And so it begins…

Welcome to Novel Dreamers 2: Electric Bookaloo!

So what’s going on? Let’s just remind ourselves. The writers that have signed up to this year’s season (thank you Shaun!) will be getting the stimulus of this month from this very post. They will then have 4 weeks to go and write up to 1500 words with that stimulus and then upload the work onto this blog. We’ll read them, we’ll vote who we like, and then we rinse and repeat. Simples, right?

So what’s the stimulus for this month? Well I’m borrowing the first month of last season’s Novel Dreamers to challenge our writers and to give you, dear reader, a feel of what the writers are about. The writing stimulus for this month: Character Continuation. The writers may take a favourite character(s) of their choosing, and continue their story. It can be a fictional, real life, book, film, game, music, or anything else character. All they have to do is pick up the story where the writer left off. And it doesn’t have to be the complete endgame of that character. Really want to take Frodo on a wild goose chase elsewhere in Mordor? Pick up from somewhere in The Fellowship of the Ring rather than at the end of Return of the King.

The reason I’ve picked this one again is the choice of a character can tell a lot about a writer sometimes. Will the comic writer break routine and shock us? Will we be pleasantly surprised by the dark turn that befalls a sweet and innocent field mouse? Who knows? I guess we’ll have to see in a month’s time…

So before you go and scream to the world how excited you are about this being back, I offer you my example piece for this month.

Enjoy 🙂

Momento Mori

The hammer slid back into the uncocked position with a silent proficiency that came from compulsively detailed cleaning. The bullet that should have been produced with the action never left the chamber, as the chamber was purposely empty. The barrel of the .357 Smith and Wesson Magnum sat in the mouth of the man; his body language read that of a man completely in control and at peace. There was no nervous trembling, there were no brief tears caused by fear of death or anger; there was just a serene calm. He took the gun from his mouth, cocked it once more, and turned it on the man sat on the other side of the table.

The room was bare. A single light fitting hanging above the solitary table at which the duo were sat; no light shade. There were a few Polaroid’s pinned to the wall, along side newspaper clippings. The two men were almost bipolar in their appearances. The first of the two looked to be in his late 50s, though he had an air of a man who had lived more than one lifetime and they hadn’t been kind to him. His physique was that of a man who had worked in physical labour all his life; broad shouldered, barrel chest, and arms like tree trunks. The latter of the two was tied to the chair he sat in and looked like he had gone through several lifetimes in the last hour or so. He was scrawny, a five o’clock shadow glistening with sweat that permeated his black hair and white shirt.

“I’ve already told you, man, I know fuck all. You’re wasting your time, man!” The sweaty one pleaded. His voice thick with both Irish accent and fear. The other man showed no sign of listening. He brought the barrel up to the Mick’s forehead, the muscles and bones of his arm creaking with the effort, and held it there for a moment.

“Then there is no more use to your existence.” The voice was gravelled and deep, like a driveway soaked in whiskey and cigar abuse. The trigger snap was accented by the click of a knuckle that had been broken too many times, a loud cracking noise as the bullet ricocheted off the Irishman’s skull then the wall, and the bloodstain pattern analyst that visited this site in the future had a small pang of acknowledgement. His head lolled back with the force and his pupils followed shortly after.

Another dead end… creeped the voice in the back of the old man’s mind.

“I am not in the mood for your chiding.”

The man stood and walked over to the paper clippings and photos on the wall; every part of his body ached with age and abuse. The headlines of the paper clippings were all similar in their message, calling out for someone to stop the renegade that had been raining blood down over the city for three decades, but the one that hit right to the heart of the matter was the New York Bulletin that simply read:


Frank grimaced as he looked over the mess of slander and libel. He had spent the best part of his life waging a one man war against the corrupt and broken parts of Hell’s Kitchen and doing things the police could not and still he was the bad guy.

That’s not entirely true, old friend… came the voice in the back of his head, once more.

Frank pulled one of the pages of the wall – a page from a comic depicting him as some daring do good – and stared at it in disgust.

“I am either a bad guy or an anti-hero. This is all because of you” he growled out to the room at large; there was no one else there.

You invited me in, old man. YOU DID THIS… the voice came through like a cold burn in his skull.

He had been a young man in Vietnam, just trying to survive. The voice promised his survival and he let it take over, but never really gained control back after that point. Since then, Frank Castle had lost his family, killed up to 2500 men, all corrupt, and been labelled by the press as The Punisher. He had had shows created about him, comics making him some psychotic man in black and with the trademark momento mori emblazoned across shirts, mugs, pencil cases, and all kinds of memorabilia. In actual fact, he was just a man. Several teeth missing, more scar tissue than actual flesh, he was not the dark and indestructible figure the public imagined.

He looked down to the gun in his hand once more. He knew he had loaded two bullets at random into the six chambered cylinder and for a brief moment he had hoped for the bullet to have been in the previous chamber. Without pause or second thought he brought the gun up to his temple, cocked it, and released the trigger.


He stood there for a moment, not really knowing how to respond to the event. He had never attempted suicide; he’d always been too busy with the next target. Now The Punisher was the next target. He wasn’t sure how that worked anymore. In some of the media created around him, The Punisher was Frank Castle’s pseudonym; they were one and the same. In other works, the silky voice in the back of his head was The Punisher; some unknown entity that somehow found Frank in Valley Forge and had noticed a pitch blackness in his soul that had been sustaining it ever since.

How upsetting that they’ll never know you’re just a schizophrenic who puts too much faith in the voice in his head… This time the voice sounded genuinely pleased and full of mirth.

“Either way I must stop this. The damage has outweighed the good I have done every time. Explosions, destruction of buildings, bloodbaths in public areas. I am a tyrant, not a role model.”

Some people need a bad person for a good role model…

“I am not letting you control this,” Frank growled through gritted teeth. He cocked the gun once more and pulled the trigger.


He noticed a gentle rustle in the back of his mind.

Now now, let’s not be too hasty. There’s still Fisk. Or Tombstone. Oh, we should definitely finish Tombstone before you bite the bullet… The voice sounded like it was trying everything to not sound pleading.

Frank threw the page of the comic to one side and pulled a picture from the top of the cluster of a woman holding a baby, her gingham dress being used as a hiding place for the little girl that seemed to be the spit of the woman she stood next to.

“I’m still sorry, Maria. For all the pain I caused you. For all the bullshit and the lies. Maybe now your name can be remembered for more than just a bloodlust.”

He cocked the gun again.

50/50 now, chap. Really want to go out like this?…




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s