Fiction Friday Week 31

Good Friday morning!

How’s it going? I’ve had a quiet, relatively good week.  I’ve gotten things done, despite being sick.  I’ve gotten on the elliptical and done my yoga four days out of five this week.  

Monday was a day of rest, a total donada day.  I’d spent the weekend helping The Boyfriend clean the cottage.  We moved everything out that was unnecessary to us, (and really stinky); he vacuumed and washed the walls and floors.  I packed up the dishes and cutlery we’ll never use – which means I packed up about 90% of them.  The landlady hoards dishes, I swear it.  It makes sense, given that it’s a rental in the summer and sleeps 7 or 8, but man oh man, there are a LOT of dishes.  *laughs*

I scrubbed the cupboards inside and out, the counter tops, and washed the dishes that were left – 6 of everything, because that’s all we need.  

And I did all that work while getting sick.  So it was understandable that I made the decision to do squat on Monday.  It was quite the debate with myself but I managed to choose to look after me.  And then The Boyfriend backed it up with the donada order.  

(For those of late to my blog unfamiliar with the ‘donada’ thing, I’ll explain.  I have several chronic illnesses – fibromyalgia and multiple chemical sensitivities just to name two – that sometimes overwhelm me and on those days I am to do nothing, nada, zilch, zero.  It usually came across as an order, just like that.  It got shortened to ‘do nada today’ then to ‘a donada day’.)

This week I have been working on Carlos, Ted’s best friend.  It’s taken some doing because I’m not familiar with the Mexican culture and Carlos is my “Mexican super assassin dwarf with an eye patch”, as per Wolfman’s stipulation.

It took some doing.  The Secretaria de la Defensa Nacional is not exactly a font of information.  I finally decided to wing it since I’m not actually having him perform any operations.  So, Carlos is in black ops so deep they don’t have an official name.  They are known in some circles as los lobos locos.  There are reasons why but they’re not important.

Since I have stuff to do – chores and whatnot – I shall leave you here.  

Say hello to my little friend!  Oh, wait, Tony was Cuban, not Hispanic. 😉

Have a fabulous Friday!  

Muah!

 

Carlos Montalban

 

Age: 42

Nationality:  Mexican, born and bred

Occupation:  Government assassin, working for a deep, dark part of SEDENA (Secretaria de la Defense Nacional) military intelligence. 

Appearance:  Carlos has Achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism that means he is nearly perfectly formed, but smaller than the average human height.  At 4’4” he is the smallest military man anywhere on the planet.  He has a large head typical of the gene disorder, shorted forearms and upper thighs.  He is slightly bow-legged.  Carlos is an attractive man with chocolate brown eyes, black hair and a medium tan colour to his skin.  Strong jaw, thick eyebrows and lips that are almost too thin.  He has no discernable marks save for a tattoo of a wolf’s head, done in the swirling light and shadow of the Mexican tribal style.

He wears an eyepatch to hide the bionic eye he was fitted with at the age of 23; most often the patch is a match for the colour of his skin.  He is fit, dresses most often like an American cowboy, goes unnoticed by the world at large, unless he wishes to be seen. 

 

 

Carlos ended up in the military because he kept getting caught with guns as a child.  And if he wasn’t getting caught shooting stuff up, he was found getting into locked buildings and stealing stuff.  He could get in without a problem – never tripped an alarm, never made a sound.  However, he had problems getting back out sometimes. 

He was an orphan, living on the streets, abandoned at the age of 8 when his parents tired of dealing with the special issues raising a dwarf caused. 

When he was caught trying to leave a building he’d broken into for the fifteenth time by the time he was 12, the judge decided Carlos needed a more focused education.  He let him stew in a holding cell – one the judge had emptied so that Carlos would be in no real danger.  However, Carlos could be seen by, and hear, inmates in other cells.  The night was terrifying, even for a boy with such bravado and ego as Carlos.  He was taken down a few pegs that night and reduced to a scared little boy.

The following morning, the judge had Carlos called to his chambers.  The boy was fed, cleaned and dressed and brought into the room.  He ran to the judge’s desk, eyes filled with tears, and begged the judge never to send him back.   “Please, please!  I will never do anything wrong again.”

The judge watched him for a long moment then looked to the man standing in the shadows.  “What do you think?  Will he do?”

Carlos screamed in surprise and whirled around.  He scrambled around the edge of the desk away from the other man.

“Aside from the fact that he didn’t notice me, yes, he’ll do.  I think he’ll work out very nicely; his instincts can be honed, refined.”  The man crouched down and crooked a finger.  “Come here, Carlos.”

After looking at the judge and getting a brief nod, Carlos approached the man.  He stopped just out of reach, making the man smile.  “What do you want of me, Mister?  I refuse to have sex with you.  You can’t make me.”  Carlos crossed his arms across his chest and glowered.

The man stifled a laugh and gave the boy a very thoughtful look.  “Has someone tried?”  He frowned when the boy nodded.  “What did you do?”

“I took the man’s knife and stabbed him in the leg.”

“It takes a lot of bravery and strength to be able to stick someone with a knife, even to save your own skin.  How did it make you feel?”

Carlos shifted from foot to foot and stared at the silver and turquoise clasp of the man’s bolo tie.  “I was scared.  But I was determined to get away.  I felt sick when the knife went into him. I knew that he would kill me if he got his hands on me so I pushed the knife all the way in.  I ran away as soon as the knife stopped moving.”  He met the man’s eyes.  “I never looked back and I would do it again.” His voice was fierce.

The man nodded.  “Good.”  He held out his hand.  “My name is Francisco Montalban.  I would like to give you a home.  My friend here,” he gestures at the judge, “says that you have no last name.  No family.   How would you like to have my name, be a part of my family?  You’d have a bed, food, clothes, an education.”

Carlos’s eyes lit up but he gave Francisco a suspicious look.  “What do I have to do in return?”

“You have to stay within the letter of the law.  Study.  Train.  I will turn you into the world’s greatest spy, if you let me.”   When Carlos grinned broadly at the thought Francisco patted him gently, carefully, on the shoulder then stood.  “My wife is waiting outside, Carlos, she would very much like to meet you.  Her name is Carlita.  I will sign some papers my friend, Juan, has and we will become a family.”

“Can I see the papers when you are done?”

Francisco smiled, pleased.  “Absolutely.  We will not call it final until you approve them, alright?”

“Yes Sir,” Carlos said.  He ran for the door.  As he opened it he turned.  “Thank you both, very much.”

Francisco, as Carlos learned later, waited until the boy had left the room before pulling papers out of the inner pocket of his jacket.  “His parents were found.  They were persuaded to give up their rights to the boy.”

“How much did it cost you?” Juan asked.

“Only about three thousand pesos.”  He dropped the papers on the desk.  “They were wise in taking the money.”

“Indeed.”  Juan pointed to all the signature spots in the adoption papers then made copies of them.  He handed Francisco the originals.  “Good luck.”

Francisco smiled before he opened the door.  “I do not need luck, my friend.  I now have wolf cub in my corner.”

From that moment on, Carlos was devoted to Francisco and Carlita.  He was equally grateful for his new home and terrified he’d do something to lose it, or that they would throw him out as his birth parents did. 

Francisco did indeed train him.  He taught Carlos how to trust his instincts, how to improve those instincts.  He taught Carlos weapons, technology and people.  Carlos went to post-secondary school in the U.S. and earned a doctorate in neurobiology – the study of the anatomy, physiology and diseases of the brain and nervous system.

When he was 18 and conscripted into the army, Francisco’s influences put Carlos in the infantry and, eventually, officer’s school.  Carlos’s proficiency with weapons earned him a spot as a sniper.  SEDENA, Mexico’s central intelligence agency, and the place Francisco worked, recruited Carlos. 

Finally, Francisco had Carlos where he wanted him all along.  Carlos was put into the deep black ops program.  It was so deep that it didn’t have a name.  It had a motto:

              Somos los lobos en su puerta en la oscuridad de la luna.

We are the wolf at your door in the dark of the moon.

SEDENA is much like the CIA. And, like the CIA, they do their part in controlling world military endeavours and politics. 

Carlos met Ted when he and Ted were chasing the same pair of drug lords.  One cartel was Mexican and the other American.  The cartel heads had teamed up to expand their businesses in each country.  They’d gotten big, too big, and it was upsetting the balance of drugs and peace in both countries.  Ted was sent to hunt the two men leading these cartels and bring them to justice.  Carlos was sent to kill them.

In the end, after a long hunt and huge battle that killed dozens, Ted and Carlos killed the men.  That the second-in-commands were killed too was a coincidence. 

The SOG man and the black wolf became fast friends.

 

 

Fiction Friday Week 30

G’day, eh!

It is Friday!  Today is a day of recovery for me – yesterday was group therapy, individual therapy AND shots.  I’m totaly whipped.  This is the weekend we get the cottage back so we will be busy.  Moving, cleaning and more cleaning.  We gotta scrub that baby from ceiling to floorboards.  We need to rid The Boyfriend’s home of all the scents of summer visitors and cleaning service chemicals.  

We need to move all the knick knacks out, put the safest furniture in place and take out everything we don’t need.   There are only two of us, we don’t need 15 dishes, 40 spoons and 65 cups.  

Okay, exaggeration.  But the point stands.  We have a lot of work ahead of us this weekend.

Speaking of work – and passion, because writing is a passion for me – I have here a bit of character development for NaNo 2015.  

Ted decided he wanted an interview.  And, of course, he started the interview in the middle. This interview is done from the perspective of an interviewer who knows a little about her subject.  She knows that Ted stopped [whatever the conflict is] and she wants to write a book about him.  Ted is quite the guy. Take a look:

This is my interview with Theodore “Ted” Terwilliger.  He is an intriguing man.  I was so taken with him that I forgot to turn my recorder on until part way through the interview.  I will, therefore, back track some later in the interview. 

 

What were you in a former life?

Plainly put: I was a bounty hunter for the US Government.

What does that mean?

I was a US Marshal who hunted criminals that the local types can’t find, or don’t have the jurisdiction to hunt.  Sometimes I worked in tandem with them.

Oh I see.  And now you own a ranch here in Ontario?  Where did you used to live?

[He arches a brow, looks almost defensive but not quite] Yeah, I relocated.  So what?  My wife, Cilla, and my son, Paulie, had a home in Portland, Tennessee.

Where are they now?

[His face closes up.  His whole body stiffens.]  Dead.

I’m so sorry.  What happened?

I don’t want to discuss it.

Please.  I need to know to write about you accurately.

[His face fills with fury, vein throbbing at the temple] Someone blew up my house.

Do you know who?

Not yet, but when I do… [The vibe coming from him makes me shiver.]

If you’re still looking, why are you in Ontario?

It’s for the best.

[I decide to leave this alone for the moment]  Okay, Ted.  What else can you tell me?

That scar on my ass?   That was from when I was about ten.  My brother and I –

[I interrupt.  Totally unprofessional, I know, but I was surprised.  Nothing in the minimal info I have about him mentions a sibling.]  I didn’t know you had a brother.

[The look he gives me is… well, reprimanding.] “Had” is the operative word.

Um… okay.  I’m sorry.

My brother and I went to an estate auction with our parents.  Momma went inside to look at jewelry and dishes and whatnot. Sam and I went with Daddy to look at the farm equipment.  [He holds up a hand to forestall my question.]  Yes, I was raised on a ranch.  Sam and I were goofing off, as boys do.  He shoved me and I stumbled, straight back onto an old combine header, the kind with the spikes. 

The skinny, sharp spikes.

Someone caught me but not before one of them damned spikes tried to lift my left cheek off my body.

End of auction for the family. 

Beginning of months of chore lists as long as our legs. 

Forty stitches in my ass, by the way.

Wow!  I bet that hurt.

[A wry smile]  The chores or the wound?

Both.

Ye-up.

Tell me about Sam.

[The sadness in his eyes makes me want to hug him.]  Sam was my twin.  He died when we were seventeen.  By then we’d begun hanging out with different crowds.  We were never far from each other but… different tastes in everything.  I was a 4-H member of long standing and Sam was a hair band aficionado.  He drank and experimented with drugs.  I rocked with country music and a good girl who liked to dance in my truck bed. 

I was with her the night Sam and his friend decided to steal the friend’s dad’s truck.  They robbed a pharmacy…

Security guard was shooting at them as they were fleeing.  He hit Sam in the back and the bullet’s path ended in Sam’s heart.  [His eyes get distant, unfocused.]  The guard shot himself in the head while he was awaiting trial.  He couldn’t live with killing a kid.

Is that why you went into law enforcement?

No.  I went wild that year.  Skipped school.  Started smoking.  Ignored my duties to my parents.  Dad just about disowned me.  I tried the drugs my brother took.  Boosted cars, lookin’ for the thrill.  One car belonged to the local mob boss.

He turned you in?

No.  He offered me a job.  But he said I had to go to school, he couldn’t have a drug addled, ignorant schlub finding information for him.  He paid half my college tuition, called it a scholarship to my parents.  He and I discovered that I loved justice but not the law.  He said I could only change it from the inside and sent me to college, pre-law.  I went to cop college halfway through when it turned out being a suit didn’t…well, suit me.

What did he have you doing for him?

Finding information.  There was never anything illegal.  Research.  A meal here, sittin’ near a guy whose picture he’d given me.  Chess games in the park with old men and some not so old, though they seemed it.  They talked to each other over my head.  All I had to do was tell him what I’d found and heard.  Sometimes I had to interpret it for him.

What happened to that job?

He fired me when the US Marshals recruited me my first year as a flat foot.

Why did they recruit you?

I was very good at sticking my nose into things.  My first Sarge gave me a cold case file to try and restrain me.  I solved the case AND found the perp.  It was high profile, attracted attention.  I went straight into the Fugitive Operations division.  I didn’t have the degree they wanted so I went to night school while they trained me to hunt assholes who thought they could outrun justice.  Became so intimate with the law I might well have been sleeping with Lady Justice.  I rose through the ranks quickly, became Deputy US Marshall Supervisor in five years.  I moved to the SOG – the USMS special forces. 

Sounds like you were good at your job.  Why’d you leave it?

Because some asshole blew up my goddamn life. 

There is much more to his back story and I’m getting there.  For now, this is a good start.  I know what makes him all dark inside.  I’m working on what makes him light and good.  

I think it has a lot to do with the love he carries – for his parents, his brother, his wife and his son.  No matter how hurt he is by her death, his eyes and mouth still soften when he talks about her.

Next week!  More about them.  Cilla (short for Priscilla) and Paulie.  More about the relationship with his parents.  And introducing his best friend and the woman he calls a friend and shares the occasional night with.

Have a great Friday everyone!  

Muah!

An Awww Moment

The cover for HW2

The cover for HW2

 

Hello!

Are you melting today?  We’re melting today.  It’s GK’s first day of Grade 11.  And she has homework.  Very frustrating homework.  One question is:  You’ve discovered a new element: A=302, Z=119.  How many protons, neurons and electrons are there?

She bent a plastic pencil in half.   I read her textbook and I can’t tell her either.  Hopefully, her classmates will be able to.

Meanwhile, I recently finished the third edit on HW2.  I passed it on to a friend of mine who loves my writing but is brutally honest.  Always has been.  She has edited for me before.  I asked her to look for stupid errors that I’ve missed.  I haven’t looked at the results yet because I wanted to share the content of her return email.

I’m sorry this took me longer than I expected it to. But I am so happy to have been asked. I highlighted the changes I made in case you want to change things back and left notes at the end of each chapter. There is one exception, a joke I had to mention, couldn’t stop myself. Overall the story is wonderful, sexy and heartwarming. I cried when he proposed and when he was scared of her I cried with her, earning me some funny looks around here. simply put, I loved the book.

Isn’t that wonderful?   I love it when I can affect people like that.   THIS is why I write.  Why I wish more people could see my books.  Why I don’t understand people like the book stores who say “this isn’t our thing.”  What?  Evocative writing isn’t for you?  Why do you manage a store in the largest chain in Canada?

*coughs*  End rant.  Sorry.

I think what kitty wrote here is fantastic.  

Wait, I have to find the joke.

Found it!  Kitty is from Arizona, (USA), which, for those who don’t know, is a desert state.  When I was there, a Canadian from a humid province, I had to make the following joke myself, at least once.  (Probably more than once, knowing me. *laughs*)

The line from the story – where Anna, Liam and Chelle had just stepped into the first circle of Hell – is:  The heat took their breath away and, gasping, Anna managed to make an old North American joke, “At least it’s a dry heat.”  She wheezed out a laugh.

Kitty’s joke: “In my head I saw it continued …just like Arizona.” 

*grins*  There is a reason we’re friends.  

I’m off to make dinner now.  I had to share her praise with you.  I love it.

Have a grand evening (or day for you Aussies).

Muah!

 

Fiction Friday Week 29

Good Friday afternoon!

How are you?  I am whipped.  This week has been physically and emotionally exhausting – two days of the outside world (including a 3 floor library!  Totally orgasmic), and a fight in the family that cut me to the quick.  

I plan on doing mostly sit-down work today and I really want to put my feet in the lake.  The weather is incredibly hot and humid this week and it’s draining.

 

google image find

google image find

It is only 57 days to NaNo! 

I mentioned way back before June that Wolfman challenged me to write a thriller. The challenge came with the following criteria:

  • No paranormal anything.  
  • Can’t go back any further than the cold war.
  • It must include: an ex-bounty hunter cowboy, ninjas and a Mexican super assassin who happens to be a midget with an eyepatch.  

The last is his payback for me making him include pink and penguins (and ships but that’s normal, eh?) in the challenge I gave him.

I have never written a thriller.  I’ve written violent, erotic romances with some thriller elements but an actual thriller?  No, not if you look at the definition.  

thrill·er
ˈTHrilər/
noun
 
  1. a novel, play, or movie with an exciting plot, typically involving crime or espionage.
    ~google

 

And:

  1. Thriller is a genre of literature, film, videogame stories and television programming that uses suspense, tension, and excitement as its main elements. Thrillers heavily stimulate the viewer’s moods, giving them a high level of anticipation, ultra-heightened expectation, uncertainty, surprise, anxiety and terror.

~google

According to Daily Writing tips, a thriller is a story where the “protagonist is in danger from the outset.”  

In another article I read, either the prologue or first chapter is from the antagonist’s point of view and it shows you why the protagonist is in danger.  

I also had to look at the difference between a mystery and a thriller.  

Writer’s Digest says, “A mystery follows an intellectual protagonist who puts together clues to solve a crime after it’s been committed, and a thriller details the prevention of a crime before it has been committed.”  

That seems to fly in the face of the antagonist committing a crime or action that sets the pace and gives the reason for the protagonist’s danger. However, I do like it for defining the difference.  

In any case, now I know what a thriller is.  I need to figure out how to thriller.

I am studying that today.  However, it would be helpful to have some idea of a plot, of a reason for the danger.  I’m hoping that developing my characters will help with that.  

So far, I have Theodore “Ted” Terwilliger, a bounty hunter of some kind (Federal?  Still researching it) turned cowboy.  He had a wife and a little boy, (who pretended he was a ninja almost all the time, thank you TMNT), that were murdered because of ….well, I don’t know what yet.  

Ted is 6’1″ and built like a linebacker.  Broad shoulders, well-muscled chest and abdomen.  Strong, muscular arms and legs.  Sensuous mouth, strong jaw, red-gold hair, green eyes.  A lumpy nose, from being broken many times, large scarred hands.  He’s got a scar just under his ribs on his right side from a bail skipper stabbing him and another low on the curve of his left butt cheek.

He won’t tell me what that one is for though.  I am intrigued.  I bet you are too. 😉

I have the Mexican, super assassin, eye-patch wearing, midget character figured out too.  Partly.  He’s a friend of Ted’s and his name is Carlos Montalbán.  He is going to have a bionic eye implant.  I want the eye to allow him to be able to choose between the lower and upper infrared spectrums.  

A quick lesson (because I just learned it):  The lower spectrum of infrared is what we typically think of as night vision.  It’s like a cat’s eye at night, when their pupils open wide.  They catch tiny amounts of light and enhance them to create a brighter picture of their surroundings.   The upper spectrum is like thermal imaging – capturing heat emitted by objects and people, rather than reflected light.

I am hoping that by building the characters – the complex protagonist and equally complex antagonist as well as the other characters of varying importance – I will stumble upon a plot.  A conflict at the very least.

Already, I’m thinking that Ted, in his bounty hunterness, (it’s a word…now), has done something to the antagonist, probably unintentionally.  Or at least peripherally.  

I am excited to share my progress with this book, this brand-new-to-me genre.  I’m looking forward to the challenge.