Weekend Writing Warriors 8 December 2019 (FA, PA, SF)

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“For a brilliant scientist from an advanced race, you are certainly the most naïve of creatures,” the man retorted. “However, I am quite eager to remove us from this cloying atmosphere of poisons both physical and psychic. The Dream House could not be much worse, so long as we stick together. Very well, then, let’s have at it. Through the corridor we shall go, the pair of us together as one. And Yitzy, we trust no-one but ourselves.”

~Cie for Naughty Netherworld Press~

This was originally published on December 1, but I didn't have a chance to share it because the power was out over the weekend. So I'm republishing it and will hopefully be able to share it for December 8!

This snippet is only six sentences long. It is the last paragraph in the first chapter of Ketil and Yitzy's Adventures in the House of Lost Dreams. The speaker is Ketil Nagel, the spirit of a Swedish extreme metal musician who sacrificed himself to the Elder Gods in the 1990s. Ketil is speaking to Yitzy Yithian, a renegade member of the Great Race of Yith, exiled by his fellows for exhibiting too much compassion, a trait most Yithians consider a weakness.

Earth's Dreamlands, the Elder Gods, and the Great Race of Yith are the creations of H.P. Lovecraft.

The Xura Dream House is the creation of Chaosium for the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game.

Ketil Nagel and Yitzy Yithian are original characters created by Team Netherworld.

Tidbit Tuesday: At the End of Everything

Image by Jennifer Nichole Wells

Alpha and Omega:

At the End of Everything

Original Publication Date:
Friday, January 8, 2016

Prompt Used:

Background notes and credits follow the story

All things are interconnected, and yet sometimes it is impossible to find the connection between one thing and the other, particularly where humanity is concerned. Those who are no longer living are able to see the connections better than those still bound to corporeal form. 

Those of us who looked deeper into certain connections became deeply unsettled by what we found. Certain forces of evil thought to be long extinct are quite active behind the walls of sleep. I and five other appointed agents were dispatched by King Kuranes of Celephais to explore the Cosmos and discover how we may yet save ourselves from annihilation or, worse, enslavement to these malevolent tyrants.

I followed my research to the dead world of Zecor 6 in the year 3121. Scientists of various races were exploring the planet. The more physically vulnerable among them were wearing protective gear. Being in spirit, there was no need for me to take such precautions.

One fellow clad in such a safety suit was happily humming a zany little tune from my time. This nasty earworm proceeded to give me fits for the remainder of my journey to this foul orb.

Wynona's got herself a big brown beaver and she shows it off to all her friends.
One day, you know, that beaver tried to leave her, so she caged him up with cyclone fence.

"Curse you and your damn zany tune!" I snapped at the scientist. I took my leave of him, for he would not stop muttering those blasted words. I think it was the only part of the song which he knew.
I sensed a strong neural wave, which I followed to what I believed to be a royal palace. There were multiple energies emanating from this structure, some of which were exceedingly malevolent. I tuned out the extraneous spectral static and concentrated on the quixotic emanations which had led me to this place.

It was here that I saw the creature whose psychic transmission I had been following. I recognized its kind from books studied in both the waking world during my lifetime and in the various libraries of the Dreamlands. It was a Yithian. I was somewhat surprised, for individuals from this race are notorious for their lack of empathy. This particular Yithian, however, was quite empathetic.

"Greetings, fellow explorer," the Yithian scientist addressed me. "I believe that we are here united in a common cause."

"What cause would that be, in your opinion?" I asked.

"You are here to save your kind from destruction, much though a part of you maintains that some of them actually deserve it. I too am here in an attempt to ameliorate the damage that the worshipers of certain baleful forces have wrought. Perhaps your mission has a more personal focus than mine, however, the goal remains the same. As we attend to our mission, perhaps we can share more of our own particulars. I would enjoy that."

"As would I," I said. "You may be able to help me a great deal. My people are far more primitive than yours. However, I sense that you are working alone."

"I am a renegade, different from others of my kind," the Yithian confirmed. "I perceive something from you. There is an emotion in your being which I would like to understand. To compassion I can relate, but this is different from simple charitable compassion. My friend, you are here because of love, and in spite of the terrible trauma you have endured, you still believe that love can save us. Can you tell me of love? For if it can indeed save us, I should like to understand."

"I don't know if I can make you understand exactly what love is," I said. "But I can try. I will tell you of my mission. I will try to impart to you how the love between two souls who needed each other very much may indeed save the entire Cosmos, and this is why certain powerful denizens among the Outer Gods and other malevolent factions wish for them to be kept apart."

"I am intrigued, Human, very much so. If you do not mind, I would like to record your tale."

"Yes, that would be fine. During all of my lives, I have always been a storyteller."

"Then I would be very pleased to help you tell your story. Allow me to make a note. Reference imparted by...what are you called?"

"My name is Ketil Arvid Nagel. I was also known in this most recent lifetime by my stage name, Lord Morbid."

"Then I shall make note of both. Place of origin, the Dreamlands of Sol 3 or Terra. Classification, spectre of homo sapien male in early adulthood. This informational exchange is taking place on planet Zetar 6, also known as Zecor."

"The eye of the hurricane, it would seem. Or one of them, for it occurs to me that this hurricane has many eyes."

"This place was one of the power centers for the worship of the Great Old Ones and Outer Gods," the Yithian said. 

"Not a great surprise there. Would you mind if I were to give you a name that I could call you? It seems a bit rude to keep calling you Yithian."

"I am unsure why, for that is what I am. However, I am amenable to whatever makes you comfortable."

"May I call you Yitzy? Perhaps it is silly, but it seems a bit more personal."

"Certainly. Yitzy it is. Yitzy is here to hear Ketil impart a tale of love, and, it would seem, of Wynona and her big brown beaver, whom she loved and wished she had a pair of."

"Forget Wynona and her big brown beaver. This is simply an earworm imparted to me by a scientist who could not cease from repeating that irritating rhyme. My story has nothing to do with beavers. Make yourself comfortable. This may take a while."

The Real Cie
Gem Moondreamer
Kai Rikard
Rose LeMort
Tempest LeTrope

Earth's Dreamlands, King Kuranes, and the Great Race of Yith are the creations of H.P. Lovecraft.

The Zetar star system is referenced in the Star Trek episode "The Lights of Zetar." Star Trek is the creation of Gene Roddenberry

Illsa's wonderful piece inspired us to create a helpful new segment for our adventure. We thought that given the number of subplots, it would be helpful to have a narrator to tie things together. Thus, we are pleased to introduce Ketil Nagel, aka Lord Morbid, as our narrator.

Ketil has previously appeared in other chapters on this blog, including Illsa's piece. His back story includes the fact that he committed suicide at a young age after a difficult life. He was the vocalist and chief lyricist for the Scandinavian death metal band Deadly Night.

Song for the chapter:
Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver

Wynona's Big Brown Beaver

By Primus
Wynona's got herself a big brown beaver and she shows it off to all her friends.
One day, you know, that beaver tried to leave her, so she caged him up with cyclone fence.
Along came Lou with the old baboon and said "I recognize that smell, Smells like seven layers, That beaver eatin' Taco Bell!".
Now Rex he was a Texan out of New Orleans and he travelled with the carnival shows.
He ran bumper cars, sucked cheap cigars and he candied up his nose.
He got wind of the big brown beaver So he thought he'd take himself a peek, but the beaver was quick and he grabbed him by the kiwis,
and he ain't pissed for a week. (And a half!)
Wynona took her big brown beaver and she stuck him up in the air,
said "I sure do love this big brown beaver and I wish I did have a pair."
Now the beaver once slept for seven days And it gave us all an awful fright,
So I tickled his chin and I gave him a pinch and the bastard tried to bite me.
Wynona loved her big brown beaver
And she stroked him all the time.
She pricked her finger one day and it occurred to her she might have a porcupine.

© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
For non-commercial use only.

Battle of the Poems 2019: Day 1

Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay

The rules are simple! Leave a comment telling me which poem you like best.

Poem 1:
Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time
I dreamed
once upon a time
he was
but now there's nothing left
except the misery
as summer disappears
and the barkers burst the colorful balloons
and take down the faire
players only love you
when you bring them money
gas, grass, or ass
no-one rides for free
little boys grow up
become corrupt
use and throw away
stupid girls
once upon a time
I believed in something
once upon a time
I thought someone waited for me
now I know the truth
the only one waiting 'round the corner
to put his arms around me
is death
that no matter where I am
I'm just two steps ahead of that man
some days I'm philosophical
some days I'm scared out of my fucking mind
and some days I'd welcome the bastard
with open arms
once upon a time
you were mine
you loved this wretched, broken thing
but like a leaf on the breeze you blew away
some things are too corrupted to love 
I thought I saw you coming back to me
but then I woke from my dream
the fairytale disappeared
in a puff of smoke
like Little Jackie Paper
you snuffed out your dreams of Puff
dragons aren't real
magic only exists in fairy tales
and love is nothing but a lie
once upon a time
I believed in happy ever after
now I only believe
that dreams vanish
and hearts break


Poem 2
Alpha to Omega

all alone adrift
boiling bad blood brew
chewing cyanide capsules
drinking death's draught
exhaling exotic excitotoxins
feeling fancy-free
gladly grabbing green
hoarding hazy hemlock
incinerating incriminating images
jaded joy juxtaposed
kicking kaleidoscopic kings
love long lost
makes me mad
nothing nice nevermore
only old offerings
placate pagan poltergeists
quietly quaffing quince
rebellious rogues repel
sweetly singing satyrs
thrilling tap-dancing troubadours
unique undines undulate
vanquishing vicious villains
while winsome warblers
xor xanthic xenophobes
yesterday's yearning youth
zap zingy Zambonis

Which one do you choose? One or two? You can leave an explanation, or just say which one you like.

Remember, whoever participates the most often will receive a $5 Amazon gift card. In the event of a tie, I will invoke the mighty coin, dice, or what have you.


We're back!

What Lunch Looked Like

How y'all am are? I was not expecting to be back so soon, but, as fate would have it, I'm here and so are you! So, let's do this!

After spending a freezing night without power in the old Grover Hotel, the Ornery Old Lady (that's me) and Sonny Boy headed to Greeley to gather up some supplies in case we were looking at another night to a week or more of this. We stopped at Taco John's, a place I haven't been to in some 35 years. In fact, that's where I made my last post from!

I was glad to find that Taco John's still tastes the same, but the price about knocked me out of the ballpark. Twenty bucks for a chicken quesadilla, a stuffed taco, Potato Ole's, drinks, and some guacamole, queso, and sour cream. Honestly, it's not that bad for today's prices, but I can remember when I was in high school and would go to Taco John's instead of eating the cafeteria swill. I'd have five bucks on me and get a whole meal and still get change back. Well, so it goes.

We went to Home Depot and bought a propane-powered space heater and looked into getting a backup generator. We picked up a snow shovel, which I thought was steel. It was aluminum and it bent easily. Not a winner there. We got a flashlight and a mini lantern. Then we headed to visit my son's second cousins on his father's side. They said that if the power was going to be out for a while, we could bring the cats and stay with them.

We hit the King Soopers to get some nonperishables like crackers and tinned kippers and then headed for home.

My son was reading the instructions for the space heater and I was getting the snow shovel out of the car when he came running out in an excited mood. The power was back on! I looked down the street to see the blinking red light just beyond the general store, and it never looked so beautiful!

It's still colder than a well-digger's ass in the old Hotel, but the furnace is back on and the temperature is rising. I've got salmon, potatoes, and corn in the oven. I also have (I hope) a fun opportunity.

I am going to need help deciding which poems to put in my manuscript for the November PAD Chapbook Challenge. So, for the next month, I will be having a Battle of the Poems. I will put up two poems, and I would like readers to decide which of the two they prefer. You can give me a reason, or just say "I like number (one or two) best." 

There will be a prize as an incentive for helping me. 

The person who comments on the most poems will receive a $5 Amazon gift card in their email. In the event that there is a tie, I will use a coin, dice, or Random Number Generator to help me choose.

I think this will be fun, and I hope I can get a few people to play along.

The first Battle of the Poems will appear tomorrow!


November PAD Chapbook Challenge 2019: Day 30: A Fetch Story Poem: The End

Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay

When the end came to her world
She left her body behind
Everything she knew was gone
She walked through poison atmosphere
Watching the city burn
She looked up to the sky
At the small sun gone nova
Having glutted itself on the energies
Of its larger companion
The planet flooded with gamma rays
Could no longer sustain life
She grieved her useless efforts
Wishing she could snuff herself out
Like one of the candles that she burned
In the vain hope of countering
The misguided sorcery
That brought about the end
The end of life
The end of hope
The end of everything

~Cie Channeling Princess Ondina~

The final prompt in the November PAD Chapbook Challenge was "The End." I was inspired to write a poem for Team Netherworld's long-running WIP, Fetch. 

Princess Ondina was the reluctant captive regent of the tyrannical monarchy of West Zecor. Misusing powerful magic learned from his mystical adviser Yadira, the daughter and High Priestess of Nyarlathotep, Ondina's megalomaniac psychopath brother King Qweh triggered a reaction in the planetary system's smaller sun, Zetar Beta, causing it to begin devouring its larger companion. This ill-advised action brought about the doom of Zecor (Zetar 6). Princess Ondina is the previous incarnation of Fetch's female protagonist, Pepper Baiij. 

The reincarnation sequence of the Fetch story was born because I had long wanted to write a backstory for the third season original Star Trek episode The Lights of Zetar. This episode tends to be pretty much universally panned, and it certainly has its flaws, i.e. if Captain Kirk had referred to a grown-ass woman in her 30s as "the girl" one more time, I swore I was going to jump through the screen and make him wear his 'nads for earrings, but I was fascinated and, frankly, terrified by the malevolent light colony. It provided me many years of nightmares. To this day, even as desensitized as I am to most so-called horror (which generally consists of gore and jump-scares), I still cannot watch this episode in the dark.

Fun Trivia: The Lights of Zetar was co-written by the late Shari Lewis of Lamb Chop fame and her husband Jeremy Tarcher. Lovable Miss Shari definitely had a dark side to her imagination!

Weekend Writing Warriors 24 November 2019 (FA, PA, SF)

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“Ketil, my friend, I find you a most humorous companion,” the creature stated. “What have we to fear from Nyarlathotep? We are but two lonely souls, one the shade of a once-unhappy Earthman who ended his own life, the other a creature outcast from his kind for possessing too much empathy to allow him to conduct potentially life-threatening experiments on those creatures my fellows deemed inferior. We are not power-hungry, we have no armies of fawning sycophants prostrating themselves at our feet, we have no money at all, let alone monetary excess. To the likes of Nyarlathotep, we are worthless. I do like it that way. Do you concur?”

~Cie for Naughty Netherworld Press~

Yitzy Yithian is a member of the Great Race of Yith who has been exiled by his fellow Yithians for displaying too much empathy. 

Ketil Nagel is the spirit of a Swedish metal musician who sacrificed himself to the Elder Gods.

The Great Race of Yith and Nyarlathotep are the creations of H.P. Lovecraft. Ketil Nagel and Yitzy Yithian are the creations of Team Netherworld.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge 2019: Day 19: Another Antonymic Bomb: Loved and Despised

Admirable - Awful
Beautiful - Boorish
Compassionate - Cruel
Darling - Deplorable
Enlightened - Egocentric
Fantastic - Foul
Genuine - Gruesome
Heavenly - Hellish
Innocent - Irredeemable
Just - Jealous
Keen - Kinky
Lovable - Loathsome
Marvelous - Malevolent
Noble - Nasty
Obliging - Oligarch
Pure - Pretentious
Quaint - Quarrelsome
Resourceful - Ruthless
Sagacious - Sadistic
Tender - Terrible
Unaffected - Unjust
Valiant - Vile
Warm - Wicked
Xenial - Xenophobic
Yielding - Yellowblooded
Zany - Zealot

Princess Ondina

Today's November PAD Chapbook Challenge prompt asked for a protagonist or antagonist poem, or one that incorporates both. I was inspired to do a character study through the eyes of Princess Ondina, a long-ago incarnation of Pepper Baiij.

Princess Ondina was the reluctant captive regent of West Zecor on the doomed world of Zetar 6. She was held in the thrall of her brutal half-brother, King Qweh. One night, Qweh slew Ondina's bodyguard in a drunken rage. The next day, he brought the princess a diminutive thief whom he'd captured as a replacement bodyguard, thinking himself terribly witty. Ondina, however, stated that the little man would make a fine bodyguard and asked Qweh to leave her laboratory. 

Ondina and the thief, whose name was Serab, established an immediate rapport that quickly turned to love. There was little time for amorous moments, however. The world's binary suns were engaged in a battle with one another that would soon turn deadly, and there was no way that the cruel and jealous King Qweh was about to allow his oppressed sister to find joy with a common thief.

In this character study, Ondina compares the attributes of her beloved and her brother.

Zecor or Zetar 6 is the planet from which the malevolent Lights of Zetar of the original Star Trek series originated. I always wanted to write a backstory for this episode and, nearly 40 years later, I finally pulled the trigger on the project. 

The Lights of Zetar are the creation of the late Jeremy Tarcher and the late Shari Lewis. 

All the characters mentioned in this post are the creations of Team Netherworld.

Fetch is the flagship story in Team Netherworld's Yadira Chronicles.

Weekend Writing Warriors 8 December 2019 (FA, PA, SF)

Weekend Writing Warriors Also sharing with: “For a brilliant scientist from an advanced race, you are certainly the most naï...