The Billy Goats Gruff – A Crime Noir Fairy Tale – Part 1

Orland squinted as he tilted the bottle. Disappointed with how little remained, he downed it in a swallow; then held it upside down. Where were the answers that were supposed to hide at the bottom?
He knew why there were no answers. He already had them.
It was late and the office echoed. Still, he looked over his shoulder. Billy needed the new medastinum surgery to fix his lungs. Orland had lost his wife. He was not going to lose his son.
Before his last swallow of liquid nerve waned, he made a few quick pen strokes. There! It was finished. Tomorrow, as part of routine processing, a clerk would set up an ongoing transfer of funds to his secret account. He was an honest sort, but the company had refused to help. His salary was just not enough. The evidence was well-hidden and another clerk processing it was the final shield. Even the best auditors would be hard-pressed to track this back to him.
*****
Across town, splinters and dust flew as a stool attacked the wall. The wall won.
Detective Mikk Raud, enforcement services, had felt lucky his station was near home. He often stopped in for lunch. How could she? He never saw it coming. Knew she and the stoat had been friends. But he had been too trusting; it was a total shock coming home for lunch, maybe a little hanky-panky with the wife. Then he found all of her and their daughter’s things gone.
Numb from shock, he had gone on a toot. A few bottles of Ol’ Swamp Piss later and he’d woken to the landlord banging on the door. Stumbling over pieces of broken furniture, rubbing his sloped forehead, he’d answered the door. His landlord took a step back. “There’ve been complaints about the noise last night. I’m a nice guy, rented to you even though you’re trolls. Hope I don’t have cause to regret it.”
Mikk promised it would not happen again and shut the door. Then he’d crawled back into a bottle until, still on edge and hung over, he reported for his shift. He had thought routine might help. First call was a stupid teen goat. Had the kid just come peacefully he would have gotten a slap on the wrist. But no, he’d attacked and Mikk reacted. His natural trollish strength amplified by red rage, he let fly with all the pent anger at his wife. The kid was flung into a wall. With the crack of a homerun, his neck snapped, killing him.
Now, family gone, career ruined, Mikk perched on the skeleton of a chair, surveying the damage to his home.
Head falling into his hands, he wept.

The end of a creative group

Sadly a project in which my partnered artist and I had completed our work has been cancelled. Once Upon a Mystery… is no more. Apparently a lack of communication more than anything else among the principals. This was suppose to be a fun and simple project, a crime noir fairy tale that was PG-13.

For my part, I could not have asked for a better partner on the project than Andrew Spalding. He is very talented and creative as an artist and a collaborator. I feel we worked well together and if I ever have the opportunity to work with him in the future would jump at the chance.

Over the next week or so I will release the story here and I will reach out to Andrew regarding placing at least one of his images for it at the end.

Thank you for reading,

Ernest

Road Redemption

Last night I was invited to attend the IGDA meetup and Road Redemption release party! By happy coincidence, their meeting coincided with Road Redemption’s release on Steam. The developers from Pixel Dash Studios gave a great presentation discussing the game’s development and release. Good food was sponsored by the Louisiana Technology Park.

The turnout was good and a good time was had by all.  The game play was fast and fun. Pretty easy game to pick up. If you played a game on the Sega called Road Rash, you’ll find a similar feel here.

Look forward to the meeting next month.

Thanks for reading,

Ernest

This Dystopic Day

This Dystopic day
Spent questioning our society.
Refusing to be lulled into complacency
Confront both past and present.
Protest fundamentalist laws affecting women’s bodies.
At stake, ourselves, survival, and resistance you
Construct acts of peaceful resistance

Not being entertained,
The small minded angered
By the color of your skin.
Somebody burning baubles in rage.
They were not entertained
While the men, women, children dying –
Killed daring to breathe the air.

Patient and aware,
No pat answers or even a satisfying conclusion,
To console the afflicted.
Futures are yet to be written
IF we can maintain our own autonomy.

Thank you for reading,

Ernest

Shaking my head, for the last week I spent almost sixty hours at work collating data and creating timelines on thirteen accounts for one of the investors.
A tedious process at best because the information is scattered through different siloed systems and can cover 10 years.
This week I volunteered for a project with my publisher. No regrets to it, it has been very educational. No, I obviously did not learn that lesson in army about volunteering.
I have a single source and the project is to restructure the format of the data. I was to spend meager amounts of time in the evenings reading through the material. This allowed me to decide on a format easiest to read, manipulate and share. All I have had to do today is type.
It’s almost finished but the realization struck as I was reviewing it before moving to the next section.
It’s rewriting friggin’ timelines.

 

Thank you for reading,

Ernest

Never enough spoons…

Packing the apartment is further along. We have two moving companies scheduled for Friday to come out and provide estimates.

Managed to run errands yesterday and this evening. After success in a back to school drive, our management team at the corporate gig gave us two hours off. It was definitely needed. The rest of the week I should be able to come straight home and buckle down.

The extra time was spent conveying books culled from my partners work library to the Half-Price Books mothership. My will power is supreme, for I actually managed to leave without the acquisition of more reading material. Sorely tempted by a Cthulhu coloring book, really.

My partner is away right now, it was a conversation with her which led to tonight’s poem. It will be September before we see each other for any length of time again. Plenty to keep me busy and out of trouble. (as if!)

The phrase kept running around in my head after our conversation:

“How gems of a moment can bring perspective to the kaleidoscope of events which form the picture of our lives.”

so a poem had to be written. A realization today may spur another poem, or may a bit of flash.

“Conference rooms are the office chair equivalent of the elephants graveyard.” Not sure what will happen to it but should be fun.

Tonight I worked on the next story for Captain Hazzard, adding about 500 words. A small volume, for which I am happy considering the time spent. This story is going to require more research. Some time this evening was well spent reviewing effects of high frequency sonic waves on the human body and how to counteract harmonic frequencies. Glad I have decent math skills. Everything about the story is set fairly well in mind, except the villain. Really have not solidified the villain yet though I’m certain that will come.

And somewhere in all this I have a book to read for a newsletter.  I will be writing a monthly spotlight column. I do not have enough details to share more than that, but stay tuned. I promise to let you know where to find it.

And this is the point I should truly cease my rambling and bid you a good night.

Thank you for reading,

Ernest

 

Its a start…

The majority of my weekend has been spent packing. We just did this just over a year ago, so where did all this new stuff come from? Stuff, it really does multiply. In the midst of it all I have managed to get a start on a new book. Will be the same character as my last one.

“The sidewalk, which in a few short hours will bustle with the life pulse of the neighborhood is quiet now. The concrete oblivious to whether it is midday or midnight. The few scuffling this time of day, the strugglers for whom every waking minute is spent to pay the rent and buy food. Until this morning.

Deep in the belly in the earth, a terrible rumble rose along the street. People fell to their knees, clutching their ears as the pressure built. Three stories of a brick tenement collapsed on the corner a choking cloud of dust flushing the street. Crumbled into its own foundation, trapping the occupants to a grisly, crushing death.

For perhaps a split second there was silence, from the dust, anguished cries arose as the shock gave way to realization of the tragedy.”

Thank you for reading,

Ernest