Duncan’s Diary, Maturation – Introduction

 

Below is the introduction to the as of yet unpublished sequel, Duncan’s Diary, Maturation.  It is the second book in the trilogy know as Duncan’s Diary.  The first book Duncan’s Diary, Birth of a Serial Killer can be found on Amazon, Barne&Noble or wherever books are sold. 

The story below contains graphic language and violence so do not proceed if you are not 18 years or older.   

You have been warned.    

       Drip

            Drip

            Drip

 

            Jesus, the damn faucet never seemed to shut off.  What was the issue with valves anyway?  Nothing ever seemed to be made as good as it used to be for some reason.  It almost seemed like we came across a good idea, perfected it, and then the assholes in their suits saw how quickly they could turn it into shit so it was more profitable.

            Our society really did suck when you took in the overall picture.  I mean, really, Meg Whitman in a race to be governor of California?  Did she have any concept of what it really takes to run a government?  Not that I do, but I didn’t run for office, either.  The damn woman couldn’t seem to take the time to vote, yet she figured she could be governor.  It makes me a little sick to my stomach, thinking how far we’ve sunk.

            “Wouldn’t you agree, Veronika? I asked. Hahahaha, yes I realize you cannot talk.  That is the irony of asking the question, you see?”

            Drip

            Drip

            Drip

 

            “Holy shit, that damn leak is going to be the death of me.  Now you must see the irony in that, my dear, Veronika.”

            Maybe now I should take a step back and explain about Veronika.  I realize anyone reading this will have no clue what I’m talking about, let alone what had occurred.

            I sat on the tile floor, in my bathroom, next to the tub.  The tub was filled with water, you see, and Veronika was lying inside on her back with her face directly under the faucet.  It was difficult fitting her in the tub, so I actually had to break both of her legs at the knee caps, twist them like a pretzel, and fold them back underneath her.  The tricky part was keeping her awake while this occurred.

“No time for taking a nap right now, is there, sweetie?” I said.

            I then placed a piece of plywood on top of her that I precut to fit directly over the tub.  I put several concrete foundation bricks on top of the plywood to hold everything in place.   Not that it mattered much. Veronika’s hands were tied quite firmly behind her back.

            At the top of the plywood was a nice, round hole that was just big enough for Veronika to poke her head through.  I’m not a cruel man.  Being locked up in a confined space with no way to view the outside world gives me the creeps.  We all have our limits.  Jesus, I guess I can’t say that for sure.  Do all of us really have limits?

            If boundaries were a thing that most people possessed then how the hell did that girl from Jersey Shore get a book contract?  What was her name?  Snooki?  I won’t even comment on what kind of a name “Snooki” is.  Of course, my name is Duncan Moron, what’s up with that?  Let’s just stick to the fact that this girl admittedly has read two books in her entire life.  TWO shitty books, and she was writing one.

            A Shore Thing. It hit bookstores during January supposedly.  The sad thing is it will be an instant hit.  I am sure of it.  If that is not a glaring indicator on how asinine our society is, then nothing else could come close.  Can we not look for stimulation that is more challenging, engaging, and worthwhile?  Could this girl really have anything to say that anyone really would give a shit about hearing?

            Maybe she should’ve run on the ticket with Meg Whitman. Now that would be a pair to vote for.  You’d have the bovine, middle-aged housewife who couldn’t even manage to vote and the young, airheaded socialite who probably couldn’t even spell the word vote.  Is it just me, or are we regressing as a nation?  No wonder the God damn Japanese own most of our cities.  We are too stupid and undeserving.

            “Anyway,” as they said on Friends, when my favorite character Phoebe opened her mouth and attempted to speak.  My intent was to inform you of who Veronika was.  Now I have spent most of my time describing her current precarious situation.

            Veronika attended San Mateo Community College.  Not to say that she wasn’t smart.  I’m sure there are a lot of our brightest young minds attending community colleges.  I wonder how many graduates from community colleges actually amount to anything more than clerks, or accountants, or some other mid-level workers.  Not that my collegiate career was anything to brag about.  I’m an idiot when it comes to books.

            “Jesus, you do look sad, Veronika.  It’s difficult for me to tell if you’re crying with most of your face submerged in water, but your eyes look so mournful.  Are you sorry, Veronika?  Are you now wishing you had made other choices?  Maybe not getting into the car with your boyfriend wasn’t such a good idea,” I mockingly said to her.

I had ventured over to the college one weekend for the farmer’s market that is held in the parking lot.  Some of the most succulent, freshest fruit can be purchased there.

            As I was reaching for a plump, ripe tomato, the kind of tomato that erupts with a cry for you to reach out and shove it in your mouth because it’s so fresh, I saw her.  I lost track of myself so quickly a lady next to me actually tugged on my shirt sleeve and pointed out I had crushed the vegetable in my hand as my unbridled exuberance overwhelmed me.

Drip

            Drip

            Drip

Holy shit, that noise was driving me crazy.  It probably had the same effect on Veronika, who, at that point, had been lying naked in this tub for 16 hours and 25 minutes.  She looked like on over-ripe prune, with her skin folding up in flaps and her face turning blue from the cold, sterile liquid engulfing her wrinkled body.

            Jesus, I wondered if she has relieved herself in the water, as well.

It was her happy-go-lucky cheeks that first attracted me.  Or maybe it was her smile and her way of greeting people.  She was one of those personalities that everyone brightens up around. 

            “Hey, how are you doing?  Can I try a taste of the broccoli-basil bread, please?  Oh, thank you.”

            It was the kind of talk that normally makes me sick to my stomach, but with her, it just made me smile.

            Her black hair was hanging down just past her shoulders, wavy and full, but not too overwhelming.  A cacophony of colors seemed to erupt from her eyes, almost to the point you couldn’t quite see what her dominant color was.  It seemed odd for a girl from the Philippines, I guessed.  Don’t most Filipinos have brown eyes?

            She had a bubble butt that oozed curves as her True Religion’s were tasked to the limit, attempting to keep it contained.  Women and their innate need to show off their ass.  What would most women do if they had a perfectly formed set of butt cheeks that looked half as good as mine?

WHHHHHHAAAAAMMMMMM!

I slammed my fist down on the plywood is it curved in slightly at the middle and launched a spray of water up from Veronika’s portal of light.

            “SHUT THE HELL UP WITH THE WHINING.  I AM TRYING TO THINK, YOU LITTLE BITCH!”  I screamed at her as the whimpering quickly subsided.

            It was too late, though, as took my hand, wrapping my fingers around her head and shoved it fully under the water.  The surprising thing was how strong somebody can kick, even when both of their legs are broken and knotted into a ball.  The plywood lid to her inevitable coffin bucked and jumped, but it didn’t give as she fought with all of her remaining strength for a paltry ounce of oxygen.

            The concrete blocks popped up and down like little ants when you roast them in an iron skillet over an open flame.  It’s funny how those little bugs can jump when their feet are burning from the searing heat.  I used to love to do that when I was a kid.

            We all take breathing for granted, don’t we?  Nobody cares about the pollution filling the air on a daily basis, yet once it’s denied, the inner sanctum of our souls realizes how precious this invisible sustenance really is.

            Luckily for her, I was not quite ready to say goodbye yet, so I released her and watched her nostrils flare as she sucked in the precious substance.  The grey duct tape on her mouth had started to curl on the sides as the moisture seeped in, but that didn’t really matter.  It wouldn’t need to hold much longer, her time amongst the living was quickly coming to a conclusion.

            A little smile formed on my lips as I thought of watching her die.  She was beautiful, if not a little more rounded than I normally liked.  This was the same thought I had when I saw her only a few days ago.  Nothing like being randomly picked out of a crowd, one of the hundreds of people that attended the market that day.  Talk about some bad luck.

            “Hahahahahahahaha.” 

I laughed out loud at the thought, and now I was sure I saw some tears running down her mascara-matted eyes.  It’s so funny how the black streaks form such a hideous picture when the make-up loosens its grip of vanity.  The very material that is used to beautify the painted women of our world, rebels against them at the first chance when things turn south and the waterworks begin.

            I had followed her that day.  It was too easy with the crowded market and her self-absorbed personality.  She was nice on the surface, I could tell, but that was all an act.  All women have an innate ability of deception built into their psyche.  They’re all adroit liars, and telling falsehoods is nothing more than another way to qualify the very essence of what defines who a woman is.

            Once she finished with her shopping, she strolled back to her little Honda Accord.  It was an older vehicle. But the damn things are meant to last forever, so who can really tell the year.  I sometimes think the imbecilic Japanese culture doesn’t really comprehend the true nature of a capitalistic environment.

            Building cars to last too long does nothing more than enable people to keep them that much longer.  Without people buying cars, jobs are lost, and when people lose jobs, they can’t afford to pay their bills.  In a way the homeless problem, the infectious plague of America, is caused by the Asian efficiency and higher standards of quality.

            I say give me the American-made crap, and let it fall apart.  To hell with the Japanese.  Then again, I drive a Volvo SUV, so what do I know?  And that doesn’t account for the Nissans I’ve owned in the past.  I really should buy a Honda and say to hell with it.  It’s built in America, anyway.  I don’t think anyone even knows what American-made means, or if it even has a true definition.

            Veronika, though I wouldn’t find out her name until later, cautiously pulled out of the parking lot, and I fell into place directly behind her.  She jumped on the 92 and headed to the El Camino exit.  I wondered for a minute if we were neighbors, but she continued on and ended up in Millbrae at a generic set of apartment buildings right off of Millbrae Avenue.

            I parked on the street as she entered through her gate, wrote down her license plate number, and headed home.  Before I left, I saw her park in the open lot versus heading into the garage, and a middle-aged man walked over to the door and helped her with the bags.

            He didn’t kiss her hello or even give her a warm smile, but it appeared that he was her partner of some nature.  It was probably sheer panic of loneliness that drove these two together.  Women, the older they get, the more like they are to settle for the best guy available instead of somebody they actually love.  Pathetic.

            Maybe the drive to procreate kicks in so hard they lose track of what love really means. They care about nothing more than dropping onto the next guy that gives them the time of day.  Show me a women who is in her late 20s and single, and I will guarantee you’ll find her desperate and afraid of dying alone.

            At the God damn age of 25 or 26 I think it starts kicking in.

            Over the next few days I sat outside that apartment building, watching, waiting patiently, trying to figure out who this girl was.  I followed her to yoga and to her spin class.  Figured out she was some kind of office employee for a company in South San Francisco, and she loved dining out for dinner.

            Her and her “boyfriend” would go out almost every night.  My guess is they weren’t saving much for the future.  They didn’t drive nice cars, but from the amount of money they spent at restaurants, they couldn’t possibly have much in the bank.

            Drip

            Drip

            Drip

            CRACKKKKKK

            I smacked the top of the plywood with my hand and then began to laugh.

            “I just wanted to see if you were still awake ,Veronika.  Hello?  Veronika?”

            I reached down a ripped off the tape from her protruding, plump limbs in one quick, sweeping motion.  I wondered if this could be some kind of service for the rich in lieu of collagen treatments.  Being stuck in a tub of water for almost 24 hours really puffs you up.  It almost appeared as if I had done this kind of thing before.

            “Hahahahahahaha,” I laughed out loud again. “Damn, I know it isn’t normal to laugh at your own jokes, but I sure as hell am a pretty funny dude.  Don’t you agree?”

            “Please, please let me go,” Veronika said in a cracked, unused voice.

            I smacked my hand down through the opening, connecting with her nose and mouth.  The blow followed through, pushing her head with such force that the sound reverberated off the walls when her skull hit the porcelain bottom of the tub.

            “SHUT THE HELL UP, YOU SLUT,” I screamed. “I will tell you when you can talk.  If you say one more word, I swear to God I will kill you now.”

            For a second, I was worried that my blow had been a little too resourceful.  Veronika’s eyes rolled around in their sockets as if they had a mind of their own, and blood began oozing out of her nostrils from the force of my punch.  Just as I began to say the words “oh shit” in my mind, I saw the recognition resurface in her facial features, and she came back around.

            “I just need you to be quiet for a few minutes, please,” I said respectfully.  “Can you do that?”

            Veronika nodded her head up and down.  At least, she bobbed it the best she was able to in her confined space.

            Women, damn maybe even men, are nothing more than carnival animals if you think about it.  Veronika had been with me for less than 24 hours, and she was already subservient to her master’s will.  I wonder, if I attempted to train a female with treats and electrical shock for negative feedback, how long it would take me to dominate a subject’s will.

            As luck would have it, and yes if you are patient enough luck will always find a way, one night the two lovebirds must’ve gotten into an argument.  It was probably about something stupid, I’m sure.  Maybe he was doing laundry and lost one too many of her socks in the dryer, or maybe he’d been working too late on his computer when he should have been holding her hand.

            I didn’t know, but I saw her storm out of the Chinese restaurant I had followed them to with him chasing after her.  He was pleading with her to get in the car, but it was apparent she was walking home, and he was on his own.  Women, does logic elude all of them or is it just the stupidity of man that drives them to insanity?

            She was wearing another pair of tight-fitting jeans, a white tank top T-shirt, and over that a form-fitting, thin blue sweater.  I swear to God, even from over a block away, I thought I could see her nipples fighting for their freedom to escape the confines of her clothing.  It wasn’t even cold outside, which made me wonder just how large they must be.

            Finally, he gave up and headed to the car.  You could hear him jam it into gear and the tires squealing as he launched the vehicle from the parking lot and drove away.  Now, she was truly on her own.

            She was only a couple of miles away from her apartment, but now with him gone, she didn’t seem to be in any hurry to make her way home.  She was crying, wiping her hands across her face and cheeks, and it almost broke my heart to see her so sad.  How could a girl so beautiful find herself in a situation that was so disturbingly miserable?

            I pulled up ahead of her a few blocks and parked the car, waiting.  I wasn’t sure what I was waiting for actually. I just watched her, observing her as she reflected on her life, crying.  She seemed too sad, and it took me a few minutes to realize I was crying, as well.  I wiped my eyes with the back of my hand and felt my stomach turning as I wept for this girl I didn’t really even know.

            “Please, don’t hurt………….”

            CRACKKKKKK

            I slammed my hand down on the plywood again.

            “I promise you this – if you interrupt me one more time, I will cut out your tongue and shove it down your throat, laughing at you while you choke if you do not shut the fuck up.  Do you understand me?”

            Veronika nodded her head again.  Good little monkey, I thought to myself.

            Drip

            Drip

            Drip

            Oh my God, that incessant drip. It was driving me insane.  My hands were shaking, and I couldn’t control them.  I felt that familiar yearning inside my loins, but I knew full well it was a false crescendo.  I was a failure as a man.  I lacked the ability to function anymore.

            “What the hell is happening to me?” I asked, but there was no response.  I would make them pay.  I now had my goal.  I knew what I had to do.

            It had gotten too difficult to watch her as she sat down on a bench less than a block from where I was parked. She was still crying with her face buried in her hands.  It was past dusk at that point, and the black of night had begun its inevitable envelopment of our daily lives.

            I had already exited my car, wearing my black pants and my black pull-over, long sleeve T-shirt.  I put my black leather gloves on slowly as I approached her from behind.

            What possesses a woman to sit down on a dilapidated park bench with its back to an alleyway in the middle of the night? It was a questionable-to-bad neighborhood for Christ’s sake.  It was not my intention to introduce myself that evening, but the opportunity had been more than I could pass up.

            Nobody was around, and no cars were coming down that little side street.  Veronika was so distracted, she had no idea where she was or what was happening.  What a distinct reflection of life.  Just when you think you have everything figured out, some nut in a black outfit drugs you, pulls you to his car, and tortures you for hours on end.

             I gently reached around her black, silky hair, placing the drug-infused white cloth over her face. By now I had perfected my dosage.  It was just enough to put them under, but not enough to cause them to go catatonic.  If a human’s limbs are too loose, they become much more difficult to carry.

            I sat down next to her on the bench as her head dropped on my shoulder.  My arm was wrapped around her with my hand keeping her propped up next to me.  Anyone who saw us would think we were two lovers enjoying the evening, basking in our budding romance that would eventually lead us to marital bliss.

            I picked her up and carried her to the car. It was only a block away.  I had left it unlocked and gently placed her in the passenger seat.  I carefully fastened her seatbelt, latching her into place, protecting her from any possible harm.

            The drive home was easy, and I pulled into the garage. I stared at her lustrous black hair, wishing I could have her. But I knew my body was now betraying me.  She was so beautiful.  Her skin was a silky brown tan that erupted into a smooth, blemish-free creamy complexion.

            I hoisted her out of the passenger seat and took her to my bedroom.  I knew I shouldn’t have brought her home, but I couldn’t stand the thought of not lying with her.

            I undressed her slowly, removing her sweater and then her T-shirt.  I took care to fold the cloths and put them on the dresser as each layer flittered away, revealing her to be more exquisite that I could have hoped.

            Once she was finally naked, I lay down next to her, my head cradled between her breasts as I imagined what it would be like to be happy.  What would a world be like where she and I lived in harmony? What would it be like for her to hold my hand as we entered a movie theater, bought popcorn and laughed about some joke I heard at work.

            When I looked into her eyes, I saw she was beginning to stir, and then the atrocity hit me like a wrecking ball.  There was a huge, brown mole underneath her chin with two long, black hairs protruding out like antennae, grasping for radio waves.  I almost threw up.

            That had led me…….

            Drip

            Drip

            Drip

 

            “VERONIKA, THE NOISE, YOU HAVE GOT TO MAKE THE NOISE STOP.  JESUS, MAKE IT STOP.  MOVE YOUR HEAD OR……..”

            CRACK 

            The room almost erupted as I brought my hand down on the plywood, and I felt a sharp pain shoot up my arm and into my shoulder.

            “Shit!” I screamed. I shook my hand back and forth, trying to get feeling back inside. I jumped up, hitting the plywood as I did so, shifting it at an angle.  I saw one corner teeter as it moved from its perch, precariously dangling over the edge.

            Suddenly, one of the concrete blocks began to slide, and I watched in horror as it gained speed, heading directly for Veronika’s head.  The result was immediate as the corner connected with her forehead, driving a deep gash across her otherwise perfect skin.

            All I had wanted to do was clean her up. I wanted to wash the mole off her flesh and cut those disgusting hairs.  I had just wanted her to be perfect.  What is wrong with perfection?  By definition, it cannot be wrong. It is perfect.

            Now, the water started to turn red.  Her head was completely submerged.  She wasn’t fighting anymore – she wasn’t really even moving.  The rippling of the water had an eerie feeling as if she were translucent in an almost ghostly sort of way.  I wondered if this meant she would remain here, in my bathroom, as a spirit somehow with her perfectly rounded breasts and that oddly attractive bulging butt.

            I sometimes feel guilty when a murder occurs, but this seemed more like a tragic accident than a preplanned, thought-out criminal act.  I hadn’t meant for her to die, at least not in this way.  I wasn’t done yet.  I wasn’t finished with her.  I still needed her that night.  I needed to be held.  I needed to be told everything would be okay.  I needed her, and she left me.

            I let the water drain from the tub, washing the blood away as I bandaged over the wound in her head.  After I dried her off, I carried her back to my bed and placed her under the covers.  I had just recently changed the sheets, and they had that just-washed, wind-blowing-in-the-fields smell.  It was so refreshing.

            I propped her head up on a pillow and went to the kitchen to get a glass of ice water.  I can’t sleep comfortably without a glass of water next to my bed at night.  Even if I am not thirsty, just the comfort of knowing it is there somehow helps me rest.

            I stripped off my clothes except for my underwear.  I have to sleep in my underwear at night.  Something about being completely naked makes me feel a little creepy.

            Veronika lay next to me. She was naked, of course.  It is different for a woman versus a man.  A woman’s body is meant to be shown off.  Almost in any form, the body of a woman is so much more attractive than a man.  Granted it might not always age as well – at least that’s what I hear women say. But women are just so beautiful.

            I curled up next to her as I wrapped her arm around my shoulder.  I wished she could rub my head.  I closed my eyes and imagined her stroking my hair, twisting strands between her fingers as she told me about her day.

            “Really, that sounds nice.  Are you kidding me?  No way, that didn’t really happen did it?”

            I seemed to be answering out loud before I realized what was happening. I knew that wasn’t a good sign.

            The last thing I remember was playing with her belly button,  running my finger across it and listening to her laugh.  Wait, she wasn’t really laughing, but it seemed like she would’ve been laughing if she could have. Her smile was so beautiful with those cheeks, perfectly rounded, like a tomato, just waiting to be squeezed, then popped into your mouth and eaten.

Draculas

Draculas is the much hyped novel by Blake Crouch, Jack Kilborn, Jeff Strand and F. Paul Wilson.  The four of them collaborated on the novel and incorporated all of their input so it truly does flow fluidly.  It actually flows about as smoothly as a nice stream of blood from a cut artery, which there is ample amount of.  Blood that is, as well as severed arteries I guess.  There is more blood flowing in this novel than all of the Quentin Tarantino movies combined.  I think more people might have died in this book than all the other books I have ever read combined.

This is not your every day vampire book.  These creatures have one goal in mind, to kill as many people as possible, suck them dry and then head off to the next guy and do the same.  They will kill off their own, rip children’s heads off and drink them like a soda pop, and never bat an eye.  If that isn’t enough, and they lose track of time, finding themselves more hungry than they can stand, they will chew off their own innards and suck the blood from themselves.  It is just a non-stop bloodbath.  Trust me when I say you have not read a book this bloody in a long time, if ever.

Mortimer is an old guy, very old, and he is very very rich.  He has been diagnosed with cancer, is a few weeks away from the end and he gets a special package in the mail.  The package happens to be the skull of an ancient beast, recently excavated, that might have a human quality to it, save the hundreds of jagged hollow teeth that fill the monstrosity of a mouth.  After taking a few glances at it, the old guy implants the teeth from the thing into his throat and then starts convulsing.

The nurse and his geologist aid rush him to the local hospital where all hell breaks loose, and I do mean all hell.  Within minutes the old dude begins to change and all of a sudden his mouth transforms and his teeth eat right through his own jaws.  His hands turn to alien appendages and he suddenly has a craving for blood that cannot be quenched.  I do mean it cannot be quenched.  He jumps on everyone he sees and commences to tear at their skin while sucking as much blood as he can.  Those that do not die turn into the same form of monster that he has became, and they do the same.

And so on and so on and so on.  You get the picture right.  It doesn’t take long before there are more Draculas roaming the halls than there are people.  They are everywhere, and all they care about is sucking blood, any blood, even their own if they have to.  One of my favorites is the five year old girl who refers to the blood as red candy and can’t figure out why all the mean adults won’t give it up to her nicely.  Damn, she is used to getting what she wants.  Why all of a sudden is everyone being so stingy?

I don’t know if I am giving too much away, since the book reminds me of so many recent horror movies.  I don’t think there is a huge plot to hide.  There isn’t much depth here.  It is all about killing, blood, gore and death.  Every page, every paragraph and every sentence is about somebody dying or being killed.  So if you like horror books, with a lot of descriptive gore, then you will have died and gone to heaven or hell so to speak.  The book is very well done, filled with action to overflowing and keeps you extremely entertained.

I would give it a very solid four stars out of five.  I can’t go much higher because I do tend to like something more in my reading than just blood, but then again, I can go this high because the book was pretty damn awesome.  If you can’t handle violence and I do mean over the top violence, then stay away from this read.  If you love a gory blood soaked evening then tear at this one and enjoy.  You will be a little stressed out, but you should be satiated upon completion, at least for the time being, until the hunger kicks in again.

The Passage

The Passage by Justin Cronin, was recommended to me by my favorite book store on Burlingame Ave.  They know I have a dark side and suggested this book as being right up my line.  Overall I enjoyed the book, but I was surprised by the editing issues, missing words and mixed up sentences.  Mostly in the beginning, but I would have thought a book as promoted as this one would have been more polished.  OK, everyone can stop laughing now.  I realize this might be funny coming from me, but it was a little annoying.

The Passage is broken up into two distinct parts.  You walk through the first three hundred pages in today’s current environment.  The military funded scientists are doing their dastardly deeds and setting us all up for something, we just can’t quite figure out what.  Wolgast, an aging FBI agent is the primary focus as he rolls through the country picking up 12 distinct prisoners.  These twelve have been chosen because they are on death row, have nothing left to live for and are ripe for some experimental fun.  I have one question to all of the mad scientists in the world; why in the hell do you always pick prisoners to experiment on.  They are bad people, that is why they are in prison.

In addition to the twelve, a small six year old girl is chosen.  Now it is one thing to mess with death row inmates but when you bring in a small child, and a girl for that matter, you are pulling the shoe strings that hold the tear ducts closed for most of America.  So they inject this group of subjects with some radical virus and, wait for it, they transform into some freaky gruesome creatures, except for the small girl.  We don’t really know what she turns into.  And get this, Cronin, in some sick twisted turn of fate, chooses to use child molesters as his janitors in the storyline.  This guy might have a mind more twisted than even mine.

So I really don’t want to give anything away, and I am pretty sure this next part is pretty well know.  The world implodes and the creatures commence killing off all mankind.  Interestingly enough, they kill off only 9 out of 10 people.  Each tenth person gets to join the gang and become one of them.  They don’t have a choice, they just get turned.  It is an interesting twist on vampires as a genre and I for one think it is much more entertaining than anything remotely related to twilight.  Monsters are monsters, let them kill people and stop kissing for God’s sake.

The last 500 pages or so concentrate on the world after the apocalyptic destruction.  We jump to an outpost of a few humans who have walled themselves into a compound and have created their own little existence.  I had some issues with the volume in this area.  In one chapter, when the lights were getting ready to go out, we read what was happening from 5 different perspectives.  It got mundane and was difficult to muddle through.  I think Cronin lost some momentum by inundating us with some needless information.  Just my two cents, but I think the book would have been better served being edited down.

Peter is the main character in our post destruction phase and you really bond with this young man as he struggles with settlement politics, fights with the normal manly desires all while keeping watch against the virils.  The virils are constantly probing the perimeter waiting for any chance to chow down on some tasty human flesh.  I will say this about Cronin; he has no problem with killing off people in his novels.  I believe I can say this without giving too much away, nobody is safe; anyone can die at any point in time.

I really did enjoy this book.  It is very dark, deeply disturbing at times and a wonderfully written.  With some editing and purging it could have been perfectly magnificent but as it stands I would give it a solid 4 stars.  Anyone who enjoys a decent horror novel and vampires as they should be written, this is a must read.  I can’t wait to read his next book in this series.  He left things pretty wide open for more books than Harry Potter has movies.  He could just keep going and going with this story and I for one hope he does.

Adriana Lima, Another Saturday Morning.

As I wake up at 4 AM not able to sleep on yet another Saturday morning I really begin to question my sanity.  It is just too early to be up.  Isn’t this the day we should all be sleeping in.  I then perused through some past posts on JournalStone and realized I have never written anything on Adriana Lima.  Now it could be that I am just too tired to actually find it, but if it is true, and I think it is, the travesty shall never be lived down.  This is Adriana Lima we are talking about.  How could anyone in their right mind write blog posts on models for over a year, and leave her out.

So I have decided to turn the ship around and settle the score.  My slate is clean and I feel healthy again.  There is nothing like taking the time to refresh your image.  Just ask Budweiser.  According to USAToday the beverage manufacturer has decided to make a huge push at upgrading their image.  The latest effort?  Give people free beer.  Now I am not a Budweiser fan, but if I were sitting in a bar and somebody offered me a free beer I would take them up on it.  Unless there were strings attached of course.

I like a free beer as much as the next guy but if a dude is buying me a free beer I might ask what the motive was.  Not that there is anything wrong with that mind you.  Damn, I do love Seinfeld.  Anyway, if Eddie Long offered to buy me a beer and then head back to his hotel room for a massage I would politely decline.  What is it with pastors and why do so many of them get charged with sexual misconduct.  Are all men pigs but some of us hide behind the cloak and dagger routine.

While I am on the subject, what kind of name is Eddie Long for a pastor to begin with?  Please, is it only me that sees the irony in this.  The dude has a name like Eddie Long, he gets in trouble for taking a few young men up to his room, allegedly of course, and he has nothing to do with the porn industry?  I say if you hire a pastor with the name Eddie Long you shouldn’t wonder why you ended up with the short end of the stick when the crap hits the fan.  You should have seen the poke coming facebook fans.  Stop hiding your head in the sand.

Unless the sand is on the beach and Adriana Lima happens to be doing a Victoria’s Secret shoot.  Then you can play in the sand all day long, no worries there.

Sometimes I feel like a nut and sometimes I really wish I could still be sleeping at 5 AM on a Saturday morning.  What in the hell is wrong with me anyway.  On the other hand, not literally of course, if you are going to be awake on a Saturday morning at this early hour, there are far worse ways to enter the day than taking a quick peek at Adriana.  Good Morning Vietnam.  Wait a minute, maybe I am having a flashback.

9 years

I was in 3rd grade when I woke up at 6 AM to my parents crying on the phone. Nine years ago, a devastating and tragic event had come upon our country. I walked into the living room watching my mom talking frantically in Spanish to her side of the family in Chile and then found my dad on the couch, crying. 

It was the first time I had seen my father cry as much as he did.  I couldn’t quite comprehend what was happening at the time, all I did know was that American Airlines flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 had been flown into the World Trade Center. At around 8:15 AM my mother decided to drive me to school.

When I walked into my 3rd grade class room I had watched parents with blood shot eyes, and confused looks on my classmates faces, with so many questions filled in their eyes…it was an innocent curiosity. It was the one that wanted to know, however our parents wanted to protect us from the news.

We were young… We wouldn’t be able to understand what had happened anyway. After a long day at school, my mom had picked me up and drove me home. By the time I was home, I walked into the living room and had noticed my dad had still been glued to the T.V…My father has been working for American Airlines for over 28 years as an aircraft engineer and so now you can picture why 9/11 had affected my family and our lives so much. The lives of the Crew, that had been near and dear to my family, had been lost.  

A few hours after I got home, I found out 2 other planes had been destroyed. One had flown into the Pentagon and another had hit some land, in Pennsylvania.  Still not really understanding the situation, I knew it was going to change everything from that moment on. As of right now, being a senior in high school, I have seen how 9/11 has impacted citizens, as a nation, People as a family and every one as a person.

As time passed, now the history, the story of September 11th is now not only in the memories of all of us, however it is now, in our History text books, the re-runs of the news as the event had struck is now on You Tube and people have written books and movies about what happened, what could have happened, and what precautions could have been taken in action to have avoided this horrible day that is known as September 11th. 

American citizens and people of the world will never forget the depressing and heart wrenching images that follow us in our memories and in our hearts as September 11th re-appears every year, however it’s a day that helps us remember that yes we are a nation however we are a Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

R.I.P TO THE 2,977 PEOPLE WHO HAD LOST THEIR LIVES IN NEW YORK, ARLINGTON AND SHANKSVILLE.

R.I.P TO THE FLIGHT CREWS OF AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHTS 11 AND 77.

R.I.P TO THE FLIGHT CREWS OF UNITED AIRLINES FLIGHTS 175 AND 93

R.I.P CHARLES BURLINGAME (Captain of American Airlines flight 77.)

Middle Men

I don’t get it.  The movie was on the long side and I found it difficult to stay awake during the latter half.  Luke Wilson, who I absolutely love, was in my opinion badly miscast.  He in any form would have a difficult time convincing me as a character that could stand up to the mob, of any sort or size.  Setting that flaw aside, the movie meandered along through most of the scenes in a monotone soliloquy, narrated by our miscast actor, who plays the main character.  Other than flashing a few breasts now and then, there was really little suspense, drama, or enticement.  I will say that the story was intriguing and if it had been better cast and directed, it might have drawn me into the movie a little better.

Luke Wilson plays Jack Harris, an all around fix it man.  If you have a problem with your business, you call Jack and he will fix it for you.  Giovanni Ribisi and Gabriel Macht are two guys that own a business, and they are doing a fantastic job of screwing it up.  You see the internet is just getting off of the ground and nobody has any idea how to capitalize from it.  These two brilliant idiots figure out how to charge credit cards online for viewers who want to watch a little porn.  Not a bad business plan as we know all too well today.

There first problem is how to get the porn.  So they enlist the Russian mob to help them out.  The Russian mob happens to own a strip club and they are all about broadcasting nudity over the web, as long as they get a very large cut of the funds.  Our two heroes start out well, but they get a little to intrigued stuffing drugs up their noses and the next thing they know, the mob is threatening to kill them.  Are you following along?  Somehow a very very very old looking James Caan hooks them up with Luke Wilson and he rides in to save their asses.

Unfortunately Luke pisses off James Caan by cutting him out of the deal, accidently pisses off the Russian mafia by snuffing a guy out, and generally has his hands full with the two idiots who started the business to begin with.  Throw in the fact that he is made of flesh and blood and gets a little too caught up in the smoking hot women side of things, and you have a melting pot that is ready to explode, it is just a matter of time.

The story is intriguing and it has more naked breasts than any movie I can think of in a long time (not that this is my barometer for a good movie), but it was just too much on the slow and boring side.  It seems I might be in the minority but when I looked around the theater, very few people were sitting up in their seats.  Most of them were fighting to keep their eyes open.

I would give it a mediocre rating, three stars at best.  If you wait to watch it on DVD you would be better served than seeing this one in the theater.  Just don’t drink too much wine before viewing it; you might wake up to see the credits rolling by having slept through the main feature.

The Other Guys

I have not laughed this hard since “The Hangover”.  This has to be the best comedy I have seen this summer, hands down.  I only wish I could think of a TLC lyric to bring it all home.  Does anyone remember “Waterfalls”?  From the wooden gun to the non-stop one liners, I was rolling in the floor.  Will Ferrell has not been this good since “Old School” and Mark Wahlberg was ever bit his comedic equal in this fantastic film.  From Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson all the way to Michael Keaton, everyone was amazing.  Whoever did the casting for this movie took a second seat to only one person, the writers.  The script was drop dead hilarious.

Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg play two down and out cops?  Mr. Ferrell seems to be stuck in his rut by his own choice and since I don’t want to give anything away, let’s just say that Mark Wahlberg made a colossal mistake to have found his way down to the lower levels of hell.  Luckily the two of them are partners.  Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson are the heroes of New York City but do to some unforeseen circumstances, they quickly relinquish their title.  Wanting to seize the opportunity of the new opening for a hero, our two bumbling cops attempt to solve a very big case. 

Apparently some guy has been constructing some buildings without getting a scaffolding permit.  Are you kidding me?  The two losers meander down to arrest him and fall into a very large case of fraud and an attempted robbery, of a very large nature.  I am trying very hard not to give away any of the punch lines in this film but admittedly it is difficult to write this review without doing so, since I was laughing the entire movie.  From driving the Prius into a bucket full of cocaine, all the way to being disgusted about the four homeless guys using it as a sex toy, I was laughing continually. 

Have I said yet it was too damn funny, and this is coming from the guy who only a few months ago said Will Ferrell was washed up.  Talk about eating your words.  Even Eva Mendes was fabulous as the homely housewife of Will Ferrell that Mark Wahlberg couldn’t seem to stop ogling. 

With some movies you see all the laughs crammed into the two minute commercial and when you see the full length feature there is nothing left.  With this movie the commercial is only the tip of the iceberg.  The explosion scene was funny but trust me, if you liked the commercials, you will flat out love the movie.  Everyone in the theater was holding their stomachs from beginning to end. 

This is a must see movie.  It was absolutely incredible.

Knight and Day

I am reading the reviews of this movie wondering if I saw the same film.  Granted, it is pretty funny.  At times I am not sure it was intending to be funny, which doesn’t necessarily bode well for the film, but it was humorous none the less.  As an omen, when I walked into the theater to see this film, five minutes before the start time, there was not a single person sitting in the seats.  Nobody.  That doesn’t necessarily bode well for the film either.  Can we say strike two?  I did like the direction the movie was attempting to go though.  Veering away from the Mission Impossible genre just enough while still including enough action sequences to remind us that it was a Tom Cruise film.

I think at times the movie struggled with an identity.  I am not sure the writers/directors had made their decision on what kind of experience to portray, and that left me feeling like it was lacking direction.  I will say that Cameron Diaz and even in a couple of sequences, Tom Cruise, had me rolling on the floor laughing.  The broken drugged dream sequences were pretty imaginative as well, although the ending seemed a little farfetched.  I guess that goes hand in hand with the motorcycle scenes which are now becoming a signature of the spy series.  They are just flat out ridiculously laughable.

Anyway, Tom Cruise is our every day spy, who yet again is battling the bad guys.  This time it appears that the bad guys are really the good guys and somebody in our government is trying to betray our local hero.  He manages to bump into Cameron Diaz on a plane ride home and her life never does get back to reality.  I have heard people compare this to “Mr. and Mrs. Smith which I think is pretty farfetched.  Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise in no way can compare to Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt on any level at this point in their careers.  I did say at this point in their careers people.

So Tom has a really juicy battery, and the guy that invented it, and he is trying to protect both from pretty much everyone on the planet.  I wish I could say there was more to the plot, but that is really about it.  The rest of the movie jumps from one location to the next with Tom and Cameron fighting and killing a whole lot of people.  I am sure I will get roasted for this review, but when Tom Cruise stops mid scene, during the heat of a gun battle to give Cameron a loving kiss hello, mostly to shut her up mind you, he somehow manages to avoid a few hundred bullets without even trying.  That really sums up the entire movie.

So if you are interested in a mindless movie that absolutely will make you laugh and some impossible to believe farfetched action sequences, then this is your movie.  I would highly suggest having a six pack of beers before flipping on the go switch though.  Everything looks a little better with a six pack and that might be just what this movie needs.  I wonder if theaters will at some point in time start passing out tequila shots with the 3D glasses.  Just think how much money they could save.  People would be seeing all kinds of affects, and the cost of the films would be drastically reduced.

Average film, but not a complete waste of time if you have already seen most of the other movies playing.

Go ahead, I can take it.  Start telling me how insane I am.

The Cutting Edge

“The Cutting Edge” is the latest endeavor by Darcia Helle in her vast array of growing novels offered up for her avid fans consumption.  I must admit that this is the first of her books which I have read, and for the most part found myself wonderfully entertained.  With the focus of “The Cutting Edge” centering on a serial killer and a common hairdresser’s obsession with blood, the content falls in line with my book, Duncan’s Diary.  Maybe all of us crazy people flock to the same party, who knows. 

I have to admit I did find it hard to emotionally relate to the characters though.  Darcia’s writing style, at least in this novel, reminded me of a newspaper article stating the details without giving me the connection I needed to find myself lost in her words.  I kept thinking of the old version of “Dragnet” where the main line “Just the facts” rings true over and over again.  I think she would be better served tying her readers to the storyline by caging us in, much in the same way her crazy characters fantasize about death.  That being said, she is obviously very talented and the book kept me engaged throughout the roller coaster ride of insanity.

Skye Summers is a common hairstylist, working in a local salon in a small town.  She knows most of her clientele, and can’t even escape to the park without running into people she has some form of connection with through her occupation.  She is married to a hunk of a man, who spends an ample amount of time pleasing her, and deals with the ups and downs of a child he had before they became a couple.  I can relate to the insanity of ex-wives and had no problems understanding the issues they bring to the table.

All of the stress begins to wear on Skye and she finds herself fantasizing about chopping up her customers as she is cutting their hair.  Lopping off an ear lobe, or slicing and dicing their skulls, all while she is meticulously coloring some poor middle aged woman’s flowing mop.  The ins and outs of the customers gives us an intriguing view of how crazy it is for a hairdresser to keep all of the multiple personalities straight.  I have no idea if Darcia Helle was a stylist in a previous life, but she easily paints a realistic picture of what the life might actually be like.

As Skye falls deeper into her fantasy of murder, the reality of death opens up as a real life serial killer begins stalking their small community.  Instead of finding herself appalled, Skye on some level commiserates with the murderer as she also harbors feelings of butchering many of the women she deals with every single day.  When fantasy and reality come together Skye finds herself confronted with her imagination, and the real life serial killer hits home in her personal life in ways she never imagined.  The real question is how Skye will react when given the opportunity to live out her wildest dreams.

I don’t want to give away too much of the books climactic ending, but I again have to emphasize how much I enjoyed the parallel of fiction versus fantasy.  We all have dark thoughts but when it comes down to the final minute, how many of us are really capable of living out the insanity that flitters through our minds.  Most of us will never know the answer to that question, but for better or worse, Skye will have to make her choice.

Learning to Cry is Published

Learning to Cry is now available at Barnes & Noble.  It should be showing up on Amazon any day now.  JournalStone’s first published book as we delve ever further into the literary industry.  Awesome.  Take a look.  Who knows, you might even want to buy a copy.  Currently only in paperback but the hard cover is coming out very soon.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/e/9780982811900/?itm=1&USRI=learning+to+cry

The bond between a father and daughter is strong enough to weather the most violent storms, but it can also bring savage heartache. From the moment Melissa enters this world in a flurry of chaos and happiness, she holds and manipulates her father’s love.  There is no way to predict the roller-coaster ride they face.

Almost overnight, Melissa’s father loses his sweet, little girl. Left in her place is an erratic, unstable, deeply unhappy teenager who is hell-bent on obliterating boundaries and pushing her father, as well as her mother and sisters, to the breaking point. Caught in the middle of her parents’ divorce, she doesn’t hide her disdain for the rules. But she goes to great lengths to keep her father ignorant of just how far into trouble she falls or how she’s trapped by three “friends” from whom there is no escape.

Overwhelmed by the stress his crumbling marriage causes, Melissa’s father struggles to keep his own life together while trying to save his daughter from the point of no return. He finds himself, alone, bound by his own four walls, drowning in loneliness and tears. Melissa’s father, it seems, will have to lose it all to bring her back from the brink.  

One person dies or is injured in an alcohol-related accident on an American road every minute. Thousands of teenagers die every year because they either drive drunk or they get in the car with someone who’s had too many. It’s a mistake that changes lives forever.

Wild-child Melissa is a teenager who experiments with drugs and alcohol to dangerous degrees. She lives for the next party, the next opportunity to sneak out of the house, the next chance to get high in a friends’ room after their parents go to bed. But, that all changes the night she gets into a car after those three margaritas.

Gone are the wild parties, gone are the nights spent with friends, gone are her years of rebellion. That life is cut short, leaving her father, who stoically watched her downward spiral, to learn how to cry. 

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