Tag Archives: Moonrise

Nominate my friends on Kindle Scout!

I’ve already tweeted about this, but it deserves its own blog post. Since I was being lazy yesterday, and playing Runescape instead of reviewing one of the books I’ve read over the last month or so, it’s time for me to get off my duff and write something. After all, a blog needs content right? After I send my ships out on missions… No, right now!

Geez, I’m so bossy! (Meg agrees.) Who’s this Meg? Why does her opinion about the degree of my bossiness matter? These are all great questions. (No one is asking these questions, you just want to pad your word count. Get on with the post, man!) Okay, okay, fine.

Meg Mac Donald is a writer friend of mine from around Flint, Michigan. She’s a classy lady who has written a noblebright fantasy series, and the first book is campaigning for a publishing contract from Kindle Press. Hey, I heard you sigh, and saw you roll your eyes. It’s not a big deal for you to spend two and a half minutes for you to log in with the Amazon account that I know you already have, and click on the nominate button. Besides, you’ll get to see the awesome watercolor cover thing I did for her. The name of the story is Wolf’s Oath, and you’ll get a free copy of it at publication if you nominate and it’s selected.

Well, more like four minutes, because you’re also going to nominate my other writer friend’s book on Kindle Scout too. He goes by L. Fergus, but we call him Linn. It works out pretty well, since that’s his first name. Linn hails from the state of Florida, and he has drafted about 27 books about an anti-heroine fallen angel named Kita. I could actually count the stories by just counting the covers I’ve designed for Linn, but I’m in a hurry to crank this blog post out before heading to work. I’ll just cut-and-paste the last line of the preceding paragraph: The name of the story is Rebirth, and you’ll get a free copy of it at publication if you nominate and it’s selected.

If you really feel like dedicating some more time and nominating another book, then I’ve got another campaign going on as well. It’s the next Sixteen Sunsets story, and features cover art by comic book artist extraordinaire, Joel Cotejar. I’m not sure if Joel knows or not, but I’ve got him down for the art for book three in January or Febuary. Anyway, many of you have already read the rough draft here on the blog. I had to password-protect all the posts to comply with Kindle Scout rules. Anyway, if you have an open nomination, add me to the list. Otherwise make sure you nominate Linn and Meg. I’m not worried if they get nominations and I don’t. I just want to see my friends succeed. Oh, Moonrise is the name of my book on Kindle Scout.

Linn and Meg are on Facebook, but since I don’t do the book of faces, I can’t post on their walls or whatever. So I’m relying on you all to share Meg’s and Linn’s campaigns on Facebook, twitter, and all the other things.


13 Week Streak: 04

[500 words]I skipped last week because I had a deadline to take care of for War of the Worlds: Firestorm. I’m back this week with a little taste of the Sixteen Sunsets Saga before the first book. Enjoy!

* * *

“Hurry up, man, someone’s gonna bust us!”

Joaquin ignored Tyrone, and focused on working the slim jim. “Chill,” he replied.

“You said you did this before,” Tyrone wheezed. His wheeze subsumed to a wet cough.

Joaquin paused and met Tyrone’s eyes. “You need a hit?”

“Bitch, you ain’t my momma.”

Joaquin focused on Tyrone’s bulging eyes and pale lips. “Look like youse dyin’, man.”

Tyrone gave him the finger, and reached into his jacket, and pulled out his inhaler. He breathed out twice in rapid succession and depressed the cylinder.

Joaquin returned to jimmying the lock on the Plymouth Duster. He couldn’t quite work the thin metal correctly. The only other tool they had was a flat-head screwdriver for the ignition. Be easier if we just smash the window, he thought, ain’t nobody gonna send a couple fourteen-year-olds to jail. Especially since… It was easy for him to justify stealing Tyrone’s mother’s white boyfriend’s car. Poor white families had been moving into his neighborhood for years. They thought they could get cheap property and fix it up. The racial divide in Seattle wasn’t as bad as LA, but you still had to watch yourself.

Joaquin felt his arm jostled. “Check out this bitch,” he whispered.

Joaquin turned from the Duster and saw a white kid, about he same age as them walking down the sidewalk brandishing a wooden sword. Every few steps, he would swing or stab at imaginary foes.

Joaquin grinned, elbowing Tyrone. “Probably fightin’ ninjas an’ shit.”

The white kid slowed his roll and watched them. He sidled up to them. “Yo, Dawg, you need help?”

Joaquin closed his eyes. “Whaddaya know ‘bout jackin a car, uh dude?”

The white kid smiled. “Andy, Andy Kitz.” He ran his fingers along the slim jim and it swayed back and forth. “You can learn all kinds of stuff on Youtube.”

Tyrone smirked, but Joaquin stepped away and motioned for Andy to prove it.

Andy dug his fingers into the seam where the door met the frame. He pried the door away, and shoved his wooden sword into the gap. He pushed on the sword until the gap was big enough to get his small hand and arm in. Andy grunted as his fingers brushed against the door lock. Finally, he gripped the cylinder between his knuckles and the door popped. “Where you guys headin’?” he asked.

Tyrone gave Andy a shove. “Nunya business, homey,” he replied at the same time Joaquin announced, “The beach.”

Andy frowned.

Joaquin sighed. “Fine, we headin’ to Whidbey Island.”

Andy nodded, shrugged his shoulders, and turned to walk down the street.

Joaquin grabbed him by his skinny arm. “You know what happens to snitches, right?”

Andy shook his arm free. “You don’t have to worry ‘bout me,” he declared, “They’re always watching.”

The Duster purred to life. “Move over, bitch,” Joaquin barked at Tyrone, “We got places to be.”

They drove past Andy and his wooden sword and made their way to Whidbey Island.


Starfall CH04 – Headstrong

[2090 words – Prompts: Terribleminds, #3WW, Sunday Scribblings 2]Cindy and I decided that we need to wrap this trilogy up. We want it finished by the end of April, so that means double chapters from here on out! Double the word count equals double the fun, right?

* * *

The decrepit church coughed dust under Joaquin’s heavy footsteps. He ran a lazy hand over still standing pews, nose itching at the pervading piss scent, one too recent to ignore among the natural smell of destruction and abandonment. The graffiti demoralizing the walls preached a different kind of psalm to him, a cruelly written reminder that it was still and would always be a dog eat dog world, only now supers and defects were barking equally loud at each other. The painted cross on the opposite wall couldn’t substitute the one that had been stolen but it was a symbol nonetheless, red and full of sharp edges. Joaquin stared at it for the longest time imagining blood dripping from its base into a chalice, a Holy Grail that would touch the lips of the worthy, of the true rulers of this world. A loud bang to his left made his brow furrow, the mirage dissipating before his eyes angrily turned to slits. He cocked his head scolding Kid’s balancing act on an overturned chair.

“Simmer down.”

The boy with the shadow of a blonde goatee on his thin, white face did as he was told, picking up the chair and placing it on its wobbly legs before sitting down. Cosma was studying the only stained glass intact by the flight of rocks by Xavier, and Nightwave was picking scattered leaflets off the ground. His boot kicked needles far under the pews, a disgust etched on his face.

“I used to come here on Sundays for my sister some years back. She sang in the choir.”

“Rough neighborhood?” Cosma quirked an eyebrow.

“The niners got the habit of drive-by shootings every other week. The pastor had some dealings with them putas and when he couldn’t pay, he ran for the border. Church never sent another pastor.”

Cosma whistled running slender fingers across her exposed throat, simulating a sliced gesture to Kid who smirked.

“Where’s the cop?” Quake asked.

Joaquin flinched at that honorific and at the motionless figure of the former guard, unamused by the locale. Betty looked half harmless to them so the snigger in their voices at the mention of her he couldn’t change, but her stance and the sharp glint in her eyes spoke much of her former life. She still didn’t want to admit she was a fugitive in a way after disappearing from her post at the SPD. Regardless of that she still acted the dutiful officer trying to nail in the no-harm-policy into their brand of vigilantism. Some bastards just had to be hurt; it wasn’t philosophy, it was street rules. Joaquin was dutiful too in that way. “She’ll be here.”

“Will you tell her?” Cosma probed, now standing close to Joaquin leaning over his shoulder matching his stance when he’d stared at the cross.

“What do you think? We need her.”
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Moonrise CH42 – No Guts, No Glory

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[1085 words Prompts: Tina on Flickr via Terribleminds, #3WW, Sunday Scribblings 2, #SoCS]

“How can we…” The dude with knife tattoo cleared his throat and raised his voice. “Why we talking to this fool? He loco!”

Joaquin shook his head. “You fools have powers and all you’re doing is sittin’ here playing counsel? That’s some lame shit! You should be out there.”

The woman looked up at him. “And what are we supposed to do ‘out there?’ Rob banks like the other people with these abilities? Kill someone? We’re no one! And we can barely contain our powers.”

“Contain them?” Joaquin spit back at her.

“What do you think this place is, Fight Club? We’re trying to learn how to control this thing, how to suppress it. We want normal lives,” the woman continued.

Joaquin aimed an impish smile at her. “But you don’t need to do that mama, not when you have me. I’ve seen what others like us can do and it ain’t some petty ass pick and run. We’ve led armies, fought nations. We can do some crazy shit! I’ve seen a guy age people jus by touchin’ em. I’ve seen this immortal chick take a handful of shells and walk on.”

The silence they returned to him made Joaquin wave his hand. They didn’t buy his crap. “What kind of powers do you fools have anyway? I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. C’mon I ain’t biting. I’m jus’ like you earning it hard.”

The teenager was first to raise his hand though reluctantly.

“Put your hand down mijo, we’re not in a classroom.”

The boy cleared his throat. “I have x-ray vision but it’s kind of like a super sight. I can see through pretty much anything.”

The languid security guard had remained silent until that moment let out a sigh. He took a knee and thumped the ground with his fist lightly. Joaquin felt a high-pitched vibration in his ears. The ground beneath his feet vibrated and that vibration threatened to turn into a quake but the man removed his hand. “Can’t do full earthquakes but can sure knock you down on your ass and keep you there.”

The woman looked uncomfortable. “I’d rather tell and not show. My ‘ability’ is to create a vacuum of space around you. As in Cosmos. Crushing you and choking you with absolute zero if I lose my temper. It lasts short though, so…”

Joaquin brandished a wide white-toothed smile. “Imma turn you pussies into superheroes. You’ll be vigilantes tomorrow payin’ back Globe for Miles and all those of us he turned to enemies of the public.”

“You and what right, mano?”
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Moonrise CH41 – To Forbidden Passengers

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[1150 words | Prompts: TerribleMinds, #3WW, Sunday Scribblings 2, The Writing Reader]

Joaquin jumped down from his pallet spy tower. He rubbed his knuckles against his eyes and willed the bleeding white stars away, an after effect from the super power he’d witnessed in secret. With the world now returned to its colors, objects took healthier shapes, outlines and details became solid, Joaquin found his way back to the red door with crimson light seeping into the night. He rapped the signal against the decaying dented surface. Rust flaked off of it where his fist landed urgently.

After a palm-sweating moment a man’s face appeared through the opening of the door swung ajar. His face was pinched, and his eyes narrowed. Joaquin made sure he was first to speak spitting his thoughts out fast.

“Do you have room for one more bruh?”

The man in the door chewed on his bottom lip sizing up Joaquin. He saw crusted blood over Joaquin’s brow, torn clothes and bullet holes without matching wounds. Joaquin was a circus attraction, a sight to behold, but a deep plea in his eyes still watery from the impossibly fast transition from light to no light spoke a powerful enough tale to the man guarding the door. He stepped aside and let Joaquin enter.

Joaquin felt the man grab him above the elbow and lead him through the pitch black. It was like walking blindfolded and no matter how much he blinked Joaquin couldn’t detect any shapes. He followed the directions blindly, allowing the man to steer him by the elbow. A lit barrel emerged instantly from nothingness. Glowing embers faded as they launched on fragrant wisps of smoke. The scene reminded Joaquin of some space sci-fi movie. That’s how he felt too, stepping into seemingly thin air approaching a circle of light supported by nothing, surrounded by nothing. It just floated there ominously. But he heard – proof of a solid plane under his feet and of reality. There were people and sounds that they made that were too audible for his ears. Did the oppressing darkness heighten other senses? Joaquin would never know.

The people in a circle around the barrel emerged from nothingness; they were all quiet waiting for Joaquin to enter the halo of light and reveal his face. A woman in her mid-thirties stood up first from her red plastic chair. “We won’t turn you back now that you’re here but-” she paused and met each of her companions’ eyes, “how did you find this place?”

Joaquin took in the sight of them. They appeared to be ordinary people. Even his former guard was behind him toying with the keys on his belt. It was such a common thing to do. The one playing with his keys was the short one; the tall man had his hands in his pockets but his eyes were dark and sharp like the knife tattooed on his left cheek. The woman had the look of a kindly kindergarten teacher as she nervously pushed her glasses back up her nose. A pimply teenager somewhat younger than Joaquin kicked his backpack further under the red plastic chair and stared at Joaquin with wide eyes.

Completely ignoring the woman’s question, Joaquin’s laugh echoed off the tall roof of the warehouse. “You guys have powers!”

The quartet looked at each other.

“Are you fuckin’ retarded esé? Isn’t that why you’re here?” The tall man with the knife tattoo chuckled rubbing the back of his head.
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Moonrise CH40 – All Flags Fall

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[1234 words – prompts: Inspiration Monday, Terribleminds, #3WW, The Writing Reader, Sunday Scribblings 2]

Betty left the dimly lit corridor and went back through the bland looking door leading to Andy’s secret hospital room. The nurse busied herself with his painkillers and soaked bandages, replacing them with clean ones. He was half drifting to sleep; half-awake asking questions about the fire, about someone named Anne, about Joaquin, but mostly about himself. All questions Betty couldn’t answer. She was given scarce information in the heat of the moment, rushed to the hospital in the dead of night to keep new secrets away from people who desperately wanted to know them. But she was given enough to know something was amiss with the Jensen case, with Major Globe. Massey’s warning had been brief and hurried – she couldn’t trust anyone right now. The world was turning upside down, friends became foes and vice versa.

Betty shivered in her thin jacket; the weight of her service weapon pulled her down. She looked to Andy near motionless in his drug-induced haze. He’d got hurt on account of supers but he was still eager to help. Was it some shared insanity driving everyone to do crazy shit and risk their lives? Or was it a duty of care that they couldn’t turn away from? Did they just crave adrenalin?

“You know it’s funny how the world suddenly depends on a street thug, a sociopathic woman, a crazy old detective and a small time hacker,” Andy croaked from his bed. Betty sat on the edge of his bed. “You’d think that among all these people with powers there would be someone, anyone who would, I don’t know, put a cape on and fight crime and corruption. You know, the cliché. Instead, people are proving that prick right.” He tried to look at her but Betty knew his mind was muddied, thoughts ricocheting madly, pain and helplessness and adrenaline jolting his mind awake when it should be asleep, resting. Andy was committed to his emotion exchange, so she listened.

“Once you let fear in it’s pretty much over. I mean I’ve seen the bad and the ugly on the supers side and I’ve seen them on this side, our side. Am I making sense? The pills are kicking in mighty fast. Officer, can you imagine genocide based on something unsubstantial? So many lies were told but people buy them. It’s so easy once you let fear in. These days I guess it’s only common. But we’ll get an uprising. Do you think we’ll pull it off? Save the city? The world?”

Andy’s voice was hoarse now fading away as he was lulled to an unconscious sleep by the morphine that the nurse was injecting. But he did make sense. He summarized the ludicrousness of the situation. A situation that Betty now invested in the outcome.

She rested her hand on his bare arm. “I don’t know buddy. I guess we’re about to find out.” Right now she could believe just about anything.

Without a uniform she felt like a person overstepping the law wielding guns in desolate hospital wings, protecting people she barely knew prophesizing about a world ending and caped crusaders. True, she had her badge uncomfortably biting into her leg inside her pocket, but she was still incognito. So when her personal cell vibrated on the small table in Andy’s room, Betty jumped nearly pointing her gun at it. She mustered all the control she had to pick it up and leave the room to the sleeping and the injured.

“Felix, what do you want? Do you know what time it is?”

“Massey just got arrested! I’m at the station filling out a shit ton of paperwork and that agent what’s his name-”
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Moonrise CH39 – Supers Anonymous

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[1310 words – Inspiration Monday]Joaquin was lost. He hated to admit it to himself but sneaking around large containers with the constant splash of the bay behind him was tiresome and he hadn’t been able to find the street corner with the camera where Jensen had been spotted. Luckily for him, there weren’t other people this late in the working day and Whidbey Island was dead and dark to all. The security guard was nowhere to be seen and there had to be one. Joaquin was cautious, watching for stretching shadows and echoing footsteps, the flashlight running up and down dark corners. He snuck around the back of the main building, a narrow and long warehouse housing a few offices and machinery. With every advancing step Joaquin found it harder to keep away the stench from himself: he couldn’t battle off the sudden inhalation and every time he tried to turn his head away and breathe a little clear air the lingering odor found a way down his pipes, filling his body with gaseous foulness mixed with seaweed and stale fish.

He colored his sneakers in red pools of watered blood that seemed black in the darkness and covered them in guts galore dropped in little piles where the broom hadn’t swiped them back into the river. “Oh man…” he whispered to himself and sighed. On the bright side, his body didn’t hurt from the impact or the gunshot and Joaquin had to smile at his ability to heal. At least that’s how he understood it. He felt almost bulletproof; unlike that agent swimming face down in the river. Joaquin bit the inner side of his cheek at the memory all too present in his adrenaline-fueled mind. He had seen death many times before but not like that. The man had been out to kill him and indirectly Joaquin had caused his death, crashed and drowned under his car. And

Missing a watch, Joaquin had no notion of time. He was either at the right place or missing entirely on the party and in his head, he could hear Massey’s judgmental voice, Andy’s sneer for fucking up a simple task. Andy… Shit, he didn’t want to think about that fire. The guy was a 50/50 chance and Joaquin didn’t want to think about him right now. Disasters were piling one atop another and just like in the streets Joaquin found himself standing in the middle, fending off any sucker aiming for a chance to mess with him. Only he was fending off the thin air here. He half wanted to scream.

A light right above his head flickered on. Joaquin snapped to his senses and crouched low beside a stack of pallets nearly tipping them over. He looked up and swore at the sensor. A pair of voices approaching did the same.

“That shit scared me!”

“Don’t worry mano, it’s just a light.”

“Turning on before we even got near it?”

“It’s probably just broken esse. Calm down.”

Joaquin didn’t dare move, his heartbeat pounding in his ears. The voices dropped low, cautious, with words sparse. He had to raise himself on tiptoes to peek through the gap of one of the pallets. Down the side of the building was a red door, above it, a red light beamed brightly against the dark sky. The taller of the two men banged his fist against it. He wore a hoodie and his companion a hat set low. To Joaquin, both were just silhouettes. The door inched open and after seconds the two men were let in. Before they snuck inside the shorter one looked around still suspicious.
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