Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Clockwork Planet Saga

Posted: August 24, 2011 by Chris Camey in Uncategorized

So, I am well aware that I have not been posting as frequently as I should be, so lets clear up a few things. First: Yes I am indeed alive. Second: I have a new story in the works. Since it’s still in the literary fetus phase, all I can give you is the title/setting.

It’s set in a Steampunk world and will be an attempt to bring back the swashbuckling adventure novel. The title of this work in progress is “The Clockwork Planet Saga”.. More info to come.

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Grand Slam

Posted: July 22, 2011 by joemu362 in Uncategorized

For Chuck Wendig’s flash fiction contest.

—–

Through the window, it looks like the world’s on fire.
It’s just me and Jimmy at Murphy’s Bleachers that morning – 4am, actually. The rest of the crowd figured they’d better get home while the getting’s still good, before the traffic backs up with folks trying to run. Me, though? I’m fine. Even under the blanket of sirens and shattering windows, I could fall asleep right here, snug as a bug. I smile to myself as Jimmy tops me off another shot of tequila. ‘course I’m happy. I’ve been waiting for tonight for a long time.
“Turn that up, wouldja’ Jim? I can’t hear the news.”
“Jesus Harry, you wanna watch what’s going on, may as well look out the fucking window. Shit!”
He ducks under the bar as another bottle of Rolling Rock smashes up against the glass, spraying beer and chunks of green every which way. Outside, a guy in a Red Sox hat is being beaten to death with a Louisville Slugger. No one bothers to help him. The attacker looks grotesque in the light of the trash can fire next to him, cackling and jeering as he takes another swing.
I take another shot of tequila.
Silhouettes of the rioters and looters dance a twisted mambo in front of their own fires as cars, apartments, and shops go up in flames.
“Turn on the sports, Jim. I wanna know what they’re saying about the game.”
He gives me this look like I just asked him for a quick handy, but he remembers who he’s talking to. He switches off the mute and turns it to ESPN. I fix my glasses and look up.
The Sports Center Guys are in an uproar, faces bulging and purple over their sweaty shirt collars. Pages and interns bolt behind the stage passing each other breaking news and new scripts, but the hosts start throwing punches and that’s the end of that. A happy balloon swells up in my stomach. Behind them on the screen, Wrigley Field looks like a giant crown, the red and blue of the emergency services crews like jewels on the rim. I can almost see the bar.
They switch to footage of Red Sox fans being carted away by the EMTs, who’re looking just as haggard and bloody as they are. World Series pennants fall like snow. Reports are coming in that Boston is just as bad, if not worse. Across the country, people are having to lock their doors and grab their guns as maniacs in baseball caps come dashing outside looking to start something. Funny part is, there’s nothing to start. It’s already over.
Outside, somebody starts shooting. Jimmy just looks at me and shakes his head. I smile and have another drink.
“Cubs win, motherfucker. Cubs win.”

Tax Not Included

Posted: July 22, 2011 by hellfirewriters in Fiction, Uncategorized

We’re working on getting a new piece of flash fiction up here every Friday, either by the Club or by people associated with the Club, and James Patrick Schmidt was kind enough to share with us. This is for Chuck Wendig’s latest flash fiction contest, and it has our full backing. Check it out.

-The Hellfire Club

——-

Tax Not Included

“9-1-1, what is your emergency?”

“Hello, I think my house is being robbed,” the young man on the other end of the line whispered, so Joan turned up her headset.

“I’m sorry, sir, did you say your house is being robbed?”

“Yes.”

“That pushes you to the front of the line, one moment while I transfer you.”

Joan marked the call as urgent and sent it to the police system. Since there was a crime actively being committed, she stayed on the line to help the customer remain calm in case he was put on hold. Fortunately that wasn’t the case.

“Police Billing, this is Toni, how can I help you?”

“My house is being robbed,” the man whispered into the phone.

“May I have your account number, sir?”

“I don’t have one.”

“May I have your social, please?”

“My what?”

“Your Social Security Number, so we can run a credit check.”

“I don’t think you understand,” the man sounded frantic. “There is someone in my house right now.”

“And that’s why I’m trying to take care of this quickly, sir. But I’m afraid we can’t dispatch a unit until we know you can afford it.”

“He has a gun!”

“I’ll be sure to apply the five percent intelligence sharing discount for you, sir, but may I please have your social?”

“I don’t…I can’t…you won’t approve me.”

“I can check for you, anyway. Free of charge.”

As the man read his Social Security number aloud, Toni didn’t tell him that her computers had already lifted his number off the phone account he was using and run the complimentary police credit check. As soon as he confirmed the number, she knew he was right — she couldn’t dispatch officers to help him.

But she was trained to not let the customer know you had taken the information from the phone line, so she waited about 20 seconds as if the computer was processing the information. She was harvesting Farmville crops while she waited.

“I’m sorry, sir, but I won’t be able to dispatch an officer to your location at this time. If you contact the non-emergen-”

“What?” the man started crying.

“If you contact the non-emergency number first thing in the morning, a loan officer will be glad to discuss investigation options with you.”

“But..but…”

“Thank you and have a nice evening.”

Toni disconnected the line, glad her sign-off spiel hadn’t been interrupted more. Some people think yelling their heads off will improve their credit score and get an officer sent to deal with their problem. Some people didn’t realize how expensive it was to have an officer dispatched immediately — especially at night.

If the man had just taken the time to register with the department before hand and possibly bought an insurance policy from them, this whole ordeal could have been avoided. Some days it seemed like people didn’t actually believe that a for-profit police department would refuse service, but it had to.

“Are you ready for break?”

Toni looked up to see her friend Debbie standing in her cubicle door.

“I sure am,” Toni said, marking her status as “Away” on the computer and grabbing her purse. “I just had to turn away another person who acted surprised that I wouldn’t dispatch an officer that they couldn’t pay for — as if we were running a public service here.”

“Oh no. It’s been five years since the resolution passed and they still don’t get it,” Debbie said, leading the way toward the break room.

“It’s like they thought doing away with taxes wouldn’t stop the flow of government money,” Toni said.

“If you think we’ve got it bad, though, you should hear some of the stories I hear from my sister-in-law who works in the Welfare Office.”

Okay, woah, hey, is this thing on? It is? Really? Can everybody hear me?

Groovy.

Let’s get this ball rolling then.

Welcome to the inaugural post for our little cabal of twentysomething’s new WordPress group. Wait, wait, hold on. I can already hear the moaning and groaning, so hear me out on this one.

Thing is, we’re all writers. All four of us. Joe, Pierce, Dan, and Chris are writers. We tell stories, and each of us are, to varying degrees, trying to get out there in the writing world. After thinking it over with some careful consideration (liquor may have been involved) we decided a blog was the best way to go about it. We’ve got this big ol’ clunky thing called the internet, connecting us to all sorts of crazy folks out there, may as well put it to good use, right? Better than filling it with bad animal porn.

We plan on using this to illustrate our own thoughts on being writers, the industry, books, that sort of good nonsense, and maybe even putting up some of our own fiction. May as well. That’s kind of become our mantra here. Best case scenario, we get recognized, get agents, get our short stories or novels or screenplays or comic books published and die fat and happy or, worst case scenario, we have another crappy blog that no one reads. It’s a win-win, really.

So why the Hellfire Club? It ain’t just because of that new X-Men movie (no matter how cool it is). You wanna do the historical legwork, be our guest, but the long and short of it is, they were a bunch of rakes (read: young hooligans) pretty much doing what they wanted to do, despite what society thought of it. Thing is, tell someone you’re a writer, and chances are they’re going to look at you like, “Wait, what? But you’re wearing clothes! And not starving! Are you Stephen King or something? We’re not Stephen King. (As far as we know, but Pierce is looking mighty shifty.) But we are guys who are passionate about what we do, and dammit we’re going to do it.

Reason #2: Our chosen genres. Me (Joe), I write hardboiled pulp stuff. Urban fantasy. I cut my teeth on reading black coffee crime novels with language in them that would make your mom faint. Chris writes apocalyptic fiction. Dan writes dark fantasy. Seeing a pattern here? I figure I’ll let our work speak for itself once it’s out there.

Get it? Got it? Good. We’ll get the introductions out of the way soon, and then we can get in on the good stuff. If you have advice, or hard-earned lessons about writer blogs that you feel like passing along to us, shoot us a comment and we’ll take a gander at it.

Cheers,

The Hellfire Club