Hell To Pay

He fumbled the stick of chalk.  It was still greasy from its soak the night before.  His hands shook.  The chalk was slowly disintegrating with each line added to the rune.  Working in a circle, the bits of plaster from the crumbling ceiling were pushed aside.  His knees felt sore against the hard floor.  It was all coming together.  The rumbling in the distance grew louder.

He scraped his knuckles against the rough floorboards, holding the stub with the tips of his fingers.  Double check the design.  The dust was saturated with the blood of a chicken that was unfortunate enough to cross his path the day before.  Blood, no matter from what source, was a necessary conductor.  After draining it of its life force, it was all he could do to consume a few mouthfuls of the raw meat to keep his strength up.  Making a fire to cook it would have given him away.  Besides, he needed his last few matches for this.  Candles dripped hot wax along the walls of the room.  Their flames faltered and flickered with the gusts of wind that leaked in through the cracks in the walls.  The winds of war.Continue reading “Hell To Pay”

Meat Me in the Deli

Meat is greasy.  But that’s what makes it delicious right?  Nothing better than a juicy steak or hamburger.  However, it’s not so nice if it’s all over your hands, rather than your insides.  Thats where deli meat comes in.

We just recently started cutting to order here in my department.  We used to have multiple trays out of meats and cheeses we sliced in the morning.  People could get one of those, or get something else fresh cut for them if they wanted.  Now, we cut every single meat every time someone wants some.  It’s a fresh hell for us.  Emphasis on the fresh.

The big blobs of meat you see in a deli case are called chubs.  Even after working there for almost 6 months, saying it to customers still makes me feel uncomfortable.  They’re vacuum packed in there with some nice juice, which creates a whole new mess when you need to open one; being nice and slippery and just generally dripping everywhere.

Hams are the least ‘juicy’, and they hold together nice on the slicer. I can’t complain.  Turkey and chicken may or may not hold together nicely when you slice them.  Their juice is a nice slick, put in the least dirty-sounding terms I can come up with.  Roast beef has this exterior which is both saucy and with lots of extra seasoning like you would see on something fresh off the grill, and tends to get all over your hands.  Gloves get changed a lot.

The WORST is buffalo chicken.  The whole chub is covered in a nice thick spicy sauce which is bright reddish orange and gets on everything.  When I go to slice on of these up, I change my gloves no less than three times.  Once after opening it, once after cutting it, and once before bagging it for the customer.  Be right back, just need to take a shower….

I won Camp NaNoWriMo

For those of you unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo, it stands for National Novel Writing Month.  And I won.  Well, with a lot of other people.


I hit my writing goal of 20k words, working on my project titled “Trump’s Wall” (you may have seen posts about it here…)  To be honest, this is my third NaNoWriMo, and the last few times I’ve barely even gotten figurative pen-to-paper.  However, since I was on the tail end of my first full book, I decided to give it my all.

I chose 20 thousand words for my goal, which is about 2/3 the length of Mother of Mars.  The funny thing is, as long as you hit your self-set word count, you win!  How can you win if you set your own finish line that is different from others?  Well, its really a competition for yourself.

It’s a writing exercise, in particular to get ready for the bigger event in November.  It’s to flex your creative writing muscle, forcing you to get those words out in just a month.  About a week ago, I had half of my book to go.  I figured I would just cruise and finish it whenever.  However, I eventually had a change of heart, and busted it out.

I won.   I won against my own laziness, against the 100 degree heat of this town, and my need to do quests in various online games.  And don’t worry, after some editing, it will be here to read.

The Final Trump

Nanowrmo is almost at a close… here’s another chapter from me!


To think that people would come out in the heat just to leer at us from across the river is just plain strange.  Some people put a lot of effort into trying to change other people’s minds and views on them.  None of the guys working around me even blinked at the sign holders.  I waved.  I got waves back from one group, and a middle finger from the other.  I sighed and went back to work.

I kept taking glances up at the groups as I worked. They kept their space, waving their signs in the heat of the day.  I think at one point some police came by to make sure the groups would stay separate from each other and keep the antagonization to a minimum.

The wall on that side of the Rio was still just a plain chain link.  I thought how it would be easier to climb over the wall without having to trek through the river first, and that if we happened to build on that side, it would be a lot more difficult for anyone trying to cross that way.  I still stand by my thought that the wall had to be on the land here to be considered Mexico’s.

I began to soak through my shirt with sweat in the heat of the sun.  On the other side, I saw people had ice chests, with probably some nice bottles of water or sports drinks.  We got to pass around a communal kettle we could drink from, complete with lukewarm backwash.  A catering truck even pulled up to bring them who knows what.  I never imagined you could get free stuff just by pretending to be proactive.

Continue reading “The Final Trump”