The Pale Horse – Prologue

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The apocalypse began on a Tuesday.

In the heat and humidity of September in Mumbai, a small, white organism grew inside the walls of The Sahil Hotel on Behram Road. The walls were made to resist mold and most fungal growth, yet this persisted. It concentrated most heavily inside Room Two-Twenty-One which had gone unused and uncleaned for a week before being given to Joseph Patel, a business man out of New York in the United States. When he’d gotten the room, he complained that it smelled musty.

That morning, three cleaning women went in while he was out at a meeting and aired it out. They did not notice the spores that floated in the sunlight, mistaking them for dust. Laboring for nearly an hour, they managed to mask the smell that had offended Joseph Patel. When he returned that afternoon, the whole room smelled of lavender and pine and he slept soundly all night.

On the third morning of his stay, Joseph woke in the middle of the night with a headache and he felt like his sinuses was packed with cotton. He took an aspirin and went back to bed. He woke again before dawn and felt a cold coming on. Cursing his luck, he listed every person he met with this week and decided to lay the blame on Andil Vuschel, the salesman from Eramal. Andil had been sneezing through his entire presentation and didn’t cover his mouth once.

Joseph packed his bags and made an early start for the airport. Continue reading

Dark Winter – Part 1

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“Sing to me about the end of the world… There’s still hope left in it yet.” – Flyleaf, Arise

“Dad? Dad please pick up, pick up.”

Katie Fox shook her cell phone, willing her father to answer. The roar of the storm was loud, drowning out his voicemail message. The freezing rain came down in sheets of thick needles that crashed against the Plexiglas roof of the bus stop. The wind was nearly as bad as the ice, blowing straight through her parka. It was too late to get back on the warm bus. Its tail lights were barely visible through the storm now, even this late at night.

“Don’t cry,” she told herself, sniffing back tears that threatened to fall as she shoved the cell into her pocket. “Think like dad. Think.” Continue reading

The Space Cantina – Things and Stuff

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So it’s been a while hasn’t it? No, I haven’t stopped writing or dropped off the face of the Earth or anything like that. This new job has really crunched my time, first with launch of our game and now with an upcoming move to consoles, I doubt it’ll lessen anytime soon. The free time I do have I spend on my novel, penning adventures for my tabletop RPG group, or simply decompressing in front of my computer with a good, fun video game.

When I started this blog, I wanted to give myself a schedule. I wanted to challenge myself to write to it all the time, build an audience and get myself out there. I’m not sure I really succeeded but it really taught me a few things about time management. It also taught me my limits. It gave me some great stories though, and I met lots of cool people.

So what is this message? No, I’m not walking away from this blog. I’m actually considering starting up a new story in the same vein as Icarus. By that I mean, journal-entry type stories that are short and post regularly. I have a rough idea for a story but no title yet. I’ll let you know when I do.

In other news, my novella 36 Hours is currently at a publisher, though no word on its progress. I also have a SciFi short story that’s out with Analog right now, though no word from them either. Hopefully one of them might be good news, but I’m more waiting for them to come back rejected so I can send them out again. The life of a writer eh?

I hope everyone’s been great. Thank you for reading my little blog over these past few years. I’ll try and give you more reasons to come back, and soon.

Thanks everyone,

Mike.

The Space Cantina – The Blood, 36 Hours, Editing and SciFi World Building

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Good news everyone! I’ve decided to post some more updates about my writing today and you know what that means?

Yeah… I’m behind again. It’s not my fault, I swear! Well, actually, that’s a lie. Sorry. As I sit here listening to “The Glass Prison” by Dream Theatre, I’m reminded how time can get away from us, closing in around us with its invisible, intangible walls until there’s hardly any room to breathe. That’s how I feel lately, but it’s all for the best. The wife and I are moving soon, in three weeks in fact, and a great deal of time lately is split between a ton of overtime at work and packing up the apartment. I’m very excited about this move because at our new place I will have my very own writing room! Right? How cool is that? I’ll have my own quiet space to work, plot and scheme.

But enough of that; time for the updates! Continue reading

The Blood – Part 13

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He hit her right between the ribs.

Aderyn stumbled backward, fighting for breath. She held out a hand, either to ward off the next blow or to submit. In her confused, desperate fight for air, she wasn’t sure which one she meant to do. Opposite her, Kendrick sighed and stood up straight, stretching his arms above his head.

“You know, if this had been a real fight, you’d be dead right now,” he said.

“I-“ Continue reading

The Blood – Part 12

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Hours, days perhaps, passed. Aderyn lost track of time in the tiny room, alone with her thoughts and memories. At first she slept and waited, but after a time the dreams grew too terrible. They were always of her mother or her brother Caiden. Awful dreams, painful dreams.

Only once did she dream of her father. It was a brief, sweet dream that faded like flavor ice on the tongue. When she woke that time she desperately wanted to hold onto it, to remember it but all she could recall was her father’s laugh. It was deep and wonderful, the kind of laugh that made everyone else in the room smile. Aderyn remembered smiling so many times. Continue reading