All posts for the month February, 2016

Mark your calendars: February 29 is the date! Jericho is back and he’s brought Hell with… Oh wait, someone already made that line famous. Anyway, it’s probably a little more accurate to say he’s trying to keep Hell from coming. Either way, Phantoms of Phoenix is up and running, and on February 29, it will be available for full order. You can get in early, though, just by clicking the picture below!

Rolling into Arizona following a rumor about the Surgeon, Jericho finds himself facing the denizens of the local graveyard, raised from their slumber as the invading army of a necromancer bent on revenge. Jericho will need his quick wits and lightning gun hand as he teams up with a local preacher and a spectral restaurant owner to save an entire city from a legion of the dead.

Intrigued? Don’t wait! You can pre-order it at Amazon. Click the pic and reserve your copy for only $0.99!


“It’s the third time it’s shown up, and I’m worried about what’s coming.”

“It’s a tarot card reading, Anna. It isn’t real.”

“Not real for you, maybe, but I’m not you.”

“Damn right you aren’t. That’s a big part of your charm.”

“Ha, ha. Very funny.”

“I thought so.”

“Think again.”

“Fine. Tell me about it, then. Why is it bugging you?”

“You can’t keep an open mind, Derek. Don’t even bother.”

“I will! I promise. If I don’t, then – “

“If you don’t then you and I are going to have a problem.”

“Indeed. So spill.”

“It’s the Tower. It signifies disaster and sudden change.”

“Like what?”

“I don’t know. That’s the scary part. It could be physical, or spiritual, or anything.”

“So it’s not something you can anticipate, right?”

“Not necessarily.”

“Then why worry? Put on a kettle and sit back. Whatever it is, it’ll happen. After that, we can adjust as needed.”

“Right. That’ll work. Let’s look at it: I go broke ‘cause it was a financial disaster. What then? The house burns down. What then?”

“A meteor hits, Anna. What then? You can’t prepare for everything. If it’s financial, we hawk some of those paintings you’ve been hoarding. That Pickman guy’s been dead a while, right? His stuff’s gotta be worth more than the cotton it’s painted on.”

“It’s canvas, and no. I’m not selling.”

“You’re creating your own nightmares, then. If you can’t adapt to the coming circumstances, you better believe that that Tower card is coming for you.”

“You’re a lot of help, Derek.”

“I’m a realist.”


Elements: tower, kettle, hawk, charm, cotton

“This is the worst shit I’ve ever read,” JB said as he waved a thin book over his head. “Who wrote this?”

“The author’s name is on the front,” replied his wife. She scarcely looked up from the trigger assembly she was polishing.

“Listen to this drivel, Sheila,” JB said. He opened the book to a random page. “The train rolled into the night as he sat and sipped at his tea. He loosened his tie while watching television and thinking about the tiger he was to capture.”

“Sounds like a busy man,” she said.

“Sounds like an eight-year-old wrote a homework assignment.”

He stomped his way into the kitchen, muttering mockingly as he went.

“Ooh, look at me. I wear ties and hunt tigers. I should drink tea!”

He pulled a box of tea from the cabinet and waved it as he had with the book. “Oh, yay, I have tea now! I can hunt tigers on television if I put on a tie and ride the night train.”

“Hey! They got it wrong!” he called to Sheila. “It wasn’t the train rolling into the night, the author was drinking Night Train! Cheap-ass wine will tie your brain to a jackhammer.”

“What’s all the noise?” asked his daughter, poking her head around the corner of the kitchen door. “I’m trying to watch television.”

JB pointed toward the family room. “If there are tigers on that show – “

She jerked her head back in the face of his vehemence. “What? No. No tigers. I’m watching The Midnight Meat Train. Tell you what: you make some of that tea and I’ll go pause the movie. You can come watch with me.”


Elements: tea, tiger, night, train, television, tie

Yeah, I exaggerated this one. It was fun, though.

The classroom was silent, awaiting the arrival of its occupants following their break for summer. Rows of desks sat patient; the blackboard was scrubbed clean.

Jordan stood in the doorway, taking in the sight and smell of it. He let himself drift back in memory to the time when he was a child and a room like this was his own sanctuary. A smile ghosted across his face as he did so.

“So now it’s your turn?” asked a voice. Jordan looked back over his left shoulder, letting his body turn lazily with him.

“Mister Devereaux,” he said with a grin. “It’s been a while.”

“I saw your name on the faculty list.”

“Yes, sir. I wanted to give something back to Edison Junior. Well, honestly, to you,” he added. He pointed to the sign above the teacher’s desk. It was of wood, with letters not an inch in height engraved upon its surface. All men are made one for another; either then teach them better or bear with them.

“Marcus Aurelius,” Jordan said. “When I was a kid I wondered what it meant.”

“And you have discovered what?”

“That it is the duty of every man to help others. That I can, with the abilities I have, teach another generation to respect and follow those teachings. If I am capable, should I not assist?”

“Every man makes his own choices, son.”

Jordan nodded. “I choose to teach.”


Elements: contains a line from a famous diarist.

She had a beautiful hibiscus tattooed on her left shoulder, and Synn sighed as he saw the exquisite artwork. Delicate petals and vibrant colors made an image that was the kind of thing he would normally have enjoyed looking at from a closer, more personal, angle, but the woman being dead rendered that train of thought completely moot. One hand was still clutching at the cluster of carbon-fiber needles in her neck. They were centered right above the marks left from the violent removal of her string of pearls – pearls which even now lay strewn about the scene of her demise.

In the old world, they would have tracked her killer with satellites. Before that, maybe with a basset hound or other sniffer dog. Now, they sent Synn or one of those like him. Gengineered for tracking and combat, Synn was agile and strong. His enhanced senses could follow a scent trail or see clues others would easily miss, and decades of training and deployment – both real and hypno-sim – made certain he knew how to interpret the results of what he found.

“She reeks of gin,” he said. A microphone link carried his words to a monitoring computer to form a journal of his observations. He wore a series of small video links as well, and when returning from his mission he could hook straight into that computer to build a more complete document.



Elements: gin, delicate, hook, basset hound, pearls, hibiscus