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Saturday, September 25

Want to Review My Book?

If you are a professional reviewer and would like to review my upcoming non-fiction book, The Evolution of Fantasy Role-Playing Games, please send me a note and I will ask the publisher to send you a copy.

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:18 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Saturday, September 11

In Media Res: Conclusion

Morowitz had the dream again about his sister. He learned to love and hate the dream at the same time, yearning for closeness with the only relative he ever really knew but loathing the inevitable pain that came with it.

But this time a man in the suit was there. His sister was gone.

"Wow, now this is one interesting dream." He walked over, only partially visible through the leather mask Morowitz was wearing. "That can't be comfortable. Is it?"

Morowitz shook his head.

"Here." The man took the mask off of Morowitz, then released his other bindings so he was no longer strapped to the chair. "That's better." He was very tan, sleekly handsome, impeccably dressed.

"Are you going to hurt me?" Morowitz rubbed his wrists.

"Hurt you? Oh I should think not!" The man pulled up his own chair and sat down across from him. "I'm here to recruit you."

"Recruit me?" squeaked Morowitz. He was still a twelve-year-old boy in his dreams. "Who ARE you?"

The man smirked. "You can call me…The Opener of the Way. Way for short. I suppose you could call me The Opener…" he mused, "but really that's a little weird, don't you think?" more

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posted by Michael Tresca at 11:05 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Friday, September 10

In Media Res: Part 7 – Morgan's Plan

Morowitz's plan, if he even had one, was dumb. But what Morgan watched Bean do to Jones was far, far worse.

The thrum of a police helicopter filled the air. A spotlight danced over the road, leading up to the cabin. A dark shape loped ahead of it. It had to be Morowitz.

Morgan shook his head. Dumb plan. He deserved to die.

Morgan remembered them all now. Johnny "The Smasher" Morowitz was the muscle, known for crushing skulls with his bare hands. Billy "Taste-Test" Bean was a serial killer who was fond of eating the brains of his victims. George "Incinerator" Jones was a pyromaniac…

Morgan looked around. Pyromaniac! Even in death perhaps Jones' skills could be put to good use. more

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posted by Michael Tresca at 10:58 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Thursday, September 9

In Media Res: Part 6 – Tightening the Noose

Morowitz ran. The spotlight danced behind him, unhindered by brush or bruises from the car crash. It was all he could do, huffing and puffing, to stay ahead of it. The dirt road, tightly enclosed by brush, led an incriminating trail back to the cabin.

The light lingered mercifully on the car crash and what was left of Jones' corpse. It bought Morowitz time to get back to the cabin.

Morowitz's thoughts raced around in circles. He was a caged animal, trapped. He couldn't fight his way out of this one. There was nowhere to go.

His sister laughed at him from the dining room. What the hell was that? more

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:00 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Wednesday, September 8

In Media Res: Part 5 – The Hunters Return

Jones looked back and forth between Morgan, who had his pistol drawn, and Morowitz, whose eyes fluttered wildly, knife still at the ready.

"Guys," said Jones. "There's a car coming!"

Morowitz snapped out of it, gasping. He looked around.

"We have to get out of here." Morowitz turned his back on the pistol-wielding Morgan and sat in the driver's seat. "You coming?"

Morgan didn't move. Bean was gone. Jones hopped in the passenger seat.

A full-size Chevy pickup truck towing a camper wound its way down the dirt road towards the cabin.

Morowitz stomped the gas pedal.

The sedan lurched forward, lights off, a dust cloud in the fading light.

"What are you doing?" shouted Jones, who realized at that moment he hadn't put on his seat belt. more

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:57 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Tuesday, September 7

In Media Res: Part 4 – Power and Pain

Morgan stepped out into the doorway of the cabin, cleaner and dressed differently. The clothes didn't fit perfectly but they would do. The others were looking at him strangely. He knew something was up.

Morgan kept one hand on the pistol but didn't pull it out. "What?"

Morowitz stabbed an accusing finger in the direction of the open trunk. "Did you do this s**t?"

Morgan peered into it. "Dead bodies, huh?"

"One shot to the head each," said Bean. "Clean. Quick."

"Maybe I did," said Morgan. "So what?"

"So what?" asked Morowitz. The big butcher knife was in his hand. "Maybe I don't trust someone who shoots little girls with a gun. Hand it over."

Morgan backed up. "No."

"I'm not gonna ask again, little man." Morowitz took another menacing step forward. "Hand it over or I will inflict a world of hurt…"

And then Morowitz remembered too… more

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posted by Michael Tresca at 6:47 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Monday, September 6

In Media Res: Part 3 – Things go Bust

Morgan rifled through the clothing of the man of the house, indifferent as to the fate of its owner. Dead, he decided, if they were lucky. Morgan was a cold-blooded killer, he knew that much. But he wasn't some psycho – not the type to skin a man's face off or eat his tongue.

He wanted to scrub the stink of the place off of him. They were into some weird, deep s**t – cult stuff, the kind of things that made the news. And Morgan didn't like the idea of making more news.

He was going to have to ditch the others, and fast. Morowitz was too surly and unpredictable. Jones was too quiet. And Bean was just plain too f**ked up. He didn't trust any of them.

Morgan turned the water on. After squeaking and shuddering in protest, the pipes complied.

The blood washed away. Morgan put one hand on the bathroom wall and bowed his head, letting the water pour over him, enjoying the sensation.

When he looked up, he saw that he'd left a fading, bloody handprint on the shower wall. It looked like the blot downstairs. And that reminded him of something... more

posted by Michael Tresca at 12:49 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Sunday, September 5

In Media Res: Part 2 – The Thing in the Trunk

Outside, there was a barn with a fenced in yard about forty yards from the house. Neighing indicated that there were horses inside. Morowitz shook his head in disgust at just how rural their surroundings really were and made a beeline to the car.

It was wedged tightly into the ditch. Morowitz put his bulk behind it and gave it an experimental shove. It moved, but not by much.

"Well don't just stand there m***erf****ers!" He shouted. "Get to it!"

Bean, pocketed his knife. Jones placed the homemade explosive down by the entry to the house. They both put their shoulders to the car and shoved along with Morowitz.

Shrieking and groaning, the vehicle slowly made its way out of the ditch. When it finally was level again, Morowitz checked the ignition.

"Keys are still in it," he grunted, pleased.

"Did we drive this car here?" asked Jones.

"Maybe."

"Uh, guys…" said Bean. "You may want to take a look at this."

The trunk had partially opened in their efforts to dislodge the vehicle. In the darkness, a single unblinking eye stared up at them, illuminated in the waning light.

Morowitz lifted up the trunk. "S**t."

Inside were two women, dead. The younger was just a teenager, not more than sixteen. The other was probably her mother, judging from the family resemblance. They shared more than looks – each had a red bullet hole in their forehead. more

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:29 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Saturday, September 4

In Media Res: Part 1 – …Said the Spider to the Fly

A reporter stood in front of the wreckage of a large bus labeled "Liberty Center for the Criminally Insane," across which rescue workers clambered and scuttled.

"The unprecedented flooding and earthquakes that shook the nation yesterday have been further complicated by yet another tragedy that has let four dangerous convicts escape a maximum security facility. Liberty Center inmates were transported by bus out of the flood zone when the earthquake struck, flipping several prison transports. Four inmates took advantage of the confusion and escape with a hostage, one Dennis Gelon. The fugitives are considered armed and dangerous. Police advise residents to stay indoors and avoid walking anywhere…"

Morgan grunted. "Now we know who we are." more

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:43 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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In Media Res: Prologue

Morowitz rubbed his forehead. "All right. I'm not good at this planning s**t. I'm guessing one of you is and that's how we got here. So start talking."

Morgan shrugged. "Looks like we're inmates." He rifled through the dead guard's possessions. He pocketed the contents of the wallet after taking out a nametag, which he tossed on the table between the dead man's feet.

"Dennis Gelon," read Jones. "A guard at the Liberty Center for the…" he trailed off.

"Criminally Insane," said Morgan ruefully. more

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:36 AM | 0 comments links to this post


Want more? Please consider contributing to my Patreon; Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and the web; buy my books: The Evolution of Fantasy Role-Playing Games, The Well of Stars, and Awfully Familiar.