CAMPFIRE – Mechanics

September 15, 2017

The greaseweed charoot hung loosely in the corner of his mouth, captured but still able to move weakly whenever he spoke. His face was burried in the goggles that looked down at brass cases sized for his pistol and a ring of tiny shaped hammers posed above it. His hand hovered over a complex, poorly arranged keyboard of symbols and strange punctuation arranged in groups that implied cohesion but outwardly made no sense.

“I hate these old models. They’re always so…indiosyncratic.” His voice was once smooth, only now hardened by the constant smoking. Each syllable was puncuated by small bursts of black, oily smoke from his mouth or nose.

“I’m sorry, if I had known a connoseiur was coming I would have invented my own that’d make even less sense. You wanted a bullet press and I found one, got it working, and I’m working on your arm and leg. You could be a little thankful.” Her voice was almost melodic, as if someone who learned how to sing not with drums and strings but with the sound of brass on bronze and steel on iron. Someone who sung while they worked rather than while they played.

“I didn’t say I wasn’t thankful, I just hate what you found.”

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Drestin rotated the lock on his pipe with one deft hand, setting bowl sideways on the small table near his chair, and pulled a small leather pouch off of his belt. “Do you mind if I imbibe, zev?”

Hashim chuckled, “Yes, and there’s no reason to call me teacher anymore. Though it does warm my heart to know that you remember the Words of the Law still.” Hashim sat himself in another chair, opposite Drestin, and poured a small amount of a glassy, amber liquid for himself.

Passa, mouth still agape, stared at the two in turn. “You still haven’t explained what’s going on here. How is this man with mecka older than I am supposed to help with the Duke?”

Drestin looked up from his task of moving the black, tar-like substance from his pouch to the pipe. “Yes, Hashim. Now would be a good time to tell both of us about my task.” Looking at the mass for a second to appraise it, Drestin decided it was fine, used his hand to seal the pipe back up, and pushed a small artfully hidden button to light the greaseweed. A small, delicate sigh escaped him as he settled into the chair and a dark cloud already forming above them.

Hashim took a long, slow sip of his drink, leaned over his knees and held the glass in both hands. “Yes, Drestin, I suppose now is a good time to tell you about the zesh’desor, the blood-eater, that I asked you to come for.”

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A Long Road

May 26, 2017

Black, oily smoke poured from his nose as he sighed. The view from the end of the pass looked down on the foothills of the Tarthian mountains and seemed to frame the village of Missran perfectly. The steep peaks of the houses, the domed Temple of the Law set into the mountain herself, and the humming of the Machineshrine built on top of their modest Vent. The only reason this town was here.

His pipe hung loosely in his mouth, working around the grimace he carried from the extreme cold of the mountain. The spines of his mecka seemed to twist and grind in the cold lately and the weight bearing on his leg didn’t help. His arm, at least, he could carry in a sling.

He grasped he cart jerked his head a bit to his mecka cart and headed down the winding switchbacks toward Missran, a filmy haze of greasesmoke trailing behind him as if to warn the others out there. The others in the deep pine forests spotted with powerful redwoods that seemed to guard the woods.

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Hah! Haven’t seen this one in a while, have you? Well, here it is. I didn’t do a whole chapter of¬†exposition. Yet. That’ll be the next chapter. It was fun to go back into Jarvis’ shoes, though, especially since I’ve been working in a lot of different things lately. I’m also cooking up a few ideas for a new urban fantasy story called A Worn Cloak and it will be the new (modern, Orange County based) story for Roland Argyle. I’ll let you guys wonder what the gimmick is for my urban fantasy idea this time around.

Also, today is my 26th birthday! Yay me!

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwwrbJfM_14]

Without further ado…

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Had a really good day yesterday at Disneyland, but the end of it reminded me of a problem I need to find a solution for – I need to figure out how the hell I’m going to publish this stuff. This is over the halfway mark of the first draft of Part Two of Notes From the Abyss, and part one has yet to be read by another set of eyes and commented on. I lack cover images.

Also realized I need to push the people who’ve promised to help me with some of my other ideas ’cause I’m bored with sleeping in the place I sleep in. It’s not, well, where I’d like to be.

Enough of this maudlin complaining though, you came here for a story!

And, well, here’s part of one!

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What follows is the fifth chapter of Notes From the Abyss, that serial sci-fi I’m writing. This is also just part one, so there’ll be even more when this is over.

I’m having test readers go through whole document now and I’ve got two artists working on cover mockups for me so I can get this up on digital marketplaces soon. I hope you’re interested in buying it, reading it, showing it off to your friends, etc.

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The manuscript for the whole thing is getting ready for the finishing touch so I’ll have a purchase link soon, I hope. In the mean time, if you’re enjoying this please consider tossing us a bone with the donate link on the right.

I’m working on some short stories today, including an edit of Fake Cigarettes and Cold Coffee, while doing some out-loud thinking on Twitter. If you’re interested, come find me (the link’s in our About page, the one about our Purposes and Methods).

And, as always, comments are both welcome and treasured.

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