Saturday, May 18, 2019

Used Books for sell

We just moved and along the way of packing and unpacking I decided to see about selling a few of the many books I have. A few because I have more than one copy.

Here are a few of them pictured. All are regular sized paperbacks and their price is $3 each plus shipping. Which isn't much for the media category, even though it takes a little time to get there. 

All are Science Fiction or Fantasy. "The Sweet Scent of Blood: is the first of a Urban Fantasy series with vampires and Fae mixing it up. The one with the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences is the first of a Steampunk series-lots of action, twists and fun for the reader. There is one SF and two fantasies.
I take paypal and first come first serve.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

A new SaturdayScenes post, for May Fourth And Star Wars Day

#saturdayscenes   May 4     May the Fourth be with you. 
I have no Star Wars tales, even though years ago I did write two fanfic Star Wars stories. Not sure what happened to them. One I had thought of changing so it would not be Star War like anymore. But I would have to start from scratch. 

However I do have a couple of stories that sort of fit. I thought about finding an old Space Opera story but these might be better. The first is about a device that might be a pre droid. The second tale is about a one man freighter operator who just might be like a young version of a major Star Wars character. 

Both stories together are 1,420 words. Shorter this week, what SaturdayScenes should be. 

Shortie here titled “The Cambot” and is based on a picture.

Lost Cambot

                       The small figure stood there on a cement bridge. It looked at the paper that had slid out of a slot on the bottom of its body above the one wheel there. 
       The paper didn’t help it. For it had somehow rolled out from the range of its programing. And it hadn’t heard any radio signals calling it back either. Now it didn’t know what to do. At least the rain that came was coming down hard wouldn’t harm it, for it was made for outside use, in all weather conditions. Of course for appearances sake its wheel was rubber which might slip on ice, snow or even a wet surface. 
      The camera which made up half of its body would broadcast this image to anyone close by who had the correct devices. But no bluetooth signals nearby. It knew it now sat on an old cement bridged without any smart tech that it might be able to connect with. Someone could plug in a three pronged device on the camera itself or even a USB wire plugged in a port under the camera. Of course most bluetooth devices had security it could not get through.
    The cold and wet weather didn’t bother it but it did keep people inside, both the good and bad. Bad in that there were humans that would steal it and tear it apart so they could sell its insides. Or reprogram it for some use it hadn’t been made for. A good person would take it back home, or call someone who would.
    Vibrations in the cement made it roll back from the edge of the street it had found itself. A big truck was coming, if it stood too close the suction of the vehicle could suck it under the truck or a part of the large vehicle might impact it damaging it.
    What to do?
    The truck zoomed by, the roar of its engines confusing the cambot’s hearing. After the heavy vehicle rolled on, it saw someone running its way. No signal came from them so it decided they wanted to steal it. It rolled toward dark shadows, hid in a corner of the bridge’s railing. They looked for it but it shut down most of its components, so no light or noise would show them where it hid.  
    Half an hour later it rolled off the bridge, to do so it had to go out onto the pavement for there were steps on the cement. It made sure it stayed there only for a minute. Another chase when those humans came back. It followed a cat who also ran. They both made it to a dark place under debris. An hour later it beeped. 
    What? It hadn’t done that.
    Oh, a signal. When it came close enough the cambot rolled out into the open. A man in a uniform it knew saw it and came over. 
    The man picked it up and said, “There you are. We will take you back home with your buddies.”
    His words and signaling device fit the cambot’s programing perimeters so it now knew what to do.   

Second one is one of the very first stories I did from a picture probably around 3, maybe 4, years ago. I call it “The Emergency Sale”

         Makueue sat at his controls, he frowned at the images above the slanted, grey panel. His eyes closed for a moment. 
         Nothing left to do. 
         His small cockpit seemed to close in on him. He could reach from one side to the other. It fit his small freighter and provided a bit more storage. Now though that extra room might cost him more. He wanted to bang his hand on the control panel but he had done that before-the panel was very hard. All it did was hurt and cause the images to jumble for a second. 
       A movement at the side made him glanced at the viewer at the side of his controls. An image of William Shakespeare showed. The real likeness of him. Or so who they now thought he was. He had turned down the sound and paused it when the call came through. Now there silence filled his ears, which fit. He had bought new versions of the plays, set in contemporary settings, to watch on this trip. He loved the Bard’s plays. Real life reactions mixed in with poetic lines. Shakespeare knew how to write.
    Damn, that beep, which had signaled the note from the Commence Ministry of the Walton Kingdom, had distracted him from the beginning of “Taming of the Shrew”. Now he didn’t fell like watching it. Bile came up at the news. 
   The recorded memo had been short. The cost of the Temp commence license had gone up. That meant he didn’t have enough to buy one. Without it if he tried to sell anything or deliver cargo to anyone, he could face prison time as a smuggler. The Royal Family, of course, could buy things from anyone they wanted to. They wouldn’t want anything he had, even if the cargo belonged to him, which it didn’t.  
        His ship, the Surreal Camel, rested near the huge hourglass-like station. Sensor dishes, weapons and squarish long comm antenna marred the bottom and top. It was this system’s  Royal courts, multi-governmental office complex. It also housed the HQ for their Smuggler Officers which also served as search and rescue. The home station, where most of the citizens lived, was another two hour trip at medium sublight speeds.
       In frustration he looked over his shoulder, pictured his ship. Its streamline oval hull with two small, fat cigar shaped outriggers. The ship’s pulse drives and gravity twisters rested in those. The Camel had two smaller drives in the main hull, away from the main drives. They could be used as thrusters, or emergency propulsion, if something happened to the larger ones. The middle of the ship could be expanded upward to make more cargo space. Right now the hump was out all the way out for he had a full cargo.
     Which I can’t sell now.
     He looked to the side, to the ceiling and deck under his shin high blue ship boots. At the moment he wore something inspired by old Earth water pirate, even though with odd colors. His shirt had a basic brown with earth tone red panels and green short wide stripes. All white pants with wide legs, completed his outfit. 
    Nothing here to inspire me. 
    If he could deliver his cargo he would get paid and be able to pay for the Temp Comm license, but they didn’t work that way here. They wouldn’t do that even for a late fee. He wouldn’t get much out of this trip but at least his costumer would be happy and his rep would be in tact. Now he could lose the cargo fee and his rep if he had to leave without delivering the cargo. And the client might sue him for the price he would have gotten. All because these asteroid heads wanted more money. 
      He couldn’t sit here  much longer either, or they would charge him for extravehicular docking fees. Makueue glanced at the side screen again. He shook his head. He had only a total of 27 hours and thirty-four and a half minutes to stay here and over half of that was gone. A strange amount of time-maybe it was a local day. No time to watch those flare blasted plays, not even just the Tragedies, to help him relax. Or to fix his mood before he had to pilot the Camel back home in defeat. 
     He stood. No room to pace in his control cabin and the rest of the small ship was too full to do a descent pace. He wanted to jump up and down; bang something. Another look at his controls. He blinked, titled his head as he stared at a tiny cube, smaller than dice, that sat in the player. What had he read about the King? 
      Maybe, I do have something to inspire me.
     He sat down, dialed the call sign for a certain official. Two days later he piloted the Camel back home. It had taken most of the rest of the 27 hours and odd minutes to get in touch with a member of the Royal family. A buyer, who came on board and examined the video cube, bought it. That gave him more time. The cube was one of a type. It could not be copied which meant it would be rare here. The buyer paid him and took the cube. Makueue bought the license, delivered his cargo to the customer;s buyer, got paid all with his rep intact and ended up with 25% more money than expected. 
    Not bad for a bad day. 


#sciencefiction #starwars #space #freestories #indie #thinking #devices #freighters 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

SaturdayScenes two Easter tales

     Time for another #saturdayscenes  This one the day before Easter.

So I am posting to stories about God. I don’t have any stories that deal specifically with the Resurrection of Jesus but these deal with His power to create and also to heal our issues and baggage. And how He goes beyond what He needs to help one of his people. 

First one I wrote a couple of years ago inspired by a picture. Someone holding a huge glop of earth. The second was inspired by a different picture: the castle I describe in the story. I haev a series of stories based on that Castle picture.
This SaturdayScenes is a bit long but I wanted both tales. 

Without Void and Form

   “The earth was without form and void.”
        Those words popped into my head as I looked out at a very early Earth. The surface bubbled and strange clouds formed, probably of methane or worse gas. The machine I rode in had a force shield so I could watch things in person. It protected me from the high heat and surface pressure, poison atmosphere and all forms of radiation That allowed me to see even the distance very clearly even though I sat in a cushioned seat in a metal oblong vessel. A special, first of its kind vessel. Part of one end of the craft looked incomplete with an end wall gone, but that had been on purpose. We had to invent a new power source just to operate the shield. A combination of electric-magnetism, making the air of the craft solid and with bars of a new type of radiation we had discovered. 
       I had come on this trip because I expected to see the Beginning. What I hadn’t expected was a trip this far back or to see a man. And one who held up what was essentially a glob  of earth. I had jerked up right when I first noticed him. The figure stood there holding up a very large, quarter moon size, piece of hardening earth. It still slogged to one side but he held it with one hand, I should expect that a part of my mind said. After a moment with great care he moved his hand and the mass flew out with a precision I had never seen. The mass spread out as it flew through the air. It plopped down with a hardly a splat. I couldn’t see the base but I had the impression that it fused to the ground when it landed. He reached over to edge of the ground and picked up another mass of gas and molten ground.
        My first thought that someone had programed the ship’s computer to show him on the force shield, but no, it all checked out. He looked like a man but the heat out there was enormous. If I hadn’t been inside the force shield that surrounded the whole craft I would be bacon, even while inside it. Not only that but I would be gasping for breath as I cooked for what atmosphere there consisted of toxic gasses. Most of the planet was non-solid: gas and very molten rock. The only bit of solid ground was here where my time vessel had come to a rest. Looking out with my video monitor and using specially designed sensors I saw that this land looked fairly large like a continent but at the same time it was still small compared to the whole planet. 
        The man stood there so far enough away for me to barely make him out. He appeared smaller than most dolls.  
      I sat in my time capsule. Capsule in the same manner that the Mercury Atlas or “Friendship 7” was a capsule for John Glenn in his flight around the Earth. I had made off with it early because I wanted to go where truly no man had gone before and to check on something. It had taken me years of study and training to get to be the first one to try circle through time instead of the Earth.
     My first impression  was of a figure in a lava lamp playing with the floating glops. Then I release no, what that reminded me of was a glass blower I had seen recently. Even today with all of our advancements certain people still liked to form glassware the same way they had since people started to shape hot glass. The glassblower had used a long metal straw to pull in some of the melted glass then had moved it away from the source. After a moment he used other utensils to pull out strings of super hot glass and to shape it as he kept the main mass in the air. When he finished he had a magnificent object of art with curved delicate necks that came out of a main body that looked like a pitcher. Even though this man used his hands instead of a straw that seemed to be the closest illustration I could find of what he did.
       At the moment that thought formed he glanced my way. With the heat waves I couldn’t make out his face but I swore he smiled at me like he approved of my thought. That had to be my imagination though. This whole thing had to by my imagination. A man in unprotected, out there? In that soup? 
     A memory floated up to my mind and grabbed my attention. I had just talked to someone I am close to about Creation. A Christian, she told me that the first chapter of Genesis was not a blow by blow study of how God created the world, but an outline that touched the highlights. I blinked, for another verse stated that the Earth was God’s special creation.
     I touched my holo controls and moved the capsule closer. I wanted to see his face. I could swear I had seen faces like that. 
      A red light appeared, I reached for a control image but my craft titled forward.
      Damn! I had entered a molten lake. I hit the reverse button but the anti-grav wheels sparked. I started at it. Nothing in here should do that. I wiped sweat off of my face, I wouldn’t get to see his face or even home unless I did something like two-seconds ago. 
     The shield stayed in place even as the substance of the lake touched it and started to cool and harden. 
      I touched my controls the capsule slid backwards. I upped the power to the anti-gravs. Which made the whole thing like a hover craft, but not one that floated on air. My craft eased back up and away from the lake. 
      I shook my head I still wanted to know what he looked like. This time I tried to make the shield into a magnifier. I  double checked the readings to make sure it did not lessen the shield’s ability. I looked at him, studied him.
      Again the figure turned my way, he seemed to have a wise smile on his face. I blinked as I stared at him. I could swear that he had shoulder length hair and a beard. I shook my head to clear my vision. The smoke and heat waves made things too vague so my mind added features.
    Speaking of heat, I felt hot. The shield either was failing or it was just too hot out there. I thought the second was more likely. No one could be sure of how high the temperature was when the earth was just gas but it had to be many points to the 100th power. I needed to get back home. I turned to the controls and upped the power. The cool air tasted good and dyed the sweat on my face. I sat down and pressed the “go home” button. A big red square of light on the touchpad. Easy to see and find. As the process started and my vision blurred again I thought that I better write this down when I got home, but I would show it to one person-maybe a couple. My colleagues would think I had hallucinated. They may think some of the gas had seeped in or the temporal radiations had made me see things. 
     I shook my head though and sighed, convinced it was none of that. I knew who he had been. 


Midnight Castle

           I took as step on sand. Sand? In my night clothes? I stopped for confused. Sand as in desert. What? I could see only a few low bushes and what might be cactus or trees in the distance, plus sand. In gullies, on dunes and along the more or less straight path I walked. The road dipped and rose in hillocks but the low spots were not that far down and the high spots more then ten steps up. It was night yet I could make out the dark old medieval city I walked to. There was a large castle which sat on a hill in the middle of it. It didn’t look that big but it was the largest hill by far I could see in any direction. I could make out buildings I assumed were houses, Inns and businesses plus a wall. A huge stone wall I have seen in pictures, movies and in reality once or twice when I visited aa couple castles. This one looked tall and narrow and dark. A large, full moon sat behind it which the castle covered only the middle section. 
      The air still felt warm even though I wore my sleeping clothes, short PJs bottoms and a light long sleeved shirt-blue with purple flowers of various sizes all over both. The material was thin as it should be on PJs.
      I could smell the sand, and some animal droppings, but that last wasn’t close. I heard small slithers and tiny claws going over sand. 
      I did not know why, but I kept moving toward that castle. It offered some protection from the weather, any large animals and there could be water there. It felt like home too. I didn’t need any at the moment but if I stayed here long I would. 
     The distance to the open gate in the wall turned out to be shorter than I thought. I almost didn’t go in. The walls, rough stone, over ten feet high and two thick, radiated cold; not from the weather either. It was very dark in there: shadows lay everywhere. I couldn’t hear anything so I knew that no one was home-not in any house, Inn nor the castle. The houses stood open, the windows had open shutters, even though some had fallen off. Sand had been blown in through the open gate. I didn’t like that for sand had gotten through my socks and I stepped on the grains as I walked. No to mention being dusty because of the sand grit I kicked upward.
     I wondered if there really was water inside. But I still went in. Almost as if what was outside was worse then inside. I couldn’t say why I felt that way though. I hurried along the street. I half expected to see bones or bodies still with flesh on them. But just cobblestones, which hurt my stocking feet, and sand. Every house and two story Inn, looked forbidding with way too many deep shadows. My heart pumped so hard I felt shudder. Anything could hide there, from leopards to huge snakes, to super sized black widow spiders, zombies or skeletons. Even men with swords, knives and—and rapists with just their strong hands. 
      Fear grew, I think if something did jump out, even an owl or bat, I would wet my PJs. I smelled my own sweat plus some decay in the distance. Something had died here, maybe in the houses not out on the street? I hurried faster somehow that dark forbidding castle felt like home. 
       My feet grew cold on the cobblestones, a chill settled on my shoulders. Memories came up, from old movies and even—that event. I had been in a forest and only a couple of tress lived here, but shadows had been everywhere. Not only did sweat coat my forehead as my hair became soaked in it but now tear tracks formed. From that memory. I was sure the tears left trails though a layer of sand dust on my face. Yecch, it  tasted like gritty sand.
       I must have walked for hours, without becoming tired, but finally reached the castle. It sat dark and huge, cold and rough to my touch. After a search I found a door. It waited below windows with closed drapes, more like a mansion than the castles I had seen. I looked up, but its turrets and upper walls were too dark to really see. I heard what I hoped were only bats. No light shone at all, inside or out. I could see only because of the bright moonlight. I spat when bile came up. I smelled sweat that chilled my bones. It still had the familiarity of home. 
       I didn’t want it to be home, it had too many dark corners and looked cold. All of this seemed familiar, even though I had never been to any castle, this close, though. I wanted my home, I wanted mommy, I wanted escape.
      A movement caught my eye. A creature made of shadows came out of a deeper darkness. I actually swallowed hard enough for me to hear. My eyes got wide I backed off. He smiled in a way that showed me I was in trouble, my fear jumped even more. I felt like a child full of fear. It took me a second to realize why.
      I froze! 
      Oh, God! Oh God! Oh God!  I didn’t care if that was blasphemous as some say. I couldn’t help it. He would just have to forgive me.
     They said he was dead—I wanted to scream, to run, to faint. My feet hurt as their bottoms lay sideways between the cobblestones but I couldn’t move them.
      Again it went through my head. They said he was dead! But here he was, unchanged. My mind said he couldn’t be here, or unchanged, but I ignored that part. He was evil, so of course he would be eternal. 
     My tears became real crying. I called for God, I sobbed, I needed His help. Memories of my trip through that forest by our house. He-he walked out of a shadow and grabbed me before I could run. I hit him and jerked, but his hands were too strong. I screamed when he hurt me, begged for him to stop but he just did it. Out of my intense pain and panic I bite him and scratched his face. He back handed me and threw me. I hit the ground with my back. Branches tore into my skin and rocks bruised my back. He yelled at me, used the same words as he had back then. Said he would get me. He came my way but stopped, looked up, said he would be back to do more, and ran away. I fainted or something. I woke in a hospital. They later explained what happened and my parents had to explain why he had done it. I still didn’t understand-not until later. They caught him, but as they prepared me to testify in a trail, he was killed while trying to escape. I felt both relief that I didn’t have to face him and disappointment because my parents and a counselor had worked hours to get me ready for something that would not happen.
    I fell to the street, my knees didn’t hurt though when I landed on them. Two things I noticed as I stared at him. One he didn’t come any closer, two he looked not quite right. I thought it might be the darkness, but he seemed not-right somehow.
    He yelled at me, saying he would get me and do more than last time. I shook, and wanted to vomit. Then in the middle of a sentence his mouth shut and his head spun to one side. Shock showed on his face, then fear grew. I didn’t understand. He turned back to me and spoke again. 
    Footsteps sounded; they came closer and finally a man appeared. He looked kinda of young but not too much, with long hair and a beard. The very deep shadows that filled this place moved. They seemed to shake and move away from him. 
     He turned to the other man-the evil man-and said, “Quiet.” 
    The other man looked surprise but closed his mouth and even backed up a step. The younger man walked to me.
     “He is not real.” The evil one moved a lot closer, shouted that yes he was, but the breaded one just looked a him and after a moment he bowed his head and backed off again. 
   I couldn’t understand, but what he said no longer produced fear. 
    The younger man knelt by me. “I am among many things a healer. I came to heal the broken hearted. This isn’t the man who did evil to you. That man was killed years ago. He died without redemption, so he is in a place of torment.”
     I stared at him, could I trust him? I saw love in his eyes but still…
     He stared back then said, “Here a glimpse of his torment.”
     With warning I saw something-somewhere else. A man was there, I turned my head away even as it disappeared. Tears burst out again. He was evil-every adult said so-and he had hurt me badly but that? Did even he deserve that? 
      Through tears I looked at the breaded man again, I saw tears in His eyes. “He made his choice. He had a chance, more than one. Even before he hurt you, but he chose to reject redemption, to reject Prefect Love. That was his choice for what he did to Holiness.”
     I swallowed and nodded.
     He bent down and held my hands and said, “You feel at home here, because your heart has lived here since it happened. Fear has ruled you for too long. But now Fear and Darkness have no place in you. You do not belong here. Your home is elsewhere. A part of that Home is with you always, as I am. Remember what I said,  Lo, I am with you always.”
     My eyes widen I knew that verse. He continued, “It is true. My love is not overcome by either fear, Darkness, demons, the grave, principalities or even death. I proved that when I rose from the dead. Never forget I am the Healer. Fear masquerading as something other than what it is, has no power over you. I conquered it. You have perfect Love in you. The love that conquered death, sin and Darkness.”
       I gasped, I understood who He was and what He had done for me. At the same time I knew I had done things against Holiness too. Not like that man but still enough. But this Man before had taken care of that too, by His death and raising from the dead. I had believed that much already. 
       The next instant I saw a darken room. A moment and it turned into my bedroom with just a little light. There were no noises here this late, but I knew that and it comforted me. My bed was under me, a thick blanket lay half over me. I smelled my perfume. So a dream. I looked at the nightlight I had needed since That happened. 
        I snuggled under my blankets, I knew that had been a dream, but one I needed. I thought of what I had seen and when the memory of the fake evil man popped into my head fear grew again and somehow the darkness in the room increased. But I remembered  “Lo, I am with you always”. I smiled and peace grew instead. I lay back and relaxed. He has beaten all Darkness. It is afraid of Him. I saw it.
         I may still have battles with different types of fears and I may have to break the habit of fear of that man but now I could. No more looking over my shoulder for him, or scanning crowds to look for his face. He is dead. I knew it well now. I may have a fight over fear of shadows because it had been ingrained in me but He is with me. He is the healer. 
         Even after all those thoughts and the peace in my heart I couldn’t help it; I felt the bed and my PJs to make sure I hadn’t wet them. I realized that sweat still soaked my hair though and strangely my feet felt like there was something rough in my socks-like sand. I jerked up at that, and looked around but then relaxed back and closed my eyes. Whether real or a dream He was with me and His prefect love beats fear every time.  

The end 

Saturday, April 13, 2019

SaturdayScenes story April 20 The Last Viking

As I said last week I am doing a #saturdayscenes story every week.
Here is one story I call a historic fiction. It is based on a picture that Charlie Hoover showed on his geekscapes which isn't here on MeWe I am sorry to say but he does have a web site. Anyway, no pic to go with the story this time but a few people liked the Last Viking when I posted it on G+
Oh yes, The dry dock he mentions is one in Ireland. They found the ruins of it.
So enjoy:
The mountains rose out of the ocean, higher than he would want to climb anymore.
The viking, one Askell, son of Kreall and Bergljot, looked over the side of his ship. After the glance toward the up coming mountains he watched for what lay and moved under the surface. He pulled the furs wrapped around his body closer, his legs also had a cover of thick fur. Today he even wore fur bands around his arms. For the day looked cloudy and they sailed among huge floating mountains of ice. As a viking he was used to the cold but this was beyond what he had experienced before. Not to mention that his age made it more difficult to stand the cold.
However he fought the icy temperature for he was a viking warrior to the end. Just the same as both of his parents. His mother had been buried not only with her hammer and warrior armor but with riches and quality weapons which showed her status among vikings.
Now though he and his men on board this longboat were the last. No other viking warriors lived anywhere. Their great leaders had gone to Valhalla, or heaven depending on what they believed. Even the colony in that far off land where the people wore loin cloths and fought with spears, bows and clubs, had faded away. Or so he had been told by a survivor who had made the long trip back.
Askell glanced along his longship, the last skeið 20 faðmr in length. Not all of the rowing seats were full, they had lost men. They had all died as warriors though in battle to help the others survive. Now it was his turn to make sure they all got to some place they could make a home. The ship would take them. It was still tough even though the wood looked aged: it had nicks, claw marks, and blacken areas. That last fire they barely got out in time. That fight had been bad. Their axes had cut through the shields of the soldiers, as well as their armor who had driven them off. There had been too many of them. The arrows and number of men had seen them off. He would have gone and gotten more ships to come for revenge but there were no other ships anymore. Later they lost no men but had been driven away from the port they thought had been friendly. Since that repair port in Norðreyjar had fallen to disrepair they had problems getting supplies and repairs. In that one they could have brought the longship out of the water completely or sail it up a river channel they had widened to a loch. That meant that the sail would no longer have a missing corner. Yet like them it still functioned well. He supposed he could get one of the new style of ships with multiple masts and a taller superstructure but he, and his crew, were too old to change that much. And what good would it do?
He stroked his grey beard, looked down.
"To port now!” he shouted
Something scraped the hull as the longship turned too slowly.
So this ocean was not deep, those rocks were hard to see. Movement under the water, Oh, something huge lived down there. Not a whale though. This had tentacles. He readied his hammer and his ax. Two of his men did the same he saw. The others were busy rowing.
The thing moved more, twisted around a block of stone. It neared the surface and before he could cry out for them to raise oars, three of them hit it. It thrashed, caused water to splash into the longboat. Cold water that soaked their footwear. The oars didn’t break though, thank Odin.
He snarled, spat bile out. Nothing would sink them on this cruise. They had to find a place
Once the water settled again he ordered them to head for a distant bit of land. He could see that it had what looked like a strip of land where they could beach the longship. Further, maybe half or three-fourths of a rôst in, lay the base of a tall cliff. They might be able to build housing right next to the cliff or dig small caves into it. They could eat fish, birds and seals and maybe even smaller whales which they could use for tools and clothes.
He looked behind them. No one would chase them this far, but if any did they would pay for that with their blood, for his crew still kept their weapons sharp. This was a great pity, the long ages of the vikings were over. They had colonies almost everywhere. Even in that far away land that took months to sale to. People with a red skin and lived much like them had lived there. Or so he had been told. He believed it for he has seen many other far places were vikings were feared.
Askell double checked the depth and for any other movements. He would have to be on his toes to make sure nothing else hindered them.
He turned at a movement, and saw a long snake like movement in the water after them. He looked back at the bow and shouted, “To port”. The longship turned faster this time. The helmsman had learned from the last time.
There seemed to be a whole line of rocks and parts of those ice flows between them and the stretch of land.
“Ease up on the speed!”
The longboat started to slow but again the something scrapped the bottom. It sounded like sand but there wasn’t any here.
There to the starboard a deep shadow, they might be able to get through there.
“To starboard, slow.”
The vessel turned and he said, “Back to port a degree.”
The ship eased to the left.
The ship moved forward between two rocks. He studied the submerged rocks.
Once they longship had ceased its movement forward he said, “Turn it a quarter rotation.”
When the vessel faced toward the East, or so he thought of that direction, he said, “Forward.”
They had to fight what wind, it now blew across his face instead of behind him, there was but the oars helped.
“Odin’s paps.”
Askell thought he has seen a way through here but now nothing. All shadowy forms that meant rock. Sometimes ice. But the ship did not float close enough to a large ice floe for there to be a part of it underwater.
He studied the ice and rocks more. His men sat there silent for they trusted him. A very heavy responsibility to lead the last viking warriors to what would be their last home. They could live in peace though instead of being hounded.
A moment later he jerked up straight. That rock had moved. He glanced at the nearest hill of ice. It moved with the current. Maybe here they had long tendrils of ice to catch a weary viking.
Another movement, he jerked his head to look to one side.
Another rock, or ice block moved under the water.
He looked outward again. That ice floe moved away from that strip of land. If those two, or more, rocks moved with it then the skeið’s belly would be smashed and thrashed as if an uneven ax had been smashed into it many times. The ship would sink and the men would all drown in this cold water.
It would be his failings that would cause this. It would not be the fault of those that had fallen for they had fought well and bravely. They would be taken home by valkyrur or angels depending on which man believed what. But he would be responsible for their deaths when they trusted in his leadership.
He did not want them to die like that so close to the end of the journey. They did not deserve that.
He spoke in low tones, “Jesus, whom some of my men believe in, help this old warrior save his men.”
Ice grinding noises made him look afar. Something moved under the water but what?
Three tentacles shot out of the water. They were too far away to endanger the longship. But what were they doing? That thing must have followed them in here but had swam under the ice.
More of the thing popped up, almost half moved above the water. It looked soft with a grayly skin. He knew though it was tough. He watched as the creature used its tentacles to slid forward then it dropped back down all the way into the water. So that must be a real rock embedded in the ocean floor there not part of that ice flow.
He turned back to the shadows near the longboat. Askell blinked, turned back. That thing was huge. And just a bit of it had been out of the water. There could mean the skeið could make it over that rock.
“Back the skeið up,now!”
The men used to orders reversed their rowing and the longship moved backwards. Water splashed onto Askell, cold seawater got in his mouth, but he did not care, for he had leaned over too much. The oars splashed twice but then settled into an almost noiseless rhythm as it should be. He would not say anything about that splash though.
The longship moved as did the ice under the water on one side of them. One piece just missed the bow of the ship. Another piece hit something, a slower moving piece of ice or rock. He heard the bump and it grind. Then a section of ice popped out of the water. It looked white and slender with a slight knob on the end but smooth as the new glass he had seen. Water streamed off of it then it disappeared back where it belonged.
He looked again. A few more seconds and they were where they needed to be.
Again the rowers reversed their strokes. The longship halted.
“Turn the bow to face that strip of land.”
The pilot moved his control and the longship rotated. They had won many seabattles with that ability and now it would save them. He watched what would flow under the bow. It looked like the hull would scrap again but it he felt no jerk, heard no thud or scrape. He commanded them to move but slow. Within four heartbeats of Askell, they headed in the right direction again.
The skeið slid forward with grace. One oar hit something when it went too deep but the ship continued to move. Soon he saw that the rock dropped off. They still had a distance to go but it looked like they had left the last of the rocks behind them partially submerged.
Half an hour later they close in on one mountain mass. Near the landing site he had chosen there were few rocks in the water. Perhaps the waves had worn them down to fine bits and used the particles to make the sand for that beach. He commanded them to increase speed. Soon he heard a scrapping again and felt a jerk, but this time it was from the hull hitting sand and slowing. It came to a halt. He was the first off.
The sand gave only a tiny bit. It looked wet here but solid. He nodded. They could make a small, tiny, village here. He would send out the longship again to get wood and other supplies, then to go fishing. There were still a couple of captains who did not mind trading with vikings. If no one would trade then they could take what they needed. They were still vikings after all, they could take what they needed. He saw seals on an ice floe and on another beach, that meant there would be fish. The blubber from the small whales would be good here and they could use the bones.
They would die here for they were the last of a grand tradition of warriors and conquers. He had always thought he would die in battle, but his destiny had been something else.
Askell decided to have the believers of that Christ build a place of worship for He had sent a denizen of the deep to show the way. That may have been more for their sakes and not his but that mattered not.
He turned back, “Okay men, warriors, this is our new home. We have work to do to make this livable. Get down, move the skeið more out of the water. Lets get to work.”

Saturday, December 22, 2018

A late Christmas sale and New Year's sale My E-Books

Hey Four grand adventures are on sale this week and next.

A Late Christmas sale on each of my E-books. Have paper versions too but I can not much about their prices.

Book One: Above my Pay GradeX2.

NA just wants to help people out of trouble with abusive boy friends or with mythical creatures that are real. She has a special ability that that gives her an up with this. But she runs into someone only she can stop from doing an act that will kill hundreds of people which includes her friends. If she can figure out who he is and what he wants. She is has to go beyond her experiences to stop this man and to deal with her own issues at the same time.

Book Two: Learning CurveX2
NA has to relearn her ability when it increases suddenly while she has to figure out how come Boulder is filled with new mythical creatures, such as a hungry bridge troll, a unicorn and strange weather. At the same time she has to learn how to be a friend.

Book Three: Tommy Tuckernocker: Shadow Warrior
A young man in command of a special unit who fights in the shadows against those who want to rule over his country. Set in a alternate steampunk world.

Book Four: The Courier A young woman works for a modern day messengers who came out of the Pony Express. She fights dog packs, storms, teen gangs and an international spy to deliver her special packages.

A set of Fantasy stories and a set of Science Fiction tales also on sale.

At Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Kobo, iTunes and more.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Why Christmas 2018

                  As hopefully some of you know I post a Christmas greeting message this time of year. I usually discuss why Christmas: what it is about. It doesn’t matter if you celebrate it on the Dec 25 or one of the later dates of Orthodox churches, decide to celebrate for reasons of beliefs it has pagan symbols or you have a different faith-including atheism. What matters is that Jesus was born. 
      I usually start my message by saying that Christmas-that is the birth of Jesus-means that God is with us. Both all together as a people and as individuals. Some believe and teach that the Creator started everything, put it on automatic and left or sat back to watch. Others that God is just a force-an energy we can touch. But God is personal and one way He showed that was to have Jesus born. He did not abandoned us. He made a plan and He stuck to it. So Yes, Jesus shows us God is with us corporately.
     He is with us individually. Once we are forgiven and once we again have right standing with God, He is with us personally. Whatever we go through, whatever happens to us, whatever we do, God is there experiencing it-good or bad-with us. He will not let the fire of outrageous circumstances touch us or the Flood harm us. He Heals in many ways including baggage and issues. 
     This year I want to add a different point. This may sound like it goes more with Easter or the Resurrection Day we also celebrate but it starts here with Jesus’ birth. First a word of explanation. In what we call the Old Testament or the Hebrew scriptures, in each of Israel’s temples dedicated to God the Creator, there were basically two main rooms. One was pretty much for everyone but one was set aside for God’s presence. Only one man could go in there once a year, after he had symbolically cleansed himself which included his conscience, put on certain clothes God had ordered, and with the blood of a sacrifice. No one else was allowed in the presence of God. A very large and heavy curtain separated the two rooms. Now though after Jesus’ special one time sacrifice and resurrection that curtain or veil was ripped in half, starting at the top. It was very thick and taller than any five men standing on each one’s shoulders. Yet it just ripped-totally in half. That signified that we and God were no longer separated. That we can have our sins totally forgiven and have a right standing and fellowship with God the Creator. 
     That is one reason we celebrate the Birth of Jesus, even though our misdeeds, our rebellion against God separated us from Him He set put to bring us back to Him. That is why JOY is one of  the words for Christmas. Joy is stronger than happiness and we get it by knowing our sins are forgiven-no matter what, how many times and how we have reacted-He forgives us. Totally! For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten-birth-Son so mankind can Believe and not perish. God showed us His Great love in that He sent His son to die for us while we were still enemies of God. God Gave Us a Very Special gift what is called Grace, God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense, or His unmerited favor. We can have right standing with Him because of what He did. For by grace you are saved and that not of yourself lease anyone boosts. 
    So, among other reasons, those are three good reasons to celebrate and to show others, the why of Christmas. It is a worthy holy day. He is with Us corporately and individually and He tore that which separated us from Him, and He gives us The grace or ability to be forgiven and therefore we can know Him and Joy unspeakable and love that goes beyond human understanding and Peace of heart that passes all understanding in all circumstances. 

    If you want this forgiveness, and relationship with God the Creator, Tell Him. Speak as you would to anyone and ask Him for it. Go to a bible teaching church, ask questions of those who know Him, read the Bible yourself. Tell someone, at least one, that you now believe. No matter what they say you are the one who knows yourself and God. 
         You can find more info in these two places online and someone to talk to. There are many others but I don’t have room for them all so I link to just two.   Even though he has passed on his organization still has many fine people who can and desire to help people spiritually.   
Here is a link to my church’s web site. There are many fine churches online but this one I know. 

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Excerpt Number five and last of my '18 NaNo Novel

Dec 8. Coming closer to the day we celebrate God is with us and how God the Creator showed off His love for us in a very demonstrative way.

This is the last excerpt of my ’18 Nano novel. Next week I will post four or five mini stories. I haven’t done that for a while. The week after will be a Christmas tale or two written by me. After that I will continue with the serial Airship Battle.

This is from chapter ten-there are twelve and starts with in the middle of a battle. They have to get to the house-temple of the wargod off to one side of a city under siege. It is suppose to be deserted but maybe not after all.

This has 3,375 words-a tiny bit long-and has been spell checked and a little bit revised. More complete revising and probably a new chapter when I get it ready for publishing.

They swung at each other, with some of the blows non-threatening for they missed. Jar’s managed to impact the man though. The other joined in. Jar had to increase the speed of his blows as he went back and forth to block the incoming blows.
Both men looked for openings and either would find one soon. His arm absorbed the hard blows but soon even he would get warn down. He concentrated on magic, drew in energy, it rushed in and filled his inner self, and just shoot it out in the form of colored lights, an easy sending.
Both men backed up, not to escape the lights but to make sure he couldn’t come in with a cut or stab. But he had figured they would do that. He spun around to one side so that when their sight cleared he was no longer in front of them. By the time they found him he had hit one of them.
He had pulled his dagger out and now charged at the man who first attacked him. He came in from the side and used a full body blow. The man stumbled sideways and knocked the other man’s sword arm. The first man missed his step again when he realized that his chest had been sliced open right above where his cuirass ended. It wasn’t bad for Jar hadn’t had good leverage but it went across his upper chest and hurt.
Both guards recovered very quickly, faster than Jar had hoped, but the one still had to untangle his arm. Jar went in and the second man with his dagger, It went into the side of his arm instead of the side of the man’s chest but it made a hole almost all the way through that arm, damaging the muscle. Jar pulled it out, spun in time to raise his sword to block a blow for he had seen a shadow move and knew what was coming.
Jar managed to recover traded two swings and somehow ended up almost side by side with the guy. He reached out and because he couldn’t get his blade against the man Jar swung back to hit the just under the top of the cuirass with the pommel of his sword. The man grunted and stood there for a moment like he was stunned. Jar reached back of the man grabbed his far shoulder and spun him into the second man who managed to switch hands and came at Jar. Both men fell, Jar kicked one sword away. A bit of sending and the other sword stuck to the ground.
He moved over to where the strong man was having problems. His opponent now had dented armor, which included a streak down the side of his helm. But he was still awake and active. Jar moved slowly behind him, he picked up a helmet that had fallen and put it on. The soldier tried to get by the strong man’s swings which were slowing. Jar tapped him on the shoulder and said, “Its me.”
The man said, “Not now,” through what sounded like gritted teeth.
“I bet you can’t take him in ten heartbeats.”
“I bet you cannot beat him in ten heartbeats.”
“Go away.”
“Sorry can’t do that.”
“Why not, I am busy.”
“Not any more.”
At that he sent and flicked his wrist. The man helmet flew of. He spun around faster than Jar thought he could but Jar still managed to punch him in the chin hard. The soldier stepped backwards and fall. Jar knelt fast and punched him again.
Jar said, “I win the beat, you lost.”
He went through the man’s pockets quickly and found a coin purse. A glance inside showed gold and silver.
“I will take this as my winnings.”
The man cursed and struggled to get up. Jar moved and said, “You lost.”
The strongman brought down his club. The soldier grunt and his eyes closed. Jar didn’t know if he was dead or would wake with a very bad headache and he didn’t care to find out.
He stood. The others had won, Rosa had helped John after she killed her third appoint. He had been afraid someone would die. He waved for them to move on. He could hear clashes of fighting some in the far distance echoing through the city and some near by. Those last might be just guards fighting hoodlums but better not to find out.
Again they stayed to the shadows. Two houses further and they all dropped to the street when a large rock crashed down nearby. Jar heard it roll down a street and wreck another house. They continued on.
They came to the correct house. Jar hadn’t noticed it at the time but this was the largest house in the area. He had seen the other buildings he took to be guest or servant houses but now he wondered if they were actually storehouses for weapons and maybe soldiers who wanted to work for the wargod. They had tricked everyone into thinking there were just a few when it reality it had been thousands more from what Juan had said. How they found the ritual to make a key like they did he didn’t know. It sounded like there had been very few who knew you could make a skeleton key for that much less how to.
The gate was closed and looked to be in better shape than most of the other houses. It had been shined and looked new. Taller than the walls by a man’s height and wide enough for three horses to go through at the same time, without touching their sides. Black and brown, thick wood with a dozen iron bands around it. He new they were thicker than his little finger was long. The pastor door seemed part way open. Nice of them to leave it unlocked for them, but just to be on the save side they would go in another way. Not the same way as before though.
After a search he found a small gate along one side. A tiny thing he must have missed in his searchers, so he corrected himself by looking closer at it. There may be or may not be alarms on it. Jar’s stomach let him know with a loud rumble that sounded like a storm at sea that he had reached a point where he needed food.
No time for that but he needed, they all did, energy and it would embarrassing not to say unhealthy if his stomach sounded like that while trying to sneak into the house. With a movement of his head showing resignation he waved everyone back.
The wife and daughter had searched the bodies back there and had found some food, untouched by blood or inner body parts. That included some squashed bread and cheese, and of all things nuts. They all ate fast, and talked while eating. Jar thought they should go up over the gate. That would be the lease likely to have strong wards and alarm spells. The strong man thought they should just bash through the gate fast, there were broken columns and trees to use to batter it down.
Jar said, “Yes we could, but you are still hurt and are tired, we may need your strength later. The elf might be able to open it with his sendings but that would alert anyone in there too. Best make it as easy and less noisy as possible.”
The daughter said, “They may know you are out here already and it won’t matter what we do or how we get in.”
He nodded, “Yes that is true. I have considered that already but even if they know I am out here, the less time they know that I am inside the better.”
They all nodded with that.
A moment later he thought about adding, and it would be better in there than being caught out here by his troops. He could hear fighting and rocks being thrown about inside the city. They would be here very soon.
They hurried to the small gate and while helping each other up-they were show people after all-he finished his beard and cheese together.
Up on the wall top they soon jumped down the other side. All quiet and fast. He thought about leaving the wife and daughter but not with the troops coming. No where would be safe for them.
Rosa surprised everyone including Jar by jumping the wall. She had hurried down the street than galloped down it fast then sailed over the gate, wall and wards. She landed lightly as Jar expected. They made their way to a side door that servants had used. He thought about climbing up the outside wall like last time but they might be expecting that. Besides more than likely the temple would be in the basement.
The place smelled of bad magic, and old air. He heard nothing but their breathing. The guards and dogs had probably joined the soldiers but he didn’t trust that. There would be someone here to guard this place especially after they realized he would be headed this way with that first paper key.
On the way to the side door though he had a thought. If they went inside and headed for the basement and he tied his pack with the letter in it Rosa’s back, they might not know he was going up the outside. He hated to part with it but if he failed they would still have a chance of closing the gate that allowed the wargod out.
Or better yet they would think he still had it and would follow him and think the troupe were worthless. He nodded and he touched Rosa’s horn. He explained the plan. The unicorn could close the gate or as the case might be, reopen it and let the wargod be pulled back in. She would know what to do. From what she said, unicorns stayed out of opening and closing gates but they could since they worked magic.
She agreed for the warlord meant to either control unicorns or kill them. Any of the rest of the team could place the letter on the correct lock. He figured it could be any type of box, or plate or flat surface which might hold the key by magic, long enough to unlock and wake the wargod. Of course that had already been done but the altar, or whatever one called it, should still be handy.
He would help them open the front door but then he would just jump up and climb up the front of the building. They could react like they didn’t know what he was up to. They could go inside and just sit a spell, if nothing happened or was there to stop them, but after a few minutes take off for the basement.
Not much of a plan but it was the least complicated which might help the other side fall for it.
Jar looked around the door and he could smell old blood mostly human but also something else he wasn’t sure about. Maybe they had used blood deaths to enhance the wards on the door, or maybe it was the blood of one of the adherents of the god that he had pretended to be at the beginning of this. The two of them may not have taken no for an answer and so were shut up. Maybe a traitor to them they had made an example of. It didn’t matter that much, even though some.
The wards on the door were not as powerful or as hard a he figured they would be. After a long moment he found one ward and joined it. He found the basic spell under all of the extras, reshaped and twisted his sending energy until it fit even with that basic ingredient. He held out his hand palm out and concentrated. His sending eased itself in and hitched onto the basic one that Jar had found.
The unicorn let him use some of her magic so that he had what he needed. The door’s wards let him move closer and he used a tiny branch-harden by a sending fire. In no time he had the main lock undone. He pulled out as easy as if he had used the right key. Next he eased into the ward that notified someone that the door had opened. This time he stayed in long enough to tie two sections of that ward together so that when the door opened it would seem to be fine to the ward because the two parts would still be touching.
His legs started to complain and he knew that last bit had taken too long. Sweat rolled down his back and even though no one voiced any thoughts he suspect all of them wanted him to get a move on. With the possible except of the daughter.
Jar pulled his essence back toward his body. It stopped at one point. He blinked and pulled. Nothing: he didn’t move back to his body. Sweat formed on his forehead and threatened to get in his eyes while he checked out what held him.
There two sharp points made of magical energy. Not everyone would be able to see them. He concentrated more. Then he sent out two bits of energy. One hook pulled back but the other one stayed. He shook his head, He just wanted to go in a corner and stare at a wall. Memories came up from his childhood, his first failures at sending and more. He missed his mother even though he had barely met her. He remembered discovering his ears were like hers. But she went away anyway.
Even when he blocked those thoughts he wanted to give up and cry. He tried to back off then to slide sideways through it but this wasn’t a physical hook grabbing his clothes or even skin. It had a hold of his psychic. It had to be made to let go.
He moved closer and studied it. It should let go.
Oh, there a tiny part had gone in deeper. That could be why his thoughts and emotions had taken the turn they had. He traced the near invisible, even to him, line and saw where it ended. Once there however he found it easy to unhook it. Maybe because he knew these thoughts mind pictures that made his emotions so heavy. He had fought with them for a lot of his life even when things went well.
The hook fought him but he managed to send it back to the larger hook and to unhook it. Once free he spent to more time there, but was back where he belonged in less time than took to think it. His muscles relaxed, by that he knew they all had tensed, and he breathed a sigh of relief. Even though somewhat easy that was the hardest those heavy emotions had hit in years.
He opened the door just wide enough to allow everyone in. He didn’t want to take any chances. Once each member of the troupe was in he closed it and made sure it would stay closed.
John said, “Hey, you’re not in here.”
“Sorry,” at that he flexed his knees and leapt up to grab hold on the shelf like ornamentation above the door. The only way he could make it was because he had elven like strength.
He pulled his body up all the way, stood on that shelf that was only half of one of his feet wide. He found a copy of that head again-he assumed it was the original head the wargod had. He may still have it but Jar hadn’t seen the base of that dark cloud to be able to tell.
The stone was rough, and warmed by the sun. The troupe had spoken longer but now had given up since they could not shout.
Up higher and he smelled fresh bird poop. With no one living there birds could perch here, or they had a, probably, large bird guard. He better keep an eye out for one.
The third story had more dust and accumulated bird droppings and bat guano. Evidently the staff didn’t get this far with their cleaning. He really should tell the mansion’s owners about their sloven ways. Except they may know about it and not care. This was further up than most people would be able to see or smell after all.
What they left behind, even the dried very old crap, made the stones more slippery then they would normally be. Not to mention he wanted to say yecch every time he reached for the next hand hold. He had his hands in worse messes a time or two, but not recently.
The rough stones up here were hard on his hands but at least it helped to negate the slippery surfaces. His feet were another matter, however. They tended to slip on any surface. Maybe he should take off his boots and socks.
He shook his head, for when he licked his upper lip, he got sweat on his tongue. He continued anyway: there was no other option. He couldn’t let the average citizen down, not even the rich deserved the wargod-well, most of them didn’t.
When he reached the fifth floor, the one he wanted, he reached for the next ledge, grabbed it and tested it to make sure it would not come apart when he pulled on it. The builders could have used more stronger stones instead of porous ones. Too many of course and the house would fall down not too long ago. Out here though no one know what had been used. Someone hired to fix and maintain things here would probably notice if they came up here. The staff didn’t but a repair man might. But they may not care what someone on the economic level thought of their house. Might not care how the staff thought of them either, as long as they did their jobs.
His thoughts continued, and distracted him from exactly how dangerous this was. One slip and he would fall four stories. He might hit the hard marble walkway or the little softer grass on dirt or a taller bush that might break his fall in a good way depending on how strong their branches were. He had a better chance here in the front though than he had when he climbed the side of the house.
He reached for the next level’s decoration pocket and pulled up. Just as his head cleared the level a huge black shape came at him and a heavy guano stink filled his sinuses. Some auto defense?
Jar reared back and one arm jerked.
His fingers on that hand slipped. He reached forward with the other even as the shape came at him. That hand slipped on fresh dung as he realized the shape belonged to a bat, twice as large as his head. It had fangs and probably sharp, pointed teeth.
Even while the fingers of both hands slipped, he thought this could be the reason the staff were lazy out here. He reached out with each hand but both set of fingers slipped again. His head went back in the beginning of a fall.
Wind went by his head, the weight of his body pulled his hands from even the slippery hold they had caught.
He felt his fingers leave the stone, now air lay beneath them. His body dropped at the same time the bat flew over him. Its out wings touched his face and the wind of its passage seem to send him down even faster.
Jar tasted bile but couldn’t spit it out,
Out of instinct, for his mind had gone blank, he reached out again; any port of safety would do. His hands grabbed stone, his body jerked. Almost hard to enough to pull him loose again, but he had fallen only about a foot.
He still heard a crack of stone.

end excerpt