Monday, 30 October 2017

Part VI ~ Le Monstre se Réveille



HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

It's live! Click HERE for La Saveur de la vie ~ Part VI Le Monstre se Réveille


(Don't worry, it's not in French, just the chapter titles) 


Running from 2012 to 2017, and into the future, La Saveur de la vie is an ongoing Halloween special novel project. Every year in October, as the seasons change, I write and release one chapter or section of the story here on my blog. Be advised, this is a horror story, and it is not family friendly. My vampires have teeth. 

Monday, 9 October 2017

One Big Happy Graveyard's new location


My new web comic One Big Happy Graveyard has a new home! Please visit 


All issues are now available on that site, and more will be posted in the future. 
Please enjoy irresponsibly!


Thursday, 28 September 2017

One Big Happy Graveyard.

And now for something completely different.

I have dozens of these pencilled, and they are slowly getting photoshopped into life. Stay tuned for more, this blog is the birthplace of Samuel Blondahl's new web comic One Big Happy Graveyard!







Come back for more soon, and don't miss my ongoing Halloween Horror serial La Saveur de la vie. Link at the top of this page, Continues in October of every year!

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

The Anahita Chronicles

The Anahita Chronicles are now officially re-released and available on Amazon in paperback and kindle! Make sure you get the new edition sold by Amazon and myself, direct links are below, just click on the header or cover for paperback, kindle is listed underneath! These editions are self published and contain new, cleaner editing and better formatting than was previously available. The cover art is self designed and produced, with more attractive title layouts than previous editions. The story content remains unaltered, but the book is vastly improved with the new edit. I hope you enjoy and review freely. Thank you for reading!








BOOK I SYNOPSIS


The crew of the new star ship Mercury prepare for a short journey to Mars, both to test a miraculous new engine, and to serve in an assistance capacity to the first landing team to set foot on the red planet. Sabotage and mutiny strand Mercury and all hands deep in uncharted space. The ship damaged, and the crew subject to the horror of knowing they may never see Earth again, they accidentally stumble across something that will shake our understanding of the universe.

A story of raw human determination, achievement, and curiosity, set against all too human hatred, madness, and fear. Samuel Blondahl’s Anahita Chronicles are thrilling and complex, a contemporary sci-fi epic like nothing that has come before.

BOOK II SYNOPSIS

Fourteen years after the discovery of the planet Anahita deep inside the Ursa Minor dwarf elliptical galaxy, humans have colonised the new world, and built a second star ship named Excalibur to establish a stronger presence and facilitate further exploration of Anahita and the universe. Anne Webber, daughter of the famous Mercury designer David Webber, takes the engineering seat on Excalibur’s maiden voyage, and drives straight into unexpected horror. The enigmatic and quiet alien race known as the Makhar have built a new battleship of their own under the auspices of long lost NASA astronaut Lieutenant Jane Hobbs. As a result, the human race is thrown into a dramatic conflict that threatens the future of the deep space program, the security of Anahita, and potentially all mankind.

The second novel in the Anahita Chronicles, WAR is a unique and gripping examination of humanity from the outside, both condemning and glorifying.

BOOK III SYNOPSIS

Overflow has been weaponized. The strange radioactive fluid that allows star ships to travel across the universe in the blink of an eye has properties not unlike antimatter. Its potential as a world killing weapon did not go unnoticed. Now, the American government has begun construction of a missile capable of reaching other planets and potentially annihilating them in a heartbeat. Russia has also nearly completed construction of their own star ship, and intends the same ultimate goal of Overflow weaponization... but Russia is not the enemy. Earth has been threatened by a new and unknown alien presence, beings who are are also capable of Overflow travel. A message threatening invasion has been received by SETI, originating from somewhere deep in the Andromedae constellation.

Blondahl provides a powerful story with themes that affect us all. The Anahita Chronicles continues to challenge our place in this vast universe.






Thursday, 25 May 2017

Release Announcement

HOMO SUPERIOR
And Collected Works

Is now available





An eclectic collection of novellas and short fiction from Samuel Blondahl, author of The Anahita Chronicles. 


Includes the novellas::
HOMO SUPERIOR
THE DARK FOREVER
NOBODY'S HERO

The screenplay::
THE MARTIAN MURDERS

And the short stories:
Dirge of the Hummingbird Prince
The Golden Peacock of Dambulla
Devil's Lantern
The Paper Forest
Un Opera Per Miranda


Homo Superior is an adventure love story that begins with the creation of universe and ends in the apocalypse. This is a journey into the depths of Hades and onto the heights of Olympus.

The Dark Forever is a chilling deep space horror story inspired by The Lord of the Flies and Alien.

Nobody's Hero is a fun, fast paced, everyman turned superhero story.



The Martian Murders is a classic Science Fiction screenplay set in the 1960's and inspired by The Twilight Zone. (less)

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Andromedae Appendix and dedication


This is the afterword to Book III of The Anahita Chronicles, Andromedae. I am re-releasing the series soon, and I had to re-type this, as I did it inspired me all over again. I wanted to post it here just to shout it from the rooftops.


Earth in the dark

Andromedae was difficult to write. Not because I didn't have a story to tell, and not because of the characters, who I love and who flow out of my fingertips easily, but because of the subject matter. Weapons of mass destruction are a reality in our world, and the will to use them is present. Our species is capable of terrible things. So upon our creation of a weapon capable of destroying planets, what would the response of an alien species be? If they have paid any attention to us, they would understand that we simply cannot be trusted with that power.
  I have always been an optimist, and I am still, even in these troubled times (I re-type this in 2017). I believe in our potential and the inherent compassion within us. Humanity has done incredible things, we have broken down the walls of the impossible and stampeded across the incredible. But when writing this book, I had to face the darkness we have committed and try to weigh our sins against our potential. I had to look at us the way a highly advanced species might, and that is where I faced the great problem. How do I NOT turn this into a moral lecture, a thesis on ethics and our responsibilities to the world?
  Andromedae was quickly becoming a story without action, but with very serious and heavy debates going on between the characters. While perhaps intellectually laudable, this has not been the focus of the previous books in the series, and my readers certainly have expectations that I was not meeting.
  When I wrote Mercury, I wanted only to tell an action adventure story that laid out a great potential for us as a species. When I wrote War, I wanted to up the ante and tell a story of conflict based on our natural violence, the threat of humanities inhumanity was enough to make the Makhar deeply wary of us, and even impressed by us. In War, Jane Hobbs tells the Makhar of our violent history and capacity for horrific action even against our own kind, she does this to frighten them into leaving us alone. Her plan backfires, and they escalate the conflict, but ultimately the Makhar are so like us that they are able to come to an understanding with humanity, and forge peace in the end of the book. In Andromedae, this is simply not a possible resolution. The new antagonists are a species millions of years more advanced than us, a people that can build cities and titanic spacecraft without effort from programmable materials. A species that long ago mastered the technologies that we are just now developing in the story. They established a moral standpoint aeons ago, and enforce it freely. They literally just show up, and destroy our entire power base by flicking a switch. Lights out humans, you have been naughty and we are taking your toys away.
  The Andromedae observe us, and judge us. As they did, so I had to also in order to write them. I looked at mankind, and what I saw troubled me. We are a broken and angry species, locked in self annihilating conflict for our entire history. Belligerence and self righteousness plague us. Greed and xenophobia often seem to be our only societal motivations. Look at history objectively and it is impossible to dismiss. At what point in the living history of the world have we truly been at peace? How could we then ever hope to establish peace with an alien species so very fundamentally different from us, when we cannot even make it a reality here on Earth between people whose only differences are ideological?
  There is no greater evil in an enemies heart than in our own. We are all human. We cannot simply invade and conquer, we cannot simply fix these problems, because these problems are inherently human. They are a part of us. The conqueror always becomes the oppressor. We have had war since before we had fire, and I fear we always will. It boils down to team spirit, us against them, you see it in a junior hockey game, you see it in international military conflict. We are right, they are wrong. Our God is real, theirs is false. We are the good guys, they are evil.....
  You get the point. Andromedae has every right to take our toys away, I as the author have found myself forced to agree with the antagonist in my story. How the hell do I write that? Are they the protagonists now? Are my heroes going to turn into monsters three books into the series and launch a world killing missile at people who are in the moral right? Ugh..... What have I done?
  Well, you just read the book, and I hope that I was able to illustrate these issues and resolve them to your satisfaction, while maintaining a fun and action filled pace. Ultimately what motivated me to solve the problems I faced was the other truth, the one that is harder to see but absolutely beautiful when witnessed, that we are trying. There are wars and crimes and horrors on Earth yes, but there are also movements of peace and enlightenment. There are people who are working to cure disease, educate the poor, people building energy alternatives that could save the world, people fighting for the rights of the oppressed and for endangered species, and trying to save entire ecosystems. There are people and scientists working on making our dreams real.
  This book is dedicated to those people, I will name an few but please know there are many, and that they are the hope of us all, and the future of our species. If we are ever to come out of our self destructive and selfish world and become a truly beautiful and creative people, then it is because of the work these and so many other people do and have done.

  Thank you. Thank you to everyone who inspired me to see that we are not hopeless, that we can achieve greatness and that the future can be bright. This book exists because of you.

  I strongly encourage my readers to spend some time watching TEDtalks, they got me through some dark moods and made me dream again. I also strongly encourage my readers to look into the following technologies and organisations. Even if you disagree with or doubt them, you can see that they are TRYING to build something better for us all, and frankly, I don't doubt them.

This book is dedicated to:

NASA, CSA, ESA, ROSCOSMOS, JAXA, and every space agency around the world. 

Elon Musk, just.... for everything man. Thanks. A solar roof on a house with an electric car in the garage solves so many problems for the world. Herbert Hoover once dreamed of a car in every garage, and something about chickens, I dream of a Tesla in every garage. SpaceX, Open Ai, Tesla, Hyperloop, and this new brain interface jazz I'm hearing about... If we have a future, you are going to be its father. All hail emperor Musk.

Harold White, Eagleworks Laboratories. Physicists working on real space-time warping FTL (Faster Than Light) tech, the Alcubierre drive. If they can establish proof of concept, this would make science fiction become reality, and put the stars within reach. I don't know if it will work, but I truly hope so, and I encourage with all my heart the scientific study of this technology. This is the dream, and it might be possible.

Boston Dynamics Robotics Laboratory. I cannot stress enough how awesome their work is. Look them up of youtube. As a child I dreamed of being a robotics engineer when I grew up, there was basically no such job at the time, so I was actively discouraged from the pursuit, but my first great passion was robots, and it is still a fascination for me. I hope beings like this book's own android Stalina are a reality soon, people like Boston Dynamics make that dream plausible. 

US Naval Research Laboratories. Scientists there have developed a technique to extract and refine rocket fuel from carbon in sea water. They expect it to be commercially available in 7-10 years at prices comparable to oil. This could render oil obsolete, and reduce critical carbon levels in the oceans. Proof of concept has been established.

Scott and Julie Brusaw – Solar Roadways. This technology could render coal, oil, and nuclear power obsolete overnight. If adopted, this technology will create about three times more energy than the Earth uses, as well as reduce worldwide carbon emissions by an order of magnitude. The Brusaws are creating a technology that could literally save the world, and we should all be standing in ovation to their work. Proof of concept has been established.

Mars One & other similar ventures, private and federal. The Mars One project is a terrifying and incredible goal, and one worthy of the greatest respect. Their plan is to create a permanent Mars settlement by 2024. I will sign up as soon as they have a decent Irish pub established there and I can get a pint of Guinness and a burger. Until then, I wish them the best of luck.

Greenpeace. Perhaps no other organisation in history has done so much for the world and our future. They have fought countless environmental battles for selfless and truly noble reasons, against incredible odds and powerful opposition. The people of Greenpeace have my utmost respect and deepest thanks.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Our oceans are our life. Whales and dolphins are the beating heart of our oceans, and absolutely an intelligent and sentient race of beings. Our treatment of them is one of the greatest ethical failings of our species. Sea Shepherd is doing what needs to be done, and they are having a clear effect. We owe our future to those who sacrifice for it. These people are the front line army fighting against catastrophic global species extinction. I salute you.

S.E.T.I. Institute. (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence). We must seek to find. I believe it is a certainty that life has evolved on other worlds. It is mathematically certain, and and S.E.T.I. Is working hard to prove it. Their radio surveillance and spectral imaging of extra solar planets is our best hope of discovering advanced alien life. Perhaps we could then finally come together as a world, and see ourselves as one people.

Cloned Meat. I am not talking about clone animals, I am talking about clone steaks. Petri dish produced beef and chicken. Imagine a real beef burger that was never a cow. Never had a brain, never had a nervous system, never required grazing land, or produced methane. Never hurt or felt a thing. This technology could replace one of the most ethically disturbing and environmentally damaging problems our world faces. The simple fact is that we require a high protein diet, best provided to us by animal meat. I am not a vegan, but I do understand and deeply empathise with this problem, and I want a solution. Cloning is very real, and such meat already exists, it is perfectly ethical, clean, and disease free. It is even supported by P.E.T.A. There are many companies working on the process and trying to reduce costs, including NASA. The world's first cloned meat burger was cooked and eaten in 2013, and it is estimated that it should be commercially viable in a decade. Imagine a fast food industry with absolutely zero animal cruelty. That is a wonderful possibility, and it can't come fast enough.



Rock on you beautiful scientists. I honour you, and I can't wait to see the future you are building. In the depth of global environmental crisis and seemingly endless war, I find hope and happiness knowing you are out there, doing what you do. You inspire me, and I hope I can in turn inspire others through my writing.




Thursday, 30 March 2017

A funny thing happened. It might have been ghosts.

A ghost threw a bit of glass at me today. Allow me to elaborate.

A while ago I was asked to join an amateur paranormal investigation group in a ghost hunt at a local museum. I spent the night there with them and took readings, talked to 'ghosts' and did the whole bit with enthusiasm. There was no real evidence, but It was appropriately creepy at points and the wind knocked things around once or twice, which was a nice touch. I spent the next couple weeks doing independent research, the paranormal group was not following up with anything and seemed not to be well organised in regards to any future hunts, so I took the initiative to return to the site myself with audio and video equipment and I really sank my teeth in.
    Unfortunately it turned out to be a hoax perpetrated to increase tourism. My investigation turned up no evidence, but plenty of a lack of evidence. Their ghost, a purported serial killer, was supposedly hung by the province at the end of their life, and I found all the hanging records for that period, which contained no evidence at all of that person being hung, anytime in that century. There was no arrest documentation or contemporary newspaper records, or anything at all to indicate it had really happened. Likely if the subject ever existed at all, they were a perfectly nice person who didn't kill anyone and didn't get hung for it. Further investigation resulted in finding someone who had been "in on the secret" to some degree, ie, the perpetrator of the deception had confessed to them in private. It was a tourism scam. It was literally old man Jenkins the whole time, and he would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for me.*

*I don't have a talking dog.

**UPDATE:**
They are now charging people for the privilege of ghost hunting at that site. I would name them, but I don't want to give a museum a bad reputation.... 

I was disappointed in several ways. But, I did really enjoy the actual process of hunting ghosts, and the situation did not turn me off the idea of ghosts, it just made me wary of deceptive museum personnel. I hope to try my hand at it again someday. Which is what led to today's little occurrence. 
    I was in a local shop chatting with a friend who works there, and I had brought up the idea of ghost hunting with him, as I know he shares the interest. The conversation was unsolicited and spontaneous, no set up could have been done. During the conversation, a picture frame in the back room decided to launch its glass out of itself and across about two feet of space. The picture remained hanging on the wall, just the glass flew out. It had been hanging there uninterrupted for eight years. After inspection, the glass had not been particularly tight in the frame, and an identical frame below it seemed not to be abnormally pressurised. To be certain, the glass did not fall out, it launched itself two feet away and to the left of the frame, and broke in two pieces at some point, possibly when it hit the floor.
    A curiously timed occurrence no? "Hey chum, let's hunt ghosts!" - ghost throws bit of glass at us.
    Now there WAS someone in that room, and he has been known to joke around before, ie: it might have been him messing with us. But, he was seated in his desk at such a position that he would not have been able to reach the picture. I was in the room a second after the occurrence, and he simply couldn't have moved that quickly. He could have poked it with a stick, and the glass's trajectory would align with that possibility, but no stick appeared easily accessible enough to allow for this. Although there was a stick in the office, I don't believe he could have re-positioned said stick prior to my entry. And honestly, he seemed credible in his defence statements. I do not suspect the only possible suspect. 
    That leaves two possibilities. 1: Wild chance. A pressurised picture frame that had been sitting innocently for eight years suddenly popped out its glass at the moment of our conversation. 2: Ghosts did it, and I have been called to my life's purpose.
    My personal experiences indicate suspicion and rational objectivity are warranted, but maybe, just maybe, it was ghosts. And really, when we are talking about ghosts, isn't maybe worth looking into? 


Oh, and I think a ghost touched my butt once while I was brushing my teeth. Different story altogether. My room-mate at the time named him (the ghost) Aiden, and we kept him around.


Long story short: Anyone interested in paying me to hunt ghosts is encouraged to do so. I'll research your situation meticulously, and annoy your ghosts in various ways. I'm not an exorcist, I'm a scientist, so don't expect me to fix your problem, I'll just make it worse in all likelihood, but won't that be interesting? You can show all your friends the documentation and evidence I dig up. I won't come for free, because I've been burned before by fake ghosts. 


Ghosts annoyed, cheap and local. 
Contact this crazy person today by leaving a comment below!


I'll also happily join any group seriously interested in producing a ghost hunt web series or television program in British Columbia. That's a career path I could really dig. I have film experience, tons of research experience, and unusual amounts of experience with various branches of the paranormal. 





Thursday, 16 March 2017

The Dragon - short story

I wrote this as part of the 2014 Halloween short fiction contest. As a judge I am not eligible as an entrant to the contest, but I want to participate and encourage participation, so I posted this.


Entries must begin with those fated and potent words "It was a dark and stormy night."
Entries should be 500-1000 words in length
Entries are due by October 30th.



Visit  www.southcariboowriters.com  for more details! 


The Dragon.
By Samuel Blondahl.



    It was a dark and stormy night. Two men sat on a grassy hillside overlooking a small rural town. Thunder broke in the sky above, and cold rain beat down in furious torrents, but neither man seemed disturbed by the foul mood of mother nature. Around them, the trees bent in the wind and dropped their remaining leaves in cascades. The storm was late in the season, coming in October, on the brink of winter. Below them, the town lights went dark as the storm knocked out power lines feeding electricity to the distant homes and businesses of the small hamlet they dwelt within.
    The first man, dressed in a t-shirt and jeans with heavy looking black boots, pulled a can of cheap beer out of a small canvass bag laying beside him, and passed it to the other. This man, bearded and wearing a beige wool sweater and black jeans, took the offering and opened it unceremoniously. 
    “I used to be a dragon,” the first man said, his voice rich with sorrow. “I remember what it was like to fly, and to burn from within.”
    The bearded man shook slightly and huddled up against a hard burst of wind. “I know how you feel, but we can’t speak of it. Even here, it’s not safe.”
    “Damn it, it will never be safe. I need to talk about it, I am going crazy Richard.” The first man opened his own beer.
    “I know Charles,” Richard sighed. “Alright, I can’t imagine anyone will overhear in this rager. What happened today?”
    “Elliot was sick, so Principal Hawthorn asked me to cover Phys ed,” Charles said.
    Charles drank again. “I thought it would be fun you know, throw the ball around for a while, then the damned rain started and we had to use the gymnasium. Inside that depressing brick cube with a hundred of those snivelling brats…”
    “More like twenty,” Richard interrupted.
    “Whatever,” Charles snarled. “I made them do a few laps, warm up you know? Then dodge ball. I’m not sure if we are allowed to teach them dodge ball anymore, but I’m just subbing right?”
    “Sure,” Richard agreed, drinking from his can again.
    “Anyway, when it’s all done and the bell rings, they charge out like stampeding elephants into the change room, and this one girl comes up to me and she has blood all over her shirt. I didn’t even notice it, but one of those little buggers put a ball right into her nose, the thing broke like it was made of glass.”
    Richard laughed suddenly, beer spilling from his mouth. “That’s why they can’t play dodge ball. Those animals can’t go five minutes without breaking something.”
    “Yeah, well here I was, having no clue how to deal with it. Jeez, I used to know what to do with a helpless bleeding maiden.”
    “Wow Chuck,” Richard said, still giggling. “That could be misconstrued.”
    “You know what I mean. I used to eat these lowborn beasts, now I have to teach them how to do addition and clean up their bloody noses. What happened man?”
    Richard sighed, and his expression fell. He drank again before answering. “The modern age. We demons are the useless ones now, immortal but aimless, kingless and powerless. I am just glad I have some authority, teaching English might not be as good as commanding the legions of the damned across the ravaged plains of Pangaea, but at least I have some authority and a decent enough home to crawl back to.”
    “You were always the content type,” Charles scoffed. “I was a dragon Richard! Can you imagine for even one second what it’s like for me? I have been here since the late Precambrian period, ruling with impunity all that crossed my path and leaving nothing but chaos in my wake! For millions of years!”
    “And then..” Richard threw his now empty beer can in the general direction of the town below.
    “And then one day the Gods make peace and retreat from the fertile soil to their sterile heavens! Only guess what? They leave us the hell here!”
    “Preach it sister,” Richard cheered sarcastically.
    “They leave us here, bound to this stinking flesh! Weak, soft, tiny, always hungry and cold, or too hot, or….”
    “I was a demon to be feared once!” Richard raised his voice. “I was a burning ogre, thicker around than a redwood and taller than a ship's mast. My blood was lava and my eyes glowed with the very embers of Hades most fearsome realm. I know how it feels to be confined to weakness Charles. I may not have been a dragon, but I know.”
    Charles drained the last of his beer, and stared out over the town. The rain seemed only to grow heavier, and the sky darker. Finally he sobbed, and turned his head down to his chest. “I remember flying,” he said through his tears.
    “I know Chuck.” Richard sighed, and put a hand on his friends knee in sympathy. “But now you are a high school math teacher. Honestly, in the end I think that’s more terrible and loathed than a dragon could ever be.”
    Charles laughed, and hiccuped. Then wiped his face, the rain and the tears were so mixed that the effort was futile, but it made him feel a little better. “I just wish I could fly again. I wish I felt the heat of my heart again, burning like it did.”
    “Maybe someday Chuck,” Richard said.
    “Maybe someday,” Charles agreed. “Every religion has an apocalypse right? They can’t all be wrong.”
    “Yeah, Ragnarok, Armageddon, maybe a nuclear winter. Something will bring the Gods back, and when they come, I will teach them proper grammar and how to punctuate.”
    Charles laughed again, harder this time. “I’ll terrorise them with geometry and algebra! They know not what they unleashed upon the earth when they abandoned us!”
    Richard clapped his friend on the back. “Lets get Chinese food tonight Chuck, I’m sick of your cooking.”
    “I’m sick of my cooking too,” Charles agreed. 

Bodies of Art & Sing for your supper - Short stories


 


South Cariboo Writers Guild challenge: Writing prompt.

"You are travelling through Europe on a long dreamed of vacation. You find yourself at The Louvre close to closing time. The crowds are slowly filtering out of the building, but something holds you back. You linger, even though a security guard will surely arrive soon to usher you out. But the guard never arrives, and you wander lonely, dimly lit hallways in a daze, feeling as if you have somehow strayed into a dream. A thump echoes behind you. Then another and another. You whirl around to see a man lying prone on the floor. Beyond him, more human figures dot the expanse of the wide corridor. In horror, you realise that the paintings are now empty of personages, and they all lay as if dead on the floor around you....."
Leonardo da Vinci - Louvre version

Bodies of art.
Samuel Blondahl

    I stood aghast and stared, my jaw open and my eyes wide. Shock held me fast. I tried to explain the scene before me to my own mind, tried hard to rationalise what I was seeing, “It’s a prank.” I said aloud. Then, too loud and sudden, I laughed. “You guys really got me.”
    None of them moved, not even a twitch. I looked around in confusion, trying to spot a hidden camera crew or find the pranksters that surely had to be laughing at me from the shadows. There were none. I was alone in the hall save for the bodies sprawled on the floor. I stood and waited another moment, still confused, and becoming more frightened. For a flash, I felt guilty, like I would be blamed for the destruction of the paintings. I laughed again, nervously and shaking. The bodies remained still.
    Slowly, I knelt and reached out to the closest of them. Leonardo Da Vinci’s Virgin of the Rocks, a painting of the virgin Mary kneeling beside an angel and two babes. Mary in dark blue, with an orange sash, and the angel draped with a red cloak. One could assume that the babe nearest Mary was Christ, the other apparently John the Baptist. Now the four figures lay at my feet, still and quiet as they had ever been, but now tangible and real. I knew the painting well, and these bodies were perfect replicas. The clothing, and the features. The strange proportions of the children, the masculine hands of the angel, the thin blonde curly hair of all four. Their positions were a mockery of the master’s painting however. Instead of a frozen moment of life, these things were clearly dead. I would have called it sacrilege, some demonic treachery assaulting the divine work, but around me were dozens of other such paintings in equally horrible truth. Secular and religious alike.
    I thought again, this must be a trick. I reached out and gently touched the hand of the angel. It was greasy, slick. The texture was inhuman. My heart cold and my breath still, I pushed my finger into the hand. It was oil paint. The body was thick, wet oil paint. I am not ashamed to say I screamed then. They seemed so real. This thing before me was no more alive than it had been in two dimensions hung upon the wall. It was still essentially a painting. A painting somehow filled out to three dimensions and extracted from its canvass. But it was fresh. No ancient work, but wet and new.
    I stood abruptly and ran. I ran fast and blindly, dodging or leaping over the bodies of art laying all throughout the gallery until I reached the nearest exit. Without thought I crashed into the emergency door and out into the darkening evening. Behind me alarms sounded, calling for the gallery guards to secure the door. I pitied those guards the night ahead, the confusion, the media that would surely descend upon the Louvre. The effort of trying to explain to anyone that which surely could not be explained.
    Light rain fell on Paris, and the world turned. I would soon come to learn that this strange phenomenon was not limited to the Louvre, nor even to France. All over the world, paint had grown an extra dimension. Not landscapes, not abstracts, and not unrealistic or poorly painted works. Just the masterpieces, just the beautiful, and just the painted people.



15 minute hat draw writing challenge.

We drew lots for character, environment, and mood.

Character: Lost child
Environment: Town square

Sing for your supper

Samuel Blondahl

     Daniel sat down on the edge of the fountain in the town square. Around him, people busily shopped and walked, laughed, and ignored him as they had for three days now. He looked around carefully for the constables. They would roust him if they caught him begging again, and might even take enough of an interest to drag him to the Boy's Home in uptown. He had heard stories about that place, the things they made children do there, most of it schoolyard lies and rumour, but surely some of it was true, at least the less supernatural stories. Some people thought that the boys were eaten, some kids at school thought they were forced to perform dark rituals after nightfall, and that they could be caught at the graveyard calling ghosts. Stupid, Daniel thought, but not worth finding out for sure. Confident now that the constables were nowhere to be seen, he popped his cap off and dropped it, then stood up on the lip of the fountain, and started to sing. “Sing for your supper boy,” his father had laughed only last week, it was always a bit of fun for him to make Daniel sing in the evening before supper. Now, somehow in this strange new life, it had become his sole honest means of feeding himself.
     As he sang, people went on ignoring him, and he went on watching for the constables. Occasionally someone kindhearted would stop for a moment, say “Tsk Tsk, so sad,” and drop a ha'penny into his cap, or a tuppence if they could afford it, but no one ever did more than that. A begging boy was common here, as common at least as horses on the cobblestone streets of Torquay. So, he sang and sang, and watched the measly pile of coins grow to something half respectable for an evening's work, then he stopped for a while and hid the coins away in his shoe, and started again until he had enough saved up for breakfast tomorrow, and maybe a croissant at teatime. Today, the constables were nowhere to be seen, and he was uninterrupted, that was rare enough to make for a decent haul. Tomorrow he might even have meat with breakfast. A sausage from the butcher would be a lovely change.
     Three days, and already he thought a sausage was heaven. Daniel finally gave singing a rest, and stole away to his hiding spot, a brick shack near the ocean that no one tended anymore. It was sturdy on windy days, and dry on wet days, but never really warm. Three days, and he was already thinking of it as home, that thought stung like a wasp. Three days alone, three days since Father had turned him out on his ear. Three days since mother had finally died, three years after she had fallen ill. Somewhere distant, he had an aunt who would take him in, he thought, but damned if he could remember the name of the town she lived in, or even her married name. Daniel knew he would never see anyone he loved again. Already, he was thinking of himself as an urchin, a lost boy, and thinking of maybe, just maybe, stealing from the people on the street.

     “Three days is long enough.” A voice said in a whisper. Daniel bolted up and looked around, but saw no-one, no -one except his own shadow. “C'mon Danny boy” it said. “Let's go on to Neverland.”

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Updates

You may have noticed that I'm not blogging a whole lot recently. I took down the old blog because I wanted to streamline the content and make it more focused on my work and less on the eclectic thought rambling that it had become.

I'm still very proud of The Anahita Chronicles, at the moment I am re-editing them from the original first draft with plans to re-release the entire trilogy after April of this year when the rights return to me. On that note, if you want a first edition, better get your copies now. The new editions will have new cover art and new forwards and afterwords and all that jazz. The content will be essentially the same, with no significant story alterations. As it is next to impossible to sell a book once it has been published without much financial success, I will be self-publishing that series for the immediate future. I will certainly consider serious offers from publishers however. The reviews were wonderful (4+ stars Amazon & Goodreads) and should only improve after the current revisions are complete. I believe now as always that my undoing was only a lack of promotion.

If you are following my career, you may also be wondering about the film project I teased last fall. Shooting is on pause for the winter, I live in a very cold area of the British Columbia interior, and there is a couple feet of snow outside, this makes movie making unpleasant, so we decided to wait until spring. I have found a wonderful cast of actors and phenomenal behind the scenes support, but the budget is non existent and some tiny details are yet to be figured out (editing for example). So don't hold your breath, but I am excited to get back to work on it.



Book I of my fantasy series is complete and finished edits, and I am going to start submissions soon to publishers. Wish me luck, it's a highly competitive market. Sadly, there is not to my knowledge (or the Canadian Writer's Market's knowledge) a single agent in Canada that handles genre fiction, they all want Lit Fic. BOOOOOORING. Meh, I'll figure it out.

I have a new book in early production and by the gods do I ever love the concept. What I can say now is that I have been needing to write something more fey, more goth, and more wonderful, but my heart lives in science fiction. That was a difficult river to contemplate, but I found just the right way to cross it. I imagine the finished book will be rectangular and made of mostly paper.

I think I'll put a couple more of my short stories back up here. Look for those soon. Thanks for reading! 

Samuel Blondahl

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