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Dear Mrs. Dearborn

I wrote this in pen in my journal while I was in D.C.
5/7/47
Dear Mrs. Dearborn,My name is Sam Michaels and I served with your son during his time in the army.Before he was killed, we had become good friends and he made me promise, in the event of his death, that I write to you, to explain why he died and what he died for.I cannot imagine the grief a mother must endure following the loss of her only son, only that as great as my grief for the loss of your son is, yours must be far greater and deeper.It is a deep hurt and you have my most respectful condolences.Mitch was a good friend, a loud mouth that always managed to say exactly the right thing to soften the tension in any situation.For example, one tense evening in a fox hole, a German barrage began to shell our camp.Myself and the other two in the hole (PFC’s Hunter and Barry) were tensing, beginning to lose our nerve.Your son told us, “Hey guys, they’re playin’ our tune.”He meant the steady drum beat of the explosions.He set the w…

Means to Me

I wrote this at work and I had to just end it because it kept making me want to cry. I don't know where it came from, but it just came out. I was thinking about how much I love my son and how much I feel like I'm some terrible sort of father and don't get to spend enough time with him and I turned that minor depression into absolute grief and this came out.

I lost my son today.

I lost him to recklessness and stupidity and no amount of tears and grief will bring him back.

No amount of revenge will make me feel better.

All I can do is remember what made him special. All I can do is remember how much I loved him and how much we tried to brighten each others days.

He was five years old and I never spent enough time with him. Do you ever think you spend enough time with your children? I don’t know. I never felt like I did. I’ve been working full time since he was born, so I’ve naturally spent more time at work than with him since he’s been born. Quantifying that idea in my h…

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

That panel about the Ninja Turtles movie really got my engines burning so much that I wrote a 22-page comic... Here it is.

Shaun (the guy who drew the Hitler thing) says he wants to draw this as well. Also, sorry most of the stuff lately hasn't been prose. I've been using up all of my prose on the novel, so as soon as that's done (it's close, I'm pushing 175 pages now and I doubt it will be longer than 250) I'll be back to the normal short stories that you're used to.

Enjoy!

PAGE ONE:
Full Page:
Raphael, in full disguise (trench coat and fedora) is watching a movie.

He’s alone in the theatre.

TEXT BOX
(top left)
My name is Raphael. I am Ninja.

TEXT BOX
(middle left)
I’m also a Teenage Mutant Turtle, hence the
awesome disguise.

TEXT BOX
(middle right)
Sometimes, you just need to go see
a movie to unwind. Especially after a
long day’s training.

CELL PHONE SOUND
(at the bottom of page)
DEET! DEET! DEET!

PAGE TWO:
Panel One:
Raphael is looking at a cell phone.

CELL PHONE SOUND
(ru…

The Train from Hell to Heaven: Mini-Comic

So, Shawn Bird read my original short story of "The Train from Hell to Heaven" and liked it so much he asked if I could let him do it as a mini-comic. I tweaked the story so it would fit in 10 pages and here is the rough draft (I still want to polish the letters, pick a nice font, fix some of the gramatic mistakes, it needs to be colored too, etc.) but this is it. Mainly.

So. Enjoy.

Click on the pages to Enlarge them. Let me know what you think.












The Adventures of Chet Chesterfield: Episode 6 - Doctor Monocle's Revenge!

I wrote this as a comic script for Derek. It was a challenge because he asked for two pages and to make it kid friendly.

Also, I don't know if there's going to be a short story next month. I sort of accidentally started writing a novel I didn't know I had in me. Before I knew it I had a hundred pages of it. I'm trying to focus on that because it's coming so easily, but I'll try to get a short story done.

PAGE ONE:

Panel one: LOGO: The Adventures of Chet Chesterfield: Episode 6 - Doctor Monocle's Revenge!

Panel two:

TEXT
Last time in the exciting Adventures of Chet Chesterfield:
Our hero, the intrepid explorer and treasure hunter CHET CHESTERFIELD
and his trusty friend and sidekick JIMMY MAGILLACUTTY, were traveling
to the cursed peak of MONOCLE MOUNTAIN in search of the fabled
TREASURE of the CAT'S EYE DIAMOND, when they were attacked by
the undead, brought to life by the evil DR. MONOCLE, using his
patented ZOMBIE RAY.

Panel three:

Jimmy and Chet are punching …

Friend Indeed

I've been told that my preface's before the story cause some of you not to read the story. So, without further ado, here's the story:

My wife dragged me into the dress shop knowing the only thing I’d have to do is twiddle my thumbs, waiting for her to try on two truckloads of sun dresses and blouses. She would always promise to not be more than a minute, but in all my years of marriage, a visit to a clothing store has never lasted less than a few hours. I hate shopping, but I love my wife, so I suppose one cancels the other out. And, at the end of the day, it’s wonderful to see her all dolled up in a dozen different designer dresses.

Even after years of marriage, her beauty could take my breath away. I was so afraid when I got married that her attractiveness would wear down smooth on me, but such has never been the case with Veronica. I’ve heard of it happening to other men. They grow so used to the beauty of their wives that it doesn’t seem beautiful anymore, simpl…

The Train from Hell to Heaven

This is but a sample of this story.  The complete version is available in my print collection Man Against the Future.  From there, you can order signed copies, or buy it for the Kindle or the Nook.


It can also be read in the book God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut. It is available digitally and in print.

I have been dead for a very long time. I wouldn’t know how long a time as here in Hell time doesn’t work as it used to up there on the surface. But whatever time we do have down here, we pass it by doing this and that. Those of us that are down here used to be very bad people. We have been cured of that. We have come to understand the error of our ways. We have been looked down upon as we used to look down upon others and we came to realize it was not a very pleasant.

Most of us have been cured, anyway. There are a few rare exceptions. Occasionally I play Whist with a few of the guys: Julius Caesar and Presidents Nixon and Reagan. I never knew Nixon on Earth, he was well after my t…

The Fleapit Three

UPDATE: We ended up calling the film "The Fleapit Three." Below I've added the trailer.

This is the screenplay we've been shooting. This is the shooting draft in .PDF format.

Let me know what you think. It would be interesting to note the differences in the script and the differences in what you see on the screen.

Click here to download the .PDF... (It was written in Final Draft 6)

Sorry about the hosting service link. If anyone has a better way for me to post this, let me know.


To Be Me

James Hemlock could not see the world through normal eyes. Everything to him was seen through the lens of a stage drama. When entering a grocery store, his head would tell him that he must enter through the doors stage right, find his vegetables with conviction and exit stage left. Any exchanges he had with the grocers or the checkers or the bagboys was instantly translated into a page of script in his head.

Bearing in mind that he would always appear much more eloquent in his head than in reality, a typical scene in a grocery store would look like this:

The curtain rises.

A grocery store.

Enter HEMLOCK, a successful stage actor and teacher, to buy his weekly allotment of food. He is dashing and walks with a disarming swagger. He’s blonde with a red beard and penetrating gray eyes.

After making his vegetable selections, he moves upstage to speak with the CHECK-OUT GIRL.

Hemlock: ‘Tis a wonderously beautiful day for shopping? ‘Tisn’t it?

Checker: ‘Tis Master Hemlock. ‘Tis.

Hemlock: ‘Tis …

Bryan and the Mystery of the Disappearing Playboys

When I moved to Utah, I felt like I was as out of place as a kid could get. That was last year. I’m 14 now so things aren’t that bad anymore.

I guess.

I moved here from California because my parents thought I would have to join a gang or something to get along in school. That was crazy. I’m white and I’m a nerd. Guys in gangs at my old school were tough Hispanic kids. I got offered weed one time, but that’s not like joining a gang. (It was on the playground when I was in fifth grade. I said no.) So, the summer between my last year of elementary school and my first year of junior high, we moved to Utah.

The adjustment to the people was the weirdest part. I’m not Mormon and everyone around here seems to be. I talked to some missionaries, but I really don’t care about going to church. (I’d rather role play at my friends house on Sunday than hear about God. I had plenty of that when I was in Catechism in California.) But it’s not just the religion thing, everyone around here seemed a litt…

A Badge and a Gun

This is but a sample of this story.  The complete version is available in my print collection Man Against the Future.  From there, you can order signed copies, or buy it for the Kindle or the Nook.


It was Timmy Johnson’s eighth birthday today and his badge and gun would be arriving by mail some time this afternoon. Everyone received a license to detain or kill evil-doers on their eighth birthday. Eight years old is what they called “an age of responsibility.” It was supposed to keep everyone honest. That’s what they said anyway. When they passed the legislation, those in favor of it asked their constituents, “Who in their right mind would commit a crime if they knew that every citizen around them over the age of eight was carrying a loaded firearm and duly obligated to dispense justice?”

To their credit, the majority of Americans held it in their hearts that this was both foolish and stupid. Sadly though, the majority of their elected officials were in support of the Mandatory Firearm…

All Life's a Game

Howard Smalls was an extremely competitive man by nature. Some thought it had to do with his lean frame and scant height of five-foot-five. Others thought it may have had something to do with sexual repression. Still others assumed that he was just naturally competitive. His children suspected that it was a mix of all three of these varying theories.

Howard remained extremely competitive for every one of his forty-four years. He played a different sport every night of the week and spent his weekends, depending on the season, playing still other sports or doubling up on his favorites. Monday nights were reserved for playing racquet-ball at the club in club-sponsored tournaments in which he always placed highly, or even sometimes won. Tuesday nights were spent playing softball in a city sponsored league. He pitched for that team every game. Wednesday nights found him captaining a bowling team in a league put on by the local bowling alley. Thursday nights were spent playing more softball…

Forlorn

It was raining outside of her car, but I didn’t want to get out. I didn’t want to go home. I couldn’t bear the thought of stopping at my place and having that urge to kiss her and not be able to. It’s horrible for the both of us. When we stop, time in the car stands still, our hearts skip a beat and we gulp, waiting for the inevitable. But the inevitable is impossible for her. And so the inevitable becomes me getting out of the car, tearing my eyes away from hers and walking into my house, smiling and pretending it doesn’t hurt. But tonight, I couldn’t make that depressive walk just yet. It would hurt too much.

“Do we have to go back yet?” I ask, trying not to sound like a hurt puppy.

“No.” She does the same.

I had no idea where we should go, only that my house wasn’t anywhere I could go at this point. Not for dread of anything there, but for dread of not being here. With her.

She breaks the silence this time, “Where is it you want to go?”

The rest if this short story can b…

Hungry

I really liked the idea of an older brother coming home from war and explaining to a little brother what he did there.

Did it work? You tell me.

“Jack?”

“Go to sleep, Billy.”

“I just wanted to ask you a question.”

Billy’s voice sailed gracefully down from the top-bunk above me. It quivered with his eight-year old curiosity but had a way of hanging in the air, demanding response.

“Go to sleep, Billy.”

I didn’t want to talk.

“Ever since you got back, I’ve been wondering…”

He wouldn’t let me sleep until I gave in. I think I was like that when I was his age, too. “Wondering what, Billy?”

That was a long time ago, though.

I could hear him take a breath, summoning all of his courage, before asking me this: “Did you ever kill anybody… You know… Out there?”

I rolled to my side, pulling my blanket over my shoulder. Maybe I won’t have to answer him. “Why do want to know a thing like that, Billy?”

“Well, when you came back, no one seemed to want to ask you…”

“So?”

This story appears as part of …

The Adventures of Chet Chesterfield - Episode 6: The Curse of Cantors Claw

I wrote this as a short film I wanted to do. Then I realized it was probably a little too ambitious to do without resources. Then I wanted to see it done as a comic short and then that sort of fell through as well. I like this. I think it's as fun as all hell. I know it's sort of cheesy, but it's supposed to be. And as far as the formatting goes, I did my best for what blogger is capable of, I know what a real screenplay looks like...

TITLE CARD:The Adventures of Chet ChesterfieldTITLE CARD:Episode 6 – The Curse of Cantors ClawEXT. MOUNTAINOUS TERRAINCHET CHESTERFIELD, 30s, handsome and well built.He’s a notorious treasure seeker.He’s hacking his way though mountainous terrain.ANNOUNCER
Last time on the adventures of Chet
Chesterfield!EXT. BACK ALLEYChet is talking to a man with his face wrapped in a headdress like he’s from the Middle East.His name is HANDSOME JACK.They are talking, but cannot be heard over the announcer. ANNOUNCER
Handsome Jack told our hero of a map
tha…

Respiratory Alert

When I was twelve years old I was diagnosed with severe asthma.Breathing was a lesson in futility.I couldn’t run anymore, I put on ten pounds and got called “The Fat Kid” at school.Before my asthma I was lean and had an easy charm for a snot-nosed pre-pubescent kid.After I acquired asthma, I spent half of every thought on keeping my breath.It seemed to doctors as though I had a rare case insofar as so many things seemed to trigger severe attacks.I was missing weeks of school at a time.They switched me from one school to another, hoping that would help, but nothing did. It was a matter of blind luck that we had insurance.Perhaps the planets were aligned for a brief moment.We never had any access to health care when I was a kid.I’m not sure if it was a matter of not being able to afford it for my father as much as a matter of not wanting to be able to afford it.I think I went to the dentists three times in my first eighteen years of life (each time the presiding dentist would insist on …