Chapter I It was the name. It stood out from the fog in my head like dim candle flicker. The incantation felt gummy in my mouth as I repeated it back to the shaman at the table. I’d heard the name before, but whiskey made the invoked images gauzy. I’d need to go deeper to see. “Karla? With a ‘K?;” I asked, trying to bring the Boots into focus. “How should I know how you spell it?” the shaman growled, sneering a jagged hole in his brown face to expose chiclet teeth that always looked ready to clamp down on something. Tonight was the most Boots said to anyone in weeks, most likely. He was talking to me, though. That’s what counts. The thing about being a drunk is that it’s inconvenient. Here, I had the juiciest piece of info on my mark, and all I could do was order another round. I did so with a flick of my index finger that rested on my shot glass. The waitress always knew to eye-check my booth in the back corner as she made her circuit around the smoky basement pit that was Benny’s lounge. Boots deepened his sneer, his bloodshot eyes mapping every red road to the nearly-black iris through which he took the world hostage by command of his brooding silence. “Don’t care what you do with it,”...Read More
Author: P. Joseph Cherubino
I Live in a Cabin in the Woods and Write Science Fiction Novels and I Sleep in a Hammock. Am I a Bit of a Kook?
Nah, I’m living the dream. Not a kook. That headline was click bait. How’d it do? But now that you’re here, the following is demonstrative of my thought processes in general. So, I have a queen sized bed at the cabin that is more than ten years old. I was using the mattress on the floor and moving it around while I worked on the cabin. That was easier than setting up the bed frame. Well, the box spring was in the loft leaning against a wall. That provided an excellent habitat for mice, as evidenced by the thick...Read More
(A LitRPG Vignette Underdog Story) Daryl ran through the forest as fast as he could, which was not too fast, considering he was only a level 3 and he was just a Mage with all his bonus skill points allocated to the intelligence attribute. Behind him, two chaotic warriors charged after him, one with a two-handed sword, the other with a flaming arrow loaded into an enchanted bow. How did Daryl know the bow was enchanted? He was fool enough to ask. At first, he thought he was having a friendly conversation with two fellow players in the World of Galgalax. He was new to the game, and his parents only just let him play this summer after two solid years of begging. He’d kept his grades up, which wasn’t easy to do as a freshman in a new school, in a new town placed in advanced science and math courses in the only STEM magnet school in the county. His very first VR game was his reward, and Daryl was thrilled. The two players standing just outside the jungle spawning circle were ready to answer his questions. He thought they just happened by and were eager to help a new player. “Yeah,” the human warrior said, “It’s a level 8 bow, and I’m a level 9 character.” “Cool!” Daryl said. He hadn’t modified his voice changer yet, so...Read More
They played cat and mouse through the suburban hills outside of the Baltimore Collective. The Citystate was no longer neutral. Nathan’s faction was taking full advantage the chaos of regime change to infiltrate the area and gather intelligence. Radical transhuman elements seized B-Coll sentience nodes and were tapped into the violent subconscious that the Machine Mind wasn’t yet able to reclaim. The meatbots holding B-Coll were using the nodes to think for an entire battalion of killer biped drones. Partisans were getting mowed down like grass because of it. The militant Transhumans had already incinerated the thirty-thousand-member City Council immediately after capturing the central spire. Transhuman secret police were engaged in a major purge of dissidents. General Martinez wanted those nodes captured while the distraction of the purges was still in play. Nathan wanted the nodes destroyed along with any Militant transhuman he came across. Killing was his own personal mission. At two-thousand feet high, and more than a mile across, the Baltimore Harbor Spires already dominated the sky over the neighborhood once called Druid Hill Park. The hills that gave the neighborhood its name were merely five-hundred feet above sea level. The foundations of the central spire alone sank at least at least as far beneath the Chesapeake bay. The forty million souls who teemed in that human hive must have looked down at the random patchwork of...Read More
In my ongoing effort to earn the attention of your peepers, here is another rambling, unfocused blog post about stuff that I’m doing. Right now, I’m couch surfing at the house of a fellow writer. We are merging our creative energy to into a two-person writer’s conference, complete with marathon outings to the Golden Corral (which I’ve now sworn off). The synergy seems to be working. I’m getting between three to six thousand words per day on my work in progress (that’s WIP, in indie author speak). I’m also chipping away at some story ideas that keep popping into my head. I’ve posted a couple on the website. Just search for them if you want to read them. I’ll post more as things go along. But the big deal is reaching the halfway mark on the sequel to Realm of the Nine Circles. I’m just about to the point where the tension is ramping up. The main character is running into problem after problem and his time is running out. If he doesn’t get to level twenty in two more days, evil Lord Mylos will wake once again and throw the Realm of the Nine Circles into chaos. Between full days of writing the WIP, I continue to develop story ideas. Entire worlds occur to me almost daily, so I have to get it all down somehow, if only...Read More