There was something in the room with me. Breathing. A presence. Evil, and hungry. I lay on the bed, staring up at the ceiling as the car lights far below flashed by. The darkness fled from the lights in stripes across the ceiling, and then returned once the car had gone. I couldn’t lift my head. Couldn’t look away. I could still remember the sight of Daryl, as he told me that I was worth more than his father. Still remember Betty’s expression as she begged me to stop. Begged me not to give too much. I could have given more. Damn it, I had so much, and I couldn’t use it for anything. I could have saved him. I wouldn’t have died. If I hadn’t been such a coward…
“Salmon,” I said, nodding my head as the plane came in for a landing on the Binghamton county air strip. “Smoked salmon. That’s what I’m going to have him make when we get there.”
Here is the first of a four-part novella, about a young man who goes to the Antarctic. If you’re interested in seeing the whole thing, it’s on my patreon. https://www.patreon.com/user?u=5359808
Horror and Romance; mostly Romance.
Chapter 1: At the Mountains
The world is full of extreme environments. Places where human life is impossible. Places where no sane people go.
Mount Everest. Highest peak in the world. How many people have died climbing it?
Death Valley. Hottest place on earth. It hardly needs to be pointed out how it got its name.
The Mariana Trench. So deep that water is actually notably compressed by the pressure.
And Lake Vostok. Beneath a four kilometer-deep glacier on the surface of Antarctica. The land above Lake Vostok is dark continuously from late April till late August. During the polar winter, the temperature averages -70 degrees celsius, and has been recorded as low as close to -90. The coldest wind chill measured down to -130 degrees Celsius. That is closer to the boiling point of nitrogen than the freezing point of water. It is nearly two miles above sea level, with the altitude sickness to prove it. And the wind never, ever stops.
And so, we finish the polls! Looks like the most surprisingly popular characters in A Stranger in Paradise were Baron Samedi, Jack and Jill, Odysseus, and Michael; I’ll probably use these as inspirations for future Patreon novellas! Speaking of which, on Tuesday, I’ll be posting the first chapter of ‘That’ Thing here for free. It’s a stand-alone, but it’ll give a little context to the next novel… Mysterious, eh?
The split on the ‘Do you want the world to change or stay the same’ is interesting- 4 for stay the same, 6 for change. That’s kind of the nature of things; When the world changes, it can be unpredictable. The more you have to lose, the scarier that is. And for stories, you risk losing what made it good in the first place, and alienating audiences.
But the world can’t just stay the same. The forces within have to change things, over time. That’s frightening, because if you can’t change, it can leave you behind. It can be awful.
But when your life is shit, when the world is pulling itself apart around you, when nobody seems to give a damn, when suffering is everywhere, it can make a difference.
I’ve been feeling a bit stressed lately, juggling a lot of stuff- but by god, I’ll keep writing, and I’ll finish these stories. They’re worth finishing.
This month’s Patreon story is Paradise by the Dashboard Lights, a 22,000 word novella focusing on Atina LeRoux, and one of her less death-defying cases. If you’re interested in my backlog of Patreon novellas, https://www.patreon.com/user?u=5359808 they’re all available on here for only a dollar a month!
Slice of Life, Comedy. Atina-focused. Atina finds herself being hired by a Fairy Noble of Spring, whose teenage son- a changeling- has begun making far too many unwise promises, not least his promise to love his girlfriend forever, while dealing with Roy’s occasional jealousy at said fairy teenager’s skill with words.
Once upon a time
Hell’s Kitchen Sink will resume March 25th, with A Stranger in Paradise, featuring a hero who’s been missing from the series for a bit… First, the monetization thing!