My Promise as a Writer

I promise to entertain you to the best my twisted little mind can manage. I will take you from the light, and into darkness. I might even let you see the sunrise at the end of the journey, but that I can't promise. My stories will sweep the hair from you brow, leave your stomach in knots, and suck the air from your lungs. But no matter how far we descend, I will offer you a fragment of hope to cling to. I will treat you to dark fantasy, science fiction, horror, and anything that falls into the strange and disturbing. Will we re-emerge into the light? Well, that is the point of taking the journey. I hope you will join me on these adventures.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


1. Sam was born in Green Cove the night fire consumed the sawmill. He was born with a harelip. The villagers murmured over omens and portents.

2. On Sam’s third birthdate, the waters of Green Cove receded by three meters as though held back by an invisible dam. His deformity was blamed.

3. The water wall was a meter high when Sam was ten. He played below the piers with the other children, kicking the wall, watching the fish.

4. Parents did not permit children to play near the water wall, fearing the unnatural occurrence. However, Sam’s father knew where to find him.

5. Sam followed his frowning father home without complaint. “The mayor’s wife believes you gave her milk cow the evil eye before it died.”

6. Sam protested the accusation of the mayor’s wife, and his father believed him. But a father’s faith was not enough. He stayed home in fear.

7. By now the villagers blamed all miscarriages, deaths, early frosts, and any general calamity on Sam and his harelip. He was a lonely boy.

8. Tragedy struck when Sam was fifteen. Rains soaked the ground lumberjacks had cleared. Mud slides killed many, and the bay filled with homes.

9. Sam’s father was among the dead. The village was in shock with the southern quadrant in ruins, and two dozen strong men missing or dead.

10. Fingers pointed at Sam, and lips whispered maliciously. A village meeting was called, and Sam knew his time limited before the mob arrived.

11. His mother hastily packed food and clothes as Sam saddled his father’s horse. She gave him a rusty sword before pushing him into the night.

12. In the hills above the cove, Sam watched torches converge on his mother’s cottage. He wiped tears from his eyes as men forced their way in.

13. Smoke billowed from the door and windows as Sam turned the horse into the trail. He set the mount to a trot as torches fanned out behind.

14. Sam knew returning to Green Cove demanded he clear his name. He was determined to discover the cause behind the cove’s invisible dam.

15. Sam avoided trails and roads as he fled. Despite these efforts, he spotted riders on his back trail. The riders vanished on the fourth day.

16. Sam rationed food like a miser, but found himself in need of fresh meat after a week in the forest. He hunted on foot with bow and arrow.

17. He came upon a buck drinking from a creek. Sam released the arrow before the buck picked up his scent. It was not a clean kill.

18. Sam tracked the buck for over a league before coming upon its body. “That’s the king’s deer.” Sam spun around at the voice, arrow notched.

19. “You have nothing to fear from me, boy.” The speaker was old enough to be Sam’s father. “I have little concern for king’s law when hungry.”

20. Sam stood between the man and the buck. “This is my kill.” The man shrugged. “Never said it

wasn’t. That’s an awful lot of meat for a boy.”

21. The man held out a hand. “Lower the bow. I’ll carve and dress the buck while you retrieve your horse.” Sam declined. “You’ll steal from me.”

22. The man hooked a thumb over his shoulder. “Left my destrier and mule in that copse. Take my mount to retrieve yours.” Sam hesitantly agreed.

23. Venison steaks were broiling over a fire when Sam returned. “Your horse bites.” The man glanced toward him. “All good warhorses bite.”

24. “Name’s Jori,” The man said as he served them. “I’m a hedge knight on my way to Little Port. What’s your story?” Sam shrugged. “Run off.”

25. “Seems there’s a story there,” Jori prodded. Sam pointed to his harelip. “Because of this, I have been blamed for all the ills my village.”

26. Sam spoke of Green Cove, and the mysterious occurrence of the invisible dam. He finished with the mud slide. Jori kept his tongue.

27. “And now you hope to find who created this dam that is not there,” Jori surmised. “Do you have a plan?” Sam glanced to the fire. “No.”

28. “Well, Sam of no plan, may I suggest you travel with me?” Sam graced Jori with suspicious stare. “If I wished to rob you, you’d be dead.”

29. “It’s a long way to Little Port, and it’s as good a destination as any for a boy without a plan.” Jori shrugged when Sam remained silent.

30. Morning came in vibrant colors. Sam ate in silence before saddling his horse, and following Jori deeper into the forest.

31. They covered little ground on that first day. Jori spent the time regaling Sam of his daring deeds, lost loves, and disdain for authority.

32. They made camp early. “Show me what you can do with that.” Jori pointed toward the rusted sword looped through Sam’s belt.

33. Turned out Sam could do little with his father’s sword. “Never-ever carry a weapon you don’t know how to use,” Jori admonished.

34. Jori drilled Sam long after the blisters popped and started to bleed. The boy was aching all over when finally allowed water and sleep.

35. Jori welcomed the quiet and a chance to study the slumbering boy. Something trouble the hedge knight. He sought answers well into the night.

36. The first week passed in slow travel and hard training. Jori sat beside Sam as night descended. “We are being followed.” He informed Sam.

37. “About ten men,” Jori continued. “They don’t have the look of professional swords, except one. I suspect they hail from your village.”

38.“Green Cove?” Sam asked. Jori nodded. “Do we fight?” Jori sighed. “No. We ride of Little Port like we have. Change nothing in our routine.”

39. “What if they attack?” Sam blurted. Jori’s head shook. “They seem interested in watching, but that might change if our pattern changes.”

40. Three more days brought them to a village nestled against the Neck River. “We’ll sleep on a mattress tonight. No stone pillows for us!”

41. They found a tavern near the river. Jori paid for a private room. They sat down to ale and stew after attending to horses and gear.

42. “I’ve been thinking of your predicament,” Jori started. “And what I’m thinking is you’re going to get killed awful fast without a plan.”

43. Sam’s eyes widened in alarm. Jori sighed as he attempted to sort out the misunderstanding. “You’re safe with me, boy. But goodwill is rare.”

44. “You’d be wise to consider thous capable of creating that dam back in your village. It’s unnatural, and bound to lead to a powerful person.”

45. “What should I do?” Sam asked. Jori smiled“Learn! And when you think you can’t stuff anything more into your brain, learn some more.”

46. Jori continued. “You’re probably facing a sorcerer of some kind. That’s dangerous enough on its own. Asking questions will get you killed.”

47. “A sorcerer skilled enough to create that dam is smart enough to keep an ear open. He’ll know about you before you know about him.”

48. “I’m not going to give up!” Sam snapped. “I’m not saying that.” Jori said in soothing tones. “I’m encouraging to be quiet and methodical.”

49. “I have a . . . job in Little Port,” Jori continued. “I can convince my employer he needs another hand. You will learn much working for us.”

50. Jori’s offer felt ominous. “What’s the work?” Sam asked. Jori hedged a bit before conceding to answer. “A bit of mercenary work.”