Thursday, December 31, 2015
Ralph Rates ‘Em
Movie reviews by Ralph Bruin
So here we are at the end of the year and this column’s going out with a bang. Yeah, you guessed it. I’m gonna review Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Me and every other reviewer still upright and sober. But I gotta tell you up front, there won’t be any spoilers. Ziva told me not to ruin the movie for anybody. Hey, c’mon, I know better than that. Just because people started calling me Wreck It Ralph doesn’t mean I like spoiling movies for people. I do that and I’m out of a job, and that’s no way to start the new year.
Besides, it’s been out for two weeks already, so if you don’t know the plot by now, which rock have you been under? But okay, I’ll keep it spoiler-free so Ziva don’t get all pissy. She just had kids. You know how they get.
So anyway. The Force awakens. While it was sleeping somebody must’a hit the reset button because it looks an awful lot like the first one. We got bad guys in ginormous spaceships and stormtroopers out the ass and a droid carrying vital info running around on a desert planet. Sound familiar? I thought Luke and his buddies defeated the evil Empire back in Episode VI. But here we are with the Empire and they still got an army and they’re still blowing up planets and the rebels are in hiding and there’s a dark lord of the whatsis and only one Jedi left and he’s disappeared. So we’re right back at the starting gate and everything the good guys spent three movies fighting for all went down the crapper in one generation. This is what happens when you let amateurs try to set up a government.
The only good thing is that this time around, the lead’s a chick. I can tell you how that happened. Hunger Games is how that happened. Kickass chicks in charge means money in the bank now. She doesn’t have much of a rack but she can hold her own in a fight. You can’t ask for more from a chick in a movie. Well, yeah, okay, you can ask for the rack and usually you get it, but this is Star Wars and kids are gonna wanna see this, so we’ll give the rack a pass this time around.
Anyway, Katniss meets up with both the droid with the secret info and a former stormtrooper who left the Empire. And that’s another thing. When did the stormtroopers learn how to shoot? In the first movie they couldn’t hit the broad side of a bantha. Now alla sudden they got dead aim? Maybe they figured out they should get in some target practice after the Ewoks kicked their asses back in Episode VI. Beat by a bunch of teddy bears. You call that an Empire?
Whatever. Katniss and her new boyfriend take off in—wait for it—the Millennium Falcon! Yeah! We’re hitting all the nostalgia buttons here. I’m telling you, when Harrison Ford came onscreen the whole damn theater went apeshit. Not so much for Carrie Fisher. I think she’s had work done because her face hardly moved the whole time. They don’t have cell phones but they’ve got plastic surgery? What the hell kind of galaxy is this?
Oh, and the bad guy? The bargain-basement Darth Vader? He’s Han and Leia’s kid. Luke was teaching him to be a Jedi and he turned to the dark side instead. Stellar parenting there, you guys. Maybe it’s a generational thing. Vader was Luke’s dad and Luke was bland as vanilla pudding. This new guy has a kid, he’ll probably be Buddha or somebody.
(“Ralph! What did I tell you about spoilers?”)
(“What? The thing about Darth Solo? Everybody knows that by now. It’s not like I told ‘em who gets killed or anything. You want me to?”)
(“Just wrap it up. We’re on deadline. Wait a minute. Did I just see the word ‘rack’ in there?”)
(“No. No, you didn’t. Just gimme a minute, okay? Did the office party start yet? Save me some punch.”)
Okay, bottom line. Should you see this movie? Yeah. It’s Star Wars. It’s got chases and robots and fight scenes and shit blows up. All the stuff kids love. People are gonna ask, “How come Katniss can fly the Falcon and where’d she learn how to use a lightsaber?” Because it’s Star Wars, that’s why. If you’re gonna be like that, you should maybe be watching a movie with Meryl Streep in it. Wuss.
Two things here. Screw you, Ziva, I’m telling people. Mark Hamill’s in this. You have to wait because he’s right at the end, but Luke does show up. He doesn’t say anything, which works for me. I’m a big fan of the ‘90s Batman cartoon, and if I’d heard the Joker’s voice coming out of Luke Skywalker’s mouth I think I would’a lost it.
The other thing is, why wasn’t the Rock in this? I mean, really. Picture the Rock with a lightsaber. You dumping in your shorts right now too? He’d make one badass Jedi. Mace Windu’s kid or something. Maybe in the next movie. Disney owns the franchise, right? Does the Rock work for Disney? I thought everybody works for Disney. I lose track of these things.
(“Ralph! Are you done yet?”)
Gotta wrap this up. Go see The Force Awakens. I give it four out of five bear claws. My favorite part was the preview for Captain America: Civil War. Cap and Bucky beat the shit out of Iron Man. Yeah, right. That’ll last until Tony gets his hands up and blasts ‘em with his repulsor rays. Star-spangled splatter all over the walls. See you in the new year, folks!
Friday, December 25, 2015
Thursday, December 24, 2015
Nobody—make that nobody, not even her own children—was allowed to burst in on Elly McMahon in her kitchen when she was on the job. Only the look of sheer terror on Freddy Turner’s face stopped her from head-butting him into the deep fryer. “You get three seconds,” she said.
“You gotta help me, Miz Elly.” His voice matched his face, drawn and panicky. “I can’t take it any more.”
Elly handed off control of the Bighorn kitchen to Toby Horn and hustled Freddy out the back and into winter’s chill. “Talk.”
Freddy opened his mouth. A belch came out, riding a rainbow. Sounds and festive colors hung in the air for a handful of seconds, then dissipated.
Elly’s brows climbed into the tight curls of her hair. “What the heck?”
“It’s not my fault,” Freddy said quickly. “I was drunk. Fun’s fun, but it can stop any time now.”
She slowly shook her head. “I think this one’s off my menu.”
“But you’re in tight with Marissa. She wouldn’t help me, she just laughed. If you’d put in a good word …”
“Maybe if you’d tell me how this happened.” Elly swiped her hand at a trace of pink still wafting on the breeze. “And what it’s supposed to be.”
“Well, Moon-Moon and I—”
“Ah,” she said. Moon-Moon. There was ninety percent of the explanation right there.
“We wanted to, uh, color our pee so we could write ‘Merry Christmas’ in the snow. Eating red and green foods didn’t work out.”
“Oh yes, I remember now.”
“Uh-huh. So we went to Marissa’s boss, you know, that Lex guy? The one with the mini-brewery? He’s got this rep. Rumors say he brews more than beer in the back of that store, y’know?”
Elly shivered, not from the cold, as everything came rushing back. “And you drank whatever it was he gave you, didn’t you?”
Freddy urped up a little bit of purple with orange on its outskirts. “There has to be an antidote, but he won’t talk to us, and Marissa just laughs, like I said.”
“I’m sure it’ll wear off on its own. Almost all of Lex’s potions do eventually.”
“He said we’d be doing this for ‘eight crazy nights.’ I don’t think I can last that long. I’m not even Jewish.”
“Does it hurt?” Elly asked. “Is there any physical discomfort?”
“Just a lot of gas after I eat, and a funny taste on my tongue. It’s more the embarrassment.” This time when the burp bubbled up, Freddy clapped his hand over his mouth. Tinsel-thin tendrils of green slipped between his fingers. “It’s not the belches so much. Those I can deal with. It’s what comes out the other end.”
“What—oh. Oh my dear lord. He wouldn’t have—”
Yes, he would have. Of course he would have. He was Lex.
“I’ll talk to Marissa,” she promised. “How’s Moon-Moon? Is he all right? Physically, I mean.”
“Oh yeah, he’s fine.” Freddy made a face. “He’s enjoying this. Take a look out in the square. It is kind’a pretty, but I’m afraid somebody’s gonna get hurt. Like me. Naturally, he had to tell everybody I’m infected too.”
Elly had raised two vegetarian sons. She didn’t need a diagram. “You get over to Java Joe’s. I’m calling Marissa right now.” Had she dared, she’d throw in a head-butt for Lex. Not that it would do any good. Freddy thanked her and hotfooted around the diner, while Elly went back inside.
But first, she went out into the dining room and the Bighorn’s tall front windows, to confirm with her own eyes what Freddy had just imparted.
She spotted the crowd first, mostly children. They loosely surrounded a tongue-lolling, tail-wagging wolf. The kids kept clear of his hind end. The older ones had lighters.
The wolf barked and raised his tail. A kid darted in with lighter lit. The rainbow arcing out of Moon-Moon’s butt erupted into streamers and sparkles. More than a few people held their noses, but that didn’t stop them from cheering.
“Only you, Brian,” Elly said on a sigh. “Only you would think this is a good thing.” At least they’d gotten fireworks for Christmas, and nobody’d gotten burned yet. Elly heaved another sigh and headed for the phone.
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Friday, December 18, 2015
Thursday, December 17, 2015
# # #
He mounted up and rode out of town, careful to keep to the speed limit. Once he hit the town line he opened up, and made it to the crossroads in record time.
Sure enough, the horse was waiting.
Roy grinned and gunned his engine. The horse pawed the ground. Roy swung onto the road, and they were off.
The horse kept pace all the way up the road to the narrow gravel drive that led to Roy’s place. Roy slowed, both for the turn and to wait for the pickup coming from the other direction. As Roy’s speed diminished the horse pulled ahead. It even found wind for a whinny.
All at once the truck swung toward him, right over the center line. Roy, with his eyes on the horse, almost didn’t see it. He frantically swerved to the berm. The truck sideswiped him, close enough its side brushed the denim on his leg. The driver’s face snarled at him, a twisted blur. One of O’Casey’s buddies. “Watch where you’re driving, you goddamn faggot!”
The Harley skidded, bucked and slid. Roy’s brain did the same. He heard loud noises but couldn’t attach them to anything. Except for one shrill scream he was pretty sure wasn’t him. It must have been the horse. Awareness left him on his own for a while
Next thing he knew, something warm and stubbly was nudging at his face. He opened his eyes to four long legs and scuffed black hooves. He licked his lips and tasted dirt. The horse nosed his face again and murmured its concern.
His first coherent thought was, Where’s my bike?
Carefully, Roy elbowed himself up. His heart crashed against his ribs, nearly through his jacket. That proved he was still alive. He could still feel his legs, and they moved when he thought at them. Another good sign. He reached up and found blood in his hair, but no bumps. His helmet lay a few feet away. That, his gloves and jacket, and the fact he must have rolled when he landed had probably saved him from serious injury.
Had he lost consciousness? He was pretty sure he hadn’t, but couldn’t be certain. The truck and its murderous driver, of course, were long gone.
Then he spotted the Harley, lying on its side on the grassy edge of the berm. Even at a distance he saw the kink in the handlebar, the tailpipe hanging loose. There was probably more, maybe worse, waiting for a hands-on search.
A groan ripped out of him. He tried to scramble upright. Sharp jabs of pain in his left ankle and knee put a stop to that. “Son of a bitch,” he cursed the truck.
He made a second attempt. This time the horse helped out. When his left leg crumpled under him the horse caught his jacket sleeve in its teeth and kept him semi-standing. Roy grabbed at its mane and dragged himself onto his still-functioning right leg. He hooked an arm across the horse’s neck and leaned hard on the solid support of its shoulder. The horse did not move or complain. It whickered at him, perhaps in sympathy.
Roy patted its neck. “Good Noche. Good boy. Good—” He stopped, both words and patting.
The horse had blue eyes.
Now that was flat-out weird. Back in Oklahoma he’d seen blue-eyed horses, even one with one blue eye and the other regular brown. But those had all been pintos. He’d been told that was normal for them. Any horse that wasn’t a pinto tended to have brown eyes. Except for his racing buddy here.
And damned if those eyes, even the way the horse cocked its head, didn’t look familiar.
Then he put too much weight on his left foot and the pain shot up his leg again. Roy cried out. Now he was getting alarms from his lower chest and his elbow. He had to get off the road, get home, maybe call somebody.
He and the horse must have been on the same page, because Noche folded his forelegs and got down on his knees and presented his back to Roy. Somebody’s pet for sure, and excellently trained. He hauled himself onto the horse’s back and gripped its mane as hard as his aching hands would let him. One hard fall was bad enough. He didn’t need another.
The horse set off at a slow, careful walk, toward the road and the gravel drive. Roy didn’t even have to steer him. It was like he knew right where to go.
He couldn’t resist a squint at his bike as they shuffled past it. That looked like a dent in the fuel tank. Was the engine okay? Roy groaned with a pain divorced from his physical injuries. “Son of a bitch,” he muttered again.
Even with the horse’s easy pace, Roy still jounced enough to spark snaps of pain in various parts of his body. Motorcycles he could straddle. Men too, in the right circumstances. Horses, not so much. He gritted his teeth and hung on while Noche made his tedious, torturous way up the drive to Roy’s cozy rancher. The barn, where the Harley should be sitting safe and secure and undamaged right now, seemed to mock him with its placidity.
The horse knelt again, positioned so Roy could slide off onto the porch and not have to climb the front steps. He tried to land to protect his ankle and barked his knee on the porch rail instead. Tears started to his eyes. I won’t faint, he told himself. It’s just a twisted ankle. An Army vet doesn’t faint over a twisted ankle.
Noche nuzzled his hair. Roy patted his nose. “Not that I’m ungrateful,” he said, “but as an ambulance, you’re not the smoothest.”
The horse backed a step. His body blurred. Thinking his eyes had got knocked askew too, Roy blinked hard. It wasn’t his eyes after all. It was the horse. The horse had somehow reshaped itself into a human being.
“That makes us even,” Dale Evanista said. “’Cause you can’t ride for shit.”
Friday, December 11, 2015
It also got me thinking about our fine folks in Talbot's Peak...what exactly would be on their 12 days of Christmas lists? I might have to start quizzing them for next weeks post...
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Elly McMahon left the Bighorn Diner around 4:30—late, but this time of year she stayed open a little later in the afternoon to accommodate holiday shoppers. Her lambs were inside, cleaning up so she could head home and catch some rest. She considered dropping in on her loving husband, but a glance through the Grease ‘n’ Grill’s windows showed Vern was doing a healthy business too, and his customers were pure carnivore. Better if she didn’t walk into that feeding frenzy. She’d see Vern tonight.
She’d rounded the corner by City Hall when she heard snickering, followed by an “Awwww!” and some half-hearted swearing. “Wait. Lemme try again.”
Elly frowned. That was Moon-Moon’s voice. She’d better check this out. When Moon-Moon did, or even tried, anything, disaster usually followed.
She spotted Moon-Moon hunched before a towering snow bank. He wasn’t alone. A lanky male in a leather coat and a visored cap stood beside him, in the same hunched position. The smell of urine was everywhere.
Not hard to guess what they were up to. What surprised her was that the other male’s steaming stream had a veggie aroma. Wolves were addicted to pissing contests, but not with herbivores. This bore looking into.
Elly stepped off the sidewalk and called out, “You know City Hall has public restrooms, right?”
Both males jerked around and hastily stuffed their hoses back behind their flies. Moon-Moon flushed bright scarlet. “Afternoon, Miz Elly,” he stammered out.
She nodded to him and turned to his companion. “Freddy Turner? Is that you?”
“Miz Elly.” Freddy touched the visor of his John Deere cap. “You didn’t see anything, did you?”
“Not a thing,” she said truthfully, with a silent thank-you added to the forest spirits. She peered a bit more closely at the lines branded into the snowbank and had to fight a laugh. “Signing autographs, are you?”
“It’s supposed to say ‘Merry Christmas,’” Freddy said, “except—”
“Except it’s not coming out right,” Moon-Moon said. “Well, it’s coming out good enough, we’ve been drinking all afternoon—”
“Yes, I gathered that.”
“But it’s not the right color. Y’see, we wanted it to be festive, dress up the town a bit, so I ate red meat this morning, and Freddy here had a ton of greens, so that—”
“If I did the Merry and Moons did the Christmas, then—”
“But it keeps coming out yellow,” Moon-Moon finished. “I can’t figure out what we did wrong.”
Elly shook her head. “It doesn’t work that way, boys. Pee only has one color. Anything other than yellow and you should be seeing a vet. It’s like feeding Hershey bars to a cow. You won’t get chocolate milk.”
“You don’t?” Freddy looked shocked. “So if you freeze the udder you don’t get ice cream either?”
“No. Take my word for it. Don’t you dare go around experimenting.”
“Hell, no,” Moon-Moon said fervently. “I’m not making that mistake again. Simon Batista damn near broke my nose when I suggested we try it.”
“That’s because Simon’s a bull, honey.”
“Oh. So when I said I wanted to milk him, that’s why he—” Moon-Moon’s eyes got wider. “Ooooohhhh.”
“Well, hell.” Freddy kicked at a clump of frozen snow. “Wait. Wait. I know what happened. It was the egg nog. We were drinking egg nog. That’s why it came out yellow.”
“I dunno, man. Last time I got hung over I took Pepto-Bismol, and nothing came out pink. In fact, it was kind’a—”
“And that’s my cue,” Elly muttered, edging back to the sidewalk. “I suggest you boys go home and sleep it off. And when you’re sober, go to the library and check out a couple of health books.”
Too late. Moon-Moon had had a revelation. “I got it! My buddy Mooney’s wife’s a witch who works for this cat who brews potions. I’ll bet he could make us something to get the colors right.”
“Yeah, I know the guy,” Freddy said. “If he was any good, you’d think he would’a brewed himself a potion for hair growth by now.”
“Maybe he shaves it.” Moon-Moon adjusted his pants. “Never hurts to ask.”
Yes. Yes, it does. Elly determinedly turned on her heel and trotted briskly in the other direction, mumbling, “Don’t get involved. Don’t get involved,” under her breath for at least a block.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Ok, guys, I'm resurfacing from the land of rapid rewrites. the story has been tweaked and it's being beta read at the moment. Chances of getting it released by Christmas are excellent! I am currently reworking the cover for it, so I don't have that one ready to show. I should have it by next Wednesday's post.
About two years ago, I released a teeny tiny little book called "Quick-Fix Wedding." It's free on Smashwords and $0.99 on Amazon, because Amazon wouldn't let me offer it for free. It's now going to be something of a prequal to "Witch's Moon," though both the novelette and the full length novel stand alone.
That's about it for now. Have a great day!
About two years ago, I released a teeny tiny little book called "Quick-Fix Wedding." It's free on Smashwords and $0.99 on Amazon, because Amazon wouldn't let me offer it for free. It's now going to be something of a prequal to "Witch's Moon," though both the novelette and the full length novel stand alone.
That's about it for now. Have a great day!
Thursday, December 3, 2015
“Well well,” Donny said upon entering his cousin’s apartment and finding Axel wrapped in a quilt on the couch. “Getting a jump on the season, are we?”
“Not—blechhhewww!—not this time. Not like last year. This time it’s legit. I’ve got a cold. Can’t you tell?”
“So the red nose isn’t a Christmas thing?”
“No,” Axel snarled, “it isn’t a Christmas thing. It’s because you brought me a box of cheap tissues. I told you to get the kind with lotion. I have a delicate snout.”
“And you’re not going to climb up on the roof and claim you can fly?”
“That was last year. Last year was the cider talking. This is a virus, for cripe’s sake. Did you at least get me honey? Tea’s about all I can keep down.”
“Axel, the red-nosed mule deer … ”
Axel tried to swear and ended up coughing instead. “So tell me, Donny,” he finally got out, “how are the antler implants working?”
Don cut himself off in mid-verse. “They’re not implants. They’re extensions.”
“Uh-huh. Because Carli doesn’t want to be seen in public with a button buck. Y’know, if you’re going to get implants, you should do her a favor and go for the—”
“Extensions. They weren’t permanent. They were just for rut.”
“Must not have worked. I heard she’s been prancing around with Evan Lang. Talk about your natural—waaachewww!” He blew his bright red honker.
And Donny blew his stack. “Lang? That steroidal elk? Talk about faking it. If his rack’s real, I’ll eat those Kleenex.”
“Don’t—” Axel clapped his hand over his mouth. He grabbed the waste can beside the couch and made dry retching noises.
But Don was off and galloping. “You’re making it up. Carli wouldn’t do that. Not with an elk, that’s for damn sure.”
Axel wiped his mouth with a tissue. “She’s a doe, man. All they look at are the horns. She probably couldn’t even describe your face to the cops, but I’ll bet she knows your rack circumference down to the millimeter.” He aimed a disdainful snort at Don’s pants. “Nothing else on you worth measuring.”
“I’ve never had to get up on a roof and pretend to fly to get a doe’s attention.”
“I told you, that was the cider. Man, could I go for one of those right now. Could you bring me one? When you go get me those tissues with the lotion in them like I asked you for in the first place?”
“Get ‘em yourself, Rudolph. I’ll bet you’re not even sick. You’re sure off base about Carli. I’ll bet you—”
Behind him, someone knocked on the apartment door. A cute young sheep with curly hair dyed a charming pink squeezed past him. She had nice squeezable bits. Don swallowed hard. All of a sudden, “hard” had become the word of the day.
“Excuse me,” she said, without even looking at him. “How are you doing, Axel?”
Axel went from indignant to death’s door in zero to sixty. “Bobbi?” he quavered. “Is that you?”
“Oh, you poor thing.” She scurried over to the couch and started removing supplies from her fabric grocery bag. “Here. I brought some herbal broth. This should get you back on your feet in no time. And this will help you relax.” She withdrew a bottle of cider. “Can I get you anything else? Do you need more tissues? The kind with the lotion?”
He wiped his hand on the quilt before he tenderly touched her cheek. “Artemis bless you, Bobbi. You’re a lifesaver.”
“I’ll be back in a couple of hours, after my shift. We can mull that cider.” Finally, she took notice of Don. “Will you be staying with him? Can we trust you?”
“That’s Don,” Axel said on a cough. “My cousin. He’s okay. But if he sticks around, you’ll need to bring more cider.”
“Oh. Don.” She said it like she’d heard stories. “Make sure he stays warm, and don’t you dare tire him out.” She marched past him and into the hallway, with a final wave at Axel. “See you later, honey.”
Don stared after her and her swaying lamb chops. “Who?”
“Bobbi. My downstairs neighbor. She’s a nurse.” Axel grinned. “And can she ever play doctor.”
Don darted into the hallway, just in time to see the sheep and her muttonous backside disappearing down the stairs. “Uh,” he said. “Ahchoo?”
Friday, November 27, 2015
“Are you going?”
“Come on, Nick, it’s for your pup’s.”
“Nope, and I could say the same to you, Z.”
“And face the mobs all trying to get the same one item on sale? No thanks. Those humans can be worse than hungry wolves facing off at a kill.”
Nick leaned forward on the cush chair they kept in the corner. “So, we forget this crazy notion?”
“It’s not crazy, Nick.” Ziva sat up and faced her mate. “That big name store off the highway scored a hell of a deal on rawhide chews and are offering it up at a can’t miss price.”
“Did we check with Glenn? I know he sells mostly fetish gear out of the pet shop, but he’s started to offer up some honest to goodness pet goods.”
“I checked with him and he tried to get a large batch, but being that they are homemade, the seller had run out and was not expecting to make any more for the holiday season.”
“Are we sure the pups need them?”
“Coop’s catching up with his sister in the shifting department and their wolf teeth are starting to come in, but they’re still too young for bones. Human teething rings work fine in their human form, but not so much in pup form.”
“Do we know anyone going that way today?”
Nick and Ziva sat staring at each other, each weighing the “who to call” options.
“Mooney!” They both hollered, each jumping for their cells.
“I can’t believe I got suckered into doing this again after last year’s fiasco.” Mooney grumbled, dodging crazy people all beating feet to score junk for under their Christmas trees.
Mama Kin, Ziva’s ringtone, blasts from close by. He stopped, mid-flow, to dig the phone out of his pocket. Ziva, rarely called to chit-chat, but she always let him know what was going on with his niece and nephew. He adored those little buggers. He hoped there was nothing wrong. “Yo, Z, what’s up?”
“Put him on speaker.” His brother demanded in the background.
“…shh Nick! So, Mooney, where ya at this fine morning?”
“Down at the…” Mooney took the corner of a cart to damn near the inner thigh by a crazed shopper. “Holy Lupa, lady…watch where you’re going, you almost took out my balls!”
“Geez, you kiss your dame with that mouth?”
“Ah Mooney…” Ziva called through the phone still at his ear.
“Sorry, Z, there are a bunch of crazy apes at this store today. What did you need?”
“Raging Randi’s Rawhide Chews. They’re homemade and crazy cheap there today.”
“Hell Ziva, those are on the other end of the store…can’t Nick get his own secret midnight snacks?”
“Why that little, mutt…just wait until I see you again, Moon” “Shut up, Nick!” Nick growled and Ziva laughed. “Please, Mooney, I’ll pay you for what they cost and I give you a solid ‘I owe you’.”
“Ooh, I like the sound of an IOU…” Mooney responded, already turned and moving in the direction of the rawhides. He’d just come from grabbing the boy’s gifts—military grade hunting knives. Sure, they were wolf shifters, but they couldn’t always shift. For those times they needed to know how to protect themselves and their loved ones. Now that the new alpha was here, they need to start training to protect her.
“Would it help if the rawhides were for the pups? They’ve started teething.”
“I figured,” Mooney laughed, but don’t tell Nick that, he’s just so fun to tease.
Ziva laughed, “you are so ballsy, Mooney. I love it!”
“How many do you want?”
“As many as you can get Mooney, as many as you can get. And thanks!”
Mooney hung up and proceeded to empty Raging Randi’s bin. He also grabbed an extra-small bone he intend on titling Nick’s Bone and leaving under the tree at the Gazette. Ah brotherly love in the holiday season.
Stay safe, everyone and have a wonderful weekend!
Thursday, November 26, 2015
“And there it is again, per your requests, Adam Sandler and his Thanksgiving song on Talbot’s Peak’s premiere radio station, SHFT, 105.7. You’re listening to me, Tabbs, the cat what’s got the stripes and wipes, and Mr. Surly over here, aka the Fuzz-man. That’s right, the Morning Hall Ball’s working on a holiday. Why? Because we get free turkey and time and a half. Coming up at noon, we’ll be running that other perennial Thanksgiving favorite, Arlo Guthrie’s ‘Alice’s Restaurant’—”
“Waddaya mean, why? It’s a classic. It—”
“It’s dated. It’s a relic. It’s fifty years old. That’s twice as old as our target audience. It’s a protest song from the ‘60s. Who the hell cares about the ‘60s anymore, other than your grandpa?”
(voice from the booth) “My dad cares, and he owns the station.”
“Not to mention it’s the only Thanksgiving rock song we’ve got. ‘Born in the USA’ doesn’t count. Besides, it runs, what, twenty minutes? We can eat and take piss breaks while it’s on.”
“Yeah, I guess there is that. Holy scat, we got a call. I thought everybody was off eating or something.”
“Looks like somebody’s got their radio on. Morning Hair Ball, you’re on the air.”
(caller) “Fuzzy! I’m with you, man. Play some new stuff. No more grandpa rock. Play something we can hump to.”
“You can hump to ‘Alice’s Restaurant.’ It’s twenty minutes long.”
“Just watch where you are, man. That’s how Billy Bonnadonna lost his job.”
“Yeah, I remember him. I thought he got canned for playing ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ on Christmas Eve and calling it a holiday song.”
“No, Fuzz. Remember that classic rock station they had? Well, Billy’s the one who started their Friday night ‘In a Gadda da Vida’ thing. That’s another twenty-minute classic, so—”
(caller) “In a Danny de Vito?”
“Why are you still on the phone?”
“Got nothing better to do, man.”
“Us either. That’s why we’re in radio. Anyway, the song runs about twenty minutes, so Billy would sneak his girlfriend into the studio, and every Friday night at nine … well, you get the picture.”
“More clearly than I want to. Wasn’t Billy the one who … sweet Lupa. And he had a girlfriend?”
“I know, right? Some chicks are flat-out desperate. Why can’t I find those chicks?”
“You need to be at a bar at three in the morning for that.”
(caller) “Hey, are you guys ever gonna play any music again? Good music, I mean.”
“Sure, man. Here’s a little ditty called “I Humped Your Mama Last Night.’”
(caller) “Hump your mama.” (hangs up)
“So, Tabbs, you got any plans for Thanksgiving? You want to come out to my place? Cerise and me’re having her family over.”
“You want to put a cat in a room full of hungry jackals? Are you off your friggin’ nut?”
“I’m outnumbered, man. I need backup. Morning Hair Ball, you're on the air.”
(caller) “Man, you ever play that Adam Sandler travesty again, I will hunt you down.” (hangs up)
“Wait'll Christmas, fleafest. We'll be playing his Hanukkah song. Oh, and we gotta play Cheech and Chong. Talk about your classics.”
“You’re right, Tabbs. Sometimes I miss album cuts. Some of those songs just went on forever. Hell, while ‘The End’ was playing, you could even go outside and roll a doobie … ”
“But not here. That never happened at this station, no sir. Not even on the overnight. Especially not on the overnight.”
(voice from the booth) “Wait a minute. That bunny band? Thumper? They had all those baggies with the lettuce in ‘em? And the next morning the place smelled like—”
“I think it’s time we did play some music, don’t you?"
(voice from the booth) "Clover ... "
"Yeah, clover, right. Let’s see how many moving targets I can hit with this one. The ultimate back seat humping song, Meat Loaf’s ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light.’ And we will be playing ‘Alice’s Restaurant’ at noon, ‘cause I definitely need to drop something down the hopper now. You’re listening to the Morning Hair Ball on 105.7, SHFT in Talbot’s Peak. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!”
Friday, November 20, 2015
“Aunt Lil’,” Ziva called, her hand covering Cooper’s head where he slept strapped to her chest. “You here?”
Ziva smiled and looked back at River, strapped in a front facing hold on Nick’s chest, trying to copy her words. Her little peach was so alpha already. She faced the world with a determination she got from both her parents and the eyes that could only have come from the daddy whose thumbs she was currently holding.
“In here, Ziva dear.”
The wispy sound of her aunt’s voice pulled her away from the smiles of her mate and child, concern for Liliya making a place in her chest. She loved her aunt and couldn’t imagine life without her. Aunt Lil’ had made life tolerable for Ziva during the years she’d had to assume the alpha position in her family.
Moving through the house her mother and aunt shared to the solarium in back, Ziva noticed how dark and unkempt the place had become. That was so not like Lil’. Her mother, now that she could see.
“Lil’, are you okay?” She asked the lump of a woman bundled into a blanket in the comphy double chair that looked out into the forest.
“No, Ziva my sweet, my time has come, “ Liliya whispered, acting like the old lady she wasn’t. “I love you, dear. Remember me fondly.”
“Lil’, I’m pretty sure it’s not your time.”
“No, it’s true, I’m bound for wherever shifters go to be recycled for the next life.”
“Aunt Lil’, I was with you just last week when Doc Leo did your annual physical. Remember, he said you were as healthy as one of the oxen brothers.”
Liliya threw off her blanket and sat up straight. “Oh, what does he know anyway?”
“Well, he’s a vet and shifter doctor, I assume he knows quite a bit.”
“Pish, I’ve got the arthritis. A really bad case.”
“Shifters don’t get arthritis, Lil’. All that changing shape keeps the joints fresh and young.”
“Well then, I’m a frigging medical miracle ‘cause I’ve got the arthritis.”
Ziva shot Nick, who was trying really hard not to laugh at the surly lady on the chair, a help me look.
“Say, Ms. Liliya, It’s been a while since Peter’s stop by the gazette with pictures to sell, have you been keeping he busy?” Nick teased.
“No. Good riddance too little peewee rubbish with that one, and when I say little, I really mean itty bitty…candy corn size if you know what I mean…”
“Stop!” Nick moaned. His theatrics were enough to earn him a share of the award Ziva had been ready to give her aunt. “Z, cover Coop’s ears…please. Men don’t need or want to know about the size of another man’s junk!”
“Really, babe, he’s sound asleep.” Ziva laughed, then looked back at her aunt. “What happened, Liliya?”
“That bugger decided to go sniffing after some human who works at a fast food place down off the highway. A human!”
“River, my sweetling and Cooper baby.” Liliya got up out of the chair and crooned at the bundles she and Nick where holding.
“You know, now that I think about it, let that human have him, he deserves the ridicule he’s gonna get for his little peewee.”
“Reeree…AH!” River shouted, making Nick cringe.
“Great…that one was actually close to sounding correct.” Nick groaned.
Ziva smirked at Nick’s dismay and decided there would be plenty of time later to tell Nick that the AH at the end of Rivers new word was really her attempt at the word DAH.
Have a great weekend, y'all and keep warm!
Thursday, November 19, 2015
(shedding a little light on a dreary week ... )
“Ain’t you done up there yet?”
For answer, Gil trowled a mass of damp leaves out of the house’s gutter and dumped them on where he hoped Louie’s head was. A ripe oath signified a near-miss. “Hold it steady. I’m coming down.”
Half the house finished; the other half to go. Louie and Gil repositioned the ladder, and Gil trudged up the steps again. The trees around his house were already bare. Where the hell were all these leaves coming from?
“Y’know,” Louie said, “this’d go a lot faster if you’d get on the roof.”
“Yes, it would,” Gil said through gritted teeth. “If I could get on the roof. But the windows are too small for me to crawl through, and all we’ve got is an eight-foot folding ladder for a twelve-foot house. Neither it nor I am tall enough to safely get me onto the roof. Note the word ‘safely.’ Chloe said if I break my neck, she’ll come out and break my ass.” His higher vantage, while not enough to get him past gutter level, did give him a fine view of the street, and the pre-adult audience gathered there. “What are all those kids doing here?”
“Watching you risk your neck. Must be a slow day in town.”
Gil shaded his eyes. “Are they selling popcorn?”
“And peanuts. Y’want some?”
“Eat me with hot sauce. Hey, you kids! Get out’a here!” His audience jeered and treated him to various imaginative hand gestures.
“Izzat fat kid—yeah, he’s takin’ bets. Hey, you! Yeah, you in the yellah shirt. What species are you?”
“Rat!” the plump kid yelled back with a pumpkin grin.
“That’s what I figured. What odds you got on a broken leg?”
“Hey, the kid’s an enterprenooer. He should be encouraged.”
“I ought’a encourage this trowel right up your ass. Why don’t you get on the roof? You’re a rat. Shimmy up the drainpipe.”
“With this gut? Are you nuts? My shimmying days are behind me. You’re a squirrel. You shimmy.”
“I’m only a squirrel during a full moon.” Gil jabbed the trowel at the cool November sun. “Does that look like a full moon to you?”
“No.” Louie dropped his drawers and wagged his ample butt at the man above him. The kids along the sidewalk applauded. “Does this?”
Gil shot him the finger, and earned a cheer from his audience. “Ha ha friggin’ ha.”
A puff of breeze came up, and swirled dead leaves through the air and onto the roof. They tumbled into the gutter like they were drawn by magnets. Gil swore heartily.
Wait a minute. Those big brown things weren’t clumps of leaves. Not with those whiskers and tails.
The twin rodents glided expertly down from the branches of a nearby tree, borne aloft on stretched membranes of skin between their fore- and hind paws. They landed lightly on the roof and shifted into a pair of 13-year-olds, a boy and a girl. Naked, naturally. Gil hastily averted his eyes from the girl’s budding tits. Down below, Louie did the same.
Out on the sidewalk, the crowd went wild, at least until the girl shouted, “Knock it off, ya idjits.” She pointed at her incisors. “We’re rodents. We gnaw. And we go right for the giblets.” She turned to her brother. “Feel like filling your cheek pouches, Ricky?”
The audience dispersed post-haste. This pair must be known in the neighborhood.
Gil suddenly realized he knew them too. “Ricky?” he said, with his hand over his eyes. “June? Bertram’s kids?”
“Yeah,” June said. “Aunt Chloe called, said you needed help. Dad sent us over.”
“Aunt Chloe said you’d pay us twenty-five dollars to clean out the gutters,” Ricky added. “Apiece.”
“Are you kidding me?” Gil dropped his hand, spotted June’s grinning face, and slapped his palm over his eyes again before his gaze could accidentally drop lower. “Tell me you brought clothes with you.”
“Under the tree, on the other side of the house.”
“I’m on it.” Louie took off at a waddle.
Gil studiously stared out over the nearly-bare trees and listened to June and Ricky get to work. When Louie returned he passed the twins’ clothes up to Gil, who left them on the roof along with the trowel. He eased his way down the ladder.
“It’s okay,” Louie said. “The girl’s got a dress on now. You can’t see nothing unless you look—” Louie caught Gil’s glare and turned, setting his back to the house. “You can’t see nothing. You know those two?”
“They’re relatives of Chloe’s. Flying squirrels. Wish I’d thought of them sooner.” He brushed bits of leaf off his sweater.
“There you are.” Chloe came around the house to kiss her husband on the cheek, and pat Louie on the arm. “I see the kids made it. Hope you’re in the mood for walnut cookies. And for baby-changing.”
“And that’s my cue.” Louie said. “I’m out’a here.”
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
So, quick hit-and-run post today. I had been planning to release Witch's Moon for Thanksgiving. I now have some changes to make to remove big chunks of the plot so that there's no reference to any characters I didn't create. Hopefully, it will be ready by Christmas. These changes will turn my Talbot's Peak short story, Quick-Fix Wedding, into a sort of prequel for Witch's Moon. If you own a copy of it, you can use it to whet your appetite for Witch's Moon. If not, you can pick a copy of it up from Amazon's Kindle store or from Smashwords. Have a great day!
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
*Heading toward TURKEY DAY* howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.
After the question was asked if I really wanted to leave SHAPESHIFTER SEDUCTIONS, I reconsidered my decision to "bow out" . Because, of course, I want to continue in the fantasy world I've helped to world-build from the beginning. Also, I feel it's only fair to my heroines and heroes—who are currently clamoring at me nonstop.
At this point, I'd like to make it clear, I love ALL of my fellow authors. And, as a reader, I appreciate and enjoy their flash scenes. Their creativity amazes me.
However, given my worldview, my personal experiences in life—and the feelings and worldview—the life experiences of my characters—well, for a lack of a better way of expressing it...we have clashing worldviews. At least, that's my perception.
The only solution I know of, is to simply create a separate timeline, a parallel Talbot's Peak, if you will... in the same plotline-vein as the TV show, SLIDERS [1995-2000].
Thus, my flash scenes, in no way reflect other storylines of shifter/supernatural life in Talbot's Peak...although, obviously, only to the degree that it makes a logical story...again, as was done in the various SLIDERS versions of Earth reality.
If anyone is offended by my authorly plotline-version of the Peak, I ask you to simply tune out, change the channel, and continue to enjoy the other flash scenes.
And so it begins... The Divergent Timeline
Splitsville... Red Pill, Blue Pill ... The Divergent Timeline
Restless, her inner cat tail slashing back and forth, Kitty paced her office in the town library. Change, like a typhoon wind, permeated the very atmosphere. She hated like hell to confront her inner knowing...but, here it was.
Everything was about to explode. She knew it to her feline-intuitive core.
When a polite knock sounded at the door, Kitty jumped and whirled like her cat self. "Come in," she called out, knowing it was Sapphyra, a psychic who was part of Dante's Circle of Witches.
Fishsticks, tears already dripped on her cheeks. With a swipe of her hand, Kitty hastily wiped them away.
"Not good." Sapphyra answered Kitty's speculative gaze, and approached.
"Tea?" Kitty asked.
"No thanks. I'm not in mood...too upset," Sapphyra softly responded. She embraced Kitty in a warm hug.
As they'd often done, both women seated themselves on the cozy, Victorian-replica chairs.
Kitty watched Sapphyra inhale a large breath, then reach inside her satchel. "Several of us tuned in psychically, and used remote viewing..." she hesitated, "here's the transcript of the mayor and the rat plotting against Dante...I understand Damien has already taken care of his 'problem'."
Stiffening her spine, and her nerve, Kitty took hold of the pages. Resolute—since it never did any good to avoid a problem—she began reading.
Her tears splashed on the paper before she could contain them. "They really believe this will work? Dante isn't stupid. He's had the license thing covered for years." Kitty shook her head at the absurdity of it. "He made a private deal with county officials years ago. They don't bother him. He doesn't bother them. And they're welcome at the Pleasure Club."
"I know. So far, everyone has gotten along. No issues. And no licenses."
Not quite believing what she'd read, with shock numbing her, Kitty carefully re-read the pages. "Mayor G, the rat...they've gone to the dark side...haven't they?" Kitty sighed to the depth of her soul. "Being in town is no longer safe for us, is it?"
"Not for those of us who don't want to end up in a black ops lab, the experiment du-jour." Sapphyra twisted her lips. "I guess if you're a rabbit shifter, or friend's with those shifters in the state congress, you're protected."
"What I don't understand is why the mayor and the rat are confusing Damien's Halloween visit with Dante. He's not coming after them. He's tried to reconcile. But he is a wolf. That only goes so far."
"Dante had nothing to do Damien's threats." Sapphyra shook her head, an exasperated expression on her face. "He had no clue about his sire's sudden visit to the mayor, until White Fang told him."
Kitty nodded. "Mayor G should be grateful White Fang had an ear to the door the whole time, so he didn't end up roadkill. Instead this..." Kitty tossed the pages on the coffee table.
"What I don't understand is why the mayor thinks it's Dante's idea to do a recall election. There's been murmurings of that ever since Mayor G tried to get the town to do that state census form. You know, be counted."
"How un-American, that the people of Talbot's Peak should actually get to vote, possibly un-elect him as mayor." Kitty couldn't care less if sarcasm colored her words. "And big fat scratches, there was never one townhall meeting about that census beforehand. You know, finding out what the people wanted, if they were onboard."
"I must have missed the notice in the G&B Gazette about the state offering more money later." Sapphyra tossed her long hair in disgust. "Wait. Aren't those notices about townhall meetings put on the library's community board?"
"If there was a public meeting, no one here was notified. Funny how that happened... or didn't happen. Whatever," Kitty softly yowled the last word. She stood. With anxiousness owning her stomach, she moved to the window, peering outside yet not seeing anything. Inside, her heart somersaulted with sadness.
"People have a right to know what's going on," Sapphyra stated, her tone spirited.
"You're right. They need to know it's no longer safe in town for a lot of us. Dante can't keep using the cyber team to protect the town. Too much is going on. He has to protect the Pleasure Club, and the surrounding territory."
"Obviously, I can't take this transcript to the Gazette, since it's psychically generated."
"No..." Inspiration blazed like a hundred watt bulb in Kitty's head. "No, but we can copy it as a flyer. Spread it all over town. And people can make up their own mind. Do their own research. Decide what they want to do." Kitty tightened her arms over her belly. "It's splitsville for me."
"Red pill, blue pill," Sapphyra spoke in the silence. "We're in a Matrix-movie moment."
"You take the blue pill, the story ends," Kitty quoted what she knew by heart from infamous movie. "You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes."
Wishing you love and passion on the wild side ~
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance
Saturday, November 14, 2015
Thursday, November 12, 2015
“Well, lookie here,” Gil said, pulling a folder out of a filing cabinet in the Mayor’s office. “Just as I suspected. Guess who doesn’t have a liquor license?”
Louie, deep in his own inspection of the records in another filing cabinet, snorted. “Start with a D?”
“Yeppur. Technically, the entire Pleasure Club complex lies outside the Talbot’s Peak city limits. We can’t provide him with liquor licenses or building permits or any of that fun stuff. He has to go through the county for that, and I know for a fact he never did.”
“Beaver Brothers Construction, for starters. Who do you think built the place?” Gil slapped the folder onto his desk, where it joined a growing pile of similar damning evidence gleaned from both the county's online public records and Mayor Lincoln's old CYA files. “One phone call could make his life very, very difficult.”
“You want me to make it?” Louie said, with a far-too-eager grin. “I used to deal with the bureaucrats in Jersey. I speak the lingo.”
“Not just yet. I’m going to talk to him first. Which is more courtesy than he deserves. A recall vote? Seriously? He has no authority to call for that. He has no legal authority whatsoever. Who the hell does he think he is?”
“He thinks he’s protecting the Peak.” Louie made a ratty sniff. “Like we ain’t capable of crossing the street by ourselves if Dante ain’t there to hold our hands.”
“Protect, my ass. You know he held a secret meeting with his cronies to discuss that recall election? None of them even live in Talbot’s Peak. Hell, at least three of ‘em aren’t even native to Earth. And there they are, holed up in a bunker plotting to remove a legally-elected government official under the guise of a ‘recall.’ And who’d take over the office of Mayor? Somebody he approves of? That’s not protecting the people. That’s a would-be dictator planning a coup d’etat. All for our own good, of course. Seeing as how we’re all so helpless and vulnerable without his benevolent guidance. That kind of ‘protection’ we need less than Russia needed Josef Stalin.”
“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others,” Louie quoted. “So let him take his toys and move out. Ain’t that what Damien threatened he’d do?”
“If he does, it’s gonna be one tiny exodus. Unlike our would-be overlord, I’ve been out on the streets the last couple of years. I don’t need a census list; I’ve met our population. Over eighty-five percent of Talbot’s Peak is herbivorous. Even the omnivores aren’t going to follow a wolf. He wants to leave? Let ‘im. We’ll all be right here waving bye-bye.”
Louie made a disgusted noise. “Is this still over the state money thing? That came from the bunnies we got in Congress. Don’t he know that?”
“I tried to tell him. Or I would have, if I could have gotten hold of him. If he was so concerned, he could have called me. We could have avoided this whole mess with a simple conversation. But what does he do? Throws his weight around. Doesn’t even come at me in person. He sends his girlfriend to chew us out. His girlfriend, who has even less authority than he does, and he doesn’t have any to start with. Y’know what kind of a man does that? I’ll give you a hint. It starts with A and ends in ‘hole’.”
“And wasn’t she feeling her oats?” Louie sneered. “Like any one of us was gonna take a swing at her. Hell, I’m a rat and even I’m more of a gennulman than that. Wish I’d taken her over my knee like I wanted to, though. Little bratty cat had it coming.”
“I hope she doesn’t get too full of herself and try that with Zhere Ghan,” Gil said. “There won’t be enough of her left to stuff into a baggie.”
“Dante ain’t gonna dick with Zhere Ghan. He respects Ghan. Ghan’s a fellow predator. Not like us insignificant little rodents what need his protection and all.”
“Typical wolf,” Gil said. “Thinks being alpha automatically puts him at the top of the food chain. Man, the acorn didn’t fall far from that tree. Though he’s right to be concerned about humans. Especially this human.” Gil tapped his chest. “Everybody forgets I used to be human. I’m out here on the front lines doing my damnedest to walk the thinnest tightrope you can imagine, keeping shifters and humans from winding up in a bloody no-win fight. Meanwhile, he’s scheming and doing end runs around me and cutting me off at the knees every time I make a move he doesn’t approve of. If he wanted so bad to protect the town, why didn’t he run for Mayor?”
“Because screwing with people’s more fun.” Louie smiled. “Gotta admit, he’s good. Wonder if maybe he’s part rat?”
“Doesn’t matter. Fun’s over. We’re going to have the talk we should have had weeks ago. This time he’s going to listen. We’ll work it out together, like we were always supposed to. If he can’t do that, if he can’t show some respect for the squirrel, then he’ll have to deal with the human. And believe you me, doggie’s gonna heel.”
“Speaking of nuts,” Louie said, “Damien’s still on the loose. You want me to deal with him? Jersey style?”
“Not necessary.” Gil patted his phone. “That’s a call I did make. We won’t have to worry about Damien Hancock for at least the next fifteen to twenty years.”
# # #
Damien looked up in surprise at the knock on his door. Surprise because he was currently sitting at his desk in the office of his stronghold halfway up the Peak, with half a dozen wolves outside. There shouldn’t even be a knock on the door.
He got up and went to the door. The polite rap came again. Damien yanked the door open.
Three men in dark glasses and crisp black suits stood outside the door. His guard wolves pressed against the wall in obvious terror. They wouldn’t look at Damien.
The man at the forefront flashed ID. He did not smile.
“Mr Hancock?” he said. “We want to talk to you. We’re with the IRS.”
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Autumn howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.
Because this is all I can manage this week, here's another rough-draft chapter from Keina and Drev's erotic love story, Waiting For a Filly Girl, a SHAPESHIFTER SEDUCTIONS WIP
Tagline: Ex super-soldier boy meets winged filly girl. Will they live happily ever after? In Talbot's Peak territory anything is possible.
Her blood a fierce blaze, her spirit fiercer, Keina soared beneath the canopy of diamond-brilliant stars. Symone's thighs gripped her sides hard as Keina banked a tight turn. She struck the cold air with her wings, swooping toward the ginormous formation of the spidery-ugly drones—all them her size, at least.
With deadly precision, mere minutes ago, Symone had eliminated ten of the laser-weaponized unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs. Whoever, or whatever. commanded the killer-tech swarm—whether humans with joysticks, a human variant species, or an AI in control—they'd made a serious combat mistake.
She and Symone had not been blown out of the sky.
Snapping her wings wide, Keina put on the aerial brakes. She wheeled a u-turn, and with her wings furiously beating the air, she streaked along the back edge of the drone formation that advanced on Talbot's Peak territory.
Pop-sizzle...pop-sizzle...one by one, Symone blasted the enemy UAVs into dust-sized particles—before they were armed, and aimed. From the corner of her eye, Keina witnessed a few flashes, the beginnings of a laser strike. But Symone out-gunned the drones, dustifying each spider machine before the pulse leaped from the mounted cannons.
In the following seconds, reality struck Keina like a swift hoof to the head. Flubergastov, she was in the midst of a life-risky skirmish. For real.
Battle mare...battle mare, she chanted. Baring her teeth, she altered the angle of her wings, and prepared to fly high above the formation.
"Down!" Symone screamed. "Dive, dive!"
Keina froze the movement of her wings, allowing gravity to take hold. They sank like a stone for several moments. Then, straightening her neck, Keina flapped so she arrowed downward. At the same time, she felt Symone twist, and position herself. Rapid fire followed.
Fine ash from the destroyed enemy drones rained down on them. "Level off," Symone called out. "A contingent broke off," she explained, shouting above the wind. "They were waiting for us."
Immediately pumping her wings, Keina stretched her body for more air resistance. Before long, they flew parallel to the ground.
"Can you circle back around, Keina...are you strong enough?" Concern edged Symone's voice.
In answer, Keina winged upward sharply, and with strength surging through her, she looped toward the dark army of UAVs. Instantly, the drones flying rear guard, aimed cannons at them—the whirs of sound ominous.
Black as an abducting gray alien's eyes, Keina thought, as she charged, and listened to Symone pulse her shots. Another line of the spider bots blew apart, their bits spraying outward.
"And another one bites the dust...and another one," Symone sang in warrioress celebration.
"Climb, climb. High altitude," she yelled a split second later. Six of the sinister drones formed into a wedge as Keina watched. Mechanically buzzing like a hive of borg bees, they approached rapidly.
Keina slapped the air with her wings. Rising fast, she soared above the drone armada. Laser fire crisscrossed beneath her. But not for long. Symone flash-banged the attackers, picking them off quick.
"Keep flying toward the Peak," Symone yelled. "I'll send those demon contraptions to hell's abyss."
The hissing pulse-pulse of Symone's rifle sounded non-stop in Keina's ears as she got her midair bearings, then winged toward the Peak's territorial border. Slowing her speed, she steadied her flight, giving Symone a better platform to annihilate more of the invading swarm.
All too soon, the oil-acrid odor of dying drones billowed around them. Keina attempted to snort out the noxious smell when her nostrils painfully burned. Unable to find relief—and in danger of falling out of the sky when the chemicals filled her lungs—she flew ever higher, yet stayed on course.
"Bloody hell, I can't breathe. Let's get out of here," Symone shouted. "Keina, are you okay?"
As fast as possible, Keina pulled the cleaner air into her lungs. Her heart pounded as if it was about to burst from her ribcage. The flapping of her wings became sluggish, yet remained strong enough to keep them aloft. Even so, she strained to gain more altitude, more distance from the UAV armada—not so much of an armada now.
"Do we need to land?" Symone flattened her hand on Keina's neck, her touch one of concern. "Keina...find a spot to land. Dugger and Drev are about to blast that evil collection of tinker toys to kingdom come. I'll shoot from the ground."
Determined to keep fighting no matter what, Keina flared her nostrils wide sucking in the purer air. Soon enough, the drumming of her heart lessened, and her wings flapped with more ease.
'Keina, something wrong?' Drev demanded in mindspeak. His worry seared a path through her.
'I'm fine now. Flying high. Destroy the drones.'
'Looks like Symone decimated the ranks. Stay high, sweetheart,' Drev reminded. 'Dugger and I are about to bring out the big guns. Finish off the *rise of the machines*. Here they come.'
Boom. Boom. Boom. Above the menacing mechanized buzz of the drone army, Keina heard Drev and Dugger's shooting bombardment begin.
"Into bloody oblivion!" Dugger's yell owned the night sky.
New energy exploded through Keina, and she speed-winged—as her kind called it—toward Drev's position. Not wanting another lung full of foul-stinky drone dust, she also increased her elevation fast.
"Keina," Symone gripped her mane tighter, "are you able to circle behind Dugger and Drev? I'll target any drone that gets through their fire."
Whipping the air with her wings, Keina zoomed for Drev and Dugger. She caught glimpses of drones as they were hit, and fiery-exploded beneath her.
Entranced by the sight, she dipped her head, watching what looked like a fireworks display gone wrong. The spidery limbs of the UAVs tumbled in a weird aerial dance.
"The *dark-side powers that be*...their commanders must be going looney-crazy," Symone shouted near into Keina's ear.
'What the freak-robot hell?' Drev mindspoke.
'What?' Keina streaked toward her Drev. She felt it to her equine bones, something was terribly wrong.
'Directly behind you, Keina! Fly higher. Put the speedster wings on. I want a clean shot at that monster drone."
Wishing you love and passion on the wild side ~
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance
Monday, November 9, 2015
Sunday, November 8, 2015
Friday, November 6, 2015
Yep, definitely a business that could be found in Talbot's Peak. There has to be a flash here, so ladies, if anyone has an idea for it, feel free to jump on it!
Um, seriously, its like they know this town!
LOL...Truer words were never spoken in The Peak.~~~
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
November howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.
So, good intentions be damned today. I'd planned to get this first draft of my chapter written and posted in a much more timely manner. But no such luck. I had to do an emergency fix-up job, and to do it, I had to dig through stuff to find what I needed... and so on, and so on... then, the day went wacky-busy from there.
However, here it is—finally—a rough-draft chapter from Keina and Drev's erotic love story, Waiting For a Filly Girl, a SHAPESHIFTER SEDUCTIONS WIP.
The Drone Attack On Talbot's Peak Territory
Drev glued his gaze on Keina as she galloped over a flat stretch of ground. Her sheer beauty as winged horse bewitched him. No doubt, bewitched him.
Symone rode on his filly's back as if she'd been born to it. Earlier in the day, the two of them had gone on a long test flight, which had been declared successful.
Enchanted by the flapping of her pale glimmering wings, Drev watched Keina launch skyward. Her lush tail flowed like a silvery banner, and her magnificent wings strongly beat the air.
Drev felt his spirit soar with her.
Quicker than he liked, Keina and Symone become super tiny in appearance, a gleam against the star-filled night sky. The plan was to sharpshoot from on high.
"That's my sheila warrior." Dugger's words were quiet, given the night had a thousand enemy ears. Right now.
"Yep, Symone is an amazing warrior," Drev offered under his breath. "I hear the drones." He spoke moments later, his gaze still on the circling bright speck that was his filly girl.
"Yeah, my ears aren't tuned like yours, mate."
"The vibrations are a warning buzz inside me."
"How far out?" Dugger asked.
"Fifty miles, I'd judge."
"Right on target. Just got a telepathic message from Dante," Dugger explained. "He also informed us two of the Dragon squad are about to engage."
"More fire power to them. I'm about to inflict my own scorched drone policy." Drev pointed one of his high-powered rifles in the direction where the drone swarm was loudest. Dante's armory hadn't been a disappointment, to put it mildly.
"Drones on the barbie." Dugger brandished one of his portable rocket launchers. "I'm about to smoke as many as the Good Dingo Above grants me."
.With an *I'm your comrade in arms* slap on Drev's back, the dingo shifter whirled, jogging for his chosen battle position—high atop the ridge running north of them.
To see Keina and Symone easier, Drev switched on his super soldier side, using a trigger thought. Immediately, his metabolism hit full throttle, his five senses heightened, and his strength level jumped several notches.
His years of specialized training surfaced—like a shark on the hunt for dinner, as he often envisioned it. His focus turned razor sharp, the rest of the world forgotten.
The mission was everything.
The difference now, Keina remained in the back of his mind like a bright angel. Drev spared a smile.
They knew, he determined, observing Keina rapidly fly toward the approaching drone army. Fear for her wanted to swamp him, bring him to his knees. Drev squashed his weakness, taking several minutes to view her battle victory on his mindscreen.
Dressed in full battle rattle, high-powered rifle in hand, he jogged over the rock-strewn terrain, his destination a solitary boulder formation. In the partial moonlight, the natural structure reminded him of a crudely built fortress.
With the agility of a mountain goat, Drev climbed to the top. He positioned himself between two substantial boulders, one with a relatively flat surface.
Quick, precise, he readied his weaponry and ammo, then scanned the starry canopy overhead. Given the power of his eyesight, no binoculars needed.
Aware spy satellites were being used in this drone op against them, Drev aimed his consciousness skyward, wanting to tune in. He and Dante had discussed this skynet enemy, and the alpha wolf had assured him that his cyber team planned to intervene, to shut down the space-laser tech when necessary.
Because the dirty truth about both digital and back-engineered ET tech. Everything could be hacked.
Drev figured hacking, destroying the cyber innards of the satellites, was only fair—a true balancing of the Universal force. After all, in this Big Brother day and age the human mind had been hacked and highjacked by the shadow-gov's propagandists.
Lock and load, Drev told himself, as the drone buzz intensified inside him. Pissed off bees owned his bloodstream—that's how it felt. With rapid efficiency, he readied his four rifles, checked his side pistols, then placed the specialized grenades within easy reach.
'Drev...' Keina mind-contacted.
'Here, sweetheart. Talk to me.'
'We're circling above...'
'What is it, Keina?'
'There must be a hundred of these flying mechanical killers.'
'A hundred!' Drev shuddered inside despite his super-soldier focus. His mind spun, seeking a strategy. 'How fast can Symone pick them off?'
'Not fast enough. Too many will attack us.'
'Are you in danger now?' Drev demanded.
'No. We're following high above. None have broken from formation.'
'Stay high. Wait until Dugger and I can blast them out of the sky.'
'That is Symone's plan. First...'
'First what, Keina?'
'We're doing a low flyby to machine-gun a group of them. Just before they're in range for you and Dugger.'
Damn! 'Are you able to out-fly those giant houseflies?'
'I believe so. Symone can shoot accurately no matter my speed. Keep them off my horse's ass.'
Drev clamped his jaw tight. Before he begged his filly girl to return. Now. Instead, he asked, 'Is Symone mind-speaking with Dugger?'
'She's in contact. When you see what looks like fireworks popping off, that will be our first attack.'
'Last thing I want is you and Symone in the crossfire.'
"Don't sweat any bullets,' his filly girl attempted a bit of humor.
'Super soldiers don't sweat bullets. We eat them for breakfast like cornflakes. Uh, like oat granola.' Lame, Drev my man, but it was the best he could do while worrying about his woman.
"Oat granola. Good one, Drev.'
'You're feeling strong, right, Keina?'
'The battle mare is large and in charge.'
Drev had to crack a grin at Keina's twisting of societal phrases. Far more crucial, he felt her strength. Temporary relief flooded him. 'She is. I feel her.'
'Teamwork, stud man.'
'Yes, we are a team.'
'Head's up. We're about to do a strafing run.'
'Keina, can you do the vid thing inside my head?' Drev thought better of it, a split second later. 'Wait, will that take too much of your energy? Will you lose combat focus?'
'Drev, they're attacking!'
'How many?' His heartbeat thundered. If he had to leap off this heap of boulders, race toward those freaking-ass drones.
'Ten. Signing off.'
Frantic yet controlled, Drev searched the horizon for any sign of the drone swarm. One, two, three seconds, he heard the soft echoing blast of Symone's plasma rifle.
Wishing you love and passion on the wild side ~
Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance