Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Church of Minos Delayed

I hate to have to do this, but I've had to push back the launch date of The Church of Minos from 8/31/16 to 9/21/16.

8/31 was coming up quick, and while I believe I could have finished the book on time, it would have been a rush job and no one would have been happy with it.

The Church of Minos was meant to be about 20,000 words, which is about 5,000 words longer than the previous book, The Walrus of Death.

As of now, the book is going to be at least 40,000 and packed with some great stuff.

Norman battles goblins, ogres, a cyclops, and even a giant slug. And that's not even including the Big Bad!

So, yeah, the delay was needed. It's going to be a much better book. Lot's of action and fun.

Friday, August 5, 2016

The Church of Minos #15

The following takes place after The Walrus of Death, which you can purchase HERE

Part Two

-This is a first draft-

My car was still at the office, left there yesterday when the Walrus stuffed me in the trunk of his car and took me back to my place to kill me. From there I went straight to jail in the back of a patrol car.

This only meant that I was forced to walk.

Luckily it was only three blocks from the Police Station to my office. And to tell the truth, I needed the air.

I passed by the Pub on the way. It’s located just down the street and across from my office. Though it was early, I could hear rock music coming from the building, so I knew that Abner would be there. But first, a shower and a change of clothes.

My office sits on the corner of Seventh and Main, right above the Coffee Bean. I arrived to find a woman sitting in a utility truck at the curb on the Seventh Street side.

“You Norman Oklahoma?” She said through the open truck window as I approached the building.

“Who’s asking?”

“Jacqueline Murphy,” she said. “Murphy’s Glass.” She got out of the truck. “You can call me Jack.”

Jack Murphy was a big woman. And I mean like akin to a giant. She wasn’t overweight or one of them thick-headed body building types. She was just, well, she was big. She had at least eighteen inches on me and I’m a hair over six feet. And she was wide too, like a linebacker in full pads. Standing before her I understood how those barbarian raiders must have felt when they encountered the Great Wall of China for the first time.

“What can I do for you, Jacqueline Murphy, Murphy’s Glass?” I said as the big woman approached. I had to fight the urge not to open my coat and put a hand on one of the pistols.

“I’m here to fix your window,” she said. “And call me Jack.”

Yesterday I was thrown out of my office window by a walrus.

That ain’t no euphemism.

A mutant walrus-man, created in a lab by a group of scientists for pure whimsy, was sent to kill me.

He didn’t.

He had been sent by Abner Lemonzeo, Eudora’s resident bad guy. I’d gone to visit Abner in the Pub yesterday to tell him that the Walrus had failed and that Abner had been a naughty boy. Furthermore I’d explained that if Abner did anything like that ever again that he’d get a spanking.

Abner had vampires with him at the time. A pair of them. That’s who I was shooting at that got me arrested. But hey, if I hadn’t been arrested I probably wouldn’t have found out about Maggie. So there’s a lesson here. Shooting at vampires is always a good thing. Hitting them is even better.

“Yes, it’s true that I got a busted window up there,” I said, pointing up to my office. “But I don’t recall calling anyone about it.”

“Well, I got a call,” she said and then starting fishing around in a pocket of her coveralls. She pulled free a sheet of paper and studied it for a moment. “I got the work order right here. Says to bill Pat McCrea.”

Once I thought about it I did recall Pat saying last night that she’s called someone about the window.

“I suppose if Patsy’s paying then I’ll show you the way.”

Jacqueline “Jack” Murphy grabbed a tool box from her truck and I led her into the building and up the steps.

“You one of those impersonators?” she asked as we reached top of the steps and the door to my office on the second floor.

I turned to her. “What?”

“The way you dress,” she said. "You look like Elliot Ness or something. I thought maybe you were one of those celebrity impersonators.”

“Is there a lot of call for an Elliot Ness impersonator?”

“I don’t think so,” she said.

“I’m a private investigator,” I said and pointed at the door. Painted on the glass of the door where the words:


“Oh, I see,” was her only reply.

We stood that way for a moment in the stairwell before I realized that she wasn’t going to say anymore, so I let the two of us into the office.

I have the entire top floor to myself. We entered through a waiting room that was nothing more than a couch with some magazines strewn about on it. I don’t have a secretary, so I tend to just greet clients as they enter. I have a little bell on the door that lets me know whenever the door opens. I have another entrance into the main office itself from the back alley, but I’ve always preferred entering a place through the front door when I can.

To the right of the waiting room was a small bathroom and even smaller supply closet.

Beyond the waiting room is my office which is decorated simply with a large desk at the back. Two chairs for clients, and small table with coffee pot and other such accoutrements.

“It’s a bit sparse,” Jack said, filling the room.

“I like sparse,” I said.

“I’ll assume the window I’m here to fix is the one with the blue plastic tarp taped over it?”

“That’d be the one.”

She moved to the window and began peeling back the plastic.

“The frame is intact, so that’s good,” she said.

“Is it?”

“Sure is. Means we just need to put in some new glass and not a whole new window.”

“When can that happen?”

“Today, most likely,” she said.


“Yeah, I just need to take some measurements and we’ll get you all hooked up.”

I hung my coat on the coat tree just inside and door and started a pot of coffee as Jack measured the window frame.

“If you don’t mind, I’ll just step out and freshen up a bit,” I said. “You just do what you need to do.

I had my own private bathroom with a small shower attached to the office. I also had a spare suit in my bottom desk drawer. It would be wrinkled, but better wrinkled then covered in mud.

After the shower I dressed in the bathroom and found Jack still in the office. She had removed the blue plastic from the window and was standing and looking out onto the street when I entered.

“So, what exactly happened to the window?” She asked.

I sat at the desk and pulled on my shoes.

“Oh, well,” I said. “I was thrown through it … by a walrus.”

“Ah,” she said. “Okay. I suppose that’s the sort of thing you run into a lot in your line of work?”

“Surprisingly, yes,” I said.

“Well, this all seems fairly standard. I have most of what I need here to get started. I should have it all completed by this evening.

“Do I need to be here?” I asked as I tied my shoes.

“Not unless you want to be.”

“Okay, good. I have a man to see about a goblin.”

“That some sort of euphemism?” She asked, still looking out the window.

“Surprisingly, no,” I said, and then I left.

Here ends Chapter Seven.

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Thursday, August 4, 2016

When I'm King of America

As the 2016 election draws near and all the craziness flits about like a humming bird with deep seeded physiological issues, I'm reminded of a little something I wrote back in 2012.

Here it is (I've edited it a bit):

When the country decides that it's time to step up and make me King, things are going to change.

First on the agenda, Customer Service.

Every living person in America, once they turn eighteen years of age, will be required to work at least one year in the Customer Service Industry.

The first six months of that year will be spent as a Customer Service Representative at an Informational Call Center. The last six months will be spent behind the counter at a local retail store.

If you've never worked in the Customer Service Industry, then you need to understand what it's like to be on the other side of the counter or on the other end of the phone. If you do get that chance, then maybe you'll get over the idea that if you yell loudly enough, you will get whatever you want. Maybe you will learn that the people who work in Customer Service are simply not able to move mountains and part seas just because you "insist".

It's my feeling that the general mood between customers and employees would lighten some after this initiative. Sure, you're still going to get the occasional idiot clerk or irate customer, but what you won't have is what we have going on in America right now.

What we have is a majority of the customers who call a Help Center or walk through the doors of a store just simply expect to be treated by an uncaring, thoughtless, generally rude clerk or operator, which in turn causes the customer to begin any and all transactions with an air of annoyance and superiority.

In turn, we also have a majority of the clerks and operators who just simply expect the next customer to walk through the door or call on the phone to be uncaring, thoughtless, and generally rude, which in turn causes the clerk or operator to begin any and all transactions with an air of annoyance and superiority.

We need to stop the cycle already, and I think I'm the man to take the country in that direction

Next on the agenda, all people living in the United States will be required, by law, to work at least one year in the Fast Food Industry at any time between the ages of fifteen to eighteen.

The reason for this is simple. After you've spent an hour bent over an empty fryer, scrubbing it clean with all your might as your arm hairs burn and sizzle, then most any job you get afterwards will feel like a simple walk in the park.

Something else I'd like to do is limit the amount of time and space that companies have to try to get us to buy their product.

Advertising is everywhere. It’s on our televisions, our magazines, our comics, and our radios. They make their presence known by calling out to you from billboards on the roadside or popping up in front of you while you surf the Internet.

Heck, ads even phone you up while you're sitting at home with the family trying to enjoy a nice dinner. I mean, if you were to throw a sack of wet poodles in any direction, you are bound to hit an advert.

So I say no more sales calls. No more billboards. No more internet pop ups. Television commercials are okay, but I think that's where we need to draw the line. Back me up, folks.

Here's another one. All aisles in any store that uses shopping carts must have the same rules that drivers follow on the road. Always use the right lane, stop signs should be posted at all intersections, all shopping carts must come standard with turn signals and rearview mirrors, stuff like that. This could work people, get behind me.

How about this. You speed, you lose your license. You speed in a residential area, you go to jail. The Speed Limit is set for a reason folks. It's not a rule that's been made to be broken. It's there to keep us safe. There isn't really anything that's more important out there that you have to risk my life and the lives of my family to get you there.

I realize that that one may not be a popular one, but I don't care. Slow down!

Speaking of unpopular, when I'm King, all cell phones will be banned. Period. I wouldn't have to make a law like this if some people were just a little more sensitive to others around them and little less encased in this tiny world of theirs where only they and their problems exist. Seriously. Other people live on this planet, Mister and Missus Loud Voice. Put the phone down. I'm pretty sure that everyone in line at Walgreens doesn't want to hear you yell at your spouse through your phone.

OK, how about this as a compromise. All businesses and automobiles in America will be required to run a device that block all cell phone signals. How's that? Any better?

I have more ideas and plans for the people of America. All it's going to take is a large group of you folks to come together and realize that what this country needs is me as King.

Wise up people.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Church of Minos #14

The following takes place after The Walrus of Death, which you can purchase HERE

Part One

-This is a first draft-


It was the dream again. This time I had been tied to an ancient set of rust-coated box springs. They had been stood up on their short end and propped back against a graffiti-covered wall. I was in a wide room with high ceilings, like an abandoned ballroom in a forgotten hotel.

The air was damp and water trickled from the ceiling. The two blood-splattered doctors in gas masks from my previous dreams stood over me. They each clutched a gleaming scalpel.

“Alto con vite ban stiltomen,” one was saying in a language I’d only heard before in another dream.

“Kalt,” said the other. “Bar salto con falegrutten.”

I woke before they could start cutting, which happens once in a while.

I was back in the same jail cell, alone again on the cell block. But I wasn’t being held, not this time. This time I was here of my own free will.

After loading the three ogre corpses into the back of the patrol car — no easy feat for just two people, and one with broken ribs — we were, frankly, at a loss of what to do next.

The tunnel idea had been a total bust and it was, to be honest, my only real lead. Knowing, however, that the psychotropic spray that Maggie’s fiancĂ© had been soaked in would wear off by this afternoon, I figured our best bet was to go back to the station and wait.

Besides, I still had three or four broken ribs to mend, and I heal faster when I’m still and calm. So, while Diana went off to do some paperwork and figure out what to do with the ogre corpses, I came down to the cell block for a bit of a rest.

I yawned and sat up. That’s when I discovered that I was not, in fact, alone in the cell block.

A little girl of about ten stood on the other side of the bars looking in at me.

“Are you a criminal?” She asked.

“I am not,” I said.

“Good,” she replied. “Because your door is open. If you were a criminal you could get out.”

“Well, I’m not a criminal.” I yawned again. “What time is it?”

“I don’t know,” she said. “Before school but after breakfast.”

I wasn’t sure what to say, so I chose to say nothing, hoping that the girl would get bored and move on. But after a moment or two I realized that she wasn’t going anywhere.

So I stood and then groaned a bit as I stretched. No pain. My ribs appeared to be fully healed.

My gun belt, coat, and hat sat atop one another on the cot on the other side of the cell. I began to put them on.

“Your clothes are all dirty,” the girl said.

I ignored her and belted on my guns. I was still covered in mud from earlier, though it had all, by now, dried.

“Why are they so dirty?”

I continued to ignore her, pulling on my coat and placing my hat on my head.

“I would change my clothes if I were that dirty,” she said. “Or take a bath or something.”

“Look,” I said. “Who are you?”

“What are you doing down here?” Said a voice from the door at the front of the cell block. It was Pat.

“What did I tell you about wandering off?” Pat said.

“You said to stay close and to not go wandering off,” the girl said.

“And this is close?” Pat said, walking into the room.

“No,” the girl said, her lower lip sticking out in a pout.

“Okay then. So what do you have to say to me?” Pat said, walking up to the girl and looking down at her.

The girl, her eyes glued to the floor, mumbled something intelligible.

Pat reached down and placed a gentle hand under the girl’s chin, lifting it so that the girl was looking up at Pat.

“What was that?” Pat said.

“I’m sorry, Grandma,” the girl said.

“Grandma!?” I said.

“That’s right, Norman. I’d like you to meet my granddaughter, Susie.”

My surprise left me momentarily speechless.

“Susie,” Pat turned to the girl. “This is Norman Oklahoma, he’s an old friend of mine.”

The girl giggled. “That’s a funny sounding name,” she said. “Oklahoma is a state. We learned that from our geography book.”

“That’s all you have to say to Mr. Oklahoma?” Pat said. “That his name sounds funny?”

The girl looked up at me, another giggle hiding behind her eyes.

“Hello, Mr. Oklahoma,” she said. “It is a pleasure to meet you.”

I tipped my hat and said simply, “Ma’am.”

Susie giggled again.

“Okay, why don’t you go get your bag and wait for me in my office. I’ll be up in a bit to take you to school.”

“Okay, Grandma,” Susie said. “Goodbye, Mr. Oklahoma.”

I tipped my and and again said, “Ma’am.”

Susie giggled as she ran up the stairs.

“A grandmother, Pat?” I said. “Since when?”

“Oh, about eleven years now, Norman,” she said. “You know, for a detective you sure don’t pay a lot of attention to things.”

“Well,” I felt shame creep into my face. “I’ve been busy. Has Maggie’s fiancĂ© said anything useful yet?”

“His name is Anthony, and he’s originally from New York City. Beyond that it’s been much of the same.”

“Has he opened his hand yet?”

“Nope. If he’s holding on to something, he’s keeping it clutched tight.”

“Well, there ain’t much I can do from here,” I said. “Maybe I’ll go to the office, have a shower, then stop over at the Pub.”

“It’s a little early for a drink.”

“Is it?” I said. “What time is it?”

She consulted her watch. “Almost eight.”

“Regardless, whoever or whatever took Maggie has both goblins and ogres working for them, or it . . . That’s going to get annoying.”

“It is,” Pat agreed.

“Anyway, that’s not an easy thing to make happen. Now, I ain’t saying that Abner’s involved, but if anyone in this town is gonna know anything it’s gonna be him.”

Pat sighed. “Just be careful, Norman. Keep your head clear. It was only yesterday that you shot the place up.”

“My life is rather exiting, ain’t it.” I smiled.

To be continued . . .

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Monday, August 1, 2016

The Church of Minos #13

The following takes place after The Walrus of Death, which you can purchase HERE

Part Two

-This is a first draft-

Thirty minutes later Abner and Jenner entered the Pub from the rear entrance.

Abner took his normal seat at the back booth while Jenner went behind the bar to make a pot of coffee.

Soon the coffee was made and Abner sat sipping on a hot mug as Jenner retired to the back room. Rock music blared through the stereo system.

The Pub had two obvious cameras mounted in the ceiling. One to catch people as they came in and out of the front door, and the other to capture those sitting at the bar. The other eight cameras were so cleverly blended in with the decor that they were nearly invisible. Much more so for the four that were pointing at that back booth.

The back booth was also wired for sound. Whenever Abner held a meeting in that booth, Jenner could sit in the back room to watch. And regardless of how loud the music from the stereo was, Jenner was able to hear every word spoken in that one booth. Which was one reason the music was played so loud, to give those who met with Abner the false security that no one else would be able to listen in.

Jenner didn’t record anything, only a fool would do so, but he’d watch, listen, and wait. Thus far, Abner had no need for Jenner to intervene in any of his dealings, but Abner knew he would be there if the need did arise.

Abner had worked through half of his coffee when the vampires walked in. They were twins, the same two he’d met with the two previous mornings. Thomas, with the bleach blond hair, and Alexander, whose hair was blacker than night.

“Does the music need to be so loud?” Alexander said as the two sat. Thomas never spoke. He only scowled.

“Like I explained yesterday,” Abner said. “The loud music makes it so that no one can listen in.”

“Don’t play us for fools, Lemonzeo,” Alexander said. “We know your man Jenner is listening to our conversation in the other room.”

“Hey,” Abner said, spreading his hands and shrugging his shoulders. “A guy has to protect himself. Surely you understand that.”

“We do,” Alexander said. “Which is the only reason we allow you to do so.”

“How generous of you,” Abner said, failing to mask the sarcasm.

“You will walk softly around us, Lemonzeo,” Alexander said. “You failed to kill Norman Oklahoma, Brone is displeased.”

“Oh, come on,” Abner said. “How was I supposed to know that the Walrus wasn’t up to the task? He’s the real deal, even you admitted to that.”

The two vampires looked at each other, then back to Abner.

“Yes,” Alexander said. “It is true that we were taken aback by the creature’s failure. But no matter, Brone has decided to leave Oklahoma alive for now. If more attempts are made on the human’s life, and he survives, he will look into the matter, and the last thing we want is him snooping around.”

“So our partnership is dissolved then?” Abner asked.

“Not at all, Mr. Lemonzeo. You are still of use to us.”

“Oh,” Abner leaned back. “And how is that?”

“You’ve spent the last five years in prison, Mr. Lemonzeo. And while we know that your man Jenner has been doing what he could while you were away, Klein and his dogs have managed to take most of what you once owned. You still have money, but how long will that last when you have no more money coming in then what you make in this,” he looked around in disgust. “Establishment?”

“I’ll get it all back,” Abner said. “It will take some time, but I’ll get it all back.”

“Maybe, but it’s going to be rather expensive. And if you fail, you will have nothing. We want to help you, Mr. Lemonzeo, and in doing so, you will be helping us.”

“And how is that going work, exactly?”

“It’s actually quite simple,” Alexander said. His brother continued to scowl. “Mr. Brone does not like the idea of Klein gaining so much power. Mr. Brone wants it all taken away as soon as possible, and he wants to help you do just that.”

“And how am I supposed to do that? Start a war? I don’t have the resources for all-out war.”

“We do want war, Mr. Lemonzeo, and do not worry about resources. We will fund it for you.” Alexander smiled.

Abner didn’t like that smile. It didn’t touch the vampire’s eyes. The eyes were like that of a predator and it made him want to sweat.

“Why me?” Abner asked. “Your boss is powerful. He could fight this battle himself.”

“There are rules, Mr. Lemonzeo. We must follow the rules if we wish to remain civilized.”

Abner thought for a moment, wondering what was going through Jenner’s mind.

“I’ll have to—” Abner began, but Alexander cut him off.

“We understand that you might want to consult your man, Jenner. He’s heard everything. We too would like his opinion.”

Just then Abner’s phone vibrated. He pulled it from an inner pocket.

“Excuse me,” he said, glancing at the screen.

It was a text from Jenner.


Abner locked the phone and placed it back in his pocket. The two vampires only watched him. If they were curious in any way, it didn’t show on their faces. Nothing showed on their faces.

“I like it, I’m not saying that I don’t. I want to take back from Klein what is rightfully mine, and the sooner the better, But why help? What’s in it for Brone?”

“It is just as I said. Mr. Brone does not like Klein. He is uncomfortable allowing the dog to possess such power in the area. You used to run things; he would like to see you return.”

“And that’s it?”

“Actually, no,” Alexander said. “Mr. Brone has certain interests in this area.”

“You mean whatever it is he’s doing up there in my old nightclub,” Lemonzeo said. “I’m not stupid; I know there’s more than dancing going on out there.”

“The Vampire’s Nest was purchased from you legally, Mr. Lemonzeo, through your man, Jenner. What Brone does with his property is his business, not yours.”

“That’s fine, I don’t think I actually want to know what it is you’re doing out there,” Abner said.

“No,” Alexander said, leaning forward. His brother, Abner noticed, had leaned forward as well. “You really don’t.”

Here ends Chapter Six

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