Paul typically wore jeans and jumpers whenever he was out in public, however, today he felt his lunch date, if that was what it was, with Deaspara required something a little more formal. He was dressed in a white shirt with a red tie and a pair of his father’s pants, which were noticeably too short for him. He arrived at the restaurant, and was guided to a table for two and commenced waiting for his date to arrive. Although, he wasn’t entirely sure if it was a date, he was sure he had seen a wedding ring on her left hand, but was it perhaps on her right hand and he had gotten confused? He would definitely check today, and besides, even if it isn’t a date, the soup van desperately needed some more money to pay for the food. The demand for food from the homeless only grew bigger each year; it was already beyond what the small parish could comfortably afford.
Deaspara was watching him from the balcony of a neighbouring building with the single minded focus of a bird of prey. Syndi was not far from her cigarette in her left hand, and a beer in her right.
“Awww, the boy has dressed up for our little lunch date! I forgot how sweet these innocent young lambs can be,” snickered Deaspara.
Syndi burped loudly before responding, “You reckon you can break his faith in god? Telling him how scared you are of god probably didn’t get far with him last night.” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 28”
Kelly walked into her Nutrition and Health Sciences class and quickly moved to claim her favourite workbench to set her books down on. The room was full of ovens, stove tops, and all the equipment needed for a chef to make anything they wanted. No sooner had she sat down than the teacher came up to her with a new student to the class. Kelly glanced at the overweight woman with purple curly hair beside the teacher and confirmed that she had never seen her in the college before.
“Hi Kelly, Jonathan your practical partner has dropped out of the class. Since he won’t be coming back your new partner will be Syndi here.”
Kelly politely exchanged hellos, “I don’t understand, Jonathon said nothing about wanting to quit, he wanted to be a chef as much as I do. What happened to him?”
The teacher looked uneasy and said simply that she wasn’t allowed to talk about it. Kelly continued, “But it’s week five into the course, isn’t that too late for some new to join?”
“Yes, it is rather late, so I am putting Syndi with you so you can help her catch up.”
Kelly shrugged her shoulders and started showing Syndi around the classroom. Kelly spent most of the class frantically trying explain to Syndi what they had to do. Syndi didn’t seem to care as much as Kelly thought she ought to, but she didn’t want to judge. Kelly was happy to be a helper. On the first break, Syndi leaned across and whispered to Kelly.
“I know what happened to Jonathon.”
Kelly immediately demanded to know. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 21”
Kent shook his head slowly.
“Show me or I will kill you now!” shouted Nix.
“No. You won’t do that. You have been ordered not to kill me.”
“Are you so sure about that?” said Nix, bringing the gun back up to Kent’s face again.
“Yes, I think Peterson would have been very particular about that. Especially to you.”
Nix stared down the sights of his gun, his resolve fading away. Eventually he put the gun down and nodded.
“Yes, Sophim Peterson has specifically told me not to kill you. He wants to kill you himself.”
“Has he told you this? That he wants to kill me himself?”
“No. But I think I know him well enough. I think he enjoys the killing and doesn’t want to share the fun. Which is fair enough, I intend to do the same thing when I am his rank one day.”
“Hmmm, so Peterson doesn’t trust you to know the truth then. Interesting.”
Nix laughed, “You’re trying to spread suspicion into the ranks of the Tyranni? Have you any idea how ridiculous that is?” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 20”
Kent’s custom was to eat lunch at his home between work shifts on a Friday and as such he was pedalling down Cutters Court when he caught sight of Nix sitting in a car near the entrance. Pretending not to have noticed him Kent pulled over and parked his bike on the opposite side of the street from the factory he lived underneath, and chained it to the fence leading to the park and brick kiln beyond. Knowing he was being observed he made a subtle spectacle of looking out towards the path leading away, and started walking towards it. It wasn’t long before he heard the sound of a car slam to a halt at the end of the street. Jerking his head back there was Nix erupting from the car and preparing to dash after him. Kent quickly sprinted straight for the path that went out towards the lake area beyond the kiln. Behind him Nix was following.
The brick kiln was originally built next to a clay quarry so it could be supplied with the raw materials for making the bricks. With the closure of the brick kiln this area had been turned into an artificial lake. Since it wasn’t a natural lake, minerals had seeped into the water and turned it opal green. There was no top soil around the edges but hundreds of pine trees grew up around the banks, obviously not affected by the minerals in the water as much as the other plants were. A local environmental group had built boardwalks along the edge of the lack and through the forest of trees growing up around it. On the weekend there might have been people around, but on a Friday afternoon it was deserted. This was the place Kent had fled into and the place he was leading his hunter. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 19”
I am feeling really bad about the lack of updates over the past two weeks. So today I am giving you a special super long update (over 2,500 words). I hope you enjoy it.
Oriana walked into her father’s factory that morning, still wearing the same clothes from the day before. This wasn’t out of the ordinary for her. She would often be out all night and instead of coming home just head back to the factory. She expected that her father would just give her his usual nod and say “hi, honey,” as she walked in but instead he looked at her sternly and used his finger to indicate that she was to follow him to his office immediately. She sat down opposite her father’s desk while he stood for a few moments with his back to her facing the white board behind his desk. Oriana thought she saw his hands tremble slightly as he opened and closed them.
“Ana, I had a conversation with two policemen yesterday evening.”
Oriana gasped, she could hear the fury in her father’s voice.
“What? Peterson and Nix-,” she was cut off.
“They told me that you interfered with their investigation into a religious cult they believe are operating in this area and they are considering pressing charges against you for your own safety.”
“Dad, there’s something you should know, those men aren’t cops. I have a video of what really happened.”
Her father just shook his head slowly in disgust.
“Ana, shut up.”
Oriana’s mouth gaped open, “Excuse me?”
“Shut up. I don’t want to hear any of your lies. You are just like your mother. You don’t care at all how your actions could impact other people.” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 18”
(Because I missed last week, this is a special longer episode of the Monk. Sorry for the disruption)!
Peterson smiled gleefully at the strange audience in attendance to him. He spread out his palms before him in a gesture of welcome.
“May no good deed go unpunished!”
Nix and the two women immediately started chuckling at Peterson’s joke.
“It is good to meet fellow Tyranni, when I put out the call for help I was surprised to find that our order already had two agents living and working in this city. We have a problem. There is a monk living in this city: a young man by the name of Kent. He is studying to become a druid and he has some sort of missionary work here for the Aeshir.”
Nix produced a tablet computer and sent a file labelled “Kent Andrews” to the two women present. Each woman pulled out a similar looking tablet and examined the photos of Kent in the files while Peterson continued talking.
“Kent appears to be working to recruit three young growkons into the Aeshir. We know these growkons are working with him because when we tried to apprehend him yesterday they conspired with Kent to acquire some damaging video footage of Nix and myself carrying out our work for the Tyranni. Kent is now threatening our order with this footage and the growkons he is trying to recruit are continuing to assist him.
“Our primary objective is to first secure the footage at the earliest opportunity. The best approach for doing this would be to corrupt Kent’s growkons and initiate them into the Tyranni. This way if anyone releases the footage we can have someone counter any claims they make about us by saying they are fake. Ideally they would help us delete all copies of this video and murder anyone who is hostile to the Tyranni. If we can get just one of these growkons to convert to the order then we can act to destroy all opposition, but I see no reason why we shouldn’t try to recruit all three if possible.” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 17”
(this is a direct continuation from the conversation started at the end of part 15)
“The fox in the field will run, the fox in the forest will hide, but the fox in a cage will fight,” said Suvarin repeating the Aeshiric idiom.
Kent was confused, “What do you mean?”
“I mean, for now the Tyranni see an option to beat us that is non-violent, so they will most likely take it – just as a fox will run or hide if it has those options. So long as they think they are getting somewhere in their attempts to turn the three growkons* against us they will not carry out any acts of violence. However, if those three growkons succeed in protecting themselves against the Tyranni’s rhetoric, they will escalate to violence because they can’t risk them becoming spiritual or joining the Aeshir; despite the harm that video recording might do to them.”
“I see what you’re getting at now,” Kent sighed deeply, “Since the Tyranni have been humiliated by me, and are intolerant of being humiliated even though they will happily dish it out to other people, they are unlikely to just let this go, so violence might be needed by us to get them to leave.” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 16”
“How is it your fault?” asked Oriana.
Kent answered without looking up from Paul’s knee as he bandaged a bruised gash, “It was my fault for allowing you to come down here to visit me. I shouldn’t have spoken to you or told you my name. Those men obviously had some kind of electronic surveillance measures in place looking for my name with a few other key words. I was careless; I underestimated how far they would go to try to stop me. I should not have been so relaxed.”
Paul, Kelly, and Oriana all exchanged puzzled and concerned looks with each other.
“Why would those men want to kill you so badly, Kent?” asked Oriana.
“Yes, and who are they, who do they work for, and what kind of organisation has titles like Sophim and Sybaran?” asked Kelly.
“And why would they want to sadistically torture and murder me in front of you?” asked Paul. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 8”
Writing depth into a character is difficult. Creating a character who is flawed, complex, and deep is not an easy task. In my early books (15-20 years ago), all my characters were flawless. They were honest, strong, noble, and if they were villains then they were at least stoic villains. These superficial characters were the creation of a superficial writer. That is, the younger me hadn’t gained enough self-knowledge to be deep enough to create deep characters. Even to this day, I struggle with simple things like lying in fictional characters.
I am naturally an honest person. It was difficult for me to accept that other people lie. My villains used to be honest people, which doesn’t make any sense to me now because an honest villain can’t be evil. They must be dishonest in some way. When I was a young man, though, my world was turned upside down when I discovered something about myself: I actually did lie. I lied to myself by telling myself that my weaknesses weren’t really weaknesses, but unique virtues that only I had. For example: I am not manipulative, I am kind hearted by tricking people into doing what’s best for them, which is actually only what’s best for me. Continue reading “Writer’s Diary: Character Depth”