people die for those poisoned dice."
Rey nodded knowingly. "It's nearly brought me to ruin more than once. I was lucky to finally break free from its grasp."
Nala appraised him. Shadows encircled his haunted eyes, and his red curls were matted with blood and sweat. He stared out at the skylane as though willing their ride to appear.
"You have strength where it does not show," she said.
A half-smile tilted his mouth. "Well then, I guess we have something in common."
Short Snippet Saturday - Fate's Apology - posted 13 April 2013
Jaiynder rapped on the dirt-streaked door and fought back a grimace of pain. Sweat beaded his face and trickled beneath his clothing, the ventilation system in the decrepit building having long since ceased functioning. He flapped his coat, then wiped his brow and banged again. "Jibby? Jibby it's Bandy!"
A vulgar request for silence echoed from somewhere down the musty hall.
Jaiynder ignored it and thumped his fist once more. "C'mon, I know you're there. I saw your crummy craft below. Open up already will ya?"
The door popped ajar, hinges squealing in protest. A wary eye peeked out.
Jaiynder wedged his foot into the crack. "Jibby? Hey, it's me."
"Bandy? What're you doing here?" The man rose onto his tiptoes, trying to see into the dark hallway.
"Let me in, I'll explain."
"I'm kinda busy."
"And I'm kinda bleeding all over the place. Now let me in and fix it, or I'll fix you!"
Short Snippet Saturday - Fate's Apology - posted 01 June 2013
"I see you found your new clothing," Rey said.
Nala looked down at the boots in her hands. "Yes. I do not know what to say."
"Say you'll try it on," he suggested.
She nodded and gathered up the outfit then retreated to the bathing room. She returned moments later to find Rey standing at the window, approval apparent in his eyes.
"It fits perfectly," he said. "Leppi did well."
"Leppi chose this?"
"No, but he advised me on sizing." He paused, and then added quietly, "I chose it for you, Nala. I hope you like it."
She looked down at the snug-fitting tunic with its enticing neckline and three-quarter-length sleeves. Belted at her hips, the lower half was side-slit and draped to mid-thigh. The pant-leggings, which emphasized her trim musculature, tucked easily into the knee-high, low-heeled boots. The overall effect was that of flattering comfort and practicality. "I like it very much, Reylen," she said. "I have never owned anything so beautiful."
Short Snippet Saturday - Fate's Apology - posted 13 July 2013
They rounded the wall and were confronted with an enormous trapezium protruding upon long poles outward and upward from the side of the tower. Its colorful messages glowed in the pre-dusk sunlight. Several words were visible, and along the top was a running feed.
"It looks like a huge RAW board," Nala said.
"Same tech, different info. The broadflag tells passing pilots—in seven different languages—which district they're in, the name of the structure they're passing, and the conditions of the skylanes below."
"I recognize Po Krotan."
Rey nodded and read off the others, pointing to each in turn. "Korl Prime, Valoshain, Drivarese, Kirnite, Riknardi, and Shish."
"No Tendaran," she observed.
A frown flitted over his features. "It's presumed there're no Tendaran pilots."
"They would not be given control of a vehicle," she guessed.