Friday, December 25, 2015

End of 2015 Administration Post

I hope that you all enjoyed the free fiction I've posted here since I launched this 'blog back in 2009. That's over now.

Over this past year I began the transition from being a hobbyist writing and posting whatever to becoming a professional author. All of these posts? I wrote them in November of last year and scheduled them to go live on Fridays at Noon (Central Time). Since then I've come up with four novel-length manuscripts, all of which need serious revision and rewriting, and I intend to publish at least two of them this coming year (2016) via Amazon (epub via Kindle and POD via Createspace). These are speculative fiction novels.

So, the Chronicles is going to become my writing blog.

I may rename it, but not right away. Instead, this is going to become where I talk about writing and my projects. It's the space where I account for myself, keep you up to date with what's going on, and otherwise become where I and you go back and forth.


Friday, December 18, 2015

The End Began in the Middle-12

As I write this, that girl's mother stands by. I am indeed very old now, and it hasn't been long since that wedding. Ken came and went a few times since, and he's back now. This is it. He knows it, and so do I. When I finish this, the last of my memoirs, I will go to bed that night and I will not wake up. I will expire, peacefully, in my sleep. As soon as the point of death is had, Ken will prevent my turning.

I don't know exactly what that means, and I don't want to know. I can't really stop him from eating my body, so I never bothered to argue that he shouldn't. Maybe he will. Maybe not. It's irrelevant for me to speculate. All I know for certain is that the one concession to convention about kingship--a worn thing symbolzing who is king, a crown--will be taken from my head and placed on my son's head. The mother of my grandson's wife will do the placing, and Ken will pronounce my son as king. "The king is dead. Long live the king." being traditional, that is what I expect will be the ritual phrasing.

Word went out of my approaching death and my son's succession. The households under my sword, as it were, are awaiting the news. Fortunately, they appreciate my son much as they do--did--me so I don't expect much trouble out of them after I'm gone; if there is trouble, it will be after those great-grandchildren are born and they turn out to be boys. Being ruled by mutant corpse-eaters may be a bridge too far for many of them, and they'll have to be dealt with.

I did not expect to live to 100, nevermind past that, and yet here I am- barely. The high technology I once took for granted is long gone now, and the digital world I once expected to be my Heaven has vanished. Instead I struggled--when not butchering men or monsters--to retain all the useful knowledge I could, and pass on that and the importance of its preservation to those after me. With an illiterate woman birthing my future heirs, I am concerned that they will be unable to read these words and thus come to understand the man that made their inheritance possible- or the world he came from.

Yes, I survived. Yes, I brought down a corrupt and degenerate world. Yes, I built up a robust and sustainable kingdom out of those ashes, but I am unsure that whom I pass this wealth down to will appreciate it or be able to preserve it against the threats that now exist. The end for me comes, and I have made my peace with that. What I cannot--will not--accept is that my legacy will be as easily reduced to ashes and dust.

All men die. Yet only when a man is forgotten is he truly destroyed. "Christopher I, King of Laketown" is far better than "Christoper Holm, some guy who wrote books and shot traitors" at being remembered.

Remember me.

Friday, December 11, 2015

The End Began in the Middle-11

I had the word about the wedding put out to my people, commanding the attendance of the households, and they did as I expected: grumble, but comply. All that butchery left a lasting impression, and they did appreciate my aggressive efforts against The Necromancer, so they sat down and shut up about my ties to Ken and his people- amongst other things. Soon I got replies and when the date got settled that too went out, and when the date came my people showed up to witness the future of my kingdom come into view.

It was, for the most part, a good wedding. Food (for those of us that could eat it) and drink (ditto) aplenty, a respectable turnout of household heads or their agents (some took ill; I verified that), toasts and boasts and games to cheer and thrill one and all. The bride had the time of her life, which was not hard to do: she could not read or write, and spent her life to this point in the middle of the woods living in a cabin that had no heat or electricity so my "castle"--a run-down lakeside resort hotel repurposed into a fortified manor--seemed like an enchanted palace of gold and diamonds to her eyes, but she knew her wifely arts well and thought my grandson to be a true prince out of the stories her mother told her.

That talk about women would be coming after the wedding night. At least my son and I had prepared him that much.

The cost for this wedding came with taking in the girl's mother also, and she I installed as my caretaker to keep her out of my son's way and keep her influence over my successors to a minimum. I knew how to handle a woman like this, so I did just that; it helped that I had secrets of my own that I kept all these years, including the means by which I kept folks just down enough to prevent them from using my sleepy time to meddling in my affairs. (Sure, I used it also way back when to keep bothersome folks asleep while I did what I needed to do to properly put them down where they deserved to be, but fortunately that was a rare occurrence- but it was also very lucrative.)

The wedding came and went. The feast came and went. I did enjoy myself, as best I could, in both happenings. My new grand-daughter-in-law even smiled at me, as only a truly innocent young girl just married could, and kissed me on the cheek. "I promise, sire, to be the very best wife I can to him." she said, as only a girl like that could. For a moment, I remembered a better tomorrow that never came. Heh. Even now, after it all, I still want to believe.

As for the girl's mother, she too turned out better than I expected. That night, as she helped me to bed, she engaged me in idle chat.

"Well, I didn't expect my girl to end up here."

"How so?"

"Ken said you were a hell of a man, a butcher, a pig-headed bastard, and terrible with women."

"All true." I said, "Still. You're just behaving well."

She laughed, and I could tell that she got exactly what I meant.

Friday, December 4, 2015

The End Began in the Middle-10

"Everyone can see that you're setting up that boy of yours to be your successor." Ken said, "Your own son is okay with that?"

"He'll play seat-warmer for a while. He'll officially be the first successor, but he's really just finishing the training I began. When Jeremy is ready, he'll take the throne; this marriage is meant to cement that future."

"You're banking on the rumor about my genetics."

"That your sons, and their sons, turn out to be just like you and your daughters carry that trait to give to the sons they bear? You got it."

Ken chuckled. "Your descendants will not go hungry."

There was not more to say after that. Ken knew the real reason that I had him come to me: to fulfill the other favor I won from him all those years ago, which was to prevent my reanimation after I died.

One thing I knew for certain is that everyone alive at the time of the apocalypse who survived that would, inevitably, become a zed when they died unless they somehow got around being a normal man or woman. (Ken, for example, would not because he's a corpse-eating mutant freak.) What I came to suspect is that those born after that wouldn't automatically turn into zeds, but it was useful to keep up the practice anyway just in case so I did not ever tell anyone this suspicion other than Ken.

"Well, at least you can enjoy one more wedding before the end."

"Yeah." I said to the big snow-white man with no hair and sunken yellow eyes, "Just one more."