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About Deviant Premium Member Jake Ristic-PetrovicMale/Canada Groups :iconmilitaryaddicts: MilitaryAddicts
Military, war, ww2, soldiers
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Computer died, stuck with typewriter. What do i do now, man?! 

53%
8 deviants said He sells homunculi, grimoires most foul, voodoo dolls, and 8-tracks.
27%
4 deviants said There are eyes and ears everywhere, but no goddamn brains!
13%
2 deviants said She is left alone with a lot of strange creatures on a starship very far from home.
7%
1 deviant said In a strange city, a man must choose between his family and eternal life.

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The snow hasn’t melted for six years now. Until one recent morning, I hadn’t seen any sign of another living soul in months.

It was a gangly looking figure, struggling through the snowdrifts. I wouldn’t have even seen it had I not gone up to dig out the second bunker for supplies. Making sure I could find my way back with the radio positioner, I decided to follow it. The last time I had met someone out here, I’d had a lover for several days. Perhaps I would be so fortunate again.

On skis I quickly caught up to the walker. She was in her forties, with the thousand-yard-stare of a permanent wanderer looking out from her balaclava. I asked her to come to my bunker for a while.

“I can’t. Not without him.” She pointed ahead.

Once again, in flurrying snow was a human form, trudging along, obviously wearing snowshoes. So I sped along to this person, my heart bouncing around in my chest. Two people! Two people in one day! I thought of the great meals we would have together, and the old movies they could watch with me. New friends—perhaps a new family.

The man who I met next, in his late twenties and bearded, refused to join me as well. He said he was following another. And so I charged on. It seemed as though I had found a procession.

When the third, seemingly genderless person covered from head to toe told me they were following the fourth, my hope shriveled up, decayed and died in an instant.

“How many of you are there?”

“What do you mean?”

I told the traveler about its followers. It had no idea; none of the three I had met, and presumably no one else along the line, was aware of those behind them. I might have found an entire city on the move, more people than I had encountered since the day the last nuclear furnace died and we were left to face the glaciers on our own.

But they weren’t going to turn back until the leader was found and brought to them. I checked to make sure my batteries were charged and I had replacements; the last thing I wanted was to be trapped in a featureless landscape without my positioner. Then I set out to find the first man.

I can’t truthfully say how many people I passed. They were all within the line of sight of one more, and they all moved as though in a trance, slowly dying from exhaustion and cold and not even aware of it. They were happy to freeze to death in their dream state.

At long last I had her. She was a little younger than me, her face frostbitten and her eyelashes flicking ice off them every time she blinked. I demanded to know where she was going.

“After him.” She pointed into the storm. I saw nothing.

“There’s no one there. Come with me, turn around. Before you freeze to death!”

“Look again. Look just right.”

Pushing along on my skis, keeping pace with the woman, I squinted and stared and looked up and down and across. Nothing. Just wall after wall of powder stirred up by the wind, and of course the constant dizzying flurry from the sky.

“There’s no one—”

There it was.

It didn’t look right. The shape tottered and limped along as though it had been wounded, it was gaunt and black and it didn’t seem human. It didn’t seem possible. In and out it faded, a wraith in the ice.

I wanted to turn back, I really did. Whatever that thing was, it had put a procession of dozens of the last people on this part of the world in a fatal trance. But I had to know. I had to know what it was.

The sun has gone down and come up more than once. The storm has abated and when it does, the shape seems far off. When it returns the shambling figure is much nearer. I think I’m getting closer, though.

I wonder how long those batteries will last. I keep forgetting to check my positioner.

I’m almost there.
The First Man
Inspired by the two days of god-awful fuckin' snowfall we've had out here in Alberta, as well as the odd hoody-wearing figure that wandered up and down the street the other night when it was at its worst.

Let me know what you thought.
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An alien who insisted his given name was Gilgamesh gave me a time machine the other day. It was a little yellow egg, no larger than my fist, adorned with near-microscopic depictions of battles and ancient space monsters and other fascinating fantasies.

First I used it to go back a week, just to see if it really worked, to order a grilled cheese at this restaurant where I had originally bought a burger. I avoided indigestion, but my head started to hurt when I realized my past self was nowhere to be found.

I went to my own birth and couldn’t find my parents at the hospital. It turned out they were at home, my mother quite skinny and beautiful, not haggard and heavily pregnant as dusty photographs had led me to believe. They were very nice people back then. I wonder why they ever evolved to be so malicious later on.

I no longer existed, except as a strange and hazy figure out of place. But when I returned to the present, nothing had changed. My girlfriend hadn’t even noticed my absence. She just told me to wipe up whatever that stuff was that Gilgamesh had left on the kitchen floor.

There are no paradoxes for he who never existed. There is no death for he who can willfully return to existence.

So I went to the sixties and saw Jimi Hendrix play a few weeks before Woodstock. I went to ancient Egypt and started a war between Ramses II and a Nubian king (a completely honest mistake involving my iPhone and a Christmas sweater). I went to the Battle of Hastings and watch Hardrada jump ship to Valhalla with an arrow in his neck, Valkyries all dancing and shrieking about in the sky.

And I went to last week and sat in that coffee shop, just enjoying the fact that I was totally alone for a little while, but not too long. I was so caught up in my hedonism that when I paid the tab I forgot my time machine on the table.

For the life of me, I can’t remember what the waiter looked like.
Dropped
As part of my recent programme to post prose into which I actually put some real effort, here is my second and more earnest attempt at a time travel story. Feedback is as always desired.
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Three days of rain had come to an end; Jeff Kuhn's boots squelched in the grass of a backyard on the north end. He paused a moment when the porch light sensed he and Talobor Pavlevic's movement. Talobor, who they called "Ludilo" behind his back, was an enormous man with a square head and a broad chest, the typical Bosnian track-suit wearing gangster. Jeff hated the nine-mil toting psychopath.

Clear sky, blinking aircraft lights motoring between the stars. It was a good night for a fire, like a family down the street. A good night to go to the trailer park and find a party, or maybe head to the bar with dad and patch things up. Instead he and Talobor were out to solve the mystery of who put two bullets in Andre's brain. And somehow he had to find evidence that pointed anywhere but at himself.

This was one of those nights he desperately wished for a regular job.

Talobor made a face that told Jeff to get moving, so he did. The way up and across the porch Kuhn thought angrily, eat shit. Forty-something years old and you're still tracking heroin, a biker gang's bitch. Just a fucking goon can't even speak English.

The second Jeff swung open the back door he transformed. He had to; when you wanted answers from somebody, you needed to become a monster. No sleazier than a car salesman, just a different emotional direction.

Everything seemed to light up in that moment. He charged across the landing and down the peeling yellow linoleum staircase and into the basement. Concrete floors, covered in dirty rugs. The smell of cigarettes and mildew. Two girls, one maybe eighteen and the other in her mid-twenties, sat on a fake leather sofa. In the cloth rocking chair on the other side of the room, in the corner facing the stairs, a little native guy, Damian, seventeen and holding a ziploc baggie of cocaine.

They all stared at Jeff Kuhn, in his leather jacket, jeans, and steel-toes, and Talobor, in his red-striped Nikes. Damian's face had gone white. The girls could sense something was very wrong, but they blushed.

"'Evening, Damian. How's tricks?" Jeff put on a friendly smile and slowed right down. He didn't have to yank the six-shooter tucked into the back of his pants. Not yet. Damian already looked about two seconds away from shitting his pants.

"Jeff..."

"Uh...can we just get our stuff and go?" The older woman asked. She was pretty enough, with the wild eyes and sudden movements of someone who'd snorted a few too many lines in her day. The younger one, a little chubbier with a mane of black hair, looked to be about thirty IQ points ahead of her older friend.

"Nah, this'll only take a minute." Jeff looked around for a seat and found one by the television. He dragged it into the middle of the rug and sat down. Talobor remained by the bottom of the stairs. "So, Damian. How's business?"

"It's...it's good man."

"Yeah? How good?"

"Just...y'know. Friday night...summertime..."

"I hear you found a way to make a lot more green than before."

Damian kept his mouth shut.

"No? Am I wrong?"

Nothing.

"Jeez. Sorry, Talobor, usually this guy's way better conversation. I'm sure he doesn't mean any disrespect."

"No...no disrespect." Damian looked back and forth between the two. The bone of his knuckles showed through, they were clutching the armrests so tightly.

"Hey, we don't want any part of this." The younger woman said.

"Any part of what? A friendly conversation? I just heard that Damian got himself a new product somehow. Thought I'd ask about it."

The girl wanted to leave. The older one had sunk into the couch.

"Damian, buddy. I heard you got some new product in. No? That doesn't jog your memory?"

"Listen, Jeff--"

"Nah, you listen. Andre ran all the H in this town. The only other motherfuckers who had any permission to do it are those shitskins way down on the south side. Andre gets popped in a playground one night, and suddenly you get caught with your own private supply."

"No, it's not like that!"

"You're one dumb motherfucker, you know that?" Jeff laughed. "Fucking take down a lifer, take his H, and start your own private enterprise. You thought we wouldn't hear about it?"

"I didn't--"

Jeff leaped out of his seat. He had his knee in Damian's crotch in a half-second, and he slapped the kid so hard across the side of his head Jeff thought he might pop an eye out. He backhanded him, went the other way, backhanded again, used his palm a last time. Damian's nose spilled out a phlegmy mixture of blood and snot, tears leaked from his eyes.

Kuhn reached behind and drew his pistol. He jammed it in Damian's temple. The younger girl shot to her feet and was shoved back into her seat by Talobor. The older one had forced herself so far into the couch her ass might have hit the wall.

"Who the fuck are you paying then?" Jeff roared, "Who sold you the fucking H!"

Damian whimpered and screamed and begged Jeff not to shoot.

"Answer the question! Who sold you the fucking H!"

"Domenico! Dom! Dom from Montreal!"

Jeff withdrew from the kid. He gently placed his shooter back in his pants. Damian's pants were wet with piss, his shirt was soaking up blood. The wailing sound he made almost convinced Jeff to just blow his brains out.

"All right, all right. Relax."

"I'm sorry!" Damian shrieked, "I'm sorry! He told me I could make fifteen grand off this stuff! What was I supposed to do? I thought he'd kill me if I didn't just for knowing about it!"

"Yeah, all right. Fine. Stop crying. Stop fucking crying!"

"Okay...okay..." The kid sobbed a little, half got a hold of himself.

"All right. Here's what's going down. You pay Lars now. Got it? Lars gets twenty-five percent. That dago comes back to you, you call me and you tell me where to find him."

"Okay...okay...I swear to god...okay..."

"Now the Board told me to tell you, you're off the hook. This time. You ever try to go around the organization again, and that's it. I'll come back here and I'll blow your fucking brains out. It'd be a shame, too, since if I did that I'd have to do the same for these two lovely ladies right here. You don't want anybody to get hurt, right?"

"Yeah...okay...right..." Damian's hyperventilating died away.

"We're gonna find Dom. You're gonna help us, if possible. Don't fuck up again, kid. You're lucky they told me to deal with you and not Talobor, that's all I'm gonna say."

Jeff looked the two girls up and down again. He wished he'd met them under different circumstances. Something about the older one told him the gang could use her. The younger one, hopefully, wouldn't follow her friend into any more coke deals.

"How much are you charging these girls for that bag?"

"Sixty...sixty-five..."

Jeff reached into his coat pocket, pulled four twenties from his cash clip, and handed it to Damian.

"You give them the change. You girls want the rarer stuff, the acid and the shrooms, you tell Damian and he'll get you in contact with some friends of mine. Have a good night."

Talobor drove them out of there, and asides from mentioning that they should have killed the kid once they got the information, he didn't say anything. That suited Jeff just fine. There was a strange feeling somewhere deep inside, something that wasn't quite dread, that didn't make it to regret. A heavy weight tugging on the bottom of his heart.

How much longer can we play this fucking game?
Interrogation
One thing I really love is when two separate stories I'm writing but can't seem to gain any traction on congeal. I won't go into too many details, but that happened with the Jeff Kuhn series. All's I'm gonna say is that outside the excerpts I'm posting on here there is some pretty hefty postmodernism going on. I think surrealism and crime fiction is a beautiful match. Again, though, the stuff that's going on here is just the crime narrative.

Also, "ludilo" is Srpski for "insanity." "Lud" just means crazy. Should the guy's nickname be Lud or Ludilo?

Oh, and here's the first Jeff Kuhn excerpt for those who haven't read it: Two AM, At A PlaygroundThe streets all slick with rain reminded him of a hazy digital painting, the lights in their puddles formed with exaggerated, unpolished brush strokes. A half-dozen men and women in front of the bar, all lit up by the big white light hanging over the bouncer, formed the only distinct part of the scene. He wished he knew how to paint the things he saw.
Standing beneath a playground, he looked miserable and out of place. The loaded revolver in his right hand looked more like a child's toy in this setting. What a place for a skid bar like that, he thought, just across the street from an elementary school. Tomorrow if all went as planned the kids who played on these swings and platforms would be stuck behind yellow tape, their vacation place home to grisly murder.
Murder as committed by Jeff Kuhn, a man who played the part of a lost high school graduate far better than that of a hitman.
Nearly ten to two. The greasy biker son of a bitch would be coming out any minute, dragged drunkenly alo
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Man I suck at this NaNoWriMo thing. Three days in and I've got nothing. A lot of really short, two-page stories or short stories with solid beginnings, but nothing I can fashion a good paperweight out of. By the time I figure something out that'll actually work I'll be playing half a month's worth of catchup in a day.

Read the last half of The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien all in one go last Saturday night. Been a few months since I did that. It occurred to me that books are just old-school Netflix; you open it, lay down on the couch, and by the time you're done it's dawn and reality is a hazy mess you don't want to deal with. I missed getting that feeling from paper rather than TV. Anyway, I recommend the book. It gets a little tedious in a couple places but that is some damn fine postmodernist writing, on par with James Joyce.

They say you should act like a Roman when in Rome, but I disagree. I think you should act like a Vandal.
Go figure: I stop getting shitfaced every couple days and my productivity goes way up. Why, why can't I combine the two things I most enjoy? Oh, right, because the point of alcohol abuse is to dull oneself into a stupor.

Another publication by Dreamscape Press is forthcoming: I have a story in their anthology Zombies in Japan, which I'm told will be out sometime around the new year. It's unpaid, naturally, but I wrote the tale in fifteen minutes so what the hell do I care?

Recently I got myself a new job at a warehouse, picking orders from nine in the evening to five in the morning. While that may sound grueling, I've actually adapted my sleep schedule pretty handily and I'm enjoying it thoroughly. Soon I'll have enough cash to go out and buy cheap booze and overpriced books by Penguin again. Seriously, why does a single Philip K. Dick novel of less than two hundred pages cost just as much as one that's twice as long and a hundred times more well-known? I go to used book stores a lot, of course, but sometimes you just can't find what you're after in those places. Great locations to just shop around, though.

My writing life is pretty aimless as of late. I'm compiling my own anthology, with plans to put it on Amazon, out of stories that have either appeared on here or that I couldn't get published professionally. Be sure to hurl your hard-earned paycheck at me when it comes out.

So what the hell are you all up to? Seriously, why are all of you standing around my kitchen, drinking my ginger ale and eating my green onion cakes? That shit costs money!
Man I suck at this NaNoWriMo thing. Three days in and I've got nothing. A lot of really short, two-page stories or short stories with solid beginnings, but nothing I can fashion a good paperweight out of. By the time I figure something out that'll actually work I'll be playing half a month's worth of catchup in a day.

Read the last half of The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien all in one go last Saturday night. Been a few months since I did that. It occurred to me that books are just old-school Netflix; you open it, lay down on the couch, and by the time you're done it's dawn and reality is a hazy mess you don't want to deal with. I missed getting that feeling from paper rather than TV. Anyway, I recommend the book. It gets a little tedious in a couple places but that is some damn fine postmodernist writing, on par with James Joyce.

They say you should act like a Roman when in Rome, but I disagree. I think you should act like a Vandal.

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SgtPossum
Jake Ristic-Petrovic
Canada
A drunk Albertan, I'm a writer. I write stuff, and shit, and other things. Feedback is always appreciated, positive or negative.

I've got a tumblr. SgtPossum.tumblr.com
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:iconarianod:
Arianod Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:) :iconthnxplz: :meow:
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:iconhomunculus888:
homunculus888 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Dood.
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:iconsgtpossum:
SgtPossum Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014
Dood broods over oodles of food.
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:iconhomunculus888:
homunculus888 Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You've been working on that all week, haven't you?
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:iconsgtpossum:
SgtPossum Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2014
...Mayhaps.
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:iconmyriadwhitedarkness:
myriadwhitedarkness Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the fave! :)
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:iconedges-to-everything:
Edges-to-Everything Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Happy Birthday, Jake! :nod:
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:iconsgtpossum:
SgtPossum Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014
Thanks!
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HadrianR Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014
Happy Birthday ! :D
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:iconsgtpossum:
SgtPossum Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014
Thank you!
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