Liebster Not Lobster

Liebster Blog Award

Hey! So Cindy Vaskova (@raptamei on Twitter) recently bestowed upon me a Liebster Blog Award. While I won’t pass the award on to 11 more people as the rules suggest (mainly because all the people I’d give it to have already received it from Cindy or the person before her!), I will list some of my favourite writers (with links to their blogs) and answer her 11 questions.

First, the questions:

Can you recall the funniest tweet you’ve read?

Not any single tweet (there have been a few!) but my favourite Twitter account on this subject is @MUFC_Facebook. It takes the most ridiculous comments on the Manchester United Facebook page and tweets them to the masses. They’re yet to post one I haven’t at least sniggered at.

What’s your favourite character in a book or movie?

I’ve never really been one to have favourite characters as such, so I’ll just mention the first one to pop into my head when reading this question: Bruce Wayne/Batman. I guess I’m mainly referring to the current iteration of the character (Nolan’s) – I’ve watched the movies and read the scripts and love what he’s done. While the childhood trauma angle is nothing new (I’ve no idea if it was when originally written – i.e. back in his comic book day – of course) the way Nolan forged his version of the character and constructed a realistic person behind the mask really worked for me. Also, if we can include television characters, John ‘Don’t tell me what I can’t do’ Locke.

What characteristics in his/her personality made you like him/her?

Fight, desire, hunger, passion, humility, heroism, intelligence, fire. Also (while not a characteristic), he’s loaded. He’s the type of man doing the type of things the rest of us all wish we could.

Do you have any morning rituals?

Only if this includes not being able to properly function until having had a brew.

Which is the one dish you’ve always wanted to learn how to prepare?

Anything that doesn’t need the microwave or the oven would be a fantastic start.

Cyberpunk or steampunk?

I honestly haven’t read much of either, so I’ll toss a coin. Hang on… Cyberpunk.

Do you remember the first album you bought?

I honestly don’t. I do remember getting plenty of stick for buying Billie Myers’ ‘Kiss the Rain’ when I was *checks release date* 13. Thirteen, blimey! I’ve just listened to it again and it sucks, so I have no idea what I was thinking.

You’re in a bar with friends. It’s karaoke night and you’ve had a couple. Which song do you pick to sing?

Ha! This really wouldn’t be happening. But we’re all fiction writers here, so let’s go with it… I’m just about to pick a wonderfully soulful classic, a song which would have all of my friends – as well as everyone else in the karaoke bar – swaying from side-to-side, with the slightest glimpse of a shimmer in their collective eye, when a pack of Ninja Velociraptors crash through the window. More next time.

You’re travelling with public transportation, it’s crowded, noisy and the travel will be long. You have only one book with you. Which book is that?

Jurassic Park. My all-time favourite. If it’s a really long journey I’ll read it twice.

Have you, at some point, felt like giving up on writing?

Not yet!

Is there a particular moment that has made you proud of yourself this year?

I put an Ikea storage unit together in under thirty minutes recently, so yes, there has been.

And some of my favourite writers/bloggers:

John Wiswell
John Xero
Larry Kollar
Helen A. Howell
Marc Nash
Icy Sedgwick
Pete Newman
Emma Newman
Tim Van Sant
Tom Gillespie

Happy New Year!

The Tate Incident

The following transcript was recovered from the offices of Dr. Liam Maloney, a senior practitioner at the Nashua Wood Health Centre. His notes indicate that due to nature of the incident which led to this meeting, he felt it prudent to record the exchange for his records. While his notes do not go into any great detail regarding the preceding events (and no further evidence could be found), considering what we now know, the date of this entry, and the nature of the described incident, should be of the highest possible interest.

Interview: Myself/Mrs Katherine Tate. 2:30pm, July 14th, 2012. RE: The Tate Incident.

Doctor Liam Maloney: I know this is hard, Kathy, but I promise it won’t take long.
Katherine Tate: It’s OK… I’m fine, honestly.
You understand why I have to do this. I mean, you’re happy to continue?
Yes, I’m sure.
Good. Let’s start at Saturday morning. What do you remember?
It was sunny. Mark, Amber and I were out in the back garden. Mark and I were in the loungers, soaking up a little of the morning sun. It was before lunch but already almost twenty degrees. I was drinking an iced tea, Mark had a Sprite.
And where was Amber?
She was playing down the far end of the garden. I had told her to stay where I could see her but, as usual, she hadn’t. I know it sounds silly, considering we were in our own garden, but with the woods being just beyond it always makes… made me a little wary.
And Mark?
Mark was led next to me, with his headphones in as he always did.
So you couldn’t see Amber at all?
I could hear her. I was reading a little Stephen King, but kept glancing up every now and again toward our little forest at the end of the garden. Amber really loved it there. She was always bringing us back mini beasts and other assorted creepy crawlies she found. She’s nothing like me in that respect; I can’t stand all that dirt. But she loves… sorry-
It’s OK.
Well she loved all that. She’d spend all day in those bushes if we let her. Anyway, I’d call out to her and she shout back that she was fine, that she was exploring and stuff. It was a normal summery weekend morning.
So tell me when you first realised something was wrong?
I’m not exactly sure when it was I realised I hadn’t heard from Amber in a while. It still makes me feel sick thinking about it. Can you believe that the other night I actually tried to blame King for making his writing so engrossing. Ridiculous, I know.
But eventually you noticed something was up?
Yes. After I called out to her several times to no reply, I leaned over and nudged Mark. He told me I was being silly and make a joke about my mother, his mother-in-law. I called out one more time, but when she didn’t call back, Mark said he’d go check.
Go on.
Well I watched him venture between our two big trees and into the bushes. Whereas Amber would usually be on her knees and quickly out of sight, Mark, as you know, is pretty tall, so I could still just about see his head. It didn’t take him long to shout out and I went running.
That’s when you first saw it?
Yes. On the far side of the bushes, in a little clearing before the fence, Mark was crouched over Amber, who I couldn’t see. It all happened so fast. I didn’t even realise she wasn’t breathing. Mark was probably shouting at me but I don’t remember hearing him. I was just staring at the creature, it was stood in the dirt watching us.
It was standing?
It was up on its hind legs. It was about the size of a chicken I guess, but was scaled like a lizard. It seemed to have a few feathers on the top of its head and around its tail. I remember thinking how curious Amber must have been when she saw it. It looked kinda cute, not vicious at all. Of course, I was about to discover it was.
Do you remember what colour the feathers were?
I think maybe mostly white, with a tinge of blue. It’s hard to be completely sure, to be honest, but that sounds about right.
You’re doing great, Kathy. What next?
Just as I was about to move closer, it leapt into the air and onto Mark’s back. He was so focussed on Amber he hadn’t even noticed the thing watching us. He wailed as it landed on him and blood starting pouring right away. When it had been on the ground I hadn’t noticed how long and sharp the claws were on its little hands and feet. Mark jumped up and shook but the thing wouldn’t let go. It was biting him and Mark was screaming louder. I could see Amber now, cuts on her arms and legs and a big rip in her dress. She was covered in blood. I wanted to run right to her, but I had never heard Mark scream like that. I was still carrying my Under the Dome copy which, as you know, is a hefty tome. I swiped at the thing but still it wouldn’t budge. It was really clinging on. The hissing sound it was making was horrible; it really was like a mad dream at this point.
It hissed?
Yes, kinda like a cat, but a little higher pitched. And the smell was hideous, like when your dog has really bad breath but a hundred times worse. I wanted to throw up; later I did. The thing continued to hiss and scratch and bite and Mark was screaming and thrashing. I whacked the thing as hard as I could with my book again and it finally fell off and went scattering into the bushes.
You didn’t see it again?
No. I assumed it disappeared into the woods, but to be honest I was a little bit distracted.
Of course.
I sat with Amber as Mark rushed back inside and called for an ambulance. She wasn’t breathing… But if I had known how much blood Mark was losing, I…
It’s fine, Kathy. The rest I know. You’ve done great. We’re done.

This interview was carried out five days prior to the first recorded cases of the Ratchings Virus, otherwise commonly referred to as ‘Outbreak Day 001’.

The Falling

It had been a rainless summer, so the day it starting falling was a relief. Crops were soaked, lakes swelled, creatures drank. Some people danced.

But after a week, relief turned to concern. Crops were overwhelmed, lakes burst, creatures drowned. People stopped dancing then. But still it fell, unrelenting, ceaseless.

So we climbed. As high and as fast as we could. Lives discarded, as were people.

Still it falls, but we can’t climb much higher. The land can only offer us so much protection. Once we reach the bounds of its generosity, if it’s still falling, the only way is down.