Aug 31

Friday Snippet – Kiki

I’m back by popular demand. By Jess’s demand, anyway. Thanks, Jess. This is part of an on-going project tentatively named “Kiki on the Beach”

This snippet is first draft/rough draft and contains many errors. What you see hear may not necessarily be included in the final work. Copyright 2007 by Carter Nipper. All rights reserved.

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Kiki

Dancing specters reflected in a placid, greasy pool; three-dimensional illusions of power and glory that mock the very fabric of sanity. Kiki spells her magic without vowels, in the ancient tongue, and the Elder Gods laugh and cavort in senseless orgies of guilty recrimination.

Flickering firelight casts half-seen shadows, orange and black stripes against the sand, stalking their prey with soundless stealth and eyes of jade and obsidian. The slow surf heartbeat gives rhythm to the savage ecstasy, the ritual that encompasses the eternally repeating cycles of the Universe.

Sweat sparkles on skin as climax approaches, an oily rainbow glimmer in the night and the light. Head thrown back, mouth thrown open, glassy eyes open to the stars, she twirls, moans, and finally falls limply to the gritty ground. The work is finished. The threads have been woven into a net of unearthly beauty and power that is cast into the darkness to entrap ethereal spirits to do her bidding.

Fading flames die slowly, unwillingly, hoping for one more victim to feed their frenzy, and the stars watch impassively as the tableau fades into darkness.

The Hunter

Brian was uneasy, and he didn’t know why. There was no particular reason that he could pin down, just the sort of niggling anxiety that he sometimes felt just before a thunderstorm, like trouble looking for someone to happen to. He tried to fight the feeling back as he wheeled his Beamer through the darkening streets.

“Probably nothing”, he thought. “Just something I ate.”

He decided to stop in at Opal’s to begin the hunt for tonight’s entertainment.

“Always lots of babes there”, he thought. “Maybe one of them will get lucky tonight.”

He slipped into a parking place neat the club’s entrance, accepting the gift as if it were his natural right. Long hours of practice showed in his smooth exit from the vehicle, the nonchalant flip of the alarm button as the keys slid into his pocket. He checked himself out in a darkened store window as he passed — sandy hair spiked in front and fashionably mussed in the back, clothes from the latest GQ. All very OK. He grinned and turned in.

He paused before descending the two steps onto the floor of the club, checking out the scene. Things seemed a little slow, but then it was still early. He recognized the girl sitting on the other side of the U-shaped bar, where she could see everything that went on, her red hair shining bloodily in the lights of the bar.

“What’s her name?” he thought. “Something with a K … Kay? Kathy?”

He did a quick mental assessment.

“Pretty good, but not one of the best I’ve ever had. A little too wild. Weird, too, always talking about magic and shit.”

Her intense green eyes speared him at that moment, sending a cold chill through him as she held his eyes for just a half second too long, her Mona Lisa smile seeming to say that she had heard. Her cat eyes gleamed like emeralds and her small almost-smile turned into a Cheshire Cat grin that faded slowly into the increasing chaos of noise and darkness.

He moved down into the jungle of tables and chairs, dismissing her from his mind. He was not in the mood for reruns tonight. Besides, second times were always so terribly complicated, implied promises and all that. He just didn’t feel up to that kind of scene.

“Now, that looks promising”, he mused as he noticed a brunette sitting alone.

Her skirt showed just a flash of very enticing thigh, and her silky blouse was unbuttoned down to just there.

He grinned and began to plan his strategy, his earlier feelings of unease buried now in the thrill of the hunt.

The Dance

Shadows dance slowly in the twilight, a stately waltz of desire and need, urgency masked by formality and structure. Separating, as at the end of a song, they come together again in a different combination, seeking always the perfect fit, never finding it, never giving up.

Teeth gleam against blood-red lips, terrible edged weapons of beauty and horror moistly parting to release hot breath and primal sounds of hunger and warning. Eyes with the glare of Hell reflecting shine into the night, seeing many things that may or may not be there, but are real nonetheless.

Kiki sees many things and grins her terrible grin as she plays the invisible strings that make her inaudible music and watches her puppets dance to her indelible rhythm.

The Stalking

His cigarette burned a hole in the darkness, a Hellish firefly riding the currents. From his chair by the window, he could see her form stretched out under the sheet in deep, satiated relaxation. His former uneasiness had returned, now congealed into a cold stone lump just below his sternum, and he was puzzled by it.

The sex had been terrific, one of the best he had ever had, controlled and gentle when necessary, wild and uninhibited when the time was right. It had been an act performed without words, as if words were not needed, as if they had each known in advance what the other wanted and needed. It had been pure sex, pure pleasure, and the climax had been almost agonizing in its intensity.

And now she lay in untroubled sleep, and he sat up troublingly unsatisfied. He lit another cigarette and the lump in his stomach grew cold and hard. Her dark brown hair seemed suddenly reddish in the darkness, and, though her soft brown eyes were tightly closed, he could feel a pair of cold green eyes watching him. Her soft snores seemed like chuckles of anticipation. Strangely, he could not remember her name. Jenny? Jeanine? He tore his gaze from her slumbering form and looked out the window at the unmoving landscape.

His eyes felt gritty as he walked into his office the next morning, as if they had been rolled in sand. After the battle with the traffic and a near-miss with a maniacal UPS truck, he was really not prepared for the crisis that awaited him.

 

Aug 21

And August Continues…

A friend poked me in the ribs (ouch!) and reminded me I have been neglecting my duties as host and blogger, for which I offer my apologies.

Truth be told, I’ve been busy. “Busy” is such a weak word, isn’t it? Let me elucidate:

  • We have had another personnel switch at work, which left me working 2 jobs (again!) for a couple of months until we could fill a part-time position. That has been accomplished, and training has begun, so the workload has eased off some and will continue to until she moves along as well. That’s the real trouble with hiring really good, qualified people and trying to get them to work for peanuts, which is all the school will pay. I’m hoping she’ll stay through the end of the year, at least. That would help me get caught up on my own work.
  • I spent all this past weekend replacing my well pump and pressure tank. My body doesn’t like me anymore and complains bitterly every time I move. Or breathe. Or think hard. I hate getting older.
  • August continues its mad dash toward complete destruction of all life in this area. No rain. None in sight. Everything is brown and dry, including my garden. Damnit! 104 degrees expected tomorrow. Near 100 today. Same old song for the past 3 weeks. I wonder sometimes around this time every year if cool weather even exists anymore. Global warming my ass! This is a cast-iron skillet on a roaring fire.

Enough griping for now. Let’s talk about writing progress.

Zette accepted my article “Homonymphobia” for the next issue of Vision: a Resource for Writers, which re-opens the old can of worms: my non-fiction sells, my fiction does not. On the other hand, I have a love for non-fiction, but a real passion for fiction. It’s frustrating. I know fiction is a much harder sell, but it tires me out sometimes to get rejection after rejection after rejection, ad nauseum.

I’ve been re-working some existing stories in the light of my increased knowledge and craft since I wrote them. Maybe… “The Cost of Doing Business” is coming along nicely, except for the title. I really need something better and more indicative of the content. Work, brain, work! Earn your keep.

Aug 07

I Hate August

Second straight day over 100 degrees, with Heat Index around 110. Welcome to August in Georgia, with air you can wear and o relief in sight for at least 6 weeks. We may actually dip down into the mid-nineties sometime next week, but nobody is giving guarantees. The afternoon thunderstorms help for a while–maybe 10 minutes–then the heat comes back. With the humidity around 100% then, it’s unbearable.

Thank all the Gods for whoever invented air conditioning. May he/she/it be blessed forever.

Aug 06

Better Late

I’m back. My usual medication upheavals and depression in-betweens. I get so damned weary during those times that posting to a blog just seems impossibly hard and not worth the trouble.

But I’m feeling much better now. A little better, anyway, since yesterday. Oh, by the way, I re-designed my main Web site in the meantime to better fit the theme of the blog. HTML is something I don’t really have to think about to do. Just look in the book and type. A no-brainer for times of no brains.

Back to yesterday, though. I’ve been reading Bradbury Speaks: Too Soon From the Cave, Too Far From the Stars (I’ve mentioned PaperbackSwap.com — it’s not just for paperbacks). Ray Bradbury is a writer I have to take in small doses. Very rich, very intense. Very inspirational. I wanna write like Ray.

His enthusiasm is infectious, and yesterday I broke out into a fever and dashed off a 1500-word first draft of a short story using the prompt from The First Line. Working title: The Cost of Doing Business, thought I’m considering changing it to Dying Fires and the Scent of Spring. Or something more apropos to the story as it worked itself out. I loved this writing. Very intense, very fresh, very surprising what my mind threw onto the page. That really helped pull me up a little.

I blame it all on Ray Bradbury. If not for him, I never would have run through the wall of technical proficiency, vaulted the slime-pit of “doing it right”, and dived straight into the old-time gospel fervor and passion that brought me here in the first place. Thanks, Ray.