The Trouble With Pixels: Part 2

Bowser

Elroy glances hesitantly at the turtles. As far as their namesakes go, these creatures move pretty fast on their feet, snapping their jaws as they lumber towards Elroy. He stands his ground for a moment, holding the plastic sword in his hand in front of him, still trying to figure out what exactly is going on here. Then he sees the slimy tongues of the creatures sticking out from wet hungry mouths.

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” He thrusts, jabbing at the creature leading the attack. With a single bite, the turtle snaps off the blade, munching the plastic like gum as it advances on its prey. “What the…” Elroy flings what remains of the plastic blade at the creature, and staggers back against the curtain.

“Sir Rocketbuster, watch out!”

The foul-smelling beast is within arm’s length now, giving a guttural roar through its mouth full of plastic. It swipes its hand like a massive club, grazing the retreating Elroy who tumbles back into the cloth, sending the entire curtain cascading down over him and the advancing turtles. Blanketed in darkness, Elroy panics and crawls through the dusty sheet, tumbling out through the other end.

“My knight, what a clever ploy! Strike the creatures while they are down.”

Elroy, panting from the adrenaline, looks up at the turtles groping blindly under the sheet. Picking up a plastic chair, he approaches one of the two shambling lumps and swings hard against it, expecting to be greeted by meaty thud or a crunching blow. What he did not expect, is the plastic chair to simply bounce off the harden carapace of the turtle, spring back in his grip and smacking him on the head. Elroy falls to the ground, stunned by his own blow. The creature is pissed now, raging under the curtain. It bites and gnaws at the thick cloth, until it manages to rip a hole large enough to stick its head through.

“Boogers!” Elroy yells, clambering away from the snapping head as the creature continues chewing at the cloth, trying to free of rest of its body. Picking himself up, Elroy runs back into the arcade, waving his hands like a mad man. “Get out! Get out now! We’re being attacked!”

Ding! Ding! Ding! Ahhhhh!

Human screams overpower the digital blips and bloops in the hall as panicking parents pull their crying children to safety. A couple of jaded teens by the DDR machines look on unfazed, wondering what the fuss is all about. “Didn’t you hear me, get out of this place now!”

From across the hall, Elroy sees Manager Bob running out from the back room, dressed in his usual blue shirt and khaki pants, sweat stains and all. He holds on to his bald sweaty head in astonishment as he makes a beeline for the only Rocketbuster shirt he can see. “Elroy! What is the meaning of this, you trying to run Rocketbuster to the ground!” he yells, his normally concealed Irish accent coming through in his anger.

“No sir, look!” Elroy points to the turtles still struggling to break free. “We’re being attacked!”

“Bah, youngsters nowadays.” Manager Bob scoffs when he sees the turtles. “You probably faint at the sight of blood too don’t ya?” With a laugh, he rolls up his sleeves and flexes his fleshy arms. “Lemme teach you how my generation deal with them hooligans.”

“Ahhh sir?”

Manager Bob puts his palm in Elroy’s face and strides over towards the turtles. “Oi! Come here you!” The two turtles, finally free of the cursed curtain, turn to regard the sweaty bald man. Manager Bob balls his fists up and waves them about like a boxer, spouting a stream of heavily accented cuss words at the bewildered creatures. “… And if I ever see your pompous hides in my arcade again, you’ll be in for a good walloping. Am I making myself clear!”

Turtle looks at turtle as the relatively tiny man in blue stops in front of them, and jabs a finger into one of their thick hides. “And where did you get this awful looking…”

Whump! One of the turtles swings its arms at the man, sending him flying through the air, as they casually turn around and walk back towards the princess.

“Sir Rocketbuster, help me!” Princess screams.

“Aww no!” Elroy runs up to manager Bob as he lands hard on top of a Street Fighter cabinet, smashing its screen in the process. “Talk to me sir, you alright?” Manager Bob could only stare straight at the ceiling as he sputters and chokes, wheezing and blinking his eyes rapidly.

Princess screams again. This time, Elroy looks up and sees one of the creature carrying the tiny Princess and dumping her over one of its massive shoulders. The other turtle is bent over on the ground, waving its stumpy little tail as it fumbles with a piece of glass that looks like a mini-pyramid. In desperation, Elroy shouts at them. “You leave her alone!”

Suddenly, a female voice calls out behind him. “Relax dude, we got this.”

Elroy turns back and sees two teens by the DDR machines walking towards him, eyeing the creatures coolly as they sip on their colas. One is a Asian male, a literal copy of one of those characters you read about in manga comics. His hair is spiked immaculately, gelled and waxed to perfection, freestanding in the air. He wears a shiny plasticy green jacket, over a simple black tee that spells Pixel in front in bright rainbow fonts.

The other one, apparently the one who spoke to Elroy, is a blonde female. She has a shoulder-length bob streaked with pink highlights, and she has on a rugged denim jacket over a black tee with a green alien face on it. Her face is similar to the Asian kid, with a sharp pointy nose, small mouth and big watery eyes, right out of manga.

“Not cool kids, get out of here before…”

The Asian kid shouts something in a foreign language to attract the attention of the beasts, while the girl fans out to approach the creatures from a different direction.

“Guys please, this isn’t safe, we should wait for the police.” Elroy says, holding on to the limp hand of manager Bob.

Blondie turns to look at Elroy. “Dude, we are the police.”

“But…”

“Kogeki!” The Asian kid charges forward with his fist, running directly towards the two turtles. Reaching the first, the one handling the glass pyramid, he somersaults into the air as the creature snaps at him with its massive jaws, and delivers a swift kick to the one behind holding on to Princess.

“Ow!” Princess cries, as she falls to the ground. The turtle carrying her staggers back from the surprise attack as the first turtle makes a gurgling sound, turning around to help its comrade.”

“Not so fast!” Now it is blondie’s turn to charge forward, going straight for the one who just turned its back on her. Running at full speed, she arcs back before leaping up and delivering a stunning strike to the back of the creature’s head. Elroy hears a loud crack. Whether it was the girl’s hand or the turtle’s head, he could not tell.

“Digity! They sure have thick skulls,” Blondie comments, shaking her hand limply as she winces in pain. Her target sways around for a moment, as if unhurt, before it crashes to the ground with a loud thud.

“Serves you right for skipping training Miranda,” the Asian kid says, speaking perfect English as he squares off against the remaining turtle. He dances back as the creature swings both its hands together, clapping them together in a thunderous blow over where his head was just a moment earlier.

The creature, sensing its plight, backs itself to the wall, as the fiesty Princess picks up the broken plastic sword and stabs it into the creature’s leg.

“Princess no!”

Before the princess could react, the creature scoops her up with one hand, grabbing her by her flowing locks and dangling her helplessly in the air. “Let go of me, monster!” Princess screams, still pummelling the creature with the broken plastic sword.

The turtle pops a sharp claw out of its squabby paw and points it precariously near Princess’s neck, bringing her attack to an abrupt end. It turns to glare at the all-action heroes as a standoff ensues.

END PART 2

Bring Me Back To Part 1

Author’s Notes:

  • Part 2 is mainly just a big action scene, plus some attempts at humor.
  • Essentially I’m trying to replicate a ‘chosen one adventure’ type of deal ala Harry Potter, Percy Jackson with the gimmick of video games.
  • It is supposed to be whimsical, slightly low-brow, and fantasy-like without gong overboard, relying on people’s knowledge on current subcultures.

Seeking HONEST Feedback on the following:

  • I’m trying to inject some life into the dialogue through accents like Irish manager and the Japanese kid without going overboard with either. I used different styles on both, let me know if they worked.
  • I dropped in a few attempts at imagined exclamation words – digity, boogers, not sure how well they work.
  • Does the descriptions of the two anime heroes work for you? It’s either too much since I rely on you drawing a picture based on something you already know. Is it too much or too little, can’t decide myself.
  • Should I even be using turtles? They can actually be anything, but I’m going for a mini-dragon reptile thing. Slow lumbering grunts, the lowest life form of all.
  • Manager Bob is a side thing, not core to the plot, but just trying to build some sort of world. Does it work? Or did you go eh? I’m of the opinion it injects some humor in, but let me know as well.
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The Trouble With Pixels: Part 1

Pixel Art Princess

Bleep bleep bloop bloop!

Elroy Jenkins is alone. Surrounded by the ding of the arcade machines and screaming kids, he tugs at the buttons on his scratchy neon-yellow uniform as he wonders where the rest of the evening staff went. Some kid just spilled a soda over the Wheel of Fortune machine, and Elroy needs the cleanup crew stat.

Jabbing a finger on the intercom, he sends out the broadcast. “All staff, all staff, please report to ticketing.” He goes all deep and smooth into the microphone this time, trying to channel his inner deejay vibe. Still, the voice that comes out over the system cracks like a adolescent male on the verge of puberty.

“Hey mister, I need a refund, your air hockey machine’s broke.”

“No it’s not,” Elroy says to the fat kid in line, pushing up his glasses. “You and your sister were hogging it for the last thirty minutes.” Glancing back at the Wheel of Fortune machine, he could see the inviting smile of Vanna White on the side of the cabinet, while the taped over voice of Pat Sajak chirps “The category is thing.” At least the game is still running.

“Ma! He won’t gimme back my money!” the kid screams, turning his head.

Elroy looks up and sees a large overbearing woman folding her arms, glaring at him from across the hall. “Kidding!” Taking the fat kid’s game card, he swipes it on his terminal and restores his credits. “Here you go kid, have fun!” He smiles and waves.

Making a face as the kid waddles away, Elroy sticks his head out of his booth to scan the dimly-lit arcade. Under the glare from a thousand arcade games, he could see no one else wearing the Rocketbuster uniform. With a sigh, he turns back to the Wheel of Fortune machine, eyeing the sticky liquid seeping through its controls as he pulls at his shirt again. He could run over and wipe up the spill himself, but the last time he left the counter unmanned, someone made off with all the candy out front.

“Come on guys, where are you!” Elroy mutters. If that machine shorts out, he’ll have to call in the technician. That will be the third time this week already. Manager Bob isn’t going to be too happy with his new assistant if that happens.

Elroy looks on in horror as the screen flickers for a moment, and screws his eyes shut as the machine fizzles and dies. “Ahhh Boogers!”

“Excuse me?”

Elroy opens his eyes to a faint tapping sound. In front of him, a little girl dressed in a bright pink gown is stretching up to knock on his counter. “Hi, I’m lost. Can you help me find my daddy.”

Elroy bends over and smiles. “Sure sweetie, I can blast it out over the intercom for ya, what’s your name?”

“Princess,” the little girl says, in the shy innocent voice that only little girls can pull off.

“Princess?” Elroy says, raising an eyebrow. Ok I’ll bite. “Princess what?”

The little girl beams as she answers, “Just princess.”

Elroy looks expectantly at the little girl, waiting for her to break out into a fit of giggles. “Real funny kid, where did you buy that costume from?”

She gives him a puzzled look.

Elroy shrugs. “Alright kid, if that’s the way you want it.” He taps the intercom again and tries to do his best impression of a Disney park announcer. “Ladies and gentlemen, if anybody here is missing a brown-haired, big eyed Princess, aged about four or five, wearing a pink princessy costume, and a matching princessy crown. Please make your way to the ticketing counter to retrieve your princessy... I mean princess.”

Princess giggles, revealing little dimples on her cheeks. “You’re very funny, kind sir.”

“Thank you m’lady.” Elroy says with a smile. “Rocketbuster, always here to brighten your day.” He quotes the arcade tagline, twirling his hands in the air as he gives her a little curtsey.

The little girl gasps, opening her eyes wide. “Good sir, are you a knight?”

Elroy hesitates for a moment. “Why yes!” he exclaims, deciding to play along. “Champion of the five realms to be exact.” Reaching behind, he shuffles through the toy bin and pulls out a plastic sword. “And this is Dragonsblade, slayer of dragons and all things most foul.”

“That’s wonderful!” The little girl says, clapping in excitement. “You’re the person I’ve been looking for.”

What? “Alright kid,” Elroy says with a laugh, “Fun times ov…”

“Aaaahhh!” The little girl screams, pointing over Elroy’s shoulder.

“What?” Elroy swings around, holding his sword up against the shelves full of plushes which kids could exchange for with their tickets.

“Draco!” she screams, lifting the hem of her heavy skirt off the floor and running into the crowd.

“You mean the dragon one?” Elroy glances back just in time to see her disappearing behind the machines. “Hey kid, come back!” Fumbling with the waist high door separating his little booth from the outside world, he swings the barrier open and goes after her. “Princess!” He makes it as far as the Guitar hero machines before he stops, losing her trail in the darkened maze.

“Hey you there!”

“Uh-oh,” Elroy spots the large woman storming towards him, with a bawling chubby in tow. Not again. “Sorry ma’am,” Elroy says, raising his hands in front of his chest. “I can’t help you right now, I’m looking for a kid.”

“Shush!” the woman says, ignoring his protest. “You need to do something about those boys hanging around the shoot-a-hoop in their turtle costumes. They chewed through all the balls! My son was…”

“Excuse me? Yea, I’ll check it out. Come by the counter later and I’ll give you your refund.” Elroy runs off towards the shoot-a-hoops. A princess, turtles, what’s next?

“Princess, you here?” Elroy shouts as he makes his way to the back of the hall. He pokes his head into the dank little corner where all the older machines still in service are kept. From behind a musty black curtain, where the employee break room is, he hears a sound like grunting.

“Christ guys, have you been hiding in there? I’ve been calling for you all evening, what are you…” Elroy flings the curtains open, “What?”

In front of him, the girl named Princess is wielding a plastic chair, fending off two green turtles standing on their hind legs. “Champion, aid me!”

Elroy walks into the room, “Hey you two, cut that out before I call security!”

The turtles turn to look at Peter, regarding him with curious eyes.

Wow, that looks real. “Nice costume fellows, next time get mummy to buy you matching turkey ones.” Elroy scrunches his eyes as he tries to figure out where the eyeholes are. He could see none on the scaly necks and torsos.

“Sir RocketBuster, I implore you to save me from these horrible beasts! Slay them with your sword!”

“Now wait a second princess. No one is doing any killing today alright, just because…” The turtles snarl and charge.

END PART I

Bring Me To Part 2

Update: Removed all the swearing and tried to replace them with actions and what-nots. Lemme know. Added in some additional parts as well, for purposes which will be made known later on.

Author’s Notes:

  • If you’ve read my earlier stories, I’m using the basic story format and opener here. That’s one thing I’ll like to keep constant for now. Makes it easier for me to put ideas down.
  • I’m still trying to keep with a creature / fantasy theme like my previous horror stuff, but I’m trying not to put myself into that niche at the moment. Keeping my options open.
  • Why I prefer starting with action? I done some research and received some comments that it’s usually the case that you need to come back and edit your intro to suit the needs of your later story. A action start means I can throw in something before that. E.g. building a backstory for the main character, turning him from Zero to Hero if need be, or add in unique touches if I need to.

Seeking Feedback on the following:

  • I’m trying to find more fiction based on stuff like Tron or Wreck-it-ralph, if you know any, would appreciate it if you would direct me.
  • People swear in real life. However, I’m slightly uncomfortable with putting it in aside from a few “Christ!” “Oh for crying out loud!’ and “What on earth!” in there. If anyone can advice, how suitable is it for Young Adult to have a few “fucks, hells, Jesus Christ and damns” in there? I’m just trying to be appropriate here, and honestly, I think its a crutch.
  • Regarding the above question, would also like advice on how to AVOID using them all together, without sounding stunted i.e. an alternative to having your characters EXCLAIM something without using the term exclaim, or having your character just shout the name. i.e. In Harry Potter, it’s ridiculous how often characters go “Harry!” “Harry!” “Harry!”

Optimism

It’s pretty amazing how easy it is for me to bang out a story now. I have Part 2 ready to go after I do a few edits. But seeing my lack of posts lately, I’ll like to space it out a bit. Let me know if you like it, particularly the theme of it. I’m going to keep this one a bit whimsical and outlandish.

Related articles

The Two Pillars Of Plot Progression

story-mountain-plotJust read this FANTASTIC article on Writer’s Digest with regards to plot in a story. For the past few days, I’ve been kind of confused about the ebb and flow of a story. There always seems to be a method to it, a certain fixed structure, but why are so many famous authors able to do it in their own ways without being seen as boring or repetitive. Heck, Michael Crichton uses the same thing in ALL his books but they still hit you like a truck when you read them.

It’s also so amusing to me, because i just read and reblogged this article yesterday about Plotter vs Pantser. To me, I always thought the optimal point was somewhere in the middle but closer to the Pantser. Creativity should always be more important than the presentation, after all that’s why you’re a Writer right?

This article nails it on the day, by objectively stating out the two main things you need in a plot, namely the 2 pillars needed for every story. These are your scene separators, and unless you’re writing a seven novel epic, they serve to divide your story into the three essential parts – Introduction, Conflict, Resolution, the arrangement of everything else is arbitrary as long as you hit these two checkpoints!

The First Pillar

The beginning of a novel tells us who the main characters are and introduces the situation at hand (the story world). It sets the tone and the stakes. But the novel does not take off or become “the story” until that first pillar is passed. Think of it as a Doorway of No Return. The feeling must be that your lead character, once
she passes through, cannot go home again until the major problem of the plot is solved.

The Second Pillar

The second pillar is another kind of Doorway of No Return: It makes possible or inevitable the final battle and resolution.

The article gives a lot of examples of this in actual books, so please read it if you want to go into more detail on them. I highly encourage you to read it and maybe subscribe to them. They have a lot of great stuff.

My attitude on writing and plot outlining has changed a lot after reading this. In the past, I believe you should have an point by point outline of how you should proceed before you even start writing. Hey, that’s what most writers guides say right, failing to plan is planning to fail. The first article I’ve read that actually changed this perception somewhat, was some advice from dear Ernest Hemingway. And thanks to him…..

I call bullshit on over plotting now due to 2 main reasons:

(1) As you write and get immersed into your work, you get a TON of “Ah-Ha! This will be awesome!” moments where you bring the story totally off tangent and is miles better than what you wanted to write. I’m up to 7,000 words on a plot outline I randomly generated on Monday, and frankly I ditched the outline and just went balls to the wall on what I felt is best for the story. Taking short time outs to rethink where I wanted to go, but that’s it. it was only after reading this article that I knew why I was able to just keep writing. I hit the milestones, I gave the story a reason to carry on! Something that had frankly been a big issue for me in the last few weeks. Now, I knew what I wanted in the story in the most basic of sense. Not a blow by blow, this must happen then that plot line.

(2) By setting too many checkpoints, you are literally forcing your story along a path, blocking out a lot of potential. Some add these in later as sub-plots or meaningless drivel in their book (because its too good to pass up), but honestly, you’re doing that to make your story better and more readable because your main plot sucks. If your subplot and other ideas are that good to be incorporated, use them, make them part of the whole. Personally I feel a lot of fantasy / superhero and science fiction stories are guilty of this. Just because you have a unique setting shouldn’t stop you from going off tangent, a lot of them are guilty of reading like a point A to point B storyline. Whereas contemporary works tend to be more whimsical and flutter all over the place, but mostly relegated to the side plot or love story inside.

Note of course, if you’re so creative, you can come up with a totally awesome plot just by sitting there and think through your entire story in one sitting, please ignore me. I’m clearly someone who lives for the moment, and get all excited whenever I start writing and my creative juices just start spurting out. 

From now on, just go with the flow

While the article uses a suspension bridge analogy, I prefer to think of writing as driving through a desert. You have certain checkpoints you need to reach to refuel and recharge, and you also want to get out of there sooner or later. But that is ALL YOU NEED. Anything else is an arbitrary limitation. If you found a short cut or a more scenic route, why not just take it!  If nothing else, hey it sure is more fun and enjoyable!

This will be my approach to writing from now on. And I shouldn’t have to replan my plot or story that often anymore. The pillars should be transferrable from one story to another, and by changing the setting and characters, i should be able to write a brand new story by letting the desert sands take me wherever they want.

I might expand on this concept a little in future, in conjunction with my changing thoughts of how characters should be made to fit into a story. Slowly but surely, I feel like I’m learning, not to write, but how to craft. And in this aspect, I’m learning that LESS is more, it’s just how you wrap your head around it.

Have a great day ahead.

Sighhh, I really need to learn to write shorter posts. 

Prompt: The Immortal Jellyfish

Immortal Jellyfish

Turritopsis nutricula, the immortal jellyfish, is a hydrozoan whose medusa, or jellyfish, form can revert to the polyp stage after becoming sexually mature. It is the only known case of a metazoan capable of reverting completely to a sexually immature, colonial stage after having reached sexual maturity as a solitary stage.

Source: Wikipedia

Some amazing science-fiction stuff here for you to build around. You could either go with the unkillable monsters rising from from the ocean, or you could go for the genetically spliced Jellyfish hybrids that escaped from a government facility somewhere off the coast of Bermuda.

Personally, I’ll go for the deadly Sushi dinner in Tokyo that went from bait to mate.

It Happened In Tokyo

Kari Katsudon is your typical Japanese salaryman. Everyday, he works long brutal hours in the confines of a tiny office, churning out dozens of boring reports for the electronics division of the Keiretsu he is working for.

By night however, he lets his hair down and becomes quite the party animal, spending his evenings merry-making with his colleagues at the various Izakayas scattered around the Shinjuku district of Tokyo, often till the wee hours of the morning before stumbling home drunk.

One day, his colleague, Unbutu Hori, suggested that they try out a a new Izakaya that he had chanced upon while walking home one night. “They had these colourful looking jellyfish sitting in giant tanks outside the shop. They must taste good if they’re served fresh from the tank,” and everyone agreed.

So at the stroke of 8pm, the salarymen and office ladies gathered at the lobby of their building, and squeezed their way onto the train headed Shinjuku station. It was only a short journey, and when the train reached its destination, hordes of weary office employees spilled out onto the platform. Shinjuku was the unofficial nightlife capital of Tokyo.

“This way.” Hori shouted cheerfully above the din in the station, ushering his party of friends to their dinner destination. And soon, Kari could see them. The colourful jellyfishes, sitting in giant tanks, just like Unbutu said. Kari was excited, he loved the tasty, chewy texture of jellyfish, but never had chance to try one so fresh before.

“I’ll have that,” he said to the waiter, pointing to a translucent looking jellyfish sitting alone in the topmost tank. It was a beautiful specimen, one of the best that Kari had ever seen. He can’t wait to get a taste of those chewy fibrous tentacles dipped in vinegar.

“Hai, so sorry, but this jellyfish is very special. Very expensive too.” He flashed a figure with his hand and Kari almost choked at the price. “Hai, so sorry, please choose another one.” But the more Kari looked at that particular jellyfish, the more his heart told him to go for it. His tastebuds were aching just for a taste of it.

It’s soft glowly skin must have the most wonderful of textures, he thought. And that mass of pulsating flesh at its centre, he knew that would be the sweetest piece of raw seafood he would ever taste in his life. He must have it!

Pointing to the jellyfish once again, he affirmed his decision with the waiter, and paid for his meal with cash right on the spot. “Hai! Coming right up!”

End of Part 1. This story went a lot longer than I thought. Part 2 coming tomorrow!

Just a fun story, please don’t mind the stereotypical characters. Where I’m from, Jellyfish is served pretty commonly in restaurants and banquets as a cold appetiser. It’s pretty tasty actually, try it!

Prompt: The Biodegradable Urn

Bios UrnThe Bios Urn, a completely biodegradable urn that contains a single tree seed. When planted, the tree seed is nourished by and absorbs the nutrients from the ashes. The urn itself is made from coconut shell and contains compacted peat and cellulose. The ashes are mixed with this, and the seed placed inside. You can even choose which type of tree you’d like to grow! So which would you prefer; leaving behind a tree or a tombstone?

Source: I fucking love science.

Beyond the obvious science-fiction links here, this is some great story material. I can imagine a story about karma, reincarnation and redemption.

A miserly scrooge who died alone in the world, was cremated and his ashes were stored in a biodegradable urn, forgotten by the world. A gardener, mistaking the urn as a germinating seedling, planted the urn into the garden of a orphanage. There the scrooge began life anew as a mighty apple tree.

As he grew with the children, watching them play, enjoy the fruits on his branches and sit upon his sturdy boughs, he finally understood that life was never about what you have, but what you gave. And giving made him happy. It was then, when he was but a tree with only apples to give, that he finally realised what it meant to be human.

Writing Exercise: Dialogue Opener

Audrey Hepburn

A few things I want to achieve here

1. Is this sexy tingly enough as a intro paragraph?

2. Is the dialogue fluent, good enough to bring out the characters

Please leave your thoughts and comments.

Into the Fire

There was a knock on the door.

“We’ve got a problem detective, best if ya come and take a look.”

“Get Patrick for crying out loud! He’s on duty now and I’m busy!”

“We tried sir, but we can’t get him. They fished out another body from the East River an hour ago, and the chief wants one of you to be on scene right now.”

“Ah Christ, hang on, I’m comin’!” Erik shouted before turning back to matters at hand. “Sorry sugar, but duty calls.”

“Dammnit, what about me!” Marie hissed.

“I could get that nice constable outside to keep you warm till I get back,” the detective grinned. “Now get off me will ya, I got work to do.”

Marie sighed, “Now I know why I didn’t marry a cop.”

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