Saturday, October 31, 2015

Walking Shadows Book 3 Interlude I

They called themselves Pain and Pleasure. He was able to heal any wound and coupled with his super strength could break any man. She could bring orgasmic excitement with just a touch. Men melted for her and women wanted to be her. They sold their abilities to the highest bidder, but even they weren’t sure about this one.

Pain and Pleasure stood inside a darkened warehouse. Shadows loomed above them. The sunlight was blocked by the lack of windows and the black paint over the few that remained. Pain gave Pleasure a sideways glance. She knew the meaning: I don’t like this.

“Show yourself,” she said. “Or we’re out of here.”

One of the shadows above shifted with blinding speed. A second later, the figure appeared directly before Pain and Pleasure.

She wore very little, just a black halter top and a thong made of the same lace. Normally Pain’s eyes would be all over the woman. But his eyes were focused on the woman’s mouth and the elongated canines she showed as she smiled.

“We do not mean to disturb you, but we are not one for the light.” She pointed to the single light that hung over the mercenaries. “We are creatures of the night after all.”

Pain shook his head. “You’re telling me your vamp—”

“What do you want us to do?” Pleasure said.

“We need agents during the daylight hours. An individual somewhere in the city poses a great danger to my people. And we need for this threat to be destroyed.”

“A threat,” Pleasure said. “That sounds like something we can help you with. We’re experts at eliminating threats.”

“Excellent. But this is no ordinary threat.”

“Lady, we get it,” Pain said. “You ain’t no ordinary client. This dude needs to be taken out and he’s got powers. We’ve done this dozens of time. You know the price. We just need a name.”

The vampire woman smiled, again bearing her fangs. “It is not a he. And she is not just another power. She is a goddess among men. And though she has been humbled, she still presents a dangerous threat. Her name is Melinoe and she must die before she can bring forth the end of everything.”

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Casting Call: Ian Page

Like many people in the world I like to take fiction and design my cast around it. My own writing often comes with a sense of casting early on as I attempt to visualize the figures I'm writing about. In Casting Call, I share my thoughts of who would make the perfect actor to bring a character to life.

Ian needs an actor with depth and range. I've been more than impressed with the work of Nicholas Hoult both in his more blockbuster movies (the X-Men franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road) and in his edgier or more artful work (Skins, Warm Bodies). I think he has all the range to play Ian, although he might need to play a figure a bit more meek than the other damaged figures he has played.

Nicholas Hoult. From a Flaunt magazine photo shoot.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Walking Shadows Book 3 Chapter 9-4

“I don’t know. Melinoe’s connection to nightmares might help her see us. We could—”

“No. No, you could not.” The new voice seemed to echo as though it was a dozen voices talking as one. “You will go nowhere without our permission and our sanction.”

“Who are you?” Cyrus yelled. “What do you want with us?”

Cyrus screamed in pain as he was yanked away from Marilyn. His body struck hard against the closet door. Marilyn could see some kind of force distorting the air between her and Cyrus. It held him fast and seemed to be slowly crushing him.

“We have no interest in you,” the mysterious voice said. “You are a strange entry into our plan, godling, but you serve little purpose to ourselves or our future. You are but a pawn, an odd one perhaps, but still a pawn. You will stay where you are and you will be silent. For we have little need to keep you alive if your precious love refuses to help us.”

“What is this?” Marilyn said. “You want my help, then you better show yourself and let Cyrus go!”

The room seemed to flicker. Marilyn could see something flow around her. They were insubstantial though. It was though the room filled with outlines of people rather than actual people. But they formed all around her, encircling her. They came in all shapes and sizes: adults and children, skinny and fat, tall and short. At least a dozen of them in total. One held an arm up, the force holding Cyrus to the wall extending from it.

“The godling will stay where he is, dear girl.” Cyrus’s captor seemed to be the focal point of their words, but all of them spoke as one. “You have much to answer for. You will explain yourself and then you will complete your mission.”

“Mission? What are you talking about? I don’t know what any of this is.”

“The mission we created you for, homonculus. You may have denied yourself the memories but it is time you finally complete your only purpose of existence.”

“What? I don’t—”

Marilyn clutched at her throat as something squeezed it shut. She started to shift her body, change her method of breathing, but it was too late. The bones cracked as she lost consciousness.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Walking Shadows Book 3 Chapter 9-3

She reached out to take her girlfriend’s arm, but her hand just passed straight through it. Marilyn quickly turned back to Cyrus, her eyes wide in shock. He rushed over to her and pulled her back. But she resisted just long enough to cause him to stumble. He fell straight towards Alli—and straight through her as well.

“No, this isn’t right,” Cyrus said. “This is very, very wrong.”

“What is happening?”

“I’m not sure. But it shouldn’t be happening. Apparitions aren’t living people, just shades left behind by those that have passed.”

“Apparitions? You mean ghosts? That can’t be right. If we were ghosts, Alli would still be able to communicate with us.”

“I don’t know,” Cyrus said. “But you meet a lot of ghosts when you’re the son of the death god.”

Alli turned back to the other woman. “I guess our next move is to head back to Spirit Cop. We have to find the others somewhere.” She turned back to the apartment door and opened it again.

“We must hurry,” the other woman said. “We are all in grave danger.”

“So you’ve said, but you’re going to explain it to me in the car. I’m not driving all over this damn city without a good reason.”

“Of course,” the mystery woman said as the door closed behind her.

Marilyn didn’t know what to do as they stood in the otherwise empty room. She leaned in to Cyrus. He wrapped his arms around her, a comforting gesture as she tried to resist the fear that threatened to overwhelm her. She nestled her head into his chest.

“What do we do?” She resisted the urge to sob as she said the words.

“We have to figure out what did this to us. We didn’t die, so someone or something must be responsible for pulling us out of sync with the living world.”

“But what? And how? Why can’t Alli detect us when she talks to ghosts on a regular basis?”

“I don’t know,” Cyrus said. “I wish I did.”

She pulled away from him. She took a deep breath and forced down the worries that raced through her mind. He was right. They needed answers and she would be strong. She survived a fight with an insane god with him. She would survive this as well.

She turned to the door. “Where do we go to find help?”

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Walking Shadows Book 3 Chapter 9-2

“I don’t think that’s the only reason.”

“Well, it doesn’t hurt that I like you quite a bit, Marilyn. You intrigue me. And you know what you’re doing. Not all girls can say that.”

She just shook her head and bit her lower lip as she felt another climax coming.

Cyrus stopped suddenly just as she nearly peaked. His eyes were wide beneath her, his head up and alert.


“The door. A key—”

She turned her attention to the front door. She heard it now. The click and the turn of a key in the lock. And only one other person had a key to her apartment.

She lowered her voice. “Shit! Get in the bathroom. Now. I’m not quite ready to have this conversation yet.”

“Wait, who is it?”

She stepped off the bed and gathered the ball of his clothes. She threw them into his arms. “Go! Now!”

Cyrus looked perplexed, but he took the wad of clothes and headed towards the bathroom. Marilyn turned back to the door and rushed towards it.

Clothes formed over her body as she bounded towards the door. A pleated black skirt and a simple blue sweatshirt formed over her. Her feet stayed bare as she never hardened them into shoes in her house. Her hair straightened into her normal style, the classic look of her namesake.

She sat up in the bed and composed herself just as the key clicked and the door swung open. She gave Alli a smile.

Alli looked around the room a couple times and then let out a sigh. Another girl, this one with some kind of circuits seemingly interweaving her skin, entered after her.


Marilyn’s eyes narrowed. She couldn’t understand why Alli was calling out for her. “I’m right here.”

Alli turned to the other girl as if she hadn’t even heard Marilyn. “Well, from the state of the bed she clearly slept here, but she’s not here now. Damn it, where did she go?”

“I’m right here!” Marilyn yelled the words, but the other women still didn’t seem to hear. With panic, she turned back to the bathroom. “Cyrus!”

He stumbled out, his clothes a mess. “Alli, hi, uh, who’s your new friend?”

Neither Alli nor the other woman took any notice of that question either.

“Cyrus, it’s like they can’t even see us.” Marilyn climbed out of the bed as Alli threw up her arms in frustration. “Alli, I’m right here.”

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Walking Shadows Book 3 Chapter 9. Marilyn

Marilyn stretched like a cat as she sat atop Cyrus. He was still inside her, but flaccid now. The godling was covered in sweat while her own skin was still pristine. It was another perk of her control over her own body.

“Are you okay?”

Cyrus exhaled deeply. He sat silent for a few long seconds after that before saying, “Yes, I think so. My parents may be gods, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get tired.”

“I’m sorry. Am I wearing you out, Cyrus?”

“You’re insatiable. I think you’re actually trying to kill me.”

“Not kill you. Just have some fun. I didn’t hear you complaining during the act, did I?”

“No, milady, you did not. Thanks by the way. I think I needed this. With everything that happened with my family and Caelus, with having my sister suddenly become my roommate, it just feels good to enjoy myself a little.”

“You’re so sweet,” Marilyn said. “I would like to say I was doing this for you, but really I just wanted to see how good you really were. I got just a taste on the rooftop. I wanted the full smorgasbord today.”

“Well, did you get your fill?”

She flexed her inner muscles. Cyrus groaned beneath her. “What do you think?”

“Are you sure you’re not trying to kill me?”

Marilyn felt Cyrus grow inside her again. He certainly had stamina, a good trait in a man. One of her favorite things about other women was their ability to keep going for most of the night. In her short life, she hadn’t learned much, but she did learn she hated it when someone finished, rolled over and went to sleep.

He grabbed her hips as she slowly started to ride him again. His eyes were wide, even as he lengthened to hit the spot she wanted him to hit.

“I’m not sure if you’re a god, but you do how to make a girl’s knees weak, Cyrus.”

He thrusted into her and she groaned as her orgasm rushed over her.

“You’re good,” she said. “Very very good.”

“I try. Sometimes I succeed. But I think you’re more receptive than most.”

She started to ride him again. “Oh, have you had lots of chances to try out your prowess with the ladies?”

“Not a lot. But a few.”

She smiled. “I didn’t know. You seemed rather repressed when I first got you naked on the roof.”

“Well, it had been awhile.”

Saturday, October 17, 2015

River City History: The Echo

The detective known as Echo was really a professional ventriloquist named James Carson. Carson and his wife Cora were a pair of traveling showmen, but they regularly worked and performed in River City.

Jim Carson was many things, but never was he a man that lived a slow easy life. He lived for adventure and with the rise of the costumed adventurer, he seemed bent on carving his own path as a hero. But as a famed celebrity and well known public figure, he knew he needed an edge that would keep him from the public eye.

His brother in law Cornelius Doom would provide him the answer to his quest. Doom stumbled upon a strange chemically produced gem that he embedded in a belt buckle. When twisted the gem would cause a field of light to bend around the person wearing the belt and make them invisible. Along with another special weapon, a ring that created paralyzing rays of energy, Carson was able to become the invisible hero known as the Echo.

The Echo’s adventures would continue for much of the World War as a bad knee would keep Carson stateside during the war (though he did work in ad campaigns for war bonds.) Though he rarely faced challenges as great as other heroes, he would still be forced into battle with the mad Yankee Doodle Jones.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Walking Shadows Book 3 Chapter 8-2

Something was definitely different about this woman, but Alli knew Kaihime wouldn’t give her any answers until she found the others. She still didn’t know why they weren’t answering the landline back at Spirit Cop Headquarters. Nor could she understand why neither Cyrus nor Marilyn picked up their cells. But she knew they wouldn’t have long to find out.

She pulled into the parking lot of the tiny lot in front of the brownstone that housed her business. Alli still wasn’t sure how she would keep the place afloat without Peach’s assistance. But that wasn’t what was on her mind now. She needed answers and she would get them soon.

She climbed out of the car and rushed to the door. She slammed into the locked front door and stared blankly at it before she fished her keys out of her pocket.

She didn’t know why the door would be locked, but she quickly got her answer as soon as she walked inside. Phoebe and Ian were gone. Next to the phone, she found a note scrawled on the “while you were out” notepad. It said simply “Went to see Rosa.”

“Shit,” Alli said. “Shit! Shit! Shit!”

“I understand this ‘shit’ to be an expletive of frustration or anger,” Kaihime said. “Have we arrived too late? Have your friends been taken?”

“I don’t know,” Alli said. “But they’re not here.”

She started back towards the front door, her cell phone already out and dialing Rosa’s number.

No answer came from Rosa.

Of course, there’s no answer. Because every time I think anything is going to slow down and get back to a modicum of normal, things get crazy again. This bullshit has got to stop.

“Your friends are in danger,” Kaihime said. “We must find them as soon as possible.”

Alli dialed Marilyn’s number again, but it again went to voicemail.

“We need to find Marilyn and Cyrus first,” Alli said. “They might know where the others went.”

“The longer we wait, the more danger your friends could be in. We must hurry.”

“I can only hurry so much in River City traffic. This cisty is built for anything but hurrying in fact. Wait—how much can you carry?”

“I am not sure,” Kaihime said. “Perhaps five hundred to six hundred pounds. I have never tested my carrying capacity in flight.”

“Five to six—” Alli shook her head. She didn’t need to ask details about this woman’s powers.
Kaihime would probably obfuscate them anyway. She needed to find Marilyn and Cyrus, and she needed to find them quickly.

“Nevermind. Can you fly me? If we go by air, we can move faster. We can get to Marilyn’s apartment and figure out our next move from there.”

“This is very wise,” Kaihime said. “Let us go, Alli Finch. We have no time to lose.”

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Walking Shadows Book 3 Chapter 8. Alli

As they drove slowly down the street back to Spirit Cop Headquarters, Alli wasn’t quite sure what to make of the strange woman in her car. This Kaihime clearly knew her somehow, but she stopped talking as soon as she sat down in the Spirit-Mobile. Once inside, she just stared both at the inside of the car and the outside world slowly passing by. She rubbed the dashboard and the seats as if they were something foreign and mysterious.

“Where are you from?” Alli finally asked after the fifth rubdown of the car’s interiors. “Why did you have to make such a dramatic appearance? I have a phone after all.” She waved the cell phone in between them as a reminder.

“I am sorry,” Kaihime said. “I’m a bit unsure of this world. It is...different than I expected.”

“What do you mean ‘this world’? Are you an alien? Because I think I’ve already had my share of those.”

Kaihime shook her head. “No, I simply come from somewhere else. I’m not sure what I can tell you. If I say too much I might endanger the ti—It might be dangerous.”

“Endanger the what?”

“I may have already said too much.”

“What is this about? You said something about Doppelganger. You said he’s alive and targeting us. But we all saw him die. We checked the body. He was definitely dead.”

Kaihime looked out the window again as they whisked by a dilapidated liquor store. “I must tell the others as well. The more often I speak, the more danger I may bring. Please just hurry.”

“You’re not making any sense,” Alli said. “What danger? What problems? You tell me Doppelganger is alive somehow and back after us, but you can’t tell me anything else. I need something to work with here.”

“Bring me to the others. I can give you answers then.”

Alli didn’t much care for the stranger’s attitude, but this Kaihime clearly presented at least an air of truth. The circuits integrated into her skin marked her as something more than human. Alli knew technology-based metahumans existed in the world, but Kaihime seemed completely unlike any of them. The tech in her skin was several generations ahead of anything on the market. And the way the circuits laced into her skin looked like some body modification gone horribly wrong.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

ICONS Character Profile: Melinoe

Name: Melinoe, goddess of nightmares Origin: Birthright First Appearance: Book Two, Chapter 2 ABILITIES Prowess 5 Coordination 4 Strength 5 Intellect 6 Awareness 5 Willpower 8 Stamina 13 Determination 9 SPECIALTIES Deception Occult Psychiatry POWERS Constructs (Limits: Can only be used to bring nightmares to life) 8 Dream Control 5 Immortality Magic 4 Telepathy (Extras: Mind Probe; Limits: can only read fears) 8 QUALITIES Above Mankind Connections: Hades Connections: Olympus Connections: Caelus Goddess of Nightmares CHALLENGES Glass Jaw In Persephone’s Service Weakness: any attempt to kill a human results in power loss
HISTORY & PERSONALITY Melinoe is the three thousand year old goddess of nightmares. Daughter of Persephone through an affair with an unknown god (presumedly Zeus), she exists in the middle of the uncomfortable relationship between her father and Pluto. Neither her presumed father nor stepfather has ever given Melinoe anything but cruelty. Melinoe learned as a child that manipulation was the key to her survival. Unwelcome to stay for long periods of time in either Hades or Olympus, she learned that she could use her abilities to get her wishes. 
She rampaged across much of the world for several hundred years before being forced into service of the dream gods Morpheus and Hypnos by her fathers. In recent centuries, the sleep god and the dream god vanished and left Melinoe as sole arbiter of dreams in the Greek pantheon. 
Though her powers have grown limited in the last one hundred years, her nature makes her one of the most potent gods on Earth and a danger to anyone that faces her. Fortunately, her abilities are limited by her mother’s own magic. Trapped in the human world and under the supervision of her brother, she now works at a strip club called Lumber Jacks, biding her time until she can rise to power again.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Walking Shadows Book 3 Chapter 7-3

“You like me that way.” Marilyn grabbed his back and pressed her body close to him. She rubbed herself across him, let him feel her wetness against his manhood. She teased him like that as she kissed him. He stifled a groan as he kissed her back.

“Do I need to sing happy birthday to you, Mr. President?”

He grabbed her by the hips and pulled her down on to him. She groaned as she felt him slip inside her. She started to ride him as he stared up into her eyes enraptured.

Cyrus grinded into her, but it wasn’t enough. He needed her like he never needed anything in the decades of his life. He needed her body, her mind and her soul. He needed everything, even if deep down he knew he could never fully have them.

But for now—for now they were his.

He grabbed her by the hips and lifted them both off the bed. He twisted in the air and dropped her back on to the bed. It happened in just a few short seconds, all without losing their connection. Now on top and in control, he drove himself down and into her over and over. Her hand dropped down above their connection. A second later, he felt her body shiver and shake again beneath him.

He slowed, panting, but did not stop. His focus was only on her, only on their passion.

He found his personal Olympus between her legs.


Cyrus never caught a glimpse of the shadows on the edges of the room.

He never saw the slim shadows move and deepen as they grow, slowly edged closer on the couple’s love-making. They moved as though something alive, something in need. As the darkness grew outside, they grew stronger. In time they would have enough power to make their presence finally known. The night was their domain and soon, the whole world would be in their hands.

Finally, their plan would be revealed to the entire world. And whether the woman before them knew it, she would help them fulfill their quest. Or the little godling would pay with his life.

He smiled and shook his head. “You’re insatiable, you know that.”

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Walking Shadows Book 3 Chapter 7-2

“Do you think Alli knows that though?”

“Why wouldn’t she? We agreed to it.”

He sat up and pulled her up with him. “Because that was over a year ago, Marilyn. Emotions don’t just remain static forever. And I’m several decades older than everyone here. Most people I know are thousands of years old. And even they don’t keep the same attachments. There’s a reason why every god is fucking everything around them. That’s what happens when divorce isn’t an option, but emotions change. You have to expect her to grow feelings. Haven’t you?”

Marilyn shrugged. “I still love Alli. But we have a thing that’s mostly about convenience. She fucks good and I fuck good. It makes us fun. Just like you’re fun. But it doesn’t make me linked to her forever anymore than you and I are linked for life.”

“I just wished I could be as sure that this will go down as easy as you are,” Cyrus said.

She reached out and rubbed his cheek. “Poor Cyrus, you’re always so concerned. Always thinking so hard. Calm down. If it’s a problem, it’s not your problem. It’s mine. I’ll talk to Alli. I’ll see how things go. I like being with her, but I like being with you too. She will either deal with that or she won’t.”

“How are you of all people so zen about everything? It’s weird to see you like that especially with that face. I met her once you know. She wasn’t anything like you.”


“The other Marilyn. Monroe. I was pretty young, but Mom and Dad had a reception for local politicians and celebrities in the early sixties. President Kennedy was there and so was she. Little did I know they were a thing on the side. But she was nice, but terribly manic. She was anything but stable, but she knew how to have a good time. It was clear to anyone with half a brain though that she wasn’t going to live a long life. She had too many problems for that.”

“You never told me that.”

“I hadn’t thought about it in years.”

She planted a slow kiss on his lips. “Well, you can tell me more if you would like.” She kissed him again. “Or I can make you feel like a President.”

He smiled and shook his head. “You’re insatiable, you know that.”

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Walking Shadows Book 3 Chapter 7. Cyrus

Cyrus lay naked and sweaty in the bed. Marilyn’s body was formed against him, her soft flesh a comfort as his mind raced. For months, he had wanted nothing more than to live his life among the humans and away from the insanity of his immortal family. Now he found his wish granted and it terrified him. Maybe it was Melinoe’s presence, but he didn’t think so. It was the knowledge that he really couldn’t go back again. He made his decision to leave Hades House. Now he would have to life with it.

He looked at Marilyn. Her perfect blonde hair smelled of Chanel. Her skin seemed to conform perfectly to his own. She didn’t move, even as he slowly kissed the back of her neck.

It felt so right, even though he knew it was wrong. Marilyn wasn’t unattached. She had a significant other. Every time he did this, he knew he betrayed Alli’s trust in his girlfriend. But he also knew he couldn’t help himself. His relationship with Marilyn may just be physical, but he felt a connection with her that could grow into something deeper.

He wanted to live in that connection. He wanted so much for it to be true.

She slowly turned towards him and gave him a quizzical look. His light kisses interrupted, he looked at her back, equally confused. He didn’t even know she was awake, let alone why she would give him such a look for his actions.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“What do you mean? I was just kissing you.”

“It wasn’t just kissing,” she said. “Something’s on your mind. Something’s bothering you. And while I’m one to have fun—and what you and I have is definitely that—I know when someone’s upset. And you, Cyrus, are upset.”

“I—I like being with you, Marilyn, but it’s wrong. We shouldn’t be doing this like we are. You and Alli—”

Marilyn pushed herself up on one elbow and shook her head. “Don’t play that card, Cyrus. I already told you, I’m a big girl. I can do what I want when I want it. When Alli and I first got together, I made it clear I wasn’t looking for any serious commitment. That’s just not my style. I’m far too free a spirit for that.”

Thursday, October 1, 2015

River City History: The Enchanted Dagger

The Enchanted Dagger
Roger Chalmers never lived a normal life. His youngest years were spent in the lap of luxury, the son of industrious explorer and steel heir Henry Chalmers. Henry lived much of his later years deep in Africa, leaving his young son in the hands of tutors and corrupt business partners.
The business would survive the beginning of the depression but when Henry refused to return to take care of his business, his corrupt partner attempted to take over the business. Henry would finally return at the behest of sixteen year old Roger, but it would already be too late. Much of the family’s wealth was gone, never to return.
Henry would remain in the United States for the final five years of his life. He tried to rebuild his business without much of its assets, but by the time of his death the family was already in danger of complete financial collapse. Henry made his son swear a vow to return to Africa no matter what. He promised Roger that he would find a treasure far greater than the Chalmers’ former finances.
Roger would quickly reunite with the small tribe his father first met. There he was given his father’s gift, an enchanted dagger of unknown origin. But it would only take a short while before he would have to test his weapon’s power. He would have to fight off a dozen warriors of another tribe. The dagger paralyzed anyone he threw it near as well as broke down falsehoods. The warriors proved no match for him.
He would return stateside, first to Washington, D.C. and later to his home in River City. He would use his new weapon to expose his father’s former business partner before donning a costume and fighting crime as the Enchanted Dagger.

But even with his powerful weapon, he would face his greatest challenge ever in Yankee Doodle Jones.