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Foot Licking Good – A Collaborative Element Story

Foot Licking Good – A Collaborative Element Story by Vago Damitio

(Collaborative element stories are stories I write based on elements provided by Google+ users – to participate – just watch for my next request for elements)

“Rat-a-tat -tat would love to know what you are looking at?” In fact it was hard not to look but the truth is I wasn’t looking at the large stuffed rattlesnake with diamond eyes. Instead I was looking at something that was far more bizarre and far less appealing though when combined with the stuffed rattlesnake, it became pretty much impossible not to look at.

Those were the only words Charlie ever spoke to me and while I claim some responsibility for what was to happen, I had no idea at that time of the role she, he, it? was going to play not only in my life but in the life of my girlfriend. As I looked at the heavy wrinkles spread across her him it’s giant face, I realized I couldn’t really tell the first thing about her him it beyond the fact that she him it was big big big, old, and probably not from around here. I’d love to tell more, but somehow it seems wrong for me to do it…I’d rather let her words speak for her – a good place to start is probably at the moment we met….

Charlies Diary August 30th, 2253
Today I met two young people that both had a massive impact on me. Should I begin with the good or the bad? Okay, the bad. I had to go to Starbucks to file my residency permit in the South Dallas coffee region. I remember reading about how in the old days you had to take care of government bureaucracy in an office and my God am I glad I missed those days. It’s so much more civilized to wait in line, get your coffee and your number, and then wait your turn listening to light death metal and funk rock.

Anyway, I knew that I would probably meet SOMEONE at the registration cafe so I made sure to tuck my snake securely and enhance my massive bosums with the quad-D pads. So, well tucked and breast enhanced, I grabbed my favorite mu-mu (the purple one with twinks and bears on it in greco-roman stylings) and as I was walking out my door the evil glimmer of Kaa’s diamond eyes reminded me that it never hurts to have a distraction – and so I brought that old rattlesnake too.

Everything was fine until I reached the Barristacrat behind the counter and gave her my order “Extra Tall triple vanilla double chocolate mochiatto frappachino espresso with a twist of cinnamon and heavy cream plus a shot of tequila and a new resident form for South Dallas district.”

The Barristacrat, who’s nametag said “Olive” was a tiny wisp of a girl with black hair pulled up tight in an awkward bun. My order had been clear enough but like all low level coffee functionaries, she was trying to assert her dominance. “Sex, please.”

Now, to be fair – I’d heard that some of the Southern communities still requested sex regardless of gender but this was my first time coming up against it.

“Gender neutral,” I told her. She just looked at me and repeated “Sex, please.”

I decided to be nice and pulled my 310 pounds up into the intimidating seven feet one inches of my body. “Honey, I don’t have one. I’m gender neutral – can’t you see that?” I was hoping she would be intimidated by the way my massive girth towered over her, but my hopes were dashed.

“I need your sex, Ma’am-Sir” – Good lord – they didn’t even call you Citizen in these backward waters. This little bitch Olive was forcing me to tell all- something I hate! I looked down at her and realized I had no choice though.

“Honey, I’m Hermaphrodite – no single sex. Okay?” If I thought that would solve it, I was wrong.

“I’m going to need you to show me,” she said. “Here is the key to the restroom, I’ll meet you there in 58 seconds.”

I had no choice though. I took the key and turned to head to the restroom when I saw the most incredible pair of feet propped up on an overstuffed muted green ottoman. He’d left his sandals on the floor and I could see each detail of them. The three hairs on the second toe, the callous around the heel, the long carpals surpassing the delicate thumb-like big toe – divine. I could feel my salivary glands moving into hyperdrive and I noisily slurped my tongue along my lips to get his attention.

When he looked up I motioned to my snake- the one on my shoulder not the one in my pants – and said to him “Rat-a-tat -tat would love to know what you are looking at?”

It’s all I can write at the moment – I’m still too upset about what happened next.

Charlies Diary August 30th, 2253

Alright- I’m better now. Last night I brought in six prostitutes – two men and four women and gave myself a foot licking extravaganza. I always feel better after that. As someone who has all the equipment but can’t see their own feet- it’s no wonder I have this fascination. And if a few of them had fun with my snakes and tunnels – well…there’s no reason everyone shouldn’t have a nice time. Is there?

And that brings me back to yesterday. There I was, looking at those gorgeous feet and on the verge of really getting somewhere with the guy connected to them when the evil Olive struck again –

“Uh, Mr.-Miss! We have an appointment, remember?” She stood looking out of the door with those beady coal button eyes and that scrawny white chicken neck. I knew what she wanted and I was going to give it to her. I marched my massive Mongolian-Ukranian frame to the door and squeezed myself through…yes, there she was next to the toilet just as I’d expected.

“Alright Miss-Mr, we’ll need you to give us a sample of your pee so we can confirm that you carry all the requisite hormones and chromosomes of a true hermaphrodite…did you know that only .03% of those who self identify as hermaphrodite in the South Dallas Starbucks end up being exactly 50% male and female. All of the rest end up being more male or more female in fact…” Miss Smarty-Party was going to go on and on but I gave her no chance when I whipped out my big ten inch record book to show her that I was actually and factually 50/50.

Now, she just loved my big 10- inch record book because it had all the individual records but it wasn’t enough for her.

“Since we’re in here, can you just show me…?” And so I did. The snake, the caves, the works and do you know what she said ?? Can you believe it? That little red bloused wench had the nerve to pinch her nostrils and say to me “I never expected them to smell so bad – you know, I have a very keen sense of smell – in fact- I think your extra tall triple vanilla double chocolate mochiatto frappachino espresso with a twist of cinnamon and heavy cream plus a shot of tequila is ready, but I’ll have to ask for you to come back tomorrow for the new resident form – we’re all out right now.”

And would you believe that the man with the gorgeous feet was gone by the time I came out of the bathroom? How’s that for bad luck? I’m going to go back now and see if he is there….

Charlies Diary September 1th, 2253
He wasn’t there. And to top it off, she told me they still didn’t have the new resident forms. I’m going back now and if Miss Olive doesn’t have them I’m going to rip her head off her skinny little neck.

Narrator: And that’s how it happened. She came in there hell bent for leather and she made the mistake of attacking my sweet Olive when my little barristacrat told her the paperwork would be delayed for two weeks. The thing about Olive is that between her ex and me, she’s learned to defend herself pretty well. Bluto taught her judo and boxing and I’ve taught her the arts of Tae Kwon Do and spinach sucking. When that big hermaphodite took a swing at her, Olive sucked in a mouthful of spinach, threw a right jab, and sent 310 pounds of Ukrainian Mongol across the sugar and cream counter and into the income tax form rack. Before I could grab my pipe or sandals, she had ripped open Charlie’s pants and grabbed that big ten inch – record book before she threw Charlie out of the Starbucks regional office for good. We never saw her again, but when I was looking with wonder at that big ten inch-record book, I noticed the diary entries and that’s how I came to know that part I played in all of this – as I read on, I have come to realize just how fascinating Charlie’s seventy-one years have been – but that’s a story for later.

_______________________________________

Here is the thread where the elements were listed and below are the compiled elements of the story:
https://plus.google.com/110404902994335579225/posts/Y7iUvtfM2bj

1) name – Charlie
2) age, ethnicity, ht and wt – Ht. 7’1″ Weight 310 Age 71 Ethnicity Ukrainian/ Mongol
3) odd characteristic – hermaphrodite
4) greatest desire to lick the feet of complete strangers
5) impediment to desire – an incredibly keen sense of smell
6) location-South Dallas
7) year- 2253
8) genre- Slapstick comedy.
9) odd prop -Large stuffed rattlesnake with diamond eyes.
10) worst enemy – the manager at the local Starbucks

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The Hu Factor Book2 Chapter 1

The Hu Factor – Book 2 Chapter 1

Here is the next installment. If I am posting these too slow for you, you can buy the entire manuscript as a pdf from me at http://garden.vagobond.com/purchase-the-hu-factor/
And I am archiving the chapters at http://vagobond.posterous.com Please share this, plus one it, and help me to find an agent and a publisher so that I can feel good about continuing the series…and feed my family while I do it. Who knows maybe Syfy will even make a series of it that survives longer than one season. As always…I strongly encourage you to give me feedback whether it is editing, plot holes, emotional response (cool, that sucks, I love that guy) or even “I love it” (and that last one is especially good for us writer types – it’s like crack – we can’t get enough of it)

cheers ~vago

Book 2: Union Matters
Chapter 1

The man’s brown eyes looked up at her. They were desperate, pleading, and filled with terror. That was exactly the way she wanted it.

“Okay, Mr. By-The-Book, are you gonna play ball or do I have Jimbo let go?” Emma never got tired of this part of her job. She looked at Jimbo and gave him an almost imperceptible nod. Jimbo shifted his grip on H. Nathan Price, the chief postal inspector for the State of New Jersey, just enough so that Price could feel the gravity that was pulling at his chain encrusted, padlocked legs. It was only about thirty pounds beyond his usual weight, but combined with not being able to use his legs, it meant that if Jimbo did let go, Price was destined to become a permanent attraction at the bottom of the Ocean City pier.

The problem wasn’t with Price himself. He was a pretty nice guy and for the most part the interactions between he and Emma had always been very pleasant. This wasn’t about personal relationships however, this was Union business.

The United States Postal Service was more than just a part of the government that got letters from here to there. The USPS had become one of the top ten economies in the world. The USPS, by itself generated more income than nearly all of the countries in the world. Mail was big business and big business means big money. So of course, in a business that was pulling in so much cash, it was only fair that the employees get a fair amount of it. To make sure that happened, the Postal Employees Union was willing to take some pretty drastic measures. It was what kept postal workers from blowing each other away in one of the highest stress business environments the world had ever seen. Sure, sometimes they weren’t able to get the concessions they wanted, and sometimes a disgruntled worker managed to get a semi automatic rifle past security. That was life.

But, the Union did everything they could to make sure that those kind of situations didn’t develop. Hence, H. Nathan Price, Chief Postal Inspector of the State of New Jersey, found himself dangling off the end of the pier in Ocean City while Emma outlined how he had managed to put himself in the precarious situation he now found himself in.

“So Price, maybe you don’t know exactly what is happening here? Let me summarize it for you. The Union has been negotiating some very tricky legislation that would allow certain aspects of the USPS to become privatized. As an organization which represents nearly half a million postal workers, our Union leaders have determined that privatization of certain aspects of the postal service would allow workers to earn more, work less, and overall, enjoy a higher standard of living. Key to making this all happen, is letting those pricks at Capital Hill know that this move would be good for the security and safety of the American people. There have been a lot of people that spent a lot of time on this. A lot of Union money has gone into this too.” She looked at Price, not sure if he was listening, but seeing that he would agree to just about anything right now.

She looked up at Jimbo, “ You okay there Big Guy? You’re not going to accidentally drop him are you?”

Jimbo just laughed. “Can I Boss?” He laughed more.

It was too much for Price. “I’ll do it. I’ll do whatever you want. I swear, I didn’t mean to cause any problem to the Union. I’m a member for Christ sake. Please!”

Emma lit a cigarette. She knew it was deadly. It had killed her last husband, may he rest in peace, but she liked smoking. Especially at times like this, when she was working.

“But H. Nathan, what does the H stand for anyway?” She took a drag, savoring his panic.

“Hornblower. It stands for Hornblower.” Jimbo started laughing again. Emma wanted to laugh, but she knew it would be like taking a step backward. She kept her game face on.

“Hornblower? Are you serious? A guy like you? A whistle blower and your name is actually Hornblower? You can’t be serious?” She liked the gravel sound of her voice against the deep rumble of Jimbo’s laughter. They worked well together.

“I swear. My mother was a huge fan of C.S. Forrester. Horatio Hornblower. I swear. Please, please, bring me up.”

“Okay, not quite yet Hornblower…I was about to tell you why the Union is a little upset with you.” She took another drag from her Lucky Strike. “See, we’ve gone to all this trouble to make the world a better place for our Union members, and everything seems to be going smooth, and suddenly, we get word from one of our lobbyists that you have been contacting some people on Capital Hill about a few statutes that might have been bent by some of our largest customers, and about how you may have suggested to lawmakers that the security of the United States may be at risk by turning over aspects of the Postal Service to private enterprise. We think that’s a pretty silly accusation, don’t you?”

It was windy as hell. As always, she was very appreciative of Jimbo’s staunchness in the face of adverse weather. The waves were actually coming up to nearly high enough to hit Price, Hornblower.

“So let me ask you again Hornblower, are you ready to play ball or what?”

“I’ll do whatever the Union wants. I swear. I swear. Please, just get me up out of the water.” Maybe he was feeling the waves after all. No doubt that he was feeling the ocean spray.

“Okay, but you know Hornblower, if you don’t do like you say you will, the Union is full of people that aren’t as sensitive as I am. I admit, that a part of the reason I’m listening to you, is because of the personal working relationship we’ve developed over the years. I like you, Hornblower.” She looked at Jimbo again and nodded for him to pull him up. It was amazing to watch the ease with which Jimbo pulled Price onto the pier and laid him down on the wet planks that made up the surface.

The weather was giving her a serious case of the creeps. There was a greenish color to the sky that reminded her of hurricanes. She would be happy to get off this dock and back to her warm little condo in Atlantic City. The waves were actually getting bigger. A couple of them actually made it up over the top of the eighteen foot pier. Jimbo was unlocking the padlocks that held the chains on Hornblower Nelson Price’s legs. A huge gust ripped her cigarette from her hand and sent it flying towards the shore. Yeah, she would be glad to go home all right.

“Seems like the gumbo’s about to hit the fan, Boss.” Jimbo liked to use colorful phrases. Most of the guys that worked with freight did. It was one of many reasons why she preferred to work with them instead of the candy ass carriers and clerks who worked inside all day.

“You can say that again. Let’s get the bejesus out of here.” The chains were unlocked finally, it would only be a matter of a few minutes unwinding them and then they could drop Price off at home and head back up the coast. Unfortunately for Hornblower Nelson Price, that sequence of events was washed away from reality as a tugboat that had been blown from it’s mooring, smashed into the pier, carried by a windborne twenty foot wave.

Somehow, with an instinct that was born of working in dangerous situations where one might get crushed for nearly his entire life, Jimbo managed to grab Emma and leap at least ten feet, just far enough away so that Emma saw the tug shear the top off the pier and carry wood, pilings, and H. Nelson Price to the turbulent water below. Jimbo tossed Emma over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes and kept moving up the pier as Emma watched Price disappear from sight. The tugboat, wasn’t so quick to go. Instead, it was drawn back by the water and picked up by another wave. It came crashing towards them again, barely missing the shattered pier.

Suddenly, it was Emma wondering if she was going to die. She didn’t have long to think of it.

“Here it comes again, it’s coming straight at us!” Emma screamed out as she watched the boat on a wave that seemed even larger than the last coming towards them.

She didn’t know how he did it, but with some sort of superhuman effort, Jimbo managed to throw her the remaining distance to the shore. She saw the boat about to smash the pier out from under them and then felt herself flying through the air. She tried to get her feet under her, but it was too much for a fifty year old woman to suddenly become an acrobat. She landed head first on the cement and everything went completely black.

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The Hu Factor Book 1 Chapter 8

The Hu Factor Book 1 chapter 8

Here is the next installment. If I am posting these too slow for you, you can buy the entire manuscript as a pdf from me at http://garden.vagobond.com/purchase-the-hu-factor/
And I am archiving the chapters at http://vagobond.posterous.com Please share this, plus one it, and help me to find an agent and a publisher so that I can feel good about continuing the series…and feed my family while I do it. Who knows maybe Syfy will even make a series of it that survives longer than one season. As always…I strongly encourage you to give me feedback whether it is editing, plot holes, emotional response (cool, that sucks, I love that guy) or even “I love it” (and that last one is especially good for us writer types – it’s like crack – we can’t get enough of it)

cheers ~vago
Chapter 8

Vlad’s pace was fast and there was no conversation between the two men as they quickly hoofed it down one street after another. Eventually the shapes of the building faces began to differ, but not much else. Vlad made frequent left and right turns at seeming random, Ben quickly lost track of where he was in relation to where he had been. The buildings seemed to be smaller and there were more doors and smaller windows than there had been at first. Rather than slowing, Vlad’s pace increased, Ben was certain that the man would pick a building to hole up in soon, but he seemed to be in a sort of groove that kept him moving forward, turning right, turning right again, turning left, turning right, turning left, and then going straight with no particular order or agenda that Ben could figure out.

Ben was glad to keep moving. He was spooked by the lack of garbage cans and cars. He was probably in stress related shock over this whole thing. It took him at least an hour before he stopped and called out to Vlad.

“Hey, Vlad…I need to rest. I can’t keep up this pace with you. And besides that, I need to know…are you going someplace specific? Do you have some idea where we are or are you just covering distance?”

Vlad stopped and turned to Ben. “No, I have no ideas. When you said there were no cars, I noticed that there are also no trees. I decided to keep going until I saw a tree. So far, I haven’t seen a single one. I have also been listening for any sound at all, but aside from you and me, there is nothing, but have you noticed that the buildings are different?” He motioned to the buildings around them.

Ben nodded. He was taking in the idea that there were no trees. It was too hard to reconcile anything at all. If he thought of that, he thought of the lack of paper, if he thought of that, he thought about junk food, and as soon as he thought about the junk food, he was reminded that he was thirstier and hungrier than he ever remembered being. Hadn’t he been about to leave his shop and go eat fancy cheese and hors devourers with Giselle? Wasn’t he about to bury his senses in the smell of her flesh and the sound of her moans? Hadn’t he just filled the last order of the day? He felt himself clenching his fists and grinding his teeth as he became totally enraged for the first time since he had awakened. Anger coursed through him and built until he was unable to control himself and he fell to his knees screaming his rage at the top of his lungs.

“THIS IS NOT THE WHAT I HAD IN MIND FOR TONIGHT!!! WHO THE IS DOING THIS? SHOW YOUR SELF! NOW!”

He could see Vlad looking at him. He watched the shock on his face. He didn’t care. He didn’t even know this guy. None of this was real. He had completely lost his mind and now he was sure of it. And then he started laughing like a maniac again as he thought to himself that he had never known that being crazy made one feel so god damn thirsty. Vlad watched him laughing in the street. He didn’t stop. He just kept laughing. Finally, getting himself in some sort of control, he managed to sputter out, “I bet you never thought being crazy would make you so thirsty.” And then he was laughing again. Now he saw Vlad coming towards him. Felt him lifting him up.

“Ben, you’ve got to get yourself together. Ben, you’ve got to get up. Ben….Oh no.” Vlad let go of him and stepped past him. Ben managed to catch himself and avoid falling back to the ground. In the process, he put his laughing fit behind him and turned to look at what had so suddenly caught Vlad’s attention. As he turned, he heard them first.

The noise was a mixture of animal and human noises. He could hear yelling and barking and the sounds of feet and paws coming closer. As he turned, he saw that they had just come around the corner and he forgot any hunger or thirst he had felt as total and complete terror gripped him. Adrenaline flooded his nervous system and he realized that flight was the only option his body was giving him. He turned and ran. He could see that Vlad had had the same reaction as his back moved away ahead of him. Both men were running.

They were not alone anymore.

The narrow streets, Ben’s laughter, and their own movement must have kept them from hearing the noise of the horde behind them before. In the brief moment he had taken to look, Ben had seen three human figures running towards him. They were not what had sent him into a panic. Behind the people, were what seemed to be dozens of dogs. It didn’t take a genius to realize that the people were running from the dogs and that when the dogs caught them, they were going to be dead. Ben followed Vlad as he took one turn after another, from the sounds he heard behind him, he could tell that the mass behind him was also following. Vlad took a left into a narrow alley, Ben followed, and then disaster. They were in a dead end alleyway that was no more than ten feet across with unassailable side walls. As soon as he turned the corner, Ben saw that Vlad was coming back towards him. He tried to turn and exit the alleyway, but it was too late. The three people behind him nearly knocked him over as they ran around the corner and past him. The dogs were already blocking the exit.

Ben gripped his makeshift knife and tossed his coil of garbage cloth rope to the ground as he backed up. He heard one woman scream as she found the same dead end he and Vlad had encountered. A large grayish dog bounded around the corner and Ben jabbed with his glass shard knife towards the beast. It was hard to tell over the massive din being made by all the animals, but he was pretty sure he had heard a loud yelping. The dogs had stopped running as if some instinct had told them that they had their prey cornered.

Ben risked a glance behind him and saw two women and a man. The man was tall and black. The women were lighter and shorter. In the moment he looked, that was all he could tell. He faced back towards the pack of canines that was massing in front of him. They were all sizes and shapes. He saw no collars and he felt no love from these best friends of man. Instead, he realized that these dogs were looking at him as their next meal. If the dogs were anywhere near as hungry as he was, he knew that things were about to get ugly. As he looked, he realized that the dogs were not only as hungry as he was, they were more hungry.

Still gripping his glass dagger, he had continued backing up until he could back up no more. Vlad was on his right, the new man on his left, and the two women further to his left.

“We’ve got to kill some of these pooches or we are all dead meat.” The woman’s voice was gravelly and strong. “Go home dogs. Bad dogs. Go home you mangy curs. Get.” Ben glanced to his left and saw the woman stepping forward towards the pack. She was thick, not fat, but solid with a piece of cloth wrapped around her torso. As she stepped towards the dogs, a big Dalmatian lunged forward and leapt into the air. Ben didn’t have time to think, he was flying towards the dog knowing that if he didn’t knock it from it’s trajectory, it would connect with this woman’s throat and send the rest of the dogs into a bloodlust that wouldn’t end until they were all dead.

He wasn’t sure that he would make it, but just when it seemed that he was too late, his body hit the dog and caused it to slam against the wall to the side. He had made it. He hit the wall with only the dog’s body to soften the impact. For just a moment, he felt a surge of strength and pride and then he was covered with dogs. As he fought his way up from the mass of teeth and claws that were upon him, he saw that the other four were also under attack. Hoping that desperation would give him strength, he slashed and stabbed while getting bit from all sides. The dogs were not well organized like a wolf pack, this was a free for all. For just a moment, he thought they might manage to beat them, then he saw the second woman fall under the mass of fur. He tried to make it to where she had disappeared in a sea of pets gone wild. The other three too, were trying to reach her. It was hopeless though. There were too many dogs. When he saw the big greyish dog knock Vlad from his feet, he realized they were doomed.

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L33t – a collaborative element story by Vago Damitio

L33t – a collaborative element story by Vago Damitio

Please +1 and share with your circles so that we can get more interaction on the next story.

Okay…technically it’s a new day so I’m going to post the next daily collaborative element story. It was too fun to wait, so I wrote it now instead of later. Here is the thread where the elements were provided…
https://plus.google.com/110404902994335579225/posts/PUpQ98v9YK5

And all of the collaborative element stories so far can be found at http://posterous.vagobond.com

L33t__________________________________________________________________

“What have I done to deserve this?”

With outrage coursing through his veins he screamed at the sky, demanding answers that he knew he would never receive. A lifetime’s worth of frustration leading to this demand from his creator. 187 blarths of matter packed into one body that stood only five flennings and that on tip toes… still the rage had to go somewhere and he knew not where to direct it than upwards from the steel-soil of Trinpolo V, the city-state of his birth and home to the Barwhari Clan.

“Give me answers – I beg of you!” his words fell into the sky before dropping into the ocean surrounding the artificial ground of his not so recent birthing. Having lived just 240 seasons of the third moon, he was set to begin his adult-quest at which point he would be given the chance to enter the breeding chamber to prove his genetic suitability. Lifting his well muscled arm he shook it at the sky. “Why have you done this to me?”

He was momentarily shocked to hear a reply.

“wh47 12 17 7H47 J00 R 50 uP5e7 480U7 70574d4808?” he spun quickly and lost all of his surprise when he saw his personal droid, L33t – flashing a holographic display of it’s words into the vacant air in front of it.

“What a piece of junk,” he mumbled looking at L33t’s rusty servos and salt damaged titanium shell. “What am I upset about? Isn’t it obvious?”

“aC7uAlly Ma573R 7O57Ada8O8, 17’2 nO7. WoULD U cAr3 7O ofF3R MOR3 1nFoRmA71oN?” The red letters made a slight sizzling sound as they appeared in the air. One thing you learned when you dealt with a b-class retro protocal droid was that they didn’t have any sense of the universal. Everything had to be explained.

“Not that you would understand L33t, but I’m fairly pissed off at this name. Here we are living on a platform created in the middle of the ocean. I live under three moons, am about to engage on the purpose of my life, in a city made from artificial platforms in the center of the Great Ocean of Calibratambia. I’m a member of the Barwhari Clan of Trinpolo and my best friend is a robot and that bastard author has the nerve to name me Tostada Bob! Give me a break – this is Year of Prantash Karuba 58875 on a distant planet in a galaxy far far away and he gives me a three letter name attached to a Mexican food moniker? It’s just not right! I’ve been dealing with this for 240 seasons of the third moon and there he sits typing away at his computer – the best he can do is to call me Tostada Bob?”

Turning back to the sky he shook his fist. “I demand answers you grape eating monkey-fish! What are you some kind of homeless wookie-geek? How dare you do this to me!”

At this point, the author was more than a little disturbed and decided to consider Tostada Bob’s success. A booming voice came from the sea “From this day forward your name will be Baraboma.” And with that the wookie author threw a bone to his angry protaganist.

It was however, not well met.

“What the hell is that? I ask you for a great name and you simply put the two names of a President together? Frankly, I think Tostada Bob was better.” He continued shaking his fist as all angry protaganists sometimes do.

The author was none too pleased “You call me a wookie and expect me to do you favors? – from this point forward your name is Namby Pamby.” The newly named Namby-Pamby was certainly not going to take this lying down. Namby-Pamby decided to abandon his quest for an energy source to save his homeland which was now far past it’s maximum capacity of 5000 souls – he would kill himself by plummeting to his death in the dangerous waters and being eaten by the elemental forces that filled it. He would become one with the light-rogs and end this horrible story before it could begin.

The only problem was that the author was one step ahead of him and put him in a motorized wheelchair that was pre-programmed to protect it’s occupant at all costs. He could no longer kill himself.

“What am I to do?” he shouted. For a moment there was no answer but as usually happened, his hyperactive best friend L33t decided to take matters into his own servos and offered a solution.

““1 5U99357 4 n3W 57R4739y, N4M8Y-p4m8Y. L37 73h W00k133 w1N.” It was his only hope. L33t saw what he had missed – there is no way to win against he who writes your destiny.

“Okay, okay – give me my old name back. Please.” The man who had recently been Namby-Pamby was now freed from the dreadful name and out of gratitude for this unexpectedly compliant behavior the author now called him Tostatabob.

“Hmmm…that’s not bad,” Tostadabob said to his droid. “It’s amazing what a difference a little space can make.”

L33t wasn’t surprised but felt it was now his duty to bring Tostadabob back to the task at hand. He needed to discover a way to create enough power to operate the food replicators and air scrubbers for the balooning population of Trinpolo V.

It turned out that the solution was under his feet all along and since the author had somehow neglected to collect an impediment to Tostabob’s desire, all of the pieces quickly fell into place. Stepping out of the wheelchair he was no longer confined to he walked backwards into the nearby electrical supply hut to get a screwdriver and a length of gestilabrac cable.

“Why d0 j00 4lW4y2 90 84ckw4Rd2 7Hr0U9H d00R2?” L33t demanded in hot pink letters as he manicly circled around the safety edges of the platform and repeatedly poked his arms and eyepods out and then in and then out and then in and then out and then in…

“It’s bad luck to go through doors front ways – it’s the fastest way to let an Iliac spoor take root in your anus. They always get you from behind and they have to take root inside. Besides, it’s bad luck,” L33t kept darting in and out while Tostadabob wrapped the gestilabrac cable around the wheelchair and then ran it to the inverted triple condense power supply. “That should just about do it…”

L33t’s curiosity was only exceeded by his hyperactivity.

“Come look L33t,” Tostadabob motioned to the droid. As the droid came closer to inspect his handywork he jammed the screwdriver into the leg servos.

“h3Lp. MUrD3R. H3lp. H3’2 90In’ 70 Phr49 M3H. n4m8Y-p4M8Y H42 90N3 in54n3.” There was no one nearby to hear the droids screams and the author ignored them since he was curious how Tostadabob planned to power the entire independent nation of Trinpolo V (which, just to be clear was made up of massive platforms anchored to the seabottom but also able to float free in the event of a catastrophic event…just in case you were curious.)

Once the droid was strapped in place, Tostadabob gave the wheelchair a shove and it plunged over the side falling to within inches of the light-rogs waiting below. As they snapped upwards at the now helpless L33t, their energy was captured by the gestilabrac cable and routed into the power grid. While it was amazing that no one had thought to harness the power of the light-rogs like this before, the solution was viable and Tostadabob knew in an instant that on the following day he would have his choice of the maidens in the breeding chamber.

He knew he should feel sad about using his best friend in this way, but the truth was – L33t speak had begun to annoy him at least 200 3rd moons ago. He smiled to himself. It looked like Year of Prantash Karuba 58875 was going to be okay after all. As he turned backwards to re-enter his clan dome as a hero – he knew that somewhere in the year 2011, the author too was glad to be rid of L33t.

Here are the elements from this story – as you can see- I got excited and forgot to get element #5 so I included that fact in the story. ~Vago

Please provide one of the following:

1) name -our hero is named… Tostadabob.
2) age, ethnicity, ht and wt – 240 seasons of the Third Moon old, of the Barwhari Clan of the Trinpolo, forty five flennings tall, and weighing in at a robust 187 blarths.
3) odd characteristic – thinks it’s bad luck to walk into doors front first – so walks in backwards
4) greatest desire – greatest desire: finding sources of energy that will support overpopulated country.
5) impediment to desire
6) location – Location: offshore “independent country”, built by combining rigs anchored to the sea bottom, but capable of floating free if needed. The country was crafted to hold 5,000- currently straining at 7,000 souls.
7) year Year of Prantash Karuba 58875
8) genre – sci fi
9) odd prop – a hyperactive robot who speaks exclusively in l33t, as in “l three three t”.
10) worst enemy – the author

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A Study in Grey, White, and Red

A Study in Grey, White, and Red – A collaborative element story by Vago Damitio

(To read previous stories go to http://vagobond.posterous.com and to take part in new ones stay tuned for my posts asking for elements here on Google+)

“What do you think you are doing?”

Rafael hadn’t seen her come back into the office. He had been….occupied. He dropped the shoe from his face back to the floor but the feelings it had stirred in him were anything but lowered. He had to get out of here.

“Why were you smelling my shoes?” Mrs. Bartolinni was in her early sixties, but she was dangerously big and from what he could tell, she was also dangerously aroused. As she came at him with her old fists raised he suddenly saw her lying sprawled on the floor. For the most part, he hated the visions but in this case it was nice to be able to step back without too much worry.

As he moved away, the old woman’s big feet were snagged on the rug and she came tumbling down. Rafael moved to the door before turning back “It turns out I won’t be needing any tax advice from you after all, something smells funny here.” And then he was gone. Mrs. Bartolinni’s moans followed him out the door. Damn, another dead end. On his way down the steps he stopped to smell the roses…literally. For some reason that ephemeral sweet smell always acted as a reset on his olfactory nerves no matter if the most recent smell had been potent, musky, heady or sweet. In this case, he was glad for the opportunity since the old woman’s shoes had smelled of medicated ointment, toe jam, and dog turds along with something else…. Definitely not what he had been expecting. Hopefully it was enough to go on.

If you’ve ever heard someone refer to a ninety-five pound weakling, chances are the picture in your brain would fit Rafael pretty well. At just five feet and exactly 95 pounds he was anything but intimidating. In fact, no one took him seriously, not even children. He’d tried growing mustaches, beards, and working out but nothing changed him. Once when he’d grown a particularly thick and full beard he’d been walking through the park when he heard some child say “Hey Dad, look at that little kid with a beard!”

That wasn’t the worst of his problems though. Rafael had a nose that made Pinocchio look honest and skin that looked like it had been fried in a vat of canola oil. Not only was he small, but Rafael was ugly with a capital “U”. Still, that wasn’t the worst of his problems either. What was the worst?

Those damn visions. Ninety percent of them came true just like the one of Bartolinni falling on her face but the other ten percent just disappeared. That may not sound like a big deal, but when you grab a child to rescue them from a speeding car and no car appears, things start to look weird and you know what the funny thing is about humans? You can be right 90% of the time but they only remember the 10% when you are wrong.

The one thing he did have going for him was the fact that he smelled good. Now, when I say he smelled good, I don’t mean he had a pleasant odor. Rafael’s magnificent nose was not only huge on his face, it was also huge in the ways that he could use it. He could out-smell bloodhounds and sniff people’s emotions. He’d sometimes wondered if it was this odiferous miracle that gave his brain the power of the visions, as if the brain’s architecture was altered in such a way to provide the one that he automatically got the other. A cosmic buy one get one free that perhaps made up for his shortcoming in stature.

His nose had given him everything. He’d used it to find money (he could literally sniff it out), he’d used it to get laid (because when you can smell exactly the right moment, you can have any woman), and he’d used it to make a career for himself as a dick. Dick nose. Rick Nose. Richard Probiscus, Private Detective aka Rafael. Funny how childhood taunting had led him to the perfect career.

As he walked down Old Compton Street he had another of those stupid flashes that were the bane of his existance. In this case he saw a giant tower that stood way over the buildings of London. The tower was white and had the letters BT on it in impossibly big letters – and then, like that, it was gone. He looked down and saw an abandoned newspaper on the ground. The headline was what had gotten him into that horrible business with Bartolini in the first place.

Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon and The Duke of York had announced their engagement the previous day, January 23rd, 1923. The future King and Queen had caused royal madness as the world prepared for a royal wedding like none they had ever seen before. The advent of film and radio meant that the entire empire would be able to take part. That in turn had caused everyone to start planning their own Royal Wedding parties and that had led to the call he’d gotten this morning offering to pay him five thousand pounds if he could track down a bottle of 1893 Chateau Margaux. Not it turns out, an easy thing to find. Through a chevalier friend, he’d managed to trace a bottle to the Bartolini cellars on Hastings Street but by the time he’d gotten there, all that remained was the cork he was absently fingering in his pocket.

Bartolini had told him she sold the decanted wine to a young man earlier that day. She would tell neither his name nor where she had met him. It was for this reason he’d resorted to smelling her shoes. He needed to know where she had met the buyer. Then it hit him…Hyde Park. The smell was from the duck shit that visitors invariably stepped in.

As he quickened his pace he suddenly had another vision. His white white body lying on the ground bleeding. With five kinds of northern European blood spilling onto the grey cobblestones. A study in grey, white, and red. If he could have one thing, certainly it would be to stop seeing that particular vision.

In such a moment, it was no wonder that he didn’t see the car bearing down on him, didn’t smell the scent of his own blood coursing through the veins of the eighteen year old driver, didn’t remember the woman he’d seduced twelve years before because it was ‘her time’, and didn’t have any clue that the driver of the vehicle that hit him was not only drunk on the same 1893 Chateau Margaux he was looking for, but was also one of many sons he never knew he had. After all, what woman in her right mind would tell a hideous lover she was pregnant with his child? In this case, it made more sense for her to tell her chevalier husband that the big nosed child was his own.

And thus it was that the one thing Rafael desired more than any other, a stop to the false visions came to pass as his white white body lay on the ground bleeding. With five kinds of northern European blood spilling onto the grey cobblestones. A study in grey, white, and red. Even the greatest nose it turns out, can’t smell it’s own death coming.

Here’s the threads where elements were provided…
https://plus.google.com/110404902994335579225/posts/iW5HXMfkrRs

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The Hu Factor Book 1 Chapter 7

The Hu Factor Book 1

Here is the next installment. If I am posting these too slow for you, you can buy the entire manuscript as a pdf from me at http://garden.vagobond.com/purchase-the-hu-factor/
And I am archiving the chapters at http://vagobond.posterous.com Please share this, plus one it, and help me to find an agent and a publisher so that I can feel good about continuing the series…and feed my family while I do it. Who knows maybe Syfy will even make a series of it that survives longer than one season. As always…I strongly encourage you to give me feedback whether it is editing, plot holes, emotional response (cool, that sucks, I love that guy) or even “I love it” (and that last one is especially good for us writer types – it’s like crack – we can’t get enough of it)

cheers
Chapter 7

“Okay Ben, what do you suggest we do now? We’re out of the building, now what’s your plan?” Vlad actually smiled, though Ben couldn’t be certain if he were smiling at having escaped the building or at putting Ben in the hot seat.

“I don’t know. To tell you the truth, this was as far as I’ve thought. I mean, you can probably see better than I can, I don’t know what happened to my glasses, but they are gone. I’m just about blind without them. Do you see anything at all?” Ben was still bothered by the fact that his glasses were gone. He was glad that it hadn’t been an issue yet, but he suspected it would cause him some serious problems in the near future.

“From here, all I can see is the street and the building across the way. We should probably go outside. I feel like I should run, but even from upstairs, I couldn’t see anything that looked an different from anything else. It is all abandoned buildings as far as I can tell, but there must be other people here. The question is though, are we going to run into the good guys or the bad guys Ben?” Vlad turned and walked through the empty room towards the shattered glass wall that led to the street. Ben followed looking for anything that might be useful but seeing nothing. As Vlad reached the street outside, it occurred to Ben that a shard of glass with a cloth wrapped around one end, might make a decent weapon if they did run into ‘bad people.’

As he wrapped and tied some of his ‘rope’ around a suitable piece of glass, Ben was startled when Vlad suddenly exclaimed “Oh my God!”

Ben jumped up and moved to where Vlad was staring up at the sky. Daylight was gone, but that didn’t mean that it was totally dark. There were no streetlights or artificial lighting but as soon as Ben looked up, he knew that he didn’t need to be alarmed. In the sky above him were more stars than he had ever imagined it was possible to see. The sky was literally lit with stars. Millions, no billions and billions of them. If he were to measure the light parts against the dark parts, Ben was pretty sure, the light parts took up more of the sky. It was astounding.

The modern world, the world Ben had been living in until very recently, was so saturated with light pollution that only a very tiny fraction of the stars in the sky were visible to the naked eye. Unless you were literally hundreds of miles from any manmade light source, most of the stars remained invisible. Ben now knew that one of two things had happened. Either all the lights had gone out or he was far enough away from them to see the unpolluted sky for the first time in his life. He realized that even without his glasses, he was able to see more stars than he had ever seen with them.

“Ben, this is the first time I have seen the sky since I was arrested and I don’t know if I have ever seen the sky when it looked like this.” Vlad was weeping. “ I don’t know whether to believe you or not, but for this Ben, for this, I thank you. If only for this moment, I am again a free man. I am alive.”

Ben said nothing but felt tears in his own eyes. He had never felt so small as this moment for both being under the vastness of the stars and for his previous thoughts and judgments of the man who stood beside him.

While exposure to such beauty and reality can feed the soul, it does little to calm the grumblings and pangs of bodies that have seen neither food nor water for a day…or longer. Soon both men realized that they would have to move on in the search for nourishment. Vlad’s initial assessment was correct, there really didn’t seem to be anything to distinguish one block or building from the next. They walked straight down the street in front of them towards a vast wasteland of dark buildings, broken glass, and little else. The roadway they followed seemed to be less pavement than dirt. Something was bothering Ben and it was only a few minutes into walking that he realized what it was.

“Vlad, there are no cars. No garbage cans. No piles of garbage. Where is everything?” He didn’t really expect an answer, but his companion had surprised him more than once already.

“Maybe they took everything with them Ben. Everything but us. Maybe they only forgot us.” Vlad stopped. “I think we should go into one of these buildings and sleep until it gets light. We can see nothing in the dark and we might be passing exactly what we need.”

“Alright, my friend, we will do that, but will you humor me by going on for a few minutes more? I don’t know why, but I want to be some distance from that building we woke up in.” Ben did know why, it was because of Vlad’s confession and talk of government agents, torture, and prison. Ben didn’t know where he was, if, he somehow had ended up in the middle of some otherworldly concentration camp, he wanted to make damn sure that there was some distance between himself and the building he had just escaped from.

“Okay,” Vlad seemed hesitant, “ but I will lead us. I am worried that my fatigue and hunger has led me to trust you too much. You can follow me, or you can go your own way.”

With that, Vlad turned left down an even narrower dirt street. Ben followed realizing that the kind of paranoia Vlad suffered from was contagious. He had begun wondering if Vlad had been placed in his general vicinity on purpose. Maybe he was the one being led to where someone else wanted him to be. Yes, paranoia was definitely contagious and he tried not to let his mind create conspiracies where he had no evidence to believe in one. Not that it wasn’t conspiracy worthy to have his life literally crash on him and then to wake up in this god damn bizarre place, but he really didn’t have any reason not to trust Vlad, and besides, it wasn’t like there was anyone else here that he had met. Vlad was it.

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the Hu Factor Book 1 Chapter 6

Here is the next installment. If I am posting these too slow for you, you can buy the entire manuscript as a pdf from me at http://garden.vagobond.com/purchase-the-hu-factor/

And I am archiving the chapters at http://vagobond.posterous.com Please share this, plus one it, and help me to find an agent and a publisher so that I can feel good about continuing the series…and feed my family while I do it. Who knows maybe Syfy will even make a series of it that survives longer than one season. As always…I strongly encourage you to give me feedback whether it is editing, plot holes, emotional response (cool, that sucks, I love that guy) or even “I love it” (and that last one is especially good for us writer types – it’s like crack – we can’t get enough of it)

cheers
~vago

Chapter 6

For whatever reason, Vlad had decided to help Ben escape from the building. Once started, his energy was focused and enormous. There were no more outbursts of speech, no more accusations, and no more self pity from this man. Instead, he examined the door, the hallway, the rooms, and everything else with a no nonsense demeanor that didn’t encourage further conversation. His questions were short, to the point, and infrequent.

“Have you seen anything that we might use as a lever or wedge?”

Ben answered no.

“Ben, find me a large rock with a somewhat pointy end.”

Ben did as he was told. Having made some sort of decision, Vlad was not only suddenly confident, he was commanding. Ben found himself wondering if he had indeed been the leader of a group of revolutionaries. If he had been told that the man he had not too long ago clothed had been a violent revolutionary, he would have found it very hard to believe, but this new awakened Vlad was the kind of man that spoiled white college kids would silkscreen onto t-shirts. The change was remarkable. He almost would have said unbelievable, were it not for the circumstances Ben found himself having to acknowledge as reality.

He vaguely remembered having heard about a terrorist bombing in the Caribbean several years before. He had lumped it in with the bombings that frequently happened in all non first world countries. In general, Ben was more sympathetic than the average American to revolutionary causes, but the wars on terror had done a good job of lumping all anti government violence together into one giant category called terrorism. The international media had managed to take the thunder from bombs and thus diffuse the media attention that had used to follow bombings, hijackings, and other violent forms of protest. Violent protest had become as blasé as sit-ins and teach-ins.

Ben found a sheared stone block that looked like it fit the bill of what Vlad had called for. He returned to the heavy door with it and found the farmer squatting down with his ear pressed against it. He was knocking on it, listening, and then knocking on it again. Ben couldn’t resist the words that popped out of his mouth.

“I don’t think there is anyone home.”

Vlad gave him a withering look. “The door is solid wood. It is probably two inches thick. I don’t think we will be able to break it down. Did you get what I asked for?”

Ben handed him the block.

Vlad took it and stood. “ I think this will work.”

And with that, he lifted the stone and brought it down against the wall. There were sparks as the stone struck and the sound of metal chiming at the impact.

“I thought you said we won’t be able to break it down?” Ben was still reeling from the change that had overcome his companion.

“We can’t break down the door. The wood is too strong. It is the metal hinges I am trying to break.” Ben hadn’t noticed the hinges himself.

“Should I do anything?” Ben asked.

Vlad turned and Ben thought he actually saw a smile in the darkness. “Yes, why don’t you go tear some of that cloth into strips and braid it into some sort of a rope.” It must have been a smile, but none the less, Ben did as he was told to. He didn’t have long to work on the rope before he heard a heavy crashing disrupt the metallic thuds of the rock against the hinges. The door had fallen.

“Ben, bring what you have, we may need it.”

He didn’t know what he had expected, but behind the door were concrete steps in a narrow stairwell. It felt fairly anticlimactic as they simply walked down four flights of steps and found another door. Vlad simply pushed on it and it opened. They emerged into an open lobby that faced the street. It was still light enough to see that the glass which had once closed in the lobby, had long since been broken out. They were free, but as he thought it, Ben realized he didn’t have any idea what freedom meant anymore.

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The Hu Factor Book 1 Chapter 5

Book 1 Chapter 5

Here is the next installment. If I am posting these too slow for you, you can buy the entire manuscript as a pdf from me at http://garden.vagobond.com/purchase-the-hu-factor/

And I am archiving the chapters at http://vagobond.posterous.com Please share this, plus one it, and help me to find an agent and a publisher so that I can feel good about continuing the series…and feed my family while I do it. Who knows maybe Syfy will even make a series of it that survives longer than one season. As always…I strongly encourage you to give me feedback whether it is editing, plot holes, emotional response (cool, that sucks, I love that guy) or even “I love it” (and that last one is especially good for us writer types – it’s like crack – we can’t get enough of it)

Chapter 5

Over the next couple of hours Ben, with little help from his new companion, put together a garbage cloth suit similar to his own for the man, searched the floor they were on, and found out very little about what had happened to them. Vlad was worse than useless. Ben tried to show him how to tear strips of cloth and braid them, but the Dominican would forget to tie one end, braid them too loosely, or just fall into a sort of trance, staring into space. Ben tried to talk with the man, but surprisingly, given their circumstances, found very little that Vlad was willing to talk about. One would have thought that Vlad would have been filled with questions, but Ben was starting to think that the man might be mentally damaged.

“Vlad, you’re Dominican?” Ben was trying to find out anything about his companion but not having much luck.

“Of course I’m Dominican. What else would I be? God that is a stupid question.” Vlad was back at the window. “I’ve never seen this part of Santa Domingo, have you?”

Ben was a little taken aback by his companions answer. Not just the violence of it, but the certainty Vlad seemed to have that they were still in the Dominican Republic. Ben had never been there, but he was pretty sure that it didn’t get as cold in the Caribbean as it was here, wherever here was. “Don’t you think it’s strange that it’s this cold?”

Vlad turned from the window. He was skinny and dark skinned. Probably in his mid thirties. His dark eyes were set back behind a hawkish nose that was a little too big for his face. He didn’t look like his new suit of garbage cloth clothes felt unfamiliar to him at all. “Well,” he answered, “The weather has been getting more and more strange all the time. Last year we got hit by seven hurricanes so I don’t see why we wouldn’t get hit by a cold snap. God must hate papayas and sugar because this cold weather is going to destroy all the crops. I don’t care though, this year I don’t have any crops to lose. Everything is already gone.”

Ben felt like he might finally be getting somewhere. “You’re a farmer Vlad? Where did you learn to speak so well? You don’t even have an accent. It’s pretty amazing.”

Vlad looked at him like he was stupid again. “Am I supposed to have an accent? A farmer’s accent maybe? What about you? Why don’t you have an accent? I don’t understand anything anymore. I’ve lost everything including my ability to understand what is going on.” With that, Vlad turned back to the window and gazed out to where the light was starting to fade.

Ben hadn’t been able to see the sun all day, but he looked out the window now and felt a moment of panic. He still didn’t know where he was. He didn’t know how cold it would get during the night. He didn’t know anything either. His explorations had revealed four more rooms that opened off of the dark hallway. Three rooms on each side. If they were like the rooms he and Vlad had woke up in, they had no bathrooms, no dividing walls inside. Simply six rooms that opened onto a central hallway. He hadn’t gone inside any of the other four, but he had found similar rubbish piles in each doorway. No doors, simply doorways with impassable piles of cloth and stone in front of them.

At the end of the hall, he had found a seventh door. This one did have a door in it. He had pushed on it, kicked it, and tried to get his hands on something so that he could open it, but all to no purpose. It wouldn’t budge. It could very well be the only way out, aside from the four story drop out the windows. He had tried to set Vlad to making rope so that they could scale out the windows, but Vlad had shown himself unwilling or unable to pursue the task.

“Hey Ben,” Vlad turned towards him again. “Do you think they are going to feed us? I’m starting to get hungry. Aren’t you?”

Ben felt his blood turn cold. “Who do you mean Vlad? Who would feed us?”

Vlad just stared at him again with a mixture of pity and disdain.

“Vlad, who would feed us? Do you know who the people that brought us here are? Vlad. You must tell me what you know.” Ben grabbed him by the shoulders and gripped him, probably too hard.

“The people who are holding us prisoner here Ben. The people who arrested us. The government. Your people Ben.”

And then it was like something that had been restraining Vlad had suddenly been cut loose. “Do you think I am some kind of idiot Ben? Do you think I don’t know why they put you here? I’ve already told them that I know nothing. I’ve given them the names of plenty of people that probably had nothing whatsoever to do with it. I may be a farmer and a peasant, but I am not a stupid man Ben. This may be a different kind of interrogation than anything I have ever experienced or heard of, but an interrogation it is. I am not a fool Ben. I don’t know exactly what this scenario is supposed to yield for you, but it certainly didn’t take me long to figure out what is going on. You bastards have already taken everything else from me, now you want to take away my sanity too? I refuse. I refuse to question my own view of reality. You might as well let them know that I am not going to go along with this, you can have them take me back to solitary confinement. They can put me back in the detention center. I don’t care. You can kill me, but there is nothing else that you can take from my living body.”

While he had spoke, it was as if Vlad had become larger. Something that had been missing from his eyes had returned and the look of despair that had characterized him for Ben was no longer there. Ben found himself backing up from the fierceness of Vlad’s verbal assault. His mind was trying to put together what Vlad was saying with what he had experienced. None of this made sense.

“Vlad. I don’t know how to convince you of anything. I’m completely lost and I have no idea what has happened to me or how I got here. I don’t know where we are and….”

Vlad turned his head and spit on the floor. “ I am so sick of hearing your lies Ben. I don’t know all the details, but I will tell you what happened. The water given to me in solitary was poisoned with a tranquilizer. When I was unconscious, I was moved to whatever hellish torture chamber we are now in. When I gained consciousness, they had you come find me and befriend me. Now you and I are supposed to bond together to escape. Along the way, I am supposed to learn to trust you and then to tell you all about my comrades and their plans. I am supposed to let you know who the leaders of the farmers and peasants are and who is organizing the revolt. I am supposed to bring you in on the conspiracy to overthrow the government. Well, I have news for you Ben. I was not lying when I said that I was acting alone. There is no conspiracy, there are no leaders, and you, my friend, can go to hell.”

Ben found himself feeling a strange mixture of anger, compassion, and curiosity. He tried to hold himself in check as he asked “What did you do Vlad?”

“What? You want to hear it again? A signed confession is not enough? Maybe you have more cameras hidden? Maybe you don’t believe me still? Phaw! Of course you don’t believe me. Fine. I will tell you again. I was a simple farmer with a simple life. I earned enough from my work to pay my taxes and keep my wife and three daughters from starving. We had just enough extra to send our oldest daughter to school. When the storms destroyed our crops and our home, they also killed our eldest daughter. When the government refused to help us to recover, I became angry. I decided to blow up the government offices. I made a bomb from the chemical fertilizer that the government gave me when I requested food. Later, when government troops began massacring our people in the shantytown we were living in outside of the city, I began to call on other people to resist the tyranny that had fallen upon us. I was pegged as a leader. I watched my wife and remaining daughters get raped and murdered in cold blood by the soldiers who came to arrest me. And I have been tortured and questioned by you people constantly ever since. I don’t know anything else. What more do you heartless monsters want?”

“Vlad, listen to me. All I want is to get out of this building before it becomes completely dark. I don’t blame you for not believing me, but I’m telling you the truth. I don’t know where we are, but I am almost positive we are not in the Dominican Republic. Listen, I was in my shop in Portland, Oregon getting ready to close for the night. The weather was very strange. Suddenly my building collapsed on me and the next thing I knew, I woke up here. I saw people pulling me from the wreckage, but I lost consciousness. That is all I know. Really.”

Ben took a breath and looked at Vlad. The man was breathing heavily and he had tears welling up in his eyes. He didn’t believe a word that Ben was saying. How could he? Ben decided to continue.

“I don’t care if you don’t trust me. I don’t care if you don’t want to stay with me. Look, there are six rooms on this floor like this one. I’ve called into them and it seems like you and me are the only people up here. There is a heavy door at the end of the hallway. I think it might lead to stairs. I’ve tried to break it down. I can’t do it alone. I need your help. Let’s just get downstairs and then you can go wherever you want. From what you’ve told me you have nothing to lose. I just want to get out of this building. Will you help me?”

Vlad just kept looking at him. Ben didn’t know what else to say. He looked back at Vlad. Daylight was fading and there was no telling how much longer it would last.

After what seemed forever, Vlad turned and walked towards the hallway.

“Show me this door you have found Ben.”

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Chicken Liver Vanilla

Here is the collective story created from your elements…..read this and the last one at http://vagobond.posterous.com

Elements provided by google plussers at this thread https://plus.google.com/u/0/110404902994335579225/posts/65gQd5QdFY6

Chicken Liver Vanilla

The light gravity of the moon had strange effects on the first families to settle there. First, they unexpectedly began to live much longer than the Terran bound humans below them. That was why at the age of 44, Deborah Cartimore was treated like a teenager by those around her. After all, if everyone lives to be 180 years old, having just 44 years makes one a real spring chicken.

Actually, she would have loved to see what a real spring chicken looked like but since birds hadn’t fared as well as humans on the Lunar soil, her only chance to see any kind of chicken was by logging on to the ominous monocle, and frankly she had never been all that keen on the virtual interweb googleverse. Sure, it was pretty cool to be able to flip a lense over one eye and tune into the collective consciousness of the entire species, but she’d always preferred to be an individual. The ominous monocle tended to make everyone pistachio when she preferred to enjoy the taste of many flavors.

That conservative black philanthropist, for example – the one who’d told her that the Loonies didn’t deserve to eat unless they paid the Terrans with indentured servitude – he’d been one scoop of vanilla topped with a piece of rotting chicken liver…not appetizing, but at least not uni-flavor. But thinking of him got her thinking of chicken again.

At five foot nine and 210 pounds, Deborah spent more than a little bit of time thinking about food in general. Chicken Liver Vanila had brought a Soyuz full of meat and rice to give to Loonie orphans in an attempt to show that his 76 mega-trillion cubit fortune was well deserved – even if it had been built on child labor and Loonie exploitation.

Deborah longed to see an end to terrorism, but even the Lunar States were torn apart by divisions between malted crunch social activists and the orange sherbert militancy of the anti-jihadist proto zionists. Her grandmother, a refugee from the Congolese Genocide of 2032 was a down to earth cookie dough peacenik, but her grandfather had been a French liberal that oozed of fraise glace – his strawberry ideals combined with the cookie dough hope had made her mother the ideal woman to fall in love with her father – a banana pineapple Ho Chi Minh worshipper from the refederated states of divided Vietnam. And all of that, plus the light lunar gravity made her a big girl that loved food and loved even more the many flavors that make the worlds into one giant waffle cone.

The driving force behind terrorism was the same one that had been plaguing it since 2000. George W. Bush refused to die and along with vice presidents Rush Limbaugh, Rick Perry and Sarah Palin kept pushing social justice two steps back for each step humanity took forward. The three of them in one cone would probably be scabby pus, menstrual blood, and diarrhea though the Terrans in the U.S.E. seemed to think it was all tooti fruiti. And that brought her back to Chicken Liver Vanilla and his philanthropy.

She’d heard that he had actually brought a fresh flock of live chickens. That’s why she was sneaking into his Soyuz…she wanted to see what they really looked like, what they smelled like, and maybe even touch one. As she crept up the gangway she could feel the familiar pulsing of her facial acne…another side effect of the low gravity. Pimples on the moon were huge…and they pulsed with blood.

She heard a strange sound and looked down to see a real life chicken at the same time reaching up to squeeze a zit. The shock of seeing the chicken jarred her and she accidentally knocked the ominous monocle down into place automatically logging into the googleverse hangout….

As if in a dream she saw the chicken as she grabbed it while at the same time the entire collective consciousness became aware of the same strange occurrence, a Loonie grabbing a chicken in full view of the evermind. In that moment, the shock of the situation caused all thoughts to turn from where they had been…George W. Bush announcing the annexation of Ukraine and New Zealand into the United States of Earth…for just a moment, Deborah Cartimore and George W. Bush fused into a universal flavor. The two countries became two chickens and her hand became the hand of coercive force…

It was the moment the subjugated minds of the world needed. A collective decision to shut down roared through the cosmos as the virtual interweb googleverse shut itself down forever…Deborah looked down at the bird in her hand knowing it was worth far more than the two she had seen in the hands of George W. Bush.

Moral: A Bird in the Hand is worth two in the Bush especially on the moon

Protagonist:
1) Deborah Cartimore
2) height 5’9″
Weight 210
Ethnicity Congolese/ french/ Vietnamese 44 years old
3) mentally uses flavors to describe the mannerisms of the people around her.
4) Greatest desire to end terrorism in the world

Setting:
5) moon
6) 2087

Plot:
7) Acne
8) George W. Bush
9) An Ominous monocle
10) fable

Categories
Uncategorized

The Hu Factor Book 1 Chapter 4

The Hu Factor – Book 1 chapter 4

Here is the next installment. If I am posting these too slow for you, you can buy the entire manuscript as a pdf from me at http://garden.vagobond.com/purchase-the-hu-factor/

And I am archiving the chapters at http://vagobond.posterous.com Please share this, plus one it, and help me to find an agent and a publisher so that I can feel good about continuing the series…and feed my family while I do it. Who knows maybe Syfy will even make a series of it that survives longer than one season. As always…I strongly encourage you to give me feedback whether it is editing, plot holes, emotional response (cool, that sucks, I love that guy) or even “I love it” (and that last one is especially good for us writer types – it’s like crack – we can’t get enough of it)

Chapter 4

Ben stood up and climbed over the heap and through the doorway.

“I’m here,” he shouted. “ Don’t panic. Everything is going to be okay. Can you hear me?”

He didn’t know why he said it. He didn’t know everything was going to be okay. In fact, everything was very far from okay. He wondered if maybe he shouldn’t start screaming for help too, but the truth was, he actually felt relieved that there was someone else here. Knowing that he was no longer by himself in an experimental Russian film somehow made things seem a lot better.

“Hey, can you hear me? Hello?” Ben called out. When he hadn’t gotten an answer right away, he had started to think that maybe he had imagined the voice. Maybe it had even been him! He discounted that idea right away. He felt confused and disoriented, but he didn’t feel crazy. Finally, after giving him just enough pause to have these thoughts, a response came.

“I’m here, I can’t get out of this room, there is a big pile of stuff blocking me in….are you there?” The panic was not completely gone, but it wasn’t the same intensity that it had been when he first heard it.

“Keep calling out to me so that I can find you. It’s very dark and I can’t move very fast. It might take some time to reach you, but I am coming.” Ben’s new ‘shoes’ made a funny scraping noise as he shuffled his feet over the floor. He figured it was better to push rubble out of the way then to step on it. Every once in a while, he encountered a larger piece and had to feel for better footing. He was also aware that there could be holes or weak areas in the floor. He didn’t want to die, even if he didn’t know what the hell was going on.

“It’s dark here too. Don’t you have a light? Where am I? What is going on? Are you still there?”

There was a part of Ben that almost wanted to keep quiet and sneak away from this annoying person. The voice sounded like it was coming from quite far down the hallway.

“You said there is a pile of stuff, can you start to clear it out of the way? Can you find anything useful in it?” Ben kept moving towards the voice.

“Useful for what? I’m cold. I don’t have any clothes. Can you get me out of here?” Not only was there panic, but there was also a whining that Ben could not stand the sound of. Sometimes no company was preferable to bad company. As it was though, Ben hoped that this whining man might be able to help him figure out where they were.

“See if you can find some cloth. You can use it to get a little warmer. My name is Ben, what is yours?” Maybe this guy just needed to start doing something. Maybe he just needed to take a second to put his head on straight.

“My name is Vlad. You said your name is Ben? What are we doing here Ben?” That was a little better. Vlad, hmmm, maybe he was in Russia after all. Not that that made any more sense than anything else.

“Vlad, I don’t know. All I know is I woke up here a few hours ago. I found some cloth in a pile by my door and I made some clothes. Can you move the pile so that you can get out of there? I think we need to find our way outside.” Now he could hear the sound of rocks being thrown to the ground as Vlad presumably started to excavate his way to the door.

“Ben, I’ve found some cloth!” There was actually a bit of the sound of victory in Vlad’s voice suddenly. Good. Ben couldn’t stand whiners. He was getting closer to Vlad’s doorway now.

“Vlad, how long have you been here?” Ben had reached the doorway now and started to pull large pieces of concrete from it. The room behind it was still dark. He could feel cloth and stone under his fingers and could just barely make out that this pile was a similar composition to the one that had blocked the door of the room he had woke in.

“I don’t know. Maybe an hour? I woke up here and crawled around the room. I found this pile and the door frame and not much else. I was going to explore further and then I heard laughter like demons in hell coming to get me. Is this a dream Ben?” Vlad had a bit of panic coming back into his voice.

“I don’t think so. I think the laughter you heard was me. I woke up here a few hours ago. Vlad, if you go straight across the room behind you, I think you might find a window. I was able to pull a piece of wood from the one in the room I woke up in. We could use some light.” He heard Vlad move across the room. “I was able to put my fingers under the lip and pull it free.”

“ I don’t feel anything but the wall Ben, is there a light, wait….I think I’ve got it. I’ve got it! Okay, one, two…three…!” This time Ben had been prepared. He shielded his eyes as the light pored through the gaps in the blocked doorway in front of him. He heard the shutter being set down. Apparently Vlad had avoided Ben’s nasty fall. There was silence as Vlad’s eyes presumably got used to the light. After a moment, “Ben? Where in hell are we?”

Ben felt a rush of disappointment. “Crap. I was hoping you would be able to tell me. You don’t recognize it?”

“Not at all, it doesn’t even look like we’re in the Dominican Republic anymore.”