Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin Next stop: South Sea Pearl Museum Upon arrival, we were whisked through a five-minute presentation on the color of pearls.
Glossary by Title
|Cover||Title Sort descending|
|Da Bluff City: No One is Straight
Terry woke feeling tired, his head pounding and stomach growled. He'd been shackled from ankle to wrist. The bounds were not extremely tight yet, due to the lengthy period of time he'd been imprisoned the restrains made skin tender around the areas. Sitting on the cold floor within what looked to be a basement he observed his bounds for what seemed like the thousandth time in hopes of escaping. Being cuffed at the front allowed the captures to run a chain from leg shackle to hand cuffs, restricting mobility.
|Daddy and the World's Longest Poo
I have a daddy who does the world's Longest poo. Do you?...
Alex and Oliver live in worlds, poles apart; new worlds shaped by a terrible world war and the emerging freedoms of the Sixties. A killer stalks, and five people are drawn into the intrigue surrounding a serial murderer; a series of events set in the Seventies, influenced by the past… a string of events—a daisy chain.
|Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee
I was with three dogs, all from the same household: Ozzie, a bouncy, athletic and energetic bearded collie cross; Gem, a lovely-natured little Staffordshire bull terrier; and Sam, a rather overweight, but ultra-sociable Cairn terrier whose short, stumpy legs struggle to keep his belly from trailing the ground.
|Daniel and Kate
“Daniel did wonder about how absolutely bizarre Kate always had been. As a child you simply accept whatever is presented to you as an obvious truth and for Kate to live in an abandoned house deep in the woods and to be wearing this bizarre full-cover outfit even during the heat of summer was something Daniel had simply accepted as part of who she was. She was just Kate being Kate. Now, as an adult, Daniel approached her with a sense of skepticism. Despite all these oddities of Kate, Daniel was glad that at least he had a friend that would believe him no matter how bizarre his story may be or how little evidence he had to support it other than his word and a small scratch that it had happened.
Instead of sitting, Kate paced back and forth nervously in front of Daniel as she forced him to recount every detail of the encounter in pristine detail. Once he got to his arm, she asked to see it and he obediently held it out for her to see that there was nothing to be seen and hence he had no proof. She peered at it through her sunglasses for a little bit before sadly saying “Daniel, with these glasses I can’t see anything of note. Now, I have no choice but to reveal to you what I have been wanting to tell you for a very long time. Well, if there is any consolation it is that at least I can be here for you now and you know me well enough that perhaps our relationship can survive this.” Kate stopped and took a deep breath and said “Perhaps, I can survive this.”
Kate stood in front of Daniel deep in thought. She nodded slowly. “Daniel, would you at least say we are friends?” Daniel nodded “Yes, definitely.” Kate continued “Daniel, I have known you since you were a little child. Now you are a grown man. Has my appearance changed any while you have known me?” Daniel shook his head. He had been wondering the same the night before but now wanted to give Kate the benefit of the doubt. Daniel said “It’s hard to say though, Kate, I don’t really see much of you with the hat and glasses and such.” Kate smiled slightly “Yes, they were necessary for me but now they are no longer useful but instead are a hindrance.”
Daniel asked “What do you have to show me?” Kate nodded “A great deal. In fact, it is a bit scary but let me explain something to you first. These things have tagged you. Think like when natural scientists radio-tag an animal. Here they have tagged you in a way that you can’t see and can’t remove.” Kate crouched in front of Daniel and grabbed his hand with one of her gloved hands “Daniel. This is critical. They did this for a reason. They will come back for you. I have an idea as to what they want from you and, even though it doesn’t necessarily require you to die, once they have obtained what they want your life will mean nothing to them. If they get what they want, I shudder to think of the implications not just for you….”
Kate paused, swallowed hard and continued reluctantly “…but also for the galaxy.”
Daniel started to get nervous. Who the hell was Kate anyhow? Was she one of them?
Daniel started to pull away. Kate continued “You don’t believe me and that is fine. That is why I have to show you this. But, please do just two things for me. First, just keep telling yourself that this is Kate your friend and what you see of me does not change anything.” Daniel was perturbed but obedient “Ok, and what’s the second?” Kate raised back up to standing in front of him “Try your absolute best to not run away in terror.” She said.
Daniel was still confused but now curiosity was beginning to over-rule his hesitance. Daniel nodded and said “Ok, yes, you are Kate and we have been friends for a long time. I am not afraid of you.”
Kate looked a little relieved “Ok, just keep repeating that to yourself. I’ll do this slowly so as to not shock you too badly.”
Kate took off her hat. It would be hard to call what was on top of her head ‘hair’. It was flat black fronds looking more like seaweed than hair. As her hat was removed, Daniel noticed that the hair moved. At first he thought it was just floating up under static or something but then it stayed in the air and wiggled around. Daniel gasped as he quickly understood the truth.
Kate was from really far away…
Daniel held up the thilihear, “I guess that explains this.” He said. Kate smiled “Yes, sorry I lied about NASA. I never worked for your space administration. I have, however, spent a great deal of time in space.”
In an alley, near the corner of 52nd and Cherry Street, Nicholas and his two armed thugs stared at what towered above their dead comrade.
A hooded figure wearing a dark grey cape looked in the direction of the three remaining thugs. Under his cape, he wore a thick, burgundy and black tactical suit. A black belt wrapped around his waist and was full of knife sheathes of varying sizes. Through his mask, he heartlessly stared at the scum in front of him, waiting for them to make their move.
Nicholas took a step back, horrified and momentarily stunned by the appearance of the prowler. After a couple of long seconds, both his subordinates charged the figure, their switchblades in hand and curses flying from their mouths.
The hooded man did not move until they were right on top of him. With a fluid motion, he drew out a long, bloodstained dagger from under his cape and grabbed the wrist of the first thug. Before the other one could strike, the masked man powerfully kicked him in the stomach, sending him sprawling. Turning back to the first goon, he quickly twisted the wrist, forcing the switchblade to fall out of the thug’s hand, before he mercilessly stabbed the goon in the neck.
Swiftly, he violently wretched out the dagger and whipped around just in time to dodge the next goon’s knife. As the first thug’s corpse collapsed, the intruder elbowed Nicholas’s last subordinate across the face, causing him to spit out blood. Without any hesitation, he grabbed the goon’s shoulder and plunged his long dagger into his stomach. The dying man’s body momentarily lifted off of the ground before the blade was yanked out and he fell with a loud thud.
The intruder turned around and leapt to the side with lightning speed, dodging Nicholas’s loud bullets that lit up the alley. While in midair, he let loose a small blade which pierced Nicholas’s hand, causing him to drop the gun.
Before Nicholas had time to even let out a cry of pain, the hooded man was upon him.
|Dark Guardian - A New Dawn
Had he known what would leap out from the darkness and claim his depraved soul on this particular night, President Richardson would have repented for his countless sins before going to bed. Unfortunately, death never forewarns its victims.
President Richardson was always a deep sleeper. Nothing ever seemed to wake the man. But tonight was different. Tonight, he would face his killer.
The president’s eyes widened with a gasp as he looked at the intruder towering above him. It was the figure who men like him feared: the infamous Guardian.
The masked vigilante’s dagger was at Richardson’s throat while his gloved hand roughly seized the president by his sweat drenched hair. Richardson could neither scream nor beg for mercy, helplessly staring into The Guardian’s merciless eyes.
The room was dark, but the president could make out his assailant’s red and black mask almost perfectly. The mask’s features were a repeat of what he witnessed countless times in his nightmares.
Bitter air blew in through the open window; the white sheets around the president were drenched in his sweat. The only sound that could be heard was the low whistle of the cold breeze. Covered in a grey cloak over his tactical suit, The Guardian could smell the terror dripping off of Richardson’s body. The intruder yanked Richardson closer by his hair while keeping the sharpened dagger right against his throat. Shrouded in darkness, the intruder sadistically smiled under his mask.
The captive president tried to say something, but all that came out was a muffled sentence. In a sadistic growl, The Guardian spoke. “You knew one night I would come for you.”
The president did not reply.
“If you’re waiting for your guards to show up, then you’ll be disappointed.” The edge of the blade moved closer to Richardson’s throat. “But you’ll be joining them soon enough!”
Richardson’s heart fell upon hearing those words. His mind frantically searched for a way out, but his heart knew there was no escape from this monster. Already knowing the inevitable, Richardson still let out a cry. “…please…”
The intruder cackled. “Matthew Richardson, I am the creation of your sins. And they have sent me to claim your soul.”
A quick scream.
A sharp pain jabbed Rebecca Kincaid’s side, and she sucked in a breath. Her hand fell to the hard swell of her belly, rubbing gently. Round ligament pain, she figured, just one of the many joys of being pregnant.
“Don’t look at it. Go check all the doors and windows. I’ll make sure it stays here. Go, Kendrick.” I heard the chair legs scrape against the wood floor and then the pounding of footsteps toward the back of the house.
|Dave Doolittle's Resumes That Work So You Won't Have To
Plotless, senseless, with little or no redeeming social value, Resumes That Work satirizes the seemingly endless stream of “How to get a job” psychobabble foisted on the weary job seeker through books, websites, conferences, and workshops each year.
This irrational little tome turns the basic job-search concept on its head working off the assumption that job hunters would really rather do anything but grovel for work.
That being the case, fictitious author Dave Doolittle outlines strategies to embarrass, infuriate, and alienate human resources, interviewers, and bosses, thereby insuring the reader will both avoid gainful employment and have a great time doing it.
Sections are included on writing resumes and cover letters, how to behave at interviews, what to do if you already have a job, and testimonials from satisfied customers. Both text and absurd illustrations – which are a mix of cartoon and reality – are littered with allusions to literature, film, art, and popular culture, adding a further dimension for those who like to puzzle such things out.
|Dawn of Chrysalis
The human race is in trouble. After narrowly claiming victory in the first invasion, an assault by advanced militaristic aliens armed with light speed capable spacecraft is a continuing threat. Even so, Chrysalis is in danger, and Whatsit is determined to rescue his fellow Chrysallamans. It's a task he knows he cannot accomplish without the help of his human brethren. With the threat of future attacks looming, the humans will have to decide whether it's best to go on the defensive at home on Earth or take the fight to its source and save the Chrysallaman race.
|Dead Men Walking
The path was well worn, for they came in numbers.
To many, the journey had taken the form of almost religious homage. But for the majority, the subjugated, it was a feared and tortuous trek into the unknown.
Penance or penalty – who could tell? It mattered not.
Even those forced to accompany their masters on frequent trips were fearful of stumbling upon unexpected terrors. For this was an unforgiving land - a strange, soulless wood land, fraught with dread and trepidation around every turn. A land inhabited by a species of beings, shy by nature, who would gather in small groups but scamper into the darkened recesses when approached by outsiders. For it would seem they too were tormented by the unknown.
Colin had been here before, of course. Most of the village’s menfolk had.
But this particular command to saddle up the iron horse and prepare for a new venture into the living, breathing nightmare took him by surprise. Surely his master had laid sufficient sacrifices at the altar of Ingvar to last until the year end at least? Had their dues not been fully satisfied? What more could be required of them?
Colin’s hands were visibly shaking as he prepared for the journey. A survival pack was hastily replenished with revitalising fluids, spectacles, a mobile communicator and most importantly, cash. The god, Ingvar rewarded the offering of cash. This Colin knew only too well.
The short trip to the edge of the mysterious wood land passed quietly and the iron horse was securely stored in a place that would later become as difficult to find as the end of a rainbow.
Colin’s master led the way towards, and through the rotating gates to the place of nightmares. Colin took a deep breath and closed his eyes as, from somewhere deep within, he found the courage to follow.
Instantly, his heart sank. His knees trembled. His head felt as if it were being squeezed by a contracting band of steel. Experience, however, reassured him.
Trailing a discreet distance behind his master, Colin joined the sluggard masses. Eye contact with the other subjugates proved difficult, but when by chance glances were exchanged, he could see into the very souls of the others. They were neither dead, nor undead. They were caught in a twilight world where all emotion had been thwarted. Until they made it to the other side (if they made it to the other side) their minds belonged to their masters. Only the naïve or plain stupid would offer up opinions of negativity. Even those who opined what they considered a neutral indecisiveness would be ruthlessly smote down in a volley of retribution.
As they wandered deeper and deeper into the petrifying forest, their masters would casually pick up items for brief inspection, pat them, then cast them aside once again. Colin and the other subjugates, however, would become disorientated and nauseous. Their very existence lay in the hands of the masters. So long as they remained no more than a few steps behind, and didn’t let them slip out of sight, they knew it would all have to end. Eventually.
Focus. Envisage the end. How good will it feel when it’s all over?
And then it was.
Suddenly, the trail opened up. No longer was it a random path meandering throughout the heavily wooded area. It was now a straight, direct walkway through a deep valley, dwarfed on both sides by mountainous blocks erected in temple-like fashion – a place for final worship before leaving the kingdom of Ingvar.
The mood of Colin and the numerous other subjugates visibly brightened. Their pace increased. Their gait lightened. They were nearly home. All that remained was to wade through the wide, but traversable rapids.
It had been done before. This was do-able.
And there, in the near distance, the reward. Colin’s master gave that look. Simply translated, it meant: ‘Yes. Ok. You’ve been good. Go on.’
And Colin ran and Colin skipped over to the reward. Now – ice cream or hot dog? Or maybe some meatballs to take-away? Or some cinnamon rolls?
Weekend visits to Ikea were sometimes worth the grief.