Just a taste please….

So new project.  It’s actually the third book in my Sci Fi Trilogy, this one, Margin of Error, should be done this month, but here is an excerpt…..


“Did it come Dad?”

The man walked into the house looking carrying a basket full of envelopes.  “I don’t know yet, I have to get to the table and go through all of this stuff.”  He made his way to the kitchen table and sat the basket down.  Then he took a seat.  The eager boy was standing near him almost fidgeting with excitement.

He reached in and pulled out a stack of smaller letters, then slowly looked at each one, pausing to inspect who they were from.  After a few moments the child grew impatient, “DAD!!”

The man laughed as he set the pile aside, “I was just messing with you.  It’ll be bigger, so it should be on the bottom.”  He quickly took all of the smaller items out and set them off to the side, then he pulled out a pile of larger envelops, document size.  “It should be rather thin.  Most of these are bigger documents, so you shouldn’t even have to look at them if they seem too thick.”  He handed part of the pile to his son and they started looking.

“Here it is,” the boy said excitedly.

“Give it here then.”

“I want to open it.”

“I’m sure you do Brian.  But I paid for it, so I get to open it.  Besides I want to see what

your actual GPA is.”

“I told you already.”

“I know you did, and most of the time I let you handle everything that concerns your education.  Except this is your first real degree.”  He took a letter opener and unsealed the end of the envelope.  Then he peered inside.  Finally, he reached in and pulled out three sheets of paper, leaving the thicker piece inside.  He looked at the papers for a moment.

“Well?” the boy inquired.

“I see an A- here.”

“Yeah, Shakespeare.  I really didn’t like the way it was written.”

The man looked at his son with a frown.

“Really Dad?  Over a dead poet?”

Then he smiled.  “No, I’m just messing with you again.  Personally, I just used Cliff Notes whenever I had to deal with him.”

“Cliff Notes?”

“Like shorter summary versions of books, films, or what not.”

“You cheated?”

“Not technically.  Besides, you’re a lot more capable than I ever was.”

“So, what was my final?”

“Let’s see, 3.95.”

“Aww, I really wanted that 4.0.”

“Next time?”

“Yeah, I mean I have to.  You wouldn’t let me have more than one major.”

“That would’ve added a year or so.”


“I wanted you done as fast as possible, so it could be today.  From now on you can triple or quadruple major if you want.”  The man set the papers down, then went to a nearby cabinet and pulled out a large box.  He set it front of the boy.  “Happy Birthday, Brian.”

The boy tore open the box and took out one of the fanciest frames he had ever seen.  “It’s beautiful dad.  Is it 17th century?”

“Good eye.  In the bottom of the box is some matting to help make your diploma fit.  It’s hard to try and find a nice frame from that era to match the size.”

“It doesn’t matter, I love it.”  He ran to his father and hugged him, “Can we put it in now?”

“Of course.”

Brian took the envelope and pulled out the fake parchment.  He held it in his hands and raised it to the window to examine it.  The “University of Chicago” was prominent on the top.  His eyes then moved to “Bachelor of Science in Physics”, finally to his name with the date next to it.  “Awarded this 15th day of July in the Year of our Lord 1981”.

“I liked physics Dad, but why did you want me to start here?”

“Because now you can get to work on the real stuff.  The computers that are coming out rely on the physics for the hardware.”

“But they’re not that good.  Ours are so much better.”

“I know, so now you get to work on your computer studies, and maybe some engineering.”

“Can I go to an actual school now or still from home?”

“Sorry sport, home.  No one would take you seriously on a real campus.”

“I know.  I just thought I’d ask.  He took his diploma and moved to the frame he had just gotten, sizing up what he would have to do to make it fit.  “Dad?”


“Can I get something more, um, fun for my birthday next year?”

“What did you have in mind?”

“I don’t know.  What do eight-year old’s like?”

Vampires Chapter 3

Chapter 3 – The Discovery

Greg pushed his cart down the sidewalk.  The streetlamps along the road gave off enough light for him to conduct his business.  He liked to go out in the early morning before the streets filled with people and cars.  It was quiet and calm.  He hated to interact with all the others once they appeared.  He made a conscious choice to avoid them whenever possible.  It wasn’t so much that he was opposed to people, but the way that they looked at him when he was out was uncomfortable to say the least.

The moonlight was enough to show his surroundings tonight as well.  It was a good night.  He liked the four o’clock hour.  All of the bars had closed and most of the more undesirables had called it a night as well.  It was a good time to collect the cans and other things that lay out in the dark world.  He would then take them to their respective recycling locations when he felt he had enough and then be able to get his essentials, food and cigarettes.

It wasn’t the life that he had planned for himself, he didn’t think that anyone in his situation had set out to be in it, but if one was able to adapt and learn it was surprisingly satisfying.  The key was to come to terms with it.  He had been in the dog eat dog world once and the stress had almost killed him.  Now he was happy to get by.  Between the parks in the spring and summer and the various shelters in the colder months he got by rather well.

The one thing he didn’t like was when those around him had a sad ending to their stories.  Those were mostly the people that couldn’t take being homeless.  Sure, there were a lot of addicts among his population, but they usually kept to themselves.  It was still depressing when something happened to them though.  That was another reason that Greg really never got close to anyone.  The thoughts of past friends that had moved on before he decided to become a loner came back to him as he entered the alley just to the side of The Shiny Badge.

It was a cop bar, but cops, on average, could get a little rowdier than most at times.  He also had an arrangement with the owner.  Greg had been his ears and eyes on the street for a few years when he was still a cop.  In return he had helped him out a bit, and now he left out whatever cans he had when he closed the bar at night.  Greg was here to pick those up, but on his way, he stopped at the dumpster to take a look.  One never knew what they might find.

The coat that he was wearing he had found in one about four blocks away the year before.  It had a hole in it and was covered in something.  Thankfully Greg had a sewing kit and just had to wash it.  Most likely it was just some spoiled kid who drank too much and stumbled, catching it on a door or something.  His standards resulted in it being discarded, and it became Greg’s win.  So, he lifted the right-side lid on the dumpster and looked in.  After a few minutes he determined that there was nothing of value in it.   He closed it and pushed his cart.  Then it stopped.

Greg tried to push a few more times, then finally went and looked at what was stopping it.  There was a pair of feet blocking the front wheel.  He leaned down.  He hoped it was just another bum like him passed out, but his gut was telling him differently.  His gut was right.

Greg got up and shifted his cart to go around the feet.  He went to the back of the alley and turned left.  The shock was still on him.  It’s not like he hadn’t seen a body before, but the suddenness of this one got to him.  He stopped and took deep breaths, trying to calm down.  He had gotten down and seen most of the body.  The man looked familiar.  He was a local dealer.  Not that Greg had a lot to do with him, but he had seen him around.  At least if it was who he thought, the clothes are what made him think it was who he thought it was.

He finally calmed down and got behind his cart.  Then he went a little further and took another left.  He was going to exit from the adjacent alley.  He thought about calling the police, but he wanted to get a bit away first.  He had to think for a few minutes to retrace his steps from the night.  He knew that if he did call it in that of course they would question him.  He wanted to make sure that someone of some camera could verify where he had been earlier.  If he got unlucky and got some rookie, he could be in for a long night or a rough time.  He had no money for a lawyer or anything.

Not that three hots and a cot for a few days in the county lock up would be the worst thing, but Greg’s biggest worry was his stuff.  If he was gone more than a few hours all of his stuff would be stolen and sold.  He didn’t want that.  There was an old pay phone a couple of blocks away.  It was outside the old bus station.  They moved it when the city decided to modernize itself.  Now it was being converted to fashionable townhouses, but the phone was still there.   He would pop out into the main road and make his way there.  He could have just as easily gone to the station himself, but that would mean a lot of questions.

He slowly made his way up the alley, that is when he saw it.  Another body.  This one was hastily hidden.  Sitting up right behind a stack of boxes that were along one of the walls.  The body was well dressed.  Not someone that would normally be in this area.  Greg immediately suspected that it was someone looking to score.  Then he thought of the first body.  They might be connected, but he wasn’t going to stick around to ponder it.

Now he knew he had to call it in.  But he hesitated.  The new body was right below a light.  The thing that stuck out besides the apparent fact that the person wasn’t from around here was the pair of holes in his neck.  There were small trails of blood right below them.  It was something out of a bad eighties’ horror movie.  Greg just stood there and stared for a long time.  He had never seen anything like it before and it was too odd not to look at.  This was one thing he wasn’t going to tell the cops.

The clothes on the body were a little scuffed, but overall in good condition.  That was odd considering that the man was dead.  It looked as if he almost gave in to his fate.  Anyone else would have fought and it would have shown.  It was all really odd to Greg.  Another thought came into his head, look for a wallet or something.  But the total absurdity of the situation made him shale it off.

Finally, he pushed his cart past the second body and out onto the road.  He made his was to the pay phone and lifted up the receiver.  He hesitated for a long while.  He just couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something going on that was out of the ordinary.  In fact, he knew it.  But somewhere deep inside of his mind a little voice told him not to get involved.  Just to call and report it and then to move on.

His fingers made their way to the three digits.  “This is 9-1-1, what is your emergency?”

Greg paused when the voice on the other side finished.

“Hello?  Is anyone there?  Is there an emergency?”

“Not so much an emergency,” Greg started, “But I would like to report a crime.”

“What crime sir?”

“There are two dead bodies in the alley next to the Shiny Badge bar.”

“Are you sure they are dead?”

“Oh yeah.”

“Are you the one that did it?”

Greg was taken aback at the question, “No, I just found them and am calling in to report it.”

“Can I get your name sir?”

“No, I’m just calling it in.”  With that he hung up the phone and started pushing his cart in the opposite direction of the alley.  There was a soup kitchen nearby and they would be serving breakfast soon.  The line would be forming about now.

His plan was to get to the line and blend in.  The cops would get to the scene rather fast, but it would be a while before they started looking around for people.  They had to secure the scene and make sure there was nothing else going on.  That would be their focus and that was the window Greg had to disappear.  It was just too weird, and he wanted nothing to do with it.

Within five minutes after he hung up, he could hear the sirens.  A few more and the ambulances were in the area.  He was in line for a meal by the time they stopped.  He knew they were cordoning off the area.  He felt sorry for his old friend.  His business might be affected by this, at least for a few days.  That meant no cans in the alley for him either until the next week, if he was lucky.

As Greg made it through the line and got a plate of eggs and ham, he decided that he wouldn’t say a word to anyone.  The community liked to talk about what was going on in the area, but this was one of those rare cases where keeping his mouth shut might be better for him in the long run.  He had gotten by for quite a few years by playing it smart, this was just another one of those decisions that was smart in his opinion.

Greg found an empty table, sat down, and ate his breakfast in silence.

Delays and Realizations.

A long time ago, about a year, I put out my book Remnant.  It was more of a do it or die thing.  You see I had written it about two years before and it had gone through several revisions. At the time it seemed like a good idea, and I still think it was.

It was also at this time that I got this blog, the Tweeter, the FB page, and a bunch of other things.  A stupid thing I did was say I was going to toss out the sequels to Remnant last fall and this spring…..  Let’s just say that didn’t happen.

One reason was I was in school, another is i didn’t have the time to try and revise them as much as book one.  I have also learned that parts of them are probably not the best they could be.  There is also the fact I have rethought the ending of the trilogy as a whole.

inheritanceTime is a thing, I just forgot about it, and here I am now trying to fit in too much stuff, as usual.   Trying to find someone to help with revising the 2 books, as well as rewriting the ending of another, working on another 4……. Life is weird like that.  I still love the stories contained in the pages, it’s just that I have to make sure that all (apparently 4 now) of my fans will as well.


See I even kind of have the covers from stock images……  I want better covers, but at the same time unless they are hard copies on shelves I don’t think it’s as important.  Just my opinion though.  I know a lot of things I get on Kindle I could care less about the cover.

I might actually put up a chapter or two from each of the books over the coming days, but finding ones that can stand alone as well as not give away anything too major is a key factors.

I won’t waste anymore of your time today.


Emporium of Awesome – 7


The day started like most others and James rolled into work about eight, a lot earlier than if he was just dealing with the store, but he had promised Tommy that he would get the information for the potential deal to buy countrywide.  Today was the day that he was going to present what he had to him. It was a pain in the ass, but since it had already happened he knew what was coming and how to avoid it.

He wasn’t a legal expert, but he had all of the court records, names, times etc so that he could consult with more lawyers to figure out what they could do.  The fact was he had talked to several already, but more information was always good. As he unlocked the door to enter though he smelled something weird. The lights were already on as well.

James followed the aroma to the diner in the middle.  It was ablaze with the logos and lights that it normally did when it was in full use, usually at night during gaming events.  He entered through one of the doors and saw Tommy sitting there having an omelet.

“Morning sunshine,” Tommy said between bites.  “Tell the chef what you want and he will make it.”

James looked back into the kitchen and saw a man working the grill.  “What the hell is going on? I don’t remember telling you I was presenting what I found to you today.”

Tommy stopped a moment and looked at him, “I didn’t know.  I thought you said you needed a couple of weeks?”

“I got done ahead of time.”

“Well then, that makes today a double event.  I am meeting with Todd’s lawyer today in New York.  I got a call from him yesterday.”

“So now it’s all coming together?”

“Of course, a private will reading.  I assume you want to tag along, while we travel you can pitch what you got to me.”

“That works.  When are we leaving?”

“As soon as you eat and grab what you need to.”

Soon, after the best breakfast he ever had, James and Tommy were off to a regional airport that wasn’t far from their store.  The Sparta regional airport was just one strip and a few hangers. James had never been there before and had no idea that his friend had a plane there, or even knew anyone with a plane.  But given the story he had been told and what he had witnessed he was bound to believe almost anything at this point.

They arrived at the airport and didn’t stop at the small terminal there, instead the driver kept going to the edge of the field and then towards the hangers through an open gate.  When they reached the farthest hanger a small just was sitting on the tarmac with its engines running. The door was open with the stairs down and a very attractive flight attendant.

The car stopped and the driver opened the door.  They both got out and walked to and into the plane.  The attendant followed them on. She pulled the stairs up and closed the door.  Then went to the cockpit. Soon the plane was taxing on the runway and prepared for take-off.  The usual spiel came over the speakers and they buckled in. Soon they were in the air and flying along at cruising altitude.

The legging blonde attendant came over to them.  “Is there anything I can get you gentlemen?”

“I will just have a beer,” Tommy said.  He then looked at James, “It is a full-service flight there bud, you can have anything.”  He winked as he finished the sentence.

James thought a minute.  “Just a pop.” The attendant smiled and turned, winking at Tommy as she went to the front to get their drinks.  “What the hell did you do as Todd?”

“Well its not like I could have a wife and kids, is it?  Besides it is consensual. They are paid to do the job they do, everything else is just a bonus.”

“What do you mean they?”  As James finished the sentence, A redhead and Burnette attendants came from the back of the plane.

“I mean officially they work for the estate of Mr. Matherson.  They are just that, attendants, but select persons can partake in extra benefits.  Well just me. But I have only flown on here twice before when I had too.”

“Anyway, back to the business at hand.”

“Yeah.  Once we get to New York and meet with the lawyer, then we will discuss your thing and take action from there.”

Their drinks arrived and James settled down a little.  “I do have a question though, I am sure you knew it was coming eventually.”

“The future?”

“Of course.”

“Remember how one can’t go back farther than they have existed, but they retain their age?”


“Well the one time I jumped to the future, it was ten years.  As soon as I arrived I felt pain all throughout my body. I saw a doctor.  Nothing was wrong with me per say, I just had the body of a regular fifty-year-old.”

“You aged when you jumped?”

“Exactly.  I figure if I had stayed I would have stayed at that age, but it makes it awkward.  I have no idea what the shock would do to me if I jumped farther. I think it is the universes way of keeping a check on time travel.”

“By the way, aren’t you worried about what the ladies might hear?”

“No, they are in the back.  After take off they go back there unless called.  We don’t have to worry.”

James looked around and realized they weren’t there.  The cockpit was closed as well. It was just the two of them in a nice leather interior jet traveling from Michigan to New York.  “I guess I can’t knock the travel arrangements.”

“You better not.  As I was saying though.  I mean it might be because traveling back is easier since everything is already set.  If you go to the future so many unknowns are there, that settling on one makes the process hit the traveler the way it did me.”

“That goes against everything science fiction has told us.  I mean time travel to the future is real according the relatively.”

“That isn’t time travel that is moving at different speeds through space time.  Relative to those moving slower, time passes faster. Just jumping around is different.”

“So you do know what is going on?”

“Hell no.  I just made the machine, I have no idea how temporal mechanics work.  Its like the first boats. Man figured out wood floats and made a raft, but he couldn’t explain the physics around it.  He just knew it works. Maybe someday someone will figure all this stuff out and make a time machine that counteracts all the things mine can’t.  Like how later ships could be made of steal and all that jazz.”

“So, you are just a humble boat builder with no idea how it really works?”

“Nope.  I just did some basic quantum math, applied it with engineering and poof, time travel.  The finer details are someone else’s problem.”

“You will have to tell me more about it someday.”

“Not how to. That is going to die with me.  Besides you are a finance guy, once I get past intermediate physics I would lose you.”

“Good point.”

Emporium of Awesome – 6


“So you had a guy that did all of that for you?”

“Of course, it’s not I like I was going to stay the whole time and manage finances.”

“So you got lucky and found the right guy then.”

“Actually no, it took me five times to get it right.  I would leave enough instructions to cover 30 years. Once I made contact I would come back here and see what happened. If the held to the contract I would keep them, if not I would go back and change who I approached.”

“Seems like a lot of trial and error,” James said as he grabbed another roll from spread they had assembled.

“Well I had to be sure that it would get done.  I wasn’t going to leave something important like this to amateurs.”

“Fair enough.  I can’t imagine that thirty-years’ worth of information remained accurate though.”

“It didn’t, I had to go back and revise a lot, thus many of our conversations.  But I wasn’t going to do that for each schlub I tested. I figured if they followed the information to the letter, then good or bad I would know.  The first four tried to make things better when it got bad. I didn’t need thinkers, I needed followers. Nice, blind, obedient, followers.”

“So once you found the right guy, then you adjusted as you needed.”

“Correct, which brings me to my next point, and you.”

“Now we get to the good stuff.”

“Not really, unless you find lots of numbers and trading transactions fun.  I really can’t see how you did this for a living all those years. I took a few classes so I knew the topic and I found that boring.  Doing it for a living day in and day out, I would go insane.”

“I like numbers, what can I say?”

“That you like working here better.”

“Oh, I do, I get to deal with numbers and the nerdy shit I adore.  Not as much in the number department, but enough to make me happy.”

“So I think I have something that could make you potentially really happy.”

“What would that be?”

“I want you to pitch me a deal that would make a literal fuck ton of money.”

“I’m not in the market that much anymore.  I mean I still browse the journal occasionally, but nothing that I can think of that magnitude.”

Tommy leaned over as James took a bite of an eggroll and smacked the back of his head.  “Why the hell would I want you to pitch me an unknown? I have a damn time machine. Pitch me something from the last twenty years that could do the same.  Thing about it as a sure thing. If you have access to capital and resources at any point in time, that we can get too, what would you do to maximize profit?”

James pondered a moment while he rubbed the back of his head.  “Maybe take advantage of the housing crash of 2007 and 2008?”

“I tried that.  I got the securities that said it would fail.  I made some, but not a lot. The losses were eventually capped, for me at least, at around five billion.”

James stopped chewing and just stared at him a moment.  “Only five?” he said as pieces of eggroll dropped from his mouth.

“I am serious here dude.  The amount is not an obstacle.  Take a few to actually think and get as stupid on me as you want.  I mean even look at things that didn’t work out that well, and if they can be fixed and profit us then pitch that as well.”

James thought for a few more minutes as he finished the eggroll that had been plaguing him for too long now.  He started off at three six-foot Millennium Falcons that Toys R Us had for displays in the late 90s. They were engaged in a static position from a dogfight they were caught in, it was a thing Tommy had done with them.  At a grand a piece, James expected them to be that way for a while. For whatever reason though this sparked a thought.


“Well sure, maybe someday I could franchise out, but that isn’t in my immediate plans.”

“No, the home loan company that was one of the main culprits of the crappy loans that brought about the housing collapse.”

“Oh yeah.  They really screwed the pooch on that one.”

“Anyway.  Bank of America bought them for like 4.1 billion, actually 2.5 when the deal closed.  But they lost a ton of money on the deal over the years as things were worse than they thought along with taking on all of Countrywide’s legal problems.”

“How big a loss are we talking?”

“About 40 to 50 billion.”

Tommy audibly gasped.  “I want to make money man.”

“I get that.  They went in thinking they knew what was going to happen.  But if we know all of that and how it will play out before hand then we can take it over and potentially turn that into, I don’t know 100 billion?”

“That is a huge difference.”

“Yes, it is, but if we have everything in place before we take it over, head the lawsuits off at the pass, and knowing when the markets will recover at what times in what markets we can take all of that property and mortgages and optimize revenue.”

“Sounds like a lot of leg work.”

“How far did Kirk have to go to get Spock back?”

“Fair enough, what are the main things we will need?”

“Well to even have a shot at it, we would need some kind of heavy financial company to have the credibility to buy them out.  The government has to approve the deal, that kind of thing. And I will have to do a lot of homework. I just hope we can have everything in place to make it happen.”

“Remember the Y2K scare?”

James looked at him weird for a moment, “Off topic, but yeah.”

“In 1995 I set up a small computer repair company that had every conceivable variation of fixes for the problem.  Every system, network, whatever. You might have heard of it, Safe Systems.”

“Of course.  They are still big in computer repair.  Not as big as back then.”

“Nope.  I used it to tackle that problem and make a ton of money.  Since we already had the fixes, we could do it faster and get more contracts.  Once 2001 came I pretty much stepped back and sold the thing. Now it is just a shell of its former self, but it did what I needed it too.  The point is, I found a problem that was huge, figured out how to take it on and profit, and then did it. Computers are my space though, now I am looking to you to figure out yours.”

“Well give me a week or two to do some research.  Then I will come to you and see what we can do to get ready.”

“Sounds like a plan.  Now pass that fried rice.”