Sunday, December 30, 2012

Church Candles

The sky overhead is slate gray. It's been that way for three weeks. The weatherman swears it's going to snow soon, but the clouds right now are just offering a vague threat. I stand outside on my balcony in the morning gloom watching bustling little people drive and walk to work. They move quickly and with intent. A briefcase or portfolio in one hand and a cigarette or coffee in the other.

Gotta get that fix in before work. I know the feeling. I grind out the stub of my cig and let the wind carry it down to the street. Sticking my hand into my pocket I find and pull out the nearly empty pack. One left. I pluck it out and put it in my lips.

If I need another I'd have to go inside and that would probably wake Jessica and she'd want to talk about last night and I...don't want to do that right now.

I hold the lighter up and try to spark it, but end up knocking the cig out of my mouth instead. I watch in abject horror as it tumbles to the sidewalk below. It rolls but then stops against a trash can. I look back at the apartment. Maybe I can dash downstairs and grab it. I wouldn't have to go into our room and risk waking Jessica. I decide it's a good idea.

The busy little bees give me strange looks as I come and poke around the trash with my sleeping clothes on.  Finally I find the cigarette and tug it out from under the can, but it catches and tears. Carcinogenic guts spill out and tumble across the sidewalk.

I'm about to swear and curse in anger when something about the torn cig catches my eye. On the inside tube, where the tobacco would be, is writing. I gently pull the rest of the now empty paper open and hold it close to read:

Kaslo Renila Zs'ta

Long live your glory and your word

Let this prayer reach you

Let its sound awaken you

Bring your fury and fire

Cleanse the world

We offer this vessel to you

It's a prayer. Like a church candle. Burnt in hopes that God...or something else hears it. I look around and see the workers buzz to and fro. Cigarettes hanging from their lips and their hands. All of them secretly praying to something in hopes that it will awaken.

How many packs is that? How often? My hands start to shake and the torn little thing flies away on the wind. What is the vessel? The cigarette? Or me?

Above me something in the sky swirls.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Next To The Bed

bought a chest for my new apartment at a secondhand store. Got a great deal for it. I was going to keep DVDs and games in it. Trick it out a little by adding a few shelves that unfolded when you opened it displaying my little digital library.

While working on it I noticed something strange. The bottom was thicker than it should have been. It was also a different kind of wood than the rest of the chest. I started pushing at the edges of it and it popped up revealing a little compartment in a false bottom. Inside was another box. Polished and lacquered wood that almost glowed from reflected light. Next to it was a little black notebook. Picking it up, I flipped to the first page.

The eyes are the window to the soul. Rita possess the most beautiful soul  I've ever seen. Her eyes cast the world in a way that I wish I could understand. There is more beauty there, more passion in those twin reflections than exists here. I love her.

I flip through the pages. Little circles are drawn within circles. There is a haiku or eight describing the way light refracts into her eyes, painting a picture of an impossibly wonderful place.

We stand on the pier, her and I. I mention that the lights bouncing off the dark water looks like someone has tossed treasure into the ocean and it sunk to the bottom. She laughs and looks down. Her hand slips into mine. I look over and see those lights in her face, her eyes, and I'm in heaven.

I flip to the end, which is not quite the end of the notebook.

She is in the shower now, and will be out in a few moments. Oh, Rita, I am so sorry, but those eyes are just so beautiful. I cannot stand to be away from them. I cannot bear the thought of something happening to you and having them taken away from me.

That is why I'm going to take them out tonight and place them in a box next to my bed.

My stomach drops. I look down at the box. It sits innocently in the chest, the false bottom propped up next to it. No way there are eyes in there, right? I mean they'd be rotting, or stinking. Unless the box was sealed tight.

Gingerly I set the notebook down and pick up the box. This is a joke. People do this all the time; secretly alter a piece of furniture and then re-sell it. Troll internet forums wait for a 'spooky story' about it to show up.

Firm in my resolve I open the box and scream as it clatters to the ground, open. A small note falls out next to the withered human heart.

He had already given me his heart. I just found a box to put it in.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hands and Nails

I'm down to one hand now. Well, that isn't right. I mean to say that I have at least one hand’s worth of nails left, if I combine right and left. Five. Index and ring on left. Thumb, middle and pinky on the right.

I'm bandaging the left thumb now and Christ it, ha, it really stings. Christ. That makes sense. I mean he was a carpenter. He probably always hit his hands with hammers. Bet he never had anything like this. Well I mean with his finger tips. Hands are another story.

The thumb nail is sitting bloody on the table. Just a pinch of root on the end I pulled out. Really had to tug. I'm sure the neighbors heard me howling. Hope they don't call the cops. Again.

I pick the little thing up gently. Really can't lose it. I'm so close now. Five more after this guy! Just five! Sitting down next to the vent I cross my legs and wait. It takes a while sometimes. I don't mind. Would you? I mean, maybe. You might mind.

While I wait I take the nail and delicately run it over my left arm, dragging it lightly across the top of the skin. Soon enough my arm prickles in gooseflesh and I coo. I can almost smell perfume. I work the torn nail up my shoulder and almost forget the throbbing in my thumb as I shiver. The feeling of ecstasy is only brief. These aren't her nails. Not yet.

Finally I can hear the clinking and clanking in the vent. I grip the nail in my palm and let it dig into my hand. The thumps get louder. It sounds like, how did dad always put it, 'An old house settling', but I was always more clever than him. I knew what those sounds were.

Finally the sounds stop. A small gray mottled hand unfolds from one of the vent's slits. Its four little fingers unfurl. With blessed reverence I place the nail into the hand. There is something like a giggle and it closes on the nail and pulls it back.

"She'll dream of you again tonight. That is a promise." Says a voice like skipping stones over brackish and vile water. I can hear it tear the nail inside the vent. I'm sure it is eating it. I clear my throat.

"Oh. Oh yes. I almost forgot." No it didn't. It always says that it does, but it doesn't. This is just part of our transaction. "Here. Here."

The hand comes back out of the vent and opens revealing a large, delicately painted thumbnail. I carefully reach down and take it. I almost thank it, but that is a no-no. Mustn't thank things like this.

"She'll dream of you again tonight, boy. She'll dream and cry as I pluck another nail from her hand." The clanking starts again as it leaves.

I move back to my workstation and unwrap my thumb. It's still bloody and raw, but of course it is. As I look at it I admire the left's middle and pinky finger. The mate's to my new thumbnail. One is midnight blue painted and the other is the same soft pink as the new nail. Both are a little green around the skin and cuticle where I've attached them and they throb occasionally but if I apply light pressure a little pus comes out and they feel better soon after.

I begin attaching my new thumbnail. Soon I'll run her nails down my skin again and it'll be like having her back!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ash Addicts 1

This is something I've been working on for a while and really enjoy writing. This is definitely a work in progress and is being expanded and reworked everyday. I'm excited that it's longer then most of the stuff I put out and what I throw down here is only a section of it. I might put a new section up every other week if I can actually keep on top of myself.

We've seen how good I am with that.

  My father is holding my hand tight. My sister can’t quite contain her excitement. She babbles, but it just sounds like a high pitched lullaby. She is in the middle of exclaiming when a mechanical squeal drowns her out completely. A huge shadow falls over us as the rollercoaster rumbles by overhead. I can just barely make out her own yip of excitement and I feel the need to contribute my own.
Now I’m standing at a podium. Capped and gowned blobs stare up at me. I’ve been speaking words of wisdom. They begin to clap and stand and hoot. I’m flushed with gratification. 
I’m in the hospital. He is holding my hand, telling me it’s going to be ok. I can barely hear him. The pain is so intense. Its over. He is holding her and handing her to me. I smile at the baby. Clearly I can hear myself say “Roslin”. He smiles.
More images like these pound away behind my eyelids. Sweet moments and awful ones. I’m in the hospital again, Roslin was in a crash, we wait to hear if she is ok. Jump ahead, he’s died, I held him as his last breath left and said I love you. Finally I’m laying in bed, looking up.
This is my least favorite part. I can hear Roslin in the next room. She’s crying. I try to say her name, but my lips are too dry. What comes out sounds like a paper bag being crushed. Black.

“Christ, Trey, are you about out of it yet?” Jack’s voice burbles at first, but becomes more clear. The “it” rings especially clear, like a bell, and my eyes open lazily. The room swims into focus. Jack is spooning a bowl of cereal into his mouth and staring at me. His hair, usually spiked as high as it can go, was drooping, making him look like a tired punk wannabe.

“How long was I out?” I begin to orient myself on the leather couch and fix the world. Everything at the edges of my vision blurs like bad video. When I’m upright I fumble out a cigarette, it finds my lips, and I light it.

“Five hours. Who was it?” His voice is becoming more clear. I can feel reality reasserting itself like a child throwing a tantrum. I grab around the cushions of the couch and pull out a small ziplock bag with a name written across it in sharpie.

“Cindy Travis. Huh. Two first names.” I ball the bag up and throw it towards the trash. I miss.
“Cindy? I fucking love Cindy, man. When what's her name...” He snaps his fingers. His mouth is full of half crunched sugar shapes. “Roslin? Yeah Roslin. When she gets married. Man, I always lose my fucking shit. I think. I know Cindy does. Man. Cindy.”
“Well I hope you enjoyed her while she lasted. We’re all out.” I motion my cigarette to the slowly unwrapping ball by the trash can.
“Aw fuck man. I loved her.” Jack picked the bowl up and sucked down the colored milk at the bottom. I scrunch my face as I watch his adam’s apple bob. His skin hung a little loose there. Just a tad, nothing too visible.
Anyone looking at Jack could tell that he was using something. He had those kinds of movements, those little tics, of someone who's been away from the bottle too long. His eyes were always rimmed with circles. When we’d head out he put a little makeup on and make it all look part of his act, his persona.  Alcohol wasn’t his poison. Well at least not right now.
I shook my head. Shit. I hope I don’t look like him.
“Do we have any of Fred left?” I suck off a lung of nicotine.
“Frederick  Goldschmidt? Naw, I finished him off last night. Real strange one.” He dropped the bowl and the crash bounces around between my ears.
“Doctors always are.” I slowly stand. I’m not usually this fucked up after a snuff, what’s wrong with me? Getting old.
“You want some cereal? I already claimed the prize.” Jack shakes the box at me.
“Naw man, I’m good. I’ll grab something on the way.” With great effort I tug my shirt up and swap it out with something less covered in sweat. I mange to zip up my hoodie without pinching my fingers.
“Zeke?” Jack grabs at his sneakers and tugs them on.
“Well we’re out of everybody aren’t we?” I grab my hoodie and zip it up.
“I’m excited.” He stands and tosses the bowl into the sink. An atomic bomb dropped.
“Shit man, you stop throwing things? Fuck.” I grind out my cig on the table.

(Read more after the jump)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Sorry for the break. According to my own logic I'd have a mouth full of infected ideas... maybe I'm mixing metaphors.

Here is a Malady!


“Sharp blade. Cuts smoother,” it places its hand on her shoulder, but this movement of comfort is lost on it. It is, rather, a touch of confirmation, letting the weeping girl know that the action she was about to take was the correct one. The thing did not understand comfort like we did. Comfort, to it, was not a warm bed or a hot shower, rather the cool embrace of oblivion. The ultimate sleep.

The girl began to raise the razor to her arm and where she traced it bright rivers flowed. It cocked its head, standing behind her watching her move, admiring the trails the blood it left and the shapes the splatter made as it hit the wooden floor.

Such intricate lines forming.

It took a while. Longer than it had assumed, which is strange, because this was its true passion. This willful robbery of ones own life. It shuddered with ecstasy, or whatever it had that was comparable, as the girl’s final breath was exhaled. It began to push itself down, down into that empty vessel lying before it. Embracing her, folding up and into her, giving her the love she felt she never had.

For a moment, all was still. Then the girl opened her eyes again.
Stronger, emboldened by the power it was just given, the thing moved from the bedroom and out into the world.


I plan on writing a few more of these. They are meant to be simple and short, bigger Splinters. This one is particularly dark, but what better way to return then with something grim? 

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Shepherd

Sorry for my lack of updates last week. I was working on this to post and got distracted by other things.

Elevator Pitch: Two teens scramble to save a friend from a pagan rite, but things aren't what they seem...

The Diary of Prudence Mayweather, 1764

April 3rd: It feels like the hard winter has come to an end. Samuel died last night. He fought so bravely against the sickness, but it claimed him. Father placed him in the cold earth this morning and we prayed. Mother and Father fought tonight. I held Mary and Jacob close so that they would not cry and bring Father's ire.

"This year will be different!" he had yelled. "This year we will bring up the Shepherd. I will not suffer another lost child, another winter full of hunger!".

Mother just cried. 

April 17th: In church today Father Daniel spoke out against The Shepherd by claiming that Jesus was mankind's one true shepherd. Father stood, forcing us to stand with him and he made us leave. I looked behind and saw many other families were leaving too. In the middle of a sermon? 

Behind us we could hear him crying out "May God save you folk from foolishness. May he shield you from the Devil and his tricks! I will leave this town, for it is forsaken!".

Father spit at the ground. 

April 20th: Mother and I were at market today when Father Daniel's mare came charging through town. The poor beast was all beaten and bloody. Issac, the butcher's boy whom I fancy, made mention of seeing Father Daniel being taken from his small house in the middle of the morning. Mother took my arm and we went home. 

Father came home unusually late. We held dinner until he arrived, but hunger no longer bothers me. He picked me up and spun me, something he has not done since I was a child, and smiled saying "Everything is going  to be okay now, Prudence". 

(Read more after the jump)

Sunday, September 23, 2012


I wrote a longer post, looked at it, and decided I'd expand on it and save it for later. So instead I'll throw some Slivers up here. What are Slivers? One or two sentence ideas that I might want to elaborate on later or just a few ideas I need to get out.

Sliver looks like silver which reminds me of Silverado which then leaps to Canyonero

"Freedom is something to be feared". The teacher raised her her arms and the children repeated it back to her.

I should have never given her my name. I've seen her walking around as me now.

There is a jar in the back of my closet. I whisper secrets into it, but lately I've heard it whispering back.

He gave me his heart. I just put it in a box.

The sound of the ocean lulled me to sleep. My eyes popped open when I realized I live nowhere close to the ocean.

Danny quickly pulled the nail out and his hand fell limp.

"Is that before or after I woke up with a tooth embedded into my arm?".

The rain pounded on the window like a really hip drummer from down at the club; super shitty.

The electricity played off their lips as they brushed and the whole world seemed to go neon.

"SET PHASERS TO FUN!" he screamed before he shot Laurie.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I think I have an obsession with threes. Skyshard Heroes, a game I'm working on, has an enemy faction called the Triumvirate. I made them.

The Trinity was something I came up with while trying to work out a way to be more creative and to avoid buckling down and forcing myself to write like I am now. The idea was simple: tell a story on twitter. One hundred forty characters seemed like an easy way to be creative without overwhelming myself. So I took that and multiplied it by 3 and then realized I needed to sketch a story arch and then gave up. Maybe someday I'll return to it, but until then...

Are they going up or down?
Elevator Pitch: The Trinity is a story told over three separate twitter accounts, by three different people over three different time periods. All three chronicle an alien invasion and each can be read individually, but when put together they create a larger world. The three Twitter accounts would run for 6 months from beginning of story to end. However, only one account experiences time in this fashion.

I had been reading George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones and was inspired by the way he paints a giant world while not losing the importance of his characters and their relationships. Each chapter is a small segment of story from a character's point of view and we might not see that character for another seventy or so pages.  When they pop back up we remember where we left the character and are excited to read more.

Especially about you, Davros the Onion Dalek. Too nerdy?
The Trinity, which is more of a place holder name, tells the story of the invasion of Earth by something  beyond. The story is told through three sources: The Engineer, The Star and The Monitor.

The Engineer: An astronaut on NASA's last manned flight to space. Whatever this threat was collided with his shuttle on its entry to Earth. The Engineer was on the outside of the ship at the time repairing some external damage to the shuttle and has been left floating in space, above Earth, with no hope of retrieval.

The Engineer's story, while occurring over six real months, will only chronicle his last three days as his brain slowly becomes oxygen starved. His Twitter account represents a computer at Ground Control that is recording and encoding what he is speaking into his comm. The one hundred forty characters are justified by his frantic thoughts that slowly become more labored and hazy as his body shuts down.

The Star: A B-List celeb on a trashy reality T.V. show. Think Jersey Shore. She finds it easy to party hard when working is just partying. Her shallow tweets become angry as she tweets about losing air time to the news reporting on events around the world. She is our ear to the ground and eye on the scene, however unfortunate that is.

The Star's Twitter account would be like a normal Twitter account. It is expressly there in the beginning to brag and whine, but it soon becomes our most accurate window into what's happening. Her story happens in more 'real time' then the other two. Her one hundred forty characters are justified by Twitter.

The Monitor: Underground during the events of the story; the Monitor is recording events all around the world. The Monitor itself is sort of an ambiguous character. We learn bits about it, but the less said the better.

His/her only job is to make sure that everything that is happening is preserved. The Monitor's time period is significantly longer then the Engineer's and Star's; taking place over three years. The power in the location the Monitor's is in is spotty, so he/she makes her recordings short, limiting them to one hundred and forty characters.

An easier to understand timeline.
All three accounts are tiered. The Engineer is Tier 1: personal. We learn about him, his life and what they were doing in space. The Star is Tier 2: national. As the Star moves around the country we see the effects of this invasion as it touches the lives of others across America. The Monitor is Tier 3: global. Through the Monitor's recordings we learn how the rest of the world fares during the invasion and if we make it out in the end.

The Two Obstacles: One of the major obstacles to writing this is me having to kick myself in the ass, get the key events down, and do some research. So that first obstacle is really just me being a lazy jerk. 

The second is me gaining a better grasp of Twitter. I hear it's really not that hard to use, but I think I'm getting old because I've caught myself turning my nose up at technology "the kids are using these days". It shouldn't be that hard, right? 

So why don't I get cracking at figuring this out? I might.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Nolan-izing Harry Potter

I was in the North woods of Wisconsin, enjoying the fantastic scenery and getting away from any sort of technology, when an idea from the blue struck me: Someday they are going to remake Harry Potter.

Don't ask me why a beautiful lake and the chirp of birds led me to that discovery, but it's true. Someday they are going to reboot the classic children's series. At least in film form. 

I loved Harry Potter when I was younger. I was never the full blown sycophantic fan that seem to crop up around any great work, but I genuinely enjoyed the books. Until the fourth one with that damn quidditch game that was too long. I placed the book down, decided to be a good American and wait until the movie came out. 
I regret nothing.
What would a HP remake look like? Your guess is as good as mine, but I'm going to take a stab at it using today's remake system: make it gritty. Batman used to be for children, but those children grew up and so did the stories. We left the groovy dancing Batman and entered an age of gravel voice, no shit Batman. We have the great director Christopher Nolan to thank for that. He kept all the themes and concepts from the comic, but wrote a really great trilogy of crime movies that happened to feature Batman in them. This sort of thing  is becoming more and more popular. (Jeez doesn't that Superman trailer make a great Levi's commercial?) Take high fantasy things and bring them to our level. Nolanizing. 

I would assume the same would be true of HP; so I'm going to comb my hair in a devilishly handsome way and pitch to you my Nolanization of Harry Potter.
He is Inceptioning you right now!
Elevator Pitch: Potter is a film about a cop named Harry sent to infiltrate the brutal street gang: The Death Eaters. The Eaters have kidnapped a brilliant chemist, Dr. Granger, and plan to force her to create a drug dubbed 'Magic' by junkies. Can Harry get to her without ending up another corpse in the Thames?

Plot Overview: Harry Potter was orphaned as a boy when a killer the papers called Riddle, due to the lack of information the cops had on him, killed his parents. Harry became a ward of the state and grew up in a boy's home with the constant stigma and vague fame of being the only person Riddle had attacked and not killed; something he's been trying to live down his whole life.

When he finally came of age he left the home and became an officer, vowing to protect London against the sort of thing that left him without a family. Harry, and his partner Ron, end up busting a huge drug case when they discover a warehouse full of 'Magic' a new street drug. The bust draws the notice of Lt. Dore who invites him to join the Special Crimes Division, what the rest of the force calls the Griffons, due to the patches on their uniform.

Dore sends Harry and Ron to infiltrate the Death Eaters, the source of 'Magic' and one of the most notorious gangs in London, to ascertain where Magic is coming from. Once inside the duo discover the gang is more of a cult lead by those who almost worship the killer Riddle. The drug is being manufactured by Dr. Hermione Granger, a brilliant chemist, who has been kidnapped by the DEs.

Once Harry is in, he has to get out. He, Ron and Hermione devise a plan to destroy the warehouse where Magic is being made and escape, but they face threats from all sides as DEs and corrupt cops stand in their way. The movie ends with the three safe and a slight indication that Lt. Dore might be Riddle.

Something along these lines.

Other Nolanized Things:
Ditching: The DEs play a game called Ditching where they race down the busy streets against traffic on motorcycles. It's one of the initiation rites of the gang that Harry must do. Only pussies ditch out of the lane, hence the name.

Hagrid: Officer Hagrid is the "I'm too old for this shit" cop that is in charge of the evidence lock-up.

Drake Malfoy: A rich punk that is taking his daddy's money and throwing it into the DEs so they accept him. Suspicious about Harry's motivations to join the gang.

I think I'm going to keep Nolanizing as something that happens here often. Next post will be something more creative and original, but I needed to get the juices flowing. The sweet, sweet juices. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Cracked Teeth

What is this?
This is Hollow Teeth, a repository of strange thoughts. I plan on adding at least two pieces of original content every week. What kind of content? I'm glad you asked:

  • Something Creative: This can be anything from a script, to a short story or even something more drawn out. This could also be a list of ideas I've had or half-thought out things.
  • A Game Idea: There will be one of these a week and count toward the two things I need to do; at least for a year. The idea is to get out a year's worth of well thought out game ideas. To get a feeling of what this will read like, you can see my previous attempt here. The entire concept comes from a former mentor of mine
  • Reviews: I intake a lot of content, and leave nothing behind like a parasite. I say enough! I'll review books, movies, tv, games or anything else that strikes my fancy. 
  • Rants: Sometimes I'll just want to talk about things that aren't meant to be structured or read in a narrative way. Don't worry. It'll still be interesting, whatever it is.
  • Comics(?) I want to do more art. They might be comics or they might just be  doodles. 
  • RPG Tabletop Characters: I know this fits somewhere between Reviews and Something Creative, but it's very important to me, so it gets it's own bullet. I own a ridiculous amount of tabletop games. My friends tell me I have a problem. I admit that I do. Admitting is the first step to fooling everyone into thinking you're kicking an addiction. I plan on making a character from game that I own and talking about the mechanics of the game. I get this idea from fellow game designer Matthew McFarland.
Why is this?
I need to press myself more creatively, so I decided on creating this blog to force myself into writing. How does it force me to write? Why, its you, lone person reading this. I write because I made the above promise to you that I would and I'm a man of my word. I have many words.  

Who is this?
I'll explain in a later post exactly who I am, but for now, I'm just Majdi. I don't plan on being the only person contributing to this blog either. I mean, who'd want to just listen to me all the time? No, there will be other voices here all contributing to the points I've laid out above. 

Why teeth?
Teeth are scary! I mean they're little hard bits surrounded by soft squishy bits. We cringe when we hear stories about people chipping their teeth or cracking them. I bet you even cringed a little right now, dear reader, at the thought of something bad happening to your teeth. 

The deeper reason is that teeth can affect the whole body. If they get infected and that infection goes untreated it can burrow up through the jaw to the brain and kill you. If you brush and care for your teeth they stay healthy, much like writing and creativity. Leaving creativity to decay can only produce terrible results that I imagine involve pus. I mean to avoid that. This blog is my hope to stop creative stagnation within myself and to help increase my writing skills by writing more often.