Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Sticky Situation

The tiny stream ran through the underground passage, the echo of it's movement magnifying to a roar as it bounced off the dark stone walls. Rocks poked up here and there above the water, providing a trail of "steps" for the dwarf to use as he made his way forward. The rocks were as much a hindrance as a help as his short legs had to stretch out to reach each one.  The slimy green moss growing on them forced him to slip more than once. It reminded him somewhat of the snotty growth of hair that grew out of troll's nostrils when they reached old age. Nasty to say the least.

Dror Doomcutter was not happy. Not happy at all. Having to walk in the blasted sun for three days was bad enough, but he expected that once he reached the Tunnel of Tombs, being below the surface again would a pleasure. Dwarves were in their element underground, making their homes in large dug out caverns, some so large they held entire cities. But most caverns were dry, even a bit dusty. They were not moist and wet like this one, which had become a breeding ground for lichen and moss. Bleh.

The dwarf had to admit that he had only himself to blame for the discomfort. No one had sent him on this journey, he had come on his own accord. But after hearing that his great great grandfather had been buried here with a magical battleaxe, he had to make the trek. The weapon was once passed down from one generation to the next as a symbol of royal lineage. Since the time of it's disappearance, the dwarf clans were at odds over who ruled their lands. In Dror's mind the time had come for all the infighting to end, and as a direct descendant he took it upon himself to find this symbol of leadership.


Dror had slipped again and this time his right foot went directly under the surface of the stream, filling his boot with icy cold water. His face contorted somewhere between a grimace from the chill and anger that he now had one soaking wet foot. There was nothing left to do but move on so he refocused himself.  Just as he was regaining his footing he felt a soft sensation of being touched on his left arm. Looking at his sleeve he saw what looked like silk covering his sleeve. He touched it with a finger from his right hand and found it to be an extremely sticky substance.

"Phhht" came the sound of something being shot at him, hitting the wall beside him. He had not heard it the first time, but this time it got his attention. Looking up he immediately saw eight glowing, bulbous eyes peering down at him with a mouth that held two razor sharp pincers directly below them. He quickly pulled his mace from his side and raised his shield. This was no ordinary house spider he was facing but the largest arachnid he had ever seen.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Thank you to Angeline Trevena for this fantastic award. It is great to be acknowledged. Here I need to answer the next 10 questions and then add 10 random things about myself. 

What is your favourite song?
This one os difficult since I have 1500 vinyl records, 500 cds, and five albums of my own recordings to choose from and that still leaves out so much I don't have. Let me just say depending on my mood I have a different song I wish to hear.

What is your favourite dessert?
I don't eat dessert. BUT... I eat a pint of ice cream every night. Over 20 years ago it replaced the fifth of hard liquor I was drinking every night. Peanut butter and chocolate flavors and any that have lotsa "stuff" in them are faves.

What ticks you off?
People's attitudes of entitlement.

When you're upset what do you do?
I tend to become very quiet. I look at myself and see how I might have contributed to whatever it is that has me pissed off.

Which is/was your favourite pet?
I had a 100 pound with no fat, tough as nails, Golden Retriever named Reebok Hitops who went through the darkest days of my addiction with me through my first years of recovery. He was my strength at times. He was special and I knew I could never get another Golden for fear I would compare and none could live up to him. When I lost him I went into an entirely different direction and got a Rottweiler named "Breaking the Silence". The house was so quiet without Reebok and "Break" had a huge responsibility to fill the hole in my heart. He has done just that. Now 12 years old, his days with me are winding down. I couldn't choose between those two and I'm glad I don't have to...

Which do you prefer black or white?
Black I guess.

What is your biggest fear?
I have none. Jesus Christ died for me and I am saved no matter what happens. I'm good.

What is your attitude mostly?
I'm very laid back, but still have an athlete's intensity inside.

What is perfection?
To do your personal best each day. Sometimes one day may be better than another but if you do your best, well it's still your best. Can't ask for more now can you?

What is your guilty pleasure?
Clothes, shoes, watches, guitars, too many!

 10 random things about myself:
1. I am 6'5" tall.
2. I was the shortest guy on the last basketball team I played on.
3. I have written and recorded five independent albums worth of songs and sold about 500 units of each.
4. I got my first tattoo at age 45.
5. I am in an inter-racial relationship with a wonderful woman.
6. Woman came with an awesome daughter.
7. Although I played college and semi-pro basketball, I don't watch it. Only NFL football.
8. I have done volunteer family counseling at a local church every week for 5 years.
9. I enjoy cooking and worked for a caterer for a number of years.
10. If I could live anywhere in the world I would choose Sydney, Australia.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Ranger's Task

The flat cedar box didn't look all that special. Yes, the wood was polished to a glassy finish that made the grain seem almost three dimensional in appearance, but there was nothing else about it that made it stand out. No markings, no ornamental designs carved upon it's lid. The fact was that if the young ranger had not specifically been looking for it, it's location among the many trinkets in the pile of junk would have hidden it from his eyes. He knew what he was seeking. Doubtless many others who came before him had overlooked it, a heavy layer of timeless dust covering the gloss of it's lid.

His hands trembled slightly as he slowly opened the cover. This surprised him. How many times had he sighted an enemy with an arrow knocked to his longbow with a granite-like steadiness, while the target sat unaware of him? How many times had he sized up an enemy in one to one combat, his dual blades flashing in the sun without a single measure of tension or anxiety in the pit of his stomach? Even the war-hardened he had encountered in his young life told of the uneasiness they felt heading into battle. This was foreign to him. Yet here he was, opening the small case with fingers that looked like the movement a small insect might make when a spider stuck it and filled it with it's poisonous venom.

The ranger's eyes widened as the lid opened full and he took in the sight of the long lost Dagger of Peril, the skilled dwarven craftsmanship evident in it's keen silvery blade. The hilt was wrapped in a dark leather binding, from the ball shaped bell guard to the simple crossguard that protected the user's hand. Slowly he reached to take it from it's case, but before he could touch the weapon, an unbearable pain struck his hand and he pulled it away. He should have known better. Weapons such as these were only made to be handled by the single owner they were bound to and he was not that person. Before reclosing the lid, he shook his hand to relieve some of the pain. He would bring the dagger back to it's rightful owner as he had been instructed.