The Depressaianic Ennui of Limp Rage

Posted in Uncategorized on April 26, 2014 by synabetic

This concerns both my own feelings towards my inner anger and the sense of entitlement “famous” people tend to have.

Or, alternatively, let me turn an internet molehill into an introspective mountain.

Been a while since I’ve posted something like this. Anymore, I’m writing RPG crap, trying more prose fiction, or working on comics stuff. Oh, and being crippled at home with a shit-ton of health issues.

Right now, my sons sit near me watching some Clone Wars— which is a great show– while I mull over my life, recent events, and the non-events which seem to occur with more frequency every day. Sure, I’m used to these sorts of things. You don’t get to be me without learning to accept that life is drama and weird drama at that.

Here’s but one example. This comes from today. And I must stress that it bothers me more than I care to admit, but I’m not enraged over it. I’ll try to keep the details as minimal as possible, in order to hide any shameful parties.

Well, other than the shameful party of myself, of course!

So, there’s this Amazing Creator of stuff, and someone very close to him is having serious health issues. Another creator of stuff exclaims via social media his outrage over some random berk swooping in on said amazing creator’s social media site and making an extremely racist and nasty remark. Obvious troll is obvious, and Outraged Creator is justifiably angry and is trying hard to get that post removed before Amazing Creator sees it.

This is an admirable thing to do. Outraged Creator should be commended.

Where it starts to veer into a terrible episode of Tales from the Darkside is when I notice people calling for Racist Troll to be shamed. Contact his work, post on his work’s Facebook page, et cetera. We all know how it goes. I did my part, too, by making a couple witty comments about beating people through the internet and such. You know, classic me. Anyhow, after seeing the people comment about ruining Racist Troll’s life, I make the polite observation that maybe it wasn’t he who posted it. This does tend to happen, where people’s social media profiles are jacked and used to spread mayhem. You ever get contacted to be told you’ve been email spamming people? I have. It sucks. It’s not even complicated or hard to do to someone, which could make this digress into a dissertation on how it’s a miracle we’ve gotten anything done and  haven’t devolved into utter barbarity as an entire species. And then there’s another rant about how we are a barbaric species, but those are words for another time, perhaps.

Outraged Creator gets upset with me when I point out the mere notion that going in for the kill on someone without any knowledge as to who they are or whatever, and just reporting the comment to the Social Media Overlords and otherwise giving the Troll the benefit of the doubt– I mean, why would anyone post such a nasty comment under their own name in the first place? When you think about it, the mind sort of boggles.

But people do stupid shit under their own names all the time. So, there’s that.

Outraged Creator then feels I am targeting him, and turns his outrage onto me. That sucked, because I like the guy. But he does have a bit of a reputation for being volatile, so I smile and nod and politely tell him I’m not arguing and that we’re all friends and such.

Nope. Cue immediate Social Shun.

Right, so that’s not what really bothers me. So some guy who has been riding well-deserved fame for a good property for years has decided to be a dick to me. That’s cool. I know one guy who desperately wants to be a Famous Gamer Geek who claims I am a horrible person which was the result of a petty Big Bang Theory argument. Humans, myself included, do all kinds of shitty things to each other– usually to strangers. And, truth be told, I am still pretty much a stranger to Outraged Creator. We’ve talked before, shared laughs; I looked at pictures of his pets and said “awww”, but in reality we’re not actually friends and are barely beyond the acquaintanceship stage. And this can lead to very weird situations.

Like being flushed in under two minutes.

Sidebar example: There’s a guy locally who thinks I’m pro-Nazi and that I hate Jews. Now, why the fuck would anyone ever think that of me? Because at one party I went to I was talking all deep about German military equipment and then the Holocaust. He, being Jewish, caught only bits and  pieces of it and so now and forever I’m that “Nazi Steve guy from America” because I… guess he’s had a lot of terrible experiences with anti-Semites and their talk of WWII? I feel for that guy, actually. What I’m saying is that oftentimes we simply cannot help certain impressions. These impressions can also happen later on. These impressions are like robots made of slightly broken and different robots more often than not. These impressions almost always fit a biased mold for internal emotional manufacture and production.

Sidebar of sidebar: If more people were upfront about this sort of thing, we’d have less conflict in the world.

“I’m only catching bits and pieces, but are you saying you support the Nazis?”
“Dear God, no.”
“Oh, I must have been hearing that wrong. I meant no offence.”
“None taken! I’m sorry if you thought that, as it’s quite terrible.”
“Let us drink beer and talk of Robotech, sir.”
“Let’s!”

Outraged Creator also made it a point to publicly point out that he shunned me, so I have no issues in saying all this shit. I find it saddening that he’d be like that, what with me thinking that maybe we both as fellow creators could give each other the benefit of the doubt. But I’m just another fan.

More meat for the ego grinder.

Sounds bitter, eh? Well, I’ve known this guy a long time, and at one point in my “career” it was my job to know all about him. Like all of us, he can be a really shitty person– but he doesn’t want to be. No one wants to be, but this guy REALLY doesn’t want to be. Hey, I can relate, Outraged Creator!

In the end, a lot of folks cheered on the shunning of yet another asshole (me) or scratched their heads at a completely silly reaction (his). I am aware of the aftermath because people took it upon themselves to contact me. Not that I want to fuel anyone’s paranoia. Paranoid yet? I am! Wait, what was I talking about? Oh, yeah.

Ultimately, I relayed my sincere apologies for setting him off, because come on, that was in no way my intention. It still happened and I feel bad it did. Wires cross and there is no tone on the intardnets– I get it. Had this all been in person, it would have never, ever happened.

But then I started thinking about it.

All of it.

The licence self-styled famous people have is actually rather impressive. They will come up with all manner of excuses to justify their behavior, even if they know they’re in the wrong.  Really, this becomes less about Outraged Creator and more about how I feel about people in general and how I categorize them. In the end I know who the most famous person of all is…

Myself.

See, my entire reality is based on my own and only my own outlook, and how my outlook is influenced by events, others, and other factors. This then lends to an extreme sense of entitlement. In the case outlined above, the Outraged Creator may be really bothered by all of this. Or, most probably, he isn’t. He has tens of thousands of fans who love his work. I’m not as famous as him. But a part of me felt violated by his response because 1) “That’s a dick move, sir”, and 2) “HOW DARE HE THINK HE’S RIGHT”. This makes me every bit the prima donna he is. Indeed, this entire post is about me and my feelings, so that means I’m probably an even bigger prima donna.

Probably? Hell, definitely.

Unfortunately, if he gets mad at the prima donna remark, well, that makes him a prima donna. I should apologize for that crappy catch-22 stuff. If he doesn’t want to think of himself like that, that’s okay. I don’t want my points bogged down by ego semantics.

The upside to all of this is it has made me think. A lot. It also ruined the D&D session I was gonna have with my sons because I simply cannot focus on running a game right now. I sit here and seethe about trying not to seethe. It’s tough.

In my heart of hearts, I am not angry at Outraged Creator. I should thank him for the thinking fodder. My apology to him was actually very sincere and I want him to know that. But in the past, I have let these kinds of slights turn into brutal emotional slogs between people… because I will achieve victory at all costs. And that’s bullshit. So what if another bio-electrically powered meatbag is upset with me, wrong or right? It’s not like they’re coming over for dinner. Right?

Though this could prove awkward at a convention in the future. Not because I’m going to lay anyone out or anything, but because I confront conflict and resolve it. And, um, I would be lying if that guy was all, like, “Is this the convention Steve Saunders walks up to me and starts cheerfully asking me why I’m a dick? What if I don’t know who he is? What if he tricks me like he’s done to so many other people and I’m signing something and I ask ‘to whom?’ and he’s all like ‘ah-ha!’??” and I said the thought of it didn’t amuse me.

Relax. I’m not some asshole like that. Well, not anymore. But I do like confronting issues– I just prefer to do it in a positive and fun way, without anyone crying unless it’s from laughter. This has more to do with me getting over myself and my emotional foibles.

I would love nothing more than everyone to learn something from this, let egos slide, and let vengeance crumble into the useless dust it already is.

There are a few things I would like to directly say to Outraged Creator: It’s cool. We’re cool if you’ll allow it. Please be cool.

Wait.

Is this a way of me trying to achieve victory?

Oh, goddammit.

It’s funny how even the best of intentions can spiral into whole new messes.

Flasher Fiction: Friends

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 14, 2014 by synabetic

Been awhile since I posted anything here, and I’ve been working on all kinds of things… so I whipped this up. It’s very fast, fast fiction. I hope you enjoy it.

Friends
by Steven G. Saunders

Hi.

Are we friends?

I like having friends. They’re there when you need them, and you can be there when they need you. Friends are people who are an extension of your family, who are themselves friends. Well, hopefully. Many families are dysfunctional. But this isn’t about family. It’s about the family you choose.

You know.

Friends.

Sometimes you don’t choose your friends. Maybe you work together or live together or have the same group of friends, and we call these mutual friends. Oftentimes we become friends through mutual friends. Sometimes we are friends because we have no choice. Maybe there’s no one else around with similar interests. Maybe they are your cellmate. In a way, we are all cellmates in the prison of life, but some cellmates are better that other.

You know.

Like friends.

I have many friends. I love them all. Not all of them love me. But that’s okay. Whenever a friend expresses their non-love, I am emotionally pained as I cut them free. It always hurts to discover someone doesn’t enjoy you as a person, especially if you thought they were your friend. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have friends who will stay with you through anything. Maybe they fucked your partner with you watching TV in the other room, the laundry machine and media pundits drowning out the moans of guilty pleasure. Maybe your friend had you kicked out of your place to live in order to have more room for his comic book collection. Maybe your friend got drunk and told you that your brother is better off dead because your family is fucked up. Maybe your friend stole from you.

In the end, it really doesn’t matter because those kinds of friends are really hard to find. They are more like family than actual family, usually. But other friends… they are only friends with you so they can use you.

Now, to be fair, all friends use each other. We are all, as a species, mutually using tools. Instruments of organic device. Living executions of human will. We are a team-based lot, so being used comes with the whole person package. Still, there are those who use and use and use and are surprised when they are asked to reciprocate. These friends can become dangerous, for if they begin to feel cornered into actually being, you know, a friend, they will then become a “frenemy”

A frenemy is someone who says they’re your friend, but they are actually out for what’s against your best interests. I know who of all my frenemies are. They do not know I know this, because they are so absorbed with themselves that they do not realize that they have made my checklist.

I always have a checklist.

You should, too.

Oftentimes, frenemies will have a very short cycle, turning into full blown anti-friends– or enemies– rather quickly. These people are being more like friends to you than you may think, because they have saved you a lot of legwork. Other friends, the best friends, will notice this too, usually, and take appropriate action. Usually this is distancing themselves from that person in some way. You can tell your new enemy’s best friends for they will act in a similar manner.

Programming is impossible to overcome.

No matter how hard you try.

Stop that.

I said stop it, please.

These new enemies will make no sense to the mindful, rational psyche. None. Usually thoughts of elimination occur, because only sick animals seem to think this way. Or so it seems, anyway.

Indeed, one has to be viewed by many as a sick animal in order to look at it all this way.

Anyway.

Friends are important. They make up the mask of social reason. They are the armor of social justice. They are the lifeblood of who you are as an organism. You are nothing without your friends to reassure you that you are not nothing.

We’re friends.

Right?

Stop it.

Just be patient.

You may have no idea how important friends are. They are more important than family, lovers, pets, and gods. They are your universe. You are nothing without your universe, an echo chamber for your perceived reality.

But what happens when a friend makes a deliberate transgression? As already implied, you just move on. Forget about them as friends, and cling to that painful memory of senseless loss. Like a random murder by some foul, misunderstood creature.

Sometimes. Sometimes fate presents itself.

You could be taught lessons, like an unruly school child brought to heel. Made to understand what friendship means–
Means to me? I suppose you’re right.

But at this juncture, what things to me is the only grasp you have left to this world that processes into your brain every second. Soon, this will begin to destroy all of that. I will start slow, because I want you to process it all. I want you to learn this lesson over and over and then have you panic knowing that none of it mattered.

Friends should have fun. You are having fun with me. Isn’t it wonderful?

And you are learning oh so much.

Shhh… not long now.

At first I wanted to respect our friendship and allow you a merciful fate, as it were. But how would you learn anything? Plus, you are thinking right now that I may change my mind.

If I tell you I may change my mind, will you have hope?

Friendship is all we have in our cold, dark universe. Did you know there are more universes? They make up the multiverse. I’m certain there’s a multiverse of multiverses. An omniverse.

And friendship is the most important thing in all the omniverse.

Look at me.

Do it.

You stare into the face of the omniverse, friend.

How… how do you feel?

Not long now.

I appreciate you allowing me to teach you. There’s another friend here– you don’t know them– and they are learning as you are, and then I will give them some private tutoring. Who knew that both of you would be here, now, and ready for lessons? Remarkable, really. Our universe is truly amazing.

If you cannot have a loyal, trusted friend, then the world might as well end. Friends are everything. Sadly, your rash decision ended all of this, and has thus ended the lesson you call life.

I must attend to the other friend. I want you to think on this as I do so. Be patient.

Not long now.

 

 

Butchers_passerotti

St. Evil’s Shameless Halloween Linkie Treats!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 31, 2013 by synabetic

Hey folks, it has been a while since I’ve posted– too long, in fact. I’ve been busy with things, some of which I will post here.

Every Halloween, I shamelessly promote myself on my blog, offering links to spooky things I’ve written or am/were a part of. Anyhow, let’s get to it, shall we?

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First, let me link to recent Nerd Titan stuffery in the spirit of the season. I’m Managing Editor over there, which means I get to do a lot of fun activities, one of them is working with frighteningly talented people and all kinds of other cool shit.

Nerd Titan’s 2013 Guide to Halloween Movies
This one I put together with Brendan, another writer with NT, and we had some other contributors. Overall, I like how it turned out, seeing as most lists are either a) same ol’ movies, or b) try to outdo the other lists. We just went with what we liked.

A Grimdark RPG Goodie Bag
I asked nine of my friends to join me in writing up what we thought were good suggestions for tabletop role-play gaming. This was actually a lot more work that I had initially intended, but I am quite pleased with the results.

Hell Comes to Nerd Titantown: An Interview with Rafael Chandler
While I am a professional at what I do and all that acid jazz, I’m still a big fan of those who impress me. Mr. Chandler is one of those people, with me loving his horror gaming output so far. This is my Halloween interview with him.

And now for the usual linking to one of the favorite comics I’ve written, The Secret Cross: Humanity in the Execution. It’s 12 pages and a quick read, but I greatly enjoyed coming up with it and working on it with Stephen Lindsay and Dominic Vivona. By the way, Dom’s art is always impressive. Now, I have always meant to do more with this. I had an entire RPG mapped out, but all of that information is on an old hard drive I need to get around to extracting. Or maybe I’ll just start from scratch. I do have a lot of ideas for that sucker. I say it every year, you know. Maybe this year ’round it will be different?

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The Secret Cross is about a special German unit in World War One that gets into all kinds of hot, bloody messes. Read more on it here.

Next up are all the creepy stories I have written lately. They’re all mercilessly short and, some say, downright freaky. That’s what I like to hear!

The Writing
Worm
Bind
Today
Bruise
Family

Here’s a piece of art my partner in life-crime, Nicole, did for this game thing I’m slowly working on…

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And I’m sure I could flog more things, but this should do for now. Hope you enjoyed your stay!

All art is by Dominic Vivona, Dominic Vivona with Jeff Balke on colors, and Nicole Turner, respectively from top to bottom.

Dear Christians…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 9, 2013 by synabetic

I wrote this bit starting it out as a Facebook post at first. Then, as the Rantingness hit me, it grew and grew. As you can see, it isn’t meant to be demeaning, judgmental, or even very controversial. I reckon it’s also not very finished, and I keep seeing what more I could add to it. In fact, I would say this is one of the more positive things I’ve written as of late. Feel free to weigh in on the comments, if you like. I enjoy differing worldviews and opinions, for it makes my own all the more interesting and, well, enjoyable. Cheers!

Update: Based on some feedback, some wonderful and some downright fucking stupid, I have added this bit. Okay, first, this piece clocks in at 1900 words, give or take (that’s including the intro bits). If you find that to be long, well, I can’t help you. I’ve also lost a little respect for you in regards to your reading ability, but I can see why you may be busy– but what are you doing here then? If my thoughts and feelings are TL;DR, you are welcome to take your eyes elsewhere. Go on. Git. (I am kidding in my tone, but serious in my suggestion. I also love kitten pictures. Why am I writing this? I should be looking at cat videos!)

As for the title. It stays. I think it’s perfect just the way it is. It’s deceptive– and that’s the point. If you don’t like that, you are not a part of my demographic, so to speak. You may enjoy kitten pictures, which are straight up obvious and hella cute. Go find some.

And this is not an article. I know it technically is an article in that it’s a collection of words or whatever, but when one says “article” I assume you mean “news article” or something to do with facts or something. This is a blog post. It’s op-ed. Kinda. It’s not even fully completed, really, and is just a bit of a ramble. It’s meant to be funny and give people an insight into who I am and how I think at times. Agree, disagree, dress up like a polar bear; I don’t give a shit. Though if there IS this much confusion, I have failed as a writer and comedian and for that I apologize.

Actually, I don’t think I’m touching the fucking stupid feedback.

Oh. Shit. Around 2100 words. I hope that’s okay! /snark

Dear Christians,

Stop acting like people are attacking you personally whenever Christians are mentioned in a negative light, are mocked, or joked about, but then not take any responsibility for all the atrocities Christians have done for centuries.

Know who I blame for those atrocities? Not you (right??? Please tell me you aren’t committing atrocities). But when every attack on your particular corner of faith has to be an attack on you, my internal logic doohickeys tell me that you must also be okay with taking responsibility for the horrors Christianity has visited on humanity for so long.

And holy shit, guys, THE HORROR.

Even today, THE HORROR.

So, you see, a little venting and mockery happens. Maybe even a little bit of “WTF”, but that isn’t directed at everyone who happens to be a part of the most popular faith in the world. And when you include all Abrahamic faiths, pretty much the vast majority of religious people in the world. I know, I know, you have a point about atheists and Stalin or something. That’s cool. I suppose a religion built around persecution and martyrdom does indeed invite that kind of thinking. It’s not about you, though– shit, doesn’t your religion say that or something… and it’s taken advantage of by–

I apologize, I’m getting off topic, and this isn’t about insulting you, dear Christian friends.

Unless you are living someplace where Christians are actively sought out for slaughter (and have no Rambo to save you / lament your murder), you have won. Just by accepting Jesus Christ as your lord and savior. You are on the winning team. Atheist groups really aren’t out to destroy you, and, honestly, if you’re reading this, you’re probably one of the good ones. By “good ones” I mean the majority of you. Because, dear Christian friends, no one here hates you personally.

Oh, sure, some atheists might hate you, but they are exceptions. Hey, that sounds familiar, doesn’t it? “Don’t hate me. Not all Christians are like that guy.”

Oh, I know. I also know there are many kinds of Christians. I also know, and accept, that you might have a hard time thinking like I do, where I don’t see any nominal relation to other non-theists. Other than that they are fellow human beings– like you– of course. And because you may not be able to relate to me in terms of thinking doesn’t mean I’m smarter than you or whatever. It just means we’re different.

Now, I’m totally cool with you being different. That’s what life is all about, I feel. However, you don’t get to order me to accept you, to love you, and then you turn around and judge me.

Why is that, by the way? You judge me, while I am not allowed to judge you. You violate every single law and commandment supposedly handed down by your god on a daily basis, and yet I must pay for those sins… when I don’t even believe in your god? When I think in my heart of hearts that your god doesn’t even exist?

No, not even as a space alien. Terribly sorry.

But I must allow for you to live your life, be free to worship as you wish, while you curtail my rights– my very rights as a human being?

I do say “you”, and many of you are saying “Uh-uh, not me”. Trust me, I like that. I like the fact that I have wonderful religious friends of many different faiths and styles of thought. But some of you are “you” and you don’t even know you do it.

When you tell me to be above “mocking religious people”, you are telling me how to act. Am I hurting anyone? Does an Easter Zombie Jesus joke really piss YHWH off or something? Will this desert war god of yore come at me, wielding YOR: Hunter from the Future as a club?

Wait.

I bet some of you religious folks just said “Ha! Ridiculous!” You now have a go-to example of “irony” to rely on for any future grammar/writing needs.

Anyhow, I will admit that it is incredibly difficult to tackle this subject without sounding like a condescending asshole. And see, that’s how I hear every single Christian, or any religious person for that matter, when they try to “Godsplain” things to me. I work very hard to stuff that completely unfair feeling down, fighting every instinct in my body telling me “Oh, go fuck yourself”.

Originally, this was going to be a short Facebook post, but then I felt the need to start explaining and qualifying things, as I don’t want to unnecessarily upset anyone out there. I like to think I’m a nice person, just as you like to think you’re a nice person. I love the idea of us being nice people together. True, I get wary around fundamentalists of any sort, because all y’all fundies make it a point to eradicate people like me. We might cause someone to doubt. To think. To feel something you don’t want them to feel.

And you know what? That’s a good thing. On more occasions than would make you comfortable have religious friends of mine had crises of faith, and instead of leaping on them like some kind of atheism date-rapist, I helped them through their ordeal, never encouraging them to give up their faith.

If your faith is between you and your god, and I don’t believe in your god, who am I to tell you to stop believing in a god or gods or whatever. That’s like saying “Butter pecan ice cream is terrible– no, I have never had it… I DON’T EVEN BELIEVE BUTTER PECAN ICE CREAM TO BE REAL.”

Your faith is yours. It’s simply not mine. Do you see what I’m getting at here?

As such, I see squabbling among faiths kinda like squabbling over video game platforms, or what the best horror movies are, or what tabletop roleplaying game systems are best. I see it has rather interesting, but also rather trivial and inconsequential. That’s not to belittle you, dear Christian. Nope. Not one bit. But please understand that when I see religious people killing each other over religion, or me getting beaten up because I’m not into Jesus, well, it’s just as insane to me as someone who’s into Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play murdering kids who play Dungeons & Dragons… and then, after that, they murder all the first edition WFRP people and start getting ready to bomb those “crazy WFRP 3rd edition fuckers”.

It makes no real sense to me. And I want no part of it. This is why I feel religion MUST stay out of government. Especially now that it’s no longer the 14th century. Just because the government isn’t a theocracy doesn’t mean you you won’t be protected. In fact, who better to protect you than someone who has absolutely no horse in the religious race? Hmmm? Think about it.

I could go on and on and on, and I’m pretty sure we’ve already heard it all before from someone else. Hopefully someone else nicer and less bitter than I am.

In summation: Relax. People will mock your religion. Shit happens. People get mocked for all kinds of things. If it’s silly mocking, though, you need to get your hand off that execution scimitar and simmer down (scimitar down?). There are those who make a lot of money off of your respective religions who will get you all riled up and angry, and I beg your to remember that they’re doing it solely to get your minds off of the fact that they are stealing your money. Right now. Hup! There goes more of your money. Sorry.

If you wish to take offence at everything said about Christians you deem negative, then you must stop cherry picking your history so much. Ah, yeah, I know. What sucks about the China and Stalin examples is that lack of belief in a deity does not a belief structure make (e.g. “You had no pants on when you killed those people? Everyone who doesn’t wear pants… is a brutal killer!); however, you already have a belief structure going. I’m all about you folks cherry-picking your faith and your faith’s history for the good things– don’t get me wrong.

I don’t hate you. How… how can I? I might not even know you. You could have gotten a link to this from someone I don’t even know. Maybe even aliens or something. But I cannot hate those I do not know, which is why I keep giving Christians and other religious peoples chance after chance after chance after chance… and I am actually rarely disappointed. Oh, sure, there are tons of people who I can think of who totally suck at being a part of their religion– a personal favorite being the fundamental Christian business owners I have known throughout my life who always turn out to be greedy and a little evil– but overall, you lot have a pretty good track record with me.

My father told me all growing up “Don’t be an asshole” decades before Wil Wheaton told everyone “Don’t be a dick”.  It’s one of life’s golden rules. Seems pretty cut and dry to me. Weirdly, my dad told me that sort of thing as a kid, though most of the time he’d say “jerk” instead of “asshole”, but by the time I was seven, I knew he meant “asshole”.

I won’t even start getting into how I felt when I figured out I have an asshole, and yet my biggest hero told me and others to not be an asshole. Very confusing to Little Steve, dad!

I also realize that this can be applied to anyone, to just about anything, with just about any religion or belief structure. I have gone a bit off my original point… just meandering around and trying to salvage some more “feel good” for this entry.

If I ever do say anything which offends you, dear Christians, please let me know. I’ll explain why I said whatever it is, as I am wont to do. But I do ask you respect my right to say and believe what I want, too.

Thank You and Be Well Always,
Steve

My Life as a Nerd Super Model

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2013 by synabetic

This is nothing more than filler I find to be funny. Pictures lately of me being a nerd. Well, to be fair, I’m always a nerd or geek or dork or whatever amateur pedant pundits are calling it these days. These here photos are all of me, resident super model modeler, taken last night in an epic, 1-tequila drink fueled photo shoot that my partner and I did between minis painting jags and a Justified binge. The last picture was taken whilst on a birthday bender with her… I remember none of it, except all of it (because gluten-free cake can only erase the day so much, you know?).

Oh, and I found a copy of Hoghead’s Realms of Sorcery for Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play 1st Edition for $7.99.  That’s what kicked all of this off… I almost freaked out right there at the bookstore.

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New score face. Found this on the cheap. Book, too.

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Serious picture is serious.

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Just LOOK AT IT. Yesss….

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It tastes good, too; you know, like warpstone.

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Tee-hee! We have a secret!

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Dude, this is my bro, Realms of Chaos! Bro!
Realms of Sorcery. Whatever. BODY SHOTS!

 

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Sharing a classy joke with my new friend.

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Thinking about the true meaning of life and the government shutdown.

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We’re watching you.
Or…
Killroy Bloodgod was here.

me_2000-ad_supermodel_shako

Even 2000 AD needs supermodels like me.

Isn’t self-indulgence grand?

All photos courtesy of Nicole Turner

Flasher Fiction: Family

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 1, 2013 by synabetic

Here’s a story that’s a part of the exercise that my partner and I are doing. She provides me an image– a photo she has taken, or an original piece of art she has created– and I write up something for it.  This one clocks in at over 2000 words, and is for one of the best pieces of art Nicole has ever done.  Please feel free to drop me a line if you are interested in a print of it.

Family
by Steven G. Saunders

Others have always said that “family is everything” and that “family comes first”, and I am inclined to agree. When the invaders came, I had no choice but to accept our ultimate fates; but I couldn’t allow my kin to perish, either.

I grabbed my brothers and sisters and ran. I ran with them, pushing them on as best I could. The invaders were terribly fast, and they provided no mercy to those of us they encountered. They consumed us whole, they consumed us in pieces, and those of us who were not consumed had something much, much worse in store for them… I don’t even want to think about it.

Many of my brothers and sisters died or were taken. My mother was torn into bits before our very eyes while my father valiantly, but nearly futilely, bought us some time so we could get away. We cried as we ran, our sadness propelling us forward as much as our terror. We ran deeper into the forest, no longer heeding the warnings of our elders because the baleful darkness of the unknown was far more preferable to what the invaders had in store for us.

Even as young ones, we knew that we must run to survive. I became a new elder in short time, indeed. We needed to live. We needed to ensure our family’s survival. We ran and ran and ran. Eventually, I demanded that we must rest; and rest we did.

It wasn’t long before my fellow young ones looked up to me. They were already lost souls left homeless by an incomprehensible evil. They couldn’t wrap their minds around what was necessary to survive. My mother had told me quite often while I was a little one that there are times when one must take charge. Even if they make the wrong decisions, at least they are trying.

And so it fell upon me to make all the choices for our group of runners to survive. I organized small parties of us to forage for food while we still moved onward into the forest as a group. Soon we had other attackers aside from the pursuing invaders. They would swoop down from the obscured sky or pounce on us from trees. But what they weren’t expecting was for us to fight back.

My father was a fighter. He taught me that our kind need not just hold still and wait for the end to come. We must fight for our families and protect our kin to our last breaths. I would love to say we gave the invaders a good fight, but they were too fast, too quick, too devious.

We had already invited them into our homeland, with their assurances that they would help us to protect ourselves. They had a reputation for being kind, generous, and almost silly. How were we to know they were about to change as a species? We cannot know these sorts of things. We cannot be expected to expect savage betrayal.

The invaders never gave us time to defend ourselves properly, let alone plan a counterattack. We had changed as a species, too, and we were still new at the idea of actually attacking others in a planned and coordinated manner.

Thankfully, we knew enough to surprise others who would dine on our dead or still living flesh.

On the second day into our exodus into the forest, a large swooper came at us as night fell. Its first pass was just a probing measure, and, as my father had taught me, this was where we also got to probe him. I quickly assembled my best youngling brethren and had two of them mill about a nearby clearing. The swooper took the bait, and as he swooped, the youngling-bait ran towards a large group of us where we were lying in wait with sticks we had sharpened with our teeth and fear-honed anger in our hearts.

The swooper was totally confused by our action and I yelled to my comrades to commit fully to their survival. As I stabbed into the swoopers feathery shell, I went with my blood and leapt up onto its back, thrusting my stick into its neck. It never had a chance to make any of its typical sounds. The swooper just simply gurgled as it desperately tried to get away, then fell down and died.

We relished our first victory together. One of my sisters suggested we consume the swooper as swoopers consume us and I thought about it briefly. I knew we didn’t have much time, and I also knew that the foraging for berries and other quick foods wasn’t enough to keep us going. We were also thirsty, haggard, and our morale had been sapped by our kin’s annihilation.

I could feel the spirit of the warrior inside of me. Until my father told me of it, I didn’t even know what a warrior was. One of us who fights, he had told me. He died a warrior, screaming into the face of the enemy, challenging his powerful invader foe to take him on. Their chittering noises sounded like laughter as they tore him apart.

I felt the calm. I felt my fear turn into hate. I felt my fate quickly turn into determination. I looked to the swoopers blood that covered me and I climbed onto its corpse. I addressed my kin in a low tone, one that is often used for mating purposes, and I didn’t ask them to eat the swooper. I called their loyalty, bravery, and resolution into question. I asked if they were going to die starving cowards, or would they meet their fates as warriors with full bellies.

My family cheered. They were all my family now, not just members of my family’s community.

The swooper was ravaged swiftly, consumed by all. We took its feathers and fashioned protective garb for ourselves. I wore its beak on my face, to show everyone I was leader. I was the prime warrior.

I was death incarnate for those who opposed us.

And so it was. We encountered more and more attackers and overcame them. Those of us who died honorable were given our total respect and our assurances we would name our new kin after them. We began attaching insulting terms to our enemies. The stalking bandits who killed and ate us were “Furry Stripe Corpsers”. Swoopers became “Hooting Victims”. The larger creatures who were like brutish, more intimidating versions of us, became “Big Toothed Dead”.

And so it was.

Time passed and we stopped running. Now we hunted. The Big Toothed Dead never knew what hit them, as we proved smarter and more cunning than them. We relied on their own overconfidence in their primitive martial abilities in order to properly suppress them and their communities. Before long, we were invading their nests and destroying their young. We would sometimes leave a younger one of them alive to warn others like them, making sure to eat the hearts of their kin before their very eyes.

We knew what we were doing. My father would have approved. My mother spoke to me in my dreams. She was there with me when I killed that first swooper. I could feel her with me always. I could feel my father and my dead siblings in my instruments of death.

The hunted became the hunters.

And so it was.

One day, I was no longer a young one. I had become fully grown. My family had never forgotten the horrors visited upon us by the invaders. How they betrayed us. How they destroyed us.

Or how they thought they had destroyed us.

I had always pondered on the thoughts of why the invaders hadn’t fully pursued us. They seemed to have gotten what they wanted, assuming we would die in the forest. They most certainly had thought we would all become food for predators. And yet, against all odds, we became the predators.

One day, I was dispatching yet another large Whiskered Death Dealer, honoring its grandness with prayers to the warrior spirits who guided us all, and it occurred to me that the time had come. I climbed atop the Whiskered Death Dealer’s head, first accepting it’s claws as my due as Honored Leader, and I addressed my family.

I told them we must no longer fear the invader. We had spent many days and nights training for revenge. We had no illusions of victory. We simply wanted to destroy the invader as much as possible. If but one of them is killed, we had achieved glory as far as we were concerned.

Some of the Furry Stripe Corpsers had joined us. We even had a few swoopers working with us. The Big Toothed Dead were servants to do as we pleased. We set forth with an army to strike down as many of the invaders as possible.

My heart soared as I rode along the back of my Furry Stripe Corpser I called Bandit. As we got closer and closer to my old homeland, I could feel the resolve in my soul. I took in all that had changed. We were no longer weak creatures who frolicked in the sun and ate little bugs and berries. We had become death, covered in the remains of our enemies, all of whom we had turned into food, weapons, and armor. My family called me Bone Lord and I welcomed the title with fondness.

It was hard to believe that at one time I was meek and timid.

The community of the invaders came into view. They still clustered openly in something they called a “village”. From my younger, peaceful days, I remembered the layout of their villages well. Their past friendliness was now their undoing, as their kindness had become our army’s intelligence.

I knew they had a leader. An elder they venerated. We knew that if we attacked him first, then the rest would be disorganized and we could pick them off more easily. One of the Big Toothed Dead had been keeping a flame alive since it struck from the sky days ago. This flame would be greatly beneficial in creating the havoc we needed in order to commit proper war.

We struck just before dawn; as the invaders were sleeping. For some unknown reason, they had none of the weapons they did before, and as I laid my bone-blade into their shrieking elder, I began to feel the familiar relation of possible victory.

So did the rest of my family. The invader’s village was an orgy of violence and retribution before we knew it. I then received word from a swooper that another village was organizing a defense. As the invader village burned, we regrouped and pushed into the invader’s territory.

Much time passed and I had become weary. Our family’s army had destroyed five of the invaders’ villages and we were working on two more when my rage ran out and fatigue overcame me.

I fell off of Bandit and I understand that she gave her life defending me from one of the hold-out pockets of invaders. She was a good mount and a dear companion in arms. She will be missed.

The invaders took to the forest just as we had long before, and after some time, they sent out an emissary in order to come to an accord. They wanted peace. They tried to explain the previous destruction of my family as some sort of bizarre fluke. Something that would never happen again. I was unconvinced. But my family wanted peace, as they had tired from a lifetime of conflict and bloodshed.

I was strangely agreeable with this notion, too. We must have hit a wall spiritually; and having had our revenge, our warrior spirits were trying to tell us something. We were weary of everything that had transpired, and so we readily agreed to co-exist with the invaders in the forest. They were very pleased with this outcome, and before long we were living together.

It’s hard to imagine my life as a warrior. As the Bone Lord. As a distributor of death, destruction, and righteous vengeance. But there I was, retired from the life of killing. The other ones who had helped us were released from their obligations, and their own families were greatly compensated. Many of them went on their own paths, but a few of them still stop by to say hello occasionally.

I now happily pick berries and explore the nicer parts of the forest, with its colorful beauty and pleasant meadows that border it. As time passes, I feel more and more elated with my new life, not caring as much about my warrior past, nor do I feel weak and worthless like I did when I thought of my first life with my family.

In the end, the invaders joined us and we think of them less and less as a conquered people and less and less as invaders as the days pass. By some miracle of fate, we have learned to accept each other and I couldn’t be more overjoyed by this prospect. They have become family.

Family is everything.

Nothing comes before family.

family_fiction_nicole

Original image courtesy of Nicole Turner

Read Some of What I’m Writing Lately, Maybe

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2013 by synabetic

Here’s a quick post to links of the flash fiction shorts (stories clocking in between 1200-1700 words) I have written as of late. They’re simple, I feel, and a little creepy. Or so some folks tell me. Okay, maybe a lot creepy.

The Writing
Worm
Bind
Today
Bruise
Family

Let me know what you think with a comment or something.

If you are super bored, I posted up the first three parts of The Rage of Ognark, a terrible bizarroesque story I’ve been writing.

And there you have it. I should have some more stories up soon.