Friday, November 28, 2014


We're out for the Thanksgiving Holiday counting out blessings, giving thanks, loving on family, spending time in God's Creation, and yes...writing and editing!
Back on Monday!

Have a safe and Blessed Thanksgiving weekend!
Away for the Holiday
7:10 AM

Away for the Holiday

Thursday, November 27, 2014


11-27-14 Writing Warm-up
Artwork © Cryptozioc Entertainment, All Rights Reserved - http://www.cryptozoic.com/
Lyrics © Brannon Hollingsworth, All Rights Reserved
Inspired by "Jive Talkin'" by the Bee Gees
Brought to you by Four Fools Press: “Crazy Good Stories”

Jive Turkey
To the tune of Jive Talkin'

It's just your jive talkin',
you're telling me lies, yeah,
jive talkin' you wear a disguise.
I'm livin', so misunderstood, yeah,
a jive turkey, tryin' to do good.

Oh my child, you'll never know.
Just how mean they are to me!
Oh my child, they want so much,
To take it all away from me!

'Cause I'm just a jive turkey,
You're telling me lies, yeah.
Good eatin' - 
You're wantin' some thighs!

Nobody believes what I say,
I'm just a jive turkey
On Thanksgiving Day.

(Instrumental)

Oh my word!
You're so full.
Eating me is cruel!
There you go, with your fancy knives,
Leaving me looking like a
carved-up bowl!

It's all just jive talkin',
This stuff that you say, yeah.
Jive talkin'
On Thanksgiving Day.

Jive Turkey
Is all that I am, yeah,
Jive Turkey,
I am good as dead.

Love talkin'
Is all very fine, but,
Jive talkin' is surely a crime
To the one somebody

You're trying to eat
Then all that jive' talkin'
Is really not neat.

(Instrumental)

Jive Turkey,
I've got to escape, yeah,
Googly moogly,
There's death in their eyes!

Everybody, they want to eat me,
I've got to get out of
this place right away!

Love talkin'
Is all very fine, but,
Jive talkin' is surely a crime
To the one somebody

You're trying to eat
Then all that jive' talkin'
Is really not neat.

Jive Turkey
(Repeat x2) 

***

Want more awesomeness like this? Join the Four FOols Mailing list to get access to exclusive Four FOols content, free product, and tons of discounts and special offers: http://eepurl.com/NzeVD
Four-Fuls-Logo_onWhite_small.jpg
Don’t miss our latest Four FOols release, Tides of Fate. Already an Amazon Best Seller!
 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PULHL6K
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PULHL6K

11-27-14 Writing Warm-up
7:00 AM

11-27-14 Writing Warm-up

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


11-26-14 Writing Warm-up
Artwork © Michael O'Hare, All Rights Reserved - http://crazymic.deviantart.com/
Characters (Juggernaut, Batman) © Marvel Comics, DC Comics, respectively, All Rights Reserved
Story © Brannon Hollingsworth, All Rights Reserved
Brought to you by Four Fools Press: “Crazy Good Stories”

Once upon a time, there were two brothers. One brother, named Juggernaut, was far larger, and stronger than the other, and he had a penchant for getting terribly angry. The younger brother, named Batman, was far faster, and smarter than the other, and he had a penchant for getting terribly even.

As it happens, one day these two fellows fell into a dispute about who should clean their cave...er...room. Juggernaut, who was rarely in the cave...er...room, thought that Batman should clean it.

"After all, it's him who's most often in it!" he bellowed. "It's him it's named after!" he cried.

Batman simply stood and scowled, saying nothing. However, Batman felt that it should be Juggernaut that cleaned the cave, as it was Juggernaut that made the most messes. Everyone knew that Juggernaut was slovenly and careless and loved wrecking things. It was simply logical that Juggernaut should clean up his own fowl, accursed mess.

Besides, Batman felt that he had more important things to do--like avenging parents that Juggernaut completely ignored.

So, a fight occurred. It was a titanic struggle, with the stronger and the larger Juggernaut pitting his titanic might against the smaller, the quicker, and the smarter Batman. Titanic though it was, it ended fairly quickly...

...And Juggernaut had to clean the CAVE.

However, Batman took them both to see The Avengers at the Drive-Thru in his new, convertible Batmobile, so in the end, it wound up being about even.

And they both lived happily ever after.

...

..

.

Well, except for Batman. He wasn't exactly happy...

***

Want more awesomeness like this? Join the Four FOols Mailing list to get access to exclusive Four FOols content, free product, and tons of discounts and special offers: http://eepurl.com/NzeVD
Four-Fuls-Logo_onWhite_small.jpg
Don’t miss our latest Four FOols release, Tides of Fate. Already an Amazon Best Seller!
 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PULHL6K
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PULHL6K

11-26-14 Writing Warm-up
7:00 AM

11-26-14 Writing Warm-up

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


11-25-14 Writing Warm-up
Artwork © Jonas Åkerlund, All Rights Reserved - http://gerezon.deviantart.com/
Story and Characters © Brannon Hollingsworth, All Rights Reserved
Brought to you by Four Fools Press: “Crazy Good Stories”

"I'm telling you, Doctor. I don't know what is wrong with her." Nurse Sheffield looked a little worn around the edges; very likely she'd been pulling some extra hours. She needed all the money she could get now that her husband had up and left. He'd done it in the heart of winter, if you could believe that, without even so much as a by your leave.

Dr. Cox rubbed her temples, the corner of her left eye beginning to twitch ever so slightly. She didn't really have time for this. It didn't matter though. She had problems her own aplenty, but that'd never stopped her before. "How was she when she came in?"

Nurse Sheffield cut a red-lined, bleary set of eyes down the corridor, towards what used to be the Pediatrics Wing but had recently been remodeled as an Out-Patient Area. "S..she was fine. No worse off than usual, I guess."

"Well, tell me why was she down there in the first place?" Dr. Cox snipped a bit. She hated being catty, honestly she did; but sometimes it was as if Patty Sheffield just outright went looking for trouble.

The younger blonde nurse caught the tone, but she seemed more willing to simply bypass the entire conversation altogether, as opposed to getting into a row with her boss. "I very clearly told her not to, Dr. Cox. I cannot say why she did what she did, but something must be done. She's frightening the patients."

There was something about Patty's subdued and passive tone that set Dr. Cox's teeth on edge and made her scalp crawl just a little bit. She'd never known Nurse Sheffield to back down from a confrontation...

Patty was still talking, "...ink I should be allowed to continue to my rounds now, if that is permissible, Doctor?"

Dr. Cox raked her fingers through her shoulder-length, thin brown hair--she realized that she'd forgotten to use conditioner that morning--and nodded. "Sure, Patty. Sure. Sorry, I did not mean to come down hard on you."

Nurse Sheffield had turned on a heel at "Suu" and started walking away.

Dr. Kimberly Cox sighed and stepped into Exam Room #1. Lord knew she did NOT get paid enough to deal with stuff like this...

Inside was a small girl in teal hospital scrubs and bare feet. An over-sized, teddy-bear colored sweat shirt was slopped over her teal scrub top and covered her head, bared by chemo. Dr. Cox knew that the sweat had once read "UAB" and had been given to the little girl by an older sister. An IV stand stood silent vigil beside her, it's tubes still clasping onto her small, wracked body in several places like a mother refusing to cut the final ties to her child. She had the biggest, bluest eyes of any child Dr. Cox had ever seen in her twenty-four years of practice, not to mention her entire life. She was absolutely beautiful.

The doctor smiled with her eyes, but it didn't reach her lips. "Molly, why do I have to keep telling you not to go into the Pediatrics Wing? You know you're not allowed in there anymore."

"But why, Doctor Kim? It's where I belong..." The lights in the exam room twinged a bit, flickering. The girl's small still face fell inward at the perception of the doctor's displeased tone. She faded a little bit - part of her head and body simply vanishing into nothingness...

...as ghosts are sometimes wont to do.

***

Want more awesomeness like this? Join the Four FOols Mailing list to get access to exclusive Four FOols content, free product, and tons of discounts and special offers: http://eepurl.com/NzeVD
Four-Fuls-Logo_onWhite_small.jpg
Don’t miss our latest Four FOols release, Tides of Fate. Already an Amazon Best Seller!
 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PULHL6K
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PULHL6K

11-25-14 Writing Warm-up
6:44 AM

11-25-14 Writing Warm-up

Monday, November 24, 2014


11-24-14 Writing Warm-up
Artwork © Grosnez, All Rights Reserved - http://grosnez.deviantart.com/
Story and Characters © Brannon Hollingsworth, All Rights Reserved
Brought to you by Four Fools Press: “Crazy Good Stories”

Hóng yī padded as quietly as he could through the Bramblewood. His red-and-white furred face pinched into a grimace. The boots stifled him, confining his lower paws, often causing him to stumble and misstep. He was not used to them, but he could not deny their usefulness. They masked his scent and left absolutely no trace of his passing. For them, and for the Sect of Seven, who had given him these wonderful gifts, he was eternally thankful.

It was now his job to use these gifts and the gifts the Crafter had instilled within him to rid this tangled forest of the plague which had befallen it. Hóng yī did not enjoy the taking of life. He was shēnghuó ménjiàng in his native tongue. The closest he could make it into the harsh-sounding language of his fellow Sect-members was: life keeper. But now, he had little choice. The Fallen had begun infecting and infesting the natural creatures of the forests of the Bramblewood. The creatures were no longer well, suffering from horrible diseases and mutations: massive pus-filled boils, horrible deformities, twisted growths of horn and bone jutting forth from their bodies, and more. These poor creatures had to be put down. They had to be culled from the Bramblewood's lines and herds, so that which was within them could no longer spread.

They had to be culled. Before it was too late.

Hóng yī spotted his quarry and froze like a statue before the Emerald Gate. It was as he'd suspected. The beast was large, with fearsome back-swept horns and deep, shaggy russet fur. Possibly a mutation of the Saola, what many of the Bolikhamxa natives in the near-by mountains still referred to as a 'unicorn'. Hóng yī grimaced for the second time this hunt: perverting and twisting a unicorn was by far and away a thing that would interest the Fallen. The poor thing barely resembled the creature that it once was.

The fire of vengeance burned in Hóng yī's furry belly. He wanted to make Them pay for what they had done to this fair creature. He wanted to make Them scream and beg for mercy. He wanted to twist Their forms and cause them pain and agony, just like what this poor creature was feeling now. Deft paws of white-tipped-red flew, and in the span of half-a-heartbeat, one of Hóng yī's red-fletched arrows (Roksana had called them cardinals) cut through the frosty air and slammed into the twisted creature's neck.

The beast turned towards Hóng yī and roared. It was the sound of a lion, out of the mouth of a lamb! Hóng yī's amber eyes widened with horror and realization. His haste--his lust for revenge--had made him hasty. He had missed! Now, the massive, enraged, and demonically-empowered beast was bearing down on him with murder in it's all-too-intelligent eyes.

Hóng yī slung his bow over his head and quickly scampered up one of the ubiquitous tangles of roots and branches all around him. His booted foot hit a well-worn spot (likely from the rubbing of the Saola) and shot out from under him. The Life Keeper felt his claws reflexively extend within his boot, but to no avail--he was falling!

With a tiny, but fierce, growl, Hóng yī slammed his front, right paw into the branch upon which he'd just been climbing. A thunderous roar and a titanic shudder wracked the entire tree and he nearly fell, again--

Right into the awaiting, needle-filled maw of the possessed unicorn beneath him. The creature howled again, the reverberating bellow rattling snow from the trees all around, and pounded it's horned head into the trunk of the tree again. It was trying to knock the Life Keeper from his precarious perch!

Hóng yī had to do something, and quickly. He could not hold on forever. Then, a light dawned behind his amber eyes. Pulling with one paw, he strained, trying to gain purchase with the other. No sooner had his ebony claws sunk into the wood than the Fallen-infused Saola slammed into the tree's trunk again, breaking his hold. Dangling by one paw, the small Xióngmāo gritted his pointy teeth and began kicking off his boots.

Sensing that something was afoot, the foul beast beneath him howled again, ramming its thick, antlered skull against the tree over and over again.

'Like a thing possessed,' thought Hóng yī.

Each shuddering blow, however, only helped the tiny Life Keeper with his task: removing those constraining boots! If he could just hold on for a few more moments...

THUD! THUD! THUD!

Suddenly, off came the first boot, and Hóng yī chittered - a sound of joy and excitement. It elicited an enraged howl from the Fallen creature below. Using his prehensile toes, the red-and-white-furred member of the Sect of Seven quickly removed the other. Then using his free left paw, Hóng yī unslung his bow (oh thank the Maker it was over his left arm) and dropped it, catching it with his left, now un-booted paw.

THUD! THUD! THUD!

The entire forest seemed to be vibrating now. Snow was falling in cascading sheets from the trees. Hóng yī's small black claws were slipping...

Out came a red-tipped cardinal and using his front paw and two now-no-longer-booted rear paws, Hóng yī nocked and fired his bow...

A scream that flattened the Life Keeper's fuzzy tufted ears ripped through the Bramblewood. The red arrow had found it's mark. Hóng yī dropped to the ground, adrenaline pulsing through his tiny frame like the massive beat of a war drum. He replaced his boots, praying a silent prayer of thanks and realizing the massive truth found in the Crafter's words: "Vengeance is mine..."

Hóng yī prayed that he would not forget again.

***

Want more awesomeness like this? Join the Four FOols Mailing list to get access to exclusive Four FOols content, free product, and tons of discounts and special offers: http://eepurl.com/NzeVD
Four-Fuls-Logo_onWhite_small.jpg
Don’t miss our latest Four FOols release, Tides of Fate. Already an Amazon Best Seller!
 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PULHL6K
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PULHL6K

11-24-14 Writing Warm-up
1:00 PM

11-24-14 Writing Warm-up

Sunday, November 23, 2014

We love, love, love writing the Writing Warm-up's for you folks, but we have to be honest - the hardest part is not in the writing, but actually, in the selecting of the images. We like to base each of the Warm-up's on a piece of art and as you might imagine, our hard drives quickly become filled with awesome images that are just screaming to have a story written for each of them.

So, we thought, why not ask the Jesters for help? And here we are! So, check out the images below and post which are your top five in the comments below. We'll tally the top pics and use them over the next few weeks!

Think of it like those radio stations where you control what's played...YOU have the power to decide what stories we write next! Enjoy!
Image #1, White Vampire

Image #2, Creepy Bird Girl

Image #3, Redcap Fight

Image #4, Musket Moustash Man

Image #5, Midnight Battle

Image #6, The Moment

Image #7, Babythulu

Image #8, Ruin Wizard

That's not all of the images - not by a long shot - but that's enough for now. Let us know which ones you want to see first. Post in the comments below!
Writing Warm-up's - which ones?
2:17 PM

Writing Warm-up's - which ones?

Saturday, November 22, 2014


11-22-14 Writing Warm-up
Artwork © Vadozzer, All Rights Reserved - http://vadozzer.deviantart.com/
Story and Characters © Brannon Hollingsworth, All Rights Reserved
Brought to you by Four Fools Press: “Crazy Good Stories”

"So, there I wuz..." Phil slurred, pausing only to pound down the remainder of his second Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. He knew he could not handle a third...he was no Ford Prefect, after all, so he waved the wench over and continued yammering. "S...so der I wuz, ya see, starin' down dis little scrawny guy with a head o' hair like a wool factory 'sploded and a scraggly black beard-"

'Beard?' The giant octopus to Phil's right interrupted. Mentally, of course.

Phil's drinking companion this evening was a Molluskan - a race that it was said had evolved from some of the most primitive life forms in the universe: squids, octopi, and other things that were only tasty when battered and properly fried. Molluskans (who were not known to many, save the most brave, the most daring, and the most well-seasoned Spacers) communicated purely via thought. Phil thought they had a terrible habit of interrupting a story at the worst times.

'I heard that.' The molluskan - whose name happened to be, by some highly improbable and nigh impossible chance, Quil - quipped with no small measure of agitation.

 "Wha? Oh...that. Sss-s-sorry, Quil. Won't happen again. What were you say-er-thinking, again?" Phil managed.

'You said this guy had a beard. So he was human?' Quil queried, neither acknowledging nor accepting Phil's apology.

Phil blinked a couple of times, feeling the twin suns going off behind his eyes. He wondered why he did not have another drink and motioned again to the waitress. He continued talking, and she continued ignoring him. "Er...well, yes. I guess he was. Why?"

'That guy owes me money!' Even if you could not think Molluskan, you could have gotten the anger merely from Quil's mental tone.

Phil, drunk as he was, was intrigued. "Because he has a beard?"

'No! Of course not. I recognized him." Quil replied. His drink--12 year-old Scotch on the rocks, to be exact--was also empty, and his mental irritation was quickly becoming something more. The giant octopus cut his eyes towards the bartender (not that the bartender, or anyone else in the bar could tell) and mrowned*.

Phil burped. It was a loud, semi-explosive event that caused the drink bottles behind the bar to tinkle. That got an eye from the bartender, and while Phil was recovering, his octopidian companion waggled two tentacles and pointed them towards the empties on the table.

Phil waved his hand, clearing the air. "Phew....sorry. So, how'd'ya recognize him?"

Quil looked at Phil like he was stupid, (comparatively, of course, he was) but Phil couldn't tell from the strangely off-setting, blank-eyed gaze before him.

(I mean, really, have you ever looked at an octopus in the eyes? NOTHING BUT EVIL.)

Quil tried to explain, 'I could see him in your mind. Skinny. Coke-bottle glasses with thick black rims, like a Buddy Holly-wanna-be. Goofy sweaters and geeky checkered shirts. Right?'

Phil slammed his hand down on the table and bellowed drunkenly (surprise, surprise), "That's the guy! That's him! I say we gowan get'im and get yer money, buddy!"

The waitress, a Myriapod (a species of nearly-deaf, giantic centipede), skittered over and delivered the pair's drinks with little fanfare. A few of her many legs quickly gathered up the empties as she undulated away.

Quil raised his draft and mmiled**. 'Look out, George. Looks like I'm finally gonna get paid for that script I sold you...'


 * - For those who are not "in the know" when it comes to Molluskans (and yes, we know that is 99.99% of all sentient beings in the Universe), a 'mrown', of course is a mental frown; or at least, the mental equivalent of a frown for a creature that does not physically possess the ability to frown.

** - We would have hoped that you would have figured out by now, but for those SLOW species out there, a mmile is, of course akin to a mrown in that it is a mental smile; or at least, the mental equivalent of a smile for a creature that does not physically possess the ability to smile. 
 

***

Want more awesomeness like this? Join the Four FOols Mailing list to get access to exclusive Four FOols content, free product, and tons of discounts and special offers: http://eepurl.com/NzeVD
Four-Fuls-Logo_onWhite_small.jpg
Don’t miss our latest Four FOols release, Tides of Fate. Already an Amazon Best Seller!
 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PULHL6K
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PULHL6K

11-22-14 Writing Warm-up
8:10 PM

11-22-14 Writing Warm-up

Friday, November 21, 2014


11-21-14 Writing Warm-up
Artwork © Igor Artyomenko, All Rights Reserved - http://haryarti.deviantart.com/ 
Story and Characters © Brannon Hollingsworth, All Rights Reserved
Brought to you by Four Fools Press: “Crazy Good Stories”

'I don't expect them to understand. After all, I am a living...well, technically, unliving...contradiction.'

Roksana shifted ever-so-slightly, feeling the stirring of the cold winter wind, but not sensing its bite. She stared down the length of the arrow's shaft, still--even after all these years--expecting to see the ever-so slight quaver in the arrow's tip. She'd not dealt with muscle fatigue for a long, long time. Being a 'vampir' (as the Germans were calling her kind now) did have its benefits, she mused.

But there was still part of her that was stubbornly--

'Alive and willful,' would have been Deacon's words.

She missed her mentor. Lost to the Ravages, now, she supposed. The thought of her dearest friend and teacher in their twisted claws, suffering, steeled her resolve all the more. She would stand and guard this church until Doomsday if need be. Michael himself would need to sound his silver trump in her undead face before she would drop her arrow's point. She woul--

"S-s-s-shoot him in the face!", the Fallen hissed in her ear, words dissolving into slithering laughter. She flinched, and her stín-šipka, her ebony-shafted shadow arrow, whisked into the darkness.

"Shush, Idzi!" Roksana spat the words through gritted teeth that were far too long and sharp to be human. She coiled her will, like unyielding leaden chains, around the demonic presence inside her. The will flowed into words, spoken and living with a Power all their own: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

Idzi screamed and hissed and fought, as he always did. But he was no match for the Word of God when applied through the will of one of His children.

Even if she was a vampir.

She knew she had to control herself. Self-control was one of the Fruits. Only through them could the Light be manifested. And these people in this village--the same people who hated her, spat upon her, and tried to kill her--they needed her control, her powers. They needed her to be what she was, even if they hated her; for they needed her protection this night, if they wanted to see the dawn that she herself could no longer behold.

It was then that Roksana heard the howls. The živá mrtvola vlkodlaci (zombie werewolves) were coming...and they would be hungry. An ebon arrow slapped against her bow, and with the battle against the spirit won, the battle against the flesh began. 

***

Want more awesomeness like this? Join the Four FOols Mailing list to get access to exclusive Four FOols content, free product, and tons of discounts and special offers: http://eepurl.com/NzeVD
Four-Fuls-Logo_onWhite_small.jpg
Don’t miss our latest Four FOols release, Tides of Fate. Already an Amazon Best Seller!
 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PULHL6K
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PULHL6K


11-21-14 Writing Warm-up
12:01 PM

11-21-14 Writing Warm-up

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Four Fools Press is pleased to announce that our most recent offering, Tides of Fate, has already reached #7 on the Amazon Best Sellers List (Top 100 Free - http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Kindle-Store-Historical-Thrillers/zgbs/digital-text/6361463011/ref=zg_bs_fvp_p_f_6361463011?_encoding=UTF8&tf=1) within just a few hours of its initial release! We are super excited and invite you all to share this message and be sure to head over and download a copy of this first thrilling installment of the Erlik Saga for free right now - help us to make it to #1!!!

http://www.amazon.com/Tides-Fate-Erliks-R-Hunsinger-ebook/dp/B00PULHL6K/


Congratulations to Tides of Fate's author, R. R. Hunsinger, and the entire Four Fools Team!


(WOW!!! We'd not even publicly announced it's RELEASE YET!)



And, here's the screen-shot to prove it:



Tides of Fate makes Amazon's Top Ten!
4:52 PM

Tides of Fate makes Amazon's Top Ten!



11-20-14 Writing Warm-up
Artwork © Chuck Pires (Owned by Wandering Men Studios), All Rights Reserved - http://chuck-piresart.deviantart.com/ 
Story and Characters © Ken Naga, All Rights Reserved
Brought to you by Four Fools Press: “Crazy Good Stories”


(An excerpt of Upstart, by Ken Naga, coming in 2015 from Four Fools Press)

A cold barrel jammed into my eye socket, jarring me from sleep—it was not the best way to wake up.

“Get up, you stinkin’ scab! GET. UP.” The last two words were punctuated by a steel-toed boot playing hopscotch on my ribs. Broken asphalt—my bed—dug into my back. It was weird, sleeping under the skeletons of the ruined overpasses of two once-great but now ancient interstates: 565 and 559. It was like lying on the picked-clean bones of commerce and prosperity.

Another kick, this one followed by a harsh curse.

Like most sane people, I really don’t like being awoken. I’m really not partial to being awoken by a gun barrel in my eye and a boot in the ribs. I’d have to say I kinda hate it, actually. I hate it almost as much as I hate cursing. It’s just so very…unimaginative and unnecessary.

“Get a thesaurus, you clod,” I growled.

The GPF—Government Protection Force—agent cocked his masked and goggled head like a confused mutt. “Huh?”

My rage boiled out of me like a molten gout of pure inferno, and I blasted the guy thirty feet straight up into the air. He didn’t have time to pull the trigger or even make a sound before he slammed into the underside of the overpass. My power makes no noise, but I’m pretty sure that the tree-trunk pillar of blazing energy caught a few eyes, though. The panicked screams began erupting around me like popcorn:

“What in the-?”

“Max? What happened to Max?”

“Help! Oh God, somebody help us!”

“We’ve got a CODE  BLACK on our hands! I repeat: CODE BLACK! We have a rogue Super here! Send backup!”

I rolled to my feet, taking in the scene. Standard issue GPF Team: five guys, only one with any semblance of training or experience. I knew if I did not take him out first, I was done for…I’ve handled GPF teams before and, unlike most, lived to tell the tale. These guys had already called for backup, though; I didn’t know if I could handle an entire Squad on my own. They’d be here soon. I glanced at the cloud-clotted skies; it was still early, and that might work to my favor.

I prayed the bulk of the GPF’ers were still sipping their morning joe and pulling on their fancy black body armor while they chatted about last night’s GALnet comedies—or whatever the heck these guys did in the morning.

“Stand DOWN! I repeat, Stand DOWN!” One of the GPF agents—the shortest of the bunch—had his rifle trained on me. There was only a little jiggle in the pitch-black death hole at the end of the weapon, so I figured that this guy had at least fired one before. Most of the GPF’ers were little more than gangbangers, thieves, or thugs that’d been conscripted. Times were really tough, and ironically, sometimes not even crime paid. Unless you worked for the corrupt government, I guess.

I raised my hands, adding a little jiggle of my own to them. “Oh…oh…ok! I…I give up! P…please don’t hurt me! It was an accident! I don’t know what happened…”

The broken pavement grated underfoot as the Lead GPF Agent took a cautious step closer. The black tactical mask undulated where his jaw should have been. I assumed he was keying his mouth-mic. “Everyone. Fan out into a DELTA pattern, keyed on me. Subject is surrendering.”

I grinned, chuckling. I sing-songed the GPF motto, ubiquitous in presence and insidious in nature: “We’re the GPF, and we’re here to help!” I tried my best to layer in as much ironic displeasure as possible.

“Excuse me?” the Lead Agent asked. His voice was laced: half confusion, half fear.

Raw, directed hatred blasted from my hands and slammed into the Lead Agent like a Mac truck.

Bones popped and crackled like sticks on a fire, and the Agent’s scream squalled into the radios of his team. I caught sight of one of them as he jerked in response—his leader’s death cries likely piercing his eardrums. I knew what was coming next and broke into a dead run for some cover; luckily there were plenty of old wrecks, rusted barrels, and the general flotsam of a civilization in decay scattered nearby.

Chips of pavement, stone, and asphalt began flying like a caustic cloud as the sounds of rifle-fire exploded all around me. I tried to blink the stinging dust from my eyes while I tried desperately to avoid an even more stinging slug of lead. They had the high ground, and I was a proverbial fish in a proverbial barrel. I was trapped, and they had reinforcements coming in—this was really shaping up to be a bad morning.

Everything around me was as slick as snot; it had rained most of the night, and it was still very early. What little wan sunlight that might soon elect to bathe Kiln for the day had not yet risen. I hit a patch of slime, or barf, or who knows what, and my slick-bottomed, worn-out boots did little to provide traction. I went down in a tumble, my ankle twisting. Pain gleefully ripped a jagged path into my calf from the base of my foot, and I stifled a scream.

Ricochets resounded from the metal and concrete maze around me like a chaotic symphony. Beneath those sounds of impatient, hungry death, I could make out the panicked screams of the remaining members of the GPF team. I knew I had to keep them off-balance so I could make a run for it…my only hope was their impatience, their panic, their fear.

I channeled my own fear, mixing it with the hot red swirls of anger and frustration and tossing in a dash of guilt for the two men I’d already ended this morning. I popped up from my hidey-hole and directed four quick blasts in random directions. I didn’t even see what they hit—if, in fact, they hit anything—and then ran-hobbled towards the interstate on-ramp. I ducked and dodged amid ragged weeds and rusted wrecks that had been there for what looked like eons.

Every step made me want to scream bloody murder. It felt like someone was jabbing a serrated ice pick into my leg just below the calf. A bullet zinged off a burnt-out husk of a jeep beside me. I whipped around and flung my arms in two massive arcs, peppering the entire area before me with blasts forged from my raw will and anger. I heard a cry from what sounded like a woman, and then saw one of the GPF Agents topple over the interstate railing. I spun and was able to gain a few steps before hearing the sickening crunch.

I kept running.

The top of the on-ramp loomed before me: stark, open and almost devoid of cover. Sweat dripped in my eyes, and my breath came in ever-slowing pulls. I prayed that I had enough juice left. I mentally wrapped a protective shield of raw emotion over my back, envisioning a picture of a turtle I’d seen in one of Vox’s books. Bullets pinged off my shielded back, and I shuddered with each blow, keenly felt but thankfully harmless. I briefly entertained the thought that I just might make it out of this mess.

That was when the hovercraft showed up.

***

Want more awesomeness like this? Join the Four FOols Mailing list to get access to exclusive Four FOols content, free product, and tons of discounts and special offers: http://eepurl.com/NzeVD


Four-Fuls-Logo_onWhite_small.jpg
SUTSID_FINAL.jpg

11-20-14 Writing Warm-up
2:00 AM

11-20-14 Writing Warm-up