Serial Saturday Update

Man, this has been a rough week. I threw my back out last Saturday sitting at the computer for too long (yes, I’m apparently THAT age, when I can injure my damn self by sitting) and it is only just starting to loosen up to the point that I can walk down the hall.  It’s not a serious injury, just a pulled muscle, but I have some other medical issues that have a pretty significant impact upon the healing process, to the effect that I went a little too hardcore playing the Sims 4, and it’s just like I bumped into Bane’s shopping cart at the grocery store and he gave me a free chiropractic alignment.

Anyhoo, so there I was a few nights ago, flat on my back in bed and trying to figure out how the hell to write in that position, having Cottonwood flashbacks, which I also mostly wrote from a prone position, although I could at least roll over then. And as I was laying there, thinking sourly that with my serial deadline hanging over me like Poe’s pendulum, dropping another inch each week, the last thing I needed was another complication, in walked my sister Cris with an armload of kittens.

In the unlikely event that you are reading this, Person Who Abandoned Those Kittens By the Side of the Road on a Rural Unlit Highway in Northern Kansas Because Spaying Your Cat Was Too Expensive And Finding Them Homes Was Too Inconvenient And Taking Them To the Pound Was Socially Awkward, you’ll be pleased to know that most of them were immediately run over. Two of them are in such poor condition that they may die in spite of our round-the-clock care. The vet we took them to said that certain developmental characteristics indicate they are around six weeks old, but the biggest of the four survivors is only four ounces in weight and the smallest is just under two. Two ounces. At six weeks. Obviously, plenty big enough to make their own way in the world.

I have the night shift, since I’m naturally nocturnal and awake all night anyway. In deference to my bad back, I spent the last few night propped up on the couch with a heating pad under me, trying to figure out how to juggle kittens, kitten food and my laptop. This is all right for my back, but bad for my cracked tailbone (I broke that a few years ago when I was in the hospital, laying on those hospital beds. So yeah, I’m SUPER-that-age, when I can break bones literally in my sleep. And yes, it’s still cracked, because I don’t heal worth a damn), which means that as soon as Cris is up and on kitten-duty, I am flat on my back in bed. So that’s what I’ve been doing instead of writing.

But while I did not get a new chapter written this week, I do have the new chapter of my FNAFiction uploaded for my readers. So for all of you reading along with Everything Is All Right, Part Two: Mike Schmidt and the Long Night, head on over to or and get caught up! Here is an exerpt to whet your literary whistles.

Everything Is Alright Part 2

The truck was down to a quarter-tank, so she stopped by the station, where, because it was that sort of day, she ended up sharing a pump with Mason Kellar’s little brother, Jack, and three of Jack’s cronies. It wasn’t so bad at first. Jack probably would have been content to ignore her, but once his butt-buddies had recognized her, he was more or less duty-bound to be an ass. Ana understood that. She found her happy place and stayed there, unruffled, while Jack entertained his court by suggestively shaking his nozzle at her a few times before ramming it into his tank. She just pumped her gas and went in to pay.

She picked up some junk food while she was there, since she’d apparently blasted through the last batch already. She could only remember eating three candy bars, but that didn’t disturb her. She’d cut way back on the pot lately, which only seemed to make it hit much harder when she did smoke, and indica made her crazy hungry. She ought to pick up more rolling papers too, but she didn’t want to do it in town. She’d wait, pick some up the next time she was in Hurricane or St. George, where no one knew her or cared to.

Jack and his friends came in while she was waiting for the cashier to figure out how many nickels and pennies made up nine cents. She could hear them there behind her, muttering, fake-moaning and laughing, but when she turned around, Jack said, “Hey,” in a perfectly civil tone.

“Hey,” said Ana and kept walking.

“Wait up a sec.”

What to do, what do to…antagonize him, and by extension, his brother or play along and set herself up for escalating episodes of harassment?

Ana stopped at the door and turned around.

“Mace and I are having a party down at the lake on the Fourth,” said Jack while his friends grinned and sniggered. “Want to come?”

“Are you serious?” she asked after a moment.

He feigned innocence, just like he wasn’t inviting her to her own gangbang and body dump. “Hey, we can be friends, can’t we?”

“I have plans,” said Ana and turned to go again.

He caught her arm. “I said, we can be friends—”

“You want to step off me right now, Jaquelina,” Ana interrupted, not loudly. “Or I will beat the ever-loving shit out of you in front of all your boytoys and you will never, ever live that down in this town.”

His friends looked at him. The cashier moved away to stock some shelves. The single other customer decided she really ought to look at the sunglasses right this instant. It was a sunny day, after all.

Jack let go of her with a face-saving shove. “Try to be nice and see what you get. Bitch.”

Ana almost walked away. She knew she should. It was the smart thing to do and certainly, nothing good could come of any alternative. She was exhausted and later, she would use that as her excuse, but it wasn’t true. If it had been Mason, she might not have done it (but Jack was Mason and she knew that, too), but she did and at the moment, she just didn’t give a damn what the consequences were.

She put her bag of junk food down on the nearest shelf and turned around. “Say that again, I dare you. Call me a bitch to my face and say it loud and proud, because it is the very fucking last word you are ever going to say with all your teeth still in your mouth.”

Jack’s friends watched, owl-eyed, solemn. The cashier went into the back and returned with more cookies for the shelf. The customer selected some sunglasses and tried them on.

Jack said nothing.

“No? You must not have meant it then. So apologize.”

He started to laugh.

She slapped him in the mouth.

Serial Saturday Update

Wow, this day not only snuck up on me, it put a bag over my head, threw me in the trunk of its car, drove me to the park and had a lovely cookout with me, then put the bag back over my head, threw me in the lake and drove off laughing. In short, I didn’t realize it was Saturday and time to update my FNAFiction, Everything Is All Right, Part Two: Mike Schmidt and the Long Night, until one in the morning. I was just about to turn off my computer and settle in for a long night of lying awake thinking of story scenes and picking lake-weed out of my hair, when I glanced at the date and thought, ‘Is today Thursday or Friday?’

The answer was no. Neither.

Anyhoo, half an hour of frantic formatting later, and the new chapter is up on both and, so if you’re reading along, be sure to check it out. If you’re still on the fence, please enjoy this excerpt (and then go check it out. I mean, you might as well, right? Until this book is finished, I’m not going to work on any others).

Everything Is Alright Part 2

“Of course I’m tired. It’s…What time is it?”

The simple question kicked Foxy straight in the brain, and he spat out a stuttering, “YAR, IT’S TIME TO SAIL!” along with Chica’s, “IT’S TIME TO EAT!” and Bonnie’s, “IT’S TIME TO ROCK!” Freddy, caught by surprise with the rest of them, let out one of his booming laughs and chimed in, “IT’S TIME TO PLAY!” before shaking it off, growling and spilling out half a bar of the March.

Ana waited.

“It’s a qu-qu—QUARTER ASKED AND NONE GIVEN!—quarter o’ three,” Foxy answered, rubbing at the back of his head like the damned triggers were an itch he could scratch away.

“Okay, so it’s three in the morning. I’ve got every right to be tired, is my point.”

Foxy gave Freddy an assessing sidelong glance and, with surprisingly genuine regret, said, “G-Go home and go to sleep-p-p, then.”

“No. Hell, even if I did go home, it’s so late, I might as well stay up.” She shifted, drawing up both legs now and resting her chin on her folded arms. Her eyes slid shut. She mumbled, “I got work in the morning and not a damn thing to wear.”

“Go home and st-st—STEER HARD TO PORT—stay up, then. Reckon I don’t c-c-care what ye do, as long as ye do it at home.”

“Sounds like you’re trying to get rid of me.”

“Caught on, d-d-did ye? Here I thought I was b-b-being so subtle.”

“Subtlety isn’t your strong suit, Captain.”

Foxy chuckled, but Freddy’s dark mood only darkened further, so he cut it off short. “Lass, I’m g-g-going to say this as gently as I know how. Get the fuck out o’ here.”

“Wow, gentle isn’t your strong suit either.”

“I weren’t made to b-b-be a gentleman. I were made to be a pirate. Besides.” He winked, more at Bonnie than at Ana. “Some lasses like it-t-t rough.”

She laughed.

Bonnie’s ears rotated around and lay flat.

“But suit yerself,” said Foxy. “Stay if ye want-t-t. Just g-g-get some sleep.”


“Yer just-t-t being stubborn now. Come on, lass, I got-t-t a bunk up here where ye can lay yer b-b—BONES TO DAVY JONES—bones down.”

Bonnie took that half-step again, this time stopped by Freddy’s hand on his shoulder and a grunt. His hands clenched and opened, mirroring the lenses of his eyes irising big and small, seeming to shift from black to green and back to black.

“It ain’t very b-b-big, but it’s dry,” Foxy continued, eyeing Bonnie with amusement. “I’ll even t-t-tuck ye in.”

“I’ll bet.”

“I’ll be on me best b-b-behavior, I promise,” he said, tracing an X in the air over his chest casing with the point of his hook.

She gave him a quizzical look, the effectiveness of which was somewhat spoiled by her crooked smile. “This would be your best pirating behavior when I’m alone with you, half-naked in your cabin? Why am I not convinced?”

“Hell, g-g-girl, it’s been so long since I had-d-d a skirt hung up in me berth, I wouldn’t know what-t-t to do with ye.”

“I’m not wearing a skirt.”

“We’ll just-t-t have to make do without one,” he told her gravely. “They usually d-d-does, in me cabin.”

“Not that you can remember that, it being so long ago.”

“It’s all c-c-coming back to me, luv.”

She laughed as Bonnie glared and Freddy pressed the heel of one hand into his forehead and sighed.

Serial Saturday Update

It’s here!


And just as soon as I finish this post, I will be off and playing, and I hope that those of you who are (or have become) FNAF fans will also check out Scott’s new game. It won’t feature anywhere in my fanfiction, however, because I am NOT tearing apart my timeline to work the new restaurant and characters in. If Scott Cawthon wanted to see the Sister Location featured in Everything Is All Right, he should have cleared the game with me before he developed it.

While you all have a hearty laugh at the expense of my entitled ass, please enjoy the new chapter of my FNAFiction, EIAR, Part Two: Mike Schmidt and the Long Night, which you can find at or!

Shameless self-promotion!

Ana wasn’t sure when she woke up. It was still dark, the perfect medium for blending dreams into reality. Further blurring the lines was one of Mammon’s summer storms, flickers of lightning and rolling thunder pouring through cracks in her sleep-wall and forming into fireworks on the other side. She’d been dreaming of the night she’d spent in the hospital, which actually might have been the Fourth of July for real, although she couldn’t be sure. It had been so long ago. Even if it hadn’t been for the accident that had smudged over so many of her childhood memories, she’d only been five or six years old at the time. Between that and taking a bottle to the head and the serious painkillers they’d put in the drip, she couldn’t trust any of her memories of that night even when she was awake, much less when she was dreaming.

Lightning danced, showing her a strobe-lit shadow-puppet show on the walls of her tent, giving her a tantalizing glimpse of lunging hands and distorted faces before throwing her back into perfect blackness. Rain slapped the tent just long enough for her to think the storm was moving off and then the thunder hit, so loud and so close that she sat bolt upright, wide awake in a split-second, hospital dreams forgotten, dead sure the house had collapsed.

Scrambling out of her old army-surplus sleeping bag, Ana splashed down into half an inch of warm rainwater that had seeped up through the bottom of the tent and collected in a puddle there at the mouth. It was weather-resistant, not water-proof. She knew it and it certainly wasn’t the first time it had leaked on her, but in the dark, with fragments of her dream choking out reason, the unexpected presence of that water inside her tent seemed too much like an omen of ruin, so much that when she fumbled the zipper open, she looked right at the house—standing immoveable against the fury of the storm—and did not believe it.

Lightning pulsed behind the clouds, outlining the house in silver thread and shining on the wet glass, especially the round attic window—

—with a white face at its center, looking down at her.

Serial Saturday Update

The first chapter of the second part of my FNAFiction is live, after nearly two hours spent relearning how the hell to post a new work. It should not be this difficult for me to navigate the extremely simple, intuitive, user-friendly fanfiction websites, but what can I say? I’m an idiot when it comes to technology. I know just what I need to know in order to write my books and watch porn and that’s IT. And quite frankly, I prefer to write in notebooks and peek through my neighbor’s windows, so there’s that.

But I digress. Everything Is All Right, Part Two: Mike Schmidt and the Long Night is good to go on and For those of you who were waiting for Part One: Girl on the Edge of Nowhere to be complete before you started reading it, now is the time. Or maybe you want to wait until all five parts are finished, in which case, you got a wait coming. Sorry about that. I’ve written more than five hundred pages in just six months already; I’m going as fast as I can, but this book is a monster and I’m having too much fun to start thinking of it as work yet.

So please enjoy this excerpt as I kick off Part Two in this incredibly dark series about child abuse, murder, betrayal and big purple robot bunnies in love. What’s not to enjoy, right?

Shameless self-promotion!


July 4, 1987

The sheets were white. The walls were white. The floor was white and shiny, even at night, because it was never really dark. Although the lights in the ceiling were off, there was enough of a glow coming from all the machines beside the bed for the little girl lying in it to clearly see the letters on the whiteboard hanging on the wall, although she could only read a few of the words and most of those were just names. CARRIE, the name of the nurse on d-u-t-y; that meant the one that kept coming in and out. Dr. HANSON, the name of the a-t-t-e-n-d-i-n-g doctor; that meant the one who wouldn’t let her go. STARK, Anastasia, the name of the p-a-t-i-e-n-t; that was her.

Outside the window that would not open, Ana could see stars and part of a moon and fireworks exploding over the park, because it was the Fourth of July. David and Aunt Easter had gone home a long time ago and although Ana had cried after they left, part of her hoped they had gone home and built the fire and had hotdogs outdoors and set off their own fireworks and made the same happy holiday for themselves that they were supposed to have, because otherwise, Ana had ruined it.

She had ruined it. It was all her fault. David tried to take the blame because it had been his idea, but Ana knew better. It was summertime and Ana was supposed to stay at Aunt Easter’s. Mom didn’t want her back yet. Just because Ana had forgot her swimsuit didn’t give her the right to go home and get it. She deserved everything she got.

Her head hurt. Not her arm, which was funny because her arm was what broke. Her head was swollen up pretty bad—she still couldn’t open her eye on that side—but it hadn’t broke. Ana looked at the itchy, heavy cast that started growing just above her hand—still swollen, with her purple fingers sticking out of the end, two of them in little casts of their own—all the way up her arm until it joined up with the bigger cast wrapping the upper part of her chest. The doctors had cut pieces away over the places that had stitches, so Ana could see the black thread zig-zagging over the puffy red bulge that she guessed was her skin. That hurt, too, but not as much as her head.

There were big foam blocks with her in the bed to keep her from rolling over, but they weren’t comfortable. Nothing Ana could do made her comfortable. She wiggled around for a while, but couldn’t wiggle too much because the tube connecting the bag the nurse told her was her medicine to the needle in her arm wasn’t very long. The needle had hurt when they first put it in, but now it didn’t unless she touched it. Sometimes she forgot it was there and had to touch it to remind herself it was real.

Ana looked at the needle in her arm and the wires that seemed to be growing out of her and up to the funny TV full of colored lines and numbers that were always changing and letters that didn’t spell words. The nurse had told her not to be scared of it; she wasn’t. It was just a machine. It didn’t want to scare or hurt her. It didn’t even want to do the job it was doing. It could only do what it had been built to do, unaware of itself or of her, thinking nothing as it measured the pain in her body and printed it out in ways that could be read by nurses. Its wheezes, hums and tones were neither sympathetic nor hostile. It felt nothing for her at all and would not, not even if she were to die right now.

Ana found that comforting.

Serial Saturday Update

The first of five milestones has been reached, as Part One of my FNAFiction, Everything Is All Right, concludes over at and, so if you’re reading along, go ahead and check it out, and be sure to leave a comment telling me how much I suck for ending it there! Ha ha! And then get ready, because Part Two: Mike Schmidt and the Long Night premieres next week, same FNAF-Time, same FNAF-Channel.

This is great for all you readers, but not so much for me, as it means I not only have to remember how the heck I set up the books in the first place, what with the cover images and tags and all, but also how to get Part One as a single document together and dump it on Wattpad, for my readers who are waiting to read the whole thing all at once. I know I should do that tonight, but honestly, I’ve been weaning myself off coffee and have a massive headache. I’ve already been staring at my computer for ten hours and I am done.

So please enjoy this excerpt from the very last chapter of the very first Part of a much bigger book than any I’ve written so far, while I take a couple aspirin and lie down in a dark room.

Everything Is Alright Part 1 (1)

And just like that, it all came together.

The following Monday, Ana received her first official welcome: her copy of the inspection report, stating that conditions at the property were within parameters for the house to be safely inhabited, along with a notice from the post office not-so-politely reminding her to come in and fill out an address card for their records. While she was in town doing that, Ana dropped by the DMV and got a Utah’s driver’s license, then went home and celebrated by reshingling the roof. A week later, the woman from the Mammon Utility Board came out to connect her power and water, whereupon the basement flooded because the house had not been weatherized for twelve years. Replumbing took another week and as she was finishing that mess, the local storm god thought it would be funny to snap the top off a dead pine and hurl it through the garage door. All of this in addition to the cleaning, clearing, hauling and landscaping that she was not only now allowed to do, but obligated to do as a homeowner.

So she kept busy. But the one thing she did not do was unpack and move in.

She thought about it. She even took a box of clothes upstairs once, wandering up and down the hall for more than an hour with every intention of claiming a bedroom for her own. Not Aunt Easter’s and never David’s, but hell, there were six more, weren’t there? Some were even familiar to her, as if she’d played in them as a child, but she had no real memory and no special feeling for them.

It should have been a good thing. It wasn’t. Far from providing her with a refuge from the oppressive memories she found in every other corner of this house, the unknown quality of these guest rooms was itself repulsive. The somber colors painted on one set of walls had been someone’s choice, the commanding desk with heavy brass finishings had fit someone’s style. There were still memories here, lying as heavy as the dust over every surface, she just didn’t know whose they were. It was bad enough to share this house with the absence of her aunt and cousin; she couldn’t share it with strangers as well.

In the end, she took her box back outside and set up her tent. Sooner or later, she knew, she’d have to get over herself and move in, but not yet. She could eat in there, once she had replaced the appliances, installed new cabinets and bought new dishes. She could shower in there, not to mention all the other bathroom-related activities that came with indoor plumbing. She could probably watch TV or read a book or go dancing down the hall in her underwear, although she hadn’t tried yet. In fact, she was certain she could live in the house as long as she kept her eyes open while she did it. The thought of being asleep in there, helpless, oblivious…no. Not ever, maybe, but for damn sure, not yet.

Serial Saturday Update

Friday really has a way of sneaking up on me. I was working on Part III of my FNAFiction all day, just relaxing and binge-watching Boardwalk Empire (nothing relaxes me like a little sex and violence, as Rider would say), and tending to my younger sister, who has spent the past two days artistically splayed across her sickbed (seriously, she’s so cute when she’s sick. All wearing her pink pajammies and hugging on her plushie Toothless), and when I reached the end of Season Three, I was just thinking about putting the book away for the night, taking the dog out, turning on some YouTube and winding down (yes, for bed, and at night, no less. So unnatural. But it’s summer and hotter than a hard fuck here in the Midwest, and because I cannot sleep with the noise of an air conditioner and the central cooling does not reach my end of the house, it’s either sleep at night when it’s cooler or swelter to death trying to sleep during the day), when suddenly, I realized it’s Friday. Which means that it will be Saturday when I wake up in the morning, which in turn means I need to update Everything Is All Right, Part One: Girl on the Edge of Nowhere. After all, there’s only one more chapter after this one and I’d really like the personal satisfaction of knowing I met every deadline. And for those of you wondering how I’m going to tie up all those loose ends in just this chapter and one other, why, the answer is simple. I’m not. That’s why I’ve been calling this the first ‘part’ of a book, and not the first book in a series. I resolve nothing. (Insert maniacal laughter here)

Jeez, not that maniacal! Take it down a notch!

Jeez, not that maniacal! Take it down a notch!

In fact, a large portion of Part Two: Mike Schmidt and the Long Night, is wholly focused on introducing new plot points without fully resolving any of the questions raised in Part One! The best thing about fanfiction is that since you can’t sell the book, you’re under no pressure to make the book saleable and you can flaunt all the rules you want. (More maniacal laughter.)

Maniacal laughter overloading system! Abort! Abort!

Maniacal laughter overloading system! Abort! Abort!

So yeah, the gist of this post is to let you all know that Part One has nearly run its course, Part Two is ready to go, and I’m hard at work on Part Three. My hunch is that I’m almost halfway done, but my hunches aren’t exactly foolproof, so we’ll see. In the meantime, head on over to or to check out the penultimate chapter of Girl on the Edge of Nowhere, a portion of which has been reproduced for you here. Enjoy!

Everything Is Alright Part 1 (1)


The week that followed was a bad one, but hardly the worst of her life and she got through it with only one lapse—one joint, just one, to help her sleep on Monday night. The rest of the time, she was able to work herself to a state of sufficient exhaustion by cleaning the house and taming the yard. Whenever boredom or nerves intruded, she occupied herself with small cosmetic repairs, but the cloud of futility darkened daily and by the time Tuesday morning saw her driving down the road to Gallifrey’s, she had convinced herself not even the ghost of Johnnie Cochran himself could save her aunt’s home.

There were two men waiting for her in the corner booth at the diner. The lawyer looked more or less as Ana had pictured him, enough that she doubted she needed the red tie he was indeed wearing to help her identify him; mid-fifties, well-groomed, soft around the midsection and hard around the eyes, despite his personable smile. The other was a young man, enthusiastic as a puppy, with somewhat unfortunate looks and no conception of an ‘indoor voice’. Before he could be properly introduced, he popped out of the booth to shake her hand, tripped over his shoes, and ended up on one knee gripping her hand in both of his clammy ones, so that the entire breakfasting crowd turned around to watch a marriage proposal.

“Whoa,” he said, too loudly. “That is one serious sunburn. You’re shedding like a snake. Also, nice ink! I always wanted to get a tattoo, but my mom would kill me. Your eyes are the bluest I’ve ever seen. It’s kind of creepy. Are the pancakes good here? I’m not a pancake guy, but I’m kind of feeling the pancakes.”

Ana looked at the lawyer. “Mr. Schumacher?”

“Heel, son,” the other man said and the puppy bounded up and folded himself back into the booth. “Lem Schumacher,” he said, extending his own hand for a lawyerly shake. “This is my associate, Mr. Madison. I am your attorney. He’s an expert witness on loan for the occasion. And you must be Ana Stark. Please, sit.”

She sat.

They talked for the better part of two hours, although very little of what they discussed had anything to do with the house. The lawyer kept saying that could wait until they saw it. Instead, he kept directing the conversation to the town itself, making notes when Ana could see nothing at all noteworthy about what she was saying, and asking questions that painted a picture of Mammon as a seething beehive of intolerance, sexism, and general assholery, all of it crowned with a halo.

“Look, I see where you’re going with this,” Ana said finally, “but I am not comfortable playing the religion card.”

“You don’t have to,” he replied, typing away on his notebook. “That’s my job. And I’m very good at it, Miss Stark.”

“Yeah, but I really, honestly, genuinely do not believe this has anything to do with where I spend my Sundays.”

“Why they’re harassing you is irrelevant,” he said, still typing. “It only matters what they can prove. And if I do my job correctly, which I will, what they’ll have to prove is that not being Mormon is not the reason they are harassing you.”

“Kind of hard to prove a negative, isn’t it?”

“It’s impossible. And that is why we’ll win. However, before we get too far ahead of ourselves on that end of things, I’d like Mr. Madison’s opinion of the house.”

“I looked for it on Google-Map,” the puppy interjected, looking up from the Eschler-esque sculpture he was constructing from the uneaten portion of his breakfast. “I thought everything was on Google-Map, but I can’t find a single street in this whole town on street-view. It’s weird. It’s like it doesn’t even exist.”

“We’re a small town.”

“No, I mean it’s weird,” the puppy stressed, leaning across the table (and his pancakes). “Did you know there’s a super-secret military installation just twelve miles from here?”

“Uh, did you know they pulled stakes and moved out, like, fifty years ago?” Ana countered. “Super-secret, nothing. Everyone knows about that.”

“Yeah, but nobody knows what they were doing, that’s my point. It was all top-secret shit. No one knows.”

“They were trying to build rockets and jet planes and stuff,” said Ana. “There’s a whole museum here in town full of their failures. They sell postcards of the stupider ones right in the lobby.”


“Seriously, you should go. They’ve got a little theater with a film on permanent loop where they show crash after hilarious crash. I was in there for an hour and I wasn’t even stoned. Some of the things they were trying…I mean, yeah, I’m sure it didn’t help that the weather out here is fucking nuts, but mostly, they just didn’t know what the hell they were doing and the results are a triumph of human fuckery.”

“Are you sure?” the puppy asked, looking disappointed.

“You don’t believe me, you can go out to the old site anytime you want and poke around. Just about everyone around here does. No one’s going to jump out of a black, unmarked helicopter and shoot you. No one’s going to tranq you and take you to their underground laboratory and interrogate you in a cinderblock room filled with vats of genetically-engineered hybrid-alien supersoldiers. Nothing’s there but a lot of snakes and they’re just the usual kind, not the cyborg mutant ones that spit acid.”

“You can always tell the ones whose parents let them watch television unsupervised,” the lawyer remarked, folding his computer away with one hand while checking his phone with the other. “Are we ready to go?”

Serial Saturday Update

So here I am at my local diner, drinking coffee, eyeing the pie counter and living dangerously by uploading my newest chapter of my FNAFiction, Everything is All Right, Part One: Girl on the Edge of Nowhere over a public network. The beta-read of Part Two: Mike Schmidt and the Long Night has finished and I am hard at work writing Part Three: Children of Mammon. In order to put myself in the mood, I spent the morning watching documentaries on serial killers and child predators. Eesh. Then to cheer me up, my younger sister took me to see Florence Foster Jenkins.

Marvelous movie. I highly recommend it, but then, I’m biased. She’s always been a personal hero of mine, right up there with Batman.

Anyhoo, the new chapter is up and, as it is presently pouring buckets of rain and ripping up the heavens with lightning, I’d better get to the excerpt while I still have power. If you like what you see here, head on over to or and check out the rest!

Everything Is Alright Part 1 (1)

She sulked in the quiet room for a while, but now that she was awake and her head had somewhat cleared, the overwhelming stench and oppressive stuffiness soon drove her out. The dining room was no cooler, but it at least had a draft that kept the air circulating, which made it tolerable, if not comfortable. She reclaimed her bed of trash bags beneath the solitary table and watched the show, drinking her way steadily through her supply of warm water and wishing she had a burger, a joint, a beer or all three, preferably in an air-conditioned room somewhere far away from here. Between acts, Bonnie would come over and pace around the table where she had caved herself, but she ignored his stuttering invitations to come and play, and eventually he had to go back onstage.

The phone call came in the middle of his rendition of Everybunny Needs Somebunny, as he and Chica stuttered and limped their way through a song and dance act they had once performed as smoothly as Fred and Ginger. Ana answered without even looking to see who it was, her eyes never leaving Bonnie as he lifted Chica, twirled her around and dipped her over his arm. She had never seen anyone dance like that in real life. And she guessed she still hadn’t, this not being exactly as real as reality got, but it was still fascinating to watch. He was struggling, that much was clear, but his struggles only made it more obvious that it had once been easy.

Ana didn’t know how to dance, beyond a little club bump and grind, and that linedancing crap she’d had to learn to work at that soft-core strip club masquerading as a steakhouse. Fuck that job. It had more or less destroyed any youthful interest she’d ever had in the subject of rhythmic ass-shaking, and yet here she was, so absorbed in what was happening on that stage that she could almost feel her own feet moving through the steps.

These were her thoughts when the phone rang and they continued unabated when she took the call and thumbed it onto the speakers, expecting Rider because who else would it be?

“Hey,” she said, watching Chica clumsily twirl across the stage, guided by Bonnie’s hand on her waist. The flocking there had been worn away to bare plastic, polished to a shine by years of just this touch, that twirl. “What’s up?”

“May I speak to Anastasia Stark please?” said an unfamiliar voice. A man’s voice, the sort that put her in mind of ironed shirts and neckties that might be loosened, but never removed.

“You got her,” she said cautiously as Freddy, who had been watching her watch the show for the better part of a half-hour now, narrowed his eyes and came a little closer. “Who is this?”

“My name is Lem Schumacher. I’ve been retained on your behalf by our mutual friend, Robert Jakobson.”

Ana snorted through her bewilderment. It was always funny to hear Rider’s real name. “Robert,” she said. “So…wait, you’re the lawyer?”

“I am, for the present, your lawyer. Forgive me for taking so long to get back to you,” said the voice. “It’s been a day and a half, as they say. Now, I’ve been given the broad strokes of your situation, but if you don’t mind, I have a number of questions, Miss Stark. Is it Miss Stark? Or would you prefer Anastasia?”

“Ana is fine,” said Ana, squinting into space as if trying to bring the conversation into a tighter focus. “Um, what sort of questions?”

“Why don’t we start by having you tell me how you acquired the property? And please, Ana, remember that I am your lawyer and everything you say is confidential. If criminal acts need to be concealed, trust me to conceal them. I dare say I’m better at it than you are. So. Tell me everything.”

She did, making the long story as brief and emotionless as possible, too aware of Freddy listening in. Schumacher asked a number of questions, particularly about the fees she’d paid and the contact she’d had with representatives of the city since coming to Mammon. Her brief meeting with the sheriff somehow came out, as did the Title Company lady’s remark about her aunt fucking the devil and burning in hell with demonseed David.

“Excellent,” murmured Schumacher when she reached the rambling end of her tale. “I love it when people do my job for me. But before we get too carried away, a little perspective is in order. I’m told you have a considerable amount of experience in the business of renovating homes. In your professional opinion, and putting all sentiment aside, is the property in question habitable?”

“Yeah, actually, it is. It needs some work, and probably an exterminator, but most of the damage is all, like, cabinets and drywall. The supporting structure is in amazing condition, considering the size of the hoard that was in it. I mean, it’s ugly at the moment, I’m not going to lie, but anyone who knew what they were looking at could easily see it’s not about to fall down.”

“Good. Now. Ana. I am going to ask some very personal questions and it is absolutely imperative that you answer honestly and fully. Are you ready?”

“I guess.”

“Are you presently involved in any illegal activities?”

“I bribed some city officials.”

“Not what I was expecting to hear,” the lawyer commented after a slight pause. “To do what?”

“Give me a burn permit and garbage service,” she said with a shrug. “Not exactly living the thug life, but—”

“But it qualifies,” the lawyer agreed, sounding as if he might be smiling. “I doubt they’ll be terribly eager to incriminate themselves, but thank you for telling me. Anything else?”

“I have some medication I don’t have prescriptions for,” said Ana, eyeing Freddy. “And I smoke a lot of pot.”

Freddy grunted, neither impressed nor surprised.

“Are you growing it?”


“Selling it?”

“No, but no one would ever believe that if they saw my stash,” Ana admitted. “I didn’t know how long I’d be here and I didn’t want the hassle of figuring out how to get more while I was here, so, you know, I packed heavy, but I swear it’s all mine.”

“Mm-hm. Would it all fit in a breadbox?”

“I’ve never actually seen a breadbox, but it all fits in a duffel bag.”

Freddy’s ears cocked. He looked over his shoulder at the East Hall, then narrowly back at her.

“Don’t judge me,” she said.