Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Ah, yes. Another blog hop. For details and a list of the blogs involved, check here.

So, what to do for this thing…

I can’t exactly promote arc 3 yet, as I’ll be working on the comic sketches and some edits this weekend. Still need to get it presentable for the beta stage, after all. And I am, as you might say, Hell Bent on getting this arc finished and published by the end of the year.

Can I do it? Maybe, maybe not.


Would you be interested in having a character interviewed, by any chance? For almost a year now, I’ve been conducting them through one of the main characters in my book series. Travis, as it turns out, kinda likes being able to go to different parts of the multiverse, And he likes talking to people.

Interested at all? Comment here! Monkey-boy is always happy to chat. Gets him out from under my capricious thumb.


Travis’ First Interview (if you’re interested in seeing an example).


I’m also more than willing to draw character pics for people, if interested.

And while I’m here, how about a giveaway? Anyone that does this puzzle and posts their time in the comments will be entered into a drawing to win a couple of bookmarks and some character cards. Or if they’re not in the US, a piece of artwork sent to their email address.

Okay, I think we’re good for now. Thanks for stopping by (and don’t forget to look for the secret word/phrase…I happen to think mine makes a rather bold statement…or it may just be a pun. Who knows?)


Random Fear-Related Story

Posted: February 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

So, this was inspired by a few posts about animal-related fears. I found myself thinking of Ivy’s fear of snakes. And her fear of clowns. And her normal reaction to both. This story’s…not the most ridiculous thing I’ve written *looks to the 2 prompt-related stories I’ve yet to finish…wait, make that 3*. But here it is anyway.


It was supposed to be one of those nights. A calm, normal, downright boring night. Ivy would have preferred that. Okay, so it probably wouldn’t have been as boring, given that it was a date night. She and Travis were on their way to their destination, a restaurant with an all-you-can-eat buffet. This place tended to have excellent drinks (and Travis saw “all-you-can-eat” as a challenge), so that covered both of their criteria.


Once more, it was supposed to be a calm night. What they hadn’t expected was to be mugged. Yes, they’d taken a shortcut down a dark alley, but it was generally common knowledge that Ivy was not to be trifled with. Of course, that may have been negated somewhat by Travis’ reputation. Many saw him to be an easy target, after he’d been taken to laboratory after laboratory, experimented on, victimized by the worst serial killer the city of Hell Bent had ever seen…Why wouldn’t some rando take a shot at him?


“Just empty your pockets, and I’ll leave you alone,” their mugger said from behind them.


Huh. No footsteps. Though something smelled a little odd…


The pair turned, facing him. Travis rolled his eyes as he recognized him, while Ivy’s own eye started twitching a bit. The man had the upper body of a normal human…save for the eyes. Those had slitted, snake-like pupils. His lower body didn’t make matters any better, a long scaly tail situated where his legs should’ve been. And they really should’ve been there.


“…Mind fucking off, Sherman?” Travis asked, arms crossed as he stepped toward him.. “We’re not handing anything over.”


Ivy’s hand had already flown to the hilt of the sword she had on her back, and she was getting into an attack-friendly position. She’s never liked snakes. In fact, she’d always hated them. She couldn’t quite place why they unnerved her so. But the only reason that this guy was still breathing was that Travis was trying to defuse the situation. Or make it worse. Either way, he was in her way and she had no intention of hurting him. Sure, he’d regenerate, but he didn’t want to use that ability unless he had to.


‘Trav, move outta the way,’ she thought toward him.


‘I’ve got this,’ he thought back.


“If you know what’s good for you, you’ll hand whatever money you’ve got over…” Sherman hissed.


Travis narrowed his eyes, tail flicking. “Again, not happenin’. And if you don’t leave us the fuck alone, you’re gonna find yourself in the hospital. And that’s if Ivy’s feeling nice.”


‘Well, that was probably the wrong thing to say!’ Travis thought to himself as the thick tail darted toward the half-monkey, coiling around him. He screeched in surprise. At that exact same time, Ivy had her sword drawn, eyes glowing as she stared Sherman down.


“Let him go…” she demanded, managing to keep most of the shakiness from her voice.


“Or, you can hand over your cash, and maybe that sword, and I won’t snap your pet’s neck.”


Travis sighed. “Why do you think I’m her ‘pet’, dude? Seriously, the stuff we do? NOT something someone should be doing with their pets, if you get my meaning…”


Sherman reached out with a human hand, squeezing his neck for a moment.


“You heard me, lady. Hand over the—“


Welp. On the one hand, he got her sword. On the other, he got that sword blade-first, right in one of the coils. He lost his grip on Travis right away, the half-monkey scrambling back toward Ivy and ducking behind the woman (despite having 8 inches and a good 60 pounds on her).


She reached out with her powers, yanking the blade back to herself and cleaning it off on a pant leg.


“I’m feeling nice today. Fuck off, before I change my mind,” she growled at Sherman.


He was bleeding and glared at her, before slithering toward the hospital. Once he was out of earshot, Ivy re-sheathed her sword and hugged Travis, shaking a bit.


“You okay?” he asked, returning the hug.


“Hesitation means death…hesitation means death…why did I fucking hesitate…?” she muttered. “Shoulda stabbed him before he could grab you…”


Travis held her a bit longer. “I don’t care that you hesitated. The main thing I care about is that you’re okay. Okay?”


She nodded. “I’ll be fine…still hungry?”


“Still need alcohol?”


She chuckled, as they broke off the hug and continued on their way. This time, they stayed more in a well-lit area, with the hopes of avoiding another such incident.


Of course, Travis’ luck being what it was guaranteed that they were probably bound for more trouble.


And that trouble came in the form of a tiny, brightly-colored car. Sinister calliope music filled the air. Well, to most it would be regular calliope music. To Ivy, however…


“Travis. Behind me. Now,” she commanded, eyes and hands glowing. “I have no idea how many of them are in there…”


Travis stepped behind her, as the car inched to a stop. And that was when the clowns piled out of there. Five of them. And before one of them, the one with the huge bright red wig and matching nose, could utter a syllable, a blast of telekinetic energy knocked him off of his oversized feet.


She had attacked a second one before the other three scrambled out of the way. Ivy was vaguely aware of the hand on her arm.


“Ivy, I don’t think they’re here to attack you,” Travis said.


And that was when one of those left standing pulled out a large bowling pin, banging it into the palm of his hand.


“ATTACK!” he called, with the sort of voice that indicated a great deal of helium use.


The three clowns charged at her, one of the other two armed with a rubber chicken and the other with an oversized hammer. A squeaky oversized hammer. She charged at them with a roar, sending more blasts of psychic energy at them. And Travis stood back and watched, arms crossed. He didn’t notice the slithering behind him. Not until the tail curled around him again. And it was bleeding.


“…Aw, come, ON!” he grumbled, trying to get out of his grip.


Ivy was in the middle of her fight with the clowns, still. She’d gotten them down to two. She dodged the chicken, bringing out her sword and slicing it in half. One of the remaining clowns disarmed, he ran away, shoes squeaking as he made his escape. The other two saw a mailbox being lifted from the ground by that same turquoise glow that was bound to haunt their nightmares, and saw that as their cue to retreat.


“Start the car, START THE CAR!” one of them called as they both piled into the clown car.




The car was started just in time to be lifted up by that telekinetic energy, after which point it was airborne. And what’s more, it smashed Sherman in the face, causing him to drop Travis. The half-monkey again rushed toward Ivy, the two moving quickly from the scene.


“The hell was that?” he asked.


“The reason I drink, I’d say.”


“I thought that was for medical reasons.”


“Can’t it be both, Trav? Please, can’t it just be both?”


“…Fair enough.”

Upcoming Book Stuff

Posted: January 14, 2018 in Uncategorized

So, part of this year’s goal is to get arc 3 and a prequel done. There’s also this hope of being able to customize more Funko figures for my characters, but more on that in a bit.

I don’t have any of these books at ALL close to ready…but I have figured out blurbs and covers for all of them.



Protection: Recently forced into retirement from the assassination biz, Beast Taylor has found herself looking for other ways to occupy her time. While she does appreciate this new, less dangerous life, she does sometimes find it to be a bit dull.


Thus, she becomes somewhat conflicted upon learning that an old enemy has escaped from prison. On the one hand, she looks forward to another battle. But on the other, there are members of her family that she knows will become this escapee’s first targets.


But is the escapee the real threat this time, or is it someone more exclusive to her own past?


Reunion: Beast continues to settle into her new life, a feat made easier with the fact that she knows her old enemy is still around. And what’s more, her younger brother is in town for a visit.


But Beast is thrown into confusion when she meets a young man that looks a lot like herself, albeit with some differences: where she has feline features, his are canine, and he seems to have huge feathered wings. He seems nice enough, but there is something about him that isn’t quite right…


Incarceration: It was something she never thought would happen, with the government of Hell Bent itself officially sanctioning her assassin activities. But Beast has been arrested for murder. She denies having committed the crime, but the police refuse to believe her. Even worse, one officer in particular seems to hold a grudge against her, making the inherent unpleasantness of the Hell Bent prison system even more of a living hell.


The evidence is certainly stacked against her, but did she really do it? Find out here, as the third arc of the Hell Bent series comes to its conclusion.


Transformations (Where I decided to mess around a bit, since this one will be so much different from the main series):

Two children from an abusive home are given a second chance.

Rage changes a young genetic experiment’s situation from hopeless to something a bit more.

A pair of twins and their little brother are separated in their youth after their parents are murdered.

Nerdy little Spencer Abbot goes from outgoing, to withdrawn, thanks to a pair of rather cruel bullies.

Sick and twisted, a girl murders both of her parents, eventually going on to star in her own films.

For the crime of loving the wrong man, a mage puts his mother through the unthinkable.

One Russian scientist seeks to change the world.

Ready for a change, a young cop turns to the other side of the law, becoming a feared arms dealer.

Many stories come together into this one volume.

Now, about the mention of Funkos…I got a couple of customizable ones recently, one male and one female. So I made them into Travis and Ivy. I’d love to eventually get enough to make the rest of the family, as well. Next time I get a male and female, I’ll go for Spencer and Beast. I’d also need to make Gemmy, Yvette, Serena…and quite possibly Nick, Tsaeb, Daniel, and Silas. But I’m pleased with how the first two came out, despite Ivy’s hair being a bit more…destabilizing than initially intended.


So, I just wanted to start this off with an announcement…


Get it HERE!


The full Arc 2 set has also been uploaded to the KDP site, and should be available for purchase soon.

And speaking of “available for purchase”, you can now buy A Twist of Fate: A Collection of 11 Twisted Fairy Tales. Having read through most of the rest of it (aside from that strange hair-based one that comes third), I can attest that it’s an excellent read. Not only that, but the funds raised will go entirely to scoliosis research.

So, what will 2018 bring in terms of projects?

Well, first of all, I want to finish all of the huge ones I’d started prior to this year, which includes a few pieces of fan art. Especially the Buffyverse, RWBY, and Avatar/Legend of Korra pics. The one that’s closest to completion is the RWBY one, since everyone’s inked.

Also, I should pay more attention to my Patreon (and see if maybe I can’t get more people to pay into it). In fact, I’ll probably print out more pages for the tarot cards and start inking the next set of comic pages this month.

ARC 3! I fully intend to try and get arc 3 completed by the end of the year. This one’s from Beast’s POV, and contains books 7-9. Book 8 could be considered a breather episode of sorts, since that’s sort of the calm before the cray-cray that begins with Beast’s arrest, then goes into books 10, 11, and 12, where I could safely describe the plotline as “Hell comes to Hell Bent”. The prior antagonists team up to seek revenge on the Abbot/Malone/Taylor/Sangre clan. That one’s going to be a bitch to draw, I can tell already.


Transformations…the prequel to Hell Bent, which follows everyone’s backstories. I need to expand on it a bit, polish it, create a cover…but this one may be a permafree thing.

I might also try and polish the stories of my assassins’ various jobs, and release a collection of shorts for that. The title: “Slaughter Angels”, given that that’s the name said assassins have given themselves.

So…yes, I should figure out the covers for books 7, 8, and 9 in both hardcover and paperback/Kindle, the one for Transformations, and one for Slaughter Angels. That, tarot cards, comics, fan art stuff, giveaway prizes, Inktober (I still haven’t given up on last year’s, despite that it’s…well, no longer 2017), and a bunch of other stuff.

The workaholic streak is REAL!

Character Interview- Brigit

Posted: January 3, 2018 in Uncategorized

The last of the anthology interviews for now (though I will not rule out the possibility of more; all depends on the availability and whatnot of the other authors involved). But we now have the main character from the awesome Sarah Buhrman’s contribution to the anthology.

Another day, another meeting in a coffee shop. To be honest, though, Travis rather enjoyed conducting interviews in locations like that, where nobody was out to get him. He looked over his notepad, tapping it with the end of a pencil. So his next interviewee was an aspiring fashion writer named Brigit. The monkey-human hybrid’s green eyes scanned the area as he looked around for the woman in question.


She blew into the coffee shop in a whirlwind of color. Her blonde hair was pulled into a low ponytail, and she juggled her purse and messenger bag. She wore a dress suit of gray and magenta which complemented her rosy complection.


After getting a hot Earl White tea, she approached the table where Travis sat. “Are you Travis?”


The half-monkey nodded. “Yep, that’d be me. Brigit, right?” he asked.


“Yeah,” she said, plopping down into the seat across from him. “Sorry, I’m late. Traffic was a little more than I’d expected.”


Pushing some of his excessively long red hair behind an ear, he nodded. “Completely understandable. Anyway, thanks for taking the time out to talk to me, first off. So, I guess my first question here would be: What inspired you to look into fashion writing?”


Brigit smiled. “I know what most people think,” she said. “Blonde, fashion, must be all about the looks. But it’s more that we live in a world that looks at women’s appearance first.” She gestured with her hands, making her statements even more animated. “I realized that by helping women find the right fashion for themselves, they could feel more confident, express themselves, be seen as more professional. And combining all of that?” She threw up her hands. “Just wonderful!”


Travis’ tail twitched, as he listened attentively. “Welp. That’s probably the best reasoning I’ve ever heard for it. My girlfriend’s sister would definitely appreciate that. So, been having any luck with your goals so far?”


Brigit leaned in, lowering her voice. “Actually, I’ve just ordered something that is going to give me an exclusive in the shoe industry!” She leaned back. “I’ve managed to get a hold of a very unusual pair of hand-made Italian boots. Once I write up a review on this company, I just know I’ll take off!”


Travis’ head tilted slightly. Not really being one to wear shoes very often himself, he was curious now. “So…unusual how, if you don’t mind my asking?”


Well, they don’t market at all. The entire business is run by their clientele introducing new people to the company.” Brigit sipped her tea. “I stumbled on the store when I was visiting Venice a couple years back. The leather they use is butter soft, and the stitching is immaculate.”


She sat back, a dreamy look coming over her face. “This is the kind of footwear that the fashion industry dreams about, and I’m going to break it to the mainstream!”


“Sounds like you’ve got this figured out. Hope it works out!” he said, his tail giving another twitch. “So, which one next, what next, uh…What would you do if by some off chance this didn’t work out for you?”


Travis then wondered if that was the best question he could have asked, given how passionate she’d been about it. He drummed his toes on the chair leg for a moment, trying to figure out a back-up question if need be.


Brigit frowned. “I don’t know,” she said. “I’ve put everything I’ve got into this. But I guess I’d have to fall back on my second choice: Journalism.” She shrugged. “Not as fulfilling, but I could always report on sweatshops and how to improve the industry from that aspect.”


Trav leaned back in the chair a bit, thinking a bit…before realizing that that probably wasn’t the wisest idea. He proceeded to just sit upright from there. “Sweatshops…how many of those are there in the fashion industry, would you say?”


Brigit frowned and shook her head. “Far too many. I get that people want good clothing that’s not expensive, but we get abuse, poor quality, and rich corporations who don’t even do the clothing designs.” She leaned forward. “It’s unfair all around. I swear, if we humans could enslave aliens to do the work, we’d do that, too.”


Travis leaned closer, as well. “If you ever want to, say, conduct a raid on one of the shadier ones, I might know a few people that’d be up for it…though in retrospect, that might not be the best idea. That’d probably end up on the news, and it’d probably get violent. Hm…yeah, might be best to keep the family out of this.” He cleared his throat. “Anyway, how would you go about bringing down a sweatshop?” the half-monkey asked.


“Oh, that’s easy,” Brigit grinned. “People might want cheap clothes, but only if they stay ignorant about how that happens. You let it out that a brand is causing deaths or abusing workers…” She nodded sagely. “Every single time, you see changes.”


He nodded, understanding. “I’m wondering if you could do both: your first choice and bringing down sweatshops. Hell, I’m pretty sure there’s nothing stopping you from doing both. So, how about your downtime? What do you do when not looking to right sweatshop-y wrongs or bring public attention to a lesser-known company?”


“Oh,” Brigit blushed. “Well, um… I’m kinda new in town, and, er… I don’t know many people. I just work on my blog and…” She cleared her throat. “I, uh, try to, um, date… online.”


“At the risk of sounding, like, personal and all, is there anything specific you’re looking for in someone online?” he asked. “I’ve never actually tried the online thing, myself.”


“You’d probably get a date really quickly,” she said. “You have that kind of cute, scruffy look that a lot of girls like.” She blushed as she realized what she’d said. “But, um, I guess I’m looking for someone who thinks that what I do isn’t stupid or superficial. I like guys who can appreciate the nuances in fashion, and don’t think we’re all bitches or gay or mean girls, you know?”


She wasn’t the only one to blush as she said that. “I’d have to ask my girlfriend if that’s accurate…” Travis said with a chuckle. “But here’s hoping you find a guy that fits that description!”


Brigit sighed. “Yeah, I just need a prince in the fashion industry, right?” She laughed.


Travis shrugged. “Hey, with the billions of people out there, there’s a chance you’ll find someone like that. Finding a prince in the fashion industry wouldn’t be the weirdest turn someone’s life can take.” He thought on the next question. “For anyone reading this, would you have any advice?”


She shrugged. “I guess it’s the advice I’ve always lived my life by,” she said. “You do you, and try to understand other people. Most of the time, just not being hateful is enough to find common ground.”


“Good advice to go by, definitely,” he said. “And I should probably get going.” The redhead looked at her again. “Thanks again for taking the time out to talk to me,” he said. “Handshake or hug?”


“Oh,” Brigit looked flustered. “Um, whichever…”


Travis opted for offering a handshake.


Brigit took the offered hand and smiled. “Thank you for this. It was a lot of fun!”


He smiled back, shaking her hand and letting go after a moment. “Always happy to talk with people, and best of luck with your goals. You’ve got this!”


And he was probably going to stop by the liquor store on his way out, figuring the girlfriend he’d mentioned might appreciate it.

Brigit sat back down to finish her tea, plotting the story she was going to write about the boots that would change her life.

Her Facebook author page is right here, and I highly recommend her books!

Character Interview- Peter

Posted: January 2, 2018 in Uncategorized

This time, we have author Chandra Trulove Fry’s main character, from her contribution to A Twist of Fate.

As the redhead wanders up to the pumpkin patch, he looks over the list. Okay, so the guy he’s looking for this time is known as Peter. Tapping his notepad with his pencil, he thinks over what kinds of questions to ask him, long prehensile tail twitching lightly. His long red hair drags on the ground behind him as he starts looking for another figure around there.


“Hey, I’m lookin’ for a guy named Peter?!” he calls.


“I’m Peter, who are you? I’ve not seen you around before.”


Travis jumps at the sound of the voice, looking around for its source. “Yeah, that’s probably because I’m not from around here,” he admitted. “Anyway, I’m here to interview you, if you’re up for that?”


As for Peter, he’s not a disembodied voice. He seems a bit too clean cut to be working away in a garden. It’s nothing but pumpkins as far as the eye can see, so Peter can be easily spotted. He comes across as skeptical and suspicious. You get this vibe that he may be hiding something. It’s subtle but there.


Travis sees him after a bit, kicking himself inwardly at how long it’s taken him to see his interviewee there. He holds up his notepad, indicating his purpose there.


“Oh, okay… yeah. I think I heard about you around town. Are you here to interview me about the Pumpkin Contest? I’ve been working non-stop. Obviously I’m hoping to win this year. Can’t let my neighbor win all of the time.” Peter winks.


The half-monkey comes to a stop soon enough, tail twitching. “Interview, yeah. But I actually didn’t know about a contest,” he admits. “So how many years have you been involved in this contest, I guess would be my first one?”


Peter does not seem phased by the fact that he is half-monkey. He is excited that he gets to talk about the thing he loves most, pumpkins. “That is a great question, um… what is your name again?” Peter asks. “The truth is, I feel like I’ve been growing pumpkins my whole life. I absolutely love them. It must be going on ten maybe fifteen years since I’ve entered the Pumpkin Contest. I honestly do not know how Hector’s pumpkins always seem to best mine. That wife stealing no good for nothing cheater!” There is an odd twitch in Peter’s eye but he quickly composes himself.


“Travis,” the half-monkey replies. He notices the twitch to Peter’s eye, arching his pierced eyebrow. “Sooo…mind telling me a bit about your wife? I’m just curious about what’s been going on, there.”  


“Not sure if that’s any of your business really. If you are referring to my ex-wife, that hussy ran off with my neighbor Hector. Claiming he had better goods than I did. My 2nd wife ran off as well. You would think that I’d learn to pick them better. Hell, my pumpkin is more faithful than they ever were.” Peter laughs, “No matter, I’ve overcome them. My 3rd wife will never leave me.” Peter looks off to his left, towards the center of the pumpkin patch. If you look in that direction you will see nothing but pumpkins for days. It’s a large acreage. Peter then looks at you and asks, “Would you like to come inside, maybe have a cup of coffee?”


Travis’ tail curls around his leg a bit, a little uncertain right now.


“Eh, thanks, but I’m not that big on coffee,” he replies. Trying to get his mind off of the red flags that’ve started cropping up in his mind, he considers his next question. “Is there anything you regret at all?”


Peter shrugs, “No matter. Got more questions?”


Travis comes VERY close to asking if he’s ever killed anyone, but refrains from that. He chews on his lower lip for a moment.


“Is there anything about growing pumpkins that you like above all else?” he asks, deciding to bring it back to something he’s passionate about and hoping to avoid bringing out the murderous instinct he’s become convinced lies beneath the surface.


Peter gets a gleam in his eye. Gesturing animately, he swings his arms about him in a wide circle, “This, this is the fruit of my labors. Pumpkins are my life! There is nothing else. When I tend my garden, that is when I am most content. Take this one, for instance.” he bends down and lovingly caresses a rather large and very healthy pumpkin. Probably the healthiest you’ve ever seen. If you have good ears and listen carefully, it almost sounds like the pumpkin is moaning. Peter strokes the pumpkin intimately. “Aren’t they the most amazing things you have ever seen?”


Travis doesn’t seem to notice himself taking a step back. “Um…so…” He was trying to figure out another question. “Does anything scare you?”


Peter breaks out of his reverie and looks Travis in the eye with a cold dead stare, “Not anymore.”


Travis stares back, cracking his knuckles without quite realizing that he was doing it. “So, your current wife’s okay, right?” he asks, racking his brain for questions that wouldn’t make things even more tense than they were.


But his paranoid side is starting to surface, making that difficult for him.


Peter grows suspicious, “She is kept quite well, with everything she could ever need.”


He lets out a small huff, trying to regain his prior demeanor. And then he gets an idea, his tail twitching lightly.


“Can I look around the patch a bit? I just wanna get a look at some of the pumpkins.”


Peter starts rubbing his hands together and shuffling his feet. He replies nervously, “I’m sorry, sir but I just don’t have the time right now.” He looks at the sky, “I actually forgot but I’m due to meet someone in town. I better be heading out. Do you have any last questions for me?”


Travis shakes his head. “No, I don’t have any further questions,” he says. “Thanks for your time.” He starts backing away, knowing better than to turn his back on someone that gave him the creeps.


“Oh, well alright then. Thank you for stopping by.” Peter dismissed Travis as if he wasn’t ever there, to begin with. He turns and heads towards his house, not looking back.

You can find her Facebook author page right here!

Character Interview- Mallory

Posted: January 1, 2018 in Uncategorized

Here we go with another A Twist of Fate interview, this time with Rebecca Bruner’s character Mallory, from her modern day take on the story of The Frog Prince.

Of the two guys nearing the med school campus, one looked a bit more out-of-place than the other. The taller, thinner of the two seemed a lot more comfortable in this environment, and had mainly just come along to make sure his red-haired, monkey/human hybrid friend didn’t get lost. Their destination was actually the coffee shop not too far from campus. While the taller one was looking to get some coffee, the redhead was after some conversation.


They strode into the coffee shop, Travis’ red tail twitching lightly. He was here to speak with a pre-med student by the name of Mallory. He was looking around for her, thinking over what sorts of questions to ask.


A slender girl wearing Converse high tops, blue jeans, and a hoodie rushed through the front door. Her light brown hair was twisted into a sloppy bun at the top of her head and secured with a pencil. She stepped up to the counter with the air of somebody in a hurry and ordered a large coffee with a shot of espresso.


After placing her order, she glanced around, looking for the guys she was supposed to be meeting. She checked her cell phone for the time.


The taller one nudged his friend. Having been through med school himself and all, he had the feeling that this rushed girl was probably set to go down that path, herself.


“Hey. Is your name Mallory, by any chance?” Travis called toward her.


The girl glanced up from her cell phone and did a double take. She looked the red haired creature over. “Oh, hi. You must be Travis. Do you want to sit down?”


Travis nodded. “Yeah, might be a good idea. Any preference where? Also, thanks for taking the time out for this interview. I can get how busy the whole pre-med thing can be, then med school itself.” He jerked a thumb toward his companion. “Spence here frickin’ mainlined caffeine the whole time.”

He looked for a good spot, tail twitching again.


Just then the Barista called Mallory’s name. “Speaking of mainlining caffeine, I’d better get my coffee.” She hurried over to the counter, collected her drink and then plopped down in one of the upholstered chairs near a window that looked out on the nearby park. She motioned to the adjacent sofa. “Here, sit.” She took a big slurp of coffee. “So are you a journalist? Why did you want to interview me?”

He thought of how to answer that one as he sat down, fingers drumming on his thigh.


“Well…somewhat. I kinda do these interviews for this one writer’s blog to help promo other authors and whatnot. I wish I could say it was in exchange for her, y’know NOT hurting me, but that’d be a lie…”


Mallory frowned. “No offense, but are we talking animal cruelty here? No, wait. That came out wrong. I’m not saying you’re an animal. I’m just personally very opposed to animal cruelty. I’m not even sure I’ll have the guts to dissect a frog.”


With a slight chuckle, Travis shook his head. “Not animal cruelty, exactly. More like messing with the genetic experiment…”


“Genetics is fascinating! So many cool things they can do now with gene therapy and everything! Sorry, you were saying?”


but if we started going into that, we’d probably be here all day, and this is more about you and not the part about my being a genetic freak, and…um…wow, okay, so I kinda started rambling there for a sec. Anyway, I’d wanted to interview you because of this anthology you–well, okay, all three of us, far as I know–are in. I realize I probably sound kinda crazy here. But the first question I’d have for you…what made you want to pursue medicine? Mainly curious, there.”


“As far as medical school, I was always sorta interested in medicine. I was about seventeen when my dad died of cancer. I promised him on his deathbed that I’d become a doctor. I want to make a difference for good in the world, you know?”


“I can get that,” Travis replied, leaning back a bit. “So, hoping for the best with your goals, there. Now, is there anything specific that makes you so opposed to animal cruelty? Or is it just on principle?”


“I think mainly just in principle. But I sit in biology lab week after week watching those poor frogs with their big, sad, eyes climbing over each other in the tank and I keep thinking what it must be like to be one of them.” She glanced from Travis to Spence. “Course you can’t go to medical school if you don’t pass biology. I know I’m gonna have to toughen up and dissect one some day.” She shuddered. “Just not looking forward to it!”


“I have a pretty good idea of what it’s like,” said Travis, cringing a bit. “But yeah, I can get how it’d be tough for you, as well. It’s kinda nice to talk to someone that’s not all gung-ho about cutting one open, y’know? Um, okay, next question…Spence, I think you had one?”


Spencer nodded. “Is there a particular field you want to specialize in?” he asked.


“I’m not sure. I’ve considered obstetrics, or maybe neonatology. I’ve also thought a lot about oncology, cuz of my dad. But then you’re always dealing with really sick people, dying people.” She took a big swig of coffee and swished it around in her mouth. “Maybe I’ll become a surgeon.”


Travis glanced over at Spencer for a moment, the slimmer of the two giving him a few quick definitions. Once he had an understanding of what each field she’d mentioned covered, he nodded, writing something down on the notepad he generally brought along to these interviews.


“Next question. What might you do if medicine wasn’t an option? Holy shit, I just realized that might sound like I don’t have any faith in you to get through this…”


Mallory grimaced. “You sound a bit like my stepmother, Janice. Doesn’t matter that I’ve got straight A’s. She’s convinced I’m going to screw up somehow.”


Travis flinched slightly, now having thoughts of his own dad’s opinion of him. Okay, time to cover himself here…


“I’m pretty sure you’ve got this! But like, in another reality…?”


Mallory chuckled. “I’m not sure. I might volunteer with the Peace Corps or something. But really, I’m a senior, my dad left me money for college in his will. It would take a major catastrophe to keep me from graduating in May!” She took a sip of coffee, then looked up at Spence. “Providing I don’t flunk biology for failing to dissect a frog!”


Spencer pushed up his glasses. “That’s one of those things that gave me a bit of trouble a while back, as well,” he said. “But you can do this, I’m sure.”


Travis nodded. “So, your stepmother…do you two get along at all, or…?”


Mallory snorted. “She’s like the bane of my existence. You know how in fairy tales there’s never a kind, sweet stepmother? They’re all wicked and cruel. Janice must have read a lot of those stories as a kid, cuz boy does that fit her! She’d say I’m totally ungrateful, of course. I say she’s a psycho drama queen!”


The half-monkey let out a chuckle. “Ah, one of those types…I’d say my dad was the same way, but the drama thing’s a level of sophistication he never got to. More of a yeller… Um, okay, next question, next question…


Mallory checked her cell phone. “I’ve got a few more minutes, then I’ve got to get to class.”


“If you ever found out that you were, like, a character in a story, what might you ask the author? Like, about anything?”


Spencer shot him a look, wondering how an existential question was that much better than bringing up parental/step-parental issues.  


Mallory looked bemused. “I guess I’d ask the author if I’m going to make it. I mean, will I become a doctor? Will I find true love? Will I live happily ever after? Sounds pretty stupid, I know, but sometimes I wonder.”


“Makes sense to me,” Travis replied. “And like both of us have said with med school, we’re pretty sure things will work out. Might not be in the way you expect, but things, in my experience at least, seem to ultimately work out for the…I don’t wanna say BEST, exactly, but sometimes for the least painful? I have no idea if that makes sense, but either way, none of that sounds stupid.”


His tail twitched a little more, as he came to the next one. Just one more after this, I promise. Anyway, with the true love thing, is there anything specific you’re looking for?”


Mallory giggled. “Maybe Michelangelo’s David translated to flesh and blood? I’m such a nerd! But if we’re talking total wish fulfillment here…” She took a slurp of coffee, then threw her head back and laughed. “Course that’s never gonna happen. But I can dream, can’t I?”


Travis’ tail twitched a bit, slapping against Spencer’s leg. “It might happen. Not really a given either way. But I wouldn’t rule it out, y’know? Alright, last one, since, y’know, class and all.”


“Biology lab. Not looking forward to it, but I need all the points I can get!”


He nodded, before thinking on that last question. “So, you mentioned being against animal cruelty. Do you have a favorite animal? And if so, what would it be? Yeah, probably kind of a random one, but…yeah.”


She smiled. “I like lots of animals. I kinda like orangutans. Are they any relation to you?”


He chuckled slightly. “I’m really not sure. Started off as human, and mom sorta…I guess you could say ‘borrowed’ some DNA from the zoo? There might be some orangutan in there, but the redhead thing’s always been there. Anyway, thanks for taking the time out to talk to us.”


“My pleasure.” Mallory stood up, grabbed her coffee, and gave a little wave. “It was great meeting you both. Best of luck with your blog.” She checked the time again. “Gotta run.” With that, she dashed out of the coffee shop.

You can find out more about her writing on Facebook! And here’s hoping you’ll all add the anthology to your to-read list!