New York still.

New installment: Meanwhile, Back In New York, Still. posted today.

Welcome to

Lesbian Zombies Are Taking Over the World

A serialized story updated 1-2 times per week.

Two weeks ago, Rachel was a waitress in a coffee shop in New York City. She doesn't remember anything in her waking life before that. In her dreams, she remembers a lot longer, but she also spends time in Hell in her dreams. And her Octopus wants her to take over the world.

The story is told in parts (click the title to go to the chapter)

Rachel wakes up one day to realize that she doesn't know anything about her life. On the advice of her octopus, she walks south and meets Brigitte. And the revenants.

Part Two: In Hell:
Running from the Revenants, Rachel wakes up in Hell and seeks help from a Valkyrie.

Part Three: Heading East:
With Mr. Damned Soul tagging along, Rachel and Brigitte go where Doc tells them to go.

Shot down by ray guns, Rachel is taken to be interrogated.

My life:

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Meanwhile, Back In New York, still...

The man stood over Angelina.

He reached out a hand and touched her cheek. It was not a tender touch. It was not a caress. It was not sensual in any way, but it was not mean, either. It was not cruel, not in the ordinary way. He touched it the way a butcher touches meat, the way a carpenter touches a board, grading and judging the materials he is about to use.

He pinched her cheek and then moved up to her hair, which he lifted and let fall. He opened one eye, which stared at him dully as he looked under the eyelid. He poked it with his finger. He rolled it left and right. Angelina did not protest because she was still unconscious.

He would not have listened to her protests, anyway.

He moved on to her torso, poking and prodding and pinching, rubbing it sometimes. He lifted each of her arms and let them fall. Then he lifted them again and held them up to his own head.

People, he knew, do not share when they are unconscious. He had learned that. But he could still tell some things about them and did not want to wake her up. It was easiest to pick up on those things he could learn by pressing the hand directly to his own forehead, to where the tiny microchip that every baby got, prenatally, was, the microchip that was implanted to allow people to grow and develop in such a way that their nerves themselves could conduct electricial impulses, not just electrical impulses from the brain and central nervous system, but electrical impulses from other's central nervous systems, and from computers.

He had one. Almost everyone had one. Except the people he made. He took them out of the people he made, and then even though their nerves had the same capacity to conduct the impulses from others and from electromagnetic sources like computers and broadcasts, even though they could carry those signals, they could not interpret them without the microchip.

He would cut out Angelina's, too, before he was done. He had not decided yet what parts of her to use right away and what parts might be saved or what parts should be disposed of, but he knew he would cut out the chip because he always saved the heads and he always took the chips out of them.

The people he created, people who sometimes worked, could not share.

I laid there a few minutes more, while Rex growled around and Reverend Tommy closed his eyes and mouthed words. It took only a few seconds for me to realize he was praying.

He looked at me, then, and scowled.

"If I must, I must," he said, more to himself than anything, and then walked around and quickly unsnapped all of the bands holding me down. "Get up, harlot," he said, and motioned towards a shelf. "Cover yourself."

"I didn't think men of God were supposed to be mean," I told him, and thought a little bit about covering myself up while walking across the room, but what was I supposed to cover up with? Plus, I was a little freaked out by now by the whole left hand thing.

"Men of the God of Living People Only," Reverend Tommy corrected me, still with a snap in his voice.

"And what's that all about?" I asked him.

He didn't answer and I began picking up the clothes he'd pointed to. I was skeptical. It was a blue sundress with a floral print on a white band around the waist. But it was all I had, and while everything I'd seen about Reverend Tommy, and everything Brigitte had said, told me that he was on the up-and-up, he really was a holy man and wouldn't be trying to take advantage of me, I didn't exactly want to walk around naked in front of him.

Plus, I wasn't sure yet how far I could cross him or whether I wanted to. If he'd managed to knock me out and I hadn't gone to Hell, I wanted to know more about that.

So I put the dress on.

He then led the way out of the basement -- it turns out we were in a basement -- by opening the door. We went up a narrow flight of stairs in the near-dark, first Reverend Tommy, then me, then Rex behind me. The stairs led out into a fantastic room, a large atrium-type area full of marble and glass and a spiral staircase and a chandelier and little recessed alcoves full of things that must have been valuable or something, because I couldn't see why they were here otherwise.

"Brigitte's family must be really rich," I muttered.

Reverend Tommy looked over his shoulder. "This isn't their house," he said.

I looked around, and back at the door, which had closed and blended into the wall so that I couldn't tell what it was -- or where it was.

"It's not?"


Reverend Tommy continued walking, and because I had nowhere else to go and wasn't sure what to do, I followed him.

"What is it?" I asked him. "Where are we?"

He didn't answer. Rex snarled a little, and I shot him a look over my shoulder. The look was supposed to say you're just a dog, shut up, but I don't know if I really conveyed that or not. I might have just looked annoyed. And a little scared, probably. Rex has big teeth.

Reverend Tommy walked through a couple of other doors in short hallways that had the looks of service corridors and then opened a door into another room. This one had wooden floors and white walls and paintings hanging on the wall. There were a couple of people in the room. They looked at us only briefly and then went back to considering the paintings in front of them. We walked through that room and I began to realize what we were in as we turned out and there was a long, narrower room filled with suits of armor and glass cases down the center. It was dim for such a big room, and there were even more people here than before. Reverend Tommy kept walking, and Rex kept me close to him.

We walked through that room and then through another atrium type room with staircases, and I was sure then that I was right. We were in some sort of art museum. Reverend Tommy remained a few steps ahead of me, and nobody really paid us any attention whatsoever as we walked past the lobby and out into the street and onto a set of broad steps that led onto a busy road surrounded by taller buildings. Electric busses and personal cars scooted around the city, and scores of people walked or biked or jogged or floated, and people were coming up and down the stairs brushing past all of us. A group of school kids jostled past me and Rex; Reverend Tommy was already off to the side, standing next to a large lion sculpture that had turned green with age.

I went over by him, and Rex stood between me and the public, watching everything. I looked back at the building we'd just come out of.


"Chicago?" I asked.

Reverend Tommy still did not answer me.

Shame On America Sunday: Barack Obama Edition.

I try not to be too political or topical or, frankly, angry, on my blogs. I try that in part because there are people whose job it is to be political and topical, people who pay attention to politics and business and other news that in theory qualifies them to talk about politics and business; I mostly pay attention to what's on my iPod and comic books.

But I can't help it; I've boiled over and I can't contain it anymore, and the people whose job it is to be political and topical -- the politicians and editorial writers and reporters and other people who are supposed to be doing something good for the world -- are fiddling while Rome burns. They are fretting over flag pins and medal counts at the Olympics while the United States of America, the greatest country ever embodying the greatest concepts of the human race-- slowly rots from the inside.

And I can't stand it anymore. I'm tired of just making jokes about mystery writers and pizza while people struggle to pay medical bills and find houses and make ends meet, and I'm especially tired of making jokes about mystery writers and pizza while others suffer at the same exact time as stinking rich selfish people rub all our noses in how stinking rich and selfish they are and help slowly but surely bring about the destruction of the United States of America while also keeping people living in squalor as they engage in foolish, reprehensible behavior.

It is disgusting to me that we live in a country that allows some to squander money and resources and time and not only flaunt it but be celebrated and honored for doing that while others struggle to enjoy what should be basic rights. And I can no longer tolerate it.

So most of the week, I'll continue doing what I do: In my "work" as a lawyer, I'll continue to try to help people save their houses and pay their bills and keep their kids. As a writer, I'll mostly keep making jokes about mystery writers and pizza. But once a week, on Sundays, I am going to publish, on all my blogs, Shame On America Sunday, to highlight the morally decrepit people who should not be honored, who should not be celebrated, who should be scorned and ridiculed; and I will contrast those people-without-souls against the people they are spitting on, the poor, the hungry, the needy.

It may not be much, but it's what I can do, and I'll do it.

What has set this off is this week's highlighted hypocritical loser, Barack Obama.

Allow me to quote from "Money talks at convention," courtesy of The New York Times, as reprinted in the Wisconsin State Journal on Saturday, August 23, 2008:

When Sen. Barack Obama gives his acceptance speech... on Thursday in Denver... a group of lobbyists and corporate executives will watch the event from plush skyboxes, with catered food and a flowing bar, and a price tag of up to $1 million.

And Obama's biggest fundraisers will be staying at the
Ritz-Carlton. They will be treated to an array of cocktail parties.
While Obama has attacked those who 'have turned our government into a game only they can afford to play,' the corporate and other special-interest money will be as pervasive as ever at this year's Democratic convention.

So, "change you can believe in," or whatever the hypocritical, already-failed Obama administration's empty slogan is, apparently means "Same old same old." The Democratic National Committee is planning on spending $60 million dollars to throw Obama a coming-out party, and Obama, who speaks on this issue with the forked tongue all politicans have -- he's not "change" of any real sort -- is helping to raise that money.

Are you a member of a union? If so, check what benefits you get in case of a strike; odds are they're pretty low. Then check what benefits Obama gets: He got $500,000 from a union, and had the gall to ask for $500,000 more.

Think teachers are underpaid? Their union doesn't; instead of helping teachers out, they gave $750,000 to Obama's big party.

It's pretty much all of Same Ol' Obama's fault, too: he decided to give his speech outdoors, adding $6 million to the cost of the party. So Obama needs six million dollars to have an outdoor photo op. Six million dollars extra so that Obama could stand under a starry sky, spread his arms, give us all that smile, and promise things will be different -- while knowing deep down inside that they absolutely will not because he is just another politician lying to us while getting himself rich.

Six million dollars extra to speak outside.

Now, let me introduce you -- again -- to Ryan and Angie Shaw. My longtime readers know Ryan and Angie Shaw and their two wonderful boys, Mateo and McHale. Mateo and McHale were born conjoined twins and to date have had twenty-five surgeries. They were given a 5% chance of of living and have been beating those odds for over two years.

Here's something to think about: Ryan and Angie Shaw have used up every cent of their insurance. They had insurance coverage and it's done. They have no more. So they exist on donations and the goodwill of the hospitals and doctors that help them. I don't know what their medical bills are, but I know when I had back surgery the tab was over $20,000. If they spent just $20,000 per surgery, that's $500,000 just on the surgeries -- that doesn't count prenatal and postnatal care and physical therapy and braces and checkups and follow-ups and the wheelchairs the boys need.

While I don't know the exact tab, I'm willing to bet that all of Ryan and Angie Shaw's bills, every single bit of medical care they and the boys have ever received, could be paid for using just the extra money Same Ol' Obama wants to get his photo op speech.

This is what Same Ol' Obama has to say on his website about health care (if you go to his website, you'll first be hit up for money before you can find out anything about Same Ol' Obama, whose slogan maybe should be "Pocket Change You Can Send In") (and no, I won't link to his website. He doesn't need my help.)

We now face an opportunity — and an obligation — to turn the page on the failed politics of yesterday's health care debates

Obama promises to make things better and create new programs. But he is spending our money, money you have paid in union dues and donated to his campaign -- to throw himself a party and get a photo op.

How much health care could be paid for with $6 million? How much health care could be bought with Sixty Million Dollars, the amount Barack is going to spend to throw himself a party?

This week, Barack Obama is going to travel to Denver to enjoy a splendid party featuring free-flowing champagne, luxury boxes, limousines, and swanky hotels.

This week, Ryan and Angie Shaw will take their boys in their wheelchairs to a park that is not wheelchair accessible.

Shame on you, Barack Obama. Shame on you.

Skip the clicking on Same Ol' Obama's website; instead, donate some money to the Shaws. Send donations to:

The Mateo and McHale Shaw Irrevocable Special-Needs Trust,
c/o Kohler Credit Union,
850 Woodlake Road,
Kohler, Wis., 53044.

And read more on Mateo and McHale by going to Caring Bridge, where you can type "mateoandmchale" into the box to Visit A Caring Bridge Website to see more pictures and the parents' journal.

The Trouble With Roy firmly believes that access to health care is a universal right, that no adult should be allowed to earn more than $200,000 gross income in a given year, and that the United States of America, as great as it is, can do a lot better.

Lending a hand

New installment: LENDING A HAND -- posted today.

Welcome to

Lesbian Zombies Are Taking Over the World

A serialized story updated 1-2 times per week.

Two weeks ago, Rachel was a waitress in a coffee shop in New York City. She doesn't remember anything in her waking life before that. In her dreams, she remembers a lot longer, but she also spends time in Hell in her dreams. And her Octopus wants her to take over the world.

The story is told in parts (click the title to go to the chapter)

Rachel wakes up one day to realize that she doesn't know anything about her life. On the advice of her octopus, she walks south and meets Brigitte. And the revenants.

Part Two: In Hell:
Running from the Revenants, Rachel wakes up in Hell and seeks help from a Valkyrie.

Part Three: Heading East:
With Mr. Damned Soul tagging along, Rachel and Brigitte go where Doc tells them to go.

Shot down by ray guns, Rachel is taken to be interrogated.

Snack Food:

Lending A Hand

The revenants were swarming about the room. Everything was a blur of motion, the crazy kind of action that can only be imagined, since you'll never see it from my perspective-- lying on a table with an old guy bleeding on my naked chest while an overhead lamp swung back and forth.

I heard Rex barking, and Reverend Tommy preaching to the Revenants:

"Get back, foul spawn! Get back from me or you will feel the wrath of the Lord of The Living People Only!"

The revenants snarled and moaned in that way they had; their voices sounded to me always like the echoes you hear through a sewer system. The old guy moved on my chest. He turned his head and looked at me.

"Rachel," he gurgled.

Reverend Tommy's voice got louder as Rex barked more: "Lord, I call upon thee, as a Living Person and one worthy of Your Attention and Love and Devotion, STRIKE DOWN these unholy hellspawn, drive them from this house."

Nothing happened. Rex leaped across the table, clearing table and me and old guy in a single leap and dove into one of the revenants that had gotten closer. A gunshot boomed around the room.

"Guns do nothing to them," yelled Reverend Tommy, and I saw he was right because the cop was pushed back onto the table next to me, his shoulder smacking into my face, a revenant on top of him. The revenant was wearing a trucker cap over a do-rag. He had one of those little goatees that's only on the chin. He was roaring, but distantly, and echoey. They don't have much air in those old burntout decrepit lungs. I tried to edge over to my left to get away from them.

"Rachel" the old man gurgled again and I looked at him and kept trying to look at him while watching the cop struggle next to me and try to avoid having his face eaten, which it looked like the revenant was trying to do while it also was trying to head-butt him. They're not very smart, revenants.

"What?" I asked the old man, as he gurgled again.

He couldn't or didn't talk, though, but his right hand flopped around. He tried to lift his head up but couldn't, very much. His arm flopped onto my face, busting into my nose and causing shooting pains all through my face. I felt it start to bleed and yelped. The revenant looked up at me, stopping his attack on the cop, as though it had just noticed me.

The cop took that moment to push back, but the revenant refocused and poked a finger into his eye. He yelled. The old man's arm flopped more, and his hand fell on my left breast. I yelled again. I couldn't believe he was trying to feel me up while all this was going on.

"Hand," he gurgled. My nose was killing me and I could feel blood running down both my cheeks. Rex was growling somewhere and I heard wood breaking. Reverend Tommy had continued his preaching.

"Foul soul-less things! I smite thee, as the Living People shall always Smite the Terrors of Hell!"

If I wasn't in pain and being molested, his rants would have really bothered me. The cop was getting pushed into me more and more. His head was mashing my ear and he was laying half on my right shoulder. The old man was still gurgling but his hand moved off my chest and over to my left hand. He fumbled at the straps.

"Begone! Get thee away!" Reverend Tommy yelled. Rex snarled somewhere and I heard a revenant yell louder.

The strap on my left wrist was pulled open as the revenant trying to kill the cop picked him up and was going to smack him down on me. The old man gurgled something again and held up my left hand as much as he could and said something.

The room fell silent.
My hand was clenched into a fist. I saw the old man's face, through the tears my nose was causing.

"Up. Hand. Up," he rasped.

I lifted my left hand up in a fist.

I couldn't see what was happening. The old man nodded and pushed back. He slid off of me. I looked to my right, where the cop and revenant had been wrestling. The revenant was just standing there, slack-jawed.

The cop took advantage of that to pull his gun out again and shoot the revenant point-blank in the face. Its head exploded all over.

I couldn't see anything else, but I heard Reverend Tommy praying and heard Rex snarling and the sound of flesh tearing.

I kept my left hand up in the air, in a fist.

"Put that down, unholy Lesbian!" Yelled Reverend Tommy. "Do not try to corrupt us!"

Rex barked.

"It's doing something," the cop said.

"Those who use the tools of evil become evil themselves," Reverend Tommy said.

Rex snarled again and I saw him flash over, leaping at me, grabbing my hand in his mouth and pulling it down. It hurt; his teeth were digging into me.

I heard the revenants begin howling again as Rex pulled my hand in his mouth down below the edge of the table, wrenching my shoulder as my arm twisted in ways it should not have. I was still strapped down by three appendages. With a weird keening, a revenant jumped up on the table and stood over me. He loomed up over me as Rex continued biting into my left hand. He leaned down and looked right into my eyes, blurry in my vision because my eyes were still watering.

I heard a thunk and he fell off the table, to the left, and my hand pulled free of Rex. I whipped it up and held it straight up, trying to make a fist and watching the blood course down out of the holes Rex's teeth had lost.
Everything fell silent again. I heard Rex growl and one small whimper from the revenant.
Reverend Tommy suddenly appeared in my vision and forced the hand down. "They're all dead now, again," he said, "And I don't need your help. Put the hand down or I'll cut it off right now."

I put it down.

He disappeared from my vision again, as he bent down. I heard him ask the old man if he was all right. There was some mumbling. He said "Don't worry, we'll find Brigitte."

There was a pause. The old man must have been talking. I was surprised to think that I hadn't realized before that he was Brigitte's father.

When the pause ended, Reverend Tommy said, "Yes, I'll tell her."

He stood up and looked in my eyes.

"He has something he wants me to tell you," Reverend Tommy said to me.

I waited.

"Something about his daughter, Brigitte," Reverend Tommy said.

I looked at him.

"He says to stop corrupting her or he'll find a way to leave Heaven, track you down in Hell, and destroy your soul for once and for all."

I probably should have been nicer, considering, but I was bleeding from a broken nose and was strapped to a table and my left hand could control revenants or something and was also bleeding and the mention of Brigitte had upset me because we hadn't settled things about Ivanka when I'd been shot down...

... and I realized just that moment, just before I spoke, that I'd been unconscious when I was shot down and hadn't gone to Hell...

... so with all that going on, I couldn't really restrain myself and I spoke loudly enough to make sure he heard:

"Yeah, well, she's pregnant and it's my kid, too!"

I heard a gurgle, so I knew he heard me. Then I felt bad because it was probably the last thing he ever heard.

Reverend Tommy looked outraged. He held up his hands.

"Oh, Lord of the Living People," he intoned. I watched him, wondering what he was trying to do. "It it be Thy Will, Lord," Reverend Tommy went on, "Allow me to destroy this Abomination this moment."

His hands began to glow and crackle like they were giving off electricity. He held them together, like praying, up over his head.

"Shall I smite her, Lord?" Reverend Tommy said, eyes closed, head back, hands arched over his head surrounded by a yellow nimbus.

I tried to wrench my right arm free. I couldn't. I remembered my left was free and tried to reach up to where my right hand was, to pull that strap off, but I couldn't quite reach. I yanked at my feet, feeling straps cut into my ankles. Nothing worked. Eyes blurring up again with pain, I looked back at Reverend Tommy as his hands glowed more and more.

Then the glow dimmed. He looked down at me, not smiling.

He said, then: "I am not to destroy you."

All the air whooshed out of me in a relieved sigh.

"Yet," he said. "I am not to destroy you yet."


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