S2:E3 Tales We Won’t Tell at Night

Good reader specific time frame, all you spooks and specters of the Internet. My name is the Bonekeeper. I unearth all the tales that should remain rotting within the hallow walls of the Storybook Graveyard. Today, I’ve dug up a delightfully delicious treat just for you. Sit back, turn off the lights, and gnaw on this bone of a tale.

Suzie, cheerleading captain and favorite for homecoming queen, walked home late one night after a victorious basketball game. The winds whispered and the fall leaves danced. Suzie smiled to herself knowing that tomorrow the victory would be coupled with her favorite day of the school year: picture day.

She abruptly stopped. A leftover instinct from primeval times gripped at her gut like bad sushi. She was being watched.

“Whoever this is,” she said in a voice trying to be strong, “this isn’t funny. Trying to scare someone is so 1980s horror film.”

She paused and listened. The only sound was the beating of her own heart.

There was no sound, no movement, yet she felt the Presence moving closer to her.

Closer and closer.

Fear wrapped around her like a hungry snake. She felt as stiff as a corpse as the Presence grew closer. She wanted to run, to scream, but the horror held her still.

The Presence loomed over her with the Chill of Death. She did not want to turn and face the terror, but she turned nonetheless. It was as if the Presence commanded her movements. She felt void of will. The Presence demanded attention, and she could do nothing but oblige.

The form of her stalker focused in from the eternal night. It was a humanoid figure with a giant mirror for a head.

Suzie screamed, a sound that some say still haunts the town to this day. For in the mirror, Suzie saw…she had a pimple.

Well frightful fiends of the digital age, that concludes today’s bone-chilling tale. Join me next time for another stroll through the Storybook Graveyard; we’ll see what other undying tales we can dig up. But be warned, brave reader, some tales are best left untold.

Aah-hahahahahaha!!

The Admin of I/O (Wizard of Oz Parody)

Here we go again, folks, another parody. This time it’s The Wizard of Oz.

After clicking on a bad link, Dot and her virtual companion, Pixels, woke in a strange land filled with strange people.

“Pixels, I don’t think we’re on our LAN anymore,” Dot said upon seeing the Binaries, a race of people where some were over 6-feet tall and some were about 4-feet tall.

The Binaries were eternally grateful to Dot for killing the evil Lord of Memes, even if it was by accident. Upon her arrival, she’d smushed the man, ironically, by dropping a TrentTroll meme video on him. When Dot looked at the body, it derezzed into a pile of pixel blocks leaving only his UltraCorp haptic gear. To thank Dot, the Binaries gave Dot the haptic suit. After putting on the gloves, vest, and goggles, a bright light appeared among the group. It belonged to Jessie the Good Coder. Years ago Jessie left UltraCorp in order to become an independent program designer.

Jessie told Dot that if she wanted to return home she would have to speak with the Awesome Admin of I/O. “All you have to do is follow the blue secure hyperlink,” Jessie said pointing to the blue, paved road.

After a brief song that we can’t go into here because of copyright reasons, Dot thanked the coder and the Binaries and began her journey. Along the way, she met the Influencer. He believed that if he could only understand the algorithm his content could go viral. Dot suggested that he come with her to meet the Admin.

Soon Dot and her friends arrived in the Glitch Forest, home of all the bugs and glitches found in cyberspace. Some of the glitch trees attacked Dot, Pixels, and the Influencer. Thankfully, they were rescued by Bot-X1, a bot once used by UltraCorp to promote product and make the company seem more popular than they really were. Bot-X1 was shelved after people continually outed him as a bot. Bot-X1 believed if he could only get an emotion core he could appear more human-like. Once again Dot, suggested joining her, Pixels, and the Influencer on their journey to meet the Admin.

Unfortunately, this is when the Crooked Coder for Corporations appeared. She would stop at nothing to get the haptic gear that once belonged to the Lord of Memes. With the much more advanced system, her coding powers would be unstoppable. Fortunately, our heroes managed to escape, but they soon found themselves in the Dark Web Forest.

“We must be careful,” warned the Influencer. “The Dark Web is filled with scammers and hackers.”

“And trolls,” Bot-X1 added.

“Scammers and hackers and trolls, oh my,” said Dot.

As the friends ventured more into the forest, the darker it got. They then heard a noise. Someone was following them. A figure jumped out in front of them. It was the Honest Insurance Salesman. He’d been trying for years to get his business off the ground; but for some odd reason, people found him untrustworthy.

“If only I had a verification certificate then people would know I’m not a scammer,” said the Salesman.

Dot, the Influencer, and Bot-X1 were a little skeptical about letting an insurance salesman join them–especially one found in the Dark Web; but after he preformed a heartfelt song, Dot decided that he should be given a chance; she invited him to join their quest to meet the Admin.

Finally, the heroes exited the forest and found themselves only a few miles from Cloud Storage City. Their arrival, however, didn’t go unnoticed. The Crooked Coder, using her malware spy program, watched as the heroes approached the city. She knew if she didn’t do something soon, they would be out of reach. She reached out and infected the fields around the city with pop-up ads. The pop-up ads slowed the progress of the heroes as they fought the onslaught of annoying ads. Luckily, Jessie was also watching the progress of the heroes and sent a pop-up blocker.

With the pop-ups gone, the heroes entered the city where they finally met the Admin. The mystical floating head told them he could only return them once they brought him the CPU of the Crooked Coder. The heroes were not happy about this news but continued on their quest.

Not long after leaving the city, the Crooked Coder sent her viruses to capture the heroes. They were brought before the Crooked Coder. When Dot refused to give her the haptic gear, she threatened to hack into the Influencer’s account and post scandalous videos that would get the Influencer “canceled.”

“Don’t do it!” cried her three friends.

“She’ll be too powerful!” said the Influencer.

“Quiet you!” said the Coder. She then infected the Influencer. He started to fade away.

Seeing the only thing nearby was a bucket of comments, Dot threw it towards the Influencer. She’d hope that the comments would strengthen him. She believed that the comments were friendly ones, full of well-wishes and praise, but they were in fact the comments that sprang from haters. Thankfully, Dot missed and got the Crooked Coder instead. She was doused in hate comments.

“NO!” cried the Coder. “What a realm! What a realm that my malicious acts be undone by those more negative than me!” The Coder collapsed into a series of pixels.

Dot and friends returned to Cloud Storage City with the CPU. Unfortunately, the Crooked Coder’s CPU was incompatible with the Admin’s system and therefore useless. It looked like all hope was lost. They would never get what they wanted. But Dot gave an inspirational speech to her friends telling them how valued they were not for the number of followers they had but for who they were. She told them they were true and honest friends. It then got better as the Admin informed the Influencer that he could give him the secrets of the algorithm. He also could give Bot-X1 emotion programing. Finally, the Salesman got his verification. But, he could not return Dot to her home.

At this point, Pixels turned on the Admin’s facecam and revealed that he was really a human with a light pink shirt, acid-wash jeans, and a mullet. Turned out he was a programmer from the 1980s. He got stuck here after some bad coding.

With things looking really bleak, Jessie the Good Coder returned. She informed Dot that she could have left anytime. She just needed to log out of the haptic system.

“Why didn’t you say that in the first place?” said Dot.

“If I had done that then you wouldn’t have this story to post to social media.”

“It’s kinda long for Birdsong,” said Dot.

“Then put it on a blog,” Jessie said in an annoyed “duh” voice. She cleared her throat and became sweet again. “You just need to say the password: there’s no place like homepage.”

“Will I ever see you again?” asked Dot.

“Sure. If you remember to follow us and leave a review on YIP.”

“Wait a minute. Was all of this a simulation?”

“No time for that now. Say the password.”

“There’s no place like homepage,” said Dot. “There’s no place like homepage.”

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!

Grazer: A Ghostbusters Parody

The things I do to avoid editingThe following is a parody of the first Ghostbusters movie.

When there’s something bland in the neighborhood, who’re gonna call?

Food Fighters!

***

EXT: Apartment roof, Night

A giant tomato, Grazer, growls at the team of Food Fighters. 

Grilled Cheese Warrior: I thought Grazer was a giant broccoli!

Rocket Ravioli: It can be whatever it wants.

Grilled Cheese Warrior: What do we do?

Captain Heartburn: I have an idea. Go get it, PP.

Pasta Patroller gulps then approaches the sentient tomato.

Pasta Patroller: As a representative of the Newton School for Culinary Arts, I demand you halt this invasion and return to your dimension of origin.

Grazer: Are you a chef?

Pasta Patroller: No.

Grazer: Then BROIL!

The team is hit by high-energy beams and knocked back.

***

Grazer: Choose the form of the Destructor.

Pasta Patroller: We don’t understand.

Captain Heartburn: I get it. Whatever we think of, it’ll appear and destroy us. If we think of Gordon Ramsay then Gordon Ramsay will appear and destroy us.

The team takes a moment to shake off that nightmarish thought.

Captain Heartburn: Empty your minds.

Grazer: The choice has been made.

Captain Heartburn: We didn’t choose anything. I didn’t choose anything. (He addresses the rest of the team) Did you choose anything?

The team turns to the guilty-looking Pasta Patroller. 

Captain Heartburn: PP, what did you do?

Pasta Patroller: I didn’t mean to. It just popped in there. I tried to pick something that would never hurt us.

Off screen: A loud roar reverberates.

Pasta Patroller: It’s the mascot for Lovely’s Chicken Farm. It’s Sam N. Ella.

(Captain Heartburn smacks Pasta Patroller on the back of the head): You thought something called salmonella would be safe?

Pasta Patroller: Ohhh! I see it now. Yeah.

***

Rocket Ravioli: We only have one option to stop Grazer. We have to cross contaminate.

Captain Heartburn: But, Rocket, you said cross contamination is a bad thing.

Pasta Patroller: Cross contamination? Of course! A full spoilage reversal!

The team sets their microwave blasters to 425 degrees and fires at the killer tomato. They slowly move the beams closer together until they touch. The beams cause Grazer and the mega-giant chicken farm mascot to explode spraying the team with bits of food.

Rocket Ravioli: Is everyone OK?

(Captain Heartburn wiping off the tomato innards the best he can): I’ve been juiced.

END.

Don’t forget to like, follow, and comment!

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!

Pretend Comic-Con Post But With Real Writing Updates

Since Comic-Con is happening and all these creative people are showcasing upcoming events, I figured I’d give you a preview/update of events. Many of these stories are still in the brainstorming stage so they may or may not actually bear fruit.

I am still working on The Capstone Saga where the capstone from the Great Pyramid returns to destroy the world. A few of the episodes have been published on Amazon.

I’m also working on a story series based on the #vss365 prompts on Twitter. The story is about Blue Light Technologies (BLT) ordering everyone to take a vacation thus leaving the Creation Orb unattended. With the Orb unattended, it produces “wild magic.” I’m working on a way to compile the posts into a story. You should be able to search for it through #TheCatsAway and #DogboyChronicles. The first post should be here.

Other potential stories include:

Wolfborne: While on a mission, the hero is captured and brainwashed into believing he is part of a cult.

The Doomsday Clock: Time is running out for the world. Midnight has struck.

The Supers vs. The Machines: Rouge Muses decide to create a Metaverse by turning creatives and characters into machines.

Until the next wormhole…have a fun Comic-Con (however you’re celebrating) and thanks for reading!

Kitty on the Prowl

“Ladies and gentlemen,” said the host of the Back Alley Club, “Miss Sasha La Purr!”

The cats clapped their paws; the dogs howled; and the birds whistled while the host left the stage. A spotlight appeared at stage left. A leg with white fur and long-heeled shoes peeked out from the exit/entrance. The crowd hollered louder. Miss La Purr, a white cat with some black stripes along the face, slowly entered the stage. She walked slowly to the microphone letting each new howl and whistle wash over her. She gripped the microphone. Finally, the crowd faded into silence. She nodded softly to the band of mice. The saxophone player began with a soft, slow tune. Soon the others joined in creating a playfully romantic song.

“You think I’m cute. But, honey, I’ve got claws and teeth to boot.

Don’t be fooled when I’m on the prowl…boys.

A sway of my hips, and a bat of my eyes, 

my attacks are neigh when the moon is high.

Perfume in the air beckons you to come near. Ruby red lips that hold your gaze.

You’ll never see it coming when I’m on the prowl.

Your soul I’ll steal with a ‘purr’ and a “hmm.’

A tail around your throat, and a gentle squeeze.

When I’m on the prowl, I always win.

Slashes and yowls are fine for some, but 

there are other ways to skin a cat.”

The audience whistled as Miss La Purr slinked off the stage; she winked at a patron sitting by himself.


Follow Joe Rover on Amazon for more sci-fi fantasy stories.

Hot Snippet from “Game File Not Found”

Shadow Spark Publishing requested a “hot” snippet. So here’s one from Game File Not Found, which I just finished the first round of editing.

Once she was completely gone, I spotted a person in a cloak standing by the wall. The figure held an ion rocket. The mystery player unequipped the rocket launcher then produced a detonator. They pressed the button.

BOOM!!

Explosives lit up the base. Fires reached high into the sky. The chaos blocked my view of the stranger for a moment. Once it was clear, the player was gone.

“Let’s get out of here!” Alyx shouted over the sounds of explosions, roaring fires, and screaming skins as they derezzed.

“Seconded!” said Scott.

We ran for the exit as more bombs went off. Custom skins, once painstakingly created by Chi-Star, rocketed into the air thanks to the shockwaves derezzed while thrashing their arms. Some skins didn’t try to escape. They welcomed their fate.

More explosions rocked the ground. The ground cracked and code sprang from the virtual earth like geysers. We made it out of the base, but we were thrown from the fire into the sulfur pits of the Underworld. The mystery player planted bombs across the map. The whole game was on fire! Mushroom clouds of fire and brimstone spewed everywhere.

BOOM!!

We should have kept moving—though there was nowhere to run. We were swept up in an explosion. The world tumbled for a moment, and I could see the lights from the fires. It was beautiful, like looking out over the city at night watching the lights come on. Calming heat hugged my skin before my brain finally realized the danger it was in. Gravity returned. The heat grew as did the sounds of explosions.

Then everything went white from one final explosion.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!


Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Adventure. What More Could You Want?

The name is Joe Rover. Gamer. Writer. Superhero. With the help of my friends, I protect Megaton City from all sorts of villains whose only desire is chaos & destruction. 

How Do I Develop a Character | Living the Write Life

How do I develop a character?

With a few simple questions you can make the process of character creation easier.

Take this image of a cat from Pixabay.

Black cat staring at camera.
“Meow?”
  • Is it male or female?
  • What’s its name?
  • What’s its goal?
  • Why does it have this goal?
  • What is stopping it from achieving its goal?
  • Does it have any quirks?
  • What do others say about it?
  • What does its best friend say about it?
  • What does its rival say about it?
  • What flaws and strengths does it have?
  • If put into a perilous situation, how would it react?
  • If put into a pleasant situation, how would it react?

The great thing is once you start answering these questions, more arrive. Pretty soon, you have a full character. 

This post is based on opinion and personal experience; it is not to be taken as professional advice.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!

Got any writing questions? Ask away in the comments! 


The Adventures Continue in the Dogboy Universe!

Action, adventure, and sci-fi fantasy await within the pages of the Dogboy Chronicles.

Join Joe Rover and his friends as they protect their hometown from the forces of evil…and the forces of daily life.

Click below to find a store or follow me on Amazon for book updates.

Q&A: What’s with the Costumes

Time to answer some questions that you probably didn’t even ask!

What’s with the costumes? Why do superheroes wear those skintight, often colorful, costumes?

Some might say that they are similar to costumes worn by circus performers. Hmm, maybe. But, the reason is because they are a physical representation of a person’s chi/aura (aka psychic fingerprint). Much like some tribes would paint/tattoo people with symbols that represented their ancestors or spirit guide. The costume is like a second skin allowing the hero closer access to the phantasmic energy that powers their talents. Much like removing your shoes on holy ground–it removes barriers between you and the divine. I’d rather wear a colorful uniform than have to run around naked.

Also, it allows for things like going invisible without having to de-robe. Or growing in size without ripping your clothes.

Psychic fingerprint?

Our bodies produce electrical currents through chemical reactions and molecule vibration; these currents are determined by genetic makeup, blood flow, personality, and more, so each person’s is different–like a fingerprint. The colors are dependent on characteristics and speed of energy flow. For instance, a cheerful person and a melancholy person could have the same base color, like red, but the cheerful person will have a brighter shade of red while the melancholy person’s will be a darker red. 

Everything (not just transbeings or living beings) has a psychic fingerprint/chi because everything is made of vibrating molecules. The symbol/emblem on a hero’s chest is a representation of their “true name.” Everyone and everything has a similar symbol, you just can’t see it because they don’t go around wearing it. Now don’t go thinking that because you know their true name you can control them–like in some fantasy stories. It just allows you to communicate with the person/thing. Much like in physical life. It’s part of why using a hero’s name while crying for help…uh, helps them hear you; just as saying someone’s name in normal life gets the attention of the person you are speaking too. But it is a deeper connection, kind of like telepathy.

That is how things like telekinesis works. You aren’t commanding the mountain to move; you are asking the mountain to move and it responds because it trusts you. People with plant manipulation talents aren’t forcing the flower to bloom but rather encouraging it to bloom. Just as you can ask someone to help you with the dishes, but you can’t force them to do the dishes. They chose to help you because they care about you or scared of the consequences. Here is the difference between light and dark talents/”magic.” Are you asking the water to hold you up so you can walk on it or are you forcing it into compliance?

Why do some heroes wear capes, some don’t, and some wear jackets/longer garments?

Some transbeings (villains wear capes too) are so strong that their phantasmic energy…”leaks.” Their power is so great that it comes out their backs or stretches along their sides like a jacket or robe. This is why angels are usually depicted with wings. They don’t actually have wings but their phantasmic power is so great that the energy leaks out their backs and looks like wings. So, when it comes time for the costume (which is a representation of a person’s chi) to be made…we get capes, jackets, or fancy robes. 

Why do transbeings sometimes call out their attacks?

Part of it goes back to the “asking the mountain to move” that I mentioned earlier. You are asking the air to heat up or the lightning to strike. The other part is focus and strength. When you need to lift something heavy, you use more muscles, but how to you use more muscles when something is metaphysical? Answer: emotions. Emotions are mental/spiritual muscles. So, you can add more omph to your talent by calling it out. It is the same reason why martial artists will grunt when they strike or block; they are adding more power behind their act. *Most of the time transbeings can just think their attack or wave a hand because what they are doing is within their limits.*

What’s with wearing your underwear on the outside?

First, it’s not underwear; it’s armor. It used to be just part of the tights in order to show appearance/color variation, but now it’s armor. Second, um, I’ll just leave it at “sports cup” and you can figure it out. I mean, we are in battle with villains.

Any other questions? Ask them in the comments below.

Until next wormhole…thanks for reading!

Description and Next Book | Behind the Scenes

I’ve edited three chapters of my latest work in progress. Now…I’ve just got about 15 more chapters to go. *groan*

In the meantime, I did come up with a working description for the book. Enjoy.

By the time Brian finished his war on grime, Danny returned from the rugby match. He stomped around the lab, shaking off his…Brain’s muddy shoes, and left muddy handprints along the walls and counters. He even went as far as to activate the anti-grav feature in Brain’s shoes and walk along the walls and ceiling leaving muddy footprints in his wake. Once satisfied with his mess, Danny tossed the muddy clothes and shoes in a pile. Before he put on the new set of clothes, he switched Monday’s outfit with Wednesday’s.—Excerpt from “Freaky Friday the 13th”

Ages ago the dragons hid themselves from the humans who hunted them for their power. Now, the monster hunters have again found them; but this time, the dragons aren’t giving up without a fight. It’s up to Dogboy and his allies to prevent a war that’ll leave the Earth scorched.

Buy “Dragon Reign,” the latest Dogboy Chronicles story, for sci-fi adventure, fantasy action, and a little bit of silliness.

In between editing breaks, I’ve been working on the book after Dragon Reign. In one of the chapters, the main characters, Joe and Sally, are on a date at the movies. One of the moviegoers overhears what movie they are seeing and begins to tell them all about it. Thanks to a new feature in their Omni-Cuffs, a holographic gag with the word “spoilers” is slapped across his mouth and he is muted (only to them). Once the moviegoer is finished spoiling the movie, the gag is removed.

I tell you some days it’d be nice to have that technology in real life.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!


Recommended #46

The following are my opinion and do not reflect the opinion of any organization or person.

Who would have thought I’d be doing a second Recommended post dealing with stuff to do while under the COVID-19 lockdown? I didn’t. Well, it was more like hoped I won’t have to–I’d hoped that it would have been over by then.

MKIceAndFire
Ghost Paper
TheOdd1sOut
MKIceAndFire

Do you have any recommendations? Tell me in the comments.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.