Dawn reached through the sky as though it had ripped its way across a league of fetid grey – a lonesome stagnant pond which had stood for years waiting something, some speck of color.

Carl’s eyes seized the stones as soon as the sun waned upon them, his hands loosed thanks as they grabbed the hardened chunks of earth.

“Here!” he spat. “The stones are here.”

His father turned from a damp inlay of soil, his legs making the small mud puddles which held his feet swish a bit.

“Quick, boy,” he said. “Before any of them wake.” He moved quickly past the icy statues, their frozen positions stuck in the twisted and lifeless clutching motions from the night before. They had just barely survived. He fell to his knees by his son and helped him grab at the stones.

They tossed the rocks from the small hole and discarded them with small thuds into the wet dark earth.

Sweat showered each of them, sweat and languor. Neither had slept. They remained awake through the cold and the fear. His father had told him to stay moving. He didn’t know how, but he did it. He clawed at the rocks. Not another night, he thought.


His father pulled out from down behind the rocks a dust-covered pouch. Carl’s tears were lost upon the mud of his chest. “Open it,” he said.

The sun fell upon a wider patch of ground. The sky was clear. And below smiles as his father pulled open the cloth of the pouch, there was a twitch from somewhere lost amid the tall still bodies.


How it all Begins

by L.P. Stribling


With a thought,
That’s all you have a first, even before the blank slate,
A thought of something great,
Something that elates you, makes your eyes say, “Ooh my!”
It tickles all through you then,
Because you think, “I can do that!”

And you move,
Through fields, buildings, obstacles,
And you pass people,
They don’t notice, though,
Oh there’s this social media thing that they’re sort of sucked into,

But they don’t feel your passion,
They’re not hooked like you,
Books are loot, you read and gain,
And then, of course, the pain,
There has to be pain,
The insane are, in the end, those who’ve never hurt,

And you fail,
Part of the game (full sail now)
All you have to do is get back up, on your feet,
Most cannot meet this objective,
But you can. The next morning you take one breath
More easily than the day before.

People enter.
You don’t know them, but they know (of) you.
You talk, you trust, you let them do their work,
And you wait, drives you berserk, but you wait,
Because you’ve had wounds, and they’ve had to heal,
By degree.

And you doubt while you wait.
What if this isn’t right? you think. What if it never was?
What if it was a waste.
And the pain returns.
Leaving burns on your person, in your life, with your wife? Your husband?

And you stand tall when the day comes,
You’ve been running so long,
You’ve been waiting, wanting, hungry.

And they know that;
They knew it all along.

ss – Draft Six and counting


How many f&$king drafts is this short story going to take(interrobang). Seriously, I’ve been at this story all damn day, and my stomach is running low on tolerance for the chocolate snacks, even if they are the small-morsel types. When I’m done, I’m done. Speaking of done, however, the good news is that I’m almost done. I’m right there and I can almost feel the final edit.

There’s only so much time in a day and I’m reminded of that as it’s running past midnight and I’m here at the keyboard. When your life is over, that’s it. That’s all you get. No refunds, no collecting $200 when you Pass Go; nothing. So, whether writing’s your thing or it’s something else, make it work; make your life worth doing your passion.

The story’s about a little girl who lives in her own world despite the numbing effects those around her feel as they live in theirs. She is challenged when trying to follow the sweetness of her own concept of life while she feels an overwhelming resistance to taste the bitterness of others’ displeasure. Can you blame her? It’s come a long way; and we’re still moving. It’s midnight; onward I press.

How’s your writing coming?


D2 – a question for the gamers


D2 –

up   We know it’s coming out. There’s nothing we can do to stop it. Most of us welcome it with open arms and loaded weapons. We’re all looking forward to blowing things up and watching explosions in space along with the lifeless bodies and exploding heads of aliens KA-BOOMING around us.

down Though, there are some people (like myself) who are either on the fence or just are not looking forward to this whatsoever. They think it’s not going to be all that different from the first one and that all that it will be with be a huge universal loot grind to get this better weapon to do this better thing, to get this many more experience points to gain this level, to finally do …WHATEVER.

My question to you is: 

QUESTION: What are your thoughts on this?

Comment below.

Earhart & STuFf

The one seated is Amelia Earhart (below) after she landed…


…actually I don’t really know that.  No one does. Anyone who did know is probably dead. If you watched that documentary on the History Channel, I’m wondering what you thought about it. True or False? Let me know and let’s have ourselves a little chatty-chatty back and forth.

If you did NOT watch the documentary, you should. It’s around 90 minutes long and you can watch it here**. Firstly, if you HAVE NOT watched the documentary, don’t read the next paragraph, because it will just jack everything up for you and you won’t be able to really watch it. Okay, so just go ahead and make your decision.

ONLY READ IF YOU HAVE WATCHED…OR DON’T CARE:     Here’s what I think. I think no one knows. I agree with the pilot co-host of the show regarding a contingency plan. I cannot imagine a pilot going out there into the world, especially that far, without having a backup plan. Didn’t we see some of those documents that showed that she had a plan? Anyway, it makes sense that she did land in the Marshall Islands. Just recently a Japanese blogger came out and said that the photo was nothing big; it came out in a travel book in Japan in 1935. One aspect of the documentary that I didn’t like was that there was no information/interviews from the Japanese side. It was very American; not cool. Who knows anything anymore, really?

The government lied to the people – shocker. Who is to say who is not telling the truth? It could be the government, the media, the blogger, all of them; none of them. Who knows? It certainly was interesting and I could feel that I wanted it to be true, but that’s what the documentary’s job was. People give you the story that you want to hear. Imagine if they were to go to the Marshall Islands and ask an eye witness if she really saw Amelia Earhart. If that person comes back and said, “No, I found out later it wasn’t Earhart.” Then that person will not be on the show. If they offered to give people $200 to say they saw her, then that might be different. Just like always, take it with a grain of salt.

Other than that, I just talked with Jer and we talked a bit about some of the stuff that’s happening with the Wheel of Time. As of this writing, we’re on Book V – the Fires of Heaven. Very cool stuff. You can always head over to the site and follow us – see what we’re talking about and join in.

Other than that, all is well.


**UPDATE: Shortly after I posted this, I was unable to find the History Channel Documentary. I think it had a lot to do with the Japanese blogger’s post on Twitter who came out saying that the photo revealed in the documentary was taken two years before Earhart’s flight.

Tourmaline (a serial story)


Dear Reader,

Happy Sunday…night. I hope your weekend glistened as mine did. I wanted to bring a story to the space, but I wanted to do it in parts. The following story is called “Tourmaline,” and it comes from of the Chucky Challenges from Mr. Wendig’s space. I guess, that being what it is, it could be called a collaborative effort.


Sorry, Chuck. This one’s mine.





By L.P. Stribling

Part I


Constance ran toward the quarry with the last vial of the drug clutched in the prison of her palm. The dirt and rock, dry under her sneaker soles, kicked up after her feet rushed down the hard-packed plane. The day was mild, very little wind. The sun was out looking over her from the center of a healthy spring sky, and she knew that if she were to stop and look behind her, she wouldn’t see anything. It would seem that she were alone. But all illusions were easy here. And dangerous.


There are no breaks here.  Not in this world.  Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.

Alaster’s word’s ricocheted in her head amid a steady rising pace of breath and the thrum of her sneaker soles on the hard-packed dirt became the metronome which somehow kept her alive. Yeah, well, look what happened to him. Even the best of us fall. The sad voice of reason always appeared at the most inopportune of moments. Try as she might, there was no exorcising herself of him. He was along for the ride. She gave a shout then, a noise to bring her out of possible decline into the hole of his reality.

When the beat of her steps slowed, the closer she was to death. Ten minutes ago, things were explosive. Ten minutes ago she wouldn’t have been able to hear it. Not with the gunfire.

She topped the next hill and saw the easy ochre glow, the pulse in the distance. It could only be the fountain. She stumbled a bit in the sharp slip of her footing. Her feet swerved off course awkwardly for a couple of steps, but she caught herself when her vialed fist touched the rough ground and rebalanced her.

Fuck! She thought. Don’t slip up now.

The shouts behind her seemed to push the thumps of her foot pounds to the side and found their way to her ears. Instances of voiced guttural cringing – armies of it. They were gaining, the fiends and the sand dogs. How many of them were there this time? This would be the last time, the end. She would die for eternity. No rebirth. She smiled at the thought and dug into the packed dirt, jolting herself for the glow of the fountain. There was a mild shake of her head then. Inside she laughed despite the voice of her body that it needed rest.

How funny is it that when I die this time I won’t be born again?

Under the thump of her feet now, she gave the world a glinted minor smile and quickened her pace.

The fountain closed in and gave itself to her with more detail. It was taller than she imagined. She could see the central spire calling to her in its coruscating outer shell. Like barrels of sand had been sugared with diamond powder and spread on the outer wall of this tower, the structure demanded that she approach it.

The growls of the dogs behind her had no doubt caught her. Her grind was slowing, and as her pace began to lessen, she could not help but hear the monster growls over the dogs. Even with her head focused, she could hear them. There were masses of them. More than she had ever seen or known before. She was on her 309th life. Each of those had not truly been deaths, of course, but resets. And each time brought more of them. They worked for Him, the central man. All of his commands were treated without question and executed. When she had finally learned of her own bounty – an executive order to eliminate her code, she ran, and they followed.

Cocksuckers, she heaved as her feet brought her form into the bastion which was the fountain’s umbrage.

The waters of the round pool sung in quiet laps as they meandered among themselves. Just what she had been told of what it would look like – it was all of that and more. It held a central tower encompassed in the smaller replicated fingers of itself – all of them a stunning mild amber. The natural pores of the stone blistered the skin of the structure with a beautiful sizzling texture. The outside of the structure glowed, pulsing in richness from a medium light to an almost sunlight golden, which lit up the sky around it.

Constance heaved, her body doubling over from the exertion. She had run long and far enough. She would be out of time soon enough. Now was not the time to catch her breath. What did her breath matter at this point? The sounds of her pursuiers were still there and they would be upon her soon. They would be there to eliminate her., and this time , again with a smile she touhgout about it., this time they would succeed – in a sense.

“But not they way they think they will,” she said to herself. “Good, I love you.” Her hands loosened and the vial rocked in her hand, steady and sweat painted. She could feel even then her heartbeat thankful for the encasement of the titanium vial. No matter how hard she squeezed, at least that area was secure. Through the greying small circle of transparent glass, the green fluid lulled back at her.

A bark echoed across the arid ground and her ears brought her eyes back to the hill in the distance – the same hill she had just left and darted here. A million other voices streamlined across the ground and their forms en masse bubbled over the bumpy horizon.

“Nope,” she said to herself. “Not today.” She plopped the vial in her pocket and knelt to pull off her shoes. With a quick toss, she disposed them and took a mental breath before stepping over the beautiful fountain barrier and into the cool crystal water.