Tag Archives: Short Story

Happy Valentines Day, And a Story!

It’s been a while, but it’s not because I haven’t been busy! Couple of big announcements and big projects finally coming to fruition. One of which is also now the launch of the first phase of http://www.thewritermind.com, a website dedicated to the business side of being a creative person. The first posts are up, the latest of which is on tax tips. The podcast and video series starts soon!

In any case, I did this little story for the 2017 Bloody Valentine Horror Event. You should stop by and see all the fun the contributors brought this year.

So here you go!

Consulting Cupid (c) 2017

Valentine’s day. The absolute worst of them all.

Cupid slammed the shot of bourbon down his throat and savored the burn before tapping on the chipped and worn bar for another round.

Maria, the twenty something bartender, leaned over to flash a little extra cleavage as she poured the shot. It was definitely working for a bigger tip, because he knew her type. Tall, dark, and assholeish, not short, fat, and a royal bastard like him. Her live-in boyfriend Jeff was exactly her type, and at that moment he was out with Maria’s best friend and they’d skipped the romantic dinner at the two for twenty special at the Italian joint and went straight for dessert at her place.

That was one of the joys of being a love god was seeing all of the love, lust, and deviant behavior in the human heart.

Maria was working him to buy a couple of shots for each of them when she stiffened and walked to the far end of the bar and started washing glasses.

The woman that sidled herself up next to Cupid was long and lean with curves in all of the right places, no matter who you were. Well, anyone but him.

“Hello Mother.” He tipped the last drops out of the shot glass, knowing Maria wasn’t coming back his way any time soon. “Care for a drink?”

Venus ran her long fingers through Cupid’s thinning hair. “My son, why are you in this dive? You should be out working overtime tonight. It is your day after all.”

“Not any longer.” He picked up the empty glass and wiggled it in the air, with a faint hope that went unfulfilled. “Cheap cards, cheap candy, and internet dating. Even if I fix two of them up, they’re just staring at their phones.”

“So cynical, my darling. How ever did you get this way?”

“Really Mother?”

David, the college kid that worked in the kitchen and had a major crush on Maria appeared across from Venus with a glass of wine. “On the house, ma’am.”

She traced his cheek with the edge of her nail. Cupid could almost see him having an orgasm right there. “How sweet of you.”

Cupid tapped the shot glass on the bar. “How ‘bout a little service?”

The kid couldn’t wipe the smile off his face as he walked back into the kitchen. In a far off voice, “Sorry, I don’t work the bar.”

“Thanks Mother.”

“You don’t need another drink.” She took a single sip from the glass. “And you really shouldn’t start fights between couples just to take a box of chocolate. I saw you take the Deluxe Whitman Sampler from that couple. You could have at least gone for someone with Godiva.”

“What. Do. You. Want. Mother.”

She flashed a smile that would melt any human being and most gods. “Since you have nothing better to do tonight, I need a little favor from my favorite son.”

“There’s a particular Senator who’s not paying attention to something I want, and I need to make sure he stops being a roadblock.” She slipped a picture in front of him with a few notes on the back and kissed him on the cheek. “See what you can do. And if you hurry, you can still get some real work done before the night is out.”

Cupid didn’t need to watch her leave to know when she was out the door. Maria was filling his glass before he could pick it up again. “Who was that?” Even the bartender was a breathy. Venus had that effect at times.

Cupid stared at the glass, and downed it with regret. It might be his last of the night. “Business associate. Have to go to work.” He sprinkled a little magic dust in the air.

Maria smiled, “Don’t work too hard, and hurry back.”

 

~~^~~

 

The afternoon air was crisp as Cupid left the bar. At least he could take a hit off the cheap Churchill cigar. The picture was of Senator Bogsworth from one of the Midwestern farming states. Just proposed a bill making it illegal to hold hands outside of marriage, and had a rider about a virginity test before you could apply for the certificate. Four kids and number five on the way.

And he had a thing going with his barely legal newest Aide, the son of a preacher from his district. A kid named Bobby. There was some more scribble on the back, but had what he needed. Cupid worked a little mojo, and it took only a minute to find the Senator in his mind. It would take longer to get a cab than walk to the few blocks in front of him.

As is often to happen, Cupid sensed some carnal activities in a car parked in the alleyway next to the bar. It was something even he couldn’t resist. He pried a little into their minds, and lo and behold, it was none other than Jeff getting a little quickie from Maria’s bestie Ibbie. They decided to surprise her for VDay.

Cupid could sense Ibbie wasn’t all that into Jeff, but they were both bored. Cupid drew a couple of darts from his trench-coat pocket and tossed them through the window.

He was huffing from the walk and the jolt he got from being a voyeur when he spotted Bogsworth on the Capital steps surrounded by his wife, adoring brats all dressed like little adults, a dozen other politicians, pundits, staffers, and a whole lot of press.

It looked like the crowd was still gathering. It was about half rabid supporters and half protestors. And more media than all of them combined.

Cupid cracked his neck, and uttered, “Let’s make a little love. Do a little dance. Get down tonight.” He did a little shake that sent his whole body jiggling jiggling. It was a great trick when he did stints as a mall Santa, but right now, it just made him invisible.

A golden bow appeared in his hand, and a quiver full of arrows on his back. And there was the perfect perch on top of a news truck.

Bogsworth was prattling on by the time Cupid was comfortable. “It is with great regret, that I must admit defeat with the Bogsworth-Gerd True Love Only bill, and the Purity In Pants legislation….”

Cupid stifled a snort. The only thing pure on those steps was the bullshit. And maybe the kids.

And that’s when he spotted her. Standing amidst the throng of smiling supporters. Wearing a pantsuit so conservative the fifties didn’t want it back, and every one of her pearly whites aglow.

Mother.

“With the dee-cline of civilization, proven by my morality bill being struck down in this den of thieves and sinners, I have decided I shall, nay, I must run for President of these here United States.” Bogsworth grabbed the hand of his wife who looked like she could pop number five out on the steps and be ready for the campaign trail.

“Enough of this bullshit.” Cupid straightened his form and drew a golden tipped arrow. One with a little extra sparkle. And let it fly straight into Bobby’s heart.

The second one slammed straight into Bogsworth’s puffed chest.

“I love you,” Bobby shouted as he stripped off his shirt, and broke ranks to run at Bogsworth. A Capitol Policeman tazered him three steps from the bewildered Senator.

Stunned, Bogsworth jumped down and took the kid in his arms and started unnecessary mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. With tongue.

Bogsworth’s wife shouted and started beating on him with her purse. “Let’s give her a little more incentive.” The next arrow that flew was a little lead tip that just sent her into a fury.

Well, he thought. Mother did want me to spread the love. Faster than a human eye could have seen, if they were able to see the enchanted love bolts, golden arrows flew in a shower, with a healthy dose of lead tipped ones to create the right level of angst. Mother really did need a little of lovin’ on Valentines Day, so he made sure she had a lot of interested parties.

A little blue-haired lady wearing a Bogsworth’s my man button hugged a kid in a Free Love t-shirt waving a nonsensical sign. Cupid caught an image in his mind of her days in Haight-Ashbury.

Another kid took off his “Free the Whales” T-Shirt and dropped his “Let me Pee Where I Be” sign, and approached his congressman about getting a job in his office. Unfortunately for him at that moment, that congressman was rubbing Mother’s feet and trying to work his way up.

The anchor of the CAN DO network disappeared into a news van with the lead political reporter from HenHouse News. Both of their cameramen taped it and gave it the MST3K treatment. The rocking, however brief, almost knocked Cupid off his perch.

“Little Willie is Free.” Shouted freshman Senator William McBane, the future hope of the conservatives for president. He’d stripped down and was streaking until he found the “Free the Whales shirt.

Speaker of the House Dan Cullen crossed party lines and left hand in hand with Minority Whip Angela Primm, who dropped her briefcase on the sidewalk and pulled the pin out of her bun.

With the cork removed from the pile of angry and repressed humans, Cupid puffed on his cigar and grinned while he watched a breakdown of party lines like no one had seen since the orgy after Julius Caesar’s assassination. While this was nowhere as nearly as lurid, you can only do so much in one day. Sometimes you just have to give people permission to be themselves.

Sometimes Cupid surprised even himself.

 

 

 

~~^~~

 

The news was nothing but the mayhem at the Capital. There was more blurry dots everywhere from half naked people. By the time it was over, they had a full blown 60’s style love-in going on the Capitol steps.

And Ms. Bogsworth did pop out number five with the help of a Capitol Cop.

Cupid couldn’t stop smiling as Maria poured him another shot of bourbon. Cupid was so proud of himself, he didn’t even pay attention when Maria didn’t flash a little bra. He hadn’t had that much fun in years, so he really didn’t care.

Until his godly powers and the tear streaks in her makeup told him something was askew. He even felt a small spark of compassion. “What’s wrong?”

“My boyfriend is an ass. Ex-boyfriend. I caught him out back fighting with my best friend. Ex best friend. Seems they’ve been sleeping together, and she got a conscience while they were out behind the bar. I went out to break up a fight and caught them. Told them both to get out.” She filled her own shot glass and gave him another hit.

Cupid took both glasses and the bottle from her, filling them both. He put a little extra mojo into her drink, and slid it over. “I’m sure true love will win out kid.”

Maria downed the shot, and perked up a little. “Why are you so cheery? Job go well?”

Cupid looked at the TV. “You could say that.”

The door to the bar crashed open.

Cupid turned to look. Venus’ long blonde hair ran in every direction. The coat to her little suit was gone, and one heel was broken. She hobbled in and sat at the bar.

“What in Hades do you think you were doing?”

Maria bumped into David triggering a few sparks as she rushed into the kitchen and away from the yelling.

“You asked for me to mess up their little game, so I did.”

She took the shot glass of bourbon and downed it. “Did you even read what I wrote on theth, boy toy, make a mess.” Cupid stared at the empty glass. “The usual.”

“You moron.” She shrieked. “You were supposed to break up the Senator and his boy toy. Not get them together publicly.”

“Huh.” He pulled the picture out of his pocket. Right there, make sure the Senator went back to his wife and Bobby was to find a nice little girlfriend. “One problem Mother.”

“This had better be good for the mess you made.”

“That’s not where their hearts were.” Cupid took the bottle off the bar and filled the glass before sliding it to Venus. “Who am I to break up true love?”

“I should have known.” Venus scowled and downed the shot. “Sending the three most powerful people in congress to lap at my feet was a nice touch, even if they’ll never look me in the face again.”

“Nothing they didn’t already want to do for you mother. You know the rules. I can’t mess with their free will.” Cupid patted her on the cheek.  “Always lovely seeing you Mother.”

Venus removed her shoes, ran her fingers through her hair, and stood up. “You too, son.” She kissed him on top of the head and stumbled outside.

David walked down to where Cupid sat. “Everything okay down here?”

“It’s fine.” Cupid tapped the glass.

David poured the shot. “She get caught in the mess up the street?”

“Something like that.” Cupid reached into his trenchcoat pocket and pulled out a dozen roses and a box of handmade truffles from the local chocolatier.  He slid them over the bar, and poked him with a golden arrow. “I think you’ll need these.”

David held the flowers and chocolate in his hands, and a little glow in his eyes. “What do I say?”

“Whatever’s in your heart kid.” Cupid dropped several hundred dollar bills on the bar. “I’ve got work to do. You two go and have a Happy Valentine’s Day.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New stuff! New Projects!

Hello all,

I’ve had a busy month, and realized how long it had been since I got out here with an update. Several new projects are in flight, and should be ready to announce them shortly.

I have a new short story from the Longbow Initiative, and it’s a #Halloween story! I’m shooting to have it up on Amazon by the 18th, assuming #Eris stops giving me little challenges.Featured image

I had a great event at the Charleston Scottish Highland Games in September, signed a few books, and had some heavy objects thrown!

I’ve also gotten some more new artwork coming, the first of which is the Longbow Initiative emblem which will be rolled out in Spirits of the Season, and also will be in the next newsletter. It’s coming, really.

For those out there who are also of a creative bent, I’m working on a book project with a working title of The Business of Creativity. I have a lot of friends and contacts who endeavor in all sorts of creative enterprises, from hobbyists to people who pursue their creative arts for a living.

As of late, several of these friends seem to be going through a couple of similar challenges, and they all revolve around the business side of their creative arts, including two artists and an author. I’ve had this project bubbling for years, and it seems like the time to tackle it, among everything else I’ve got working. But a couple of primers.

#1 – The starving artist – making a living from your art is a lot of hard work, and usually is much harder than the creative process. It’s also OK to make a living from your art. I’ve had a few people tell me over the years that if you make too much from your art, you’re selling out, and you lose that creative spirit.

Well, you’re right. It’s much better for others to profit from your work and creative efforts while you struggle to get the materials for your art, invest the time, bring it to market, and make just enough profit for a case of Ramen Noodles. Get over it. If you can make a good living from your art, then the universe is rewarding you for your efforts! And if it’s just a side hobby and it pays your bar tab, that’s great too! It’s okay to profit from creativity!

#2 – Now that you’re over #1, and the Ramen Noodles aren’t cutting it, how do you turn an art into a business? Unless you are very lucky, it’s about time, patience, and discipline. Hugh Howey graciously held a lunch meet and greet at Dragon Con this year. I had read Wool when it was just starting to pick up speed, and I think this interview is a great resource. He credits luck and timing for being ‘discovered,’ and then navigating the trials of success.

http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/how-hugh-howey-turned-his-self-published-story-wool-into-a-success-a-book-deal

#3 – And I’ll be writing more about this, but your art is about you. Marketing people would call it ‘building your brand.’ No matter your art, you need to find the people who connect with you and your work. And a big part of that is that people want to know and understand you. Don’t be needy. Don’t be whiny. But be you.

As I start outlining the book, I’ll post more of it here, and if you think you have a story you want to share, let me know!

PS – to all of the rest of you who aren’t using some talent to be creative – quit watching reality TV and give whatever it is you always really wanted to do a try.