I agree. The last chapter was Sept 2013. Time sure flies. I went back and re-read the whole tale and now wish for more. What can we do to light a fire under Blackmage? He can't just leave us all hanging like this.
Consider the fire lit. I have dusted off a stack of notes and concepts about the Rayn story just to get mu mind straight. When I went back through it and read it, here online... I was stunned. This was something that forced my potential to be explored mainly from the input of all of you.
This writing felt more like an 'US' than a 'MY' project... and I realized that it felt good.
I will have to dig into myself in order to re-enter this dismal world in which the light is held on by a 15-year old boy trying to find and protect the most important thing in his life, which happens to be a pre-teen girl striving to be a woman that feels the same about him.
I have NEVER written anything like this in my life... and as crazy as it sounds, it feels more like Rayn and Fatboy are already alive and all I am doing is 'really' recording their tale and calling it a story.
Yes that always happens to me when I write. Once I create the characters they seem to take over the story and very often I have no idea what the character is about to say until my pen hits the paper and then it just flows out. It never ceases to amaze me.
Mother Nature’s two rowdiest children are Life and the Weather. Siblings in all but understanding, the eldest of the duo has always pushed the younger to ‘find-a-way’ to survive; and so, Life, has always found a way. In this dreary age of grim skies and rage, hope had formed itself into a small pair of rubber boots dashing through dank neighborhoods looking for life. A weary beacon of dying light and smoke guided their way using determination as fuel.
Huffing for air, Rayn’s tightened breast swelled with excitement as she sprinted over a broken lawn mower, rusted into a monument representing suburban life-no-more; across a broken gate, a knee-high puddle down by a cul-de-sac, and through a pair of zero-lot-lined homes; she would not stop.
“Dam – hunf-hunf – Dammit! Slow - hunf-hunf – down, Rayn!” cried out Cory, shuffling half a house behind her smaller companion. Feeling the weight of her waterlogged backpack and clothing, she leaned against the edge of a small front porch plastic chair held together by a shrewd collage of entangled vines smeared with hues ranging from dingy yellow to mischievous maroon.
Rayn slowed her pace and paused while crawling through an open space between two wooden gate planks. Tiny mushrooms grew through all of the areas missing paint on each of the boards. The pouring rain made the wood as soft as worn clothing.
“We’re almost there, Cory. We gotta hurry, the smoke is almost gone. It’s the next street between those houses. Fatboy, is right over there somewhere.” Rayn pointed frantically as Cory held up her hand waving for her return.
“Come here, Green-Eyes” she spoke in a lower tone while staring at the vines beside her.
Rayn rubbed the water from her eyes and stepped away from the gate to return to Cory, she knew something was wrong. Her older ally was quiet. “What’s going on, Cory? What do you see?”
The older teen moved her hand along the vines then squinted her eyes to peer into the storm before them. Without looking away, she reached over and gently grabbed Rayn’s hand to pull her next to her.
“I’ve seen these vines before while traveling with the other foragers. They called them ‘Dead Man Fingers’ and said that the dead is always near, wherever they grow.”
Rayn gazed at the vine then out into the direction that Cory was transfixed on. “What are you looking at?”
“That side of that house over there.” She pointed. “You said that Fatboy is on the next street, right?”
“Look over there on the side of that house, up near the roof.” She pointed again to direct Rayn to her focus.
“I see black lumps.”
“Look again, Green-Eyes.”
Rayn jumped. “They moved!”
“I know. C’mon, let’s go this way to cut through the houses.”
Cory took the lead and guided Rayn to the edge of the houses just before the street of the smoldering home that Fatboy burned. Both of them sat quietly as the rain weakened and the black lumps scurried up and down the side of the home that Rayn was sure that Fatboy would be.
She whispered, “What are they?”
Cory withdrew her hammer and gripped it at the ready. “They’re vultures. They used to be plain birds, but the storms changed them. They can’t fly anymore so they crawl along trees and walls attacking the wounded or scavenging on the dead.”
“Oh my God, we’ve got to find Fatboy.” whispered Rayn with a suppressed shout.
“I know – I know, Green-eyes, we just have to…” responds Cory as she is interrupted by the tug of Rayn stepping away from her to pull out her pocket knife in response to the scavengers.
“No. You don’t know, Cory. I’m going to get Fatboy.” Her small frame tightened as her glare was as stern as her intent. With blade in hand, after moving her backpack from her back to her front for protection, Rayn gave a final swipe of water from her face and pushed in to the gray lit darkness of the storm leading to the house holding Fatboy.
The shell of a house had four vultures screeching around in the front room as though they were cautiously impatient.
“GET AWAY!” barked Rayn, kicking the backend of the scavenger closest to her. Cory, speechless and in awe, struggled to accept the fearlessness in a person so tiny for a need so great. Confounded, she followed the little girl, who claimed womanhood, and joined in, “Get away, bird! Check the kitchen, Green-eyes.”
Entering the kitchen seemed to signal the breaking of the storm. The rain eased its onslaught and the clouds lightened as the crashing of bolts in the distance acted as lamps to break the gloom. Sitting next to a hollowed out refrigerator, beneath the sink was Fatboy. His chin resting on his chest as blood drenched his jacket and his body shivered furiously. He was not awake.
“FATBOY!” cried out Rayn as she rushed to him and tugged his body to hers with strength three times her size. “Fatboy!” She called out, only to have the room echo it back, with no answer from her guardian.
Cory rushed to her side and helped her to pull him out from the sink. “Hold on, Rayn. Let me grab him… let me grab him. Here, put’em on his backpack.”
“God, PLEASE!!” screamed Rayn, refusing to let go of Fatboy’s sleeve. “Cory, save him… please save him…please.” Her tears burned from the heat of her emotion.
Freezing up from Rayn’s impassioned plea, Cory leaned back with her open hands collapsed against her mouth and started to cry against her will. She couldn’t move and yet her body forced her to react.
“I got him, Rayn.” Cory examined Fatboy and called out to him only to receive no answer. She checked his eyes, grabbed his wrist, then reached under his shirt to feel his chest. “Keep the vultures back, Rayn.” she ordered.
The young protector stood beside Cory and Fatboy holding her pocketknife with a vicious new purpose. She would hold the doorway while Cory worked. The birds withdrew from the house as if they understood.
Cory pinched the base of both sides of Fatboy nose and twisted it with a snap. She pressed against his chest to help him breathe easier and changed his sweater with a dry one from a plastic bag in his backpack. Fatboy’s body continued to jerk for warmth as Corey turned to Rayn.
“His nose was broken, but I was able to reset it. His body won’t stay warm, Green-eyes. We have to light a fire.”
Rayn paused and lowered her head. “We can’t, Cory.”
“What?!?” questions her partner, sharply.
“When a person creates a beacon, like this, it means that someone was looking for them. A fire would guide them to us. My Daddy taught us this.”
“Then what are we supposed to do, Green-eyes. He needs heat.”
Looking around, Rayn shoved a small table into the doorway of the kitchen and stacked debris all around it to block the vultures. She then stood beside Cory and asked her to help her pull Fatboy back under the sink. With nothing else said, she crawled up under the sink with her guardian and pulled off both of their shirts to use as blankets as she cuddled up to his chest.
“He’s my mate, Cory. I’ll die before I leave him again.”
Cory stood paralyzed for a moment, and then pulled together the clothes from her bag to add to the blanket. She removed her shirt and curled up on the other side of Fatboy to help save his life.
“You are definitely a weird one, Green-eyes. I can’t wait to braid your hair.” The two girls smiled at each other and fell asleep protecting Fatboy.
Imagine the breath of a blizzard, age-old and bitter. The very gossip of time muttered through its boreal lips of sleet could dance over a continent and create an ice age for an era. Imagine a murmur of cold from this blizzard upon one’s body asking it to submit to its blight of anguish; at the most, it would ease the shivers of misery wracking that same one’s self from each of its prickly touches.
Now, envision an oasis of southern warmth amidst the jabbering of this storm. It is a wellspring of joy, strong enough to crack this twilight of submission and to remind one ‘the need to rebel’. The cold demands that life finds its way away from this body… as the warmth stands strong as the vigor fighting to ensure that it stays. Between this war of cold and warmth, there can only be one victor…
Fatboy snatched himself awake with a stubborn heave for air as his head bumped against the underside pipe of the kitchen sink. The morning did not want to be nice to him, but the presents left at its doorstep made up for the knock on his head. The naked flesh of two snug women against him made him hesitantly ask if he had ‘died and gone to heaven’; until the shadows danced away from the smaller woman’s face to reveal the beautiful features of all that he ever wanted to protect.
The boy forced to be a man, quickly became the boy that he was and grabbed up his best friend with the mightiest of hugs. His cheeks curled tightly with a smile as his tears melted over his face.
“Rayn! Thank you, God! Rayn!”
Mumbling against his bare chest, the now awaken little girl responded, “FftBoooyft, cn’t brth.”
Fatboy held her back and looked at her, as her golden face swelled into a cute grin bordered by endless forest-green eyes. “I missed you, Fatboy.” She said softly as she reached her arms around him and hugged him as a mother bear loving her cub. Her embraced seemed to be twice as tight as his own.
“I cn’t brth, Ryn.”
The duo giggled and laughed until Fatboy came to his senses and stared at Rayn’s body in the brightening morning light. “Rayn..? Where’s your shirt? Go get dressed. You shouldn’t be…” Before he could finish his statement the morning also allowed him to see the other woman that was there.
“Whoa.” Chirped, Fatboy as her grown figure stole his breath with as much tenacity as the focus of his attention. His mind asked the question, ‘Who is that?’ as his body responded with a conversation summed up as, “Whoa.”; for the second time. The figure before him was gorgeous and strong. He’d never seen a near-naked woman this close before, much less, felt one. Puberty would never let him forget this moment.
Cory, woke up, and eased away from the couple covering her bare breast with crossed arms, as she looked upon this ‘boy’ that she has heard so much about. His gestures were those of youth and innocence, his quickness for realization was that of a war-torn soldier. Fatboy naturally began to position himself between her and Rayn. His demeanor melded into that which refused to invite trust.
He crawled slowly from the kitchen sink with one arm back towards Rayn and the other pushing along the floor. He would not break his gaze from the unknown woman. His eyes flashed quickly to gather his surroundings and to search for his aluminum bat.
“Who are you?” He asked, slowly staggering to a loose stance. “I’m – I’m Cory.” She answered. “I don’t know you, lady.”
Rayn pulled on her protector’s arm, “She’s my friend, Fatboy. She helped me find you. She fixed your nose last night and helped me to save you.”
Fatboy leered at the woman and ‘into’ the woman. She was fed and strong, her skin smooth and yet tough. She glared back at him with, what seemed to be, more interest in him than he in her. One of Fatboy’s eyebrows raised curiously then he bit his bottom lip.
A stark screech rammed its way into the kitchen as the wind swallowed up the gurgling trappings of a vulture, too far from its venue, being swarmed by a group of wetcats outside. Grabbing his bat near the windows, Fatboy rested against the shambling edge of the counter to look into the sky.
“There’s a black pocket of clouds dragging in the east. Side-rain is going to be hitting here in a few hours. The wetcats are going to hunt hard for more food. We gotta move.”
Fatboy stumbled forward, regained his balance, and then began packing up his backpack after dressing. He would not look at Rayn getting dressed, and he could not ignore Cory dressing. The trio moved into the clutch of the downpour outside.
“Where are we headed?” asked Cory as her voice sought confidence in the request. Fatboy ignored her until they were two neighborhoods away from where they started. They gathered under a small bus stop on the side of the road to escape the downpour long enough to confirm their direction.
“We needed out of the house area, lady. I hate seeing the dead in their homes. That street over there leads to down town. We need to get to the stores for supplies and safety.” Fatboy held Rayn’s hand and entered the low-flooding water to move along its path to down town. Cory instantly felt like a bother more than a team member and did her best to follow.
Two hours later, they arrived on the edge of downtown as the heavy rain abruptly decreased into a light haze of mist and drizzle. A strong low breeze crawled quickly through the town, it was as warm as a liar’s breath.
“You guys feel that?” Cory barked in a low tone.
“It’s the calm before the side-rain, Cory.” Commented Rayn as she watched Fatboy vanish into the store closest to them to investigate.
“What’s wrong with your friend, Rayn? He acts funny.” Inquired Cory almost as a complaint.
“Fatboy doesn’t know you yet. He’s like this with anyone we meet. Some people have done some bad things to us in the past and he’s been through way more than me.”
“We’ve all been through bad stuff, Rayn. He doesn’t have to be so mean.”
Fatboy then appeared in the doorway of the store, across the street and raised his hand to signal for the duo to join him. Rayn led the way and Cory followed, once again.
The ramshackled store was dark and dank, yet safe. Light creaked through all of the windows and crisscrossed the entire area providing a steady stream of luminance and good air. “There are shelves in the back that we can sleep on when the floods start tonight.” Said Fatboy as he held up a wet cardboard box he found. “Not to mention, I found an old box of trash bags buried in a junk pile behind the door.” He then smiled.
Rayn ran into the store and instantly went into ‘scavenger mode’ as though it was a game. She was determined to find something to outdo the trash bags he’d found. Cory walked in behind her and kept her distance from Fatboy. It wasn’t long before Rayn’s voice sang out from the back, “I got something!”
Fatboy and Cory came to the back of the store only to be met with quirky smirk from Rayn and a large lock on a stock room door. Faboy dropped his head to the side and shrugged with his eyebrows pulled upward as he moved his head from side-to-side. “That’s a padlock, Rayn. Look at the dents on it. No one could break it, you would need an actual hammer to break something like that. We don’t have one.”
Rain leaned back with her lips perched into an adorable sneer. Her hands were clasped behind her back as she twiddled her right boot along the floor; she then looked up slowly at their newest braided-hair companion.
A series of sharp whacks from her tried-and-true travel hammer left the padlock destroyed in pieces on the ground; the opening of the stockroom door was just as quick. A cough of gray soot rolled from the room as the stench of ashy decay fell out into the new air for all but a moment as the winds from the light rain outside made it dissipate. All items organic were now mounds of garbled muck, dried in-place.
The can food shelves in the back were a vision to take in. Every shelf was full and completely untouched. Hundreds of cans lined the walls with foods varying from fruit, vegetables, and canned meat. The never ending rain outside kept the temperature low and the food somewhat preserved. The wrapping and metal of the cans were in near perfect condition. Many were still wrapped in the tough, clear, plastic bundles they arrived in on the pallets.
No one could move or look away.
“I haven’t seen anything like this, since before the first storm.” Said Cory
“I have NEVER seen anything like this.” Said Fatboy.
“Does this mean we’re rich?” questioned Rayn.
... ... ...
“YEP.” Responded Cory and Fatboy at the same time.
Thanks. Things have been heating up on the 'concept-side' of things with Fatboy and Rayn. For some reason I have found myself scratching down a ton of notes for their journey from the thoughts that have been hitting me.
I love this story. It really sweeps me into that world as if I were there and makes me want to write another short story to add to it as my previous two did. I might bring my two lead characters together somehow as a follow up to both tales. The Red Cross took place in Louisville, Ky and Who'll stop the rain? took place in Norfolk, Va. not that far apart so we will see? As always you make my creative wheels start turning.
But getting back to your story, Fatboy thinks of Rayne as his little sister and Rayne calls him her mate, now enter Cory who is obviously well grown and I can see a love triangle in the making. Fatboy could well fall for Cory as he is blissfully unaware of Rayne's feelings for him and it is possible that Cory might begin to fall for him. Prospective mates seem a bit few and far between. But Cory is all too aware of Rayne's feelings for Fatboy so even if she does begin to have feelings for him she probably would never say anything. If left alone Fatboy's natural urges just might make him make a clumsy attempt to kiss Cory. If she rejects him what then? Will they split up? If she doesn't resist and Rayne witnesses it, that will break Rayne's heart and she might run away. There is so many ways this story could go? I can't wait to find out what happens next?
Last Edit: Jun 10, 2015 20:21:34 GMT -5 by John Reid
I love your analysis... and THANKS!!! Feedback like this is what motivates a writer to push on with a creation. I really appreciate it.
As I write each of these characters, they actually start to move and think on their own in my mind. Cory's maturity and medical background brings skills to the team that are not only valuable, but needed. Fatboy is knowledgeable and aware; his protective nature brings a feeling of goodness to my words when I write, but he challenges me (as a writer) because I could not make him a killer.
Let me explain...
One of the most difficult things, as a creator, is to make a character with traits that bring him alive in the story forcing you to adhere to HIS personality, instead of what you WANT him to do. In this case, Fatboy is more of a young guardian, who cherishes Rayn and their subtle celebration of the life they have. It SUCKS, because I NEEDED him to be more heartless when confronted by 'Bird'.
What I found, is that the 'heartlessness' didn't work for him and he felt odd as I tried to force him to be what I wanted. Initially... I failed. No matter how many times I went over the story, Fatboy came to life within the words of this story as much as Rayn became the glue that bonded in the theme. He was no killer and Rayn is one that learns.
Rayn is as relentless as the weather and yet as different as the types of storms that have occurred. For me as a writer she is journey between ignorance lost and reality unaccepted. As a reader, she is what I need to understand along with the preciousness within their world.
This story is tough. It is tough, because it was not all built from me alone. Every time you all asked me to write, I used that cross between desire and motivation to become the essential building blocks of these two main characters.
John, I HOPE that you continue to write in this world so that we can develop it from various aspects. I loved the stories you did and I think they made the entire concept more rich while increasing its scope. Write something to position your characters to come together at a junction point. It would force your creative skills to meld their differences while keeping them unique.
Well I guess we are inspiring each other. Reading your new additions caused me to want to contribute more to it and you fuel my imagination. Before I bring them together I might add a few more characters in between their worlds and try and make the meeting make sense.
Now regarding characters writing their own stories, I totally know what you mean and it happens to me every time I write. The moment I create a character with a concept in mind for them to be like I find that the character takes over and I very often have no idea what the character is going to say or do until the pen hits the paper or my fingers hit the keyboard. I am often shocked by the turn of events as much as if I were just taking dictation.
I think I figured out how that works? I know that it is actually akin to what ventriloquists often go through. In my youth when I did magic shows for a living I teamed up with a ventriloquist whose name was Steve. He was an older man and I learned how to book shows from him.
Anyway I noticed he never referred to his vent figures in any other way than if they were real entities. He would say "Then Jack said this...or that". So I asked him about that. He told me that when they would go to a party and he was just ad libbing he never knew what Jack was going to say? And he was often shocked by what came out and laughed as hard as everyone else who heard it.
Year later I worked in the mental health field and encounter a woman with many many many personalities. Her whole family and friends were "in there" with her and "they" would have the most elaborate conversations. It was quite fascinating to hear. Incidentally she was blind and deaf, so she created her own "reality" and lived in it.
I have since watched and read a lot about multiple personality syndrome and how some psychiatrists actually doubt it's existence, but I have no doubts and have actually figured out how it works?
You see we all think we are born with personality, but the fact is we are born with only minor personality traits such as whether we are a baby who cries a lot or smiles a lot and that is about it! Everything else that we think of as our personality, we create. It is a lifetime project and experience is how we add to it.
But sometimes, when very young, such as in the famous case of Sybil, who was tortured and sexually abused by her mother at such a young age, the personality we have created up to that point cannot handle the situation, so that leaves it two choices. Usually what happens is a complete nervous collapse, the mind simply collapses and the person goes mad, but sometimes to prevent that from happening this amazing escape route occurs. The mind realizes that the personality it has created is not strong enough to deal with the situation it finds itself in and so since it created the personality once, it decides to do it again. By switching to this new personality the mind can now cope with the abuse because it is happening to someone else and by blacking out and switching back and forth the original personality is preserved, but then a new problem occurs because the new personality thinks it should be in charge all of the time and even worse, the mind has learned to deal with problems in this new way so still more personalities often get created.
Now I bring this up because I believe it is the very same process that is occurring in our minds when we create a new character. This character lives in our mind and seeks to be real! It does not want your personality to control it, it wants to make it's own decisions. This is what is occurring when the ventriloquist does not even know what his vent figure is going to say next and what is happening in us when we do not know what our own character is going to say and do next.
In short you created Fatboy and Rayne and their universe. You are essentially their God, but like the one who created our universe you gave them free will and they insist on exercising it. Fatboy and Rayne are in fact alive.
Last Edit: Jun 11, 2015 15:04:17 GMT -5 by John Reid
Your comment was so deep, it took me a while to digest. You brought up some intriguing thoughts which are easily felt amongst us creators. I must agree, sometimes I do feel 'off' when I have a scene in my story picking at me to be written. I can actually see the scene and hear the conversations from my characters going on as I struggle to remember what they are saying.
It is often triggered by some event occurring in real life which instantly makes me want to write or draw.
This situation often lends itself to the greater debate of, 'who truly seeks motivation more from the appreciation of their fans?' Is it the writer/artist that acts as the gateway between the piece of work and those who enjoy it... or the piece of work, itself, that is finally being enjoyed?
I mean who are we truly a fan of more, the Iliad and the Odyssey or Homer? Game of Thrones or George R.R. Martin? Star Wars or George Lucas? Star Trek or Gene Roddenberry? The list goes on...
Characters DO have the ability to live through words and echo through our memories of the adventures they have gone through; I can't deny this. I guess the only thing that we can do as creators is smile knowing that they are the gateway to our immortality.
The night sky hollered as the onrush of side-rain incessantly pattered against the back and back-side of the ‘Neighbor-Mart’ store. It came in waves, as if it was the revelry of angels after a great battle. The front and front-side of the store remained protected, which was a welcomed perk; for the expected flood never came, instead cool streams of rainwater flowed in rivers down the streets.
The dark heavens crackled with dancing lights in the distance, but the thunder, barely noticeable, merely became rhythmic bass for the tale of three young comrades counting their blessings and simply enjoying their night.
“And so, Gold-Skin Man and his green cat, Creaker, saved his friends!” said Fatboy as he leaned back with his hands dancing in the air. He had two empty cans of chicken-and-dumplings, along with a half-eaten can of pears beside him.
“No – no, Fatboy, you forgot his sister. What about She-Girl and her rainbow horse? You forgot about her, what did she do?” yelped Rayn, just before shoving another fork full of Spaghetti-Rings and meatballs into her mouth. She hopped around the room, as if she was on a horse fighting with a magical sword.
“Okay, dang it… She-Girl was the one who beat Skullface. Every time he tried to shoot his magic, She-Girl would swoop around his blasts like a swift wind, with her horse, and bounce his beams back at him, knocking him down. That’s how she won.” Answered Fatboy, finishing off his pears.
Rayn stood before him and smiled in the dim light, “Sooo, She-Girl was the one who REALLY saved the day, right?” “Nope. They both did. Nah.” Fatboy returned her smile.
Cory sat quietly and somewhat amazed as to what she just experienced. “Uhm… you DO know you guys are talking about an old cartoon show that used to come on TV?”
Fatboy and Rayn continued to stare at each other as their smiles slowly faded. Rayn took a deeper notice of the cut across Fatboy’s nose, as Fatboy's lips parted, he became fixated on the small fresh scar on Rayn’s face stemming from her recent battle with the wetcats.
Fatboy stood in front of her and palmed her face gently, before slowly rubbing his thumb across her healing cut.
“I was scared of losing you, Rayn.”
Her throat swelled, her eyes watered.
With the sharpness of weather-change, Fatboy turned his attentions to Cory, “Who exactly are you, lady? What made you team up with, Rayn?”
Cory placed her near empty can of gumbo down beside her feet and leaned away slightly before responding, “I was a Forager from Under-Mall and I got tired of being there.”
“What?!?” yipped Fatboy in grim surprise.
Cory continued, “You gotta have a mate to stay indoors at Under-Mall. Everybody has a job there and foraging is one of the most dangerous; hence, those without mates are automatically assigned as Foragers.”
“Why didn’t you have a mate?”
“Because I was still somewhat new and none of the men picked me.” Cory stood slowly, looked at Rayn, then moved towards the door. She leered out into storming darkness. “Every time we went out, it seemed like someone came back mangled or dead. How in the heck are you supposed to find a mate or fall in love in a situation in which everyone puts you out front to take the biggest risks because you're new.”
Fatboy sucked his teeth.
Cory erupted, “What is your problem with me, Fatboy? I just met you. I was trying to help Rayn… and you. Why can’t you give me a chance?”
Moving closer to Rayn and his bat, Fatboy spoke, “Because you’re pretty, Cory. I’ve watched guys die protecting women like you. I won’t. I don’t trust you, but I will respect you for Rayn’s sake.”
Rayn moved between Cory and Fatboy. She didn’t understand what was happening.
Grabbing Rayn’s hand, Fatboy lead her over to their makeshift sleeping area on the shelves. Cory stayed by the door watching the duo and the storm.
The boy, acting as a man, whispered to his companion, “Don’t forget, the only one we can trust, is each other, Rayn.”
The young girl wanting so bad to be a woman, fought back her tears and confusion before succumbing to sleep as Fatboy sat watch over her with his bat.
He would not allow himself to trust the beautiful lady that was now traveling with them.
Yay!! We sure had to wait for that episode. I refer to them as episodes because I can see them in my mind. Keep up the good work. You have us all hooked, so don't leave us hanging so long.
On the other hand I know you're probably like me and cannot force yourself to write. You have to be in the mood or it just won't come out no matter how much you stare at the page.
I do think though that this is a very publishable story and one of the best modern science fiction concepts in years. So keep at it and one day everyone might be running around with a Rayne paperback book eagerly devouring it.
THANK YOU! I was at work and got caught up in a rain shower. I stared out from the parking lot for awhile and then Rayn and Fatboy jumped in my thoughts. I went in, logged in to the forum, and started going through this entire post again.
It was MAGIC!
I think it was an awesome piece of work when reflecting on US as a community!!
I have actually started to create more notes for their adventures.
Dang it...get slammed with busy stuff and miss the forum a few days and I miss out on a new episode of one of my favorite stories!
I REALLY want to know whats up with Cory...why does Fatboy distrust her so much? It has to be more than just that she is pretty or why else would she be single. Does he think she is setting them up to be taken to undermall?
The Muse leaves you in a zen cloud of well being, positive energy and creative fire. You find yourself succumbing to the overwhelming urge to write and create.......
Two small blocks of Styrofoam wrapped in tape are placed in a small plastic grocery bag and shoved into the bottom of a backpack. Two cans of beans-and-ham follow. Dry clothes wrapped in a trash bag are pushed on top of the food cans, and the ‘burner’ bag is placed on top of the clothing. Inside the burner bag, a box of wooden matches, plastic bits, scrap paper, birthday candles, and incense are snuggly arranged; frankincense-and-myrrh would have been preferred, but Rose scent would have to do.
A light creak and the clatter from a fallen pocket knife jarred Rayn from her rest. Instinctively peering into the dim morning luminance, she searched for Fatboy. He wasn’t there. Crawling down from her shelf, her boot scampered across one of the bottom shelves for grip only to screech from her weight causing Cory to stir, over by the door.
Rayn’s green eyes seemed to glow as she scratched her head and yawned while looking for Fatboy. It was the shuffle in the back-storage area that grabbed her attention and so she went.
“What are you doing, Fatboy?” she asked as she watched him push his first-aid bag into his backpack beside the burner bag.
His companion stretched and moved towards her backpack to gather her gear, “I was kind of hoping we could stay a little while longer, now that we’re rich.”
Fatboy placed two more tape-wrapped Styrofoam blocks in his bag to top it off then tightened the pull string before closing it. “We ARE going to stay here, Rayn. I just have to run out and do something, really quick.”
Picking up the pocket knife from the floor, Fatboy stared at her before shoving it in his pocket. “I’m gonna go back and try to save those people that Bone is hurting.”
“What?!? The scary guy you told us about last night? His friend HURT you, Fatboy! WHY?”
The boy stood before Rayn as a chastised child; his shoulder’s slumped. She stepped up to him and grabbed his shirt while looking up into his eyes, “We JUST got back together, Fatboy! I don’t want to be apart no more.”
Fatboy studied the pain on her face. She was too young to have worry-lines and yet, this young ‘want-to-be’ woman seemed to have them forming. His hands were so heavy, he dared not try to lift them, instead he whispered his response as loudly as he could muster, “People are being hurt, Rayn.”
The little girl whipped away from her companion and stomped her feet as she barged out of the storage area. Fatboy was frozen.
A moment crawled past as he grabbed his bat and eased out of the room towards the door.
“LET’S GO.” Said Rayn, fully dressed with her backpack on.
“I’m not going to be apart from you, Fatboy! Not again.” Her stance was as stern as her intent. Fatboy now understood Cory’s description of Rayn, when she told about her standing up to the vultures in the house.
“I don’t want you in danger, Rayn.”
“And I don’t want YOU in danger, Fatboy. I’m NOT leaving you.”
Fatboy smiled as his shoulders slowly began to rise. Turning to the door, once again his path was blocked.
“You don’t have to trust me, Fatboy, I get it. But, where Green-Eyes go, I go.” Cory placed herself before the door with her backpack. “You and the princess is all that I have and I am going to earn your trust. We can block up the storage room and disguise it until we get back, but this ‘mission’ you’re doing… we are all going to do.”
At that point, Fatboy felt complete – they were a great agony to have.
Working as a fluid team, the three camouflaged the door to the storage room and set off into the rain on their mission to save people they did not know.
Excellent as usual. Keep it up. Sounds like Fatboy is on his way to becoming a hero himself. Prior to this he was a survivalist with only himself and Rayne to watch out for. Now his conscience has grown as he grows and he realizes that helping others is always the right thing to do, even though it will place his own survival in jeopardy.
He's just evolved from selfishness to selflessness. It's a path from which there is no return. Once you have resolved to take that path you can never again be content with just taking care of your own needs.
It will be interesting to watch them all begin to evolve toward this new way of thinking.
Two hours ago, beams of sunlight diffused through the early morning showers as a flashlight covered by thin cloth. It created a kaleidoscope of hues in areas the storm clouds were thinnest; there seemed to be small rainbows everywhere, dancing in the mist-like rain that greeted this day of challenge. The warmth from the sunshine was welcomed, it dispatched a brief respite from the chill of upcoming unknowns. in fact, it moved as the silent fourth member of Fatboy’s team of rescuers – then again, that was two hours ago…
Huddled up, one street across from their destination, Fatboy, Rayn, and Cory peered from a cracked glass door leading to a small outside balcony, on the second floor of a dilapidated movie theatre called, ‘The Athens’. With his finger pressed against the door-glass Fatboy pointed across the street.
“Over there, where that barred window is… that’s where they are. I woke up in a tub on that second floor.”
Cory squinted her eyes as the rain outside began to increase in intensity. Rayn’s attention continually became distracted by the majesty of the broken-down stage, behind them, in the theatre, along with their missing fourth member, “The sunshine is gone, Fatboy.” She whispered as she pushed against the door to get a better view outside.
The bar, their destination across the street, made up the entire corner of the two-story plaza building. The bottom floor on the end of it was converted into a workshop garage; this was where Bone showed Fatboy the sparkplugs. The pitifully-repaired awnings outside did their best to protect from the rain, which filtered the airflow from the storms through the open entrance doors to the bar. The storm’s breath filtered out the musk from that area.
Fatboy turned away and pressed his back against the wall – he began to shudder. Rayn stared at him in pause. Cory moved alongside Fatboy then gently grasped his hand, it was clammy and lukewarm. She then felt his neck and his forehead.
“You still need rest. You’re not fully healed.” She said in a factual and yet stern voice. “Do you really want to go through with this?”
Shuddering still, the teen boy’s eyes rolled to the side to look at her, “I – I- I’m okay, lady.”
Annoyed, Cory turned towards Rayn and stared before blinking slowly, she then returned her attention back to Rayn’s guardian, “I DO have a name, Fatboy.”
The boy leaned his head back then closed his eyes. Her voice stabbed him. His shuddering stopped as he exhaled slowly – he felt her attention.
“What do you want to do, Fatboy?” asked Cory.
He waited a moment after swallowing, then spoke, “He have to help those people.” It was only then, Fatboy realized he was still holding Cory’s hand.
Without noticing, Rayn barked in the background, “Hey someone is down there! Someone is at the bar!”
Scrambling back over to the door-window on his hands and knees, Fatboy peered out leaving breath-frost on the glass.
“Yea, that’s them!” he pointed, “The big one is called, ‘Dale’ and the tall one behind the counter is ‘Bone’.”
“Where’s the one that hurt you?” asked Rayn.
Without looking away, Fatboy responded, “Don’t know, his name was 'Bird'. We gotta move, though.”
Removing his backpack, the young guardian dug through his pack to extract his burn bag. Flipping his backpack to the side, he reached into one of the side pockets and pulled out a small, single-shot, sized bottle of alcohol.
Cory winced in surprise, “You getting drunk before something like this?!?”
Rayn answered as Fatboy looked on with disregard, “No, he’s going to create a distraction. My Daddy taught us that.” She then turned to Fatboy, “What’s your plan?”
Donning his backpack, once again, and grabbing his bat, the guardian stood, “You and the lady need to stay here and keep watch, Rayn. I’m going over to the top floor to create a distraction then rush downstairs to the hidden room to get those people out.”
“What?!? Alone?” questioned Rayn sharply.
Grinding his teeth, Fatboy turned away from Rayn and stomped his foot while slamming the bottom of his fist against the wall. “RAYN, PLEASE! Listen to me, these guys will kill! This is NOT a joke! Remember, how some of the grown-ups wouldn’t come back after looking for food? REMEMBER? People were dying Rayn… they were being attacked by people like these psychos. I can… NOT lose you.”
The wind shifted in the background, adding to the quiet.
Cory approached Fatboy and gave him her hammer. “I named my hammer, ‘Thor’. I put the tape around the grip so it doesn’t slide as much when it’s wet… It’s the only thing I have from home.” The boy looked at the tool, then looked into the woman before him that was merely a few years older. He was befuddled.
“Wha – why are you…” he started before being interrupted by Cory, “Because the door holding those people will probably have a lock, Fatboy.” Reaching out to grab the burn bag and alcohol from his hand, Cory moved alongside Rayn. “We’ll light the fire. You go save whoever we are here to rescue.”
Green-eyes flashed in the dim light as Rayn stepped forward, snatched Fatboy’s aluminum bat, and gave it to Cory. “Quit being such a wimp, Fatboy! I’m ‘She-Girl’ and we’re going to save these people. Let’s go!”
Grim and outvoted, he accepted reality, “We will do as Mr. Padgett… your Dad taught us, Rayn. Both of you torch the second floor and get out, I will get to the room downstairs to free the people. This will be our rally point, so we'll leave our backpacks and take only what we need. If something… ANYTHING goes wrong, light this place, too... making it a 'beacon', and head back to the house you found me in.”
The trio moved downstairs to leave the theatre as Fatboy stopped before exiting into the storm, “Remember, whatever you do, don’t go back to the store. They will track you there and take our food.”
Once again, Rayn nodded as she and Cory scurried off to the far side of the bar.
Cool and as usual I was just getting into it when it was over. Always leave them wanting more they say, but thankfully there was not a long long pause between these last two episodes. So keep it up, you're on a roll.
Omen: Get in line, I have been working like crazy also. I have two major projects I have to finish and hopefully everything slows down. Haven't had time to log into the board... I actually miss it. It feels good popping my head in to see what's going on.
Aug 3, 2017 11:16:19 GMT -5
The Muse: time to get stories rolling again!!!
Aug 3, 2017 16:15:48 GMT -5
The Muse: *POKES OMEN...wanders off looking for Redmage and Magister while mumbling to self.."Now where did knighthood get to....?"
Aug 3, 2017 16:24:51 GMT -5
The Muse: Wednesday!!! Yay! Halfway back to F R Y D A Y!
Aug 9, 2017 14:29:33 GMT -5
Magister: Ive been lame, but ill be making it a point to be on this forum daily! We will rise it from the ground I've let it rest on for too long, to the skies of everlasting geekdom!
Aug 10, 2017 17:11:23 GMT -5
The Muse: woooo hooooo!!! Geekdom rising!!
Aug 11, 2017 21:08:09 GMT -5
The Muse: Woohoo hoooooo! Friday!!!
Aug 18, 2017 11:18:58 GMT -5
The Muse: Gearing up to deal with Hurricane Irma....scratch that...packing to leave town!
Sept 5, 2017 22:45:14 GMT -5
The Muse: Survived the hurricane...as did Omen, Redmage and Magister although they dont have internet yet. How did everyone else in the southeast fare?
Sept 15, 2017 16:10:18 GMT -5
g40t90yes: Good Morning. Now I am no political activist, but with is going on in today's activist world, I have a question. Last Sunday Vice President Pence walked out of a Colts Football game because the Players took a knee. I would like to read your View about this
Oct 11, 2017 7:50:37 GMT -5
g40t90yes: Continue. Now The NFL Owners (Jones-Cowboys, Ross-Dolphins) are going to demand their players stand for the Anthem. Again just thinking out loud. Couple of weeks ago Owners (Jones) knelt with players. Now you are pulling back. Why??
Oct 11, 2017 7:54:40 GMT -5
g40t90yes: One more thing. Some people view The NFL Draft and NBA Draft as a modern day or fashionable auction block for black young men. Thoughts!!! Please.
Oct 11, 2017 8:04:49 GMT -5
The Muse: Im sure there are going to be a lot of thoughts on this...why not start a thread on the topic under the "chat" board. It will be easier for everyone to read and comment on it there. This shoutbox is kinda cumbersome to have to scroll through to read stuff.
Oct 11, 2017 17:15:26 GMT -5
The Muse: Where does the time go?
Nov 7, 2017 9:26:16 GMT -5
Omen: I don't know... some say time goes around in circles - for me, its just a dreary long squiggly line, in some places in its a smile, in others... its not.
Nov 8, 2017 0:02:19 GMT -5
The Muse: Sunday's are for cooking.... Let's do this!!
Nov 26, 2017 13:45:55 GMT -5
The Muse: Monday....yay
Dec 4, 2017 11:47:42 GMT -5
The Muse: IT'S s Friday!! Staring in the face of almost two weeks of down time. This is WAY overdue. 😛
Dec 22, 2017 11:12:47 GMT -5
dakoolah: Happy New Year!!
Jan 1, 2018 17:38:08 GMT -5