Tag Archives: August

Rabbit Hole 2.0

This is in response to Sonia G. Medeiros‘ August Flash Fiction Challenge: Doorways.

In retrospect, we should have realized it wouldn’t be that easy. After all, we’d all read the reports. It almost felt like we’d grown up with them.

It took the NSA, working with NASA and Google Earth, all of five days to find the Doorway. It was more or less where we all thought it would be: near a big tree on the grounds of an ancient estate in England. Getting permission from the British government to allow a US SOD team access took only slightly longer. I guess Whitehall still felt it owed Washington over that thing from last year.

So there we were, my team and I, doing final gear check. It felt surreal to be doing this on a nicely trimmed lawn, beside some meticulously maintained topiary and not more than a dozen meters from a freshly-painted white gazebo. Luckily, it was well fed and didn’t attack.

One by one, we called out our ready status, and the Captain stepped up to give us his traditional pre-mission pep talk. We’d all heard it so many times most of us ignored him until he finally rambled his way to the end and then said those fateful words, “Team, you have a green light. Go to red.”

“Huah!” we all grunted in unison, and the racket of bolts being pulled back on our M-4s was as oddly out of place in the pastoral setting as the rest of this entire mission. Really, it should have been an omen. Even Fernandez, with his obsession with superstitions, missed this one. Poor Fernandez.

Halsford had point. He  approached the Doorway in classic text-book form and we stacked up on him. He looked at each of us to make sure we were ready and focused, then he flipped open the hatch and we all pointed weapons down. Nothing to see at first, just a dirt tunnel leading down. Ropes were tied around the nearby birch, and carabiners hooked to belts. We rappelled down. It was a long way to the bottom.

Halsford and the FNG took up positions in front of each of the two doors we found at the bottom, and we all shared a silent moment of amusement at how the FNG had to crouch to keep his weapon level with the imagined center-of-mass of anything that might come out of that second, 2′ tall door.

“Where are we?” I snapped as I unstrapped myself from the rope. First on, last off as the saying goes.

“We got it sir,” Adams responded smartly. I looked over to find him pointing at a table pushed up against the side of the room. And sure enough, there it was, just like the reports. The bottle, the cake, the key, the signs. Forewarned is forearmed they say, so Adams pocketed the key before reaching for the bottle. As he lifted it, he displaced the sign and it fell face-down on the table. That’s ok, we all knew what it said.

“Drink me.”

 

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Update: This has been expanded into the first part of  a chapter for a full-length novel. See more at the DWE page.

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Dreamchasers, Season 4 Episode 11

This is a reply to Haley Whitehall‘s August Flash Fiction Challenge about Dreams.

Thank you. Thank you. You’re all awesome. Folks, we all know that “In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.” This is not news to anyone, of course. But what does he dream about? No one has ever really answered that question… until now!

Today on Dreamchasers, we are going to find out exactly what it is that dead Cthulhu dreams about in that house of his. And by the way, stay tuned after our show when Houses of the Famous tackles that very same R’lyeh property! But now, let’s turn to our Dreamchasers Experts, and see: What Does Cthulhu Dream?

Are we done? Yeah? Ok great. Collin, take this microphone. I’ll be in my dressing room until the last bit. Oh, Susie, make sure craft services sends me a bottle of Sam Adams this time ok? Not that Budweiser crap they tried to foist off on me last week.

God. 77 episodes of this crap. It pays the bills, sure, but I dunno. Being the host for a Discovery Channel show? I had dreams, you know. I was going to be on Broadway by now. I should be on Broadway by now. I’m good, dammit. Better than this show deserves anyways. Did you see the episode in season 2 when I had to pretend to be excited about Ben Stein’s dreams? Ben freakin’ Stein, for god’s sake. “Bueller… Bueller…” And the worst part is, he DREAMS in that voice too! But I sold it. Yes I did. Should have won an Emmy for that: Best dramatic performance of utter bullshit. No, I should have been on Broadway.

I would have been great.

When I was six, I saw a performance… oh, thanks Susie. Yeah, this is perfect. Thanks. No, that’s ok, I have my own bottle opener. Anyways. When I was six I saw a performance of Phantom at the Ahmanson. Crawford’s last show. The first time. You know, before he came back out of retirement and did another bazillion shows. The emotion in his voice, even when he was singing was so intense, I just knew I had to do that. To be up there, under the lights. Smell of the greasepaint, roar of the crowd and all that, right? The very next school day, I went to my teacher and said I wanted to be an actor.

I dunno how it all went wrong. I went to an arts school, majored in drama. I got great reviews. My senior year, we did Streetcar. I played Stanley. We sold out and even added a last-minute Midnight show closing day, and THAT sold out too. And now look at me. Ten years later and I’m hosting a freaking Discovery Channel show about dreams. What about mine, huh? Let’s do a show about MY dreams. I’ll bet that’ll sell a lot of whatever it is we’re advertizing this week.

What? Time? Oh, ok. Thanks Susie. I’ll be right there. I just need a second.

I have something in my eye.

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August is here

Or, as I like to call it, Christmas in Summer. Yay me for picking the only month of the year without any OTHER holidays in it for my birthday.

 

Moving on.

Since the monthly writing challenge is basically a bust, I’m dropping requests for submissions. I’ll keep doing them for my own benefit, but that’s it.

 

This month’s self challenge is: Write a story involving mud as a main element.

 

The results to follow.

 

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