Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween Countdown 2012: Old West Outlaw

Posted by M.L. Falconer on 6:33 PM

My life has been in a bit of a stasis the past month. A lot has been going on in my head of late, with the excitement of my first ever Disneyland trip for my birthday and a new bout of Hermititus rearing its head coupled with the daunting NaNoWriMo coming up in just a few days. I’m nowhere near ready for it, though I suppose that is the purpose, the nature of it. You’re not supposed to be ready for such a thing, you just do it. My participation is a “volunteerism” by a good writing friend, K. Bran Bardsley, who feels it will help me break the nasty writer’s block I’ve been in. I’ve found since that a few other friends are participating as well. Dana is one and I look forward to taking this trip with her as I admire her writing very much as well as that of K. Bran Bardsley.
In light of my favorite holiday quickly approaching and the NaNoWriMo participation, I’ll post a few spooky scenes from Scarlet Reign in the next few days leading up to Halloween and the kickoff of said challenge.
In this scene, Kate and Daniel have gone into Radean’s for breakfast when all hell is about to break loose.

Pallets of siding materials and roof sealer lay along the sidewalk just outside Raedean’s. Rae’s finally fixing up the place.
“There you go kids.” Rae says placing biscuits and gravy in front of us. “Don’t hesitate to holler if you need anything else.” She musses my hair. My face grows warm and Kate’s grin enhances my embarrassment.
“What?” I ask.
She tries to hide her smile. “Nothing.”
The leaves fall like golden-red snow. This time of year always makes me giddy; pumpkin pie and Halloween decorations. Kate loves it too.
Outside along the east window two workers clamor down off a rickety scaffolding. They enter the diner and order two eggs over easy with hash browns and gravy. The scaffolding begins to sway as if it wanted breakfast too. A linkage on the cross member fell loose and the structure came down hard. A black and yellow Dewalt nail gun slides through the debris and suspends itself by its power cord five feet above the ground; its cord tangles around the trigger and when pulled taught… two muffled pops brake out and two small star bursts appear in the diner window; a third pop shatters glass particles across tables and the dining room floor. Chaos is scattered screams and shouting. I lift and push the table toward Kate; she drops to the floor behind it. Taking three steps toward the counter, I used the stools to vault over grabbing Rae on my way down as a second burst of projectiles explode coffee pots above us. Glass fragments rain around our heads. The cord wraps against the trigger tighter and faster bursts come until the holding chamber is empty.
Swinging freely, twisting and writhing, it hangs there like an old west outlaw having spat its discontent at the patrons in the diner.
“Are you hurt Rae?”
“I’m fine dear. Thank you.” Her face is pale.
Everyone seemed unscathed save for one man who lay face down in the center of the room. He’s wearing a brown suit and tie. I hadn’t noticed him sitting at any of the tables and he wasn’t anyone I recognized. ‘Who is he?’ Someone asks. Another, side steps the pool of blood he lay in and tugs his wallet from his trousers holding it as if it was covered in toxic sludge.
“His name is Deacon Jones.” The man says and tosses the wallet away.
“I know that name.” Rae says “He’s the new pastor at the church on Hollister.
I feel my face flush. Queasy fear gnaws at my ulcer. I know that name too.

I hope you enjoy this piece. I’ll be expanding and perhaps changing much of my current Scarlet Reign material as NaNoWriMo progresses; expanding current chapters and building new ones. Much of the material I currently have is in need of serious editing and what I produce for the challenge will be much worse. Though I suppose the goal is to get it finished, then edit later. That is, if I can mute my annoying inner critic.

Follow Dana’s amazing work at Idiots and Earthquakes, and check out K.Bran Bardsley’s fantastic Ebook, Myth & Madness: The Prisonersof Solvor. NaNoWriMo is located at


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