an origin story

When she walked through the door all I saw was the silhouette of her hair bouncing with a vibrant life that would continue to captivate me for years to come.  I was intrigued and turned away from the television to give the newcomer my full attention.  Then she stepped into the hallway where the light framed her smile and I was lost.

The smile didn’t start with her lips.  The upturned corners tried to cage it, but nothing could.  It surpassed the possible and began with her whole exuberant entrance.  It spread through her limbs to squeeze the air from the room.  It shone in her blue eyes with the warmth of an afternoon sky in the height of summer.  It set her hair ablaze in the joy of escaping the work week and adventuring unknown roads in her resultant freedom.

I do not recall what happened next in absolutes.  The days that followed are a blur of volleyball and laughter, food and drinks, and friends old and new.  It was a delirious whirlwind of activities and conversations.  I was delirious as I ignored a burning fever to spend an extra couple hours with her before she returned home and our separate realities brought an end to the smile-gifted festivities.

The timing wasn’t right.  The setting was wrong.  I was seeing someone else and she lived far away.  Even so, we exchanged email addresses and phone numbers before she got in her car and took her smile away.  In its absence I could no longer pretend there wasn’t a fire between my temples and I stumbled to the safety and relief of cool sheets and restorative slumber.

Time slipped after that weekend, both in reality and my memory.  Life carried on in its ups and downs.  Days passed.  Work was accomplished.  Adventures were had.  But, none of it mattered then, and in the context of now, none of it ever will.  Time was meaningless until the circumstances changed, I was single once more, and the distance between us no longer seemed important.  It wasn’t important.

We were lucky in a world that holds a premium on such things.  We were searching for each other.  We pursued each other.  We fancied and courted and learned and experienced each other.  And all of our adventures were within the glow of her smile, her wonderful smile.

To End Without My And

I don’t have any great words to use here… one again Rara’s words have left me hurting in shared grief over the depth of her loss. Read on and leave messages of love as you can.

Stories that Must Not Die

After pausing last week, we continue now with post 4 of 6 in the series of poems and prose that Rara sent to be shared with the Stories community.  Each posting brings us a bit closer to her release from jail…  If you can, and you haven’t already, please donate what you can to the Rara Relief fund.  Every little bit will help her get back on her feet.

We bought an ampersand stamp
At a fruitstand & fair in Nevada.

It was Wednesday, and her name was Wednesday
and I couldn’t resist the charm of the coincidence.

She made custom rubber stamps,
pressed into perfect wooden cubes.  Anything
you could ever want to imperfectly – repeatedly
impress onto paper,
formed in a few hot, citrus-scented minutes.

I blinked at him, wearing his favorite smile
and he heard by mind, and responded.

“There’s a Wednesday every week, and –

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it’s a living

The alley stank of filth, the castoffs of the dregs of society.  Litter spilled out of the trash cans.  Half-eaten globs of food were left in various states of decomposition across every surface they could stick to.  In places it looked like someone had intentionally smeared their waste on the wall.  It was not a place one would want to walk alone on a summer day in the height of tourist season.

It was winter, near midnight, and rain clouds blocked out the feeble light of the sliver of moon hanging onto the edge of the world.  It wasn’t raining, but it had, and it would again before the night was out.  The rain would wash the traces of spilled blood into the corners of the alley where it would go unnoticed among the trash.

He watched, hidden in the darkest depths of the alley, with eager anticipation as she stumbled out of the bar alone.  Her drunken faulty steps carried her across the street to pass in front of his alley, and he bent his will towards her, using the magic that was part of his nature to coerce her to enter.  It wasn’t a challenge.  Drunks never were.  Challenge or not, they tasted just as sweet either way when he was hungry, and he hadn’t eaten in days.

She barely paused at the entrance to the alley as he stripped away her last bit of control, and then her steps grew stronger, more certain, as he guided her through the detritus to where he waited.  She was young, and lovely, a true beauty among the humans.  She stood before him, no longer aware of anything, completely devoid of thought.

He reached out and gently tilted her head to the side, exposing her slender neck.  He gazed lovingly across the supple surface of his meal.  His fingers stroked the smooth skin and felt the flesh pulsing with the life beat flowing underneath.  Life for him.  Death for her.  His fangs sank deep.  His head exploded with rapturous joy as he tasted her.  He felt strength returning to his body and smiled, the upturned lips allowed a stream of blood to flow from his mouth and drip from his chin.

If it hadn’t been so long since his last meal he wouldn’t have needed to kill her.  He could have taken just enough to carry on, release her from the spell and send her back into the night.  But, it had been too long for him and once he started he could not control his thirst, his lust for her life’s blood.  When he finished, her corpse slumped to the ground at his feet, and he wiped the blood from his chin with his right hand and licked up the excess.

He could see the moon through the clouds.  He could hear the whispers of the humans in the neighboring buildings as the went about their boring lives oblivious to his existence.  He could smell their blood and while it called to him he’d had enough to regain some control over his needs.

Leaving the dead to rot in the alley, with his regained strength, he scaled one of the adjacent buildings, jumping from shadow to shadow as needed, and then hoisted himself onto the roof.  From there he jumped, changed into a bat, and walked the paths of air through the night in search of his next hiding spot.  It wasn’t the most glamorous lifestyle, especially compared to when he had lived like a king and been treated with the fear and respect he deserved, but times had changed and he had been forced to change with them.

Approaching his 2,000 year of life, he had been forced to adapt many times and it no longer bothered him as it once had.  Perhaps one day the humans would wage a war that would decimate their numbers and capabilities and then he’d walk among them as a god again.  He could be patient for that likely eventuality.

With the taste of his last victim’s blood still in his mouth, he knew for the time being that he had all he ever really needed anyway.


Written as a thank you to The Cutter for helping me reach this major milestone.   He requested/said: “I’d like to see more stories from the vampire’s point of view. (And cool vampires like in the old days, not the whiny vampires in tween lit like Twilight)”

Well, how did I do?


Are you a faithful kingdomite?  Do you have a request?  Let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can put together for you.  (And for all those who already have their requests in, don’t worry, I have them all written down and I’m already working on them.  Your posts are coming.)

The Neverending Q and A

"Oh no she didn't!"  *snap, snap, snap*

Tsk, tsk, I haven’t even gotten on to any themes yet!  Soon there will be superhero movie Q and A’s, and western movie Q and A’s, and baseball movie Q and A’s, and…  Well, you get the point, because you’ve already been following the madness here, and here, and here, and here.  Once I’ve completely exhausted movies, I can just pick up a few books and send the series that way.  Once I’m done with books I can listen to a few more albums and send the series that way.  By then I’ll have watched a whole new slew of movies to have pulled dialogue from and the cycle will being again.


Now, where are my sharks with the laser beams attached to their heads?
(Dr. Evil, Austin Powers, as if you didn’t already know.)

Over the years I’ve incorporated an abundance of film dialogue into my day to day lingo.  The following is a useful guide parody I’ve put together of situations you may find yourself in and the some (in)appropriate and/or completely silly responses.

You probably shouldn’t ever use most of these.*  However, I’ve used many of them and the rest I’m just waiting for the perfect opportunity.

Q: (This one should be pretty obvious) What do you say when someone asks how long you are going to be able to carry on with a particular endeavor?
A: “For-ev-ver! For-ev-ver! For-ev-ver! For-ev-ver!”
– Squints (Chauncey Leopardi) – Sandlot

Q: What do you say when someone asks what you think about a touchy subject?
A: “There’s no right, there’s no wrong, there’s only popular opinion.”
– Jeffery Goines (Brad Pitt) – Twelve Monkeys

Q: What do you say when you see something naming something ridiculous – their lawnmower for example?
A: “Men get such hardons from putting their names on things. You guys don’t grow up. It’s like you need to pee on everything.”
– Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick) – Up in the Air

Q: What do you say when you need to give yourself a timeout?
A: “Excuse me. I think I had better be where other people are not.”
– Charles (Hugh Grant) – Four Weddings and a Funeral

Q: What do you say when someone says that something about you seems different?
A: “I’m wearing new shoes.”
– Dave (Jay Baruchel) – Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Q: What do you say when you are doing something you know you shouldn’t be but it still feels so right?
A: “I am a baaaad man.”
– Mephis (Nicolas Cage) – Gone in Sixty Seconds

Q: What do you say when someone says they are down on their luck?
A: “Never give up and good luck will find you.”
– Falcor (Alan Oppenheimer) – The Neverending Story

Q: What do you say when someone says they can’t beleive what they just witnessed?
A: “You just saw three monkeys go by on a motorcycle, didn’t you?”
– Sarah Whittle (Bonnie Hunt) – Jumanji

Q: What do you say when someone asks why you do something, especially if they know it is something you don’t enjoy doing?
A: “Because I’ve got a gift.”
– Charles Remington (Michael Douglas) – The Ghost and the Darkness

Q: What do you say when someone attempts something they shouldn’t have and it didn’t work out well for them?
A: “You wanted to go through the looking glass. How was it? Was it more fun than miniature golf?”
– Scott (Val Kilmer) – Spartan


*The Matticus Kingdom published this list for entertainment purposes only.  We do not dispense with advice we think people should ever heed and cannot be held responsible for any resulting slaps across the face, puzzled looks, loss of friends, tarnished reputation, improved reputation for that matter, closets that were once skeleton free no longer being so, or other unpleasantness that may result from following these guidelines.  Proceed at your own risk, here there be monsters.  Don’t try this at home kids.  Insert additional typical “hold harmless” verbiage here.  Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a bunch of movie quotes.  The quotes blew their minds and that’s all she wrote.  Yes, these weekly posts may just last “for-ev-ver.”

To My Valentine


Remember that day?
Our vows promised adventure.
I have delivered.

You: my love, my life,
More beautiful every day,
Of this, our journey.

One question for you:
Won’t you be my valentine? 
Please say that you will.

But not just today,
That simply isn’t enough.
Forever will do.