Blogger Tips and TricksLatest Tips And TricksBlogger Tricks

Friday, December 25, 2020

F³ Hat Trick

 

I dropped Cassie off at school, but instead of heading to the office, I went to Nikki’s. The Grind with its grungy, hastily constructed post-Depression facades looked quite at odds with the scattered Christmas decorations. The city only bothered to decorate in Midtown while the Chamber of Commerce sprang for decorations in Fairhaven and Badon Heights. Individual businesses in the Grind did as they pleased. Interestingly, Nikki’s Blackthorn Club sported wreathes and garland on the outside.

That in itself was something, but even going in through her parking garage I found the elevator had similar touches, including white fur trim on the red velvet elevator seat. The festiveness didn’t hold as I wound through the back halls to her apartment, but then a voice from one of the side rooms stopped me before I got there.

“In here, Matthew,” came Nikki’s melodic voice.

I turned into Nikki’s studio. It was suitably messy, disordered with blank canvases and painted ones littering tables and floors. Drop cloths were piled both in neat stacks and ragged lumps all over the place. Nikki wore a painter’s smock and jeans as she pondered the canvas in front of her.

“That trick with the hearing really weirds me out,” I said.

“Perhaps you misattribute it to my senses when it is actually my security cameras.”

“Uh huh. I wish it was that. So what’s got you stumped?”

“And why would you—”

“Furrowed brow, you don’t have your palette, and your hips are cocked. You’re a fist away from doing a standing Rodin’s Thinker.”

“That is a trick that I find even more impressive than my own. I’m afraid that inspiration is a fickle mistress, one that even I cannot easily seduce.”

The canvas wasn’t blank, but it wasn’t easy to tell since most of the canvas was painted white, but I could make out snow covered trees in the background. The foreground, though, held nothing.

“Yeah, I don’t know how to help with that. I just wanted to know if I could coax you into helping me out.”

“With what?”

My voice dropped. “Shopping.”

She looked at me for the first time. “Indeed? I should be happy to . . . is that it?” she pointed to my hat.

“Yup. And you’ll be amazed to see what it can do.”

“Nick imbued it with some of his potent magic? I no longer feel any power emanating from it, nor from you, but such is never anything authoritative. What does it do?”

“Check this out.” I cocked my head to the left, then rapidly flipped it to the right. The puffball on the tip of the hat flipped up and over my head to rest onto my other shoulder. “Impressive, huh?”

Her lips twitched uncontrollably, and then she burst out laughing. “A truly momentous feat, Matthew. Help me change and we’ll begin our epic crusade.”

“It’s just shopping.”

“Not when it’s done with me.”

Okay, maybe this wasn’t such a great idea.

Friday, December 18, 2020

F³ State of Mind

 

My little fire—a little lightning made for a great lighter—was crackling and drying me out quite nicely when the green water rippled and Maddy rose out of the surface. As usual, she was wearing a wetsuit. She grinned at me, but also cocked her head to one side, puzzled.

“This does not seem like a social call,” she said.

I shook my head. “Nope, end of the world kind of thing. You hear about the storm barreling towards Florida?”

She shook her head.

It wasn’t surprising. The Aquarians spent most of their time in the water, so they didn’t exactly have instant access to the web. Even if they had waterproof gear, a signal couldn’t get through the water.

I pulled up my phone and showed her the animated radar map.

“You came up here specifically for my help, not just an Aquarian.”

“Yup, time for us to do the thing.”

She reached out her hand and closed her eyes, concentrating.

I took her hand and also closed my eyes.

The concentration was not a focusing of intent on something. That would actually make things worse. Instead, I focused on shifting myself. I had to reach a different state of mind, one more like hers, while she had to do the same with me. Instead of being the rapid, changeable nature of the winds, I had to smooth it out, go more with the flow. Abrupt changes of mood would give way to evenness and acceptance. I surrendered to the river’s current.

Nothing happened.

I peeked with one eye. Maddy’s face was scrunched in concentration, but I felt nothing.

Maddy always has to be mad at me to get there. Guess it’s time for me to help out.

With my free hand, I made tiny currents of air brush her neck and ears. She shivered. I did it again. I kept it up until she let out a snort of laughter.

“Stop it; that’s distracting.”

“Nope.”

She began to convulse as the air tickled her neck.

“Reilly!”

And then my senses expanded. I could feel the current in the lake. The cold no longer bothered me and my eyes could see down into the water where a small rowboat had sunk, probably decades ago.

I reached out, willing the water to spin and flow into a small water spout, and then crystallize into a small chunk of ice that plopped back to the water.

Maddy reached out, gusting a breeze that rippled against the lake’s waves.

“Let’s do this,” I said, letting loose a green-blue bolt of lightning that catapulted us into the sky.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

The Card Lady

 

Today would have been my mother’s 82nd birthday (12/16/2020). And while I miss her and could just generally talk about how wonderful she was, that would just be empty. I want to actually tell people about who she was.

My mother hated her birthday. She always felt that it was too close to Christmas, so there was really no celebration of her birthday as something separate from Christmas. Growing up, any relatives offering gifts or well-wishing always showed up for Christmas with a belated happy birthday for her.

I always tried to celebrate it as its own holiday, but it was hard because by the time I had come along to recognize her birthday, she was quite over even the ritual of adding another year to her age. For over 20 years she was 39 and holding. When she did recognize her birthday, she didn’t want a physical gift. She preferred a sentimental card or a meal out to eat, usually at her favorite restaurant, Olive Garden (which I am planning to honor, myself).

She was happiest on her birthday when one of her granddaughters and grandsons happened to be born on the same day. To her, it was far more important to celebrate their coming into this world than her own, and constantly demurred her own celebration in favor of theirs. But she was also very proud that they shared her birthday.

While she didn’t like a fuss about her own birthday, she diligently celebrated that of others. Close friends and relatives and members of the ward received cards every year, for birthdays, “get wells,” or even “thinking of you.” But they were all (with the aid of a computer) handmade. This started off as a hobby to fill the time after my Dad had passed away, but quickly became a job she relished and fervently pursued.

For the ones to friends and family, she signed, but to those going out to others, she didn’t want recognition. She believed that she could remain anonymous when creating dozens of cards a year. No, I take that back. She didn’t believe she could remain anonymous, she wanted to remain anonymous. She didn’t want to draw attention to herself. The cards weren’t about her or what she did, but about the person receiving the card.

And to her, it was no big thing, but I saw the hours and hours she pored over their making. She didn’t just choose a design. She customized the graphics and message to each person, to each occasion. She got colored pens and glues with glitter and further decorated each card, spending hours and hours at her desk. This would go on for days as she worked from master lists of birthdays. The pens and glues required time to dry, so every horizontal surface in her room became a place for cards to dry. She would only stop for the day when either she reached the end of her list or she ran out of space for cards to dry.

Of course, you cannot make dozens of cards year after year and people not figure out who was making them. And several times in the ward people wanted to give her credit and make it an official ward calling just for her, but she deflected. So it became an open secret.

I can only guess at how many thousands of cards she created over the years. Despite my pressing, she would never save the cards she created on her computer. She would claim that she just wasn’t that good with computers, but now I think it was that she didn’t want to make the cards about her, and saving them would have been a kind of bragging, a “look at what all I’ve done,” that might draw attention to herself.

Well, I know there are people who got her cards who have held onto them as cherished keepsakes, and I’m sure there will be hints and remembrances of The Card Lady told here and there. But I suppose I get to have the last word on it as I, and I’m sure my brother Ed, will be adding this little bit of story to her biography, forever memorializing what she did.

Friday, December 11, 2020

F³ Wrongness

 

I had reached halfway to my regular fedora on the hat rack next to the garage door when Cassie stopped me.

“Aren’t you forgetting?” she said.

I stopped and shrugged. “Force of habit,” I said. I went back into my bedroom and grabbed the Santa hat from my dresser. I hesitantly put it on, ready for something to happen. Of course, it didn’t.

“Looks good on you,” Cassie smiled.

“It feels wrong.”

“It doesn’t fit?”

“No, it’s a perfect fit, like it was tailor-made for me.”

“Then what?”

“It’s not a fedora. Detectives wear fedoras.”

Cassie rolled her eyes at me as we left the house.

“What? It’s a legitimate complaint.”

 

Friday, December 4, 2020

F³ Message Delivery

 

Even from thousands of feet in the air, Lake Huron was enormous. Superior and Michigan got all the attention, but Huron was actually the number two lake. They were all so gigantic that they had shipping lanes, like seas. A number of ships sailed on these lanes, carrying cargo, some shuttling passengers, and there were always more recreational boats out on the water.

I used a cloudboard to surf down to the southern end of Great Duck Island. It was a tiny island, even for the Great Lakes, but it was undeveloped and was the agreed-on meeting point. Unfortunately, she didn’t know I was coming. A few calls had just been met with voice mail, which meant that she was likely underwater.

I waded into the frigid water, cursing every inch I sank in.

People who swim in this are insane. Just get it done, fast.

Deep inside me, lightning surged and tumbled around in my gut. I was going to let it out, but had to change it, first. A pinpoint lightning strike would kill a lot of the fish wherever it hit, but that wasn’t what I was going for. What I needed was for a well-branched lightning that would dissipate throughout most of the lake. I slipped my hands into the water, shivering, but then concentrated, imagining the path the lightning would take. It was harder with the water, which constantly shifted. Even though air constantly shifted, it wasn’t as dense, making it easier to keep the ionic channels intact.

Perfect wasn’t necessary, though, and I even wanted the lightning to go its own way as much as possible. I just didn’t want it concentrated enough to kill anyone. Finally, it was as good as I was going to get, and I let out a massive discharge into the water. There was no flash of light or boom of thunder since I was already in the water, not even a pop or sizzle. One moment it was inside me, the next it had exited out my fingers. I repeated it two more times for a total of three pulses, one short, one long, one short.

I pulled myself out of the freezing water and sat on the gravelly beach. Waiting.

I hate this part.

Friday, November 27, 2020

F³ The Hat

 

“Twas the day after Thanksgiving, the house held no peace

I regretted Black Friday spending, to the delight of my niece;

Cassie danced around the tree, decorating without a care;

While I rummaged through ornament boxes, trying not to swear;

“One of these years,” I promised her there, “I will write it all down.”

Finding my prize, I passed to her, where she set the star on the tree’s crown.

The tree all decorated, and the lights outside glowing;

We settled in to watch Charlie Brown as it started snowing.

When from down the hall there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the couch to see what was the matter.

Cautiously down the hall, I wasn’t going to do anything rash,

I peered in my bedroom closet, where I hid my Christmas stash.

High on the shelf a box shuddered and rocked

My wondering eyes did stare, for I was quite shocked.

Down it jumped, losing its lid, a cap inside, a letter tucked in the band.

I sighed and remembered I had agreed to the elf’s demands.

“Happy Thanksgiving!” the letter began, “Your dinner was good?”

“Keep the turkey, but send me a slice of pie, if you would?”

I knew from the humor, it must be St. Nick.

I skimmed down a bit, hoping to cut to the quick.

“The season is upon us now; your parole is quite over.

You have a job to do, no time for eating leftovers.

With the cap on your head, Santa’s Helper you’ll be.”

I paused in my reading, sighing loudly, “Why me?”

“Because, Matt, for many years, you’ve been quite nice.

Now you can help the naughty avoid choosing vice.

You can start with someone, who has been very naughty,

Your vampire friend, is she always so haughty?”

“Oh, is that all?” I said with great sass.

I’d forgotten that Nick could be such an —

“Uncle Matt, are you okay?” said Cassie from the door.

“I’m fine, just something I can no longer ignore.

I’ll be out in a minute would you get us some cocoa?”

I went back to the letter, wishing I could veto.

“Unlike the Grinch, whose heart was too small;

He needed only to hear the song’s call.

Not so with the lady, for her heart went dark;

Centuries of anger and strife left their mark.

But in recent years, thanks to you, now a glow

Of the warm girl I remember begins to show.”

Caution! Warning! This is not a game to be played!”

The force of these words made me quite afraid.

“Beware the temptation to tally the score.

For deeds from the heart are never a chore.

For Nice to surpass Naughty is never the goal;

Only that the holiday spirit adds light to the soul.”

There’d be no weighing of souls, no trial;

She would just have to make someone smile

With the holiday joy that all delighted to feel.

The purpose of Christmas was simply to heal.

“Now put on the hat! ’Tis the season to be of good cheer!

For your bonus, I’ll see you before the New Year.”

Out on the porch, Cassie sipped cocoa as the snow fell.

I smiled and hugged her, saying, “All is well.

I’ve a new case, to make this Christmas season merry and bright!”

“Keep it down!” yelled my neighbor, “It’s the middle of the night!”

Friday, November 20, 2020

F³ Cavalry

 

“Fear not, the cavalry has arrived,” Jack Dailey announced as he and three dozen others touched down on the cloud.

I gave a tiny golf clap, followed by a middle finger.

“Good to see you, too, Reilly. Anyone got anything approaching a plan?”

“Stop it before it reaches land?” Kate suggested.

“I said plan, not goal.”

“Fuck you, too, Jack.”

“We can negotiate a threesome later. Time to focus on the matter at hand. Anyone got a way to divert or break this bad boy up?”

Blank faces looked back.

“Can we confirm that there is a storm inside the eye?” One of the other European contingent said with a German accent.

Esteban nodded. “I have flown over it and confirmed it. The storm in the center is not as intense, perhaps a category 3, but it does complicate things.”

“How?” Said a woman I couldn’t identify, but I thought it was an Italian accent.

“They share mass and momentum,” Jack and I said.

Jack looked at me appraisingly, then nodded.

“Well, it’s too big to divert,” Nat said. “I think the best we can hope for is to break it into pieces, hope that they don’t form their own storms. It’s still hundreds of miles away. If we can get enough air moving from this far out, we can hit it with a hammer and see what breaks off.”

Several nodded in agreement. Anna-Maria began making assignments about how to do it. The great thing about storm riders was that our ginormous egos didn’t give a shit when it came to getting things done in the face of Armageddon.

Before I got an assignment, Jack hauled me away. Nat followed.

“What’s up?”

Jack pitched his voice low. “We’ve got a snowball’s chance in a Miami summer of this working. We need another idea.”

“Jack, you’re not suggesting—” Nat began.

“I am. You got a better idea?”

Nat shook her head sullenly. “I don’t have to fucking like it.”

“Ditto.”

My eyes darted between them. “What’s the idea?”

Jack pointed at me. “You. Frost.”

“You two said never to do that ever again, now you want me to do it in front of half the storm riders on the Goddamn planet?”

Jack nodded.

“I think Jack’s right,” Nat said, looking pained to admit it. If this works then we can abort, but I think we need a different approach on all of this.”

“Well, fuck. Guess I better get going, then. Could’ve saved some time by telling me before I got down to Florida.”

“Quit your bitching and move,” Jack said.

Friday, November 13, 2020

F³ Worse Than We Thought

 

We didn’t bother to land in Florida. Generally, we didn’t think much of Florida except as a place to be on a beach, and there were much better beaches in the world. Thunderstorms high above the peninsula gave us a decent view and served as the meeting place for all of the other storm riders called in. Two dozen were already there. I saw a lot of familiar faces, most of those from the states, but also a few from Central and South America as Jack and Anna-Maria were still bringing Europe with them.

“The CDAF is worse than we thought,” I said to Esteban, from Panama.

“The CDAF?”

“Our official name for this thing ‘Cactus Dick Anal Fucker.’ Nat’s name was just too long and didn’t make a decent acronym.”

Esteban looked away, then nodded. “Si. So, why is it worse?”

“It may have had a kid.”

“It is spawning off storms?” He began scrolling through radar imagery on his phone.

“One, and not where you think. Look here,” I held up my phone with its animated radar. “See this spot here inside the eye? The cloud cover looks denser, there. Then there’s an area around it that looks thinner. Then here at the eyewall, it’s dense again.”

“Yes. So what?”

“So I think that we have a smaller hurricane inside a bigger hurricane.”

“Madre de Dios.”

Friday, November 6, 2020

F³ Adjective Storm

 

“Am I seeing this right?” I asked Nat, pointing at my phone screen.

On it was a radar and satellite map of a hurricane, one that would encompass the entire Gulf of Mexico.

“Yeah. It’s all hands on deck with this one. Jack and Anna-Maria are bringing basically every European storm rider with them. Everyone needs to meet in the Florida Keys in the next two hours. That doesn’t give us much time.”

“How the hell did this even happen?”

“A few times it’s happened when separate storms have collided, but this motherfucker spun up like any other storm, it just took its Viagra early on.”

“Shit. Do we have a plan beyond having a pow wow?”

“Do you have one?”

“No.”

“Then no.”

“What the hell do we even call this thing. I mean it blows away any type of scale previously thought of and super storm or hyper storm just sounds stupid.”

“Because it is. I think we should just call it ‘Motherfucking-bend-over-and-take-a-cactus-up-your-ass-my-God-we-are-so-fucking-fucked-storm.’ What do you think?”

“It’s got my vote.”

Friday, October 30, 2020

F³ Drowning

The acrid, metallic smell hit me from outside the room, and I didn’t want to go in. My stomach roiled at the thought, threatening to empty its contents if I went in. Likewise, my eyes threatened to squeeze themselves shut to keep whatever was on the other side of the door out of my mind.

Friday, October 23, 2020

F³ Ice Diving

“All hands secure for maneuver, in five minutes.” Flynn announced.

“Um, sir,” Steph questioned over the comms, “did we enter combat or come across something in this system I was not made aware of?”

“No, XO. We are indulging Ann’s whimsical mood.”

Ann gave a maniacal laugh as she tapped out a course.

Friday, October 16, 2020

F³ Plume

The life of a storm rider was like that of many in emergency services: lots of boredom with a few intense moments of panic. Fortunately, to be on call mean I just had to have the means to get back to the plain states in a matter of minutes. I had decided to do a little traveling, and now sat on a high, cirrus cloud, barely more than a wisp in the upper atmosphere, and looked down at the dust plume.

Friday, October 9, 2020

F³ Oceans

Around Calypso, the world stretched out in open grassland. Only to the north was there any sign of civilization in the form of wood-framed tents. Even the landing pads for ships were just areas of grass with stone markers instead of concrete slabs with radio transmitters.

Friday, October 2, 2020

F³ Grand Opening

I virtually bounced with anticipation. The Fairhaven Cineplex was a standard theater, though they boasted an actual kitchen instead of the fast food junk, but I didn’t care about any of that. What I cared about was the Classic Screen. The announcement seemed like an eternity ago, but through a partnership, the cineplex had taken one of its theaters and revamped it into a classic Hollywood screening room. Plush leather seats, little lamps, tables, the works. They kept the modern conveniences with surround sound and whatever K resolution the screens were up to, now. Better than all that, the reason I bounced with excitement, was that the Classic Screen would only show classic, black and white movies. And first up was one of my all-time favorites.

Friday, September 25, 2020

F³ Terra Firma

The arrival was pretty standard. Lots of people milling about to get off the plane and then the separation as space in the terminal permitted. I was in no rush, so I waited patiently to deplane. The business people in rows behind me passed me as I ambled up the jetway.

I was passing the other side of security when I saw Mikey and Ginny clustering their father. He held the baby and an arm around his wife as she related the events of the flight. I passed behind her so as to not get named, but Mikey saw me and waved at me. I responded in kind.

Friday, September 18, 2020

F³ Made Whole

A couple of minutes later, I was back in my original seat as Mikey trundled back, the doll behind his back as he went to his mom. By then Ginny was in her seat, belted in and awake, though still looking pretty sleepy.

As Mikey approached, she shrank away, turning into her mom and whining some.

“Ginny, your brother has something to say.”

Friday, September 11, 2020

F³ Sanity Check

Ellie grinned at the description of Connie’s mouth like a gaping black hole.

“Point is,” I said, “your man took that leap and waited on you for an answer. That was terrifying. And I guarantee that a lot of what you told me, he’s probably feeling, too. It’s tempting to wait, because if he makes the first move, you’ll know for sure, but it sounds to me that you’ve both been waiting for a while. And if you want to take some of the fear out of it, start with something safe, like, “I love you.”

Friday, September 4, 2020

F³ Descending into Fear

The captain had just finished his announcement about our descent when my stomach shifted as the plane nosed down. In my arms, Ginny stirred, mumbling, a hand coming up to her eyes to ward something off.

Ginny’s mom was suddenly beside me, and I gently handed her off. Ginny stirred some more, but didn’t wake. Ginny’s mom mouthed “Thank you.”

I nodded, making to vacate the seat and reclaim my original seat with sole ownership to both armrests.

Friday, August 28, 2020

F³ A Detective

“I thought you said you weren’t a marriage counselor,” Ellie still whispered so as to not wake Ginny.

“I’m not. I don’t have any formal psychological training, but I’ve spent a lot of time watching all kinds of people, trying to read them. I’m a private detective, old school.” I pointed to the Chandler paperback in the seat pocket. “Before all the fancy tech, detectives read people and used instinct. I’ve dealt with a lot of unhappy spouses telling me their problems. Some wanted to know if there was someone else in the picture, most were after dirt, leverage for a divorce.”

Friday, August 21, 2020

F³ Things Already Said

It only took three readings of Noir Cat in The Fedora to put Ginny to sleep.

 

“I see that,” I pointed at Nikki, clearly fighting a grin. “You like it. Come on, admit it.”

For answer, she tossed her head, using her hair to shade half her face. “Careful, Sam, a femme fatale will say anything to lure you in.” She picked up a cookie and bit the head off, hat and all.

“See! I told you decapitating gingerbread men was going to happen no matter what.”

She rolled her eyes at me.

Friday, August 14, 2020

F³ Unnatural Storm

            Nat and I dove our cloud boards into the wide, diffuse eye. Had this been a hurricane, we would have been in deep shit, but the wind speed was much lower. The technical classification by the weather circus put it at a depression/storm. Storm riders classified it as annoying instead of pain in the ass.

Friday, August 7, 2020

F³ Slow Business

It was a slow day, meaning that a few hours went by both without any clients or people attempting to kill me. Not only that, the prank callers had decided I wasn’t worth their time, so I got to enjoy the rare pleasure of reading an interesting history on the rituals of the Early Christian church. Since the majority of my cases tied to Christian mythology in some form, it was good to have this stuff at my command.

The giggles from the outer office, though, broke my concentration, especially when it turned to uproarious laughter. I was about to see what Jessie and Jen were laughing at when my cell rang.

Friday, July 31, 2020

F³ Summer Days

Belport saw more rain than sun throughout the year, and summer was thunderstorm season, at that. Every so often, though, we got a break in the storm for the sun to show up at sunset, reflecting orange, yellow, red, and pink off the cloud bottoms. It had been the perfect summer grilling weather.

I, however, was not the grillmaster. Logan Gershman had that honor.

Friday, July 24, 2020

F³ Lunch Meeting

Whenever Kate bolted back into town, her words, not mine, she always invited me to lunch. On the one hand, this was good. I got a free meal out of it, and got to learn a little bit more about these storm riders and other elementals.

“So I’ve noticed,” I started, trying to make my tone light, “that the storm riders seem to have a largish appetite.” I popped a wonton into my mouth.

Friday, July 17, 2020

F³ Drink Like A Marine

“So,” Steph began, “the way I heard it is our illustrious captain was billeted at Manticore Station and had just been promoted to first lieutenant—”

“I’ll tell it,” Flynn said, sitting down with his coffee. “I had just made first lieutenant, and we went out celebrating. . . .”

Friday, July 10, 2020

F³ Old Stories

“Shut the flare up!” Ann yelled to Steph as Flynn entered the common area.

“Swear to the stars,” Steph held up splayed fingers to the heavens.

Flynn went straight to the meal prep area, and started brewing some coffee.

“I am so glad I never tried to become a marine,” Ann laughed.

“But then you miss out on all these stories.”

“I’m fine with that. Hey, you got any stories about our fearless leader, there? Maybe something embarrassing from his younger days?”

“First hand, no. I’m afraid I didn’t meet the Captain until just before he made rank. I have heard some stories from back in the day, though. Major Bakshi had a few stories.

On hearing the name, Flynn fumbled the can of coffee grounds, dropping it loudly to bounce off the counter and onto the deck, narrowly missing Flynn’s stockinged feet.

“Bakshi?” Flynn said. “Lt. Thana Bakshi?”

Steph nodded, grinning. “I believe that was her rank when you two served together.”

“Oh, I can’t wait to hear this. He’s nervous just at hearing the name.”

Flare me, this is going to be bad.

 

Friday, July 3, 2020

F³ The Modern Stakeout

“Are you ready to leave?” Nikki announced from the office doorway.

“We don’t have a date or any kind of appointment or anything,” I said.

“Not in the traditional sense, no.”

“Not in any sense. I write stuff down.”

“We’re going on a stakeout.”

I frowned at her, did the mental math, then sighed, waving her in. “You have thoroughly corrupted my assistant.”

“Jennifer did mention something about the stakeout, yes. So, when do we leave?”

“We don’t. I’m already on it.” I grabbed my laptop from the desk and sat on the couch, tilting it towards her. “Mobile webcam with telephoto across the street.”

“How will you track your suspect if he leaves?”

“I already put GPS trackers on their cars in the apartment’s lot. I can be in my car in five minutes and follow them anywhere.”

“This is very disappointing, Matthew, nothing like a real stakeout.”

“I’ve got doughnuts,” I pointed to the box on my desk.

“I fail to understand what supernatural threat you are investigating for your client.”

“I’m not. Ordinary troubles with domestic bliss. Guy is convinced his wife is having fun on the side.”

“I thought you had given such mundane circumstances up.”

I shrugged. “It ain’t glamorous, but it helps to pay the bills.”

“If you are under-employed you can always work for me.”

“I don’t need charity, and I’m not a gigolo to be paid to take you on dates.”

“This is legitimate, Matthew, though it might require you to travel.”

I looked at her, cocking my head.

What’s she up to? She really hasn’t done any schemes on me, recently, but she’s got something up her sleeve.

“Oh my. I do believe you have solved your case.”

I flicked my eyes back to the screen to see the wife had answered the door and was currently kissing another woman, and it wasn’t a friendly peck on the cheek.

“Huh. Well, I guess that would.” I took a screenshot, and started scribbling notes to describe the other woman. “. . . . Wait.”

A man from outside came into the camera view and joined the two women, kissing first the wife and then the woman outside. I started scratching out my notes.

“What is it?”

“That’s the guy who hired me. This isn’t the one he was worried about, I guess.”

“Perhaps you should investigate more closely. Do you have a camera for the bedroom as well?”

“So what’s this job you have for me?”


Thursday, July 2, 2020

Working My Way Back

So, yeah, I didn't expect my hiatus to be this long, or for a pandemic to show up, either, but that's life, right? I am slowly working my way back into writing. I'm going to start with the Flash Fiction posts. I wish I had an ETA as to when I will get back to the mythology posts, but there's still a lot going on that Coronavirus just complicated. but I will bring it back in some form.

Also, there are changes to the blog. Blogger is futzing with things as well, and I'm looking at change the layout and general look of the blog. So I apologize in advance for things looking wonky for a bit. Some of it may be beyond my control, but I'll do my best to keep it all readable.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

On Hiatus

Not a great way to start the new year, but some things are beyond our control. Due to some family medical concerns, I've been unable to work on the blog (or much of anything else). So, unfortunately I will be going on hiatus until I can get said concerns sorted out. I have no date as to when I will be back, but I definitely will. I find blogging mythic and fictional adventures very satisfying.
1001 Nights (4) Abraham (11) Adonis (4) Aphrodite (18) Apocalypse (6) Apollo (5) Arabian (4) Ares (2) Artemis (5) Arthur (12) Athena (7) Bard (1) Ben Slater (13) Bible (88) Boxing Day (6) Celtic (2) Character File (2) Chinese (1) Christian (6) Christmas (1) Conferences (30) creation myths (15) Criminalelement (11) Dark Winds (22) Demeter (10) Diomedes (6) Don Iverson (4) Eden (5) Enchanter (16) essay (9) F3 (532) (1) Fairhaven Club (6) Fairy Tales (20) Family (2) Flood Myth (8) Flynn (84) Greek (96) Greeks (1) Guest (1) Hades (10) Halloween Fall Formal (6) Hercules (9) Hestia (2) Hindu (2) History Prof (22) Holiday (12) Holiday Myths (6) Incan (1) Iranian (2) Jacob (13) Japanese (1) Job (21) Joseph (18) Judges (5) Knowledge Myths (3) Library (8) Life (123) Love Gods (4) M3 (253) (1) map (13) Matt Allen (202) Medieval (7) Metamyth (5) Misc Flash (36) Mom (1) monthly chart (21) Movies (6) Myth Law (2) Myth Media (4) NaNoWriMo (22) Noah (5) noir (9) Noir Tales (1) Norse (10) Odyssey (8) Persephone (15) Perseus (14) Persian (1) Poseidon (1) Prometheus (8) publishing (24) ramble (113) Red Riding Hood (6) Review (1) Sam Faraday (33) Samson (14) Santa's Helper (3) Sci Fi (15) science (1) Serial (63) short story (14) Spotlight (8) Storm Riders (119) Teaching (136) Tech (18) Transformation (5) Travel (27) TV (10) TV Myth (1) Underworld (6) Unhappily (2) Vacation (15) vampires (18) W3 (11) WIP (20) Writing (166) Writing Tools (16) Zeus (21)