Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Three Sentence Challenge - "Same Time, Same Place"

This week's explanation of the flash fiction challenge may very well end up being longer than the fiction itself. I missed last week's (which sucks), but am incredibly excited for this week's challenge. Chuck wants to make us jump through his little flaming whoop of death and perform like circus pen monkeys for him. We get three sentences for the whole story, and he does mean story. He wants a beginning, middle, and end. It's like a prose haiku. As always, let me know what you think!

Same Time, Same Place

The colossal unearthly warrior stomped out the hopes and dreams of this year's game. Our best champion yet, and she couldn't hold her own against the alien master for more than sixty seconds. The cruelest punishment they dished out was the dream we could ever win our freedom.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Snake in the Grass

It's that time again where I go in for another one of Chuck Wendig's Terrible Minds writing prompt. I'm a little late this week, but better hump day than never is what I always say (I never say this). This week's prompt is a bit different. Pick a cocktail name, write a story about it. This time, however, we only get 500 words, and the whole thing still has to be a complete story. I know next to nothing about mixed drinks outside of a good ole' brandy old fashion sweet, so I went looking for a name that sounds cool and rand with it. Behold, the Snake in the Grass. I'm pretty proud to say that I didn't waste a word and ended with exactly 500 on the dot. Anyway, on with the show!

He slouched against the grimy wall and waited for the search light to pass over his hiding spot. Two days ago he began running. Every moment he stopped to take a breath was another moment he gave them to find him. Jack wasn't wrongly accused. There was no crooked cop on the inside framing him for a crime he didn't commit. No, Jack was a very bad man who had done very bad things. Still, out of all the names you could have given him, Jack was no liar. He refused to lie to himself - he was completely guilty of the crimes fueling his pursuit. Worse yet, he couldn't deny the pleasure he experienced from his mindlessly-violent acts. Regardless of all that, he couldn't risk capture. Jail he might enjoy, but he knew this time they'd be forced to kill him for the things he'd done. He still had so many more things he wanted to try before what he assumed would be an inevitably early death.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Another Night Out

It's this weeks flash fiction entry into Chuck Wendig's Terrible Minds writing challenge! This week we have a 1,000 words and 60 unusable stock photos to choose from to inspire us. I chose the picture to the right here, number 20. I don't know what I just wrote, so you read it and tell me what you think! Thanks! 

The girls giggled together, not nearly as drunk as they might appear. They crossed arms over shoulders and formed a two-woman kick line as they danced to Baby Got Back by the great Sir Mix-A-Lot. They'd never seen this dive before tonight and would likely forget about the job two days from now. The three ugly bikers with long beards, the only other patrons in the Black Tomorrow, stared on in blissful oblivion at the unexpected show.

Ginger and Robin had heard about this grimey little pub and its regulars just a couple days before now and couldn't resist the temptation. They always pressed their luck and bit off a little more than they could chew. It didn't matter, somehow they always got out alive without too much damage done or bad memories sticking around. Things always did seem to get fuzzy near the end of their nights out.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Workin' for the Weekend.

Hey! It's this week's flash challenge from Chuck Wendig at Terrible Minds. This week's challenge is titled "The Portrait" and follows the normal rules. 1,000 words, any genre and style, and the inspiration is the creepifying picture you see to the right here. Enjoy, and as always, feedback is highly appreciated!

"Smile." Jake said with burnt enthusiasm. He figured he was batting about 300. One little victory in three was good enough for him. He never had a talent for it, but he always tried, even when he didn't really care at all. Like right now. The bulb radiated its instant pulse and a moment later they were left in that room. His room. His cell. He knew the kid's smile, if it was ever there in the first place, vanished just as quickly as the blinding man-made light.

He dreamt of being a photographer - open his own little studio. He made his way through the drudge of English, the perplexing Algebra, and the myopic Chemistry in high school by taking little mental snapshots constantly of his friends, teachers, classrooms, pencils, whatever he laid his eyes on. All that practice at escaping the mundane by celebrating its ubiquity and what did he get out of it? A debt for life to art school. A small crappy shop barely supporting two rooms, and all the faux-wood paneling surrounding him casting grim aspirations towards an early death and a coffin made of balsa.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Anachronauts Comic Proposal - in honor of Harry Houdini

In honor of it being Harry Houdini's birthday today, I though it was the perfect time to repost one of my old comic pitches I threw up over at Thought Balloons. The character prompt was Ash from Evil Dead and Army of Darkness fame. I hope you enjoy it!

The Concept 

First issue of a brand new series. The first five pages depict a stage show from 1905. It’s Harry Houdini performing an escape trick upside down, under water, and in a strait jacket. The view goes back and forth between the stage, audience, and a certain Mr. Ashley Williams in a period-appropriate suit with a leather glove over his right hand, clearly indicating this is post-Army of Darkness.

Handcuffs - Page 6

Panel 1 - Houdini is backstage in his dressing room after the show getting ready to go greet his adoring audience The SFX is on the dressing room door.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Space God Baby.

It was the end of everything. 

It was energy death on the widest scale possible. 

Entropy would soon reign over all as cold silence spread in the blink of an eye across all of creation. 

The universe took its last gasp before the lights went out. 

The last child was birthed from the womb of a frozen world.

He opened his eyes. He weeped at what he saw.

And thus Merlin awoke all that was to become all that is. 

Something was moving in the darkness. Scratch that, it was somethings. The elite Honor Guard moved through the rubble of a cold planet, one among countless others. Rupe, the captain of the Guard had learned since his awakening to not question their young prince's judgment. He was among the first to thaw out from the cold, and when his lord looked him in the eyes, he could not believe he survived the end of all things - the apocalypse. It came quickly and quietly, and within a moment every person alive laid down for an eternal, frozen sleep.

Before he was reborn he heard him crying. Rupe could not yet open his eyes, but he saw the infant wrapped in gold shedding a blinding light upon him. Nearby the babe laid helpless in the cold. He was the only light in the universe and impossible to miss. His warmth spread over Rupe and possessed him with the will to stand. He still had yet to open his eyes, but was guided by the light to find the newborn. Others stirred nearby, but Rupe was first to lay hands upon the princely infant.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

First Impressions.

Martin placed his knuckles gently on the withered wooden door to her room. He had intended to knock but lost the nerve just before contact and instead floated in front of her threshold like an idiot. Just like every night they've almost shared together, he was paralyzed. He couldn't act, but he couldn't look back either. He lifted his hand and tried to work up the courage to get her attention; to get her out in the hallway. Sweat dripped down his temples and he felt his palms moistening. Someone must have jacked the heat up when he wasn't looking. Without thought, he rushed back to his cold, empty room, alone. His door latched and seconds later the blonde bombshell next door could be heard stepping out to answer his phantom knock.

"Hello?" She asked like she asked every night they spent apart together. He stood there in his room with the lights off, breath held, feeling compelled beyond belief to speak. Just like every other night, he was confronted without the means to do so. Her door slammed, and he slouched in to the ragged easy chair in the corner of his room.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Attempt #3

As you can see this is, by my counting, my third attempt at writing this up and sharing with anyone around who might read it. You see, I thought our family was happy and comfortable, but these past few days one of our family members, Harry, has been acting a little strange. I keep starting to write this, and then he enters the room. I quickly close out the window and do my best to distract myself. It's not that I actually believe he can read the words I'm writing, but rather I get this feeling that he's really good at reading what people are thinking. Anyway, I think he's gone to sleep for now which means that, even if my wife doesn't believe what I have to say, this is my chance to try to reach someone out there who does. I also have the excuse this time of writing this for a writing prompt from Chuck Wendig's blog, Terrible Minds. I figure if I can focus on this as a fictional story rather than the desperate plea for help to anyone who might listen he might not be able to read me. This might be my only chance.

We have a nightly ritual around here. The wife and I get into bed, Harry comes in and jumps on the bed starving for attention, and we lavish him with love. Afterwards Harry goes off and does whatever it is that he does at night, and Andrea and I blissfully fall asleep.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Rest Stop

It was at hour seven that Tom found himself driving, half asleep in the middle of the night, pondering his existence. It wasn’t the vague existential pondering a Tibetan monk might find himself enjoying. No, Tom was very much “in the now” as he had hours to go before finishing his overnight trek across two states. He prayed for signs of civilization. The last farm he saw was over 100 miles back, and the country road he traveled was unlit and unfamiliar. The low fog dispersing his headlights didn’t help much, and he quickly surmised an irrational plot that made it impossible for him to feel safe pulling over to the side of the road for a quick catnap.

At some point he had entered hill country, and each time he rolled over one of the looming hills his hopes for any variation in the scenery were crushed. He mumbled improvised prayers to whoever was listening to help him find some place where he could stop for a while, maybe get a meal from a good Samaritan, and be on his way renewed for the last leg of his journey.

Someone was listening. As he peaked over the next giant hill, a white light filled his windshield. He could see that the all-encompassing fog actually laid quite low. He was only a couple hundred yards away from a farm with a bright white light sitting at the top of a lonely silo. Given almost any other circumstance, Tom would never have pursued this next step, but he was desperate. He pulled left down the curvy gravel driveway. He didn’t realize how far the farm sat off the road. As he reached the end he realized it would be impossible to back out on his own in the impenetrable darkness.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My Mother's Story

My mom's family used to own a farm out in the country about 10 minutes from the nearest small town. The farm was the family business, and this was before farmers had machines that could do everything. Everyone would help out with the harvesting and the milking. This meant lots of early mornings and late nights where the house was empty of all working-aged family members. Cows simply can’t be bothered to be ready to be milked at two o’clock in the afternoon.

My mom has an older brother and three older sisters, and she's 10 years younger than the next youngest sister. What this means, besides the fact that God decided grandma and grandpa weren't done having kids, is that my Aunt Judy, the second youngest, was down on the farm across the old country road with all the other grown-ups doing farm work while my mom was left alone in the house often as a child. One of her favorite shows was Lost in Space, but she always told me how much the aliens scared her. This being a farm family, my Grandpa never was one to waste a cent, and so my mom was only allowed the lights on in the room she currently occupied. You better believe she'd catch hell from Grandpa the next day if he ever saw both the living room and kitchen lights on at the same time. The house wasn't huge by any means, but it did have two stories and an exposed basement in the back of the house full with back door that had been sealed shut long ago - before my mom was even born - by my grandpa.

New Post for a New Blog!

I've decided that I wanted one central place where I could put all the stuff I write, so here we are! I'm going to be keeping this blog focused on the fiction I come up with, and so you'll be seeing a lot of one page comic scripts from Thought Balloons, flash fiction entries for the flash fiction prompts over at Terrible Minds, and lots of other little odds and ends. I'm going to try to keep my labels very specific and generally at a low number so it's easier to navigate throughout the blog and see past posts of a particular/peculiar type.

If you're interested in reading my other stuff, pop over to The Hopeless Gamer where I write about all forms of tabletop gaming and generally riff on the hobby as a whole. I can't guarantee I'll be posting much exclusive content here that doesn't appear elsewhere, but to that end, it will also serve as a repository for myself and a public space I can point people to read more of the words I string together into awkwardly-long sentences.

Finally, you can always email me at paulvogtwrites@gmail.com I hope you enjoy what you read here, and please, by all means, leave a comment for any feedback or questions you might have!