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Writing notes dump

Been aloof/busy. Hoping to get a lot more writing done during holiday break. Anyway, here’s some things:

They sat around the campfire, listening to the trickling water of the stream nearby. Seamus had a bag of candy open and was dancing around to keep his elephant from snatching it up. Sadie was cooking some greens they found, poking them listlessly with a stick. They were shriveled, cooked down way more than she hoped. And they smelled bitter. One of her teeth was sore and loose. She could taste blood from the root. Sadie squeezed her arm and took a deep breath. She could feel the panic setting in, but she had to keep it under control. Seamus might not think she’s a criminal, but he’d probably think better of traveling with her if he knew about her mental problems.

Got to stay active. Just have to keep doing something.

“I’m getting some water real quick,” she said and grabbed a pouch to take to the stream. She scooped it up, cool and fresh, then marched over to Seamus.

“Candy.”

“Huh?”

“Give me a candy.”

She plucked it from his fingers and dropped it in the pouch, shaking it around.

“Why’d you do that?”

“The greens are bitter. I’m making them sweeter.”

Seamus stuck out his tongue and gagged. “Sounds awful.”

“Well, I’m doing it. Shut up.”

By the time she was finished, the vegetables were mushy and overcooked. The sugar didn’t cancel out the bitterness. It just tasted like bitter greens and candy mixed together.

“I think it tastes fine,” Sadie lied. “Stop being a baby.”

Seamus gave his portion to Alabaster.

Sadie swigged the rest of the sugar water to get the taste out of her mouth. It was a bad idea. Her toothache throbbed.

“Remember when we were little, Kira, and we didn’t give a snort about nothing?”

“I remember a month ago when you were like that.”

“Why do you think he left? Puppy love?”

“I don’t know… maybe.”

“Ugh! But she’s the one…! Why do little boys always go for the bad girls?”

“Search me. Is that why you’re so popular, Dizzie?”

“Myeah… probably.”

Dizzie stared down at the waving grass, at the gentle slope down to the next ledge. They used to roll down hills like this one back in Marca. Back when they were both Seamus’s age.

“Race you.” She slapped her hand down and shot down the hill. Kira, with her lanky legs, started to overtake her. Dizzie pumped her legs like she was running on even ground and lost her feet from under her. She went rolling past the next ledge and down the next slope. This part of the hill was steeper and rocky. She banged elbows and knees while trying to stop her momentum. Eventually, she hit bedrock. Beautiful, wispy clouds spun above her.

“Are you okay?” Kira called down.

Dizzie cackled and winced. “What the hell was I thinking?”

“You weren’t!” she said, then a little more concerned, “Is anything broken?”

“No. Just my pride. And my skin. And my head. Lots of bruises.”

“That was stupid.”

“Yeah… I just really wanted to go faster than you.”

Kira half-galloped down the hill and helped Dizzie up.

“Maybe your brother felt the same way.”

“He had to go fast?”

“He had to go faster than everyone else. Faster than Marca.”

Dizzie was about to say he stupid that was, but she stopped herself. She knew exactly how that felt. All her life, she’d been going to school, preparing for a job she’d be stuck with until she died. Life in Marca moved slow. Painfully so.

“Let’s get you washed up, speedy.”

“Can’t it wait?” Dizzie asked. “We know the set.”

“Dizzie! You booked us last minute. At least have the professionalism to practice during the one hour we have to prep.”

“Just give me five minutes to talk with him and then we’ll prep.”

“This isn’t a negotiation, Dizzie.”

“Everything’s a negotiation.”

Dizzie hummed a love song as she approached the stage. She could see the crowd funneling down the hall, finding places to sit and wait, to eat and smoke. Kira was playing the fourth song on their set list called “Belly Feel.”

“Good one to practice.”

“I’m playing them in order. Five minutes, huh?”

“Sorry.”

“Don’t waste time apologizing. Just join me from the top.”

Dizzie nodded. The first minute of the song was just obscene moaning and grunting followed by squeaking and foot stomping. It turned the heads of the stage crew.

Kira wanted to try a song with lyrics next, but they were already being called to the stage by a bearded man in a coat.

“People are arriving early so we’re starting early.”

“Shit!” Kira muttered.

“Hey,” Dizzie smirked, patting her shoulder. “We got this, Kir-la.”

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Chapter 5 (draft 1)

“Dizzie. Kira. It’s a pleasure to meet you,” the masked man said, shaking their hands in turn. He wore a white mask that appeared neither male nor female. As he bowed his head, the masks’ blank stare appeared to smile.

“What’s with your voice?” Dizzie asked.

“A medical condition.”

“Like what?”

Kira nudged Dizzie.

“My face and throat were scarred when I was young.”

“That sucks,” Dizzie said, sucking on her lip ring absently. “Can we see the stage?”

“Are you going to prepare? The concert doesn’t begin for over an hour.”

“Can’t be too prepared,” Kira said. “I’d like to see where we’re putting our feet for the next half hour. Check the acoustics. That sort of thing.”

“You’re very task-oriented, Kira. My people tell me you’ve just mastered the mandolin. Congratulations. I’m sorry if you had to cancel any celebrations for this.”

Kira shook her head. “Nah, it’s fine. Playing an invitation-only concert like this is a lot better than having dinner with my parents. They’re not much for me having fun.”

Dizzie rolled her eyes. It seemed like she had to hear how amazing Kira was fifty times a day. “This venue is all open air, though. I don’t think the ‘invitation only’ thing is going to stick.”

“I’m counting on it.” Shadows crept in around the eyes of Aquino’s mask. The slight smile carved into the corners of the mouth looked sinister. “The world needs people who don’t follow the rules, don’t you think? The same with this concert.”

“So you’re just letting whoever march in.”

“Is that a problem?”

Dizzie shrugged. “It’s your production.” She ran up to the stage and hopped up and down on the boards. The men on security tried to pull her back down but Aquino stopped them.

“She’s tonight’s singer. If she wants to jump, let her jump.”

Dizzie stuck her tongue out at the men and continued to stretch and pace around. “Pretty sturdy.”

“Good.” Kira climbed up to join her. She sat at the center and began tuning her mandolin. Dizzie danced in circles and hummed in different keys.

“Beautiful,” Aquino croaked.

“What was that?” Dizzie asked.

“You’re beautiful.”

Dizzie frowned at him. “Who are you, anyway?”

“Just a fan.”

“No, really.”

“It’s safer you don’t know who I am.”

Dizzie cracked a rye grin. “What if I want to join up with the resistance? Would I get to know then?”

“No. But I’d be happy to… talk further after the concert is done.”

Kira furrowed her eyebrows. She made a small growling noise in her throat but held back any dissenting words.

“How about we go over the set, Diz?”

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Flashback revised

The one time Seamus ran away from home was when he was seven and mad at his mother for some reason he couldn’t remember anymore. He had only gotten to the edge of the palace district before turning back. Past the gardens, at the end of the orange groves, he stopped at a small white object on the ground. It was the head of a rabbit. He froze, held his breath, and looked around. Whatever or whoever was responsible could still be out there. But aside Seamus shifting his weight, causing the dry leaves to slowly crunch beneath his foot, the grove was silent.

He had expected blood somewhere, but there were only brains leaking out of where the neck should have begun. Either an animal had eaten the rabbit efficiently or someone had brought the head here. Some trapper, perhaps? Seamus’s excited brain entertained the thought that some crazy person was out and about. He was afraid to turn his back on the rabbit head. If he told an adult and the head was gone or if they couldn’t find it, they would think he was a liar. But if he stayed silent and something bad happened again, that would be his fault.

He ran back home. Mom was busy with coordinating museum restoration. Dad was at an important meeting with the Council. So he told Dizzie. She thought it was cool and said it was probably the ghost girl who walks around the palace district. Her beloved was a Noble and was beheaded during the war. So, she drowned herself in a nearby river. Her ghost walked around at night, beheading every living thing it could find.

Seamus couldn’t remember what he did for the rest of the day. He just kept thinking about the rabbit’s head. How its mouth hung open in a silent scream. How it died wide-eyed in fear. And he felt stupid for sharing such a thing with Dizzie, who couldn’t even take death seriously.

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Chapter 4 (draft 1-2)

Dizzie slumped down in her seat, taking up as much of it as possible. Beside her, Kira was straight-backed, scowling at Dizzie.

“What?” Dizzie croaked, sensing her friend’s displeasure.

“You should listen to Madam Hapnes. You chose this life path. If you don’t take it seriously, you’re going to fail.”

Dizzie snorted. “She wants me to follow her life path. I’m fine on my own.”

“That’s not—”

Madam Hapnes cleared her throat. “Am I interrupting your conversation, Dizzie?”

“You are now.”

Kira punched Dizzie in the shoulder.

Madam Hapnes nodded quiet approval.

“Since you seem to enjoy interrupting my class as well, First Mandolin Ashakiran, why don’t you come up here and present your music for examination.”

Kira took her mandolin up to the stage and briefly tuned her strings.

“I’m ready.”

“Then begin.”

Kira started off with a simple, silent melody, like the distant tinkling of a musician on the road. The students stopped their chattering. They had to strain their ears to listen. Then she slapped the back of her mandolin three times. Her fingers danced along the strings and the sound of joyful, celebratory music reverberated inside the music hall. Using the mandolin as both a stringed instrument and a drum, she floated from chord to chord, key to key and back again. At times, she held on to a note, bent it until it sounded like it was whistling and crying. Then, just as suddenly as she began, the lively music ended and went back to a wistful, contemplative melody. She ended with three quiet pats on her mandolin.

When the last small echo had vanished from the room, the students rose to their feet shouting and whistling and applauding. Kira lowered her head and bowed. Dizzie hated it, her humility. Kira had played the best music of her career but Dizzie knew all she was doing was sitting up there tallying all the mistakes in her head. It was infuriating for someone like Dizzie who never looked back.

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The Awesome Pie Collection is on sale now!

APC cover

Here it is!

  • 55 short stories
  • Over 200 pages
  • All for 99 CENTS!

Available now on Kindle and Nook.

I’ve had some people ask me, but if you don’t have an e-reader device, you can (a) download a Kindle reader (for free) and read it on your computer. If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can (b) install the “kindle for iphone” or “kindle for ipad” app (also free) on your device. Just make sure when you purchase the book, you select to send it wirelessly to your device.

In addition, I’ve lowered the price slightly of North of Armageddon, my first book. It’s a short novella about the zombie apocalypse. It’s also available to read on both Kindle and Nook platforms.

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The Clint Pereira Master List

North of Armageddon

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/North-of-Armageddon-ebook/dp/B00BO47K6I

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/north-of-armageddon-clint-pereira/1114581806?ean=2940016255484

 

Tumblr

Where I post writing resources and occasionally some articles or chapter drafts I’ve written

http://dryspaghetti.tumblr.com/

 

Deviantart

Where I post chapter drafts and my Umbagog work

http://cpereira.deviantart.com/

 

WordPress

Old blog where I may post chapter drafts and short stories

https://awesomepie.wordpress.com/

 

Linkedin

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/clint-pereira/32/187/332

 

Youtube

Where all my Google+ “Write at 9” videos go

http://www.youtube.com/user/ClintEPereira

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Wolf Blitzer: the untold story (revision)

***You can thank my girlfriend for convincing me to add this one to the anthology.

 

Wolf Blitzer may be the oldest vampire that has ever existed. According to recent historical evidence, and occult researcher Dr. Moose Aldman, Blitzer has likely walked the earth for several millennia.

This assertion has caused a stir in some of the more conservative circles of the unliving that consider Dracula the exalted father of vampirism.

On the other side of the argument, a fast-growing cult of vampires has formed a religion around the Wolf, waking up early every evening to watch The Situation Room. The Order of the Wolfians, as its members call themselves, believes that Blitzer is actually the original and purest vampire.

This sect, all male, keeps its beards and sideburns uniformly trimmed at a #2 setting on their electric razors. If need be, the beards are bleached in order to emulate their deity.

Rumors have circulated that the Wolfians keep secret records of Wolf Blitzer’s enigmatic past, but the Order accepts no interviews and every attempt to infiltrate the group over the decades has resulted in dead bodies, their blood drained and faces shaved clean.

According Boston occult researcher Moose Aldman, the first records of Wolf Blitzer are legends from the Black Forest in Germany passed down through oral tradition. “The Wolf” appears in Medieval fairy tales and ghost stories designed scare children from running off into the woods. German archaeologists and historians have long speculated over a large amount of deaths in the area dated from the 12th century.

“[He] was brutal and deliberate in his killings. If the mood caught him, he would depopulate entire cities.”

During the Crusades, he earned the monicker “Blitzer” after besieging the walls of Jerusalem.

“When they ran out of corpses to catapult over the walls, records say that an old bearded man took two axes to the wall and attempted to scale it in the dead of night. Fortunately for the people of Jerusalem, an archer spotted Blitzer fired an arrow into his shoulder, causing him to lose his grip and fall.”

By World War II, The Wolf had taken the name “Wolf Blitzer” and continued his lust for blood by fighting for the Germans on the Soviet front.

Unlike many of his vampire brethren, Wolf has tended not to hide his identity, living much more like a monster than a human being. Much to the puzzlement of recent experts, Blitzer has worn the beard of T.V. journalism for the past few decades with little incident.

His current position as a television personality has caused researchers to question the validity of previous records, or whether this Wolf Blitzer is the “real” one. Some say that his demeanor has changed in this recent century or that he has turned to religion.

Aldman says that Blitzer is biding his time for some larger plan.

“There are gaps in the historical documents in which he will lays low rather than kill indiscriminately.”

If they truly do have secret knowledge, it could be that only The Order of the Wolfians knows Blitzer’s true purpose, if they know anything at all. Aldman believes there is a clue in their mantra: “We are with you in the Situation Room, Wolf Blitzer.”

“Blitzer is nothing if not shrewd. He is building an army, hatching a plan for some horrible future atrocity, and we should all be worried.”

Only time will tell whether Aldman’s theories are all just wild conspiracy or if Blitzer truly is the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing.

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