Ridiculous Fan Fiction: Eureka Part Two!

Eureka Main Street

[spouseditor’s note] Muahaha! Jen is away and I’m posting part two early, just for you!

Read part one first!

“I don’t know about this.” Jack bent at the waist, looking at the thin, silver spacesuit he had wrestled on. He thought he looked like a cheesy extra from Planet of the Apes. “Is this going to protect me from space cooties?”


Jack made a complete turn inside the small, square vestibule and faced Henry, who sat at a console on the other side of a thick pane of protective glass.

“I was kidding about the cooties,” Jack said.

Henry glanced up. “Well I’m not, Jack. Space Cooties are highly contagious.”

Jack opened his mouth to interject, but before he could say anything, Henry continued.

“Now listen, Jack. We’ve sent lots of people to the moon with our Instantaneous Molecular Traveler, and the suit is an integral component. When you arrive at your destination, the suit will put the molecules of your body back together the way they are now so you don’t end up inside-out or with an arm coming out of your forehead.” He pressed another button and the lights glowed a soft blue. “Plus, it will expel your bodily fluids and solids when necessary.”

“My what?!

“That’s why it’ll be a little uncomfortable to sit. When you crouch, the hose will touch your…” Henry gestured with one hand, waving it in the air as if attempting to draw the proper word from the ether. The word must not have materialized because after a moment he shrugged. “You know.”

“No, I don’t know.”

“Come on, Jack. You know what I mean.”

“No, I…” Jack bent slightly at the knees. A hard plastic tube bonked against his buns. He yelped and stood, thrusting his pelvis forward, away from the tube. A cold, plastic cup graced against his nether regions, ready to receive.

Jack yelped and stood straight as an arrow, being careful that his most personal possessions weren’t touching anything. He glared at Henry. “Not cool, man. So now what happens when I have to go? The pee just…” He waved his hands in the air, reflecting light off of the silver gloves and into his eyes.

Henry sighed into the microphone, distorting the speakers. “It just goes out into space.”

Henry punched a few more buttons on the console. The glass beneath Jack’s feet lit up, illuminating a large metal box on the floor before him. A soft whirring filled the room.

“So my poop might make it back to Earth and fall from the sky?”

“No, though it would be convenient for it to burn up in the atmosphere. Unless you expel an object strongly enough to break the moon’s gravity, it will stay up there.”

“That’s not better.”

Henry punched a few more buttons. The whirring grew louder. “So you remember what to do, right?”

Jack nodded at the box on the floor. “Yeah. Get into position and push the giant red button on the side of the box. The gizmo inside will do the rest.”

A low rumbling shook the room. Dust filled the air.

“What was that?” Jack demanded.

“The root must be growing! If we don’t act fast, it’s going to uproot the whole town.”

“Well let’s get going. Beam me up…” His words trailed off as he considered the prospect of his molecules being rearranged. “Scramble me?”

“Exactly. I’m going to send you to our Matter Receiver at Area 1.”

“Like Area 51? Aliens and UFOs and stuff? Am I in danger of a close encounter?”

Henry’s hands paused from their furious button-pushing and his head snapped up. The playful look that usually danced behind his eyes was gone, replaced with a stern glare. “Area 1 is where we made first contact with alien civilizations. Most artifacts present at the meeting were moved to other sites on Earth for study—Areas 2 through 51. The alien ambassador is stationed there and we use the site for ongoing diplomatic relations.”

“That’s so cool!”

“Just don’t touch anything, Jack. You’re only in danger if you come into contact with the artifacts.”

“Why? Will they activate and destroy the earth?” His eyes widened. “Or, I know, it takes control of my body, like a Pod Person!”

“No, it’s because Elvis doesn’t like anyone touching his stuff.”

Jack tried slapping a hand to his forehead, but his hand ricocheted off the plastic helmet, adding to his frustration.

“Seriously, Henry? First poop jokes and now alien Elvis? How ridiculous is this parody going to get?”

“We’re about to find out!” Henry punched a few more buttons on the control panel. “Here we go!”

The blue light intensified to near blinding levels. Jack crossed his arms and hands over his helmet, trying to shield his eyes from the light.

“Are you sure I’ll be okay?” he shouted.

“No. I mean yes. I mean… probably?”


Jack suddenly felt very tingly. He suddenly did not want to go.


The sound faded along with the noise. The tingling stopped. Jack blinked and turned around, trying to adjust to his dim new surroundings.

He stood in a depressed circle on a shiny, cream floor. The ceiling seemed to be covered in the same shiny foil as his spacesuit, though it also had peachy-pink patches that pulsed with a faint glow. The room was too dark too see the walls, but he could make out boxy shapes scattered around the room. He assumed they were some kind of cool alien furniture. At his feet was the silver box that Henry had entrusted to him. As far as Jack could tell, it had also arrived in correct order.

“Jack, can hear me? I repeat, are your ears still attached to your head, or did they migrate to your elbows?”

Despite being a quarter million miles from Earth, Jack could hear Henry loud and clear, though he could tell their messages were being delayed by a couple of seconds.

“Yeah, I hear you, Henry. My ears are fine.” He paused. “Were they ever in danger of being attached elsewhere?”

“Uh… can’t hear you, Jack. You’re breaking up.”

Jack shook his head. “Whatever.”

Movement from his left startled him. He jerked, trying to face what he imagined would be a slimy, slobbering, toothy, alien menace. Unfortunately, he forgot that his new environment had lower gravity, and the attempt at sudden movement pushed him off the floor and sent him rocketing off to the side.


As he spiraled around in the dark space, he finally came face to face with the alien threat—a furry ball, about the size of a grapefruit, floating by. It ejected a pink gas in order to turn and face him.

The thing had a head. A tiny, furry head with enormous black eyes. It ejected the gas again, propelling the little furball nearer, until it floated just outside of his helmet. It had a mouth. Black, razor-sharp teeth spilled out—so many and so large were the teeth that Jack couldn’t figure out how they all fit inside its mouth. A red tongue spilled out and swiped Jack’s helmet, leaving a trail of mucus that obscured his vision. Jack finally bumped against the room’s wall, stopping his short flight. The thing stopped in front of his helmet and licked him again.

“Uh, thanks,” Jack said. “Good, uh, thing.”

The speakers inside his helmet clicked.

“You’ve got to hurry, Jack. The root’s getting so big that it’s about to take out Cafe Diem. If the town stops getting free cappuccinos, it’s going to be utter bedlam!”

Jack shuddered at the thought. “I’m on it!”

He pushed off from the wall, sending him floating back toward the metal box. The lessened gravity made his movements clumsy and awkward, and instead of landing on his feet as he intended, he smacked head-first into the floor.

“I need to get the hang of this space stuff,” Jack said. He pulled the box upward, lifting it off the floor, then pushed it straight ahead.

“Remember the map I showed you,” Henry said. “There’s only one exit. Take the box down the hall and enter the first floor hatch you see—and hurry. We don’t have much time.”

Jack pushed the box into a narrow hall with a high dome ceiling that was covered in the same silvery stuff. The glowing peach-colored lights seemed stronger here, providing better visibility. The hall was bare and mostly straight, and stretched out such a great distance that he could actually see the curve of the moon. The pink furball floated over Jack’s shoulder and coasted down the hall a few feet, then ejected more gas to stop. The furball turned, tongue lolling from its mouth, waiting for its new friend.

Jack took a tentative step forward, trying to get used to the slow, bouncing movement.

“Awesome,” Jack said to the furball. “I’m moonwalking!”

The furball licked his helmet again in acknowledgement.

He continued down the hall, past overhead hatches and closed side doors. After about fifty feet, he finally came to the floor hatch. At least, he thought it was a hatch. It was a rectangular panel depressed in the floor. The wheel to open the hatch was on the wall next to a black button.

“Henry? Are you there?”

His helmet speakers clicked. This time, they spewed static.

“I’m here,” Henry shouted, “but not for much longer! The root’s out of control. Half the town is trapped up in the air now.”

“I made it to the hatch. There’s a wheel and a button. Which one do I use?”

“You’ll have to speak up! The root has punctured through the Global Dynamics building and the whole building’s coming down around me. You’ve got to get through that hatch or the whole town is finished!”

“Okay,” Jack shouted, “hang on.”

He pushed the button. There was no sound, but he saw the building shake. The pink creature darted away, back down the hall from which it had come. The floor panel began to slide open, exposing an inky black something that should have been nothing. It was definitely something, Jack thought, but disguised as nothing. Whatever it was, Jack thought it was terrible.

His legs flew backward, sucked toward the blackness. Jack screamed. His fingers latched onto the small wheel.

“What’s going on, Jack? You turned the wheel, right? Tell me you didn’t press the alien button. You should never press an unmarked button. Everyone knows that.”

“Now you tell me!”

The metal box spun and was sucked through the hatch. It instantly disappeared.

Jack knew that there was only one way to save Eureka and it involved getting that box back. And the only way he could get that box back was to go through the hatch and face the terrible blackness.

“Hang on, Henry. I’m going in.”

Jack let go of the wheel.
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Ridiculous Fan Fiction: Eureka Part One!

EurekaCast_CafeDiem Ding-a-ling-a-ling!

The door to Cafe Diem swung open, ringing the little silver bell hanging from the doorframe. Everyone paused to glance at the uniformed man strolling through the door. He wandered through the collection of round tables scattered around the storefront and sat down at the counter. A plump, curly haired man in an apron materialized—literally, in a dazzling spectacle of lights and smoke—from behind the espresso machine. With one hand he waved away the smoke pouring from his curly hair and with the other he smoothed his apron. As he turned, he noticed the uniformed man staring at him.

“Oh! Hi, Sheriff.”

“Hey Vincent.”

Vincent hustled over to the counter. “I’m so sorry. Have you been waiting long? I was in my infinite pantry getting some voatsiperifery for today’s special.”

Jack Carter stared at Vincent for a long moment, wondering if “voatsiperifery” was actually a food or if Vincent was just toying with him. In the end, he decided not to ask. Jack’s idea of adventurous cuisine was adding hot sauce to his grilled cheese and he didn’t need fancy words jumbling up his go-to menu.

“No problem; I just got here.” He scanned the cafe and nodded at the safe and orderly scene with satisfaction. “Can I get the usual?”

Disdain flickered over Vincent’s face. Jack Carter liked drip coffee. From the local grocery store. Pre-ground beans.

He sighed. “Sure. You want it in a To-Go cup?”

“No, thanks. It’s such a quiet day today. We don’t get a lot of that here in Eureka, so I thought I’d take a little break—”

Before he could finish, a boom filled the air, followed by the grinding of metal and shattering glass.

Jack reconsidered his order. “Actually, a To-Go cup would be great.”

Before he was even out of the cafe with his coffee, his cellphone rang. He shoved open the glass door with his hip and waded into the stream of panicked Eurekans who ran toward the calamity. As he moved with them, he pressed the phone to his ear.

“This is Carter.”

His phone clicked and beeped and then sounded like it was regurgitating its circuitry.

“Sorry,” Jack said, “can you repeat that?”

“It’s Jo—you know, your deputy?”

“Hi, Jo. Sorry, it’s hard to hear out here. What’s up?”

“We’re getting calls at the station about an accident in town. Do you want me to come out and help make arrests? Shoot anyone? Stand around looking incredibly menacing? I’ll take any of those. Or all of them. I love violence.”

“Let’s hold off on the violence until I can figure out what’s happening. I just left Cafe Diem and I’m heading toward the calamity now. Hang on a second.”

He took a sip of coffee, then picked up the pace, ducking through the crowd. He rounded a corner and came to a dead halt. The accident was another twenty feet ahead but he didn’t need to get any closer. He stuck the phone back up against his ear.

“Jo, call Henry and ask him to get his tow truck over here right away.”

“Okay, anything else?”

“Yeah,” he said, gazing at the hole in the middle of the street and the monstrous tree root that had burst up from it, stretching twenty feet high, taking three Smart Cars and a bicyclist with it. The trapped residents hung from the windows of their vehicles or bear-hugged the root for fear of falling, and were screaming for help.

“Call a gardener.”


“This is extraordinary,” Henry said, leaning against his tow truck and tipping his head back to take in the full view. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“You say that every time something crazy happens,” Jack said, “which is three times a week.”

Henry shrugged. “What do you expect? This town is populated with the most brilliant scientific minds in the country. Experiments are bound to go haywire from time to time. You know, the Department of Defense hires only those who are at the tops of their respective fields.” He paused and glanced at Jack. “And, of course, you.”

“Thanks.” Jack pointed up at the stranded victims, who were now being circled by prototype military drones whose weapons had been replaced with coffee and snacks from Cafe Diem. “How are we going to get those people down?”

“Obviously, we’re going to need the leading expert on gravitropism.”

“Right.” Jack’s eyes cut back to Henry. He gagged on the word. “Grapitopimorphicism…”

Henry waved his hands to silence Jack. “Gravitropism, Jack—how plants respond to gravity. NASA’s very interested in it for space travel and possible colonization. I’ll bet someone at Global Dynamics has an answer for this. Have you talked to Allison Blake? As the head of G.D., she can tell you who to call.”

“Thanks Henry.”

“Just let me know when the cars come down and I’ll tow them back to my garage for repairs.” He climbed into his truck and drove away.

Jack pulled out his cell phone and hit the speed dial for Doctor Allison Blake.

“Hey Jack, how are you?”

His heart fluttered in his chest and he forgot what he was doing. “Hi. Fine. How are you? How’s things?” A scream from above brought him back to the present situation. He whirled around and looked up—

One of the stranded victims had received decaf from a military drone instead of regular.

“Listen, Allison, we’ve got a problem here in town. About a half hour ago, a gigantic tree root exploded out of the street and suspended a few people in the air. I need to get them down. Henry suggested that someone at G.D. might be running an experiment with plants and gravity. Gravimojo or something.”

“Gravitropism. Yeah, the government’s very interested in it so we’ve been conducting a lot of experiments lately. We have the leading gravitropism scientist in the world right here in Eureka. I’ll send him over.”

“Thanks, Allison.”

He hung up and turned around. To his surprise, Henry’s tow truck was heading back his way. Jack stepped back, away from the curb, and let him park.

Henry climbed out of his truck, holding a large metal gadget that Jack could only assume was a ray gun. Or maybe it was a space gun. Space ray gun, Jack thought.

“Allison called me,” Henry said. “She says you need me.”

Jack stared at him. “You’re the top scientist on plant gravity? Why didn’t you say so when you were standing here a minute ago?”

“The research is classified, but Allison said it was okay to share it.” He hoisted the ray gun up onto his shoulder. “This is the Gravitoboobulator X-7000. Prototype, of course. It’s leaps and bounds above the X-6000, since it doesn’t turn plants into people-eaters.”

Jack’s eyes cut to the X-7000, then back to Henry. “Uh, yeah. So what does it do now?”

“This machine is the latest in gravitropism technology and can temporarily surround this root with graviphotons that will make it sink back into the earth.”


Henry frowned and repeated, “I’m going to create a repulsive vector force so that the root can float down nice and easy, like a cloud.”

“No, I understand your explanation but… repulse gravity? That doesn’t sound right. I mean, I only have a high school diploma, but that science doesn’t sound right to me.”

“Don’t worry, Jack.” Henry aimed the silver gizmo and pressed a red button near the trigger. The contraption whirred to life and radiated a green aura. “I’m the leading expert in the world!”

“Wait,” Jack said, “it’s getting dark out. Can you even see what you’re aiming at?”

“Trust me. No one’s going to get hurt.” Henry pulled the trigger.

A brilliant green light shined from the contraption, but it launched no projectiles. Instead, a latticed green field enveloped the root. The crowd oohed and aahed.

In the sky, the moon began to glow. Big. Bright. In fact, it looked bigger and brighter than usual. It began to radiate a dull green.

“Hey Henry,” Jack said, “is it just me, or is the moon looking really, really huge tonight?”

“Oh. Um… whoops.”

Jack’s head snapped in Henry’s direction. “Whoops? What do you mean, whoops?”

And then the ground began to shake. A crack broke open at the base of the root and continued upward. As it ran up the root, the crack fractured. Chunks of hard plant fell and crashed onto the pavement, squashing the onlookers. People screamed and scattered. The cars and the bicycle suspended in the air swung violently.

“Henry!” Jack shouted. “Stop!”

“I can’t! The Gravitoboobulator X-7000 isn’t turning off!”

Henry tried pointing the gun away from the root, but its graviphotonic field continued to envelop the root.

“Do something!” he shouted. “I can’t stop the beam!”

Jack grabbed the Gravitoboobulator out of Henry’s hands and slammed it against the curb. The green light wavered. Metal fragments broke off of the gun and flew everywhere. Jack smashed it again. And again. He continued to slam it against the ground until it was nothing but a sad silver nub.

The light finally cut out and the field around the root dissipated. Above, the stranded people stopped swinging and came to a stop as the root stabilized.

Henry glanced down at the destroyed Gravitoboobulator X-7000, then back up at Jack.

“When I said for you to do something, I meant to do one of those heroic sheriff things that saves the day.”

“I did. I destroyed your space ray gun.” Jack smiled. “I was very heroic.”

“That’s not what I meant.” He pointed to the partially flattened remains of two unfortunate onlookers. “We need to take those two to the morgue. Hopefully the coroner will be able to learn a little more about the situation.” Henry paused. “And since the coroner is also me, it’s convenient.”

“Or inconvenient,” Jack said, “because you’re also the town mechanic, the mayor, and the leading expert on plant gravity. When do you have time to do all this stuff? Are you also an expert on time travel?”

“That’s classified, Jack. I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you.”

Jack rolled his eyes. “Whatever.” He pointed up at the root. “The root is still there and now the moon’s green. And huge. What’s the deal with the moon? Why’d you shout ‘whoops’?”

Henry threw up his hands in exasperation. “I forgot that tonight is the super moon. There was a stronger supersymmetric interaction, and… well, to put it simply, the Gravitoboobulator X-7000 wasn’t strong enough. The gravitational fields began to pull the tree root apart.”

Jack gave Henry a long look, still clearly not believing his science. “Uh huh. So what do we do?”

“Obviously we need the leading expert on gauge theory as it relates to supermoon gravitation. I’ll go get him.”

Henry climbed back into his tow truck and hit the gas.

A half block away, the truck came to a screeching halt, made a U-turn, and returned to the curb where Jack stood. Henry rolled down the window.

“Lemme guess,” Jack said. “You’re also the expert on supermoons.”

“You guessed right,” Henry said, “and I hope you’re ready for another heroic feat, because we need you to up there and check things out.”

“Up there? Up where?”

Henry pointed his index finger at the sky. “The moon, of course.”

Jack’s face lit up. “Awesome! I always wanted to be an astronaut.” He glanced up at the giant greenish-white orb in the sky, then back at Henry. He jammed his hands into his pockets. “So how do I get there? Do you guys have some kind of exchange program with NASA?”

Henry balked. “A NASA rocket? Jack, this is Eureka. Our brilliant minds wouldn’t stoop so low as to using something as common as a rocket.” He leaned out of the window, close to Jack, as if sharing a secret. “We’ve got something better.”

“Henry, around here, ‘better’ never means better. It means not better.”

“You’re doing it anyway,” Henry said.

Stay tuned for Part 2, which will be posted next Sunday!
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The Fourth Channel: Cover Reveal and Chapter One!

Okay, gang. I promised a cover reveal for my first novel, THE FOURTH CHANNEL, and I’m going to deliver. The novel is very close to being finished. All that’s really left to do is wrap up the edits and let you read it.

I’m nervous and excited. I mean, you all know how nervous I get just posting “Ridiculous Fan Fiction” on my site, and that isn’t serious. The novel’s a whole different ball of wax. So, yeah. I’m nervous. Over the last year, I’ve worked hard at creating a “platform” with blogging and social media. I’ve met so many of you who enjoy my goofy articles. It’s because of you and your amazing feedback that I keep writing and thinking of more ways that I can entertain, not just you, but me, too.

But the book release is the moment of truth: are you going to like my novel?

God, I hope so.

The Fourth Channel Cover

And there’s the cover. Pretty damn awesome, right? Many thanks to Amber Shah, who designed it.

As I said before, the story is Anita Blake meets Stephanie Plum with crazy talking sacrificial knives. Hit the jump for the entire first chapter. Please enjoy. Continue reading

Ridiculous Fanfic: Escape from Seattle Part 3

Snake Plissken Hey gang — my apologies for the long site outage last week. I really appreciate your patience.

This is the conclusion of a three-part story, inspired by Snake Plissken month. Read part 1 and part 2.

Snake bursts through a heavy metal door onto the roof of Barnes and Noble. The night air is cool, but not as cool as Snake’s black leather wife beater which dully reflects the moonlight. It’s hip, yet breezy. It’s a look that says “I’ll beat your ass and look great doing it, too.”

The former Duke of Starbucks is right behind Snake. He dashes to the corner of the roof where a lone black hang glider is chained to a bike rack. A dog tag hangs from the handlebar. It reads “A-Number One”.

Snake’s eye narrows. “Who the hell is going to steal a hang glider?”

“One never knows,” the former Duke says and removes the chain.

Together, they hoist the glider up. Snake positions himself a few feet from the edge of the roof. The city lights spread out before him; the cacophony of the traffic below shatters the serenity.

The former Duke points straight ahead, in the direction Snake had come. “That way,” he says, then pauses. He turns to Snake with a look of worry. “You know, you don’t have to go back. I make a mean soy latte, and if your stomach is upset, well, our bathrooms are clean.”

Snake stares straight ahead into the darkness. “No way,” he hisses. “Everyone knows I finish with an epic fight before disappearing into the night.”

The former Duke nods and steps back. “Good luck, Snake. Not that you need it.”

Snake lopes toward the edge of the roof, each step taking him closer to the fifty-foot drop. At the last possible second, he pushes off with one foot. The black sail catches the wind and billows, pulling Snake upward and away from the building. As he sails away, he hears the former Duke shout, “Farewell, Snake, Duke of Starbucks!”

Snake soars over the busy streets and brightly lit buildings, and back down the dark, empty street from whence he came. After just a moment he sees Hauk’s Starbucks and descends. The parking lot is now half-empty, giving him plenty of space to land. As he comes down, he aims for the hipsters, kicking the boyfriend’s face as he sails overhead.

A familiar, high-pitched scream fills the air. “You broke my nose, man! And you messed up my hair!”

Snake hits the ground running and, once he’s regained his balance, he releases the hang glider. Snake slows to a stop. The glider continues on and slams headfirst into the hipster boyfriend’s Prius. The piercing cry of the car’s sissy alarm fills the air. Snake stands back to admire his handiwork, then stalks into the store.

The store has been straightened up since he left, and his sudden reappearance causes employees and customers alike to stop what they’re doing and snap to attention. Snake approaches the counter and gazes at the barista girl uneasily with his one eyeball.

“Where’s the other guy?” Snake growls. “Who are you?”

The barista girl’s eyes widen. “I’m Beth. Charlie had to go home and change his pants.”

“Oh, right.” Snake’s eye darts around the room, then back to Beth. “Where’s Hauk?”

“He hasn’t come back yet.”

A low growl emits from Snake’s throat. His upper lip twitches.

Beth takes a startled step back. “I’m sorry!”

Snake stops and glares back. “What? No — that’s how I laugh.” He produces the bottle of sugar-free vanilla syrup and sets it on the counter. “Now make me a venti soy latte with some of this syrup.”

“Absolutely, Sir. Anything else?”

“Yeah. Give me the keys to your bathroom.”

He heads for the bathroom. As Snake reaches for the door handle, he hears a familiar voice.


Snake turns to see Hauk standing at the front door. It’s clear from Hauk’s expression that he’s unhappy to see that Snake has returned.

Snake glowers back and holds up his wrist, showing that he still has 27 seconds left. “The syrup is with the baristas. You lose, Hauk.”

“Not so fast, Snake. I hear you’ve become the Duke of Starbucks.”

“That’s right. I’m A-Number One.”

“We have a problem then.” Hauk steps away from the door and walks to a display table. A long wooden pole is set in the middle of the table, bearing a poster that reads “Coffee of the Month!” Bags of whole and ground beans, available in regular and decaf, are stacked on the table around the pole. Hauk snatches the wooden pole from the table, knocking coffee bags to the floor. “Because I was set to become the next Duke!”
The customers and employees let out a startled gasp. Their eyes all turn to Snake.

Snake sneers in amusement. “I’m not gonna fight you, Hauk. And do you want to know why?” He throws up his hands. “Because it’s stupid.”

Hauk’s eyes widen. His bald pate flushes red. “You’re going to fight me — and lose! En garde!” He raises his stick like a sword. Screaming maniacally, he charges forward.

Snake dives to the left, crashing into a small wooden table and a set of chairs. Hauk runs straight into the bathroom door where Snake had just stood, inadvertently jamming the pole into his gut. Hauk grunts and bounces backward, then doubles over.

Snake scrambles to his feet and runs to Hauk. He grabs the stick away and runs to the ruined coffee display, but not before smacking Hauk hard on the rump.

“Ow!” Hauk snaps upright, grabbing his sore backside. “You jerk!” He quickly looks around and sees the keys hanging from the bathroom doorknob. He opens the door and rushes in, looking around wildly. A mop and bucket are sitting in the corner. Hauk grabs the mop and returns to the store, holding it aloft.

Snake shrugs. “Let me guess. En garde again?”

Hauk doesn’t answer. He simply charges.

This time, Snake meets the stick-sword challenger head on. He steps to the side and swings. As the sticks collide, a loud smacking echoes. Customers shriek. Hauk swings again in a powerful arc. Snake blocks, grabbing his stick from both ends and shoving it into the path of the mop. He pushes Hauk’s weapon away, causing Hauk to stumble backward.

“Um, Mr. Snake, Sir?” Beth waves at him from behind the counter. “Your latte’s up.”

Snake glares. He wants to drink his coffee right away because he only likes it piping hot. Lukewarm coffee sucks.

Snake steps toward the coffee bar and reaches for his latte. Just before he can grasp the cup, Hauk rights himself and swings out, reaching for Snake’s wrist. The contact makes a painful slapping sound and Snake yelps — but in a manly way.

“Ow! Dammit!”

Hauk grins and raises his mop like a sword, ready to swing. Snake drops his stick. He reaches over the barista counter and grabs a large white canister.

Hauk swings. This time, Snake is ready. He grabs the mop with his free hand and jerks hard, pulling Hauk forward. As the bald face nears, Snake aims the canister and sprays.

Thick whipped cream coats Hauk’s eyes and nose, blinding and disorienting him. His mouth opens and closes like a guppy.

Snake yanks the mop, spinning Hauk around, and leads him back to the bathroom. He shoves Hauk inside and locks the door behind. He jams a wooden chair under the door handle. As Snake turns away, he hears Hauk’s angry, muffled screams from the bathroom.

“Snake! You can’t do this! I’ll become the next Duke of Starbucks! Watch your back!”

Snake ignores his cries. He passes by the barista counter, ignoring his latte, and heads for the door.

“Um, Mr. Snake?” Beth points at the cup on the end of the counter. “Aren’t you forgetting something?”

At the door, Snake pauses. He turns toward Beth and scowls.

“I’m switching to tea.”

With that, Snake turns and walks out the door, disappearing into the night.

Thanks for coming along and participating in the Snake Plissken, um, month and a half. Hope you enjoyed it! Who should I fanfic next? Any suggestions? Leave them in the comments below! I would love to hear who you guys think is fanfic worthy.

Come on back in a few days — I’m going to have an announcement and some news. Subscribe to the site using the RSS links on the sidebar, on Twitter, or on Facebook. Yes, that’s right, I now have a Facebook page, so go and like me. We’ll be buddies. Continue reading

Ridiculous Fanfic: Escape from Seattle Part 2

Snake Shirtless Welcome back to Snake Plissken Month, where we are supposed to celebrate Snake Plissken, but I didn’t because I was really nervous about writing a part 2 and not doing as well as I did on part 1. Hey, I’m human. Still, I hope you’re all enjoying the month of Snake, celebrating in your own black-clad way.

If this is your first time joining us, read Part 1!

With only 16 minutes left, Snake has no time to be choosy. He heads for the nearest of the three Starbucks, the smallest building on the left corner. He bursts through the entrance and sends a display of environmentally-friendly, made-from-recycled-plastic travel mugs flying across the store. They ricochet off of walls, customers, and Police Commissioner Bob Hauk’s shiny bald head.

Snake does a double-take at Hauk.

“Hauk,” he hisses.

“Hello, Snake. I’ve been waiting for you.”

“I know, but how did you get here?”

“I have a car.”

Snake’s eyes narrow. A low, raspy growl reverberates from his throat. “If you have a car, why did you send me?”

“That’s not important. What’s important is the syrup –” A sly smile spreads across Hauk’s face. “ – and this place is all out.”

“I’m going to beat your ass, Hauk.”

Hauk laughs. “But you don’t have a weapon.”

“Oh no?”

Snake grabs a bag of chocolate-coated blueberries from the nearest display case and rips open the top. “Everything’s a weapon to me, Hauk!” Snake lobs a blueberry. The hard, purple confection beans Hauk between the eyes and bounces away.

“Ow! You’re a dick, Snake!”

Snake hisses a laugh. “Sticks and stones, Hauk.” He chucks another candy.

Hauk ducks, narrowly missing another hit, jumps back behind the counter, and sprints for the door. More purple candies pelt the walls, following Hauk to the employee break room, where he ducks out a back door.

Snake pops a candy into his mouth and checks his wrist timer. 14 minutes. He turns away and stalks back outside, where the intersection collision has completely gridlocked traffic. Two police cruisers are parked on the opposite side of the street, their red and blue lights flashing. Drivers are out of their cars, shouting at each other and at the police to clear the roads. Someone sees Snake and points. People turn and stare. More people point.

Snake shrugs back and crosses the street.  Horns blare as he weaves between the cars and approaches the next Starbucks, a square brick building with a drive-thru window. By now, he’s feeling a little discomfort in his stomach and he’s thinking about a bathroom.

As he approaches the door, a clerk in a green apron is taping up a sign that says “Temporarily Closed.” Snake pulls on the door anyway, because people who follow signs are sissies. Unfortunately the door does not open.
“We’re closed,” the clerk shouts through the door. “Some bald jerk cherry-bombed the toilet. It’s a mess in here.”

Snake’s eyes narrow into angry slits. He hisses, “I’m gonna make him sorry.”

The clerk shouts, “What?”

“I’m gonna make Hauk sorry.”

The clerk presses his ear against the glass door. “I still can’t hear you. What are you doing?”

“Playing with myself!” He turns away and growls, “I’m going in.”

The third Starbucks is on the next corner, inside a Barnes & Noble bookstore. Despite the late hour, it appears to be open and very busy. Snake dodges around the cars and jogs into the parking lot, noting a long line of customers inside who are waiting for a midnight book release. Snake storms into the store and looks around for the coffee counter. He sees it at the far end of the store, tucked behind the magazine section. He tries pushing through the crowd but it’s so thick that he can barely move. The crowd becomes agitated. People start screaming at him, refusing to move in case they lose their place in line.

He ducks into the magazine rack and grabs the latest copies of Guns & Ammo and Maxim magazines. He rolls them up and holds one in each hand. He steps back out into the aisle, arms swinging wildly, yet pointedly, at customers.

Whap! Slap!

Customers start screaming, desperate to get away from this black, eye-patched whirlwind.

Whap! Slap!

A floor manager pushes toward him. “Sir,” he says sternly. “Please —”

Whap! Slap! Slappety-slap! Whap!

The manager wails a high-pitched scream and runs out of Snake’s arm range. Customers follow his example and the crowd parts like Moses and the Red Sea. Snake halts his assault and tosses the copy of Guns & Ammo back over his shoulder. He starts to throw the Maxim, but notices Malin Akerman on the cover. He stuffs it into his back pocket for later.

Snake likes blonde, butt-kicking ladies.

He leaves the bookstore behind, stepping through a small opening between two low walls that encompass the coffee space. He dodges tall racks stuffed with useless impulse purchase items like key chains, bookmarks, and ceramic mugs. A large group has gathered on the left side in a tight circle. Some people are even standing on tables and chairs to see into the middle of the crowd.

There’s no one at the counter so Snake elbows his way into the group – literally. Pained shouts and cries erupt around Snake and the crowd swells, trying to escape, but the bodies are packed too tightly.

A male voice shouts over the crowd, “Stop!”

The crowd stills. Their voices fall silent. Everyone stands frozen, as if waiting for further instructions.

The voice commands again, “Move!”

The crowd backs up slowly, orderly, widening the circle, until Snake finds himself standing face to face with a thin man in a green apron. A sailor’s hat made from newspaper rests on his head and a metal chain with a Pokemon medallion hangs around his neck.

“Snake Plissken,” he says. “I heard you were coming. I also heard you were dead and I thought you’d be taller. Do you know who I am?”

Snake shrugs. “Of course. You’re the Duke of Starbucks, A-Number One.”

“That’s right.” His eyes widen suddenly and he leans in, as if about to share a secret. “Actually, this isn’t a real Starbucks. I mean, we sell Starbucks coffee, but like, we’re actually Barnes and Noble. You know?”

“Yeah.” Snake jerks his head in the direction of the barista counter. “I’m here for the sugar-free vanilla syrup.”

Duke straightens again. He nods. “Yeah, Hauk said you’d be coming for it. There’s only one problem.” He holds up a white iPad. “You’re going to have to compete for it.”

He tosses the iPad to Snake, who catches it with one hand. The crowd murmurs appreciatively.

“What’s this?” Snake snarls.

“It’s an iPad.”

“iPads are overpriced pieces of crap. I prefer electronics that run open-source firmware.”

Duke puts a hand on his hip. “This is a Barnes and Noble, Snake. We don’t have that here.”

“Fine, what do I have to do? Beat you with this until you give me syrup? Because I can do that.”

“No, Snake.” Duke reaches behind him and produces another iPad. “You’re going to have to Draw Something! No one’s ever beaten me, Snake. What do you think of that?”

Snake glares back. His voice is a threatening growl. “I think you better not have stuffed this iPad into your pants before giving it to me,” he says, holding up the iPad, “because if you did, I’m going to come over there and beat your ass.”

“Of course not. Now play!”

Snake looks at the iPad in his hand. User “DukeisAwesome” begins to draw a crude stick figure with frizzy hair, then a second stick figure with an X over it, then a crescent moon. Squiggles are added to the space around everything. The picture is indiscernible. It looks like a kindergarten assignment.

Duke looks up, triumphant. “Do you know what I’ve drawn, Snake? If you don’t, you lose!”

“It’s obvious,” Snake says nonchalantly. “You’ve drawn existential nihilism; the idea that life is without significance, that human beings are without purpose and unable to change the totality of existence.”

The crowd oohs and aahs. Duke’s eyes widen and his cheeks flush a deep crimson.

Snake smiles. “Is it my turn now?”

He draws. His image is of a bearded stick figure with soft, feathery hair and an eye patch beating the crap out of another stick figure wearing a Starbucks apron. Snake draws tiny droplets of blood flying everywhere and a large pool on the ground. On the figure wearing a Starbucks apron, he draws tiny x’s for eyes. A red tongue lolls out of the beaten stick figure’s mouth. The crowd gasps and murmurs fearfully.

Snake looks up and smiles. “Now what did I draw?”

As Duke stares at his iPad, his confident stance changes. His shoulders slump and he hugs his arms across himself protectively. The crowd cheers. A chant starts to emerge in their cheers. Before long, everyone is shouting Snake’s name.

“You win,” Duke says. “You’re the Duke now, Snake. A-Number One.”

“The name’s Plissken. Now where’s the syrup?”

The crowd cheers and swarms around him, clapping him on the shoulder and shaking his hand. Someone hands him a bottle of sugar-free syrup.

Snake checks his wrist timer. He has only 4 minutes to return to Hauk. There’s no way he’s going to make it in time. Even if he hijacked a car, the street is impassible.

“I gotta get out of here,” Snake says.

The former Duke perks up. “I’ve got a glider on the roof. It’s all yours, but there’s no wind.”

“I don’t need wind,” Snake says, tossing his magical mane of feathered hair. “I’m Snake Plissken.”

Snake follows him to the stairwell.

Will Snake make it back to Hauk in time? Will he ever find a bathroom? Stay tuned for next week — for real this time, because Snake Month is almost over. Continue reading

Ridiculous Fanfic: Escape From Seattle Part 1

Snake Demotivational Welcome back to Snake Plissken month! I hope everyone’s enjoying their month and celebrating accordingly. (Eye patches and feathered hair welcome.)

I promised some really ridiculous Snake Plissken fanfic, and I mean to deliver. Here is PART ONE of a Snake adventure called “Escape from Seattle”, AKA “Snake Goes To Starbucks”. Enjoy!

It’s 2:00am. The streets of Seattle are pitch black and lonely, save for the occasional, near-burned-out street lamp casting pools of dim, yellowed light on the asphalt, and a 24-hour Starbucks on every corner and squeezed into the spare square footage of every bank, gas station, and grocery store. A lone man stalks the sidewalk, his black leather pants and matching wife-beater blending with the darkness, and his long, feathered hair rustling gently in the breeze. One eye squints dubiously at the Starbucks. The other is hidden behind a black eyepatch.

The man marches straight through the Starbucks parking lot and jerks the door open. Inside, a long line of customers trails from the register to the door and doesn’t seem to be moving. The man charges forward, shoving college students and hipsters aside. Their screams fill the air as they’re tossed to the ground or into large displays of organically grown, free-trade coffee beans. He charges toward the front, his mission urgent: Snake Plissken needs a latte.

The green-aproned barista behind the counter smiles stiffly and wets his pants. “Welcome to Starbucks. How can I —”

The black-clad man’s arm is a blur as it shoots forward and grabs the barista by the collar of his shirt. He leans in closely.

“I need to find a latte,” he hisses.

“Wha— what size?”

“Grande. Triple shot.” He releases he barista and shoves him back to the other side of the counter. “And make it soy milk,” he growls.

The barista grabs a cup and a black Sharpie. “What name should I put on your drink, sir?”

“Call me Snake.”

The barista grimaces slightly but doesn’t question. He quickly scribbles the name on the cup. “Yes sir, Mr. Snake, sir.”

Snake slaps a five-dollar bill on the counter. “Keep the change,” he mutters, and walks to the opposite end of the counter.

Snake’s coffee order is rushed out and set on the counter. The barista calls out, “Grande latte for Snake.”

Snake picks up the paper cup. He pops the top off and checks for the appropriate amount of foam. He sprinkles a small dash of cinnamon on top. He presses the plastic lid back on and takes a long, slow sip.

His latte is delicious. He sneers his appreciation.

As he turns, a figure catches the corner of his lone eye. He whirls around. His eye narrows angrily.

“Hauk,” he hisses.

A tall, slender man with a cone-shaped, balding head emerges from the back room.

“I’ve been waiting for you, Snake,” he says.

“What do you want?”

“I have a job for you. I’m now the manager of this Starbucks and we’re out of sugar-free vanilla syrup. We’ve poisoned your latte with military test virus X2P-4ZZ and, if you don’t retrieve a couple of bottles in the next 25 minutes, you’ll die.”

The two men stare each other down for a few seconds.

“I’m not going to fall for that again, Hauk. My latte tastes delicious and I know I’m not poisoned.”

Hauk fingers his short, trimmed mustache deviously. “You’re right, but I do know your stomach has trouble with lactose — and we switched your latte to whole milk.”

Snake looks at his latte in horror, then back up to Hauk. “You don’t mean —”

“That’s right, Snake. In 25 minutes, your tummy will be upset, and you’ll need something to settle it. So you may as well pick me up some sugar-free vanilla syrup while you’re out.”

Snake’s upper lip curls. “You’d better hope I don’t make it back.”

Hauk smiles and pulls from his pocket yet another enormous digital timer with a wide Velcro strap. The timer is counting down from 25 minutes. Snake shakes his head and takes it, then slips it on his wrist.

“There’s another Starbucks two blocks from here, Snake. Your mission is to get the syrup and get back here as soon as possible.”

Snake starts toward the door.

“Wait.” Hauk pulls a red credit card from his back pocket. “I almost forgot. Use this to pay for the syrup.”

Snake takes it and holds it up. His face puckers in an angry scowl.

“A VISA gift card? These things are a pain in the ass to use! You have to put in the exact amount, minus the fee — what’s the fee on this card?”

Hauk shrugs. “I don’t know. The math is your problem, not mine.”

“Asshole,” Snake mutters, and stalks out the door.

In the parking lot, Snake scans the area for a fast ride, but finds himself surrounded by hybrid cars painted in bright green and blue. These won’t do for Snake, and not just because they don’t match his black leather wife-beater — Snake can run faster than a hybrid.

So he does. Choosing the most direct route through the parking lot, Snake breaks into a dogged jog toward the street. He hurdles a yellow bicycle, wedges himself through a smooching hipster college couple, and slides across the hood of a green Prius covered in Phish bumper stickers. He lands gracefully on his feet and jogs into the middle of the street. Snake stops and looks both ways.

He realizes he isn’t sure which way the other Starbucks is.

Snake jogs back into the parking lot, slides back across the green Prius, and grabs both of the hipster college kids by their throats.

“Which direction is the next Starbucks?”

The kids point in opposite directions. Snake’s eye narrows. His voice resonates with a low growl.

“You better not be messing with me or I’m going to make you sorry.”

The boyfriend stammers, “Th-th-this is Seattle! Starbucks is everywhere, man! EVERYWHERE! Starbucks is THE MAN, man!”

The girlfriend nods her agreement.

Snake releases the two kids and stalks back to the center of the street. Then he changes his mind, returns to the college kids, and gives the hipster boyfriend a big bitch slap across the face. The boyfriend presses his hands to the side of his face and lets out a piercing shriek.

“You’ll thank me later,” Snake hisses, then returns to the center of the street. He checks the wrist timer Hauk gave him. 19 minutes left.

Snake looks down the street each way, but neither direction seems to hold a clue. He pulls a coin from his pocket. He tosses it in the air, watching it soar six, seven, eight feet high, then drop back down to earth. Snake catches it in one hand.

Instead of looking to see which side of the coin came up, he chucks it as hard as he can toward the hipsters and hears another high-pitched squeal. Snake Plissken is a badass who doesn’t need that hokey fate crap. He turns to the right and starts to run.

As he approaches the next corner, he notices that the lights here are brighter than on previous street corners, and the sounds of voices and cars are louder. He jogs into the center of the intersection, causing a three-way car crash that he barely notices. Snake stops and casts a quick glance around the intersection. He scowls.

There are three Starbucks in this intersection, and Hauk didn’t give any more clues. Snake checks the digital timer on his wrist again. He only has 16 minutes left.

Which Starbucks will Snake Plissken choose? Will he choose correctly? Will he make it back to Hauk in time? Tune in next week for PART TWO of “Ridiculous Fanfic: Escape from Seattle”!

How are YOU celebrating Snake Plissken month? If you’re doing your part to honor Snake Plissken and his fans, let me know in the comments below! Continue reading

Lucky Seven: The Fourth Channel (Excerpt)

The_Fourth_Channel I scared you in THE RELIC, intrigued you in SITE 27, and punished you in THE MARK. But can I write a novel?

You’re about to find out.

I was recently “tagged” by friend and fellow writer Candice Bundy for another chain letter type of award. This one’s pretty neat. It’s called “The Lucky Seven,” and requires the writer to post 7 lines from page 77 of their latest manuscript. As you know, my coming novel is called THE FOURTH CHANNEL, a suspense/adventure novel about the world’s worst necromancer and her deranged, talking knives, so that’s what I’m going to share.

When Candice tagged me, she specifically requested a scene with the talking knives. Unfortunately, that’s not where the page list fell. It did fall upon a fight scene, of sorts, which isn’t a big surprise since I have a lot of those. You know how much I love my fight scenes!

This fight scene is admittedly a little different. The danger is real, but the combat is a little more humorous. After all, we are talking about the escapades of worst necromancer in the world.

If you like what you’ve read and are curious to see more, the rest of the scene is posted. Just hit the arrow to read the fighting that ensues.


As I turned to leave, I heard an exultant cry from the bedroom. I was so startled by it that I tripped and almost fell.

Loud and clumsy stomping started heading my way fast. I knew I wouldn’t make it out without being seen so I dove behind the couch. Once the stomping reached the room, my curiosity got the best of me and I peeked out from my hiding spot.

I couldn’t believe my luck. It was Veronica. Continue reading