Saturday, April 15, 2017

An important Post- Why is Easter a day of celebration

Hello everyone and Happy Easter. Hope you all have a good one, or had one depending on when you read this. It is a little late. 

Some of you may remember that I post a Christmas and Easter greeting every year. This is this year's Easter post. It gets kinda of serious but explains why Easter is so important to Christians-in case any here on G+, Facebook and my blog doesn't know, or forgets in the excitement or bummer of a day. 

 It is Easter or The Resurrection Day. We, in our society, have added eggs, rabbits, baby ducks and such to the celebration, for good reasons and bad but they are a side party. The main point is Forgiveness and Hope and that God the Creator Loves us when He didn’t have to. 
We celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus because it was what we needed. The whole Easter event-Good Friday happenings and the Sunday Happening we needed.  

The day we celebrate the most important day for Christians and for mankind. It is the resurrection-the full raising of Jesus physically from the dead for it that shows we are forgiven.     
      Christmas is a good day. It shows that God is with us and that God Loves Each of us. Jesus did a lot of good things while he lived: healings, deliverances and teachings. But His main purpose was what happened on Good Friday. His Death as a sinless man. A man who knew perfection from the moment of his birth until His last breath. Yet He chose to die as a sinner-as a man who had disobeyed God in every way possible. And this was not an ordinary death, but a horrible execution with torture and ridicule as part of it. Yet He did it on purpose, He did this to prove of God’s Love for us, and so we could be forgiven-have right standing with God. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son so that none might perish or by judged. God showed His great love toward us while we were yet sinners Christ died for us, in our place. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.

    And then He rose Jesus from the dead, as I said, to show His Forgiveness and to show His power over death and sin. We are now totally forgiven-one hundred percent-there is nothing left to forgive. I have said this before and I will say it more. It matters not what you have done, how many times you done it, what you have not done or what has been done to you. God will forgive you because God Loves You. All sin is pretty much the same to Him, even though to us some are a whole lot worse than others. But God has to forgive it all or none because we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. God is perfect and each sin is more than treason toward Him and we would be destroyed in His presence because of one sin. Yet as I said God Showed His great love toward us in that while we were yet sinners-disobedient-treasonous  Jesus died for us. And for the same reason Jesus rose from the dead on Easter. Because of His great love toward us. Because that is what we needed.  

Now, we can have Hope, Joy, right standing with God, Peace of heart and mind and a Relationship with God. That is what Christianity really is about. It’s not a religion but a relationship with God made possible by Jesus’ death and Resurrection. 

That is a great thing-a life changing thing-a hope thing.

One that isn’t that hard either:

Romans 10: 9,10    “That if you will confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God hath raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”  That’s it. Jesus did the hard part, you can do the easy. 

Everyone “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Four Flash tales:Two SF and Two Fantasy

I have four short stories for you all this week. A total of 2,216 words.

Each of these were inspired by a pic that Charlie Hoover likes to post on his Geek picture of the day over on Google +. A couple of people who enjoy the pics started to put tiny stories in the comment sections. I joined in even though mine tend to be longer. These four stories started out significantly shorter, but while revising them I added a few sentences. One of the reasons they are so long is that I try to describe the scene for anyone who hasn’t seen the picture that inspired the story. An example: the last story of these four was a pic that showed run down small campers or trailers near a fence that surrounds a city. The fence had an opening just wide for people to slip through. The fence has a sign like I described in the story.

I have 17 of these stories and after I do another ten or so I may just place them in an anthology.

The Fourth story is my third dystopian tale and first flash dystopian.

So without further ado here are the four:

The Cambot:

The small figure stood there, looked at the paper that had slid out of a slot on the bottom of its body above its one wheel. 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 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. 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 of bluetooth devices had security it could not get through.
The cold weather didn’t bother it but it did keep people inside, which was both good and bad. Samurien stood ready for another round. A tickle of blood flowed from one shoulder and she still hadn’t seen the beings she fought. The darkness in this arena filled everywhere except for this one patch of light. The haze that surrounded that spot was cold so she thought of it as very dense fog. It stole all of the other light around her. Pain kept her company, but she knew it well. Her life had been always full of it and the training also but that had been different, a better pain.
She had lost her helm earlier, but even though dented and with her thin red cloak torn, her armor was still whole. Somehow she had missed one incoming blow. It had hurt but she knew how to make her pain into anger that would speed up her defenses.
Her blond hair’s two braided pony tails hung down on each side of her face, some stands had escaped. They lay on her forehead and cheeks, others poked her skin.
Her sword had no dents nor notches even, even though she had stuck the beast and wounded it. Even though she carried only a half-bastard sword, she held it like a full two handed weapon; she had more strength with two arm. Not to mention she was short so both hands fit well in its hilt even without a guard, its crossbar served as one
The metal of the grip still felt good in her hands, and Samurien had been well trained which make it hard for this being to knock the sword out of her hands..
Something hummed and without looking she knew the sword’s runes had activated. She smiled for she had a better chance now. This was trail by combat even though she wasn’t sure if she was the one on trail or the thing. But with the mystic power of the sword she would know where the beast was and the rune’s light might blind it or if it could not see, the humming it made would confuse its hearing. She had a trick to use against its sense of smell, even though if she could smell her own sweat now so it could easily.
Sweat beaded on her upper lip so she licked it off, at least it had no blood it in. She didn’t know what this was about but when it attacked next it would be very surprised. Even with her short stature she was strong and had lots of endurance. Now she had an even more powerful weapon. If she was on trail she also had the confidence that she was not guilty and she felt determined to make sure she won to show that.
So she would. 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 wasn’t made for.
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. It rolled on, 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 was.
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 its programing perimeters so it now knew what to do.


The Trial In Darkness

Samurien stood ready for another round. A tickle of blood flowed from one shoulder and she still hadn’t seen the beings she fought. The darkness in this arena filled everywhere except for this one patch of light. The haze that surrounded that spot was cold so she thought of it as very dense fog. It stole all of the other light around her. Pain kept her company, but she knew it well. Her life had been always full of it and the training also but that had been different, a better pain.
She had lost her helm earlier, but even though dented and with her thin red cloak torn, her armor was still whole. Somehow she had missed one incoming blow. It had hurt but she knew how to make her pain into anger that would speed up her defenses.
Her blond hair’s two braided pony tails hung down on each side of her face, some stands had escaped. They lay on her forehead and cheeks, others poked her skin.
Her sword had no dents nor notches even, even though she had stuck the beast and wounded it. Even though she carried only a half-bastard sword, she held it like a full two handed weapon; she had more strength with two arm. Not to mention she was short so both hands fit well in its hilt even without a guard, its crossbar served as one
The metal of the grip still felt good in her hands, and Samurien had been well trained which make it hard for this being to knock the sword out of her hands..
Something hummed and without looking she knew the sword’s runes had activated. She smiled for she had a better chance now. This was trail by combat even though she wasn’t sure if she was the one on trail or the thing. But with the mystic power of the sword she would know where the beast was and the rune’s light might blind it or if it could not see, the humming it made would confuse its hearing. She had a trick to use against its sense of smell, even though if she could smell her own sweat now so it could easily.
Sweat beaded on her upper lip so she licked it off, at least it had no blood it in. She didn’t know what this was about but when it attacked next it would be very surprised. Even with her short stature she was strong and had lots of endurance. Now she had an even more powerful weapon. If she was on trail she also had the confidence that she was not guilty and she felt determined to make sure she won to show that.
So she would.


The Flat Lands

“I told your there would be other pyramids.”
“Yes, you did and you were right, Schiean.”
The young man and woman stood only inches away from the edge of section of floating land they lived one and looked down at another section that drifted among the rest of the grouping. That one sat at the base of another horizontal piece of earth. What had to be waterfalls more than twenty meters across fell from the top one to the one they stared at, where the water continued on in rivers. They could see great step pyramids sitting in the middle of two lakes, miles apart. Everything looked green and lush probably because of the great rivers, which continued on and fell off of that level in smaller falls. They each could smell the growing things from where they stood even though that could be the fora of their land. They could see that theirs had different trees and bushes.
As they studied that level the sun that heated all of the sections made them warm for they had to no shade at that spot.
She said, “And, Rillem, they look like people are using them.”
“As we hoped. Maybe now we can find out what our pyramids were used for before whoever used them moved away or became us then forgot-if we can find a way down there.”
Schieam nodded at the last for it looked like there wasn’t even a waterfall to connect their land to that the one they viewed.
“I think there must be a way because those people look to be the decedents of who ever built our pyramids.”
He nodded, “War, or famine may have driven them away. If so there is a way down.”
A pause then, “Well, it took us a year to get here. Look at the other lands, we stand on the largest so it took us a very long time to find the right edge, so another couple of months won’t be so bad since we know there is something down there.”
She nodded again.
“Let’s get going, and check your weapon. Just in case Uncle Jourem is right about what they used our pyramids for. And we don’t know what animals are there. We know he wasn’t crazy nor full of wishful thinking, so he could be right about that also.”
“I have already,” with a tone that said she wasn’t stupid.
They looked again and turned left which seemed to be the better direction.


Disease Base Camp

Tony looked out the back window of the camper. He could see four of the other eight campers and trailers that made up their base, eight tents of various sizes and three shacks were around a corner. All looked run down with faded paint and rusted metal but they all still kept the rain out and some of the cold. Their clothes looked in the same condition. The trees helped with shade in the summer. A latrine rested off to the side and even though behind some trees in the ruins of a warehouse, the wind sometimes blew the smell their way.
The gap in the tall chain link fence with the triple thick chain links, that surrounded the city still stayed open. Every day he wondered about that. After all the whole group had the Morbus: a new sickness that had developed on a pacific volcano island where few people lived. Some thought it happened because of radiation from nearby atomic tests, while others thought something the volcano had brought up made the virus form. It spread so fast that a tenth of the world’s population had it before the authorities knew something new was here. It twisted a person’s DNA and created a feedback in a way I couldn’t understand. Which is why many died or changed. The medical experts were surprised that so many survived and others were basically unharmed. Most people caught it but it only killed a quarter of those, another third were effected in other ways. Those left over were normal after they recovered.
He shook his head, those in his group had deformities, sores, a tendency to vomit at odd times or other problems. Plus they are smelled for there wasn’t enough water out here to bath as well as they should. Those few who never caught it or who survived untouched lived in cities like the one next to them. A few had rural bases. Everyone had fences and walls around them, many with that symbol on them: the international symbol for disease with a slash through it. It now meant that those inside were Morbus free.
His group would go into the city and raid urban gardens and stores. None of them liked doing that but they needed food. There were a couple of charities that helped some not enough. It surprised him that the authorities here hadn’t chased them off yet. Of course they might be more worried about stopping the violent groups of Morbus victims, or the internal gangs. Some acted like savages. They had discussed it among themselves many times, and even though various people had theories, no one could say for sure if the violent ones were just living out their personalities or if a part of their brains had been damaged by the disease. Whatever the reason, some of them robbed, killed, raped as well as stole things. Some of them had been killed off but there always seemed to be some around. His group, and a few others, always snuck in and hid. They never harmed a city drawler and only did the minimum damage when they broke into a building. Sometimes the dwellers leave something out for us, either for charity’s sake or they are trying to keep the violent ones from doing them harm.
The raiding party that was in there now might find some oranges, he hoped so for he missed them for breakfast. Apples would be good and books too. Tony missed those a lot. He sat back down to wait for them.

end stories

Monday, March 6, 2017

Three short short stories and a short writing update

It has been way too long since I have done anything with this blog. That's my fault. So for those who might be following this blog and those who know I am a writer I say that I have been doing a bunch of writing.
   I have one story at Writer's of the Future contest and have another one very close to being ready to send in for this quarter's contest. For those who don't know they have a contest every quarter. You can send in only one story per quarter but depending on how long they take in a quarter to decide on your story it is possible to have three stories in at one time. Usually it works out to be only two for two quarters.

   I am almost done with a new novel-The Courier. That is my novel with that title. There is a new novel out with that title but it isn't mine. Mine is steampunk set in our time. No computers so they have couriers to carry important papers and small devices, parts etc. Sometimes cash, gems, gold or silver too. The papers can be ordinary letters, contacts that need to be signed, blueprints, collage exams and thesis. Most anything else you can think of. The job can be dangerous so Couriers are armed. Kara, a young twenty-two year woman, knows self defense and how to shot and some about how to use a knife. She has a couple of steampunk type weapons in secret. One is to stun since she doesn't like actually shooting people even though she will.  I just need to finish revising a chapter a short chapter and redesign a couple of long chapters. Than off to a beta reader or two. Hopefully they don't find anything that needs fixing with the plot but that is their job.

I have done a quite a few very short stories inspired by certain sets of pictures on Google + That is where these three stories came from. I will be doing a 22 story anthology with the stories of one of those sets. At least one of these will be included in that anthology.

I have done more writing including finally for an On The Premises contest but this is all for now.

Now to the stories:

The second one is the third tale of an unnamed older mage, I have written. I hope to do two more about him. All shorter stories like this one.

The stories get longer with each tale. The first two are flash and the third is almost 1400 words. So 2,820 words altogether. They are each different; Fantasy, Urban Fantasy and SF. I think the third one might be sort of or almost cyberpunk.

Please enjoy them and if you do like them remember I do have novels for sell. :)

Dragon Celebration:

I had been staring down at the bridge that led to the city, Averiburg. The massive stone bridge that traveled over the city proper, had been adorned with wide ribbons as had the narrow castle with its tall towers and battlements and grand archways. The ends of the high stone water courses that fed water to the castle also had been decorated. We stood on a rocky crag that stuck out of the main mountain. Below us is a small valley they built the castle in. A large village had grown around it.
When that thought popped into my head, I spun around to face Qu’loff. Most people don’t realize that the last syllable is pronounced with more of a growl sounding tone. His lightly colored scales reflected my dragon jewel. I wore it over my gold colored armor. which had been polished for this day. I held my dragon spear, with its two 18 inch long blades one at each end, but I was so used to it, handling it so I didn’t stab or slice anyone it had finally become second nature.
I looked up to his solid blue eyes, no one could tell how they saw with no pupils but they did rather well. His breath smelled of heat and only slightly of burnt meat so I could tell he hadn’t eaten for a while, but I knew that anyway.
“Dragons don’t like human celebrations.”
“True,” he stated in a haughty tone, but continued in a normal one, “but this one is special. It is the only one we Flying, Fire People willing participate in.”
They have one word instead of “Flying, fire people”, but that is how my mind translates it.
The wind up here on the crag were we stood picked up, the padding under my armor protected me from cold winds on land or in the air, but my helm was up and my face felt the cold.
He paused for a moment, “I find myself eager for this one.”
Qu’loff stared at me for a moment with his head slightly tilted, so I knew I was the reason he was eager for this celebration. Most partnerships between humans and dragons happened between those of the same gender. You could count the mixed pairings in the last twenty years on both hands. I was one and the rider I liked, Jorume, was another. He had a female dragon, hatched a year before Qu’loff. It made certain behaviors of both beings easier to understand and cope with, but while certain thoughts, feelings, bodily functions were difficult to understand and go through, we understood each other well.
I watched the other dragons, most but not all with riders, fly around the castle or land on various spots. I was off duty but was expected to wear my armor, for the celebration and the show. I nodded sent a mental message of my joy of knowing him and that it was time to go, to my dragon. That had become second nature too.
I climbed up the leg he moved into position for me and settled onto my saddle. He took off with a sudden launch. I was used to that now and someday may even enjoy it.
We headed down to our place in the ceremony that memorialized the first team of a dragon and human pair.

Modern Golem:

My first thought when I saw her. No, she was made from plastic formed to look like the human body. I could make out the lines of the various stripes and larger panels they had used. Her head looked real: no lines, or plastic shine. I wondered if they had used a human one. If so it was fresh by the look. In my fifty years, thirty-three as a mage I hadn’t seen anything like her.
Would that make it a modern Frankenstein? Or more likely a modern golem, not made out of mud or clay, but of manmade materials.
Whatever. I shivered and not just from the cold air in here. I sensed power here even without using my special senses. She had the most but the tall narrow things behind her each had a large dose too.
The room I stood in smelled of a hospital: antiseptic and cleaners, with futuristic looking equipment in the background. I could hear electronic beeps like heart monitors produce.That supported the idea they had used a real head.
Had they tried for a resurrection? Someone died too young by her appearance? Someone who was very old wanted a new start? Either of those never worked out the way the builders thought it would. Surprising, I wasn’t able to see if they had made her complete since she wore a black dress. Shoulderless and sleeveless but still modest. I wasn’t sure what the clear shoulder coverings were for. They looked like shoulder paddings some woman fashions used.
I also wasn’t sure about that round light behind her. Part of her construction? Something wizardry to keep her going? Just coincidence? It produced some energy.
The round clear ball she held, about the width of the lid for a large drink, I did know. I came here for it. She held it between the forefinger and thumb of her left hand while her right hand bent at the wrist under it. Just coincidence or a magical stance? Could be either or neither.
The fact that it projected a larger mostly transparent ball-make that two balls-was of concern for me.
The more I looked at the ball the more I thought she was made to activate it. The real human head-alive probably-might be used to try to fool this wizardry device. For it had to be a human that operated it.
I shook my head. They had to be stopped. If she activated the ball, they would get something very bad. Worse than if this was a nuke or even a futuristic antimatter bomb. It was a potestatem-dunamas. A redunante name but it fit. The thing had skads of power. Therefore it was used for many things. As a wizardry nuke, a method to change a person into another creature, or change a section of the earth. Turn miles shaped like a splatter, into desert or lave lake or maybe even draw the moon to the earth. It might not be able to the last but one ancient wizard wanted one to try it. He was stopped before he could but that story says he destroyed Mu in the process.
A sudden change in the output of the device, caused the outer balls to start spinning.
Oh oh
I had been thinking in the wrong tense. It had already been activated and it neared its release.
I pulled in as much anergy in the room as I could get, she glanced up as the light behind her dimmed. I’m glad they had a lot already ready, for whatever reason.
I sent a Trick to pull the ball out of her hand. Nothing. Damn, as a golem she was immune to Tricks. I used more that I had gathered, created a large lightning to strike at the ball. That should knock it out of her hand. I shielded myself at the same time. I still felt heat and electricity in the air heard the crackle like roar.
However when the light dimmed enough for me to open my eyes, even though the streaks in my vision I saw she still held it. What? The floor had scorched marks and something still wobbled in the corner but not other harm anywhere. The room must have another protection.
For the next three minutes I tried various Tricks, even pulling it with a tractor Trick I invented, but nothing worked. One last thing; maybe a shield around her would keep the damage down to only the building-maybe. I pulled in all of the mystical energy I could. That light dimmed again and she sagged a tiny bit.
I switched targets and hit that light hard. Nothing, so I pulled energy in, as much as I have ever used at one time in my long life as a mage. Hit it so hard in so many ways I lost track of then. She sagged but looked at me. Took a step my way, I slid sideways. The light went out, I hit the ball again with the last I had and this time it went flying. I felt hot, tried and used up, old but I ran, even as weak as I was I was faster than her for I was motivated. I grabbed the ball from the floor took off running for the door. It burned but I turned it off, when it started to disappear I went through the thick metal door, sealed it and welded it. 
 Yes, that part really was that easy. Maybe the switch was a failsafe or maybe the original designer never thought about the switch. I went home and crashed, rested and ate for three days. Glad I stopped them from doing whatever they had planned for it would have been very bad.


She Is the Best:

The smell of soldering filled the air. Sideborg-a name to say that he was on his own side-watched her. She was the best there was at cybernetic repair and related fields, even as young as she looked; twenty-one. He always wondered if she really was the age she appeared to be. Her experience and her knowledge made him think not, but she was a genius after all so maybe. A few of the sparks from the soldering bounced to his face, but he didn’t care. Even though he felt them he didn’t need eye protection, for his arms were not the only manmade devices he was now made form.
Sideborg looked around, Kilner’s place looked like it was filled with junk, but there was more here than most thought. That was one reason she kept the place dark, so no one could see the real stuff, mixed in with the junk. She had proven that she knew where every piece lay.
He looked at her. The hiss of the special welder filled his ears. Even though the flickering high light and sparks, her goggles looked well used, with burn spots, nicks and faded colors. They were made from a mixture of super tough ceramics and metal, designed to take very high temperatures and were very hard to damage, yet she, or someone else who had them first, had done both. He thought it had been her, maybe her teacher and her.
Kilner looked down. She was pretty and in shape-she would have to be with some of the lifting she had to do and that she needed to run very fast at times down here here where they lived. Her mid length over red-for today-hair was tired back with a heat resistance cloth, but some strands still had scorch marks and the ends lay uneven. Today her work stunk more than usual, for the unique metal they had to use and because it was a very strong alloy, therefore took a very high temperature to fuse together. It needed to be for the use he put it through almost every day.
When she finished repairing the damage she readjusted and recalibrated the computer in his shoulder. The last job he had done had damaged it, but it had been overdue for an overhaul anyway, which, of course, had made the damage worse.
The clicking of the recalibration continued as did the hiss of the torch she used even though she had sit it aside for now. The best models didn’t produce any noise, but here they didn’t have the top line stuff. Much of it wasn’t even third level. Some in fact were throw away junk that had been modified or refixed a number of times. It all worked though. Of course his cybernetics were one of the few exceptions. It had been top stuff, now though it had been repaired so many times it he was surprised it all worked. Plus his reconstruction had been a few years ago so they probably had even more advanced products up top.
He breathed in some of the heat and soldering gas one of his few remaining human functions, when he thought of the last job. His tastebuds still worked and he wanted to spit out the taste all that produced but he held it in since he was in her shop.
Sideborg sighed, last night had been a furball. The guards around that diamond had been some of the best, but he had snuck past them anyway. That was one reason he was popular with certain people. He didn’t just use his strength and augmentations. He could stay in shadows and use distractions as well as the best of them. Sometimes no one knew he had taken anything.
This time was different and so far, as he had heard anyway, no one knew his real job had been to steal the chip with Barney’s safe houses, secret accounts and hiding places for illegally gotten goods. That last was what his costumer had wanted. One of Barney’s men had stolen a very old item that could lead to something valuable, maybe a weapon or a carrying case with a pocket universe in it, Sideborg suspected. He now knew the three places that item could be but decided to give the whole chip to the customer, who had been very happy to get the knowledge. He should be on his way to the second place already-if he hadn’t found what he wanted at the first one. More than likely the customer wouldn’t use the extra info that came with it because he just needed that one bit, and he would be off planet soon.
The rest of what Sideborg found could be worth a lot of extra money, before Barney realized the knowledge had been stolen and redid everything. But that might not happen for a day or week.
One good thing though during the fight with the hidden two guards-both huge and augmented-Sideborg had destroyed the side of the room where the chip had been stored. It hadn’t been planned, but the fight had been messy. The whole room would need restoring; all types of devices and storage drawers and cabinets had been destroyed. Some of it on purpose but much in a death fight. He managed to finally get out with what he wanted but it had been closer than usual. Sideborg shook his head. He had missed that information about the secret guards and had gotten careless in his arrogance. During the fight he had feared discovery or even destruction twice. But he had used his cunning and with a bit of luck, that resulted in the electrocution of that one hulk, he had made it. He had made sure any recording devices, including in the bodies of the guards, had been totally wiped out.
He had barely made it out even after he had what he wanted. Other parts of him had been damaged plus his face and other real skin spots had been badly bruised. But he had left no blood or skin behind to be shifted or analyzed.
Kilmer stepped back and smiled at him. For reasons unknown to him he was one of her favorites. That he paid on time probably helped, as well as the fact that he didn’t call her names or felt the need to show off. He didn’t compliment her much but he did pay extra when he had it. That could be why she fixed him on credit twice, she knew he was good for it eventually. She had other favorites but they were few. Plus she liked doing a job no one else could do, or do as fast and as well as she could. When she smiled like that her work was exceptional.
When she went to get his arm, he smiled, for he would be back to work tomorrow with no one the wiser to the damage done to him. The bruises weren’t matter because he usually had a couple. And with no one being able to take advantage of his “injury”. Or suspect that he had been involved with the break-in. He would take the next few days off, to rest and to see about what else he had, he had made a copy of the chip. Sideborg knew he would have to be very careful who he let in on his knowledge and how he partialed out that data. He knew what people who would be careful with its use and would know how to use the info without letting on they had gotten it from Barney himself. That meant money and favors owed.
He smiled this time.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Two Christmas Tales from me to you-2016

Merry Christmas. Christmas a day for Joy, Peace, Love and Hope-very good words and worth being happy over. For more information on why go to the main page of my blog and scroll down one. 

For now two Christmas stories. One is older one-written around five years ago and a second that I wrote this week. The first one-The Announcer" has been revised at least four times over the years, the latest just yesterday and today. The second-"The Red Sleigh" was revised one and a half times.

You might say the first one is fantasy, or perhaps paranormal, with a Christian bent. The second is steampunk. A total of 3,325 words


The Announcer

By L. E. Doggett

“What are you doing way out here?”

Tonid gazed at the star field one last time, he knew what this who called him but he didn’t know why—this time. He studied the lights for he wanted to remember those bright reds, cool greens, and that new color he couldn’t name. Their fires smelled very new. They must have been formed recently-compared to the whole universe that is. The combination solar rays from all those stars tingled in a different way. These stars each made a sound, combined they made him think of an unusual chour. If he opened his mouth he could taste their radiation. Very sharp and in a way spicy.
He turned. The newcomer hovered not far away. All nine feet tall-two feet taller than Tonid-and broad shoulders of him. His shiny hair hung down to his shoulders. As usual for a warrior, he wore bright golden armor. This set had five dents from a particular battle eons ago. A sixth one made very recently because of an accident with a sword married his lower side. Like Tonid his wings were extended to their fullest.
After a moment Tonid said, “I’m exploring creation.”
“I have been calling for you, for some time.”
“I know but this star nebular is interesting. I’ve never seen those colors before and it smells of a new creation.”
The newcomer looked around and saw what looked like a
thunder cloud in space. The inside rolled, as if colored oil boiled inside an invisible pot. Colors formed, disappeared and reformed in different areas. His eyes widened when he saw two certain colors form for half a second.
“It is beautiful and unique. I have seen those colors only once before...”
With a wench of his head he turned to Tonid with a level gaze, “But I have orders for you.”
With a sigh Tonid said, “I’m sorry, but I didn’t feel like being called on the carpet again, this time for something I can’t remember doing.”
He paused then with a sigh said, “Michael, I know I am the least of the Master’s servants. I try, but my actions do not always work the way I wanted them to. Out here it’s peaceful. I can enjoy creation like it was made to be enjoyed.”
Michael shook his head, “You have done nothing wrong. I have a special assignment for you. One you were designed for.”
“Is that possible?”
“It is—come. Hurry we do not have much time.”
With a flap of his wings Tonid followed his boss. In just moments they swept past stars, outdistanced comets-even felt the pull of a black hole they brushed. Their speed increased until they both out raced sunbeams. As always at this speed a certain noise made him think of time.
One near their destination Tonid slowed, came in for a landing. He settled his wings as he touched down on pavement, a second behind his supervisor. Tonid glanced at the short buildings and shiny pavement that made up their Headquarters. It had been a while since he had seen them, but as always they felt like home.
The complex was larger than any city on Earth. Winged beings like Tonid, and a species with six pairs of wings filled the buildings. Some flew through open high raise windows while others walked the shiny streets, and still more flew upwards and outwards, going on unknown errands.
Once he settled down he folded his wings out of the way. An unbidden image popped into his mind, of what happened the one time he didn’t fold his wings up. Of course no one was hurt, but it still hadn’t been pretty.
Tonid took a deep breath, he enjoyed the fresh scent here. Like a new day after a rain. His body relaxed when he felt the breezes caused by various angels as they arrived or took off.
He followed Michael into the building through a wide door-it looked wider than it had been Tonid thought with a grimace-, through a long corridor with doors everywhere. Finally to the assignment room. As soon as their feet touched the room’s floor an image formed in the middle of the room.
Michael said, “You are to give a message to the humans.”
“Yes you. You have dealt with them before,”
Tonid winced,
“You look the least threatening of all of us. You’re smaller and carry no sword.”
“Did you have to remind me of that? I still smart over the fact that it was taken away from me.”
Michael probably unconsciously, brushed the newer dent in his armor and said, “Don’t worry no one was hurt and you know you’ll get it back if you have need of it.”
With a blush Tonid nodded.
“Now you’re to go to this location.”
A scene that showed short, rolling hills formed in the center of the room. Tonid noticed that the hills were treeless and covered in grass. Medium sized furry animals grazed around the hills.
Tonid turned back to his supervisor.
“You sure you want me to do this?”
“The message is short, only three sentences. You should be able to give it without problems.”
“I hope so. What is the message?”
The other spoke the three sentences. When he was done Tonid stared at him wide eyed, he tasted shock and his skin cooled.
“What? So soon? It can’t be time for that yet.”
“It is. Can’t you feel it? All of the preparations have been made. It’s going to happen and someone needs to warn the humans.”
“But you can’t want me to give that message. It’s too big-too important. You’re an archangel, you should give it.”
“I have given my message already, this one is yours.”
“Remember you were designed to not to scare the humans out of their wits. I am a warrior you aren’t, which is good for this.”
“Okay I get that, but what if I’m attacked? That is very important event”
“Don’t worry you will have a large back up. They will also be there to back up you up for something else. No more stalling, this request came from Upstairs.”
Shock appeared on Tonid’s face as he stepped back, “He wanted me to give this message?”
“Yes, He was quite insistence about you doing it, obviously He knows you can do this. If you really want to you can tell Him He is mistaken. I would not advise it though…”
“No, no, no. I wouldn’t tell Him that. Okay, whe...when do I leave?”
“Right now. You’re cutting it close, but if you hurry you still have time.”
Tonid pointed to the image, “Where are those hills?”
“You’ll know.”
Tinod nodded.
“You got the message?”
Tonid repeated it.
The other nodded.
Tonid turned, hurried out of the room, then practically ran out of the building. On the way back to the landing area he felt tempted to take off from early that was frowned upon with good reason. With a last look at his supervisor he took off even as his wings unfolded.
As he headed for Earth he thought, he was right I do know where to go.
Within a very short period of time he entered the atmosphere of earth. He could feel the heat made by his passage, I wish I could land like a shooting star, like we used to do before the trouble started, but that would scare the humans, so no fireworks.
As he neared the ground, he smelled grass and...sheep manure.
He thought, oops better make sure they can see me.
Less then an eye blink later he became visible above a group of men. They either stood, or sat on rocks near the animals Tonid had seen earlier.
As they looked up; some shouted, while others ran, two backed up while they stared at him.
Tonid felt a bad taste in his mouth, he almost blew it before he could get the message out. He changed his form to one like a normal man, with a white, robe-type garment instead of armor.
Hmm, I can feel the other angels waiting for their part...I need to look my most unthreateningly--maybe it’s good I
don’t have a sword after all...I still think Michael should have given this goes.
With his empty hands spread out on either side he opened his mouth, in a voice he hoped sounded calm but would carry to them all, he said, “Be not afraid, I bring you...”
Without a conscious decision Tonid straightened, in a loud clear nice sounding voice he continued,
“Good tidings of great Joy....”

The End

The Red Sleigh

The red sleigh jerked as the onboard steam boiler started. The quiet night burst with the hiss of a fire and melting ice. I watched the scene from the shadows under a mass of pine trees, many other trees surrounded the complex with workshops and a cabin that looked like a home.

The bubbling of the hot water soon joined the other noises. Snow that had lain on the top white edges of both sides of the sleigh fell and joined the deep snow already on the ground. A device set in the back portion of the sleigh soon hummed.
My clothes were a dark blue which helped to cancel me even though my white scarf might be seen if anyone looked in my direction. I knew though I would need to move closer. I did but before I could step out of the shadow of the trees, someone moved. I stopped with such a jerk. I thought he might notice, but he went about his job of checking the device and the sleigh.
A cold wind blew on my face. A sniff brought with it pine scents and cold. But something else. Certain chemicals must be in some of those buildings whose shadows I could see. They might be paint and clue scents. I knew those odors well. Where toys storied in those buildings I could barely see? I wondered if I had walked a lot further than I thought. This place looked kinda of familiar but…
I had heard of some strange lights and noises out here and had decided to check them out on my way to my church. I had walked a lot further than I thought I would need to. As I watched s silver nitrate liquid, which glowed, began to flow through silver and copper pipes along the sides of the conveyance. The pipes had been hooked onto the sides in three rows, each of which continued under it and, I presumed, around the other side and back the rear end where they went up and connected to one large tank. Two of the pipes split off to travel along two long wooden frames. Eight four-footed animals waited in-between those support arms. The pipes continued on along around the front of the two lead animals and, I again assumed, continued on the other side to rejoin the ones on the sleigh. Or so I thought from what I could see.
It didn’t take long for enough ozone to form for me to be able to taste it on the air I breathed in, even though I stood many yards away from this contraption. Not only did the shadows formed by the forest trees hide me but the fact that the only light came from the moon and the lanterns that hung around the large cabin nearby. It had a porch and a steeped roof with two chimneys and three windows that I could see. A door should be around the corner. Three lanterns shown from the sleigh also. Other buildings, which included a large workshop sat further away in darkness, I could just make out the outlines of a some of them.
When the chubby man in a red suit with white fur trim and tiny bells, was preoccupied with something. I stepped out and moved closer. The man straighten, I froze pretended I was a tree, while he climbed on board. He wiped a hand over his white beard and thick mustache.
The glow from the liquid spread outward from the pipes. After a minute it enveloped the animals and sleigh. Once that happened, the whole unit lifted off of the snow. Only a couple of inches though.
Cold started to seep through my thick clothes so I hoped this show would get over fast. I figured another minute, maybe two to get the thing flying. I rubbed some of the snow from a branch next to my check, onto my lips. I would rather have hot chocolate but this would do. It melted fast and helped with my thirst. It had been a while since I had finished dinner, or had anything to drink. I had expected to have something hot to drink at my next stop but that report of strange lights, led me this way.
I never expected to see a bearded man in a red suit with a sleigh and what might be reindeer. All of that noise and steam didn’t fit the image of songs and stories, though. Of course the steam and white smoke could be mistaken for clouds or snow when the flew through the air, and high enough anyone who saw them wouldn’t hear the sounds. I stepped closer to see if I could tell who the person was.
Damn, the angle was bad. The steam created something akin to fog. I would need to get even closer.
Hey, the cloud of steam blocked me from his view also. So I stepped to another tree significantly nearer the contraption. It looked so real, but with certain differences.
He turned to the house and shouted, “I’ll be back just before sunrise. They will be greatly surprised when I show up tonight afterall.”
I startled again, I hadn’t seen anyone near the cabin or at a window. I must be losing it, I hoped they hadn’t seen me. Now though I noticed a curtain move. The head of a woman showed. She only looked at the man without fear so I suspected I was safe from view.
The animals started to run at a command from the man. The unit rose higher and the movement of the hoofs seem to push it forward. Of course there could be another aethery engine I couldn’t see. These reindeer must be very well trained and used to this, for they didn’t rear in fear or let out any scared sounds. I had gotten a good look at the sleight and contraption. It was as I suspected. I had gotten close enough to see the man’s winkled face and the make up of the sleigh
Now that it was roof high, it didn’t take long for the sleigh to fly away. No shout of good night and a Merry christmas though. I suppose the rider couldn’t think of everything.
I shook my head and the thought came to mind to see if he left anything here, but that woman could hear or see me. I figured it had been assembled here. I didn’t know where those reindeer-if that was what they were-had come from, but I now that I stood significantly closer I recognized that chemical smell as sliver nitrate, probably in tanks in those buildings and the burnt copper stink that came from heating up those pipes to bend them in the correct way. Maybe from melting the metal and pouring it in molds of some type also. There was some paint odor too which may have confused me earlier.
With a shake of my head I turned and continued on to my church. As pastor the people who lived around here-which included a scientist who was also a mechanic and tinker-expected me to be there tonight for the Christmas Eve celebration of Christ’s birth. I was cold anyway, that wasn’t good on these evenings.
After fifteen minutes I found the road: dirt in the summer and fall, mud in the spring and beaten down snow in the winter, and continued on. No shelter from the wind but I made better time along it. The way to the church was quiet but I thought I heard the steam pumps a couple of time carried on the wind. I thought of the hot chocolate, popcorn and candy canes that would be at the church.
Later that night, after the songs, skits and plenty of hot chocolate and candy canes, I headed home again. I thought about going in one of the steamautos or flatbed steam-trucks, but I wanted to check back at that workshop. It was, of course, even colder, but if I kept moving I would be okay. The moon was full now and even though few lights around I could see the road well enough. The quiet always helped me think on my sermons. I found my steps in the snow and took a side trip back to where I had seen the contraption. All was still there. Two of the cabin’s lanterns had gone out, but others still burned. Nothing moved but I didn’t see the sleigh or the animals. They could have been put away but I thought they were still out flying.
I turned back and headed home. I kept half an eye on the sky. Once at him though I saw something move through the sky. I stared at it. There would be no airship or even full zeppelins out tonight.
The object grew and passed overhead very quickly. I heard jingle bells-no hissing, but they could be coasting. I sniffed, smelled pine trees and snow. For a second I thought I smelled peppermint, oranges and of all things cookies. But that had to be my imagination fed by my memory. Pictures of a certain workshop invaded my conscious mind. I had been there a whole year. A lot longer than any other human. How I stayed there for so long was another story though.
I went inside, but didn’t go to sleep. I finally had that hot chocolate, a recipe 500 years in the making, if I was told correctly.
While I drank I recalled a conversation, my last day at that other snow covered workshop.
“Spilsong, we will miss you.”
“I must say that I miss you, the Mrs. and this grand workshop.”
He went on to add that, “I know you missed the calling you had which was given on this most Holy night at an earlier time. I can’t hold you back from it, but you can still visit.”
“Aye, I can.”
As the chocolate flavor washed through my mouth, I surprised myself by thinking that I wanted to visit that workshop and that home again, when though I didn’t know.
I shook my head at that thought. After a sip I stared at my cup.
I thought about how a real leather harness flexes and how another sleigh had a huge red bag in the back. Not to mention reindeer that could land anywhere they wanted to, effortlessly and with a precision that was remarkable. I had ridden in one like that.
Was the fake one I saw tonight part of some nefarious plan, just the man having fun, or if someone had challenged him, saying that not even he could make a sleigh fly? I shrugged, maybe I should find out, but not tonight. Better be off to sleep, I had to get up early to deliver presents, to receive some, have more hot chocolate and sing praises to our God and Savior. I smiled at that and at old memories. I could go in a day or two, maybe with a couple of men just to make sure.
I nodded and finished the cup, went to bed.