Ditch Dogs: Part Two

The Cave is not an Allegory

Tampico would’ve liked to be known for its architecture. Their cast iron balconies could’ve been right out of any European city a century ago. No matter how desperate your search for god, there was a church in Tampico grand enough to handle it. Its people would gladly sit you down and, in the Catholic hospitality as immortal as their god, share the region’s bounty with you. A tortilla of pounded corn stuffed with roasted iguana meat. Or perhaps armadillo. That was without even considering the bounty of seafood. All you had to do was stay close enough to the buildings, and to the food, to smell them. Straying might mean getting a whiff of the oil in the air. Continue reading

Ditch Dogs: Part One

(blurb)

This novella is dedicated to the animals used in human warfare all throughout history.  None of them knew what they were doing, but some of them surely wanted to help.  I take you now to the dawn of the first world war, and the birth of a very special litter of puppies who will eventually have to journey into Mexico as part of the manhunt for Pancho Villa, encountering a rogue German scientist and his hypnotized bats along the way.

Ditch Dogs

by

Blaine Arcade

 

Birth

Gal rested on her bed of dry straw and whimpered. One of her ears flopped over her eye; she didn’t bother to move it. The freshly-washed hands hovering over her thought this odd, so they moved in and pushed the ear back. Gal loved the light, loved chasing the setting sun to the marshy edge of the island, so there was no reason for her to not see the light in her litter’s eyes. They were due any minute now. One of the hands rested on her swollen belly, both petting and feeling for the position of the puppies. She couldn’t tell the difference. Continue reading

Snakewaist (Part Two)

(Part One)

“Barf! Barf, barf, barf!” Clandestiny cursed into the channel.  “What do we do?”

“I don’t know; I wasn’t expecting this,” Drupe admitted.  “Quick, under there!”  The fairanquin tiptoed across the sidewalk and threw itself under a wood-slatted bench at the edge of Piston City’s one tiny park.  Its limbs retracted as much as possible.  The sun had been down for several hours, and most of the bumblers were asleep in their beds, but not the crowd gathered around Wallup Tower. Continue reading

Snakewaist (Part One)

(blurb)

Fairies exist, and they’re surprisingly tech-savvy, with their own magical internet, smartphones, and even giant transforming mech suits that can combine into powerful warriors… about the size of a short man.

Chaxium is just your average sour loner fairy, enjoying workouts and long conversations with her none-the-wiser human best friend online, but when a disgusting tycoon with an anti-environment agenda is elected president, she has no choice to but to team up and use her family heirloom, the transforming snake machine Snakewaist, to put a stop to his plans.

Eventually joined by her best friend Ladyspiller, they must also take on a cryptocurrency demon and the wild hunt when it invades a fleet of self-driving cars in this trilogy of urban fantasy novellas.

Snakewaist

by

Blaine Arcade

 

Exercise

Inbox:

(NEW)(Ladyspiller): Hey, how’s my favor…

(NEW)(Podcrown): Chaxium, we really need…

(NEW)(Podcrown): This is urgent Chaxium,…

(OLD)(Leafshroud): Has Podcrown told you…

(OLD)(Podcrown): You haven’t gotten bac…

(OLD)(Podcrown): We have an offer for yo…

A bubble, tiny and blue, rose out of Chaxium’s pants pocket.  It kept pace with her brisk walk as it rose to her face and popped in front of her eyes.  She ignored it.  Another bubble squeezed out and popped on the other side of her face.  It was just going to keep going like that until she checked it or changed her settings.  Chaxium stopped.  There were others walking behind her, so she had to move over to the railing to let them pass. Continue reading

The Detectorate 7/6c (Finale)

(Against the Grain will return after these messages from our sponsor)

Season seven of The Disasters is coming, better make sure you’re prepared.  You’ll need to call in sick, get the best spot on the couch, and make sure there’s at least one free pillow for back support.

You’ll need just the right snack too.  Popcorn gets salt everywhere and you have to microwave a new bag practically every episode.  Not to mention the calories.  It’s time to call Introgurt.  Convenient and healthy yogurts, available in twenty flavors, all delivered straight to your door in refrigerated bags with plenty of fixings.  We even deliver at night now, for those midnight premieres.  Check us out at Introgurt.com.

Introgurt: the right snack for all your binging… and binge-watching needs.


Continue reading

The Detectorate 7/6c (Part Three)

It was awfully quiet for a place where so much money changed hands.  There were tons of poker players there that night; as a crowd they tended to know how to keep their eyes down and their mouths shut.  Half of them wore sunglasses even though it was the middle of the night.  The other half had toothpicks in their mouths, just enough of a disturbance to make their tiniest smiles or frowns undetectable.

It was a private apartment, high above the streets of Midway, so excessive noise wouldn’t have helped anyway.  Still, it didn’t feel like much of a party.  The loudest noises were the clinking of glasses and the brief scrapes of USB drives docking and undocking from various ports.  Every dealer had a box next to them with at least four ports, perfect repositories for the digital currency while the guests gambled.  Should the police burst in the boxes would automatically cancel everything they held and wipe their own memories. Continue reading

The Detectorate 7/6c (Part Two)

(Scene Change)

Eirene wondered if her father had more of a literary talent than she had initially thought, because the two houses that made up the Odeck family compound did appear to be stitched together, like the arguing children of a mad scientist.  They were bound by a tunnel of unpainted wood, with nearly every board having come from a different source.  There was one window on the tunnel, its frame an actual picture frame.

It was a nightmarish playhouse already, but the image was further enhanced by the entertainment and sport debris littered all over the yard and in the branches of a giant twisted elm tree, the roots of which crawled into the gray asphalt driveway and broke it into chunks like lava rock. Continue reading

The Detectorate 7/6c (Part One)

(blurb)

Police work has been the subject of fiction for an age, but what about television police work?  Dive into this quirky novella that blends the twists and turns of a murder conspiracy with the trappings of hokey law dramas, complete with time slots, character tropes, crossovers, and commercial breaks!

The Detectorate 7/6c

by

Blaine Arcade

This program is a work of fiction.  Any similarity to actual persons or events is purely coincidental.

Intro Narration: Law enforcement is taken seriously in the township of Little Pond, Massachusetts.  A new crime wave, worsened by local corruption, has convinced its people that elections are now necessary for its detectives as well as its sheriff.  The first two candidates for this experimental program, called the Detectorate, are Eirene Amstead and Cincinattus Golfort.  These stories are the evidence of their efforts, conviction, and dedication to their constituents.

Intro theme tune by Zizi Caraway

Produced by Heath Moose

Episode 17: By the Horns Continue reading

Manifest of the West (Finale)

The Legend of Broadside Barnaby

Old Thresher the card shark.  Remember him?  I bested his challenge more than a hundred times over and it were way past due for him to give up the location of Broadside Barnaby.  He were the last name left.  With him collected the Manifest would be complete, everyone accounted for in myth, and I could have my pa back.  My family could have the eventual peace that I worked so hard to disrupt. Continue reading

Manifest of the West (Part Three)

That were the story I told my pocket twister.  It weren’t the most heartening, but I think confiding in him gave him some strength.  He shook off most of that water and started looking more like his old self and less like a cloud constipated with rain.

Now you know whose soul I were collecting all them names for.  I knew Pa weren’t at peace.  He were still kept from Heaven and Hell in the ropes of Knot-eye, and the only way to get him back or get him to my mother were to obey the will of the Laudgod and eventually be rewarded.  I had to be the man he told me to be, to conquer and dominate the West so thoroughly that nothing could stop me.  Continue reading