Story Idea: The Kings Ballad.

I had an interesting dream which I am planning to adapt to a story.

My Bex (best friend\ex-wife) and I were playing Hearthstone when I got a sleep attack, which I get sometimes. I call them attacks because that is what they feel like like. Like I’m being forced to sleep whether I feel physically or mentally tired.

This one was a bad one. It hit hard and fast and I fell asleep for a moment while playing the game. The attack wasn’t done with me they come in waves and another was coming soon. Basically, I needed a nap and it was not a suggestion.

So I excused myself from the game, which was sad because although Hearthstone is not my favorite game, I did want to keep playing with my Bex.

These are not normal naps either. I often wake up from them feeling rough (for lack of a better word) and kind of tingly all over, like when your arm falls asleep but all over, but I also wake up super energized sometimes. Like right now I feel like I could run a ten-k while calculating physics in my head. If that’s not weird enough my libido seems boosted as well.

But bringing it back to the topic, my dreams during these naps are really intense. They may not happen often but wow! I’ve always had vivid dreams with stories and plots and plot twists its where I get some of my best story ideas from.

The Dream.

In the dream, I am king and I have a pretty sweet kingdom. It is like a fusion of the medieval and cyberpunk looks. There are lots spires and towers everywhere but they are covered in circuits and screens and other high-tech gadgetry. Everything is white with gold accents.

I am in the middle of an important trade\peace agreement with a neighboring state of elves. It wasn’t stated in the dream but I’m going to call them High Elves. They are about ten feet tall, skinny, are beautiful and graceful, and walk around like they are better than everybody else. This goes especially for the high council of about ten elves who all look like the just smelt a fart.

In the dream, in order to secure the treaty, the council asked me to do something I did not like. I was not clear on it but it felt very much like some kind of massacre. Or a slaughter of innocents.

I’m thinking it was probably a slaughter of an Elvish peasant town and the council made my kingdom do it so it wasn’t connected to them. I do it but I feel awful about it.

What I’m thinking is me and my men dress up like Orcs to do it to blame the Orcs for the slaughter and avoid balm ourselves.

I did it because we needed the treaty, but the longer time goes on the harder I find it to keep quiet about it, but I have to. Saying something would mean war.

On the day the treaty is ratified our peoples come together is a celebration. There are about a thousand people in my banquet hall the peasants are on the main floor and there are balconies for the rich and important so they don’t actually come in contact with poor people.

I come out on the stage, which is about fifty feet in the air, and about fifty feet where people are sitting. I’m also being broadcasted on every screen in the kingdom.

I look at the High elf council who are already annoyed because this is unscheduled. I say to them something like: “Our kingdoms come together in peace on this day, and to celebrate I have written a song.”

I take out my electric guitar because why the fuck not. I look to my band and give them the nod and we start playing this driving metal tune. Like Metallica back in the day.

Were rocking the people high elves and humans and a few other races stand up and are jamming to the music.

I start singing in fucking Elvish. I don’t say it outright, I. E. I don’t say “the High Council forced us to murder your people and blame it on the Orcs,” but it’s there if you know what to look for.

And as I get to the part where I’m confessing the worst thing I have ever done. The song slows down and gets sad. So sad it makes me want to cry. The song ends and the people are blown away and everyone is clapping the people haven’t realized the significance. I look to the Council who look like they just heard a wet fart. They don’t say anything because that would be confirming it so the just storm off.

I retire to my privet quarters. My wife the queen is still out attending the festivities. So I am met by an elf mage who serves on my court. She is not the same race as the high elves. She is much shorter about five two-ish and has bluish-purple skin. (She reminded me of this woman that works at 7-11 who I would really like to have sex with but she’s in her early twenties and I don’t want to go there.)

Anyway, she heard the song and put two and two together, and she is there to comfort me. After we talk for a bit things get sexual (remember what I said about libido.) and that is where the dream ends.

If you want to get all Freudian and analyze that shit go right ahead. I’d love to hear your interpretation. I just think it was an amazing story, and I’d love to see it as a movie, or a music video.

Fearocracy: The Pome.

Fearocracy: A pome by Michae J Pennington.
Based on a theory by Michael J Pennington.

07 Fearocracy1_edited 2Fearocracy.
What the hell is Fearcoracy?

Democracy, Monarchy, Oligarchy none of these things are Fearocracy.

Theocracy? Dictatorship? Communist-anarchist-uber-democratic-capitalist-oracy?


07 Fearocracy1_edited 3Fearocracy.
It’s a state of government, not a form.

Your government may be experiencing an imperial rize. As it has great growth potential and resources aplenty.

Your government may be in the state of dystopic decline as it’s resources have dwindled and all that is left is the awful truth of what keeps the machine running.

You may be experiencing a state of utopian ease as you find yourself adrift amongst the lazy seas of excess.

But if you find yourself in a state of Fearocracy you are in a terrible state indeed.

07 Fearocracy1_edited 4Fearocracy!
Tell me, tell me! What is so scary about Fearocracy?!

Fearocracy is where everyone is afraid, from the poorest pauper to the richest glut, from the powerless to the powerful.

Fear is in the streets, fear is in the government, it hangs high on the flagpoles and low in the pockets of the rich.

07 Fearocracy1_edited 5Fearocracy!

Fear grips your heart, it seizes your mind and before long you find it’s in charge.

Making the decision making the calls, tearing down connections and building up walls.

It holds your kindness hostage, it locks away your empathy, it robs you of humanity.

When fear is in charge things are really bad. Fear makes bad decisions. The worst to be had!

What can be done about Fearocracy?

The answer is simple: stop being afraid.

And remember the sooner the better. For fear is the worst way to rule anyone. For sooner or later people have nothing to lose, and they stop being afraid.

And people with nothing to lose and no fear are dangerous people indeed.


07 Fearocracy1_edited 1

Steel: Second Amendment Blues.

Steel: Second Amendment Blues.

By Michael J. Pennington.01-2 Steel 2

Part one: Return to Washington.

Metropolis, gleaming jewel of the coast. Some think of it as a modern-day utopia, but even this city of shining towers and pristine streets has an underbelly. Places people don’t go unless they have too. One of those places is known as suicide slums.

Despite many attempts to improve the neighborhood, there is little doubt it’s one of the worst in Metropolis.

Fortunately, the denizens of the slums have a guardian angel. Not Superman though he visits frequently, there is another hero who watches these streets.

In an abandoned factory is where he makes his home. It’s no secret he calls it Steelworks.
He maintains it with a modest fortune. He’s a good friend of Superman They were often seen fighting together. He is a member in good standing with the justice leag. Most people these days have forgotten about him.

His name is Steel. His not so secret identity is John Henry Irons. He’s what you might call semi-retired. These days he mostly works on his inventions. But to the people of suicide slums, he is Superman.

The hammer slams into the hot metal and a shower of sparks rains from the impact. The new recipe was holding up amazingly well. John was a genius with metal, he was a gifted engineer and inventor, but it was metallurgy where he shined.

“Odessa,” Said John Henry. He was a tall black man, He was wearing blue jeans and goggles to protect his eyes.

“Yes, John?” This was the voice of his computer. Named after his Aunt Odessa West.

“Run cohesion analysis,”

“Molecular cohesion at Eighty percent normal steel and rising. Ninty percent, One-Hundred percent, Two-hundred percent. Three-Hundred Forty Percent…”

“Now!” John said as he plunged the metal into a new superfluid that was colder than liquid nitrogen. John had developed it with a collage of his. This liquid was perhaps all that remained of their friendship. It was derived from Kryptonite. Liquid Kryptonite you might call it but unlike its solid counterpart, it gave off no radiation. Instead, it absorbed it. In this case, it absorbed the heat radiation from the metal so fast the molecules arranged themselves in a crystal-like structure.

“Molecular cohesion holding at Two-Thousand percent normal steel.”

“Ha!” cried, John. “I bet this is just as strong and tuff as old Clark himself!”

“Crime detected,” Odessa Replied.

John sighed heavily. “Location.”

“Steelworks,” said Odessa.

Jonh raised his eyebrow.

The senator was always a man of modest means. What money he did have he didn’t like to flash around. His rental car was a small unassuming hybrid. He didn’t know metropolis well, and he’d never been to suicide slums. So it took him some time to find the building he was looking for.

He parked the car and got out. He was a small man, but he was well known in political circles.

“Hey!” cried one of the many homeless people around. “You’re that guy!” A man in rags.

“Yeah!” Said his companion. “Th’ one who wants to give all the poor people money!”

“Well, I’m poor give me money.”Said the first one.

“Gentlemen,” said the senator. “I’m more than happy to take you two to get something to eat later… but what we really need in this country is to vote out all the conservatives and tax…”

“Look man!” said the first homeless man brandishing a knife. ” I don’t vote. It’s all rigged. Look what happened to you.”

“Yeah,” said the second one taking out a gun. “It’s all run by the Illuminati and the lizard aliens. Just give us your wallet and we’ll tell all our friends to vote for ya.”

“Excuse me,” Said John Henry in his Steel persona. He floated above them in a pair of Rocket boots. His armor covered him from head to toe, but it was not stiff and ridged it moved like it was a part of him. It was complete with a cape and a copy of supermans ‘S.’ “You know I live right across the street right?”

“Hey, your that guy who pretends to be Superman!”

Steel took out his hammer, his primary weapon. He activated a magnet in it. It pulled the knife and gun from the would-be robber’s hands. It also snatched the Senator’s car keys. “For the record…” said Steel, “I never once claimed to be Superman.”

“Illuminati!” Cried the first man, and he began to run.

“Lizard mind probes! Run for your lives!” He ran after the first.

“Terrible,” said the senator. “The state this country is in. Those men need professional help, and…”

“You are senator Burns right. You ran for president last year.” Said Steel.

“Yeah,” Said Burns, “too bad the other guy won.”

“I didn’t vote for him,” said Steel as he gave the senator back his car keys. “What brings you to the slums?”

“As it happens, young man.” Said Senator Burns taking the keys back. “I came to talk to you…”

“I don’t think so,” said Steel. “You want the other guy with an ‘S’ I can give him a message for you.”

“No mistake Mr. Irons,” Said Burns. “You are the one I want to talk too.”

Steel invites the senator inside for a cup of coffee. While the coffee brewing steel takes off his suit returning in his blue jeans. The senator takes note of his many scars and remarks, “You’ve been at this superhero gig a long time.”

“Not as long as some, but longer than most.” Replied John, as he tossed the knife and gun he took from the criminals unto his pile of scrap metal. These weren’t the only weapons in the pile.

“You don’t like guns do you, Mr. Irons?” Said Senator Burns.

John got the coffee pot and pored him and the senator a cup. “I’m not a fan of guns. If that’s what you mean. I’m not against folks defending themselves mind you, but I’ve never seen anything but pain coming from the barrel of a gun.” He set the cup in front of the senator. “I hope you like it plain, I don’t have any creamer.”

“Wow!” said the senator. “This is what we use to refer to as sludge.”

“Sorry,” said John. “Superman complains about it too.”

“Don’t be,” said the Senator. “It’s been a long time since I had a good solid cup of Joe. You’re a rare man Mr. Irons.”

“Call me John,” It was getting a little too serious in here. Mr. Irons this Mr. Irons that John didn’t like formalities.

“Sure John, you can call me Sam. Now what I wanted to talk to you about…”

“Sam, before we get started…” said John, “I got to warn you I don’t do political endorsements. And I don’t follow politics much. I’ve met my fair share of billionaires some good some bad, and I’m not a big fan of the government. So if its a personal superhero you looking for Steel is unavailable.”

“John I don’t want Steel, the last thing I want is for Steel to return to Washington, given his history with the Washington monument.”

John was taken aback. “What could you possibly want from me?”

“You haven’t heard?” Asked Sam.

“Heard what?” Asked John.

“It seems I must be the bearer of bad news. Toastmasters are back John.” Said Senator Burns.

A chill ran down John Henry Irons spine and his blood ran cold. John’s superhero persona was the combination of two of his namesakes. The first he chose, the Man of Steel. Superman. The second was his given name, John Henry. He wore the ‘S’ and the cape for Superman, but he carried the hammer for the famed folk hero John Henry. Like his namesake John found himself battling a machine, but this one was one of his own makings. As a young man, John served as an engineer for the military. He designed a gun called the BG-80, he thought he was making a weapon for the ‘good’ guy’s but it wound up in the hands of terrorist.

They wiped out a small town, and upon witnessing the devastation John left the army. It was after the death of Superman that BG-80’s now dubbed ‘Toastmasters’ started showing up on the streets of Suicide Slums that John dawned the cape. He found the dealers, tracked them to Washington. He found their source and stopped it. He thought they were done.

“Whose dealing in Toast!” said John. “Is it the White Rabbit? Hazard? He promised me!”

“Everybody,” Said senator Sam Burns. “Least that’s the proposal. John if we don’t do something Toastmasters are going to be legal.”

“What?!” cried John, “They can’t do that!”

“Congressman Charleston has introduced a bill to Congress to just that. They already have all the support they need. John, I don’t need Steel the superhero. I Need John Irons the designer of these terrible weapons to testify to the Senate and tell them why they should not be in the hands of regular citizens…”

“Of course,” Said John. He had made more than his share of mistakes, but the one that haunted him the most was the BG-80. He blamed himself for every one killed by them.

It was a long flight to DC, John used to travel in his armor, not quite as fast as Superman, but it could keep up. Otherwise, he’s used Justice Leag jets. The computer experience was less than thrilling. Senator Burns insisted on it. He was clear that there shouldn’t be any signs of Steel. He requested John come in his military uniform, though John didn’t know if he was allowed to wear it.

It was his commanding officer that sold weapons to the terrorist. Steel proved it and excoriated himself, even got a full pardon, but he still left military service under less than ideal circumstances. The uniform felt itchy and uncomfortable, a feeling he used to. He felt the same way about the ‘S’ Clark insisted, but John never felt worthy, too much blood on his hands.

By the time he had returned to Washington the bill had already passed through Congress. It seemed government was swift when money was backing it. The rain was falling hard that day in Washington, and everywhere he looked Jhon saw ghosts of his past. He remembered DC as fondly as DC remembered him.

When he arrived at the capital, Senator Burns was in rare shape. He was known for his fiery speeches and he was pleading passionately with his fellow senators. “So you see my fellow senators we can’t let these ‘guns’ loose on the streets! But you don’t have to take my word for it. I’d like to call before you the inventor of these weapons. John Henry Irons.”

John’s throat was dry and his mind was blank. He had no idea what he was going to say, but as soon as he got to the microphone he found the words pouring out of him from a deep well of pain.

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the Senate I come before you today as the inventor of the BG-80 otherwise known as the Toastmaster. I come here to tell you I made a mistake.

“I created those weapons to protect our troops. I thought… I believed the best defense was a strong offense. As a young man, I only thought about making the weapons as efficient and powerful as possible. I didn’t stop and consider what that meant for the person on the other side of the barrel. The chared smoldering bodies of the gun’s victims haunt me to this day.

“They are not gun’s, they are inhuman. Mama’s didn’t know what corps to cry over because they all looked the same. Children buried in closed caskets becue they were unrecognizable. Urn’s were less than half full because most of the remains blew away in the wind long before they could be collected, and cremated. These weapons don’t belong in anyone’s hands, not the military, and certainly not the hands of regular people!

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the Senate, I made a mistake. Please don’t compound my mistake by making another one. I don’t think I could live with that on my conscience.”

A clapping began, as many of the house were moved my Johns words. One woman stood up, making a show of her clapping. John didn’t recognize her. “Let’s hear it for John Irons and his moving words.” Cried the senator.

“Mr. Irons. Thank you for coming out today and speaking with us on this controversial subject. Then you are no stranger to controversy.” She said. This was it Burns warned him of this, that the opposition was going to try and drag him down. They were going to drag out every dirty and unsavory thing from his past. He was ready, he would stare at the truth unwavering and answer every question. What happened was not what he expected.

“I mean, when we heard you were coming back to Washington DC most of us though ‘hide the monuments!’ am I right?” This joke got a few laughs. “Most senators wouldn’t risk taking a stand on your exploits.” She paused for dramatic effect. “But I’m not most senators.” She walked up to the podium where John was standing. She haded him as a small thin box. He opened it up a metal was inside. “That’s a congressional medal of honor. This is not a ceremony and I’m not the president but I think you should have it.”

“I don’t understand,” said John.

“Mr. Irons. As we have always maintained we are not anti-metahuman. There are plenty of good meta’s out there. The Flash, Wonder Woman. You work on a daily basis with one of the most admirable meta’s out there. Superman. They are shining examples and we are lucky to have them, but not all meta’s stand for Truth, Justice, and the American way.

“Some of these meta’s are a threat to the public, and not even Superman can be everywhere, Toastmasters, as they are called, are one way for the average American to level the playing field.

“You see mister Irons, we are not anti-meta we are pro-citizen. And nobody exemplifies that value more than this man here!

John was ready for an attack, but this had thrown him off.

“Mr. Irons you were dealt a bad hand. Your General betrayed you and this country. He made you the fall guy for it. But you didn’t give up. You found a way to prove your innocence. You found a way to stop a disgusting arms dealer who was selling guns, and drugs to our nation’s children. You are a hero.”

“I did what I had to do,” said John. “I still don’t think those guns should be legal.”

“And he’s modest too!” Said the senator. “Mr. Irons, there are lot’s of stories out there where the men and women to have a hand in creating something later feel regret for it. Winchester, Oppenheimer, Hamilton, just to name a few. But I think if those people could see the reality the tune might be different. I think statistically speaking weapons have saved far more lives than they have taken, but I’m not here to debate hypotheticals.” As she was speaking men wore moving a large TV screen onto the Senate floor.

“Please consider the following footage.” The large flat screen came on and an image of John as Steel came on he was caring what looked like a large gun. He was battling the metahuman teenagers. He pointed the weapon at them and fired. The seemed to be disintegrated.

“That’s not what it looks like!” cried, John. But he bit his tongue.
He could say no more. The meta’s in the video were working for a man named Hazard. They wanted out, they came to John and asked for help. In exchange for information, he’d help them fake their deaths. The gun was a teleporter. It fooled Hazard but if he ever knew he’d find his lost disciples and kill them. He couldn’t reveal their secret. Not now not ever.

“I’ll tell you what it looks like Mr. Irons.” Said the Senator. “It looks like a concerned citizen standing his ground. How many people could those metals have killed if you hadn’t stepped in that day? As you have undoubtedly demonstrated years ago the only thing that can stop a dangerous meta is a hero with a gun. You are a gifted man Mr. Irons. A hero in my book. All we are asking is that you give another hero’s a chance to shine as you did so long ago.”

John had no words. He was speechless this woman had disarmed his words, not with an attack but with praise.

The senet voted. The bill was passed. Toastmasters were one step closer to being sold legally in America. The president was expected to rubberstamp it. John’s worst nightmare was coming true.

















A theory by Michael J Pennington.


07 Fearocracy1_edited 2There are many forms of it. It wears many faces.

From slime dripping aliens, bloodthirsty wolves, strange men and women with unknown motives, and more mundane stuff like pens and tiny balls of fluff.


Fear wears many hats. It serves as protector, and drug dealer, it inhibits us, it empowers us, most would not be alive today if fear hadn’t taken an interest in our lives. I could spend all day recognizing the many and varied roles of fear. Still, there is one roll of fear that most tend to ignore. It’s power to rule over us.

To be clear fear is a terrible way to rule or influence a political decision. Eventually, the people you are trying to terrorize realize they have nothing to be afraid of. And then what? Your power is gone, and you face a far greater enemy in a people who have nothing to lose.

Fear in government is nothing new. Many have tried this tool 07 Fearocracy1_edited 3simply to pick up difficult to master as it is. But this is not Fearocracy, simply having the puppet masters making shadows on the wall to frighten the puppets into submission is no Feaocracy. No. I’m talking about something more sinister. More… deceptive and shadowy than the most elusive of secret organizations.

Fearocracy was there in the begging, it’s inky black tentacles have slicked their way though governments of every style and size, strangling them into incompetence and ineffectuality. See Fearocracy is a state of government not a type of government.

Fearocracy has been achieved when fear permeates and controls every decision in a government on every level. The people are afraid, the politicians are afraid, the money makers are afraid, the media is afraid. Everyone is afraid.

07 Fearocracy1_edited 4Here is how it works. The people are afraid of something so the elect politicians who take a hard line against their fear, but the politicians are afraid of looking bad in the media, but the media is afraid because the money makers will take their funding, but the money makers are afraid of losing their money. It’s more complicated than this but I hope you get the idea.When everyone is afraid who is making the decisions? Fear is in charge, and Fear is a terrible decision maker.

What causes Fearocracy? Well, it’s always a little bit there, but what can bring a nation to its knees with fear is the shifting of paradigms. The world is a constantly changing place. (As people much like myself will no doubt tell you.) Great change brings great fear and the fear madness of Fearocracy takes control. While all nations experience some level of Fearocracy the ones who experience it the most are the ones most affected by the change in question.

07 Fearocracy1_edited 5These are almost always the most powerful nations, as it was specifically the old paradigm that made them the most powerful, and they being “big” are slow to adapt to the new world. Felling the loss of their prestige and power they quickly fall into a malaise of fear and they begin acting in ways that are self-destructive. The people beging believing the increasing lager lies of the politicians and forgiving their faults as long as they are on their side. The politicians fall to infighting and bipartisanship government ceases to function. Media gives rise to sensationalism and yellow politically motivated journalism. Money makers spend more money on politics for smaller and smaller gains.

Fearocracy’s are ripe for political coops and rising demigods. They are ripe pray for the worst of us. And they make the worst of us out of the best of us.


07 Fearocracy1_edited 1

Smoke: The Cannabis Detective. Fresh Prints (Part Three)

STCD Fresh Prints Part Three!
By Michael J Pennington

See Parts One and Two here.

Read the Smoke: The Cannabis Detective Book!

The morning came and Gwen and I were waiting for Charles with anticipation.

He came to the door we invited him in with great zeal. “What’s with you guy’s?” he asked.

Gwen and I looked at each other and Gwen said, “We’ve been thinking about your offer.”

“And…” Charles replied.

“It’s official.” Said Gwen.

“Welcome to team Smoke!” I said.

“Team Smoke?” asked Gwen, her face a little weird.

“Um… Yeah, that’s you, me Sarah, and now Charles, that’s what I call us in my head…” I said.

“Yeah…” said Gwen. “I don’ think so…”

“But it sounds cool, it could be a whole thing…” I said.

“That is not going to be a thing,” said Gwen definitively she began walking to the door.

“But, we… but, Charel’s help me out here buddy!” I pleaded with him.

“Sorry,” said Charles. “but I agree with her.” And they left together.

01-2 SmokeFPp3 1“Fine!” I called after them. “But I’m taking your names out of the theme song!”

We were off to see another unofficial member, Hymie. Hymie was a co-owner of a local cannabis grower he mostly took care of the IT, he also helped people with computer stuff. He liked helping us so he didn’t charge us.

“Peter! Gwen!” cried Hymie. “Did you bring me some work?”

“Sure did!” I said. “Say, how’s the family in Porto Reico after the hurricane?”

“Beter than most, we’ve been sending them money and supplies. Jorge is there now, helping them rebuild. I’m minding the store.” Hymie was distant.

“Have they gotten the power back on?” Gwen asked.

“No.” Said Hymie bitterly. “It’s been months, it’s like the states just don’t care. They just take our money and leave us high and dry when it matters.”

“Here’s some paper towels hope it works out.” Said Charles.

“Exactly!” said Hymie. “This guy gets it.”

“Oh sorry!” I said, “This is our new team member Charles he’s in charge of security.”

“Alright!” Siad Hymie offering his vape pen to Charles.

“No thanks.” Said Charles, “I’m on duty.”

“I respect that,” Said Hymie. “Let’s get to work, I really need something to take my mind off things.”

“I’ll try some,” said Gwen referring to the vape pen. Hymie obliged her.

Hymie lead us his office which looked a lot more like a computer repair shop. Lots of computers in various states of repair. His walls were covered in posters. Some were of Porto Reico, lots were for comic books and there were quite a few posters for Tarintino movies.

Hymie wasted no time plugging the flash drive into the computer. “Confidentiality,” he said, “I got this software from my old employer.” He meant the C.I.A. “So this is just between us. I can get you results now, but officially it’s going to take a few days.”

“Got it.” Said Gwen, and Charles and I gave a nod.

He pulled up the file and ran the software. “So you think maybe this is tampered with?”

“Possibly.” Said Gwen.

“Well it ain’t, or whoever did it is better than me, and let me tell you…” Said Hymie.

“Dam!” I said in frustration. What was it about this case?

“It’s okay Hunny. We knew this was a long shot…”

“I guess we just have to except that Dill did it,” I said.

01-2 SmokeFPp3 2“That’s weird,” said Hymie scrubbing through the footage.

“What?!” I asked.

“This guy committing the murder,” said Hymie “He looks too gangster.”

“Did ya ever see a bad T.V. show where they really wanted to sell it? So they give the Gangsters every gangster trope possible.” Hymie was onto something. “It’s like this person only knows about gangsters from T.V. and just did his best to match it.”

“That could just mean that Dill was a wannabe gangster,” I said.

“Maybe, but he grew up on the streets with his mother.” Said Charles.

“Yeah, and even if he wore this regularly why would he wear this at night?” Asked Gwen.

“Wait a moment!” I Said. “Dill was going to be on a T.V. show! I wonder if that had something to do with it?”

“That would explain the over the top appearance,” Said Gwen.

“Do you think Preston might have been fooled by it too?” I asked.

“Maybe,” said Gwen. “It was pretty dark in that room.”

“Hay Smoke,” said Hymie. “Didn’t you say something over the phone about fingerprints?”

“Yeah,” I said. “That’s one of the big problems.”

“Um…” said Hymie. “Did anyone notice this fool is wearing gloves?”

We looked at the monitor it wasn’t the best quality but it was plain to see the killers hands we’re much darker than his face.

“Hymie, can you zoom in?” Asked Gwen.

“Sure,” said Hymie. As he made one of the killers gloved hands lager.

“Can I take a picture?” Said Gwen taking out her phone.

“Sure,” said Hymie.

“I thought you were worried about the government finding out about your pilfering of their software,” said Charles.

“Pilfered!?” exclaimed Hymie. “You wound me, Charles. Naw this was just part of my ‘retirement’ package. I just can’t let the general public know what the government is capable of. CIA has this room bugged already, don’t they Chris! They so funny I love fucking with them…”

“Who’s Chris?” Asked Charles.

“Chris is parked in a white van down the street. He’s part of the team that keeps an eye on me. He works Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.”

“Wait,” I said. “Isn’t it Tuesday?”

“Broden is sick,” said Hymie.

“Who’s Broden?” I asked.

“The Tuesday guy,” Hymie said.

“How do you know all of this?” asked Charles.

Hymie gave a wry smile. “They keep tabs on me, so I keep tabs on them.”

Gwen was too busy of taking a picture of the killer’s gloved hand. “This won’t violate your agreement?” she asked.

“Naw it’s just an enlargement,” said Hymie.

She took the picture and sent a text to Victoria I read over he shoulder:

Sorry to bother you but we got a lead.

What!? I thought the case was closed.

We wanted to give Dill every benefit, we took it to our computer expert.


We think the killer is trying to frame Dill.

Do you have proof?

Gwen sent the picture:

The Killer was wearing gloves…

My place two hours.

“Well, that was fast,” I said.

“Victoria doesn’t mess around,” said Gwen.

We started to leave. Gwen turned to Hymie and said. “Thanks, Hymie you were a big help.”

“I’ll let you know when the official copy is ready,” said Hymie. “Say hi to Chris…”

I was pretty sure Hymie was just pulling our leg. Ex-CIA, sure, but he probably didn’t… As we were about to get in the car we spotted the van. “No way,” Said Charles.

01-2 SmokeFPp3 3A man was sitting in the front seat getting ready to move the van. He seemed to be quite grumpy. He saw us but tried not to. Just for fun, I gave him a subtle wave. He rolled his eyes and waved back. Then he drove off. “Okay, I think Hymie just moved up on my scariest person alive list…” I said. Charles nodded.

“And you are going to start playing D&D with him,” said Gwen.

“It’s G.U.R.P.S.” I said, “There’s a difference.”

“Sure hunny!” said Gwen with a smile and a kiss on my cheek.

Shifting gears a bit.

I realize I haven’t posted in a bit, it has been a struggle lately. I’m working through it. Everyone’s been sick and I’ve been playing nursemaid I’ve been getting tired during my chief writing time. So work on my projects has been slow. I’m just letting you know. I’m in the position of having to run a marathon, my work continues despite my problems, and my problems are no greater than those of other writers. I just like to let those interested know whats up.

To complicate matters I’ve just had an insight into two projects that I thought unrelated, one of them being close to done. I’m having a bit of an internal debate on how to proceed. The crux of the problem is that the second concept really deserves its own platform; however, the inclusion of it in my first nearly completed project would strengthen my premiss greatly.

I’m leaning to the idea that I’m going for quality over quantity. So rushing a completed project out is not an issue, and if I can strengthen a concept that should be a priority. Then I’ll explore the second concept in more detail later.

But, that means I have to take more time to complete it. So I’m not posting anything soon. Or wouldn’t if I didn’t have other almost completed projects like Fresh Prints Part Three. So I’ll have that up in a few days.

What’s going on.

Hey, what’s up!

Haven’t engaged my readers for a bit, and felt it was time. I’m still struggling with my sleep problems but I’m hoping to get tested for narcolepsy soon.

Some of you might be wondering “Hey Mike, what’s up with all of this dam poetry?” The answer to which I answer “Soon…” You may have noticed that all of my Pomes have had a kind of morality theme and maybe you have guessed that I’m building up to something.  If you did you’d be right!

The whole thing will be coming together very shortly.

Other things I’m working on:

Work continues on my book: Plague: The making of a horseman.

I’m about a third of the way done with Fresh prints part three.  I hope to have it out next week.

That’s it for now. Hope to post more soon!