Monday, September 23, 2013


DAY FIVE of the Blog Tour!  As you know, I'm writing a short story, LIVE, as it were, based on YOUR suggestions.  Part 1 through four can be read here:

PART ONE appeared on Tina Downey's Life Is Good, PART TWO on Andrew Leon's Strange Pegs, and if you didn't catch either, click here to read PART ONE and HERE to read PART TWO.  Then Part Three was on Laws Of Gravity, PART FOUR on Rusty Carl's Blutonian Death Egg

1. Life Is GoodFriday 9/13
2. Strange Pegs: 9/16
3. Laws Of Gravity 9/18



Then I saw eight eyes, the smallest the size of bowling balls, the largest terrifyingly bright and shiny and close, looming over me and just below them a set of fangs as large as my legs but far far sharper.

Clikkerclakk, the fangs went.



And they jabbed down spearing down at me poison glistening from the tips of them, as I struggled helplessly to try to roll even the tiniest bit to the side.

One fang struck true: it dug into my rib cage, and I could feel the needle-sharp end of it piercing first the skin, then the muscles, and even as I became aware of what I assumed was each precious micro-second of what remained of my life, even as I felt the cooooooolllllllld poison spreading into my lungs, my chest, even then I realized that the other fang had clicked off of something...

...not something: My BOOK!

The Kindle (TM!) version of my book, tucked safely into my tuxedo pocket for unveiling at the Nobel Prize ceremony, the first-ever AUTHOR MODEL Kindle coming with a 3-dimensional (OH, IF ONLY THERE WERE SO FEW DIMENSIONS!) laser-engraved portrait of me on the back, pre-loaded with every one of my books all of which are available in the Amazon store for just ninety-nine cents every day, sorry, but you can't miss an opportunity to try to market yourself even when  


The poison starts working, from the fang that is still embedded in my chest, still spurting poison into me, and I assume it only takes one to get you.

My eyes flicker, although maybe that's the monstrous heaving spider above me blocking out the light as it tries to get the other fang in past the metal-and-circuits blocking it, or maybe that's that speck I saw, falling and falling and falling and growing larger, I can't tell because the pain as the poison shoots through my body is too great.

My back arches with agony, the spider's legs grab me, and the speck grows even larger.  

I have one hope.

Just one.

I make my left hand move, as much as I can.  I'm barely able to get it to my chest, barely able to feel the flat shape of the tablet tucked into the pocket.  

The terrible spear that is the spider's fang is right there.  I feel its bulk heave onto me harder as it tries, again, to pierce the second fang through the military-grade armored coating I had insisted the device have.  Sure, Amazon had griped that each one would cost $10,000,000, but I wanted luxury! 

And lying there on my back trapped in a giant, webbed abyss as a horribly gigantic spider tried with all its might to get its fang through that armor, I was proven right.

Things were moving faster now and my breath was coming in gasps so here's exactly how it happened:






The Kindle that I'd commissioned from Amazon and the secret branch of the US Military that only Amazon, Apple, Google, and, for some reason, Kentucky Fried Chicken, have access to, came equipped not just with armor sufficient to protect it from a missile -- or giant spider,  apparently!-- attack, but a variety of other weapons, chief among which was a blowtorch.

Yes, we were promised jetpacks. And they're here.  





But they're only given to Nobel Prize winners.  Yep, even the poetry ones.

I digress.

The blowtorch jetpack (TM!) lit up and, it turns out that giant spiders are very flammable.  The spider atop me lit up like Burning Man and the Fourth of July had a baby, and it reared back, its legs erupting like torches, the fang pulling out of me, the eyes somehow looking both malevolent and dead, and as it did so, the Beast hit it, landed on top of it.

I was not there when the Beast hit the Flaming Giant Spider: the jetpack had enough power to push me off the web and up against the wall of the abyss, where, many feet away from the battle/conflagration that was suddenly underway, I clung to a small ledge, quickly downloading the app that would enable the grappling hooks.

The Beast, which must have been dropped out of the Drum Major's hat, hit the Flaming Giant Spider like... well, I would say a ton of bricks, but generally when you see a ton of bricks it doesn't have all those tentacles and arms and mouths and claws, so I'll just say hit the Flaming Giant Spider like the Beast, but this spider, even when it was on fire, was not one to back away from a fight.

Tentacles whipped around the spider, pinning it down near two of the three mouths, but the spider's spinnerettes were already whipping silk around the tentacles.

Thwipthwirpthwip and three tentacles were spreadeagled, glued to the edges of the abyss, and the Beast's open body, a sludgelike pile of scales and mush, was open to the spider's fangs, which were on fire and it wasn't even slowing down. I saw two of the spider's eyes had already burst open,  leaking gore and blood and spider-eye-juice as the web itself began to burn, and the spider danced its legs around the numerous burning spots to fix the web even as it dove in and jabjabjab the beast took numerous bites.

I, meanwhile, had foolishly not gone along with the Amazon customer rep's suggestion that the Author Version of my Kindle include an antivenom dispenser app (I'd gone for "Angry Birds Honey Boo Boo version" instead), and I had to take my eyes off the fight as I doubled over in pain and vomited, the spider's poison still in me.  I was shivering, suddenly, feeling as though I was buried in ice.  My hand quivered and I held with all my might to the grappling hook, hoping against hope that something would save me, as I couldn't figure anything out.

The spider bit the Beast again, but that seemed to only make the Beast angrier, and it roared and hissed and spit and used its two free tentacles to pull off two of the spider's eyes, leaving it only four to see with.  This seemed to confuse the spider for a moment and the Beast used that opportunity to wrench and arm free and begin pulling at the webbing.

The spider by now seemed a little slowed by the fact that it continued to burn, and it wasn't as quick to fix the rip in its web.  The Beast got two more tentacles free and used those to pull off two of the spider's legs, which it then began to use to beat the spider.

The Beast, I realized!

The Drum Major must have sent it down here to help me! 

I wiped my drenched brow.  My teeth chattered.  I felt my heart slow down.

The Drum Major was magic.

The Drum Major had already capped the Beast and then sent it to save me.

The Beast battered the spider some more, and then it, too, roared and I saw ochre spill out of the numerous spider-bites it had on its belly.  The spider collapsed onto its web, a burnt-out hulk of an arachnid still weakly trying to get one last bite in on the Beast, which seemed to stagger, if a pile of tentacles, mouths, and arms, could be said to stagger.

The web was burning in numerous places, bits of it falling further below into the seemingly-bottomless abyss.

As I watched, the Beast fell through, too, its weak howl echoing as it went down.

I could barely hold on to my grappling hook/Kindle, over on my ledge.  My head burned, my throat was dry.

"Drum Major..." I mumbled, 

The spider lunged for me, fell short, crawled towards me across the flames.  It seemed determined, with the last part of its horrible life to make mine a bit worse.

My vision went spotty and I felt my heart beat... and then not beat again... 

My hand loosened on the grappling hook.

"Drum Major, help..." I whispered.

She would save me.

I was sure.

I would open my eyes, and she would be there, kicking the spider off the web and giving me an antidote and then use her Drum Major powers, whatever those were, to get us out of this pit.

With what little strength I had left, I opened my eyes.  The lids were too heavy.  They wouldn't stay up.

Blinkflaming web.

Blink: giant spider, weakly reaching a leg towards me

Blink: the web has torn, the spider drops through

Blink: the Drum Major!

Blink: falling past me, upside down and unconscious

Blink: then... oh, God, noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo......................


Your turn! What happens next? What SHOULD happen?  Today, ALL SUGGESTIONS, yes I mean ALL OF THEM, WILL BE WORKED INTO THE NEXT PART OF THE STORY!


"Amazing to read. The man just oozes cleverness. And his descriptions of the demon world are the best I've ever read anywhere. Creepy as hell." Speculative fiction Author Rusty Carl.

 "It's fascinating. If you like horror, this is definitely a book worth reading."-- Fantasy/Spec fic author Andrew Leon

"Another chilling tale from the author of The Scariest Thing You Can't Imagine. ...Pagel's style reminds me a lot of Vonnegut's work in that while the narration seems jaunty with its humorous asides and such, there's a lot of hidden depth to that narration."-- Author PT Dilloway.

THANKS to everyone who's following the Temporary Anne blog tour!  

TEMPORARY ANNE is free again today!

AND, as an added bonus, I'm going to let you get a complete book of horror stories, FREE, today.  "The Scariest Things, You CAN'T Imagine" is full of monsters tormenting kids, dead wives coming back from the grave, catacombs full of bodies, angry babies stolen by gargoyles, and more.  NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART.  Get it free today by clicking here!


Tina said...

AWESOME!!!! Someone has to come and get the spider anti-venom into the author with the magic (LOVE IT!)Kindle!!!! But who shall it be...and someone needs to save the drum major, too. AND YOU NEED TO TURN OFF CAPTCHA!
So I think that author Andrew Leon, who was in the audience, sitting in the back with the indie authors who still don't get the recognition they deserve, was given an author's version of the Kindle (since he and Briane are friends and all) so he gets the grappling hook app working, and repels down into the abyss to save his friend, and the drum major, because hey, he thought her up, so she's his responsibility!
Tina @ Life is Good

Rusty Webb said...

Um, is it just me, or was that really good? No, it's not just me. That was really good.

What happens next. Hmmm... I wouldn't normally encourage someone to leap after a girl falling into an abyss, so I don't want to do that.

Any chance of repelling back up and accepting that award for being awesome and putting this whole endeavor behind him?

A Beer For The Shower said...

Whatever happens next should involve a bag pipe that shoots acid when you play it. Also, I'd really like to hear a good solid one liner after a kill. Any kill.

Example: Riddles Beast with hundreds of bullets.
"Guess what time it is? It's 2... o' GLOCK."

Briane P said...

All excellent suggestions.

All of them will be part of the next segment.


Beer, yours will definitely be used. A LOT.

Andrew Leon said...

Wait! I have to jump down a big spider hole to save a girl I don't even know?! What the heck?

Okay, my so far notes (but I have to head down to SF and Lucasfilm, so I may have to come back to this later):
1. Spider venom is meant to paralyze the victim so that the spider can have a living meal later (in most cases and in this case).
2. There are older webs below the one that just burned up, which was the latest web.
3. Everyone, including the story teller, falls to one of the lower webs. The beast probably breaks through the first web and ends up in one farther below.
4. There is an egg sack in the lower web.
5. Yea?

Okay, I have to run... I'll think about it on the drive, though.

Briane P said...


If you didn't know the Drum Major, why did you invent her?

I think there's more to the story than you are letting on?

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Asep Armaniko said...

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