Vile part 36

Waking up from the best night’s sleep he’s had in years, our villain stretches his arms and yawns to ZERO, “Status report.”

“What is this? Star Trek?” the supercomputer asks sarcastically. When Mortimer scowls in response, ZERO continues. “The police have given up the assault for the moment, but they’ve a established a perimeter both inside and outside the range of the sentinel turrets.”

“How can they be within range without being fired upon?”

“You programmed your turrets not to fire upon the dead, Dr. Hex, to preserve ammunition,” explains ZERO. “It is a perimeter of corpses.”

“Excellent!” Our villain had fallen asleep in his black leather outfit, so he changes quickly into a green bathrobe before running to the polhelicopter pad once again to view his handiwork.

A near-perfect circle of dead policemen surrounds his estate. Further off, a living, if bedraggled circle of policemen stands guard. He takes his phone out of his bathrobe pocket and snaps a photo for the memories. This whole venture has become his favorite since he invented HIV.

One of the police begins yelling something through a megaphone, but Mortimer ignores the sound, concentrating and relishing on the carnage instead. One brave soul had made it as far as the spiked pits.

“It seems a bit too much, don’t you think?” remarks ZERO.

“Of course not!” replies Mortimer. “I placed signs all over the property warning people not to trespass.”

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Vile Part 35

The bright fires and penetrating sounds of sirens die away as the helicopter chops its way across Last Kale, but as Mortimer nears his home, he finds more. Apparently the police had seen fit to raid his house while he was away, with little success.

Below, they had yet to pass even the first row of sentinel turrets, which had overturned several SWAT vehicles with rocket propelled missiles and laid waste to other, smaller cars with a spray of bullets.

He had installed his security system several years ago when Harvey the Jackknife–a once powerful drug lord in Last Kale–had boasted to have the most secure home in the city. First, our villain had sought to prove him wrong by installing his own mechanized defense squad, but when the criminal community refused to help him test its efficacy, he had opted to storm Harvey’s house with a squadron of ninja who owed him a favor.

Finally,” says Mortimer, “I can see if these defense bots are any good.”

He watches for a while, and when he’s satisfied that the police can do little more than retreat or bleed to death on his lawn, he tells ZERO to land the helicopter. He descends from the helicopter pad on his roof into his bedroom, the golden potato in hand. He slips it under his bed before falling asleep to the lullaby of explosions, gunshots, and cries for mercy.

After a long hiatus during which I furiously edited Thin Blood, I am proud to announce that I have resumed writing Vile–as well as another project you might get a whiff of soon. Hopefully you’re having as much fun reading as I am writing!

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Another product of a creative writing workshop with Zee Zahava. I do love writing villanelles.

That day, the shadows possessed mass,
colors and forms and dimensions.
I knew these visions would not last.

They dwelt in leaves among the grass,
built dungeons for my inspection.
That day, the shadows possessed mass,

and I did not want them to pass
so quickly, without reflection;
I knew these visions could not last.

Tangible. I could almost grasp
them. I only lacked retention
that day the shadows possessed mass.

Inside, I watched from bed as
they formed ceiling decorations.
I knew these visions should not last.

They left slowly, becoming past,
becoming a recollection.
That day, the shadows possessed mass,
although those visions did not last.

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Walking Spirits

Here’s a piece that I wrote in a creative writing workshop with Zee Zahava. It appeared on her blog Painted Parrot, and it might be the beginning of something much larger.

I used to climb on the rooftops and watch the sunset. The stench of the streets held no sway there, and the air was fresh. The wind could whisk my soul from my flesh for a moment and sweep it to and fro. I would often stay until I could see my father’s star on the horizon.

I used to wander the city in the rain, and no matter where I went, I always ended where I wanted to be. The rain was warm, and when I finally went home, I would peel off my drenched socks with a smile. It rained almost every day.

When I could, I used to buy old trinkets from the street vendors, their wares spread before them on rough blankets. Belt buckles, wallets, books, umbrellas.

I used to be the only god I prayed to. I knew that I would always listen, always answer, always act where other gods shrouded their deeds in mystery.

Now the rooftops are a dangerous place, and the sunsets have changed from brilliant orange to dusty gray. Wood rots, plaster chips, and one man’s ceiling and my floor are likely to collapse under my weight. I stay close to the ground, but on clear nights I can still see my father’s star.

I still wander the city, but the streets are strange to me now, and by nightfall I rarely know where I am. It seldom rains anymore, but when it does, I find shelter where I can.

The street vendors are gone, their blankets and umbrellas discarded in heaps, riddled with holes from the rain. In their places are gaunt men. They carry knives, pipes, sometimes guns, and always sacks of bliss to trade. They like valuable things. Guns, knives, food, people.

Now I don’t pray at all. Even my god no longer answers. He has grown silent in the presence of the spirits who have come to share his home.

Dear Reader, my name is Sage.

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Vile Part 34

Oh, and by the way, here is what the note says:

The nuclear plant in Last Kale
would kill us all if it should fail,
and tomorrow night,
I think it just might
unless someone throws me in jail.

This is part 34 of Vile, a novel in progress. Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

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Vile Part 33

“Fly low for a moment, ZERO,” Mortimer commands, setting the golden potato down and picking up a crossbow from underneath his seat.

As the helicopter swoops down, Mortimer searches the crowd below, picking out an unwounded reporter still managing to do her job amid the chaos below. He loads the crossbow with a prepared bolt and shoots her through her heart.

“Excellent shot, Dr. Hex,” says ZERO.

“Actually, no,” explains Mortimer, watching the woman fall to her knees before letting her face hit the asphalt. “I was aiming for the leg.”

“I know,” says ZERO. “I was being sarcastic.”

Our villain rolls his eyes and commands the super computer to fly him home.

This is part 33 of Vile, a novel in progress. Wanna see the first part?

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Vile Part 32

But there are no gigantic, falling rocks that chase our villain to rapid closing doors. As he leaves the building, nothing stirs. Mortimer expects to hear a distant groan of a bleeding guard, but they have all passed to the beyond. By morning, the place will stink of rotting corpses.

Outside the bank, there is no smug, British man in a suit to take the golden potato from him, just a barricade of police cars and men and women telling him to hold still and disarm. This evening does not turn out to be a complete disappointment, however, because behind the police and their cars are an equally large force of reporters and their vans.

The only jungle Mortimer can flee through is the jungle of Last Kale’s financial district at 11:00pm. But the circumstances don’t call for running away. He takes out his cell phone and hits a few button, and before long, ZERO’s helicopter arrive and peppers the ground with bullets. The police scatter and take cover as the helicopter lands and Mortimer steps into it. “Give them a few missiles, ZERO.”

“In a bad mood, Dr. Hex?”

Mortimer shrugs. “I guess.”

As our villain makes his escape, ZERO blows the police barricade to pieces with a fusillade. Biplanes are for suckers.

This is part 32 of Vile, a novel in progress. Would you like to read from the beginning?

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