Sometimes the Elderly offer their own solutions
Mitre left her home this morning as she had every morning as far back as she could remember, descending concrete steps to sand and sea, her two hands guiding her, clenched on a rusted iron railing. Twenty feet from the bottom stair, at the end of a path made of sun bleached and half burnt boards, white iron chairs held vigil over the ocean. Mitre made her way there and found her seat.
The morning was an ocean rich fog. Closer to the waves, gulls and sandpipers plagued crabs and clams. Far away and cresting the waves, the sun broke through the clouds. The mist hung just enough for Mitre to see the sun’s outline and face.
Mitre cooed as the sun winked at her, hiding behind clouds, playing a game. At first the old woman was confused. She scanned the horizon but the sun could not be found.
Again the sun peeked and hid from her. Mitre jumped and clapped wrinkling hands. Comprehension began to mask her face. She understood.
The sun stretched its arms across the ocean’s expanse to hold her. Somewhere inside, the chaos of her thoughts found order. There was a memory of being held in someone’s arms.
She left her chair and started towards the water. The gentle waves gave no crest to stop her. She left the sand and splashed into the water, hands outstretched to grasp her ancient lover’s arms.
The sun waited, not moving. Mitre fought the waist deep water, the cold numbing and the sun embracing. Breathing was difficult. She stopped and winced as her chest spasmed.
“Mother! Come back!”
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When wildlife respects you, you’re someone to be feared
My writing coach suggested I add a scene to The Augmented Man that demonstrates Trailer’s “alpha-ness” in the woods, basically that he’s the uberpredator and even top predators fear him.
But Trailer, in the woods among wildlife, isn’t feared in the way my coach wanted me to depict him. Animals in the wild acknowledge each other and little more. They do not threaten unless they are threatened, they do not attack unless there is no other choice. They won’t attack you unless you’re stupid and they are ravenously hungry or diseased.
So I wrote the following because it 1) depicts Trailer’s status in the wild, 2) shows relatively early on that he’s not the monster everybody assumes he is.
And then I pulled it because – even though I like it a lot – it didn’t fit. It added a scene that is demonstrated elsewhere in the book and at a better place in the narrative.
So what to do with it? As I wrote in Ripping Out the Pattern, I’m saving it for a sequel to The Augmented Man.
Meanwhile, here it is. Let me know what you think.
Continue reading “Trailer, Bear, and Jaguar”
She opened my office door and the room temperature went up ten degrees. She wore a wide brimmed blue fedora that slipped down, covering her face slightly and it was the only loose thing she wore. She was shaped like an hourglass and it was only a few minutes past the hour. Her fedora matched her eyes and there was a cool shower of blond hair framing her northern european features. I noticed this even though I could hear my mother telling me it was impolite to stare.
The lady in the fedora said, “May I come in?”
I was going to comment that some of her all ready had but my tongue was too busy falling out the side of my mouth to form words. “Ungh-nghe,” I said.
Continue reading “MindMaster Case File 455: The UnResponsive Male”
The ultimate battlefield is the human heart
The US government is engaged in a South American war and losing badly. After years of standard and non-standard strategies and tactics failing, the government entertains an often-made suggestion: create supersoldiers. The suggestion is about to be dismissed when (then) Captain James Donaldson adds an outrageous modification: use horribly abused and already traumatized children as the source material. These individuals, Donaldson argues, are already hardened against anything they’ll experience on the battlefield and anything we’ll ask them to do.
Continue reading “The Augmented Man -Synopsis”
What do you do when the ultimate weapon falls in love?
What follows is the first chapter of The Augmented Man. Enjoy (and let me know what you think).
1 April 2053
Trailer closed his eyes and sat at the end of the bar where the cigarette-burned, cheap black Formica countertop met the wall. He eased himself onto the last stool, tucking into the corner in the dim light, a spider hiding out of sight at the edge of its web. His fingers hovered over the cigarette burns closest to him as if divining their cause, sensing them like small, unhealed wounds, seeing the people involved, learning if each burn was an accident or intentional.
The door opened and he smelled the cool April evening on his skin. It was followed by the alcoholic breath and sweat of two men and a woman they supported between them.
Trailer brought his attention back into the bar, collating the activity immediately around him. The barkeeper, a heavy smelling man gnawing a toothpick, his face somewhere between needing a shave and growing a beard, walked over to Trailer. “Yeah?”
Continue reading “The Augmented Man – Surface”