Holy cow, it’s closing in on the end of May already? Let’s talk about stuff I’ve been watching, reading, and playing!
I watched two movies this month, Special Correspondents which was kind of a stinker, and Captain America: Civil War, which was not, so Civil War takes the prize!
Things I loved about Civil War: Captain America gets actual character development. Black Panther. Spider-Man. Ant-Man’s twist on powers. Falcon and Winter Soldier hating on each other. There were issues with the movie (partly because there were only a thousand people in it), but overall it was highly enjoyable and shoves the MCU into an interesting direction.
It’s the last week of July and that means I get to write a review and pretend it’s part of my weekly series!
I was gonna talk about Sense8, the wonderful new show on Netflix, but I talked about a Netflix show last month, so we’re going into read’em material again instead.
So over the last couple months I’ve been reading this fantasy series, two books, by Karen Miller, the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker Saga. The books are called The Innocent Mage and The Awakened Mage. I finished Awakened Mage towards the end of June, but I’ve been ruminating on it for a good long while, considering it, and I want to now talk about it a bit and explain why it inspires me even though it wasn’t one of my favorite things this month. Continue reading →
A bit of a departure from my regular genre fiction, but here’s hoping someone out there likes it.
A quick shoutout to K.C. Wise of Writing While Black, from whom I borrowed the last two lines. I’m hopeful she won’t be angry with me (or for changing it a bit), but I did really love this line and wanted to use it.
Her Morning Routine
by Rick Cook Jr
Lilavati did not sleep last night. She lay awake, running her morning routine over and over. Wake before the sun rises, wash her face, brush her teeth, wrap her mundum neriyathum about her body, milk the goat, gather vegetables and herbs from the garden, strike the fire for breakfast, walk along the white sands, pray. Her morning routine never changes, and it cannot change this morning.
The rare drought has come to seaside Kerala, and her morning prayer yesterday should have asked for rain. But she does not wish for rain.
Once upon a time, there was a story so short, it was only a single line. That line danced up the straw into my nose, a churning whirlwind of promise. I leaned back, snorting and coughing, holding my nose shut against the tingling urge to sneeze all that powder back out. Everyone around me laughed as I started to sniff. I didn’t feel anything different, except a pleasant numbing sensation. It tasted funny, in the back of my throat. Continue reading →
If you aren’t familiar with Grimdark, just let me warn you: nothing good happens in this story. It’s full of awfulness and I apologize in advance. Also a little NSFW for mild language and sexual content.
How I Felt When I Saved The World
by Rick Cook Jr
Our white clothing blended with the whitewashed walls and décor. Sprays of crimson marred the columns on our way up. Delaana wiped her daggers on the corpses as they fell, and we dashed up the interior stairwell before their bodies even settled. Delaana ran ahead, scouting; already her disguise was painted in gore. I strengthened my barriers against the fear and anger borrowed from the guards, letting it wash through me until I was alone with my own emotions once more. Continue reading →
They collapsed in a heap on the ferry as it pulled away. Rangold was first to his feet, sneering and jeering at the group of five on the pier, who were shouting and cursing.
“Hah,” Rangold shouted. “This is last time you see us empty-handed!” He turned and dropped his trousers to the group, who all averted their gazes or threw rocks. One bounced off Rangold’s rump and he jumped up, yelping. The surprised expression on Rangold’s broad face almost made Murce laugh. Almost. Continue reading →
Rembrandt’s lost work “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee”.
An Original Sin
Eva slipped in through a rusted, decaying vent on the surface level. It came apart with a simple heel stomp and she glided down the shaft, knocking loose a fan on the way. It clattered and tumbled, coming to rest some hundred meters below.
If anyone was in the bunker, her element of surprise was gone. She continued down, muttering.
Soon she reached the shattered fan blades in a juncture in the vent system and lightly set her feet down. The vent moaned, its fastenings creaking. The last thing she needed was to be thinking about how chubby she must be if the vent collapsed under her weight. She began to crawl. Continue reading →
“I hate him I hate him I hate him!” Wanda shouted, punctuating each stomp up the steps with another “I hate him!”
Laughter echoed up, clanging around inside her skull until she shook her head and leaned over the banister at the top of the stairs to cry, “I hope you find a snake and it bites your face!” She stalked off down the hall.
Her mother called from downstairs, “Wanda! You don’t ever-” Wanda slammed her bedroom door, cutting off the remark.
The sound pleased her and she grabbed hold of the knob to yank it open and slam it again. The door wouldn’t budge from its frame.
She screamed her frustration out while pulling on the knob. “Stupid door! Stupid house! Nothing ever works like it’s supposed to in this stupid old dump.” Wanda kicked the doorframe for good measure and heard a soft thump in the adjacent wall. Continue reading →
This is another short story prompted from Chuck Wendig’s weekly challenges, this time it was called “ABC meets XYZ“. It was fun but incredibly difficult!
Content warning: There are some graphic descriptions of violence, PG-13 language, and sexual discussion if not description. You’ve been warned.
The World Ended and I Still Need Condoms
by Rick Cook Jr
The first time I felt truly alive was the moment after I was almost meat, for the first time. I’ve been almost meat more times than I’ve had sex, and I’ve done both a lot. That’s not bragging, it’s just simple truth.
And the sex after the apocalypse is some of the best I’ve ever had. You don’t know release like “Oh my God we escaped the zombies today” sexual release. I’m sorry, but you just don’t. Continue reading →
I was once an insufferable little prat a teenager, discovering a lot about myself and the world around me in that clumsy way all teens have. I found out that women made me feel funny inside; that I didn’t really like slapstick comedy very much; that there was more than a surface level in books, movies, television, video games, and in people. I found that what I loved as a little boy (reading) wasn’t something a lot of people did (at least a lot of people I would come to know).
I also discovered that it takes a writer to make something a reader can read.
The very first time I can remember having written something that I genuinely enjoyed the process of writing it as opposed to reading the outcome was when I was in sixth grade, before 12-year-olds were considered junior high schoolers. My teacher was Mrs. Gardner, and we were given the assignment to write a short story about our lives thirty years in the future. Specifically we were told to imagine some technologies that might exist thirty years in the future, and to describe who we were as people in this crazy future world. Continue reading →