Saturday, October 27, 2012

Exclusive Fantasy Interview

Interviewer: J.T.Z Baner
Interviewee: Sanguinox the Vampire

J.T.Z: Well hello Mr. Sanguinox, as you know, we would all love to here your first hand analysis of—

Sanguinox: Its Sangueenox.

J.T.Z.Baner: Say what?

Sanguinox: I said its Sangueenox, not Sanguinox.

J.T.Z: But the script clearly states that—

Sangueenox: Foolish human! Do you think I care of such mundane things a typed out script. Now, it’s Sangueenox.

J.T.Z: All right Mr. Sangueenox. Could you tell—

Sangueenox: Its Sanguinox.

J.T.Z: But you just said-!-

Sanguinox: I was misquoted clearly.

J.T.Z: (Here follows a spout of inhuman squeaks and growls as Baner attempts to control himself) FINE! Sangueenox, could you tell our listeners please, how—

Sangueenox/Sanguinox: Its Sanguinox.

J.T.Z: Listen Sangueenox, I will shove this microphone so far up your-!-

Sanguinox/Sangueenox: You wouldn’t dare, puny human.

J.T.Z: Oh, you have no idea what I wouldn’t dare, boyo. I even brought along some garlic in case just something like this occurred.

Sanguinox/Sang(whatever): Hmmm, I wondered why my hair wilted. And by the way; it’s Sanguinox.


(We cannot continue this interview sadly, for, shortly after the gesticulations above, J.T.Z. Baner went into cranial meltdown and started chewing on his tape recorder)

Please enjoy your weekend. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How to Ward Off Unseemly Fantasy Pests: The Latest Research

The Wilsons of Redrock Lane didn’t realize that they had a sprite infestation until it was too late. They heard things at night, little noises, but they dismissed it as the creaking of the house.
One day, Charlie Wilson came home to find his wife hogtied to the oak tree out in front of the house. When he came closer to investigate, a league of over a hundred sprites jumped out from the branches of the tree and attacked him. He ended up hogtied to the tree next to his wife.
They waited six hours until some travelers passing by saw them and helped them. By then the sprites had scurried back to their holes, planning more mischief.
The couple hired Smokeout Spell Services for a hefty fee to expel the sprites from the house, but there are ways to avoid the cost of such extreme methods. One such way keeps your lawn pretty and keeps the pests out. Hiring some gnomes is a great way to make sure the little pesky brats never get past your lawn. They are excellent guards and known masters of the ancient martial art of “yard kwon do”, plus they come cheap: all they require is that you regularly mow your lawn. You see, gnomes see the business of lawn guarding as a good way to settle down and have families. Soon you’ll have a whole clan of gnomes in your yard, guarding nearly every inch of the property and keeping your house sealed off from sprites and other creatures.
The next creature that will be discussed is the flying monkey. This infamous pest inhabits western areas and is a real pain in the donkey. Flying monkeys are destructive beasts that cause trouble to the ecosystem wherever they go. Most people just avoid areas with reputations for flying monkeys, but actually they don’t know the easy secret to getting rid of them. All you have to do is leave some dirty socks, preferably five in number, on the top of your roof. This will ward them off like a charm. No more pesky flying monkeys. The real problem is the flying rabbits. Have you heard of those? Well, anyway, no useful tips in getting rid of them. Ta ta for now, the post.

Article written by Mundungus Dent

Monday, October 15, 2012

Playing Poems - A Short Story

The ghosts were not just ghosts for Dan. They were people. The knife that had cut them into a split reality had not completely severed the rope, and there were strands left over, stubbornly staying.
Dan said, “Why do we need houses?”
“We need houses so that we can be safe, and comfortable,” replied Mary.
Dan asked, “Why do we need comfort? Or safety?”
“Because, first off, without comfort,” Mary told him, “you would feel miserable, and secondly, because if you aren’t safe you could die.”
“How do you know that we’d be miserable without comfort?”
Mary sighed sadly and smiled with a forlorn expression. Dan went away. Maybe the Monkey Man would know better.
He walked down the dirt path and came to the spot where the Monkey Man spent all his hours. There was a cracked and weathered statue of an angel, with only the basic shape of a face; the exact features, at first so sharply chiseled into the rock, were now after many long winters worn away. There was a large stone in the ground, and it was on top of this that the Monkey Man perched.
He was a wild sort, a bold fellow who would say his opinion no matter what. His calves were strong-looking and burnished like bronze; his bare feet were as tanned and tawny as the rest of his wiry body. He was wearing only a sort of toga, and was covered in coarse dark hair. His arms, his legs, his face: the Monkey Man was hairy. He had such Bacchic eyes, such long arms, that he looked like some sort of animal-man, so that was how he had gotten his name.
The Monkey Man howled, deeply, and with great pain, as if to mourn some dark thing. The call of the wild, it was, and none could understand it who did not belong to the wild. Then the Monkey Man, almost oblivious to Dan’s presence, began to sing:
“To the gates of Avalon
By gilded fairies to the dawn
I wish to be carried when
The final rays of sunlight take me,
My soul to that land like heaven.

Won’t you come and visit me
In the shining Isle
When I rise eternal?
If you should find old Avalon,
Enjoy the sunrays sweet,
For if you go you’ll want to stay
Where the shadows quiver
And the darkness always hides.

But nay, don’t tarry long
For if you stay you’ll find that there
Lie many things best lost.

In the Isle of Avalon
Will you join me in the sun
In the land where evil dies?
To the Gates of Avalon
I’m carried, love, you know,
I’m carried into golden light
To the land where the shadows hide.”
Dan sat down in the grass and looked at the Monkey Man. The Monkey Man stared back. Dan could never figure out, whether the Monkey Man belonged to man or to nature. And he could never seem to find out his name. The stone on which it was carved was weathered by long years, like the angel’s face.
“Your countenance has no precedent,” said the Monkey Man, solemnly. Dan didn’t really understand, but he nodded in agreement. The Monkey Man continued, “For all the years that I have lived and died, I have never seen one like you.”
“You’ve seen me millions of times,” Dan said, confused.
“No,” said the Monkey Man. “I speak not of your accidents, but of your form. Do we not peel an orange to eat what is inside, and throw away the outer layer? And likewise with the banana.”
Dan almost smiled, but he thought of the song, which calmed him down. The Monkey Man was so peculiar. He always ended up bringing the word “banana” into every conversation he had, so solemnly, too.
The Monkey Man continued, “I have seen none like this save myself. You wish to flee the warm hearth of your life’s home. You are not yet ready, little child.”
“Why not?” asked Dan.
The Monkey Man’s giant, dark, shaggy beard waggled in the wind. “You are young. And spoiled to the comforts of your life. The wilderness is not for you.”
“I’m seven,” said Dan. “I’m grown up.”
The Monkey Man seemed to smile, but it was hard to tell underneath all that hair. “I disagree,” he replied. “No, your banana is not yet ripe.”
Dan laughed. The Monkey Man laughed too, and his eyes sparkled like icicles on a pale frosty morning, misted over by the wafting air made by a mug of hot chocolate. They also sparkled like the sun glinting through the canopy of trees in a jungle. It was hard to tell which.
“Dan!” The voice was far off, a woman’s. The Monkey Man said, “You must go now, little one. And remember, bananas are good for both body and soul.”
Dan smiled and got up. He ran down the dirt path, away from the Monkey Man, for now. He’d come back soon.
His mother was waiting for him at the bench. It was an old, old bench, rusting where it sat. His mother sometimes read to him there, while they looked at the stones in the ground. Other times she read silently, to herself. Other times she just sat there. But whenever they came, she always came to that bench. Dan didn’t really like the bench; he thought that they should sit in the grass at the edge of the woods, looking at the stones from the other side, but of course his mother would never do that. It was a pity, really, that she had never seen the other side of the gravestone for Natalie Ermine, or Nathan Stoll. His mother hadn’t seen very many of the gravestones in the yard, and certainly not all the sides of the ones she had seen.
“Let’s go,” his mother said.
“Can’t we stay a little bit longer? I was talking to the Monkey Man.”
She smiled wearily. “Aren’t you getting a little old for that?”
“No. my banana isn’t ripe.” Dan giggled.
His mother led him down the rest of the path, back up the little hill and down the other side, as the sun set over the graveyard. They came to the parking lot. Dan yawned. They got into the car and drove home.
That night, after dinner, Dan sat in his room, looking out the window at the pale full moon. He smiled and yawned. He was supposed to be in bed, and his lights were out, but he liked to sit at his window. It made him feel grown up. Even though his banana wasn’t ripe.
Dan wanted to run away. Just for maybe a week, long enough to meet some princess in the woods and with the help of the local gnome brigade come riding in on snails to save her from the treacherous webs of Arachne. Then he’d come back, and his parents would cry and tell him they loved him. And he’d bring the princess too, and keep her in the attic, and play army men with her when he got bored.
Dan leaned forward and pressed his face against the glass of his window. His child’s fingers spidered up the window and touched the latch, gently, carefully. His breath fogged the glass, and he pulled back the latch, and then the other one, and then with a great deal of heaving he pulled up the window, and latched it back, and hopped over the sill into the garden.
He crushed several violets and tulips, being a seven-year-old boy, and since he had no shoes on, his feet squelched and got dirty almost immediately when he came into the flowerbed. He walked forward across the lawn, across the street, and up to the little rise.
He stood there for a bit, overlooking the graveyard. It was all familiar territory to him, but it looked so vastly different at dark, with the moonlight glinting on the slabs, and the forest looming, ominously black, silhouetted by the moonlight, in the background.
The forest didn’t scare him very much. He stepped forward. Once he got to the graveyard, he scrambled up the low brick wall and jumped down the other side, and tore off running.
He didn’t bother with the path; he ran, through the oldest part of the graveyard, to the edge of the trees, and once he was there, he stopped.
It was dark in there, he noticed with sudden qualms. There might be werewolves. Or regular wolves, that were evil, and wanted to eat his grandmother and wear her clothes and then trick him into being eaten, too.
There was a whisper, though, down his neck, and he stepped in.
At once there was a change. The forest was completely silent, and completely dark; and as he walked he noticed that the ground was smooth and perfect, as if the forest had known he would be coming, and had prepared a pathway for him. Dan walked deep into the forest, until he thought he heard a giggle. He froze, and looked around and craned his neck; but it was no use in the black of the night.
“My village is a simple place,
Simple too its grace.
But you’ll hear no common talk
Of the area called Deadman’s Rock
For it’s a Deadman’s place.
And when the nighttime claims our souls,
The last bright spark of smold’ring coals,
Well, then, we’re buried there
And put into our Maker’s care.”
The voice stopped reciting the poem. Dan thought it rather good, but he didn’t say so. He just said: “Hello?”
“Hello, Danny. Want to play a game of poems?”
“How did you know my name?”
“I’ve heard the ghosts call you that,” the voice said. By now Dan had no doubt that it was a girl’s voice. “Want to play poems?”
“How do you do that?”
“We recite poems back and forth,” she said. “Till we get bored. Then I’ll go away, and you’ll yawn and go back home.”
“Sure, I guess,” replied Dan. “What’s your name?”
“I’m Milly,” she said. “You go next, since I just said one.”
“All right,” Dan said. He thought hard for a few moments, then settled on something the Monkey Man had sung. He didn’t remember the tune, but he didn’t have to sing it, so he just said it.
“The cottontail is hopping ‘neath
The silver quarter moon
And with its thumping comes the trump
Of bullfrog battle-croaks.
The chanting of the crickets, hear
Them dancing in the shade
That we call night, others day
When the creatures come to play.”
Dan bowed to the darkness, even though he knew Milly couldn’t see him.
“That one was good,” Milly said. Then she said hers.
“A myriad of worlds lost beyond,
A mane of silky stars to caress the dawn,
My eyes see thousands, a glittering host,
An army of which the heavens boast;
The stars, white-hot, shining eyes
To adorn the ebony winter skies.”
Dan smiled. He liked that one. “All right,” he said. “My turn.”
But then, Milly said, “Hush.” Dan heard someone walking through the grass. He turned around and heard the Monkey Man calling, “Dan?”
There was a soft breeze next to Dan, and the soft air seemed to be a soft hand, holding his. Dan felt something lightly touch his lips, and then fade away, and the Monkey Man was closer now. “Dan?”
“I’m here,” he announced.
“What were you doing?”
“I was looking for gnomes,” Dan lied.
“In this pitch black abyss?”
“I can see good in the dark,” Dan said. “Bananas help your eyes.”
“That’s carrots, and I would claim you haven’t consumed much of either lately, if I were a betting ghost.” said the Monkey Man.
“Oh,” Dan said, shrugging. “Well, I can see pretty well.”
“I believe you. There are some forest spirits out here,” the Monkey Man told him, “that get into a myriad of mischief with visitors.”
“Really?” Dan asked, trying to seem incredulous.
“Verily. Take my hand. I will be your guide out of this dark murk. The hour is late, and your bedtime past.”
Dan nodded, and reached out and found the Monkey Man’s hand. The Monkey Man led him out of the forest. Dan thought, as they neared the edge, that he heard someone, a girl, whisper, “Come again soon, Danny.” But it could have been his imagination.
They came out of the forest, and Dan yawned. The Monkey Man faded into the night, and Dan went home.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Weekend Disaster Post

Fairy Raid on Dick’s Sporting Goods: lately, at one of New York’s many strip malls an unsightly, bordering on freakish occurrence …occurred…in the spacious and thankfully enclosed main room of Dick’s Sporting Goods, the local tennis racket, basket ball, and duct tape distributor, to name but a few of its assets.
     The problem started when the store’s clerk, who appeared to have a death wish/lack of a human’s basest survival instincts, took it upon himself to place a sign in the entrance stating that any magical creature nursing cash should not hesitate to come a-calling to the store.
     In the ensuing stampede the clerk was given to gift of three missing teeth, a tailoring bill that would probably have to be spiral bound, and a hair-do that can be traced back to a similar job in a Hindu sacrificial service.
     The first crazed individual to enter the store was, in fact; a rather unhinged hunk of a griffin with exactly sixteen bucks shoved down his down.
     As a horde of mixed magical creatures followed the Griffin (whose name was Jughead) into the store, Jughead proceeded to leap onto the checkout registers and neatly ransack register 1 through 9, looting the cash registers along the way, leaving the wreckage and several employees who would later undergo intense psycho-therapy.
     The next major disaster to take a bite out of prophets was when the Cyclops found the Pitching Machine. After he found it he went completely shoot happy and nearly made Little Bo Peep swallow her sheep with a well-timed fastball.
     Many other disaster happened that day, including the legendary wrap-up when the pixie tribe found the duct tape section, and Cerberus and some Hellhounds chewing up a record breaking fifty-thousand basket balls, soccer balls, and other balls until it was broken up when they were beaned into unconsciousness with several curve balls.
     To say the least, the clerk got fired, and moved to a Hindu monastery some months later for unknown reasons, and the store was compelled to take down the sign he’d put up, at least the ones not in comas and/or body casts.
      The place is closing down for approximately six years while repairs are undergone sufficiently for customers not to walk in the doors then fall out them three seconds later with a face full of duct tape, baseball bats, and organically farmed cotton underwear. Do they even sell that stuff there?
     Until the next post; see you down the road.

Post written, edited and cussed a blue streak over by Sye “Fastball” Clops 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Review on The Rogue Crew by Brian Jacques

I write this review for all the people out there who revere the Redwall saga. I can say only good things about the last book in Brian Jacques’s series, and can express only mourning for his passing several months ago. And, saying this, let us begin this review.
Fortunately for anyone who hasn’t read The Rogue Crew, Brian Jacques has managed to make a series that can be picked up at any book in the middle with minimum stats of “Who the heck is this guy?” and “What does he mean ‘Martin’?” 
Well. First off, the characters. My personal favorite, though there are many other ones to enjoy reading about, are Rake Nightfur, the ebony highland hare, with his twin claymores and swash buckling Scottish accent. 
This story though, introduces something new in the Redwall books. It seems that Mr. Jacques has put more detail into his writing, for example he actually gives names to several of the mystery concoctions that the sea rats drink, though that we could have done with out if you know what I mean. 
Also, he puts in many more elements then usual, many more songs in the margins, and several more evil characters than it seems possible to have n it. And the magic of it all is how he fits it all together into one glorious appendage of reading material.
As you can see, I could go on all day with Mr. Jacques’s stupefying and marvelous finally to his series. But I’ll just put a few other reviewing materials in. 
Another thing that baffles me is how easily it seems to Mr. Jacques to create names for his characters. I mean, Empraqueen Dukwina, Rake Nightfur, Uggo Wiltud, I ask you, that’s not just skill, it supernatural! 
As I’ve said before the story is spectacularly well put together, with smidgens of info on the sides that just make it better. 
It mat seem apparent that I’m babbling, but I just want to give you the right idea of mr. Jacques’s books, not like a few reviewers that I could mention that give unfair and unsightly materials on his amazing books. 
Well, I think I’d better put a sock in it before I give away the entire book to you! Hope you enjoy the book, and all the others in the Redwall series. 
Until the next post. 
Review by Biggofan O. Jakes