Short Update, Long Rant

I’ve got a good chunk of signatures going for all who are wondering.  I have not yet put them up in any type of display which is why I don’t have pictures.  But obviously this kind of thing is in the “more the merrier” type category.  Meaning write in!  Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Click here.  Do know what I’m talking about?  You can still write in to WriteRightWithBex@gmail.com.  I’m working on figuring out a way to incorporate an electronic signing system.  I think many people are wary of giving out their addresses despite my incredibly reassuring disclaimer.  Remember, I’m a twenty-something blogger who is interested only in signed business cards.  I’m not going to sell your information, and you’re not going to start getting daily newsletters in the mail from me about the newest sales at Macy’s.

Now that that’s out of the way, we are going to have a little (read: super long) post for those who have missed Ranty Bex.

So the story goes like this.  My fiance and I went to the movies to see the newest Woody Allen flick for lack of anything better to see.  It was alright…not that great.  As we walked out of the movie theater, I caught a glimpse of a poster.  I have Googled it for you (Incognito window…don’t want Google thinking I’m actually interested in this thing).  Here is a picture:

HNNGNGNG

Yup.  That’s what I saw.  And honestly it took me a second to figure out what it was, but something in my brain was desperately shying away from it even as I came to the inevitable, terrifying conclusion.

They made 50 Shades of Grey into a movie.

They actually did it.

Now…some may think they know why I have a problem with this, but I think some are only partly right.

I have written about this before, but I will reiterate: You can read and enjoy trashy novels.  I have.  I still do occasionally.  They’re fun.  This is not what bothers me.  See what bothers me is that 50 Shades was never a novel.  It. Was. A. FANFICTION!!!  For whatever reason, either because E. L. James found a spectacularly good lawyer or because Stephenie Meyer isn’t particularly litigious, a Twilight FanFiction got published and started making money.

THIS IS ILLEGAL!!

The only reason people get away with writing their own stories using other peoples characters, settings, worlds, etc. is that they do not make money from it.  Because when you do make money from it, that means you are making money from plagiarizing!  From stealing!  E. L. James is a thief and everyone is letting her get away with it.  Which brings me to point #2…

This was not a secret!!  Everybody knows this started as a Fan Fiction (No I don’t know why I’m capitalizing it.  Just looks better this way).  Even people who know nothing about this book know that it was a Fan Fic.  Seriously.  Despite E. L. James desperately sweeping the internet, trying to take it down.  Which screams guilt right there.  She or someone who works for her knows exactly what she did.  What she got away with.  With enough Googling you can still find the old story.  I’ve read some of it.  I have seen the exact same words that I first saw on the pages of 50 Shades on some website somewhere.  Only there was one difference.  The names Christian and Anastasia had mysteriously disappeared.  Now there was nothing but “Edward” and “Bella.”  Whoever they are.

Okay, so if you’ve read this far, you get my point.  But there is one more tiny thing I want to bring up.

It's-Porn

Yeah.  There’s no going around that.  This book started as a Fan Fiction written by a woman who wanted to see Edward and Bella get kinky.  And that’s exactly what happened.  Granted it’s a very poor representation of how BDSM actually works.  Can’t say that enough.  But it’s still just pages and pages of build up to, and then the enactment of, sex and kink.  It is a pornographic novel.  It was written to be pornographic.  And it should, as such, be rated NC-17 at the very least.  BUT!!

But….

IT’S COMING OUT ON VALENTINE’S DAY!!!!

They want people to take dates to see this movie!!

“Hey, honey, remember that book I couldn’t stop masturbating to?”

“Yeah…You called me Christian in bed for like a week…”

“Yeah!  They made a movie out of it!  Let’s go see it on Valentine’s Day!”

“……”

Seriously!!  Look at the poster!  This is what they want!

TL;DR:

50 Shades of Grey is a Fan Fiction that got published (illegal) and it’s now being made into a movie (even more illegal) which is (presumably) not a porno (not true to source material) and they want people to see it on Valentine’s Day!

So yeah…I’m royally pissed.  I’m trying to get my original work published, but I can’t.  Because we need to leave room on the shelf for 50 Shades of Grey.

Which leads me back to: Please join the Support Hellbound Initiative!  It is not the most original book in the world but I am 100% confident it is better than 50 Shades of Grey.

The End!

 

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Filed under Animation, books, Humor, Movies

Hellbound Again

Guess where I am right now?

If you guessed Barnes & Noble, then you win the prize.  (Spoiler alert: There is no prize)

I am sitting in the cafe with a sign on my computer inviting people to ask about my book if they have the time.  And when they do ask, I hand them a packet with information about the Support Hellbound Initiative.  Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Shame on you!  You can either click that link or click back to the post before this one.  It will give you all the info you need to know.  The next couple posts are probably going to be more of the same.  I don’t have a lot of blog followers so I need to spread the word as much as possible.  Of course if you have already signed a card for me, I am so grateful.  But I demand more!

Remember, the cards look like this:

card

If you’re interested in signing one, all you have to do is send an email with your name and address to WriteRightWithBex@gmail.com.  That’s it.  There will be absolutely no cost to you, aside from a few minutes of your time and some pen ink.  I will pay for all postage; the SASE in the envelope will already have a stamp on it.

Below I am going to post my excerpt of Hellbound again.  Remember, if you like what you read you can request a card.  Every tenth person to request one is going to get an extra surprise inside their envelope. (Spoiler alert: These prizes are real and will really happen)

Here it is:

Prologue

A quiet night in September finds a pair of bloodied hands drawing occult symbols in a secluded plot of dirt. Not a sound can be heard except for erratic, frenzied breathing.

Nervous thoughts compete for attention.

This is so wrong.

It won’t even work.

It’s a school night.

I should be sleeping.

But it could make everything better. There must have been a reason for finding this book. It was meant to be.

The symbols are complete. What next?

Smudged fingers hover over the yellowed pages.

The pentacle…on the forehead. Sweat mixes with blood and dirt as it is drawn.

The hands drop. Waiting.

The pages are consulted again. It should have worked.

Silence. Pressing silence.

It didn’t work. Of course it didn’t work. It was ridiculous to think it would.

“You have freed me. In exchange I am required to offer you one service.”

The voice sends a jolt down the spine; it came out of nowhere. In the middle of all the symbols on the ground is now a tall, dark figure. A living shadow. Its cavernous eyes are cast down on the quivering human before it, waiting. Expectant.

Quickly, the pages are consulted again. The required response. The contract must be completed!

“I…I understand my part in this. I accept your boon with gratitude.”

The creature gives the slightest of nods.

Dry lips are licked.

“This is what I need you to do…”

 

Chapter One

Aiden woke up to the sound of screams, as usual. They sounded more outraged than normal, which he knew meant bad news for him. He blinked and stretched, stood up and shook himself. It was dark, and he had no idea what time it was. Clocks were hard to come by in Hell. Working clocks even harder. Without the need for a light source, he found his way to his dresser, pulled out clothes, put them on.

It was the same old routine. Strangely enough, he knew something was going to break up the monotony of his life very soon, and it was that fact that made him dread leaving his room. So he did what any normal teenage boy would do – he stalled. Running his fingers through his light brown hair, he looked absently around his room for a mirror before he remembered he didn’t have one.

“Kairn?”

He stooped to look under his bed as he called his friend’s name again.

“I know you’re here, Kairn. Quit dicking around.”

The expressions of the twenty-first century were fairly new to him, but he had to admit he liked them. If there was one good thing about the constant influx of souls in Hell, it was that he was able to keep up with the times by listening to their various speech patterns.

A large, red gecko with black spots skittered down from the ceiling and turned its black eyes on Aiden’s back. Its footprints glowed in the pitch darkness, creating enough light to catch Aiden’s attention.

“There you are,” he said, standing. “I need a mirror.”

The lizard cocked its head at him. Aiden scoffed.

“I don’t owe you a reason. Maybe I just want to remind myself of what I look like today.”

Kairn raised his shoulders in a shrug and turned into a small, round mirror with an ornate gold frame that was encrusted with rubies.

“Dude, come on,” Aiden moaned. “I’m not exactly in the mood.”

A head appeared out of the top of the mirror to look questioningly at Aiden.

“I’m going to get a new assignment today,” he grumbled. “Now could you give me a less girly mirror, please?”

It wasn’t that he didn’t want this assignment – he always craved the brief periods of time when he was allowed to go to Earth – but it was starting to weigh on him. It was so hard to go to Earth, a place that held so much more promise than Hell, only to have it ripped away from him time and time again.

Kairn made a kind of sympathetic clicking noise and then quickly rearranged himself until he was a full-length mirror with a simple, black frame.

“Thanks, buddy.”

Aiden stood in front of the mirror and looked at himself. He did that for about fifteen minutes, standing as still as a statue, so nervous that he found himself holding his breath. His reflection stared back at him with his own golden yellow eyes.

After another five minutes had passed, someone knocked on Aiden’s door so hard that it jostled bits and pieces loose from the stalactites on the ceiling.

“What?” he called.

“You know what,” came a bored, female voice with an unmistakable Irish accent. “Your father’s waiting for you on the other side of the Infinite Cavern. Get your butt up there within the next thirty seconds or I’ll lock you in one of the serial killer cages and watch the carnage unfold while I eat my breakfast.”

Aiden didn’t respond. He wasn’t sure if he didn’t actually prefer that threat to whatever his father had in store for him.

“Move!” the voice on the other side of the door barked.

Aiden sighed at Kairn, who was back to being a giant gecko, and walked out of his room. He didn’t expect anyone to be outside when he got there, and he wasn’t disappointed. The woman on the other side of the door had already flitted away to her next errand.

The dull roar of screams that he had managed to block from his mind until that point rose into a crescendo of rage again. They had sensed his presence and were shouting their disapproval already.

Much as he hated to admit it, Aiden felt for the souls incarcerated in Tor. They wanted to be on Earth as desperately as he did, but whenever one of them was summoned from its cell by a desperate human, it was his job to bring them back. And they loathed him for it. Even though only a select few entered into such pacts, they all knew he was responsible for destroying their chance at freedom.

Aiden took on his true form before he stepped into the Infinite Cavern. The Res-du-Tor were never allowed to show their human faces to the souls, in case one escaped. If the escapee were able to recognize the Re-du-Tor’s human form, it would know exactly who to run from.

Transformation complete, Aiden closed his eyes and took a deep breath before stepping through the archway at the end of the hall. The noise in the Infinite Cavern was deafening, as always. The place was home to hundreds of thousands of souls, or rather, the physical manifestations of people’s worse sides. All the good halves of people’s essence went to Lux, leaving Aiden and Tor to deal with the incarnations of pure evil.

The Infinite Cavern consisted of two walls that were infinitely tall, hence its name. Dug into the walls were large pits that were closed off with metal bars. Inside these cages were the souls. They were forced to stay there until it was time for them to be mixed with one of their good counterparts and reborn.

This process was all Tor’s and Lux’s jurisdiction, though. They were the ones who mixed the good and bad souls together in human babies. The new soul would have no memory of its past lives, and it would be neither good nor bad, since babies had no concept of right or wrong. As the baby grew up, it would develop or diminish the good and bad sides of its soul according to the way it was raised. Aiden’s job had nothing to do with soul production, though; his line of work was in soul retrieval.

Tor had taken to making Aiden cross the Infinite Cavern to receive his assignments. It was supposed to act as a reminder of the consequences that could result from him not doing his job; letting a powerful, evil soul run amok on Earth could, and would, have disastrous results. People could die. The balance of Good and Evil in the world could be tipped. Or worse, humans could find out what really lay beyond Death’s door. The information could drive them crazy, make them commit suicide, make them kill others, stop caring about life.

This didn’t stop Aiden from avoiding his job. It wasn’t like he cared about the humans who were endangered by the soul’s presence.

Aiden tried to look straight ahead and ignore the souls, but they refused to ignore him. Long, boneless arms reached out through the bars of their cages to swipe at his legs, his neck, his wings, anything they thought they could reach. He was safe, though. Part of the magic of the Infinite Cavern made it so they could never reach. No matter how long their limbs got, they would always be just a few inches too short to grab hold of anyone or anything on the outside.

“Going topside again, are you, boy?”

Aiden turned towards what seemed to be the only creature in Hell that wasn’t attempting to strangle him. Interesting that it was talking to him. They didn’t usually bother doing that. Most of them couldn’t, since they hadn’t retained much of their humanity. The shadowy figure sat in the back of his cell, black eyes and unsettlingly toothless grin turned in his direction. Aiden felt like he was staring at a demonic Cheshire cat.

“Don’t get too attached to the fresh air, mind,” the gravelly voice continued as Aiden shook his head and walked on. Its voice followed him as he finished crossing the Infinite Cavern. “No matter how much you try to convince yourself otherwise, you’re still a prisoner here just like the rest of us. You’re no freer than I am.”

Aiden tried to push the soul’s voice out of his mind. Of course it knew exactly how to push his buttons. It was evil, after all.

He stepped through the doorway at the end of the cavern and followed the curve of the tunnel, past the Door, all the way to where it dead-ended in a large alcove. Then, safely out of sight of the souls, he turned back into a human. His father was waiting for him, his face red with frustration, while some minor servants danced around him trying to get him to sign various forms. Tor’s work was never done. Most of his time was spent approving souls to be reborn on Earth and monitoring the souls’ activity to make sure that no escapes had been made without his noticing.

“You’re trying my patience, Re-du-Tor,” the Devil gritted out. “You have a job to do and I expect you to do it.”

“Yes, Tor,” Aiden sneered. “What will it be this time, Tor?”

“I like that tone. You remind me of your mother. Keep it up.”

He turned to one of his servants and signed yet another form, which disappeared a second later.

“Your new assignment,” he began, “is in the United States. You will find the idiotic human who invoked the Rit-du-Malos, extract the soul, and bring it back. Promptly.”

Aiden couldn’t help but feel intrigued at the prospect of going to the United States. His last assignment had been in…Europe? France maybe. They all tended to blend together. At any rate, he hadn’t seen anything of modern-day America, and it sounded like he could waste some truly glorious time there.

“How long do I have?” he asked.

Tor sighed and rolled his eyes.

“Get rid of that hopeful glint in your eye. I’m giving you a month. One. Month. Just get up there, do your job, and come back. Please. For once.”

“That’s not fair,” Aiden grumbled. “One month isn’t even enough time to stretch my legs.”

“One month is generous,” Tor countered. “I could have given you half that time, but I thought you might want to avoid Luther for once.”

Aiden shuddered. His run-ins with the Re-du-Lux – his counterpart in Heaven, whose job it was to keep Aiden on schedule – were never fun, or painless.

“I just want to get a chance to live a real life,” he pleaded, knowing it would do no good. Tor had heard all his best arguments a million times. “I want to…I don’t know, see movies. Watch TV. Go to school, hang out with kids my age.”

“Your age? Kids your age?” Tor paused to bark out a laugh. “There are no kids your age. You’re three hundred and seventy-five years old!”

“Three seventy-six, dad. You missed my last birthday.”

“The point is, you cannot hope to lead a normal life among mortals, Aiden. I don’t know how many times I have to tell you this before it sinks in. You will never be like them. You have powers they can’t even dream of.” Aiden was a little taken aback. Tor’s tone had become almost…fatherly. Before he could think that his father had turned over a new leaf, however, Tor continued what he was saying. “And you have a deadline. One month. No leeway on this one, Aiden. I will have Luther rip your wings off if you’re not back in time.”

“Yes, father,” Aiden said, bowing.

He knew there was no point in arguing further. He also knew he wasn’t going to let Luther, Tor, or any stupid soul land him back in Tor in just one measly month.

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Filed under books, Humor, writing

The Support Hellbound Initiative

We’re going to have a very brief hiatus on the chapter updates for now.  I am clearly unsure where I’m going with the book, and my brother highly recommends outlining, so I’m trying that.  I actually have an outline for chapter eight already, but I don’t want to write it until I know what’s going to happen in subsequent chapters.

But this is good because it gives me a chance to tell you about that project I hinted at a while back.  You know that stupid thing I’m trying?  Basically I am not very happy with the idea of sitting around and doing nothing to help promote or sell my own book.  So I’m starting the Support Hellbound Initiative.  It’s probably too little too late, but I’ve got to try something.

The short summary of the project is this: I’m going to collect signatures, not unlike signatures for a petition.  The signatures will be on cards, and the cards will be arranged in a visual type of way.  Updates will happen on this blog, and you can be a part of it.

Here’s how:

Step 1 – Read all these steps carefully.

Step 2 – After you have read all the steps, read the excerpt of my novel Hellbound at the bottom of this post.

Step 3 – If you like what you read, or you think someone else would like it, or you at least acknowledge that the writing is decent, then please send me an email at WriteRightWithBex@gmail.com.  In that email, please provide your name and mailing address.

Step 4 – I will mail you an envelope.

Large Envelope

Inside that envelope will be a smaller envelope.

Both Envelopes

Inside that smaller envelope will be a card.

Envelopes and cards

The card will look like this.

card

Sign the card.

Signed Card

Personalize it a bit if you want to.  You can draw a butterfly or sign in rainbow.  I only ask that the words and signature are visible, and that you put nothing obscene on the card.  We are all adults here, after all.

Step 5 – You will notice that the smaller envelope is what we in the business call an “SASE.”  Self Addressed Stamped Envelope.  Basically it means that I will do all the work for you.  All you have to do is sign the card, seal it in the smaller envelope, write a return address if you want, and stick that sucker in the mail.

Small envelope + writing

Step 6 (Optional) – Tell your friends!  Tell your family!  Tell your neighbors in between asking them to pick up after their dog and requesting that they stop having loud parties on weekday nights.  If you feel there are other people in your life who would be amenable to signing a card, feel free to ask me in your email for multiple cards.  I’m going to cap it at ten, since you know…you gotta draw the line somewhere.  But you can request up to ten cards.

Step 7 (DEFINITELY NOT OPTIONAL) – READ THIS REASSURING DISCLAIMER:

First of all, I am not a company.  I am not a corporation.  I am not an evil CEO or even a kind CEO.  I’m just one person trying to make a living doing something I love.  I am not going to sell your address or personal information to the highest bidder, or use the information you provide for ANYTHING other than mailing you these cards.  Also, just to point it out, you’re going to have my address, too.  So it’s a fair exchange.  Another also…please don’t do anything weird with my address.  Because I’m not going to do anything weird with yours.

Second, signing this card is in NO WAY legally binding. I CAN NOT use your signature on a business card to force you to purchase a copy of my book should it get published.

That being said, if you do help to get my book published, I thank you with every fiber of my being. I mean that. Furthermore, if you help my book get published and purchase a copy of the novel…well…I have no more fibers of my being to thank you with. Just know that you have earned my eternal gratitude.

Finally, a reminder: I wrote Hellbound. Don’t steal it please. I’m taking a big risk sharing even this much of it with you.

Step 8: This isn’t actually a step.  I just want to let you know that this should be fun for everyone.  So I’m going to offer a little bonus gift (like a drawing or something) to the first person who writes in for a card, and then every tenth person after that.  The exciting thing is you won’t know if you qualify as one of those people until you open the envelope.  So that could be fun right?  Like a game of chance.

Also, anyone who sends me ten signed signature cards will have the option of requesting a signed, laminated print of one of my Writer’s Block comics.  If you want.  You have to send the cards first, but if I receive ten from you I’ll email you and ask you if you want a print.  I know I have no way of knowing if real people signed cards or if you just signed ten yourself, but hopefully I can trust you to be honest.  Sound fair?

Okay that’s it!  Thank you for reading this far.  Here is the excerpt of the most recent version of Hellbound:

Prologue

A quiet night in September finds a pair of bloodied hands drawing occult symbols in a secluded plot of dirt. Not a sound can be heard except for erratic, frenzied breathing.

Nervous thoughts compete for attention.

This is so wrong.

It won’t even work.

It’s a school night.

I should be sleeping.

But it could make everything better. There must have been a reason for finding this book. It was meant to be.

The symbols are complete. What next?

Smudged fingers hover over the yellowed pages.

The pentacle…on the forehead. Sweat mixes with blood and dirt as it is drawn.

The hands drop. Waiting.

The pages are consulted again. It should have worked.

Silence. Pressing silence.

It didn’t work. Of course it didn’t work. It was ridiculous to think it would.

“You have freed me. In exchange I am required to offer you one service.”

The voice sends a jolt down the spine; it came out of nowhere. In the middle of all the symbols on the ground is now a tall, dark figure. A living shadow. Its cavernous eyes are cast down on the quivering human before it, waiting. Expectant.

Quickly, the pages are consulted again. The required response. The contract must be completed!

“I…I understand my part in this. I accept your boon with gratitude.”

The creature gives the slightest of nods.

Dry lips are licked.

“This is what I need you to do…”

 

Chapter One

Aiden woke up to the sound of screams, as usual. They sounded more outraged than normal, which he knew meant bad news for him. He blinked and stretched, stood up and shook himself. It was dark, and he had no idea what time it was. Clocks were hard to come by in Hell. Working clocks even harder. Without the need for a light source, he found his way to his dresser, pulled out clothes, put them on.

It was the same old routine. Strangely enough, he knew something was going to break up the monotony of his life very soon, and it was that fact that made him dread leaving his room. So he did what any normal teenage boy would do – he stalled. Running his fingers through his light brown hair, he looked absently around his room for a mirror before he remembered he didn’t have one.

“Kairn?”

He stooped to look under his bed as he called his friend’s name again.

“I know you’re here, Kairn. Quit dicking around.”

The expressions of the twenty-first century were fairly new to him, but he had to admit he liked them. If there was one good thing about the constant influx of souls in Hell, it was that he was able to keep up with the times by listening to their various speech patterns.

A large, red gecko with black spots skittered down from the ceiling and turned its black eyes on Aiden’s back. Its footprints glowed in the pitch darkness, creating enough light to catch Aiden’s attention.

“There you are,” he said, standing. “I need a mirror.”

The lizard cocked its head at him. Aiden scoffed.

“I don’t owe you a reason. Maybe I just want to remind myself of what I look like today.”

Kairn raised his shoulders in a shrug and turned into a small, round mirror with an ornate gold frame that was encrusted with rubies.

“Dude, come on,” Aiden moaned. “I’m not exactly in the mood.”

A head appeared out of the top of the mirror to look questioningly at Aiden.

“I’m going to get a new assignment today,” he grumbled. “Now could you give me a less girly mirror, please?”

It wasn’t that he didn’t want this assignment – he always craved the brief periods of time when he was allowed to go to Earth – but it was starting to weigh on him. It was so hard to go to Earth, a place that held so much more promise than Hell, only to have it ripped away from him time and time again.

Kairn made a kind of sympathetic clicking noise and then quickly rearranged himself until he was a full-length mirror with a simple, black frame.

“Thanks, buddy.”

Aiden stood in front of the mirror and looked at himself. He did that for about fifteen minutes, standing as still as a statue, so nervous that he found himself holding his breath. His reflection stared back at him with his own golden yellow eyes.

After another five minutes had passed, someone knocked on Aiden’s door so hard that it jostled bits and pieces loose from the stalactites on the ceiling.

“What?” he called.

“You know what,” came a bored, female voice with an unmistakable Irish accent. “Your father’s waiting for you on the other side of the Infinite Cavern. Get your butt up there within the next thirty seconds or I’ll lock you in one of the serial killer cages and watch the carnage unfold while I eat my breakfast.”

Aiden didn’t respond. He wasn’t sure if he didn’t actually prefer that threat to whatever his father had in store for him.

“Move!” the voice on the other side of the door barked.

Aiden sighed at Kairn, who was back to being a giant gecko, and walked out of his room. He didn’t expect anyone to be outside when he got there, and he wasn’t disappointed. The woman on the other side of the door had already flitted away to her next errand.

The dull roar of screams that he had managed to block from his mind until that point rose into a crescendo of rage again. They had sensed his presence and were shouting their disapproval already.

Much as he hated to admit it, Aiden felt for the souls incarcerated in Tor. They wanted to be on Earth as desperately as he did, but whenever one of them was summoned from its cell by a desperate human, it was his job to bring them back. And they loathed him for it. Even though only a select few entered into such pacts, they all knew he was responsible for destroying their chance at freedom.

Aiden took on his true form before he stepped into the Infinite Cavern. The Res-du-Tor were never allowed to show their human faces to the souls, in case one escaped. If the escapee were able to recognize the Re-du-Tor’s human form, it would know exactly who to run from.

Transformation complete, Aiden closed his eyes and took a deep breath before stepping through the archway at the end of the hall. The noise in the Infinite Cavern was deafening, as always. The place was home to hundreds of thousands of souls, or rather, the physical manifestations of people’s worse sides. All the good halves of people’s essence went to Lux, leaving Aiden and Tor to deal with the incarnations of pure evil.

The Infinite Cavern consisted of two walls that were infinitely tall, hence its name. Dug into the walls were large pits that were closed off with metal bars. Inside these cages were the souls. They were forced to stay there until it was time for them to be mixed with one of their good counterparts and reborn.

This process was all Tor’s and Lux’s jurisdiction, though. They were the ones who mixed the good and bad souls together in human babies. The new soul would have no memory of its past lives, and it would be neither good nor bad, since babies had no concept of right or wrong. As the baby grew up, it would develop or diminish the good and bad sides of its soul according to the way it was raised. Aiden’s job had nothing to do with soul production, though; his line of work was in soul retrieval.

Tor had taken to making Aiden cross the Infinite Cavern to receive his assignments. It was supposed to act as a reminder of the consequences that could result from him not doing his job; letting a powerful, evil soul run amok on Earth could, and would, have disastrous results. People could die. The balance of Good and Evil in the world could be tipped. Or worse, humans could find out what really lay beyond Death’s door. The information could drive them crazy, make them commit suicide, make them kill others, stop caring about life.

This didn’t stop Aiden from avoiding his job. It wasn’t like he cared about the humans who were endangered by the soul’s presence.

Aiden tried to look straight ahead and ignore the souls, but they refused to ignore him. Long, boneless arms reached out through the bars of their cages to swipe at his legs, his neck, his wings, anything they thought they could reach. He was safe, though. Part of the magic of the Infinite Cavern made it so they could never reach. No matter how long their limbs got, they would always be just a few inches too short to grab hold of anyone or anything on the outside.

“Going topside again, are you, boy?”

Aiden turned towards what seemed to be the only creature in Hell that wasn’t attempting to strangle him. Interesting that it was talking to him. They didn’t usually bother doing that. Most of them couldn’t, since they hadn’t retained much of their humanity. The shadowy figure sat in the back of his cell, black eyes and unsettlingly toothless grin turned in his direction. Aiden felt like he was staring at a demonic Cheshire cat.

“Don’t get too attached to the fresh air, mind,” the gravelly voice continued as Aiden shook his head and walked on. Its voice followed him as he finished crossing the Infinite Cavern. “No matter how much you try to convince yourself otherwise, you’re still a prisoner here just like the rest of us. You’re no freer than I am.”

Aiden tried to push the soul’s voice out of his mind. Of course it knew exactly how to push his buttons. It was evil, after all.

He stepped through the doorway at the end of the cavern and followed the curve of the tunnel, past the Door, all the way to where it dead-ended in a large alcove. Then, safely out of sight of the souls, he turned back into a human. His father was waiting for him, his face red with frustration, while some minor servants danced around him trying to get him to sign various forms. Tor’s work was never done. Most of his time was spent approving souls to be reborn on Earth and monitoring the souls’ activity to make sure that no escapes had been made without his noticing.

“You’re trying my patience, Re-du-Tor,” the Devil gritted out. “You have a job to do and I expect you to do it.”

“Yes, Tor,” Aiden sneered. “What will it be this time, Tor?”

“I like that tone. You remind me of your mother. Keep it up.”

He turned to one of his servants and signed yet another form, which disappeared a second later.

“Your new assignment,” he began, “is in the United States. You will find the idiotic human who invoked the Rit-du-Malos, extract the soul, and bring it back. Promptly.”

Aiden couldn’t help but feel intrigued at the prospect of going to the United States. His last assignment had been in…Europe? France maybe. They all tended to blend together. At any rate, he hadn’t seen anything of modern-day America, and it sounded like he could waste some truly glorious time there.

“How long do I have?” he asked.

Tor sighed and rolled his eyes.

“Get rid of that hopeful glint in your eye. I’m giving you a month. One. Month. Just get up there, do your job, and come back. Please. For once.”

“That’s not fair,” Aiden grumbled. “One month isn’t even enough time to stretch my legs.”

“One month is generous,” Tor countered. “I could have given you half that time, but I thought you might want to avoid Luther for once.”

Aiden shuddered. His run-ins with the Re-du-Lux – his counterpart in Heaven, whose job it was to keep Aiden on schedule – were never fun, or painless.

“I just want to get a chance to live a real life,” he pleaded, knowing it would do no good. Tor had heard all his best arguments a million times. “I want to…I don’t know, see movies. Watch TV. Go to school, hang out with kids my age.”

“Your age? Kids your age?” Tor paused to bark out a laugh. “There are no kids your age. You’re three hundred and seventy-five years old!”

“Three seventy-six, dad. You missed my last birthday.”

“The point is, you cannot hope to lead a normal life among mortals, Aiden. I don’t know how many times I have to tell you this before it sinks in. You will never be like them. You have powers they can’t even dream of.” Aiden was a little taken aback. Tor’s tone had become almost…fatherly. Before he could think that his father had turned over a new leaf, however, Tor continued what he was saying. “And you have a deadline. One month. No leeway on this one, Aiden. I will have Luther rip your wings off if you’re not back in time.”

“Yes, father,” Aiden said, bowing.

He knew there was no point in arguing further. He also knew he wasn’t going to let Luther, Tor, or any stupid soul land him back in Tor in just one measly month.

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Chapter Seven

Okay so I’m going to freely admit that I have no idea where I’m going with this book.  My method of writing is to just keep going until stuff comes to me, and as it comes to me, I write it down.  The course of the story is constantly changing.  That being said, I think I have some ideas.  It’s just hard keeping up with my own brain.  So maybe this chapter will be rushed and weird.  I don’t know.  I guess all I’m doing is giving the usual disclaimer: This is very raw and new!  As well as largely unedited.  Please keep this in mind.

Okay here are some links for easy navigation to previous chapters:

Chapter One

Chapter Five

And nowwww:

Chapter-Seven

It took Paxton just over a month before he was able to pin Icthi in combat training. Even then she insisted he had caught her right as she was about to sneeze. Rix later reassured him that she always made up an excuse when they beat her. It was a rite of passage.

“Also, don’t ever think for a second that she couldn’t kill you if she wanted to,” he’d said. “Icthi is vicious. Trust me when I say she holds back during training sessions.”

“Noted,” was Paxton’s reply.

Beating Icthi in a sparring match meant he had finally been cleared for field work. He definitely felt prepared. By that time he was shooting with 92% accuracy, he had an extensive knowledge of emergency procedures and protocol, and Rix had drilled all kinds of first-aid into him.

He was raring to get on the road and put his new skills and knowledge to the test.

“I’ve got a great first assignment for you,” Rix said, clapping him on the shoulder. “I came up with it myself. Korse already cleared it.”

“What is it?”

“I’ll tell you in the morning. Pick you up at your place. Dawn.”

“Dawn’s fine, but I’ll probably be at Kar-Yan’s.”

“Why?” Paxton just looked at him. “Oh…I thought you were hooking up with D’mia.”

“That was last week.”

Rix gave him a look.

“What?” Paxton asked.

“Nothing. Just didn’t take you for the type of guy to work out his problems…you know…vaginally.”

Paxton shrugged. “They come on to me, mostly. A few of them make me describe in detail what it was like to take out that Goliath’s eyes before throwing me into the bed. It’s kinda…unsettling if I think about it too much.”

“It takes a certain type of person to fit into this job,” Rix agreed.

“Yeah…I just don’t know if I should be worried that I seem to fit in so well.”

“Hmm…yeah. I never thought about that either,” he replied, though Rix didn’t seem to be too bothered by it at all.

They fell into silence as they exited HQ and made their way to the apartment block. Rix shrugged as they approached his building.

“Sex now. Worry later,” he said. “How about that?”

“Works for me,” Paxton agreed. “See you tomorrow.”

They parted ways, and Paxton spent the night parting Kar-Yan’s thighs. She was a ferocious lover. He was getting used to losing himself in locking his body with hers…or D’mia’s, or whoever happened to offer.

Still, Rix’s words echoed in his head.

Didn’t take you for the type of guy to work out his problems…you know…vaginally.

Before beating the Goliath in the arena, he hadn’t thought of himself that way either. But here he was.

“Where is your mind?” Kar-Yan demanded from beside him. She was watching him, her gray sheets tangled around her semi-transparent legs.

“Right here,” Paxton murmured, and proceeded to lose himself in her for the second time that night.

 

Someone was knocking on the door.

Paxton groaned and rolled over, his hand coming to rest on Kar-Yan’s soft hip. He tried to go back to sleep, but the person who was knocking was persistent.

“Tell them they have one minute to get out of here before I start breaking bones,” Kar- Yan muttered sleepily.

Paxton groaned and rolled out of bed, pulling on his pants as he headed for the door. Rix was on the other side of it, smiling mischievously.

“Late night?”

“I hate you,” Paxton said.

“Good to hear. Get dressed. It’s time to hit the road.”

Paxton’s response was unintelligible, but he retreated to slip the rest of his clothing and armor on. Kar-Yan was already asleep again. He didn’t even think about waking her to say good-bye.

Rix led him down to a fancy transport, one that had actual seats and looked like it had been built within the past two years.

“It’s going to be a long trip,” Rix explained, seeing Paxton’s raised eyebrows. “I’ll explain on the way.”

They mounted the transport and Paxton took a seat while Rix programmed in coordinates. A moment later, the vehicle jumped to life and began skating down the road, a familiar whirring sound floating from the engine. That sound still made Paxton’s stomach tighten. Force of habit.

“So…” Paxton said as Rix sat down beside him.

“Right, our assignment,” he said, and handed Paxton a file. “Plug that in to your monitor.”

Paxton did as he was told, using the portable computer screen that Rix had given him a few days ago. Every Enforcer had one. It was mainly used to store information and send communications. The images that popped up in front of him now were of a farm and the family that ran it.

“Whicker Farm, up in Sector Seven,” Rix explained. “They’re in charge of all the grain that gets shipped to our HQ, as well as the headquarters in Sectors Five, Seven, and Eight.”

“Okay. What about it?”

“Well…I just happened to be unloading our monthly shipment a couple days ago when I noticed it seemed lighter than usual. So I went back and checked the logs, and sure enough we were being shorted about two kilos. I dug further and found out that this lightening of our shipment has been going on for the better part of a year. They never left out so much that we would miss it, but over time they began to skim off more and more. Just a little bit at a time. When I figured that out, I made some calls. Turns out the HQs in Five, Seven, and Eight have also been receiving a lighter load, though they didn’t notice until I pointed it out. Which is how I got the honor of taking my new partner around to the farm to settle the issue.”

Paxton nodded. This was standard stuff, as far as he could tell, although…

“They had to know they’d get caught,” he said, thinking out loud.

“Bad drought these past couple of years,” Rix told him. “They’re required to send us the agreed upon amount, regardless of if they have enough left over to feed themselves. I imagine they got desperate.”

“Ah.”

“Oh don’t get that look on your face.”

“What look?”

“That weird sympathetic one, like you feel bad for the trinks. It’s not like their lives are that terrible. They get to live on and work their own land, rather than moving their huge family into one tiny, little hovel. It’s a privilege. And they’re abusing it.”

“Right.”

Paxton sat back and scanned the files Rix had given him. Whicker Farm was run by Nano Whicker and his wife Tru. They had seven children. Five daughters, two sons. The eldest daughter was married and had two children of her own. They all lived together in the farmhouse, which was in no way a stately manor, but was certainly better than a house in one of the cell blocks. As Rix had said.

The trip was long. Paxton watched the sunrise over his left shoulder as they headed north toward the farm.

When they arrived, they immediately caught the attention of the group of people who were working the fields. A couple of them – young children – dropped their tools and ran into the house. By the time Paxton and Rix had disembarked from the transport, an older man was walking toward them from the farmhouse. He was followed by a woman, his wife, who was trying and failing to look calm and composed.

“Morning,” Farmer Whicker said as he got closer. “What can I do for you, officers?”

“Hey,” Rix said, all friendliness and smiles. “How are you doing today, sir? Got a minute to talk?”

“Sure do,” Whicker replied easily, though Paxton noticed his Adam’s apple bob as he swallowed.

“Great. Do you wanna do this inside?”

“We’re staying right here,” Paxton said quietly, though both Rix and Whicker heard him just fine.

“Whoops, guess my partner says we have to stay outside,” Rix said. “Is that alright with you?”

“Absolutely,” Whicker said. “What can I help you with?”

“Well, Mr. Whicker, it seems a couple of Enforcer Headquarters have noticed a slight…decline in their grain supply over the month.”

“Did they now? That is odd.”

“Isn’t it?” Rix replied cheerily. “Thing is…you’re the only one supplying us with the grain, so I was wondering if maybe you could help us figure out what was happening to it.”

“Sure wish I could, but I’ve gotta say this is coming as a surprise to me.”

Rix sighed, still smiling. “That is a pickle, isn’t it?” His blaster was in his hand now, though Paxton honestly never noticed him taking it out of the holster. Farmer Whicker sure noticed it, though. “You sure you don’t remember what happened to it?”

“No, sir. I’d tell you if I did. We always carefully measure –”

“Oh, for the sake of the Overseer!” Paxton growled impatiently. He pulled out his own blaster and whipped it across the old man’s face, knocking him to the ground. “This is a ridiculous game.” He leveled his blaster at the farmer’s forehead. “You have three to five seconds to tell me what happened to our grain, depending on how generous I’m feeling right now.”

“I s-swear I d-don’t know!” the old man stuttered, clutching his hand to his bleeding forehead.

Paxton shot him through the shin. The farmer howled with pain as his wife let out a shriek. Someone in the distance yelled, “Da!”

“I’m not going to ask again,” Paxton said. “Next time you lie, I’ll take the other leg.”

“Aw, shoot. You better tell him,” Rix said amicably. Paxton glanced at him for just a second. Had Rix expected him to do this? Had he wanted him to do this?

“I…I d-don’t…”

Paxton rolled his eyes and moved to shoot out the farmer’s other leg, but then Tru Whicker shouted out.

“It was me! Overseer have mercy! I’m so sorry! It was me. We were…we were hungry…”

She ran up to her husband and dropped to her knees, shielding him with her body.

“Fine,” Paxton said, blasting a hole in her head. Her body slumped over while the old farmer screamed. “That was easy.” He raised his voice. “Next time you skimp on the shipment, we’ll level the farm. Yeah? Any questions?”

Everybody was too busy crying or shouting or cowering to respond, but he knew he’d gotten the message across. He holstered his blaster and turned back to the transport.

“Oh, uh…actually,” Rix said, causing Paxton to turn back. “Sorry, one more thing. I know you’re mourning, but we’re going to need seven kilos of grain delivered by tomorrow morning. To each of the HQs you’ve shorted, actually. So that’ll be…twenty-eight kilos total. Sound fair?”

Farmer Whicker was too busy sobbing and clutching his dead wife’s body to be of any help. Instead, a young woman approached from the field, getting close enough to them to be heard and not a step closer.

“We don’t have that much right now. It’s been a hard summer. If you gave us a week or two maybe…”

“Oh, gee…I don’t know,” Rix said, scratching his head with the side of his blaster. “I kinda promised the other guys at Five, Seven, and Eight that we’d have you get the grain to them by tomorrow. So, yeah…you know…do that. Or we’ll kill you all, like my partner said. You know where your farm is right now? The house and all the fields? Those will just be a pile of ash. And there won’t be much left of you besides your charred skeletons, you know? So that’s your choice. We’ll see you tomorrow. Or not. Either way, have a good night, folks!”

Rix practically skipped back to the transport.

The moment they were on the road, Rix let out a whoop and slapped his knee.

“Oh, Lord and Maker, that was fun. Did you see the looks on their faces? And then you just took out his leg. Just like that! You’re a natural.”

“I wouldn’t call it fun…”

“Oh, it’s the best job in the universe,” Rix countered. “Nothing like it. Nothing like the fear.”

“You think they’ll get the grain to us in time?”

“Dunno. We’ll probably kill them all regardless. It’ll be better that way. We can start fresh. Move some other impossibly large family onto the land.”

“Is that really necessary?”

“Oh, you wouldn’t think so, but don’t forget we’re going to leave all their bodies right there. Just picture it: The new family moves in, thinking they’ve stepped up in the world. Maybe they’re already formulating their own plans about how to screw us over. Then, one by one, they start to notice all the bodies of the previous tenants. Suddenly rebelling doesn’t seem so appealing, you know? It keeps ‘em in line real good.”

“You’ve done this once or twice before I take it?”

Rix raised an eyebrow. “What? You think this is the first family that thought they could pull one over on us? This time it was wifey, but before it was a cousin. Before that it was the father. Next time it’ll be the one-year-old.”

“Sounds tiring.”

“That’s because you’re a big ol’ cynic. You need to have more fun. Fun that isn’t between the legs of a woman.”

“You want me to try getting between the legs of a man?”

“Hey, if that’s what you’re in to.” He fell silent for a moment, leaning back and crossing his arms behind his head as he thought. “How about this: It’s still early. Let’s go patrol a bit. That’s about the funnest thing I can think of, brother. I tell ya. Just watching ‘em soil themselves. The children all running inside.”

Rix went quiet again, no doubt lost in pleasant memories of striking fear into the hearts of the citizens.

Paxton shrugged. He couldn’t even begin to imagine what it’d be like to go on patrol. He still remembered running inside as a kid every time he heard an Enforcer transport whiz by. It would be strange to be on the other side of it.

Rix called in to HQ to update them on the farm situation and let them know that he and Paxton were going to patrol.

“There’s not much to it,” he said after he’d ended the call. “Just walk around and look menacing.”

“I think I can manage that.”

“I know you can. Seriously. I think I’m in love with you.”

“Rix, you are sick. You know our love can never be.”

“A man can dream.”

Paxton allowed himself to laugh.

“Here,” Rix said, reaching into a compartment in the floor of the transport. “These ones look more menacing. You fired one yet?”

Paxton accepted an MWt 650 Rifle and looked it over. “No, but I’m sure I can figure it out.”

“I, for one, believe in you. Come on, let’s go have some fun.”

Paxton shrugged and slung the rifle over his shoulder, resting it there as he walked beside Rix down the first block.

It was deserted. But that was expected. The sound of their transport would have been enough to send everyone scrambling for their homes.

The next block over had some more movement. There were children playing in their yards, a few hushed conversations going on between neighbors. Everything fell silent as they walked by, of course. Rix was eating it up, but Paxton wasn’t sure he liked seeing the fear in their eyes.

Over the next few minutes, Paxton allowed Rix to lead him around one corner, then another, going down block after block. He saw where his sadistic partner was leading him, but he didn’t say anything until they were almost there.

“I don’t exactly want to scare the shit out of my old neighbors,” he muttered. “They were always good to me.”

“But that’s just it. They need to know that you’re not one of them now. For all you know they think that you joined up with the Enforcers just to infiltrate us from the inside. You know, like my last partner tried to do? They might believe you’re on their side.”

“I doubt it.”

“Well, let’s just see.”

Something felt wrong. Maybe it was the way Rix had led him right back to where he’d grown up for his first patrol, or the edge in his voice when he talked about his old partner’s betrayal. It was like an itching in the back of Paxton’s mind. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but suddenly he didn’t trust that his partner’s motivations were what he said they were.

They turned down Paxton’s old street as he moved the rifle from over his shoulder to rest the end of it in his left palm.

He saw some new faces in the neighborhood, which made him wonder what had happened to the old ones.

Maybe someone dressed like me dragged them away in the middle of the night.

This wasn’t the first time Paxton wondered if he’d ever be able to use his position to find out what had happened to his father. He didn’t believe for a second that he’d simply abandoned Paxton and his mother. His father, in Paxton’s limited memories, had always been kind. Loyal. Protective.

But he couldn’t look up the file. The moment Korse saw Paxton sticking his nose into confidential reports, he’d be dead. There would be no trial. Just the business end of Korse’s blaster.

“You look distracted,” Rix commented casually. “Having second thoughts?”

“What? No. Why would you even ask that?”

Rix shrugged. “You used to live here. If this is too much for you, say the word and we’ll head back to HQ.”

“It’s not too much for me. I killed a Goliath to be here.”

“Oo, yeah. Wanna describe that in detail for me so I can get off?”

“Shut up.”

Again Paxton found himself smiling, laughing. Until something squishy and wet struck his left cheek, wiping the smile off his face. He whipped around to stare at his assailant, an older woman who had another rotten fruit of some kind clutched in her hand.

“How dare you show your face here?” she seethed.

Paxton only vaguely recognized this woman. She had lived a few houses down from him, maybe. Her eyes were full of hatred and something deeper. Betrayal perhaps. By now a few fearful gazes were turned their way. Meanwhile Rix’s eyes were boring into the back of Paxton’s head. His partner was waiting for something to happen. Suddenly this felt like a test. Maybe it had been all along.

Paxton reached up slowly to wipe the sloppy goo off his face. The woman responded by lobbing a second projectile. He batted it out of the air with his rifle, then aimed the weapon at her chest.

He wondered if he should fire. Just kill her and be done with it. That seemed like an awfully high death toll for his first day. He glanced at Rix with a question in his eyes. His partner spoke up, helping him out.

“Assaulting an Enforcer. That’s worth some time in the tombs, don’t you think?”

“Absolutely,” Paxton said, grateful for the direction.

He lowered his weapon and reached for the pair of cuffs that were hanging from his hip. The woman spat at his feet as he approached.

“How powerful you must feel,” she seethed. “Arresting a defenseless old woman.”

“I’m arresting a person who broke the law,” he said simply, fitting the cuffs around her wrists.

Paxton had been to the tombs only once before, back when he was touring all of the Enforcer facilities with Rix. He had expected screams, rattling chains, retching, maybe even the crack of a whip. Instead, there was only silence.

The quiet was almost unbearable, welcoming them with an icy grip as they led the old woman down its halls.

The tombs were immaculate. Pure white walls, not a spot on them. They walked past rows of cells, each only wide enough to fit an average-sized person. Paxton knew his head would brush the ceiling if he was standing in one, his shoulders would be pressed up against the walls. It was meant to be a tight fit. And if it wasn’t, well…they could change that.

A guard had welcomed them when they walked in, asking them to log the woman’s crime in his monitor. The woman’s ID card was swiped to get her into the system, and then they were ushered through the door, down some steps, and into a long hallway. It was just one of many. The Tombs went deep underground, featuring a thousand identical cells.

They were directed to an empty cell by one of the guards, who then helped to fit the woman into it. She was forced to sit, then the walls were adjusted via a control panel on the outside of the cell. Once they were pressed tightly against her sides, her arms and thighs were shackled together, using a pair of special cuffs – also adjustable – that were attached to the seat. In this way, she was prevented from standing or adjusting her position in any way.

The last thing the guard did was attach a small device to the woman’s temple. She had shown no fear as they’d led her into the cell. Now, though, her eyes opened wide. Her mouth opened in a silent scream.

“What’s it doing to her?” Paxton whispered, his voice hoarse. The clinically clean, quiet place was starting to get to him.

Rix shrugged. “From what I hear, it does something different to everybody. Something about mental pain over physical. The guy who invented those things was…unhinged, to say the least. Maybe he tested them on himself. Naturally we paid him a bundle. You wanna try one on for size?”

“No, thank you.”

The door was closed and locked, blocking the woman’s silent terror from his view.

How long she stayed in there would be up to Korse. After he reviewed her crime, he would decide on what he deemed an appropriate sentence length. The guards would receive a message from him sometime in the next day or two letting them know when she was to be released.

The two Enforcers left the way they came, and took their transport back to HQ.

Paxton immediately went to track down Kar-Yan, but couldn’t find her. While he was looking, he ran into an Enforcer by the name of Ulia. They hadn’t done much more than exchange names in the time since Paxton had started, but now he looked at her with new perspective. She wasn’t shapely, like he was used to, but she was clearly strong. She was thick. And she was a head taller than him. Pretty face, too. Strong features.

“Looking for someone?” she asked, her voice deep and throaty.

“I think I found her,” he replied.

She looked at him, sizing him up, seeing the frenzied look in his eyes. Then she cracked a half smile.

Paxton didn’t let her sleep that night.

 

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In Lieu of a Chapter

I have to admit that I have not written chapter seven yet, though I fully intend to.  I want to get it down soon, but unfortunately this weekend is not looking like it’s going to be a good one for writing.  See, tonight I work.  Then tomorrow I work a double shift.  And, you guessed it, Sunday I’m working a double shift.

Waitressing is serious business.

That being said, I’m going to hint at something I’ve put into the works.

It’s essentially the second stupidest thing I’ve ever done, since first prize for stupidity still goes to this thing right here.  But it all stemmed from me sitting home alone, wondering, waiting, reading rejection emails, and then waiting again.

I can’t sit by and take a passive position in this publishing process anymore.  It feels so weird.  Like…I wrote the book, and now whatever happens next with it is completely out of my hands?

I don’t think so.

So I developed a stupid plan.  And part of that plan involves sharing the first few pages of the most recent version of Hellbound.  With my agent’s blessing of course.  I will be sharing it here, and I will be sharing it with friends, family, and coworkers.  And finally, hopefully, I will be sharing it with complete strangers in a public setting.  Not sure how yet, but I’m gonna figure it out.

Finally, if people read and like the excerpt, I am going to be offering them the chance to sign off on it, so to speak.  I have ordered some little cards that simply say, “I support Hellbound by Rebecca Leviton.”  I will be collecting signed cards like signatures for a petition, only not that.

The cards will be arriving in about a week, so I’m going to be posting that excerpt of Hellbound soon, as well as more information about the cards.  If this seems intriguing to you, as I hope it does, then keep an eye out.  Like I said, it’s probably a stupid idea, but it’s better than sitting around waiting for other people to decide my fate.

Until such time as the cards arrive (and after they arrive, too), I will still be trying to post chapters of this new book, but first I gotta survive this weekend.

That is all!

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