Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Off To Southbury CT To Find… Magick

Oh, yes, it is that time of year again, and I head out tomorrow to the The Inner Circle of Bizarre Magick's 18th Annual Gathering of the Magi. As many of you who've followed my blog know, this is a yearly tradition I look forward to every November. I enjoy the theatrical aspect to performance magic that bizarre magick teaches, and I learn new things every time I go. I plan to shoot some video and put together a long-overdue addition of Brian With An "Eye".

Part of my insidious plan has always been to incorporate all of my interests and to create pathways for people of similar interests to grow from lessons learned from each other's art. I am beginning to see my labors taking shape and bearing fruit, and I couldn't be happier.

As this is a time of fellowship and learning, I'm not going to be online much while I'm gone. I will try to give occasional updates on my Twitter account, so check there to see what I'm up to.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Brian Keene Must Die

On March 7th, 2008, several authors converged to fulfill one great purpose: to kill Jack Haringa. In story, at least, on their blogs. The best of these efforts were collected in Jack Haringa Must Die! Twenty-Eight Original Tales of Madness, Terror and Strictly Grammatical Murder, the proceeds going to benefit the Shirley Jackson Awards.

I thought about joining in, but Jack was my Necon buddy at my very first Necon, and a good friend, and I couldn't bring myself to kill him, even in jest.

Now, the literary knife has fallen once again, claiming another victim: Brian Keene.

Him, I can do.

So, I hope you enjoy my little tale of vengeance. Check out Brian Keene's website at http://www.briankeene.com/ for other great stories, and please consider contributing by purchasing a copy of Jack Haringa Must Die! or by making a donation.

And now:


Special Agent Wallace didn’t need to be a novelist to know exactly how this story would end.

He studied the perp for months, planned the operation, and the deployment went smooth as glass. The ATF agents surrounded the house while Keene was distracted updating his Twitter account. Before he suspected anything, they were in place, and each door and window of the house had no less than three agents with automatic weapons, aimed and ready for the first sign of movement.

If Wallace had his druthers, he’d have kicked in the door and emptied the clip of his .45 into Keene’s face. But trying to justify that to the press would have been a nightmare, even with pictures of Keene’s backyard shooting range to help spin it. Also, Wallace couldn’t be sure who else might be in the house and he didn’t want any innocents caught in the crossfire. The only one he wanted was Keene. So, damn it, he had to play this one by the book.

“Give yourself up,” said Wallace into the bullhorn. Several agents knelt behind vehicles for cover, but he stood out in the open, daring Keene to try something. If only Keene would stick his head out the front door. Just enough for a clear shot.

“Get stuffed, Nazis!” shouted Keene, hidden on the other side of the closed door.

“What are you doing in there, Keene? Building another rocket?”

“For Christ sake, I shut that blog down months ago!”

“Come outside with your hands up.”

“The hell I will. I take two steps out the door and you’ll open fire.”

“No one’s going to open fire,” Wallace said. “We just want to talk.”

“Yeah? Care to explain the seven bullet holes in my front door?”


“You did sorta jump the gun there,” Agent Starcher said from behind one of the cars. “No pun intended.”

Wallace switched off the bullhorn. “I’m handling this, if you don’t mind.”

Starcher shrugged. “Just saying.”

“Your concerns have been duly noted.” Wallace raised the bullhorn to his mouth. “Keene? Are you coming out or are we coming in?”

“I didn’t do anything!”

“Don’t play dumb. We know all about your private militia.”

“The hell?” asked Keene. “Are you talking about the F.U.K.U. Army? That’s my fanbase, you jackass!”

“What about your little armory? Why do you need so many firearms?”


“From what?” Wallace asked.

“Guess you’ve never met my fans.”

Behind the barricade of vehicles, a car skidded to a stop. Inside the car sat a woman with a baby strapped in a car seat. Bags of groceries filled the back seat. She got out of the car without shutting off the motor and stared at the ATF agents in stunned silence.

Wallace slipped behind the blockade. “Excuse me,” he said to the woman. “Are you Mrs.--.”

“I’ve never heard the name Brian Keene in my life,” the woman said. She climbed back into her car and drove away.

“Should we stop her?” asked Starcher.

“No,” Wallace said. “The poor woman’s suffered enough.”

Wallace switched the bullhorn back on. “Keene? I’m losing patience with you. You either get out here right now or I'll bring you out. I have a LAW rocket out here. You think I’m kidding you? I am not kidding you.”

“What the hell is your problem?” Keene asked. “I snub you at a con or something?”

“I’m going to start counting.”

“You think I’m keeping you from getting published in Cemetery Dance. ‘Cause I’m pretty sure that’s Nick Mamatas’s fault.”

“You do not want me to start counting.”

“You got something against zombies?”

Wallace gritted his teeth. “You’re the one with something against zombies.”

“You just checked into La-La Land, pal.”

“A zombie whale, you son of a bitch! A God-damned ZOMBIE WHALE!”

“That raping goat monster thing was kinda cool,” said Starcher.

Wallace glared at him. “Shut. The hell. Up.”

At that point, Keene must have figured that if he was going to die, it might as well be a cool, rock star kind of death. He flung open the front door and charged out, whooping and hollering, the pistols in both hands blazing. Wallace tossed the bullhorn and dropped to one knee. The agents behind the vehicles were so taken aback, they had just enough time to draw a bead on him before Wallace scooped the large metal tube onto his shoulder and fired. His aim was true, and the result was spectacular.

“Stupid bastard,” Wallace said under his breath, hoping no one noticed him smiling. “Bringing guns to a LAW rocket fight.”