Archive | September 2015

Something New – Part 28

something new coverAustin isn’t quite sure what to think when he meets Liat’s father. Gordon is unlike anyone he’s ever met before. A commanding presence, he does come across as larger than life. Austin scores points when he recognizes Gordon from his Royal Shakespeare days back in the 1970s.

“Gordon. Or God, your choice.” He winked. “You,” he pointed at Dwight. “Can you type?”

“Hundred words a minute.” He wiggled his fingers rapidly.

“Excellent. Sam-u-el!”

“You bellowed, God?” The older man appeared once more, hands folded in front of him.

“Have we anything to type upon?”

“Only a top of the line laptop in your office, sir. Shall I fetch it for you, dah-ling?”

“Bastard,” Gordon chuckled. “Please. And we could use your help, old thing.”

“Already on it,” the older man said. “One moment.”

He scurried off and came back with a very fancy laptop that looked as if it had been custom built. He handed it to Dwight. They got it up and running seconds later. Samuel showed him the word processing program and settled back with his feet up.

“Designed that program myself. It does everything but wipe your bum. I’ll send you a copy. It’s the only way to keep his nibs on time.” He pointed to Gordon.

“Are you the butler?” Dwight asked.

“Sometimes. I think the last one quit, he hasn’t been in for several days. So I fill in. I’ll hire someone next week.” He shrugged. “Now, what can we do for you, Gordy?”

“Interview prep.”

The old man nodded, steepling his fingers. He started dictating to Dwight, who kept up remarkably well. They became so engrossed in their conversation, they ignored everyone else. The others moved closer together, leaving them to work. Austin couldn’t help overhearing things, but he chose to ignore most of the running commentary, trying to concentrate on Liat and her parents.

“Can’t show his bare bum on network TV,” Samuel muttered. “Best he keeps his pants on.”

“Excuse me?” Austin stood. “I’m not taking down my trousers to please the public. If they want to see my arse, they can watch the program!”

“Of course not,” Dwight said. “We just wanted your attention.”

“Why didn’t you just say Hey, Austin?”

“Where’s the fun in that?” Samuel asked, smirking.

“You’re as bad as he is,” Austin pointed from Dwight to Samuel. “Evil. Both of you.”

“That’s why I work for God,” Samuel replied. “Because I’m Satan. Samuel Alan Thomas Aquinas Nichols.”

“Who names their child like that?” Austin asked.

“Rich, bored people with too many people they have to please. To be fair, I added Thomas Aquinas when I took my Confirmation name.”

“I’ve crossed over,” Austin decided. “I’m in Limbo or Purgatory waiting to be judged. I’ve God on one hand and Satan on the other. What am I supposed to do on these talk shows? Other than baring my bum, which isn’t happening.”

After scrolling to the beginning, Dwight handed him the laptop. Austin started reading. Samuel brought tea and Austin was still reading. He went through it several times to be sure he had it. Since he wasn’t simply repeating lines, but would be using the information to extemporize, he wanted to be sure he had the details straight.

“When is my first appearance?”

“Tomorrow morning at seven. City Today,” Dwight replied. “Babs texted me the entire list.”

“What’s City Today?”

“You don’t watch the highest rated, most enjoyed morning chat show on TV?” God asked, offended. “It’s the program that made the network famous. Used to be Stella Wienstein, but she got a bit too long in the tooth—”

“She died, I think you’ll find,” Elaine said. “Now, it’s Liz something.”.

“Her name is really Liz Something? Or you’ve forgotten?” Austin teased.

“Liz Oglethorpe,” Elaine snipped, laughing.

“She’s a barracuda in Prada,” Dwight said. “Bony bitch with too many teeth.” He mimicked an overbite.

Austin’s eyes grew wide and he paled. “Is she out for my blood?”

“Probably not,” Gordon assured him.

“Probably? I’m so dead.” He blanched, wilting slightly.

“You’re on the same network. I sign her paychecks. I very much doubt she’ll be too brutal,” Gordon said, smiling brightly.

“She likes to make people cry,” Liat warned. “That’s her thing.”

“I suppose it’s too late to back out,” Austin said.

“It would make you look childish and cowardly,” Samuel said. “Suck it up, son. You’ve got the balls—or should I say the bum, to take on that bony bitch.”

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

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And Itza Danced – Part 8

Sci-Fi and Fantasy by Dellani

And Itza Danced coverA new challenge has been struck and the answer comes back in the form of Vilfort’s head in a bag, his tearful son carrying it. Itza has her doubts, but knows she must do this to protect her family and friends.

Finally, she too stood and walked out of the shrine. The sun was sinking on the horizon, illuminating the sky in shades of rose, crimson, lavender, azure tinged with gold. Despite her fear, the sight did her good and she felt a little of the despair lift.

The fighting area had been marked out again in the same place as before. Crex had taken his position on one side of the ring. The same old farmer was back where he had been. Elveric did not seem to mind the fact that Crex was there, even if he was no longer his boss. He didn’t care, he was so…

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Something New – Part 27

something new coverAfter a successful interview, Elaine takes Austin, Liat and Dwight to lunch at Sarducci’s restaurant. While there, they are summoned to the presence, the GOD of broadcasting, Gordon Vogal, Liat’s father, and owner of the network, wants to see them.

He took a seat beside Elaine, his arm around her shoulders. Liat sat next to Austin, gripping his hand.

“You’ve been busy. Mummy tells me you’ve been masquerading as a Fogleberg.” He tipped his head, narrowing his eyes, but his smirk gave him away.

“Are you mad?”

“Why ever for? You got the part, didn’t you, all on your own merits.”

“Yes.”

“Then why would I be mad? What’s all this crap that’s been going on with my network in my city? What’s that annoying pimple of a man doing now?”

“He doesn’t mean me, does he?” Austin whispered to Liat.

“No, silly. Irving,” she replied.

“He’s saying Austin insulted him and called him names in public,” Elaine explained.

“Did you?” he directed at Austin.

“No, sir. Unless he’s a mind reader.”

“Mind reading,” Gordon waved it away, making a rude noise. “Very hard to prove in court. What did you do to make Irving so angry?”

“I took Liat to my trailer.” He held up a hand before her father could comment. “I’ll rephrase that. Pervy Irv was bothering Liat. Rather than see her karate chop his flabby arse, I took her with me to my trailer. We ate dinner, studied our lines and she went home. He didn’t like that I showed him up.” He shrugged.

“That’s it?”

“I called him sir in a snarky tone and did my best to follow his obtuse directions.”

Gordon burst out laughing. His blue eyes twinkled merrily. The tea arrived and Elaine poured, passing the sugar and cream after. Once they served themselves, they went back to their conversation.

“After inappropriate snarkiness, what did you do?” Gordon asked.

Austin thought a moment. “Said my lines, hit my marks and nailed the scene.”

“Why is the gimpy cretin saying that Austin called him names? Did you call him names?”

Austin shook his head.

“Why’s he saying that?” Gordon persisted.

“I flirted with Liat in front of him.”

“Did you kiss her?”

“Later. It was scripted,” he hurried to explain. “Pants on, I swear.”

“Yes, of course.” Gordon couldn’t keep a straight face. He understood the young man’s distress, but he wasn’t angry, simply confused. “Then what’s he banging on about?”

“No idea.”

“Then this is all just stupid, isn’t it?”

“Yes, sir.”

Gordon leaned back, running his hand through his hair. “There are people starving in this city and he’s trying to raise a stink over something that never happened?”

“Precisely my point, sir.”

“Are you sleeping with my daughter?” Gordon shot at him unexpectedly.

“No, sir. I’m not.”

“But you’d like to.”

“Don’t make me answer that one, please. I’m thirty-two, single and she’s gorgeous.”

Gordon laughed, nodding. “The same thing I said about her mother thirty-six years ago when I met her. Have you had lunch?”

“Yes,” Elaine replied.

“Good. Did we have anything else to discuss to resolve this nonsense?”

“We’re opting to let it blow over. Babs is setting up interviews and arranging his schedule with Dwight and Sandy.”

“Everyone wants you, kid. How does that make you feel?”

“Terrified. It’s like being the tenderest steak in the shop. Everyone wants to grill you and have a bite.”

“Couldn’t have put it better myself. We’ll get you ready, no fear. I hear you’re some sort of genius at memorizing.”

Austin didn’t bother to ask how he knew. God knew everything. “Yes, sir.”

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

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Something New – Part 26

something new coverAfter the press conference, they have a lavish lunch at Sarducci’s restaurant. While they are there, Dwight gets a call from Babs, telling him they have been summoned to The Presence. Austin has no idea what that means, but it seems to awe the others.

Dwight tipped his head to Elaine.

She sighed, pushing them toward the door. “The Presence is what we call the God of Broadcasting in this city. He knows all, he sees all, he’s God.”

“Does this paragon have a name?”

“Yes,” Liat said. “I call him Daddy.”

They dragged a stunned Austin to the car. Stu sped along the streets, miraculously hitting green lights and minimal traffic. Though he asked many questions, Austin couldn’t get another word out of the women, Stu or Dwight. Resigned to the fact that he was being ignored, he settled back in his seat and closed his eyes. The car slowed, making a hard left turn. Austin woke. Liat handed him a breath mint. He popped it in his mouth before kissing her.

“Feel better now?”

“Little bit.”

“Good. You’ll need it.” She climbed out of the car.

Stu ushered them to the elevator and waited with them. “I’ll be waiting in the car,” he promised.

“Where are we?”

“The Vogel Building,” Liat replied.

“You’ve got a building—named after you?”

“Named after my great-grandfather.”

Liat pressed a section of wall and a sliver of wood slid back, revealing a single button. Elaine pushed it and the elevator rose rapidly, not stopping at any other floors.

When it reached its destination, the doors opened to a pink marble floored foyer. The walls were tooled bronze to about chest height, and creamy cloth above. On the left, wide steps led down to a lavish room with a black marble floor. There was a rectangular fireplace standing in the middle. The perimeter of the room consisted of gray leather couches. A padded lip ran around the fireplace, perfect for people to put up their feet.

To the right, a grand piano occupied a cozy nook. A panoramic view of the city filled the bowed glass windows. The room continued, but Austin didn’t have time to look at it all.

Elaine led them to the sitting area around the fireplace. They took seats in a tight cluster, except for Elaine, who sat directly opposite the steps. Moments later, a tall, dark haired man with broad shoulders and muscular chest, came to greet them. He trotted down the steps and stopped in front of Elaine, holding out his hands. She took them and he raised her to a standing position. His arms went around her waist, pulling her close, as he kissed her.

“Hello, darling,” she said with a smile. “How was Paris?”

“Boring. French.” He winked, patting her on the fanny. “You’ve had some excitement. Hello, Precious.” He greeted his daughter with a kiss and hug.

Austin and Dwight stood, waiting anxiously. Liat’s father was an intimidating man. He stood over six feet tall. His black hair was shot with silver, his blue eyes penetrating. His voice was a loud and rumbling baritone, laced with a distinctive Oxford accent.

“You’ve studied Shakespeare,” Austin said as he stepped forward.

The man’s blue eyes twinkled. “I have indeed, young man. Royal Shakespeare, 1971 through 75. Astute.” He shook Austin’s hand.

“No one rumbles like a Shakespearian,” Austin replied. “Which must make you Gordon Vogel.”

“It must, indeed! Gordon Oliver Desmond Vogel, God for short.” He turned to his wife, smirking. “You told me he was sharp. Who’s your friend?” He held out his hand to Dwight.

“Dwight Wales. He’s my personal assistant and good friend.”

“Everyone needs those,” Gordon said, shaking Dwight’s hand. “Friends, I mean. Assistants are a dime a dozen.”

“Not good ones,” Dwight said confidently. “We go for a dollar a dozen.”

Gordon burst out laughing at the silly joke. “I like this one too. Can we keep them, Mummy?” He sounded like a child, directing the comment to his wife. “Sit, everyone. Beverages. Sam-u-el!” He drew out the name like a battle cry.

The windows shook when he called the name. An elderly gentleman in a black suit came to stand by the sunken room.

“You bellowed, sir?”

“Beverages, Samuel. Tea?” He asked the room in general. “Yes, tea. The Oolong.”

“As you wish, sir.” He bowed, turning his back to the room.

“Great man. Deaf as a post,” Gordon muttered.

“I can hear you,” Samuel said. “I’m not deaf.”

“He’s not. I just like yelling. Sit!”

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

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Dellani’s Alphabet Challenge Letter S – Shakazhan

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ABC ChallengeShakazhanis book 2 in my Lone WolfSeries. Having traveled out of the known galaxy into another that doesn’t even remotely resemble their own, the crews of Hannibal and Flotilla are orbiting the mystical and legendary planet Iyundo, when it something goes horribly wrong.

Hannibal 1350 GMT

Ben sat in his ready room, feet on the desk, cap over his eyes. Something woke him and he stood quickly, fully alert, listening. Had someone called his name? Suddenly, he grew dizzy. The walls swirled together, the floor gaped threatening to drag him under and he felt a great sweep of fear as if a million voices had suddenly cried out in terror!

Vertigo overcame him and he dropped to the floor on his hands and knees, gagging and vomiting. His vision cleared and his ears stopped ringing. Small cleaning bots scuttled around him, vacuuming up the mess. His door…

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Something New – Part 25

something new coverThe press conference went well. Austin played his part perfectly.

They laughed as the elevator opened. Stu was waiting for them, grinning.

“Beautiful job. Where to now?”

“Lunch,” Liat said. “I’m starving.”

“We’ve got the whole city to choose from.”

“Sarducci’s,” Liat replied.

Dwight pulled out his phone and made a call. “They’ll have a private dining room for us. Go to the back door,” he told Stu.

“You got it!”

“Let’s eat, then you need to discuss the schedule for all your interviews with Dwight and your agent.”

“All my interviews? I thought there were just the two.”

“After this? Everyone is rabid to chat with you.”

“I was hoping that my statement would make them less interested, not more.”

“Ride the wave, dear,” she advised. “This is a great forum for you.”

“For the show, you mean.”

“No, for you. You believe everything you said today. There are more important things than gossip and celebrities. If we spent as much time worrying about the country and less time worrying about movie stars, we’d be a far better place.”

They pulled up to the back door of Sarducci’s Italian Restaurant. The hostess, a tall blonde woman, met them at the door and led them to a private dining room. When Stu had parked the car, he joined them. Hors d’ouevres circulated on Venitian glass serving trays, accompanied by champagne. Soon, lunch was served.

Austin took his first bite. The flavors rolled across his tongue and he smiled. “Divine,” he said as the waitress refilled his water. “Please give my compliments to the chef.”

“I will, Mr. Templeton, thank you.”

The waitress moved away, but Austin caught her sleeve.

“Ask her if I detect a hint of anise and just a touch of—” he smacked his lips a second. “No, fennel, not anise. It’s really unique.”

“I’ll ask.”

A few minutes later, a short, petite woman with long black hair and a chef’s cap, walked into the room. The men rose, including Austin, though he had no idea who she was. Grinning, she came over to him, her hand out.

“You’re good. You tasted the fennel. Not even my father caught that.”

“There’s cardamom too, but I didn’t catch that until after the waitress left. Nice background to the garlic, onion and pepper.”

“Are you a chef?”

“No, I just love to eat. I can barely boil water, but I appreciate good food. It is delicious, Chef. Thank you.”

“You’re very welcome. Come back any time.”

“Thank you. If you keep cooking like that, I’ll eat here all the time.”

“I’ll keep cooking like that.” She winked and left.

Applause followed the chef out. A waiter closed the door behind her.

Dwight’s phone rang. He wandered away from the table before answering. “No kidding!” He couldn’t seem to contain his delight. “Thanks, Babs.” He scurried over to the table. “How soon can we get to Riverside?” he asked Stu.

“If we hurry and there’s not too much traffic, forty minutes, an hour tops.”

“Come,” he gestured to Liat and Austin. “Elaine, you too.”

“What? Where?” Liat asked.

“We’ve been summoned,” he replied. “To the Presence.”

Obviously understanding, the women stood, preparing to go. Stu dropped his napkin and hitched up his pants.

Austin frowned. “What are you talking about?” Austin followed Dwight to the door.

“Honestly, do I have to tell you everything?” Dwight stopped, incredulous.

“Apparently, yes. What’s the Presence?”

“It’s not a what, it’s a who.”

“Okay, that then.”

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

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