Category Archives: Character Posts

Pinch Hitter, Part 5

(Click here for Part 4 of Pinch Hitter)

I sit in my Ram 2500 Mega Cab parked a few blocks down the street from my mark, Herman’s grandson, Eddie Snead. Even his name suggests that he’s a weasel. Skinny little, long-haired shit. Although, aside from some probation time for petty theft, his record was fairly clean. No history of violence whatsoever.

However, there’s always a first time for everything. The first time for the act. The first time getting caught.

The first time the Grim Reaper, played convincingly by Kenny Black, comes to pay you a little visit.

But one thing I realized from my visit with ol’ man Herman is that I took him too lightly. The vigilante business can be rough on the body and spirit, and when Kaybee found the human bone in Herman’s garden, I was in the middle of a several month sabbatical to get my shit together. Only problem with that having that much time away is ya get a bit rusty, a bit out of practice.

With Herman, I wasn’t cautious—just ran into his place with guns a blazing, so to speak. If he turned out to be the man I’d suspected him to be, Kenny Black may’ve been pushing daisies from a shallow grave.

Learning from my overzealous mistake, I’m taking my time with Eddie Snead. I’ve been watching him for five days and nights straight. Armed with my zoom binoculars, I can easily observe the drug transactions he’s making outside the public basketball courts.

He’s out there all damn day from mid-morning until dusk. His clients range from about 14 years old to the late twenties. Maybe a few thirty-somethings here and there.

He works alone. Drives a pale blue Buick Regal to and from the basketball court parking lot and alternates between the bleachers and the street corner. In his shack of a brick house—containing a garden in the back just like his grandfather’s—he seems to live alone. No piece of trim coming for a quickie. No cars aside from his Regal parked in the driveway. No one coming or going throughout the night, so it seems he keeps his business away from his home. Smart.

If I had to guess, I’d say he probably grows his own weed and has made a good reputation for his product and as a local small town dealer. So why the dead body? Was there another local dealer that invaded his turf, or vice-versa?

I think in the dead of night, while little Eddie is fast asleep, will be the best time to learn the answers to those questions. Yes, I’ve given this enough time and thought.

Tonight, Kenny Black strikes.


Pinch Hitter, Part 4

(Click here for Part 3 of Pinch Hitter)

“Are you all right?” Herman asks and leans forward, looking truly concerned.

I sit back into the uncomfortable couch, relax my throat, and take a slow deep breath. No, I haven’t been poisoned, but something’s definitely up with this coffee.

“What the heck you put in here?”

“Good heavens, I didn’t even think to warn ya. I make my coffee a little strong.”

“Do you add a few drops of water to a bag of coffee grounds or something?”

Herman belts out a laugh. “No, no, you don’t have a problem with alcohol, do ya?”

“Only if I can’t get enough of it.” I raise the cup again and take a whiff. “It’s certainly not whiskey.”

“No, it’s not whiskey. Can you keep a secret?”

I’ve kept more than my share, old man. “Sure.”

“It’s moonshine. My own special blend. I make it in that ol’ wooden shed behind the garden. I think I poured in a little too much this time though. Didn’t even think about it when I offered you some. It’s just how I prepare it.” He laughs again. “I should figure that not everyone drinks their coffee this way.”

“Coffee brewed in part with moonshine? Works for me. You’re full of surprises, Herman. Your name is Herman, isn’t it?”

“That’s right.”

“Well, Herman—here’s to moonshine and gardening.” We clink coffee cups and each take a healthy gulp. “That’s some potent stuff.”

“It’ll do the job, all right,” he says with a grin.

Herman may not be as religious as his late wife, and his role in the church may have mainly been to pacify her, but he doesn’t exactly strike me as a killer either.

“So, do you have a secret behind the success of your garden too?”

“No, I’m afraid I can’t take too much credit for the nice produce it yields. I just do a little maintenance. My grandson—he’s got the green thumb of the family. He’s the one who prepared the soil and planted all the seeds. Did all the early care to make sure the crops would thrive. He still comes by to check on it from time-to-time, plants new seeds. I just tidy up and pull off fresh produce.”

“It sounds like he’s the one I should be talking to, eh?” Looks like Kenny Black will have to pay this little punk a visit.

“That’s right. I’ll have to introduce the two of you some day. Say, would you like some of his fresh tomatoes?”

Tomatoes grown by the aid of human flesh—I’ll pass. But once again, I say, “Sure.”


Delivery Rooms and Dads

This Method Writers blog posting comes to you from the hands of  Marty Pitchford, one of the characters in the book “The Method Writers”. The fictitious characters from the book continue to work on final edits of their own book – “Fictitious Fiction”.

I realize the writer who created me, Michael Ray King, wrote his own book on fatherhood. Heck, he should! He only has six children! For me, fatherhood came as a shock-wave that did not settle down until Annabelle turned two-years-old.

The midnight feedings I heard so much about were actually midnight, three-in-the-morning and six-in-the-morning. Jessica did not want to get up in the middle of the night much. I didn’t either, don’t get me wrong, but this was our precious daughter. I cannot tell you how many times I fell asleep in the easy chair with her on my chest.

The sleep I got ended up very shallow, as I feared she might roll off. I placed couch pillows on the floor around the chair just in case.

I nearly got fired from my VP job because I dragged into work sloppy and half out of my mind. If my boss hadn’t been a woman, I’m not sure I would have received the benefit of the doubt. She knew Jessica, and she knew me, of course. Not long after Annabelle’s birth, my boss sat me down and gave me a boatload of tips. Most I didn’t remember, but I was thankful that she understood what I was going through.

The diapers seemed to fall my way most of the time. I suppose I’m grateful for that as well. Whenever I changed a diaper Jessica had put on our daughter, I noted the carelessness. I should have begun adding all these signs up, but life had me running its gauntlet. There were many times I asked for more help, but Jessica felt I needed to carry my fair share of the load.

Yeah, I go to work, come home and Jess hands Anabelle off to me and disappears for five or six hours. The upside to this, of course, is Annabelle and I developed a strong bond. My little girl would smile and giggle at me and I knew there could be nothing more beautiful.

Oh yeah! I was supposed to talk about the delivery room a bit. So I’m in there, right? Jess is cussing enough to make Poseidon blush. I’m sure the nurses are going to boot us out, but they simply ignore her. I’m helping helplessly with the Lamaze breathing.

The doctor walks in, exhorts Jess to push after he inspects the situation, and the next thing I know, this purple creature is being held up to me. Scissors somehow get placed in my right hand, and I cut the chord to the most beautiful purple being on earth.

I soon note Annabelle’s skin changes to a much more normal looking pink. I’m glad I didn’t ask. I would have felt stupid. Since my baby was not exposed to air those forty weeks, of course she would come out some strange color. Once the light and air did their thing, poof! Normal baby.

Except nothing was normal about this girl. She was/is perfect. I believe I cried more than she did. Maybe not as loud, but I wept. Birth is one of the most amazing experiences we ever get to witness. I’ve been there for my girl ever since, and that will never change as long as I live and breathe.

 

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Pinch Hitter, Part 3

(Click here for Part 2 of Pinch Hitter)

You can tell that Herman hasn’t changed a thing since his wife had passed. The living room is a mishmash of pastel furniture with decorative throw pillows, dark-colored end tables with lace doilies underneath the table lamps, and a collection of religious paintings and quotes on the walls.

“Please, Kenny, make yourself at home,” the old-timer says and motions to the living room couch.

“Thank you,” I say and sit on the small, uncomfortable couch that has a gaudy-looking afghan draped over the top. The cushions screech at my weight.

“Would you like some coffee? I just brewed a pot.”

“That would be great.”

“Care for some cream, sugar?”

“I prefer mine black.” Just like my name.

While Herman’s tinkering around in the kitchen, I wonder why the hell I just accepted coffee from this stranger who may know more about me than I know about him. He could be slipping something into my steaming cup of coffee this very minute.

My mind begins to race. Did I even come over with a plan? That’s so unlike me. Just because he’s old, doesn’t mean he’s weak.

I’m relieved when Herman returns with a tray, containing a coffee pot and two empty mugs. He sets the tray on the coffee table and pours me a cup, than one for himself. He’s also drinking his black. I wait for him to take a sip, and then take a gulp from mine.

“So…you’re interested in my garden, huh?” he asks as I take a second gulp.

And then I realize my big mistake. Just because the coffee itself was fresh, doesn’t mean a thing. The poison could’ve been at the bottom of my cup all along!

Shit, Kenny, you’re losing your touch. Old-time criminals are old for a reason; they’re a lot smarter than you are, ya dumb bastard.

“What’s the matter, Kenny?” Herman asks.

My throat begins to tighten and my head feels heavy. It’s getting hard to breathe.


Fictitious Characters’ Office Romance

 

Jessica Pitchford from "The Method Writers"

This Method Writers blog posting comes to you from the hands of  Marty Pitchford, one of the characters in the book “The Method Writers”. The fictitious characters from the book continue to work on final edits of their own book – “Fictitious Fiction”.

Back in the day, Jessica and I were quite the item. I never felt like our love mimicked the typical office romance. Our passion for each other transcended the vicarious thrills of possibly getting caught in the cleaning closet. The office we worked in did not allow internal ‘fraternization’ so we kept things as cool as possible.

One time, when the company president left for an afternoon luncheon, Jessica decided we should commandeer his office. I thought she meant to use the nice soft, cushiony couch to the right as  one walks into the office.

No, no. She had her sights on something else – his desk. I suppose I was like a puppy being fed tasty morsels by someone who wanted to lure me into a carrying cage to go someplace scary – like the vet. In my similarity with the puppy, I sensed this desire for the desk  said something about Jessica of which I should beware.

But the morsels she handed out made the word ‘allure’ dull and dingy. I could not resist her energy. On that desk I swear we conquered the world. Looking back, I see the situation more along the lines of she conquered me with her daring-do. She established herself as the risk-taker – the person who feared nothing and who got what she wanted.

I suppose I was smitten by the apparent desire she showed for me. I stepped out and did things I would never even think of on my own. Other than the president’s desk and the cleaning closet, we often worked after hours. We would push hard to get an abnormal amount of work accomplished, then spend the next two or three hours finding new places to christen in the professional highrise where we worked.

Near the end of this madness, about three weeks before Jessica had to quit and we got married, she got into putting a show on for janitors and anyone on the street who happened to look up. In fact, she insisted we use the less plush offices on the second floor to see if we could attract attention from people in the street.

Being with her during this time was like becoming a live mannequin except we didn’t dress the window, we undressed it, so to speak. Around this time I began to sense Jessica’s dark side. Unfortunately, this simply propelled me further into her world of chaotic passion. I never met anyone like her. I wanted to be with her all the time and she responded with open invitation.

What a wonder that I did not get fired in those last weeks of her employment. The Human Resources person actually sat us down and gave us an ultimatum – one of us quit or we both get fired. Since I made significantly more money, Jessica bowed out. Gracefully.

That act of her not making a scene, of her simply stating she understood how the company could not allow us to continue on, endeared me more to her. This level of responsibility looked like the entire package to me. She’s wild beyond my craziest crazed dreams, she could be humble and respectful, and she wanted me.

I proposed as we walked out the doors that day. A little background for you, the reader, of how Jessica and I came to be.  As a character, existing in a book is great – getting to write a book is divine. Be sure to keep up with what is going on with The Method Writers to see what happened in our lives next…


Pinch Hitter, Part 2

I said I’d update you in a week, but it’s been two. This nut has been a little harder to crack than I had thought. Besides, apparently my writing rotation is only every other week. Don’t blame me, it’s the arrangement the Rogues have made with each other.

In case you missed part 1 of my little saga, you can read it here: Pinch Hitter. Good—now you’re all caught up.

So far I’ve got nothing on this Herman character. No skeletons in his closet—just bones in his garden. He’s 82 and lost his wife of 56 years to cancer last May. She was cremated, so the bones can’t be hers. He’s a vet and received the Purple Heart from an injury received during the Korean War. Never been charged or convicted of a crime. Can’t even find record of a single driving citation for him. Plus, he’s an elder and an usher for his church.

Sometimes if a person looks too clean, it’s because they’ve worked pretty damn hard to pull off that illusion. So people would never think twice about them being capable of such evil deeds. Fortunately for you, the Kenny Blacks of the world are here to sift through that bullshit.

I need to get a little closer to my subject matter, so on this gray, drizzly day, I step on his creaky wooden porch and ring the doorbell. A feeble “Just a minute” filters through the metal door. Herman eases the door open and offers a gentle smile. “Can I help you?” he asks. His fine white hair is thin and slicked straight back.

“Hi, I’m Kenny—your neighbor from across the street.”

“Oh, yes—I thought I’d seen you before. Forgive me, I’m old.”

I chuckle at his comment; how else does one react when the elderly make fun of themselves? “We’ve never officially met, so I just wanted to introduce myself.”

“It’s a pleasure to finally meet you, Kenny. What took you so long?” he asks with a wink and a grin.

Funny, he didn’t offer me his name back, but some people are like that. “No, you’re right. I should’ve come by sooner. I’ve been wanting to start a garden in my back yard. The other day I saw you out back working in yours, so I thought you may be able to give me some gardening tips.”

“I’d love to. Won’t you please come in?”

I wonder if leading with the garden was a mistake. He didn’t seem to have a reaction. But if he’s smarter and craftier than he looks, he may be on to me. And if that’s the case, I may be walking into a trap.

I follow Herman inside anyway.

~Kenny Black


Pinch hitter

My creator, David Haas, is working on his edits for Fictitious Fiction. And his creator, Jeff Swesky, is busy wrapping up his Method Writers’ edits. So what does that mean? I’m stuck writing this goddamn blog. I’m the emergency relief. I’m the pinch hitter.

As I had mentioned before, I’m not a writer–I’m a retired hitman turned vigilante, looking to right my wrongs and bring some justice to this sick world. But in this day and age, where the hell does one begin? You look out a window or peek around a corner and you’re liable to stumble across some sleazy crime, some dark secret.

Take my current mark. My neighbor, Herman, who lives across the street. An older gent. Retired. Quiet. A seemingly nice and polite man. Never has any visitors and never receives any complaints from his neighbors. He just keeps to himself, probably watching old movies and doing crossword puzzles. Sometimes I see him working in his garden during daylight hours.

To be honest with you, I never would’ve given him a second thought. But one day I was watching David’s dog, Kaybee, and that fuzzy shithead got loose and ran about the neighborhood. Well I caught him digging in old man Herman’s garden, and I yelled at him to come back or else. Kaybee listened, but he carried a good-sized bone in his mouth. I got ahold of it, and I realized it wasn’t an ordinary dog bone. No, no, this was one of the human variety.

Late that night, I crept into Herman’s back yard with a flashlight and hand shovel and did a little digging of my own. Guess what I found–yep, more bones. Even part of a human skull.

That alone does not prove Herman’s guilt, of course, so I’ve been watching him very closely. One of my connections is even checking into Herman’s past.

Hopefully I’ll get to the bottom of this little mystery by next week, and assuming that Jeff and David will still need my help with the blog, I’ll share with you what I’ve found out.

Until then,

Kenny Black


Ficticious Fiction and the Quest for More Characters

Good day readers. Marty Pitchford at your writing service once again. At this point in the editing process, the Rogues Gallery Writers (the real-life Rogues) remain tied up with all their re-writes. This leaves we fictitious characters writing this blog. Like we’re not busy ourselves…

One of my duties this week is to nab a pic that relates to the short stories I penned for the upcoming book, Fictitious Fiction. These searches can be time consuming. For some reason, I cannot locate the pic I really want. Believe it or not, I need a provocative pic of a hot babe posing on the hood of a red convertible.

Yeah, somehow I’ve pigeon-holed myself as the fictitious writer most likely to wax on a sex-related subject. It’s just a phase. Nonetheless, my search has fallen into disarray. I found the perfect model to depict one of the characters in one of the stories, but having that red convertible would be icing on hood, so to speak.

Here she is. Quite the attractive lady, eh? In the story, she’s a blond who lives in Texas near the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a scorching hot day. But hey, I don’t want to give away the story line, now do I?

When coming up with the idea for the story line, I thought it would be cool to take a song lyric and make it into a full-fledged story. I used an old Bobby Goldsboro tune. In the end, I think it came out really well.

I’ll keep looking for that convertible though. After all, I have until Ground Hog’s Day to have my final choice. Picking out pics for a book cover is a critical chore. Actually, I don’t look at it so much as a chore, but the search does gobble up the time. The pic must possess some outstanding appeal.

In our society today, for good or ill, attractive models grab attention. This most likely will not change anytime soon. But you can’t just go grab the first shot you see and slap it on the cover of a book. There needs to be a tie-in to what’s written inside.

In Fictitious Fiction, this lady needed to be blond, attractive, near the Gulf (or some body of water) and it would help if she was out on a sweltering hot day clad in a peasant top or halter. Looking over all those pics of attractive women sure was a tough job, but hey, I take my work seriously, right?

I’m wondering how Dorian, Georgie Mae, and David are doing in their quest for character pics. I can only hope they glean as much enjoyment out of the process as I. The Fictitious Rogues work hard, probably harder than the Real Rogues. We should all be able to enjoy these small but important aspects of putting a book together.

Time to run! I’m off for another half hour of scouring the internet for a tantalizing woman on the hood of a red convertible. It’s a rough life…


Absent

I apologize for being absent awhile and neglecting my blog posting duties, but the holidays are a bit difficult for me. Yeah, I don’t really have family to spend it with, just Ma, and Christmas in a nursing home is not the most festive of locations to celebrate at. Not for me, it’s not. And the Rogues pretty much have their own lives and people to spend it with. So I spent the holidays alone, holed up in my shitty apartment, still struggling to make a dent in Fade to Black. No, I couldn’t even make Kenny Black hang out with me.

Sure, when I was living in New York, things were different. I was editor for a big fashion magazine, had a fiancée who was a runway model, and I was never at a loss for something to do, an event to attend, high-rollers to hang with, and so on. The only problem with that lifestyle is that you lose yourself. You lose sight of what’s important to you. You’re just another face in a superficial crowd.

When Ma’s health began to fail, I finally realized what was important and where I needed to be. And it was not in NYC, it was back in Daytona to help care for my mother. Victoria exposed her true nature and decided that status was more important than love. Well, I guess it never really was true love, was it?

Yes, things have been difficult in my time back in Daytona, but I’m hopeful for the future. I’m excited about my new writing direction. And l’m thankful that returning to Daytona has found me a new family. My writing family, the Rogues Gallery Writers.

And 2012 will be our year!!!

~ David Haas

 


Couples Kissing in the Rain

Hello. Marty Pitchford, fictional character, at your service! Yes, it appears I now shoulder the load writing this blog for all the Rogues as well as their fictional characters. Usually I get some help from Dorian, Georgie Mae, and David. (singing…) No body knows….

My writer lost it a few weeks ago. What did he lose?

His mind. The poor sap melted down and fled blogging like an elephant in the sewers of an Indiana Jones movie. Yep, tons of damage to the inner sanctum of my writer’s psyche. I could not fathom what made him snap, so I took a trek along the synapse’s of his mind. Here’s what I found.

Loads of projects, all way behind, pounding at his creative core like Orcs in the Lord of the Rings movies. He overloaded himself to the point that writing a simple blog became the powder keg that would blow Helm’s Deep to smithereens. So instead of self-destructing, he opted to do nothing. I suppose that is akin to Aragorn shushing everyone and saying, “If we’re really quiet, maybe they’ll go away.”

I also strolled through my writer’s more analytical side. There, a few quality tidbits peeked out from the rubble of destruction. One such tidbit came from hits we’ve received on this blog searching for “kissing couple” and “couples kissing in the rain.” The cool thing about these searches? They are not text searches, but ‘image’ searches. Back on November 17, 2011, I ran a post titled Rainy Days and Thursdays which contained the pic you see above.

Being the curious fictional character I am, I decided to bring that pick forward again along with the text and blog title to see if I can jump our hits. Yes, this may be a bit underhanded and calculating, but hey, I’m a fictional character and can do anything I please. My writer is not all that engaged with his brain these days, so it’s up to me to do the thinking, as it were.

So if you’re wondering where this post is going, it just went. Maybe, if the hit total is significant enough, I’ll let you know how my experiment turned out. By the way, I’m also using those search terms in my tags. Hey, might as well go for broke, right?

As for my writer, Michael Ray King, you can find him on Hub Pages. It seems he does not have any problem posting to that site, but won’t lift a finger here on this blog. Of course, with me standing in for him, he may be far too intimidated to ever return. After all, he’ll never be able to match my wit and brilliance.

Oops, that last statement may have caught his attention. I better run before he goes back and edits this post…

Sssshhhhhh!

(Whisper): While you’re here, consider purchasing one of the Rogues’ books – Writing is Easy


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