Monday, February 1, 2010

Back for more

So I know that it has been sometime since I wrote here, but you know procrastination and the human condition and all that. I would like to say that I have been so busy or that I have just not had the opportunity, but neither one is the case. I have not been busy and I have had lots of opportunities, I simply chose not to write.

Well all that is in the past now (crosses fingers) and I am starting fresh. My plan here is to update you all on the interesting things that happen in our lives and when there is nothing interesting going on I plan to post pieces of whatever new story I am writing.

So here it goes.

Lisa and I are back in the sunny south. We are so very thankful to be out of Alaska. It is a beautiful place to visit, but as far as living there goes, not for us. It has been great getting back together with all our old friends and family and we are enjoying the incredible fellowship.
Lisa is now working full-time at a financial agency and going to dental assisting school on Saturdays. I am looking for a job, going to school and trying to begin my illusive writing career, hence the new found desire to write on my blog. We are living with Lisa’s parents for the time being and it is awesome to be so well taken care of. We sincerely hope not to burden the Veermans for too long, but are very thankful they have allowed us to intrude on their home.

Well until next time...

The Scavenger Hunt

The Scavenger Hunt
It was a Friday night or maybe it was Thursday, difficult to remember that summer, all the days and nights seemed to run together. I remember it though, even now, like it was yesterday.
Mike was excited, which usually meant that we were going to have a long and interesting night. Earlier that morning he had told us all he had an awesome idea for our evening entertainment.
A scavenger hunt.
I know what you are thinking, how childish, but when you had as much free time as we did it became quite a chore to fill all those long hours of freedom. Anyway, Mike told everyone to meet at my house at nine pm where he would explain the rules of the hunt.
“All right, here is how this is going to work.” Mike began after Stanley and John finally showed up thirty minutes after nine. We were all there now, the best friends I have ever known. Stanley, the arrogant jock, John, the quiet poet, Benny, the pyromaniac, myself of course, the nerd, Chuck, the rich kid and Mike, the leader. I say Mike was the leader, but there was always some question whether the leader was Mike or Stanley. Mike was out going and fearless and usually came up with the ideas, but Stanley, in a much more subtle way was a notorious instigator. It made for even more entertainment for the rest of us.
Anyway, I got off track a little.
Mike was saying, “We are going to split into two teams. I have made up a list of items that can be found and how many points you will get for each.” He handed a scrap of paper to Stanley then to me.
“So what are the teams going to be?” I asked.
“Well that is what we can decide now, I cannot do everything.”
“Are you serious about some of this stuff?” Stanley said with his condescending laugh.
“What!?” Mike replied indignantly.
“Road Kill, hub cap, a girls thong, it’s just stupid that’s all.”
“So don’t come.”
“Hey man, don’t get bent out of shape, I am coming.”
“Why didn’t you put a duck on here?” Chuck asked after looking over the list.
“Can we get points for how many cats we hit while we are driving?” Benny chimed in.
“Guys, come on, just chill out, we are going to waste the whole night arguing. We are doing what is on the list, and that is that.” Mike shouted in exasperation.
“Yes sir.” Stanley whispered loud enough for everyone to hear.
Thankfully Mike ignored him.
“I was thinking we could do me, Stanley, Greg and Benny. Which leaves Chip, Chuck, John and Bill.”
“John and I are staying together just in case something better comes up.” Stanley interjected.
“Fine, I will go with them, and Jay can go with you. Is everyone happy with that?”
We all were fine with the groups.
“It is almost ten; we will meet back here at 1:00 and see who wins” Mike said looking at his watch.
“See you suckers later!” John called out as he, Stanley, Benny and Greg piled into Stanley’s truck.
“Something bad is going to happen to them.” I said as they tore out of the drive way.
“O well.” Mike said in reply.
Chuck and Bill were going over the list, while Mike and I piled stuff that we thought we might need throughout the course of the night into the back of my black civic. An ax, rope, shovel, bungee cords and other things. The night was getting on when we all got into my car and began our hunt.
It started off quite promising. We already had a number of street signs, a girl’s thong, and a sack full of golf balls and a menu from a restaurant. We were driving down a long stretch of disserted road when it happened. Bill, who was sitting in the back with Chuck and just so happened to glance behind us, said “Dude, there is a cop following us.”
“What!?” Mike exclaimed while looking in the rear view mirror (I never drove when we did stuff like this). “How long has he been back there? I have not been speeding or anything.”
“I don’t know, but he does not have his lights on so I don’t guess it will be a problem.” Chuck said reassuringly.
The road widened so there were now two lanes going in our direction. The police car picked up speed and soon past us driving as if he was in a hurry. We all breathed a sigh of relief. We should have gone home after that.
The item that was next on our list was a speed limit sign. Mike said he knew where there was an out of the way road that had just what we needed. He pulled onto a lightless side road and sure enough there was a sign leaning over as if someone had recently hit it. Mike pulled the civic off the road and we all got out.
“I have got to piss,” Bill said as he strolled off into the trees hands already at his fly.
Chuck was rummaging in the trunk looking for a wrench to undo the bolts on the sign. Mike was examining the bent up post and I was on the phone staring at the street we had just come from. In just a few short heart beats my eyes opened wide and I turned around and said, “Guys, there is a cop coming.”
Mike’s head whipped around as he moved away from the crooked sign. Chuck slammed the trunk and walked to the side of the car. Bill zipped up his pants and knelt down as if tying his shoe.
We were (expletive deleted)
We had enough street signs in the car to start our own illegal pawnshop, not to mention all the tools and such that would no doubt raise suspicion in the police officers mind. I could see no way out of this one.
The police car came to a stop. The headlights went off and the driver’s side door opened. The distinctive brown round of a state trooper was just visible in low light from the street lamp on the main road.
“How you boys doing tonight?” he said with no preamble. “You need help with something out here?”
I am not sure what we would have done if Mike had not kept his cool. I never knew that anyone could lie so effortlessly, it was like watching a painter work his magic on a canvas.
“We are doing great, Officer.” Mike answered. “My friend had to pee real bad so we just pulled off. I apologies if that is against the law.”
For a minute I thought the officer was going to take that as a smart ass remark. If he did he gave no indication that it had bothered him.
“What are you boys doing out this late, going to a party or coming from one?”
“We are doing a scavenger hunt with our youth group.” Mike lied shamelessly and expertly. I would not advise trying this but in the Bible belt the mention of youth group has the tendency to change the playing field just a bit. I just hoped that it was going to work.
The police officer stood for a moment looking at each of us in turn. I hoped that the minimal light would hide any hint of guilt on any of our faces.
“What do you have in the trunk? Mind if I take a look?”
My heart started to beat so fast and so loud I was sure everyone could hear it. This was a test, I felt sure. The cop was baiting Mike into making a mistake. If Mike said there was nothing in the trunk and the cop looked in, we were screwed. If Mike told him what was in the Trunk, we were screwed. If Mike said he could not look in the trunk, he would of course look in it any way and we were screwed. Oh how I wished we had just gone back after that first cop.
“No, not at all,” Mike said “We have some shovels and an ax and stuff from our house project last Saturday.”
The officer just nodded and made no move to further investigate.
A miracle.
I could not believe it. We were not in trouble. This night was not going to end in disaster.
“You boys headed down this street?” the officer asked suddenly, indicating the road we had turned off of to get the speed limit sign.
“No,” I said, “we were going to continue on our way after out pit stop.”
All right then. See that you don’t go down there, wouldn’t want nice boys like yourselves to get in to any trouble. We all looked at the officer with quizzical expressions on our faces. We then turned to look down the road. It was too dark down that way to see very far.
“What’s down there of…?” Bill began when we all turned back around. But the police officer, squad car and all, were gone.
“whoa, what the hell was that?” Chuck said.
“Let’s get out of here.” Mike declared, voicing what everyone was feeling. We all climbed back into the civic and Mike put it into gear and headed back to the main highway. I looked back at the crooked speed limit sign just as we drove out of sight and I could have sworn that something was moving toward it from the deeper shadows of the trees.
As we headed back to my house, Mike called Stanley. “Dude, hunt called off. You guys win. You are not going to believe what just happened to us.
And of course, no one did.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Dark Prophet (part 4)

It was as Blink had said, no more then an hour, before they crested a low rise and were able to see the hills the beast had spoken of. Dark against the starry night sky, the range stretched on far out of sight of the two humans. Thaellen walked forward, Blink at his side, and peered off into the night.
“I think I can see the cave, just over there.” he waved his hand in a northward direction.
“Would you like me to go ahead, and check it out?” Blink growled warily. It was clear that what ever evil was around, Blink was feeling it more acutely than the others.
“No, I don’t think that will be necessary,” Kennon said after a short pause. “stay with Thaellen.”
Blink sidled up to the elf, and Thaellen tousled the fur on his feline head.
Thaellen had run away from home many years ago, probably before either Kronin or Kennon had been born. From where and why he had left, he had never told the others, in fact they knew very little of him before his meeting with the frelis Blink. From what the elf would say, their meeting had come about long after leaving his home.
He had been sitting on the banks of a fast moving stream in the quite hours before dawn when he heard a soft whimper. At first, though his hearing was keen as any elf’s, he thought he had imagined it. He continued refreshing himself in the stream when he heard it again. It was clearly the sound of some young creature in trouble. Thaellen followed the sounds, to a shallow valley not far from the stream. There, incased in a thick web of spider silk, was a young frelis. The giant spider that had spun the web was lying on its back, all eight legs grotesquely splayed in the air. Thaellen approached with care, not wanting to frighten the beast any more then was necessary. It was so young, it clearly had not grown into any of the properties that frelis where known for; such as their ability to phase in and out of reality, allowing them to move anywhere they wish on this plane of existence. It was not a newborn, evidenced by the poison that was in it’s sharp teeth that had laid the aggressing spider low, but it clearly could not free itself. Thaellen had never seen a frelis in this region, in fact, he could not remember seeing one for over a hundred years. However this little creature had gotten here, he was not going to leave it to die. Thaellen set aside is bow and pack and proceeded to use his long hunting knife to cut away the spider bonds.
They had been friends and companions ever since.
Thaellen and Blink met Kennon years later, many years later. Blink had matured into a full grown and very articulate frelis, and he and Thaellen were acting as scouts for the army of a lowly baron who was serving the Silver Order. The three became fast friends, and when Kennon left to begin his life as a wandering vagabond, he first searched them out. Their current profession as “holy men for hire” had been Thaellen’s idea, and it had worked wonderfully for some time.
Now Thaellen looked at Blink, the beast’s amber eyes spoke volumes. They both were very aware that this job was not going to be like the others.
“ready?” Kennon asked.
“Of course” Thaellen answered.
Kronin simply nodded.
They moved down from the rise into a short trench that lead roughly in the direction they wished to go. It took less then twenty minutes before Blink said that they should move out of the gully and head a little more eastward.
The climbed out, and started off again.
Before long, Kennon stopped.
“I think we are here, or at least very close. I can feel it now.” Indeed the Paladin felt as though the oppressive sense of evil was going to make him pass out.
Kronin, on the other hand looked quite strange. His usually grim expression was alight with a weird glow. He removed his pack from his shoulders and began rummaging through it. After a few seconds he withdrew four amulets.
“Here, each of you should wear one of these. I am not sure what we are about to face, but I think it is safe to say that there is more than thieves putting on a good show in that cave.”

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Dark Prophet (part 3)

The last light of the setting sun fell gently across the path of Kennon and his companions as they followed a small dirt trail deeper into the forest. It was well over an hour since they had left the camp, and the forest seemed not to have changed at all. The trees were old, and there was a smattering of underbrush everywhere they looked, and hardly any sounds of wild life.
“I am beginning to have an uneasy feeling about this.” Thaellen said after awhile, his keen eyes piercing the shadows that the others could not. “I have never been in a forest this devoid of living things. As if something has frightened them all off.”
Kennon looked side long at the elf. “Are you suggesting that there is some truth to all the rumors we have heard since arriving in this little hamlet?”
Kronin, who was walking behind the other two, said. “There is certainly an aura of evil like I have not felt in many years, I am surprised you can not feel it too, Kennon.”
Kennon winced at the comment.
Kennon had been a holy knight known as a Paladin of the Silver Order almost fifteen years ago. He had begun at a young age and had risen in the ranks quickly. His faith had been strong as a younger man, and because of that he had been able to pass all the Holy Rights a year earlier then was usual. After his official induction as a fully ordained Knight, he had been sent to the Valley of Orin, where the Silver Order was campaigning against a vile incursion of the northern barbarians. During the campaign, later known as the War of Rights, Kennon won great renown and was hailed a great champion of the Order. Then a tragedy overcame the Silver Order. Their leader, High Marshall Roth, was murdered, and the Order was never able to recover. Three years later, it was disbanded. Kennon had been devastated, not just by the loss of his blooming career, but because of the abject wickedness that was demonstrated by his fellow Paladins in light of their dismissal. His faith shattered and every thing he had worked for gone, he left his homeland, rather than join the royal army like most of his comrades had done. He wandered far and wide and became a mercenary, rejecting the tenants that he had clung to so fiercely as a Paladin.
Now he was a part of a band whose purpose was to weed out “monsters” for a hefty price. The trend of terrorizing small villages with the pretext of ghouls and goblins had started a few years ago, when rumors trickled down from the north of an ancient evil stirring in the vast uncharted wastelands of the northern tundra. Kennon and his group would masquerade as men of holy power who could rid the village or town of their haunting apparition for a price. It almost always turned out to be nothing more then profit seeking hooligans using showmanship to cause panic and distress.
Though as Thaellen had said, this felt different. For the first time in years a small tendril of doubt crept in to the paladins heart.
He had fallen so very low.
Kennon looked back at Kronin, whose shifty eyes just glared back.
“I am not surprised that I can not feel anything. It has been a long time since those days, and I would thank you not to bring it up.”
Kronin shrugged.
They had stopped in a small clearing, the thin moon casting very little light on the three of them. Thaellen was gazing off into the darkness of the forest.
“Blink is returning.” He whispered.
Sure enough, a few seconds after he said this there was a soft pop, and the huge beast appeared in their midst.
“I have found something. Not far ahead, maybe another hour or so, there is a low range of small hills that cut across this forest. There is an evil feel around those hills, and as far as I can tell it all seems to be originating from a small cave on the northern side

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Well, I just got surgery on my nose. Apparently there is a reason why I have never been able to breath properly. So now I have had that fixed, at least we shall if they fixed it. So far so good though. I can already breath better then ever before. Nice of the army to pay for it of course. I have 11 days of leave, so that is real nice. So be praying that I am not in to much pain for my short time away from work. And then when i get back, Lisa and I will be that much closer to coming home. So awesome!! sorry if the grammer is bad, I am doped up on percocet. *grins stupidly*

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Dark Prophet (part 2)

Mile or so outside of town on a low hill covered by evergreen trees lay three sleeping figures. A small camp fire was burning low and signs of a recent meal could still be seen. One of the figures turned over in his sleep, then with soft grunt sat up suddenly. He was peering into the darkness at the edge of the little camp.
“Back already?” He questioned the shadows.
“I did not mean to wake you.” A voice replied.
“You, of course, are not at fault Kennon. It is an old habit. How did it go?”
The man, Kennon, moved into the low fire glow and sat down next to one of the other still sleeping figures. He tossed the sack of coins that he had been given by Roland to the first man (whose name was Thaellen) who caught it in the air deftly as only an elf could do.
“Well enough I suppose. The innkeeper, Roland I think his name was, seemed genuinely frightened. He could not give much more information then what we have already heard. “
“It will do, I guess.” Thaellen said, weighing the bag of coins in his left hand. He stood up and walked to the last sleeping figure. Kennon leaned over and rapt the snoring person he had sat next to on the shoulder. “Wake up Kronin; it is time to get started.”
Kronin groaned and raised his head and glowered at Kennon, but said nothing. He thrust his thin blanket from his body and sat up. Kronin wore a simple black robe with a black rope for a belt and a hooded cowl to complete the ensemble. He was a warlock and was not fond of being woken up.
Thaellen was standing over the last still sleeping figure who was not a man at all but a large sleeping beast. At first glance it appeared to be a large feline, but once it moved it had very similar attributes to a large lizard. It was a dark grey color and had wide violet eyes that were staring intently at Thaellen even as he bent to whisper in it large point ears.
“I am wake.” The beast growled with humor. “It amazes me that we have been together so long, and yet you still seem to think that I am not always aware of your smallest emotions. If you are awake, dear Filas, then I most certainly am.”
Thaellen grinned as the large animal rose to its four legs and stretched grandly. “I forget, Blink, elves have long lives not perfect memories.”
“Not to mention overlarge egos…” Blink added.
“…and infuriating arrogance” Kennon laughed.
“It must irk you indeed to know that there are creatures out there that are just as alert and aware as your own race.” Kronin added humorlessly.
They all laughed.
“You are, as always, correct Warlock. I am more inclined to forget the extraordinary qualities of my long time friend here because we elves are far to self involved. It is something that I have fought against for some time now.” Thaellen laughed as he collected his things, and then added. “That is why I choose to spend so much time with you lesser races.”
With a flash, Blink’s paw whipped out and knocked Thaellen to the ground.
“Lesser race indeed.” The beast growled.
Kennon chuckled to himself. “We will leave in ten minutes, we have a long walk ahead of us, and we need to get started so when can be finished before the sun rises. “

To Be Continued

Monday, July 13, 2009


Lisa and I have begun doing the workout program called P90X. It is high time that we restarted our lifestyle, what with our return to Charlotte on the horizon. It will be more for Lisa, as the workouts our pretty advanced, and I am still in a considerable amount of pain. I will hobble along as best as I can, which will still be loads better then doing nothing. I am sure many of you have noticed that I, for a lack of a better word, am gargantuan, at least compared to what I used to be, so it is going to be far more difficult then anything I have done before. We will keep you all updated on our progress for the next 90 days or so. We will see if the program delivers.