School is in session again, which explains why I haven’t been posting much or even visiting a lot of blogs. I should be back to normal next week. In the meantime, I did have an interesting dream last night. I was a young man, apparently held in thrall by an evil sorcerer. I was joined in that slavery by a young woman (probably Lana although neither of us looked like we do these days). We were “helping” the evil one hunt down another sorcerer who he had injured in a battle. The young woman and I found the injured sorcerer, who was in dog form, and while my friend called out to the bad guy that she’d found blood, I pulled the wounded guy away and hid him, then marked out the tracks I’d left.
The evil sorcerer came up to us and he was in the form of a giant black wolf, but he bought our statement that we’d only found blood. He led us down a hill to the injured sorcerer’s abode, which was a glass cabin in the woods full of all kinds of plants and strange objects. While there, I spotted a set of keys, and when the evil one ordered us to go and hunt the wounded man again, I took the keys, and then locked the evil sorcerer in the cabin, knowing that the spells on the place would keep him imprisoned for a while. Then the young woman and I fled into the woods to escape.
We later wandered into a village that was abandoned, but it turns out the evil sorcerer was waiting for us. When he faced us, it was clear he meant to torture us slowly before killing us, and so in desperation I challenged him to a duel with swords. He laughed but agreed to my condition that if I merely cut him with the blade we would be free to go. At first as we fought it was clear he was toying with me, but then I began to become faster and faster with the blade. I noticed suddenly that on a hill to one side of the village stood the injured sorcerer we’d helped, and he had friends. I realized they were helping me. The fight became desperate, with the blades moving with incredible speeds until they seemed only flashes of light. And then I cut the wizard across the stomach and stepped back. The wound wasn’t serious but it counted toward our bet, and as the young woman and I strode away in freedom, we heard the good sorcerer comment to the evil one about how his time was up. The End.
I’ve also been remiss in reviewing my friends’ works of late. I finished Discount Noir and reviewed it on Goodreads. Here’s what I had to say:
A really fun collection of short flash fictions all involving "MegaMart," which you can probably guess is meant to represent another "Mart." There's a little bit of everything here, serial killers, vampires, losers, drug addicts, sad sacks and more. I couldn't quite decide on my favorite story in the collection and will call it a tie between "House Names" by James Reasoner, and "Thirty-one Hundred" by Loren Eaton. Loved 'em both. I enjoyed the whole work, though, and particularly the fine stories from Sandra Seamans, Kathleen Ryan, Evan Lewis, Ed Gorman, Bill Crider, Patti Abbott, and more.
Probably based on my “Discount Noir” experience, I also had a dream involving searching for something in a Megamart last night, and finding everything but what I wanted.