Saturday, February 26, 2011

Story a Week 12 - Propheteering

Good morning everybody. This week's Story a Week is in a fantasy setting. It's actually based in a world that I created for D&D and this story is part of one of the plot lines that I was going to run if I ever ran a D&D campaign again. Since I thought it would make a good plot to play, I figured that it would make a good story too. This story will be probably two or three weeks long, though I could probably write a whole novel with the characters, if I wanted to.

Anyway, let me know what you think. I've opened the comments to everyone instead of just those with blogger or google accounts now. Enjoy!


Rixi approached the mansion outside of Telquirk with apprehension. The mansion had been abandoned her entire life up until very recently, and as such, it had quite a reputation among the inhabitants of the little fishing village.

She glanced over her shoulder, contemplating turning around, when she saw her friend Melbrid approaching the mansion not far behind her. The half-elven sorcerer was carrying an invitation like the one Rixi had. Rixi stopped and waited for Melbrid to catch up.

"Good evening, young rogue," Melbrid said as he approached her.

"Excuse me, magic flinger, I prefer the term street survivor," Rixi retorted. She'd been living on the streets ever since her parents' fishing boat didn't return from a fishing run a couple of years ago.

"My apologies, Rixi. I'm glad to see that you got an invitation to this shindig as well. I was wondering if I would know anyone," Melbrid said.

Rixi pulled the invitation out of one of her belt pouches and looked at it. "So, have you ever heard of this Yif character?"

Melbrid nodded. "My mentor mentioned him in one of my lessons once. Yif is one of the few mages who has ever practiced the art of sorcery as well."

Rixi shook her head. She didn't understand the difference between what a mage did and what a sorcerer did, but didn't want to get into it right now. Both types of magic user reviled the other and said that their own practices were the correct way to use magic. It was a debate that didn't interest Rixi in the least.

"So you don't know anything else about him?" Rixi asked.

Melbrid shrugged. "Not much else," he said. "He used to live in the capitol and worked directly for the emperor at one point. I've heard that he went a little crazy and quit and started roaming the country."

Rixi nodded and gestured to the mansion. "Shall we?"

Melbrid nodded and led the way. As they approached the door, it opened for them revealing a large foyer. Rixi and Melbrid looked at each other and shrugged before stepping through the door.

The foyer had three doors leading from it, two of which were closed. The third was opened and the two friends could hear voices coming from the hallway it led to. Melbrid walked through the door. Rixi glanced at both closed doors and wondered what they hid. Before she could take a look, Melbrid cleared his throat. Rixi looked up at him and he gestured that she should keep up.

Sighing, Rixi quickly caught up to Melbrid. They walked a few more paces and around a corner into a very large dining room. There were about a dozen other young people around their age from the other villages in the area. Rixi recognized a few of them, but didn't know any of them by name. They were all milling about with the people from their own towns. Rixi and Melbrid looked at each other and shrugged again. They stood together near the door they walked through.

A few moments later, Rixi could hear a gruff voice coming down the hall. "That has to be Cuddles," Rixi said.

Melbrid chuckled and warned, "Don't let him hear you call him that."

A stout dwarf with shocking red hair and a long red beard walked through the door followed by a tall pantheron covered in black fur. Rixi had seen the catlike person walking around town, but hadn't met her before.

Rixi bounded over to the dwarven warrior. "Cuddlington! How are you doing, old friend," she said.

THe dwarf smiled at her. "Ah, fine lass. Have ye met Meentha?"

Rixi acknowledged the pantheron with a wave. Melbrid came over and spoke a few words in the Pantheron language to her. "You know that language?" Rixi asked him.

Melbrid nodded and said, "Meentha's been teaching me. She lives in the forest. I met her when she came into town last week for supplies."

Meentha spoke for the first time, "Melbrrid is helping me get the lay of the land, too." She turned her r's into a purring sound. "As you know, my people do not often trravel farr frrom ourr homeland. Howeverr, I rrecieved a vision quest that told me that I was needed in Telquirrk."

Rixi scrunched up her face in confusion. "A vision quest brought you here? What kind of god would play that kind of trick on you?"

The hair on the back of Meentha's neck visibly stood up. "My god would not play such a trrick on anyone," she growled. "My vision is trrue. It has been supporrted by my rreceipt of the invitation from Yif." The pantheron pulled the invitation from her belt pouch as if to support her statement.

Before anyone was able to respond a loud voice said, "Please be seated."

Rixi turned to see an old man dressed in elaborate robe stood at the head of the table. The assembled young adventurers approached the table and sat. When they were all seated, the old man said, "If you haven't figured it out yet, I am Yif. I am very glad that you all were able to make it. I am the former Archmage of Bortan and as such I had access to all of the collected knowledge of the realm."

Yif paused and met the eyes of every person sitting at the table. "About two years ago, I discovered a millenia old tome that prophesized a group of four adventurers that would arise out of this region to do great things in the empire. I started to travel the country to find evidence to support this prophecy. When I found the evidence that I was looking for, I came up with a plan to find the group that the tome prophesized."

Rixi couldn't help speaking up. "Why?" she asked.

Yif, a little startled by the question, paused and looked at Rixi. "Well, little one, I'm afraid that I can't reveal that to you all quite yet. It is my belief that the group is in this room right now. Four of you will comprise that group."

Rixi looked hard at Yif. Something about him wasn't quite right, but she couldn't tell what it was. He continued speaking, "As I was saying, the purpose of this evening is to discover which of you will fulfill the prophecy. Good luck to you all."

As Yif said those final words, Rixi planted her feet on the floor at the sides of her chair. When he finished speaking, all of the chairs disappeared and were replaced by holes in the floor. There was much screaming as most of the young adventurers fell through the holes. Rixi smiled with satisfaction at being the only one not fooled by Yif's trick.

Yif looked daggers at Rixi. That just made her smile even bigger. Scowling, Yif said, "Well done, elf. Go now, and join your friends."

Yif gestured and Rixi felt all of herself lose control of her muscles as the Hold spell came over her. Her legs came together and she fell.

She saw the floor below approaching fast and closed her eyes. She opened them a few seconds later when nothing happened to find that she was standing solidly, looking at Melbrid, Cuddlington and Meentha. Cuddlington was laughing heartily at the look that Rixi had on her face.

Rixi shrugged it all off and looked around. The four of them were in an empty room that just barely fit them comfortably. There were no obvious doors or exits. Rixi looked up and couldn't tell where the hole she fell through was.

Melbrid said, "No way out." He looked around too. "I don't know what Yif has planned for us all, but I hope that it's not to suffocate us all in this little room."

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Story a Week 11 - Dead End Job

This is the next story for my Story a Week project. This week, I was trying something a little different. I'm very comfortable writing in Science Fiction and Fantasy settings, mostly because that's what I read the most. This week, I tried writing something outside of my comfort zone and I think that I learned a lot about my writing process by doing so. That is also why this week's story is a day late, it took me longer to write this one than any of the others.

Let me know what you think! I am planning a non-fiction, normal, blog post for either this week, or next, so check back later for that.


Rick Branson walked down the aisle of the plane. He found his aisle seat near the rear of the plane and sat down. The flight from Atlanta to Barcelona would be long, but when he bought the ticket two hours ago, the seat next to his was not assigned, so he could try to lay down when it came time to sleep. Much to his surprise, not long before the door was closed, a man sat in the chair next to his and slid a briefcase under the chair in front of him.

The man smiled at Rick and said, "You gonna stow that duffle? Need me to get up?"

Rick looked down at the duffle bag in his lap and patted it lovingly. He said, "Uh, no, thanks. I'm going to keep it under the seat in front of me."

Rick bent down and slid the duffle under the seat. When he sat back up he noticed the man still looking at him. Rick inwardly sighed and said, "Hi, I'm Rick." He extended his hand.

The man took it and firmly shook it. He replied, "Al Huffington. Nice to meet you, Rick. Business or pleasure?"

Rick shot a confused glance at Al and said, "Huh?"

Al chuckled and said, "You must not be a frequent traveler. I was asking you if you're going to Barcelona for business or pleasure."

Rick nodded to show he understood and said, "Neither, I'm heading to Andorra."

Al let out a slow whistle. "Expensive up there, you must be a rich fella."

Rick chuckled gleefully and said, "Yes, I just came into some money, you might say..."

At this point the lead flight attendant came on the PA and announced that the door of the airplane was closed and the plane would be departing the gate shortly. "What was I saying?" Rick asked.

Smirking, Al said, "You were about to tell me how you came into your money."

Rick glanced out of the corner of his eye at Al, wondering if he could trust him. 'The door is closed, you're home free,' he thought. He shrugged and said, "Alright, but we gotta keep it quiet."

Al and Ricky both looked around slyly to see if someone was near who could hear. Satisfied, Rick started his story, "I've been an armored truck guard for just over five years now. I started that job because it was all I could find after I dropped out of college. The pay was alright, but my partner was a sixty year old man that had been doing the same job for thirty years and didn't make much more than I did."

"So, basically, you had a dead end job," Al cut in.

Rick nodded, "Yeah. About a year ago, I figured that out. I realized that I had made a big mistake by not continuing college. I didn't want to be an armored car guard forever."

When Rick didn't say anything for a minute, Al said, "So, what did you do? Start buying lottery tickets, or something?"

Rick smiled and shook his head. "No, I needed more of a sure thing to secure my future. I started working on a plan to take the entire contents of the armored truck."

Rick looked at Al, whose face was a picture of shock and awe. Rick smiled and continued, "My partner and I worked one of the routes that took in the most money of the entire armored truck company. I knew all of the procedures and everything, so it was just a matter of planning."

Al looked at Rick with disbelief. "You robbed an armored truck?"

Rick laughed. "No, I merely failed to return the truck at the end of my shift."

Al and Rick looked at each other for a few moments. The captain came on the PA and announced that they were waiting for a mechanic's sign off on an item before they could taxi out to the runway.

When the captain was done speaking, Al said, "You'll have to tell me how you did that without being caught."

"Well, I don't know..."

"Oh, come on, Rick. Who am I going to tell? We're on our way to Spain," Al pleaded.

"It is quite a story," Rick said. He paused for a moment, then said, "Alright. I'll tell you all about it."

Rick lowered his voice. "As I said, this all started a year ago. I knew that I had to be careful and have a solid plan before I could act, otherwise I might get caught. Or worse, I might be killed. Armored truck drivers carry guns, you know.

"The easiest part of my plan was how I would deal with my partner. I briefly considered bringing him into the plan, but I didn't think he would go along with it. He was near retirement and I think he would have thought it too risky. So, I had to figure out a way to neutralize him without hurting him. After all, I'm not a bad guy and he was a pretty cool old dude."

Al chuckled and Rick continued his story. "I had taken a chemistry course in my brief time at college and I knew from it that you could make chloroform if you had the right ingredients. A quick internet search later and I had a batch made up. I didn't even need to go shopping as we had the ingredient right in the apartment already. I tested it on my roommate when he was a little drunk so he would think that he had just passed out and it worked great."

Rick sighed. "Now came the hard part. I had to have a plan to get all that money out of the truck and get away without getting caught or worse. It took me a long time and I threw out a lot of ideas for multiple reasons. I ended up with a plan that almost guaranteed that I would get away without getting hurt, but there was no way that I could guarantee not getting caught. Once I had a plan, I went through a period of doubt in which I reconsidered whether or not it would all be worth it."

Rick glanced outside and realized that the plane still hadn't moved even though they had closed the door over twenty minutes ago. "Why haven't we left the gate?" he asked.

Al quickly replied, "The pilot said something about a maintenance issue a little while ago. I'm sure it's nothing."

Rick looked around suspiciously. Al said, "You were telling me about your doubts."

Rick glanced outside one more time, then back at Al. Finally, he said, "Yeah, I had some doubts. The plan wasn't foolproof. There were some variables that I couldn't control. There was no way to prevent being identified as the person who stole the money. My plan had to include a speedy getaway out of the country..."

"And that's why you're on this plane?" Al cut in.

"Uh, yeah," Rick replied. "I found a way to take the money, avoid revealing myself for a couple of hours and get to the airport. And now..."

"And now," Al interrupted, "you're under arrest."

Rick sat up straight in his chair. "Huh?"

Al grabbed his briefcase from under the chair in front of him and opened it up on his lap. Inside, Rick saw a tape recorder rolling and handcuffs. Al pulled the cuffs out and put Rick's hands in them as he sat stunned.

"B...b...but, how?" Rick stammered.

"Your chloroform wasn't as strong as you'd hoped," Al replied. "Your partner woke up not long after you left him with the truck and called it in. It was only a matter of figuring out where you were heading. We did that so quickly that we were able to put a wire on me so that I could record your confession."


"That's enough of that," Al said. He signaled the flight attendant at the front of the plane who opened the door. "Pick up the duffle and get up."

Glumly, Rick obeyed. The next few years wouldn't be as much fun as he had hoped.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hawaii Vacation

What can I say about Oahu except that it is totally awesome! Well, lot's of things, really. This post will recount some of our vacation and tell you a little about the island.

As many of you know, my wife and I recently went on a vacation to Hawaii, in particular the island of Oahu. Oahu is mostly known for being the home of Honolulu and Pearl Harbor, but it definitely has a lot more to share with visitors than just that. I will talk about that more below. It was my first time to Hawaii, but Janice had been to Maui some time ago, just after we had started dating, so I didn't tag along.

Below I'll talk about some of the activities we did (I would recommend ALL of them), and some of the things we didn't do for various reasons. There will be a couple of pics for your perusal. My wife planned most of our adventures using Go Hawaii. Some of them we just planned on our own and they turned out to be a lot of fun that way too.

So, we arrived on the evening of Friday, February 4th, just in time to see the sunset from the airport. Needless to say, we didn't do much that night. The next day we had our submarine ride planned for that afternoon, so we spent the morning on the beach. Our tour was with Atlantis Submarine, which Janice found on the Go Hawaii site. We ordered online ahead of time and got a discount that way. The submarine tour with Atlantis Tours was totally awesome! We saw several artificial reefs created by the University of Hawaii and Atlantis themselves. There were a lot of fish and we even saw a sea turtle. The tour guides told us that they have seen dolphins and whales on the tour before.

Sunday, we planned to do Pearl Harbor. They sell tours for this, but we decided to forego that and do it on our own. We took the public transit bus from the hotel, which only took forty-five minutes or so (we stayed in Waikiki). Once there, we were free to roam about at our leisure, which wouldn't have been true if we had purchased a guided tour. Some of the tour was a bit sad; there's a video about the attack and the whole monument is a somber place. The Arizona is still leaking fuel oil into the harbor even after almost seventy years. We visited the Arizona Memorial, the Bowfin (a WWII submarine) and the USS Missouri (where the surrender of Japan was signed). If you know me, you know that I love history, so I had a ton of fun at Pearl Harbor.

Monday was another ad hoc day. We decided that we would rent a car and drive to the North Shore of Oahu. When I mapped it out, the shortest route was straight through the middle of the island to the North Shore, but when we picked up the car, the guy from Enterprise who processed our rental told us that we should drive up the east side of the island on our way to the North Shore. He said it would take several hours (and it did), but that it would be worth it (and it soooo was). He gave us a map of Oahu with a route colored in and we followed it almost exactly. It was an amazing and utterly beautiful drive. Along the way we stopped at the side of the road countless times to take in the view and take pictures. Once we reached the North Shore, we stopped at Waimea Valley and swam under a waterfall (the water was cold, but worth it!), then we stopped at a town called Haleiwa where we ate dinner and shopped a little. It was getting dark, so the during drive back through the mountains to Honolulu and Waikiki we didn't see much, but that was alright, we'd seen quite a lot of beautiful scenery that day. It was hard to believe that we could drive one hundred and seventy miles on a small island like that!

For Tuesday evening we had a Luau planned. We returned the rental car in the morning and spent the rest of the morning on the beach. The Luau was purchased online in advance, so we got a discount. They picked us up at a shuttle stop in Waikiki and drove us out to the west shore where the Paradise Cove Luau would happen. It was a lot of fun, the guide on the bus was hilarious. They had fun activities planned and a big buffet too.

We didn't have an activity planned for Wednesday, so we decided to buy Janice some snorkel gear and head out to Hanauma Bay. The bay is amazing! It was formed from a volcanic crater and has a natural reef in it that the state lets people explore snorkeling or using scuba gear. They have snorkel gear for rent (which I used since I wear glasses). We took two disposable underwater cameras with us (which we used up within an hour). This is another thing that you can do with a tour group, but there's a city bus directly to the bay from Waikiki, so we decided to save a lot of money by doing it ourselves. We had such a good time snorkeling that we came back Friday morning before we had to leave for the airport.

Our Thursday activity was the one that I was looking forward to the most ahead of time. We purchased a Bike & Hike tour online ahead of time (for a nice discount). Basically, they drive you up one of the mountains and you coast down on a mountain bike. Honestly, it was beautiful and exhilarating, but there wasn't much pedaling involved, which kinda disappointed me. For the hike part, they drove us up to the edge of a forest reserve and we hiked up a trail that the company maintains through the jungle. It was a difficult hike, but totally awesome! At the middle of the hike was a two hundred foot tall waterfall!

Oahu is a beautiful island with a ton of activities to do. We didn't do nearly everything that we might have while we were there. One of the things that we missed was the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet, which our Luau guide told us about. Janice had wanted to go, but it's only a couple of days a week and we couldn't fit it in. I had also wanted to visit Chinatown, but it was another thing that we just couldn't fit in. The Honolulu Zoo also called out to me, but they didn't seem to have anything special that I couldn't see at other zoos, so we skipped it. There's also the Polynesian Cultural Center, which I'd heard a lot about, but after listening to some tourists and locals (and seeing the price), we decided to skip it.

It was a very good trip and one of the best vacations I've ever had, and not just because we didn't have the kids with us. I look forward to returning to Hawaii one day, though we'll probably visit one of the other islands instead since I hear that each one is unique.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Story a Week 10 - American Archeology

Welcome back readers! After a week of vacation and a day late, I bring you the next story in my Story a Week project. This is the second story that I'm presenting here that is not in the Frank Saga, so I hope that you like it. It's a little longer than most of the stories that I've posted, so I hope that you'll read the entire entry. I know that I've written mostly science fiction stuff, and I would like you all to know that I expect next week's post to be a little more genre neutral.

Since this is still a blog, I'll also let you all know that I have two non-story posts in the works, one of them will be about our trip to Hawaii. The other will be a surprise, of sorts, for now.

Now, I present to you, "American Archeology":


Archeologist Bensen dug through the pile of trash in the latest excavation of one of Old America's small towns. He gasped when he found a solid plastic tub. Such finds were rare almost one hundred years after the end of the United States, and when you did find one, they almost always yielded good artifacts or cultural data.

Excitedly, Bensen cleared out the garbage surrounding the tub. It was one of the clear varieties, so Bensen could see the contents. Gingerly, he turned the tub around. Inside he saw some notebooks and... what were those flat round things? Oh, yeah, compact discs. Bensen shook his head, at the time of the fall, Americans had discovered solid state storage and they were still using inefficient and fragile compact discs?

He shook his head again as he stared into the tub. His boss would want to see this. "Doctor Toben! Doctor Toben!"

Bensen heard voices outside approaching the ruined house or whatever this building was one hundred years ago. Doctor Matthias Toben and another of his archeology students entered the building. Toben immediately spotted the tub and asked, "What have you got there, Bensen?"

"It's one of those old plastic tubs commonly used for storage, Doctor. It has several notebooks and some compact discs inside. There are some other miscellaneous items as well," Bensen replied. He hesitated for a moment, and then asked, "I'd like to have permission to bring it back to the lab and examine the contents myself."

Bensen could see the debate going on inside of his mentor's head. One the one hand, Bensen was a final year graduate student. On the other hand, who knows what new discoveries Bensen might destroy if he weren't careful.

Finally, Toben said, "Okay, you can examine your find. When you get to the field lab, have some undergrads observe you working. We'll kill two jets with one missile."

Bensen quickly surveyed the rest of the room for any other tubs or other valuable artifacts, but didn't see anything. He gently carried the tub out to one of the ATVs that the excavation team was using. He was so careful that it took him twice as long as normal to get back to the field lab. Once there, he told some undergrads to spread the word around that he'd be opening up something special.

Before the undergrads arrived, Bensen spent some time prepping the lab. When six or seven undergrads came into the lab, Bensen began. He put on gloves and carefully opened the lid. The smell of musty paper wafted out of the tub and into the lab. Bensen smiled, that smell was one of the many reasons that he loved this work.

He reached for the first notebook and carefully extracted it from the tub. He gently opened to the first page and gasped for the second time that day. "The contents of this notebook appear to be a journal."

One of the undergrads asked, "Is that good?"

Bensen answered without looking up, "Oh, yes. We have many surviving government records and other semi-reliable resources, but actual eye-witness accounts are often more accurate and reliable than governmental records. Also, we've uncovered details about the end of the United States that aren't in any official records."

Bensen began reading the journal, "November 24th, 2017. It's supposed to be Thanksgiving Day. The only thing that we have to be thankful for is that no bandits have come calling in the past six months. Ever since the Army was ordered to abandon Fort Ripley, the bandits have been able to travel over a wider range of territory and haven't come to Flensburg since then."

Bensen looked up at his audience. He said, "We know from our governmental records that Fort Ripley and many other smaller garrisons around the country were ordered to be abandoned on May 15th, 2017. The Army was trying to reorganize and consolidate their forces after the nuclear attacks earlier in that year."

He glanced down at the journal and scanned through the rest of the notebook. He stopped when he saw something interesting. He read, "March 26th, 2018. The power finally went out today. We'd known that it would eventually happen, but we were hoping that it would last until the spring was in full swing at least. We've been working really hard on a wall to surround the town and we should have it finished by summer."

Bensen looked up at the undergrad students. He said, "We knew that the Monticello Nuclear Plant went down sometime during the spring of 2018, but we never had a date before today. This is very exciting! Now, I know that this evidence isn't exactly decisive, anything could have happened to make this town lose power, but the evidence is very promising anyway."

Bensen flipped a couple of pages to the end of the notebook. He scanned it and grunted. He started to close the notebook when one of the undergrads asked, "What's it say?"

Bensen looked up. "Oh, probably not much of use, but I'll read it, if you like."

He saw all of the students nod and he continued reading, "July 4th, 2018. We had an Independence Day party today. The Mayor says that we need to remember that we were once a part of something bigger. Fat lot of good it does for us now. We still get short wave transmissions from what's left of the US Government when we bother to waste generator power on it. At least the fireworks were good, even though we used the last of them. Oh, and there was plenty to drink. In other news, some bandits came by yesterday for the first time since we completed the wall. They decided not to risk attacking us, which is good."

Bensen glanced at the clock on the wall and saw that the lab would be closing for the day in a few minutes. "We have time for one more entry," he said. He closed the notebook that he had open and gently pulled out the next one from the tub. He opened the notebook and said, "Oh, my. This journal begins before the nuclear attacks."

Bensen read out loud, "March 12th, 2017. I've decided to start keeping a journal. Things around the country and around the world are getting more and more alarming and I wanted to capture the events from my perspective. Who knows? Maybe I'll be able to turn this into a bestselling novel after all of this stuff blows over.

"I better catch this journal up with current events of late. Where to begin? Well, President Jefferies was inaugurated into office two months ago which seemed to be the start of the world-wide protests against the US. Jefferies is a very conservative Christian. After he was elected, he started spouting out anti-Islamic and isolationist ideals that he had kept hidden before the election."

Bensen paused here to note, "That's not entirely true. When Jefferies was the governor of Texas, he was very much anti-immigration and used the state police to close the border with Mexico. When he started winning the primary elections for the Presidency, he quieted down about his foreign policy views and focused on improving the United States' export/import ratio and lowering taxes."

Bensen looked back down at the journal and continued reading, "At this point, no one is certain that the Minotaur virus is a biological weapon used against us, or if it's just a natural outbreak of a previously unknown virus. The government claims that the outbreak is contained, but most of the media outlets are telling us otherwise. There are unconfirmed reports of the disease having spread to each of the other continents. Russia is accusing the US government of purposely spreading the disease to other countries."

Bensen glanced at the clock again and noticed that it was a couple of minutes past closing time. Doctor Toben was standing there listening to Bensen read the journal. Bensen said, "It looks like it's time to go..." His audience collectively sighed. "I'm sure that I'll be going through these all tomorrow too."

The assembled undergrads filed out and Doctor Toben approached the table where Bensen was working. "I didn't hear much," the Doctor said, "but it all sounded very interesting."

Excitedly, Bensen nodded his head. "There's great stuff in here. Whoever the author is, they started the journal in March of 2017. I've already discovered some new information in the first one I flipped through."

Toben smiled and replied, "That's good. You can continue to work through these journals and whatever else is in that tub." Bensen smiled and was about to speak, but Toben held up his hand. "I expect detailed notes, the journals to be transcribed and indexed, and a full report when you're done."

Bensen's smile didn't run away as Toben was obviously expecting it to. "Of course, Doctor. I want to do everything by the book." Toben nodded, said goodbye and left.

As Bensen was gingerly putting the journals away he found himself looking forward to the next couple of weeks.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Story a Week will be tomorrow

Hello everybody! My wife and I are still recuperating from our overnight flight from Hawaii last night and as such I haven't finished the story for this week. I've written quite a bit of it and I'm really excited to share it with you all, when it's finished.

I'm also going to write a blog entry about our trip, complete with pictures, so stay tuned for that as well.


Sunday, February 6, 2011


Hello everybody!

I am sorry to announce that there is not going to be a Story a Week this week. My lovely wife and I are on vacation in beautiful Hawaii! I had planned to write the story during the long flights from Minnesota to Honolulu, but I never got around to it.

Also, people have asked about the Frank Saga. I was tempted to tell you all that last week's story was the last in the series, but I thought it might ruin it for you all, but I'm told that it wasn't obvious enough. Maybe if I run out of new ideas, I'll revisit Frank, but for now I have quite a few ideas floating around in my head that I'd like to explore with you all. So, stay tuned for another story soon and thanks for your patience!