Category: Writing


Wow, August going into September has been a busy time for me. Besides my usual articles, reviews and the ongoing job hunt I am also working on three submissions for gaming related products. The first two are adventures for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game (going to two different companies) and the third is a short story which I hope will be picked up for a fiction anthology for an indie game. I have a lot on my plate at the moment. Alas, such is the way of life. I just keep slamming back the [drink of choice] and pounding away at the keyboard.

Reviews and a Blog entry on Flames Rising DOT com.

Articles and Reviews on Examiner DOT com.

Wow, that is a lot of articles. I need to stay on top of those.

Stay frosty my fellow geeks and gamers!

A little background will be important for you to understand this piece. Back in mid-2009 White Wolf Games ran a contest on their forums to promote the release of their newest game line, Geist the Sin-Eaters. Participants in the contest were asked to answer a question.

“If you did die, but only for a moment – how would that inform your life?”

The talent pool in the community of White Wolf fans is pretty deep so needless to say there were a lot of fantastic answers. I knew I needed to dig deep if I wanted to submit anything that had a chance at winning the contest. Below is the entry I posted which much to my surprise was selected as the winner of the contest having received the most votes by members of the White Wolf staff. I am still honored to this day.

*****

I know I shouldn’t have been in that part of town at that of night but it is hard to pass on one of Nancy’s famous parties. It didn’t matter how much of a loser you were in the real world your sorry butt was going to get laid. Sometimes you had to pay for a good time but thirty minutes with some of those women was all I needed to feel good about myself again. I didn’t care what it cost me. Lingerie gigs in abandoned subway tunnels and open air orgies in graveyards. Yeah, Nancy was into some weird and dangerous stuff.

I was so deep into thinking about the party I didn’t even hear that piece of shit walking up behind me. Before I knew what had happened he had kicked my legs out from underneath me like the bullies did to the smaller kids back in school and my face hit the concrete. Blood gushed from my mouth and I nearly choked on a couple of my teeth. I heard a mean, grating voice yelling at me but I couldn’t make out the words. He was talking way too fast and I was moving way too slow, maybe not at all, so he kicked me hard in the ribs. I collapsed on the sidewalk and slid halfway into the muck of the street gutter.

That was the first time I saw the gun in his hand and I started to cry but I don’t know why. My tears quickly blinded me and I clawed at my own face furiously. I wanted to get up. I wanted to fight back but I was shaking too hard to move. I couldn’t even feel my legs as terror seeped through me. He yelled at me again and I tried to yell for help but the sound came out like a sickening moan. He fired his gun and I shook violently at the sharp, harsh sound of the weapon. The smell of urine and feces washed over me and I somehow knew it was my own.

I felt empty inside and dropped my arms to my sides. Whatever fight I had left in my shaking limbs was now long gone and he started to kick me in the face when I didn’t respond to his yells anymore. I didn’t try to move although I don’t think I could have if I wanted to. With a sickening crunch I felt part of my jaw come loose. The pain shot through me and I barely felt him working his way through my pockets. Unable to do anything but cry I didn’t care what he took from me at that point. When he fired the gun again there was only a short flash of pain in my chest followed quickly by a strange numbness. I couldn’t tell if he was still yelling because everything around me had quickly gone very quiet. I knew I was dying and I just let it happen.

That was the easiest part of what happened to me that night…

I don’t know how long I waited there on the street staring up at the sky. I barely noticed when it changed to a strange, twilight gray. There was no pain but I could tell there was no life either. I don’t think I was even in this world anymore as crazy as that sounds. Eventually I looked down at myself and found a gaping hole in the middle of my chest. I would have tried to talk but my jaw still hung open. It didn’t hurt but I could tell it was broken in several places. What worried me the most though was the strange, black ink that was covering most of me. I thought it was blood at first but the longer I stared I realized it was moving on its own, not flowing out of my wounds. Even worse I could feel it moving around inside me as well.

The first footstep startled me.

I hadn’t realized how truly quiet it had become until the sound of high heels on concrete cut through the air like a knife. Then I heard the second step and I knew with a certainty that the owner of those footsteps was coming for me. Something deep inside screamed at me to get up and run but that terrifying sound had paralyzed me. Even in death it seems I was a coward.

The clicking heels drew closer and the woman appeared beside me on the sidewalk. The first thing I noticed was that she looked a lot like Nancy, a dead ringer honestly, but she was dressed like one of those classy dames from a detective novel, all in black. The second thing I noticed was the black sheen to her eyes and when she smiled her teeth looked like jagged shark’s teeth. With one hand she grabbed me by the hole in my chest and slammed me against the wall of the closest building. Overcome by a new kind of fear I tried to break her hold but with a quick squeeze of her hand she reawakened the dead pain in me. I howled in agony.

She laughed at me.

She quickly tore her tongue on her teeth and black ichors gushed from her mouth. I watched in horror as her bleeding tongue slowly slid out of her mouth like a serpent and began to probe the wound in my chest. I cried. I whined. I could feel her tongue working its way through my body and she moaned in ecstasy. It felt like her tongue was siphoning off bits and pieces of me and she lingered whenever she found one of the moving pools of blackness I had seen and felt before. Pain consumed me whenever she found one and I tried to beg her to stop but the meager noises coming from me only annoyed her. With a quick tug she ripped what remained of my face away with her free hand. I would have screamed but she had removed every part of me that I needed to do so.

I felt more and more of myself slipping away into her with each painful gulp. She began to gorge herself like a glutton on my flesh. I knew I wasn’t going to die this time. This was going to be something worse.

A brilliant flash blinded me and the woman in black dropped me in a heap on the concrete. The pain she had inflicted faded quickly from my body but I didn’t dare move. When my vision cleared there was a young woman with white hair standing over me. She smiled and the gesture filled me with warmth. The woman in black had disappeared.

The woman with white hair leaned over me, “It’s not your time yet… Go back through the door…”

With those words I woke up in a hospital bed. The doctors told me they didn’t think I was going to make it when the EMTs brought me in. I had even been dead for a few minutes but I pulled through in the end. They called it a miracle. I wanted to tell them what really happened but my mouth had been wired shut and by the time they brought me something to write on I realized it would be best if I kept my silence. It also gave her time to talk to me for the first time. Somehow she had followed me back through but now she was nothing more than a voice.

Now she tells me all sorts of things. She tells me that death is a doorway and I was lucky I got to go through it twice. She tells me that there are a lot of different doors and to go through them I just need to find the right keys. She is going to teach me how to find them because if I ever pass through death’s door again the woman in black will be there waiting for me. I need to prepare myself.

Tunnels with light at the end… Out of body experiences with flying angels wearing cute diapers… Happy-go-lucky revelations that drive someone to “live their lives like never before.” That’s all a bunch of bullshit! All there is for me now is the voice that only I can hear, my quests for knowledge and the occasional errands the voice asks me to run. I don’t always understand the things she asks me to do but I owe her everything. I do whatever she asks me to.

How did my little trip to the other side inform me? There is some dark shit on the other side and you better prepare yourself. That is, unless you don’t mind classy dames cutting through your guts with their tongues. That’s how I was informed.