When you go grave robbing, timing is everything. If you pick a freshly dug site, the soft and relatively unpacked earth means you can reach the casket in under two hours. If you wait too long, the ground dries out and the pressure of time means you’ve got a long, backbreaking night ahead of you.Continue reading
Originally published in Wayfinder #15
Once the pyres start burning, it’s hard to tell the dead from the undead. It doesn’t help that one becomes another so easily.
I try to count faces as each body lands on the bonfire. I see a bearded bald man that I recognize as the retired baker Matheo. Had he died before, or was he one of the victims? Something split his head wide open, but I’m not bright enough to figure out if it was a battleaxe or a ghoul’s claws. As it turns out, I’m not bright enough to do much of anything but cause disaster.
“This is where priests would come in handy,” I tell Linnea, trying to sound like the thought just barely popped into my head.
“Don’t talk nonsense, Davorik.” Her reaction isn’t very surprising, even to me. Nearly a dozen people died last night before the city watch managed to get the ghouls under control.
“It’s not nonsense,” I defend. “Clerics kill undead, right? They could have stopped the attack or at least gotten folks back on their feet instead of landing in the fire.”
“And what do you think created these things in the first place?”
I swallow. “I don’t know…what?”
Linnea laughs bitterly and taps a long fingernail against one of my protruding fangs – a habit she has whenever she wants to remind me that I’m only her half-brother. “People see you with your big muscles and green skin, and they think they see a dumb brute. Don’t let them be right. Do some studying once in a while. Magic makes the dead rise. That type of magic comes from the gods and their followers.”
“But it’s not all like that. There are good clerics, too.”
“Look around you, brother. Look past last night’s disaster and you’ll see a thriving city. The wounded are being tended in hospitals that didn’t exist a few years ago. Children go to schools that used to be nothing more than money sinks for corrupt clergies. Everything we have in Avendale comes thanks to the fact that General Voran got rid of the churches and their damned holy wars.” She waves a hand at the burning corpses in the city square. “When the god-worshipers get involved, we get this.”
“But if it wasn’t for the god-worsh…I mean, if it wasn’t for a cleric, you wouldn’t—”
“No,” she says, cutting me off and turning away. “I wouldn’t. But you know what? Maybe I shouldn’t.”
She storms off to help with repairs, leaving me to deal with my questions alone. Continue reading
The final Awesome Adventures comic showcased how far Andy had come with his art – you can compare this comic directly to “The Discount Hitman” and see the difference.
I still have other scripts kicking around on my hard drive, but Andy discovered that writers can get a lot more fiction done in a shorter period of time than artists can. As a result, he’s switched over to prose writing and I’ve stubbornly refused to learn how to draw well enough to do a monthly comic of my own.
If you’re curious as to what Andy’s been up to since moving to the writing side of things, you can check out his website for more information.
Awesome Adventures, web comic by Andy Porwitzky and I, ran for six months in 2010 and 2011. 2010 ended with a one-page Christmas comic written and drawn by Andy, which you can find here. As 2011 rolled in, we noticed that the comic had yet to include a female character.
The first woman to appear in Awesome Adventures starts the story gagged and bound to a chair. I’ll let you read the comic and decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
If you’re interested in more of Andy’s work, you should take a look at his website, DoktorAndy.com.
Journey to the River Kingdoms with a beautiful 84-page fanzine designed for the Pathfinder role-playing game!
Wayfinder is created for fans by fans, and the newest issue is now available for free. This issue features my Wayfinder debut in two articles: a pair of new characters from a bandit-plagued land in “The Misfits of Wilkesmont” and a new fantasy/horror short story in “Matters of Faith.”
You can download the issue for free on Paizo.com. Click here to check out the awesome!
Following the debut of Awesome Adventures, Andy wrote and drew a short comic of his own, which you can find here. The following month, I returned as a writer in a story called “Heaven.” I had fiddled with this plot for a long time but couldn’t make it work as a short story. Adding the visual element of a comic got it going.
Had Andy continued to be my art mule and not required to do things like earn a wage and spend time with his family, we would have revisited this character. A second script that I wrote but which never got art added to it established a running gag: this guy loves spaceships, but can’t fly worth a damn. He basically gets a ship, crashes it into a planet filled with monsters, and then fights his way to the next sleeker-looking ship.
As with all the Awesome Adventures comics, Andy Porwitzky provided art and editorial oversight. You can find more of his work at DoktorAndy.com.
Back in 2010 and 2011, my friend Andy Porwitzky and I collaborated on a short-lived series of one-shot webcomics called Awesome Adventures Comics. These comics have recently been recovered, and I intend to post them here over the next few weeks.
The first comic, “The Discount Hitman,” was Andy’s take on a silly short story I had written.
For more information about Andy’s work, head over to DoktorAndy.com for a full listing of his fiction and non-fiction publications.
Forget about your bleeding toenail. Forget about muscles that want to betray you. Forget about the you entirely. Right now, you’re nothing but the dance.
Published in The Lyndon Review.
The purpose to her moving my computer into the bedroom was twofold. First of all, that meant that she didn’t have to go into the living room, which by then had become the victim of a hostile takeover led by spilled ashtrays, moldy bread, dusty furniture, and several roaches, each of whom I had jokingly named Fred. Secondly, it meant that she could keep an eye on me and make sure that I didn’t spend too much time at the keyboard. She made the move while I was working the night shift at the gas station down the street. By the time that I got home I had been up for seventy-two hours straight and I didn’t care enough to make a complaint. Thus I became shackled to the bedroom, leaving only to work and to make my occasional and vain attempts at putting the house back into a state that remotely resembled clean.
What do I feel?
“Where the bee sucks, there suck I:
In a cowslip’s bell I lie;
There I couch when owls do cry.”
It’s not a game of pretend. He makes sure of that. I turn to the audience and smile. They’re all silhouettes, their features drowned out by the glare of the stage lights. Even so, somewhere in the back I can see tiny points of red light playing in one man’s eyes.