Puddles and Whiskers, A Chuck Tail 2

Previously.

The plan was to wait for her to leave and get another taxi to follow her. Now he had to go inside; adjusting his eyepatch and clothing, Chuck sauntered like an important person into Mills Market hoping he did not have to do import-export, whatever that was, anywhere around Lorika. Once inside he walked around the market hoping he looked like someone investigating potential import-export opportunities, mostly by walking up and down aisles picking up stuff keeping an eye open for Lorika.

“I see,” intoned a human man wearing what Chuck only assumed was a costume who grabbed the largest container of mustard on the shelf, “much travel and trouble ahead,” his voice reaching an epic volume and pitch as he smashed the mustard on the ground at Chuck’s feet, “for YOU!”

Mustard splashed and sprayed over Chuck’s boots, pants, and tail. Facing Chuck, the man grabbed a jar of something off the shelf and held it aloft, “You will face,” smashing the jar to the ground; pickle juice covering Chuck head to toe, “three obstacles.”

Chuck jumped back, as a bottle of ketchup splashed where he had stood.

“A woman with blonde hair!” the man shouted reaching for something else, “much blood and a fall. The signs do not lie.”

“What is your problem!” Beyond angry, Chuck stepped towards the costumed man.

Mayonnaise splattered Chuck in thick globs, stopping him in his tracks. Behind the man, store security raced down the aisle. At the end of the aisle, Lorika stood watching the scene, a bemused and shocked look on her face. The security officer tackled the man from behind, the floor covered in ketchup, mustard, pickle juice, and mustard providing no stoppage, they slid into Chuck knocking him on top of them.

From the bottom of the pile, “The signs do not lie.”

“Shut up,” Chuck said standing up covered head to toe in condiments.

You look like a work of modern art,” Lorika laughed. “Is import-export always this exciting?”

“Are you okay sir,” store security asked while restraining the now silent man.

Chuck looked himself over, a modern art mess for sure, “Other than the mess, I’m fine. Will you need me for anything?”

“No, sir. Everything is on vid. Would you like to use our facilities to clean up?”

“Is your cab still available?” Chuck asked Lorika.

“As soon as I check out,” she replied.

Looking at the security officer, “Thank you for the offer. I’ll catch a ride home and change.”

Store security escorted the man away; “No, import-export is not this exciting,” Chuck answered her question, hoping he was right.

Sharing a laugh, they walked back to the cab, after Lorika finished her purchase; “Back to your place?” she asked getting into the driver’s seat.

Thinking fast, making a show of looking at his watch and looking alarmed, “Oh dancor! I have a meeting I cannot miss, if I get there early enough I can wash up and change there.”

Lorika, showed no signs of interest, “Where at?”

“Aranoth Building, 59th floor, east side,” he replied.

Without another word, she launched the taxi into traffic.

Puddles and Whiskers, A Chuck Tail 1

A Chuck Tail

“Sal you crack me up,” Chuck said to the holo-of Sal the Salesman moving from door to door in an attempt to sell the latest in self-cleaning droid technology.

Sal the korogin holo-walked past Chuck’s favorite chair, knocking on the door in front of Chuck’s bookcase. A tired looking cymean woman wearing a flowered hat on the left side of her head stuck her head out the door; Chuck could not stop laughing at the image.

“Good afternoon, ma’am,” holo-Sal began.

“Afternoon,” the holo cymean woman responded in a high tone.

“My name is…[incoming call]…Sales…[incoming call]..”

Pressing pause on the arm of his chair, “Deity damnit!” Chuck swore while stabbing the call button.

“What!” he shouted.

“Is that how you greet your mother?” Puddles voice purred from the speakers around Chuck’s living room.

Sitting up straight, even though nobody, especially Puddles could see him, Chuck responded, “Only when she owes me money or interrupts Sal the Salesman.”

Puddles laughed, “You still watch that hundru show?”

Chuck’s fur bristled at the insult for a brief second, “Better than some of the crap you watch,” he retorted. “You have a job for me?”

“Maybe,” she teased.

Chuck thought too long for a retort or response, nothing came, he settled for silence, one the better responses, he learned, to Puddles needling.

“Chuck, you still there?” She asked, silence for the win.

Standing up, dusting remnants of his snack onto the floor, he would need a self-cleaning droid soon if this kept up he thought, “Yeah, I’m still here. What do you have for me?”

“Depends. How much free time do you have?”

Chuck swallowed the quick retort and went with, “I’m free for paying jobs.”

“Excellent,” Puddles responding, “Sending you the details.”

His watch blinked three times; details received, “Got the details. Anything I need to know before I read this?”

“Nothing unusual, a simple tracking job. Swing by the office when you finish.”

Case details replaced Sal the Salesman, “Will do.”

Puddles ended the call while Chuck walked around his living room reading the details. Puddles was not lying, a simple track job of Lorika wageslave for Tranco Citywide; follow her around for the day, taking vid of where she stops, and who she talks to, easy enough.

Eight hours later

Chuck staggered into Puddles and Whiskers Office, his clothing covered in food, his fur matted, and a haggard almost defeated look on his face. Flopping down in a chair in front of Puddles side of the desk, he tossed a vid-stick and a broken eyepatch onto her mess.

Puddles looked up, looked shocked-eyes wide, “What happened to you?”

“Watch the vid. You guys have any coffee ready?”

“Sure, check the break room.”

Puddles inserted the vid-stick into her desk display as Chuck staggered to get coffee, from the breakroom he could hear her laughter, then Whiskers joined in the laughter.

Easy Enough…

Hailing her cab was easy enough using the Tranco Citywide application. Standing on the 57th floor near the Cloud was not so easy. Chuck looked at his watch, ten minutes late; he wondered how Tranco stayed in business. Suppressing a cough from the pollution and backing further into the corner to block the biting wind, he waited.

With the beep of a horn and roaring of engines, a green Tranco taxi pulled up to the curb. The passenger door slid open, and a female voice asked, “You waiting for a ride?”

Adjusting his eyepatch over his left eye, Chuck swaggered, as he thought an important person would, over to the taxi. A quick look at the driver before sitting down, positive match to Lorika. Sitting in the back, he set his carryall on the floor behind her seat.

“Where you headed?” she asked

 

 

500 And 1 Words At A Time: Ideas Without Words

Today is not a typical day, but is a day I am familiar with and maybe all writers are familiar with to some extent.

Despite the popular image of a writer sitting in front of whatever and banging away ceaselessly on their magnum opus, the truth is writing is an up and down process. The up is when the ideas and words flow like a river. The down is when something is off, not in a life gets in the way sense, but in a you have the ideas but the words won’t show up or you have the words and no ideas.

How is this possible to have an idea but no words or vice versa? Unfortunately pretty easy.

For example: I have an idea for a singular short story around Chuck. I want to tell more about who Chuck is and what Chuck can do and thinks he can do. In my head, this is a fast paced short with a lot of humor. This is my idea. And the words to create this idea have failed me all day. I have a bunch of sentences that on the surface read well, but when read together do not have the flow I have in mind.

Another example: Worldship Horizon needs an adjustment, the original idea is sound. However, my initial approach went off the rails really fast. Since that time I have had a few ideas to start over or readjust, yet each time I sit down to write, today even, the words don’t match the idea. Funny thing, is that well take a look…

As a blunt nose tender finished pushing the last colony section into place, green lights flashed around the edges. In another section of the worldship, the last troopers marched into lockdown position, armor on, weapons ready, locked down for transport.

****

Maxwell slumped in his command chair, sweat running down his face, sensors clear, warning lights flashed indicating systems damaged or destroyed, but they won their first battle. Over the command net, orders given, status updates, injury reports, and requests formed a familiar background noise, until he removed his helmet allowing the helmet to roll down to the floor.

Fans clicked on the cool breeze felt great. Maxwell sat up…

The first is a complete new start when the Horizon is loading before the launch. Interesting take, but not a direction I think needs too much revisiting. The second puts Maxwell, formerly a foot soldier, into the cockpit of something-a tank, a robot, or something else. Again, an interesting idea, but not where I wanted to work, down the road once I have a better start maybe.

I don’t what other writers do, not necessarily the truth I have read a few books by other authors so I know what they do, and while their solutions work for them they do not work for me. Writing comes and goes, today writing is doing both-I was able to bang this out without incident, but other stuff…

Puddles and Whiskers, New 5

Two things, I hate names. I hate naming things and I hate having to remember how I spelled a name. If you notice that Camile or Camilie or Camlie…you get the idea, I will catch and correct all of them in the next editing pass.

The other thing is not a hate, this scene takes place before the first Acid Chamber prep meeting while Whiskers is breaking the bad news to CamhoweverIspelledit and follows Puddles chasing down the file Whiskers received while on the job of chasing down the cheating hubby. Enjoy. 🙂

Running Down Clues

“Interpersonal skills, my furry ass,” Puddles mumbled to herself.

For the third time in as many minutes, she looked at the data on the tablet. The address matched up; however, the holo of a storefront did not match the building she stood in front of, Medical Offices of Tablix and Aslan. Puddles leaned against the wall next to the front doors, making an inquiry on the tablet data appeared.

Doctor Tablix and Doctor Aslan licensed through the city, general practitioners, and recently moved their offices to the location she stood next too. Looking over the reviews, each one a glowing testament to their skills and affordability, too glowing the cynical side of Puddles screamed. Another data search more information, another image of each doctor to compare to their licensing images; at least she knew what they looked like. Nothing outstanding in any public record.

A vid-chat notice popped up in the upper corner of her tablet; Whiskers. Stepping away from the wall, she sat on a bench near the street and tapped the icon.

“What’s up?” She asked. “Stop looking you can’t see where I am at.”

“Camile left,” Whiskers said with a sigh.

“Something wrong? She didn’t stiff us did she?”

“The isstas are in the account.”

“Good. Then what is bothering you?”

“I do not like chasing down cheating spouses and delivering the news.”

“Neither do I, but we need the isstas,” Puddles replied watching two gangers enter the doctor’s office. “That’s odd.”

“What?”

“Patients of the doctors don’t look like they live in the area.”

“How much longer do you need? We have a lot of work to do for Acid Chamber,” Puddles was positive Whiskers tone improved. What he heard in their music was beyond her.

“If you or Chuck don’t need me I’m going to spend a few more hours watching this place. Something is off.”

“So there was something of use in that file,” Whiskers said with a smirk.

“Yes, it does,” Puddles, mumbled.

“Meet us at the office when you are done.”

“Later,” Puddles touched the icon ending the call.

Looking around wageslave hell, Puddles spotted a coffee shop with a good view. Plenty of time to watch who entered and left the doctor’s office before a boring meeting. Taking an elevated walkway to cross the street, Puddles marveled at the sights; four lanes of flying traffic above and below the walkway, express elevators rushing up and down the sides of the buildings, and everywhere people working in offices or moving to work. Before entering the building with the coffee shop, Puddles took one last look up, nothing but more traffic, the Cloud, and buildings.

“Welcome,” greeted the overly cheery wageslave behind the counter. “What can I make you?”

Puddles looked at the holo-menu boards coming close to passing out from all of the choices. The coffee place near their offices had coffee and not much else. Someone behind her made an exasperated noise. Puddles shook her head.

“Coffee. Just you largest cup of coffee,” she finished before the cheery wageslave could launch into his prepared litany of types and sizes of coffee.

“Would you like something to eat, such as…”

“Just the largest cup of coffee,” Puddles interrupted ignoring the wageslave’s shocked look.

Giant cup of coffee in hand, Puddles navigated the room looking for a seat near the window with a clear view of the doctor’s office. Dozens of people of all species, the only unifying things, branded coffee and wageslave uniforms. After dodging the hundredth individual with their face in some electronic device ignoring the world around them, Puddles was thankful for the job she had. Spying an available seat, Puddles elbowed a wageslave out of the way, mumbled an apology, and sat down.

After the second pair of gangers entered the doctor’s office, Puddles began noting the times of their arrival and departure. From her seat, Puddles could not see any changes between when a pair entered and left. Maybe they all had a cold, she sarcastically thought. Every hour and a half another pair; never the same pair nor anyone before. All of gangers from two or three gangs, as best she could tell by their appearance.

Finishing her coffee, Puddles looked at her notes, several pages of information and images, this might be the lead to re-open the case; after Acid Chamber.

Nail Clippers, Pages 13 & 14

Previously.

Soon enough we reach the point where the story went off the rails in my head. Until then, enjoy. 🙂

****

Jax carried several bags of fertilizer to the garden behind the porch; his rose plants needed some attention. Dropping the bags, two rabbits hopped off. If Jetta would let him, he would do something about those rabbits, but she insisted they he leave them alone. Every year, she started a garden and every year the rabbits ate most of it. Circle of life indeed. Jetta joined him carrying a tray of plants.

“Hey, my rabbits,” she cheerfully said, pointing at the white tails hoping around a corner.

“Yes, your rabbits,” Jax said sarcastically, “This year…”

“You will not do anything to my rabbits,” Jetta interrupted.

“What? No, this year I am going to get a blue rose.”

Every year he tried to grow a blue rose and while Jetta thought he would never be successful, she had to admit that some of the roses he did grow were pretty and the color in the yard was always pleasant.

Putting on her best, “of course you will look,” “This will be the year.”

“Don’t give me that look. This is the year,” he replied as he started unpacking the tray of plants.

“Want something to drink?”

“Please,” Jax replied, arranging the plants in neat rows.

In the kitchen, Jetta wiped off the counter before opening the refrigerator; reaching for two Cokes, the doorbell sounded, ding-dong, followed by a knock. Leaving the refrigerator door open, Jetta answered the front door; at the door was a short woman wearing a dark blue Package Express Nationwide International Services uniform. Her white name patch proudly announcing her name, Erin. She smiled at Jetta, and then frowned as an ambulance roared down the street. Jetta looked down the street after the ambulance and shrugged her shoulders.

“I have your package,” Erin said cheerfully, as she held up a box wrapped in brown paper, “Uh…”

The brown paper box buzzed and shook hard enough to cause Erin’s hands to shake. Jetta heard the loud buzzing and gave Erin a knowing smirk. Jetta took the vibrating box from Erin’s hands. Holding onto the box made her fingertips started to tingle. Erin pulled a handheld signature device from a hip holster and held it out to Jetta who set the box down. Vibrating on the ground the box started to move, Jetta put a foot on top of the box halting the box’s escape.

“It’s from my aunt,” Jetta said with another smirk as she signed on the line.

“Have a good day,” Erin said with a smile, raising an eyebrow towards the vibrating box under Jetta’s foot.

Puddles and Whiskers, Wash and Dry Brush Phase 14

Previously.

On the job

Grinding her teeth, something her dentist advised her to stop, Puddles shot daggers at Chuck, head in his chest sleeping in the passenger seat.

SNORE

Ten. Ten snores in the past, glancing at the clock, five minutes, each one louder and longer than the last. Her left ear twitched. At this rate, his snores would blow this surveillance. Chuck slid deeper into the seat; another loud, long snore mirroring his descent filled the car and Puddles was positive the coffin love motel they were watching. Grabbing Chuck’s shoulder, Puddles shook him.

“What,” Chuck snapped looking around the car in a panic.

Puddles held a single claw tipped finger up to him, “Sshhhh.”

“Was I…”

Thrusting the finger in front of Chuck’s face, “Not another sound.”

Sitting up, straightening his clothes, Chuck looked around for a few minutes before asking, “Anything?”

Puddles rolled her eyes, “No, nothing since he went into Love Buy The Hour. Miss Sad Face’s husband went in with Tart of the Month an hour ago. Whiskers caught all of the action on vid.”

“Where is Whiskers?” Chuck asked, while looking out the window at the front of the motel.

“Watching the side exit. Now keep watch and no more snoring.”

Fifteen minutes of silence.

“How do you do this?” Chuck started, “I’m bored and sleepy,” he finished with a wide mouthed yawn.

Puddles stared at Chuck deciding how to respond, leaning towards flushing her irritation at him out on him when Whiskers’ face appeared on the windshield monitor, “They are leaving. I will follow the husband. You and Chuck follow his partner.”

“Will do,” Puddles responded closing the vid-window.

“There goes Whiskers,” Chuck pointed at Whisker’s hover leaving the parking lot.

Puddles nodded as she positioned the car a few car lengths behind Tart of the Month’s car entering traffic.

“Why are we following her?” Chuck asked as he snapped vid of her car.

“What?”

“We have her license number and we have her face. Why not use CIS to get all of her data and be done in five minutes?”

“What does her data prove to Miss Sad Face?”

“Who?”

“The client. Miss…” Puddles tried to remember her name for a second as she changed lanes, “whatever her name is.”

“She can know who her husband is sleeping with.”

“Data proves nothing. She will want proof. Vid of her husband and,” gesturing at Tart of the Week’s car, “her is proof she can see.”

“So we follow her where?” Chuck asked.

“Wherever she goes. I’m hoping she is headed home.”

“Me too.”

Quiet time

Silence.

Blessed silence.

Sitting in the dark, watching the side exit of the Love Buy The Hour coffin motel, Whiskers relished the peace and quiet. No Puddles. No Chuck. No noise of the city. Nothing, but silence. After a week of rushing around the city, interviews with clients, and the frustration of a case ending without resolution was draining.

Following people around Stroud, taking vid and holo of them entering and leaving places revolted Whiskers, normally. Cases like this gave him a dirty feeling, bottom feeding on the misery of others did not sit well with him. However, peace and quiet did and cases like this were all about peace and quiet.

Pairing Chuck with Puddles ensured Whiskers quiet time. Leaning forward, Whiskers swiped across the windshield flipping through case information. Mister Ethan Harowe mid-level wageslave at Wanlot, married six years, no outstanding debts or for that matter, anything else. Wrapping this case up, a matter of a few more hours of following and recording.

Incoming message light flashing caught Whiskers attention, only a few individuals knew the car’s private message address. Two taps on the windshield cleared the casefile, another tap brought up the message. Sender unknown, Whiskers sat back. A quick glance at the clock, enough time to start a trace. A few minutes later, trace started and Mister Howe exited Love Buy The Hour kissing Caroline Tarr deeply before heading to his car. Mister Howe drove past, oblivious to Whiskers. Swiping the windshield established connection with Puddles in their car.

“They are leaving. I will follow the husband. You and Chuck follow his partner,” Whiskers said, starting the car, following Mister Howe.

An hour of late night traffic later, Mister Howe never deviating from the most direct path to his blockhouse apartment, pulling into an adjacent parking spot, Whiskers watched Mister Howe enter the elevator. Sitting back, Whiskers pulled up the vid images from tonight’s work; plenty of clear images of Mister Howe and partner. Checking the trace, a dead end. Curiosity warred with security. Security won, filing the message away, Whiskers headed back to the office.

500 and 1 Words At A Time: Story Creation, My Way

From time to time I share with you the inner workings of how this writer works. Most recently in the form of Puddles and Whiskers from rough draft, to edits, to revisions, to the current stage of course corrections, expansions, and general story related stuff. You may not have realized that if you joined in recently. Something I have not shared is how I work my way through creating a story, this is on my mind because of my recent creation Worldship Horizon.

Everything begins with an idea. In this case, Chris asked if I wanted to collaborate on a roleplaying game. I do. Unfortunately, we have a rich history of starting and going nowhere fast. Not wanting to go this route we set on the idea of a space ship doing the Battlestar Galactica/Enterprise/whatever space opera thing. In essence creating a self-contained setting for the game.

I wrote down all of the types of ship in space I knew of, along with examples, and set about coming up with something I had not heard about and interested me. The idea: humanity conquered by an alien race long enough ago that nobody remembers a time of freedom is used by the aliens as a initial colonization fleet. Each worldship has an army of 10,000 troopers, 10,000 colonists, and all of the supplies necessary. Sent to coordinates of a planet the worldship is to establish a colony or conquer the planet and establish a colony. With that in mind, the Horizon is sent off, arriving somewhere else and immediately in danger before anyone has time to figure out that they are not in the right spot.

And that is where the idea ended and I made my writing mistake. I should have written out more before going all serial story. I did not because in my head there were a few scenes and events to write out. Great, because I can piece them together and weave together a coherent narrative while giving out details about the world or world building. That did not or more correctly, has not happened.

Oops. Normally, I write out a ton of material before I show people what I am working on. I write out the idea. I flesh out the with details large and small. I know what the characters, at least the initial batch of them, look like and sound like. I spend a lot of time writing out details that may or may not end up in a story, but are in my head and help shape everything written.

Rereading the initial pages, the intro is what I had in mind, although I see several ways to do the intro better. After the intro things go off the rails or at least into territory that is too familiar sounding to me and my original idea did not have any of that, which makes the familiar feeling all the more distressing.

What do I do? As of now, notes. Back to the drawing board. Keep the idea, that is sound. Everything else we shall see.