Image: Kaptain Kobold
Sgt. Fred Fox of the Paladin City police department wrote the report at the precinct late at night and into the wee hours of the morning. He couldn’t think to do anything else. He certainly couldn’t sleep. Fred had been in the most violent fight of his life, and he hadn’t thrown a punch or fired a shot. The Superhero and Supervillain had done most of the work for him …
The two Tamerlan brothers were beat half to death already, with bloodied faces and some nasty welts from where the old lawman’s men had gone at them with a hammer and a fireplace poker in the back room. It must have been hard for the prisoners to breathe, gagged with a mouthful of rags and strung up upside down from the ceiling, their heads lolling about helplessly. No one in the room seemed too choked up for them. The leader had only called off his posse in time to let the pair suffer a little while longer.
Tyson Anders looked down at this own raw, bandaged stump of a wrist, then stared back into the brothers’ fearful eyes with a stone-cold look that brooked no mercy. Continue reading
Rufus Stevens was just a boy when the Men came to the farm.
It was the outlaw Duncan Chester’s men. They’d robbed a train, and the job had gone badly. The Pinkertons had set a trap for them, and several of the gang were killed when they tried to take the payroll on board. Those who weren’t shot outright bolted into the night. They rode hard through the rains, across the dark, wet fields of Missouri until they found the warm light of the Stevens homestead.
They were desparate men, intent on taking what they needed. They took Rufus’ mother, and his sister. They shot his father and his younger brother. They took everything; food, lanterns, blankets, firewood.
But, Rufus they spared.
“Let him tell the story.” said Duncan Chester himself, looking down on a shame-faced, guilt-ridden Rufus. Chester was wounded. He’d used a shred of Rufus’ raped and murdered sister’s dress as a bandage across his cheek and under his ear, plugging the gaping wound that was the result of a Pinkerton’s bullet.
They left Rufus in the dark and broken house, the hoof beats of their horses echoing in the night, eventually leaving only a breath of wind as the rains stopped. The clouds parted to reveal a full moon, reflected in the twin pools of dark young eyes that stared upward from the floorboards of that lonely homestead.
Assignment: Urban legend
They read you fairy tales when you’re a kid, but urban legends are the ones you tell yourself to freak out your friends. One of my favourites was always the Disappearing Hitchhiker; the tale of a pick-up off of a deserted highway, and a ghostly vanishing act. So, this is my re-telling of that story, with an updated ending.
I never pick up hitchhikers. But, this guy looked pathetic.
I was on my way back from visiting my friends at a campsite just north of here in the big woods. I’m a city boy, so I don’t do camping, generally. I went up there for the day, and was heading back to the land of warm beds, Netflix, and wifi. I’m not afraid to admit it; I like my creature comforts. I’d leave my friends to the mosquitos and methane-filled tents, thanks.
And then, on the shoulder of the road, there he stood. He was a young guy who looked like he’d just run away from home, or something. He was wearing a non-desrcript set of clothes, other than the fact that they were dirty. He had a sort of haunted air about him. I suppose I should have driven right past him. But, we were in the middle of nowhere, and there weren’t any cars on that road but me. I’m not even sure how the guy got there. Continue reading
I love New York. Love coming here. I’m not here five minutes and I get mugged before I even leave the airport. No, seriously. That actually happened.
Guy comes over, all, “hey, you need a cab?” And I’m like, “yeah, I need a cab.” And he’s like, “OK, now you need a cab and a new wallet, thank you very much fuckface.”
What a jerk. Seriously, that actually happened. Continue reading
Photo Credit: Mike O’Dowd
The carnage of the battle was all over the floor and the walls. There were even Goblin guts on the ceiling. This dusty old crypt of the Lich King was newly washed down in the blood of those savage creatures, thanks to deadly dungeoneering skills of the Fellowship of the String.
Daggerin the Barbarian, Gygax the Wizard, Lore, the Cleric of the White Wood and Steve the Rogue began taking stock of the spoils of their violence — a pitiful hoard of rusty copper coins, a silver candlestick and a long staff that could be a Wand of Lightning Bolts or a Wand of Instant Death to All Who Pick It Up. (On the advice of Gygax, no one picked it up). Continue reading
Photo: Ali K
When I was eighteen in the summer of 1962, I had an important meeting with a childhood friend of my father. That friend was Mr. John Oliver Sharp, the hotelier. He owned several hotels and restaurants up the Eastern Seaboard even then. Sure, he’d been born into wealth. But, he was one of those guys who everyone knew was a master of the universe. Unlike the media-whore moguls today, he had class as well as money. He carried himself with a certain grace that is not seen today. It set him apart.
So, my Dad called Mr. Sharp to tell him about his smart and ambitious kid. It was all on the pretext of catching up, but it was mostly about getting me a leg up into the world of John Oliver Sharp. With my Dad’s help, I was to meet with Mr. Sharp and convince him to let me become an intern at one of his hotels, as a manager’s assistant. I was assured that I would have a good future under Mr.Sharp’s wing.
But, my meeting with him wouldn’t go quite as planned, to say the least. Scratch that. It would be a total disaster.