Snippet #4 – Souffles and Jackasses

This little section introduces two of the main characters.  What you see here is a little silly but after, things start getting serious again.  The original scene was just Grimluk showing up at the door.  I hadn’t created Trilgor yet.  Hadn’t even named the Mayor yet.  I knew I wanted a little Halfling woman though and then I got the idea of her yelling at Grimluk and it made me laugh so out it came.  Enjoy.

As the pair reached the gate of the mayor’s house, a big gust of wind blew through the town, sweeping down from the bluff behind the house. It kicked up several dust devils and with several more gusts, they spun harmlessly through the center of the town. Trilgor unlatched and pushed through the gate as another gust threatened to take Grimluk’s hat off. The hunter lifted a hand and kept it in place.

The courtyard was pitiful. Dry, overgrown grass jutted out of planters with the occasional, sickly-looking group of flowers. The purple petals of one flower in particular could be pretty in the right season but in their current state, looked more like leaves made of dried blood.

The house was built in similar fashion to the Silver Sliver. It started in stone and peaked in wood. The foundation was much bigger, appearing to have been built up from a basement or cellar. It was three stories in all and, like the Sliver, had an ironwood door as well, though much more ornately carved.

A small set of stone steps lead up to a wooden porch. The Orcs stepped up to the door and Trilgor gave two, strong knocks. After a minute or two, the door ripped open. There stood a Halfling woman, red-haired, hazel-eyed, glaring up at him.

“You ruined my souffle, you jackass!”

It caught Trilgor off guard.

“I’m sorry, Sadie. How was I supposed to know?”

“The hell do you want, comin’ up and bangin’ on doors like you’re comin’ through?”

Grimluk stood there a moment, surprised at the ferocity of the tiny woman and her anger at a deflated souffle.

“I need to speak with Selbie,” the young captain said with a sigh. “I found a new hunter.”

He motioned towards Grimluk. The hunter touched the brim of his hat.

“Hullo, miss.”

Sadie looked the hunter up and down, like she was sizing him up.

Then, without warning, she slammed the door in their faces. They stood there, unsure of what just happened, and waited.

“Is she always like this,” Grimluk asked Trilgor.

“Actually, yes. Whatever issues Sadie’s suffered, she’s one of a few who hides it well.”

The door ripped open again as he finished speaking. This time, a older man with graying hair and round spectacles stood next to the irate baker.

“Here are the dummies,” she almost hissed before she disappeared back into the house.

Grimluk grinned to himself. He couldn’t recall anyone ever calling him a dummy, much less someone small enough he could pick up with one arm.

Snippet #2

This whole scene is from the first draft.  I really love it and wanted to edit it and keep it.  This is the current version of it, which starts off chapter 2.  A friend who’s serving as a beta reader demanded (with much love) that I expand on the first sentence and I fully plan on it.  In any case, I hope you enjoy the current iteration and that it gets you excited to see the finished book this summer!

Grimluk emerged from the sandstorm like a phantom. Several yards ahead of him lay the town’s entrance, guarded immediately by two Human men. The hunter walked slowly towards them, covered from head to toe with a thick coating of pale dirt, which he endeavored to beat loose from himself. He stopped within talking distance, and allowed the Watchmen to observe him. The dust fell from him in great showers. After clearing himself as best he could, he held up his hands in peace, letting them know he was real and awaited their response.

“Charlie, you see this too,” the watchman on the right asked the watchman on the left.

“Big fuckin’ Orc-man,” Charlie remarked.

“Aye. We both see him them. Reckon we should ask what he wants.”

He stepped forward, holding a rifle, and shouted at Grimluk.

“We both see ya, so you’re real. What you want, Orc?”

Grimluk lowered his arms and spoke.

“I was hired to fix your demon problem” he said plainly.

The Watchman looked back at his peer before turning back to the green-skinned wanderer.

“How do we know you’re really a hunter? How do we know you ain’t a harrier?”

“You’re a Wastes town. That means you have a barrier, correct?”

“So it’s said,” the Watchman replied.

Grimluk stepped forward slowly. He could feel energy ripple as he approached. The hunter reached out his left hand and touched the barrier. It rippled and shimmered like a soap bubble, humming lightly in resistance to the Orc’s hand. The Watchmen looked at each other, curiosity and confusion washing over their faces.

Grimluk pushed his hand through the barrier.

Charlie’s rifle was up against his shoulder and aimed squarely at the Orc’s head in an instant.

“Hold back, Orc,” Charlie shouted.

Grimluk held his right hand back up and pulled his left hand back from the barrier.

“Yeah, okay…you’re true,” the other Watchman said.

The trio stood silently.

Follow Friday #3 – Edward M. Erdelac

Firstly, the formalities: “Edward M. Erdelac is an award winning screenwriter, an independent filmmaker, and contributor to Star Wars canon. He’s been published in several magazines and is the author of Buff Tea, Dubaku, and the acclaimed weird western series Merkabah Rider.”

Secondly, he’s my friend and he’s been a big help and inspiration for me getting this writer thing going.

Thirdly, the Merkabah Rider series is one of the best weird westerns you will ever read.  Whenever I recommend weird westerns, it’s the first series I go to.  You cannot, unfortunately, purchase the first book anymore, and the second and third books will be joining that list over the next year or two as well.

Now, it’s true that my Follow Fridays are usually going to be me promoting friends, but the thing with Ed is that I started out just a fan.  We became friends over the past few years because I was totally floored by how good the first Merkabah Rider book was.  I had just discovered Lovecraft and Howard a year or two before.  I’d finished the Dark Tower series around the same time and found myself wrapped in the loving embrace of the weird west.  An old blog, The Weird West Emporium, which is now operating off of facebook, led me to a whole bunch of exciting new things and discussions.  Among them, was a recommendation for the first Merkabah Rider book.  I bought it, devoured it, and as soon as I saw the second book was out, I did the same for that.  I can’t remember the specific order of events, but I sought Ed out on facebook and found him friendly and fun to interact with (something that still holds true).  I think I surprised him with my enthusiasm.  Maybe not though.  In any case, we ended up chatting some, and before the third book came out, we got more familiar.  Three years later and I’ve seen the man finish the story of the Rider, put out plenty of new stuff, and get a story in Star Wars magazine.

He’s a good writer.  He works hard on his stories, does the research he needs to (something that I think shines through supremely with all the Jewish mythology in Merkabah Rider, however liberal the depictions), and he’s also happy to chat with folks.  So, seriously, drop by facebook and give him a like, or follow his blog, and hit up his Amazon store and grab a book or two.  Oh and don’t worry, he’s going to bring the Rider’s story back.