An Excerpt From My New Novel: Hellish Beings in Foul Places

The below was an April Fool’s post.

It’s been some time since I posted about what I am currently writing. So I thought it might be a good idea to show you one of the chapters of my new novel in progress.

The novel is a short horror tale about an old women, the last of a line of monster hunters, who has to take on a unlikely apprentice. Since the chapters are short and sweet, I’m going to share three of my favorite ones.

Hellish Beings in Foul Places

Chapter 7: The Will of Mighty Fists

Charlotte smacked the boy on the back of the legs. “No!” she screamed. “Do not open your eyes!”

“But Granny-na-ma, how can I possible strike out at my foes without seeing them?” little Boris replied.

The way the little boy spoke, all prim and proper, really irked Charlotte, but what was she to do? He was the one foretold to take on the banner of the Conflagration of Forces Against Dark and Insidious Beings. She sighed, and smacked him across the face with her ironwood switch in frustration. A bead of blood appeared on his pale boy-skin.

They were in one of her many homes, a small grotto on the shores of Lake George. She had previously cleared the lake of those darn aqua-specters, so she thought this would be a good place to train. Boris didn’t know how to teleport yet, so she spent two days organizing a training area while he travelled by train and bus from Oregon.

When he arrived she had cleared three tons for dirt from under the house, lined the hole with bricks and sea glass, and covered it with one of her special hexes, a classic worm-brain teeth-rotter.

At first, the boy was a bit trepidatious about jumping into the training room, which Charlotte had to admit looked more like a serial killer’s pit than anything else. So she pushed him in and jumped down after him, gliding on her house coats to land gently on the dirt floor next to his splayed and bruised body.

Charlotte immediately started the lessons. She summoned some of the local spirits, telling them to come dressed as Dark Beings. Sebastian the tree fairy quickly arrived wearing what looked like a pile of lake-weed over his tiny perfect body. Charlotte told Boris to close his eyes and attack Sebastian.

He tried, but he obviously had no idea how to control his fourth sight yet, so he ended up smacking into the wall. When she was ten like him, Charlotte could easily knock out a minor specter with her eyes close, her ears plugged, and her taste-buds numbed! Kids these days…

And now, Boris stood before her, a bead of blood rolling down his cheek, his face hard. At least he wasn’t crying. But Charlotte knew that to get him into shape a lot more whips of that ironwood switch would be in order. She whipped it back and forth in the air, the loose-skin around her elderly arm flapping back and forth. Part of her was going to enjoy this.

Chapter 18: Deepest Darkest Fuji

The mountain rose above them. Charlotte hoped she had given Boris enough training in the past few weeks because this was going to be difficult. She looked over at him, his eyes wide and full of wonder. Until she met him in that bodega, Boris had never even left his home town. Now he was in Japan, at the base of Mount Fuji, with a line of Dark Beings descending down the wooded trail towards him.

Charlotte smiled with pride, revealing her dentures to the night air. The boy wasn’t scared. The initial awe at the spectacle before them had turned to a hard determination. He unwrapped the woven hemp rope from his belt and tied the Blue Marionette’s loop she had taught him onto the end of it. He reached for his belt and picked up dried corn husk, ready to tie it to the loop, but he hesitated, looked at her first.

The Privateer’s Husk was one of their most powerful components, capable of leveling a force of Dark Insidiousness as well as, if used incorrectly, any number of members of the Conflagration of Forces Against Dark and Insidious Beings.

Charlotte looked at the husk, and back to the young boy. The dangerous power of the husk verse the hard set of Boris’s tiny boy face. Piercing black eyes, downy skin, girlish hands clasping the husk.

She looked back at the approaching line of specters and demons, Tramplers and No-faces, Skin-gods and Pearl-eyes. She shook her head at Boris. No, he was not ready for the husk. They would have to defeat these foes with lesser powers. The husk would be needed later on when they faced Shaighoul. That was, of course, if they survived this one.

With a scream, Charlotte leaped into the air and started running up the trail in her slippers, Boris followed close behind, tucking the Privateer’s Husk back into his belt.

Chapter 29: Picking up the Pieces

Charlotte strode through what was left of Rio de Janeiro. Her elderly body barely had the strength to pull her over the fallen pieces of Christ the Redeemer. Not a single favela was left standing after the battle. How was she supposed to find Boris’s body in these multi-colored piles of rubble?

The poor kid had obviously died. There was no way he would have survived the struggle against Shaighoul. He was out of his league. Charlotte thought back on the battle, remembered Boris behind her as she stepped between him and the great beast, King of the Dark, Queen of the Insidious, Prince of Dread, the Handmaiden to Evil: Shaighoul. A great and hulking mass of tentacles and gore and shadows and teeth and flesh and putrid essence. She was almost out of power, having used the last of it to destroy The Puppets, his trio of dark and insidious cohorts.

With a last gasp of energy she pushed forward with her wrinkly hands, expelling every part of her essence directly as Shaighoul. The air shimmered around her and a great sweep of energy flew out towards the foul beast. In an explosion of magic, Shaighoul, and what remained of the city, was destroyed. Charlotte collapsed and didn’t awake until what felt like several days later.

She awoke with the warm sunlight on her face and knew she had won. Boris was nowhere to be found, but he could not have survived that magical blast. A blast far stronger than anything Charlotte had been capable of before.

“Great enemies make heroes of us all.” She said to no one in particular.

That was when she stumbled upon Boris. Or part of him at least. And she didn’t really stumble. More like slip on the shiny insides that had poured out of part of his torso. It was unmistakably his. She could tell by the pale white skin and the t-shirt with a carrot on it.

She found a leg a few yards away stuck under a burnt palm tree. Then, his head perched atop a pile of rubble like a sick trophy. Charlotte gagged. Only the thought of a world without Shaighoul kept her gullet from rising completely.

Then, she saw his arm. It was lying right where she had last seen him. Close to the magical blast, behind where she had been standing. Clutched in this tiny boy-fist was a dried corn husk.

The Privateer Husk.

It was blown open, it’s front end looked like an empty banana peel. That’s when she knew. Charlotte could never have created a magical blast big enough to destroy Shaighoul. It was Boris and this husk!

He had wielded it! He had killed Shaighoul and avoided destroying Charlotte in the process! He had wielded it like a knight wields a sword! Deadly and accurate like an extension of his own body. Boris was the one that destroyed Shaighoul. Not her. Boris. The young boy. The newest and final member of The Conflagration of Forces Against Dark and Insidious Beings.

Charlotte fell to her knees and wept. Wept tears of joy for the destruction of Shaighoul, and wept tears of sadness for Boris: a young boy who found the courage to use a husk to save humanity from a monster.

An excerpt from my new novel The Man Who Drew You

The below was an April Fool’s post.

I’m 180,000 words into a new novel, titled The Man Who Drew You, a magical realism adventure filled with over 400 of my own original drawings!

Below is an excerpt with the art that will be included in the final version. Give it a read and let me know what you think!

Chapter 3: Maze of Paint

It had been tough to get to the painting, but Ansel reached it by climbing the ornate ivy carved into the column beside it. He had to extend one bare foot over and rest it on the painting below it, but after that he was able to lean his lithe body across to read the tiny plague on the frame. The painting was hung ten feet up on the wall of the room named “The Elemental Cuniform Proportionairies”, and this particular painting was named A Lad in Blue Polishing the Tail Lights of a Motor Car.MazeOfPaint1

Ansel licked it, pressing his tongue on the rough paint and sliding it back and forth, starting at the corners and working inward as usual. He hoped this one would lead him not to another painting, but to the exit of this god-forsaken museum.

His food reserves were running low. Water wasn’t a problem, due to the many fountains and decorative spouts that popped up in the floors and the walls of every other room. But he had eaten his last bologna sandwich weeks ago and was only surviving by consuming the various potted plants he had come across. But had hadn’t found one of those in a few days. He had even eaten his leather moccasins, boiling them over a candle in a piece of his bicycle helmet filled with fountain water.

And now, bare-footed, bare-headed and starving, he desperately licked the painting, using his special tongue powers to search for any glimpse of the past that could help get him out of this place.

The images came quickly this time, and Ansel realized just as quickly that this wasn’t the one he was looking for. The first painting. Painting Prime. He could see images in his mind’s eye, like his tongue was a pink slab of RF cable connecting the painting to his brain. He could see an easel, with A Lad in Blue Polishing the Tail Lights of a Motor Car sitting on it. The easel was in front of a blank wall. Sunlight was coming from behind him and dappling across the wall. In front of him was a hand holding out a paint brush. The hand was ensconced in a black glove, and it was moving the brush across the painting. Except the paint was coming off the canvas. Time was flowing backwards.

The image in Ansel’s brain was flying by in fast reverse, so it was only a few seconds of licking before he could see that the painting on the easel was completely empty, and that the artist was removing the blank canvas and replacing it with another complete painting. The one that he had completed just before A Lad in Blue Polishing the Tail Lights of a Motor Car. The next painting that Ansel had to find, which will hopefully lead him back to the beginning of this mess so he could find a way out of here.

This new painting was now baked into Ansel’s brain via his tongue powers, and he vaguely remembered seeing it a couple hundred rooms ago. He headed back in that direction, wandering in circles through the same sections of rooms until eventually he found it sometime the next day. It was in a room labeled “The Vertical Oluvian Triumvirate”, which contained three tall paintings on one wall. Ansel’s target was in the middle. It had a small plague under it that read Love Lost Between Two Song Birds.


He immediately ran up to it and began licking, and the image he got this time was the same as usual. The painting on an easel. But this timesomething was different. It took Ansel a few seconds to figure out what it was. The same gloved hand was there, and it was moving in the same fast reverse, removing paint from the canvas. Then he saw it. The easel was no longer in front of a blank wall. It was in front of a window.

It was too dark outside the window to see what the view was, but Ansel could see a reflection in the glass. He could see the painter, his brush flying back and forth with wild abandon, his face screwed intently at the canvas. Ansel recognized that face.

It was his own.

Ansel screamed.

Novel Excerpt: Mother of Dust and Dreams

The below was an April Fool’s post.

I’ve been hard at work on a new novel. Below is the first excerpt I am publicly releasing. Please let me know what you think. It’s very important that I get feedback. It’s invaluable to my writing process.

Mother of Dust and Dreams [Excerpt]

Chapter 18: In Where the World of Green Turns To Gold Again

Her bare feet moved through the tall green grass languidly. Sensually even. The dewiness was making the soles of her feet cold, but it was a pleasant contrast to the blazing sun pounding down on her head like a hammer to an anvil. “If only the sensations in real life were as real as those I’m feeling now.” She said to no one in particular, her voice like melted butter. For she was not in real life. She was in the World of Dreams, had been ever since her head had hit the feathery silk pillow in her chambers.

Alexus knew she shouldn’t be so nonchalant about her morning walk in the dreamscape.  Xefarixis Van Abb was here somewhere. And if he found her, well, then the Commoo Orb she wore around her neck would be in danger. She needed the Orb if she was going to fuse the three chambers of the world and stop the Soul Attack that this dimension was experiencing ever since the Father of Secrets started playing games with “the prime.”

But the dew and the sun were delivering such a delightful contrast. From her feet to the top of her head, the sensations met in the middle, in her heart, and made her tingle with very un-dreamlike sensations. Sternly, she gathered herself and stopped walking, stamping her bare feet into the dewy ground. “Enough of this, Alexus! Get yourself together!” She said to herself.

Just then, out of the corner of her eye she saw something running through the field of dew-covered tall grass. A small thing, on four legs, with long floppy ears and a bushy tail covered in dew. It stopped when she turned towards it. There were often living things in the dream world, figments created by a dreaming child who is still pure of heart. A lot less common these days as they were in the past, but she still came across a Figgie from time to time.

It was good luck to pet a Figgie. If she could rub her hand across its head, it would be like she was rubbing her hand across the sleeping child who dreamed it. That bestowed powers on one in tune with the dream world. Powers she could urgently use if she was going to harness the power of her Commoo Orb. So she walked towards the dew-covered bunny-Figgie slowly, with her hand outstretched.

The bunny stopped and stared at her. Its cute furry nose twitching, throwing drops of dew left and right as it did so. She kneeled down in front of it, her knees on the dew-covered ground. Then she saw it. The eyes of the Figgie. Its pupils opening and closing like camera lenses. She grabbed the thing by the neck and shook it. This was no Figgie! She could feel the jangle of steam-powered machinery inside it. She grabbed its head with one hand and its body with another and yanked it in two.

How could she have be so dumb? There was no blood. It was a constructed thing. And she could tell by the array of gears just who had built it. This was a scout, sent through the dream world to find her, and it was built by none other than Xefarixis Van Abb!

“HAHAHAHA!” There was a laughing behind her. She turned, and there, floating in the sky in his pedal powered personal zeppelin, was Xefarixis Van Abb himself. The leader of the Harbinger’s Guild, and the sworn enemy of her clan was floating there, taunting her. Normally, he wouldn’t be special to behold, but behind his sunshine goggles and water armor he was a worthy adversary. And what made it worse was that he was holding a Flaming Ball in one hand, ready to throw.

“Oh Alexus, I knew you would be easy to find in this World of Dreams!”

“Well, at least I’m not as easy to spot is a man in a zeppelin!” It was a poor comeback, but it was all he had.

“It’s a shame really. I thought this would be more difficult!” And with that, he threw the Flaming Ball directly at her!

She dove out of the way and rolled through the dew-covered grass. She arose and turned, her whole body now covered with dew, and saw the Flame Ball hit the field where she had been standing. She thought there was enough dew on the grass to keep it from igniting, but no, the dew was not plentiful enough and the flames started spreading like butter on toast. She was surrounded by fire!

Xefarixis turned his air balloon vehicle and pedaled away, laughing, leaving her to burn. The flames were large now. As large as her fears. And she had no way to escape. So she dropped to her knees in the last remaining patch of dew and put her face to her hands and cried. The tears streamed down her face, mixing with the dew. She could feel the heat and taste the smoke now.

But then a tear fell on the Commoo orb around her neck and there was a flash of light and Alexus felt like she was in a waterfall and then in ice and then in space and then lying on a pool of dew and then she woke up, her head safely upon the silk pillow in her bed.

She felt dampness on her pillow and initially thought it was dew, but then realized it was her tears. She had been crying. And she realized then that she couldn’t avoid Xefarixis Van Abb any longer. He must be punished, and she was on the one that was going to punish him hard.