Monday, May 13, 2013

Ode to Mothers

Hey all, it's time for another poem, and honestly being Mothers Day I'd be surprised if no one saw this coming.

Here's my poem for Moms everywhere.

I remember a childhood of warmth and love
I remember being hugged
And taught

I remember the healing touch of love
I remember kissed scrapes
A broken leg
A bloody forehead
A cut hand
And the tender mercies that helped to patch them

I remember great levels of forgiveness
I remember broken dishes
Shattered glasses
Broken windows
And screaming I hate you over some forgotten slight
Mostly I remember the words,
“I love you”

And in the end
I remember that the most

SO I hope you all have a great Mothers day, let me know if you got to spend time with your Mom, either leave a comment below or head on over to facebook and say something there.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Ode to Star Wars Superheroes

Hey all,  The new poem is up and we've another tied topic so today I bring you the poem about Star Wars and Superheroes. The poem I wrote is the theme song from the really popular 80's Saturday morning cartoon, "Rebel Buddies." I watched a lot of cartoons growing up, everything from Thundercats and Underdog to Superfriends and Spider-man and his Amazing Friends. While this was clearly not a real show, had it existed I like to think the theme song would have gone a little something like this.

Theme from the Rebel Buddies

When Troopers give the people fits
Blast a planet to right to bits
Scare the children out of their wits
Who will hear the cry for help
It’s Smuggler-man and Wookie

Who saves the princess from her cell
Saves the Droid fallen down the well
Fights Evil Dad and rings his bell
Who answers the call to action
It’s Jedi-boy straight from the farm

Who takes his drinks in a frosted glass
Saves his friends to forgive the past
Flies a ship that kicks into high gear
Who laughs in the face of death
It’s Captain Calrissian

Who steals the plans with practiced ease
Saves worlds from galactic sleaze
Befriends the Ewoks in the trees
Who shows all her grace and charm
It’s Princess Lass

Fighting evil where it arises
Stop the dark sides many guises
Ready for the galaxies surprises
Rebel Buddies
Friends till the end

Well what did you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts so head on over to facebook and leave a comment. While your there vote on future topics.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Paranormal S.W.A.T. #6

Hey all, we've got another installment in the tales of our band of heroes, a Paranormal S.W.A.T. team from Chicago. If you'd like to see them from the beginning head on over to Cul-De-Sac to Hell for their first adventure.
Paranormal S.W.A.T.
Supernatural Weapons & Arcane Tactics
Loves Deadly Shadow
Rabbi Adam Stein, expert in religious studies and heavy weapons operator, moved as quietly as possible through the woods, which was not easy for his seven foot plus frame, especially with the body armor, the combat shotgun, and the ammo pouch. At least he was protected from the cold February night by the blue turtleneck he wore under his armor. He watched the smaller members of the team and once again envied their mobility and the fact that society had been designed for people their size.

Adams eyes moved to Captain Albert Card, the teams leader and sorcerer, who was glaring at him. Albert moved the fingers from one hand along the edge of his widow’s peak, a sure sign he was thinking. “I can’t believe you accepted this job.”

“They’re going to kill her.”

“We don’t know that,” Albert’s voice faded under Adams gaze, “okay, they’re probably going to kill her, but we are not the police. If she wants to make bad life choices, I say have at it.”

Dr. Griffin Wells, the teams scout and forensics expert, signaled for the group to come to a halt. With quick set of well trained hand signals he motioned for everyone to fan out and focus on the bushes to their left. He raised his sawn off shotgun and crept forward as the rest of the team switched the safeties on their weapons off. Albert and Adam stepped away from one another to put space between them making themselves harder targets for spray weapons. The fourth member of the team, Blake Lagoona was trained in aquatic operations and a gifted sniper, was crouching down sighting up the barrel of his assault rifle with his back firmly pressed against a tree.

The foliage moved slightly and Adam tensed his finger, still not on the trigger of his gun, but bent slightly to give him an extra sliver of a second if he needed it. The tree line broke and a tall lanky boy, no older than sixteen stumbled into the clearing. “Taylor?” He paused a moment, looked at the guns and then past them to the team. “Oh, thank gods you came. Have you found Taylor yet?”

Adam relaxed his finger away from the trigger, “Pat, I told you to stay home.”

“I just couldn’t do it. I had to be here for her. The thought of those monsters and Taylor out here in the woods. I just know they’re gonna…”

“It’s okay, we’re not going to let that happen.” Adam moved next to Pat in two easy steps and put his hand on Pat’s shoulder. “How did you find us?”

“I saw the lights through the woods. I thought it was will-o-wisps, and I followed it here.” Certainly the runes on their armor, carved to ward of supernatural and magical threats, had protected them more times then not, but the glow did have it’s disadvantages, and Pat showing up certainly fell into that category.

“Kid, you read too much.” Albert moved off to one side and looked at his watch. “It’s to close to midnight, I’m not sure we have enough time to get you back to safety.”

“I want to help. I can help.” Pat’s eyes pleaded with Albert, and Adam was certain the boy was seconds from bursting into tears.

Blake stepped forward and began to move his hands in a practiced pattern. Being mute Blake needed to use sign language to communicate with the rest of the team. (I’ll watch him.)

Albert thought about it for a moment, “You sure?”

(Absolutely Chief,) signed Blake.

“Don’t call me chief,” said Albert.

(Sorry Chief,) signed Blake.

“Fine, he’s your responsibility.” Albert turned to Pat, “Rule Number One; you stay with him. We do not split up. You do not run off alone. If something needs handling we handle it as a group. If you can’t see at least two of us, you have gone to far and are about to die. Do you understand me?”

“Yes sir,” Pat responded.

The team fell back into positions and began moving through the woods. Even though there was a full moon, heavy cloud cover kept the sky dark, Wells moved slowly  taking care to avoid making more noise than necessary.

“So,” Pat began in a tone that was trying very hard to be conversational, “where’s the other guy? The wolf, man, guy, fella.” Pat was referring to Douglas Wulf, the teams close quarters fighter and wilderness survival expert, whom he had met at the initial client meeting.

“Wulf,” Albert answered, “not wolf, and he’s not here now.”

“Oh, I thought he was a member of the team.”

“Normally, yes. Just not tonight.” Once a month Wulf took a trip home to the town of Refuge for a few days and he had left the day before.

Pat went quiet again as the group moved across a small brook. As they stepped over onto the other side Wells knelt down and began examining the ground moving his hands across the dirt. Even though Wells was the teams scout, Wulf was the one who knew the wilderness better than anyone and would be tracking the girl if he were here tonight. While Wells was doing his best Adam was getting impatient to find Taylor before anything went to horribly wrong.

Albert changed the grip on his crossbow and moved forward, “something weird?”

“Two sets of shoe prints.” Said Wells, “It’s just something’s not right about this. I was expecting bare feet at this point.”

Pat leaned forward, “Why bare feet?”

“It’s a full moon tonight, and if one of them is a werewolf,” Wells turned towards Pat, “then he’d be walking around in his bare feet so as not to destroy his shoes when he changes. Plus, like I said two sets of prints, there should be three.”

“Maybe it‘s just the two guys?” asked Albert. “They could have come here to fight it out.”

Wells traced his fingers around one of the footprints, “these are small, I think they’re Taylor’s. She’s here with one of them.”

Albert looked at Adam, “looks like you might be right.”

Pat looked at Adam, “right about what?”

Adam let out a low sigh, “I don’t think Taylor’s meeting a vampire and a werewolf.”

“What makes you think that?” asked Pat.

The team began to move through the woods again as Adam explained. “After you came to us we did some research.”

Pat stumbled, “what kind of research?”

“Interviewed friends and family. Did background checks on Reed and Stewart. Read Taylor’s Facebook. There were a couple of things that stood out to me. Mostly about Stewart and it’s led me to believe that she’s being used.”

“What about Stewart,” asked Pat, “like Stewart can go out in daylight?”

“No, most vampire can go out in daylight. Only a couple really old, very powerful vampires can’t abide sunlight. His background didn’t check out, though that could be because of his changing his identity every couple of decades. One thing that really fixed in my mind was his pet name for Taylor, Cae Lavan.”

“I don’t know what that means. I think it’s Italian.”

Adam stepped over a fallen tree and then reached back and helped Pat, “No. It’s elvish. The literal translation is beast of the Earth. Though it has meant earthen pig, dirty sow, hog of the ground, or more recently groundhog.”

“Elvish,” Pat spoke the word slowly as if trying to make it fit in his mouth, “you think Stewart is an elf?”

“Really? Vampires and werewolves you’re okay with but elves is where you draw the line?” Adam chuckled to himself, “Anyway, I think they’re both elves. I’ve been a part of this competition before. There was a woman named Lisa who was the Cae Lavan. Either way we brought the crossbow to check and see if they’re elves.”

Pat looked at Albert’s crossbow, “how does the crossbow check?”

“The bolts are wood shaft and cold iron head. The wood acts as a stake to the heart but the cold iron is for the elves.”

“The head is,” Pat coughed, “the head is cold iron?”

“Yeah, it burns them.” Albert looked up to watch the clouds part revealing the moon.

“Wouldn’t a bolt to the heart kill anything?” asked Pat.

“Not elves. The cold iron will kill them though, if it’s just a vampire he’ll turn to dust and an elf will become engulfed in flames.”

“What I don’t understand…”

A high pierced shriek of a young girl cut through the night. Albert raised his crossbow and pushed Pat towards Blake, “Wells, lead the way.”

Wells took off through the woods, moving towards the sound of the scream. He wasn’t quite as good at this as Wulf was, tripping here and there, and bouncing slightly off the sides of trees he passed to close to, but the team was able to keep up and move along with relative quite. Pat fit in nicely, moving quickly and naturally through the woods.

Wells suddenly reached out and grabbed a tree limb pulling himself to a halt and then signaled for the rest of the group to stop. Adam moved up joining him at the edge of the clearing, to view the scene before them. A young girl in her late teens cowered behind a lean young man who was locking eyes with an auburn furred werewolf, using his body to protect hers.

Adam easily identified Taylor, the pretty girl with the long brown hair wearing a flowered sun dress. Clearly she had wanted to look pretty for her two suitors, but hadn’t prepared for the possibility of this. The werewolf was standing there quite docilely, even still she was afraid of it.

The young man dressed all in black from his jeans to his t-shirt and including the long leather jacket. He began talking in a soothing voice, a tone no doubt to keep the werewolf calm even though the words were clearly for Taylor, “Cae Lavan, I can only hold him for so long. We have to leave.”

“Where are we going?” Taylor’s voice shook.

“I can open a portal to a clearing in Europe near my family’s castle.” Stewart’s tone remained calm and light,

“We can go there.”

Albert stepped out of the woods and raised the crossbow he’d brought with him. “I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to let that happen.”

Taylor shrieked again and clutched the young man tightly around the waist, knocking him off balance. The werewolf growled and the young man quickly righted himself and regained control over the beast.

The rest of the team moved into the clearing, spreading out to cove as much area as possible. Pat stepped out of the woods and Blake had to grab him as he tried to run towards Taylor.

Taylor looked confused for a long moment, “Pat? What are you doing here?”

The young man holding the werewolf at bay looked at the group and gave a bark of laughter. “Oh, what a brilliant play.”

Tears had begun to well up in Taylor‘s eyes, “Stewart, what is it?”

“I know who these men are, or specifically what they are. Their weapons, their manner, the steely look in their eyes, the smell of death hangs off of them. They’re vampire hunters. Your good friend Pat has hired professional murderers to kill me.” Stewart stood up straighter giving a slightly more regal appearance. “We’re not the monsters from the books you know. We’re people just like you. Your persecution of my kind has gone unabated for so many centuries. Why can’t you just leave us in peace.”

Albert chuckled, “I’ll give you this much. You’re certainly not the monsters from the books.” Albert fired the crossbow.

With a flick of one wrist Stewart sent the werewolf roaring towards the team while reaching up with inhuman speed and catching the crossbow bolt with his other hand. Stewart immediately dropped the bolt as black smoke rose up from his hand.

 As the beast charged the team the members scattered except for Albert who dropped the crossbow and raised his hands before him in a typical gesture for warding off evil while locking eyes with the charging beast. “Sit” The beast was moving at a full run when it suddenly tried to sit down on the ground causing it to stumble and fall face first to the earth.

Taylor cried out, “No. Reed. No.”

Blake sighted down his rifle and fired three shots towards Stewart, the clip in his gun had brown tape around the bottom marking it as wood tipped bullets. Three tightly packed holes appeared in Stewarts shirt over his heart. Stewart staggered backwards with Taylor holding him up.

Adam, waited for the explosion of dust that never came. “ He’s not a vamp.  Switch to blue. I hate being right.” Adam ejected the brown clip from his gun letting it fall to the ground. With his off hand he pulled a blue clip full of cold iron bullets out of the bag and jammed it home.

Stewart had grabbed Taylor by the hand and was pulling her from the clearing, “Cae Lavan, come with me.” He raised his hand and the air in front of him rippled.

It was hard to tell who was moving first Wells or Pat, but both of them were moving towards Taylor and Stewart before the ripple fully formed. Albert began screaming, “Go. Go. Go.” Everyone moved forward, the team moved with practice and experience and were even passing Pat on his way to the portal. Stewart passed through the ripples in the air and faded from view, only his hand holding Taylor’s remained. After a brief pause she followed him fading from view as well.

Albert cried, “Sick’em boy,” and made a motion towards the portal with his hands. The Werewolf having recovered jumped up and bound towards the now shrinking opening and vanished through the portal.

Wells followed behind him saying, “why can we never find a Tardis?” as he dove through the opening. Blake was next. Adam ran to the gate with Albert right behind him. He then jogged past Pat as he stood in front of the gateway to another world, possibly to afraid to enter. Adam hit the gate and then entered a sunlit field of wild flowers.

*  *  *

Adam hit the ground and saw the rest of the team in various states of disarray. Blake had dropped to one knee and was shielding a young man with auburn hair, tattered clothes hanging off his body. Stewart was climbing to his feet black smoke rising from his cheek. Wells was running back to the team with Taylor slung over one shoulder in a fireman’s carry. In the distance a small group on horseback was approaching.

As Wells passed Blake and the young man Taylor called out to him, “Run, Reed run. They’re hunters, they’re going to kill you. Save yourself. Run.”

The young man looked up, “Taylor, what’s going on?” He looked around fear and panic beginning to over take him. Adam had seen it before in the eyes of to many people who came into contact with the supernatural for the first time. “Where are we?”

There was a loud thump next to Adam and he looked down to see Pat lying face down and spread eagled on the dirt. “I think he pushed me.”

As Wells reached Adam he held up his fist with a dark metal wrapped around the front of his fingers. “Cold iron knuckles. Best toy ever.”

He glanced back and saw the portal fade from existence and close, leaving Albert on the other side. He reached down and grabbed the back of Pats belt and lifted him off the ground. Looking around quickly he noticed the woods just behind them. “Everybody pull back to the woods.” Blake stood and helped the young man up and began backing away from the horsemen and Stewart.

Stewart turned, and screamed at the retreating figures, “give her back to me.” The flowers seemed to catch in a great breeze and push away from him for a second. Adam heard Blake’s gun fire in response.

They made it to the woods and as they entered Adam turned quickly slamming Pat’s head into a nearby tree. “Sorry,“ He placed Pat on the ground and looked at Wells, “make sure he’s okay.”

“Sure,” Wells handed Taylor to Adam and moved to look over Pat.

“Blake, keep him at a distance. Don‘t kill him, but don‘t let him get any closer.”

(Okay Adam.) Blake moved to the edge of the woods and sighted down his rifle and watched Stewart to see what he would do next.

Adam turned to Taylor and the young man, “what’s your name son?”

“Reed. Reed Pista.”

“Nice to meet you Reed.

The rest of the group gathered in the woods, “We only have a couple of minutes, before the cavalry gets here and it’s not on our side.” Adam indicated Taylor and Reed should sit on the ground. As they sat he dropped easily to one knee. “Taylor, it’s time for you to know what’s going on. Reed we will deal with your problem in a minute. Fair enough?”

Both kids nodded yes. Taylor’s eyes were still panicked and she looked as if she was about to cry or attempt to run for her life, Adam wasn’t sure which. “First you have to know that spring begins on February twenty-third. Most people don’t know this, they think it’s the second, today. The reason this is important is that every year the fairies of the summer and winter courts have a standing wager, they have for centuries. Whichever side wins gets three weeks of the others season.

“They choose a human being and then each court sends a representative to seduce them. They ply them with gifts and favors, they create magical stories for them to abound in, and give them fairytales to play inside of.

“The reason I’m telling you this is that this year Taylor, you are that human.”

“You mean it’s all fake? They’re all fairies?” Taylor looked at Pat and Reed, then a gunshot got her to look up at Stewart standing in the field raging at the injustice.

He called out, “My Cae Lavan. Please, release her to me.”

Taylor looked at the young men, then turned to Adam, “You said there were two courts? There are three boys.”

“Clever girl. Yes, there are three boys. You see, this year apparently the game has an extra player. One of your suitors is not a fairy shape-shifter. He is instead exactly what he appears to be, someone who loves you deeply. It’s the only way a non elf, or what the locals call a mortal, can get into the game, love.

“So to end this before the cavalry rides down on us and forces the decision, when you went to the clearing tonight, who did you want to see?”

Taylor sat there for a long moment and thought about it. Adam waited patiently, straining to hear if the horsemen had arrived, wondering if Taylor would notice what he had. Taylor looked down at her hand and Adam smiled, she got it. There sitting in her lap was her hand, clutched by Reeds. Her head rose and she met his eyes, “I went to see Reed.”

They moved forward to kiss and Adam put his hands on their shoulders and gently held them apart. “Before you continue, what about Stewart? He’s a vampire. He’s asking you to spend the rest of eternity with him. He’s willing to keep you eternally young, eternally beautiful, and there’s power to be had there.”

“I know, and that’s nice but he’s always so sad. He has a huge temper, this isn’t the first time he’s flipped out like that.” Blake fired two quick shots at Stewart as if to punctuate her statement. “He wears black all the time, and I think…I think he likes boys.”

Adam chuckled, “Fair enough. What about Pat. He seems human, clearly worried about you. He hired professional monster hunters to save your life.

“And I appreciate it,” Taylor paused, “but we’re so different. I don’t know you that well. You’re a good friend, and you’ll always be the one who tried to save me, but I think we should just be friends.”

“Well then, back to Reed.” Adam nodded to the boy sitting beside her, “He’s a lycanthrope, which is an incurable disease that turns him into a killing machine three nights a month when the light from the full moon touches his flesh. It’s a huge commitment and burden to even an established relationship.”

“He’s my best friend.” Taylor turned to face Pat, “I’ve known him for ever, we went to the same summer camp. We take the same classes. I can’t imagine my life without him.”

Adam smiled, “very well. Kiss away,” and he released their shoulders.

*  *  *

Adam walked out into the open as the cavalry approached, rode past Stewart, and came to a stop twenty yards from him. He recognized the livery on their shields marked them as the queens personal huntswoman. More importantly he recognized the crown built into the helm of the lead rider. “Your Majesty.” He bowed deep, as a sign of respect and a show of his knowledge of the old ways.

“I know you. You’re the Creature who interfered with our game all those centuries ago.” The queens tone was haughty and slightly annoyed.

Adam rose, “It hasn’t quite been that long.”

“Maybe so,” the queen considered this, “time flows so differently between your world and ours, it’s hard to tell sometimes, Creature.”

“Adam, your Majesty, while I do look fondly on the old nicknames. No one calls me that anymore.”

“Very well, Adam,” She said his name as if it she had bitten into something spoiled, “You have intruded on our game, again. You will give us the Cae Lavan and leave this land immediately.”

“The fault does not lie with us your Majesty. We were brought in by a legal player, winter sought us out. As to the game itself, the Cae Lavan has made her decision. I didn’t interfere or coach. In fact I presented each of the choices to make sure she knew what she was getting into. If you doubt my word, you may ask the trees. The decision was made in full view of them.”

The queen paused a moment and whispered, the wind picked up for a brief second and blew from the group towards the woods. After a moment the wind reversed direction and the Queen cocked her head to one side and listened. “She chose the mortal. But there was trickery on your part.”

“You Majesty,” Adam smiled, “If this contest outlawed trickery I doubt either side would succeed.”

“There is truth in that.” The queen laughed, “However the Cae Lavan is still ours to do with as we please.”

“Tradition states that she goes to the victor. She chose Reed. He gets to decide her fate.”

“And what if we decided to take her?” The queens tone taking a deadly shift.

“We have guns with cold iron slugs, knuckles and a couple of knives. We may not have enough to win, but I guarantee a good hunk of you won’t make it home tonight. And judging by the red dot on your chest, your majesty, your going to be one of the first to die.”

“Do you really think you can defeat me with your guns?”

“Maybe, maybe not, but I’m willing to find out. Are you?”

*  *  *

Adam stepped through the portal into their office in front of Albert and Blake. Wells, was sitting in one of the oversized chairs off to one side, “…and mortals win meaning three more weeks of winter, which is going to completely screw up Punxsutawney Phil not to mention every meteorologist on Earth.”

Adam looked around the room, “how long have we been gone?”

Albert smiled, “it’s been three days. I’ve dealt with the parents. They think the kids have been on a class trip.”

Adam slumped into a chair and looked up at Albert, “It’s the fifth? I hate the time flow difference.”

(Is this the first time humans have won?) Blake signed.

Wells stood up and placed his hand on Blake’s shoulder, let’s go join everyone else and I’ll tell you all about the time Casanova seduced both players at the same time.”

As Wells and Blake left the room Adam looked around, “Where are the kids?”

“Wulf took them to get some food. He got back yesterday. Anything big to report?”

“Reeds a werewolf. Pat, or whatever the hell his name was, got him infected when he found out Stewart was trying an Ann Rice. He figured he’d end run a Twilight on him. We’ll need to get Reed some help managing the condition. I’ll get him in contact with some local groups, talk to his parents about it. It’s going to be rough for a while but he’s got her. Plus I got called Creature tonight.”

“The old ones never die. Nice to know they remember you.” Albert stood and moved around his desk to lean against the front. “You think it will last? The kids I mean.”

Adam thought about it for a second. “He was a legitimate player, only way in for a mortal to enter the competition is there has to be love, true love. It’ll last.”

“How about you? You okay?”

“I’m fine,” Adam responded, “I came to terms with it a long time ago.”

“I know, but…how long has it been since Lisa chose summer instead of you?”

“Too long,” Adam let out a great sigh, “I wished I had been able to do something for her.”

“It wasn’t your fault. Besides they lied to her.”

Adam thought for a long moment, “No, sadly, no they didn’t. They told her the truth about me. I’ll give them that, what they said was true. They told her I was a monster and at the time, I was.”

Albert began to respond but before he was able to speak a shimmering portal opened in the middle of the room and a hawk appeared carrying a rolled message scroll. It landed on the chair next to Adam and dropped the scroll in his lap before turning and leaping back through the portal. A split second later the shimmer was gone and Adam and Albert were alone.

Adam unrolled the note,


It was good to see you again. You look well, I’m glad you could save this one. I’m sorry for failing you.
All my love

Huntress to the Queen

Adam stared for a long time. “Well, what the hell?”


So what did you think? Head on over to my facebook page and tell me what you thought. If you're interested in more stories from our team head over to the next adventure, Four Leaf Cleaver.