Month: June 2014

Writing, pathetic part 4

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So, here we go.

“You’ve let the place go a bit.” I observe. Iv been brought to a safe place, somewhere he can help me fix my arm.
“Well, without you out saving the world, our funding was cut.”
“I never saved the world,”
“This is going to hurt.”
SNAP. My arm snaps back into position and I let out a roar of agony as the pain brings back memories of so many injuries.

The hand that grips his throat would tear it out without a hassle.
I’m not ready.
I try to rise.
“I don’t know him, I don’t care about him.”
“No, no of course you don’t. Not yet.”
Iv got no chance, I haven’t got time for this, i haven’t got the strength.
“Oi dickhead,” another voice, a female voice appears.
He spins, dropping the paramedic, only to face up to another.
“Well aren’t you a pretty bitch.”
“Fuck you,” she spits back, unleashing a fire extinguisher at his face.
A huge arm reaches forward and swats her aside, he turns back to me, “two more deaths on your conscience, boy. Come with me.”
He reaches for the first paramedic, drags him to the other and lifts her too.
“I’ll smash them both right now,”
“I…”
“Don’t even try to resist me.”
He lifts them both, “it’s time to make a choice.”
“I choose….”
Power flows through me.
It tears and rends previously healed wounds.
Coiling up my arms it scorches.
And slams into his chest, tearing apart his lungs and hurling him across the street.
I see this as my eyes burn.
Blood flows freely from me and I die.

“Jack? You awake.”
“….”
“Jack, open your eyes for me,” a rough female voice requests, “it’s ok, the lights are down.”
I do as I’m instructed, it burns but less than it has done.
That face.
Older.
Lined.
I know your face.
“Liz?”
“Hello, Jack, it’s been a while.”
“You left… You were gone.”
“Yeah well, I’m back, he felt you needed me.”
I didn’t reply, I slowly look around to see the state of the room.
“He wasn’t wrong, Jack, you need me. You need us.”
“I don’t need anyone…”
The words are as hollow as they sound, we both know it.
We both know I’ll be dead soon.
“Get some rest, Jack. Tomorrow you’re going to need it.”
“Liz… Thanks for coming back.”
“I did it for Jeff. He can’t let go.”
“No, he can’t can he…”
Liz leaves the room and the lights dim down,
I try to keep my eyes open, but it can’t be more than a few minutes before they droop closed.

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Art, another weird scribble

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So, whilst digging through my boxes I found a strange picture. Make of it what you will

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Life, alcoholism and where it stands

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So, once again here I sit. My first visit since being accused of visiting.I should explain; the other night my partner told me I smelt of beer after a run and jokingly suggested I’d been for a drink instead of running.
Fantastic idea I thought, I could get away with that from time to time. Not too often of course, she’d soon notice the swelling belly and lack of fitness. Then I realised doing that would be outright deceit or betrayal of trust. Not that she trusts or even needs to trust that when I say I’m going for a run that I’ll do it.
Trust doesn’t come into it, if I say I’m running she has no reason to believe otherwise, because that’s exactly what I’m doing. No, if I tell her I’m going for a run then that’s exactly what I’ll be doing. Anything else would be a further step towards alcoholism. It could be argued I’m already there- by me too- but as it stands I’d accept I’m an alcoholic, but that is isn’t interfering with my life. Lying about drinking would be a perfect example of my ‘alcoholism’ directly affecting (and hindering) my life; and more importantly that of my family.
It’s handy that my awareness of my drink ‘problem’ is such that I can set very clear boundaries for myself.
– lying about drinking.
– sneaking drinks during the day.
– getting too drunk to ‘be a dad.’
– being too hungover to look after my kids.
– doing stupid things like drink driving.
By my count my partners ticked more of these boxes than I have. That of course would be another potential boundary- removing context in order to make sure I don’t look so bad.

The fact is
– I drink too much.
– I don’t think I could stop drinking.
– I have no desire to give up.
– I’d like to be able to drink more.

But the real fact is my family come first; if it became an issue (such as crossing any lines from my list) I would cut it immediately. As it is there’s no issue- beyond my partners stressing- running helps counteract the drinking and for that reason I have no intention of going to the pub when I could be doing as I said. On the other hand, I like sitting with a pint and just absorbing the atmosphere, so maybe I should find a compromise with my partner on when I can and can’t go.

Derek’s story

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So, something I used to enjoy was sitting somewhere public and identifying someone. I’d then observe them for a few minutes before inventing a backstory. Tonight in the pub I did the same.

First up, poor old Derek.

Derek.
He’s old,
He shakes,
Everybody knows him.
From the outside you’d think perhaps he’s a part of the furniture here, always been here, drinking his usual in his usual seat, at the usual time.

A lovely story.

But it’s all crap. Nobody knows Derek at all. It isn’t his age that’s causing him to shake, it’s nerves. Derek still lives with what he did, the things he’s done. His hair is grey, and almost gone, he’s lined with age, so many lines. Every line for another victim.
Victim.
What a word.
A strong word.
The truth is that Derek ‘is’ a ‘victim.’
He pressed the button
He pulled the lever
He turned the tap
He flicked the switch
The details aren’t important, from his point of view he killed them all. From the point of view of his audience he delivered justice. The neutral would likely suggest that he followed orders, but he did kill many.
He killed them and returned home to his family. He’d kiss his wife, tuck in his children and sit quietly in his chair with a large glass of brandy. She didn’t complain, that was the way of the time, the man works, the woman cleans, man has a drink, woman doesn’t complain.
But is was nothing as convenient as traditional stereotypes that kept Derek’s brandy bottles empty. He drank because nothing else let him sleep at night. Let him forget.
Forget
It’d be funny, if it were a joke.
Derek pressed the button
Derek pulled the lever
Derek turned the tap
Derek flicked the switch
Derek did as he had to. Because the alternative was unemployment. There was no welfare state, no handouts, if you worked you ate, if you didn’t you didn’t. Derek did what he did because he had a family to feed.
Now Derek sits, he drinks, he’s old, he shakes and nobody knows him. Derek’s an old man, he’s a killer, he delivered justice. It doesn’t matter, isn’t relevant. What’s relevant is that Derek feels guilt. Enough guilt that his body fades, his hair has greyed and disappeared, he shakes, he really shakes.
He’s slowly outlived his wife, his friends, his drinking buddies, all he has left is his guilt.
Derek sits in his usual space
With his usual drink
At the usual time
And Derek is sorry, really truly sorry.
He did what he had to do, but he’s sorry
He fed his family, but that doesn’t atone
He followed orders, and accepted the regrets
He’s Derek
He’s old
He shakes
Nobody knows him
He’s sorry, sorry for every button, sorry for every lever, sorry for every tap, sorry for every switch.
He’s Derek, and he’s sorry
He’s Derek, and he’s a good man
He’s Derek and he’s sorry
And that’s what matters

Life, writers block

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So, I like to write. I like to sit with a pad and write. I like to sit with a pad in a place that inspires me and write. I like to sit and write in a place that inspires me and I can write and write.
My writings not very good but it’s the only way I know of completely shutting down my brain and letting go.
Unfortunately Iv hit some major writers block.
The problem being that Iv reached a point where I can’t write anywhere but the local pub. Some would suggest it’s the beer, and that would be a potential reason, but I can drink more beer at home and still nothing comes.
I think it’s the atmosphere, and the fact it’s a change of scenery from what I’m seeing all day every day.
So problem solved right? Go to the pub, get writing and take a break. Awesome.
Except for the real problem, my partner thinks I’m an alcoholic (to be fair she’s probably right) and doesn’t like me going to the pub.
I could easily explain the situation, I doubt she’d get it and would probably think it’s an excuse.
Even if I could make her understand I think she likes me to be here in the evenings so she isn’t lonely, even when we’re doing different things and not talking. Plus she needs me to help with the waking kids.

Another easier option would be to find other similar locations, cafés coffee shops, park benches. But I’d need to find a way of escaping the kids to do it, I can’t switch my brain off when I’m supervising.

Maybe that’s the real problem, when I’m sat at home I’m still supervising so can’t shut down.

X wing tantive IV

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So, I wasn’t going to order the tantive 4 anytime soon, as much as I wanted too, because I couldn’t justify the cost, an rrp of around £80 is just too much for one model, especially as it’s not for use in standard games of x wing. But the book depository was selling it for £43 so I couldn’t resist, I can’t imagine they even made any money on that one.

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So an impressive one, as you can see I’m going to need an alternate storage solution for this one.

Unfortunately the quality control on this kit was a little poor

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The central engine piece was loose, which is an easy glue fix, and a lower engine piece is competely missing, which is unfortunate, Iv emailed fantasy flight so hopefully they can replace the piece for me.
Aside from the quality control issue it is a beautifully done kit, with plenty of detail

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The engines may need a little more carbon scoring but otherwise I’m fairly happy with the painting.

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The fateful escape pods.

And what about the rest?

As usual fantasy flight have gone mental with tokens etc, so starting with the movement

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A massive range 5 on the guns makes getting in close essential, but then you run the risk of being smashed. I also really like the new movement template as it represents the more lumbering flight better than the standard templates do.

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The rulebook is clear (as with all the other x wing rules) but lengthy, as this is the most complex ship and rules to date.
Also the mission books cool, as it provides 4 missions using the tantive 4 which can also be linked together in a campaign, which can get progressively worse if you lose games

And tokens, loads of tokens as ever

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The usual mix of shields, target locks, scenarios tokens as well as the new energy tokens that allow the big ship to do cool things.

As for cards.

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Fore and aft damage decks, as well as seperate stat cards, and a scenario specific one

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And as usual a whole host of new cards, with famous characters such as Han Solo, c3p0, r2d2 and Princess Leia, as well as new weapons, new teams and upgrades. Plus energy boosters for the big ships

All in all I’m very happy with it, as long as fantasy flight can replace the missing engine piece then all will be good

Writing, pathetic part 3

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So, here’s the latest. Any feedbacks welcome

The ambulance blurs in and out of focus, my mind swimming.
What did I do?
I made the wrong choice.
What will happen.
I’m to blame.
I can’t take it back.
“You ok, son?” A voice cuts in, “you’re mumbling there, you with me?”
“Hm…?”
“If you can focus, I need to more information on you injuries.”
“I… I don’t know much….” I stammer back, trying to think back.
“Ok, well just take it easy, try and stay awake and when you’re ready…”
“He… He said if I walked away he wouldn’t kill me, he’d stop what he was doing, he was going to unleash…”
“Ok, calm down, you’re getting worked up, just breath.”
I do, a long one in, held, released.
I need to get out of here, need to find a way to stop this.
“Hold on there Jack, stay down”
“I need to get out, I have to stop him.”
“Stop him? Who is he? Who did this?”
“You wouldn’t believe me….”
“Look lad, I found you in a pile of rubble smashed inches short of being dead, I wouldn’t have thought you to be alive, let alone capable of talking, why don’t you try me.”
“It was…”
An explosive tearing of metal filled the ambulance as the world flipped and all my pain returned all over again, I struggled to remain conscious, the world was darkening, my last sight a hand tearing open the doors, which had just become the ceiling.

My headache was back.
Thump.
Thump.
Thump.
CRASH!!!
I snap awake, to see the splinters of the door raining down on me.
Blinding light shines past a dark silhouette.
My eyes slam shut, this isn’t a headache.
A rough hand drags me to my feet.
“You’re getting easier to find, Jack.” A gravelly voice burns through the fog.
“Iv not been hiding,” I spit back, knowing the headaches coming.
“You’re losing it, son.” He drops me to the ground, and tears open a pouch on his belt as my eyes open and slowly adjust to the glare.
“Losing it? I lost it a long time ago, you know that.”
A jolt of pain as a syringe is slammed into my neck, working quickly to lessen the thump of my headache.
“When are you going to let me have them?”
“If I gave them to you you’d be out in a week, it’s not a fix to cure your lack of control. And anyway, the supplies running out.”
I painfully sit up, “what happens then?”
A dry chuckle, “the way you’re getting through the doses? I wouldn’t make long term plans.”
I don’t bother to reply, Iv had this conversation with him too many times to give a shit. I shakily stand with the intention of getting away before it starts.
“Look, Jack….” He starts, “I don’t want this conversation again…”
“Good, shut up then.”
“Jack, are you done?”
“Done?” I turn, unable to ignore the bait, “I was done a long time ago.”
“That’s not what I mean,” a touch of sorrow enters his voice, “sooner or later I know I’m going to find you in a doorway like this bleeding out, or already dead.”
“That’s the plan.”
“Why? What’s it going to achieve?”
“It doesn’t have to achieve anything, I’ll just be gone.”
“Then what’s it all been for? All these years of pain and suffering? Living with this guilt you refuse to let go?” He pauses, he knows he has me now, “I was there, Jack, I was the one that pulled you from the rubble…”
“You should have left me” I spit back, “I deserved to die.”
“Except you didn’t, did you? You lived, because we went through hell with you, we kept you alive despite everything, your injuries should have killed you. Christ, just a handful would have killed anyone else. I know you don’t see it, but you lived for a reason that day, you can still fix things… Fix yourself.”
“I can’t fix anything, I don’t have anything. I can’t save anyone…”
“You saved me, you saved my partner that day, you’ve saved a lot of people since then.”
“I haven’t saved anyone.”
He steps forward, looking me in the eye, “has it really gone that far?”
“What?”
“You don’t remember do you, you remember nothing.”
“Remember what? I remember waking, the rubble, pain…”
“Ah shit, you’re in worse than I realised, you need to stop.”
“Iv already stopped,” I reply, turning and walking away, “I stopped a long time ago.”
“That’s not what I mean, Jack.”
I don’t respond as I start my long descent down the stairs that hurt so much yesterday.
That pain was nothing compared to the pain I know is coming.
He’s right.
I can’t let it in anymore.

“Get out of my way doctor, you don’t have to get hurt.”
“You don’t have to hurt me”
“I’m here for him.”
“He’s under my protection, if you move him, he’ll die.”
“If he was going to die, he’d be dead already.”

Words.
I hear words.
My head.
Memories.
Pain.
Ambulance.
Crash.

My eyes spring open to see the paramedic stood over me, looking pathetically small against another man.
Man.
He was hardly a standard ‘man,’ he was huge.
He was the one that did this to me.

“Get out of my way doctor, you don’t have to get hurt.”
“You don’t have to hurt me.”

I can feel it seeping into me, knitting bones and tightening wounds. My skins itching as it always does when I let this happen.

“I’m here for him.”
“He’s under my protection, if you move him, he’ll die.”

Pressures building, i haven’t got the strength to heal, but I have enough in me now.

“If he was going to die, he’d be dead already.”
“He’s right,” I cut in, lifting my arm towards the couple.
With a gesture the paramedic is pushed aside and I’m face to face with him.
Him.
He’s put me in this position.
“Hello, Mr Superhero, how’s your head?”
“You here to kill me now?”
A chuckle, “now, now, what would be the point of trying,” he reaches down and wipes blood from a recently healed cut, “I can see now that that’s not so easy. No, I came to apologise. And to offer you a deal.”
“A deal?” I can feel pressure building, more healing, I just need time, “I couldn’t trust a deal from you.”
“No, maybe not, but I don’t intend on giving you much choice…”
He reaches down to lift the paramedic from the ground,
“Come with me, join me, or I’ll kill him.”

I’m roughly shaken awake, my arm feels broken.
“You can’t even manage a flight of stairs can you?”
“I, I didn’t fall…” I say, the haze slightly lifted, “something’s happening.”
“Come with me, we’ll get you fixed up.”
“Come..? Come with you?”
“Yes come on up you get”
“Memories.. Memories.. I remember, that day.”
“What day?
“The day we met.’