Today I’m combining IWSG with Spacedock 19. When you feel your characters are out to get you, you’re probably getting it right. IWSG is by Alex J. Cavanaugh and meets the first Wednesday of every month. It’s not to late to join.
Cherie Reich’s Tim O’Connor from The Nightmare Collection, and my Craze from The Backworlds took over Spacedock 19. Enjoy…
The last ship of the day latches onto Spacedock 19, giving the space station a little nudge. Craze doesn’t notice, but he does notice the size of the ship. It’s not a big one, which means not so many potential customers.
Big enough to fill a doorframe, he puts his might into wiping down the counter and eradicating every blemish from his bar. His living hair rebraids itself into three plaits straight down his back.
Tim steps into the bar. Whoa, did that guy’s hair just braid itself? The FBI sent him on some strange assignments, but this might be the weirdest. But he could use a drink, and it was nicer to be amongst creatures who weren’t out to kill him and his girl. “Anyone taking this seat?”
Craze stuffs the rag in his red apron. His coveralls move in rhythm with his breath. “Not that I can see, smell, or hear. You might want to run your hand over it to make sure, though. Strange things often travel the cosmos. I’m sure you know.” The dude looks a bit too much like a Fo’wo’, though, so maybe he doesn’t.
Tim hesitates, but passes his hand over the seat just to make sure before perching on the stool. “After the things I’ve seen lately, I suppose one can’t be too careful.”
“One of my friends says, there’s no such thing as bein’ too careful. Most of the time, he’s full of it, but sometimes not. Can I get you a drink?”
Tim chuckles. “Sounds like a pretty wise friend. I’ll have a beer … whatever you have on tap.”
Taking a clean glass off the rack, Craze inspects it for smudges. Satisfied, he fills it with ale from a wood cask. “My own brew. I can actually get real water here. None of that stale stuff. Tastes better than ever.”
Tim takes a long sip. “Wow, this really hits the spot after a long day … or a few long weeks like I’ve been having. Thanks!”
“I brew the finest in the galaxy. Don’t let Bast tell you otherwise. Dastard.” Craze crosses his arms and leans against the bar. “Did you have to deal with a lot of unstables? Seems nothing sane is out there anymore.”
Tim isn’t certain who Bast is, but he’d take Craze’s word for it. Another sip of the beer hits the spot, and his muscles relax across his shoulders and upper back. “Not quite certain who these ‘unstables’ are, but I did have to deal with a cold-blooded–and hungry–killer. A true monster.”
Another rumor or for real? Craze’s hair bounces, the ends fanning in nervous twitches. “For real, or you puttin’ me on?”
Tim arches an eyebrow at Craze’s crazy hair. “Well, I’m not quite sure what kind of strange beings you’re used to here, but this killer was the weirdest I’ve met and far from your ordinary murderer. Patti, our medical examiner where I’m from, says trace came back with some strange genetic mutation. ‘Human but different,’ she said. But between you and me, he looked like Bigfoot and acted like a vampire with his blood lust.”
Jaw tightening, Craze crosses his arm. “You got somethin’ against mutants?” Remembering the Water-breather and freaky shadows, he eases up. “OK, some is pretty nasty. Haven’t met one that sucks blood before. Disgusting. It’s not here, is it?” He glances around the bar and the station.
“As long as they don’t kill people, I don’t mind mutants at all.” Tim holds up his hands in surrender. A quick glance around confirms the monster isn’t here. “No, he’s not here. I hope we don’t ever have to see its furry face again.”
“I can relate. My writer keeps sendin’ creepy, bad stuff my way. I’m glad she’s not here today so I can talk. All’s I want is a bar ‘n some business ‘n she dangles it in front of me as if it’s freakin’ chocolate. Unattainable. I’m not askin’ for the galaxy here! Jeez! Is yours any kinder?”
Tim laughs. “At least you do have this great bar. Cherie threw grisly murders at me to solve, and it took her friends, or as she calls them CPs, to make her realize who I was deep down. She had me as some FBI caricature. I have more substance than that.”
“I only get this bar part time, ‘cause it serves her. It ain’t for me. She has CPs, too, but it took the Husband Unit to make me act more like a man. Some of her CPs want me to swear more. But I tell her, sometimes she has to do what fits the world she already created ‘n not what other people say. I tell her to be more confident about it.”
“Mine doesn’t know much about these Husband Units. Her CPs led her in the right direction, but she should’ve listened to me more from the beginning. I don’t know why they won’t listen to their characters enough. We know who we are.” Tim drinks more of the delicious beer. It would be a shame when he had to get back to his work and leave this spectacular bar. He should’ve brought Cassie with him.
“Damn right we know who we is. Like she’ll ever find another lead as charmin’ as me.” Craze laughs and pours another beer for Tim. “Cause here we is being us without them. We know which way the dust blows.”
“Thanks.” Tim nods and raises his now full glass to Craze. “Exactly. They just don’t know a good thing when they see it.”
The Nightmare Collection by Cherie Reich
A child monster will gets its first taste of blood in Nightmare at the Freak Show. Four friend will enter the forest on December night, but only one can survive in Once Upon a December Nightmare. Almost ten years after Cassie’s December nightmare, the monster awakens to hunt again in Nightmare Ever After.
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Cherie Reich is a writer, freelance editor, and library assistant living in Virginia. For further information, please visit her website or blog.
Writers for Writers
Writers4Writers starts this week. It’s very easy and won’t take much time. All’s you do is go to Nancy Thompson’s website this Thursday and copy and paste her blurbs into Twitter, or look up #W4WS on Twitter and RT someone else’s tweet about Nancy. Same for Facebook. Check HERE for what Nancy posts, then share to your FB pages. Simple.
If you haven’t signed up for Writers4Writers yet or need more informaton, click HERE.
What do you think your characters are saying about you?
I’ll be back on Monday for Alexfest and a special announcement. Have a great weekend everybody!