The Hammer Horror Gambit, Version One
Daisy hunched her shoulders and looked steadily ahead, doing her best to ignore the louts catcalling as she passed by.
She already regretted not taking a more menacing form before starting for home. Maybe a large, not particularly attractive but muscular man. It was late on a Friday night, and the unfortunate combination of alcohol and testosterone was having its expected result.
She checked her six in the side mirror of a parked car and cursed silently. The trio of thugs had peeled themselves away from the wall they'd been holding up. They followed her down the street, making kissing noises and obscene gestures, uttering increasingly rude invitations.
Daisy huddled around the drink before her, secure in the form of an overweight man in an ill-fitting suit, red-faced, with a patina of sweat showing through his comb-over. It wasn't a comfortable shape by any means. All that extra mass made moving so difficult: not just the extra weight, but the bulging flesh that got in your way when you tried to bend or twist. She couldn't understand how anyone could let himself get that way.
Which wasn't fair, of course. Most people didn't her complete mastery of her form. She understood that, but even so....
Excerpt from Iron Maiden's WordPress blog:
I suppose you've all seen the video by now. It was all over the local news and I don't doubt that it's on You Tube by now.
Hardly a night had gone by since Leah had discovered that she could fly that she hadn't flown. She could hardly believe her good fortune. She'd gained a power she'd dreamed of all her life. There were other gifts as well--strength and invulnerability. Gifts which were arguably more practical, but they paled in comparison to flight.
“I don’t have time for this crap!” Leah said. “I have a date!” She drove her fingers into the metallic forehead of another of Doctor Otaku’s robot minions and wrenched the robot’s head from its neck.
“I have you now, Iron Maiden!”
Leah Wright—known to the world as the superheroine Iron Maiden—paused in mid-scuffle to gape. “What?” Doctor Otaku’s robots continued to try to overwhelm her with numbers. Doctor Otaku himself thrust a glowing green crystal toward Leah with a triumphant grin. A hand grabbed at Leah; she casually knocked it away. “What are you talking about?”
I received the cover art for my yet-to-be-published story "Flying High." I got several full images of the cover in varying sizes, as well as a banner, a half-banner and a couple of other things, to use for promotional purposes. I've added the banner to my signature block on my blog--as you can see below, if all went according to plan.
You may notice that the author's name doesn't match mine. Yeah, well--that's my Nom du Erotica. I'm not trying to maintain a firewall between that name and my real identity, but there you go.
They'd danced until the thunderstorm moved on. The curtain of rain was receding to the west, flickering and grumbling in the distance. Now they stood on the damp concrete ledge with the humidity rising as the rain began to evaporate. The city smelled of rain and ozone and gleamed like new.
"It looks beautiful from up here," Leah said.
"You can't see the warts from this height," Raven replied. "But trust me, they're there."
Leah thought about her own childhood experiences with violence and crime. She glanced at the woman. "I know," Leah said. Raven looked at her sidelong, then nodded without asking more. Leah's stomach growled again.
Raven had stepped back and raised an eyebrow. "Someone's hungry," she said.
Leah's last scheduled event at HudCon this evening was a reading of her most recent short story, Bad Touch. It ran from 8 to 9 pm. Afterward, she spent a few minutes signing copies of her novels and answering questions from a few of the folk who'd attended the reading. By the time she'd shaken off the most persistent, she was more than ready to leave the hotel.
Kate was at her desk going through correspondence when her phone rang. When Kate glanced at it, annoyed by the interruption, she saw that it was Sarah calling. Her secretary had been with her for several years now; she was invaluable and Kate had come to rely on her extensively. Sarah knew she needed some uninterrupted time to work so if she was calling it was for a good reason.
Kate picked up the handset. "Yes, Sarah?"
"Detectives O'Neill and Jackson are here to see you," Sarah said. "They have the file you asked for."
Kate walked onto the course and took her assigned starting position on the shooting range. She stood several yards away from six silhouette targets, three side by side directly in front of her, three others to the left and lined up at an angle. A steel drum stood upright on the ground a few yards behind her. Her pulse quickened in anticipation and she shook out her hands a bit.