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Category Archives: What I’m Writing! :D

Gifted Excerpt 1

This November, I completed a novel entitled Gifted. It is a zombie apocalypse novel that came out of absolutely nowhere, but I love it. Here is a small teaser scene in which the main character, Jaz, sees the world outside of the compound for the first time.

The abandoned street is even creepier down here and it doesn’t help that as the shadows grow longer, my fear grows stronger. Bleached white bones lay everywhere in this part of town, and not necessarily in any recognizable form. I heighten all my senses, carefully drawing from my battery. I have a feeling I haven’t discovered all the things this internal battery can do, so I don’t want to use all the energy stored up inside of it in case my body decides to show me what it can now do.

Not too far away from me lay a set of arm bones. I crouch down beside them, examining them. The bones are sunken a bit into the ground a ways away from a bright red and rusted car turned on its side. The bones practically glow in the dark to my eyes. They are picked completely clean and I can see small gouges in them set in lines. Teeth marks. Lots of teeth marks.

My stomach rises. The paint on each side of the car is scratched as though it has been keyed and the passenger side door is ripped off and flung into a neighboring yard. Dents cover the entire body and all the windows are broken to daggers. Dark stains cover the upholstery inside and drag to the outside of the car on to the sidewalk. I back away slowly, hand covering my mouth, not daring to look further.

I don’t want to be out here in the dark.

Returning to stand beside my friends I face outward, Katana in hand, eyes watching as much of the vicinity as humanly possible and listening. Listening hard. As long as there is silence in the streets, we should be okay. Any signs of ragged breathing or dragging and I just might wet my pants and kill something.

I realize after a moment, everyone is watching me again. I shrug, to ask them why they were watching me. Bryan nods forward and I nod back, showing him a thumbs up. The coast is clear guys, for now.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2014 in Writing Excerpts

 

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Disconnect Excerpt 2

Just to give a little context to this excerpt, Adam and Mike are attending an end-of-finals party in Virtual Reality (or Virtual Conferencing, as I refer to it) for an exclusive club called the Elitists. This picks up right after they arrive at HotSpot, a popular social networking “site” on the Mainframe. –ACE

Mike plopped himself down and leaned to Adam. “Stop making goo-goo eyes at her.”

“What?”

“You’re drooling all over the table man.”

Adam tore his eyes from Vonya to glare at Mike. “You’re not funny.”

He held his hands up. “Just sayin’ you’re being really obvious about having the hots for Fynn’s girlfriend.”

“Shut up; you don’t know anything—”

An enormous sausage of a tentacle slammed into the table in front of Adam, nearly knocking over the whole table. He jolted and yelled, falling out of his chair. A large ruddy face peered at him from around his now vacated chair. One half of the face was encased in a network of wires and metal plating that whirred and blinked. “Haha whoopsie. Scared ya.”

“Watch it Arnold. You almost spilled my download.” The female avatar to Adam’s left scowled, clutching her glass and trying to steady the table at the same time.

“Oh, sorry. Hey anyway…brought you your faaavorite download A’dm. Right here for ya.” He jabbed at the table with the tip of his tentacle. The lone sucker on the end made a wet kissing sound as it attached and detached from the table. In his other hand, he gripped an empty glass tightly with all eight fingers and set it solidly on the table. Arnold released the glass, his eyes widening. The camera lenses creating his eye slid back and forth as he focused on the bottom of the glass. “Hey…where’d the Brin go?”

Regaining his feet, Adam straightened his jacket and tie, disgusted.

“Get lost Arnold. I’ll order my own drink.”

Arnold blinked, confused. He looked back down at the glass. “D’j’you drink all the Brin already?”

“No I didn’t, idiot. Why would I have a Brin when I could get a Page?” Heat rose in Adam’s chest. He turned to the rest of the avatars at the table. “Who let him get overloaded? He shouldn’t be overloaded.”

“Calm down man. He’s only trying to help—” Mike tried pulling Adam back into his chair. Adam ignored him.

“Why do we even keep him around?” He jerked his thumb at the blinking cyborg-octopus.

“For the same reason we keep you around—he’s a genius,” Fynn interjected. “Now get a hold on yourself and sit down. You too Arnold.”

Fynn steepled his fingers for a moment, waiting. Adam slowly sank into his chair, still fuming. As soon as Arnold made his way back to his own chair, Fynn spread his arms wide. “Now that’s settled we can get started. As you all are very well aware, we have reached the end of another testing cycle. Tomorrow you will all receive your scores, and for those graduating, the statistics that will carry you to graduate level and decide your career. As such, each one of these contains 1,000 credits to spend as you like.” Fynn put a thumb and forefinger together then drew them apart. A gold card embellished with purple and black lettering grew between his fingers, rotating in the air a moment before descending into Fynn’s open palm. He pinched the back of the card, pulling up and the card duplicated to fill the space. “Keep in mind they expire at the end of your V-Con session and that Commencement starts at 10.00 hours sharp for Graduates.”

With a flick to the rear of the stack, the cards zipped to each avatar surrounding the table. Adam snatched his out of the air, pulling his suit sleeve up in a swift movement and placed the card on the underside of his wrist. He watched the card liquefy and sink into his skin. A faint tingle spread through his forearm as the credits loaded onto his signature; he heard the sound of children yelling “Hooray!” and a bright purple “+1,000 C” exploded off his wrist in bubble letters, spraying the table with confetti. Adam’s hands shook, fingers aching as he pulled down his sleeve.

A chat notification appeared on his screen; Adam smiled as he read it.

Vonya: Meet you in Sector 12 at 22.00. Come alone 🙂 21.20.00 hrs.

Before he could reply, Mike slapped Adam on the back, almost knocking his forehead into the table. “Come on Adam; let’s catch a round of Code Bender in that arcade over there.”

“Don’t touch me.” Adam growled.

“Lighten up already.”

Adam took a deep breath and followed Mike out of the privacy bubble into the chaos of the club, formulating a plan to lose him.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2012 in Writing Excerpts

 

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Disconnect Excerpt 1

Name: Adam Johnson

Age: 17

Height: 5’ 8”

Current location: UNKNOWN

Last Status Update: 3 Months ago

 

Rex tapped his teeth with a holo pen. This whole thing was a mess. Several power stations shut down, throwing half the population into panic. Entire communities locked down to prevent panic from spreading—

A small beep issued from the ExPC dash and a small microphone icon flashed and faded in the corner of the wide screen. Rex swiveled his chair to the right, placing two fingers in front of his ear. The icon solidified, indicating a successful link. Rex cleared his throat:

“State your business.”

“We have him, sir.”

“Good. Is he cloistered?”

“Yes sir.”

“Let’s get this over with.”

The communication link disconnected. Rex massaged his forehead above his bushy eyebrows. Even with a more than recognizable signature Johnson had proved untraceable.

Blast; he hated hackers.

 

***

BAM!

The noise echoed through the room.

“Come on, let us out!”

“It’s useless Mike. They can’t hear you.”

“This is all your fault Adam!”

“Calm down. Everything will be fine. It’s all according to plan—”

According to plan? Adam, I have no connectivity!”

Adam closed his eyes and leaned his head against the cold wall. He resisted the urge to run his hands through his sandy hair. It fell down to his ears. Turning out around the edges. Too long. An itch pricked the top of his ear and he rubbed his shoulder against it. He couldn’t remember his las hair cut; as soon as The Operation was underway, he couldn’t risk his signature showing up in the Frame and stopped going. The binders holding his wrists bit his skin. He tried to relax.

BAM!

“Mike! Cut that out!”

Mike answered by throwing his broad shoulder into the wall a third time and howling. He slid to the floor. Suppressed sobs reverberated from the walls of the cloister.

Adam breathed deeply, trying to control the suffocating grip of his own anxiety. After living almost 18 years constantly connected to the Frame, it was disconcerting not to feel the omnipresent tremor that came with it.

Out of habit, Adam pulled up the Frame Access Menu on his InPC. The white login screen filled his vision and a small green cursor blinked in the dialog box asking for his signature. An animated icon demonstrated the correct way to swipe his signature across his wrist tablet.

He flexed his right hand. The tendons slid the flexible slice of silicon beneath his skin along the curve of the binders. A distant impulse to ‘tap the Frame’ tugged his mind.

The Mainframe. The government’s base for the entire society. Adam’s brows drew together. He glared at the twisted crest faded into the background of the login screen.

The government penetrated all aspects of life, but no one was awake enough to realize it. Everyone plugged in and tube-fed information. Torrents of information through enormous webs and networks; the useless, the pertinent, the frivolous—shoved down throats of open, willing mouths. And all of it censored. Controlled. Regulated. Nothing came through the Frame without the small official seal signed into its code. Adam minimized the window. The government was hiding something, and he was going to find out what.

Adam blinked the remainder of white from his vision left by the blaring screenlight. The grey walls of the cloister seemed even more foreboding and rose high, ascending into what looked like a black eternity. Across the room, Mike’s silent form huddled on the ground, unmoving. Adam sighed, wondering how much longer they would be cloistered. He dug his heels into the slick floor, using the wall as leverage to stand.

“Mike.”

Silence.

Mike.” Adam walked across the room and nudged him with his foot.

Silence.

Adam swallowed. He knelt beside Mike, leaning over him so he could read the vitality display on the back of his bodysuit.

The display glowed dimly in the half light of the cloister. A jagged line blipblipbliped across the screen, indicating an increased heart rate. His breathing came in quick, sharp breaths, back jerking with each intake. The pulsing light trailing down the micro-coils that lined Mike’s bodysuit trembled and his white-knuckled fists shook in the binders holding his arms behind him. Adam shifted his weight to his heels. He should have realized Mike would be feeling the effects of disconnection.

Adam sighed, rolling his sore shoulders. Nothing he could do but wait until the stress knocked Mike out. Closing his eyes, he began to wonder if all the trouble they’d been through over the past few months was worth the price they were paying. He stopped. Don’t forget why you’re here, he reminded himself. Don’t forget everything you’ve sacrificed this far. There’s no turning back. You have to finish this.

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Writing Excerpts

 

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“Heart of Courage”

Play clip while reading excerpt.

Brock stood overlooking the mountain pass. His armies were in place. There was no turning back, and if they were going to survive this invasion, they needed to be strong.

He stepped away from the cliff’s edge as his command officer approached him, beaten helmet under the crook of his arm. A wind blew across the two men.

“The armies are in position Captain.”

Brock nodded slightly. “Yes Gabriel. Prepare the men for the fight of their lives. There is no way through this pass except through us. And only heaven knows if we will survive. We cannot let them falter.”

Gabriel’s face was grim. He, too knew the outcome of this fight. Brock turned his face upward. Dark clouds gathered overhead, and he prayed the gods were with them.

“Gabriel. I wish to speak to the men before the enemy arrives.” Brock placed a hand on the shoulder of his childhood playmate. “Take courage. Think of why we are here.”

Brock strode to his horse at the bottom of the slanted path that etched its way up to the cliff. Placing his helmet on his head, he stroked his Gallantra’s muzzle once, and pulled himself into the worn saddle. Head held high, he rode to the entrance of the pass, where his meager army of one thousand created a barrier to protect their liberty.

He urged his horse up a new trail climbing the side of the ravine until he stood, wreathed in dark clouds on top of the arch of the pass. From there, he could see their faces behind dull and battered helmets. Many of the men were weary, and knew they would not survive this fight. Brock held his head high. The wind grew as he spoke.

“My friends, our enemy has made preparations for an invasion to take what is rightfully ours. I know many of you are weary, and we are few in number, but do not be disheartened! Take courage in knowing why you are here, what you are fighting for!! Along this path we chose to take, we lost many friends, comrades, family members. Do not let them die in vain! The enemy is strong. We are stronger. We are still standing. Do not falter! Show them we will not yield. Show them they cannot stop us. Show them what it means to fight for Freedom!”

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2012 in Snapshot Fiction

 

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Disconnect

Adam Johnson lives in a world where everything is perfect. Technology is advancing at a swift, steady pace, he lives in the lap of luxury, and he is about to graduate at the top of his class with the highest statistic score ever seen. Everything he could possibly want is at his fingertips. But when the school board informs him his statistics are sorely below average, he is forced to leave the school and find a job to pay back the tuition credits owed.

Convinced there is a mistake, Adam hacks into the school system to find his scores to indeed be the top, just as he suspected. Unable to prove anything without exposing himself to the authorities, he joins forces with Mike Michaelson, his long time best friend and roommate, to hack the Mainframe and set everything right.

But as Adam begins to infiltrate the system, he discoverers a larger, more dangerous plot behind his suppression, that if exposed could throw the entire society into chaos.

Please note that plot synopsis is subject to change as writing progresses. –ACE

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in What I'm Writing! :D

 

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