Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Highwayman

As it's Halloween, I post my often reprinted story once again...

THE HIGHWAYMAN  
by 
David B. Riley

He couldn't tell for certain if no one had seen him, but there weren't any sirens screeching through the night.  Kal opened the hatch and climbed down.  So far, so good.  He hurried across the park, then stopped by the statue of some guy on a horse.  The house was just across the street.  He looked right, then left, then scurried across the open area and slid under a tall bush.  So far, so good.

He hoped the commander wouldn't find out what he was doing.  He doubted he could explain why he was 100 light years off course.  If all went well, he wouldn't have to. Kal looked around.  Surely, this was too easy.  He switched on his voice translator and readied his ray gun.  It was time.

He climbed out from the bushes and strutted boldly up to the front door.  A slight sense of dread was trying to overcome him.  He fought it off.  If only humans weren't so darn big.  He reached the porch.  His antennae were vibrating from the music inside.  At least they were home.  He readied his ray gun and pressed on the door bell button.  He liked the pleasant chiming sound it made and rang again.

Slowly, the big door opened and he peered up at a human female.  He raised the weapon.  “Give me Earth food now,” he ordered in his most forceful manner.

“Oh, George, come quick.” It's summoning its mate,   He prepared to fire.  Then, a human male arrived holding a tray of candied apples.

“He's so cute.  Just like a little space man,” the female said.

“Less talk, more food,” Kal ordered.

“Of course.  You've got a long way to get back to your planet,” the male said.  A very sensible individual.

“I just made them,” the female stated.

He placed one in his loot sack.  It was so big he decided not to ask for more of them. He didn’t want humans to think his kind were greedy.

“Good night.”  The male closed the door.

Kal scurried back across the street.  A small human female wearing a mask ran towards him.  He readied his ray gun, though she looked young and harmless..

“They got candy apples?” she was asking.

“Yes.  They look good.”  He held tightly to his sack in case she tried to grab it.

“I'll go get me one.”  She trotted across the street.   Kal holstered his weapon and watched in amazement.  Without any weapon, the young female obtained a candy apple from the elderly couple.  Kal reasoned the mask must be frightening to humans.  The young female stood at the edge of the sidewalk and waived at him.  “Happy Halloween,” she yelled.

“Yes, happy.”  He felt oddly pleased the young child called Halloween had gotten an apple as well.  Earth food was so addictive.  He headed for the ship.  This had worked so well he would try it again, tomorrow.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Skeletons Are Up To Something

When I was younger, I was terrified of skeletons.  It all started when I got a skeleton Halloween costume.  It was fine for Halloween trick or treating, but I started having nightmares about skeletons and had to leave the light on when I went to bed.  Although my mother insisted there weren't any skeletons in  the house, I knew better.  I knew they were lurking out in the hall intent on getting me the second I let my guard down.  I eventually outgrew this fixation.  

There is nothing stupider than skeletons in the world of supernatural scariness.  They don't have any muscles.  How the heck do they move?  And what are they actually going to do with you if they catch you? How can they see you? They don't have any eyes.  They don't have ears, either.

Add to that, in all of the books I've edited, no one has ever once submitted a skeleton story to me.  Not ever.  That's because I don't think anyone knows how to really tell a skeleton story.  I remember some of those Sinbad movies and people were getting chased around by skeletons. They should've just turned the lamp on next to the bed. Always worked for me.

Now the one thing I'm really scared of is skunks.  They just totally terrify me.  If the skeletons teamed up with an army of skunks, that would do it.  But just a couple of skeletons? I could take 'em out with a hammer.  Skunks--no way.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Cold and Wet

One thing that always catches me a little unprepared is the mountain weather.  There aren't any real seasons here. One day it's nice and warm, the next day it's snowing and winter has arrived.  Well, that change occurred rather abruptly. Brrr. Best Halloween costume, in my opinion is Frosty the Snowman.






Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Praise and Retribution: Who is this guy?

The editor who selected my story for Under A Dark Sign gave me some serious praise at Mile Hi Con this past weekend.  It's always nice to be appreciated.  The audience seemed to like the story.  Again, it's nice to be appreciated.  

Then there's the individual who grabs anything I put out for free, then gives it one star and a one word review like awful.  This is a personal vendetta.  I guess even that's better than the overwhelming majority of folks who read or at least download my stories and never ever comment on them at all.

On a related note, when I go to cons the one thing that amazes me the most is that people actually know who I am--not gobs of people, but a few.  That always amazes me.  

Monday, October 26, 2015

Back From the Con

Had a good time at Mile Hi Con.  Conducted some business. Met some people.  Not much else to say, really.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Off to MHC

Off to Mile Hi Con this weekend. If anything interesting happens I'll try and update from the con.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

upcoming

My new story "The Venerable Assassin" is in a new book edited by Rebecca McFarland Kyle and J. A. Campbell titled Under A Dark Sign.  It will be released at Mile Hi Con.  Those participants attending MHC will have some sort of reading. At least that's the plan.  I hope it goes well.  I'm watching it carefully because the same publisher for this book is the one publishing my science fiction novel Bonded Agent next year.  

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Mile Hi Con

I will be attending Mile Hi Con October 23--25th. It's at the Hyatt Denver Tech Center.

I'm scheduled for the following panels/presentations

Friday 6 PM
Space Food

Saturday Noon
19th Century Martians

Saturday 1 PM
Blind Submissions

Saturday 3 PM
Under a Dark Sign





Friday, October 16, 2015

alternate universes

There used to be a TV show about these people bouncing around from one parallel universe to another.I don't recall the name of it. I didn't like it much.  But, if someone had been travelling to alternate universes and came back in a few months and found that Playboy contains no nudity, they'd believe they were still in a different universe.   First,  let me say I think Playboy has always been a really stupid magazine.  Most guys eventually come to that conclusion and stop reading it.  In fact, I would argue that Playboy's problems have more to do with shifting demographics than nudity.  

They appear to be going after better distribution, as most convenience store chains and grocery stores refuse to carry magazines with nudity--and that's where most magazines are sold these days.  But, I think they should've just packed it in. Playboy without a nude playmate, well, it just leaves a stupid magazine with not much else going for it.  I predict their move to a no nudity format will simply hasten the demise of the magazine altogether.  I doubt that they care what I think.  

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Driving along.

I pull into the hotel parking lot. The back door to my car opens.
Boy, that was fast.
Why are you in my car, lady?
That's kind of rude.  You're taking me to the Mae Palace.
I am? I thought I was going to work.
Let's get going.
We pull back out on the Frontage Road.
I don't like butt sex.
Uh, who in hell cares?
It hurts too much. My boyfriend wants it constantly. He won't use Ky. That's the real problem.
Why don't you just twist his nuts off with pliers?
Oh, I never thought of that.
We here now.
I didn't know you were Chinese. What should I order?
Order dried shrimp and peas. Velly good. Go now.
You sure this is the Mae Palace? Looks like the parking structure.
Down one level. You take stairs. Go now.
You're awfully rude for an Uber driver. I may only give you one star.
Down the stairs. Go now. Get Chinese food.
Oh yeah. I hope my boyfriend doesn't want any.
Told you, twist his nuts with pliers. Go now.
She finally gets out of my car. I drive away. Got work to do. I ain't no blasted Uber driver. No frigin way.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Who in hell cares?

I didn't watch the debate.  I can't stand watching debates.  The next day some news outlets are saying Hillary shined whilst other places are saying Bernie Sanders won it. I don't care.  Debates are not interesting.  So somebody comes up with a great line or flubs a response. So what?  Does it really have anything to do with how good or bad of a president they'll be?  The news media manipulates these events so they're not really even a true debate--they're more entertainment.  Next time there's a political debate on TV, go walk your dog. If you don't have a dog, borrow your neighbor's dog. It'll be more fun.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

stuff keeps going away

I used to get a calendar every year that had flying saucer pictures on it.  It was about the coolest calendar I ever had. Then the company that made them abruptly dropped them starting with this current year of 2015.  It really ticked me off that little old ladies could get 50 different cat calendars but I could no longer have even one flying saucer calendar.  Well, the 2016 calendars are coming out and there still is no flying saucer calendar and I'm still ticked off about it. And, it does not appear that any other company has swooped in to fill the void. There just any flying saucer calendars.

First they take away the chocolate milk I like. Then they take away the calendars I like.  I wonder what's next.

This is not a picture from a flying saucer calendar because there aren't any more flying saucer calendars

Saturday, October 10, 2015

weather gripes

Well, they're saying it's going to warm up over the next few days.  Around here the leaves have all turned color and it's been getting rather chilly at night. That's the nature of the seasons. Still, I kind of would like a few more warm days of summer.  

I've been getting my car ready for winter--new anti freeze and that sort of thing.  But the nice weather would let me get a little touch up painting done before the snow flies.  I really do wonder why I live in a ski resort.  We have such horribly long winters.  As I get older, I find winter just seems less agreeable that it once did.  I'm not ready to pack up for Florida just yet, but a little less brutal winter would be nice. Denver is actually much warmer than where I live up in the mountains.  So, if we get a slight reprieve from Mother Nature, I will relish in whatever warmth she allows us. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

New Anthology

Heat of the Midday Sun is a new anthology edited by yours truly.  It's now available on Amazon in print and the ebook should be out next week.

There are all kinds of heat. Heat searing down on a witch on the great plains. Heat as a Native American gunfighter takes on Chinese assassins with magical powers in an extraordinary supernatural gun fight. Heat as the ghosts in a haunted town enjoy hanging soldiers. Heat as Pinkerton men hunt down a fugitive on the Mexican border–but who's their client? Sizzling stories of the weird west by David Boop, Joel Jenkins, Lyn McConchie, John Howard, C. J. Killmer, Sam Kepfield, Laura Givens, J. A. Campbell & more.



Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Kardz

Well, what would happen if you got a card with a turkey on it and  Thanksgiving was scratched out and  Halloween was written instead in crayon?

I got such a card last year.  I was a bit baffled by it.  To me a homemade card would've been more to the occasion than an altered card because someone couldn't be bothered to send the correct card. No card at all might've even been preferable.

Of course, if something like the turkey below showed up at my door on Halloween, I'd actually be kind of scared.  It's all how you look at things, I guess.



Happy Halloween

Monday, October 5, 2015

Leaves

Ah, autumn has arrived.  The yellow and orange leaves are everywhere.  They're all over my car.  They're piling up on my porch.  It seems they're just about everywhere.  I hate this time of year. Those damned leaves are driving me crazy.  

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Halloween Haunts 2015

My posting at the Writers Association Halloween Haunts is up.

go to horror.org
click on Halloween at the top of the page

Friday, October 2, 2015

The case of the missing chocolate milk

I enjoy a cold glass of chocolate milk now and then.  That's not typically a geezer drink. Most folks think it's a kid drink.  I don't care.  My problem is not all chocolate milk is created equal--not by a long shot.  The local store used to have an organic chocolate milk that I took a liking to.  About a month ago this stuff vanished.  The store doesn't have it anymore.  Most of the available chocolate milk has corn sweeteners and other questionable additives that I don't want.  I'm a discriminating drinker of chocolate milk.  So I haven't had any for a while.  Today I'm going to the store. I'm sure I'll be looking at an empty shelf.  I don't really know what is going on, but there seems to be a shortage of organic milk products.  Maybe I'm not the only geezer who's buying the stuff.  Of course, I'm not buying it, but I sure want to be buying it.  


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Halloween Haunts 2015

Every year the Horror Writers Association runs Halloween Haunts on their blog and Facebook sites. Some of the members put up essays on Halloween or horror and you can even win free stuff.  It runs all through October and, best of all, it is completely FREE. Check it out--unless you're afraid.

My listing is slated for October 4th this year.
Halloween Haunts 2015