I have started a new blog. Check out the Comic Book Cave of Awesome.
So I have been trying to continue to write and I did manage to crank out another story.
I HATE NINJAS
“I hate ninjas.” said David.
He was sitting behind the steering wheel of a Toyota pickup. The windshield was busted out and a ninja was on the hood. He was moaning in pain while clutching at his groin. Occasionally he would scream out something in Japanese. David grinned at the pain the ninja was clearly in. It served the asshole right he thought to himself. He was glad that he emptied his 9mm into the guy’s balls. Mess with him and you get your balls shot off.
David glanced down at his left shoulder. The ninja’s kitana was driven completely through and pinning him to the seat. He could not properly grasp the kitana without tearing his shoulder all up and have himself bleed out. He thought about starting up the pickup and driving somewhere for help. But the keys were on the floor and he couldn’t reach them.
David looked around and saw the various black clad figures lying prone on the ground. Another Toyota pickup was lying wrecked in a ditch. The ninja on the hood let out another groan then succumbed to blood loss. These wimps paid the price for this. Small comfort but still comfort nonetheless. His mind started to drift back to how he got in this predicament.
20 MINUTES EARLIER
The old half-track was cruising down interstate I-80. Suddenly there was a loud rending of metal as the old engine threw a rod. It went crashing through the hood and leaving a big gaping hole. The engine ground to a halt and thick black smoke started pouring out of the hole. The half-track pulled over to the side of the highway.
David Robbins got out and looked over the damage. He looked around and noticed the sign on the shoulder. RENO 112. He shook his head, reached into the half-track and took out his AR-15. He checked that the safety was on and slung it over his shoulder. He started off down the road leaving the old half-track to die in peace.
This was really starting to be an epic shitty day. Survive a low yield nuclear blast. Get a rattlesnake bite to the face and get roughed up by some morons. Of course why should he think that something would work in his favor? What did he do to piss the universe off?
There was one favorable thing going for him and that was it was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, birds were singing and a cool breeze was at his back. The surrounding countryside was lush and green. Years of neglect had seen the vegetation grow up in some areas right next to the road. As he was crossing a bridge he noticed the sign.
BY ORDER OF THE CALIFORNIA
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND
SANITATION IT IS ILLEGAL TO
DISPOSE OF CORPSES IN THE RIVER.
ANYONE CAUGHT WILL FACE FINES OF
UP TO $10,000 AND FIVE YEARS IN PRISON.
David chuckled to himself. Leave it to California to try and make a few bucks off the apocalypse. Then he had a flashback to his experiences. One of the teams sent into the cities to clean up. He remembers going into Omaha after it was hit with a biological weapon. The virus had wiped out over seventy percent of the population. He could smell the rotting corpses even through the gas mask that he wore.
What was so macabre was how the bodies seemed to be frozen in the position they were in while going about their lives. There was the old couple sitting at dinner with the moldy food they would never finish. People were sitting behind the steering wheels of their vehicles like they were still going somewhere. The worst was the little children. Then there were the rats. Thousands came out swarming the streets devouring….
His train of thought was interrupted by shouts. David had not been paying attention and silently chided himself for that. There about 100 yards away were two white Toyota pickups. About a dozen men clad in black were around the pickups. They looked like they were setting up two Dragon anti-tank guided missile launchers in the foliage by the side of the road. Three of the figures had already started running toward him holding what looked like swords.
“Well this can’t be good,” said David to himself.
He raised his AR-15 and selected single shot. Sighted on the one on the left and squeezed the trigger. The ninja on the left stopped and turned his body to the side. David couldn’t believe that the ninja actually dodged the bullet. He sighted and pulled the trigger again with the same results. Five more quick shots and the ninja dodged them all.
“Fuck you, you God damn pussy,” he said out loud. David then switched the selector to full auto and fired off the full clip. The ninja could not dodge all those bullets at once and spun around from multiple hits. The ninja fell to the ground as David ejected the clip and reached for a full one. But by then the other two ninjas were almost on top of him.
The first swung at him with his katana. David blocked the blow with his AR-15. He then kicked out and impacted with the ninja’s groin. The ninja bent over and dropped his kitana to clutch his groin. David took his upraised AR-15 and brought it over the ninja’s head, and then pulled the ninja toward him with the AR-15 tightly against his neck.
The third ninja came up and pulled out two shuriken. He tossed both at David. David brought the ninja’s head he had pinned in front of his face. One shuriken impacted the forehead of the pinned ninja while the other impacted the collarbone. David let the limp body slide to the ground.
“Thanks dipshit. Whoa do you guys stink. Don’t you ever take a bath?” David taunted him.
The ninja spat out a curse in Japanese and drew his kitana. David dropped the AR-15 and picked up the fallen kitana. David didn’t know how to use a sword but had no intention of fighting the ninja on his terms. He took the kitana and threw it at his opponent. The ninja easily ducked the flying kitana but it distracted him from what came next. David reached forward and grabbed the ninja’s wrist that was holding the sword. He forced the sword point forward driving it into the ninja’s left eye.
The ninja went limp with a surprised look on his face then collapsed to the ground with the kitana sticking out of his eye. David reached down and picked up the AR-15. He pulled out a spare clip and inserted into the rifle. Looking up both Toyotas were racing toward him. He sighted on the left one and fired off half the clip at the driver. The bullets punched through the windshield and several went into the driver’s skull. The driver lost control of the Toyota and it careened into the ditch at the side of the road.
David turned and fired off the rest of the clip at the other Toyota. The bullets starred the windshield but this driver had the foresight to duck in time. David jumped out of the way as the Toyota sped past him. It stopped abruptly and then did a complete U-turn. The driver punched out with his hand at the broken windshield knocking it loose. He pulled at it until it was out of the frame and tossed it off to the side. Then with hatred in his eyes he revved the Toyota and accelerated straight for David.
David ejected his empty clip and reached for a new one. Instead his fingers felt around an empty pouch. It was at this time that he noticed there were four more ninjas running up to him. One was almost upon him. Thinking quickly David tossed his empty assault rifle at the ninja’s legs and just jumped out of the way of the speeding Toyota. The ninja running at him tripped as his legs got tangled in the AR-15 and pitched forward to the ground. He fell right in front of the oncoming Toyota and looked up as the wheel approached his head.
The Toyota tire crushed the ninjas head like an empty beer can. A coating of blood was on the tire and it was leaving a red trail as it rolled forward. The Toyota skidded to a stop and the driver jumped out. He started to yell something in Japanese but was cut short by the 9mm bullet slamming into his forehead.
David turned with his drawn Baretta to confront the last three. A thrown shuriken hit the barrel and knocked it out of his hand. The three formed a semi-circle and started to advance. David decided that the best defense was an offense. He took off running at the ninja in the center. The ninja was taken by surprise at the bold move and he froze for just a moment. A moment is all that David needed.
David reached the ninja and grabbed him by his tunic. He noticed the knife in the scabbard at his hip and reached down and pulled it out. Then David drove the knife right into the ninjas gut. He quickly pulled it out turned around and threw it at the other ninja. The knife embedded itself in the ninja’s chest. As the ninja David held went limp he snatched up the kitana from his hand. He then turned toward the remaining ninja and started to savagely swing the sword at his head.
The remaining ninja was able to block David’s savage blows with his own kitana. The blows were slowly driving him back. The ninja took out something from his pouch and threw it to the ground. There was a blinding flash and a puff of smoke. David swung at the cloud of smoke and the kitana swooshed through empty air. He looked at the dispersing smoke and saw that the ninja had disappeared into thin air. He scanned the area and couldn’t find any living soul.
“Well where did the little fucker go?” he mumbled to himself.
David stood and looked around examining the dead bodies for any sign of life. After ten minutes he could see no sign of life around the area and warily started toward the Toyota. He stopped at the driver he shot in the forehead and bent down and searched him. A smile came across his face as his hands closed around a set of keys. At least he had a ride home for the rest of the way he thought to himself. Maybe things are looking up.
He then picked up his Baretta on the ground and checked that the clip was full. Satisfied he climbed behind the wheel and the Toyota started to bring the key to the ignition. Suddenly the remaining ninja jumped up on the hood of the Toyota. He crouched down and thrust the kitana through the open space were the windshield used to be. The kitana pierced his left shoulder. David yelled out in pain and dropped the keys. He then picked up the Baretta that he set down on the seat and emptied the clip into the crouching ninja on the hood.
And now he stuck in his current predicament. Pinned like a bug. He stared out from where the windshield should be and let his mind drift. Things couldn’t get much worse.
“You look like you had a rough day,” said a voice to his left. David turned and was confronted by several men. They were dressed in new crisp fatigues and carried Galil assault rifles. He noticed that the man who spoke to him had the hammer and sickle wielding bear patch of the People’s Republic of California.
Things indeed could get worse.
Well a new year. Can’t say that 2015 was one of my best years. I had some high hopes that my writing would be more successful. I started last year with two screenplays written and actually got a short story published. This year I just managed to write one short story that was rejected. So I figured I might as well just post it here. I hope the new year will be much better than the last one.
THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD
The old neighborhood was nearly unrecognizable. But then again a small yield nuclear explosion would do that to any neighborhood. Captain Jack Robbins took a small break from running to catch his breath. He surveyed the rubble strewn streets of Sacramento and shook his head. Old pleasant memories flooded his mind. Such a shame since the city was spared the worst from the big war.
He remembered that night long ago when some minor incident in the South China Sea ended up with every nation on Earth chucking nuclear, chemical and biological missiles at each other. The resulting chaos killed millions. Millions more died from the disruption of basic services like food, water and electricity. A year later and ninety percent of America’s population was dead.
Now international conflict had been replaced by more domestic conflicts. Dozens of two-bit dictatorships had sprung up. The largest was the Peoples Republic of California. Robbins was part of a task force that was assembled for a campaign against the secessionist state. The Federal Domestic Forces (DF) was a ramshackle force like everything else nowadays. It was still successful in the beginning against the poorly lead California militia. Robbins remembered the excitement of chasing after the broken rebels to Sacramento. He was looking forward to seeing his old home.
But fate was not looking down for a happy homecoming. The DF was formed using all sorts of scrounged military equipment. Most of its reliability suspect. The same could be said for its personnel. Conscripts with practically no training and in most case not even any basic education. The DF entered the city under the cover of artillery fire. One shell was an old nuclear artillery shell from the 1960’s. Ignoring the bright yellow radioactive sign on it one artillery man loaded it up and fired like any other shell. The small nuclear explosion destroyed half the DF forces in the city. The People’s Militia swooped down and mopped up the disorganized survivors.
Thank you American public education.
The sounds of a vehicle brought Robbins out of his reverie. He started to take off. He did not want to get taken prisoner. The People’s Militia was not too big on the Geneva Convention. As he ran down the street looking for a place to hide the sound of a dog’s growl brought him to a stop. There across the street was a big Doberman. Other growls revealed other dogs surrounding him. Robbins had respect for the wild dog packs that roamed the old cities. Once they were the pampered loved pets fed regularly for prepared cans or boxes. Now forced on their own they had banded together in packs and were in direct competition with their former masters for the dwindling sources of food. In many instances both humans and dogs found each other the only convenient source of food.
Robbins drew his knife. He had an M-16 but didn’t want to attract the Militia. He slowly backed up to the building next to him. He would hide out in there until it was safer to continue on. The Doberman that was obviously the pack leader could sense Robbins plan. He took off and launched himself at Robbins throat. Robbins didn’t survive this long by being slow. He thrust out his knife and caught the Doberman in the chest. It yelped and then abruptly died. Robbins slid the corpse off his knife as the other dogs stared at their leader’s death. He decided now was the time to duck into the building. He turned and opened the door.
Inside the building was full of dogs. They were packed into the big room and were staring at Robbins.
“Oh crap!” he yelled out. Knowing that stealth was secondary to his immediate survival, Robbins sheathed his knife and unsung the M-16. Before any of the dogs could react he let go into the pack at full auto. Bullets ripped through the dogs bodies. Many yelped and they all tried to run from the devastating fire. Most didn’t make it as Robbins emptied the clip. When the rifle clicked on an empty chamber the room was full of dead dogs.
He ejected an empty clip and slammed in a full one. Checking outside the dogs out there had taken off at the sound of gunfire. They had learned long ago to have respect for firearms. The sound of an approaching vehicle brought him back to more immediate concerns.
“Damn you God! What the hell did I do to you today?”
He took off down the street looking for a place to hide. An old army jeep came roaring around the corner with four men inside. They noticed him and let out a loud whoop. Robbins turned and fired at the oncoming jeep. His burst thudded into the two men in the front seat and the jeep swerved into a building. One of the men in back fell out and Robbins put a burst into him before he could get up. The other was still in the jeep as it crashed into the front and the roof caved in. He died screaming.
“Well that jeep isn’t going to do me any good.”
He took off while reloading his rifle. Another vehicle was approaching. Damn he was in a tight pickle. He racked his brain for a way out and decided to duck into an alley. He leaned against the wall in front of a window sill. That was when he heard the sound. A sinister rattle. He slowly turned and looked at the window sill. There was a coiled rattlesnake just inches from his face. Before he could react the snake struck. Its fangs clamped into his cheek. The fangs actually punctured his cheek and flooded his mouth with venom. Some of the vile tasting venom found its way down his throat while he spit the rest out. He grabbed the snake by its throat and ripped it off his cheek. He then proceeded to grind the snake’s head into the wall crushing it into a pulp and then dropped the lifeless carcass to the ground.
“Damn you God you worthless sack of shit! A rattlesnake on the window sill! What the fuck is that all about? I’m coming for you asshole! You hear me! I’m coming for you! There’s no place you can hide from me!
“Maybe we can help you meet him.” said a voice. Robbins turned around and saw a rifle butt coming toward his face then blackness.
“I think he’s coming around.”
Robbins could see slivers of light. Blurry shapes started to form and take more concrete shape.
“Yes I believe he is finally waking up. Wakey Wakey asshole.”
The forms took shape into five men dressed in fatigues. They had shoulder patches with a red star. In front of the star a grizzly bear was standing with a hammer in one paw and a sickle in another. It was the altered California flag for the People’s Republic.
“Yeah I think this turd is finally coming around.”
Robbins focused on the speaker. He was a big man with an even bigger beer belly clutching an AR-15. Next to him was a young teen with a face full of zits. On the other side of him was a bald man with bulging eyes. Next to him a buck toothed man. He kept bobbing up and down like he had to go to the bathroom.
“You killed my men.” stated the fifth one. He was a young man in his twenties. He wore a red beret with his uniform. The fatigue jacket was open and displaying a Che Guevara t-shirt. It was obvious that Che was a hero to the punk. He was trying to grow a beard like his hero but it was a pathetic little scraggly affair.
“They were assholes.” said Robbins.
Robbins got kicked in the stomach.
“They were my men. You’ll pay for that. What’s your name?”
“Your last name?”
“Jack Meoff.” said Che Guevara. The other guys started to laugh. Che still had a dumb look on his face. Slowly a light came on in his eyes and an angry frown formed. He planted another kick into Robbins stomach.
“You think you’re funny asshole. Well let’s see how funny you are when we string you up on that pole over there.”
Zit face and Bug Eyes each grabbed an arm and hauled him up. They then threw him against a hard metal surface. Robbins turned to look at what he was against. He then did a double take.
There before him was a genuine M-2 halftrack. It had a fresh coat of green paint. The white star insignia was crudely painted red but otherwise looked just as it must have back in World War II. He wondered where they got this old antique and how it was kept running. Surely these morons weren’t capable.
“Hey dickhead! What you looking at?” said Che.
Robbins turned his head at looked at him. “Admiring your halftrack.”
“This piece of junk. Can’t wait to get rid of it. Always breaking down.”
“Yeah I was wondering how you kept it running. Especially since you guys don’t look smart enough to dress yourselves.”
Che turned bright red in the face. “That’s it you old …”
He was cut off in mid-sentence as Robbins kicked out his foot into Che’s knee cap. There was a loud pop and Che collapsed to the ground. The others were taken by surprise and the two holding him loosened their grip. Robbins took advantage and pulled his right arm from Bug Eyes grasp. Then he swung around and planted a fist into Zit Face. His blow hit so hard it snapped Zit Face’s head back breaking his neck and killing him instantly. As the body fell Robbins grabbed up the knife in Zit Face belt. Then he turned to Bug Eyes who stood there with his mouth open and his eyes even more protruding. Robbins stabbed him in the heart and he collapsed dead.
Robbins then turned his attention to the others. Che was on the ground clutching his broken knee and screaming in pain. Buck Tooth was standing there in shock and looked like he really had to go to the bathroom. Beer Belly was the only one that kept his head and started to bring up his AR-15. He was the most immediate threat.
Robbins quick thinking came up with a plan. He threw the knife right in front of Beer Belly. It landed at his feet but was enough to distract him. As he looked down Robbins sprang at him. They both fell to the ground clutching the AR-15. Robbins kneed him in the groin which loosened his grip. Then he smacked him in the face with its butt. He was knocked unconscious.
Quickly he sprang up with the AR-15. Buck Tooth was finally starting to react. He was awkwardly fumbling for his rifle. Robbins didn’t give him a chance to unsling it. He pumped a burst into him. Then he turned to Che.
“Oooh God this hurts! You’re in trouble you bastard!”
“Is that a fact?”
“You can’t do this!”
“Why not! I’ll tell you why not! It violates my human rights!”
“Is that a fact?”
“Yeah you know and uh it is against the Geneva protocols or something like that. You know the rules of war.”
“You mean like when you were kicking me in the stomach when I was down.”
Che stopped rolling around and looked directly at Robbins. He was met with a cold stare.
“Or how about stringing me up.”
“Hey that was different.” a panicky tone to his voice.
“Yeah you are like a war criminal.”
“You’re a real savant in international law aren’t you?”
Robbins started to bring up the AR-15.
“Oh come on,” he whined. “I was just doing my job!”
“Well so am I.” He then fired off a shot. The bullet struck his forehead and blew his brains out. Robbins was kind of surprised that there was actually something in there. He then leaned the AR-15 on his rightt shoulder and surveyed the area.
“What a bunch of wimps,” he muttered to himself. He then walked over to the halftrack. A quick inspection and he got the engine started. The area was engulfed in a smoke cloud as the engine burned oil. He ground the gear shift into first and popped the clutch. Hopefully this old wreck would get him to the Nevada border and safety. He had a really bad day and was looking forward to a cold beer. After all this day couldn’t get any worse.
He was later to find out that it could.
I started out this year with some pretty lofty goals. I was going to be a screenwriter. I actually wrote two screenplays. I registered them with the copyright office and entered them in a number of competitions. And I didn’t win any of them. Didn’t even make the quarter finalists. Failure.
Failure isn’t new to me in writing. Ten years ago I wrote a bunch of short stories. Sent them off to a number of magazines. The only thing I collected was a whole bunch of rejection slips. So I kind of gave up on short story writing and these stories just faded into obscurity.
Well this year I read a post from L.S Engler. She was looking for stories for a new publication called World Unknown Review. I looked around and found these old stories on a disk. I figured what the hell and submitted one.
This week I received an e-mail message that my story was actually accepted. It was a bit surreal. I am so used to failure I didn’t know what to think. A story I wrote will actually be in a publication that other people will read. I will get paid for it. A whole $15. Now I ran the numbers and this is unfortunately inadequate for my current living needs. So I can not quit my day job and must continue working inside a cubicle the size and shape of a coffin.
I always thought that I couldn’t call myself a writer until I actually sold something. Well that day has finally come. It wasn’t the hundreds of thousand of dollars I wanted. Still it is a success and I’ll take any success that I can get. Who knows maybe ten years from now I can actually call myself a screenwriter.