The Monk – Part 21

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”

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The Monk – Part 18

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”

The Monk – Part 16

(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”

The Monk – Part 8

“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”

Writer’s Diary: Character Depth

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”